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Dynasty of Dovak - Campaign Notes and Play Report

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  • Dynasty of Dovak - Campaign Notes and Play Report

    Dynasty of Dovak – Ongoing Dragon-Blooded Campaign Report

    Trigger Warning:
    I'm going to try to keep this thread PG-13, but it's a summary of an X-rated play which deals with mature themes that some may find distressing. Violence, sex, and discrimination are central themes and whilst I'm going to censor and abbreviate, if you think you might be distressed by this thread then I urge you to read no further.

    An uncensored version is WIP, hosted offsite.

    Synopsis
    The Eastern Satrapy of Dovak is a small kingdom nestled at the foot of the mountain range east of Jiara beset by terrible beastmen hordes. In this time of tumult, one of the major bloodlines of House Mnemon has sallied forth from their stronghold on the Blessed Isle to secure Dovak, but all is not as it seems. Our ambitious Princes of the Earth plot and scheme even as their elders spin wheels-within-wheels in their bid for the vacant Scarlet Throne, and older, stranger things stalk the night dreaming of the day that they will slake their thirst for the blood of man… with the blood of Dragons.

    Preamble
    Dearest Exalted Forum,
    As I have loudly complained over the years, I’ve not had the chance to play my beloved Exalted in your new-fangled 3E. Until now. Dynasty of Dovak is my new regular campaign, it’s a little different to what I’m used to, but I’ve been keeping ST and character notes as I’ve been going along and thought “hey, I’m gonna write this up and share it on the forums, because why not?”

    “Hold up,” I hear you cry, “ST and character notes?”

    Well, I could only find one other person to play with, so we’re running a one-on-one game. Or, more accurately, we’re running two one-on-one games, set in the same universe in the same location using the same characters. I call the format One-on-One-on-One-on-One. One week, I ST and Player 2 controls the PCs, next week Player 2 STs and I control the PCs. The PCs both have their own plotlines and deliberately divergent goals and methodologies – they’re not supposed to work together in a given scene in a vain attempt to avoid having the ST run a Party NPC that steals the spotlight… which… has so far worked surprisingly well.

    "My" character is a straight-up thump-monkey. I want a Monster Of The Week, And I'll Form The Head game of murdering folks for fun and profit. Player 2's character is all about dynastic (small "d") politics, intrigue, mystery, state-craft and the occult.

    My main reason for writing this out is that I’m dyslexic and I struggle to read my own handwriting. I gotta type it up anyway, may as well post it. That said, I work two jobs and I’m doing nightschool – if you’ve got any cool campaign ideas, feedback, criticism, encouragement, interest in picking up a game with me then please, please, please post it in this thread. I don’t have a meticulous plot planned and I’m pretty much winging my ST sessions at the moment, and this is my first game of 3E. Any feedback more productive than “set yourself on fire” would be gratefully received.


    Dramatis Personae
    House Mnemon Alinos
    Cynis Ganan – A hero
    Husband of Mnemon Alinos Danireya, a practitioner of the Earth Dragon Style of martial arts and a sorcerer. Ganan studied at the Heptagram but completed his training at the Valkhawsen Sorcery Academy where he met the infamous Amilar Shavok, who "helped" him forge Thunder's Crash as part of the Shavok Incident. Ganan holds no grudge against Lookshy (and indeed values their take on the Immaculate Faith), but remains haunted by the possibility that Shavok survived...

    Something of a blunt instrument, Ganan is ill-suited for Dynastic politics – straight-forward and direct, in his 63 years of life he has yet to find a problem he can’t club to death. He has traveled to Dovak on his wife’s behest to act as… I don’t want to say “her muscular slave”… actually… I kinda do. Ganan sees this venture as a chance to smash an uncivilized beastman horde, and perhaps even stave in the skull of an Anathema. Those who don’t know him well might assume that this is but a carefully crafted façade to hide his true ambitions, but rare for a Dynast and rarer for a Cynis, he really does want nothing more than to prove his might.
    Cynis Ganan
    Earth Aspect
    Righteous Warrior
    Heptagram

    Strength 5
    Dexterity 5
    Stamina 1

    Charisma 1
    Manipulation 1
    Appearance 5

    Perception 1
    Intelligence 5
    Wits 3

    Earth Aspect Abilities (and Specialities) (6 BP)

    Awareness 5 (Join Battle)
    Craft: Architecture 3 (Masonry)
    Integrity 4
    Resistance 3
    War 0

    Favored Abilities (9 BP)

    Athletics 5 (Rushes)
    Brawl 1
    Earth Dragon Style 5 (Tetsubo)
    Lore: Heptagram education 5 (The Shogunate)
    Occult 5
    Performance 3

    Other Abilities

    Linguistics 1
    Melee 3

    Merits (Native Language: High Realm) (3BP)

    Artifact 3 (Thunder’s Crash Tetsubo (Fist of Titans))
    Martial Artist 4
    Pain Tolerance 4
    Well Bred 2
    (3 BP) Manse 3 (Stone of the Ram's Horn)
    (Dynastic Freebie) Resources 3
    (Dynastic Freebie) Language (Riverspeak)
    (Dynastic Freebie) Language (Old Realm)

    Free Excellencies

    1. Athletics: Effortlessly Rising Flame
    2. Awareness: Precision Awareness Method
    3. Brawl/Martial Arts: Become the Hammer
    4. Integrity: Granite Curtain of Serenity
    5. Performance: Audience Enthusing Display

    Charms

    1. Melee: Elemental Sheath
    2. Melee: Dragon Graced Weapon
    3. Earth Dragon Style: Stone Dragon Skin
    4. Earth Dragon Style: Force of the Mountain
    5. Earth Dragon Style: Stillness of Stone Artemi
    6. Earth Dragon Style: Unmoving Mountain Stance
    7. Earth Dragon Style: Earth Dragon Form
    8. Occult: Spirit Detecting Mirror
    9. Occult: Spirit Grounding Shout
    10. Occult: Secret Wind Revelation
    11. Occult: Fivefold Resonance Stance
    12. Occult: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
    --. Control Spell: Invulnerable Skin of Bronze
    --. Shaping Ritual: Sevenfold Art Invocation
    13. Resistance: Ox-body Technique

    Evocations

    Free. Fist of Titans: Chambered Fist Charge
    14. Fist of Titans: Mammoth Slam Quake
    15. Fist of Titans: Unstoppable Hammering Blow

    Intimacies
    Defining Principle: The Dragon-Blooded are born to rule.
    Major Principle: The Immaculate Philosophy (Devout Belief)
    Major Principle: I am the mountain, strong and stable – I do not flee and I am unmoved by tears
    Minor Principle: Duty before pleasure
    Minor Principle: “I like creating and repairing things.”
    Minor Principle: The children are the foundation of the future
    Major Tie: Anathema (Loathing)
    Major Tie: Mnemon Alinos Danireya (Love)
    Major Tie: My Wife's House (Loyalty)
    Minor Tie: My children (Familial love)
    Minor Tie: Ragara Bhagwei (Respect)
    Minor Tie: House Cynis (Familial duty)
    Minor Tie: Amilar Shavok ("I want to be sure he is dead")

    Evasion 3
    Parry 6 (+3, 6m)(With tetsubo or Invulnerable Skin of Bronze, else 5; +2, 4m)

    Soak 9 Hardness 8 (Invulnerable Skin of Bronze)
    (+5/0, Earth Dragon Form)
    (+3/+1, 5m/turn or Bonfire)

    Mobility Penalty -0
    Resist Poison: 4 dice

    Fist of Titans Smash Attacks (Earth Dragon Form): Accuracy 16 (14 Decisive)(+3, reroll 6s on damage, 3m), Damage 19 (+1/scene, 3m on summon; +5, 3m) (Overwhelming 5, 6 for 2m), Bashing, Smashing (-1i, no Defence penalty), Reaching, Two handed

    Javelin: Accuracy 9/8/7 (5 Decisive), Damage 14 (OVR 1), Lethal, Melee (Parry 5), Thrown (Medium)

    Join Battle 9 (+3 to result)(+3 successes, 6m)
    Rush 11 (+3 successes, 10s explode, 6m)
    Disengage 5

    Overwhelming Performance: 8 dice, +1 success and ignore multiple character penalty for 2m

    Resolve 4 (+2, ignore -1 from wounds, deprivation or poison, 4m)
    Guile 1

    Willpower 5
    Essence 2

    Personal motes 13
    Peripheral motes 31 (26, 5 committed)

    Health Track (3m/tick, ignore one point of penalties)
    -0 x1
    -1 x2
    -1 x4
    -3 x1
    Incap


    Mnemon Alinos Danireya – A hero
    Reya is the eldest (surviving) daughter of Mnemon Alinos and her heir apparent. Wife of Cynis Ganan, Reya has designs somewhat more… complex than those of her husband. Her mother suspects that Reya wishes to usurp her as head of their household, but in truth Reya’s ambitions grander than that – she wishes to be recognized not as the matriarch of a major bloodline, but rather as the founder of her own Great House. Alinos expected great resistance from her daughter when she informed her of this mission to the Threshold, expecting her to want to stay behind on the Blessed Isle to conspire with her aunts, but Reya sees opportunity in this venture beyond the mandate of securing some provincial backwater… opportunity, perhaps, to influence who will sit on the Scarlet Throne. Dovak is the foundation upon which Reya will build her Great House.

    Reya spent more time than is generally thought proper personally raising her children, and reaps the reward of their ongoing personal loyalty.
    Air Aspect - Mnemon Alinos Danireya - Heptagram - Aspiring Matriarch

    Attributes

    Strength 2
    Dexterity 3
    Stamina 2

    Charisma 2
    Manipulation 4
    Appearance 5

    Perception 3
    Intelligence 3
    Wits 3

    Air Aspect Abilities (and Specialities) (6 BP)

    Linguistics 5
    Lore: Heptagram education 5 (Mathematics)
    Occult 5 (The Burning Name)
    Stealth 0
    Thrown 0

    Favored Abilities (7BP)

    Craft: Weapons 1 (Axes)
    Integrity 5
    Presence 5
    Socialize 5 (High Society)
    War 1

    Other Abilities
    Awareness 1
    Dodge 1
    Melee 3
    Performace 3 (Singing)
    Resistance 1

    Merits (Native Language: High Realm) (5 BP)
    Allies 1 (Tinkara Dovak, Godblooded princess)
    Allies 3 (Mnemon Nula, Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer)
    Backing (Mnemon Business Interests) 3
    Influence (Satrap Advisor) 2
    Mentor (Mnemon Alinos) 3
    Old Realm 1
    Selective Conception 1
    The Burning Name 2
    Well Bred 2
    (Dynastic Freebie) Allies 3 (Mnemon Muli, Dragon-Blooded warrior)
    (Dynastic Freebie) Resources 2 (Over-extended Dynast)

    Free Excellencies

    1. Integrity: Granite Curtain of Serenity
    2. Lore: Harmonious Academic Methodology
    3. Occult: Hidden Secrets Whispered
    4. Presence: Glowing Coal Radiance
    5. Socialize: Loquacious Courtier’s Technique

    Starting Charms

    1: Integrity: Heart Hardening Meditation
    2. Integrity: Inviolate Dragon Spirit
    3. Linguistics: Wind Carried Words Technique
    4. Performance: Audience Enthusing Display
    5. Performance: Lightning Declamation Style
    6. Presence: Eternally Argumentative Flame
    7. Presence: Warm Faced Seduction Style
    8. Presence: Hot-Blooded Ardor
    9. Resistance: Ox-body Technique
    10. Occult: Spirit Detecting Mirror
    11. Occult: Spirit Grounding Strike
    12. Occult: Soul Fire Cremation Technique
    13. Occult: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
    --. Control Spell: Corrupted Words
    --. Shaping Ritual: Sevenfold Art Invocation
    14. Summon Elemental
    15. Storm Wind Rider

    Intimacies

    Defining Principle: “I will raise my lineage to new heights”
    Major Principle: “With power comes the duty to use that power responsibly”
    Minor Principle: The Immaculate Faith
    Minor Principle: "I like creating and repairing things"
    Defining Tie: My children (Familial love)
    Major Tie: Cynis Ganan (Love)
    Major Tie: Mnemon Alinos (Ambivalent Love/Resentment)
    Major Tie: Anathema (Righteous Contempt)
    Minor Tie: Tinkara Dovak (Friends-with-benefits)
    Minor Tie: House Mnemon (Familial Duty)
    Minor Tie: House Ragara (Bitter Animosity)
    Minor Tie: Ragara Bhagwei (Respect)

    Evasion 2
    Parry 4
    Soak 5 (Exceptional ironwood chain shirt) Hardness 0
    Mobility Penalty -0
    Resist Poison: 3 dice

    The Burning Name: Accuracy 13/11 (8 Decisive), 9 Damage (OVR 1), Lethal, Thrown (Short), mounted

    Exceptional Axe: 8 (6 Decisive), 11 Damage (OVR 1), Lethal, Chopping, Thrown (Short: Accuracy 7/6, 3 Decisive)

    Join Battle: 4 (+3 to result as normal)
    Rush: 3
    Disengage: 4

    Resolve 4 (+2, ignore -1 from wounds, deprivation or poison, 4m)
    Guile 5 (6 High Society) (+2, 4m; +3 in high society, 6m)

    Willpower 5
    Essence 2
    Personal motes 13
    Peripheral motes 31

    Health Track
    -0 x1
    -1 x2
    -2 x4
    -4 x1
    Incap



    Mnemon Alinos – A Mentor
    Mother of Mnemon Alinos Danireya, daughter of Mnemon Nanals, grand-daughter of Mnemon herself. Alinos rallied her numerous sisters, crafted alliances through-out House Mnemon and beyond, birthed a minor host of children and raised her own personal potency to the point where her bloodline had to be recognized as one of the major houses of the Great House of Mnemon. Acting on the personal orders of her grandmother, she has commanded that the beating heart of her house be up-wrenched from their comfortable quarters within the Blessed Isle to march on the threshold province of Dovak. A graduate of the Heptagram, and a powerful Air Aspected Sorceress of 280 years – if her minions wonder the reasons why they have been ordered to this Dragon-forsaken land, they wonder quietly. And if they wonder if Alinos herself knows Mnemon’s true reasons for dispatching them, they wonder with their throats slit.

    Mnemon Alinos Nula – An Ally
    Daughter of Reya and Ganan, twin-sister of Muli, an Air Aspected Sorcerer fresh from the Heptagram; Nula found herself home from secondary school for a matter of days before shipping out to the Threshold with her mother and grandmother. A wilful child pursuing her own agenda, Nula none-the-less finds her goals aligned with those of her mother. Nula has lofty ambitions and a very specific vision for the future of the Realm. Nula’s goals in Dovak include amassing a personal fortune by stripping the Satrapy of its vast wealth and increasing her own sorcerous power. Nula has no personal vendetta against her father, but, well he is a man. She cares deeply for her brother, and would like to see him married to his lover.

    Mnemon Alinos Muli – An Ally
    Son of Reya and Ganan, twin-brother of Nula, Fire Aspected graduate of the House of Bells. Muli lived his life with the threat of being a left-over child, a stigma that haunted him until the moment of his Exaltation. Dotingly loyal by nature, Muli never once hesitated to follow his mother’s commands… until the Battle of Futile Blood. The aftermath of the decimation of the Tepet Legions has seen Muli conflicted between his loyalty to his mother’s house, and his love of Tepet Agoram. As young, male, Terrestrial who graduated the House of Bells to find the Imperial Legions are no more and his only path to advancement lies with his family, Muli finds his options in life are somewhat limited. He’d dearly like to be anywhere but Dovak, in the arms of his lover… but he has no-where else to go. Though he alternates between headstrong impertinence and sulking inaction, Muli never-the-less finds his best ally in his mother. Muli is infuriated by his father’s blunt insistence that Tepet is a fallen house and that Agoram should be returned to the Blessed Isle. Muli is a poet who composes works in Dragon-tongue, with an affectionate nature. He fights with a Longfang and knows some battlefield medicine.

    Mnemon (Alinos) Nanals – A Wise Elder
    Mother of Mnemon Alinos, daughter of Mnemon, and grand-daughter of the Scarlet Empress. Nanals was in the first class of the Heptagram. Despite birthing many daughters, Nanals lacked the political will to be recognized as matriarch of a major house and (seemingly) the acumen to succeed at Dynastic politics. She has, however, built up an extensive web of contacts, from Greyfalls and the Hundred Kingdoms, to Lookshy, to Prasad – and perhaps even beyond that. Earth Aspect.

    Mnemon Alinos Bekara – The Satrap
    Sister of Mnemon Alinos, a graduate of the Spiral Academy and Earth aspect, Bekara is the long-suffering Satrap of Dovak. Consigned to what she sees as a provincial backwater under constant siege by filthy barbarian subhumans, Bekara would dearly love to hand the reigns of the Satrapy over to her young niece and sail back to civilization. But the economy of Dovak is complex, and her sister depends on the income its mines and mills bring in. Since the Empress’s disappearance, Bekara has filled the ranks of her chief advisors with her sister, mother, and niece (alongside her mortal daughter Sahar who is as thoroughly disillusioned with Dovak as Bekara is). Garrison commander Ragara Haseti remains a stubborn thorn in her side – with the war in Jiara, it seems unlike that an Itinerant Advisory Committee will visit Dovak any time soon, making Haseti the last vestige of Imperial control over the Satrap.

    Mnemon (Alinos) Johon – The Old Bear
    An Earth Aspected grandson of Mnemon Rulinsei, husband of Mnemon Alinos, and a renowned artificer. Mnemon Alinos (née Rulinsei) Johon, a graduate of the House of Bells, retired some fourteen years ago, after a distinguished career in the legions. The Old Bear’s physical strength is legendary and he has a reputation for his sound tactical mind. A founding member of his wife's major house, Mnemon Johon typically introduces himself by his wife's family name rather than his grandmothers.

    Mnemon Alinos Ferad – The Dutiful Son
    Fire Aspected, son of Mnemon Alinos, older brother to Reya. Whilst Reya attended the Heptagram and their other siblings all graduated from the House of Bells, Ferad as an incorrigible child failed to get into the House of Bells and seemed destined for the House of Ancient Stone. Desperate for any chance of redemption, Ferad hatched a plan to attend Pasaip’s Stair – the military school for Outcastes, where he graduated and entered the Legions, meeting his future wife before being forcibly discharged before the end of his term when the Great Houses took control of the Imperial Legions. Ferad sees the venture to Dovak as a proving ground to test his skills leading Mnemon troops before the looming civil war breaks loose.

    Mnemon Alinos Gracious Pealing Melody – The Outcaste Sister
    Wood Aspected wife of Mnemon Alinos Ferad, Melody is an Outcaste archer who took the Coin. Less than twenty years into her career in the Legions, the Empress’s disappearance saw her washed out of her commission. This did, however, afford her the chance to marry the father of her child and love of her life, Mnemon Alinos Ferad – entering the Dynasty.

    Mnemon Alinos Jorod – The Pillow Son
    Born of Gracious Pealing Melody and Mnemon Alinos Ferad when the former was only in her second year of service in the Legions, Jorod was quietly removed from the legions and given to the care of Mnemon Alinos Bekara to be raised as a member of the Dynasty. A contemporary of Muli, Jorod has recently graduated from the House of Bells and finds himself united with his birth parents and adopted mother in Dovak. A Water Aspected master of naval combat, Jorod finds the mountains and forests of Dovak do not compliment his skills as well as they could, and he chafes at not being on the open sea.

    Tepet Agoram – The Runaway
    Agoram met Muli at the House of Bells during a mock battle, and the two became fast friends, then more than that. When Agoram graduated, it was to a promising career in the Tepet Legions with a promise to come back for Muli once he had graduated and Agoram had made a name for himself, such that their families could not possibly object to their match. Agoram was given a spectacular chance to distinguish himself as part of the reinforcements sent to his grandfather’s campaign against the Bull of the North. Agoram joined the campaign as the other houses withdrew their support, in time to fight and bleed in the Battle of Futile Blood. The experience of the campaign broke Agoram’s spirit, and after limping back to the Blessed Isle, Agoram ran away. Refusing to answer the calls of his mother’s house, or accept marriage to a promising Outcaste girl to rebuild the Tepet numbers, he’s run to his lover Mnemon Alinos Muli. This has caused a degree of friction among the Mnemon house: Alinos, Melody, Ganan and Ferad see little value in a Tepet match, and would rather see Muli take an advantageous wife; Reya sees value in keeping her son in her own house, and bringing the Air aspected Tepet’s sword to her banner; Nula and Jorod just want to see Muli happy, Nula even offering to summon a Neomah or even marry Agoram herself to help assuage the house’s elders (though, thus far her mother has dissuaded her from doing anything rash); Nanals and Johon keep their own counsel, but have both pointed out that without a marriage it looks very much like Mnemon has taken a precious Tepet scion hostage. Agoram is in Dovak only because that is where Muli is (and where the Bull of the North isn’t).

    Dynastic Rivals
    Ragara Haseti – The Jade Fist
    Appointed as commander of Dovak’s garrison by the Empress before her disappearance, Haseti has kept order in Dovak for the better part of a decade, fending off constant attacks by the wild beastfolk of the forest. Though remote, until recently Dovak could always rely on support from Jiara and Thorns being only a few months away. But since the Anathema’s revolt in Jiara and Thorns falling to the forces of death, defending Dovak seemed an untenable position until the arrival of Mnemon Alinos and the dragon’s share of her household. Eleven more Princes of the Earth and their retinues have bolstered the defenses of Dovak greatly, but the quiet removal of the Chief Advisors appointed by the Empress does not bode well. Earth Aspected Haseti wields the Ragara heirloom, Perdurant Vault, and its Evocations have served him well. Known as the Jade Fist, Haseti keeps the Mnemon family and Dovak Royals honest in their tribute as well as safe from barbarians.

    Ragara Bhagwei – The Healer
    The headmaster of the Heptagram and a renowned healer. Former teacher and employer of Nanals, Alinos, and Ganan (and teacher of Reya). Studied at the Versino. Wood Aspect. Presently half-way across the world on the Isle of Voices.

    Mnemon – The Heir Apparent
    Daughter of the Scarlet Empress, Earth Aspect, student of the Versino, mother of Mnemon Nanals. Currently a few hundred miles West in Jiara fighting a campaign against the Anathema there.

    The Scarlet Empress – The Saviour of Creation
    The rightful ruler of Creation, mother of Mnemon, Ragara, Cynis, and Rulinsei. Currently missing.

    Rawar – Deceased
    Husband of the Scarlet Empress. Father of Mnemon and Ragara. Deceased.

    Cynis Jinabar – A Magistrate
    A magistrate. Daughter of Cynis Lorana. Wood Aspect. Graduate of the House of Bells. Whereabouts unknown.

    Cynis Lorana – A Madame
    Mistress of a renowned (read: infamous) salon on the Blessed Isle. Wood Aspect. Graduate of the Cloister of Wisdom. Mother of Jinabar and Ganan. Presently in Greyfalls.

    Cynis Lenoni – A devout mother
    Mother of Cynis Lorana. Presently ministering correct Immaculate Philosophy to the lost souls of Prasad. Wood Aspect. Graduate of the Cloister of Wisdom.

    Ledaal Vidad – A Lay Monk
    Graduate of the Cloister of Wisdom. Air Aspect. Father of Cynis Jinabar and Ganan. Marriage to Cynis Lorana annulled on grounds of infertility. Presently on the Caul.

    Dovak Royal Family
    King Darios Dovak – The Thinblooded
    King Darios, First of His Name, Dovak Resurgent, Envoy to Dragons, Blood of the Wind Gods. The Dovak royal family claims descent from the Shogunate, the Khidaran royal family, the Autocrat of Thorns, and Tomonas The Divine – an elemental god of the winds, amongst other even less credible claims. Darios is seen as a weak king by his people, and an inauspicious barbarian by the Realm. Middle-aged, balding, indecisive and increasingly over-weight. Dovak’s only real redeeming feature was that he was on good terms with the Khidaran’s before their rebellion – a quality which is clearly no longer of use. Only Immaculate priests, Dynasts and the Dovak royal family are allowed to treat with Tomonas, the Thunderbird guardian of Dovak who makes his home in the mountainside overlooking the palace. Darios’s wife died giving birth to Tinkara.

    Tomonas – A Thunderbird
    The warlike guardian of the land presently inhabited by the Kingdom of Dovak. An elemental spirit of air, Tomonas has interbred with the royal family of Dovak, passing on some of his power into the bloodline. No fool, Tomonas carefully sculpted his cult to mirror Immaculate beliefs and to encourage the ruling class to submit to the Realm on favorable terms. Tomonas now reaps more worship as a reward for not interfering in mortal affairs than he ever did actively trying to rule the warlike clan which predated the kingdom. Though he considers himself refined and patient, Tomonas is as hot-blooded and rash as the average Thunderbird and he chafes at not being able to lead hordes of loyal worshippers into glorious battle.

    Tinkara Dovak – The Warlike Princess, An Ally
    Daughter of Darios Dovak, and the heir apparent. Tinkara has one (surviving) older sibling, who hasn’t been seen since he left the kingdom seventeen years ago. Unlike her father, Tinkara is obviously a powerful God-Blooded, clearly carrying the elemental power of Tomonas. Tinkara is an influential stateswoman, and a firm ally of Mnemon Alinos Danireya: Reya has shown a genuine interest in the kingdom of Dovak, and whilst their goals are clearly not entirely aligned they have more in common than dividing them. The other Mnemon seem more interested in strip-mining her kingdom, whilst Cynis Ganan openly views her as a walking blasphemy; Ragara Haseti is a more complex case – he’s done an admirable job defending the nation, but is a man without vision who seems content to watch the borders of Dovak slowly shrink (and its economy dry up, so long as he can continue to wring tribute from it). Decisive, fiercely intelligent with a naturally regal bearing, and ever armed with a war-club forged in the heart of a lightning strike.

    The Peasantry
    Brightsky Vandertunt – A Merchant Prince
    A wealthy Guild Merchant, Brightsky is one of the most important trade links for Dovak. The small kingdom did a brisk trade with Jiara and Thorns before their relative misfortunes, and rely heavily on the Jiaran ports for trade with the Realm. Brightsky’s caravans (and… various… "trading partners") stop in Dovak, and range as far north as Lookshy and Nexus and as far South as the Dreaming Sea, providing a vital trade artery for the small kingdom.

    Ratel – A porter
    A royal attaché to Princess Tinkara, Ratel and Tinkara escorted the Mnemon Alinos contingent from Jiara to Dovak.

    Billowing Willow Smoke – The guard captain
    Chief of Dovak’s auxiliary force. Notionally reports to Ragara Haseti and King Dovak.

    The Kingdom of Dovak
    A Realm Satrapy for the past forty years, Dovak sits in the forests of the Near East, south of Nexus and East of Jiara at the base of a mountain range. The mountains are rich with sulphide deposits, and Dovak’s mines produce large amounts of copper, alongside sizable deposits of silver and other metals. The fertile soils grow a variety of useful plants, and the forests are the home of a number of animals that can be tamed for profit.

    The nation’s remote location has allowed it to remain independent of the Realm for some time, but it has enjoyed (relatively) peaceful trade (and the attentions of Immaculate missionaries) for the past two centuries.

    At the heart of the kingdom, is the Palace of Air and Stone. The central keep, the Tower of Air, is a seven-story structure that houses Dovak’s royal family. According to legend, the tower was raised at the height of the Realm Before by the most brilliant artisans of the Shogunate. Though the azure stone has been likened to a fool’s jade, the tower has no magical properties: certainly, however, it is an impressive feat of engineering. The utmost level of the tower is given over entirely to King Darios as his living space, and has an impressive balcony for welcoming aerial visitors: principally, Tomonas the Thunderbird (though there are fanciful tales of receiving Green Frowning Bear, the Eastern Windmaster; Mela, the Immaculate Dragon; Cloud People; and various Celestial gods). Beneath the king’s private rooms are several chambers for the royal family and their most important courtiers and servants, then the courtroom. The floors are numbered from the top down: the king lives on the first, or Principal, level; the royal family on the second; and the court is held on the third. The fourth level is an elaborate guardhouse, the royal garrison is stationed here whilst on duty. The fifth is referred to as the Royal Market: it serves the function of a literal market, allowing the royals to have goods brought to them that they need not leave the tower, but is primarily used to make trade deals and decisions of “low policy” which concern only the peasantry. The sixth level is known as the Reception of Power: it is a mix of reception rooms, servant’s quarters and storage. The entry-level, much like the forth, is again an elaborate guardhouse, screening those who would enter the tower: a posting to the entry-way is far less prestigious than a posting on the Forth, and the entryway also serves as a market and meeting place for the common servants.

    The tower is surrounded by a beautifully manicured garden. Every plant grown has some practical use: sunflowers (which grow in every season bar Air) yield edible seeds, Love-Lies-Bleeding, nasturtiums, and lilacs likewise produce beautiful blooms whilst being edible; medicinal herbs and cultivated peach trees are also grown.

    The garden is then ringed by the Wall of Stone. An impressive and well-fortified structure: though it only has two levels, the impressively high ceilings mean this outer wall stands half as tall as the central tower. The wall serves as the nation’s main garrison and barracks: here is where the nation’s soldiers train, sleep and sally forth from. Furnishings are Spartan, and the décor is aiconic, but there are a number of spacious and comfortable rooms: traditionally used to house visiting diplomats of great power and providence such as Khidaran nobility or wealthy Guild officials, these rooms are now used to hold the Satrap and her family.

    Beyond the wall, Dovak degenerates into a series of tenements and marketplaces, farmhouses and charcoal fuelled furnaces which belch steady pillars of black smoke into the air. Bronze axes are swung from dawn to dusk, felling trees for charcoal and grazing land, and copper runs like a river from the hills and cliffs overlooking the city – each tiny, family-owned mine acting as a tributary stream.

    Wildcats are a constant danger, both in the mountains and the forests – but bears are considered to be the most inauspicious danger, due in no small part to the preponderance of bear-folk who constantly harry logging operations and raid trade caravans. Forty years ago, a bear-folk army made it as far as the Wall of Stone before being repelled by Immaculates – cementing the king’s decision to bring Dovak into the providence of the Realm. When in their cups, the most superstitious and foolish speak of goat-men and the legendary devil-creature Ma-Ha-Sachi. The ancient anathema is a powerful taboo in the city, whilst mothers will comfortably threaten to leave out unruly children for the bear-men to devour, to speak of Ma-Ha-Sachi is like unto an act of treason mingled with evoking a death curse which endangers one’s own soul.

    The Story Thus Far
    Session 1 - Reya (5XP 4DX) [Day 1 - Morning] - The Drawing of Three
    • The Mnemon have arrived in Dovak with their escorts Tinkara and Ratel
    • Over the course of the journey, Tinkara and Reya have become friends
    • Tinkara confesses that she has some reservations about the Immaculate beliefs and about the honour of Reya’s house-hold
    • Tinkara shows the Mnemon to their accommodations in The Wall, Mnemon Alinos goes to meet with her sister in the gardens
    • Reya overhears Ragara Haseti accusing her mother and her aunt of withholding tribute from the Realm, and after a brief, accusatory exchange, Haseti storms off
    • The garrison auxilia has been badly mauled by local bearmen
    • Reya convinces Darios to replace his house-hold guard entirely with Mnemon Alinos’s personal guard, reasoning that the Realm troops are better drilled and equipped to guard the royal presence, whilst the local troops have better knowledge of the surrounding terrain to drive off the beastmen
    • She promises that her son and husband will personally take the fight to the beastmen, which somewhat rankles Mnemon Alinos Muli who had his own plans for his time in Dovak
    • Reya and Muli have a private conversation which ends with Muli and Tepet Agoram grudgingly agreeing to go inspect the royal guard first thing in the morning with a mind to range out into the forests
    • Mnemon Alinos complains bitterly about the accommodations and begins remodeling the interior
    • Reya walks in on Mnemon Nanals deep in conversation with a finely dressed courtier, the pair seem to have a history, which Nanals denies claiming she’s never been to Dovak before. Reya doesn’t get the courtier’s name.
    • Reya retires to her study to write an account of the day in her journal, to find her husband Cynis Ganan already in bed
    [Day 1 - Evening]

    Session 2 – Ganan (5XP 4 DX) - [Day 1 - Night] - Interior Decoration At Its Finest
    • Woken in the middle of the night by the sound of combat, Ganan casts Invulnerable Skin of Bronze and tears out of bed
    • Reya isn’t in bed or in her study
    • Ganan barrels out into the corridors to find bear-men have breached the Wall and are attacking the combined Mnemon House troops and Dovak guard, which are not fighting effectively as a unit
    • Ganan enters Earth Dragon Form, pulls his tetsubo from the wall and just goes to town
    • [OOC: Onslaught penalties are freaking ridiculous. Like… they’re actually kinda less punishing now you don’t take the 5th attack/sneak attack anymore (but most Dragon-Blooded just took Danger Sense), but still… damn child, Deebs get hosed. Anyhoo, it's still an abject slaughter.]
    • Ganan moves from room to room, putting bearmen into solid stone walls, causing the masonry to collapse in around him, grouping up with the other Dragon-Blooded, and effortlessly destroying anyone who gets in his way, Initiative Shifting the only time he gets Crashed.
    • Ragara Haseti and Mnemon Alinos Danireya are conspicuously absent
    • By day-break the bear-folk are mostly dead, the survivors routed, but major structural damage has been caused to the Wall
    [Day 2 - Morning]

    Session 3 & 4 – Reya (15XP 10DX, 4XP 8DX spent) [Day 1 - Night] - Fight and Flight / Secrets and Lies
    • It’s the night of the bearfolk attack and Ragara Haseti has abducted Reya during the confusion
    • Haseti accuses Reya of letting the bearfolk into the Wall
    • They exchange blows, which drops Reya into her -1s
    • A bear barrels into the room and attacks Haseti, clawing him into a Crash, crushing him in a bear hug and biting him, dropping him to his -4
    • Reya speaketh the Burning Name, scorching the bear with searing fire, Crashing it
    • The bear drops Haseti and flees
    • Reya lets the bear go and murders Ragara Haseti
    • Reya steals Perdurant Vault, and attunes to it, instantly unlocking Clairvoyant Mirror Technique
    • Reya is familiar enough with occult artifacts and the legend of Perdurant Vault to realize the shield is tied to the much-hated Ragara bloodline and shouldn’t be yielding its Evocations so easily to her
    • [Short OOC conversation about this which ends in buying Subliminal Sanctuary without spending the requisite 8 days training time]
    • Reya makes her way to the top of the Wall to survey the damage where she’s attacked by another bear
    • [Session 4 - Secrets and Lies]
    • Between her new artifact and The Burning Name, Reya burns and bludgeons the bear to death, collapsing in a heap atop the Wall.
    • By mid-morning, Reya rallies with the rest of her family, finding the barbarians routed and Ganan beginning repairs
    • Ragara Haseti’s body has been found, clearly mauled by a bear and murdered by barbarians
    • Mnemon Nanal congratulates Reya on retrieving Haseti’s shield before the barbarians could make off with it
    • A guarded, accusatory back and forth between Nanal, Reya and Alinos about the purity of their bloodline, possible murder of Haseti, and how exactly the barbarians got into the Wall in the first place
    • The Mnemon women agree that Tepet Agoram should command the garrison until such a time as the Empress or the Deliberative assign a new replacement, and that they’ll inform the Foreign Office of Haseti’s death as soon as the security of Dovak from the barbarians has been assured
    • Tinkara arrives to inspect the damage and insists that the Dragon-Blooded send an expedition to inspect the major mines to ensure they have not likewise been attacked
    • Reya asks her husband and daughter to go check on the mines
    [Day 2 - Morning]
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 01-27-2020, 09:38 AM.


    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

  • #2
    I did previously wonder what you meant by one-on-one-on-one, now I understand.
    How do you find swapping play of the same characters?


    I play...
    Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
    Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
      I did previously wonder what you meant by one-on-one-on-one, now I understand.
      How do you find swapping play of the same characters?
      Reasonably smooth. There's always the constant temptation of "but I want my character to do X!" But that way lies DMPC madness. Better to suffer your character in the hands of someone who can't use it.

      That said, I predict an inevitable break-down in the format when we do something irreconcilable with the off-character.

      That said we're both experienced STs used to running entire worlds of characters. We've retired old PCs to become the new BBEGs. We've swapped PCs and NPCs and ST duties in our group games. It's not such a crazy idea for a game. Just remember to always split the party.
      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 10-16-2019, 03:45 AM.


      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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      • #4
        Language and Dovak
        The principal language spoken in Dovak is Riverspeak. Old Realm is spoken by priests (Immaculate and converts from The Old Faith). The well to do also learn High Realm. The Dovaki have a native language: a grotesquely simplified Forest-tongue dialect which has largely been abandoned due to needing literally dozens of Riverspeak loan-words in order to do business with the Realm. A few stubborn patriots (and remote homesteads) cling to this native tongue, which is taught to the royal family as a matter of course. Anyone familiar with Forest-tongue can puzzle out Dovaki with little difficulty.

        It is widely, and erroneously, believed that the bear-folk communicate in the language of bears. In truth they are quite familiar with native Dovaki, being its primary speakers in the Second Age. The great simplicity of the language lends itself to verbal ciphers consisting of grunts and growls - which the bear-folk use as a kind of battle-cant to stop the Dovaki understanding their battle plans. It would take a careful ear and a good working knowledge of Dovaki to translate the bear-folk war-cant.

        Dramatis Personae
        Dynastic Rivals
        Ragara Haseti - The Last Imperial Check on Mnemon Ambitions
        Deceased.

        The Peasantry
        Honest Pick - Patriach of the Honest mining family
        An, apparently honest, apparently successful miner of silver.

        The Story Continues

        Session 5 - Ganan (10XP 8DX) [Day 2 - Morning] - The Great Cat Pride
        • Ganan and Nula start up the mountain with two scales of Palace Guard to check on copper mining operations.
        • Nula grills her father on the events of the night before, which Ganan responds to frankly yet unhelpfully to her growing frustration
        • Nula suggests that as Tepet Agoram is now in a position of power, it would be best if he were married into the family. Ganan rebuffs this, asking if she would care to marry the Regent -- the House is all that matters. Tradition.
        • Incensed, Nula decides they'd cover more ground if they split up, and leaves with all the palace troops
        • This is why you don't dump all your social stats kids -- still, Dragon Experience
        • As soon as the troops leave, Ganan is ambushed by four, count them, freakin' four wild cats (I'm sure these things are supposed to be solitary hunters)
        • A long and painful beat-down fight ensues, but the mountain lions struggle against The Prince of the Earth's Soak until he eventually kills two and damages the others enough to force them to flee.
        • Despite his Skin of Bronze, Ganan is still put in his -1s
        • Ganan slogs his way round the mines, impressing the miners with Immaculate aphorisms - none of the operations have been attacked by beastmen, but they're all suitably awed by a Dragon-Blooded
        • Ganan is unmoved by the obvious poverty and terrible squalor these people work in -- they're peasants, they're supposed to be dirty
        • Once a generation or so, a lost relic of the Realm Before is found in the mines
        • Ganan does furnish one mine with plans for a better living area, but does not stay to help with construction
        • The miners tell tales of subterranean gods who inhabit the mountains, when pressed the peasants claim that Tomonas and the Immaculate monks see to it that the gods never meddle in the affairs of mortals
        • Honest Pick insists on showing Ganan his books to prove his honesty in his dealings with the crown. Having never seen a peasants mining ledger before, Ganan is suitably convinced (don't ask me, I have honestly no idea here)
        [Day 2 - Evening]
        Last edited by JohnDoe244; 11-17-2019, 04:25 PM.


        Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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        • #5
          Wow you guys dealt with the Ragara astonishingly quickly. My players would have tried blackmailing or coercing them into working for them and let it blow up in their faces a half year later. Good job, ten points to House Mnemon for brutal efficiency.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Alpharius View Post
            Wow you guys dealt with the Ragara astonishingly quickly. My players would have tried blackmailing or coercing them into working for them and let it blow up in their faces a half year later. Good job, ten points to House Mnemon for brutal efficiency.
            ...

            I slaved over Ragara Haseti. Full character sheet. Essence 1 flashback sheet. He was supposed to be part of a power triangle for Reya to use playing the Dovak royals against her house elders and to be the inevitable link back home to the Blessed Isle for the final story arc. Reya was poised to save his life, proving her trustworthiness and forthright character. I was not prepared for her to straight up murder the guy in cold blood.

            Which... looking back on it, kinda shows how rusty I am at STing.
            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 10-18-2019, 04:51 PM.


            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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            • #7
              Slavery in Dovak
              Like many kingdoms in Creation, Dovak practices raid slavery: enemy warriors and defeated peoples are ransomed and held in bondage until a ransom is paid. Dovaki slaves hold some rights: a slave’s bondholder must relinquish the slave on payment of the ransom price, and the ransom price may not be set higher than a talent of silver (though in practice only renowned warriors and legendary chieftains are ever ransomed for as much as a single dirham – one dinar being a standard ransom); Dovaki slaves may not own land, but may own personal possessions (though they may not own slaves) and accumulate currency (though, of course, not jade) – their bondholder is under no obligation to pay them, or even to allow them opportunity to work beyond their duties, but cannot demand a slave relinquish their property; and finally a bond-holder may not inflict crippling damage upon their slaves. The bond-holder may beat their slaves, and assign any task they should choose and the slave has no recourse under Dovaki law: however, this right applies only to the bond-holder and their agents, a criminal who assaults a slave is prosecuted as harshly as if they had assaulted a citizen. The Dovaki see slavery as a misfortune that befalls a person (like illness, or a bad crop) – they do not view slaves as being less-than-human or as any kind of moral failing. This is cold comfort for the slaves.

              Several emancipation options also exist: any child taken as a slave is freed once they come of age; a slave who marries a Dovaki citizen is automatically freed (though a slave may only marry with permission of their bond-holder); a slave who births a Dovaki citizen is automatically freed; a bond-holder may free one of their slaves on the first day of every season (Dovaki royals and Dragon-Blooded may free as many slaves as they care to, on any day of the year); the king of Dovak may free a slave (even one he does not own) for exceptional service to the kingdom; a slave dealt crippling harm by their master is freed; a slave who draws the Second Breath and Exalts as a Dragon-Blooded is freed; and, of course, a slave is freed once their people pay the ransom (a slave who somehow collects enough money may pay their own ransom). No child born in Dovak may be born into slavery: even the child of two slaves is born free. Dovaki citizens may not be taken as slaves unless they raise arms against the kingdom. Dragon-Blooded warriors may be ransomed on their defeat, but not forced to work as slaves. Dovaki who take slaves may trade in bonds, transferring ownership of their slaves, but remains responsible for any mistreatment the slave may suffer – thus the Dovaki trade slaves only amongst themselves, with few willing to gamble their life that a guild merchant will not abuse the slaves sold to her.

              Dovaki slave law is applied to all slaves held within the kingdom (though in reality, powerful Guild slavers may flaunt the law with impunity) and to all slaves taken by the Dovaki, even when they leave the kingdom (a law only ever observed in breach, as Dovak lacks the power to project its law beyond its borders).

              Dovak’s Immaculates teach that slavery is a sin for mortals – a stain on their souls which endangers their enlightenment and inhibits reincarnation. This has done little to change Dovaki attitudes.

              Strangers and Citizens
              Citizenship of Dovak is granted to any born of a mother who is a citizen, once they come of age. If the mother is not a citizen, but is married to a citizen and the child is born within the borders of Dovak, the child is a citizen. If the mother is a Dovaki slave, but the father is a citizen, the issue is a citizen (and the mother is freed upon the child’s birth). A child adopted by a married couple who are both citizens also becomes a citizen. Any born in Dovak who receive the blessings of the Dragons becomes a citizen. All others, from freed slaves to the Satrap herself, are “strangers” under Dovaki law.

              Strangers have similar rights to slaves (they may own possessions, but not land), but of course, have no master. Dragon-Blooded are afforded some additional rights, not by Dovaki law per se, but by the word of the king’s ad-hoc proclamations and the Satrap’s subtle challenges to the courts. Dynasts in Dovak do not expect to be able to own land (they are here as advisors, housed for free at the expense of the king and can’t own land in their own nation, after all). Likewise, traveling Guild merchants aren’t troubled by taking citizens as business partners when required, and wouldn’t wish to own land. Other strangers couldn’t afford to buy deeds even if they wanted it.

              Dovaki children likewise have rights similar to slaves, with their parents as bond-holders. Children come of age once they have served a year with the Dovaki Army, then they are counted as full citizens. The army has many needs, and this raw militia of young adults is used to dig trenches and clear brush more than it is used for actual combat. Those who show promise are offered positions in the standing army – the Royal Guard.

              In addition to the right to own land and slaves (Dovaki law neither expressly permits nor forbids strangers from owning slaves), citizens have a right to Voice. Not precisely a right to free speech, nor quite a right to representation, Voice permits a citizen the legal right to petition the king (and by extension, the agents of the king). Dovak has a system of punitive, retributive justice (Dovaki nobles hand out sentences lex talionis), but Voice guarantees that a citizen has the right to make their case (even if the judge ignores it) and cannot be punished simply for asking that a case be judged (slaves and strangers have no such protection, but the Dovaki nobility is not so corrupt as to refuse to hear cases which have merit… usually). Citizens may use the right to Voice to gather and express unpopular ideas – but Voice is a right to speak, not to be heard, nor to be protected from the consequences of speech (a citizen is allowed to speak against the government… and the government is allowed to put that citizen to death for treason). Strangers have no legal right to petition the king, but a powerful stranger (such as the Satrap) is far more likely to have their audience granted than a peasant citizen.

              Dovaki nobles have the same rights as citizens. However, Dovak is an absolute monarchy, and those close to the king can win concessions based on the king’s whims and biddability. Chief amongst these, the king delegates the authority to enforce Dovaki law to relatives and powerful leaders of influential families.

              The laws of Dovak are recorded in the great Tome of Tomonas, in Old Realm glyphs. Two copies are kept in the Tower of Air (in the king's quarters and in the court), a third in the Temple and forth in Tomonas’ lair. Subtle differences exist between the four tomes, and the law is further complicated by the declarations of the king (which may or may not be recorded in scrolls of addendums recorded in Dovaki or Riverspeak).

              The Story Continues

              Session 6 – Reya (20 XP 14 DX, 4XP 8 DX spent) [Day 2 - Afternoon] - Bedmates and Traitors
              • The scene opens to Reya being treated for her wounds by Muli
              • Most of the Dragon-Blooded took some superficial injuries in the assault
              • Muli remarks that Reya’s bludgeoning injuries are significantly different from the bear claws and axe wounds the others have suffered
              • Reya ignores this, and asks if he is pleased that Tepet Agoram has been promoted to a position of power
              • Reya suggests that Muli oversees the integration of House Mnemon troops into the Royal Guard
              • Muli agrees to tell the Dovaki that Reya will be spending the day in meditation and she is not to be disturbed
              • In the evening, Reya emerges, wounds healed and checks in with Ganan
              • She is concerned that the mines were not attacked but the bear-folk managed to somehow battle their way into the most fortified area of the whole kingdom
              • Reya shares Ragara Haseti’s concerns that a traitor may have led the bear-folk to the palace
              • Ganan wonders at what their motive might be
              • The pair resolved to search the outlying city for further clues on how a beast-folk army complete with war-bears managed to make it through the city, attacking nothing until they reached the palace walls
              • Tepet Agoram has stationed the Mnemon troops within the palace, sending the native Dovaki out on patrol
              • Agoram accompanies Ganan and Reya, the Dovaki guard having already swept the city for clues during the daylight hours
              • The path of the invaders is easy enough to trace, some physical clues remaining even now
              • Agoram states the Dovaki Guard had already interrogated the locals, but no-one had seen or heard anything
              • Reya stops at a tenement that looks like a bear crashed into it on the way to the palace
              • None of the occupants remember seeing or hearing anything untoward
              • Reya pushes them, and it seems they all were asleep, dreaming formless nightmares
              • Ganan suspects sorcery
              • The tracks lead into the woodlands heading north-east, then the Dragon-Blooded lose them
              • Returning to the palace the heroes are informed that Tinkara is awaiting them at the Temple of the Old Faith
              • The Temple has been converted to an Immaculate temple, shrines and icons replaced with simple geometries promoted by the Realm’s state religion
              • The Temple is staffed by mortal Immaculates and some freed slaves, who guide the mortals in proper Immaculate worship
              • Tinkara has received the reports from the guard hours ago, and also suspects strange magics being the cause for the lack of witnesses
              • Tinkara informs the heroes that a strange fae sorcerer lives half a day’s travel to the north-east and she suspects it may have had a hand in the previous night’s invasion
              • Ganan retires, seeking out Muli and a bed to rest from his wounds suffered on the mountainside – vowing to seek out the Raksha in the morning
              • Reya suggests they take a day to gather a small force and rather than leave in the morning
              • Reya speaks with Tinkara about worship in Dovak: many cling to the Old Faith, a form of the hundred god’s heresy, but the chief god in the Dovaki pantheon is Tomonas whose last public act was to encourage the people to follow Immaculate teachings before he retired from the world of mortals
              • The Satrap and Immaculates permit the Old Faith to survive without persecution, but Tomonas’s Priests have long converted to the Immaculate way and renovated the Temple to suit their needs
              • Reya confides that she thinks the bear-folk might have more than just a Raksha noble on their side
              • Tinkara does not suspect anyone within the royal house of treachery, and points out that House Mnemon bore the full brunt of the attack: the bear-folk attacking the section of the Wall where the Dragon-Blooded were encamped, ignoring all other settlements and the mines – obviously clearing them of suspicion as why would any of the Mnemon orchestrate an attack against themselves? Tinkara asks if the Mnemon have any enemies
              • Reya confesses that the closest think the Mnemon had to an enemy was Ragara Haseti, who is now dead as a result of the attack
              • Tinkara points out that Haseti defended the Satrapy for many years, and questions why he would betray them now. She also points out that Haseti’s quarters were in the other barracks almost on the other side of the Wall, wonders how he got to the fighting so fast, and states that if he was the traitor, things obviously didn’t go as he had planned
              • Reya broods on this, and doesn’t speak on it further. In her mind she examines who has profited from the attack – certainly not Haseti. Haseti was convinced it was a Mnemon traitor who led the beastmen to their door, why was that? And what led him to suspect Reya? And could whoever planted that idea in his head have known that Reya would kill Haseti?
              • Tinkara asks if Reya would like to spend the night with her, Reya accepts, fade to black
              [Day 2 - Night]
              Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-28-2019, 02:23 PM.


              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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              • #8
                Dramatis Personae
                Anathema
                Amilar Shavok - The Mad Sorcerer
                Shavok of Gens Amilar was an Air Aspected Dragon-Blooded sorcerer at the Valkhawsen Sorcery Academy. Disgraced for his mad theories on the nature of Exaltation and all but disowned for his unorthodox approaches to First Age Artifice, Shavok assembled a small cadre of four other misfits and Outcasts and led them to a long forgotten manse (a relic of the Realm before) in order to prove Shavok's theories of artifice. In the resulting "Shavok Incident", all Shavok's followers bar one were killed in spectacularly gruesome ways and the manse imploded. Only Cynis Ganan, an impressionable exchange student from the Realm, survived. Although Ganan did emerge from the wrecked manse carrying a potent artifact, the local dragon-lines lay twisted and rent (damage which persists to this day, over forty years later), and three of the Exalted had died horrific deaths -- Lookshy did not consider Shavok's theories to be vindicated, and grudgingly turned over the duped Dynast to the Realm. Shavok himself had disappeared without a trace. Whether he is dead, escaped, or suffering a stranger fate is presently unknown -- but Lookshy maintains standing orders for a Wyld Hunt to bring Shavok to justice.

                Eletha The Beautiful - A Fae Cataphract
                Golden-haired and adorned with five golden torcs, Eletha is the picture of inhuman beauty... and the soul of inhuman appetite. Eletha rules a haunted woodland, a day's ride to the northeast of Dovak. Those who enter Eletha's domain are invariably found days or weeks later, ravaged body and soul -- reduced to burnt-out shuffling husks. Eletha commands a small army of nightmarish, fanged Yōkai -- these lesser hobgoblins don't dare attack Dovak directly, but menace any foolish enough to approach Eletha's domain. Eletha's fae magics are powerful and strange, the people of Dovak believe Eletha can control dreams and nightmares, as well as cursing its enemies to eternal sleep. Folklore holds that iron nails help ward one from its powers and its minions and that Eletha can be beguiled by showing it its own reflection.

                The Story Continues

                Session 7 - Ganan (15XP 12 DX) [Day 3 - Morning] - Eletha The Beautiful

                We'd hoped for another player this session but it didn't happen. I also took detailed fight notes for the Arena thread which I was going to use to write up a dramatic piece of fiction instead of a bulleted list, but I can't find them. I'm going to try writing up from memory then edit once I've found my notes.
                • Gracious Pealing Melody sets off on the back of her shield back lizard, accompanied by riders from the Dovak Guard
                • Ganan stays behind to rest and hear information about the Raksha
                • Eletha the Beautiful lives a day's range to the northeast in a strange, enchanted portion of woodland
                • It commands a small army of fae creatures and has not submitted to the Immaculate Philosophy
                • The Dovaki avoid its haunted woodland, but sometimes soulless husks of witless strangers wander from the north
                • Tinkara knows little of the strange magics of the fae, but is worried that if Eletha has joined forces with the beast-men that their unholy alliance could become unstoppable
                • Once Ganan is recovered, Reya summons a whirlwind and the pair race at breakneck speed to the Raksha's lair
                • The battle is enjoined. Bell and her Dovaki have engaged a force of hunched, fanged monstrosities, who are lazily being directed by a tall figure with shining golden hair, bedecked with golden torcs.
                • Effortlessly Reya circumnavigates the mêlée and drops Ganan face to face with Eletha
                Eletha sighs contemptuously and quips about how the beautiful ones are always as dumb as rocks... and the battle commences.

                As Ganan warily sizes up his foe (pulling his tetsubo from Elsewhere), Eletha reaches into the Dragon-Blooded's mind to pull forth a ravening mass of grotesques. As the grotesques attack, Ganan effortlessly shifts into Earth Dragon Form. I am the mountain.

                Ganan batters the grotes back as they descend upon him and pushes forwards to engage the Cataphract, who orders the grotesques to strike Ganan down with a fearsome bellow. They close in on all sides seeking to pin the Earth Dragon, but despite the raging orders of their inhuman master, Ganan will not be stopped, standing strong even as their blades and teeth bite at him.

                With a howl as inhuman as the fae's, Ganan drives his tetsubo down on the Cataphract, sending it sprawling into the dirt. The grotesques are unperturbed and once more try to pin Ganan down, ripping into him with dozens of clawed hands. Ganan turns to shake them off. His will is strong, and his martial arts are well-practiced, but as he turns Eletha rises with preternatural grace and seizes him from behind, hoisting him high into the air and slamming him down into the ground. (Memo to self: remember Ganan has Charms specifically to stop this next time.)

                Surging with the power of Earth, Ganan rises from prone and lays into the nightmare army of grotesques, scattering them to the shadows and hidden places. Eletha darts in quick as ice on hot metal, scoring a telling blow against Ganan's Essence hardened body.

                Ganan strikes back decisively. The crushing blow would have killed any mere mortal and drives the fae to the ground, its neck bent at a sickening angle. The Cataphract rises like a marionette with one of its strings cut. Even mauled, it moves with a grace unmatched by any mortal soldier and attacks again, but Ganan is blessed by the Dragons and he deflects the blow.

                Shifting with the flow of combat, Ganan sets one foot behind the other and braces himself against the fae's coming charge. Spinning like a demented puppet, Eletha charges, and Ganan meets him head-on. Tetsubo crashes past blade and Eletha comes crashing to the ground. The puppet's last string is cut.

                The fae lord twists its head unnaturally to look up at Ganan, thick, white ichor pouring from every orifice in bloody rivulets. Ganan brings his weapon down one last time, staving in the fae's chest, buckling its armor with a sickening crunch. The Eletha the Broken goes slack, its mighty form shattered. Ganan clasps the half-dead creature in irons and Reya signals the retreat, swooping in to carry her husband and the unconscious Raksha back to Dovak. Melody shoots arrows into the last of the leaderless hobgoblins driving them off, and the Dovaki cavalry pulls back.

                [Day 3 evening]
                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 11-17-2019, 04:23 PM.


                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Alinos Fashions
                  Alinos dresses in practical linens, typically white and accented in Mnemon purple.
                  Reya dresses similarly, but typically her outfits are overwhelmingly purple with white accents, with a few outfits matching her mother's style. Notably, every outfit includes a pair of highly polished mirrored bracers to allow her to see into the spirit world and a concealed chain shirt made with links of iron wood.
                  Nula and Muli follow their mother's fashions, but wear their armor openly.
                  Nanals follows no discernible pattern in her dress, from rough spun undyed wool to fine silk kimonos.
                  Ganan wears sleeveless vests and baggy trousers in Mnemon purple but accented with gold and green. Like his wife, he wears highly polished bracers.
                  Johon, Ferad and Melody dress as though they were still in the legions.
                  Bekara has adopted local fashions in an effort to irritate her sister.
                  Jarod dresses in white with blue accents.

                  Character Portraits
                  I may have gone off the reservation with this one. But I drafted CPs with Hero Machine. This is definitely "non-canon" (given how far south Dovak is, there's no chance that Reya is wearing furs), but it helps me get a handle on the characters beyond their physical descriptions. A reminder that whilst Reya usually dresses in purple, in this session she's dressed in white. I also don't have a canon "ethnicity" for Reya outside of "Mnemon" so hair and skin color are liable to change. I picture Ganan as being pretty much exactly as shown (except he should have some javelins, and maybe a knife... some pockets somewhere) -- I'm not saying all my RPG characters are power-fantasy self-inserts, but, you know, 90%. Ganan will probably have a breast-plate or something next session, but can be assumed to be wearing pretty much this otherwise (couldn't do the shoes but you get the idea).

                  Cynis Ganan


                  Mnemon Alinos Danireya


                  The Story Continues

                  Session 8 - Reya (25XP 18DX, 4/8 spent) - Magic and Iron
                  • Reya and Ganan return to the Wall and inter Eletha in the dungeon
                  • Muli treats Ganan's wounds and goes to tend the fey
                  • Reya and Ganan spend the night together. Fade to black.
                  • Come morning Muli whispers on the wind that the fey is ready to talk
                  • Reya and Ganan proceed to the dungeon and relieve Muli and Johon who are watching the fey
                  • Reya is dressed principally in white, Ganan in purple
                  "I hear you are willing to talk." Reya opens, the fey lies on an operating table, slick with the white fey ichor that runs in its veins. The table is stained in great red rusted patches, and the iron clasps that bind it to the table suggest the operations usually performed in the dungeon are not the life-saving kind. Ganan stands behind Reya, arms folded across his chest -- even without his Invulnerable Skin or tetsubo, he is an imposing sight.

                  "I was always willing to talk, Ragara cur*." The fey barely turns its head, broken neck now set properly straight upon its shoulders, "It was your force which attacked me without provocation."

                  "Perceptive of you to notice that I'm a Ragara," Reya baits, honestly not sure if she's lying.

                  "It's not a challenge. You wield your kinsman's shield. Dress in white. My kingdom was old before your forebearer was whelped. Before the Sky Needle was stripped of its gold. Why did you break our truce?" Eletha rasps, clearly in agony. A truce? Intriguing... explains why Haseti never killed the fey.

                  "You. Attacked. Us. Three nights ago, you laid a sleeping curse on this kingdom so a bear-man army could strike at The Wall." Reya shoots back accusingly.

                  "Three nights ago? I did no such thing. If my magic had cursed this kingdom, the city would still be bound in eternal slumber! I was with Our Mutual Ally, discussing how we might put an end to the beast-folk threat once and for all."

                  Reya considers this. Clearly the fey has reason to lie, but it doesn't seem capable -- distracted by its wounds, beaten and dying. Certainly, sleep-inducing magic is not unique, her mother could summon the Mists of Eventide to put a room to sleep, but setting a city to sleep? That's rare and powerful magic -- that a powerful fey could do so is not implausible, but that two such masters of sleep magic exist within such a small kingdom? And which ally in particular? Reya gambles:

                  "So... if not you... then it was your apprentice who betrayed us."

                  "He'd never-" Eletha stops, wincing in pain, "What apprentice?"

                  "I think we're done here fey. We'll be back once I've spoken with 'Our Mutual Ally'. Of course, if you're not feeling more co-operative..." she turns her back on Eletha, lays a hand on Ganan's chest as he growls menacingly, then looks over her shoulder contemptuously, letting the threat of Ganan beating the fey to death hang implicitly.

                  *Eletha didn't say "cur".
                  • Reya grills Tinkara on whether she knew of any truce with the fey
                  • Tinkara denies any truce, claiming Eletha was a blight on the land, and that Tomonas led many failed crusades to rout the fey before adopting the Immaculate Philosophy
                  • Eletha created nothing but soul ravaged travelers and hungry ghosts, and Tinkara wishes to be the one to drive the iron into the fey's heart
                  • She claims Haseti always said the fey wouldn't dare attack the kingdom directly, but that they couldn't spare the manpower to Hunt Eletha and fend off the bear-folk
                  • Tinkara has no idea who the mutual ally might be, or the apprentice, and reluctantly suggests making the dangerous journey to ask Tomonas
                  • Reya shares what she's learned with her mother, and they agree to keep Eletha alive under guard
                  • Alinos flat-out denies playing any role in the attack, admitting her mastery of sorcery is not great enough to put a whole city to sleep. Reya is unable to Read her mother
                  • Alinos shares a map of the local dragon lines, by rights the Tower of Air should sit on top of a demense, but it does not
                  • Reya traces the disrupted lines, and remarks that Eletha's haunted woodland felt like a mystical convergence -- a demense that according to her mother's maps, should not exist
                  • Reya and her mother share a personal moment, bonding over their Occult knowledge
                  • Tinkara knows nothing of missing demanses -- Eletha's woodland has been an accursed place for as long as Dovak has existed
                  • Reya shares her plan to grill Tomonas, Alinos does not approve -- preferring to torture the fey with cold iron
                  • Tinkara fully endorses the torture plan, but Ganan expresses his doubts that the fey could survive after the thrashing he gave it (and his pride that Muli was able to get the fey awake and talking after only one night)
                  • Reya convinces everyone to do nothing until she returns
                  • Reya and Ganan check in with Tepet Agoram -- the elite Dovaki guard have skirmished with the bearfolk on the boarders of the kingdom, but made no progress tracking them to their lairs
                  • Melody's outriders are recovering nicely from their battle with the fey
                  • None of the Dovaki troops will accompany the Dragon-Blooded to Tomonas' Lair (it's not proper), and the Mnemon troops are needed to guard the palace
                  • Agoram provides the group with supplies, including a breastplate for Ganan
                  • Tinkara, Reya and Ganan prepare to make the journey together, taking the dangerous mountain path to the sheer cliff that overlooks the kingdom
                  • Ganan suggests that he could just climb the cliff-face alone, but no-one trusts him to treat with Tomonas
                  • Tinkara confides that in ancient days, Tomonas' favored servants would call down enchanted clouds to fly them to his sanctum (when Tomonas was not basking in worship in his temple, training in the barracks, or sleeping with the royals in the palace)
                  • Reya expresses doubt that her mother would summon a Cirrus Skiff to go treat on their behalf, given her skepticism of the plan, and considers summoning an elemental
                  • Ganan dismisses the dangers of the path out-of-hand, insisting that if god-bloods can navigate road it should be no obstacle to the Dragon-Blooded (Thanks for that one Player 2! Don't think I'll forget that! Totally in-character though.)
                  • Tinkara leads them to the path
                  [Day 4 Afternoon]
                  Last edited by JohnDoe244; 11-25-2019, 10:16 AM.


                  Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dramatis Personae
                    Tinkara Dovak
                    Couldn't find a good guide to God-Blooded stats, so we made Tinkara with the heroic mortal PC rules and ruled that she could attune to an artifact weapon. Exalted Healing, 4-dots of Dovaki Influence, no Attributes/Abilities above 3.
                    Tinkara Dovak
                    God-Blooded
                    Warlike Princess

                    Strength 2
                    Dexterity 3
                    Stamina 2

                    Charisma 3
                    Manipulation 3
                    Appearance 3

                    Perception 2
                    Intelligence 2
                    Wits 2

                    Athletics 2
                    Awareness 2 (Join Battle)
                    Brawl 1
                    Bureaucracy 2
                    Integrity 2
                    Investigation 1
                    Linguistics 1
                    Lore: Dovaki education 1
                    Melee 3 (Warclub)
                    Occult 1 (Tomonas)
                    Performance 2
                    Presence 3
                    Resistance 2
                    Socailize 2
                    Stealth 1
                    Survival 1
                    War 1 (Dovaki Military)

                    Merits (Native Language: Riverspeak)

                    Exalted Healing
                    Resources 3
                    Influence (Dovaki Princess) 4
                    Artifact (Warclub) 3
                    High Realm
                    Low Realm
                    Forest-tongue
                    Tribal Language: Dovaki
                    Contacts 1 (Local Guild Merchants)
                    Followers 1 (Personally loyal bureaucrats)
                    Followers 1 (Handmaidens)

                    Join Battle: 5
                    Resist Poison/Disease: 4
                    Parry: 4
                    Evasion: 2
                    Soak: 5 (Buff Jacket)
                    Rush: 5
                    Disengage: 3

                    Warclub: Accuracy 9 (7 Decisive), Damage 14 (OVR 4), Bashing, Smashing, Melee

                    Social: 6
                    Read Intentions: 4
                    Guile: 3
                    Resolve: 2


                    The Story Continues

                    Session 9 - Ganan (20XP 16 DX, Spent 16XP, 16 DX) - The Trail of Trials

                    *Some creative licence has been taken with the re-telling below.*
                    High Realm
                    Riverspeak
                    Old Realm


                    Our heroes stand facing the mountain trail that will lead them up into the mines.

                    Reya: "Ganan, why aren't you wearing your breastplate."

                    Ganan: "It hurts."

                    Tinkara: "I don't understand the reference. But you'll have to wear that armor. The climb is perilous, it won't support your weight in Bronze."

                    Ganan grumbles and starts strapping in.

                    Reya: "How far is the mountain trail?"

                    Tinkara: "It'll take us about three hours. There's not a trail, as such. The road will lead us to the Shavok mine-"

                    Ganan interjects: "The WHAT?!"

                    Tinkara: "The Shaz Vosh mines. The Shaz family has mined copper here for generations, Vosh is the family's current patriarch. They have the... honour of having the holding closest to Tomanas. Rich mines, but dangerous. You've already contended with mountain lions, Ganan, but more dangerous foes await us in the wilds."

                    Reya: "Why doesn't a more direct road exist?"

                    Tinkara: "In ancient times, Tomanas would walk amongst the people. He could be found consorting with the royals in the palace, or basking in the adoration of the masses in the temple, or extolling our warriors to acts of great bravery in the barracks. He would only retreat to his cave for solitude rarely, and even then, his most trusted servants could simply fly up to him."

                    Tinkara gestures to the cave mouth set at the top of a beyond sheer incline overlooking the palace.

                    Tinkara: "There was never need to forge a road. If Tomonas had wanted one, he would have commanded it. His sanctuary is secluded for a reason. Then, when Tomanas taught my people the Immaculate ways, the seclusion of his sanctuary was considered right and proper."

                    Ganan, gruffly: "What can we expect?"

                    Tinkara: "Most of the local gods don't fully understand the Immaculate ways. They might see our journey as heretical, and try to stop us. Others are renegades who have fled to the mountains to avoid the monks, who may attack us on principle. If we're unlucky we may encounter a Striyx, or a bear... but fortunately, the bear-folk live in the jungles -- they can't reach the mines without going through the city, so we're unlikely to encounter them. Tomonas will be glad to see us once we reach him."

                    The trio set out on the mountain path. The sun is strong and they pass a couple of convoys: local miners from different mines gather together for strength in numbers (to ward away great cats) and bring their ores to the city. Ganan takes the chance to minister to them, and they express their envy that the Princes of the Earth are mighty enough to travel in so small a party. Eventually, they make it to the Shaz mines, where Vosh leads them though his mine and into the wilds that lead to Tomonas.

                    Ganan takes point, the better to fend off any dangers they come across. They don't get far before being ambushed by a great cat!

                    Ganan: "What's that on the rocks! Brace yourselves!"

                    Great Cat spends WP and starts on 6i
                    Ganan buys 2 successes and starts on 7i (13/22m)
                    Tinkara starts on 6i
                    Reya starts on 5i (13/26m)

                    Sizing up the beast, Ganan holds back, waiting for it to pounce (5i)!

                    "Get behind me!" Tinkara roughly pushes Reya back, warclub in hand, ready to defend her lover to the death.

                    The beast pounces, claws extended putting it's all into the kill (Willpower, Ambush Hunter), as Ganan darts forward. Ganan ducks under the beats leap and delivers a punishing blow to the gut, Smashing the beast with his fists (Become the Hammer, Force of the Mountain, 9/18m), it Crashes to the ground, prone (Great Cat -4i, Ganan 19i).

                    Reya sends forth a wave of flame! The Burning Name washes over the cat, visibly wounding it with horrific burns (2L, Reya 3i).

                    Ganan 13/19m.

                    Ganan straddles the beast and grabs at it. Though he successfully gets a hold of the beast (hit, pass initiative roll), the wounded animal fights for its life, refusing to yield to the grapple (Willpower, 9 successes to 8 on control roll). Ganan squeezes, breaking the beasts ribs (putting it on its last -2). Tinkara rushes in and brains the squirming beast, knocking it unconsious, and Reya delivers the coup de gras, putting the wounded animal out of its misery,


                    Ganan: "We're lucky there weren't more of them."

                    Tinkara: "What are you talking about, they're solitary hunters?"

                    Ganan grimaces but says nothing.

                    The trio walks on, and the terrain gets tougher and tougher. Eventually, they have to make a sheer climb. Ganan forges ahead to find the easiest route and then helps the others up on a line.

                    On they go until they find the mountain vegetation building up. The path narrows and as they round a bend, they are confronted by an Elemental mass of vines and roots sporting an impressive set of jaws -- a Greenmaw!

                    Greenmaw spends 1WP for 10i (on 8 dice!!!)
                    Tinkara 6i
                    Driving his hand into the very mountain itself, Ganan pulls forth Thunders Crash with a warcry like a peal of thunder! 5i (13/16m)
                    Reya 3i (13/26m)

                    Yum. The Greenmaw wants the tasty looking one and lashes out with Swaying Sundew Tongue (75m, 7i). Ganan, knowing full well that he does not want to end up inside a Greenmaw's belly, uses all his skill (11/12m, stunt) to fend off the probing tongue, which he easily batters aside.

                    Tinkara wastes no time. As Ganan batters away the tongue she seizes her opening, closing in and whacking the beast bodily (which digs in its roots to defend against the blow (71m, 6i). Tinkara's warclub is a weapon of the gods and delivers a powerful swat to the beast's thick hide (Tinkara 11i, Greenmaw 2i).

                    Not to be outdone, Ganan barrels forward crashing into the beast and setting it offbalance (Ganan 18i, Greenmaw -5i).

                    Reya sends a wave of flame over the creatures head, but it doesn't uproot (Reya 6i, Greenmaw -7i).

                    Ganan 13/15m.
                    Greenmaw 76m.

                    Ganan Becomes the Hammer, and strikes a telling blow (6B, reset to 3i). The beast twists right into Tinkara who batters it right back at Ganan (3B, reset to 3i). Tinkara takes her eyes off her foe for a moment to smile back at Reya.

                    Reya takes the opening to launch a gout of flame directly into the creature's mouth (3L, reset to 3i). Mouth burning, the Greenmaw lashes its whip-like tail at Tinkara whilst she is distracted. The slam opens up her guard (-2i) and turns the course of battle in the Greenmaw's favor (4i).

                    Ganan 13/19m.

                    Seeking to set the one with the bigger club off-balance, the Greenmaw whips its tail round at Ganan (1 WP), but again the blow is deflected by Ganan's massive tetsubo.

                    Reya and Ganan attack at the same time. Flame and club batter the Greenmaw (1i), leaving husband (6i) and wife (5i) emboldened.

                    Tinkara recovered her footing and strikes, Shifting the flow of battle in her favor (4i). She lines up a killing blow on the Greenmaw (0i), but it fails to connect! (Zero success on 9 dice!)

                    Ganan 13/23m.


                    As the Greenmaw lets out a bestial hiss towards Tinkara, Ganan bellows "STAY AWAY FROM MY FRIENDS!" and brings his tetsubo down in a Hammering blow which crushes Elemental creature (13/20m). He drives his tetsubo back into the mountain (13/17m)

                    Reya: "You weren't lying when you said the journey would be perilous Tinkara."

                    Tinkara, ignoring her and looking at Ganan: "Friends?"

                    Ganan: "T'was the heat of the moment. My blood was up." *sneering* "Princess."

                    Tinkara: "Of course, my friend. Of course."

                    Ganan: "We should proceed in silence. God-Blood. Lest we draw more inauspicious creatures."

                    The party makes its way on for the better part of an hour (and Ganan refills to 13/22). There is no trail. Not even a goat path. They forge over wild rock, grasses and lichen, leaping crags and scrambling ever upwards, guided by Tinkara's grunts and pointing. Reya and Tinkara hold hands much of the way, grinning at each other as Ganan forges ahead, pretending not to notice.

                    Then the air thickens. Like a feeling of impending thunder. Three night-black dogs, each larger than the mountain lion which attacked them earlier lope into view. Their paws hardly seem to touch the mountain as they approach in a tight formation which by rights shouldn't be possible. Tinkara does not recognize these wild deities, but they are well known to the Dragon-Blooded.

                    Reya: "Well met Dogs of the Unbroken Earth." *She bows deeply* "We are humble rangers. We leave no road behind us." *she gestures* "And make no claim, honored and mighty gods, to your wild domain. We merely wish to pass through."

                    Dog1: "And why should we let you pass through mortal?" *Sneeringly* "This is the domain of gods, your kind shall have no truck with us!"

                    Reya: *Failed Read Intentions roll. They have Guile 1. 1.* "We are Princes of the Earth. I am Mnemon Alinos Danireya, and I am on Realm business. We seek an audience with Tomonas, as is our blood-right."

                    Ganan, nodding sagaciously: "We require no escort to your master, stand aside and let us pass."

                    Dog2, mockingly: "Our master?"

                    Dog3, mockingly: "An escort?"

                    Dog1: "Dragon-Blooded. It is thanks to your kind that the miners no longer leave us gifts. That we have been pushed back. That roads lead to the mines in our mountains. Tomonas will fall. Too bad you won't be alive to see it!"


                    Dog1: (1WP) 9i
                    Dog2: (1WP) 8i
                    Dog3: (1WP) 9i
                    Ganan: (Summon Tetsubo, Full Excellency, 6/21m) 12i
                    Reya: 8i
                    Tinkara: 6i

                    Ganan runs in, Smashing the Third Dog to the ground with his tetsubo (4/17m, 28i, Earth Aura; Dog3 to -1i), despite the dog's best efforts at defense (1WP).

                    First Dog identifies Reya as the leader of the party and races past Ganan to engage her, snapping her body in his mighty jaws (Grapple, 6 rounds of control, 7i). He shakes Reya roughly from side to side, teeth biting deep into Dragon-Blooded flesh (6L, Reya in -2; Dog1 reset to 3i).

                    Reya speaks the Burning Name as she tries to bring her shield to bear. All the Hidden Secrets Whisper to her the Dog's weaknesses, as she blasts it point-blank, despite the dog's best defense (12/21m, 18i, 1a, Air Aura; Dog1 on -1i, 1WP spent to raise Parry). Reya starts to glow blue as the wind whips up around her.

                    "Get the £^*% away from her!" Tinkara roars as she charges First Dog, bringing her warclub down in a Smashing attack that knocks the beast prone (Tinkara 16i; Dog1 -12i, Prone, 2 rounds of control remaining).

                    "Fight me you coward!" Ganan barks at Second Dog, who barrels towards him jaws wide. Ganan plays through the Mountain Strikes Moon Kata, knocking the jaws of the beast shut before it can take hold.

                    Third Dog rises, unsteadily to its feet, shaking its head to clear it.

                    Ganan 9/21m.
                    Reya 13/25m.

                    From Mountain Strikes Moon, to Moon Sways Mountain, Ganan twirls his tetsubo impossibly, bringing it down in an Excellent strike with the Force of Mountain. The blow incapacitates Second Dog, Jade dispersing its corporeal form (4/17m, 3i).

                    "Burn." Reya speaks the Burning Name, and First Dog releases her from its jaws as the flames crash over him. Reya shines a bright as the moon, the winds howling off her whipping at the flames (12/20m, 2a, Air Aura, 3i).

                    Before it can rise, Tinkara brings her warclub down on First Dog, shattering its skull (3i).


                    Third Dog snaps at Ganan, who fends off the blows performing the kata of Earth Dragon Style, yet despite Ganan's Immaculate skill, the blow lands. And without his Skin of Bronze, the blow is telling. God-teeth sink into mortal flesh, Ganan gives the barest grunt of pain as the grip on his tetsubo slackens for just an instant (Initative Shift! Ganan -2i, Dog2 17i). Second Dog gives no quarter and bites down, hard, Fangs of the Hunt striking true (7L, Reset to 3i).

                    Ganan 4/13m
                    Reya 13/24m

                    "Ganan!" Reya cries as she almost starts toward him.
                    "No, stay back!" Is Ganan's sharp response as he wrestles with the God, determined to keep it from harming the woman he loves. Reya waits, holding back to see what will happen (Delay, 1i).

                    Tinkara pays no heed, rushing in and knocking the God to the ground, her smashing attack bounces harmlessly off the Dog's hide as she drives it into the ground.

                    Second Dog sees this isn't winnable and starts to Hurry Home, its form dissipating before their eyes.

                    Ganan delivers a punishing blow to the prone Dog God (6i, -4i), and Reya unleashes a stream of fire (3i, -5i.)

                    Ganan 9/13m
                    Reya 13/24m


                    Ganan (5B), Tinkara (2B), and Reya (1L, 13/22m, 2a) all deliver desperate last blows on the last God Dog as it slips away from them, borne back to its sanctum to plot revenge for its fallen friends. Ganan holds his tetsubo aloft and banishes it into his anima, returning to dim (9/6m).

                    Both Ganan (7L, -1) and Reya (6L, -2) are badly wounded.

                    Time passes as they trek on (Ganan: 13/7m; Reya 13/26m), the company proceeding in grim silence. The dangers if the mountain have yet to harm Tinkara, but she is under no illusions of divine protection. Eventually, she breaks the silence.

                    Tinkara, quietly: "Thank you for trusting me. And fighting beside me. Truly the Dragon-Blooded are the greatest of warriors."

                    Ganan, quietly: "Would that that were true. We have faced down beasts, Elementals and Gods this day, but individually the Anathema are stronger still. Our strength lies in numbers. Much as your miners travel in groups. We should have brought the children."

                    Reya: "They are needed to guard the fey. We'll make it. Though next time, we fly up on the back of Elementals."

                    Ganan looks to the sky. A bird is circling them. Not a Striyx. Too small. But big enough. The bird notices Ganan, noticing it.

                    Ganan: "LOOK TO THE SKY!"

                    Eagle: (1WP) 4i Medium range from the ground
                    Ganan: (11/3m) 8i
                    Tinkara: 6i
                    Reya: 3i

                    Ganan draws back a javelin and sends it flying into the sky. The eagle contemptuously weaves to one side and the spear sails past harmlessly.

                    Tinkara rushes to Reya's side, ready to intercept the bird as it careens straight towards her.

                    The eagle Rushes toward Reya, on the mountainside, there is no escape from this aerial foe (2 success to 3).

                    As the eagle draws in Close Reya lets fly another gout of flame as she raises her shield, again the eagle dodges.

                    Ganan 13/6m

                    Closer target now, Ganan lets fly with another javelin, but again the bird twists in the sky and it sails by harmlessly.

                    Tinkara keeps Reya protected, club drawn back and ready to swing.

                    The eagle launches a Death Dive on Reya, but Tinkara intercepts the blow. Talons rake at the God-Blood, drawing blood (1L, -0).

                    As feather and claw swamps the princess, Reya lets loose with the burning name -- once more listening to Hidden Secrets Whispered. Flames engulf the bird, scattering its attacks (Crash! Reya 13i, Eagle -1i).

                    Ganan: 13/11m
                    Reya: 13/25m

                    Reya turns the flames to roast the bird, setting it alight (2L, reset to 3i).

                    Ganan walks up to the bird and reaches into the fire. Crushing it in his mighty grip (Grapple, Decisive Savage, 3B, 3i, 11/7m).


                    "Hold it still." Tinkara inhales, and exhales on the swing. As Ganan holds the bird steady, her warclub does the rest.

                    Tinkara: "Where did that come from?"

                    Reya: "I think the real question is 'who did it come from?' There's no way a lone bird of prey attacks three humans. We don't look that close to death!"

                    Ganan: "It didn't attack until it saw we had noticed it. It was tracking us."

                    Tinkara shudders but nothing more is said, and they carry on.

                    Tinkara: "It's not far now. Over this rise there's a crag, like two crossed swords. We enter the cleft and it puts us in a network of caves. We follow that down, and we'll enter Tomonas' sanctuary from the back."

                    Ganan: "I sense something. A spirit is near."

                    Tinkara: "Tomonas?"

                    Ganan: "No. It's immaterial." *He pauses and tastes the air.* "There on that turn. Exactly where we have to pass." (11/4m)

                    Reya: "Come on. We'll get closer and examine it in our bracers."

                    Ganan nods and the party approaches a narrow vale in the rock face. When they reach the area Ganan pinpointed the spirt to, they are cast into darkness!

                    Mortwright: (1WP) 6i
                    Ganan: 7i (9/0) Blind
                    Tinkara: 6i Blind
                    Reya: 3i Blind

                    With a Spirit Grounding Shout, Ganan Becomes the Hammer and Strikes with the Force of the Mountain, slamming his fists in a Smashing attack where he had pinpointed the spirit (2/0m, Earth Aura, CRASH! 23i; Mortwright -4i).

                    Unable to see their foe, or strike at spirits, Tinkara braces herself for whatever there is to come!

                    Reya listens to the Hidden Secrets Whispered, and with her own Shout, lets fly with the Burning Name... but not being able to see where Ganan had knocked the ghost, her blow goes wide (13/18m).

                    The Mortwright, it's work done, immaterially sinks into the earth where the Dragon-Blooded cannot follow, Disengaging and eventually Withdrawing.

                    A low moan fills the gloom. "What is that!" Yelps Tinkara.

                    "The Dead." Comes Ganan's grim response.

                    Zombie Scale: 5i, Size 2, Magnitude 12

                    Two dozen zombies shuffle into the darkness. Our heroes are beset on all sides. Ganan and Tinkara fend off the shambling creatures, but their attacks rake Reya (2i).

                    Ganan: 7/0m
                    Reya: 13/18m

                    Ganan smashes out into the darkness. He can smell his foe, hear their shuffling gait... but he can't see them. He calls upon his years of discipline (1 WP), martial arts skill (3/0) and lays waste to the dead in the dark. Blow after blow fells one foul creature after another and the horde reels from his mighty fists (13B, reset to 3i, Crash bonus 8i).


                    Encouraged by a foe she can fight, Tinkara presses the advantage and dispatches the remaining zombies. The trio emerges from the darkness, the Mortwright fled.

                    Tinkara: "I need... I need a minute. To rest. To..."

                    Ganan: "We don't have time. You fought well. We need to press on. To reach Tomonas. We can rest there. Regroup. Fly back to the palace. After we have our answers."

                    Reya: "These mountains are not known for the restless dead. This was an ambush, meant for us. Do you think it was set by whoever sent the eagle?"

                    Tinkara: "Living beasts and dead men make a strange combination. The eagle I lay at the feet of the bear-folk -- they make strange alliances. But the dead? Our ancestors used to placate the dead, before the Immaculates came, but not even the bear-folk are inhuman enough to raise them. The dead are unclean to them. Eletha's woodlands were haunted by its victims, perhaps this is the fey's revenge against us?"

                    Ganan: "Did you not say that most of the fey's victims were found alive? Soulless?"

                    Tinkara: "Damning proof then! These are the souls it stole!"

                    Ganan: "These were bodies. If Eletha were our necromancer, it wouldn't be letting the bodies of its victims wander the woods. It would raise them as zombies."

                    Ganan and Tinkara hold each other's gaze for a heartbeat, then two. The God-Blood blinks.

                    Tinkara: "Maybe. I bow to your wisdom Prince of the Earth. Here's the cleft. Careful it's wet. We climb in, and down and we're there."

                    The three climb into the cave, and enter... the domain of Tomonas.

                    Ganan: 3/5m, -1 Wound Penalty (7L)
                    Reya: 13/23m, -2 Wound Penalty (6L)
                    Tinkara: -0 Wound Penalty (1L)

                    [Day 4 - Evening]

                    Ganan buys an Ox-Body Technique, Heart-Hardening Meditation and works on training Stamina 2 and Bone Crushing Strike.
                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 11-25-2019, 06:08 AM.


                    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Story Continues

                      Session 10 - Reya (30XP 22DX, 20/22 spent) - Throne of Tomonas

                      The trio climb down into the pitch black of the caves. Every foothold is slick with water and lichens, but our heroes make down without incident.

                      Tinkara: "Follow me, stay close."

                      Tinkara lays one hand against the cave wall and probes the darkness with her warclub in the other.

                      Reya puts her hands on Tinkara's waist. Ganan brings up the rear with a hand on Reya's shoulder. The three squeeze through cracks and crags in the rock until they turn a corner to find two smokeless torches bathing the cave in light, each flanking a heavy oaken door.

                      Ganan: "Spirits. Lots of them."

                      Tinkara raps the door once with her warclub and the door opens.

                      It leads into a vast chamber, filled with spirits. Earth and Air Elementals are the most common, but Reya spots a Neomah, and Ganan shudders at the whispers of immaterial beings. The same smokeless torches crackle round the edges of the room, and enclaves, alcoves and antechambers line the walls. In the center of the room, on a high throne that seems to be made entirely of feathers, sits a large, proud Thunderbird.

                      Reya becomes aware of the rich carpet they've all just trekked cave mud over, and the fact that all the spirits are immaculately clean whilst they are covered in blood and ichor. Her white and purple clothes are mostly red and brown.

                      Tomonas, merrily, Riverspeak: "Blood of my blood! What brings you here daughter?"

                      Tinkara, formally, Old Realm: "Honored Ancestor and guardian of Dovak. I, Tinkara of Dovak, Warrior-Born, bring the Princes of the Earth seeking your wise counsel. The kingdom is assailed-"

                      Tomonas holds out a hand for silence, and the hall falls silent. He gives a look of recognition at Perdurant Vault.

                      Tomonas, formally, Old Realm: "Dragon-Blooded, welcome to my throne honored ones. I bid thee, approach."

                      Reya strides forward, limping slightly but head held high, looking directly into Tomonas's eyes. Ganan waits a respectful pace, then follows behind -- casting a weather eye around the room, fingers itching to perform the mudras to bring on his Invulnerable Skin.

                      Reya gives a short bow, maintaining eye contact as she inclines her head.

                      Reya, formally, Old Realm: "Mighty Tomonas, the honor is mine to stand in your throne room. I am Mnemon Alinos Danireya, advisor to the Satrap of Dovak."

                      Tomonas: "You have travelled a hard route to meet me Mnemon Alinos Danireya."

                      The name "Mnemon" carries a note of a question and he looks at Reya's shield then over to Tinkara, before settling his gaze on Ganan. He rises from his throne and walks down from the dias to stand level with the Princes, inclining his head slightly in a bow of acknowledgement to each of them.

                      Tomonas: "I would hear of your travails through the mountains. And of this assault on Dovak. I will uphold my duty as proprietary demands. But you are wounded, and whilst you are clearly not broken with weariness, you are at least travelled -- first I must see to my duties as host. You must bathe and be saited. My court will find you clothes and food, of the mortal fashion."

                      Ganan seems about to protest, but Reya cuts him off.

                      Reya: "Your reputation for pious proprietary is well deserved. We gratefully accept your gracious offer of hospitality."

                      Reya bows again, and Ganan gives the short bow of one unsure of his station.

                      Tomonas gestures at a woman with dark green, almost black, skin, wings attached to her arms and red hair so vivid that appears to be made of flames.

                      Tomonas: "Mallory, show our guests to the hot-springs and see that they are saited. Dragon-Blooded, I shall not detain you long, but I must impose: what is the nature of this 'assailment' on the kingdom?"

                      Ganan: "Four nights ago, a mystic sleeping curse was laid on the kingdom. Beastmen made it to the Wall -- they did serious damage. There may be a traitor in the kingdom, and it is certain that powerful magics were turned against us. We questioned Eletha, the Raksha, and now we call on you."

                      A micro-expression crosses the Thunderbird's features. Only Reya catches it, but it's obvious to her that this makes Tomonas deeply uncomfortable. Likewise Tomonas takes the measure of the Dragon-Blooded but Reya is giving nothing away.

                      Tomonas: "I see. Please, refresh yourselves. I will make enquiries around the court."

                      Mallory, with a curtesy: "This way mighty ones."

                      Mallory leads them to a side-room off the main chamber. Steam rises from a hot-spring pool. Mallory shrugs off her kimono and gets into the water. Vents open and the water warms further and starts to bubble. Tinkara and Ganan strip, and follow in as an Earth elemental picks up their clothes and whisks them away. Tinkara throws back her head and luxuriates in the warmth with her eyes closed. Ganan is all business scrubbing the dirt and blood from his body.

                      Mallory, High Realm: "Is there a problem mighty one?"

                      Tinkara: "The water is fine. The bubbles are heated air, not gas. It's perfectly safe." *She gestures at the flames of Mallory's hair*

                      Ganan, matter-of-fact: "She's shy. Also we bathed in Jiara."

                      Reya: "That was a month ago! I've bathed since!"

                      Ganan, surprised: "Oh. I haven't."

                      They cajole Reya into the water and bathe together. Fade to black.

                      The bath temporarily ameliorates their wound penalties by 1.

                      Once the women are finished bathing, a Vaktri leads them to fresh clothing. Ganan, having finished bathing first, is dressed in the fine white silks of a human sacrifice.

                      Ganan: "I know. I know. They said they didn't have any priestly vestments -- this was all they have. The Vaktri assures me we have Tomonas's protection."

                      Reya, using Wind Carried Words: "Mother, we've reached Tomonas's lair. We're fine but were attacked on the road."
                      Reya, to the others: "Just in case."

                      Ganan performs his mudras and effortless slips into the Invulnerable Skin of Bronze.

                      Tinkara: "Tomonas would not betray us. The Philosophy teaches that spirits should not mix with mortals, it's not surprising that he is short on clothing."

                      The Vaktri bows deeply at the waist, its head crystals nearly touching the floor.

                      Vaktri: "We have tried to clean your clothing, but..."

                      The Vaktri gestures at a bundle of ruined rags and a badly battered breastplate, Reya's chain shirt is neatly laid out beside it.

                      Reya: "These clothes are fine. We gratefully receive them and thank your master for his hospitality."

                      Reya and Tinkara dress in the fine silken robes, and Mallory leads them to an audience chamber with Tomonas. The thunderbird gestures for them to recline on fine silk cushions and presents them with bowls of nuts and berries. Tinkara helps herself from Reya's bowl.

                      Tomonas: "Please, regale me with the tale of your conquest! The journey here must have been hard, but you mighty warriors were up to the challenge!"

                      Ganan sighs and takes a pose as he recounts the story, Tomonas claps his hands together with glee over the defeat of the Dogs of Unbroken Earth, but becomes visibly perturbed by the mention of the undead...

                      Tomonas: "You are sure? The dead, attacked you here?"

                      Reya: "We are sure."

                      Tinkara: "Very sure."

                      Tomonas shifts uncomfortably, Reya presses him.

                      Reya: "Why should that be unusual? The restless dead are no ally to the living. And I'm sure many have died on this unforgiving mountain."

                      Tomonas: "What, exactly, did Eletha and Ragara Haseti tell you?"

                      Ganan: "Haseti? He's dead. Died in the attack."

                      Reya: "Eletha mentioned something about a 'Mutual Friend' and an apprentice. It denied any role in the attack."

                      Tomonas: "Why would Eletha-. Haseti told you nothing before he died?" *He looks to Tinkara* "None of you?"

                      Reya: "He accused me of being a traitor, and leading the attack."

                      Tomonas: "Was he right?"

                      Reya: "I'm the reason he's dead. We were fighting, he was grabbed by a bear. But I had nothing to do with the attack, or the sleeping curse which preceded it."

                      Tomonas: "And what led you to Eletha?"

                      Reya, looking to Tinkara then back: "We explored the city, found evidence of a sleeping curse. Tinkara said the fey was gifted with such magics, so we rode out to apprehend it."

                      Tomonas is silent.

                      Ganan: "Is it not true that Eletha is an age old enemy of Dovak?"

                      Tomonas sighs wearily: "My loyal followers and I have fought against Eletha for longer than your Realm has endured. Many times have we come to blows. Many times did I almost defeat it. But..."

                      Reya: "But a mere moment ago you were incredulous that it would attack the city. Just as Eletha was outraged we attacked. So what happened?"

                      Tomonas: "Haseti. Ragara Haseti brokered a truce, between the kingdom and the fey. The bear-folk were too strong. Getting stronger every day. Without my blessings... Anyway, such was his right, as a Prince of the Earth, to broker such a truce. And caught between the pincers- Well if the bears were fighting the hobgoblins of the wood, so much the better."

                      Reya: "Pincers? The fey... and the dead?"

                      Tomonas, angered: "The walking dead are filthy abominations! Even the bearfolk know this, debased as they have become. They are an affront to the Perfected Hierarchy. But..."

                      Reya: "It was Haseti's right. As Prince of the Earth. I'm amazed he didn't unleash a horde of demons."

                      Tomonas, resigned: "He bound two demons here. And you're right, of course. Eletha was comfortable around the dead. The Keening Shriek of Mother's Love Lost, a most foul ghost. Haseti would call her 'Our Mutual Friend'! No friend of mine. Until four years ago, she kept the dead to the forests -- attacking the bear-folk."

                      Reya: "What happened four-"

                      Ganan: "Thorns."

                      Tomonas nods, gravely: "Thorns. The caravans stopped coming back. Then the news reached us. We were cut off from our greatest ally, and the dead -- predictably the dead stopped attacking the bear-folk. Yet they didn't attack us directly."

                      Reya: "And Eletha's apprentice?"

                      Tomonas: "Mortal. Ghost-blooded, anyway. A disciple of Shriek, and skilled in Sorcery. The fey was teaching him the arts as part of the pact against the bear-folk."

                      Reya: "And if the dead have broken the pact, then it was this apprentice who betrayed us."

                      Ganan: "Impossible. No Ghost-blood is more powerful at sorcery than your mother."

                      Reya, with a grimace: "Not a Ghost-blood. A Deathknight. Anathema."

                      Tinkara: "We need a name, mighty Tomonas."

                      Tomonas: "I know it not. Truly. 'Our Mutual Ally' is the ghost, Shriek. I saw the apprentice boy only once."

                      Reya: "The Keening Shriek of Mother's Love Lost then. How do we contact it?"

                      Tomonas, turning his palms to the sky: "I despise the dead. It was Ragara Haseti's ally, not mine. Perhaps Eletha might know, but I doubt it. If Haseti did not pass this knowledge to you, then I fear it lost. Perhaps it was the spirit that attacked you on the road? I know it can summon the darkness of the grave."

                      Reya: "Thank you for your aid. We must return to the palace."

                      Tomonas: "Of course. Haseti bound an Agata to fly any who share his blood to the palace or back here on command, but Agata are borne to be ridden -- it should not be hard for you to convince Yipyip to fly you down. If you were," *Looking at Ganan* "Slightly lighter."

                      Tomonas escorts them to the antechamber in the cliff-face that overlooks the palace. Yipyip allows the party to mount as Ganan sheds his Bronze Skin.

                      Yipyip, Old Realm: "Blood of Ragara and Blood of Cynis. You share both the bloodlines of Ragara Haseti and I am bound to fly you from here to the palace, and to return you on command."

                      Reya, Old Realm: "Good. Take us down."

                      [Day 4 - Late Night]

                      Reya buys Unblemished Petal Prana, Language Learning Ritual and Friend-To-All-Nations Attitude. She invests DX in training Resistance 2.
                      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 11-25-2019, 10:07 AM.


                      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Story Continues
                        Session 11 – Ganan (25XP 20 DX, Spent 16XP, 16 DX) – Thicker than Stone
                        • The trio come in to land, late at night, as Yipyip sets down on Darios’ balcony.
                        • Reya thanks the demon who instructs her just to send her voice on the wind when she wants to return.
                        • Ganan remarks that this is a useful skill he needs to develop and Reya agrees to teach him.
                        Tinkara: “Cynis Ganan, can you go ahead and make sure my father is decent?”

                        Ganan shrugs and lets himself into the king’s bedchamber.

                        Tinkara, to Reya: “Stay the night?”

                        Reya: “I’m wounded and tired. I need to see my son. Not tonight”
                        • Ganan returns, confirms the king is fast asleep, alone in bed
                        • The trio sneak through his chamber without waking him.
                        • The king’s chambers are significantly nicer than Tinkara’s and the Dragon-Blooded’s
                        • Tinkara has the guards summon the royal physician to her chambers and takes her leave of the Dragon-Blooded
                        • Reya and Ganan descend the Tower and return to their accommodation in the Wall
                        • They stop at Muli’s room, Tepet Agoram opens the door to them in a towel
                        Agoram: “Mnemon Alinos Danireya! We- uh, I-, Li wasn’t expecting you. Li it’s your parents!”

                        Muli, mumbling: “Both of them? This ought to be good.”

                        Muli stumbles to the door, also hastily wrapped in a towel, and does a double take at seeing his parents dressed as sacrifice victims, before seeing that Reya is hurt. He busies them in and sets Reya down on a cot, sending Agoram off for various supplies.

                        Muli, to Ganan: “Back up, you’re in my light! Oh, you’re hurt too. Well you’re no good to mother, go find the royal physician or something.”
                        • Muli kicks Ganan out, and Ganan goes looking for Melody
                        • Surprisingly. Melody is awake and playing Gateway with Jarod
                        • Melody is irked by having her game interrupted but gives Ganan a look over
                        Ganan: -1 Wound Penalty (3L, 4B)
                        • Ganan catches a couple of hours sleep [Day 5 – Morning]
                        • Muli insists on keeping Reya in bed to heal
                        • Ganan asks Agoram what he knew about Haseti and the pair go to ransack the dead Garison Commander’s room
                        • As they draw near, Ganan senses the presence of an immaterial spirit and casts Invulnerable Skin of Bronze, and pulls his tetsubo
                        • They find numerous sorcerous supplies, the room is lined with salt and a coded journal
                        • As Ganan takes the journal, a Blood Ape materializes into the room
                        • [OOC: With only 3 health levels, John takes a moment to change into his brown trousers]
                        • Ganan gives his warcry of "Stand Firm" and the two Terrestrials absolutely wreck the Blood Ape and leave the room, not noticing that they’ve scuffed the salt line in the battle
                        • Tepet Agoram agrees to take the journal back to Reya, and Ganan goes to find Mnemon Alinos Bekara
                        • The Satrap is in her generously appointed quarters, pouring over maps of the mines
                        • Most of them are point-of-view diagrams and histograms that she is translating into a bird-eye view and overlaying with a criss-cross of projections, perhaps mapping Dragon-lines
                        Bekara: “Ah, Cynis Ganan. Coming to see a personage of such meager importance as a Satrap. Made war on any more of our neighbors? Bested Tomonas at an arm-wrestle perhaps?”

                        Ganan, carefully: “You are, not pleased, with my conduct Satrap?”

                        Bekara bristles, then notices Ganan’s Invulnerable Skin of Bronze, and the fact that he’s still got Thunder’s Crash slung to his back. She drums her fingers on the table then sighs.
                        Bekara: “You fought well when we were attacked. And when the battle was ended, you stayed behind to fix the damage even if you caused most of it. And, I suppose, I have been asking Haseti to deal with that fey for years. Had been. But you would do well to remember your place young man. Once my niece is Satrap, I’m sure she’ll allow you to run amok – until then, you will respect my authority. Am I understood?”

                        Ganan bows deeply, not quite trusting himself to speak.
                        • They discuss Ragara Haseti’s linage and whether his father may have been of House Cynis
                        • Ganan retires to spend the rest of the day in bed, trying to crack Haseti’s coded diary with little success
                        [Day 6 – Morning]
                        Ganan: -1 Wound Penalty (3L, 3B)
                        Reya: -1 Wound Penalty (2B)
                        Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-03-2019, 01:46 PM.


                        Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dramatis Personae
                          Anathema
                          The Keening Shriek of Mother's Love Lost – A Nephwrack
                          This ancient and terrible ghost struck a bargain with Ragara Haseti and Eletha the Beautiful to lead the forces of the dead against the bear-folk attacking Dovak. What they really want, and where they are is unknown. Shriek does have a favored mortal apprentice, trained in the esoteric arts by Eletha.

                          The Apprentice? – A Deathknight?
                          An unknown mortal in service to the Nephwrack. Trained in sorcery by Eletha, and likely responsible for the sleep curse levied upon Dovak during the bear-folk attack.

                          Dovak Royal Family
                          Yochanan Davok - The Prince In Exile
                          Tinkara's older brother, a god-blooded with the power of Tomonas. Powerful warrior and practised statesman, Yochanan left the kingdom in disgrace over his refusal to accept the Immaculate Philosophy. He has not been seen in seventeen years.

                          The Story Continues

                          Session 12 - Reya (35XP 26DX, 28/26 spent) – And Twice the Burdeon
                          • Day 6, morning
                          • Reya wakes in Muli’s room, she’s been kept to her cot whilst Gracious Peeling Melody has watched over her, helping Muli dress her wounds and singing ballads on Dovak’s history to her in Riverspeak
                          • Muli states that she’s healing nicely and that Melody will be here shortly to finish her treatment.
                          • Reya dresses, greets her sister, and insists they go see Ganan – Muli objects but is overruled
                          • Melody and Reya call in on Ganan, Melody redresses his wounds (6B), and continues her ballad
                          • The ballad covers from the birth of Darios to the self-imposed exile of his eldest son, seventeen years ago
                          • Yochanan Davok refused to see the wisdom of the Immaculate Philosophy and left the kingdom in disgrace seventeen years ago, forfeiting his claim to the throne
                          • Like his sister, Yochanan clearly carried the blessings of Tomonas in his blood and was a renowned warrior and states-man from a young age
                          • The two hour ballad ends with tears shed for Yochanan, and a reminder that even mighty princes can be led astray from the true spiritual path
                          • Melody unbinds Reya’s wounds, which are healed. Reya hugs her sister and bids her well.
                          • Ganan hands over Haseti’s coded diary, and Reya makes short work of the encryption
                          • Ganan tells Reya what he has uncovered on Haseti’s ancestry, Reya only remarks that it seems to have played out in their favor – given the amount of intermarriage between the houses, she wonders if there’s some wider meaning to be had about all being family in the end.
                          • Ganan laughs at this and makes a cutting comment about a brotherhood of all mankind.
                          • The diary makes only sideways references to how to summon Shriek, but it is obvious that even Haseti had doubts about the loyalty of the dead
                          • Reya changes into clothes of her house’s colors and resolves to interrogate Eletha with this new information – the safety of the Satrapy lies with neutralizing Shriek’s apprentice
                          • Ganan lets Reya know about his encounter with the Satrap, and Reya reluctantly agrees to share what they know with her aunt
                          • Bekara is in the Tower of Air, consulting with Darios and Tinkara on how best to raise tribute
                          • Tinkara’s wounds appear to be healed, but she’s clearly grimacing – pained by the Satrap’s plans to extract yet more wealth from her people
                          • Reya gives an impassioned speech, praising her aunt for her devotion to the Realm, and promising to lend her full support to her plans… after a Wyld Hunt has brought the Deathknight attacking Dovak to heel
                          • “We have a duty which we must discharge to this kingdom,before they can discharge their duty to us.”
                          • Neither the Dovaki Royals nor Satrap have any idea who the Deathknight may be, or where they may be found
                          • Dovaki culture was hostile to the dead, seen as unclean, before the coming of the Immaculates
                          • Immaculate monks taught that mortals should not seek to interact with spirits, and thus the traditional burning hatred gave way to indifference – questing against the dead was no longer a sacred duty for all citizens, but trouble for the monks to take care of
                          • This, inadvertently, caused a softening of attitude and a foothold for customs like ancestor worship to take root – something neither the Realm nor the Royals are pleased with
                          • Through gritted teeth, Bekara agrees that Reya has a point about defending the kingdom, and suggests that she would value her input as to how best manage the Dovaki economy
                          • Reya admits that she has a lot to learn, and would be honored if her aunt could spare the time to share the benefit of her experience and Bekara courteously agrees
                          • Reya then asks permission to interrogate the fey, Tinkara and Bekara insist on coming along
                          • Reya, Ganan, Tinkara and Bekara proceed to the dungeon, Ganan senses the presence of nearby spirits and moments later they hear the sounds of combat
                          • Johon and Ferad are battling with animated suits of armor, Ferad’s anima setting the hallway awash with flame, causing Tinkara to hang back
                          • Johon hoists a full suit of plate into the air one-handed and bellows that a ghost has gone after the fey
                          • Bekara, Ganan and Reya barrel into Eletha’s holding cell where a Mortwright is taking material form, ready to murder the raksha
                          • Clearly outnumbered, the Mortwright casts the room into darkness and flees as the Dragon-Blooded outside batter the war-ghosts from their armored frames
                          • The heroes interrogate the fey, who is disinclined to trust them
                          • Reya attempts to instil an Intimacy of respect by releasing Eletha from its iron bonds, and promising that they will line its cell with salt to keep out the dead
                          • Eletha reveals the identity of its apprentice as The Gift of Merciful Silence
                          • Gift is a young man, given to Eletha to train whilst he was still only a boy. Skin as pale as the moon, hair black as night, yet tinged with streaks of red-fire, eyes as deep and merciless as the sea
                          • Though only barely past the cusp of manhood, Gift is a skilled necromancer and took quickly to the sorcerer’s arts
                          • Gift seemed to have an unmatched burning hatred for the bear-folk, but as his tutelage progressed, it seemed that Gift simply hated all mortals – that made him a very fine apprentice in the fey’s eyes.
                          • Eletha was deep in consultation with Shriek the night of the bear-folk attack – Shriek was concerned that Haseti’s plan would fail, House Mnemon would turn against them and the bear-folk would reign over the ashes
                          • Gift, however, was not with them – having spent the last couple of weeks working upon a grand spell of some kind
                          • Ganan asks how they can contact Shriek, and Eletha reveals that its woodland demense has a shadowland: at the heart of it is a once hale tree (now rotten from the inside and hollow), through which whispered prayers find their way to the ears of the Nephwrack and from which the dead may pass into the land of the living.
                          • Reya asks why the fey and the dead are so concerned with the bear-folk
                          • “You really know nothing? I’d always assumed Haseti knew more than he was letting on, but perhaps he was as ignorant as he appeared. Alas, no magic can tear those secrets from my lips – my mouth is sealed by might greater than that of Dragons.”
                          • Reya arranges to have the fey’s cell lined with salt, and after a terse conversation with the Satrap they agree that they should release the fey to march on the shadowland – once they have raised a suitable force
                          • Bekara goes to consult with Alinos on the best course of action
                          • Reya, Ganan and Tinkara go to speak with each of the Mnemon to inform them of the likelihood of a Deathknight being behind their misfortunes and to ready them for war.
                          • Melody and Muli agree to heal up Ganan, and the others agree that if there is a Deathknight, they need to march on the shadowland in force
                          • Mnemon Alinos officially sanctions the Wyld Hunt, dispatches Infallible Messengers to Jiara and Lookshy informing them of the Anathema threat and hands command of the mission to Tepet Agoram
                          • Agoram assures the assembled Dragon-Blooded that he can have their troops readied for morning – best not to begin an assault on a shadowland by night
                          • Reya and Tinkara return to Eletha, its cell now warded, and ask it to turn against the dead – to bring to justice the apprentice who betrayed it and to lay to rest the ghosts which tried to murder it.
                          • Eletha agrees, but points out that its wounds still haven’t healed, and that it expects the Dragon-Blooded to honor Haseti’s peace accord with the fey… at least until the bear-folk are defeated.
                          • Reya shapes an elemental warrior, in the fashion of the Greenmaw she met on the road to Tomonas’s Court which she names “Crown of Laurels” for the coming battle
                          • Day 7 Morning
                          Tinkara: Healed
                          Reya: Healed
                          Crown of Laurels: Undamaged
                          Ganan: 3B, -1
                          Eletha: 15B, -2

                          [Day 7 Morning]

                          Reya buys Invisible Street Performer Technique, and invests 3DX in training Bureaucracy 1.
                          Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-09-2019, 06:34 PM.


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                          • #14
                            Session 13 – Ganan (30XP 24DX, Spent 26XP, 24DX) – Your Grace


                            The assembled Wyld Hunt is a fine sight. Gracious Pealing Melody kisses her husband and mounts her mighty lizard in a single bound, the great beast swiftly stomping after the Dovaki outriders already making their way toward the Anathema’s shadowland. Five Terrestrials remain, in full battle regalia at the head of the column of infantry, Tepet Agoram counseling them as three mortal Immaculate monks move amongst them extolling the virtues of the Dragons and handing out iron knives and bags of salt. Eletha the Broken stands by, but apart from them, also dressed for battle yet still clearly injured. Some four-hundred soldiers, the best of the Dovaki Royal Guard, stand ranked-up and ready to march as the first rays of dawn begin to illuminate them. Yet more monks move among the troops, instructing them to put their faith in the Dragon-Blooded’s magics to carry them swiftly into battle then to victory.


                            As Reya and Ganan enter the camp, Tinkara breaks from ranks to herald them “Briseuse de Eletha, the Champion of Dovak!” A great cheer comes up from the assembled Dovaki, and Tinkara rushes the pair to Agoram’s war council.

                            “Mnemon Alinos, Bekara and the Old Bear will stay in the palace with the Dovaki King. If we should fail in our holy mission, they will be all the stands between the Satrapy and its destruction. Mnemon Danireya and Cynis Ganan will ride ahead: Ganan will have the first glory from engaging the forces of death, in an effort to get them to commit their reserves to the fight early, meanwhile Danireya will circle the demesne -- it is certain that the enemy knows we are coming and likely they are holding forces ready to encircle us. If Danireya finds troops waiting in ambush, Winglord Melody will be in position to engage them in order to keep them from the real battle. If the troops pounce upon Ganan, Winglord Melody’s forces will hit them in the flank – ambushing the ambushers. Either way, the Deathknight will be committed and have no choice but to emerge. At that point, Mnemon Nula will use sorcery to bring myself, Dragonlord Ferad, Talonlord Vidad and our Rakshasa ally directly into combat with the Anathema, then she shall return to the column to bring in the Immaculates and Princess Tinkara, and once I am satisfied they are not walking into an ambush, as many of the mortal troops as she can carry. Mnemon Muli shall stay with the column to guard the mortal troops, then come across once we have established a front. Mnemon Danireya and Melody will keep their distance to cut off the Anathema’s escape, and cover our wounded.”

                            The Immaculates hand Ganan and Reya their knives and salt as Tepet Agoram concludes, “Any questions?” Agoram glares hard at Muli, who clenches his jaw but says nothing.

                            A pregnant beat of silence follows as the assembled Terrestrials consider the gravity of the task before them.


                            “A fine plan!” Ganan bellows, happily, as he clasps his brother-in-law mightily by the shoulder, he gestures broadly at Agoram and Eletha as he pulls Ferad in close, “I shan’t be too jealous if you kill the demon whilst I’m bogged down by its minions: you can count on me to hold the line until you arrive. I haven’t quite mastered how to send my Voice on the Wind yet, but I’m sure my beloved will signal for me.” Reya nods tersely in acknowledgement.

                            “Good,” Agoram gives a somber look at the assembled Princes of the Earth, “Then we move out.”

                            Reya gestures for her children to come to one side and rounds on Muli, “Is your lover trying to get my husband killed?” She asks coolly. Ganan blusters but is silenced by a sharp look.

                            Garrison Commander Agoram,” Muli intones irreverently, obviously upset with the Tepet, “Wanted to take the van himself. He wanted grandfather in the main attack, with me and the invalid,” he jerks at thumb at Ganan, “At home with grandmother and the Satrap.” Despite his skin of bronze, Ganan flushes, obviously flustered, “I told him that I wasn’t going to let him march into a shadowland on his own, and would accompany him in the vanguard and il a disjoncté! He said he wouldn’t put me in danger, as if I were a child. Your g- Princess suggested the compromise of father as the vanguard and me in the rear. He wasn’t happy with it, and neither am I! I am a solider mother, not a nursemaid. Melody is a medic, and she gets to fight in the front! Just because she’s a-”

                            “Winglord.” Ganan cuts his son off, “Mnemon Alinos Gracious Pealing Melody, your Aunt By-Imperial-Law, is a Winglord with two decades service to the Realm. And I support Tinkara’s plan. I am wounded, in no shape to fight an Anathema, but I am strong enough to tear through a horde of zombies. The mortals might get ambushed and we need someone strong enough to stop this necromancer turning our own troops against us – that’s you son, you may have to duel a Nephwrack… alone.”

                            “The four of us should swear.” Reya cuts in.

                            Nula nods, “Yes mother.”

                            “Agoram and I are already sworn,” Muli sulks, then grinning slyly, “But I’m sure he’d welcome you to our Hearth.”

                            Ganan looks ready to strike Muli, but Reya keeps her composure and gestures the Garrison Commander over, “Of course, only a great fool would underestimate an Anathema, or ask you to break faith right before a battle.”

                            Ganan, Reya, Agoram, Muli and Nula swear kinship as Tinkara and some of the Dovaki look on in awe and wonder.

                            As soon as the words are spoken, Reya whips up a Stormwind and ferries Ganan and her elemental bodyguard to Eletha’s haunted copse. They quickly overtake Melody’s outriders and arrive well ahead of the main column. Dead bodies hang from trees as gruesome markers of the demesne’s boarders.

                            Without pause, Ganan leaps from the Stormwind, landing by the giant bolder where he’d dueled Eletha. Reaching into the rock he pulls forth Thunder’s Crash, and edges slowly into the grove towards the twisted heart-rot tree.

                            Reya races off, circling the area in a broad sweep.

                            The trees block out most of the morning light, and Ganan’s eyes strain as they dart back and forth, covering his cautious advance... but there is no sign of the dead. His eyes sweep the trees above him, the ground beneath him. No sign of the dead, or the fey. The strange magic of the woodland is pervasive, yet somehow more oppressive than the last time he was here – the influence of death left unchecked. By the time he reaches the heart-rot tree, Reya has completed her circuit and sets down beside him.

                            “There’s no-one here. Do you think-”

                            Suddenly the tree begins to pulse. A sickly black… not a light, but not a shadow either, a radiance of anti-light seeps from the tree. The trunk makes a sound like tearing flesh as it rips open vertically, and from the black-light steps a figure.

                            “What have we here?” With a mirthless smile a young man, barely more than a boy approaches from the black-light. He’s tall, with pale skin the color of snow. His hair is spiky and jet black, for the most part, but the tips of the spikes are red, like flames. His lips are as black as his hair, and he brings his hands together in mocking applause. From his black leather belt hangs a cruel looking club, the head of which is a screaming face: the polished steel reveals smaller faces, writhing in agony within the metal. Crown of Laurels lowers its head and raises its hackles as it tucks in between its mistress and this unnatural threat. Ganan shifts his grip on his tetsubo, body tightening like a wound spring. Reya is immediately struck by how much the Anathema looks like Princess Tinkara and King Darios. The Gift of Merciful Silence continues, “You must be Cynis Ganan, I owe you a minor debt of gratitude.” The Gift gives a large theatrical bow, and raises his eyes up to Reya, still bent at the waist, “But Ragara Haseti’s killer… you I owe a debt which can only be paid with the greatest gift of all. I will repay you with merciful death.”

                            Reya unslings her axe and shield, “Ganan, we need to go.”

                            Ganan sets drives his rear foot into the ground, “Yibambe.” He intones quietly.

                            Reya, urgently now, “We can’t take him alone. We pull back. Now.”

                            The Gift raises from his bow and theatrically puts a hand to his ear.

                            Yibambe!” Ganan roars, and the Gift unslings his own war club with a casual contempt, twirling it in the air before pointing it over Ganan’s shoulder at something approaching from behind.

                            Ganan’s eyes do not move from the Anathema, but Reya turns to see a Stormwind rider approaching at speed. The dust devil gutters and dies as it draws close to Reya. Tinkara leaps from the dying winds, war club in hand to land at Reya’s side, whilst Nula remains at the core of the winds until they collapse around her. Nula is clearly wounded, black arrows jutting out from her armor, piercing her in half-a-dozen places. She falls to her knees in the dirt. Tinkara starts to speak:

                            “It’s a trap! We were ambushed-” She catches sight of The Gift and the words die in her throat, her arms drop to her sides, her mouth works up and down but no sound comes out until she chokes out what could be a name, or a question, “Oka?”

                            The Gift of Merciful Silence flinches back as if slapped, lip curling in disgust for just a moment before regaining his composure and giving another wide, mirthless smile, which seems to reveal too many pearl white teeth. “I am The Gift of Merciful Silence. But you, Princess, may address me as ‘Your Grace’.” The grass beneath the Deathknight’s feet withers and dies, extending the blight around the heart-rot tree. The taste of death is pregnant in the air.

                            Reya tries again, “Ganan, the column needs us. The children need us. We pull back. Come on.”

                            “I. Do. Not. Run.”

                            For the first time, The Gift’s eyes glint with what could be mistaken for genuine joy… and battle is enjoined.


                            Ganan: 8d (12/18m) 10i 1a Short Range -1 Wound Penalty
                            Tinkara: 5d 6i Medium Range
                            Crown: 8d (80m) 6i Medium Range
                            Reya: 4d (13/26m) 5i Medium Range
                            Nula: 4d (8/17m) 4i Long Range -2 Wound Penalty
                            The Gift: 16d (13/26m) 14i

                            Round 1


                            The Gift actives The Eye of the Tempest (12/22m, 5WP) 14i.

                            Ganan activates Earth Dragon Form (12/9m) 2a 10i.

                            Tinkara imposes herself between Ganan and The Gift, flurrying a Defend Other on Ganan with Social InfluenceOka, don’t do this! I’ll talk to the Dragons! I’ll convince them!With no applicable intimacies, the influence fails.

                            Crown of Laurels uses Defend Other on Reya.

                            Seeing no other way out, Reya moves up to Short and launches fire at the Anathema, contemptuously turned aside by the cold, soul-steel of his warclub.

                            Poison-stiffened fingers working through the mudras she learned at the Heptogram, Nula begins summoning a Stormwind Rider, gathering 3sm.


                            Round 2


                            The Gift: 5WP (16/18m) 14i
                            Ganan: 5WP (12/14m) 10i 2a Earth Aura Short Range -1 Wound Penalty
                            Tinkara: 5WP 6i Short Range
                            Crown: 6WP (80m) 6i Medium Range
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 1a Air Aura 5i Short Range
                            Nula: 4WP (12/18m) 4i Long Range -2 Wound Penalty


                            The Gift Delays to Clash. 12i.

                            Ganan explodes forward, bringing his tetsubo down in a mighty overhead swing (Smashing, Become the Hammer, Force of the Mountain, Willpower, Two-Handed, Stunt, Wound 12/8m 4WP 3a (22d+2) 14 success, Bone Shattering Deflection cancels 1 success). His anima flares into a faceless man of sand bringing a mighty two-handed smash down with the tetsubo. The Gift waits until the last moment before lashing out with his own weapon (Excellent Melee, Willpower, 9/14m 4WP, (24d+1) 11 successes). The Gift’s look of self assured confidence turns to rage as the Dragon-Blooded’s crude attack smashes aside his expert strike to know him bodily to the ground. (Ganan 18i, Gift 4i)

                            Crown moves up to Short and Defend Other’s again.

                            Tinkara flurrying a Defend Other on Ganan with Social Influenceagain Oka, just… just stay down.With no applicable intimacies, the influence fails.

                            Reya uses Hidden Secret’s Whisper (13/21m) to throw the Burning Name at the Prone, post-Clash Deathknight, who defends with Elegant Flowing Deflection (Parry 7, 9/19m). Effortlessly, the Deathknight moves in a manner quite unnatural and disconcerting as he deflects the flames. (Reya 4i, Gift 5i)

                            Nula gathers a further 3sm.

                            Ganan’s anima whips at Tinkara. (Tinkara 5i)

                            Round 3

                            Ganan: 4WP (12/13m) 18i 3a Earth Aura -1 Wound Penalty
                            Crown: 6WP (80m) 6i Short Range
                            The Gift: 5WP (14/13m) 5i
                            Tinkara: 5WP 5i
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 2a Air Aura 4i Short Range
                            Nula: 4WP (12/18m) 4i Long Range 6sm -2 Wound Penalty


                            Ganan attacks the prone Deathknight (Smashing, Become the Hammer, Force of the Mountain, Stunt, Wound 11/8m (20d)) who defends with Elegant Flowing Deflection and Excellent Melee ((14/9m) Parry 9). But misses (Ganan 17i, Gift 6i)

                            Gift Flurries a Rise From Prone (4WP, 14/7m, Success) with a Withering Attack. Easily regaining his footing, he drives his warclub down on Tinkara with a snarl, no trace of hesitation in his heart, Smashing at her (4i). The blow connects (5i), driving Tinkara to the ground. (Tinkara -2i CRASH, Gift 17i)

                            Following its mistress’s last command, Crown Defends Other.

                            Reya directs her Elemental to attack!

                            Nula gathers a further 2sm.

                            Tinkara Flurries a Rise from Prone with an attack, but misses.

                            Ganan’s anima lashes at Tinkara (1L, -0)

                            Round 4

                            The Gift: 4WP (16/10m) 17i
                            Ganan: 4WP (11/13m) 17i 3a Earth Aura -1 Wound Penalty
                            Crown: 6WP (80m) 6i Short Range
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 2a Air Aura 4i Short Range
                            Nula: 4WP (12/21m) 4i Long Range 8sm -2 Wound Penalty
                            Tinkara: 5WP -2i Crash

                            The Gift activates Hundred Razor Circle (15/6m) as Ganan launches another full power Smash (10/8m, 16i). The Gift responds with an Excellent counterattack, backed by Savage Shade Style (12/2m). Ganan Becomes the Hammer (6/8m Parry 7) and turns the Anthema’s blow aside even as The Gift of Merciful Silence uses Bone Shattering Practice (10/2m) to turn aside Ganan’s attack. (Gift 14i, Ganan 16i)

                            Crown of Laurels leaps in with a tail slam, which Gift turns aside effortlessly. Gift responds with his own attack backed by Savage Shade Style (8/2m), bashing it into its -1s (5B).

                            Reya throws flame at the Anathema (8/26m), hitting but failing to damage him (5i). Her aura flares up as a pouncing snow cat before it dissolves into a flurry of hail.

                            Nula gathers another 3sm.

                            Tinkara attacks! She misses and Gift’s counter attack hits for 4B.

                            Gift resets to 3i.

                            Ganan’s anima does not damage his allies.

                            Round 5


                            Ganan: 4WP (6/13m) 16i 3a Earth Aura (3B) -1 Wound Penalty
                            Crown: 6WP (80m) 6i (5B) -1 Wound Penalty
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 2a Air Aura 5i Short Range
                            Nula: 4WP (12/21m) 4i Long Range 11sm -2 Wound Penalty
                            The Gift: 4WP (13/2m) 3i
                            Tinkara: 5WP -2i Crash (4B) -2 Wound Penalty


                            Ganan launches his trademark attack (5/8m, 15i), but is Bone Shattered into a miss (11/2m).

                            Crown tail slams, and Gift puts a little too much faith in his resting parry. The blow connects, slipping past the Anathema’s guard. (Crown 8i, Gift 2i)

                            Reya throws out the Burning Name again, hitting for 1 damage. (Reya 7i, Gift 1i)

                            Nula gathers a further 3sm, the spell almost realised.

                            Gift gives a bitter chuckle, “It doesn’t matter. By now you’ve already lost Dragons. Your little Wyld Hunt is slain, Eletha is dead and Dovak will be mine.” He lashes out at Crown (Crown 4i, Gift 6i). The blow sets Gift up for Five Shadow Feint (One Weapon, Two Blows) (10/0m) and the Anathema attacks again, Crashing the elemental. (Crown 0i, Gift 15i)

                            Tinkara closes in again to strike with her warclub. The Gift responds with Broken Toys Riposte (we used Table Turning Reversal to model this) (4/0m). “You don’t deserve that!” The Gift snarls, spittle dripping from his face. The screaming mouth of his warclub catches Tinkara’s mid-swing, and with a twist of the wrist the princess’s warclub is torn from her grip and flung in the air. As a look of horror crosses Tinkara’s face, the Gift of Merciful Silence’s free hand lashes at the air like a serpent to snatch the weapon.

                            Ganan’s anima lashes Tinkara and Crown but deals no damage.

                            Round 6


                            The Gift: 4WP (9/0m) 15i
                            Ganan: 4WP (5/13m) 15i 3a Earth Aura (3B) -1 Wound Penalty
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 2a Air Aura 7i Short Range
                            Nula: 4WP (12/21m) 4i Long Range 14sm -2 Wound Penalty
                            Crown: 6WP (80m) 0i Crash (5B) -1 Wound Penalty
                            Tinkara: 5WP -2i Crash (4B) -2 Wound Penalty


                            The Gift (1/0m, 3WP) and Ganan Clash again (4/8m, 3W, 14i) – 15 successes to 10 sees the Deathknight breeze past Ganan’s attack. His warclubs strike the Dragon-Blooded before the mighty tetsubo can connect, badly winding him. (Ganan 8i, Gift 22i)

                            Reya throws fire at The Gift, hitting but dealing no damage to his unnatural form. (Reya 8i)

                            Nula’s Stormwind Rider whips into life, lifting her and her mother into the air. Gritting her teeth against her wounds and the poison coursing in her veins, Nula wills the Stormwind toward the Anathema.

                            Crown lashes out at the Anathema again, but its attack is deflected.

                            Tinkara Resets to Base, and Flurries Drawing the iron knife the Immaculates gave her to fend off the fey with an attack. Again the Anathema turns aside the blow.

                            Ganan’s anima slows Tinkara (2i) and rubs sand into the Elemental’s wounds (1L, 5B, -1).

                            Round 7
                            The Gift: 3WP (6/0m) 22i
                            Ganan: 3WP (4/13m) 8i 3a Earth Aura (3B) -1 Wound Penalty
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 2a Air Aura 8i
                            Nula: 4WP (12/21m) 4i Long Range -2 Wound Penalty
                            Tinkara: 5WP 3i Crash (4B) -2 Wound Penalty
                            Crown: 6WP (80m) 0i Crash (5B) -1 Wound Penalty


                            As Tinkara gains a second wind, and another Terrestrial closes in on him, The Gift of Merciful Silence gives a theatrical bow, releasing his commitment to Tinkara’s warclub (which drops to the ground with a clatter).

                            I must say this has been fun. We must do it again sometime. You can bring whatever is left of your army, and I’ll bring the puppetted corpses of your family members.”

                            The mark of The Unclean appears on his brow, and shadows seem to crawl like a wave of filth over his body. The nightmare creature disappears, melting as an immaterial shadow into the cracked earth.

                            The Dragon-Blooded and Tinkara waste no time and race to Nula’s Stormwind and they tear off back to the column at break-neck speed. Ganan banishes his weapon back into his anima. (1/13m)

                            When they reach the column the situation looks dire. The mortal troops have been slaughtered to a man, cavalry and all. The Dragon-Blooded have been corralled into a tight formation, animas blazing, as zombies flank them on all sides. Eletha is dead, standing astride a pile of corpses, yet impaled on their spears, defeated at last. The remaining Terrestrials look clearly tired and wounded.

                            Take Tinkara back to the palace.” Reya roars above the noises of battle, “This is for Dragons.”


                            Ganan and Reya leap from the Stormwind. Ganan looks for a moment, but there’s no expressions of Earth suitable to reclaim his weapon: he reaches back into his anima pulling the tetsubo back into his hands (0/11m 1a). Nula and Tinkara blaze away into the distance, as Ganan and Reya face off against the army of the dead.




                            The Keening Shriek of Mother’s Love Lost: 8i 59m 8WP Dawn of Dead Stars, Nemissary’s Ride, Short Range
                            Zombie Horde: 4i Size 5 Might 1 Magnitude 16 1WP
                            The Dragon-Blooded: 11i Size 1 Might 3 Elite Drill Magnitude 18 7WP
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 2a Air Aura 8i Short Range
                            Ganan: 3WP (0/11m) 8i 1a Earth Aura (3B) -1 Wound Penalty Short Range


                            Round 1


                            On seeing Reya and Ganan arrive, the Dragon-Blooded are invigorated. Disciplined soldiers, Ferad and Melody fight on, moving just a little quicker, hearts just a little lighter. Muli gives a great cheer, which Agoram turns into a rallying warcry. Mnemon Vidad looks on deaths door, sandwiched between his Melody’s lizard and Ferad, but even he surges forward to hack at the nearest zombie. The dead fall left and right as the Terrestrials cut them down. But the horde presses forward regardless. (Zombie Horde Magnitude 8).


                            A dead woman at the rear of the zombie mass, wreathed in the ghostly outline of plate armor turns towards Reya and Ganan. From nowhere she pulls a spectral blade which coalesces into a soul-steel daiklave. She moves like ice on hot steel, moving with a fluid grace unmatched by the rest of the zombie hoard. She smiles at the Terrestrials, mouth full of congealed blood. “Bad children must be taught a lesson.” She intones with a beguilingly gentle voice as the battle-field is plunged into unnatural darkness. (Shriek 4i 54m 7WP Dawn of Dead Stars, Nemissary’s Ride, Short Range to Battlegroups, Close to Reya)


                            Even plunged into darkness, Ganan hears the movement of the dead around him, and lashes out at Shriek’s false form (Smashing, Become the Hammer, Stillness-of-Stone Atemi, Wound Penalty). The blow drives Shriek to the ground, and dispelling the unnatural darkness. (Ganan 17i 2a, Shriek 0i Prone)


                            As Ganan swings, Reya is guided by the hidden secrets of the world to scorch the Nemissary’s form with fire. (Reya 10i, Shriek -1i)


                            The Dead rake at the Dragon-Blooded, but without Shriek to guide them they fail to gain any ground against the Exalted who start to push them back.


                            The Dragon-Blooded’s collective anima lashes the zombies.
                            Reya’s anima rages but deals no damage to Shriek.


                            Round 2


                            Ganan: 3WP (0/11m) 17i 2a Earth Aura (3B) -1 Wound Penalty
                            Reya: 5WP (13/26m) 3a Air Aura 10i
                            The Keening Shriek of Mother’s Love Lost: -1i 54m 7WP Dawn of Dead Stars, Nemissary’s Ride


                            The Dragon-Blooded: 11i Size 1 Might 3 Elite Drill Magnitude 18 7WP
                            Zombie Horde: 4i Size 5 Might 1 Magnitude 3 1WP


                            Ganan shakes off the nightmarish visions filling his mind (2WP), and strikes at the Prone Shriek (Become the Hammer, Force of the Mountain, Spirit Grounding Shout 0/2m 3a). With an amazing 15 successes on 17 dice (reroll 6s, double 10s), the Nemissary’s physical form is cut down and the disembodied ghost reduced to her -4s. (Ganan 3i, Shriek 15B, -4 wound)


                            Reya follows up with a devastating back-hand from Perdurant Vault, which puts the spirit on its last -4.


                            The Dragon-Blooded and zombies clash, the Dragons cutting a swath through the dead, animas blazing as the dead fall on all sides.


                            Shriek copies The Gift’s trick of disengaging into the earth.


                            Reya and Ganan rally with their kin, and united the Dragons fight the daylight hours away battling against the re-animated bodies of Dovak’s finest troops. By evening the last of the zombies are slaughtered and the Dragon-Blooded set the corpses on fire.


                            They trek back to Dovak in silence. Vidad walks with Melody and Ferad, who half-support, half-drag him home: the three exchange glances, and smiles, happy to be together. Melody’s lizard lumbers beside the Dragons.


                            Once back in the palace, Nula is waiting for them and the hearths split, Ferad, Melody and Vidad going one way, and our heroes the other. There is no heroes welcome.


                            Reya confronts Ganan, “You should have pulled back.”


                            Ganan’s eyes narrow at the new attack from an unexpected quarter, “My role in the attack was to attack. To engage the Anathema’s forces to draw him out, and hold him there until,” he points at the others “This rabble arrived to cut him down. I did my part, I held the line. They should have advanced.”


                            WHAT!” Nula explodes, “You saw what we faced! I was barely able to fight my way through! The Mortwrights! The zombies! You should have helped us! When I left, over half the mortals still lived – you could have saved them!”


                            I could have saved them! Because I am not weak like you! I do not run! I do my duty. Yet at every turn you fail your House. I will not be blamed for your weakness!” He accusingly points at all of them. “I followed the plan. I did my part.”

                            Tepet Agoram breathes heavily, barely keeping his anger in check, “Cynis Ganan. Plans change. We must adapt our strategy to the prevailing conditions of the battle. Stubbornly sticking to a plan as the situation changes is not a virtue. You should have pulled back.”


                            You’re wasting your breath.” Muli adds, “Father wouldn’t know tactics if his lack of them slaughtered an entire army. Oh. Wait.”


                            This is rich!” Ganan bellows, “I’ll not be lectured by a whelp fresh from his first real battle and a Tepet. I should have known better than let a Tepet plan a battle against Anathema.”


                            Let?!” Nula cries incredulously, “Agoram is in command her father, not you!”


                            Yes, the mighty Tepet Agoram who soils his britches at the mention of an Anathema. I fought the Deathknight and the Nemissary. What did you do? Weep on your knees? Watch as mere zombies slaughtered your men? House Mnemon is truly in danger if you are its future.” He looks at Muli, “You may as well marry the Tepet with my blessing and kill this Once-Great House all the faster.”


                            That’s enough Ganan.” Reya’s voice is like ice, “You have no idea what they can achieve. You are so small-minded and lacking in vision you can’t even see what is plain in front of your face.”


                            Ganan raises a fist, then lowers it. He opens his mouth, then closes it. The others breath a sigh of relief and visibly start to relax, finally allowing the day’s battle to take its toll. Muli and Nula close their eyes and turn their faces upwards, making identical expressions. Agoram looks at the ground, remembering the losses of the past. Reya’s expression softens as she looks at her husband.


                            Eventually Ganan speaks, “I see it.” His voice is low and measured, “The Hearth is shattered.”

                            [Day 7, Night]

                            Ganan spends 10XP to learn Voices on the Wind, and 8DX on Ghost-Grounding Blow.
                            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-15-2019, 03:34 PM.


                            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                            • #15
                              We were running out of time for that session so we committed the cardinal sin of grouping the Dragon-Blooded NPCs into a battle-group. I know, I know. Ideally we would have run this individually and upped the opposition to match, but it was getting late and we had to get out of the fight before Reya's next session.

                              We also tweaked the battle-group rules… a lot. And eventually gave up and narrated the fight. I also didn't keep precise notes for the second fight, but you get the gist.

                              The Gift was supposed to use Time Scything Technique to damage the whole party before fleeing... but as Tinkara was in danger of being killed by that (not the end of the world, but it would have made my STing session difficult) and there was a realistic chance of Crashing and killing the mote-less Deathknight on his first appearance, we agreed a tactical withdrawal. If you'd like to imagine that The Gift managed to get off a nova strike, that'd fit my head-canon even though it never actually happened in play.

                              Nula also has... something (Hearthstone, custom Charm, Evocation, Initiation ritual/merit) that raises her effective Essence for effects that involve manipulating the wind. We haven't nailed down the specifics (and probably won't).
                              Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-15-2019, 03:17 PM.


                              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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