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File 170699145822.png - (10.78KB , 800x600 , 1991.png )
1082380 No. 1082380 ID: 46e818

465 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1084419 ID: 46e818
File 170879950768.png - (14.08KB , 800x600 , 2063.png )

>"Master? Master Muschio, are you-- can you hear me?"
"Ah? Uh. Y-yes. Sorry. I... yes, I'm here. Just a little-- are we there?"
>"Yes, we've just arrived."
No. 1084420 ID: 46e818
File 170879967653.png - (20.43KB , 800x600 , 2064.png )

A small camp. Not permanent, but looks like they've been here for a few weeks.
>"I count 28, maybe 30 men. I can see the prisoners. Look to be children. Mostly they're tied around the camp at posts, but there's a few cages as well.
>A few horses and a cart, but not nearly enough for everyone.
>And they've got racks of weapons, so well defended enough."
No. 1084421 ID: 8b8c72

Take a minute to recover from...that.
No. 1084423 ID: 3f3d5c

Man, I really want to stab some people.
This is gonna be hard.
No. 1084427 ID: ce619a

Once we go meet these guys we might want to leave Finesse and Tislomer behind. These are slavers going after goblins and kobolds so having them in our company might immediately have these guys go hostile or at least less willing to listen to us.
No. 1084429 ID: 64faaa

No. 1084432 ID: 3f3d5c

Do you think it's wise to leave them unattended? Neither of them are fighters.
No. 1084435 ID: debc82


Be wary that there might be more who are not in camp. Whatever we do, we must be quick, decisive, and full of LOVE.
No. 1084436 ID: 8f9bc4

A stealthy approach might be wise. If you can sneak in there under the cover of darkness and free everyone tied up and caged, you won't have to be violent at all. Then again, if you get caught, it's very unlikely their captors will be willing to negotiate with you.

A diplomatic approach might be playing the role of travellers who happened upon the camp and want to know what all the fuss is about. Which you are. And you really don't know much about this situation.

Still it seems very unlikely there's any good reason for having these children in cages.

Mister Lollipop aside, there is no violent solution here. You do not have the forces to take this group head on.
No. 1084437 ID: 8f9bc4

Oh, or you could set their camp on fire. Does fire count as violence?
No. 1084439 ID: 1618fb

Not a bad idea but I don't think we should leave them be. If anything while we try to get the children out, Tislomer should work on taking away their weapons cache.
No. 1084440 ID: eb0a9c

I think this one's pretty straightforward:
Attempt to buy the slaves. If they draw swords, use the boon; that's what Mr. Lollipop specifically gave it to you for.
No. 1084441 ID: 1618fb

Bad plan. That would only finance their next expedition for more slave gathering. And plus, do we even have that kind of money?
No. 1084442 ID: 273c18

Alright let's get started. Advance towards the camp, ask to parley. Most importantly, you need to be attention-grabbing, so that the charm will affect all of them. You can make threats if you want; in fact that may be useful both for encouraging them to let the children go willingly, and for getting their eyes on you for the charm to work.
No. 1084452 ID: 6c605b

In this case, actually paying them is not beneficial. They need to know that these people are protected and their actions will not be stood for. Nor ignored.

If the direct approach is chosen, the boon will have to be used and they'll basically get love flashbanged. And then our crew would need to work fast freeing the kids and GTFOing.

The subtler route is less likely to get every one of the camp in the blast if the boon is used. But it would also be less likely to incur violence.

Of note with these kidnappers, our only stipulation is no violence.
Subterfuge, sabotage, dishonesty, diplomacy and intimidation are all tools we can use.

But also consider, we need to make sure they don't repeat the offense - just letting them walk away is not ideal either. We want to prevent a war. We don't know who they are or why they're doing what they have. Nor on whose payroll they're on. Regardless, we need to send a message, and one that will make this problem go away.
No. 1084459 ID: 2f41db

Quicky big M.
Check your nose for residual magical effects.

Not good.
Not good at all.

Other voices have wisely stated a sound course of action.
Everything but violence is fairly used.

I would also advise against paying.
It reinforces this as a profitable expedition and risks the cads thinking "why not the money AND four more slaves?"

They need to leave this place with a loss lest you want this to be a regular event.

Also, Keep an eye out for those two elves.
Something makes me think they werent entirely forthright about their presence here.
No. 1084461 ID: ce619a

It would be fantastic if we could get through this without having to use the boon and save it for something like the czar and his goon, but I severely doubt we're going to resolve this with diplomacy. So, just try to attract the whole camp's attention then flashbang them with the boon.

Also, most importantly, we need to come up with a code word or signal that let's out group know we're about to use it so they can avert their eyes.
No. 1084465 ID: 2f41db

The timing could be the code.

"STOP!......in the naaaame of love!"
No. 1084468 ID: fdf2eb

I suggest getting a head count on the abducted children before things get messy.
No. 1084473 ID: 5c1847

Time to do reconnaissance, we act at night.
No. 1084491 ID: 4d8b77

This is not a terrible idea, actually. At least as a cover, it might let us get close and figure out what exactly is going on. If this is not just a one off incident, then we need information about what's really happening here, who is buying children as slaves. We probably shouldn't actually pay them anything though.

Although, if we don't use the boon now, do you think the Seer might let us keep if for later?
No. 1084499 ID: 46e818
File 170888426207.png - (14.67KB , 800x600 , 2065.png )

"My friends... your thoughts?"

>"I think intimidation would be a good route. Throw your weight at them; you have the station to tell them what to do. But they are unlikely to recognize your authority, and this many hands backing them up will make it difficult to impress your power. Some way to thin their presence in advance would help. Ultimately, you need to make it clear that this behavior won't be tolerated."
>"You can't just talk to them! They're stealing people!! Maybe we can't use violence but we could scare all of them off! They need to get out forever!!"
"You and Finesse may need to stay behind, for your safety."
>"Master, I'm not sure it's wise to approach with even smaller number than we have."
>"Muschio. Unfortunately, their position makes stealth untenable. Too much open ground, too many guards. We'd never get close. Honestly, there's a good chance they may see us already."

I've had similar thoughts.
I'll advance and ask for audience with their leader. I'll avoid using the boon unless it's necessary, but I find it hard to imagine it won't come up at some point.
No. 1084500 ID: 46e818
File 170888430633.png - (18.09KB , 800x600 , 2066.png )

I suppose we ought to proceed, then. We will do our utmost.

We descend toward the camp.
No. 1084501 ID: 46e818
File 170888437588.png - (24.20KB , 800x600 , 2067.png )

They're surely aware of us a good distance away. Many turn their attention to us as the work in the camp comes to a standstill.

A small armed group detaches from the rest, heading a short distance to meet us.
>"That's quite close enough."
No. 1084502 ID: dd0587

What you are doing is wrong! Why do you do this thing?
No. 1084503 ID: b11d2d

Yeah no, I don't think intimidation is a reliable option. They're starting this conversation ready to use force, and seem to be much better armed.

Let's politely inquire first: where are these captives from? What were they taken for? If it's simply for sale, then what's the going price?

I'm not sure where I'm going with this - other than "let's not open with accusations and demands".
No. 1084504 ID: 456aa4

Inquire about how long they've been running here? Imply you're in the market to possibly buy. Inquire as to why they're snatching children as surely they don't make good slaves. (Do they already have a buyer buying kids?)

Let's try and plug these guys for some answers first before we get to the banishment.
No. 1084505 ID: ce619a

Make no sudden actions. Do nothing that would alarm them.
Introduce yourself and ask why they're abducting the children of the forest. What reason would they have for such hostile actions.
No. 1084509 ID: 2f41db

Show no fear big M.
Project assured confidence as only you can.
All predatory creatures are wary when prey does not act as expected.
To these rogues you have all the appearance of prey.

Your goal is to have everyones attention so if you have to use the boon, it hits them all at once.
Open with something formal, because manners matter, though stay aloof.

If you think an insult will gather more attention, mostly others wanting to watch what happens to you, i'd suggest;
"I'm here to speak with what passes for leadership in this-"
Pause for effect and look across the area with a faint air of distain, then say
With the same tone you'd use for "shambling hovel"
If the elf in the middle claims leadership, remain unimpressed.

Nothing draws the attention of a rabble more than the chance of seeing a highborne brought low.

If we could act as we feel, I'd be exactly with tislomer here, they deserve little respect and less mercy.
... but we gave our word to refrain from violence.
No. 1084512 ID: fdf2eb

We'd be suspicious as prospective buyers. This is a camp, not a market, and we're accompanied by a kobold and a goblin.
Ashedel is right; the slavers must fear us. If we use the boon now, we can incapacitate several of them while leaving the rest awestruck and open to negotiation. We can bluff that we'll do it again.
No. 1084527 ID: 273c18

Introduce yourself, demand they release the children.
No. 1084529 ID: 46e818
File 170890473265.png - (10.96KB , 800x600 , 2068.png )

"My name is Muschio Malto. I've come to speak with the leader of this group."
>"That's me. So I'll tell you myself, this is a private camp. You're not welcome here. Leave."
No. 1084530 ID: eb0a9c

1) Ask them where they plan to sell the slaves.
2) Ask if they had a buyer for children, or if they just caught the low-hanging fruit.
3) Grandstand about Inzare Citta and how all their population has been forcefully mutated into tiny, grabbable, simple-minded sprites, ripe for the taking.
At this point, if the leader realizes you are not lying, they'll be enraptured by the opportunity. Then you sucker punch them, retrieve the kids, and let them try their luck raiding Inzare Citta.
No. 1084531 ID: 1ab976

No violence. Let’s start small.

Ask him if he saw two young elves in the woods.
No. 1084532 ID: 2f41db

"Im surprised understand the concept of private property seeing as you have a number of my things bound in your camp."

Or words to that effect.
No. 1084533 ID: 8f9bc4


That's... a brilliant idea. Would explain why you have a goblin and a kobold among your ranks. And technically true, since these lands are (in theory) under your protection. Would provide a reason you'd be marching up to them, and put the leader off guard. He might explain just where he got those kids then, and why, just to prove you're lying.

It'll get you killed of course, but it's still a brilliant idea.
No. 1084534 ID: ce619a

Not a bad idea.
We need an ice breaker to start dialogue with them that doesn't end with them attacking us and asking if they know of the two hunters we met is a good angle for that.
No. 1084535 ID: debc82


That is very interesting, seeing as it would seem that several of our people are already here against their will.

Which would necessitate having come into lands which are most assuredly private and NOT within the elven dominion.
No. 1084555 ID: 04b6f1

The way to use the boon more effectively, is to lure the attention of as many of them as possible to a single point/event.

For this purpose, we have some options:

1/ "We are a traveling troupe, let us put on a show for you."

2/ "I'm appalled by your actions, I challenge you to a one on one duel."

3/ "Look over there! There's a fire/enemy."
No. 1084593 ID: 46e818
File 170896919145.png - (9.16KB , 800x600 , 2069.png )

Though it's tempting to play into their game with subterfuge, I have no intention of indulging them any further, even as deception.

"You are unbidden in these woods, stealing children. You have no claims to privacy."
No. 1084594 ID: 46e818
File 170896940545.png - (21.67KB , 800x600 , 2070.png )

>"Look, I don't really care who you are. We've got out letter of permit, and you have no business with me.
>I'm not here to discuss this. Get the fuck out of my sight."
No. 1084595 ID: 421554

A: letter of permit from who? Who claims authority for this?
B: they seriously are fine with stealing kids? KIDS? Even if they’re the most immoral group of mercenaries around, there’s bound to be a few who aren’t sure that’s a good thing.
No. 1084596 ID: 3f3d5c

Hey, Boss?

I want you to make a scene.
I want you to give the biggest, most grandiose declaration you can. I want you to fucking scream, alright? I want you to make sure absolutely everyone turns to look at you and see what the hell you're doing and everyone, everyone, comes to see what this rando fucking pomp with a monster harem is going on about. I want this to be a spectacle. Understand?
I want everyone to see.
I want all eyes on you.

And then, only then, that's when I want you to pull out the flower.
And tell them,
"Stop in the name of love!"
No. 1084597 ID: ce619a

Welp, not the right choice of words if we wanted to resolve this with diplomacy. This is going south real fast.

If you think you can get another question in without them attacking ask who gave them the permit.
If not and all of them haven't already gathered, try to make up some excuse to have them all gather to hear what you have to say. Something about an official proclamation from the lord of elves in the region or some bullshit like that.
Then tell them you have a writ or document they need to see and slowly pull out the boon use it.
No. 1084598 ID: 2f41db

I approve.
They're only deserving of contempt and a quick dance at the end of a short noose.
Our word given.
No violence.

As such i agree with the others.
Make a scene if you have to.
The boon must hit them all.
Tactically, its the sound move.
No. 1084599 ID: fdf2eb

If consensus is to use the boon now, then discreetly signal your party not to look.
No. 1084600 ID: 551906


And then this.
No. 1084714 ID: 04b6f1

Boss, We NEED to know who's wanting for child slaves.
No. 1084715 ID: fe12b4

"Oh, you have paperwork! yes, I will need to inspect that, as the wording is very precise and again these are my people from my land you are abducting. It's possible some obscure treaty is being invoked, but nobody sent communications to me or my people that I'm aware of."

if we can get eyes on that it'll probably have a name for us to follow up on later AND we can use it to pull in more people for the lovebomb strat.
No. 1084716 ID: 273c18

Looks like you've got everyone's attention.
Find out what the letter of permit is about, then use the flower. But uh, don't make any sudden movements when taking it out; they have crossbows aimed at you.
No. 1084728 ID: 6c605b

Well, with letter of permit that means that someone ELSE is giving them permission to come to our land and take our people. That means that they're lower on the chain of command, and we should be working our way up to deal with this problem at the source.

...And it's probably best to not share that information with them. Oh and we should probably warn our allies we're gonna flashbang the camp before we do so they don't get caught in the burst.
No. 1084732 ID: 53560f

Do not use the flower here unless you are going to die.
Doing it here will barely solve the problem. Save it for the source and much more strategic opportunities will present themselves.
No. 1084738 ID: 6c605b

Saving the boon is important. We do not need to play our hand yet. We need to fish for more information...
No. 1084749 ID: e2e905

Look, we aren't allowed to use violence, but does the THREAT of violence count? On a related note, is Ashedel quick and precise enough to destroy those crossbows and give them a good scare?
Disarming them doesn't count as killing them after all.
No. 1084752 ID: debc82


Letter of permit? You mean someone has enabled this atrocity?

We demand to see it (to know the name of Lollypop's enemy)!
No. 1084757 ID: d01d94

You gave them a chance, now flower these fools before they get itchy with the crossbows!
No. 1084800 ID: dd3fe0

Save the boon, we're still gathering info.
No. 1084815 ID: 46e818
File 170914471628.png - (22.15KB , 800x600 , 2071.png )

"These woods are under my authority. What power dared issue that letter? I must see it."
>"No. We're not doing that."
No. 1084816 ID: 46e818
File 170914480897.png - (20.46KB , 800x600 , 2072.png )

>"The only thing you're going to say is how you found our little camp. And then you're going to leave. Or you're going to regret it."
No. 1084817 ID: 3ef2c1

What's the big commotion about I wonder
No. 1084818 ID: ce619a

Uhh... what are those guys in the back running from?
Look behind you and check the treeline if you don't immediately see something.
No. 1084820 ID: 58dd24

looks like the guys in back are talking and abandoning. If it was something behind us, the guys in front would see it too.

Tell them you located their camp because the peoples and spirits of the woods asked their prince for aid and pointed you straight here.
No. 1084821 ID: 89b4f4

Something is going on back there behind these guys.

"It seems some of you men may be going awol."
No. 1084822 ID: 065ad8

"I found your camp with the guidance of the forest itself - and if you don't understand what that means, perhaps your wiser companions can tell you." Look over at the ones fleeing. If that doesn't start some extra runners, then you can go on: "If you really want to find out from me, you can see the signs I was given in this flower..."

If any are left after they see their companions running, or if they call to them and any stop, then I doubt there's anything to be done diplomatically about the ones that remain. They seem hardened, and Ashedel did ask you to not be too cautious with it. Use the flower and be ready to duck those crossbows being fired off in a panic - hopefully your companions will ready themselves once you mention the flower.
No. 1084834 ID: 2f41db

Whatever you and your cohort are doing big m, its having an effect.

Id say look but at the moment their numbers are being winnowed to more managable levels.

On the off chance its not any of you, ride the wave a little longer.
Theyre almost at a point you can ask how he intends to enforce his will upon you, then let him realise hes abandoned.
No. 1084835 ID: eef602

we can ask ashedel for information on whats goin on behin them, she is the tallest
No. 1084843 ID: 3f3d5c

would you believe we are on a mission from god
No. 1084848 ID: eb0a9c

They're losing group cohesion. And those aren't automatic crossbows. We also have patronage from a literal god so magic healing should be accessible.
Take the hits, then grab their weapons before they can reload.
No. 1084849 ID: d4d22b

Their paperwork is meaningless if they cannot provide it. I wasn't going to recommend honoring it anyway but at least if there's any legal repercussions of some kind we've got witnesses who can prove a failure to provide the proper documentation. Also, please try to figure out why they're running in terror. Hopefully nothing we also need to run from.
No. 1084850 ID: 5f976d

"You and what army?"
Then pointedly look behind them and see that everyone's ran away.
No. 1084859 ID: 6894eb

Hah ya beat me to the quip.
No. 1084863 ID: 82e021

Why are you running? WHY are you running?
No. 1084871 ID: 940726

Seems like something is messing with their operation behind their backs. Let's stall them so they don't notice!

And oh, look at that! They just gave us the perfect idea for a distraction. How nice of them!

"You want to know how your kidnapping operation came to my attention? Very well. I'll tell you just whom you've transgressed against, and I suggest you pay close attention."

Inform them that their crimes not only attracted the ire of this land's people, but of the primeval guardian deity who is watching over them. He has heard their prayers and sent us here to see that they are returned safe and sound.

Let them know we're on a divine mission. It will give the kidnappers a reason to think twice, and help Mr. Lollipop gain more faith from the victims once they're rescued. Don't be afraid to get a bit theatrical; the longer we keep their attention focused on us, the more time we give to whatever's going on behind them. I'm guessing (hoping) that's a good thing.

There's another way you might lead this conversation, depending on how it goes. You could point out that we're acting with divine authority, and ask them what authority they have for their deeds. Maybe they don't actually have a "permit", or some of them aren't sure if it's legitimate.
No. 1084916 ID: 7c85fb

Bluff a little. Tellem that your people already know of this camp, it does matter if I tell you how I found out it's location. If I go missing, many, many more will come and they'll be a lot less polite. I'm questioning if this permit is even real or if it's a bluff as well.
No. 1084918 ID: 46e818
File 170923766063.png - (8.43KB , 800x600 , 2073.png )

>"If you've no letter to present, the legitimacy--"
>"We're not doing that."
No. 1084919 ID: 46e818
File 170923770885.png - (8.59KB , 800x600 , 2074.png )

>"We're not here to convince you of our legitimacy. I don't give a damn if you believe us.
>Now you didn't just wander in at random. How did you find our camp?"
No. 1084920 ID: 46e818
File 170923773338.png - (11.45KB , 800x600 , 2075.png )

"You watched the skies that night.
You know how."
No. 1084921 ID: 46e818
File 170923777678.png - (19.24KB , 800x600 , 2076.png )

>"Does no one in this fucking forest know how to give a straight answer? You're all--"
No. 1084922 ID: 46e818
File 170923779659.png - (15.31KB , 800x600 , 2077.png )

No. 1084923 ID: 281b41


Damn right we are. Now drop the crossbows.
No. 1084924 ID: 5ab3e9

And there it is.
We don't care on who's authority you claim to operate. This forest and all of its denizens, are under our protection. You know what kind of allies we have. You know what kind of power we call upon. So now you have a choice. Tell us what we want to know, release the children, and depart peacefully.

Or come an' have a go if ye fink yer hard enuff.
No. 1084925 ID: ce619a

Confirm that you are the one that rode the dragon and name drop Sadie on them. Maybe even her old name, too, since these are elves and they might know it.
No. 1084926 ID: eb0a9c

"The magnificent air-support archon I have gained the favor of isn't as important as the accompanying army of orcs I can call in. I engaged their leadership in polite discussion, with tea and crumpets on fine porcelain, and reached a suitable accord. Now, do you realize how much reverence I inspire if I can get a gaggle of spiteful, violent, and utterly short-tempered warchief barbarians to play house?!"

Of course, you're not going to mention that those warchief barbarians already love to play house as much as they love beating each other to bits at the drop of a hat.
No. 1084928 ID: 31d213

Good to see one of you has wits. Would you care to explain the implications? While you have brains your companions value brawn more so be *very* clear if you would? Whatever she's imagining is probably worse than our words would be.
No. 1084932 ID: 2f41db

"Your astute companion is correct."
Or however you would phrase it big m.

Make sure you enjoy the realisation as it spreads from his mind to his expression.

Also, when all this is done, thank finesse.
She timed that perfectly.
No. 1084951 ID: 8f9bc4

Do not pop a boner, boss!
No. 1084953 ID: 04b6f1

The way I see it Boss, we can play it as either
we are Sadie's emissary or rule with her patronage.

Any way we play it we need to leverage it carefully, after all, the crossbows are here, the dragon isn't.
No. 1084955 ID: 85a6e8

Consider throwing in the fact that Red Fang is dead and you're the one who did him in, so unless they think they're REALLY hot shit you won't even need backup. They can walk away now because if this goes south for them, the story isn't even worth free drinks at the bar.
No. 1084998 ID: 46e818
File 170932768243.png - (19.90KB , 800x600 , 2078.png )

I don't think further qualifications would be necessary, let alone heard. The camp seems to break rapidly, most of the soldiers fleeing without even bothering to take their gear.

Their leader screams after them, her voice strained with anger.
>"You fucking cowards!
>Anyone who leaves now forfeits backpay for the ENTIRE EXPEDITION!!"
No. 1084999 ID: 46e818
File 170932787182.png - (21.93KB , 800x600 , 2079.png )

The three who remained step back further, putting distance between our groups.

>"Well I don't care who you are. You don't mess with me and you don't mess with my crew.
>We've got crossbows. You can be the devil himself for all I care, if I put this bolt through your heart, you're dead before you hit the ground.
>And you don't get to where I am without learning how to shoot.

>Don't make me prove it. Turn around and leave. Now."
No. 1085000 ID: 56382e

Flower power, go!

But maybe do it in such a way that he knows you aren't reaching for a weapon?
No. 1085001 ID: 4d8b77

You don't even have enough crossbow to go around anymore. Which one do you think is the least likely to mop you all up while you're reloading, huh? You'd think one would have learned how to cut and run to 'get where you are now' too. You don't even have enough manpower to extract the slaves. If you really are too stupid to run now, you're too stupid to lead. And momentarily, you'll be too stupid to live too.
No. 1085002 ID: 980bee

looks like its time for the power of concentrated love
No. 1085004 ID: ce619a

Tell them you'll leave, but before you do you're going to drop a message on the ground for them to have after you're gone.
Then slowly pull out the boon and use it.
No. 1085005 ID: 273c18

You don't have to be facing him to use the flower. You can turn around, start walking away, take out the flower and raise it up to use it.
No. 1085006 ID: 46e818

>Which one do you think is the least likely to mop you all up while you're reloading, huh?
definitely finesse
No. 1085011 ID: 4d8b77

Hey, that's completely unfair. Out of all of the characters we've seen in DQ so far, no one has done more damage or posed a bigger threat to Muschio.
No. 1085021 ID: 9af117

"Fine." Head back at night while they sleep. Even if one or two is awake it'd be easy to take the 3 by surprise. Which frees the captives and if we get them alive we get intel.
No. 1085023 ID: 2f41db

"The devil himself"
Amusing he should use that phrase given your original goals big m.
I know youre not aiming for evil anymore but, if you feel like it, i think you could afford yourself a good old evil smile.
For nostalgias sake.

It is looking like its flower power time soon though.
No. 1085063 ID: 940726

They're getting antsy. One of them is looking really nervous, but the other two look ready for a fight. I'm not sure if we should keep the pressure on them and risk a fight, or back off and risk looking weak.

I say leave for now, but warn them not to cause any harm to the children. We've managed to scare off all but two of her minions, not nearly enough to transport her victims, and we still have plenty of options.

Our next step is to study their camp from a distance and plan our rescue mission. We can sneak in under the cover of night to free the kids, steal their supplies, or sabotage their weapons. Then we can get the children home safe, and they'll be neutralized as a threat, all without anyone getting hurt!
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