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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:48 pm 
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Zalasbra opens his mouth to answer Arkady's question - and Felix leaps in with his questions, trying to distract and worry the mystic...

Felix: Rapport: +4 Sidekick: +4 Roll: +3 Total: +11
Zalasbra: Resolve: Insufficient


Zalasbra frowns, crossly, for a moment - then deep breath, closes his eyes, takes that moment to recover his emotional balance before speaking again. It's clear that Zalasbra is being cautious. He is controlling himself, taking very, very deliberate care not to let anything slip. He is hiding something.

"You are not wrong," he acknowledges to Arkady. "My phrasing was poor. I meant no more than that the history of your people is a closed book to me. I cannot, as I might among my own people, select a person of known noble and upstanding family to teach the Secrets to - your people's families are unknown to me. Nonetheless, I have seen today the consequences of teaching the Secrets to one whose character I do not adequately know; I have no intention of repeating the mistake, and if I err, I would prefer to err on the side of caution. And no, nothing in Blackwell's behaviour stood out to me; no destination was mentioned in my hearing."

Arkady: Empathy: +5 Roll: +1 Total: +6
Zalasbra: Total: Insufficient
Zalasbra spends a Fate point!
Zalasbra spends a Fate point!
Zalasbra: Total: Sufficient


Whether it's the distraction of Felix' questions or not, Arkady cannot tell. He can't see any certain signs that there's anything more to this than being upset about the attack - but that's because Arkady cannot see any signs at all. Zalasbra is going to very distinct and careful effort to deliberately shut down any tells or body language that he might normally be displaying.

Given that Zalasbra is deliberately spending his own Fate points to avoid this question, and given that Zalasbra will get the opportunity to spend Fate points to match any that Arkady spends, would Arkady still like to spend his own Fate points here?

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:15 am 
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After a second, Arkady nods. "Knowledge can be dangerous, yes. But ignorance can also be costly. The man you chose to have woken up was actually known to some of us, back on our world. I am told he is a murderer."
He shrugs. "Perhaps your vision was true, and you interpreted it correctly. Perhaps the Styrics will be better off this way. But we could have told you that he is not a man of good character, whomever his ancestors may have been."

After a beat: Oh, yes. The new arch-prelate of the Elene Church has said that he would stress through Church channels that violence towards Styrics is neither to be encouraged, nor permitted. Things may improve a bit for the villagers, at least for a while. I was thinking you'd be interested, though this wasn't where I next expected to meet."

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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:42 am 
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Location: Praise be to the sticky elastic bands of the Healing Gauze
Felix backs out of the conversation and sends Theresa Arkady's way to help him hammer home the finer points of his side.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:18 am 
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Just in case it's not clear: Arkady will tag the two aspects previously mentioned, but he's stopping there.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 12:50 pm 
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Arkady: Tags "If You Want Something Done, Do It Yourself"
Zalasbra: Tags a third Aspect to keep this secret

Not sure that Many Faces Of God really applies. But Felix leaps in to fill the gap, by tagging Zalasbra's Distraction:

Zalasbra: ...appears to have finally run out of relevant Aspects. Or to have run out of FATE points. One or the other.

Either way.

Zalasbra is hiding something.

There's no telling what it is. Zalasbra... Zalasbra has been hiding this for a long time. A long time. You do not get that good at hiding something if it's a brief secret, a temporary thing. This is a secret that Zalasbra has been holding onto for - minimum - a decade. Maybe two. And it is important to him. It is somehow relevant to what you found when you got here. It's not - entirely - as it seemed. At least part of what you saw was a setup.

Nonetheless - if you had not got here, Zalasbra would have burned to death. Whatever secret he's hiding, whatever it is he's not telling...

...he considers it worth risking his life to do whatever it is that he did.

Zalasbra: Total: +6
Arkady: Resolve: +3 Roll: -1 Total: +2

...and he's just noticed you noticing that.


"...trust. Right. I can see I'm not trusted here any more." Zalasbra turns toward Piper. "You would do best not to tarry overlong with these ones, child," he says to her. "We have both had enough of the death of our people at the hands of the Elenes. Perhaps, if we leave these folk with speed, we can avoid the same happening to us here."

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:56 pm 
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Arkady: If you want something done, do it yourself: +2
Defender of the Faith: +2
Total: +6


Arkady is concerned about what would happen were Zalasbra to take offense at this point. At the same time, Arkady is, and always has been, fiercely independent; he is very used to not letting other people read his face. Zalasbra squints at Arkady for a moment...

...but whatever Zalasbra is looking for, he doesn't seem to see it.

"This has been quite an ordeal," says Zalasbra, turning away. "I should go and rest. ...some place that is not here."

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:07 pm 
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Arkady observes: "Why not come with us? We can give you a ride back to the settlement, and then we're off to recover the Blue Rose."

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 1:14 pm 
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Tired or not, this gets Zalasbra's attention. "You've located it?" he asks.

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 2:20 pm 
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Arkady nods. "We think so, and it sounds like Ghwerek agrees." He grins: "We learned where King Sarak died, that one of his retainers took something from his body and fled to a nearby lake where he died, that his killers were all then killed, and that their killers were all then killed. And now there are stories of what sounds a lot like a clever but irate troll that has been hiding in the neighborhood of that lake for more than a century. It seems worth investigating."

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 2:25 pm 
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"Possibly," Felix says. "We have a lead but it's not for certain."

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 5:50 am 
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"Sarak is generally believed to have died somewhere along the front lines of the battle between Zemoch and the Elene Kingdoms," muses Zalasbra. "In the last five hundred years, though, just about every square inch of that ground has been dug over, looking for the jewel... and there's never been any sign of a troll around there long-term, not that I've heard of. Which lake do you have in mind?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:21 am 
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Quick question: did Talen tag along when they headed off to the fire?

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:19 am 
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He's no great fan of forest in general, but at the same time he isn't the sort to sit back and relax while other people are Having Adventures. Yes, he went along with you.

He just hasn't had anything to say yet.

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:29 am 
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Assuming as he is that the professional thief has had an eye peeled for threats (like hiding Terrans right nearby):
"Venne. There's a relevant burial mound nearby, but if it was that simple a troll could have dug it up long ago. We think we're going to have to search the lake itself."

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 Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2021 3:53 am 
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"Lake Venne?" asks Zalasbra. "That's - wow, that's a long way from the major battle lines. And you think Sarak was buried there? ...if you know where he's buried, it might be possible to find a suitable necromancer and interrogate his ghost for more precise details."

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