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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


Nov 24, 2016
The following is a list of all lines semi-unique to various backgrounds. There are three in here which are shared between backgrounds.


  1. "I came looking for a fight. Hope I'm not late?"
  2. "If he's unfit to lead, you should challenge Mattias for dominion over the Unbroken."
  3. "Cut their heels. They won't make it far."
  4. "Back down or lose that spear-fighting arm. Your choice."
  5. "I'm used to getting my hands dirty. We won't be spending any time entertaining diplomats."
  6. "Sounds like fighting words. Fancy a duel, guardsman?"
  7. "Are there any combat games to be had in camp?"
  8. [Hold aloft a severed limb for all to see.]
  9. Beastwoman: Her nostrils perk as she rapidly scours her memory for your familiar scent. Then a sharp-toothed grin slowly spreads across her face.

    "Human reeks of blood-mud-death. Of triumph and gnashing, wailing teeth. Beastwoman can smell - human is better fighter than runt called Night-Yowl."

    She grinds the Beastman's face deeper into the dirt before lifting her clawed and gnarled fingers off of him. He quickly scrambles to his feet to nurse his head.
  10. To Beastwoman: "I wager I could take you."
  11. [Bare your teeth in a wild, dangerous grin.] "Don't worry, I know how to properly respect a Beast. Allow me to gift you an offering - of blood and bone."
  12. "One time, in the pit, my jaw was busted, so I couldn't close it properly. Then I had to bash a man's brains in, his skull and brains got in my mouth. So always close your mouth when you crush someone's head."
  1. "Tell him if he were really the Archon of Secrets, he'd have known all about me and seen this coming already."
  2. [Point excitedly.] "H-hey! What's that over there?!"
  3. Voices of Nerat: "What? You were a common criminal? Oh we just KNEW it! Between you and we, Tunon's had a lot of Fatebinders in his day and age and criminals make the best Binders. It's like they know the true secret of it all - if you want to defeat your enemy, give them a cut of the profits and make them your friend!"
  4. "You have a lot of perishable goods, but no hauling crew. You're just a battlefield looter."
  5. "Might I take a closer look in one of these crates? Standard inspection procedure."
  6. "I'm sure right now, Tunon is hating himself for not executing me years ago."


  1. "I could explain the intricacies of geo-triadic temporal energy channeling, but you still wouldn't understand it, so what's the point?"
  2. "A mage who doesn't show up at the fight has no place in Kyros' hierarchy."
  3. "The arcana can seem overwhelming at times, but I think I have the fortitude to maintain."
  4. [Follow along.] "Trust me, I'm a natural with this sort of thing."
  5. "You've never known death until you stare the Bane in their empty holes for eyes. You think you've known hunger until it's torn at your flesh, begging to be sated on your blood."
  6. "Is this link arcane in nature?"

  1. "I can plainly see that you mistreated that sword, or simply don't know how to fight. I rule for the Forge-Bound."
  2. "What were you trying to do - chop down a Spire?"
  3. "Standing against the Unbroken will take more than harsh language. I bring you tactics and experience."
  4. "Your fight ends here, Irentis. We both know you won't survive."
  5. "Nothing I've seen here leads me to believe that you're as beaten as you say."
  6. "I know a lost cause when I see one. You'd be smarter to give in now rather than later."
  7. "You're smart enough to recognize that us standing here means the Regent's time is over."
  8. "The Unbroken have too many fighters. I aim to take a few."
  9. "You'll have his brawn and his iron, but never his loyalty."
  10. "The General was losing his nerve as far back as Vendrien's Well. He put the army in danger."
  11. "He's never been more vulnerable. This is our only chance."
  12. "Where is your dignity, Northman? The iron legion doesn't need spellcasters."
  13. "Do you always stand at ease in the presence of a higher officer?"
  14. "Most of the camp followers are slaves or haulers. You don't see many merchants."
  15. "Your largest crate. Open it, now."
  16. "You look like a competent fighter. Why aren't you swinging that hammer into the enemy's face?"
  17. "I think you know a lost cause when you see one. An assault against the Citadel, after so many failed attempts?"
  18. [Show them your scar.] "How about this?"
  19. "Were you grouped because of your compatibilities?"
  1. "Maintain your own fortifications. I will oversee the labor - nothing more."
  2. "Gentlemen! That's quite enough!"
  3. "You must be mistaken. I'm not here to aid you. You're here to aid me."
  4. "Have you considered an offering of rings to these Unbroken?"
  5. "Trade a few soldiers for many, plus a leader? I call that a wise investment."
  6. "I'm not here to support you, worm. You are here to support me."
  7. "I can help you move in society. Introductions can be made."
  8. "Such an indignity for an honored warlord to suffer."
  9. "My lord father is familiar with trade. Might I inspect your stock?"
  10. "I grew up with books. Try me."
  11. "I am of noble birth, perhaps the Spire simply yields to those meant to rule."
  1. "Kyros' magic tears at the Blade Grave. I come to put an end to it."
  2. "You probably don't want to go around tossing particulates that have been exposed to an Edict. Just saying."
  3. "I once read about some arcane healing methods inspired by the Archon of Wounds. Just theories, nothing I've put into practice..."
  4. "I can make this painful. Would you like that?"
  5. [Address the Sages] "The Chorus should not be allowed to touch the Silent Archive. As a fellow mage, help me destroy this miserable group."
  6. [Address the Sages] "Gaptooth is a worthless leader without the proper respect for the arcane. Save the Archive - kill the Chorus!"
  7. [Address the Sages] "Are you really so willing to stay slaves to Numbly and his cronies? Let's kill the Chorus!"
  8. "I could explain the intricacies of geo-triadic temporal energy channeling, but you still wouldn't understand it, so what's the point?"
  9. "Could I get a discount, perhaps?"
  10. "Ashe's Aegis was a limitation to your potential. I would see this as an opportunity to improve."
  11. "It felt like tapping into something far greater than myself."
  12. "Have you checked any caches of confiscated lore?"
  13. "If the legion lacks confidence in the Earthshakers, that is their leader's failing."
  14. "I know my alchemy, and I know what you're peddling is most certainly looted from the battlefield."
  15. "Are you familiar with the Forge-Bound art?"
  16. "I know how these things work. I'd swear death before divulgence - whatever you teach me will never be repeated or reprinted."
  17. "I grew up with books. Try me."
  1. "We don't need to fight. I'd like to explore the alternate solutions before us."
  2. "I offered you terms of peace. Answering it with violence disgraces the Unbroken."
  3. "They have the advantage here, Mattias. I think you need to make the first gesture of goodwill."
  4. "It would be quicker if you submitted to the Chorus now. Rumalan, there's a place for you as well."
  5. "I've come a long way for an audience with the Regent."
  6. "You won't convince the Unbroken to join without an incentive."
  7. "I came to persuade some upstarts against the error of their ways. Seems I'm in the right place."
  8. "No need for your best soldiers to sacrifice themselves on my account. I'm only interested in taking your head."
  9. "The Archon presents a cordial solution. You're telling me you would prefer a violent one?
  10. "How about a truce?"
  11. [Bow and salute each Archon.]
  12. "I see where this is going. I just proclaimed an Edict to put a stop to this nonsense."
  13. "Does it ever make you uneasy - representing the South in an occupier's camp?"
  14. "Give me a chance to prove myself to you. Have I not labored to solve problems since I arrived at Vendrien's Well?"
  15. "Most assuredly, my lady."
  1. With the mess you make, I can see why the Scarlet Chorus had such an easy time tracking you.
  2. The Disfavored have the clear advantage of tactics. Stalwart falls today.
  3. I'm looking for braver prey than you and your gang here.
  4. I have some techniques of my own I'd love to share.
  5. Scram and I'll give you a ten second head start before I track you down.
  6. And these winds don't make tracking any easier, do they?
  7. Smells like kith but is hairless.
  8. Beastlings do not eat human meat.
  9. As you approach, a massive, scarred Beastwoman turns her sharp, gold eyes to you. She studies you, a calculated killer.

    "Stray no closer, human," she warns.

    Her gaze turns curious and she sniffs the air, slowly, experimentally, then faster and faster, excited and eager.

    "Curious," she purrs. "Human smells strongly of kith. Smells like North tribe."
  10. [Scratch behind one ear.] "I am kith, raised by a northern tribe."
  11. "I protect the tribes; I don't hurt them. You can trust me for I am kith."
  12. "Have your senses so dulled? I am kith and the leader of your tribe."
  13. [Growl right back.] "Your tribe's Prima promised me that Shield. You will give it to me, now. Not later. Not after a favor."
  14. "It's okay, I'm a friend. Are you badly hurt?"
  15. "Sounds like a pain. Why don't we fight for it instead. I win, you let me through, no other requirements. No other demands."
  16. "Left-Claw claims human who smells of kith saved Stonestalker from death's jaws. The Beastwoman studies you with an intense and almost carnal interest. "How should Prima reward human?"
  17. "I am kith, raised by Northern Beastwomen. I want to see the tribes survive, and I believe aligning with the Chorus is the best way to ensure this."
  18. [Hunch forward and growl.]
  19. [Snort and bob your head.]
  20. [Snarl] "Then our tribes will combine, and you will be loyal to me."
  21. [Growl and bare your teeth at the thought.]
  22. As you approach, a hunched, elderly Beastwoman digs furtively at the ground. She startles at the sound of your footfall and rears up, clutching a gleaming shard of Azurelith to her chest.
  23. She sniffs delicately in the air. Her crystals jingle as her head weaves side to side. "Human is both northern kith and Stonestalker. How strange. How rare."
  24. [Snort and grin.]
  25. Scratch behind one ear.] "I am kith, raised by a northern tribe."
  26. "You should know better than anyone what the Beastmen will do with our commanders - likely rip them apart and eat their livers. Not a pleasing prospect."
  27. [Snarl and snap at Kills-in-Shadow.]
  28. "Do you take me for a fool? Those reagents are rare around these parts... are you sure you didn't steal them from Kyros forces?"
  29. "Is there any sport to be found in Apex, or do we only fight among ourselves?"
  30. Her nostrils flare as she inhales deeply, scouring her memory for your familiar scent. Then she cants her head curiously to one side and her keen, amber eyes darken with a sudden and feral desire.

    "Human smells of kith - of far northern tribe. Is strange. Human is hairless, blunt-clawed and male. But smells good. Smells better than Night-Yowl."

    She grinds the Beastman's face deeper into the dirt before lifting her clawed and gnarled fingers off of him. He quickly scrambles to his feet to nurse his head.
  31. [Bare your teeth in a wild, dangerous grin.] "You smelled right. I was a member of the Bounding Viper tribe - raised as the Prima's own brood."
  32. [Bare your teeth in a wild, dangerous grin.] "Don't worry, I know how to properly respect a Beast. Allow me to gift you an offering - of blood and bone."
  33. "Smells good. Smells feral. Reeks like kith. Want to hunt-claim-kill-rut. Want."

    Massive jaws part and a mauve tongue lolls over the side of her yellowed fangs. Thick drool drips to the ground.
  34. "Some tribes grew strong from earth, sky, or ocean -- Shadowhunter tribe thrived in darkness. Was born from darkness. Hunted in darkness, bred and died in darkness."

    The Beastwoman flexes and curls her claws in the air, the pitch blackness of them suddenly striking - a stark reminder of their power, their ability to kill.
  35. "You were Bolverk of your tribe? But you're strong enough to be a Prima."
  36. "Or maybe northern tribe who raised Fatebinder has strongest mystics now?"
  37. "What tribes?"
  38. "That's right, my tribe was from the north, not the Tiers."
  39. "You were Bolverk of your tribe? But you're strong enough to be a "Prima.
  40. "Beastmen can smell water - plain old clean water - from leagues away. Did you know that? Course you didn't. Cultured folk never talk to the help, now do you? Die in a fire. Oh wait, you survived one already..."
  41. "Ah. That explains it. You peed on her."
  42. [Snarl at Hundred-Blood.] "These humans belong to me. Don't go marking them as your own."


Nov 24, 2016
The next one I may take on the task of finding all of the conquest related lines. Which is, obviously, going to be a much bigger task. However, that is something a little different, since it's mostly how the world reacts to you rather than how you react to the world.

It's my philosophy that, I really only should present spoiler information for dialogue options offered by the players. I included some of the NPC options above, because sorting out what is said by the player versus what is said by NPCs is just one extra step that I didn't want to have to take.

Morwa Czarna

Nov 30, 2016
Splendid, thank you! Let me add biographies for roleplaying purposes.
Not wishing to pay to feed and house two, the madam that purchased your mother sold you to the Proving Grounds, the Northern Empire's bloodiest, most notorious fighting arena. Given only enough training to assure the show isn’t over too soon, your natural prowess and survival instinct led you to one victory after another. There was no elegant swordplay, no formalized duels - just brutal melee and the stench of blood, shit, and bronze with each day’s gruesome necessities.

It is said that any fighter that slays a dozen others in the grand melee is given her freedom, but in three hundred years, only three warriors have ever walked away from the Proving Grounds. When the closing horns sounded and thirteen corpses lay about your feet, you became the fourth to be granted freedom to thunderous applause - but this autonomy was short-lived. Within days, word of your accomplishment made its way to the Archon of Justice.

Accused of a crime you most certainly did commit, you stood before Tunon the Adjudicator, Archon of Justice, and argued your case with eloquence and conviction. Impressed by your logic, reason, and confidence, he found you guilty anyway.

It is rumored that Tunon selects many of his agents from his prisoners - who better to catch the wicked than those versed in such ways?

In his mercy, Tunon offered you the choice of two sentences: decades languishing in prison or a lifetime serving him in the court of Fatebinders. The choice was an easy one, and instead of seeing the inside of a cell, you were trained in letters and numbers, magic and war. The laws you once broke are now yours to interpret and enforce.

Few have the combination of wits and courage to be accomplished casters and warriors, and those cursed with such a combination of talents are invariably pulled from their mundane lives and assigned to the armies of the Archons. Your earliest memories are a painful slog of training, study, lecture, and exhaustion - all the elements of being groomed for battle. You knew better than to ask what became of your family, nor to question the missives allegedly penned by their hand that were part of your earliest lessons in reading.

When you reached adulthood, Tunon the Adjudicator came to the barracks and laid claim to your life. Seeing you as too valuable for the crucible of battle, the Archon of Justice deemed your life better spent dedicated to the art of punitive legal remedies. Though you had much to learn in matters of civil discourse, none could deny your bright future as Tunon's next great enforcer.

Unable to settle the year's accounts with grain, your parents offered you as a tithe to the Overlord instead. Seeing your first battles as a child, you've known all your life how to fight, how to stay calm at the sight of blood and disembowelment, and how to rely on your fellow warriors. Deemed smarter than the average killer, you were groomed for command and given an education in letters and numbers.

With rumors of war, it seemed recruitment into the Disfavored legion would be the obvious match for your skills, but the Archon of Justice is known to say that good iron is not used for swords, and good minds are not used for soldiers. Claimed by Tunon, you were instead drafted into the Court of Fatebinders, where your martial skills were put to use in the enforcement of Kyros' laws.

Born to noble parents, you were groomed for leadership - your youth spent on letters, history, rhetoric, and other matters of culture and statecraft. Though you had wealth and creature comforts, you were expected to grow up quickly and bear the honor of shepherding others through prosperity and war.

When your parents came under accusation of sedition, you were sent to the court of Tunon, Archon of Justice, to defend your family's actions. Your parents were found guilty - their sentence: the dissolution of the treasonous estate. Eloquently pleading your own ignorance on your family's actions, you negotiated your most important deal yet - immunity from the crimes of your family for the simple cost of swearing fealty to the Archon himself. Despite the unwilling induction, your education and savvy made you a valuable addition to the Archon's cadre of enforcers. And so long as you remain in good standing, your family just might be allowed to live.

Deeply proud of your intelligence, your parents always knew you were too smart for a life spent with your hands in the soil. Looking to secure a better future, your parents struck a bargain with the Seven Tree Guild, a small magical order willing to teach you letters, numbers, and magic - if you proved capable.

For several years, you learned much from the mages, mastering reading and writing faster than the rest, and eventually learned the basics of mystic theory and spellcraft. Your magical studies came to an abrupt halt when the Voices of Nerat, Archon of Secrets, deemed the Guild 'a peacetime distraction' that must be disbanded for the upcoming war, its mages assigned to proper armies. While your peers went on to other guilds, your mind was seen as too valuable to be wasted on the armies - instead, your life was claimed by Tunon, Archon of Justice.

Though they would never tell you why, Kyros bestowed great wealth upon your family for some unmentioned service, and your parents used this wealth to have you raised far from home - your childhood was a nomadic tour of Terratus with hired tutors and fleeting friendships. Where others had stability and routine, you had a worldly and varied education.

A careless word in a far-flung city landed you in legal trouble, and you were taken before Tunon the Adjudicator and made to stand trial. Not only did you plead your innocence, but you turned the accusations around on the accuser for wasting the Court's time, and the Archon of Justice concurred. Amused by your wit, wisdom, and adaptability, Tunon claimed you as his newest enforcer.

When the leader of your home village spoke out of turn one time too many, agents of the Overlord put the whole town to the torch to contain the spread of insubordination. The Bounding Viper tribe came across the smoking ruins of your village, and when the Beasts’ matriarch found you frozen but unafraid, the mighty leader took you in and raised you with the protection of her tribe.

For years you lived with these wild Beastmen in their migratory homes throughout the mountains, but the Bounding Vipers were a dying breed. Each long winter took a greater toll than the last, and once the dwindling tribe was too weak to defend its lands, Disfavored soldiers came to dispense of the ravenous scavengers your tribe had become. Finding a human amongst the wild tribe, the Disfavored soldiers made a point of taking you alive. News of the wild child of the North eventually spread to the Archon of Justice - and he ordered you released from captivity and delivered unto his court.

I spent my youth fighting to survive in the blood-soaked sand of the Proving Grounds. The most I ever would have seen of Tunon's Court was the chopping block just prior to a headsman's axe, but somehow I managed to set myself apart as a determined killer. Is mine the sort of talent Tunon seeks in his Fatebinders? The fact that I'm here and writing my name for the first time suggests as much, but I wonder what Tunon sees that I'm missing.

If donning the fancy sigil of a Fatebinder was the alternative to hard labor, so be it. Tunon could have branded my face and I would have thanked him for his generosity. I'll take a respectbale job where I get to shake down my old competitors for bribes - tithes for the Court, rather. Not to mention that I get to be the first of my degenerate family to enjoy the benefits of a formal education. On parchment this looks like a cushy deal, but I need to play it straight while Tunon is watching, or else all this goes away.

Everyone said that I was fortunate to grab the Adjudicator's attention, but I'm still not convinced. I spent every year that I can remember training for glorious battle, and now I my days are occupied studying exhaustive legal precedent in the echoing halls of the Court. The education that Tunon offers is expansive, to be sure, but I wonder what he has in store for me as a Fatebinder, and what life he denied me by halting my training on the eve of war.

Though I had some formal training in combat, I never expected to see battle anywhere more exciting than the antechamber of a noble estate. They hire broad-shoulders like me as bodyguards or debt collectors, but Tunon has something different in mind. He sees the potential in everyone, which isn't always a good thing. If I keep my nose to the grindstone and focus on the book-learning, I'll hopefully live up to whatever unrealistic standard he's set for me. Time will tell.

I sold myself into Tunon's good graces with a bit of hastily-assembled rhetoric, and spared my family the executioner's blade in the process. That experience is a microcosm of what it's like to live in the Court - a daily gauntlet of distrust, observation, and justification. A pity we couldn't simply expedite justice by paying Tunon his weight in rings... but no matter. This position may yield some opportunities that I might have otherwise overlooked, and I anticipate turning a handsome profit from this misfortune no matter where I end up.

Life with the Seven Tree Guild was isolated and studious until the Voices of Nerat absorbed our mages into the Scarlet Chorus. I shudder to imagine how long I might have lasted as a Chorus recruit, had Tunon not stepped up to claim me as his own. Since joining the Court, my studies into spellcraft have progressed beyond anything the Guild could have taught me, and education under Tunon has opened new vistas of possible application for my talents. Perhaps this unexpected change was for the best.

Public speaking is nothing new to me, though I must admit the stakes are now significantly higher than my usual pleasantries... One could argue that service to the Adjudicator is the most ambitious use of speechcraft available on Terratus. If I can use rhetoric and persuasion to convince Tunon that I'm an asset to the Court, I might live to retirement if I'm lucky.

The Disfavored ironclads took me from my tribe, and Tunon took me from the Disfavored. I was the Hairless Hunter of Bounding Viper, and now I am traded among diplomats as an amusement. It took me some time to realize that the Court is a hunting ground - a less obvious wilderness - and better to act the predator than the prey. Tunon thinks that he can civilize me, and that my wild ways will strip away the falsehood from his highest officers. Strong claims from someone who wears masks. I will play the pet pupil for now, but I imagine a day when I stand tall enough to bite down on the Adjudicator's neck.


Nov 24, 2016
Thank you for adding to the thead! This has already been helpful to a number of people, so I hope we can keep this up!