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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • "[We owe her something. Skulls.]"

    (Or just one: Grim Hammer's.)

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    • We don't owe them anything, but let's not leave them in the middle of nowhere with a dead caravan. Bring them back to the village and feed them.


      I write things.

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      • It appears somebody is trying to put blame on the Sunblessed to encourage Southerners to kill us all. Since they're too dense to figure it out, explain the obvious to them.

        We owe them nothing, of course, but we do want to kill whoever did this with extreme prejudice, and also discourage these two from carrying the accusation back south. Which means either convincing them we are not responsible, or killing them if that fails.


        I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
        Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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        • Something else "You are not owed restitution, you knew the risks and hired guards. Not very good ones, by my recollection. That said, I am not pleased with banditry so close to my people; it may be a risk to the Sunblessed."

          Form a war party and follow the trail. If it is more Southerners, kill happily and the two can have from the wreckage, not that they can manage much by themselves, without servants. If it is the Wanderers, that is another problem and may take some thinking.


          Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
          An Exalt is never unarmed.

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          • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
            Something else "You are not owed restitution, you knew the risks and hired guards. Not very good ones, by my recollection. That said, I am not pleased with banditry so close to my people; it may be a risk to the Sunblessed."

            Form a war party and follow the trail. If it is more Southerners, kill happily and the two can have from the wreckage, not that they can manage much by themselves, without servants. If it is the Wanderers, that is another problem and may take some thinking.
            I like this one.

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            • Forgot about this: "... When the eel raises its head again you see that it has apparently vomited up a pearl the size of your fist...."
              Any odds it is the Stone of Making, covered with crud, and the local spirits do not want it buried nearby?


              Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
              An Exalt is never unarmed.

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              • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
                Forgot about this: "... When the eel raises its head again you see that it has apparently vomited up a pearl the size of your fist...."
                Any odds it is the Stone of Making, covered with crud, and the local spirits do not want it buried nearby?
                No, it's just the biggest pearl you've ever seen. The Stone is bigger still.



                On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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                • (to my children)
                  "In a minute."


                  (to Kun and Ling)
                  "We did not do this to you. Perhaps whoever did intends Southerners to blame the Sunblessed and raise war against us, hm? Do all horsemen look alike to you Southerners? If we wanted to raid you we would have long before now, instead of trading honestly.

                  "I and my people owe you no restitution. You knew the risks and hired guards. Not very good ones, as I recall.

                  "But I do not tolerate banditry so close to my people. I will raise a war party. If outlanders did this, you may take whatever restitution you want from the spoils. You may return with me for now, and we will feed you. We are more likely to succeed if you tell us everything you recall about the attackers."

                  (If they're dumb enough to suspect poison, I'll point out scornfully that if I wanted them dead I could just stab them, instead of talking to them.)


                  (to my children)
                  "The fools blame the Sunblessed, because they can't tell one band of horsemen from another. I fear someone may have intended this raid to encourage war between Southerners and the Steppe clans. I've offered to feed these two while we form a war party to kill the bandits."


                  (Is the poisoned yeddim safe to eat? That's a feast, or a season's worth of dried meat plus bones, sinew, fur, a HUGE bladder, etc. Or if the horses are fresh we could butcher them too. Kun and Ling can have the fur, bones, etc. even if the meat and bladder aren't useable; these were their beasts. In any case, we will keep Kun and Ling in a tent or house out of sight of most of the Sunblessed. No need to let them spy on everything.)
                  Last edited by Erinys; 01-21-2016, 11:12 PM.


                  I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                  Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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                  • What L'het'esh said.


                    Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop

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                    • You glare at Ling until sense catches up to you, then relent with a sigh. "[They are asking for help,]" you finally answer Fire Heart. "[Lead them back to the village and find space for them, temporarily.Then, bring some of your siblings back here to salvage whatever you can.]" You point at the dead yeddim. "[Carve up that one, but leave the organs. They may not be safe to eat.]"

                      "What is this? What are you doing?" demands Ling.

                      "Shut up and listen," you explain. "If I wanted to steal from you, I'd have done it already. If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead. Maybe someone wanted you to think I attacked you - if so, they'll pay. As for you, you chose to come out here with your worthless mercs. Don't blame me if they failed you - I owe you nothing."

                      Ling, now bright red, starts making choking noises.

                      "My son will lead you to safety. I'll find whoever did this - not for you, but because I won't take banditry on my doorstep. If you still want 'restitution', you can take it from them after." You tug on the reins, turning your horse away, and return your attention to Fire Heart. "[I will see if I can follow the attackers' trail. When I find them, I will return for a war party. Tell the Sunblessed to be ready.]"

                      Fire Heart nods. You ride away, leaving him behind to deal with the irate merchants.

                      ***

                      The trail is fresh and the attackers evidently did not care to cover their tracks. Their path leads east initially, but bends north a few miles away from the site of the attack, forming a wide curve around the Sunblessed Plain. It is a little difficult to guess how many riders there are, compared to how many stolen horses they might have taken. You would guess there are not more than twenty people, on the outside.

                      When you think you have a sense of the direction the attackers are taking, you speed your horse up to a trot. With luck, you may be able to catch up with them today.

                      Soon, you start to find signs of more trails, coming and going. A few hills later, you come onto a shallow valley with scores of worn tents in it. You do a double take, jerk your horse to a stop, then curse your luck. Just to make sure, you scan the tents for the Wanderer's distinctive mismatched flags, and find some almost immediately. More curses follow. Of course it was them - who else would it be?

                      If there was any more doubt, it is washed away as you look over the massed tents and see a gathering of people in the village center. They have clustered around a group of carts and are unloading goods. Some people on horseback parade around, giving a secondary focus for the crowd's attention. This a familiar scene, although normally you would be somewhere in the middle of it instead of watching from afar.

                      Well, now what?

                      * Go get your war party. So, your allies have decided to stab you in the back. Time to take an eye for an eye.
                      * Ride down there and demand to know what's going on. They owe you an explanation, and maybe much more than that.
                      * Just forget it. Frustrating as it is, getting more involved in this won't do you or the Sunblessed any good now.
                      * Something else?


                      On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                      Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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                      • Time to stealth up and listen to what people say. Were they trying to frame your people for this? At an opportune moment reveal yourself and confront the elders, if so.


                        I write things.

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                        • Spy, then confront the chiefs and demand an explanation. It had better be a very good one, because it's almost certain they've betrayed the Sunblessed.


                          I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                          Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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                          • This a familiar scene, although normally you would be somewhere in the middle of it instead of watching from afar.
                            * Ride down there and demand to know what's going on. They owe you an explanation, and maybe much more than that.

                            Although we already know what is going on. That's life on the steppes. Be sure the Wanderers understand that they have risked retribution from the Southerners, and probably cancelled future trade.


                            Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
                            An Exalt is never unarmed.

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                            • You dismount and give your horse a smack to send it off. She runs in a different direction while you descend into the valley. The first thing you do when you get to the tent line is pull off your weapons and bundle them up in a blanket you find hanging outside. Then you find another to wrap around yourself, covering your head. You hunch over a little to conceal your height, pulling the bundle up onto your back. Now you look like nobody in particular - just someone bearing a heavy load. It is a disguise that will not stand up to any real scrutiny, but sometimes the best way to stay hidden is to make yourself uninteresting rather than unseen.

                              You shuffle towards the middle of the camp, staying out of the main corridors. People pass by you going in both directions, coming in empty and coming back with arms full of steel tools, food, or traveling equipment. Soon, you find your path blocked by the dense mass of people in the center trying to get at the looted carts. The mood of the crowd is somewhere between joyful and jubilant. Goods pulled off the carts pass from hand to hand as people take what they can grab and then haggle with their neighbors for what they are carrying.

                              You decide to hang back and watch instead of pushing into the middle. Some of the riders you spotted before have climbed atop the carts to push their contents off. They all have black bags - crude masks - hanging from their necks or sitting on their heads. You think you recognize a few of them - that one with the strange hat and the boyish fellow could be part of that party of Wanderers you first met, months ago.

                              The far side of the crowd parts to let someone through. You straighten up to see better, thinking it must be one or more of the chiefs. Sure enough, Vicious Dog is coming through, followed by Blue Jewel and Of Iron. They are making their way toward a cart which is out of your line of sight.

                              You back off and circle around, passing through the tents from a different angle. Now you can see better - a man wearing a mask is sitting on top of a wagon with his back to you, apparently talking to the chiefs. You take a deep breath and close your eyes, trying to filter out their speech from everyone else's.

                              "...[A better haul than I have seen in years,]" calls Vicious Dog approvingly. "[And with no one wounded! You have done very well.]"

                              "[Many thanks, chief,]" answers the man on the cart. It takes a moment for you to place Grim Hammer's voice. Another surge of irritation hits you immediately after.

                              "[Did they have any livestock?]" asks Blue Jewel. "[We could use the meat.]"

                              "[No, do not bother. We took every live animal we could. The carcasses of the rest would be rotten by the time you brought them back here.]"

                              "[I admit I am surprised to see you again,]" says Of Iron. "[You have been gone a while...]"

                              "[I was,]" admits Grim Hammer "[but I return with gifts. I know this past year has been hard, and I wanted to make sure the clan would have what it needed to fend for itself.]"

                              "[Stealing from me does not make you strong!]" you shout over the heads of the crowd. As those heads turn to look, you cast your cover aside and start pushing your way towards Grim Hammer's cart. You are drawing a lot of incredulous stares, gasps, and whispers. Grim Hammer first looks startled, and then angry.

                              Blue Jewel pushes around the cart to intercept you. "[Chief Youngest Joy? What is the meaning of this?]"

                              You come to a stop immediately in front of the old woman, fighting an urge to bowl her over. The press of Wanderers recedes from you as people fall back out of your reach. The camp watches and waits with bated breath.
                              • Publicly challenge Grim Hammer. "[Worm, the caravan you attacked was on my land, coming to trade with my children. You will pay for this, in property or blood.]"
                              • Publicly challenge the chiefs. "[Chief Blue Jewel, can you not control your people? What worth has our pact to you!?]"
                              • Demand a meeting. "[Chief Blue Jewel, if our... friendship... has worth to you, we must speak privately. Now.]"
                              • Something else?



                              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                              Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                              Comment


                              • Demand a meeting while subtly goading Grim Hammer. Let him invite death with the first blow.

                                Either way, we're going to kill him in the end.

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