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From Out of a Dream [Quest]

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  • Keep the pearl for yourself. If our children will end when they die, we need to save them from that fate. If this pearl will give us status in the spirit courts, then we will need it.

    Though, it may be a good idea to keep the traders around. If we need to bargain for our children's souls then we need someone with experience with bargaining.

    (I'm guessing the water goddess we freed from the Stone of Making Temple)


    I write things.

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    • I'm expecting some great suggestions about this, but I am definitely AGAINST Giving the merchants the pearl. Of the options presented, we should Keep the pearl for yourself. We should ask Silver Sky if this "Dream-pearl" will aid us when we talk with the Gods who govern Death for the souls of the Sunblessed.


      I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
      I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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      • Something else
        1. Learn god-speak from the shaman. Have 4-5 of the Sunblessed learn as well. This should take long enough that the situation with the Wanderers should stabilize on peace and quiet. If not, whatever happens will happen soon.
        2. Tell the southerners that they will have to leave in a week if they can not pull their weight. If they can learn to do something useful, they can stay.
        3. Go to Nexus and seek the Gods of Death (sounds like a movie title) in Nexus. Take one or two of the god-speaking Sunblessed with, so the gods may see what you are talking about. Take the Pearl with, in case it impresses anybody, or may be used in trade (ie bribe).
        The Pearl is from the half-god fish-face's father, the god of the river that passes Eight Roads.



        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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        • Keep the Pearl. It's a sign of esteem from a powerful god, it would be rude to discard it. We'll need every edge we can get in these negotiations.

          Learn the gods' tongue from Silver Sky. Ask the merchants for lessons in bargaining. That will give them something definitely useful to do while looking for another way to pull their weight.

          Also, this may be a long shot, but see if Silver Sky would be willing to look for an apprentice among the Sunblessed. It's clearly past time we had a shaman of our own.

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          • "Sügaka," you think aloud, remembering one word that the eel had spoken several times. "[I saved the river-god's daughter, once. And I restored the river when a hole in the world was driven through it.]"

            "[Did you, now?]" says Silver Sky, without a hint of surprise. "[That is better cause than most to give you a boon, I expect.]"

            "[Could I use this to negotiate with the gods?]"

            The shaman shakes his head. "[Perhaps the gods of the earth would take note. But the gods of the heavens, and in particular the gods of death, will not be moved by such things. They care for little beyond their domains.]" His eyes meet yours. "[So, then, you intend to go?]"

            "[I have no choice,]" you answer. "[May we begin lessons tomorrow?]"

            Silver Sky describes a "lesson plan" to give you basic proficiency in gods' tongue over the course of a month. With no other options available, you agree. Afterwards, you return to the campfire and the waiting traders.

            "You've got one week," you announce from behind them, without any warning.

            Both Kun and Ling give a start. They turn to look at you and begin speaking at the same time. "One week?" "What-"

            "One week," you continue, talking over them, "to find a use for yourselves in the village. You can start by teaching me about bargaining and negotiation. If you don't find a place, you'll be turned out. Understand?"

            The two of them look at each other, and then back to you. "May we have a moment to confer?" asks Kun. You make a noncommittal gesture, and they turn away from you and start whispering.

            "Do you think we can refuse?" asks Kun.

            "Maybe, but should we?" answers Ling.

            "Do you really want to stay here, doing manual labor in the middle of the wilderness among strange people whose language we don't speak?"

            "...it would be a good place to hide from creditors, love."

            "Right now I'm less worried about creditors than I am about the sorcerer-chieftain who might kill us on a whim, dear."

            "He hasn't, yet. If nothing else, we can have a week to think it over."

            "[Father?]" A voice at your side breaks your concentration. You look away from the hushed conversationalists to see First waiting for you, gripping one arm behind her back.

            "[Yes, First?]"

            "[Red Songbird has said she will leave. She is gathering her belongings and means go from here with her daughter at once.]"

            You shrug. "[I did say that any who came here would be free to leave. Let her go.]" Then you pause, noticing some incongruities. "[At once? You mean, tonight, on foot, alone, without taking a horse?]"

            First shakes her head. "[Not alone. A messenger from the Wanderers arrived today, soon before you came back. She will ride with him.]"

            Before you can ponder First's answer, Kun and Ling return from their conference.

            "We'll stay and teach what we can," says Kun.

            "For the week," adds Ling.

            "Alright," you reply. "[First, put them up in Red Songbird's place for now.]"

            "[Yes, Father.]"


            When he had finished passing on his teachings, Youngest Joy left the First Hundred to complete their creation - to see them acknowledged by Heaven. His journey would take him to the sacred place of the gods, there to become as one of them, and he would never again walk among the Sunblessed. - Excerpt from the Histories of the Sunblessed Clan

            (Well, folks, it's the end of another chapter. And now it's time for another post-chapter autopsy questionnaire.

            1. Languages. Through the whole game, I've tried to make languages distinct from each other - not just by tagging them with brackets or what have you, but by using slightly different mannerisms, vocabulary, and contractions. This has the dual purpose of making different tongues actually sound different, and to give you an idea of Nergüi's/Youngest Joy's proficiency in each of them. If I had the patience, I'd probably go back and remove every use of the "to be" verb from the Steppe Peoples' speech, but other than that, how am I doing?

            2. Trying not to be sexist, really! The bit about gathering up women for child-rearing services wasn't originally part of any plan. It sorta goes against what I've been trying to do otherwise, giving female characters significant roles wherever I could swing it. Even so, I tried to make it tasteful and logical within the context of the strange, magical, pre-industrial society in which this story occurs. So... no hard feelings?

            3. Opposition. This chapter was little different from the others in that the main character was never really in danger from anything. Instead, his personal goals and the tiny society he was building were threatened by the actions of other characters in the environment. This approach gives room for a lot of character development, but I can't really tell how much dramatic tension it generated....

            4. Life goes on without you. Another goal I've worked at is making the world seem alive, mostly by making sure other characters in the story operate on their own schedule and will do things whether the players are able to observe them or not. If I've been doing this right, you all should sometimes get blindsided by events that you did not expect but which, in retrospect, you might have predicted. Otherwise, the game either gets boring because you know everything that's going to happen or you feel like you have no control over what's going on.

            5. Final Boss? The last big challenge in this game wound up being a kind of a debate instead of a violent struggle. I'd like to know what you thought of it.

            6. Other Stuff. Any comments you'd like to add about my writing style, story pacing, where the plot is going, or any other subject? Are you entertained?)
            Last edited by semicasual; 02-29-2016, 06:41 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.

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            • I was entertained, or I would have stopped reading and posting. The rest will require some more thought than I can spare at the moment.

              Please keep the thread going.


              er, a messenger from the wanderers? Shouldn't that have required attention? Perhaps a visitor, who came to see a sister would have been easier. But no sympathy for red birdie, she choose safety over her man and wound up with neither. If she had stayed with the Wanderers perhaps Grimm Hammer would be alive.


              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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              • Originally posted by semicasual View Post

                1. Languages. Through the whole game, I've tried to make languages distinct from each other - not just by tagging them with brackets or what have you, but by using slightly different mannerisms, vocabulary, and contractions. This has the dual purpose of making different tongues actually sound different, and to give you an idea of Nergüi's/Youngest Joy's proficiency in each of them. If I had the patience, I'd probably go back and remove every use of the "to be" verb from the Steppe Peoples' speech, but other than that, how am I doing?
                Shit, I didn't notice this. I'll have to go back and reread.

                Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                2. Trying not to be sexist, really! The bit about gathering up women for child-rearing services wasn't originally part of any plan. It sorta goes against what I've been trying to do otherwise, giving female characters significant roles wherever I could swing it. Even so, I tried to make it tasteful and logical within the context of the strange, magical, pre-industrial society in which this story occurs. So... no hard feelings?
                It didn't feel out of place. I'm not sure if it is because I've been culturally desensitized to such things or Nergui isn't the most Politically Correct character. I've had some problems with Male Female balance in Hero. It doesn't help that the two Elders that the quest character deals with the most are male.


                Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                3. Opposition. This chapter was little different from the others in that the main character was never really in danger from anything. Instead, his personal goals and the tiny society he was building were threatened by the actions of other characters in the environment. This approach gives room for a lot of character development, but I can't really tell how much dramatic tension it generated....
                I did feel a little like a chicken with their head cut off running around from emergency to emergency. Yet, I liked the way it turned out. I was a bit scared when Nergui was walking around with the Wyld Hearthstone. That is almost infinite power, how can you challenge him? You rose to the occasion and dealt with that aspect very well. When your character is nigh invincible, you have to go after those they care about.


                Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                4. Life goes on without you. Another goal I've worked at is making the world seem alive, mostly by making sure other characters in the story operate on their own schedule and will do things whether the players are able to observe them or not. If I've been doing this right, you all should sometimes get blindsided by events that you did not expect but which, in retrospect, you might have predicted. Otherwise, the game either gets boring because you know everything that's going to happen or you feel like you have no control over what's going on.
                Sometimes there was no perfect option and I liked this in hindsight. (At the point of decision, I'd gnash my teeth and curse you, Nergui, and the Sunblessed). You have to weigh your choices and do the best you can.

                Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                5. Final Boss? The last big challenge in this game wound up being a kind of a debate instead of a violent struggle. I'd like to know what you thought of it.
                My favorite part of the whole chapter. It took me a while to get a handle on Youngest Joy, who at times seemed like an entirely different person than Nergui. It wasn't until the post leading up to this Grim Hammer's Raid and Challenge that I felt that Nergui grew and learned from his experiences.

                Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                6. Other Stuff. Any comments you'd like to add about my writing style, story pacing, where the plot is going, or any other subject? Are you entertained?)

                Pacing was sort of uneven until the end. That may have been because I was busy and couldn't devote time to thoroughly read some of the posts in the middle of the chapter. Once you got all the plot elements out there, pacing got better.

                Nergui almost seemed like a different character at the beginning of the chapter. I saw little of the drunken mercenary from the previous chapters. I'm unsure if that is because of character growth during the time skip or if Nergui was just acting how he thought a chef would act.

                The Sunblessed annoyed me, but not because they were bad characters. They were so blank and helpless, which is what you would expect from naive fresh from the Wyld creation. The Wanderers were well developed. Silver Sky is my favorite character in this chapter, if not the whole quest. I'll be sad to see him go.

                Am I entertained? Very much so! I can't wait to go deal with corrupt gods in the next chapter!
                Last edited by wonderandawe; 02-29-2016, 09:12 PM.


                I write things.

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                • If I'm quiet on something, it's because I'm genuinely unsure about the best choice; take that as a great compliment, because it means I'm emotionally invested in your story. Very much enjoying it so far, and I didn't think anything was out of line with sex roles or languages or the debate.

                  Wow, that's a bit of a sudden departure accompanied by ominous foreshadowing, though... I didn't realize we'd never be coming back!

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                  • OOC:
                    Never come back? Yikes!!
                    Though we are going to Yu-Shan, as a non-Eclipse Solar, which is almost certainly a death sentence.

                    Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                    1. Languages. Through the whole game, I've tried to make languages distinct from each other - not just by tagging them with brackets or what have you, but by using slightly different mannerisms, vocabulary, and contractions. This has the dual purpose of making different tongues actually sound different, and to give you an idea of Nergüi's/Youngest Joy's proficiency in each of them. If I had the patience, I'd probably go back and remove every use of the "to be" verb from the Steppe Peoples' speech, but other than that, how am I doing?
                    I didn't notice as much as I should have, but I greatly appreciate it when writers try to do this. Kudos.

                    Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                    2. Trying not to be sexist, really! The bit about gathering up women for child-rearing services wasn't originally part of any plan. It sorta goes against what I've been trying to do otherwise, giving female characters significant roles wherever I could swing it. Even so, I tried to make it tasteful and logical within the context of the strange, magical, pre-industrial society in which this story occurs. So... no hard feelings?
                    Nergui/Otgonbayar does tons of things I don't approve of. Like, nearly every decision he ever makes causes me to wince as I vote for it.

                    Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                    3. Opposition. This chapter was little different from the others in that the main character was never really in danger from anything. Instead, his personal goals and the tiny society he was building were threatened by the actions of other characters in the environment. This approach gives room for a lot of character development, but I can't really tell how much dramatic tension it generated....
                    It felt tension-y to me. And now we're leaving the Sunblessed to fend for themselves when I'm certain they can't, and the Wanderers will take advantage of or maybe destroy them. At least Silver Sky maybe cares a little about their welfare, when I expected him to not care or want them eliminated to force Otgonbayar to only help Wanderers.

                    I don't really have anything to say to answer other questions. I hope you continue this quest.
                    /OOC


                    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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                    • (I certainly will continue it. But before I start the next chapter, here's a bit of artwork I hoped to show a while back, but ah well... A map of Eight Roads!)


                      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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                      • (Ok. I am writing the first post for the next chapter. But first, I want to make sure I have all the feedback I'm going to get. I also want to know if there is anything from chapter 3 you want to follow up on before you leave.)


                        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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                        • I'm good for now


                          I write things.

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                          • One thing I learned in gaming is you can never follow up abandoned threads/plotlines. We'll come back one day never happens, other things come up.
                            Move along! Next! Let my enthusiasm be positive feedback that I like the way things have been handled.
                            Last edited by L'het'esh; 03-09-2016, 12:33 AM.


                            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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                            • It was with Power, Will, and Purpose combined that Youngest Joy departed, and the First Hundred did not fear for him. And it was Power, Will, and Purpose that Youngest Joy left to the First Hundred, so he would not fear for them. So blessed, each began their own journey...



                              The following month seems to pass too slowly and too quickly at the same time. It feels slow because you are eager to leave - you have a growing sense that you do not have a day to waste, with your children's souls on the line. It feels too quick because of how the days pass, with all your waking hours dedicated to preparations of one kind or another and seemingly not enough time for everything you need to do.

                              Silver Sky's lessons take precedence over everything else. Learning gods' tongue is challenging, at first - you have to learn the rules of speech, a dozen new sounds that your tongue had never shaped before, and a grammar that feels backwards in your head. Then, when you barely understand that much, the shaman teaches you some simple words, common phrases and questions, and lets you struggle to form coherent statements with those. After that, he only ever talks to you in gods' tongue, and chides you whenever you use any other language around him. It is very frustrating, but with time you start to become more comfortable with the language.

                              Trying to learn bargaining technique from the merchants is much less successful. Together you talk about theory, do pretend negotiations for practice, and discuss past experiences. Nothing sticks. They tell you again and again that the essence of good dealings is to make the other person want what you have, but to let them feel in control1. You tell them that you will not surrender control to anyone2. When you refuse to beg or make a fool of yourself to sell anything, they throw up their hands and tell you they have nothing more to teach. In the end, all you really get out of the experience is a growing suspicion that money-handlers of all kinds have been shortchanging you for years, and that the only sure way to know you are not overpaying for something is to steal it.

                              When you are not busy with other things, you spend all your time watching over the Sunblessed. Little wounds and sicknesses that you would have ignored before seem very pressing now. You hover around your children, giving advice, asking for news, and worrying too much. You suppose you might be making some of them uncomfortable with the attention, but this is the only way you can settle your nagging fears that one of them might die when you are not looking.

                              Then, naturally, you still have to make the usual, mundane preparations for travel - gathering food and gear, settling accounts, organizing leadership in your absence. Of course, all these preparations rest on a simple decision - how will you reach Nexus?
                              • By land. You know the way, more or less. The roads to the southern cities are familiar enough to you, and while this way is the slowest it is also the surest.
                              • By water. You vaguely remember that the Green river connects to another, larger river somewhere south, and that river connects to a still-larger river that runs west to the sea and east to Nexus. You don't know much about boats, but this is probably faster than trekking overland.
                              • By air. Silver Sky once mentioned, offhandedly, that he had befriended spirits of the skies and might be able to talk to them on your behalf. If you could really fly as the crow flies...
                              • Something else?

                              1
                              they used a lot more words than that, but wanting and having control was at the heart of it, you think.

                              2
                              Not in so many words.
                              Last edited by semicasual; 04-08-2016, 09:39 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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                              • By land. The greatest of journeys begins with a single step; after living for so long as a god-king, it will be good to remember that we are, in the end, a man.

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