Contains spoilers for, funnily enough, The Price of Hubris from The Emperor Protects.
As always, be aware that the podcast is not really family-friendly, and features a fair amount of background noise, if that sort of thing bothers you.
As with the last episode featuring the start of the expedition, this one once again featured some juggling of IC, OOC and metagame understandings of the situation. The appearance of the boys in the valley was a bit unexpected, but I for one struggled to decide how to respond.
Were the boys really allowed to be here, or had they come against the chief's wishes? As recruiters for the Fists, we'd want to see just how good these kids were; however, we were also supposed to do anything to antagonise the locals, and getting their favourite kids killed off seemed like it fell into that category. Were they going to be semi-useful accomplices or squishy escort quests? I don't think we were bothered about traps by this point (although in theory they could have been leading us into trouble), but was it more honourable to refuse these kids' aid and send them back or to accept them?
The key thing here was probably that I (no idea about the others) didn't realise Arthur had actually added the boys to this section; I assumed it was part of the adventure as written. That being the case, I once again had no idea what the scenario writer had in mind here. While I trust Arthur not to obnoxiously screw me over by (for example) convincing me to take some kids along and then starting a war because they get killed, I have zero reason to trust an unknown scenario writer.
At the same time, my character's cautious disposition meant that his first response really would be to send them back home. So the OOC and IC concerns about their safety and the political situation combined to make me quite reluctant to accept them. Thankfully, I was convinced in the end. I also think it's quite nice that in this war-themed game, we spent quite so much time on IC discussion and non-combat RP.