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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Stan Cold wrote:
"Well, you see, we come from Sael. And for right now, I'm kind of top dog. So business with Sael is business with me." Anthony picks the dialog between the snide and friendly options.

"I see," he sniffs. "Do you haveaaaaaaaEEEEAAAGH!" He pitches over the side of the horse and lands roughly on the ground, saddle on top of him.

"Again?" mutters one of the lead riders. "What is that, the fourth time?"

"If he'd stop firing his squires maybe he'd get his tack done proper," sighs the other. The two watch as the man's bodyguards dismount and help him to his feet.

"I wanted to stop and rest anyway," says Big-Nose, careening past embarrassment with a deftness only the truly arrogant can pull off. "Let's set up in this field here and talk." His entourage obediently starts moving off the road. He brushes dust off his fancy clothes. "Sent from Sael. Do you have an official ambassador's document? We do." Again, his expression adds, neener-neener.

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:13 pm 
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"I have my permission slip as well," Anthony says in a condescending tone. He shows the letter given to him by Captain.

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:30 pm 
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The bodyguards and mages stand around looking tough, while other people in the group whip out a table, low stools, and tent seemingly out of nowhere. Big-Nose and his robed companion take a seat, inviting the party to do the same.

Big-Nose breaks the seal on Captain's letter and reads it, then hands it to his companion. "I see," he says, sounding petulant. "Very well. I had thought we would have to go all the way to Sael to negotiate, but I see that we will do it here instead. In a field. By a road. How very civilized." Someone appears with a tray of glasses and a decanter of wine. "Raine, I am Lord Wipp, loyal servant of the king. Are these your ..." he waves at Ruan and the dwarf illusion, and hazards, "assistants?" He pours himself a glass of wine.

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:27 am 
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"Assistants, yes, sir." says the illusory dwarf, looking a lot tougher and stronger than he is. (He also clearly lacks the ability to talk quietly, but at least he's no longer audible throughout the entire column).

Sparrow hovers somewhere over Big Nose's shoulder, where he can get a good look at anything Big Nose wants to look at and not show Anthony, and a good listen to anything anyone wants to whisper in Big Nose's ear. Just in case. Sparrow also puts a taste illusion on Big Nose's glass of wine, making it taste like a rather better vintage than it, in fact, is.

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:05 pm 
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Wipp takes a drink of the wine and spits it out. "Swill! This isn't my vintage! Fetch another." He shoos the servant away, then crosses his arms and looks back at the party with an impatient expression.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:17 am 
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Ooooh, thinks Sparrow, this fellow will be fun. Let's see... I can make the next wine taste like orange juice, then I can have one that tastes of honey, then one that tastes truly vile, by then he'll probably be all red in the face and screaming about stuff, and then... oh. Then he won't want to agree to let Yala through, will he?

Sparrow, invisible as he is, nonetheless rolls his eyes.

Maybe I can find Big Nose again, after I've got Yala to the school that'll finish her. She's a nice girl... I don't want her to be finished, but I did promise to get her to the school. Maybe I can try pulling a trick on someone else?

Lord Wipp's next glass of wine will remain unenchanted. Or, at least, unenchanted by Sparrow.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:31 pm 
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"So, how about you give me your terms so that I may scoff at them, hmm? That is what is typical of diplomacy." Anthony tries to retain some skill in his voice.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:03 pm 
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"As you wish. Allow me to explain the situation, as you seem to be new to this. Sael, as a city of the kingdom, is subject to the king's wishes, or is guilty of treason. So either they accept the king's wishes, or the king destroys them." Wipp smirks. "How's that for diplomacy?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:22 pm 
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"What, personally?" wonders Sparrow.

The dwarf illusion adopts a suitably scoffing expression. It looks as if he's heard more reasonable terms from mud on the bottom of his shoe.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:35 pm 
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"Sounds pretty standard for a kingdom. Off with their heads, and all that. There's a reason why I usually stick to the wilds."

Ruan crosses his arms and frowns.

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:59 am 
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"Well, allow me to lay down the situation since you are both deaf, blind and dumb to the elves' situation. We have our rules, the king has his. It just so happens that the king's rules involve enslaving elves. Elves are not particularly fond of being enslaved. Therefore, we do not like the king's rules. Also, humans and elves don't get along. Why is that? It's culture. The elves are afraid of losing their culture to the humans. The humans are afraid to lose their culture to the elves. It's the way nature made things. So. You give us sovereignty from the king AND abolish the enslavement of elves and you do not have a full uprising. Let me remind you that elves are everywhere. And merciless. And sneaky."

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:27 pm 
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"Civilization is a matter of trade," Wipp replies, accepting a new glass of wine from the servitor. "The kingdom gives many things to Sael. It keeps the peace and maintains the roads. It mints the coins and facilitates the commerce. It secures the borders and cares for its citizens." He takes an appreciative drink. "In exchange, the kingdom requests that Sael give us its cooperation in relocating human settlers into its city to relieve the pressure elsewhere. Because another thing we can give Sael is a sound drubbing from our soldiers." He gestures to the troops, armor shining in the late afternoon sun. There are about a thousand men in total, variously resting, patrolling, or still coming up the road. "Now, if Sael cannot offer what we ask, what can they offer in return?"

Ruan, when he looks at the soldiers, notices that a small group of them have set up at the far end of the clearing and taken out polearms, presumably to do some sparring. But they seem to be having a surprising amount of trouble wielding the things.

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Sparrow throws an illusion on Big Nose. Nothing flashy, just something to make him see spots in front of his eyes. Tiny spots, but of many hues...

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:54 pm 
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"I'm sure that Sael gives many things to the kingdom in return, other than people to whip," Anthony retorts sharply, "Now, what if I mention that we have something that would be worth more than refugee camps, Sael and all the elvish slaves. And what if this something is a someone?"

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Wipp looks at Anthony -- he seems to be having a little trouble focusing his gaze -- and frowns. "What do you mean?"

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