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The Fajadi Affair of Descending Fire RY 768 (Exalted 3e Dragon-Blooded) (IC)

OOC
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Characters
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
Alys goes over to the distraught woman and kneels down next to her. In a soft, soothing voice, she tries to put the crying woman at ease. "Hey. Remember me? I am here to help. But in order for that to happen, you have to tell us who did this? Who is responsible for this murder?" Who do I have to go hunt down to avenge this atrocity?
 
While his discomfort at having to break protocol is genuine, Sayan can tell that Guillard is intentionally delaying her entry, and not for the reasons he has expressed. He is hiding something, and anyone of lesser social puissance than Sayan would have been oblivious. On the valet's return he doesn't appear to be any wiser to Sayan's suspicions.

With additional verbal self-flagellation, Guillard leads Sayan through the rear entrance; there doesn't seem to be any trace of the figure Sayan glimpsed through the window. Guillard ushers her into the drawing room where Yasamin Taraq awaits. The heiress' savvy and aspirations are masked by her youth. She has the surprising height and light eye color of someone from the South Bank, but the skin tone, body shape, and facial features of someone from the North. Yasamin's straight black hair is a bit of a mess, last nights makeup is smudged across her face, and she is still in her bed clothes, a light silk kimono as is the style in the Realm. When Yasamin sees Sayan her eyes light up, she hastily sets down her cup of coffee and rises from where she was lounging, rushing over to Sayan to give her an embrace just a shade past polite.
"Please sit my peach. While I can't fathom why you'd bother yourself with this unpleasantness, I'm happy to have your company for it. How can I help?"
Once Sayan sits, Guillard will pour her a cup of tea, and hover nearby.

Re: North Bank V South Bank ethnicities. I'm seeing the North bank, and by extension the miner class/ main propenants of the aprophetic heterodoxy, are styled after the Inuit, and the South Bank, being the primary adherents and proponents of the Abhari creed as presented in the Fajad preview are styled after Proto-Indo-Europeans.

---------------------------------------

Zakas' force of personality and calm demeanor gave the distraught woman pause, taking a long ugly convulsing breathe in, she blinks her eyes puffy from crying, and meets the caring countenance of Alys. Recongition can be seen washing over her face, then a moment of panic. She lets out another long wail, but, her face doesn't reflect any anguish. Her eyes stay locked on Alys', and she wildly gesticulates at the wall that Tomiko and Axan have deduced is a false wall leading to a secret passage.
She wails again,
"Please, just leave me alone."
she knocks over some bottles to make some noise for cover, and speaks softly to Alys and Zakas,
"They're listening."
she then lets out another keening wail, continuing the charade.
 
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Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
Sayan returns the embrace, and if her hands drift a bit further than would normally be considered entirely appropriate, who would ever tell? "How do you know I didn't do it for your company?" She asks with a crooked smile. At the other's suggestion, she sits and lifts the fresh cup of tea to her perfectly painted lips and blows on it gingerly before taking a delicate sip.

She puts down the cup again and smiles as she reaches up to bring some small semblance of order to Yasamin's locks. "You must be tired indeed," she adds half in mirth and half in mock-chastisement, "if you cannot fathom the advantage in doing a favour for an Imperial Magistrate. As to what you can do, do you know what happened? Did any of your people see it?"
 
Hints of a natural blush faded underneath the smudged rouge as Sayan started to talk business.
"I'd rather the magistrates not think of me at all, but if they must I'll be complicit, or should I say cooperative? Whatever sounds less like I'm guilty. As to whatever bloody business happened nearby, I was asleep when it happened; I was up late treating some potential buyers. Some rabble out of some backwater, but they have capital."
She takes an unladylike gulp of coffee,
"As soon as your sweet whispers reached my ear I dispatched dear Guillard to find what all the fuss was about, and now here we are. Guillard, what did you find?"

The lanky valet steps forward, clears his throat, and precisely reports,
"From the accounts I could gather, a quorum of qadis crossed the channel, apprehended some dissidents, sentenced, and executed them in the square. Seems to have disrupted business for the day."
he then produces a red handkerchief from his breast pocket, dabs his forehead, then replaces its.

Yasamin scoffs at the report,
"executed for 'dissidence'? That's terrible. I hope that gossip about the Green Demon is true, and he gives those qadis what they deserve."
 

Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
Sayan's eyes sparkle in amusement at Yasamin's struggles with High Realm, "if you would avoid being treated harshly by the Empress's Justice, cooperative is probably better than complicit."

She, of course, notices the color of Guillards' kerchief, but makes no mark of it that can be easily perceived. Instead she turns her attention back to Yasamin and asks, "who is this Green Demon, and what does gossip say of him?"

OOC: I'd like to use Read Intentions to gauge Guillar's feelings regarding these quadis and if he's an adherent to the brewing aprophetic heterodoxy. Assuming a 1d stunt and I'll spend 2m Loquacious Courtier Technique to get a free success. A total of 5 sux.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Alys shoots a look over at the wall that the woman indicates, rising slowly and drawing her blade. If the ones that did this are still in there, I will have a few harsh words with them. With a wave of her free hand, she signals to the others that the woman is indicating that there is something beyond the wall, something that is fearsome to her.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Tomiko sees that Alys is focused on the wall/doorway that lies somewhat hidden and she nods. She slowly and quietly glides over to the hidden entry with her chakram in one hand, and with the other, she reaches out to pull the cover away. Looking at Alys, she mouths, three, two, one then she pulls the cover aside with a rapid yank, keeping herself to one side and away from the large sword in the Fire Aspects' hands.
 
Yasamin gets visibly excited that she has a bit of juicy fun to talk about,
"Quite sensational stuff actually. Originally it was just an old Fajadi folk tale, something crones would tell little children to keep them from acting up,"
she pantomimes chastising,
"'If you are a wicked little child the green demon will come for you.' but recently there have been accounts of an actual Green Demon coming for the wicked. Mostly it's little things, a thief getting beaten in an alley, some toughs running a protection racket got ousted, but the real meaty story came out last week."
she leans forward and speaks in hushed tones, since they are alone this is most likely for affect,
"They kept it somewhat quiet over on the South Bank, but my sources confirmed the merchant Tamzerian and Marabout Emine were kidnapping and smuggling children. The Green Demon beat them senseless and left them to face qadi justice. One of the children was a son of an artisan in my employ, and they told me all about it. I was quickly able to acquire a good portion of Tamzerian's legitimate business thanks to the tip. He was flogged and stripped of his property. The marabout didn't receive any public punishment, but no one has heard from him since."
she leans back and stirs her coffee,
"Some qadis committing a questionable execution? By the Prophets, Sounds like something he'd go for."

While Yasamin, and Guillard before her spoke, Sayan is able to pick up on subtle ticks and discomfort imperceptible to most on the personage of the valet. Each mention of qadis, marabouts, and prophets makes him twinge. He is definitely a member of the un'Atzali heresy.

OOC: Major Principle: Adherent of un'Atzal.
 
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Rykon

One Thousand Club
Zakas leaves Mistweaver in its sheath, thinking it unwise to draw it now. Instead his fists clenched and he rooted his stance, ready to drown the conflict before it could wreak havoc on the town.
 

Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
"Well done!" Sayan offers with a smile. Do rumours say," she adds after taking another sip of her tea, "if it is the demon of legend, or merely some newcomer using it for cover? Or perhaps multiple someones operating under the same name?"
 
The comments cause Yasamin to pause just before she was about to take another sip,
"I hadn't even considered any of that. See this is why we work so well together."

Guilldard bows forward gently and interjects, almost in a sing-songy manner,
"If I may be so bold as to interject, the history of the Green Demon is quite interesting. I fancy myself a bit of a regional scholar, and the Green Demon sticks out for a number of reasons.'
He deftly extends his gloved hand forward, counting off each point with a flourish, starting with his unusually long pinky,
"Firstly, it's the only mention of any kind of any demon whatsoever in any local lore. Aqadar detests the creatures, and tends to address them personally with prejudice, which leads us to-"
the second finger pops into place,
"Secondly, the Sorcerer themself has never once attempted to banish the Green Demon."
The valet's middle finger unfolds one phalange by phalange, wait was there an extra joint?
"Lastly this is not the first time the Demon has done more than scare children, although he hasn't been seen in quite some time. The last credible sighting I recall was almost 75 years ago, saving miners from a collapsing shaft. Before that I wasn't in the employ of your family and have had difficulty validating any accounts."

Yasamin stares incredulously at Guillard for a moment,
"Just how old are you Guillard?"
"Mistress, please, don't bore yourself with such minutia. May I refresh your coffee?"
She nods, and he does.

----------------------------------------------

The mechanism for the false wall is thankfully well maintained, and if it made any noise when pressed that might alert anyone on the other side, it was masked by the ruckus of the moaning mourner. Although the lock is no longer holding it in place, it is still somewhat weighty, and will take some effort to open the massive door out into the salon.
Str+Athl to help decide how this battle might start, with some associated advantages/disadvantages on success. I'm open to alternative methods to open the door, and if someone wants to assist they're more than welcome to.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Tomiko pulls on the door, but doesn't think that she will be strong enough by herself to successfully pull the door open. She looks over at Alys and nods towards the door.
Health Level
-0 [ ]
-1 [ ][ ][ ]
-2 [ ][ ][ ]
-4 [ ]
I [ ]
Willpower: 6
Personal: 13
Peripheral: 31 (21)
Committed: 10

Join Battle: 7 + 3 successes
Parry: 6
Evasion: 5 / 6 vs Ranged Attacks
Total Soak: 9
Hardness: 4

Guile: 4
Resolve: 4

Infinite Jade Chakram - Melee: Accuracy +5, Damage +10, Overwhelming 3
infinite Jade Chakram - Ranged: Accuracy Close +5, Short +4, Medium +3, Long 0
 
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
Alys can see that the Immaculate Monk is having some issues getting the door open, so she steps forward. With one arm on the latch, she pulls.

She gives the other woman a grin as (hopefully) she is able to yank the door open.
Health Levels
-0 [ ]
-1 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
-2 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] - [ ][ ][ ]
-4 [ ]
-I [ ]

Willpower: 5

Essence: 2
Personal: 13
Peripheral: 31
Committed: 14

Join Battle: 5 + 3 successes

Parry: 6
Evasion: 2

Resolve: 3
Guile: 2

Personal Soak: 5
Total Soak: 16 / Hardness: 10
 
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Red Shadow Claws

Five Thousand Club
Axan draws his spear, his essence racing up his arms, causing the muscles on them to slightly bulge. He also stands ready, if Alys fails to open the door, to step up and break it loose.

spending 1m, 1wp on Strength of Stone Technique, increasing his strength to 5.
 

Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
Sayan smiles faintly at Yasanim's praise. She is, of course, entirely self-confident and though the praise of a young mortal sheds no new light on her abilities, it is always a pleasant experience. As the valet interjects himself into the conversation, she regards him with utmost interest, partly because of his words, but in truth more because this seems like such an odd thing for him to do. He has ever been the obedient servant, and an action such as this is quite extraordinary.

At his unusual anatomy and final words, she is just able to prevent a puzzle frown from forming on her forehead, but her mind is spinning ever faster to figure out the man's - creature's? - game.

OOC: Another Read Intentions, this time for his true feelings towards Yasamin. Spending 4m on Loquacious Courtier Technique this time, and assuming a rank 1 stunt. Ignore the last die, that one was thrown accidentally. A total of 11 sux.
 
With a creak and groan, the large false wall starts to turn on a hidden hinge. Straining against the weight of the object finally gives the Fire Aspect a chance to vent all the anger and frustration from today's events. With a sudden burst of strength Alys pulls the door out, pivots, and throws it with all of her might along it's radius. Tomiko is barely able to jump out of the way as the massive wall careens and crashes, splintering and kicking up dust. Through the haze, a rather motley trio is standing, now flatfooted, in a hidden room with a rough hewn stairway leading down into darkness.

Most noticeably there is a rather stunned and incredibly large man, standing at least a head taller than Axan. He is completely hairless, and his skin is of a strange dark hue, almost looking to be made of stone, wearing armor that looks to have been cobbled together from several other smaller sets of armor. Standing to his right is a hunched and spindly figure, with tan skin, gaunt features, and a long nose. His bald pate is circled and capped with stark white hair in a top not, mirrored by a stark white beard bound in a similar fashion. Other than his odd appearance, he is notable for the large fire wand made of red jade that he holds with gloves fashioned from the same material, with heat and flame rumbling and radiating from the barrel even at rest. Last is a woman, who if she wasn't standing next to the lumbering beast of a man would seem of average height. Under the long black robes are hints of her stout figure. Her round face is framed with long straight black hair parted at the center. Her skin is light brown, save for a circular patch of stark black from her right eye down to her jaw, giving her countenance the appearance of a crescent moon.

OOC: ROLL JB. As a benny for getting the drop on them, all of your attacks in the first round will be surprise attacks. If one of them wins JB (statistically unlikely) they will not be subject to the penalty.

---------------------------------

OOC: The reportedly Fae-Blooded valet has a Major Tie of Loyalty to the Taraq family, and a minor tie of Stewardship for Yasimin. Although it is somewhat against protocol to interject, he feels that withholding this information he has would be a greater disservice. Although that satisfies the Read Intentions roll, I feel like a good roll and some motes spent deserves better, you can tell that he has another intimacy that is bringing him into conflict with his intimacies for Yasimin, but nothing in this scene is tipping you off to exactly what.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Tomiko glares at the figures through narrowed eyes. If these were the ones that killed the victim, there will be blood on them. Focusing her Essence, she examines the trio for any trace evidence.
Spending 4m on Scent-of-Crime Method, along with another 6m on the Excellency for +3 dice to my roll. Finally, another 8m on Air Dragon Form.

6 successes +3 to Join Battle
10 successes from double 9's on my investigation roll

Health Levels
-0 [ ]
-1 [ ][ ][ ]
-2 [ ][ ][ ]
-4 [ ]
I [ ]

Willpower: 6

Personal: 13
Peripheral: 31 (21) / 3
Committed: 10

Join Battle: 7 + 3 successes

Parry: 6
Evasion: 5 / 6 vs Ranged Attacks +1 from Form Charm

Total Soak: 9
Hardness: 4

Guile: 4
Resolve: 4

Infinite Jade Chakram - Melee: Accuracy +5, Damage +10, Overwhelming 3
Infinite Jade Chakram - Ranged: Accuracy Close +5, Short +4, Medium +3, Long 0
 
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Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
"Well, that is certainly enlightening," Sayan muses as she leans back and sips her tea delicately. "You say that the demon was 'sighted,' Guillard, are there any trustworthy descriptions of the creature? Then or now?"
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
Zakas grips the end of his sheath intently. Well if we're already breaking stuff no need for me to hold back. With a flick of his thumb against the tsuba, Mistweaver hopped just a touch from the scabbard letting a stream of dense mist pour out of it and over the finely crafted space that now may not stand long enough to see another Dragon child pass through. Zakas' eyes land firmly on the flame piece. Red Jade huh? Looks like I need to drown this one first...

Activating Precision Observation Method for 3 dice... Starting Initiative is 4.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Alys grins at the trio as she tosses the ruined door aside. "Hi there! We are here to share a message about the glorious Elemental Dragons! Are you three ready to be saved?"
5 successes

Activating my Strength of Stone Technique to boost my STR by one for the scene

Health Levels
-0 [ ]
-1 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
-2 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] - [ ][ ][ ]
-4 [ ]
-I [ ]

Willpower: 5 / 4

Essence: 2
Personal: 13 / 12
Peripheral: 31
Committed: 14

Join Battle: 5 + 3 successes

Parry: 6
Evasion: 2

Resolve: 3
Guile: 2

Personal Soak: 5
Total Soak: 16 / Hardness: 10
 
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It seems that Tomiko has literally caught the culprit red handed. The hulking hands of the massive man are splattered with blood and caked with dust from the construction site. It is without question that he beat the deceased, and placed the stones.

-----------------------------

"Well I don't presume your opinion of me, but I believe myself to be trustworthy. I was at the mine collapse."
The valet adjusts his gloves, again,
"I'm not so certain it was a creature, but I'm also not so certain it was a man, though it was shaped as one. Its carapace was a spiky, tarnished green. It's face a contorted grimace with hollow eyes. It seemingly coalesced out of the shadows, and the lights danced and flickered in its wake. As it held up a broken beam allowing us to escape, it barked at us in an unnaturally reverberating voice, and told us to run for our lives. While I don't know what it was, I know it wasn't an actual demon, as I've never heard of any demon that speaks in a Fajadi dialect."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Tomiko points her finger at the guilty man, knowing that Alys is looking to deal with him. "That one! He's the killer!"
Form Charm active
Health Levels
-0 [ ]
-1 [ ][ ][ ]
-2 [ ][ ][ ]
-4 [ ]
I [ ]

Willpower: 6

Personal: 13
Peripheral: 31 (21) / 3
Committed: 10

Join Battle: 7 + 3 successes

Parry: 6
Evasion: 5 / 6 vs Ranged Attacks +1 from Form Charm

Total Soak: 9
Hardness: 4

Guile: 4
Resolve: 4

Infinite Jade Chakram - Melee: Accuracy +5, Damage +10, Overwhelming 3
Infinite Jade Chakram - Ranged: Accuracy Close +5, Short +4, Medium +3, Long 0
 

Esbilon

Seven Thousand Club
Sayan nods thoughtfully at Guillard's story, "that is most interesting, and I agree that sounds nothing like any demon I have heard of either." She puts her now empty cup down on the table again and regards Guillard, "leaving behind the demon for the moment, do you know who the qadis who oversaw the execution were?"
 

Red Shadow Claws

Five Thousand Club
Axan hefts his spear, as Alys uncovers the trio. He was still uncertain about his combat prowess, but he had every intention of doing his best to prove his worthiness.

5 successes
 
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Guillard turns his head away,
"They don't exactly name themselves when they proceed about, but my erm..."
he clears his throat,
"friends said that one of the qadis that participated in your little tussle in the market bore the crest of Prophet Metsa'an. Her disciples aren't many, and if they needed to close ranks they'd most likely hide at The Rock, a redoubt just outside town."

Suddenly Yasimin gets very worried look on her face, and places a gentle hand on Sayan's knee,
"Tussle?! With one of Metsa'an's? What happened, are you okay?"

--------------------------------

The dumbstruck look on the gargantuan man's face contorts into a grimace, and his unnaturally large hands contort into fists.
"This wasn't your fight Dragons, but if that is what you want I'll give it to you!"

Crouching into a ready stance, the old looking man tightens his grip on his dragon-sigh wand, and the gout of flame gurgles accordingly.

The woman with the moonshadow birthmark lets out a deep sigh, and her neck and shoulders relax.

Given the radius of the swinging door-wall, and proximity of the drunk woman (now named Nona for clarity), I'd say that everyone is arrayed at about Short range from the hidden room where the Perpetrator and accomplices have been surprised. For clarity, their names are Goli (the big guy), Abiz (the old looking man with the dragon-sigh wand), and Strega (the moon-faced).
Round 1
|Character|Init|
>Tomiko = 9<
-Axan = 8
-Alys = 8
-Stregga = 8
-Zakas = 4
-Goli = 3
-Abiz = 4
-Nona = 3
 
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