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Chronicle of the Scavenger Lands (Exalted 3E) - IC

Dice System
Exalted 3e
OOC
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Characters
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Lore
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jaydude

One Thousand Club
After hearing Ryan's question, Lyla rolls onto her back and looks up again, silently considering how she would answer him. It takes a few seconds before she speaks, and her voice sounds almost sad when she does.

"This might sound shallow to some, but in truth, my dreams and plans for the future have revolved around my wealth for as long as I remember. Expanding it, maintaining it, and using it to more easily enjoy the finer things in life. Food, drink, drugs, entertainment, bedroom pleasures..." she says. Her next words sound a bit happier, as if she had gotten something off her chest just now. "I always imagined that if I was ever going to enjoy the kind of relationship that I think you're speaking of, one of...companionship, it would be because I decided to purchase myself a concubine from a slave market, rather than because I liked someone enough to want to be with them."

"Does that make me sound like a bad person to you? A greedy Guild merchant, only interested in lining her pockets with silver?"
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
With Ailera...
Now that she has finished talking with Ganzin, what would Ailera like to do now, if anything?
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Return to the rendezvous point that we have set up and wait for the others to come back from their own projects. Then I can tell them about the meeting I had with Ganzin.
 

Rykon

Two Thousand Club
Ryan gives an empathetic smile, hefting Lyla into his lap and wrapping her with the bedsheet. It was clear she gave real thought to her situation, her present course, and the consequences it's had. Such a sincere response deserves one in kind.

"Were that the end, it might sound that way. In the last five years, everything everyone thought about this earth has been utterly shattered and remade, Lyla. You have the skill and the resources to mold the clay of reality however you want it." Ryan ran his fingers through her dark hair, letting the scent of the perfumes drift about the room.

"I never thought I'd be anything more than a shepherd, with any land or inheritance going to my older brother leaving me to wander with nothing to my name. I never expected to be stricken with the status of Anathema, branded as kill on sight, for no real reason other than existing. Despite this, you and the consequences of your previous actions could allow me and potentially many others a chance at real freedom, success, and happiness. How could I bring myself to condemn you when despite it all you showed me, a lowborn farmhand with a death warrant, kindness and fairness? Why should I care about your motivation and desire for comfort? You are you, and your story is not yet over." Ryan made sure he had eye contact by this point, hoping his words helped her in some way.
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
With Ailera...
With Loban escorting her - under instructions from Ganzin - Ailera will be allowed to leave the bandit camp unmolested. Some of the bandits who see her leave Ganzin's tent stare at her, wondering why she was here and what she and their boss talked about, but no-one feels curious enough to ask her, and she soon returns to where the rest of Ryan's men have set up camp.

With Ryan...
The Guild woman smiles, clearly touched by what Ryan has said. "You sure have a way with words." she says softly, reaching up to caress the side of his face. "The Immaculate Philosophy has never had as much sway in the Scavenger Lands as it does on the Blessed Isle. And when I first heard that the Solars were coming back, I did a lot of research on them. I was curious about how their presence would affect my business interests, and whether I could take advantage of their return. Spent a lot of money, called in a few favors and agreed to owe a few more, but I was able to find out the truth eventually. I know that you and your kind aren't consorts of demons."

Then her smile becomes downright roguish, as she wraps her arms around Ryan's neck. "Plus, the Immaculate Order generally doesn't offer much for information on Solars, besides waffle about how simply providing said information is its own reward, bringing one further down the path to enlightenment." she says with an exaggerated roll of her eyes. "As for the Wyld Hunt...the monetary rewards they give are chicken feed to me."
 

Rykon

Two Thousand Club
"I'm glad I prove to be a greater reward than chicken feed." Ryan said with a laugh, enjoying the closeness as she wrapped her arms around him. "I know this has been for me, anyway." His face flushed somewhat as he shared an affectionate gaze with Lyla.
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
Lyla leans forward and rubs her nose against his, before sighing and leaning away from him. "We're going to have to start heading to Feren Mine soon, to see if we can convince Juyou to accept our deal."

I've updated Lyla's tag on the Lore page, with the stuff that she revealed to Ryan just now. Also added a Minor Intimacy of Affection towards him; she likes him for more than just his body now.
 

Rykon

Two Thousand Club
The young commander did his best to conceal that he almost forgot what he came here for. He let out a deep sigh, then something caught his attention. "Wait. We? I didn't think you'd want to come with us." In this instance, he merely let his smile reveal his pleasant surprise. I'd expected for her to wait for us to bring her the contract, but this is a bit more convenient. He thought to himself.
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
Upon hearing these words, Lyla would turn back and grin at him. "It's only a day's journey from here to the mine, and I would very much like to meet with this client of yours. And I own a large yacht that is docked at this very villa, so I can travel wherever I want in luxury, as long as the place in question is on or close to the river."

She then looks away. "On the other hand, my physical presence at the mine might complicate matters. Juyou really doesn't like me, and seeing me might make him say something that we'll all come to regret."

Having voiced those thoughts, she gives Ryan a quick peck on the cheek. "What would you suggest I do, Ryan?"
 

Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
"We have heard of your master's troubles," Ysandre answers, "and believe we may be able to help him solve them."
 

Rykon

Two Thousand Club
"I imagine he'd be livid when we immediately flip the contract regardless," Ryan laughed, returning the peck on the cheek. "So, would my lady grant her knight the blessing of her company for this trip? The chance to behold your radiance in the light of the stars is not one I'd soon pass up. I trust my companions are more than capable of warming Feren to this deal."
 
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jaydude

One Thousand Club
With Ysandre and Catseye...
"Really?" asks the guard, who sounds skeptical that anyone could solve his master's troubles. "Good luck with that."

He steps aside and directs the pair to Feren's office. Most of the village's residents are working within the mine, but as the two women walk through, a number of people stop what they are doing to watch them pass, curious as to why such a regal-looking lady like Ysandre would come here.

At Feren's office, a stablehand leads Ysandre's horse away, and the two women are soon invited to meet with Feren. The three of them sit down at his desk, and once a few pleasantries are exchanged - the Solars not mentioning their own semi-divine nature - Ysandre and Catseye present the same deal Ryan will offer Lyla the next day. Feren is polite and patient, and he appears interested in the deal, especially once he has ascertained that it would keep him and his mine in profit. That is, until he learns that it would involve him working with Lyla.

"That...woman...has caused me and my workers nothing but trouble in her attempts to make me sell this mine to her." he says, a simmering rage about him. "So why in Malfeas should I allow her a cut of my profits? Because that's what this deal of yours is ultimately going to give her."
From their conversation so far, Ysandre and Catseye have learned that Feren has a Major Tie of Animosity towards Lyla, a Major Tie of Care towards his workers and everyone else in the mine's village, and a Major Principle of "I prefer to take more profitable options over easy ones ".

With Ryan and Quill...
"As you wish, my loving knight." she jokes, before running a hand down his bare chest. "Just as long as you are later prepared to behold my radiance in the comfort of my cabin."

Not long later, a now dressed Lyla and Ryan are setting off from Lyla's villa on a lavish and ornately decorated, yet river-worthy large yacht, alongside Quill, Attimus and Ryan's men. A favorable wind soon appears and catches the yacht's two lateen sails, propelling the craft along the river towards Feren Mine in spite of the current.

"The Guild recently funded the construction of a grand temple to the god of the Yellow River in Great Forks. In return, he ensures that Guild vessels can travel swiftly and safely here." Lyla explains to Ryan when the wind appears.

Six hours later, the sun begins to set over the horizon, and a slight winter chill appears. The trip has been largely uneventful so far, providing the yacht's passengers with time to relax, and Ryan and Quill ample opportunity to recover their Essence.
 

Rykon

Two Thousand Club
At the mention of the god of the Yellow River, the young commander merely says. "We'll see how long this god keeps to the arrangement. I know the god of the Rolling River never seemed satisfied for long."

With the chill approaching, Ryan drew close to Lyla, sharing warmth as they watched the sunset. A few questions still lingered on his mind, he figured now was a good opportunity to use them to pass the time. "You've said before that you invested a lot of effort and money in research... I admit, I know little beyond rumor and a few flashes of random memories. I have yet to even discover this Daiklave's true name. In all your time spent studying the Exalted, was there much that really stood out to you?" Were she to let Quill loose upon her libraries... This could prove to be a very prosperous partnership indeed.
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
Lyla has put on a warm fur coat over her kimono by this point, but she doesn't complain about the closeness of Ryan to her, and rests her head on his shoulder.

"The main thing I know is that before the Scarlet Empire and the Shogunate, the Solars supposedly ruled over Creation. Granted fragments of the Unconquered Sun's divinity, they battled the denizens of the Wyld and Malfeas alongside armies of Dragon-blooded, crafted wonders and wielded magics beyond those of today, and kept the gods and spirits in line. They weren't immortal, but whenever one of them was killed, the spark of the Unconquered Sun's power that had empowered him or her would find another host, and make them a Solar. Thus, the Solars could never be completely destroyed, and under their rule, Creation was said to have been a paradise for all, mortal or otherwise."

"For a time, things were good. But eventually, the Solars became decadent and corrupt, so certain of their own immortality and superiority that they thought they could do whatever they wanted. They ruled as tyrants, fought with each other, and threatened to bring Creation to ruin, until the Dragon-blooded who had once served the Solars, fearful of what would happen if they were allowed to continue unchecked, turned on their masters and killed them all. When that was done, they rewrote history, claiming that the Solars were in fact humans who made deals with demons and dark spirits for power, while erasing any mention of the Unconquered Sun and the Golden Age the spirits had presided over. At around the same time they formed the Shogunate to replace the dead Solars and...well, you can find out the rest."

She then looks towards the setting sun. "It's said that the Shogunate did something that prevented the Solars from reappearing, at least in the numbers of the past. But whatever it was, it seems to have stopped working now, wouldn't you say?"
 

Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
Ysandre

"For the sake of your people and the sake of your profits," Ysandre responds evenly. Though she is young, there is no uncertainty in her voice and though her first words are sobering, it is a more uplifting message that is at the core of her argument, "if you agree to the arrangement we propose, the mine will start making money for you, the miners, and the villagers almost immediately. Money you can invest either in expanding the mine or in further ventures, thus securing yourself for the inevitable day when it runs dry. Likewise, it will ensure the security of the men and women who take the jade from here and bring back the vital resources your people need for their lives and happiness both." She gathers her hand before her as she continues, "It is true that this Lyla has been your enemy in the past, and there is no reason you should grow to like her personally now. However, it is also true that if you can come to an agreement like the one we propose, you will both profit, and she will take the determination and ruthlessness she has shown in the past and turn it towards the obstacles that stand in the way of you both. It is a good thing to defeat one's enemies, but it is a better thing to turn them into allies."

OOC: Rolling out the Persuasion Suite here. I'm arguing from my Major Principle: "A ruler must serve their people." and activating Impassioned Discourse Technique for 3 personal motes, I also still have 1 die from Apperance 6, I'll add another 4 dice from the first Excellency, and last 1 automatic success from willpower. Furthermore, my Presence Specialty should work. Thus, I have
Charisma (5 dice) + Presence (5 dice) + Specialty (1 die) + IDT (3 dice and 1 sux) + Apperance (1 die) + Excellency (4 dice) + Willpower (1 sux) + stunt (2 dice and 1 sux):
20 dice + 3 sux = 11 sux.
 
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jaydude

One Thousand Club
Feren listens to what Ysandre has to say, his rage calming somewhat as she mentions how accepting the deal will benefit his people. Finally, he gives a nod of agreement.

"I can't say that I'm happy about working with Lyla, but perhaps this is for the best. For my people, this mine, and myself." he says, the fire inside him calming down to a warm breeze. "Will you be presenting this offer to Lyla? If so, please let her know that I have accepted it when you do."
 

Rykon

Two Thousand Club
"I'm not sure I find comfort in thinking about why that might be, given other recent events." Ryan's thoughts drifted to Thorns, then he discarded them. "The story in and of itself is a cautionary tale in many ways. The consequence of excess, negligence... even betrayal. For all their good intent, the Dragon-Blooded almost lost this world to oblivion on their own. Now they too revel in decadence in tyranny. I'd say it speaks far more to the humanity of us all, rather than what divinity was gifted to us."

Ryan paused, mood souring. "Eh, there I go getting philosophical again. That aside, if you come across information that may lead us to a manse or artifact, do let me know. I'd like to live long enough to enjoy my decadence before I'm slain." He added dryly.
 

Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
Ysandre

"We will," she answers, the smile on her lips reflected in her eyes, she is clearly content that they could come to a peaceful agreement. "An associate of mine is already travelling towards her estate in order to make the same proposition to her, and I am confident he will be able to make her see reason. A protracted conflict aids no one but our common enemies."
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
With Ryan...
"As you wish." replies Lyla.

With Ysandre and Catseye...
Assuming that they have no further business with Feren, the two women will be given leave to return to the camp.
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
14th of Ascending Air, Realm Year 768
Lyla's yacht docks south of Feren Mine, at a stone wharf in an abandoned harbour large enough to service several cargo ships at once. As he, Ryan, Lyla, Attimus and Ryan's men disembark, Quill recognizes the harbour as the place where Jade from the mine would be loaded onto ships and transported to other parts of the Shogunate, in the years before the Scarlet Empire. Befitting this past function, further away from the river are two stone ruins that might have once been warehouses, and another that may have once served as a harbourmaster's office.

A disused and upward-sloping road, zigzagging to reduce its steepness up the hills, runs north of the harbour and through the valley where Ailera was searching around two days ago, towards Feren Mine. The party sets off along it, Lyla managing to keep up with everyone else well enough despite her more pampered lifestyle, though she jokingly suggests that she should ask Ryan to carry her when they're about halfway. Finally, they turn off near the end of the road and head into the camp set up by Ryan's men, stopping near the center of it. If Ysandre, Ailera and Catseye are not there, word is soon delivered to them, informing them of Ryan and Quill's return.

"So these are the rest of your men." Lyla says to Ryan as she looks around the camp. "Not bad. Not bad at all."
 

Rykon

Two Thousand Club
When Lyla began to show signs of fatigue, Ryan obliged her request with a smile. Even as a mortal, the young soldier was used to carrying around more than most for long marches. "As you wish, my lady."

Upon arrival Ryan took her compliment with a wide grin. His unit was relatively fresh officially but many of these men had seen real war. So, even in spite of their rookie mercenary status, the young Dawn took pride in his company. "They may not be a large unit, but they are battle-hardened, loyal, and full of spirit. I can only hope their example whips any new recruits in line sooner rather than later."

When he approached the line of tents, Ryan took a quick glance about the clearing. "Sergeant Tannis, where are the others? I have an honored guest to introduce to everyone."
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Ailera is at the camp, waiting for the others to arrive. Probably trying to get some of the guards to join her in a game of chance; cards or dice of some sort.
 

jaydude

One Thousand Club
With Ryan and Quill...
"Ailera's somewhere nearby, but I'm not at all sure about the other two, boss." Tannis replies to Ryan. "But I sent people to find them once I heard that you and Quill had returned."

After saying this, he turns his gaze towards Lyla and Attimus, before turning his attention back to Ryan. "If you don't mind me asking, who are these two, boss?"

Elsewhere...
Some of Ryan's men do agree to a game of cards with Ailera. Before it can get underway however, another of Ryan's mercenaries arrives and says to her. "The boss and Quill are back, and there's two other people with them; a beautiful and wealthy-looking woman, and a Dragon-blood with a massive Grand Goremaul." A similar message is given to both Ysandre and Catseye.

Meanwhile, pacing around the camp close to Catseye are a pair of Blood Apes, who she summoned during Ryan and Quill's absence in preparation to deal with Feren Mine's unruly mine god. Ryan's soldiers watch them with wary eyes and try to avoid them if they can, while also staying upwind of their stench, while the Blood Apes grumble and snort in their impatience for a fight, though Catseye's binding prevents them from attacking anyone.

Within Feren Mine, a pair of Mercury Ants, also summoned and bound by Catseye, are assisting the miners in digging new tunnels and digging out Jade.
 

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