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Sidereals - New Beginnings - IC Thread

Dice System
Exalted 2.5
OOC
Here
Characters
Here

Psychie

Princess Psychie
With no objections or other destinations being raised, the three [four] of you head out for Chejop's office, with a group of guards being led by Mor'du surrounding you in a valiant attempt to keep you safe from further attacks.

When you get to the workplace of the former head of the Sidereal Order, the doors stand shut with two pair of Brass Legionnaires standing guard on either side. As you approach the doors, one of the Legionnaires step in your path. Mor'du raises up his Id badge and utters a command word, ordering the automation to stand aside and allow you access to the office. Without a word, the automation moves back to its guard position.

Over the years, for one reason or another, you have all had the opportunity to meet with Master Chejop in his offices, but with the news of his death, the place feels almost spooky. The office space is quite plush, and is secured against all forms of scrying to keep the sensitive meetings and materials inside safe from prying eyes. Several couches and secretary work desks sit empty, but the office is not unoccupied. There are three of the elder Sidereal's work staff in there, all three obviously quite terrified as you enter as they cower behind one of the large desks. All three are minor spirits, and were most likely not senior enough to be taken along to hear the briefing, a fact that saved their lives.

One of the three raises up its head and says in a shaky voice, "Wh-what is going on out there? Where is Master Kejak?"
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Euphemia smiles absently at Renna and Tien as she sits on the corner of Chejop's desk and starts rifling through his many cabinets looking for the personnel file on her, reading the labels by touch, "An opportunity to practice your new role as part-time Endings! Tell them we are here for the final orders, and any documents pertaining to critical tasks the Old Man was working on. We have no time to waste."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Renna walks on in and looks at the three workers and says in a sad but firm voice, "It is unfortunate that I have to inform you that the Sidereal Order has been hit by a savage blow, leaving only five of us still alive. Even Master Kejak has gone on to his next Exaltation. It is now critical that you do everything you can to aid us in stopping this from being an even larger disaster. Tell me; did Chejop leave you any specific instructions just prior to his leaving for the meeting?"
 
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
The three secretaries look at one another, then one steps forward. "I-I don't know. He was in his office with another one of the Chosen for some time; he may have prepared something in there while he was in private."

Chejop's private office door is currently closed. The one woman that is speaking heads over to it, and presses her hand to the center of the door and it opens up to reveal the innermost sanctum of the now deceased leader of the Sidereals. It is an eerie feeling being here without the presence of Chejop. The office itself is large, with three doors leading off of it; one is the main entrance, the second appears to be a washroom to allow Chejop to refresh himself while working, but the third door is closed,

The normally neat and tidy office space is now somewhat messy, as if there was a sudden interruption of his work and everything was dropped. Just like you'd expect from what has happened. Sitting on the center of the desk is a note quickly scrawled in Chejop's writing.

It simply says, "If someone is reading this, that means our efforts to kill the Demon Queen have failed. She is a thrall to the Ebon Dragon, and will rip all of Creation apart in her efforts to free him from Malfias. She must be stopped at all costs. There are many secrets in this office that may help you in your struggle. Use these tools wisely.

Chejop
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Looking through the office, you are able to locate several artifacts that the old Vizier had stashed for a rainy day. [OOC Each player may select an additional 10 dots in Artifacts from any of the books.]

He has notes on hand about so many different projects that he has - sorry, had going on, it could take years to fully unravel each one to see what Chejop had done. Other notes show an increasing obsession on finding out the secrets that the Empress had been hiding; now revealed in a rather gruesome way.

Chejop also had many informants from across Creation, all with contact instructions. [OOC Everyone may add 3 dots in Contacts]

All of this is inside the main room of the office. Looking inside the other unmarked door, you find a short corridor that leads to what appears to be a second Calibration Gateway. It would certainly explain how it is possible for the old man to be able to get around Creation without being spotted. Now that you know it is here, you are able to find out how to target the Gateway to land you in a specific location.

Now, everyone please give me a Perception + Investigation roll, or a Perception + Awareness roll. Excellencies or other Charms may be applied.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
On any other day, this would be a golden opportunity to further the goals of the Gold Faction. But today, it all bets are off, and the need to find answers is critical. What can be found here?

6 successes
 

Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Tien steps into the landscape of secrets jealously guarded by one of his former mentors. Rather than discern by feeble mundane senses, the chosen of battles entered one of his old warmup exercises in breathing rhythm. His body, soul, and spirit drank in the air and essence of the celestial office and then let it back out in a cycle for several moments. The now hardened Sifu brushed his spirit against Demesne and Manse form yet never committed to fully engaging the art, only the flow of energy that permeated the late Sidereal's domain. The touch of one awakened to such a degree was hard to mistake, even if dust trails were convoluted and confused, even if compartments were hidden within hidden compartments, there was no concealing the passing of the Elder's hand now. Tien opened his eyes, mind now alight with the traces of recently significant items. "I think we can find what we need easily enough."

[10m 1w for First and Fateful Investigation Excellencies. 16 successes.]
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Tien's eyes catch details and nuances that would normally escaped notice of even the most seasoned investigators. There is information from all four corners of Creation there, including something that stands out as quite unusual. In the first days of the Deliberative, there were four massive flying fortresses built, each one taking hundreds of years to complete. These were known as Titan Citadels, and they were used to maintain order in the outer reaches of Creation. Of the four, two were destroyed in the Usurpation, one was lost in the East and presumed destroyed, and the fourth one left Creation to go out into the Wyld in an attempt to escape the wrath of the Dragon Blooded, backed by the Bronze Faction of the Sidereals. For dozens of centuries, there has been no contact with this missing Titan . . . until now.

On the day that the Demon Queen triggered the Sword of Creation to destroy the city of Thorns, a signal was detected in a long forgotten department that nearly went unnoticed. This signal was a response to the use of the massive destruction triggered by the Sword of Creation, and seems to indicate that the missing Titan is in one piece. It is still in the Wyld, and currently there is no other contact with the Citadel or its crew, assuming that there is anyone alive inside it after all this time.

In order to see if this Titan is still usable, Chejop was planning to send a airship that has been specially protected against the effects of the Wyld to make contact with this Citadel, and if possible, send back word on its condition and viability to bring it back to Creation. There is data listed here showing exactly where the modified airship is.


Another item of note is from the Convention of the Underworld. When Thorns was blasted, the Deathlord known as Mask of Winters had been able to retreat from Creation and go back through the shadowland into the Underworld. It is no big surprise that this powerful ghost is quite perturbed at the loss of his foothold in Creation, and is now looking for some way to give the Demon Queen a black eye in return. One of the agents in the Convention had put forth the possibility of this being an excellent time to make direct contact with Mask of Winters and infiltrating his inner circle.


A third item of note is a report that on the day of the use of the Sword of Creation, there was an Essence spike in the far south, one that can only be described as 'massive', one that seems to be calling out to various kinds of Exalts, drawing them to some unknown source of geomatic power. There was a group of Dragon Blooded that went out to investigate the surge of Essence, but there has been no contact with them in the weeks since their departure.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Assuming that Renna can see these things, she says, "Well. We have a few options for us to choose from for our next move. I wonder, which should we check first? I hesitate to even think that turning to any of the residents of the Underworld in this fight, but what is the lesser of two evils? Working with the Deathlords, or letting the Demon Queen summon forth the Ebon Dragon? Then there is this mysterious Essence spike in the south. I don't wish to risk all on a fool errand, but if there is a chance that it could present a chance to stop the Yozis, shouldn't we take it? But then there is this fortress citadel, out in the Wyld. That might be our best bet to go for."

"What say you three? Any opinions or thoughts on this?"
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Euphemia successfully fishes her personnel file out of the cabinet and gingerly drops it into the fireplace - no one needs to be reading that - before she returns to sit on the side of the desk and hums thoughtfully to herself at the options Renna considers. "Let us save the worst option for last, shall we? I hate visiting the Underworld. The Wyld is nearly as bad. Let us give the airship to Lookshy and let them search for the fortress. That leaves the mysterious beacon. If the Empress has accidentally overloaded the Realm Defence Grid, or tripped some security measure against Malfean influence, we may find an auxiliary control centre. Even if all we find is a beacon summoning Celestials, that will serve our purposes nicely. We may then point them in a useful direction and watch the fireworks. Besides, I love the desert!"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Renna looks around, knowing that Jontom most likely can't hear Euphemia due to the effects of her Charms. She quickly summarizes what Euphemia has said for the younger Exalt, then says, "I don't know how I feel about letting Lookshy have access to such a powerful weapon without our hands on it, too. But I do agree that we will need more Exalted to make any conflict against the Demon Queen a winnable one. If there has been an Essence spike powerful enough to be felt thousands of miles away, it might be just what we need."

She then says, "As a member of the Gold Faction, I know where the various Solar training camps are, and I can send messages to them to begin to gather up at a single location for us to be able get to. Before we leave for whatever destination, I'll send messages out." Turning to Tien, she says, "You have been quiet, my friend. I know that this is a lot to take in, but we need you. What is your opinion on our next course of action? Do you wish to head to the south and investigate, or do you see a different course of action to take?"

Rykon Rykon
 

Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Tien pauses to slowly released his meditations and the attunement to the local geomancy. The options before him weighed heavily, As had those taken that had already failed. "This is certainly an all-hands-on-deck situation. Much as I dislike the consequences of Solar involvement, we will need them on our side if we're to succeed where all of the rest of our kin have fallen. Much of the Realm is compromise by its very nature, and its insurgents are embedded deep within Lookshy. They cannot be trusted alone either because of this and we cannot be their permanent chaperones due to the sheer scope of the task ahead of us."

He laid the documents outlining the three options before them on their late senior's desk and let out a tired sigh. "So we'll need a mixed team to pursue the Citadel and we'll also need some additional intelligence on this essence surge in the south. The Citadel would make for a poor prize if it was cast down shortly on arrival from the sword. If we can find an advantage to weaken or overtake the sword, we must take it as soon as possible. Lastly... Mask of Winters... Do we even need to speak about why trading one calamity for another is a bad idea? Diplomacy with death has been little more than a flight of deluded whimsy or a means of espionage up to this point. Claiming it as anything more meaningful than that is woefully misguided in my eyes. I'd rather tempt the Raksha to march on another crusade." He concluded sarcastically.

"That is my perspective on our next steps. Acquire assets that will keep each other in check when we're inevitably absent. Have them procure the sword and shield we need to cast down the Empress. Everything else is setting them up for success as best we can."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Jontom looks over and says, "Well, if we are not going to go see this Deathlord, and bringing the Titan back from the Wyld is a bad idea with the Demon Queen with her hands on the Sword of Creation, it sounds like we make our first move to the south. Unless I'm missing something?" He looks back and forth between Renna and Tien, asking with a look for the more elder and presumably better educated Sidereals to make the call. "In any case, we need to prepare to move out as soon as possible. Time is of the essence, as they say."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Renna thinks for a moment, then says, "Well, I am thinking that we move to the location in the south as soon as possible. That will give the Solars that are in training at the various strongholds to gather and be ready to respond to whatever it is that we encounter out there. Then, we will be in a better position to be able to go into the Wyld and recover this lost Titan Citadel, and with their aid, make sure we can use the damn thing. I will have my messages sent within the hour, and that should give everyone time to gather up any needed supplies or tools to be ready for the challenges of the desert."

She looks at the others, and says with confidence, "We will not only survive, but we will overcome this, and be stronger for doing so."
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
What we're going to do is become irrelevant, dead, or both if we bring every Solar in Creation together, paper over their differences, and hand them the Sword, thinks Euphemia with a mental cringe. "Surely Creation needs its defenders, now more than ever. If we draw every Solar from all of the directional camps we will leave those lands vulnerable to demonic incursion. They have loved ones and responsibilities they cannot easily abandon. Perhaps instead send word that a Southern circle with freedom to travel should be sent to look into this matter. A small group is easier to guide and draws less enemy attention than an unruly mob, and this moment calls for a scalpel, not a sledgehammer."

Jupiter willing, they're easy to manipulate and, if it proves necessary, quietly dispose of when we're done.

[If her modification of Renna's plan is accepted, Pass. Euphemia is strongly against bringing all the Gold-friendly Solars together in one place and guiding them to seize the Sword, and will continue to attempt to dissuade Renna if she's unconvinced.]
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Renna looks doubtful, and lets out a sigh. "Ok, I will simply send out word to the camps to warn them, and have everyone stand by and be ready to respond to threats from Malfias. In the meantime, we need to pack some supplies to go to this Essence beacon wherever it is in the south. I can be ready to move in an hour or so. Gather anything you need and we can meet back here."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
At this point, the four Exalts split off and go their separate ways to gather up supplies to best survive the brutal heat of the southern desert, with Jontom quickly falling into the role of taking the lead from both Renna and Tien since the two of you are both elder Exalts compared to him.

Right now, you have access to the various Gateways to Creation to get as close to the source of the Essence beacon, but you will still have to do some serious traveling to get to the exact point. You can try to requisition different vehicles from the Bureau of Destiny, so you can move faster than you could normally. Do you try and obtain a ground vehicle, or an airship of some sort?
 

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