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Trial By Fire - Exalted 2e IC Thread

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Rykon

One Thousand Club
Aredin gives a courteous bow, briefly illuminating the mark of the Eclipse. "Goddess Leeayta, I am Lord Aredin, this is my wife Darian, and my comrades Viktor, Dunbar, Annika, Durke, Heaven, and Sirocco." Aredin hadn't realized as he started speaking, but apparently, he was now addressing the goddess in Dragontongue, or High Holy Speech. Hey now, I don't remember learning this.

Ah, but I do. This is one of the gifts of the Eclipse Caste. Languages will be very simple to pick up, as we invented and reinvented them time and again. Now, don't leave them hanging.

Er, right.

"I'm seeking to reunite the world in an empire in line with the Sun's mandate. This place seemed like the best to start our work, given the people, history, and wonders here. We were hoping to find you first thing after landing in hopes you could offer guidance with this project. I reckon we were fairly lucky in that regard. Anyhow, Arrog here tells us you have some problems with Goblins and Fae. Is there anything more you can tell us about what's happening here?"
 
Previously...
"My apologies for misunderstanding you. I don't think I've got many issues when it comes to morals. I did work in a large organization of thieves and assassins, after all." Annika said to Aredin with a grin. "If we have to get rid of someone, we get rid of them. I'm fine with that."

Now...
Seeing Aredin bowing to Leeayta, Annika quickly decided to follow his example and do the same. Then she listened as the Eclipse explained to the goddess why he and his comrades had come here.
 
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Viktor chose not to bow, but he did dip his head in deference to the Goddess. He then continued to stand silently and listen as his liege made introductions.
 

Kalin Scarlet

RPNation's OP Heroic Sword Saint
Heaven smiled softly at Sirocco as the dragon came to meet them. As the group continued to converse, slipping in and out of languages he could understand, he simply focused on his dear partner, figuring he would learn what he needed to when they were done. However, as the conversation went on, less of what they were saying didn't make sense to Heaven, and eventually, even the words of the dragon maiden we're understandable. With these words came blurred visions and white noise, incoherent and yet... something about them seemed familiar to the young solar. He shook his head gently, gripping Sirocco's hand firmly as he spoke in a new tongue. "Would you remind me why I never took the time out to learn this language from you?"
 

Red Shadow Claws

Four Thousand Club
Sirocco's face was filled with awe and appreciation, both for the goddess that greeted them, and from the mere fact that at least two of the Solars around her started speaking High holy Speech, even though they never learned it, at least from her. Truly these Solars can master things, and remember them generations later. She then bends a knee to the coming goddess, and opens her shirt, exposing her heart, in a show of humble submission, as she was instructed by K'rr'cheek. "We have come before you, as Lord Aredin explained, to bring this city back to glory. And I bring greetings from afar, where K'rr'cheek still lives, and still honors you."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Leeayta nods, "It would be beautiful if Rathess could be civilized again, and made into a shining city once more." Her eyes narrow as she fires off a powerful look at Aredin. "But I feel that you do not know the scale of the undertaking that you are about to undertake. There are many challenges that have taken control of the city, and many dark things have come to the Underways; things that scare even the likes of me. There is a pair of Exalts that have raised an army of wyld-twisted things and a few humans, and have begun to perform raids out of the city to the neighboring tribes. One is a Solar of considerable power; a Dawn caste if I don't miss my mark. He is quite erratic, and I fear that he is insane. His bizarre mood swings are one reason that he has not made a concerted effort to take our Tower from us, and we do our best to keep ourselves under his attention. I am not sure what the other Exalt is, but I do not think he is a Solar, but he is strong, and seems willing to follow the Solar. I do not know the true nature of their relationship, but he seems to be a voice of moderation to the Solar."

"There are a number of Fae Nobles that have managed to take control of the other standing Flying Tower, much to the chagrin of Relza. It is her stated belief that all the airships still on the Towers, functional or not, belong to her, and she is not keen on the idea of the Fae getting one of 'her' ships flying once more. So far they don't seem to know how to get them flying. The Fae there control a small force, enough to keep all others at bay, and Arrog and my other children here cannot make it over there, since the surface is controlled by the Solar and his ilk, and the Underways are hazardous to most that go down there. The Solar has figured out how to make some of the subways work, and his forces use them to travel quickly throughout the city. If that advantage could be taken from them, it would go far to eliminate their control on the city."

"The Underways are a hazard to all unless you travel in force. There is some dark power down below that has been drawing other dark things to it. I have tried to look into what is down there, but it is hazardous even to me."
 
Darian leans forward and asks, "What can we do to show you we are here to stay? And are you in contact with Relza and Shining Blossom? If all the main gods of Rathess are joined with us, it will make our efforts to pacify the city much easier." She pauses, then asks, "How many of your children are Enlightened like Arrog here?"
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
Aredin taps at his chin in thought for a moment then decides it best to vocalize his thought process but waits for answers to Darian's questions before speaking.

"Hmm... Sidereals of both factions have warned me of Solar insanity. They claim it to be inevitable. I don't want to become like the Bronze faction, but this man is our direct enemy for the moment, Solar or not. He and his associate's use of wyld creatures is a big black mark for me. Can't say I'd be all that sad to cast them into Lethe for another try at sanity. However, we need to find a solution to this mental plague or we are ultimately doomed."

Aredin paced for a second then removed his globe from the amulet-generated coat he wore. "I think we can ignore any major traveling difficulties in the upper city thanks to this. So if we were to focus on one problem right now to solve within the next day or two... Which mission would you say we should start with? Clearing the tower of Fae, removing the mad Solar as a threat, or carving a path through the Underways?"
 
Viktor audibly cleared his throat. He didn't wish to interrupt, but felt the need to chime in. "I've never used a soobway before; however, if given the chance to study it I might be able to shift such an advantage back to our favor."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Answering Darian's question, the Lizard Queen says, "There are currently forty seven Awakened Dragon Kings of various breeds in the Flying Tower right now, and there are many more on the cusp of awareness. I have labored long and hard to establish what we have here, and I will not let a bunch of idealistic Exalted come in and use my children as shock troops and cannon fodder for your own plans, leaving me with bitter ashes as more of my domain is ripped away from me."

At this point, Dunbar, who had been silent for most of the interactions, steps forward. "Madam, I assure you that these noble Exalted are no mere bunch of glory seekers, but they are the real thing. Personally, I am a Sidereal of the Gold Faction, working with several of my brethren to help bolster these fine people to the new empire that they have begun. Please, allow us to prove our sincerity to you."

Leeayta idly scratches at her chin with a clawed finger. "Interesting. I have seen adventurers come to Rathess before, planning on looting the goods left behind when the city fell. They all met with disaster. But there is something about you that tell me to give you a chance. A small one, but yes, I will provide you with some aid." She pauses to look over at the group, then says, "I am in periodic contact with both Shining Blossom and Relza. If you want to have them work with you, the first step would be to liberate the other Flying Tower of the Fae inside it, and get the airships working once more. Shining Blossom will be a bit more . . . difficult to convince to help, unless you are willing to sanction the old rite of living sacrifice to the Unconquered Sun that the Dragon Kings used to do, dedicating the ceremony to her name. Then she may be willing to aid you."

"If you are truly interested in freeing the city, hitting the other Flying Tower and cleansing it would be the easiest first step. Their forces are much smaller than those of the Solar and his ally, even if there are multiple nobles there. Make that happen, and you will have my attention."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Darian nods. "I don't believe that anyone here would have any problem with that; the Fae are not friends of Creation and having them out of the city would be welcome by all of us. It is a bonus that our Artificer may be able to get some of the disabled airships working once more, and if we can do that, having control of the air would provide us with a sizable advantage in a fight with the Solar."
 
Sirocco looks askance at Darian's words, after all, with her, they already have control of the air, unless this Solar and his accomplice have found a way to fly, and from her talks with Heaven, she surmised that Solars do not have such capability.
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
Aredin did not take Leeayta snapping at Darian well, "Our inquiry is for your benefit not so we can hide behind them like a pack of feckless cowards. I understand your fears are justified, but I will not take such slander idly."

Aredin held his globe of transport in one hand and daiklave drawn in the other. "Regardless, I plan to enjoy this fight, and I wouldn't care for your children stealing my fun." Turning to his circle, Aredin declared, "If there are no pressing objections, we depart in one hour to take the Fae tower. Stretch, stow any dead weight that might hold you down, and get ready to fight."
 
Unsure of what to do about the apparent spat between the two leading Solars and Leeayta, Sirocco bows to Leeayta, and speaks to her in a lowered voice. "As I said before, you have the greetings of K'rr'cheek, but I would ask one boon of you, if I may. If we are to go and fight off the Fae, I would appreciate it if I would be permitted to stay in my War Form, till we go there, so I may practice, perhaps with some of your Pteroks, the Dagger Wind Style."
 
"You got it." Annika said once Aredin had given his orders to the rest of the circle. As Sirocco came forward and made her request to Leeayta, Annika walked over to talk with Aredin and Darian.

"Before we all head off to the tower, I'd like to discuss a plan of attack with the two of you, as well as our host." She said, while indicating Leeayta with a nod of her head. "At the very least, I want to get as much information about the tower and the enemies inside it as we can."

Hopefully, Dunbar had managed to convince Leeayta to have some faith in the circle, and Aredin wouldn't feel the need to defend his wife's honor again.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Leeayta looks at Sirocco with an appraising gaze. "If you know Dagger Wind Style, then you are doubly blessed. First to know an Enlightened Pterok, and second to have him teach you this fighting style. Perhaps, one day, I will be able to meet your K'rr'cheek in person and find out for myself what kind of being he is. I have no objection to you working with the Pteroks above in this style, assuming that they are willing to spar with you. It is a natural feeling to be uneasy around outsiders."

She then turns her attention to Annika. "What can I tell you that you have not heard about the Fae in the other Tower yet?"
 
Sirocco bows at Leeayta's blessing, and changes her form to her War Form, she then rises on her wings, towards the Pteroks, but keeping a distance. While at a distance, she starts to practice Dagger Wind style, hoping to lure them to talk with her.
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
"I am of the same mind as Leeayta in this. So long as we aren't foolish enough to get lost in the tower or locked in a glamorous trap, we can cut through them easily enough." As Aredin spoke his blade hummed with a resonant life. "If you mean formation then I recommend Myself, Durke, and Darian in the front. Siroco, Heaven, and Dunbar in the center. Viktor and yourself, Annika, covering the rear flank for ambushes. This will give Heaven proper cover for spell casting, Siroco the flexibility to aid any in the formation, Dunbar and Viktor the ability to analyze and coordinate, and you and Darian to watch for surprises. All while Durke and myself get to relish the cosmic thrashing we get to unleash upon these wretched monsters. We stay close, stay alert, and pace ourselves and we should emerge victorious. I've seen most of you handle a wyld hunt. If they are capable of dealing with wyld things then we should be able to wade through guts and gossamer like it was naught but a gentle rain."
 
"I was just wondering if you knew anything about the tower that might be of use to us. Such as an entrance we can sneak through, or even a secret passage? Ideally we want to go after the Fair Folk nobles first, rather than let their troops to wear us down or alert them to our intentions beforehand." Annika said to Leeyata, before looking at Aredin.

"Whenever I had to fight someone, I always found it easier to sneak up behind them and strike them down without them realizing I was there, or even that I was planning to fight them." She said, grinning. "But I'll defer to your recommendation in this case. You seem more accustomed to dealing with Fair Folk, at any rate."
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
"We're not here to just assassinate the nobles, we're here to clean up the city. So, we need to dispatch as many as possible from top to bottom. This'll also give Viktor a solid chance to assess the state of the tower. Honestly, my biggest concern with us having so few Dragon-Kings awakened would be our ability to hold a second tower once it's been safely swept through. There's still the Solar and the Wyld beasts to contend with up here, no?"
 
Annika merely chuckled at Aredin's words. "Despite the best efforts of my memory, I haven't forgotten why we all came here. I simply thought it best that we deal with the toughest foes first, while at our full strength, and then turn our attention to their minions. Assuming they don't start running for the hills after seeing us kill their leaders, that is."

"As for stopping our other enemies from taking the tower, couldn't we just barricade its entrances at the ground level? That way we wouldn't have to worry about garrisoning the tower, and we could fly in and out of it as we please."
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
"Our other enemy is a Solar. If I assume that he is equal or stronger than us then a barricade would be seen as an adorably futile obstacle. As for being worn out by the army... I doubt my strikes will leave much for you all to exert yourself upon."

Quite proud of your progress now aren't you?

It's been a rather cathartic experience to assimilate such an overwhelming power.

The next step is overwhelming defense. You've learned the sword, now comes the fortress. Once you have those two, you will be near the peak.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Arrog speaks up at this point. "The Flying Towers are accessible on multiple levels; openings in the Tower used to allow Pteroks to fly in and out, normal ground level entrance, and a subway terminal below the surface that connects the Tower to the rest of the city through the tunnels. Most of the lower level entrances of the other Tower have been blocked, but there is always the upper level entrances and the landing deck. That would bypass the blockades they have in place and would get you behind their defenses.

The Solar and his forces have control of the three Pyramids, but the Exalt spends most of his time in the main Pyramid of the Sun, and occasionally comes out to rant to his people to drive them into a near frenzy of adoration of him. We have tried to approach the Solar known as the Goblin King, both to try and have an offer of truce between us and to investigate his defenses, but all that have approached have been killed in rather gruesome ways and frequently eaten. We have since stopped trying, and have focused on gathering more of our kin in the lower levels where Leeayta has been working her magic to Awaken as many as she can. The Solar has, for the most part, ignored us, and leaves us to our own. With so many of our savage children in the lower levels, it has been an excellent deterrent to the Goblin King's forces to not make a pitched attack on us."

Leeayta nods in agreement with the words of Arrog. "I have also planted several nasty traps in the lower levels that would make assaulting this Tower a costly affair. I fear, though, that if the Goblin King truly wanted to take this Tower, he could. He is quite powerful. But, there is something that have as a trump card that might make things a bit more equal. In my Sanctum, I have a museum of weapons and armor that my Enlightened children can use to great effect. It is a slow process to get to that stockpile, since the entrance is in my Temple near the Pyramid of the Sun. Help me to access my Sanctum and gather up some weapons, and I will speak with my children to see if I can convince them to join you to clean out the city."
 

Rykon

One Thousand Club
"On the stack of threats from weakest to greatest my judgement is Fae, Goblin King, then Underways... If it's all the same to you, I'd like Relza's help in clearing the path to your sanctum. Hopefully. we can clear a more permanent station there with defenses and all. Assuming all's well in Gwynnin by that time we may be able to call in reinforcements to secure the upper levels of the city."
 
Annika was a little put-out at the way Aredin had dismissed her suggestion, but before she could reply to him, Leeyata and Arrog both began talking about ways into the Fair Folk tower, as well as their previous dealings with the Exalt.

"Somehow I doubt we'll have much luck reasoning with this particular exalt." Annika commented, after hearing Arrog talk about how his compatriots had been killed and eaten when they had approached the Solar in the Pyramid of the Sun with an offer of peace. Then she listened as Leeayta talked about her Sanctum and the supply of weapons hidden within, with Aredin suggesting that they get Relza's help in accessing it. Annika saw the logic in this, but another thought occurred to her.

"I was just wondering, does Rezla know that you lot are camped out in her tower?" She asked Leeyata.
 

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