Sapphire Skies

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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Mon May 30, 2016 3:30 pm

Strange, she thought. She took a few steps closer to the crystal, examining it closely. She wasn't sure if she recognized this sort of magical crystal or not. She tried the same psionic spell on that, just to see if it would garner any information for her.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Mon May 30, 2016 3:38 pm

She wouldn't know anything about it, but when she used her psionics she would get the sense this was not made recently, they crystal was ancient, and the town probably found it down here rather than made it. But that still begs the question, who in the town activated the stone, who made it start working. Because they didn't find it just happening to mine dendritic beneath their town hall, that would be too much of a coincidence, that and the room itself didn't have the air of an ancient cave.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Mon May 30, 2016 3:44 pm

Interesting. She took note of all these things and made up her mind that she would have to start by asking around tomorrow. Until then, she thought it best to simply leave the golems to what they were doing, as they didn't seem to be a threat at all. She traveled further down the cave and made her way through any notable mining tunnels, looking for anything of interest...besides the copious amounts of dendritic, of course. She was particularly interested in finding a larger chamber down even lower, something that would be truly worthy of a main lair, and all the while she was mentally mapping out the tunnels and committing them to memory. This would be her home for a good while, and it would be wise of her to know it well.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Mon May 30, 2016 3:51 pm

It looked like a lot of these mine shafts were just that, straight mine shafts made for finding dendritic, that ended when the veins did. No larger caverns were found, though perhaps if she found out how to command these golems she could make them mine her out a larger cavern to use as a main lair.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Mon May 30, 2016 4:30 pm

After spending some time exploring, she found herself back in the main lair. She still had most of the night to spare - and a lot of work to do.

She oriented herself towards the south and headed as far as she could down the straightest mine shaft she could find. Then, taking on her dragon form once more, she took a deep whiff of the nearby dendritic before turning her sights towards the southern tunnel. It had been a long time since she had been underground, and even longer since she had tunneled, but she knew it was in her blood. Her thoughts drifted back to the extensive caverns she had called home as a juvenile, dug out miles and miles into the earth by her draconic predecessors, before she had come to the surface. It was all hazy, but there was something...comforting about the feeling of being underground. She felt the need to burrow. To dig. To tunnel and nest. And she had her first project already planned.

As she took on her true form again, she raked her claws lightly against the stone to get used to the feeling, and coiled her body back like a snake. She then moved forward rapidly, slicing and burrowing into the stone ahead of her with a speed and precision that only ground-dwelling and Underdark dragons could muster without practice.

She was aiming towards last night's gnoll camp, which she intended to use as one of her secondary exits from the city's caverns. It was a good spot tactically, and she planned to hold it.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Mon May 30, 2016 4:56 pm

The stone would tear away quickly, she wasn't used to burrowing anymore, after so long being away from her under ground habitat, but this was easy enough regardless of being used it it. She tore through the ground like it was paper, though some points were tougher to get through than other. On average this task was going to be easy, if not slightly tedious.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Mon May 30, 2016 5:12 pm

She busied herself by designing several cliff-like drops and sloping turns into the tunnel - nothing too extravagant, but just enough that might confuse the wayward traveler sticking his nose where it didn't belong, and prevent the average human from climbing right over and wandering through. In her mind, she was already planning out a series of doors or traps that she might have her minions construct in this place, but for now, it was secure enough.

She hollowed out one particularly deep chasm on a long, straight stretch of the tunnel towards her new chamber, about a mile in from the end of the southern exit. At the bottom, she chiseled rows of sharpened stone stalagmites. The pit dropped about thirty feet into the blackness, with the stone spires jutting up as high as five or six feet like a hungry toothed maw waiting to devour anything foolish enough to come venturing in unprepared. Altogether, the pit was about fifty feet wide - long enough for her to leap or glide across with minimal effort, but adequate to prevent any humans getting across it with anything short of exceptional magic, or perhaps some formidable building efforts. She took her time carving around the edges, making sure there were no footholds or grips that could be used to weasel across. This beast was thorough and detailed - she didn't want any surprises in her new lair.

The hours of the night droned on as she continued tunneling, relearning a skill that had been lost to her for ages. She started to get the hang of it, and by the time she had reached the opposite end near where she intended to surface, she was growing rather fond of the coziness of the dark burrow. It calmed her, made her forget...what, exactly? It didn't matter now. She would make this her home. Her fortress. Her new base of operations.

It was very late when she finally surfaced near the gnoll camp. With a clawful of topsoil dirt pulled loose from the open air above, she stuck her snout out long enough to take a look. She had miscalculated the distance at first, but there was time to remedy it. She replaced the last bits of her tunnel and then branched off in the correct direction. A bit more careful this time, she re-surfaced once more in the lower side of the hill that sloped inwards towards the gnoll camp at the pond. She broke free from the ground, pleased with her better accuracy this time, and began padding around the entrance so that it was secure and wouldn't cave in on itself easily. She kept it mostly concealed from the sight of casual passers-by, as it was tucked well within the willow trees and further obscured by the hill and the little pond.

As she rose from the ground, she spoke softly so that the gnolls who were still camped nearby wouldn't be alarmed. "It is Caeriadne, my followers. I have come back for you. We have been victorious and taken the city. Come to me."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Mon May 30, 2016 8:09 pm

The Gnolls turned to her, not frightened but definitely surprised by the sudden appearance of their leader. They all packed up and walked over to her as they were commanded to do. Arrak and Groo led the small procession of Gnolls over to her and bowed when they reached her. Arrak spoke with an excitement in his voice "So the town is ours? We have a home now?"
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Mon May 30, 2016 8:35 pm

"Yes, Arrak. You, Groo, and all your families have a home. But we're not done yet." The beast offered another toothy smile before she turned to the pond, thoughtfully stretched her long snakelike neck down towards its clear surface, and lapped up a few greedy drinks of water.

Then, she glanced over her shoulder and turned to dislodge a few large stones that she had tunneled out to place in front of the mouth of the cave. It didn't seal perfectly of course, but it would prove difficult for anything human-sized to move them out of place again. At least her exit was complete now, save for some later enhancements and revisions. She flexed her nostrils as the last faint smells of dendritic wafted away in the air. She would miss that scent, until they got back.

"Come back with me, my friends. You will sleep behind walls and under roofs tonight. You may leave your camp supplies up here, if you like. This will be our second...base." She slinked out from under the willows and into the cold night air, giving her gnolls a few moments to ready themselves before following.

She headed towards the north and lifted her great body up to glide low under the starry sky, not much faster than what the gnolls could manage on foot. She had accomplished enough for today. She would take them back to the city, make sure they settled in, and then see if she would be able to get some actual rest after that terrible last thousand years of so-called 'sleep'.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Mon May 30, 2016 11:24 pm

They cheered and yipped and hollered when she said they would have a home, and they seemed very excited that she was not yet done. They were going to grow again, become strong again, and that excited a primal nature in them that simply being safe could never touch.

They moved at a steady pace as she glided across the night sky, many of them found themselves looking up at the majestic creature that had brought them safety and would bring them glory. Once they settled in and every other living creature in that city was asleep, she would be left alone to rest until morning if she wished. If she could.

She may be a dragon, she may be powerful. But the dark corners of the mind have a way of reducing even the strongest creatures, to nothing.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Mon May 30, 2016 11:49 pm

Once Caeriadne had all the rest of her followers within the city walls, she slithered into the darkness of the cave under the town hall. She remained in her dragon form as she curled herself around one of the hoarded piles of dendritic, nuzzling into it as if its cold, metallic touch comforted her.

She dozed off, her great scaled eyelids flickering for a few minutes before finally falling heavily. She fell into a deep sleep, her nostrils twitching with the scent of dendritic as she dreamed of sweet, sweet conquest. Tomorrow would be the first day of her new reign. Her second chance.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Tue May 31, 2016 2:09 pm

Caeriadne would sleep well for the first time in an age, she could feel old experience, old power, many of the skills she thought she had lost to the march of time flood back to her in the form of dreams, dreams of old memories. Old memories of her training to gain these powers, of using these powers, of commanding men to victory with these skills.

When she awoke, a certain feeling of fullness would fill her as she lay among the dendritic. Some of it beneath her was beginning to take on the barest hint of blue. But now was not the time to sit and fawn over her new hoard and home, now was the time to try and win over the people she was ruling.

The small town of Brighton was reeling, being conquered by a dragon and her Gnoll minions will do that, and the shock of Silus being a Dragon Blooded this whole time didn't make anything easier. But they tried to go on with their lives, the shops were open, the stalls were selling, the temple was holding services. They were in the middle of a burial ceremony for the old Governor, commending his spirit to the heavens and placing his body the furnace. It was his family's decision to have everyone who lives in the town cremated after death, there wasn't enough room for a proper graveyard, so they just gave the urns to the family. In this case, they had no idea what to do with the Urn.

The gnolls were busying themselves getting to know their new home, trying to get to know the humans they lived with. They seemed to be really making an effort to get along, though many times conversations spiraled into a stand off and then someone storming away angry. Silus was running around town trying to keep those situations to a minimum, but that was difficult for one man.

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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Tue May 31, 2016 5:15 pm

Caeriadne emerged from the town hall in her human form not long after she awoke. She had taken a short time to properly tie her hair back into a braided bun, but otherwise, she appeared very plainly - it seemed she had taken a liking to the blue dress, as she wore that again, decorated simply but elegantly with a long length of white flowing satin ribbon tied around her waist as a sash. She wore no other adornments, and did not carry her blade. She looked more like a pretty, well-to-do commoner than a draconic conqueror.

She made her way quietly through the town and without a fuss towards the governor's service. She stood towards the back, hands clasped respectfully and head held high, but said nothing. This was his time, not hers. The least she could do was 'pay her respects' as the humans called it, although she wasn't sure what the proper protocol would be for doing that when she was the one that had killed the man. Nevertheless, she was here, and took a moment to acknowledge the late governor's accomplishments. She was a ruler, yes, but not a heartless tyrant.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Tue May 31, 2016 5:21 pm

The humans who were in attendance seemed surprised she took the time to be there at his service. The new leader of the temple of Ashian. He was a younger man, seemingly about 30 years old compared to most of the clerics here appearing to be middle aged or older. He spoke well and gave the governor a ceremony worthy of someone who was well liked, and full of such ambition. After about an hour of this the body was brought to the crematorium built into the temple and the service was over.

The priest walked over to her and smiled softly with a nod "Hello my lady, you surprised many people by being here today. I don't know how they feel about it, but I am certainly grateful to see you care enough to pay your respects to him. My name is Dylan, I'm the new head cleric here."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Tue May 31, 2016 5:35 pm

"My pleasure, Dylan," she answered simply. "I was almost expecting them to raise pitchforks and torches when I walked up." It sounded like that might have been intended as a joke, but she did not quite smile. She tilted her head curiously, studying the young man. She had noted that he was particularly younger than the others. There was something she seemed to like about him. "In a little while, I'm about to ask the townspeople to gather in the courtyard. I have some announcements to make. I would like it if you came, if you find a moment between your services."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Tue May 31, 2016 5:47 pm

He nodded and smiled "I will definitely be there my lady, I am honored you asked me to attend." His smile seemed nearly infectious, it just made you want to smile with him. It was sweet, caring, but most of all it was innocent. An innocence lost to this world most of the time.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Tue May 31, 2016 5:49 pm

She analytically considered him for a few more moments. "I noticed that there was no place designated for the governor's urn. If you like, you may place it in the town hall. I will be sure that it is kept respectfully in his memory." With that, she bowed her head slightly. "If you'll excuse me, I should be going."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Tue May 31, 2016 5:59 pm

Dylan nodded and smiled "I am very thankful my lady, I will bring the urn there myself. I will see you again later when you address the town." He bowed his head and turned to go back to his duties.

The town seemed to be acting normally, doing their normal every day lives, but their seemed to be an air of them waiting for something to happen, like they expected her to address them.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:06 am

Caeriadne took a few more minutes to stroll around the city, trying to make herself experience this place from the perspective of its townsfolk. She could feel the eyes on her - frankly, she was surprised there wasn't more animosity towards her. Her guard was up, but she didn't seem nervous. Eventually, she made her way towards the courtyard and onto the front steps of the town hall, where she stood and looked out across the city.

As she stood, she watched as the townspeoples' attention turned to her. She waited patiently until the city bustle and clamor turned into a hushed whisper, and people started to gather around.

"Townspeople of Brighton," she began loudly and then lowered her voice once she had everyone's attention. "You have been through much in the past two days. I commend you for your fortitude and resilience. I know it hasn't been easy. I will be truthful with you from the very beginning - your lives will change. Your city will be utilized for a greater purpose. There will be changes you may disagree with. You will be subjected to my absolute rule, without question." She paused for a moment, reading their responses.

"With that being said, I am a just ruler. Your lives here will be prosperous and meaningful. You will be safe. You will be heard. I am no tyrant, and I make no claims to rule alone. All of my domain shall be ruled with a council alongside me. So far, my council consists of the shaman Korrok and the warriors Arrak, Ular, and Groo. As of now, I am appointing the knight Silus to my council as well." She nodded at him in the crowd, then continued. "This evening, we will be holding an election for other positions to my council. You will be voting for the townspeople among you who you feel will be the best representatives, and they shall advise me. For my council, each person will have one anonymous vote for each of the following: the most intelligent, insightful administrator. The most loyal and honorable military general and trainer. The most devout and wise spiritual leader. The most talented and cunning merchant, or artisan. The most steadfast and hard-working laborer. The most loving and knowledgeable parent. For each council position, the most-voted person will receive his or her place." She paused again, looking out over the crowd.

"There is much I have planned for this city. We will bolster our armed forces with better equipment and advanced training. New construction will be considered for better defensive and tactical structures. Resources to our farming and self-sustenance methods will be increased. Any townspeople who are struggling to feed, clothe, or house themselves will be addressed. I will be reviewing all trade and diplomatic relationships with outside sources. The gates will eventually be reopened, and free access will be reinstated. We will be building a school for our young ones, and a ward for our sick and wounded. There is much else that I have planned, but these are our priorities now."

"Today until sunset, I will be holding an open forum in the town hall. Any of your questions and concerns can be addressed then. The first place in line will be reserved for the families of those guards who were killed in the skirmish yesterday. Next will come the city's administrators, then the guardsmen, then the rest of the townsfolk by age. At sunset, we will close the forum and draw for the council elections. And for anyone who still has doubts about freely submitting to my rule and upholding their fealty to me at the end of today, speak to me, and you shall be set free."

Caeriadne gave a simple but respectful nod and half-bow to the people assembled before her as she dismissively waved her hand that she had finished. She stepped down from the courtyard stairs towards the group of people and, as the hustle and bustle of the city started to revive itself, she sought out some of the city clerks and administrators from the crowd and instructed them to begin setting up the drop-boxes for the council elections in the courtyard.

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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:45 am

Everyone was scared, they all seemed on edge for her entire speech until she mentioned Silus was part of her council, then they started to really listen. They were amazed at what she was saying. She was holding elections, listening to them, she wanted to help them make their town great. She may be able to do it to, unlike the bumbling governor the had before. By the end of her speech, they looked excited, almost as much as the Gnolls did. It was uncanny, it's as if the past government didn't actually do anything to help them. Now she may know why they didn't care too much when the Governor died.

The ballot boxes were immediately being set up, people were excited for this, she could hear and feel an electricity in the air, infectious excitement. Some people were already getting together to go and speak to her for this open forum.

The Cleric Dylan, along with Silus, walked over to her and smiled "The people love you." Dylan said with wide smile.

Silus nodded "They never had elections in this town, we were stuck with the Governor's family."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:52 am

She had just finished instructing the others to make a ballot box for each council position when Silus and Dylan approached her.

"We'll see," she said skeptically, as if she was expecting some dissent sooner or later. "I'm heading to the town hall now for the forum. Will you two be attending? Anyone is welcome."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:55 am

Silus nodded "I'll be there making sure no one in the crowd gets too excited. Don't want to make a scene."

Dylan also nodded "Yes, I'll be there, I have a few questions but none too pressing I assure you. Just the concerns of a cleric."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:00 am

"Thank you," she nodded at Silus. "I do appreciate it. Sometimes these things tend to get...heated."

She offered Dylan a slight smile. "Hopefully we can address them all. Sometimes the concerns of a cleric are the most at the heart of the city's needs."

With that, she turned to head into the town hall. She took a seat at the back of the hall and waited for anyone with concerns to filter in.
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Admin on Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:31 am

After a few minute some people filtered in, a number of them seemed to be caravaners, not native to this town, who were stuck in the city when she took over. They were not at her public address and they looked rather annoyed though cautious because they didn't want to anger a dragon. Then came Dylan, with three other clerics, the three extra people he brought with him seemed to be more of the combat cleric type then the live in a temple type. Though she could sense no ill intent from them. After that came a few men and women who appeared to be architects, farmers, and black smiths.

The Black Smiths were the first people to step up, a large burly man, obviously a half orc half human individual with a light green tint to his muscular body. He spoke with a heavy accent she could place as a northern one ((think Scottish)) " Ello mi'lady. My name is Orothon Blackiron, it'sa pleasure to make your acquaintance. I'm the leader of a small and unofficial guild for the smiths here in Brighton ya see? The past governor, bless 'is soul, was a bit daft to be honest. He wouldn't fork over the hundred and fifty gold for us to register as an official guild, which would bring in quite a bit of business! Having a guild seal is a ra'ver big deal ya see. We 'ere are wonderin' if you'd be more generous wiv us?"

Next a young man walked up and smiled politely, he was young, perhaps 20 years of age, and had a very pale complexion compared to most people here. He also seemed to have a much more learned air about him than most of the villagers here. He had blonde hair in bright green eyes."Hello my good Queen." He said with a very sophisticated tone. "My name is Oliver Kingsley, I was from Briar Hill originally and went to one of the most renowned architectural colleges of the world, The Briar Institute. Now I am obviously not an individual who works in the sun, but I moved here because I heard this place was going to need designers and building planners like me. But the past Governor spoke a very good game but uhm...well, as that Half Orc chap said, he wasn't the brightest star in the sky. He rejected my building plans because they were too ambitious, but I feel like perhaps with you my designs will be used to make this city great. I ask that you look over my designs and allow me to work with you in your plans."

A woman of about fifty years of age with abnormally colorful hair, it was an odd bright blue color. She seemed to be of a half elven race, though whatever it was mixed with was unknown. She smiled and did rather poor attempt at a courtesy to make her happy and said "Hello my lady dragon, my name is Alori, my father owns most of the farms in this town, and I wanted to ask you what your plans are for our farming industry? He has recently fallen ill and I've been put in charge of the farms, so I just want to know exactly what you want us to be doing so I can make sure to keep up with it." She seemed nervous, she was obviously very new to this kind of discussion.

One of the Caravan men stepped forward, a man of a darkened complexion with dark brown hair tied into corn rows with dark brown eyes, nearly black. He spoke with an accent she was not familiar with, it must have developed during her time...away.((middle eastern/north african mix)) "My lady, me and my fellows here are traders from Briar Hill, and the neighboring cities. We are nothing but humble merchants, but we ask that we are compensated for being stuck here for an extra day, as we were going to be on the road again yesterday, but your take over prevented this. Time is money, and we have lost time, and therefore money. Though, as we know that must be a rather sour thing to here, we offer a deal. We would like to set up an official trade route with our caravan from here to the various independent cities near Briar Hill. It would give you a new stream of revenue as we could split the profits 60% to use, and 40% to you, since we would be the ones doing the selling and traveling. This is very good deal, we implore you to accept."

Last, but most definitely not least, was Dylan, standing before her with his three extra clerics. "Hello my lady, as I told you earlier when we met I am the new Head Cleric of this temple of Ashian, and though I do not wish to burden you with concerns of a cleric, I must speak. The temple, which is a corner stone of this village, has recently begun to show it's age, and we require funds to repair it. The old governor though his gold was better spent on projects he would tell no one about. On top of that we have gotten word that other temples to Ashian have been pushed out of other independent cities, because of our clerics willingness to help ANY species, such as orks, gnolls, kobolds. Anyone who is willing to come to us and needs our help. This worries me, so i was wondering if perhaps we could also expand the temple, and put out the call to those clerics now without a home. This could very well mean this temple because THE temple to Ashian, which could be a good thing for our growing little city. These fellows you see with me our obviously not priestly clerics such as myself, but combat clerics sent by Ashian to smite evil. They came here a few days before your arrival, being from one of the situations I just described. They wish to become permanent residents, and would wish to pledge their service to you, as their earthly queen. As Ashian rewards loyalty to one's lords and ladies."
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Re: Sapphire Skies

Post by Caeriadne on Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:13 pm

Caeriadne sat patiently, listening to each individual and responding to them in turn after a few moments of deliberation.

"Done," she answered without hesitation to the blacksmiths. "In addition, I will see what I can do about securing you a property for your guild, as well. We need a proper, well-maintained forge and smithy here in Brighton. In exchange, know that I will be asking for reasonable contributions of arms, armor, and other supplies for our soon-to-be growing military forces as a tax, of sorts. For any work beyond that, of which I assure you there will be plenty as soon as our armory is...revised, you will be compensated properly - but all orders from me will take precedence over all other commissions or sales. Do you agree, Orothon Blackiron and the new blacksmith's guild?"

"Oliver Kingsley, I would gladly look over your plans. I cannot agree to anything until after I've had a chance to study them, you understand, but I appreciate you coming to me and I hope that we will be able to discuss the city's plans for the near future. If you are as bright as you seem, I'm sure we will be working together in the days to come. There are many new buildings that will be breaking ground very, very soon."

"Tell me about your father and his illness, please. I will answer your question, but first, I would like to know if I can help him," Caeriadne asked.

"No," she answered briskly but respectfully to the merchant. "I do respect that you have come to ask me this, but I am under no obligation to recompensate you. In fact, I am under no obligation to even let you go." She paused, locking eyes with the merchant. It seemed that he had perhaps tried her patience, and now she aimed to do the same in return. "But, I do not intend to harm you, and as I said, at sunset tonight you will be free to go if you wish. I have a counter offer for you, though, and you may wish to take the time to hear it before you leave." She smiled patiently.

"Dylan," she began, "it is good to see that devotion and loyalty is such a valued trait among the people of Brighton and the followers of Ashian. Not only will I see to it that you have the required resources to repair the temple to a respectable state, I will ask some of the gnolls to help you with the labor, as Ashian respects all species equally and this will be a good way to build the goodwill between men and gnolls. In addition, I would like a schoolroom to be built onto the temple for you to have the opportunity to select a teacher for the little ones in our city, and a small infirmary to properly tend those who are sick and wounded. Although we are not yet in a stable enough state to accept refugees or outsiders at this time, I will look forward to welcoming them in the future. Of course, I do not intend to promise all of this without having the financial means to back it up. Until I thoroughly review our treasury, I cannot say for sure when these things will happen, and you may have to play an active role in raising the necessary funds. However, I will send the gnolls over tomorrow to start the basic repairs, at the very least."
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Caeriadne

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