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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
    Something else
    I am a chief, and you are not. As a chief, I judge you by your actions, and how they affect others. That you have brought danger to the Wanderers is for your chiefs to consider; to act upon or ignore, if they choose. That you have brought danger to the Sunblessed is for me to judge, and act upon, as needed. Who are you, vainglorious worm, to tell me otherwise?
    I, for one, am down with this.

    Also:
    Originally posted by Ferryman View Post
    Grim Hammer is a continuing problem. Discredit him.
    Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
    This. If we play our cards right these fools will thank us for killing Grim Hammer.
    Originally posted by Erinys View Post
    Discredit Grim Hammer.
    Originally posted by WarDragon View Post
    I agree with discrediting Grim Hammer, as harshly and insultingly as possible.
    Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post
    I'll throw my hat in with Discrediting Grim Hammer.



    Comment


    • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
      Something else
      I am a chief, and you are not. As a chief, I judge you by your actions, and how they affect others. That you have brought danger to the Wanderers is for your chiefs to consider; to act upon or ignore, if they choose. That you have brought danger to the Sunblessed is for me to judge, and act upon, as needed.
      ((this, and add: ))

      You have also tresspassed upon Sunblessed territory without permission, and that is for me to judge as well.
      It is my right and duty to protect the Sunblessed from all threats -- including the Wanderers, if you attempt to destroy the us. I will protect my clan in whatever way I need to -- with or without the cooperation of the Wanderer chiefs. Our two clans can continue to cooperate and help one another, with honor and honesty, as the Sunblessed have already kept our word to help you, shedding our blood in war on your behalf. But we will survive however we must.
      Last edited by Erinys; 02-06-2016, 06:24 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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      • You look straight into Blue Jewel's eyes. "[I spared you from starvation. I rode to war on your behalf and drove the buck ogres away so that you could sleep soundly in your own lands. My people risked their own lives on behalf of yours, and I have asked nothing in return but aid in raising my own children's children.]" Now you turn to Grim Hammer, and the words come quick and loud, brooking no interruption. "[And while my warriors fought your war for you, Grim Hammer, you plotted against them. My son nearly died to save you! Out of greed and pride you would betray your own allies and provoke the Southerners for baubles, and in the doing you would bring my people and your own to ruin. What right have I to judge you? I have right to more than that, vermin.]"

        "[Lies and treachery!]" shouts Grim Hammer. "[You only-]"

        "[That is enough,]" declares Of Iron, before anyone can draw a weapon.

        There is brief but intense silence. You take another breath to steady yourself and start again, still addressing Grim Hammer. "[I am a chief, and you are not. As a chief, I judge you by your actions, and how they affect others. That you have brought danger to the Wanderers is for your chiefs to consider; to act on or ignore, if they choose. That you have brought danger to the Sunblessed is for me to judge, and act on, as needed. Who are you to tell me otherwise?]"

        "[I-]"

        "[You have also tresspassed upon Sunblessed territory without permission, and that is for me to judge as well. It is my right and duty to protect the Sunblessed from all threats -- including the Wanderers, if you attempt to destroy the us. I will protect my clan in whatever way I need to -- with or without the cooperation of the Wanderer chiefs. Our two clans can continue to cooperate, with honor and honesty, as the Sunblessed have already kept our word to help you. But we will survive however we must.]"

        You look at the chiefs without turning your head, emphasizing that last statement.

        "[Enough, I say!]" says Of Iron, a little more forcefully this time.

        "[Grim Hammer, do you have anything else to say?]" asks Vicious Dog, softly.

        "[Do not listen to him.]" answers Grim Hammer, seething. "[He is arrogant, powerful, and an outsider. If you submit to him, he will take everything.]"

        Blue Jewel rubs her forehead. "[I fear he is correct. Your actions have endangered us, Grim Hammer.]"

        Vicious Dog sighs. "[The clan must come first. I do not trust Youngest Joy either, but once again it seems we have little choice.]"

        Of Iron rests his hands on his knees and looks at the other chiefs without saying anything. Both of them nod, and Of Iron turns to you. "[What would you have us do, Chief Youngest Joy?]"

        Grim Hammer pales.
        • "I will have his head." The Wanderers will punish their own, and you will watch. Perhaps afterwards you can take the corpse to show to the traders.
        • "Give him to me." You'll take custody of Grim Hammer and punish him how you see fit.
        • "Banish him." Grim Hammer will be scarred with the mark of a clanless one, and left to wander the steppes alone. Clanless are not people, and may be killed or taken as slaves by anyone who wishes to do so.
        • "Seize his property." Everything Grim Hammer has, including goods he stole and the clothes off his back, will be forfeit to you.
        • Something else?

        (You all practically wrote that one for me. I'm ok with this.)


        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.

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        • "I will have his head." He is one of them. Let the Wanderers take care of him.


          I write things.

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          • Seems like some of those could be combined. "Give him, and all of his belongings, to me." Then we turn him over to the merchants, along with a warning to not come so far North next time.

            Comment


            • I will have his head.
              This serves three purposes:
              1) he is not alive to make more trouble;
              2), it will serve as an example to those who might otherwise imitate his rash actions; and
              3) it will show the Southerners that the one who led the attack has been punished for it.

              But if the three of you think you can do better, I will listen.


              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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              • ((I don't want this post confused for a vote: I don't have an opinion yet. I have a question:

                ((Is there a relevant custom of the old Steppe Clans that would clearly apply here? If two clans were allied and then one betrayed the other, or a single member of one betrayed the other clan, was there any other custom besides just attacking and killing? Like a duel or exile or an exchange of hostages or ransom?))


                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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                • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                  ((I don't want this post confused for a vote: I don't have an opinion yet. I have a question:

                  ((Is there a relevant custom of the old Steppe Clans that would clearly apply here? If two clans were allied and then one betrayed the other, or a single member of one betrayed the other clan, was there any other custom besides just attacking and killing? Like a duel or exile or an exchange of hostages or ransom?))
                  No, things like this are usually improvised. Our people aren't big on laws and precedence.


                  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


                  • "[Kill him,]" you answer without hesitation. "[I will bring his head to the traders as a peace offering.]"

                    There is one last tense pause, and then Grim Hammer leaps to his feet and bolts for the door. Vicious Dog and Blue Jewel only stare. Of Iron starts to stand and makes a grab for the fleeing man as he passes. Grim Hammer's knife is already in hand. There is a flash of steel and Of Iron recoils, covering one eye while blood oozes around his fingers.

                    By the time you have risen, Grim Hammer is out of the tent and out of sight. You curse your sluggishness as you run out after him. The camp center is still packed with Wanderers, many of whom are milling around the tent. A commotion is growing among them, spreading out from those nearest you. You straighten up and look over their heads, scanning for disturbances.

                    There - pushing through the masses, shoving people aside, Grim Hammer is making his way towards the edges. You take two long steps forward and kick off the ground. The crowd gasps as you soar over their heads. One man standing near back ducks as you narrowly clear him, hit the ground, roll, and come to your feet with Cleaver in your hands.

                    Then you wait, expecting Grim Hammer to burst out of the clustered clanspeople at any second. Nothing happens. For what feels like a long time, nothing happens. People stare at you with fear and confusion while you hold your stance.

                    There is a call from inside the mob - "[Make way! Back up!]". The people murmer and start to part in front of you, forming a wide aisle. At the far end of this aisle is Grim Hammer. A sizeable cavalry sword is in his right hand, and his bloody knife is in his left. He raises the sword and points it in your direction, meeting your gaze across the muddy field.

                    "[You wish for my head, false god?]" he shouts. "[Well then, come here and take it!]"
                    • Accept the challenge, kill him. Enough is enough.
                    • Accept the challenge, do not kill him. This is some kind of trick - he must know he can't beat you, so there must be something he thinks he can accomplish by making you kill him in front of everyone.
                    • Refuse the challenge. Don't take the bait. Soon the chiefs should rally and take care of this for you.
                    • Something else?
                    Last edited by semicasual; 02-16-2016, 07:24 PM.


                    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


                    • Accept the challenge but do not kill him. Retrieve him and bring him back to his elders to take care of. He is theirs, not yours, to dispose of.


                      I write things.

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                      • Refuse the challenge. He is trying to evade the judgment of his own chiefs. We'll not allow him to escape, but until they have pronounced their decision his life is not ours to take. There is more at stake here than simple revenge - whether or not the Wanderers remain allies to the Sunblessed or become enemies may depend on what happens here and how. Grim Hammer doesn't deserve martyrdom.

                        But that doesn't mean we can't respond - let his people know what he has done. Lean on Cleaver and call back, "That blood on your knife is not mine, Grim Hammer. Of Iron has first claim to your worthless life."
                        Last edited by Ferryman; 02-16-2016, 07:22 PM.


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                        • Originally posted by Ferryman View Post

                          But that doesn't mean we can't respond - let his people know what he has done. Lean on Cleaver and call back, "That blood on your knife is not mine, Grim Hammer. Of Iron has first claim to your worthless life."
                          I'll change my response to this. Of Iron has first claim on Grim Hammer's life.


                          I write things.

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                          • I was going to Accept but Do Not Kill, but I like Wobderawe's answer.


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

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Ferryman View Post
                              Lean on Cleaver and call back, "That blood on your knife is not mine, Grim Hammer. Of Iron has first claim to your worthless life."
                              Let's do this.


                              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

                              Comment


                              • You give Grim Hammer a long look before turning Cleaver over and planting it point-first into the ground. You rest one arm on the pommel, not trusting the sword with your full weight. The crowd murmurs, waiting for you to say or do something. Their murmurs grow louder when it seems that you have other plans - or an absence thereof.
                                "[Have you lost your courage, pretender?]" calls Grim Hammer.

                                You shake your head and call back. "[Have you forgotten already, Grim Hammer? I am not the first with a claim to your life. That is Chief Of Iron's blood on your knife.]"

                                The crowds muttering grows still louder. Grim Hammer looks surprised, then annoyed, and then, oddly, he seems to relax. He looks to his right very briefly before returning his attention to you. "[Pretend not that you care about our justice. You wish me dead. I wish you dead. Let us settle it!]"

                                You ignore the taunt and look over crowd, trying to guess what he might have been looking at. The slowly shifting mass of Wanderers makes a chaotic image. It is difficult to guess what Grim Hammer was focused on. Then, very briefly, you catch a glimpse of someone pushing out of the crowd in that direction, elbowing people aside.

                                Any attempt to study the situation further is interrupted when Grim Hammer comes at you, dashing down the aisle. He turns slightly as he closes and makes a hard swing at your neck with the sword. You duck, letting the steel pass over your head. Still crouched, you take a long step back and pull Cleaver free as you straighten up and ready your guard.

                                Grim Hammer rebalances and holds his blades out ahead of him. He stays in that position, sizing you up, perhaps waiting for you to attack.

                                "[You come from nowhere and dictate our lives,]" he hisses. "[No one has that right.]" Then he lunges, stabbing at your chest. You catch the edge of his blade on yours and push away. Grim Hammer makes several more thrusts, each of which you parry. With no counter-offense, you are forced to keep sidestepping, circling around him to avoid being driven back into the crowd.

                                Glancing past Grim Hammer, you catch a glimpse of commotion at the far end of the aisle. Of Iron shoves his way into the clearing, face bloodied, carrying a large warclub that might have been an ogre's weapon at one time. Two other armed men are flanking him.

                                The next time Grim Hammer tries to attack, you strike. Cleaver intercepts his sword and you force it towards him, pushing back until he has to use both his weapons to hold yours in place. Seeing the opening, Of Iron rushes in and makes a double overhand swing at Grim Hammer's head.

                                By some instinct, Grim Hammer knows to try to sidestep, turning his blades to slide clear of yours. But it is not enough - Of Iron's club hits him where the neck meets the shoulder, and he falls.

                                "[Hold him down,]" barks Of Iron, and the men he brought with him hustle up to pin Grim Hammer to the ground. Of Iron picks up the fallen fighter's sword, and glares around him with one clear eye. "[Grim Hammer has endangered the clan by his actions - provoking retribution, angering our allies, and attacking me. For this, he shall die. Does anyone object?]"

                                No one in the crowd steps forward, whether for fear, shock, or tacit agreement.

                                "[Very well.]" Of Iron tosses down his club and steps around Grim Hammer, getting into position. Grim Hammer, senseless or already dead, does not respond. Of Iron raises the sword, lets it fall, and a shudder runs through the camp.

                                ***

                                It is nearly dusk when you arrive back in the Sunblessed village. Grim Hammer's head bounces in a sack grotesquely hanging from your saddle. Sunblessed flock towards you, unbidden, whispering questions they will not directly ask. Red Songbird hurries out of the big house towards you, clutching some scrap in her hand, but stops short some distance away. You ignore them all for the moment and look around for the merchants.

                                Kun and Ling are waiting by a small fire in the commons - Kun idly poking at it, and Ling staring up into the uncaring sky. Both seem oblivious to your approach, and their conversation carries to you as you trot your horse up and dismount.

                                "...'disaster' would be an understatement, dear," says Ling, despondantly.

                                "Sometimes these things happen, love," answers Kun, without much feeling.

                                "We've lost everything."

                                "We knew when we started that it would be a gamble."

                                "Yes, but it was a gamble we could afford to lose. How do we go on after this?"

                                "At least we're still alive."

                                "Selling the house won't cover the debt."

                                "We could start an indenture."

                                "We'd never leave it."

                                "...Sell what we can and run east?"

                                "And then what? Live up in the trees and eat berries for the rest of our lives?"

                                "We can't just give up, love." Kun sounds a little sharper.

                                "We're too old to start over, dear," answers Ling, a little quieter.

                                You move in between Ling and the fire. She finally takes notice of you, giving a start and a slight gasp. Kun turns to look at her and spots you in the same moment.

                                "The leader of the bandits is dead," you announce, loud enough that the Sunblessed observers can hear.1 "Here's his head." With a slight flourish, you pull the head out of the bag. Ling becomes pale, Kun recoils, and a wailing starts from somewhere to your right. You look to see Red Songbird covering her face, sinking to her knees, sobbing. Rose comes to her side and lays hands on her shoulders.

                                "I don't know who this is," says Ling. She starts to reach out to touch the head, then pulls back and sighs. "I can only take your word for it."

                                Kun turns back to the fire. "Well, that's done," he says, half to himself. "Now what?"

                                • "Now you should go." Life is hard and you cannot afford pity. You'll send Kun and Ling on their way with nothing more than they have now.
                                • "Stay the night. Tomorrow we'll see you off." You'll help them to safely leave the steppes. After that, they're on their own.
                                • "You can join us, if you want." If they have nowhere else to go, they might as well be useful here. They must have some useful skills?...
                                • "I can help you begin again." With money, or some treasure of yours, you could perhaps get these two back on their feet.
                                • Something else?

                                1
                                They won't understand riverspeak, but at least they'll hear.



                                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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