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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:00 am

Doodad

"There's no reason to be scared of someone you can outsmart," he plainly explains to Mihai. He then turns to face Konrad, now sounding more confident than before. "The bank would never have agreed to let me borrow from them; after all, I had nothing I could use as collateral. These so-called ‘loan sharks’ however have no such reticence. After learning about them, I immediately realized what they were doing was a racket, plain and simple. But these ‘loans’ were designed for humans, and they failed to understand that fairies don't need a lot of money to survive. In fact," he raises his finger, proud to tell you this, "me and my siblings used the empty crates of goods we bought as our first house. You see, the loan shark didn't realize he wasn't lending money to just one fairy, but one hundred of them. It's easy to pay off that kind of loan when your whole family helps you."

_____________

Edna

"Come on darling, it's pretty clear that whatever you're doing will have an impact on the music industry," she replies candidly. "And if you'll have me, I'll make damn sure it's done right."


Last edited by Zeiss on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:12 am

Edna

"I don't doubt that - your business speaks for itself, but i'm curious. You don't mince words, and you're clearly driven. What made you choose music?"
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:42 am

"I simply couldn't bear to see young artists pay a huge sum of money for instruments whose craftsmanship was average at best. I had to step in."
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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:53 am

All 3

"So, without confirming or denying any rumors, say we developed a product that's new in the industry, like..." - he shrugs - "...the first String Flute or something. Say we have a few months to a year of monopoly, before companies out there start making knock-offs and dig into our market."

"Without asking you to give out your expertise for free here; just speaking in broad strokes, what would be your approach to keeping us on top?"
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:52 am

Van

The old man welcomes the question with a warm smile.

"Now that you mention it, I wish such an instrument existed." He contemplates this idea for a short moment, and then says, "I would attempt to establish a brand so closely attached to your product that buying from you would be a matter of prestige, whether or not the knock-offs were actually better crafted."
_____________

Edna

"Testing me are you?" She studies Mihai's face before she promptly says, "You must offer a wide array of options for the customer while you make the most of your profits from the customized instruments you sell."
_____________

Doodad

"String-flutes?" he repeats. He crosses his arms and thinks hard about it. He then starts muttering with his eyes closed, as if he was speaking to himself, but you can hear him quite well. "Hmm, this limits the size of the market to a small segment of the population. I actually can't imagine other uses for this instrument other than music. Maybe make a simple and cheap version as a toy for kids? Even then, this doesn't add many customers to an already small pool of buyers. On top of that, this is a completely new sort of instrument which no ones knows how to play. You'd have to at the very least add a small instruction manual to the package. How much is that going to cost? This is really tricky. Hmm..." He opens his eyes and looks at the five of you. "Can you give me a few more minutes to think about it?"
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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:56 am

Doodad

"Sure, if you want. But i meant it as an example, you don't have to take it literally."
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 28 Jan 2018, 2:07 am

"Oh I know, but theorizing about how to sell this hypothetical instrument should give you the answer you're looking for. Unless..." His head perks up. "Oh right, I forgot you're trying to be efficient with your time. Let me be more concise; I would attempt to widen the potential market for this product, maximize interest, and sell it far and wide across the Archipelago before the competition can."
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RorytheRomulan

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Mon 29 Jan 2018, 4:29 am

Doodad

"A question from the peanut gallery. In your own practice in commerce up to this point, what would you say have been your top three concerns regarding your company?"
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Mon 29 Jan 2018, 4:45 am

Doodad's answer is immediate. "The livelihood of my employees, the satisfaction of my clientele, and..." He actually needs a moment to find his words. "My integrity. I am proud of my work and wish to keep it that way."

He nods with confidence.
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RorytheRomulan

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Mon 29 Jan 2018, 4:50 am

Edna

"In your own practice in commerce up to this point, what would you say have been your top three concerns regarding your company?"
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Mon 29 Jan 2018, 5:08 am

"Ah yes, the nitty-gritty of management. I try not to worry too much - stress can absolutely ruin your body - but I do try to keep a few things in mind. First is the quality of the product; nobody will buy it if it's shoddy. Second is the efficiency of the workforce; that's rather self-explanatory. Third is, and I hate to say it..." She momentarily stops herself and sighs. "The bottom line. There is no business without money."
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RorytheRomulan

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Mon 29 Jan 2018, 5:51 am

Van

"I don't fully understand what involvement a CEO has in their own company. What were your responsibilities? How active were you in the day-to-day operations?"
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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Mon 29 Jan 2018, 6:40 am

"Oh, I can assure you I was quite busy," he replies with a chuckle. "It might seem complicated, but only because there are so many factors to keep track of; the shifts in the market, public image of the company, the efficiency of the workforce, pressure from the investors, and many more. As chief manager, I had to foresee all possible outcomes and then make the appropriate preparations. And that..." He smiles. "That is something I'm very good at."

He tries to readjusts his stance on his chair.

"I'm sorry. People will tell you that wisdom comes with age but they won't mention the back pains, right?" Now comfortably seated, he continues. "As chief manager, my responsibility is to the investors and they're the ones who decide what I must focus on. If your goal is maximized profits, so be it. If it's the common good of your employees, so shall it be."
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Wed 31 Jan 2018, 4:55 am

After much deliberation, the party decides to name Doodad chief manager of Blue Sound. The young entrepreneur is in disbelief when he's informed of the decision, but his confounded expression is soon replaced by a glowing smile.

"Thank you," he says with a slight bow. "I will do everything I can to meet your expectations."

Over the course of the next few days, it is decided that the three weavers who designed the microphone will merge their company into the party's in exchange for 10% of the shares, while Doodad does the same for 5%. The party members also agree to invest 1500 gold pieces into Blue Sound, which will allow it to establish a foothold in Highwind and to develop multiple models of microphones, the first one being a musical accessory.

Doodad also asks the party if they have an idea for the company logo.
_____________

Van Willis isn't particularly surprised by the news; in fact, he seems to take it in stride and when asked if he is willing to stay in contact with the party, he searches in his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper with his address on it.

"I would usually give you my business card," he says with a gentle grin, "but this should let you get hold of me in a more timely fashion. Even though I expected this turn of events, I must admit I am a little disappointed; I obviously have room for improvement!"

Van lets out a hearty laugh.

"Well, I suspect you'll be quite busy in the next few months. But no matter what hardships you'll face, I have a feeling you'll be just fine."

He tips his hat and takes his leave.
_____________

Edna Heilprin lets out a long sigh when she learns she didn't get the job.

"I find it difficult to believe there's someone that would do a better job at this than me, but I have been proven wrong before." Her eyes focus on all the party members. "Trust me when I say I'll be keeping a close eye on you. With that said, I do wish you good fortune."

She straightens out her skirt and prepares to leave.

"You will keep me informed when your new product is ready to hit the market, correct?" She doesn't even wait for a response. "Of course you will. You'd be insane not to. Here's my business card. I'll also tell my assistant to keep me updated on your progress. Just in case you're overwhelmed with work and somehow forget about your promise."

Edna turns to leave.

"Bye bye now darlings."
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Thu 01 Feb 2018, 7:22 am

As winter settles in, life in the Archipelago slows down to a crawl. The snow prevents people from traveling on land unless they use a sledge, and few ships make the journey to Highwind anymore; if it wasn't for the mages who cast fire daily on the ice forming in the bay, there wouldn't be any. Some dockers have become woodcutters for the rest of the season, and under the supervision of the Free Environment Department (a department of the Free government), they have left the city to work at wood camps located deep in the forest. Fedler is actually familiar with these camps from her time as a hunter, since the spouses and children of these workers would often ask her to bring them letters.

The next few months are quite uneventful; so much that it's difficult to believe that not so long ago, magical creatures and phenomenons were popping up everywhere in the Archipelago. The cat-like creatures, who people now have dubbed carbuncles because of their red horn, have but all disappeared. Nobody knows where they've gone, but it's possible to catch sight of one from time to time - Fedler is happy to report that Florolf still visits her, and has even come into her apartment to drink a bowl of cider. Other creatures such as the faceless statues that roam the streets - now called golems - are still prone to staring at people. There are rumors that some of them might become violent, and the government has issued a warning not to provoke them, but they're mostly harmless. The number of encounters with doppelgangers has considerably dwindled, and while some people are very worried about this, others have theorized that these creatures must have learned how to integrate into human society. If we can accept fairies as equal, why not them either? There is still some debate regarding this question, but these grumblings are quickly shot down whenever a fairy shows up and radiates happiness.

As for the moving streets, they've completely stopped moving. No one is sure why this has happened, but this is a welcome change. People are still having these dreams that seem very real however, and for the few of them who were having a nightmare, it was quite traumatic. Luckily, this phenomenon is jumping from one person to another, seemingly at random, so nobody seem to be stuck with this strange condition. The Council has vowed to investigate this matter.

In other news, the Council has also declared that all members of the Council and mayors of the Free Feathers are to meet at the Citadel in April to discuss the current state of Free politics and find a solution to the sudden change in jurisdiction that has occurred last year. The last time every political leader in the Free Feathers have assembled like this was forty years ago, when a group of pirates and bandits coordinated with each other to attack the countryside.

There is another important bit of news. Stanislaw Koski, the First of Myr, has died of old age. Each First usually serves a term of 10 years before a successor is chosen, by either a majority vote of the 14 clan leaders or a tournament where the candidates fight each other until the victor is determined. The selection of the next First will undoubtedly take place during spring.

More to come later


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RorytheRomulan

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 11 Feb 2018, 4:57 am

Konrad: Crabs, Cannons, Bureaucracy, and Murder Most Mysterious

Crabs
Apart from his daily tinkering, Konrad buys a few things for the practice of weaving directly onto a person. First he buys an aquarium, and realizes it would be difficult to weave while a fish struggles, and then buys some crabs - horseshoe crabs, the kind that are small enough to fit in one's hand. While Breeze swims in her new pool, Konrad starts with a Curse enchantment, and the first crab dies. He sifts through the dead crab's carcass to get an idea of its anatomy, learning a little about crab vitals, and when he is finished, five light-enchanted crabs glow with magic, while nothing has happened with the remaining two. It's because of this that he understands human testing is still required, and for each form of esotery, or failure to customize runes to a creature's anatomy would kill or torture. He drops this research, but does manipulate the enchantment on a crab to see how extremely it is affected. A crab's light can be essentially dimmed and switched off, but in the opposite direction, crab begins to glow. Konrad has let go of the enchantment's magic tether when the crab starts squirming from more than just the brightness of the light, and he is certain that he could cause enough pain to kill the creature. From this day onward, shelled crab legs are what's for dinner at Konrad Casa until all 8 crabs are gone.

Nightmares
He also questions the the guards about the nightmares, and learns nothing about the strange nightmares that have been occurring, except that they were known to have started back in August of the previous year, the same month that the group visited Zelk's grandfather, and have probably been occurring before that. He learns from Zelk that the Free Investigation Agency, or FIA, has been investigating this phenomenon, and that Songbird has already been questioned. He visits the FIA offices to ask for more information, which they politely decline by answering with generic info.

Murder
There is one other thing that the group learns, upon swearing it to secrecy: Songbird, what the group has taken to call an "avatar" (from the island Halfview as theorized by Mihai), was killed in his cell. Military investigations have yielded nothing on the matter. Suicide was ruled out, and it was "messy", as far as she was told.

All men are made equal:
 


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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sun 11 Feb 2018, 5:10 am

Blue Sound now being a real company, Doodad is hard at work to make it profitable. The party members don't see him very often, although Breeze makes a point of visiting him once in a while to play some games and eat lots of food. He nevertheless sends regular written reports to his investors and the progress seems promising. By continuing to offer some weaving services and letting his employees sell the remainder of his caravan goods, Doodad has managed to avoid financial losses in the first month. He's used this time to refine the microphone, learn how to use it properly and write an easy-to-understand manual to teach others how to do the same. He's also talked to the owners of the different taverns in Highwind and convinced one of them to install a microphone on his stage. The day the microphone was to be revealed to the citizens of Highwind happened to coincide with the first performance in Highwind of a world-renowned bard.

"Happy coincidence," Doodad said.

Of course, he also invited the party members to this event and it didn't take long for you to realize that this was a smash success. Over the next few days, the clients from the other taverns gravitated towards the one that had a microphone, wanting to see for themselves what was so amazing about this new little piece of weaving. Unfortunately for the owner of the first tavern, Doodad had agreed to lend him the microphone for only one week and if he wished to keep it, he'd have to pay for it, either in instalments or in totality. Soon, the owners of the other taverns were offered the same choice.

In the next few months, news spread that a company named Blue Sound had managed to weave a microphone for entertainment purposes. Taverns in Walkerfree and Littlepen had already ordered their own mic, and once the snows would melt, some bards were bound to buy one for themselves; they would even get a small discount if they agreed to advertise for Blue Sound, like the one who first sang in Highwind.

Edna didn't lose any time and ordered a few microphones for her own store. "This device is certainly intriguing," is what she wrote in her letter. "I hope for you it doesn't explode in my assistant's face. Even if in his case, that would be an improvement."

The big news came from Myr however. Apparently, a Myrzen who worked for the city hall of Odwaz had been in Highwind recently and witnessed the microphone for himself. A few weeks later, the administrator of Odwaz was ordering customized microphones and sound speakers for the Arena; all of this in preparation for the upcoming tournament. Some might point out that it was possible for the leaders of Myr to choose the next First through diplomacy instead of combat, but who are they kidding? Everybody wanted to see a fight.

This news overjoyed Doodad as much as it made him panic; he needed to hire more weavers, and fast. He managed to find three of them, but it wasn't enough and he had to enlist the help of the Red Hat shop to keep up with the orders. It would eventually calm down, but for a few weeks, all the competent weavers in Highwind were working on microphones and large sound speakers.

Company profits and losses:
 
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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Fri 16 Feb 2018, 2:43 am

Winter is a harsh season for mercenaries.

There aren't many reasons to hire one when bandits, pirates and magical creatures prefer to stay in the warm comfort of their homes (wherever that is); but occasionally, there is a use for them. Every week, an expedition from the Free Environment Department leaves Highwind to resupply the wood camps north of the city and bring back all the lumber they've chopped down. The journey into the forest of Whitewood is cold and arduous, but going there and back again only takes three days; for the rest of the week, the party is allowed to stay at home and do whatever they want.

Furthermore, it seems that the rumor has spread that the incident at the Brightfalls Asylum was even more serious than what people were initially led to believe, and if it wasn't for the 113th Adjunct, the city itself might have suffered the consequences. Although this is never confirmed, the Highwinders who recognize the party members nevertheless show their gratitude with a simple nod, by offering them a discount on their groceries, or even by paying for their drinks at the tavern. Some of them are a tad too insistent and ask the party "what happened exactly in that asylum", but they're usually shot down by their more reasonable friends.

This might also be the reason why the expeditions to Whitewood, which are usually attacked by bandits at least once or twice a year, were suddenly left alone this winter.

As weeks and months go by, days invariably get longer, the sun recovers its past warmth and the snow starts to melt into little rivers that run down the pavement of the streets. On the 26th of March, the party members are called to the office of their handler, Sonlake Dermold, for their final mission.

Sweet money:
 
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Kolson

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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Fri 16 Feb 2018, 2:03 pm

During the Winter months, Steve spends his free time enjoying romantic times with Zelk, hanging with his friends, practicing his music and poetry with Fedler and Breeze respectively, and takes up the new hobby of writing pulp fantasy about his friends. Whenever he writes a new chapter of his friend fiction, he'll leave it under Zelk's pillow for her to find so she is always his first reader. When she finishes he'll let Breeze read it next, followed by anyone else she decides to loan them to.

Magical Ranger Strike Force Book One: High Adventure in Highwind:
 

He also takes the time to WRITE SOME CORRESPONDENCE OMG YOU GUYS!!!

Letter for Zelk's Dad:
 

Letter for Zelk's Grandpa:
 

Gwen:
 

Bubble of Zest's Gate:
 

Yen:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sat 17 Feb 2018, 11:02 am

Of no shock to anyone, Konrad basks in the glow of attention thrown at him and relishes in the free/discount goods and services, but he is less high-and-mighty and showy about it. For the most part, he spends his time alone at home working on a project, the nature of which he does not divulge. When asked about it, he merely explains he wants it to be a surprise. He gladly participates in the silly hat festivities, but after going home, Breeze will note that the hat goes in the closet to gather dust, that is until the next celebration. He hopes it will be a yearly event, not too sparse...and not too frequent.
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PostSubject: Re: Interlude   Sat 17 Feb 2018, 2:27 pm

Upon knowing the synopsis, there is the impression that something in Mihai's mind has just broken.

His jaw drops, he tries to form a sentence, fails. Tries again, still fails. Finally, after some effort:

"Uh....um....i...." - he goes silent for another moment, as he tries to make sense - "...why?"
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