Well, the ‘surprises’ are :
- Not that one of the visitors is Foxglove (I knew that) but rather that she is in terrible shape. For the poetic symmetry (I guess) she’s wearing the same peacock gown as when we first met, but it is now torn, dirty and bedraggled. Her beauty is now, I’m told, that of the ‘forlorn waif’ rather than the ‘sophisticated courtesan’.
- The second visitor is Cassandra (well, no duh) and I am reminded that she is a ‘breathtakingly swift’ swordswoman.
Cassandra moves towards me and (gasp!) neglects to bow. Independently of the fact that I assume she was actually meant to curtsy, I guess I’ll let that slide. As Cassandra advances, Gwyneth moves to protect me, although I’m assuming that my other two shieldmaiden bodyguards were also ready to step in, if necessary.
Cassandra doesn’t beat around the bush, mentioning that :
- Glaivas and Dore have been captured and are being held prisoner in the Rift by Dark Elves.
- I can only secure their release by yielding my Scepter of office. Thankfully they don’t also ask for my Orb, because that could have been awkward for my new eye.
I can (1) Ask why she placed herself in such danger (2) Threaten to hold her hostage in exchange for Glaivas (3) Ask Foxglove if Cassandra is telling the truth.
Well, (2) isn’t really an option, because Cassandra has entered my city under my solemn promise of amnesty. Reneging on such a promise would render me no greater than my enemies. I don’t think either (1) or (3) are going to give me much useful information, but let’s ask Cassandra why she’s here.
Cassandra essentially states that she (Cassandra) has been promised enough to make it worth her while, and the danger is nothing to her. I have to acknowledge that I don’t have the Shin-Ren skill, so any further possible information is lost to me.
Gwyneth (interrupting her Overlord, I might mention) asks Foxglove (her obvious bete noire) about her (Foxglove’s) role in all these shenanigans. In a spectacular example of self-pity, she laments how ‘her own city’ shut its gates on her, and she fled to the Rift for ‘succour’.
Out of the whole world open to her, with cash (presumably) at her disposal, she thought that strolling into the den of Orcs, Dark Elves and poker cheats was going to be the best possible move? 10/10 for attitude, minus several million for good judgement.
In any event, Gwyneth really cuts loose, showing some real passion as she calls Foxglove a ‘vile worm’ (!) and noting that she’s only come crawling back when her erstwhile allies had no use for her. In a tough but fair analysis, Gwyneth mentions that Foxglove has :
- No martial skills;
- No magical skills;
- No priestly skills.
- Only the ‘low cunning’ of a ‘poisonous gutter toad’ (!)
Go Gwyneth! Tell it like it is, girl! You just know that she uploaded this ‘sick burn’ to her Twitter feed and boasted about it to her mates down at the bar over Cosmopolitans.
Foxglove essentially makes no admissions, and describes herself as a ‘pawn’ in a sick game.
Cassandra channels the ‘cold as ice’ portion of her personality, and calmly states that she merely brought Foxglove with her to gain access to the city, and that I can keep her (Foxglove) here as a prisoner if I wish. Otherwise Cassandra will take her back to the Rift, mentioning that Foxglove has made ‘quite an impression’ on the Black Widow, the new ruler of the Rift.
I’m going to just leave those unpleasant implications alone.
Gwyneth, meanwhile, insists that Foxglove should be put to death as a traitor.
I can say straight away that, independently of my opposition to capital punishment, I absolutely cannot condone a summary execution of anyone without trial, especially when they entered my city under a decree of amnesty.
My options are :
- Order Foxglove’s execution (not happening);
- Send Foxglove back to the Rift with Cassandra;
- Set Foxglove free;
- Order Foxglove to accompany me to the Rift (!!)
I have no idea why there isn’t the simple option of just locking Foxglove up until this whole situation is resolved.
Anyway, (4) is just stupid, and I have no idea why it would be a good idea. Logically, Foxglove is Cassandra’s prisoner, and it would be a breach of my amnesty to take action against her, including setting her free. I therefore allow Foxglove to remain in Cassandra’s custody.
Gwyneth won’t be happy, but what are you gonna do?
And after this calm and reasonable meeting, I’ll need to decide what I’m actually going to do about rescuing my friends.
Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5