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Author Topic: The Grand Sultan  (Read 1352 times)

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Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #225 on: November 10, 2018, 06:39:05 am »
"The Crimson Firebrand shaped efreet culture as we know it," Seira agrees. It just so happens that she has a difference perspective on this matter. "His actions brought your people together, and he is justly revered for his actions. Yet they existed in a far different society, a far different Creation than the one that exists these days. Had the Crimson Firebrand reorganized the efreet today, would he have taken the exact steps he had in the distant past? I humbly submit that he would have sought to find the solution that would take the efreet as high as they can go, and wouldn't have let any and all ancient values stand in his way. After all, had he been so bothered by every aspect of tradition, the efreet would still be living in tribes, rather than organized in the magnificent City of Brass."

Seira pauses, visibly considering her words before giving up with a little sigh. "There is no palatable way of saying this, but since the Crimson Firebrand, successive rulers have been seen as caretakers, haven't they? There is a clear divide. The first Grand Sultan established the rules of efreet society, and those who came after him have enforced them. He is the first among equals, as the saying goes." She looks back into the Grand Sultan's fiery gaze. "I say these things not to insult you, but to make this observation. The Crimson Firebrand stands apart not merely for being the first, but for having the shaping effect on efreet society that he had. For daring to go outside what was seen as obvious and acceptable at his time, and leaving that as his legacy. It is my belief that you have the same chance here to reshape society, and advance the efreet cause across the planes. The status quo will endure no longer, not as these winds of change blow through Creation, from Nessus to Chronias. But there are more options available than capitulation to foreign demands or turning Fire into a second Avernus, the battleground of a new Blood War. I am asking you to reorganize the efreet empire into one that matches the times -- that thrives in this new climate, being the first to capitalize on the changes in Creation!"

She points at the third clause, saying, "In our private negotiations last night, Celestia agreed to purchase the existing slaves if you were willing to change efreet society in this way. That would mean an explosion of capital alongside a clear sign of support from your traditional enemies. And it would be your chance for establishing a legacy of growth and success in expanding your sphere of influence. Imagine, if you will, a planar power that has the ear of both the Hells and Heavens. An alternative to Mechanus, where it comes to negotiations and deal-making. An explosion in trade, as Fire dominates the commerce on the Inner Planes, aided by the powers of Good rather than impeded, for I seek not to humiliate or put down Fire, but to help it find true greatness. We've spoken earlier of our propensity for providing new names when they are needed. With that thought in mind, would we have a partner in the Crimson Sultan, one who picks up the cause of efreet advancement where the Crimson Firebrand has left off?"
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 06:44:26 am by Corwin »
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #226 on: November 12, 2018, 01:17:47 pm »
DM note: Several posts were deleted. Long story.

Your words are listened to, silence as you speak. When you at last stop, the Grand Sultan merely asks, "How will removing so much of the efreet's labor pool be compensated for in the long run by treasure? All of your words aside, what do they provide that can replace what they give up? You ask of us to give you an arm and a leg, and thank you for the privilege!"
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 05:15:06 pm by Anastasia »
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Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #227 on: November 12, 2018, 05:26:21 pm »
"We've already discussed compensation," Seira notes, sad that she failed to sweep the Sultan with ideals. That's what separates the Crimson Firebrand types from those who follow them, perhaps? "Investing wisely would continue to bring revenue, while hiring actually competent professionals would allow for more profits through lowering security needs alone."
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #228 on: November 12, 2018, 05:33:47 pm »
"How about something else?" The Grand Sultan smiles, steepling his hands together, "Other things that could satisfy you rather than this notion about the slave trade. A hoard worthy of a dragon of your caliber, Seira?"
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #229 on: November 12, 2018, 05:45:23 pm »
"I'm afraid that I am unwilling to let the practice of slavery continue," Seira tells the Grand Sultan quietly. An earnest plea got ignored, while a generous counter-offer was expertly dodged, so it is time to resort to the truth. "I was prepared to try and work through diplomatic channels, and I must admit to being quite cross when I heard that Celestia began striking at efreet targets. Open warfare seemed like a prelude to events none of us wanted or could even predict their course."

With a flash of fire, the Sultan's original draft proposal appears in her hand. "But this? To sign a binding accord perpetuating this wrong? Approving it openly, when even the present status quo was already a burden? I'm afraid that is unacceptable. Once you've brought things to this point, you've turned this into an issue of values. As a simple matter of honor, none of us can back down from our ideals. In recognition of how badly a widened conflict would be for everyone involved, we have debated this matter and agreed to make a great many concessions that benefit the efreet empire and yourself, at great cost to us. But the one thing we cannot compromise on is our principles, and now you understand why."

The draft disappears again, and Seira says, "We come here before you as representatives of different realms, with different wishes and goals, but on this we stand united and our allies will do likewise."
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #230 on: November 12, 2018, 05:53:56 pm »
At this Barachiel speaks up, "I have left Seira speak so that you understand us. We are not weak children afraid to go to war. We can fight you and we will see the City of Brass broken before us, never to be rebuild. We can triumph and will triumph if needed. Fear of Shar will not save you." He does not turn away from the Grand Sultan's gaze the entire time, "We stand for what is right." He offers a hand out, "Come with us or stand against us, but no longer will slavery be tolerated."
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #231 on: November 12, 2018, 06:02:01 pm »
"There is much to gain by realigning closer to us," Seira echoes Barachiel, "just as there is much to lose otherwise. The choice is yours, Grand Sultan, of whether the efreet are on the way to ascendancy, in peace and enjoying a shared front against Shar and others who would seek to harm them... or fighting a war on every front, one that by its nature will be a total war."
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #232 on: November 13, 2018, 01:09:17 pm »
"You will risk the destruction of everything over this?" The Grand Sultan challenges you two right back, "Even as you find yourselves smashed against the swords of efreet strength of arms? For what gain do you wage war in a time that makes your objective irrelevant?"
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #233 on: November 13, 2018, 01:25:06 pm »
"Because it's the right thing to do," Seira instantly responds. "Because the battle against Shar is a battle of ideas, and if we compromise our own we can never hope to defeat her. Because there are compromises we can live with, and those we cannot. Because I'm trying to form a better Creation for my children."

She tries reaching him again; appealing to his greed had failed before, but repeated appeals to the Grand Sultan's ego may yet bear fruit, especially as she pairs them with the unlikely companion of cold logic. "Sultan, I implore you to work with us, for all that I've told you is the truth. Your legend could surpass the Crimson Firebrand's, as the one who took efreet society out of its tight social circle and into the greater planes, as the one who stood shoulder to shoulder with those who defeated Shar and thus had a say in the fate of Creation going forward. Look at your terms again. It defers this conflict, nothing more. What say will you have in the future? Our proposal, on the other hand, seeks to end the conflict for good. It offers you a seat at the table, and it is the most important table in existence. Look at the recent conflict upon the Prime of Lifasa. Would you rather be Tiamat, defiant and powerful, needing several deities banding together to drive her away? Yet drive her away without accomplishment they did, while Auril came out in support of the liberation movement, and has a stake in that world as we speak. Who made the better choice? Which one is to be yours?"
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #234 on: November 13, 2018, 01:39:41 pm »
Sitting back after that, the Grand Sultan is about to speak when Barachiel adds in, "You can choose to step forward or step back. With all the hounds that nip at your heels, stepping back is stepping into them. When a Sultan proves ineffective, a coup follows with a new Sultan."

"You ask what I cannot give," The Grand Sultan shakes his head, "You know this."

<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #235 on: November 13, 2018, 01:53:30 pm »
"You can abolish slavery," Seira insists. "You can present achievements to many of your people who don't truly care about slavery, and if it becomes possible to speak of this publicly, I think you'll find that more than you would expect would actually approve of this move. At the same time, you have a chance to receive our aid to deal with threats, both foreign and domestic. We are already prepared to deal with Shar -- to prioritize the threat her agents pose here above her other ventures. And your domestic challenges would be those who would refuse to align with us. Celestia had shown that it can deal with such individuals, who are too far gone to be negotiated with. I assure you that the Cauldron is no less competent in such matters. Growth, trade, power; the efreet will have all, and you will be the one to deliver it to them. As for honor, tradition and pride? It all depends on the presentation. The concessions you manage to gain from us, your vision for the efreet nation out across the planes and domestically, on Fire. If that vision is sufficiently bold and far-reaching, you will sweep your people along with you and be venerated for it! At the core, do you not believe in your ability to transform the empire in your image?"
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #236 on: November 13, 2018, 02:07:17 pm »
Give me a Diplo check, -50 circumstance penalty.
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #237 on: November 13, 2018, 02:11:47 pm »
20:10 <CC> roll 1d20+56+4+10+14+10-50
20:10 <Penuche> CC invokes Penuche's magic: < 62 > [d20=18]

Using my nontyped 1/week +10 bonus on this.
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #238 on: November 13, 2018, 02:22:39 pm »
The Grand Sultan shakes his head. "I believe in my power, not becoming known as a piece for other empires to manipulate. It would be foolishness to consider your offer as it is under these terms."
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Corwin

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Re: The Grand Sultan
« Reply #239 on: November 13, 2018, 02:25:41 pm »
"If you agree in principle with abolition, the rest is up for negotiations. I think you'll find us willing to go a great deal to agree to terms that help you domestically and with your existing allies that don't go against the core of our wishes."
<Steph> I might have made a terrible mistake