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... must necessarily concern itself with marriages where the spouses belong to different Standings. Citizens of all stripes may stoop as low as a Subject, so long as the Subject has at least Patent and Nomen. Likewise, a Subject so endowed may take a Subject without such an endowment, so long as their profession, condition or conduct has not rendered them Infamis. Similarly, Subjects without Patent and Nomen, who cannot marry without the knowledge and leave of the Authority whose name they bear, and in some places may even find themselves compelled into marriages by their Authority, are also subject to the Lex Iulia and Papia Poppaea. - regardless if they or their Authority are the one seeking the marriage. Subjects with decency cannot be bound to those without, nor may they ever be bound to a Fearful and Lawful alien, nor a Fearful slave. Subjects in Infamis may be married to a Subject of the same state, or a suitable alien or slave. When two spouses belonging to different Standings are bound, any issue take the Standing of the lesser - with the exception of the Subject in Infamis. In this exceptional case, an alien being both Fearful and Lawful becomes a Subject in Infamis, as do their offspring, while slaves married to these piteous Subjects remain slaves, though the issue will be Subjects in Infamis - and they will not be allowed any avenues of matriculation and naturalization. Attend well that no other pairings with and issue from slaves or aliens are subject to the Lex Iulia or the Papia Poppaea, as they are without wedlock.

Beyond restricting the Sum of the Whole to suitable matches, these laws promote them as well. Those who are not, nor ever have been married, caelibes, may take neither hereditas or legatum that would otherwise be their due, while those who have never been in a union with issue, orbi, are only entitled to half. Such penalties are in force from sixteen until a man achieves the age of sixty or a woman achieves the age of fifty. This is held above the Ius Accrescendi, so that the portion of hereditas voided, being either half or whole, is not divided amongst the other heirs of the testator, but instead is taken by the Authority to which the testator submitted. Voided hereditas may still be calculated into the death duties, though they are commonly waived. Beyond this inducement, there are others, such as Ius Trium Liberorum, which affords particular rights and privileges to Named Subjects and their betters who have produced at least three children. No equivalent instrument, with equivalent rights and privileges exists for those Subjects without Patent and Nomen, though they are still subject to its penalties.

- A passage from Imperatives and Rights, a Treatise for the Named Subject on Lex Iulia and Papia Poppaea, the laws which outline and induce suitable marriages.
>>
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In Scrimshaw Mount, all graves are shallow. Even on the Promontory, where Nature, through the permutations of the Pattern had placed soil on the otherwise nude basalt of the Mount, the bone white stone was never more than a few feet down, commonly less than one. As such, getting graves to the standard depth of eight feet was simply not practical for those interned in the Mount's public burying grounds. But those that lived their lives and died their deaths on the Mount didn't take overmuch umbrage at their shallow graves. For both the practical and pious among them understood full well that under the panopticonical Gaze of the Patternmaker Above … all things are shallow.

Your name is Chlotsuintha, and you are beginning to think that if this isn't to be the last night of your life, then it certainly is on track to be the longest. Reappraisal of your schedule, as well as a more honest assessment of your abilities, compelled you to reverse a plan you were previously treating as immutable; instead of staying the Clerking house for the duration, and eking out some crude forgery, you elected to just pilfer the material required to make one later. While it may have been the only sensible play left to you, considering that you are already spending time you have spent twice or thrice over at this point, it certainly left you curdled and sour. It is not that you have nothing to show for it; the material that you pinched is more than enough to make a couple Personal and Master Family Patents - no, more than a couple. Comfortably more. it is just that the odds and ends that you picked up cannot help you in their current state ... unless you were willing to risk trying to pass off one of the Personal Family Patents you took as your own. Of course, you took the silly things to use as reference for your forgery, and for raw material, it had not occurred to you until this moment that you might use one of them in such a manner, and that it might be worth your time to look for a Personal Family Patent that would have been suitable for presenting as your own, at least in the most dire of emergencies.

Just something else to feel stupid about, you suppose ...
>>
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Even so, you have a hard time dwelling on this particular oversight, as your thoughts are constantly drawn back to another. Your father ... almost certainly did something truly reprehensible. And you managed not to notice, even though the proof was - rather, the evidence was - right in front of your eyes. You would like to think that it was just a matter of being a hair shy of asleep on your feet, but ... you know that you regularly do ... bad things. To the point where you sometimes find yourself having to remind yourself that stealing is wrong, lying is wrong. Desecrating graves and remains is wrong. So then, couldn't it be that this wasn't a wit worn thin from want of sleep, but instead a well-trained blind eye, comfortably unseeing? Maybe. You don't know. For that matter, you don't even know if father did ... kill and cremate through Mitigation the entirety of Aldoin's household and the visiting contingent of his mourners. For all you know - which is little and less by the hour it seems - this might all just be phantasmic conjecture, of the sort where what you see says more about you than you would otherwise admit. But there is little worth to that point though; what trespasses your father has or has not made is not in your keeping. Still, truth or projection, the notion has certainly been a shock to your senses, and you have sworn yourself to trying to live more decently, in spite of the difficulties and dangers that doing so might have for someone born into the Many Mysteries.

Right at this moment, you are being made to about face right into some of those 'difficulties and dangers'. You are standing on the front steps of the Coaching house, trying to call upon the place to take delivery of your stage – but not only is the door shut up and nearly all of the windows dark as pitch, there is a buggy from the Thief-Taker's Guild parked just a few strides away. Before you passed him by completely and put him out of your sight in the process, the driver attending the buggy – who for your sake you dearly hope is nothing more than just a manservant – was staring at you. Given the remarkableness of an unaccompanied and unescorted woman calling upon an establishment during the Hour of Change, you cannot imagine that he has looked away. Considering how that after you knock-down that Tartessian merchantman, there was a bounty and description of you disseminated all over the Mount, describing you as 'a woman of uncanny strength and height' or something to that effect, any attention from anyone feels dangerous – and attention from anyone belonging to the Guild whose daily business is taking bounties is dangerous … even if they are naught but a driver, or if the inordinately rich riding habit your are wearing now is long leagues away from the ragged, hooded dress you were described as wearing. Or, for that matter, if the description gave real credence to the possibility that you were a cross-dresser … which you are, but … the other way.
>>
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Your point being, the description is loose enough that even though you are exceptionally tall for a woman, you don't feel that you would immediately be suspected of the knock-down. Still, it certainly isn't going to make any of this easier. Wanting to be away from here – specifically, wanting to be out of the sight of the driver – you try the door once more, vainly hoping that it was just stuck as opposed to locked. With no other recourse, you seize upon upon the knocker on the door, and gently, on account of the hour, you rap it three times, eliciting a firm but tinny report.

“Jus' what are ya playing at?”

It is a damned good thing that you were not facing the man, as you are certain that your composure cracked, and you are fairly certain that your heart skipped at least two beats, though with the way that it is hammering away now, it seems intent on making up for it. What does he mean by speaking so familiarly to someone who is so ... apparently above him? Does he know? Does he suspect? Had the inquiry been more … measured, deferential, you would have felt comfortable brushing him off with a word, perhaps even ignoring him all together. But this … should you say anything at all? Explain yourself? Act offended? Damn it all to the Heights of Hell, you haven't even managed to get into the Coaching house and already it feels as if you are making mistakes.

> Please choose ONE of the following:

> You will say nothing.
> You will give a curt but truthful reply.
> You will give an indignant, deceitful reply.

> Previous thread: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2024/5946039/
> Archive of threads: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=eternal+rome
>>
>>5982838
>>You will give a curt but truthful reply.
Time to play up how exhausted we are.
>>
>>5982838
>You will give a curt but truthful reply.
>>
>>5982838
>> You will give a curt but truthful reply.
>>
>>5982838
>You will give a curt but truthful reply.
I hate that we're stuck with nice/truthful options now.
>>
Alright, consider this closed. I'll get the update out after a quick dinner ... hopefully.

>>5983230
Remember, the effects from Banes are currently capped at +8 DC. Chlotsuintha can still fib and steal and kill and even knock down a grave or two, it is just a matter of balancing those misdeeds and sins with the Malus the Bane provides.
>>
Trash i've been reading the archives since thread 8 or so and still haven't caught up. Your stuff is really good but by god is it dense. I'll eventually catch up and vote but I expect it to take a month or so lol. Bless your autism (the divine gift given to man by Apollo)
>>
>>5983453
Can and willing are two very different things ;)

Also, don’t see the purpose in grave robbing, even without the malus involved- pre-Praxis Chlot (by the standards of the collective) probably wouldn’t have went for it based on characterization, excluding extenuating circumstances. My perception was that Father was the impetus behind the grave robbing, not poor Chlot.
>>
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Belatedly, you notice that your overlong fingers are trembling on the knocker, and fretful that you might rap the ring by accident, you sharpishly withdraw them. Rooted to the spot, you find yourself hoping that someone will come to the door presently, and save you from having to make a decision here. But the house remains silent, and the windows which you can still see standing so close to the house are unchanged; the ones that were black are black still, and the few that showed some light still show some light - nothing to indicate that anyone had taken up a lamp or 'stick and was coming to see who was calling at such an hour. Behind you, the horse wickers and the driver shifts his weight on the buggy's bench, releasing a medley of creaking, wooden groans. You feel something like a specimen under glass, run through with a pin. Your breathing is tighter than it should be, and your heart still hasn't settled. You catch yourself exhaling a little too loudly, and try to play it off by straightening up a little bit. There is still no movement, no noise, no new light from the house. It is clear that no one is going to be answering the door in the next dozen seconds or so; it might be that no one heard your reserved knocking at all. You should have known better though; you cannot expect that sort of serendipitous deliverance. You are going to have to get yourself through this, somehow.

Before you think yourself silly, you just answer his question being as honest as you can - which in this case is actually entirely honest.

"There is no issue here; I'm expected."

"At this hour?!"

"Give or take a ... few minutes, yes."

There is another cacophony of groans and creaks as the driver shifts his weight again, no doubt guessing outlandish and outrageous reasons why a woman without chaperone would call upon a Coaching house in the Hour of Change. You are having a hard time not getting a little indignant on account of your imagining of his imagination, but there is some small solace in that you haven't been belted with any more questions. Yet there still is no sign of anyone coming to the door, or anyone beside this driver knowing you are here, and as soon as the suffering of bench becomes inaudible once more, you get a feeling that without anything else of comparative interest, there might be a rejoinder in conversation coming soon.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> You will say nothing, and hope that he follows your example
> You will inquire to his purpose here - if he is answering questions, he isn't asking them.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> You will rap the door once more.
> You will not rap the door once more.
>>
>>5983871
>You will inquire to his purpose here - if he is answering questions, he isn't asking them.
> You will rap the door once more.
>>
>>5983871

> You will inquire to his purpose here - if he is answering questions, he isn't asking them.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> You will not rap the door once more.
>>
Oh, I forgot to put that write-ins are allowed with QM approval, but that probably goes without saying at this point.

>>5983516
> Trash I've been reading the archives since thread 8 or so and still haven't caught up. Your stuff is really good but by god is it dense. I'll eventually catch up and vote but I expect it to take a month or so lol. Bless your autism (the divine gift given to man by Apollo)
I'm flattered! And it is good to know that even fifteen threads in, we are still getting new players. Looking forward to seeing you in the votes once you catch up.

>>5983775
> Also, don’t see the purpose in grave robbing, even without the malus involved- pre-Praxis Chlot (by the standards of the collective) probably wouldn’t have went for it based on characterization, excluding extenuating circumstances. My perception was that Father was the impetus behind the grave robbing, not poor Chlot.
It has been a long time since it was touched on, but the more that the Form - that is to say, the Idea of something - needs to change, the more difficult and complex the Mystery. Specifically looking at Constructs; if Chlotsuintha wanted to Weave something that could swim, then she would be best served using an aquatic animal as her raw material. If she wanted to make a Construct that she would directly interface with through Socketing Needles, or some equivalent - which is to say, if she wanted to make what would effectively be a new limb or organ - then she would be best served making it from limbs or organs. That is not to say that she won't be able to Weave on the Life-Loom without using human remains - or living subjects, or herself - it is just that by precluding the option, she will find that certain Constructs are harder to make than they would otherwise be.
>>
>>5983915
>I'm flattered!
Good. You're a great storyteller.
Not gonna lie though the refinery filtered me for like four months because of how slow it was to read through. I imagine it wasn't as bad live but the archive is rough
>>
>>5983871
>> You will inquire to his purpose here - if he is answering questions, he isn't asking them.
> You will rap the door once more.
>>
>>5983871
> You will say nothing, and hope that he follows your example
> You will not rap the door once more.
>>
We are still tied on knocking the door once more, I'll wait for a tiebreaker.

>>5984103
> Not gonna lie though the refinery filtered me for like four months because of how slow it was to read through. I imagine it wasn't as bad live but the archive is rough
From what I can tell, you aren't the only one that was put off - the setting should have been a winner, but I implemented it about as poorly as I possibly could have, prompting votes and rolls without narrative updates because I didn't have the time to sit down and write properly, which only ballooned the backlog that I would have to write through larger and larger. The way I modeled progress through the place, and made it partially dependent on random rolls is also a terrible idea in retrospect. That sort of progression should be completely on the initiative of the players - this is something that I have since taken to heart.

I'm very thankful for you and everyone else who stuck through it!
>>
>>5984255
I am pro rapping the door again
>>
Okay, that settles it. I will get to writing.
>>
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Looking to buy yourself a little more time to mull, you take up the knocker once more, and make a series of marginally louder knocks. As far as you can tell though, there is still no response forthcoming from the Coaching house, while behind you the driver is making a noise lost somewhere between a guffaw and a throat-clearing, accompanying it with reports even more vigorous from the bench suffering away underneath him. Fighting the urge to fidget as you wait, you find yourself becoming more frustrated than afraid. Of all of the incidental complications that could have happened, of all of the misfortunes that might have - and might still - befall you tonight, you never thought you would be so thoroughly undermined by something as stupid as this! Time is so impossibly precious right now; minutes alone may make the difference between a clean break and becoming the subject of a Hunt, and you have just about burnt one of them waiting on someone to get themselves to this damned, fraying door!

As anger pushes aside anxiety, and you try to master yourself, so not to rouse any more suspicion, make any more of a scene, a thought manages to take root in the beleaguered soil between your ears. This driver ... to be sure, he is far from harmless, but in the past few days, you have handled men much more dangerous - by the Heights of Hell, you managed to talk yourself out of suspicion to a Master Abbot of the Inquisition! More than that, he things you are trustworthy enough to take testimony from. You ... you can do this! And it simply cannot be gainsaid that you are going to be better off if it is you dictating the conversation here, not him. With that, you about face as smartly as you can with the limited space on the landing of the step, and directly address the driver, who inexplicably seems to be pleasantly surprised by your newfound interest in him.

"How long have you been waiting here, exactly?"

"Whut? Oh ... been a while, hasn't it. Was enjoying meself at the table, with food, and the custom too - talking up the Guild, the adventure of it all, the work - while the boss-man was trimmin' talents with the proprietor. Then - and this was well before the Hour of Change, mind ya - Master Sulphreme comes on out, says he's done cinched it up, and tells me to get the lead out. So I get the lead out, knowing that I now gotsta wait while he enjoys hisself at the table with the food and the custom. Decent sort in this place, looking like clubbed rabbits at the news - if it weren't for news of the excitement on the road, not a one of 'em would be up so late ..."
>>
> Please choose ONE of the following:
> "So you'd say that the Master isn't going to be coming to the door presently, is that right?" As intriguing as the prospect of fresh news of the Thoroughfares might be, you don't want to come off as too interested in their condition, lest someone make some connection later. It would be best then, to keep the conversation going as a distraction. With any luck, you will get the news from someone who doesn't belong to a Guild that is presumably actively looking for you.
> "And what news would that be, pray tell?" While you are concerned that your interest in the condition of the Thoroughfares might be remembered, considering the direction of the conversation it shouldn't raise the hue and cry. Steer the conversation into more fruitful territory; let him tell you all that he will without prying or prodding - or at least, seeming that you are prying or prodding. With any luck, you will be overlooked, lumped together with the rest of the custom who he told the tales to.
> "..." With any luck, someone will be coming to the door soon. Continuing the conversation is continuing to take risks. Thank him for sharing what he has, then pointedly stare at the Great Work ... or something. Anything to stop a rejoinder.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> You will rap the door once more.
> You will not rap the door once more.
>>
>>5984433
> "So you'd say that the Master isn't going to be coming to the door presently, is that right?" As intriguing as the prospect of fresh news of the Thoroughfares might be, you don't want to come off as too interested in their condition, lest someone make some connection later. It would be best then, to keep the conversation going as a distraction. With any luck, you will get the news from someone who doesn't belong to a Guild that is presumably actively looking for you.
Shouldn't we get news about the Throughfare from the crit?

> You will not rap the door once more.
>>
>>5984502
> Shouldn't we get news about the Throughfare from the crit?
I don't want to show too much of my hand, but to answer the question; you will regardless, but getting it from the horses mouth - that is to say, the driver or the Master Taker - will provide even more details, at the cost of having your interest in this matter being known to men of the Thief-Taker's Guild, on top of knowledge of your appearance and your presence at the Coaching house tonight.
>>
>>5984502
>+1 to this. Seems most wise.
>>
Alright, consider this closed.
>>
The excitement, eh? As you recall, just as you were leaving the Coaching house after cinching your own deal with the proprietor, news came in of a coach taken by highwaymen not far from the Mount. The details were scarce, and your recollection of them are hazy, considering all that has happened in the ensuing time, but the point remains that you would be well served to learn all you could about the condition of the roads into the Interior ... just not from someone who belongs to a Guild whose trade it is to track and take bounties while you yourself are the subject of one. From what you can gather, they have rather loose with whatever intelligence they have of the matter; assuming you ever manage to get inside of the house, you cannot imagine that it would be beyond your abilities to pump some of the 'decent sort' here for what the Taker and his driver have been pouring in their ears. To be sure, no tale becomes truer the more mouths it is passed amongst, but if they got it from the Taker himself, you have to imagine that there won't have been an opportunity for much of anything to get confused. Best then to just keep this conversation nothing but chaff - you may not gain anything by it, but you are much more concerned about rousing up suspicion by stumbling if the conversation slides into dangerous territory for you.

"So you'd say that the Master isn't going to be coming to the door presently, is that right?"

"Heh, I wouldn't say that. Man's got damned good ears, he has. He'll 'ave heard; probably thinks I've done and lost me senses, raising him like that. I'd 'magine, that'd he be along presently, looking to box me ears back like some poxy pigeon-boy."

"Ah, I see."

The man cackles a bit, while tugging idly at his cuffs. The horse cranes its head back for a look at the two of you, sneezes, then looks away. The rest of the house, the yard and the street beyond are all unchanged and undisturbed to eye and ear. All the while, you are roiling and churning, trying to think up something else to say, trying to keep on top of the conversation, lest it stray away. You grasp at straws, and manage to hold naught but air - until a reprieve comes. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice a light moving past a window, heading straight for the door. You can hear the swearing and grousing even before the footsteps, as behind you the driver is failing at stifling sniggers, and before the door has even opened, the forecasted dressing-down has begun.
>>
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"Damn your eyes! I - "

And predictably, the dressing-down ends abruptly as the man splutters an apology and the driver has since given up on stifling the sounds of his amusement. The Taker - who in your imagination had been a tall and imposing figure, much like father - has turned out to be a slightly built, rather bashful looking older man. Even though the floor of the Coaching house is more than a few inches above the step you on which you stand, you would judge that you are at least a hand and a third above the shock of thick gray hair atop his head. Draped over his right shoulder is a leather sash of at least six inches in width, inset with cast iron catch-poles, enameled red; besides this ... extravagance, he wears no other indication of rank of affiliation, or at least that you can see. Were he to take that thing off, he would look for all the world to be just a reasonably well-to-do tradesman - which considering his true trade, is no doubt the intention.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> "..." Walk past him without saying a word. This is a public house, and you have legitimate business here. It might be odd to say nothing at all to the man, but it cannot be much odder than your being here - and the sooner he is out of sight, the better!
> "Excuse me." Walk past him. This is a public house, and you have legitimate business here. Being so stand-offish and trying to find the proprietor yourself may be odd, but it cannot be much odder than your being here - and quicker you are away, the better!
> "Would you please take me to the master of the house?" You don't like involving him - at all - but you are trying to prevent any more of a scene from being made here, so it stands that trying to act like a ... more proper woman would raise fewer flags than it would if you were to be standoffish and try to conduct yourself here alone. You have to think that it won't matter if he has an inkling of an idea as to your business here, so long as he doesn't suspect you of anything.
>>
>>5985103
>> "Would you please take me to the master of the house?" You don't like involving him - at all - but you are trying to prevent any more of a scene from being made here, so it stands that trying to act like a ... more proper woman would raise fewer flags than it would if you were to be standoffish and try to conduct yourself here alone. You have to think that it won't matter if he has an inkling of an idea as to your business here, so long as he doesn't suspect you of anything.

Propermaxxing
>>
>>5985103
> "Would you please take me to the master of the house?" You don't like involving him - at all - but you are trying to prevent any more of a scene from being made here, so it stands that trying to act like a ... more proper woman would raise fewer flags than it would if you were to be standoffish and try to conduct yourself here alone. You have to think that it won't matter if he has an inkling of an idea as to your business here, so long as he doesn't suspect you of anything.
>>
>>5985103
>"Would you please take me to the master of the house?" You don't like involving him - at all - but you are trying to prevent any more of a scene from being made here, so it stands that trying to act like a ... more proper woman would raise fewer flags than it would if you were to be standoffish and try to conduct yourself here alone. You have to think that it won't matter if he has an inkling of an idea as to your business here, so long as he doesn't suspect you of anything.
>>
>>5985103
>> "Excuse me." Walk past him. This is a public house, and you have legitimate business here. Being so stand-offish and trying to find the proprietor yourself may be odd, but it cannot be much odder than your being here - and quicker you are away, the better!
>>
Alright, consider this closed.
>>
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The first impulse through you is to simply remain silent, and by doing so, bid that the man's embarrassment may be leveraged for your ends. If he is made to think that he has given offense, or that he has overstepped propriety, then wouldn't he be more likely to let you pass him by without interjection and interception? Obviously, taking freedom of the Coaching house for yourself, conducting your business far afield from his eyes and ears - there is much to commend that. But 'more likely' is rather distant from a guarantee - and it couldn't it be that on seeing your coldness, he tries all the harder to impose himself in a bid to ease away his outburst? To your tired eyes, it seems that the man looks quite intent on apologizing; so then, if one outcome of silence and side-stepping was to be favored over the other, it seems it would have to be worse of the two. You cannot say you like the thought, but you might be better served by ignoring the outburst, not the man. Act as your best approximation of a proper woman - or at least, as proper as a woman who runs around the Mount by night, without chaperone might be - and hope that when the time comes to conduct your business with the proprietor you have managed to extricate yourself from him. And if you haven't ... then you will have to hope it will not unmake you. Even if the man has an inkling of an idea as to your business - perhaps even if he knows the entirety of it - you shouldn't be any worse off for it, so long as he doesn't suspect you of anything. And in that vein, the more ... exceptional your conduct, the more like he is to have questions, if not suspicions about you. Having resolved yourself, you keep your face and your voice as measured and level as you may.

"Would you please take me to the master of the house?"

The sound of your voice seems to have an effect on the man; composure returns to him like a surge overtakes a beach.

"Yes, yes. Alvor Sulphreme, the Ninth of the Hall in the Hole and Master of her Locks is at your service."

He sketches a polite little bow while moving aside to let you into the house, managing to pass the 'stick he lit his way here with between his hands at the same time. In the light of it, you notice for the first time his complexion - a rather sallow looking olive, even in the warm light of the candle. There are those of such hues in the Empire, of course, but the odd name and the practiced absence of affectations suggests the man is a foreigner - by blood, at least. One you would judge to be more distant than the Tartessians who have made business for this man's Guild to seek out and take you. It is a odd thought, and not a comfortable one. You stare for a moment, before it is your turn to be embarrassed - the man is offering you his arm. Questioning all of your choices, you shift your bundle underneath your right arm, then you slip your left through his own.

"Dremen. Wilhelmina Dremen."
>>
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"An absolute pleasure. Goodman Nasturtium is at the Wheel Table with those still awake, enjoying a late repast."

Immediately you regret your decision to take his arm. He is short enough that the crook of your left arm - tender as it is with the tracks of the Socketing Needle you have been running through it - is right up against the pit of his right. Still, you are determined to not make any more of a scene than you already have, so struggling not to wince and ignoring that your left shoulder is conspicuously lower than your right at the moment, you allow yourself to be lead into the Coaching house.

"I truly cannot apologize enough for my outburst; quite honestly, I should have known it wasn't my man - he's been with me three years this month, and not once had he ever presumed upon me as I thought he did tonight."

His tone is appropriately apologetic, but even in the sorry state you find yourself, you can hear what is not spoken quite plainly. That it never would have occurred to him that it would be anyone else but his man, regardless of his past conduct - because it is nigh unthinkable that someone would be calling at a decent house in the manner that you have. Silence falls once more, and entwined, the two of you continue into the front-facing common room that not too many hours ago you were in to speak with the 'master of the house'. Bereft of all people - save yourselves - and all light - save that which comes off of Alvor's 'stick - it looks quite different ... though to tell it true, at this point you would be hard pressed to describe how it appeared to you the first time around. All told, it settles neither stomach or nerves.

"Forgive me the question, but ... you didn't come here by yourself, did you?"

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> " ..." Say nothing, but try looking embarrassed. That should be enough to get him to drop it, but it remains to be seen if that will ease or urge on suspicion.
> "Yes." It is the truth, and you will keep to it. If he presses the matter, use it as a pretext to take your arm out of his, and feign frustration. Actually, you wouldn't even be feigning anything, would you?
> "Yes." It is the truth ... on which the best lies may be built. You have already established a backstory here about why you are unaccompanied, you will call upon it now. [Requires Rolling]
> "No." It is a lie ... which the best lies may also be built on. It might be one thing for you to be out and about unescorted during daylight and another thing entirely to do it during the Hour of Change. Obviously, make sure that this deception is compatible with the one you already laid here [Requires Rolling]
>>
>>5985948
>"Yes." It is the truth ... on which the best lies may be built. You have already established a backstory here about why you are unaccompanied, you will call upon it now. [Requires Rolling]
>>
>>5985948
> "Yes." It is the truth ... on which the best lies may be built. You have already established a backstory here about why you are unaccompanied, you will call upon it now. [Requires Rolling]

We're already telling it to the Goodman Nasturnium, so why not keep using the same lie. And, if he offers to be your escort, we can deny him on the grounds that our father and manservant are soon to be our escort
>>
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> Twinned Deception-Persuasion Test I: Deception I

> + DC 20: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Liar, making a Rudimentary Deception like this [Very Easy]
> + DC 9: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is currently Tired III and is not as perceptive as she might be otherwise
> + DC 6: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is currently Drained III, and may not be thinking as quick as she normally does.
> + DC 1: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is in an awkward, mildly painful position, just enough to confound.
> + DC 3: Witchlet Chlotsuintha's height corresponds with the description of a wanted criminal [Trebled]
> + DC 2: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is oddly tall for a woman, evoking suspicion
> + DC 2: Witchlet Chlotsuintha's conduct has been a close approximation of a well-bred woman, but it has not been perfect
> + DC 15: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is doing something that a decent well-bred woman would never be allowed to do, calling her presented identity into question
> + DC 2: Witchlet Chlotsuintha's tongue is not as deft at lying as it was when the wages of sin were out of her mind [Banes]
> - DC 12: Master Taker Sulphreme, Ninth of the Hall in the Hole has no reason to believe that Chlotsuintha is lying to him beyond innate caution
> - DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is dressed in concordance with how she is seeking to present herself
> - DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha looks to be bred in concordance with how she is seeking to present herself
> - DC 5: ???
> - DC 4: ???

> DC 17: Anything lower is a failure. [Auto-pass(es) available. Re-roll(s) available. No hostile re-roll(s)]

> No Passes: The Crook in His Arm. Chlotsuintha isn't sure what exactly it was, but something she said clearly is not sitting well with Sulphreme. It is quite clear that he doesn't believe Chlotsuintha is who she says she is [Aborts]
> One Pass: Darkened the Doorstep. Chlotsuintha is convinced that Sulphreme doesn't entirely buy into Wilhelmina, but she isn't sure if she should keep working on this point, or just move on from [Prompts Vote]
> Two Passes: Plight at Night. Sulphreme shows no indication that he is suspicious of 'Wilhelmina', but it he has a hard time accepting that she needs to be out on the streets at night like this [Continues to Persuasion I]
> Three Passes: Taking the Taker. Sulphreme doesn't just accept Chlotsuintha as Wilhelmina, he uncritically accepts Chlotsuintha's accounting of the exceptional circumstances that led her out on the streets unescorted [Concludes].

> If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2) then Chlotsuintha finds that Sulphreme is far from the most dangerous guest of the Coaching house.
> If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99) then Sulphreme divulges something about the presence of all of the Inquisitors on the Mount.
>>
> May I please have three rolls of 1d100? Rolling more than once is acceptable, so long as at least half an hour has passed since the last roll.
>>
Rolled 52 (1d100)

>>5986248
>>
>>5985948

>"Yes." It is the truth ... on which the best lies may be built. You have already established a backstory here about why you are unaccompanied, you will call upon it now. [Requires Rolling]

Webs of lies rarely work well. Keep it simple.
>>
Rolled 38 (1d100)

>>5986248
>>
Rolled 72 (1d100)

>>5986248
>>
Sorry about falling asleep on you all; I'm working on the update. Look for it in a few hours time.
>>
Apologies again; I have always had a hard time writing dialogue. Look for the update tomorrow.
>>
No worries. Take your time.
>>
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Your breath falters and catches at the question, and entwined as close and as tight as you are, you have to imagine that the Taker noticed it. Well ahead of the little island of illumination coming off of the 'stick in Sulphreme's hand, down what might be a hall, you can see a door, with faint light and fainter sound seeping out from around it. If you can time your explanation so you end it more or less satisfactorily by the time you arrive at the door, he shouldn't have the opening to put any questions to you - which means you will have markedly fewer opportunities to put your foot in your mouth. You do what you can to keep yourself slack, lest he sluice out the truth from your body. You let the question hang for as long as you dare, then you break the silence by allowing yourself a tired-sounding sigh as you throw yourself bodily - figuratively bodily - into the breach once more.

"Yes, I am. I do know that is ... that is to say I shouldn't, but ..."

Hanging that in the air, you turn your head away from the Taker, feigning embarrassment. From the corner of your eye, you watch as the door draws nearer and nearer. You let the moment draw on for another few steps, then you face front once more.

"My father, and both of our menservants besides, have taken ill - the crossing was not kind to any of them. With the three of them laid up, it fell to me to conduct business on his behalf while he recovers."

"No, truly?"

"Yes, truly. It has fallen to me, as we are without family or friends in the Mount.”

You cannot help the twinge of pride in yourself at just how clever you can be when you are on the anvil like this – deliberately saying 'in the Mount' as opposed to 'on the Mount' as someone who has lived here for half her life might. Though that pride sours and becomes heavy as lead in your breast once you come to your senses over it; how far gone does one have to be to be proud of how well they can lie and deceive?

“But be that as it may, surely you could have availed yourself of someone, a solicitor or someone of that sort?”

A fair point.

“A fair point. But … ”

You hang this half-finished thought in the air while you let the 'keeper wind down – and to tell it true, here you need the time. The play is obvious on the whole – you are your fathers heir, you wanted to prove yourself to him, lest he worry about you. But the specifics of it … how can you make it believable and sympathetic?

“Yes?”

Shit! Easy, just … contrite. Yes! Framed as a mistake.

“It … it so happens that I am my father's heir. I had thought – it seemed to me that this was a perfect opportunity to prove myself to him, that I could do this, only my own. Only … once it started to wear on, and things got harder and more complicated did it occur to me that if I truly wanted to prove myself I would have - ”
>>
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Your blood runs cold and your step catches a hitch. With words gushing and forth, as if a tun had been tapped with an open spigot, you were about to say 'as I was told'. Just what – who – exactly are you talking about here? Wilhelmina should never have been told otherwise; the story would marred if not undermined by someone so proper directly contravening instructions from her father. Measuring your words now as if your life depended on it, you resume hoping you may just brush past the lapse.

“I certainly should have sought someone out – a professional, someone who knew the Mount. And I did try to … eventually. But it so happened that once I saw my blunder for what it was, the hour was too late. I could find no decent or reliable house to call upon. So then … I figured I'd had to see this through to the end, and if I was … to meet with any ill-fortune along the way, then it was my due for my mistake, and I should accept it as such.”

“Maker's Mercy! That … there is something quite admirable in that thinking, and in your conduct. But this – and you must forgive me for saying this – his heir or no, these are not your burdens to bear. It is well past time that you set them down. Whatever business you have here, once it is concluded, I will take you to your father.”

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> “Oh, you don't understand, we have taken lodging at this house.” A neat little solution, and it isn't contradicted by anything that you have said to the man.
> “Actually, I was going to take a room here for the night and return to him tomorrow.” A solution a bit more circumspect, but you doubt the Taker would suspect you would go so far as to sneak out of the room as soon as you were left alone.
> “You are much too kind. I accept of course.” The most direct solution to the problem at hand, but extricating yourself from the man might prove to be difficult. If you choose this, your best bet is to give the man the name of a public house, commensurate to your presented status and work your way apart once inside.
> “You are much too kind, but I cannot accept.” It will be a tall order, perhaps impossibly so – but if you can somehow manage it, you will not need to be worried about getting caught in a lie. [Requires Rolling]
> Write-ins allowed with QM approval

Suffice to say, not all of these choices are safe - some of them might not even be as safe as they would appear to be at first glance. Consider them carefully, and remember full well that this man is the ninth-ranked Taker on the Mount.
>>
>>5987256
> “You are much too kind, but I cannot accept.” It will be a tall order, perhaps impossibly so – but if you can somehow manage it, you will not need to be worried about getting caught in a lie. [Requires Rolling]
>>
>>5987256
>“You are much too kind, but I cannot accept.” It will be a tall order, perhaps impossibly so – but if you can somehow manage it, you will not need to be worried about getting caught in a lie. [Requires Rolling]
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH
>>
>>5987256

> “You are much too kind, but I cannot accept.” It will be a tall order, perhaps impossibly so – but if you can somehow manage it, you will not need to be worried about getting caught in a lie. [Requires Rolling]

Two trap options, the Taker is really cornering us and we are tired and still hungry.
>>
>>5987256
>> “You are much too kind, but I cannot accept.” It will be a tall order, perhaps impossibly so – but if you can somehow manage it, you will not need to be worried about getting caught in a lie. [Requires Rolling]
This is cruel, trash
>>
>>5987256
> “Actually, I was going to take a room here for the night and return to him tomorrow.” A solution a bit more circumspect, but you doubt the Taker would suspect you would go so far as to sneak out of the room as soon as you were left alone.
Ultimately the better option- it’s avoids raising the thief-taker’s suspicion and the tall order roll, while netting us some breakfast. We need to not raise suspicion, especially considering our Wanted status.
>>
>>5987256
> “You are much too kind, but I cannot accept.” It will be a tall order, perhaps impossibly so – but if you can somehow manage it, you will not need to be worried about getting caught in a lie. [Requires Rolling]

But also: our specific lie should be that we don't want to impose and that we were already going to ask for an escort from the among Goodman Nastorum's men. I think this sounds reasonable and delays the issue
>>
>>5987256
>“Actually, I was going to take a room here for the night and return to him tomorrow.” A solution a bit more circumspect, but you doubt the Taker would suspect you would go so far as to sneak out of the room as soon as you were left alone
>>
>>5987256
>“You are much too kind, but I cannot accept.” It will be a tall order, perhaps impossibly so – but if you can somehow manage it, you will not need to be worried about getting caught in a lie. [Requires Rolling]
>>
Alright, we have a pretty strong consensus. I'll work out the test, and get it up after lunch. I'll say that it will have a DC of 65 to 70. I don't think I have done enough to really communicate just how shocking and transgressive Chlotsuintha's behavior here is to the sensibilities of her fellow Subjects - but as established earlier, it is a common practice in rural Imperial settings to deny women (married or otherwise) footwear to keep them close to home. What Chlotsuintha is doing is really, really beyond the pale. Convincing Sulphreme to lay off and allow her on her way is going to have to be even more difficult than using layered sob-stories to convince that cobbler to sell her working-men's boots, and this test is going to reflect that.

You do have a lot of auto-passes and re-rolls banked - five auto-passes and nine stock-standard re-rolls by my count. You could be able to skip away this entire test, if you so desired. I'd imagine that you would want to see the test first before deciding on using any of your lucky-tenth talents, though ...
>>
>>5988317
God, we really need to learn some magic to make us look like a man. I have a hard time thinking of an pre-modern society as sex-restrictive as the one Chlotsuintha is living in. Maybe late Ming China?
>>
>>5988317
Honestly rather we just review our other options- ain’t no way we’d be passing this, and anons need to realize that this is an experienced thief-taker that we’re being suspicious under, with the added caveat of being a wanted criminal. We’ll get Chlot killed if we keep choosing the retarded options.
>>
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> Persuasion Test I

> DC 55: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Liar, making an Advanced Persuasion Test like this [Difficult], so long as she is lying through out it.
> + DC 9: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is currently Tired III and is not as perceptive as she might be otherwise
> + DC 6: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is currently Drained III, and may not be thinking as quick as she normally does.
> + DC 1: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is in an awkward, mildly painful position, just enough to confound her.
> + DC 3: Witchlet Chlotsuintha's height corresponds with the description of a wanted criminal [Trebled]
> + DC 2: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is oddly tall for a woman, evoking suspicion
> + DC 2: Witchlet Chlotsuintha's tongue is not as deft at lying as it was when the wages of sin were out of her mind [Banes]
> + DC 15: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is asking Master Taker Sulphreme to do something outside of the bounds of propriety
> - DC 6: Witchlet Chlotsuintha has established a believable rationalization for why she was not escorted,
> - DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha looks to be Gently Bred, making her entreaties more effective [Doubles]
> - DC 3: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Richly Dressed, giving her words additional credence that they might otherwise lack
> - DC 2: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Suitably Spoken, allowing her to articulate and argue her points well-enough
> - DC 4: ???

> DC 68. Anything lower is a failure. [Five auto-pass(es) available. Nine re-roll(s) available. No hostile re-roll(s)]

> No passes: The Crook in His Arm. Master Taker Sulphreme is not having any of this - set in what he believes is his moral duty, he intends to deliver Chlotsuintha back to her father and will brook no further discussion on the matter.
> One Pass: Taken Aback. Master Taker Sulphreme is surprised that Chlotsuintha are trying to argue the point, but he is her captive audience as she are his, so she may still try to argue for 'parole' or try to negotiate an alternative, albeit at a further disadvantage.
> Two Passes: Taken In. Master Taker Sulphreme is not accustomed to arguing with women, especially one making articulate and impassioned points. Chlotsuintha may continue to try to argue for 'parole' or an alternative solution at an advantage.
> Three Passes: Unescort Mission. In spite of how Contrary it might be, Master Taker Sulphreme cannot withstand any of Chlotsuintha's arguments, and finds himself ultimately acceding to her pleas.

> If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2) then Chlotsuintha finds that Sulphreme is far from the most dangerous guest of the Coaching house.
> If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99) then Sulphreme divulges something about the presence of all of the Inquisitors on the Mount.
>>
Before opening it up to rolling, is there any interest in auto-passing out of this entire test?

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> Use three auto-passes to skip the test
> Proceed with the test as typical
>>
To clarify a point of potential confusion: In the No Passes outcome, Sulphreme will not brook any further discussion. Chlotsuintha will not be able to try to argue to be left to her own devices, nor will she be able to negotiate an alternative (one of the other options mentioned in >>5987256, or a suitable write-in if one is presented). In the One Pass outcome, Sulphreme is not particularly receptive to discussion, but he is still somewhat listening. Chlotsuintha will be able to try to argue to be left to her own devices, though she will need to pass a more difficult version of this test, or she could try to negotiate an alternative - which would now require rolling, but would have a much, much lower DC than this test. In the Two Passes outcome, Sulphreme is half-taken in by Chlotsuintha's talk, and just needs a little more prodding. Chlotsuintha will be able to try to argue to be left to her own devices by passing an easier version of this test, or she could try to negotiate an alternative - which would not require rolling. Do note, that any pitfalls associated with the options in >>5987256 are still in play.

If there are any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
>>
>>5988569
>Proceed with the test as typical
Let's try our luck first
>>
>>5988598
>>5988569
Just a reminder, criticals and near-criticals cannot be undone with re-rolls or auto-passes (auto-fails for hostile tests)
>>
>>5988609
Is a crit fail here a quest ender?
>>
>>5988621
No. If it was, the Shears Drawn Near -15 DC modifier would have been applied. I also would have indicated as such.
>>
So just to check we can still choose to use an auto-pass afterwards if we roll first, as long as we don't get a crit?
If that's the case I'm fine with proceeding as per usual and then deciding.
>>
>>5988569
What are the knock on effect in a No Pass situation, and what would Chlot have to do afterwards? I’m looking for the effects that would ripple into our night.

>>5988621
No, otherwise I would be lambasting y’all for trying to get Chlot killed. Still, I’d rather not waste our valuable fate-changing talents for something that’s just challenging to manage and not directly life-endangering.

>>5988783
That’s correct- I will ask, did you lads choose the “You are much too kind, but I cannot accept” option out of a mistaken belief that it was following Praxis, or did you all really think that the DC wouldn’t be over 50?
>>
>>5988783
That is correct, yes.

If no one indicates that they want to completely skip the test in the next twenty minutes or so, then I think we should be alright with moving on.
>>
>>5988803
I assumed that 2/3 passes would improve our situation somewhat and that all of the other options are extremely dangerous, the only other one I considered viable was saying we planned to stay here for the night, but even then it'd be suspicious for us to just disappear.
>>
>>5988803
He would threaten to invoke a 'civil arrest' - analogous to a citizen's arrest. If Chlotsuintha continued to refuse to let him take her to her father, then he would attempt to arrest her as a runaway minor and conduct her to the Belly where he would seek to have her lawfully held until she could be reunited with her father ... which for obvious reasons would present a serious problem.
>>
Alright then, may our luck run white, and may I please have three rolls of 1d100?
>>
Rolled 28 (1d100)

>>5988839
>>
>>5988803
I agree with this anon >>5988811
I choose the option because all of the others seemed more dangerous and liable to bite us in the ass and this one, despite a high chance of failure, seemed least likely to have consequences that would make things worse
>>
Rolled 47 (1d100)

>>5988839
Come on, one pass before rerolls.
>>
Rolled 54 (1d100)

>>5988839
May our luck hold white, and our Pattern not fray lads
>>
>>5988811
>>5988872
Well, it just got worse lads

>>5988566
How much is the advantage in
>Chlotsuintha may continue to try to argue for 'parole' or an alternative solution at an advantage
?
>>
Rolled 34 (1d100)

>>5988839
I invoke Reroll
>>
Well I don't know if that will be counted but it seems that we'll have no choice but to burn our auto passes
>>
>>5988908
> How much is the advantage in Chlotsuintha may continue to try to argue for 'parole' or an alternative solution at an advantage?
Enough to wipe out 2/3rds of the malus for asking Sulphreme to do something outside of the bounds of propriety (-10 DC). For reference the One Pass outcome adds an additional 1/3 (+5 DC)

>>5988939
Lucky for you, that roll doesn't count. Re-rolls and the like need to be voted on.

Well, as things stand Chlotsuintha is looking at the worst possible outcome (outside of a critical or near-critical failure, of course). As I said, there are nine re-rolls and five auto-passes banked. Now, how do you want to approach this?

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> Accept roll as is, and stake everything on either being able to trick Sulphreme or managing to sneak or run away from him.
> Use an auto-pass to get the One Pass outcome.
> Use two auto-passes to get the Two Passes outcome.
> Use three auto-passes to get the Three Passes outcome.
> Use an indicated number of re-rolls to try to pass the test - if more than three are indicated, and first three rolls result in three passes, remainder will be refunded.
>>
>>5988939
I revoke your invoke =P

Besides, it needs to be a community vote

>>5988941
Clearly, which I hate- the waste was avoidable, we’re a sneakthief for fraying sake!

I just want to know what sorta test we’d face from One/Two Pass.

>>5988952
So, just to be clear, the DC would still be around 58?

What are the passes for the test like?
>>
>>5988952
>Use three auto-passes to get the Three Passes outcome.
>>
>>5988952
>Use 1 Auto Pass and 2 rerolls
>>
>>5988952
Should I just assume that the Pass results are the same as in >>5988566 Trash?
>>
>>5989158
For the second test I mean
>>
>>5989037
Yeah, support
>>
>>5988952
2 auto passes, 2 rerolls
>>
Sorry about that, slow start to the day. I'm here now though.

>>5988962
> So, just to be clear, the DC would still be around 58?
Yes, that is right.

> What are the passes for the test like?
They would be the same, just with the DC shifted downwards.

>>5989158
> Should I just assume that the Pass results are the same as in >>5988566 Trash?
Yes, you should.

>>5989159
>For the second test I mean
For all of them.

By my count, we have four votes, with a 2-1-1 spread; that is awfully close, and there is the matter that anons were asking questions that I didn't answer (again, sorry about that). I'm going to leave this up for a little bit longer, but if there are no new votes by the time that I finish dinner, then I will consider this closed for using the auto-passes and get to writing. If there is a tie, then I will wait until it is broken properly.

Ultimately, the update on the other end of all of this rolling is going to be dialogue heavy again, which is not a strong suit of mine, so expect it to take longer than typical. Not as long as the previous update did, but it is probably something I won't be able to finish tonight - just some forewarning.
>>
>>5989413
+1
>>
>>5989454
What would be the rough DC of the most difficult test we could face? And I’m trying to calculate the value of an auto-success vs a reroll, and given the current DC, odds are good that we make 1 pass with 3 rerolls, I just want to be certain of my logic before I commit to it.

Way I figure it, accepting anything less than a 3 Pass would lead to more resources expenditure than is worth- even if we enter into another round with that advantage, that still a 58 DC, with a need for us to get 3 Passes to succeed, two passes to gain another (unknown) advantage in the contest, and 1 to continue the contest at a disadvantage. Those aren’t great odds, and I’m trying to Spock my way around the conundrum.
>>
>>5988952
Fuck it, we’ve dallied long enough
> Use two auto-passes and our reroll reserve until we get the third pass
Way I figure it, anything less than 3 Passes is just pissing more rerolls down the drain, since the test would continue at a overall disadvantage with the same need of a three pass to finally get it over with. Don’t like it, and anons should’ve just sucked it up and snuck off, but we gotta stop the spiral in it’s tracks.

Is it possible to do two rerolls before before enabling the second auto-pass? Maybe our luck will be like snow this time.
>>
Alright then, we have our tie-breaker. Auto-passes and two (or more re-rolls). As per >>5990003, I'll let you run the re-rolls first, in case you get lucky. Remember though, we are still on >>5988566, which means the DC is 68.

> Please may I have two rolls of 1d100? Rolling more than once is acceptable, so long as at least half an hour has passed since the last roll.
>>
Rolled 31 (1d100)

>>5990060
Sorry for taking so long in making up my mind- judging the subject value of the special talents took a lot longer than I was comfortable with.

Anyway, here’s a prayer to our white luck!
>>
>>5990063
A tragedy- though at least we have a 77% chance of pass with two rerolls.

As an aside, it’s hard to judge the subjective values precisely because of the fluctuating DCs- the value of an auto-success compared to a reroll fluctuates wildly. The only reason I didn’t vote to solely use rerolls is because we’d be unlikely to make a 3 Pass even with 9 of them, and burning through months worth of our stockpile just seems inefficient and ineffective for future emergencies. A shame, to spend them so frivolously over an avoidable oversight.
>>
Rolled 56 (1d100)

>>5990060
>>
>>5990066
And I see we nailed that 23% chance- let’s see if we can thread ourselves through 5%!
>>
Actually, thinking on this we’ve actually reached a anomaly- it’s a 99.99% chance that we should’ve nailed at least one hit already. We’re in the 0.01% boys!

Just kill me already
>>
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>>5990074
Isn't it a 14.5% chance that all 5 rolls would fail a DC of 68? A .01% chance would be 18 failed rolls in a row.
>>
>>5990094
I included that not!counted Invoke roll into it, so it would be 9.99%. Must’ve accidentally double clicked something, my bad.
>>
Now that I look, I see that I misread one of the votes - the one that I was counting as the tie-breaker. There were two votes for using two re-rolls and two auto-passes, and another vote that I lumped in with them which was actually for using two auto-passes and as many re-rolls as required. I see a number of ways that we can deal with this; we could hand-wave away the rolls here, redo the vote and wait until one option actually gets a real majority then roll for that, we could hand-wave away my mistake and treat the rolls as valid - and continue to roll re-rolls until one passes, or we could hand-wave away my mistake, treat the rolls as valid, and continue on to the second test with two passes on the first.

Sorry about all of this.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> Annul the rolls (refunding the auto-passes and re-rolls) and redo the vote
> Keep the rolls (burning the two auto-passes and two re-rolls) and continue to burn re-rolls until one passes
> Keep the rolls (burning the two auto-passes and two re-rolls) and move on to Persuasion II with the Two Passes outcome on Persuasion I [DC 58]
>>
>>5990104
> Keep the rolls (burning the two auto-passes and two re-rolls) and continue to burn re-rolls until one passes
>>
>>5990104
>Keep the rolls (burning the two auto-passes and two re-rolls) and continue to burn re-rolls until one passes
>>
>>5990104
> Annul the rolls (refunding the auto-passes and re-rolls) and redo the vote
I mean if we can re-do the vote it's going to be easier to just go for three autopasses rather than spending 2 autopasses and 3 rerolls at minimum
>>
>>5990104
>Annul the rolls (refunding the auto-passes and re-rolls) and redo the vote
>>
Well, this is a kick in the head isn't it? I'll post something in the general; hopefully we will get our tie-breaker.
>>
>>5990723
Actually, I’m here- I’m stuck debating with myself over morality vs utility.

I can flip for it if ya want.
>>
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Oh god, I just realized I’m having my own Praxis/Survival morality crisis like Chlot

I’m in a hell of my own making
>>
>>5990104
I SHALL
TIE BREAK
> Keep the rolls (burning the two auto-passes and two re-rolls) and continue to burn re-rolls until one passes
>>
I don’t know if I’m more disappointed or frustrated with myself
>>
Alright then, we have our tie-breaker!

> May our luck run white, and may I have some rolls of 1d100? Rolling more than once is acceptable, so long as at least half an hour has passed since the last roll. Obviously, there is no need to roll once the DC has been achieved ...
>>
Rolled 27 (1d100)

>>5990742
>>
Rolled 12 (1d100)

>>5990742
Ngl, I feel horrible about the state of the quest rn
>>
>>
Rolled 89 (1d100)

>>5990742
>>
And all it took was 9 rolls

Fuck me
>>
Alright, that is over. I have an outline of the update, but it is going to be really dialogue heavy, so it might be some time.

>>5990746
Look at it this way, this all could have gone much, much worse ...
>>
>>5990775
It was also completely avoidable- anons chose the option with the highest risk of failure that wasn’t worth the reward.
>>
>>5990781
But also the option with the lowest risk to Chlotsuintha's life should she fail
>>
>>5990891
Not so- her life is at risk the long he remains in her company. If he gets suspicious, it’s over- assuming we’d escape the experienced Master Thief-Taker (which is not a certainty), we’d need a new exfiltration plan since our cover is blown, and we’d be left holding that bag when the Inquisition starts it’s Hunt.

The high DC ensures this failure- that we’d be locked into the toughest option to deal with, an active babysitter with no family to hand off to, who is actively on the lookout for our criminal alias. Lowest risk my ass.
>>
>>5991100
So which alternative is safer then?
>>
>>5991166
Sneaking out- probably would’ve been a decent DC to pass.

I contend that leaving with him to escort us to a public house probably should’ve been the play though, despite our lack of knowledge (both IC and OOC) of public housing- it probably wouldn’t be too bad a DC to convince him to leave us without meeting ‘father’ when it was all said and done- him being passed out from his exhaustive illness and us being a worrying daughter probably would’ve set him at ease. The only reason I discounted that option was the lack of knowledge on the proper etiquette on how public housing received ‘late callers’.
>>
>>5991181
You know I see the logic in sneaking out, but I worry: how do we get our cart? Because if we get a room we are obviously staying the night and leaving in the morning. Which means we would have to either sonehow convince Goodman Nestorum to give us the cart even though we are staying or steal the cart, both of which sound dangerous and difficult, even more so that being escorted by a thief-taker
>>
>>5991196
Ah, but we technically don’t need the cart now- we can simply take ownership of it now, ‘retire’ for the night, get our shit moved to the sewer, and return to ‘awaken’ and some breakfast early. It also solves the problem of where to hold the carriage while we move house as an added benefit.
>>
>>5991205
So you want this guy to get close to our cart? The cart stuffed with arson supplies, an incindiary bomb, dead bird, stolen patent papers, and a witch seige weapon?

That cart, anon?

I shiggy diggy.
>>
>>5991216
Not that cart, this cart
>Which means we would have to either sonehow convince Goodman Nestorum to give us the cart even though we are staying or steal the cart, both of which sound dangerous and difficult, even more so that being escorted by a thief-taker

It’s Titheday, the Leapers are off work, so the loaded cart is reasonably secure.
>>
Oh shoot, that made me think: it's tithe day tomorrow! Are noble women expected to go to church? Cause that seems like a huge disaster waiting to happen.
>>
>>5991230
>Cause that seems like a huge disaster waiting to happen
That’s our exact relationship with the Pattetnmaker! :V

Beings serious though, we are planning on visiting the church- maybe it’ll ease Chlot’s banes for a (singular) moment.
>>
>>5991205
Okay, so yeah, I agree this was the safer option and safer than the one I and other anons chose, but *only if we leave tomorrow as opposed to tomight*. And, ti me, delaying leaving is the most terribly risky move of all
>>
>>5991233
…Titheday tonight?

Tbh, I wouldn’t mind it- personally atoning in the church under the Lodestar would be a smart move, given what we know. Hell, we may even get a boon from it, since it would be facing adversity!
>>
>>5991233
I just realized that we may be talking about two different timeframes lol- we’d always were going to finish up by Titheday morning, was always the plan lol. It’s not so much a delaying as managing our time differently- like, we’re going to have to stow the carriage and the horses somewhere that won’t be stolen.
>>
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Clearly not expecting a response, Sulphreme continues to escort you through the darkened room. Is it your imagination, or is he holding you tighter now? Were your thoughts in your keeping at the moment, you might be scared by that ...

Take you to your father ... oh, if only. To see father, to hear his voice, to know that he is alright - to know that you are going to be alright. But this man cannot, and even if he could, it just couldn't be allowed. For a start, it wouldn't be safe - though to tell it true, little you have done since laying eyes upon the buggy and driver out in the yard of this house can be considered 'safe'. Still, there is an appreciable difference between taking risks and throwing yourself headlong into the Shears, isn't there? Wherever father is now, he must have reasons, ample and compelling, for staying away. Yet ... incredibly, you find that is not the only thing against it. Were it him, not the Taker, who was with you right now ... you would have no way to stop yourself from asking him what exactly happened in Aldoin's house. It - it doesn't matter, or at least, it shouldn't. Both in the sense that whatever transpired cannot be laid on your head ... and in that you have already set your mind. Were he to tell you nothing, you'd believe him responsible. And if he said that he wasn't responsible for the ... pointed and very advantageous absence of the entire household, how much credence could you give that? But, if you don't see him, if you aren't taken to him, if you cannot ask ... then even after your deduction as to how things played out, and your resolution for yourself besides what with all of the implications that it makes ... there is this wisp, this thin thread of ambiguity that remains to you. Somehow, you know that it couldn't survive a reunion, but in his absence ... well, you have made mistakes before. With nothing to muster that even approaches proof, and nothing forthcoming from father, the authority on the matter ... who is to say that this isn't just another one of your blunders?

Obviously, you want to reunite with father, but ... you are scared. Not just at the thought that you might be right about Aldoin's house, but that he might be right about you, in his ... not-particularly-high estimation of your abilities, what that means for your odds of cleanly 'moving house', and surviving out on the roads. You have ... done well enough at ... most of the tasks that you have set yourself ... for the most part. But beyond the possibility of a fatal misstep or just a stroke of black luck, you have to contend with the fact that you are doing all of this on your own initiative. Father told you to leave the Mount if he didn't return to you - he never said anything about taking his work, his equipment with you. Considering that your efforts to escape while remaining whole have since delayed you past his deadline, you can consider yourself not doing as you are told.
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And all that came near enough to bubbling out, didn't it? You thought you were just pouring nothings into the Taker's ear, but there was something more substantial lying there. For it certainly wasn't Wilhelmina talking about her father when you damn near said that only once things got tight did it occur to you that if you truly wanted to prove yourself, you should have done as you were told. That is the absolute last thing that you should have said then; you had already committed yourself to the conceit that - damn it, to the lie, the lie that is this whole-cloth that you have stuffed into this ridiculously ornate dress alongside yourself, the lie that is Wilhelmina - that she was acting on her father's wishes. Everything here hinged - and still hinges - on that lie. And you barely caught yourself before discrediting it. What a mess. What an absolute mess.

The notes and the equipment, you don't doubt that much of them are irreplaceable; in consideration of your current ability, it might serve to consider all of them to be irreplaceable. But you aren't trying to keep them with you on account of their value - remunerative or even sentimental - no, you are fighting for them, complicating near every step of your escape on their account because you want to use them, to learn from them. To prove to father - and to yourself - just how capable, how competent you really are. As a Witchlet - and if you proved yourself as a footpad by-and-by in the sneaking of them out of the Midden and onto a conveyance that was purchased with monies you yourself stole, then all the better.

How simple is was all going to be. And just how insurmountable it seems now. The Inquisition is all but guaranteed to muster a Hunt to take you, as a Stranger if they aren't able to recognize you as a Witchlet. Guards and Toll-men, Thief-Takers and unaffiliated bounty-seekers will all be sniffing after the pirate responsible for the Euthyphro knock-down; not many will give any credence to the idea that the deed was done by a woman, but 'not many' is not none. Neither the Mount nor the Thoroughfares beyond it are as safe as they were just days ago - hours ago even! There is fresh blood on your hands, and ... many things that you must square yourself with. And on top of all of this, you now must somehow convince the Taker to let you go on your own recognizance. The door is quite near now; though the sound has waned to the point where you cannot make it out over your combined footfalls, you would say that there is now more light coming out from around the door than there is off of the 'stick in the Taker's hands. You seek some fortification by allowing yourself a deep breath, but as you take it you find it shallow and reedy. Before you unravel any further, you force the issue by stopping dead in your tracks, gritting your teeth so that the sudden tightness on your left arm's tender crook cannot show itself on your face as the Taker is wrenched to a sudden stop.
>>
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“You are much too kind, but I cannot accept your ... offer.”

It is plain to see that the Taker is taken aback. Presumably on account of how many moments have met their expiry since he made his 'offer'. Most assuredly on account of how he would never expect a refusal as blunt and indelicate as yours, even when his words were freshly in the air. Were you any to judge, you would say that your stark rebuffing has not yet risen to offense - unfortunately, the only lever known to you which may yet pry yourself free from this man is unavoidably offensive. Were you a man, to say what you intend to now might very well be cause for a summons to the field of honor, or at least some forceful rebuke - but of course, if you were a man, then you wouldn't be in this particular pinch, would you?

"I understand that what I have done is dangerous ... and rather Contrary besides. Quite Contrary, to tell it true. I will account for that fully and well, I assure you. But father ... he wouldn't accept me taking such a courtesy from a man unknown to him. To be sure, he wouldn't be pleased about me being out so very late, but on that point I can do nothing now. On this one, however -"

As you might have expected, Sulphreme does not take this easily, but he does not yet seem aggrieved. Flummoxed, perhaps, as if something vaguely unpleasant had unaccountably befallen him, but not yet rising into anger. You find your tongue to be tied as you wonder if you have gone to far to work your angle - or not far enough. Hemming and hawing on this point, the Taker steals a march on you.

"You cannot possibly be serious!"

Somehow, that settles the matter for you. You will have to commit.

"I know it is backwards, I do. But it is his way. Were you to take me to him, then with all of the stresses and concerns that weigh on him now, I fear that he might make a scene, give serious offense ... make accusations of untoward if not iniquitous conduct on your part."

Of course, this crosses a line - if not several. Considering how quickly Sulphreme's more or less placid face twists into nude anger at the notion, how he splutters away trying to articulate a response, it might very well have been that offense was already alive and well-proportioned in the Taker's breast, but only now have you managed to make it boil over with this latest indignity. You are treading on dangerous ground here - but potentially fruitful ground as well, if you are able to ensure that any anger is turned solely towards the Goodman Dremen.

"He has before, over much, much less. In a much less troubled state, mind. I'm sorry, truly I am - but if I held my tongue and accepted your kindness, then how would I be repaying it? By letting you take black insult and heinous offense after you had spent time and effort in conducting me back to father? Am I wrong to think that it is better to hear this now, from me, instead of minutes hence from him? If I am wrong in this, then I apologize for that as well."
>>
high dcs are anathema in this system, and anons should know that by now. if there is ever an opportunity to avoid a roll, especially a difficult one, then it should be taken. I've argued many times before that anons should take any option to minimize the number of rolls, because they only ever add complications to things if the DC is higher than 30 or so. chlot doesn't make 3-pass clean successes with benefits on what would look like a moderate or low DC in other quests that use bo3.
>>
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The man unwinds his arm from yours so that he may look at you squarely as he talks, and you must fight your face to hide the shuddering relief at the release. As you struggle for something to say again, he manages to marshal his emotions enough to gentle his face somewhat and steal a second march on you.

"I - forgive me for my forwardness, but I assure you, that you have nothing untoward to fear from me."

"And I believe you! Father is ... he is ... shall I say, not inclined to trust? And kept abed as he has been, he is even less inclined than usual. I have to think that one of the reasons he brought me along was so that he had someone bound to him by blood. And ... in that vein, I have to wonder if the reason why father hasn't availed himself of any opportunities yet to seek out and name a ... more typical heir is because he fears that they may ..."

Unsure of exactly how to put the thought to words, you let it trail off into the stuffy, candle-smoked air. Judging from the further softening and falling of the Taker's face, you see that the point has been received regardless. The tightness in your chest slackening just a little, you seize upon the opening, continuing to push the issue.

"His ailment makes him tired, roils his stomach and makes him prone to chills - he is nowhere near so ill that he cannot speak; he can make his wishes known well enough. And he did. He gave me the monies, gave me the charge to use them on his behalf. I set out to prove myself ... but he set me out so that he - in his mind - might protect himself. He is that way, seeing danger when there isn't any."

"And ignoring it when it is right before him? How is his sending his daughter out into a city unfamiliar to her anything but dangerous?"

"I ... yes, that is ... I'll admit that I was surprised when he put the charge to me. But this is my father, I cannot gainsay him! To be sure, I wanted to prove myself given the chance - and I assuredly went about it in the worst way, I see that now. But what was I supposed to do? Say no to him?"

It is with no small relief that you see the Taker has no answer for that. Unfortunately, however, he does have another question.

"And I am to understand, that he would take me, escorting you back to him, as 'dangerous'?"

"It ... it isn't merely the notion of impropriety that raises the hue and cry for him. He feels that anyone getting close to me is on the byway to getting close to him as well."

"Mercy ...".

He doesn't finish the thought, but just as he seized upon your point earlier, you seize upon his. You consider pressing on, trying to take up the reigns of the conversation once more, before you decide that for now, it is where you want it, and you leave it in his keeping.
>>
"I can hardly believe that a good deed could be so reviled. But ... it is plain to see that you are shouldering much more than your fair share here, on account of your father's ... inclinations. If it were to make things easier for you, then perhaps I should plan on only seeing you as far as the house you have taken rooms at, and allowing you to conduct yourself the remainder of the way."

"That - no, that isn't going to help anything. Even if you aren't there, there will still be a scene, I know it. Father is going to ask me to account for where I have been and what I have done. As it stands, he will be upset about the lateness of the hour, but when I tell him about your kindness ... he will be even more upset."

As you tighten and shrink your voice for effect, you find yourself thinking how little time has passed since your resolution, and how much you have already lied. You do what you can not to dwell on it, but even as you continue on, you cannot entirely put it from your mind.

“And if you aren't there … then he will only have me to be upset with.”

“But couldn't you - “

“I'd have to tell him! He'd definitely ask. And I won't lie to him. If he ever found out ...”

By the Heights of Hell, you are a right cur. Just – no, you cannot do this now. See it through to the bitter end, then concern yourself with reproachment and repentance.

“If all that happens is that we met and spoke while I was conducting his business, then there is no issue to lay on top of my lateness – which I expect, and deserve to face. But if there is anything else, anything that would really upset him … I – I know full well that I or anyone decent shouldn't be out like this at this hour, but I've managed to get here without issue, haven't I? Our lodgings for the night aren't that far, I am certain that I can manage the rest of the way. Entirely on my own.”

You can see from the look that comes across the Taker's face that he doesn't like that notion, and you have to wonder if you have made a misstep by bringing it up again, even though you have no idea how you might ask to be left alone without acknowledging that you are asking to be left alone. Still, it is not easy to see yourself cast away all of the initiative you have struggled to take in this conversation in a few sentences. With the urgency in your voice now real, you throw everything into one final plea.

“Please, this has all been hard enough for me. I beg of you, please, make it no harder.”

Nothing more is said between you for more than a few moments, and you scare dare to breathe. But then he sets his mouth into a tired little smile, gives a little dramatic sigh and without further word or preamble, offers you his arm once again.
>>
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"Let it never be said that I was unkind to any lady deserving of it. Though to be honest, I cannot imagine a kindness so outrageous as this … but if you are so certain that you can manage it, considering the circumstances … I suppose I must let you find your own way home."

Trying - and perhaps failing - to keep your composure, you stoop so you can gratefully slip your arm back inside of his.

“Oh, bless you Goodman Taker, bless you!”

Entwined again, the two of you close the remaining distance to the door.

"I must know though, just what business could you be conducting here?"

You are wincing - and not just on account of a goodly proportion of the man's weight bearing down on your left arm's still tender crook. Such a question was inevitable, not to mention completely reasonable, but you had found yourself hoping that he wouldn't ask. Which puts you on the spot once more - how much can you safely tell this man? Were you to tell him nothing, what would he do? What would he think? And besides of all this, just what exactly do you intend to do here? The plan, such as it is - or rather, such as it was - was to drive yourself away on your new stage with the Patent and bill of sale in hand. Of course, you never intended to arrive this late ...

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> This Taker has already had enough out of you - give him nothing more, lest he or one of his brothers turn that knowledge against you somehow.
> This Taker has much more of you than you would like - but to refuse him this answer, after he so magnanimously conceded to you ... it seems too unkind.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> It cannot be gainsaid just how much the lateness of the hour is against you, making what was already going to be difficult all the more harder - but after all of this, you cannot leave here with hands merely half full. You will drive your stage out of here, and then immediately start looking for some other establishment that you can board the team at.
> It is a pill, for a surety, but one that must be swallowed. If you take delivery of stage and team right now, then you are going to be committing to boarding them - and while you have an idea on how you might manage that, you are still clueless as to where you might. Your time is like to be better spent inside the Landward Walls, instead of without - getting back to the Closet and your handcart, and making that final decision on planting the False Ball or not ...
>>
>>5993136
> This Taker has much more of you than you would like - but to refuse him this answer, after he so magnanimously conceded to you ... it seems too unkind.

> It cannot be gainsaid just how much the lateness of the hour is against you, making what was already going to be difficult all the more harder - but after all of this, you cannot leave here with hands merely half full. You will drive your stage out of here, and then immediately start looking for some other establishment that you can board the team at.
>>
>>5993136
> This Taker has much more of you than you would like - but to refuse him this answer, after he so magnanimously conceded to you ... it seems too unkind.
Keep it vague though
> It cannot be gainsaid just how much the lateness of the hour is against you, making what was already going to be difficult all the more harder - but after all of this, you cannot leave here with hands merely half full. You will drive your stage out of here, and then immediately start looking for some other establishment that you can board the team at.
>>
>>5993136
> This Taker has already had enough out of you - give him nothing more, lest he or one of his brothers turn that knowledge against you somehow.
I mean, it’s still pretty obvious

A question about intentions- is the plan to get to the closet and grab the cart before moving house? Would it be less time intensive or more with the carriage? And what is the boarding process like?
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>>5993136
> This Taker has much more of you than you would like - but to refuse him this answer, after he so magnanimously conceded to you ... it seems too unkind

> It cannot be gainsaid just how much the lateness of the hour is against you, making what was already going to be difficult all the more harder - but after all of this, you cannot leave here with hands merely half full. You will drive your stage out of here, and then immediately start looking for some other establishment that you can board the team at.
>>
>>5993432
Unfortunately, Chlotsuintha doesn't have the papers to bring a stage and team into the Mount. Guards have been known to take bribes, however.

The option is to either take possession of the stage and team immediately, which means that Chlotsuintha is going to have to find some place to board them immediately - which will take her further away from the Closet and her cart (as well as the South Burying Ground and Aldoin's grave), or if she will leave them where they are for now - perhaps to later take them to another establishment for boarding if things stretch on for much longer, or perhaps to take them directly to the exfiltration point, if she is able to keep her schedule. As to the other point, boarding a stage and team is a straightforward process; you find an establishment similar to the Coaching house that has a public stable - that is to say, a stable that is open to members of the public staying at the establishment, as opposed to being only for conveyances owned by the establishment - and in addition to taking a room there for the night - or at this point, the morning - you would pay for your stage and team to be looked after by the grooms in the stable.

Of course, Chlotsuintha will have some explaining to do, showing up at such an hour, by herself. Establishments that are more likely to hand-wave away the impropriety of her actions are going to be markedly seedier and less secure, while the better class of houses will be much harder for her to explain her way into. Currently, she has some notion that she might use the disturbances on the road as a cover-story for why she is alone, but obviously, as she has yet to hear any fresh details, the idea is barely bare bones.

I should also mention this; anons should start thinking in the back of their minds how exactly they want to play the actual exfiltration. To catch everyone up to speed; there is a wide drainage ditch that runs along the outside of the Landward Walls near the Stockyards, outside of Stickport. There are inlets into the working sewers that keep the ditch more or less dry - less dry tonight, on account of the recent rain, but not underwater or anything, just muddy (presumably, of course, Chlotsuintha hasn't see them since the rain). The ditch itself contains refuse as well as chips and flakes of basalt from excavations and brick-cutting operations, that in tandem with irregular grades and loose earth means that teams and stages cannot safely be driven into the ditch, and most could be driven out under any circumstances. Chlotsuintha's stage is an exceptional case, what with its front mounted winch - but just because un-miring is possible doesn't mean that it will be quick - or even safe for her or the team. Her plan is get everything from the Belfry as close as she can to where she will park the stage, collect the stage, and then bring everything over. Beyond that though, everything is up in the air.
>>
>>5993136
>> This Taker has much more of you than you would like - but to refuse him this answer, after he so magnanimously conceded to you ... it seems too unkind.
> It cannot be gainsaid just how much the lateness of the hour is against you, making what was already going to be difficult all the more harder - but after all of this, you cannot leave here with hands merely half full. You will drive your stage out of here, and then immediately start looking for some other establishment that you can board the team at.

Play it cool, be less memorable, and leave.
>>
>>5993468
Gonna have to run to work now, so I’ll read the rest of this later, but thanks for explaining it- even if the implications of this and our immediate previous actions wants to make me blow my brains out.

Regardless, gonna have to vote >>5993136
>>5993432
> It is a pill, for a surety, but one that must be swallowed. If you take delivery of stage and team right now, then you are going to be committing to boarding them - and while you have an idea on how you might manage that, you are still clueless as to where you might. Your time is like to be better spent inside the Landward Walls, instead of without - getting back to the Closet and your handcart, and making that final decision on planting the False Ball or not ...
In cosmic irony- I actually wouldn’t mind staying longer to get more of our affairs in order, but anons here have a weird cognitive dissonance in their priorities.
>>
>>5993519
Friend- we’re a 6’4” unaccompanied young woman braving midnight in the seedy part of town that matches the description of a wanted criminal, who managed to convince an older gentleman that she should be allowed to remain unescorted in such a seedy neighborhood, and we’re just about to tell said thief-taker our plans just cause ‘we feel bad’. It ain’t gonna get less memorable.
>>
>>5993586
Just to clarify, the Coaching house is located in one of the less seedy parts of the Mount - in fact, it is in one of the nicest areas outside of the Landward Walls.
>>
I had an idea for the cart and the sewer. Maybe we have enough lifting oil to coat the cart after it has been loaded with father's magical crap so that it is light enough to not be mired in the muck of the sewer entrance
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>>5993136
>This Taker has already had enough out of you - give him nothing more, lest he or one of his brothers turn that knowledge against you somehow.
> It is a pill, for a surety, but one that must be swallowed. If you take delivery of stage and team right now, then you are going to be committing to boarding them - and while you have an idea on how you might manage that, you are still clueless as to where you might. Your time is like to be better spent inside the Landward Walls, instead of without - getting back to the Closet and your handcart, and making that final decision on planting the False Ball or not ...
>>
>>5993136
> This Taker has much more of you than you would like - but to refuse him this answer, after he so magnanimously conceded to you ... it seems too unkind.
The answer should be "Picking up a conveyance and team and bringing them to stable at the house we're staying at so that we're prepared to leave tomorrow", I imagine?

> It cannot be gainsaid just how much the lateness of the hour is against you, making what was already going to be difficult all the more harder - but after all of this, you cannot leave here with hands merely half full. You will drive your stage out of here, and then immediately start looking for some other establishment that you can board the team at.
So I suppose a good plan here is to:
1. Take the conveyance and find a place to board it at for the night, saying that where we're currently staying doesn't have a stable.
2. Plant the graven ball.
3. Rest a bit. [Getting +15 off of our rolls would be amazing]
4. Go to the Titheday service, if possible. [Another reduction in malice and fits in character]
5. Begin moving everything out tomorrow night into the well.
6. Pick up our conveyance and bring it to the closet.
7. Load the conveyance.
8. Leave the city.

Do other anons have any input on things which might spoil this, it's a kind of vague plan. We don't have work tomorrow because it's titheday, correct?
>>
Alright, consider this vote closed. I'll get to work on a quick update for an overnight vote.

>>5994546
> We don't have work tomorrow because it's titheday, correct?
Lepers that have not been Exempted are classified into two groups; 'trade' and 'non-trade'. Those that are 'trade' Lepers; leather-workers, laundry-workers, Slaughterers, Wipers for certain manufactories - these are all prohibited from working Titheday. Those that are 'non-trade' Lepers; Carriers, Cleaners, Animal Control, Plumbers, Coroners, Gravediggers and those that belong to the Inquisition may be called to work for essential duties, if there are any duties for them to perform.

And even if she isn't called into work, she will still be expected for the Titheday services. That said, there is no Roll Call or headcount, anything like that.
>>
>>5994546
I would prefer more sleep over a church visit.
>>
>>5994546
I'd prefer to drive the carriage directly into the approaches of the sewer and begin moving house tonight if possible
>>
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What remains of the relief that suffused through you is withering and dying by the second. On the one hand, there is no way to gainsay the notion that the less this man knows, the better it will be for you. However, on the opposite hand, there is nothing more binding the Taker to any particular course of action than his own word. It might be if you were to act too disagreeably, he might yet reverse himself on his genuinely magnanimous decision to let you make your own way. To that point, he might even go so far as to try to take you back to the Belly - which could only end terribly for you. With that dire prospect hanging over your head, and with all you have already given him - your appearance, your fake name, even a measure of your temperance just by being out alone so late - you have to accede that the answer cannot possibly be more damning than all you have already given him; not to mention it should be fairly obvious. Still, you are quite keen on saying as little as possible here, so after marshaling your thoughts then pairing them down to the bone, you speak them in a tone that it more curt than polite, rushing as to not let the pause in conversation go on so long that it quickens.

"Earlier today, or no, it would yesterday by now, I bought a stagecoach and team from this establishment. I'm here to take possession of papers and purchase, then get it all over to the public stable of the house that we are all boarded at."

"Oh? I didn't realize that this house hired out its drivers."

Pattern's Perdition! You nearly trip over your own feet as it dawns on you how you have just tripped over your own tongue. You should have seen this, damn it! By already admitting that you were here alone, then admitting that you are here to take possession of the stage and bring it to some fictitious stable, you are well on your way to telling the Taker something that you never intended to; that you are capable of driving a team by yourself. To be sure, you don't exactly see how him knowing this could hurt you - but it is certainly something incongruous with the profile of a rather headstrong female heir to some-more-than-comfortably wealthy Subject. The notion apparently hasn't occurred to him yet - is it worth trying to play along with his misunderstanding and be vague - or maybe not even say anything at all? Alternatively, you could actually go through the motions of hiring out a driver - either there aren't any to be had, in which case you aren't disadvantaged in any way, so long as the Taker isn't on hand to here that there aren't any to hire and restart this line of questioning, or there are drivers for hire here, and you have someone on hand with you when you show up to a public stable; if you play that right, it might make things easier for you - or you could just be making another witness and necessitating more lies. Perhaps truth might be best here, but it would be so very bizarre for someone like Wilhelmina to be able to drive a stage team.
>>
> Please choose ONE of the following:
> Simply remain in silence. His tone was idle enough, it might be that he is not expecting an answer.
> Attempt to change the subject. So long as it is not conspicuous, even if it fails it should not be an issue.
> Vaguely and noncommittally agree. With any luck, this should be enough to throttle further talk.
> Pretend that you always intended to hire out a driver - you will not actually try to.
> Pretend that you always intended to hire out a driver - you will actually try to.
>>
>>5994974
> Simply remain in silence. His tone was idle enough, it might be that he is not expecting an answer.

This seems like the safest option because it doesn't close off the other option. We can be silent and, if he asks again, bring up an answer
>>
>>5994974
>> Simply remain in silence. His tone was idle enough, it might be that he is not expecting an answer.

Imagine how transparent our intentions would be had we chosen the oxen and wagon. We made a good choice here.
>>
Alright, consider this closed. I will get to writing as soon as I can.
>>
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Your mind churns and roils away as you desperately try to seize upon something solid. An entire stride passes in silence, but the only conclusion you have come upon is a disagreeable one; your safety here – from him – hinges entirely on his assumptions of you. Challenging them would be like knocking down an outside wall of a basement; not something to do without cause. Bending and breaking propriety under … alleged duress is one thing, but being able to drive a stage and team is just too far afield from something that Wilhelmina could do. If you were to correct him on this point, would he still see you as the same person? Could he even see you as the same person?

Obviously, you cannot know. But if your run of white luck continues to hold, you might never need to. His tone was idle enough, his attention seems to be elsewhere already. It might be that he isn't expecting an answer. So you strangle a grimace off of your face, and leave the thought where Sulphreme hung it in the air giving nothing more than a non-committal, nasally noise as a response. Even with … markedly impoverished knowledge of the social graces and arts, you know well enough that this isn't a proper answer to a question – but in considering how little regard Wilhelmina has already shown for propriety in her escapades, it may just be that a lilting snort slips by unnoticed under the pall.

As what little remains of the distance to the door slips away with only the sound of your combined footfalls to mark its passing, and the warm smells of good, hearty cooking now accompany the light and intermittent sounds seeping and peeping through the woodwork of the door it seems – for the moment, at least – that your luck is holding white. On the other end of your arm, you can feel the Taker shifting as both of your strides shorten, so he may open the door for the two of you. When you find your stomach starting to grouse, you start to shift yourself as well, hoping that it's protests don't make themselves apparent to your escort and chaperone. There is no response from him, but whether he didn't notice or he is simply being polite you cannot say with any certainty. Looking to find your mark on more important matters, you start to consider the must more important question of how you are to keep the initiative here. After all, doing so is your best bet for getting caught in dangerous or even just awkward situations – you should determine how you are going to play whoever is on the other side of that door while you still have some time to think it over.
>>
> Please choose ONE of the following:
> You will ask to get the Patent and bill of sale for the stage and team immediately; with a little more white luck, this will separate you and Sulphreme, and the Taker will leave on account of the hour. With him gone, you will be all the safer – and there won't be anyone on the premises to say you came here alone if it comes up. By all accounts, he and his man shared all of the intelligence that they had already, so you should just be able to ask around.
> You will try to call upon the offer that the proprietor made hours ago, for you to take the hospitality of his table. You don't know if Sulphreme will stay or go, but you have managed to handle him well-enough this far. If he does go, then you have flexibility with your story here; if he remains, you can invoke him as an authority, say that you already explained yourself to him and that everything is fine. Likewise, if he goes you still will have the opportunity to learn from the people he and his man were talking to earlier – and if he stays, you will have the opportunity to hear it straight from the source. As a boon, there might be something left to eat – but if that balances out the risk posed by the Taker's continued presence, well … that isn't so clear.
>>
>>5996442
> You will ask to get the Patent and bill of sale for the stage and team immediately; with a little more white luck, this will separate you and Sulphreme, and the Taker will leave on account of the hour. With him gone, you will be all the safer – and there won't be anyone on the premises to say you came here alone if it comes up. By all accounts, he and his man shared all of the intelligence that they had already, so you should just be able to ask around.
>>
>>5996442
>> You will ask to get the Patent and bill of sale for the stage and team immediately; with a little more white luck, this will separate you and Sulphreme, and the Taker will leave on account of the hour. With him gone, you will be all the safer – and there won't be anyone on the premises to say you came here alone if it comes up. By all accounts, he and his man shared all of the intelligence that they had already, so you should just be able to ask around.
>>
>>5996442
>> You will ask to get the Patent and bill of sale for the stage and team immediately; with a little more white luck, this will separate you and Sulphreme, and the Taker will leave on account of the hour. With him gone, you will be all the safer – and there won't be anyone on the premises to say you came here alone if it comes up. By all accounts, he and his man shared all of the intelligence that they had already, so you should just be able to ask around.
>>
>>5996442
>> You will ask to get the Patent and bill of sale for the stage and team immediately; with a little more white luck, this will separate you and Sulphreme, and the Taker will leave on account of the hour. With him gone, you will be all the safer – and there won't be anyone on the premises to say you came here alone if it comes up. By all accounts, he and his man shared all of the intelligence that they had already, so you should just be able to ask around.
>>
>>5996442
> You will try to call upon the offer that the proprietor made hours ago, for you to take the hospitality of his table. You don't know if Sulphreme will stay or go, but you have managed to handle him well-enough this far. If he does go, then you have flexibility with your story here; if he remains, you can invoke him as an authority, say that you already explained yourself to him and that everything is fine. Likewise, if he goes you still will have the opportunity to learn from the people he and his man were talking to earlier – and if he stays, you will have the opportunity to hear it straight from the source. As a boon, there might be something left to eat – but if that balances out the risk posed by the Taker's continued presence, well … that isn't so clear.
Wasn’t there a nat 100 knowledge crit we were due somewhere? The Taker would be in-the-know with contemporary events, and I’m curious about the highwaymen and what the Inquisition is up to.
>>
>>5996442
>> You will try to call upon the offer that the proprietor made hours ago, for you to take the hospitality of his table. You don't know if Sulphreme will stay or go, but you have managed to handle him well-enough this far. If he does go, then you have flexibility with your story here; if he remains, you can invoke him as an authority, say that you already explained yourself to him and that everything is fine. Likewise, if he goes you still will have the opportunity to learn from the people he and his man were talking to earlier – and if he stays, you will have the opportunity to hear it straight from the source. As a boon, there might be something left to eat – but if that balances out the risk posed by the Taker's continued presence, well … that isn't so clear.
>>
>>5996442
>You will try to call upon the offer that the proprietor made hours ago, for you to take the hospitality of his table. You don't know if Sulphreme will stay or go, but you have managed to handle him well-enough this far. If he does go, then you have flexibility with your story here; if he remains, you can invoke him as an authority, say that you already explained yourself to him and that everything is fine. Likewise, if he goes you still will have the opportunity to learn from the people he and his man were talking to earlier – and if he stays, you will have the opportunity to hear it straight from the source. As a boon, there might be something left to eat – but if that balances out the risk posed by the Taker's continued presence, well … that isn't so clear.
>>
>>5996614
Yes there is. The reason that there is any intelligence to be had at all here is because of that roll. More could be had by directly talking to the Taker.

On the off-chance that this changes anyone's mind, I will leave this up for another hour or so before closing it.
>>
Sorry about the delay, consider this closed.
>>
Still chipping away at the update - it has a fair amount of dialog, which is always difficult for me. Currently, I expect to have it done sometime tomorrow.

> Gained one lucky tenth-talent (re-roll)
>>
>>5997872
Rad. Sounds like an extended multi-party dialogue involving advanced fictional social protocols and minor deceptions is probably really really tricky.
>>
>>5997227
It’s a clever way to get the anons to hang themselves outta the information, kudos
>>
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To tell it true, in spite of the danger here that has not passed - the danger here that cannot pass, so long as Sulphreme is still in the Coaching house - you find yourself feeling rather wool-headed. Obviously, you are tired - but are you so tired that you need to be in a fit of panic to actually think? To make a decision? Honestly, you are starting to wonder if by the time you do manage to return to the Belfry with your handcart you will still be in any condition to 'move house' - and that is setting aside the increasingly distressing question of if you will even have the time for it. You know full well that it doesn't serve to dwell on this, that you need to know what you are going to do in the dinning room before you are led in if you are to have any hope of keeping your tenuous hold on the initiative here.

Yet even as the door is opened and you are ushered through, you cannot find yourself able to marshal or even muster your thoughts. Now worried that making the wrong decision here will not be half as bad as making no decision, you instinctively settle upon asking for the Patent and bill of sale immediately, accepting wholesale both that doing so will separate your from Sulphreme and this separation will be without detriment ... though there remains a thin pall of doubt casting down on your head, especially on the latter point. Second thoughts assail you, until all thoughts - second or otherwise - are pushed from your head by the Taker presenting you to the remaining late diners still assembled in the handsomely appointed room.

"May I introduce into our company tonight, the lovely Wilhelmina Dremen."

You'd like to curl up and die; as it is, it takes the whole of self to keep you from closing your eyes or looking away. Had you know that he'd introduce you like some crier to the room at large you would have had serious reservations about asking him to escort you in. And just what is he insinuating by calling you 'lovely'? Did you offer offense without knowing it, and this is some snide little rejoinder? Well and suffused now, you look out to the room. Predictably, of the eight or so persons now in the room, you are the only woman present, and as you look at each face turned towards you, all done up in surprise, you find whobody after whobody - but just as you are feeling fit to melt, thinking that you have completely floundered here you lay your eyes on the proprietor of the Coaching house; he is not at the main table - a whimsical folly done up to look like a great carriage wheel - but instead off at a service, its length set up along the wall. You are about to head over to him when Sulphreme - who still has your arm - starts towards the main table. Doing all you can to not wince or whine at the sudden - and painful - jolt, you quickly realize that separating yourself from this accursed Taker is going to be a bit more involved than simply walking away.
>>
> Please choose ONE of the following:
> You have made enough of a scene here as it is - and Sulphreme cannot keep your arm and sit down; he will let you go eventually. Just wait him out, then without offering the Taker anymore offense, get the attention of the proprietor.
> You are not exactly sure how one would go about doing it politely - in fact, you are not sure if it can be done politely - but you need to extricate yourself from him before he drags things - or yourself - on for any longer than he already has.
> Write-ins allowed with QM approval

>>5999466
> Rad. Sounds like an extended multi-party dialogue involving advanced fictional social protocols and minor deceptions is probably really really tricky.
I liked this comment enough, I decided to re-work the scene I had into smaller chunks. Partly so I could get it out immediately (considering how overdue it is by now) and partly so there would be time to allow this encounter to breathe; after all, this is the first time that Chlotsuintha has been in a formal setting like this - not just conducting business in a backroom or having a private one-on-one conversation while playing into assumptions that one would make about someone with a dress as expensive as the 'worn piece' is. This isn't something that should be brushed past, I don't think.

> Gained one lucky tenth-talent (re-roll)
>>
>>5999581
>> You have made enough of a scene here as it is - and Sulphreme cannot keep your arm and sit down; he will let you go eventually. Just wait him out, then without offering the Taker anymore offense, get the attention of the proprietor.

Let the man take the lead, have a little faith in him. Glad you liked my comment QM, I hope sectioning up this bit makes it easier to write.
>>
>>5999581
> You have made enough of a scene here as it is - and Sulphreme cannot keep your arm and sit down; he will let you go eventually. Just wait him out, then without offering the Taker anymore offense, get the attention of the proprietor.
I just want to get more of that critical information outta him before anons falter and decide to lose out on it.
>>
>>5999581
> You have made enough of a scene here as it is - and Sulphreme cannot keep your arm and sit down; he will let you go eventually. Just wait him out, then without offering the Taker anymore offense, get the attention of the proprietor.
>>
>>5999581
>> You are not exactly sure how one would go about doing it politely - in fact, you are not sure if it can be done politely - but you need to extricate yourself from him before he drags things - or yourself - on for any longer than he already has.
>>
>>5999581
>You are not exactly sure how one would go about doing it politely - in fact, you are not sure if it can be done politely - but you need to extricate yourself from him before he drags things - or yourself - on for any longer than he already has
>>
>>5999581
>> You have made enough of a scene here as it is - and Sulphreme cannot keep your arm and sit down; he will let you go eventually. Just wait him out, then without offering the Taker anymore offense, get the attention of the proprietor
>>
>>5999581
>You are not exactly sure how one would go about doing it politely - in fact, you are not sure if it can be done politely - but you need to extricate yourself from him before he drags things - or yourself - on for any longer than he already has.
>>
Consider this closed. Look for the update tomorrow!
>>
I keep waffling on the scope of the scene here, but regardless, I am sorry to say it isn't ready yet. I promise I will have the update out tomorrow.

> Gained one lucky tenth-talent (re-roll)
>>
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With your teeth grinding away at each other in frustration and pain, you struggle to maintain your composure while settling on a course of action. As you are lead to the table, the subject of intense, surprised and very ... pointed scrutiny from all sides and all eyes, you can only hope that your face is managing the charge you have set to it better than your brain is, because once again, you have found yourself flummoxed and confounded - there is no obvious next step here for you. Your plan was to separate yourself from the Taker and immediately approach the proprietor to seal the deal - but you didn't expect that Sulphreme would keep your arm once you were inside the dining room, nor did you expect him to herd you over to the table. Short of asking him to unhand you, or just wrenching your arm out from underneath his armpit - neither of which you suspect to be good manners - it seems that you are without recourse until he releases you.

Unaware - Maker's Mercy, he better be unaware - of all the turmoil that he is causing you, the Taker is taking this opportunity to introduce the other men in the room.

"Likewise, may I introduce to the newest of our number the Messers Poincare and Poincare, my dear friend the Goodman-Solicitor Erasinus and his adjunct Cantcanis, Goodmen Erasinus, Spryidon and Primakos, of course, our host the Goodman Nasutruim and the good Journeyman Chirurgeon ... ah ... "

"Vasilis Raptelis, Goodman Taker."

"Yes, I - my deepest apologies."

"Gladly taken in the spirit which it was given, though it must be said that as no offense was taken, none were ever needed."

"Uh ... heh. Yes, yes."

Pattern's Perdition. You have nothing but hope that you aren't expected to speak like that ... but if you are to judge by the nonplussed reaction of the Taker, you have to think that this Journeyman Chirurgeon is laying it on too thick even for - oh, cry fie and fray it all! That is just what you need now, a Chirurgeon! What if he starts asking specific questions about what is ailing your father? That ... well, you might be able to get around that by saying that your father would appreciate whobodies prying into his health - you'd have to word it better than that, of course, but something to that effect should work in a pinch. The real issue would be if he offered his services, or made some manner of referral - how would you manage to extricate yourself from that?
>>
You are about three strides away from the table - and are also moving further and further away from the one man in the room who you actually wanted to see; the proprietor. As for the rest of the room, you don't have a particularly strong grasp on it. Some of the men inclined their heads politely as they were introduced, but a number of them were just ... staring. Casting glances at one another, but mostly just staring. And off of the ones that did nod as the Taker named them, it is plain to you that he wasn't going around the table in order, leaving you with a number of names that you haven't been able to place with the people around the table. You also noticed that there were fewer names than people in the room; you would have to assume that those that didn't rate an introduction are servants of some stripe, either belonging to the Coaching house, or one of its clientele.

Finally, the Taker releases your arm, and you level your shoulders as your long suffering left arm trembles in relief. Sulphreme pulls out the chair in front of you, and after a moment you realize that he intends for you to sit down. Two questions now surmount your mind - what do you want, and how may you get it without straying any further from the bounds of propriety than you already are.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> Thank him, sit down and prompt him with a question about the state of the roads - all the better to keep conversation away from yourself and on something productive.
> Thank him, sit down and call the proprietor over to ask him about the bill of sale and the patent for your stage and team.
> Thank him, excuse yourself, and head over to the proprietor to ask him about the bill of sale and the patent for your stage and team.
> Write-ins allowed with QM approval.

> Gained one lucky tenth-talent (re-roll).
>>
>>6003108
> Thank him, sit down and call the proprietor over to ask him about the bill of sale and the patent for your stage and team.
Could only get this to work by switching to Edge, anybody else having problems getting the captcha to load on Firefox?
>>
>>6003108
> Thank him, sit down and prompt him with a question about the state of the roads - all the better to keep conversation away from yourself and on something productive.

Crit information my dudes- besides, we can explain out curiosity away by stating that a servant burst in to announce it during our meeting with the proprietor.
>>
>>6003108
>Thank him, sit down and call the proprietor over to ask him about the bill of sale and the patent for your stage and team.
>>
>>6003108
> Thank him, sit down and call the proprietor over to ask him about the bill of sale and the patent for your stage and team.

BUT, Ask Sulpheme to go and inquire to Goodman Nasturnum on our behalf. Propriety-like
>>
>>6003108
>Thank him, sit down and prompt him with a question about the state of the roads - all the better to keep conversation away from yourself and on something productive.
>>
Come on lads- don’t let it slip to the Master Taker what our business is here! Deflect with the roads- hell, maybe ask what he experienced in becoming a Master Taker! I’m sure he has a couple stories that would be both enlightening and amusing!

>>6003158
Probably the ISP? That or a recent update broke the software- I noticed they changed how Captcha worked for a while now.
>>
Wouldn't asking about the roads now make our goals obvious to everyone at the table, whereas the Master Taker with us already knows we're here to pick up the stagecoach already, but not that we'll drive it ourselves?
>>
>>6003108
>> Thank him, sit down and prompt him with a question about the state of the roads - all the better to keep conversation away from yourself and on something productive.
>>
>>6003108
>Thank him, sit down and prompt him with a question about the state of the roads - all the better to keep conversation away from yourself and on something productive.
>>
Alright, consider this one closed for asking about the state of the roads. I'll get to writing as quickly as I can.
>>
I have the update outlined, but I am still having issues getting the dialogue of the scene right. Look for the update tomorrow.

> Gain one lucky tenth-talent (re-roll)

I suppose I might as well ask now; which of the books on the cart would you like the opening passage of the next thread to be from?

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> The Endowed Farm
> The Canon of Medicine
> The Ways and Means
> Imperatives and Rights
> The Feats of Tools
> Waste Not, Want Not
> On Design
> The Grown Pharmacopœia
> The Garden of the Suppressed
> The Estrangement of the Great Gloom
> Cultivated Curiosities and Exotics
> Compendium [Reformed Priests]
>>
>>6005361
>The Feats of Tools
>>
>>6005361
> The Endowed Farm
>>
>>6005361
> The Grown Pharmacopœia
>>
>>6005361
>The Endowed Farm
>>
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The offered chair is small, at least relative to you, and with a narrow seat on account of the arms; all told, you are concerned that you could catch and hold yourself up as you try to sit down. So long as you weren't just collapsing into the seat you doubt that you would damage the dress - though it remains a possibility, you suppose - but if you got the ... pillow or whatever the Hell they built onto the rear of this dress stuck, it would certainly be a spectacle. And by that, of course, you mean another spectacle. As it is, a number of the men around the table still look to be at a loss over your presence here. That isn't something that you can dwell on at the moment though, nor can you remain standing any longer without giving offense, either. With all of the deftness of a clapped-out geriatric, you ease yourself onto the chair as you brace on the arms - which is most assuredly not kind on the tracks that you put in the crook of your left arm, or the bruises, scrapes and pocking on your shoulders. To tell it true, it isn't kind on any of you. Nonetheless, as soon as you have found the chair to be solidly underneath you, having felt no give nor heard any tears, you are flushed with relief. As the Taker pulls out the chair to your right to sit himself down - that is to say perhaps conspicuously past the moment that it would be expected - you remember your manners.

"Oh! Thank you, most kindly."

Is that how it should be worded? You have a general idea of what merits thanks, but not of the words typically bandied in the circumstance. On a whim, you expand your perfunctory courtesy.

"For the seat, and that ... introduction."

"You are too kind."

And with that, the Taker sits himself down right next to you - with exactly none of the deliberation you had to exercise to take your seat, you cannot help but note - and then a pall falls over the room. If there was a conversation or conversations ongoing before you arrived here, it seems that no one wants to continue it at the moment. This silence will not last though, you know that - so it is in your best interest to make a safe rejoinder. Figuring that it is best that your business with the proprietor be kept as far as possible from the Taker and the rest of the room, you start to speak - only to be cut off by the man to the right of Sulphreme, the one he introduced as his friend.

"What will you have?"

"I ... what?"

"To drink, dear. What will you have to drink?"
>>
You didn't even notice, but the man had his hand up to call one of the waiters over for you. It is a kind gesture, but you curse the man for it all the same - for even after telling yourself again and again that you needed to take initiative you still manage to get caught flatfooted. Moreover, you don't exactly know what Wilhelmina would drink in a situation like this - or if she would drink at all. Moreover, by ordering for you, is this man prepared to pay for it? That's ... very kind. To tell it true, that strikes you as concerningly kind ... but perhaps these things are expected in class company such as this. Honestly, you really have no frame of reference at all on this ... but you have to believe that you can deduce your way to what is and is not good manners.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> "Oh, thank you - but I am quite alright."
> "Oh, thank you - I'll have water, please."
> "Oh, thank you - I'll have ... the house wine, please."
> "Oh, thank you - What exactly does the house have?"

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> Assuming a beverage was ordered, ask the waiter immediately after he delivers it to you how much it cost, as a way to signal that you are going to pay for the beverage.
> Assuming a beverage was ordered, ask the proprietor if his offer of hospitality from earlier still stands, as a way to prevent Sulphreme's friend from paying for your beverage.
> Assuming a beverage was ordered, ask Sulphreme's friend if by ordering your beverage for you, he is offering to pay for it.
> Assuming a beverage was ordered, drink it without asking pointed questions to Sulphreme's friend about if he is or is not offering to pay for it.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> Inquire with the waiter if a light meal - like the ones that the other guests have on their plates - can be ordered.
> Do not inquire with the waiter if a light meal - like the ones that the other guests have on their plates - can be ordered.

> Write-ins are allowed with QM approval.

> Gained one lucky-tenth talent (re-roll)
>>
>>6006496
> "Oh, thank you - I'll have water, please."

> Assuming a beverage was ordered, ask the proprietor if his offer of hospitality from earlier still stands, as a way to prevent Sulphreme's friend from paying for your beverage.

> Inquire with the waiter if a light meal - like the ones that the other guests have on their plates - can be ordered.
>>
>>6006496
My thinking on this is that right now, the greatest danger is posed by Sulpheme and any contradiction of our earlier statements. I figure that any man so paranoid of male intentions with his daughter as to refuse her to be accompanied home would also want her to refuse food and drink when unaccompanied:
> "Oh, thank you - but I am quite alright."
> Do not inquire with the waiter if a light meal - like the ones that the other guests have on their plates - can be ordered.
>>
>>6006496
>> "Oh, thank you - I'll have water, please."
>> Assuming a beverage was ordered, drink it without asking pointed questions to Sulphreme's friend about if he is or is not offering to pay for it.
>> Do not inquire with the waiter if a light meal - like the ones that the other guests have on their plates - can be ordered.
>>
As we are in a three way tie, I feel that I should keep this up overnight.
>>
I remember a drink called aqua vitae being mentioned in an earlier thread, what is that? Does anyone remember?
>>
>>6007563
I believe it is a type of hard liquor
>>
>>6008008
>>6007563
Yes, that is correct, aqua vitae is a distilled alcohol solution. Before being offered some by the proprietor, Chlotsuintha was only familiar with its medical properties though. I'd be willing to take this as a write-in, Chlotsuintha asking the proprietor for another try at the liquor.
>>
>>6006803
I'll support this
>>
Alright, consider this closed. I'll get to writing.
>>
>>6008588
Isn’t it still tied?
>>
>>6008754
No, it was a three-way, then >>6008278 supported one of the options, which means that it was 2-1-1. Chipping away at the update the best I can. Hopefully it will be done tonight.
>>
>>6009618
Tied on the refreshment question- just put me down as a water guy, unless that somehow a foe par of some sort (or you already wrote it as a no-refreshment option).
>>
I'm sorry that it is taking so long for me to get these posts out, but these past weeks I have been much busier than I thought I was going to be - and it looks like it isn't going to let up for me for another three weeks or so. I'll keep chipping away at it though.

> Gained one very lucky tenth-talent (auto-pass)
>>
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It cannot be gainsaid that a drink of something fortifying would be nice right now - and that a proper meal would be much, much more than 'nice' - but you are more than a little worried that you would fray yourself somehow. Your knowledge of manners is largely hypothetical, and more to the point, meant for tables and company much meaner and base than this. Actually, most of your meals aren't taken at any table at all - and besides the occasional shared meal with your father, they were without any dining companions as well. Suffice to say, it is a reasonable concern that if you give yourself the chance to, you are going to make a mistake. If there was some opportunity to ... observe the proceedings here, get a sense of how you might be expected to conduct yourself, then maybe you risk it. But no one has started drinking or eating again yet. All eyes - and judging from the continued absence of conversation, all attention - are on you. Of course, you are going to need to make sure that you don't fall into the fire as you pluck yourself off of the pan; you will have to kindly but firmly reject Sulphreme's friend.

"Why, you are ... very kind as well. But I don't think I could possibly have anything. As late as it is now, it would just ... put me right out, probably. But you are so ... kind to ask."

If the man took any offense to that, then none of it boiled over onto his face. With a smile that looks much more genuine than yours feels at the moment, he glances at Sulphreme, and you take advantage in the break of eye contact to glance over at the proprietor, who you now see is walking over, no doubt having surmised your purpose in calling here. Suddenly recalling that before the interruption you were going to ask the Taker about the roads, you do so, just as the sounds of conversation and dining finally resume - disconcertingly quiet though, and maybe perhaps a bit strained, by the uncertainty of your presence here.

"Goodman Taker, I understand that there are .. troubles out on the road. Highwaymen."

The Taker, who has well and truly set upon the cup left at his seat, nods absentmindedly. Only once the cup is emptied, set down and a serving-man is called does he offer any elaboration.

"Yes, there was - "

"Taker, that news isn't suitable for fair ears."
>>
As the interjection was offered from across the table while your head was turned, you didn't see who made it ... though judging from where Sulphreme is looking at the moment, you'd say that it was one of the men that were introduced as Messers Poincare and Poincare. Sulphreme doesn't immediately reply, but he certainly looks the part of a man aggrieved, biting his own tongue. As all of this is happening, the proprietor is still approaching - and the sounds of idle talk and supping have given away once more.

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> [Directed at Sulphreme] "You were saying, Goodman Taker?"
> [Directed at Poincare] "Might I be the judge of that?"
> [Directed at Nasturtium] "If I may have a word?"
> [Directed at Nasturtium] "Would this be a good time for those papers?"
> Remain silent, let things play out just a little more.
> Write-ins are allowed with QM approval

> Gained one very lucky tenth-talent (auto-pass)

Again, I'm very, very sorry it took so long to get this out. Even with everything that is still on my plate, I think I still should be able to get posts out a little more regularly than this.
>>
>>6012761
> Remain silent, let things play out just a little more.

Its all good QM.
>>
>>6012761
>> [Directed at Nasturtium] "Would this be a good time for those papers?"
>>
>>6012761
> [Directed at Sulphreme] "You were saying, Goodman Taker?"
or
> Remain silent, let things play out just a little more.
I’m curious about the roads, and we can play it off as being socially awkward, but I am also curious if Sulphreme would volunteer more information just outta spite, so I don’t mind remaining silent and seeing how it plays out.
>>
>>6012761
> Remain silent, let things play out just a little more.
>>
>>6012761
> Remain silent, let things play out just a little more.

I imagine that the less a woman talks, the more polite she is seen.

Also, no problem QM, you do this for free and we all really enjoy it. No rush
>>
>>6012761
> [Directed at Sulphreme] "You were saying, Goodman Taker?"
>>
>>6012761
>> Remain silent, let things play out just a little more.
>>
Alright, consider this closed.
>>
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You know, you really must be asleep at your post if you thought that the Taker escorting you in here was going to be enough to keep something like this from happening. Of course, you cannot dwell on that now though; you are like to need all of what remains of your wits to keep yourself from being ejected from this gathering - or worse, having to try to convince an entire room of well-meaning goodmen that you cannot be escorted back to your father. To that end though, what in the Heights of Hell are you supposed to do? To say? Your immediate impulse is to curl up in embarrassment and bite your tongue - the latter of which the Taker has continued to do after the interjection - but you are sorely concerned about what direction the conversation here might take without your guidance, considering that even with your admittedly clumsy attempts at shepherding it, it has veered into such dangerous territory already. You could take this opportunity to turn focus to the proprietor ... but after living the entire span of your life such states of discretion and caution, you cannot find it in yourself to be comfortable with so openly conducting business, especially when the nature of the business is as exceptional as your business here tonight is.

Now, it would certainly be offering offense, but perhaps you might be best served by just asking Sulphreme to continue with his account of the roads. You get the sense that he is the sort who likes to hear himself talk, and it is plain to see that he isn't happy about being denied the opportunity. Yet being the interloper that you are here, you cannot make yourself comfortable about deliberately antagonization either. With no better option before you, you resolve to remain silent, at least until things have played themselves out a little more. Of course, having made this resolution, you find now that nothing is playing out. A few conversations that you aren't part of nor privy to are being carried on once more, and awkward reservation blankets the air like ill-humored smoke. Sulphreme however, remains silent. As does the Poincare who offered the interjection in the first place. And when you glance over at where the proprietor of the coaching house was approaching you, you see that he has been stopped dead in his tracks by one of his guests who he has taken up a quiet conversation with. You are frustrated by this, though you aren't sure if you should be, considering that you might not be ready to -

"So, puella - what brings you to this house on this ... uncommonly convivial night?"

The question comes from the man sitting to your left - whose name you have already forgotten. Shit! This is just what you get for not being in a conversation ... or having neither drink nor food to occupy yourself with. Well, you are going to need to say something...
>>
> Please choose ONE of the following:
> [Undirected] "..."
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I don't know if I should say; my father taught me not to speak to who-bodies."
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I have some dealings with the master of the house that needed to be resolved."
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I'm here on behalf of my father, to conduct business in his stead with the proprietor."
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I'm here on behalf of my father, to pick up the Patent and bill of sale for a stage he bought from this house."
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I'm here on behalf of my father, to pick up the Patent and bill of sale for a stage I bought for him from this house."
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "Before I answer that, could you ... tell me where I may answer a call of nature?"
> [Directed at (Write-in Subject)] Write-ins allowed with QM approval.
>>
>>6014995
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I'm here on behalf of my father, to conduct business in his stead with the proprietor."

I feel like mentioning our father (without mention of the exact business) is a good idea lest people get the impression we're Nestorum's mistress or smth
>>
>>6014995
>> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I'm here on behalf of my father, to conduct business in his stead with the proprietor."
>>
>>6014995
>> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I'm here on behalf of my father, to conduct business in his stead with the proprietor."
>>
>>6014995
>> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I don't know if I should say; my father taught me not to speak to who-bodies."
>>
>>6014995
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I don't know if I should say; my father taught me not to speak to who-bodies."
I regret keeping our silence- making our crit worthwhile is gonna be a chore
>>
>>6014995
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I don't know if I should say; my father taught me not to speak to who-bodies."
>>
Hopefully, there will be a tie-breaker by the time that I am done cooking and eating dinner. If any of you are still in the thread (and you haven't already) perhaps you could explain your position, as it might decide someone - or make someone already decided change their mind.
>>
>>6015635
The other options didn’t speak to me- they all lead into more questions about us and less about what we care about (i.e. highway crime, the refinery, the Inquisition, etc.)- all risk, never reward. I don’t even know if we’d even get an Praxis bonus from it, since I don’t know to what extent that ‘I'm here on behalf of my father, to conduct business in his stead with the proprietor’ is considered both a lie and the perverse truth.

But if you need a tiebreaker, feel free to use my vote- I viewed the ‘who-body’ remark as a catty remark to draw guffaws and amusement (potentially intentionally/unintentionally on Chlot’s part), but I would hate for our comment to be received poorly and result on another bout of insulted, socially awkward silence.
>>
>>6014995
> [Directed at the Man to the Left] "I don't know if I should say; my father taught me not to speak to who-bodies."

Im just guessing here but... ok.
>>
Here’s to hoping that this is well received amusement instead of another bout of awkward silence.
>>
>>6015789
> But if you need a tiebreaker, feel free to use my vote- I viewed the ‘who-body’ remark as a catty remark to draw guffaws and amusement (potentially intentionally/unintentionally on Chlot’s part), but I would hate for our comment to be received poorly and result on another bout of insulted, socially awkward silence.
Oh, that isn't Chlotsuintha trying to 'neg' the man, who-body is just how Imperials have referred to someone we might call a 'stranger' since the Estrangement gave the word 'stranger' different and much more negative connotations.

Consider this closed, I'll get to writing - though I don't know if I will be able to get anything out tonight.
>>
Oh, I feel a lot better about the vote given >>6015938, I assumed who-body was an insult along the lines of "busybody".
>>
>>6016706
Same, though being imperious probably would’ve fit the heiress mold better and would be less eyebrow raising- my concerns was more over propriety and creating another socially awkward silence.
>>
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For a terrible, long-lingering moment, all you can do is grasp at chaff and straw. It simply cannot be gainsaid; you are in a tight spot liable to get tighter if you start talking about your father and your business here. Moreover, with Sulphreme's lip buttoned up on account of Poincare's objection to that sort of talk in your presence, what reason is there to remain at the table? Perhaps if you were to wait until the Poincares were distracted, and asked the Taker again - or failing that, if you were to simply wait until they left to question him. But who knows how long that could be - and with no food or drink to occupy yourself with, you are liable to drawn into conversations like the very one you are avoiding right now. It nearly goes without saying that there is little to gain from this idle tongue-wagging and much to ... hold on. If you actually think about it, then that sort of sentiment will only hold water if you are the one talking. If you were to get him talking, that would buy you some time at least - perhaps enough for the proprietor to finally make his way over to you, so you may ask for a private word, or for the Poincares to leave or to get sufficiently distracted. Just ... make a play for time here. You muster your best approximation of a playful tone, and pair it with your best approximation of a leading question.

"...Oh, dear ... I don't know if I should say; after all, my father taught me not to speak to who-bodies ...".

You smile softly at the man, then careful to not look at him overlong, you lower your gaze to the sleeves of your dress - looking to occupy your hands, you tug at the left with your right hand, then the right with your left hand. There really isn't much else to look at, but you'd like something to keep yourself from staring while you talk; a mistake you make on occasion, no doubt borne out of spending so much of your life behind - and underneath - the Leper's mask. Blessedly, it is not a mistake that you make frequently enough to describe as a bad habit, and it isn't something that has ever really bit you, but all the same you would very much like to not make mistakes such as that here. As you resume eye contact and force yourself to stop plucking your sleeves, it occurs to you - perhaps belatedly - that you might have been over-relying on finesse here, that the man might not take your rejoinder as an invitation - and a request besides - to talk about himself.

"That's more than decent advice, I suppose. I'm a - "

"Do tell, did your father teach you the concept of an appropriate bed-time?"

Cry fie and fray it all, its that bastard Poincare again! It's definitely the one sitting closer to you, but both are glaring at you and some of the others around the table and room are staring at you once again. Damn it! Damn it all! You -

"Why don't you ask him yourself?"

What? What is ... what? What is Sulphreme's friend saying?

"He's upstairs, the door across from mine - in four of cups."
>>
You feel as if you have been struck with a Slaughter's sledge-axe - until you catch sight of the ephemeral smirk that is playing over his face, and how the marked confusion plain on the Taker's face quick gives way to a similarly cheeky look. He's lying. Joking. Obviously. He has to be. Of course your father isn't in this Coaching house, and even if he was, then this man - who you have never seen before, whose name has already slipped out of your mind - wouldn't know that he was your father, would he you gibbering idiot. Awash in relief - and more than a touch of resentment for being put through such a shock - you find yourself wondering just what is being played at, and for what purpose. The proprietor is still in an intent conversion with one of his guests, he might not have heard this exchange. As it stands, he and Sulphreme are the only ones in the room who know for a fact that your father isn't here in the house.

Seriously though, what is Sulphreme's friend playing at here - and is it in your best interest or not to let him muck around like this?

> Please choose ONE of the following:
> [Undirected] "..."
> [Directed at Poincare the Closer] "Yes, he is."
> [Directed at Poincare the Closer] "Yes, why don't you?"
> [Directed at Sulphreme's Friend] "Goodman, I'm afraid you are mistaken."
> Write-ins allowed with QM approval
>>
>>6017310
>> [Undirected] "..."
>>
>>6017310
> [Directed at Poincare the Closer] "Yes, why don't you?"

Play along- not only do we make some friends (and a good impression with the Taker no less), but it gets the antagonistic Poincare outta our hair for a couple minutes. Re-centering the conversation on Poincare instead of us only helps us in the long run.
>>
>>6017310
> [Directed at Sulphreme's Friend] "Goodman, I'm afraid you are mistaken."

First impressions matter. We should establish ourselves as honest to a fault.
>>
>>6017310
> [Undirected] "..."
I feel like we don't actually need to respond to that. Like, I don't think "ask her father" was a serious comment and not one we need to reply to
>>
>>6017310
> [Directed at Poincare the Closer] "Yes, why don't you?"
>>
>>6017310
>[Directed at Poincare the Closer] "Yes, why don't you?"
>>
Alright, consider this closed. I might be able to get a quick update out before I go to bed tonight.
>>
Heads up; I'm going to need a bit more time on the update. Look for it tomorrow.

> Gained one lucky tenth-talent (re-roll)



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