Session 7 (6/13) Recaps

Nexus has an Exalted infestation, and no one--not even the Exalted themselves--know who, how many, or why.
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Fulminata
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Session 7 (6/13) Recaps

Postby Fulminata » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:55 pm

Liric

6/13/2015 – Session 7 – 1, Resplendent Water – A Curious Absence of Character

Liric stayed put in the Vulgar Tiger for most of the following two weeks. They were not good weeks.
[Note: Missed this session. So here are some nightmares that bothered Liric around that time. It's all a bit stream-of-consciousness as a series of images. Apologies for the general pretentiousness of it all.]

A bright sunny day. A meandering path through hills, meadows, and copses of trees. A sense of harmony and peace developing just from walking in this setting. A rise in a hill. Approaching the rise. Beyond the rise – a black bassalt building in stark contrast to the landscape. Juxtaposition. Opposition. Discordance. Angles not naturally seen in nature. Proportions deliberately jarring and upsetting to the senses. Anti-harmony. Anti-peace. Anti-existence. Mortal fear – instinctually known – to gaze is to risk losing one's humanity. Fight or Flight – no, only Flight. Hands covering eyes, running; fingers beginning to dig into eyes to claw them out – better to never risk seeing it again.... Liric awakes with a start, shivering with cold and terror.

A bright sunny day. On an ... airship? Above the ground. A cloud drifts by. Very high. Pride. Accomplishment. Satisfaction. Dozens gathered. A party. On the deck. No, not the deck. Not an airship. Something more. The sun is brighter. Drifting closer to the sun. No, flying closer. No, more than flying. Cheers and celebration. One scream. Falling. A shadow on the ground. Getting bigger. Too fast. Should not be getting this big this fast. No, not a shadow. Something more. Falling faster. Something in the shadow reaching up. Falling too fast. Should not be able to fall this fast. Now the ground... the shadow... Liric awakes, heart pounding with fear.

A bright sunny day. A factory. A cathedral. No, both, at once. Idle. Dormant. Old. Unfashionable. Renovation. Montage – old parts, new parts; function, fashion; construction, demolition; old parts, new parts; old people, new people. Functional parts. Old parts. Fashionable parts. New Parts. New People. New Parts. New people-parts. New parts-people. A refinement organ. A dirge? No. A rhapsody? No. A fantasy? No. A ... dance? Yes. But more. Maybe... all? at once? and more? The people dance. The parts-people. Refinement. Faster. Soaring music. Faster. Refining faster. Into people-parts. Observing. Not Dancing. Overseeing. More music. More dancing. Not observing. Dancing. Unable to stop. Cannot stop the refinement. Must not stop. Need the parts. The people-parts. Refining the parts-people. Into the people-parts. Dancing faster and faster. Montage – old parts, new parts; function, fashion; construction, demolition; faster, faster, blurred. Liric awakes, confused and terrified.

A bright sunny day. Beautiful. Clean. Very clean. The air, the earth, the day itself. A good clean day to be out walking and enjoying the clean. Beautiful landscapes. Beautiful buildings. Beautiful people. And clean. Montage – Parks, buildings, things, people, clean. A feeling of being followed. Turn around, nothing. Turn back... and the parks and building and people and clean things are gone. A ruin now, dirty. No, sticky. With blood. Blood everywhere. Bloody hands. Sticky bloody hands. I know this blood! Turn and the walls are covered in blood. No, covered in writing written in blood. I know this writing! A rumbling down a corridor. The ruin is shaking. A river of blood bursts through the writing on the wall. A wave of blood and debris comes crashing down and ... Liric wakes with a strangled cry, but is wet only with his own sweat.

A bright sunny day. In Nexus. No, Hollow. Hollow-Nexus. Streets from old and new mingle into one. People move in and out of focus as they pass from old to new and new to old. Not people. You can see through them. Ghosts? No. Shadows? No. Memories? Maybe. Walking (Drifting?) through a memory of Hollow-Nexus. Now Firewander. No, then Firewander. Not a fire, not the wyld, but the sunlight gleaming from the dome of the old capital building. Now Firewander. Shimmering lights, like a fire, the capital dome still visible in its heart, the sun still gleaming. Now the sunlight piercing through the shimmering lights, and now the wyld melting away, and now Hollow-Nexus melting away, and now only the gleaming sunlight. It blazes down, brighter, pierces you with its intensity.... then turns away. Falling. Hollow-Nexus below. No, only Nexus. Gray skies. Falling. Breathing in the soot and ash from the smelters and smiths and the stink of the slower clogged canals. Falling through the fog and soot and stink. Falling through the street and standing in front of an ancient ruin that was once a hospital. The upper floors are missing, but the building sways and trembles and the floors reappear and it is outside now in Hollow-Nexus again, but the sun is still not shining, and the building is still trembling and swaying, then begins to topple forward. Not collapsing, but falling forward and you can see people (patients?) and hear them screaming in the windows and now its bulk is looming over you still falling forward and there is a moment just as it crashes when the twisting and trembling metal and stone sounds like it is screaming as well and... Liric wakes up and after a moment realizes the only one screaming is himself.

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Fulminata
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Re: Session 7 (6/13) Recaps

Postby Fulminata » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:02 pm

Jampa

Session 7: Death & Demons

Hayle turned to me, “I have an appointment with a man named Dorian Duskholme. It’s council business, and the man isn’t very sociable, I’m afraid it might be a bit of a bore.”

“That’s alright, I’ll tag along anyway.”

“As you wish,” Hayle shrugs and we board his coach and head to the Duskholme estate. It turns out to be in Bastion, and is quite an impressive sight. The core is obviously a First Age structure with lots of dark structural glass, but there is a lot of more recent work as well, most of which blends almost seamlessly with the older structure.

We dismount and are welcomed into a tastefully decorated waiting room. We wait only a short time before being led up some stairs to a study. A man waits for us there who Hayle greets as Duskholme. Hayle introduces me as his assistant, and then they begin talking about whatever business they have together and I look around the room admiring the various items on display. Something draws my attention back to their conversation and I see Duskholme showing a map of Nexus to Hayle, upon which is drawn a pattern. He is explaining that the map shows the location of mass burial sites that they should avoid.

My head swims for a moment as I look at the pattern on the map and then I point at it. “So, the sites would be here, here, here…” I point out each site in turn, not quite sure how I know all this. Duskholme confirms that I have pointed out the correct locations, and Hayle mentions something about this being the reason he brought me along. I back out of the conversation as quickly as I entered it, confused as to just how I knew what the pattern on the map meant.

My attention returns to the conversation as I realize that the atmosphere has changed. Hayle tells Duskholme that “such things are treasonous talk, and best abandoned.” Duskholme does indeed change the subject and the conversation continues on a more guarded note until we take our leave.

I am too focused on trying to figure out why I knew about that pattern to pay attention to just what “treasonous talk” was mentioned. Instead, I take my leave of Hayle and return to the Vulgar Tiger intending to have a late lunch and catch up with Norbu.

Unfortunately, Norbu is not there, instead Oro is resting his furry butt on my bed and says that there is someone in one of his places in the underground that wants to talk to me. I suspect that I might know just who he is talking about, and agree to go with him. I think briefly about waiting for Norbu, but I decide against it. While not exactly trustworthy, I’m coming to like the little furry god, and I figure I can handle myself.

Upon reaching the seedy underground ‘place of entertainment’ I see that my suspicions were correct. Niriam, Norbu’s companion from the night before, is seated at the table. Oro sits between us, obviously eager to listen in on our conversation, hoping to perhaps learn a new secret. I decide to humor him and do not make an effort to get him to leave. Instead I address the woman who has asked me to be there.

“I understand you wish to speak to me?”

“Yes, I wish to apologize for last night. I’m not sure how you knew that I was questioning your friend, but I wanted to let you know why I was doing it, and to give you a warning.

“Go on.”

“You have been associating with a dangerous person, and I needed to find out your connection to her. The person you know as Alya is a murderous assassin responsible for many deaths. I would strongly advise you to disassociate yourself from her.”

“Why should I believe you?”

“I thought you might have questions, so I brought along a witness to one of her more heinous acts.”

A young girl is brought out and relates a story of Alya torturing and murdering her master in front of her eyes. The girl does not appear to be coached, and seems to believe what she says.

As the distraught girl finishes her story, Niriam hands me a list of names and dates. “These are others that Alya has killed over the past couple of years. Feel free to look into them.”

Having given me some rather disturbing things to think about, Niriam takes her leave. When she is gone, I begin questioning Oro about Niriam. I learn that she does work for the Guild, but cannot get him to divulge more specific information. He does say that I might want to ask a man named Duskholme about the nature of Niriam, and adds that Duskholme is in fact a Solar. He also mentions Duskholme’s connection to Liric. He also mentions that there appears to be a new Lunar in town after first asking me questions to determine whether the Lunar might actually be Norbu in a different form.

Oro tells me that he can have me taken to a new shrine to him that is being built near the Duskholme estate. I agree, and for the second time that day I find myself once again talking with Dorian Duskholme.

He welcomes me back, “Ah, Jampa, it’s good to see you again.”

Despite his words, he seems slightly put out, as if he feels his hospitality has been overused, but is still resigned to being the good host.
“I have had an encounter with a beautiful green haired lady, and someone told me that you might be able to provide me with more information about her.”

“I can try, can you give me a more precise description?”

I describe Niriam in more detail, including her distinctive smell.

“That sounds like a half-Neomah.”

I let my face display the lack of comprehension that I feel. “I’m sorry, but such a thing is unfamiliar to me.”

“Wait a moment,” Duskholme turns to a shelf behind him and pulls down a book, flips to a certain page, and hands it to me.

I see an illustration that looks similar to Niriam, but completely bald. The description next to the illustration explains the demonic nature of Neomahs, their unnatural attractiveness, and ability to create offspring in a highly unusual manner.

“Normally a neomah would be completely bald. That yours has hair on her head leads me to believe she is a half-Neomah.”

“Thank you. There is something else I wanted to bring up, but couldn’t while Hayle was around. I have reason to believe that you and I share a certain background. The same thing that you and Liric share?”

Duskholme sighs, “yes, I’m a Solar. It seems to be common knowledge now thanks to someone…”

“Well, if that someone was Liric, you should probably be aware that he was in the presence of this half-Neomah, and that she is in possession of a hearthstone that I am reliably informed allows her to read minds.”

“What did this stone look like?”

I describe the stone and its setting as well as I can.

“That indeed sounds like a Gemstone of Surface Thoughts. In the future you can take steps to clear your mind or fill it with nonsense to keep her from getting anything useful.”

It is at this point that Alya’s presence is announced. She has some business with Duskholme, and only when that is over does she seem to become aware of my presence.

I greet her cooly, “I have to ask you something rather blunt and to the point: did you recently torture and murder a woman in front of a young child?”

“Yes, the woman was responsible for the plague we recently put a stop to. I needed information from her. I expected the child to run not stay and watch.”

The context of the killing certainly changes things somewhat given the crisis at the time, but does not excuse the methods.

I list a few of the names off the list I was given. “Do you recognize any of those names?”

Alya pauses before replying. “I recognize a couple of those as people I killed before I exalted. I was an assassin for the Guild back then. They were assignments.”

“I appreciate your honesty, but you understand if it raises some concerns.”

I take my leave of Duskholme and Alya and return to the Vulgar Tiger. I need to look into more of the names on the list, and discuss the issue with Norbu. In the meantime, I will have to be more cautious in my dealings with Alya.


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