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The King glanced at Nebel as he left the room.

"I say we follow that man's example and get going. Before you leave, Vali has a gift for you."

Queen Vali deposited several rings on the table. "Teleportation Rings," she commented. "They will send you to any location you can clearly visualize or mark on a map, except to areas that restrict such things. They take a day to recharge. The rings are yours to do with as you please."

Alexander picked motioned for a servant to pick up the mapping items on the table and declared, "Dismissed! We will be in Great Hall if you need us."
Is everyone busy?
Sorry it's late. Did I miss anyone?
@Rhiven Knight Rhayven said, "Perhaps it is not my place to say so, but acting against the dragon with the present state of things seems unwise. The dragon took her, rather than burning her in the wreckage of that city as he well could have, so he must have some motivation that keeps her alive. For the moment, then, we should turn our eyes on how to best the dragon, protect our people, and assure victory, rather than racing and risking when such isn't necessary. With careful preparation, and thorough understanding, Abraxas will fall, and gods willing the princess be saved."

The king leaned on the table and nodded. "Aye, well-said, Sir Rhayven. If Abraxas truly meant to destroy us, he could have already done so. I agree, we should take the time he has given us to consider our strategy."

@Lumiere "The ancient weapons vould be the best place to start," Aarkenhan suggested. "If Abraxas vill not cease its violence through persuasion, alone, we must be ready to respond in kind. If there is any love for the goblinoids or other aberrations who've taken The Crown of Ispar, I should know, now."

A guffaw came out of the king's throat. "Love for goblinoids? No fear of that, I assure you. Gathering the ancient weapons is an excellent idea."

@AtomicNut Up to this point, everyone had pointedly ignored the Ispari conversation, but Darvus brought it to the forefront. "Very disrespectful indeed, I would say. You have heard and chose to answer the summons of this kingdom. It would do good to the both of you if you were so kind to put... this little business with my lord Father the King first, and then your Ispari spats second."

To Gerald, he said, "Do that, brother, and that will earn you a bunch of magical ash and an aggravated dragon. That beast is ancient, even more so than this kingdom, and yet it has survived. I am sure people have tried that obvious strategy before. And it probably failed. You should heed my words and put those mages where they belong."

General Hedstrong swallowed wrong and had a coughing fit, followed by snorts of restrained laughter.

Vali narrowed her eyes at Darvus.

Gerald made to speak, but the Prince continued. "Sir Rhayven does have a point, we should not thread this lightly, and while i do not place much faith in wondrous artifacts, I'd gauge that the beast's prowess and firepower matches several kingdoms given by the fragmented historical records as a conservative estimate. We would need scores of powerful siege weapons raining death for days on his lair at the minimum to obtain any kind of result."

Silence fell over the council room.

"I don't think we can beat the dragon. My lord father is asking for the impossible. Then again, here is here and now is now. The past has shown that some impossible feats can be achieved. So mayhaps. Mayhaps we oughta use the artifact search... as an excuse to scour the kingdoms for the artifacts and any piece of information which can get us leverage. I doubt he will be very open to diplomacy given our limited information, but... it's better to have strength to back up diplomacy."

The king nodded. The queen continued her death-stare at Darvus.

"And one more thing. I know it's said impossible. And some people call me sullen... craven... moody. But even I am tied by duty, and bound by blood. My sister the princess was taken. And I swear with all of you as witnesses I shall see her safe return, or I shall never return at all. This much I will guarantee."

Queen Vali turned away and ran a hand through her hair, letting out a low hiss of anger at the prince's last words. Alexander took one look at her and knew he had to say something. "Then, Darvus...make sure you return." He rubbed Vali's shoulder and coaxed her to face the council again.

@Pie Flavor"I agree with the young prince," said Gallagher. "To even think about trying to defeat the dragon with the strength that we currently possess, or could try to muster, would be an unfeasible task. The plan for gathering more information is ideal for our current situation, as for where we current stand is quite disappointing for the lack of knowledge we currently have on the situation. Even if the opportunities for us to do diplomacy are few in number, to have more options for us to take is preferable."

"Information versus knowledge..." the king mused.
Count Runeglass rapped his cane on the floor and snorted. "Sounds like a lot of nothing to me."
General Hedstrong gestured to Gallagher. "Come on, the old man's got a point. Lotsa truth and lotsa fiction coming in, but not a whole lot we know about everything."

@unicorgi Some muttering came from one corner of the room, and everyone turned to listen. “The mage idea has very little chance of working. We don’t know the dragon's motives and how he might react to an attack. It could end up in an attack against the kingdom, so taking all the backup possible would be a poor idea as it would leave the kingdom undefended. The mages they speak of might be most useful as a defense in the case of an attack. We don’t know much about the relics, but they could end up being our best shot. While a full frontal attack might not work, what would happen if it was kept more small and less obvious? Try and save the princes without them knowing, or escaping before they can get us. Although that might also be a poor idea for obvious reasons: the dragon might re-attack and we would be less powerful. Mayhap there is information regarding dragons in more ancient texts, although I doubt they have any they haven’t already read or consulted...”

When she realized people were staring, she murumured and apology and looked down at her shoes.

The King smiled. "No, no need to apologize. You have some good thoughts there. It seems we have reached a consensus, so I will issue an official order: Locate the Ancient Relics and return them to Southaven for research. Any comments, questions, or objections?"
Makes sense. Besides, I just had an idea for how I'm going to write this that should keep it fairly simple, so expect a post today.
Still working on it. I've been mulling over ways to get us past the Council.
* Dragon attack? Like, should Abraxas suddenly attack the castle and force an evacuation?
* Spy for the dragon is suddenly revealed? What does he do, detonate?
* Do a timeskip? One minute, we're in council, next minute, THIS IS SPARTA!!
* Wait it out and just nudge it to go faster?

Once I figure out how this is going to happen, I'll have the next post up in a hearbeat. Until then...I may need a couple more days. :3
Question to everyone about foreign languages.

While Darkwatck01 and Lumiere are currently the only players using one, I may choose to dabble in it at some point too. For both my own sake and others, I'd like to gauge player preferences on the subject. Should we...

  • Write just the foreign language, and let the players translate? Pros: It preserves the mystery of the foreign language. If the whole point of using that language in the story is to avoid being understood, translating it would ruin the story beat. Using foreign languages also lends an authentic atmosphere to the writing, which can be lost if translated. Players should not be pulled out of the experience; they should be immersed into it. Cons: The players may miss out on crucial interactions, and it can be frustrating to players who would rather not waste effort translating or don't have the resources to. Additionally, it could be taken as an expression of distrust- as if the other players aren't capable of roleplaying characters who don't grasp a foreign language.
  • Write both the foreign language and its translation together? Pros: This gets to keep part of the mystery of the foreign language, while also giving players a ready means of interpreting it. Consider putting the translation in a footnote. Cons: Whether it's translated on the spot or in a footnote, the reader must break from immersion to read the translation. If it's translated on the spot, it makes using the foreign language redundant. If it's translated in a footnote, the player will either have to break their train of thought to go read it, or check it out long after the context is lost.
  • Write only the translation? Pros: This allows players to see the full text of the foreign language speakers, and lets them share in whatever story beats the text has to offer. Cons: There is a higher risk of godmoding- from other players. Where a foreign language might would leave us personally clueless as to its meaning and we write accordingly, a translated language can convey the usual array of thoughts and feelings, which can bleed into our responses when they shouldn't. Additionally, secrets cannot be hidden behind a translated foreign language. The characters might not know them, but the players will, and sometimes keeping the secrets from the players is more important.
  • Compromise! Use foreign languages when no other characters know it, and translate when one or more characters do know it? Pros: This gets to keep all the perks of a foreign language, while also maintaining a degree of plausibility when other characters can understand it. Cons: Judging who knows it and who doesn't can be tricky. Make a mistake, and a firestorm starts. Sticking to one or the other, translate or no translate, reduces conflict potential by introducing consistency.

Your thoughts, everyone?
Lore: Black Belt Around the World

Several hundred years ago, men first observed the twinkle in the stars. In recent years, scientists have come to learn that this is not merely atmospheric fluctuations producing the twinkle; rather, their light is briefly cut off entirely. While optical observation has been unfruitful, magical observation has revealed something interesting: Those shapes have massive mana concentrations.

Just outside the Havens' sphere of influence, incidentally...
We can wait a bit then, sure. Maybe I'll write some more short stories in the meantime. :D
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