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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:54 am 
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Sure, you can certainly do that. If Zalasbra notices what you're up to, he might pause a moment to re-centre himself and make sure he doesn't reveal anything... which would in and of itself imply that he has something to hide.

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:00 pm 
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I think this is important enough that we need to know Zalasbra's true intentions. I'll throw however many fate points are needed to push Arkady's roll over the edge and get that information.

I don't know which of his aspects would normally be used, but I'll tag every one that would apply.

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:08 am 
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Would it be just as obvious to Zalasbra that Arkady is using fate points as the reverse?

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:27 am 
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Kajin wrote:
I think this is important enough that we need to know Zalasbra's true intentions. I'll throw however many fate points are needed to push Arkady's roll over the edge and get that information.

I don't know which of his aspects would normally be used, but I'll tag every one that would apply.


Noted, will bear that in mind.

weremensh wrote:
Would it be just as obvious to Zalasbra that Arkady is using fate points as the reverse?


That's going to be a very firm 'maybe'. It's going to depend on whether Zalasbra suspects something and tries an Empathy roll of his own, or not. It's also going to depend on what the result of that roll is.

So far, Zalasbra has at least two different Aspects that he can call on to help him hide... whatever he wants to hide.

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:59 pm 
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I'm guessing it would be difficult for him to do the empathy thing while distracted and centering himself, but that's just a guess. So if that's what Felix really wants, Arkady will drop a couple of fate points.

Though there is another possible route here: offer him a different Terran. He doesn't know about the new Arch-prelate engaging himself to officially stress that the Elene Church doesn't engage in or tolerate violence towards Styrics yet, or that it happened at the gentle urging of a Terran. The same Terran who got him permission to stick around and learn from the colony, who was behind getting him the opportunity to study blood bees, and who has already expressed an interest in the Styrics. Arkady may be piling up enough karma to be his own ancestor (in the absence of a visible family tree).

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:02 am 
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My main concern is less that Zalasbra doesn't trust us and more that maybe we trusted him entirely too much. Despite Piper's objections I still think it's easier to believe he's some kind of enemy agent. It would make a lot of disparate information fall neatly into place.

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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:44 am 
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In addition to letting Arkady make use of Theresa's negotiation skills, I'll spend a fate point to Tage Distracted to boost Arkady's Empathy roll if I was able to establish an aspect.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:53 pm 
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Theresa and Felix share a unique link, which allows Theresa to boost Felix's efforts quite substantially. Somehow, she always knows exactly what Felix is doing, and slips in the perfect word, or action, to enhance it.

This doesn't work with other people.

She can try to help Arkady, but she just doesn't have the same gift for slipping in exactly the right word when dealing with anyone else, and thus doesn't give any additional plusses to the roll.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 1:39 pm 
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Arkady doesn't get to tag resolve? Or for that matter, can Felix put points in it?

Oh, and just in passing: Arkady didn't actually learn a thing here. He already knew Zalasbra was concealing something, and was hellbent on keeping it quiet (skeptic's ear, don't you know). There was literally nothing for Zalasbra to notice Arkady noticing.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:37 pm 
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Zalasbra can read body language, as Arkady can. (There are... differences, but either way, Zalasbra can read things that the person being read from has no intention of showing).

If Arkady is going to spend enough FATE points to turn his +2 Resolve into something high enough to defeat Zalasbra's +6 to read it, then we can rewind that last statement of Zalasbra's and continue on from there.

And yes, Arkady knew that Zalasbra was concealing something. But now Arkady knows something of the magnitude of what Zalasbra is concealing. How big is it? In Zalasbra's mind, this is bigger than Zalasbra's own life.

It's... fairly rare for someone to consider anything more important than their own life. I mean, sure, there are people who will die for a cause. There are far more people who will let their underlings die for a cause. But, often, people who will die for a cause? It's usually fairly easy to work out what the cause is - it is, in fact, very often difficult to get them to shut up about it.

It is really, really uncommon to find someone who will literally risk his life - to keep something secret.

....Arkady is also starting to get a bit of a clue as to how hard it will be to get any more pieces of this puzzle out of Zalasbra. Zalasbra is absolutely not a newbie at keeping his secret, whatever it is, even from exceptionally perceptive people. You can clearly expect Zalasbra to spend FATE points like water to hold onto this secret; there's no telling what he'll do if someone actually discovers the secret.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 5:09 pm 
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So would tagging Defensive Pacifist and Defender of the Faith be enough (as that would tie it up)?

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:33 am 
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Two aspects to tie it up would be enough (unless Zalasbra in turn spends FATE points, of course). However, I'm not sure that those two really work.

Defensive Pacifist seems more related to actual fighting, not so much towards the sort of mindgames that's going on here; while Defender of the Faith seems to require that someone be at least attempting to attack your church.

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:35 am 
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Ok, Defensive Pacifist can easily be replaced with 'if you want something done...'. As for Defender of the Faith, ok, Many Faces of God can substitute; but manifest magic and rival divine powers are a direct threat to Arkady's faith/church (which is bog standard Christian doctrine, btw). And even if we overlook the doctrinal mess, Felix's turn to the locals for advantage is just the first of many; and Arkady is going to have to wade right into that mess and answer for it as other clergy wake up (especially because a number of them won't hesitate to try their hands at thaumaturgy or to make deals for power). In all of his dealings with the supernatural he has to be a priest too.

Which, btw, is not his idea of fun; but it's the hand he was dealt, so oh well.

They're also a threat to his people (the idea of a power that can casually call lightning deciding that a fusion power plant is icky doesn't exactly lull him to sleep). Now he's been very scrupulous about treating people as they've earned, and giving the benefit of the doubt right and left; but Zalasbra just did something which wasn't really credible. Really, Mr. Careful couldn't tell he had woken up someone sketchy? The fellow who saw what might happen to the other Styrics never looked at what might happen to him?

Fine, Felix is a paranoid; but just because Zalasbra isn't a servant of the devil doesn't mean he isn't up to something, and Arkady is the reason he's around and learning English in the first place. He's an opportunity and a danger, and to protect his people and his Church Arkady needs to try to get this right.

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:50 pm 
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weremensh wrote:
Ok, Defensive Pacifist can easily be replaced with 'if you want something done...'. As for Defender of the Faith, ok, Many Faces of God can substitute; but manifest magic and rival divine powers are a direct threat to Arkady's faith/church (which is bog standard Christian doctrine, btw). And even if we overlook the doctrinal mess,


The doctrinal mess is a mess, yes; and that might count for something if Zalasbra was using those heathen magical powers in the current standoff. As opposed to perfectly mortal powers of face-reading.

weremensh wrote:
They're also a threat to his people (the idea of a power that can casually call lightning deciding that a fusion power plant is icky doesn't exactly lull him to sleep). Now he's been very scrupulous about treating people as they've earned, and giving the benefit of the doubt right and left; but Zalasbra just did something which wasn't really credible. Really, Mr. Careful couldn't tell he had woken up someone sketchy? The fellow who saw what might happen to the other Styrics never looked at what might happen to him?

Fine, Felix is a paranoid; but just because Zalasbra isn't a servant of the devil doesn't mean he isn't up to something, and Arkady is the reason he's around and learning English in the first place. He's an opportunity and a danger, and to protect his people and his Church Arkady needs to try to get this right.


But this is far more of a convincing reason; Arkady wants to keep his faithful people safe, and not annoying the guy who can call down lightning is, indeed, an excellent way to do that.

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:24 am 
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How much y'all wanna bet some combination of Martel, the Seeker, and miscellaneous armed forces are waiting for us at Lake Venne, now?

Call Felix paranoid, but giving the possible location of the most important ancient artifact in Elene history to a possible servant of Azash doesn't smack of a good time. Though I suppose it is the neighborly thing to do...

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