The Sundering

The Dia Dilema

Notes and questions in the analysis of motivations

Various Facts

1. Thief and bard trained lost princess of Valor – it seems like it should have been easier for her to escape on her own
2. The lord seems to want to make it easy for her to escape (showing her room, bringing her to the capital on a flimsy pretext even after her escape attempt, her training)
3. The lord has made sure that both he and Dia are as familiar with the north as possible
4. He has expressed extreme interest in the laws of Liaha
5. He seems to want her romantic interest and/or good will but he has not freed her, even though it would be possible for him

Questions to ask:

If they are working together:
- Are they trying to play us and lead us into a trap?
- Do they actually want help, and are twisty complicated politicians/thieves who cannot just ask directly?
- Why do they need our help? What do we bring that the lord of a city cannot arrange on his own?
- Connections up North? Vouch for his good will?

If they are working separately each for their own ends:

- If he wants her free
- Why does he need (our) help to free her?
- Just saving face, he would lose political power if she escapes (he implied this, but it seem insufficient)
- Yet he could easily fake her death and just get her a disguise to get out of the country?
- Maybe he is contracted not to let her escape as part of how she came into his possession in the first place and he is circumventing the contract?
- He wants blame for her escape (either successful or not) to fall on Calvin
- What would he gain if Calvin is blamed for aiding in her escape (since it would be an obvious conclusion)?
- What repercussions would being blamed for helping her escape cause for us?
- What benefit could she serve for him once she is back in Valor?
- If she is not favorably inclined to him since he did not obviously help her escape?
- If she is favorable – marriage to gain some form of power/nobility in the North?
- Suspects he might be given her hand in exchange for helping?
- Politics between Valor and Arlien
- Is there any connection to the linked ring of unknown full purpose?
- How could we tell after if him wanting her free was the case? What sort of search would be expected in either case?

- If he wants to keep her
- What negative effects will our helping (and almost certainly getting blamed) have on the team?
- Would it be different if just he suspects us than if everyone does?
- Why did he bring her to Realterre when he basically knows she has asked us to help her escape?
- Back to he wants to be able to clearly blame Calvin
- Blame us to the elves or to the humans?
- How do the elves tie into her disappearance in the first place?

Possible actions:

- Help her just vanish
- We would almost certainly be blamed
- Unless we could blame the other Valorians instead
- Fake her death, then get her out? (Oops, she fell in the Piranah moat trying to escape, nothing is left of her body.) (Try not to think about transmuting corpses to look like her.)
- He might think that is too convenient, but if he needs face saving might ignore it.
- Why wouldn’t he have done this himself? Why involve us?
- The mysterious ring?
- Something with how he got her to begin with?
- Can we get records on this?
- Was anyone else brought down with her? Or along the way?


Emily responds:

She was little more than a child when taken, and was not more than 10 or so when she came to Aerish lands. She has a child’s vision that tells her how far she is away from home.

The lord’s training is questionable. It COULD be nothing more than his influence, and desire to have her trained to be ready to be a noble, but…

The laws again COULD be coincidence – Riv, ahem, Calvin’s involvement and the changing of the laws could be the reason to spur that, but, again…

He claims that freeing her would cause some sort of political blowback. Is his hold over the city tenuous, or is it a sham? Is keeping her a slave more to keep her close by, and the political blowback just an excuse? Should be able to check/feel that one out through talking to Kaltor or scary sage lady. (SSL?? ;) )

What trap could they lead us into, that others have not? Even if they spring said trap, good luck keeping us in its clutches.

If they want help – is he capable of asking for help, or is that a sign of weakness? Does he REALLY want help to let her leave, or is he just trying to keep her goodwill, with the appearance that he’s benevolent?

And I think I may have a few ideas on what we may bring: We are outsiders and NOT beholden to any faction in the city, and possibly even the country. We are travelers from the north, and have made the trip more recently. We know the the political climate up north, we know the roads, we know the people. We also leave fewer loose ends and local connections that could turn upon him.

Connections – yeah, I’ve got nothing.

If they are working independently, which I think is more likely, then we have to look at their motivations as interconnected AND independently.

HIM:He wants her to look favorably upon him. He (might) want the political cover that we could provide if his position isn’t absolutely secure. I don’t know of a way to tell if he is under magical contract, but even then – normally there is a penalty for breaking a contract, but it typically CAN be done.

If he is trying to set up Calvin, what does he gain by implicating Calvin. Is he tied into one of Raknar’s factions? Another faction?

Disguising her and faking her death poses problems, as she is pale. Like Calvin, like me. She will stand out until AFTER she leaves the Kitra plains, or makes her way north of the Great Dwarvin Wall. Both are hundreds, if not a thousand miles away.

What fallout will come from being blamed? Is there a burden of proof that must be met? Is returning her to a noble household up north enough protection? Will lands or money be seized? Will there be an attempt to seize Calvin/us and fines, imprisonment, or slavery? (Again good luck trying to enforce THAT on any of us!)

Why did he bring her to Realtare? Does he think it is better to keep an eye on her? Does he not want to leave her behind because he likes her? Does he want to parade her around as an exotic “toy” (shudder)? The last isn’t seeming as likely as he came to see us, and then stayed at the property outside of town, but…

IF we help her, she NEEDS to disappear at a different time than us. Either before, or afterwards, but NOT at the same time. And no, sorry, I don’t know if one week, two, or a month is sufficient.

Faking her death – it would need to be done outside of Manco, as there it is harder to know the loyalties of ALL those around him. And difficulties with having someone else look like her – the hair, the skin, it wouldn’t be easy. And if he IS interested in her, and her death is faked, what would he do? Investigate? Avenge? Break down a temple door and demand her to be raised? And if it ISN’T her that was raised… oh boy!

We have real problems to deal with, but are these just as important?

The Dia Dilema

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