Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
LordVonEarlDuke
Jun 24, 2011



Thread Reading Music

Encyclopedia of the Wastes (background stuff directory, don't worry if you're just starting out! jump in and learn as you go!):


In the name of Inkiros, father of Genesis, and by his prologue, and his fifty brass pages, may I be blessed.
In the name of Eurandon, mother of Consciousness, and by her inception, and her hundred silver pages, may I be mindful.
In the name of Rabulaster, son of Civilization, and by his core, and his two hundred golden pages, may I be protected.
In the name of Quist, daughter of Death, and by her termination, and her infinite obsidian pages, may I strike my enemies down.

Let my enterprise gild my prayers with wings enough to pierce the empyrean and deliver themselves to your hands.
For season, measure, and the Golden Book will teach us: mortal works are undone without faith.



And intrepidity.



And zeal.



And giant robots.



The Great Cities have fallen. First to debauchery, then to disrepair, then precipitously to destruction. The crimson flood, brought on, some say, by the displeasure of the Gods, has wiped the continent clean of full half of its life.
The Cities now are overrun by marauders or monsters. It has been three full decades since their despoilment. The huddled remnants of civilization scratch out their existences in the discarded amnion born by their great apocalypse. In the oases, life and resources are scant and fragile.

On the wastes live the Praetors.



Pilots, priests, generals, or bandits, voyaging across the toxic land in massive robots called Automata.
Some are keepers of the shards of their cultures, dedicated to the expansion and continuance of their postcalamitous communities. Some are treasure-seekers, looking for riches and adventure among the bones of the world. Some are ruthless pirates, hellbent on little more than survival and power.

1. What kind of Praetor are you?
A. A priest of the Four Gods of Ophyras, city of gold. A stalwart guardian of the innocent and custodian of civilization.
B. A general of the budding township Anaziphrale, at the helm of the very first Automaton they've managed to build. Venturing into the Wastes to find new lands and resources for your people.
C. A merchant explorer with a fearless crew of mercenaries, out for fame and fortune.
D. A hard-hearted warlord operating from a cold iron fortress in the heart of the wasteland, where only the unyielding survive.
E. A highwayman, in a stripped-down, nimble Automaton envoy, preying on the weak and foolish.
F. A desperate survivor of a recently destroyed village, cast into the wilderness to rebuild the pieces.

LordVonEarlDuke fucked around with this message at 19:59 on Apr 30, 2016

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


D

Doktor Per
Feb 25, 2007

Look guys, I'm a lady!

E or D.

Let's be a bad person in a bad rear end robot.

Mr. Nemo
Feb 4, 2016

A roc and a hard place



B

Ralith
Jan 12, 2011

I see a ship in the harbor
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today


##vote
1 A; B; F; C

Ralith fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Feb 22, 2016

Loel
Jun 4, 2012

"For the Emperor."

There was a terrible noise.
There was a terrible silence.



##Vote
1. D;E

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


B

City building!

BoneMonkey
Jul 25, 2008

I am happy for you.



##vote
1 C; D

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011



##Vote
1. E;D

Hexenritter
May 20, 2001




##Vote
1. D;E


Either a heartless warlord or dandy highwayman!

Obscil
Feb 27, 2012

PLEASE LIKE ME!

##vote
1. C; D

AnAnonymousIdiot
Sep 14, 2013



##vote

1, C; E

LordVonEarlDuke
Jun 24, 2011



Warlord it is!
Let's get Nefarious.



Nightfall on the Wastes.
The perspiring steppes of Jutter Crest humidify the air to a distinctly unpleasant sluggishness.

Your Automaton kneels in synthetic sleep.


The Right Arm

"MISTRESS"



MISTREEESS"


The Head
"So noble of you, Princeling," you say.
The thrillant light of the full moon punches through cloud cover and onto the castellated crown atop the Automaton's head.
The Deposed Prince Chakum, disgraced ruler of Anabas, tilts his chin imperiously upward. "A noble soul is weightless in the palm of Quist."



"Well. I reckon even without that you're what, 170 pounds or so heavier-than-air." You chuckle, wickedly. You've been workshopping your wicked chuckle for a while now and you're very pleased that it's finally ready for primetime.
"I fear you not, Tyrant," Chakum says.

"It's gravity that should have your attention right now, Princeling. Not me." Another chuckle here? Maybe not. Don't smother it. You lean forward. The leather-clad tip of your knee touches his. "I'm going to make this simple for you. Tell me how to deactivate the incantation around the Anabas wall, or I'm going to escort you off my Automaton via my boot to your chest."
Chakum scoffs. 6/10 tops. "I will not betray my people."
"You've been exiled, Princeling. One would gather you already have."

"They will one day realize their mistake," Chakum says. "And when they mourn their imprudence, they will mourn safely from behind the insorceled, impregnable walls of my city. The streets of which your cold-iron stench will never befoul." He spits at your feet. "Execute me, then! If the rat indeed has the temerity to lay paw on the lion."

"When I see you in Hell," you say, "you'll have to tell me where on the drop that pretty pride of yours left you and the terror took over."
"My--" Chakum begins,



and then you kick him off the roof.

A strangled, muffled cry of MISTRESS from inside the Automaton's skull and Sketter is up through the trapdoor. His seneschal's journal hemorrhages papers as he runs.

"Mistress," he gasps, forcing air into his wrinkled lungs. "A message from the Emperor of Anabas!" He scrabbles in his book and pulls out a crisp scroll of parchment. "Quote Our Heart Has Softened Toward Our Prodigal Son And We Request Humbly His Return To Our Royal Bosom. We Are Prepared To Exchange One Thousand-- oh--"

His eyes behind their frosted lenses rise from the parchment to your foot, still raised, and then to your face.



"Oops," you say.

So let's get a few things straight.

1. What is your name?
2. What is your reputation?
A. Brutal but noble, with a recognized moral code. The civilized world, though it doesn't accept you, will respect you.
B. Brutal full stop. A vicious khan completely alien to mercy. Such a terrifying reputation may have its uses.
C. An erratic madwoman in command of a gang of lunatics. Prone to being underestimated.
D. A stone-cold man-eating femme fatale; the blackest of widows. To you the heart of most men (and some select woman) is the gateway to their total submission.
E. You have none. Few if anyone have heard of you and lived to tell the tale.
3. What makes you badass?
A. Your 3rd (well, 2nd) eye. Allows for the casting of spells and divinations.
B. You are possibly the best swordswoman on the continent.
C. Beneath your skin you're copiously augmented with unpredictable arcane bionics, making you as much machine as woman.
D. You command a supremely elite and loyal force of veteran warriors.
E. You are silver-tongued and seductive, with a preternatural gift for domination and deception.
4. What is the name of your Automaton?
5. What kind of crew do you command?
A. A fanatical cult of Death Goddess Quist, which recognizes you as her Avatar. Creepy but loyal (as long as you play the part).
B. A bloodthirsty gang of murderers and thieves, numerous, scrappy, and wild. Quantity has a quality all its own.
C. A faceless army of jackbooted soldiers, drilled into unquestioning obedience.
D. A crew of pirates, unscrupulous and mercenary, who are happy to follow as long as there's gold and plunder to be found.
E. A badass, disciplined platoon of veterans, champions, and warmongers (only if you picked D for 3)
6. What kind of Automaton do you pilot?
A. A frontline bruiser, adept in melee. Has a sword.
B. A rapid, streamlined outrunner, relying on dexterity and clever piloting to win. Has jump boosters.
C. A cannonade juggernaut, slow but laden with weaponry and power. Has a big cannon in its chest.
D. A sleek Grappler-Statue. All about the hand-to-hand. Has complex joints and appendages for one-to-one movement.

LordVonEarlDuke fucked around with this message at 06:37 on Feb 23, 2016

Ralith
Jan 12, 2011

I see a ship in the harbor
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today


that art

##vote
2. C; E
3. D; C; A
5. E; A
6. B

Make a note to install some sort of communications system to prevent this from happening again

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011



Loving what the art the art brings to this; will definitely keep an eye on our iron devil of the wastes.

##vote
2. A
3. D
4. Tyrant Berserker Argus XII
5. E
6. A

Lazaruise
Jan 25, 2009


Living the art, this looks to be awesome so long as you can keep it up.

##vote
1. Gormly Witherspine
2. C, D
3. E; A
4. Jackpot Jack
5. C; B
6. B

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


##vote
1. Alyssa

2. D

3. A.

4. Tessa

5. A

6. D

paper bag with a face
Jun 2, 2007



##vote
1. Victoire
2. A; B
3. D; B, A
4. The Rumbler
5. E; C
6. C; A

paper bag with a face fucked around with this message at 18:57 on Feb 24, 2016

Loel
Jun 4, 2012

"For the Emperor."

There was a terrible noise.
There was a terrible silence.



##Vote
2. C;B;A;B, E
3. A;E;D;B;C
5. D;A;B;C
6. C;B;A;D


Great art btw!

TK-42-1
Oct 30, 2013

looks like we have a bad transmitter



Pillbug

##Vote
1. Yingtie
2. A
3. D
4. Fang Zhen
5. E
6. A

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


##vote
1. Victoire
2. A; B
3. D; B, A
4. The Rumbler
5. E; C
6. C; A

Dog Kisser fucked around with this message at 02:47 on Feb 25, 2016

charms
Oct 14, 2012




##vote
1. Manta
2. C
3. C
4. The Hump
5. D
6. C

Obscil
Feb 27, 2012

PLEASE LIKE ME!

Roland T. Dapperman posted:

##vote
1. Victoire
2. A; B
3. D; B, A
4. The Rumbler
5. E; C
6. C; A


sounds good to me too.

Ralith
Jan 12, 2011

I see a ship in the harbor
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today


Since LordVonEarlDuke has confirmed he's taking advantage of the vote scraper, let's try to reduce the amount of manual clean-up he has to do:

This vote is not scrapeable. Make the entire thing bold and get rid of the empty lines between questions.

This vote is also not scrapeable. Quoted votes are ignored, because there are lots of reasons to quote something. Copy the actual vote into the body of your post if you want to make it scrapeable.

dog kisser posted:

Plan Roland
This is not a scrapeable vote. The "##vote" tag and explicit question numberings are required so that if people have angry bold discussions about things nobody gets caught by a false positive. Just copy-paste Roland's vote, or if you're on a phone and this is awkward, you can hit 'quote' on his post and then delete everything that isn't the vote.

e: adding to my vote
##vote
1. Alyssa; Yingtie

Ralith fucked around with this message at 02:52 on Feb 25, 2016

Obscil
Feb 27, 2012

PLEASE LIKE ME!

##vote
1. Victoire
2. A; B
3. D; B, A
4. The Rumbler
5. E; C
6. C; A


Got it. Thanks for telling me.

LordVonEarlDuke
Jun 24, 2011



"WELL," you say, brightly. "I'm sure it wasn't anything important."
"Uhm." Sketter adjusts his glasses.
"Because if it was you would have run fast enough to get to me in time, no? Sketter."
"Uhm, yes, ma'am, that is to say, well, I suppose I would have. Indeed."
You sigh and lower your leg to the floor. "Sketter. What did he say he'd give us."

Sketter looks petrified.

"Are you worried I'm going to kick you off the robot?"
He nods.
"I'm not going to kick you off the robot."
"Do you promise, mistress?"
"I promise."
"Thirty thousand dekadrachmae."
You stare at him.



"gently caress," you mutter. "I promised."
"You promised!" Sketter wails.


Year 19 Post-Flood, day 310
Morning


The earth shakes beneath the Rumbler's steps.



His full name is Tyrant Argus XII.
The people of the Wastes and most of his crew call him The Rumbler.
He weighs 250,000 tons.

He is crewed by 104 handpicked men and women, veterans of dozens of battles and completely devoid of any mercy not bidden by you, their Queen, Victoire Yingtie, known to wastelanders as The Iron Mantis.
There is no other place on the planet any of them would rather be than here.
The nascent nations and villages fear each and every one of them like death, but have a certain respect for them all the same. They have a kind of conqueror's honor, unlike the vagabonds and murderers who spill blood daily across the Crest in search of plunder and debasement.

Among that number are Strix and Pacitar, two Warmages of legendary renown. They are two of your oldest friends.



Onboard, The Rumbler has six cannons: two in the shoulders, two in the palms, one on his crown, and one colossal 30-inch caliber monstrosity where his heart would be.
Her name is Jackpot Jane, and the ordinance she fires weigh just a shade under 1500 pounds.
Any of these cannons are capable of firing several types of retrofitting shells:
-Canister shot, for shredding infantry
-Solid slugs, for punching through armor and fortifications
-Winch Harpoons, for ensnaring and boarding actions
-Witchfire (only five of these, each highly volatile and valued at 300 dekadrachmae), for massive explosions.

20 chickens live in Rumbler's thighs, and 3 milk cows.
He has food enough for one month on the wastes before his crew turn the knife to their livestock.
His coffers hold 1000 dekadrachmae; your fortress' vault has 50,000 more.

That would be 80,000, you remind yourself, if you hadn't killed that dude Chakum.
Or if your seneschal had better cardio.

The Head
He stands before you now in Rumbler's capacious skull, prattling on about the latest tactical reports on the implications of the Prince's death.
You admit: you're kind of zoning out. He is not an engaging speaker.

"Zaphidor." You lean to your right, over to your Bodyguard. He is your greatest, most terrifying warrior, the lance commander of your Berzerkers, and he wields an axe larger than some men are tall. "Hey. Zaphidor."



"Your will, my Queen?" His voice is deep and reverberating in his great helm.
"Guess," you say, "what a bitch went and did last night."
"Oh." Zaphidor's switch is instantly flipped from Terrible Guardian to BFF. "You have the tea?"
"Piping hot and ready to serve."
"Spill this tea, sister."
"So I bring prince Douchenozzle to the roof. Right?"
"I thought I heard some pants wetting at terminal velocity last night."
"Yeah yeah but before I did that," you say, "I broke him off. A little piece. Of the Evil Laugh."
"Gorl. No. You brought it out? You gonna have to kidnap some more royalty, bitch, cause I wanted to be there for that."
"I was like, so what if it doesn't work. He's a grease stain anyway."
"Oh but it did work, right? Cause we've been practicing."
"We've been practicing yes and it rolled out of the diaphragm. Rolled. It killed."
"Queeeeen."
"Oh and then? Just before I showed him the door?"
"Omigod."
"Guess what I said."
"Some nasty poo poo."
"When I see you in Hell," you say, "you'll have to tell me where on the drop that pretty pride of yours left you and the terror took over."
"Oh my Lort Vic you malevolent bitch. You on some archvillain poo poo."
"Right?" You squeeze your armrests. "Iron Mantis, motherfucker!"

Sketter ahems loudly.

"Sketter," you say. "It sounds like you just ahem'd me."
"Did you ahem The Iron Mantis, Seneschal Sketter?" Zaphidor's voice is back immediately to its low headtaker rumble.

"Ah, no, mistress, that is, I was, clearing my throat, mistress."
"OK." You cross your legs. "I'm listening, Sketter."
"Thank you, mistress."
"I can multitask, Sketter."
"Of course, mistress."



"The walls of Anabas are as thick as ever, mistress. With masonry and sorcery both. No force, either living or projectile, can come within a dozen paces of it without complete disintegration. The only way to lift this, as always, is with a judicious casting of a deactivating incantation, which we do not know, or by a direct siege of its only unenchanted gate, which is guarded by a dozen automata and two thousand men."
"And Prince Dickcheese was no help," you say.
"As you say," Sketter says. "With his death our tactical options have narrowed. Your tacticians have a few possibilities in mind they have asked me to put forward in the fearful puissance of your fearful presence, O Queen."

1. "We could:
A Launch a full assault on the gate at night time. It will be a brutally difficult battle, and the greatest we have fought, but with the strength of Tyrant Argus we may well prevail."
B Retreat back to your Iron Keep (fifteen days' travel) and wait for Strix and Pacitar to experiment their way to their own magical counterspell solution. If the King doesn't go seeking his son's killers before then."
C Approach Anabas' old enemies ten days' travel to the East, the city-caravanners of Uchuam. Little love is lost between the powers and with our support and convincing they may provide crucial manpower."
D Call upon another exile from Anabas we have discovered three days to the Northwest, deep in the caverns beneath Jutter Crest. A wizened former mage of Anabas, turned away for apostasy, in whose mind may rest the key to her walls."
E Wreak havoc in the Anabas suburbs that lie outside the ensorcelled walls until a force is sent to stop us. The prisoners we take from that encounter, on the battlefield of our choosing, may be more amenable to the divulgence of secrets than the postmortem Prince."
F Dig a massive tunnel underneath the Walls and spring up from within. This was my idea, mistress!"
G Call for a meeting with the Anabas Royalty as an excuse to get a small party inside the City walls, then take the royal palace and force the barrier down from within."
H Pound it with cannon fire from a distance until the shells, melting into dust as they fly and ineffective as they are, do enough damage to bring a section down.
I Winch-shot onto an exposed building higher than the walls' scope and send a raiding party tightroping across it."

LordVonEarlDuke fucked around with this message at 07:08 on Feb 25, 2016

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


##vote
1. E


Kill the peasantry, who cares.

Dog Kisser fucked around with this message at 06:16 on Feb 25, 2016

TK-42-1
Oct 30, 2013

looks like we have a bad transmitter



Pillbug

##vote
1. D


We need a wizard companion.

Dammerung
Oct 16, 2008

"Dang, that's hot."



##vote
1. E


Let's be evil! Or, err, unyielding. Yeah, that.

Ralith
Jan 12, 2011

I see a ship in the harbor
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today


##vote
1. Plan Ralith; D; I


My plan is as follows: I, but a cautious stealth mission at night (or right now if it's still early enough), doing our best to do it somewhere it won't be noticed. Sabotage as much of their assets as we can, and then, if it goes well, perform a frontal assault. If we aren't able to accomplish much without undue risk, we can fall back on another plan, because this won't take more than a day.

Jester Mcgee
Mar 28, 2010

A lot of things have happened to me over my life.



##vote
1. I


This most takes advantage of our elite warriors.

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011



##vote
1. I


Send in the commandos!

Loel
Jun 4, 2012

"For the Emperor."

There was a terrible noise.
There was a terrible silence.



##Vote
1. C+A+H

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


##vote
1. D



I say we need some sweet, sweet apostasy. I'm sure it is sweet. Perhaps, the sweetest.

PS: Your character work is awesome, LordVonEarlDuke. Top notch, fun to read and the illustrations are magnificent.

LordVonEarlDuke
Jun 24, 2011



I’m at work and away from my tablet, so no pretty pics, but I’ve written up a couple supplemental tidbits on the world of TALOS that I’d like to share.

On a high shelf in the Iron Mantis’ chambers sits a leatherbound, illuminated copy of one of the most crucial tomes of the Wasteland, JOURNEYS, by Aphander Heartlock. Thick as your head and full of more knowledge than could ever fit inside it, and regularly updated with a feverish intensity bordering on madness.
Aphander has traveled the length and breadth of the treacherous continent, and his quill has never left his journal for more than a minute at a time. Almost any subject you could care to name is covered in JOURNEYS, albeit in his slightly fire-and-brimstone cadence.

If any of you, dear readers, ever want something looked up and expounded upon, just let me know and I’ll find the right page for you.



On Anabas

ANABAS! City of a thousand succulent indulgences!
ANABAS! Gilded bastion of scent and sensation!
For lo despite the lapping catastrophe of the CRIMSON TIDE man could not be entirely humbled, nor the wild excess of the Old World tamed. In fits and scraps the revelers live on, and they hive about beacons of luxurious memoriam in the high, debauched places.
Such a place is ANABAS!

ARABAS! Division-city! With the worth of her lives measured geographically! Those within her infamously deadly walls live like immortal kings, warmed by young flesh, cooled by plumed fans, plied by delicacy, drink and perfume. Those without make do with the meager scraps from the tables of their betters.
Begun circa 800 pre-flood, Anabas’ notorious enchanted barricade was envisioned, by the Magus responsible for its construction, as a facilitator of freedom and peace. There would be made, in the naive temple of his mind, a city whose security was assured, where a race of philosopher kings and warrior poets could seclude themselves in gentle contemplation of Life’s great mysteries, smiled upon by Mother Eurandon, matron of thought and cultivation.
But the nature of man is in all things inadequate! And lo! The sultans and dignitaries who populated Anabas’ sanctum soon took use of their protection not to the benefit of sensitive beauty but in service to their own base desires! Anabas became the symbol of the inequity and lustful avarice of the Old World, a pleasure-city like none other! The common people and servants were denied the safety of her walls, and were helpless to foment resistance or rebellion to her masters! In despair, the Magus who created its walls threw himself into their embrace, and crumbled to dust!

ANABAS! Seeming fair without, but within, in her spirit, she is in the same state of irreparable ruination as all the Old World. It was a ruination that worked its way from the innards to the surface, and Anabas is seeped through, rotten, rancid, and ripe!


An Excerpt on The Iron Mantis, Victoire Yingtie (this page is heavily dogeared and several sections are underlined)

What is to be said of the Iron Mantis that deed and reputation have not already seared into the minds of the Wastelanders? Of all the outlander boogeymen of whom mothers whisper cautionary tales into sleeping childrens’ ears, few stir up more great terror and feeling than the woman named Victoire Yingtie. Fables abound as to how she rose to power in the Wasteland. This scribe now humbly presents the most widely accepted tale.

The name, like the Mantis herself, is indicative of one caught between two worlds; worlds which, with the Crimson Tide, blended into one great wound. Her father was a famous lothario courtier in the castle of Emperor Fan Xiaying, with its brass-polished halls and dancing daggermen. Her mother was in the retinue of the famous Falucan Ambassador Theobastor; so in her infancy Victoire was in the proximity of two great Legends; but the greatest, and most terrible, was yet to come.

Both Emperor and Ambassador met their end in that black time known to the Xiaying royalists as The Night of Weeping Veins. Her parents hid away in the tunnels beneath the palace while royal and foreign bodies choked the streets. Victoire was born shortly after that morbid slaughter, brought into the world as all other traces of the Royal Families were extinguished from it. Her parents kept the child safe and whole through the Night of Weeping Veins, and yea even through the Crimson Tide as it blew old Xiaying’s walls to the ground, but they could not protect her from that chiefest of all the devils that apocalypse unleashed: Tyrant Argus XVI!
From the Barbed Throne of his Automaton, named for his saintly and beneficent ancestor, Argus XVI kept great swathes of the New World in slavish thrall to his woeful whims! What hope had the twice-wrecked Brass City but to submit to its thirdfold and final destruction!
In Argus’ wake, Victoire’s parents lay slaughtered. Though young, she was already possessive of the sharp beauty that now walks hand in paradoxical hand with her fearsomeness. Argus recognized her as a jewel among the wreckage, and while her fellow citizens were shackled in grey lines to troop across the wastes into charnel house work camps, Victoire was whisked to the Conqueror's harem, to be trained in womanly mystery by the Mad Tyrant’s fulsome concubines, and await the day of her womanhood and despoilment by her master.

But lo! did Argus’ lustful gaze blind him to the girl’s true, deadly potential! The weeping girlchild who had been torn away from her parents’ bodies had been tempered in death and forged by destruction, and her soul was steel!
Her quiet conquest began with Argus’ other most prized possession, the fighting slave eunuch Zaphidor, who, when not cleaving heads in his name, guarded his painted women from the envious hands of his subordinates. Yingtie learned early the art of binding hearts to hers, and she quickly became the close friend and confidante of that abused, beaten berzerker.
So while her days were spent learning the ways of love, her nights were embroiled in the ways of war. Zaphidor trained her at swordsmanship, strategy, and the maintenance and use of the Automaton’s mighty array of weapons. She began to seduce Argus’ officers into her chambers with the promise of a taste of the Tyrant’s most forbidden fruit; but when they arrived at her bedside she whispered not the honeyed words of a courtesan but the stirring entreaties of an insurgent! As Argus gleefully awaited the ripening of his slave wife, that wife was one by one turning his crew against him!

On the night he had appointed to finally enjoy his prize, Argus entered Victoire’s chambers with his traditional conqueror's swagger and roughly took the delicate-seeming slave into his arms. And she smiled, and cooed as the courtesans had taught her, and gave him wine and played on the harp for him. And finally she approached the mesmerized Argus, and for the very first time and the last, as Zaphidor looked mutely on, she kissed him.
Coating her dark lips was a poison so potent that his blood curdled on the instant. His heart shuddered and froze, and in seconds he was dead at Victoire’s feet. With a nod to her new Right Hand, the Iron Mantis began the Purge.
Those she had recruited unsheathed their blades and turned them on those Yingtie had seen as too loyal to approach. The Automaton ground to a halt, and from its joints and murderholes the blood of Argus’ forces dripped down to distant ground!

When the killings concluded, Victoire Yingtie was the undisputed Queen of the Tyrant Argus XII. She quickly freed all the indentured and enslaved crew of the lower decks, and kept her promises to the officers she had led to rebellion. She knew too well the power of resentment, and although her orders were unquestionable, she treated her men not as subordinates but as equals. This won for her a fierce loyalty that she has kept to this very day; to the extent that it is whispered (but always sotto voce) among her detractors that the arts of the paramour she learned in her youth she now uses to reward her minions.
Even now, the Tyrant Argus XII, now called THE RUMBLER by his turncoat crew, strides mightily across the wastes. His captain may no longer be ruled by mercurial fiat; but those who see in this a lessening of the danger he presents are fools.

(The following section has been emphatically circled)
How the Mantis received her characteristic eyepatch I asked her once, when last I dared step foot on the Rumbler. Her face grew stormy and her foot with sudden alacrity was placed an inch from my jaw; but then she remarked with delight that the look on my face was priceless, and she told me she lost it in a fishing mishap. I find this story doubtful, but having been informed frankly by Zaphidor as to where my journal would be forcefully inserted if I intruded on the Mantis’ tranquility again, I allowed the matter to rest.

Heartlock, you charmer! ♡ has been written in the margin.

LordVonEarlDuke fucked around with this message at 19:31 on Feb 26, 2016

Ralith
Jan 12, 2011

I see a ship in the harbor
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today




I'd like to hear more about the crimson tide and the flood

LordVonEarlDuke
Jun 24, 2011



"There you are, my beauty."



"Have a look, Pacitar?" You hold the spyglass out to the old mage.



"My eyes strain and water looking through that devilish contraption," Pacitar says. "Blur and bloom is all I can ever make out."
"That's cause you're going blind." You click the spyglass shut.
"Blind as a nightfinch." Pacitar nods his bluebeard head. "Look and consider, girlie, the ravages of the seasons' passage. There you are, robbed of full half the organs of sight by some violent something-or-other, and yet even so: with vision thricetimes clearer than these old eyes with no scars but the scars of time. A poetry most tragical, aye."
"I reckon your eyes would be better if you hadn't spanked it to weird wizard porn every night after dark," you say. "And got laid instead."
"And worse still than the barbs of time the barbs of youthful tongues." Pacitar tuts. "Prodding their elders. When they ought to know infinitely better. It all goes to hell, girlie."
"You wish this youthful tongue prodded its elders," you say.
"You have an invasion to plan," Pacitar says.
"Right." You step down from the parapet and turn to the Three Talons.



Ghostly Anastasi, Zaphidor, and Crik.
The three deadliest soldiers on The Rumbler and key to every small arms action he takes.
"Morning, Talons," you say.
"It's quite bright, isn't it," Ghostly Anastasi says.
Crik twangs his bowstring lightly. "I think I smell Anastasi's skin burning off."
"Hi, boo," Zaphidor says. "Love the look. Serving Conquistador Realness."
"Love you, Zaphidor."
"Love you, Vic."
"This is cute," Crik says.
"You all know what we're here for." You jerk a thumb over your shoulder. "Come nightfall we're pointing a great big harpoon at those pretty gold arches and you're taking the men you need and crossing into the city. Because I want it. And I can't get it until its walls are defanged. I've called you here to tell me how you're gonna do it. In any order."

"OK, honey, you know how I do," Zaphidor says. "My poo poo is killing shits, n'cest-ce pas? You give me a gaggle of motherfuckers and some powdermen. Wall's only magic on one side. We blow a big fuckin' hole, kill whoever tries to stop us, and stroll thru the hole."
"Simple but effective," you say. "Anastasi."

"The king is guarded," Ghostly Anastasi says. "The Mages are maybe guarded too but I have more knives I think than guards. I will sneak in by myself or with my assassins and find a mage and make him bring the spell wall down. Or perhaps we may storm the Mage Halls in force. Less subtle: but subtler than an explosion. And then The Rumbler can do his work."
"We have him," you say. "We might as well use him. Crik."

"Right. Right. Yeah. Here's what I'm thinkin," Crik says. "You gimme some guys. Like Zaph and Ann and some other guys. The real good guys. And we don't even NEED to blow up the wall, right? OR get rid of its zap juice." He sniffs the air. It's a habit. "So so what I'm thinkin. We sneak in, hide ourselves, maybe have a good time for the night, I'm just kidding boss, you know I'm all business, and THEN the next day, right, you march Rumblefish right up to the front gate, right, and you raise some hell, you kick some poo poo, you get all attention on you, and while THAT'S happening suddenly boom. There we are, up on the parapet, knife at the King's throat, right, because while you were distracting them WE came through and nabbed the loving king! And we have him say Hey! Let these nice guys through! Or they're gonna cut my throat wide open! And BOOM. We're in, baby. Wall fully intact and now it's ours and we get to zap poo poo with it."
"That is a potent picture you're painting, Crik."
"I'm all about the vision, Vic."

1. Whose plan are you going with?
A Zaphidor
B Anastasi
C Crik
D What about you, Pacitar? Surely you have some kind of magical solution.
E None of those plans are good. Here's what we're going to do: _______________


2. How many men are you alotting for their plan? Pick any that apply.
A Just Ghostly Anastasi.
B The Three Talons exclusively. They're all you need.
C No more than a dozen. Quick and quiet.
D A complement of 20 soldiers, the most the Rumbler can spare before his crew has gaps in its roles.
E 80 soldiers, leaving the Rumbler with a skeleton crew. They'll all be back soon enough it won't matter.
F And while we're at it, you yourself are coming along.

LordVonEarlDuke fucked around with this message at 06:19 on Feb 26, 2016

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006




Grimey Drawer

##vote
1.E;
(Personally challenge the king to one on one, single combat)D;C;B;A
2.F;E;D;C;B;A

RandomPauI fucked around with this message at 06:44 on Feb 26, 2016

Ralith
Jan 12, 2011

I see a ship in the harbor
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today


Difficult choices. I'm thinking:
  • Blowing a hole in the wall from the inside is appealing because it's quick and only noisy after it's too late to do anything about, assuming the men can drop down just inside the wall by tying a rope off there or something. By the time they can bring forces to bear we'll be inside, and hopefully able to choose our terrain to enable one-on-one fights with the defenders that we can dominate with Rumbler's raw power and by caring less about collateral damage than our opponents.
  • Unless Anastasi is effectively incapable of error (which is possible), capturing a mage or group thereof is riskier than the bomb plan, and will presumably at best shut down the magic on the walls. This still only accomplishes getting us inside, and since we're gigantic we can't expect to stay unnoticed for long. This places is in the same situation as the prior plan but probably with more risk.
  • Holding the king hostage is very high risk, and even if our men pull it off, the king might not cooperate now that we've murdered his son, in which case we find ourselves in the frontal assault situation. Capturing the city intact is neat, but I'm not sure about our ability to hold it against its own populace, let alone other attackers, without political will or far more manpower. Besides, we might be able to repair any damage we do to the walls otherwise.

So, questions:
  • Will Zaphidor and his team be able to drop down just inside the walls? How long will it take them to blow an entrance once they do?
  • How quickly can our crew combat-board?
  • How confident is Anastasi in his ability to capture a mage without raising the alarm?
  • How difficult is it to repair this type of defensive wall?
  • What are Pacitar's thoughts? No sense not hearing everyone out.


And in the mean time, tentative
##vote
1 A
2 C

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

LordVonEarlDuke
Jun 24, 2011



Ralith posted:


[*]Will Zaphidor and his team be able to drop down just inside the walls? How long will it take them to blow an entrance once they do?

"Oh." Zaphidor crosses his arms. "I didn't think about getting down."
"Feather fall." Pacitar idly cracks a knuckle. "Best cantrip I ever learned."
"There you go," Zaphidor says. "Spooky magic poo poo. And then we make an entrance in 5 minutes tops."

quote:

[*]How quickly can our crew combat-board?

The Talons and their marines are practiced in a particular form of death-defying reboard where the Rumbler fires a winch cable at the ground, they pile on, and then ride the pull back into the Automaton, tucking and rolling to avoid grievous bodily injury when they get back inside. It looks near-suicidal but they insist on doing it even when they don't need to. Nobody's ever gotten hurt from it so you let that practice continue. Process takes the better part of 30 seconds, although the cannon that winch fired is inoperable for that duration.

quote:

[*]How confident is Anastasi in his ability to capture a mage without raising the alarm?

"Very," Ghostly Anastasi says.
"How much is very?" you ask.
"A lot," Ghostly Anastasi says.
"Percentage?"
"A high percentage."
"Thank you, Anastasi."

quote:

[*]How difficult is it to repair this type of defensive wall?

"The brick and mortar is easy enough," Pacitar says. "The enchantment cannot be repaired without the knowledge of the Magus who first cast it, and he's been dead for centuries."
"Well what happens if we only do a chunk of it?" you ask.
"Once a rent is made the body cannot hold," Pacitar says. "It'll all unravel eventually. So it is with all mortal things."
"We really need to get your mind off this whole age thing."

quote:

[*]What are Pacitar's thoughts? No sense not hearing everyone out.

"The enchantment along the wall is a magical abomination of the worst order." Pacitar strokes his beard. "No true magus would weep its passing. But you're not a Magus, are you."
"That thought was just crossing my mind."
"Crik's plan," Pacitar says, "is the only one that will keep the Wall's magic intact."
"And there's no way you can restore it?"
"Perhaps there will be clues enough in the fragments of the enchantment to begin a reconstitution," Pacitar says. "But I cannot do it. Out of principle."
"Bet Strix would love to try."
"She certainly would." Pacitar scowls. "The madwoman."

  • Locked thread