[Sorcerer SoC] Scene 2: The Plea [Briseis]

edited November 2008 in In-Game
The small craft had been unusual simply because it didn't run away from the Flower of Rememberance. Instead it held steady and approached, signalling by light that it was a courier with an urgent message for Briseis. It wasn't Imperial. It was a one man powered glider. Briseis had one like it herself years ago.

Now its pilot stood on the deck of the Flower of Rememberance. She might have been only a year or two younger than Briseis. She is wearing nicely crafted flying gear with a crest on her chest. Her face is tight and white with tension. Her eyes are set with determination.

She bows. "Princess of Saar," she says, voice high, "I am Ismene of Jeddek, daughter of Lord Balun, once vassal to Saar. It is my duty to him to deliver to you this message." She takes a breath and her eyes seem to harden. "The years when we were a vassal to Saar were happy and prosperous for our people. The Empire has proven cruel and destructive. With the war, the Empire taxes us even more cruelly both in people and resources. My father, Lord Balun, believes the time is right to break from the Empire and..." her nose wrinkles as if the words tasted bad "...begs... you to come to Jeddek to assist us."

"This," she holds out a paper to Briseis,"is a letter from him describing the situation in more detail." After Briseis takes the letter Ismene continues. "With that I have fulfilled my obligation to him and I may speak for myself." She pauses looking fixedly at Briseis, her face an intense emotion. "Please stay away from Jeddek, for the sake of my people."
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  • After taking on board the guest, the Flower of Remembrance sinks down into the cover of the clouds wrapping the mountains, its mistress handing guidance over to her 'copilot' - the living machine squatting in the engine room, fused with the ship's generators and furnaces. Tireless and unblinking, it can conduct the ship through the clouds better than she, and its less comprehensible senses will warn her of any approaching vessels, their very engines and hulls speaking to its now-ravenous hunger.

    Even as she goes to examine her guest, Briseis worries about that. This last engagement went badly, and the Throne of Lyrnessus was forced to expend considerable resources before she and it got the Flower free and clear. Even rationed, the remaining metals, minerals and fuel in the stores won't last more than a few days, and she has an idea of how the Throne might react once they are fully gone ...

    She briefly wonders how long the machine could make it last, if she fed it the engine of her visitor's glider. Hospitality, however, wins out over expediency.

    The outer deck is wreathed in mists shifting and flowing over and around the moving ship, cloaking the Flower's full dimensions. It is just Briseis and Ismene in world wrapped in white, the deck humming beneath their feet and the grey shadow of the conning tower rising behind Briseis, the moisture of the clouds beading on their hair and their clothing.

    Briseis snaps the letter open and draws something small from a pocket, a narrow cone of light snapping out from the later to supplement the vague light of the sun through the mist. Her expression bland, she reads through the missive in silence, taking her time. After a minute, she snaps off the light, folds the document down small, and pockets both.

    "Hm. I respect Balun."

    ...

    "However, for various reasons, such an alliance may not be completely practical just now. Still, what exactly is your objection to the matter?"

    Her tone is more of idle curiosity than anything else.
  • The glint of a hope flits across her features.

    "I think father is mistaken to try to break from the Empire right now. He thinks they will not fight him much, being occupied with the war. I think they will crush us and bring even more suffering than we already endure. Once the Empire knows you are in Jeddek they will accuse him of treason and... " her lip quivers, but she gains control quickly. "If you don't come I will have time to convince him not to do it."

    She frowns. Her tone becomes slightly more aggressive. "And to be plain, I have heard by my own sources of your reputation. My father seems ready to dismiss it based on some fond memory. I say we have enough trouble without you."
  • edited December 2008
    " 'Trouble', I think, is going to find you in any case ... you can't appease the Empire forever. They will pick away at you, sucking your blood, only stopping when their princes are your leaders, their military trains and commands the loyalty of your soldiers, and your children speak only the Teutomeklan language, in the houses of their Teutomeklan fathers. If you do not stand up for Jeddek, Jeddek will fade until it is nothing but the name of one of their cities - it is their way."

    Her voice is muted by the enveloping clouds, and she is matter-of-fact in her manner, but she fails to hide the cord of frustration running through her words.

    "But you may be right ... perhaps Jeddek's dice have fallen, and breaking from the Empire is an impossible proposition. It's academic - the choice is for neither you nor I to make. Your father is older and wiser than we, and it is his decision that will determine the course of things."

    Cutting herself off, she looks off into the pearly white void, then steps away, fading into the mists as she begins to walk toward an actinic light burning at the base of the dark mass of the conning tower beyond her. Her voice comes back through the mist, dully:

    "Come inside. We'll be coming up on the Sea of Corruption soon, and the clouds will no longer be as safe for us. We can talk."

    [A quick roll might be appropriate in here ... maybe just a Will vs. Will, "does Ismene respect Briseis' point of view, or do they strike it off badly?" sort of thing. It would be fairly likely to roll into a future roll, and it would give a chance for that 'dread pirate' Price/penalty to get a hit in the dice. The roll might not have much point on its own, though, so it might not be worthwhile - your call.]
  • If your saying that you're trying to foster trust then there is a conflict of interest, and we'll roll, because she certainly doesn't want to trust Briseis.

    Briseis will minus her price #DiceRoller(4d10)
    Ismene's will #DiceRoller(5d10)
  • Ismene has two victories over Briseis, so she seems less inclined to be open to trusting Briseis at this point.

    Ismene follows Briseis towards the conning tower to be heard. "I've said what I've come to say Princess." she says a little sharply. "I am anxious to return home and would like to take off before we are in the sea. Still I have my mask. But I cannot leave until you tell me whether you will answer my father's call or you will swear to stay away from Jeddek, I must ask you to make your choice."

    btw: welcome back! I'm glad to see you.
  • [Yup. Back in the game.]

    Briseis stops at the hatch into the conning tower. The beacon above the hatch and the filament lights within produce strong, steady light, cutting through the mist. She is more visible in the clear light - flight leathers and gloves, guns and ceramic knife, disconcertingly pallid skin and lips and even paler lines of weird, lacy scarring.

    "I owe Balun a great deal for my time in Jeddek ... for his hospitality, and for his attempt to protect me when the Empire came for me. If he wants me, I must go, and if he chooses to go to war, I will put my resources at his disposal, insofar as I am able."

    "However, your concerns are not unfounded. I must resupply my ship before going to Jeddek, which will take some time - maybe just a little, maybe a great deal. That will give you at least a short time to make your case. When I do come, I shall leave my ship in safety and enter into Jeddek on my own. The Flower is an obvious alert to my presence, but there are few of the Empire who would recognize my person. It may be that there are none such - I have changed considerably since ... since my time in Imperial custody. I will take care to bring no war with me."

    She suddenly shivers, her underweight body reacting reflexively to the damp chill in the air, though her fossilizing organs don't allow her to really feel it.

    "However, the Jeddek I knew had not yet fallen under the Empire. Set aside my reputation for the moment ... what do I need to know to cross the borders quietly? I suppose I need not mention that it would be in everyone's best interest if I were not intercepted along the way. For ourselves, for Jeddek, and most likely [grim smile] for the poor gulls trying to bring me in."
  • Ismene raises her arm, It takes only the slightest instant In the haze of mist between them before Briseis realizes that the pistol is in her hand, the sound of it cocking confirms it. "You will swear on the souls of your countrymen not to come to Jeddek," she says, her voice emotional, "Or I will make sure you can't."
  • [Flavor: I'm thinking of the Throne's Link power as a little splinter of technology somewhere in the flesh of her scarred hand/forearm. It burrowed down to lay against the bone, and the Throne encouraged it to reactivate and fuse with her nervous system so that it could keep an eye on her.

    She perceives it, I think, as a constant stream of diagnostics about all of the Throne's functions (and maybe those of the ship, when the Throne and the ship are fused). However, most of the data is well beyond her understanding ... she can parse out enough for "some idea of what is happening around the other", but that's it.
    ]


    "Ah. So, you aren't going for the moral victory then. I suppose I can understand that."

    She doesn't move, except to shiver again, her body getting no warmer. Her attitude is very even and reasonable, if not without a slight trace of condescension, the tone being that of a commiserative elder trying to prevent a young woman from making a mistake.

    "All the same, this really isn't a wise course of action. You should calm yourself and think over matters - if you then still want to shoot me, well, we can do it that way. I ... grasp that you don't think much of me, but I urge you to remember who, exactly, I am."

    "I am first a princess of the Saar, last of that royal line. Seeing as you also have nobility, this is how I have presented myself to you. However, you are now answering my hospitality by pointing a gun at me, giving me no opportunity to take arms of my own in hand, so it is quite clear that you have no respect for that ... nor for your own nobility, but that is a different matter."

    She begins to raise a hand, but aborts the action, instead dropping it to grasp one of the grip bars flanking the open hatch - just in case the Throne should decide it necessary to attempt some violent maneuvers. Her voice hardens by several degrees, cooling to an icy evenness.

    "So, I will remind you why you are here. Your father did not send for me for old time's sake, nor for my royal blood. You are here because, in past years, circumstances have forced me to become a very dangerous person, and a very cautious one as well. I am not in the habit of leaving myself vulnerable to intruders, and it is only because I expected better of Balun's daughter that we find ourselves in this position."

    "Even so, I do not bow to intimidation, and I have only to make it through this hatch to gain cover. I judge my chances to be good. You, however, are standing on open deck, now some distance from your flyer. The moment you start shooting, my pilot will have you off the side, or at least kept sufficiently busy to allow me a clean shot. This ship, and those on it, have confronted far worse opponents than yourself, and most are now broken and dead."

    "That is why I have the reputation you are so concerned about, so perhaps you should pay it mind. Out of courtesy to your father, I am willing to let this insult pass and let you leave here unharmed, and - if you are willing to act in a manner befitting your station - I am also willing continue to extend my invitation to talk things over. If not, I am perfectly able to do what needs be done to defend myself, and decide later whether or not to tell Balun that his only daughter died in my company."

    "It is my duty to go to Jeddek, and I shall do so, but if your father's rebellion is doomed I shall be the first to take your side. Your reaction now is irrational, and if you do not get it under control, it will most likely get you killed, and then there won't be anyone to turn Balun against war."

    [If she's cut off before she finishes, then it is so. Regardless, Briseis' goal is to intimidate Ismene into standing down - fostering trust is unlikely to work at this point (with a net -3 penalty), and she really doesn't want to be put in a situation where she might kill Balun's daughter. I expect that it would be Past (pirate) rolling to support a primary Will (aristocrat) - Briseis' reputation and real ability backing up her refusal to bend to threats.

    I suggest that there might be a bonus die or so in there if any of Briseis' points used the right leverage for Ismene's personality, and I point out that changing tactics ought to prevent that prior 2-die disadvantage from rolling over - Ismene distrusts Briseis, and that could create problems in the future, but it doesn't really encourage her to believe she can take Briseis on the later's home turf.

    If that last bit's right, it's interesting how it works. Briseis needs to avoid a shootout with Ismene, because she wants neither to get hurt, nor to hurt Ismene. Ideally, she'd convince Ismene to trust her a bit, but a 3-die penalty from her Price and the previous roll makes that tricky ... if she fails, and then Ismene rolls successes into a subsequent attack, things could get ugly. So, she can take a big risk on the ideal course of action, or she can turn on the intimidation and side-step the penalties.
    ]
  • Okay so Briseis is going to intimidate Ismene into backing down. I give you +2 for the speech and descriptions. First we're going to roll Briseis pirate past against Ismene's will and take any victories from that to your will roll.

    Your past #DiceRoller(5d10)
    vs Ismene's will #DiceRoller(5d10)
  • Ooookay. Nothing much.

    So the intimidate roll.

    Briseis Will +bonus dice #DiceRoller(7d10)
    Ismene's Will #DiceRoller(5d10)
  • Ismene wins by one success

    Ismene's eyes are wide, and she's blinking hard, her mouth compressed tightly. She's scared out of her mind, but trying not to show it Briseis realizes.

    "I won't sh..shoot you down dishonorably," Ismene uncocks and then tosses her pistol to the deck. "But all the same, reconsider and swear not to come to Jeddek, or" she puts her hand on the handle of her long knife, "draw your knife and defend yourself."

    In the mist behind Ismene, Briseis makes out an incoherent shape, that she nevertheless recognizes. Whatever noise the spawn might make is drowned out by the engines.

    free and clear stage, the spawn is going to grab Ismene, Ismene isn't doing anything b/c she's waiting for your response.
  • [Technical questions: Do Spawn created by the Throne count as demons bound to Briseis? Particularly for the purposes of Punishing and maybe Banishing, though there might be other places it's relevant. If they do, do they have the same binding strength as the Throne?

    Also, does Briseis have any idea what the Power of this spawn is? Probably not at the maximum, since that would have dealt crippling damage to the Throne, but there's still quite a bit of range there. Is it the only one made, or were there multiple?
    ]
  • edited December 2008
    I figure it's a spawn the Throne has had around for a while, and thus has had a chance to heal. The spawn is not bindable, it's pretty much under the control of the Throne. As for power she doesn't really know though it isn't as strong as the Throne. I figure it's the only one right now. Spawn can be punished, contained or banished but not contacted summoned or bound.

    Any sorcerer can do any of these things to any demon. Any sorcerer can also order any demon, though if the demon is bound that counts as a penalty to a sorcerer that is not the binding partner.

    Which brings up something else. Spawn can only produce demons that add up to the power of the parent demon. Once that is done, the parent cannot produce any more until one of the spawn is destroyed. I figure that the throne needs you because it can't actually produce what it wants without a true summoning. To really make it fit your vision you'd need to give the Throne cover(Engineer or Weaponmaster or something, conferring to itself)-- edit, actually let's just make the current one Immortal Engineer or something) to allow it to create non demonic tech thingies (robots, weapons or whatever.) Spawn are demonic tech thingies. Truly independent demonic tech thingies it would need you for.(Summon, Bind, etc) You might also want to change Vitality to Warp, unless the throne is conferring vitality to Briseis, in which case you might want to just add Warp.

    We can edit the throne reasonably, We won't redo the binding or anything.
  • Neat scene so far.
  • "Come here then, Ismene."

    Though she speaks to her, Briseis looks past Ismene, eying the drone looming up behind the girl. In warning, she raises her empty right hand and concentrates on the whisper of the Throne's field data in the back of her head. Exposed as her sleeve falls back, a point a couple inches below her wrist begins to glow dully, the light of something against her bone shining redly through muscle and skin.

    She's not sure if she can specifically communicate her displeasure at the drone's presence, but she knows she can at least force the Throne to pay attention to her. She raises her voice enough to reach both across the deck and to the speaking tube inside the hatch, and she directs the machine - the red light symbolizing her hard-won authority over its creator pulsating with her heartbeat.

    "Stand down. No safeguard is needed at this time. Consult with your genitor before further action."

    Though she doesn't show it, she's a little on edge ... she's not entirely sure of her position with regards to the Throne's remotes and drones. Still, she has come to know the thing well enough since its creation - her eyes pick out its characteristics even through the fog, working more from memory than sight.

    [If that's a Will check against the drone, I'd like to use Lore to 'figure out' the drone and maybe get some extra dice. And if the drone's been around for a while, it's not so much of a mystery to her, which might be worth an advantage die. A Past roll might be better than a Will roll, since Princess of the Saar is tied to controlling demon machines (the Throne being part of her family's heritage). But of course ... Will isn't inapplicable, so maybe it's Will and Lore rolled into Past? (c: ]
  • The basic conflict is one of will if you are ordering the spawn to stand down. It wants to do something, you don't want it do that thing. I'm thinking the Past roll is a bit of a stretch, this is more what you understand about this demonic machine right now, and it's not really social status, engineering or pilotry related. I'll give you the Lore roll +1 because it's been around a bit. and another +1 for good rp. vs it's power, any victories rolling into your Will roll.

    So your Lore score plus bonus #DiceRoller(6d10)
    vs Spawn Power #DiceRoller(4d10)
  • ack, bad luck, the spawn wins that roll by two, but we were only looking for rollover so it doesn't matter much. So the next roll is Briseis will vs the Spawn's stamina to see which action goes off first.

    Spawns stamina #DiceRoller(3d10)
    Briseis will #DiceRoller(5d10)
  • So Brieseis gets her command off first, the spawn can either abort to defend vs. Briseis or roll one die to defend and attempt to continue it's action. It will abort and attempt to refuse Briseis order.

    Demon's will #DiceRoller(4d10)
  • Briseis has two victories over the spawn, the spawn must obey

    Ismene looks confused by Briseis words and frightened by the light blazing from Briseis forearm. The spawn stops, it's claws inches away from Ismene. Briseis in the data flow in the back of her mind feels intuitively the creature's attempt to continue with it's mission. But it cannot. Ismene follows Briseis' eyes and suddenly sees the monster behind her, and lets out a short scream as she scrambles to get away from it. Briseis feels the deck beneath her throb, and finds through her connection to the Throne that it seems irritated. The spawn disappears into the mist.

    Ismene looks back at Briseis her complexion nearly as white as the the Princess of the Saar.
  • edited January 2009
    Briseis looks back, eyes sad.

    Her ceramic knife hangs at her side, light and balanced, but she makes no move to draw it as she paces a few steps closer to the other girl. She stops well outside of a blade's reach, the dull red glow pulsation under her flesh fading, then hidden as she shakes her sleeve back down to cover her scarred arm.

    She nods off into the mists, indicating no particular direction:

    "This ship may have a small crew, but we take security very seriously. Take a few breaths. You're running ragged, and you want to be thinking clearly if you're planning on putting up a fight."
  • I'm going to roll Briseis victory over the spawn into a will roll to see if Ismene is going to back off of her craziness.

    Briseis will + 2 victories + 1 for some nice narration. #DiceRoller(8d10)
    vs Ismene's will #DiceRoller(5d10)
  • Almost, but lost by a hair. Damn she's stubborn.

    Ismene stands up from the crouch she was in, slighly unsteady, and does take a deep breath. And, keeping her gaze on Briseis, she slowly pulls her ornate ceramic long knife from its scabbard. "Please don't make me do this," she pleads, voice a little desperate. "Just swear you won't come and I'll leave. I know you're a woman of honor. Please."

    In her mind Briseis sanses the field data is flashing by in an agitated fashion, and she can hear the slight raise in the tone of the engines.
  • edited January 2009
    She spreads her hands a little away from her sides, palms open in a gesture of defenselessness.

    "Do you know, I have never fought a duel? Have you? I remember my father did once, and one of my brothers, several times. It is different from a battle - in skirmishes, you attack when the winds are in your favor, fall back when they are not. A duel is more dangerous, I think. There is no room for strategy ... if you fail, you have your life on the line."

    "I'm interested to know: what will you do if I refuse to fight you over this?"
  • "Re.. refuse to fight?" Ismene looks somewhere between perplexed and scandalized. "You can't refuse. You can't! You are the princess of your people. You would dishonor both your nation and your ancestors. If you refuse, I... No! You must fight! Draw your knife or surrender to my conditions!"
  • ooh, refuse to follow the dueling tradition.. I wonder if that ties into our humanity definition of community..
  • edited January 2009
    I'm not so sure. Our humanity definition is really centered around whether you support a community or bring harm to it. I'm not sure this applies. But if you want to elaborate, I'd be interested in hearing it.
  • edited January 2009
    Briseis' lips thin.

    "Of course I can refuse. Don't be ridiculous ... your sense of propriety does not deny me my free will."

    "In any case, none of the options you present me with are honorable. According to your assessment, I must either kill you or turn my back on Balun. Either way, I would be betraying your father's trust after he took such a risk to extend it to me, despite the stories he must have heard about me."

    "I suppose it would work out if I fought you and died, but you'll forgive me if I don't care to waste my life in a duel with you. I have more important tasks, and I believe my people will forgive me for it. It is, after all, for their memory that I labor."

    "So. Please. Answer the question properly."
  • Ismene looks frustrated, tears begin to roll down her face. "I have the right to kill you where you stand." she says, "whether you defend yourself or not." She grits her teeth. Her hands tense up on her dueling knife. Then she slumps, dropping the knife to the deck and covering her face. "I can't do it. You're too much like my sister. My father loves you. And you honor him." She bends and picks up the knife again, nicks her hand with the blade, and lets the blood drip off her hand to the deck of the Flower "The blood is spilled." She says, her voice beginning to heave with sobs as she sinks to her knees, head bowed. "Our quarrel i-is done. I ap-pologize for my insult. Fo-Forgive me."
  • Hmmm.... I really should have been using a few dice rolls there. Got caught up in the drama.
  • edited February 2009
    ping
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