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Inside the Great Maker - Exalted IC

Dice System
Exalted 2.5
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
It is a cold day in the city of Ein, with temperatures dropping to be well below freezing. When duty calls for a citizen to go outside in the cold, one bundles up and hurries along, sticking to the pathways of red jade that keep warm to prevent icing on the walkways and provide a hint of relief from the biting temperatures. But even with the chill in the air, it is business as usual for the members of the Populat that have become accustomed to the weather.

Currently, it is early in the second shift of the day, and the city of Ein is preparing to play host to a diplomatic mission from the two neighboring nations of Estasia and Yugash. There has been open warfare between the two nations for some time, and thanks to several 'border incursions' from Estasia and the continuing conflict between Estasia and Yugash, the flames of war are threatening to spread to Kamak. It is the fervent hope of most of the Tripartite Assembly to be able to resolve the growing issues between Kamak and Estasia, and to try to broker a full truce between your ally of Yugash and the nation of Estasia, but there are some that are more martial in their opinions that are calling for a formal declaration of war against Estasia.

Both diplomatic delegations are due to arrive by the start of the third shift, with your friends from Yugash arriving by pneumatic train, and the mission from Estasia flying in by airship. Both Thousand Gears of Industry and Hammer of the Populat are being sent to the train station to greet the members of the Yugash mission, leaving Hot Needle of Inquiry, Incandescent Ray of Judgement and Unexpected Flowering of Heroic Fortitude to be present at the airship landing pad to be a part of the welcoming party to the Estasians.

Autocrat Garret, Luminor March and Celebrant Mera are planning on being at the airship landing pad to meet the Estasians as they arrive, along with a moderate sized security force to be an escort and to provide some measure of crowd control since not all are feeling very welcoming to the Estasian delegation, especially with the continued incidents on the border. No trouble is expected from either side, but why take chances? Better to be prepared.

It is still an hour before the Estasians are due to arrive, but there is already a growing crowd of people numbering about fifty waiting to see them; some to protest the aggressions of Estasia, others to just see a bit of history unfold before their eyes as the negotiations for peace are about to take place. At the moment, the three members of the Tripartite Assembly are waiting inside a vestibule where it is warmer than the sub-freezing temperatures outside until word comes in that the airship from Estasia is nearly there.

Garret is doing his best to keep an open mind about the meetings to take place, but you can tell from his expression that he is hardly pleased playing host to 'the enemy'. Of the Tripartite Assembly of Ein, he is the most vocal of the ones calling for a military response to Estasia's provocations. Mera, on the other hand, is quite the opposite, calling for all the peoples of Autochthon to unite in peace and to cease the bickering and finger pointing. There is enough blame to go around, and why can't all three nations resolve their differences peacefully?

Standing between the three, March has no official opinion on going to blows with Estasia, being slow to make up his mind, but firmly resolute in his choices once he makes his decision. Either way he swings, since he is so influential, his vote will carry much weight with the rest of Ein's Assembly, one way or the other. He is being actively courted by both Garret and Mera to support their own side.

Where are the three of you at this time? Are you inside with March, Garret, and Mera, or are you already outside with the rest of the security force, monitoring the growing crowd?

Random Word Random Word Arynne Arynne Psychie Psychie
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Ray, despite being bundled up in a heavy white coat with gold synthetic fur trim, feels a little bit naked outside her armour with the enemy approaching. At least in her crowd control loadout she has skin. She still remembered what it was like to have skin all the time, and touching the rose gold clay that served as her skin in her high intensity conflict loadout still vaguely unsettled her. Bare hands with polished orichalcum nails leave her sleeves, braving the cold to light a cigarette. She takes a few deep drags to warm up before eyeing the growing crowd. She exhales a thick cloud of smoke into the sky as she tracks the distant but rapidly approaching airship, then grinds out the cigarette in a trash receptacle and steps up onto an elevated platform, pulling down her hood so her white hair can spill out and lifting her wraparound gold mirrorshades to reveal equally gold eyes.

A hundred thousand great speeches from Kamak's history ran through her mind in an instant, cross-referenced, indexed, and analyzed to choose every word, subtle intonation, and minute detail of body language and expression. Her voice rings out, clear and reassuringly confident, "Consider whether your actions today align with the will of the Great Maker. The Assembly is well aware of the outrageous actions of Estasia, and they share your anger, but they represent the will of the Populat, and they have called for these negotiations. To show division is to show weakness. If you cannot in good conscience wholeheartedly support the Assembly's agenda today, then please do your duty and return to your quarters, trusting that you have been heard, and the Assembly and your Champions embody your will in this and all things. To do otherwise will only strengthen our enemies."

She surveys the crowd once more and steps down from the platform to walk along the barrier between the regulators and the crowd, flashing smiles and disarming tensions. She doesn't have her small scale interpersonal interaction modules installed so she avoids stopping to converse for more than a few moments. The most important thing she can do to protect these people today is to ensure they don't vent their righteous anger at the wrong time. If the Estasian envoys are stupid enough to try something in the middle of an enemy metropolis they'll be put down quickly. She pauses as a little girl pushes her small hand through the gaps in the security barrier. She drops to one knee and presses her much larger palm against the child's, watching as her eyes go wide as the hexagonal grid of Ray's energy shield lights up to prevent them from coming into contact. Doesn't that moment just speak volumes, that unbridgeable gap and the sadness it evokes in her, but the child is delighted by the light show and Ray's smile doesn't waver. She rises to continue and then heads to the landing pad to greet the enemy.
 
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Arynne

Salmon of Doubt
The admixture of copper and clay that that forms Unexpected Flowering’s flexible ceramic surface doesn’t bother her, and unlike many of her peers she has never acquired Charms to give her a more “human” appearance, or at least covered up her mechanical parts with heavy armor like her friend Eternally Vigilant Bell. As she tells her parishioners (and Ray, from time to time), it’s a false binary--what makes someone human is their soul, not the color or texture of their flesh.

Unless specifically requested to do otherwise (by, say, the Celebrant), Flowering moves among the muttering crowds, clad in a lector’s loose-flowing vestments but carrying her unmistakable staff of green jade. She pays special attention to those who have come to protest. While not precisely urging them to give up their hostility towards Estasia -- that is for the Tripartite to decide -- she does remind them that Kamak’s history is not one of military conquest.

Other nations of the Octet say to their neighbors, “Do not fight us or we shall kill you.”

But Kamak says, "If you fight, we’ll call in your mortgages. And incidentally, that’s my pike you’re pointing at me. I paid good jade for that shield you’re holding. And take my helmet off when you speak to me, you horrible little debtor.”
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Hot Needle of Inquiry will position herself inside the vestibule with the three members of the Tripartite Assembly, listening to the conversation between Mera, Garret and March to try and keep her fingers on the pulse of the nation. If war is inevitable, she will need to have her people ready to root out any spies and saboteurs that might try to infiltrate Ein. Of course no one wishes for a war, but if it is needed, Needle will stand ready for whatever challenges that path brings.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The wait seems to take a long time, but it is only about a half hour before one of the Regulators in the vestibule speaks up. "My pardon, Ministers, Noble Exalt, but we have received word that the Estasian airship has been spotted, and will be here in three minutes." With that, the guard steps back to his position by the door, waiting for word to head out.

Garret nods in acknowledgement, then says, "Well, my friends, shall we go forth and meet our counterparts? I wouldn't wish to have our 'guests' arrive and not be right there to greet them and give the Estasians another reason to be upset." He looks sour as he speaks, obviously not really giving a damn as to the opinions of the Estasian delegation, but is being forced to play nice with them anyways.

Mera places a reassuring hand on Garret's shoulder, saying, "Come now! No need to be so gloomy. It has taken me much work to arrange this summit, and any chance to keep us from getting dragged into a full scale war with Estasia must be taken. Look at the harm this conflict has done to Yugash! It has done much damage to our allies, and as a result, we've been shipping supplies and goods to Yugash in an effort to support them and keep the whole nation from falling into the Void that might better be used by Kamak. Even our hard work on Project Sunburst-"

"MERA!" Garret snaps, "We do not discuss that in the open. Ever. You know this." His eyes flick around the room at the various members of the security team here, along with Needle, trying to indicate that this is topic is off limits to those that are here listening in.

Mera looks abashed, then sighs. "Yes, of course, how foolish of me. I do know better; I'm just so focused on this meeting between our peoples that it slipped my mind."

Garret fires off a brief glare before March steps forward, trying to ease the tensions building, and says, "Of course, dear Mera. We are all under a lot of pressure, so the slip is understandable, and I'm sure it will not happen again."

Under his breath, Garret mutters, "It had better not." He then schools his features into a clam mask that hides his inner feelings and heads for the exit, quickly followed by March, Mera, and the rest of the security force. Does Needle follow along or do you stay inside?


Outside, the regulators straighten up as word comes out that the Estasian ship is approaching, and the crowd starts to crane their necks trying to spot the incoming ship as it flies closer. Soon enough, three lights can be seen off in the distance, moving along against the dark wall of the huge chamber that Ein is in. As you watch, the lights grow brighter until it is clear that it is two armed Shaft Speeders escorting an Aerial Skiff. The trio of flying vehicles slow as they approach the landing pad, and they gently settle down on the deck with a set of dull thumps. All is still for a moment, then the two Shaft Speeders open up to allow the two guards inside each one to exit and examine the area.

After looking about, they position themselves near the hatch of Aerial Skiff, keeping their eyes open on the crowd and the various regulators standing between the people and the airship. The hatch opens up, and the first being out is a large Orichalcum Caste Exalt named Blazing Sword of Autochthon, a well known Exalt of the Estasian forces. He is followed by a second Exalt, this one a Jade Caste woman known as Glorious Will of the People. They examine the scene around them, looking between the civilians and the welcoming committee of the three members of the Assembly and their escorts, both with an unreadable expression on their faces.

Finally, there is more movement in the Skiff as the passengers begin to disembark. A group of ten soldiers step down and form a protective ring around the four members of the Estasian Tripartite Assembly that are there.

At this point, March, Garret and Mera step forward to meet the delegation from Estasia.

Please give me Perception + Awareness rolls.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Ray stands stock-still at attention as she studies the enemy in silence, deciding target priorities in the unlikely event hostilities erupt, estimating how best to eliminate each, and for the Champions attempting to guess what each of their installed components might do.

[Perception 3 + Awareness 2 + Stunt 1 = 6; Wow, 6 hits.]
 

Arynne

Salmon of Doubt
Flowering pauses in her homily as the Estasian delegation finally arrives. Like everyone else she is worried about the Estasians' intentions, but she also knows her exhortations have not succeeded in calming *everyone* present. Not without the full use of her Charms, at any rate, and that hasn't been authorized for this setting yet...

From her place near the front of the crowd, her crystalline green eyes scan for signs of trouble, and she listens carefully for the telltale rise in vocalizations that show discontent is about to turn violent.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Needle can feel her ears perk up when Mera mentions Project Sunburst, and it is only with a supreme act of willpower that she is able to control her expression to remain poker-faced and not look interested. Whatever Project Sunburst is, the Ministers have been briefed in on it. I wonder what it could be? It must be important to have such security placed on it. I am also surprised that Mera would be so clumsy to let slip such a comment.

As the airships land, the Starmetal Exalt walks out with the Ministers, keeping her hands tucked into the sleeves of her heavy coat to keep them away from the chill air. Needle keeps her eyes moving about, carefully taking in the crowd and the Estasian delegation, searching for any signs of trouble.

Per + Awareness 6 hits
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
With your keen eyes, both Needle and Ray both are able to spot several glints of metal being pulled out in the crowd of onlookers by a number of the people, and the subtle, sneaky way that the people are acting is suspicious enough to make you both take a closer look. What you spot is startling to say the least.

It appears to be an Essence Pulse grenade.

And its not just one. There are at least four people that have pushed to the front of the line of onlookers that have them.

Flowering manages to spot that there are six people that have pushed their way to the front of the barricades and are staring at the Estasian party with intensity. Something about their actions is setting off danger signs in your head.

What do you do?
 

Arynne

Salmon of Doubt
Letting her vestments fall to the ground, Flowering begins moving as quickly as she can towards the individuals who seem about to snap.

And by quickly, we don't mean "pushes her way slowly through the crowd muttering, 'excuse me, excuse me' as she goes". Gripping her staff in both hands, she takes a few rapid steps to pick up speed and accumulate kinetic energy, raising her arms until fully extended. As she reaches the last step she jumps off of one leg while bending the other knee forward. As she brings the staff down hard against the floor she continues to rise, up, up, vaulting over the heads of those in her way, to land as close to the six she has identified as possible.

(Stunting, and Using Brake Releasing Technique to close the distance as fast as she can go.)
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Needle's eyes go wide when she sees the grenaders in the crowd, a part of her wondering just how in the name of the Great Maker that these idiots got a hold of such deadly hardware, and another part of her wondering just how screwed things are going to get.

With a loud cry, she shouts, "Grenades! Take cover!" Needle then does her best to try and do a full-on tackle to take down the three Ministers before they get too close to the Estasian delegation, hoping that she can keep the three from the blast radius of the explosives about to be lobbed.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Brilliant streamers of gold, orange, and red light spill out of the specially cut slits in the back of Ray's coat as her wings unfurl with her anima, suffusing her in golden light as lightning arcs out to the ground beneath her swiftly rising form. Needle has the ministers out of the way, Flower will disrupt the saboteurs, she need only interpose herself and bodily intercept any attempt to strike the dignitaries. The blinding light of her anima and her massive wings will obstruct lines of sight and prevent the saboteurs from drawing a bead on anything, while the revealed glory of a Champion of the Great Maker will cause all but the most hardened of mortals to freeze up.

"Halt," she declares with a finality that brooks no disagreement.

[Ray will use her Appearance 8 to social hammer them into freezing up or throwing off their aim (can roll Charisma + Performance or something), and she will physically interpose herself to catch any thrown grenades, surrounding them with the energy shield protecting her to absorb the explosion.]
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Needle is able to make a flying tackle into March and you drive him to the ground, but Mera and Garret are far enough away from you that you cannot get all three in the same leap.

Despite that, the guards around the other two Ministers are well trained, and they immediately grab Mera and Garret and start to haul them back out of the area and back to the vestibule that you were in a moment before.

At the crowd with the grenade throwers, Flowering manages to push her way through the crowd far enough to be able to pole vault herself over the last few people and she lands directly in front of one of the people that have caught her eye, and from your current position, you can see that she has a Essence Pulse Grenade of some sort in hand and is hauling her arm back to throw it. On either side of this one person, you spot that there are at least two more people with grenades that they are about to lob.

Random Word Random Word Go ahead and give me a roll, plus one die, with Cha + Performance.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
5m Thousandfold Courtesan Calculations to make max penalty to MDV from her 9 Appearance (forgot the +1 Charm) -6.
Charisma 5 + Performance 5 + 10m 1st Charisma Excellency + Stunt 1 = 21

25 Peripheral motes total spent so far. 15 committed, so 5/45 left. 12 hits.
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The sudden display of Essence from Ray draws a mixed reaction. Many of the people in the crowd are frozen in place in awe at the radiant figure in the air above them, but a few do manage to break away and start to run. The people with the grenades . . . we'll get to them in a just a moment.

Across the landing pad, the Estasians react in a somewhat predictable way; the Ministers in their group turn and start to run back up the boarding ramp to get inside the airship, being pushed along by Blazing Sword. Glorious Will quickly raises up her arm and her forearm and wrist open up and reconfigure into a assault crossbow that she levels in the direction of the crowd, and the guards slide together to try and make a human wall between you and their Ministers.

Of the grenaders, both Ray and Flowering can see that there are a total of six people armed with the weapons. Three of the six are locked in place, staring up at Ray in amazement, one fumbles with the grenade in his hand and it slips out of his hand and drops to the deck at his feet, but the last two were able to haul off and throw their weapons.

The grenade that is dropped at the foot of the one thrower goes off, sending a wave of flame from its point of impact that engulfs a large number of people there, including Flowering and Ray. What is your Lethal soak?

Since Flowering and Ray are both right there, you have a chance to be able to deflect the two thrown grenades. Please give me a roll of Dex and either Melee or Martial Arts to try and knock the grenades aside.
 

Arynne

Salmon of Doubt
(An explosion at close range will automatically trigger Flowering's essence armor, giving her 11L, or 14L if her anima power activates as well. Would Light-Etched Interceptor Barrier be any help deflecting?)
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
IIRC, that adds to your Parry DV. Yes, you can add the DV bonus to your dice pool to try and parry a grenade.
 

Arynne

Salmon of Doubt
CrrrrracK
BOOM

Flowering has no time to think of the spreading flames as she sees the two assailants nearest her extend their arms to throw. Her deep-green anima rises around her, becoming a radiant shield of discharged energy, while the Augmentations installed in her limbs vent blasts of crackling power. With a familiar tingle, she senses the orichalcum node on her left hand activate, projecting a shield of solid light in front of her. Her staff is in her other hand, and spinning like a fan blade as she attempts to parry both flung grenades.

Flowering has both her Dexterity Augmentations installed, giving her a base dice pool of 8, while Light-Edged Interceptor (3) + 1st Dexterity Augmentation (3) add six to that pool. Stunting as well, if it will help.

Personal Essence: 5/15
Peripheral Essence: 27/49
Committed Essence: 22

Anima now at 11+ motes, Jade Caste anima power fully active.
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
With a mighty swing, Flowering manages to knock both the grenades off their intended path and they go sailing off to detonate far off to the side with a mighty blast of flame.

From her position, Ray can see the one grenade that has been dropped at the feet of one of the stunned attackers, and you have just a fraction of a second to be able to do something about the imminent blast. If you are still going to try to envelop the grenade and contain the blast, please give me a Dex + Athletics roll.

What is Needle doing at this point?
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
The moment the grenade slips from the stunned saboteur's limp fingers time seems to slow to a crawl. If that's armed and detonates, potentially dozens of innocent members of the populat will be killed, all because these idiots couldn't keep it in their pants until Estasia inevitably did something to fuck up these negotiations all on its own. Flower is already moving to disarm the other two, so she leans forward and in an essence-fuelled surge accelerates as fast as she can towards the falling munition, a lightning fast streak of gold, orange, and red, snatching the grenade out of the air just before it touches the ground, hugging it to her chest, tumbling head over heels in midair as she curls into a ball around it, wrapping it in a bubble of her energy shield moments before it detonates.

Dex 5 + Athletics 2 + Specialty 1 + Wings 6 + Stunt 1 + 7m 1st Dex Aug = 22 dice; wow, what an awful roll - 6 hits

2/45 motes from stunt recovery.
 
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
While the drama is going on with the crowd, Needle is doing her best to make sure that the Ministers are hauling their asses out of the danger zone and the potential line of fire between the various armed groups. She quickly gets up and forcefully hauls March to his feet, saying, "Get inside! Quickly! Before this whole platform goes up in flames! Move!"

If he hesitates in any way, Needle will bodily drag him along, keeping herself in between March and the Estasian group to use her own body as a shield to protect him.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Across the landing pad, Needle's efforts to move your three Ministers is making progress. Despite his advanced age, March is moving quickly back to the vestibule that they were waiting in, along with Mera and Garret and the half dozen regulators that are sticking close by.

Ray's headlong dive for the grenade that was dropped ends up in having her slam into the ground hard as you snag the grenade and pull it in close as the explosion goes off right in your face. Thanks to your various Charms, Ray is able to escape serious damage and is just a bit scorched.

By now, the crowd is starting to realize that there is a problem, and they begin to scatter in panic. There is a real danger of people getting hurt in the resulting rush.

The handful of guards right nearby the grenade throwers begin to respond, swinging around and readying weapons. A couple draw swords and leap into action, swinging their weapons on a couple of the aggressors, cutting them down and removing them as a threat. Others grab their cudgels and begin to hammer at the people with grenades still in hand.

At the airship, the visiting Ministers are scrambling up the ramp to get inside where it is safe, with the two Exalts bringing up the rear as they try to protect their charges.

At this point, go ahead and give me a Join Battle roll so we can move in order and not skip over someone.
 

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