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Trial by Fire - IC Thread

Dice System
Exalted 3e
OOC
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Characters
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Lore
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jaydude

Three Thousand Club
Kuaidao smiled and caressed the side of Maja's head. If Bard and Spider still didn't know the two of them had gotten together, they surely would now.

The Dawn actually slapped his forehead and gave a chuckle when Bard mentioned the land ship. "Ugh, I can't believe I forgot about that thing! And I'm supposed to be the strategist of this Circle!" he said, before clearing his throat. "Okay. I second Bard's idea. We get everything and everyone loaded onto the land ship, then sail it away from here."

He looked at Rory. "So far I think the plan is to run. But I'd still like to keep an eye on this fortress once we leave. If Lahor and his people are just hoping to loot it, we might be able to move back in once they're gone."

He then turned his attention to the Full Moon of the group. "What say you, Spider? You have any thoughts on our current situation?" he asked.
Psychie Psychie
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider shrugs. "I am game for a good fight, but I also understand that there are times that you don't want to do battle if you can avoid it. If we end up leaving here, I understand. Just don't ask me to stay out of the fight with the Deathlord's troops!" She then asks, "So, does anyone have any idea on just how large this land ship is? I'm wondering if it has the room to be able to fit the imps in it, since there are a lot of them."
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
Bard nodded at his mate.

He then tapped his ashes into a random urn and walked to the pair of dragon bloods. Mahina and Milo.

"Lahor is coming. And we have come to the decision that we will avoid any confrontation with them."

Bard looked around, "I used to live here, apparently. Ages ago. And it seems just as I have returned, I must abandon it once more."

"If it was just the two of you, I would entrust this manor and its contents to you. However, Lahor has not shown himself to be admirable as the two of you. To that end, we will be taking with us the artifacts and books with us. You can stay and study what is left. Or come with us and study at your leisure."

"But... the bigger matter, is that the threat to creation has been revealed. Milo, heaven has foreseen true anathema coming. Those of necrotic taint and inverted light. Exalts of death. We have time to prepare for their arrival, and we are going to do just that. We are moving with every intent to erase them from existence."

"V'neef Milo, You have experience in hunting these monsters. We could really use your help."
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Bard nodded at his mate.

He then tapped his ashes into a random urn and walked to the pair of dragon bloods. Mahina and Milo.

"Lahor is coming. And we have come to the decision that we will avoid any confrontation with them."

Bard looked around, "I used to live here, apparently. Ages ago. And it seems just as I have returned, I must abandon it once more."

"If it was just the two of you, I would entrust this manor and its contents to you. However, Lahor has not shown himself to be admirable as the two of you. To that end, we will be taking with us the artifacts and books with us. You can stay and study what is left. Or come with us and study at your leisure."

"But... the bigger matter, is that the threat to creation has been revealed. Milo, heaven has foreseen true anathema coming. Those of necrotic taint and inverted light. Exalts of death. We have time to prepare for their arrival, and we are going to do just that. We are moving with every intent to erase them from existence."

"V'neef Milo, You have experience in hunting these monsters. We could really use your help."
Mahina looks like she just sucked on a lemon when Bard mentions Lahor, saying, "Do what you will with him. The man is a pig, and the world would be well to be rid of him. However, I am glad to hear that you have a plan to not kill him and his cohorts. It is bad form to allow such things to happen without putting up at least a token level of resistance."

Milo just sulks some more.

Then, Bard mentions the Deathknights and Milo twitches his hand towards his sword, but stops short of drawing the blade. "Hear me now, and think hard on my words. I am no friend to you and these other anathema. I use that word to describe you because that is what you are. That being said, the forces of the Underworld are far more vile and loathsome than you, and it would be beneficial to all of Creation to put a stop to the plans of the Deathlords. For that reason and that reason alone, I shall aid you."

Mahina slips her arm around her brother's shoulders and pulls him into a squeeze. "Milo, I think we are doing the right thing here, working with these Exalts. They can not only help to stop the walking dead, but we may be able to help out our own cause for our House at the same time."

He doesn't fight off her embrace, but he still doesn't look happy. "I already said that I'd help; I won't be best friends and bunkmates with these things, though. My tolerance of these Exalts is very limited, and once the threat of the undead is over, I will be gone."
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
Kuaidao couldn't help but exhale in frustration when Milo mentioned the 'A' word.

"Listen." he said emphatically to the other man in flawless High Realm. "I don't care what the monks told you about our kind, but I can assure you that I made no deal with any dark power. I was a patrician, born on the Blessed Isle, to a family who were all devout followers of the Immaculate Philosophy, along with all our servants. At eighteen, I left to join the legions, and I spent the next three years serving in them. There was never any opportunity for me to become an 'Anathema' in the sense that you're thinking of, and if by chance there had been, and I had taken it, I would have been found out long ago. Ask my family, if you haven't already done something along those lines."

He took a moment to compose himself, before continuing on a bit more calmly. "If you really want to know, I got these powers in the middle of a battle, roughly a year ago. My legion had been sent to help deal with an icewalker rebellion, which turned out to have been organized by a Solar. Even when I learned of this, I didn't hesitate to march against him. I was the last soldier left in our talon when he turned his attention to us, and rather than try and call upon a dark power in a desperate attempt at survival, I resigned myself to the high possibility of death, before facing him. Doing so led me to gain the power I possess now, but I never chose to receive it before I learned of what it truly was. And if I had never learned that the power possessed by the Solars wasn't inherently evil, I would have gladly driven my sword through my heart, rather than live as an abomination."

He exhaled again. Venting in such a matter had taken a bit more out of him than he had anticipated.

[Attempting to Instill a Minor Tie of Reluctant Trust towards Celestial Exalted within Milo. Claiming one-point stunt and spending 4m Personal Essence on Presence Excellency for 6 additional dice, giving me twelve in total. Five successes.]

Essence: 1
Personal Essence: 9/13
Peripheral Essence: 23/33

Committed Essence: 10

Willpower: 5
Join Battle: 7 dice
Health Levels: -0, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -3, Incapacitated
Resolve 3, Guile 2

Attacks
Guardian Host (Orichalcum & White Jade Daiklave): 14 W. Accuracy, 11 D. Accuracy, 15 Damage, Overwhelming 4 (+3 ACC, +12 DMG, +1 DEF, OVW 4) (Lethal, Melee, Chopping)
Straight Sword: 13 W. Accuracy, 11 D. Accuracy, 12 Damage, Overwhelming 2 (+2 Accuracy +9 Damage, +1 Defense, +2 Overwhelming) (Lethal, Melee, Balanced)

Actions
Rush: 10
Disengage: 8

Evasion 4, Parry 7
Soak/Hardness: 11/7 (Dauntless, Soak +8, Mobility Penalty -1, Hardness +7, Attune 5)
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Milo is slowly showing signs that there might be a shift in his thinking towards you, but it is a real struggle. He is dealing with trying to come to terms with a lifetime's worth of education from the Immaculate Order telling him that the dread Anathema are out there, waiting to strike at the first sign of weakness with the goal of brining down the stability of the Empire. You are hardly the evil bunch of monsters that he's been taught to expect.

His sister once more gives his shoulders a reassuring hug that he seems to not even notice.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Over the course of the next several hours, the Exalts in the Fortress begin preparing for evacuation. Under the watchful instruction of Melinda, the box that is the Folding Land Ship is pulled out of the hidey hole that it was in, and she shows you how to make the darn thing work. An Exalt must commit 10 motes of Essence to make it unfold. After that is done, it takes the ship one full minute to unfold to its full size, and it reveals that this is a high speed trimarine hull design, capable of housing up to fifty people with ease; perhaps ten more beyond that if you are willing to put up with the cramped quarters that would entail. Melinda goes on to explain that the ship will only answer to the Exalt that places his or her Essence into it, and the ship requires no other crew to operate.

Obviously, this vessel is far too small to be able to house all the imps on it. If you plan on having them join you on your evacuation, you will have to find some other means for them to travel.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
"That's amazing!" gushes Maja as she explores every little nook and cranny of the small ship that assembled itself from nothing. "Except, ummm, I've never sailed anything before. Bard, you're from an ocean, right? Do you know how to sail this thing?" She looks at him expectantly.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Mahina steps up and gives the ship a good once over look, then says, "I grew up in Eagle's Launch, and know a bit about sailing ships. I am hardly an expert, but I know port from starboard."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider looks at the amazing artifact and says, "Better you do it than me. I've never sailed a ship The only open water I have ever even been close to is the river that we sailed on to get here, and that was scary enough for me even as small as it was compared to the ocean. Does anyone know how it works? The whole 'sail over land or sea' thing?"
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
The presence of this woman was going to take some... getting used to. Bard seemed to like her, and she didn't want to upset him. Kuaidao was tolerating her, and he had the most cause of any of them not to. Her soul loathed the Dynast, but she wasn't on speaking terms with her soul at the moment. Mahina seemed to genuinely be making an effort despite how mean Maja had been to her.

"Oh, um, thank you, I guess," she says haltingly, awkwardly, and without making eye contact. "I don't know where Eagle's Launch is, but there were ships in the harbour in Tusk, too - when it wasn't frozen. Then sometimes there were ice ships. I wasn't allowed to learn how to sail, though."

Spider's question is more interesting, "Maybe it's like a sky ship, but I don't see a balloon, and there's no feathersteel. I guess it's just magic," she shrugs.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Melinda says, "It has something to do with the keel of the ship and a pact made with a powerful earth elemental. It causes the earth to liquify around the ship, allowing it to sail along as if it were on the water. Very keen, if you ask me." She looks back at the Fortress and asks, "What do you plan on doing with the other artifacts that you found inside the manse? Are you going to take them all along, or leave them in their hiding place and risk having Sesus Lahor find them?"
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
As Bard walks up the ramp into the landscape, he runs a hand a long the rails and breathes out a deep contented sigh as if overtaken by the nostalgic familiarity of meeting an old friend after a long time. An act for the dramatic reveal of his ineptitude on the matter.

"I have never sailed a day in my life." He said with a chipper smile. "Was never allowed to leave my island. I might stir up some scandals and my parents didn't want assassins sent my way because of the potential political problems." The white haired bard explained.

"But I would be more than willing to give it a shot with if Melinda feels brave enough to let me. What is the worst i can do? Run ashore?" He snorted amusedly at his own joke.



"As for the imps, I will break the news to them. I will see if any would like to join me, and free the rest back to their own home. They will cause no more problems in creatiom. And neither they nor Lahor will have to deal with the conflict that would naturally arise. Though I will need to get with our ghost friend to see if I can even do that. I will be doing that while you all get ready."

"Our artifacts though. Well we will be taking all that we can. Including what we can of the library. We don't want them burning first age knowledge. I know you came to study them, I think you would be welcome to explore them to your hearts content after that, Melinda."
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
Kuaidao was glad for the news that the ship could effectively sail itself. He didn't think there was anyone among himself, Maja, Bard and Spider who possessed the slightest affinity for the art.

"If you want to try and talk to the imps, the rest of us can get to work loading things up." he said to Bard, before addressing everyone else. "One more thing, though. Do we know where we're going to go from here? If we're going to make a stand against our undead enemies, I feel we should start preparing sooner rather than later. That means finding allies, and people willing to fight under our banner. Because odds are that a few hundred imps are not going to cut it here."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Rory lets out a snort. "Ye want an army? I can introduce you to my clan. Our numbers are not the greatest, but there be no tougher bunch of people than my kinfolk." He suddenly looks stern. "I warn ye, if ye make any moves on my wife, I'll have your guts for breakfast! Not that I could blame you; she is the most beautiful woman in the world, with a voice like honey and hair as soft as silk. Ah, how I look forward to seein' my darlin' again."

He suddenly realizes that he's drifting off with a goofy look on his face, then snaps back to the tough warrior you are used to seeing. "Ah, yes. As I was sayin', my people are a tough bunch, not to mention some of the other tribes out there. Get them to follow your banner, and you'll have a nasty bunch of fighters."
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
I should know the Icewalker tribes are tough. After all, I spent a lot of time fighting with them.

Kuaidao decided not to voice this thought however, instead giving Rory an approving nod. "That's certainly most advantageous to us." he said. "I say we travel there, then. And don't worry about me making any advances on your wife. After all, with all due respect to her, I've already found someone else."

He turned to smile at Maja as he said this last sentence, as if to emphasize his words.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Maja blows him a kiss in reply, beaming. "Alright, let's go! Hurry up, Bard!"

She immediately sets about cataloguing the food supplies remaining from those they picked up in town, the survival gear they have, and anything that can be scavenged from the fortress, then stowing the most useful things aboard the little ship.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
While searching for food in the fortress, Maja quickly learns that there is plenty of water, but no foodstuffs. After all, no one has lived in the place for hundreds of years if not longer, and any food that was here has long rotted away into dust. The only reason why there is water is due to the cisterns being refilled by falling snow that is melted off, filtered and collected by the manse. All you have for food is what you have brought along with you in your packs. There is the option to do some hunting for fresh meat once you are out of the demon lands.

Gathering up the unclaimed artifacts and hearthstones takes a little bit of time, but with all of you pitching in to help, it is done quickly and with little fuss.

Mahina and Milo's men are quick to jump in and offer up what help they can, and are good help in getting the floating land ship loaded up. During the time loading what you can, Melinda is busy sending messages off by Infallible Messenger to other allies and friends, hoping to get more of an army ready to be built up and deployed against the oncoming threat of the Deathlord and its army of the dead.

Soon enough, the vessel is fully loaded and is ready to go. All that is left to do is answer the question of what you will be doing with the imps. You have the Keystone that is keeping them bound, so you have the option of trying to destroy it or leave them here.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider makes sure she rolls up her metaphorical sleeves and helps out as much as possible, making sure to go to the library and taking out several of the old books there to do some reading in as the days go by. If there is going to be a war with some undead, I should know a bit about strategy and tactics of it in order to be any help in this.

As they work, the Lunar looks over at the others and asks, "Does anyone even have an idea on how to break this Keystone thing safely? I don't want to end up hurting ourselves or the imps if we can avoid it, especially after they have been trapped here for so long."
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Maja shrugs as she carries a box of supplies, "Melinda knows everything that's going to happen before it happens, right? So just ask her if anything bad will happen if you break it."

"In more mundane concerns, we don't have enough food for a long journey with this many people," she looks at all the staff accompanying Mahina and Milo, Melinda, and all of the various Exalts. "We need to buy more soon."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
By now, Melinda is done with sending her messages, and the woman looks tired. She says, "As far as the food situation goes, I can help provide some, enough for all of us, with a spell I know. It is a simple enough one to cast, and makes a pavilion for us all to be able to have all the food we need, but we cannot take it out of the pavilion to store it."

"Now, I will need to study this Keystone to see what it can do. It may be possible for us to release the imps back to their demonic home without ever having to worry about destroying this, and we may be able to call them back from Malfias later on if we have a need for a small fighting force of these imps."
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
By now, Melinda is done with sending her messages, and the woman looks tired. She says, "As far as the food situation goes, I can help provide some, enough for all of us, with a spell I know. It is a simple enough one to cast, and makes a pavilion for us all to be able to have all the food we need, but we cannot take it out of the pavilion to store it."

"Now, I will need to study this Keystone to see what it can do. It may be possible for us to release the imps back to their demonic home without ever having to worry about destroying this, and we may be able to call them back from Malfias later on if we have a need for a small fighting force of these imps."
Bard nodded at Melinda. "That would be the ideal outcome. If possible, perhaps see if there is a way that a few of them can stay. Even just three or four staying around could assist me greatly in our ventures to come."




Bard would go find their gremlin friends to go break the news to him. He would find the queen, and give her a respectful bow. "Dear matriarch. It breaks my heart to tell you that the news of my vision of a colony for you here is not as viable as I had hoped. As we speak, a realm army is coming. We do not have the time to work out the mysteries of the Keystone in what time we have left. And I do wish to lose any of you in the conflict that would arise. You have worked hard to defend this place, and your deaths would make for an ill reward for the duty and dedication that you all have shown. While I have no doubt we could defend this manor, the losses would not be worth it. As such, we are already in the process of seeing you all returned to your home realm."

"We hoping that we can send you back without destroying the Keystone. In hopes that we can one day return you to creation, wherein we can have a more proper working relationship. One without Kal Backside and one where you are paid fairly for your service. If you wish it, that is. But this I swear to you, if we can not discover the mysteries of this Keystone, we will destroy it, and you all will return to Malfeas before I leave."

"If you do not wish to return to creation. I will respect your wish and see the Keystone destroyed. If you wish to return, and I am forced to destroy your Keystone, I ask that you mark your names in a book, that I may summon you again. As well, if we are able to figure out how, I ask for a few volunteers to join me on my adventure. Those of your most creative minds, that will help me bring music like none has heard before. Those of fiery spirit who wish to see what creation truly can be."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The queen of these imps looks over at Bard with a critical eye. Finally, she speaks. "You have this Keystone, yes? And you are now here, telling of a army on the march heading this way. Instead of warning us about this, you could have let us face this army and wash your hands of us. You have done well to keep your word, Exalt. I will say this: Since you have done so, we would prefer to be returned to Malfias for now, and when you are in need of us in the future, you can use the Keystone to contact us once more and we can then be summoned back to Creation to aid you. Now let us go back home and get away from this icy hellscape."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider listens to the queen imp talk, and is thankful that things are working out for the best here. Her time being held as a slave has made her very sensitive to such things, and the idea of making promises to the imps and not following through with them strikes her wrong. At least this way, the imps get a chance to get away from the snow for a while. I have a strong feeling that we will be trying to call them up later on, though.
 

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