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IC [Exalted 2.5] Forging a Nation

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  • Noodle
    started a topic IC [Exalted 2.5] Forging a Nation

    IC [Exalted 2.5] Forging a Nation

    The Puissant Amethyst Court of Raksha has invaded the nation of Novalesk. Situated along the eastern bank of the Rock River, several dozen miles north of the rivers fork with its Lesser sibling, this tiny Nation was caught in the midst of a brewing Civil War by the Fae and their Wyld-tainted minions. Briefly unified by the invading forces, the tiny nation's entire military might recently sallied forth and secured a narrow victory over the Fae. It won’t be long before the Fae regroup and counter-attack. To make matters worse rumors abound of Novalesk's neighbors mobilizing their own forces for a possible invasion, as well as reported sightings of deathly Anathema in the nearby forests.

    Long story short, the fecal matter has hit the oscillating unit.

    We join our heroes in the walled town of Grey Ice. This town, the northern-most town of any size in Novalesk, is ruled nearly exclusively by the Ptreas clan. The Ptreas have kept themselves out of the current civil strife for the most part, choosing to declare for neither of the front-runners for the time being. You are here, however, because Sea recently received intelligence from her superiors, indicating that a long-quiet Freehold to the north has begun mobilizing its own forces. The Crimson Panoply's projections indicate that, should they ally with the Puissant Ameythsts, the Raksha will be able to overrun Novalesk and its neighbors with ease, converting the entire area to Border- and Middle-marches with little effort. Sea's mission is to ensure that this Freehold does not ally with the Puissant Amethyst Court at any cost.

    So, what will you do?

  • HeavenlyThunder
    replied
    How infuriating. The creature has retreated. Far less drama to that than if it had advanced and given them a last-stand ending. Saffron supposes that he'll make up for it with his most beautiful weapon-- one of his jeweled knives. He lunges for the beast and, with an expert flourish of his blade and a mesmerizing whirl of flame-colored silk, slashes the glittering edge of the blade across its underbelly like a ship's prow parting water.

    (Spoiler mechanism is glitching so here goes: move action on first attack. Hungry Tiger Technique used (1 m) and Second Melee Excellency (6 m) to add 3 suxx. Counts as 6 extra suxx I think. (6+1=7 m of personal essence expended). Roll of (Dex+Melee+Specialty) is (4+2+1) is 7 dice for 2 suxx. Bracers allow him a 2 die bonus for 1 success. 9 in total. Base damage of 4L (weapon damage+Strength.)

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  • Noodle
    replied
    (Malfeas)

    "There are benefits and detriments to both hiding or revealing your natures," Hadad says, "Hiding your natures will draw less attention, true. But the attention you do draw will undoubtedly be hostile, as your kind are viewed as chattel by my erstwhile kindred. And even the least among the Princes of the Earth are forces to be feared among demon-kind. It could serve you well to flaunt your nature, should you accept the proper poise and demeanor.

    "As to appearing in my service, it depend on whether you flaunt or hide your nature. If you hide, that is likely the best course. The Peers are able to seduce the scions of Creation's gods with ... regularity. But if you flaunt your nature appearing in my service would raise too many questions. Those Peers who are able to place even one of the chose of the celestines under their thrall are few and far between. If that is the choice you take, I will simply be your guide." Hadad shrugs, "It is true enough."

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  • Noodle
    replied
    (Wyld)

    Amelia's two strikes hit home, causing the beast to recoil in shock and pain. A whip of fire lashes out from Silverleaf, and rakes the Beast. It retreats, shrinking towards the exit, continuing to block the doorway, but still taking no steps to attack.

    Saffron's turn.

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  • Dietaku
    replied
    Tirien will observe the beast, concerning itself with it's movements and behavior, something nagged at the back of the Lunar's mind.

    "This isn't some feral beast. We've been lied to, I think, " she muses , preparing for her next move.

    Tiriem will make an aim action on the beast by observing it , for now.

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  • Belkra
    replied
    Jensven will add his thoughts to Yi's question after it is voiced, "I would say that we avoid armed conflict if possible. However, the Dawn that was has told me that I don't need to be armed with steel in order to be armed. I agree that we should hide what we are unless it is impossible. We are here for the item. We get it while making as little noise as we can and then we leave."

    His gaze is still scanning the area just beyond their landing point as he speaks. He speaks bravely, but he seems very much on edge.

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  • Exthalion
    replied
    "There was one thing I had hoped to ask on the way, though now is as good a time as any. Is there any... resentment is close enough toward the chosen of the gods here? If we came in force of arms and soul sundering might I suppose no one would make an issue of it. As it is, we are young and I am not the invincible fury of the dawn. Should we refrain from revealing our nature, or at least flaunting it? Would we be better served by appearing to be in your service? Assuming we go into very little detail of course.

    Essentially, how should we conduct ourselves."

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  • Magnusar
    replied
    Without hesitation Amelia charge's the monster her blade in hand feinting a charge before jumping toward it as if trying to jump on the creature, swinging her blade in the empty air as she jumps toward the monster, Solar essence can be seen crackling along the edge of her sword as her swing release a powerful arc of deadly solar essence speeding toward the creature, following not far behind Amelia comes in for the kill aiming to thrust her blade deep into the creature's back using her fall to add speed and additional strength to her second strike.

    (Amelia makes two attacks and a jump/move action her first attack uses Iron raptor technique 4m, hungry tiger technique 1m and first melee excellency for 3m adding 3 dice, her second attack use hungry tiger technique 1m and first melee excellency for 8 motes for 8 dice. Total 17 motes of personnal essence, no motes of personnal essence remains. First attack (17-3+3=17 dice) scores 7 suxx, second attack (17-4+8=21 dice) scores 7 suxx . Both attack has a base damage of 15L/2)
    Last edited by Magnusar; 09-18-2015, 03:11 PM.

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  • Noodle
    replied
    [Malfeas]

    You pause, taking stock of the particular circle of Hell you have landed within. From what you can see, the city before you is heavy disorganized, with building being of wildly varying sizes, from mere shacks to domiciles that rival the size of Lookshy Manor. There is no rhyme or reason with their shapes either, with some being cylindrical or spherical, others being a mess of acute angles and far-to-many walls, and the (very) occasional one having the right angles and flat surfaces you've come to expect in human construction. Black lead, dull iron and bright brass fuse together, adding the the visual confusion.

    Hadad scoffs, "Such disorganization. The peer who rules this section of the city is weak. Sloppy. Complacent. So disorganized." He gestures at a tall, sharp, lead spire. You can make out a trio of crude hoof-prints pressed into its surface. "Just because your territory abuts a natural barrier, you have no defenses? No garrison? The fool.

    "Still this works to our advantage," Hadad says, "We must make our way to the Plain of Teeth. Therein lies a tower of marble and glass: the Eyrie of the Watcher. You shall find the Relic there. Unfortunately," Hadad says, with the first hint of apology in his tone you've ever heard, " the geography of the Demon City has changed since the crumbling of my glorious empire. I navigated us as closely as possible to the Plain, but I know not whether it is above us, or below. We must learn of any information the denizens know of the Tyrant K'rishar, or of Tegus the Nine-Fold, the Plain of Teeth. Those queries are most likely to point us towards your goal.

    "And, I might add," Hadad says, any and all apology gone from his voice, "That I still bear a resemblance to the Peers of Hell. While that may open doors to us, me asking those questions will undoubtedly raise far more questions than I'm comfortable with. You will have to do the vast majority of the 'leg-work' as it were."

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  • Noodle
    replied
    [Wyld]

    (Well, then. It's now Dero's turn.)

    Dero stands on guard, glittering bronze knives prepared in his hands. The golden warrior told him to wait and guard the strange blood-fire lady. And If Dero learned anything growing up, its that it's a very bad idea to disobey such a fiercely assertive woman. At least when you're within their reach.

    (Dero guards. It's now Amelia, Tirien, Silverleaf and the Beasts' turns).

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  • Belkra
    replied
    Jensven stares in dumbstruck wonder at the ship as Hadad makes his grand entrance. His composure fails to improve over the course of the journey and the Dawn can be seen to stare at all of the wondrous and terrifying happenings over the course of the journey. Shadow stares intently at the serpent creature, his posture stiff and poised to spring. However, as they pass the vast, ghostly orb the canine hides in a cabin below decks. Jensven is too preoccupied with keeping himself rational through this to retrieve the dog until the event has passed.

    The rest of the journey he spends training. Training alone with his steel blade, the sword Cinder, unarmed, or with Shadow. He even spars with Yi, should the Zenith request it. If anyone asks him to use his artifact blade he politely, yet stubbornly refuses with as few words as possible. When he is not training his body, the Northerner is training his mind. He chats at length with Cinder about all things artifact, steering the discussion to artifact armors as often as he can. Also, he can be seen to consult with Yi about politics, religions, and social concerns if the former Lookshan concedes to polite requests for conversation. It is readily apparent that he is attempting to fill in the holes he has found in his knowledge. It also becomes apparent that the more he learns the more he realizes he does not know. Then he can be seen to plunge forward in his pursuit of knowledge.

    On the morning of the arrival, he gets up early. He brushes out Shadow just like he has done for the other days of the trip. The excess fur is discarded over the rail of the ship. He then readies the packs for himself and the dog. Finally the cloaks are placed on both and they move topside to wait for their arrival. Jensven returns to his cabin when told that he cannot carry two of his blades with him. The Dawn places the steel blade of his own crafting and the sword Cinder in the cabin, and he keeps the artifact, Raija's Tears on his hip.

    "I would rather I not have to draw this one," Jensven says to himself, even though the dog is always present and listening. "To save myself or someone else, but never when I am the one attacking."

    With that he makes his way off the ship with the sled dog behind him. Both the Solar and his familiar seem to react the same way to the clashing, clanging din all around the city. Their ears move backward and they narrow their eyes. Shadow manages to get his ears flat to his head, and he is very uneasy, casting his gaze about warily. His master seems only slightly less ill at ease. His gaze casts about, but more like one that is on guard than one that is expecting to be attacked at any moment.

    It is in this manner they wait to see what will happen and where it is recommended they should go.

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  • HeavenlyThunder
    replied
    Saffron grits his teeth, masking it as a grin. To draw a blade might cost him his life if the beast takes it as provocation. Instead, he readies himself to hit the deck. Hopefully someone else dies first. (That is to say, Guard... I suppose with his Dodge DV, if it matters)

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  • Noodle
    replied
    [Wyld]

    (Well then. The Beast beats all of your Join battles, with a roll of Four successes. Dero gets two successes, and Sivlerleaf, one.

    So the Beast goes first. )

    The guardian beast sits, perched on its many wings, coiled, ready to react to a move to advance. A move to attack. It sits, clicking its razor fangs. But it does not move to attack.

    (In the words of Belkra, All that to say Guard. Guard like a foo.)

    Saffron's turn.

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  • Noodle
    replied
    [Jensven and Yi]
    Hadad snorts at Yi's comment, saying, "Humility ill becomes a king. It ill becomes you. Especially because I know it to be false.

    "You have obtained the services of another of your ilk, and his war-beasts. This is good. You have also obtained victuals for the journey. This is also wise, for there is much in the realm of the Titans that is toxic to those raised in this bland age. While it would be amusing to see you trek across the Endless Wastes yourselves, either I would have to go with you or track you down afterwards, both of which are simply unacceptable. I shall allow you to travel with me, for I am a cruel and magnanimous monarch. As the chancellor has not yet called for the informant I require, we shall leave tomorrow at dawn. Meet me where the city's southern wall meets the waters. we shall travel from there."

    Hadad vanishes from your presence with a miniature thundercrack an a whiff of saline sea-air, leaving you to finish your preparations, and allowing Jensven and Shadow to be properly fitted for the cloaks made of Yi's hard-won magical cloth.

    [Yi, Jensven and Shadow obtain new magical cloaks, granting them +3 bonuses to resist Heat based effects]

    You arrive at the meeting place that Hadad gave you at dawn of the next day, but the druj is nowhere to be found. You wonder if you misheard Hadad, or perhaps he is running late, or even if he is deliberately fooling with you, as the sun begins to crest the eastern horizon. But, as the first sliver of the solar disk becomes visible, you hear a sucking sound in the river, and a long, crooked vessel wrought of verdigrised copper. Two banks of a dozen long metallic oars mar each side of the ship, and three masts, each with a single triangular azure sail line the vessel's deck. The towering figure of Hadad stands before a massive throne at the stern of the vessel, his hand upon a massive rod that leads to the ship's scale-like rudder. Hadad waves his hand, and a group of chained squalls lower a plank for you to board the ship.

    Hadad hardly waits for you to board before sitting upon his throne and jostling the rudder. As he does so, the ship shudders and lurches into the air. Bolts of lightning flash between the sails and the blades of the oars, but the Captain-king pays it no heed. It seems but a scarce moment before Novalesk is lost beneath you, and then but another more before the green sweetness of terra firma are lost amid the crystal blue of the clear sky.

    When you approach him, Hadad bids you to take whatever comforts you can in any of the cabins below decks, save the stern-most, and to help yourselves to the contents of his larder. The cabins are spartan at best, but they are dry and contain at least enough room for you to stow your goods and sleep. Hadad's larder, on the other hand, seems more a feast table than a ladder, with fine and bizarre dishes from every corner of Creation and the beyond.

    There does not appear to be any souls aboard the vessel save Hadad, Cinder, Shadow and the two solars, giving you full run of the vessel to train, spar, or do whatever thou wish to while away the hours of your five-day voyage. Hadad does not move from his throne, nor does his hand ever leave the rudder. He does not make conversation, and answers any questions as tersely as possible. Perhaps his full attention is required with the navigation, you think, it is best to not break his concentration.

    The voyage is mostly uneventful. Your ability to mark the passage of hours is hindered greatly by your inability to watch for the location of the sun or stars. After some time the azure sky fades to wine-dark, and then lightens back to azure. Twice more the cycle repeats, but each time the azure seems to leave shorter and the darkness return faster.

    Some time in the journey, before even the first transition of light to dark, you sail past a large hilled island floating among the sky. Lush verdant vegetation dots the surface, and you can see the ruins of a small city or fortress crumbling atop its surface. From what you can gather, the ruins penetrate even unto the lowest roots of the island, as it seems to have some form of man-made structure on the bottom as well.

    Shortly after light first fades to darkness, a long fifteen winged serpent, cloaked in feathers of saffron, cerulean, emerald, crimson and violet, comes alongside the ship. It dances in the air along the vessel's bow, much like a dolphin around a maritime ship. It makes no move to attack, and after some short time simply flies off to parts unknown.

    Towards the end of the second period of light, a crystalline javelin flies past the ship's starboard bow. Hadad makes no comment, but does change course a few points to port.

    In the deepest, darkest recesses of the third and final night, you pass a titan ghostly orb, bathed in violet light. The massive sphere covers the horizon, and fills you with existential dread. All the more terrifying, though, are the handful of dark shapes that orbit the violet sphere. Each is different if shape and size, but all of them defy conventional geometry and perspective, causing you pain simply by looking at them. What's more, as you draw past them, an ethereal sound penetrates your mind, as if coming from just beyond your range of hearing. It is simultaneously the most beautiful thing you have ever heard, surpassing even the radiant voice of the most high, and the most terrible. The pain from these cacophonous whispers are as if a thousand knives were being drawn across a hundred slates inside your heads. Passing this terrifying system is the only time in your journey that Hadad rises from his throne. Keeping a hand upon the rudder, he makes the lesser Mudra of the Rising Smoke at the violet orb until it is out of sight. Only then does he return to his seat. Any attempts to query Hadad about the nature of the place you just passed earn but one response, "It is the place that the lost things go to die."

    Not long after this, the world around you begins to lighten, but not to the now-familiar azure. Instead, the sky begins to lighten to a soft emerald-green. Some time later, the vessel touches down in reeking, oily, green-grey sea. Upon the nearby shoreline, you can see a titanic city of brass, iron and lead. Black spires pierce up into the sky, and a molten sphere, burning with emerald fire, hangs above the brazen city. Even the most ignorant of occultists would be able to recognize the heart of the Demon Realm; the form of Ligier, the Green Sun.

    Hadad’s ship crunches upon the shoreline of metallic beads. As you prepare to leave, Hadad rises from his throne and says, “As soon as you take foot from this ship, you will be within the Realm of Malfeas. Or Hell, as you Creation-born call it. Three things I warn you. First, bring not with you metals hewn from the earth and soil of creation. The Brazen Emperor does not suffer them to enter his gates; only when sorcery is placed upon them, or they are incorporated into an Artifact can they survive entry into the Demon Realm. Second, judge not based on what you can see. You are neophytes here. The logic of Creation is not the logic of the Yozis or of the Unquestionable. And third, always be on your guard. As Solars, to the Serfs you are walking disasters. To the Peers, you are an ally to be courted and corrupted, or a rival to be slain. And to the Unquestionable and the Titans, you are one of the most powerful Weapons of the Gods. They will attempt to steal you from your masters, or slay you if they cannot. Everyone and everything here will try to use you, slay you, or both.”

    You debark Hadad’s ship, followed by your elemental ally and demonic guide. Once you are all free and clear of the vessel, it sinks beneath the waves.

    “Where’s it going?” Cinder asks, concern in his voice.

    “To begin its five day journey to my home,” Hadad replies, “to await my summons for our return.”

    “We’re stuck here for at least ten days?

    “Of course not,” Hadad snorts, “It will arrive exactly when I summon it, having just spent the last five days sailing back.”

    “But,” Cinder protests, “If you summon it, say, four days from now, then it will have had to have started its return trip yesterday. Before we even arrived. Before you sent it back to begin with.”

    “And?”

    “I know I don’t get out much,” Cinder says, “but that sounds impossible. Like, me playing the sanxian impossible.”

    “As I said, the logic of the Creation-born does not apply here,” Hadad says smugly.

    You now take stock of your surroundings, and two things spring out at you. First, is the air. It seems to light, to thin; almost as if you’re standing atop a high mountain. But at the same time, it seems to exert a greater pressure upon you, akin to the increased pressure of being underwater. It does not hamper your movements, but it is disquieting.

    The second thing you notice is the noise, far more than simply being in a city can account for. All around you, you hear the pounding of drums, the blair of horns and simple yelling and shouting of demons of all shapes and sizes. a scarce minute after setting foot in Malfeas, a single piercing shriek from a thousand directions cuts through the din.

    It is dawn on your first day in the demon city. What shall you do?

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  • Magnusar
    replied
    Amelia assume a guard stance with her sword waiting for the beast to charge. (Rolls join battle with 9 dice for one suxx)

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