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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav at night roared and screamed in his sleep with four diffrent voices, his dreams are struggle of personalities.

    He rested, but his spirit is stormy. He is quite silent, sipping any drink he can get his hand on.
    "I am Starispav Kalchugevski. A Bogatyr' he say with a pant.
    "I follow a g'heroic path of my motherland, which can be summarized easyly enough- be strong and aid the weak and those in need." he pause.
    "I struggle with a beast within, so I follow Rem' pure k'heart, and this is enough for me.'
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem relaxes herself as she takes a breath. "When my companion and I first came here to Gongfang, we were greeted with sights none too common -- slavery, banditry, corruption. We first set out to defeat Big Foot Zu at his manor, where we arrested him and broke his ring of slavery."

    She closes her eyes and remarks, "Now, it is becoming clear to me that we cannot tolerate Magistrate Li's dealings further - not the way he exists as a part of a greater scheme of tribute to the governor, nor his dealings with Real Man Xiao. Your followers have asked us to show proof that we are willing to move against Li, and we have disrupted his men's looting so that we may distribute it for the welfare of all."

    The Golden Lord also asks of their doctrine, and she looks to Starislav and nods.

    "... I do. Ever since I was mortal and young, I lived a life that knew no choice. A life governed by the fear of when we would be devoured by eldritch beasts should the Curse-Eaters not deem us worthy of saving. A life governed by fickle nobility, who would treat those lesser as less than human."

    She closes her eyes.

    "But I am also a healer of the Merciful Hand, and that has led me to believe in the strength of the human spirit, and its capacity for love and empathy. ... I believe in the greatness that can come when the common people are free, and allowed to be compassionate and understanding, enlightened and empowered. I am by my personal nature non-violent, and seek those methods when I can. But even I know that there can be no true peace within the systems that bind us right now, and that change must happen."

    She opens them again, looking firmer as her wings raise up.

    "There are so many intangible things that shackle the will of human beings and rob us of freedom of choice; temptation by position and wealth; the great enablement of cruelty brought upon by desperation. A system that enslaves us all. I have seen many a person here believe there is no better way to live than to be cruel to others, because that despair has taken over them. To bring about change that people may be free; to redeem those that we can."

    She then requests:

    "We are still small, and must move within the shadows. But we seek to topple the Magistrate's machinations that we may liberate the land. We request allyship with you and your disciples."

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Listening to Starislav's explanation, the Golden stays as stoic as ever, yet when Rem describes her situation and ideals, he for the first time shows a clear reaction. Slowly, his mouth twists into a satisfied, almost appraising smile, lacking warmth but seeming genuine all the same.

    "You have much yet to learn from your teacher, Bogatyr." The moment that Rem is done talking, he speaks up again, though his eyes do not leave the goddess' gaze. "By thinking only to aid the weak, you rob them of the chance to grow strong in their own right. You too build shackles of corruption that bind them to this world." Every word he speaks sounds chillingly cold. The disapproval just drips from them.

    "You, however, Rem, speak wisely. You understand the inner strength of the human soul, and that it must be nurtured." Compared to his disappointment at Starislav, the Golden Lord now sounds almost warm, yet his tone still carries steady harshness with it. "Though there is much you still have to learn to become truly enlightened, I appreciate the quick action that you took. Big Feet Zu was a festering corruption upon the people, and without his funds, the magistrate will be easier to trap and strike down. While his soul will be redeemed in the fires of hell, here in the worldly realms my work can advance."

    That last thing that the Golden Lord almost makes you tilt your heads. While indeed hell used to be a place of redemption and cleansing for the souls of mortals, it has not been like that for a thousand years, ever since the shattering, when humanity made war on the heavens. Every child knows that hell houses the angelic hosts, who use the flames to punish any human soul they are able to get their hands on for all eternity. The fact that the Golden Lord seems unaware of this is troubling.

    "The Unfettered Will teaches us that in this world we are corrupted by our bonds. Comfort enchains, and ties bind. They distract us from the strength that rests within the human spirit, and weaken the inner self. Only by achieving purity of will can we achieve enlightenment and become truly masters of our own destiny."

    Suddenly, he explodes into motion, swinging out of his meditative position and jumping up to stand. His form towering over you, he nonetheless extends one massive hand towards you. "Let us work together and amass the strength we need to topple the magistrate and the governor above him. My only demand is that you allow me to spread my teachings unopposed.

    However, I would also make a request of you. Do not gift the wealth that you stole to the people. Let us use to purchase weaponry, or for any other useful purpose. If none exist, at least destroy it. Do not bring weakness to the people who seek your guidance."
    Though his voice is as stern as ever, you do not hear any threats in what he asks. Through it all, his hand stays extended, beckoning you to take.

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    Merry Christmas, you too! Hope you're having a good holiday time.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-12-24 at 04:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Starislav doesn't look impressed.
    "You talk big words, golden boy. But the end, after we look into what you are actually suggesting, you just want to be the new magisrate, aren't you?' he pause.
    "We bogatyrs don't waste energy on long winded speeches. We act. We have personal responsibility to do what is right. We don't think ourselves as better- we are gifted with bravery and power. If others are inspired- so be it. You want to decide for the people what to think. You want their obidence, their money. You want your authority unquestioned."
    He point at him accusingly.
    "What make YOU, diffrent from the magistrate? I am a simple man. A good teacher would be able to explain it to me!'
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  5. - Top - End - #275
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    The Golden Lord slowly retracts his hand, the smile suddenly disappearing from his face. Instead, he now glares at Starislav, brows furrowed deep. When their eyes meet, the bogatyr takes a reflexive step back, the full impact of the other deity's inhuman intensity suddenly on him.

    Spoiler: Starislav
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    Though you are still in control of yourself, a cold shiver still runs down your spine. The Golden Lord has a powerful presence, one that you feel he is not even fully utilizing yet. This palpable strength of will is likely one of his greatest assets.


    "The Unfettered Will forbids me such attachments. A simpleminded fool such as you should understand that much." Spitting these words, the Golden Lord clasps his hands together for a moment and audibly cracks his knuckles. "I am the only one who remains to carry on these teachings. The only one who can bring down the corrupt men that almost destroyed them! It is my duty to do so. Any who would stand in my way will be destroyed without hesitation."

    His confidence that he could do as he threatens is clear, though neither of you is so sure of that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem doesn't interject in Starislav's response, nor in the Golden Lord's own opinion. Though the Golden Lord seems to have mistaken her for his teacher (in a sense), it seems clear that she values his own opinion highly, as well as that of his own struggle with his inner beast; even a god who only sees one viewpoint risks tunneling into a vision that could corrode the world.

    "... of your request," Rem answers, "I will pay those that have rendered us services thusly - I do not take my word lightly. But I otherwise agree. We will need useful tools and arms for the coming battles... but I will be clear that I view other goods such as books, quills, instruments and other such needs as important as any halberd or sword. I want my people learned and able to reason for themselves, after all."

    But there was something that bothered her...

    "Golden Lord, if I may," Rem speaks up. "As you know, I bear the visage of an angel. In my first days of achieving this state of apotheosis, I feared greatly. Had I become an emissary of hell, as was taught to me? All know that hell houses the angelic hosts, ever since the shattering."

    She lowers her head.

    "To hear you speak of hell as a place to redeem mortals... has my understanding of our history been wrong?"

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I understand, that you are greedy and power k'hungry bastard. Starislav back off just a bit.
    "I believe in actions. And the actions you imply and expect doesn't draw you in a good light, goldy boy.'he turn to Rem.
    "You can't trust k'his words. He want to use us'
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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Though still visible enraged by Starislav's taunts, the Golden Lord's expression changes oddly when Rem brings up the topic of the angels. For a moment his certainty wavers, and he looks almost concerned, as though a painful revelation has just hit him.

    "The....deceivers have retreated into hell?" he asks, breathlessly at first. But with each word, his tone becomes fiercer and booming, yet ever so slightly shakier. "No, your understanding of history may be better than mine. But if the situation is truly so dire..."

    Suddenly, he rears back his head and gives a horrible mixture of scream and roar, filled with wrath and anguish. The grass beneath your feet bends under the weight of his emotion and the force of his shout, and even you have to brace for a moment.

    "WHAT HELLISH NEW WORLD HAVE I AWOKEN TO?!? FIRST TO LEARN THAT THE CORRUPT INVADERS TORE DOWN OUR RIGHTEOUS PATH, AND NOW THE ANGELS HOLDING A THOUSAND YEARS WORTH OF SOULS?!?

    I WILL NOT ALLOW IT!!!"


    Breathing heavily, he directs his gaze at the ground, fists clenched tight at his sides. For a moment, it seems as though even Starislav's words are forgotten in the Golden Lord's sheer rage at the heavens. Among the trees around you, you catch glimpses of his scarred monks peeking out, perhaps drawn by their master's outrage. They don't attack for now, but it's not question whose side they would pick if it came to a fight.

    Finally, the Golden Lord manages to calm himself somewhat, though his voice still remains more booming and ominous than before. It seems as though he is now in a rather foul mood. "Much time has passed since I last walked this realm. Far too much time! I don't care what you think, worm." That insult he spits directly at Starislav. "The power you were gifted blinds you to the will those who would rise above their station through their own will. To give them that chance, I must rebuild. And to free them from the angels, I will rebuild!"

    Spoiler: Starislav
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    Deep down, you feel it. Whatever the Golden Lord is ranting about, he truly seems to believe it. It's a kind of devotion to justice that you know all too well, though his definition of it seems to differ from your own.


    Even as he shouts his declaration, you can't help but wonder. If what he is saying is true, it would imply that he has last walked the realm before the angels took ahold of hell, which would make him at least a thousand years old. Yet, only true divinity would make a living being able to bridge that sort of timespan.

    Spoiler: Rem
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    Your education in matters magical is far from complete, of course, but you do know at least that there are some few, esoteric, theurgic ways for a person to attain immortality. You doubt that the Golden Lord utilized any that you know of, since most of them are too spiritually inefficient. Had he used them, he would either be horrible mutated at this point, or would have had to sacrifice thousands of mortal souls to sustain himself, which would probably have been noticed. If he is a living human, only true divinity is on the table.


    Averting his gaze for a moment, he directs a few words at Rem. "Rest easy at least, Redeemer Rem. You are no angel, that much I can tell. You are too human to be one. Much like the fiction of kind guardians they used to teach us before we saw the throne of heaven..." There is a bitterness to what he says.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-12-28 at 10:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav calm down just a little bit.
    "Um. Maybe you are k'honest. But the path you take, will lead you to tyranny, angels or not. Anyway, I am trusting Rem. You are fishy, and smell from self rightonuse. I don't trust you. But if Rem is willing to work with you, I'l tolerate your antics... until you will cross the line."
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem frowns just for a moment, as the Golden Lord's surprise comes genuinely; was her understanding of history truly more informed? That came as a surprise to her, but--

    The roar catches her off-guard, for a moment. There is a quiet flinch from the Godbound, as she hears his anguish.

    What did it mean? Her gaze casts off to where his monks peek out, and she gestures towards them in peace for a moment. But her mind is elsewhere. What did it mean, that the Golden Lord has this memory? What does it mean, for him to be more than a thousand years old? If it is truly divinity at work here... how does that differ from their own surfacing divinity?

    ... was this a fate that they were all condemned to, sooner or later?

    She is relieved, however, that Starislav relents; she quietly responds, "We have greater tasks at present than to be at each other's throats. And I..." She looks to the Golden Lord. "Have much to still learn, at that. Of the world, of divinity... there is so much more that eludes my sight still."

    The Golden Lord reassures her, fatiguedly, however: that she is no angel. She is more like fiction, of the human conception of kind guardians. Her expression softens. "... those are relieving words indeed, Golden Lord, and I will not forget them."

    A pause.

    "I have a small request in turn. I would like to visit your people, and do my work as a healer and aid them from any illness and grant succor. Would that be permissible?"

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    The Golden Lord hesitates for a moment, weighing his choices on how to go forward. It's obvious that he is still boiling, though again it seems to be directed less at Starislav rather than the overall circumstances. Eventually, he crosses his arms, firmly making his case.

    "In exchange for using your funds on more practical means, I will allow you to travel my camps and heal the injuries and illnesses of my people. However-" For a moment, he raises his head and glares down at you. "-I do not trust you enough yet to allow you entrance to our holy sanctum. Besides, my disciples there must learn to overcome their pain, and you would offer too convenient of a relief for my lessons be effective."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Rem could do this as a Village-Scale Plausible Change, costing a total of 1 Influence to keep up in her downtime. Luckily, she still has 2 points of influence left, I think.

    According to my calculations, by the by, Starislav should also have 1 point of Influence left. Feel free to tell me if he wants to do anything with that.

    In any case, you two should write down how much influence you've got committed on your sheets.


    "If this should suit you, then there is another thing I must know. What will be the next steps of your plan? I have been biding my time so far, training my followers for the inevitable conflict with the corrupt regency, but we do not have the numbers to make a first strike quite yet."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Very well," Rem quietly nods. "There is much I still do not know of your doctrine, and I am open to learning of your ways as well, Golden Lord." She bows quietly, and then nods quietly to Starislav.

    Then the Golden Lord asks a question. What are the next steps to their plan?

    "I had heard news of how Governor Jiang has been ordering Magistrate Li to send people -- slaves and lawbreakers both -- to Real Man Xiao, the... 'Ephemeral Sage'. I find this news troubling, and if he is using people to his own means, then I must stop him." She further explains, "Optimistically, if there are many enslaved or captive under his influence, freeing them should add to our numbers further."

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    The Golden Lord remains silent in the face of Rem's diplomatic efforts, concentrating on the more immediate matters instead. "Indeed. My followers have told me about this theurge. Though I can only guess at the extent of his actions, he represents the very worst of the corruption of the Ren invaders."

    The Ren, as you two are well aware, are the ancient people that the modern Dulimbaians, Toba, and Kasirutans all descend from. Indeed, they were once an invading force in the days before the Shattering, and the conflicts between Patria and Dulimbai can be traced back all the way to those ancient times. However, few modern people would seriously consider the Dulimbaians to be invaders any longer. However, if the Golden Lord is indeed as old as he seems to be, then judging by his looks he may be one of the ancient Akeh, who were driven from these lands and enslaved by the Ren. Their descendants nowadays inhabit Patria, Vissio, the Oasis States, and the sadly destroyed Ancalia.

    "I've thus far been unable to strike at him. For one, his sorcerous skill is considerable, and he may present a threat still too dangerous to overcome on my own. That aside, there is the matter of locating his monastery. It is hidden behind layers of theurgic illusion and ritual that I am ill-suited to breach. Even your wings will not carry you there so long as you do not possess a way to defeat his magic." To emphasize his point, he points his finger at Rem's feathered appendages. "Should you have the means, however, I would join you in destroying this villain."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav think and then blurt.
    "What if we came from underground? To dig a tunnel. Those stupid mists won't get there, right?'
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    "Do you know nothing of magic?" Though his voice stays low, there is something very obviously exasperated to it. "This is no mere screen he has laid down. The auspicious wards that surround his monastery confuse the very soul of any who would approach. No matter what angle you approach from, these illusions will make you lose your way."

    Spoiler: Rem
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    Once again, you are no expert, but what he says sounds plausible given what you know about theurgy. A well-trained sorcerer could probably affect such rituals, given enough time and certain valuable materials. Mistress Zhou possessed neither the power nor the wealth to ever show you anything of the sort, though.


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    Old Bogatyr legends do tell of powerful enchantments like these, used by cruel and villainous sorcerers who were of course always defeated by righteous, noble heroes in the end. While in some of these tales the heroes find a loophole that lets them bypass the spell, in many others they simply trick the evil wizards into revealing the method by which they pass through their own ward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem regards the conversation for a moment, and the Golden Lord's explanation of how his theurgical barrier protects him. "... the Magistrate mentioned something," she brings up. "A pupil, called Perfected Woman Wen. She was going to come down the mountain soon, to collect more people. There may be an opportunity there, whether through subterfuge or other means. If we are able to pretend to be interested in his doctrine... would she guide us to him?"

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    "I can trick k'here. I... k'have enough darkness within. I could ask for 'kher advice, in exchange of service.;
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    "Service? I see." the Golden Lord says, taking another moment to think your suggestion over. "The sorcerer is a recluse, and I've not heard of him showing his face in town. It will difficult without knowing what he is after, but that student may be his only weak spot, so we must use her."

    With a sudden motion, he swirls around, facing away from you with crossed arms. "Go then! And send me a sign once you have learned how to pierce his guard. I shall join you as fast as I can." There is a certain sound of finality to what he's saying. If there's anything else you want to bring up with him, it'd be best to do so now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "There is... one other thing I wanted to bring up," Rem speaks. She produces the jade pendant that they were able to uncover in Big Foot Zu's manor. "This pendant... it has a similar resonance with the wheel you bear. Something about it speaks to my spark of divinity, yet I am uninformed about what it may be. Do you know more about what these are?"

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    Starislav relucantly nodded.
    He didn't trusted the Golden Lord. He was sure, sooner or later he'l have to kill him.
    He has examined the Golden Lord's neck, calcukating from which angle to cut it best.
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    At your request, the Golden Lord gives a surprised grunt before turning around. He eyes the amulet that you hold carefully, and puts a hand against his chest when Rem speaks of the similarity that it holds with the cogwheel embedded in him.

    "Are you not a healer? How terrible the arts must have degenerated for you to be unaware...." Shaking his head, he straightens his stance. "These items we both bear are pieces of heaven, Celestial Shards. When the people of our world learned of the deceptions of the angels, we tore through their realms, destroying celestial engines and breaking apart their unholy artifacts. Celestial Shards are what remains of those powerful relics."

    As he continues, there is a slight hint of a smile on his face. "But we did not destroy for the sake of destruction. Surely you have felt the power that these fragments still hold. From them, we built anew, creating marvels and machines worthy of a true heaven. True Gods were built from them, perfect exemplars of our ideals. Whole nations were granted inhuman powers. Even a single one of them contains a vast amount of divine power." His expression very serious, he sternly points at you. "Whether you decide to build something from yours, or take its power for yourselves, I would advice keeping it close until you have made the decision. Those who know the nature of a Celestial Shard are sure to covet it."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    In game terms, Celestial Shards are required if you want to build Impossible artifices like floating castles or divine artifacts, or if you want to enact Impossible transformations upon mortals like granting a whole village super strength or turning them into half-dragons. You have to pay Celestial Shards in addition to the regular Dominion/Influence cost of the change you want to enact, in any case.

    Alternatively, you can always just break a Celestial Shard to gain an immediate 4 points of Dominion, which you can use however you wish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  22. - Top - End - #292
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I see..." Rem quietly nods, bowing her head. "Thank you, for that knowledge. And yes, you are correct. I can feel a powerful, dormant energy. We will not use it frivolously."

    She bows again and excuses herself, expressing, "Thank you for your time today, Golden Lord. We will send a signal when we have discovered a way into Real Man Xiao's abode."

    With the conversation complete, Rem would go about with her task as promised -- visiting the communities of the Golden Lord to work her typical miens as a healer. It isn't just wounds and illness that she treats; she spends time with the downtrodden of emotion and soul as well, knowing that while she can't be their long-term counselor, hopefully she can provide a bit of guidance and inspiration where it may be lacking.

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    I'll spend that point of Influence as mentioned before doing this task!
    Last edited by Merilan; 2020-01-12 at 03:11 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #293
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav nod and follow along
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    "Make haste, Redeemers. There is much that needs to be done." Once more, the Golden Lord turns to leave, moving away with heavy, echoing steps. Soon, he disappears from sight, though you can still hear him for some time. It's tough to say whether he is being deliberate, or this is just a result of his massive size, however. As he disappears, you find that the oppressive feeling you've had fades too, and you can breath a little more easily. God or no god, there is no denying his intense power and presence.

    On your way back, Rem does take some time to go out of her way to visit what few camps are nearby. It's strange. Her schedule feels as though it should be utterly crushing and impossible to perform, yet somehow she has the stamina and time to fit it all into her days. She is approaching her limit, she feels, yet it is not really a matter of exhaustion. Rather, it is a simple awareness of the extent of her power.

    Starislav too gets a similar feeling. It's a low awareness, nagging at the back of his mind. He could potentially do more yet. A particularly wyrmic part of him even seems to hunger for him to truly express the extent of his powers. Though it's an easy enough sensation to ignore for now, there is always potential to do more.

    The cultists in the Golden Lords tents, in any case, seem glad for Rem's visits, though few are willing to open fully to her. Part of it seems to be an initial distrust that will surely be overcome in time, but another part seems to be the teachings of their deity. These people cling firmly to their faith, and to the idea of overcoming their limitations on their own. Though their ideals seem more shaky than those of the monks or the Golden Lord himself, they still seem to value them. But even so, her healing touch eases many of their little ills, and a foundation of cooperation is laid. As she leaves, the young goddess even spots a few smiles on these hardened faces.

    The rest of the day passes fairly uneventfully, even as the Redeemers express great joy that the negotiations with the Golden Lord went well. Walking among them, there is an atmosphere of excitement mixed with a nervous energy. Even Ming and Po seem to be infected by it, both only able to comment on how quickly everything is moving along. The way your followers look at you betrays the great expectations they have, which have brought their morale to an all-time high.

    There is something odd that you notice about their reports, however. Many of them tell about local families suddenly being burdened with long-unseen family members, most of which are rumored to have rather unsavory pasts. It's all happened very suddenly, and somehow you get the feeling that Starislav's anti-banditry measures may be the cause. After all, those bandits had to go somewhere. Something tells you it may be good to keep an eye on how well these ruffians will take regular work, and who will take them on.

    Awakening refreshed on the next morning, you ready yourselves for the arrival of Perfected Woman Wen. As you recall, Magistrate Li will be preparing some of the prisoners you have taken at Big Feet Zu's hideout to be given to her as students. This handoff will take place on the plaza before the yamen, though it should not be too difficult to intercept the sorcerer's disciple at a prior point, or even to catch her while she's leaving. Whatever you decide on, this will be your only chance to meet her in a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  25. - Top - End - #295
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem quietly breathes out and regards that encounter for a moment. How divine beings wash against each other, their presences clashing against one another. Attempting to exert power upon one another by virtue of their being... was conflict inevitable? She would like to think not.

    She does assist through the camp; and she understands that acceptance can't be had in a single day. She understood that long before she became a goddess, and she doesn't expect that to change just because she has attained divinity -- no, even, that she doesn't want it. There are so many examples where instant acceptance winds up being quite false...

    But those smiles spur her onward. If these people have something to believe in, then she'll encourage that, even if it's not her own beliefs. Because letting people choose what they wish to believe in on their own is core to her own principles.

    She hears Ming and Po's reports, though, and how local families have been receiving long-unseen family members and those with unsavoury pasts; she reassures them that she'll assist where she can - some people need some help to overcome their pasts, and others other kinds of encouragements.

    But the next morning has come...

    "Starislav. You said that you had a plan... so I will let you take the lead on this one, and assist you where I can, if that is all right?" Rem asks, as they wait at the designated place.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starisav nod
    'Well, it quite simple. I will expose my dark power, and ask for aid to control it. Do you 'khave any idea 'khow to improve it?'
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "How subtle could you make it?" Rem ponders. "I think it would be good if we could weave something in the background, so we could gather some information from her first." She doesn't quite feel right springing it on someone without knowing what they were like first, too. She could just be relatively innocent, like how a lot of the people Real Man Xiao gathers are just slaves that Magistrate Li sent... she doesn't know right now.

  28. - Top - End - #298
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I must admit, being subtle isn't one of my stronger points.'.Starislav sigh.
    "I am actually quite terrified I will... lose myself. But this is the best this old rotten brain can think of.'
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  29. - Top - End - #299
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    Mindful that you should be ready at the yamen square before Perfected Woman Wen arrives, lest you miss her, you leave Ming's home with great haste soon after sunrise. The young commoner watches your departure, offering heartfelt wishes of good luck and some friendly warnings as you go. "Be on your wits, you two. Even a weak sorcerer can have some nasty tricks up their sleeves." Though her words are unusually careful, they are filled with certainty. You are well aware of the reason why. Not few tales speak of the cruel fates foolish men and women have suffered at the hands of mages they sought to outwit.

    Striding along the streets of Gongfang, you are aware of the conspiratory glances many of the xiaoren throw you. Redeemers and other sympathetic locals are slowly becoming plentiful, mostly among the lower classes. The foreign merchants and other visitors of this trade town do look at you more apprehensively, some averting their gaze. There is a slightly nervous neutrality to how they're acting. And the less said about the guards, the better. With a whole regiment of them having gone missing, they are twitchier than ever, throwing suspicious glares left and right and acting more roughly than usual. Change is in the air. You can feel it.

    Eventually, you arrive at the yamen, where once again a row of people in pure white robes and black caps has been rounded up just like on the day you first arrived, with Magistrate Li holding a similar long-winded speech to them as he did back then. Once more, guards flank him, looking quite a lot more bored than their companions in the rest of the town. However, one thing is quite different. The men that have been designated as Real Man Xiao's new students are an invariable rough-looking bunch, many of whom are quite clearly a bit too large for their uniforms. Standing still with terrified expressions on their faces, they look quite a lot like they did when you first met them in Big Feet Xu's compound and arrested the lot of them. It seems the magistrate has made good on his word to at least not pick any xiaoren for a journey they will not come back from.

    "-that despite your criminal records, you may yet serve your country and redeem yourselves for the glory of your families!" the thickly bearded magistrate prattles on, finally reaching the end of his speech. "Show us that you possess the filial devotion we believe you possess, and freedom may yet be yours! This is your last, and greatest chance! Proof that you have earned it!" As he winds down, there are some polite claps from his constables which overall only serve to make the atmosphere even more pitiful and miserable.

    Visibly holding back from a sigh, Li approaches you, guards always close to him. His expression quickly takes on a trained neutral state, the kind that is deliberately hard to read. "There you are! Wen should arrive soon, so we've got little time to talk. But do know that I appreciate your initiative in this matter." It's clear he's not willing to go into more detail about your plans in public, but you figure that you could still ask him some questions right now if you wanted to. "However, there is a matter I must discuss with you at a later point. Come see me after this other matter has been dealt with." There is a slight harshness to his tone. Once more you get the feeling that this was not an offer.

    After this, Li grows rather more silent, staying evasive in regards to just what he meant. The arrival of Wen, he emphasizes, is of foremost importance right about now. As such, you wait for several more minutes, before finally the taoist herself arrives on the scene.

    Steadily walking down the street comes a young, ren women wrapped in a flowing white robe and wearing a black cap with two long tassels on her pitch-coloured, carefully bound hair. Her soft, triangular features are accentuated by a warm, confident smile, and her arms are firmly clasped in front of her as she walks with an almost ritualistic certainty. At her side, she carries a short, curved sword, adorned with charms and carved with Dulimbaian script.

    Spoiler: Rem
    Show
    It's difficult to make out what is written on the sword from a distance, but what you glance and what you know about taoist magic tells you these must be memorial texts pleading the spirits of the blade to grant it magical power. If they are competently made, this ritual sword must be a magical weapon.


    Coming to a stop at the yamen, she bows deeply before the magistrate, and then, surprisingly, before you. "Greetings, honorable Magistrate Li. And greetings to you two, honorable sages of the northern lands. I am Perfected Woman Wen, student of the wise sage Real Man Xiao." Her voice is soft and calm, though there is also a hint of melancholy to it. At this point, she has not thrown a glance at the students that have been gathered, and even Li seems confounded that she actually approached you.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; Yesterday at 02:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  30. - Top - End - #300
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Ming's warning does not come lightly to Rem, so to say -- while she was no sorceress of her own, she knows the spells that the Merciful Hand granted, and with that comes the warning enough of people who would abuse that power to their own ends.

    The air in Gongfang is different -- the air is changing. There is energy where there was only despair. The classes of those who seek to benefit are looking more and more apprehensive. There is a difference, a tide coming. They are changing things. And Rem feels emboldened by this.

    The pick of those who are to be Real Man Xiao's students quietly distress her, however. To throw away prisoners at the beseech of the Governor... there is so much that needs to be uprooted. "I see," Rem quietly answers of Li when he talks about his matter. They'll need to move very carefully. It's the next few moments that are most important... but having the assistance of the Golden Lord was a great victory for them.

    Wen's arrival surprises her a moment, however -- perhaps it's her empathic sense that catches that melancholy in her voice, more than anything else. Like perhaps she sees a little of herself in her, someone who had to contort and twist herself into something smiling and approachable, soft and calm, yet incapable of wholly suppressing the sorrow underneath.

    "I am the angel Rem," Rem bows in turn. "Forgive me my impudence, but I have not heard as much of the sage's work as I ought to. Might you be able to enlighten us further?"

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