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So, my group just went through their first ever exalted game...

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  • So, my group just went through their first ever exalted game...

    I love my fellow players.

    Game 0
    A Session 0, really. Most of the evening was spent showing the ropes and giving ideas, building the characters and the group...

    A conqueror pirate, a grand strategist disgusted with the Realm, indiana jones, and these two pieces...

    One of the players made a judo-ish sensei of great renown and avid defender of all forms of life, fleeing from his former dojo as the wyld hunt came crashing.
    One of the players has always been a fan of the "too pretty to lose" archetypes, and reimagined his pathfinder Mesmerist in that sense. An eclipse black claw + dreaming pearl courtesan outcast noble still too busy in the "running away" business. An absolute diva and kind of a fop.

    To test the waters of the system, they decided to pit themselves against each other and because "fuck you this is already the game" the battle happened on deck, in the middle of nowhere.

    Diva, bored and feeling like riling someone up, greatly flusters Sensei.
    Sensei, at this point probably pissed at Diva for days, reaches for him and pretty much german suplexes Diva.
    Diva rises up and plays victim, stretching an arm out and drama-queening a "Stop, this violence is below me for I have done nothing to you" speech.
    Sensei goes for it again, pulling Diva by the (long, flowy) sleeve into a second clinch. Diva dodges by unfastening the loose robe, effectively making Sensei only pull his shirt off.
    Diva, of course, worked that into a second attempt to fluster Sensei.



    Game 1
    For the first actual game let's name the characters!
    Captain Asano, of the Dawn, owns the pirate-smuggler ship.
    Grace is the Diva, consecrated as Eclipse.
    Lars, herbologist, master artisan and medic extraordinaire, ordained Twilight.
    Nori, martial arts sensei, anointed Dawn.
    (formerly Cathak) Souzen the Inevitable, of the sun's Zenith.

    We're headed to Wujian, still three weeks away from it when we spot sails.
    Remember how Nori's backstory has him on the run from the Wyld Hunt? Well, here it is.
    4 ships, imperial trirremes against a yacht adapted to row and mounted with a couple ballistae. Cpt Asano opts to lose them, riding into a storm and from there into shallow waters. Lars offers to try something using part of our firedust stock.
    The pursuit took about a week. We lost a ship on the first day and another on the fourth. The storm relentlessly beat on everyone, but they didn't lose our trail.
    Since the remaining two ships were pretty far apart but the persecution was stalled for so long, I opted to engage the first ship, hoping to neutralize it and flee before the second reached us.
    Lars comes to us with some sort of smoke bomb, big enough and lasting enough to, from a distance, conceal us from the pursuers. We turn the ship a full 180 degrees, setting up for a game of chicken. The bow's ballista has special firedust ammo, made to set sails on fire, and is used for good effect.

    The neither ship conceded, and when we were two rounds from ramming... Nori jumped on enemy deck. Alone. On a deck full of sailors trained to hunt anathema, and three dragon-blooded.
    Only one of the three engaged. They attacked each other, Nori missed, Air Aspect didn`t, and their battle group engaged. On the second round everyone missed everyone. Grace latched on to some rope on the main mast and cut it. Lars threw poisoned darts and hit the Air Aspect.
    The third round...oh boy. Air Aspect charged Nori and literally slammed his face off (dude took 8 lethal damage and burst his right eye out to soak it into a "mere" 6). He barely managed to not get further hurt by the dozens of sharp knives, and flailed about for no good.
    The ships collide, ours winning the Ram maneuver, and Grace uses his rope-bound position to jump on deck and Table-Turn the Air Aspect, stealing his chakram. The other two DBs decide to join the battle.

    After that Asano engaged, and battle raged for a few rounds. Nori miraculously managed not to get further hurt and even grabbed and threw the second DB into the mass of sailors. Asano's crew engages, and the Air Aspect slams a thunderclap that knocks Nori unconscious. Asano's Surging Monsoon is used to great effect dealing a Smashing attack on DB#3, who is battered off the ship.
    We kill most, capture a few sailors, finish setting the ship on fire and set the curtain, covering our exit.
    Asano is told about trade letters pointing to enough plunder to level city-states, and greed takes over.
    We're bound to Wujian in three weeks!


    Game 2
    A week has passed since the Wyld Hunt incident. No ships crossed paths with us, not even merchant ships since that detour put us on an oblique route.
    Overall a tranquil voyage, except of course realizing we were breaching in Storm Mother territory. Thankfully, we're prepared to handle that. Nothing that a peace offering can't solve!
    We prepare a peace offering, the usual rite of sacrificing a black dog to the storm mother. Souzen executed it masterfully, much to the surprise of the other players that totally didn't expect blood sacrifices aboard. Shouldn't be a surprise in a game with religions inspired in Mayan and Roman faiths but eh XD

    -------------------special interlude for character exposition-------------------
    Time for character exposition!
    Our twilight Lars' lust for adventure is fed by a greater lust for discovery, and the guy developed his medical skills experimenting. The nasty way... Seven-Degreed Physician of Black Maladies nasty.
    Major Intimacy of "test subjects aren't people"nasty.
    Needless to say, anaesthetics are optional.
    -------------------/special interlude for character exposition-------------------

    Lars is a recurring client of our transport and smuggling services, and today's was no different, except for the fact his usually eery and mildly disgusting presence was worse than usual.
    After the Ceremony for the storm mothers Souzen decided to check that aura more meticulously, and found some sort of spirit haunting him, mighty upset, and orders by the authority of the ignis divine that it materializes.
    The crew was flabbergasted, but knew better than to panic when Asano and Souzen didn't (not that they have ever seen them actually despair). The entity, a ghost-thing amalgam of most people Lars have ever tortured, speaking in feeble unison barely above the gibbering cacophony, reveals itself a sort of punisher. Impeded of hurting Lars by Nori and Asano, it decries its intent to make Lars suffer for everything he's done...but Souzen would have none of it.
    Ghost-thing would not get revenge, much less a stalemate. He asked Lars to apologize, hoping he'd regret his callous neglects in his research. Upon not reaching a satisfying conclusion, Souzen went extra-zenithy and made Lars feel the suffering and spite of the ghost-thing. Lars collapsed, HARD.
    The spirit revels in it, and struggles against Nori to try and get to Lars... And THANK THE GODS Grace failed his instill roll, because his words were "Don't hurry, you're already achieving your goal of making him suffer". A couple rounds later the spirit feels vindicated and dissipates.
    Moments later we discover the creature would, upon violent destruction, emit a series of moans including a baby cry. In storm mother territory X_X

    Last but not least, Nori approaches Asano asking how he could compensate for all the trouble he caused, and Asano more or less conscripts him into indentured servitude.

    The rest of the travel went on uneventfully, and just as the tower-slums of Wujian get in sight, the session ends.


    Games 3 and 4
    Remember how, in the aftermath of the wyld hunt party, Asano’s ship looted two jade chain shirts?
    Asano kept one, the lion’s share, and the other ought to be sold somehow and divided to the crew.
    Arriving in Wu-Jian, home to Lars and safe port for Asano and Souzen’s ship, we all set up for the next few days, always so busy with management and finding what to do.
    Before we leave, Lars asks if he can rent one of my guest cabins for a few weeks, including travel time. Lars is an old client, one that even with the evil haunt has been far more beneficial than troublesome, so Asano agrees.
    Day 1

    Properly moored, Lars guides Nori and Grace through parts of Wu-Jian, with a special mention to the Red Leaves Teahouse, a fancy whorehouse in the nicer parts of town.
    Asano and Souzen spend much of the day on logistics, and set up with mr Silver (the sailor from Game 1 that told us about the dealer with letters mentioning some nice fat loot) a meet with his contact in two days.
    Lars didn’t do much, just resupply and chase rumors. While he’s one of the best medics around, he’s not exactly popular due to his reputation of fleshcrafter and experimenter.
    Grace took a small rest from his hedonistic games (don’t be surprised if three games in he buys the whorehouse. meaning he seduced it off the previous owner) to begin anew his doomed quest: Where is his beloved Sifu, who abandoned him at the peak of his apprenticeship into Black Claw? Guess we’ll find out in a few days!
    Nori is looking for his former students, or any who escaped the wyld hunt’s attack at his dojo.
    Souzen and Asano went in search for someone sufficiently resourceful and insane to purchase a jade artifact. By the end of the day we had our mark and the company of the whole group.
    Silver Hand is our man, and he operates from the nastier slums.
    With a small escort we delve deep into the slums, walking for hours into neighborhoods the sun never touches, and eventually find his base. Asano and Souzen are the first to meet Silver Hand.
    Dirty old man he is, though at least dressed for the part of a goddamn crime lord. The moniquer is well justified, as his long-gone wife made for him a functional silver hand prosthesis. Warm to the touch, malleable. Having only 1 point in occult and trying not to use player metaknowledge, Asano finds it remarkable, a sign he’s not your regular crime lord. Probably why he accepted the sale and could pay for it rather promptly.
    Shady offer to sell jade, clean payment, shady proposal to up the payment by a good 30%: “Revana is back in Wu-Jian, and she’s murdering my operatives. Deal with her and I will up your pay by this much.”
    Grace comes next, inquiring Silver Hand about his lost lover, and he gives him the same proposal. Stop Revana and he’ll put his information network to spin for him. Nori had a similar query about his students and similar response.
    Lars obsessed over Silver Hand’s silver hand. Rather creepy, I must say. Silver Hand didn’t explain much, and some of us fear he’ll lose that hand one day or another.
    The way out was almost as long as the way in, with this maze of a slum being so full of twists and turns and paranoid people and streams of blood wait, what?
    Up the street around the corner we stumble on a rather literal pile of corpses, a half dozen guys wearing a characteristic purple emblem, still warm.
    “All Life is Precious (Defining)” Nori is visibly upset.
    Lars finds one of them is still alive, gushing out blood from a slit throat.
    Asano: “patch him up, this is clearly set up for us and we might need what he knows”
    “All Life is Precious (Defining)” Nori is even more upset, being indirectly responsible for those deaths.
    Lars starts fixing the poor guy, going full solar medic on that slit throat. Stanching the hemorrhage, fixing his windpipe, cleaning the wound and sewing the wound. The good stuff.
    “All Life is Precious (Defining)” Nori is slightly relieved. Useful intel and a spared life.
    Souzen finds a note, reading it aloud: “These fellows were after you. Here’s a show of trust between us, can’t have a prospective client dead in the streets, can we?
    -S.H.”
    Lars promptly stops sewing the guy’s throat and proceeds to stab it with the same needle.
    “All Life is Precious (Defining)” Nori got pissed.
    Good times. Let’s just say we’re all glad his Virtue Flaw rolls have been merciful. Good odds whenever Lars starts patching people up from now on Nori will Join Battle just in case.
    The day ends at the ship. Tomorrow we will collect payment and search into this Revana character.
    Day 2

    Nori Lars and Grace start their search on Revana, but I can’t explain what they did because I can’t remember XD
    Revana, the Grand Architect, is some of a legendary figure in Wu-Jian. Chosen by the city-father itself to keep the peace and check the rampant crime. All well and good, except she disappeared long, long ago. Why, How was she back?
    Souzen and Asano depart with a dozen sailors at first light to the rendezvous set up by silver hand for payment. A few crates and barrels of silver, spices, easily tradable drugs and other things. All in all enough money to build a small palace.
    We arrive at a small warehouse, Asano knocks at the door, and just as it opens WE ARE AMBUSHED OH SHIT LIKE THIRTY ASSASSINS OPENLY WEARING REVANA’S SYMBOL JUMP ON US!!!11!11!1one
    “SHIELD WALL!”
    “SAWTOOTH FORMATION, NOW!”
    Most of the men from the warehouse die on the spot, stabbed in conveniently lethal places. The doorman survives the ambush, Asano promptly pushes him into our men’s formation while protecting Souzen, who promptly begins to remind everyone at the table why his authority is just as unquestioned as Asano’s at the ship.
    Souzen’s player: Ok, with this command action the group’s 14 dice will increase to… 32.
    Everyone else: ‘-‘
    Blades meet everywhere! Badass zealous assassins meet badass sailors with the biggest loot they’ve seen in their lives!
    The power of money sure is compelling when backed by a solar general dishing out command actions. The assassins fail to harm our men at first, and only a couple cuts made it to Asano. Souzen is unharmed.
    Back to back, Souzen orders the sailors to spread and attack. The sailors get to each other’s arms reach and fully dive into the skirmish, cutting up a surprising amount of assassins. Scared by the carnage, one of the assassins surrender and Asano puts two sailors to contain him.
    By the third round the sailors, at arms reach from each other, perform a whirlwind attack, finally cutting up 2/3 of the assassins, Asano shredded the rest and the only other survivors are the silver hand’s door guy and the surrendered assassin. Souzen couldn’t help but spot for a fleeting moment a girl dressed in subtly similar garb to the assassins, perching up on a wall almost a hundred meters away, and she fled just as quickly.
    We grab our loot, escort the two to our ship and set up a second meet so we can actually give Silver Hand the artifact we just got paid for selling.
    Our sailors are so, so happy about that loot. Gotta love being that good a captain
    Interrogating our hostage wasn’t simple, and ultimately we didn’t get a thing about Revana other than “She’s creating an anathema cult hellbent on murdering the crime away” and “No one ever saw her in action, only gusts of shadow overwhelming sight”.
    At this point we decided we’d need to handle her even without Silver Hand’s pay. This level of murderousness will only weaken the city too fast, fast enough for the Realm to deign the place useless and burn it down instead of its usual shamefully ineffective attempts at suppressing the population.
    Lacking other resources, Grace uses Hypnotic Tongue Technique creatively (some actual frenching happened) on our hostage and we’re off to where he has last contacted Revana…or at least someone high up in her hierarchy.
    We went deepest than any other time into Wu-Jian’s undercity, a place by now inhabited by more dead than living, that doesn’t see the sun since longer than anyone can remember.
    We found a hut, abandoned, trashed. By all accounts we could muster, recently as well. Lars’ keen nose corroborated this evidence, and ultimately we gambled with a little biy of Sorcery. Souzen’s infallible messenger straight to the girl he spotted during the early morning skirmish.
    “We come in peace, for now. Our paths will inevitably cross again and we’d much prefer they do so as allies. You know where we are, and we will wait until the end of this day.”
    It worked. In a couple hours the place was surrounded by a few hundred of those…cultists. Ahead of them, the girl.
    A tense few moments where she debates with Asano and Souzen. Ultimately we convince her seeing Revana is the best that could happen to further her goals and we’re escorted to her presence.
    A few labyrinthine walks later we arrive at a veritable mansion, just as deep underground, and meet her face to face. A lady in her late 50s~
    A second round of discussion begins, the core of our argument being that her way will only rise the ire of enemies actually capable of razing the place, and as such we ought to find a compromise that keeps the unwanted attention away.
    I wish it worked, however. The discussion lasted a bit, and she always managed to somehow dodge the argument and renew her convictions on it. What it took for her to bend was for Souzen to play up his conviction of “the man who’ll guide the returning solars to proper glory, contrary to these decadent rulers of now”. Complete with popping caste marks and everything. And a little help reminding her that he’s not the only one there glowing around.
    Ultimately we agreed to “You’ll cease fire for a few weeks, and we’ll come up with a better plan than yours to deal with rampant crime. Her personal vendetta against a couple of those kingpins can wait.” Sanctified Oath and everything!
    We took our leaves, well aware we are trying to simultaneously settle the crime disputes while having criminals on our side. And yes, we just so happen to be criminals as well. Pirates, to be precise.
    Ain’t life glorious?
    To start countering her, we got into a deal with one of the cleaner crimelords, mr Furukawa. A smuggler with lots of (declining via henchmen being murdered) pull in the ports. We’ll treat him as a priority client in our sales, giving him first pick of our stuff in exchange for mutual support against Revana and considering an alliance with other kingpins. SH was also asked to consider the alliance.
    And thus ends the second day of our adventure!
    Day 3

    Day three starts with us finally delivering the jade shirt to mr Silver Hand. We somehow (yay excellencies, man…) also convinced him to enjoy an alliance with mr Furukawa.
    He’s notably suspicious, but will pay our extra upon the safe arrival of sensitive cargo arriving in three weeks.
    We suspect all three parties will try to kill us by the end of the month. Well, maybe not Furukawa.
    After that joyous conversation all of us were summoned to the Red Leaves Teahouse. Asano and Souzen’s meet up with mr Silver was brief and simple: he had recently purchased a slave that snuck away with a sea chart and schedule pointing to several cargo ships, Cathak iirc, transporting firedust up North.
    The slave bought her liberty with those charts, and as a token of confidence to mr Silver and his dashing captain we were given the first chart for a cut from the profits. About 10%.
    Later charts will be given to us upon profitable return.
    As far as we could tell, the man wants his nice profit, but can’t really sell them to anyone because it’s a goddamn dragonblood escort, so we’re fetching a nice price for them.
    Nori met with an old student, and they reminisced a bit and planned for the future. Right now Nori’s indebted to my ship, but after that who knows. Lars, during the discussion, somehow managed to improvise soy sauce attempting to create poison from the lunch table.
    Grace will probably meet only sorrow, for he got word of where his beloved Sifu might be and darted off to chase her.
    ——————
    Whew! That’s it for the week. We rushed a couple games in because Grace’s player was about to travel abroad and stay a couple months away.


    Game 5
    The course has been set.
    The month is reasonably secured. The next couple days will be spent making good on our promise, then we raid that firedust.
    Asano scouted the richer areas, particularly the noble parks and the local Realm forces.
    Souzen spent those days making business deals with just about everyone. It’s scary just how many people he can reach ._.
    Nori went batman.
    Yeah, batman.
    The precise words are lost in time, but were along “I can’t just watch the depravity of this place”, and Asano’s advice was “don’t get caught”.
    Then Asano dressed Nori in robes and embroideries that mark him as a member of the Cult of Revana. Because of course he did.
    Nori’s night:
    Crime fighting is hard. Hurting people isn’t as much.
    Strolling around nastier areas of Wujian with charms that are simplified as “my crime sense is tingling” feels more like attempting trepanation with a wanachi.
    A scream, sounds of people running, the sheen of metal against firelight. Nori runs into an alley to find someone cornered by several dudes, knives ready.
    Nori calls out to them, and moments later he charges.
    Three mortals against a dawn. In retrospect he really held back. Stuck mostly to the essence he regenerated.
    Thugs A and B attempted a few slashes at him, to little effect, they drew blood and managed to actually stab him a little, but Nori didn’t really feel it. Thug C managed to stab Thug A when Nori stunted his parry as grabbing Thug A’s arm and pulling it in the way. Don’t worry, though, Thug A didn’t take damage from that, just bled a lil’ bit
    Nori threw a few punches, mostly a 3v1 worked to his disadvantage. Not that it mattered much a couple rounds in when he GRABBED THUG A BY THE FACE AND SMASHED HIM THROUGH THE FLOOR.
    Good thing the floor here is mostly wood, I guess. Tomorrow’s gonna start with a migraine and he will eat with straws for days.
    The 2v1 didn’t last another two rounds, Victim and thugs B and C fleeing.
    Satisfied the Victim was spared, but slightly disappointed the spectator didn’t watch the performance, Nori left off to do more good!
    He found the opposite.
    FLASHBACK TIME
    Remember last night?
    “Nori met with an old student, and they reminisced a bit and planned for the future. Right now Nori’s indebted to my ship, but after that who knows. Lars, during the discussion, somehow managed to improvise soy sauce attempting to create poison from the lunch table.”
    Lars also brought actual poison. And used it on the student once he criticized his medical expertise. So he snuck it into his food before challenging him to mess the slum crimes further down his neighborhood.
    Old habits die hard, I suppose.
    FLASHBACK OVER
    Guess who Nori eventually found at night’s end. Dead. Maybe 5 steps away from his home’s door.
    No signs of damage other than a few bruises, the ordinary for his lifestyle.
    Begin the manly tears.
    He enters his student’s house. A simple abode, bare save for a straw bed, a little bit of furniture and… a painting kit and a canvas frame. Painted on it, Nori’s dojo during a summer’s zenith.
    Open the floodgates.
    Nori, lost, seeking some kind of solace for his lost student and his lost dojo and all the pain, wishing his student at least a decent burial, brings him to the ship.
    —————–
    Asano’s night:
    Market is boring. Nothing new. Eventually he gets a feel for the place and a couple names central to the Realm’s foothold here: Hiroto.
    Hiroto is a patrician and probably the most important permanent Realm figure around, so Asano decides to scout his palace and mess around just to see what he can dig.
    A couple hours into the night, one of Silver Hand’s assistants pops up at his gate, and gets in practically without hassle.
    Something is amiss! Asano sneaks in to follow him, dodging patrols and sticking to the shadows. Ultimately he managed to eavesdrop his discussion with Hiroto.
    The gist of it?
    “Silver Hand bought one of your Realm’s heirlooms from Captain Asano from the Million Perfect Petals, and he’s giving it to you as a token of friendship and a reminder of his trust in you to keep your promises.”
    Hiroto is the one that ordered Revana dead, and he was pissed at Silver Hand’s…our…solution.
    Sneaking out wasn’t perfect, and Asano got spotted, but not recognized. He fled into the city far faster than they could catch up.
    Ominous future ahead, he guessed.
    —————-
    Back at the ship:
    Asano and Nori arrived at the same time, walking the final steps to the ship at together. Asano’s barely-restrained “WTF DID I SAY AGAIN? OH YEAH DON’T GET CAUGHT. THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE LUGGING CORPSES TO MY SHIP” face quickly shifted into “well, shit. sorry man” once he understood what was going on.
    The entire group went to Souzen’s cabin, and there Lars and Souzen figured he was poisoned dead. Not wanting to start a fight on the ship, Souzen did his best to keep Nori from connecting the dots, leaving with Nori to console him into a drunken stupor. A most gentlemanly and chivalrous glance at Asano gave a clear message: DUDE HELP ME HERE.
    Souzen kept Lars and told him, essentially, two things. “The only reason I’m protecting you right now is because you’ve been a trusted client and that I know you can be better than that, such pettiness doesn’t suit you.” and “I won’t protect you again. This ship is more important, and Nori’s crew for the next couple months.”
    Parts of the furniture might have been involuntarily bent in the process of saying it, but that’s okay.
    As the new day dawns, we sail into future profits


    Game 6
    Aware that Silver Hand is even more of an enemy than we previously hoped, the group decided to sail ASAP.
    Today is the day the players new to Exalted got reminded why sorcerers are FUKKEN CREEPY.
    The plan: We set a lot of people in motion towards organizing a better insurgence and soft rebellion than Revana’s killfuckery. Souzen’s extensive influence in Wujian helped an incredible deal!
    Now we raid. The first of a series of firedust ships waiting for plunder! According to our calculations we’ll meet with the first shipment in a little over a week. In the span of 3 weeks we can raid and return.
    To most of us the trip was uneventful. To local sorcerer-warlord (Cathak) Souzen, the trip was rather more esoteric.
    Because SILENT WORDS OF DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES, bitches!
    The targets? Just about everyone he thought could influence the silent insurgence and touch with the ritual.
    Mr Furukawa, whom we set up deals for port supremacy and coverage from unwanted inspectors, got a dream where he was immersed in glory, basking in the majesty of a prophet to guide Wujian through its dark times… Souzen.
    Most relevant mooks got dreams related to suffering petty grievances at the hands of decadent dynasts.
    Mr Silver Hand got a long, long nightmare involving primarily feeling like a cheap pawn in the hands of dynasts, to be used and discarded as convenient for the trash he was. Complete with chases in the dark, dragonblooded hounds barking and nipping at his heels.
    And, of course, a few days later we spot sails. Only us, them and the wide seas everywhere.
    4 ships, we concluded. Three clearly a loaded merchant barge and V’neef escorts to either side, and a fourth distant merchant ship with little remarkable features, sailing in the coattails of the Imperial ships in hopes of avoiding pirates.
    Or the actual ship loaded with firedust while the fancy one is a decoy. We debated on the possibility for a grand total of two minutes then came to the conclusion: Fuck the possibilities, we’ll raid ALL OF THEM!
    The plan is surprisingly simple in its goals: We outmaneuver all 3 ships at once and murder the shit out of the first trireme before the second can react.
    If they don’t surrender, repeat with the second trireme.
    Chase merchants. Subdue both, profit.
    Bold, one could say. Kinda hard to outmaneuver two triremes nad a barge with a single yacht. Impossible? Maybe, for lesser men, but this ship is commandeered by ASANO AND SOUZEN!
    Souzen figured a way to approach one of the triremes that, if Asano could sail so that it looked like we were just merchants “getting out of your way please don’t take our ship or offense to it revered princes of the earth. please.” we could position ourselves so that we would have about a minute from battle’s eve where the second trireme couldn’t reach us, interposed by the other two ships.
    He also complemented the shock & awe with sending his firebird up to the skies and into the 4th ship with the orders “wait for us to attack, then set that ship’s sails on fire and return to me. don’t burn too much.”
    The next few hours approaching the ship were on Asano’s hands, and though there were a couple slips we managed to approach properly. Just as the Trireme near us (hereby called Trireme A) hailed us we engaged.
    Our crew’s archers stood from cover and fired. Asano maneuvered into a ramming position. Souzen started chanting, flames surging from his robes and skin as the words grew louder and louder. Moments later, a shrill tune set distant sails ablaze.
    Before any of them had any idea of what happened, the deck started to bleed.
    It worked. Souzen’s little scheme went without a hitch, catching everyone unprepared, and to Trireme B we weren’t even visilble, concealed by the other ship!
    As Asano approached Trireme A, Lars joined the battle with a hail of poisoned needles and Souzen finished his spell. Whirling around him, little splinters of black glass started to gain the shape of butterflies, edges glowing from the intense heat or even ablaze, and he fired.
    A damage roll later, the devastation was plain for any to see. The entire deck shredded like ricepaper pitted against sleet, sailors lacerated left and right, some limbs hacked out entirely. Most of the troops bloodied by the blades and battered by the crumbling masts. The captain, the only dragonblooded on board, was barely any better, and tried his best to keep the troops and remaining sailors cohese while also trying to get out of the Million Perfect Petals’ way.
    He failed miserably.
    A second salvo from our archers and their morale crumbled like ash. The few survivors still mobile jumped off the ship.
    Judging that ship was lost, Asano repositioned to engage the next Trireme as it finally sprung into sight.
    The poor captain died to the poison, claiming what little vitality he had
    Trireme B was similarly outmatched. As we charged directly towards it, Souzen rushed to the prow to start the spell anew, this time glowing like a bonfire as the light of his soul emerged in a display of sorcerous prowess.
    We had the initiative, and upon engaging with Trireme B Souzen finished his spell just as the 4th ship, forgotten and distant, exploded with enough force to tilt our boats. There goes our firedust. Blasted incompetent crew with its thrice-in-a-row botches at attempting to keep the fire under control!
    BUt now it was too late. All but propelled by the explosion, Souzen unleashed the obsidian butterflies again, and the destruction topped even the previous one! Before anyone had time to process the fact glass butterflies were splitting skulls in half, morale had already been lost and the troops, again, panicked.
    I don’t blame them, you know? At this point they were already coasting through a -3 to morale due to having seen a nuke, their sister ship killed before they could even see it, their own exalted captain spilling his guts on the floor, and a goddman anathema shouting like a madman at them… a botch on the rout check was to be expected, really.
    Clearly elated with the tables turned on his former allies, Souzen announced himself imperiously. “FEAR SOUZEN THE INEVITABLE, DECADENT NOBLES, RETRIBUTION HAS COME” or something like that.
    One decisive attack later Lars severed the captain’s spine with a well-thrown needle to the neck. It dealt like 4 damage to an enemy just missing the Incapacitated box, so we like to think the needle went right through without even leaving visible holes. It’s probably in high orbit together with the arrows our ranger shot in a previous d&d game that did like 4x the victim’s total health in damage.
    As Asano turned towards the merchant barge, everyone there threw their weapons to the deck and surrendered.
    Sneaky bastards they were, however, a sorcerer on their ship managed to send a message to the V’neef house leaders. Told about the deed, but thankfully not about who exactly we were.
    All in all still a profit, even though we lost 90% of the firedust… the ships were well armed and even after repairs we will have enough loot to profit off this… but damn, my firedust
    And damn, sorcerers are scary motherfuckers.


    Game 7
    <notice> RL ensues and Lars's player is out of the game for the foreseeable future, and our take on it is to waive it off. He always had his adventures and set out to do whatever. I guess that happens when you feel unwelcome and no one will stop you from being twisted into a pretzel by the hulk.
    RL also ensues and now Grace's player is back!
    </notice>

    We salvaged maybe a pouch of firedust from the whole raid. We will make a nice profit from the equipment and supplies, but there'll be almost no gain, the crew isn't very pleased about this, but hey...
    "I didn't expect a firedust barge would fail so horribly at containing a small fire on the deck" was a good enough explanation for everyone.
    Except maybe the merchant who sold us the charts, but he can only accept and take revenge if he's that angry.

    The travel back was uneventful as usual, and a little faster since captured enemies always make for good "row to exhaustion our whole travel to any safe port" slaves.

    We arrive at quite a commotion, however. The dock we choose, as soon as we look, has two unusually large crowds. One of them, we can see, surround a post with something... someone tied to it. To Souzen's keen sight, someone that just went through extensive torture and is missing a hand. Placed there by soldiers bearing a dynastic standard. Hiroto's henchmen most likely.

    Turns out the first crowd is made of people following Grace around, who made himself quite quite busy in these three weeks we sailed, and the second crowd is staring in shock at Silver Hand.
    Before we docked, Grace went up to him, tended to some of the worst wounds and gave the crowd a small, impassionated speech about being kind and how wujian is above those disgraceful Realm satraps. He and his cadre then takes Silver Hand away to our favorite Teahouse. Which is totally called Westward Leaves and not Red Leaves (blame memory! They do happen to be colored red in the board!)


    We dock and prepare to settle for a few days, arranging a meet with Furukawa to honor our deal thank him for honoring this in the Teahouse.

    We arrive in the Westward Leaves to find grace...behind a counter, cleaning a glass with a dirty rag.
    Apparently, he says, it's a very relaxing attitude, and helps set the tune for us. We did not ask why he was leaving the glass dirtier as he did it.
    We did ask, however, how he came to be what seems to be the new manager or owner of the place.
    "The owner's a nice guy and he felt like I'd take good care of the place for a while."
    We did not inquire further on that, nor why he now has a cadre of followers from the courtesans all named after precious stones. Souzen and Asano wonder for a minute on how useful that place can be as a spy or smuggling hub, but put that aside for the moment.

    Furukawa and logistics aside, we started on our main order of business: Satisfying Revana and her enemies at the same time without pissing off the dynasty enough for them to decide to stomp the place before we can fight back.

    Wujian settled real nice. Apparently it's been calm weeks with no rampant murders and the crime lords have been sticking to their turfs. Except for Silver Hand, who Grace says is in one of his safe rooms. We go see him.

    There's not much left in the man. He's all but catatonic, the silver hand missing and the stump burned off. Cuts and bruises scattered on his body, hair pulled out in patches, a couple missing teeth, nails pulled off.
    He could be taken for a corpse if one didn't notice his slow, soft breathing. A professional tortured him into nearly nothing.
    Our lead suspicion is that he acted too harshly on the paranoia Souzen suggested into his nightmares.

    And insight sparks into Asano's mind. The shipment we were supposed to ensure arrived safely in order for him to fully trust our word about Revana and pay our promised extra. Its arrival was due to a couple days before our own.
    Muttering aloud to the other exalts, we finally get responsiveness from Silver Hand. A barely audible whisper "Marselle".
    His wife was in that ship, and now she's entangled with the Realm here. Captured or killed, most likely causing quite a bit of damage herself.

    She's an asset in this mess. And useful to helping Silver Hand.
    The instigators in us want to use her. The humans in us don't want to further torture even this evil man. Whatever she's into, it's heavily relevant to us with the clear message Hiroto gave by delivering Silver Hand to the port as we arrived.

    We must discover what happened. Given his wife is probably as bad or worse as her husband, we all but expect she'll be another extremely dangerous asset we'll want to seize or point away from us.

    As a player I'm curious to see in the future the true wake of our passing in that world. People just seem to be swept into our schemes, sparks in a rousing clash of giants.


    We delegate a couple affairs to our folk and dispatch ourselves to Silver Hand's base.

    It's obviously a trap. Obviously aimed at us, and we'll obviously bite it.
    With a touch up of disguising just to throw off observers, but we'll bite.

    Souzen bulked up, Asano changed ethnicities and Nori now has hair. Grace became an old man, but he insisted he wanted his hair stupdendous as usual. Eventually we convinced him to pocket his magical hairpin that kept him clean and fabulous 24/7 his hair would be dyed!

    Walking into the slums we quickly perceive that someone is following us from the higher shanties, not identifiable without giving away that we know, but enough to keep us alert.

    At the base proper, Nori and Grace climb the stairs to the second-story shack where we previously dealt with Silver Hand. It is a grim scene, with the street there smelling of blood in addition to the usual sewage and rotten wood.
    Asano and Souzen stay back and alert.

    The moment Grace knocks, the door opens with a fist to his face...
    but that fist doesn't do much!

    A solid hit all around, but nothing that fazes a black claw dreaming pearl courtesan stylist! Adding his formidable appearance to his soak, the punch is reduced to minimum damage, barely fazing him.

    Doors open all around Souzen and Asano, a dozen men armed with blades charging towards our cloaked figures...
    Only for them to stumble on themselves in the rush, being completely ineffectual at actually touching us.
    (seriously, rolling 1 1 1 1 2 4 4 5?)

    Asano immediately props up into a defensive stance. Grace removes his cloak and unbends his back and props his magical hairpin in one smooth motion, and attacks with his chakram, Souzen grimaces and starts to laugh and suggest they are doomed to mess with us, Nori tries to pull Grace's aggressor into a clinch, but fails.

    Then, he recognizes the hand. It's Oshio, one of his former students back at the dojo years ago, visibly fuming from his nostrils and arm heated enough to burn Nori. Along with him another 3 or so fighters.

    Oshio is probably as surprised as Nori, but is quicker to react to that and pushes Nori through the parapet with a nice hit directly to his chest. Nori's tough, but his maneuver to land safely doesn't do anything and he falls on a flat, low base. We're not sure what took most damage, the floorboards under him or his knees.

    Souzen continues to laugh like a madman, while keeping an eye on the looming figure from before, now openly exposed as another Fire Aspect and dropping to the parapet to fight Grace.

    Grace answers by hitting Oshio with the chakram sideways, down to the neck, unlacing his sash and latching it onto the parapet, and jumping off the parapet with him, spinning by the sash and releasing Oshio to crash down to the floor. Contrary to his teacher Nori, the young dragonblood collapses instantly.

    A second figure joins us. The figure of Revana's granddaughter, her main liutenant we contacted before, was also tailing us and dropped besides Asano and Souzen. Souzen takes the opportunity to persuade her to obey his commands in battle by appealing to her desire for a nicer Wujian. She seems to comply and is now a Size 0 battlegroup under his command

    Asano and the girl slice through these would be murderers, who couldn't reply to our attacks and ineffectually beat against Asano's Axe.


    Now the crazy shit begins.
    Nori grabbed Grace and yanked, tearing a bit of the parapet off and THREW Grace at the group engaged with us. Yeah, Shockwave technique.
    The damage alone he did was enough to give Nori a murderously high Initiative. The group routed and the Ominous Fire Aspect quit attempting to engage us and ran away with the other three.

    Asano started to give chase and Nori asked to come along. Asano slings Nori over his shoulder (quite the sight, since Nori is built like Demetheus and Asano is closer to a buff Prince Diamond) and manages to use his incredible resilience and agility to give chase anyway.

    The race dragged over the shanties, jumping up and down stories, crashing feeble rooftops or bypassing them entirely via sheer momentum. I like to think that dragonblood and crew fled from us like the Lagoon Company fled Bloodhound Roberta in Maid to Kill.

    Eventually we came close enough and they gave up, restarting the battle a good 15 meters from the ground. Nori loosed himself from Asano and lunged at the dragonblood, going for his shins, the db forced Nori's arm down with a flaming kick and went for Nori in a similar move to throw him off the edge.
    Nori disrupted the move with a headbutt that slipped into a extremely successful counter-grapple. Asano, seeing just how tight that grapple was...and noticing Nori started to glow all the way into his full golden samurai garb, judged Nori needed no help finishing the DB and worked his way into the other three's flesh.

    Poor DB. The savage roll was a decisive attack way, way too strong. In just a few seconds Nori managed to bend his arms and legs into a painful lock, and pulled hard enough to break his neck and tear his arm off. Unable to even scream his pain, his fire died down slowly as his corpse bled, and the curtains for this session dropped...
    Last edited by Synapse; 08-22-2016, 02:23 PM.


    Check my Exalted homebrew!

  • #2
    I snortgiggled reading this. That was amazing. xD

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    • #3
      Ah, the noble suplex. Is there a move more indicative of the calm and peaceful nature of the Wise Sensei?


      This post was made in a factory where hyperbole and sarcasm are handled.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rowanas View Post
        Ah, the noble suplex. Is there a move more indicative of the calm and peaceful nature of the Wise Sensei?
        Sabin only knows.

        "I treasure all life. I didn`t say I treasure your legs." Quite a Daredevil approach I suppose.
        Last edited by Synapse; 06-20-2016, 02:52 PM.


        Check my Exalted homebrew!

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        • #5
          Good on ya.

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          • #6
            Congrats on the first game Synapse!

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            • #7
              Please keep a running account of how the game goes. I can already tell that this is going to be one of the memorable groups.


              Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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              • #8
                If you want I`ll keep track of the shenanigans. Is there a better place to make the log?


                Check my Exalted homebrew!

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                • #9
                  Maybe make a Blogspot account for it. Or tumblr, perhaps?

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                  • #10
                    Post it here, otherwise I won't read it. I'm surprised I can even access this forum from work.


                    This post was made in a factory where hyperbole and sarcasm are handled.

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                    • #11
                      Game 1
                      For the first actual game let's name the characters!
                      Captain Asano, of the Dawn, owns the pirate-smuggler ship.
                      Grace is the Diva, consecrated as Eclipse.
                      Lars, herbologist, master artisan and medic extraordinaire, ordained Twilight.
                      Nori, martial arts sensei, anointed Dawn.
                      (formerly Cathak) Souzen the Inevitable, of the sun's Zenith.

                      We're headed to Wujian, still three weeks away from it when we spot sails.
                      Remember how Nori's backstory has him on the run from the Wyld Hunt? Well, here it is.
                      4 ships, imperial trirremes against a yacht adapted to row and mounted with a couple ballistae. Cpt Asano opts to lose them, riding into a storm and from there into shallow waters. Lars offers to try something using part of our firedust stock.
                      The pursuit took about a week. We lost a ship on the first day and another on the fourth. The storm relentlessly beat on everyone, but they didn't lose our trail.
                      Since the remaining two ships were pretty far apart but the persecution was stalled for so long, I opted to engage the first ship, hoping to neutralize it and flee before the second reached us.
                      Lars comes to us with some sort of smoke bomb, big enough and lasting enough to, from a distance, conceal us from the pursuers. We turn the ship a full 180 degrees, setting up for a game of chicken. The bow's ballista has special firedust ammo, made to set sails on fire, and is used for good effect.

                      The neither ship conceded, and when we were two rounds from ramming... Nori jumped on enemy deck. Alone. On a deck full of sailors trained to hunt anathema, and three dragon-blooded.
                      Only one of the three engaged. They attacked each other, Nori missed, Air Aspect didn`t, and their battle group engaged. On the second round everyone missed everyone. Grace latched on to some rope on the main mast and cut it. Lars threw poisoned darts and hit the Air Aspect.
                      The third round...oh boy. Air Aspect charged Nori and literally slammed his face off (dude took 8 lethal damage and burst his right eye out to soak it into a "mere" 6). He barely managed to not get further hurt by the dozens of sharp knives, and flailed about for no good.
                      The ships collide, ours winning the Ram maneuver, and Grace uses his rope-bound position to jump on deck and Table-Turn the Air Aspect, stealing his chakram. The other two DBs decide to join the battle.

                      After that Asano engaged, and battle raged for a few rounds. Nori miraculously managed not to get further hurt and even grabbed and threw the second DB into the mass of sailors. Asano's crew engages, and the Air Aspect slams a thunderclap that knocks Nori unconscious. Asano's Surging Monsoon is used to great effect dealing a Smashing attack on DB#3, who is battered off the ship.
                      We kill most, capture a few sailors, finish setting the ship on fire and set the curtain, covering our exit.
                      Asano is told about trade letters pointing to enough plunder to level city-states, and greed takes over.
                      We're bound to Wujian in three weeks!
                      Last edited by Synapse; 06-28-2016, 07:33 AM.


                      Check my Exalted homebrew!

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                      • #12
                        This is super exciting! Congrats on the new game and I look forward to reading more of your group's hijinks!


                        May you live in interesting times...

                        Storyteller of Sun Forged Oath

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                        • #13
                          Two Dawns and no Night Caste? Not that I'm judging, but this definitely isn't a Perfect Circle.

                          Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                          Please keep a running account of how the game goes. I can already tell that this is going to be one of the memorable groups.
                          Yeah, that's one way to describe it. All the same, I'd still love to hear the further adventures of "Dawning Around." Gawds, I wish I could play in an Exalted 3E campaign...

                          Anyone know of an E3 campaign in the vicinity of Washington DC?



                          Complete Garou Gifts List, Fera Gifts List, Garou Totems List and other assorted OPP/White Wolf goodies

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
                            Two Dawns and no Night Caste? Not that I'm judging, but this definitely isn't a Perfect Circle.
                            In my group we tried to form a perfect circle, but one guy created a night caste, another created a dawn but he wanted to play a night, the night changed to a dawn, and the night-wannabe didn't bother to change his character into the night he always wanted to be, so we've ended up with the same wonky Solar Circle. Shame, because Night caste is waaay more exceiting than... I had to look up the name because they're so dull... Eclipse. Jesus... when Bureacracy is your unique speciality, you're boring.


                            This post was made in a factory where hyperbole and sarcasm are handled.

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                            • #15
                              To be fair I was divided between making a dawn or a night, the character sheet has a bit of crossover (what with the banditry side of being a pirate and stuff). I decided for dawn because biasing his growth towards martial supremacy rather than treachery felt more fun.


                              Check my Exalted homebrew!

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