The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Ash:"...but before you start, please send away those ladies, although they can't hear what we're saying, I think you don't really want to hold back what you want to tell me, which be better if they couldn't hear you."
>Rebecca: Your notebook and stylus is primed and ready!

"Before you start," Ash continued, "please send the ladies away. I don't want you to hold back anything you wish to say to me, but you might be tempted to censor yourself with them listening."

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I looked at Vernier (who was regarding me earnestly), Rebecca (who was eagerly poised to take notes), and Burnside (who still seemed lost in a reverie of shock or horror or whatever.)

"Whatever I have to say, these femmes can hear," I replied.

"As you wish," Ash replied blandly. "What do you want to discuss first?"

"Firstly," I began, "the method you gave me for controlling the time skips didn't work. Did you withhold a step? Were those instructions even genuine?"

"My dear boy," Ash huffed, sounding slightly offended. "It did work. Instead of being sent a year or more into the future, it was merely a fortnight. Like any skill, practice makes perfect. Surely I needn't explain that to someone who has studied Gramarye. Once you get the method down, you will be able to step forward by as much or as little time as you please. You will not be able to go back in time, however, and I would strongly caution you from trying. Down that path lies madness."

"Is that so?" I muttered suspiciously.

"Your Highness, I may be many things, but above all I am first and foremost an elf, and elves DO NOT LIE. I would ask that you have the common courtesy to never imply it of me again."

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"Okay, next question," I continued. "Why did you conspire and collude with the rabbits to cut me off from the world like this? If you want to be pardoned back into Faerie, surely putting me in shackles leads away and not toward that goal. Wouldn't it be more advantageous to stay in my good graces? I am less inclined to do you any favors every time you sabotage me."

"The answer to that is simple," Ash sighed. "You never told me not to, and this places me in a much more advantageous bargaining position. Back when I was trying to intimidate you by enumerating all the flimsy ways I might ruin you, did you not consider that I might have been withholding a scheme or two that actually would work? I thought I made it abundantly clear that I had put extensive thought into a double-cross, and you didn't even send spies after me. How many times have you struck deals or cooperated with Unseelie elves, and how many times has it worked out to your advantage? You really should read that book I gave you. Even if you have enough misguided conviction to stay on the Seelie path, at the very least it would benefit you to know how the Unseelie think, and the methods they would use to stab you in the back. You can't just keep relying on luck, otherwise you will keep ending up in places exactly like where you are now. If you ever hope to be emperor, you'd better wise up."
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: "How dare you!" You were trained in secret by the best tutors in the empire! You have gone on many adventures and learned many things! From which ivory tower is "Dr. Cesawonki" the banished and forgotten by history standing in that he can cast judgement on you and deem you unwise? You are not a fool! What exactly can Ash point at that gives him the gall to label you such?
>Vernier and Rebecca: You both takes a step back as the two elves begin raising their voices.
>Ash: Adler's entire life story, in case he's forgotten. All Adler's adventures prove is that he lacks foresight, judgement, planning, and even basic problem solving. The one saving grace that gives Adler even a sliver of merit for the throne is the fact he is the scion of Iraneous. As hard to believe as that is. If Adler truly is going to be emperor, he'd better be a damn good one.
>Adler: This is infuriating. Why does Ash even care? If he truly thinks you are a fool, he should be overjoyed. If Ash helps put a fool on the throne he could easily manipulate you like every other bastard in your life.
>Ash: You care because Faerie needs a good emperor. If even half the things you've heard are accurate, Faerie is sinking into a new dark age, if it isn't already in one. Faerie needs a good emperor because it hasn't had one in a long time. You have been forced to live among the lowfolk for a long time, and you have watched their march of progress. You hate lowfolk, all elves should hate lowfolk. They are coarse, lowly, vulgar, short-lived creatures that are barely a step above animals. Forcing an elf to live among lowfolk is like sealing a beautiful dove inside a barrel of cockroaches. And yet, in some tangled thread of fate, in the great game of civilization, the lowfolk are winning. They're figuring out mass production, they are rewriting the book of warfare with their firearms, and their creature comforts grow by the day. Meanwhile Faerie is in a downward spiral and falling apart at the seams. Every bit of progress they make, every step they take towards the future is a slap in the face of elves everywhere. The status quo is destroyed. This must be fixed.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: "How dare you!" You were trained in secret by the best tutors in the empire! You have gone on many adventures and learned many things! From which ivory tower is "Dr. Cesawonki" the banished and forgotten by history standing in that he can cast judgement on you and deem you unwise? You are not a fool! What exactly can Ash point at that gives him the gall to label you such?
>Vernier and Rebecca: You both takes a step back as the two elves begin raising their voices.

1020hollerin.gif

"Oh that's rich," I scoffed. "Coming from Dr. Cesawonki, banished from Faerie and forgotten by history. What makes you think you can stand there and tell me I'm a bad decision maker?"

"Your entire life story," Ash replied. "The whole of it proves that you lack foresight, judgement, planning, and even basic problem solving skills."

"At least people KNOW why I'm exiled," I interrupted testily. "Nobody has ever even heard of you."

"The only thing in your favor," Ash continued doggedly, "is the fact that, incredible as it seems, you are a scion of Irenaeus. If you're going to be Emperor, you have a lot of shaping up to do."

"Why in the Netherhells do you even care?" I yelled. "If I'm such a fool, you should be delighted! Help put me on the throne and you'll have a stooge you can manipulate to your liking just like everyone else has done all my life."

"That's tellin'im Adler honey," Burnside suddenly exclaimed. "Give 'im - OOOF!"

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"That's two aphids from everyone," Typantronn called out joyously.

"Dagnabbit," Burnside continued after a brief pause, her voice slightly muffled due to the prone position in which she was sprawled. "Why in tarnation did y'all put these durn stupid shoes on me? Twasn't nice."

"Installing a puppet won't do, because Faerie needs a good emperor," Ash droned on in the mug. "If half of what I've heard is accurate, Faerie is sinking into a new dark age - assuming it isn't already in one. Faerie hasn't had a good emperor in a long time. Meanwhile, I have been forced to live among the lowfolk for ages, and I have observed their march of progress. I despise lowfolk, as all elves should. They are coarse, lowly, vulgar, short-lived creatures that are barely a step above feral animals. Forcing an elf to live among lowfolk is like sealing a beautiful dove inside a barrel of cockroaches."

"You're hardly a beautiful dove," I quipped. "Besides, don't birds eat insects? Being locked inside an all-you-can-eat buffet doesn't sound like such a terrible fate."

"Oh ha ha, Your Highness," Ash shot back, sarcastically. "Listen: By some grotesque miscarriage of fate, in the great game of civilization, the lowfolk are winning. They're figuring out mass production, they are revolutionizing warfare with their ingenious firearms, and their creature comforts grow by the day. Meanwhile, Faerie is in a downward spiral and literally falling apart at the seams, perforated everywhere by those horrible Gaps. Every bit of progress the lowfolk make, every step they take towards the future is a slap in the face of elves everywhere. WE are the wise, the ageless, the powerful. WE should rule not only our world, but theirs as well! Currently we rule neither. The status quo is destroyed. This must be fixed."
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
Just a quick question....Vernier and Rebecca can't hear Ash's side of the conversation can they?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
(10-21-2021, 03:41 AM)Tai-1 Wrote: »Just a quick question....Vernier and Rebecca can't hear Ash's side of the conversation can they?

No, they are only hearing Adler's side of it.
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: While Ash catches his breath from his borderline fanatical rant, think for a moment. There is a germ of a point in what he said. What little you saw while you were exploring the lowfolk world with the scry tower was enough to disturb you. Frankly, you preferred it when the lowfolk were a pale imitation of elven culture. This path that hey're on now, you don't like it. Still, is it any of your an any other elf's business what the lowfolk do? As long as the lowfolk aren't a danger to elven society, with their guns and industry and the duchess running around... Oh.
>Burnside: Consarnit! These leather gloves are preventing you from getting a grip on the strings keeping your gloves and boots on. You demand that the ixies swarming around you help you get them off. Instead of helping, they all begin placing bets.
>Adler: Alright then, if Ash is so bound and determined that you should be a good emperor, why is he trying so hard too convert you into being unseelie? A Good Unseelie elf is an oxymoron.
>Ash: Good as in effective, not good as in moral. And the reason for the preaching; is is your belief that to be a good leader, one must be unseelie. Politics and leadership are filled with skulduggery, under the table dealings, wars, and assassinations. The only emperors that last long enough to be anything more than a puppet are the ones that not only embrace it, but master it. An emperor must forget petty things like morality and seeliness and focus only on what's good for the state as a whole. If you can use an example. One of the only lowfolk kings you've heard about you could halfway respect, his name was Vlad something-or-other. His smaller kingdom in the mountains was at war with a much larger empire that had been harassing them for years, the Otto-whoevers. They live in the desert and wear silly hats. When Vlad had decided to finally go on the offensive in the war he conquered on of their cities, but failed to push any farther into their territory. He did not have the men and resources to hold the city, but didn't want to go on the defensive and fight the war on his own borders. So, want to know what he did? He had every man, woman, and child in that city impaled while still alive. All of them. Every last one. When the empire's troops came through and found the city turned into a forest of impaled corpses, they were so terrified they turned and ran. Vlad's kingdom was never invaded by that empire again. That is the power of unseelieness. Doing whatever it takes to succeed and turn defeat into victory. When nothing is restricted, when nothing is off the table. Everything becomes so much easier. That is the only way to run an empire.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: While Ash catches his breath from his borderline fanatical rant, think for a moment. There is a germ of a point in what he said. Still, is it any of your an any other elf's business what the lowfolk do? As long as the lowfolk aren't a danger to elven society, with their guns and industry and the duchess running around... Oh.

1027listen.gif

While Ash ranted, I pondered. He did have somewhat of a point. Lowfolk had always been dangerous to elves, even as far back as the Long Ago ... but only if you dealt with them directly. As long as lowfolk couldn't get into Faerie, no elf needed to concern himself with their activities.

But the Duchess...

The Duchess of Daisies running around loose in the lowfolk world was something to worry about. Certainly she had designs on the Imperial throne, and her munitions business was undoubtedly some very devious means to an Unseelie end.

"What's he saying?" Vernier asked as my silence drew on.

"Nothing," I stated, snapping out of my reverie. It was true. Ash had stopped talking. "Are you still there?" I asked into the mug.

"Yes," he replied. "I assumed you were digesting all that I just said."

Quote:>Burnside: Consarnit! These leather gloves are preventing you from getting a grip on the strings keeping your gloves and boots on. You demand that the ixies swarming around you help you get them off. Instead of helping, they all begin placing bets.

1027yallhelp.gif

"CONSARN IT!!" Burnside suddenly yelled. "I can't untie these dadgum laces with these dadgum gloves on! Why don't some o' yall bug things quit buzzin' around an help me?"

"Six to one she teareth that dress off in five minutes," one of the Ixies declared.

"Thou'rt on," another responded.

"Start the clock!" a third Ixie shouted.

"What's going on over there?" Ash asked. "I can hear a lot of yelling and what sounds like bets being placed. Are you running a casino in the middle of the woods?"

"I am not," I replied. "It's nothing important, just a minor fashion disaster."

It occurred to me that if Ash did not know what was happening here, then his surveillance could not be as good as he had implied. In fact ... hadn't he let it slip a few minutes ago that I had stolen his scry orbs? Was that where those orbs had come from? How had I done it? If I could recreate such a feat, it would be possible for me to seriously inconvenience Ash - maybe even stop him altogether!

"All right then," I continued, stalling and trying not to let on what I was thinking. "If it's so important to you that I should be a good emperor, why are you trying so hard to convince me to become Unseelie? A Good Unseelie elf is an oxymoron."

"I meant good as in effective," Ash explained, sounding slightly bored. "Not good morally. To be an effective leader, one must be Unseelie. Politics and leadership are filled with skulduggery, under the table dealings, wars, and assassinations. The only emperors that lasted long enough to amount to anything were the ones who embraced the dirty side of the job. Truly great emperors were the ones who mastered it. An emperor must forget petty things like morality and Seeliness and focus only on what's good for the empire. Look at Irenaeus; he massacred his enemies by the score, and his friends by the dozen. He built the Mephitist Empire up from nothing. To give another example: One of the only lowfolk kings I've heard about whom I could halfway respect, his name was Vlad Tepid or something like that, which is ironic, because this fellow wasn't tepid at all. His small kingdom in the mountains was at war with a much larger empire that - hold on."

"What's the matter?" I asked, after hearing a bunch of rustling from the can, followed by a moment of silence.

"Patrol of rabbits coming," Ash muttered. "Blasted things. I've got to move. I'll have the trees notify you when I'm ready to resume our conversation."
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Burnside:Go into a loud screaching rant about not being able to take off her boots, or her gloves. She likes the dress though...

>Rabbit patrol: What is that racket?

>Burnside: Rant harder!!

>Vernier: Make the mistake of looking over Rebecca's shoulder at her notes. Regrets it instantly.

>Rabbit patrol: Move to send one of their number to investigate the noise from the forest, but first they have to draw lots....this will take a while...
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Have your trees shoo the rabbits off. You'd like to finish your meeting by actually accomplishing what you intended, renegotiating your agreement with Ash.
>Adler: while you wait and think how you should approach this, you observe Burnside struggling and cussing up a storm.
>Rebecca: You start questioning Burnside and taking notes on what she does and doesn't like about her new look and what you could do to make it better. Customer feedback is indispensable.
>Burnside: You hate it because it's horrible and you would like it more if it wasn't horrible! WHY WON'T ANYONE HELP YOU?!!
>Vernier: You are about to move in to intervene, but are stopped by Adler.
>Adler: No no, you want to see this play out.
>Trees: You alert Adler that Ash is ready to speak again.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: Have your trees shoo the rabbits off. You'd like to finish your meeting by actually accomplishing what you intended, renegotiating your agreement with Ash.

"Can't you shoo the rabbits away?" I asked the trees. "This delay is terribly inconvenient."

"If they come into our territory, we can pwn," the trees rustled meaningfully. "But as long as they stay in the fields and meadows, they are beyond our reach."

Quote:>Burnside:Go into a loud screaching rant about not being able to take off her boots, or her gloves.
>Adler: while you wait and think how you should approach this, you observe Burnside struggling and cussing up a storm.
>Rebecca: You start questioning Burnside and taking notes on what she does and doesn't like about her new look and what you could do to make it better. Customer feedback is indispensable.
>Burnside: You hate it because it's horrible and you would like it more if it wasn't horrible! WHY WON'T ANYONE HELP YOU?!!

It was just as well that my conversation with Ash was cut off, since Burnside was raising a cacophonous racket.

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"DAGNAB RASSAFRASSIN DURN BURN ROOTIN TOOTIN NETHERHELLS!" the raccoon femme yelled as she thrashed around in an attempt to loosen some of the clothing Rebecca and I had made for her.

"What exactly don't you like about your new ensemble," Rebecca asked, "and how could it be improved? Your feedback is invaluable."

"I hate it cause it's horrible," Burnside declared angrily. "I'd like it a lot more if it warn't horrible! Even better if it was OFFA me! I can't walk in these durn stilt shoes! I ain't a clown!"

"I have no trouble moving in mine," Rebecca pointed out.

"HELP ME, dadgummit!" Burnside wailed.

"Touch her not," the Ixies warned. "A whole lot of aphids rideth on this."

[quote>Vernier: You are about to move in to intervene, but are stopped by Adler.
>Adler: No no, you want to see this play out.
>Trees: You alert Adler that Ash is ready to speak again.[/quote]

"I'm going to help her, the poor thing," Vernier sighed.

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"Wait," I said, grabbing her by the arm. "Burnside doesn't deserve anyone's pity. That femme is vicious. She can handle this. I want to see how it plays out."

"As you wish, Sir," Vernier acquiesced. "By the way, have you seen inside Rebecca's notebook? I took a quick peek a minute ago, and what little I saw was frankly ... disturbing. You might want to check on her and make sure she isn't recording completely wrong information."

"Ash Marten says: Im ready 2 talk again LOL," the trees relayed.
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: Once you Are back in contact again, ask why Ash is afraid of the rabbits if they are his allies.
>Ash: Just because you gave the rabbits a few ideas doesn't mean they like you. They run everyone off from the forest. Which won't be an obstacle anymore since this device should work almost anywhere. You were only nearby to make sure Adler got this device. Now then, where were you?
>Adler: Something about a nightmarish dystopia where the ruling class are devoid of morality and elevate pragmatic dictatorship and villainy as an ideal to justify treating the population like an expendable resource. Also, something about tepidness.
>Ash: Of course. Finish your thoughts about an entire city being impaled and why this was justified and made the perpetrator a good king in your eyes.
>Adler: Yes-yes, that's horrifying and disgusts you on a very deep level. Roll your eyes. You've only spoken to Ash a few times and you're already getting desensitized to his general horribleness. He likes to lay it on thick. You inwardly wonder if he just likes the sound of his own voice or if maybe he's over eager to talk to another elf that isn't the duchess and her idiot sons. He does seem to be trying to mentor you, but he's pushing you away with his gleeful villainy. He either wants you to hate him and is playing mind games with you, or he's socially inept. Maybe both.
>Ash: Now then, the clock is ticking. That should be enough questions. Let's move on to the real reason for this meeting. Your employment in Adler's service.
>Adler: Yes, lets.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: Once you Are back in contact again, ask why Ash is afraid of the rabbits if they are his allies.

I walked around to the other side of the dolmen where it was a bit quieter, and pulled the communication mug back out of my Elfintory.

"Yes, hello, are you there?" Ash was saying as I pulled the string and held the mug near my ear.

"I'm here," I replied.

"Sorry about the interruption," he muttered. "Where was I when we left off?"

"You were somewhere near the edge of the forest," I reminded him. "And a patrol of rabbits chased you away. I thought they were your allies. Why do you have to avoid them?"

"Just because I gave those pesky rabbits a few ideas doesn't mean they like me," Ash grumbled. Had I touched a sore spot? "They run everyone off from the forest. This thankfully won't be an obstacle anymore since our mug-and-string device should work almost anywhere. I had to be near the edge of the woods this time, just to make sure you received your half of the set. Now then, what was I talking about when we left off?"

"I seem to recall something about a nightmarish dystopia where the ruling class are devoid of morality and elevate pragmatic dictatorship and villainy as an ideal to justify treating the population like an expendable resource," I replied breezily. "Also, you were telling a story about tepidness."

"Ah yes," he replied, and I could hear the Unseelie grin in his voice. "You see, a much larger empire had been harassing Vlad Tepid's country for years. When Vlad finally decided to go on the offensive, he conquered one of their cities, but could not push any farther into their territory. He was in a predicament because he did not have the men and resources to hold the city, but didn't want to have to fall back and fight the war on his own borders. So, in a stroke of inspiration he had every man, woman, and child in that city impaled while still alive. All of them. Every last one. When the empire's troops came through and found the city turned into a forest of impaled corpses, they were so terrified they turned and ran. Vlad's kingdom was never invaded by that empire again. That, my boy, is the power of Unseelieness: Doing whatever it takes to succeed and turn defeat into victory. When nothing is restricted, when nothing is off the table, then everything becomes so much easier. That is the only way to run an empire."

1110iroll.gif

"Yes yes, that's horrifying," I sighed, rolling my eyes at how unsurprised I was by this story. "Why, not even Irenaeus would massacre noncombatants like that. Not all of them, anyway. REAL fiendish, your Mister Tepid."

After speaking to Ash only a few times, I was already becoming desensitized to his general horribleness. He certainly liked to lay it on thick. Did he just enjoy the sound of his own voice? Maybe he was just desperate to talk to another elf that wasn't the Duchess and her idiot son-nephews. He did seem to be earnestly trying to mentor me, but his gleeful villainy was frankly off-putting. If he was the arch-schemer he claimed to be, I'd have to guess that he actually wanted me to hate him and was playing mind games to that end. Otherwise he was just socially inept. Maybe it was a little bit of both.

"Now then," Ash smirked, apparently mistaking my thoughtful pause for a shocked silence. "The clock is ticking. That should be enough questions. Let's move on to the real reason for this conversation: My employment in Your Highness' service."

"Yes, lets - hold on," I said, then covered the mug with my hand as a fresh burst of noise wafted across the clearing. "KEEP IT DOWN OVER THERE! I'm trying to talk to Ash!"

1110grr.gif

Of course they completely ignored me as Burnside continued growling and Ixies placed bets on how destructive her rampage would be when she finally got those boots off.
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Rebecca: As Burnside begins the tear through the gloves, inspiration hits you. What if you could artificially make clothes look more worn. More wear and tear added on, faded colors, rips and tears here and there. It's brilliant! If you make a shop to sell it all in you could call it "Cold Topic".
>Burnside: Hey! You helped with the idea so you get half the profits! You shout this between bites.
>Vernier: Why is everyone so easily distracted...
>Adler: Tune them out, you're about to go into delicate negotiations.
>Adler: So far, your performance review of Ash does not look promising. The original agreement was that Ash would supply you with information on this Zandar character, look for her, and spread stories of your deeds to build up a following. Instead, he blinded you to the outside world and helped run off the followers you already had.
>Ash: That's not entirely true, you did in fact pursue the tasks that were actually stated. The thing is, Adler's closing statement was very vague and open ended. "I don't want to know what you could do." The way Adler worded your first negations made it seem like he was giving you leave to pursue whatever you saw necessary however you saw fit. Adler may not see it, but the current situation he's in is very necessary for the both of you. Plus, you were not under any official obligations, there was no contract signed, no pact agreed upon, nor any oath sworn. As it stands, what you have been doing for Adler thus far is just a few favors rather than anything official.
>Adler: Again with this. What is Ash's obsession with contracts and oaths?
>Ash: One thing his highness really needs to get through his head, is to keep his "allies" on a short leash. You mentioned earlier that Adler never actually told you not to betray him. First rule of negations, "In my service, never act against me."
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
*negotiations
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
SpoilerShow

Quote:>Rebecca: As Burnside begins the tear through the gloves, inspiration hits you. What if you could artificially make clothes look more worn. More wear and tear added on, faded colors, rips and tears here and there. It's brilliant! If you make a shop to sell it all in you could call it "Cold Topic".
>Burnside: Hey! You helped with the idea so you get half the profits! You shout this between bites.

1117tatters.gif

"OOH!" Rebecca suddenly squealed. "I just had the best idea! I absolutely LOVE what you're doing with your ensemble, Raccoon Monster! Rags and tatters are SOOO witchy-chic! It just occurred to me, I could open a boutique that sells artificially aged clothing. Just imagine, stockings with holes already in them. Dresses that are faded and worn. Nobody's done it before! Everyone would be talking about it, and that already gives me an idea for the name: Cool Subject!"

"I helped come up with the idea, so I get half the profits," Burnside stopped rending her garments just long enough to declare.

Quote:>Vernier: Why is everyone so easily distracted...

1117distracted.gif

"Sir, I'm worried that your followers are so easily distracted," Vernier murmured.

Quote:>Adler: Tune them out, you're about to go into delicate negotiations.

"Shush!" I shushed her. "Go keep an eye on them while I talk to Ash. I'm about to go into some delicate negotiations and I need complete concentration."

1117yeahyeah.gif

"So far, I can't give you a very good performance review," I stated into the mug. "Our original agreement was that you would supply me with information on this Zandar character, look for her, and spread stories of my deeds to help me build up a following. Instead of doing that, you blinded me to the outside world and helped run off the few followers I already had."

"That's not entirely fair," Ash protested. "I did in fact pursue the specified tasks. Unfortunately, your closing statement was very vague and open ended. You said you didn't want to know what I did. The phrasing made it seem like you were giving me leave to take whatever action I deemed necessary, and carry it out as I saw fit. You may not realize it yet, but the current situation you're in is very necessary for the both of us. Plus, I was not under any official obligation. There was no contract signed, no pact agreed upon, nor any oath sworn. As it stands, what I have been doing for you thus far has technically just been a few personal favors rather than anything official."

"Why are you so obsessed with contracts and oaths?" I sighed. "It's un-elfly, I tell you! An elf's word is his bond!"

"That certainly is true," Ash admitted. "But what word, exactly, was I bound by? You never made me promise anything."

"What about your sense of honor?" I blurted.

"Really, Your Highness," Ash replied icily after a short pause. "You knew from the start that I was Unseelie, yet you naively assumed I would do what you wanted without being compelled by any sort of binding oath or contract. You never actually told me not to betray you, so you can't really act surprised that I did. One thing you have absolutely got to learn if you ever hope to be Emperor is how to keep your allies on a short leash. Trust is a luxury that a monarch cannot afford. Never assume your friends have your best interests at heart. Always make sure that they do, and always eliminate any opportunity for treachery as soon as you can."
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler: You know, looking back on the darkest moments of your life, you are very impressed with and thankful to Fuma for how far you've come. You interrupt your story and begin listing all the things that you're thankful for in front of your audience. Suddenly overcome with benevolent, jovial feelings you demand in no uncertain terms that all the members in your lowfolk audience begin counting all the things they're thankful for too, if they know what's good for them.

>Audience Member: "I guess what I'm most thankful for is that Adler's agent was not able to find me and that he doesn't remember my face so that I was able to sneak back in."

>Happy Thanksgiving
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler: You know, looking back on the darkest moments of your life, you are very impressed with and thankful to Fuma for how far you've come. You interrupt your story and begin listing all the things that you're thankful for in front of your audience.

1202interruptions.gif (2020)

As I go back over the often troubling and sometimes monotonous events of my life, I occasionally have to stop and reflect on how far I've come. I'm thankful to Fuma that I survived all of this and wound up with - ah, but if I told you all that I was thankful for, that would spoil the story!

Quote:Suddenly overcome with benevolent, jovial feelings you demand in no uncertain terms that all the members in your lowfolk audience begin counting all the things they're thankful for too, if they know what's good for them.

1211mojo.gif (2019)

I know! Why don't you folks out there tell me some of the things you're thankful for? That will be a nice change of pace.

Quote:>Audience Member: "I guess what I'm most thankful for is that Adler's agent was not able to find me and that he doesn't remember my face so that I was able to sneak back in."

suspicious.gif

Okay, well that's enough of that.

I am reminded now that the Yuletide season is about to start, and I need to take the usual precautions against You Know Who.

Enjoy your lowfolk "Thanksgiving" or whatever you call it. One of my agents will be here to continue the Ballad on my behalf next week.
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
>Adler is safely hidden away just in time for the Kringle season just like he said, however that agent he said he'd leave...
>There is a grumpy looking jack-o-lantern wearing a santa hat.
>Rude Pumpkin: Right, you're here to read these notes about the dumb adventures of a dumb elf who owes the kringle a boat load of favors. The Agent said dumb elf left is a little busy right now, but you came to help out of the kindness of your non-existent heart.
>Off-screen: Help! They locked you in a chest and won't let you out until you tell them where Adler is hiding!
>Rude Pumpkin: Don't listen to her, she's hysterical. A helpful audience member is helping her calm down by interrogating her. Now to keep the rest of these lunk-heads distracted, er, entertained by reading some more of this terrible ballad for people with bad taste.

>Ash: Now, on the topic of negating the chances of betrayal, you suggest Adler begin by being more specific on what you are and aren't permitted to do while in his service.
>Adler: For starters, not working with your enemies and stabbing you in the back would be nice!
>Ash: Very good! How is he going to make sure you do that?
>Adler: An elf's word is his bond, Ash only needs to verbally agree and that should be that.
>Ash: That might work, but Adler should be a little more forceful in how he has you say it, you are a slippery devil, after all. A verbal contract would do the trick. An iron fist work wonders in situations like this. Just saying.
>Adler: You wonder internally; is there any way you can think of to have him agree without having to engage in un-elfy acts like oaths and contracts? You did make Estvan swear an oath, but that was just a one-time thing. You were overcome with emotion. Still, it did get Estvan to comply a lot easier... What should you do?
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RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5

Quote:>Adler is safely hidden away just in time for the Kringle season just like he said
>There is a grumpy looking jack-o-lantern wearing a santa hat.

1201punk.gif

Right, so I'm here to read these notes about the dumb adventures of a lazy slacker elf who owes the Kringle a couple weeks' work. Why do they have to run away like this? It's no big deal. Okay, so they gotta wear a stupid costume, but you've seen what this guy wears normally, right? He's certainly got no reason to complain. Anyway, the Agent that the slacker elf left to do this is a little busy right now, so I came to help, out of the pure kindness of my rind. Plus there might be some clues in here as to where the chump is hiding.

Quote:>Off-screen: Help! They locked me in a chest and won't let me out until I tell them His Majesty's location!

Don't listen to that nutty dame, she's hysterical. A helpful audience member is helping her calm down by gently interrogating her. Now then, to keep the rest of these lunk-heads distracted, er, I mean entertained by reading some of this terrible ballad for people with bad taste ...

Let's see ...

I guess this bookmark is where you left off.

1201durr.gif

First this Ash guy says something about negating the chances of betrayal. What's that supposed to mean? Lessee ... He suggests that Adler begin by being more specific on what you are and aren't permitted to do while in his service.

Adler tells him not working with his enemies and stabbing him in the back would be nice.

But then Ash is like: How are you gonna make sure I do that?

Adler spews some malarkey about an elf's word is his bond. Ash only needs to verbally agree and that should be that.

Then Ash goes: Be a little more forceful in how you say it because I am a slippery devil, like all elves. Ain't that the truth! You gotta cover every possible loophole and then make the elf pinky-swear and cross his heart.

Adler then stops and does some whiny internal monologue about not wanting to deal with un-elfy acts like oaths and contracts. He made some guy named Estvan swear an oath earlier, but that was just a one-time thing. He was overcome with emotion at the time. I'm just reading what it says here. What a big baby. Still, it did get Estvan to comply a lot easier. Oh woe, oh agony, oh what should a stinky elf do?

You gotta be kidding me. This is the big adventure ballad? It's just some guy talking on the phone and having moral dilemmas over NOTHING! They told me there was action! They told me there was comedy! They told me there was hot babes! When does that stuff happen?
The Ballad of Adler Young: Silly furry elf adventure. Read the RECAP: http://adleryoung.tumblr.com
Steampup: Surreal dog-headed Victorian adventure. Winterbough Saga Wiki: Everything we know about Faerie, its history & inhabitants.
See an edited recap of Zandar's Saga, and new pages at my Patreon. Peruse original music at Bandcamp. Or you could just Buy Me a Coffee.
*Adorable plum-munching Mavis avatar by the incomparable Tronn.
Quote
RE: The Ballad of Adler Young, Canto 2.5
(12-02-2021, 03:29 AM)tegerioreo Wrote: »They told me there was action!  They told me there was comedy!  They told me there was hot babes!  When does that stuff happen?

Well, you came in when all that stuff was finished.  Now you gotta wait for it to build up again.
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