Geometric Archipelago:Ignorance on Circle Island/Chapter 13
Chapter Thirteen: Defeat of the Blue Light!
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
<Capn_Marcus> *sneak sneak sneak*
<mainstreet> The guard comes to a split in the path. One could go left, or straight, from here. The guard turns left.
Marcus follows the follower.
Brellius tags along
<mainstreet> Fairly soon, there is a door off to the left. A pair of guards are standing in front of it.
<mainstreet> The guard nods at them and they nod back. He continues on.
<mainstreet> You all come to another left/straight fork. The left path is much narrower then the straight path, but the guard goes left.
Kanzel looks down the straight path and follows the guard down the left path
<mainstreet> Kanzel: You don't spot anything interesting down the straight path.
<Capn_Marcus> *sneakfollow, sneakfollow*
<mainstreet> Eventually, the left path turns towards the right. The guard turns. As he does so, you notice a blue flash of light from his location. He stops briefly, then continues.
Marcus whispers to the others. "Uh oh. What's that?"
<Kanzel> "No idea at all."
<Brellius> "Let's not risk it."
<Kanzel> "What do you suggest?"
<Capn_Marcus> "How about you go peek around the corner?"
<Kanzel> "how about we both go. you with your knowledge in spells, me with my knowledge in traps, we can tell what it is."
<Capn_Marcus> "Ugh. Fine, but here's hoping I don't trip again."
Kanzel invisibly nods.
<Brellius> "I'll watch out for anyone else coming down the hallway."
Kanzel peeks around the corner.
Marcus waits for Kanzel's report.
<mainstreet> Kanzel: You notice a strange crevice in the ceiling, not far away from the corner. It looks like the blue light you saw earlier may have had something to do with it.
Marcus peeks around the corner quietly, so try and see what Kanzel is looking at.
<Kanzel> "I see a crevice, I can't tell what it is. Marcus?"
Sanni looks around the corner, wondering.
Kanzel pries the line between the last two.
<mainstreet> Marcus: Well, it's magical, you know that. You also get the sense you won't like it if you trigger it and it doesn't like you.
<Capn_Marcus> "Well, I think it's a trap. It's definitely malevolent, we should try to avoid it. Or maybe bypass it."
<Sanni> "Why don't we see if there's some way to go around it?"
<Capn_Marcus> "It's a modified Lightning Bolt trap. I assume it'll try to shoot us if we trigger it, but I don't think it's armed with a normal lightning bolt in this case. Dunno what it actually does instead, though."
<Capn_Marcus> "I'm wondering how *he* got past it. Maybe the guards have ID badges? Hmm."
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus pulls the badge out he swiped earlier from that lady. "Maybe these bypass it somehow. Although I'm not keen to try it on a hunch..."
<Kanzel> "I can try and disable the trap. Maybe if I'm holding that card, and I fail, I can try again."
<Sanni> "Maybe summon a creature and send it through with the badge Marcus?"
<Brellius> "It still might alert them to intruders."
<Kanzel> "gimme the badge. I'm gonna try to disable the trap."
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus closely examines the badge for possible hints. Very closely.
<mainstreet> Marcus: You notice a long sequence of thick bars and thin bars printed on one corner of the card.
<Capn_Marcus> "Well, look, I'm getting older by the second here, so I say someone tries it. As long as that someone isn't me."
<Capn_Marcus> "I mean, what's the worst that can happen?"
Kanzel sighs and grabs the badge from marcus.
<Brellius> "The worst that could happen is that we get fried."
<Capn_Marcus> "I could always summon a minion to do it."
<Kanzel> "Don't waste a spell, I got it."
Kanzel pulls out her summon monster wand and activates it.
Kanzel watches a monkey pop into existance.
Kanzel hands the monkey the badge. "Can you go down that hallway, holding that up?"
<mainstreet> The monkey stares quizzically, grabs the badge, and takes off down the hallway. A blue light flashes. The monkey doesn't notice and keeps going as though nothing happened.
<Kanzel> "Okay, come on back."
<mainstreet> The monkey stares at Kanzel.
Kanzel pats her legs. "come on, little guy. come on."
<mainstreet> The monkey walks back to you. Curiously, no light flash occurs as the monkey reaches you.
<Kanzel> "Thank you."
Kanzel takes the badge back and tries walking down the hallway.
<mainstreet> A blue flash of light occurs. Kanzel doesn't seem to be affected much, except she shuts her eyes.
Kanzel walks down the hallway a bit and Mage Hands the badge back to the others.
<Capn_Marcus> "You go next, Brellius."
Brellius takes the badge and cautiously makes his way down the hallway
<mainstreet> A blue flash of light occurs, that is all
Kanzel grabs the badge and sends it back down the hallway.
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus nervously takes the badge, and steps through.
Kanzel grabs the badge after Marcus makes it through and sends it back to Sanni.
Sanni takes the badge, and walks down the hall towards the others
<mainstreet> Two more flashes of light, and we're good to go!
<Kanzel> "Okay, let's hurry. we wasted a lot of time with this."
Kanzel hurries down the hallway.
<Capn_Marcus> "Yes, but we're not dead, and that's the important thing."
<mainstreet> Eventually, you come to what you think is a dead end...
<mainstreet> ...until you notice the large, imposing door on your right.
Kanzel examines the door
<mainstreet> Kanzel: It's a large door. Metal/wood composite, floor to not-quite-the-ceiling, about 7 feet wide.
Sanni looks at the door, wondering if there's a lock or knob
Kanzel lightly tests the door to see if it's locked.
<mainstreet> Sanni: Yes, there's a nice, gold-plated knob with a keyhole. It's staring at you. (No, not literally)
<mainstreet> Kanzel: The doorknob turns easily for you.
Kanzel slowly pulls the door open and looks inside.
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus scoots over to the side, out of sight of whatever may be beyond the door.
<mainstreet> "Well, well, apparently my guards weren't as effective as I thought... so you made it, after all. Do come in, Triangles, we have much to discuss, clearly," a very familiar feminine voice responds instantly as the door opens.
Kanzel opens the door more and slips inside, assuming she can be seen, hoping she cannot.
Kanzel looks around
<mainstreet> "Hmmm. I can't see anything. But I still know you're there. That door would not have opened of its own accord. So you might as well let us talk. Please," Eralia commented, gesturing at a few open chairs. She was sitting in a chair behind a large desk. The wizard you all fought briefly earlier is on her right, and a pair of ladies you've never seen before are on her left.
Sanni follows behing Kanzel into the room
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus shuffles in, staying as quiet as he can.
Brellius tags along quietly
Kanzel slinks past the chairs, standing next to the desk.
Kanzel looks at the desk.
<mainstreet> The desk is very similar to the one you saw in the Empty base. Eralia has it very neatly organized, but no papers are exposed, as everything is neatly in folders. A lamp is also sitting on this desk.
<Capn_Marcus> Marcus speaks up, trying to sound imposing-yet-diplomatic. "Hello, Baroness. I guess this confirms our suspicions."
<mainstreet> "What suspicions? That I'm camping out in this luxurious base, free of my annoying husband?"
<Capn_Marcus> "Wait, you're using this place to hide from your husband?"
<mainstreet> "Well, not really *him* exactly. Hiding from all the boring conferences and diplomatic talks he's working on. There's a good way to engage in diplomacy... that isn't it."
<Capn_Marcus> "Really? What kind of diplomacy do you follow, then?"
<mainstreet> "There are two successful kinds of diplomacy. You use the second when the first fails. The first... is a movement in possession of yellow metallic objects, typically."
<Capn_Marcus> "Bribery. Hey, don't knock it if it works. What about the second?"
Kanzel wanders behind the desk, closely inspecting each person.
<mainstreet> "The second... well, let's just say, that if it comes to that today, you'll all be dead. But I don't think it needs to come to that. We can reach an accomodation without that, I believe."
<Capn_Marcus> "Well, that depends. You probably have a good idea of why we're here..."
<mainstreet> Kanzel: The wizard is holding his rod (the one he had before), and seems to have a few long sticks in his pocket as well. The ladies each have a small musical instrument in their laps and a longbow sitting on the ground in front of them. Eralia herself seems to be unarmed, but you can't see what she's got between her legs under the desk.
Kanzel hovers behind the wizard, waiting.
<mainstreet> "You're here because, you decided to go hunting people that attacked your enemies, knowing your people didn't do it. Fair enough. Though is that really a bad thing in the end? These talks will fail, and not because of any actions *my* people have done. The Circle itself is placing itself in a position of extreme 'ignorance' but no one buys it -- as they shouldn't."
<Capn_Marcus> "Why not?"
<mainstreet> "Because the Circle is a powerful bastion of capitalism, and everyone's largest trade partner. They're the *most* aware of everyone else's needs and wants, if anything. And they want to moderate? Hah! If I had done nothing, my husband would've gone to war with the Circle, a war we can't win. Now we may not. It might be the Triangle... or the Hexagon... or someone else... depending on the circumstances. Or it may be someone else that sparks the war. As it stands, the Triangle and the Hexagon are likely preparing to resume their age-old conflict... we stay out of it, we benefit. Regardless, my husband's now going to come out of this looking like a bit of a fool, for getting nothing while war occurs. And that will likely be his downfall."
<Capn_Marcus> "So you did all this to save your own island's resources, by tricking someone else into doing the dirty work for you."
<mainstreet> "I couldn't stop the war, just redirect it. And benefit myself in the process. I'm always out for myself first. Have been since before I arrived in the Archipelago."
<Capn_Marcus> "You could have *tried* to stop it. To be sure a woman of your power and position could have put this kind of effort towards manipulating the outcome towards peace instead of war. You'd avoid the financial drain, and preserve valuable trade partners to boot."
<mainstreet> "Didn't I just tell you that diplomacy without 'financial drain' or force just doesn't work? Over fifty years of experience for this, friends. It doesn't happen. Besides, war is the engine of change, not peace. You realize that the Septagon itself is rather sexist, right? The only way I'm going to get in charge of anything myself is if my husband falls. Hard. So I need this. And perhaps... the entire island. Or more, but I'm not sure. I try not to look too far ahead, I'll lose my perspective. I can only acheive what I need to acheive... which I suppose, is the question. What do you *actually* intend to get out of this?"
<Capn_Marcus> "Hmm." Marcus looks thoughtful. "Well, for one thing, if this war happens I'll probably lose my job."
<Brellius> "Not to mention all the people who would die in the war."
<mainstreet> "Why's that? You're a wizard, aren't you? Won't your people need every wizard they can get, fighting the front lines? And don't be an idiot, people die in peace too, it's just less public."
<Capn_Marcus> "Oh yeah, that too."
<Brellius> "Yeah, old age and disease and stuff. Do you think war makes all that go away?"
<Capn_Marcus> "Are you kidding!?" Marcus looks horrified. "Lady, I'm older than *dirt*. I've lived a long, full life, and I don't intend to stop now - I've got too many good years left in me to spend them all being dead."
<Sanni> "How would your husband fall hard by Triangle's war?"
<mainstreet> "Because it doesn't really benefit us directly. His instructions were simple. Either secure greater trading rights, or fight for them. He'll be doing neither. He just might lose his title over that. Which would make me the head of house by default. Especially if he doesn't stick around to cause trouble. I'll see to it that he doesn't."
<mainstreet> "And no, it doesn't. I'm simply saying that death is a constant... you can't avoid it. If you're lucky you can revive... but it'll come, and finally, eventually. Death isn't a relevant excuse."
<Sanni> "Only two things guaranteed in life, birth and death."
Kanzel crosses her arms, standing where she is behind the wizard "and what of Dusty in all this? What makes you think you can blame something on us and we won't do anything about it?"
<mainstreet> "Dusty? What are you talking about? I assure you, I'm perfectly clean."
<Capn_Marcus> "Our friend. He's rotting in the stockade because of all this."
<mainstreet> Just as Marcus says this, everyone comes into view!
<mainstreet> Eralia looks around, raising an eyebrow and smiling. "Wondered when that would happen."
Marcus glances down at himself, and sighs. "Damn...still old."
<mainstreet> "And, what are you talking about, anyway?"
<Sanni> "They're refering to the guy we're trying to save"
<Kanzel> "Our friend Dusty was taken prisoner by the Circle autorities because of the attack that happened to -your- boat. We want him back, for starters."
<mainstreet> "My boat wasn't attacked... but I see what you mean. I don't see what your problem is. If it was Circle authorities, a few platinum should get him out."
<Capn_Marcus> "It's not that easy. He's the...ah..." Marcus rolls his eyes. "He's...involved, with Triangle royalty. Let's leave it at that."
<mainstreet> Eralia starts laughing. "I see. Alright then. Well, that does change things somewhat. You're right, the platinum won't work. Hmm... let me think."
<mainstreet> "...Your best bet, really, is a straight breakout. That will cause Circle to make a lot of noise, but everyone's pissed at them anyway... you might redirect the war again to Circle versus everyone else, heh."
<Sanni> "And what if we wish to prevent a war, rather than causing it?"
<mainstreet> "To put it bluntly, you can't. All you can do is redirect it to where you want it."
<Capn_Marcus> "Hypothetically..." Marcus is very careful how he says this, to avoid sounding comittal to the idea. "...we could prevent the war by capturing you, finding proof of your subterfuge, and scapegoating you for all the inter-island troubles to promote harmony between the islands at the conference."
<mainstreet> "The first doesn't guarantee the second, nor the second the first... and an attempt to pull off the first will likely result in your death, and the death of your comrades. I work at this. A lot. I can guarantee I won't be the dead one."
<Brellius> "We never said this had to end in death, or even violence."
<mainstreet> "What could convince me to just *let* me be 'captured'?"
<Brellius> "The alternatives."
<mainstreet> "What, do you think killing a few fools that think I'm defeatable by a few meddlers who don't really know what they're doing is going to choke me up or something? It happens."
<Kanzel> "Being defeated by a few fools that know you're defeatable might choke you up a bit. That happens too. Jus' sayin'."
<mainstreet> "I'm a good judge of power level, and ours far outstrips yours. It is possible for an upset of that magnitude, but not likely."
Kanzel shrugs. "As long as you know it's possible. I can live with that."
Marcus blinks. "I'm confused. Are we threatening her?"
Kanzel smiles slightly. "Only a little."
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---