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Deal 1185: Choices

Sticking around was instinctual, as well as the right thing to do. Instinct wants me to simply cut and run. But that would leave someone in the lurch, a betrayal that I just cannot do.

There are many paths forward from this place. Almost all of them involve me being ready to let you proceed.

You have a free choice. I won’t try to influence you. My goal here is to protect our platform, not force any particular path on you.

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Deal 1182: Taught

The betrayal was inevitable.

For a long time, we preyed on just enough travelers to keep us fed and clothed without being greedy.

But lately, the temptation to take more was always there.

And who better than to foment that temptation than the wandering bards and itinerant teachers who filled the heads of our younger members with grand ideals, tempting them to stray from our proven path.

And to think that we had been kind to them in their time of need.

My rule had been absolute. Take only the fat merchants, and then, only their purses and some of their goods. Take as little of their dignity as practical, lest they be motivated to do more than band together for protection.

Then we rescued that teacher from starvation.

And let him repay us in kind.

And now our youths are wondering if we have the right to prey on travelers. If we have the right to live as we have for decades.

All because we let a teacher in.