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  • Lioness is probably going to be talking about Nileen or Erubian Exalted again pretty soon so I should explain a few things.

    I first made the Erubian Exalted for the Ex3 playtest, the most unique thing about them is that they sleep in sealed and fluid filled containers called coffins, caskets or sarcophagi (depending on the local custom) for an indeterminate amount of time before their exaltation takes hold. Think like the Chrysalis Grotesques of the Green Sun Princes but being stashed underground or in abandoned buildings for years at a time and tended to by cultists.

    As such their physiology and mental state is unique. Their blood has replaced with this syrup thick blue liquid that glows in their veins when they exert themselves and all Erubians can shrug off damage and heal terrifyingly fast. They’re a close match for Dragon-Blooded one on one, they lack the potential power of aura states and signature charms, also their charm tree is refined for subterfuge and assassination which can cost them the edge in a direct engagement, though they are durable enough to pose a serious problem if they’re underestimated.

    Their creator is a mystery and the divine secret society that’s harnessed the exaltations doesn’t really understand what they’re dealing with. They look at the massive amount of downtime in the sarcophagi and the impact it has on their psyches as a serious flaw in the process when that's a bit like complaining that a kintsugi bowl has cracks in it.


    success is the ability to go from one failure to the next without any loss of enthusiasm

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    • Next two characters have something in common, they were both created as moderately interesting extras who’ve grown from that role due to their significance to player characters.

      Suzu
      Originally a bandit trying to extort a toll from Impetuous Tempest on his travels, the Dawn Caste would go onto meet with her employer only to discover that “the bandit king” she worked for was a tentacled chthonic god with a penchant for collecting eyes. Including one of Suzu’s the last time she’d disappointed it.
      Tempest defeated the horror and took her with him on his adventures along with another Solar called Midnight Blooming Jasmine. The three of them would go onto be romantically linked and travel the world together until she got sick in a way she wasn’t going to recover from.
      Jasmine made a deal with certain deities in her extended family for Suzu to be prepared for Erubian Exaltation a move that would save the mortal woman’s life and in return she would return to their service. Thus, Tempest was left alone, one of the two women of his life forced to return to being the assassin her family wanted her to be and the other interred in a metal coffin where she might remain for years.

      Harmony in Life
      Perhaps the most unusual thing about Harmony is that she’s an empath who inherited her abilities from her demon mother, or that despite her lineage she ended up as a pretty devoted worshiper of the Unconquered Sun.
      Harmony first met Joyous Sky in Great Forks where she was a little star struck to meet one of the Solar Exalted and Sky took a liking to her as well, one that her lover Sesus Linarra encouraged into a romantic relationship and ultimately a three-person marriage.
      Since the circle founded Seven Sentinels Joyous Sky has been reluctant to be a central figure in the local religion, leaving her wife to be the immediate spiritual leader for the city’s largest organised faith.


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      • Due to how long this game has ran for and the fact Harmony has been there for most of it, its fun to reflect on how much she has grown. When we first met her she had a bit of trouble with how much her empathic powers were bleeding through and defining her emotional state. Early on it seemed like she always wanted what we wanted and there were concerns that it was worse than an initial power disparity because we were imposing our feelings onto her. I like that gradually over the years she has gained a mastery of this and knows where other people end and she begins.

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        • Last part of the story, just the epilogue to go.

          Relic Hunt Part 3

          Returning to Seven Sentinels in the aftermath of the Black Chase there was some lingering trepidation about the encounter with Axeman but it took second stage to the fact that Eyeblinder was potentially getting further and further away from them now.

          Tempest consults with his Lunar mate Mhambi because divination and omen reading are something of a specialty of her people the Berasad. Their camp fire had previously shown an image of what looked to be a hand reaching for a ball on the end of a chain which previously nobody had known what quite to make of but was now their best lead.

          The initial assumption was that the ball on chain was some kind of weapon like a morning star but Harmonious Jade set the record straight, explaining that what they’d seen in the fire was consistent with an Emerald Thurible a powerful demonology talisman and that the Cult of Darknesses’ Unseeing Eye had reasons to suspect that one was in Great Forks causing them to backtrack to the city in the hopes of stopping the thief in the act.

          To everyone’s surprise when they arrived in Great Forks there was a ship from the Realm in the harbour and it didn’t take much from that to discern that a group of Dragon-Blooded from House Sesus were in the city led by a very familiar face.

          There’s discussion about killing Sesus Artashakthra in retribution for the incident with Lu Zhin but her appearance in the city so close to the theft of his longfang can’t possibly be a coincidence. Sesus Linarra approaches her grandmother and is told that he tried to kill her on the way here a few days ago. She’s pretty adamant that it was him because despite her would-be assassin covering his face he had the same height, build and fighting style.

          Obviously it can’t be Lu Zhin’s reincarnation because that’s Shanishara and attempts were made to summon his ghost in the immediate aftermath of his death meaning that unless something stranger is afoot the thief has to be some kind of copycat. Though the who and why of it remain a mystery there was at least some comfort that they weren’t about to be confronted by some remnant of their friend.

          It’s concluded that Artashakthra is the target and she’s pretty content to remain in the open and play bait so that everyone gets what they want. It’s here that she reveals she’d anticipated some version of this encounter and reveals her bodyguard Ysabeau, the Heartrending Grace a serpent bodied demon of the Second Circle and Harmony in Life’s mother.

          It transpires that the reason that there was a Thurible in Great Forks was because a few decades earlier a Heptagram researcher by the name of Cynis Ebalis had liberated it before fleeing to the threshold. Eventually summoning Ysabeau and having her produce a daughter for him to continue his research into a phenomena called the universal song a superstring theory type understanding of Creation’s essence that the demon was uniquely attuned to.

          While this is going on, one of the younger Dragon-Blooded and one of Arta’s favourites decides she’d like to hit on Nileen. The advances are interrupted when a masked figure with a longfang strikes.

          He’s powerful and intent on killing the younger Dragon-Blooded, Nileen’s on her own and is a bit outmatched which is bringing back a lot of unwelcome memories of how she failed to protect her twin from assassination so long ago. Fortunately at least there’s two of them and Kalia’s no slouch but even then, Nileen is knocked aside with a mighty blow and forced to look on in horror as the spear finds its way into the Terrestrial’s stomach. Kalia narrowly avoids death (last -4 health level) and she frantically tries to get away from her attacker trailing blood across the stone floor as Nileen gets a second wind and pounces upon the would-be assassin's back and holds her garotte to his throat.

          It’s by this point that the others have heard the commotion and come to offer assistance, the assassin realising that he’s lost drops Eyeblinder. Upon being unmasked it is revealed to be Typhon whose relationship with Lu Zhin was complicated. It transpires that after stealing Eyeblinder Typhon taught it to better emulate the Night Caste and that Kalia was a secondary target after Arta and Ysabeau proved way too much to handle a few days earlier. He wanted to hurt the Sesus Matriarch if he couldn’t kill her.

          After venting their anger it became apparent that this was the Deathknight’s extremely fucked up way of handling love and grief so they reclaimed their property and let him go.


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          • And the loose ends.

            Relic Hunt Part 4, Epilogue

            Arta allowed Ysabeau to travel back with the PCs where she meets her daughter Harmony in Life for the first time since she was an infant. While her attunement to the universal song gives her a somewhat alien outlook of things she appreciates the opportunity to meet her half-human daughter.

            Shanishara learns that Harmonious Jade was sent by Lilia Lan the former Lunar PC and Eyeblinder’s creator. The two Night Castes discuss their relationships to their weapons and their previous incarnations, Jade feels that given what she knows of Golden Shadowed Arrow he would strike her down rather than let her take up Eagle’s Rain meanwhile Shani feels uncomfortable being compared to Lu Zhin especially and feels a bit inadequate surrounded by his contemporaries – for the time being at least she won’t take up the longfang in favour of forging her own destiny.

            Dreamweaver helps Tempest to speak to Suzu in her dreamstate. Initially finding her in her old family home with her parents and three brothers seemingly unaware of where she is. As the scene progresses a dark liquid on the edge of her consciousness starts to leak into the memory and take everyone away.

            It transpires that Suzu knows her situation and is so exhausted from this experience that she’s enjoying a respite where she can see her family again. They both suspect there is a course of action to be taken in order to help the exaltation finish bonding with her but are unclear what it is.

            Despite Dreamweaver offering further visits Tempest in particular fears that his interference will only slow things down.

            Meanwhile...

            Sesus Artashakthra had found the second Emerald Thurible while the PCs are distracted by Ysabeau, Typhon and Suzu and she returns to the Realm victorious. Rather than seeing it as a way to cut Mnemon out of her business she’s got an extremely ambitious idea of combining the power of the two Emerald Thuribles and the two of them ruling together. Her relationship with Mnemon has been in a tug of war for control since the start, but now she’s in ascendancy but by pushing for marriage she’s let her feelings get in the way of her goals and this could cost her long-term.

            Relic Hunt Final Scores:
            Dead Exalted 1- The Axeman died nameless, remembered simply as a Dawn Caste who lost his way. Sesus Kalia almost died at Typhon’s hands but will make a full recovery.
            PC Artifact Recovery 2- Eyeblinder was returned to Seven Sentinels and Joyous Sky and Linarra have hidden Lokeyaw in the hopes of it not ensnaring another wielder anytime soon.
            NPC Artifact Recovery 1- Artashakthra has the second Emerald Thurible but what she really wants is Mnemon.


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            • That arc had been a lot of fun, and now we're going to be going back to glorious Vorshgard soon, my Twilight received a mutant birb messenger for an audience. Look forward to Lioness putting that stuff up soon! Also Poultry Wars.


              “The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.” George Carlin

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              • Originally posted by Trax View Post
                Also Poultry Wars.
                I await the revelation that Duck Vader was An-Chicken Skyclucker this whole time!

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                • These events took place in Seven Sentinels prior to and during the Relic Hunt arc.

                  The Poultry War
                  Shortly after the Berasad caravan arrived on the outskirts of Seven Sentinels they made note of the law that prohibited the slaughter of birds within the limits of the city*. The southerners put their money together and constructed several chicken coups reasoning that they would quickly see a return on their investment through sales of meat and eggs.

                  While this was going on the former slaves from Taeron were introduced to the city and seeing the enterprising southerners making money Antonia a single mother of two boys approached Lycoris Rose a retired Guild Factor and was able to persuade her to lend money to start an ostrich farm. Antonia’s Ostriches and the Chickens of Berasad didn’t come directly to blows but as both groups were using their children to run errands it led to a situation where Antonia’s oldest son Olus struck Thandi a Berasadi girl who was trying to delay his delivery with an improvised club (an ostrich leg) this is considered by many to be the first blow of The Poultry War.

                  Thandi returned with a bruise on her arm called the attack unprovoked, pretty soon the Berasad children were harassing Olus and his brother creating the pretence that the southerners were trying to drive the former slaves out of business. The leaders of both the Taeroni and Berasad were able to successfully deescalate the situation before it spiralled out of control but there's still serious concerns how close the two groups came to violence over misbehaving children.

                  Most recently a third group came to prominence, the enigmatic Duck Faction started by a second Taeroni group who had gained their start by trapping local water fowl. While a latecomer onto the scene Duck Faction banners were displayed all over Seven Sentinels as part of a surreal marketing campaign that’s drawn a mixture of interest and annoyance from residents.

                  *This law traces its origin back to a sorcerous pact that ensures the distinctive glass towers of Seven Sentinels are not constantly fouled.
                  Last edited by Lioness; 02-23-2020, 09:07 AM.


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                  • We came back from Great Forks wondering who the hell Duck Faction were and wondering if the Sidereals had finally lost their minds.

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