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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • 1 Make somthing new
    Make a living monument (a breed of horses)
    Restore my people, but assisted by the stone, not literally creating people from our own memory.

    A good way to start this creating something new/we are more than killing people, would be to make something (that is not death and destruction) out of the blob. It would be a significant change in the way we deal with things

    Also, look at the exalted fan collection that we are making.


    • Ah, is Nuo daughter of the river god? Marry her and create sea horses! River sea-horse tribe! Wander up and down the river, collecting tolls on the river traffic...... (Her) dad will be so proud.

      Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
      An Exalt is never unarmed.


      • Do not marry her. She's got a fish face.

        (If we're going to build something, we might as well try to revive the culture of the steppe clans.)


        • Next post comes on Monday, folks. The cutoff for further discussion approaches.

          On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

          Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz


          • My vote is for making a living monument to my people via an awesome breed of horses.

            I write things.


            • You need the stone to start over.

              You can make a new land, rich with water, game, and good soil. There will be a new people to tend it and live long in harmony with the gods. They will command noble animals to bear their burdens and guard their homes, and no one who is willing to work will starve. They will have all the tools they need to work the earth, build high houses, and make war on their enemies.

              It was the destiny you were promised would be yours if you could seize it from those who already held it. You can make Ganzorig’s perfect world real with your own hands… almost. Ganzorig is gone along with his dreams and everyone who followed them. You cannot bring them back, but you can still surpass them. Even better, you can create a monument to them in the form of the ideal kingdom they wanted.

              As these thoughts pass through your mind, you look into Nuo’s eyes. She looks confused, worried. She would not understand – she may already think you are mad. Perhaps you are, but right now you would rather be mad than go back to how things were.

              “I need it to clean up,” you say, telling a lie that has enough truth in it to be believable, especially since it is a truth she would want to hear. “That… thing… where the Ryuunosuke estate was has to go.” Erasing the blot on the land might also give you more insight into how the Stone works. You always thought the best way to learn was by doing.

              Nuo relaxes, but only partway. “…that is fair. Alright, Nergüi, I will trust that you know what you’re doing.” She absently tugs on her sheet. “Godsblood, I need to get off the street. I’ll see you later.”

              You put on your last set of good clothes and pack up the rest of your possessions. Next, you hit up the banker to empty your account and take away all the silver you can carry. Some of that money goes to paying off Jian and others, some goes to replacing armor and weapons, and some is spent on a mare, cart, and supplies for what you assume will be a long journey. This is a choice you will regret, as it turns out later that it will take several days to entirely clear the chaotic blot.

              You approached the blot with your tiny baggage train in tow, thinking you would simply erase it like you did your wall and be on your way. However, the rate at which the unshaped matter drains into the stone is slow, and you have to take frequent breaks because you are unaccustomed to concentrating on magic for long periods of time. By the time the sun has set, the blot has shrunk by a quarter of a mile, at most.

              Nuo comes to visit late in the day. She tells you that she has taken steps to ensure that you are not disturbed while you work without specifying what those steps were. Sure enough, the fields are clear of workers or gawkers, but you still try to restrain your Mark – caution for caution’s sake. That and the concentration needed to work the Stone exhaust you mentally.

              Instead of going home, you camp out in the field that night and resume “cleaning” the next morning, going on until the evening. So it goes for the day after that and the day after that, with breaks to rest, eat, or exercise so you do not go mad from staring at a shiny rock every waking moment.

              Eventually, the blot is gone. In its place is a mid-sized lake – it seems the blot consumed the earth underneath the Ryuunosuke estate, leaving a large bowl that the Green river now flows into. Whether this is an outcome the people of Eight Roads will be happy with stopped being a concern for you long before.

              You sit, crosslegged at the edge of the new lake, pondering plans while your horse drinks. Nuo is there too, standing behind you – she came by to check on you once each day. You did not talk much then, but today she breaks the pattern.

              “Well, you’ve finished,” she says, stating the obvious. “I assume now you’ll be moving on?”

              You nod, and answer a question with a question. “What about you? What will you do now?” 1

              She closes her eyes and shakes her head. “…Start trying to find a new position, I guess.” Nuo sighs. “Some people in this town still owe me favors. I’ll find a place, I’m sure.”

              You turn to face her and try to make an encouraging smile. “Maybe you should be the next Grand Magister?”

              Nuo gives a short chuckle. “Godsblood, no. I spent enough time behind the man with that job to know I don’t want it. No… I think, maybe, I’ll travel south. I know some people in Nexus who might appreciate my talents.”

              “Mmm. Good luck with that. I’m headed back north – I think it’s time for me to return to the homeland.”

              An awkward silence stretches out between you – a blank space in which either one of you could change their mind and follow the other, but neither of you offers or asks.

              “I suppose this is goodbye, then,” says Nuo, finally.

              “I suppose so,” you answer, standing up. You give Nuo a firm handshake, and then you part ways.

              The question has two purposes. First, it directs the conversation away from your future plans. Second, you are curious about what one does after they have taken revenge. Most of the stories you know don’t talk about what comes after, assuming the hero is still alive.

              You follow the river north instead of taking the road. You pass by a few small townships on your way, but do not stop in any of them. You are not sure who might remember you, and want to avoid reigniting old conflicts. Where you can, you circumvent settled places entirely. Lacking resupply, you eventually run out of food. Progress further north gets slower as you need to stop and forage, but you get by.

              You reach the Plain of Cold Springs late in Descending Earth. The place looks very different from how you remember it. A low mist covers a land of rocks, dirt, and the odd shrub. It seems a poor place to found a kingdom, but it is the place you chose. You unhitch the horse, set up your tent, and get to work.

              You start with simple things, small things, things that are only made with one element when possible. You master making rocks within the first day and are able to light your campfire with the Stone that night. After about a week, you can make pieces of dead plants – roots, mostly, along with the odd shoot. These become your main diet, and the horse’s diet, for the remainder of Earth.

              With larger and more elaborately shaped stones, you build a better shelter for yourself. With more work on wood and metal, you also make assorted tools to aid in survival on the steppes. In mid-Ascending Wood, you manage to make a well – a simple pit in the earth from which water can be drawn, and the water is good to drink.

              The weather gets warmer as Wood goes on, and plantlife more abundant. Using these plants as models, you start work on producing living things. From mosses, to grasses, to flowers, to fruit-bearing bushes, you learn the ways of planting one species at a time. Your diet improves considerably, as does the horse’s. Eventually all of the Plain of Cold Springs is a garden.

              Creating animals is harder. Your first few attempts are mangled, dead creatures that you do not dare risk eating. The horse shies away from the bodies until you burn them. Eventually, you do manage to produce some live fowl, which are added to your daily meals.

              Next come dogs – healthy, but feral. Lacking the time or patience to tame them, you let them roam wild. Later experiments give you a small pack of loyal, but untrained hunting hounds. These, too, you let roam free, but they always come back to you.

              You make a stallion, and he mates with your mare in Ascending Fire. The mare shows signs of being pregnant later in the season, which you take as a good omen. Plans to make a herd are made and put on hold until you have people to take care of them.

              Near the Dark Days, you realize you have not had a drink in months. Many times you thought about making wine, but there always seemed to be something more important to do or something that you needed to be sober for.

              You finally feel ready to start your real work, the purpose you have been preparing for, at the end of Fire. Still, you force yourself to wait, not wanting to begin during the inauspicious Dark Days. You pass the week making rats and training the hounds to kill them and bring them to you. Then, on the first day of the new year, you make the first woman of your new people.

              You spend the better part of the day meditating on the stone, determined that you will make a true human on the first try. You visualize her in every detail, focusing especially on the shape of her mind – part of you fears you may make a soulless husk, but at least you can be sure it will not be brainless.

              She comes into being like a baby - naked and feet first. The swirling vortex of energies created by the stone form into pink toes that rest on the blankets you laid out on the cold ground. Arches, heels, and legs follow. She is a bit skinnier than you meant her to be, but as the rest of her takes shape she is fully grown and looks healthy enough. Her skin shows no signs of weathering – not that you meant for there to be any, but you wonder if you should add that for her future siblings. Thick black hair, like your own, pours down over her face and shoulders.

              The newborn woman flops onto the blankets and immediately starts shivering. First she crosses her arms, then picks up a blanket and wraps it around herself. With a sigh, she pulls the hair out of her face, and then freezes upon seeing you for the first time.

              You sit on a shaped stone bench in front of her, holding the stone in one hand and watching her carefully. Now that her eyes are open and turned on you, you notice that her irises are a vivid shade of purple – another mistake on your part, or an inevitable part of the Stone’s magic?

              “[Greetings. Do you understand my speech?]” you ask, desperate for an affirmative.

              “[Y-yes]”, says the newborn, speaking the word slowly as though it were unfamiliar to her. “[I… know, but I know not how I know.]”

              “[Fear not]”, you say, standing up. Your heart is soaring. “[I will teach you all I know. What is your name?]”

              The newborn looks lost. “[I… have no name. Do you have a name?]”

              “[I am called…]” you say, then pause. After a tiny hesitation, you press on, determined to follow this path to its end. “[…Youngest Joy. I am your father and creator, and I name you… First.]”2

              “[First]”, repeats First. She nods and smiles.

              “[Come, First. We shall make you a shelter, and find you food. Tomorrow you must fend for yourself, as I have many more of our people to make.]”

              ”Ehknii.” Not your most creative choice, perhaps, but it will serve. You’ll come up with more proper names for the rest.

              …and so it was that with Power and Will made manifest through the holy relic, our father-creator made the First Hundred – one man or woman each day for one hundred days, each one being raised by the ones who came before. And when he was finished, Youngest Joy bade the Hundred come unto him, and said: “I shall teach you all I know, and then you shall know all you need to thrive in this world.” And so he taught them of forage and hunting, and how to tame the wild beasts; of the ways of the Gods and the sacred art of Writing; how to build houses and how to farm, and the many ways of war. And in the first year, the First Hundred begat the Second Generation, and so our people began to thrive… - Excerpt from Histories of the Sunblessed Clan

              (I hope you enjoyed reading that – this is probably the longest writing project I’ve ever done. After about 3 months on From Out of a Dream, I have about 120 pages of draft text and notes. It’s been quite a trip!

              I do intend to keep writing, if for no other reason than to keep my creative muscles sharp, but at this point I don’t really know what the update schedule is going to be like. I’m committing myself to one post a week, at minimum.

              With a second chapter down, it’s time once again for you all to tell me how I’m doing, particularly in these areas:
              1. Not using the “E” word: I decided early in this project that I would try as hard as I could not to use the same setting terminology that the books do, because why the heck should a semi-nomadic soldier know what the word “Exalted” means, let alone understand that he is one? This extends to talking about all kinds of magic and character abilities. My question is – do you feel like you know well enough what is happening without my relying on the common language of the game?
              2. Action movie clarity: When doing fights and other stuff, I like things to be comprehensible enough that you can easily visualize events. Sometimes I try to describe situations that would be sensorialy overwhelming or confusing, but I still want those to be clear enough to generally understand the action. So, how am I doing?
              3. Character building: By now you know as much about Nergüi as I do, assuming you read all the spoiler texts. Does it all make sense, or do you feel like there isn’t enough information to put the pieces together?
              4. Storytelling Style: Chapter 1 was essentially a short dungeon crawl. Some enemies, some puzzles/traps, and a boss fight at the end. Chapter 2 was much more exploratory, and I wonder what you make of that.
              5. Something else?: Any other problems, concerns, or particular compliments I should be made aware of?)
              Last edited by semicasual; 11-03-2015, 11:33 AM.

              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

              Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz


              • It worked!

                I'll admit, I was very worried that Wyld Shaping or whatever we just did would result in soulless husks, sickly mutants, or temporary homunculi that dissolved at sunrise. Our character has entered a much more hopeful time.
                1. Not using the “E” word: This has worked beautifully. I feel like I understood what was happening most of the time, and when I didn't, it was because Nergui didn't either. Writing in this way really helped separate OOC knowledge from the IC perspective on the ground -- how Nergui views his world, what he knows and believes and understands.
                2. Action movie clarity: I haven't had a problem with this.
                3. Character building: I seem to mostly have a feel for him. He felt very unsympathetic at the beginning, but felt more rounded as you revealed more. Slowly revealing a character that you had already developed so much about, without a lot of input from us, has been interesting -- it's a challenge to try to RP in character!
                4. Storytelling Style: I enjoyed Ch. 2 more.
                5. Something else?:THE KUKLA IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!

                I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.


                • 1. You definitely got the gist of things through without using "the E word." Having a different vocabulary is a good way of changing things up.
                  2. Descriptions are fine, I was seldome confused about what was happening.
                  3. Nergui seems more or less a coherent personality.
                  4. Classic way of easing players in, worked well enough here.


                  • I did not expect the plains to be completely empty. Maybe Ganzorig gathered all of the clans, but were all killed? What of the two on the cart that were taking drugged protagonist away? What about skulkers that hid from Ganzorig? Nobody escaped the battle, none at all? It's been a century or three, I had expected a small clan to dominate and lead to prosperity.

                    That said, I am fine with what you are doing. Nergui got off the sauce, once he had a goal, and is changed to Youngest Joy, a leader and a builder as opposed to a butcher and destroyer. This will be much more difficult.

                    Like my Avatar? Courtesy of Jen! : Anybody want their characters to be experimented on ? post 98
                    An Exalt is never unarmed.


                    • OOC:
                      My impression was that the southerners hunted down and killed every single person, down to the last infant.
                      Also Nergui said he's less than a century old, and there were old geezers who recognized him as a northern steppe "barbarian" at that one restaurant. I guess he's 70 to 90.

                      And he's gone back to being Otgonbayar now, and stopped drinking, so he must feel a lot better about his life.
                      Let's not kid ourselves though, he's still going to kill lots of people whenever the Sunblessed Clan goes to war. Or as soon as those damn Immaculate monks show up since apparently Lookshy is nearby.
                      Last edited by Erinys; 10-13-2015, 10:44 AM.

                      I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                      Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.


                      • Originally posted by L'het'esh View Post
                        This will be much more difficult.
                        (Oh, certainly. After all, to keep this game interesting, now I need to come up with problems that you can't solve by throwing infinite resources at them!)

                        On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                        Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz


                        • Well they don't all have to be disasters... how about interpersonal problems among the new Clan?
                          I mean, they're bound to have some problems. The First Hundred didn't even have childhoods.

                          Did all of them have weird eyes, or just First?

                          I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                          Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.


                          • I am very much enjoying this quest. Please continue it!

                            1. You are doing a great job with describing Exaltation without using the 'E-word'. I also love Nergui's culture and how out of his element he is in town.

                            2. The action scenes are great. Though to be honest, when I am in a hurry, I only skim the action scenes, but I do that in everything I read. (It's a bad habit I need to stop, if I am going to write more action oriented stories. )

                            3. Nergui is a great character and I enjoy reading about his and his culture. One of the aspect of Exalted I always liked was the "Exotic peoples and Locations" and you definitely displayed that well in your writing.

                            4. I liked chapter 2 better than chapter 1, personally. But I enjoy reading social interaction between characters than brain teasing puzzles.

                            5. I've always had this fear that Nergui would turn into a Murder Hobo, but I think you skirted the line of a violent mercenary well without making him a psychopath.

                            I write things.


                              1. Not using the “E” word: It feels a bit awkward at times, but there are no issues of clarity.
                              2. Action movie clarity: I think it could be interesting to have some more visceral fighting scenes. Of course, Nergüi clearly has an abundance of Awareness Charms, so...
                              3. Character building: Well, I still don't know if this is before or after Realm Year 768, but I'm not sure that matters very much. I'm loving the footnotes.
                              4. Storytelling Style: Chapter 1 was lacking for characters to interact with, mostly. Shouldn't be a problem in the future.
                              5. Something else?: The whole... recreating the steppe people thing went a lot faster than I expected. As in, I expected it to be the next chapter rather than the end of Chapter 2. That's not necessarily negative, though.
                              Last edited by The MG; 10-17-2015, 06:08 PM.


                              • Yeah, I definitely expected rebuilding the people to be an entire chapter that we'd have to play out.

                                I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                                Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.