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Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Creepy painting inside the attic probably has something to do with things. As for activities, uhh... perform some pre-battle stretches and warm-up I guess? Try to do it relatively quietly however. Can't really do much more in a couple of minutes.

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Arkanomen
May 6, 2007

All he wants is a hug


Just burn it down on principle. Public nuisance it is.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

One more question:

I'm going to ask this just to be thorough. Has anyone ever threatened to curse you or your family for any reason? Say because of a spurned lover, unpaid debt, or some other real or imagined wrong?

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Arkanomen posted:

Just burn it down on principle. Public nuisance it is.

ark no

Arkanomen
May 6, 2007

All he wants is a hug



Its full of cults and the lady is shady as all get out, its an obvious adventurer trap at worst and a run down old hoarder house to begin with. It's bringing down property values all over the block and is an eye-sore. To the flame, I SAY!

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010

Q.E.D.



Arkanomen posted:

Its full of cults and the lady is shady as all get out, its an obvious adventurer trap at worst and a run down old hoarder house to begin with. It's bringing down property values all over the block and is an eye-sore. To the flame, I SAY!
Oh the other hand, letting the cult grow will mean more jobs for us in the future. Bringing down property value help the poor and we could buy it cheap if we want to open up a second branch. We are mercenary, not heroes, I say we do our minimal amount for our job and get pay.

Edit: IN FACT, burning down a house would destroy the property values, and we will be the one to pay for the damage if we can't provide proof that we wasn't burning down a innocent lady's house. I say hold back the fire until we have enough evident to prove it.

Nyaa fucked around with this message at Oct 31, 2015 around 01:04

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

The Attic

RandomPauI posted:

One more question:

I'm going to ask this just to be thorough. Has anyone ever threatened to curse you or your family for any reason?
Say because of a spurned lover, unpaid debt, or some other real or imagined wrong?



Philberta looks concerned for a moment, as if something was on the tip of her tongue. "No dear, we Axblossoms are a friendly lot. I'm sure the young ones have their ups and downs, but we make do."

---

Konnie shrugs as he enters the apartment, Khami following up behind him, calm as ever.



"Ain't nothin' there but bits and bobs mate. Nothin tha' can be seen either way. Would swear on it 'lest i heard the terrible racket, somewhere off to the side? I say we go take a look see."

You briefly consider torching the entire place, but Konnies words and common sense soothes you somewhat (fire! ahaha). You decide to go check it out yourself.



You are sure the old stairway should creak as you ascend it once more, but Mr. Axblossom must have maintained it well and in any case the incessant chanting from inside the attic drowned out any other sound nearby.



The attic is, as you predicted, very cramped. Full of old dusty furtniture and boxes of keepsakes.
The chanting is obviously coming from the painting some few meters ahead of you and the eyes of the thing follow you around as your group spreads out in the room.
Looks like you've found your culprit.

From the lack of instant death you surmise it isn't actually hostile even if it is incredibly annoying.
You take a few steps closer to examine it.


"You've got to pay the price!"
"You've got to pay the price!"
"You've got to pay the price!"

Kvelar looks skeptical. "It's just a painting, why don't we just throw it out?"
He attempts to do so but his hand is stopped just short of the easel on wich the painting sits.
"Hrngh." "Ech no use. Can't get near it."

The painting smirks at you. It seems incredibly familiar, if you could just figure out why you know you could solve this conundrum.

1:
Perhaps you can talk to it? What do you say?


2:
There must be something you are missing, but how will you figure this out? Perhaps someone else has some input. Do you have any questions for anyone?

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

1: Ask it what the unpaid price is. If it doesn't talk see if we can slowly, carefully try to cut it.
2: Try to recall the stories about the spider god from the campfire, her kin, etc.
3: Send someone down to ask the old woman about the painting of the spider.

Dammerung
Oct 16, 2008

"Dang, that's hot."


1: Ask it about the price. Can it say anything more regarding it, or does it just have the one phrase?
2: I like RandomPaul's plan. Send somebody down to ask the old woman about the painting. What place does it have within her memories?

Tran
Feb 17, 2011

It's a pleasure to meet all of you. Especially in such a fine settin' as this. Just need us some music an' a brawl an' we'll be set.

Old lady or her family made a deal with the dumb painting monster/demon/spirit/whatever, now she's trying to weasel out of paying her end. It's very likely she intends for our little band of idiots to either destroy it or pay the price for her.

Ask who the deal was with and what the terms were. We specifically want to know what if anything they were granted, and what they were supposed to pay in return.

Arkanomen
May 6, 2007

All he wants is a hug


Ah yes, a toll dear demonic painting. I have just the thing for you. A riddle, and if you guess the answer you win a prize as well.

"I eat most everything fed to me,
and for a time I grow.
Feed me too little and I will die,
and something to drink is a no.
I snap and I spit, but no mouth will you find,
and without me you would be blind"

What am I?


The answer is burn the painting

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

If it doesn't talk and can't be cut, see if we can paint over it

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

The Painting

quote:

Ask it what the unpaid price is. If it doesn't talk see if we can slowly, carefully try to cut it.
Ask it about the price. Can it say anything more regarding it, or does it just have the one phrase?
Ask who the deal was with and what the terms were.
We specifically want to know what if anything they were granted, and what they were supposed to pay in return.


"A price you've got to pay? A price, a price. You've got to pay the price. The price, you've got to pay.
Pay the price. The price you've got to pay. The price to pay have you got?"


quote:

Send someone down to ask the old woman about the painting of the spider.
What place does it have within her memories?


"A painting of a spider dear? No, the only painting I've got upstairs is a portrait of my dear old mother, bless her heart, the only image I have left of her."
There is a tear in her eye.

quote:

Try to recall the stories about the spider god from the campfire, her kin, etc.

Spiders, gods... paintings.. demons... debt? A price to be paid.. an old painting. Wait.

"Oh dear." You moan. "I know what this is."

Your group looks to you expectantly.

"It's obvious when you think about it. I've just never encountered one until now. Heard about it back at the old firm. Sometimes we got involved when there was a big estate to settle with a lot of clients owed their due.
My old mentor, Tariff Master Cranberry told me of a case like this once. Someone had promised a large some of money to the Church in exchange for some service or another, but had died before being able to pay up.
The descendants wanted the heritage, like they always do, but the Gods are not so easily swayed from their desires."

You point to the painting, full of confidence.


"What we have here is a Grim Repo."
"A demon sent by the Gods to repossess the painting until whatever debt the Axblossoms have to the Church is paid of in full."

Arkanomen
May 6, 2007

All he wants is a hug


Ask how much is owed, then negotiate that down. Return to the old lady and tell her you can remove the problem but its going to cost 150% of the original demon asking price.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

1: Have a conversation with our crew to determine the best person to negotiate on the old woman's behalf.
2: Inform the old woman about the possession and it's likely cause. Ask her for any information she might have about promises to the church that a loved one might have made.
3: Offer to come along with the old woman to help her negotiate a payment structure with the church.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

RandomPauI posted:

1: Have a conversation with our crew to determine the best person to negotiate on the old woman's behalf.
2: Inform the old woman about the possession and it's likely cause. Ask her for any information she might have about promises to the church that a loved one might have made.
3: Offer to come along with the old woman to help her negotiate a payment structure with the church.


This.

However, ask the painting what is owed, before asking the old woman. Apply whatever accounting knowledge we have when it comes to dealing with godly servants. Also, rack our brain to try and recall if these things can do anything more threatening than just chant annoyingly.

This is not a mission for a blade or a flame. This is a mission for an accountant.

Horrible Lurkbeast
Jul 17, 2007

IT WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL ALONG!


Plan RandomPaul

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Raw Deal

Now that you know what it is, things go much more smoothly. First, you get the attention of the painting, second, you clearly state that you are prepared to pay the price. At this, the imps chanting ceases and it focuses the entirety of it's attention on you.



< You are intrinsically aware of the full economical details of Ms. Axblossoms debt to the Unified World Church.
She owes a not insignificant sum specifically to the Church of Quackeen, as well as a meagre sum to the administration of the nearby Chapel of Prescription Charity.
Additionally, you know that should the debt not be paid in time, more and more things will get re-possessed until finally the Goddess herself will anger and send one of her Paladins to personally deal with the issue. >

As an accountant, you are intimately familiar with the Church of Quackeen.

---


Quackeen, The Lady of Gold, is the Patroness of Commerce, Profit, Wealth, Greed and Trade.
She is a very important goddess in Rim, for The Great Bureaucracy especially, as her worship facilitates mercantilsm across the Empire and is a key player in what makes the Imperial Census tick.
Quackeen is most often portrayed as a beautiful, young lady duck clad in a dress made out of liquid gold and adorned with multitudes of precious gems and polished metals.
With followers from all species and all walks of life she is also a fairly popular goddess. The Ducks in particular view her can-do attitude and insatiable lust for new horizons as a mirror image to their own finest qualities.
That she takes on their appearance certainly helps as well.

---

Quackeen. That might make negotiations a bit more harrowing. But if there is anything in life you are certain about, it is your own ability as an accountant. After all, the numbers never lie.

You bring all of this new information up with your crew as you awkwardly shuffle around the cramped attic.
You plan to represent Mrs Axblossom in her settlement with the temple, taking a cut for acting as middle-men, but ponder on how exactly to sell this idea to her, and more importantly who should actually manage the negotiations.
You manage to boil it down to three candidates, but in the end the decision is up to you.

---

1:
Who do you send to the Temple of Quackeen to negotiate on Mrs. Axblossoms debt?


A: Yourself.
However fresh at the post, as the leader of ITEC you are always an option.
Your years behind the desk at the accountancy firm up in Tukatt Hold have granted you a superb business acumen, but your social graces suffered as you chose paperwork above parties.

B: Skvababt.
You could not imagine anyone better to act as the Face of your group should interpersonal relations and empathy be the guiding words of your diplomacy.
She is passionate, but was never one for counting gold. She always let her lovers handle that.

C: Khami.
His calm demeanour could see you through any storm, but at the same time he is not likely to inspire.
He has had a long career as a caravan guard and brought his own, high quality equipment to your company, so he must have been doing something right with his money.
Still, he joined up with ITEC without a moments hesitation when you where still completely unknown, so perhaps he was in more dire straits than he has let on?

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


A

We trust our self. What need for charisma? We have math.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

Before we start negotiations we must get her consent for us to negotiate on her behalf along with an accounting of the numbers.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

RandomPauI posted:

Before we start negotiations we must get her consent for us to negotiate on her behalf along with an accounting of the numbers.

You are confident in your ability to convince her that this is a good idea. Not only is she an old lady, she has also signed a contract with you.
In essence, consent is already given as this is the task she has hired you for.
How satisfied she is with the arrangement is another matter entirely, as such you give some extra thought to who should take up these new developments with her.

2: Who do you send to negotiate with Philberta?

D: Yourself.
As the head of the Company you usually take on all client negotiations, but since the contract is already signed you have more leeway. You consider yourself a professional in all matters of finance but your social skills are rusty.

E: Skvababt.
You think she could make friends with anyone, but her forwardness might make some situations a bit awkward and you know she does not have a good head for numbers.

F: Konnie.
Has a way with words and another way with money. You feel he would be pretty good at convincing someone to part with their hard earned cash, but you are not sure how happy they would be afterwards.

Arkanomen
May 6, 2007

All he wants is a hug


A D

Discuss with client first. Remember to downplay our fees and get her to sign penalty clauses should she prove to be a bad creditor again.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

Arkanomen posted:

A D

Discuss with client first. Remember to downplay our fees and get her to sign penalty clauses should she prove to be a bad creditor again.

Sure

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010

Q.E.D.



B A

GloriousDemon
May 1, 2009


If we can barely resist her charms as an asexual dwarf image how easily Skvababt
can manipulate some toony ducks. They'll be all googly eyed with hearts thumping out of their chests, bet they end paying her and the sweet ol' lady she's representing to thank her for the worship.

BD

Horrible Lurkbeast
Jul 17, 2007

IT WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL ALONG!


AE

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

We have accounting knowledge and ties to the Bureaucracy, so we should be making the actual deals. A.

However, when it comes to Mrs. Axblossom, we should get someone who is amicable instead. Remember, this is more a publicity stunt than anything, and I doubt that the 1 or so extra wealth we might be able to squeeze from her ourselves would hardly be worth her blabbing to the entire town how we are evil and greedy. Have the Charming Rogue Skvababt break her the news in a gentle manner, and remind her that we can be flexible with our payment as the middle man. It does not matter if we lose a portion of our reward if it is really tiny anyway. E.

We are just starting out, and I feel it would be bad to immediately become infamous as 'that guild that extorts that sweet old granny down the street.'

Theantero fucked around with this message at Nov 1, 2015 around 09:51

Ms. Happiness
Aug 26, 2009



You're the leader. You should do both negotiations.

A D

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Slime of Life 2 – A Slime Based Economy

Slimes have always inhabited the Empire, but for most of it's history they where seen as annoying pests and little more. With the coming of The Forest, all that changed.
This ecological disaster was the boon the slime had been waiting for, metaphorically speaking, and enabled it to spread its goopy tendrils far and wide across the world.

It is said a a city would cease all activity, should the blacksmith go missing for but a few days. The same can be said for the slimefarmer, the most basic of all slimgeneers.
Without steady access to wood, all tools and miscellaneous items must be crafted out of calcified slime, bone or metal, and slime is by far the most plentiful and readily available.
The slimefarmers prime duty is making sure that there is an ample supply of freshly osmosised slime to keep the economy running.

A single adult green slime, properly fed and processed by an expert calcifier, can produce about a hundred arrows-shafts a week.
The same slime could go on to make dozens of hammer-shafts or other tools-bits with no extra machinery involved beyond a simple mould, easily switching finished product to keep up with market demands.

Do you live in a particularly harsh climate?
Not to worry, with a little extra care a pod of slimes can be grown and expanded over your already established domicile, strengthening it's bonds like mortar and insulating it from the harshest of winds.
With the Slimegeneers Guild sending out bi-annual inspections to all slime-enabled properties (for a small fee), Catastrophic Decalsification is a thing of the past. Truly this is the golden age of slime.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

Negotiations

You weigh your options and decide that you will handle the negotiations yourself for now. Your company is still young and your group untested, better to play it safe.

Mrs. Axblossom seems relieved that the chanting has stopped, but gets flustered when you mention the reason why. "Oh dear, dear. Repossessed you say? I must have missed a bill or two, I am so forgetfull..."
You reassure her that you, being a master (okay, apprentice but lets not confuse her with such details) accountant can sort this out in no time at all.
After sharing a nice cup of tea with her and your team you head off to the church to discuss the debt with the clergy there present.

---



The township of Braav isn't especially big as villages go, but it sits along an important trade route.
As such the Unified World Church has seen fit to bless the town with a minor temple dedicated solely to Quackeen in addition to the regular house of shrines that every village gets.
The Temple of Commerce stands wholly the market place, and indeed, serving the twin functions of spirituality and capitalism that all such temples do.
You are greeted by the reverend Due, whom seems aware of your cause before you even mention it.



"Blessing of the Profit upon you, Mr. Ironscript. If you would but follow me to my stall, we can begin the Dance of Haggling in earnest. It's been a while since I faced a lay accountant and I must admit, I am pretty excited."

---

You follow as the reverend guides you throguh the sacred Aisles of Produce and Artifice, towords the Holy Register in the centre of temple plaza.
On the way there observing as you do people praying in self-service sanctums or participating in ritual check-out together with attending money-monks.
The Holy Register itself occupies the hub, and is where the managing Vicar divines the movements of the Invisible Hand through patterns visible in the flow of supply and demand and the great deals going on around him.



---

1:

You are about to engage in what could be the toughest Battle of Wits of your life thus far. Whilst the battle might not be to the death, it could still have far reaching consequences.
What area you decide to focus on is therefore of supreme importance.

A: Self-Improvement.
I go in attempting to learn all I can of haggling from a master at work, knowing the final outcome of the deal will suffer as a result.

B: Charity.
I try to get the best deal possible for Philberta Axblossom. I have a tough battle ahead of me, but if I can succeed my reputation and the reputation of ITEC in turn will see marked improvement.

C: Greed.
I try to get the best deal for ITEC, however that might be accomplished. If succssful, your reputaiton will suffer but your wealth will not.

D: Pragmatism.
There is more to making deals than maximising profit. Good-will is equally important. You strive for a balanced deal, ensuring that both you and your client profit.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Hrrrm. I'd be inclined towards one of the permabuffs, since we can get money elsewhere. Both a good rep and good haggling skills will help us to get better deals, but I'd rather go with B. My reasoning being that the Church of Quackeen would most likely be perfectly fine with teaching us haggling in exchange for donations (Question: Is the Church of Quackeen perfectly fine with teaching us haggling in exchange for donations?), so we can just do that if we ever feel the need to. Good rep is much harder to straight up buy however, so I think we should go with it instead. Let's hoard the less readily available resource.

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


D: Pragmatism.

If there is one thing a dwarf accountant is familiar with, it is pragmatism.

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Do not be fooled by the choice naming! 'Pragmatism' is in truth a vote to half-rear end two things.

Arkanomen
May 6, 2007

All he wants is a hug


B

I'm assuming we get a cut of the savings we wrangle for our client. This church is all about the deal so they wouldn't expect anything less than us fighting for our client. If they try to pull the "but we're a church, be merciful" line we can call them on sending a demonic repossession crew at an only woman so who's really the bad guy? We are just the middle man but we should take care to protect ourselves from getting any of the debt on us. And always, insist on getting everything in writing and sign nothing until it's notarized and reviewed.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006

Can I say "shit" around the baby?


Grimey Drawer

B

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010

Q.E.D.



B for fame.

GloriousDemon
May 1, 2009


B, the best results for our client is what any great account monster hunter should strive for.

Is Alzheimer's a known illness in this world, known enough at least to help ease negotiations?

Hot Dog Day 80
Jun 23, 2003



1:

You are about to engage in what could be the toughest Battle of Wits of your life thus far. Whilst the battle might not be to the death, it could still have far reaching consequences.
What area you decide to focus on is therefore of supreme importance.


B: Charity.
I try to get the best deal possible for Philberta Axblossom. I have a tough battle ahead of me, but if I can succeed my reputation and the reputation of ITEC in turn will see marked improvement.

Ms. Happiness
Aug 26, 2009



I love old people and hate seeing them screwed over. I go for B. You can still learn something from the negotiations.

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Horrible Lurkbeast
Jul 17, 2007

IT WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL ALONG!


Be merciful.


At this early stage we need all the rep we can get, and also C'mon.

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