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File 157962521838.png - (152.93KB , 1200x900 , 1291.png )
953982 No. 953982 ID: 5fc3a0

Previous Threads/Wiki: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Fen_Quest
Inventory and Other Info: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Fen_Quest_Statistics
Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/Lagotrope

>"It's time to go, Valsano." I don't know that person, but he must be one of Valsano's current team that's going back down into the mausoleum.
>"Yeah yeah, I just wanted to see how my main squad is doing, living it up."
>"Oh, yeah, it's great!" says Firzel. "I'll tell all my grandkids about the good old days, in which every single day was spent having Zall beat the shit out of us."

We all listen to Valsano, who will make a typical quip back to Firzel.

It doesn't come. He loses his expression and marches off.
840 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 966807 ID: b34040

Before you even *bring up* the topic of employment, think for a moment. Can you really pay her a steady income good enough to be worth leaving what's really a relatively cushy position to enter a relatively high-risk bodyguard position? If not, you're doing her no favours by asking.
>>
No. 966810 ID: dbd72b

Tell her you got a shiny new job. Got a lot of benefits, but you're prolly gonna get killed by angry nobles. You could use some help, but the whole "assassination target" part means we reeeally aren't gonna push that.

Mostly here to tell Nawm the news, you'll be around less, but hey! Might pretend to be a guard sometimes, so not a complete goodbye. In case you die in a duel, tell her it's been cool, and you're glad she had your back.
>>
No. 966812 ID: adb916

>>966810
this seems like a cool, measured response
>>
No. 966832 ID: 4b7dae

Stick to the plan. Buy her lunch, and then discuss the promotion somewhere you won't be overheard.

We definitely need to figure out what we can pay Nawm, and how, if we want her working for us.

I'd think we can keep her on the palace payroll. Sir Guhn just told us that we can order staff reassignments, after all. Question is how much we can pay her. Can we also order appropriations from the palace treasury? Is that something we even want to try? We really need to have a better idea what the scope of our authority is, and how much weight we have to throw around.

>>966780

I so love the choice of words here.
>>
No. 966836 ID: 36784c

>>966832
>We really need to have a better idea what the scope of our authority is, and how much weight we have to throw around.
That’s what Daspotta is for. Just ask her these questions and she’ll answer them.
>>
No. 966858 ID: 6c227a

>>966807
it wasn't that long ago Moss said there wasn't a lot of difference being on one side of the bars or the other. The job ain't that cushy.
>>
No. 966861 ID: 15a025

"On the fence about leaving this place. Wanna ditch these dungeons and come with?"
>>
No. 966888 ID: 26e160

>>966753
This, and if she accepts and we go somewhere more secure, we say this: >>966780
>>
No. 966986 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158982395092.png - (134.16KB , 800x800 , 1414.png )
966986

"I got a new job, might have to move around, so let me treat you for those lunches by giving you at least one good dinner."
>"Like that sixth floor place where it looks like you need gold weaved clothes just to get in?"
"Yeah, except I want privacy, plus... this is Daspotta."
>"A pleasure." says Daspotta.
>"Hi, there. If you're coming along, then there's no way we'd get in." Nawm says.
"She is, so... fourth floor meat hall."
>"Good alternative."

It's good food, but more importantly, we get a bowl of soup and find somewhere else to sit so that we can have privacy.

Nawm and I find a windowsill to sit on, and Daspotta eats standing up.
>>
No. 966987 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158982406285.png - (119.16KB , 800x800 , 1415.png )
966987

"Alright, Nawm. My lack of subtlety, social grace, and respect for authority appealed to Lord Krix's complete lack of subtlety, social grace, and respect for anyone. So I got a promotion instead of an execution."
>"What's the job?"
"Nothing I want to reveal, though you'd be welcome to join me if you want to leave your dungeon position for a job that pays less but endangers your life more."
>"You sure you didn't get that backwards?"
"You heard me. Personally, I don't recommend it unless you're desperate to get out of your dungeon job."
>"Tough sell and you're already doing a bad job of convincing me, but you are making me curious as hell what this job is. As your friend, Moss, I am going to absolutely pry this out of you. People are going to find out anyway."
"I'm trying to stall that as long as possible."
>"Yeah, good luck. If you ever stopped staring at your feet, you'll notice that this palace is one big fishbowl. Either I'm going to hear about it, or you're going to tell me yourself, so tell me!"
>>
No. 966989 ID: 440bb8

Can anyone spy on us here?

If not tell her. She will be a target soon enough.
>>
No. 966990 ID: 465a14

>>966987
It's kind of dangerous to know, but... people are probably going to assume Nawm knows anyway judging from what happened to Moss re: Fen and it'd be nice to actually have her within arm's reach for safety. Might as well tell her about the field marshal job. Hopefully she doesn't immediately backstab Moss, but even if she does it'd be better to find out she's unreliable now instead of later.
>>
No. 966991 ID: e2f5cc

"It's something I don't feel comfortable talking about even here, so let your imagination go wild with that while we eat or lets go somewhere more secretive, like those back prison cells."
>>
No. 966992 ID: ed763f

Alright, some prick's already threatened your friends and family BEFORE you got promoted, so you probably owe her. Swear her to secrecy, tell her the title in hushed tones, hope she hasn't got a personal grudge against the office.
>>
No. 966993 ID: 4b7dae

There's no reason not to tell Nawm, and trying to talk around it like this is not going to do anything good for our relationship with her. If we didn't feel like we could trust her with the knowledge, we wouldn't be talking to her here at all. And even if she doesn't want to join us, it will be useful to have her as a contact.

We are feeling a bit paranoid, so we will want to check for spies first. Plus, identifying if there's anyone deliberately spying on us at this point will give us useful information. (Namely, that there are people who already think we're worth spying on.)
>>
No. 966998 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158982945060.png - (125.20KB , 800x800 , 1416.png )
966998

I look around. There's no one else nearby.

"Field Marshal."
>"Hah, you lied. You said you got promoted, but everyone in the palace knows how much that position is so loved."
"Yeahhhh I know."
>"... Ah, shit, sorry." I realize my tone reflected just how bad I think it is. "It's getting to you?"
"I don't want to die in the service of Lord Krix."
>"Damn, it's that bad? I knew it was a rough job, but I just thought you'd get constantly hounded by people to do their dirty work for them. Blackmailed, even, uh... yeah that is bad, shit. So.... why are you still here?"
"To say goodbye to you, Nawm. I need to pick up some stuff from the armory still, while I'm at it."
>"You are one sweet dumbass, you know that?"
>"M-miss, please don't talk to the field marshal like..." I look over at Daspotta. I didn't think I shot her a bad glare, but she shrinks back. "S-sorry, Moss."
>"No, no, I should talk to you, Daspotta, was it?" says Nawm. "You look like you do steady work in the palace. Did they just randomly pick you to be Moss's help?"
>"No, I'm well trained for the job!"
>"Do your peers and bosses know you're well trained?"
>"Er, y-yes...?"
>"So you're trained for being the marshal's help, and people know it. And what do you think they're going to think when you don't show up back to work?"
>"I - oh. Ohhh. Sir Moss! I was pulled out of work for this, and they probably don't expect me to be gone for a long time unless I got picked! Oh, and if any of my workers actually see me standing next to you, when you really looks like you fit the job, um..."
>"I'd bet my week's wages that the palace already knows there's a new field marshal appointed, and if you hang around any longer, Moss, people are going to figure out it's you. Either that or think I'm involved with this somehow. I'm not your help, but if you want my advice, quit wasting time with me, get what you need, then get your sweet dumb ass down into the dungeon and escape the palace through a back exit."
>>
No. 966999 ID: b1b4f3

>>966998
She's right, get moving.
>>
No. 967000 ID: 465a14

Fair enough. Best get the armor and so on, then.
>>
No. 967001 ID: e2f5cc

"Yeah, you're right. Thanks for everything Nawm. But actually, won't people go after you?"

Trust her if she says she'll be fine, but either way tell Nawm that your offer is always open in case she does end up needing to flee the palace.
>>
No. 967002 ID: fa2754

>>966998
Thanks Nawm.
Make your way out. Tell your aide to follow you at a distance
>>
No. 967003 ID: a9af05

>>966998
"Thanks, Nawm. And sorry I couldn't pay you back all of those lunches I owed you."
>>
No. 967005 ID: ed763f

Stay safe Nawm.
We know about the tunnels under the palace, although it'd be wise to expect an ambush this time. Better hope the armorer has something for us.
>>
No. 967006 ID: cab1b7

>>966998
Tell her thanks, give her a pat on the back or a hug (her choice), and get the hell out of here. Quick question; how much do we trust Des around Cheese? We definitely need her help in uncovering Sayanos’ plans, and Des seems fairly loyal thusfar, but how much are we willing to extend that trust?
>>
No. 967007 ID: ac8857

Good idea. If you want a horrible job with me you know we're I will be.

Don't get stabbed ok?

Give her a hug and book it.
>>
No. 967008 ID: ed763f

Tell her you should have upsold the position some more, she's got the kind of brains you could use right now.
>>
No. 967009 ID: f133dc

Yeah, you're right, time to go.

If I ever see you again, I'll bring you another lunch.
>>
No. 967022 ID: 36784c

>>966998
Let Nawm know that if you somehow survive all of this, you'll owe her a favor or something.
>>
No. 967027 ID: 015bf2

>>967008
Yep. Another lunch owed.

Will she be okay? While she has some protection as a palace guard we’ve already discovered there are people trying to bypass those protections to get at Moss. If Moss becomes a big enough pain, they might aim for Nawm.

Also, as much of a giveaway as she is, I don’t think we should separate from Daspotta. We’ve already been walking about with her. We just need to make our requisitions and leave. Anything she can tell us about that particular process to streamline it? Also, what gear would she be willing to skill up in / be comfortable using?
>>
No. 967032 ID: 5c5fb9

A good point. Thank Nawm for being a friend, and a decent person. It’s meant a lot.

Head off, grab your gear. And something simple for Despotta too, dead help isn’t much help.
>>
No. 967053 ID: 4a3c19

Ok, i guess we are even, what with lunch and all. Thank her and get going.
Does she want anything that you could give her, before leaving? Last chance. Hell, you could probably change her working station far away from all this, i think.
>>
No. 967119 ID: dbd72b

Say your goodbyes and get some gear
>>
No. 967129 ID: 1ed92d

>>966998
She's right, BOOK IT!
>>
No. 967154 ID: 4f51b2

>>966998
Let's move on.
>>
No. 967183 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158993690161.png - (94.81KB , 800x800 , 1417.png )
967183

"Yeah, you're right. Daspotta, do you know where the dungeon is?"
>"I do."
"Follow me at a distance, meet me at the entrance to the dungeon if we get too separated. Nawm... you going to be okay, associated with me?"
>"Don't worry about me, I'll just tell them you went mad with power and tried to get me to do stupid shit."
"... Not sure I like that."
>"You want me to tell them you're a nice boy who aims to please?"
"Nevermind, just... hopefully it doesn't come up. Thanks for seeing me. Goodbye, Nawm, I'll try to visit if things cool off and give you the rest of those lunches."
>"Yeah, you better. Goodbye, man."

She pats my shoulder, and I set my bowl down to give her a hug. She pulls her arms around me and I hear her start eating another spoonful of soup over my shoulder.

>"Really, Nawm? Through a hug?"
"It's called multitasking, you big softie. Now get out of here."
>>
No. 967184 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158993691356.png - (26.73KB , 800x800 , 1418.png )
967184

I walk with haste to grab a sword, small dagger and chainmail. It takes just about all the money I have, so I can't get a bow and arrow. Thankfully, they have some of the same swords the guards use, so I buy one for myself since I've gotten used to that type. The shopkeeper's assistants respect my haste and manage to point out a bit of chainmail that doesn't fit exactly right, but it's about as good as I'm going to find even if I stick around for awhile.

It's been so long since I've worn armor that I make the mistake of putting the chainmail on over my bare ears. I lose some fur because of it, but other than embarrassment, the chainmail isn't limiting my mobility and I can't afford comfort anyway.
>>
No. 967185 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158993693957.png - (30.16KB , 800x800 , 1419.png )
967185

I meet Daspotta, give her the dagger I got, and move into the dungeon. We're able to avoid the thinner halls with grabby prisoners, but we still have to enter the sight of some prisoners that yell as loud as usual.

"They're just animals barking, Daspotta. Just keep walking." I hate that I think about them like that so easily, now, but they yell awful things to Daspotta.

We walk in silence, and the guards let us leave into the old dungeons so that I can worry about an ambush down there the entire trip.
>>
No. 967186 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158993695105.png - (72.91KB , 800x800 , 1420.png )
967186

There is no ambush. The exit out of town is clear, and so is the sky, so no crows will be spotting me.

>"Are we going to the Fence then, Sir Moss?"
"We are. And if you're able, before night falls."
>"As you order!"
"If not loyalty, then stay motivated by thinking about how many bandits come out at night."
>"Yes, sir!"

She does start huffing after awhile, and she may be the stereotypical mountain kobold that can have large bursts of strength, but tire easily.
>>
No. 967187 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158993696085.png - (41.17KB , 800x800 , 1421.png )
967187

Despite questions about stamina, Daspotta manages to hang on and make the entire trip with only a few breaks on the way. Without Cheese intercepting me, I have to go through the front gate. It's there that I'm reminded that wearing armor is a sign I have money, and having money means I have to pay entry fees. I pay two copper for each of us, and move on.

>"... did you really have to pay?"
>"Two copper is worth avoiding trouble or..." I don't complete the sentence. I think she's clever enough to complete the sentence with 'reveal my station.' This place is as overpopulated as ever.

I only have a few silver left, and I keep it tucked where prying hands can't get it. I should've smeared my face with dirt to fit in now that I think about it.

I now have to ask myself how much I trust Daspotta to be around Cheese. And, for that matter, how to find Cheese.
>>
No. 967190 ID: e2f5cc

Don't dirty yourself, your armor already marks you as wealthier than half of the fence combined and throwing more mud on your face would just make you stand out more.

As for finding Cheese, doesn't she work for that stone noble with tiny feet? Sir Gauche or something. Also remember to still not look at his face so you keep your cover.

And you can just leave Despotta in the common areas of the palace if Cheese is supposedly there, letting her do what she wants to do while not getting herself in trouble.
>>
No. 967191 ID: 86eb65

Wave at the nearest orphan or beggar (just wave no talky) and they probably will get word to her. If you stay in the Fence for a bit she should send someone.

Of course watch out for any random people leading you into traps with Cheeses name.

As for Daspatta? You are joined at the hip but you can let Cheese decide how much she needs to know of Cheeses buisness. Just don't blurt out any secrets while she is around you don't want her hearing.
>>
No. 967192 ID: 567477

It's good manners to Cheese to not introduce the two of them until Cheese gives you the ok. Fortunately, you are actually supposed to be reviewing the state of things on behalf of Krix, it's literally your job now to poke and snoop a bit. You can easily ask Daspotta to watch an alleyway or a door or the street or something while you pop in somewhere.

If you really want her out of the way for a little while, get her to do something that requires her book learning services. Get her to go over someone's records or some such like that for you. You'll probably need to flash your badge to get in somewhere that HAS books, but you should be able to find somewhere that won't want trouble. Well, that and somewhere that you should be looking. Your relationship with Daspotta is new, you want to set a good precendent for giving good orders, so she gets used to thinking of you as an authority. Be careful with the first few tasks you set for her so she respects you, you're still in first impressions territory.
>>
No. 967197 ID: b1b4f3

>>967187
She'll notice and find you eventually, but for now, try looking for any attentive-looking children and pay them a couple copper to tell Cheese you're here.
>>
No. 967201 ID: 7914df

We are here on official business to check stuff out, so we should act as such talk to the local noble in charge (Sir Gauche?). Cheese will find us in the mean time.
>>
No. 967202 ID: ed763f

Man, it's such a shame we're coming here, it looks like they did such a good job rebuilding.

Have you explained your current assignment to Daspotta? If not, simply explain that right your current best lead is to find the enemy of your enemy and you'll explain how that works later. He might not like it but you can tell him with honesty that you don't either.

Remember, scratching the back of your left hand means 'I need help', and cheese apparently hires kids as runners, and works for the local stone noble. So hopefully you can find a contact near the palace or whatever and not have to use your badge to get past the guards and instantly blow your cover.
>>
No. 967204 ID: 4a3c19

>>967197
Yeah, this sounds about right. That or look for the stone noble himself.
>>
No. 967205 ID: bb78f2

>>967187
Didn't she tell you about her favorite bar or something?
>>
No. 967206 ID: 36784c

>>967187
>how to find Cheese.
Do any of those “secret body codes” Cheese taught you translate into “Tell Cheese I'm here to meet her.” or something like that? If so, use those.

Otherwise, you may have to wait for her to come to you.
>>
No. 967207 ID: 36784c

>>967204
>look for the stone noble
Which stone noble? If you’re talking about Sir Gauche, I don’t think we should bother him if we can avoid it.
>>
No. 967208 ID: 08e322

>>967207
nah Moss definitely has the station to walk into a nobles house and ask them for a favor and cheese would be harder to track through Sir Gauche then Moss finding her himself. go to tiny feet.
>>
No. 967210 ID: ed763f

>>967208
We absolutely can, that doesn't mean we should. Remember what cheese said about single-day nobles who's authority isn't matched by their power.
>>
No. 967219 ID: 4b7dae

It is literally our job to deal with nobles now, and isn't Sir Gauche supposed to be a decent sort? Pay a visit to the palace, all you need to tell the guards is that lord Krix sent you. This sort of thing is what you kept the prison guard badge for. You can show the marshal's badge to Gauche, and only Gauche. (Well, and maybe his bodyguards, but they're paid to not talk.)

Regarding Cheese, we should definitely let her decide if Daspotta will meet her. We would -like- to have Daspotta meet her, assuming she's not going to blurt out classified information where people can hear it, because Daspotta will be able to retain the sort of complex and detailed information Cheese is likely to give us better than we probably can; but we need to let Cheese decide. Park Daspotta in the palace library or something.

Cheese should already know we're here; if not, she will by the time we get to the palace. We can try to get the attention of one of her informants to speed that up. (The kids know we're working with her, so they should be able to guess why we're here.)

Alternately, she told us she was working for Gauche now, so we can just ask him if we can see her. He should be amenable to letting us borrow her services for a little while, since now we have an important job and need all the help we can get. Remember, we're -asking-, not -ordering-. (We may not even have authority to give that kind of order to a noble. Check with Daspotta before we have that conversation; we don't plan to do it anyway, but we'd like to know what our negotiating position is.)

Now, a question I have is whether we want to look around the city for a bit before heading to the palace. In addition to giving Cheese more time to find us, this would give us some ideas for questions to ask Sir Gauche when we see him. In the course of our official duties we should probably inquire about the reconstruction project.
>>
No. 967241 ID: 1ed92d

>>967187
Just go find a tavern. Daspotta needs a break so she'll be at peak condition when the muggers arise. Meanwhile, prepare to locate Sir Gauche.
>>
No. 967301 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159001898791.png - (19.77KB , 800x800 , 1422.png )
967301

If I could meet with Sir Gauche alone, that would be easiest, but acting like a commoner asking to personally see the stone noble without any important seals or badges is a good way to get stabbed, or at least throw back out onto the street. I could show the badge to the palace guard, but then I may as well get on top of the tallest tower here and shout that the new field marshal is in town.

The restaurant, if I can get there, then I should be able to find the hole Cheese led me through and retrace my steps, but... damnit, I didn't catch the name of it.

Then I see a ragged looking loitering child that doesn't look lost. That may work, Cheese seemed to be in charge of children all over town. Before I get his attention, I turn to Daspotta.

"Daspotta, there should be common grounds in the palace. Head there, read some books if you can access a library, get some food and rest either way. Meet me here by sundown if I can't find you beforehand." I slip a few copper in her pack, leaving myself only a handful left.
>"Understood, Sir!" She doesn't ask why we're splitting up. I wouldn't have minded answering, but there's no need here to stomp on her unquestioning attitude.
>>
No. 967302 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159001900040.png - (95.61KB , 800x800 , 1423.png )
967302

I approach the shortie.

"Hey, kid. Does the name 'cheese' mean anything to you?"
>"I know what hardened milk is. You got business with me?"

He finally noticing my conspicuous scratching of my left hand. 'I need help' isn't exactly the ideal body code for the scenario, but if he recognizes this, he should recognize I at least know Cheese's codes. If these codes are shared through her network. If he didn't just think I was itchy. If he knows how to find Cheese and isn't so far down the network. If he knows cheese at all. There are a lot of ifs.

>"Finding a bit of cheese'll cost you a couple copper." The way he says it is so painfully and blatantly off that my guard instincts want to arrest him right here, so this might've worked just fine. I hand two copper to him. "Alright. Follow me."
>>
No. 967303 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159001911949.png - (76.89KB , 800x800 , 1424.png )
967303

I'm lead into some building's basement, and he crawls through the floor.

I wait.

And wait.

And wait. It was already getting late, and the sun is going down, so Daspotta might just have to wait a little while, but at least the street I left her to wait on was safe enough.
>>
No. 967304 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159001919065.png - (84.54KB , 800x800 , 1425.png )
967304

"Hi! I'm glad you're okay! Also, armor? Must've been something big to get you to wear that - nevermind it. Okay, uhm, before we talk, let's get to my place."
>>
No. 967305 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159001921116.png - (56.28KB , 1200x800 , 1426.png )
967305

She gives me some directions to a tunnel entrance I can fit in, and leads me back to her small room.

"Okay! I heard some things but please tell me."
"I sent a letter earlier today."
"My mail network isn't that fast."
"I killed Sayanos' body double."
"Really! I heard Sayanos was dead, but a body double? Well, 'attempted to murder a noble' isn't that much lower of a crime than 'succeeded to murder a noble.' I know I told you it would probably be okay but I'm seriously relieved I was right."
"Krix alone told me it was a body double. As far as I know, everyone else thinks it was the real Sayanos. Then Krix told me to figure out what the real Sayanos was doing."
"Yeah, I haven't heard anything about a body double, so... huh. I found out that Sir Sayanos had some legitimate support from the population of Pocktown, so Krix's fellows wanted him dead. If Sayanos wanted to survive, faking his death by having a body double die in his place would make a lot of sense! It doesn't explain why the crows favor him. Speaking of them, uh, they weren't too happy about me wanting answers, and the resident mayor wasn't glad to have me waltzing inside that town. I er well, I didn't even make it into town. So I've been getting information and presents together to change their receptiveness to me! I might have enough now, but I wanted to wait to see what happened to you. So you're Krix's investigator now?"
>>
No. 967306 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159001924101.png - (20.93KB , 800x800 , 1427.png )
967306

I show her my field marshal badge. She takes a minute to recognize it, but when she does, her eyes practically pop out of their sockets and she bangs the table.

"That still exists?! I thought it went the way of the Iron Knighthood or the Gold Prophets!" Other titles that I've barely heard of, but have similar reputations as tyrants as far as I know. "That's fantastic!"
"It's not fantastic. It's a death sentence I got earlier today, and as soon as I could I ran here to meet you because I'm desperate."
"Oh, er, right, fantastic for people who want to get stuff done, so I guess Lord Krix kinda didn't actually let you off easy. Er I didn't mean that condescendingly, just, uh, I'm going to shut up and say that I'm glad you came to me for help. How many people know you're the new field marshal?"
"I was given the option of hiring one assistant out of three possibilities. Those three and the one who sword me in know. I told no one, and you're the only one I've shown my badge to, but the palace might have figured things out."
"You are a smart man, Moss, and we're going to make the most out of your position! I'd like to bring you with me for this crow business. All you have to do is flash your badge and put on your serious mean face while I do politics. Word will get out, but hopefully we'll get out faster. We can disguise your fur a little bit so that a visual description won't match what you really look like."

I was secretly hoping she knew of a way that field marshals could honorably resign.
>>
No. 967308 ID: 465a14

you told Nawm tho
>>
No. 967309 ID: 86eb65

You are the expert so I will follow your lead for now. We can visit the crows.

I do have to figure out what to do with my assistant who I sent off to the common inn. I was pondering how much to involve her?
>>
No. 967311 ID: e2f5cc

Well there's no shame in asking Cheese if you honorably resign even if you know the answer. But yeah just make your fur monotone and you'll look like 90% of fieldies. As for the crow business, well it isn't like you have anything better to do, but also don't forget to grab Despotta if you're heading out soon or get her/yourself a place to stay if you're gonna be here the night. Also don't forget to mention you told Nawm about your station. While you wouldn't call her the most reliable you also know she wouldn't sell you out easily.
>>
No. 967313 ID: b1b4f3

>>967306
>told no one
You told Nawm.

But yeah a disguise could work. Gonna need a disguise for your assistant too... but won't she be generally recognizable due to her stature?
>>
No. 967314 ID: 36784c

>>967306
I don't want to leave my assistant all alone for too long. She might get worried and start looking for me, which would probably end up getting her into trouble if she goes to the wrong part of town.
>>
No. 967316 ID: 567477

Ok but Cheese I feel like if I want to keep this job I also need to make sure I make a good first impression on everyone including my assistant so since we're waiting for Fen and have to think at least a little long term I hope what you're planning right now will also incorporate me making a good impact and a good precedent and other good things? If this is so handy it needs to be taken care of which means I need to be taken care of, if you're getting what I mean.

I'd also love if you put your spies on my new assistant just so I can sleep a little more soundly and also not have to worry about tiptoeing around her all the time. I mean tit for tat I will happily do you some favors, so, if you don't mind? Also some tips on handling the politics and the nobles and not getting assassinated, please, if you don't mind.
>>
No. 967317 ID: 08e322

>>967306
hold off on doing anything for at least a day Cheese seems to be going to fast to what can assist her here and ignoring how much danger it actually puts you in, slow down and hide for at least a day and let her do some more planning for keeping you safe
>>
No. 967319 ID: ed763f

>I was secretly hoping she knew of a way that field marshals could honorably resign.
Look to do so well you get promoted, without becoming irreplaceable.

I'll be honest, I thought she'd be more upset you didn't buy time like she asked by fake-agreeing to the assassination plot. That said, you should probably show some agency and get her to hold her horses a minute- don't just let her use you. Also she's getting the sweats again which could just be excitement but you're playing a low trust game right now.

Cheese, I appreciate you can see the good in this, but I need to accomplish my own objectives if I'm going to save my own hide and the hide of my friends and family. Are you sure the crows are key in this, or are we just going to expend effort and maybe burn bridges to find their hands are tied as well, or they've also been threatened and still won't tell, or they've set up an ambush just for us, or I'll find you're doing your own thing for Gauche or your family or something? And wherever we go I'm bringing my assistant. I kinda have to trust them, unless there's a reason I shouldn't trust a seventh in line to receive a wood nobility.
>>
No. 967320 ID: 4a3c19

>>967308
She doesn't need to know. Just as Nawm doesn't need to know what you will be doing and everything else.
>>
No. 967326 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159002575038.png - (25.83KB , 800x800 , 1428.png )
967326

"A disguise is good, if there's no good way to just send in a resignation for this job. And I know this job is mandatory, so I may as well do it right. Is there any way this crow zone is going to make a good first impression for this job?"
"Oh yeah. The mayor is up to some no good business, you can have a field day there." Her eyebrows waggle. Mine move less than the stagnant air down here. "Uh, yes... it'll be good for you if it all goes well. Both in job experience and finding out some shady dealings."
"I also told Nawm about this job. A friend. She's probably trustworthy."
"... Anyone else, while you're remembering?"
"No. I think that's it."
"Also while we're clarifying this, Lord Krix knows, right?"
"Yes, he does."
"Right. Yes. Also, remember that book I showed you? With all the nobles and their seals and stuff? You might be in the next edition."
"Fantastic.. Yes, I'll follow you. The crow zone is a secluded place, maybe I can find a nice hole to hide in for a..."

I take a breath. A crappy attitude only makes situations that much more crappy.

"Light a candle please. I can barely see in here."
"Oh right."
>>
No. 967327 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159002578005.png - (23.69KB , 800x800 , 1429.png )
967327

"How much should I involve my assistant? I should get in contact with her soon."
"Hmmm... I'll write a letter with my own seal on it. She can deliver it straight to Sir Gauche. It's going to say that she's the field marshal's assistant. Sir Gauche can keep that fact hidden, and by telling him, it won't be a bluff to tell the crow mayor that there will be repercussions if he kills you, even if he's not technically in Lord Krix's territory. I don't think he'd do that, but... the politics might get a bit rough in order to get him to let us visit the inside of the town. Sir Gauche will have a place to let your assistant stay."
"I don't like the possibility of me dying. It automatically kills my assistant, who gets put to death if their field marshal dies for any reason, anywhere."
"Yeah okay great. She can come with us if you want."
"You're also moving way too fast just because I showed up. Are you sure the crows are key in this, without something else forcing them? Any chance of an ambush?"
"The crows are easily the biggest and just about only lead I have! So, yes! I've done what I can."
"And I'm not going to find out you're doing your own thing, or doing something for Sir Gauche?"
"Uh, no, if I was only putting our interests in mind, then I'd be staying way clear of the crow zone! I wouldn't chance any weird ambushes or the mayor trying to kill me or anything like that! This is entirely for Fen's sake! Were you two not friends?"
"We are friends. That doesn't mean we're so close that we'd throw our lives away for each other. I want you to do this carefully instead of throwing me in danger like I'm expendable. Spend some time."
"Well I have, and the more research I do on the mayor, the more likely he's going to find out and try to kill me before I even make it there! If it makes you feel better, if things go bad, I'm going to die faster than you! And if you're trying to do your job right, then you have way more to gain from this than me, because all I'm trying to do is do right by Fen! We won't leave till tomorrow morning at the earliest anyway, but Moss, the only field marshals that survive for long are those who either abuse their position smartly, or live life on the run. And you are way too decent a person to do the former, so get used to running!"
>>
No. 967336 ID: 86eb65

Ok who is this Crow mayor? He is not a crow right?

If we are going in there I want all the info we have on crow land. I will have to be the one fighting any idiots in duels so if you know any good trainers I could use practice.
>>
No. 967338 ID: 36784c

>>967327
“Please tell me I don’t have to speak in crow caws when we go there.”
>>
No. 967342 ID: b1b4f3

>>967327
Alright, let's get some details in this plan. For instance, we need a safe place to sleep tonight. Then go collect Daspotta before she gets into trouble.

...do we have enough money to survive until next payday?
>>
No. 967343 ID: 1ed92d

>>967327
It seems you have little choice but to go in all the way to the hilt. This sucks.


...Bright side, by doing this you're also technically following Krix's orders, so you can figure out how to save yourself, Fen, your Ex-Wife and your friends while also killing noble jackasses and potentially finding a way to get Krix hit by a freight train.
>>
No. 967344 ID: ed763f

hhh, I can't even tell you I'd make a good run as a bent official for stabbing that body-double in the neck. I went to you and got fuckin' permission first. I don't even know what to think of that. Alright, let's do it, crow zone it is. Have you got a safehouse or something where my assistant and I can stay the night? I really shouldn't have left him alone this late.

We'll ask Daspotta our questions about the mayor of the crow zone.
>>
No. 967345 ID: 4b7dae

Don't be too antagonistic to Cheese. She's the only person who can actually teach you how to do this job and will do so without trying to play you too badly.

When she said "abuse your position smartly" she essentially meant doing things the way she does. The question you have to ask now is whether you can handle the sort of dirty dealing and underhanded skullduggery needed to get things done in Imperial politics. Because there's really no other way to play this game. And you're either going to be a player, or a pawn.

Take a moment to realize you might end up like Cheese if you do this long enough. Take a deep breath...

Right now you just need to focus on helping Fen. She's right about the crow zone. Based on your last conversation with her, it sounds like going there is going to be the fastest and most effective way to shed some light on this conspiracy. Because we know there is one.

As for Daspotta, we need to decide whether she's going to be an asset or slow us down. The best thing we can do for her is keep ourselves alive, and if she'd be a hindrance to that, she needs to stay behind. Otherwise, she comes.
>>
No. 967352 ID: e2f5cc

"I'm "way too decent a person" to be anywhere but guarding a nameless break town, yet here we are. I'm tired of getting marched around against my will, so I'm gonna take any chance I can to take matters into my own hands, and if I have to throw my weight around to do that then so be it."
>>
No. 967380 ID: ce39da

"I take it the third option of 'purge corruption so thoroughly that there's no one left that wants me dead' is something that would get me laughed out of your house if I suggested it?"

"Anyway, do you have an update on the hostages - that is, my wife and my best friend's whole family? I don't disagree with your suspicions about the crow town mayor - he seems like the perfect suspect when it comes to scaring the shit out of the crows, so it's pretty unlikely he doesn't have some connection to Sayanos. I just don't want them all to get got while we're off resolving this. Hell, I'm worried they might already be dead."
>>
No. 967383 ID: 567477

You're stressed out, man. That's natural, of course, but keep tabs on it. I know you don't like Cheese, either, but she is seriously helping you out. Remember, she got you out of the whole Sayanos vice you were in. It led to this, but better this than being forced to go kill Fen or die plus your friends and loved ones, right? Oh, yeah. You should ask if anything else has some in about them, while you're here.

As for abusing your position smartly... well, you're an honorable guy, sure, but you did already show once that you don't mind getting underhanded with people who you think deserve it. Remember that whole thing you tried on Cheese at Fen's trial? So, as long as you're careful about it to make sure you're not screwing over anyone worthwhile, and you make sure to keep it on the quiet, you wouldn't mind? It's a thought. If it makes things easier and safer for you, and helps you help more deserving people...?
>>
No. 967385 ID: e05ad0

You don't have much of a choice. Helping Fen will help your loved ones as well. Fen succeeding in the future is good for everyone in the long run. So stop complaining and get to work. The sooner the better.
>>
No. 967397 ID: a9af05

>>967327
We should bring Daspotta with us. She's our assistant, so let her assist us with all of the things that we're going to be doing.

>Too nice to throw weight around.
"Alright, if that's the case, then I want you to bribe pay me to come with you and help you with this problem of yours. And also because I'm almost out of money right now."
>>
No. 967398 ID: 015bf2

Go with Cheese, because it'll help Fen and if the crows are involved with hiding Sayanos, they are at least partially to blame for the situation you find yourself in. He wouldn't have sent a body double your way and fucked with your life if he didn't have aces like them up his sleeve.

And you don't have a lot of options.

Also, consider easing up on chewing out Cheese. Aside from Daspotta she's pretty much the only support you've got, so even if you are still angry at her and disapprove of her ways there are better ways to deal with that, and you should definitely bite your tongue considering the proverbial debts you'll start racking with her.

Definitely ask whether she can check up on Gahn, his family and your ex-wife. If she's got recommendations for how you can protect them, take those. If you need money to enact said recommendations... well. A) she was already salivating at the prospect of having a pocket field marshal and B) you could always ask for advice for income that doesn't rely on being a bastard to people.

Well. Decent people.

If bounties are still on your mind, Cheese's network could be of help in tracking them down for you to punk and she can take a cut or aim you at opposition. She can also fit the specs for 'em so you don't have to worry too badly about the morality of killing / hauling them in. And she gets to point you away from her own peeps too, by simply not telling you about them.
>>
No. 967403 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159009706559.png - (26.45KB , 800x800 , 1430.png )
967403

"'Too decent' to do anything but guard towns too small to have a name, but here we are. I'm sinking deeper and deeper into some imperial muck I can't get out of! I'm being marched around against my will, put into a job against my will, and all I can do is do the job well even though I know that the reward for good work is more work, but it's better than messing it up! I came here because I didn't see any other choice, and now you want me to get some sleep and march off to the crow zone, where I'm the one who has to duel any nobles who want to challenge me, without even giving me time for some sparring practice to shake off my rust!"
"The mayor isn't going to duel you. He's not exactly in combat shape."
"What, is he a crow, do I need to start squawking my words out?"
"Uhh... no, and please don't squawk."
"What is your plan with the mayor, anyway?"
"Mostly? I'm pretty sure the miners there found a gold vein and he's hiding it for himself, even though he's absolutely going against the empire's law about that."
"Blackmail? You want to blackmail him?"
"Yeah, but all I'm asking is passage through town, not some huge gold share!"
"And you think he won't just kill us for knowing too much?!"
>>
No. 967404 ID: 5fc3a0
File 159009709092.png - (26.43KB , 800x800 , 1431.png )
967404

She doesn't reply, and that gives me enough time to realize how stupidly hostile I'm being. Another deep breath.

"Nevermind. I want time, but I'm taking all of this out on you when I shouldn't. I'm sorry."
"I understand. I've said this before and I'll say it again. You might not like me, but I like you. So I'm rooting for you, and I'm going to do what I can to make sure you get out clean on the other side, okay? But that means I need to push you, because even if you deserve to laze about in a cushy job, you, and I cannot emphasize this enough, you cannot live like that right now. I'm sorry if I'm calloused to your plight, but this is kind of my life, constant stress and thinking there's going to be an assassin with a knife barging in here at any given second. But I'm used to it, you've only recently been dragged into it. And there isn't an easy way out. All I can offer is teaching you how to make do until an opportunity for escape comes by, and I don't think you came here because you had any better choice."
"... Do you have a safehouse I can stay in, tonight? One for me and Daspotta, my assistant?"
"Yeah. She can just stay in an inn, I'd think. I'll show you to... well, it's a hole in the ground, but it's got a cozy bed and it's very safe."
"Can I get you to find out if Gahn and Val are okay?"
"I am, as best I can. So far so good. Uh... geez, look. I said I'm going to push you but it might not be that bad put the crow zone back a day or two. Maybe you need a break more than I thought. I can get you a sparring partner or two. They probably won't be gentle, but you can drink and lay around and be yourself otherwise."
"I only have a couple silver left."
"I'll give you money." Damnit, I'm feeling shittier by the second for being hostile.
"I was considering bounty hunting."
"Yeah that's not a bad idea, if you don't mind hunting people that will fight back. Ifff you want to stay around town for a couple days after all? Otherwise, better get some rest now."
>>
No. 967406 ID: e2f5cc

Let's sleep on it and think some more in bed/tomorrow.
>>
No. 967408 ID: 015bf2

No. If she thinks you need to get into this hard and fast, you'll go along - though you'll want sparring opportunities ASAP after. And a night's sleep. The last few days have been rough.

One more thing... about when you spoke to Krix.

Not only did he know all about your past - apparently he remembers all his ex-soldiers not that there are many left - but... he said he wants to personally kill Fen to prove himself a worthy owner of the Dragoncloth.

Your specific mission from Krix was to slay or jail all the nobles that are trying to target Fen against Krix's bidding. Krix even offered you the assistance of his spy network, but you...

You have no idea how to get in touch, or if you even want to.
>>
No. 967409 ID: 86eb65

Keep moving. If you stop to laze now it will all come crashing down on your head.

Your only way out of this mess is to get powerful enough so people will leave you alone.

So get a good nights sleep and some food. And some exersice and sparring to freshen up your rusty bones incase crow major is not hiding gold but something more dangerous.

Then get on helping Cheese and doing your new job the best you can. Just remember to always get paid. Whatever job you do make sure that it benifits the cause somehow.
>>
No. 967410 ID: e05ad0

Take a nap, then you can think more after it. SAY YOU ARE SORRY, lIKE YOU MEAN IT.
>>
No. 967414 ID: b1b4f3

>>967408
Speaking of which it's probably a good idea to relay a detailed account of that entire conversation with Krix.

>>967404
Delaying won't do much except let you spar to shake off your rust, and you can do that today. It's not nighttime or anything. You should leave tomorrow, unless Cheese has a good reason to delay.
>>
No. 967416 ID: 1ed92d

>>967404
Apologize again and sleep on your face. You can think about contacting Krix's army of ninjas tomorrow, after you've gotten less tired. Maybe had some nightmares to get you back on edge.
>>
No. 967417 ID: 103eae

>>967408
this

also spar tonight as much as you can.
>>
No. 967419 ID: ed763f

Nah, we need to go in. No real point in putting it off for just one day. We'll get that night's sleep and meet up somewhere tomorrow morning.
>>
No. 967423 ID: e05ad0

>>967408
Oh shit, i totally forgot this. This is important information. We should somehow relay this to Fen somehow.
>>
No. 967424 ID: ce39da

Yeah, do tell her about how the illegal Fen Hunt is absolutely not something Krix signed off on, as far as you know. Ask that she relay that to Fen, too. Krix may be a bastard, but he's not a lying bastard.

"Nah, it's better to rip this bandage off sooner rather than later. It's just that you're basically the only person in the world right now I feel safe about venting to. Sorry about that."
>>
No. 967463 ID: 4581f5

Take a nap, two hours should give you a little energy without leaving you groggy. Then off to business, sooner than later is a mindset I think you’ll benefit from in this job.
>>
No. 967464 ID: 4b7dae

Moss. You need to get some rest. This day has been absolutely insane, and your brain needs time to process it.

At the moment, not too many people should know where you are. Cheese will know how to keep it that way. You can't delay too much, but she's suggesting it for a reason. Listen to her.

Actually, you should take some time to just shut up and listen to her in general. You came to her for a -reason-, because -she- knows how to do these things and -you- don't. You knew when you came here that her advice was going to involve lies, manipulation, blackmail, and even murder. You came to her anyway, because you knew on some level that this is what you were going to have to do to move forward. You don't have to like it, but you didn't ask for this.

You're going to have to clear the air with her, because you unfortunately are going to be partners for a little while, or maybe even a long while, and you can't be at each other's throats while everyone else is trying to cut them.

But before you get any further into planning, you need to calm down and get in a rational state of mind.

And before that, you need to apologize. Again. In the end, Cheese didn't ask for this either. Mutants don't ask to be born mutants, and this is the only kind of life they can live. Desperation makes good people do bad things, and eventually you don't even see them as bad anymore. You're starting to realize how that feels, and you don't like it. You don't like it one bit.

Also, take her money. She would do the same thing if your roles were reversed. You can pay her back eventually. She's unlikely to hold it over your head, because didn't she just escape out from under a massive amount of debt bondage? Ideally -you- should end up funding -her-, once you have sufficient streams of income. Illicit income. Which she's going to help you to get.

You don't like these thoughts. You're going to grit your teeth again, aren't you. That's fine.

Take a deep breath, now...
>>
No. 967465 ID: 36784c

>>967404
We should at least stay near Daspotta. We don’t want her to think we abandoned her, right?
>>
No. 967484 ID: adb916

Lets sleep, but first we have to get Daspotta.
>>
No. 967528 ID: bb78f2

>>967404
Ok, wait, you're saying I deserve it... does that mean, in your head, retiring peacefully is actually possible? I don't care how hard that is, I'll do it.

MY LOVE FOR LOAFING ABOUT IS LIKE FEN'S LOVE FOR LILY! IT IS PASSIONATE!

I WILL RETIRE!
>>
No. 967659 ID: 15a025

Let's go grab Daspotta and sleep on it.
>>
No. 967677 ID: 7cc58f

>>967659
>Let's go grab Daspotta and sleep on her.
Fixed that for you.
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