Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 013

Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 013

The enemy warlord who spoke to Tommy was a sturdy man with a shaggy mane of brown hair and a robust beard to match. He was a Level 7 named Larry Ansell. He wore silver scale mail, and was wrapped up in a heavy cape of fiat panda fur. Like the rest of the Haffaton men, he smiled with lighthearted amusement, even as Tommy (and occasionally Fritz) spat heated questions at him.

The Florist did not follow her song with any further music, and Wanda could no longer see her in the tower. Sir Larry drank from a wineskin he had been passed, and did his best to calm Tommy and answer his fears. No, this was not a trap. The spell would be on the city through Haffaton's turn tomorrow, and could be cast again. No, Goodminton was not prevented from leaving the city. No, Haffaton was not preparing to attack their cities. No, Haffaton was not planning to cut them off with reinforcements.

"We only. Want. To parley," smiled the man. "We are here to achieve peace! Are you certain you won't take any wine?" He held up the wineskin, gripping it around the neck.

Tommy was not calming down at all. He held his useless sword to one side, refusing to sheath it. His stance suggested that to use the sword upon Larry was still his lone wish, and that he still thought it might become possible at any moment. "Expect it's probably poison," Tommy said venomously.

Larry took another deep swig of the wine and chuckled. "Course it is. Best kind." He looked at Wanda and licked his lips. "Well...almost the best. Lady?" He held up the wine to her.

Wanda shook her head.

Everything that had happened since arriving at the city seemed part of a dream. A nightmare, perhaps. On most nights, she did dream vividly of battles and castles and casting, and of people she did not know, who were as real to her within the dream as any she met while awake. Sometimes she could fly. Sometimes, she was worshiped by all, as if she were a Titan. Sometimes she was mocked and beaten. In one dream, she had tried to speak to a vast army of uncroaked, but could not form any words. In another, she could see only the shadows of people she knew, but not their faces.

But this turn so far seemed stranger and more disconcerting than anything she'd ever dreamt.

A scattered cheer went up, and most of the Haffaton soldiers turned their heads. Olive Branch was descending a grand staircase, which was embedded in the Garrison wall to the right of the main doors. She wore a charcoal gray coat and lined with black and white fur, with matching boots and fur hat. Her instrument was slung over her back with a black strap embroidered with pink flowers and green vines. Platinum blond hair flowed in pretty ways from beneath the hat. Her green eyes sparkled.

The little flowers on the instrument's strap exactly matched the one on Wanda's suit.

As she approached through the ranks of Haffaton soldiers, the Florist smiled at the soldiers with perfect, white teeth. At one or two of the troops she waved a personal greeting, brightening the blushes on their cold cheeks.

An ache was forming in Wanda's chest, just above her stomach. It was a new sensation, something like hunger. An emptiness. The dull awareness of an unmet need. Your Fate and hers are intertwined.

As Olive drew near, she affixed those smiling green eyes forward, not on Wanda but on Tommy. Wanda's big brother turned to the enemy caster with a strange expression of dread, as if she were his executioner approaching, but then looked dumbstruck as she stepped up close to him. With a complete absence of fear, and a familiarity that ought to have been offensive but somehow seemed natural, she stood on tiptoes and studied his face.

"So red. So angry," she said, shaking her head sadly. Her speaking voice was breathy and high, in its way more feminine even than her singing voice. "Your Life aura, Warlord. It's just awful." She rested the heels of her boots back on the paving stones. "Can't you relax? You're in no danger here, I promise." She offered him a kind little smile.

Wanda watched Tommy's face, what she could see of it. He seemed not to change his expression, and barely to relax his posture, but suddenly Olive brightened. "Yes! Better!" she exclaimed. "And does your side have this thing called the 'smile?' It's a terribly nice and useful thing you can do sometimes."

Larry chuckled, as did some of the nearby Haffaton soldiers. The scent of Olive's perfume, familiar from her own clothing, reached Wanda's nose and left her feeling somehow lighter. Tommy looked unsure, and Wanda felt another pang of whatever was gnawing at her insides as he struggled to adjust to this strange development. Her brother was a war leader, and a good one. But was this truly war? Was there anything as strange in the world as the idea of "peace?"

Tommy's shoulders rose and fell in a small sigh. He turned and looked at Wanda helplessly.

"The enemy wants me to smile, sis," he said. He was already slightly doing so. "What should I do?"

Wanda could feel Olive looking at her, but she kept her eyes locked on Tommy.

"Are you asking my opinion as Chief Caster as to whether or not that will croak you?"

"Tch'noooo..." scoffed Tommy. Then he looked serious. "Wait, will it?"

Wanda waved her staff vaguely in the direction of one of the uncroaked knights in their stack. He tilted his head a bit and grinned happily, showing his remaining teeth around proudly. There were more chuckles in the ranks. Wanda shook her head.

"Nope. You are free to smile at will, Chief."

But he already was. The beaming knight was hamming it up, posing with hands on hips and throwing smiles around to everyone, and Tommy couldn't help it. Fritz and most of the rest of the men couldn't either. Wanda made her Fellow fold his hands together and flex his arms like a champion, grinning obscenely at everyone.

Tommy put the tip of his sword into the sheath and slammed it in. "Arright, 'Larry.' Gimme that disbanded poison wine. Let's hear your offer!"

Haffaton's soldiers cheered, though Goodminton's were more subdued about it. Wanda glanced back at the ranks and saw bewilderment and some frustration. Others were simple shrugging and sheathing. Theirs was not to decide whom to fight and when.

When she turned back, with a jolt like Natural Shockmancy, she finally met Olive's eyes. "Thank you, Wanda," the woman mouthed.

Then she winked, and Wanda felt it at the base of her spine.

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Recent posts... (See full thread)
Kreistor wrote:
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No, I mentioned it.
...
Except that is inconsistent with the question that was asked. That the spell consumed someone else's juice is irrelevant to Jillian's question which was about how much Vanna had remaining.


Whoops! you're right, I managed to miss that part. I'm not sure I can agree with the idea of multiple turns storage though. It would, of course, work with the "percentage or x amount" juice restored a turn idea, and needs to, But at the same time, health appears to be restored from whatever to full, and generally in most systems HP and MP work the same. So I'd find it odd that a world as ordered as this would have different rules for hits and juice. Whispri's theory that it was doable through a turnamancy trick makes sense to me (and it's one that helps balance kingworld and turnamancy a bit if it's part of the rule), that this more seemingly game breaking spell only can be done on a full pot, which means nothing before and very little useable after the spell is cast. It would also mean the spell could only be cast every other turn, ensuring it couldn't be a true game breaker.
Kreistor wrote:


Except that is inconsistent with the question that was asked. That the spell consumed someone else's juice is irrelevant to Jillian's question which was about how much Vanna had remaining.


Everyone you know always answers all questions consistently, never giving extraneous information that doesnt apply to the situation?

Weird.
rlc wrote:
Kreistor wrote:
Except that is inconsistent with the question that was asked. That the spell consumed someone else's juice is irrelevant to Jillian's question which was about how much Vanna had remaining.


Everyone you know always answers all questions consistently, never giving extraneous information that doesnt apply to the situation?

Weird.


It's not extraneous, it's misleading. It would initially indicate that if her tank equals her daily juice, that she definitely couldn't cast, followed by as statement that she could. It can't resolve the way you want it to.
Kreistor wrote:
gameboy1234 wrote:
However it's spelled differently, so that's kinda tenuous imo. The Larry part, I don't know.


Okay, I'll say it again.

Larry Ansell

Ansell, Larry

Ancillary.

It means subordinate.

Actually it's closer to being in a supportive role or being an adjunct to some other process or person.

If we're going to read into this, I'd guess it means that she's playing a role in Wanda's Fate.
I don't see the continuity problem with juice. Nowhere does it say that becasue Hits recover full each round Juice does as well.

I always assumed that a caster gets juice per turn and can store it up to a certian amount. This would allow for large spells to be casted, but require the caster to do nothing for a while before and possibly after. In fact, this could be the difference between the different levels of caster (master, novice, and such, not level 1,2,3). Leveling 1,2,3 would increase combat stats, while going up novice -> adept -> master would give access to more juice per day or perhaps more storage. This would help even the different casters out, since I'm sure croakamancers and dollmancers get a lot more combat experiance than thinkamancers and mathamancers.

example:
Spoiler: show
Both Vanna and Bunny have a max cap of 100 juice and get 40 juice per turn.

Vanna casting kingworld used up 80 juice for her (no telling how much of Charlie's juice it used), or 2 turns, leaving her with 20 for her attempt on converting afterward. She has been traveling secretly for a few turns, so It's reasonable to think she was already at her cap.

meanwhile, Bunny has 65 juice left at the end of the day (not turn, since thinkamancy can be needed off turn). the left over 5 juice would get wasted at the begining of the day. Therefore there are no duty quams with having a quick conversation with Ceasar.
Some thoughts on ol' Larry:

Quote:
He was a Level 7 named Larry Ansell.


Level 7 Communications is a small company in Chicago. Their creative director is Larry Ansel. The real Mr. Ansel is not much in the bearded, or haired, department though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouXMU0NXCzI

Quote:
He wore silver scale mail, and was wrapped up in a heavy cape of fiat panda fur.


A Fiat Panda is a type of small car.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Panda

I haven't got anything on the the silver scale mail yet. Reference to fish? Not sure.
HerbieRai wrote:
I don't see the continuity problem with juice. Nowhere does it say that becasue Hits recover full each round Juice does as well.

I always assumed that a caster gets juice per turn and can store it up to a certian amount. This would allow for large spells to be casted, but require the caster to do nothing for a while before and possibly after. In fact, this could be the difference between the different levels of caster (master, novice, and such, not level 1,2,3). Leveling 1,2,3 would increase combat stats, while going up novice -> adept -> master would give access to more juice per day or perhaps more storage. This would help even the different casters out, since I'm sure croakamancers and dollmancers get a lot more combat experiance than thinkamancers and mathamancers.


I can't think of a single gaming system right now that would mix standard restoration like that, the ones I've seen have simliar rules for each. But I went and checked something, and this is all a moot arguemnt: in book 1 it is explicitly stated in the glossary: "Juice is refilled to full at the start of every turn." It also states in the glossary text for move that it is restored in the same way as Juice.

So whatever a Caster's capacity is, they are back to 100% of it at the start of a turn, just like move, and hits. Which, I think, makes the idea of spending "two turns worth of juice" more significantly a feat. It also means there's no sense holding back any juice at all, so we can assume Bunny would goto zero and only at night, when there's no chance of it getting used otherwise.

As to mastry, I base this on nothing at all, but I'd see mastery as reducing juice cost with more efficent casting. So while Juice increases by level (we know this from Wanda), Mastery takes the same stat but lets you get more out of it. I'm sure it's got other bonuses as well mind.
Kreistor wrote:
Larry Ansell.

Ansell, Larry.

Ancillary

1. subordinate; subsidiary.
2. auxiliary; assisting.

That's appropriate. He's certainly subordinate to Olive.

multilis wrote:
Caesar is #2 guy in kingdom, one with most power to make a play for #1. Don has had several children already try to backstab him.

So if Don was to spy on someone, likely would be Caesar as he would likely be at least a pawn in any revolt as his the heir. (No point replacing Don if the Heir isn't better puppet for you).

Whole thing is rather complicated. Even if Don ordered Bunny to play spy, there is still risk she could still go native (become more loyal to Caesar while spying on him then to Don). A thinkomancer is better at playing puppet master in a revolt then almost anyone else including a chief warlord... she has hints on where *everyone's* loyalties lie, and she controls communication. So there is always possibility that Bunny is the real rebel, carefully putting Don and Caesar in conflict, so that Caesar takes over as her puppet. Does Don trust her, and if so for good reason?

I guess it will ultimately depend on the direction in which Rob wants to take the story. Don has become a rather fanatical royalist resently. Fanatics tend to ignore things that don't fit into their own preconceived notions. Don misjudging Caesar and, potentially, paying for it, doesn't necessarily make Don stupid, just overconfident and/or arrogant.

Whispri wrote:
If so, I fear Wanda will have a miserable time of it at Faq. Or wherever, but Faq's the most likely suspect.

Especially since the better ones seem to be taken. Perhaps a Weirdomancer will give Wanda the flighing special at some point. I don't know what the only seeing the shadows of people may mean, unless it's some sort of Foolamancy. The being mocked and beaten is pretty self explanitory. It doesn't look like Wanda has a fun future in store, but we already suspected that.

gameboy1234 wrote:
I haven't got anything on the the silver scale mail yet. Reference to fish? Not sure.

From the late-second century until they were disbanded by Constantine the Great, the Praetorian Guard were known for wearing scale mail. Especially fine scale mail, with very tiny scales, was also a sign of officers, since the small scales were fragile and not suitable for combat and the amount of work involved meant they were very expensive. It may indicate that Larry is in the Haffaton's equivilant of KISS. It may also indicate that he shouldn't be trusted. Of course, this is just random speculation.
Mrtyuh wrote:
Whispri wrote:
If so, I fear Wanda will have a miserable time of it at Faq. Or wherever, but Faq's the most likely suspect.

Especially since the better ones seem to be taken. Perhaps a Weirdomancer will give Wanda the flighing special at some point. I don't know what the only seeing the shadows of people may mean, unless it's some sort of Foolamancy. The being mocked and beaten is pretty self explanitory. It doesn't look like Wanda has a fun future in store, but we already suspected that.

The shadows could be a vision of time spent in a link perhaps? Wanda and Sizemore seemed pretty shadowy in the Volcano Uncroaking sequence as I recall, they still had distinct faces, but that was after mere seconds. And who knows how they perceived other people?
She's wielding a Stratocaster. Stratocaster.

{ In my mind, it's this color: http://uncrate.com/p/50s-fender-strat.jpg }