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Abyssals - Dark Future - IC

Dice System
Exalted 2.5
OOC
Here
Characters
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
It is a dark and dreary day in Paragon; but every day in the Underworld is dark and dreary. Your Mother, Deliverer of Dark Dreams and Desires, is in the heart of her citadel in the middle of the city, a small fortress that is known as Castle Black, preparing to play hostess to an emissary from another Deathlord, and it is her desire to have all of her children present to welcome the visitor. A large party has been planned to help welcome the emissary before any of the serious business of whatever message is dealt with.

This emissary is from the Deathlord known as the Artificer of Twisted Toys, one that is known to be a master in necrotech, and is nominally an ally of Deliverer. His domain is farther south and to the west of you, in the mountains close to the city of Gem. It is currently unknown exactly what information that this messenger is bringing, other than it is important enough to be delivered in person and not just sent in a messenger spell. It is this unknown nature of the message that has caused Deliverer to call all of you together this day to be present for this message.

Knowing that this is a formal affair, you know that you are expected to be on your best behavior or else Mother will be displeased.
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
Knowing this was an important day for Mother, Judge dressed for the occasion. Such fanfare was expected for these high importance visits. As such, his garments carried the weight of what was expected. A tidy crimson vest and white shirt underneath a tar black long coat. Buttoned up and collar straightened. Pants, straight and pressed, boots shined. With a matching black bolero hat crowning his head with slicked back black hair. His beard trimmed as well.

As nice as he was dressed, though, he still didnt cut a jolly figure. He looked more ready to deliver news of punishment than partake in frivolity. His cold facial expression showing as much. Befitting of such, Judges judgemental gaze made the dead look away, and keep to their duties, as he returned to citadel to meet with the others.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Before the reception is set to take place, Whisper from the Darkness is sitting in her chambers as several servants are tending to her, brushing her hair and applying her makeup, while others are polishing her armor to make it gleam well enough to see your reflection in it. After all, she wants to look her best for their guest to make Mother happy.

As the servants work on Whisper, she glances over at Alhara as the ghost watches the other servants with a critical eye. She asks her, "So, have you heard anything new about the message from Artificer? I know that there is much gossip about what it may entail."

Alhara shakes her head. "No, Mistress. Not even the servants know what news that this emissary is bringing. If our Master knows any details, she has not shared them with anyone that I know of."

Whisper frowns, not liking the fact that this is all such a mystery. She glances at her refection in the mirror and is satisfied with her appearance and waves the other servants away. Striding over to her armor, Whisper stands still as her helpers carefully place the pieces of the heavy armor on her one by one. With a shrug, she replies to Alhara. "It is fine. There is no need to fret; Mother will let us know what we need to soon enough, I am sure. The time to present ourselves to her is rapidly approaching, and I do not wish to be late."

With her armor in place, Whisper finally turns to her Glaive. "Good morning, my husband. Did you miss me?" She takes the weapon and nuzzles her face against the haft with her eyes closed and a contented look on her face. With a happy sigh, she opens her eyes and says, "It is time to be on our way. Alhara, I expect you to be on your best behavior today. This meeting has the feel of something very important, and I want to make sure Mother is happy with us."

The ghost nods, "Yes, Mistress."
 

Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Zakas uses his amulet to form a dark two-piece suit with ashen pinstripes and stylized metal skulls adorning the ends of his almost boot-like dress shoes. His cuff links and buttons merely sported a ring raised around the edge of them with a darkened impression in the center, a subtle reminder of the caste he had been reborn into. His Daiklave, and its sheath, he wore at his hip as a reminder of his station. For now, it would seem little more than a ceremonial weapon a knight would carry to a ceremonial event. Then again, he would hate to miss a chance to strike a traitorous guest if the opportunity arose. Yet he was more proud of the Soulsteel band he wore on his right hand with the emblem of a shattered heart. Should his wish be granted and hostilities arise, it would be an amazing tool to hunt down such deserving prey.

The Day caste strode through the corridors, trying to swipe the malicious smirk from his face. As he patrolled the interior of the fortress, he took a mental record of the comings and goings of the dark palace, of his fellow Deathknights, and most importantly, of their Master. As the time came for the meeting, he took his place in a waiting room until Lady Deliverer called. Might as well make use of the interim moments to scan more books for various details he'd lost from his dying moments. Well, almost dying moments.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
As the Dusk Caste begins to walk through the halls of Castle Black, she banishes her Glaive into Elsewhere knowing that it would only take a moment to bring it back in the event of an emergency. Whisper pauses, looking back at Alhara. "Has anyone seen Epiphany? I am thinking that she might need a bit of encouragement to prepare herself for this occasion."

Moving with certainty that the few servants in the hall will shift out of the way before her, she goes to the other Abyssal's room and raps on the door with a mailed hand. "Epiphany, it is Whisper. May I come in?"

Random Word Random Word
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Of all the miserable and dangerous tasks a ghost may be assigned in Castle Black, few were as hated and feared as attending the dressing chamber of the Bearer of the Epiphany Kindled in Pyreflame. This was a punishment reserved for those who had singularly displeased the Master, but not sufficiently so to warrant being immediately forged into Soulsteel. To those so condemned the difference often felt difficult to discern.

The small windowless chamber was faintly illuminated by a single pyreflame lantern scarcely bright enough to see by, contained no mirrors, and it was always silent as the grave. Those who survived tended to learn that rule by the gruesome example of those who did not. The attendants eyes studiously avoided the elegant flowing blood calligraphy that covered every inch of the walls and ceilings as it glistened faintly in the dim light, for to stare too long or, Master forbid, attempt to read any of it induced migraine headaches if one was lucky, but more likely blind panic or suicidal despair. This almost invariably led to a breaking of the rule of silence followed by a swift and agonizing trip to Oblivion.

The screaming cacophony in Epiphany's mind during these sessions stood in stark contrast to the perfect silence in which her attendants helped her don the bodysuit cinched with decorative belts that would hide her from the world. What a wretched thing you've become, cowering in shadows, hiding from your own reflection. Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP. Epiphany barely notices as the attendants gingerly drape the elaborate tiered cape over her shoulders and pull on the thigh high boots with painstakingly slow movements. Don't listen to that one. Mortify your flesh. Cut away everything you hate until only perfection remains. This one was seductive. She had already fallen for it more than once, but everything she cut away grew back just as hideous as ever. Coward! You did not cut deep enough. Or did you think the core of your being any less hideous than your skin? Give it all to me. The tendons in her neck were taut and visibly tearing free of what was left of her skin as her teeth ground painfully. The knives always came out in the dressing chamber, here where she could not simply drown them out with her music. What recourse have you when you cannot flee? Is that all you're good for? Worthless-

As the ghost of the young man in front of her oh so carefully places the elaborate mask upon her face and affixes it to her hood he sees the change in her black eyes, but it is already too late. Epiphany's hand snaps out to grasp him by the throat as she drives two soulsteel claws into his eyes. The other ghosts freeze, looking on in silent terror. As his screams fill the chamber blissful silence fills her mind and her whole body visibly relaxes. It's patently obvious what they're doing to her, but she doesn't care. She's learned that the longer she prolongs the ghosts' suffering, the longer the voices will cease to torment her. They aren't satisfied. They're never satisfied. But in this moment they hate her slightly less, and she'll take what she can get.

When Whispers knocks at the door and calls out she freezes like her attendants, then quickly looks herself over. Finding everything in order she gestures for her attendants to flee, a command they do not hesitate to follow, silently filing out of the chamber through the servant's entrance. She slices the unfortunate ghost's ectoplasm from navel to sternum with one wickedly sharp claw, then she smashes its head against the wall with a satisfying crunch that ends its piteous wailing, smudging the writing in the process. She sighs mentally; She was going to have to fix that later or the voices would never let her hear the end of it.

She approaches the door, steeling herself mentally. You can do this. You just have to get through one more evening. Vengeance is coming soon. For once all of her voices are in agreement. She opens the door, bows politely, and indicates she's ready to depart.
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Whisper stands quietly, waiting for her fellow Deathknight to open up. When she does, Whisper says, "You seem to be in good spirits today, so to speak." She chuckles at the unintended pun that she made, then says, "Mother will be expecting us to be ready for the arrival of the messenger from the Artificer. Let us go make a good impression."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
One by one (or in the case of Whisper and Epiphany, as a pair), you enter the main throne room of the Deliverer. Its cold, stone walls are unadorned with fancy artwork or tapestries, instead it is more a mausoleum, only with splashes of old, dried blood on the walls and floor. There are currently seven people in the room: the four of you, two ghost servants, and Rogosh, a Water Aspect Dragon Blooded that came to the Deliverer seeking to know the ways of necromancy, and now serves your Mistress as her major-domo. He offers up a deep bow to the four of you when you enter as he always does, showing you the proper level of respect due your station.

It is quiet in the room as you wait, until a door hidden behind the throne opens and in walks your Mother. She stands still as a statue for a long moment, looking down at you from up on the pedestal next to her grand seat. With a smile, she slowly walks down the few stairs until she is right in front of the four of you, her soft, white skin almost glowing in the torch light. Walking along in front of you, Deliverer takes a moment to gently caress each of you; a gentle hand on the arm or a touch on your cheek, all while taking you in with her dark eyes and smile.

In her silky smooth voice, she says, "Ah, my dear children. You have all made me so proud over the years, and now, we get to play host to a distinguished guest that is due to arrive at any time, Soulcatcher, the one Deathknight that serves the Artificer. But before he arrives, I will say that I strongly suspect that this news will be monumental, and will involve you, my sweet lovelies. I have faith that whatever comes up, you will perform with to the same high level that has set you above all others in my court."

At this point, another servant comes in and whispers in the ear of Rogosh and slips out just as fast. The Dragon Blood then steps forward and drops down to a knee with his head bowed low. "M'lady, I have just received word that Soulcatcher has arrived at the gates with a small honor guard of twenty soldiers."

"Excellent. Come, my children. Let us retire to the dining room where our feast awaits us. We will show our guest our best welcome before we discuss the important business that brings him to us this day."


Inside the dining hall, it is a very different scene than in the throne room. Several large bonfires fill the room with light and warmth, showing off the many trophies and decorations that line the walls. Dozens of people fill the room, all favored members of the Deliverer's court, some living, some deceased. All conversation stops as you enter the room with Mother in the lead. Her keen eyes take in all the small details that have been prepared and the prostrations of the courtiers as she sweeps her way to the head of the table. As she sits, it signals the courtiers that they may once more rise and slip into their own seats, with five spots left open; the two on either side of Mother and the position at the other end of the table left for Soulcatcher.

When the far doors open up, the familiar figure of Soulcatcher comes in, a tall man clad head to toe in Soulsteel armor that completely conceals him. Soulcatcher is the one Deathknight in the service of the Artificer, and there have been several times for all of you to have seen him, both here in Castle Black and in the Artificer's own workshop. On the rare times that you have seen him without his helmet on, you would know that his features are not pleasant to behold, with rotting skin barely holding onto the bones. He has always been the soul of courtesy to you, a man with a pleasant sense of humor.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
When Whisper sees her Mother enter the throne room, she drops down to her knees and bows her head before her beautiful Mistress. It is not until she is directed to rise that the Dusk Caste even looks up at her, eyes filled with adoration. As she feels the gentle touch followed by the kind words, Whisper can feel her heart swell with love. "Thank you, Mother. I serve you and the Neverborn always. I shall succeed in all the tasks you place before me, and I will make you proud."

As they head to the banquet room, Whisper falls into step at the side of her Mistress, eyes constantly searching for any sign of danger directed towards them. Its not like the Deliverer can't defend herself; but it would be a near unforgivable failure to force her to take measures into her own hands to do so when Mother has Whisper at her side.

She is looking forward to meeting her counterpart in the service of the Artificer; the Deathknight known as Soulcatcher. Whisper has no difficulty working with him despite his gory features, after all, she has seen worse in her time in the service of the Neverborn. What news will he bring to Mother that was so important for him to deliver it in person like this?
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
At his Masters touch, Judge closed his eyes and nodded his head. "Your will shall be done, Mother. I will see to it." He would say with all assurance. Whatever task was ahead, he would serve with as much fervor as the ones he had been trusted with prior. He hadnt failed her yet, and he wasnt going to start now.

As Deliver made her way into the banquet hall, Judge took the opposite side of his Master as Whispers. Completely mothers Dusk honor guard. His weapons, the two firearms, both strapped to his right hip and leg in an elaborate harness. The longcoat he wore tucked behind it so they might serve as a warning, as well as to make it easy to draw.

Soulcatcher wasnt an unpleasant guest. Much preferred over some of the knights of other Lords. Judge had met him a few times, the most memorable being when the Artificers workshop aided in the construction of his weapons. And while Judge would show the same hospitality, as directed by Deliverer, he would not put past the possibility that foul play could arise. After all... just because you liked somebody in the underworld, didn't mean they wouldnt stab you in the back. Not to mention, It would be disrespectful to not at least pretend one could be a threat.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Epiphany curtsied gracefully with her cape as her liege enters the room. She remains perfectly still as Deliverer touches her tenderly. She still hates you. We should know. You've been such a disappointment. If she doesn't move, they can't make her do anything. Whispers doesn't doubt. Whispers is sure she loves us. She doesn't hate you when you dance. Dance for them, and show them what beauty really is. Ignore them. This isn't that kind of party. No one is supposed to die. Just sit still.

In the dining hall she takes her assigned seat smoothly. The servants already know not to serve her. She can't eat or drink with this mask on, and being hungry is vastly preferable to taking it off. They'll deliver something to her quarters after the festivities are done. Soulcatcher enters and she tenses. She already knows what they're - The helm hides nothing. You know what's underneath, and you can't help but see it. Soon they will all be looking at you. They see through your flimsy disguise and they hate you. They are weak. Make them fear you and let them stew in their impotent rage. Awe them before they can hurt you, so they cannot think to defy you. Sit. Still. She stares straight ahead, back straight, posture perfect, barely breathing. Just a few hours of this and she can go play her Sanxian in her quarters and relax.
 

Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Zakas responds to Deliverer's touch with a grin and a courteous kiss on her hand. "You must be expecting quite the report to put such a lively smile on that lovely face, Master. As green as we are, I am aghast that performance such as ours would render such a refreshing vision to this dark hall. Nevertheless, your words honor us more than we deserve. Thank you." He said playfully with a bow.

Content to lurk behind the stations of honor guard that Whispers and Judge filled with unwavering spirit, Zakas turned to the last of his fellows, Epiphany. He gave an assuring nod before their short procession parted for them to be seated. For now, the lower his profile, the better he could observe what came next.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Over the course of the next hour, performers put on quite the display of acrobatic prowess as you enjoy your meal, with the servants being quite attentive to everyone's needs. For the benefit of everyone's appetite, Soulcatcher does not completely unwrap his ruined face in order to eat, leaving most of his head covered.

Finally, the Deliverer seems to have had enough, and with a motion of her hand, the servants begin to clear away the table and the courtiers all rise and offer up their respects both to their Master and to the various Deathknights in the room as they file out, leaving the six of you alone in the room. Once the door to the dining hall is sealed, your Master motions for Soulcatcher to begin.

He stands and walks over to the front of the table and offers up a bow. "M'lady, noble Exalts, I bear a message from my Master, Artificer of Twisted Toys, that he considers to be a significant threat, along with the sizable promise of good fortune for both you, M'lady, and him. There has been a sudden incursion into the southern reaches of Creation from somewhere outside the borders, but not from the Wyld. This incursion has been of a large scale, with tens of thousands of soldiers appearing from seemingly out of nowhere near the Font Of Mourning. A small band of these outlanders made the mistake of stumbling into a Shadowland, and I was fortunate enough to be there to witness them personally."

At this point, he reaches into his cloak and pulls out a small metal shaft, roughly a foot long, made mostly of jade. He says, "This is the weapon that was used by one of the outlanders, a person that seemed to be made more of metal than of flesh.' He presses a control on the side of the tube, and a brilliant green light extends from the tip, reaching out to a length of about three feet. "The light that is emitted from this was able to cut through metal as if it were a actual Daiklave, be it armor or the swords that were raised up against this. I can personally attest that this light is quite deadly. This one figure that used this light weapon was a fierce opponent, but I was able to best him and once he fell, his body crumbled into dust, metal and wires composed of jade. Several of the outlanders were taken prisoner by my soldiers and were taken to my Master for examination."

Another press of the toggle and the light goes out. "The Artificer put the prisoners to the question, and has learned some details of where they claim to be from. Apparently, these are people that claim to be from inside the heart of the ancient Primordial, Autochthon." He pauses to let this fact sink in. "My Master has also discovered something else of great interest. During his interrogation of the prisoners, one of them came down with a sickness, one that was quite lethal. It turns out that this illness was one all of Creation had faced many years ago; the Great Contagion."

"Apparently, there are many millions of people that live inside the Great Maker, and unlike the people of Creation, they have never been exposed to the Contagion before. My Master theorizes that if somehow the Contagion was introduced to these people inside this Autochthon, the resulting mass deaths would make a large number of Shadowlands that can be taken advantage of. This could be a tremendous opportunity for those that are in a position to take advantage of it."

The Deliverer looks at Soulcatcher for a long moment before letting out a smile. "If this information is accurate . . . Hmmm. Is there any of these prisoners still alive? I would like to be able to speak with some of these people myself."

Soulcatcher nods. "Yes, M'lady. In fact, included in the midst of my honor guard is two of these prisoners for you to examine. A gift from my Master, the Artificer, as a token of good will."

Mother's smile widens. "Excellent. Have these prisoners brought forth to me. I will question them myself."
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Epiphany relaxes as the hall is cleared, and turns her attention to their guest. She doesn't understand most of what's related, but she doesn't have to. A place has been found with a great number of strange people, and it's important to their liege that they die. So it will be.

Do the Neverborn weigh in on what they want done to their traitorous brother?
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Do the Neverborn weigh in on what they want done to their traitorous brother?
The cacophony of voices at first fall silent, then when they start up again, there is a general outcry for Autochthon to suffer the same fate that they have and to fall into the Underworld.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Whisper is not one to be called book smart or studious at all, so when she hears the name Autochthon, it means little to her other than some old Primordial. Her interest, however, is more on the news that there appears to be some sort of invasion of the South currently underway from some unknown foe with strange weapons that she has never seen before. The fact that Mother is interested in this raises her own intensity, along with the fact that Soulcatcher has a deadly weapon in his possession this close to her dark Mistress.

"I am not saying that I doubt your words, but my network of informants in Lookshy have not reported anything of this incursion into the South to me, so if it is as large as your prisoners say it is, it must be very new for the news not to have reached the Seventh Legion yet. Mistress? May I be allowed to join you for the questioning of these two prisoners? I would very much like to hear more of this army and where it is from."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
You would know that Autochthon was one of the few Primordials that sided with the Solars against his brethren, providing them many of the great artifact weapons of the First Age along with the knowledge of how to craft more of them. He vanished into the Void sometime after the end of the Primordial War, never to be seen again for the next 5,000 some-odd years - until now.
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
Judge's from deepened."So the traitor has decided to resurface." He mused as he tapped his finger against the table.

"The void swallows all. There should be no escape from it... but here lies the evidence. That Autocthon has found a way to bridge into creation is... concerning. But bridges go both ways... and this leaves us with quite the opportunity, especially given the revelation of a vulnerability. Our Masters will no doubt want action to be taken."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
The Deliverer of Dark Dreams and Desires offers up a dangerous smile. "I can tell you some of what I remember of the Primordial Autochthon. According to the lore, long before the Primordial War, it was he that first created the Exalted for the gods to use in their efforts to wrest control of Yu-Shan from his brothers, and he was the one to first provide the first Exalts weapons and to teach them how to create more. In return for his aid, he was spared from the carnage of the fighting, and after Malfias agreed to the terms of surrender and was imprisoned, Autochthon continued to aid the early Deliberative in rebuilding Creation from the damage that was done to it."

She stands and glides across the room to Soulcatcher and holds out her hand for the strange light-weapon, and as she examines it, Deliverer continues to speak. "It was not long after the War that something happened between the Solars of the Deliberative and Autochthon. The Primordial drew into himself many tens of thousands of people of Creation and then vanished into the black of the Void, and was successful in hiding his presence from the best efforts of the Deliberative to find him. He has stayed away, cut off from Creation ever since, up until now."

The Deliverer looks to the group of you and says, "I will interrogate these prisoners myself, and while I do so, I expect you all to be the gracious hosts that I have taught you to be. I will call for you once I am done." She then returns the weapon back to Soulcatcher and smoothly walks for the door.
 

Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Zakas taps his chin for a moment in thought. "So let me see if I understand you correctly Soulcatcher. Do you intend to create Shadowlands here? ...Or perhaps inside of Autochthons enclosed world? I know which possibility intrigues me more. I'm curious to see what his realm looks like when left untainted by the idle corruption in this one."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Soulcatcher shrugs. "I am not sure of the exact measure of my Master's plan, but I have the feeling that it will involve death on a large scale, enough to make Shadowlands in this foreign land and then be in a position to exploit virgin territory."
 

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