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Trial by Fire - IC Thread

Dice System
Exalted 3e
OOC
Here
Characters
Here
Lore
Here

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
When Spider tries to blow into the whistle, the same thing happens; no sound comes out. Mahina chuckles. "I think it won't work at all during the day. If it is what I suspect, it is a Ghost Summoning Whistle. It takes three different blows to make the full magic work. The first is a simple call to all the ghosts within a five mile radius, letting them know that there is someone that wishes to speak with them. The second makes the call stronger, forcing less powerful spirits to come even if it is against their will. The third blow is even stronger than that, bringing stronger spirits to the one that sounded the Whistle. Once the Whistle has been blown three times, it will not work again until ten nights have passed. A word of warning about the Whistle; it does not make the spirits called bent to your will, and they can even be openly hostile to you."



The new bracers click into place on your wrists with an audible sound, and after you put 5 motes of Essence into them, their heavy weight seems to ease off, making them light to wear. Moving through the various katas of the Nightingale style, it almost feels like the bracers are making your movements even more fluid. Once you activate the Form Charm of the style, golden bands of light encircle you as the runes flare on the bracers, enhancing your movements with even more power.

OOC These are slightly modified Perfected Kata Bracers with a lower Commitment cost. They take 5m to attune, and once you activate your Form Charm, it adds your Essence to the accuracy, damage and defense of your unarmed attacks and of attacks made with the active Form-type Charm’s particular weapons. You may choose to inflict bashing or lethal damage at will and you may parry lethal attacks unarmed. In addition:
Orichalcum bracers let Solars inflict aggravated damage on creatures of darkness.


It was hard to explain. As tuned to his chi as he already was, he could feel it all the more clearly. Smooth like melting ice, and seemless as he made his stances and form. Even with his eyes closed he could feel which katas danced across the bracers. He could feel them align with his own chi, and it was as if his entire spiritual insides had just been lubricated. How special!




"Is that so? That could be very useful for us. I shall heed that warning. I do not wish to make any enemies of ghosts when we already have enough dead to deal with. However, Mahina, my power was given to me while the sun was at its zenith. As eccentric as I may be, it is the role of the Priest-King that the Unconquered Sun has trusted me to uphold. The dead will be hard pressed to not recognize that authority." Still, he did not want to press his luck. Just because he had the power to, did not mean he wanted to enslave spirits, as this whistle had likely been used to do in the hands of the Deathknights.

Finishing up his stances. He asked another question. "But I gave like three toots. Plus Spider's toots. Does that mean we can't use it for ten days now?"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The woman shakes her head. "No, as I said, it only works at night. Any other time, the whistle is useless, and won't make any sound at all."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Turning your examinations to the hearthstones, between Mahina and Bard's Lore knowledge you are able to identify the stones as the following:
There is a Jewel of the Flying Heart (Air, Standard) - when set in a melee weapon, it adds 1 die to the to-hit roll, and +1 to your Parry DV
Next, there is a Sword-Soul Gem (Earth, Greater) - While socketed into an attuned artifact, it awakens the next Evocation for which the artifact’s bearer qualifies.
Number three is a Blood Drinking Jewel (Abyssal, Greater) - When mounted in an attuned artifact weapon’s hearthstone socket, if the Exalt has wakened any Evocations for that artifact or any other hearthstones socketed therein, this hearthstone gains a pool of five motes, usable only to activate those Evocations. This pool begins empty and can only be filled by dealing decisive lethal damage to non-trivial opponents with the socketed
weapon, gaining one mote per level of damage.
Number four is a Stone of Quick Thought (Air, Standard) - This stone provides the bearer with a +1 bonus to all Wits rolls.
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
His eyes brightened as the scroll began to animate. "Kuaidao, my friend! I think we have found something that will aid you greatly. You will enjoy this." He rolled up the scroll and gave it a toss to his fellow solar.

Kuaidao raised his hand and caught the scroll thrown his way. He then examined it, and upon seeing that it was a map that contained the positions of himself and the other Exalts, gave an approving nod.

"Yes, I see how this could be useful." he said.

With Rory and Donna apparently not interested in discussing strategy for the moment, Kuaidao rolled up and pocketed the map, and then walked over to where the others were examining the artifacts and hearthstones. Upon hearing about the Jewel of the Flying Heart, the Dawn made a mental note to try and take it for himself.
Essence: 1
Personal Essence: 16/16
Peripheral Essence: 27/40
Anima: Burning

Committed Essence: 10

Willpower: 5
Join Battle: 7 dice
-0: [X]
-1: [X], [X], [X], [X], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_],
-3: [_]
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)
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
As Kuaidao's blade strikes home and the corpse-mountain collapses into a putrid heap Maja glides back to earth on feathered wings, claws already retracting, fangs shrinking, tails disappearing. She lands in the snow and immediately collapses to her knees, shaking from the adrenaline, and promptly doubles over to throw up. The overwhelming stench of the corpses and the disgusting taste of whatever passed for blood in those monsters is entirely too much for her stomach to bear. The collar kicks in and the accumulated blood and viscera running down her chin, chest, and up her arms splatters outward onto the snow, leaving her pristine in the midst of a gory mess lit by her halo of silver flame as Kuaidao reassures her he has eyes only for her. It comes as such a shock she bursts out laughing, distracting her entirely from the horror of her surroundings.

"Thank you. That's sweet," she replies with sincere gratitude once she manages to recover her breath. As she turns to look at him the reality of his injury hits her and her eyes go wide with panic tears starting to well in her eyes, "You're hurt! And that crazy Dynast tried to set you on fire!" She leaps to her feet, but before she can embrace him remembers his injury and comes up short, instead resting her hands gently on his biceps. "I'm no healer, but if there's anything I can do... I'm sorry, I should have been there beside you. I didn't want it to shoot you in the back - no that's a lie. The thing inside me saw it as weaker and wanted to hunt it first and it felt really good to kill it and I don't even have to be guilty because these monsters are awful but I should have ignored it and if I'd been there beside you maybe I could have distracted that thing and you wouldn't be hurt and I won't make that mistake again." It's unclear whether she's stopped because she's done or run out of breath.
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
As Kuaidao's blade strikes home and the corpse-mountain collapses into a putrid heap Maja glides back to earth on feathered wings, claws already retracting, fangs shrinking, tails disappearing. She lands in the snow and immediately collapses to her knees, shaking from the adrenaline, and promptly doubles over to throw up. The overwhelming stench of the corpses and the disgusting taste of whatever passed for blood in those monsters is entirely too much for her stomach to bear. The collar kicks in and the accumulated blood and viscera running down her chin, chest, and up her arms splatters outward onto the snow, leaving her pristine in the midst of a gory mess lit by her halo of silver flame as Kuaidao reassures her he has eyes only for her. It comes as such a shock she bursts out laughing, distracting her entirely from the horror of her surroundings.

"Thank you. That's sweet," she replies with sincere gratitude once she manages to recover her breath. As she turns to look at him the reality of his injury hits her and her eyes go wide with panic tears starting to well in her eyes, "You're hurt! And that crazy Dynast tried to set you on fire!" She leaps to her feet, but before she can embrace him remembers his injury and comes up short, instead resting her hands gently on his biceps. "I'm no healer, but if there's anything I can do... I'm sorry, I should have been there beside you. I didn't want it to shoot you in the back - no that's a lie. The thing inside me saw it as weaker and wanted to hunt it first and it felt really good to kill it and I don't even have to be guilty because these monsters are awful but I should have ignored it and if I'd been there beside you maybe I could have distracted that thing and you wouldn't be hurt and I won't make that mistake again." It's unclear whether she's stopped because she's done or run out of breath.

Kuaidao gave Maja a confused look, wondering what she meant by a Dynast trying to set him on fire, before he remembered Mahina hitting the Abyssal swordsman with some kind of fire attack during the earlier battle. Then he listened as she went off on her little ramble. Thinking about this and her earlier reaction, the Dawn saw it as yet another reason to avoid getting hurt. Seeing Maja in such anguish was far from enjoyable.

"I'm pretty sure the Dynast was aiming at my opponent." he remarked casually once she had stopped speaking. "And I'm not going to complain about you taking out the one with the bow, considering that she could have shot me if the two of us fought the other one together."

He smiled. "I'm sure there's someone in this village who knows how to fix up wounds. If for some reason there isn't...well, like I said earlier, I should recover after a few days. I'm a Solar, remember?"

Essence: 1
Personal Essence: 16/16
Peripheral Essence: 27/40
Anima: Burning

Committed Essence: 10

Willpower: 5
Join Battle: 7 dice
-0: [X]
-1: [X], [X], [X], [X], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_],
-3: [_]
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)
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Maja preens when Kuaidao mentions offhandedly that she did well by taking out the archer. She is equal parts relieved and impressed when he says he'll be fine in a few days, "Really? That's going to heal in a few days? That's incredible, but I'm so glad you're okay." She takes this as permission to wrap her arms tightly around him and plant a kiss on his lips.

"Can we get away from that horrible thing?" She gestures at the massive pile of corpses, wrinkling her nose in disgust, "I can smell just all of it, and I don't know if I'll ever get the scent out of my nose. What is it? And what's a Deathknight? Also I think I should sit down - I'm still shaking, and do you get that thing where your soul gets tired? I feel like I'm high on the slopes of Ascension again - like the air's too thin and I'm out of breath."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider looks away from the pile of goods that they have found on the two other Exalts and addresses Maja and Kuaidao. "I am thinking that Bard is working on burning up the bodies, but a thing that bit might take a bit for him to get rid of." She wrinkles her nose a bit, feeling in total agreement with Maja about the smell. "I am thinking that we just came across some of the enemy that we were warned about. The good news is, there were just two of those Exalts going up against the whole lot of us. The bad news is, they could make things like that. And I would hazard a guess that we have not seen the last of such things."

"Maja has a point, though. Does anyone have any idea what it was we just faced off against?"
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
Kuaidao smiled and returned Maja's kiss, and kept an arm around her body when he turned to look at Spider. At the Lunar's question about the two Deathknights, the Dawn shook his head.

"I heard a few whispers in the legions some time after Thorns was taken, about Anathema who wielded the power of death, but not much more than that." he answered. "Of course, I spent most of my service here in the North, so news from near the Scavenger Lands isn't always going to reach me. Someone else here might have more accurate information."

He looked around for Melinda, thinking that if there was anyone likely to know more than them, it would have to be their mutual patron.

Essence: 1
Personal Essence: 16/16
Peripheral Essence: 27/40
Anima: Burning

Committed Essence: 10

Willpower: 5
Join Battle: 7 dice
-0: [X]
-1: [X], [X], [X], [X], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_],
-3: [_]
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)
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
Sherwood Sherwood
Would i be able to make a lore roll to see how much Bard would know?

Or would I just make up some stories he has heard that might cover some of the bases?
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Melinda comes over and says, "There are whispers in the dark corners of Yu-Shan about these Deathknights, enough that there has been a full blown investigation on the Deathlords and their servants by the Sidereals. Few things are known for certain, but the biggest thing to know is that these Deathknights are some sort of dark shadow of the Solar Exalted, equal but opposite in their power that gain their powers from the Underworld. They serve the Deathlords the way that the old Solars used to serve the Unconquered Sun. They are not to be lightly dismissed."

Rory snorts. "They died well enough, but we did have them outnumbered. I don't suppose that I could have done so well against so many attackers. So what does this mean for us?"

Melinda says, "This is just a taste of what will be in our future. There is one of these Deathlords building up their power here in the North, and we will be facing off against others of these Exalts along with the other forces of the Underworld."

Rory frowns. "My people here are willing to fight to defend themselves, but we are hardly a army capable of stopping this on our own. We will have to garner help from the other tribes of people out here. I will have messengers sent out to call for a meeting with the various leaders in Alcar Dal, the sacred valley. It will take some work, but if we can establish a coalition of the various tribes, that will be a strong fighting force."
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
The Dawn smiled. Whether or not he knew it, Rory was voicing his own hopes and intentions.

"Yes, do that. I'll get to work on training them, assuming they're trustworthy." he said, wary of the fact that, once the threat with this Deathlord was dealt with, the survivors could return to feuding with each other.

He then looked at Melinda. "Do you know anything about the Deathlord of this region, and if they have any more of these Deathknights on hand?" he asked.

Essence: 1
Personal Essence: 16/16
Peripheral Essence: 27/40
Anima: Burning

Committed Essence: 10

Willpower: 5
Join Battle: 7 dice
-0: [X]
-1: [X], [X], [X], [X], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_],
-3: [_]
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
The Dawn smiled. Whether or not he knew it, Rory was voicing his own hopes and intentions.

"Yes, do that. I'll get to work on training them, assuming they're trustworthy." he said, wary of the fact that, once the threat with this Deathlord was dealt with, the survivors could return to feuding with each other.

He then looked at Melinda. "Do you know anything about the Deathlord of this region, and if they have any more of these Deathknights on hand?" he asked.
She nods, pulling a large leather bound book out of a pocket that looks far to small to fit such a thing. She then flips open the text and sets it floating in the air in front of her as if it were on a table, and begins to read. "According to the Convention on the Deathlords, there are a total of thirteen of the powerful beings that have staked out their own territories in the Underworld, but only a handful are well known or are powerful enough to have garnered the attention of the Sidereals investigating this topic. Of these, there are currently only two known to be operating in this section of the north to be in a position to attack."

"The first is the Deliverer of Dark Dreams and Nightmares, a woman that is a cruel as she is beautiful. According to these notes, she has under her control a total of six of these Deathknights, but there is little information on them."

"The second is the Tinkerer of Twisted Toys, a necromancer of exceptional skill, and is known to be able to make necrotic creations like this thing here with ease. There is no information in here about the number, if any, Deathknights he has under his control."

As she reads from her book, Melinda frowns. "It is also entirely possible that there is an alliance between these two, pooling resources and power to make themselves even more formidable. If this is the case, we could be facing a nasty force of war ghosts and zombies, supplemented by more necro-constructs of various kinds."

Rory lets out a loud snort. "Eh, it don' matter there, missy. Once we can gather the various Clans, we will have a group of tough fighters on our side, and that is long before we send forth the call for aid from the south." He looks over at Melinda, and says, "Didn't you say that you were pulling in some favors from your friends in Yu-Shan? What kind of aid can we expect from that?"

Melinda says with a sad sigh, "I don't know exactly. There are a few spirits and gods that have said that they were willing to lend us their assistance, but I'm not holding my breath. I am afraid that by the time that Yu-Shan recognizes the true nature of the threat, it will be too late. I fear that Creation is on its own."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider looks at the burning pile of corpses and says, "How many of these things are we talking about, then? Five? Ten? Dozens? Even more than that? Unless you are talking about using siege weapons on them, a mortal army had little chance of standing up against a monster like that, let alone a bunch of them. But when you talk about Creation being on its own, don't forget that there are many Exalted here that will take exception to having their homes destroyed by the forces of the Underworld. We are here, and once the call goes out, I expect to see many more Solars and Lunars coming north to stop this invasion. We just had the good fortune to be the first ones here."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Rory looks around at the carnage, and then makes the comment, "Well, my friends, once we get this mess dealt with, we need to celebrate our first victory against the Underworld and those ilk! A true feast, and it will let my people here get to know you and give you a proper welcome. Then, we can start to make our plans for the next step in our pending war with these Deathlords. Come! Let us tend to the wounded, see to the fallen, then we shall have our feast in the Great Lodge."

Rory may come off as a bit gruff and rough around the edges, but as he talks to the shaken people, you can see that the big man has a softer side to him, one that has made him well loved by the people here. He helps to put their minds at ease, giving orders to the people to help build a bonfire to give the fallen a proper sendoff to keep the hungry ghosts from rising up and causing even more trouble this evening.

As he works, Melinda steps forward and offers up her aid in healing the wounded, tending to those that are the most critically wounded first with some artifact that she has. It drains her of her Essence quickly, but her efforts are quite successful in the fact that she has saved the lives of many of the worst off.

Even Milo and Mahina come to the aid of the people here, Milo more begrudgingly than his sister, but he does help, along with the soldiers that serve them.


Later that night, everyone is able to gather in the well titled Great Lodge to warm up, relax and enjoy the hospitality of Rory's people. The food is good and there is plenty of it, the ale is potent, and the people are grateful for your help. As everyone is starting to relax, Mahina looks to Rory and says, "I have heard you speak of gathering up the other tribes in the area at some sacred valley. Can you tell us more about this place?"

Rory nods, and says, "Aye. Alcar Dal, the Sacred Valley. It is a place that all the tribes can gather under a flag of truce, where we go to speak of matters of great importance. To my knowledge, none has ever broken the Truce of the Valley, so long as we travel under the banner. I must warn you . . . we all take the Truce to heart, and even though we may have blood feuds with another tribe, no act of violence will be tolerated. We have even made treaties with the Fae, and so long as we are either with the bannerman or in the Valley itself, none of the Fair Folk will harm us except in self defense. Please, do not be the ones to break the Truce, or I will be forced to mete out the ultimate punishment to you in order to preserve the peace."

He lets out a rumbling burp, then continues. "It will take some time for the word to go out to all the tribes, even with my fastest messengers, so we have time to get to the Valley and prepare to make the call to arms that we will have to do. Prepare yourselves to be tested, either by show of strength or by some sort of trial of combat. None will follow someone that is considered to be weak."
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
"The first is the Deliverer of Dark Dreams and Nightmares, a woman that is as cruel as she is beautiful."
Maja puts her hands on her hips and narrows her eyes suspiciously, a smile playing at her lips, "It does not say that in the report. You made that up. Let me see that book! Did you write that report, Melinda? Whoever saw her and wrote that has a crush on a ghost." Maja circles around Melinda to try to peer over her shoulder. "It does! What does that even mean? How are we supposed to know how pretty she is? Maybe she isn't very cruel at all. That doesn't say anything about how powerful she is, either. If she's just pretty and cruel I'll take her over this Tinker and a dozen of those corpse-monsters any day. We'll see how pretty she is after we're through with her."

---

Maja is no healer, but she can follow instructions and tries to make herself useful as best she can. Once the work is done she puts some serious thought into what to wear to the feast that night, creating different outfits and hairstyles and examining her reflection in the smooth ice of a nearby lake until she looks suitably ravishing. Rory has apparently made this thing with his wife into a competition, and now even ghosts are getting in on it, so she doesn't want anyone thinking Kuaidao has picked second best.

The food and drink are a welcome way to wash away the lingering taste of cold dead blood and the stench of decay, and she enthusiastically indulges in both. She spends most of her evening hanging off Kuaidao's arm asking him for stories about his life, learning the tribe's games of skill and chance, and pestering Valden for stories about his homeland, and asking endless questions about exactly how he managed to appear out of nowhere.

---

"Wait, there are going to be Fae at this meeting?" asks Maja, horrified.
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
Random Word Random Word
Bard simply grinned."Oh, is that what she is like? Brings a whole new meaning to being drop dead gorgeous, doesn't it? I bet she will appreciate that joke, won't she. You know, I think I know a couple songs meant just for her. I call dibs on her. I dont have as many songs about corpse monster. I mean, I have some but them necro boys won't be as entertaining to sing to. I work best when I can make a show of things."


--

Now this was Bards element! A familiar scene of a feast. Party and ale! Like the days back west when a big ship came in and all the sailors wished to celebrate over a good haul. Just like then, Bard here was at a service to the crowd.


Early on, he told a glorious recreation of the battle. Embellishing the feats of his friends, and recounting the glorious last stand of those who fell. His very words painted the picture and his cant was perfect. There would be no sorrow or grief, Bard would not allow it. The way he told it, villagers were the heroes. That there was not a coward in sight even as they faced death itself with no chance of victory. Weaving tale that would honor their memory for generations to come. That as death first came to the north, that they stood against it with hethousand fold and with a weapon in hand, and that every life was taken had been struck back at death a thousandfold.

Bard even lead the toast, encouraging any around who knew the people to share stories and memories and laughter so that the dead could be with everyone one last time.


But as the feast drug on, Bard moved on to played music as the people ate. Jaunty and charming tunes with lyrics either comic or adventurous. He would play his songs while dancing on tables. His feet masterfully navigating the drinks and plates as if he knew where everything was by heart.

And as the crowds got ever more inebriated he conducted a drunken choir with a ladle as they sang their local favorites and plucked along in rhythm with his free hand.

Even as busy as he was, he still found time to stuff his face and drink his fill. While he never made himself a plate, he stole swigs from the drinks of others and nabbed foods from plates underneath.

--

But such as with all frivolity, it eventually dies down. As the evening wore on, he would sit with his Spider, and the tune he now played in the sanxian was now dulcet as he listened to Rory.


"No violence. That will be more than easy to manage. Trials, now that sounds like a good time. Should certainly break up the monotony of intertribal politics."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider goes to this feast with the full intent of stuffing herself and having a good time, looking to see just what kind of welcome that Rory's people can put out for them.

She then says, "Ok, no violence, except in self defense. I can go with that. Maja does raise a good question, though. Are there going to be Fae at this meeting?"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Rory nods. "Aye, there could be Fair Folk at the valley. It is a safe haven for all, even the nobles of the Ice Court. We have had good relations with the Court for many years, just so long as we follow the rules. There has even been some intermingling of our two peoples in the past, with members of the Court living with us for years. Just take a look at my wife. Her father was one of the nobles of the Court, as you may have guessed."
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
As it turned out, Maja's concern for her appearance would have another benefit besides potentially bolstering the status of her lover. Namely, Kuaidao would be utterly mesmerized by her beauty, and would have little to no hesitance in accompanying her to their shared lodgings and bedding her there, assuming of course that she requested such a thing and they could be assured of privacy. Pending such a request though, he would happily accompany her throughout the evening's festivities, letting his body recover while answering her inquiries about his life.

"I'm a bit like you, in that I grew up among the nobility. Though I don't know how well being the fifth son of two Blessed Isle patricians compares to belonging to one of the Seven Peerless Polar Explorer Dynasties." he said to her. "In any case, I had the means to live well, ride horses and learn how to wield a sword, though of course I wasn't likely to inherit much when my parents passed away, seeing as I had four older brothers. That's the main reason why I ended up joining the legions."

He regaled to her a number of tales from his life on the march, mostly concerning the campaigns and battles he'd taken part in, as well as all the little incidents that happened in-between, filling her in on the kind of person he'd been and the experiences he'd had before being chosen by the Unconquered Sun. At the same time, he also asked her about her life from before she'd been taken by the Transcendent Phrenic Gates Society, judging that anything later on would be a bit too traumatic for polite conversation, and later joined her in questioning Valden, wanting to know more about the other man himself.

Naturally, he would join Rory, Mahina and the others around the table as they talked about the Sacred Valley and the associated truce. He had no objections to the restriction on violence that would be in place there, though he was a bit unnerved at the mention of Fae attendees, albeit to a lesser extent than Maja was. He squeezed her hand to comfort her following her outburst, and remained silent at the reveal that Donna was the daughter of one such Raksha; he could hardly blame her for who her parents were, and Rory certainly seemed willing to trust her.

Assuming that Kuaidao's Anima and Essence have both gone back to normal by this time. Also going to activate Body-Mending Meditation for 10m Personal Essence, just so Kuaidao can get started on recovery. 3 successes x Essence = boosting factor of 6.
Essence: 2
Personal Essence: 6/16
Peripheral Essence: 30/40
Anima: Dim

Committed Essence: 10

Willpower: 5
Join Battle: 7 dice
-0: [X]
-1: [X], [X], [X], [X], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_],
-3: [_]
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)
 
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Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Valden caught himself appraising the spoils of the recent victory as the circle at large contemplated their course in their situation. As usual the ex-Guild enforcer allowed himself to fade into the background, eyes drawn to the Jade Daiklave as a treasure worthy of some study. He pulled Kingmaker from its otherworldly sheath, then the menagerie of knives wrought from a shattered project of a long-dead artificer. He released both relics, withdrawing the breath of essence extended to them and began to exert his spiritual presence upon the Jade. After moments of syncronizing the thrumming beat of energy he gave the weapon a cursory turn about before allowing it too to fade behind a mysterious veil to another place. I may not be keen on surrendering my prizes, but a trade is acceptable. Now if only I could swipe a properly modest set of armor. The rest of these seem a bit too... loud?

By the time he made his silent bargain, he turned to face the rest of the group now setting the inert whistle aside. "I agree, I'd rather pursue Deliverer than Tinkerer. If nothing else there's a chance we won't have to smell so much reeking rot." He gave an exaggerated shudder. "I'm used to all the guts and gore, but not way past its date like this. Hard pass. Best case this Deliverer might even be my type." He added with a joking grin. "Alas, our musician here has his heart set."

***

The night caste lurks among the party goers with a respectful minimalism to his revelry. Memories of a feast turned foul were all too near in the recent past. Some faces and names he'd known or heard in passing, but playing ghost was never a sport best tuned for proper fellowship. He welcomed the celestial couple's inquiry trying to keep the mood light in the face of it all. "If you're curious, my crew ran out of Great Forks, sometimes to Nexus but mostly in their capacity in trade with our home turf. Protection and extortion was our bread and butter. Ciders, ales, and smoking fodder our front-trade. Some of it was even pretty decent. At least by the humbler man's standards." He conceded, noting the social status Kuaidao and Maja seemed to enjoy.

"As expected when you do business with shady backstabbers though, they eventually spot a kidney or a liver. Shame they pounced on my crew, but accounts have been settled since. About that time I was persuaded to discard ambitions of further house cleaning as we have one Sijan already. Instead, I was asked to head up here. Been a good while since I've been in a haunting about. As for how, it just comes natural I guess. Doesn't seem to take much for folks to forget I'm even there to begin with." He downed his drink and set it upon a nearby counter. "On a different note, not sure how I feel about brushing shoulders with Fae. I wouldn't mind a bride like Rory's but it could be quite some time before I quit looking over my shoulder to see if I was leaking dream stuff." He added idly. "I take it none of you have too much history with these folks?"
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
Bard shook his head, and answered their newest comrade. "Never. Never seen hide none hair of anything even touched by the wyld myself. Well, perhaps one thing, and even that was of a debatable origin. But that is neither here nor there."

"Regardless, there are always stories. Those I know. Strange creatures, they are. All the stories may be true, or none, or only half. All at the same time. Trying to comprehend some of the stories has given me a headache many times."

"Wyldlings, Fair Folk, Fae, Raksha. Beings made in the image of chaos. Unshaped. Unpredictable. Beautiful, terrifying, Majestic, hungry. I haven't met many who could place a solid descriptor that would apply to all of them. But such is the nature of chaos, I suppose."

"Regardless, most stories with them do not have happy endings for the mortals of Creation. The believable ones anyway. Though I could tell you a few epics of the contrary. As they mysterious as they are, it is natural for those unfamiliar to romanticize them."



"Oh! And if you are wanting a wife. Perhaps I can help hook you up with a lovely one." He grinned and nudged Valden in the ribs with his elbow. Back home I was said to be a pretty good wing man. What say you? Perhaps some raven black hair and olive skin. With nice child-bearing hips and healthy curves. If we ever make it to the west, I know a few bachelorette's among the island girls who absolutely giddy at the prospect. I was thinking about helping Milo with a wife a too, even though he is just too shy to ask."

Rykon Rykon
 

jaydude

Three Thousand Club
Kuaidao gave a little chuckle at Bard's attempts to play matchmaker, before deciding to answer Valden's question.

"Can't say I've had many interactions with the Fair Folk myself. And in the few that did take place, by and large we were all trying to kill each other. Or at least I was trying to kill them; more often than not they had something more unpleasant in mind for me." he said. "It was in my most recent encounter with them that I found Maja here. She'd been running from a Raksha horde for five days, and I don't like to think what they'd have done to her if I wasn't around to save her."

He cast a pensive glance in the Fae-blooded Donna's direction, before looking back at the others. "I won't lie and say I'm not apprehensive about treating with the Fae. But if Rory feels that we can trust the ones around here, I think that at the very least we can endure their presence at the Sacred Valley. I mean, we don't exactly have much choice if attacking them there's a serious faux-pas..."
Essence: 2
Personal Essence: 6/16
Peripheral Essence: 30/40
Anima: Dim

Committed Essence: 10

Willpower: 5
Join Battle: 7 dice
-0: [X]
-1: [X], [X], [X], [X], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_],
-3: [_]
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
Rory looks at the group and tries to be reassuring. "There may not be any Fae at the Valley; but it is a potential that you must be made aware of. In any case, as we travel there, we must fly a red and gold flag to show that we are in route to Alcar Dal, and as such, we are off limits to attack. You'll just have to keep within two hundred feet of the flag bearer or risk being assaulted by whomever it is we run into. But we have some time to prepare. The messengers will ride out in the morning to begin gathering the Clans, and it will take some weeks to get everyone there that will attend. We can then leave anytime we wish after that to go to the Valley and wait."

The rest of the feast becomes a bit rowdy as people get drunk, and more than one fight breaks out just in time to have the combatants pass out from the alcohol they've had. All in all, it is a good night with no interruptions from some hostile force looking to take you on.


Come morning, Rory is up early, preparing the messages that the couriers are going to take with them to the other tribes. Finally the riders are ready, and a full two dozen of them start off on their horses to get the word out.

While this is going on, what are you doing?
 

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