Epilogue - 019

Epilogue - 019

Turns since TBfGK: 3

In her mind Jillian had built up this meeting into something awful, like her brief and stiff audience with Ansom's father King Slately. In the royal court of Jetstone, they had stood her up before the throne and drilled her with a few pointed and humiliating questions, in front of a coterie of dozens of snickering Nobles. Slately had thought of her as barbarian scum. Ansom too, she supposed.

But Don treated her like a lost daughter. His language was informal but respectful, and his tone was warm. He was happy to have her here, as his guest.

They met in a quiet, comfortable room behind the great throne-bench of power. She'd been given a chance to freshen up, using a clever little closet, where water came in and left through lead pipes. Bunny the Thinkamancer had given her basic instructions. It was an interesting experience. Nice, actually.

The three of them now reclined on black velvet couches, nibbling dried fruits and tiny pastries, and attended by Dolls. A pair of tough-looking Goyles with lances guarded the door. Jillian assumed there were many more guards within shouting distance.

Though she never stopped thinking of escape, she was able to relax and enjoy herself to some degree. With little left to hide, she told Don about Faq. He was fascinated with the question of how they kept three cities hidden from their nearest neighbors: Transylvito to the south, Jitterati to the northwest, and Gobwin Knob to the east. She explained some of the tricks they'd used. Faq had quite a variety of casters for its tiny size, and many of them used aspects of their discipline to aid Jack Snipe in keeping the kingdom's existence a secret.

"This Foolamancer, he must have been a genius," Don said, shaking his head.

"He is," said Jillian sourly. "As he recently reminded me." She'd been over that battle in her head many times now, but she still wasn't sure what had really happened.

"Yes." Don King got quiet, and pouted his huge lower lip. "It's bad that Stanley's got someone like that."

"Why, because you're going after Stanley?" Jillian sat up straight. "Are you? Vinny said he thought you might."

Don smiled ever so slightly. "Vinny did, huh? Vinny's smart." He leaned forward and scooped a handful of dried figs from a bowl, and popped one into his mouth. "But," he said, chewing forcefully, "his perspective...is incomplete. He is fresh from that fight, and so it looms large in his mind. Especially because we lost. He does not like to lose. None of us...like losing. I'm sure he does think we should charge back into Gobwin Knob and put Stanley's head up on the tower spike." Don gestured toward the stucco ceiling as he said this.

Jillian's eyes narrowed. "I'll help you do that."

"Jillian. Please." Don looked at her gravely. "You lost this fight as well. You've lost more to Stanley than anyone still living, including, I would argue, your perspective."

That hurt, for some reason. She looked at him while he gathered his thoughts.

"There are two things that you and Vinny are missing in the strategic picture. The first is...exactly what happened at the battle for Gobwin Knob?"

Jillian looked at Bunny, who had been sitting quietly and staring into space, though with a Thinkamancer that could have meant she was working very hard. "I thought you knew."

Bunny seemed to tune in to the room and was about to speak, but Don raised his hand. "Nobody knows. What it was, or what we're dealing with there. And you do not strike out at an unknown threat from a position of strength and security."

"I do," grumbled Jillian.

"Well, I do not. And therefore," said Don, as he reached for a bunch of green grapes, "I still have my kingdom."

Comic - Epilogue - 019

Recent posts... (See full thread)
I just realized that the city is defended by guys and dolls.
sdub wrote:
I just realized that the city is defended by guys and dolls.


Unless you mean the vampire warlords that would be Guard Girls and Dolls.
multilis wrote:
Scouting a dangerous enemy does carry some risk, it draws attention to you rather than *other* enemies.
Meh, they were just wandering around without orders, a lost squad which missed their own funeral at GK...

Quote:
I guess that TV needs royalty to get cooperation with other royal factions, and Jillian is to become the next "Ansom" first diplomatically charming the other sides for a defensive alliance against Stanley aggression.


Jillian would be the *LAST* one to diplomatically charm the other sides. IIRC, Webinar actively accused her of being a traitor and despised her. No one else other than Vinny really gave her the time of day. I seriously doubt she could lead them to agree the sky was blue, much less a diplomatic alliance.
Fiendishrabbit wrote:
sdub wrote:
I just realized that the city is defended by guys and dolls.


Unless you mean the vampire warlords that would be Guard Girls and Dolls.

Guard Goyles.
...goyle/girl, dwagon/dragon.

Same thing, different accent. I was merely clarifying.
I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that Don King ultimately wants Jillian to restart Faq, as some sort of client state of TV. From the bits we know about how loyalty and stuff work, it seems reasonable to assume that there would be some advantage to restarting a side with surviving leadership from when it originally fell, as opposed to grabbing the site yourself. I expect that Don will now try to gently prod Jillian towards realizing that, as fun as the barbarian lifestyle may be, she'll have a much better chance of getting back at Stanley if she has the resources of an actual kingdom to back her up. And that Don is likely to semi-permanently attach Vinny to Faq-2 as a combination ambassador/watchdog, to make sure that Jillian stays loyal and to give him a way of staying in touch with her.

The loyalty spec is especially important if the reason Faq was popping so many casters relative to its size was some innate property of the territory, as opposed to a deliberate effort on the part of the kingdom. You really want your casters to have high loyalty, to lower the risk of them being suborned.

My final bit of spec here: that once we finish this segment on TV and Jillian, the next viewpoint is going to be either Charlie or a new faction that will be important in Book 2.
The Sandman wrote:
And that Don is likely to semi-permanently attach Vinny to Faq-2 as a combination ambassador/watchdog, to make sure that Jillian stays loyal and to give him a way of staying in touch with her.


That would most likely require an alliance between the 2 kingdoms. If TV offered to back Faq against GK in the event of a future campaign once they have gathered sufficient intel, Jillian might be convinced. Right now she's alone with her gwiffons, her chances of getting back at Stanley are negligible.

The Sandman wrote:
My final bit of spec here: that once we finish this segment on TV and Jillian, the next viewpoint is going to be either Charlie or a new faction that will be important in Book 2.


Actually, WOG is that the summer updates would be comprised of 2 epilogues. The first was the aftermath in GK, this is the second one. Once this is done, we'll just have to wait for the fall for Book 2 to begin.
Anton Gaist wrote:
Actually, WOG is that the summer updates would be comprised of 2 epilogues. The first was the aftermath in GK, this is the second one. Once this is done, we'll just have to wait for the fall for Book 2 to begin.


WOG is, that after the two epilogues with Stanley and Jillian more stuff will follow, that covers about 90-100 turns.
cservant wrote:
BTW, anyone else almost thought Don is shirtless in the picture?

I had to go back to earlier comic to check he if he was wearing a hawaian shirt. Perhaps there is something wrong with me. Time to get me eyes checked.


I don't see anything but hairy chest.
I'm looking at the High-Res pic, and that's not hair. I'm reminded of Parson's own chestplate with some amusement.