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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • L'het'esh
    replied
    Threaten them all.
    Remind them that it was the Wanderers who started with war parties, when they could not even kill the buck ogres. If this is how they want to behave, they should move far, far away. Far enough that the Sunblessed need not form a war party against the Wanderers, to prevent the Wanderers from raiding the Sunblessed. After all, raids on other tribes were just as common in the old days as raids south.

    The Sunblessed and their chief, Youngest Joy, would have peace. What the Wanderers decide now will determine if the Sunblessed have peace with both the southerners and the Wanderers. If the Wanderers don't want a quarrel with the Sunblessed, do something now about the raid OR move.

    (I said, above, it was a mistake to claim a hurt when no deal had been struck. The matter would have fallen out the same, but through diplomacy, without Grim Hammer present.)

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  • semicasual
    replied
    You look down at the old woman. "[Chief Blue Jewel, I demand a conference,]" you announce, no longer shouting but still loud enough that Grim Hammer and others can hear. "[We need to talk about controlling your... subordinate.]"

    Grim Hammer's eyes flash as he stands up. "[We do not answer to you!]", he shouts.

    "[Grim Hammer, calm yourself]", says Blue Jewel, turning to face him. She does not sound happy either.

    "[I will not be calmed! This man,]" Grim Hammer points to you, in case there was any doubt who he was talking about, "[acts like he is our chief! He comes to us uninvited to make demands, takes what he wants and then demands more. Why should we obey him!?]" The crowd rumbles with discontent. Loud declarations of agreement come from some of the masked people.

    "[Enough, Grim Hammer! He is not our chief, but he has done enough to command respect,]" Of Iron calls over the rumbling. "[We will have conference - the four of us, and you. Come.]"

    Grim Hammer snarls and hops off the cart. The five of you form a line to push through the crowd. Vicious Dog and Of Iron go in front, then Grim Hammer, then Blue Jewel, and finally you in the back. You noticed the Blue Jewel deliberately interposed herself between you and Grim Hammer. The Wanderers continue to mutter amongst themselves as you pass them by.


    Soon, you find yourself back in the chiefs' tent, this time with no support. The three chiefs sit across from you once again. Grim Hammer is seated at Vicious Dog's side. As soon as everyone is in their places, Blue Jewel speaks in a firm voice. "[Chief Youngest Joy, what is your grievance with Grim Hammer?]"

    "[The caravan he looted, that is even now being parceled out to your people, belonged to my trading partners,]" you respond, tight-lipped. "[They were attacked on the Sunblessed Plain, not at all far from our settlement. He is a thief, and his actions may mean war with the southerners.]"

    "[A raid on southerners makes me a thief?]" retorts Grim Hammer. "[What business do you have with our sworn enemies?]"

    "[We barter. What of it?]"

    Grim Hammer's lip curls. "[We do not need barter, and we do not need you.]"

    "[That is enough]," Vicious Dog interjects. "[Youngest Joy, had you already given these traders anything?]"

    "[No.]"

    "[Were you expecting any agreed-upon payment from them?]"

    "[...No.]"

    Vicious Dog shrugs. "[Then so far as I am concerned, Grim Hammer has done nothing wrong. His actions have not done you injury, however inconvenient they might have been.]" He gives you an unfriendly smile. "[If you want what the southerners had so badly, you might buy it from us.]"


    Blue Jewel frowns. "[Wait. What threat of war is there?]"

    You glare at Grim Hammer. "[You failed to kill all of them. Two survived, and they demanded 'restitution' from me. If they bring their story back south, I expect mercenaries to come for revenge.]"1

    Grim Hammer snorts. "[So here you are, like an obedient dog, to claim their 'restitution'.]"

    "[Stop]," commands Of Iron. "[We will not have fighting here.]"

    "[If the threat is real, we can simply move... but the Sunblessed cannot do so easily...]" Blue Jewel muses aloud.

    "[Do not forget, I have twenty of your people housed with my children,]" you remind her. She winces.

    "[If the threat is real]," adds Vicious Dog. "[We have no proof of these traders' willingness or ability to strike back.If they had the power, they might have protected themselves better to begin with.]"

    You growl back at the chiefs, gesturing at Grim Hammer. "[There would be no question, if this worm had not chosen to kick a hornets nest to spite me.]"

    Grim Hammer raises his hands and shifts his weight as if he means to leap across the room and strangle you. Then Vicious Dog grabs his shoulder and Grim Hammer settles back down, letting out a long breath. "[You have no right,]" he mutters. "[We are not your slaves....]"

    Of Iron surveys the room, and you in particular, taking in everyone's words and feelings without showing much of his own. "[...Have you anything more to add, Chief Youngest Joy?]" he asks, steepling his fingers.

    You take a second to steady yourself and think before answering. This situation is delicate - what you say or do now could have an enormous impact on the future of the steppe peoples.
    • Call out Grim Hammer. You're going to kill him, now. You don't care about damaging the alliance, if you can just get rid of this thorn in your side.
    • Discredit Grim Hammer. The chiefs don't seem to be inclined to let you touch him. Better do something to change that.
    • Challenge Vicious Dog. He's been suspicious of you from the beginning. If you can shut him up, you'll have lot more control over this negotiation.
    • Try to steer Blue Jewel. She seems to be on the fence. Playing on her fear of war might get you somewhere.
    • Appeal to Of Iron. He might be your best ally here, if you can just get him to commit himself.
    • Threaten them all. You are a Blessed warrior, unstoppable in battle. They should fear you...
    • Do nothing. They probably won't decide for you - so be it. Respecting their' autonomy is the price you pay for friendship.
    • Something else?
    1
    And for looting, probably, if Kun and Ling decide to spread the word that you have silver to burn.

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  • semicasual
    replied
    Originally posted by The MG View Post
    Either way, we're going to kill him in the end.
    (I thought you might vote that way. :P)

    Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
    Er, did the Sunblessed already receive the goods bargained for?
    If yes, this was a mistake, the Wanderers have stolen the excess.

    If no, were the tools paid for?
    If the Sunblessed did not receive the tools they have paid for, there is a grievance to be settled.
    If the Sunblessed did not pay yet, it is a matter of getting some and aggression is, again, a mistake.
    (The goods were not received or paid for. This was, presumably, a new caravan with new stuff Kun and Ling wanted to trade with the inexplicably rich Sunblessed tribespeople.)

    Leave a comment:


  • L'het'esh
    replied
    Er, did the Sunblessed already receive the goods bargained for?
    If yes, this was a mistake, the Wanderers have stolen the excess.

    If no, were the tools paid for?
    If the Sunblessed did not receive the tools they have paid for, there is a grievance to be settled.
    If the Sunblessed did not pay yet, it is a matter of getting some and aggression is, again, a mistake.

    Leave a comment:


  • wonderandawe
    replied
    Originally posted by The MG View Post
    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.

    Let's do this.

    Leave a comment:

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