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.

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"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.
Quote
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.

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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.

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"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