Zg Session 71

Aleith|DM: Once you left the glacier-trapped city of Knütpara and figured out what was happening with the giants' former prisoners, Grappa, now in Leone's body, filled you in on where the Ob's convocation is going to be held: Mutavir Island, 20 miles off the coast of Vendricce in Crisillyir.
Aleith|DM: With the convocation starting on the 79th of Autumn, the plan is for you to leave from Mirsk on the 75th. Several officers have been organized by Leone to arrive between the 72nd and 74th.
Aleith|DM: You spend the 40+ days playnning and organizing for your trip undercover.
Zane‘ is eventually persuaded that his disguise skills are just as reliable as they need to be, and so he has Oddcog make him an Xavier automaton like the ones from Ber.
Aleith|DM: Zane, uncomfortable with the idea of the mind-magicks involved in the fulfilment of your mission, has discussed things with Delft, and they were able to get Tinker Oddcog to make a duplicant for Zane to use, a slightly-more palatable option at hopefully hiding amongst the enemy.
Aleith|DM: Once the officers start arriving, Grappa greets the officers and then magically waylays them before using the Mortal Possession ritual to supplant most of them with one of your souls.
Garrett` has been reading up on Gran’s operas. It's not like he can listen to a CD of his music or whatever, but occasionally he'll hit up an open-stage happy hour, drunkenly sing along to a few bawdy things, and occasionally cajole the best dockside actors against each other. Throw in a few local challenges, then 'see if they know some exotic stuff,' throw in a Guiscard aria or two among
Garrett‘ others.
Aleith|DM: He walks you through the process of achieving a gestalt with the host, to access their memories so you can figure out how to act as them.
Gerald` is reasonably confident the only way he could blow his cover is by being poliet and respectful, so he should be more than goood….
Aleith|DM: Xavier’s mind isn't supplanted, but is instead kidnapped, linked up as the body for the duplicant while Zane 'drives', and both of them head back to your ship while the duplicant's body remains behind. Some interrogation is done during the trip…
Zane‘ is a polite but thorough interrogator. He probably doesn’t even threaten to remove important bits like Xaviers thumbs.
Aleith|DM: The rest of your bodies are stored in the absurdist web, to keep them close at hand, just in case.
Aleith|DM: On the 75th, you all depart on a three-day trip to Vendricce. Around noon the next day, you board the ship Naphaeon along with a few priests of the Clergy - Bishop Ortisei Vigilio, and two priests travelling with him: Carlast Hevny and Zimand Dexlano - and sail the twenty miles off the coast to Mutavir Island.
Aleith|DM: Once you arrived on the island, you were brought by a couple of carriages outside a run-down mansion. Outside, you were greeted by Han Jierre, sovereign of Danor(?!) and a man he called Bert as he introduced himself to all of you. Using a wayfayer's lantern and some amulets to complete the transition, they moved you all to the Bleak Gate, where the mansion is much-better maintained-and better guarded.
Kiov Hetman: Phyllis, obsessed with preventing the efficacy of the lighthouses, seems to have chosen well in her choice of possession. Kiov's head should be an easy space to get into.
Aleith|DM: You could see several guards already, and some kind large lizard was brought out, which banished the illusion that was on Monsignior Dexlano, revealing a godhand, Vitus Sigismund, who was trying to sneak inside-and was burned into shadow on the wall behind him in a blinding flash of light from the shadowlisk.
Kiov Hetman: An illusionist knows her tricks only go so far. … seems this is the point of no return.
Aleith|DM: When Jierre sent for a guard to bring some people, a few ghosts followed them back out-including Vicemi Terio, Kiov's boss, and-surprisingly-Reed Macbannin, not quite back from the dead, but something close to it. The prisoner was taken away by Macbannin, and the rest of you went in while the Clergy priests were questioned.
Aleith|DM: After showing you around briefly and getting you some drinks, Han showed you over to the west wing of the mansion and the council room at the end.
In the vast room at the end of the hallway, a central fireplace roars warmly, but out the glass windows on the north, south, and west walls the whole landscape is nearly black. Together it creates the effect of light disappearing, and darkness encroaching.
Kiov Hetman: Less surprising. Earlier, after both Kaja and MacBannin's deaths, she guessed there may be a purpose in death (and consequently, travel to the Bleak Gate). Not that she had any evidence of her theories before, but … well, here we are.
A set of luxurious leather chairs are arrayed near the west windows, and one man sits smoking. His hands are gloved, and a necklace is visible around his neck, but tucked into his shirt. At first he seems alone, but as he stands to greet the group, it becomes clear that a dozen or more ghosts are floating outside the windows, watching.
He says, "Call me Nicodemus. I'm glad you came. Together we're going to change the world. Come on. Let's have a drink and talk." Physically, he looks like Andrei von Recklinghausen, AKA Mister Mapple who you met on your last trip to Vendricce almost a year ago.
Nicodemus: "Leone, it's a pleasure to see you again. I've got a different face from the last time I visited you at the vineyard."
Nicodemus: "Please, have a seat, all of you. You must be tired from your trip."
Oscan takes a seat without much prompting, glancing around the room. "All the shadows really bring the decor of the room together."
Xavier Sangria: "I dunno, the benches in the coach were softer than most of the rocks I've slept on…" He does settle into a seat, though.
Ken Don takes a seat and takes a slow sip at the provided drink.
Nicodemus: "I'm afraid that I'm not quite as good as Han with remembering names; I've never been a big one for politics and hobnobbing."
Livia takes a seat with a smile, a bit overwhelmed with the grandeur of the whole thing, you know?
Gran Guiscard leisurely takes a seat and mocks that he's hurt. "Oh, the only thing worse than bad press is no press."
Xavier Sangria nods politely. "Xavier Sangria. Nice to meet you."
Gran Guiscard: "Gran Guiscard, operawright."
Kiov Hetman sits unceremoniously. Regardless of the pomp and grandeur, he's here to see what else he can learn after being entrusted with the towers.
Oscan: "Ligurio, Oscan." He says, while reached out for another drink.
Livia: "Livia Hatsfield." She smiles, takes a sip of the proffered drink. "It -was- quite the journey."
Nicodemus: "Feel free to discuss whatever you want about your roles in the Obscurati while you're here. We'll be letting you know more about the overall plan tonight." He turns to Leone before adding, "Except, you know, keep that one thing secret, of course."
Kiov Hetman: "Kiov Hetman."
Ken Don: "Ken. Head inquisitor." His eyes drift across the room as he takes note of his surroundings.
Livia raises one eyebrow, perfectly and with a smile. "I think our gracious host is /teasing/ us."
Gran Guiscard: "Inquisit away, then. If you've not heard of me so far, then I'm truly hurt."
Nicodemus smiles back. "Of course, I can't share everything tonight. Just the overall plan."
Xavier Sangria shrugs. "No reason for anybody here to really know who I am. I spend most of my time away from civilization, training soldiers."
Kiov Hetman: "You are … with the circus, yes?"
Nicodemus turns to Gran. "I've seen a couple of your operas, I believe, but usually it was other people meeting with you."
Gran Guiscard: "As much as you'd be with the mushroom farm," he offhands to Kiov.
Nicodemus: "Now, now, let's be civil here. Herr Hetman, you've been working with the towers, yes?"
Kiov Hetman: "I'm merely a scientist who can put his talents to use in - yes, studying the towers keeping the Malice Lands at bay from Drakr. I believe both Xavier and I are a bit distant from civilization."
Nicodemus: "Excellent. We'll be seeing about fitting some of them with lanterns later."
Xavier Sangria tilts his head. "I don't follow. Why would you… mess wit the towers?"
Oscan: "Why wouldn't you?"
Livia leans forward, curiosity getting the best of her. "That sounds -fascinating-. I'm somewhat of a scholar myself, but I've never been anywhere near the Malice Lands."
Xavier Sangria: "Because they're the only thing keeping the Malice Lands at bay, and just barely at that."
Kiov Hetman: Internally, Phyllis feels twin twinges of fear and excitement. Being so well-positioned to thwart this plan. She tries to mask it on Kiov's face the best she can, keeping stoic and detached, a man of pure study. "Mm. It is not to me to ask why. It -is- to me to find out what, ere the knowledge be lost, and someone else can put it to use."
Xavier Sangria: "Screwing with them could be catastrophic."
Kiov Hetman: "It is a good thing that we have you, then."
Oscan: "Sounds like a party to me, my friend. No quicker way to overturn the world order than making magic not work properly." Oscan grins before downing the rest of his drink and going for another.
Xavier Sangria frowns.
Nicodemus: "It's to make sure their enchantments don't interfere with the planar powers of the lighthouses. We're hoping to remove the Malice Lands entirely."
Xavier Sangria: "… Oh. That's… That would be amazing."
Nicodemus: "The monsters will have to still be dealt with, of course, but it will be much easier with stable magic there."
Gran Guiscard: "Move the background into the fore? It certainly makes things easier."
Livia: "Seems a bit crude. And dangerous. Repairing the world's a much more delicate operation than- yes, precisely."
Nicodemus: "Oh, believe me. We've been preparing for this for a long time. Livia, your work should go a long ways towards working with Risur."
Kiov Hetman gives Livia a level stare. "You do not know the mechanics in place. I can describe the intricacies, and you can reserve judgments of crudeness or elegance until later. Yes?"
Xavier Sangria: "Getting rid of the malice would make cleaning up the monsters… Man, I can't even imagine."
Nicodemus: "That's what some of our researchers believe will happen, yes, although it isn't guaranteed."
Nicodemus: "Oscan, I've heard you've been busy for us. Make yourself at home while you're here, we've got a fair supply."
Oscan raises his once again half drained glass. "That was the plan, Niccy."
Livia smiles demurely and nods. "One does what one can, for the promise of peace." -and then, she looks towards Kiov, and nods. "I'll look forward to that!"
Xavier Sangria: "If things go wrong though… a lot of innocent people are going to die. My soldiers are good, but we cant be everywhere at once."
Nicodemus: "Monsignor Don, I heard that your work in the library has done a lot for some of those researchers."
Nicodemus: He pulls out a notebook. "Unfortunately, since you're the last arrivals, we're a bit short on space and we'll need to put you two to a room. I'd love to open up some rooms in the west wing, but Vicemi has advised otherwise for security reasons."
Ken Don: "And I hope it will continue to do so. A world without magic would be a waste considering all of its… untapped potential."
Nicodemus: "I'm sure you'll want to make sure you're settled in properly. There's about an hour before we'll be gathering up everyone in the main hall for the first meeting."
Oscan: "Sounds like a plan."
Nicodemus: "Later this evening after I give the welcoming speech, the various officers will be split into groups of 8 or 10 people so you can meet with different speakers in turn. I want you all to stick together; my advisors and I thought the different points of view of the group would lead to some interesting discussions."
Xavier Sangria: "You are, apparently, the boss. Consider it done."
Nicodemus: "There's just one more person I want to add to your group: Erskine Haffkruger, a dwarf from Drakr who came on a different ship."
Livia: "No complaints here."
Nicodemus: "Alright. I'll let you all go now. I need to discuss a few more things with Mr. Quital here."
Gran Guiscard: "The idea's right and appreciated."
Xavier Sangria nods and stands up, "Sounds good."
Gran Guiscard: "I'm sure it'll be an illuminating evening. Afternoon." He waves a hand. "Whatever passes for time around here." He stands.
Nicodemus laughs. "I'll see you all in a bit."
Kiov Hetman grunts noncommittally.
Oscan refills his glass, before exiting with a nod.
[OOC] Obscurati: map of the Palace btw https://imgur.com/a/ozASV
[OOC] Gran Guiscard: oh hey I just stayed at that hotel
[OOC] Obscurati: your rooms are over on the upper floor of the east wing, between BB and CC
Obscurati: You have some time to explore, now. Most people seem to be in the lounges (L).
Xavier Sangria heads out and makes his way to his room, sliding his travel bag into the corner by his bed. Then he goes looking around, to see if he recognizes anybody.
Gran Guiscard hefts his velour bag. "(And if the bellhop loses -this- one…)" he grumbles.
Ken Don is going to go look for some sort of reading material if they have any and plop himself down on the nearest seat in a public space.
Obscurati: There's a lot of books in kept in the side rooms off the lounges, alongside the racks of alcohol. It's mostly self-serve here.
Oscan wanders around a bit, mostly just sampling whatever drinks and ordurves they have on hand.
Gran Guiscard heads up to his room to unceremoniously dump his bag onto his bed, but then heads back down for hobnobing. Maybe find people who are less technical-minded, the tower stuff… sort of went over his head.
Livia wanders around after dropping off her bag; it's /almost/ like she's trying to make as many connections as she can in the short time she's lucky enough to be here! Networking, isn't it wonderful?
Obscurati: As you head into one of the lounges, Xavier, you hear someone bragging about hunting beasts in the Malice Lands from atop the Avery Coast railroad. He's got a Danoran army uniform on, and a general's designation on it.
Kiov Hetman heads to the lounge, sticking with Oscan for drinks.
Xavier Sangria: "Thats not hunting, that's sport-shooting."
Obscurati: Even worse, the claims are obviously fictional: not only about how splendid his aim is, but how fierce the monsters were, such as 'a three-headed elephant with lion claws and tusks that dripped black ichor. "
Obscurati: The general draws himself up. "Excuse me?"
Xavier Sangria: "You heard me. Shooting something from the back of a moving train has about as much to do with hunting as salon fencing has to do with real combat."
Obscurati: He bristles at this. "And who might you be, exactly?"
Oscan snickers from the edge of the room.
Obscurati: Oscan: As you look around the room, a halfling who looks to be from Risur locks eyes with you, his expression a thousand yard stare. You notice the little man make a note in a small book, and then suddenly laugh and join in with a conversation involving other conspirators.
Xavier Sangria looks at him. "I'm the man that has actually hunted beasts through the Malice Lands. No trains, no guns, no lying nonsense. And I'm good enough that our assembled friends here pay me to teach others how to do it."
Kiov Hetman takes his drink and joins to listen in to the conversation with the halfling, giving a brief nod in greeting.
Obscurati: Livia: You start making the rounds, introducing yourself to people from all across the continent. Eventually you find Erskine Haffkruger surveying the crowd in another corner while listening to another halfling named Alloquicious. Wait, wasn't he at the Kaybeau Arms Fair…?
Obscurati: Alloquicioius is joyfully describing how he was nearly caught and had to use his prototype mechanical battle suit to murder some of his underlings to make sure the RHC didn't catch him.
Obscurati: Erskine casually asks for details about the suit, but looks thoroughly unimpressed as the halfling describes it.
Obscurati: The general frowns, but offers his hand. "Shane Wallisonne. You'd know them better than me."
Xavier Sangria takes his hand. "Xavier Sangria. Yes, yes I would."
Wallisonne: "Alright. Care to share some stories with the group, then?"
Obscurati: Gran: A translucent tiefling floats up to you, levitating a case of fine cigars beside her. "Amielle Latimer, nice to meet you, sir?"
Xavier Sangria shrugs. "It's pretty standard stuff. Something gets out of line, I find it and kill it."
Gran Guiscard: "The pleasure's all mind, Amielle," he croons, taking a cigar with a smile.
Gran Guiscard: "How's the spectre life treating you?"
[OOC] Gran Guiscard: *all mine
Amielle: "Please, enjoy it twice as much for me since I can't smoke anymore."
Amielle: "Nicodemus wanted me to be 'fair'," yes, she did throw in some air quotes there, "and meet people 'at the proper time', but I wanted to add a bit of life to the party. Ironic, I know."
Kiov Hetman sidles up next to Livia and crew, smirking a little at Erskine.
Gran Guiscard: "A shame. A shame! What a harrowing account," he gestures.
Gran Guiscard: "At least now you'll always be fashionably late."
Gran Guiscard winks.
Amielle gives a short peal of laughter. "I look forwad to talking more later," she says, smiling before spinning and gliding away.
Gran Guiscard finds a cigar cutter and a light. Since the body's a loaner…
Obscurati: Nearby, you hear a huge burst of laughter as one of the officers wraps up their story: you didn't catch all of it, but it was something about accidentally boarding a hostile ship when her test balloon crashed…?
Obscurati: The lady sighs and says that she hopes that out of this group of clever people, somehow they'll manage to make flight popssible again. She gestures to another in the group, asking them to share the worst setback they've had.
Obscurati: The minotaur introduces themself as Barro Bangristo, a professor from Ber, before starting to tell a story
Obscurati: about how his attempt to enlist someone into his cell didn’t turn out well, an experience many present groan at in sympathy.
Obscurati: In Barro’s story, he wanted to turn a theater student into a spy in the Bruse’s court, and had been grooming the kid for months. Then one day the student bragged that Beran officials wanted to recruit him to be a spy in Risur, and he’d been practicing by snooping around the university. The kid had actually found the secret meeting place some of Barro’s other students, but he thought it was just a smuggling ring.
Obscurati: To salvage the situation, Barro offered to go with the kid to investigate, and then had his other students plead their case in person. The kid instead tried to run, and ended up getting himself crushed by a statue that he knocked over. Barro laughs and explains a series of cascading, ever-worsening problems (a watchman investigates, a hyperintelligent bear breaks loose, a mind-control spell backfires, etc.), culminating in he and his cell having to provoke a riot on the campus in order to cover everything up.
Obscurati: At first, some of the officers listening look a little unsettled at the talk of death, but a few laugh, and Barro clearly enjoys the story, which encourages more of them to chuckle and eventually cheer when their fellow conspirator pulls off a clutch victory.
Obscurati: Another officer, Rakovnik Brasny from Crisillyir, gives a long sigh and says that it feels so good to be able to talk about these things and not be judged. Then he dives into a story of his own involving criminal allies, bribery, and murder. But his audience is sympathetic, since practically every officer here has had similar experiences.
Xavier Sangria looks unamused at these stories. Unsurprising, given his reputation as an honest man that hates lying.
Oscan on the other hand, is plenty amused, often one of the first to laugh or clap when mostly appropriate.
Gran Guiscard warmly laughs, makes sympathetic noises. Looks around the room a bit to see if Leone has returned.
Livia shares an unamused look with Xavier. Wasn't the point of all of this peace and the betterment of the world?
Kiov Hetman comments to Rakovnik: "It is interesting hearing stories from you people more in the thick of things. I find myself rather isolated in study. I am afraid stories of books and architecture are rather tame in comparison."
Rakovnik: "Honestly, that sounds better to me. As much as I enjoy wrangling with politicians, it doesn't make things easier."
Obscurati: After half an hour, a few ghosts come in and ask all in attendance to return to the grand foyer and enter the main hall.
Kiov Hetman: "But you come here and feel a sense of relief and camraderie. While it is easier for me out there, I do not feel the same relief as you, I imagine."
Oscan downs one last glass of whatever's closest at hand, then heads back on over.
Rakovnik shrugs. "We all had our work to do. Sadly not everything that needed to be done can be done through official channels."
Oscan: "And how!"
Obscurati: Large round tables have designated seating for each of the five groups of guests, plus a table in front with the representatives of the different factions. Leone is seated at a different table than the rest of you, having been assigned to a different group.
Lights dim, and the crowd murmur fades out. Two incandescent calcium oxide spotlights shine down on a stage podium, slicing out a single bright oval in the dark hall. Nicodemus steps into the light and places an unlit lantern the size of a pumpkin on the podium. He surveys the crowd for a moment, then begins his oration.
Nicodemus: "We have gathered for this convocation because we share a purpose." As he speaks, he draws a cigarette from a case and lights it with a match. He takes a casual drag and continues, speaking through the smoke.
Nicodemus: "That purpose is to fix the unsteady course of a flawed world. Some of us have worked to kindle industry, thinking progress and invention will defend nations from war and suffering. Others have ingratiated themselves with the callous and corrupt, ready to unmask their true faces and replace them with more honest and just leaders. You’ve unearthed ancient relics that revealed the forgotten origins of today’s woes, and have with regrettable necessity silenced those who would have revealed and thwarted our grand design."
Nicodemus: "Few of you have been trusted with the full extent of our agenda. You know simply that I or one of our other officers asked you to cloak yourselves, and then to strive and correct some flaw of society that the common people and their complacently powerful masters have chosen as 'the way things are.' Unlike them, we have not been content with an imperfect reality, because we rebel against the conceit that the inertia of the world cannot change, that its course is set, that there is fate, or destiny."
Nicodemus: "But the truth is, at their basest physical level, life, our planet, and everything we know is swayed by forces beyond us. If I may move from broad strokes to scientific particulars, our world is connected by ancient magic to eight planes—elemental realms of fire and earth and air and water, and inscrutable lands where time and space, life and death are corporeal and manifest. Look skyward and you can see these distant discs tracing their orbits through the night."
Nicodemus: "These eight are but a handful in an infinite starscape of planes, and some of our agents have peered into the night sky to learn their nature. One airy world they spied through a powerful lens reveals itself to generate calmer and more predictable storms than we have here. Another planet, a dappled purple and yellow orb, is possessed of warm clouds and a strong cheerful emotion, while countless miles away a hazy nebula is wracked by eternal lightning—destructive but swift and powerful."
Nicodemus: "Now, we have a world of our own full of elemental air energy, but its skies are thin, and the winds are erratic. Imagine if, instead of that plane, our world was infused with the energy from one of those others. It would change our climate. It would change, on subtle level, the emotions you feel looking at the sky. More than that, it would change the very fate of civilization."
Nicodemus: "There is an ancient ritual seal, crafted and hidden by our distant ancestors, who chose which of these realms ours would be linked to. But we have learned how to open that seal, and we are ready to change which planes dance in orbit with us. And that, ladies and gentleman, is the true purpose of our convocation. My name is Nicodemus, and though it was I who set this endeavor in motion, it is the right of you, the agents and officers of the Obscurati, to set a new course for all the people of this world."
Nicodemus: "For centuries prophets have sought visions in the night sky, and why? Because those eight worlds have power over us. The motion of the stars allows different ideals to gain ascendance: war, decay, chaos, exploration, order, creation. But no longer shall the procession of heaven obey the whims of an ancient, absent clockmaker. Now the hand that moves the stars shall be ours!"
The reest of the audience applauds, and then Nicodemus steps aside as Han Jierre ascends to the podium.
Gran Guiscard applauds, chewing on the end of his cigar.
Han: "Our organization, though composed of powerful industrialists and brilliant thinkers the world over, has operated with little communication between cells. Though we all desire to change the world, you should be realizing that the scope of change possible to us demands that we not let any one person make the decisions."
Han: "Our leader Nicodemus has called you together to listen to proposals, debate their merits, and ultimately choose the spirit of the next age."
Han: "As mentioned, our world is linked to eight planes. This connection was set by a ritual performed several thousand years ago, which buried eight stone pillars underground in a location we are going to keep secret for now. Those pillars were then sealed beneath a plate of gold 200 feet in diameter and nearly three feet thick."
Han: "To get access to the ritual pillars, we designed the mechanical colossus that has been making the news lately. Though it was activated earlier than we wanted, we are bringing it to a place where we can free it from the Dreaming. As soon as we have it on the right world and under our control again, we’ll be able to proceed with altering the ancient ritual."
Han: "The changes will affect the whole world, but to help transition between the two worlds, we are constructing lighthouses, towers, and similar tall monuments, all equipped with magic lanterns. By triggering these all simultaneously we’ll create a field of stability. In the event something does go wrong, we’ll be able to abort the ritual at any moment up to when we drop the lid of the giant gold seal back down."
Kiov Hetman claps, if only to not seem out of place. He raises an eyebrow, as if to wonder if we should rightly know -which- planes to link to.
Xavier Sangria looks completely gobsmacked.
Livia applauds in… genuine delight. The path has been composed /entirely/ of missteps, perhaps, but this glorious pride! This will to make of the world a garden!
Han: "There are eight planes tied to the world we live on, and each has aspects that distinguish from any old plane with an elemental trait. While the Plane of Air is vast, and there are many worlds that are carved from slivers of it, some of those slivers have storms, others are filled with birds, and some are smoky and concealing. The nature of each plane determines what traits it lends to our world."
Han: "It seems when the Ancients decided what worlds ours would be connected to, they did not care much for traits. Indeed, many of these planes are fairly mundane, and our organization has access to many more impressive options."
Han: "1. Jiese, Plane of Fire. Its trait is Cunning. The fire from this plane is less destructive than a typical elemental world, and its flames can be used intelligently, like a tool. Our scholars suspect most worlds never achieve the industrial revolution ours has because they lack this trait. Changing this plane might stymie technological progress."
Han: "2. Avilona, Plane of Air. This world appears to have been damaged since it was originally tied to our world, so now its trait is Calm. Changing this plane might lead to stronger storms, and could make the world in general more energetic and changing."
Han: "3. Av, Plane of Life. This glassy hollow world is our moon and has the traits of Reflection and Dream. It allows our world to have the two parallel planes of fey and darkness, The Dreaming and The Bleak Gate. Changing this world would remove those planes and might have consequences involving dreams and undead."
Han: "4. Mavisha, Plane of Water. Its trait is Mystery, and it is responsible for the many islands that dot the world with their various secrets. We think this trait can be easily abandoned."
Han: "5. Urim, Plane of Earth. This golden world has fractured into many pieces, but its trait—Barrier—causes gold in our world to block teleportation."
Han: "6. Apet, Plane of Space. The Distant Plane is responsible for keeping our world and its bonded planes far from the rest of the multiverse and less likely to attract extraplanar attention."
Han: "7. Reida, Plane of Time. Most scholars don’t even realize that the incomplete silvery ring that surrounds Apet is another plane altogether. Its traits of Limited Fate allow for prophecy, but enforce that after a given time the world must change. We suggest caution in tampering with this plane, but experiments show such efforts are possible."
Han: "8. Nem, Plane of Death. Its trait is Annihilation, and it destroys any who try to travel from our star system of planes to the outer multiverse, and vice versa."
Han: "It is risky to directly alter behaviour or personality. Free will is an all-or-nothing option, and we cannot force people to be 'good' without also turning them into complete automatons. We can, however, nudge people, and you’ll see some examples tonight."
Han: "The leadership has five proposals to consider. We encourage you to come up with revisions or even new proposals. Whatever design we agree on will no doubt demand some compromise and disappointment."
Han: "First is the Arboretum. Order nature so it can spread and be controlled like industry, represented by Reed Macbannin."
Han: "Second is Colossus. Catherine Ramona proposes to grant ourselves semi-divine powers to fix problems as they arise."
Han: "Up next is Miller's Pyre, represented by Cula Ravjahani. She wishes to enact subtle changes, focused on making people more empathetic and less susceptible to hypocrisy, so they can more easily pursue goodness and justice."
Han: "My proposal is Panarchists. We grant individuals enough power to make governments unnecessary."
Han: "The last one, offered by Amielle Latimer, is Watchmakers. Eliminate free will and design a thousand-year destiny of progress for the world."
Oscan snorts at Han's proposal.
Livia likes the cut of Han's jib. A king proposing anarchy. That takes some measure of madness or brilliance, or possibly both.
Han: "Tonight you will meet the representatives of each faction, and then we will hold a preliminary vote to see which proposal holds the most support. This evening and tomorrow morning will be opportunities to make coalitions and alterations. Starting tomorrow afternoon we will grant everyone who desires a chance to speak, and by the end of the evening we hope to hold a second vote."
Han: "For a proposal to win, it must have support of at least 75 percent of the officers in attendance. Including the leadership there are 49 officers present, and an additional 27 votes are given to the Ghost Council, which has a tradition of voting as one. Thus, out of 76 voters, a proposal must get the support of 57 officers."
Obscurati: He gives directions to where each of the representatives will be. You get a slip of paper with the order for your presentations, each of which are space half an hour apart starting at 7 PM, in an hour. Meanwhile, dinner is brought out.
Obscurati: The Arboretum will be your first one, in the garden (A). They then go in the order he described them, with Colossus in the chapel (Y), Miller's Pyre in the library (AA), Panarchists in the trophy room (V), and Watchmakers in the dance hall (CC).
Obscurati: After your dinner, the lot of you plus Erksine (he didn't say much during dinner) head out to the garden.
Kiov Hetman: "So."
Kiov Hetman: "How do we know those are better than what we currently have?"
[OOC] Obscurati: Oh by the way, Luc Jierre was sitting at one of the other tables. Just for people you recognize.
Xavier Sangria: "We don't."
Oscan laughs. "Well, we already know half of them are worse, so there's that."
Gran Guiscard: "What! Of course we do."
Gran Guiscard: "It's why we're all in this group, in that we want something better."
Kiov Hetman: "Simply shaking the bowl to introduce an element of chaos, for the sake of change?"
Livia: "I'm curious what the ancients -were- aiming for. Assuming their behaviour wasn't directed by any goals just because they're not goals we recognise seems like the height of foolishness."
Livia: "There's a parable about a man who came upon a sturdy fence in the middle of a field, and, seeing no use for it, he tore it down."
Kiov Hetman shakes his head. "I am here simply to put my talents to use. 'Something better' for me can be achieved without changing the fabric of the world. Just pay me."
Gran Guiscard: "Oh my gods you slept through the whole preamble and first act."
Livia: "Immediately thereafter, he was set upon by a fierce bull which tore through the hole in the fence he'd made and trampled him to death."
Xavier Sangria looks at Gran Guiscard. "'Something better', yes. Absolutely. But 'tearing apart the cosmos' doesn't neccesarily seem like it would garantee that."
Gran Guiscard: "I'd trust a bit more in the Obscurati's sorcerer's and minds. I have to this point and it hasn't failed me. Now admittedly,-" he points with two fingers, cigar held between them. "If any of the archetects are having any -reservations- right about now, well, okay, I'll listen up."
Gran Guiscard: "But everything I've heard is that ye shall be as gods."
Gran Guiscard: "And so far, I have no reason to disbelieve it."
Livia: "It's entirely possible that other worlds, near to our own in possibility-space, would have a greater predilection for peace and prosperity. But I'd rather like to understand this world. If it was built and shaped, mountain by mountain, what of the intention of its creators?"
Xavier Sangria runs a hand through his hair. "Maybe its just a case of magnitude. I can save a family with my sword. I can save a country with the men I've trained. But this… this is way outside of my scope."
Livia: "…not that the prospect of Miller's Pyre doesn't appeal to me on practically every level." She laughs, lightly.
Kiov Hetman: "You sound as if being able to wield a knife well enough to cut a steak equally qualifies you for heart surgery."
Oscan: "In certain cities, it does!"
Gran Guiscard: "I like this world, somewhat! It's where all my things are, and so many lovely people." He chuckles as he leans back into his chair, taking a few puffs.
Gran Guiscard: "Is there much sign or signal of the creators, anymore?"
Oscan: "Though now that we're all talkin' about fanciful ideals -" Oscan leans back in Nicodermius' direction and lets out a shout. "Oi, bossman! How come no proposal from you?"
Nicodemus: "Placing my own vote is already going to influence things. Making my own proposal? I'll leave that to you all instead." He takes another drag on his cigarette.
Kiov Hetman: "Is it that he knows enough to not trust any one man's judgment on this matter? To toss the decision into the marketplace of ideas, amongst the most brilliant in the world, and have us collectively decide?"
Gran Guiscard: "Sometimes, you have to know when you're outmatched! It's why I'm letting the technical talk fly about here with nary a peep."
Livia: "It's a smart way to be able to claim that he's not personally responsible for the outcome." She winks.
Kiov Hetman: "Not a pure democracy, but an epistocracy, formed of the wisest among us."
Oscan looks a bit disatisfied with that responce, but settles back into his seat.
Xavier Sangria: "No, Kiov. I am saying that just because I know how to cut a steak does *not* mean that I know how to perform heart surgery. And being told that the world is about to go under the knife is… frightening."
Kiov Hetman: "That thought also crossed my mind, as well."
Gran Guiscard: "Hah! But he'd take a major amount of credit, wouldn't he."
Kiov Hetman: "Xavier, you and I are in agreement. My comment was directed at the blowhard actor here."
Livia: "Now, now."
Xavier Sangria: "Oh sorry, thought that was directed at me. Right on, then."
Gran Guiscard grins wider. "Oh, I do extend my sympathies and empathy, though. This whole bit-" he waves his hands around. "-this stage, this panache, this grand occasion, without it I'd be a kitten in the cold."
Gran Guiscard: "It really is beyond all me as well!"
Kiov Hetman: "All the world's a stage, I hear."
Gran Guiscard: "But of talk of a better, improved world, I decided to take the leap- very much- of faith."
Oscan: "I'll admit, there's a lot less plans for wonton murder of heads of states than I was expecting there to be."
Xavier Sangria nods. "I liked the general idea of Millers Pyre, just from those short pitches. But I want to see what the others offer, just on general principles."
Kiov Hetman: "If they do not manage to remove the Malice Lands, you and I can still have a talk on options for that, hm?"
Livia: "I want to know what- even in potential- we'd give up as the price for any of these plans. What we'd lose, what we'd gain, how we know so much about the properties of the distant stars…"
Livia: "…I admit, the idea of flight on our own power is… terribly romantic."
Kiov Hetman: "How little we know about our own plane."
Gran Guiscard: "Then down your dinner and ready your program!"
Gran Guiscard: "We sup on the dead and decide the future these nights."
Kiov Hetman just leaves Gran with an unamused stare.
Obscurati: You head out to the gardens, and find several chairs set out beside the pond, in front of which stands the ghostly figure of Reed Macbannin, with an easel setup beside him with a large picture painted on it: a tree dominating the picture, in the middle of a golden hexagon outline, several golden gears pictured behing the root system.
Macbannin: "Welcome to The Arboretum. For those that don't know of me, I'm a former mayor from the city of Flint, known for both its traditional druidic magic and its modern industrialism. As Han stated, my proposal is to order nature so it can spread and be controlled like industry."
Macbannin: "The goal of the Arboretum is to increase the bounty of nature, to reduce the impact of natural disasters, and to have them both be under the control of the Obscurati. We see it as poor design that weather and the earth are so unpredictable, and that horticulture progresses so slowly, generation by generation."
Macbannin: "Our proposal would replace the current planes of air, earth, water, and life with new ones. Key will be replacing the moon—the current plane of life, which has Dream and Mirror aspects—with one that hasaspects of Craft and Artifice. The other elemental planes will have to include slight Lawful traits, which will make them more susceptible to magical control, as well as making it easier to predict them with divinations."
Macbannin: "We feel the drawbacks of the plan are minor. The new plane of Life will yield somewhat weaker harvests if nature is not tended, so areas lacking civilization will tend to become deserts. Likewise, storms will actually be more intense unless they are controlled, but it would only require moderate effort to distribute trained mages throughout the land to deter this."
Macbannin: "The most significant change would be the severance of two realms known as The Dreaming and The Bleak Gate, which are the fey and shadow mirrors of the real world. The replacement of our current moon would remove and possibly destroy these two realms. The pernicious deceptions of the fey would be eliminated, as would the predation of many types of shadowy and incorporeal monsters. Members of the Ghost Council could endure by binding themselves to objects, or perhaps willing people, but henceforth when something dies, its soul would pass on immediately."
Macbannin: "When properly tended, nature in this paradigm is significantly more bountiful, which would reduce the competition for resources that drives warfare. Additionally, one of our officers, Erskine Haffkruger," he nods to the dwarf, "has already created new lifeforms in the portal painting pocket dimension. We invite you to visit the Portal Gallery to see it."
Macbannin: "Compared to other faction proposals, the Arboretum plan may be the most modest, but we think it is also the safest and simplest way to improve the world with minimal risk of negative consequences."
Macbannin: "Any questions?"
Kiov Hetman: "Do you anticipate overpopulation in the civilized regions in the long-term? If you cannot expand outwards to areas that haven't been maintained for some time."
Livia frowns in distinct distaste. Portal galleries and pocket dimensions seem interesting and all, but the subject of Macbannin's discussion itself isn't worth the air the ghost didn't breathe to speak it aloud.
Macbannin: "We can slowly expand outwards with a plan, working to make things arable before its necessary."
Oscan: "I feel like being able to control the weather and plantlife in general has far more military applications than you might think at first brush."
Kiov Hetman: "Do you know how much area in the world is unpopulated, and the rate at which you'd need to expand before parts of the world are out of reach?"
Kiov Hetman: "I'm going to need to see some math more than I need to hear a sales pitch."
Macbannin: "Not at the moment, but it's something we'd have to look into, obviously."
Kiov Hetman: "And yet we're voting on it in a few scant hours, yes? This should have been your homework, prepared before your presentation."
Xavier Sangria: "What happens when the world is covered but the population keeps growing?"
Macbannin: "Just about everything has a military use if you apply it."
Oscan: "Well sure. But it bares mentioning when you point out these changes as hopefully lessening the need for military expansion."
Oscan: "Because if I know anything about sentient life forms, it's that we're always wanting more. And are terrible clever at killing one another."
Xavier Sangria: "We built entire schools for it."
Macbannin: "We start building taller while slowly expanding outwards. With industry also advancing, we can come up with more intensive ways to farm and supply everyone."
Kiov Hetman: "It is a fragile plan that requires good-faith actors, as well. Which, given the presence of the scoundrel in our midst, isn't a guarantee."
Kiov Hetman glances at Oscan apologetically.
Oscan: "Eh, you've got a point." Oscan rolls a shrug as he pulls a flask from his coat and takes a swig. "Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting proposal. I just can't see it actually being much better than what we got right now, in the long run."
Oscan: "Just different."
Livia: "Tch. It's a poor architect that builds an arboretum that turns the world into a desert. You'll mourn the loss of the life you didn't consider -useful- enough." She's not -quite- sneering, but she's close.
Oscan: "That said! You're not in last place at least." A grin in Macbannin's direction.
Kiov Hetman: "Small comforts, yes."
Macbannin gives a dramatic sigh, but smiles. "Better than nothing, I suppose."
Gran Guiscard: "Okay, but- tell me we're at least getting a coastal megacity or two."
Gran Guiscard: "Tell me we're not losing the coastlines."
Macbannin laughs. "The ocean has plenty of resources. It's not like that's going to change."
Livia: "Best get friendly with the advocates for Miller's Pyre~." She smiles brightly, unable to resist getting one last dig in.
Macbannin: "There'll still be beaches. And less tropical storms hitting them."
Macbannin: "Go on, then. You're headed to the chapel next, right? Terrorize Mrs. Romana for me a bit. We didn't always see eye-to-eye."
Oscan: "With pleas-ure."
Kiov Hetman: "I plan to drill holes into everyone's proposals, yes, leaving the one with the best -prepared- defense to impress me."
Gran Guiscard stands up from his seat and makes his way chapelwise, making a quick sidetrip for a mixed drink. Gran holds his liquor really well!
Kiov Hetman: "So rest assured, she'll receive the same treatment as you."
Obscurati: The religious iconography on the walls have been covered by thick red curtains, and the room is stocked with snacks and drinks, so those on the second floor don't have to go downstairs if they're peckish. Some pews are available for you to sit at, with Catherine Romana standing behind the lectern. A man, arms outstretched, stands above a mountain, done in shades of purple is painted on the white curtain hanging behind her.
Oscan: "This is going to be fun."
Oscan prepares a plate full of treats before finding a seat.
Livia: "You have a -strange- definition of fun."
Catherine: "Welcome to the Colossus proposition. As a descendant of a former queen of Risur, I believe history teaches us that common people abuse power, but in the hands of the enlightened it is a powerful tool. By granting ourselves godlike powers, we can fix problems as they arise."
Oscan: "That's why they send me in to do everyone elses' dirty work, love."
Catherine: "Please don't speak until the end."
Catherine: "The Obscurati has come this far because we have used our power intelligently, and have acted decisively despite the fact that society as a whole would oppose us. The best course of the action in the future is to consolidate our power and become the de facto rulers of the world."
Catherine: "The challenge is in granting power to a limited set of people. We have discovered a set of elemental planes each with a secret truename. These planes would still provide the normal energy needed to keep the world together, but those who know the truenames would be able to tap a greater power. And the Obscurati would decide who is told these truenames."
Catherine: "This truename power would be tied to two new planes. First, a plane of Space would grant the ability to sense events and teleport to areas within one's domain. Second, a plane of Death with a 'Cyclicality' aspect would orbit our world as a new, dark moon. Each person who learns the truenames will choose a point on the month’s cycle to be at the height of her power, and a half-month later she will only have the power of a normal mortal."
Catherine: "This will ensure a window of vulnerability so that if anyone abuses her power, she can be removed by consensus of the rest of the Obscurati."
Catherine: "The drawbacks to this plan are that the new elemental planes would result in stronger storms, and the seas would draw back slightly, and the world would grow colder. Perhaps the largest threat is that, since the current Plane of Death acts as a defense against extraplanar incursion, the world might be accessible by creatures from other planes. However, we believe that as the newly-empowered rulers of the world we could easily drive back such threats."
Catherine: "To experience a sample of the power Colossus would grant you, visit our sample demi-plane in the Portal Gallery."
Oscan raises his hand.
Catherine: "Yes?"
Livia smiles at Oscan.
Oscan: "What exactly was intellegent about attempting to burn down Risur, multiple times I might add, when we were hiding our giant seal turner under it?"
Catherine: "I'm sorry? What?"
Oscan: "You posited that we've, generally speaking, been using our powers and skill intellegently. So I was wondering about the first counter example that pop into my noggin'."
Livia intones sweetly: "Oh, did you not get that memo?"
Kiov Hetman: "I think he means, are we going to operate less independently than we are now? Your cleanup method requires constant consensus. If we -don't- maintain that, there's no actual threat of punishment for misuse."
Catherine: "Going forward, things are going to be more interconnected, it seems, yes. All the various plans appear to be coming to fruition."
Kiov Hetman: "Someone cunning enough, moreso than the rest, could hunt down others in their mortal period while remaining in hiding for their own."
Kiov Hetman: "What kind of qualifications make someone worthy of knowing the truenames of these planes? How does one get into the club, so to speak?"
Gran Guiscard: "Here's an even easier question-"
Gran Guiscard: "Is anyone of us in the crowd here on the list?"
Gran Guiscard: "Am I on it?" He smiles wide, expecting a yes.
Catherine: "Obviously we'd start with those of us that were invited here, and then future members would be judged on a case-by-case basis and voted in by a consensus of teh group."
Gran Guiscard: "Ah, see?"
Gran Guiscard: "Concern abated."
Kiov Hetman: "And I cannot imagine anyone involved in the Clergy would find themselves in agreement with this - it flies in the face of the doctrine about the humble hook of Triegenes, where commoners can aspire to greatness on their own, with no one such as this group bringing them up."
Oscan: "Hahah."
Oscan: "Like the Clergy isn't above a little hipocracy, my friend."
Oscan: "I imagine they'd be more than onboard! So long as their priests got to be In The Know."
Kiov Hetman: "Or Risur's 'Great Man' doctrine. Or anyone that views the -entire- problem with the world a small handful of elites holding all the power necessary."
Catherine: "They should visit the portrait in the gallery that blocks out religious feelings."
Catherine: "It's…a different experience."
Oscan laughs out loud.
Livia: "It all seems a bit out-of-the-frypan, into-the-fire, to me-" -and then she scoffs.
Oscan: "My question is -"
Livia: "Like all problems can be solved so easily. Cut away the inconvenient, throw away the useless. If we were so wise that these plans -could- prevail, we'd have repaired the world together already."
Ken Don: "So your demiplane you spoke of earlier. I assume it gives the person in the dominion increased strength, yes? That's your selling point?"
Oscan: "With this plan going into effect, the natural thing to do would OBVIOUSLY be to destroy the existing nations, and each demigod gaining his or her own city-state with which to lord over, no?"
Kiov Hetman: "Actually, you know what? I'm all for it. I clearly know best, so I'm going to off that blowhard first so we can actually sanely govern." He points to Gran.
Kiov Hetman: "And then the rest of you, systematically, one-by-one."
Gran Guiscard laughs again. "Your threats are as empty as your soul."
Gran Guiscard: "To see you shuffle about, one would wonder if you derive any joy from living."
Kiov Hetman: "My work is only a momentary distraction before the grave, yes."
Livia laughs, quietly and charmingly, at Kiov and Gran. "Thank you, dear sirs, for proving the very point."
Gran Guiscard: "Given such power, you would not do as you just proclaimed. Which is the safegard we have all witnessed and been held to-"
Catherine: "You'll be remarkably stronger, and in your domain you'll be much harder to kill, and able to sense all events in the area. You can teleport anywhere in the area as well."
Kiov Hetman: "You are in power, but that alone does not make you just."
Kiov Hetman: "Pass."
Livia: "A tempting fantasy, to be fair. Every one of a certain kind of man fancies himself a temporarily-embarrassed King."
Oscan: "You know, I thought this plan sounded kind of dumb at first, but I think I'm warming up to the idea of being a demigod and having my own - Oh, you're no fun. I think someone needs a drink or five."
Oscan slides off his chair with a spring in his step, quickly moving to the side to mix up something for Kiov.
Ken Don seems to have lost interest in the conversation again. There's too many things that could go wrong with this system.
Kiov Hetman nods at Livia. "I was trying to prove that point, yes. This will attract the kind of people for whom absolute power isn't enough. It may be safe for a time, but given someone clever enough, it attracts - someone ambitious enough to become sole god-king, after unseating the others from power."
Oscan: "Well, ya got my vote but it looks like it'll be a hard sell for the others." Oscan gives Catherine a sympathetic smiles as he returns to hand Kiov the drink he was mixing.
Livia: "When you put it like that, Kiov, I'm /almost/ interested." A flash of a smirk, and she stands, stretches.
Catherine just smirks herself as you head out. Somehow, Kiov, you get the feeling that's entirely the point.
Kiov Hetman: "Everyone plays nice on the surface, everyone makes a show of wanting a fair and equitable world. But mark my words, I know at least a good portion of us would start immediately plotting against each other and making a monthly event of backstabbings and -"
Kiov Hetman: "Give me that. Fucking hell."
Kiov Hetman downs it in one gulp. "Thanks."
Oscan: "No problem, friend."
Oscan: "Lets see, what was next on the agenda… Oh! The Pyre one."
Kiov Hetman: "Tell Macbannin 'you're welcome' for me."
Livia: "If you see a book with that plot in your favourite book-store in a year, author Livia Hatsfield, be sure to grab a copy." She grins.
Obscurati: Heading to the library, you find ten rows of bookstacks, plus eight long tables. Chairs have been set up by the ones at the end to face Cula Ravjahani, an Eladrin from Elfaivar.
Oscan: "Hello! So from a cursory glance at all the plans, madam, you seem to have the one least likely to go wrong! Time to see if that's actually true though. Sell me on the plan, especially when what needs to change to make it happen!"
Livia sits herself down, politely, attentively.
Kiov Hetman slumps down, a horrified look in his face after the last two presentations.
Cuja: "Welcome to Miller's Pyre. Our plan is to increase empathy, reduce hypocrisy, and increase goodness and justice."
Cuja: "Our proposal’s name refers to the philosopher monk William Miller who, five centuries ago, wrote treatises on potential societies, discussing their positive and negative traits. His works were generally critical of the religious establishment, and shortly after he tried to found a nation of his own following his ideals, the Clergy burned him as a heretic atop a pyre of his own books."
Cuja: "The Pyre was first proposed by one of our conspiracy’s leaders, Kasvarina Varal, who knew Miller and spoke to me fondly of his teachings. Alas, she must be absent today. I am Cula Ravjahani, and Nicodemus can attest that I am Kasvarina’s right hand. I ask you consider the wisdom that our conspiracy was founded on."
Cuja: "In the view of the Pyre, most suffering is due to misunderstandings between people with very different backgrounds. We seek to improve the world with invisible changes that will make people more aware of the thoughts and emotions of those around them. We would make people particularly keen at detecting hypocrisy."
Cuja: "The Pyre would replace the current plane of Space with one that has an 'Empathy' aspect. This would give people mild psychic powers to detect emotions, but our tests show that the effect is not obvious. Test subjects brought into the sample demi-plane simply found themselves coming to agreement more easily, or at least were more amenable to discuss problems rather than view a stranger as an enemy. We can implement this new world order with no visible disruption to people’s lives. There will be no chaotic upheaval as with some other proposals."
Cuja: "Additionally, with a bit of clever orbit-tracing, the Pyre will remove the current planes of Air and Fire and replace them with a binary world, the air plane possessing a Speech trait, the fire plane possessing an Expression trait. This will cause those who speak to have their true emotions more easily sensed, and likewise cause words themselves to carry more weight, making it easier for a strong argument to sway a person’s opinion."
Cuja: "The last change is that the plane of Earth will be replaced with one that has the traits Logic, which the Pyre hopes will lead people to appeal to reason in their arguments. Otherwise we worry that the strengthened emotional connection might have negative consequences."
Cuja: "Drawbacks include stronger storms, and weather that will respond to local moods. As with Colossus’s plan, the world will again become vulnerable to extraplanar visitors, but the Pyre takes an optimistic view of what civilization will be capable of if it is attacked. Perhaps the visitors will be simply sways by our arguments, and become allies."
Cuja: "Finally, the binary pairing opens up a slot for a potential extra plane. It would need to be fairly weak—perhaps a moon rather than a full planet—but it would be possible to add some extra trait. The Pyre is open to making agreements with other factions."
Cuja: "Questions?"
Gran Guiscard: "It's like they're getting rid of sarcasm."
Oscan: "So."
Oscan: "Is there any way this plan doesn't end in spells to strength the psychic bonds and sense sharing, then having massive orgies, all the time?"
Livia smiles far too brightly, hides her smile behind a hand, taking a moment to digest the words- then laughs, helplessly, at Oscan's comment.
Kiov Hetman: "Yours is the first proposal so far I do not immediately hate. Is the replacement of the plane of Space with one of psychic empathy necessary, though? What of speech and expression alone?"
Cuja opens her mouth, pauses, and then closes it for a moment before answering. "I suppose that could happen. Probably not all the time."
Livia: "I'm sorry-" -she manages to control herself, with difficulty. She's not really sorry.
Gran Guiscard: "Should have put it in the pitch for the less fortunate," he muses, leaning back a bit.
Oscan: "You don't spend a lot of time in cities or docks, do you?" Oscan grins wide.
Ken Don: "Essentially they are creating a state in which people will be less inclined to fight or resort to violence. I am in agreement that psychic empathy could have some unintended consequences."
Cuja: "Your lot have been trying to keep us out of cities for several centuries now." She's not amused by that comment.
Kiov Hetman: "I'm mainly concerned with the efficacy of … persuasion against extraplanar incursions."
Oscan: "That's not true, slavers and smugglers are always on the look out for new and interesting ways to get you in."
Xavier Sangria absently punches Oscan in the back of the head. "Over the line."
Cuja takes a deep breath before turning to Kiov.
Oscan: "Ow."
Ken Don: "The world could band together against the threat, certainly. But there is no promise that the extraplanar would just demolish our world that finds it hard to resort to violence?"
Gran Guiscard: "The Pyre proposal sure is working extra hard right now, damn!" He takes a dirnk.
Ken Don: "Opening our world to the unknown could lead to our downfall."
Livia: "…do you consider the potential loss of fire's Cunning to be a drawback, or a benefit?"
Oscan: "I suppose in the new world order that exchange probably would have been avoided, eh?"
Xavier Sangria: "Probably."
Oscan rubs at his head. "I'm seeing the benefits already!"
Cuja: "The Space plane works in tandem with the binary world to greatly enhance the effects. Losing it would decrease that considerably."
Cuja: "As for Jiese, that could be one of the extra planes, but otherwise with the extra cooperation we could come up with new ways around the problems that technology currently solves."
Xavier Sangria: "A world where two heads might actually be better than one. Hm."
Ken Don: "Do you have any contingincies if we are invaded, though? I have no doubts that your plan would make our world non-violent and a better place. I am not sold on beings we know nothing about following the same clinical trials we've tested on our own."
Kiov Hetman: "Have you actually dealt with an extraplanar threat? Does psychic empathy work on non-sentient creatures, or creatures with vastly different and alien minds than our own?"
Oscan: "More seriously, I do have to second Ken's concern though - if we all turn into a bunch of laid back peace loving doves, and some extraplaner vistors come here with hostile intentions, it seems like it'd be bad news all around for us."
Oscan: "Gotta be a reason the ancients chose to both hide us, and put an extra strong lock on the door in, yeah?"
Cuja: "They are, admittedly, hard to find and do any sort of reasonable tests on before they explode."
Livia: "…much would hinge on the final plane, but… I… I truly do believe that you envision a kinder, gentler world for all of us, lady Cuja. I cannot say I have /no/ qualms-" -she gestures at Ken and Kiov, since they're putting it into words better than she could- "-but at the same time, I'm… at least a little familiar with your people's history. You've perfected the art of survival in the midst of stra
Livia: ngers with strange minds, haven't you? Our concerns probably seem rather silly to such a mindset… "
Cuja: "No, I can understand your extraplanar concerns. Having not dealt with any since the Ancients put their plan in place, it's hard to comprehend what kind of dangers could be out there."
Kiov Hetman: "" Having dealt with some in an incident I don't like to speak much about, trust me, this 'empathy' needs to be potent for us to sacrifice our link with Nem. They are much stronger than us currently when it comes to the mental arena. "
Xavier Sangria: "I fight regular monsters and they are shitty enough. I'm not sure I like the thought of bending over for things even worse from another world. But other than that… Yeah, I kinda like this pitch."
Oscan: "It's certainly the best we've heard so far."
Kiov Hetman: "But all else held constant, I think it's a fine plan. If there is any way to convince you to make that revision, that may be it."
Oscan: "Not the most fun or enjoyable or interesting, but probably the 'best'."
Kiov Hetman: "Or - would we have room to insert Nem in the new slot opened by the binary plane?"
Gran Guiscard: "I think this one, outta all of them,"
Livia: "Nem, or some other luminary that could perform its defensive function."
Gran Guiscard: "I'd need to see the portrait about first."
Gran Guiscard: "And I haven't even heard the last two pitches!"
Cuja: "Only if we slot it into Time instead, removing Reida. It has Space and Time energies, I believe."
Kiov Hetman: "Er. Apologies. I mixed up Apet and Nem's purposes."
Kiov Hetman: "I think Livia's phrasing best represents what I meant."
Livia smiles.
Ken Don has voiced his arguments and is content sitting back and reading now until the next venue.
[OOC] Obscurati: wait Nem is Death and Time my mistake
Kiov Hetman: "And this doesn't even get into the social ramifications. Do you envision people becoming more self-policing, out of fear of public sanction?"
Ken Don: "Perhaps you could offer a demonstration?"
Cuja: "Apet is Air and Space, so it could go into the empty air slot if the binary world goes into Fire…"
Cuja: "Our portrait outside can give you an example if you'd like to take a look. We have a practical example you can watch as well."
Kiov Hetman: "Would it retain its properties of distance, to ward off interlopers?"
Kiov Hetman nods. "I think I would be interested."
Gran Guiscard just clicks his tongue and stands, heading away.
Cuja: "I'm not quite sure about that. I'd need to consult some of the scientists if having tied to Air would change that at all, but I believe that is its major trait regardless."
Ken Don: "I think I'll go take a look, then. Unlike the first two, your argument is at least sensible."
Kiov Hetman: "How soon can you get that consult?"
Cuja: "I'll have to get back to you on it later. Possibly tomorrow morning?"
Kiov Hetman: "And we vote in how soon?"
Livia: "Well, the first vote is preliminary, isn't it?"
Cuja: "Tonight is a preliminary one. I believe the second one is tomorrow evening."
Kiov Hetman nods gruffly.
Kiov Hetman: "I might ask you more about the more mundane and social aspects. I apologize for the concern over the planetary ones."
Cuja: "No worries. A couple of others have voiced simliar concerns."

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