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Brenda isekais to Golarion
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"It definitely rusts - every so often somebody will get issued a cold iron weapon and then end up being too lazy or forgetting to take care of it, and they can get in serious trouble for it. It also doesn't help that some demons like babaus are covered in caustic slime. As for mining, I'm pretty sure - no, completely sure it's already cold iron when it's mined. I remember some people trying to take advantage of that by using slings instead of bows to hurt demons, and it worked just fine but the bullets took more metal and were easy enough to lose it didn't actually save anything. Heating it up too much will destroy its effectiveness, though."

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The knife is perfectly happy to connect to a magnetic bracelet!

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She is, tentatively and with great awareness that she hasn't figured out how much this world's superficial similarities to Earth materials reflect underlying similarities of chemistry, suspecting that cold iron is something like a magically active isotope. She really needs to spend more time with Nenio.

"Okay. I'll make a batch, but someone who knows how they're supposed to perform should test one against a demon before we start handing them out to the troops and making promises about them." Big spinny skirt of cold iron arrowheads that overlap each other in several layers when she isn't spinning.

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"Thank you, I'll have someone look it over when I get a chance. I'm trying to think if there's anything else vaguely clothing like that would be helpful to have for logistics... the only thing that's coming to mind is food, and that seems like more of a stretch and also there's no way it's an efficient use of your time even without comparing it to the other things you make, but maybe I'll think of something else later. Aside from that, I believe the other thing I should be asking is if you have any other powers that might simplify logistics? Not that this one isn't incredibly helpful already or anything, because it really is, but I'd be remiss if I didn't ask."

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"I can teleport once a day, but I haven't tested the range and can't take passengers unless they're in my bag of holding. It could be useful for supplies if the range turns out to be long enough." And she'll want to talk to Nenio about that too, because all the methods of testing she can think of involve potentially blowing herself up if the answer is "no".

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"If you can only transport yourself, that's unlikely to be decisive; with just the savings from the armor we could hire more teleports, and Rathimus said he can prepare a teleport for us most days. I'll make sure to let you know if I think of something, though."

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"Okay. I'll look into ways to safely test the range but won't consider it urgent. I think the next thing on the agenda is finding out how much armor I can make in a minute, and even apart from wanting to be upside down, if I make enough for a good test in this tent we won't be able to get to the door. How about I go back to the Defender's Heart, do the tests in one of their rooms, and give you the numbers and the stuff when I have them?" Yay for low-tech hotels with visible beams on the ceiling.

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"Inheritor keep you, then."

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"You too." 


The process of testing her armor throughput is surprisingly fun for a repetitive task. For one thing, she's now strong enough to jump multiple feet in the air, grab a ceiling beam, and pull herself up to hang from it by her knees, and if she isn't superhumanly or even average-humanly graceful about it, well, nobody's looking. (Except people in other universes in which her universe is a movie, and even then this bit is probably getting skipped for being boring.) For another thing, hanging upside down and having chain shirts repeatedly slump off her into a pile on the floor makes a very cool sound. She does five people's worth of everything Garms showed her, in a larger size than her own to account for the resulting extra difficulty, times the last four of each to make sure she's getting the steady state, and converts to people per minute. The adamantine mail shirts are the fastest; the boots are the slowest, both because of sizing issues and because even hanging by a beam from her arms and creating them with the laces untied it still takes a bit to kick them off.

Half an hour later she finds Garms again, with a full bag of holding and a giant backpack and a list of numbers to recite, ranging from 6/minute for boots to 15/minute for gambesons to 20/minute for mail shirts.

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Happily that works out to mail being the most efficient to do, which is good since they're the most expensive ones. He's very pleased by this whole affair; he was expecting whoever got appointed as knight commander to be some genius tactician or combatant, and maybe she's that too, but her being supernaturally good at logistics is something he can actually understand and see for himself.

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Brenda is very happy to have exceeded someone's expectations! Especially Garms' expectations; he seems like a really sensible and competent person. She finds it pretty unlikely that she'll be able to do as well at her next meeting, because it's with Nurah about diplomacy, but she'll do her best.

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"Knight Commander! What can I do to help you today?"

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"I was hoping to talk some more about the diplomatic aspects of my job, especially the parts that are, hm, inextricable from my other work. What kinds of actions I take as part of crusade operations and strategy are likely to have diplomatic implications and how to know what those implications are. And anything else I can do to make your job easier in general."

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"Alright. I'll try and keep things at the broad strokes to start, but if there's anything you want more detail on just ask. Starting with the players, the biggest ones to care about are Lastwall, Cheliax, Galt, and Irrisen. Irrisen mostly doesn't bother with outsiders, so unless you're actively trying to get involved it's unlikely to be relevant to us, and Lastwall is a paladin country that doesn't really do diplomacy the normal way, but it wouldn't be a great idea to get in a scuffle with either. Taldor, Kelesh, Absalom, Andoran, and Ustulav are currently less involved, but they're close or powerful enough that it would be worth changing to the extent feasible.

"For the crusade itself, you're mostly in the clear; nobody will be surprised by you working with Lastwall, and even Cheliax's enemies mostly admit that they're needed at the wound. If you work with them too closely or openly spurn them, that could have consequences, but if something makes strategic sense it shouldn't be a limiting factor. Pretty much everything else is a different story. Recruitment will heavily influence what impression we give; in addition to countries being more likely to support the crusade if it means supporting their own people fighting there, it's also an endorsement of their abilities. If the Eagle Knights assist in a big win, that's a win for Andoran as a whole, and some of the prestige filters back to the rest of their army. Countries that support the crusade will, in addition to anything negotiated directly, expect their contributed forces to have opportunities to get those impressive wins and for the crusade to agree they did. Cheliax will likely try to do the same for any fight where your forces cooperate with theirs, since they lean pretty heavily on their contributions to the worldwound and anti-piracy efforts to make up for the diplomatic unpopularity of the church of Asmodeus and an endorsement - or something they can spin as one - of their efforts from the knight commander could help them a lot once you start seeing successes. Where you choose to do crusade fundraising will matter, who you send to do it will matter, how impressive you are about it will matter, and so forth, but it's hard to generalize things there since different countries will react differently to different approaches.

"In terms of what makes my job easiest... the biggest things are not causing a diplomatic incident by insulting or quarreling with any representatives and not agreeing to things without talking with me, but if you do end up messing up there please let me know promptly since it's always easier to solve early."

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"With you so far, I think. Is Cheliax likely to want us to recruit there, or just to do operations in concert with their army, and how much of a problem will it cause if we don't? Or don't unless it makes a lot of strategic sense, like if we need to go after territory near their forts or something."

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"Cheliax likes to keep a tighter control of its borders and populace than that, and they have their own forces at the worldwound they can send their soldiers to. If they help with recruitment, it will probably either be by loaning Hellknights or by telling Isger to cooperate more closely. In terms of what they can do if you spurn them too much... they can't act directly against you, both due to the worldwound treaty and their own strategic interests, but they could refrain from coming to your aid or cooperating on joint operations, which might be very inconvenient since they're the largest military power at the wound. If things get bad enough that they outright stop selling to you, magic items and scrolls are likely to get significantly more expensive, as are a number of manufactured goods."

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Some of those things sound like problems that can be solved with money, though if she can avoid the problems there will always be other things to spend the money on.

"So, at least at first the retaliation for not wanting to do joint operations with them is them also not wanting to do joint operations with me? Or are there other things you're imagining I might do that would cause that?"

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"If you're too open about taking in their defectors, that might do it; they know it's legal, but they don't exactly like it or people advertising it. Outside of that... insulting their queen or tying yourself too blatantly to Galt or Andoran, maybe. My counterparts on their side are also going to be trying to keep things from disintegrating, but pride is one of the central tenets of Asmodeanism and it's one they're quite happy to embody."

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" . . . Would being open about taking in their defectors enable more people to defect? I'm not going to do things that risk the success of the crusade for the sake of a small number of people but--it's a thing I want to be aware of."

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"Probably. It's possible that you could get them being enough more cautious about putting troops of uncertain loyalty in places they have the chance to defect that it cancels out, but my guess would be that it would make things easier."

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The Spirit dropped Brenda on a specific problem, but it also dropped her on an entire planet and she doesn't intend to lose sight of that fact.

"Then--that's something to evaluate once we have more information about how much we need their cooperation. In the meantime, what actions would constitute being too open about it? Just public announcements, or would things like promoting especially competent defectors to prominent positions send the same message?" 

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"They're intentionally vague on where the lines are, but... stuff like just quietly taking in defecting chelish soldiers is mostly fine. From their perspective that's probably the best outcome of a successful defection, since its still making the job of their loyal forces easier. If you take in a prominent Chelish defector, like maybe some officer who's disappearance was too notable to cover up, and give them a high ranking position and permission to publish anti-Chelish tracts, they're not going to be happy about the embarrassment. The same would apply to people like Alexandre Esquerra or Didac Picot, even if they already left before you got started. In between those there's a spectrum of escalation based on how much you helped the defection, how obvious it was, how important the defector, and so forth; the easier it is for them to ignore, the more inclined they'll be to do it."

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Brenda has to spend a moment internally boggling at the idea of someone wanting her permission to publish something that's not even related to fighting demons, because she's still not used to this whole "running a military" thing apparently. 

"Understood. --I really don't want to turn anyone away. Concealing their involvement would be one thing, but not letting someone join who would be able to help, if they think invading the Worldwound is safer than their alternatives, is a line I don't want to cross unless I have to."

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"I'll make the preparations to help smooth that over as much as I can, then. Are there any other policy decisions or the like that you think will involve other countries and I haven't touched on?"

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"Thank you. Are there--laws of war? I assume the demons haven't signed any treaties, but is there a written list of all the things I can't order anyone to do, or things I have to provide for everyone, or circumstances in which I have to give specific aid to the other forts, anything like that? I'm not asking because I want to get away with anything, I just haven't fought a war before and might not realize how important something is."

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