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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
    Yeah, I definitely expected rebuilding the people to be an entire chapter that we'd have to play out.
    (Honestly? That didn't occur to me. In retrospect, I don't think it would have been a good idea, though - it'd be like a survival game where you start out with all the tools you normally need to craft plus inhuman resilience plus a limited ability to spawn items or creatures. Boring!

    As it is, we've montaged through about a year of in-game time, enabling us to skip to the interesting part - managing the new people, and building their perfect kingdom.

    Oh, and KB put another piece together for me - a concept for Joy of Killing!)
    Last edited by semicasual; 10-16-2015, 10:52 PM.


    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

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    • Originally posted by semicasual View Post
      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?)
      1. Perfectly fine with me. I never found it confusing. "Exalted" at times seems like an academic or formal term that some people would know and others would not. Makes sense to me. For someone not familiar with the setting, it may be more confusing, but if that's how it makes best sense to be in-character as Nergüi, then that takes priority.
      2. I enjoyed how you did this quite a bit.
      3. There are still a couple things I'm not sure about, but it may be that I just need to go back and reread.
      4. In some ways I preferred Chapter 1, but Chapter 1 also felt more like a video game with a defined set of options (it reminded me in some ways of Shadow of Mordor meets any Zelda game). The more open-ended part felt more like an interactive tabletop RPG. I think both had their strengths, even if I felt like the dramatic pacing of Chapter 1 was better.
      5. I really like your descriptions. I realize this is easier to do when writing than when verbally describing a scene at a table setting, but you made the setting come alive very well.


      "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

      "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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      • …In those early days, Youngest Joy walked among us as leader, friend, and guide to the First Hundred. Many were the blessings he showered on his children, but despite his power Youngest Joy never claimed any godhood of his own. “This world, in which I have created you, is not of my creation,” said he, “It is ruled by powers greater still than I. The gods of the earth may be capricious and greedy, while the gods of heaven may be aloof and distant. Together, they shaped a world in which all must struggle to live, and so you must be strong.”


        Chips fly off the boulder as you batter it again and again with Vortex’s rods. The metal clanging against the stone rings out for all the plains to hear. A gentle rain cools your skin, rinsing away your sweat.

        This has become your new training regimen - every morning you make a new boulder, then attack it until the boulder is in pieces. The details vary – sometimes you can crack it with Vortex or Reaching Fist. Sometimes you slice it apart with Cleaver. Sometimes you hit or throw yourself against the stone repeatedly to toughen your skin, and the stone breaks before you do. Sometimes you throw one rock at another until both are shattered. Variety keeps the exercises from becoming boring.

        Through the noise of metal on rock, you become aware of someone calling your name. Your hand snaps back and you spin around, holding Vortex in a guarded stance. First is standing about ten feet away from you. She does not react to your martial display1, but she’s gripping one hand behind her back the way she usually does when she is worried about something - which is often.2

        “[Father, we need your guidance,]” says First, satisfied that she has your attention. “[Fire Heart has seen the other people again.]”

        You take a deep breath and fight the urge to sigh at your firstborn. “[I will speak with him, after I have finished my exercises,]” you say, turning away.

        Behind you, First clears her throat. “[Fire Heart says they are coming closer each day, Father. Our kinfolk are worried, and wonder if we should make ready for war. We believe we must decide soon, but... You alone know of the other people, Father.]”

        You stop fighting the urge to sigh and relax your posture. Vortex drops from your hands into the thick grass. “[Hand me my sword,]” you order without turning around.

        A moment later, First steps to your side, holding up Cleaver in both hands. She is straining under the weight, but only a little. You grip the handle and gently pull the sword away from her. Then you raise the blade over your head and chop down straight through the boulder and into the ground. With a few hard tugs you wrench your sword free, then kick at the rock on one side of your cut. The bisected boulder makes a grinding noise as it comes slightly apart.

        “[Now I have finished,]” you say, turning to First. “[I will speak with Fire Heart.]”

        1
        None of your violet-eyed children seem at all surprised by anything you do, ever. They don’t ask you to do anything you are incapable of, either. You never had to explain to them how you could magically create life and they couldn’t, or where you got a sword that could cut through stone, or why your head would sometimes shine gold. They accept who you are without question, and you are not sure if that is only because they don’t know any better or because you made them.


        2
        First took it upon herself to explain the ways of the world to every other person you shaped, and so she became a sort of leader by default. Your children often tell their problems to her to relay to you. You hope they’ll grow out of this.



        The walk back to the village is short – the days when you could afford to leave everyone alone for long have gone. Soon, the fields, pastures, and dwellings of the Sunblessed are in sight.

        Most of your new clan live in one of four large stone barracks you erected. You have challenged them to build homes of their own, but only a few of your eldest have had the inclination and enough time to do so. Each barracks has its own well, created by you. During the day, the people rotate who will work in the fields, who will look after the animals, who will train with weapons, and who will work on making necessities for the clan. By now, everyone is going about their daily tasks.

        The Plain of Cold Springs is almost unrecognizable from what it was before. You flattened a few hills to make space for more farmland, and removed countless rocks. There is enough water to irrigate all the fields. Greenery is everywhere, and next season you expect to see a lot of fruit and flowers. It is as rich a land as any you saw in your travels – no one is likely to starve here, which by itself is a huge improvement from how things were when you were young.

        You and First find Fire Heart sitting in front of a half-built house, sitting on a rough bench. Fire Heart is your eighty-second child - a little taller than most of your children, and leaner, but he has the same eyes as the rest.3 A small hide sheet rests in his lap, and he is marking it with a piece of charcoal. Your shadow falls in front of him as you approach and he looks up expectantly.

        “[Father!]” he says at once. “[I saw six horsemen today when I was riding out in the hills. They came closer than ever before. Here…]” Fire Heart stands up, holding out the hide sheet. He has drawn a crude map on it, with some symbols marking the location of the village and several others marking places where the ‘other people’ were seen. “[I watched them for a while, and they watched back. They followed me part of the way home but broke off here,]” he points at a spot on the map about half a mile away from the village. “[What does it mean, Father? If they meant to fight, I was alone. If they meant to talk, they would have approached me. If they meant to scout, well… I would expect they would have followed me all the way back, and worked harder to hide themselves.]”

        “[Perhaps they are afraid,]” suggests First, piping up. You get the sense that she has said this before, because it sounds practiced. “[They know us not, and will not risk an approach if they think we may attack.]”

        Fire Heart shakes his head. “[I would have agreed with you, were this the first time we met the other people. But they have shown themselves many times this season, each time in slightly larger numbers, coming slightly nearer the village.]”

        You recall your own experiences with other people in the last several months. Sometimes hunters or travelers passed you by in the days when you were still practicing with the stone and making the first of your clan. You only ever saw one or two at a time wandering the steppes, some of whom were curious enough about your magic to watch you from afar, but none who dared to approach. It seems their attitudes are changing.

        “[They are testing us]”, you declare. “[To see if we are a threat. We have made no move against them, and so they are getting bolder. Not yet bold enough to raid us, perhaps…]”

        “[Well, then, we should fortify the village!]” exclaims First. “[We can build walls around the dwellings, or perhaps further out to enclose some of the gardens and pasture…]”

        “[No, we should challenge them, before they come close enough to see all our numbers],” interrupts Fire Heart. “[I can go out with… ten, I think, warriors and horses. We will patrol the hills and chase the other people when next we see them. If they know we will fight to keep them off our land, they will stay away.]”

        “[I will decide],” you break in, before First can argue. Both she and Fire Heart immediately become quiet and look at you expectantly.

        What will you decide?
        • Fortify the village: With the Stone, it would be an easy (if tedious) task to raise a wall around the village. The defenses will allow you to take further action from a place of strength.
        • Launch defensive patrols: Your horse herd is small and your people are not many, but you have trained them well and they are battle-ready. A small show of force should suffice to keep would-be raiders away.
        • Send an envoy: The easiest way to know what the other people want is to ask. You should go yourself, since you have the most experience with diplomacy.
        • Wait and see: The strangers have not attacked you yet, and your presence in the steppes has been known more than a year. If they do fear you, then maybe it is best to give no sign of hostility and let them approach first.
        • Something else?
        3
        You’ll never tell anyone this, but you think the last twenty or so children you made are made better than the first. They’re slightly stronger, cleverer, and more independent.
        Last edited by semicasual; 11-19-2015, 01:43 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

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        • Send an Envoy.

          Our children are not ready for war. If they are to grow into a true people, they need to not react "other people" in fear.


          I write things.

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          • Send an Envoy.

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            • You've been creating and breaking stones for a while with the intent of exercises and having the village use them for building. Now there is incentive to use it if not for the purpose you originally intended.
              Have the Sunblessed Fortify the village. Make sure to have people stand guard.(they do have weapons, right?)
              Meanwhile you can Go as an Envoy to find out what they want.


              Hi, I'm Smiles With Fangs. I backed Exalted 3rd edition, but I can't make the image I have smaller so here's a kitten

              I made some Liminal Charms here I made some Evocations for Wood Dragon's Claws here I'm working on a splat for the Moonsilver Warriors here

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              • Go as envoy, but bring a small group of the children with you. They need to be exposed to other people at some point, might as well start small.

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                • Originally posted by WarDragon View Post
                  Go as envoy, but bring a small group of the children with you. They need to be exposed to other people at some point, might as well start small.
                  I vote for this one.


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

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                  • Go as an Envoy, but have the Sunblessed fortify the village. They need to learn to build things anyway.

                    The people are not at all ready for war, but I must be wary. The southerners may try to slaughter everyone again if they think they have the advantage.


                    EDIT: Bringing vulnerable children is too dangerous. How old are the grandchildren anyway? Infants?
                    However, I should bring an adult, if I have taught any of them the southern tongue. Pick which ever person seems best made for learning diplomacy -- cool-headed, smart, clever, even-tempered, able to hold their own in a fight, brave but not foolhardy, well-spoken. Warn them that outsiders must not hear of my blessing or powers, or how the Sunblessed were born.
                    Last edited by Erinys; 10-20-2015, 11:51 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 name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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                    • Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                      EDIT: Bringing vulnerable children is too dangerous. How old are the grandchildren anyway? Infants?
                      Several of the First Hundred have children, and many more are pregnant. Only a few of the second generation are old enough to walk.


                      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

                      Comment


                      • Go as an Envoy - waiting as well as defensive patrols might both lead to violence. We have seen enough of that and we know what it does to people. No need the introduce our children to it so early.
                        We could take First (if everybody comes to her for problems, she should be trained in these kind of things) and Fire Heart (he might make for a good leader for times when we are away somewhere)...

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                        • Originally posted by WarDragon View Post
                          Go as envoy, but bring a small group of the children with you. They need to be exposed to other people at some point, might as well start small.
                          This for me too.


                          "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                          "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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                          • Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                            Several of the First Hundred have children, and many more are pregnant. Only a few of the second generation are old enough to walk.

                            The children that have been born (not created by the Stone of Making) thus far are toddler age or under. After spending a week with a two year old, the last thing you want at your first diplomatic talks is a two year old.

                            (Just realized you meant "Children" as "Sunblessed" people. It's kind of confusing (I used the term "our children" myself. I'll start referring to the people created by the Stone of Making as "the People" or the "Sunblessed". )
                            Last edited by wonderandawe; 10-21-2015, 04:49 PM.


                            I write things.

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                            • ((Yeah, people who voted to bring "children" what do you mean by that word? I took it to mean the infants and toddlers.))


                              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 name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors

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                              • Yes, by "children" I meant the Sunblessed as a whole.

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