Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
This is a side-thread for A Game of Manses, since the PCs won't always operate as a coherent group.
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Protector of the Scavenger Lands. Retainer of First Age Technology. Proud and Independent. And doomed by Fate.
And now, your responsibility.
It should be simple. An Anathema - or rather, a Solar Exalt - was sighted going through the Yu-Shan gateway to Lookshy. All you have to do is keep her from getting out of hand. You know her name - Tihiro Hikaru. You know that she is part of a wealthy merchant family. Apparently she is accompanied by a Lunar, possibly her mate. And you are free to chose your means.
Of course, it isn't that simple. You found her quickly, and observed her actions. Her mother was poisoned by an unknown party, though cured by the Celestial Wine she got from Yu-Shan. And within less than a day, she was able to track down the apparently responsible party - which lead to a fight with four dragonbloods she won easily, making it rather obvious that direct combat is out of the question here.
Time to think of a plan.
One Hundredth River yawned as he stretched, preparing for another day of his new job. He was lucky really. After working in a library for the past five years, he'd finally decided to move on to more gainful employment. That the library had granted him a generous referral to a notable trade house in Lookshy, allowing him to quickly be hired, he could only be grateful for. His luck at, a few days ago being tasked to be Lady Tihiro Hikaru's secretary could only be considered astounding for how short a time he'd worked there. True, it was a rather minor position, but to be so close to one so great could only be seen as the highest fortune. Perhaps if this luck continued he would rise quickly to a prestigious position.
After donning his garb, One Hundredth River proceeded to report to Lady Tihiro Hikaru for to carry out his duty. He looked forward to seeing what might happen while in her presence. He'd already heard stories of how just before he had been hired she had managed to easily fight four dragonbloods. While his excitement grew at just what might happen today, it was tinged with nervousness. Such encounters could be dangerous, and that risk may well be why he had gotten the task. Still, the past few days serving her had been rather normal, and the occasional dream of excitement and grandeur never hurt anyone.
You work as Hikarus secretary for four days, rarely seeing her in person. The only paperwork you get to see during that time are routine things - sales figures, renewal of old contracts and other such things.
On the fifth day, you see her occupy her office in the morning - rather than being away somewher else - for the first time. It doesn't take long until she calls you to her office.
"Ah, there you are. It's good to talk to finally talk to you in person, i was rather busy those past few days. Now then, i heard you have been doing a fine job - meticulous and fast work. That's exactly what we need in this bussiness - but we also need to trust our employees."
She stands up and walks around her desk until she faces you directly.
"So i need you to give me your word that you won't betray us. Do you, One Hundreth River, swear that you will not use anything you learn during your employment as my personal secretary to harm me, my family or this bussiness, either yourself or by telling others about what you have learned?"
"Ah," One Hundredth River pauses a moment to think. To be trusted to such a degree so soon after becoming employed here was almost too much for words. Still, such a promise was not to be made lightly. Even so, it took only a few seconds for him to reach a decision. It wasn't every day that the chance of a lifetime presented itself. Kneeling before her he speaks.
"I swear so Lady Hikaru. You do me a great honour to bestow such trust in me. I only hope my service can live up to your expectations."
"I am sure you will. Now then, i have a task that needs someone of your skills, and a secret to entrust to you. As you did just see, i am a Essence user - a specific kind of Essence user. That is to be kept secret. But more importantly, i am trying to acquire my own manse - we are currently involved in a project by Gens Yushoto outside of the city."
Hikaru walks back behind her desk and grabs a stack of papers.
"It will be finished soon, and we will have a ceremony in honor of this accomplishment. I need to ensure that the last steps go well, and take care of some bussiness here in the city. This is a list of people that should be inivted - familiarize yourself with it, write proper invitations, and learn as much as possible about each of them." With a warming smile, she finishs "I am certain that your insight will be highly valuable and help our families status greatly."
Taking the list, One Hundredth River bowed.
"Thank you Lady Hikaru. This humble servant shall not disappoint you."
Skimming the names, he thought about what he would need to do. Procuring parchment suitable for the invitations, choosing an appropriate style, so much to decide on. More importantly though, he would need to learn what he could of the guest list. Records would need to be pulled, questions asked, files made. It would be worth the work though to prove himself useful to his new employer.
You pour over dozens of invitations and request reports for each and every person on them from the other staff.
It swiftly becomes evident that Hikaru and her family are mostly inviting mostly members of influential noble families - but never any senior members or those in high-ranking positions. Rather, most of the invitees are young, many of them are not even (yet) Exalted.
A few invitees are actually in notable - but not prestigious - positions, and appear mostly occupied with the procurement of magical ingredients for the army.
The remains appear to be friends and bussiness partners, whom you pay less attention since Hikaru should know most about them already.
Learning as much as there is takes a long time, and after a while you are also handled responsibilities for the party preparations. Over the course of a month, you learn almost all there is to learn about the connections and inner workings of Hikarus family and their bussiness.