Dec 04, 2022 6:08 AM
carissa meets a tyrant
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" - I'm missing something, my lord; spellsilver is kept in oil, as it degrades on contact with the air, so that can't be spellsilver, though it does look exactly like it, and it'd be an odd lie because everyone knows that -"

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"What air?" murmurs Sikandros, quietly enough that he can't be heard through his helmet.

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And then Mendax will begin haggling viciously and enthusiastically. He will, of course, begin by asking the unit of money they use, and then go around looking at everything even slightly interesting and demanding prices and saying these are thievery and knavery and lies!

Can he, incidentally, get a price on a True Resurrection diamond? Ideally a price inflated on the assumption that this would be something ze or ze's friends would be selling to Mendax, instead of the other way around?

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"....ordinary air, my lord. I don't know what in the air is the part that is important."

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Sure! They sell those for about sixteen ounces of spellsilver, more if the spellsilver's not as good as theirs.

 

(Which price would cover about a quarter of the trinkets, if he's taking the quoted prices of the trinkets at face value.)

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In that case, Mendax will haggle a price for all the stuff that has vaguely caught his eye as interesting - get the best possible deal he can - turn to Lucan - 

Lucan will laugh. That trash? Of course not! Perhaps a few of the trinkets you might be able to afford, but -

And then Mendax will attempt to renegotiate a better price for the item or two, with the promise that he will, of course, return for the rest himself if His Grace's most expert surveyors determine that the quality is sufficient.

(Which items? Why, a couple scrolls of Scrying, the goggles of Detect Magic, and other fairly low-valued items that are probably not faked.)

And once a price has been arranged, Mendax can casually offer to pay with a True Resurrection grade diamond to pay for it, and demand a variety of other goods to make up the price up to the value of the diamond.

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....the staff in the back of the shop will need to do some testing of that diamond. To make sure it's legitimate, you see. 

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Oh, of course, it's not like it's his only one.

Provided they swear an oath on their Law to return the same diamond in the same condition as he gave it to him within (Carissa's best estimate of how long the tests should take plus ten percent).

(He will clearly, obviously, visibly, not make a request that they do this without attacking him, because he is too obviously looking forwards to a fight for that to be Wise.)

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But of course. This is a respectable establishment. 

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"If they think they can take you they'll try. After bringing the diamond back, or potentially before the time's up." says Carissa. Presumably others have noticed this and she has no particular advantage at reading aliens but some things are the same in every world.

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Sikandros will quietly show off his ridiculous Polymorph skills by turning a random non-diamond rock from his pouch (it was a diamond until thirty seconds ago) into a portrait while visibly Hasted.

The rest of the team also becomes visibly Hasted, if less so, and d'Acier has a flying chariot outside with osmium in the walls and tubes attached that probably spew alchemist's fire, tubes that spew alchemist's fire are at least known?

(Also Lorcain is flying overhead in his own, much, much heavier-armed warship, but that is not immediately obvious. And camera-bots are following the salesalien into the back!)

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They have antiscrying and Alarm magic up to make sure they aren't overheard. The camera-bots are still recording fine, but they can't transmit back until they leave the room.

 

 

 

 

.....the consensus in the back is that they are NOT confident they can take these people in a fight. Backup is on the way, but the best move is probably to finish the deal and slip in a couple items that do tracking and spying, for potential followup later on.

 

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One of the new-summoned flunkies of Sikandros's angeling the cameras will cycle a bot out when it doesn't seem to be getting signal, observe what actually happened, and try to coordinate with a couple of other flunkies to handle cycling them in and out appropriately, a process that involves some angelic Haste that Carissa can witness.

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Yes, yes, she's very jealous, presumably someday someone'll have the time to torture her for a thousand years until she's that cool. 

 

 

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The salesalien returns to say that the diamond is good and they're happy to round out Mendax's purchase with some other valuable items that he mentioned interest in, say how about this and this other one?

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Mmm... this one's all right, but not that other one, it looks terrible quality, how about that one - 

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- sure. That one's actually cheaper, so the store could also throw in one of these two he liked earlier?

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Why not.

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Lovely. Delightful doing business with you. Is that all.

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Yup!

The next step consists of them leaving, slapping all the objects that were suggested as good spying targets in soundproof osmium-lined boxes which they will leave in the Chariot when they arrive, and flying back to the castle, there to have Carissa test the magic loot they've accumulated while they manufacture spellsilver by the ton.

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Carissa loves this part of her job. "The scrolls are functional ones. The goggles look legitimate, too. This is a heating-stone, they're cheap and easy, Cheliax issues them standard. This is a functional wind-caller's compass, which I'd really only expect to see a ship's wizard using.

This - wow, they did something really complicated here, it's really lovely - okay, I think if you drink this it'll function as a scrying spell like Arcane Eye, and also tortures you a little bit? - if you want me on nonlethal testing I want to add a personal slave to the shopping list - summoning shackle,, this enhances normal summons but I doubt it'll do anything for your kind -"

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Sikandros's one great gift, socially speaking, is at recognizing competent people. This does not, of course, let him recognize that Carissa Sevar is Carissa Sevar, but he is therefore not only amused and entertained by how much she's enjoying herself, but he is enjoyed and entertained by watching an very competent person work.

"Alas, I have no plans for potion testing, nor for gathering slaves in the City of Brass," he says, "since we will not stay here for long. If there are no tracking-spells you've missed..."

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We are going to come back here with an army and burn this place to the ground, right?

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Take over, please. It's not going to get more on fire than it already is.

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"I haven't missed a tracking spell." How much of an idiot does he think she is. 

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