[IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight

[IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Just as the discussion is coming to a point, your host enters the room.
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"Pardon my interruption. I couldn't help but catch sedition on the air. If you wouldn't mind my thoughts?"

He doesn't wait for your approval before striding into the room, taking center-stage. None of the lords seem wont to deny him his space, either, so he proceeds.

"The kings of these mountains cannot officially approve of any action taken against the Lion King. However, I would be happy to apprise you of the situation in the King's domain. The Kingdom of the Beasts is powerful, as you are aware, and the Lion King is the absolute wielder of the kingdom's might. However, the King rarely takes direct action unless absolutely necessary. The day-to-day management of the realm is left to the king's court - the assortment of nobles and advisors who have endeared themselves to the royal family. As such, this sort of bureaucracy is not foreign to us. Often, important missives are subjected to the whims of court officials. Sometimes they are used as ammunition in political games, other times they're held up as pieces of courtly gossip. That said: There has never been a case in which a message intended for the King has not reached the King's ears."

Madoc looks across all of you impassively. He seems almost intentionally detached from the discussion at hand.

"So. Were you to enter the King's territory, you would almost certainly face resistance and be treated as a foreign aggressor. Were you to reach the King, though, you would likely be heard out, and - should the King decide your cause is just - spared. Were you to wait patiently, time would be wasted; that said, you would most certainly be greeted more openly into the King's court, risk gaining fewer political enemies, and would not run the risk of execution should the King decide your intentions are ignoble. The decision is yours, and we Mountaindwellers cannot help you more than we have either way. That said, I hope this has left you more confident in your ability to make the decision. Should you have any more questions, you need only ask."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
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"Well, all we gotta do is reach the king quickly then! Time is of the essence, and our cause is noble and just, so if we make it things will all work out!"
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Once Madoc has finished speaking, Casey quickly turns his gaze towards Roland and Lain.

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"Saya is right, and now we know for sure. If we stay here, who knows how long the courts will keep us waiting? And that's if they even intend to let us meet the King in the first place!" Casey groans, rolling his eyes.

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"I'm not going to subject myself to these 'games' the courts play." 

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"Our homes are at war! This isn't a time for bureaucracy, it's a time to take action! Do you really intend to wait patiently here knowing our pleas have fallen on deaf ears?"
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Barnabas meanwhile, reigned himself back in when Madoc showed up, a mild fading of anger swept away.

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"Brah. Hopefully. The idea of our plight being used as entertainment is foul, and does not lead me to wish to wait any longer for our message to Eventually arrive. If we have enemies, they will be our enemies anyway, and whilst some may look down upon us for our coarseness, I am willing to pray that an equal measure will be shocked into paying attention."
"Don't get me started on Henchmen."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
It doesn't feel great, and the more Madoc talks the more Maz's brow knits.

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"Suppose...it's worth the risk to charge in, in that case. We should prepare ourselves."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Sunny listens to Madoc patiently, her smile never quite leaving her face. She speaks simply once a few other opinions have been tossed out.

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"Well, if His Highness fields no objections, then you'll hear no opposition from me," She says, then tilts her head curiously, "I must admit that I am interested to see how fine the Laguz's line between entertainment and slaughter is."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
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"Chargin' in has worked fine so far. If ye ask me, no reason ta sit around waitin' now, aye? Our enemies aren't about to sit and wait. Let's get in there."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
“Looks like the votes already been made up. Doesn’t matter much. I’ll go wherever this lot does.”
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
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"Strong points... Very well! I'm with you all. Your boldness gives me confidence. We will do this, and we will win! If righteousness is on our side, then we have nothing to fear!"

Roland frowns.
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"I've my reservations. If we fail and find our heads on the chopping block, the hope of the resistance dies with us. That said, I've been clearly outvoted, and I'm hardly a sore loser."
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"Let us simply make sure we act with dignity and honor before our would-be benefactor. The hope of our people lies on our shoulders."

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"Democracy in action - you love to see it."

Roland pauses, considers speaking-- then shakes his head and sighs.
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"..."

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As you make choices, form bonds, and bring members of the three factions along in your fights, the three lords' satisfaction with their place in the group will shift up and down. Depending on where these ratings are at a certain point in the future, your path in the story will change drastically.




Elsewhere...

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"General Ariel, I presume? It's nice to finally meet you in the flesh."

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"Lord Haidar... I'd say it's nice to meet you, but I'd rather not begin our working relationship with a lie."

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"Oho! Speaking to a noble in a foreign land with such a loose tongue? You're quite the courageous one."

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"Tsk. Let's stop wasting our time. You've got the letter?"

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"I do - right here. And while I can't personally destroy it, if a Revotrian spy were to intercept it, why, I would be free of blame."

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"Understood. Hand it over, then."

The hulking laguz snatches the letter back.

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"Ah ah, not so fast! Were I to merely hand this missive to you, there would be no guarantee that you would hold up your end of the bargain."

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"You challenge my honesty when you're the one betraying an oath, Subhuman? Fine. We'll finish collecting your 'taxes' on the morrow. Then, you'll hand over the missive and you'll get what you want twice-over."

The laguz simply grins.

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"I'm glad you see it my way."



Madoc bids you well as your party departs from his palace. You travel for two weeks, skirting the edges of Beast Kingdom society. Between the fertile fields, the well-maintained roads, and the imposing fortresses on the horizon, one thing is clear: compared to Ilya, this is truly a land of wealth and prosperity.

One day, however, you catch something rather out of the ordinary: a half-desolated village. Burned mills, ruined buildings, and piles of ash line the streets on one side of the village, though the other half remains more or less untouched.
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"Bandits...? Those poor people..."

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"Hardly. This sort of job? I'm thinking it's a professional army. When bandits are defied, they make an example out of the place. If a lord did the same, they'd have no one to exploit in the future. When a lord finds the village comes up short, they just bleed 'em enough to leave a memory."

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"It matters not who did the looting, we must help them! They may not be from our lands, but it's our duty to do what we can to help the innocent.

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"Oh, really? Now you want to provoke the Laguz? Why's that? This hit a bit too close to home?"

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"..."

Roland's fist is clenched. His jaw is tight. You all get the sense that if you don't intervene now, this might explode into something worse.
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Sunny watches the exchange curiously, pondering as to what to do. Were she being honest, she didn't much care either way what they did. Their plan was to provoke the laguz anyway, as far as she understood, tearing through warrior and citizen alike in order to get their desired outcome. But she liked Prince Roland, and to see him flustered as such annoyed her to some degree. So she picked her target out of the crowd and trotted over to him.

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"Oh Abner!" She calls out as she approaches the cavalier, her cheery expression quickly falling.

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"You should speak to the bandit lady! She's hassling your liege, and this whole endeavor was your idea after all. You've got a responsibility to fix it, especially since it went against the wishes the person you're supposed to be serving."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Logan only half pays attention to the conversation, already mounting up their wyvern and getting ready to rush in.

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"Wait, we're goin', aye? Or... We're not plannin' ta just do nothing, are we?"
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Barnabas merely grunted, that now-familiar inhuman look forming in his features as he let that attention and hold slip.

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"To turn aside from this would be spitting on the entire reason we're doing this, and rightfully draw the god's ire for our hypocrisy. Roland is right."

It looked like he was about to just run towards the village, but then just, stood beside Roland, not quite looming but a sense of expectation perhaps, like, he wanted to be moving but was waiting for something.
"Don't get me started on Henchmen."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
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"Think we shoulda go," Airitech bristles. "Probably be one of those raids, where them Laguz are gettin' their honor and glory!"
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Barnabas shot a look at Airitech, blinking a couple of times.

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"Even with sarcasm, I'm a touch sensitive about the wording of that friend." Not denying it for what it was, but still a bit upset by how it had been said.
"Don't get me started on Henchmen."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
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"We need to get to the King... but we also can't let this stand! I mean, those are innocents!"
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Milo's fist also clenches at the destruction, but seeing several of his comrades talking about taking action calms him down.  He quickly fixes up his armour in preparation of the coming battle and approaches the confrontation between Adira and Roland.

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"Doesn't matter.  If we were going to worry about provocations we wouldn't have left Lord Madoc.  Lord Roland," he continues, almost making a point to ignore the bandit goading  the prince, "we're well past the point of leaving well enough alone and letting other suffer in fear of retribution."

Milo mounts his newfound horse - a calm, standoffish steed that still seemed somewhat offended that the foot soldier was now thinking himself a cavalryman - with surprising surefootedness and faces towards the village before hesitating and turning back to Roland.

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"I'm going regardless of the call you make, but I'm guessing it'll be the right one."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Ashes and fire means people hurt- or worse. Maz steels herself, swallowing dryly and wrapping her hands tighter around her staff. Whether it was an army or bandits didn't matter- the carnage they left in their wake and the people that faced it most certainly did. Roland has the right of it, and Maz nods, then takes a step forward.

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"We need to see if there are survivors, people that can be helped. Intervening in the suffering of others should always be a priority, and no questions need be asked of that motivation." Her jaw is set as she looks to Adara, and then frowns. "There is a better time for your jabs than now. Let's go."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
The stars fall out of Abner's eyes as he's called upon to act! It seems he was dreaming of glory rather than paying attention to what was right in front of him.

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"Oh!! Yes!! Cads and bandits, one and all! And-- if you will, fair maiden, you're quite out of line insulting His Highness like this! The knights of Renault would never turn a blade against a peasant, and we would--"

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"Shove it, tin-man."

Adara shoves her way past the horseman.

"You're ravin' mad if you think I'm not going to join the fight. Just thought the little prince might like to learn a lesson while we're at it. You won't catch me on the sidelines."

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"Nor me!" Roland hefts his axe over his shoulder. "You may speak ill of me, but to insult my warriors is a grave offense. If you will only be silenced by action, then I will demonstrate my honor with steel!"

Adara and Roland are both going to insist on being deployed in this battle. Depending on which of them gets the most kills - or if either of them get any at all - your standing with their factions may change after this battle.

Lain gives a faint smile to those of you who spoke in favor of staying, her eyes shining a massive 'thank you' straight towards Mazelina, Milo, Saya, Airitech, Logan and Barnabas. She cannot speak, so she simply nods, clearly happy with your conviction.  Were you not already on great terms with her, her opinion of you would surely improve.



Elsewhere...

The distinctive crunch of steel and gravel can be heard as troops clad in red march through the woods.

One among them stands serious, marching in line, but still radiates an air of... discomfort. It's not hard to guess why. This is the Revotrian army, and in spite of the sword strapped to their side, this is clearly a Laguz. This is a band of the Republic's worst, and while they have their reasons to be here, they're just now contemplating the reality that they're about to to slaughter their own kind alongside a band of murderers, racists and ideologues. They feel the weight of their blade now more than ever as they march ever-onward...

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"..."



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You may deploy in any of the green squares. You may bring four allies along, but they must include Roland and Adara.
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Time for Violence.

Barnabas is going to run towards the fortress, skirting along the side rather than leading the pack into this. The previous fights had taught a touch of humility to sink in clearer when fighting other Laguz and trained human warriors

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"Awwoooooooo!" Howling the call of his tribe as he ran, to pump up himself as much as to warn his enemies he was incoming.

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"Don't get me started on Henchmen."
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Milo nudges his horse forward into a gallop, pulling slightly ahead of much of the rest of the group by the time they all reach the battlefield.  Had it not been for a couple of near falls due to his low experience with riding and some sense of reason he might have made it further.

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"The Revotrian army?  But... how?"

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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Mazelina is going to clutch her staff close to her chest, draw in a deep breath to steady herself, and then exhale as she rushes after the boys. She can't move quite as fast as someone on a horse or a warrior familiar with moving quickly, but she does desperately want to assist anyone that might still need help.

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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
“Man I’m tired of axe boy.” She mumbles. “Can’t take a few barbs without making it everyone else’s problem.” She sighs and picks up her axe.
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
Saya is itching to fight! But they want to avoid that archer...

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Current Projects:
Human space is at war, and we're all caught up in it - Scattered Stars

A woman chases another through the snow, but where will their path lead them? - Footprints in the snow
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RE: [IC] Swords Beneath the Starlight
The sight of ransacked village homes lights a quiet anger in Casey. He's relieved to hear his companions speaking up to lend a hand, though he doesn't get himself involved in the argument. It should be obvious what the right thing to do is, shouldn't it?

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"Come on!" he beckons, taking up a position close to what's left of the village. "We can't let any more of these houses be destroyed!"

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