• Graded • Sycophantic Spirits

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

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Noth
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Sycophantic Spirits

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:22 am

Zi’da 41, 717

The past few trials had honestly gone by in something of a blur. Their relative speed when compared to the general calm and quiet that surrounded his usual trial-to-trial life had been entirely different than what he expected. The Avriel’s thoughts drifted back to the Game, that grandiose agreement he had made with the Immortal of Fire to slay or deny his opponents any sort of victory, and to receive a reward of his own in return. He considered the likelihood that the fiery godling would keep to his promise, and whilst there was the chance that he would be betrayed, the Avriel almost doubted that that would be the case. After all, he had accomplished his goal, had he not? Did that not deserve reward when so many others might certainly have failed?

Crimson eyes gazed blankly beyond the confines of the stone room, out into the hallway where the occasional pitter-patter of footsteps would greet him as one of his many agents or lieutenants meandered around the place, attempting to get this work done or that work accomplished. They were busy men and women, and rightfully so, for running a group such as theirs took far greater effort than those who identity need not be hidden from the public eye, and whose goals coincided with the general populace. The Avriel did not bother a single one of them as they stepped throughout the cavern, allowing them instead to go about their work as he continued to recollect the events.

There had been his final encounter with Aeon, where he had finally slain someone that he had only met previously in dreams. That had been an altogether strange and arcane experience, and he sincerely worried that his dreams were no longer his own, and that they were being affected by the Immortals in some capacity. He made a mental note never to share his plans in a dream, though quickly discarded the thought when he recalled that dreams were not always lucid, nor was he liable to discover he was within a dream whatsoever, especially if the Immortals themselves were meddling in the affairs of his sleeping mind.

His thoughts flickered back to another particularly strange and archaic being, an entity beyond his more grounded comprehension, though he occasionally attempted to consider how it might function from a physiological standpoint. He was certainly no doctor, nor even entirely familiar with the medical practices, but he had carved up a fair number of corpses in his lifetime, and had grown to recognize what each of the organs was, and what they were meant to accomplish… with some minor exceptions on those internal musculatures that did not seem to possess much of a purpose beyond simple existence.

The spirit that had visited him. That being had seemed to be composed out of an ephemeral and unnatural material which took on a gaseous state. He had been unable to affect it by touch; though, in truth that did seem quite reasonable when one considered it, and so he was uncertain of the exact texture or makeup of its flesh… or if it even remotely possessed flesh, or the other accoutrements of life that accompanied the mortal beings and their animal compatriots.

He had honestly not intended to be gone for as long as he had been, and in truth, it had not occurred to him whilst he was away that he had foregone the quick meeting with the entity that he had assured it by dealing with business upon Scalvoris before abandoning the island nation. That said, he did not feel as though his time had been wasted, because he had managed to spread his infamy to a far off port, recruit what he could only assume would be a sizeable group of pirates, meet several other criminals and scum who might one trial flock to his banner, and happened to both eliminate an opponent, and identify the home of another.

Nevertheless, he was home now, in the company of his soldiers and his trusted companions… he had even had time to visit dear Vern and ruffle her feathers for the sake of missed opportunities. It seemed that Ears had taken particularly good care of her in his absence, and he thanked the mutant sincerely for his efforts.

Well, he thought, he was here, wasn’t he? Where was the spirit if their meeting was so urgent?
Last edited by Noth on Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Noth's Zi'da PH

Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:13 am

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The Diri felt the presence of the Noth in the distance. This pleased it, as it had already chosen the site of its demonstration. Two farming communities, with a small dispute over the crop rotation of a particular parcel of land. It needed to be prepared for the Cylus season, where it would lie dormant, but recuperating certain nutrients based upon what the farmers sowed into the topsoil.

Some of the farmers were insisting on one approach, while the others, of course, wanted something different. Neither group owned the land; it was consigned to them to work for a share of either profit or produce. But that just made it all the harder to come to an agreement, as neither voice had authority in the matter. The Farming Commision had declined to voice any preference of their own, leaving it to the farmers to work out such things.

But taking over the minds of these people was only half the display; only the second phase. The first would be more personal. The Noth would surely be angry by what would be forced upon his mind. But there would be little he could do in response. And as the anger wore off, the realization would replace it. Realization of power, realization of control...realization of dominance!

The Diri focused on its awareness of the Noth's presence. Just a shadowy impression at first; an outline. But as the features of the landscape grew less defined, so did the particulars of the Noth grow in detail. Not the physical details, they steadily grew as misty and insubstantial as the intervening landscape. It was the mental structure of the Noth that became sharp in its perception.

Confidence in himself, but uncertain of the entity that the Diri knew to be the Noth's perception of itself. There was impatience; that was good. A sign of unwillingness to even make a concession of time delay. But the Diri knew there needed to be understanding of both sides, to be better able to predict reactions of both those of strong will and weak.

Discipline was the stabilizing element of dominance. Impatience showed a base of self-importance, but it was still a weakness; a lack of focus. It was the chink in the Noth's armor, and the Diri caught the pattern of thought related to it, the uncertainty fueling the growing anger. Uncertainty had the capacity to branch of in many different ways, one of them being anxiety, which led to fear.

The Diri began to form mental barriers against the paths to other emotions, and started to embellish the anxiety with images. They were taken from the Noth's own mind; images of things reliable and secure, that now grew uncertain. The very stronghold was under surveillance! A spike of resistance fought back against this thought, and the Diri knew its misstroke. It was nothing that would undo the structure of its unravelling of the Noth's confidence, but an assumption made in error.

The Noth had already been aware of numerous attempts at surveillance by his enemies. The fact was, they knew where he was. But this time the concern over the surveillance was more acute. Doubt of the usual willingness to bide their time, made the threat of watchers prey on any seam in the half-breed's confidence. They were only waiting for a sign this time! They were gathering some distance away to plan their attack. Some member of his faction had given them some layout of all the trick entrances to the cave system!

'Yes...' the Diri bolstered its assurance of its approach '...The Noth is unable to be sure now of those he has monitoring these spots.' It was easy to now plant the sense of salvation from this situation. It flashed images in Noth's mind of the path toward where it waited, timing diminished senses of peril along with the images, to create a feeling of reduced danger where that location was concerned.

There was no thought that the Diri itself was present, or involved in any way. But it added one still greater sense of significance to the need to hurry to this location; the idea that the betrayer within his group was on his way there to give "the signal" to the these waiting enemies. It was a see-saw of anxiety versus assurance. Anxiety over unreliable subordinates, countered with a certainty that the distant location had the means to stave off the growing threat.

The last impression laid over these notions was the surety that if he hurried, the Noth could head him off to prevent disaster. The pattern grew steadily in Noth's mind until he could no longer resist without risking insanity. The visions of the disaster that would result were too real to him.
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Sycophantic Spirits

Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:55 pm

Perhaps one of the most significant thoughts that crossed the hybrid’s mind on a fairly regular basis was the threat of betrayal. Most persons would probably consider a being like the hybrid to be entirely focused upon his next conquests, to be considering the assorted methodologies of his opponents, or perhaps of a more physical examination of their fighting styles so that he would be able to best them in singular battle as he had so many others. Yet, for all of the strategic analysis and interpretation that went into his many battles, the singular consideration that still made some semblance of fear and fret flourish through his feathers was the idea that he might be betrayed.

It was true that he was certainly not a kind person, at least not in the traditional sense. Whilst he had displayed a high level of loyalty and companionship with those under his command, and with those who had assisted him with his many objectives, there was little doubting that even these persons thought of him first and foremost as either a ruler, a boss, or perhaps a monstrosity who had bound them to his service with little hope of ever escaping his iron grasp. They would not consider the good things that he did for their sakes, or rest their thoughts solely upon the assistance he had provided; at least, not always, but there was little doubt that his many murders would play through their minds, especially when they considered those persons who they might have once acquainted themselves with, and who had been turned into little more than reminders of the Avriel’s martial prowess.

If ever his enemies were to come to him, he sincerely considered that there might be a traitor in the ranks who would be responsible for the sudden subterfuge. He had taken efforts to subdue such thoughts of treachery in the minds of the rank and file, had submitted a few who had considered treachery to what amounted to an execution of torture, and had ensured that his other followers had observed such a ritualistic sacrifice so that they knew the consequences of crossing him. He had also attempted to continue his loyal and relatively peaceable demeanor whilst around those who worked with him so that they would think more positively of him than negatively. Other more practical ideas had been implemented in order to annihilate any opposing force, and the implementation of traps and watchers in the woods surrounding Al’Angyryl headquarters would hopefully assist in defeating any invasive force should it ever arrive.

His thoughts flickered to the stronghold itself, the work that he had put into it, and how it had grown from a simple cave into what it was today. There was the subtlest indication of worry that flashed across his face at the thought that it might not be enough, but he shrugged it away quickly with a reassuring consideration that their growing numbers and the work put into the base would secure it against any external threat that would likely be mustered against them. Even when the Don had been a prominent member of the criminal community, they had not flooded his stronghold with more than a dozen or two men, had they? It was unreasonable to believe that any greater number could be spared of the Black Guard to battle against him at a time, at least not without serious political maneuvering that would display little more than worry to the public, and give the impression that they were worrisome problem to the ministers of the Citadel.

His thoughts flickered back to the safety of the place, and a worrisome line of thinking arose that could not be so simply eliminated. What if the Black Guard had simply been allowing him to consume all of the smaller gangs so that they would be able to drastically reduce the criminal population in a single fell strike? After all, the reason that so few had fought against the Don was that they could not spare the numbers given all of the assorted criminal gangs operating, but now that they were so few and far between, there would surely be more available units who could go fight against the darkling faction. The shocking logic of it all pressed against his mind, inflicting it with a sudden paranoia that could neither be re-directed, nor publically divulged for fear of spreading fear among his own rank.

Had there been any indication that this was the case? His thoughts flickered back to the seekers who watched the woods, and the relative quiet that had overtaken them as of late. Could it be that they had been subverted? Certainly not Ears… he was loyal to the Avriel and especially to his friends, but he was not the only watchman hidden away in the woods. If the Prince of Eternal Mercies ever intended to assail a place directly, then he would have taken efforts to subvert at least one of the watchman so that they could provide a clear passageway to the enemy base whilst avoiding any entrapments or ambushes which lay around to prevent such easy conquest.

A figure made up of an amalgamation of features appeared in his mind, at once familiar and unknown; his mind’s composition of many features of the assorted watchmen rolled together into a single physical form. Androgynous, not terribly tall, but certainly not short either, with hair that was simultaneously dark in some places, and bright in others, a nose that was neither completely straightened, nor so badly tilted that it indicated breaking. Yes, he thought, he had seen this person around before, and yet now that he thought of the watchers in the woods, they were notably absent. Had he subconsciously been warned of potential danger? Where had this person gone?

The pathway appeared in his mind as though it were directed by a supernatural force, and he immediately jolted free of the wooden chair upon which he had sat, the creaking thing falling backwards in a flurry of movement as he burst free from the room. Talons raked across hard stone, adding a shrieking counterpart to the dull tippity-tap of his mace against his side as he exited the cave, his eyes stern and serious as he set out in the direction of the path, instinctively recognizing it as being relatively close.

If he hurried, he could avert disaster.

He hurried.
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As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Sycophantic Spirits

Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:11 pm

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Even as the pounding thrash of the Noth's steps through the low foliage reached the Diri's senses, it dismissed it's infliction of its domain on the mind of the hybrid. There would be confusion, there would be anger, there would be resentment, possibly even threats; but there would realization and understanding as well.

What passed for the spirit's facial features took on an aspect of a smile as the Noth came staggering near exhaustion before him. "You do not yet comprehend the nature of my summons. I am here to display the capabilities I offered you when we last met. The fortieth trial of your calendar has passed. I am pleased that you are present in this zone as promised. Had you been less punctual, I might have rescinded my offer."

The Diri could feel the anger brewing in the words and gestures of the mono-wing before him. "Stay your wrath, mortal, and consider what greater truth is learned by a demonstration made personal by infliction upon your own mind. I can, and will, show you what impact my will can impose upon an entire community, but you know not what weaknesses they may possess. I know you trust your own conviction. But see how I shaped it to my will. You can witness another's reaction, but until you feel it invade your own thoughts, your own perceived priorities, you do not truly know."

The Diri took a few steps toward a thinner growth of trees marking the border of cleared land left for farmers consigned to provide for Etzos' needs. "You now know how I can influence a single mind. Witness now the many. These are subservient to that same cultural authority we seek to uproot. It is against minds very like to these that we will be most commonly find our purpose contending. See now how they fall."

There was no tone of malice in the Diri's communication with Noth, only absolute conviction of necessity and assurance of success. "I give them a look at a future built upon their own sense of accomplishment; a product of the very effort to which their lives are spent in toil. And then I find the fears that inhabit the darkness of their insecurity, and I join them one with the other. Both thoughts are of their own mind. I need only connect them in a manner at odds with their assumptions."

Already Noth could see some of the figures in the fields wavering in their efforts, some dropping their tools. Soon groups of them began to form, the more charismatic among them leading the others down paths of conviction fully fitted to the Diri's end. "You see? Their own proud sense of self denies them the ability to believe the thoughts are being maneuvered, for they are both genuine thoughts, formed of their own lives and experiences. Now they will try to find cause for the fears manifesting from their own insecurities. They see fire from carelessness, frost damage from poor preparation, sickness among their livestock from lazy stable hands, an excess of taxation from greed in the city, Attack from bandit and southern soldier alike."

The Diri "turned" now to "look" at Noth directly, "Now, what would you have me do with this hold? The merest nudge of suspicion, a common enough mortal anxiety, can turn them one upon the other. Or I can surely find thought, among one at least, that can direct this fear and anger toward a neighboring village. Or perhaps you would have me enflame their anger at the city, prompting a poisoning of the stock set to deliver hence?"

There was now clearly audible accusations, and angry responses echoing up from the roiling crowd. Some were holding others back from violence, while being met with jeers to let them go and see what they get. Some crying out to stop this foolishness, yet carrying a sufficient tone of contempt for those committing it to spark further anger. It was not so much that they believed the anger unjustified, it was more that they felt the direction of blame was grossly misplaced.

The Diri waited to see what the Noth wished to do with the volatile situation.
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Sycophantic Spirits

Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:56 pm

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When a person was walking through darkness, they had little sense or understanding of where they really were, or what they were actually managing to accomplish. Of course, there was some semblance of a sense as to what was being done, or some hinted inkling of possibility as to their whereabouts, but for the most part people were lost when they were so completely submerged in darkness. There was something about the all encompassing blanket of shadow that managed to blot out any sensibility, that shunted off any hope of discovery.

Yet, a person grew used to that complete lack of sensation, to that utter condemnation of perception until they had become at one with it. It was why a person’s eyes began to adjust to the dark, why their auditory senses began to adapt so that they could hear even the slightest pins falling upon the floor with a clarity that was almost supernatural in its accuracy.

That was why when the curtain of darkness was suddenly thrust away, and the blazing fire of light was allowed to pierce through the shroud that had become little more than a home, it was blinding, terrifying, frightening to the sensibilities of creatures that had long since abandoned any pretense of gazing into light again. As the hybrid trudged through the foliage, his thoughts focused so intently, only for every aspect of that direction to suddenly be torn away from him, the lies to be revealed like the stab of fire, he could sympathize with those cavernous dwellers.

It was frustrating to have it suddenly dawn upon him that his will was not his own, that he had been so purposefully strung along, the puppet to some insidious puppet master. Frustration gave way quickly to anger, his Avriel blood reinforcing the savage hatefulness that was well-renowned in his race, and he instinctively felt his feathers begin to prop themselves atop one another, and his talons to dig into the ground underfoot, ripping into it as though it were a fleshier substance. In that instant, he despised that the spirit was composed almost entirely of an ephemeral and impalpable substance, because the idea of assailing it was one that certainly crossed his mind.

Such anger gradually gave way to an understanding, a realization that the power that the spirit had spoken of demonstrating had indeed been shown to him. Had that been its purpose all along? Was it simply attempting to showcase its powers to him so that he would consent to being bound together with it at the loss of his own flesh and blood? Certainly, that had been a powerful statement to create, because he had felt first-hand how it could dominate the minds of the individual. Gradually, the entity came into view of the hybrid, and he recognized what might have passed for its face, although its relatively featurelessness still predominated its form. It began to speak of how it had summoned him, confirming the suspicions that had begun to arouse in his mind, and further making it clear that it may yet have rescinded its offer had he been later than they had agreed. It was curious how timing had worked out so perfectly in that regard.

The being spoke, commanding that he leash his anger and recognize the effectiveness of the display of the spirit’s power, and the hybrid couldn’t help but agree, suddenly wary as to whether his agreement was being forced, or whether it was something of his own creation. The entity further spoke of showcasing how it could affect an entire community of persons. The hybrid nodded his acceptance of this, and crimson eyes re-directed themselves from the spirit towards the nearby village, observing as the individuals went about their daily lives.

The Avriel followed the step-by-step manipulations of the entity, taking mental notes as they went along should it ever become necessary that he need to understand the exact methodology used by such otherworldly beings. After all, if this was how they had managed to subjugate even him to their will, then how much more so such tactics could be used upon those without guile or subterfuge, those whose minds were already twisted to subservience, whose knees had already touched the floor in service to kings and masters?

As the steps finally fell into place, and the creature’s domination came to fruition, it began to question him as to what he would desire done to the village. The Avriel paused to consider this, the weight of responsibility suddenly thrust upon him. He considered all that he had learned from the entity, and thought about the actual process by which the spirit managed to afflict its domination upon others. It had taken thoughts which they could understand, experiences that were their own, and twisted them in such a way to enforce its will. Yet, at no point had the being spoken of infiltrating their minds with entirely new ideas or considerations. That seemed logical, because the mind would resist that which it did not understand, or which was unfamiliar to it.

A foolish man might have asked for the immediate subservience of the villagers to their cause, but Noth recognized that the common man would have little reason to pledge their service to his cause, at least directly, and those that even knew of his presence would have even less cause since their thoughts would be tainted with propaganda. Another idea could have been to unleash them upon the local Black Guard regiment in charge of protecting them, or whatever constituted as their security, but what would that accomplish? A plethora of dead villagers were of little use to him. A tribute left in the woods for some unknown creature? Too vague, too illogical and strange.

The Avriel raised his gaze to the spirit, his crimson eyes glowing with a sudden bout of inspiration.
“Make them despise the current government. Make them think that it is corrupt, that they are being cheated out of their hard work. Have them feel the urge to spread rumors about the Citadel, about how Segrille is too lenient in his punishments, or about how the Guard is too corrupt to do their work, of sneaking suspicions that the Minister of Trade is skimming off the top, that Lady Teris helped unleash the mutant menace.” He paused an instant with a wicked smile. “That Vuda is a dreadful mage. It needn’t be true, nor entirely reasonable, but it has to be something that they’ll spread, something that will warrant suspicion of their superiors, something that will convince them to turn the other way or even to offer their support to a new regime.”

“Our regime.”
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As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Sycophantic Spirits

Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:39 am

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The Diri again gave a look that somehow incorporated an aura of appreciation for its prospective partner's subtlety. It sensed somehow, perhaps from ingrained understandings of existences in the past, that it took such subtlety for a new rival to power to garner their first success. Once established, the older, traditional methods were sufficient, as they needed only to maintain power, not to seize it for the first time.

It wended its mental way through the minds and memories of the increasingly unsettled throng of farmers below. it found that Noth's list of approaches were largely available for exploitation. Several thoughts were already on aspects of government that had betrayed or cheated them: payments gone uncredited to the money lenders, sales of seed, endorsed by the Tower, already gone to rot, property lines altered little by little over the arcs to rob honest men of their holdings, promises of irrigation equipment by the farming commission, never followed through upon, heater pots to guard against early frosts undelivered season after season.

The complaints went on and on, and they were just the farm-related ones. There were common enough accusations of gropings and rapes, additional outrage brewing over counter claims that the girls in question were 'nothing but whores'; the army running roughshod over body and property alike, answering complaints with threat and assault, the superiors of the accused paying little mind, defaulting to the 'greater good' of protection against foreign enemies.

It was a simple process to hang the fundamental blame on the Captain of the Guard and the Marshalls of the rotating hosts of the army. Through this aspect, the Diri was able to bring discredit onto the normally beloved High Marshall Parhn, and by extension, his Chief Adviser, though this end was difficult to maintain. The Diri tried to find suit against Lady Terris, as bidden by Noth, but found even less purchase for this emotional escalation than for that of Parhn and Vuda, in the minds before it. The Minister of Trade, however, was an easy mark. So easy, in fact, it was likely he truly was skimming off the top.

The Diri drummed upon these nerves, building a collective and focused fury that soon found hands filled with hammers and pitchforks. But this was sidetracked from the Diri's focus, now that the mob had found the target for its rage. It added a priority in the mind of one of the more charismatic individuals that had seen an ambush tactic bear great result. The crowd would come to the farmlands garrison, speak of sightings of Rhakrosi agents, work their way innocently into the interior of the campsite, and then capitalize on the element of surprise to deliver punishment for their evils.

It was an added element that the Diri prioritized in their sense of pride, to die to the last man rather than surrender; that it would be preferable to being questioned by such villains, and being made to betray their fellow farmers.

The Diri now turned to speak to Noth. "I am finding an unexpected benefit here. There was great resistance to inflaming anger at this Lady Terris, but it seems there is gossip of an affair she has with the Guard Captain Segrille. There is no proof, but there is acceptance in many of the minds below that it is so. Perhaps this connection should be logged for later use."
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Sycophantic Spirits

Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:48 pm

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After he had finished with his request; to refer to it as a command or an order would have been egotistic and utterly wrong given which of the pair actually held the power, he felt a sensation of appreciation for his choice transmitted between the entity and himself. It was somewhat unnerving that it could so easily transmit thoughts and emotions into his mind, because it seemed to indicate that it was quite capable of reading his thoughts and determining his plans. He very nearly began to question whether that was a safety concern given that if it ever changed its mind about partnering with him, it could simply expose all of his schemes, but he stopped himself short rather quickly from pursuing that particular thought on the basis that the entity might somehow hear that as well.

It was amazing how it was capable of so readily subverting an entire populace against what would otherwise have been its masters, especially when logic dictated rather evidently that they would utterly lose in any sort of armed conflict. Of course, if Al’Angyryl happened along and managed to supply any of the grassroots movements of revolution, then perhaps they would stand a far grander chance, but Noth had little intention of squandering resources on peasantry until he had managed to better secure his own organization’s position in the Underground, and in the political environment as a whole.

The Avriel observed as gradually the gathering began to rally themselves together, to become more and more incensed with the things that he had advised to play upon. It was obvious even to him that they could not all be frustrated about the exact same things, because people often had differing thoughts about how society ought to function, or whether or not certain persons were complicit in assorted deeds. That was a simple side-effect of all societies, and he felt certain that if he were to stare long enough even at his own grunts and soldiers, he would find that they had established certain societal regulations and rules among themselves to govern how best to operate without incurring the wrath of their tyrant prince. Yet, it did not seem to matter how the persons before him thought, or how they processed the world around them, because the spirit being was fully capable of manipulating them.

It was like watching a puppet master playing with its puppets. It did not matter if this one was red, or black, or green, or whether it was in the likeness of a real being, or a false one, a man, or a woman, or even a child. In the end, all the strings still hooked into their backs and limbs, and the puppet master still retained control over them regardless.

The entity spoke again in its strange and otherworldly manner, filling his mind both with what he perceived to be sounds and words, though he couldn’t for certain tell whether either were at all being created mundanely by the creature. It spoke briefly of how it had discovered an unknown quantity in the minds of the villagers, and how the villagers had been difficult to incite against Lady Terris. In addition to that profound statement, there was a brief notice that many of the villagers were under the impression that there was an affair between Terris and Captain Segrille. In truth, the hybrid felt fairly certain that he had heard something along those lines once in the past, but he had dismissed it as utterly unimportant at best, and at worse as falsified blabber.

“Thank you. I will take note of that. If we are going to assume control of Etzos, it may be prudent to subvert or eliminate Lady Terris then. After all, if we can subvert the common man against the others, then we can step in as saviors and revolutionaries instead of criminals and terrorists.” He sighed briefly, turning his attention towards the general direction of Etzos. “Of course, if we’re going to do that, we might well have to slay Segrille as well lest he become incensed to avenge his lover. I’ll make a note of it.”

“How long will that domination of yours last?”
He paused. “Will it be stronger when we are joined?”
Image

Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Sycophantic Spirits

Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:40 am

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Letting the thoughts of the crowd wash over its interpretation once again, the Diri's presence took on a somewhat annoyed look, "We must be very careful in any action taken against this Lady Terris. I can see this as perhaps the one thing that will set these people too far against us to be influenced. That it will create a natural resistance to further direction of their minds."

The entity "spun" to pose a different facing towards Noth, who could only assume it was now "facing" him. "She is beloved of these mortals. I can find no approach to their minds to swing perception against her. There is much belief that she should be running Etzos; that all would benefit. If we are to strike against her, we must do it in a manner that will clearly place the blame on some other group."

Noth asked about the duration of the spirit's control. The Diri twitched just slightly, as if the question was unexpected. "There is no control over them even now. It is their own thoughts that guide their actions. I have only perceived what drives them, and joined fragments of thought together to form motivation." It made a sound akin to a laugh, at Noth's look. "Doubt not that I CAN do what you ask, but that DOES take maintained focus. We are far better served by letting them believe it is their own conviction."

"And yes, we will be much more effective joined. It is not that we will be more powerful, but I will have better understanding of the grain of mortal thought. And your strategies will be more insightful into what I can do. You will not have to ask these questions. As well, your worries about what thoughts I read in your mind, and what you fear I may withhold from you, will be assuaged. We will know each other's minds perfectly."

Satisfied that it had eased the concerns in its prospective partner's thoughts, the Diri turned back to the farmers. It was hard to tell when the essentially faceless Diri was concentrating rather than relaxing, but its form leaned slightly toward the humans to indicate that this might be one of those times. It teetered slowly back, "I may be able to plant the seed that she has let them down by not having achieved more, that by not being in control, she has betrayed them."

It took only a bit to see that Lady Terris was better left alive, as a catalyst of action. A few in the crowd expressed the initial thought that she owed them better than to be satisfied with her moderate office. Almost instantly these voices were shouted down by counter accusations against those who used their higher offices to hold her back; that it was they who had failed the people. Names were shouted in anger, ministers and marshalls all, save for those known criminals that still colluded with the crooked politicians in the Tower of Ministers.

The aura of pleased interest returned to the aspect of what passed for a face on the spirit entity. "Let us see what form this new sense of outrage produces. It could well be that Lady Terris will be our greatest asset."
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Sycophantic Spirits

Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:10 am

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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


NOTH:
XP Rewards: +15

These points can NOT be used for magic.

Knowledges:

  • Diri: What is it Made of?
  • Diri's Dominance: Boosting the Perception of Importance
  • Diri's Dominance: Experiencing it Yourself is Most Convincing
  • Diri's "Future" Ability: Twisting Links from Some Memories to Other Results
  • Leadership: Realizing the Need for Lieutenants
  • Leadership: Time Can Get Away From You
  • Logistics: Some Plans Need Elements From Far Away
  • Meditation: Avoiding Dreams that Involve Real-Life Plans
  • Politics: Common Grievance is The Key to Fomenting Rebellion
  • Politics: Everyone Has Their Grievances
  • Politics: Lady Terris and Capt. Segrille are Having an Affair
  • Politics: Lady Terris May be the Key
  • Psychology: Don't Confuse a Powerful Display with "Showing Off"
  • Psychology: Fear of Betrayal is Easily Manipulated
  • Psychology: The Fear of Having Been "Played" by the Black Guard
  • Tactics: Most Defenses are Broken by Treachery, not Strength
  • Tactics: Repeating Strategies, Just to Depart From Them

Loot, Loss, injuries:

Nothing yet


Fame/Renown: +5

In spite of the remote nature of this, some of your crew will have noted your hasty departure and put two and two together to figure out that the farmers' eventual actions had something to do with you.


Comments:

As I mentioned in a PM or two, there is a post in "Behind Closed Doors" where the Etzos authorities are remarking on the farmers' attack on the garrison. This is a result of the Diri affecting their minds. Things are getting underway. :twisted:
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