Dec 06, 2022 3:05 AM
carissa meets a tyrant
+ Show First Post
Total: 872
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

She casts Detect Thoughts. 

 

(It won't work on her liege, presumably. Right? Because she is desperately curious.)

Permalink

Her liege is standing behind her. But if she can get past that, Spell Resistance 21, a layer of osmium and a +9 Will save, she can totally read his mind!

Permalink

She cannot! Too bad though also probably for the best. It'd just be nice to feel less - disoriented.

 

Many of these animals are animals with animal concerns such as whether the larger animals are going to eat them, how this place smells wrong, how this place doesn't have enough places to hide, and how this place doesn't have enough food. Carissa reports this out in the dispassionate tone of someone who has never in her life considered caring about animals.

This one is a familiar and freaking out about where familiars go where they die! 

Permalink

It's in fact pretty fucked up that no one (who would have told Carissa) is sure about that. Carissa felt vaguely sick when she learned it in wizard school and has never gotten a familiar, though of course she would if there were a reason - it's not like it's better to remain a stupid animal!

She reports it exactly as dispassionately, of course, because she isn't a fucking child. 

Permalink

That bat in the corner back there is a long-term summons from Elysium who is trying to give some mice (regular mice) a sheltered place to sleep. No, she has no idea why it's doing that. She doesn't even think the mice were sent by the same power. 

That bird is a polymorphed teenage wizard's apprentice who is diligently repenting of all the wrongs he has done that he can think of. He's unclear on what might count so he's trying to be very thorough; he's sorry that once when he was five he let his sister get in trouble for stealing bread when it was him that stole it.

Permalink

 

Why.

"Have any of you fools considered for a moment the possibility that sneaking into the fortress of a mighty outsider might be the tiniest bit unwise?" he asks the mob of familiars et al.

Permalink

Familiars obey their wizards. It's what a familiar is. Most of the wizards were presumably thinking it was worth a high risk of losing the familiar for the benefits if they got some information out. 

The bat is a construct-creature and will be totally fine in Elysium if destroyed here; it likes the sorceress who summoned it and thinks dying now and again is an interesting and enriching experience and part of a full life.

The teenage apprentice absolutely agrees that he was very foolish and repented of that even though he's not sure if it's Evil to be very foolish. He was offered four hundred gold pieces (paid out to relatives if he died) and it was just obviously more money than he was ever going to make in his life, what with how he hasn't exactly mastered wizardry and has fairly advanced consumption. (Is having consumption Evil? Mav says you can give it to people by coughing on them; is coughing Evil? He repents of both, just in case.)

Permalink

... 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PLACE. Having an afterlife for a subset of sapient creatures is so incredibly pointless and arbitrary! And then making them all magical slaves is worse!

Elysium Bat is valid.

(He's going to want to drop the teenage apprentice in one of the medical bays and cure his consumption before he goes, and quietly lets his people know that.)

"Permit me to explain to you, then, so that this information reaches your masters: If you desire to speak with Duke Sikandros, come out in the open, and so inform him that you would speak. Further intrusions by stealth and force will be taken as unambiguously hostile, and will not receive such a pleasant welcome as you have all received."

Permalink

Threats are conveyed by whatever magical mechanism various Absalom magic-users are using to spy on their familiars/animals/apprentices!

Permalink

Carissa will diligently attempt to get identifying characteristics of the masters out of everybody's heads now that they're presumably thinking about that.

Permalink

"Fine work, Carissa." He can arrange some suitably ironic punishment for the wizards later, such as not letting them in the next time he has guests over.

Then he can dump the animals all down a chute that leads to the outside! It's a very carefully set-up chute with a mildly powerful fan blowing a wind down it, so they can't fly back up, and then he can go to work on his actual priorites.

Except the wizard apprentice. He's getting some medical treatment, and then getting dumped.

(Sikandros's +4 Wisdom headband is nagging him about the whole You Know You Have An Extremely Short Time Limit Thing. You know you should just pray to Iomedae. Just talk to her. Just do it. His imaginary Lehali and his imaginary Trianta are firmly agreed on this, and even his imaginary Lucan is starting to raise an eyebrow or two. Well, that's the next step; take care of this, and then he can speak with his local ally regarding coming to an arrangement about their plans for the planet.)

Permalink

Carissa raises an eyebrow about the wizard's apprentice getting held back from the chute (which she presumes leads to a furnace of some kind), but doesn't ask any questions. "They say of Absalom that it attracts every wizard that wishes to do as he pleases, at only the cost of letting all wizards do as they please," she says, as the animals get dumped. 

Permalink

"A fine conceit for a city," he says drily. "If, perhaps, not the city I would rather live in." (Honestly, he loves it.)

Let's see. Lehali and d'Acier are getting him wards, Lucan is monitoring the situation as his deputy, Mendax can handle engineering crises...

He nods. "I believe that my next priority is -" his voice goes dry "- contacting one of our potential allies." By which he means he's out of excuses to procrastinate it any longer. "Which I will need to do alone. Your personal room, the castle library, and your work room are all available to you to use freely; if you need anything, inform your guard," since who that is will change throughout the period, people do get breaks sometimes.

Permalink

" - yes, my lord."

Permalink

At this moment a Gate opens from Hell and pulls Carissa Sevar through it. The other side is cloaked in magical darkness but if observers have anything that can see through magical darkness they might observe a sizable army standing screened by a stone wall with prepared spells - everything from Confusion to Hold Monster to Feeblemind - they hurl through the Gate in the brief instant it is open.

 

 

 

Permalink

Duke Sikandros has excellent reflexes, but not that good. If it was open for longer he could stab his tendrils through it, if there was no darkness he could turn the army into air, but at that speed there's nothing he can do but start moving and begin issuing orders, a start that won't be finished before the portal snaps closed.

 

Permalink

Oh no.

Permalink

What a disaster

Permalink

He does not have time for this.

(As the news of the kidnapping flashes - as exactly how screwed they are spreads to every angel here -)

Permalink

Sandor Balog drops to his knees.

Iomedae. Goddess of Goodness. I need your help.

And he casts his mind out, to what he knows he has seen but cannot name; the men and women who do the hardest work, who trudge for the harshest causes and accept the lowest wages and haggle for the highest budgets - the keen edge of the sternest engineers that demands it be done right, for the Work is lord over all; the labor that makes a world and makes it be right that must be done - to the bright-edged Goodness that picks the hardest task and serves it, too humble to cast aside any edge, too proud to seek glory - he has known those like that, and they have never had a good fate, but that is the closest he can name to Goodness -

Permalink

(For this is the nature of Sandor Balog of the Iron Ring, as a god might see it: 

He is possibly the most Asmodean person who could ever exist and still be Chaotic Good. He delights in precise words and carefully-negotiated compacts, he accepts no restrictions on his arbitrary power and seeks ever more to expand it, he thirsts for control over whatever he can find. Any slight to his Pride is a slight to everything he is, any foe who opposes his Pride must be cast down and trampled.

It's just, he's spent most of the past century hanging out with people he likes, and he doesn't want to hurt people he likes. So he makes them happy, and uses this power to come up with gifts they'll like, and entertain them, and give them happy lives, because Heaven is vast and everyone in it is indestructible and why would he spend his time with people who will tick him off instead of filling his life with joy? Since he cannot give his word falsely, he does not give his word; since he must avenge all slights against him, he chooses those who do not slight him; since he must return evil with evil, he must return good with good, and so build an endless cycle of generosity in the midst of tyranny. For some have said that there is a spark of good in every evil, and Sarenrae may know that this is, yup, completely one-hundred percent true of Sandy Balog.

This is the man, who prays to Iomedae.)

Permalink

And at the same moment, someone else prays, because she has had it with Sikandros's procrastination, and she is not going to keep it up any longer. She prays standing with her hand on the hilt of her sword (there is a rose carved on it; the original was a gift from a friend, and rests in her home, for the blade at her side is her own razor nail to bear her own impervious nature), and she prays with her whole heart and a sharp head and eyes of fire.

What she casts her mind to, when she thinks the name Iomedae, is not the god of an engineer, it is fury and anger, cold and sharp; it is outrage that there are those who hunger and cannot eat, who fear and can find no courage, who hate and can find no forgiveness. How dare a world be such? Pala Lehali - Countess Thunderbolt - will not let this happen. Dares Iomedae answer her, with anything other than the work she has done and the work that Lehali can do? There are problems to be fixed.

Permalink

(And this is the nature of Pala Lehali, a woman who has lived in Heaven and dreamed of heroes and done nothing, for she lived in a world where there were no heroes needed:

That, if placed on one side of the scales was a dozen beloved friends, and a domain richer than any kingdom of Golarion, to rule wisely and justly, and wealth, and power, and honor, and her own sworn oath, and loyal service to a mentor who had faithfully taught her all that she knew, and a tremendous evil permitted to grow and fester and continue tormenting others without end; and the other side was nine chances out of ten for bloody death for she and all she loved and a tenth doomed chance to sweep that evil away, she would pay the impossible price, and fight for the right cause with all the wit and skill at her command, and lose. And, if, defeated, she and some friends miraculously survived, she would do it again, against the next evil, and again, and again. There are those she weeps to bury, but her oath and her honor and her beloved friends are all far less important to her than doing the right thing, however hard, however bitter, and when all is on the scales, she will not permit Wrong to triumph.

Pala Lehali does not, in fact, think that you should keep oaths to villains. She thinks that part of being a villain is that you ought to expect everyone to betray you, and find no loyal friends who you can engage in mutually beneficial deals with, and if she ends up being a villain, she appreciates that people will betray her.

Sandy might, perhaps, be one kind of Chaotic Good. But Pala Lehali is a very different one.)

Permalink

They find themselves, at once, in Heaven.

Total: 872
Posts Per Page: