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Trial by Fire Redux - IC Thread

Dice System
Exalted 3e
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider looks over and says, "Well, we did have a bunch of soldiers from the Realm out there, following right on our heels. If we were to leave here, we'd have to go through them to get back to Wangler's Knob, and they would then have access to the manse, since they are out looking for it."
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
"My idea was to have them in employ, and of their own volition. In a way that benefits both of us. But for that, we need our brother Bax here. And good thing too, his presence makes the process infinitely easier since I don't know squat about spells."

"Oh! And maybe we can ask him if there is anything useful here."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The ghost of Kal Bax looks at the various other items that Spider had pulled out of the cubby hole with a wistful expression. "The jewelry? That is a memento of a time long past, the first pieces that I ever crafted for my wife. I ask of you to treat them with some measure of reverence, since they do mean a lot to me. The books can teach you much about sorcery and crafting, and especially the mechanics of forming the geomancy of a demense into the kind of manse you wish. I have other books on the subject in the library, but these two are by far the most informative."
 

jaydude

Two Thousand Club
Kuaidao nodded in thanks to Kal Bax, and then turned back to the others. "I don't know how much chance the imps will have against Dynasts and Realm soldiers. And those of the Realm will find this place sooner or later." he said, the implication being that if the demons were freed and persuaded to stay here, they'd end up being sent back to Malfeas anyway.

"Melinda warned us before that there was a threat to Creation looming from beyond its borders, one that we'd need to start preparing ourselves for." he continued. "We wouldn't necessarily have to return to Wangler's Knob, Spider. But I would prefer that we go somewhere where we can start gathering our strength in some form, whether that's resources, connections or an army. Of which the imps could be a part, if they so wish."

"All the same, I know very little about this part of Creation, especially with regards to where we could go from here. On the other hand, I do know that this place is a fortress. We may well be able to stay here for a short time, at least until the Realm shows up."
 

Random Word

One Thousand Club
"What good is a fortress with only a handful of people to defend it? Do we have any food or water in here? I'm not getting trapped in a siege." Maja tugs gently on Kuaidao's hand, "If we can't fight them in the field and win, then we should run. North, East, I don't care. As beautiful as this place is, it isn't worth dying for."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider looks over at Maja and says, "What, leave the Realm butchers all of this? I say we fight. We know that the imps have been here for a long time, so they know the land. They have also made a bunch of tunnels that can be used against the troops. The mortal soldiers are not my concern, though. Its the Dynasts in their midst. But we also have a Sidereal with us, one that might be able to do some serious damage considering how old she is. There is also some siege weapons on the roof that can be turned on the unruly mob that will eventually be showing up."
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
"I could try talking them out of it." Bard said, "Though I doubt all would listen. I'm sure that as soon as i reveal myself for what I am, that id likely be attacked on sight."

He stroked his mustache in thought "Though if I get with the dynast in private, I'd have a much better chance of convincing them that we much better as allies than enemies." He proposed.

"If that doesn't work, we can destroy them. However, even if we do win, it stands to reason that they may return in larger numbers. So if we defend it once, can we continue to defend it? If not... then we may need to consider the option of tripping it of all its value and leaving."
 

jaydude

Two Thousand Club
"That makes sense, but the problem is, I don't know if we can carry all this stuff between us. After all, artifacts are very heavy when you're not attuned to them." Kuaidao said to Bard.

He looked at Maja and Spider, giving the former an understanding smile. "I'm more than happy to leave this place if it turns out that we can't hold it, and there's little to no value in doing so. I think the lot of us can handle ourselves anywhere we choose to go, so there's little necessity for us to stay here."

"But at the same time..." he continued, "...while it might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, and it might just be the strategist in me wanting to deny advantages to my enemies, I'm with Spider in that I don't like the idea of the Realm taking possession of this fortress and the artifacts within. That's not me insisting that we stay, it's me wanting to lay out all our options."

He addressed all of them. "I want to try and evaluate whether we can hold this place against the treasure hunters. I think that at the very least, we can bar the doors to this fortress and keep them out for as long as our supplies last, or until they have a means to get inside, or until we can persuade them to give up trying to besiege us." he said, recalling what he'd learned about fortifications and siege defense in the Thousand Correct Actions. "But at the same time, Bard's right; we have to consider that the Realm might come back in greater force if we repel them here and don't resolve the conflict. And I like the idea of trying to negotiate with them, perhaps making them see the errors of their ways. After all, they're very much like how I once was; misled by at least centuries worth of lies about the Celestial Exalted, or the so-called 'Anathema'..."

Right now, Kuaidao still isn't committed to either staying or leaving. If anyone wants to try and persuade him one way or the other, he'll consider leaving the fortress - and giving up whatever artifacts the group can't transport - an Inconvenient Task, and staying to defend it a Serious Task, knowing as he does what might happen if they lose.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider says, "We need to talk to both Melinda and to the imp queen and see what kind of support we can count on from them. That will make a big difference in what we end up doing."
 

jaydude

Two Thousand Club
"Agreed" said Kuaidao. "Though do you mind if I rest up first? I used quite a bit of essence on the way here, and being attuned to all these artifacts isn't helping."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Kal Bax nods, and says, "Well, there are plenty of empty bedrooms upstairs for you to pick from. Its not like there are anyone laying claim to them now. Come. I will walk with you, so long as you don't have any objections to my presence." Assuming that no one has anything to say about it, the shade will head for the door and lead the way out of the passages below the Fortress.

Back upstairs, you are able to find Melinda sitting in the sun room at the table that Kal Bax's body is currently at. She looks up as everyone comes into view, and asks, "Did you find what you were looking for? This Keystone?"
 

jaydude

Two Thousand Club
Kal Bax nods, and says, "Well, there are plenty of empty bedrooms upstairs for you to pick from. Its not like there are anyone laying claim to them now. Come. I will walk with you, so long as you don't have any objections to my presence." Assuming that no one has anything to say about it, the shade will head for the door and lead the way out of the passages below the Fortress.
"You have my thanks." replied Kuaidao, as he followed the shade out of the room. On the way back to Melinda however, he made a stop at the cache where the group had acquired all their artifacts in order to drop off Stormbringer. Some instinct told him that he wouldn't have as much use for it as he would the Guardian Host, and this seemed as fitting a place as any to leave it.

Back upstairs, you are able to find Melinda sitting in the sun room at the table that Kal Bax's body is currently at. She looks up as everyone comes into view, and asks, "Did you find what you were looking for? This Keystone?"
"We did indeed. Though I think we're still undecided on whether to destroy it." said Kuaidao, recalling what little he could remember from the group's discussions.

"We also talked about staying in this fortress for a bit, and perhaps recruiting the imps to our cause." he added. "I don't like the idea of the Realm getting their hands on this place and its artifacts, and I personally thought having a stronghold would help us build up a power base more easily, in preparation for this approaching threat you warned us about before. Would you agree, or would you suggest a different path?"
 

Random Word

One Thousand Club
"What difference does it make if they throw a few more on the piles in their treasure rooms? If you're really sure we can win this I'll stay and fight, but..." she looks nervously at Melinda, "Does teleportation work through magical fortress walls?" The unspoken question being, can you get us out of here if things go badly?
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Melinda listens to Kuaidao's concerns about the defensibility of the Fortress and says, "I can see your desire to keep this place out of the hands of the Realm. One good thing to keep in mind is that we are a very long ways from any reinforcements, so if we can eliminate the threat out there now, we are golden. Now, I have a few cards up my sleeves that can come in handy in the role of facing off against the soldiers, since I do know several spells that can cause a sizable amount of damage to large bodies of troops." She turns her attention to the ghost of Kal Bax and asks, "I know that there has been many wardings placed around here, mostly to block ghosts and sprits. Are any of them capable of blocking teleportation?"

He nods. "Yes, the walls are shielded to keep spirits and other unmanifested beings from just flitting in, along with blocks to keep someone from trying a blind teleport into the heart of the Fortress." He looks over at Maja and says, "But there are two places that can be used to leave the Fortress by that means; one is a summoning room that has wardings that can be 'turned off' to allow the caster to call forth elementals or demons, and also can be used as a landing point for incoming teleports - as long as the wards are deactivated. The other place that can be used as a teleport launch point is the roof. That is outside of the Fortress, and once you are up there, you can leave from that point at any time."

The Sidereal smiles. "Excellent. That gives us the option to leave quickly if things go badly. Now, depending on what the plan is, I have a few friends in Yu-Shan that I might be able to persuade to come and join in the fight. I am thinking that between my spells and the siege weapon on the roof, the mortal troops are not going to be the big worry. Our threat is not knowing the number and power level of any Dynasts that have come along. They will most likely need us to take a more direct amount of work to take out." She claps her hands and rubs them together. "So! What is the plan? Hit and run attacks to whittle down their numbers outside the walls, or let them come to us and deal with them at the walls?"
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
Everything actually sounded pretty good. "Well, then maybe we can gather up what artifical we can for easy transport out if things go badly. This way we won't leave anything for them, if things go south."


"Though I would like to try to get with the dynast woman. Might be able to convince her of our way of thinking. If you know anything more about her I could use, could make it all the easier. I have an easy way in already. Can go visit her under the guise of telling her where the manor is. If we need time to prepare, I can lead her the long way around. Which gives me more time to try and convince her."


"Also! We shouldn't forget about our hairy mountain spirit friend. We may be able to convince him to help. Especially if we can change some of the views of the imps into them being caretakers underemployment."
 

jaydude

Two Thousand Club
Kuaidao gave a smile of his own. Bit by bit, a long-term stay at this fortress was sounding more and more like an option. At the very least, they had a means of escaping if they couldn't hold the place.

"I'd almost forgotten about him. Rhabwar, I believe his name was." he said, regarding the creature from earlier. "I say go ahead. At the very least, he deserves to know that Lahor's out hunting for him. And if you say you can approach Mahina and get her on our side, I'll take your word for it."

"As for the other Dynasts, I say we try and whittle them down as they and their troops approach the fortress, with or without the help of the imps. We've got those tunnels; we should be able to use them to move about undetected. When it's no longer a viable option to engage them outside the walls, that's when we'll hide behind them.

Random Word Random Word
That said, he then turned to look at Maja, feeling a little guilty for not entirely heeding her concerns, knowing as he did where they were coming from.

"I promise you, I won't stay here and die if it turns out that we can't hold this place against the Realm. The moment I come to that conclusion, I'll get all of us out of here." he said quietly and softly, hoping to quell any worries she might have for his wellbeing.
 
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Random Word

One Thousand Club
Maja nods to Melinda and then Kuaidao, "Okay, I trust you. I've, uh, never stood and fought in anything bigger than a tavern brawl, let alone an empire. Is there anything I can do to help?"
 

jaydude

Two Thousand Club
"Well I certainly wouldn't mind your help in subduing the Dynasts." replied Kuaidao. "With your shapeshifting, you and Spider will probably be a lot better than me at sneaking around, and keeping a stealthy eye out."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider nods. "Sneaking about is well within our wheelhouse. Bard, if you need a ride to get to that V'neef Mahina woman, I can carry you. I can shift into a bird form big enough for a rider and get you out there faster than hiking in this snow." She turns to look over at Melinda. "What do you have planned as far as the help you can provide? Any reinforcements in our future?"
 

Random Word

One Thousand Club
"Okay, stealthy eye with Spider. Yeah. I can do that," Maja is visibly relieved someone will be coming with her. Sneaking alone into the den of the tiny demons was one thing - after days spent hunting they looked like prey. Dynasts did not look like prey.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Melinda pulls out a canteen from one of the many pockets in her robe and takes a quick drink, then says, "So, what is our plan, and who is doing what? We have the demons to talk to, then there is our yeti friend out in the woods. We have at least six hundred mortal soldiers, and an unknown number of Dragon Blooded Exalts on their way. This V'neef Mahina might be . . . persuaded? Coerced? Into taking our side." She gives Bard a nod for that. "But from what I saw, there was at least six Exalts with Lahor. If we can get the imps to aid us, they can show us their hidden tunnels around the area, and be a good force to confront the mortal troops. I have my friends that I can ask for help, and hopefully they will agree to jump on with our cause and come along for the ride."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Spider says, "Mahina will probably remember that I was with Bard when we met her, so if I go ahead and give him a ride out to meet her and shift forms before we run into her party, Bard can then try his mojo on her to see if she'll be pliable to our side. One way or another, we have to give it a try."

"While Bard and I are doing that, Maja and Kuaidao can go hunt down that Rhabwar guy and try and recruit him to be an active ally, especially since he's being hunted by Lahor and his buddies."

"Once that is done, Maja and I can do some sneaking around the camp of these Dynasts, do a bit of sabotage, and pick off a few stragglers and put a bit of fear into their ranks."

She pauses in her brainstorming, and says, "Bard also had a good connection with the imp queen. He should go to them, too, possibly before we go hunt down V'neef Mahina. While we're doing all that, Melinda can send her messages and try to get her friends to help."
 

jaydude

Two Thousand Club
"That works for me." said Kuaidao, mentally taking down the numbers of their enemies as laid out by Melissa. "Once I'm rested, me and Maja can head back to where we found Rhabwar and search for him there. Does that work out for you, Maja?"

He figured that the two of them could walk to the location in question, seeing as they had walked here from that place, along with the detour to the imps' home.

Sherwood Sherwood
Kuaidao would like to sleep/meditate (depending on the time of day) for four hours, in order to regain 20 of his spent motes. Alternatively, could I engage in a sparring match with someone, seeing as you regain 5 motes per each round of combat?
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
It has been quite some time since you've had a chance to get some rest, so getting some meditation and sleep in would probably be the best way to recover your motes and take care of your need for sleep.
 

Random Word

One Thousand Club
Maja listens to Spider outline the plan, "Well, when you put it like that it sounds almost easy." She looks vaguely embarrassed. No one else was afraid, and her panicking wasn't going to do her any good, much less anyone else.

"Right, yes. A nap and a walk in the woods. I think I can handle that," she replies with a rueful smile.
 

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