Session 1 (3/7) Recaps

Nexus has an Exalted infestation, and no one--not even the Exalted themselves--know who, how many, or why.
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Pikabuki
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Session 1 (3/7) Recaps

Postby Pikabuki » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:43 pm

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.

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Fulminata
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Re: Session 1 (3/7) Recaps

Postby Fulminata » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:11 pm

Jampa

Session 1: Meetings

She had passed through cities before, but never one like the one she looks at now. Some call it the Threshold Jewel, others the River Harlot’s Legs, or worse. Whatever its name, Nexus is huge. Approaching from the East, they could see the hills towering over the fairly low walls of the city.

Zhang Lao pointed at the hills. “That closest one is Bastion Hill. The wealthiest live there. To the left of it you can see Sentinel’s Hill. That’s where the government, such as it is, has its offices. Between them, peeking out from behind Bastion, is Cinnabar Hill. It’s the place for art and learning, and is where we should probably seek lodgings. The valley between them and the wall is the Firewander, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…” Zhang Lao coughs and clears his throat. “What I mean is, that it’s the slums and a fairly dangerous place to be, even more so in the wet season when it floods.”

“And all of that is only half the city?” Jampa asked, not bothering to hide her amazement.

“Yes, behind the hills are the Nexus and Nighthammer districts, where the docks are.”

The caravan continues to roll slowly towards one of the eleven gates of the city. On arrival, Jampa prepares to bluff her way past the city guards, but is instead accepted as part of the caravan and allowed in without further trouble. They take their leave from the caravan and make their way up Cinnabar Hill. After some time they come to an inn, the sign out front picturing a rampant, debauched tiger, the words “Vulgar Tiger” written below it.

They had little in the way of money, but Zhang Lao has talents, and one of those talents is getting the gods to notice him.

Jampa began the exchange that she and Zhang Lao had worked out as they walked up the hill. “Excuse me, innkeep, my companion and I seek lodgings, and in coming here we couldn’t help but notice the signs of disease throughout much of the city, is this establishment blessed against such things?”

“Not as such, no.” said the innkeep.

“Would you like to be? I can arrange that, in exchange for a place to stay and a bite to eat for myself and my companion, he will be more than happy to bless your inn and update that blessing every week as long as we stay here.”

Jampa gave him a smile.

“Well, maybe we can give it a trial, see how it works for a week.”

“Of course! Show us our rooms and we’ll get right on the blessing!”



After Zhang Lao completes the prayers they find themselves relaxing in the common area of the inn, and are approached by a somewhat scruffy looking individual. It’s hard to pinpoint just why he looks scruffy looking. His clothes are respectable, but he doesn’t look as if he’s that comfortable in them. He also has a haunted look and the air of one who is perpetually a few hours short of the amount of sleep he needs. He introduces himself as Liric.

Liric and Zhang Lao begin a circuitous conversation that Jampa quickly loses interest in. The conversation eventually leads to both men admitting that they are Exalted, something that was apparent to all at the table moments after the conversation began.



With that out of the way, Liric reveals his problems. A nursery rhyme that haunts his dreams, and the epidemic sweeping the city, and how he thinks they may be connected somehow. In search of answers, Zhang Lao performs another prayer, this one to Uvanavu, God of Health. The prayer is answered by Sund, a nurse goddess, who agreed to help Liric.


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