Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Bribing the Judges [18 Lage 4385]

Mirrored from Sythyry.

Saza: “We do not actually need to do much about the visitors. We are not in Oorah Thrassen! The boundary is over there, where this pier leaves the side of the skybridge.”

Nangbang: “I know this! It is the very reason I suggested this very gazebo — it is outside of Oorah Thrassen, and thus avoids issues of what we are allowing to stay inside of the city-state while we decide if it can come into the city-state!”

Feralan: “Me?”

Saza: “Yes, you. Though give him a decent pronoun, Nangbang. He’s at least half not a monster.”

Nangbang: “That’s half better than the thing my daughter is marrying!”

Me: “Untrue! Unfair! Lithia is entirely prime. There is simply some ambiguity about just which sort.”

Nangbang: “It amounts to the same thing.”

La Hish: “No, it doesn’t. Nangbang, your daughter has improved from being wholly traff to being half-traff. This is progress! Do not discourage her!”

Nangbang: “But Sythyry compelled her to marry Lithia! By threat of force and violence and evil!”

Me: “Actually, I tried to talk her out of marrying Lithia. I did try to intimidate Treacle-Eyes about the marriage, but only into sticking with the marriage if she goes through with it at all. She was not much intimidated.”

Nangbang: “Is that so? Zascalle said rather the opposite — that you were desperate to get Lithia married off!”

So I had to get out my journal again and show them about that conversation. No truth spell needed this time. They assumed that I was about as accurate as last time. (Which is true.)

Nangbang: “Convenient journal, that. Has answers to everything. How do you ever find time to write it?”

Me: “Oh, I make the time.”

Nangbang: “I, too, will make some time!”

Saza: “You’re going to start a journal too?”

Nangbang: “I shall make the time required to descend to Srineia and observe the treatment of my daughter directly! Sythyry, you travelled here in what? a few hours? I demand, as my price for not carting Zascalle and Thiane into Oorah Thrassen, that you take me to Srineia for the wedding of my daughter! And, should I attempt to persuade the brides not to participate in it, that you not interfere!”

Me: “How many cley do you expect this persuasion to take?” Which is to say, “are you going to use words or magic to persuade?”

Nangbang: “One! For a privacy spell!”

Me: “That seems fair. Indeed, you should be invited to the wedding, though I somehow think the invitation may have been lost, delayed, unimagined, or pending.”

Zascalle: “Nangbang! You cannot do this — it is infamous! You must protect me from the evil wizard!”

Saza: “Nangbang is the evil wizard. He is the high priest of Accanax!”

Zascalle “Why are you ceding to zir what zie wants?”

Nangbang: “Because zie is ceding to me what I want.”

Zascalle: “Nangbang! Sythyry is your arch-enemy! You must oppose and defy zir!”

Nangbang: “Zie’s not my arch-enemy. That would be Otresto, if it were anyone. Sythyry is simply the one enabling my indecent and improper daughter to be more indecent and improper.”

Saza: “Less! Less improper by half!”

Nangbang: “I do not know which is worse: a Cani, or a shifter hybrid.”

Me: “The shifter hybrid has been determinedly looking Orren. Whatever is less improper in spirit, socially Treacle-Eyes’ marriage looks utterly normal and conventional.”

Nangbang: “A good point. I prefer to avoid public humiliations. I provisionally accept this bribe.”

Zascalle: “Kzip La Hish! You are my last hope! Save me from the blue lizard!”

La Hish: “Taking bribes, are we?”

Nangbang: “It is what we do best!”

La Hish: “Fine. My bribe is twofold. First, take Dorze off my hands. He’s clearly useless and rebellious. I don’t want him. I do want to be paid for the remainder of his indenture, and the spells I taught him. Second, I would like a minor magical consultation.”

Which is basically asking me to concede our main disagreement to her. A significant amount of money, but my money is all lost today anyhow. Better that some of it go to La Hish, where I will at least be buying peace, than to Zascalle.

Well, I suppose I will give him to Treacle-Eyes. It will be the Best Wedding Present Ever.

Me: “That seems fair. I will be glad to pay you … at such point as I have the money. Zascalle seems to have run off with all of mine at the moment, so I must extract it back from her if I am to pay you any time soon.”

La Hish: “Since you have now formally admitted that you owe me that price, I see no reason why I should interfere with any of your attempts to recover what is yours — and in particular, what is mine that is reckoned among what is yours.”

Zascalle: “I am undone!”

Me: “You undid yourself.”

Saza: “Throwing yourself on the mercy of your pursuer’s enemies is a good plan in general, but make sure they’re really enemies first. These two are generally friendly with zir, though there are some points of disagreement this year. With me, too, but I’m definitely not going to lift a single claw against my dear coz. Sythyry will be our colleague for centuries to come, and we wish to keep our battles professional, well-paid, and unlikely to leave us transformed into small coffee-flavored snack treats or something. You will be gone in a a scant few decades, or less, and do not greatly endanger us.”

Me: “A pity you did not manage to give them this philosophical advice a week or two ago.”

Saza: “Do I get a bribe?”

Me: “Of course, coz! The biggest one of all!”

Saza: “Oooh! Goodie! What is it!”

I abducted zir briefly into a pocket universe to explain my concepts, and work out certain fine points. When we returned, Saza fluttered around merrily.

Saza: “OK! Justice is fully served, or what passes for justice outside of any city-state. Sythyry, you are, in effect, here alone with those who have wronged you, and there are no laws or even customs in this uninhabited bit of empty air to constrain you. And I see that you are armed and armored rather astoundingly. Let us see what you shall do!”

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