Chapter 16: Many Blood-Sucking Parasites (OOC)

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Darker

Rolled a wis (sense motive check) for Alannah. She caught Garren's meaning.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I don't see the check. Where is it?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

It got deleted, I accidentally posted it in the IC page, then deleted it. It was a straight 1d20, rolled a 13.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Insofar as Garren may have been trying to convey some kind of secret or unspoken meaning, the usual mechanics for that would be a Bluff check.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Insofar as any discussion of stealing/tricking this guy goes, I feel like you guys have confined it to OOC, thus far. Which is fine, but at some point your characters will actually have to discuss what (if anything) to do.

My impression is that Alannah's chaotic sensibilities are offended by the blackmail, as well as by the fact that Wæmunding has come across as more than just kind of rape-y, and that she would like to intervene for this reason. Also, she's bored.

It's also my impression that Garren is bored. And certainly the baron's conduct is odious to any devotee of Derena, so that Garren would naturally want to stop him. Being that Trogar is a fellow Derenar (and a paladin), Garren can only suppose that the dwarf has a very complicated life. Being the sworn retainer of such a shitty person must be extremely difficult for him, all things considered. His spiritual and moral code must be in constant tension with his duty to his lord.

I have no idea whether Oskav gives two shits about any of this. Or how Chuul or Avar would react if you consulted them about the situation.

Finally, something to consider is that as awful as Wæmunding clearly is, Padishar Meel is not exactly squeaky clean, here. He's running arms to the orc clans. Chuul's favorite weapon may well have been imported through the offices of Marta's dad. You guys ran across a gang of orcs bent on some kind of thievery while you were on your way into the city. So it's pretty obvious that the orc clans in the northern reaches of the Mereflow Valley aren't exactly friendly. So far, they don't seem to be involved in the goblinoids' military adventures on either side.

And you don't actually know where else Papa Meel might be selling weapons. If he's funneling supplies to the goblinoids, that would mean he's enriching himself by doing business with the enemies of his city at the very least, and at worst he may actually be collaborating with them. None of that is great news, in terms of the Bastards' agenda to protect Golden Sheaves.

And if you decide to try to help Marta and her father, you open yourselves to the potential that something will go badly awry, and that Baron Wæmunding will think you're helping to cover up something much worse than a little arms dealing. Avar already has raised suspicions that the Empire is planning to use the coming war as a chance to retake the Valley. If this goes wrong in the wrong ways, you could have a public relations nightmare on your hands—you could easily give people the impression that you are involved in a conspiracy to plunge the Valley into war for this very purpose.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Talanall wrote:

My impression is that Alannah's chaotic sensibilities are offended by the blackmail, as well as by the fact that Wæmunding has come across as more than just kind of rape-y, and that she would like to intervene for this reason. Also, she's bored.


This -- Coercion for rape-y reasons offends her. Selling weapons to the orc clans bothers her less, mostly because she hasn't thought it through and somewhat because she may think the regulations are dumb (because she hasn't thought them through and doesn't want to).

But mostly because a plot of blackmail, forced marriage, and illegal arms dealing is really interesting and she's bored right now.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

If we obtain the evidence of the illegal arm sales, we have the same leverage as Wæmunding and a choice of whether or how to use it. If things go right, not only can we stop all the rapey stuff, we can potentially end the currently extant illegal arm sales.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Oskav doesn't care about this but will help Alannah get away with it if she asks. He doesn't want her to get caught because that disrupts what he currently has going on and he may even be implicated in her crimes, too.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I guess you should hash out all this In Character, at this point. I'm not going to proceed based on an OOC discussion of the pros and cons.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Is "Go get the papers and evidence you are using to blackmail Marta's father and bring them back to me now?" a valid option for a suggestion? Seems pretty reasonable.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

In general, I think I'm on record as being prone to treat suggestion and other Enchantment (Compulsion) effects as things that can work very well or very poorly, depending whether you get your wording right. I am not going to help you draft a wording.

But I will tip my hand with the idea that this is a circumstance in which I probably will behave like a malevolent genie when I interpret whatever wording you come up with.

If you attempt a suggestion, then you'll have to hope that he can get to the papers and back within about 7 hours.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Yes, the 7-hour window was something of concern. No idea where his estate might be I realize.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Were you planning to give your performance in the ballroom, or what?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

No, now she's second-guessing it with the logistics of actually bringing the papers back. But the plan was to ask the musicians already playing to let her play.

Darker

Maybe Garren's leave with Marta and see if he follows plan is better.

Darker

I'm thinking that Chuul just repeats his act with the goblin in the pit with the lord. That should do the trick.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I had the same amusing idea.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Lemme have a Spot check from Oskav, please.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Roger Dodger

Oskav (untrained, Wis mod, Alertness), Baldr
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 17, 4 = 21.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 20, 7 = 27.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Oskav isn't trying to sugarcoat or obfuscate any details here, but he also isn't telling the whole story where just anybody can hear (or where Trogar can tell him to fuck off before he even gets in the room and hears the full pitch). Do I need to make a Bluff check?

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I don't think so. Trogar himself made it clear that he would like some discretion about this project, so I don't think he's really got any reason to get spooked when you come around and are discreet.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Great. Oskav will say as little as possible on the way back to the library. He doesn't want to spoil the surprise!

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I would wonder if Alannah is going to immediately send Oskav back out to fetch Chuul and Avar, but I think that we already know the answer. He's got a gimpy leg, so of course she will.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

No worries. His Endurance feat makes Oskav handicapable.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

Alannah gives it a 50% chance of working out and a 50% chance that the paladin listens and decides the best thing to do is make everything public so there's no more blackmail. Of course, if the detail that the lord was attempting blackmail comes out, it makes that a bit rough for him, so that's why there's a 50%. If the paladin was Avar, I'd say its 100% chance that Avar tells everyone, "Do worry, I got this" and walks out, clinks a glass with a spoon and loudly announces the entire plot.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

I wish Alannah understood Avar like Darker does.

Darker

Ok, so we get Bromil to help Jalen. Then leverage the Cowardslayer hook to resolve Marta's dilemma. Then use the recompensation from Marta's dilemma to help Bromil.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I was going to post, but then I couldn't remember if I know about the sword quest in character or not. Does anyone know if Garren has already been told?

Darker

Has not been told. Just Alannah and Oskav know about it.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

That's what I thought. Thanks. I will let others continue the conversation.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Darker wrote:

Has not been told. Just Alannah and Oskav know about it.


So we're all on the same sheet of music Avar knows as well. He let Oskav handle the talk because he isnt interested in hunting down a sword for someone given everything else going on.
Darker

They aren't hunting it down. They are keeping an eye out for it and if they happen to find it, they offer it back to Trogboy to "reward" them it's cash value rather than keeping it or attempting to liquidate it like other treasure.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

As an aside, moving it to the top of the list as 'we totes know where the necklace piece is' might pay dividends in bringing the enemy to us.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

So. What're Avar and Chuul up to?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Chuul continues to hide himself away as long as he's allowed to. He'd have already left if he didn't think it would negatively affect his companions. If another 20 minutes passes with no bother, he'll seek out one or more of his companions to convince them to leave.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Avar will continue to sit with Chuul. These backwater people don't deserve anymore of his time tonight.

It won't take any convincing for him to leave the party.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Boromil is describing a proprietary colonelcy, which is not something that exists in modern military organizations. But it's something that was a feature of Real Life military organization in other eras of history.

In essence, what happens is that you purchase a given rank as an officer, and in the process you incur some contractual obligations to raise and maintain several companies of troops. So being a colonel means that you have responsibility for recruitment, training, armament, and logistics—everything pertaining to your regiment's readiness for battle. The government or sovereign you serve usually promises to pay you a prearranged allowance for that purpose, as well as periodic funds from which to pay the wages of the nominal number of men your unit includes.

Because the regiment literally belongs to the holder of the colonelcy, this entails a great deal of latitude about how the colonel spends that allowance.

Depending on the colonel, this may mean that he invests his personal wealth into the outfitting of his troops, seeing to it that they are well-paid, with good food and the best gear, because he feels a duty to both his country and his troops. Or it could mean that he buys the cheapest crap he can, then fills his ranks from the sweepings of the city's gutters and prisons in order to save costs, because he sees his troops as disposable assets. Extremely unscrupulous colonels may even decide to recruit fewer troops than the nominal strength of their regiment, so as to be able to pocket the wages of imaginary soldiers.

The system is rife with potential for abuse, but the ability to profit from your commission by cutting costs is somewhat balanced by the expectation that you will lead your regiment into battle. There's a sort of understanding that a competent colonel will skim a little something for himself off of the money disbursed to pay for his regiment's expenses, provided that it doesn't prevent his troops from being effective in combat.

The potential for abuse is greatly increased if you allow the colonel to stay home and leave the actual command of his regiment to a lieutenant, because then he doesn't risk his neck if the embezzlement gets out of hand. This is something that ultimately became a problem for the British Empire in the 1600s and 1700s.

Additionally, proprietary colonelcy is a good way for aristocratic young men like Boromil to carve out some prestige and rank for themselves. Boromil and Alannah's dad is obliged to provide troops at his own expense, and as a consequence of that service to the Archduke he derives social and military rank from his position as Count Alastar. But their older brother is going to inherit all that.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

What's Chuul wearing in terms of codpieces? Can Marta see what kind of downstairs mixup he's working with here? That's a major party foul but it might explain why she's so nervous. Honeys be drippin'.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Given how Fixxxer has talked about Chuul's dick in the past, I'm not sure that a normal codpiece would be adequate to the demands placed upon it.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Like a muscular midget's arm clutching a very bulbous apple.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Oskav has a recurring wet dream wherein he coerces Avar to fall from grace and start taking levels in Blackguard after murdering Alannah for the way she talks to people.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

MinusInnocence wrote:

Oskav has a recurring wet dream wherein he coerces Avar to fall from grace and start taking levels in Blackguard after murdering Alannah for the way she talks to people.


Tal?
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Hmm?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

She did bitch slap a high priest of a good-aligned god, is a god-insulting agnostic and has shown to have deeply questionable morals. At the very least, she spreads chaos, disregards laws, and distains lawfulness for its own sake. I'm pretty sure Agon may consider her death at the hands of one of his paladins to be a slaying of an enemy of the church rather than a murder. He could do it and receive a boon rather than lose his paladinhood.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The modern Church of Agon would not be amenable to some kind of extra-judicial killing over anything that Alannah has done thus far in the campaign. She's chaotic, and she does casually disregard legality whenever it suits her. But unless she represented a clear and present danger to Avar or some innocent person, killing her would be unlawful (and possibly evil, depending on the specific circumstances). And if she did not represent such a danger, then the doctrinally favored approach is for him to apprehend her and turn her over to the nearest legitimate government for trial.

This last point about "legitimate government" is potentially difficult because the Aureshan Empire doesn't actually recognize any of the local governments in this region as legitimate. But in Port Hope, the local laws are based on Aureshan legal codes, and the laws regarding what is and is not a crime are among those which have changed least since Port Hope became de facto independent.

So it's not really clear that the church would be copacetic with Avar deciding that he personally is the nearest thing that passes for a representative of a legitimate government. It's true that from one perspective, anyone who serves as a judge or magistrate in Port Hope is participating in a rebellion against the rightful Emperor. But from another perspective, they are ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. And they are, as mentioned, mostly treating criminal cases the same way as a legitimate Aureshan magistracy would do.

All of this is to say that Avar is on pretty shaky footing if he kills Alannah because she's chaotic and annoying. It's definitely the sort of thing that could lead him to become an ex-paladin in need of an atonement spell, depending on the circumstances under which it happened. Customarily, we think of a "fallen" paladin as one who has done evil, and that's certainly something that could happen to Avar. It wouldn't necessarily be a problem for him with his church, though. Agon is a LN deity, and even if we were using the "one step" rule for clerics, he would accept clerics of LE alignment.

Likewise there are fallen paladin/blackguards in the church of Agon. Avar would certainly be expelled from his knightly order, but it's quite possible that he could remain a member of the clergy of Agon.

A decisively chaotic action, however, might be considerably more difficult for him to square with his faith. Not all clergy of Agon have a lawful component to their alignment, although they certainly are prominently represented in the faith. Doing something particularly chaotic could break his code of conduct and lead him to ex-paladin status. It would be especially annoying because Agon's local church is already angry at him, so he'd have a hard time getting the atonement he needs to patch things up.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Chuul could kill any member of the party and be okay with the universe. Just sayin'.

Darker

Alannah returns briefly to the library and cast circle dance to see if she senses any werewolf evilness afoot.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

No sign of Cole. He's still dancing through fairyland.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

This is a petition for bonus XP to Alannah for trying to be a good wingman to Chuul.

Darker

She totally had that in mind.

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