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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 4:49 am 
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As Platime sweeps into the room, it does not go unnoticed that he is accompanied - by Talen and Piper. "Indeed, and I'm quite happy to let you speak further on what I've done, as a prelude to what I can offer to do. In exchange for a small consideration on your part, Your Highness, I believe I could offer substantial benefits in terms of personal security."

"And what exactly is it that you do?" asks the Queen.

"Oh, I'm a thief. Also, on occasion, a murderer. I've been a mugger, a blackguard, and a knave. When it comes to underhanded tricks - I know what I am talking about, Your Majesty, because I have pulled many such tricks myself."

Her eyebrows go up at this candid admission.

Felix, not having the Cold Read stunt, can't try an empathy read on the man claiming to be Platime without around a half-hour or so worth of conversation.

Arkady, however, does have the Cold Read stunt, and thus may see if his instincts are telling him anything...

Arkady: Empathy: +5 Roll: +2 Total: +7

He does seem a little less forceful, but that's probably because he is talking to a Queen here, and moreover a Queen from whom he wants something. Arkady can see no reason to think that this man is somehow not Platime.

Also, the fact that Piper came in with him and isn't raising any alarms counts for a fair amount by itself.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2022 12:03 pm 
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Arkady shrugs slightly. "His exact role in healing you, briefly, was to provide information and lend us that..." he indicates Talen "rather skilled protege of his that spoke with his name. Both were very useful in opening doors and finding help in and around heavily populated neighborhoods. I suspect you would find him very good at administration and practical diplomacy when it suits him."

He's wondering if she's going to remember his toss off comment earlier and put it together with the girl standing on the other side of the local head thief.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:41 pm 
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"My other talents," continues Platime, "include keeping people safe and derailing pl-"

"And on that subject," interrupts Sparhawk, "I see that you bought the two children we left with you for safety into an unsecured area."

"They're safe, aren't they?" asks Platime.

There's a long moment of silence.

"Besides," continues Platime, "I wouldn't have come here myself if it wasn't safe enough for Talen. As for the young lady - well, let's just say she can be surprisingly firm about such things. Anyhow. To the matter of the moment. We can go into more detail about my qualifications; but there is one more service I can offer Your Majesty, and only one simple thing I ask in repayment."

"And those are?" asks the Queen.

"I can offer to keep you safe," says Platime. "To root out any plots or assassins that the Primate may have left behind, to make your castle, first, and then your city once more safe."

"And what is the thing you're asking for in exchange?" she asks.

"A full Royal Pardon, Your Majesty."

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 12:43 pm 
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Arkady contemplates that for a second, then asks: "You have the resources to deal with the Zemoch priest who's been wandering around?"

And what does everyone in the room seem to be thinking of this little scene so far?

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:05 pm 
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"To be fair we've learned from hard experience that Piper goes where Piper wants," Felix says. "Space, time, and the stern lectures of adults only sometimes apply."

Felix is a touch amused by it all, really. He gets the feeling he should be more stern and stoic about it but his sense of normal is somewhat skewed as of late.

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:46 pm 
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Arkady snorts. "My apologies. Your Majesty, Piper. You may have heard her called The Child."

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:06 pm 
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Roger is content to let things play out on their own. If he catches Piper's eye, he will give her a wink.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2022 3:56 am 
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"A Zemoch sorcerer is somewhat beyond me," admits Platime. "However, I can assure that no, er, more mortal plots bother the Queen, and leave the question of such a person to these charming gentlemen here, who specialise in such beings and who will not need to be distracted by lesser plots." He waves one arm towards the Pandion knights.

The Queen nods regally, then nods at Piper when she gets introduced. Piper curtsies politely.

"The Child?" asks the Queen, with a smile. "How on earth did you get hold of that definite article?"

"My family gave it to me," says Piper.

"Mmmm," nods the Queen. "So tell me, Platime. Why do you want a pardon?"

"When a fellow gets to my age," says Platime, "he starts to think about retirement. Now, I can't retire, because there's a bunch of people looking for me for a bunch of reasons. A Royal Pardon will allow me to get at least the official ones off my back - and I can handle the unofficial ones."

"I see," says the Queen. "And which crimes exactly would I be pardoning?"

"I think it'll need to be a general pardon, Your Majesty. If I try to list them all I'm sure to miss one or two. It's an extensive list, and my memory isn't what it used to be. It would be faster, I feel, to list the ones I haven't committed."

"And which crimes haven't you committed?" The Queen looks away from Piper; she catches Roger's eye and winks back.

"I've never committed treason, I've never had carnal knowledge of a sheep, and - well, I honestly don't know what barratry is. I'm honestly unsure whether I've done it or not."

If anyone wants to influence the Queen's decision on this matter, then this is probably the time to speak up.

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2022 7:55 am 
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Arkady: Empathy: +5 Roll: -1 Total: +4

Arkady takes a look around the room, trying to gauge people's reactions. Since he's not concentrating on anyone in particular, he only gets basic, surface-level impressions.

No-one is preparing for a fight - not in the immediate sense. If someone comes crashing through the doors, the Knights are ready to go onto a combat footing in seconds - but they're not actively expecting an attack in the moment. (Two of them are keeping an eye on Platime, but this feels more like caution than anything else).

Lady Sephrenia is keeping an eye on the negotiation, and especially on the Queen. She seems generally relaxed, and doesn't look likely to speak up unless either magic is required or there is some medical urgency in her patient.

Piper and Talen are smiling, and both seem fairly happy; Piper is a good deal more relaxed than Talen, though. (Talen's never completely relaxed. Probably something about being a pickpocket.)

The Queen's smile is - mostly genuine. She's no doubt a little off-balance - several months have passed in an instant for her, she's already had what may be the longest day on record for anyone who hasn't been in cryostasis, and she probably needs to take a while to be briefed on everything that happened while she was trapped in diamond. Still, she is maintaining her poise; a first-level impression isn't enough to tell Arkady how close that poise is to breaking, or how confident she really is behind that facade.

Platime has a smug, self-assured smile. Arkady's first-level impression of him is that he isn't actively deceiving anyone in any major way - though he might, for example, have reasons other than faulty memory to not want to list all of his previous crimes. Regardless, he seems to think it likely that he will get what he came here for.

Lycheas is deliberately hiding all his reactions and trying to stay unnoticed, backing up against the wall. If no-one sees him, no-one will hurt him.

Baron Harparin remains unconscious and tied up. Not much to read from him.

Similarly, the Troll-gods are inside the Rose which is inside an ammo box. Arkady's not sure whether or not they can see out of it, but he certainly can't see them.

Arkady could try to get a proper look at any individual person, or try to open himself up to any magic that may be in the room and see what can be seen.

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 6:16 am 
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Felix has no overt reasoning to try and dissuade the Queen from dealing with Platime. They did after all and he was most useful.

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2022 10:10 pm 
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Arkady is going to focus on Platime and the queen. He figures between Piper and Sephrenia there's probably sufficient coverage for magic for the moment.

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2022 2:18 am 
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Arkady concentrates on the negotiation between Platime and the Queen. Since he's had a chance to observe Platime before, he instinctively pays a little more attention towards the unknown quantity, Queen Cehlana...

Arkady: Empathy: +5 Roll: -3 Total: +2
Queen Cehlana: Resolve: +3 Roll: +0 Total: +3


The Queen is deliberately being hard to read, doing a decent job of disguising her thoughts. Possibly because she's mid-negotiation and doesn't want to give too much away...

"And those are the only laws you haven't broken?" asks the Queen. "So you have committed, say, murder..."

"Only people who deserved it," says Platime. "You can't maintain control over a city's underworld without being willing to kill where necessary."

"But no treason, or messing about with sheep, or... what is barratry?" asks the Queen.

"It's when a captain sabotages his own ship in order to claim insurance on the cargo, Your Majesty," says Sparhawk.

"Oh," says Platime. "Well. Then I've never done that."

"Never shipped any trades?" asks the Queen.

"Oh, no, I use shipping all the time," says Platime. "I've just never bothered with insurance."

"What, never?" asks Sparhawk.

Platime shrugs. "I have... agreements with the nearby pirates. They don't attack my ships, and without that risk any insurance is grossly overpriced. So it's just not worth the price."

"Right," nods the Queen. "So you've never committed treason, never done... unspeakable things to a sheep, and never committed barratry?"

Platime nods. "That's right, Your Majesty. I think that covers all the important laws, don't you?"

The Queen giggles. "Indeed. One does find oneself so concerned about the morals of young sheep. And in exchange for a complete Royal Pardon, you agree to keep me safe, and help root out any mortal plots or threats?"

"Indeed, Your Majesty."

"For how long?" she asks.

"What?" asks Platime, surprised at the question.

"For how long?" repeats the Queen. "I mean, I wouldn't want you to just quit suddenly and leave me at the mercy of my enemies, as soon as you've got your pardon."

"Well, um..." Platime does not seem to have anticipated this question.

"How about until I agree that I would be safe without you?" asks the Queen.

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:20 am 
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Felix likes this Queen.

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2022 9:12 am 
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Arkady considers Sir Sparhawk as he explains barratry (which apparently means something else here), then watches the rest of the byplay. As Platime looks unsettled, while still watching the queen he asks: "Can you pardon crimes against Church law, your Majesty? I hear they have their own list beyond those three."

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