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Posted (edited)

Aftermath: The Most Important Step

I regret what occurred. That much should be made clear. Sadeas brought it upon himself, trying to rip Alethkar apart like that, and he almost succeeded. Maybe he did.

-Dalinar Kholin, through his faithful scribe Cara, 1173.7.6.1

 The four men stood in the courtyard, well after dark. They no longer hid behind servants or cloaks. There was no point. Tonight, the war would end.

They were silent for a long time before Torol Sadeas began chuckling. “We all know why we’re here.” he said, looking each of the others in the eye. He spread his arms wide. “Get on with it.”

Dalinar straightened, avoiding his old friend’s gaze. “Torol Sadeas.” he began in an official voice. “You are under arrest for high treason, plotting to kill the King and succeeding to do so, among many other things. What do you plead?”

“Guilty.” Sadeas said immediately. Roion snorted. The man was one of the lucky few who had survived. “Alethkar is better off without that boy anyway.”

Dalinar’s vision almost tinted red, like the Thrill was trying to surge while standing right here. “Well then. That makes this easier.”

He stepped forward, beginning the process to summon Oathbringer. “The sentence is death.”

Sadeas stuck his chin out, but said nothing.

Oathbringer fell into Dalinar’s grip. He raised the blade slightly, intending to end the war.

He thought of all the good times he had spent with this man.

He thought of all the times Sadeas had saved his skin when they were younger.

And even when he thought of Elhokar, he couldn’t do it.

Dalinar dismissed his blade, waving a hand and turning away. “Life in prison.” he declared.

Sadeas laughed. “Getting soft, Dalinar? I’ve never known you to turn down killing an enemy.”

Thump.

Dalinar turned at the sound, jaw dropping. Sadeas was on the ground, eyes burned out. Ruthar stood over his body, Shardblade in his grip. His gaze was icy. Ruthar turned, nodding to Dalinar. “It had to be done.”

Roion twiddled his thumbs awkwardly. Dalinar looked at him, and he shrugged.

Dalinar smacked his lips at a sudden bad taste in his mouth. “Yes. Well. We’re done here.”

He walked off, leaving the others to take care of Sadeas’ corpse.

*   *   *

Cara strode through the warcamps with new vigor. Dalinar had made her his new head scribe and most trusted servant, and she could not be happier. Evidently, he had been impressed with her performance, which was funny as she had basically ad-libbed the whole thing.

Spheres clinked in her pocket. “Go get something nice.” Dalinar had said. “You’ve earned it.”

Cara smiled.

That she would.

*   *   *

“You didn’t have to do that, you know.” Roion said, gasping for breath as the two of them lugged Sadeas’ body away.

Ruthar didn’t move his gaze from straight ahead. “Yes, I did.” Ruthar wasn’t gasping for breath.

“Prison would have been fine.” Roion continued. “Dalinar was obviously upset-”

“I don’t care about how Dalinar feels about this.” Ruthar interrupted. “I did what needed to be done. This man was too dangerous, too close to Dalinar’s heart to allow anything else.” Ruthar huffed, letting out a breath. “Besides, Sadeas probably could have talked his way out of prison, given a few weeks.”

Roion was silent in his agreement. Arguing with Ruthar was less effective than attempting to blow a highstorm away with your lungs.

“So many dead.” he whispered. “Vamah, Thanadal, Aladar gone, Hatham gone, Bethab gone… and then Sebarial…”

“He deserved it.” Ruthar hissed. “The traitor.”

Roion looked over at Ruthar, a slightly amused look on his face. “Like you’ve ever been loyal to Dalinar.”

“I’m loyal to the nation.” Ruthar snapped. “This time, that was opposing Sadeas. And anyone who stood with him. You think I wanted the King dead?”

Roion shook his head. Ruthar was a pest, but he wasn’t the worst of Dalinar’s problems. His fellow Highprince had much bigger issues now that Sadeas was dead.

*   *   *

Dalinar paced in his room, deep in thought. Sadeas was gone; that had been the main problem. But that was out of the way, and there was something else looming in the horizon.

Who was to be King?

Certainly not Dalinar himself. Dalinar wouldn’t let that happen, even if anyone else did. Surely his sons would advocate for it, but he wouldn’t deal with Ruthar’s jests. Wit provided far enough of those.

Gavinor, Elhokar’s son, was far too young. Next in line…

Adolin.

Dalinar let himself smile a little. His son would initially refuse, but would give in for duty. He always did. Adolin was a better man than himself.

As the moons shone through his window, Dalinar yawned. He would announce the news tomorrow, first to Adolin, then the camps and the kingdom. But now, sleep.

*   *   *

On a dark plateau overlooking the warcamps, a Sleepless and someone more unique than the Shards themselves stood in silence.

Wit stared down and the few lights that were shining, feeling the heaviness of the night. Justice had won, but at what cost?

Philico stared too. The being was in his typical form, though he had more hordelings scattered around him than normal. He was troubled.

Philico turned to Wit at last. “Did I change too much?” he asked. “Would this have happened, without me?”

Wit considered, thumbing the buttons on his coat. “Would Elhokar be dead? Or, would Sadeas be alive? I do not know. It does not matter, does it?”

“I always wonder.” Philico whispered. “If my actions go too far. I am not native to any worlds I traverse, nor or my abilities. Not at the level I use them. How destructive is my presence to the way things should be?”

“Today,” Wit said, “Tonight, this last week, Sadeas would have attempted to undermine Dalinar. This is not something you did. What you did do, though, is subtly organize. Perhaps you saved lives, even minds.”

“The wrong lives.” Philico said.

Wit sighed. “You cannot save a wrong life, Philico. Each soul is precious, unique.”

The silence came again, stretching on for a time.

Wit broke it. He broke a lot of things. “Tell me, Philico. What is the most important step a man can take, in this journey called life?”

Philico answered promptly. “The ones that change his course. The big decisions that send his life on a new path.” The Sleepless then dissolved, a blanket of hordelings rushing off.

“Wrong.” Wit said to the empty night. “The most important step a man can take is… the next one.”

And with luck, Alethkar would do just that. Rebuilding a little bit at a time.

Always taking the next step.


Flyingbooks was killed! They were Torol Sadeas!

Dalinar's Coalition has won!

Vote Count:

  • Flyingbooks (4): Flyingbooks, TJ Shade, Araris Valerian, forget me not

Player List:

Spoiler
  1. @Gears - Roko the Basilisk - Dalinar's Coalition
  2. @Random Bystander/@Condensation - the Random Bystander - Highprince Sebarial
  3. @Ashbringer - Faleast - Doorman
  4. @Flyingbooks - Torol Sadeas
  5. @Dannex - Spokesperson
  6. @Quintessential - Lady Lumi Tominel - Doorman
  7. @The Unknown Order - Obliteration - Highprince Vamah
  8. @Araris Valerian - Ruthar - Highprince Ruthar (Survived)
  9. @forget me not - Cara - Dalinar Kholin (Survived)
  10. @Tani - Reva - Spanreed Operator
  11. @Archer - Filico - Highprince Thanadal
  12. @StrikerEZ - King Elhokar
  13. @Elandera - Highprince Bethab
  14. @Illwei - Highprince Aladar
  15. @Whysper - Sadeas' Influenced
  16. @TJ Shade - Highprince Roion (Survived)

Doc Links:

In-depth thoughts probably to come later but I'll say a few things now.

  • I RNGd which Highprince was which- so yes, Araris did roll Ruthar by chance :P
  • I feel like the Marketplace was used a lot less than I thought it would be. Armor late-game was really the only thing that was bought. I think that's from the elim kill and RBers not ever buying anything and the RBers blocking purchases on multiple occasions. And Archer dying while trying to buy something :P
  • Speaking of RBing, special congrats to Quinn (who has been a RBer in both of the games I've ran) for saving the game by blocking the kill (something she also did in the MR) and making me run the game for a while longer than I 'knew' I was going to :P Quite enjoyable.
  • I promised Books a mention and a joke title: @Flyingbooks, I hereby dub thee The Formatting Wizard. To find out why, read the elim doc :P 

Thank you to everyone who joined, played, and stayed active both in the thread and in the docs. It was fun to GM!

Edited by Matrim's Dice
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I think we should have a discussion about how we treat inactives. As a general rule, we don't touch them. It's probably considered rude, or perhaps stems from the "innocent until proven guilty" ideology. By leaving them alone, we make them a black box of ignorance. Yes, contribution crusades exist, but that only culminates when no leads exist. The village only won this game because Ash had to submit the kill instead of blocking Quinn. Otherwise, the village thunderdome would have been its undoing. Active people tend to accumulate evidence against them by the very nature of being. By extension, actives die and die early because evidence can be twisted to suit what we want to believe. We kill them because we can build cases against them, and to not investigate a lead when you have one is folly. The status quo is as follows: Villagers lock themselves into their trenches, holding true to their justified cases against other people, and inactives are untouched. Thunderdomes have become the rule rather than the exception. I don't think this is healthy. To not actively slaughter the thunderdomed, the inactives and unsuspected await. But killing someone who's not even there is not considered to be an option, so we kill people on flimsy cases and turn right back to the thunderdome. How should we treat inactives? Kill them heartlessly whenever we seem to be circling to the same suspects? Kill them when there are no other options? What should we do with them? Inactives are a useless kill because they don't give any information, but what can the village do when the elim team is semi-inactive? We end up circling around each other like wolves, trapped in the cases we've been building, ignoring those who aren't connected because why would we kill those who don't give us anything? How can we escape this? Can we escape this? Or are we doomed to thunderdome ourselves into oblivion, because once an inactive flips village, it's back to the thunderdome? I don't know what we can do about this. I don't know if this has a solution. I just think that lately, the village has tearing itself to pieces, no elim intervention required. [This was a very long and rambling paragraph, and I don't know if it makes sense, but I hope it does, and I hope we can find a way out.]

The game was excellent, though for some reason, I scarcely remember any of it. Quinn, good job on catching Ash. Elims, I consider this your game in my heart. I'm sure everyone deserves a mention, but I can't remember what you've done, so assume I gave you fancy prose aplenty regaling your skills to the masses.

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Okay, time to actually write something here! Usually I just avoid Aftermaths like the plague but I figure that here I'm kinda obligated to post xD

Uh... sorry Araris and Striker : P There's an explanation towards the end of the dead doc for why I thought Araris was elim--I honestly don't blame myself for that, still, even knowing that Araris was actually village, but it woulda been nice if I'd figured out how to break out of that tunnel and I didn't. Striker was just plain paranoia on my part and had no actual reasoning behind it (in retrospect) so again, sorry. 

Also sorry to Illwei for getting her exed D1... I'm gonna try to avoid... that in future games : P

Apart from all the apologies I've found myself owing, this game was pretty fun! Well, the beginning and the end anyway. Being the sole reason my team won was pretty great, so I'll take that and say it outweighs the v/v/v thunderdome of C4 :P 

(sidenote: now that I'm thinking about C4, I'm remembering that I was actually tempted to pretend I was actually elim and that I'd given up, with the thought that it might give me something to work off of based on how everyone reacted--well, and also I was kinda done with the game and figured getting myself exed was a quick way to end it. I didn't end up doing it 'cause Mat asked me not to, but... yeah. That was a thing : P)

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First of all, good game, everyone! Thanks for running it, Devo and Mat.

To your point, Gears, it's a hard conversation to have because it will be dominated by traditionally active people. But I'll try to put into words where I'm at. 

I don’t believe you can play an effective game of SE by relying on summaries, skimming, or sheeping. If obvious connections exist, it is possible to make easy judgment calls and support the right exes. Otherwise, much of the game is based on nuance. People create posts that explain their thoughts. To properly evaluate how suspicious they are, it is important to read the whole post as it was intended to be read.

Furthermore, I am incapable of reading players who provide few original thoughts, reads, or votes. This arbitrarily limits my suspect pool. It also leads to my being exed or NKed more frequently than lower activity people. If any elims have adopted a quiet playstyle, I feel it unfairly lowers my chance of winning.

I feel that it is reasonable to ask players to post frequently and substantively enough that I can get a read on them. Consideration should be given to their IRL situation, but that should not be used as an excuse. I am struggling to balance letting players who enjoy being flies on the wall play the game how they want to with my desire to have a good chance of success. 

That all came out a little more pointed than I intended to be, but for the sake of conciseness, I'll leave it as is. 

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Hello

Uh

Ggs vil

Best game ive spectated A+ :P

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Posted (edited)

This game was pretty awesome, so thanks to Mat for GMing! To Striker (and a lesser extent, Quinn), my apologies for the tunnel. This game should be a reminder to all of us that confirmed wrong does not mean confirmed evil. I managed to convince myself that the elims were trying to vote me off, and that by extension one of you two had to be elim. Or both of you. But faulty assumptions lead to faulty conclusions. Hopefully I slightly redeemed myself by figuring things out in the end.

To Quinn, I guess you should take note that elim!Araris is a bit more rational than village!Araris, at least early in the game. Because basically every inconsistency you mentioned was totally valid.

A couple of comments on the game:

First, I have rather mixed feelings about the HP doc. It didn't really seem to add more to then game than a public vote would have, especially since there wasn't a whole lot of argument over what events should actually happen. At the same time, since over half the game was in the doc, there wasn't much incentive to use it to chat about things. I guess I'd like to hear Mat's thoughts on what the purpose of the doc was, but I think it might be worth changing something

With regards to the items, I'd like to hear other thoughts on these, but my main thought was that the knife was overpriced, and the second was that the items seemed to be kind of overpowered toward the end of the game (although they didn't end up having much effect), when a villager surviving a NK or an elim surviving the grinch would change the outcome. Again, I'm not sure if I have a great suggestion on what to change here, but it's probably worth putting some thoughts into.

On the topic of my Plan, which I sort of gave up on. This was just a joke that also had the secondary intent of bringing attention to a minor concern I've had, with regards to pre-game analysis posts made after a game has started. While I don't mind such posts in and of themselves, the community seems to have decided that they cannot be alignment indicative. My "Plan" was supposed to bring attention to this by showing the absurdity of asking someone to take by faith the claim that certain posts were NAI since they were written pre-game. To elaborate, consider a pre-written role analysis post. I could easily write 2 such posts, one geared toward helping elims, and one that is village-minded. Upon the start of the game, I post the one corresponding to my team. Since I am posting a wall of text within minutes of the start of the day, everyone assumes the post is NAI, when in fact it isn't. The TLDR is that no post should be immune to scrutiny, and to any votes that might result from that scrutiny.

Edit: Some comments about things from the dead doc:

I appreciate that pink has become my color so much that Striker felt like he was impersonating me :P.

The thing in the HP doc where I mentioned a calc 3 class was a deliberate red herring (although factually correct). For those who don't know, I'm a grad student, so I was TAing the course.

I read what Quinn said about me being an elim, and yeah, everything she said was correct, and I probably should have realized that she was coming at me from a much more rational standpoint than "elim that wants me dead". 

I'll write up something about activity later. My main thought is that Connie probably shouldn't have signed up to pinch-hit this game, given her activity levels. Or at least should have declined actually stepping in. And I think I agree that there is value in the more vocal players limiting how much they post to some degree to make it easier for others to engage. You can only have so much back-and-forth that is productive. I think in this game a PM with myself, Striker, and Quinn would have been a much better place for most of the D4 discussion than the thread was.

Edited by Araris Valerian
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51 minutes ago, Araris Valerian said:

First, I have rather mixed feelings about the HP doc. It didn't really seem to add more to then game than a public vote would have, especially since there wasn't a whole lot of argument over what events should actually happen. At the same time, since over half the game was in the doc, there wasn't much incentive to use it to chat about things. I guess I'd like to hear Mat's thoughts on what the purpose of the doc was, but I think it might be worth changing something

With regards to the items, I'd like to hear other thoughts on these, but my main thought was that the knife was overpriced, and the second was that the items seemed to be kind of overpowered toward the end of the game (although they didn't end up having much effect), when a villager surviving a NK or an elim surviving the grinch would change the outcome. Again, I'm not sure if I have a great suggestion on what to change here, but it's probably worth putting some thoughts into.

You were supposed to be having discussions in the doc. Having more than half the players in the game be highprinces was probably a mistake, but we wanted approximately equal elims among the highprince and nonhighprince population so there couldn't be a purge of one group or the other and then we wanted more than 4 total highprinces. A higher player count and lower percentage of highprinces probably would have helped.

The price of knives should have been lowered to fit the lower player count. A knife costing 11 spheres could have been used by someone starting with 3 as early as N5, while those with 1 or 2 could use one N7 and those with 0 on N9, which would fit the intent of having a couple of kills possible. Legal docs and armor do seem like they would be powerful, though they were more of a deterrent than actually useful. Maybe it would be helpful to improve the spy and contract of peace by making it usable the same night as purchase to encourage more people to buy them.

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1 hour ago, Araris Valerian said:

First, I have rather mixed feelings about the HP doc. It didn't really seem to add more to then game than a public vote would have, especially since there wasn't a whole lot of argument over what events should actually happen. At the same time, since over half the game was in the doc, there wasn't much incentive to use it to chat about things. I guess I'd like to hear Mat's thoughts on what the purpose of the doc was, but I think it might be worth changing something

With regards to the items, I'd like to hear other thoughts on these, but my main thought was that the knife was overpriced, and the second was that the items seemed to be kind of overpowered toward the end of the game (although they didn't end up having much effect), when a villager surviving a NK or an elim surviving the grinch would change the outcome. Again, I'm not sure if I have a great suggestion on what to change here, but it's probably worth putting some thoughts into.

Echoing what Devo said- I 100% expected the Hp doc to be longer than the dead doc. Granted, that was before the dead doc grew to 70, but it was almost a sort of wake-up call. I almost wonder if giving a purpose to the doc (the purpose being the Event vote) killed a lot of the sort of random discussion that could happen- I'm thinking back to the AG here, and the Scadrial doc- totally an extreme example but even some of the other ones fit this too, where they were long and just sort of a random grouping of whatever. The Event vote made all the discussion in the Hp doc pertaining to that. I'm not really sure how to fix that or even if it's something that needs fixing.

Also, on the distribution- when I was making this game... it was way back, like September... I built it around assuming a 20+ player count, which is why that was skewed. The distribution was sort of thrown together last minute to fit the count because I really was, and had been, expecting more players for 90% of the time I was thinking about running this game.

As for the items- yeah this is true. I think one player (Books) had enough to buy the knife at a point in the game. I think this was another consequence of me assuming a higher player count and I didn't think about balancing that when less than I had planned for signed up.

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Well, that was fun! Surviving till the end and winning the game always feels good, though I'm unhappy with my activity level in the game, so apologies again. Think I'll be taking a short break for a while. 

Enjoyed villaging with Araris till the end as I don't think I've ever played with Araris till EoG before. @forget me not, you had a good first game, and I hope you stick around for more.

Coming to activity levels, I had entered the game with CC intentions, hence my vote on RandBy in C1, as a motivation to speak. That rarely works out though. After GMing my previous game, my thoughts were to have inactivity filter based on votes i.e. if you do not vote in two consecutive cycles, you'll be replaced. This is because even if they aren't much active, people can deduce stuff off their votes, which is better than not having anything to judge the inactives off, as it is right now.

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Yay! GG all. This was a fun game, despite me dying pretty early on. I am very glad that I was actually right about someone for once, I think this is the first game where I’ve discovered an Elim by myself, just by looking and analyzing posts. Not that it really means anything, since the Vil didn’t decide to exe whysper until long after that, but it’s a personal victory ok? :P

Biggest regret this game was not getting to use the shop mechanic. I died with 6 spheres I belive. That would’ve been fun.

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I just realized I never came and gave my thoughts on this game. First of all, I just want to thank @Matrim's Dice for running a really fun game and giving me an awesome role. It was both incredibly fun and incredibly stressful to be given such an important role, and I loved having an extra life. :P It was fun getting to strategize about when to use the protection ability and to try and stay alive and not get voted on.

Speaking of which, in hindsight, I probably should've just claimed Elhokar a little bit earlier in the cycle. I should've given people the opportunity to not vote on me if they felt my claim seemed likely. I was just worried about revealing myself and then the elims all vote on me (probably in the disguise of some sort of claim that I was faking it) and/or roleblock me. And well...I got roleblocked anyway, so my protection didn't even work. :P You live and you learn, I guess.

Anyway, sorry @Araris Valerian and @Quintessential for thunderdoming so hard with you two. I do feel glad that I was starting to lean village on you guys by the end, though. :P

Overall, this was a really fun game and I had so much fun playing with all of y'all and getting to play the role I did. :)

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