Wyrmhero

quest
Chromaticity: A Warbreaker Quest

145 posts in this topic

18 hours ago, Kasimir said:

3. We could perhaps get a sense of where the other gods stand on the other two proposals. We don't want to offend an ally we've just solicited to vote on ours, potentially.

Actually I like this option best. We spent our last days trying to get more support for our idea and forming alliances. I think we should try to make sure we keep them, although for further purposes. I considered to prepare arguments, but I think we pratially did that while working on the whole concept and in the end it's too late anyway.

[X] Find our where the other gods stand on the other two proposals

The most temption action is the box, but I fear that is has to wait. I'm not sure, if we can trust Hera enough to ask her to take a closer look at this matter, but that would solve this issue a little. She could start investigating, and we take over the next day. What do you think about this?

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On 15/12/2019 at 5:11 PM, Kasimir said:

[On this front: @Wyrmhero, do we also have a stats gain if we fail a challenge, or do we gain if we pass a challenge or...? I'm just trying to understand what our Charm currently is and how we can improve it beyond Augury boosts.]

Failure won't boost your stats, it's only if you reach certain criteria. For example, your first boost was for Spirit, for performing multiple Spiritual actions that would enhance your reputation as a God to the public. In general, your first boost would be easy, second would be harder, third is most likely impossible for more than one or two stats.

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On 12/17/2019 at 2:37 AM, Wyrmhero said:

Failure won't boost your stats, it's only if you reach certain criteria. For example, your first boost was for Spirit, for performing multiple Spiritual actions that would enhance your reputation as a God to the public. In general, your first boost would be easy, second would be harder, third is most likely impossible for more than one or two stats.

Cheers, good to know! :)

On 12/16/2019 at 8:04 PM, Sorana said:

Actually I like this option best. We spent our last days trying to get more support for our idea and forming alliances. I think we should try to make sure we keep them, although for further purposes. I considered to prepare arguments, but I think we pratially did that while working on the whole concept and in the end it's too late anyway.

[X] Find our where the other gods stand on the other two proposals

The most temption action is the box, but I fear that is has to wait. I'm not sure, if we can trust Hera enough to ask her to take a closer look at this matter, but that would solve this issue a little. She could start investigating, and we take over the next day. What do you think about this?

I'm happy to do that, my only concern is if we're splitting our actions too thin. ( @Wyrmhero, any possibility you could comment on that? Are we asking to do too much at once?) I think we could ask Hera eventually but the issue is we only have one action for the next cycle. I do agree with you the box should wait, though!

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3 hours ago, Kasimir said:

Cheers, good to know! :)

I'm happy to do that, my only concern is if we're splitting our actions too thin. ( @Wyrmhero, any possibility you could comment on that? Are we asking to do too much at once?) I think we could ask Hera eventually but the issue is we only have one action for the next cycle. I do agree with you the box should wait, though!

I'd be okay with this, as it's a sort of general 'prep' work, and you've already spoken to a number of people about it as well so know how some feel on it. I will probably fold the action into the meeting, so it's all kind of in the narrative.

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8 hours ago, Wyrmhero said:

I'd be okay with this, as it's a sort of general 'prep' work, and you've already spoken to a number of people about it as well so know how some feel on it. I will probably fold the action into the meeting, so it's all kind of in the narrative.

Aight, then add my vote to 

[X] Find out where the other gods stand on the other two proposals

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Week 2, Day 7: Gods and Kings

 

It is a surprise when you arrive at the Council in the early afternoon, and find everyone else there already, but no-one talking. Instead, there is a quiet atmosphere of unease, shifty glances, and the only noise the rustling of paper as Lawmaker’s Priest keeps everything in order.

The reason for this is occupying the great marble chair.

The God-King sits in his throne like someone well-accustomed to it, even though you must assume that is not at all comfortable. You aren’t quite sure what you expected from him, though it is unsurprising that he, too, is a ‘perfect’ example of a human. His hair is long and flowing, and he wears pure white robes which shimmer in a cascade of colours whenever he moves slightly. He sits imperiously in his chair, removed from the table before him. This makes sense; he is not one of you, after all, but just himself. 

And yet, as you take a chair out to sit, he offers you a small smile, and a nod, before returning to his affable expression. A glimpse perhaps into his true persona, rather than the carefully cultivated one he shows the general public. But despite that slip, the others certainly seem to be on their guard, though not fearful as such.

You take a breath as the meeting gets underway. You already know, mostly, what people feel about your Motion, as you’ve spent a good amount of the last week talking to your peers about it, trying to gauge their interest and convince them to see things your way. It's your first ‘godly’ act to help the people of the city, and you want it to go well. Coinspender is against, naturally, as is Kindsmile. Fatespinner is uncertain, and her vote will likely depend on the arguments for and again. Quickfell is enthusiastic, as is Firesoul. Brightweave is also for the Motion. You are positive, overall, but anything could still happen, and you don’t want to count it as a win before the voting is over.

The others are more curious. You’ve heard little dissent on Quickfell’s, even from Coinspender. It seems that it is a relatively innocent proposal, with little loss for a small gain, but one that appeals to everyone in some way - More money flowing through the city, more entrepreneurship, and all it costs is a short extension to some journeys. You suspect Quickfell is trying to build up some goodwill. 

Kindsmile’s is a more contentious issue. The reasoning seems sound enough, from what you’ve heard, but the problems as you can see it are removed from the change to the law itself. Potential for abuse, mostly, and the worry that it might encourage more Breath to be collected than is good or healthy for the general citizenry. Firesoul in particular is worried about what effect it would have on children and otherwise at-risk patients. 

Similar to last week’s meeting, there seem to be two blocs forming in the Council, or perhaps you’ve only really just considered that they are there. Coinspender and Kindsmile make up one, with Fatespinner as a loose member, and Firesoul and Brightweave are a second, with Quickfell sometimes with them. That makes you, to a certain extent and depending on the bill in question, a tiebreaker, and potentially able to influence one from each side.

“We will begin with the Motion brought to us by Quickfell today,” Lawmaker says, apparently the only one unconcerned by the even greater god sitting with you. “Once a week, carriages will be forbidden from the centre of the city. This will allow the market to expand. A map of the proposed area has been drawn up,” she says, and a scroll is unfurled over the table. “Quickfell?”

“Quite simply, there are other routes around the centre that carriages can take, so I don’t see that to be an issue. Allowing the market to expand will allow traders and craftsmen more space to show their wares, and make it more of an event,” Quickfell explains. “Minimal loss, for a good gain for the hard workers of the city.”

“Does anyone wish to respond?” Lawmaker asks. She pointedly looks at Coinspender, who offers a weak smile and holds his hands up, and says nothing. “Then we shall vote.”

The vote passes without incident, unanimous except for Lawmaker, who abstains. The God-King does not comment on the proceedings, nor does he vote, or even indicate that he abstains.

“Motion carried,” Lawmaker declares, as her High Priest hurriedly scribbles down the results. “Next on the agenda then is a lowering of taxes applied to Breath sales. Kindsmile?”

Kindsmile stands up, bows briefly but politely to the God-King, and then looks back to the other Returned. “We are all benefactors of this law, paying for a Breath each week in return for a longer life. Well, most of us,” he amends, gesturing at Fatespinner. “This windfall has often helped lift a child or family out of poverty. I simply think we should permit that to occur more often. There are relatively high taxes on Breath, and lowering them might result in more benefiting from this arrangement.”

“Taking someone’s Breath… It is no easy thing,” Brightweave comments, his tone of sadness as he taps the table lightly with a finger. “Have any of us not felt that lingering guilt, that immediate regret at our own selfishness after taking one? It diminishes people, though they may never truly understand what they are missing.”

“They know what they’re being paid for,” Coinspender replies, a tad gruffly. “Besides which, it is their civic and religious duty towards us. I hardly feel they have the worse end of the bargain.”

“They are children, Coinspender,” Brightweave says, a bit sharply. “Pushed into this situation, and they have no idea what they are giving up, or for how much.”

“Then this is a pointless comparison,” Coinspender says, grinning a bit at him as he dismisses the older god’s response. “We’re talking about proper deals being struck here between consenting individuals. Your heartstrings may tug at the idea of a child, and yes, I can understand that. But I doubt you’d feel the same about someone selling their Breath because they need the money, would you?”

“This will still affect children,” Firesoul points out. “Even if you say that there are less moral issues with it for adults, it will still encourage parents to sell their children’s Breath. I would prefer to outlaw such a thing entirely, for the entire city including us, before we think about making Breath any easier to sell.”

“And yet, if it provides children with an easier start in life, would that not be better for them?” Coinspender asks her. “Better food, a better life, all for something they won’t know enough about to miss?”

“We can provide that without forcing them to sell a vital part of themselves, can’t we?” you ask, unsurprised by Coinspender’s shaking head. “We are a rich nation, I’m sure we’re all quite aware of that…”

“The bulk of our wealth is in our citizens, not the nation,” Coinspender says. “We must rely on private enterprise for such a thing, such as the sale of Breath.”

“Even if they don’t think they’ll miss it, Brightweave is right,” Quickfell mutters. “It diminishes people.”

Firesoul nods with this. “Indeed. If it was just a reduction in a person’s ability to see colours, or hear tones of music, then there would be no real argument. However, Breath also works to enhance the body and the mind. I have seen more people in my hospice without Breath than with. The level of injury that is required to affect a Drab individual is small compared to those with Breath. Not to mention they are more prone to unhappy moods, which comes with a whole host of complementary problems. Removing an individual’s Breath is the first step in a spiral which inevitably leads to a shorter and less enriched life.”

“And yet I’m sure children and individuals unable to eat have a long and happy one,” Fatespinner says, idly playing with a coin between her fingers. “It seems to me that the problem is not this proposal, essentially, but that some might be taken advantage of. Perhaps you should raise banning the sale of Breaths belonging to children next week, hm? And presumably the gifting from children, as well. But next week, yes?”

“Indeed, this motion isn’t meant for such a thing, but simply to grease the wheels and allow a greater flow, more freedom,” Kindsmile says. “We should have a light touch on the lives of our people, only intervening where necessary to keep things running smoothly, or for greater matters such as the defence of their lives.”

“...I suppose,” Firesoul sighs, looking reluctant to concede that point. “I will consider such a motion for the following week.”

“Then we will vote on this,” Lawmaker says. The votes are tallied and recorded, and then it is your turn. “Our final proposal this week is Songbearer’s, to create a method of ‘insurance’ to take care of Dockworkers. If you wish to explain, Songbearer?”

“Thank you,” you say, drawing yourself up. “Simply put, I have observed problems where the less fortunate feel they are forced to work in order to survive, through illness and other problems. This can exacerbate these problems, cause others to be ill, or otherwise bring down productivity.” 

You hold back a small smirk as you see even Coinspender consider this. It’s a bit of a risk, phrasing it like this, but you believe the other faction will see through the colder words enough, and like the concept behind the bill enough to vote with you still. Certainly they seemed positive when you spoke before, and while between you there are probably enough votes to pass, it’s still worth trying to get the others on board as well.

“My suggestion is simply that we provide for these workers enough that they can live and support their families while they are unwell, and so that they are hale and hearty when it is time to return to work. Minimal disruption all around, for a relatively minor cost.”

“Obvious question,” Coinspender says, raising a hand when you’ve finished, “who will pay for it? Because there are two answers, and I’m not sure which I’d prefer, or at least dislike more. The country, or their employers? Well, even the country would end up putting the cost on the employers, as you’d be arguing for an increase in taxation.”

“It would be on the employers,” you say. “Particularly since this would discourage them from working their employees half to death, and to take better care of them.”

“I see. And what if a worker decides to simply take time off on their employer’s money?”

“We will put in safeguards against that,” you respond. “Though what those are might be best left to the priests, as they will need to organise checkups for example.”

“Or they could just fire them,” Fatespinner says, amused. “Then we’re back to the start again. Safeguards against that too, I assume?”

“This isn’t meant to be a way to empower one side over the other,” you sigh. “It’s a new contract, an honest one between workers and employers. Something that provides them both with benefits, and puts them on more of an even footing, allowing them to work better together, with less animosity.”

“I’ve heard enough,” Coinspender says. “Let us put it to a vote.”

You grimace a little, and the votes are counted as the paper is returned to Lawmaker. You wonder if you said the right things, if you could have done anything more. What else could you have looked into and researched though in a week? Perhaps if you had spent more time talking to the other gods, or to the workers, or-

You pull yourself out of the dark spiral of thoughts. All you can do is wait and see.

 

 

As you leave the council, you find not your carriage there, but someone else’s. Pristine white, with a rainbow of a motif on the side that you vaguely recognise, and there’s a certain amount of mounting horror as you fully realise just who is waiting for you.

One of the God-King’s Priests opens the door for you, and you have no choice but to get in.

The God-King sits just as imperiously as he did at the Council, and you wonder just how long it took for him to learn to sit like that. It couldn’t be comfortable, even if he showed no signs of it being painful or awkward. 

The carriage starts moving as you sit down, and the path it takes is, thankfully, the one you recognise as to your home. Neither of you speak for some time, and you aren’t quite sure where to look. You wonder if this is how the populace feel towards you, as you feel towards the God-King. Thankfully, he seems more interested in vaguely looking out of the window than scrutinising your every move.

“I like the current Court,” he eventually says. The voice is deep, that you expect, but there’s a degree of quietness to it. It’s not hard to hear though, every syllable chimes perfectly in your ears.

“I’m sorry?” you ask, after a moment, as you realise you’re too focused on his voice to pay attention to his words.

“The current Returned. I like what we have here,” he says, slowly looking over to you. He smiles, and it’s quite a kind face. It’s somewhat jarring, on such a powerful being. “They all have different views, but… I can believe that most of what they want is for the good of the city.”

“I hope so, my lord,” you nod a little, still unsure. “You’d know them far better than me.”

“I’m not sure I do… Siri says I should, but…” he trails off. The strength of his voice is replaced with a fondness, but also uncertainty. “I liked your proposal,” he adds, after a moment’s more silence. It occurs to you that while he speaks well, his words are almost… naive. Soft, maybe, would be a better word. Not the words of a king, but almost of a child. But there’s a strength in them regardless.

The words make you grimace though, and grit your teeth. “I could have put it across better. I wanted them all to agree, but-”

“You did what you could,” the God-King says, spreading his hands a little. “That is what matters, isn’t it? And while it would be nice, I’m glad there is some disagreement. It keeps you honest,” he said, and there’s a small smile there. No, not quite as naive as first thought, just… honest himself. An impossibility, from what you’d have imagined, from the information you could find on the Returned before you, but there it is. He must have been the only honest Returned in T’Telir.

“I suppose so. We’re not going to try and sneak anything in if it’s being scrutinised,” you allow. “My lord, forgive my rudeness, but… why this?” you ask, gesturing to the carriage. “It seems… unusual, to say the least.”

He’s quiet for another moment. “I said that I like the Court, and I do. It’s stable. Nothing big changes without properly talking about it. There’s usually two people who can be won over on any issue, and two to make the arguments. Which means that you are a little awkward,” he says.

“Awkward?” you ask, taken aback by his words. “How?”

“You had the potential to fall on either side, and disrupt that balance. I was concerned, so I came to see what kind of person you are. And… I think I’m alright with it.”

“Thank you?” you say, not sure if that’s a compliment or not.

The God-King smiles again. “I think you have our best interests at heart, and while you may seem to fall more on one side of the Council than the other, you seem to be a thoughtful person. And if either side was going to be more powerful than the other, I would prefer it to be Firesoul’s.”

“That’s… good then,” you say. “I’m surprised Coinspender abstained though, as my bill was favoured by Firesoul’s ‘side’.”

“I think you put it well, in his terms,” the God-King says. “But whether he abstained because he wasn’t sure, or was for it and didn’t want to lose face by voting for it… well, I can’t say. He is… an odd one, even among the Returned.”

“Isn’t that true…” you mutter, with a sigh as you sit back. The carriage slows down as you approach your palace.

“Good luck, and goodbye, Songbearer the Wise,” he says, as the door is opened for you. “May you continue living up to your title.”

 

 

Council

Vote ‘For’, ‘Abstain’ or ‘Against’ for each of the following motions:

Lower taxes on Breath Sales – Kindsmile

[X] For

[X] Abstain

[X] Against

 

Create an insurance system for Dockworkers – Songbearer

[X] For

[X] Abstain

[X] Against

 

You may also suggest one proposal to be put forward for the next Council meeting, though you don’t have to. Depending on the nature of your proposal, it will change how other Returned feel about you slightly.

 

 

Your preparation work just about saved you on the Council. Will it be enough? Tune in next week (well, two weeks, on the 12th :P) to find out!

Also, first time I've had to write a canon character. Hopefully I did Susebron justice, even if Songbearer's opinion of him is kind of warped compared to what we know, as we've seen him in a more intimate light.

 

Results

Investigate the Other Returned's Thoughts on Other Proposals.

Your work in the morning has gained you insight into the unofficial ‘factions’ that the Court is divided into at the moment. You felt very comfortable immediately voting for Quickfell's proposal. Kindsmile's proposal currently is tied, with Kindsmile, Coinspender and Fatespinner for, and Quickfell, Firesoul and Brightweave against. You would be the deciding vote.

 

Council

2d6 - 2 + 2 = 7, Partial Success

You suffer when trying to get others to see your point of view, but your preparations thankfully shore you up. Your words manage to convince Coinspender to abstain, willing to give your idea a try.

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Oooh. I like Coinspender more and more - I'd say a likeable barve, at any rate. Which is a fun way to see the character. I wonder about wrangling him with Firesoul, but we're just not that good at playing the game just yet.

I also like your Susebron. I find him believable given canon parameters plus whatever position he was in by the end of Warbreaker.

@Wyrmhero- a question while I consider our move. What impact would abstaining have, both practically on the votes, as well as in the eyes of the bloc? (I'm thinking we can try to weasel out a bit by saying we're not comfortable making a decision on the issue with the current information, potentially, but of course I bet we'd need charm to sell it. Then again, we have a reputation as a bookish lad...)

To be clear, I'm asking specifically about Kindsmile's.

Edited by Kasimir
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I liked your Susebron, you did a great job writing him!

Additionally to casting our votes, we need to decide, wether we want to bring forth a new proposal. I am not sure if we should, we've cause quite the stir in our first two weeks, maybe we should take a step back and wait another week before bringing up another one. There are some gods, that obviously "are in charge" and I would prefer if we didn't appear too threatening to them, but instead get them to work together with us. I do like the idea of the schooling system we discussed, so maybe we could just bring that one forth and hope it will work.

TLDR: I'm a bit torn in that matter.

Regarding the votes, I will wait for Wyrmhero's reply and then think about it.

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Posted (edited)

On 30/12/2019 at 1:53 PM, Kasimir said:

 

@Wyrmhero- a question while I consider our move. What impact would abstaining have, both practically on the votes, as well as in the eyes of the bloc? (I'm thinking we can try to weasel out a bit by saying we're not comfortable making a decision on the issue with the current information, potentially, but of course I bet we'd need charm to sell it. Then again, we have a reputation as a bookish lad...)

To be clear, I'm asking specifically about Kindsmile's.

Your read of the room is that Kindsmile's proposal is pretty evenly split between the two factions, and your vote may be the decider - Though of course, it's not technically you being the decider, as everyone votes simultaneously and secretly at the time. But it may come across as that if it's clear how everyone else is voting.

 

And thank you both for your comments on Susebron, I was a bit concerned as to whether he would feel right. My read of him is kind of similar to Captain Carrot in the Discworld novels - A kind and honest soul, perhaps even coming across as simple since he won't have spoken much and his favourite stories are for children, but honest doesn't mean stupid. 

Edited by Wyrmhero
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Posted (edited)

I've been thinking about our vote on Kindsmile's motion for a while now, and I'm still not sure what to do. He will most likely vote against our and I am not sure, if people will really benefit of the lowered taxes. To me it feels more, like more poor people will be tempted to sell their breath, or the other way round, like more might be pushed into doing this. I don't really know if we should aim for this or not.

As Kindsmile is already someone I marked as "opposed to us" I'm not sure if it might cause that much harm, if we vote against, in the end the voting in anonymus.

@Wyrmhero Is there a possibility to see if one of those who are against the proposal are offered incentives to change their mind? We don't have an action for tomorrow, so I doubt we can, but I would love to know if Kindsmaile plays fair or not. I figured I could ask if we maybe can sent our priests to keep their ears and eyes open during the night, but I can understand, if not.

Edited by Sorana
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11 hours ago, Sorana said:

I've been thinking about our vote on Kindsmile's motion for a while now, and I'm still not sure what to do. He will most likely vote against our and I am not sure, if people will really benefit of the lowered taxes. To me it feels more, like more poor people will be tempted to sell their breath, or the other way round, like more might be pushed into doing this. I don't really know if we should aim for this or not.

As Kindsmile is already someone I marked as "opposed to us" I'm not sure if it might cause that much harm, if we vote against, in the end the voting in anonymus.

@Wyrmhero Is there a possibility to see if one of those who are against the proposal are offered incentives to change their mind? We don't have an action for tomorrow, so I doubt we can, but I would love to know if Kindsmaile plays fair or not. I figured I could ask if we maybe can sent our priests to keep their ears and eyes open during the night, but I can understand, if not.

I'm afraid not, investigating for potential corruption among the Gods would very much be an Action.

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hmm... that wasn't really surprising.

Alright, I think we should vote against Kindsmile's proposal. I honestly think that it will do more harm than good, and no matter what we vote, we will anger a part of the gods. In that case I would prefer to anger Kindsmile, than our potential allies.

 

Therefore I vote like that:

Lower taxes on Breath Sales – Kindsmile

[X] For

[X] Abstain

[X] Against

 

Create an insurance system for Dockworkers – Songbearer

[X] For

[X] Abstain

[X] Against

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On 1/1/2020 at 7:34 PM, Wyrmhero said:

Your read of the room is that Kindsmile's proposal is pretty evenly split between the two factions, and your vote may be the decider - Though of course, it's not technically you being the decider, as everyone votes simultaneously and secretly at the time. But it may come across as that if it's clear how everyone else is voting.

It seems to me that you're suggesting we could be wrong in our read of the room :P But let's put that aside for the moment. I'm just really asking about what happens in Council if we abstain and the vote splits 50-50. 

A) What are the likely ways in which people might respond to that, including Kindsmile, and
B ) Practically-speaking, what happens to a vote that is split 50-50? Does the proposal pass or does it not?

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4 hours ago, Kasimir said:

It seems to me that you're suggesting we could be wrong in our read of the room :P But let's put that aside for the moment. I'm just really asking about what happens in Council if we abstain and the vote splits 50-50. 

A) What are the likely ways in which people might respond to that, including Kindsmile, and
B ) Practically-speaking, what happens to a vote that is split 50-50? Does the proposal pass or does it not?

You could be, how are you to know for sure? :P.

  1. There would be disappointment, for the most part, that you have not committed either way. Having said that, it might also be something you can leverage into indicating opportunity, as you weren't entirely against it.
  2. If it's 50-50, Lawmaker gets the deciding vote, and your impression (could be wrong!) is that she'll always vote for the status quo. Votes don't pass unless it's a majority.
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21 hours ago, Wyrmhero said:

You could be, how are you to know for sure? :P.

  1. There would be disappointment, for the most part, that you have not committed either way. Having said that, it might also be something you can leverage into indicating opportunity, as you weren't entirely against it.
  2. If it's 50-50, Lawmaker gets the deciding vote, and your impression (could be wrong!) is that she'll always vote for the status quo. Votes don't pass unless it's a majority.

D'oh. Sorry, I think you've clarified it before :P

Lower taxes on Breath Sales – Kindsmile

[X] For

[X] Abstain

[X] Against

 I am actually going back and forth on this one. I feel this one is especially a position Songbearer could ethically be comfortable with, depending on our various assumptions. In interests of a simple majority though, and by metagaming Kindsmile...yeah. Against. Let's bite the bullet and make it clear who we stand with before we indicate opportunity.

Create an insurance system for Dockworkers – Songbearer

[X] For

[X] Abstain

[X] Against

It would be very trollish to introduce our proposal then vote against it :P But okay, yes, voting for.

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Will be delaying this chapter a week, as otherwise the following chapter would fall on my birthday weekend, and I won't be able to write then :P.

Also, I'm absolutely shattered this week. Everything happening all at once...

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20 hours ago, Wyrmhero said:

Will be delaying this chapter a week, as otherwise the following chapter would fall on my birthday weekend, and I won't be able to write then :P.

Also, I'm absolutely shattered this week. Everything happening all at once...

Yes, you should enjoy your birthday. Sorry to hear, hope things clear up in your favour!

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Week 3, Day 1: Guilt

 

“Left! Right! Left! Left again!”

Each word is punctuated by a ringing noise, as steel clashes against steel. Your footwork is impeccable, each step perfectly placed as you advance on your opponent. Each blow is carefully measured to not hurt your opponent - These are real, sharp swords, after all, and it wouldn’t do to injure each other when it’s just for training.

“Wait, wait!” a feminine voice replies, taking a quick step back, the sword clattering to the floor as your last blow knocks it from their hand. The voice comes from your opponent, but her(?) form is… misty. You can’t quite grasp it. “I wasn’t ready.”

“The world won’t wait for you to be ready,” a third person says. Masculine, lazy, he reclines at the foot of the stairs, watching you both with some amusement. 

“You want to be up here?” she asks, and even if you can’t see it, you can hear the scowl.

“Not really,” he admits. “Unlike you, I’m not a masochist. I’m quite content to just lie here and watch you make fools of yourselves.”

“If this is going to succeed, we need to be trained,” you say, and it takes you a moment to realise it’s your voice again. “That includes you.” You turn your blade on your opponent again. It’s heavier than you’re used to, but it’s a different type of sword than you’re used to. No matter, it was easy enough to adjust for it. Swordplay may not be your greatest strength, but it’s one you’re practised at.

The woman sighs and picks her sword up again. You clash again and again, trying to display for her how you move from one form to the next, showing the proper footwork and hand positioning as you go.

“Okay, that’s enough,” you say, stepping back. You walk over to the stairs and offer the blade to the third person in the room, handle-first. “Your turn. I’ll watch you spar, and correct you.”

He sighs as he takes the blade and stands up. “You are far too serious for your own good. We’ll be fine.”

“I’d rather be prepared than dead,” you reply, frowning. “Stop whining and get on with it. We’ll need to be strong enough to hold our own, if we’re to-”

 


 

You shift in your sleep uncomfortably, as you pass from one dream to the next. 

 


 

Your next dream is red with fire, and black with suffocating smoke.

 


 

The week begins the same way as the last, with a gnawing sense of dread and despair keeping you from sleeping properly, but now there’s something else there too - anticipation. You’ve been feeling weaker, more tired as the week comes to an end, and you know that, after receiving another Breath, you will be perfectly hale and hearty again. That thought spirals into more guilt again, as you remember what someone has to give up in order for you to feel better.

Perhaps that is why you cast your vote against Kindsmile, a vague and ultimately small desire to stop more people giving away something they don’t fully understand. To prevent the world becoming a little smaller for someone. Was it the right choice? You don’t know. You’d like to believe it was, even if it might disappoint Kindsmile, Coinspender and Fatespinner. But there’s only so long you can be a neutral party without annoying everyone else with your inability to act.

Hera drags you out of bed - thankfully not literally, for all the humiliation that would entail - and you are dressed in ceremonial fineries and all the accoutrements afforded to your station. The process is just as unsubtle as the last time. A tearful child briefly taunted with a glimpse of opulence, money exchanged for the gift of life, one they will damage their own life to give. Perhaps it will help them; perhaps not.

You try to be kind and gentle. Perhaps it works, or perhaps the child has steeled themself (Himself? Herself? You can’t tell) to be ready. Either way, it is without incident. A normal occurrence for a god, utterly insignificant. You feel awful.

 


 

Your mood improves immensely after being gifted the child’s Breath. As with last week, it revitalises you in ways that you never even realised you were feeling weary. You feel lighter in both mind and body, and your sense of the world around you sharpens. It takes a while for you to remember why you feel that way, about the ritual sacrifice you have just taken part in. That puts a damper on your day.

You are taken into what passes as a throne room within your palace, where already there are a multitude of priests and guards milling around, making sure that people wait their turn properly for their attempt at a miracle, noting down all the petitioners and all their requests. Like all things you do, any responses you give to them will be scrutinised far more than you think is worthwhile. Subconsciously, everything you do has meaning. You wonder what meaning they would derive if you punched one of them.

All-in-all, it’s just another week in your current life, another series of guilt-trips designed to make you hate yourself and life enough to want to end it for the sake of someone you barely know. Perhaps it is your restless night that has made you irritable. Or perhaps you’re just feeling sarcastic and introspective for the sake of it; you know that’s often enough the case. 

“My sister has-”

Another person steps forward to beg. You start listening, promising that this time, you’ll pay attention. But he doesn’t realise that you’ve heard this story before. There’s nothing unique about his case, no novelty. You didn’t give your Breath away for this story before, and it would be unfair of you to give it away now.

“My father’s very sick-”

Susebron - The God-King - said that he liked the current set of gods. Was that because he thought we were good people, or just because we had a kind of balance? Did that mean that he didn’t want you to give away your breath, or was it just an offhand comment? Had he had a similar talk with all the other gods?

“I’m worried about my mother, she’s not been out of bed-”

Maybe you should do as some of the others have done, and create a kind of ‘system’ to decide, so it’s out of your hands. Maybe something like Fateweaver, where it’s up to the whims of fortune as to whether or not you live or die. Perhaps if you lived in the moment, instead of inside your own head, life would be simpler.

“My son’s not doing so well-”

The cases progress, each person coming forward to plead why you should die for their sake. You try to be attentive, but already they’re starting to blur into one, unrecognisable mass. You wonder how the previous batch of gods withstood this, week after week. Some of them, you read, had lived here for twenty years. You’re already jaded and depressed, and it’s only been two weeks. Were they selfish? Cowardly? Sterner, perhaps? Or was it too easy to just ignore the world, and pretend it didn’t exist, inside these opulent palaces?

“I don’t want to die.”

That last one. It cuts through you, resonates so strongly, it’s as though you were the one pleading for it, saying it along with the petitioner. Saying it to each one that comes up to you. ‘I’m sorry, but I don’t want to die either’. Are you allowed to be selfish, when they’re being selfish too? You could say ‘what if a more worthy case comes along, and I’ve already given my breath away?’ You know that would be a lie though. Comforting, maybe, until the quiet hours of the night when you’re just left with your treacherous, selfish thoughts.

You tell Hera afterwards that you didn’t find anyone worthy of your Breath. You don’t tell her that you include yourself in that.

 


 

Free Time

Choose two Actions. I will no longer be suggesting things, so it’s up to you to decide!

 

Motions for the Next Council Meeting

Reduce Tax on Idrian Trade - Coinspender

Send Party to Search for ‘Talaxin’ - Kindsmile

 

Previous Motions

 

Lower taxes on Breath Sales – Kindsmile

Motion Failed - Taxes remain as they are.

For: Coinspender, Fatespinner, Kindsmile

Against: Firesoul, Quickfell, Brightweave, Songbearer

Abstain: Lawmaker

 

Forbid Carriages in the City Centre One Day a Week Quickfell

Motion Passed - No vote required.

 

Create Insurance System for Dockworkers Songbearer

Motion Passed - A system to take care of sick or injured Dockworkers will be put in place.

For: Firesoul, Quickfell, Brightweave, Songbearer

Against: Fatespinner, Kindsmile

Abstain: Lawmaker, Coinspender

 

As a reward for your first Petition passing, Influence UP.

Edited by Wyrmhero
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Wow, that writeup was a blast! I really enjoyed reading through it!

 

Regarding our actions. I definitely want to investigate further about that box we are supposed to have, because that interests me greatly and we still need to decide what to do with the thief.

Apart from that I can see several things we should do during these days. Look into the two motions (details on Idrian Trade, who are the trading parties, who are they owned by who profits most and which tayes) and I'd additionally would like to have more information about the whole 'Talaxin' story. Additionally I would like to know if there is blackmailing/ corruption within the other gods, and we might need to come up with another motion of our own as well.

I'm not really sure where to start, so I'll wait for Kasimir and maybe some more ideas what to spend our time with before voting.

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No votes as of yet, so this will be paused until there are some.

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