13th Age of the Highlands: Ironlake Falling

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Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 6, 2015, 12:25:04 AM1/6/15
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Okay, is everyone good for a game on 8 Jan? Who can host?

Darren Loo

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Jan 6, 2015, 12:29:38 AM1/6/15
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I'm available both to host and to play

On 6 Jan 2015 13:25, "Poh Tun Kai" <ptik...@gmail.com> wrote:
Okay, is everyone good for a game on 8 Jan? Who can host?

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Shift244

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Jan 6, 2015, 3:49:59 AM1/6/15
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I am open, and am OK to host - preferable for me in fact, as it makes my transport arrangement easier...
...although my family will be in, so the group may not prefer it. I'll let you all decide.

Shift244

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Jan 6, 2015, 3:50:19 AM1/6/15
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Nice!

Ban

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Jan 6, 2015, 6:37:45 AM1/6/15
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i'm available. will talk car pool times on that day itself i guess

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Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 6, 2015, 7:21:23 AM1/6/15
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I can play... and can also host... 



On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 4:50 PM, Shift244 <phang....@gmail.com> wrote:
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"She's so many women 
He can't find the one who was his friend 
He's hanging on to half her heart 
He can't have the restless part
So he tells her to hasten down the wind"

- The Late Great, Warren Zevon.

Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 7, 2015, 3:33:21 AM1/7/15
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Sorry...need to retract this.  Tonight and tomorrow night..will be late nights for an urgent work project. :(

My apologies.  :(

Douglas

Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 7, 2015, 7:30:13 PM1/7/15
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Do we want to carry on without Princess Iris? Or just meet at Darren's place to play cards and stuff?

I'll need to update Jonathan and Matthew in case they don't read this...


Darren Loo

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Jan 7, 2015, 7:31:50 PM1/7/15
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I'm always in favor of waiting for the full team within reason, particulary starting a new chapter.

Unless that puts us behind our rival party, then all bets are off XD

On 8 Jan 2015 08:30, "Poh Tun Kai" <ptik...@gmail.com> wrote:
Do we want to carry on without Princess Iris? Or just meet at Darren's place to play cards and stuff?

I'll need to update Jonathan and Matthew in case they don't read this...


Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 7, 2015, 7:45:04 PM1/7/15
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Rival party is still behind at moment. :)

Hey Darren, let's assemble some minis together.

Darren Loo

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Jan 7, 2015, 8:02:55 PM1/7/15
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Oooo. That'd work. Well, let's see what the others have in mind. I've plenty of games as well.

On 8 Jan 2015 08:45, "Poh Tun Kai" <ptik...@gmail.com> wrote:
Rival party is still behind at moment. :)

Hey Darren, let's assemble some minis together.

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Ban

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Jan 7, 2015, 9:22:57 PM1/7/15
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I've got suburbia from Macx. It's a tile placing city building game.

Maxc has also left his Gamma World 4E rpg at my place, which is a lighthearted ruleset of d&D 4e which is very suitable for days when the usual rpg session doesn't run. Character generation is completely random and should be done on site.

Shift244

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Jan 7, 2015, 9:23:07 PM1/7/15
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No objections to waiting for the full team.
Also, do we want to form a Whatsapp group for this? Other than Dan, the rest have access to the app?

Ban

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Jan 7, 2015, 9:25:58 PM1/7/15
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er, i actually have whatsapp installed on my laptop through bluestack. just need to remember to switch it on

On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 10:23 AM, Shift244 <phang....@gmail.com> wrote:
No objections to waiting for the full team.
Also, do we want to form a Whatsapp group for this? Other than Dan, the rest have access to the app?

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Ban

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Jan 8, 2015, 12:23:33 AM1/8/15
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Should i prepare Gamma World character sheets?

Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 8, 2015, 12:55:06 AM1/8/15
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That's the Gamma World edition based on D&D 4e, right? Fun fun. :)

Shift244

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Jan 8, 2015, 2:25:47 AM1/8/15
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That's the "nice feature" of smart phone application: "constant intrusive updates that does not depend on frail and unreliable human triggering something". :)

Spheniscine

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Jan 8, 2015, 11:07:13 AM1/8/15
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Well crap... I think I lost my character sheet. I have an outdated (lvl 4) version in my drawer - I think I might have accidentally thrown out my current one instead of it >.<

I do have a digital copy saved somewhere but I think it's missing some updates and items/notes

Spheniscine

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Jan 8, 2015, 11:29:12 AM1/8/15
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Nvm found it. I had put it together with my dice into a new bag and forgot about it >.<

Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 14, 2015, 5:09:36 AM1/14/15
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No Highlands this week - Eugene and Doug are not around.

Darren Loo

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Jan 14, 2015, 6:37:56 AM1/14/15
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Ok. I'm overloaded as well anyway. Can use the time to get back on track.

On Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 6:09 PM, Poh Tun Kai <ptik...@gmail.com> wrote:
No Highlands this week - Eugene and Doug are not around.

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Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 19, 2015, 8:19:26 PM1/19/15
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How does everyone feel about Thursday, 22 January?

Ban

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Jan 20, 2015, 8:26:59 AM1/20/15
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I'm okay

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Darren Loo

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Jan 20, 2015, 8:31:06 AM1/20/15
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I'm in. I haven't contemplated dwarven genocide in a while.

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Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 20, 2015, 9:09:00 AM1/20/15
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Darren, Doug, okay to host?

Darren Loo

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Jan 20, 2015, 9:10:24 AM1/20/15
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I'm ok to host.

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Shift244

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Jan 21, 2015, 12:29:25 AM1/21/15
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I'm available.

Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 21, 2015, 1:53:26 AM1/21/15
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I'm available


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Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 21, 2015, 1:55:12 AM1/21/15
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My place is available too..but up to you all where to go. :3  

Darren Loo

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Jan 21, 2015, 6:26:46 AM1/21/15
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If it's all the same for everyone, I'd appreciate being able to host it at my place? My ex colleagues are inviting me to join the staff dinner tomorrow and having the game at my place would make it easier for me to get back by 8pm. 

If not, its fine - I'll turn them down or make it a very quick one.

Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 21, 2015, 7:08:18 AM1/21/15
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Doug's place is a bit easier for me, but I can certainly make it to yours as well.

No reply from Jonathan or Matthew so far.


On Wednesday, 21 January 2015 19:26:46 UTC+8, SpiritFox wrote:

Ban

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Jan 21, 2015, 8:10:53 AM1/21/15
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WIll try again tomorrow, but still having trouble contacting Jon as well.

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Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 21, 2015, 10:21:31 AM1/21/15
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Im' flexible....I'm also willing to go with either place. :)

Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 21, 2015, 10:28:39 AM1/21/15
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Darren's place this time...

Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 21, 2015, 10:29:20 AM1/21/15
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Everyone must come dressed as a Sailor Moon girl... o.o

On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 11:28 PM, Poh Tun Kai <ptik...@gmail.com> wrote:
Darren's place this time...


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Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 21, 2015, 6:47:12 PM1/21/15
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Well, that's appropriately moon-themed...

Spheniscine

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Jan 22, 2015, 2:44:30 AM1/22/15
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I'm available.

Darren Loo

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Jan 22, 2015, 10:33:06 AM1/22/15
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For the record, I wasn't trying to "bring Eclipse out", it was the only card I had in mind that didn't involve a risky duel with a foe of unknown power or turning to Paul Morgan. Twilight's allowed her enemies to dictate the terms far too often for her to not take a risky shot in the dark in order to avoid putting the dwarves at either Tiandra's or Paul Morgan's feet. 

After all, fair's fair - Wetbeard is looking to Paul and Vecna for deliverance. Twilight's offer is for Eclipse (or at least, Twilight herself) to do the delivering on behalf of the Highlands. At worst, there's the Roadsingers - shadow and trickery, Gods of Bards and Thieves. They're...more acceptable to her right now and a much better alternative to Vecna and Paul (what with being the patron Gods of the Goblins and all that)

The more I think of it, the more I think this is the plan Twilight will go for. She has everything to play for here; Eclipse or Snack's patrons. What doubts she has about either, they're better than having Vecna move in uncontested. And while she distrusts Gods mightily, if ever there was need for a miracle, now's the time.

So to summarize; have Eclipse make an appearance, or at least have her power manifest (or seem to manifest) to try and break the elf Queen's hold on the drow. The optimum result would be to force the drow to allow the dwarven survivors to evacuate before falling on the Undead. The fallback plan would be to cause enough chaos in the elven ranks to keep them off the dwarves as they evacuate (with the party dealing with the Undead). The best result would be to place both the elves and the dwarves under Twilight's command and crush the Undead completely. 

At worst, this would allow a larger pool of talent to challenge what's-her-face to combat. Right now, only Nylis and Iris have the right to challenge what's-her-face for leadership. Pulling a "savior of the drow" would at least give us an option to have either Twilight or Lukas challenge for supremacy. 




On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM, Spheniscine <sphen...@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm available.

Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 22, 2015, 8:24:10 PM1/22/15
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You mean Decima, the half-breed moon fey/drow general and all-around twat.

"You're a twat. Don't be a twat." - Gambol

Darren Loo

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Jan 22, 2015, 8:57:52 PM1/22/15
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Twilight is yet to meet anyone in power who isn't a twat of one kind or another. Except maybe Snack, Yarra and Padraig.

On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 9:24 AM, Poh Tun Kai <ptik...@gmail.com> wrote:
You mean Decima, the half-breed moon fey/drow general and all-around twat.

"You're a twat. Don't be a twat." - Gambol

Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 22, 2015, 9:27:59 PM1/22/15
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At least she's not overly opinionated. :D

Spheniscine

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Jan 23, 2015, 5:49:55 AM1/23/15
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Dan spoke with me on the trip back, and he brought up two options:

Firstly... he wants to duel Decima. He sees this as the simplest option, that is if he wins. Though eligibility due to race could be a problem... unless Iris or Nylis can name him her "champion" or something... or we pull a prophecy impersonation as SpiritFox suggested.

Secondly, he thinks that perhaps we could reopen negotiations with the undead. Have them promise safe passage, and not to convert any more dwarves to cannon fodder to protect themselves with, and hang around to make sure they keep to their end of the bargain. Main problem with this is that we know that they want Ironlake for their own strategic reasons; essentially, we're betting that the elven army is strong enough to neutralize that threat.
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Shift244

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Jan 23, 2015, 7:56:45 AM1/23/15
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A quick post up of some RP/discussion between the elves that Doug and I had yesterday.


Duty

"I need to beauty up for my conquest of this Dwarven city," Decima remarks almost off-handedly. She springs to her feet, leaving the trio of adventurers - Iris, still trying to formulate a reasonable, politically appropriate response, and Nylislaele staring daggers at Demica's exiting frame.

"May I show you out then?" Kazon asks most politely.

"Master Kazon, If I promise you the evacuation of the undead forces from the city under my means, will you order Decima to withdraw her troops? So long as Tiandra's wishes are seen to, yes?" Liz offers.

"I am afraid it will not be so easy. A blade once unsheathed, must draw blood before it can be sheathed again. If I were to give her that command, I will need to face her in duel. Would you go in my stead?" Kazon replies, smooth as slik. Liz is unsure if he is amused or mocking her. Perhaps both, she decides. The decision to duel an unknown warrior was harder to make.

Kazon takes Liz's silence as an opportunity to send the group off.

"Tell you what, ladies and gentle-dragon. I'll escort you out, and you take until morning tomorrow to inform me about your decision on your... proposal, and I'll see what I can do for you. Come now," he waves his hands to shoo the group from the tent.

...

Diamante's broad shoulders looked a little slumped, as if tired, weighing the Kazon and Decima's words in silent brooding as he walks back to regroup with Twilight, Lukas and Gambol. Behind him the two elves follows with equally heavy hearts at the thoughts of more civilian casualties and a possible duel against an unknown opponent. 

"Nylislaele, I would know what you are thinking. Pray tell," Iris' voice was steady despite echoing the heaviness her heart felt.

"I was just considering our options. Dueling seems best. Any conflict involving the undead will likely see those foul creatures throw more Dwarven bodies as fodder. I'm all for dealing swift retribution to Iron Lake forces, but not slaves and any who've surrendered," Liz responds.

"..and we know from Diamante's agents that Paul Morgan's forces are keen to establish a foothold here," Iris adds.

"Yes," Liz agrees. "So, if we cannot deter the Drow, battle is imminent... with Dwarves getting the front row seat where they would rather have the back. And then there is the blood tax after."

Iris nods sagely. "I am prepared to face Decima against all she stands for."

"Nay, princess. In such matters, it is more fitting for a servant than a lady. Plus, you have a title to live up to," Liz shakes her head slightly.

"You ever think I see you as a servant?" Iris tone was severe. Was she angered? "I have stood with you, and know that people are willing to listen to you. I am willing to entrust to you, to complete what I need to do, should the fight not favor me."

"Nay, princess. I am but a servant to the Elven people, but you... you are by bloodline a princess. What name I hold is granted that I may serve in my stead, just as your title holds you to serve in yours. You have a duty to your people, a duty you have sacrificed much to fulfill. This, I believe, is not your fight."

"A good leader leads a charge and does not cower behind others. I will not stay my hand against such atrocities."

"Aye, I agree. But I see to that a good leader knows how to delegate to people they trust. There is a time to lead a charge, and there is a time have others lead that charge while more important matters are seen to. Which, would you think this is?"

Iris falls silent in deep thought. Their eyes lock, seeing the fierce determination in each other.

"Besides," Liz continues, "...and I mean no offense saying this for I respect your prowess, Iris, but your duel would be a quick exchange of strikes. Either you fall, or she does. Mine would probably be a more drawn out affair of attrition. I would think a contest of endurance a safer bet, than risk it at the flip of a coin. Plus, if I do fall, she will then open to you as next challenger."

Iris nods slowly in agreement at that assessment, lips tightly drawn.

To herself, Liz thinks, "That is only an assessment of our combat styles, of course. We have absolutely no idea of this Decima's abilities. Is she a warrior of blade and steel? Or a mage of spells and cunning? That would affect the choice of the champion, as well as the outcome."

In front, Diamante's large frame slows to a stop before a somber Lukas, a brow furrowing Gambol, and a grim Twilight.

Shift244

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Jan 23, 2015, 8:14:05 AM1/23/15
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OOC, I think that getting the undead to promise, in explicit terms to bring the Dwarves out alive and well is all fine and dandy. Assuming they have the means to keep the Drow forces at bay long enough, it will be a hellish week of logistics with possibly many deaths, even if they agree to it. That is, if the undead are not simply after the city, where the Dwarves can easily be collateral (and a convenient source to bolster their ranks).

Trying to summon Sehanine seems viable. Not sure her current level of power, but nothing on the field may be able to to rival her it seems. Unless the Icons start appearing. Plus, it could be attempted first, then if unsuccessful, the party falls back to the duel. Not sure how the Drow will act on that, if successful.

At the moment Liz is OK with all suggestions raised, and also willing to duel Decima. She would however, curse the turn of events if battle breaks out and the party then takes out Decima. The former is a formal challenge between individuals, the latter would be striking against Tiandra's banner.

Ban

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Jan 23, 2015, 9:32:23 AM1/23/15
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(I'm personally inclined to give the drow the dwarves who commited the worst atrocities against them to be tried for war crimes against the drow, but that seems to have been shot down)

It looks like a lot of us seem inclinded to at least attempt a duel, but we're not sure about the details or even what we get from winning the duel. The conversation with Kazon seems to suggest we can at least temporarily stay the hand of the drow until the dwarves leave peacefully. If the dwarves take the undead's offer up, we won't even need to worry about Paul Morgan's coming army since they will ALSO allow the dwarves to leave peacfully.

Taking the undead offer to leave Ironlake isn't so bad: the dwarves want to leave the warzone, and they don't need to take up the offer to take up residence in unknown lands. There appear to be other options; I hear the people of Port Pearl are in need to rebuild and resettle themselves, and King Wetbeard is experienced at human relations. 

It may not be possible to prevent Paul Morgan from taking over Ironlake. Sure, the elf army is more than a match for the 100 or so undead in the palace. The coming undead army led by Paul Morgan, not so much. We'd need the combined dwarf + elf forces together to defend Ironlake from invading Undead main army. Not sure if King Wetbeard would want to put his people at risk for the city though. Convincing the elves to fight alongside the dwarves instead of killing them, even more so. I'm willing to write this off.

--

Darren Loo

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Jan 23, 2015, 10:21:29 AM1/23/15
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Twilight will detail the following out to the others in no uncertain terms:

A deal with the undead is out of the question. Ironlake sits only a few day's march south of Orrin Village and a similar distance northwest of Gierstark - allowing them to set up shop in the city is unacceptable to both the Highlands (well, to Twilight and Rain at least) and Gierstark as it presents a direct threat to both.

At the same time, relying on the elves to reduce the city following a dwarven evacuation is not a viable alternative. The evacuation will take weeks, during which time the undead, even if they allowed the dwarves to leave unmolested, would certainly dig in. Twilight sees no indication that that the Elf Queen would be willing to pick a fight with the undead once they've had a chance to entrench themselves. 

At the same time, Vecna has no reason to pick a fight with the elves either when he can simply make peace with the most powerful of his neighbors and set his sights on corrupting the weaker ones. Instead, she believes it will be more than likely that the Highlands will once again become the site of a confrontation between Gods; Pella is still out there and she may still be an easy in for the Elf Queen's meddling with the Highlands.

Gierstark would then be under threat from Ironlake as well, since it was essentially the source of their weaponry and resources - which is possibly the reason The City appears to be making a beeline to Rain and Snack. Because of Ironlake's position, its an easy gateway into Gierstark; through trade, diplomacy and... evangelism. Twilight shouldn't have to remind Lukas of his and Rain's experience with Clan McColl. 

For this reason, Twilight favors an immediate resolution to this standoff, preferably ending with the dwarven kingdom restored in its ruins. However, the...asset... closest at hand is the army of Illinith and they've made it clear that they intend to have their pound of flesh.

Twilight is highly doubtful of securing the army through a duel for leadership - for starters, the entire vanguard of the army consists of the next of kin of those who fell in Ironlake's Siege of Illinith. Even if the elves secure command of the army, there's no stopping them from being challenged to a constant string of leadership duels by those discontented with their leadership. More importantly, there's no way for the party to guarantee the elves will not go rogue once they've entered the City. 

The shifter wonders WHY both sides seem to be interested in what Admiral Doenitz... I mean, Admiral Wetbeard... has to say about this. What's in it for them? It doesn't make a lot of sense to her - if the elves REALLY wanted the undead...unundeaded..., they would easily be able to make it so. She doesn't buy the whole act of honor and mercy thing. There HAS to be another reason they have not just tunneled in, gotten rid of the undead and then exacted their toll. Similarly, it seems strange that the undead appear to be completely willing to wait for a group of mercenaries to drop in out of the blue to negotiate a deal with the elves when they could have done so themselves. 

Something is up, and the shifter doesn't like it. Wetbeard might be one - the undead might simply want him to agree to their deal and hand the dwarves to them on a silver platter. But why are the elves cooperating? Do they know about the deal that Paul is offering to the dwarves? It makes the most sense - allow the undead to teleport the dwarves away, THEN strike so that there's no chance that the undead ranks would be swollen by dwarven corpses. But surely the undead know that too. What's THEIR play?

No - all this is too fishy for the shifter's liking; what it is is beyond Twilight's +3 WIS for now, but she's been a pawn to Gods for too long - far, far, far too long and she's not willing to play along with the games of enemy Icons. Her suggestion is to try and secure leadership of the elves by overawing them with the presence of their rumored savior. Force them to submit to her and take out the undead in a quick strike, using her presence as the element of control to prevent anyone from getting too far out of line. They can then go back to Illinith, secure in the knowledge that peace would be guaranteed by King Diamante and his... kobold occupation force.

It's a desperate gamble and would mean pissing off BOTH the Undead and the Elves, but the alternative is too bitter for Twilight to contemplate. An undead capitol in the middle of the Highlands?  Nope. Not on her watch. She's seen the rise and fall of Gods at the hands of mortals. She's been afraid too long. Its time to cross the bridge of blood to whatever end destiny might have in store for her. Even death and failure will be glorious.

***

Left unsaid, of course, are the alternatives; 

It doesn't have to be Eclipse. Iris would probably do, so long as she's willing to play the part of the ruthless Queen of Battle, rather than the noble Princess of Songs. She has a giant fucking city to rain lightning hell on anyone who opposes her. She has the banner of the Elf Queen herself. SHE could enforce her will on the elves if she's willing to, you know, incinerate her own people (or their close relatives) who disobey. Twilight would be happy to do that kind of enforcing, but she has her doubts Iris has it in her to do just that. 

Anyway, her thoughts are on the Elven City - she had been wondering about Tiandra's reasons to allow the party to bring the city to Ironlake. Perhaps this is it. To have both of her agents arrive to take control of the elven army and drive the undead from Ironlake. If Twilight had been them, she'd challenge Decima, take control and immediately use the city to enforce obedience to her dictates. Have Wetbeard's people clear the civillians from designated free-fire zones and launch an all-out assault on the Undead. Dig them out and destroy them before they become too settled. The party would destroy the banners and free the dwarves under undead thrall and the elves would just pile in and finish off the undead. Diamante and his people can take up garrison in Ironlake as well and the worst of Ironbone's followers can be judged by Wetbeard. The Drifter on the Winds may then remain over Ironlake to deter any further undead aggression (and act as a sop for the Drow of Illinith - With or Nylis installed as Military Governor to ensure no aggression be undertaken against Illinith by the Elf Queen's will.)

All this, of course, is a bitter pill for Twilight, considering Eclipse. But it is still preferable to a fully armed and operational Necropolis within striking distance of Orrin Village. The shifter will propose this as a last resort, if it looks like she cannot get the party to see reason and make a stand in Ironlake. A Highlander would - and these Dwarves had better learn to live like Highlanders from now on 'cause its Highland territory they occupy! Still, that would leave Wetbeard indebted to the elves - which to Twilight is almost as bad as the undead. Almost.

A final solution, where all else fails is a direct appeal to the Gods - either Eclipse or the Roadsingers. Eclipse has (or appears to have) access to the Elven Fey gates. Perhaps it is within her power to use them to spirit the dwarves out of Ironlake? Or perhaps the Roadsingers can help hide the dwarves from elven vengeance? Twilight has a glimmer of an idea; do any of the fey-folk have powerful enough illusions, or the ability to create lifelike golems to be sacrificed to the elves? 

She has to meditate on this. For such subtle magics are likely beyond even Nylis. In the back of her mind, she can hear Rain's voice, gently soothing her, "I’m not really one to talk to for this but, maybe, right now might be a good time for prayer. So why don’t you talk to her? I’m sure she’ll at least give you a listen."



Darren Loo

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Jan 23, 2015, 11:47:15 AM1/23/15
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Did Decima mention how she intends to decimate the dwarves? I can't remember if she intends to kill all of Ironbone's loyalists on top of decimating the population?

We need magic, and we need sacrifices, but perhaps no more than would voluntarily sacrifice themselves, or could be persuaded to do so as a form of redemption. No need for divine manifestations or miraculous intervention. Just a small blessing to top off regular magic. After all, all dwarves look the same.

Ban

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Jan 24, 2015, 12:16:25 AM1/24/15
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I have more to say, but anyone else want to contribute thoughts?

Shift244

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Jan 24, 2015, 12:21:46 PM1/24/15
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Decima just wants her pound of flesh. No specific choice of who she tolls.

In the end, the "save the Dwarves" effort seems to be time crucial as Decima appears to start moving. On a meta level, dueling Decima places the chosen champion at risk, with Lukas probably the best choice between high defense and alpha strike capability. Bargaining with the undead risks them playing a game of words or if they are honest, being unable to hold their end of it against superior Drow forces.

Trying for divine is a no loss attempt, great if there's answer, but it leaves the option of what to do if the gods stay silent.

Now, the PCs can turn on the Drow and Ion cannon them without provocation at the risk of losing a flying city (Diamante will need to find a new HQ). Or they can surgically remove the cancer from to ashes of the proud Dwarven city. For now, the undead seem a token force.

Poh Tun Kai

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Jan 24, 2015, 2:18:50 PM1/24/15
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If Iris uses Severance in a ritual to take full control of the Drifting Doom, it's fair to say that the armies of elvenkind may change their targeting priorities drastically, giving the dwarves time to evacuate, whether by river or land, escorted by Clan Morgan forces.

Kumiko Yamazaki

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Jan 24, 2015, 10:10:53 PM1/24/15
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Kind of what Iris is planning right now.

On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 3:18 AM, Poh Tun Kai <ptik...@gmail.com> wrote:
If Iris uses Severance in a ritual to take full control of the Drifting Doom, it's fair to say that the armies of elvenkind may change their targeting priorities drastically, giving the dwarves time to evacuate, whether by river or land, escorted by Clan Morgan forces.
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Darren Loo

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Jan 24, 2015, 11:56:13 PM1/24/15
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Twilight has three proposals for the team, after the long, rambling argument.

Plan A:
Twilight's preferred outcome is to keep the Dwarves in the city and kick off a war between the elves and the undead. For that she proposes a threefold approach: 

Firstly - and this will require help from Nylis and, hopefully, one of Twilight's chosen Gods - start creating decoys to fulfill the elves' need for blood. The idea is to create as many dwarven clones as possible to satisfy Decima's demands for the decimation of the dwarves - create a sufficiently realistic illusion to trick the elves into leaving while preserving as many of the survivors as possible.

Secondly - control the means of execution so our duplicity will not be discovered, at least until its too late to change anything. If this means seizing command of the elves, then so be it. The party seems dead set on the duel anyway. 

Thirdly - Destroy the undead banners controlling the dwarven civilians and get them out of the way of the elves. Secure any means by which the undead can sabotage the city (like, say, dropping it into the underdark)

Let the elves finish off the undead for us, fake a "decimation" of Ironlake and then garrison Ironlake with Diamante's forces, Wetbeard's men and the Drifting Doom. Which might or might not require seizing control of the Drifting Doom. A combination of the three might thwart an Undead claim on the city. 

Pros: It leaves the dwarves in control of Ironlake and prevents the rise of an Undead city in the middle of the Highlands, while preserving Wetbeard's people without making them beholden to the Undead AND does not piss off the Elf Queen. As an added bonus, it puts one of Twilight's chosen deities or Icons in the position of a savior to the dwarves. Everyone is happy. Except Paul. Even if it turns out we had to surrender Ironlake anyway, we can do it on our own terms. 

Cons: Twilight isn't sure this is at all possible because it relies on powerful magic and powerful bullshitting - neither of which the party is particularly GOOD at. It relies heavily on divine intervention of one kind or another - not as in your face as the earthly manifestation of the Goddess of the Moon, but powerful magic still. 
How this would go down: - 

It would rely heavily on a few things: firstly - icon rolls. We're out of them, apart from Iris' 6 for the Elf Queen. A ritual of prayer to Eclipse and/or the Roadsingers might have to do, but there's no guarantee we'll get the rolls necessary to pull this off anyway. 

Secondly, sufficient magic to make it happen even with an Icon roll. Nylis isn't a full Wizard - it might be beyond her capacity to create that many duplicates in such a short time, even with the help of every caster in the group and every Kobold High Wizard in the Drifting Doom AND every cleric and mage and sorceror in Wetbeard's contingent. 

However, Twilight's fallback plan on this would be to sacrifice SOME of the dwarves and Diamante's Kobolds. to make up the numbers. Wetbeard might be reluctant to do so, but Twilight's argument is to provide those who served  and remained loyal to Ironbone with an honorable out; a noble sacrifice as redemption for their sins and all that, so that they may ultimately be remembered as heroes to the dwarven people, rather as villains. Or at least as having done the right thing in the end.

Still - that's a lot of magic and luck to make it work, but the payoff is that the party can get pretty much everything they want. At least TWILIGHT can get almost everything she wants out of this and, from her point of view, so does everyone else, but there might be objections.

So two BIG if's. IF Nylis and the combined magical capacity of a city full of Kobold Wizards, Dwarven Clerics, Elven Bards and random bits and bobs cannot make even the slightest dent on the volume of the illusion and IF we cannot get at least SOME form of boost from the Gods of shadow, trickery and deception, this plan would probably not work.

But I think it CAN work and its worth giving it a shot. Nylis has a magical background and has the ever so open-ended cantrip spell. At worst, there're plenty of dead bodies which we can try to marionette about like puppets to give enough of an illusion that they're alive - so long as the elves don't have some kind of soul-counter or spirit-prison where they can tell that the number of souls shuffling off their mortal coil, this would work. And if they do, clerics, do come up with a way to fake this as well.

Ban

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:12:52 AM1/25/15
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Small request to clarify some things;

Do we know that the undead main forces are moving towards Ironlake, ready to crush the drow? (well, sounds pretty likely Vecna knows the drow are there due to the pact. He can guess they won't let him keep it, has taken a good look at their army and prepared a counter/main army to kick them out and move Morgan in.)

There's a saviour prophecy for the drow which involves moon flowers, and the drow can be convinced that is Eclipse?  Could our experts on drow culture tell us whether that its likely the drow will bow to Eclipse if she were to make an appearance? Because if they would, having the drow army under the control of an ally would be really great.

The elf forces have specifically said the want the undead out of the city and don't want the city themselves? So we don't really need to work hard to get the elves and undead fighting?

-------------

The current issue of disagreement seems to be about keeping the dwarves in the city. It's in the interest of many members of the party that the dwarves should stay, but that is pretty selfish on our parts because we're basically asking the dwarves to stay and fight the undead (and possibly drow). Sure, they get to keep their city but King Wetbeard has already said his people's lives come first and he's willing to give it up.

-----------

If it's true the undead main army is coming... isn't it in the drow army's interest to NOT annoy the dwarves? Without assistance, the drow army would be wiped out by the undead main force, especially if they had expended themselves attacking the dwarves. The decimation of the drow main army and undead occupation of Ironlake just above the underdark could very well lead to the future enslavement of the drow.  

Would the survival of drowkind really not be sufficient to convince them to work with the dwarves to repel the undead?

Still doesn't solve the issue of dwarves not wanting to stay and fight, though.



Darren Loo

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:20:15 AM1/25/15
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Plan B
The second option is to wrest command of the elves and have them do our bidding for us. Rather than simply duel them and force them to allow a dwarven evacuation or something along those lines, we take command and overawe them into submission either with an "appearance" by their rumored savior or, as detailed above, by simply bullying them into obeying the Elf Queen's agents by threat of the Drifting Doom. Nylis and Iris are Tiandra's appointed agents after all, and they can use that to force the elves to obey. Again, requires Iris and Nylis to act as absolute dicks to their own people and the party to act as commissars during the scouring of Ironlake. This miiiiiiiiight be more doable. We have two dragons to add to the intimidation factor.

Pros: Its straightforward and it gets rid of the undead while keeping collateral damage as low as possible.

Cons: The party won't be able to do anything else while they're acting as commissars to the elves. This leaves the undead free to wreak their vengeance. 

We could use the Kobolds as commissars, but, seriously... kobolds?

This again gives the party partway what they want - limited collateral damage, leaves the dwarves in control of the city and keeps the undead out. The problem, of course, is that Iris will have to be Queen Tyrant of the Elves for the duration and there's STILL no guarantee how many dwarves will "accidentally" be killed in the process.

Darren Loo

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:30:44 AM1/25/15
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As far as I can recall:

1. IRT Undead main force - There's no indication of this. We do not know how large they are and when they will arrive. All we know is PAUL MORGAN will be arriving shortly. There's no indication how large his forces will be. Twilight is betting on the answer being "not large", considering there's been no word from the Goblins and the other Highlanders of a GIANT UNDEAD ARMY MARCHING THROUGH THE HIGHLANDS. 

2. IRT Undead safe passage - IIRC (and I'm pretty sure of this) It was directly mentioned by Halgrim that the elves are OUR problem. We, the party, are supposed to do something about that if we want the dwarves to live. The undead don't care. THEIR offer to the dwarves is a return of their ancestral homes in exchange for Ironlake. Safe passage wasn't in the deal, that's for us to deal with.

3. IRT Elves v. Undead - That's about the size of it. The undead are largely relying on us, the party, to deal with the elves. Which Twilight finds strange and her assumption is that Tiandra does not wish for war to erupt between her and Vecna and that is why Iris and Nylis are here.

4. Actually, the MAIN disagreement, from Twilight's point of view, is whether to allow the dwarves to fall under the undead sway. Which she believes is almost certain to happen if they accept Paul's offer. IF there's a way to persuade her otherwise... details in Plan C

5. IRT Undead Army v. Drow Army - Again, this seems to imply that the undead aren't really bringing a giant army in on Ironlake - just Paul Morgan. Also, it lends further credence to the idea that there's more to the elven-undead relationship than is currently visible. 


On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 1:12 PM, Ban <mrbun...@gmail.com> wrote:

Darren Loo

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:36:24 AM1/25/15
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There's always the possibility that Eclipse and Paul (or Tiandra and Paul) have arrangements for the use of the Elf Queen's fey crossings to move the Undead main force. Which would account for the lack of a GIANT ARMY OF UNDEAD MARCHING THROUGH THE HIGHLANDS

Its also always possible that the undead are simply moving in SPIRIT - which would make it RIDICULOUSLY RISKY for the dwarves to return: if its simply a matter of teleporting a bunch of souls to inhabit dispensed husks, then they could just LEAVE their husks hidden away and inhabit new ones in Ironlake (and there're probably plenty of those) Then, they could port back and forth at whim. Which would be absolutely terrifying. 

Darren Loo

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:41:10 AM1/25/15
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What it does sound like is that Paul is hedging his bets. He's leaving the bulk of his forces in place while he negotiates with King Wetbeard using the elves as a pressure point (accept our offer or the drow will hunt you down FOREVER). If things go south, he can always retreat north and still have everything. If not, he gets Ironlake, with its PATHWAYS TO THE MOON and the dwarves get the mountains back, probably with little left to use. We are just convenient negotiators - Twilight would be speaking for Rain, Nylis and Iris for the Elf Queen and Lukas for Gierstark. We agree to this, diplomatically, there's no reason for the undead to fear our intervention if they decide to MARCH A GIANT FUCKING ARMY ACROSS THE HIGHLANDS. Which would be terrible.

Ban

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:47:42 AM1/25/15
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Paul's offer isn't really much if they don't take up residence in. It's just "We want this place for ourselves. You can leave it to us peacefully".  Where the dwarves go after that could be somewhere different entirely. I'd suggest they join up with the Port Pearl refugees, or work something out with Gierstark/Highlands. Hardly sounds like dwarves under undead sway.

Er. If Paul Morgan's coming army isn't that sizable... we could take care of it with our floating city and the drow could stop it as well? 
Use either a duel/saviour/whatever to stall the drow from killing dwarves, dwarves move out of harm's way, drow clear out city undead, Paul Morgan's forces are stopped by dragon army + floating city + drow. Heck, for all you know the dwarves might move back in again.

This way, we don't need to try and COMMAND the drow army, just stall them from murdering dwarves. They'll do the rest where the undead are concerned.

Ban

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:49:34 AM1/25/15
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...and if Ironlake is emptied of dwarves, a certain Highland clan close by can move in instead. Congrats to Queen Rain!

Darren Loo

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Jan 25, 2015, 12:53:10 AM1/25/15