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  • A Clutch of Dragons: Crumplepunch is Selling Out!

    I've been doing a thing. The beast finally nears completion, and with the assistance of some shadowy accomplices a fancypants pdf compilation is underway.

    I have secured some works from generous artists through Deviantart and other venues, but the machine of Empire has its needs, and it will need more cool things before it is sated.

    Therefore, I have decided, after some trepidation, to sell out.


    What I am asking for:

    I am soliciting the Exalted community for short fictions of 400-700 words for chapter fics, preferably of Dragon-Bloods doing cool things.

    Likewise I would very much like artworks suitable for the format, also preferably of Dragon-Bloods doing cool things.


    What you get in return:

    In return I will write you an artifact, or some Charms, or a QC. I'll even draw your character! Look, here's mine.


    Lysanna of Thorns, Outcaste Sorceress


    Just make a request and we can probably work something out. I intend to offer a reward for all submissions whether they are used or not.


    A Clutch of Dragons: Hub Thread, Presence, Resistance, Ride, Sail, Socialize Stealth, Survival, Thrown, War, First Draft pdf<NEW

  • #2
    I present to you... http://pastebin.com/uDQhUiSf.

    Aimed for the Antagonists or Storytelling chapter, it shows a Prince of the Earth being human enough to disobey her immaculate upbringing. 766 words (sorry it's a little long). I can try to trim it down a bit more if you like the general premise / writing style.

    I could also tweak the tone by clothing the lunar and removing a few related sentences, if that touch of grim darkness doesn't match the tone you're aiming for.

    Edit: Also, a fancy-pants PDF compilation - have you considered using the LaTeX templates I've already generated for my charm rewrite? I spent a lot of effort there, might save you some work if you want to make something super nice looking. (especially, the sidebars were a pain and a half to get looking decent).

    Source: https://github.com/BlueWinds/Ex3Char.../no-dicetricks
    Result: https://github.com/BlueWinds/Ex3Char...ks/Rewrite.pdf
    Last edited by BlueWinds; 02-14-2017, 07:17 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by BlueWinds View Post
      I present to you... http://pastebin.com/uDQhUiSf.

      Aimed for the Antagonists or Storytelling chapter, it shows a Prince of the Earth being human enough to disobey her immaculate upbringing. 766 words (sorry it's a little long). I can try to trim it down a bit more if you like the general premise / writing style.

      I could also tweak the tone by clothing the lunar and removing a few related sentences, if you that touch of grim darkness doesn't match the tone you're aiming for.
      Yes, seems like a good fit. If you could find a way to trim 30 words or so it would fit snugly onto a page at 8 point font. No particular complaints about the tone or content, seems like good stuff.

      Name your price and strike a bargain!

      Originally posted by BlueWinds View Post
      Edit: Also, a fancy-pants PDF compilation - have you considered using the LaTeX templates I've already generated for my charm rewrite? I spent a lot of effort there, might save you some work if you want to make something super nice looking. (especially, the sidebars were a pain and a half to get looking decent).

      Source: https://github.com/BlueWinds/Ex3Char.../no-dicetricks
      Result: https://github.com/BlueWinds/Ex3Char...ks/Rewrite.pdf
      I'll definitely take a look, thank you.
      Last edited by Crumplepunch; 02-14-2017, 07:14 PM.


      A Clutch of Dragons: Hub Thread, Presence, Resistance, Ride, Sail, Socialize Stealth, Survival, Thrown, War, First Draft pdf<NEW

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd love to help. I'd like to think I'm decent at writing (my White Elephant contribution is one of my most recent examples: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...inds-and-tides). In a pinch I might be able to do black and white comic art, but I doubt I can keep up with the rest of the talent on here in that area.

        Let me know how I can help best and I'll try to get it done ASAP. I'm happy to just help, but I'm sucker for character art offers too


        I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

        Comment


        • #5
          http://pastebin.com/hpyrqyZp <-- New, slightly shorter and edited version. I was already planning on taking this to a writer's group tonight, so may have some more edits come tomorrow.

          I'd like art! Character is Mnemon Aisa, air aspect extraordinaire.. In that game she's plotting to become Empress, but her goals needn't be so lofty in other settings.

          With that said, feel free to use the story regardless of any other rewards. A link to my site in the credits would be nice. (http://winds.blue)

          Comment


          • #6
            http://pastebin.com/s703s8Un

            A short story about a young Dynast seeing the treasures of his House and swearing revenge, perhaps suitable for the Character Creation chapter.


            Some of me humble homebrew for ex3:
            Artifacts for Crumple's DB homebrew
            Some Lintha QCs
            A Wyld Behemoth

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is an excerpt from a longer story about two archers discussing the philosophy of archery, I don't know if it fits in anywhere. In the story it's a wood aspect and a solar, but it would only take minor edits to change the solar.


              Cornek walked Neral to the training grounds. The cloister halls and courtyards were mostly empty, due to the late hour.
              When they reached the center of the yard, Cornek drew a line in the sand with his foot.
              "This will the firing line, step no closer to the target than this."
              Neral looked past the line to the edge of the training ground.
              "But there are no targets over there. What are we shooting at?"
              Cornek did not reply. Instead he rested the lacquered wood case he was carrying on the ground and opened it. From it he withdrew an arrow and his bow, a true piece of art made from fine yew with veins of green jade set into it. He held the bow for a moment with closed eyes, then he stood and in one motion drew and released, not opening his eyes.
              Neral followed the arrow with her gaze and saw it arc away into the night. Then, she spotted the target. It sat, illuminated by several torches, on the battlements of a gatehouse of the distant city walls. The arrow struck true.
              "That's more than half a mile! What if you miss? You might hit someone!"
              He merely smiled. "I don't miss. But if you are not so confident, you can forfeit and we will practice on something easier."
              Neral snorted at the challenge and unwrapped the cloth bundle she was holding, revealing her own bow.
              She knocked an arrow and drew back on the string of her steel and orichalcum weapon. Wheels turned, springs coiled and the tempered alloy arms of the bow bent under her will. As she aimed, she saw Cornek frown at her weapon.
              "What? You don't like the color?" she teased him as she set her sights on the distant target.
              "It's not that. I just should have known. With such a sterile device, it's no wonder you don't truly understand the Path of the Arrow."
              "I'll show you, just watch this!" Neral let fly.
              Her arrow flew straight as a sunbeam. It hit the target dead center and knocked the flimsy thing back and off the city walls.
              She turned to gloat. "Pretty neat shot for someone who doesn't know archery, wasn't it?" she challenged. But Cornek seemed unimpressed.
              "A powerful shot, no doubt. But while your warrior spirit is without question fierce, you clearly do not understand the Path of the Arrow."
              He knelt down to place the bow back in the box.
              “But I hit! And harder than you!” she growled.
              Cornek sighed and stood. "As I said, you are a fierce warrior. But the Path of the Arrow requires that you know the full effect of your strength before you unleash it." He pointed out at the target. "As you have knocked over the target, and with visitors to our city not allowed on the walls, it falls to me to set it back up. I will return shortly so we can continue our contest."
              With that he turned and walked to the gate of the cloister grounds.
              "Oh, I'm sorry," she said after him.
              The silence ended only when he returned with their arrows some time later.
              He nodded and collected his bow once more. His second shot was as quick and accurate as the first. "First one to miss the bulls eye loses."

              Neral took a deep breath and drew her bow, though not nearly as far back this time and aiming higher. Like Cornek's arrows, hers now travelled in an arc. But as with her last shot, when it hit the bulls eye, the target was knocked backwards until it teetered over the edge and fell off the wall again.
              Neral let out a growl. "That wasn't supposed to happen!" She turned to Cornek who was, again, storing away his bow. "I'm sorry."
              "It is all right," he turned to leave again.
              "No, wait!" Neral said. "I concede. I don’t want to make you run back and forth like this."
              "Are you sure? Your accuracy has been flawless so far." He regarded her carefully.
              "No, not flawless. As you said, hitting isn't everything."
              He smiled. "Then you finally understand the premise of the Path of the Arrow."



              I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a half hour to spare, so I came up with this (suitable for a crafting or panoply chapter:

                The hammer struck the steel with a spark, once, twice, many times. Slowly the sword’s blade began to take shape. It was a boring shape though, Cathak Pernost decided and let his eyes wander to the blacksmith’s legs and hips.
                “Pay attention,” the old, muscled woman snapped at her apprentice. “Or you’ll make a fool of yourself when it’s your turn.”
                “Why do I need to bother with steel?” the boy asked. “I am exalted, chosen of Pasiap! I should be learning how to craft jade!”
                The blacksmith laughed, her grey hair strands jiggling around her face. “You think you can tame spirits and bind them into jade without learning the first thing about blacksmithing? Ha!” She let her hammer fall to strike again.
                “How dare you speak to me this way?” the boy shouted over the hammer strikes. “My father will have your head for this, and that’s if you’re lucky! If I tell mother-“
                “You mother would do well to remember her own training with me,” the old woman laughed. “In fact, she insisted I instruct you. So shut up and pay attention!”
                “Spare me!” Pernost reached out and snatched the hammer from her hands mid-swing. Before she could protest, he’d also taken her tongs and began hammering on the steel.
                Slowly the steel began to mould to his will. When the shape was laid out, he swung it to the forge and jammed the metal into the flames, as though to spear a part of the fire’s very soul.
                When he withdrew the blade, he could almost hear the terrified screams of a fire spirit, but he quickly drowned it out with more hammer strikes.
                “Well don-“
                Ignoring the mortal blacksmith’s praise, he took the sword and plunged it into the quenching barrel. Steam hissed up and out, but was soon sucked back into the blade where it solidified in a wavy pattern.
                “You should really-“
                Pernost pulled the blade from the water and thrust it at and past his instructor's face. Her mouth hung open as the blade, now with gleaming edge, slipped just past her cheek and sliced off one of her hair strands.
                He pulled the blade back, twirled it and placed it on the anvil.
                “Don’t bore me with steel,” he insisted. “I am here to learn how to make real weapons.”
                The blacksmith picked up the sword and twirled it herself. Then she struck out in her own lunge.
                “You witch!” Pernost screamed and touched the gash she’d left on his cheek.
                “You certainly surpassed your mother in metalworking,” the old woman grumbled and wiped the blood of the sword. “But even to you exalts, steel can be just as deadly as jade. Your parents both know that, and if you want to live, you’ll have to learn it, too.”




                I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BlueWinds View Post
                  I'd like art! Character is Mnemon Aisa, air aspect extraordinaire.
                  I think I can swing that. I work slow but it'll happen.

                  A pact is made!

                  Originally posted by TDS View Post
                  http://pastebin.com/s703s8Un

                  A short story about a young Dynast seeing the treasures of his House and swearing revenge, perhaps suitable for the Character Creation chapter.
                  This is good, it seems like a good fit for the Character Creation chapter.

                  Originally posted by BjornTheFellhanded View Post
                  Here is an excerpt from a longer story about two archers discussing the philosophy of archery, I don't know if it fits in anywhere. In the story it's a wood aspect and a solar, but it would only take minor edits to change the solar.
                  Originally posted by BjornTheFellhanded View Post
                  I had a half hour to spare, so I came up with this (suitable for a crafting or panoply chapter:
                  The first is a nice piece of writing but it doesn't really feel like it interacts with any salient Dragon-Blooded themes or situations. The second is definitely suitable for a Panoply chapter if there ends up being one.

                  Speaking of which I will also take submissions of artifacts for a Panoply chapter.

                  TDS and BjornTheFellhanded, name your price!


                  A Clutch of Dragons: Hub Thread, Presence, Resistance, Ride, Sail, Socialize Stealth, Survival, Thrown, War, First Draft pdf<NEW

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Some character art would be nice Or maybe some sort of cover art for my fanfic, Against all Winds and Tides?
                    I'm happy to give more details, but don't let it get in the way of your project! I'm happy to wait or even help without reward.

                    And speaking of help, I'll try to come up with more shorts over the weekend. I have vague ideas for a war council scene where several houses need to combine arms against an anathema, a sorcery lecture, and an immaculate monk following the trail of a suspected anathema bandit. Not sure which will shake out yet, we'll see soon.


                    I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post

                      TDS and BjornTheFellhanded, name your price!
                      I think I'll go with character art for Sivan. I think it's best if we discuss the details in skype, so just hit me up when you're ready to begin and I'll provide all the details and so on you need.


                      Some of me humble homebrew for ex3:
                      Artifacts for Crumple's DB homebrew
                      Some Lintha QCs
                      A Wyld Behemoth

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The RPG group is arriving soon, but here is what I've got so far. I can make changes as needed.


                        Somehow Master Dellenik managed to trudge through the muddy road into the village without dirtying his blue robes even in the slightest. Sannir was not as lucky, and already the green of his own robe was stained almost to his knees.
                        “Why are there no proper roads here?” he mumbled. “How can these people stand this much dirt and mud?”
                        “Few satrapies enjoy the wealth you are used to on the Isle, boy,” the bald, older man chuckled. “But you should be thankful! With yesterday’s rain, it is unlikely anyone dared to leave this place by wagon. We should find what we’re looking for.”
                        They reached the large, blocky building in the center of the village, the curious eyes of all present following them. Master Dellenik stopped and regarded the solid log construction ahead with its small windows and reinforced doors.
                        “This place would appear familiar with the idea of bandits, wouldn’t you say, boy?” the old man chuckled again and Sannir noted the signaling twitch of his Master’s finger.
                        Taking a deep breath, Sannir took in the smell. Mud was there, of course, as well as damp cloth, mold and various animal odors. There was also sweat, a lot of it, even though no one in sight was exerting themselves, nor was the day hot.
                        “We are not welcome here, Master,” Sannir whispered under his breath in Old Realm. “They are afraid.” He had not yet mastered the art of whispering silently into the wind, but the old man’s ears were sharper than any daiklave.
                        “Indeed not,” Master Dellenik’s voice echoed in his ear alone. “Strangers rarely are this far from Grey Falls. So let us introduce ourselves.”
                        He took the few steps up to the strong house’s door and turned around with a flourish of his robes that no natural wind had any part of.
                        “In the name of the Immaculate Order, hear me!” he addressed the villagers. “We come seeking a criminal that absconded with a tax payment destined for Grey Falls. The stolen wagon’s trails lead through this village. If any of you have-“
                        “Grey Falls won’t miss one wagon’s taxes!” A tall, broad shouldered man had approached them, hefting his black smith’s hammer.
                        “Any crime will be punished!” Sannir stepped in front of the man to shield his master. “It is not for you to decide otherwise.” More villagers stepped forward to join the first.
                        “What my young friend meant was that crime is a danger to us all,” Master Dellenik smiled. “Let us help you, and you will be free of these outlaws’ demands.”
                        “What demands?” a young woman blurted. “He’s done nothing but protect and feed us!”
                        It was what they needed. Sannir flourished his own cloak and twirled his staff, dropping into the Wood Dragon stance. The villagers backed away a half step, but then, remembering their numbers, pushed towards Sannir again, ready to strike.
                        Master Dellenik meanwhile whispered into his cupped hands, and only moments later the return message arrived:
                        A volley of fifty arrows came from the north where their soldiers had waited, raining down on Sannir and the villagers surrounding him. The young monk spun his staff above his head, batting aside those missiles coming for him, and moments later he stood alone amidst a field of blood and moans.
                        “Do you think that was all of them, Master?” he asked and looked around. “More might be hiding in the homes.”
                        “They don’t matter,” his master sighed and stepped towards him, “not anymore. We have found our quarry.”
                        He pointed at an ox regarding them from an open paddock across the village square. Slowly, it began plodding towards them.
                        “You shouldn’t have messed with my pack,” the animal grumbled and gradually shifted into a larger, ursine shape. “Now I will tear you limb from limb!”
                        “You led them astray, to crime and heresy,” Master Dellenik shot back and raised his arms, palms out in the Air Dragon form. “It is you who sealed their fate.”
                        With a roar the wagon sized bear charged, a full moon mark glowing on its forehead.




                        The V’neef entourage barely even waited to be admitted, barging into the command tent a mere second after the adjutant announcing them had left again.
                        Their leader, a lithe woman in green jade plate mail, stepped towards the grumpy old man with sandstone skin bent over the map table, arms spread wide for a hug.
                        “Lady V’neef Mazhakessa,” the man bowed to her instead before she could embrace him. “It is good to see you again.”
                        “You always say that, Cathak Ikishan,” she sighed. “But you never seem to mean it. Was I that unpleasant?”
                        “You were adequate,” he grunted. “But that business is behind us, you got your egg. We have more serious matters to attend to, now.” He gestured to the war table where exquisitely carved figurines of realm soldiers stood surrounding a small number of round stone tokens piled over a Tengese mountain village.
                        “Our son is growing up well, I’m told,” she ignored the table. “He exalted very young and will begin attending the House of Bells later this year.”
                        “Enough!” the man slammed the table, knocking the figurines around. “V’neef promised me troops to bring down this anathema. How many did you bring?”
                        She stood straight and gave a mock salute. “Yes, General Cathak Ikishan! I bring five talons of spearmen and one of cavalry.”
                        “Excellent, have your men report to-“
                        “No, lover dear,” she shook her head and smiled. “House Cathak allowed this ‘Sunrider’ to grow this strong to being with. I am under orders to take command of your legion and capture him.”
                        “You?” Ikishan’s mouth hung open. “My legion?”
                        Her fingers reached out and caressed his cheek. “You’ve lost how many men to this guerrilla force already? When was the last time you managed to collect this satrapy’s due tithes? And now you need help from another house? Such lack of results does not become an exalt of your breeding.”
                        A smile had crept into his face at her touch and the accompanying rose scent, but he still found the strength to slap her hand away. “You will not-“
                        “I will,” she cut him off and held out a hand to one of her entourage. “I bring orders from the Regent himself on this matter.” She passed the scroll to him.
                        Instead of taking it, he grabbed her wrist and squeezed, sand dust crumbling off his knuckles. “The Regent is a farce, we all know that. I will not hand my legion over to the house that lost the North to the Iron Bull!”
                        “The North isn’t lost y- ouch!” she stopped protesting when her wrist cracked under the pressure of his grip. Two of her entourage immediately drew blades.
                        “If you want to keep your hand,” Ikishan grumbled with a gravelly voice but let off her wrist a little, “and if you want me to continue to keep the reports I’ve collected of your personal misadventures on the ice under wraps, you will accept my leadership and burn that Regent’s rag.”
                        “Alright, alright!” she squealed and tried to pull her hand free. “You are in command. But in exchange, house V’neef wants another egg.”
                        He glared at her. Then he smiled. Finally, he rocked his head back and laughed. “That’s what this was really about, wasn’t it?” He let go of her hand.
                        “Yes, but I also wanted to see what you had to use against me,” she half smiled and half grimaced, massaging her wrist. “And if you want, I won’t even tell your wife about tonight.”




                        I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks again, Bjorn. The first one is ideal for the MA chapter. The second has a few issues that are at odds with my understanding of the way things work (the regent exerting authority over Great House legions, Dynasts bargaining for children outside marriage, children being referred to as eggs, the Wyld Hunt operating under Legion authority.)

                          You said character art, could you tell me about your characters?


                          A Clutch of Dragons: Hub Thread, Presence, Resistance, Ride, Sail, Socialize Stealth, Survival, Thrown, War, First Draft pdf<NEW

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hm, yeah some things I didn't get across. The idea was that a Realm legion was asking a house legion for aid (meaning the Regent would have authority, and that the matter wasn't a wyld hunt, but the realm defending its territory). On the eggs, I guess I extrapolated too much from the 'lost egg' phrase, my bad. And if I'm mistaken on breeding pacts between high essence/breeding exalts, fair enough, too. I'll see what I can do to salvage the story.

                            I'll send you some character details in a message


                            I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Righto, a revision of the war council blackmail story, and the heptagram lesson story. Hope they're useful and/or fun reads.


                              The V’neef entourage barely even waited to be admitted, barging into the command tent a mere second after the adjutant announcing them had left again.
                              Their leader, a lithe woman in green jade plate mail, stepped towards the grumpy old man with sandstone skin bent over the map table, arms spread wide for a hug.
                              “Lady V’neef Mazhakessa,” the man bowed to her instead before she could embrace him. “It is good to see you again.”
                              “You always say that, father,” she sighed. “But you never seem to mean it. Do you still hold that grudge, after all this time?”
                              “My son deserved better than marrying you,” he grunted. “But we have more serious matters to attend to now.” He gestured to the war table where exquisitely carved figurines representing the units of his Realm Legion stood surrounding a small number of round stone tokens piled over a Tengese mountain village.
                              “Our son, your grandson, is growing up well, I’m told,” she ignored the table. “He exalted very young and will begin attending the House of Bells later this year.”
                              “Enough!” the man slammed the table, knocking the figurines around. “V’neef promised me troops to bring down this anathema stronghold. How many did you bring?”
                              She stood straight and gave a mock salute. “Yes, General Cathak Ikishan! I bring five talons of spearmen and one of cavalry.”
                              His face fell until she continued.
                              “…each commanded by an exalted officer.”
                              “V’neef spared six exalts to answer my request?” a smile crept onto his face. It grew when she indicated to herself. “Seven exalts?”
                              “In a sense, father dear,” she inclined her head and sighed. “The satrap allowed this ‘Sunrider’ to grow too strong to being with, and you and the Wyld Hunt have failed to stop him for too long. I am under orders to take command of your legion and end him and his little cult once and for all.”
                              “You?” Ikishan’s mouth hung open. “Take my legion?”
                              “The Empress’ legion,” she corrected him. “I have orders from the Regent himself.”
                              “Worthless words,” he grumbled. “The Empress is gone, and the Regent is a farce. We all know that.”
                              An adjutant handed Mazhakessa a scroll and she held it to the General. “Nevertheless he speaks in her name until she returns. And I’m afraid he interpreted your request for aid as an admission of failure. I do not wish to take your command or your honor, father, but orders are orders.”
                              “If you don’t wish it, don’t do it. We all know that fool on the throne won’t remember what he signed a week from now.” Ikishan made no move to take the scroll.
                              She kept offering the scroll for a long minute, then withdrew it. “As you wish. I will report that I found you having redeemed your reputation by the time I arrived and chose to leave you in command. Please, have Obsidian Colossus prepared for my use in the upcoming battle.”
                              The old man straightened up with a snap, eyes wide open.
                              “My warstrider?” he hissed.
                              “The Empress’s warstrider,” she corrected him once again. “And yes, I will take it, either with or without your legion.”
                              He ground his teeth but finally nodded. “Does my son know what his wife does to win the Regent’s favor?”
                              Mazhakessa smiled and handed the scroll back to her adjutant. “He knows I serve my house. And so does he.”





                              Iselsi Jaddik rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he followed his master deeper and deeper into the Heptagram’s dark library. Only the torch the old sorcerer carried shed any light, and even that wasn’t much as he used his fire blessings to keep the flame small and harmless to the towering bookshelves.
                              “Where are we going, master?” Jaddik yawned and tried to keep up. The usually waddling old man was striding with power and purpose tonight. “Why did you wake me up in the middle of the night?”
                              “Mysteries do not wait to be discovered in the late morning, young man,” the master grumbled. “Now be quiet, we’re in a library!”
                              Jaddik frowned, both at the comment and at the wards he spotted on a shelf they passed. Its outline was inverted, protecting not the shelf, but rather protecting from the shelf’s contents. He was about to ask, but the old master shushed him.
                              At last, hey reached a study podium to which the master then gestured Jaddik with his free hand.
                              The boy nodded and stepped onto the raised step and ran his hand over the ancient tome.
                              The symbols of the five elements surrounded a stylized burning sun in the center of the cover, and Jaddik’s finger naturally found his way to the icon of the flame.
                              “Read,” the old master indicated the ribbon that had been placed inside the tome. “And understand.”
                              “I see this is the symbol of the sun,” Jaddik replied, but then did open the book to the indicated page. “This is not an anathema text, is it?”
                              “Read. And understand.”
                              The boy nodded and began to mumble out loud the Old Realm words written in archaic script. He had to slowly translate each word as he parsed it in his mind, and so almost didn’t notice what he was reading.
                              “But master!” he gasped as belatedly understood. “Lady Selli taught us that only an oath of sacrifice and service can mark a soul as worthy to learn sorcery! Other ways are forbidden!”
                              The old master nodded. “She is ever immaculate in her faith. The truth is, it is one path of many, and not even one that suits all our students.”
                              “Then why the secrecy?” Jaddik frowned. He wanted to regard his master, but his eyes insisted on reading on.
                              “Secrets are power, young man,” came the reply. “And you must guard the source of your power, lest someone take it from you.”
                              The boy nodded, but was by now engrossed in the book.
                              “You will not succeed this night,” the old man chuckled. “Probably not next the night either. But soon you will understand the true power of secrets, like your father did before you, and his mother before then. And then, you will be able to shape their power.”
                              “You knew my grandmother?” finally Jaddik had torn his eyes from the old passages.
                              The master nodded. “And I know what happened to her. If you want to avoid her fate, you must keep my secrets, as I will now keep yours.”
                              Jaddik nodded, though his face betrayed his confusion.
                              “The Realm is not as united as our history classes would teach you,” the master put a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “And the years ahead will be dangerous. Your father asked that I protect you from what’s coming, and for that, you’ll need to learn. You’ll need the Truth.”
                              “What’s the truth?”
                              His master held a finger to his lips and quietly shushed him.




                              I thank the Devs for the great game of Exalted!

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