Session 8 (6/27) Recaps

Nexus has an Exalted infestation, and no one--not even the Exalted themselves--know who, how many, or why.
User avatar
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 11:40 pm
Name: John
Location: Springdale

Session 8 (6/27) Recaps

Postby Fulminata » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:05 pm


6/27/2015 – Session 8 – 2, Resplendent Water – Nice Doggie

While Liric was busy being miserable, Jampa was also still staying at the Vulgar Tiger and was kind enough to keep him informed of a few things going on outside. There was, for example, a half-neomah named Nerium. She had some kind of surface-thought reading artifact and was working for elements not friendly to Alya.

Then there was the "Fox Lady" apparently a Lunar being quite open about herself and spreading cult pamphlet in an attempt to attract more followers to a growing retinue. (Liric was unfortunate enough at this exact moment to wonder just how many exalts and essence users there were in town who might not want information getting out by someone with a surface-thought reading artifact.... while sitting in a reasonably private but still very insecure corner of the Vulgar Tiger commons, still one of the most popular social gathering places in Bastion.... He would not realize the ramifications of this until sometime later.)

When he wasn't talking to Jampa, Liric was doing some idle reading in any old text he could find concerning medicine or Nexus history. It was irritating to him how much truly useful information had survived through the Contagion and into modern times. There was one reference, however, that piqued his interest: a reference to a "mosaic," said to be someone who had more than one "person" in them. It was just a passing reference, without any real context, possibly (probably?) from a fragmentary source much older. There was also the possibility that the source came from some shaman who had taken a little too much wyld exposure.

Jampa also told Liric that some people he knew were interested in looking into that old solar tomb that Oro had told them about. He agreed to go along. It was in the undercity and supposed to be under guard by a lion dog. Liric was pretty sure he could not handle a lion dog, diplomatically or otherwise, but there would be other people there.

As the group worked their way underground and worked their way nearer to the tomb, waves of unhappiness seemed to wash over them. The feeling was coming from up ahead, and there was the lion dog, too. None of the group seemed to be too eager to fight it; Dorian had told them of the dog's general abilities and dispositions and their usual role in heaven. Jampa tried a very seductive dance (the rest of the group couldn't watch – it was that seductive), but that didn't have much of an impact on it. Next, Fandris decided to switch into his war form to try to impress the lion dog. Liric was quite impressed with Fandris' pony-sized anthropomorphic badger; the lion dog, not so much so. Rather than enter physical combat, though, Fandris tried to engage it in conversation. This seemed to work.

The lion dog was guarding the tomb mostly because it had nothing much better to do and felt that the ghost within deserved some kind of peace, or at least shouldn't be bothered by the living unless someone could send it peacefully to rest. After some more discussion, the group entered into an agreement with the lion dog. They would do their best to send the ghost to a peaceful rest and he would let them pass. Jampa sanctified the agreement.

As the group passed the lion dog and continued closer to the tomb, the walls seemed to weep unhappiness. Inside the tomb itself they found a young solar, female, apparently killed shortly after her exaltation. Her mind had been destroyed in the event, and reasoning proved futile, and they soon found themselves in combat. They had brought some alchemical potions to enhance blade and claw for fighting spirits, the ghost was proving quite resilient. Then it screamed. The scream cut through all of them almost like a blade. Liric seriously thought of just withdrawing (what could he do?) but a sense of foreboding doom as he considered this came over him, and remembering the oath sanctified by Jampa, he took out his bow and knocked an arrow. The fight continued, and Liric shot the arrow. It might have made a little scratch. Fandris was having significantly more success in his war form, but then the ghost screamed again and everyone in the room was looking really bad. Whatever happened, they could not let her do that again. Dorian suddenly seemed to remember the other supplies they had brought with them, including a large quantity of salt. Most ghosts were tied to their bodies, and the body of this ghost was in the middle of the room on the floor. The ghost realized what was happening just a moment too late, she lunged for Dorian, but her essence began dissipating as Dorian salted the body, and she was unable to effectively injure him, and did not scream again.
It was over. It was not the strongest of ghosts (granted, of an exalt, bust still...) and the group was battered. Among the items in the tomb was a resplendent satchel of healing. Liric took possession of this as he was the only one with significant medical knowledge ("Honestly, guys, it's more like first aid, really...") Other people took charge of a few other items and they left. Outside the tomb, Dorian took possession of the Lion Dog, somehow convincing it to act as a guard to his estate. Liric began to attune to the satchel. When accomplished, he was able to help patch some people back up quickly.

They eventually arrived back at Dorian's estate. Not long afterward, Oro surprised them by showing up in a bit of a panic. Actually a lot of a panic, especially for him. He was saying that he had found something but that he thought it might be really bad, but some other people were coming to get it... or something along those lines. Dorian and Liric hurried after him to see what was going on. They ended up at what could only be a bolt-hole. It was filled with artifacts, some of magical materials. There were also some women's clothes. A bit disturbingly, they seemed to be exactly Alya's size. However, whoever originally owned the artifact armor and weapons hardly just gave them away, as signs of battle on some could attest, and Liric was wondering how even someone with Alya's martial skill could get all these things. The armor and weapons were not what was bothering Oro, though. It was ... something ... like a box and a black metal cauldron and an egg all at once. Dorian bent down to examine it closer, then stood back up.

"That's not good. That shouldn't be here." Liric had noted before that Dorian was sometimes prone to understatement. Then Dorian began a prayer to Lytek, using the device as a sacrifice, which seemed to confirm this was one of those times. "It's left over from the primordial war," he explained to Liric after he finished. "It can hold an exaltation. Not really useful by itself, and it looks like it may be broken, too, but, if someone had this and the yanky tool..." Liric didn't have a lot of time to consider the implications, but the immediate ones were clear enough, because Lytek showed up next to them in a burst of light. Lyric was slightly awed that a god of Lytek's stature would bother showing up. But Dorian was right – this really wasn't a good thing to have floating around the Nexus underground.

Lytek was a bit odd. Distractable, touchy, and a really awful liar would be how Liric remembered him. While he did pick up the device, he didn't seem overly concerned with it, but more interested in talking to Dorian and Liric about the exaltations they bore, them memories and experiences, and so on. Lytek told Liric that he had intentionally left some memories of previous exaltation attached, and he should be experiencing them in helpful ways. When asked, he flatly denied any involvement in Liric's memory loss or nightmares. He also told the two that if they were interested in developing their crafting skills that he could help with those. Dorian tried to ask Lytek about the "yanky tool" but Lytek insisted that it wasn't missing – couldn't be missing – and tried to hush any discussion about it. It was obviously missing.

Around that time Oro indicated that they really ought to get moving and that people were coming. Lytek departed, leaving the two twilights and Oro in the stash. When pressed for more information, though, Oro couldn't speak, but began spitting up maggots. This did not seem natural. But the panicky expression was obvious enough that they all really needed to hurry. They asked Oro if there was a back way out of this, and he gestured to a panel in the wall. They found a way to open it, and Dorian and Liric both headed out. As he left, Dorian picked up a pair of Starmetal smashfists from the piles of artifacts and a giant yassal crystal that would turn out to have a hoarder in it. Liric also picked up something, but then at the very last moment was overcome with a deep sense of dread that most anything here might come back to haunt him, so left empty-handed.

Liric and Dorian could hear some voices as they left. The speakers seemed to be expecting to find the artifact that Lytek took, but the conversation was broken up and hard to hear. Oro seemed to be trying to stall or cover up something, but they didn't stay around to try to find out exactly who was there or what was going on. They headed back to Dorian's estate to examine the artifacts in more detail.

User avatar
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 11:40 pm
Name: John
Location: Springdale

Re: Session 8 (6/27) Recaps

Postby Fulminata » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:09 pm


Session 8: Tomb Raiders

After spending the night with Hayle, nevermind how that night went, we join Liric in Hayle’s dining room for breakfast. After eating, Hayle gathers a few of his retainers, and we head to the burial site that has recently been uncovered. There we meet another hireling of Hayle’s, this one with an odd looking dog.

Hayle talks with the dog handler, who says that there’s nothing unusual that they can find. I comment on the dog’s strange appearance and Hayle tells me that it’s a Grave Hound. I am unfamiliar with this beast, but apparently they have the ability to sense ghosts.

After Hayle finishes his talk with the dog handler, Liric examines the writing as Hayle examines Liric. “Fall away ashes, fall away skin” is what the writing on the wall of the burial site says. Liric’s attitude and body language indicate he’s surprised by the writing, but also that this is not the first time he’s been here.

Hayle sees at least some of what I’ve seen and confronts Liric about not telling him that he’s been here before.

As things look like they might get a little heated, I interrupt them and ask Liric politely “why did you not mention that you’d been here before?”

Liric sighs and begins an explanation as to why he had not been completely truthful, but I don’t pay much attention as I instead turn and examine the words on my own. I can tell that they have been painted on the wall rather recently. I focus my abilities and read past the words themselves and into the intention of those who wrote them. “Make the pain stop,” is what that intention is. I’m not sure if it’s a cry for help, a belief that simply writing the words will end the pain, or some combination of both.

I turn to Hayle, “I believe the writer of these words was in pain when he wrote them.” Hayle nods and continues talking with Liric for a bit. Then one of his servants approaches and whispers to him.

“I’m afraid I have to leave now,” Hayle says. “I have another important appointment that I must attend to.” He turns to me, “why don’t you stay and find out what you can here, and then join me later.”

I agree and Hayle leaves with his retainers. I turn to Liric. “The intention behind the person who wrote these words was to ‘make the pain stop.’” Neither of us are sure just what that means, but there appears to be nothing more to learn from here, and I take my leave.

It’s a month later and much has happened. I have become more familiar with Dorian Duskholme (no, not THAT familiar with him, but we are now aware of each other’s Exalted status), learned of a new Lunar with troubling habits that has entered the city, and had an interesting encounter with a half-Neomah that in turn caused me to learn troubling things about Alya. I’ve also gone into business with my old friend and mentor Berj Margizian in order to raise the funds needed to apply for Guild membership. Something that I need to do before I can further my ultimate goal to break up the Guild.

Now I find myself back in the common room at the Vulgar Tiger, it’s not quite as full of flowers as it was before I told Blossoms of the Night Breeze that I would accept her offer of sponsorship into the Guild, but there are still a couple of bouquets delivered every day. At the table with me are Liric, Norbu, and someone who I haven’t seen in a while: the Lunar Fandris.

After some pleasantries are exchanged, Fandris gets to business. “I’ve just learned that there’s the ghost of a Solar under the city that could well be guarding a treasure of some sort. I’ve decided to go see what I can do about that, but was asked by Oro to tell you all about it first. You’re welcome to come along if you like.”

Everyone seems interested in the idea of further exploring this lead, when Norbu poses a question. “Can any of you deal with the immaterial?” When it turns out that none of us can, she continues. “Well, I’d better go with you then, Jampa?”
“Yes, it sounds like it could be interesting.”

In the end, Liric also agrees to go, and we are joined by Alya and Dorian who have had their own similar conversation..

Before we start, the others do some research into the threats we might face, but there isn’t much to learn, and we soon head down to where Oro said the ghost was to be found. Before we can get to it though, we encounter one of the obstacles that we were able to learn about: a guardian lion dog.

Dorian asks the beast to let us pass, but it makes it clear that it is not willing to do so peacefully. Not wanting a fight, I try a different approach by beginning to dance. I dance a dance of power that I have never put into practice before. A dance designed to make those that observe it fall in love with me. I forget for a moment that the lion dog is not the only one who can see my dance as my anima banner begins to glow around me.

As I near the end of the dance I see that of my companions, all but Norbu have turned away from me, and that the lion dog is unmoved. It growls at me “I will not be tempted by such things.”

I sigh and shrug, “you can’t blame a girl for trying?”

I then transition the dance into a few more pirouettes designed to more subtly put the observer into a cooperative state of mind. This seems to work better with the beast as it visibly relaxes.

The negotiations then begin in earnest and it becomes apparent that the lion dog feels sympathy for the ghost within and wishes it only peace.

“If you let us pass, then we will do our best to bring her the peace you desire.”

“You will sanctify this oath, Eclipse?”

I nod my agreement and we all put our hands out to have our oath recognized by Heaven.

With that, the lion dog accepts our promise and lets us pass without further incident. We move on and it isn’t long until we come out into a large room. There are several ancient corpses inside, two in the middle and perhaps four more scattered around the room.
Norbu, in her war form, takes the lead and is first into the room. By the time I get there I see that she is talking to the air in front of her. Then some shapes start to coalesce to one side, forming vengeful looking apparitions. Fandris, also in his war form (the shape of a great anthropomorphic badger), moves to attack the apparitions.

Norbu continues to talk to the air in front of her, but then begins to move towards the things that Fandris is fighting. As she does so, the area of space that she had appeared to be talking to begins to coalesce into something as well. At first it’s the image of a young girl, but as it gains solidity, it twists into a horrifyingly different form.

I soon realize why Norbu ceased her conversation with the spirit when she moves between me and the other spirits that seem to have focused on me as a target. I dodge their attacks as Norbu fights them.

I am too focused on keeping out of harm’s way to pay much attention to what else is going on. At one point the air seems filled with screams and shards of bone, but I somehow manage to avoid getting cut by any of them. I notice Liric plinking away with a bow at the spirits attacking me and one of them fades away as a result. The final one trying to attack me becomes extremely weakened and I dare to stop my constant dodging to punch through its fading face. The blow finishes it off and it fades away completely, but as I celebrate my victory, the air again fills with a shriek and shards of bone. This time I do not come out unscathed.

I turn and run for the entrance, confident that Norbu and Fandris can deal with the remaining spirits, and fearing that my presence is only hindering Norbu in her efforts to do so.

It is not long after I flee the room before they meet my expectations and all of us are able to examine the results of our work. As we once again gather in the room, this time with no hostile spirits joining us, we all glow with our anima banners flaring. I find it an exhilarating sight, despite my minor wounds.

The others begin examining the room, and between the room itself and the journal we find on one of the corpses, it soon becomes apparent what happened here.

A young Eclipse caste Solar had come to Hollow to tour the city. This tour just happened to begin a few days before the Usurpation. The two corpses in the middle of the room were her’s and that of the Dragon Blooded tasked to slay her. The other corpses appear to have been those of grave robbers who failed in their attempt to claim the treasure that the young Solar left behind.

Looking at the girl’s journal makes my head swim. I get visions of Nexus when it was Hollow. I’m standing atop one of its towers looking over the city with a feeling of slight disdain. Then I am back in the room amongst my companions, pouring over the possessions of this poor girl and the man who killed her.

We rest a while to recover the vital essence we expended up until now. As we do so, Oro appears. Dorian messes with the rat god some, but the god makes it clear that he is here to see that we uphold our end of the bargain. Namely that we give him the journal we recovered.

“As soon as we make a copy,” Dorian says.

Looking unamused, Oro replies in a squeaky voice. “That was not the deal! I want that journal!”

“If we give you the journal now, will you let us copy it at your place?” I suggest.

Oro thinks about it. “OK, for suitable compensation.”

“No, I think we have already done enough to deserve the chance to at least copy it.”

“Very well, you can copy it, but please give it to me now!”

We bring the copy to the location he requests, and once there Dorian uses a charm to begin rapidly copying it. Liric and I spend time looking over his shoulder, and thumbing through the pages when he takes a break. The poor girl had at least had the chance to tour Meru and Yu Shan before ending her life in Hollow. Seeing Meru in all its glory… suddenly I AM seeing Meru in its glory. The paths reserved for Celestial Exalted. The towers and manses. Then I am again back in the shabby little undercity room, looking at the girl’s journal. I wonder if the images I just saw are just my imagination, or what?

Despite the speed of Dorian’s charm, he is not able to finish copying the entire journal in one day. The three of us, Dorian, Liric and I, agree to return the next day.

It’s the next day, but before we can begin further study of the journal, Oro meets us outside where it is kept, wringing his little rat hands.

“I think I made a mistake.” Dorian glares at him. “No! The journal is fine, and you can finish copying it, that’s not it. I made a deal with the Guild to find them something. I found it and I let them know I found it, but now I think maybe I shouldn’t let them have it. Please, come take a look at it, maybe I am worrying for nothing?”

We follow the worried rat to another place in the undercity. A place that Alya would call a bolt-hole. Some place where someone of her profession would go to lay low after a job. Inside are an array of artifacts, and a collection of women’s clothing. The artifacts are soulsteel and starmetal, arranged as if they were trophies, but they are not what Oro brought us here to see. He pulls out a cabinet. This is apparently what he is worried about.

It means nothing to me, but Dorian becomes very concerned upon seeing it. I catch something about it being used to capture the souls of Exalted when they die. At some point Oro begins retching and runs outside. I follow to find him throwing up maggots. I return and tell Dorian what happened. Apparently the poor god has been ensorcelled by someone. Dorian turns to me. “How are you with prayers?”

I shrug, “I’m not Zenith caste, but I can usually get a god’s attention.”

He points to the cabinet, “sacrifice this to Lytek.”

I have never prayed to Lytek, but I recognize the name. As the god of Exaltation, he is fairly high up in the Heavenly hierarchy.

I center my thoughts and begin a low chant as I send my will Heavenward, praying for the attention of Lytek. My prayers are apparently effective, as he soon appears through a glowing nimbus of light.

“Jampa! How are you?”

His familiarity surprises me as I have never seen him before in my life. He grabs me and hugs me. I realize that I have never seen nor met him before in THIS life.

“How are your flashbacks? Anything interesting?”

I am startled by his question, as I have told no one of the visions I’ve been having.

“Um, I’ve just had glimpses.”

“Good, good,” suddenly he notices the others. “Liric! How is your memory? That isn’t my fault you know, it happened after you exalted! Where’s Alya? How is her memory coming along?”

At this point Dorian interrupts the gregarious god and starts explaining the problem. I don’t follow all of it, but apparently Dorian claims to have seen a dangerous tool of Lytek’s in human hands. Lytek denies that the tool is missing, but is eventually convinced to take the offered cabinet when he learns that those who allegedly have the tool are likely the ones coming for the cabinet. He vanishes with the cabinet just as we hear boots approaching.

We each grab what we can. Dorian grabs starmetal artifacts. Liric grabs a soulsteel one, but puts it down when it begins crying and instead also grabs a starmetal one. I grab an armful of dresses hoping to perhaps learn more about their wearer. Then we run out an alternate exit before those making the sound of footsteps arrive.

I put the dresses in Dorians coach, then leave for the Vulgar Tiger after agreeing to meet up at his place later.

Later at his place, we examine what we found. It increasingly looks like what we found was one of Alya’s bolt-holes. The dresses have all been altered. They currently look like they would fit Alya perfectly, but they were altered from a size that would have fit a slightly larger woman.

Earlier examination of the artifacts at the scene, combined with what we can do now, seems to indicate that at least some of them come from the time of the fall of Thorns, which happened long before Alya’s current exaltation. It would appear that her former exaltation used the bolt-hole and that it was then taken over by her current exaltation until she somehow lost her memory.

That is my theory anyway. Time will tell if it is correct.

Return to “The River Harlot's Exalted”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest