фата Морганы
Their promises they'd kept.
Собрала почти полный текст ветки The Cloaked Emissary из Silver Tree. "Почти" - потому что я где-то прое... потеряла фрагмент про символы Корреспонденции в пещере. Ну и еще потому что дополнительные опции, зависящие от какого-нибудь стата, становятся видны только при наличии этого самого стата. Например, тот самый фрагмент про символы Корреспонденции появился только на четвертом уровне подозрений. Особенно весело с учетом того, что часть опций появляется только в выпадающих картах, которые зависят от рнг.
И еще отдельная боль - концовки. Там целая куча концовок основной истории, но а) выбрать можно только одну, б) почти для всех что-нибудь нужно - или сам факт завершения какой-нибудь сюжетной ветки, или какое-то определенное решение из этой сюжетной ветки, или определенное значение расположения нпс. Иногда все одновременно. Причем с этим расположением порой до маразма доходит: чтобы открыть опцию "признаться Переводчице" нужно ее расположение "не больше 20". В противном случае сорян, но ты не можешь ей ничего рассказать, поскольку она слишком тебе доверяет :lol:

Итак, сперва фрагменты текста из сторонних карт. Не все они требуют какого-то определенного уровня прогресса в истории The Cloaked Emissary, но тему все же затрагивают.
Observing the Emissary
'Will I ever see his face?'
Only Darkness
'I've looked, but all I can ever see is a glimpse of eyes that glow coldly, like distant blue planets. Once, a hint of a cheekbone, textured like fine down, but I might have imagined it...'

A dutiful evening
'Not all the parties at Court are equal. Sometimes they can be excruciatingly dull...'
Polite acceptance
'Dinner with that Nordic fellow. Have other business, but the Cloaked Emissary wants me to attend, and he did just give me that ugly leather pouch...'

Secrets flowed to the Cloaked Emissary like a river to the sea. Perhaps I could soak up a few before they vanished.
Wild words
'The Cloaked Emissary's secrets were either profound truths or elaborate jokes. He told me, "There is a language, of the hot nations far West across the endless sea. And if you were to speak it, your eyes would fill with blood and your hair would light like a candle..."'

More valuable than gold
'What kind of tree bears such fruit?' I scoured Karakorum's markets in search of the answer. I found pears, plums, apples and dates; cherries and lychees and figs, all dried by the sun and glowing in their heaps. When I enquired about peaches, they sent me from one stallholder to the next, until I ended up near the little temple they said belonged to the Magi. Here, a trader from Cathay lurked in the shadows, careful not to draw too much attention to himself. I gave him a pouch of jewels to talk to me. He told me of the trees at the end of the world, whose fruit granted longevity to those that ate it. I asked how long one could expect to live. 'Long, very long,' was the answer. I did not ask what would happen if the fruit was distilled... The next afternoon, I returned, but there was no one there. I heard a rumour of a body, drained of blood, that had been found outside the town walls...

An approach
'The two ladies often sit together at dinner, and I have seen them exchanging manuscripts with much animated discussion...' The Princess's friend must have seen my interest, and one evening we fell to talking over cups of airag.
A fruitful discussion
'The lady speaks a passable French, which she was keen to practise. We discussed the Khan's library...' She was clearly aware the Princess honoured her by lending her the scrolls. 'I like stories from distant places,' she told me. 'I hope to add yours to my collection.' The Princess smirked at that. 'We shall see,' she said. 'Look. Here comes the Emissary. Did he tell you to ask for the envoy's story?' She smiled, but the Huntress frowned at her words. I think she did not like the Cloaked Emissary...

The Cloaked Emissary and the Captain
'Saw the Cloaked Emissary talking to a Captain of the Khan. Went to find out secrets for bargaining with Khan...'
An abstract purchase
'The Captain was heartbroken - his wife killed in a hunting accident. The Cloaked Emissary was trying to buy their story. Buying a story? What sort of merchant is he? I resolved to tell the Khan...'
В случае провала там что-то вроде '"Seven is a number" he said. A number of what?'

'The love between the Princess and the Sculptor had built the Silver Tree and threatened the stability of half of the Mongol empire. I had to decide what to do...'
I set the Cloaked Emissary against the Empire
I dangled the love story before him like bait. His hunger would bring down the city.
There was a sound from his hood. Was he licking his lips? 'Delectable.' He breathed. 'I had engaged in certain blunt speculations, of course, but the details are so much more satisfying. Nost satisfying. I will speak with my compatriots. This city is exactly what we were looking for. Karakorum will never trouble the world again.' He studied me, shrewdly. 'And you - you are a hero to their people, although they will never know it.'

Karakorum was under threat from the Cloaked Emissary.
That was most important. I advised the Princess to reconcile with her father. It was best for the city, with the Emissary looking around for a way to steal it.
'You have been meddling.'
They realised they should be providing a united front. The Emissary came to me, furious at my interference. 'It's not over,' he whispered. 'We can still take it, you know, Do you really think their love will save it from us? Or from Cathay?' We have celebrated love for centuries - we are its curators and its hierophants! No one understands it as we do!'

The Emissary's Secrets (начало ветки)
'He stalks through the town, draped in his cloak, and I wonder again why he is here, and how I will uncover his secrets...'

The Cloaked Emissary
'Karakorum is a crossroads. People gather here from every corner of the world; with all kinds of dress and manner. And yet the day I met the Cloaked Emissary, I thought he was the strangest-looking fellow I had ever seen...' It was a quiet day at the Palace. I was strolling in the courtyard when I found him lurking at the foot of the Silver Tree.
'We have something in common, you and I?'
'"We are both foreigners at the court of the Great Khan. The palace has many visitors, but you and I have come further than most, have we not?"
'He is taller than anyone I have met, and walks with an odd, cramped gait. Perhaps he struggles with the desert's heat. Odd, then, that he wears a thick cloak, the hood of which quite obscures his features. When he first addressed me, I was surprised by the high pitch of his voice. "As I say," he said, "we have much in common. See, even your habit is not so different from mine."'
An occurrence! Your 'The Cloaked Emissary's Secrets' Quality is now 2 - He was unusual, but very friendly to me!

A strange figure by the town gate
'Swathed in his dark cloak he would have gone unnoticed, were it not for the glint of his eyes...'
'It is a peculiar glint. Scarlet, like a glowing ember...'
Although he was taller than most by more than a head, the Cloaked Emissary often went unnoticed. That evening, I had paid the guards at the gate to let me follow him out of the town. He shambled along the path up the hill to stand on a rocky outcrop. I watched as he spread his arms; they were longer, by far, than is natural even for a man of his height. A cloud of bats flew from under the trees and surrounded his head; I heard sibilant sounds, hissing and screeching, as if he were speaking with them...

The Cloaked Emissary haunted the streets
The Emperor did not always feel the need to watch me too closely. When there were fewer eyes on me, it was easier for me to find the Cloaked Emissary.
Inns and markets
'For one so distinctive, the Emissary is hard to find...'
And yet, once I began to look for him, I started to see him all over town. In temples and inns, even at the livestock markets. The Khan was always interested to hear of where I had seen the Emissary, even though I knew he had his own spies following him everywhere.

'More foreign than anyone...'
'Where is the Emissary from? It cannot be Europe or Asia - none of the peoples of those lands that I have ever encountered are so preternaturally tall...'
A survey of the marketplace
'I will take another turn around the markets with the Interpreter. She is au fait with the diversity of those that gather here...'
I recall the outing. We mingled with spice-sellers and cloth-merchants; bought fruit from heaps that gleamed like jewels. We spoke to merchants from Egypt, from Arabia, from Cathay and India, from the frozen tundra to the north and the vast deserts to the west. All said the same thing. 'He is no countryman of mine.'

A troubled mind
'The Cloaked Emissary has been infiltrating my dreams, of late...'
A gathering of Emissaries
'I dreamed something I have never encountered in life; a room full of tall, cloaked men like the Cloaked Emissary, sitting and conversing quite socially...'
The gloom was relieved by flames contained in delicate glass tubes, and the walls covered in painted boards, as if this were a church. The Emissaries held vessels of steaming liquid on their laps, and chattered in piping voices, ignoring my presence. I asked the Interpreter if she knew of a colony of people like the Emissary, but she considered him unique. She was pleased I had asked her, though, and I could tell she was storing the fact away.

'They say there's a secret market, hidden somewhere in the temple district, and that the Cloaked Emissary is a valued customer there. I will ask the Interpreter...'
The Temple of Fire?
'An unassuming building, frequented by only a few idolators... '
It was not difficult to spot the Emissary leaving the temple. He towered above the crowd. It was as if, realising that hiding was impossible, he flaunted his comings and goings. An urchin lingered, hopefully, as I watched from a corner. I slipped him a few coins to find out what the Emissary had been doing. He scampered off and returned within minutes. 'Buying fires. Fires you can't look at.' he told us firmly. The Interpreter assured me she was translating correctly. Well, at least I had a chance to buy some fragrant incense.
You've gained 1 x The Cloaked Emissary's Secrets (new total 7 - I was getting closer to understanding the Cloaked Emissary's secrets).

Familial ties?
'Khan occupied with other matters; must find other ways to fill my time. NB. Cloaked Emissary - wife? Children? Could be better route to discovering why he's here...'
Alone at court?
As always, I asked the Interpreter first, but she was reluctant to discuss the subject. 'I believe that he is unmarried,' was all she would say. 'Chastity is important to those in orders like yours, is it not? It should not seem so strange to you, then.'

The Interpreter's suspicions
She and I were in the courtyard, watching the sun glint on the silver leaves of the fountain. We caught sight of a tall, hooded figure slipping behind it.
'Look what he does' She pointed at the fountain. 'Look how the light's dulled now he's standing there. Like he wants to soak up the sun for himself. We can't see his face, but he looks to me like he's smiling. Don't you think?'
The Emissary's posture could have been relaxed, I supposed. His hunched back made it difficult to say. Yet, the Interpreter was right. There was something about the way he observed the Silver Tree that made it look as though it delighted him.

Children's Stories
'The children of the town like to follow me, whispering and giggling. One, bolder than the rest, asked me a question...'
Stories for Children
The Interpreter explained. 'They see your habit,' she told me, 'and they ask if you are the Cloaked Emissary. They believe that the emissary is a devil, hiding fangs and burning red eyes under his cloak. Their parents tell them that if they are bad, the Emissary will come for them at night.'

'The Cloaked Emissary is partial to a drink...'
'However, he rarely seems impaired, the way most people are after airag...'
His love of music
The Emissary loved music.
He could be found wherever someone was playing the morin khuur or singing in the khoomii style. He seemed blissful, as much as someone wrapped so heavily could appear to feel anything, and would sit for hours, swaying in time to the music. Afterwards, his tongue would be loosened, and he would speak of things he otherwise would not.
You've gained 1 x The Cloaked Emissary's Secrets (new total 15 - The Cloaked Emissary was not who he seemed: he may have been an ambassador from a hostile power).
Учитывая ту концовку Silver Tree с музыкальной шкатулкой и ковром, а также то, что в судьбе, связанной с Параболой, Fingerkings поймали его точно таким же методом (только без ковра, наверное), чувак явно не учится на собственных ошибках :D

I was walking through the courtyard at night, admiring the starlight on the Silver Tree, when the Cloaked Emissary stepped out on the path in front of me. Decisions 'Do not be afraid. Have you ever been afraid of me?' he squeaked. 'We are not sure...' The folds of his cloak shivered, as if he were shaking his head. 'I am going to need you to think about your loyalties. 'My cohorts and I would buy this city. We want to take it somewhere it would live forever. The story of the Princess, the Sculptor and their love is delicious. We do treasure a good love story.
'The city has many enemies. They approach, even now. So tell me, would you rather see the city fall into ruin, or live forever?'
An occurrence! Your 'The Cloaked Emissary's Secrets' Quality is now 25 - He was here to buy Karakorum because he treasured love stories!

I told him that Karakorum should fall
The Mongol Empire was a thorn in the Pope's side. The loss of Karakorum could bring it down. It is time to decide what to do about the Cloaked Emissary.
'A loyalty worthy of praise.'
'I will approach him after dinner...''You are still loyal to the Pope, then?' observed the Emissary. 'I am glad to know that. Nevertheless, the city's future is in the balance. More than one power is interested in Karakorum.'
Try as I might, I still could not discern his face. Behind a curtain, a servant was playing a pipe of some sort, as was customary at these dinners. The Emissary was swaying, very gently, in time to the music. 'How charming this is,' he said, suddenly. 'You are a dear friend to me, you know?' He lurched, suddenly, and stumbled off. I would have believed him intoxicated, but that night, as usual, he had not had even a sip of airag.

I held fast against the Emissary
I told the Cloaked Emissary that he could say nothing to change my mind. I would not see Karakorum sold.
The Emissary was there
'I see,' he said, simply. 'Perhaps you will be able to influence what happens. Perhaps not.' He gestured to the crate of dusty wine bottles in the corner of his room. 'At least take a drink with me, for civility's sake. I have many French vintages, look.'
That night, I fell into a fitful doze. The Emissary stole into my dream and led me out, beyond the city walls. The city was ablaze. We watched from the hill where the bats gather. 'Look,' he said. 'Karakorum falls. Couldn't you have prevented that? You're outside. But who's still there? Do you know?' I thought I could make out the Palace, and the silver spike of the fountain now drowning in red. The Princess and the Sculptor clung to one another at its foot. I knew that a dream could be a prophecy, but how could I know if it was false or true?

I confessed my mission to the Interpreter and allied with her
I knew she was more than she seemed, and that she, too, wanted an end to the Empire.
Honesty is a stranger to spies. My frankness startled her - not its content (she had always suspected me), but the fact I had confessed. 'We are spies together, then,' she said. 'But we serve different masters, I think. You serve your Pope; I, vengeance. The Mongol Empire destroyed my family. I have committed my life to its destruction. 'But the joke is on us: the Empire is already dead. The Khan's family are at each others' throats. They will tear their half of the world apart, and need neither you nor I to do it. 'Come. Sit. We will drink airag and watch an empire die.'

Fate of the City
I still crouched in my hiding place. My journals were damp now with the sweat of my palms. I could ignore the sounds from the courtyard no longer: the screams of men and horses, the shivering thrum of arrows. The forces from Cathay were here! It was just as my dream had prophesied.
I resolved to flee with the Interpreter
This was none of my affair. Let the city fall. Let the Khan die at the gate of his own palace. Let the Tree be felled for the silver of its leaves. But I would be better off not being there when it happened. Perhaps the Interpreter could help me. Could I trust her? I decided to risk it.
I find her on the walls, watching the armies with a kind of greedy joy.
'Fool!' she spits at me. 'This is the culmination of my life's work, and you think I won't stay to witness it? You think you hate the Khanate? My hate will consume it. The Tree will burn! Yes, I have spied for the Khan's nephews in Cathay. I could not let the Emissary buy the city before it could fall.' I let her rant until she runs down like a clockwork toy. I know that, in the end, she has to take me with her: she cannot let an outsider suffer, and and she could hardly survive the city's fall herself.
We scurry like rats through the smokes of Karakorum's death, retrieving the supplies she had hidden, the horses she had prepared. She always intended to watch Karakorum's death from a safe distance. On the way out of town, as we pass the little stand of trees, a tall figure emerges. The Cloaked Emissary!
Nimble as a bat, he hops onto my horse behind me. He weighs almost nothing: his arms circle my waist, cold and brittle as winter branches. 'Be calm,' he hisses in my ear. 'All shall be well. But you must take me west, now Karakorum is lost to me. The Khan might have sold the city for the sake of love,' he tells me. 'His nephews from Cathay will simply burn it. Nothing else will do. I will have to begin again in Paris, or Budapest, or Rome, or Dresden. Or London...'
We reach Samarkand, and part. He says he will transport himself from here. He has given me a quantity of brandy, which he says he stole from the Princess's own stores. The Interpreter and I may be travelling companions for a while. 'I am resolved to try a different life, now,' she told me. 'Perhaps I will take religious orders, like you. I think I will travel north, when we reach Europe. I have friends in the bishopric of Oslo. Perhaps I will go there.' She smiled, and I remembered the shining silver hair of the Danish emissary. Steppe, river, sea, city. The journey back to Flanders takes more than a year. I submit my report to the Pope, receive some modest fame, and settle back into religious life. At Vespers, I sometimes wonder what became of the Princess. But all that is so far away, now.

@темы: Fallen London