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    Default The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    At what point can we say that an Age has ended? What is the line by which we separate the periods of history? Do we apply rigorous principles to each period, or allow each one to be determined squarely on it's own merits. The events nearly a century ago can definitely have said to have ended the previous Age. The problem is which date. Through rigorous interviews with all relevant survivors of that period of incidents, and with rigid scholarship, I will attempt to argue that our current Age truly began in what was then know as Realm Year 790, on the Third Night of Calibration... - Opening of a Lecture given by Kruschadopolis V, Master Historian, PSE 92

    Part I: A Carnival of Meetings

    Waypoint is a small old fort at the edge of Lookshy's territory. Its stone walls are slightly worn down, and if its gear is years out of date, and its troop complement is barely more than a fang's worth, then none complain. It's about as non-military as Lookshy is capable of.

    It's purpose nowadays is a trading post; situated near one of the more major trade routes to Lookshy proper, those seeking to move goods overland inevitably stop at Waypoint. Some days the fort bustles with energy as merchants and sell-swords spend a night (but never more, for there are more important places to be) there, and the jade and silver is plentiful. Tonight, the fort is quiet, for few dare to be on unfamiliar ground during Calibration. Familiar gods during this time of year, and a head near to the ground at all times.

    Tonight, it was raining, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

    Rose

    "Now, look," said the Dragon-Blood at the barstool next to her, a drink strong enough that the alcohol stung her nostrils in his hand. "I see your point. I know that weapons are incredibly useful in a fight. I see how their needed. But still. But still."

    He waves a shaking hand up from the counter. The two of them, plus the man tending bar, are the only ones in the largish inn.

    "I still think that using a weapon-any weapon, ruins the...the...the purity of the martial arts. You see what I'm saying?"

    The Exalt shakes his head and finishes his drink, nearly falling off as he does so.

    "Now, anyway...I run a dojo in Lookshy proper; I was visiting a friend of mine out here, you see. And you seem like an alright sort. If you need anything...anything at all...here."

    He takes a small piece of paper, and presses it into her hand. On one side, in neatly printed letters, is the name of a dojo in Lookshy, and rough directions to it from each of the city gates.

    "Thanks for indulging me...'Scuse me."

    He lurches up from his seat, and stumbles up the stairs and out of sight. On the other side of the bar, the only other man in the ground floor of the inn remains silent.

    Sierra

    This wasn't the first time that she had woken up in a strange inn.

    This was not the first time that she was wearing something entirely different than she had last remembered.

    This was not the first time that she felt almost-entirely-healed-but-still-twingy-bruises on her.

    So. This again.

    There's a note pinned to the door by a knife. It's unsigned. It always is.

    Fort Waypoint. Edge of Lookshyian territory. Bartender owes you a drink.

    Penumbra

    Three targets.

    Three targets, and it had taken time and it had taken planning to get herself in a position for a perfect kill. Three targets that had been sadistic to those they held enslaved in their grasp. Three deaths tailored in a manner that was near enough to an art form.

    Three targets that had been dead when she had gotten in position.

    Three consecutive targets who had been dead before she had gotten to them. Someone was copycatting. Or trying to upstage her. Show her up.

    She had tagged the person responsible with an arrow, tracked them to this small fort, this Waypoint. She lay in wait in the long grasses on either side of the beaten path.

    Time to meet the other interested party.

    Skandi: En Route to Waypoint, Western Route

    It looked small, and judging by the watch lights on the wall, ill-defended. The stonework was solid enough though, that most would think twice about making an attempt. Beseige it for long enough, though, and it would starve itself out. Especially if you tried to take it when it was filled with merchant trains.

    But it wasn't and he wasn't interested in taking a small fort near Lookshy. Besides, there was the matter of his impromptu companion. Small and young and with a wiry build, wearing the insignia of a low-ranking soldier and carrying all the marks of an official messenger.

    "...I don't know what's in it. Sealed orders that I'm to read to the garrison and everyone in the fort. Supposedly copied to everyone. No, I don't think I should open it early; it'll be my hide if I disobeyed orders."

    And green. So very green.

    But still. They'd be there in a few minutes, anyway.

    Child of Steel and Ruby: Eastern Route

    The Bureau had a phrase, coined by a particularly witty Joybringer millenia ago. Maiden's Holiday, it was called. Vacations taken simply for one's own pleasure that ended up being in places where that specific Vizier was needed. Where one ended up, inevitably, doing one's job off the job. Because it was necessary.

    Thankfully, nothing like that had happened to Child of Steel and Ruby, or was going to happen to him, either. He'd been excellent and dutiful, and he was going to enjoy his vacation and spend time with Grass Lighting and her husband, and see that child of hers.

    Yes, he was perfectly aware of that Loom disruption a month ago, thank you very much. Yes, it was the worst in centuries. Yes, there had been another one just before he had left. But he had submitted the forms, and filled out the necessary paperwork, and had enough time reserved to go ahead. He needed that time to think and reflect. Very much so.

    Now then, Grass Lightning's child...what was her name, anyway? Or was she a she?

    He's far too caught up in his thoughts, unfortunately...

    Aya Crystalis: Eastern Route

    Stay low, and stay hidden Smiling Rose had said before she had left. Well, here she was, middle of nowhere, at the edge of something resembling civilization during at night on Calibration, and someone had run into her, and knocked her into the ground. Despite the road being almost completely deserted.

    Great. Just great.

    Could anything else possibly go wrong?

    The Wyld HuntCleansing

    Ragara Besi

    This wasn't a proper Sworn Brotherhood. This wasn't even a proper Wyld Hunt. This was a recruitment mission for the fifth member of what would be the sworn brotherhood.

    Relations with Lookshy hadn't changed much, recently, and they couldn't exactly send a full on-Hunt into the Scavenger Lands. So they had started in Greyfalls, "visiting family," and meeting up with the fourth member of what would be their Brotherhood, and in search of their fifth.

    Mnemon-Caras Pell was complaining about why they had to camp outside rather than go inside the fort. Born and raised rich and prosperous. Soft. But according to those who knew things (and who didn't, in the Realm?) a sorcerous prodigy and recent Heptagram graduate.

    "Because we can't attract attention. And four Dragon-Blood are. Attention."

    The fourth member of their party was from the Northeast by birth, though she had returned to the Realm seeking a Wyld Hunt to join to ride against the East nearly a year ago. She had jumped on the chance for the Cleansing, and had actually suggested the fifth member of their party. A rogue Dragon-Blood who knew the lay of the land and served, like her, as another wandering swordswoman.

    Still...why had her family saddled her with that twit of an un-Exalted cousin?

    Isa

    This was her first Wyld Hunt alone.

    She had been on one or two against deathknights, but only ever with other Sidereals that Chejop trusted utterly. Her mentor was fiercely protective of her. And he had the power to make sure she was never in any danger as she learnt how to supervise the Terrestials.

    This wasn't even a Wyld Hunt. Just a recruitment mission before the Wyld Hunt. Right now, she was under the destiny of a young cousin Dynast of one of the members-she had been given briefings regarding the part to play, and Chejop had supervised its crafting personally.

    This was an opportunity for her, she had been told. To show she was her own person, and not merely his shadow. Her chance for prestige and honor. But, and he had emphasized this most of all, only if she so desired it. He tutored her, and taught her, and gave her endless opportunities. But he never asked anything of her save that she do what she wished to do. He hadn't been able to see her off, unfortunately. The Loom disruption from a month ago was causing him to work even harder to catch up.

    Right now, though, there were four Dragon-Bloods and a Sidereal needing to make camp. From her profiles, Sesus Meru, one of the two Fire Aspects present, was most knowledgeable about field work.
    Last edited by industrious; 2012-04-29 at 03:25 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
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    "Well, of course you can't open it yet," the God-Blooded mercenary* smiled. ""But surely you have some guesses. Come on, what's been going on at Lookshy worth sending a messenger about? Something interesting's been happening, and I've got money riding on the outcome."

    He grinned inwardly. In and out Lookshy lands safe and sound; any hunters still on his heels after that Port Calin debacle would be well off his tail by now, and within a month he'd be in striking distance of enough poorly-defended Guild caravans to recruit and fund a new army that would take the fight back to the Realm - provided that 'mysterious announcement' wouldn't be enough of a distraction to steal his attention...

    "Really," he added with a cheerful smile, "It isn't as if you'd be telling me anything that half the militia in Lookshy didn't already know."

    (OOC Note: Skandi is, of course, using a mundane disguise to make himself less distinctive, but he isn't trying to hide the armor or daiklaive.)

    *: (Who certainly wasn't the famous Lunar bandit, Skandi the Wolf.)
    Last edited by Aevylmar; 2012-04-29 at 03:47 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudyard Kipling
    But my Totem saw the shame; from his ridgepole-shrine he came,
    And he told me in a vision of the night: —
    "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
    "And every single one of them is right!"
    Currently playing Skandi the Wolf in Return of the Scarlet Empress and the Mnemon Varias, the Hunter of the Pack, in Seas of Change.

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    In normal circumstances, Penumbra would not have paid much thought to someone else following her example. In fact, she would have been quite pleased. Creation is a very large place and Penumbra can't hope to stalk it all in anything resembling a reasonable time frame. The thought that she had inspired others to murder slave owners is a very warming one. Such is how Penumbra reasoned when she had found the still warm body of her first target, killed in an a manner consistent with her own tactics. The time was wasted, but it was nice to know that she could range further afield, as someone else was already prowling that territory.

    And so Penumbra had planned the destruction of another slave owner, one that was positioned a distance outside her usual kill zone. Again, the individual was dead when she arrived, body cooling on the floor when she had enacted her plans and put herself in the perfect place from which to strike. This time, Penumbra felt a tinge of annoyance at the individual who was copying her. She had tried very hard to give that person their own region to hunt it, and they had still managed to get in her way. Still, said individual's actions fulfilled Penumbra's mission, so she could forgive them one more time.

    After this, Penumbra had moved on to a target a much greater distance from her previous two. She had skipped over several other likely ones, leaving her new compatriot in murder to destroy those. Her hunt had begun anew for a third time, and her quarry had followed all its usual habits, bringing itself into Penumbra's sights. Penumbra had drawn back her bow, ready to strike, finally allowing herself to feel pleased at the unrivaled thrill of murdering one who thought themselves a step above the other people in the world.

    But then it happened; her target crumpling in a pool of its own blood, a third target destroyed before Penumbra had a chance to enact her vengeance. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is deliberate, and it angered Penumbra much to know that someone was going out of their way to impede her. She would find them, stop them, and make them explain their reasoning. If such reasoning is to her liking... she might let them go. If it isn't... well, her arrows have killed more than slave owners, and this individual wouldn't be the last.

    A shot in the dark had tagged Penumbra's target, her keen eyes catching the subtlest of movements, a stirring of wind that could only be caused by human motion. The individual in question had escaped, fleeing faster than Penumbra could follow, but it didn't matter. Said person left a trail; they always did, and there is no escaping Penumbra when she has a trail. This trail lead Penumbra to the small town of Waypoint, a place that Penumbra has no interest in entering. So now Penumbra lies in wait, crouching in the grass beside the road for a fifth consecutive hour, patiently scanning the horizon for her prey.

    Spoiler
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    Penumbra has Entropic Awakening of Sight up, if that is possible. I seem to recall a scene being reckoned as 20 minutes when there is no other identifying factor. If that is right, her hearthstone makes this mote neutral. If it isn't right... then she is just waiting.
    Last edited by Incendius; 2012-04-29 at 05:03 PM.

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    Sierra groans. Groans loudly.

    She would really like an answer to this.
    She would really like it to stop happening.
    She would really like to know where her clothes are.

    It takes about ten seconds to find an answer.
    Sadly, it's the answer to the third question-her clothes are in a small bag, as they have been pretty much every time. She seems to appreciate the courtesy as she changes-and even goes as far as to put the mysterious clothes she was wearing into the bag.

    After all, confusing as this is, it always leaves a note for her. She may as well be polite back.

    Dressed, with her belongings, she goes down, intending to get a drink to wake up with.
    Recent Homebrew: The Socialite | The Crystalline: Memory Altering Construct Race | Sanguine Hand, a ToB Discipline of blood and cruelty
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    Most Certifiably Not Skandi

    "Well..."

    Young. Mortal. Green. Poor kid never had a chance.

    "It's about the Cleansing. We're..., well, rumor has it, anyway..."

    He swallows, looks around, as if in belief that one of his superiors is lurking in the bushes just waiting to catch him breaking orders. He motions for the God-Blood to come closer anyway.

    "...we're actually supporting it."

    His voice cracks during the sentence, and he scuttles away almost immediately after he finishes his sentence. He's babbling, too.

    "They just had the vote. It's crazy, I mean, that's we're working with the Realm now, and coordinating with them, and they're the Realm. I mean, you know. Tried to conquer us, and we fought them and they want to take over and we're working with them. I mean, yes the Anathema are a problem but that doesn't mean we work with the Realm. Right?"

    He's been gesticulating wildly this whole time.

    "And I have to deliver this message to everyone in the fort, and oh-what if they assign me to a group. I can't take on an Anathema, you can, probably, I mean, how else are you carrying those things-how did you get them by the way, and--"

    "Halt!"

    They're at the gates to Waypoint now. And at the sound of the sentry's greeting, the messenger all but jumps out of his skin.

    Penumbra

    Five hours, with her prey having a slim lead. It's in there, too; nobody's gone out of that fort in that time.

    There are four others on the road; two of them on the Western route are at the gates. One of them was in considerable emotional distress, even at Penumbra's distance she could make out his wild gestures.

    Patience. Four new people in. And if anyone left, she'd know. And she'd know if it was her quarry, too. It had been a good hit.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Make a Awareness + Perception roll, difficulty 4 to hear what the messenger just said


    Sierra

    The inn is worn and well-used. Stains of old spilled drinks and worse darken the floor, and the air smells of sawdust and sweat and the dirt road. One can hear a fire roaring in the fireplace and feel the heat as one approaches, but the wood says unconsumed and there are no flames to be seen.

    There is a man behind the bar and a woman standing in front of both man and bar. The man turns to look at Sierra, a ceramic mug in hand, and nods. The mug is dunked in a barrel, and filled with cloudy beer.
    Last edited by industrious; 2012-04-29 at 05:15 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
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    So. Lookshy is supporting The Cleansing. That means more Dragonblooded are going to be trying their hands at hunting. I wonder, could this be a trap? Penumbra ponders on the words of the messenger. ... No, they would have already had their chance at the last three targets. My quarry has shown the ability to predict my actions; the Dragonblooded hunters would have had ample opportunity to ambush me prior. Penumra reasons, still holding steady in her position, not even moving an inch. Those pathetic Dragonblooded might be worth my while, after I finish my business here. I'll show them what it really means to hunt.

    (9d10)[8][10][2][9][5][3][2][7][2](48)
    Last edited by Incendius; 2012-04-29 at 05:48 PM.

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    Aya gave a soft moan and rubbed at her now sore bottom. That wasn't very nice, not in the slightest. After all she was trying to be as low and as hidden as one of her can be. Containing all of her in a subtleness that defies reason obvious came with its own dangers as she finds herself on the ground.

    She stood and looked for the person who had not even checked to see if she was hurt from his careless singular rampage on the lonely road. "Not nice at all," she comments and she realizes that her voice in her head was chuckling at her. Pouting slightly she brushed dirt from her and sighed, this day was not going so well. Of course Calibration, while familiar, was strange to her and its this feeling that assures her that her day of misfortunes was just starting. Perhaps it was the cloudless rain.
    Last edited by Illyceria; 2012-04-29 at 06:13 PM.

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    "Just cultists for me, actually," managed not-Skandi. "They were saving it for their boss; I'll tell you the story later if there's time."

    His mind was a flurry of explicatives and intricate blasphemies (in four languages) as his most complicated plans burned to ash in the light of a single sentence. Complicated thoughts flashed through his head, mixed with the swearing.

    "I'll need to get out of the Scavenger Lands, there's going to be a civil war in the Confederation of Rivers. But that could be my chance to change things. Maybe Great Forks needs a general. Maybe the Hundred Kingdoms is far enough to run. Maybe..."

    He heard the sentry's call, and responded, the sober expression on his face not matching the tumult inside his head.

    "Hello the walls! Any news out of the East?"
    Last edited by Aevylmar; 2012-04-29 at 09:50 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudyard Kipling
    But my Totem saw the shame; from his ridgepole-shrine he came,
    And he told me in a vision of the night: —
    "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
    "And every single one of them is right!"
    Currently playing Skandi the Wolf in Return of the Scarlet Empress and the Mnemon Varias, the Hunter of the Pack, in Seas of Change.

    Avatar by Ifni!

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    Triumphant Rose Guardian

    Rose looks up as the woman enters the main room of the tavern. "Ah, hello there."

    She smiles at what the Dragon-Blooded said. That might be true for some martial arts, but she could garuantee any Even Blade stylists would disagree with him, and she disagreed as well. Her own martial art needed a weapon, for example.


    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revlid View Post
    And so it was that Zaeed, Aang, Winry, Ezio, Sadoko and Snow White all set out on their epic journey to destroy The Empire.

    God I love Exalted.


    Gold Dragon avatar by Serpentine


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    She smiles thankfully, and sits down to drink it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    It's like the feng shui version of an orbital death laser.

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    Child

    Stumbling, Child mentally curses. Running into someone else: if another of the bureau was here he'd never hear the end of it. It takes a bit due to to the large case on his back, but he finally rights himself and is greeted by the girl's statement.


    "Ah, sorry. Quite a bit on my mind, and I wasn't watching where I was going. Nothing hurt, I hope?"


    Lucky that she'll forget all of this soon enough.

    Spoiler
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    Not in a Resplendent Destiny, as the people I'm interested in seeing are part of my acquaintance background.
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
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    Aya's eyes finds the guys who collided into her and she falls silent for a moment. "No, I'm fine, my pride is the only thing hurt." She shakes back her hair and nods to him with a slight frown that turns to a half smile. "Traveling alone too? Shall we travel together maybe?" She almost hoped he would be okay with that. Traveling this lonely road, alone, was well... lonely. But she didn't know him at all and she had already experienced what men do to women alone on lonely streets.

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    Child

    Child lets out a little chuckle at her words. It's nice to know that everyone isn't as prickly as those in Heaven.
    "That's the trouble with pride: it bruises easily. As for traveling together, well, I wouldn't mind that, though I'm afraid I don't have far to travel: heading to Waypoint, and it's right over there."
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
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    Aya gives a warmer smile. "I'm heading there myself. I'm to meet a friend there actually. So we can accompany one another to Waypoint, its bound to be a little more enjoyable that way."

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    Child

    He turns to begin to walk to the fort, speaking over his shoulder as he does.
    "Company is never a bad thing. Though, I must ask, what's your name? You can call me Child.

    And what a coincidence, I'm hoping to see a friend there too.
    "
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
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    "Because she's better than she lets on," Ragara Besi says to herself immediately, her scratchy little voice barely carrying above a whisper. She isn't exactly in the habit of responding to her thoughts out loud as though they were some strange cloudy wisps that occasionally entered her head of their own accord, but...

    ...well the truth is they are, so there. Idiots don't get sent halfway across the world on high-risk missions in small groups. If her cousin is here, there's probably a good reason for it. Even the whiny one is a proficient sorcerer.

    "One Dragon-Blood and one mortal won't attract attention, will they?" she asks of no one in particular.

    She's not exactly good at disguising herself, but nobody's likely to think twice about her so long as she keeps her jade under her cloak. Her bright red hair is tied into a ponytail under her broad, conical hat, her silver eyes masked just the same.

    Hundreds of tiny little fires all burning on their own and doing their best not to congeal. That is to say, she expects people at the fort to be minding their own business. Not exactly a safe assumption but since when is life about safety?
    Rider avatar by Elder Tsofu

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    City Gates

    "Hello from the wall!"

    The heavy wooden gates of the fort swing open ponderously, and while the dashing God-Blood and his new confidant enter first, the two other travelers are not far behind.

    The interior of the fort is extremely spartan; the barracks and the one inn(displaying a sign so battered by the elements that its name has been lost forever) are pressed against the walls, leaving a dirt square barely illuminated by flickering torches. One surmises can get quite busy and crowded when the caravans come in, but little else otherwise. A small graveyard plot lies in one corner, worn and crooked gravemarkers showing that nothing has been buried there in quite some time.

    A man in armor and baring a torch is at the foot of the gate.

    "I'm Gochei Quintaine, leader of the troops stationed here. I believe you have a message for me?"

    The messenger snaps to attention like a rubber band.

    "Sir, I was ordered to read it out loud to everyone in the fort, sir."

    "Understood."

    A few flicking motions, and two soldiers approach the barracks and the inn.

    The Inn With No Name

    One of the Seventh Legion soldiers, a woman with sharp, angular features and a pronounced limp enters the inn.

    "Right. You lot. The commander of this fort wants to speak to everyone."

    The bartender nods, silent and inscrutable, and heads out of the bar, casting a meaningful look at the two women remaining.

    Waypoint Square

    When everyone (roughly 25 people total in the whole of the fort) is outside, the messenger swallows, unseals, and begins to read his message, voice trembling all the while.

    "Bbby tthe authority of Chumyo Nefvarin Zane, and the General Staff of Lookshy, in response to the recent proclamation of the Realm..."

    He's a terrible speaker. Mumbles and pauses for scans. He can't believe the content of his message.

    "...render all aid and necessary assistance to the pursuance of the goals of the Cleansing..."

    His hands are shaking so much that he can't finish, blind panic in his eyes.

    "..."

    Silence. Of the sort that was shortly about to become chaos. All it would take was someone doing something, anything other than stand there in shock.

    Child

    What?!

    He was on what would have been the relevant sub-Conventions. He would have known this was likely to happen. He knew that it wasn't at all bloody likely to happen because this was the bloody Convention on Wood, Gold Faction territory, and there was no way that Ayesha would have let anything like this occur!

    What the hell was happening?

    Ragara Besi

    "It shouldn't, no."

    The Threshold woman-Matsui was her name-shakes her head.

    "Planning on scouting out the fort or something?"
    Last edited by industrious; 2012-04-30 at 02:38 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Aevylmar's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Skandi blends into the crowd of soldiers, Luna alone knows how, for a moment, then pulls himself away, leaving a shout hanging in the air with no clear source.

    "They've sold us out to the Realm!"

    Spoiler
    Show
    Performance+Manipulation social attack to enhance the crowd's disapproval of this message and cast doubt in their superior officers. Not sure what I ought to roll to make them not notice that the mercenary is the source - but I doubt they're paying much attention to who's voicing what they're all thinking.

    http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3496490/
    Stunt, if any.
    http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3496492/


    * post roll count doesn't match database
    Last edited by Aevylmar; 2012-04-30 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Can't get the dice roller to work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudyard Kipling
    But my Totem saw the shame; from his ridgepole-shrine he came,
    And he told me in a vision of the night: —
    "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
    "And every single one of them is right!"
    Currently playing Skandi the Wolf in Return of the Scarlet Empress and the Mnemon Varias, the Hunter of the Pack, in Seas of Change.

    Avatar by Ifni!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Ragara Besi

    "Yes."

    There isn't much more to say than that!
    Rider avatar by Elder Tsofu

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Child

    This is a big enough of a shock that Child speaks his thoughts out loud, even if it is only mumbled.
    "This isn't good. No more check to the Realm, the League could collapse, never mind what all the Chosen are going to do..."

    Straightening, he shakes his head, as if to clear his thoughts, and then, pitching his voice to carry, speaks to the announcer.

    "So, what does this mean to those who aren't part of Lookshy's forces?"
    Last edited by Tavar; 2012-04-30 at 03:40 PM.
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
    -James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
    Satomi by Elagune

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lix Lorn's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    In the inn, Sierra blinks once or twice, and stands up. She briefly contemplates taking the mug, but decides regretfully against it.

    Obediently, she walks through the door and outside.

    Her reaction to the message is mostly one of shock! Regardless, she doesn't speak up yet-she has little at stake, as far as she knows. She hasn't done anything overt in the area, and...

    Well, she hopes she hasn't done anything overt in the area over the last few days.
    Last edited by Lix Lorn; 2012-04-30 at 06:16 PM.
    Recent Homebrew: The Socialite | The Crystalline: Memory Altering Construct Race | Sanguine Hand, a ToB Discipline of blood and cruelty
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    Thanks to all my avatar artists, especially to Paisley for my avatar of Vivian, cowardly cryophoenix.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    It's like the feng shui version of an orbital death laser.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    That sounds like the start of a riot. I am not going to loose my target in all of this mess. I have better things to do with my time than to chase this individual halfway across Creation. Penumbra fumes silently as she hears the shouts.

    Snarling, Penumbra closes her eyes and draws deep on the well of her power, forcing her cold essence to pump through her veins. Penumbra ripples as she infuses her body with power, tearing the fabric of reality apart and placing herself into the gaps.

    It takes only a moment, but that makes the effect no less powerful. Penumbra stands without care, raising from the bushes and exposing herself to the harsh light of the sun. She regards the source of light with a small smile, her teeth barred at its majesty.

    No shadow falls behind Penumbra. In fact, nothing seems to touch Penumbra at all. An observer would only see the bent leaves of the grasses; to the casual eye, there is no person standing in Penumbra's place.

    Penumbra gathers her will once again, this time channeling it into the belt at her waist. She waves a hand over its clasp, her fingers imbuing essence into the onyx focal gem. The gem starts to whirl in place, and the links of the belt start to shake as the strands of air that connect them billow wider.

    In an impossible movement, Penumbra steps into the air, walking upwards as if her feet were treading on a staircase. I shall never grow tired of this. Penumbra thinks to herself with childish glee, reveling in one of the few non-destructive sources of joy she had left in the world.

    It is like this that Penumbra moves into the town, bypassing the walls by simply walking over it, and moving towards the source of commotion. As she roams above the town, Penumbra continuously sweeps her gaze over its entirety, searching for her prey.

    She finally comes to a stop at a large tower near the center of the town, one that blocked the light of the sun in the direction of the square, casting a long shadow. Penumbra settles into position just under the tower's top, granting her vision of the whole town.

    Her feet rest against the wall as if she was crouching, her body is shrouded in the darkness of the tower's shadow. No one sees her, no one knows she is there. She is separated from the world, but the world is not separated from her.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Penumbra is activating Unseen Wisp Technique for 4 motes and 1 wp, rending her invisible and granting her a few boni to stealth, and she is feeding 3 motes to her Girdle of Aerial Mobility so that she can walk on air. Both are from her peripheral pool, with 2 motes spent so that they don't contribute to her Anima

    She is also making a stealth check so that nothing can betray her presence. The invisibility is probably enough, but it doesn't hurt to be careful. Shadow-Cloak Technique doubles any bonus dice she gets from stealth stunts while she is in darkness, so that is why I am rolling 6.

    Entropic Awakening of Sight is on (which mirrors Unsurpassed Sight Discipline) so she can pretty much pick out anything happening within her range of vision.

    Stealth
    (10d10)[10][10][1][7][8][1][4][7][2][10](60)

    Stealth Stunt Dice
    (6d10)[10][6][6][3][1][5](31)

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Isa Ragara Soras Maren

    Honor isn't really what she wants.

    She almost told him that, back in Yu-Shan beneath the vine-plaited ceiling of the Forbidding Manse. Isa doesn't mind standing in her master's shadow, doesn't mind that people dismiss her as too young and obedient to be anything more than an extension of the Old Man's will. She knows herself; she doesn't need to prove anything. But she isn't so naive as to think that it's only her self-esteem at stake here. People's opinions matter. You can't just ignore them, no matter how many platitudes you mouth about inner worth and confidence from within.

    Too, there is a little part of her that wonders if he wants her to step out from his shadow. Not pushing, never that, but hoping she will. It's useful to be overlooked and underestimated, but she won't always be able to invoke Chejop Kejak's name whenever she wants to be listened to. It suits Isa to fade away and watch, but maybe it's time to start preparing.

    But now is not the time to worry about Isa's future. Right now, Isa does not exist. There is only Ragara Soras Maren, third daughter of a Threshold bloodline that had not produced an Exalt in sixty years: young, a little rustic, and almost terminally shy in the presence of her Exalted cousins.

    "You want me to come with you?" she asks, because Maren would say that. Then she looks down at the ground to hide a supposed blush (there isn't one, because blushing on command is hard) and picks up her walking stick without waiting for an answer. Maren is supposed to be shy, but not a complete idiot.

    Then: noise from the fort. She's always had good ears. Playing her role—it wouldn't do to outshine the Princes of the Earth too obviously—she looks uncertainly at her companion. "Did you hear that?"
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Ragara Besi

    "Yes," Besi says again, heading swiftly down the road, the very end of her ponytail poking out of her hat and swishing back and forth as she walks.

    Although not so swiftly as to leave her cousin in the dust. "Let's go investigate."

    Danger is good. Either the un-Exalted one will finally have her breakthrough or she will die gloriously for the Dragons. Or perhaps something else will happen. She's open to being surprised.
    Rider avatar by Elder Tsofu

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Ragara Soras Maren

    Maren hurries to catch up, reflecting ruefully that she'll need to be quick on her feet to manage this one. All action and no words; difficult. And Fire Aspects are already tricky to steer.
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Aya smiled at Child as they walked, "I am Aya, Aya Crystalis." And so it went as she followed him into the heart of Waypoint. She listens to the proclamation, raises an eyebrow and glances to Child who had mumbled a few words. Turning her eyes back to the terrified man she crossed her arms and frowned slightly. Chaos was about to be born from this, a Riot right there on the verge of starting. But where the riot may come, this Cleansing may not be too far behind. This would serve the Cleansing and not the freedoms of Waypoint. People would get hurt or worse. But... she was supposed to be laying low, keeping a low profile.

    "We should... be staying calm," she mutters her emerald green eyes scanning the crowd for the voice that was helping to instigate the chaos.

    Spoiler
    Show
    For now Per + Aware in a vain attempt to find Skandi. XD
    (6d10)[3][1][3][10][3][3](23)

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Child

    Question lost in the growing murmurs and cat-calls from the crowd, he closes his eyes, shoulders sagging momentarily, before straightening. This time, his voice isn't just pitched to carry, it's pitched to overwhelm the noise from the crowd.

    "This is the famed solidarity of Lookshy? The discipline that has withstood countless foes?" Pausing, he lets the contempt initially present in his voice to recede, replacing it with a calm, confidence. "Come now, this message isn't anything to be frightened about: Lookshy has long supported Wyld Hunts against Anathema, and this doesn't seem different. In fact, this annocement is the General Staff protecting you. Do you really wish to have another great war with them? One to allow the Mask of Winters to finish you off and pick your bones afterwards? Transforming the Shield of the East into another sack of horrors like Thorns? Of course not. Don't fall to doubt and despair till you are truly given cause to."

    Spoiler
    Show

    Spending 6 motes on the Second Bureaucracy excellency.
    Performance +Charisma based Social attack:(6d10)[8][9][6][9][7][5](44)+3 successes.

    Aiming to get it resonating with motivations/intimacies towards Lookshy and stability.

    10/16 peripheral left.
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
    -James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
    Satomi by Elagune

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    horngeek's Avatar

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    Rose

    Rose frowns in surprise at the announcement, then in alarm at the obvious attempt to provoke a riot.

    She puts her hand near her sword, ready in case a riot actually breaks out, but right now, she doesn't say anything.


    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Revlid View Post
    And so it was that Zaeed, Aang, Winry, Ezio, Sadoko and Snow White all set out on their epic journey to destroy The Empire.

    God I love Exalted.


    Gold Dragon avatar by Serpentine


  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
     
    industrious's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Waypoint Square

    A key turns. A door opens

    The gathered military and civilian population of Waypoint number perhaps 25 men in total, with additional 10 standing sentry upon the walls.

    A voice comes to them from somewhere within the assembly, crying betrayal.

    "They've sold us out to the Realm!"

    Outrage as the words strike home. The beginnings of a riot. Anger trapped within walls of stone and seeking direction. Any direction.

    The room is damp and quiet, and aside from a few all-important gaps in the brickwork, eminently isolated.

    One of the new arrivals lambastes them, chides them for their outrage. They are Lookshy. They are proud.

    "The Realm!" they begin to cry out now. "Lookshy and the Realm!"

    He begins his hidden work, chanting Words of Power as the crowd begins to chant their rallying cry.

    They dislike the Realm, but Anathema are worse. Caught between the Realm and Thorns, they have are convinced of the lesser evil and unite with it against a common foe.

    The chanting can be heard beyond the walls of the fortress; a sign of solidarity between the Realm and Lookshy, in support of the Cleansing. It's good news to the party beyond the walls.

    Let the Cleansing sweep forth across Lookshy, the sentiment rapidly becomes. Let them come, and us join with them to wipe them out. Let them...

    Rise.

    Everyone

    A corrupt, sickly, and black anima sweeps forward from somewhere below ground, spreading rapidly and extending beyond the walls. As it touches the graves of those buried within and without the walls, the light-for it is light, by the most blasphemous and twisted interpretation of the word-pulses, and rotten and skeletal fists burst forth from the ground.

    The Lookshy forces about face, stand facing the skeletal horde. But there are civilians here, too, and their discipline is not that of the military. They scatter and flee, disrupting the lines and formation of the troops. And for all their valor and skill, the mortals are outnumbered perhaps five to one.

    Inside the walls, the skeletons and rotting corpses lurch towards the living now trapped inside. Outside the walls, a force of equal number moves to destroy the gates barring them from entrance.

    Roll Join War.
    Spoiler
    Show

    There are 2 groups of 10 Lookshy forces-one infantry on the ground, and one group of archers on the battlements. There are 50 skeletons on either side of the walls.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeafnotDumb View Post
    Silly boy. I've played in Industrious's games. They don't murder characters. That means the torture ends.
    Homebrew:
    The Maze of Madness

    Campaigns:
    Gotham: Year One
    Earth-52(abandoned) OOC
    RotSE II III OOC

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Guancyto's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Return of the Scarlet Empress IC

    Ragara Besi

    "Stay close," Besi says to her companion immediately as the black anima engulfs the fort and the dead begin to rise from their graves. Her voice remains barely above a whisper, but carries through the din in spite of that. Or perhaps because of it.

    Her face is lit up in the very beginning of excitement, and under her cloak she unsheathes her swords - one white jade, one black jade, both curved - and holds them low to the ground and close to herself. Someone has just made a very terrible mistake.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Joining War as a solo unit: (8d10)[4][10][9][8][3][9][3][5](51)
    Last edited by Guancyto; 2012-05-02 at 09:53 PM.
    Rider avatar by Elder Tsofu

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