View Full Version : Exalted2.5, Rise Of Western Fury: The Gathering
11-10-2012, 04:56 AM
RY 770, 1st of Ascending Fire, Moonday (Monday) Evening
Location: Southharbor Garrison Town, Southern coast of Amphiro
Largest of the islands of the Neck, Amphiro is about 200 miles long and abruptly widens from about 50 miles on its eastern end to roughly 130 miles in the west. The shoreline is speckled with fishing villages, most of which are the ancestral homes of Squalus tribesmen.
Northern villagers sometimes share a Tautoga heritage, while the southern islanders commonly show signs of mixing with the Smaragdi (particularly in and around the capital city). The steep slopes of a dormant volcano dominate the western hinterlands of Amphiro, and its valleys hold the richest soil the island has to offer.
Southharbor Garrison Town
Southharbour was a harbor town project supported by the Realm to years ago to fight piracy that robbed the Realm a year worth of tributes. Started as a staging point for the 37th Legion led by Peleps Uruk, the settlement was later developed into a small town when the Realm saw profits to be made as more merchant ships choose to berth within the vicinity and send their goods to other parts of Amphiro for obvious security reasons.
Their efforts had yield positive results since the implementation of this initiative. The most frequently bragged story, often heard in taverns was the victorious battle against a pirate fleet from skull stones, led by a knight in ink black armor, by the name of Terror of the Sea . There was an extended celebration that lasted for three days in Southharbour, sponsored by the confederation of Neck.
Though the pirate activities had reduced significantly, rumors of Coral Archipelago preparing for war had sent tremors of fear across islands in Neck. They were particularly worried since their recent quarrel over the sovereignty rights of a few fertile islands, turned into a short skirmish and somehow, the Neck's fleet sank 2 of the Coral's ships. Neck ambassadors visited Coral, sent them tributes and begged for forgiveness but it had been 2 months since the confederation of Neck last heard from their deploy.
For months, these had been hot discussions in every tavern in every town and city. The confederation of Neck had gathered here in Coral Palace to have lengthy meeting with the Realm delegates for weeks now. It was speculated that the confederation of Neck had offered increased in tributes to seek protection from the Realm. The frightened locals had been praying for a favorable outcome, though the decision had been unclear so far. Perhaps, this is the reason why the locals who used to hate the Realm, had bent their attitude drastically towards good when dealing with them.
Advised by your council, you made a personally trip to Amphiro. The Amphiro chieftain and a few of them in the confederation of Neck are your distant relatives. The Arakas had recently annihilated Ukran, taking no prisoners, burnt down everything that they passed by. Auln-Verin is next, everyone is certain. You current military force of 6000 could not stand against the powerful force from the south. Your scouts reported the enemy force numbered 12000 or more. What raised the notch of challenge was the discomforting reports of Magic users, that added fire powers to their attacks. Right now, they seemed have occupied the capital of Ukran. That was the latest news you have got. And for a week, there had been no update on the matter. You suspected the spies were most likely dead. You only hope was to lend the aid of Confederation of Neck to save your kingdom from the same fate faced by Ukran.
Your trip had been a discreet one. You have chosen to stay in the Coral Haven, a mid-price tavern in Southharbour. You have been waiting in vain for 2 days for the meeting with the chieftains. You were told that they were having important meeting with the Realm Delegates. Your small sail ship is berthed in the harbor alongside with XXXX (Huan T’zai, what is your ship name?)
@ Huan T’zai,
Your ship had arrived this afternoon at the SouthHarbour. For a few hours, your loyal crews had been washing down the deck. Near around evening, the crew gathered at the Foxcle (Front of ship) awaiting eagerly for your briefing and particularly those not on duties, they were waiting for your call for Liberty (Naval term for going onshore).
After days of cat and mouse chase in the previous location, you hopped into a trading ship and escaped your pursuers, Wyld hunt. You arrived a few days ago, and put up in Coral Haven- a middle class tavern in Southharbor. It was the only place left to stay.
@ Peleps Zhu.
You have received a message, in your dream. It was the first time since exaltation that you have heard anything from the Unconquered Sun. “Find the others like you…”
You arrived together on the same boat with Dream, though there was no conversation during the 2 day sailing, you were pretty surprise that both of you ended up staying in the same tavern.
Map of SouthHarbor Garrison Town.
Sorry about the crappy map. I hope I can do better... ; p
Anyway per square is about 5 by 5 yard.
If you are ready, Let's ROLL!
Introduce your character and indicate what they intend to do. : )
The ship will take you to Southharbor on Amphiro. You'll find things have changed a little in the last few months; with the threat from Coral, the Neck is looking to the Realm for protection. But I know you're not the type to pick fights - keep a low profile, and you should be fine.
Tsunami's parting words echo in Autumn Wind's ears as she waits calmly in line at the Realm checkpoint. Around thirty years of age, she is tall for a woman - or Tya - with a light spare frame. Her skin is sun-bronzed and weathered by the wind, with the characteristic jagged tattoos of the Tya slashing across her face in dark blue ink. Swirling designs that evoke stormwinds pattern her forehead and high cheekbones. Her eyes are the blue-gray of a clouded sky, and her blue-black hair is cut short, for practicality rather than attractiveness. She is dressed in a brown monk's robe over simple dark trousers tucked into sturdy boots, with a dark red shawl covering her shoulders. A belt of braided rags cinches the robe at her waist; a wallet made from woven rushes is attached to it. (It is currently rather empty, holding only a few coins, some strips of clean cloth for bandages, and anti-nausea herbs to aid with seasickness.) A knife in a plain leather sheath and a long folded wooden fan hang from her belt; she carries a simple wooden staff, the grip polished smooth by long use.
She's aware of the secret orichalcum spines within the fan's folds, and the orichalcum bands concealed in her boots and beneath the leather straps binding her forearms, under the loose sleeves of her robe. But the knowledge only sharpens her senses, and brings an edge of alertness to her gaze. There is nothing to be gained by fear, and so she is calm, serene as the windless sea. Get past the checkpoint, and then she can go to the guildhouse and report in. She owes the local Elder that, at least.
The Twilight considers the other people in the queue with her, disembarking from the Swift Breeze. She's gotten to know some of them over the course of the voyage, albeit none closely - it seems safer, now, for her to keep to herself, beyond casual conversation over meals.
Hearing The Unspoken Word is active, with 3m committed from Personal; I'm aware of all sentient creatures within 40 yards, even people who are trying to hide, and it's easier for me to read people's intentions and emotions.
Aside from that, apparently I'm at the Realm checkpoint :smallwink: Autumn is aiming to travel to the Tya guildhouse on Amphiro.
I'll leave whether I know our Dawn open, until he introduces himself - I don't mind either way.
11-18-2012, 06:19 PM
Conversely to the Twilight on board, the Dawn warrior looked something of a piece of trouble waiting to happen.
Edge of Variance leaned against the rail as the ship began to pull into their destination. The sun was beginning to dip low towards the sea line, and he smiled to himself at the sight. It never got old, this life. Always something new to see, despite the hardships that had brought him here. It was another day that he was still alive, after the pain he'd brought to Coral, and he was thankful for it.
His pale eyes fell upon the Tya woman, at least he assumed she was from the tattoos that adorned her. He gave a polite nod to her, and looked back to the oncoming docks, not trying to engage her in conversation. She had, pointedly, been reasonably distant from the rest of the passengers, and it was understandable. So, Edge gave her the space she wanted. He'd been alone for the majority of his life, and he wasn't one to infringe upon another. They had traded greetings, and brief small talk, and if that's how she needed to keep it, it was her's to keep.
The dipping sun shown down on the big man's skin. His forearms were bare, what could be seen under his dark cloak, his skin the color of bronze with a windblown mess of red hair that hung down just about to his shoulders, constantly dancing in the breeze. There was no point in keeping his hood up aboard, everyone would eventually notice his face anyways, and it wouldn't do to seem overly broody. The cloak he wore concealed most of him, including the breastplate with orichalcum bound within it. A simple clasp kept it closed against the dancing winds, though it was clear he wore armor... and was armed.
Concealed, and yet not concealed at all, was his weapon. All who saw him knew he wielded a great blade, but the extent of it was largely unknown. A big handle rose from his back, his cloak neatly folded around it to reveal only that, for the most part. The majority of the blade, sheathed, rested against his back, the four foot long, foot wide orichalcum edge pressed against his back, the sheath largely covered by the cloak. Using large weapons wasn't all that rare these days, though certainly not common... but the extent of Searing Edge's greatness was largely suppressed beneath sheath and folds. It was a good thing that he topped out at close to six and a half feet in height, and was built like bear, else the illusion would not have worked in the slightest.
The Neck. At first, Edge wondered where he could go to take any kind of refuge against whatever reprisals might come from the actions of his Exaltation. There certainly was enough jade on his head, and the Coral Navy, let alone anyone feeling perky enough to try their hand for the bounty, would be after him. He needed a plan, a way to figure out how to bring down the tyrants of the land... and with the politics brewing the way they were, the Neck turned out to be the best option. Coral's invasion was apparently imminent, that much was apparent. It also seemed that the people there were calling out to the Realm for assistance. Edge hated those abusive degenerates just about as much as he disliked Coral's way of doing things, so it only made sense.
If he got into the Neck successfully, and if any of Coral's people managed to tail him, there were two possibilities. Either they would find themselves in a fight against the Realm's forces when they were noticed, or they would halt their pursuit entirely to avoid the conflict. It seemed to be his best bet.
As they came into dock, Edge slipped away from the rail and made his way to help the crew make preparations. He had helped them with the use of his strength throughout the duration of the trip, heaving lines or moving things as they directed, and generally keeping them favorable towards him. No reason not to help good sailors out when he could.
11-18-2012, 11:24 PM
Right into the hands of the enemy, how foolish! Thought Huan, contemplating the events which had lead him to dock the Storm's End in a port controlled by the forces of the Realm - the restlessness of his men and the dwindling of his supplies. Unfortunately, it seems there is no other option. He sighs.
The Eclipse Caste sits at the bow of his vessel, his weapons set aside and his legs crossed, he could look rather relaxed, though anyone with half a brain could see that he wasn't.
He blinks open his royal-blue eyes to view his men gathering at his recent call - much of the afternoon had been spent washing the deck, and many a day prior had been spent at sea, it was clear that they expected a break.
Huan stands up, motioning for his crew to line up before him. He regains his composure almost immediately, eyes passing over each of his men. He paces for a moment, examining the deck of his boat.
"I am to understand you seek leave, no doubt to partake of the drink, hmm? Speaks the Eclipse, maintaining a stern expression if only for a moment - a couple of his men nod or offer an 'Aye, sir.'.
After a moment of pause, the Exalt cracks a small smile. "Well who am I to say no? You've all done a fine job, be proud of yourselves! And - my friends - enjoy your well deserved rest."
He would usually be happy to send his men off, the Former Admiral does not wish to stand in the way of a good time - still, his smile is something of a mask. He silently prays that it wasn't a mistake to dock here - or to give his men such freedom in these streets.
"Oh, First Officer Lon? If it is no trouble, I may require your presence in a matter of hours, it is an important matter concerning our supplies."
Huan waits for the last of his crew to leave, retrieving his swords before setting out himself - best not to leave valuable artefacts out in the open. While my crew indulges, I should go about procuring supplies - I shall have the opportunity to celebrate at their side soon enough.
11-19-2012, 04:12 AM
The World's Great Age Begins Anew (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHgdh63e7RY)
All the work around the docks had come to a halt. The sailors and longshoreman, like their entire breed, were tough and capable men and accustom to hardship and violence with equal measure. They had doffed their caps and stood in respectful silence around a man standing on a large box placed for this purpose. It carried very expensive soap from the East but that was simply a coincidence.
The man, or perhaps young man for he was only just into his third decade, was simply dressed, a sleeveless tunic and cloth skirt tied on the side. The garments were simple, some of the men were dressed in the same though a few had trousers instead, yet somehow… better. They were woven from the beards of shellfish and dyed tekhelet blue, facts which were not immediately obvious. Other than that, the man could have been one of them, a few in his audience were even younger. His skin was the tanned olive of a central Westerner glistened faintly as though wet, indeed he had washed himself with sea water not long ago and the scent of salt clung to him. He looked out at the men, catching their mostly blue or brown eyes with his own of bright azure.
“Let us pray.” The heads of the audience bowed while the priest turned his eyes to heaven.
“Welcome to the Highest…”
Five minutes later the right was done and the work of the docks resumed quickly. Normally such a break, which took up far more time than the five minutes of the task itself, would never have been permitted by the men’s various employers. When Peleps Zhu had first introduced himself and asked to guide the men in morning prayer they had thought him a Terrestrial and there was little the ‘pious servants of the Immaculate Dragons’ would deny a Prince of the Earth. He had divested them of that notion. However, when a man fell thirty feet from the rigging and walked away from it, though with a bit of a limp to be sure, the men had quickly credited the young priest. While nothing as spectacular had happened the small accidents that occurred around busy ports had been noticeably reduced in severity since the daily prayers began. What had started as a simple morning prayer had been joined by a midday ceremony. Some of the more superstitious or accident prone were clamoring for an afternoon performance as well as accidents started to pick up around then to the ‘normal’ levels.
Zhu left the men to their task, they nodded their heads respectfully at his passing and made his way to the civilian gate. One of the warehouse owners was waiting for him looking nervous and one of the legion guards was beside him.
“A fine afternoon ta you brother. This 'ere gentleman has been hear’n word about you helpin’ the men get religion. Not there there’s anythi' wrong wi' that o’course. With the prayin’ I mean not the hearin’. Course there’s no’in wrong with hear’n either. That's ta say…”
“That will be enough master Greyshore. Please, feel free to return to your business, I have taken up enough of your time.” The owner walked away just slowly enough to not be considered running and the guard turned to the grey haired youth before him.
“Master Peleps,” there was just a hint of question or mocking in the tone, “certain rumors have indeed come to my attention. I was wondering if you might take the time to help me sort out some of the wilder ones.”
“Certainly. I apologize for diverting a sergeant of Her Imperial Legion from more important tasks. This humble brother stands at your service.”
Something about that, though it could have been taken as flippant, seemed to upset the guard. From appearing tough in front of a civy and potential trouble maker his demeanor shifted to a junior officer before a general or a novice interrupting an abbot. Standing up a little straighter, and almost noticeably resisting the urge to come to parade rest, he continued though the tenor of the interview seemed to have changed.
“Ah, before we get too formal about all this,” a good save considering the tone of authority was out of his voice, “why not a few introductions. If you will follow me there is a decent tavern just out of the gate. I… ah… they serve alcohol and can you… be where they…”
“Peace Sergeant, I am not a full monk of the Order, simply a lay brother.”
“But you lead prayer! If you are…”
“Peace Sergeant, I am not a monk but I am a priest. The distinction has been recognized and dispensation granted. My home island was fairly poor and we had only a single true monk. Self-sufficiency appropriate of Daana’d don’t you think?”
“Oh, yes of course.” Why did he feel so stupid, the guard thought to himself. The answer was so simple he felt childish for his outburst.
“So... your tattoos are quite impressive. Are they your family’s?” Much safer territory, many islands had elaborate rules regarding and requiring tattoos to display family history and personal merit. He had a few navy tats himself, so he understood what was behind the practice.
“Some of them, yes. You are referring to the Peleps mon in the center?” Zhu smirked, “It isn’t a peasant’s mark if that is what you mean. Were it not there I would still be a Peleps, blood is thicker than ink as well as water. The rest are mostly traditional. The quotations from the immaculate text were at my own request and the elders relented. Now, it seems we have arrived.”
They had indeed and they shared a pleasant meal, which was most certainly not what Sergeant Defeneye had thought he would be doing. He was on duty for Dragon’s sake! Still, if he got answers he could say it was interrogation or something.
“So, they say that you’re doing magic of some sort to raise the dead and reattach fingers. Crazy stuff like that.”
“I have done neither of those things, though if I could I most certainly would try to do so if it indeed helped people. All I do is pray.”
“Pray? That’s all?”
“I believe in the efficacy of prayer. I would be a poor priest if I did not. Not as a bribe to recalcitrant spirits, but as a source of positive karma. Those who accumulate merit will be rewarded and the converse as well. While the next life is the ultimate accounting of this, there is blessing enough that the world need not being without small mercies.”
The simple and frank statement touched a chord in the Sergeant’s heart. For some reason he looked out and truly beheld the world that was around him for perhaps the first time. There was a tension in the air. There was bound to be with Coral raising the war flag. Over this a separate energy had settled upon the small town.
It was not felt so much as seen. The clouds spread themselves in a vast array, waiting to be gilded by the Dawn and inflamed by the Twilight. All about the horizon they circled, for they would not obstruct the splendor of the noon tide. The plants and growing things, even the weeds clinging to the gaps in rocks, were almost florescent in their vibrancy. Not only green, though there were many things which wore a thousand shades of emerald, but also in the umber of their dry husks or the solemn dignity of withered blossoms. When the morning fog had rolled away even the tiniest leaf sparkled like earthbound stars. Yet if these things seemed to strain to present themselves the Sea put on such a show that it looked to be posing for an artist. Every wave let lose a sparkling burst of spray and as the wind sung a sweet music through the trees and canvases of ships the waves were high and proud and crested with foam. Even so, the water near shore had grown so clear that the vast array of fish and sea plants were laid bare to mortal gaze.
It was not a tension of anticipation, though anticipation tinged the merely mortal tension of the inhabitants. It was instead a tension of readiness, as though an army stood at attention as their king and commanders carried out inspection. The people seemed blind to the majesty as though Nature's display was not for their benefit.
He looked again at the young priest and something like fear mixed with awe welled up inside him.
“What are you…”
“That is the wrong question.”
“Who are you?”
“That is also the wrong question.”
“… What am I supposed to do?”
“That, is the right question. Now, tell me the answer.”
The moment was broken by a loud shout and Sergeant Defeneye banged his knee on the table as he quickly came to attention, knocking over the chair he had been sitting in. Thinking quickly of small mercies the food and drink had been cleared away already.
“Sergeant, you had best have an excuse worthy of making the Mouth of Peace crack a grin for me to find you here screwing around on duty hours!”
Before he could get a word in Zhu, who was still sitting and regarded the Warrant Officer with a serene gaze, spoke up.
“That is my fault officer. The sergeant insisted on carrying his orders to question me completely and I grew fatigued and requested we sit at this table.” There was no lie, he had indeed asked for a table on the patio.
“I would guess he wanted to make certain that the issue was resolved to your satisfaction as assigning another of Her Imperial Majesty’s finest to hunt me down would take up even more time.”
The Warrant Officer, who was a notorious hard ass, simply nodded and turned to the Sergeant. “I can’t fault your diligence, but there are other things I need you doing. Finish up then be back for orders quickly.”
“It shall be done sir!”
Even as the Warrant Officer and his escorts started walking back Defeneye turned wide eyes on the priest. “How did you…”
“Why did you do that?”
“Got it in two.” He smiled reassuringly. “It benefits no one, not you nor I nor unit discipline for you to be reprimanded. Every word I said was true and now a commendation goes in your file instead of a record of discipline. The world is better off than it would have been otherwise and I acted out of a desire to see no injustice done. I call this good.”
That last sentence would haunt the poor Sergeant for the rest of the day and long after. It would take till later that night to notice that the priest had not mentioned the Dragons once in his discussions of prayer and goodness.
After he was gone Zhu signaled to the waitress. "If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I was wondering if I might take one of the upstairs rooms. My funds are rather short after my voyage, but I both a decent cook, a modest handyman, and a fair performer. I am willing to 'sing for my supper' or wash dishes or the like if such an arrangement would be acceptable." While she left to strongly recommend that to the owner, she thought idle thoughts about winning him back from the priesthood with her love only to discover he was a rich patrician with a great house and servants.
Then again, she thought some variation about every reasonably good looking man who didn't stiff her on the tip so make of it what you will.
11-19-2012, 06:13 PM
Uugh, Priests. She had avoided the fellow the entire journey, the smog of Holiness hung about the man, clearer than any vestments he may or may not have had. Religion was never her cup of tea, and she liked to think she had a good thing going on with Heaven; dont bother me, and I wont bother you. The mildly threatening part of t hat statement was much truer now than it once was, of course, it never stopped her from thinking as much in her earlier years. But her quibbles about the man's vocation aside. Dreams was one to give credit where credit was due.... he was a excellent distraction.
Dreams wanted no one to notice her arrival, the hunters on her trail couldnt possibly question the whole island, but they would certainly talk to anyone who happened to be working on the docks, and red hair, while useful, was damnably uncommon in the West. She had meant to wait until the unloading of the cargo, when the passengers were gone and the dockworkers were most busy... but recognizing and seizing the perfect moment was the hallmark of a good assassin. So when the priest stopped to sermonize over the docks, she darted out a window on the ocean-facing side of the ship, dropping into a deep crouch as she landed on the surface of the water, ripples spreading outward. She winced softly at the wet phut! of her landing, which was not unlike jumping into mud, but at leased it was quieter than a proper splash. Then closed her eyes and concentrated... or relaxed, or did both, it was hard to explain, but before too long, she felt the surface of the water sag, then dropped straight down.
Turning easily beneath the waves, Dreams swam under the ship, and slipped up under the docks, near unconsciously hiding herself in the deep shadows, and waited, putting power back into her waterwalking boots as she did. Once that was done, she made her way towards the ends of the docks, and tapping alittle of her new power*, she slowly slipped up onto the island. moving slowly and cautiously, she rose, looking around... and everyone continued on as normal, their eyes slipping past her without noticing. Too Easy.
From there it was childs play to make her way into the town proper, and seek a inn. She well knew, her trackers would also check the local amenities, but there was no avoiding it if she wanted a decent meal and bed... and she did. She picked a run of the mill tavern, not high class, and not a slum, and let her occlusion dissipate as she walked through the doors, selecting a seat by the bar and waved down the tavernmaster, requesting a bed and a hot meal.
All in all, Not a bad day.
Easily Overlooked Presence Method (3m. Simple. 1 Scene. Combo-Ok. Core 230) Immune to mundane detection, unless you do something silly, or join battle.
11-20-2012, 08:03 AM
Coral Haven, evening
Coral Haven is a middle tier inn. The main building where one enters from High Soul street is a two story eating house. The main hall is lighted by a dozen red lanterns hanging at the railings of the second floor, illuminating the premise in warm orange light. The inn was decorated with a huge collection of handicrafts made of corals, hanged on the walls and ceilings, or as props on the tables.
On the second floor, if one care to count, are 8 rooms, and they are presumably expensive and reserved for honorable guests. An entrance, all the way at the back of the eating hall, leads to a squarish, garden and courtyard and surrounding it are three buildings jointed in the shape of a 'U', each a 2 story accommodations for rent.
You had your hot fragrant bath and is making way to the main eating hall for dinner. Over there, you recognize a familiar face, a priestly passenger having his meal. The 8 tables in the room are occupied. The table the man named Zhu occupied has three seats available for sharing.
You are at your table and your food are just served.
Just when you are about to take your meal, you see the lady passenger whom you had brief conversations with entering the hall from the back door, as if looking for a seat.
A group of 4 individuals, draped in black cloths and straw hats entered the inn.
One of them, the fairer one, gives the room a quick scan before motioning the others to follow up the stairs to one of the room. Two of the men, stood outside the room, keeping guard.
The Dock Gate
The Dock Gate is the only way through into the SouthHarbor Garrison town. It is a huge archway carved out of a long curtain wall that surrounds the dock and joining the fortress wall of the Garrison Camp to your far left. There are a dozen of realm guards, draped in lamellar armor, armed with a short sword on the their belts, and light spear on hands. When you peer up the curtain wall set against the darkening orange sky, you see at least another dozen of archers keeping a vigilant watch on activities below.
While the guards were searching and questioning, a messenger ran down the stairs from the curtain wall, and passed to the presumably officer-in-charge a few copies of scrolls. The officer-in-charge's eyes darted ahead into the queue and back to the scrolls several times, then he gave a frustrated face and called out to his two subordinates. He said something to them and passed them the scrolls. The two guards snapped upright and bow, before returning to their post, spread the scrolls on the table and began scanning the queue vigilantly.
Autumn, check your PM.
When you turn comes, the city guard will ask a couple of questions like, "What is your business here?" "How long will you be staying.
Stunt with your reply, I roll the stunt dice given. : )
Roll you charisma+presence(truth) or Manipulation+presence (lie), Difficulty 1 success, to get pass the guards. If you fail...oops...
If you pass, tell me where you intend to go. If you intend to find lodging- Coral Haven is the only tavern available.
11-20-2012, 03:01 PM
Seeing the woman from the ship Zhu rose and bowed slightly. “In Lak'ech, Namaste. It is a pleasure to see a familiar face. As there don’t seem to be any free tables, I would be delighted if you would do me the honor of joining me.” He had noticed her avoiding him on the ship. On a space that small there was little that wasn’t noticed. “I won’t be inviting the dragons to preside over the meal so I don’t suppose it will be too crowded.” He tried to smile but he appeared to be a bit uncertain.
Moments before the four figures in black entered Zhu turned in the direction of the door. He had heard them coming. Like many his eyes followed them up.
“That does not bode well.”
Autumn nods politely to the guard. Her eyes flick over him, noting the armor, the shortsword and spear... the faint limp indicating an old injury, and the weariness in his face, for the end of a long day. She wonders idly what brought him here, to fight for the Realm. Is he a local, trying to defend his family or make a few coins, or a foreigner, dispatched to distant shores at his masters' command?
Her smile is slight and warm, sympathetic. When he asks her business she replies in a soft alto voice, "I am Tya, visiting our Guildhouse here on Amphiro to report in. I am not sure as yet how long I'll be staying, it will depend on where I'm needed. Most likely a few days to a week, depending on when our next ship is leaving."
The Twilight glances up at the archers, and at the officer in charge. Her eyebrows go up slightly. "I commend your conscientiousness, sir. Have you had much trouble recently?" She doesn't crane her head to get a look at the scrolls, but she does let her gaze pass casually over them as they're spread out on the table. The angle's not very good, but she's always been good at piecing puzzles together from a few elements. Even if they're not after her, it's probably worth knowing who the Realm is hunting.
Charisma, this is truth. Although actually... spending a WP to autosucceed, she really doesn't want to get into a fight with mortals. I'll roll Charisma anyway, just to see how friendly she is.
EDIT: Success, either way. She'll exchange a few words with the guards, see if they want to complain about the conditions or say anything about recent events, before heading on into town. If the Tya Guildhouse on Amphiro is not anywhere near here, she'll head toward the Coral Haven to seek lodging for the night.
The tall Tya nods in sympathy with the guard's complaints. "Well, enjoy the drinking when you get there, and best of luck. Is there a good tavern in town?"
Autumn had originally meant to head straight over to the Guildhouse, even if it meant walking through the night, but the thought of a hot meal is tempting. She follows the guard's directions to Coral Haven; by the time she finds High Soul Street, the enticing smells wafting from the inn draw her to the right door. She steps quietly inside, looking around for the proprietor and an empty seat, in that order.
11-21-2012, 11:37 PM
Huan has always despised waiting like this - though it did give some time to think. Finding himself last in queue, the Eclipse caste examines his surroundings and hopes to get his story straight, he spies a picture of four men - it is likely a bounty lies upon their heads. It seems Southarbor has found a spot of trouble, unfortunate, but at least they aren't looking for me.
After a time, the Eclipse offers a greeting as a guard comes to question him.
"Alright then, we need to ask a few questions before letting you through, yes?"
"I will answer with perfect verity, sir." Replies Huan.
The Guard begins the questioning there. "First, we need your name."
"I go by Huan - I have connections to House Peleps, though it would truly be improper of me to take that name." The Eclipse gives a nod. "Though, I still bear with pride the precious artefacts which my ancestor left." He gestures to the blades on his person.
Nothing but the truth.
The Guard signs something off on his scroll. "Now, what business have you in Amphiro? How long might you be staying?"
"We - my men and I - are growing low on supplies in our journey north, we seek to rest and resupply for a day or so before we continue. Simple as that."
The Guard gives a final nod. "Alright, that should be about it, sir. Thank you for your time. Would you inform us if you see anyone suspicious?"
"Certainly." Says Huan, as the Guard directs him onwards. "I hope you find who you are looking for. Who might they be, by the way, what exactly did they do?" He waits for an answer, before continuing. "May the Dragons watch over you, then."
The Eclipse smiles as the Guard leaves, continuing on through the queue - then to the Trader's Street.
Easier than I expected-... Quicker too, thankfully.
Charisma + Presence would be 8 die. An automatic success if I haven't got something wrong. I'll roll just in case. I'm not certain if that would count as a stunt-... I guess not?
11-21-2012, 11:46 PM
Dreams mosied on down the stairs, stretching out and enjoying the cleeeeeeeean. She did pull up short however on spotting the man from the boat... Oh bugger. So much for her clean get away, now there was a witness. Well, she decided to look on the bright side, maybe hed turn out to be a child molester and she could kill him later. Smiling and giving the man a wave, she approached the table, "The honour is mine." she replied, taking a seat and waving down a passing tavernwench to get a meal of her own. A genuine smirk appeared when he joked about the dragons, and Dream's relaxed alittle, shed never met a priest before who didnt seem to think it was all Very Serious Business. So maybe this wouldnt be so bad after all, "By all means good sir, I doubt you would fit them into the tavern."
Her gaze was also drawn to the commotion by the door, and she groaned, not bothering to hide it. More trouble, wonderful. With her luck, they were looking for her. And she was hesitant to try vanishing in the middle of a crowded room... so wait and see.
"No, it does not, but hey, maybe they live in the attic?"
11-22-2012, 02:16 AM
Now, Edge was starting to get worried about this whole situation.
He had been moving around for a little while, always remaining away from contested grounds, but it seemed that things might have finally caught up with him. He saw the guards moving about, passing scrolls around... scrolls he sincerely hoped didn't contain his image and the sheer weight of jade on his head. Casting his hood over his head, and using it to both shield his eyes from the setting sun, and to avoid his blazing red hair to be noticed immediately, he approached the line.
This... could get ugly.
"Business in Amphiro?" The guard asked him. He had to look up at the big man, who looked down in turn.
"Seeking work." Edge spoke, and truthfully too. "Blade for hire. Heard you all expect trouble. Thought you could use a hand."
Despite all to the contrary, even due to (and especially because of!) the bounty on his head, it was all true, too. If he could help a place keep it's freedom from an encroaching power...especially a power that he had issues with before... he would. He wasn't, however, the best with his words, and he hoped that he didn't let the creeping worry into his voice.
Alright. Charisma+Presence (truth) works out to a whole...whopping 4 dice. Which is why I included his worry in there.
Considering this has a good possibility of failing.. I have included his backup plan, as seen below. Ignore if he passes.
Looking at the guard's expression, there was little question that he was suspicious. What was it, the fact that he was a giant, mysterious man, that he hid glorious orichalcum armor and weapons, or possibly was it that there was a bounty out on his very head?
Whatever the reasoning, he needed to get through, and he needed to make sure that the man didn't start a fuss.
"Look, pal." He said, reaching an arm back... a very big arm, the guard would note, "I'm just looking for lodging for the night, not to start any trouble. Honest. I'll be out of your hair as soon as the next job comes along." His voice slowed, and dipped into a bit of a growl, "I'm tired. I want to purchase a bath, and some food from your fine town, and that's good for the market, right?" He leaned down, perhaps a foot, to glower at the man. The guard had a good sense that the giant of a man would probably stomp him flat if he turned him away. Or, worse yet, that giant blade on his back might come out... and a real fight started. Sure, they had him outnumbered... but if this huge person attacked... he would probably be the first to go.
"So. Whaddaya say, eh?"
Stunting an Intimidation check off of Charisma+Athletics (as he's freaking huge)
If he makes it through, he'll head into town, and towards the nearest place to get that room... the Coral Haven, and see what's going on there.
11-25-2012, 02:35 PM
Three of you passed the Realm check point with ease and entered the the garrison town. It is a well guarded town with half dozen of Realm guards in lamellar armor and spears seen every now and then at every of the 3 main streets you passed. Most of the taverns were fully occupied, leaving Coral Haven as the only option left for a night's stay.
You arrived at the tavern and was quickly greeted by one of the 3 waiters, all draped in grey cotton long robe, secured with a sash at the waist, and wore a small cape and a white cloth on their left shoulder.
"Welcome to Coral Haven...sir(/madam) Dinner or Stay?" The young lad asked in a merry voice.
11-25-2012, 03:41 PM
"Some of the more apocryphal Immaculate texts say they are present at the bottom of every teacup and in the white of every grain of rice. For myself, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are too polite to peep in on everyone's lives, too important to do their own spying, or too busy doing something actually important."
Casting a quick glance at the bottom of his tea and holding up his bowl to scrutinize the rice he set both down with a wry smile. "Or the author could have been looking for an excuse to pry into other people's business.
I am Zhu by the way, I don't believe we have been formally introduced. Back home my friends called me Sand, though I wouldn't presume to be familiar with you of course."
After Dream's quip about living in the attic.
"Do you really think so? In a similar spirit, I have the most amazing ocean front property you might be interested in, just about a day's sailing west of the Saigoth Gates.
More seriously, the question now becomes what we do about this. It could easily not be our affair, but if that is the case than we had better make arrangements to depart. Otherwise, I am open to suggestions."
"Dinner to begin with; that food smells and looks delicious." The Twilight smiles at the youngster, before her expression turns a little rueful. "As for staying - I'll need to see your prices. I'm rather short on coin, until I can get to my Guildhouse, although I may be able to offer medicines or repairs in barter. But that can wait for after the meal."
She glances casually across the room, looking for empty chairs, and folds her arms as she waits to be seated. She nods to the two men who were in the queue with her at the gates as they step through the door. "Looks like a well-frequented place. Hopefully that augurs well for the quality of the food." Her tone is idle, just making small talk.
One of them is the warrior who had traveled on the Swift Breeze with her - Edge, if she remembers correctly. Not surprising; this seemed to be the only inn in town that still had space. (Which may not augur well for the quality of the food, or at least the rooms, but ah well, you take what you can get.) He'd impressed her favorably with his willingness to assist the crew; not many paying passengers would do that, and fewer still would be a help rather than a hindrance. Mercenary, hmm...
And then there's the other - shorter, although that says little enough when the subject of comparison is built like Edge, with eyes the blue of a sunlit sea. Peleps, she'd overheard as he spoke with the guard. Almost certainly not a Dynast, though, from his demeanor.
Her keen ears pick the word Saigoth out of the air. She frowns faintly, not in disapproval but in concentration, and turns slightly to look for the speaker. A scholar, in this little garrison town? He or she might be a more interesting conversationalist than most here; she hasn't heard the Saigoth Gates mentioned in casual discussion before.
If the waiter addressed her as "madam" rather than "sir", she frowns in mild disapproval and adds in a rather stern tone:
"And boy, it's Tya, or sir, not madam. Know the distinction. I am not a woman; we wear these tattoos for a reason."
11-26-2012, 09:53 AM
Huan eyes the lad for a moment, nodding in greeting as he is offered welcome.
"I would much welcome a meal and a room, thank you. It's been too long since I've eaten anything fresh." He exchanges some Yen for these services.
The Eclipse scans about the room, looking for a place to sit and eat. Dragons this place is full! He spies a familiar face, a woman he noticed in the checkpoint earlier, she gives a nod and exclaims on the population of this haven.
"It's that, or the entire town shares one Inn. The food is less of a concern, I'm too hungry to complain." He responds, frowning at the lack of seats.
"I suppose you aren't from Amphiro?" The Former Admiral eyes her up and down, taking note of the tattoos.
Huan notices a couple unused seats, but a man in the strangest of robes and his companion appears to be keeping them for someone - mentioned something about a mythological lost continent, no idea what that's about.
He sighs and decides to wait for another opportunity to emerge.
11-26-2012, 05:02 PM
For as much time as people spent at sea in the West, some place like this was where Edge felt very much more at home. A nice tavern, a nice brew, and an evening to put away.
Just as long as I don't let my guard down... I might even get a chance to relax here, he thought, hopefully.
"Stay or a meal?" Edge repeated as the young man asked him upon entry, and could not help but utter a boisterous laugh, "Both, of course! Though the meal first. My stomach must be sated before I could hope to find sleep! I never win arguments with it." His voice was bold and merry, and he extended his arms as he spoke, intending to put the boy at ease. He was constantly reminded that he was a giant compared to most, especially with the low lanterns of the Coral Haven, and had to work harder at making people feel comfortable around him.
He stood in line with two others, though he stood well over both of them. One, he recognized, was the Tya woman from the ship he had just exited. He glanced her over again, noting her own recognition of him, and bowed his head politely. She seemed a scholarly sort, and kept to herself for the most part, but here upon land, it seemed that there was little reason to keep distant.
"Hello again, friend." He said to her, his voice never losing it's apparent joy. He turned to the older man who stood with them, quickly taking in his fighter's frame and what tattoos were apparent, "And you, as well." He said to Huan, no shyness or subtlety to Edge whatsoever... as was likely apparent by the weapon only somewhat concealed upon his back.
"Gods, this place is packed." He said, glancing around. There were only so many tables, and for the most part, they all seemed full and, relatively, exclusive. There was, he saw, a table with just a pair sitting at it. One of them was a priest, who looked at peace with all the world around him, the other a red haired woman who looked a bit tense.
Perhaps it was the simple fact that there were open chairs, and the tavern was full... Perhaps it was because the pair looked interesting compared to the rest of the crowd... Perhaps it might have been something as ancient and destined as a Circle coming together after a great length of time... Or perhaps Edge just wanted to put his rear into a chair and stuff food in his face. There was no way for him to know any of that, regardless. Still, for whatever reasons the big man, fate, or destiny had... his decision was made.
Edge's clapped a hand down (though relatively lightly for a man his size!) onto Huan and Autumn's shoulder each, and let out another laugh. "Come, friends!" He said, the smile evident in his bold voice, "Let us eat and make merry!" Walking passed the other two, he strode through the room, carefully, and made his way to the table where both Zhu and Dreams sat. He bowed politely, and awaited a break in their words.
"Pardon the intrusion. Might we take a seat with you at your table, friends?"
Autumn shakes her head slightly at Huan's question. "No, although I've visited here before. I travel a fair amount." She returns the man's assessing gaze. "I'm Tya Autumn Wind. And yourself?"
This polite conversation is disrupted by Edge enthusiastically clapping his hands onto their shoulders. Autumn nearly reacts with a hold-and-throw, purely by reflex - Tsunami trained that into her by virtue of many, many ambushes - but the resonance of her Charm is peaceful and unalarmed, and she restrains herself before doing anything more than a slight shifting of her weight. "To you as well, friend," she responds, a little wryly, and waves the blue-eyed stranger forward. It's not clear that there are enough seats for all of them; she glances around for another spare as she strolls idly toward the table. The robed man is the one who mentioned the Gates, if she doesn't miss her guess.
11-27-2012, 07:26 AM
"You can call me Huan T'zai, it is a p-..." He responds, interrupted by the large man nearby grabbing his shoulder, he glances up at the man as he walked them to the table. "A pleasure, indeed." He would shake his head, chuckling a little. This one seems friendly, at least. If direct.
The larger man lets go of the Eclipse's shoulder, before giving a bow. Huan follows suit. "Ehem, greetings." He considers apologising on his new friend's behalf, but how rude that would be! "I would hope these chairs are not reserved for anyone in particular? Of course, we needn't join you if that does turn out to be the case."
11-28-2012, 12:27 AM
"Dreams." she answered politely when the priest gave his name, shortly before company arrived, but atleased these ones didnt look like trouble. Well, figuratively speaking anyway. At the queries, she shot a questioning glance at the priest, and not getting anything she took as a negative, and unfortunately, unable to think up any reason to turn them away herself, she shook her head. "Not at all, please, have a seat... seats. Maybe two for you, big guy. My name is Dreams, this is Zhu. We were just gossiping about some shady figures who entered just before you, dont suppose any of you happened to notice anything?...."
She paused, eyes going distant for a moment as her hand went to her brow as a powerful sense of.... dejaview, and a massive headache assaulted her, for a moment, she could almost picture herself-that-wasnt, sitting with four others.... but then no, it was gone. Fading like a dream. She shook her head to clear it, the headache fading with the vision. Only a moment had passed, but she waved away any concern "I'm fine, just alittle too much sea-glare I fear."
11-29-2012, 02:24 PM
"Indeed, please join us. They say that five is an auspicious number, representing completeness. I wonder what it is we have just now completed."
It could almost have been a joke, almost.
As he was talking he turned to look each of them in the eye. Perfectly normal, in fact most people didn't do it enough in unfamiliar groups or public speaking. Yet as he turned his eyes went past them, settling on other patrons for the briefest of instants. When he glanced passed the guards at the top of the stairs he halted his gaze for a single heartbeat before continuing onward. Total time: seven seconds.
"As the Lady Dreams said, I am called Zhu, of House Peleps. How are you each called?"
Even as he waited for their answers he was listening to the drone of conversation produced by any large gathering of people. The fog of sound resolved into crisp dialogs.
"...so I says to 'm..."
"...isn't going to be me."
"...enough of that she witch..."
Most of them were fairly mundane, the talk of sailors. As for the rest...
11-29-2012, 05:55 PM
"Not at all, please, have a seat... seats. Maybe two for you, big guy. My name is Dreams, this is Zhu. We were just gossiping about some shady figures who entered just before you, dont suppose any of you happened to notice anything?...."
"Edge." He said, simply, patting his own chest in indication. He moved to a bench at the table and took the far side of it (though he minded keeping the legs directly beneath him, so it wouldn't flip under his weight!), sitting down. His sheathed daiklave's tip touched the ground at his side, making a significant thud as it did, it's significant weight apparent to everyone at the table. He propped the thing against his shoulder, like it was a companion standing next to him, and leaning against his shoulder familiarly for balance. He certainly seemed at home with the weapon, that was for sure.
"...Besides the entire place swarming with guards? No, not that I know of... and I thought that was due to the possible threat of invasion.."
Edge leaned back a little, paying more attention to what was around him... but the place was noisy enough that it wasn't very easy. Still, the fire-haired man tried, all the while taking in his new circle of friends. Chance had brought them together but... things felt entirely too normal. Like this had been done before. Like they had done this before, many times. Like this was home.
Regardless, Edge waved the server over, ordering whatever alcoholic beverage was the strongest.
He had a very good feeling that, whatever was about to happen, he was going to need a drink before things got too wild.
Perception (2) + Awareness (1)
"I am called Tya Autumn Wind. It is good to meet you, Dreams, Zhu." The tall Tya nods politely to the woman and the priest. Her voice is a low alto, with a faint northern burr to it. "As for completion..." Her tone turns a little amused, considering the riddle. "A journey, perhaps, if you are also new in town? At the least, a day - another circle of the sun. And a life is built out of those turnings, so it's as good a reason as any to be thankful, especially when we are fortunate enough to have a good meal and good company to hand."
Autumn eyes the arrangement of benches and moves to perch lightly on the end of the far one, only taking up the very edge. She sits very straight-backed, and with an indefinable poise, somehow reminiscent of a heron; every small motion of her head and hands is graceful and economical, balanced on the sharp edge between tension and relaxation.
As now, when she tilts her head birdlike at Zhu and adds, "Peleps? Are you here with the Realm garrison, then?" Her tone is pleasant and polite, only faintly curious. He's probably not Dragon-Blooded himself, despite the name; the few Dynasts she's met made it very clear that they expected to be treated as Princes of the Earth, and would not generally be caught dead in a crowded common room.
"I didn't see any shady figures, miss Dreams," she nods to the red-haired woman, "but the guards on the gate were keeping a close watch out for people of interest. What was unusual about the folk you saw?"
She follows Zhu's gaze up the stairs, to the... rather familiar-looking guards. Oh. Well, her question to Zhu was probably the right one to ask, then. Perhaps she shouldn't get too comfortable here.
The Twilight is aware of the souls around her, a gentle susurrus of serenity - the airy room, the enticing scents and savors of the food, the chance to sit down after a long day. Ripples of stronger emotions flicker like shadows across the bright water; impossible to tell their origin, when they are so transient, so shallow. Only deeply-held passions or convictions, or strength of empathy, will make a mind burn brightly to her senses, like phosphorescence in the night waves...
She doesn't sense that kind of inner force, that diamond conviction or all-encompassing compassion, from any of her current companions. Not surprising; it's rare.
She's been warned more than once about relying only on what the Charm reveals, and not on her own senses. So as she takes a sip of water she listens and watches, as well, matching outer appearances to inner truths - hearing words spoken and unspoken, watching for the next twist in the turning of the day.
My charm Hearing the Unspoken Word (from the Art of Victorious Concession) makes me aware of everyone within 40 yards, and allows me to pick out individuals of great Virtue (Compassion 4+ or Conviction 4+) or "passionate mind". Let me know if anyone fitting that description is in range.
(Huh. I'm the only circle member with Compassion or Conviction 4+? Well then. Although they might qualify on "passionate mind".)
Possible stunt dice (take them from left to right for 1,2,3-die stunts):
11-29-2012, 09:51 PM
"The guards at the gate were looking for some men, outlaws of some variety." Huan addresses Dreams, shaking his head. "Though I, personally, haven't seen much out of the ordinary. Perhaps you should report to one of the guards about these shady individuals?"
The Eclipse sets himself down, raising an eyebrow at Zhu's comment on the auspicious circumstances of this meeting.
"Do you suggest this meeting is more than coincidence?" He chuckles a little, allowing the others to introduce themselves.
He wasn't sure what exactly this Priest was implying, but he had his ideas, all kept to himself.
"We shall see what Fate has in store. For now; I am Huan, Captain of the Storm's End."
He turns his gaze about the room, perhaps he could find those suspicious individuals mentioned by Dreams, he stops after a few moments of scanning through the crowds. The man known as Edge had called a server over.
"I would appreciate a cup of Sake, if at all possible." He nods to the server.
He could do with a drink, it had been so long since his last.
Alcohol could calm his nerves, and his new companions just seemed so familiar, the sense of Deja vu is overwhelming. His eyes dart about his companions, it was clear enough to him that they must be feeling the same way.
"Ah, thank you!" He smiles, receiving his Sake from the server and taking a single sip.
I'd best let the conversation take it's own course, my own questions will wait until we've enjoyed a meal.
11-30-2012, 12:48 AM
"No, Tya Autumn, I am afraid I am not with the Garrison. I am just recently arrived myself at the behest of my patron. There is indeed however much to be thankful for. A toast, to good food and good company."
He raised his glass, taking a sip before setting it down again.
"As to your questions Captain Huan, please forgive me if I answer a one with another. Take a set of dice, the first with one side for every person in Creation beside yourself. Take three additional dice each with one less side than the last. The odds of rolling them such that the faces representing each of us come up is one in sixty two and a half decillion. I rounded up by seven hundred and fifty septillion. The chances are the same of meeting any other four people at random in Creation. For this reason it seems to me that coincidence is usually gilded with a certain aura of meaning by people.
As for your outlaws, we seem to have found them. For which I hope you will forgive me the indulgence of praying for guidance."
He bowed his head briefly. Then as he straightened looked around again. There seemed to be nothing amiss.
"If you do not think it too odd, I strongly suggest we step outside or to a private room. I have, lets call it a feeling, that something rather dramatic is going to happen in here and I would like to discuss it somewhere private. I suspect given the nature of what I have to say you will agree with me on the need for privacy."
Spirit Charm: Measure the Wind, 1 mote and allows me to sense the location and essence of all beings within ten yards and make a Wits+Perception roll at -2 difficulty to sense hidden creatures. It also lets me know their nature such as god, exalt, demon, etc.
From the Elemental in my Yassal Crystal.
11-30-2012, 03:56 PM
"If you do not think it too odd, I strongly suggest we step outside or to a private room. I have, lets call it a feeling, that something rather dramatic is going to happen in here and I would like to discuss it somewhere private. I suspect given the nature of what I have to say you will agree with me on the need for privacy."
"Agreed." Edge said, leaning in towards the table a bit more. "No doubt things are going to get rowdy here in a few moments..."
The big man, who appeared to have an utter lack of subtlety, seemed determined to prove the table wrong. He knocked once on the table, drawing eyes to him. "Do not follow my gaze." He spoke, and then tilted his eyes, slowly and lazily towards the table behind Zhu and Dreams, so it did not look like he was speaking of them. He even kept his friendly, boisterous tone, though it was held at a very low volume. "The gentleman behind you two wear chain armor beneath their robes, and have (poorly) hidden weapons as well." He gave them a moment to turn their awareness towards them, and then added, "As do the tables on our East and North side. They seem to be friends." He said with a joking smile, glancing upstairs towards the guard patrolling about, "And searching for something. I'd rather not find out what."
He produced a little laugh, possibly because he hadn't in a while and it might have been expected out of him from their observers, or he might have found the situation a little ironic. "I suggest outside, Master Zhu." He said, eyes casually shifting around again, "For if trouble begins... it might very well tear this fine establishment- Oh! Thank you!" he said, as his mug of beer arrived, his tone reaching up into the depths of joy again. Tipping the server, he also tipped back his mug... clearing probably half of it before it came back down on the table with satisfaction. He waited until the server was out of earshot (was that why he'd taken such a long drink?) before he finished, "-to the ground."
At least he'd gotten that drink in.
Autumn doesn't move, beyond a brief motion of her wrist as she takes another sip of water. Her blue-gray eyes, the color of the stormy sky, are cool and probing. A breeze ruffles her short blue-black hair - a breeze that doesn't seem to touch the men sitting at the next table.
"I make it thirty or so; there's enough metal in this place to sink a ship," she murmurs in answer to Edge, her tone low and completely matter-of-fact. "And yes, they're watching us, as well as the balcony."
She lowers her cup and nods to Zhu. "Go ahead, Master Peleps. I'll join you when I've finished my drink." There's no need for them to all leave at the same time; she can watch and see how the others' departure is received, and be ready to intervene - or not - if the guards try to stop them.
She gestures with her cup at the packed room; her low voice becomes a little louder, and touched with a hint of exasperation. "This place is so crowded, you might well be right that we're better off leaving and coming back later - even if the menu for the evening does live up to expectations."
If this is another of your tests, my Sifu, she thinks in exasperation, in the general direction of the Monastery of Fallen Stars, I'm starting to get a little tired of them.
11-30-2012, 06:25 PM
"That was only a part of what I wanted to discuss and far from the most important."
He held up his hand and snapped his fingers, turning nearly every eye in the place towards him. The server began to walk over. As she did so, she began to slow down. It took her as long for half her second step as her first. Then just as long for the next quarter. Then the next eighth. In a matter of instants the entire tavern had frozen except for the five at the table. Before anyone could open their mouths in reply the whole room... wasn't there.
Like a wisp of mist it and the whole island vanished. The place they found themselves was a vast expanse of open ocean, no land was in sight. It was shallow, and brilliantly colored coral and fish were visible in the crystal clear water. They were not in the water, but standing upon its surface. Their reflections were not their own, but bright spots as though the sun were directly overhead.
Zhu raised his left hand, palm down, and a coral reef below him grew up out of the water under all of them into form fitting chairs sized for each of them. "Thank you, Aintei Teph this will do splendidly for now."
"It was no trouble at all master." The water to his left shaped itself into a smaller chair, and in it was a woman with bones and organs of ice, flesh and blood of water, clothed with seaplants and coral jewelry, with hair of vapor, and very beautiful to look upon.
"Now then, the least pertinent is I think the most important in this case. Why did four of the Chosen, all of whom have been such long enough to have increased their essence since Second Breath, all sit before me at the same table?"
5m spirit charm, Worldly Illusion. No time will pass in the real world, no violence can be done in this place (only social combat).
3WP go get out early if you like, and anyone with a MDDV greater than 4 may chose not to be affected.
11-30-2012, 07:56 PM
Huan nods his head. "Aye, it would be best if we stepped outside, perhaps to see the last light of the sun as he passes below the horizon." He finishes his Sake, setting the cup down.
The apparent Blasphe-... Zenith, goes ahead and snaps his fingers, calling upon the Essence of the Sun to shape a fold of Elsewhere for habitation. Huan looks about, curious as to what exactly just happened.
"Interesting. What Sorcery is this, I wonder?"
He looks to the Zenith as he levies his question, raising an eyebrow. "I was to assume this meeting was mere coincidence - or a twist of Fate, perhaps." If only he knew what that Fate comment really meant.
"Why don't you tell us, Zhu? I would wager you know more than I in this area." He paces for a bit, within this strange construct world. "Though, I will answer. I'm here, merely, to resupply for my journey north, away from my home in Zhan. That such simple business would lead to the meeting of four other Lawgivers is-... Fortunate? We'll see."
The Eclipse ceases his pacing, coming to set himself down on a chair of coral, eyeing the Elemental at Zhu's side for a moment. "I have to ask, how long do we have within this place, before we return to our bodies in Greater Creation? Will time halt it's flow for long?"
"... well, I suppose that answers what one of us is." The Twilight inclines her head to the elemental. In flawless Old Realm she says, "Thank you for your hospitality, Aintei Teph." She sits down in the coral chair, face calm, only a little shadowed with annoyance.
She looks to Zhu and Huan, a quizzical expression on her face. "You seem to jump to conclusions rather abruptly, Huan T'zai. And you, Peleps Zhu, demand information, but I would like to know who is asking, first."
"For myself, I would ask both of you, for my own education if nothing else... what do you think you know, and how do you know it? Assumptions oft make fools of us all."
11-30-2012, 09:08 PM
"That is the problem now isn't it Autumn. It could well be that some of us here are Anathema and others are Exalted. A highly dangerous mix. Or you could all be anathema driven mad. Either way, when this world ends there will likely be some... difficulty.
As for what I know: You four all all Exalted of greater Essence than you had at Second Breath. There are two others in the inn. One is in the east corner and has not raised his essence. Another is upstairs in the locked room and is of an equal essence to all of you. Aintei Teph told me this.
To answer your questions Huan, there is no sorcery in this, only the Immortality of Aintei Teph. For this reason, there is no time as such here. We might while away ten thousand centuries in conversation and self reflection to return exactly as we left. Well, perhaps not exactly as we left, a million years with no other people would likely drive us all insane."
OOC Note: To the Immaculates there are no Exalted besides Terrestrials. Celestials are Anathema, not Celestial Exalted.
"And yet you used the term Chosen, and say Exalted now, when referring to our Lawgiver friend here... Master Peleps. Interesting, isn't it, that the powers of gods and spirits can't tell the difference?" Autumn opens one hand slightly, the faintest of smiles on her lips. "Thank you for the information about the other... Exalted. The being upstairs is unusually strong-minded. Determined. Could be two different people, but it seems plausible that the will I sensed belongs to the Exalt you identified."
"And they are hunted by the Realm, as you surmised. It was the fairer one whose picture was set aside, at the checkpoint; presumably the leader, although the guards were looking for all of them."
The Tya sits back in her chair. "My own purpose? I spoke truth; I'm here to confer with my fellow Tya. In the end, I will go where I'm needed."
"For now, I needed to come to Amphiro, to settle matters predating my Exaltation; that I arrived in this particular garrison town... might plausibly be according to someone else's design, but if so, I'm unaware of it."
Her gaze on Zhu softens a little, stormcloud eyes a touch sympathetic. After all, either they share a dilemma, or he's a Dragon-Blood confronted with at least one Solar and three unknowns. God-Blood, maybe, but again he'd be taking a fearful risk, in provoking four Exalts; the Realm isn't usually fond of the products of blasphemous unions between mortals and gods, either. Wyld Hunter might make sense if he's trying to determine more about any Anathema in the group before ending the illusion and calling the troops in the inn to attack - he can put them back in the outer world at any time, of course - but this still seems much too direct for what she knows of the normal modus operandi of Wyld Hunts.
She glances away, admiring the glittering vista of ocean, as she says calmly, "I don't believe you're mortal, Peleps Zhu, not to confront four Exalts with the knowledge of their concealed nature. I can sense the clarity and control of your thoughts - and you're a scholar, and not a fool. So, Chosen - this is truth. I did not come here to hunt Anathema. Nor to oppose the Realm. Anathema, or of the Dragons' blood, or something stranger - I don't intend harm to you. Or any of you."
The Twilight inclines her head to the others. "For your information, you are not trapped here. A sufficiently strong will can return you to the outer world at any time - as can Aintei Teph, should she desire it. But time to confer seems a gift that should not be wasted."
12-01-2012, 01:15 AM
"It ultimately comes down to trust. It always ultimately comes down to trust. We have no reason to trust one another and here we are discussing our fundamental nature with strangers.
My suspicion is this, we walked into a an assault by the forces of the Realm against wanted criminals. There is an exalt on both sides meaning it is almost certainly going to get ugly.
Quite apart from the question of what we all are, we likely want to leave soon after this conversation is done. If we do not, we will likely get caught in the crossfire at which point the Solar here," he nodded in Huan's direction, "Will likely start glowing and call a Wyld Hunt down on all our heads.
This does not solve the problem of what we all are. It is possible that we were all drawn together out of coincidence. It is also possible that is not the case. Either way, we are together now. The question becomes what we are going to have to do with each other.
For my part I mean no harm to any of you. I would like it if the other two had their say before we start discussing our decision on this matter. While we could all continue on our own way, it could be very advantageous if we all found a way to work together. Assuming our goals align of course. However we decides, getting into a fight as soon as we are back is likely to once again call a Wyld Hunt down on our heads and is patently unsafe will all the armed men and Exalted in the inn."
12-01-2012, 02:27 AM
The first thing every one of the keen-sensed Exalted probably heard when they had emerged into the sea-scape was a very distinct, dangerous sound.
The sound of a hand tightening reflexively on the leather wrapped hilt.
Edge stood there, watching Zhu as he spoke. He stood there when the reef was raised to form chairs... and pointedly remained standing. He remained, the large Daiklave resting on what was the invisible floor just above the waterline. He was gripping that handle tightly. He wasn't sure if he could (and it was likely he couldn't) actually hurt anyone in this strange place, but as a man who had been a mercenary and swordsman as a profession his entire life... reflexes were hard to control. Right now, by anyone looking at him, the giant looked ready to draw whatever was in that monstrous sheath and send it hurling right towards them.
He kept quiet. For a long time. His bicep was bulging from the strain he put on his handle. Anathema. Essence Exalted. Castes. He'd heard a bit of this... but the people standing around him were speaking in a whole different language.
So the giant stood, his eyebrow furrowed, narrowed at the priest who had, for all he knew, stolen him off somewhere with the use of an elemental servant. Edge did, however, look slightly more calmed when the Tya mentioned that he could leave whenever he wished. "Really?" He asked quietly, and only nodded when she confirmed it.
Edge waited until Zhu had finished his story.. and then he spoke.
"I.." He began, in a tone that would make people pay attention, for it wasn't boisterous or happy at all.. it was low, deep, and lined with brimstone, "..was a swordsman. Who grew up in a small village. Many bad things happened to me... and then something happened. Now, the Dragon Blooded want me dead, and I can only assume that is why... but most importantly..."
He took a breath.
"I HAVE -NO- IDEA WHAT YOU PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT." If anyone had any questions about how loud Edge could have been, when they'd heard him at the table, their questions were answered. It was booming. "I've been chased halfway 'round the West for whatever I've become, and for all I know..." He pointed directly at Zhu, "You might be one of them! Or, simply a madman with an elemental!" Unbeknownst to him, but very visible to everyone around him, upon his head his caste mark shown brightly. It must have been out of the sheer stress of everything that had been happening to him. The face they'd seen so calm, joyous, and friendly was twisted into a mix of confusion, anger, and strain. And still, the glowing brand on his forehead identified him completely and utterly as a Dawn Caste Solar. Too bad he couldn't see it, or even if he could, know what it represented.
He paused a second, and appeared to realize he was shouting. His shoulders sank a little, and so did his voice. He turned towards the elemental sitting next to Zhu and said, more quietly, but still in a raised tone, "..Apologies, Aintei Teph. No disrespect intended towards you."
Edge of Variance stood a little taller, and brought his Reaver Daiklave up over his pauldron, resting it there. The whole audience got a pretty good idea that he could probably start fighting pretty effectively in that stance.
"Now." He said, gently, "Please. Someone tell me what is going on here. I would rather -not- start smashing to attain answers."
The way he said it, the audience felt was said as a joke. He seemed a pretty compassionate person, if a little over-the-top.
...At least everyone could hope that it was a joke.
12-01-2012, 03:06 AM
"In brief, Aintei Teph is an elemental. She possess a variety of abilities which I have been using for my own purposes. These are innate powers as opposed to Sorcery and are native to a type of being. Whatever the being they originate from they are known as charms. Among them are the ability to discern the location and nature of everyone around me. Another was the ability to remove a certain number of people from the flow of time and create a world for them.
Part of the magic of this ability is that no harm can be done here. If you drew that daiklave it would be impossible for you to actually hit any of us or if you did it would do us no harm. This magic is meant to facilitate discussion and has in the past been used mid battle to allow leaders to negotiate. If combat could continue it would not be useful for that purpose.
Autumn and I are having a rather rude side discussion about the nature of Exaltation. The magic used by Aintei Teph identifies Terrestiral Exalted and Anathema as the same type of being. Autumn pointed out that this seems to indicate that what the Immaculate Texts call Anathema are in fact a type of Exalted.
If this is indeed the case, then a more general description of Exalted can be formulated. Exalted are humans who have been granted supernatural power which aligns their nature with the entity who empowered them. Terrestrials are aligned to an Immaculate Dragon. Solars, if they are indeed Exalted, are aligned to the Unconquered Sun who is King of the Gods. Lawgiver is another term for Solar.
So, as things now stand: All of you have enlightened essence at the very limit of human potential. My essence is unknown to any but me.
Autumn has revealed that she has access to at least one charm able to discern the locations of people with strong mental states. By Aintei Teph's charm she is either an Anathema or an Exalted, depending on if you accept the revised definition. She has not stated what type she is. Based on her comments I conclude she is not a Terrestrial because of her points about the lack of distinction in the Spirit Charm.
Huan is a Solar and assumes we all are as well.
I have not openly stated my nature because of my fears concerning the make up of this group. If I were an Anathema and you were all Terrestrials then you would be inclined to kill me. If I were a Terrestrial and you were all Anathema you would also be inclined to kill me. I could be anything, including mortal at this point because all the magic I have displayed is a result of Aintei Teph. Autumn believes I am not mortal because I have done all these things so boldly.
You are a Solar as identified by the shining golden symbol on your forehead right now.
Finally there is Dreams. We know that she is an Exalted or Anathema, as before this distinction comes down to your belief systems, according to the magic of Aintei Teph. We do not know what type she is. Presumably she knows as the process is usually both dramatic and memorable.
How is that summery?"
He closed his eyes and turned his head skyward.
"Also, I am either crazy or my god is sending me visions which should be possible in this place. As I am a priest I am going to assume the latter. Therefore I am going to freely volunteer information.
I am a Solar Exalted of the Zenith Caste. I came to this island at the command of the Unconquered Sun to seek out other Solar Exalted. Now I have been told to unite them. I am going to make an assumption that Autumn and Dreams are both Solar Exalted as well.
I must say, there is something both cathartic and distressing about being that frank and open in conversation."
"How was that, you ask? Comprehensive, I would say." Autumn smiles slightly at Zhu - a smile that becomes warmer and less restrained at his last words. "And yes, didn't think you could be with the Hunt; this isn't the way they operate."
She looks back at Edge, and Huan, and the so-far-silent Dreams, before focusing on the massive swordsman. "But let me answer your question in a slightly different way, Edge."
"You are Solar Exalted, as Zhu said, of the Dawn caste." The Twilight's soft voice seems to echo in the crisp brilliant air of the dreamworld. "What that means..."
She takes a breath, and her voice takes on a lecturer's cadence. "Once there was a war, and in that war the greatest of the gods shared their power, the light of sun and moon and stars, and the strength of the elements, with the humans who became their champions. For humanity, made powerless and small by those who shaped Creation, yet possessed a freedom, and a potential, that the gods in their majesty did not."
"Five castes there were, among the Chosen of the Unconquered Sun, each turned to a different purpose, although all with the greater goal of victory in the war." Autumn reaches into her bag, and takes out a length of light gray wool. As she speaks, she weaves it around her fingers, shaping symbols.
"The Eclipse caste were diplomats and administrators." Laced between her fingers, sketched in pale wool against the bright horizon, a circle within a circle. "The Night caste spies and assassins." The smaller circle vanishes, leaving only the empty ring. "The Twilight caste scholars and engineers -" A line across the circle, now, "- the Zenith caste priests and leaders." Her fingers move rapidly, weaving a dense pattern, the circle almost completely occluded, as she inclines her head to Zhu. She turns back to Edge, her smile widening a little, "And the Dawn caste were the generals, and the foremost of all the warriors of the Exalted Host."
Between her fingers, the wool is stretched in the shape of an eight-pointed star. She ties off the knot, slides the design off her fingers, and hands it to the tall swordsman - with a brief wry sideways glance at Zhu that says Yes, I know I've been oversimplifying a little - then folds her empty hands and continues calmly.
"The story after that becomes... more complicated. There was a golden age, that grew corrupted. There was a rebellion, what the Immaculates call the Great Uprising. The Dragon-Blooded slew the Solars and took power." She opens one hand, gesture and tone neither condemning nor approving.
"Solar Exaltations were made as weapons for an endless war, and so when one bearer dies, the power leaps to a new host - seeking out one who strives for something beyond what merely mortal prowess permits, in whatever endeavor. But for a long time, for whatever reason, the Solar Exaltations did not return. That changed a few years ago."
The Tya shrugs. "And so now the Solars are back, to the considerable alarm of the Realm. The Immaculate Order teaches that those who have animas and caste marks, but are not Dragon-Blooded, are Anathema, possessed by body-jumping demons that eventually consume the personality of the unfortunate so afflicted. The Wyld Hunt, the organization of Dynasts dedicated to hunting Anathema to their deaths, is driven probably more by religious fervor than by politics. Hence Zhu's concern at the likely consequences, should we be forced into a fight." She looks down for a moment, and then back up around the group.
"In any case, given the current data, Zhu's hypothesis seems likely to me unless multiple people are lying. So. There is a traditional means of verification." The Tya smiles slightly, leans back in her chair - and on her sun-bronzed forehead, the symbol of the setting sun glitters faintly golden.
Figuring that her Sidereal mentor wanted her to fight Lintha, so probably gave her at least the Cliff Notes version of the Primordial War. Lore 5, Occult 5 and a Sidereal training regimen (albeit not all the information they give their own trainees), so I think this is reasonable.
12-01-2012, 07:03 AM
Huan sighs a little at Edge's outburst, he never could understand the needless shouting. Why can't we alll be more civil?
The poor man's clearly been through a lot, without answers no less. Still, he could show more patience.
He looks to Zhu as he goes on, nodding as the Priest confirms his prior suspicions.
The Captain further leans back as Autumn Wind weaves her tale, listening intently, he would be taking this in. The Sun had such precious little information on what he had become, forcing him to sift through the truth and lies of Immaculate Doctrine. And, of course, to seek texts older and rarer.
"Thank you, Autumn Wind, your tale has shed light upon the shadow of ignorance. For all of us." He says, as she finishes the tale.
"Rest assured, Edge, none of us mean harm." The Eclipse looks to the false star illuminating this illusory world, allowing for the truer (Albeit weaker) light of the moon and sun on his brow to appear, his blue eyes seeming to flash gold for but a moment.
"We share our light, blessing and burden. Once we've dealt with the troubles outside this fold of Elsewhere, I would hope to further speak with you all, I've not had the pleasure to share in the company of my fellow Exalts, and I've just as many questions.
For now, I don't believe Dreams has said a thing since we've entered, is everything alright?"
12-01-2012, 09:17 AM
Edge stared across the expanse, listening to Zhu speak. He whittled off definitions quickly, in a cold and precise manner. The way he'd done it, though, it wasn't sinking in for the Dawn. The terms being thrown around were unknown to a man of his background, that of a simple, low-economic-class swordsman. There was something in the tone, as well, that made him feel spoken down to... and it was obvious that he didn't like it. He stared across the distance, a scowl evident on his features. He'd never heard anyone say anything about 'feeling cathartic and distressed about being honest'... and furthermore, he'd always the impression that if people held any emotions, they showed it rather than simply spoke of the fact of it's existence like it was a far off and distant thing. As such, the simple man's first impression was that the priest either didn't have any emotions of his own, or that he'd been in a monetary long enough that he'd sufficiently clamped down on them.
The result was not very much trust gained, and it showed in his eyes.
The edges did soften a bit though, as some explanations made sense... but didn't really give him any perspective to hold onto.
But then, Autumn Wind began speaking, and without knowing what he needed to comprehend Zhu's words, she gave it to him. Perspective. His face changed visibly as she talked, filling him on the history, and the reasons that these things were happening to him. It was clear that Edge was more the type to learn things by stories (which was no surprise, given his background) than book learning, and both explaining saw that something clicked there. There really were high deities that were conflicting with each other... and he had been chosen by the king of them, long overthrown, and his Exalted were hunted... he suspected, to maintain their balance of power.
Edge opened his mouth.
Then, after taking a breath, instead of saying anything, he closed it... and finally sat down into the coral chair. He held Searing Edge back against the ground, it's flat edge on the 'floor' of the place, and put a hand to his short stubble.
"Thank you." he said, looking over to Autumn, and it was probably the most heartfelt thing anyone had heard out of his voice thus far. There was even a little moisture in his eyes. The man held his heart on his shoulder, and his feelings could be readily noted without any real scrutiny. Edge continued running his hand through his small beard, his other hand on his sword, taking on a look of a thoughtful warrior king of old...
...a look that some of them might recognize from their previous lives...
...and he slowly pieced together Zhu's explanation along with Autumn's perspective. Overwhelmingly, his emotions rested on one fact now. There might be somewhere I belong...
Now all he had to do was determine if these people were to be trusted.
12-01-2012, 06:39 PM
A disk of unbroken gold appeared on Zhu's brow, confirming the truth of what he had said.
"An external observer might wonder which of us is the priest and which the teacher." He said to Autumn with a wry smile.
"I was always taught that restraint is the sign of faith, yet now I wonder. If you have a charm to allow you to view self-control I would be most interested in what it says about me. As for stories, yours is a bit too comforting. The Lunar who enslaved me told this one to us. I assume the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Long ago, before the Moon was found or the Sun forged, all Creation was illuminated by an Emerald Sun. Under its light the Titans played the games of worlds and kings. They crafted races and gave them souls and ruled over them. When they were no longer amused they destroyed them and move on to their next diversion.
At a certain time they formed man. They made him weakest of all the Creatures of the earth, lacking claw and fur and fang. Yet unlike the beasts they gave him understanding enough to comprehend in part the vastness and might of his betters. From him they extracted cries for mercy and prayers that their tiny lives be spared. Indeed, for such reason he had been made. His prayers rose most sweetly and no race they had ever wrought was so succulent in devotion.
Yet even so they slew men as they wished and the lamentations were as music in their ears. Then the great gods turned their eyes to men. They who were the greatest of all that had been made struck an accord with those who were as the least. Together they threw down their makers.
Yet before the sun had shown a day upon a free world the Solars claimed for themselves the throne of Creation. They grew mighty and decadent until there was little difference from those they had slain. Then the Terrestrials began the cycle anew, throwing down their oppressors so they might take their place. Now they too have grown corrupt and their season nears its end."
He laughed once and it was a dry and withered thing.
"The bias of the one is more obvious to us, but I think both stories were told with a purpose. What interests me is that the Terrestrials seemed to have skipped a few steps in the apparent line of succession. There was no Silver Age to follow the Solars' Golden one.
However, you have not said a word Dreams. That worries me greatly. For you are Exalted as well as we. If you are a Terrestrial this must seam especially distressing, being in the company of four Anathema. I am sorry for that, I did not mean to cause you any distress. It seemed that the apparent coincidence was simply too great to ignore.
Do you have anything to say or any questions to ask? I will do my best to answer them."
12-02-2012, 10:04 PM
Dreams listened silently to the exchanges, she had never been the most intelligence-gathering oriented of her sisters, generally her missions started after the intelligence was already compiled, but even she knew the value of silence. It existed to be filled, and so it was. Truth be told, she was alittle more incredulous, than her expression would have let on, she had a bunch of people here, all of them probably anathema, or Exalts, or chosen, or whatever. In all likelyhood, they were like her. But they could also be insane, posessed, or something else, and just have powers of some sort. She was about to weigh in with something to the effect of 'slow down and speak sanely!' but the huge man jumped up first, and started demanding some sense, or atleased alittle explanation. Dreams had to resist the urge to clap.
When it all came down to it and their attention turned back to her, she considered for a moment, and then snorted softly "Spies and Assassins 'eh?" she asked Autumn, effecting a knowing grin, as if she had known that already. She didnt, but appearances, appearances. "I think your all very smart, or very insane. Im not a Dragon Blood.. Terrestrial? If I was, I would probably be frothing at the mouth by now. Or fainted. As for questions, I am more concerned about the situation outside, how much attention will the five of us draw? The Hunt will run down a single anathema, what will they do with five? Send a army?"
12-02-2012, 11:37 PM
"It is a distinct possibility. It also wouldn't much matter. Any army they sent would have to come by sea. Elementals would deal with those quite handily. So what they have here now is more important.
I might be able to give the impression that I am a Dragon Blooded with Aintei Teph's charms, but that is a risky line to walk.
So Miss Dreams, what is your answer to the question I asked before these three joined us? Is this our business?"
Autumn blinks at Zhu's comment. "You want to call elementals to sink a hypothetical fleet probably largely led by the Water-Aspected? If you're going to try picking that kind of fight with the Realm, can you let me know in advance so I can be somewhere else?" She shakes her head.
"From what I know, in the last few years there haven't been many Wyld Hunts - that's what they call the hunts for Solars and Lunars - in the West outside Wavecrest. Not many isn't the same as none, of course, and if the Realm's moving into the Neck, that may change... but religious fervor often takes second place to political reality, and at least until recently, they haven't had that much control of these islands."
The Twilight looks to Dreams and shrugs. "It would certainly be best if we can avoid revealing ourselves. But unless they have a lot of backup about to descend... Zhu said there were two Exalts in the tavern, aside from us. That's not a Wyld Hunt, even with plenty of mortal support. And it doesn't make sense for our meeting to be a trap; if the Realm knew what we were, they'd be doing their best to keep us apart, destroy us individually."
"I guess I am curious about those two Exalts, though, if any of you know anything about them? If one of them, at least, is being hunted by the Realm..."
12-03-2012, 12:20 AM
"Direct combat would of course be exceptionally foolish for the elementals. It is also not what I meant. Among other things the food and crew are much easier and more vulnerable targets in such a fleet. More to the point, the political will required to send such a fleet is the most vulnerable point of attack from our perspective. If House Tepet is any indication that is.
Do keep in mind that most of the Terrestrials we are likely to face are my blood relatives. I am not overly fond of bloodshed.
It is possible we can reduce our involvement, allow the Terrestrials to expend their essence on each other allowing us to finish the job. It would go a long way toward building good will from the Realm garrison. If we limit ourselves to our subtle essence we might be able to get away with it. Do we want to though?"
12-03-2012, 02:10 AM
Sounds of wooden cups and wine glasses meet, hearty conversations carry on in the inn, but you can already sense a distinct drop in enthusiasms, inclining closer to what one may deem as discreet surveillance. The waiters hurriedly serve orders to various tables. The croaking of boots against the wooden floor seems to suggest hints of anxiousness or nervousness. And it is quite obvious that they walk pass your table a couple of rounds more than you expect. Too frequently.
The 30 odd individuals are doing what diners should be doing, but you find it odd to see a couple of them leaning toward your table, their ears facing you. A few of them nervously returned their gazes to their table when you caught glimpses of their prying eyes.
A waiter exits the VIP room where the 2 men are guarding, walks down the stairways and heads straight to the bar counter. He whispers something to the man at the counter who resume his work shortly and moments later he approaches the table where a hooded man sit.
He leans forward to where the ear is and whispers. The hooded man continues to suck the hand made noodles off his bowl of hot soup Ramen. Then the man sits upright abruptly, his face still concealed by the hood but his white teeth becomes visible. He places his chopsticks on the table, nods his head, waves his gloved hand toward the main door and takes a causal glance at the 2nd floor. Two towering men sitting next to him responded, stand and hasten toward the Inn entrance.
For a brief moment, almost simultaneously, all eyes in the Inn turn toward the hooded man, as if waiting for his next order.
12-03-2012, 05:43 AM
Huan listens intently to the conversation amongst his fellow Exalts, a thoughtful expression upon his face. Finally it comes his turn to speak.
"I believe we shouldn't involve ourselves, this isn't our concern and to do so would simply serve to attract attention. I would hope to avoid unnecessary conflict." He pauses, looking amongst those in this place with him. "On another hand, one of these Exalts may be in the same predicament as us, in which case I have to wonder whether we should help."
The Eclipse settles his gaze on Aintei Teph, picking himself up from the coral chair where he was sitting. "I would also hope to act sooner rather than later. This place may be timeless, but that's no reason to spend the rest of our days in conversation."
Huan won't say it, but the timeless nature of this place made conversation here seem so wrong - the sun doesn't move at all across the sky and the fish seem to move like clockwork. He suspects he isn't the only one to feel that way.
"And I most certainly wouldn't want to test our host's hospitality." He smiles respectfully to the Elemental.
12-03-2012, 07:30 AM
The Dawn caste sat in his chair, his hand still running through his beard.
"I highly doubt we're getting out of here, one way or another, without a fight. With this many guards? More sorcery would be required and... in all honesty, I'm not against having a nice bar brawl. Been a while since I've had my last. And furthermore... if a simple bar fight attracts too much attention from the Realm, then that simply means this place is not interesting enough as it is!"
There was a little life back in his voice, though it was still cautious.
"End of story... we'll need out. If we can get any information, by all means...but this cork is going to pop any second. If they're going to draw arms, let 'em. Might as well get it over with. I wager between the five of us, we could all cover each other. So... let's just let this opera show unfold until we've either got to bolt, or start swinging. Dosen't seem to difficult."
A typical Dawn, and the red haired man didn't even realize it. All about the action.
"I'll try to keep the property damage to a minimum.
If that's possible."
"Simple bar fights sometimes don't stay simple, when the Exalted get involved." But the Tya is smiling faintly; the huge man's enthusiasm is a little infectious.
Autumn looks over at the Eclipse. Behind her apparent calm, her thoughts are a maelstrom: other Solars, other Sun-Chosen. Perhaps the past bearers of their Exaltations fought together, in another age of the world...
As a girl growing up on Inero she was taught that a woman should be an island of serenity. She left Coral and its teachings behind a long time ago - but that much she retained, that core of quiet strength. It's a good quality for a sailor, or a doctor; to be able to stay calm and focused in emergencies, to carry with you always the peaceful eye in the heart of the storm.
Part of her feels she should be more demonstrative. The Sidereals told her what she was, and pushed her to find out what she could do - but seeing the others, the caste marks burning on their brows, brings it home in a way no mere words or training exercise ever could.
She's never been very good at meaningful speeches, though. Perhaps another time. In the meantime...
"I agree, Huan. If one of the Exalts involved is like us - I would rather not leave them to die. You think they're both Dragon-Blooded, Zhu?" Even in that case, she would rather not leave anyone to die, but if everyone involved is a soldier who knows what they're getting into... "I'm trained in the martial arts, and while it'll be clear enough that I'm using Essence, if I have to fight, those powers aren't restricted to the Anathema, or even the Exalted. I..." She considers for a moment. "I suspect I could incapacitate a significant fraction of the guards without seriously hurting them, if they're mortal. Perhaps all of them; depends on their competence and what powers the Exalt can bring to bear. But it's also not quite clear to me yet which side, if any, we should be on here."
"I'm tempted to just walk over and ask the Exalt - the one you identified, Zhu - if we can help. Observant mortals could have noticed the weapons and armor and glares by now. And... maybe it would let us find out more of what's going on, and I doubt it would draw much more attention to us, or induce them to attack if they weren't going to already."
Autumn also has Manipulation 1. She is not good at deception, or being indirect :smallwink:
12-04-2012, 04:40 AM
"I do not know that they are Terrestrials. It is a simply game of numbers. As we discussed, the charm does not specify.
I should note that while I am excellent at effortless defense, my offensive ability is rather more flashy."
OOC: Does Aintei Teph know any offensive charms? Dragon's Suspire perhaps?
12-05-2012, 01:59 AM
"A fight may become unavoidable, we should wait for them to act first, whoever they are and however they act, before acting ourselves." Huan turns to Edge of Variance, eyeing his blade cautiously. He brushes the grip of one of his own Daiklaves, Shu'jian. "If you see anything too-... Suspicious. Ready yourselves for combat."
The Eclipse brings that hand to his forehead, gesturing as if removing a mask or some sort of hat. The mark fades away. "But first. Do any of you have spells or, ehem, 'Charms' allowing for semi-long distance communication?" He awaits his answer before giving a curt nod, he would then alter his plans accordingly.
Huan decides to take the initiative here, it's about time that this show got on the road. "Aintei Teph, thank you for your hospitality. When you are ready, you can return us - or at least me - to the waking world." He bows politely, to the spirit.
Autumn watches the other Solars thoughtfully, and nods slightly.
"Zhu, noted. Well... as Huan says, let's see what happens, and try not to start a fight ourselves. If it does come to that, the styles I know are well-adapted to the defense of others, as well as myself."
The Tya eyes the men's daiklaves, and says, "Just as a warning - that metal may also attract attention, if you have to draw your blades, even if we can avoid spending excessive amounts of Essence. Orichalcum's not so common, and often associated with the Anathema." She shrugs. "But what will be, will be."
"As for your question, Huan - I am an initiate of the Emerald Circle of sorcery, and I do know a long-distance communication spell. I believe it's usually referred to as Infallible Messenger. It can deliver a message to anyone in Creation in less than a day, or so I've been told - the cherub's speed is not infinite, but it is several hundred miles per hour. Spellcasting is rather obvious, though, and risky if there's anyone around who might want to disrupt it. Who do you want to contact?"
12-05-2012, 02:45 AM
"I am also capable of summoning and dispatching elementals. It would be a trivial matter to summon one who's home is near the recipient as they could then recall themselves to cut down on travel time. I would guess on average that this is slower for relatively short distances and faster for relatively large distances.
As for leaving Huan, the charm does not permit it. You could leave on your own by forcing yourself to disbelieve it strongly enough, though that would be rather taxing. Even so, you would have no more time in Creation than the rest of us, as you would still be frozen in time while the conversation continues."
Autumn nods. "Presuming you know where the target can be found, and the message is not especially sensitive, then yes, calling an appropriately-located elemental and having it take the message should also work. Probably the Messenger spell is faster if the target is most places in the West, but its principal advantage is that you need only specify the intended recipient, so it can be used when their location is unknown. Well, and that there's no risk of failing the binding attempt."
She glances at Edge and Huan and explains, "Summoning elementals or demons generally requires a ritual to bind them to the sorcerer's service. It's a contest of wills, and does not always end in the sorcerer's favor. The spell itself usually takes several hours to cast, and is best done with certain ritual implements and wards which are not always available."
The Tya smiles at Aintei Teph. "But of course, as our host's presence reminds us, the ability to bring elementals to one's cause has great value."
She stands up, the caste mark on her forehead fading. Not that it will make any difference, when they leave the dreamworld, but it's a declaration of intent. "Unless we have plans to make beyond see what happens, I am also ready to return."
12-05-2012, 03:39 AM
"Elementals do have the advantage of being able to ferry more significant dispatches such as packages. Something to consider at least. Additionally, they facilitate a reply as well.
I to am ready to depart. Have you anything more to add; Edge? Dreams?"
12-05-2012, 12:56 PM
"Nah." Edge said, yawning, and popping his fingers.
"Let's get this party started already."
12-05-2012, 09:35 PM
Well now... that was interesting, finally she was getting somewhere. Zhu was related to dragon bloods? Maybe if she hung around him long enough there would be a chance to meet his family... and take a few more dynasts out of the world. "Wait, Zhu, Your related to House Tepet?" she asked, trying to get more information about that connection, to better use it later. "I do apologise then, I'm not one to hold my punches... so to speak. If someone comes after you, the best course of action is to put them down so they cannot come after you again later, or tell anyone where you have gone. The Realm also has much to answer for..." her voice took on a deeper tone during that last sentence, glowing with authority and righteous judgement, not unlike Zhu's earlier speeches, there seemed to be so much more to her then, than the woman who sat before them.
Turning her attention to the wider group, and the matter and hand "I for one would suggest it is foolish to allow your enemy to seize the initiative, If we are at risk, we should strike, and exit while they reel, but the presence of other exalts complicates matters, since we do not know their nature or intentions, i would suggest knocking them out first... we can ask them questions later."
A wise solar might have noticed that, despite her claims to violence, she didnt seem to carry any weapons, and when Autumn commented on the obviousness of the other's swords, she looked... smug.
"I can be quite subtle when i need to be however... If you all dont mind, Im going to fish for a reaction, once we return, keep your eyes on the crowd, and see how they respond. If our fears are founded, then it may give us a advantage. I'm ready to go at any time."
When we return, I instantly activate Invisible Statue Spirit, and vanish.
12-05-2012, 10:17 PM
"I am technically a first generation patrician and were I a luminary of the realm could be considered an acceptable prospect for a Terrestrial of poor breeding. Assuming I took the few hours necessary to become wealthy.
Now then, to leave."
Time once again seemed to move in slow motion. The coral thrones moved and shifted until they were sitting as they had been to start. Edge's sword was at his back again, their bodies were again as they had been, etc. The world of water faded, replaced by the image of the frozen tavern.
Finally Zhu's hand moved up, again preparing to snap. As the crack sounded everything began to move again and Zhu called out, "Check please.". There was a smirk on his face as almost every eye in the room turned toward him at once.
12-05-2012, 10:58 PM
"If it becomes necessary to flee Amphiro, use this 'Cherub' to contact my First-Officer, Lon Jien, tell him to gather my crew and meet me at the Storm's End. He's in one of the other Inns in town, so it shouldn't take long - but it is important he get's the message." Speaks Huan, before turning away from the group.
"Now, let us go ahead and return to Creation."
The Captain treads forward, keeping a straight face as he examines his surroundings, Zhu had said that he could will himself away at any time by 'disbelieving' the illusion - he was to attempt this. He takes a deep breath of the ocean air, taking note of the inherent fakeness of this place. This World is a dream. He tells himself, closing his eyes and forcing himself awake. Huan's image appears to ripple like hot air, he takes a single step forward before he fades out.
The Eclipse pens his eyes to view the Coral Haven once more, he finally clicks his own empty cup down.
He looks about the Inn, somebody seems to have left the VIP room, a hooded man who descends and gestures to his men. Huan checks on him now and again, he doesn't like the look of him, of course, looks -can- be deceiving.
He glances back to his own table, Zhu had called for the check and besides, the Tya seemed to be keeping her eye on this figure. Everyone else seemed to have an eye on the Zenith.
"You seem to have attracted some attention, Zhu." Huan smiles slightly. "What? Can a man not pay his bill in peace?" He gestures to those who seem to be staring.
In the glittering light of the dreamworld, Autumn nods to Huan. "Lon Jien. Noted. I will send your message if it becomes necessary and I can do so safely." To Dreams, she opens a hand in acknowledgement. "No objections, Dreams. I'll observe."
As the light and the ocean fade from around them, Autumn lifts her cup to her lips and takes a last sip of cool water. Then she sets it down on the table, with a faint clink.
The Tya turns slightly on the bench, looking straight at the hooded figure across the room. She raises an eyebrow at him, her eyes flickering meaningfully to the surrounding guards and the towering men heading for the entrance. Her smile is slight and questioning, curious rather than fearful.
Her hands are nowhere near anything that might serve as a weapon, not even the folded wooden fan that hangs at her belt. Her stance is relaxed - and yet oddly precise, poised in quiet contained readiness, waiting and watchful.
Dreams asked us to watch for reactions, so I'll do that rather than standing up and going to talk to Mr. Mystery Exalt. Also reactivating Hearing The Unspoken Word if this counts as a new scene.
12-06-2012, 06:40 PM
The other red-haired person of the group finally spoke, and Edge's brow narrowed again... but a slow smile came over his face. She seemed to be -right- in the same place that he was, regarding the Dragon Blooded. Dreams had a slice of justice that she wanted to visit upon them.
"Yes. Yes they do. You know..." He said, turning to the woman, after remarking on her comment that the Terrestrials had much to pay for, "I think we might just get along."
Edge of Variance waited, and eventually the world (to his perspective at least) shifted around him, the bar returning as well as their sticky situation. He didn't even blink an eye at the fact that Dreams had vanished... he'd dealt with slippery types before, and if everyone could do incredible things, as Zhu had... well, it only stood to reason.
Perhaps, if things went to pot, he could show them what he was good at.
Zhu spoke, drawing every eye to him, and asked for the check. If things were going down immediately, it would bring the house upon them... and that would ruin his drink! He'd just gotten it back after all! Taking another big swig, the huge, red haired man finished the drink and let it thud down loudly on the table. "Here, here!" came his jubilous voice once more, "An excellent tavern! Fine drink!"
Now, while he was making an ass of himself, his eyes tracked around the room quickly, hoping to spot the other Exalt. He also scanned for possible entrances and exits, and the routes to quickest reach them...
...Assuming, of course, he didn't wind up making a new one on his way out. This place had good booze. He really -did- want to keep the property damage down... but gods, he was getting excited.
This whole mess of a day was starting to turn out to be fun.
12-06-2012, 11:30 PM
Dreams sat where she was, unmoving, invisible, for she could not move much while hiding in this manner, to the bar, it would have appeared as if she suddenly vanished into thin air, and when.. if, things happened suddenly and violently, and all over the place, they would focus on the others, allowing her to sneak in a attack of opportunity~
12-07-2012, 01:54 AM
Two waiters, each carrying a wooden tray with wine and mandarin delicacies, walked past you and hurried up the stairs. They said something to the guards and were allowed to enter the room. One of the guard escorted the waiters into the room while the other stayed at where he was, keeping vigilant watch.
A red hair woman draped in an velvet black robe entered the tavern, with the two towering man followed closely behind. Her attire is of exquisite design, costly material and delicate workmanship, which flaunted with no reserve about her wealth or perhaps her accustoms to excessive living. She looks expensive as she is dangerously beautiful. She spares no ink, generously applying it to color her eyes and lips in black; the two most attractive features set upon her pale, icy face. When her voluptuous lips curls back into a smile, the sheer force of her beauty is irresistibly mesmerizing.
"Aye...Ragara...I supposed you found her..." The woman spoke in a sweet and gentle voice.
"Yes...my lady...She is up there..." The hooded man snapped upright like a soldier would as the woman approached.
The woman folded her arms at her breast, squeezing her generous curves beneath by the V-shaped collar, as she breathed in and sighed. She then took an empty seat next to the hooded man, who sat down shortly after her. "How many are there in the room?"
"4 of them with her. And 2 more visitors who was there earlier." Then the hooded man leaned close the the lady and whispered. The lady's lips stretched back further, revealing her set of pearl white teeth.
Chaoticsky- She looks REALLY familiar. Roll perception+awareness, vs Difficulty 4. You may stunt if you like.
Exathlion and Ifni, you have your pm already. : )
12-07-2012, 02:38 AM
"I don't think it needs to be said, but that woman has now made seven eight if you take my meaning."
He could kill every mortal in this inn and it would take a few seconds. Why was he so apprehensive?
"A woman of strong convictions, too," Autumn murmurs softly.
Ragara. So, a Dynast. Answering to another Exalt... a more senior Dragon-Blood would be the obvious explanation. But something about this makes her uneasy.
What have they walked into, here? A meeting, or a negotiation, perhaps; surely the Wyld Hunt wouldn't give their target so much warning. So... a family matter?
In which case - she waves to a waiter. They may be here for a little while, and those pork buns smell too good to pass up. At worst, they'll keep; she can eat them later.
12-07-2012, 10:34 AM
There was several seconds of delay - the waiter had his attention on the 2nd floor, before your insistent waving finally caught him. He nodded apologetically , pushed the Tim Sum cart toward you and placed your orders on the table. Then he scurried off, returning his gaze to where it once was.
Autumn's mouth waters a little at the delicious smells coming from the food - but she ignores it for the moment, and instead reaches over to touch the waiter's arm as he turns to leave. "Excuse me. Would you be able to tell me who the lady is?" She nods in the direction of the newcomer. "I would not wish to disturb her."
12-07-2012, 02:03 PM
The moment you touches his arm, almost reflexively, his other hand snaps out and grips yours. His body shifts away from you as if to execute what your martial arts training will suggest as an attempt to wrist lock. Though the maneuver ceased before its completion as he turns his head around, yelps in surprise. Quickly, he releases his grips and etches an apologetic smile. "You shock me...my lady...What else do you want?"
At your question, the waiter gives a quick, halfhearted glance at the woman and replies causally, "Eh...I have no idea...at all. More Tim Sum?"
"I am not your lady, or anyone's lady. I am Tya," Autumn corrects the man. She studies him for a moment.
So he's trained. Makes sense, the Immaculates do teach mortals as well as the Dragon-Blooded. Hard to gauge the level of his skill from that one swift motion, but - she runs the memory back through her mind in slow-motion, trying to gauge the precision and force of the incipient wrist-lock. And if he's not from around here, that might explain why he would address a Tya by a female title.
And where are the regular waiters, then?
She smiles faintly at him and says softly, "Good reflexes. I gather you haven't been in this particular job long?"
His reply... almost has to be a lie, especially given his skills. She watches his face for the telltale signs of deception, listening with her Charm for the subtle notes of strain in his overly-casual voice. (And there's sympathy in her eyes, as always when she uses this Charm; impossible not to feel understanding, when you can sense vaguely the emotions that people hide from the world.)
The Tya holds the "waiter's" gaze for a moment and then looks away pointedly, toward the second floor. "And the group upstairs? You all seem very interested in them. Are they something I should be concerned about?"
Rolling Perception+Investigation to determine whether he is lying! The difficulty is his (Manipulation+Socialize)/2, minus 1 (the penalty is because of my active Charm).
If there's a stunt:
(take the dice from left to right)
12-07-2012, 02:38 PM
"Just a lesson or two picked from my days hanging out in the streets..." The waiter replies merrily.
The man purses his lips and raised a brow before he replies, "I am not too sure..er...who they are exactly...I am just doing my job...you know...Making sure if they need me...my service...I am aware..."
"More rice wine! Xiao Er!" A customer calls out to the waiter. (One of the 30)
"Yes sir...in a minute!" The waiter raises his hand in response and gives you a cheeky expression, "Sorry...I am busy. If you need anything later...Just call...I shall be right here at your service."
He is lying! 2 dice stunt.
12-07-2012, 08:01 PM
Edge leaned back in his chair, noting the new redhead enter the room. Two redheaded women in one day, what were the chances! His eyes roved over the new woman as his eyebrow rose, and he managed to suppress a low whistle of appreciation. Clearly that would be rude... wouldn't it? It probably couldn't be complimentary.. Probably wouldn't be the booze talking, or anything.
Wait. It was the booze talking. He should probably remain quiet at this juncture.
Eyes continued roving. He watched Autumn's interactions with the waiter. Even that could fight. Interesting place.
The man leaned back, watching the new woman's progress closely. There was obviously something going on here... and his sword hand was just plain getting itchy.
He needed to be ready.
...He probably also needed more beer. But that could wait.
12-07-2012, 08:10 PM
"I have often wondered how much oh what goes on in the world is the result of people refraining from doing things. Fear of being embarrassed, fear of being rejected, fear of being hurt; The Mode of Fear seems almost as appropriate as the Mode of Passion."
Zhu waved the waiter over. "Is there any entertainment planned for the evening? If not, I am a fair performer and I seem to recall there was something along those lines concerning the bill."
12-07-2012, 08:22 PM
Being invisible had its advantages... you could stare all you bloody well wanted and it wasnt rude. Well, it probably was, but no one could call you on it. Aha! Even so, she twitched hard when the woman entered, almost enough to break her concealment, such was her shock, but the charm held. She looked almost like...
3 per + 3 awareness
12-07-2012, 10:46 PM
Huan stays silent for the most part, keeping note of unfurling events - of mysterious robed figures and Dynasts. Conflict may well be unavoidable at this point. Well, no use fighting on an empty stomach.
He goes ahead and orders Dim Sum alongside the Tya, he would -not- lose the opportunity to enjoy a good meal.
After a moment, the waiter sets down some delicious looking dumplings and spring rolls. The Eclipse waits until Autumn finishes interrogating the waiter, before taking his first bite of a tasty, tasty spring roll.
"The food is as good as I had hoped!" He exclaims, before the waiter leaves. "Well, he certainly seemed strange." He murmurs softly, before finishing the roll.
Finally, Zhu had seemed to get the bill. "Paying with song, I see? Heh, should prove quite entertaining!" He grins.
And a good distraction, at that.
I'll go ahead and roll Perception + Awareness and Perception + Investigation if it's necessary.
12-08-2012, 01:02 AM
The lady sat there, listening to the whispers from the hooded man while drinking her tea. There were moments of delight as far as you can tell when she brought her delicate fingers close to her mouth, touching her slightly widened lips. You could almost hear her giggle even from this distance.
Then she lifted her head, gave a brief gaze at the second floor, then her eyes playfully met with the four man's at her table and nodded. "Good...everything as planned...You are excellent, Ragara...I am impressed!" The lady ran her fingers over the arms of the hooded man, in a way that composed of nothing less than a lewd proposition. You could see the hooded man breathing heavily right then, shoulder and chest rising and falling deeply.
" Bring her to me...You know where..." She stood up, slow and gracious, and sauntered to the main door with the 2 towering man. Following that 10 men from 2 tables stood up and followed after her, without making any payments. Strange as it seemed, the waiters didn't bother to settle the bills.
Shortly, the hooded man tilted his head upward, along with his cup on his lips. He emptied its content, placed the cup on the table, stood up abruptly and hurried to the stairs. 4 other men followed quickly after him.
"I do not think they need any entertainment this night, sir. And I suggest you guys pack up and go. Party's over." The waiter turned to Zhu and glared at him impatiently.
Autumn had let the waiter go without further questioning, earlier. She'd eaten lightly from several of the dishes, with a thoughtful expression on her face, while she watched the conversation between the red-head and the hooded man.
(Testing, as she ate, for any hint of flavors or smells that should not be there, for the first inklings of discomfort that might signal some subtle poison. Her training had encouraged a certain degree of paranoia.)
Now she looks up at the waiter, and raises an eyebrow. "The food was very tasty. But I'm still curious as to the setup here. You were lying earlier, and you're fairly obviously working with at least one of the parties involved." The Tya's voice remains perfectly level as she stands up, stepping away from the benches. "It's possible we could help, you know. But if you'd still prefer not to address that topic, I do have another question - where are the people who usually wait tables here?"
Timing. She glances toward the group led by the hooded man, sensing the minds on the second floor. It seems very, very likely that the Ragara is being manipulated into something he might not normally do - from what Zhu said, he's probably not very experienced. So perhaps she still has a few moments to try to understand what's happening here.
To check, do I still sense the high-Conviction being upstairs?
12-08-2012, 03:36 PM
Dreams rose, her charm falling apart as she moved, her form blurring back into visibility, it seemed to have been a waste... odd that not a single person had reacted to a someone vanishing from the table, but oh well. "Excuse me gentlemen, Tya, I have some questions to ask of that woman. If possible, I'll meet up with you all later. If you have anything you want me to ask her, please make it quick.". She gave the 'waiter' a nod "Quite right, I think its time I stopped sitting around." and headed out the door into the street, after the mysterious woman.
12-08-2012, 04:28 PM
When Dreams reappeared, Edge noticed the look in her eyes immediately... not to mention the uncanny resemblance to the woman who had just left with an armored escort. She rose, single-minded and sure, and he knew that look in her eyes. There was probably history there... and from her attitude earlier, he deduced that the woman likely had some trouble coming her way.
And it was damned idiocy if anyone thought that he wasn't going to get a piece of that trouble. It'd been a while, after all.
The big man rose, eying the little waiter as he asked them to leave.
"Oh, I think the party might just be beginning." He turned to Zhu, Autumn, and Huan, "I'll leave this to you." He said, and turned, following after the Night caste.
He moved up beside her as they walked after the crowd of guards, and spoke in low tones to Dreams, "I'll be sure not to get in your way. But I'm itching for a workout. She's all yours. I'll play with her goon squad. It'll probably be a good distraction for you to use. Fair?"
His eyes didn't move to Dreams, but remained locked on the backs of the guards, holding the same expression a wolf might while stalking a deer.
It was about damn time!
Ah, the presumptive Night caste was still there; Autumn had rather hoped she'd gone upstairs to check on the group there, since she'd spoken of fishing for reactions and there had been no sign of her presence in this room.
She shrugs at the red-head. "Oh, you know, the usual. Who she is, what she is, what she wants with the people upstairs, the nature of her relationship with Lord Ragara..." Her gaze turns back to the waiter, her voice still light and casual. "So many questions - so few answers. Perhaps it would be the enlightened path to accept ignorance, but I was never very good at that."
Her eyes don't move from the waiter's as she adds to Dreams, "Enjoy your conversation, lady. Perhaps I'll join you a little later." She nods briefly to Edge as he rises and follows Dreams out.
12-08-2012, 05:01 PM
"Does anyone else notice notice the shift in relative threat versus relative strength? I think leaving and allowing these things to sort themselves out first may be a prudent course."
Zhu rolled his eyes as the Night and Dawn left. With any luck the combination would be symbolic enough to not go down in flames.
12-09-2012, 05:03 AM
Huan enjoys a nice pork bun before the atmosphere of the room suddenly shifts with the waiters attitude. He takes time to finish the bun before speaking, allowing Autumn to talk.
"Now, I understand this is none of our business. But what in Creation is going on here!?" He eyes the guard suspiciously, gesturing at his surroundings. "Who is it that you are looking for and why, exactly?"
Dreams arises, her charm fading as she grows ever more visible. The Eclipse sighs slightly. So she didn't go anywhere, then. Very quickly, it seems, this group's covers we're falling.
She mentions her intent to interrogate that woman who recently entered the Inn-... Come to think of it, they do look alike-... Perhaps relatives. It seems the Dawn had decided to go with her. "Dragons walk with you both." He mutters.
12-09-2012, 08:12 AM
The waiter raised a brow and a etched a frustrated face, took a deep breath and sighed. He leaned close to your table and whispered, "Look! Foreigners... I am not what you think I am - Not a Waiter- Let's just say I am here on OFFICIAL duty...shut up and eat your buns...or get out of here before troubles befall upon you. Now I have work to do...Please excuse me!"
The hooded man reached the second floor and attempted to enter the VIP room but apparently he was stopped by the two guards. A wicked laugh was heard from within the hood, and within a heartbeat, too fast for mortals to react, the hooded man's body snapped in a quick twisting motion, and two hands slipped out of his cloak, formed into spears, which went straight to the two guards' throats. His surprised attack struck true, leaving them choking for air. His follow ups were quicker and decisive. His both hands crossed above his head and cut downward like butchers knives towards the back of their necks. If you were close enough, you might even hear the sound of snapped neck. The next moment, both guards laid motionless on the floor.
"Bring her out...Get rid of the pests..." The hooded man ordered in a low measured voice and the guards rushed into the room.
The hooded man then folded his hands behind his back, taking the lead and walked down the stairs. Two of the guards followed closely behind. They were dragging a lady in black robes with their hands rounded over her shoulder. Her head was pinned down, her long braided hair dropped nicely on her left- there were no sign of struggle or conflict, she seemed drunk or, perhaps, drugged.
12-09-2012, 08:30 AM
@ Dream, Edge
At this hour, the High Soul street was a beautiful display of red lanterns hanging on ropes laid in zig zag manner across buildings on both sides, illuminating the quiet street in warm orange light.
It ought to be strange that the hawkers were all closed at this time of the night and no wanderers along the street - not even the realm guards were seen. And most shops were closed. It was unpleasantly quiet. You can even hear the sound of your pumping heart.
As soon as you left Coral Haven, it didn't take much trouble to locate your quarry...They were about 30m ahead of you, to the right of Coral Haven. Moving in that direction they were heading, they would probably reach the the other side of the wall, which would lead out of the Garrison Town.
The lady sauntered gracefully ahead of her 10 men, humming a beautiful song that echoed in the empty street.
You know that song...You sang it to her every night before she slept...
Inside The Inn
Autumn's gaze on the waiter grows downright frosty. "Official business means murder and kidnapping now? I see. Pity. The buns were good; you should have stuck to that."
The Tya reaches down with one hand to draw the long folded fan from where it's tucked through her belt. She doesn't open it, and it looks innocuous enough - but something in the way she holds it is a reminder that closed like this, it's also a rather heavy wooden stick.
She moves to stand between the Ragara and the exit. To one trained in the martial arts, her steps have a telltale grace; she falls into a defensive stance as she says calmly, "Forgive me, Prince of the Earth, but before you take that woman anywhere, I would like to know what you intend. And why it was necessary to kill her guards."
Her voice is as calm and gentle as a windless sea - but as she looks past the Exalt at the men who a few minutes ago were alive and watchful and now lie dead, there is the fury of a winter storm in her sea-gray eyes.
I don't think Compassion 5 lets me sit this one out without spending WP. Activating Instruction in Good Will / Victorious Concession Form.
Personal Essence at 11/19 (3 committed to Hearing The Unspoken Word, 5 committed to Instruction In Good Will)
Let me know when I need to roll Join Battle, or if he wants to say something more first.
[roll0] for the record, hey, I might fail. But I think I want to intervene: plot development!
EDIT: Huh. Please, let me roll like that for Limit! All right, so she's not compelled to intervene by her Virtues, but as I said, I think I want to. Does mean she'll probably be less upset about the incipient killing; she's pretty angry right now.
12-10-2012, 10:40 PM
Dreams expression became a touched perturbed at that song, little pieces were falling into place in her head, but she wasnt yet willing to believe it.
She broke into a silent run, low to the ground, charging at the back of the group. The Night Caste's hand went to her belt and snatching the small curio that hung there; attractive, innocent little talisman, and flicked her arm out, causing a blade of rippled black and gold to snap into place, released by hidden mechanisms within. Wrought of alloyed Orichalcum and Soulsteel, the blade gleamed bloody in the orange light. "Edge, Now would be a good time to deal with those distractions." she commented, her tone a touch wry.
Join Battle: Wits + Aware
My intention, such as it is, is to bypass the mooks as much as possible, and head straight for little miss songbird. With dex and dodge (and athletics!) 5, those mooks are welcome to try and stop me XD. Our resident dawn can mop them and have some fun ^^.
If you dont want to actually start the fight yet, then lets just keep my join roll for later.
12-11-2012, 02:07 AM
Inside the Coral Haven
Huan grits his teeth at the violence upstairs, how he had come to detest the bloodshed. I don't know what exactly we've stumbled on, but it cannot be good. He slides his chair back before standing himself up.
"I think I've seen enough of this madness." The Eclipse Caste places a hand on Huo'jian, narrowing his eyes at Lord Ragara. "I don't know who you think you are, but you -will- tell us who this girl is, and you -will- tell me what my new companions and I have stumbled upon while seeking a simple meal!"
He was frustrated now, with combat seeming all but certain, his Essence spills into his words and grants him an aura of authority and power. Those familiar with Huan's prior incarnations would notice the return of a peculiar southwestern accent, one that likely no longer exists in any meaningful way.
"And finally, who -are- you to spill this blood?" The Captain gestures up the stairs with his free hand, gripping the crimson jade hilt of his Daiklave with the other. "Answer wisely, I would -prefer- this not end in bloodshed."
Probably redundant, but there's basically no way Huan would do anything else at this point in time. That, and this will probably end in combat.
Anyway, I suppose this is interrogation. In which case I'll have to use Charisma and Investigation, is that right? If it isn't right, I'll try again in the OOC thread with whatever is right.
I think I'll use the Investigation Excellency too.
Personal Essence 5/18 (7 spent on Investigation Excellency)
+ [roll1] if stuntworthy-... Which is probably not, considering how bad I am at being remotely descriptive.
12-11-2012, 04:31 AM
"Enough! Sufficient blood has been spilled already this night, let us not be over quick to add that of any of the children of man to that grim tally."
As he stood the plain blue clothing he had been wearing seemed to unfold, like sails unfurling in the wind. All at once he seemed to grow taller, or rather his presence which had been concealed expanded to fill the room almost physically.
The humble priest was gone. In his place stood a man worthy to stand at the side of the Empress and (who would dare think such thoughts) be her equal and more. His robes were long, richly adorned, and of the fashion of the Imperial Court. They were the deep blue-black of black jade, the thread so cunning that the fabric seemed like a window into the oceanic depths. Gold adorned it heavily in patterns of flames, clouds, mountains, trees and vines, and most especially waves. Upon his back the mon of House Peleps was in the place of honor in the heart of a sunburst.
All around him the light was changed, the wavering light of light refracting on water filled the room. He did not glow per say, rather a light which struck no other shone upon him so strongly that its reflection from him was illuminating.
"Here me cousin; Here me and know that my words are truth. Here me of sons of men; here me and know the will of Heaven."
His eyes traveled across the room. The mortals looked frightened. Only strict training prevented many from falling on their knees. He met the eyes of the Terrestrial and continued.
"Render unto us your task: Your orders, assigner of orders, prisoner, and responsibility. We have come not for blood but for justice, not for disorder but for law, not for caprice but for Duty!
Here me and know that this is duty, obligation to Creation and the Exalted Realm. To us is given the sanction of high command, the authority to oversee all things in the name of the highest throne. Therefore, render unto us your task and go on according to the Tao of Righteousness. In this there can be no sin."
Wits 1 + Awareness 4
[roll0]+5 successes (second excellency) cost: 10m personal
Social attack: Charisma 5 + Performance 5 + Specialty 3 + Channel Temperance (8 success) cost: 1WP
12-11-2012, 01:44 PM
@ the Street
Please roll Stealth+Dex+ 2 dice stunt + excellency modifier
All the Extras didn't see you coming unless you botched.
The Lady's wit+Awareness
12-11-2012, 01:59 PM
For a moment, everyone in the room turned to the Zenith and was mesmerized by his charismatic preach. The hooded man's body trembled and fists clenched tight- his nails dug into his palm. He then shook his head vigorously twice to left and right before he pulled back his hood and yelled in Old Realm, "What are you trying to do! Immaculate Monk!"
The Ragara has a tanned chiseled face, with a prominent scar that crossed from his left brow, pass his nose to his right jaw. His long black hair is neat and tidy, gathered into a bun on top of his head. The man's thin brow dipped and his eyes narrowed on where you are and sauntered languidly toward you.
"Mind you business...Monk!" He hissed with a cold dead voice at Zhu.
There was an uneasy silence in the Tavern.
Everyone roll Awareness+ Perception
12-11-2012, 03:10 PM
"I am trying to stop you, all of you, from making a terrible mistake. I am trying to save your lives yes, but more importantly your souls. If you do not change your direction, you may end up where you are going. Can you not see where that is?"
As he circled the table to stand before the exalted, Zhu held out his left arm, laying it gently on the men he passed. Some it was merely the shoulder while he met their eye. Others bowed their heads to receive his blessing. He looked at each man as he passed, and those beyond him. Some looked at him in awe and fear while others averted their eyes.
Finally he was just out of arms length of the Ragora. Starting at the floor he lifted his gaze, noticing every detail, no matter how minute. At last he looked him in the eye and looked into his soul, noting everything he saw there. Then he spoke again.
"Moreover, this is my business. As is all under heaven. What is done cannot be undone, this is law by which Creation was wrought. What has passed from the world has done so forever, the past cannot be regained. In exchange for obedience to this law we are given one gift, which must therefore balance all regrets:
It is possible to make something better. Be not quick to shed blood for it is quick and easy and can never be undone. To leave anything better than you found it is a longer and more difficult task. Better to avoid sin and pursue Righteousness than to sin and seek repentance. According to this doctrine the world will rise or fall."
Awareness 4 + Perception 5
Are we still in social combat? He didn't attack me back. I suppose I could start inciting the crowd, but if they are part of his social unit, well...
Autumn smiles, despite herself, despite her simmering anger at the unnecessary deaths. Yes, that's right. It's a joy, to hear what she believes affirmed with such power. It is possible to make something better.
With all attention focused on Zhu, she quietly walks around the Ragara, and turns to the guards behind him, reaching out with her free hand to the woman they're holding. "Listen to him. You don't need to go down this path. I'm a doctor, let me take a look at her."
Counting this as the first scene of building an Intimacy of Respect/Friendship for Zhu.
12-11-2012, 05:21 PM
Edge of Variance, on the other hand, was very much about being quick to shed blood.
Seeking to give Dreams the opening that she needed.. and the chance to cut into some Dragon Blooded was boiling in his veins. She spoke and darted forward, and thus did he.
The redheaded man reached back, grabbing the hilt of Searing Edge. He pulled, the blade coming free of it's scabard beneath his cloak the glittering metal catching the rays of light from the lantern as it arced in towards one of the guards without a word from the big man, a look of grim determination upon his face.
Assuming the blow would land, upon impact, a quick crescent of golden power would slice through the air, scything in towards the rest of the neatly clustered guards.
Join Battle: Wits+Awareness: 4
Attack Roll: Dex + Melee: 7
Using 3 motes for Peony Blossom Attack, thus if the attack hits, it hits all other opponents within 3 yards.
12-11-2012, 10:36 PM
So, unless i miss my counting, i go first, edge goes second, and lady goes last... with a botch, ouch.
5 Dex + 5 Stealth + 2 dice stunt
Dreams darted like a shadow in the night, eluding the goon's pitiful watch with all the ease of a woman who was a very successful assassin long before she ever exalted. The space between her and her quarry closed~
12-12-2012, 03:08 AM
The face did not twitch a bit and replied in a slolemn voice," I have traveled more lands, crossed more devasted paths and tore through the intricate web of adversities more than your actual years of living in this wretched creation. Dragons had denied me all these years. I was on my own, living on my terms. I have no need for ya petty preaches or sympathy. I have no complaint. I happy with my chosen path." The man lowered his chin and there was a slight hint of pain that crossed his face briefly. Then he sighed. And his lips widened with menance before he cracked a lifeless belly laugh that lasted for a while.
"Even if means hell where I shall go, I have no regrets" the white of his eyes turned smoky black for an instance and then sparkled in red. Fiery essence in orange glow began snaked around his fists, then the arms and a sparse of seconds, his body was engulfed in red and black essence.
You notice 2 small black rods protruding at the back of his neck and half of a third underneath his cloak. The color seems to fade and glow.
Zhu realized his essence abruptly grow to 3.
IFNI can roll per+lore to find out what is it. Though u have never come across anything like this.
12-12-2012, 05:11 AM
"This mistake is one you will repay for many lifetimes. Nevertheless, I grant you your path Prince of the Earth. It is the nature of all the Chosen that they must make their own way, that is why they entered the world.
This being the case, I still cannot allow you to do as you please. That being the case, I plead for the lives of your men. They will not survive a conflict between us. Please allow them to withdraw.
No, I take that back. It is not your place."
He looked around at the face of the soldiers. Some had eyes filled with fear, others with anger, others with uncertainty.
"If you participate in this, it will be your own affair. It is not given to the Exalted to bear the sins of the world. Each of you must work out your own Way. If anyone here is going to die for the sake of the legend of the Chosen, then for the sake of the Chosen's legend he shall die. If anyone here is going to continue their lives, then their lives will continue.
Whatever you chose understand that I will respect it. To those who fight there will be no holding back. Your choices are your own: Chose wisely."
He closed his eyes, took a breath and relaxed his shoulders. When he opened them, something was different. Before there had stood a mortal man. Now in his place stood an ideal, a thing steel was not made to cut.
Activating Invincible Ego Shield + Temptation Resisting stance. Paying from personal essence.
By my calculations:
19 base - 1 MtW + 4(1 due to limit) stunt -5 WI - 5 Excellency + 4(6?) stunt -11 combo: 2(4?) personal essence remaining. Also, 2 WP from virtue channel and IES.
12-12-2012, 09:21 AM
Coral Haven - Tensions Rise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne1fshmIuIk)
As Lord Ragara flares his twisted Anima, Huan's eyes go wide, this was not something he had seen before and the Essence in the air felt-... Vile.
He tightens his grip on Huo'jian, reaching also for his second sword - whatever Ragara was doing, it had clearly seemed to Huan like a threat.
"Zhu - Autumn. Tell me, what IS he?" The Captain grits his teeth, taking note of his surroundings and forging a plan of attack.
"All I know, is that he's no Dynast-... And that his aura tastes of -death-!" He notices the storm of dark Essence calm itself in a blessing of opportunity, taking grip of Shu'jian and freeing both of his blades.
The Crowned Sun kicks away his chair to start himself forward across the wooden floor for a pre-emptive attack, bleeding Essence away to augment his Golden Daiklaves of Fire and Water. How ironic that one of Heaven's Quills would be the first to turn to the sword in this conflict.
Finally Huan reaches his target, striking out against the man shrouded by twisted Essence in a cascade of red, black and gold - each attack augmented by the blessed power of the Anointed of Sol.
When his assault reaches it's conclusion, the Captain barks out an order. "Ensure that the innocent are spared, alongside any of Ragara's men wise enough to leave!" It was as much a threat as anything else.
Yeah, I've-... uh, no idea how to go about this mechanically right now, so if somebody could help me out with it in the OOC thread or a Private Message. I would be much appreciative-... Perhaps tomorrow evening/morning or somesuch. :smallconfused:
I'll be spending Personal Essence to grant Huan a bonus of three to his dice pool and three extra successes if at all possible (I thought I bought a perfect attack? Apparently not). I think his attacks would be a Flurry, right? And of course he'll be joining battle. So confused-... Probably shouldn't post at midnight.
Also, I'll leave it up to Sol whether or not I deserve stunts here - I would certainly hope so! Having tried.
For a moment the Twilight's gray eyes go wide and wild, her pupils dilating abruptly as she stares at the dark rods. And yet she doesn't seem to be focusing on them, but on something far beyond, in a distant place and time.
At Huan's shout, she seems to come back to herself, but her pupils are still huge, and her voice has none of its former calm. "Gods, that's Labyrinth ore! From the tombs beneath the Underworld!"
She spins like lightning to flank the Ragara lord with Huan, crying out to the mortal guards, "Get BACK!" She forces her voice to some semblance of calm as she circles, fan held in a defensive posture as she looks for an opening, and says in a rush, "For your lord's sake... those rods are instruments of mind-control. Huan, Zhu, try not to kill him! We may be able to remove them and save him!"
[roll0] Wits 3 + Awareness 4 + 2 from Hearing The Unspoken Word.
If there is an applicable stunt:
12-14-2012, 12:19 AM
Dreams skirted the group, a flickering shadow darting around the warm light from the lamps, without ever seeming to be standing in it, she flowed beyong notice with the ease of long experience and extensive training. She left the grunts to the warrior He had after all been nice enough to offer, otherwise, her quarry might have had a chance to excape while she fought them off. At the end of her approach, she pulled her blade hand in, planted one foot behind the doppleganger, and pivoted hard, driving the blade towards the small of her back, the soft spot between the vertebrae, just above the hips. A blow that would (hopefully) steal her legs and make it much easier to question her later.
5 Dex + 5(+3 spec) Melee + 3 Acc -1 Maiming blow = 15 acc dice
Ew, 5, well, atleased i get a surprise.
Damage = 5L/2 + 3 Str + Extra acc sux.
Maiming allows me to control how much is done, and cripple instead of kill when it reaches that point
12-14-2012, 01:39 AM
Huan threw a series of blows, like meteors falling from the sky. The hooded man's eyes widened and cursed in old realm. For an instance, fiery essence boomed as he shifted his body weight to the right to avoid Huan's first strike, but he lost his balance and the other two blows strike true, tearing deep wounds on his shoulders and back. Crimson red sprayed like fountain, and an immensely painful expression crossed his face. But his eyes remained furiously tenacious. The hooded man slid a foot forward and with a quick twist at his waist, his short jade diaklave whistled through the air at neck level toward Huan.
Suffered 5 level of damage.
1st Melee Excellency 5 dice
[roll0] [roll1] [roll2] [roll3] [roll4] [roll5] [roll6] [roll7] [roll8] [roll9] [roll10] [roll11] [roll12] [roll13] [roll14]
(Only for this turn) Huan apply whatever defenses you want.
12-14-2012, 02:04 AM
You revealed your presence with a deadly strike but missed at the final moment when the lady shifted 2 step back like a ghost and leaped away to the 2 story (12 yards away) shop on her right.
She stood there on the tiled roofs, arms folded across her breasts and her eyes squinted to have a good look of who the assailant was. And her lips widened to reveal her pearl white teeth. A familiar smile it was.
"There...there...you are alive...DREAM" She said with an obvious hint of mockery.
OOC: Raetog, the mooks are waiting for your damage roll. : )
12-14-2012, 03:46 AM
The Crowned Sun smirks as his blades find their target's flesh, sinking into flesh and spilling the Dragon's Blood. It was around this time that Autumn Wind had gave her assessment of Lord Ragara's situation - it seems that this particular Dynast was not in control of himself, perhaps this needn't end in death but rather his release.
Huan quickly gestures with his head toward the captive woman, informing one of his associates to deal with her while he dealt with Ragara himself and his enthralment.
As the Captain returns to the fight he finds a blade of crimson jade coming toward his head, an expected counterattack. The Eclipse closes eyes, attuning to the Essence of Creation and breathing it in - moving like the water itself, he evades his adversary's attack and slides back to ready a second assault against Ragara.
This time, aiming to shatter these bonds of foul Labyrinthine Steel.
I'mma go ahead with Seven Shadows Evasion - don't want to take a chance that Mr. Soulsteel here might land a hit and deal damage something fierce.
I'll also respire the Essence earned by my prior 2-die stunt, bringing me down all in all to one mote of Personal Essence.
A moment of thankfulness, that the Ragara still lives. A moment of empathic pain, at his wounds. A moment of faint awe, at Huan's swiftness...
... speed which she can equal and surpass. She sees his nod toward the captive, of course - but a Tya does not let a man fight her battles for her. And thanks to her training, to strike and to protect are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Autumn Wind glides forward, a nearly unnatural calm returning to her face, a stillness that stands in stark contrast to her opponent's fury. She tosses her war fan a little way into the air, beginning to spin it in one hand. With the other, she lifts an abandoned cup of tea from one of the tables as she walks past, pausing for a moment to take a small sip as she regards the enemy Exalt with a clinical air.
A breeze stirs in the tavern, swirling around her, carrying the chill of northern seas - and light begins to crawl from her hand along the fan as it spins faster and faster, the haze of eerie blue-violet radiance that sometimes limns a ship's sails in a storm.
And then stillness blurs into motion, almost too fast to see, as one hand lashes out hurling the cup of lukewarm tea into the other Exalt's face (her teacher had generally used a handful of sand, or the glitter of reflected light from the edge of her sword, but this will work too), and her fan darts out like the strike of lightning, half a heartbeat behind.
The first strike is low, the fan scything around to land hard across his stomach; the second sweeps sharply upward, to intersect his chin if the first blow unbalances him. A feint toward his wounded shoulder, and as he moves to defend himself in anticipation of pain, she steps quickly to the side and jabs twice with pinpoint precision - not directly at his wounds, but to exploit the weakness in the muscles ripped open by Huan's daiklaves.
Not to kill. Never to kill. Not even to cripple - it will hurt, but nothing she can't heal. Just to incapacitate, so she can remove those horrifying rods.
Declaration of attacks:
Move to close with him on my tick, remaining between him and the woman.
Four-attack flurry with my war fan (bashing damage), not enhanced with Charms. Remember to take his wound penalty (if any) into account for his DV :smallsmile:
Read after Step-2 defenses have been declared (contains the attack rolls):
Basic pool is 17 (5 Dex + 5 MA + 3 specialty + 4 accuracy), -4 multiple action penalty, so 13/12/11/10.
First attack: [roll0]
Second attack: [roll1]
Third attack: [roll2]
Fourth attack: [roll3]
If I roll once and add it for the entire action: [roll4]
If I stunt separately for each attack, for attacks 2/3/4:
EDIT: Heh. Those were amusingly bad rolls, except for the third: I make it 3/4/8/2 before stunts. Ah well, we'll see what happens. His DV might be rather low at this point. Remember onslaught penalties, unless he has a way to negate them. (Hoping... if he was DV 6 base, -1 after attacking for 5, then with onslaught he'd be 5/4/3/2 before enhancing it, so if I got stunt bonuses to 4/5/9/3 (or if he had a wound penalty) then I might just scrape out three hits :smallwink: But depends on how he defended.)
I guess the next step may be late-step defenses: my damage information (raw, not rolled) is in the spoiler.
Each attack is 5B/2 + extra successes.
Declaring a combo of all my reflexive defensive Charms, while I remember, but not actually activating the Reflexives yet. (For the record, Beak Spears Frog + Spirit Strengthens The Skin + Durability of Oak Meditation + Empowering Justice Redirection + Fluttering Cry of Warning + Spoken In Kindness + the Excellencies for Martial Arts, Resistance and Awareness.) The initial combo display is the blue-violet light (St Elmo's Fire), like this (http://www.blindloop.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/St-Elmos-Fire.png).
DV is at 5 (9 base -4 from attacks).
On subsequent ticks I will move back to stand beside the captive woman, so I can redirect any attacks from her to me. My movement speed is 5 yards/tick.
12-14-2012, 05:07 PM
Sorry about that!
Damage = +9L/3 + 5 Str + Extra acc sux.
and, as stated before, that damage is shared amongst all the goons within 3 yards due to his charm. So, I figure, pretty much all of 'em.
Edge smash. >:D
The snap and whir of the fan slicing through the air, and striking hard against bone, echoes for a moment. But Autumn is already stepping back to stand close to the drugged prisoner; her gaze is fixed on the death-tainted Exalt, but the main focus of her attention is clearly elsewhere.
"Huan, Zhu - if you stay close to me then we can protect each other as well as the woman."
12-16-2012, 08:19 PM
"They can no more touch me than they can pull down the Sun from the sky. Yet even now, if they will repent they may yet live."
His tone was almost whispered. When he began to sing, any hesitation. He spoke only two words, yet that was enough. His words passed through air, armor, and flesh to cut the very spirit. With every note a wave formed of motes of shining gold passed from him over the room so that the base wood and cloth seemed woven of light. Each of his enemies felt a sudden flash of holiness, as though they were not worthy in the presence of the shining one.
The waves struck every surface and rebounded until the rippling light which had previously only refracted across the walls now filled the air with shimmering strands of radiance.
"Kyrie Eleison (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYmsjocHajI)"
Demon Wracking Glory
Charisma 5 + Performance 5 + Specialty 3 + 1st Excellency 1
1 WP + 4m =2 levels of lethal damage for everyone.
Caste Mark is Glittering at the 3 mote level.
As for the ping [roll1]
12-16-2012, 10:35 PM
Dreams remained in her low fighting crouch, knife out before her as she warily faced the woman. She refused to believe she had somehow given herself away, so that left something weird to blame for the missed attack. Ah, it would have been easier to have ended it there, but oh well, chance missed, time to go with plan B. "I have some questions for you about a dead woman." she growled, before suddenly launching another attack, surging forward with no warning at all.
5 Dex + 5(+3 spec) Melee + 3 Acc + 2 Excellencies -1 Maiming blow = 17 acc dice
11! THATS BETTER!
Damage = 5L/2 + 3 Str + Extra acc sux.
Maiming allows me to control how much is done, and cripple instead of kill when it reaches that point
12-17-2012, 02:57 PM
Huan's smirk was not hollow. It was well substantiated by his clean dodge against Ragara's vicious strike. A common man would have been beheaded by such perfect execution and timing. Unfortunately, the hooded man's opponent was an Eclipse, one graced by Sol Invictus and imbued with supernatural powers that had once made them Kings of Creation.
The Twilight's timely intervene have, perhaps, saved Ragara from Huan's follow-up blow, which could prove fatal. Her flamboyant display of acrobatic stunts would have earned her grand applause from her audience if she had perform them on the stage. While Huan's maneuvers were executed with speed and precision, no room for fillers, hers was likened to fanciful embroidery, a combat style of grace and swiftness. She danced across scene, filling gaps in between with delightful supplements, and played her foe like a toy before she achieved her outcome like an artful seamstress finishing the final touches of her art piece.
The hooded man collapsed on the floor, with a confused look still frozen on his face.
Zhu sang two words that mesmerized his 'audience' in awe and inferiority. The dozen of followers cramped their palms to their ears, hoping to ward of the effect of zhu's magic, yet to no avail. All the victims fell their knees and then wriggled on the floor. Shortly, the same symptom was seen on everyone of them- blood dripped from their noses and ears.
What are you going to do with them? : )
Ok...Really must sleep! Good nite/good afternoon
Autumn moves quickly to catch the woman as her guards fall to the floor. "Good work, Zhu, Huan." There is a trace of awe in her voice as she looks at the Zenith; swordplay she understands, but she hasn't seen anything like that before. "Zhu, will they recover from your magic if we leave them unattended, or do they need urgent attention?"
She eases the woman down into one of the unoccupied chairs, and brings a cup of water to her lips. "Let me see if I can tell what's wrong with her, and then..." She glances at the Ragara. "I'd like to try to get those soulsteel rods out. Probably going to need a sharp knife."
The Twilight sniffs at the unconscious woman's breath, and presses her fingertips gently against her skin and eyelids, looking for signs of discoloration. Is it just alcohol, or some drug or poison? She's fairly familiar with the herbs that grow on the Neck, but it could be something from further afield.
Perception+Medicine diagnosis roll, spending 4m from the Second Excellency for 2 sux.
EDIT: 7 total sux on the diagnosis roll to tell what's wrong with her.
12-17-2012, 06:57 PM
"Yes, they will heal. The wound is one of spirit turning from flesh and so they shall heal as they reaffirm themselves. As with all grievous wounds it will scar, though their flesh will be unmarked."
Zhu looked around the room, his eyes settling on the kitchen door.
"Are you sure there will be time? I can get sharp knives, alcohol, and sterile cloth for the bandage from the restaurant supplies and can produce powerful medicine given a few hours. Will it be safe to move him when you are finished?"
"I'm not sure that we'll have time, no, but I'd like to try. If you can get the supplies you mentioned, Zhu, then that would be much appreciated - although I should be able to heal the wounds from the surgery with Essence, once we get the rods out, provided we can keep him alive through the actual operation."
"Huan, would you check him over, see if there are any more of those rods? I just want to see what I can do for this woman..."
12-18-2012, 01:19 AM
2 dice stunt
You went through a standard diagnosis procedure to evaluate the cause of unconsciousness.
Look for lumps on the head, evidence of broken bones -- especially in the neck or back -- bleeding or fever. This could be a primary cause of unconsciousness or a secondary injury. You found none.
The climate in time of the year is fair...temperature in the room is cooling...therefore there is no way she fainted as the result Heat stroke or hypothermia. Perhaps it was something she had consumed. This suspicion led you to smell her breath and visual inspection of her eyes.
A strong smell of tea was obvious, though your trained olfaction detected hint of something else. An instinctive search ran through your collective knowledge and experiences, and returned a list of probable herbs and toxins that could cause such condition. You opened her eyelids and observed a fine line of purple amongst the red, and that effectively shortened your list. Finally you pressed gently the tips of your four fingers on her left wrist to measure her pulses. Each of the finger represent different group of organs and tells about their state, particular which organ is experiencing chi disruption and tampered blood circulation. You came to a conclusive deduction- the cause of her unconsciousness is a rare herb found only in the West, called Purple Drowse. Doctors normally use this during major surgical operation due to its fast and effectiveness to put a patient to sleep.
The effect would wear off in an hour.
You then turned your attention to the unconscious Ragara. The cause was obvious. He would pass out for a while, though the wound inflicted by Huan would need some serious attention (3 SUX required).
You found required items and returned to Autumn.
The Tya gently eases the woman down to rest on one of the reed mats. "They gave her a sleeping drug, but it shouldn't harm her; she should wake in an hour or so. Surgeons use it as a sedative... it would be useful for that purpose here, in fact. It's called Purple Drowse -" She gives a quick description of the appearance and odor of the herb's various preparations. "Can you check the guards and the people who were carrying food and drink up to that room, see if any of them have a supply? Then I could fix up our erstwhile adversary's wounds before trying to cut these rods out of him; it's probably better to minimize the stress to his system."
She glances up at Zhu as he returns with the supplies, a quick smile flashing across her face. "Good. Thank you. I'll start trying to figure out what I can about the rods, before I attempt to excise them. Zhu, you're a loremaster I gather, do you want to take a look as well?"
Rather laboriously lifting the fallen Ragara onto one of the tables - the scholar is clearly not accustomed to hard physical labor - Autumn methodically strips off his outer clothing, exposing the points where the soulsteel rods meet flesh. She runs her hands quickly down his limbs, checking for other protruding rods. She wonders if they line up with critical chakras, or other metaphysically significant points on the body. Getting the ones in his neck out without killing him is likely to be challenging, perhaps she can start on some in less vital areas. When she finds a rod, she draws away the clothing surrounding it, pressing lightly on the skin surrounding the metal to try to determine if and how they're connected. Her expression is clinical, only a faint trace of horror lurking in her eyes.
Basically checking on where the rods are; I know there were two in his neck. Not sure if I should roll another diagnostic check at this point? Let me know.
12-18-2012, 09:35 AM
Huan eases himself as his enemies crumple to the floor, returning his Daiklaves to their sheathes."Good job, friends." He nods to Zhu as his sonic attack comes to an end, taking a moment to exult in victory (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFFumPWSFGs) while his companions go about their business.
Autumn checks the captive's status while talking of removing the Soulsteel rods. "I suppose you're qualified for the operation? I do not want our Lord here to die after going through all that trouble to keep him alive." He gestures to Ragara while Zhu retrieves the needed tools. "Alongside that question, I'm to ask if this girl is among the Exalted? Perhaps Solar?"
The Tya explains what poison had affected this poor woman here, Huan motions for her to speed her explanation. At the Copper Spider's request, he goes about checking the mortals within the Tavern for the Purple Drowse and clues as to what was happening here before returning to the table with his find.
The Eclipse would examine Lord Ragara's body, his Valour shielding him against fear, but not against disgust at the sight. "By the Dragons-... whoever has done this has certainly proven themselves a perverse individual. Hopefully your patient himself can tell us more of this depraved surgeon when he's conscious." He offers Autumn Wind his findings, hoping that she can put it to use. "Is there anything else an old Captain can do to help? "
Returning four Essence thanks to stunt, immediately using it to channel the spirit of the Raccoon and supply two extra successes using the second excellency for my coming roll.
Investigation 3 + Perception 3
[roll0] + 2 Successes
12-18-2012, 11:33 AM
"I can give them a look, but a thought occurred to me. As a craftsman I need no tools. It is possible the same principle could be applied to medical equipment. It would at the least help when you need something besides a knife. If we have more time later, I can produce a set for you also assuming you can describe it to me."
"That would be very helpful, Zhu. I make do with herbs usually; risking surgery wasn't a good bet, before my Exaltation. I've had some additional training, now, but I don't have the tools that would usually go with it." The Tya's expression is rather abstracted as she gently probes the skin around the rods, sensing by touch more than sight the patterns of blood vessels and nerves and Essence flowing beneath. "This is... not good. Very not good. The rods are fused into his nervous system, through his spine; getting them completely out, without killing him or permanently crippling him, is going to take some delicate surgery. I could just take a knife to them now but I'd be worried about properly excising all the connections. If I do it carefully, I'm confident I can perform the surgery successfully, and if he's in good shape at the start then he should survive it with no problems, but it'll probably take the better part of a day. Without interruptions."
"Huan, you said you had a ship here? Perhaps we should try to take him there, along with the woman. Might be difficult to get them there without the garrison noticing, but perhaps we could arrange to meet them up the coast a way, since we have communication magic. Zhu, does Aintei Teph have any Charms that would allow her to conceal or easily transport the two of them, or take them to a safe place that we could access easily later?"
"I can heal the worst of Ragara's injuries before we move him anywhere, in any case - sword-wounds are easy and quick to repair, it just takes a few seconds and a little Essence. As for his men; well, let's see." The Copper Spider stands up, rubbing the small of her back, and listens as Huan describes his findings.
Autumn walks over to one of the men to examine the skull tattoo first-hand, studying both the design itself and the ink used to inscribe it. "Skullstone, perhaps? The use of ore from the Labyrinth would line up with the shadowlands there." She studies the coin thoughtfully, trying to discern the metal from which it is made, examining the engraving. "Zhu, Huan, I could easily heal one of these men, if you wanted to talk with them; perhaps they might be able to tell us something? You two seem rather more persuasive than myself - let me know what you think would be best." She smiles briefly, before she looks back at her two primary patients and her gaze turns rather pensive.
Can I roll Int+Lore or something similar to get information on the tattoos and coin? Also, I made some assumptions based on your statement about the difficulty of the surgery - I assume there's not really a good way to speed up that 18-hour time? (even if I knew Instant Treatment Methodology, it only works on tasks that normally take an hour or less)
12-19-2012, 07:47 AM
"Aye, we can call my crew, but surely we can't bring all of these men aboard." He gestures to the incapacitated mass of people on the floor. "And we don't want them speaking with any of their master's about this, whoever they may be. I would prefer we don't kill them, either." At the mention of that, he gives Autumn Wind the strange coin he found on one of the men.
"We may have just made worse an international issue, if truly these men are from Skullstone. I would hope that is not the case." He gestures to a nearby man, rendered unconscious by Zhu's Charm. "See what you can do to get him up, we can question him here, or perhaps at the boat. Whatever you believe is best."
12-19-2012, 12:28 PM
Sorry about that!
Damage = +9L/3 + 5 Str + Extra acc sux.
and, as stated before, that damage is shared amongst all the goons within 3 yards due to his charm. So, I figure, pretty much all of 'em.
Edge smash. >:D
The Solar makes a standard Melee attack at his full dice pool, and applies it to all enemies within three yards; each target resolves defense and damage separately.(Thatz painful!)
Damage dice pool: 9 ( One roll for all of them- they are all extras...so)
EDIT: All DEAD! What's ya next move?
Autumn winces faintly, turning over the coin in her fingers. "I think it is a Skullstone design. I'd hoped to stay away from there, for now, but - well. We'll see. The one who held this was most likely the leader. Would you rather question him first, or one of his followers? And here, or on the boat? I'd be inclined to talk to one who's not the leader; if they're harmless and you can frighten or persuade them into not talking, we can let them go, and just try to take the others with us. But you're the priest, Zhu, and you Huan would traditionally be your circle's diplomat... your thoughts?"
12-21-2012, 01:19 AM
"I am inclined to talk to one of the mortals first. Proper interrogation techniques call for you to know as much about the primary subject as possible in order to trick them into revealing information they believe you to already know.
Besides, I am fairly certain that none of the mortals could say no if I asked nicely. I hope you are wrong about Skullstone though. I do not think you are, but that does not prevent me from hoping. My plans for removing that threat are only in the introductory stages."
Autumn nods and goes over to the man Huan indicated, one of those with the tattoos but without the coin. Crouching next to him, she moves her hands slowly through the air just above his skin, feeling the minute changes in temperature that reflect the Essence flows. Points of disruption, there and there, in the core chakras - she strikes lightly and precisely with the edge of her hand, not to harm but to heal, channeling a little golden power to jolt the mortal's Essence flows back into the patterns they should follow.
Spending 3m on Soothing Word of Wisdom, to heal the first lethal health level. If this brings him to consciousness I will not heal the second level just yet; if he's still out, I'll spend another 3m to heal the second level. Stunt, for mote regain?
12-23-2012, 01:32 AM
Ragara's body jerked abruptly, followed by a spasm of cough and then his eyes opened frailly. He examined his surrounding and the people around him, a look of disgust crossed his face as his eyes met the three of you. He raised his head, his palms turned onto the floor with an attempt to push himself up. His face turned pale as the fresh wound scarred by Huan tore open and blood oozed as a result. Yet despite the stinking pain, he was determined but his struggle only managed to bring him up to a sitting position.
A weak husky yet threatening voice escaped his lips, "Let me go! Or you will be sorry..."
12-24-2012, 02:27 AM
Round about the same time, the man Autumn treated opened his eyes abruptly and and sucked in air deeply. He turned to her and cursed,"Bloody bitch...who are...you?"
12-24-2012, 10:37 AM
Huan shakes his head at the Lord's attempt to push himself up. "Why can you not just -stay down-. Can you not see this if for your own good?" He gestures to the rods scattered through the man's flesh.
"Be still, and Autumn Wind can help you, we've all we need to relieve you of your Soulsteel Cage." The Eclipse knows full well this is unlikely to work, but still. He gesticulates once more for someone to administer the drug to Lord Ragara.
"We don't mean either of you harm," Autumn says, a hint of strain in her voice. "Ragara - if it's even you speaking - you're under mind-control, and I have some strong hypotheses about its origin. Don't struggle; it won't do any good and it may worsen your wounds."
She looks down at the man she just healed, and says a little brusquely, "People who object to murder and kidnapping. But perhaps you have an explanation?" Uncomfortable with the prospect of interrogating him, she stands up and looks over to Zhu and Huan. "I'll see to Ragara, and leave this one to you two."
The Tya sits down beside Ragara, watching him for any signs of sudden movement, as she takes a cup of water from the table and prepares a draught of Purple Drowse. "Is there anything you want to say at this point?"
12-25-2012, 04:00 PM
Ragara's face remained stone cold, exhibiting no sign of remorse - only more anger, clearly seen in the pair of black orbs that seemed to be surveying the surrounding.
"Tell me who are you and I might let you live...for a while..." He said in a dark hollow voice.
12-26-2012, 09:35 PM
"Prince of the Earth, do not diminish your station by such foolishness!
We are the strength which in ancient days moved heaven and earth. Ours is the splendor which had passed from this, the world we come to make new. Travel from the utter East through the Saigoth Gates or from the land where fire flows as water to the place where sky and land are one and you would not be beyond the reach of our hands. Stretch a chord from the feet of the Sun to the Well of Oblivion and it would not be the equal of the span of our power.
Into our keeping you have passed and there you shall remain until the endless Wyld is destroyed and made anew or we grant you leave to depart from it. Now then, be still that our mercy might flow forth in such abundance that you will not be able to stand it and shall thus become that which you have always been save for the self that stood in your way.
Heaven will break before my words."
12-27-2012, 01:33 AM
Shortly, after the 2 woke up from their slumber, Dreams and Edge returned to the tavern. Edge, in particular, had blood on his blade and red patches on his clothes. Dream's face locked in puzzlement, her fists tightened and trembling.
"I have gotten rid of the guards. A bloody mess I must say. And Dream... Lost her. That gorgeous lady" Edge reported plainly.
Dreams raised a brow and sighed before she spoke. "She will be back with more reinforcements. I tend to think it is unwise to remain here. Let's go somewhere safe.
The hooded man broke into a hollow laugh,"No matter where you run...we shall hunt you down...and priest...save your breath...you have no idea...who you are dealing with...
12-27-2012, 11:04 AM
"Indeed, Prince of the Earth? I am sure the Hill and the Beast Upon it said much the same. Though that may have sprung more from insecurity. However, enjoy your ignorance while you can, the flame it sustains in your heart will warm you for a time. Then you shall realize that the day has come and the sun is shining and you need not huddle in your dark cave any longer.
Then you shall see such things as to make all this world seem a place of sephia and shadows.
Come then my companions, we have kidnappers to kidnap."
"If you have nothing to say but empty threats, you'd do better to keep silent," Autumn says, and reaches out to put the Dragon-Blood (?) in a chokehold. It's carefully calibrated not to really hurt him, but she intends to keep the pressure on until he falls unconscious. "We'll speak again later. Zhu, you might have more luck chatting with his minions." She nods at the now-conscious mortal, who's probably still glaring at her.
The Tya looks up as Dreams and Edge enter, her lips thinning unhappily at the sight of the blood on Edge's clothes. "Safe place, right. Did the Realm guards see you? The best idea I have is to get to one of the bays along the coastline, and ask Huan's ship to meet us there." If the woman comes back with reinforcements, she'd rather be away from the town when they arrive, to reduce the danger to innocent bystanders.
Attempting a clinch against our Ragara friend, trying to knock him out before I feed him Purple Drowse.
Can someone who's actually decent at social combat talk to the mortal I provided? :smalltongue:
12-27-2012, 03:14 PM
Zhu turned to the man on the mortal. "I can sing words so sharp that it cuts the connection between your body and soul. Will anything beyond that be required to explain why what we say is going to be what you do?
If anything more is required, I am quite capable of making your mind up for you. That is not an exaggeration."
12-28-2012, 02:46 AM
Edge wiped his blade on the mortal's garment, smearing it in crimson red. Speak...while you still have the chance...I have drawn enough blood today. But I would be pleased to have yours if you choose to be stubborn. So speak!
"No realm Guards. But I suspect connection between them. Let's get the hell out of here soon" Dreams replied, her eyes darting around the tavern suspiciously.
No...please...no...Let me go...I shall tell ye everything I know..."The mortal trembled at the two versions of threats set up by both Exalts.
Autumn applied the choke hold on Ragara at 'Yu li Xue' (pressure point) and in two heartbeats, the dragonblooded fell unconscious.
Autumn carefully trickles the Purple Drowse tea down the Dragon-Blood's throat, making sure he doesn't choke. Once she's sure he's had enough to put him under for an hour or so, she glances over at the mortal.
"You could start with where you're from, the meaning of your tattoos, what you can tell us about your masters, why you were trying to kidnap this woman, and what reinforcements you have in the area. Just as initial suggestions." She stands. "I'm going to untie those poor people you found in the kitchen. I'll be back in a minute."
The Tya walks into the kitchen, takes one of the knives from the block, and cuts the ropes binding the presumed original owners of the tavern. She checks that they are all breathing steadily and should wake from the drug without ill effects, then takes out a piece of scraped-thin parchment and writes on it,
Apologies that I could not stay to ensure your safe waking. You were drugged and bound when I found you, but there should be no lasting side effects, and the culprits have been dealt with. May good fortune attend you and the Coral Haven.
She leaves the note tucked under the hand of the oldest among them, before walking back into the main room to listen to the interrogation.
12-28-2012, 06:07 AM
Huan largely allows his companions to do the talking, though he does take a moment to greet Edge and Dreams. "Unfortunate, this woman is almost certain to attract unneeded attention." He shakes his head. "T'would be best if we planned our escape, lest we be caught up in this mess."
After Zhu acknowledges the captive mortal, the Eclipse turns to join him in the interrogation. "As he said," He gestures with his head toward the Tya. "I think you'll find it in your best interests to answer those questions. But first, I need to inquire as to what vile an individual would implant such things into the Lord Ragara's body!?"
12-30-2012, 06:13 AM
The man who dressed like the waiter nodded cooperatively and responded with years oozing from his eyes, "I am just a lowly minion who just joined the order of the Skulls. I had no choice. My mother was critically ill. I needed the money... Quick money. And my friend told me I could earned it there. I had very little information about them." The man paused, wiping the tears off his cheek.
"The tattoos are sacred symbols of the organization. Not all of us have it. Not the rookies like us. But those who had it are somebody or at least a trusted member in the gang. The more skulls one have in tattoos, the higher rank they are. Other than that I really do not know."
He looked at Huan with a blank face," and that...what evil magic is that...I have absolutely no idea..." He continued to sob," jut let me go... I have to get back to my mother. Please!"
OOC: sorri typing from phone. So getting the color is quite tough. : p
12-30-2012, 01:32 PM
"You might wish to think a little more about your answers. I can come up with several questions we would like like the answers to without much trouble. Where is your base of operations? Who are your leaders? What will the repercussions of this be? That sort of thing."
"Are you from Amphiro? Or from elsewhere?"
12-31-2012, 02:47 AM
"I am from Amphiro...I lived in a village near the Imperial Garrison Town." The man responded with his eyes evading all contacts with Autumn. Then he turned to the priest and said, "Like I said, I am a rookie...I joined them only a week ago. I do not know much...except that they were not from Amphiro, and there were only a handful of their gang here." His eyes darted on a few bodies in the tavern.
"We were told to drug the tavern staffs and impersonate them. We didn't hurt anybody...I swear!" The young man added nervously, "They...they were going after 4 individuals...particularly the lady...I don't know why."
12-31-2012, 09:45 AM
Huan sighs at the apparent ignorance of this man, oh well, at least the name of this 'Order of the Skull' had been revealed. He remains skeptical of what little this man actually does say, he could always just be playing dumb.
"The Dynast has been implanted with 'Soulsteel' rods to control his mind and body." He gestures to Ragara upon the table. "I don't know what you think you've gotten yourself into, boy, but there are better ways of getting money. Ways which are less likely to result in your death, or worse."
The Captain reaches for some of his Jade. "This may help to provide for your Mother, but you must tell us all you know, everything about the Order and your superiors. You must swear to abide by the law from this point onward, and you must swear to speak not of this night once it has come to pass. Do you understand?" He extends his hand to the boy, holding a sum of jade script in the other.
"You don't need to work with people like this."
12-31-2012, 01:03 PM
The young man received the gift with both hands, and tears rolled down from his eyes as his gaze fixated on the Admiral.
"This is too...generous...How...How can I repay your kindness?" The man shut his eyes and pondered for a few seconds before he gathered strength to stand on his feet.
"I...shall return...I shall...with your approval...serve you...Er...Give me sometime...Let me get this back to my mother. I can meet you in a few hours...And stake my life to serve your needs." The man's sobered up and traces of determination were seen in his eyes. "Where can I meet you sir...an hour later...Let me follow you, SIR!"
12-31-2012, 09:51 PM
The Captain's stern expression seems to give way for a moment, he smiles a little. "Go ahead and help your Mother, boy. You can meet us up shore in a few hours, my ship will be waiting."
"I won't ask you to commit yourself to my crew, yet. But I would ask you commit to the laws of Heaven, and to remember this act of Compassion." The Eclipse extends his hand. "Swear this upon your heart?" Would the boy swear this oath, Huan would begin to glow with fluctuating light, around his head a faint compass mandala (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CUMt3hZFUWI/TRUmbbzpG-I/AAAAAAAAAOM/lLWf6OQctF4/s1600/IMG_5479.JPG) forms, the oath is sanctified by this brilliant display. "Everything will be made clear in time, son. Now go, your Mother needs you!" He would then send the boy away.
When the boy leaves, the Captain shakes his head and sighs, uncertain of his decision. Had his Compassion earned him a new crew member or had it simply brought the Wyld Hunt upon this Circle's heads? Everything would be made clear in time.
"Ignore the lights, they'll fade soon enough.
Huan straightens his posture, looking back to the table where Ragara would be worked on. "How goes the procedure? I don't want to rush, but we don't have much time."
He would then turn to Zhu. "Since the Tya is occupied, will it be possible to summon that Elemental you spoke of? We need to plan our escape from this town."
Ten motes of Peripheral Essence and one Willpower spent to sanctify an oath.
Whether or not Huan stunted is up to you.
"Ah... I had presumed we'd want to leave in rather less than a day, and so we'd take Ragara with us. As I said earlier, the operation will be lengthy, if we want it to succeed." The Tya shrugs, with a slight rueful frown. "Since the drugged people likely won't wake for an hour or so, unless we want to stick around for that long - which I would not recommend - we'll need to figure out how to transport them as well. Are any of you familiar with the area? I just arrived, although I've visited Amphiro before."
Autumn pauses, and then adds, smiling slightly, "That was well done, with that boy, Huan."
12-31-2012, 10:51 PM
"I think we are going to want one of the upper members to question before the Terrestrial. Also, the captain seems to have a crew. We might perhaps be able to get them past the checkpoint by saying they are in a drunken stupor.
As for Aintei Teph, she is in a crystal and removing her would signal the end of our contract. I could return us the world between instants though."
As he spoke the shining apparel faded and transformed back into the simple garments he had worn previously.
"I'm a fairly incompetent liar; I've been told a thousand little signs give me away. But I don't need to speak. You could also say truthfully that they're hurt and we're taking them for medical treatment. It might be best if we can meet Huan's ship in a bay away from this garrison town, though, and avoid clearing the checkpoint at all."
"How close are we to the edge of town here, does anyone know? If we're taking the Dragon-Blood, the woman and her guards, and the one who was holding the coin - that's five people. As one option, I can wake up some of the others without tattoos; if they're as innocent as the first boy, we can get them to help us carry these people, and then let them go."
"The tattooed ones - I'd be tempted to ask one of the locals to report them to the authorities as kidnappers working for a foreign cult, seems like the easiest way to handle it. Might not work out well if the garrison's been corrupted by the cult, though."
01-01-2013, 08:01 PM
"I am an equally poor liar. However, it is amazing the things you don't need to say when you are persuasive enough. Regardless, we are nearly at the middle of town.
We are not certain of the innocence of anyone. However, as I said, one of the more hardened members may be benificial to us for purposes of questioning.
Also, I really do fear for their souls. They are almost certainly all on the path to damnation. If we can save any of them, I think it would be worth the risk."
01-02-2013, 03:57 AM
The Eclipse hears Autumn Wind's comment about the boy - he decides to say nothing on the matter, simply nodding to the Tya.
"I would suggest we leave the worst among these kidnappers for the Guards, after we take the opportunity to interrogate one of them. If any others prove to be like that boy - it might be best to show them the same mercy." He looks amongst the people spread out across the Haven's floor. "Do you have the energy?"
Huan shakes his head. "Whatever we do about these men, it is time to contact my First Officer. Be it Cherub or Elemental, a messenger is needed."
Essence Respiartion, Woo! :smallcool:
"Regarding a 'more hardened' member, Zhu, yes - that's why I counted the one who was holding the coin in my tally."
She eyes the unconscious men. "I do not have the power to restore all of them; every healing costs Essence. So unless you have some way to heal them en masse, or transport this many unconscious people, I'm afraid we'll be leaving most of them behind."
"Huan, I can contact your first officer: can you write out the message you wish me to send? We should be ready to move after that, though, sorcery is flashy."
01-03-2013, 03:50 AM
The Eclipse Caste searches about for a moment, managing to find a quill and some ink used to record the names of those staying at the Inn - he is sure to take some reasonably clear paper.
"Peleps Zhu, try to find the man with the most skulls in his tattoo, we'll need to interrogate him. See what you both can do about the others." He sets his scavenged supplies down on a nearby table and dips the quill in the ink, scratching away at the paper.
"This radiance surrounding me should fade soon enough, we don't want to walk through the streets of a Garrison Town flying the banner of the Anathema. How long should the spell take?" Huan finishes up the message, rolling it up and handing it to the Copper Spider.
The message would read:
First Officer Lon -
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Amphiro is no longer safe for any of us. Of the strange messenger and the reasons for this urgent exodus, I can not yet go into further detail, for now suffice it to say that I've made a few friends - and likely more than a few enemies.
Gather the crew and take the Storm's End up-shore, we will rendezvous in a few hours - hopefully once then Sun sees fit to remove his image from my brow. It seems we will have to resupply in another port.
Your Friend and Captain, Huan T'zai
01-05-2013, 02:13 PM
"I think we are all aware of how that works. Regardless, we should make use of this time we are forced to wait. Help me to bind the criminals. We may be able to see about sorting the innocent from the guilty later if they are not all executed. Even if their reasons are as good as that boy, they are all likely afraid of their superiors which means it would be risky to allow any free for fear they would liberate the rest.
Are we prepared to risk them dying before we can save those worth saving?"
"The spell only requires a few seconds to cast, Huan, although speaking the message to the cherub can take some time of course."
"Zhu, what is your plan?" A little frustration leaks into her voice. "No, I don't wish to see them die, but I'm telling you that I do not have the Essence to heal half the damage you did, and staying here for too long seems likely to lead to the loss of far more life, including people who have not been accomplices to kidnapping and murder. They made their choices, and while I'm willing to try to save them from the consequences, not at the cost of other innocents."
"Dreams. You vanished from sight, before. Can you do it again, and while carrying someone else? There's a forest to the south of town if I remember correctly; if you could take the woman, their target, and get her out of town, that would at least remove from consideration the person we know won't make it past the Realm checkpoint. If you get spotted while in town, I suppose you could pretend she's your sister who's had too much to drink, or something similar."
She glances back at Huan. "Then again... that will take some time to fade. If it takes long enough, it might be better to wait for her to wake up; she's an Exalt herself and may have relevant abilities."
Autumn rubs her forehead. "In any case, from what I remember of the town layout, we have either several fairly busy streets or a Realm checkpoint to get through. Zhu, if you could successfully bluff as a Dynast again, that might help with the Realm checkpoint - might even get the woman and her guards through, if you could persuade them that we've captured them. Alternative is to set up a distraction, which any of us can manage rather straightforwardly, it's just risky."
"Or am I missing something, and one of you has a simple plan to get these people to a more secure location without having to fight our way past the Realm garrison? Or is that not the goal we're aiming for here?"
01-05-2013, 09:54 PM
"I was thinking that I could get myself placed in judgement over them. Wearing that getup and stating that I am the Prince of the Earth, combined with supernatural charisma should be enough."
"... all right, if you say so. Although the more Exalts they have the harder it'll be to pull off. May also depend on what Ragara's lady has told them, if anything. What are you planning to tell them - or imply to them - about Ragara? Or do we want to try to get him out separately? And do you just want to wait here until someone asks about them, or go talk to the guards? I suppose that might be a way to draw them away from the checkpoint..."
01-06-2013, 09:23 PM
"What if you, the captain, and our prisoners escape while I start yelling for the guards?
I was here earlier with an inspector and given the state of the owners, it could be inferred that they were attempting to assassinate me. While I have not claimed to be an Exalted, I have been operating brazenly as a priest.
Can we think of a rally point if worst should come to worst? Additionally, I could use this time to summon an elemental of air to serve as a go between. Though that would add another wait to be endured."
"I don't know this side of Amphiro well. But if we get separated, if need be I can use cherubs to determine your direction; it's inefficient and Essence-hungry if I have to triangulate, but it works." The Tya tries to remember the landmarks she saw coming in. "There was a cove a couple of miles to the south, with an unusually large kauri tree; I noticed it because there seemed to be a substantial colony of parrots nesting there, of a species I hadn't seen before. That would be a tentative possible meeting place, outside settled areas, I suppose. If we're willing to trek to another town there's the Tya guildhouse." She provides directions: she's familiar with that part of Amphiro, at least. "You would probably not be allowed entrance, but again it's a place to regroup."
"If Dreams can get the woman to safety, as she's the one probably most at risk - the idea would be that Huan, Edge and I take her two guards and Ragara, hide in the back of the inn or something similar, and then you call for the guards and hope to draw them away from the checkpoint? Then we could try to get out and onto Huan's ship while you hold their attention, and rendezvous with you when your judgement is done?" She studies the Zenith. "This would be risky for all of us, but riskiest for you."
01-08-2013, 01:20 AM
"I have faith." His expression was serene with a hint of a smile.
01-10-2013, 07:12 AM
Dream nodded at Autum's proposal with a smirk on her face,"Sure, I am the embodiment of shadows. Though you may need to be more specific on the meet up place. Huan whät's your ship called?"
01-10-2013, 08:46 PM
Huan listens intently to his peers plan. "I can do as you ask but I suggest we do so soon. The plan might prove a bit reckless, but there isn't much alternative." He takes a note of the cove mentioned by Autumn Wind.
"My vessel is the Storm's End, Dreams, it should be easily recognisable - it should appear that Dana'ad wraps herself around the mast and that the flame-canons are Siaka." He nods to the Night Caste.
"Are we each ready to begin, then?"
"I take it we don't need to tell your first officer to take the ship up-shore then, Huan? Should I still send a message to ask him to gather the crew?" The Copper Spider's voice is neutral as she crouches down beside Ragara and tears some strips from the Dragon-Blood's clothing to bind up his wounds. Just a temporary measure; she'll heal the injuries properly once they're in a friendlier location.
"With that done, I will be ready. Oh, I'll go tear up that note I left for the real owners, if Zhu is staying. Edge, if you can support one of the woman's guards and help me with Ragara, that would be appreciated. Exaltation did not grant me physical strength. Huan, you take the other guard?"
01-12-2013, 01:55 AM
"Exaltation favoured me with the strength enough to help here." He supports the other guard, looking to the door. "Let's get this over with."
"If we don't need the sorcery, all right then." Autumn ducks into the kitchen to retrieve the note she left for the owners, checks on them one more time to make sure they're all breathing steadily, and then returns to help Edge lift Ragara.
"There's a door at the back of the kitchen, probably for throwing out scraps; we can leave that way if that suits you two."
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