The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector Valin View Post
    Wirric, seated as he was, just gapes at Brown Leaf for a second. Then the sorcerer grins, unable to hide a chuckle at the rambunctious monk. "You are incorrigible."

    Slowly Wic pulls himself upright, using Lusus for support. He does feel somewhat tired. He walks slowly towards Leaf, nodding, "Very well. I doubt I have much to add, but as ever, I am at your service. And now my mind can rest a little easier, thank the Sun."
    Leaf laughed, she couldn't help it. Wic's face was just too funny right now. "Haha, ain't I just? An' don't sell yerself short, you got lots t' offer, I know. I'm dang-sure happy yer' gonna be able t' rest easy, 'cause after all you been up to, I reckon you could do with a lil' shut-eye. You kin' take my cot if'n you want...naw, might git woke by folks comin' t' genuflect or supplicate or whathaveyou..."

    She slid herself up alongside Wic, gripped his waist with one arm-boy but he could do with some feeding- and approached the edge. With feline grace she swung down, taking things slowly for the sorcerer. Roof by roof, they descended one level at a time until they were on the pantiles above the shrine-entrance. Leaf let go of Wic's waist, took his arm and lowered him to the ground, before jumping down after when he was secure.

    "Okay, les' git this thing goin'!"
    Last edited by Sticks; 2019-07-03 at 11:10 PM.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Standing with the others, Tuoni stretched some of the ground's cold out of his limbs as he waited for Brown Leaf and Wic. "I don't know that there's much to be talked about." He said in passing. "This position has not changed while I was sleeping. Run, far and fast, or die."

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Slang greets Wic with a small smile and nod before turning to Tuoni.

    “That would be the easiest plan, but how do we ensure that the surrounding villages don’t take the brunt of the frustration of the Hunt and the Brides?” Slang argues.

    The Tya glances around to the others, their eyes unconsciously settling on the Guildsman. The Captain mutters mostly to themselves as a way to process the situation.

    We’ll need to hide away all of the items that would indicate that any Anathema stayed here. Hm… with everyone here acting as if they were Immaculate…that might not be enough…”

    Slang blinks when they realize that they’ve been staring at Wic for Sun knows how long, and before they could turn away, an idea pops into the Captain’s head.

    “Wic, what you did to disappear in Kirighast, was that sorcery or could Tuoni possible be able to do it too?”
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Wic blinks at Slang's question. He can't begin to guess what the Captain might be thinking, but gives the good Tya the best answer he can provide. "It's an inversion of the Twilight anima, drawing yourself through it. You could do it if you wanted, Tuoni. It should keep you suspended in Elsewhere until dusk or dawn: whichever comes first."

    Confirmation given, Wic turns back towards his own train of thought, looking to Wind. "Why do the Realm and Ahlati know about this place? The valley is quite remote and not the most easily accessible. Who told them? Why were they believed?" The sorcerer tilts his head, studying the monk closely, "For that matter, who told you? Why did you pick this place after Chairoscuro? It's quite a coincidence you ended up venturing to Brown Leaf's home ground, with all of Creation before you."

    Of course, with their adversary such a coincidence may be nothing of the sort. But trying to convince Wind of the truth is more a challenge than just guiding him down the path they need.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    "I have done it before." Tuoni confirms, though he doesn't sound enthused by the idea. "But there is a drawback. When I emerge, it will be at the nearest place of power and, as Wirric learned, such places are rarely unoccupied. What are you thinking?" He asks.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    "I came across this valley by chance," Wind says in response to Wic's question. "When I left Chiaroscuro, I was bound for Harborhead, but I chose to skirt south of the Varang states... most of them are inimical to foreigners, so the few trade routes which are open through their territory are heavily trafficked, and I wanted to avoid curious eyes until I was further from the scene of Kidale's death. My southerly route happened to carry me here, and when I picked up whispers that the people had already had positive experiences with a Solar, I realized this would be an ideal place to begin spreading the good word.

    Chance. Another word for Fate, perhaps?
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Settling from climbing into discussion, Leaf followed Wic over to the group and stood between the Sorceror and the rather bemused Kunda, with her daughter. She threw Kelam a wink, then leaned over to Kunda and began a whispered translation.
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    Chance. Perhaps. Not as great a one as Wind might think, however. His avoidance of the Varang was predictable, so it would not have been hard for Nasir to guess his rough route. It still couldn't be guaranteed that he would've passed this way, but when your foe commands the Loom of Fate, a finger on the scales of life seems all too plausible to Wirric.

    Still, best not come off as too much the crackpot. Instead, Wic nods, accepting Wind's story for the moment. He lets a second pass before idly positing his next question. "What business led you to Harborhead?"

    Turning to glance up at the Pagoda, Wirric chuckles, resting his weight on Lusus. "Forgive me. This land is fine, and the people seem exceptional. My pride's just a touch wounded. I was always taught Whitewall was the holy city of the Unconquered Sun back in the First Age. The Syndics still work to restore our old murals and friezes. It surprised me a little that you were intending to make your way towards the home of the Fane of Upswept Horns over the city with a Temple to the Sun still standing proud in its heart."

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    A persuade action to answer fully and honestly. Wic's trying to use an intimacy towards TUS, 'shouldn't you explain why you didn't come and see the Sun's holy city?'
    (10d10)[3][10][7][10][1][9][9][3][4][3](59) Manipulation + Presence + HPM +1m Excellency (free) + Listener Swaying Argument (discounted to 2m). Wic adds an autosux and bonus dice if Wind boosts Resolve
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Kunda quails again as Leaf begins translating.

    "I don't got no need to be party t' th' councils of th' mighty," she says. "I know you'll speak fer th' interests of th' valley, Brown Leaf. I know you'll do right by us."

    "Though my faith has changed, I am still a monk by calling and vocation,"
    Wind answers Wic. "I chose to go where the need is greatest. Harborhead is doubly oppressed, by Realm domination and by Ahlat's divine overreach. I want to help these people throw off their shackles."

    He glances Northward, frowns.

    "Whitewall's time will come."
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  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Leaf gave Kunda a look she intended to be reassuring, though probably came off as mildly frustrated. "Don't doubt yersself. Sometimes folk with power git so used t' talkin'a great things that they ferget what it's like t' live day t' day. You know what livin' here's like, you been here longer'n me, an' you done set down roots."

    She crouched and offered her hand to little Brown Leaf, giving her a full, genuine smile. "Hey, lil' Leaf. I know it's borin' with all the grown-up talk, but wanna git up on my shoulders? Then you'll be almost's tall as my friend here. He does magic!"

    "That okay with you, Kunda?" She looked up at her friend from the valley, hoping to bring her out of her shell of reverence even a little.
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    "Oh, really?"

    Wic's icy tone makes it quite clear Wind had said exactly the wrong thing about his former home. Exile or no, some bonds of loyalty endure until your final breath. The Whitewaller turns away, glancing south in the interests of avoiding their host's gaze for a few seconds while he collected himself. When he turned back however, the sorcerer has a twinkle in his eye. Wic chuckles, waving a hand at Brown Leaf while resting against the side of the pagoda.

    "You two are far too much alike. Oh, what a spectacle it'd be if you ever came to blows. I'd make a fortune selling tickets to that match-up."

    There's a liberty in not caring what someone thinks of you. Wirric lets himself ponder the image, two righteous heroes transposed to his ring, exchanging blows like thunderclaps while screaming at the tops of their voices. Slow the sorcerer returns to reality with a disappointed sigh. They should try and keep this conversation moving. "Anyway, you never answered my question. Do you have any idea how Kirighast found you out?" Wic's eyes narrow. "Because my assumption is that you have been tricked into turning this valley into a trap meant to slow our group. Assuming our foe was able to divine that Brown Leaf would be included in this party."

    He's comfortable with that leap in logic, but he should clarify what he is thinking. Wic nods to Leaf, gesturing towards Kunda and Little Leaf. "These people are in danger. You would want to help them. We would want to help you. And all the while, our foe is free to do whatever they will. When you play the game of nations, places like this become squares on the board. Reductionist, but it would fit with what we know of 'Nasir', wouldn't it?"

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    "O-of course it's okay," Kunda stammers to Leaf, "It'd be an honor."

    Little Brown Leaf turns shy, but Kunda places a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

    "Go on now, baby. Don't you be afraid. This is the lady you was named after, 'member? The lady in all the stories mama tells. She's the one what keeps our village safe."

    The child nods, and she looks up into Leaf's smiling face. She allows her namesake to swing her up onto her shoulders.

    Meanwhile, Wind frowns at Wic's tone, and his posture stiffens.

    "Nasir was rash in Chiaroscuro... far rasher than he should have been, right under the Realm and the Tri-Khan's noses... but I count him as no enemy. He's a true believer, the one who gave me the last pieces I needed to fit together the puzzle of our existence, and to see the true extent of the Realm's inherent corruption. What possible cause would he have to scheme and to undermine us - the very Solars whom he idealizes - in the way you imply?"
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Slang sighs disappointedly. That drawback could place Tuoni in danger. Wirric Stanton was lucky that he reappeared where the rest of the Circle had gathered.

    Ah. Never mind then.” The Captain waves their hand as if they were shooing away the beginnings of their idea.

    Before they could ponder a new plan to handle the army heading to this quiet valley, Wic’s icy tone draws Slang’s attention back to the sorcerer and Wind. The Tya eyes the monk as the conversation continues.

    We are the means to their ideal world. In a way, like you are encouraging others to become means for your perfect world. Maybe Nasir acted rashly in Chiaroscuro because it suited their needs and plans at the time. They certainly weren’t planning on staying and dealing with the aftermath. They pulled your Circle apart and encouraged you each to follow different paths.”

    Slang cross their arms. “Ever since I’ve joined this Circle, I’ve been part of change on a bigger scale than when it has been just my crew and me. I bet it was the same with you, Jasara, and the others. I don’t think anyone can deny that Nasir undermined you and your Circle.”
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Brown Leaf put both hands under Little Brown Leaf's arms and lifted her up lightly, placing her gently on her shoulders so both little feet hung down around her neck. She felt tiny hands gripping her scalp as she supported the toddler's legs with both hands.

    "Okay, so the other monk, Wind, is sayin' that he done meant well when they done some very silly things in a city a long way's off from here what went bad. An then' Cap'n Slang (they're the sailor there with the cool hair) is sayin' that Wind don't really know what he's talkin' 'bout, an' if'n he did know, he'd be off with his friends now instead'a here. See, Wind don't know that his friend had an agenda...that's when you wanna make other folk do somethin' for you...an' Wind might know that Nasir had an agenda, but he don't know what it was and ain't been 'propriately curious 'bout what it might be..."

    She trailed off, looking right at Wind as she bobbed slightly to keep the toddler entertained.

    "Though, this is all past th' point now, ain't it? What matters now is we're 'spectin' two forces t' arrive at a time we don't know, in numbers we kin only guess, an' without knowin' how much they know 'bout us. I doubt they're 'spectin this many 'nathema in one place, if they's expectin' any at all, but we can't be too sure. Also, there's still a big ol' Tiger-shaped hole in this story we ain't addressed. How is my erstwhile teacher doin'?"
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Meanwhile, Wind frowns at Wic's tone, and his posture stiffens.

    "Nasir was rash in Chiaroscuro... far rasher than he should have been, right under the Realm and the Tri-Khan's noses... but I count him as no enemy. He's a true believer, the one who gave me the last pieces I needed to fit together the puzzle of our existence, and to see the true extent of the Realm's inherent corruption. What possible cause would he have to scheme and to undermine us - the very Solars whom he idealizes - in the way you imply?"
    "The last piece? The one that led you to your current faith and course of action?" Wirric raises an eyebrow, looking intolerably smug. "So you admit that what you are doing now is because of what Nasir said to you?"

    Enough. This isn't a soiree, it's not the time for point scoring, however tempting it might be. With a sigh, Wic takes a step back, letting Slang explain the basics of their distrust of Nasir and nodding once they finished. "Beyond that, the wretch stole from Jasira's library after the affair with Kidale. A book on manses of the south. The same sort of manses he seems to be searching for now with Demetheus. He found your circle when the Wyld Hunt couldn't. And following their attack, those of you who remained were worried, upset and uncertain of what to do next. All of you needed direction. And for you, Demetheus and Faka Kun, it was Nasir that provided it."

    Thank Sol Jasira's accounts had been thorough enough for him to be able to say that with conviction. He can't truly speak to the Hortatum's capabilities, but he knows what Nasir said to the other Solars, and that he's a thief. That's enough to keep Wic confident. He spreads his hands, "Perhaps he planned that, urging you to rash action in order to draw the Realm's attention too soon. Perhaps he merely took advantage of an opportunity. It's wise to consider multiple possibilities. But a man willing to steal from a 'friend' who is too grief stricken to notice is hardly above manipulating you if he saw profit in it, is he?"

    A point made should not be dwelt upon. Wic turns away, leaving Wind to soak in the point as he looks towards Brown Leaf and the villager with her. A strong reminder of the stakes. The sorcerer snorts as he summarizes the situation, waving his hand across the expanse of the monastery. "I mean, with your current path you've repeated your mistake, Wind. Strip the imagery of faith away, and all this is the same rash open action your circle committed in Chairoscuro. You can try to run, but you haven't the influence or resources to truly hide a band of disciples from your pursuers. Not with the Ahlati and Realm working in concert, and you've no guarantee they won't purge the valley for 'sympathisers'. Some of these folk, these believers of yours, are going to die"

    He takes a second to look up at the little Leaf perched atop her senior's shoulders, smiling warmly at the child and sparing her a friendly wave, before returning his gaze to Wind. "Just like Kidale did."

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    I'll roll this on the OOC because I'm not sure what Wic's trying to do here mechanically. It's either a persuade roll to convince Wind of Nasir's misdeeds, an Instill roll to inspire fear in him about this path, or maybe even both. We can discuss over Discord/IM.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Wind tries to glare defiantly in the face of Wic's accusations, but they strike too close to the heart. The monk's former circle is his weak point, and the Devil of Whitewall knows it. Wind reaches for the hilt of Kidale's sword and stops short. He trembles on a precipice, reconsidering...

    ...and then he draws the sword. Its long, narrow orichalcum blade shines brightly in the morning Sun, or perhaps it glows with its own inner light. It both draws and repulses the eye, clearly a thing of glory, but almost too brilliant to look upon. Like the Sun Himself writ small. Kunda and little Brown Leaf gasp, and Mourning Blade, teeth gritted, grasps the hilt of her own accursed blade.

    "No. Not like Kidale.

    "Maybe you're right. Maybe Nasir deluded me, deluded all of us. But Brown Leaf is right. That hardly matters now. These people are under threat, and what matters is what we're going to do about it.

    "When Kidale died... I ran away. From Chiaroscuro, from the Wyld Hunt, from my Circle..."
    He glances guiltily toward Tuoni and adds, "and apparently even from his ghost."

    He shakes his head and raises Kidale's sword in front of his face.

    "But no more. I swear on this sword, on Kidale's memory, I will not abandon my comrades again. If we die here, we will all die together."
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Tuoni nodded approvingly at Wic's diatribe. Some things there Wind could not have known, but some he should have. There was a point that none of his fellows had mentioned, though, and their dancing around it was beginning to annoy Tuoni. Wind deserved to know.

    "Nasir is exalted." He said flatly. "Chosen by the Maidens, just as we were chosen by Sol Invictus."

    He gave a breath to let that sink in. "That is the enemy we face now, not just the Realm and its allies. I may see where you are going with your plan, Captain, and it is... not a horrible one. But if they have other sidereals with them... have you seen them fight? Because I question that all of us, working together, would win. They may not know us but they know our kind, know what we can do. At best, we may be able to lead them away. You say you would die with them. If you fight, you will have a chance to prove that."
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Brown Leaf squinted against the light of the blade and reached up to shield Little Leaf's eyes.

    "Dagnabbit Wind, put that away. Yeesh, you git yer fatalism from some dour abbot durin' yer initiation or what? I'm...glad you ain't runnin, though." She gave him a begrudging smile. "It's like someone I care deeply for said. "Redemption isn't running from your past sins. It's not as easy as that. And it can't just be admission, either." You gotta live every day tryin' t' live up t' yourself, an' know what yer doin' before you do it...I have trouble with that sometimes."

    She tickled Little Leaf's bare foot, smiling as the child laughed and squirmed. "These folk need guardians, what shape they gonna take once the current sitchiaten's over, I dunno. Tuoni is right though. I ain't happy 'bout fightin' 'em outright. Honestly, I'd rather not fight 'em at all. Don't want no daughters'a Harborhead spillin' each other's blood. Slang's idea fer deception's got merit, but I ain't so sure how much help I'd be if'n we decide on that path."
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Wic had been silent briefly, nodding as Tuoni explained the nature of the Hortatum and Leaf affirmed her committment to protecting the valley. He's lost in thought for a second, before turning to Tuonia and shaking his head. "I doubt they have Sidereals in this force. With the Realm Civil War underway, Ayesha's opponents are distracted trying to stabilize the Terrestrial hegemony. And her group couldn't spare the hands to hunt down the Hortatum, which is why they commissioned us for the deed. As to how we turn this around..."

    When in doubt, fall back on your beginnings, the first principles of trade that apply to all things. Wirric hums, trying to reframe their situation in such a light. "When the truth is against you, make your opponent doubt that truth. The Ahlati-Realm force believe that Wind has set up a monastery here and has started preaching to people. That's true, but they don't know it yet. Hence the expeditionary force." He looks between the group, tapping his fingers on his cane's grip as he continues to think aloud. "If we attack them before they reach the valley, it'll look like their information was a lie, designed to divert the local authorities attention and remove a significant amount of armed forces from the field. They might send another agent to be sure the locals haven't begun raising some kind of Solar army, but now Wind knows the nature of the threat, he can be ready for such spies. Take down symbols of the sun, pretend to be an Immaculate reestablishing Thousand Grains' old monastery, something like that."

    The sorcerer glances back at the tree with a smile. There's enough iconography here to sell that lie passably well. The plan is starting to seem sounder as he keeps talking. "We'd need a second step though. Some kind of false threat for the two groups to turn their attention towards after the expeditionary battle is over. Something it looks like we distracted them from preparing for. Otherwise Kirighast will assume we were additional defenders of the valley and come back with a larger force intent on destroying this place. We have to do something to draw their eye and ire elsewhere."

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    “I don’t think we can avoid a fight if they’re looking for one, Leaf.”

    Slang smiles at little Leaf briefly. “If the villagers and the monks can work on covering up any Solar symbols, we can look for the best ground for the battle that will give us an advantage.”

    They pause in thought. “Does the Realm have any important holdings in the area that we can hit? Might be good to cause a ruckus in a couple of places to make it seem like a group turning to banditry or some such.”
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malozing View Post
    “Does the Realm have any important holdings in the area that we can hit? Might be good to cause a ruckus in a couple of places to make it seem like a group turning to banditry or some such.”
    Leaf considered for a moment. "Well...There's always Bent Creek..."
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    Wind lowers Kidale's sword, and its light dims somewhat, but he does not yet sheathe it.

    "I appreciate your plans to help divert the satrap's attention away from the valley... Jade certainly means more to most of the Dragon-Blooded in Harborhead than religion, and an attack on Bent Creek would certainly divert their focus... but... Why do you presume that the Chosen of the Maidens are our enemies? The goddesses of the Stars dwell in Heaven, just as the Sun and Moon. What common cause could they have with the Princes of the Earth which would take precedence over their Celestial nature?"
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Brown Leaf was becoming increasingly aware of Little Leaf's fussiness, and also that the conversation was swiftly becoming more esoteric than Kunda was likely comfortable with. In fact, she'd probably already endured more than she was prepared for, and at Leaf's insistence. Taking a principled stand was one thing, but subjecting someone with a small child to your principled stand was a step farther than she really wanted to go.

    "Okay, kiddo. Hup! Wheee!" she lifted the child off her shoulders and placed her on her feet before Kunda. "Hey, if'n you wanna stay yer' more'n welcome, but I unnerstand if'n you'd rather git Leaf here home fer a nap. I...I really 'preciate you'n her stickin' around, y've made me feel...more grounded. If...if folks'r gonna pin their hopes on me, jes' tell 'em I'll do my best...but don't genuflect'r nothin' 'round me. Talk t' me like I'm normal, 'cause Heiesh knows I don't feel special. Okay?"

    There was another matter. If the Valley was investigated, the villagers needed as much plausible deniability as possible. They less they knew about what the Exalts among them were planning, the better.
    Last edited by Sticks; 2019-07-07 at 12:51 PM.
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "One of them used astrological magic to deposit a Wyld Hunt and a hundred Silent Legionaries on our first gathering. Philosophy aside, that was quite convincing." Wic chuckles, before turning to Brown Leaf, "Jade? Is it a local mine? How productive is it?"

  25. - Top - End - #265
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    pfm1995's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Tuoni nodded. "As Wirric said. I had always known of them as troublemakers ill suited to letting things lie, but recent experience has proven them to be much more. We were told by one of their number that some among them see the Dragonblooded as useful tools, while others see ourselves the same way. This 'Nasir' is among the latter." He shook his head. Factional, divisive, conflict-keen - how anyone could put Exalted of any stripe on a pedestal was just didn't make sense to Tuoni.

  26. - Top - End - #266
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Slang shrugs at Wind’s question. “To be fair, I only have the word of another Sidereal that Nasir’s plans would be catastrophic. I am trusting in their —” The Captain gestures to the rest of their Circle. “—judgment. As you heard, they have quite a bit of experience with multiple Chosen of the Maidens.”

    The Captain hums at the mention of the jade mine. “That would be an excellent distraction for the Hunt. Couldn’t hurt our funds either.”

    After some more thought, Slang turns to Leaf. “Do you think your teacher could be convinced to help with either the fight or the mine?”
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "You are special," Kunda assures Leaf, "but that humility of yers is parta what makes you great."

    She reaches down and hoists little Brown Leaf up into her arms.

    "I'll get this chile on home, but... know that alla us here in th' valley are rootin' fer you. Alla yer friends will be in our prayers."

    She doesn't specify to whom those prayers will be directed, but she doesn't get any more physically demonstrative than a polite nod as she departs.

    Wind frowns at the group's explanations of the Sidereal threat.

    "I don't want to believe you... but under the circumstances I fear I'm compelled to give you the benefit of the doubt."


    Slang's mention of Leaf's sifu reminds Wind...

    "You have asked after Lou-Khan, Leaf and I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. Everything you and your friends have told me has... made for a lot to take in. But if you wish to speak with her, you'll find her back in her jungle, where she belongs. Given the volume of worship she receives, I believe she's had time to re-form."
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
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    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Wic's eyes widen, just a touch at those last few words. He glances from Wind to Leaf, looking a touch imploringly at his fellow Circlemate. Please don't...

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Declaring a defend other on Wind. Just in case.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Looking after Kunda and Leaf's departing backs, the former Immaculate felt her blood run cold. She stood, rooted to the spot, not speaking until the two villagers were out of sight. Her fists clenched, the knuckles grew pale under the tattoos and began to shake, almost imperceptibly.

    "It is our duty, Leaf, to supress the Hundred Gods Heresy. Given their preference, these spirits would run roughshod over the simple people of the valley, and everywhere else in the world. No, it is we who shall protect the people, and in doing so we protect the spirits from themselves, their vices and arrogance will see them to bad ends...so the scriptures teach us."

    "Why...Wind? Why out of every high-minded, wrong footed, arrogant heavy-handed Immaculate precept didja cling onto THAT one!?"

    As she spoke, Leaf seemed to shrink within herself, her eyes cast down, head bowed.

    "We do have that responsibility, but we must be even-handed. The spirits are confined in their role, after all. Is a river-god wrong to make a flood after the rains? No more wrong than the jackal to steal the zebra colt, or the Tiger to stalk the unwary villager. They act according to their nature."

    Brown Leaf's balled fists raised towards her bent head, stopping level with her navel. "Why!?"

    "What I am telling you now is...against the normal teachings. If you are to lead this monastery some day, you must know when a god is deserving of our attention, and when they are not. Restraint in everything, Leaf."

    Power coursed through her, golden sand rose all around. It engulfed the compound, rising high above the walls and shaking the eves on the pagoda, strands of black flitting throughout. Leaf finally raised her head, fury in her eyes as she turned her gaze on Wind. She stomped, causing the tiles all around to crack and buckle.

    "TELL ME WHY!"

    Spoiler: OOC& Rolls
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    Okay, Leaf is pissed. Time for another of those beautiful intimidation checks. This time stunting to use Strength as the Ability, also a full excellency on top of that. Leaf is trying to intimate to Wind exactly how badly he's screwed up, that what he has implied is wrong and that she takes exception to it in no uncertain terms. Also, cough up the info or else.
    So STR(7) + Presence(3)+TDS(1)+Stunt(2)+Excellency(8)
    (3d10)[9][10][1](20)
    (3d10)[6][1][2](9)
    (3d10)[9][7][5](21)
    (3d10)[8][3][10](21)
    (3d10)[10][5][6](21)
    (3d10)[8][7][5](20)
    (3d10)[7][1][7](15)
    TDS Re-rolls:
    (3d10)[2][9][8](19)

    Edit: Ascension did not actually give me the go-ahead to use STR on a social roll, so we're treating this roll as though I used CHA, bringing that down from a 7 to a 3, and removing 2 motes and dice from the excellency. As a result, we are going to ignore the bottom 6 dice, not counting the re-rolls.
    Last edited by Sticks; 2019-07-08 at 08:51 PM.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  30. - Top - End - #270
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Why didn't you?"

    Wirric steps forward, placing himself between Leaf and Wind. There's no dramatic gust of wind, no anima display. He simply brings the tip of his cane down upon the tiled ground with a crack, and a ring of fire crackles to life around him, surrounding the sorcerer while floating just an inch above the tiling. Wic's hair glints in the anima light as he looks into Brown Leaf's eyes. He doesn't raise Lusus again. He simply meets the Zenith's gaze, matching her flame with the ice of a northern gale as he waves a hand across the monastery.

    "Without you here, what defense did this valley have against a deity? You saw Champoor. You saw exactly what happened with a system that had no checks and balances on divine power. And you fought it. You backed up Tuoni when he dealt with Seven Venoms Sea. When Tenepeshu came after us, you were first into the fray. You charged right at one of the greatest divinities in the Dreaming Sea, in her seat of power, and wounded her grievously enough she ended up playing dead to get us to leave. And you're condemning Wind for similar actions? Following a doctrine that's designed to ensure something like the Court of Shadows never comes to be?"

    Wirric sighs. Of course this isn't really about doctrine. He knows Leaf better than that. Sol Above, he'd rather be sitting down having a chilled drink than doing this. Still, they can't afford a fight when the defense of the valley is the priority. He beckons to the two monks, "You both want rid of Immaculate doctrine. Fine. But something has to replace it, Leaf. If the Khan had gone rogue, was lording it over this valley as a Tigerani, who was going to stop her with you off trying to catch the Hortatum alongside us?"

    Perhaps a touch too harsh, that. Wic's eyes soften a little as he nods to Leaf, "You know Lou, you like and trust her as your sifu. I understand that, and I'd like an answer too as to how that fight happened." He turns his head just enough to glare at Wind, Blood of the daystar, I hope you have a good explanation for this. before returning his attention to Leaf, eyes steel once again. "But you can't condemn Wind just for following a doctrine you also still adhere to. Letting the gods go unchecked is how rogue divinities like Tenepeshu start accumulating power. For their sake, as much as for that of the mortals, a counterbalance is necessary. And he did not go too far with this. He did not truly slay Lou-Khan, or suppress her worship. Even if he was ultimately in the wrong, one past fight is not worth starting a new fight over when our priority should very much be on cooperation right now."

    Spoiler
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    In short, if you're gonna go berzerk, go berzerk for the right reasons, dang it! (Also now that the Tuoni thing is largely patched up, I can feel better about teasing a rematch between these two! )

    Fun fact, initiative cost in charms can be waived if used outside of combat! Thus a stunt friendly Burning Judgement Halo.

    Gonna go for a doubt spreading intimidate to try and get Leaf to reconsider her position from 'wrath and ruin' to 'hear him out'. (Yes, this doesn't counter Leaf's influence on Wind, Wic's just trying to make this less confrontational) As ever, Sticks, feel free to ignore the mechanics here: it's just trying to act within the bounds of the engine to show what Wic's doing. He's trying to target Leaf's negative intimacy towards Tenepeshu to justify why Wind's actions might not have been so wrong

    Spoiler: Intimidate roll (Gotta get in practice with spoilering these seperately)
    Show
    (19d10)[6][10][4][10][10][9][1][2][8][6][5][2][2][1][9][7][4][9][6](111) Charisma + Presence + Specialty + TDS + HPM + IDT (Monster is a Matter of Perspective.) Lose 1 die due to hitting the cap. 1 bonus success from IDT
    (2d10)[3][7](10) Stunt Dice
    (3d10)[9][5][9](23) Tiger's Dread Symmetry rerolls.
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-07-09 at 04:05 AM.

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