Campaign 2 (Astragar) Episode 26: The Price for Order

Episode 26 April 23, 2023 01:10:39
Campaign 2 (Astragar) Episode 26: The Price for Order
Carrots and Suffering: A D&D Odyssey
Campaign 2 (Astragar) Episode 26: The Price for Order

Apr 23 2023 | 01:10:39


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Show Notes

The last witness throws the team's strategy out the window.   Bulain reveals a secret.  Krieden has an impromptu date.  Zirus wins over the defense.


Music by Todd Ferguson, My Pet Machine on Facebook

Logo by Julie at Elaborate Flight of Fancy

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:30] Speaker A: Welcome to carrots and suffering A-D-D odyssey. I am Nate, your dungeon master and reader of career development. Professional books, I guess. Don't forget to leave us a rating and review if you like what you hear. Also, tell a friend if you think they might like what we do. We're publishing about three months ahead of schedule these days, so if my comments seem od, it's probably because they were from three months ago. Thank you to my players for the lack of stress that this creates. So, last time on carrots and suffering, the competing adventuring party. Sharp edge of the pub. Admitted to one of the murders that has upset the centaurs. And while it probably averted a small scale war, it creates some problems for the trial they're trying to. Oh, no, no. I killed the chief's son. [00:01:20] Speaker B: Man, I love this witness. [00:01:22] Speaker A: Zyrus got ahold of the ex mayor's glaive. Cursed with greed and inhabited by the soul of ancient red dragon named Nodig. Zyrus bribed the glave to get info on the real story of Mayor Val's crimes. [00:01:35] Speaker C: Did you ever possess the mayor? [00:01:40] Speaker A: No. [00:01:41] Speaker C: Who did? Because it sounds like he got possessed by some other force. [00:01:45] Speaker A: He was lying to you. You gave him an opening to lie, and he took it. [00:01:50] Speaker C: That's funny, because I thought he was just a weakling. [00:01:53] Speaker A: Riemann was paid to spark the controversy. Rienn was paid to retrieve those items that barred the way to the goal. [00:02:03] Speaker C: I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship. [00:02:07] Speaker A: Our heroes interrogated two suspects who gave conflicting accounts of events. The whole thing. [00:02:13] Speaker D: It was all down Dickens. We need to paint an entire picture. Wakefield did what, exactly? [00:02:21] Speaker A: Wakefield started the fight with the centaurs, and Wakefield disappeared. The night that the two murders happened in town. It was Wakefield. [00:02:30] Speaker B: I have a hard time believing that in this tense situation where you're facing off with centaurs, you aren't paying attention. [00:02:38] Speaker A: Well, okay. I'm sorry. [00:02:43] Speaker B: You say how much of an idiot this guy looks. [00:02:47] Speaker D: Wakefield, who was immediately around you, where you were standing. You said you were in the back. Who else was in the back? [00:02:54] Speaker A: Riemann was with me. Yeah, I was hanging with Riemann. The third suspect claims some kind of special legal status nobody's heard of before. When I'm hired by the church to do a job, I have immunity and also a measure of client protection that I secure every time. And so I'm very limited in what my professional ethics will allow me to tell you here. [00:03:23] Speaker B: Well, we are under authority of the church to investigate, and I believe that we are in a position that supersedes your own limitation. [00:03:33] Speaker D: Zulane holds up a hand to Cretan and looks at Zuris and says, what are the legal parameters we are operating. [00:03:41] Speaker C: Within, considering that our directive comes from bishop. [00:03:46] Speaker A: Is it bishop? [00:03:47] Speaker D: Brightwind. [00:03:48] Speaker C: Brightwind. It's hard to imagine that whoever gave you your orders and authority supersedes that. [00:03:57] Speaker A: That is hard to imagine, isn't it? No. It is a piece of paper folded in half with writing on the inside. [00:04:04] Speaker B: I wish to read it. [00:04:05] Speaker A: Okay. You pull it open. Do you speak elven? [00:04:08] Speaker B: No. [00:04:09] Speaker D: I can read it. [00:04:11] Speaker A: Okay, Creedon, when you pull it open, you cannot read it. It is an elven. You can show it to Boulain. [00:04:18] Speaker B: I do that happily. [00:04:20] Speaker A: Boulain, you are very familiar with these words. They're tattooed on you. [00:04:28] Speaker B: I don't know what that means. [00:04:32] Speaker D: Let's see if she actually reacts to this. All right, Boulain. Slate grayskin goes a little pale, and she folds it up and says, he knows something about me. [00:04:45] Speaker A: Okay. Let's get into it. [00:04:54] Speaker D: He's attempting to intimidate me out of pursuing this. [00:04:58] Speaker C: This is blackmail. Not. [00:05:01] Speaker D: He is blackmailing me. I do not know how he knows this about me, but he is blackmailing me. [00:05:10] Speaker C: So let's assume the situation played out as it was expected to and we gave this note to Brightwind without looking at it, which would have been a silly assumption on his part, but let's take that assumption for a second. What do you think Brightwind's reaction to this would be? [00:05:31] Speaker D: It depends on how much she knows about my birth home of myloria. But I imagine that I might be able to mitigate this by having a long, private conversation with bishop. [00:05:46] Speaker B: Right wind. [00:05:48] Speaker C: Does that need to happen? [00:05:50] Speaker B: I'm okay with that. [00:05:51] Speaker D: I am all right with having that conversation with her, yes. I am worried about this knowledge being present in the mind of our friend Riemann. [00:06:03] Speaker B: I wouldn't call him a friend. [00:06:07] Speaker D: I was being facetious. [00:06:13] Speaker C: Well, if you think that breaking the news or discussing this with brightrend is still a good idea, let's talk to the bishop first, and then we'll get the answers we need from Riemann, one way or another. [00:06:26] Speaker B: Do you think that the mayor is also familiar with whatever is on this piece of paper? Or do you think that perhaps this goes above his level? Do we think that perhaps Raymond is the real culprit here? Because if so, I would not want to promise him any form of the. [00:06:45] Speaker D: Level of digging that this man had to do to find. This is extensive, and I cannot fathom why he would delve into mercenary bands to this extent. I have the impression creed, and I do not know what he's referring to when he says you are not a church official. [00:07:10] Speaker C: Creedon doesn't have an official church position. [00:07:14] Speaker D: Except she has been appointed by all. We are all church officials. [00:07:21] Speaker B: I got in some trouble previously with the church. Zuris is kind of my guide on these things, and I don't want to talk about it anymore. Okay. [00:07:32] Speaker D: I do not want to pry. I want to be very clear about that. But it is entirely possible he knows ins and outs of things you do not want him to know about. Possibly about you as well, Zuris. And so we are facing the possibility of exposure, each of us. And possibly sharp edge of the pub as well. That is what he's threatening. He has information on us, and this is a piece of it. I am not against continuing to pursue this, but I have a feeling we are going to be dealing with consequences. [00:08:01] Speaker B: If we do well, I suppose if he proves to be too much of a problem. If we can prove some kind of legal wrongdoing. Zirus is known for taking care of these kinds of problems. [00:08:16] Speaker C: Yes, but the complication to that is that it would be best if he were available to answer questions. [00:08:25] Speaker B: That's true. We do lose a key witness. [00:08:27] Speaker C: Like I said, I think the next step is to talk to Brightwind. And then with Brightwind's blessing, I would be happy for the three of us to go back in there and get what we need. [00:08:38] Speaker D: All right. In the face of someone having legitimate dirt on you, the strongest thing you can do is own up to it for sure. But I will only do that to Brightwind. [00:08:48] Speaker C: I don't see a problem with that. [00:08:51] Speaker B: Of course you are welcome to your privacy. And my mother is known for her discretion. [00:08:56] Speaker D: She has that reputation. [00:08:58] Speaker A: You head into the church. She's not busy. Well, I mean, she's deeply busy, but there isn't, like, people talking to her. So she's working a budget and a project plan. [00:09:07] Speaker B: That's my mom. [00:09:08] Speaker A: And as you come in, she says, please come in. How can I help today? [00:09:12] Speaker D: Bishop Brightwind. Sorry to disturb you. In interviewing one of the key witnesses and also somewhat of a suspect, he gave us a note to pass along to you. Is there anyone else in this room, Nate? [00:09:26] Speaker A: There is a paladin, kind of behind you over by the door at this entrance of the church. He doesn't even seem to be paying attention. [00:09:32] Speaker D: May we have a word in complete private? [00:09:35] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. And she shouts the officer's name? And he kind of looks up and she says, take it outside. Please. Hold anybody for the next until we're done. And he nods and says, yes, bishop, and steps right outside, closes the door. [00:09:50] Speaker D: She looks at Creden and Zuris and says, do you mind? [00:09:53] Speaker A: Nope. [00:09:54] Speaker B: Creedon nods and steps outside. [00:09:56] Speaker C: Step outside also. [00:09:57] Speaker D: So boulain hands Brightwind the note and says, I do not know if you can read elvish characters. [00:10:05] Speaker A: Not generally. She opens the note and then closes it immediately and crushes it in her hand. [00:10:11] Speaker D: I see you are familiar. [00:10:14] Speaker A: Did you read this before giving it to me? [00:10:18] Speaker D: I need to show you something. [00:10:20] Speaker A: Okay. [00:10:21] Speaker D: Bulain turns her back to her and she undoes the top part of her tunic thing and lets it fall down around her waist and shows her her back. [00:10:29] Speaker A: I see. Go ahead and cover that up. [00:10:32] Speaker D: Okay. [00:10:34] Speaker A: And this came from one of your witnesses? [00:10:37] Speaker D: One of the simple farmers, who is apparently more than he seems. [00:10:42] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. [00:10:43] Speaker D: I do not know if his only interest is in blackmailing me. But you seem to understand the gravity of the issue. How much do you want us to continue to pursue this? [00:10:54] Speaker A: Oh, boy. Boulain. [00:10:55] Speaker B: Okay. [00:10:56] Speaker A: I'm going to tell you this. And I don't want it to get back to Xeris and Creighton yet. Until we've made a plan of what we're going to do. [00:11:01] Speaker D: Xeris and Creighton have no idea about this. Except they know that there is some attempt to blackmail me. So they know there is something there. [00:11:08] Speaker A: So the translator, the head of the church, the papal figure. She says the translator has always kept the services of this organization continuing from the time of Astragarian Contessa. They remove threats to the empire and threats to the church. Technically, any actions they take on behalf of the church are pardoned. But no one below the rank of archbishop is supposed to know about this. Which means there's no way that the mayor knew about this. And this farmer, it's possible he is an agent of this organization. It's very unlikely. I mean, the number of people who know this phrase, Boulain are two dozen in the world. [00:11:53] Speaker D: Boulain has no answer for that. [00:11:57] Speaker A: So I'm assuming by saying this to me, he's attempting to invoke his immunity. [00:12:04] Speaker D: Yes. [00:12:05] Speaker A: What does that mean? What does that mean? [00:12:08] Speaker D: May I suggest something? [00:12:10] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:12:10] Speaker D: If the goal here is to put the mayor on trial and to convict the mayor of wrongdoing. How much harm could it do to confer immunity on this farmer? If that is what he is to confess to everything the mayor did wrong. [00:12:26] Speaker A: I think it's fair to say he's not a farmer. [00:12:30] Speaker D: Shocked face. [00:12:33] Speaker A: Oh, boy. Incurring him immunity is probably in our best interest, because any penalty we attempt to impose on him is likely to be overturned at the highest level should he get an opportunity to send a similar paper to anyone in Astragar. Also, apparently, our farmer spent some time in. [00:12:54] Speaker D: Clearly. [00:12:55] Speaker A: Ah, what to do. How important is his testimony? [00:13:00] Speaker D: We believe he is the one mayor Val ordered to shoot when they went to treat with the centaurs. [00:13:06] Speaker A: Mayor Val's a military man. He probably chose him for his ranged skill sets, not knowing that he was picking out a professional assassin. Oh, boy. [00:13:19] Speaker D: The other two witnesses we have did not see him take the shot, so we cannot rely on their testimonies. [00:13:24] Speaker A: Okay. I really wish there were a different bishop around here right now. [00:13:29] Speaker D: I imagine you do, and I do not envy your position. [00:13:35] Speaker A: Okay. There's a couple ways we can go about this. We can do it the way it would be handled in Astragar. You let him go, you don't talk to him again, you disregard everything he said, and we find different evidence. And by find different evidence, I would probably recommend creating it. Or we can do it how they do it in the province, and this man just disappears however you see fit. I am willing to choose a third option, which is to extend him immunity. You can try to get him to testify, but if I put him under a zone of truth and he says these words, the consequences would be terrible. [00:14:18] Speaker D: You understand, as a priest of the silent judge, why the second option is a bit unthinkable. [00:14:25] Speaker A: Another option? We could disbelieve his credentials. We could banish him. And if he sneaks his way back to Astragar in a couple of months, he will get his immunity. [00:14:38] Speaker D: That seems a bit provocative. [00:14:40] Speaker A: I'm not telling you how I want to solve this. I'm telling you how it would be solved. You have a state spy in a room somewhere, I assume? [00:14:53] Speaker D: Broom closet. [00:14:54] Speaker A: Okay. You have a state spy in a broom closet. [00:14:58] Speaker D: That's the title of this episode, right? [00:15:04] Speaker A: I am obligated to release him as soon as I learn this information. And I'm willing to pretend that I didn't learn it for some time if it benefits your case. But I need you to tell me how important he is to achieving true justice here. Because if it's between him and the mayor, the mayor needs to be brought to justice. [00:15:28] Speaker D: Boulain goes to the door and opens it and lets Creed and Zuris come back in and closes the door and says, how likely are we to extract the evidence we need elsewhere? [00:15:41] Speaker B: He seems like our main lead, although we have a lot of circumstantial evidence to implicate the mayor. I mean, we caught on to him. It's just a matter of if that is enough for the court. But with our handy judge that also was in this investigation and also had suspicions of the mayor, I mean, we probably can work this system. [00:16:11] Speaker A: Your mother chimes in and says there's another consideration as well. I don't know how the defense is planning to defend his actions. If there's a middle trigger man, they might just try to blame the middle trigger man. [00:16:27] Speaker B: Why are we trying to remove Riemann from the investigation? I don't know what was on that paper, but I'm assuming that we need him gone. [00:16:37] Speaker D: Vulain glances at right wing because she has no idea what her protocol is. [00:16:43] Speaker A: Right wing says he does actually have some special status in the empire. [00:16:48] Speaker B: Him? He's such a dick. [00:16:52] Speaker A: It's incredibly rare. And he could be faking. [00:16:56] Speaker B: Why don't I have that? [00:16:58] Speaker D: I do not believe what he wrote on that note could be the result of faking the ship. Right wind? [00:17:04] Speaker A: With due respect, yeah, it seems real. Unlikely we can still manipulate this to our advantage. We just have to decide what we need done. [00:17:18] Speaker B: Well, I may have an end to the defense, but, mom, I may need to consult with you on this. Playing with hearts isn't exactly something that we're taught to do. [00:17:29] Speaker A: I would like to know more about this. Sounds very interesting. If you could dissuade the defense from trying to finger the trigger man, we have more leverage. It would be worth it, probably, to put this person on the stand in the trial. [00:17:47] Speaker B: Wait, to put who on the stand at the. Sorry. [00:17:51] Speaker A: Riemann. [00:17:52] Speaker D: Ah. [00:17:53] Speaker A: So if we put Riemann forward and they try to pin everything on Riemann, his special status could end this trial in a stalemate. [00:18:02] Speaker C: What is our actual goal? Is the goal to get through this trial, or is the goal to bring justice to Mayor Val? [00:18:12] Speaker A: We need to bring justice to Mayor Val. The empire has learned of his potential misdeeds in a way that he must be cleared or found guilty. And I have seen no evidence that we are clearing this man of anything. [00:18:32] Speaker C: He must be cleared or found guilty. Can that be posthumously? [00:18:37] Speaker A: Yes. [00:18:39] Speaker C: That might make it easier. [00:18:40] Speaker B: Sorry, who are we talking about? Often, Raymond or the mayor. [00:18:44] Speaker C: Val, at the moment, I don't love. [00:18:47] Speaker A: This plan or where this plan is going, but if he were deceased, a posthumous trial could just be depositions. Maybe we wouldn't even need to call witnesses. [00:19:07] Speaker C: And to be honest, from my estimation, if he is, for some reason or another, dead, that's the God's will and the God's judgment. [00:19:19] Speaker B: Wouldn't the centaurs be heavily suspicious? That might not put to rest this conflict. [00:19:25] Speaker C: We can tell the centaurs that we found them guilty and we'll execute justice. [00:19:31] Speaker B: I don't know if they'll be satisfied with that. They wanted their own justice for him. They only tentatively agreed to the trial. [00:19:39] Speaker D: We could leave it to them to execute justice. [00:19:42] Speaker B: So meet with them and tell them to ignore everything that we previously negotiated with them. [00:19:47] Speaker C: No. We have found who did this and who ordered this. And I see no problem with telling them, provided I have blessing of the church to do so. [00:20:05] Speaker A: The provincial governor, Grimble tanglebeard, is likely to not understand this situation. And so I think Zirius'plan, while not ideal, is probably the lesser of some evils that we can choose. But we may have to do it without Grimble's participation or knowledge. [00:20:28] Speaker D: Is that something that you could pull rank on, bishop? Rightwind. [00:20:34] Speaker A: Here's what I can do. If the centaurs kill Valrictus, I will tell him that he is not permitted, for diplomatic reasons, to pursue this any further with the centaurs. [00:20:54] Speaker D: I think I have to recuse myself from this trial. [00:21:01] Speaker A: Nobody saw this letter but you, right? [00:21:03] Speaker B: I saw it, but I can't read it. [00:21:08] Speaker A: Great. I think if you recuse yourself, you will have to explain your recusal to the provincial governor. And I don't know if you want to do that. [00:21:20] Speaker B: Ghislaine and I were both put in the roles of the prosecution. Could I not just take over? [00:21:25] Speaker A: You could take the lead prosecutor role, and Boulain could take a seat. [00:21:31] Speaker D: I have an excuse. [00:21:34] Speaker A: Okay. [00:21:35] Speaker D: You issued a day of mourning, and really, my place should be there with the families of the fallen. [00:21:42] Speaker A: I think that that excuse would probably get you off of the trial. I don't know if it will resolve the situation that we have found ourselves in, but I suspect that the provincial governor would, if being a little miffed, accept that excuse. [00:22:04] Speaker D: Can I say I cleared it with you over his head? [00:22:07] Speaker A: Yes, you can. [00:22:08] Speaker D: I will do that. [00:22:10] Speaker A: It is an excuse that I would have accepted if I were in his position. I think I can use my rank for that. I need you to tell me what would make sure, what would guarantee a successful outcome with this mayor situation. If you tell me what my authority can do to guarantee that outcome. That is what is politically best for the empire. [00:22:36] Speaker C: The best option is that Riemann says the truth of what happened. All right, the second best option is that no one who was there can defend themselves. [00:22:49] Speaker B: If Freeman is such a problem, why isn't he just pinning this on the mayor? I mean, he's not on trial. I don't know exactly what's going on. But if he's involved in something, can't he just point to Val and make this all go away? [00:23:09] Speaker A: I think I can convince him, with immunity, to point the finger at Val, but I think the defense will point the finger at Raymond. And he does have a special status, and it could get dangerous. If that is invoked, perhaps you should. [00:23:30] Speaker B: Speak with him more about possibly what he has spoken to the sharp edge. [00:23:35] Speaker D: Of the pub about. [00:23:36] Speaker C: Or maybe talk to the sharp edge of the pub instead. [00:23:39] Speaker B: That's true. [00:23:40] Speaker C: Particularly Dredd. Because remember Max and Max and chastity are the defense, so they can't be questioned. [00:23:48] Speaker A: Funny enough, I think if you can recruit Dredd to tell the story of what he discovered, maybe Dredd's sources are dead, and so his deposition would be the best you'd have. [00:24:00] Speaker D: Dread's dead, baby. Dread's dead. [00:24:04] Speaker B: His sources are dead. Right. Not dread is dead. [00:24:08] Speaker D: Right. [00:24:09] Speaker A: I don't know how dread will feel about that, ethically. [00:24:12] Speaker B: I'm not sure how I feel about this ethically. [00:24:15] Speaker A: Another option. You have two other witnesses who would probably do whatever you said. [00:24:21] Speaker D: This is true. What if? Well, if we are instituting a zone of truth, this might be problematic. But what if we convince Dickens and Wakefield to just say they saw one of the dead farmers take the shot? [00:24:33] Speaker C: There's still the problem of routing that back to Val as an order. It's really the crux of that particular argument. [00:24:40] Speaker A: Well, if we know what happened here, which is Val hired a farmer and gave him explicit instructions to kill people, maybe it doesn't have to be Riemann. [00:24:52] Speaker B: Dickens did seem convinced that Wakefield had done it. [00:24:56] Speaker D: I would like to see no harm come to Wakefield if he becomes Riemann's scapegoat. [00:25:02] Speaker C: I am very against scapegoating someone. [00:25:06] Speaker A: So here's the plan, then. I am going to offer this man the immunity he has requested on the condition that he tell the truth within the limits of his local responsibilities. That should be enough to get you the testimony you need, but I need you to convince the defense not to try to pin it on Raymond. [00:25:31] Speaker C: All right. Let's take this a step aside. Again, the goal is Mayor Val, so we also know that Max, under the orders of Mayor Val, took some actions. Is there any way we can leverage that. [00:25:46] Speaker A: I suspect that a threat to make that information rather public or to accuse Max that he went rogue and made some decisions against his orders could intimidate Max into making a different argument at court. [00:26:04] Speaker D: So, Creedon, if you have a conversation with dread, Zerus and I could go have a conversation with Max. [00:26:11] Speaker C: I think I should talk to chastity instead. You should talk with Max. They're both going to need to be on that page. And I think I can talk to chastity on her level. [00:26:25] Speaker D: All right. I will have this conversation with Max and then I need to not be involved with this any further. [00:26:30] Speaker C: All right. [00:26:31] Speaker A: I'm going to continue the rebuilding efforts until the trial is done. Stop by. If you change the plan, please alert your individual that I am in agreement with their terms. [00:26:46] Speaker D: All right. Thank you, Bishop Reinwyn. I apologize for revealing this has become a very sensitive. [00:26:55] Speaker A: Ah, you know, here's the thing. Top level politics in the empire are awful. And unfortunately, I got this job more because I was good at them than any other thing. Good luck. Let's do the right thing ish. [00:27:09] Speaker D: Do the right thing ish. [00:27:12] Speaker A: Let's ensure the right outcome. [00:27:16] Speaker D: All right. [00:27:17] Speaker B: As credent leaves, she looks at her mom, clearly somewhat upset, but doesn't say anything and gets out of there. [00:27:28] Speaker A: Roll me insight on your mom. You have advantage because it's your mom. [00:27:33] Speaker B: All right. Okay, that's a 21. [00:27:36] Speaker A: Your mother is attempting to hide a deep and profound feeling of shame. [00:27:41] Speaker B: I feel like Creighton probably already picked that up. But Creighton makes slightly angrier eyebrows at her mom and then leave. [00:27:53] Speaker D: I think with the door closed, Boulain leans against the wall and pulls out her flasks and takes a swig and hands it around. [00:28:01] Speaker C: I'll take one. [00:28:02] Speaker B: Creighton, like, takes it and then just keeps drinking it. [00:28:06] Speaker D: Then Boulain takes it away. We have our work cut out for us. [00:28:19] Speaker A: Gather round, apprentices. Three of the toughest people decided to escape their life in the city and pay honor to the green men deep in the forest, each their own way. The first was a sage whose talent of herbs was unmatched. The second, a hunter whose trophy wall rivaled that of kings of legend. The third was simply tired of the noise. The sage gathered all the edible plants and mushrooms and waded through the winter in a shelter made of logs. They emerged at the end of winter, skinny to the bone, and returned to the city triumphant. The hunter slew great beasts and weathered the winter in a tent of hide and stones. They emerged unwell but well fed and returned to the city triumphant. The third was never seen again. And some say the legend stops here. And the lesson is that to worship the green men successfully, one must have great skill. But the rare and true priests of the green man know this is not the moral of the story, nor even the story. The two who returned to the city merely caught a glimpse of the true wilds. And the truth is, the green men caught no glimpse of them in return. The true parable is the story of the third. The third person sat by the river with a pole and line, but caught no fish. They saw a bear scoop a salmon from the shallows. And so the third made a net and weighed it in the shallows and scooped out a fish, just as the bear had done. The person ate the fish and caught some more. Later, they saw a deer chewing on mushrooms. And so they gathered those same mushrooms and ate them happily. They watched as the rabbit squirmed under the brush. And took some fishing line to make snares. And so they ate rabbit and squirrel. As winter drew close, they made a shelter of branches and rocks, a blanket of rabbits and squirrels. Winter was cold and harsh. But soon the deer could be seen digging below the snow and licking upon the rocks. And so the third did the same. As winter ended, the third found they did not miss the city. But they did miss the company of others. And so they wandered deeper into the forest until they came upon another just like them. They told that other what they had discovered by listening and watching all that they had seen. And this fourth was fascinated. And the two set out together to learn more. In their fifth year, together with three children clinging to them, they finally caught the attention of the green man. A great beast, such as others would call a monster. Was wandering the forests in search of food. And came upon a rack of dried fish. As it turned to leave, it noticed the family sitting quietly trapped between the beast and a house of bark and stone. It came close and sniffed the curious sight. And took a careful nip of the arm of the third who had left the city so long ago. The third knew their time had come, for nature rarely offers second chances. They felt no anger or hatred, for they would do the same as this beast to survive. Knowing the family would watch. And that they would learn as they always have. They ran into the clearing to lead the beast away. When next the beast came to this part of the forest, the food was high up and buried below the family, nowhere to be seen. And then the green man smiled. You see, the green man is a God of nature. And nature cares not for your wishes, your will, or your dreams. Nature just is. Those who see it as a thing to be known or a thing to be conquered or slain have no place in the eyes of the green man. They are but shadows passing the truth of the world, unaware. But those who become one with the wild achieve balance in its natural laws, who sink into its ambivalent arms and hone the instincts long surrendered for love of warmth and a sure meal. Those are the ones the green man would acknowledge. The story does not tell us what became of this third person, because the outcome does not matter. Was the beast full enough to spare this third? Or did it hunt them down and dine again? The green man doesn't care. I like to think the beast chose the easy meal of fish and deer over a meal that was ready to run and fight. So, apprentice, as you enter the forest for your herb studies, understand one thing. The forest owes you nothing. The green man does not watch over you. Tread with caution. Watch with your eyes open. Listen with your ears. Trust in your instincts, and maybe you will return home. [00:33:31] Speaker D: We split the party in the intrigue. [00:33:35] Speaker B: On the bright side, Creighton didn't know how to feel about dread, and this makes it very simple. [00:33:39] Speaker D: That's it. [00:33:40] Speaker B: I mean, he's a tool, baby. [00:33:45] Speaker C: Such a warlock of love. [00:33:47] Speaker A: So let's do and. [00:33:50] Speaker B: Oh, no, I don't want to go first. [00:33:53] Speaker A: So you find him in the inn. He's got several notebooks spread out on a table, and he's actively taking notes. And when you walk up, he sort of quickly closes a few of them. Roll me a perception check. [00:34:06] Speaker B: Oh, no. [00:34:09] Speaker D: Did you roll a one? [00:34:11] Speaker B: Not quite. He said I was rolling a perception chamber. Zero in. That's a three. [00:34:18] Speaker A: Okay. Yeah. You don't see what he was hiding. [00:34:21] Speaker B: What you reckon, dread? [00:34:23] Speaker A: Just. Just some work for tomorrow. Nothing to actually. Hold on. I got to do the dread voice differently. [00:34:29] Speaker B: Hold on. [00:34:32] Speaker A: Nothing. [00:34:34] Speaker B: I thought that Max and chastity were kind of taking over the work for tomorrow. So do you have work for. [00:34:43] Speaker A: Nah. [00:34:44] Speaker B: Ah, well, it's been pretty know, putting this case together, but I'm feeling pretty good about it. [00:34:53] Speaker A: So we're still doing breakfast? [00:34:58] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, of course. I just wanted to talk to you because I feel like I don't really know you that well, and, I mean, I don't know how long we're going to have to hang out, so why don't we get to know each other a little better? Now can we have dinner? [00:35:15] Speaker A: Roll me an insight roll. [00:35:18] Speaker B: All right. That's a Nat 20 plus three. [00:35:22] Speaker A: A look of absolute panic rolls over Dredd's eyes. Despite his best efforts to put his hair in front of his face. You realize he did not plan on this. And he appears to be a deep planner. [00:35:38] Speaker B: Him and me both. Is that okay? Can we just talk a little bit? I don't want to interrupt what you're working on. Yeah, okay. [00:35:50] Speaker A: Well, give me 20 minutes. [00:35:55] Speaker B: Okay. If you are trying to make yourself look better, I do have prestige, agitation. I can just give you a poof. I could just give you a new look. [00:36:07] Speaker A: No, I have a plan. [00:36:09] Speaker B: I mean, you look fine, though. I'm not trying to say that you don't look fine. You look great. [00:36:17] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:36:17] Speaker A: Dread stands up. [00:36:19] Speaker B: Okay. Yeah, 20 minutes. Go ahead. [00:36:20] Speaker A: Without blowing the hair out of his face, he just turns and walks past the bartender into the kitchen. [00:36:27] Speaker B: Weird, but okay. Creedon waits, impressed. Agitations herself. Super hard. Extra eyeliner. Super. [00:36:38] Speaker A: All of his notes are there on the table if you want to be a bad person. [00:36:41] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, I do. Clearly, my mom is a bad person. So let's do it all in. [00:36:47] Speaker A: Roll. Investigate. [00:36:48] Speaker B: I'm not good at any of this. Okay, that's a 16. [00:36:52] Speaker A: You open the notebook to exactly what he was working on. It appears to be an extensive list of ingredients for making pancakes. [00:37:00] Speaker B: Oh, my God. [00:37:01] Speaker D: That's so cute. That's it. [00:37:04] Speaker A: That was what he was working on. Now he has a bunch of notebooks, so with a 16, you can flip open several of them. You are pretty sure you know exactly what their defense is tomorrow. Currently, the defense is going to show up to trial and say that mayor Val accidentally hired a psychopath and that guy went rogue and committed three, four murders, including the death of autumn Vale, and put carbuncle. [00:37:36] Speaker B: Okay, I will just, I guess, jot my own notes down and then tuck them in my bag. And then awkwardly wait. [00:37:43] Speaker A: The only thing you see is there were two paragraphs on this Riemann character. Dread does not know much about this person at all. Okay, but he does know that Riemann was the tricker man, and that's as far as he got. [00:37:56] Speaker B: All right. [00:37:57] Speaker A: He seems to be under the impression that Riemann is a farmer who's very good at archery. [00:38:02] Speaker B: Crayden will spend the remainder of her time praying to divine mercy for forgiveness for exactly what she is doing. [00:38:09] Speaker A: So, 20 minutes go by. Dread comes out of the kitchen. He has two plates of pancakes, were clearly intended for breakfasts. Tomorrow morning, they are covered in berries. And he comes over and he sets a plate down in front of you, it has three perfect pancakes with, like, a little sprinkle of some kind of sugar substance and some berries on them. And then he sets down his plate, which is all of the bad pancakes. Like, the first one that is always terrible and the one that didn't flip right. And he sits down and he seems to be in, like, a calmer space, and he says, I made breakfast. [00:38:47] Speaker B: God, these are beautiful. But I want you to know that I like your plate too. Flaws aren't always terrible and bad. [00:38:58] Speaker A: He looks down at his plate and looks up at you and says, thanks. [00:39:05] Speaker B: How did you learn to cook like this when you travel so much? I usually just poof some food onto my plate or eat jerky. [00:39:15] Speaker A: I'm really good at following instructions. [00:39:18] Speaker B: Oh, that's pretty cool. So tell me about yourself. [00:39:28] Speaker A: Oh, what do you want to know? [00:39:31] Speaker B: Why do you do what you do? Go around. How do you know Chastity and dread? How did you get to be such a good investigator? [00:39:45] Speaker A: Well, my parents didn't believe in modern education, so they moved me to a little farm in the logging town. And I was, like, home schooled a lot, and then I was just always good at it. [00:40:08] Speaker B: We see you didn't grow up in a church. [00:40:11] Speaker A: No. [00:40:12] Speaker B: Whoa. [00:40:13] Speaker A: Max was my friend when I was. [00:40:16] Speaker B: A kid from the farm. [00:40:19] Speaker A: I think my mom made him be my. And, uh, chastity was our babysitter. [00:40:25] Speaker B: Oh, no. [00:40:27] Speaker D: Oh, God. [00:40:32] Speaker B: Sorry. That was. Claro. Knowing Peyton holds that in but says it on the inside. [00:40:39] Speaker D: Did you throw up a little in your mouth? [00:40:42] Speaker B: The pancakes are too good for that. [00:40:45] Speaker A: Yeah, but I've always been good with books and notes, and I read lips real good. So instead of talking to people, I just write down what they're saying. [00:41:00] Speaker D: Oh, shit. [00:41:03] Speaker B: Oh, I want to try it out. What am I mouthing? And she mouths, watermelon cantaloupe. [00:41:08] Speaker A: He gets it perfectly. He says, watermelon cantaloupe. [00:41:10] Speaker B: Oh, shit. Wow. That's so cool. She sweats. [00:41:16] Speaker A: Yeah. I asked some people about you. They said you're from Astragar. [00:41:23] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. I grew up in the church of divine mercy. [00:41:27] Speaker A: That's cool. [00:41:28] Speaker B: Yeah. I ventured to try to spread divine mercy's blessings and help people find love. I don't feel like I'm very good at it, though. [00:41:41] Speaker A: Dread is going to roll a dice. I've read a lot on divine mercy. [00:41:47] Speaker B: Yeah, she's great, isn't she? [00:41:49] Speaker A: I don't know if you've quite got it right, though. [00:41:57] Speaker B: Yeah. You want to tell me about the religion that I was raised in. Okay, go ahead. [00:42:01] Speaker A: Well, isn't the whole thing that love is a part of every person? And so you don't spread it, you just discover it? [00:42:15] Speaker B: I suppose spreading is a simplification. Some people are not good at putting themselves out there or reading signals or finding the love that is already around them. [00:42:30] Speaker A: Fred gives you this big nod like he so understands. [00:42:34] Speaker B: Oh, God. I try to help people cross those bridges to find the love that is already present in their life. Or that could be present in their life in the right circumstances. These pancakes are really good. [00:42:55] Speaker A: Thank you. I studied several options and made ten varieties, and these were the best ones. [00:43:07] Speaker B: Well, whatever book these came from is a heaper. [00:43:12] Speaker A: Thanks. I don't know how dates are supposed to go. [00:43:18] Speaker B: Usually you don't tell the person who was raised in a church that they got their religion wrong. [00:43:26] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. Sorry. I get a lot of things wrong sometimes. [00:43:31] Speaker B: It doesn't seem like you do, though. That's the weird thing. [00:43:35] Speaker A: Well, okay, I try to do everything perfect, but I'm not always perfect, and that's fine. Maybe we should talk about work. I'm better at that. [00:43:53] Speaker B: I love that idea. [00:43:56] Speaker A: How's your case going? [00:43:58] Speaker B: Great. I mean, as I said, it's been difficult, but partially because I'm not super great at this kind of thing. But I feel like we're putting something pretty good together. I mean, it'll be what it'll be. I'm not sweating it too much. That is a lie. If he is attempting. I mean, I will roll deception if I have to. [00:44:22] Speaker A: You get the distinct impression that this person is, like the kind of person who notices every facial tick. Oh, no hair movement. His stare is intense. Yeah, I like trials. I studied the law. I think the most important thing is that the truth be known. Max doesn't get it. Chastity doesn't get it. [00:44:47] Speaker B: Yeah. So about those two. How does it feel that they're kind of having their own romance? You picked up on that, right? [00:44:57] Speaker A: Yeah, I did. I'm a little the. I think that's the emotion. I'm a little jealous because, like, of chastity? Well, Max was my friend. [00:45:10] Speaker B: Or of Max being with chastity. Oh, okay. That's normal. Yeah. [00:45:15] Speaker A: Chastity, she's like. She's like someone's angry. Mom. I don't get it. [00:45:19] Speaker B: Oh, my God. I know. She's so old. What is Max's deal? [00:45:23] Speaker A: Max is just a nice know. He's always nice to me. [00:45:27] Speaker B: But didn't you say that your mom made him be your mean do you think it's real now? [00:45:33] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, Max is nice to everybody. [00:45:37] Speaker B: Well, that's good of him, I guess. I don't know. I haven't really talked to Max that much. [00:45:43] Speaker A: I mean, you should talk to Max. He's like. He gets me know. Gets me. [00:45:51] Speaker B: Yeah. I maybe like to get you, too. [00:45:57] Speaker A: Yeah. I'd like to get you two. [00:46:00] Speaker B: Okay. Yeah. Let's get breakfast in the morning. [00:46:05] Speaker A: I'll make a new plan. [00:46:07] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, I've already had these pancakes. I can't eat them again, but I could do some work, too, if you want me to do that. You shouldn't do all the work. This is a two way street. [00:46:20] Speaker A: Max says I should lighten up. How about you plan breakfast? [00:46:27] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. I have no plans before then. I can handle that. [00:46:33] Speaker A: Cool. [00:46:34] Speaker B: Okay. I'll see you in the morning. Kaden stands up and goes upstairs to her room in the inn, then throws up. [00:46:44] Speaker A: Probablylaine finds Max. Max is still working his ass off with the. [00:47:00] Speaker D: The rebuilding. [00:47:02] Speaker A: With the rebuilding effort. He's still walking around Shirtless. He's covered in sweat. He's still a mostly gangly teenager, but he's got a lot of friends. He's made like 25 friends. And they're just like. Every time he throws a log out, they congratulate him. And then they stop and shoot the breeze for a little bit. And then he goes and grabs another log. When you walk up, Max turns around and he goes like, hey, Boulain. [00:47:27] Speaker D: Max. Good to see you. [00:47:29] Speaker A: Yeah. How's it going? [00:47:32] Speaker D: It goes. May I have a word in? [00:47:35] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, sure. [00:47:36] Speaker D: Go off somewhere. Out of earshot of anyone. Or lip readers. [00:47:43] Speaker A: The lip reader is busy. [00:47:44] Speaker D: The lip reader is busy trying to impress a girl. He says, max, with this trial tomorrow. Fuck. What do you even say? Don't do your plan. Why? Cuz you have a measure of immunity, being the defense lawyer for mayor? Val. [00:48:08] Speaker A: Yeah. Dredd says that that's probably on purpose. And Chastity thinks it's a political thing. Like he doesn't want us to get caught up in the fiasco. [00:48:20] Speaker D: I think you are absolutely right. And it was probably quite calculated on part. [00:48:25] Speaker A: Yeah. Anyway, I think it was a terrible idea. I even said it was a terrible idea, didn't I? You were there. [00:48:31] Speaker D: You did. But it might be for the best. Something has come to light which I cannot really talk about on orders from the bishop. But there is something quite political happening that is above any of our heads. [00:48:47] Speaker A: Cool. What do you want me to do? How can I help? [00:48:49] Speaker D: It is important that we convict Mayor Val. And I think on a personal level, you probably understand why. [00:48:55] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. No, that shitbag's guilty. [00:48:57] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:48:58] Speaker A: I mean, Dredd's detailed every crime. He's a fucking tool. Chastity just wants a win she thinks she can take. She thinks she can take you. [00:49:10] Speaker D: I have no doubt that she could put up quite a case. Would you consider not taking the tactic of pinning it on any of the farmers who were sent to negotiate with the centaurs? [00:49:24] Speaker A: I mean, honestly, I'm not really doing the planning. Chastity is. But I'll tell you what I'll do. Chastity is going to come up with some sort of great strategy, and I'm going to tell her it's bullshit. And she's going to tell me no. It's great. I just need to trust her. What I can do is I can say, like, this isn't about your win. It's about justice for the people. Maybe she'll go for that argument. I don't know. Probably not. But I'll try it. I'll try it on your behalf. [00:49:53] Speaker D: Roll insight. Make sure he's not just putting me off. [00:49:56] Speaker B: Sure. [00:49:56] Speaker D: That's a 19. [00:49:58] Speaker A: Max is trying to win you over as a friend. You think he's being 100% earnest. He will attempt. [00:50:04] Speaker D: He will attempt to do this. Okay. [00:50:06] Speaker A: Do this for you. Emphasis on for you. [00:50:13] Speaker D: Okay. Thank you. She says, with a lot of earnestness. You may not have expected, but I think the sooner we can put this one behind us and walk away, the better. And the best outcome to be able to do that is to make sure that Val comes to justice. [00:50:35] Speaker A: You know what? I agree with you completely. Let me just try to get chastity on. Guess you know, she's a real tiger. But to be honest with you, the mayor's a dick. I don't even know how he was in charge for five years. It doesn't make any damn sense. And frankly, if everything dredd says is guy, that guy shouldn't even be alive anymore. [00:51:00] Speaker D: Well, you may be right. But that is not always in our hands, is it? [00:51:03] Speaker A: Hey, let me tell you something. It's about what the people want. It's about what the people need. And the people need to understand that there are times and places where the church doesn't do a great job, and this whole provincial government thing is not working. [00:51:21] Speaker D: Boulain glances around to make sure there's still nobody in earshot to hear him start saying this stuff. Okay? [00:51:28] Speaker A: And we just need to tell him that so they can quit doing it. [00:51:31] Speaker D: Well, you might be onto something. Perhaps the trial is not the best place for that platform. [00:51:37] Speaker A: But he says, look, I just want you to know, right, like, I work for the church. Yes. But the best outcome here is that we start doing a better job. And how we do it is we hold the shipbags accountable. [00:51:52] Speaker D: I wholly agree. [00:51:53] Speaker A: You know, I like you. And he gives you a big punch in the shoulder. [00:51:57] Speaker D: Ow. [00:51:58] Speaker A: You want to carry some logs? They really like you when you carry logs. [00:52:01] Speaker D: I have some errands to run, and I need to help see over the day of mourning. But good luck with the construction. You seem to be assembling and rallying a pretty solid crew over there. [00:52:14] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, no, these guys are great. [00:52:17] Speaker D: Good. I am glad to hear it. [00:52:19] Speaker A: We're going to stop by for drinks as soon as it gets dark, so if you want to meet us in. [00:52:22] Speaker D: The end, perhaps I will see you there. [00:52:31] Speaker A: So Robert Ziris finds chastity. She is. Let's go with managing the flow of work that's happening. No one is really appreciating this effort she's making, but she definitely knows the right way to do everything and is telling people that they are doing it wrong. But you find her amongst a big pile of supplies. [00:52:59] Speaker C: Hey, chastity. I was hoping I could talk with you for a minute. [00:53:03] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, absolutely, Zirius. Colleague to colleague, how can I be of service in these trying times? [00:53:10] Speaker C: That's funny. [00:53:11] Speaker A: That we are living in. [00:53:12] Speaker C: Actually, I wanted to discuss that with you because I understand that you have ambitions and that I do. Things don't seem to be really heading the right direction for you. So I was wondering, what are your actual ambitions, chastity? Where do you want to go? Where do you see yourself in five years? [00:53:37] Speaker A: Where do you see yourself in five years? Is the perfect question for a brother ambition candidate. So without even thinking about it, she lights up. She's like, this is my best friend I've ever met. And she says, look, I think I could land a mayoral ship as long as I can prove that I am hard abiding by the faith, that I am deeply invested in astragarian culture, and that I have the leadership qualities necessary. And I'm practicing basically right here, right now, with all of these workers. And I think it's going to be really great. So I think three years from now, though, I'm going to land that mayorship, and then from there, I definitely want to move into a deacon role back in Astragar. [00:54:26] Speaker C: So instead of being a mayor, maybe you want to be more in the church. [00:54:32] Speaker A: Ultimately, I have my eye on archbishop of the house of ambition, and I'll be know. Even with Bishop Brightwind in there in rank, I think that's my goal. You know what? I could probably pull in a solid 400 hundred five gold a year in a position like that. [00:54:50] Speaker C: So wouldn't you rather be more of a pastor or some church leader of a church in Astragar? Wouldn't that be more on the track of the path you see? Or do you think mayoralship is really the way to go? [00:55:06] Speaker A: Well, I think you have to prove your political chops. If you really want to land one of those top ranks, you got to be able to show that you can keep the church together and functioning. I mean, the job is essentially negotiator. The ten gods almost never agree, and you have to go in and represent. [00:55:23] Speaker C: Oh, absolutely. I know that implicitly. So maybe what you really need is like a church of ambition in an area that's maybe up and coming. [00:55:37] Speaker A: Oh, man. Ground floor strategy. I'm worried that it'll take too long. [00:55:43] Speaker C: I don't know. I think if you show the chops that you can put something on the ground and get it up real fast, that that shows the leadership qualities that you're talking about. And considering the Hiloch already has a fairly large devotion to brother ambition, as I saw when I was there, your congregation is already pre built. You don't have to spread the faith. You just have to group them together and organize them. [00:56:16] Speaker A: You know, I think you've got a good point. I have it on good authority that Tanglebeard's going to send us south again after this debacle. Maybe I'll investigate further. This Konbardiche guy sounds really interesting. Maybe we could partner. Be business partners? [00:56:32] Speaker C: Yeah, I think he'd be open to that. He's an ambitious fellow as well, and doesn't like a slow pace. [00:56:39] Speaker A: Yeah, you know what? This is a great conversation because it never occurred to me to run a startup. [00:56:48] Speaker C: So here's the other thing. I don't think tomorrow is going to be a win for you, and I'm here to try and help find maybe something that would be more in line with what your true ambition is. Because tomorrow is just some legal, boring stuff that's not really for a priest of ambition, other than just a notch in the belt. If you accept that tomorrow's probably going to be a loss, I'll put in a word with high wind. As you know, I protect her daughter and you. [00:57:22] Speaker D: What's that brightwind yeah. [00:57:24] Speaker C: I said brightwind, didn't I? [00:57:26] Speaker A: You said high wind. [00:57:27] Speaker C: Oh, sorry. Brightwind. Excuse me. [00:57:29] Speaker B: Rude. [00:57:32] Speaker C: I'll put in a word with the bishop. I know she's church of mercy, but I'm sure she could pull a few strings, get your name out there and maybe help you a little bit with what you might need in hilock, she says. [00:57:47] Speaker A: Oh, man. Sirius, I love winning. And I hate losing. [00:57:50] Speaker C: I know. I figured. That's why I wanted to come up here and talk to you personally and give you a sweeter deal than just losing. [00:58:01] Speaker A: What do you think the bishop wants? What would make the bishop happy? [00:58:05] Speaker C: What would make the bishop happy is Val losing tomorrow. I know that pretty much, for a fact. [00:58:11] Speaker A: Roll me. Persuasion and you have advantage. [00:58:16] Speaker C: It does. That's an 18. [00:58:17] Speaker A: Damn, you're persuasive. [00:58:18] Speaker C: Yes, I'm a lawyer. [00:58:20] Speaker D: I think we all have persuasion skills. [00:58:22] Speaker A: It's interesting. You must have known what kind of Dm you were. [00:58:27] Speaker C: I am the social barbarian, she says. [00:58:31] Speaker A: Man. All right. [00:58:33] Speaker D: That's the name of your future bar, by the way. The social barbarian. [00:58:37] Speaker A: I want you to let it be known because I don't want to go up to the bishop and say, oh, I'm going to do this thing that you want. Don't worry about it. I want you to let it be known that I understand her intention and priorities, and we are aligned. [00:58:54] Speaker C: I was planning on making that clear. [00:58:56] Speaker A: Okay, I got this. I'm going to rework the strategy a little bit. Because I've been kind of thinking. Dread tells me there's a trigger man in the group. And I've been kind of thinking, like, well, we just pin it on him. But I think the best defense is maybe it's miscommunication. I don't think it'll go over well, but it's more likely to result in the bishop's desired outcome. [00:59:21] Speaker C: Perfect. [00:59:22] Speaker A: All right. I'll see what I can do. [00:59:24] Speaker C: I will do everything I can to make sure that you reach some of your ambition. [00:59:28] Speaker A: You know, Ziris, I gotta admit, I saw you as competition. We should work together. [00:59:34] Speaker C: Maybe we will. We are working together. [00:59:37] Speaker A: Good networking. Good networking. All right. Thanks. And she pulls her hand out to shake your hand, I take it. It is a textbook perfect handshake. Web to web. Perfect grip. It's clearly been practiced numerous times in some kind of leadership workshop. [00:59:58] Speaker C: I appreciate your attention to detail, and I hope your ambition continues to and guide you. [01:00:04] Speaker B: Do the churches have secret handshakes like fraternities do? Where it's like you stick some of your fingers out. You tickle each other's palms gently. [01:00:25] Speaker A: Let's hop over to Riemann and Boulain just for the juxtaposed scene transitions. [01:00:32] Speaker B: Creedon also wants to talk to her mom tonight. [01:00:34] Speaker C: Sounds good. [01:00:35] Speaker A: We can be there together. [01:00:36] Speaker C: Whatever. [01:00:37] Speaker B: No, we can't. No, she wants to talk about a boy. [01:00:41] Speaker C: I mean, I'll leave. [01:00:43] Speaker B: This is private. [01:00:44] Speaker C: We can start together and then I'll leave. [01:00:48] Speaker D: Boulain goes to find Riemann in his broom closet again. [01:00:52] Speaker A: Okay. He's still sitting there looking bored as hell. [01:00:56] Speaker D: She comes in the room and she. [01:00:58] Speaker A: Says, riemann, boulain, how's the silent judge treating you this evening? [01:01:05] Speaker D: Well, I'm alive, so that should. [01:01:08] Speaker A: Good sign. [01:01:09] Speaker D: Generally pose that as a point in my corner. The bishop has agreed to grant you your immunity on the condition that you play the farmer and point your finger at Val for issuing you orders. [01:01:23] Speaker A: Done. [01:01:24] Speaker D: She wants to roll in sight on them. Just make sure there's. That's not too bad. Nine plus six is 15. [01:01:32] Speaker A: You are able to calm yourself a little bit when you realize that this man thinks of you as nothing more than a messenger. [01:01:41] Speaker D: Okay. All right. Well, Raymond, I am afraid that part of the ruse of you being a simple farmer is keeping you here for the night and presenting you at the trial tomorrow. Is there anything I can get you that is within reason to entertain? [01:01:56] Speaker A: Uh. Gosh, a book or a stick to whittle? [01:02:00] Speaker D: Well, knives are out of the question, but I can probably get a book sent to you. [01:02:04] Speaker A: If you can find me a book. I'll read a book. [01:02:07] Speaker D: Done. And then she's going to go spend the rest of the day with the dead and their families. [01:02:22] Speaker A: The date was so awkward. It takes Creedon a little bit longer to get there than it takes you to get there. So, you arrive at Bishop Brightwind. She is still working into the night. The paperwork is massive. People are coming in and out, getting orders for the next morning. When you step in, she says. All right, that's enough meetings for now. Shove everybody out the door and close it. Bishop. Sorry to disturb you. [01:02:45] Speaker C: I know you're working. I just wanted to let you know that I discussed the happenings with chastity and she is going to take a different tack. [01:02:56] Speaker A: Great. [01:02:57] Speaker C: It would be helpful if you have any contacts in the church of ambition to spread her name a bit. [01:03:07] Speaker A: Oh, boy. Yeah. You know what? I will. [01:03:09] Speaker C: As just someone who's really a team player. [01:03:13] Speaker A: She looks out for the empire when it aligns with her goals. [01:03:17] Speaker C: How ambitious. [01:03:19] Speaker A: She needs to work on her people skills a little bit more, I think. But she could have a bright future. I will pass on a recommendation. [01:03:25] Speaker C: Well, I did have a specific idea, if you're open to hearing it. [01:03:30] Speaker A: All right. [01:03:31] Speaker C: There's a lot of following of ambition in Hiloch. Hilock is going through changes and that a church of ambition may help guide them. Particularly if it had a leader of middling quality that could learn and cut their teeth on such a task. [01:03:47] Speaker A: Roll me. Persuasion, please. [01:03:50] Speaker C: That's a 15. Which scores a 20. [01:03:52] Speaker A: She says, you know what? I'm liking this idea more and more. I'll draft up some paperwork and give it to her tomorrow. I think she'll have a new assignment. [01:04:02] Speaker C: Excellent. Well, happy to be a service to the church. I will see you tomorrow. [01:04:15] Speaker A: Creedon. You can show up to talk to mom. [01:04:17] Speaker B: Excellent. [01:04:17] Speaker A: Office has gotten very quiet. She's the only one there. There's a paladin keeping people away out in front as you walk up. He just opens the door for you. He knows who you are. [01:04:27] Speaker B: And I burst through the door and I close it, and I say, mom, we need to talk. And probably not about what you think we need to talk about. That's a later problem we definitely need to talk about. I know that you've told me this story probably 500 times, but I need to hear again. How did you and mom meet? And how did that whole process go? Well, did mom woo you or were you the wooer? How did this work? [01:04:54] Speaker A: It was actually even more awkward than that. We were kind of set up, but we'd known each other for a long time, and I didn't ask her on a date. She didn't ask me on a date. But we had a mutual friend who basically realized pretty quickly that we were both enamored with the other and was willing to be the go between for us. [01:05:15] Speaker B: God, this is useless. Mom, I need a wizard. I need a wizard that can set up an elaborate escape room to impress some kind of nerd like my brother, but not like that, but like somebody kind of similar to that. But it's not weird like that. I need a wizard that can, by tomorrow morning, set up a very complicated sort of smart people thing for no reason. And we don't need to talk about it. [01:05:52] Speaker A: She leans in and you realize your mom goes into professional therapist mode. You've seen this face a lot. It's insufferable. [01:06:00] Speaker B: No, stop it. I just need a wizard. [01:06:05] Speaker A: It sounds like someone has a bit of a crush. [01:06:09] Speaker B: I don't have anything. I don't know what I have. I'm probably not deserving of love because of all of the things that I've done wrong. But I don't know what I need or what I want. Except for a wizard set up an elaborate escape room for someone else that isn't me because I'm not into that. [01:06:30] Speaker A: Okay, let's separate these issues apart for just a second. Positive self affirmation is really important. Okay. Two, the only wizard I have, I sent to North bank. [01:06:47] Speaker B: That wasn't important. Oh, God, I did that. Oh, God, why did I do that? [01:06:53] Speaker A: Consider a scavenger hunt instead. Hide something in town and make some clues. [01:07:00] Speaker B: But how? I'm not good at that kind of thing. This unknown person that is completely unimportant to me will never. They'll figure it out super fast because I'm not good at hiding my tracks. If I was, I wouldn't even be here in this situation in the first place. [01:07:21] Speaker A: Do you want him to figure it out really quickly and feel smart? [01:07:26] Speaker B: I mean, not that quickly. I want it to be engaging and interesting. [01:07:31] Speaker A: All right, here's what I'm going to recommend. [01:07:33] Speaker B: Also, I never said it was a hymn. You don't know anything about me. [01:07:36] Speaker A: That's fair. Okay, that's fair. Point. I have seen you staring at boys for a long time, though. [01:07:43] Speaker B: You don't know me. [01:07:47] Speaker A: Here's my idea. You just have to hint really strongly that you would like this to take a while, and I bet he'll catch on. And it'll take a while. [01:08:00] Speaker B: No, I mean, it can't take that long. We do have the trial tomorrow, right? [01:08:04] Speaker A: Okay. Yeah, no, like a little one or two hour scavenger hunt. That's what you do. You know what would be really romantic, though? If you got to the end and it was a picnic. [01:08:15] Speaker B: That's stupid. [01:08:20] Speaker A: Yeah, sure. It's the best advice I've got, though. [01:08:22] Speaker B: Sweetie, how do you deal with all the lies? [01:08:26] Speaker A: The lies? [01:08:27] Speaker B: You know, the mom, seriously. All of the deceits, everything we've been through today, everything that I've been through. How do you handle all of that and not hate yourself at the end of it? [01:08:42] Speaker A: You set a goal and you move towards that goal, and when you say something and it turns out to not be true, you try to make it true, and then it's not a lie, and you're always working towards the greater good. [01:09:00] Speaker B: Man, I hate it when you're so smart sounding. Okay, I'm going to go. I have not a picnic to plan. [01:09:12] Speaker A: Okay. Good luck, sweetie. [01:09:15] Speaker B: I don't need your luck. [01:09:29] Speaker A: And that is our show today. Special thanks to Tod Ferguson of my pet machine for our tunes, Julie at elaborate flight of fancy for our demon bee logo. Also thanks to author John Tara, who originated the town of Sternheim in DND lore in the 1990s, and to wizards of the coast, the company that owns and operates dungeons and dragons, for their continued support of the open gaming license, which allows us to do things like this podcast despite our unofficial status. Next time, a date and a trial, I think. Let's see what happens on carrots and suffering. A deity odyssey.

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