Guerrillas In The Mist

A Question of Loyalty

Quinn raised his eyebrows at Cassiel.

“That’s not a word, is it?”

It had been his idea, trying to increase his vocabulary. There had been a few too many occasions at balls were his lack of education had shown during conversation. He wasn’t stupid, but oftentimes he’d been reduced to an awkward smile and a half-assed response.

“It is, Quillan. It means using long words when short ones will do.”

“Oh. Sounds like a lot of conversations at balls then. How did you pronounce it?”

“Ses, as in cesspit. Qui as in…key with a Q. Pay, day, lee, an. Sesquipedalian.”

“Okay…isn’t there a shorter word for that?”

“Well yes. You can say verbose, too, but it’s a less interesting word really.” She smirked, similar to her sisters half grin when she knew she’d done something clever and unexpected.

“How about…” she paused to think “happiness?”

“Not this again.”

“I like to expand by horizons. Humour me. I would like to get something out of these sessions too.”

She did it quite a lot. As far as he could tell, Nebellea had given some speech about slaw lives being so different to noble lifestyles and now she liked to see how their views on abstract concepts like happiness compared.

“Happiness…it’s more than being contented. It’s active pleasure when something has happened. It’s getting some extra food one day. It’s getting a transferred from one noble to another, one who beats less. It’s finishing work early. It’s winning cardgames.” He grinned at the last one.

“Quite. I wouldn’t say we differ there. How about loyalty?”

“Doing right by those who do right by you.”

“That sounds small minded, Quill.”

“Maybe. Skaa have to be loyal to number one…maybe some family. It isn’t really a quality in skaa. They’ll be family minded, but loyalty is more than that. Obligatory are loyal. Guards are loyal. Skaa don’t have the liberty.”

“I see. You’re loyal to someone though, right? Pellik?”

“I guess. I’d do what he asked me to do, I’d stand by him if he made a decision I agreed on.”

“What if he did something you didn’t agree with it?”

“Within reason I guess…can you be loyal to ideas?”

“Yes, but it’s not the same.”

She looked quizzically at him.

“So, between friends who can keep a secret, who are you loyal to in this…enterprise?”

“Penndlehave. He gave up his life to be here in so many ways. I stole Tret away so I’m responsible for his current situation.”

“Thats responsibility, not loyalty. Loyalty is standing by someone who is perhaps not always perfect. It’s allegiance and support, abandoning something of yourself for them.”

Quinn lent back in his chair. Who am I loyal to?

It was on his mind after Alhara announcing she may leave for Terris. He was loyal to her for what she had done to educate him. But more than that, she was trusting of him. It might not be more than the others in the group, but trust inspired trust.

But then what about the group as a whole? Was he loyal to Bella, to Fallow, to Owandise?

Owandise was a fine woman, but he didn’t know her. He was grateful for what she had done and somewhat of what she represented, but he wouldn’t do anything she asked without question.

Fallow…former pirate and skaa beater, now a reforming man trying to improve the lives of skaa. He’d made him kill a man for the sake of his own security…would he do it again? Or had their dynamic changed enough that he’d know not to do that? It was a hard question. He respected the man. He was a logical man, immovable in some ways unless you could prove why what you’re doing was reasonable. It doesn’t seem like loyalty.

Bella…confused, changing Nebellea. He never knew what to expect. When she had moved to steal from Lekal…he would never have expected it. He would have leapt to join her…but it wasn’t selfless. He wanted to move against the nobles when he could. What if she wanted them to attack skaa?

Except she wouldn’t. If nothing else, he could rely on her to be less violent, more accepting than him.

“I don’t like this question, Cassiel. I’m loyal to the group and what we’re working towards…but it comes from me agreeing with it.”

“Sometimes, Quillan, loyalty can be a two way street. You give them your loyalty, knowing they wouldn’t abuse that responsibility.”

“So who are you loyal to, Cassie?”

“I’ll tell you when you know who you’re loyal to, Quill. Anyway, how about abolishment?

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Chapter 37
Story 3

Time

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Learning

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Aspirations

  • 2 for Alhara
  • 3 for Bella
  • 3 for Fallow
  • 3 for Quinn

Roleplay

  • 3 for Alhara
  • 2 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 3 for Quinn

Dramatic Failures

  • 2 for Bella

Adventure Log

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Chapter 37 Summary
The Session Bella ran away
  • Bella goes on a merry jaunt
  • Gets spotted by lucky guard
  • Fallow wakes up and figures it out
  • We go out to try and find her
  • Fallow eventually goes home while Quinn waits at the gate leading to the house from the city
  • Bella sneaks by and gets home, informing quinn in the morning of this so he can come home
  • Bella finds nothing of huge interest, was spotted immediately
  • Quinn and Cassiel go shopping while Alhara goes to see Kwabez
  • Roadtrip to Terris is required
  • Quinn and Bella have a conversation (trying to resolve leveraged)
  • Bella learns to accept people like her
  • Fallow has some knife play with Owandise
  • Alhara tells the people in the room about her maybe needing to leave to Terris
  • Discussion is had about whether we should go or not
  • Quinn wants them to accompany her, but Fallow points out that they have lasting issues to resolve in Austrex.
  • In the evening we train Tret and Bella in perception and stealth respectively
  • The next morning we do science to use nicrosil to bump charges out of the key and then to figure out what nicrosil does allomantically
  • We succeed in both these things.
  • We are also all informed Cassiel is a Copper Misting
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Two Birds, One Stone

Cities had one thing in common, there was always a hush as the mists descended.

Quinn stared across at the dilestani keep. It was a grand building, hewn of stone and strung with banners of house colours that some poor skaa no doubt had to clean hourly during daylight. A tower was at the left of the residence, and he could see the flickers of candlelight appearing as darkness fell. The rest of the building was square and dark, and skaa whispers told him that was where the servants tended to live, not to mention the guards.

Burning tin he could spot a few shattered glass panes or crumbling mortar, and as the guard shifts changed there was a definite gap at the leftmost corner.

That was the best entry point, if he could convince the clips to do it.

Chances are they’ll prefer a ground based entrance, he thought to himself, but that’s where they’ll have the most guards. You’d only get a misting going through the roof and it’s not like people expect that to happen.

He sighed and worked his way closer and to an angle with which he could see over the walls into the ground.

Some patrols, but a fair bit of cover and it’s not well lit. I wonder if they have a tineye… he flared his bronze and scanned for pulses_…can’t spot any, could be out of range though._

He pulled out his notebook, hunching behind a wall. A topdown view of the keep was drawn, with a rough estimation of the grounds and dotted lines of likely patrol areas. They didn’t keep to the same route, but the declines in the land were usually avoided. He was hoping to make a name for himself in the underground, some sort of social capital with which to mobilise the underground and eventually the resistance. Fallow liked to talk about “uniquely individual efficiencies” as he liked to think of them. The unique aspects they all brought to the table, and he’d been slacking. There was a definite window of opportunity for him in the underground, if he knew how to use it. It was all just politics, and that was just a game according to Cassiel. A game that could cost the lives of hundreds.

The issue he was gonna have was getting people to agree. They mostly did small scores against ships, food or supplies a noble house wouldn’t miss. But targeting a noble house was a step up. There’d be serious repercussions. So that’s why he took inspiration from fallow.

“If I was gonna take down the noble houses, I’d make them fight each other.”

In his usual, surprising way, he was entirely right.

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Chapter 36
Story 3

Time

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Learning

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Aspirations

  • 3 for Alhara
  • 3 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 2 for Quinn

Roleplay

  • 2 for Alhara
  • 3 for Bella
  • 2 for Fallow
  • 3 for Quinn

Adventure Log

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Chapter 36 Summary
The Session we were all Bad People
  • Faff about the house
  • Find out Green Metal is a copper metalmind
  • Priceless History swallowed by Quinn
  • Find out about the Well of Ascension and Rashek
  • Get a letter from resistance
  • They want to know about Lekal Interior set up
  • Annoyed at break in
  • We separate for the day after arguments about Hyrum
  • Aim to staff for the house
  • Quinn goes to meet resistance to try to suggest they provide Skaa to work in our house
  • “A unique opportunity
  • Kistaaris seem keen to take advantage of the opportunity
  • He is aware of the hidey boxes
  • Alhara and Fallow go to canton of resistance
  • Aim to hire cheap but competent workers
  • No rush, but ASAP
  • “In good time”
  • Bella and Owandise spend time beating Cassiel
  • She becomes a smoker
  • They all have a good cry and don’t talk about it at dinner
  • Dinner, we notice the odd movements
  • Tret is encouraged to be an individual and inspire the other skaa workers to come.
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Golden Moments

She was in two places at once.

She could see herself and see herself.

The first of her pouted and raged, her emotions swaying her from moment to moment. She lashed out at those around her using petty acts to try and reinforce her crumbling authority.

The second figure was fitter, her face had less baby fat and more muscle filled out her arms, he once soft leisure loving hands callused by the bow string. Now she had companionship and a few she might think off and be thought of as friends. She still craved attention and praise far more than any gold or Atium, but in many ways she was more mature. At the same time she was still hopelessly naive to deal with all the bloodshed and treachery that was on the horizon that would either force her to sink or swim.

Nebellea staggered and extinguished the Gold burning in her stomach. She sunk down on the bed, drained and feeling older than she had any right to. It was all getting horribly complicated again. She could be proud of who she was becoming and in many ways she was proud of the others as well. But still she had a niggling doubt, they were all violent people in their own way. Sandcrown was a brutal pragmatist, Alhara despite appearing outwardly serene had a beserk fury within her and Quinn was more than happy to kill for his ideals. Nebellea wondered how she came to be surrounded by those who revelled in violence quite so much. She liked to think that she had helped in some way to change some of them, she obviously could not take full credit but she wondered if they might be affecting her too. Her thoughts drifted back to Empoli, the guardsman’s house, the smell of the tea and his giddy grin, the feeling of resistance as the knife went in to him. The others kept telling her she had to be prepared to kill one day the irony being she already had.

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The Best Things in life are Free and Unguarded

Quinn admired his new suit. It was a fine cut, something in blue to remind him of the dress Bella has wore when she was pranking Darielle. It reminded him of a time he and her had actually worked together on something: he was hoping it would be good to remember that when she asked him to do something else he didn’t like. And now he was being told he needed to buy another suit for the wedding. Plus one for Pidge as well.

His hands clenched, It was such a waste of money. I could eat off that for months. I could do so much more with it

“Feather-pen,” it was Pidge’s favourite name for him at the moment, “What’s got your rags in a twist?”

“Just the wedding. It’s so expensive. Couldn’t we just, I don’t know, do like a little ceremony. There are Skaa starving out there, Pidge.”

Pidge’s smiled faded slightly, “Quinn, we can’t keep having this discussion. I thought we agreed we’re doing good so it’s okay to buy into this lifestyle.”

“I know, I know. I just…I mean I just bought this suit. And now we need more. How do you feel about white suits, P?”

“I think they’re stupid and will be covered in ash if we so much as look out of a window. But the Lady Rebou gets as she desires. Speaking of which, can I borrow some money?”

Quinn blinked. Self-sufficient Pidge barely asked someone to pass him a knife when he cooking, let alone ask for money.

“Why do you need money, Pidge?”

“Well…I was speaking to Penn and he said it’s normal for nobles to get gifts for each other at weddings. There is supposed to be some list and we pick items off of it. But then he thinks we should be fine just getting something small or ceremonial for Fallow, because we’re sort of family, and really the gifts are for the house, so we just need something that welcomes him into the fold.”

“That’s…thoughtful of you.”

“Well Owandise has taken us in, Q. We should play our parts at least. But I can’t make him a bread roll to say welcome to the house. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve met a noble who could boil let alone peel a potato.”

“Hmm…I’ll speak to Bella about it I guess, or Teven. He probably knows what’s appropriate. You up for Shelldry with him and Molsier sometime?”

“Molsier…the pewterarm who stabbed you?”

“Yep. I’m trying to make amends. I might let him win at shelldry and everything.”

“You’re incorrigible…can I get that money anyway?”

“Yeah sure…is this actually for Fallow or is something else going on?”

Pidge looked away. His skin, clear of ash or flour, was pale for a skaa: caused by time spent in a bakery and not under the sun. On this occasion, there was a flush rising in it also.

“I…yes. Can you just give me the money and not ask me about

“Sure…don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Pidge raised an eyebrow and went digging in the drawers for loose coins, “Speaking of things I wouldn’t do, I got hired by some criminal types today.”

“WHAT?” Pidge turned from his search, a cravat in his left hand, “How did…is that why you’ve been on the docks so much? Lord, Quinn, whatever are you thinking? We have a good gig here. Why are you doing this…”

The cravat dropped silently to the floor, Pidge closing his eyes and turning around.

“Tell me why you did it then, since I obviously can’t stop you.”

“Well I figure the best way to get more Skaa in the rebellion is to recruit the folks that are already against the law. Just got to make a name for myself then I can make sure they know who to go to when the decide stealing hankerchiefs isn’t really changing anything. Plus, I want an ear to the ground. I feel penned up in this house, and I want to be out there. I’d just rather be out there being useful to something and doing something useful for the group to boot.”

“Okay, that’s at least semi-reasonable…just don’t break into any noble houses or cantons, yeah?”

“No promises. The bag, it’s under that floorboard to your right, by the way.”

“Ta muchly,” Pidge seemed unphased by the admission. He’d learnt Quinn wouldn’t tell him anything if he hadn’t wasted his time a little, and he really needed that money. She’d just love that bracelet, I’m sure.

After Pidge left, Quinn turned back to his suit.

Lot’s of nobles…at a party. House guard will be brought, but some of those lesser houses are gonna be lax… Interesting thought.

He began to whistle as he put his suit away.

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Chapter 35 Summary
The Session All PCs Bothered Alhara
  • Quinn continues meeting with Tulley
  • Gets a contact and a deaddrop location
  • Bella and Fallow ask pidge about his snapping for mist snapping theory
  • Pidge is polite but honest about their apparent stupidity and dismissiveness of skaa lives
  • Fallow derails conversation very slightly
  • Next on the hit list is Alhara
  • They ask her about training (echoing Quinn from a few days before)
  • That does not add much to their knowledge
  • Bella and Alhara discuss wedding plans
  • Fallow leaves and has a conversation with cassiel
  • He offers to beat her if that is something she wants because it might be better than someone she has an emotional attachment to
  • Fallow feels the conversation went well
  • Quinn meets dead drop person, run away from cruel, comes home and is eating when wanders in on wedding plan conversation
  • Asked to be a page boy, disparity between noble weddings and skaa apparent
  • Asked about his snapping, gets defensive, guilt trips nebellea about mist inoculation
  • Woooo leveraged
  • Fallow and Bella write letters
  • Alhara and Quinn deliver letters, talk about their families and growing up, as much as the concept of friends bonding
  • Letter delivery is smooth, Quinn scopes out Dilestani (?) house
  • Exp. Success on weird (hermalurgic) thing in Bylerum. External Pulling.
    Question we haven’t OOC considered is whether that is the material of the spike or the power the spike grants
  • Kwabez and Alhara chat and they arrange for Kwabez to visit and train Bella et al
  • Go home, family meeting about upcoming events
  • Quinn swallows mysterious green metal bead stuff while burning pewter
  • Session ends [FUCK YOU RICHARD I WANNA KNOW WHAT THEY ARE]
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Chapter 35
Story 3

Time

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Learning

  • 1 for Alhara
  • 1 for Bella
  • 1 for Fallow
  • 1 for Quinn

Aspirations

  • 2 for Alhara
  • 2 for Bella
  • 3 for Fallow
  • 3 for Quinn

Roleplay

  • 2 for Alhara
  • 2 for Bella
  • 2 for Fallow
  • 2 for Quinn

Conditions

  • 1 for Fallow

Adventure Log

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