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Old December 22, 2018, 03:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Again, a stoic mask was what Sheng presented outwardly. Nothing seemed to upset him or caused any emotions in him. That was what he wanted to th rest to see.

Inwards, he did felt unsettled. Blood and politics once again. A combination that he felt that was the worse. But it was what occupied the people's mind. This included soldiers. Especially for those with power and rank.

Sheng motioned for Paul, his second to lend a hand in securing the perimeter. News of what happened here could be known by others yet. At the same time, he asked for messengers to get ready.

"I agree that we need a unified stand." Sheng said. "That is needed as we face enemies without."

Then, a pause. Sheng continued, "But is a general needed? Let's make sure that we are safe from enemies within first."
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Old December 28, 2018, 12:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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"Know that you tread a fine line - one that separates us from the chaotic madmen we fight," Shiroa warned Gye'ron. "Act like we're on the brink of war? Act like you're a Captain of the Empire. Remember what you uphold."

But it seemed like, for the sake of everything else they were dealing with at the moment, it wouldn't be pushed further. There were likely going to be plenty of words afterwards, about doing what was right instead of what was easy - and who knew how these actions would be seen in the aftermath? But for now, they would at least attempt to put on the appearance of a unified army.

Gye'ron didn't find any documents on the man that didn't tell him what he didn't already know. Identification - at least he hadn't been lying about what army he was from. A list of names, but they didn't mean anything to Gye'ron. He didn't recognize anybody on the list. A few other meaningless trinkets and items.

"How to identify a rebel?" Shiroa asked of the others. "One does not simply ask and expect a truthful answer. If the worry is the excision of these insidious elements before we elect a general, we must have a method of drawing them out properly."

"Rather than a drill, perhaps we truly can muster the men in response to this threat," Kildares suggested. "Let it leak that there is something going on. Spread false word of intelligence, documents - some kind of bait that any rebels might try to go after. Spring a trap on anybody who does go for it and extract information out of them."

"Does this take a priority over sending out scouts?" Shiroa asked, seeing if he could at least establish a consensus in order for them to progress on other matters.

Lots of talking points, nothing quite resembling a plan yet.
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Old December 28, 2018, 12:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The elf captain listened to everyone and he privately thought the tough part was what was truly going on. When one spoke about no one was willing to speak the truth, he believed that truth can be arranged.

"It looks like we will be here for some time, discussing about this matter." Alphonsus walked to the table and sat on it. His hands rested on the table and fingers began tapping away, seemingly impatient with the on-going. In fact, he was using the table as a percussion instrument to channel his vis for the Melody of Concord. A song that create tranquility, capable of calming down the restless and soothing the angry. Affected people tend to tell the truth and detect lies of others.

As he continued tapping, he began to speak and ask questions, matching his voice to the melody. "I do wish my good captain wasn't so rash and just subdue him for questioning, but what's done is done. I know I am loyal, and I believe everyone in this tent is too... But what if one of us is not? Then is there a point planning anything if the moment our plans is out of this tent, it is immediately revealed to our enemy. So, let's hear it once again. Are you loyal to the empire and to one another?"

Alphonsus maintained his spellsong while he listened and watched once again to everyone. Was there anyone he spotted lying about their allegiance or even feeling uncomfortable?
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Old December 31, 2018, 03:01 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Loyal? Rebel? It was hard to tell and unless a person is able to read the mind of the others, you have to take people at their face value. No point doubting every person and making everyone paranoid, seeing an enemy at every point. Sheng understands that kind of mindset very clearly. It was not pleasant for him and everyone else.

"I will assume that everyone is loyal to our cause here." Sheng said stoically, without any tone of accusation or rebut towards Alphonsus. It was a matter of fact tone being used. "But we do need to muster the soldiers. At the very least, get them prepared for any battle." Sheng had already gotten his second to pass that message around his men.

"For bait, I have no idea what will attract the rebels." Sheng said, as he sat down on whatever was available. "Unless one of you wants to pronounce yourself as a rebel to attract those of the same cause."

Rebellion seemed to be spoken of in too light terms but it was a bloody and prolong business. Being betrayed and betraying of others....was there anything unusual about that. Sheng steeled himself for what might come.
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Old January 11, 2019, 12:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Alphonsus' spellsong, improvised with what instrumentation he could find, made its way through the room. It did have a calming effect on those that heard it, but with tensions as high as they were, it wasn't quite enough to dispel the animosity entirely. However, it was extremely unlikely that there was going to be a fistfight breaking out anytime soon.

Gye'ron's reaction to Shiroa and Kildares would be more diplomatic and subdued, if he deigned to provide one.

"For now we must assume that everybody is loyal, otherwise we will make no progress at all," Kildares noted, agreeing with Sheng. "Although if we wish to be particularly safe, perhaps we may simply agree to always work in groups, rather than letting any individual captain act alone. This way, at the very least, we can be under the watch of our peers."

"Unless two rebellious captains pair up - perish the thought," Shiroa interjected. "We've been together long enough that I think we can trust each other here. In the interest of time, perhaps Captain Sheng's plan has merit. I don't know that any bait we could try and come up with last-minute would be convincing enough, but the word of a captain may hold enough sway."

Was there a general consensus to use this approach?
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Old January 16, 2019, 07:08 AM   #21 (permalink)
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As Alphonsus' song calmed the soldiers, Sheng thought idlely, "A bard? Should be useful if we do infiltrate into enemy territory. He should be able to influence others in some way or the other to gain trust."

Then, the question of the bait. Who should be the bait? Someone whom the enemy would trust and trusted by the loyalist too. Do they trust each other enough to do the baiting? In the worst case whereby the trust is lost, another enemy will be gained. Furthermore, it would be someone with the loyalists' secrets. Not a good scenario but someone had to do it.

Should Sheng volunteer himself?

With a sigh, Sheng said with a stoic tone, "Well, I am not sure of how trust we have but I am willing to put myself out as a bait. I trust that with that said, I would get the trust and support to do what is needed to be done." Then, with a piercing look at those around to gauge their worthiness to trust him. "And I hope that we can have a unified front to deal with the rebels when the chance present itself."
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Old January 25, 2019, 01:23 AM   #22 (permalink)
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They would put it to a vote, then. It seemed like neither Shiroa nor Kildares had any opposition to Sheng taking up the task, and as the captain was the first to volunteer and they had no objections?

Unless Alphonsus and Gye'ron had anything to say, perhaps they could proceed with the plan.

"Let us put it to a vote, then." It was best for it to be unanimous if they were to support Sheng properly. It was a delicate and risky proposal, but war was always such a thing. Now, did the other two captains have any input? Or did Sheng have any last-minute reservations?
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Old January 31, 2019, 10:36 AM   #23 (permalink)
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As it was usually, when someone else is willing to do the dirty work, most would not oppose. Sheng would assume that most of them would not object to the task that Sheng had volunteered for. The spy, the bait or as some would put it negatively, the castaway. Either way, Sheng was comitted to this course of action. This was despite his reservation of the unity of the friendly forces and the damage that was supposed to be limited for him.

A decision was made and Sheng waited patiently for the final decision to be made by others. It was up to them and Sheng stoically wait.
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Old January 31, 2019, 11:15 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Alphonsus ended his song and thought the situation through. He did not sense any untruth in Sheng's words, but that did not meant everything was the truth. Nonetheless, there was no reason to doubt a fellow captain and Sheng had volunteered...

"I have no objections." The elf captain said, voicing his support.
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Old February 7, 2019, 03:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It seemed they had a consensus. That didn't mean they had a plan, however.

"How should we approach this?" They couldn't just leap into this without any idea of what they were going to do. It was important to coordinate their efforts, if Sheng was going to be sent into the lion's den. Furthermore, it would likely be prudent for the other captains besides him to also make preparations.
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Old February 11, 2019, 08:16 AM   #26 (permalink)
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There was no objections. No surprise. Now came the difficult part. How do they do it? How do they do it in a way that was coordinated and efficient? There was many ways and many things could go wrong. Sheng guessed that he had to suggest a few things. It was for his safety in a way.

"I would suggest that I escape from this tent and some commotion to be made. The louder the better." Sheng said stoically, as if he was talking about someone else. "I would need a few injuries to be visible. It would convincing if I take 100 or so men and they are similarly injured."

Then, Sheng looked into each of the captain's eyes to gauge their reactions and thoughts. "An announcement could be made about this, that I betrayed. Then, let me wander for a few days to see if anyone would contact me."

"For communications, pigeons or better still some mages would be good. If someone could get some flares or somethings similar, better still. It can act as as a signal for you to come and attack."

Sheng motioned for his second to come forward. "If you have anything to add on, please do so. If not, I will get my second to get the 100 men loyal to me and briefed on them to betray with me."
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