Zg Session 59

It's late at night, but not quite so late that people start heading to bed, when Phyllis' idea of what a screeching kobold sounds like alerts you to someone approaching. Some of you are quick to react, but the guards tell you that Lya Jierre's at the door, wishing to speak with you.
Not that the circumstances make the hasty reaction less necessary, mind you…
Chandrasekhar: "That'd make a good alarm clock."
Gerald‘ doesn’t *shoot* her after Phyllis' warning, but isn't really letting his gun go either.
Ernst does not seem impressed.
Zane: "This oughtta be good…"
With your permission, the guard lets her in.
Gerald: "Well. What do you want?"
Lya: "Just to talk. Please put the gun down, I'm not going to bite, Mr. Cooper."
Zane: "We wouldnt shoot you, far too obvious. Wine?"
Gerald: "To be honest a gun being within like five fett of my person is basically identical to it being in my hands anyway, so it's just gunna sit out here in the open and pointed in your general direction. If that makes you uncomfortable, stop giving me reasons to shoot you."
Lya shrugs. "I'll get straight to the point, then."
Chandrasekhar can't -say- how much he appreciates Gerald on account of it'd cause an unrecoverable diplomatic incident, but it's there in the way his eyes twinkle.
Lya: "Yes, I'm with the Obscurati. Let's get that out in the open then." She holds up her hand, a gold ring on one of her fingers.
Ernst gives a sort of 'No, really?' look.
Lya: "Although the Obscurati, by necessity, has used secrecy and subterfuge for their ends, I'm not comfortable with these tools."
Zane: "I'm shocked…"
Chandrasekhar smiles thinly. "Talk faster. Some of us are tired. Something we /don't/ already know?"
Gerald: "Is it finally time for the sales pitch? I was expecting that back at the giant constuct, but."
Lya: "I was raised to value reason, progress, and the power of words over arms. Toward that end, I want to explain why I'm doing what I'm doing, in hopes that you will agree that my motives are honourable."
Garrett‘ idly does his nails with his dagger.
Lya: "The ’Ob', as you like to call them, has lost control of its colossus, and you can guess that we want it back under our control."
Chandrasekhar: "A true believer in the ends that justify all of these distateful means, then. If I'm right, it's a compelling narrative, so go on."
Lya: "The colossus was meant to be a peacekeeping weapon, to deter Risur from attacking Danor, capable of defending even against assaults in the Dreaming or the Bleak Gate."
Garrett: "It's doing that right now I suspect." He grins.
Lya: "Please recognize that it would have been something that it would have been a threat that would never have been deployed without reason, because its activation would have provoked a backlash from every country, afraid they might be next."
Zane: "And yet…"
Lya: "Yes, it's powerful, but it couldn't be everywhere at once. The moment it attacked somewhere, it would have assured Danor's destruction."
Chandrasekhar: "From which we can infer that Risur would or will have a compelling reason to attack Danor once more. And that you believed Risur would not simply develop a weapon of their own, escalating unto the apocalypse."
Chandrasekhar: "I'd like to think we're more sensible than that, but." He smiles, still thinly.
Lya: "With such absolute deterrence, there wouldn't be a need for fruther wars. Oh, armies would continue to train and prepare, but no one would dare to fight. There would be peace."
Lya: "But now it's loose, and damaged, and acting out of control. Luckily it seems disinclined to raze any cities, but it is safest if the colossus is not roaming."
Chandrasekhar: "Audacious. I respect that."
Lya: "Please, I implore you, step aside and let us find Tinker. He would let us regain control of the colossus, and we could bring it back to its rightful purpose. A world at peace."
Chandrasekhar: "Should have installed better safeguards. Or not built the damned thing if such was impossible. Dissapointing. But audacious!"
Lya: "In exchange, I'll promise not to play along with the Bruse's game to get Cavallo to attack your nation."
Chandrasekhar: "How do you know you're not being lied to about its purpose?"
Garrett‘ snorts.
Lya: "Shantus rubs me the wrong way, and I won’t spill innocent blood just to entertain him."
Gerald: "I also enjoy the peace of someone's boot dagger pressed into my neck as I lay helplessly on the ground praying to any God that will listen that their leg doesn't get tired or bored."
Chandrasekhar: "You've already built a competitor to the Titans out of cold steel and spinning gears, /in the Bleak Gate/, /powered by pulped souls/. These are not exactly the properties of a trustworthy operation."
Garrett: "If we 'let' you all find Tinker then the game's already over."
Garrett: "Then we'd just deal with Cavallo in a more stately fashion."
Garrett: "As opposed to the fresh hell he's going to find himself in within a few hours."
Zane: "So let me get this straight."
Lya: "Why not? You don't want to make the world a better place by avoiding the fighting? Like another Yerasol War?"
Gerald: "How much fucking wine did you drink before coming over here?"
Chandrasekhar: "…actually, that probably is exactly what he wants to do with the Colossus. Go home and tell him to come up with a better plan. This one's got holes in it. Like all of the holes we put in your baby God."
Lya: "A couple of glasses."
Garrett: "Well, she's honest."
Chandrasekhar sighs, leans against a wall, bored- no, /personally/ irritated. "I want to make the world a better place, Goddess, woman, have you ever listened to the Chant? You should, sometime. There's a /price/ that you /pay/ for trying to change the world in one bright-eyed fell swoop!"
Chandrasekhar: "Slowly. Over time. Growing vines can crumble rock walls to dust. Risur and Danor were on the eve of peace, before…"
Chandrasekhar: "Hm. What -is- on Axis Island, anyways?"
Zane: "In order to ensure peace, you… built a weapon. You built a weapon that would never be used… except it was. And when you used it, it promptly slipped your control. You built it *in Risur*. In *our house*. And now you want *us* to help *you* get control of *your lost weapon* that *would never be used*."
Zane: "Did your family pay for someone else to write your thesis?"
Chandrasekhar: "She's not a big fan of 'treaties' and 'diplomacy', Mr. Bieito. Which is funny, given her profession and titles, but here we are."
Garrett: "Next time, choose… I don't know, Nalaam?"
Garrett: "Probably a lot more corruption and loose security to get away with up there."
Garrett: "Actually that's a good idea, don't listen to me."
Gerald‘ pauses for a second, then barely holds in a laugh,
Lya: "Admittedly, the loose earth mana would probably have been of some benefit, but that’s not my area of expertise."
Gerald: "Okay okay okay."
Gerald: "So like…"
Lya sighs. "While good points, I suppose we won't see eye-to-eye on this."
Chandrasekhar: "We're just where the natural resources and city full of factories was."
Garrett‘ nods. "True, true."
Zane: "Oh no I absolutely think your creation needs its leash re-applied."
Lya: "Just not ours."
Zane: "But I think you have proven yourself far to stupid to be entrusted with it."
Gerald: "What was Ob’s endgame. Was that seriously it? " Build a giant automaton that can step on cities and then tell everyone to play nice, or else'? That… that was it? The grand dream and designs was to… protect us from ourselves… by trying to be the biggest angry kid on the playground? "
Chandrasekhar: "Counter-proposal. We track down the creature, together. And destroy it. And then your boss has a cup of tea and a sit down with us and the leadership of Risur and we have a talk about the future."
Zane: "So we will take Tinker. We will fix your broken doll. And we will order it to tear itself apart, plate by plate."
Chandrasekhar: "There are ways to accomplish what he desires, but… heh. All of you need to hear the full Chant over and over until it sticks."
Chandrasekhar: "You'd think they'd have paid attention." He shrug-twitches.
Zane‘ shakes his head. "World peace is a fools dream."
Lya: "I’ll pass that proposal along, though I doubt it will be taken. We both have our orders. Despite everything that's happened, I see you as rivals, and not enemies."
Lya: "I wish you luck, then, and may the best team win."
Gerald: "Holy shit."
Chandrasekhar smiles. "There's lots of fools in the world, my friend."
Gerald: "Hooooly shit."
Garrett: "It doesn't go the other way, trust me." He adjusts his boot.
Gerald: "Ahahaha."
Zane: "We plan to."
Chandrasekhar: "I'll just revel in this opportunity to not be the most foolish in the room."
Gerald: "Oh your gods, ahaahahaha."
Gerald: "I can't fucking breath im going to die ahahaha." Gerald slumps over.
Chandrasekhar pats Gerald on the shoulder.
Zane: "Not my fault, I didnt even poison the wine yet…"
Lya shakes her head slightly at Gerald and heads out.
Zane: "Lya, consider one thing."
Lya: "Yes?"
Gerald: "Which one of you dumb fucks they had a good reason for anything they were doing again I know it was one of you but still ahahaha WHOOOOO."
Garrett‘ regards Gerald. "So this is what they meant by being lenient as to what constitutes assault."
[OOC] Gerald: thought they had^
Zane: "Your collosus was a world-crushing engine of destruction. How conveinent, then, that your relative made a lantern that shifts parts of this world into another."
Garrett: "If Gerald dies of laughter I don’t think they technically lose."
Chandrasekhar: "That's why I suggested she ask what he -really- wanted to do with the colossus, yes."
Zane: "Just… food for thought."
Lya: "Very convenient, I agree. Good night, constables."
Gerald: "Ahahah… hahah… ha… ah man. You think they're all really that dumb or if they didn't let her in on The Real Plan?"
Zane‘ rubs his face after the door closes. "Either she’s fucking stupid or she's lying through her teeth. And I've read her work, she's not stupid."
Ernst: "I'm… admittedly in disbelief right now."
Chandrasekhar: "I'm just wondering what parts of the world, specifically, he thinks are worthy of salvation."
Gerald: "I duno man she didn't sound like she was lying."
Chandrasekhar: "The best liars never do."
Garrett: "She isn't lying, just…"
Gerald: "The best liars never lie, they dance around topics, speak only of the base truths, and then mislead through omission. Which… didn't feel like what she was doing either." Gerald shrugs. "I'd sooner bet she's just not as fully in the loop as she thinks she is."
Garrett‘ sighs. "Hopeless."
Garrett: "Stupid…"
Garrett: "And a dead woman."
Garrett: "Eventually."
Garrett: "If not by us, by them."
Gerald: "You think?"
Zane: "Probably yeah."
Garrett: "We don’t have the best track record of Ob associates alive in prison."
Chandrasekhar: "The sun goes down on all of us, but she does seem to be on an accelerated schedule."
Gerald: "Heheheh."
Aleith|DM: Any other plans for the night? Or are you ready to turn in?
Zane: "Well, I'm going for a jog in the morning, so I'll see you all later."
Gerald: "Dammit going to bed's gunna be hard now that I'm all wound up. Ah well."
Zane: "Just clean your gun, you'll be fine."
Zane‘ vanishes down the hall.
Ernst shakes his head. "Bother me when we’re about to head out again."
Gerald‘ pauses for a second, then snickers as Zane leaves.
Chandrasekhar giggles.
Garrett` stretches out.
Aleith|DM: You are, sadly, interrupted about an hour later by Phyllis’ alarm going off again. Answering the door, you find one of the goblin maids (rather sheepishly) asking if you have any laundry you'd like cleaned or mended over night.
Garrett‘ declines the laundry service.
[OOC] Garrett: politely.
Zane: "I think we’re OK. Go ask Lya Jierre and her people."
Gerald: "Why didn't they ask us that before he tried going to sleep…" Gerald shrugs, disappears for a minute, then comes back with a spare shirt that got messed up in the stampeed.
Aleith|DM: You get the shirt returned to you in the morning, alerted by yet another alarm, though it also goes off when Kenna shows up to collect anyone who comes for a run.
Aleith|DM: Gerald: Perception check?
Gerald‘ rolled d20+15 and got 3 ( Total: 18 )
Aleith|DM: It takes you a bit to notice, but you find a piece of gold thread stuck inside one one of the sleeves, in a nice circle. Just enough to stop teleportation from affecting you.
Gerald: "Haha. That’s funny."
Gerald‘ pulls the golden thread out of the shirt, then puts it on.
Gerald: "Wonder why they’d put a teleport blocker in there? Habit from working for a paranoid ruler, maybe?"
Ernst: "Maybe someone got pissed I teleported you out of that stampede." He chuckles.
Garrett: "Whatever the reason, it can't be good."
Aleith|DM: Anyway, Kenna shows up and drags Zane and whoever else wants to come along for her morning run. "That's certainly some alarm."
Gerald: "Phyllis has weird hobbies." Gerald drops the shift off with Ernst to give a closer, magicaler look over while he heads out for the jog as well.
Ernst calls out after him annoyed. "I'm a golemoligist not a- ughh.. fine."
Aleith|DM: You don't find any traces of magic on it.
Zane‘ jogs along. "Keeps us on our toes."
Aleith|DM: Several of the guards join you on the run. They switch off with some of the other guards at the military base for the run back.
Aleith|DM: However, when you get there, Kenna takes Zane over to the army’s shooting range and helps him practice dodging bullets. Yes, Gerald, you can help.
Zane: "Gerald is one of the few people in the world that can shoot at me and not get instantly murdered."
Gerald: "Far be it from me to ever turn down an opportunity to shoot a superior… Y'want the shotgun or the rifle?" Gerald grins.
Zane: "We'll start with the rifle. You can save the shotgun for when I get close."
Gerald‘ salutes with one hand while arming the rifle with the other. This’ll be fun,
Zane learns the Martial Scientist trait Vigilante Sprint.
Zane‘ Does Get Shot, but that’s the school of hard knocks for you.
Aleith|DM: You do get back in time to get your stuff together before dawn.
Garrett: "…did you do the 3-mile version?"
Gerald: "No it was the version with a gunfire interlude."
Aleith|DM: Thankfully they were just pellets, and not actual bullets, but they still sting.
Zane: "… Who only does three miles?"
Garrett: "Oh, no, I meant the Gerald Kill Zone."
Zane: "Oh, nah. Rifle and shotgun both. No sense half-assing it."
Garrett‘ waves it off.
Garrett: "Of course."
Aleith|DM: Alright, so you guys asked around and got some teleportation circle signatures last night.
Gerald: "Huh? Oh Right."
Aleith|DM: Phyllis is taking Gerald and Chandrasekhar to Citado Cavallo?
[OOC] Garrett: yase
Aleith|DM: And what are your plans to get to the head camp for Liss Rail Contruction?
Zane: "Cavallo is an obstinate ass. Go through his daughter if you can, she’ll make him see reason."
Gerald‘ makes a point of wearing the recently returned shirt as they head for the magic circle, with the golden thread relooped and resting in his pocket, intending to make a big show out of pulling it out of his pocket and gasping in surprise before dropping it as the teleport spell completes.
[OOC] Garrett: take the currently constructed rail out there
Aleith|DM: Alright, teleporting to Reo Pedresco then? Sounds like a plan.
Aleith|DM: Ernst sets up a linked portal ritual to there while Phyllis does the same for Citado Cavallo.
Aleith|DM: Phyllis’ group ends up a bit outside the citadel, but we'll put that on hold for the moment.
Aleith|DM: Ernst, Garrett, and Zane, you arrive in Reo Pedresco without incident. It doesn't take you long to find the train station, and arrange transport to the head camp.
Aleith|DM: The trip takes about 8 hours, and you get there in the late afternoon.
Aleith|DM: just before dusk, rather, it didn't leave for a few hours.
Zane‘ looks the land over. "This is gonna be… exciting."
Aleith|DM: Well, you’re getting off a bit early, it seems. The workers let you know that Surtan Liss, the head of the company, is staying at Aigostura, a staging town 40 miles west of the railhead.
Zane: "… Why the christ is the rail boss not at the damn camp?"
Aleith|DM: When you get there, the town is in a tizzy. You find most of the residents out gawking at a group of golems, ten strong, as they busily assemble a mock length of track. Steam puffs out of their backs as arcane boilers provide the power to their work.
Zane: "Oh, that's just begging to be sabotaged. Ernst, keep your eye on them."
Aleith|DM: The workers point you to Liss, a lizardfolk sitting at a table nearby, sipping at a glass while another man sits at the other end of the table, sipping his own glass as they watch the golems.
Garrett‘ heads up to the table. Glances at the golems, glances at the occupants.
Ernst scratches his head before nodding.
Garrett: "Test-driving?"
Aleith|DM: Surtan Liss has small garnets set along his cheekbones, which sparkle in the light.
Garrett: "Or are you thinking of putting them on the line soon?"
Aleith|DM: The man stands up. "Showing off one of the latest products of Pemberton Industries. Can I help you folks?"
Garrett: "I’m Garrett Woodson, a pleasure to meet you."
Zane: "Zane Bieito. The Bruse sent us to help you win the bonus."
Pemberton: "Benedict Pemberton," he says, offering his hand.
Garrett‘ gives a firm shake.
Pemberton: "Ah, so you’re with Mr. Liss here?"
Zane: "Mm."
The lizardfolk stands up. "You're the helpers the Bruse's men spoke about? A pleasure to meet you. Surtan Liss."
Ernst seems to be glancing at the product from a distance more than paying attention to the conversation.
Garrett: "Likewise."
Garrett: "Is there anything particular or strange about the upcoming miles in the way?"
Pemberton: "As I was saying, the golems can help speed along the track laying considerably, in addition to your regular crew." The golems cart dirt, crush rocks, and lay ties and track in the background.
Liss: "We've got a couple of bridges to deal with along the way to the target point. We're about 4 miles from the first one."
Pemberton: "And my Steam Crew can help with that as well. For the price of 250,000 gold pieces, they can double the distance you can build each day."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: According to Pemberton, the Steam Crew can build 1 extra mile per day without costing any Morale
Ernst is starting to wonder why he chose a career as a constable with prices like that.
Zane: "Well, that is a rather hefty investment."
Pemberton: "In the long run, getting the railroad done faster will mean it's cheaper for your labour costs, and will get you to that bonus before Griento Railways."
Liss: "I agree, they're very impressive."
Liss sips at his guaro sour. "And I can have that kind of money once we finish. There's even a bonus if I can get to Mile 138 before they do that'll cover it. But that's too much to ask while I'm in the middle of operations. How about a down payment?"
Pemberton: "But what if you don't finish first? You must see where I'm coming from."
Zane: "Sounds like you'd be invested to make certain he does… unless you don't stand by your work…"
Liss: "But surely your machines will make sure that doesn't happen." He glances at you. "Gentlemen? Any words to help persuade Mr. Pemberton here?"
Garrett: "I seem to recall things called 'loans' and 'payment net 2 10 slash 30…'"
Zane‘ shrugs. "You either invest and get money in the long term, or you dont think your machines are up to it, in which case you are trying to scam my friend here…" [Intimidate]
Aleith|DM: Roll it.
Zane` rolled d20+16 and got 16 ( Total: 32 )
Zane: "We don’t appreciate con men, do we Mr. Woodson…"
Pemberton raises his eyebrows slightly. "Well, I suppose y'all can take the game up, too. Alright. We'll discuss the details later. I'll sell them to you now for 25,000 and the rest can wait."
Aleith|DM: He and Liss shake on it, and Pemberton calls for a secretary to start writing up a document for it.
Garrett‘ turns his head and smiles at Zane. "We sure don’t, Mr. Bieito. Fortunately, it seems like everything is on the up and up."
Zane: "As all businesses should be."
Pemberton: "Well, gentlemen, how are else are you planning to help Mr. Liss win this race here?"
Liss: "Please, I'm all ears. Well, you know what I mean." He waggles his crest a bit.
Zane: "Our ways are subtle and insidious. But don't worry, you'll get your money."
Garrett: "Have any explosive to spare…?"
Pemberton: "Are you proposing," and there's an obviously fake gasp, "sabotage…?"
Zane: "Absolutely not. … But accidents happen."
Liss raises an eye ridge. "Well, we don't use them that much since our ritualists are able to use stone shape to deal with most things, but we do have some supply…"
Pemberton: "Tsk. It's more impressive to create than it is to destroy."
Pemberton: "Although I suppose I can't complain too much if it helps your man get together his money."
Garrett: "It'll create a big heaping helping of gold upon winning, so…"
Zane: "Mister Pemberton, what makes you think I am going to destroy anything? Explosives are a very versatile tool in the right hands."
Pemberton: "Of course they are."
Garrett‘ asks around Reo Pedresco about the local lore, some small amount of history. Legends, fantastical beasts… something that the region knows, and fears. (Though admittedly, after dragons? What’s left?) [Streetwise]
Garrett‘ rolled 1d20+15 and got 2 ( Total: 17 )
Zane: "Well, before I can really tell you what we can do, I need to see what we’re working with. Once I have a good look at the terrain, I might have an idea or two."
Aleith|DM: You don't turn up much that sounds like a good lead, Garrett. Plenty of stories, but little substance.
Zane‘ ponders Garretts plan. [History]
Zane` rolled d20+11 and got 18 ( Total: 29 )
Aleith|DM: Several miles north of the midway point between the two ends of the Catabrilla Railroad lies a frozen lake and surrounding wetlands called Abismo Condendado. Stories say that although the dragon that once ruled them, Cheshimox, is now dead, his lizardfolk servants continue to revere him, serving him eternally in undeath.
Garrett` thinks. ’Dragon' he can't do, but undeath? He grins, prompted by little.
Pemberton shows some of the workers (and Ernst, I'm assuming) how to operate the Steam Crew.
Ernst is more than willing to help out, yeah.
Afterwards, once the document is drawn up, he and Liss go over the document before signing it, and Liss turns over 25,000 gp. [-1 Money]
Zane: "Money well spent."

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