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  #46  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 11:55 AM
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"Lady... Ireena." The firey orb goes out, and the man looks very carefully at Mercy. "I... I beg your pardon." Of a sudden, he seems more puzzled than hostile. He glances briefly at Wens, before turning back to Mercy. "Have you... been to Barovia before, milady?" He pays no attention at all to the Rak'ta behind the stocks.

And then Mercy introduces herself, and he blinks. "But...?" He is quite confused. "Lady Ireena...?"

He looks at Primble, who glares at him, before returning to Mercy, and then, finally noticing Rolen's gesture toward his swords. He takes a deep breath, turns to Wens and says "If I were to walk into Barovia Village and interfere in justice dispensed by milady's honored father, I think I would not be met with a gracious welcome. If you wish to visit our village, any of you, you will have to abide by our laws. Come, now, and speak to the Baron, and perhaps we can come to some arrangement that will keep you lot out of the stocks."

He plops the head back on the woman, but meets Mercy's eyes and leaves the boys' heads bare.

"Come," he says, and gestures for the party to follow him down a side street toward an ancient mansion with the plaster flaking off its stone walls.
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  #47  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 12:20 PM
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We're Off to See the Baron!
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"Thank you for your consideration, Mr...?" Herr Doktor Wens says to their "escort."

After the reply, if any, he holds out his arm to Ireena with a smile, saying, "Come, Liebchen, you desired that we should have audience with the baron." She slips his arm into his, and they begin to follow.

Then telepathically to everyone, "Please, let us speak diplomatically to this baron so that we can aid these unfortunates AND be on good terms, if possible. That said, submitting ourselves to his so-called 'justice' is not an option, nor is allowing ourselves to be disarmed. We do not have time for such, nor can we afford the risk."

If he Perception 5. Wens has to be within 30 ft and be able to see creature for telepathy. Only sees her if she shows herself.catches sight of the hidden Arquiztex, "If you have not been seen by these guards, stay hidden and at liberty in case we need your help. I will cover for your absence."

 


 
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  #48  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 05:50 PM
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Mercy Petreva, Human Light ClericSo, she is to be reprimanded publicly, in front of this cruel man, by their leader, for trying to help a tormented child. And now she is expected to get into line and follow along, to lick the boots of this man's master.

Arquiztex has slipped into the shadows. Good. A hidden ally. Hopefully Primble will also be able to avoid the man's notice. She wasn't introduced to him as part of Wens & Co. She tries to communicate with Primble and with Rolen, with her eyes. Who knows if they are picking up what she's putting down? She takes the time to add to her mental to-do list finding a way to block Wens from telepathically scolding her, and a way to get this telepathic scolding ability that he has, for herself!

"I apologize for disrupting the execution of your justice," she says, dripping diplomacy and sweetness to the man with the fire hand. "It's just that the sight of the children being punished has me so rattled. You have been so kind in taking off their masks. But I'm afraid I can't leave them like this. May I volunteer, as a gesture of regret for my misbehavior, and in the interest of carrying out the punishment as it was determined by your ruler, to take the place of this child here? You can put me in the stocks. I won't fight, or bite, or even scratch or scream," she says with all the coy grace she can muster. In her melodious alto. With her eyes downcast. Her chest rises and she lets out a gentle sigh, and then she angles her eyes back up to beg: "If you will only release this child and put me in his place."

The thought, the idea, makes her want to vomit, curse, cry, explode, beg, and scream. The flirty words coming out her mouth make her feel like she's dribbling sour milk, she can taste the words as if they've curdled on her lips. But. She can't turn her back on these kids. It's too pathetic. And she doesn't want to go dance around a drawing room in some Baron's mansion. She would rather -- this.

If Arquiztex is hidden, maybe after the man is gone, the lizard will save her from it. If Primble stays free, the girl may be able to circle back around and let her out. If they can't, if she has to stay here, then. Then she will pray.
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  #49  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 07:15 PM
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  #50  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 07:22 PM
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Arquiztex
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”Arquiztex Thurkar” by @ThePsysquatch


Well, this is interesting, Arquiztex thinks.

She decides the letter can and should wait a few more minutes until she can move out of the shadows without being noticed by the official ... plus she's curious to see whether or not Mercy is stockaded.

Moral dilemma time—well, such as it is for a Rak'ta. If Mercy takes the place of a child and Arquiztex helps her escape, would the child then be punished for the escape? Or would Mercy? And how would that affect Arquiztex' decision to help or not help with an escape.

Well, this is interesting, Arquiztex thinks again.






 



 





It's okay. I get it. Stealth mode. Silent as a tongue-tied toad.

 

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  #51  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 07:27 PM
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Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
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Herr Doktor Wens loses a beat at Mercy's offer to the guard. Does she not understand what I am trying to do? Apparently not. She is becoming as dangerously impulsive as Sylvi, he thinks. It angers him. Not for the first time, she has put them and their cause in danger foolishly. He has a mind to let her follow through with this plan, if the guard agrees, and give her some thinking time in the stocks. But no, he cannot leave her here, alone, unable to cast magic or wield a weapon if the Old Tick or his henchman appears.

Stopping in the road, Ireena on his arm, he casts a Guidancediscrete spell for better insight. Then he says to the guard captain(?), catching his attention and motioning toward Mercy, "Her heart overflows with tenderness, as you can see, and she will not be moved," with a sly look at the captain that says, "Women! Whatchya gonna do!?" "Can we pay a fine on behalf of the adults and the children for their release? Or perhaps a contribution to one of the baron's charities? Simply advise us on which to choose. Or if you must defer to the baron, can we bring these prisoner's with us to our audience?"

Herr Doktor Wens is literally quivering with anticipation. What kind of fellow is this? Are he and his master more greedy or domineering? Or is this man more bluster than courage, ready to fold rather than risk further insult to a noble woman? He doubts the latter. And will his comrades have enough sense to guard their tongues? Will all devolve to violence?

 


 
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  #52  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 08:16 PM
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Arquiztex
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”Arquiztex Thurkar” by @ThePsysquatch


Now the doktor is quivering, Mercy is begging for arrest, Primble is dilly-dallying and Rolen is too pure to get involved in this mess ... yet.

Well, this is interesting, Arquiztex thinks one more time as she continues to watch from the shadows.



 



 





I feel a croak! coming on. I'm a method actor, can't help it.

 

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  #53  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 08:17 PM
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Will it all devolve into violence? Primble thinks, avid with hope. Flames prickle under her skin. The slime is out of her way for the nonce, and Oh! She is free to burn. If she is called to it! She waits, to see which way the wind blows. Or blows up.

And yet, half of her wants to blow up Dr. Wens. She is from Lalum. She recognizes that sly look, man to man, he gives the guard. A look that says, “OH, A LADY-STYLE PERSON IS HAVING STUPID LADY FEELINGS! HAR HAR LET US BELITTLE THAT, TOGETHER, IN OUR SLY MAN WAY. NOTHING TO TAKE SERIOUS HERE. LET US YOU AND I WITH UNEXPLODED WEENUS CHATTING WORK IT OUT TOGETHER, AS MEN DO.

Such dismissal. In Lalum, this is how women are treated --- when they are young and pretty and newest pet. Later, they are just beaten. Later still, they are always, always silent. She looks to Ireena, a nobleman’s daughter, used to being heard and treated with respect---she hopes Ireena sees this and understands the devolving chain of treatment this kind of public dismissal can foretell.

She points a subtle finger and messages Wens, all the while staring at the sky. As if she sees a fascinating bird. If you wish to lead, Doctor, you do not begin by belittling wo---or no---that was second. You began by publicly ordering your cleric to put a punishment mask on a child! Your ploy with the noblewoman would have worked without you kowtowing to evil. You could have simply said the part about the ---ugh! That is my---UGH! Opinion.

She turns and walks quickly away, looking for a trash barrel or alleyway, and then vomits briskly, very businesslike, Blat! Blat! URP! It has been days since having an opinion made her sick, but this moment is so...so very Lalum. Oh! Her vomit has changed. It is greener, and stinks of death. She has not eaten maggots, but here some are, anyway. Interesting.

She has come to understand that Barovia has different ways of breaking her. This throwback to an earlier, afraid Primble, puking like all new necrotic, poisoned Primble dizzies her. Who is she?

But she has walked away, so ---why not keep on walking. She is not sure the man knows she is with the party at all. No one introduced her. She didn't speak. Unless someone stops her, she keeps walking, all they way into the alley. Into cover.

The better to burn you from, my dear.

Should the need arise.



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  #54  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 08:20 PM
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Oh! She's a method actor, too! Very convincing croaking!

 

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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 10:38 PM
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Response to Primble
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Herr Doktor Wens replies to Primble telepathically so that he need not move his lips: "I am flattering this brutish man to our ends. The children will be freed, one way or another. Please, be patient and trust me."

 
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  #56  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 10:52 PM
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Foreign insurgents
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Rolen is still scowling at the man even though his fire is out. This was a crude man who enjoyed his cruel work. What had stayed his hand? Was it Ireena? He seemed almost smitten by her, just like another cruel arrogant man they know. "Justice? Maybe that word means something different in common than it does in elven. Mercy, your actions are pure and noble but, I do not accept this. I do not acknowledge this Baron's laws or justice. But, I would speak to them. I would like to see for myself the kind of person responsible for this. Maybe if you came along your kind heart and wise words would help me understand. Maybe even help us all come to an agreement."

He did not want to leave Mercy here, locked up in a strange village around disparate and desperate people. Rolen replied to Wens mentally. I am sorry, I will not bow to these people. We had to be polite to the Dead Man but these are only humans. We owe this Baron nothing. I will not bow but also I will not start a fight. However, I will only answer violence with violence. If we accept this treatment of children then we legitimize it and I will not stand for that. Who are we to free the little ones from the hags but not other monsters?

Rolen folded his arms over his chest. "Well, maybe the Baron will need to come to us because I will not leave her out here alone. But, know that we don't mean to disturb the peace. On the contrary, we aim to restore it across this grey and blighted land. We've permanently evicted the former owners of the Old Mill and have liberated many children before stopping here."

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  #57  
Old Jan 4th, 2021, 11:06 PM
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Response to Rolen
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Herr Doktor Wens mind is going at a million mile an hours managing all these conversations and motivations at once. "Rolen, let me try diplomacy to free them first. As the saying goes, honey catches more flies than vinegar. And we need allies, even flawed ones."

 
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Old Jan 4th, 2021, 11:22 PM
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Primble messages back:
I will trust you when you understand why I am so angry with you, Herr Doktor Patriarch.

Even her inner voice is fire. She is on a cusp. She teeters. Corrects. She will not start violence. But, oh, if it starts.

It feels good to feel this! To feel at all. She used to love to burn...


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  #59  
Old Jan 5th, 2021, 12:01 PM
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"Izek Strazni," the man replies to Wens's question. "Constable in the service of Baron Vargas Vallakovich."

He's spotted Ireena, now, and he looks back and forth several times between the twins. When Mercy makes her offer, he blinks several times.

"I say again, Madam," he says to her, "that... your kin? ...would not take it well if nobility of Vallaki interfered with justice in Barovia. In any case, you must make your offer to the Baron. He will certainly wish to greet the daughter of Kolyan Indirovich. Come, please. I cannot bring them with us, but you have my word that if the Baron orders them freed, I will return here immediately and loose them from their bonds. It's only in the next street."

He almost speaks to Primble when she walks away, but seeing what she does, he apparently decides not to interfere. Arquiztex he doesn't seem to notice. He cocks an eyebrow at Rolen's claims, but says nothing. He only gestures for the party to follow him down the street.

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Old Jan 5th, 2021, 12:07 PM
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When the constable names himself and his position, Wens offers him a formal nod of the head in acknowledgement. Then Constable Strazni states his terms to them all.

Having seen and heard the depths of his comrades' passion on this issue, and having somehow raised the ire of several, Herr Doktor Wens remains silent for the moment and looks to them, waiting to see how they respond.

 
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