GM notes wrote:We've been playing this since March 7th! I offer XP for written contributions (recaps, between game stories, etc.). This was rarely taken advantage of in the earliest sessions. Here's Sean's contribution for Liric, written recently from his notes! Two other players have mentioned that they may be inspired to do their own.
3/7/2015 – Session 1 – 11, Ascending Water – Auspicious Arrivals
The caravan wagons bumped along the frozen road. A storm was coming down from the north, and the drivers were trying to make good speed. Liric Meranti was wishing he had just acquired his own horse and paid a fee to accompany the caravan rather than actual passage. The saddle sores couldn't have been worse than the beating we was getting in the rough wagon. He also suspected he was a bit overdressed for someone traveling on the cheap, but blending was still proving difficult sometimes. It had been nearly six months now. Six months of re-learning how to fit back in. Six months since his first clear memory – of waking in a first age ruin, alone but covered in blood that did not seem to be his own, with more spatter on the floor and walls where the phrase "fall away ashes, fall away skin" had been written in dripping crimson – and the very clear knowledge that he had been chosen by the Unconquered Sun to become one of the Solar Exalted: a hated Anathema. Well... deeply suspicious Anathema. This was the threshold, after all, and he was headed for Nexus, not the Imperial City.
It was a full day after waking with little memory of the past 28 years that Liric realized he could speak Riverspeak, not just Old Realm. Old Realm seemed like his native language, and Riverspeak a second that had been learned only recently. The life of explorer and scavenger came back over the next week, but only in fragments. It was enough for him to divest himself of old holdings and convert assets into more portable forms. The nightmares began that week also. Mostly they seemed like flashbacks to the high first age, but no matter how marvelous they began, they always devolved into some horror of excess that left Liric shivering and -sometimes- screaming in the middle of the night. He never went back to sleep after those episodes.
As the caravan passed the Stones of Exile, their was a rumble of thunder from the leaden skies. Fitting. Several frozen corpses littered the ground near the stones, one being picked over by a lone raiton. They had been people who had been banished by the Council and had almost – but not quite – gotten away from the city before their term of banishment had begun. It was ten more miles to the city gates. Nexus – known as the City Between the River Harlot's Legs, and maybe a hundred other names and euphemisms less complimentary. Liric was not really looking forward to this, but it seemed to be the most likely place where he could find answers to some personal questions, and possibly his missing memory.
Once inside the gates, it was beginning to grow dark and the wind had picked up. Liric wanted to get to some place comfortable, nevermind the cheap. However, he also began to have a nagging feeling that he was being followed, and that feeling would not completely leave him until late the next day. Liric got a recommendation for a comfortable inn with the dubious name of The Vulgar Tiger, and began to head in that direction, but on the way there had several odd encounters with the locals, including a very strange little man that Liric bought some supper for just to keep him quiet, though later he couldn't recall all the details about them. Liric realized that he must have been a lot more tired than he at first thought, but he eventually reached the inn. And there he found Zhang Lao, and perched upon Zhang Lao's shoulder was Shi-Hou, a golden monkey – no, not exactly a monkey, but a god of some sort, possibly of golden monkies.
It took only two servings of tea and about one hour to find out that Zhang Lao was a Zenith caste solar, an alluringly androgenous person named Jampa in the company of Zhang Lao was also of exalted nature, and that they knew that Liric was of similar disposition. The monkey god was systematically checking out the spiritual nature of anyone coming near and whispering it to the zenith. It was rather more attention than Liric had intended to attract to himself. However, he soon realized that everyone was paying attention only to Zhang Lao and Shi-Hou, with a few curious stares reserved for Jampa, so he quietly sat to the side and pondered what strange twist of fate – or dumb luck – must have drawn him to individuals also chosen by the Unconquered Sun.
By the end of the next day, Liric had shared a few cursory plans with his new acquaintainces. He had been a bit evasive to a few of Zhang Lao's rather forward questions, in part because he was still unsure of the answers himself. However, Liric knew he wanted to investigate the phrase "fall away ashes, fall away skin" which he had learned was a phrase from an old morbid children's song that had long been common in Nexus. The general heath of the city was also causing Liric some consternation, on account of the alarming number of people with flu symptoms he had noticed about on the streets.
Zhang Lao's response was to request assistance from a deity – Uvanavu, to be precise. While Zhang Lao's prayer seemed to be quite sincere, the Chrysanthemum Shogun opted to send an intermediary in his stead – Sund, a nurse goddess. Liric was really not sure what to think, but the opportunity was just too much to pass up. He told Sund about his background, his interest in the strange phrase, his desire to see humanity elevated to some better and healthier state than it currently existed in, and his willingness to work with anyone who might have similar interests. Sund gave him a Prayer Transceiver Module and instructions on how to use it before departing again, and said she would see what information she could find that might be beneficial.