Session 13 (9/26) 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 13 (9/26) Recaps

Postby Fulminata » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:40 pm

Liric

9/26/2015 – Session 13 – 12, Descending Water – Hunted/Hunter

The next day Liric woke, not exactly refreshed, but with a plan.

"Unipug?"

"Are we going to look for Alya?"

"Not exactly. I'm not sure either of us could actually track Alya. Unless... can you track Alya's scent?"

Unipug looked very doubtful. There was also the problem of finding a starting point to begin tracking.

"Right, then. We need to track down something close to Alya. So, we're going to have to find a Bloody Hand. Specifically, you are going to have to find a Bloody Hand. I'm going to go and try something different. I think the only way to find Alya is to split up."

Unipug did not seem to particularly like this idea. The more Liric thought about it, the more he felt a little guilty about it, too.

"Look, can you hurry home? I mean if something bad happens, is there some place that you can immediately get to where its safe?"

"Bubbles' grave," mumbled Unipug. Bubbles was the last unipug who had lived in creation.

Liric had a sudden thought. "That's good. Now, could you also take something with you? Like, say, me?"

Unipug thought about it for a moment and shook his head.

"Ok, just ask around, carefully, about where some Bloody Hands have been. There's one that follows Alya around. If we can find it, then we can find her."

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to see if I can find someone who might know where Alya is."

The two split up and began their separate tasks. Liric was intent on finding one of the employees from the teahouse and discovering if Jampa was around during the fire, had left before or after, or something else. The teahouse itself had been reduced to a smoking rubble. Liric reasoned that maybe someone with smoke inhalation or burns may have sought medical treatment, so he began scouring clinics near the site, moving away toward lower income areas. He eventually found a doctor that treated lower-middle class patients who had a badly burned person in her center.

Then Liric noticed the glaring weak point in his plan. He needed to interrogate an injured person who was under the supervision of a doctor and likely didn't appreciate having the patient bothered.

"Can I help you sir? And what are you doing with that man?"

Liric spun around. He was standing over the burn victim. The doctor had come from behind a curtained area that served as the treatment room and was giving him an appraising look. His clothes he had acquired in heaven stuck out rather too much here. He was definitely out of place.

"Um, well... You... look busy here."

The doctor just kept looking him over, obviously growing more suspicious.

"I actually know a bit of medicine myself, you know, uh... bit of acupuncture? I was thinking maybe, since you are really, really busy, you wouldn't mind some... help?"

It was quite possibly the worst excuse for a cover in the history of covers.

"Um, look, that kid over there has crusted scabies, and that is, really, really contagious, and the guy with the burns needs a lot of attention, and you have all these other people who need help too, right, so... I just want to help out."

"Uh-huh. And how much will this cost me?"

"Oh... half? No... thirty percent."

The doctor looked very skeptical, but apparently a 70% cut in an overcrowded office wasn't something she would say no to immediately. She motioned Liric over to a patient, and watched carefully. Liric was sure she would be out in the street screaming for mercenaries the first time he did anything non-professional to a patient.

The diagnosis was accurate, but meaningful treatment would be slow with the equipment and medicines available. Liric went through a couple more patients. Satisfied for the moment, the doctor gave him some extra space. She went over to the kid with the scabies, scolding him about the constant scratching. Liric had a chance to speak briefly with the burned man, but he was too injured and medicated to understand anything, let alone reply.

"Um, look, I... I think if I had some more supplies this would go faster. Um... I'll be right back."

Liric stalked off back to the apartment and picked up his Satchel. The large twilight caste mark symbol on its side was a bit suspicious, so it hadn't been something he was prone to carry around with him. He found another satchel to stuff it in and set back out. The stream of lower-mid class misery coming into the office was getting to him, and the worst cases there were going to need something a bit more powerful.

Liric got back to the clinic and went into the treatment area. He called the kid with the scabies over. The doctor was there, highly suspicious again, and there was obviously no point in asking her to leave. Liric sighed, pulled out the jade artifacts, and began examining the boy in detail, occasionally pressing the rod into his skin to re-balance the essence flows. Soon, most of the redness and some of the swelling were gone, the greatest part of the itching was gone, and the parasites were dead. It would take a while for the crusty skin to flake away and return to normal on its own, but the infection was cured. The doctor said nothing, but walked over to the door and locked it.

Liric just put his head down and called more people over. He matched the pace of treatment with the rate his hearthstone amulet was regenerating his essence. No point in showing off a caste mark in an hour and completely freaking everyone out. One step at a time.

About half-way through the treatments, Unipug materialized in the middle of the office and began licking himself. He said he had found the bloody hand. Liric sincerely hoped the doctor did not understand Old Realm. If she did, she hid it well. She just took a step back, looked at Unipug for a minute, then pulled the shades.

The last to be treated was the burn victim. He took a very long time to heal. He had been the cook at the teahouse. Liric was able to ask him about Jampa. "Jampa.... Great Forks" was all the exhausted man could reply. Well, it had been a long day, but Liric had discovered what he had set out to know. He packed the instruments away, and turned around to face the doctor, who was standing in front of the door. Liric just began examining his shoes, and feeling unaccountably guilty.

"I can't afford that," said the doctor at last.

"What? Uh..."

"I cannot afford to pay you for what you did."

"Oh, um... Don't worry about it, it's okay."

"Uh-huh. You know, you don't seem to have any aspect markings or look like a god blood or anything else I would expect for someone who could do that."

"Well.... I just wanted to help."

"We could have used your help last night, then, with that fire going on up the street," she gestured in the general direction of Jampa's teahouse.

"Oh, well... I was kind of busy... sorry"

"Uh-huh."

"Look, um, if you want me to, I could come back later and maybe get some of the really bad cases that are around here. Like that kid – if he has friends they probably have those scabies too and those things are really, really contagious. And I'm sure you're doing your best and all and... I mean there's just a lot to do, and you can't be everywhere at once, you know? So....." Liric trailed off into silence.

"Okay, then. You come back tomorrow."

"Really? I mean, okay. I will definitely try... I mean... I can't guarantee... there's some other things going on, you know. But.... Yes, I will help you out if I can if you'll accept it and... I'll be here tomorrow."

Out on the street, Liric considered that all of that could have gone better. Or worse.

Unipug told Liric that he finally "found someone by a Bloody Hand that might have smelled like Alya but then I got kicked by the Bloody Hand and some stuff burned and a water lady put them out. Did I say I got kicked? So I followed the water lady."

It took a couple more times through, but Liric eventually understood that something had burned, but a water-aspected dragon-blood had put it out, and after that Unipug followed the dragon-blood because he had lost track of whoever might be Alya.

"So... let's go to the last place you knew where the Bloody Hand was."

It looked like possibly a hideout maybe used by Fandris' gang, but Liric wasn't sure. He was sure, though, that it was being watched. They circled around the block and Unipug was able to pick up the scent of the Bloody Hand. They followed the trail back to the house next to Dorian's estate.

"Should I go get Gen?"

"No. We need to confirm that Alya is actually inside."

Liric was pretty sure he could use his essence to sneak inside. However, if he needed to immediately escape, or if anything unexpected happened, he would not have enough essence to perform a similar feat without his anima flaring. He needed a place to think. And thinking on the sidewalk looked a bit suspicious, especially in Dorian's neighborhood. He knocked on the door of Dorian's estate. A maid answered, but told him the Master had just embarked on a journey to Great Forks and was not expected back for at least three months.

Great, everyone has left but me and Alya.

"Um, do you think it would be alright if I just borrowed the library for a minute? I was hoping to consult with Mr. Duskholme about a matter, but if I could look it up myself? Yes? I would be ever so grateful and I'm sure Mr. Duskholme wouldn't mind when you tell him when he gets back. I'm Kiritgad, from the School, Yes?"

The maid cheerfully showed Liric/not-Liric to the library, but was staying around to keep an eye on him. He browsed around and found a book he thought likely incomprehensible to the staff, and picked it out, and pretended to mumble to himself in Old Realm.

"Unipug, I really need you to do one more thing. I need you to get inside the house and actually find where he Bloody Hand is. Make sure it is actually in the house. Do not mess with the Dragon-blooded. Actually... if you can hear what they are talking about without being seen, okay, but do not do anything more dangerous than that and if anything bad starts happening I want you to go back to Bubble's grave immediately. When you find anything out, come back here." Liric/not-Liric was feeling more and more guilty about using Unipug for scouting like this. He didn't think Alya had any way to harm him dematerialized, and he was pretty sure the dragon-bloods wouldn't bother with him unless they had a reason. It was the Bloody Hand he was really worried about.

It took a while, and by that time the maid had dropped most of the courtesy and was just waiting for him to leave. But then Unipug came back and said the Bloody Hand was next door and was in a dusty place where everything was covered with sheets, and maybe he should go get Gen now before Alya had a chance to escape.

Liric/not-Liric thanked the maid and stepped outside. The door shut behind them.

"No, absolutely do not go get Gen now. That would be a very bad thing to do right now. Just let me think for a moment, please. "

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Fulminata
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 11:40 pm
Name: John
Location: Springdale

Re: Session 13 (9/26) Recaps

Postby Fulminata » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:44 pm

Jampa

Session 13: Great Forks

Once she learns to focus her inner essence onto the task, putting together the caravan proves a simple task. She hopes that someone appreciates it, but isn’t going to hang around to find out. With a quick round of goodbyes, she, Norbu, and Dorje board a ship bound upriver and gratefully leave Nexus behind them.

She spends a relaxing evening aboard, but the next day notices a smiling and energetic woman moving from table to table in the sumptuous lounge area of the ship. The woman soon makes her way to Jampa’s table.

“Enjoying the cruise?”

“So far, yes.”

“How far are you going, to Great Forks?”

“Yessss” it is already obvious to Jampa that the stranger is more than human, and now she wonders just what this more than human woman is looking for from her.

“That can be a long trip, but it could be shorter, with the right kind of help.” The woman smiles knowingly. “My father has already helped Dorian arrive, and he can do the same for you. We can get off at the next stop and talk to him about it, if you’d like”

“I suppose so…”

“Oh, good! I’m so glad I found you! He’ll be so happy to see you!”


A few hours later, the young woman has led Jampa, Norbu, and Dorje to her father. He is a handsome and gregarious man. “I understand that you might appreciate a speedier method of getting to Great Forks?”

“I might, but what exactly did you have in mind, and what is the cost?”

“I wander far, but Great Forks is my home, so no matter how far I roam I am able to return there quickly, and I can return there with you. I don’t need anything from you right now in exchange, but I am sure there will come a time when you could repay the favor, if you are interested?”

Jampa thinks it over. She really isn’t in very much of a hurry, but as nice as a relaxing cruise upriver might be, it would mean that it would be that much longer before she could return to working on her more serious projects.

“Very well, I agree. Take us to Great forks!”


Shortly after that, they find themselves on the outskirts of Great Forks, where Talespinner takes his leave of them and they head for the gate. Passing down the main thoroughfare through the West Quarter of the city, they pass many inns and teahouses. Starting with the poorer locations just past the gate, the accommodations get gradually better, and more expensive, as they walk further toward the center of the city. Norbu begins pointing out suitable places after they get about halfway to the city center, but Jampa continues on.

Finally, just as they are about to cross into the temple district at the center of the city, Jampa stops outside a fine looking teahouse and inn. The sign outside depicts an ornately carved temple gate, one pillar of which looks very familiar, having the features of Talespinner carved into it, the other is that of an armored woman, while the arch forming the top of the gate depicts a near naked woman reclining on a couch. Written around the image of the temple gate are the words “Gate to the Temple of the Three Spirits.”

Jampa looks at the sign and turns to Norbu. “This place will do nicely.”

Norbu sighs, “Isn’t it, perhaps, a bit out of reach of our current means?”

Jampa dismisses her concerns with a wave and strolls into the place, which she will soon learn is more commonly called “Temple’s Gate.”

Jampa quickly finds an employee, “I need to speak to the owner, or the manager if the owner is not present.”

Before long there is a well dressed middle aged man standing in front of Jampa, he notes the stylish but not ostentatious dress of the three travelers in front of him, and takes a cautious tone. “How may I help you?”

Jampa smiles at the man and takes his hand in hers. “We have decided to choose your establishment to spend some time at! Naturally, since we won’t be performing every night, we’ll pay a prorated amount to compensate you. We can make our first performance tonight, unless tomorrow would be better for you?”

The man’s mouth opens and closes as his brain processes Jampa’s patter. “Performance, tonight?” he tries to ask to clarify what he is hearing.

“Tonight it is, then!” Jampa replies, deliberately misinterpreting his question. “If you could have someone show us to our room, then? Thank you so much!”

The man finds himself giving Jampa one of the establishment’s finest rooms before heading off and trying to convince himself that he somehow just made a great deal.


After getting settled in, Jampa makes her way down to the tearoom to relax. Dorian stops by not long after, and begins talking.

“So, about the wedding, will you oversee the vows?”

“Um, wedding?”

“Yes, my wedding.”

“You’re getting married!? Dorian Duskholme is getting married!?”

“Yes, will you sanctify the vows?”

“Who are you marrying?”

“Oh, yes, of course, Nerium.”

Jampa claps her hands together and has to bite her lip to keep herself from laughing, it would mostly be a laugh of happiness, but there would be a touch of humor, and Dorian probably would take it the wrong way. Fortunately she manages to get herself back under control and turns it into a genuine smile.

“Of course I’ll sanctify the vows! When is the ceremony?”

Dorian informs Jampa of the details and then takes his leave.



“Norbu! Dorian and Nerium are getting married!” Jampa beams as she tells Norbu the news.

“What?”

“They’re getting married!”

“What? Dorian… and Nerium?”

“Wait, you aren’t disappointed, are you? That it’s Nerium…?”

“What? No... well, maybe, but I guess that depends on the details of their vows… Never mind that, I just mean Dorian and Nerium? Dorian?”

Jampa frowns at Norbu. “He’s apparently one of Nexus’ most eligible bachelors, or at least was until now.”

“I guess so, it just seems odd is all.” Norbu shrugs. “I hope this doesn’t mean he’s going to get all jealous and awkward when I’m around. Anyway, when’s the ceremony?”


Later, the discussion moves past the upcoming nuptials. “This is the City of Temples. right?”

“That’s one thing they call it, yes.” Norbu says dryly.

“Let’s go see if there’s a temple to Oro here! I want to pray to him later and see if I can get some news, and it would help if there was a temple to pray at.”

Norbu shrugs, she does a lot of shrugging around Jampa. It seems to be the best response to most of her ideas.

They grab Dorje and head out into the city. It doesn’t take long to find what they’re looking for. A couple questions here and there, and looking in the likely places. It’s hidden in an alley next to one of those high class taverns designed to look seedy without actually being seedy. The shrine had a mockingbird motif, but Jampa had a feeling it was Oro’s. It just felt like Oro.


One thing about Great Forks, there are a lot of slaves, and naturally that bugs Jampa the more she notices it. She doesn’t notice a lot of it right away, because a lot of the slaves are doing jobs that in Nexus would be done by paid labor (or, she admits, simply wouldn’t get done, like a lot of the cleaning going on), and it isn’t immediately clear that they actually are slaves.

One thing that’s impossible not to notice is the priestess of Rabszolga trying to get Norbu to enslave her.

“Please take me mistress and do as you will for the next day!”

“Um, no?” Norbu responds.

“What she means, is that freedom is the right of all men and women, and you should not enslave yourself to anyone.”

“But I love my master, and he wishes me to enslave myself to others, and she looks like a fine mistress. It is a win, win, win!”

Jampa thinks about it. This woman is not actually a slave, she chooses to act like one, but it is her choice, not something she is being forced into.

“I think you are foolish to enslave yourself to anyone, but as it is your choice, I will not stop you. You could certainly find a worse master or mistress.”

“Thank you mistress!”

Jampa sighs, it’s going to be a long day.


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