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Author Topic: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise  (Read 7574 times)

Tomcost

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(SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« on: May 26, 2016, 08:01:30 am »

Inspired by the amazing suggestion game Widow: a Duchess Scorned, by Weirdsound.

You were calmly peeling away the useless parts of the soul of a lowborn smith. It was a relaxing work. Take out the cooking knowledge, strip away all the gossiping about the family, put in the reception matrix for the unliving energies, create the necromantic feedback loop... and presto! You have a Wight soul!

How simple was your demonic life. Even in slavery, as your master was a pretty benevolent one that even let you munch on the less useful souls from time to time. He always said that business was going great. It had been like that for some centuries. The Skorn were nice customers, and while your master did negotiate with other mortals, most of the heavy work came from that prestigious human family.

It all had to end. Nobody saw it coming. It didn't even make any sense at first. Inquisitors! Inquisitors in a demonic realm! For the multiverse's sake, how does a Demon hunter get the powers to summon himself to an extraplanar realm of demons?

They appeared suddenly, interrupting all the work. Totally unfazed by their surroundings, the group of five started unleashing their divine magics upon all the workers. Your master quickly leapt to defend his employees, and with his bulky body of an impressive Balrog, he grabbed his fiery axe and rushed to the Inquisitors. Their magics quickly made him pull back, and even then sprint away, trying to save himself. He didn't make it very far. An enchanted crossbow bolt got embedded in his back, and exploded with the fury of the gods, ending the life of your master. That was the epic part. The not so heroic part was that in which his body fell over you, covering you completely, but allowing you to remain hidden while the Inquisitors slaughtered the rest of your comrades.

But suddenly, it stopped. No more sounds. Was it safe? You doubted. A lot. But you eventually came out (with lots of effort) and evaluated your surroundings. There were no survivors. So you did what every demon would have done in your position: you consumed your master's body, and attained the status of Greater Demon. Of course, you would now need some form of maintenance, so you needed to do some business to feed yourself. Yet, the enterprise was destroyed, and you found yourself alone, excluding a couple comrades that were performing some tasks away from you when everything happened. This complicated things.

Your master always used to say, "Each crisis is an opportunity". Of course, he wouldn't expect that you would inherit his enterprise. Even less that it would descend into...

Bankruptcy
The tale of a Demonic Enterprise

But before deciding how you are going to earn your demonic life, you have to first make it clear who you are:

Name: As it is a custom on some demonic realms, demons are given overly-complicated and difficult to pronounce names. It doesn't entail lots of apostrophes per se, but rather a lot of contiguous consonants and repeated syllabes. While it impresses mortals, demons won't call you by your full name, so your employees won't call you "Ixtalalamtracks" each time they are consulting you if there are new soul stocks.
Demon genus: this is a really important thing for a demon. Each genus is widely different from the other ones, and they have their strengths and weaknesses. It determines which kinds of business you are going to be better at, and in case of being attacked by rival demons, how you are going to defend yourself and your inversions. Another important aspect is that the demonic genus will determine your domains, and thus the kinds of blessings and curses a hexer can cast while doing business with you.

Spoiler: Demon types (click to show/hide)

Demonic servants: While the inquisitors destroyed most of the demons in the enterprise, a couple of them were working on contracts with mortals, and should come back soon. Choose two:

Spoiler: Demonic servants (click to show/hide)

Tomcost

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 08:01:56 am »

A bit of lore...

Demons:

Demons are creatures from otherworldly planes who feed on souls and, depending on their genus, other kinds of energy. Feral and civilized demons exist, the latter generally being made by other civilized demons, mortals who can manipulate souls, or being ascended mortal who took the form of a demon themselves. Demons have abnormally structured souls that allow their souls to support hexes on mortal souls. As energy is eaten, the power of the demon increases, and they become more capable to perform tasks and win at combat against other demons. There is generally a distinction between a Greater Demon, and a Lesser Demon, which is just a matter of power, and thus size of the demon in question. Generally, about five hundred souls would have to be eaten to gain a greater Greater Demon status, but this varies, as it is somewhat subjective.

Demonic business: The Basics

Mortal Dark Mages will contact you through a Projection Stage to perform business with you. There are many goods and services that a mortal may want, and that gives you plenty of opportunities to get sweet profit in souls and increase your own power, and that of those under your command.

The basic currency used when dealing with demons are Souls. Souls can either be inserted inside metal boxes, gems and glass by enchanters, or be given directly to you by killing someone who has been cursed with your hex to give your soul to you upon dying. A third and violent way involves performing a ritual sacrifice at a Summoning Circle. When dealing with mortals, unprepared souls are fungible. This means that the soul of a granny is worth as much as that of a master fire elementalist, unless you decide the opposite. Prepared souls, on the other hand, are the opposite, and should be priced far higher than an unprepared one.

The first concept to define is your Vigor level. You Vigor gives you a total amount of actions that you can use to do stuff. Each thing that you attempt to do, will cost a certain amount of action points. Some actions have to be done all at the same time (like, if you go and fight some other demon, you can't do half the fight and come later), but others can be done by parts (for example, you can begin cleaning a soul, stop to do another thing, and resume the task.)
The Vigor level increases after breaking a certain level of curses maintained through your hex, and gives you extra action points. Each soul eaten counts as five permanent curses.

Another important point to mention is that you don't contact mortals on your own, they contact you. Any mortal with the hex of a Greater Demon can contact said demon through a Projection Stage.

Goods and services generally traded to mortals:

Hexes:

Your hex sign allows Hex Weavers to influence the soul of a mortal as long as the effect relates to your domains. If the hex in question decreases the possibilities of the soul to achieve what it wants, or forces it to take other decisions, then it is considered a curse, as you will leech a small portion of soul energy from its lack of fulfillment. If what it does is to increase its capabilities while still allowing its freedom, then it is a blessing, and it will suck out your own energy. Generally a demonic organization sets a ratio of hexes to blessings for a dark mage to get the desired blessings, like "4:1", for example.

It is worth mentioning that you don't know the effects nor the target of the hexes cast in your name, and that can bring some complications if you piss somebody off.

Prepared souls:

Souls are stripped of their useless parts and modified to serve as the basis for undead, or undead constructs. Generally speaking, the more complex a soul is, the more time it takes to carefully work it, so it is a generally accepted practice to strip all the parts normally useless to necromancers and leave only the useful parts. On the other hand, sometimes it is requested that a particular soul is prepared for undeath in a particular fashion, so this usually fetches a higher price for the demon's time employed.
To simplify the soul structure for the soul cleaners, one could put it as something like this:

Spoiler: Soul structure (click to show/hide)

The outer parts of the souls need to be removed first in order to remove the inner ones. Also, each outer part is more complex and adds more time to process a soul. When you prepare a soul, you select the type of undeath for it, determining the base work time. This number is then multiplied by the multipliers for each of the remaining parts of the soul.
For example, if one desires to make a wight soul, with a basic work time of 4, and leave the memories and abilities of the soul, it would take 4*2*3=24 as a total working time.

There are various types of undead to prepare souls for, and that means that there is always room to learn and expand your business.

Demonic materials:

There are many physics-defying materials that can be made by demons with the proper knowledge. Yet, this is a complicated task that requires both buying out mundane materials from the mortal realm, and having a demon with the knowledge infuse them in a Demonic Forge, a workshop which will have to be built.

Live slaves:

Alive mortals usually fetch a higher price than the soul they have, but it is exceedingly difficult to keep a mortal alive in the demonic realms. The shifting flow of the multiverse is usually enough to tear apart their bodies, not to mention the lack of oxygen. To remedy this, there are two main ways to keep them alive. The first one is to dress them partially in a demonic material known as Fiend's Lung. But to do so you will need the ability to fabricate and work the demonic material. The second one is to build a Mortal Sanctum, a structure which negates the pull and push of the ever-flowing currents of the multiverse, but that will need the help of some entities who know air elementalism to keep the air inside breathable. The first option is the least labor intensive, but carries more risks; once you sell the slave, you have to trust your customer to give back the Fiend's Lung clothing. And, just as mortals should not trust demons, demons should definitely not trust mortals. The second alternative requires investment, and is labor intensive too.

A third, less palatable alternative involves breeding with mortals and selling the half-demon offspring. You know how that works, but the details are to be kept vague as the readers are a couple centuries too young to know this.

Demonic contracts:

Finally, every demon under your command can be given to a mortal to serve them for a determined amount of time, usually a month. Generally, a non-written contract is made, and both the demon under your command and your client make a compromise of performing certain tasks, which the demon cannot break unless the mortal does. The higher your control over the demon you command, the less conditions it will be able to impose, and the more likely the mortal will be to accept. Moving a demon to the mortal realm requires the mortal to have a Summoning Circle.

Other services:

There are plenty of ways for a demon to profit, as long as you find a proper clientele. Some are smugglers, others focus on buying and selling magical goods. Some even do espionage tasks and profit by selling secrets. It is all up to you to earn a living in the multiverse.

Demonic Spoon

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 12:29:13 pm »

Name: Yxcransprunrtolmsxrcilp, usually called Sxcrilp or Yxcran
Demon genus: Mist Fiend

Demonic servants:
Tentacle demon
Light Eater
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 12:44:26 pm by Demonic Spoon »
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ATHATH

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 12:50:34 pm »

Name: The Nameless One
Genus: Mist Demon
Allies: Sorrow's Daughter+Worker Devil (these may be revised later, depending on your answers to my questions)

How intelligent are Sorrow's Daughters? How long can they possess something? Can we temporarily (or permanently) hire extra Worker Devils when we need to do some major construction? What can Light Eaters do with their consumed divine energy?

Why did those inquisitors attack us? How do the gods and religion work in this universe?
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*slow clap* Well ATHATH congratulations. You managed to give the MC a mental breakdown before we even finished the first arc.
I didn't even read it first, I just saw it was ATHATH and noped it. Now that I read it x3 to noping

Tomcost

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 01:03:43 pm »

How intelligent are Sorrow's Daughters?

Like any standard sentient humanoid. But factor in age, as demons get older, but not age physically. So that Sorrow's daughter could very well be some centuries old. You are not getting a demon with the intelligence of a little girl here.

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How long can they possess something?

When they finish eating the soul of a sentient creature, they may command the soul-less husk around as much as they like, but the intelligence of the empty body is practically null, and they have to continually give them commands verbaly so that they do stuff. So, if you were thinking about getting one of them to possess a noble or something and control a whole kingdom, it is not going to be that easy.

Also, it is less "possess" and more "hijack his mind", as the Sorrow's Daughter is still physically present while she controls her victim.

Quote
Can we temporarily (or permanently) hire extra Worker Devils when we need to do some major construction?

Of course, but you will need to know where to find them, and how to pay them.

Quote
What can Light Eaters do with their consumed divine energy?

They increase in power, like if they have consumed souls. You can also shake them down to give their soul-equivalent energy to you, but they will get angry.

Quote
Why did those inquisitors attack us? How do the gods and religion work in this universe?

Why the inquisitors attacked you is a plot point. But they work for an order that focuses in killing demons, practicioners of the dark arts, undead, and divine casters of illegal religions.

Gods gain energy through worship, and then they grant powers related to their domains to priests.

TopHat

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 03:52:30 pm »

Name: Hyttissvklablafaxornum
Genus: Balrog
Demonic Servents: Worker Devil and Demon of Silence
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Tomcost

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 05:25:53 pm »

((Decided to go for a combination of both Mist Fiend suggestions))

You are Yxcransprunrtolmsxrcilp, a Mist Fiend created by Drow soul manipulators some 324 years ago. You spent most of your time as a fledgling learning the necessary arts to defend yourself under mortal tutors. You are skilled in Fire, Earth, Water, Air, and Ice Elementalism, which allow you to move those elements around at will, and also, in the case of Fire and Ice Elementalism, straightforwardly conjure bolts of fire and ice and shoot them away.
After a couple decades without you being sold, with Fiends in general being a rather specific niche demon, your masters got tired of having you hang around doing nothing and so they made you learn soul cleaning, so that you could become more useful. You were told the basics, and you learned to create very basic types of undead:

Wights: these undead are ever-lasting corpses which function through a necromantic loop of energy between the excess energy created through the soul and the necromantic magic keeping it in place. The effect is a slightly bright aura surrounding the creature, which gives it minor protection from magical and physical attacks, but makes it as noticeable as a pig running around inside a church.
Basic working time: 4 AP

Ghouls: these are more or less a version of vampires that can't spread the curse, but that also can stand under sunlight. They require maintenance every month or so in the form of drinking living blood. They are more subtle, but less resilient than wights.
Basic working time: 5 AP

Scrap souls: have you ever heard of a horde of mindless zombies? Well, the less useful souls are usually scrapped of all they have except of their basic motion core, and then processed so that a necromancer can split it into 5 to 10 parts of basic animalistic intelligence. They are cheap, easy to make, but not very useful, unless you just want fodder. Zombies are good at soaking up ammunition.
Basic working time: 3 AP. Can't be increased, as scrap souls can't have abilities.

You know there are lots of undead types around, but you sadly know nothing about them. You heard about incorporeal undead, inorganic undead, and even something as crazy as undead priests! Sadly, you will have to find a way to learn about that.

When you were bought by your former master, you worked on repetitive soul-cleaning tasks, never seeing the mortal world, but hearing stories about it. Your knowledge is limited, but you know something of the business, and you will have to manage with what your master has told you. As far as you know, his main customers, the human Skorn family, has commited treason against the Crown and allied themselves with the goblins, and started a war between the Goblin Pharaoh and the Human Kingdom, which only served to increase the business around. You haven't heard any more news about that.

Looking at your current holdings, the only thing that survived in the chaos was one of the soul vaults, which still has some souls in it. The rest of the workstations around have been destroyed. The good news are, both of your former co-workers and now employees are back:

The Tentacle Demon just sits on a bunch of tentacles on its rear, and stares at you with unseen eyes, like an obedient dog, if said dog had the size of a horse, and it had a thousand appendages. Your master never named it, having got it from cheap after intimidating someone who tried to settle near him. The thing seems to have an animalistic intelligence and proves incapable of speech. You always wondered if this was the case or the demon was just pretending to be dumb like most of those of his genus. You shrug and dismiss the though.
The Sorrow's Daughter, after arriving, stares at your new impressive height, and shrugs. She just says "Different slaver, same slavery" and goes to wait for you to call her elsewhere. She was in your master's business even before you got in here, and she is even a couple centuries your elder. She had chosen to take the mortal name "Penelope", claiming that it was far easier to pronounce than her former name, and is wise enough to collaborate in your negotiations, if you don't mind having a little girl giving you advice in front of your customers. She has also been practicing Fire Elementalism for self-defense in her idle time the last years (and it actually has been a lot of idle time), so, in that particular craft, she is even better than you. She also brought you a munched soul, which is now completely useless for anything save for scrap or if you want to eat it yourself.

Turning to your neighborhood, your particular place of the multiverse holds some familiar faces:

Miltrikninita: "Miltri" for most, is a Devil who was the main local competition for your master. He is an expert at marketing, and was only less of a threat to your master because he didn't have such a stable clientele as the Skorn, and decided to do business with the Goblins, mostly. You know that he is also a soul cleaner, and that he knows how to prepare souls for Chimeric Abominations and Mummies, and those you already know.
Plinrgleth: a blitzbeast, a combat demon which can move faster than mortals can perceive. She was the local bully around these parts, but your master, being more powerful, managed to keep her at bay. She still managed to snatch one soul or another from time to time, though. You know that Miltri, being a Devil and not a combat demon, had more problems with her around.
Carampapagas: "Caram", as your master used to call her, is a Succubus who mostly works in the mortal realm as a slave overseer for the Goblins, but that from time to time came around to seduce your master and steal a couple souls from the infatuated Balrog. You hope that she doesn't get the same ideas with you, as it is difficult to resist the unnatural charm of a succubus.

Week 1:

Negotiation phase:

You are contacted by some mortals on your first week as head of this demonic organization:

A) The first mortal to contact you is a rather rude human noble. He goes by the name of Damian Skorn, and claims to be a client of your former master. He is really pissed off at the fact that he died and all the blessings he was maintaining ceased to exist. He basically proceeds to shit-talk you claiming that you are just a fledgling and that you don't know anything about the business, and demands a hugely beneficial blessing-to-curse ratio of 1:2, which is something that only really trusted customers get, or even the kind of deal that demonic vassals offer to their masters. He appears to be in a hurry of some kind, which could be just him trying to force your hand into accepting, or maybe he truly is in a hurry and in need of your blessings. Accepting his deal would have consequences. On one hand, a human noble is wealthy individual with likely the resources to become an important client. On the other, you would look quite weak, and, if other demons or mortals know about this, they could bully you into accepting less favorable conditions. You can either accept the conditions, reject them, or pry for more information and maybe find a more advantageous position to negotiate from.

B) In second place, you are contacted by an orc, a jungle orc at that. This is an extremely rare occurrence, because orcs rarely become Dark Mages, most of them too honorable and innocent to bargain with demons without losing their souls to them. This one claims to be Chieftain Hill, leader of the clan of the same name, and proves to be quite the talkative fellow. He praises your power and hopes that he can build a relationship of trust between you and his clan, and help them expand and conquer new lands. You wonder how such a helplessly foolish individual could become a dark mage, because people like him usually end up tricked and devoured by the first demon they contact, and you soon find why: you are the first demon he contacted. You learn that a human Augur, one of those dark mages specialized in divining hex signs, charged them one soul for your hex sing. Not only the orc was swindled for the work of fifteen minutes, but he also seems proud of the sacrifice made by the old orc woman who committed suicide so that the Augur could get her soul into a small metal box. This is too good to be true. You could just make him step into the summoning circle and convince him to open his soul to you so that you could eat it and be done with him, but you could even try to use your soul-cleaning experience to morph his soul into a slave totally subservient to your will. Leading a small clan of orcs seems like a good thing to invest your time in. Or you could also be the trustworthy fellow they want you to be and form a long-term relationship, and perhaps start by telling them how they got robbed by that Augur.

C) In third place you are contacted by a young dwarf woman, who opens her speech stating how untrustworthy you demons are, and how you won't trick her into doing anything stupid and just wants to do business. Dwarven Dark Mages generally avoid doing business with demons, and instead manage to raise undead by other means. While dwarves mistrust demons, that also means that they don't know jack shit about them, which should be an advantage. The girl in question is offering a really bad trade for you, on the surface. She wants to buy at least one Scrap soul, and she is offering a single soul in return, an unprocessed one, of course. The good part is that said soul appears to be from a very talented Earth Elementalist, and dwarven Earth Elementalists are some of the best mortals of that craft. This means that, properly prepared, that soul could be sold for maybe six or seven souls. You note sadness in her voice, and the soul appears to be in a well-crafted iron box with silver decoration, which means that it probably belongs to someone she cared for. Not that you give a crap for it, you are not of the kind of demon which feeds on sadness, so this is mostly irrelevant. Or maybe not, as the girl wants you to hold into that soul and wants to buy it back, just as she gave it to you. You could really have a lot of leverage should you choose to hold into it and force her to pay a lot for it later. But, right now, you have to decide whether you accept the mediocre trade or not.

With the experience that only years of idly watching your master can bring, Penelope points out that she thinks the human noble is probably scared about something, and that the dwarven girl could eventually get you more contacts within the dark mages of her city state. She has the same opinions on the orc as you do.

How will you answer to each of these customers?


snow dwarf

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 05:42:42 pm »

Morph the orcs soul so that you can lead the orc clan. I let other to decide about a and c
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piratejoe

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 05:50:36 pm »

You imbeciles you've doomed us all!...really guys you should have chosen a succubus, i mean how else will you be able to brake a inquisitors mind?
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Tomcost

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 05:56:20 pm »

You imbeciles you've doomed us all!...really guys you should have chosen a succubus, i mean how else will you be able to brake a inquisitors mind?

Inquisitors are well aware of what a succubus is. They are probably more trained in demon lore than you are, in fact. It doesn't mean that you can't defeat them with other means. Or that they can't be negotiated with. You will have to wait and see.

piratejoe

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2016, 06:16:35 pm »

Inquisitors are well aware of what a succubus is. They are probably more trained in demon lore than you are, in fact. It doesn't mean that you can't defeat them with other means. Or that they can't be negotiated with. You will have to wait and see.
It was a joke, im just upset you didn't wait a day before choosing a character, besides Succubuses probably are the most business oriented demons in this as well as one of the more interesting.
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crazyabe

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2016, 08:32:21 pm »

Let's give [A] the Deal he wants, We might get some better work from him later.

Lets be the nice to the orc, Who knows he might be useful later on.

And Let's Actually go along with the Dwarf woman, after asking if she wants the Soul changed into one of the two basic types of undead we can make or something Who knows she might have some reason to want em.
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ATHATH

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2016, 09:18:38 pm »

A) If he can provide proof that he was as trusted of a customer of our master as he says he was, give him a 1:3 ratio deal. If he can't provide sufficient proof, go with our standard 1:4 ratio deal.
B) Have the Orc stand in the circle. Laugh, and tell the Orc how we could have just turned him into a thrall and how he was scammed by that other guy earlier. Offer to tutor him on how to not get screwed over by demons in exchange for giving him a 1:6 ratio deal instead of our "normal" 1:5 deal. If he accepts, tell him about how he just messed up (the actual standard rate is 1:4) as part of his first lesson.
((If we had made the Orc into a thrall, some other demon would probably have found out and ruined our credibility at some point in the future.))
C) Take the offer. Examine the dwarf's soul, and see if we can copy the outermost layer with some spare soul-stuff. Don't harm it.
((This is just a test to see if we can do this kind of thing safely before we start trying to copy his earth magic skills.))
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*slow clap* Well ATHATH congratulations. You managed to give the MC a mental breakdown before we even finished the first arc.
I didn't even read it first, I just saw it was ATHATH and noped it. Now that I read it x3 to noping

ATHATH

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2016, 02:49:17 am »

« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 02:51:51 am by ATHATH »
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*slow clap* Well ATHATH congratulations. You managed to give the MC a mental breakdown before we even finished the first arc.
I didn't even read it first, I just saw it was ATHATH and noped it. Now that I read it x3 to noping

Tomcost

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Re: (SG) Bankruptcy: The Tale of a Demonic Enterprise
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2016, 08:04:26 am »

Negotiation phase

A) You press on the noble, requiring a proof that he was a business partner of your master before he died. He gets angry and claims that of course he was, being of the Skorn family and all that. You then offer a 1:3 ratio, taking that into consideration and claiming that you are being nice because you still don't know him. He exclaims "Fine!" and accepts, telling you that you made him lose a lot of time, to which you inform him that he could have been less of an asshole to begin with. He cuts the communication, having discussed as much as he wanted from you.

Penelope seems impressed at your negotiation skills, she had thought that you would have allowed him to mistreat you for just a couple curses.

[...]

B) With Chieftain Hill, you ask him to step into the summoning circle so that you can create a bond between him and yourself, and thus lend your services to the help of his clan. Once he has stepped into it, you use your limited summoning knowledge to pull your arm out of the circle and use your Air Elementalism to slap his face with a concentrated gust of air, and tell him to never do that, that you could have just eat his soul or that you could have pulled him into the multiverse. He reacts with fury and pulls a copper knife from a scabbard, and tries to stab your immaterial arm, managing only to go through it and hitting the stone floor instead. He gets frightened and instead crawls back, staring wide-eyed at your gaseous arm. It takes him a couple minutes to calm down, and you tell him that you can tutor him on how to deal with demons, claiming that if we had wanted him dead he would be dead by now. He reluctantly agrees. You the go to explain how he got robbed by that Augur, explaining first that his time should not be paid in souls in the first place, and then in how the less specific the request of a demon is, the less time it takes to divine a hex sign related to the domain he asked for. You suppose that he just asked for any demon, and he confirms you that. You then say that it probably just took some minutes for the augur to come up with your hex sign, and the orc's mind then puts two and two together and gets angry. He claims that he will get that soul back, and that he will mobilize his clan's warriors. You then change the subject, and direct the conversation towards business. You explain of the blessing-to-curse ratio, and offer him, as he is just starting, a 1:6 ratio instead of the usual 1:5. He agrees, and then you instantly scold him for being so naive again. Not only you have to explain that a higher blessing-to-curse ratio is worse, something that he realizes with little thought, but you also explain how to usual range goes between 1:3 and 1:4. He bows to your knowledge, and says that he deserves the punishment for his ignorance. You then offer to tell him the basics about dealing with demons, and offer him some advice:

-Do not open your soul to demons.
-Only step in the summoning circle when dealing with trusted business partners.
-Do not open the negotiation with the lowest offer you will accept.
-Do not summon yourself to some place in the multiverse.
-If a demon is friendly towards you, he is likely trying to scam you.
-Do not metaphysically prod the multiverse looking for anything, you are likely to die.
-Blessings are paid in curses, other goods are paid in souls.

The knowledge is not totally processed, but he thanks you for it. You can see that you have gained his respect. He then says that he will get that soul back, and that he hopes to contact you soon to inform him about how it went, and cuts the communication.

Penelope looks at you and raises an eyebrow. The emotionless face of the girl seems to show a small degree of discomfort. You decide to explain her that you aim for a long-term relationship with these orcs. She then claims that you could have achieved the same by just enthralling him, with the plus of gaining total control of the clan. You then say that you doubt that you could have done that, and that it involved certain risks, like properly manipulating his soul. She agrees, but still thinks that enslaving him was a better idea.

[...]

C) You reluctantly accept the dwarven girl's offer. She puts the box with the soul inside the summoning circle and you pull it inside your realm. You then force a scrap soul out of the vault and send it toward her dimension, and upon exiting the summoning circle, she encapsulates it inside an undecorated metal box. With watery eyes, she asks you to keep that soul intact. You still offer her to turn that soul into a state of undeath that she desires, and she breaks into a full cry and begs you to not touch it, that she will pay back for it. Before you can calm her down, she cuts the communication.

Penelope sarcastically congratulates you for your social skills, but says you that you know have a lot of leverage with that girl.

-1 scrap soul. +1 dwarf earth elementalist soul.

[...]

You try to read the soul and analyze it, something that, for a soul cleaner of your experience, comes naturally. You learn that the soul was of her father, a noble who worked as an advisor to the dwarven king of that particular mountainhome. You learn that the girl's name is Gretha, and that she lives in Iron Fist mountain, located north of the Goblin lands. You also learn that this guy loved turnip stew. Yes, you get information that you don't even want. You briefly think about copying memories and skills from this soul, but you know that's not how it works. You can reutilize shaved off bits of souls and put it into another, but you just can't duplicate knowledge. The only thing you can do is to teach living mortals directly by having them open their soul to you, but you only can pass the knowledge you already know. This means that you can only teach elementalism to mortals, and, even then, it is unlikely for someone to open his soul to a demon. You experience at teaching is also null, so there is always the risk of screwing up and making them forget their own name, or make them little more than a drooling machine.

You review your current deals:

Spoiler: Clients (click to show/hide)

Then you start to consider what to do during the rest of your time:

Work phase:

Available AP: 20.

Available actions:

Soul processing: select soul to clean, type of undeath and what to leave attached to it. Souls not relevant to anybody are typically just left with their abilities, and their memories and personality are discarded.

Basic working times:
Scrap: 3 AP
Wight: 4 AP
Ghoul: 5 AP

Spoiler: Soul structure (click to show/hide)

Other actions:

Diplomatic meeting: 5 AP. Take a trip to meet with some demon you know, stating your business with him or her. During the travel, you will have to fend off petty demons, but probably nothing serious. Maximum two due to the time that it takes to physically go.
Exploration: 5 AP. Walk around the multiverse, looking for something useful, contacts, possible minions, anything. The tentacle demon wants to help you with that, and eagerly awaits to accompany you like a faithful dog. Results are random.

Decide what to do. Talking to your minions and roleplaying is free


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