The Invaded Plot [19 Hispis 4385]
There was a quick council of war.
Concern for the Patron
The first part that they told me about afterwards was this. (It actually occurred in less detail halfway through.)
Nearly Everyone:"We must consult Sythyry, for this is zir skyboat, and, ultimately, zir money."
Kantele:"Sythyry is performing a particularly delicate enchantment." Which was true, in fact. "Disturbing zir now might ruin it." Which is false; Accanax does not want it ruined. "As zir secretary, I recommend that we deal with the situation ourselves." Which is excessive, since, by the normal World Tree time, I would be finished in three or four ninths of an hour. I'm sure they could have delayed that long.
Nearly Everyone:"Very well! We will spare Sythyry any trouble or indignity from this situation!" I'm sure that nobody actually said anything like this, though several people told me they did.
Not that I think I could have done any better than they did.
Concern for the Passengers and Crew
Windigar:"We're facing three warships -- we're surrounded by three warships. They've all got weapons for attacking skyboats: onagers, harpoon ballistas, rams. Strayway is neither defended nor armed against such things. If we fight ship to ship, I promise no great success, nor even much chance of escape."
Yerenthax:"There are other ways of fighting. Vae, do you want to slaughter primes?"
Vae:"And why would I want to slaughter primes? The primes are the ones I love, second to my mate and child."
Yerenthax::"Even the one calling himself nendrai-slayer?"
Vae:"Not so comfortable am I of that, truly. The money is not so hard to come by, but friends are scarce and troublesome to replace. The toll is not so very large, is it?"
Zascalle:"It's ridiculous for a toll! Three thousand lozens! A month's budget for all of Castle Wrong, to pass a single harmless branch on our travel!"
Yerenthax:"And the honor! Surrendering so easily would bring us scorn!"
Vae:"No so much shall we speak of it. The one who surrenders can be I -- no great quantity of honor have I in any case. The money shall I replace, somehow or other."
Windigar:"I don't much like paying. But, like Vae, I like being killed even less."
Vae:"Not that did I say!"
Windigar:"Well, I don't want any of us to be killed, and neither does she."
Jyondre:"That goes without saying! Nobody on Strayway should die; that is our ultimate concern."
Kantele:"With the possible exception of the stowaways... but even there we are responsible."
Windigar:"How about this? Vae, can you take arcane connections to the money we pay them with, so that you can teleyoink the coins back to Strayway?"
Vae:"Yes, but also no."
Windigar:"I don't understand."
Vae:"Not a bit of teleportation can be done under Oonanau's prohibition. But the prohibition shall not last so long, and it can be removed in other ways."
Yerenthax:"Can you do it, though?"
Vae:"The most likely. The sorceress may have further tricks against it; I may or may not be able to sneak around them."
Windigar:"So ... We pay the toll. We leave. At the edge of the pirate's territory, we try to take the money back; then we flee as quick as we can. Most likely we succeed, taking off with honor and treasury both intact. If Vae somehow is prevented from getting the money: at least we -- she -- tried, and we all survive."
Kantele:"I approve of this plan, so far. Does anyone have a better idea?"
Nobody did. Zascalle opened the safe, picked out thirty big round hundred-lozen coins, and gave them to Vae to taste and gather connections.