19:00 bookworm is now known as Victor
19:01 Skid is now known as Gromit
19:01 Moontide is now known as Ookook
19:01 Arkan is now known as Greystone
19:02 <Gromit>: Okay, who wants to tell the Count the bad news?
19:02 <Victor>: We head back upstairs
19:03 <Victor>: If no one approaches us we go outside
19:03 <Tikvah_GMing>: Everything upstairs seems about the same as before. You notice that it is late afternoon.
19:03 Victor steps a little ways from the door and motions to the others "Reconvene."
19:04 <Victor>: "Before this gets too convoluted we need to review everyone's thoughts on the situation; I think we all think something different is going on at the moment."
19:04 <Victor>: "I'm gathering that Gromit's suspicion is we were sent to kidnap the kid as a ruse order to hide the Count's real goal of thwarting his kismet potion?"
19:05 <Gromit>: That's one option, yes.
19:05 <Victor>: "I'm not in line with that theory myself, due to the reason for us targeting Justin specifically being explained as related to the monsters."
19:05 <Victor>: "It's not unreasonable to imagine being sent to do something under a false pretense of an explanation that brings about the true intended consequence without making it known, but in this particular instance it seems unrealistic to be what this is, to me."
19:05 <Victor>: "Remember that this is all assuming the Count knew that the kid is a kid and the faux objective was less than forthcoming for reasons unknown, even though he knew we would realize what was really going on as soon as we got here, and he was okay with that."
19:06 <Victor>: "But if he was okay with us realizing that, I don't see why he would add further obfuscation to our mission. If this was about the potion he would have just said that. Our mission wouldn't be 'arrest this guy for making monsters' it would have been 'steal and/or stop this research' straightforward like."
19:06 Victor shrugs
19:07 <Gromit>: "Historically, the count has sent us on a mission with an unclear briefing that resulted in high civilian casualties and an unclear payoff."
19:07 <Victor>: "True."
19:07 <Victor>: "But I also find it unlikely he actually knew about this potion at all. It's just a random kid's play, I don't see how word would have spread around. I admit it's quite the interesting coincidence coming right after the last mission, but a coincidence is all I currently think it is."
19:08 <Gromit>: So you'd like to just go back and tell him that the mission was unneccessary?
19:08 <Victor>: "That's where I'm leaning at the moment, but of course with some precautions in place in case that's not the case."
19:09 <Victor>: "Whatever we end up deciding is the most likely case, we'll plan for all other options still."
19:09 <Gromit>: "See, I don't think he expected us to ask this many questions before carrying out our goal. All we /had/ to do was ID the target and snatch him."
19:10 <Gromit>: "And if he's testing us for ability to carry out orders regardless of moral objections, going back would be seen as a straight failure."
19:10 <Victor>: "So you think he wanted us to realize something was off with the intel but follow through anyway?"
19:11 <Victor>: "It's a distinct possibility I don't discount, but I'm currently still of the belief personally that the Count just acted on incomplete intel. Whether it was a mistake or intentionally supplied to them faulty remains unknown, and is very important to find out."
19:11 <Victor>: "Things could still be as sinister as you suspect, but for a different reason from a different source."
19:11 <Gromit>: "Or not question it. Here's the real question: Let's say we take the boy back along with our report that this all seems unnecessary. Do we trust him to leave the boy unharmed?"
19:11 <Victor>: "No."
19:11 Greystone is frowning, his usual thinking face.
19:12 <Victor>: "We're definitely not taking him with us, whatever we decide."
19:12 <Victor>: "I have an idea for that if it comes to it."
19:13 <Victor>: "We need to do more digging to see how we think we ultimately need to proceed."
19:13 <Victor>: "I'm just not sure for what exactly."
19:13 <Ookook>: We could go back and fake the boys death.
19:13 <Victor>: That was more or less what I was thinking
19:13 <Victor>: I'll detail when it's time, if it seems the prudent plan
19:13 Greystone speaks up.
19:13 <Greystone>: "Do any of you know much of Drindall?"
19:14 <Gromit>: "He's impatient and is madder about arriving a day late than that fact that a chunk of city got blown up?"
19:15 <Greystone>: [I failed a knowledge check some time ago, if any of you haven't tried for knowledge of Drindall, now would be a good time.]
19:15 <Gromit>: "He's had us attack a military warehouse and an orphanage so far?"
19:16 <Gromit>: "HIS alchemist is currently the most likely candidate for creating the monsters that attacked the nearby village?"
19:16 Victor points at Gromit and nods
19:17 <Gromit>: "He's collecting artifacts, including one that's supposed to greatly enhance a Kismet power, while eliminating machines and potions that could nullify them?"
19:17 <Victor>: Is that what he's doing?
19:18 <Victor>: That's what we're still not sure about. Could just be circumstantial
19:18 <Gromit>: It would be the result of us completing this mission
19:18 <Victor>: It would, but does he know that
19:18 <Gromit>: The artifact thing is a done deal though.
19:18 <Greystone>: But circumstantially, yes, that is what he appears to be doing.
19:19 <Greystone>: Could he be trying to rise to power in these politically volatile times?
19:20 <Gromit>: That looks like the general direction he's pushing.
19:20 <Gromit>: Also: He's a Count, which automatically makes him 35% more evil.
19:20 <Victor>: I just can't get past this:
19:20 <Victor>: If you think he 'trusted' us to take the kid even when things didn't line up - he would have also trusted us to carry out the real mission intent
19:21 <Victor>: Misdirecting our task would be unecesary and illogical on top of misdirecting our target
19:21 <Gromit>: Well, our task remains the same. Take the kid, burn his lab.
19:23 <Gromit>: And if /he/ believes his intel was good enough, then we just got blinded by enemy manipulation and aren't competent anyway.
19:23 <Victor>: Exactly
19:23 <Victor>: But that's a completely different situation
19:24 Victor sighs
19:24 <Gromit>: Just that we're kinda sunk either way.
19:25 <Victor>: In a sense
19:25 <Victor>: But the latter would be much more desirable
19:25 <Victor>: Or at least easier to proceed under
19:25 <Ookook>: We could just flee in terror to a different country or something.
19:25 <Ookook>: We could likely out run the law with the war and all
19:25 <Gromit>: So, fake that we completed the mission as best we can, then see what more we can learn?
19:26 <Victor>: "Shall we speak with the unicorn? I don't know if it can help us with anything relevant to this anymore, but since we're here."
19:27 <Gromit>: "Might as well. If we need to burn this place and hussle the children off it would be better not to have her stab us in the back."
19:27 <Greystone>: "Well, as for me gentlemen, I can go no longer without speaking to the creature."
19:28 <Victor>: We look around for it then
19:28 <Gromit>: Was it unicorns that are supposed to be wise?
19:29 <Greystone>: Very.
19:29 <Tikvah_GMing>: You see the unicorn standing near a wall, watching a small group of children playing a game of hopscotch.
19:30 <Greystone>: Well, I approach.
19:31 <Tikvah_GMing>: She notices your approach and looks at you.
19:31 <Greystone>: Can unicorns speak normally or telepathically?
19:31 <Tikvah_GMing>: Normally.
19:31 <Tikvah_GMing>: As far as you know.
19:33 Greystone gives a slight respectful bow at the waist, fist on chest as he approaches.
19:34 <Tikvah_GMing>: The unicorn nods in return, but doesn't speak.
19:36 <Greystone>: "Greetings, wild one."
19:36 <Greystone>: "I must confess, I have not met a unicorn prior, and I must plead ignorance to inquire, do you speak in a normal fashion, and if so, would you be willing to discourse with me a time?"
19:37 <Greystone>: (Or 'us'. none of the others said if they followed.)
19:38 <Victor>: I said we're looking for it, then we found it, it should follow that we approached it
19:38 <Greystone>: (Naturally, but one cannot be perfectly sure.)
19:38 <Tikvah_GMing>: "My name is Wikolia, traveller. What do you have to say?" When she speaks you hear a voice, but the unicorn's mouth doesn't seem to move.
19:40 <Ookook>: I look at the unicorn through my telescope
19:40 <Greystone>: [Dash it all, I know a lot about unicorns, but now I'm panicking that that they might be different in this world. I wanted to say Ancient One, but what if Unicorns are not eternalistic in this world, and it's a young one, and it would be offended? Etc.]
19:41 <Tikvah_GMing>: Ookook, you see a unicorn.
19:46 <Gromit>: What do you want to ask the unicorn?
19:47 <Greystone>: "First, I must wonder what leads a Child of the Forest to take hostel among humans, for such a thing as ean been unheard of."
19:48 <Tikvah_GMing>: "It is not strange for a unicorn to helps those who need it."
19:50 <Greystone>: [Not strange, but unusual. Alright, need to adjust to what that statement implies.]
19:52 <Ookook>: "Do you believe the Count is evil?"
19:52 <Greystone>: "That is so, but a unicorn outside of its forest is not devoid of the mark of strangeness. How came you to-"
19:52 <Greystone>: *is interrupted by the monkey*
19:53 <Greystone>: Ookook's faith in the wisdom and goodness of unicorns is unmatched.
19:55 <Tikvah_GMing>: "What brought me to this place is my business, and has no need to be known by others."
19:55 <Tikvah_GMing>: "I have not seen the Count for many, many years. Who can say what changes the years have wrought?"
19:56 <Victor>: [Implying evil would be a change? So as far as she knows he's okay?]
19:56 <Ookook>: When you last saw the Count was he evil?
19:57 <Tikvah_GMing>: "He was young, and wholeheartedly loyal to his country."
19:57 <Tikvah_GMing>: "He held his loyalty above anything else."
19:58 Greystone is just barely visibly bridled by this straightforward demand upon a unicorn for information.
19:59 <Ookook>: Loyalty to who?
20:00 <Greystone>: "His country," repeats Greystone through his teeth.
20:00 <Ookook>: "oh"
20:00 <Greystone>: "Yes. Quite."
20:01 <Greystone>: *returns his attention to the unicorn*
20:03 <Tikvah_GMing>: "It brought him great fame, but also was the cause of several troubles."
20:04 <Greystone>: *waits with resignation for one of the others to say: "Troubles?"*
20:05 <Ookook>: "Do perhaps you happen to know a squid person named House?"
20:06 <Greystone>: Or the monkey could completely change the subject.
20:06 <Tikvah_GMing>: "House?" Wikolia seems to smile slightly. "He is an interesting creature. Not even I know his origin. But I assure you, he means no harm."
20:10 <Gromit>: Eh, what's the worst that could happen.
20:11 <Greystone>: "We are here at this orphanage for reason of being on a mission for Drindall, Fair One. The matter in question has caused some confusion and perturbation to me and my companions."
20:12 <Tikvah_GMing>: "You are Count Drindall's minions?"
20:12 <Gromit>: "Reluctant minions at this point."
20:13 <Tikvah_GMing>: "But minions nonetheless."
20:14 <Greystone>: "Seeking employ, we have recently taken up positions under Drindall as retainers."
20:14 <Gromit>: "If we can't get some clarity on The Count's motives, I think we can consider our employment terminated."
20:15 <Tikvah_GMing>: "I'm afraid I cannot provide you with any clarity about the Count's motives."
20:17 <Victor>: "What can you tell us about Justin?"
20:18 <Tikvah_GMing>: "Justin is a child under my care." Wikolia's voice is distinctly icy.
20:18 <Tikvah_GMing>: The sun is starting to go down.
20:19 <Victor>: "I mean about him. He seems like a good kid."
20:20 <Tikvah_GMing>: "Why do you need to know about him? Is he part of your 'mission'?"
20:21 <Victor>: "I've never encountered a child with a kismet, let alone a whole house."
20:21 <Tikvah_GMing>: "You haven't looked."
20:21 <Victor>: "That is true."
20:22 <Tikvah_GMing>: "Alchemists are always taking unwanted children to use in their disgusting experiments."
20:22 <Victor>: [How dark has it gotten?]
20:22 <Tikvah_GMing>: <Tikvah_GMing> The sun is starting to go down
20:22 <Victor>: Yes
20:23 <Victor>: = what level of darkness yet
20:23 <Tikvah_GMing>: It's not dark yet.
20:23 <Tikvah_GMing>: There's a bit of sunlight shining on the tops on the trees.
20:23 <Victor>: [I'm done with her for now, but if Greystone isn't go ahead and continue]
20:24 <Greystone>: Unaggressively: "Perhaps you could suggest what could have led to the count believing Justin responsible for some wayward monstrosities."
20:24 <Gromit>: aaand now you've done it.
20:25 <Victor>: And you facepalm at stuff we do?
20:25 <Gromit>: Only way out is to spill the whole situation now.
20:25 <Victor>: No
20:25 <Victor>: Absolutely not the only way
20:25 <Gromit>: Well, there's running.
20:25 <Tikvah_GMing>: "Drindall thinks Justin is responsible for the monster attacks?"
20:26 <Greystone>: "Or someone under Drindall."
20:27 <Greystone>: "This is what has caused us the confusion I spoke of."
20:27 <Gromit>: "That was the intel we were sent out here with, along with the order to retrieve the boy by name, and destroy his research."
20:28 <Tikvah_GMing>: "It would be best for you to leave."
20:28 <Greystone>: [Gromit!]
20:28 <Gromit>: "Either an honest mistake, or The Count has a vendetta against your charges."
20:28 <Greystone>: [Your choice of words!]
20:29 <Tikvah_GMing>: "I will not allow the minions of any who wishes harm to my charges to remain. Leave."
20:30 <Gromit>: "Fair enough. Take the warning though."
20:30 Gromit withdraws.
20:30 Victor backtracks to the gate
20:30 <Greystone>: [Well, naught had been said of harm until Gromit threw he word 'retrieve' in there. Darn you.]
20:31 <Victor>: You started on the subject
20:32 <Greystone>: And I know how to handle such subjects! With tact and careful word selection!
20:33 <Victor>: "Should we find a room for the night, or are we in danger here now?"
20:33 Victor crosses his arms
20:33 <Gromit>: "I think we've got a couple days until people start hunting us."
20:34 <Victor>: I didn't mean because of people.
20:34 <Greystone>: "Ancient One, I would never be so foolish as to attempt harm to the companion of a unicorn."
20:35 <Victor>: You're still there?
20:35 <Greystone>: [It would seem I am standing here alone now.]
20:35 <Victor>: Yes you are
20:35 <Tikvah_GMing>: "Leave. Now."
20:35 <Victor>: Exactly ^
20:36 <Greystone>: *court bow* "As you wish."
20:36 Greystone withdraws
20:36 <Gromit>: "Unicorn can't take off to chase us without leaving Justin unprotected. If she /does/ show up, we'll know she's found somewhere secure to hide him."
20:36 <Greystone>: WHY WOULD SHE CHASE US?
20:36 <Greystone>: Unicorns do not leave a location without a strong reason.
20:36 <Gromit>: "We're minions of The Count, who has evil plans."
20:37 <Gromit>: "Threatening children is a strong reason."
20:38 <Greystone>: We threatened NOBODY. Except for Gromit who kinda, yeah.
20:39 <Greystone>: We were just here to make a few inquiries for all she knew until Gromit dropped that line.
20:39 <Victor>: We're aware of what happened
20:39 <Victor>: We have to deal with it now
20:39 <Gromit>: Sorry, decided to hurry things along a bit.
20:40 <Gromit>: Plus the Unicorn is the guardian of the orphanage, so it seemed fair to let her know.
20:40 <Victor>: Of course we would but I didn't think we were there at that conversation
20:40 <Gromit>: Which conversation?
20:40 <Victor>: The one we just had
20:40 <Gromit>: I'm still not parsing your statement.
20:41 <Victor>: I thought the idea was talk to everyone once to get a feel what to do, go make our plan, then go back around and be straight
20:41 <Victor>: But whatever
20:41 <Gromit>: If she knew the Count back in the day, I'm guessing she has some idea of his power level. Best case, I'm hoping she's got them packed up and disappeared by morning.
20:41 <Victor>: Anyway, I don't know if we're able to get any more insight on what's going on, we might have to just decide what's the most likely scenario or the safest one to bet on and commit.
20:42 <Victor>: We can start trying to form the specifics of the plan next time. Hopefully Alan is there
20:42 <Victor>: We go find an inn
20:43 <Tikvah_GMing>: There is a small inn in the village, run by the wife of the blacksmith.
20:43 <Victor>: Charge it to our tab
20:43 <Victor>: We gather in my room to plan
20:43 <Victor>: *To Be Continued*
20:43 <Greystone>: I vote for hiking a few miles outside the village and setting up camp.
20:43 <Tikvah_GMing>: Alright. There are some empty rooms that you can use for the night.
20:44 <Victor>: Are we breaking in my room?
20:44 <Gromit>: Sure.
20:44 <Victor>: Okay, think about what you want to bring up in the planning over the week
20:44 <Gromit>: Okay.
20:44 <Tikvah_GMing>: Alright, we're breaking here.
20:44 <Greystone>: I am pretty done with humans now.
20:45 <Tikvah_GMing>: Everyone gets 1 XP.
20:45 <Greystone>: Thank heavens.
20:46 <Greystone>: I have my own plans now.
20:47 <Victor>: That's not good
20:47 <Victor>: Whatever we decide to do here we need to do it together
20:47 <Victor>: You can split when we get back if we live
20:47 <Greystone>: I'm thinking we might well decide to go our own ways.
20:48 <Greystone>: We'll discuss that next time.
20:48 <Greystone>: And if we do I know what I'm doing.
20:49 <Gromit>: If The Count's been playing us I intend to dismantle his whole castle.
20:49 <Gromit>: And then keep the shiny bits.
20:49 <Greystone>: ...
20:49 <Greystone>: I might be willing to help with that.
20:51 <Greystone>: I kinda want that artifact we retrieved.
20:54 <Gromit>: Yeah.
20:54 <Gromit>: Bet it's fixed now.