Blueblood

Traveler's Guide to Rubylak

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Gensh:
After four days on the demon-driven sand barge, each coven went their seperate ways on small skiffs, propelled by essence sails. From there, another day of sailing followed, until they had reached a desolate battlefield. A short ride by yeddim later, and they found themselves entering the capital of Linowa.
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Gensh:
Rubylack, the capitol of the Linowan State as told to you by Maeve, looms before you. The Rust Tyrant’s base of operations straddles the massive Silver River, a massive bridge and naval base seperating the two halves of her capitol. Upon one side, the city is more tribal, befitting it’s origins while the other is more advanced, resembling a city such as Lookshy. Magitech towers dart the landscape of the city, keeping watch over the populace as well as their proper job of looking out for incoming travelers or enemies.
Gensh:
And yet an unmistakable touch of rust seems to cover anything relaitvely metallic in the city. Small patches, relatively meangingless, but a sign of the despotic ruler of Linowa nonetheless.

  • Maeve speaks up dispassionately after a moment as the group approaches, her cape swaying slightly in the breeze as flecks of rust fall past her as per the norm by now. "Welcome to Rubylack. "
  • Shu Lin looks over the city, somewhat disapproving at the clear divide of people set not only by the river, but by their architecture and culture. It was apparent at a glance, which made it all the more concerning. “I suppose we’ll be in your care, then, while we’re here. Should we keep anything metal stored away?”
  • Maeve begins to speak again, “Anything composed of a special material will not rust. Normally.” She cocks her head to the side for a moment before shaking her head. “The part they are approaching now is the traditional Rubylack before my industrial revolution began to take shape. On the other side of the Silver River is my advanced portion of the city. I find it keeps the people content to have the choice of which to reside in. The older generation prefers the traditional to the younger’s desire for new.”
  • Thaddeus meanwhile is looking back and forth between the divided tribal area and the more advanced district but his eyes are drawn to the huge towers, having never seen such a sight on Creation itself quite to this scale. “Aye, aye. Are those a common thing round these ways?” He pointed and pulled his thick cloak tighter around, it pleasantly still and unyielding against the breeze thanks to it’s weight.

Shu Lin:
“It’s a good thing I didn’t replace the strings on my instrument with metal ones, then. I don’t think I’d be able to get good-quality strings out of special metals any time soon.”

  • Maeve chuckles a bit. “No. I intend to drag Linowa kicking and screaming into the modern era.”
    Gensh:
    A Linowan ran up to the group quickly. She bowed curtly and began speaking.

Linowan:
Your Rusted Majesty! I came as quickly as I had learned of your return!

Linowan:
Already this year, there are weighty matters which require your attention!

  • Maeve ceases talking to Thaddeus and looks intently at the Linowan girl. “Very good.” She then looks back to the group. “Feel free to look around or follow me to the palace. I have matters to take care of.” She then looks back at the girl and nods before starting to walk off. “Give them a tour as they desire.” With that last command, she moves deeper into the city away from the group.
  • Shu Lin waits for Maeve to walk away, since she’s apparently taking care of important city business. “Well, I guess we should see what we’ve got to work with.”

Thaddeus:
Might be a good idea. Do we wanna go to the big side first?

  • Thaddeus gestured loosely at the modern district, looking for the words.
  • Shu Lin hummed with thought, looking at Lolat, then Thaddeus, then to the guide. “Might we have our guide’s name, before we go through the city?”
  • Linowan startles for a moment before bowing again, “Ah, my apologies! I am called Yareko. Please, forgive my manners!”
  • Shu Lin waves a hand dismissively. “It’s fine, it’s fine. You were busy attending to your mistress, so that’s where your focus would be. I’m Shu Lin, to my left is Lolat, and to my right is Thaddeus. We’re… your mistress’s coworkers, lacking a better term. So we need to know everything about Rubylak. Resources, people, anything we have to work with and anything that might cause trouble for us.”

Thaddeus:
Don’t skip on the troubles either, we’re good at fixing those sorta things.

  • Yareko adopts a confused look momentarily. “Co… workers…?” She quickly hushes up as she realizes her mistake before nodding along to Shu Lin’s and Thaddeus’ words. “Understood, Mistress Shu Lin. Which, er… section would you prefer I take you on a tour of first?”

Shu Lin:
“The modern half would probably have better resources but more immediate troubles. The traditional half… probably more unrest, since they’re losing their children and legacy to the unstoppable crush of progress that Maeve’s orchestrating. I think it’d be better to get a handle on what we have to work with, before we settle in to look at the problems.”

Shu Lin:
“Lolat, Thaddeus, what do you think?”

  • Yareko looks nervously at Shu Lin, but then quickly looks at the other two as their names are mentioned.

Thaddeus:
I’d be inclined to the modern half. I’m kinda curious about all the stuff in there and the goings on. Nothin’ quite like that back home being honest with ya.

  • Yareko gives a tour of both halves of the city, starting with the advanced side at the group’s request. A variety of information is given to the Exalted trio by the Linowan mortal. Economical mostly, as she insists that the military is not her area of knowledge. After feeding their curiosity as much as she can and showing them the sights of the city both ‘modern’ and traditional, Yareko takes the three to the Rusted Palace and leaves them with a mountain of a man that she calls “Vharek”, one of Maeve’s Generals who oversees her battles and military. She bows one last time before leaving.
  • Vharek grunts as he looks over the three.

Vharek:
Comrades of her Rusted Majesty? Speak your concerns then and I will answer.

  • Thaddeus gives a simple warrior’s salute and a quick “how goes.” before diving straight in with about as much tact as would be expected. “I wish to know of the armament and armour of your raiders and of the raiders themselves, their strengths, how they attack and so on.”
  • Shu Lin remains quiet for now, letting Thaddeus take the lead.

[7:01:26 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Joking aside, Thaddeus is more inclined for the criminal elements both problematic and useful (should it exist and Maeve hasn’t just headbutted them into submission.) Is there a good ‘work force’ for him to select from? How secure is this place? What about equipping people and keeping stuff maintained? Trade routes. Access toward enemy lands. Stabby bits.
[7:11:29 PM | Edited 7:12:48 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Security- Rubylack is currently lacking in truly solid walls. More traditional log walls are set up around the well, traditional, part of the city while the modern portion has some construction that’s started, but is also certainly some time away before making a difference.

Crime- Yareko bites her tongue for a moment before carefully saying, “Everyone works for the glory of her Rusted Majesty.” Take that as you will.

Trade Rotues- At this, Yareko perks up and gives a lengthy history story of the Silver River and how it has made the Linowan Na State into what it is today. Before Maeve came and made things even better as well, of course. At any rate, the Silver River is the source of the vast majority of trade for the region and it has several branches that run through the northern half of Linowa. Thanks to the captured fertile farmland down south, they’ve also been able to produce a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as raise cattle and pigs for slaughter to feed their warriors prime meat.

Equipment- This is something that Yareko is drawing a blank on. But she can introduce you to someone who’d be more in the know on the matter.

Enemy Lands- Everything to the west of Linowa is an enemy. The Tear Eaters, the Icewall. The west is filled with nothing but foes for the Linowans to clash against and their warriors to take pride in combatting. She also mentions Halta, but… that’s complicated. She explains that Maeve has taken measures to ease hostilities between the two northern nations and in a candid moment, she also confesses that she thinks Maeve intends to conquer Halta as well. And Yareko doesn’t seem to be against it.
[7:14:23 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: The equipment guy seems to be a good lead to follow up on. Mortal equipment is going to be a prime concern.
[7:15:05 PM] Avara: prominent businesses—the industries and fields that’re thriving the most.
[7:20:30 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Agriculture- She mentions again the southern farms and livestock, but also goes on about a variety of stuff that grows in Linowa (something I’ll have to figure out with Gensh) and rare herbs that make for good medicines and teas.

Industry- Yareko casts her gaze over towards the ‘modernized’ portion of Rubylack and says that it more or less speaks for itself. Maeve’s focus has most recently been on finishing up construction on that side of the city and beginning to add defensive walls. She also indicates the ship bases on the Silver Rivers’ sides and explain that Maeve has also been implementing plans for their longships to be supplemented by what Yareko calls ‘ironclads’. Being prompted on it gives you a hesitant shrug and says that her areas of concern are domestic, not military. She does look to Thad though and say that weapon and armor production are also a big concern for their smiths right now.
[7:21:38 PM] Avara: the modern-ness of the city doesn’t actually say anything about the businesses that thrive. restaurants, store types, particular weapon types or armorers over others, etc. it just says that what does thrive is high-tech.
[7:21:49 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Point to add on.
[7:22:27 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: I want everyone to understand at that last comment that Thaddeus is giving Yareko a look somewhere between “bedroom eyes” and “kid in a candy store”.
[7:22:44 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: And she is appropriately sweating nervously.
[7:23:01 PM] Avara: anything from lolat?
[7:24:23 PM] Avara: any traditions people here follow that’re notable? social faux pas that might be stumbled upon? local gods that’re cooperating or antagonizing linowa?
[7:24:53 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: At any rate, she also clarifies for Shu Lin that any kind of meat is considered a great delicacy by most of the inhabitants due to its previous scarcity in their own lands. Armorers and weaponsmiths are heavily employed by the State and receive generous payments for their work which often goes into more imported raw materials for Maeve’s needs.
[7:31:59 PM] Gensh: anything from lolat?Lolat is just sitting there and absorbing everything. It’s not like the South, where peoples lives are very heavily dependent upon their cattle. She won’t win them over just by being a bull deity. Likewise, raiding is more of a factor than full-scale war. her ancestry does her little good. She’s just trying to work out how to appeal to the people as a spiritual figure without challenging Maeve’s worldly authority.
[7:32:36 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: [7:31 PM] Gensh:

<<< Likewise, raiding is more of a factor than full-scale war.[MUFFLED SMUG BANDIT NOISES]
[7:33:23 PM] Avara: bringing in more meat sounds like it’d help.
[7:34:10 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Faith- Yareko goes very quiet. After a moment, she speaks in a measured tone about the previous God of Linowa, Golden-Eyed Jorst. She explains that he was responsible for their troubles with Halta and that Jorst would use a form of mind domination upon his own clergy, forcing them into following him and spreading his ‘faith’ against their will.

It was Maeve herself who discovered this and revealed it to the people of Linowa. None held any contempt against her when he was slain. After taking a deep breathe, she then goes on to explain that most have turned to a form of ancestor worship, though many are also astray. Some pray to Maeve, some to the… Scarlet Empress, and it’s basically very scattershot right now. She doesn’t talk about her own faith and even as nervous as she was about your presences, she’s adamant.

Traditions- All Linowans bear a Mask in some form. War Masks, Ceremonial Masks, etc. and so forth. She explains that the Mask she bears is for when she’s at court and that even her Rusted Majesty has a Mask she wears for official business. She also meantions how the navy of Linowa is considered the highest of honors for warriors and river merchantry one of the highest callings for the peasentry. Linowan life and culture is based around the Silver River and (as you can tell by now) it’s very important to the natives.
[7:35:42 PM] Gensh: Fixed some bugs with the religion chart and will continue updating stats here:
https://blueblood.obsidianportal.com/wikis/demographics
[7:37:07 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Where are they getting most of their raw materials from? Anywhere they are cut from taking from by enemies? What do others have around here that they do not?
[7:37:34 PM] Avara: on the note of raw materials
[7:38:04 PM] Avara: trading for materials was mentioned. and meat is a delicacy, so probably imported as well. who are the trade partners, and are there any with a higher alliance than trade partner?
[7:39:25 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Meat is mostly themselves now. But it does take time to bring it up from their southern farms.
[7:39:31 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Anyways
[7:43:50 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Metals- Imported primarily. Very rarely is a vein struck in the deeper parts of Linowa and usually it doesn’t last long. Yareko can’t be too certain of it, but she suspects that both parts are something to do with the Fae that once dominated the upper portion of the State and a decent bit of northern Halta.

Food- Primarily grown themselves and also imported. This time mostly from various ‘allied’ parts of the Hundred Kingdoms. She briefly holds her head as if irritated before she sighs and moves on to the next part.

Trade Partners/Alliances/Etc.- She explains that Linowa primarily trades with the Hundred Kingdoms, parts of the Scavenger Lands, recently Halta, and also Sijan. When it comes to the former, she also sighs and starts to explain that the Hundred “Kingdoms” are so scattered and constantly changing that she can’t even begin to give the ‘Kingdoms’ they’re technically allied with names because they change what feels like daily. It’s… very stressful, she finishes.
[7:44:32 PM] Avara: all info on relations with sijan
[7:45:48 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: -Sijan: Neutral. Friendly negotiations have been kept with the City of Tombs. She honors their ways and even allows their ships to go completely untouched by her raiders. Such an action is punishable by a brutal death.
[7:46:13 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Yareko would put it in a more eloquent way, but basically Maeve honors their ways and leaves it be.
[7:47:55 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: She’d then have to put it in simple terms for the thick ginger one.

What about the raiders? MO? Armament? Size?
[7:48:24 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: She apologizes and states again that such things are not her area of concern, but can introduce him to the one responsible.
[7:48:42 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: If you all want, I can do a summation now for her tour and have her hand you off to him
[7:49:05 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: I’m very down for that, how about you Av?
[7:49:30 PM] Avara: sure
[8:07:28 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Raiders- They fight like… well, raiders. Savage and fast moving skirmishes is the name of their game. Their normal outfit is leathers and iron axes or occaisonally a spear or sword and they’re also trained with using bows as well. The only real exception is that Raider Captains will also usually wear something like the Iron Armor out of Skyrim. Metal breastplate, leggings, and a horned helm.

Their usual MO is ambush. Whether hiding in the woods, having a small group distract a caravan at a crossroads while the rest lay in wait, or even falsely posing a caravan themselves, their job is to get in, wreck shit, and get out quick as they can. Looting optional, but normally a yes.
[8:08:54 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: tl;dr
kill, maim, burn
[8:08:59 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Oh good, just like the old band then, except they had primary focus on looting.
[8:10:16 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: What about the materials for weapons and such? Is there a way they could supplement what they have with raiding certain targets?
[8:11:49 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Yes. The raiders bring in quite a bit of loot. Normally being stuff like food, weapons, armor, etc. Mostly it comes from their southern excursions. On the west, they’ve been raiding the Tear Eaters, but there’s not exactly much to gain out of it.
[8:13:38 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: The Tear Eaters are basically stuff like the Linowans would already have. Leathers, meat (and it’s some strange meat they get sometimes (hint hint)), and weaponry that’s usually stone.
[8:13:55 PM | Edited 8:14:02 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Like even more than the rest of the North, the Tear Eaters are savages
[8:14:33 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Hmph, seems like a place better off put to the torch than raided. Noted.
[8:14:56 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: South is the fatter cow of what we have. What about maps and intelligence? (I’m wording this much better than Thaddy.)
[8:17:32 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: He can provide you with maps, but also says that the Hundred Kingdoms are a pain in the ass to make one for thanks to shifting around damn near daily. As far as intelligence goes, he can also round up reports for you and provides a quick summation that everything is stable and the Hundred Kingdoms are the Hundred Kingdoms. Chaotic and wild.
[8:18:02 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Bountiful too.
[8:19:06 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: brb
[8:19:10 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Yeah the reports would be really good. What about the Iron Clads we heard about, what’s the game plan there?
[8:33:04 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Back
[8:36:17 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Vharek ’hm’s thoughtly, stroking the beard upon his chin with a meaty hand. After a moment, he shakes his head. He says it’s not something he’s in favor of, but he obeys Maeve’s commands nonetheless. The linowan states that her ‘ironclad’ concept is to build metallic ships that could float upon the waves similar to some of Realm’s ships out in the Western Sea. He says that the construction is a long one and that it’s proving hard to make a working boat.
[8:38:11 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: And the benefits for them? Total immunity from whatever is on the current water ways and such?
[8:39:45 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: He nods.
[8:40:50 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: An open warfare piece unless we can find a way to pull whatever we want from the water.
[8:41:25 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Seems a poor idea to build a big heavy ship designed around being unbreakable to use in raiding when it’s advantages serve less purpose.
[8:41:45 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: And you hit his thoughts on the head.
[8:42:06 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: The Linowan are more familiar to the skirmishing style of warfare in general
[8:42:11 PM] Avara: useful for coast battles though, if you can swing it.
[8:42:41 PM] Avara: blast an enemy fortress’s wall down while their countershot bounces off, then sail out while land forces deal with the rest
[8:43:49 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: These are a people Thaddeus understands. There is a way to make it palatable to Vharek.
[8:43:54 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: And useful.
[8:44:09 PM] Avara: go ahead
[8:45:06 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Blockade on the waterway is good start. That thing can outright deny a lesser ship passing which means they can pepper the thing with light fire for culling the crew and then take the ship wholesale.
[8:45:22 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Your other choice requires a bit of advanced prep and knowledge.
[8:46:38 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: If you know a shipment is just something that can take being submerged you can blow it to bits and use it’s power to trawl kinda like a net being dragged for fish if you took whatever you were chasing in the shallows.
[8:46:51 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: And I take it you say all this to him?
[8:46:56 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Yes.
[8:47:03 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: In more… simple terms from a simple man.
[8:47:04 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Vharek is mildly impressed with Thad.
[8:48:15 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: He understood what Maeve wanted in terms of area denial with it, but he also believed a simple blockade would suffice. Now that you put it in terms of the latter part, he gets what its use outside of invasion could be.
[8:48:54 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: He’s still iffy on the thing, but more or less sold really.
[8:52:25 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Thad gets where he’s coming from but it’s what they’re locked in doing so you have to make things work in favour. The trawl strategy benefits well for getting metals (non-rusting ones anyway) so It could if leveraged really help outfit his raiders better which in turn allows the blockade and culls to be more effective so he can produce the requested Iron-clads at a lesser cost to his preferred outfitting. If he wants, Thad is happy to lend himself to any big raids where they need a bit of extra ‘oomph’.
[8:53:23 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Yep, Vharek’s definitely taken a liking to him.
[8:53:26 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Anything from Shu Lin?
[8:55:11 PM] Avara: naval warfare isn’t her thing, but she’d like to see their combat teachings
[8:55:40 PM] Avara: she’s not a war leader, she’s a warrior, and she wants to make sure the raiders have no equal when they close in
[8:56:08 PM] Avara: light armor and relatively standard weapons are both things she can work with
[8:58:01 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Alright. So a bit of an off-screen thing really. But Vharek says he can have someone fetch her to watch combat training and also says that she’d probably like to see how the foreign mercenaries fight as well. At prompting, Vharek says that they’re warriors Maeve brought in to form a proper ‘main army’ and to train Linowan Warriors into properly taking it over and running it themselves. Right now it’s still mostly mercenary though.
[9:00:09 PM | Edited 9:00:15 PM] Avara: Shu Lin’s learned from monks, life experience, and greater even before she exalted—and after exalting, she learned from the ultimate school of combat. so she’s going to be investing time and effort into making sure they’re good at what they do. being stealth types that close in for a slaughter, the focus would be on quick attacks and evasion to make the best of their light armor, and ambush tactics. not just waiting in the shadows to strike with bait, but even stuff for the ‘bait’ to be an effective ambush, such as quick-draw strikes with smaller blades and such.
[9:00:42 PM] Avara: she’d also include lessons for more open warfare, but the focus of raiders is raiding.
[9:01:18 PM] Avara: there’d also be some enhancement to stealth lessons if needed, since shu lin doesn’t make any noise walking unless she chooses to, never loses balance, etc
[9:01:32 PM] Avara: so basically, she works out a training regimen with vharek
[9:02:12 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Mmkay.
[9:02:18 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Quick note I forgot.
[9:02:24 PM] Avara: not really sure what else I can contribute on this part
[9:03:14 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Thad mentions that he has something to help with the Tear Eaters provided they’re willing to skip on looting them for the most part. A small addition to their loadout and a good trainer (besides him.)
[9:04:31 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: You contributed plenty really.

Also a bit of a side note, but Vharek is now quickly recalling what the last ‘comrades’ of the Rust Queen were like and he’s starting to realize that he’s perhaps a bit in over his own head right now. If the two of you are anything like the old ones, his warriors are in for a big gain.
[9:05:02 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: And Vharek nods at Thad to go on once more.
[9:05:13 PM] Avara: and on that note, a request for information on those former comrades once Thaddeus is done
[9:08:19 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Well the problem with the Tear Eaters is, they don’t offer much and they’re just in the way and they cause work and wounded. What you want is at the end of the day to be just be able to go and get rid of them and not need their meagre spoils. Explosives are perfect for that job and destructive enough to cut into their held lands AND are even faster in terms of raiding with certain uses or a completely hands off experience. We know a very good explosives expert and a great teacher even by our standards.
[9:09:27 PM] Avara: Plus the strange meat they have stocked is probably people. No need to loot that unless cannibalism is favored by linowan culture.
[9:11:40 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Vharek just looks at Shu Lin for a moment before shaking his head. With Thad though, he’s intrigued. He knows a good fire pot can go a long way. If these ‘explosives’ can quickly clear out an infestation of the Tear Eaters, it may be worth looking into.
[9:13:21 PM] Avara: shu lin shrugs at the head-shaking. she’s more interested in listening to Thaddeus’s expertise on the subject of raiding anyway.
[9:17:37 PM | Edited 9:18:27 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: A single fire-pot can raze a small building if left to burn. A small explosive does the same instantly as well as taking out the nearest wall or building. He could give his warriors a single one each, sneak in under the cover of darkness, place them and set them off and level an entire Tear Eater holding, rendering it worthless except for raw materials. A single planted one could blow a caravan once trod on, with no work beyond planting it which can be safe as planting a crop.
[9:24:33 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Sorry, had to do something. Anyways
[9:24:52 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Yeah, you sold him. Vharek is (mostly) stuck in his ways, but you’re hitting exactly where you need to on this stuff.
[9:26:12 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: That’s me out of items to cover. Av, you got anything?
[9:26:26 PM] Avara: hearing about those former comrades
[9:29:36 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Comrade 1- While Vharek doesn’t quite use the word ‘sorcery’, you basically get that’s what he talks about in regard to this one. He describes one of the sorceror’s great feats as moving the entire city of Rubylack from its former spot to the current.

Comrade 2- Vharek basically describes this one as an assassin of sorts with a silver tongue.

Essentially, Maeve’s old Coven was Warrior/Mage/Rogue
[9:30:12 PM] Xiombarg’s Leedah: Vharek doesn’t know anything personal on either, just what they were capable of.
[9:31:47 PM] Avara: alright. a little dry, but maybe details will happen in the future.
[9:32:11 PM] Avara: I don’t have anything else right now. and shu lin would like somewhere to play music for a while if there’s no other business to attend to or contacts to meet.
[9:33:35 PM] Dr. Bane Gains PHD Gainology – University of Swole: Just wish Vharek well, mention getting to work on the trainer and to bell if he needs help Thad could provide.

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Taking the Bull by the Horns

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Gensh:
The final day of Walpurgis. It ends much as it begins, with much pomp and ceremony. In the end, all the champions of hell will parade to the outermost borders of the Demon City, where they go their seperate ways across the Endless Desert. For now, however, there are still speeches and pagentry to complete. The Holy Queen-Mother makes use of this time to brief each coven on their initial missions for the year to come. The newbies make a brief appearance as they are dismissed, and now, four seasoned asura have been called together. Each is well-known – Thaddeus, the Forest Bandit King; Maeve, the Rusted Tyrant of Linowa; Shu Lin, the death-touched swordsaint; and Lolat, the Mad Cow of the South. Yet until now, they had worked alone or in temporary alliances. For the Queen-Mother to call them together, there could only be one reason: the formation of a new coven to complete a grand task in the name of the Yozis.

  • Shu Lin nods to the others in greeting, a smile on her face. “I didn’t expect to run into you all again so close to Walpurgis’ end. How’s the cult going, Lolat? The war, Maeve? Adn your training, Thaddeus?”
    Avara:
    *and
  • Maeve looks at the rest of the arrivals idly. She nods after a moment to each of them. “Forming up in the west. More issues with the Deathlord’s tribes. Starting to create a wedge.” She drones on slightly in a neutral tone before looking at the doors. “Two Circlemates dead from one of the Bull’s.” And then she simply shrugs.
  • Thaddeus gives a small wave in response and in greeting to the others. “It goes… been slacking off too hard on it past all this busy work and well… I find it hard to train down here.” He laughed a bit. “How goes things with yourself? It’s been some time siince we last saw each other.”

Shu Lin:
“Dealing with people is its own kind of training, Thaddeus. Friendly faces waiting to stab you in the back, literally or metaphorically. I don’t like wasting that sort of opportunity.”

  • Shu Lin looks to Lolat expectantly, waiting for an answer.

Lolat:
Lords, what fools mortals are. It is only right that they worship their betters, and they are all-too-compliant in that – only the weak-minded things are incapable of grasping any nuance of divine politics. I was forced to purge an entire village when they began making sacrifices to the Yellow Sun.

Shu Lin:
“You couldn’t re-educate them, I guess? Just killing a village is wasteful, and it strengthens the black pits as much as you weakened the traitor sun.”

Maeve:
You have to cull now and then or else the herd grows weak.

  • Maeve tilts her head idly.
  • Shu Lin shrugged—she didn’t really care much, she was just offering some tactical advice.

Maeve:
Well. We’d better go in before Lil pouts at us.

  • Maeve opens the doors and heads inside.
  • Shu Lin holds the door open, waving to Lil before letting the others through first.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Pouting has its uses, Maeve.

  • Thaddeus straightens himself up and steps through, taking a spot behind Maeve.
  • Shu Lin closes the door once everyone’s inside. “Good day, Lil-Lil. How’s Walpurgis treating you?”

Maeve:
I know. I still feel guilty about giving Mina those bad cookies.

  • Maeve disconcertingly ogles Lilun all the while.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I am doing well as one might expect, Shu. And Maeve, do not be too freewheeling with Mina. She does enjoy lambchops as much as anything else.

  • Thaddeus takes the moment to actually nosey around the room, looking everywhere but at Lilun and in everyway but subtly.
    Gensh:
    The room is a relatively plain office, for a queen anyway. Everything is in perfect order, for anything less would make managing the akuma, asura, and their entourages untenable. The light of Ligier streams in from a skylight above, but the shadows seem to lay thick about the room. Since Ligier doesn’t cast shadows, the effect is quite poignant.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
In any case, I am as busy as ever, so let us get down to business.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
My dear children, I am sure you know why I called you here together. Yet, I think it will be a surprise as to why I have called you in particular. The Yozis have long sought to establish a presence in a theatres. In these long years, we, their servants, have done so. Now, we finally begin to move. I have been given the task of administering the Yozis’ war on rebellious Creation. To this end, we must relinquish some freedoms and focus on one objective at a time.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I have decided after long consideration that the greatest threat is that of a Solar Empire. It will be difficult to tear down once fully established, and the first will inspire others to come. To this end, there is one obvious course of action. We must melt the Icewall with hellfire and slaughter the Bull of the North.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I’m sure you all have questions, but make them brief.

Shu Lin:
“So, to cut through formalities… We’re going to be the battering ram to break into some new territory for Hell’s warriors, to stop the yellow sun’s brats from making progress?”

Lillun Dragondaughter:
It is not a matter of territory, Shu Lin. It is a matter of preemptive action. Should the Bull permanently repel or make peace with his competing neighbors, there will be no one better poised to strike at the Isle. It is hell who must make that first blow.

Shu Lin:
“Alright. So I can see why you pulled Maeve, and I’ve worked with her before, and I’m guessing the rest of us have too on some level. Stopping Bull so Hell can make that strike?”

Thaddeus:
Aye, I’vea question. Do we need to do these things in any special way? I mean, incase we turn the guy to dust and we’re actually supposed to make a big travelling show about his body to show off WHY we don’t do as he did.

Thaddeus:
Or they.

Maeve:
Not just stopping the progress. We must sever the head of the Empire. The Bull must die. And I will do it. Nonetheless, there is also the matter of the Lover. She has been idle for years now, though her tribes are not. Are there any matters regarding her?
Avara:
should i make any draws for info on the deathlords’ actions, since that’s shu’s sort of area of expertise?
Gensh:
She would have knowledge on some of their preferences, motives, etc, but not any direct information on their movements.
Avara:
okay.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
You may use whatever methods necessary. We have not heard from any of the Deathlords in some time, so we must treat them as rivals at best. Our attempts at espionage are few due to the unsavory nature of the assignment and the loss of our best agent nearly two decades ago.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Now, you are all here for a reason. Maeve has long prepared to fight the Bull. Shu Lin’s and Thaddeus’ territories will taken as well if the Linowan State falls. Lolat has be reassigned from the South to provide administrative assistance and to detract from the Bull’s own worship. If the peoples have grown used to a mighty bull god, then it will be simplest to win their hearts by providing one of our own.

  • Shu Lin growls, before she can really restrain that impulse—her territory, even if she hadn’t managed to reclaim it yet, was her territory. The idea of someone else taking it from her wasn’t something she’d tolerate. She nods, more restrained than before. “We’ll break the Bull. I’m not too familiar with running a cult, but Lolat, if there’s anything you need for your end of things, let me know. The help goes both ways.”

Lolat:
Aye, I’ll look forward to it, rankled though I be at the reassignment from my work back home.

  • Thaddeus frowns at the mentions of his lands being taken, scratching his cheek. “Maybe we could kill two birds with one stone, crush him with the wall as it goes down. Give us all a bit of… breathing room as we go back to work.” He audibly paused to search for the words there (and visibly struggled to find them.) His however smile returned just as quickly as it left regardless once he spoke again. “But enough dreaming and waiting, aye?”
  • Maeve continues to disconcertingly ogle at the Queen-Mother. Though in her mind, she is already formulating possible strategies.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Indeed. It is finally time for action.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
All this in mind, the existing masters of the Northern theatre will have matters to discuss with you. I have taken the liberty of assembling them already. You will find then waiting in the Silver Gallery. You are dismissed.

Shu Lin:
“Sounds like fun. Good luck with the rest of the Asura, Lil.”

  • Maeve leaves without much of a word, staring straight ahead before suddenly looking over at Lolat. “Goddess or Lady? Or is there a special title you prefer for worship? I’ll start planting the seeds of it once I get back to Rubylak.”

Lolat:
Oh, come up with something grand. It only fans the fire if they argue over the proper manner of address.

Shu Lin:
“How do you go about with running a cult, anyway? I’ve never really tried the whole ‘WORSHIP ME’ route.”

Thaddeus:
I was always taught you just did stuff to get enough notice and then had the followers argue and fight to the death over how best to please you.
Witch is disconnected.
Witch has connected.

Lolat:
It is a simple matter, as mortals are simple creatures. They wish for nothing more than to give up their free will. They want a parent, a king, a god, to take the fear of choice and consequence from them. You just have to teach them that it is better to serve you than the god down the street. The means can be fear, respect, bribery – anything – or more likely, all of those. All the greatest gods are monsters, I have seen firsthand. Mortals find the obvious hideousness of the Yozis a refreshing change from the wretchedness the gods hide behind a mask of righteousness and duty.

Shu Lin:
“Hm. Well, with a divine beauty like yours I guess it’d be hard for them to resist. Maybe you can give me a few lessons some time, so I can keep my territory better once I’ve got it back?”

Maeve:
Fear is one way to lead an army. Religion is another. Speaking of which. One religion or multiple all worshipping a single figurehead that fills the criteria of them?

Lolat:
I will do as best I can, Shu Lin. Though much of my success is owed the strength of my arm. The mortals do not have a choice in the matter if the local gods lose their heads overnight. One faith, Maeve. Religion is optional. It does us no good if they truly fight amongst themselves. Make my name and lineage unmistakeable.

Maeve:
True, true. Though some competition can breed a stronger faith and soldiers.

Shu Lin:
“Yeah. Even if we set more than one of us up at religious figures, it’d be best to have a unified front. Multiple interpretations and religions is risky at best. Imposters, chances for people to splinter the cult for their own gain… Idiot followers killing each other instead of the enemy over which dogma is right.”

Maeve:
Speaking of. You won’t mind if I make use of your men as spies and raiders, will you Thaddeus? You’re good at what you do and I could use a hole in the Halta Republic’s defensive line if they try anything.

Shu Lin:
“Eventually you’d have to kill your own people just to make an example. Wasteful.”

Thaddeus:
No, not at all. Just don’t have them running off into certain death, they are still mortal after all. The more renegade ones would be good ‘prophets’ aye? Go and preach of all of Lolat’s good deeds and works she’s done for them.

Lolat:
I do not wish for you to think me a butcher. Unlike the gods, I am fair. I have summoned a Judge to each execution and enumerated the rebels’ crimes afore putting their heads to the block. Ah, but we arrive. We must hold this discussion.
Gensh:
The Silver Gallery is a large, open-air hallf of the Queen-Mother’s palace. In it are collected works of art (for a Yozi definition of art) selected by the titans with more dreamlike sensibilities. Ultimately, it looks like the nightmare of a surrealist painter.
Gensh:
Still, the five asura who had to this point commanded the Northern theatre without opposition stood waiting among the headache-inducing works. On seeing all of them together, it becomes very transparent how little the Yozis had thought of the North to this point. They all act in the North in name but practically speaking are hermits or move from place to place as needed.
Gensh:
The Giftlord, who had no desire for conflict. The Empyreal Chaplain, always bound up in her duties within the Demon City. The Explosive Maestro, who lived from day to day without planning ahead. The Dragon’s Doll, who did nothing without the command of her master. Cearr, who no longer had interest in conquest.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Avara:
beep beep
Cliffjord:
Connection test.
Gensh:
you are there
Cliffjord:
Okay good, Skype is just being a gimp.
Avara:
lolat’s boobs are still the best in the brass city. we’re good to roll.

  • Maeve looks idly at the paintings. She thought they used too much red and not enough cyan. After a moment of staring though, she looked back down to see the ones that they were supposed to meet before going ‘topside’ as it were. She nodded to Caerr in particular, but otherwise stared at the rest. The only other slightly familiar face was Kris Klaus, though that stood more to the reason he was another exalt of Cecylene. Until now she had not interacted with him.
  • Shu Lin smiles and waves to everyone. “Good to see you Cearr, Gundyr. A pleasure, Kris Klaus, Black, Dragon’s Doll.”
  • Thaddeus let out a thunderous laugh and clapped once. “Black! It’s been a while. As to you Cearr.” He waved a more… impersonal greeting to the other gathered asura, not out of any disrespect but out of ignorance of what best to address them as. Though he took a note from Shu’s songsheet and added a small. “As to you, Gundyr, Klaus and Dragon’s Doll, how goes.”
  • Cearr grunts and raises a hand in welcome.
  • Dragon’s Doll bows low.

Black:
Yeah, hey!

Gunta Taldottr:
Pleased, I’m sure.

Kris Klaus:
Ho, ho, ho, what a gathering this is!

  • Lolat stands idle, arms crossed.

Lolat:
This is your show, Maeve. I’ll let you handle this however you want.

Shu Lin:
“If you’d prefer to sit back, Maeve, I can handle the talking.”

  • Maeve nods appreciatively. “Say your pieces if you have them. A ruler needs good advisors as well.” She then looks to the gathered grouping. “I am here to discuss the matter of the Bull’s Icewall in the North. As of today my campaign is taking priority according to the Yozi. However, I wish to hear if there is any clash of interests between us as well.”
  • Cearr shakes his head.

Dragon’s Doll:
My Lord supports this undertaking.

Black:
Let’s kick evil empire ass!

Gunta Taldottr:
I will work as the Yozis will it.

Kris Klaus:
I cannot say I have any objections. The Bull, for all the good he did in civilizing the North, is not a kindly king, to say the least.

  • Shu Lin raises an eyebrow to Black’s attitude. Once everyone’s done, she clears her throat. “As you’ve guessed by now, the end goal is to melt the icewall and break the bull’s kingdom. Maeve wants Bull personally, but the rest? We’re working with Lolat’s cult. That means we do it right, we won’t have to kill everyone between us and him. We can convert and subvert. We do it right, we’ll only have to fight his most fiercely loyal and loyally fierce fighters, his circle, and him. That’d be best, so we can move up to the second objective and conslidate for it. We’re killing the Bull so that Hell can be the one to reclaim the center of Creation. We need our forces and our peoples properly prepared and ready for it. Land with good farms, people happy and loyal.”

Shu Lin:
“Once we’ve got all that, we can move up and be the force that ends the petty squabbling that’s keeping Creation out of good rule.”

  • Thaddeus remains oddly silently, rubbing his chin in thought, occassionally casting a sizing eye over the collected group. An unrestrained smirk growing on his face. “To be honest, looking at what we have, the most fierce part of the task is going to be putting the bull himself on ice so to speak. I doubt he’d be ready for anything we can drop on him, we’re not really the foes he’s looking out for.” He clapped once more. “So, no real hard job until the day of the big show, aye?” He seemed fairly happy but then again, that was Thaddeus. “Even if he goes the way of trying to put our little cult to the torch, he’s burning his own stuff. But we’ll try take it for ourselves anyway.”

Maeve:
Aptly put by both of you. Now, since there’s no objections. Tell me what you all specialize in. We need to start forming strategies now. I am also interested in cutting off the Halta Republic and the Lover’s barbarians. If you have any ideas on how to deal with either, I’m all ears.

Cearr:
A word of advice first. We’re playing with fire. The Bull’s cult is already under siege by the Bishop. We do have the advantage of surprise, but that’ll only last us so long. For my specialties, I’m sure you already know. I break things. For Halta, we need to deal with its Lunar architects. Might want to bring in Tigershark. For the Tear Eaters, bribery. We can’t afford to piss off the Deathbitch, or she’ll trip us up at the worst moment.
Witch is disconnected.
Witch has connected.

Dragon’s Doll:
I know things forbidden, and may trespass in places sacred. I can assassinate, but that is a waste of my powers. My analysis on strategy is as follows. The dead are a matter for another time. Placate them for now. I agree too that Halta is no real danger – only the Lunars which may remember their duty is to protect monsters like the Bull from monsters like us. My Lord would destroy them all from within, but he understands that method may be too slow.

Black:
It’s simple, right? There’s nine of us, and what, five, six including the Bull? If we can just get enough guys to hold off his army, we can march right in and kick his ass! Hell, we could maybe get some of our guys on the inside and show his army how much cooler we are! And you know, I know we’re supposed to be fighting him, but maybe we shouldn’t at first? Work with him to take out the Deathlords first! Then his army will already KNOW how cool we are! Then we can make all of them our groupies in a good old fashioned battle of the bands! Same with those other guys!

  • Maeve disconcertingly ogles at Black.

Gunta Taldottr:
Honestly, I don’t know how the Bull got this far without catching the Queen’s attention. Provoke her. Imply the Bull is more respected than she is, and watch the fireworks. Easy, and barely any work for us. The Vicar can directly compete against the Bishop. That leaves Tigershark for the Lunars, and someone like the Doll over there for the Lover. Simple and clean.

Kris Klaus:
I find myself agreeing with the little one and that scamp, Black. We should take our time. Provide aid to the Bull against the Deathlords. Make him dependent upon our goodwill. Then add a price tag.

Shu Lin:
“The Lover and the Bishop… I’ll have to refresh myself on what I know about them. Black, we’re not here to make friends with the Bull. We’re here to kill him—the more work we do FOR him, the easier it is for him to stab us in the back and march on the Realm over our dead bodies. Gundyr, we’re supposed to do this, and we’re going to do this. The Queen’s got better to deal with, and the Vicar’s better focused on managing his other contacts. Klaus, we’re going on that sort of thing from a different angle—not as friends to the bull, but as the Superior Option. A better gift with a smaller price, at least at first.”

  • Maeve begins to stroke her chin in consideration. Two similiar ideas, but also key differences as well. Tigershark seemed like a must in general though. Another stop to be made before returning to Linowa. “No, he would not betray us. The Bull is many things, but an oathbreaker he’s not.” Still, she did not commit to the idea just yet.

Shu Lin:
“You’d have to be able to extract an oath from him first.”

Shu Lin:
“Still… I can’t say that ripping the pale shades out of the equation first isn’t tempting. Maeve, it’s your call here. I’ll do what I can to head whatever project you give me.”

Thaddeus:
I think… perhaps we are thinking too much like we have only option to take. There is ways to blend the ideas for… more sure results.

  • Maeve nods. “Correct. Even with bribery, we still cannot count out the Tear Eaters no matter what. The Deathwhored be at our asses even if she wasn’t so shameless already.” She crosses her arms. “I shall speak to Tigershark about the Halta matter regardless. And… a temporary measure to make peace with the Bull as well. If we are to lull him into a false sense of security, I will have to pretend to pay reverence to the fact he killed two of us already.” She doesn’t sound particularly happy, though she doesn’t sound angry either.

Shu Lin:
“That’s not a hard act to put on. You’re a warrior, you respect warriors on any side of a battlefield. South, in the Hundred Kingdoms, alliances and enemies could change day to day. You don’t hold a grudge, you celebrate your opponent’s skill as much as your own. And then when they’re the enemy again, you kill them knowing a worthy warrior took them down.”

  • Shu Lin shrugs again. “It’s not that different, except that you’ll be faking it.”

Maeve:
Quite. And while the front lines will face the Lover’s savages and undead, the back line shall be permeated with Lolat’s cult.

  • Shu Lin nods, cracking her knuckles.

Thaddeus:
And should either of the frontlines do too well… we can ‘adjust’ that. A draining war suits them just fine.

  • Maeve nods.

Maeve:
Our perceived focus will be the goal of eliminating the Lover, but our real goal shall be corrupting their spirits. To that end, we will need to be careful and take this slowly. A rushed victory will not get us anywhere that we need to be.

Shu Lin:
“Depending on how much Bull knows, having me on the team might sell that a bit better too, Maeve. Not sure how far news spreads, but I haven’t really made secret my grudge against the Underworld.”

Lolat:
A solid plan, ‘sfar as I can see. I don’t think Mama Lil would mind the diversion with the Deathlords. I can start laying the groundwork more easily if the Bull and myself are “together” against a common foe. If you try dealing with the ‘Shark, you’ll be stuck here a while. I’ll head to Creation as soon as the exit parade starts so we don’t lose any time.

  • Maeve nods. “Go ahead. Shu Lin, accompany her as well. The two of you together will prove good for selling our perceived goal.”

Shu Lin:
“I was just about to offer, Maeve.”

  • Shu Lin sounds a bit miffed. Just a tad. But shrugs again—it’s not important.

Shu Lin:
“I’ll come with you, Lolat, if you don’t mind.”

Lolat:
An extra blade is always welcome.

Shu Lin:
“Alright. I wish the rest of you the best of luck in your sides of things.”

Thaddeus:
Aye, nice to have it but not like we need it. Eh? We have this dealt with, we just need to put a plan into motion.

Shu Lin:
“Never scorn luck as a factor. And any plan’ll break once it hits the battlefield. Just be ready to pick up the pieces.”

  • Maeve nods. “All of you may do as you wish for the time being as well. I have some business with Vicar Murmur as well that I’ll need to attend to before I depart. Our meeting place shall be the capitol of the Linowan State, Rubylak.”
  • Lolat nods and gives a curt salute before heading off to the parade grounds.
  • Shu Lin gives a showier bow, more fit for a musician, before heading off. With her back visible, so to is the instrument strapped to her back. A long wooden rectangle, with a raised divider and numerous strings, the guzheng was fully functional… and perfectly sized to hide her favored weapon.

Thaddeus:
Oi, Black and Klaus? Don’t suppose I can borrow ya’s for a few minutes, sound out an idea.

Black:
Sure thing!

Kris Klaus:
Oho?

Maeve:
Caerr, would you mind accompanying me for a time as well?

  • Cearr grunts, using his axe to stand.
  • Maeve nods appreciatively and begins to walk off with her fellow Northern warrior.

Thaddeus:
I think I have a plan that’ll be more than enticing to you both.

  • Thaddeus laughed again and clapped his hands, wringing them with a growing excitement.

Thaddeus:
How does the notion of making the most appealing cult in all the land strike you both?

Kris Klaus:
Well, Lolat is a nice girl, but I hardly think she’ll best me.

Black:
You’re talking like I’m not already the hottest idol in all five directions!

Thaddeus:
And I have many good men for spreading even better word. But… aye… this plan comes with a price. We need a ‘practice’ go first. That is why I propose we use Lolat for that and kill two birds with one stone. We do our current job, we practice the technique and it’s only kept to the North.

Kris Klaus:
Primacy is an important factor in matters like this.

Black:
Ugh, it’s a pain to unseat old favorites, yeah.

Thaddeus:
Ahahaha, that’s why we do it now. Her’s will be a cult to replace the Bull’s. We won’t leave it enough time to settle roots. It just needs to be ‘good enough’ to overtake his and from there it’ll be easily outdone because we can do the repeat performance better. The hardest part will actually be the existing cults in Creation, Lolat’s will be but a passing gust.

Thaddeus:
Think of her’s as the gateway into ours.

Kris Klaus:
Hmph. Trying to tell us whatever you think we want to hear. You clearly haven’t heard what happened to the last men who tried to swindle Kris Klaus.

Black:
Come on, man, give him a chance!

Thaddeus:
I honestly am not trying to swindle you. What do I have to gain? If I wanted to set up some cult about me and screw you two out of it, I’d be stupid and send out my men for that. Lolat is a mere stepping stone but a stepping stone never the less that most be used, it’s why’s she’s here. Had I choice I skip but we have to work with what we are given. She is happily going to eat up the feast she is being given for so little work beyond ‘be like the bull’ whilst we would be the ones best suited and most likely will end up spreading the word and fixing the backline. I am instead trying to order a more fair deal that works in the long term as it suits having more wide-spreading cults under our own. If you really do not trust me, you can put a contract on it, so firm is my belief in this.

Kris Klaus:
Your beliefs may truly be firm, but you are yound and do not understand the hearts of men, much less the cold hearts of the North. But I fear your heart is all the colder, so ready to betray Lolat. I refuse your black gift.

Black:
Well, if my name’s already on it, Kris.

Black:
I’m in.

Thaddeus:
Very well. I hold it not against you if that is what you truly believe. Regardless these things look to the future beyond the death of the Bull and we shall not deviate from the plan until then, less we place the works and wills of the Yozi into danger. Black, our time will come, aye?

Black:
Just like the fans when I blast out a solo!

Kris Klaus:
Hmph.

  • Kris Klaus walks off and begins speaking to Gunta.
  • Maeve strides on along to Tigershark’s most likely location. Flakes of rust fall around her as usual, dissipating into dust as they touch the brass framework of the city. She hasn’t spoken yet, but after a moment more, she finally does. “My offer to the former Talinin territory is open as always. But that’s not why I wanted to speak to you. How goes your battles, Caerr?”

Cearr:
The offer is appreciated, but the Talinin have passed. The same for good fights. No matter how I handicap myself, I cannot be beaten. I almost miss those days when we were frantically trying to establish a foothold in hostile territory. I’m worried most of the fight against the Bull will be cowardly manipulations or the massacre of mortals.

  • Maeve contemplates his answer. “Hmm. Yes, I can agree. I would prefer to combat him myself, one-on-one with just the two of us. But that isn’t an option. I’ve tried.” She shakes her head a bit. “The goal to take out the Lover is no less of a real one either. The sooner she’s gone, the better for all of us no matter what color we identify with. So I must ask. When the time comes, will you stop me? You know that at the end of this, I don’t care about what the Yozi want. I want my fight. Win or lose. If the time comes and the Bull looks to slay me, let him. He will have earned it.”

Cearr:
Mm. If you wish a warrior’s death, I won’t take it from you. But there’s a difference between a warrior’s death and a youngling’s ideal of it. Do not make the mistake of throwing your life away for a disgrace of a fight.

  • Maeve grimaces at the vey thought. “No. I would accept nothing less than the Bull at his peak. Anything besides would be an embarassment to him and myself. He is the reason that I became an Asura. My failure to put up even a struggle against the most dominant Solar of the past generation.” She shakes her head again. “No. Anything lest than facing him at his best is not worth striving for.” Maeve stops after a moment more. Just short of her goal. She turns and looks at Caerr. “But I must ask. What fight did you seek this week of revelry?”

Cearr:
I spent some time in the arena. Who doesn’t? My real fight is deeper. We barely age, but I would be nearly an elder of my people, now. So I fight the battle that all old warriors do. I war with the idea that strength of arms cannot solve what really matters.

  • Maeve shakes her head.

Maeve:
Your rage may be gone, but I can see it in your eyes. That fire never dies no matter how much we think we can put it aside. Regardless, if you do not wish to speak of it, then I shall not pry. I hope you found success in what you sought.

Cearr:
I found answers but also more questions. You are young. You will not come to understand unless years or a great tragedy weighs upon you. Enough of this. What did you wish of me as the commander of this operation?

  • Maeve nods, respectful of his words. No matter what his goal, Maeve held a great respect for the iconic warrior of the Asura.

Maeve:
I wish for you to do as you always have. Fight with me. Against the Lover first and foremost and then join me in the campaign upon the Bull himself. I shall not shy away from the front line. At any rate, that’s all I wished to speak with you about. I shall not take up any more of your time.

Cearr:
Very well. Good hunting.

  • Cearr nods and wanders off.

Maeve:
And to you.

  • Maeve continues on her way to Tigershark.

Tigershark:
Ah, the little lamb seeks the butcher of her own accord. How might we help you?

  • Tigershark is awaiting the beginning of the parade by eating a full-course meal. Entire benches otherwise reserved for seating are covered in countless dishes.

Maeve:
Goat.

Tigershark:
Do not be so harsh. You are still young and succulent.

  • Maeve chuckles a little.

Maeve:
At any rate, I was hoping to speak with you about the Lunars of Halta. I have been striving towards a peace with them, but it goes slowly. Too slowly given I’m now more pressured than ever to take down the Bull.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.

Tigershark:
Ah, so many fear to follow our recipies, though we are the Chef de Cuisine of that particular kitchen. We thank you for showing proper respect. Rain Deathflyer and Silver Python are not unreasonable. Yet, it will a bitter flavor for them. Long have they worked to perfect the dish of Halta, to season it just so. They will not believe we can properly keep you dish and theirs seperate. I will speak to my wife and wine to see what pressures she can apply from within the Silver Spoon. With luck, we may convince them Halta would be a delectable soup to sit beside a goat’s salad.

Maeve:
I see. And what price would you ask for your assistance?

Tigershark:
Only what we ourselves cooked. The Lunars will be but an aftertaste one day. When that day comes, we wish to take the long-cured Halta four ourselves. How delectable it is! It is almost what we would create, if we wished to cultivate a society instead of baking one from scratch.

Maeve:
Very well. I will offer you all due assistance in the matter as you have provided me. On the day you seek to make Halta yours, I shall aid you.

Tigershark:
That is all we ask. We enjoy the challenge of crafting new dishes from limited ingredients.

  • Maeve steps closer and removes a rusted gauntlet from her hand before offering it to Tigershark.
  • Tigershark accepts the handshake. His hand almost passes for human, but it begins to lather itself to clean away the rust and keep it sanitary for cooking.

Maeve:
Have a good meal, Tigershark. I shall bring you some Northern food when next we speak.

Maeve:
By the way, do you know where Vicar Murmur is? I have to speak to him about an order.

  • Tigershark wrinkles his nose.

Tigershark:
…like biting into our fork….

Tigershark:
The metal metropolitan is no doubt nearby. I can smell his lust.

Tigershark:
We would lead you to him, but we cannot abide that foul flavor. Even now, it threatens to ruin our appetite.

  • Tigershark shows no signs of stopping eating.

Maeve:
Mind pointing it out then?

Tigershark:
There is the origin of the stench.

  • Tigershark waves toward a building decorated with azure banners and marks of the priesthood.

Maeve:
Ah, thank you.

  • Maeve puts her gauntlet on again and nods her head to him before taking her leave.
  • Gabrien Murmur is seated behind an altar while serfs make last-minute decorations to his armor for the parade. He taps his foot anxiously and nods as Maeve enters.
  • Maeve heads towards Murmur, nodding her head in return. The man was anxious as ever when it came to Walpurgisnacht. “You know, you really need to figure out how to get some temproary fix when you have to be apart, Gabrien.”

Gabrien Murmur:
Look.

  • Gabrien Murmur ’s voice drops.

Gabrien Murmur:
I am wearing her thong right now, and it is riding me like Kyrie rides Ligier, but it’s not helping.

  • Maeve disconcertingly ogles Murmur.
  • Maeve pats him on the shoulder.

Maeve:
Well, the parade’s soon at least. Just have to hang in there for the trip across Cecylene and then you’re good.

Gabrien Murmur:
Oh, nonono! I FULLY exercise my rights as her favorite. She doesn’t cut the time for anyone, but she does smuggle Tris all the way to the border of the City without telling Malfeas.

  • Maeve chuckles.

Gabrien Murmur:
So, what’s up?

  • Gabrien Murmur shifts uncomfortably, trying to find relief from the thong.

Maeve:
Ah, right. I’d almost forgotten.

Maeve:
Out of curiosity, where are you due to set the city after Walpurgis?

Gabrien Murmur:
I don’t even keep track of where they roam anymore. Did you want me to wheel it around to Rubylak?

Maeve:
I’d appreciate it. The Yozis are hounding after me to finish the job with the Bull. But I’d also like to use him to take out the Lover while I’m at it. A two for one deal would be best. I was hoping to have an order completed for the campaign as well.

Gabrien Murmur:
Sure, whatever you need. Pull Annie aside for the details, and I’ll go over them with Tris.

  • Maeve nods. “I’ll let you get back to this then. Also, your right armguard is missing the decals the left has.” With that bit of constructive critique done, she pulls Aniastora aside to discuss her plans.

Gabrien Murmur:
Argh! Why is any of this necessary?!

  • Aniastora bows respectfully.

Aniastora:
As always, forgive my master’s lack of manners. Now, how may I help you?

  • Maeve brushes it aside with a wave of the hand. “It’s fine. I prefer blunt as you might imagine. Anyways.” Maeve takes a moment to pause and put together the details in her mind.

Maeve:
I am looking for a Warstrider. Any material will do. But I want it equipped with a special piece of equipment as well. I’m looking to kill a Deathlord and they don’t die easily. In that vein, I was contemplating something like a ‘soulcatcher’. Similar to that Soulsteel the Black Exalts work with. Something that could capture and contain the soul of the Lover to make sure that she troubles us no more.

Aniastora:
This is a wicked art. Cecelyne is capable of it in her hypocrisy, of course.

  • Aniastora sighs.

Aniastora:
But it will be difficult. We will need to reach out to our Underworld contacts.

  • Maeve nods. “I understand if this is no short order. I didn’t expect it to be. But I can assure you it shall be worth it.”

Aniastora:
I will record your wishes and list the steps my master must take in order to fulfill them, but I fear this is a trivial solution. Ah, I mean trivial in the Autochthonian sense. It is altogether too easy and so will hide fatal flaws. The Vicar will begin on the warstrider immediately, but I pray you reconsider you choice in weapon.

  • Maeve makes a gesture for Aniastora to go on, paying heed to her words.

Aniastora:
The Deathlords are already in bondage. To capture the spirit of one would surely require a greater power than the-

  • Aniastora coughs.

Aniastora:
Great Dead Ones.

Maeve:
I see. Then it would really just be a waste of time. Hmm.

Maeve:
Or rather, too dangerous to toy with. At any rate, if not that, then I’d request an array of weaponry instead. I shall simply have to go the route of overkill to make certain she stays down.

Aniastora:
I shall the Vicar apply some thought to it. If not him, then perhaps the second or third princesses would have ideas. You shall have a fine warstrider come the time of battle, have no doubt.

Maeve:
Thank you, Aniastora. For your advice and wisdom as well.

Aniastora:
It was my pleasure, Lady Maeve.

Maeve:
Ah, come to think of it. Isn’t one of their birthdays soon?

Aniastora:
Ah, I am afraid you missed it. The young lady Trishula just turned fifteen.

Maeve:
Ah, tsk. I’ll have to arrange a late gift. Do you know what she’d like?

Aniastora:
Well, she already received a new direlance, so perhaps something of a more utilitarian nature.

Maeve:
Hmm. Well, anyways. I shall leave you to helping Gabrien. Have a good day, Aniastora.

Aniastora:
And a pleasant day to you as well, Lady Maeve.

  • Maeve bids goodbye to Aniastor and Gabrien both before taking her leave. With little else to do, she simply decides to wait and watch the parade.
View
Final Exam Scores

Walpurgis always ended much the way it began, with pomp and ceremony and speeches condemning the treacherous gods of Creation. There was, however, one additional component. While the demons would continue to revel, the asura circles would be called one by one to speak with the Holy Queen-Mother in private. There, as the representative of all the Yozis and their contradictory objectives, she would assign them their primary tasks for the year to come. Gone were the days of the titans speaking directly to their Chosen and commanding them work against each other. Now, the novelty had gone, and they wished only for their stolen Exalted to fulfill their dark purpose.

The four had been summoned at last, the three newblood and the wayward spy. The Queen-Mother waited silently upon her throne of broken gods, no sign of emotion on her face. Today, she wore the full trappings of the twenty-two-and-one titans in formal capacity. Emerald Noon did not glint harshly on her porcelain skin through the window, and indeed, something about her throne room made it seem dimmer than the rest of the Conventicle.
“Thank you all for coming,” she said pleasantly, as if they had a choice. “If you will pardon the invasion, I will briefly comment on the behaviors you have shown these five days and what will be expected of you in the days to come. Mina, the scroll, if you would.”

The Queen-Mother’s young bodyguard appeared as if shrugging off a camouflaged coat, her skin and gown shifting colors as a cuttlefish. She opened one of many scroll cases hanging from her gown and presented the parchment to the Queen. Lillun cleared her throat, then began reading.

“Mnemon Atrax. You promptly took action in the case of the intrusion during the Althing Infernal. You have been a pillar of support for your fellows. You have striven to establish good relations with your seniors. I believe you have the makings of leadership in you.

As such, you will be given your first year. You are free to make your own plans, to succeed or fail by your own merit. At the end of this year, you will be evaluated on your contributions to the purpose of liberating Creation and given appropriate reward or punishment. However, you will be required to provide support to Lacuna’s mission as she dictates. Any time lost to such demands will be factored into your next evaluation.

Versil Cortez Antona the Second. You have shown hotheadedness, instability, and a penchant for making enemies. While some Yozis may appreciate this, we have long since passed the stage where such behavior is acceptable from an asura. What good could you accomplish in Creation that we could not achieve with a mass summoning of blood apes? You will be attached to Atrax’s retinue like a common demon.

If you do not show improvement over the following year, more strict disciplinary actions will be forthcoming. Do not forget that every moment you are less clever than a demon of the second circle, you are wasting the time of not only your peers but of your infinite betters. We do not kill failures any longer, but you will certainly find a swift death at the hands of our foes – or else the fight for your life will reforge you into a tool more fit for Yozi hands.

Yasha. You have shown a protective instinct, starting with the intruder. Yet you are not passive as so often defenders are – you rush to be first into the fray. Though there is much of Creation and of Malfeas that you do not understand, you have made strides to learn and to work alongside those who do know. Above all else, you have shown a special regard for order which understands that it need not be intractably rigid.

Others may be the great conquerors who will reclaim Creation in the Yozis’ name, but it is those like you who will govern it when they return to heaven. You have already made arrangements with the Nebata Family, and I will honor those. The Yozis look fondly on those who understand that they are weak and require the guidance of those above them. Your assignments will be given you by the Duchess Nebata or by those with whom she has special agreements. Your next evaluation will not be judged by your immediate contributions to the grand cause of the Yozis but to your contributions to the Nebatas’ long-term plans.

Lacuna da Notte. You have fulfilled the dictates of your mission in spirit, if not remotely close to the letter. The Yozis are, as ever, begrudgingly pleased. As mentioned, you will the Yozis’ own authority in the command of Atrax and by extension, Versil. Do not abuse this privilege.

With these matters concluded, I would speak with each of you in private.”

View
Decoy Party

Server started; please wait for map to refresh.
Cliffjord has connected.
Witch has connected.
Avara has connected.
Gensh:
Day four of Walpurgis. For some, it is a time to recover from the revels of the grand parties of the prior day. For others, the relative quietness of the Demon City makes it a time ripe for conspiracy. All the great luminaries of the demon realm host private gatherings on this day, and the number of invitations one receives is a shorthand for one’s importance in demon society.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
It is good that you have received an invitation, though I had hoped you would have earned more. No matter. I must attend many parties today, but I shall visit Duchess Nebata’s with you first. Have you any questions before we go?

  • Mnemon Atrax simply shakes her head. Invitations wasn’t really her goal yesterday anyways.

Yasha:
(I have no questions at the moment.)

Versil Antona:
I’ve got none. I was raised high society, I know how a party works.

Lacuna da Notte:
Can I leave yet?

Lillun Dragondaughter:
No.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Now, let us be off.
Gensh:
As is the case with most senior asura, Duchess Nebata’s party is being held in her territory, which is a reflection of her inner world. Entering the bounds of her power, the heat of the Demon City fades away as darkness falls. Emerald Noon turns to night, though the light of Ligier is inescapable as he takes the form of a verdant moon. Demonic cattle roam freely on a massive ranch. In the distance is an impressive farmhouse manor where the festivities are already underway.
Gensh:
WARNING – You have entered the realm of a Primordial entity. The anima balance has changed to reflect the master of the realm.
Witch:
I believe that Versil should be the one to test the anima balance.
Cliffjord:
I believe you’re a cockbite, doesn’t mean you should go and do it.
Avara:
hm. we’re in the realm of a primordial that’s set to night? interesting.

  • Mnemon Atrax looks over the surroundings. Not quite what she had expected from hearing about Higarda, but it was interesting enough. She could have sworn there was a subtle change in the air, but couldn’t quite put a finger on what. Absently her gaze drifted towards the Green “Moon” that overlooked the realm before settling upon the manor again.
    Cliffjord:
    Putting money down now that Versil fucks up and has to test the balance.
  • Yasha approaches the manor in stride with Atrax, musing to herself in curiosity about the shift of apparent time—the green day had been an ever-burning constant, and now things were shifted to night not by time, but by place.
    Avara:
    not taking the bet.
    Witch:
    I will counter your bet and place it on
    Witch:
    Yasha
    Avara:
    that i’ll fuck up, that i’ll test the balance first, or both?
    Witch:
    balance
    Avara:
    mm.
    Avara:
    ONWARD.
    Avara:
    antona, it may be wise to step up to the door. we’re already fashionably late, we don’t want to be just outright late.
    Cliffjord:
    Wait did I miss a post?
    Cliffjord:
    I thought we walking.
    Avara:
    we’re walking
    Avara:
    you haven’t posted walking, i think gensh is waiting on you before we get more explain.
    Cliffjord:
    Oh right.
  • Versil Antona idly looks at the various beastly cattle, eyeing them as though to say ‘Are we eating these tonight?’. “So.. what’s the plan for the night ladies?”

Mnemon Atrax:
Mingle and make some acquaintances. I doubt this’ll be a Cynis party after all.

Versil Antona:
What’s so special about a Cynis party?

  • Mnemon Atrax looks at Versil with a quizzical expression.

Mnemon Atrax:
And here I thought you said you lived in opulence.

  • Yasha shrugs. She’s alright with mingling here, but she doesn’t really know what’s going on between her… associates? She still wasn’t sure what these two were supposed to be to her.

Versil Antona:
Sorry if my parties were too above yours, I didn’t exactly pay attention during my many drunken ramblings between festivities.

  • Mnemon Atrax grins and shakes her head.

Mnemon Atrax:
“There ain’t no party like a Cynis party,” as they say.

Yasha:
(Would you care to explain what Cynis is, for someone not native to the area?)

Versil Antona:
It’s a kind of cattle.

  • Versil Antona laughed openly.
  • Yasha blatantly ignores Antona.

Mnemon Atrax:
Noble House of the Realm. The wildest and most decadent of Dragonblooded. Some say they’re just as decadent as the First Age, though I doubt it.

Yasha:
(Ah. I see. Thank you for the information.)

Versil Antona:
They’re a very tasty kind of cattle too.

  • Yasha continues to ignore Antona as they walk to the manor.
    Gensh:
    The ranch house is quite impressive – Nebata Manor as it was first constructed rather than the old and worn version which Higarda had inherited. Enormous double-doors stand before the group.
  • Lillun Dragondaughter starts to knock, but the doors open too quickly.

Luther von Straud:
Ah, we’ve been expecting you. Please, come in. May I take your coats? Your hat, Ms. Yasha?

Yasha:
(Yes, thank you.)

  • Yasha politely hands over the mentioned items, coat and hat.
    Avara:
    do we need to shift our tokens forward?
  • Mnemon Atrax politely hands over her coat as well, nodding to Luther. Quite the punctual servant that the Godmother had.
  • Versil Antona quickly slides off his waistcoat, audibly clackering and clicking as pistols hit against themselves, folding it so they don’t interfere with each too much. He then places his sheathed sabre ontop of the folded coat.
  • Luther von Straud takes the items and bows, headed directly to the coat room nearby. He returns promptly and waves the group onward.

Luther von Straud:
Welcome, all, to this gathering of the Nebata Family and friends.

  • Avara walks inward at Luthor’s gesture.
  • Yasha walks inward at Luther’s Gesture.
  • Versil Antona lets out a small chuckle at the ‘friends’ and steps inside.
  • Mnemon Atrax heads into the party proper at Luther’s gesture, quickly taking stock of her surroundings.

Luther von Straud:
Should you need anything, do not hestiate to ask, I shall be your most faithful servant for tonight. I may also provide introductions should they be required.

Nebata Higarda:
Don’t treat them like that, Lu! You’ll spoil the little shits!

Yasha:
(It’s nice to see you again, Lady Nebata.)

Nebata Higarda:
Look what the dog dragged in. I’ve got to stop letting Lu invite guests for me.

Yasha:
(I believe you extended an invitation yourself as well, after the events yesterday.)

Nebata Higarda:
Not for kinslayer over there.

  • Yasha turns, looking at the gestured individual. (Kinslayer?)
  • Mnemon Atrax looks idly over at Versil with a raised eyebrow.
  • Versil Antona forces a smile, knuckles clenching slightly. “Bad things happen… sporting accident.”

Mnemon Atrax:
And I’m from Lookshy.

  • Mnemon Atrax responds dryly.
  • Yasha takes a deep breath, feeling damned to being dragged down by unwilling association.
  • Yasha looks back to Higarda. (I was not aware that he had a reputation as such.)

Nebata Higarda:
He doesn’t. Hush-hush. He’s the heir now, by default, so his family doesn’t want people to know. But nothing happens in Chiaroscuro that doesn’t reach my ears.

Yasha:
(An heir who won his spot by killing, rather than by merit of his own deed. I did not realize my opinion of him could sink lower. Every day under the green-lit sky is an educational one.)

Mnemon Atrax:
Killing to take someone else’s spot is hardly uncommon in the Realm. But even we don’t kill in our families.

  • Mnemon Atrax shrugs a bit.

Versil Antona:
I’d advise against talking about things you don’t know much about.

Mnemon Atrax:
Survival of the fittest. And it seems you were.

  • Mnemon Atrax speaks with a neutral tone, it doesn’t seem like she necessary disapproves of whatever may have happened.
  • Versil Antona seems oddly on the level for once. A stark change from his jovial jesting on the way in. “Despite what you two are thinking, that’s not what happened and this is not the time nor the place to best discussing it.”

Mnemon Atrax:
You’re right, it’s a party. Let’s enjoy ourselves. Looks at Higarda. Anyone spiked the punch yet?

Nebata Higarda:
You’re talkin’ like I don’t like fruity vodka.

Mnemon Atrax:
I do still owe you a drink

Nebata Higarda:
Well, it’s on me for today. I didn’t put out any of the good stuff, so knock yourselves out. Hell, do it literally.

Mnemon Atrax:
After attending Cynis parties, I don’t go down that easily.

  • Versil Antona doesn’t wait for further permission and skulks off to get a drink, visible shaken and put out by the opening topic of the night.
  • Lillun Dragondaughter follows after him.
  • Yasha bows gratefully to Higarda for the welcome into her home, and goes to mingle. No real target.
  • Mnemon Atrax heads into the party proper as well after a respectful nod to Higarda, ignoring Versil for the time being and looking around at the other guests.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Look, Versil. The others were dead-set on earning Nebata’s trust. This was bound to come out eventually. The only reason this is a weakness is because you’re letting it be. It’s because you, yourself, believe you were mistaken. The Yozis chose you for that ambition, and you’re questioning their choice.

Versil Antona:
It is weakness because I am getting marked as I step through the door. What am I supposed to say? Take pride it and I am damned, deny it and I am damned for it. I should not be chosen for my ambition, I should be chosen for my skill! I was the greater, I am the gem of the Antona family! He was nothing! He died from his weakness, were it me I would have walked it off had I even been marked, he had no skill in the art as I did. I will not be bullied for his failures, I refuse it.

  • Versil Antona poured himself a cocktail of… whatever was on offer and downed it. He seemed to be talking at or past the Queen-mother and back at himself in earnest. He wiped his lips with his sleeve and poured another drink. He was barely in through the door and was shamed for his kins weakness.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
If this is what you believe, then say it with confidence. Not with the vainglory you have the gall to call pride. Skill is something that can be learned. Any monkey can be trained. So too, most long for a better situation, that whomever is in their way would die. You actually acted upon your desires. Exalts are chosen for one thing alone. Will. In that, you are by no means least of your peers.

  • Versil Antona remained silent, hand shaking ever so slightly with an impotent rage. He once again, downed his (decidely foul he had come to realise) self mixed cocktail and wiped his lips once more. “Forgive, I should not have raised my voice to you in such a manner. And you are correct, of course.” The latter half of his statement was a swift addition. He was not so blinded by rage he would attempt to argue the Holy Queen-Mother at such a public occasion. His will was notable but his skill… regardless not the time.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Apology accepted. Now, I must speak with a few of the notables here and be off to the next party. Should you wish for advice on your situation, ask and I shall find someone suitable. Do enjoy the party, Versil.

  • Lillun Dragondaughter walks off into the crowd.

Versil Antona:
Yes Queen-Mother…
Avara:
« 1d8 = 2 »

  • Yasha wandered over to lacuna while the Queen-Mother was giving Versil some parental guidance. (Enjoying yourself?)

Lacuna da Notte:
Oh, yes. This whole affair is hilarious. I’m watching to see who catches on.

Yasha:
(I see. Hopefully he does not get himself killed. I find myself pondering that possibility daily, with how he acts, but I presume I was set in a group with him for a reason.)

Lacuna da Notte:
Oh, you’re wrong on both points. I’m not laughing at Versil’s salty tears. That sort of drama is par for the course in a realm literally made from bitter losers. And you were all put in a group just out of convenience’s sake. Lil doesn’t have the time to drag around three newbies independently of one another.

Yasha:
(I see. Then, what are you enjoying?)

Lacuna da Notte:
Hmph. Well, spoiling the punchline is no fun, but a hint doesn’t hurt. Ask yourself what those Yozis are doing here.

  • Yasha looks over to Isidoros and Szoreny, uncertain how she should be behaving in their presence, really. She looks back to Lacuna. (From what you said, I imagine they’re doing something to prank the attendees?)

Lacuna da Notte:
Oh, no. Izzy’s too blunt for jokes, and Renny tells you the punchline first and the joke second. They’re appreciating it, like I am.
Avara:
may i element draw or something to figure out what lacuna’s referring to?
Cliffjord:
>They don’t get it.
Gensh:
go for it
Avara:
night, for subtlety and mischief?
Gensh:
that’d be for making it
Gensh:
you can roll e.g. day for thinking why the yozis are there or water for picking up subtext or whatever

Yasha:
Water and Wyld – Perfect Success
Gensh:
Lacuna is being perfectly honest in what she says. Something about the party itself is a joke, which has attracted the Yozis. With how blunt Isidoros is and how backwards Szoreny is, they’re likely to spill the secret.

  • Yasha continues to observe the Yozi, then, since she still hasn’t picked up what the bloody joke is.
    Gensh:
    (go talk to them)
    Cliffjord:
    (Dew it.)
  • Yasha obeys the orders of the GM and approaches the Yozis. (I hope you both are enjoying yourselves today.)
    Avara:
    also, cliff? you owe witch like five bucks
    Avara:
    i made first draw of the area.

Isidoros:
I FEEL SO RELAXED

Szoreny:
DEXALER OS LEEF I
Cliffjord:
FUCK.

Yasha:
(I… see.) Yasha pauses, attempting to adjust to hearing the same sentence spoken forward and backward. (I didn’t think it was that relaxing yet, but I haven’t had much time to settle in.)

Yasha:
(What in particular is so relaxing, if I may ask?)

Isidoros:
IT’S JUST LIKE SPENDING TIME WITH MY BROTHER, HERE

Szoreny:
?EW T’NERA ,SREHTORB NAHT RESOLC ER’EW TUB ,HO

  • Yasha indulges in a few chuckles at their antics.

Yasha:
(So… why this party, in particular?)

Isidoros:
THE BITCH’S BEAU IS A HOOT

Szoreny:
SETIROVAF YM FO ENO

Yasha:
(I’m rather new here, so I’m afraid I don’t really know who you’re talking about.)

Isidoros:
THE OLD FUCK IN THE KIMONO

Szoreny:
EVILA LLITS S’EH WOH WONK T’NOD I NEVE
Avara:
serupe jashin?
Gensh:
correct
Avara:
is anything particularly amusing going on with him?
Gensh:
he doesn’t look as old as the yozis are implying, but his manner of speaking, word choice, and general slowness do all point to being an old man
Gensh:
still, it doesn’t look like there’s anything suspicious about it
Avara:
we’re exalted, nobody looks as old as they are.
Avara:
have we seen serupe at all since coming here? i don’t remember interacting with him
Witch:
Of course we have
Witch:
When we haven’t
Gensh:
he was at the bar where you met luther
Avara:
okay. i still don’t remember anything about him, so… yasha’s observing for now?
Avara:
WITCH, TAG IN. I’M GETTING A HEADACHE.
Cliffjord:
OH MAH GOD, VINTAGE WITCH OUTTA NOWHERE.

Mnemon Atrax:
Out of curiosity. I’d heard you were hosting this party for someone. Might I ask who?

Nebata Higarda:
One of pals. Someone on that long list of acquaintances who can’t set foot in Malfeas.

Mnemon Atrax:
Holding a party in Malfeas for someone who can’t get in. That’s either the start of a joke or sarcasm.

Nebata Higarda:
Well, let’s clarify. My boy can’t enter Malfeas because he’s just a mortal, and there’s lots of demons who’d love to kill him. It’s something like that.

Mnemon Atrax:
Didn’t stop the other one. Thumbs over towards Blade.

Nebata Higarda:
Who’d wanna kill “BLADE MCIRON, HERO OF JUSTICE”? If nuttin’ else, he keeps Florivet outta everyone’s hair. Ya know how every demon’s got an escape condition? Big Green gets let out every time something is crafted perfectly. My boy beat the old Solar record for accidental summonings.

  • Mnemon Atrax simply blinks for a moment. “And he’s still only Mortal?”

Nebata Higarda:
Mortal is a strong word, innit? More like “powerless third-circle demon who reincarnates as a mortal on each death.”

Mnemon Atrax:
…Curious. Very curious.

Mnemon Atrax:
I think I’d like to meet him sometime.

Nebata Higarda:
Sure. Well, your ma is pissed at him for going back on a deal, but I’ll let him know.

Mnemon Atrax:
I can tell you right now I really don’t care what she’d say.

Mnemon Atrax:
Besides, I doubt she’s going anywhere either.

  • Nebata Higarda nods.

Nebata Higarda:
Yeah, I’ll pencil you in. Point is, there’s plenty of folks who can’t go to hell.

Mnemon Atrax:
Anyways. If you don’t mind, I’d love to talk business with you at some point. I’ve heard good things about your organization.

Nebata Higarda:
We’re the best, yeah. Not even burnin’ the Manor down ‘n’ runnin’ us outta town could stop us.

Mnemon Atrax:
Heh. Well, pardon me then.

  • Mnemon Atrax nods to Higarda and drifts over towards Florivet and Blade. She also notices someone else there as well, from that first group Lacuna had taken them to.

Mnemon Atrax:
Hello, gentlemen. How’re you today?

Blade McIron:
Good day, fair maiden!

Florivet Whim-o-Wind:
What’s shakin’?

Serupe Jashin:
My feet are cold.

Tepet Lyanna:
These shoes are so comfy!

  • Mnemon Atrax looks down for a moment to see that the kimono wearing man is indeed shoeless. “Right…” She then looks back up. “I believe I remember seeing you two at the arena the other day.”

Blade McIron:
A true warrior must always look for opportunities to study the techniques of others!

Florivet Whim-o-Wind:
Bloodsport is fun for the whole family!

Mnemon Atrax:
Heh. Perhaps you’d both like to fight sometime then? I’d love to get some combat training in when I have the time.

Blade McIron:
I would relish the-!

Florivet Whim-o-Wind:
You will seriously die at some point, man.

Blade McIron:
HEROES NEVER D-

Florivet Whim-o-Wind:
Yes they do.

  • Mnemon Atrax struggles not to laugh loudly. This guy was one hell of a card. Either he would die horribly or exalt in glorious fashion.

Mnemon Atrax:
A-Anyways… Ahem. The offer stands for yourself as well, Florivet.

  • Mnemon Atrax then looks over at the unknown individual. “And might I ask for your name? I believe I’ve seen you elsewhere as well. I am Mnemon Atrax.”

Florivet Whim-o-Wind:
I’m not in the business of making a fool of myself tangling with Solars. I’ll keep terrorizing the Dragonblooded, thanks.

Serupe Jashin:
Serupe Jashin… Chosen of Jupiter… then of Szoreny… Father of Higarda’s son…

Mnemon Atrax:
I see. Are… you alright?

Serupe Jashin:
The Silver Forest is… mildly poisonous… insidiously so… those who use his powers are… not immune… by design… I have been exposed to it for… a long time…

Mnemon Atrax:
Day and Day – Perfect Success
Cliffjord:
Day and Night – Failure
Gensh:
Atrax notices something out of the corner of her eye. Every time Serupe speaks, the conversations throughout the room slow down.

Yasha:
Day and Fire – Outside Success

  • Mnemon Atrax takes note of how Serupe’s own speech seems to slow down the room in a curious fashion. She briefly contemplates the matter before subtly starting to devour away at the disconnect of time.

Mnemon Atrax:
Night and Day – Failure
Witch:
Well, might as well go for a redraw
Gensh:
Yasha notices the slowdown as well, but hasn’t been successful at picking up the conversation.
Gensh:
and redraw is go

Mnemon Atrax:
Night and Wood – Neutral Success
Gensh:
Something isn’t quite working for Atrax. There’s no time distortion to eat.

Mnemon Atrax:
…?

  • Mnemon Atrax contemplates. Rather than a charm, it seemed like the rest were all waiting for something then.

Mnemon Atrax:
Well, it’s been nice speaking with you three. Perhaps we’ll talk again sometime. I’m feeling particularly social tonight though.

  • Mnemon Atrax nods to the men and starts to walk off.
  • Versil Antona slams a few more drinks back and decides to instead of moping around as though beaten by the hostess of the night, opts to do as he did in his mortal life. Be a smartass. Murmur was here and look particularly lonely, he’d do.

Versil Antona:
My my Murmur, you are being a social butterfly tonight, you came out.

Gabrien Murmur:
No.

Versil Antona:
Ah, you were dragged out tonight then.

Gabrien Murmur:
Day four and I am still in hell. Morale is low. I may not survive. Tell my wife I love her.

Versil Antona:
They say if you do not expect to enjoy something you will not enjoy it. Although I think perhaps you might have tried that already.

Gabrien Murmur:
Look, sometimes you pick up some things with your powers that aren’t so great.

Versil Antona:
Social obligations being one of them?

Gabrien Murmur:
No. Withdrawal symptoms.

Versil Antona:
I could hardly tell. No offence to you or our… host but I have to ask, I didn’t have you pegged as one to linger at parties. Or in hell actually. I’d imagine you’d be doing the rounds for your invitations and going.

Gabrien Murmur:
We’re not allowed to leave, actually. Which is probably why you’re here too.

Versil Antona:
…I was not aware of any such thing. Unless you mean in general and not this specific party.

Gabrien Murmur:
Yes, we can’t leave hell until Walpurgis ends, but I’m also trapped at this particular party.

Versil Antona:
Well, I wouldn’t say I’m trapped in hell. It’s good to get out of town for a while and it’s new experiences. The only entrapment I have fell into is the awkwardness I trigged by coming here. Did you get a contract pulled on you?

Gabrien Murmur:
TECHNICALLY, no.

Versil Antona:
So actually yes.

Versil Antona:
Anyway, I must excuse myself before someone thinks you’re having a good time here. I also need to be social tonight.

Mnemon Atrax:
Blue skies are going to clear up. Put on a happy face~

  • Mnemon Atrax sings briefly as she passes the two before going her own way.

Versil Antona:
I hope you two are having a pleasant evening?

Ragara Szaya:
How much?

Versil Antona:
Creation and a week with an amazing painter who catches my good side.

Ragara Szaya:
Done. Kes, get in the coat closet.

  • Ledaal Kes sighs.

Ledaal Kes:
You owe me big for this.

Mnemon Atrax:
Versil, you know you’re going to ge- Well, there you go.

Versil Antona:
Mhhmn? What Atrax?

Mnemon Atrax:
No, no. Find out for yourself.

Versil Antona:
Yes that does seem to be the recurring theme of these last few days.

Mnemon Atrax:
Just remember to bite down hard if you don’t want anyone else hearing.

Versil Antona:
Bite down hard- what?

Mnemon Atrax:
I did say you’d find out.

  • Mnemon Atrax turns and walks away before Szaya decides to make it a twofer.
  • Mnemon Atrax whispers to Higarda as she passes by. “Antona & Kes in the closet. Record it while it lasts.”

Nebata Higarda:
You’re talkin’ like THIS isn’t recorded.

Mnemon Atrax:
True.

Versil Antona:
I doubt I can plead that I was making a joke and didn’t understand the context can I?

  • Versil Antona audibly sighed.

Versil Antona:
And here I thought I was keeping creation for myself…
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.

Versil Antona:
Actually before you go any further, I need to ask our host a question.

  • Versil Antona idly rested a hand on Kes’s head.

Versil Antona:
Nebata! Why is the rest of the family outside roaming around the field? It totally slipped my mind to ask.

Nebata Higarda:
They’re keeping your mother company.

  • Mnemon Atrax snaps her fingers.

Versil Antona:
Well she is looking a dim and ponderous creature to replace my brother.

Nebata Higarda:
Hey, no mocking the dead, or I’ll raise his unholy ghost to haunt you myself.

Mnemon Atrax:
In Chiaroscuro, you can fuck the dead, but you can’t insult the dead.

View
Love/Hate Relationships

Server started; please wait for map to refresh.
Avara has connected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Gensh:
Day three of Walpurgis is why the celebration could never be the private affair the Yozis had originally intended. A grand party with no limitations which involves all the infinite demons through the infinite layers of Malfeas. Some raksha may claim to have hosted larger parties, but such ephemeral events can hardly be compared to the overwhelming reality of the Brass City roaring with excitement.
Witch has connected.
Gensh:
After having gone their separate ways for a time, the new asura have once again gathered before their Queen-Mother to receive guidance for the event. Everywhere, the streets of volcanic stone overflow with bodies, while the newbloods look down from the balcony of Lillun’s crawling tower.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
The third day of Walpurgis is a general party. There are no real rules or traditions. However, it is typically used as the last day for attempting to be invited to some of the private parties on the day to follow. You will need to decide if you wish to attend any of these. For example, our lord Ligier always hosts an elegant gala for several hours at midday.

  • Mnemon Atrax seems to be in a particularly good mood today with a grin on her face.

Mnemon Atrax:
What other parties might be going on today?

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Tomorrow, you mean. My father hosts an event that’s to die for. Many prominent demons of the second circle hold rallies to gather support for their princedoms, and a number of the third circle merely wish to show off their splendour. Some of your seniors will be throwing parties as well.

  • Versil Antona meanwhile has the look of either extreme tiredness or of a man who’s being stalked by death upon him, past his obvious attempts to hide it it’s difficult to tell. “I imagine some our senior’s affairs would be much easier accessed? I don’t imagine gate-crashers are a welcome addition and with our current… standings, invitations may be hard come by.”

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I suppose it would depend upon the relationships you have built with them in the past few days. Today will be the last chance you have to earn those invitations, but try asking when you can. You may be surprised.

Yasha:
(I imagine it is generally seen as a shortcoming if you have no invitation at all by tomorrow?)

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Quite.

Versil Antona:
Bah, so non-attendance in any form is not an option then truly.

Yasha:
(We might have some luck touring the city to see what events are going on today, if we need to secure an invitation. It would do us well to socialize outside of formal events, and we may have some luck finding something or someone of interest.)

Versil Antona:
Indeed.

  • Versil Antona stood up straighter with an audible groan. This was to be another long day it seemed…

Mnemon Atrax:
Yes, a fine idea. And maybe Versil will actually make a friend instead of an enemy.

Yasha:
(It would be an impressive sight.)

Mnemon Atrax:
An unexpected one, even.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
That said, I have spoken much on the rules of the Demon City – how to behave and expectations. I must now add that there are exceptions to every rule. Recall that I said attendance of the Althing is fundamentally required. You may have assumed that the three empty seats there belonged to the fallen. Two did. The third is here now. Enter, if you would.

  • Lacuna da Notte saunters in.

Lacuna da Notte:
So these are the new kids, huh? Pretty cute.

Mnemon Atrax:
You’re quite the looker yourself.

Lacuna da Notte:
And do I smell Metagaos on you? Oh, you and I will have lots to talk about. Lacuna da Notte. Charmed to make your acquaintance.

Yasha:
(A pleasure to meet you.)

  • Yasha greets Lacuna with a short bow. (My name is Yasha.)
  • Versil Antona could not look more unamused. Although how much of that was just current state of being and how much of it was actual disposition to the new arrival was up for debate.

Versil Antona:
Charmed, I’m sure.

Mnemon Atrax:
Mnemon Atrax.

  • Mnemon Atrax bows a bit.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Lacuna was on a long-running mission in Creation and couldn’t quite make it to the Endless Desert on time. In truth, she could have remained there. Ordinarily, this is not allowed, but her mission is of vital importance, and she has special permission from a Yozi.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
This shows the importance of making friends in high places. I may also grant you such permission if necessary. However, the circumstances must be truly important.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
For now, enjoy yourselves in the party. Remember that social gaps are officially rendered invalid during Walpurgis, and do not worry if you make mistakes. You can make grudges, but you cannot suffer retribution while the party lasts. Lacuna will accompany you today to ensure you are not killed by accident or “accident.”

Mnemon Atrax:
Feel better now, Versil?

Yasha:
(Thank you for your oversight, Lacuna da Notte.)

Lacuna da Notte:
Oh, you are most welcome.

Lacuna da Notte:
(This is actually punishment for being late.)

Lacuna da Notte:
Alright, let’s get moving before I become completely sober.

Mnemon Atrax:
I could mix you some drinks if you want.

  • Yasha nods, and will follow Lacuna. She’ll also be keeping an eye on Lacuna for betrayals, because sometimes those happen.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Enjoy yourselves. I have business to attend for much of today, and I must make an appearance at many parties tomorrow. You may see me from time to time by chance.

  • Lillun Dragondaughter retreats inside.

Lacuna da Notte:
So what kind of trouble do we want to get into? I know some assholes who are always down for a good time.

Mnemon Atrax:
Have a good day, Queen-Mother. Turns to Lacuna. Let’s have some fun, shall we? I’m up for anything today.

  • Yasha considers for a moment. (Perhaps one of the calmer parties to start with, so that we do not agitate any particularly roudy drunks immediately.)

Versil Antona:
I personally would much prefer a warm bed and a warmer woman but a quiet party would suit me much the same.

Mnemon Atrax:
Bah, where’s the bravado from yesterday?

Yasha:
(I do not want Versil to get his arms torn off needlessly. As you noted, he has a habit of garnering enmity.)

Mnemon Atrax:
Suit yourselves.

Yasha:
(If that is not agreeable, then I am good for whatever you two decide.)

  • Yasha shrugs.

Lacuna da Notte:
Got it. Boring folks. Let’s go find some Sids.

Mnemon Atrax:
That reminds me of the one I met. Wouldn’t be surprised if there are some lurking around.

Lacuna da Notte:
We’ve got a few moles, yeah. Let’s see if I can’t sniff them out.

  • Lacuna da Notte hops off the balcony and begins darting through the crowded streets without caring who follows.
  • Mnemon Atrax hops right on down herself, following after Lacuna.
  • Versil Antona sighs audibly and hops the balcony, daintily landing and briskly pacing after.
  • Yasha follows, using brass skin to dampen the impact of landing.
    Gensh:
    Eventually, Lacuna descends some stairs and kicks in the door. Beyond lies a dim-lit room where a number of people are speaking in hushed tones.

Mnemon Atrax:
Hi.

  • Yasha gives a short bow in greeting.

Versil Antona:
I hope we’re not imposing ourselves, are we?

  • Luther von Straud ’s ears stand on end when he sees the group barge in.

Luther von Straud:
Oh. No. Of course not. You may go anywhere you please, of course.
Avara:
is there a relevant check for knowledge of the people gathered?
Gensh:
Same as always. As long as you can justify the choice. You could use water for being in the right social circles or air for having memorized a contact list.

Mnemon Atrax:
Air and Earth – Neutral Success

Yasha:
Water and Earth – Neutral Success
Cliffjord:
Versil wouldn’t know so I’m not rolling.
Gensh:
You obviously know Hidari and Ricard as your peers. Sondok is well-known as one of Ligier’s souls. Orabilis is unavoidable as hell’s lorekeeper. You cannot identify the remaining three.

Yasha:
(Would you mind if we joined your conversation, then?)

Luther von Straud:
Well, I’m sure everyone has their private business to discuss, but I will endeavor to help you with whatever you need.

  • Luther von Straud bows low.

Mnemon Atrax:
Mnemon Atrax. A pleasure.

Luther von Straud:
A pleasure to meet a Mnemon, as always. I am Luther von Straud, private butler to the Nebata Family. I am Lady Higarda’s Lunar Mate.

Yasha:
(A pleasure to make your acquaintance, as well. I am Yasha.)

Versil Antona:
Versil Cortez Antona the Second Of Chiaroscuro.

  • Versil Antona gestured to himself with his hand. Never too tired for a proper introduction.

Luther von Straud:
Likewise, I’m glad to meet you, Yasha, Sir Antona. And the last, who needs no introduction. How may I be of assistance?

Lacuna da Notte:
The kids wanted to come to a quiet party. I brought them to the old folks and people who act like old folks.

Mnemon Atrax:
And here we are.

  • Yasha tilts her head, and shrugs again. (I was hoping to meet with people that might have something interesting to discuss. We’re just starting our own careers, so there’s little to start with.)

Luther von Straud:
Well, if you’re interested in starting on the ground floor, I can offer you a position with the Nebata Family. You’ll receive a salary, paid vacation time, and something you may have heard of called “insurance,” which as the name implies, ensures your medical bills are paid.

  • Mnemon Atrax stifles a chuckle.
  • Versil Antona has to bite his lip to hide a growing smile.
  • Yasha looks to Mnemon Atrax, raising an eyebrow, then looks back to Straud. (While I cannot make any commitments yet, I would like to hear more about what the Nebata do.)

Luther von Straud:
The Nebata Family is an historic clan in Chiaroscuro, descended from the Goddess of Serenity, Venus herself. We ensure that responsible people are allowed to do as they need regardless of what the law may say. We often provide acquisition services for arms and rare materials and physical and psychological relief services. Our night workers are among the best educated in mental health in all Creation.

  • Mnemon Atrax mutters a bit. “That latter part is true…”
  • Mnemon Atrax ahem.

Versil Antona:
Yes, their ‘relief’ services are of fine quality. A tad expensive for recurring night sessions though.

Yasha:
(I see. Do you have any particular services ‘on the ground floor’ in mind? And what manner of enemies does the Nebata Family have? A family so old would no doubt have made many.)

Luther von Straud:
As a Solar asura, you would be given more complex tasks than typically given to new recruits. First would come an evaluation of skills. From what I have read in my Lady’s notes regarding your work so far, you would likely be involved in acts of direct opposition to those who interfere with the Family’s interests. For example, the Deathlord known as Eye and Seven Despairs has recently been trying to muscle into the market for ghostly relief. We would want you to directly confront his specters and nephwracks, destroying or purifying them as your preference dictates.

Mnemon Atrax:

Mnemon Atrax:
Alright, I’m curious. How would that even work?

Yasha:
(An interesting prospect. I hope it would not be rude to ask if any of the Nebata family will be hosting a party tomorrow? It would be good to get to meet and see the Family in action.)

  • Versil Antona looks at Atrax as if she has two heads.

Mnemon Atrax:
Knowledge is power Versil.

Versil Antona:
You don’t know?

Luther von Straud:
Ghosts are ruled by their passions. Sometimes old habits die hard. Ghostly consorts must be all the more durable to survive such passions, so it is a volatile market.

Luther von Straud:
Lady Higarda will be hosting a private party on behalf of a friend, but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind a few more attendees.

Mnemon Atrax:
Hm. Hadn’t thought about that before.

  • Mnemon Atrax seems to genuinely ponder over this.

Yasha:
(Not everyone is raised in the same environment, Versil. This is true of social behaviors as much as nature, urban development, and so much more.)

  • Luther von Straud pulls out a quill, tiny inkpot, and bits of parchment and quickly writes out formal invitations for all four.

Mnemon Atrax:
Ah, thank you Luther.

  • Mnemon Atrax accepts the invitation.
  • Yasha turns to Straud again, and gives another bow in gratitude. (Thank you. If the Nebata family is understanding of my need to prioritize loyalty to the Yozi first, and Family second, I would like to discuss the employment prospects and skill evaluation in further detail. This evening, perhaps?)
  • Versil Antona quickly pockets his invitation after looking it over once, sparing another glance at Atrax. "If we ever visit my home, remind me to show you. Speaking of, I don’t imagine the family keeps a worker local? I’ve been feeling a wave of grief as of late.

Luther von Straud:
I am available betwixt the tasks assigned by my Lady. I shall endeavor to speak with you again before the morrow, Yasha.

Luther von Straud:
Well, Sir Antona, there is a fledgling Nebata branch here. I shall write you directions to the house, though I am afraid the services might not quite be what you are used to.
Avara:
not sure who else we should interact with here. presumably all of them could provide something good, just… dunno who. someone want to take the lead on that?
Cliffjord:
I’ll do it.
Avara:
aren’t you about to get a blowjob?
Cliffjord:
Listen, if what I see when I open this door displeases me I’m suddenly gonna be very work motivated.
Avara:
=p

Versil Antona:
Ah, it’ll be something I’m sure. I doubt the Nebata family would offer poor service.

  • Versil Antona looks across the gathered company and then back at Lacuna.

Versil Antona:
You did say quiet, not silent.

Yasha:
(Strictly speaking, I said calmer. Not calm, not quiet, not silent.)
Gensh:
Those gathered are all still speaking quietly, though none of them are using magic so that you cannot eavesdrop.

Lacuna da Notte:
What are you waiting for? An invitation? You just got one.

Mnemon Atrax:
Water and Earth – Neutral Success
Witch:
Overhear some of their talking

Ricard de la Nocca:
I’m sure they could… destroy Gem…

Serupe Jashin:
…my shoes… the Balorian Crusade…

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
…broken into my Lord’s vault…

Siclian Iris:
…stop it… not here…

Orabilis, End of All Wisdom:
…kill everyone in this room…

Yasha:
Water and Air – Failure
Avara:
yasha fails to hear any of this

Voljian Hidari:
…dirigible… destroy the Realm.
Cliffjord:
I’ll roll too.
Cliffjord:
Gensh, stack overflow.
Cliffjord:
And it’s it filled my text box with crap.
Gensh:
You’ll have to restart or let me handle your draws.
Cliffjord:
BRB one sec then.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Cliffjord:
Water and Wyld – Perfect Success
Witch:
gj

Ricard de la Nocca:
Honestly, I’m sure the Court of Orderly Flame could handle the Lion’s army. There’s no way they’d let him destroy Gem.

Serupe Jashin:
My feet are cold… Reminds me of when I lost my shoes… during the Balorian Crusade… the Duke of Mirrors had them… That was a confusing fight…

Voljian Hidari:
I’m not sure the Court could account for dirigibles. No one could. That’s the plan we need to follow if we want to destroy the Realm. Air superiority.

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
Luther, I’m sure you’re not surprised, but your Lady has broken into my Lord’s vault. Again.

Siclian Iris:
Stop it, Fura. Not here.

Orabilis, End of All Wisdom:
So much forbidden knowledge in one place. I should kill everyone in this room…. If only I were allowed.

  • Mnemon Atrax blinks and looks at Sondok. “Broken into his vault?”
  • Versil Antona looks straight at Orabilis for a moment before quickly realising what’s he doing and feigning boredom.
  • Yasha hears none of this, but turns to watch Mnemon.

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
Yes. It is my sworn duty to protect it, but I am always so busy during these events. I can appear in any doorway, but I still cannot be in two places at once.

Mnemon Atrax:
That is quite surprising still. One would imagine there’d be a great many deadly traps involved.

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
Yes, but there is little in the way of dumb defense that can stop an experienced Exalt.

  • Versil Antona coughs and bites his tongue to refrain from commenting. “Pardon me.”

Mnemon Atrax:
Hm?

Versil Antona:
Nothing, nothing. Just a bad cough.

Lacuna da Notte:
You kids fit right in, don’t you?

Mnemon Atrax:
Oh just wait until he really gets talking.

Mnemon Atrax:
How about something more… active now, though?

Versil Antona:
Yes. This is too quiet even by my currently high standards.

  • Yasha nods quietly, a bit preoccupied with thoughts of technologies and other such things.

Lacuna da Notte:
Shore fin. Let’s get my bitches and tear shit up.

  • Versil Antona didn’t even wait for Lacuna, just turning on his heel and heading out. “I have never faced silence more oppressive in my life.”

Lacuna da Notte:
Shh. Be vewy vewy quiet.

Yasha:
(I would be surprised if you have truly faced silence at all. You seem content to fill the air with your own voice at all times.)

  • Lacuna da Notte uses a Metagaos to devour sound within the area.

Versil Antona:
I’m making up for your failure to meet quota.

Adorjan:
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • Yasha does not hear versil, because lacuna ate the noise.
  • Mnemon Atrax blanches.

Adorjan:
HEY GIRL!

  • Yasha steadies herself, but does not flinch away—instead, she turns and bows to Adorjan, in a practiced movement meant to minimize noise made even if Lulu wasn’t helping keep the silence.

Adorjan:
AAAAAAAAND YOU WERE YASHA! HOW’S IT BEEN?

Yasha:
(I have been well. The city is… interesting. Too full of excess and idiocy at times, but educational.)

  • Adorjan is utterly hoarse. Her voice barely rises above a comfortable volume, but the tone is as if she’s screaming every word to overcome her own silence
  • Mnemon Atrax winces slightly. Listening to the Yozi’s words were like an interplay of calm and manic.

Yasha:
(I hope that the celebrations have not been too irritating for yourself, Adorjan.)

Adorjan:
I WANT TO FUCKING KILL EVERY ONE OF YOU MOTHERFUCKERS

Yasha:
(Aside from this constant truth, how have you been?)

Adorjan:
GOOD, GOOD. MY HUSBAND’S AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE. I STILL CAN’T LOVE HIM TO DEATH. YOU DON’T HAVE ANYONE SPECIAL, DO YOU? SOMEONE YOU JUST WANT TO HUG TO SHREDS? IT’S A HELL OF A THING.

Yasha:
(I have yet to enjoy that particular blessing, indeed. Maybe some day in the future. May I introduce you to my companions?)

Adorjan:
KNOCK YOURSELF OUT

Adorjan:
OR I COULD DO THAT

Adorjan:
CAN I DO THAT

  • Versil Antona gives Yasha a look of “Please, do knock yourself out first.”

Yasha:
(This is Mnemon Atrax and Versil of the Antona family. Our guide today is Lacuna da Notte. Knocking me out, while enjoyable, would probably mean that I get to shake up less people when I finally get in motion.)

  • Mnemon Atrax nods her head upon being introduced.
  • Versil Antona gives a small bow, huffing in indignation at his full title being snubbed.

Adorjan:
NICE TO MEET YA

Adorjan:
I’D SHAKE YOUR HANDS, BUT THEY’D COME OFF, AND I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT

Yasha:
(Is there anything we can do for you today, Adorjan? Or did you come by for the silence that Lacuna is providing?)

Adorjan:
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Mnemon Atrax meanwhile ponders over the meaning of life, the universe, and everything while the silence reigns. Also whether she forgot that thing in the oven or not.
  • Versil Antona meanwhile contemplates if firing one of his many pistols will actually make her leave or get him killed. So freedom awaits at either result.

Lacuna da Notte:
Addy baby, we’re getting the gang together to take the kids for some fun. You want in?

Adorjan:
WITH YOU? ANYTIME.

  • Yasha is genuinely enjoying this conversation.

Mnemon Atrax:
Well, this is definitely now what I expected. I like it.

Yasha:
(It sounds fun. I’m looking forward to your company.)

Adorjan:
A NIGHT WE’LL NEVER FORGET

Lacuna da Notte:
Alright, now we’re getting somewhere. Let’s go find the alpha bitch.

  • Mnemon Atrax reaches into her coat and withdraws a flask. She takes a swig before moving right along again. “Hm. Needs more gin I think.”
  • Lacuna da Notte is abruptly reminded of her lack of booze.

Lacuna da Notte:
And we’ll raid her wine cellar while we’re at it.

Versil Antona:
Actually speaking of-

Versil Antona:
Nevermind, you have drinks in mind.

Mnemon Atrax:
Excellent. I need more for my own.

  • Yasha shrugs. To each her own.
  • Lacuna da Notte technically leads, but Adorjan walks in front, occasionally taking a wrong turn. Eveywhere the group goes, demons run screaming at the top of their lungs. The Silent Wind may be forcibly bound in human form by the magic of Walpurgis, but she slashes blindly at everything within arm’s reach all the same. No one would question the power of her legendary jade athame, Illuske Gale-Tooth.
    Gensh:
    At last, Lacuna jumps through the window and into a smoky bar. Duchess Nebata wheels around on a stool.
  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles as they move along.

Lacuna da Notte:
Bitch!

Adorjan:
HIHI

  • Mnemon Atrax idly waves.

Nebata Higarda:
Is it Jupiterday already?

  • Versil Antona starts looking for anywhere that is not in line of sight of Nebata. Or well… line of sight was a poor choice of words.
  • Nebata Higarda takes a huff of her cigar and exhales the smoke into a dragon shape. It wheels about the room before blowing into Versil’s face.

Mnemon Atrax:
Just going around, saying hi, maybe stabbing some people. Mnemon Atrax, by the way.

Nebata Higarda:
I didn’t get to be ruler of Chiaroscuro by NOT spying on everyone. What trouble did you cause to get stuck with this bitch?

  • Versil Antona lets out a hacking cough as he steps back, waving the smoke off. Well, she knew anyway. He moved to flank the party, hopefully they’d take her focus off him for the day.

Mnemon Atrax:
All I know is that I’m sure it involved Versil.

Versil Antona:
Keep blaming me and one day you might actually be right.

Mnemon Atrax:
Not that I’m complaining really. It’s been fun so far.

Mnemon Atrax:
I’m always right.

Versil Antona:
Heh!

Nebata Higarda:
Well, whatever it is, I’m in. Let’s go raise Desus.

Mnemon Atrax:
Who?

  • Yasha bows to Higarda. (Yasha. Nice to meet you, Lady Nebata.)

Mnemon Atrax:
Though that rings a nasty bell for some reason.

Versil Antona:
She doesn’t know.

  • Versil Antona jabs a thumb to his companion as if he knows.

Nebata Higarda:
Desus was such a rat-bastard that out West, they use his name as a word for trouble.
Gensh:
Versil gets a terrible sense of deja-vu.

Lacuna da Notte:
Bitch, where’s my girl?

Nebata Higarda:
She ain’t never gonna come to Walpurgis. You oughtta know dat by now.

Lacuna da Notte:
Shit. Well, kids, that’s everyone. Let’s go tear up the town.

Mnemon Atrax:
Would you like some drinks first?

  • Yasha puts a smile-like curve of lights across her mask.

Nebata Higarda:
Sure, kid. Yo, bartender, take a smoke break.

  • Adorjan and Lacuna take seats at the bar.
  • Mnemon Atrax hops behind the bar and starts going through their selection.

Mnemon Atrax:
Let’s see now.

  • Yasha will take a seat at the bar as well.
  • Versil Antona quickly sits at the nearest open spot… quickly realising his mistake.

Mnemon Atrax:
Water and Wyld – Perfect Success

  • Mnemon Atrax mixes up a variety of drinks in quick fashion, combining them in different ways from her own experience as well as some ideas she’s wanted to try.
  • Mnemon Atrax adeptly and quickly serves each of them a different drink.
  • Lacuna da Notte sniffs the drink as a true connoisseur, then says something in a strange language.

Mnemon Atrax:
Hm?

  • Versil Antona just chugs his without even skipping a beat.
  • Yasha will remove her mask and sample the scent of the drink, before drinking slowly.

Lacuna da Notte:
Ah, forgive me. I’m natively a bit provincial. Addy, baby, could you run back to my place and fetch my good smokes?

Adorjan:
FUCK YOU

  • Lacuna da Notte sips her drink slowly.
  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles a bit and grins. “I hope you enjoy. Not like I had much to do at one point beyond mixing drinks in new ways to get drunk.”

Mnemon Atrax:
Mother always did keep the best stuff for herself.

Lacuna da Notte:
Oh my. Look what the cat dragged in.

  • Lacuna da Notte points at the door. There’s nothing there.

Adorjan:
YOU

  • Adorjan bulldozes the door.
  • Yasha watches, vaguely amused.
  • Lacuna da Notte silently chugs Adorjan’s drink.

Versil Antona:
…So that’s how I looked at the Thing.

  • Mnemon Atrax pours a bit of whiskey in a shot glass before watching with amusement.

Mnemon Atrax:
Now you know, Versil. And knowing is half the battle.

Nebata Higarda:
Ah, shit. Lookit what you done. I’ll hafta stop her afore she ends up halfway ’cross the City.

  • Nebata Higarda chases after Adorjan.
  • Lacuna da Notte Lacuna steals Higarda’s drink too.
  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles and drinks her own shot.
  • Yasha is going to follow.
  • Mnemon Atrax slides Yasha’s on over to Lacuna.

Versil Antona:
Got any more servings there?
Witch:
Well, what remains of it

  • Yasha equips her mask while pursuing Adorjan.

Mnemon Atrax:
As many as you want. Another for you as well? Smiles towards Lacuna

Lacuna da Notte:
Certainly. I was almost as dry as Cecelyne while Lil was chewing my ear off.

  • Mnemon Atrax mixes up a couple more drinks for the both of them in the same fashion as before, keeping the pair well supplied while the other three are off elsewhere.

Mnemon Atrax:
So Metagaos, hm? Hunger is a fine thing. What satisfies your palate?

Lacuna da Notte:
Heroes. Anyone who would dare stand against me.

  • Versil Antona continues knocking back drinks to dull himself to the amount of rest he’s missing, content to listen to the idle conversation of his companions for the day.

Mnemon Atrax:
Hmhmhm. Personally, I want it all. Money, wealth, fame, dominion. All of the classics. But more than anything, I want to see people evolve. Faster, stronger, all that. It’d help you get your wish, no?

Versil Antona:
Are the vast majority of people even capable for evolving? Nevermind worth it.

Lacuna da Notte:
Ahh. A beautiful concept. My lover and I are quite the same. Survival of the fittest strengthens us all. Purge the weak, Versil. Like you.

  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles.

Mnemon Atrax:
Lover, hm? Ah, cest la vie.

  • Mnemon Atrax gives a dramatic little sigh.

Versil Antona:
If I was weak I most certainly would not have been Exalted.

Lacuna da Notte:
There’s lots of Exalted. There’s always going to be a weakest one.

Mnemon Atrax:
Why yes, though. Everyone can evolve. Even you Versil. You’re here with us, but I know you want to go back. You want to get back at everyone who did you wrong and rise to the top, no? That’s evolution, my friend. Become better, rise from your ashes. Maybe even overthrow Nebata? Your choices are unlimited Versil. Embrace it and find your strength.

Mnemon Atrax:
Survival of the fittest. Evolve, grow, and conquer.

Mnemon Atrax:
Or maybe you like being the worm that everyone looks down upon.
Cliffjord:
You are playing with dark powers here.

  • Mnemon Atrax slides him another drink.

Mnemon Atrax:
What’s it gonna be, Versil?

  • Versil Antona slammed his fist into the shot glass as it skidded in front of him, violently shattering it. “Do not push me.” There was a new found levelness to his voice. A loss of his pretense of ’I’m above you’. He was speaking as an equal and he did not like being made to speak as an equal. “I take my time with things. I am careful when I am needed to be. For all hell’s talk of strength there is little done and people seem quick to judge my strength when in turn I see none of theirs. I already am evolved to the next level by looking past self-interest which is impressive considering my current length of stay and how little I had to do to move ahead of the pack. Blind evolution breeds fat disgusting beasts like Tigershark who can’t see past their own gut and desire to rut like animals, strong individuals but fat and stupid growths on the collective. I know I’m capable of evolution because as far as it stands there is no finer stock than mine so do NOT throw it into question. But I see little else capable of evolving.” His volume and pitch were steadily rising. Atrax had more than just hit a nerve. “But perhaps that just means I should be replacing them soon, no?” A thinly veiled threat at worst, invitation at best.
  • Mnemon Atrax smiles.

Mnemon Atrax:
That’s the spirit.

Lacuna da Notte:
Don’t talk shit about Tigershark until you’ve met his wife…

  • Mnemon Atrax picks up a nearby bar towel and wipes up the mess before simply devouring the towel with a maw in her hand to be rid of it.

Mnemon Atrax:
You’ve been so gloomy. A kick in the ass seemed to have brightened you up though.

Versil Antona:
…indeed. Another drink. I seemed to have destroyed mine like the growths have destroyed the collective.

Nebata Higarda:
We done here?

  • Mnemon Atrax looks over at the devastated door to see the three returning.

Mnemon Atrax:
Seems so. Bar’s closed lady and gent.

  • Yasha walks in, looking at the ones left here.
  • Versil Antona stood up, wiping his hand on the seat for a quick clean.

Versil Antona:
So, off to cause some mayhem?

Lacuna da Notte:
Let

  • Mnemon Atrax claps her hands together.

Mnemon Atrax:
Let’s.

  • Mnemon Atrax hops back over the bar.

Lacuna da Notte:
Jinx, you owe me a bottle.

  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles. “I suppose I do. What’d you like?”

Lacuna da Notte:
It can wait until we’re done here. And surprise me. Now, let’s go harass some people!
Gensh:
After wandering around for some time, Lacuna eventually comes upon some of the more influential asura are having some sort of heated discussion. The center of the debate seems to be some conflict between the Empyreal Queen and a man you haven’t seen before.

Mnemon Atrax:
Speak of the Tigershark.

  • Mnemon Atrax mutters

Cearr:
Listen, Kyrie, we all respect you, but you don’t want to be starting shit with Xaruo. That’s the last thing anyone needs.

  • Xaruo grins smugly at the so-called “Empyreal Queen”.
    Cliffjord is disconnected.
    Cliffjord has connected.

Kyrie Elysium:
Oh? Really? You and the rest of the so-called “first generation” are a blight on this assembly. Failures who survived because they couldn’t follow orders and now think they have the right to gainsay the voice of the Green Sun because they were Exalted for a few years longer.

Kyrie Elysium:
This man is all the worse, a washed-up has-been with gut or will to call his own, who whored himself for power. He is a tumor on the Demon Emperor’s honor moreso than any other akuma. He has more than outlived his usefulness and his time alive.

Xaruo:
Praytell, how long will it be before your pedastal erodes, dear ‘Queen’? I have lived since times you cannot even imagine. What fickle little ‘memories’ you have are but dust in the winds of time. I knew an Age like no other. One where the Primordials were whole. You need what I alone can offer.

Kyrie Elysium:
I need nothing of the sort. Your memories are as warped as your deeds. You remember only the whitewashed histories your kind spread across Creation like plague. I feel the Empyreal Flame grow purer with each passing year. It is only a matter of time before our Lord is restored, no thanks to a twofold traitor such as yourself.

  • Xaruo laughs derisively. “Keep saying that to yourself.” He doesn’t even bother with a further rebuke, only taking up another smug and satisfied grin.

Kyrie Elysium:
To insult me is to insult the dignity of the Green Sun. Do you dare?

Cearr:
Kyrie!

  • Xaruo holds up his hands, palm outwards. “Now, now. This is Walpurgisnacht! We should be enjoying ourselves, no? We’ll continue our little debate another time.”

Kyrie Elysium:
I see I expected too much of a coward who could not face death with his peers.

Xaruo:
All good things in due time, Kyrie dear.

Tigershark:
Unfortunate. I had wished to devour the loser.

  • Versil Antona starts to smirk at the death comment, a quiet “Heh.” escaping his lips.

Cearr:
All right, everybody! Show’s over!

  • Yasha waves to Cearr.
  • Xaruo looks over at Caerr before noticing a certain someone. He begins to walk over with a wide smile upon his face and arms open.

Xaruo:
Honey!

Adorjan:
MY BABYDADDY!

Mnemon Atrax:
…I. What?

  • Adorjan repeatedly stabs at his armor.

Versil Antona:
I… that’s.

  • Xaruo laughs jovially and hugs the stabcrazymurderbitch.
  • Mnemon Atrax looks at everyone for a moment more. “What?”
  • Mnemon Atrax gestures at the pair.

Cearr:
Don’t look, kid. You don’t want to know the sorts of stuff millennia-old folks do to keep their sex lives interesting.

Nebata Higarda:
Weak.

  • Yasha is laughing all over her screen. (Good to see you, Cearr. I didn’t expect to see you playing mediator to anyone, let alone them.)

Mnemon Atrax:
On one hand, I kind of do. My curiosity is insatiable lately.

Yasha:
(Everything about you is insatiable, no?)

  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles.

Cearr:
If the big guy won’t do it, no one will. And we don’t need two of the biggest powers in Malfeas blowing up city blocks.

Yasha:
(How have you been since the Thing?)

Cearr:
I just blow off steam during Walpurgis. Maybe fight a few rounds in one of the underground rings that no one watches. Mostly relax.

Mnemon Atrax:
Two of the biggest, hm? Exactly who is the golden one? The Empyreal Queen speaks for herself I find.

Versil Antona:
The Golden One is Baby-Daddy as far as we know.

Cearr:
Supposedly, all our big bad past lives got murdered and sealed away for a few thousand years. That guy sold his soul to Malfeas, and the big boss forcibly kept him here while all his friends were dying or being hunted down.

Mnemon Atrax:
I see… That kind of power and years put together wouldn’t be pleasant.

Yasha:
(Interesting to finally see him in person. Someone marrying Adorjan is unexpected.)

Versil Antona:
I wouldn’t say that. Adorjan seems to find him lovely enough company.

Versil Antona:
Even if he reflects nearly as much of Ligier’s light as he catches.

  • Yasha is busy contemplating Adorjan.

Mnemon Atrax:
Hmm. Well, if you don’t mind.

  • Mnemon Atrax seperates from the group and walks over to Kyrie, bowing politiely once she’s arrived. “Greetings, Empyreal Queen. I am Mnemon Atrax and it is an honor to speak with you. I have been quite curious of the Empyreal Cult since Walpurgisnacht began. Might I trouble you for your time on the matter?”
  • Kyrie Elysium sneers.

Kyrie Elysium:
Hmph. A Mnemon acting demure. How quaint.

Mnemon Atrax:
I merely give respect where it is due. A title like yours would earn it.

Yasha:
(Do you have plans for tomorrow, Cearr?)

Kyrie Elysium:
Let me put it bluntly. I will have the Blessed Isle alight with green fire within the decade.

Cearr:
I don’t much. I get invited to a bunch of the parties, but they just want me to come because I’m part of the old guard.

Mnemon Atrax:
A fine goal, frankly. The Realm is stagnant and can use an action such as yours to promote the growth that it has long needed. The evolution of all Creation is what I seek and through such means, it forces all who dwell there to adapt or perish.

  • Versil Antona looks to Nebata and Lacuna. “I’m off to be social. Don’t die or anything.” Walking over to Klaus. “Hail.”

Kyrie Elysium:
As long as you are aware. Yes, I may have a few moments to chat with a new arrival.

Yasha:
(We’re wandering around Malfeas looking for invitations, ourselves. We were told that it would make us look bad not to have anywhere we could be, which seemed as good an excuse as any to make some new friends. I’m having fun today.)

Kris Klaus:
Ho ho ho! Well, if it isn’t little Versil Cortez Antona the Second. What can I do for you?

Cearr:
The socializing’s as brutal as the fighting here, aye. As long as you don’t get swallowed up, you’ll do fine, kid.

Mnemon Atrax:
Thank you. I was hoping you would tell me of the Empyreal Cult and its mission. I’ve heard the name many times since I’ve arrived. And I admit I’d overheard a portion of your conversation before. To paraphrase, you said that “the flame has grown purer”. What do you mean?

Versil Antona:
Mainly finding out what that little squabble was about so I can very much avoid the cause in near future. I’m trying to avoid mixing myself in deep waters too soon.

Kyrie Elysium:
The Empyreal Flame was of course lost with His Majesty’s crown o’er Creation. Only castaway shards remained, trapped in the Pyrian Queen’s spheres and out of our hands. It is the Empyreal Cult’s solemn duty to learn about the Time of Glory and slowly but surely refine the Green Sun’s light back to its untainted state.

Yasha:
(Ending up with Lacuna da Notte, Nebata Higarda and Adorjan has been entertaining. Tomorrow will probably be more trying, but I think I’ll be able to get through without issue.)

Kris Klaus:
Egos as big as my rippling pecs are a frequent problem here. But instead of working together like my pecs, they tear against one another. Little Kyrie hates for anyone to think she’s not in control, but old Xaruo is a constant reminder that she’s not matured yet.

Mnemon Atrax:
I believe that I follow you. By aiding in restoring Ligier to his true glory, you can also aid Lord Malfeas in regaining his own. It’s a noble goal to be certain.

Mnemon Atrax:
Might I inquire as to how I could join the Empyreal Cult?

Versil Antona:
Yes, I’ve noticed that to be a major issue… So not even an active dispute then, just rubbing each other the wrong way?

Kris Klaus:
You have the idea.

Yasha:
(This has been an interesting but trying week. I’ve had to spend some time meditating to re-center myself, but I think I have a better sense of who and what I am now.)

  • Versil Antona sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose. “So nothing to even avoid aside from the danger zone.”

Kyrie Elysium:
There is a formal ceremony. It is an ongoing process, as demons constantly apply for membership in the hopes of becoming a scribe or such. There will be a mass swearing-in on the fifth day. You may join simply by attending.

Kris Klaus:
Ho ho ho! No one ever got anywhere without a little bit of conflict!

Cearr:
Good to hear it, kid. I spent my first years here being angry at everyone and everything. You sound like you’re getting your head on straight quicker.

Yasha:
(It’s liberating. Things are very different from Autochthonia… so I needed to adapt, quickly. I’m looking forward to bringing change to that land when I’m ready to return.)

Mnemon Atrax:
I see. Thank you for your time, Empyreal Queen. I shall be sure to attend the gathering. I am most willing to contribute to any pursuit of knowledge.

Versil Antona:
You are not wrong bu a productive conflict is a different beast. Should we ever move onto creation for greater glories we can’t have two heads biting each other and killing the body. Except it’s not two heads, is it?

Kris Klaus:
Ah, we are lucky there. The jolly old Emperor is hesitant to loose such a valuable trump card as Xaruo. He’s spent every day since the Usurpation fighting in demon wars, never setting foot upon Creation.

  • Mnemon Atrax bows politely once more and excuses herself.

Versil Antona:
A fine idea. If they get like that over just existing in the same space, I’d hate to see a fueled dispute.

  • Versil Antona laughed as he entertained the mental image.
    Avara:
    hmm. not sure what else to converse about.
    Gensh:
    If we’re done with this event, I figure it’s a good time to wrap up. You did get one party invitation.
    Cliffjord:
    Ask Satan Klaus for your pony.
    Witch:
    I’m good if you want to
    Avara:
    alright. i’m good to roll out.
    Cliffjord:
    Same.
    Gensh:
    Yeah, this is the usual time. We can’t go killing Cliff as much as everyone would like to kill Versil.
    Avara:
    heh. right-o
    Avara:
    emergence in skype?
    Cliffjord is disconnected.
    Witch is disconnected.
    Avara is disconnected.
View
The Thing Interrupted

Gensh:
Within the Demon City lies many smaller metropoli. Among the grandest of these is the Conventicle Malfeasant, the temple to Creation which serves as the meetingplace of the Infernal Exalted. At the heart of this relatively-peaceful realm lies the palace of the Dragondaughter, the Holy Queen-Mother of the asura. At the heart of the palace in turn is not her throne, but the meeting chamber of her children. Soon, the Althing Infernal will begin as those fifty princes of hell convene to plot their designs on Creation in the coming year. For now, there are a few minutes left before everyone arrives.
Gensh:
Any last minute conversations can be begun now since Cliff wasn’t around for any of them. Alternatively, we can begin the meeting.
Witch:
Gonna have a few more file in or anything first?
Witch is disconnected.
Witch has connected.
Gensh:
Since the early birds are in, I’ll go with a countdown of everyone else filing in.
Gensh:
When the queen enters, you’re out of time.
Witch:
Mmkay
Gensh:
The next wave of asura has entered.
Gensh:
First is Count Tigershark, better known as the Crucible of Limitless Flesh. Equal parts man and writhing monstrosity of blood and flesh, he leaves a trail of bile on the ground where his cloak of entrails drags the floor behind him. He sits comfortably in his well-worn seat of Malfean brass next to the Queen-Mother’s bodyguard, clearly his own flesh and blood.

Mnemon Atrax:
Hard to miss that family resemblance.

  • Mnemon Atrax mutters to herself.
    Witch is disconnected.
  • Versil Antona shuddered and felt his stomach turn and churn at the sight of the count. He wasn’t exactly tame in his life experiences in but even he found such an appearance to be disgusting. “Goodness…”
    Witch has connected.
  • Yasha kept her response to herself, but didn’t particularly cast her gaze that way once she’d seen him. He was… disgusting, put simply.
    Gensh:
    Next enters a well-dressed man, clearly from the city-state of An-Teng. Earl Huli is one of the more “humanist” princes. Which is to say, he was a drug dealer when he Exalted, and all the power did was expand his range of operations and merchandise.
    Cliffjord is disconnected.
    Cliffjord has connected.
  • Mnemon Atrax holds no particular care for this one. His ‘wares’ are certainly not appealing to her.
    Gensh:
    A frequent client of his, Marquis Grimmsby, enters from the opposite side. Always a leader in all things “visionary” regardless of cause or consequence, he has remarkable coordination for being doped out of his gourd, and manages to successfully trip three rows into his ornate velvet-and-leather seat.
  • Versil Antona had to bite back a laugh to avoid drawing attention to himself. He opted instead to feign a fit of coughing, thumping his chest noisily.

Mnemon Atrax:

  • Mnemon Atrax just isn’t even sure what to say about that.
    Gensh:
    The sound of a beast lumbering through the streets resounds until it becomes clear that it is only a mountain of a man. Cearr, one of the few survivors of the first generation, enters and takes his seat. He carved it himself from a greatwood using his tainted orichalc axe as large as a horse and carriage.
  • Mnemon Atrax blinks and looks towards the sound where the impressive looking Asura arrives and seats himself. A truly impressive physical specimen. One that could be useful in potential experiments.
  • Yasha looks to Cearr, and nods in greeting.
  • Cearr nods back, crossing his arms and lifting his feet onto the back of the seat in front of him. The relatively new asura whimpers but does nothing.
    Gensh:
    Next to enter is likewise an enormous figure carrying an axe. This one is a woman, however. Horns crown her head, making her nonhuman heritage plain. Versil doesn’t recognize her but does recognize her father’s mark upon her. Ahlat, God of Cattle and Southern God of War.

Versil Antona:
What the-

  • Mnemon Atrax raises an eyebrow slightly at the sight of the horns. A beastwoman of some kind? She does not dwell on it much further. Nonetheless, there were certainly many physical specimens among her new ‘brothers and sisters’.
  • Versil Antona quickly shuts his mouth before it runs on too far. Not a mark he was expecting to see down these ways. Not a mark he expected to see around much in any regard.

Mina Khagan:
Mina is hungry…

Mnemon Atrax:
Grade A…
Gensh:
Next to enter is a celebrated hero of Cecelyne. Desolation takes many forms, but her silver sands make it difficult to get literal desert off the mind. Likewise, men are keen to forget that though her gifts have unforseen prices, they remain gifts. Marchlord Klaus in his brilliant red coat is a staunch reminder, distributing apocalyptic artifacts from his workshop in the bitterest of the frozen North.

  • Mnemon Atrax is left rather speechless by this one, even compared to the moment before of the Swansong’s entrance. He’s… certainly a curiosity. Dangerous yet a degree of ludicrousy. A reminder to not simply judge on appearance, she feels.
  • Versil Antona can only raise an eyebrow at the new arrival, looking more than slightly puzzled. He did not exactly fit in with this crowd. Then again as Versil was learning very swiftly, neither did he. He quickly put his eyes forward, intent on not broadcasting his curiousity and new blood sheen.
  • Tepet Lyanna meanwhile looks at him starry-eyed.

Mina Khagan:
Mina left out milk and cookies, but Mina ate them.

Tepet Lyanna:
I want cookies Mina!

Mina Khagan:
MINA ATE THEM, MINA IS SORRY

Tepet Lyanna:
BOOOOO

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Stop yelling across the room, both of you!

Tepet Lyanna:
Sorry Auntie Lil…

  • Versil Antona quickly feigned another coughing fit to maintain composure.
  • Mnemon Atrax flatout facepalmed.
    Gensh:
    Following the Northerner is another Southerner. Duchess Nebata, master of the Chiaroscuro underworld, and through her connections Chiaroscuro’s literal Underworld as well. She wastes no time in causing trouble as usual.

Nebata Higarda:
All right, bitches, Queen’s here, everyone drop their treasure at my feet, and go home.

Tepet Lyanna:
Grandma! Hi grandma!

  • Tepet Lyanna eagerly greets her.

Nebata Higarda:
Who’s my favorite grandchild because my actual child won’t fuck his wife? You are! How ya doin’, Lyanna?

Tepet Lyanna:
It’s been really really fun! Did you find the thingie in the maze?

Nebata Higarda:
I took all the prizes before anyone else did, and then got bored and stole the traps too.

  • Tepet Lyanna giggles.

Mnemon Atrax:
The maze…?

  • Versil Antona visibly sat forward and listened to the conversation. Those were his treasures! And she was of the same home as him, might be worth listening in on her gossip too…
  • Mnemon Atrax recalls the blur of black that had easily jettisoned competitors. Well, that certainly explained one thing.

Gabrien Murmur:
Was it a-maze-ing?

Nebata Higarda:
Fuck yourself.

Tepet Lyanna:
Hee hee hee~!

Versil Antona:
Hah!

  • Versil Antona quickly covered his mouth and coughed. “Pardon. Bad cough.”
  • Yasha has a smile of approval dotted across her mask.
    Gensh:
    Late as ever, Baroness Cynis enters while making as little fuss as she can, crawling into her oversized bean bag chair and donning earmuffs. Light reflects from her face as she plays with some sort of holographic artifact.

Tepet Lyanna:
Oh, grandma! I found grandpa’s shoes! They’re super comfy! I don’t know why he’s losing them all the time.

  • Versil Antona stops listening to indulge himself in glaring raw contempt at Cynis.

Nebata Higarda:
Ah, Venus, just keep ‘em. If ya give’m back, they’ll just up ‘n’ vanish ’gain.

Tepet Lyanna:
That’d be so sad! Okay then!
Gensh:
Last call! All aboard the meeting train!
Avara:
BEEP BEEP VRRRROOOOOOOOOOM
Cliffjord:
That’s a car noise though.
Avara:
sorry, my brain went to bus instead of train
Avara:
… screw it. sticking with it. coalfire trains are out of date. VRRRROOOOOOOOOM.
Witch:
ELECTRIC TARIN
Witch:
train
Gensh:
The Empyreal Queen enters at last, sealing the doors behind her. The assembly is now trapped in the conference room until the Thing concludes. Her seat is rather spartan, though the small trophies adorning it give a faint reminder that she comes from a long line of woodsmen.

  • Mnemon Atrax looks over at the sound of closing doors. The last to arrive would be the foremost in many minds. The “Queen” of the Empyreal Cult. Now there was a woman to be weary of, whether you meant to spread ill or provide aid where she was concerned.

Mnemon Atrax:
Not that many can’t be classified as such here, now can they…?

  • Mnemon Atrax mutters thoughtfully to herself.
    Gensh:
    Versil, draw for Light.
    Avara:
    did versil do something in whispers?
    Gensh:
    no
    Avara:
    good luck, gunner
    Cliffjord:
    Day and Night – Failure
    Gensh:
    Even with no investment in Day, you have one reroll.
    Cliffjord:
    Gonna use that so I don’t explode.
    Cliffjord:
    Day and Earth – Failure
    Gensh:
    In the audience seats across from him, Versil catches sight of a hideous monster, shiftng shape with every breath. It glares at him, recognizing that it saw him. It smiles. Eihim misunderstands what Versil is looking at and waves. He’s standing right beside it, but he doesn’t seem to realize it’s there.

Versil Antona:
What the-!?

  • Versil Antona fumbles with his coat button, trying to free it to grab a pistol, losing all pretense of being subtle about it.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Is there a problem?

Mnemon Atrax:
What is he doing…?

Versil Antona:
What is that thing!?

  • Yasha rolls her eyes at Versil acting up.
  • Tepet Lyanna looks over at him oddly.
  • Versil Antona points to whatever the hell that thing is, making sure he’s not pointing at Eihim.
  • Mnemon Atrax looks at Versil and then slowly rotates her head to look back at where Versil is pointing, catching sight of Eihim.
  • Yasha keeps eyes on Lillun.
  • Eihim shrugs and walks around the area, looking for something. He clearly walks through the monster several times.
  • Mnemon Atrax looks back at Versil and shakes her head with a disappointed expression.
  • Versil Antona rubs his eyes and confirms he’s actually seeing this before yelling to Eihim once he’s midway through it. “Stop there! Can no one else see it!?”
  • Tepet Lyanna scratches her head and looks to Higarda before shrugging and looking back at the guy making all the noise.
  • Yasha raises an eyebrow, and looks to Cearr and Murmur. (Do you see anything?)

Cearr:
Don’t see, don’t smell, don’t hear nothing.

Gabrien Murmur:
Nope. Noooope.

  • Yasha nods, and resumes looking at Lillun.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I see there is a need for a change in seating arrangement. Please, before the next Thing, someone else sit next to Marquis Grimmsby.

  • Yasha raises a hand. (I will volunteer.)

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I will make note of it and have your seats exchanged. With this business concluded…

Lillun Dragondaughter:
My children, Chosen of the Yozis who wrought the world, welcome to this Twenty-Third Calibration Thing. I will remind you as always that there is to be no physical violence in this chamber, nor may you use occult powers to shatter the minds of those with whom you disagree. The first matter for this Calibration is the introduction of three new siblings. Introduce yourselves, alphabetically if you please.

  • Versil Antona sits down, eyes fixated on… that being, coat remaining unbuttoned for his own sake more than anything else.
    Avara:
    by family or given name?
    Gensh:
    the lastest of all last names
    Avara:
    that doesn’t help
    Avara:
    we’re using asian order
    Gensh:
    the most prominent familiy name
    Avara:
    there ya go
  • Mnemon Atrax rises and begins to introduce herself.

Mnemon Atrax:
I am Mnemon Atrax, fresh exalt of Metagaos. A pleasure.

  • Mnemon Atrax keeps it brief.
    Avara:
    versil’s next. if he’s not still on acid.
  • Versil Antona shakes he head and stands, blink several times. “Versil Cortez Antona II of Chiaroscuro. Recently exalted even more recently drugged if my eyes do decieve me.” he tried to play it off calmly but there was a mild flush to his cheeks. It was real enough…
  • Yasha rises in turn, removing her hat and performing a sweeping, theatrical bow with it. (Yasha, Chosen of Adorjan. A pleasure to meet you all.) She had to pause briefly to make sure she didn’t use the wrong word.
    Gensh:
    Through their introductions, the remaining forty-seven asura sized up the newcomers. They kept uncharacteristically quiet. So much so that the Silent Wind smashed against the exterior of the Conventicle several times before giving up and searching for another target. Someone definitely said “An-stoned-a,” though.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
WIth introductions concluded, Count Tigershark requested the floor first.

  • Tepet Lyanna goes from quietly watching the three arrivals to staring at the Mina’s Dad guy.
  • Yasha awaits for the Tigershark’s speech, watching him carefully.

Tigershark:
Oh, yes! Something has been giving me a terrible toothache. This assembly stands like a rotten carcass, suitable only for peasants to devour. I speak of our stagnant stock. Put simply, we are not breeding. True, there are but fifty cakes to be distributed. That’s as many as five tens, and that’s terrible. But who better to guide the next generation of mortal morsels than our own blood? For pita’s sake, we could spice the blood of dragons as well! The Lunars have long swelled their number with monstrous and stupid lambchops, yet who among us has bred? Myself, the hero of the Barbecue that Twists the Sky, Nebatasty, and the Breakfast of Champions. Pathetic.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Avara:
well. that’s an awkward subject to start on.
Avara:
Let’s make babies.

Mnemon Atrax:

Cliffjord:
God he’s talking about food too.

  • Mnemon Atrax is half tempted to agree and half tempted to go get something to eat.
    Avara:
    are we allowed to respond freely, or no?
    Gensh:
    Respond freely. The others will interject as well.

Tepet Lyanna:
What’s “breeding”?

Yasha:
(I can’t say much for the rest of us, but I intend to build up a power base before I distract myself with something as time-consuming as raising a child properly. It’s better to spend the time to make sure your child won’t betray you.)

  • Yasha quietly wonders if Tigershark just wants to eat the babies.

Nebata Higarda:
To be totally fair, not everyone has da luck to find magical desert babies.

Versil Antona:
I can’t help but agree with my fellows. A child seems to be a poor return for investment of our time when we could be better adjusting the… climate of creation with our own hands.

Yasha:
(To be fair, Count Tigershark has a point—properly taught leaders are best derived from our own rather than from those who kneel on Creation’s soil. It is simply a matter of proper set-up, if that is your goal.)

Fabula Grimmsby:
Hey. Hey! hEy! I have NO idEa how many baaastards I have!

Yasha:
(They don’t rightly count if you can’t direct them into loyally leading humanity.)

Voljian Hidari:
As much as it pains me to agree with something barely human, it is only the duty of a loyal kinsman to leave behind children to support the Gens.

Mnemon Atrax:
That calls the matter of genetics into order then. Quantity or quality as it were.

Yasha:
(The soul is typically more important than the stock, but I suppose that is rather difficult to control here.)

Versil Antona:
Quality if we were to act upon this now. With so little to rule you’d have them reduced to petty kin squabbles for what scraps there are. I stand by we should create a groundwork first before we turn our attentions to breeding like wild animals in rut.

Yasha:
(Crudly put, but it sums up the issue with executing the plan immediately.)

Tigershark:
You dare question the quality of my seed?

Mina Khagan:
MINA IS THE BEST

Tepet Lyanna:
…But what is “breeding”?

Nebata Higarda:
You see, when Malfeas loves himself very much…

Yasha:
(Your seed is not called into question. We simply don’t have the resources to put the plan into action yet. Help people conquer territory, if you’re bored.)

  • Tepet Lyanna pays attention to Higarda.

Versil Antona:
I do not. I simply say less is more until there is actually more to be ruled. They would be choked like flowers in a bed of weeds. Stunted so to speak. Fighting for more growing room.

Yasha:
(Put another way: We don’t have nearly so many children that might want to take things mina wants to own.)

Yasha:
(Do you, Count Tigershark, have any complaints about the idea of building up something worth giving to our children before we have children?)
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.

  • Versil Antona stands up and shows the Antona signet ring upon his finger, baring the family crest which gleams with a gentle, well polished glow. “Take note of a son who had to fight for parental attention. Even with a vast amount of wealth and connections there was still rivalry and bitterness between siblings. And you would have it we sire more children with even less to share?” He shrugs and looks to his gathered fellows for an answer.

Tigershark:
I hold my stance. That your teat is drier than Cecelyne’s is your own problem.

Versil Antona:
My teat is fine. I could sire a few bastards with some back alley whores and bring them up in a merchant house with little issue. I merely look to my fellows who do not have such standings on creation and duties here.

Yasha:
(He meant you have nothing to give your child, Antona.)

Gabrien Murmur:
I agree with the newcomer. My wife didn’t leave the Realm behind just for us to start the same bloodline politics.

Yasha:
(A lone merchant house is precious little in the game of world control.)

Mnemon Atrax:
I believe this matter does bear consideration. But at the same time, now is not a good time for it. We must focus on expanding our own holdings first.

  • Mnemon Atrax is loathe to agree with the opposition, but the tree must bear more fruit first.

Yasha:
(So: Shall we table this plan for future discussion?)

Tepet Lyanna:
i still dun get it

  • Yasha looks to Tepet Lyanna. (Count Tigershark wants us to have more children. We’re not ready to.)

Tepet Lyanna:
Ooooohhhh…
Gensh:
Someone starts clapping.

  • Yasha looks to see who is clapping.
    Gensh:
    Draw for Day
  • Mnemon Atrax looks around for the source.

Mnemon Atrax:
Day and Wyld – Perfect Success
Gensh:
only need one person this time
Gensh:
try to conserve, the balance, yanno
Avara:
stack overflow. i can’t draw.
Gensh:
shiiiiit
Gensh:
either i can draw for you, or you need to restart maptool
Witch:
welp

Yasha:
i’ll restart it.
Avara:
fuck you impersonate
Avara is disconnected.
Witch:
yasha shall restart it for ruki
Avara has connected.
Avara:
shall i do a test draw?
Gensh:
shoot

Yasha:
Day and Fire – Outside Success
Avara:
good.
Avara:
alright, so only one person needed to draw perception check for the group?
Gensh:
Correct.
Avara:
and best mnemon drew perfect
Gensh:
Normally, the essence of the Conventicle was inviolate. It was carefully groomed, distilled from the Demon City to produce a balanced environment. The balance could be upended temporarily by conflict, but such events were rare. Yet all of a sudden, there was a vast influx of wyld essence on the Queen-Mother’s dais. A pair of hands reached through it, clapping right above her head.
Avara:
a fae?

Mnemon Atrax:
Above you!

  • Mnemon Atrax points it out to Lilun

Yasha:
(Queen-Mother, please move immediately.)

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I beg your pardo-?

  • Eihim bowls her over with the giant velvet-covered trunk he’d been holding eariler.

Eihim:
’scuse me!

  • Lillun Dragondaughter is trapped under the trunk.

Eihim:
Funny conclusion you came to. The complete opposite of your dear lord Malfeas’, as it happens.

Eihim:
You know, there’s just something about blood.

Eihim:
You can marry into a royal family, but that doesn’t make you royal. You’re a consort. Your kids are the ones who are royal.

Eihim:
You can’t really proclaim yourself royalty either. You’re just a conquerer or a usurper or what have you.
Avara:
this speech again?
Gensh:
he hadn’t crushed your boss the last time
Avara:
yeah. working out how to fix that.
Cliffjord:
The fuck is going on?!
Avara:
is there a draw i can make to judge roughly how strong he is vs effort needed to kick him off of her?
Gensh:
Figuring shit out is usually Day.

Yasha:
Day and Wood – Neutral Success

Tepet Lyanna:
Air and Earth – Neutral Success
Avara:
more accurately: how good would the odds be on lifting him and his trunk off of her, i guess
Avara:
since we’re not supposed to do a violence here
Gensh:
For refernce, as players, you’re getting the first action. The NPCs will all react after this.

  • Tepet Lyanna hops out of her chair and slaps a hand upon the floor, a portal opening in front of her before she reaches through it. The child asura roots around for a moment before making sure it worked and then gesturing to Higarda to use the advantage.
  • Yasha sliiiiiiides up to Eihim, moving in one fluid motion, and attempts to lift him bodily off the queen-mother and into the air. (Draw? fire, earth?)
    Gensh:
    Fire for direct or Air for surprise

Yasha:
Air and Wood – Outside Success
Avara:
i’ll take “get him off her but get hurt in the process”
Avara:
or something like that—i succeed, but i take a penalty
Witch:
That’d be more like Neutral Success I think?
Witch:
It’s hard to tell with how they word it and then explain it
Avara:
iirc neutral success is “you do pretty okay”
Avara:
and outside success is “you do it, but it hurts”
Cliffjord:
I agree with Avara.
Avara:
anyway—point is, bad thing for me instead of lil if possible?
Avara:
>> i mean, having a lunar up close for a brawl is probably bad as-is, but. still.
Avara:
also: is it readily apparent what kind of animal eihim has as his totem?
Gensh:
Yasha lifts the gangly Lunar into the air and hurls him with strength befitting one of the more physically-minded patrons. He flies through the air, but with the force of the uprooting, Yasha loses the trunk, which follows him as he crashes into the first row of mostly junior Infernals.
Witch:
eggplant
Gensh:
and a birb

  • Tepet Lyanna takes advantage of the moment herself and grabs Lil through the portal to safety.

Eihim:
Goodness! I wasn’t going to harm her…
Cliffjord:
Temptation to grab the case…

Tepet Lyanna:
Safe and sound!

  • Tepet Lyanna cuts off the portal.

Yasha:
(Do not. Trample. The Queen-Mother. Your bird-brained babbling is not more important than anyone here, especially her.)

Eihim:
I just wanted to chime in on the discussion. You see, the dear old Emperor used to have a different favorite child…

Yasha:
(That’s lovely. Go back to your seat, talk from there. Or get thrown back to your seat, if need be.)

Eihim:
How about a drink while I tell the story?

  • Eihim starts rummaging around under the trunk, pulling out a few glasses.
    Avara:
    iirc the trunk was flowin into the seats of the infernals
    Avara:
    rather far from him
    Gensh:
    it crashed into him
    Avara:
    wording!
    Gensh:
    the scale is just a little wonky in this scene
  • Yasha watches him carefully, ready to pick him up again and drag his ass out if he goes for anything suspicious. (I will pass on any offered drinks.)

Versil Antona:
Is there a point to this little tale you’re going to be telling? One related to the current affair.

  • Kyrie Elysium slams her fist onto an armrest.

Kyrie Elysium:
Yasha. Dispose of this trash.

Eihim:
Oh, that hurts a little.

  • Yasha nods, and will use Art Cast Living to HOIST regardless of struggle, and drag his ass out. Available elements?
  • Mnemon Atrax simply waits and watches.
    Gensh:
    You actually could use Earth for this one since it’s a sustained effort. Mainly, I try to leave these choices to you.
    Avara:
    i was leaning towards earth
    Avara:
    but didn’t know how to justify

Yasha:
Earth and Night – Outside Success
Avara:
it takes up personal essence to force a perfect success, right?
Gensh:
Yes
Avara:
burning one of three.
Avara:
quick question: does kyrie mean dispose “remove” or dispose “kill”?
Gensh:
yes
Avara:
okay.
Cliffjord:
Do not kill him please.
Avara:
why?
Cliffjord:
I can only think of several reasons. One of which being no violence.
Avara:
that’s why i’m dragging him outside?
Avara:
no violence in the room.
Cliffjord:
So we’ll drag him outside to Hotline Miami him.
Gensh:
Keep in mind that you are in fact trapped inside the room.
Avara:
this was not something i was aware of. fine.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Avara:
can i instead apply my forced perfect success to just. crushing his skull? sustained effort to break him/inflict injuries.
Gensh:
Sure
Avara:
i’ll do that.
Cliffjord has connected.

  • Yasha grabs onto Eihim’s head with first one hand, then the other, concentrating metal-bodied might into crushing him.

Yasha:
(The rules are in place to keep brother from fighting against brother. If you do not respect us and ours, then there is no purpose for you—and you are not protected here. Die, and may your soul be someone of value in your next life.)

  • Cliffjord hops the few rows of seats remaining between him and the grisly act about to unfold. He sprints the length of the room before attempting something very silly. He attempts to spear tackle Yasha to interrupt the kill. “Can we not start our careers with a pointless murder?!”
    Cliffjord:
    EVERY TIME.
    Avara:
    scoot your token one

Versil Antona:
Air and Wyld – Perfect Success
Avara:
i forget to move my token sometimes since narrative-focused stuff… y’know?
Avara:
can i oppose that with another draw?
Witch:
SPEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRRR
Witch:
quick, pin yasha for the 3 count versil
Cliffjord:
This is for the title belt!
Gensh:
Atrax has the opportunity to interrupt now. If not, we end up in this awkward position where there’s a draw between two possible outcomes of Eihim dying and not dying. Schrodinger’s Lunar.
Avara:
guess it’s up to atrax whether or not dickbutt mctreason dies.
Cliffjord is disconnected.

Mnemon Atrax:
Earth and Water – Neutral Success
Avara:
interrupting who?
Witch:
i hit cancel not okay
Witch:
damnit
Gensh:
was that a roll to hold the laughter in
Witch:
y’know what yes, it was
Cliffjord has connected.

  • Mnemon Atrax fails to hold her laughter and rises from her seat before starting to walk down herself.

Mnemon Atrax:
Air and Fire – Neutral Success
Avara:
you’re going to have to logic why not to kill eihim at yasha in-character, if you want to stop her from trying/deciding you’re an enemy too.

  • Mnemon Atrax walks and time seems to slow just a bit as she moves quicker than the easy stride suggests, arriving at the point to halt Yasha’s killing attempt and giving Versil a proper opening.
    Cliffjord:
    Fair enough.

Mnemon Atrax:
Enough. The point has been made. Say your piece or she gets to finish what she started.

  • Yasha will rise to her feet, gazing at Eihim. She glares at Versil, tempted to petrify him where he stood—but for now, there was a more important target, and her eyes returned to the bird blunder, ready to freeze him in place if he did anything but talk. Including trying to look away and run.
  • Versil Antona quickly stands himself, dusting himself off quickly.
    Avara:
    it may not be a thing in this system, but if it is—air essence one of two is being ready action’d. if he tries to flee or fight, surprise attack to freeze him in place as a perfect success.
  • Tepet Lyanna pries her eyes away from the action and looks to Lilun. “Are you okay, Auntie Lil?”

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Of course. I worry more how the inner chamber was breached.

  • Tepet Lyanna nods and then hugs Lilun.

Versil Antona:
I’m shocked. Shocked and disgusted with how quickly the tables turned to murder. You heard the count. We number 50. Only 50. 5 tens as he put it. Each and every person in here is valuable… even if barely lucid. We have our roles to play and killing him is a gross waste of limited resources. More over, we have no proof of his intentions being murderous in turn. Rude, yes, not murderous. But you do not kill a child for disrespecting their elders. You beat them to teach respect. Yes, he deserves punishment for his conduct, no one in here would disagree. But punishment does not equate to a grossly wasteful murder. Can you even accurately tell me what just happened? You act rashly without thought, a course of action many would look down upon, no?! Perhaps an idea would be to figure out what just happened instead of spilling maybe valuable and innocent if rude and barely lucid blood.

Eihim:
In her defense, I’m not one of you.

Yasha:
(He is a Lunar. One of the skinchangers of the borderlands.)

Yasha:
(A guest in our home, who has assaulted our mother and a respected leader.)

Mnemon Atrax:
Enough.

Versil Antona:
And numbers one of us. We are not in a position of wasteful spend. We should make-

  • Mnemon Atrax scans the crowd before focusing on the Queen-Mother near Higarda and the child asura.

Mnemon Atrax:
Queen-Mother. You are the victim of his assault. What is your judgement?

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Murmur. Bind him. Cearr. Ready your axe.
Witch is disconnected.

  • Yasha will now freeze him with that perfect success mentioned, to make sure he doesn’t escape how he got in.
    Witch has connected.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Tigershark, you are our liason with the Silver Pact. Will this one be missed?

Tigershark:
Never smelled him before.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
By my authority, I unbind these doors. Take him to my father’s oubliette.
Avara:
by the way, where is kyrie elysium’s token?
Gensh:
11 o clock
Avara:
found it
Avara:
thanks

Eihim:
Oh, come on. There’s no need for that.
Avara:
can petrified people speak?
Gensh:
No.
Avara:
yasha petrified him
Avara:
and is keeping gaze locked
Gensh:
yes
Avara:
expended air essence (surprise attack) to keep him in place with perfect success
Avara:
2 eihim?
Gensh:
or more
Avara:
will wait for others to respond
Avara:
yasha is preoccupied
Avara:
cliff, ping if you see
Cliffjord:
I see 2 Eihim’s.
Avara:
you’re lagging a bit, if you didn’t see “cliff, ping if you see”

  • Mnemon Atrax turns her gaze from Lilun at last only to find another Eihim right behind Yasha.

Mnemon Atrax:
Well then.

Gabrien Murmur:
Hey, this is my trick.

Eihim:
No it isn’t.

  • Yasha is going to go for a repeat of what happened to Murmur, and smash the (petrified) eihim against eihim pendulum style. PUNY GOD.

Yasha:
Fire and Air – Neutral Success
Avara:
failure but good thing. not sure how that works.
Cliffjord:
You now have both in LoS!
Avara:
that’d be convenient, but there may be more.
Gensh:
only if she can look in both directions at once
Avara:
i think he means the fail-but-good-thing might result in that
Avara:
slam eihim next to eihim, gaze at both.
Cliffjord:
Yeah.
Witch:
Have to lock eyes for a ‘gaze’
Avara:
yeah, that tho’
Gensh:
Yeah, the power wording is specific.
Avara:
mhm. so, how do we turn failing to loki him into a good?
Gensh:
Yasha misses the second Eihim, but smashes the first into the floor with sufficient force to cause him to burst into gossamer – raw dreamstuff.

Yasha:
(However many of you there may be, you will not escape death, hatchling.)

Yasha:
(Or perhaps… plaything of the fae?)

Eihim:
My, you are one for jumping to conclusions. I am Vile Lunar Eihim. I hold my own objectives. And you seem to hold a deep-seated hatred of storytime.

Versil Antona:
I would personally advise against making more of a nuisance of yourself Lunar one. You aren’t exactly in a strong position.

  • Yasha looks to Murmur and Cearr to see if they’re still moving in.
  • Cearr winks and nods.
  • Gabrien Murmur is waiting to see what’s going to happen, but chains dangle from slots in his gauntlets.
    Avara:
    wink and nod—i don’t get the message.
    Avara:
    are they waiting for me to attack again?
    Gensh:
    it’s a chance for the younguns to get the glory

Yasha:
(You know, I think I understand. Why the clockwork champion concluded that cutting my tongue out was the best option.) She reaches for his throat, planning to crush it totally no matter how long it takes. Earth, sustained effort.

Yasha:
Earth and Day – Failure
Avara:
forcing it
Avara:
2/3 used, perfect success
Witch:
That’d be your 3rd
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Avara:
no
Avara:
i asked if i could reapply the first one
Gensh:
you killed cliff
Avara:
since there wasn’t an outside to drag him to
Gensh:
this is correct
Avara:
and the petrify was air
Witch:
And you turned that into skull crush
Avara:
yes.
Avara:
skull crush earth, petrify surprise attack air
Avara:
now throat crush earth
Witch:
At any rate. Pocket Time as the next goes down to observe where the next gens from.

Mnemon Atrax:
Day and Wyld – Perfect Success
Cliffjord has connected.
Witch:
fitting
Witch:
with that ele draw
Avara:
yasha is using a perfect success force to crush eihim’s throat.
Cliffjord:
CAN WE STOP MURDERING HIM JESUS
Avara:
NOPE
Avara:
HE’S BEEN DECLARED LEGALLY TO BE DEAD-ED OR OUBLIETTED, WHICH IS WORSE
Avara:
plus he’s pulling a naruto
Avara:
kage bunshin no jutsu

  • Eihim explodes into gossamer again.
    Avara:
    odds are the real eihim—isn’t here.
    Cliffjord:
    I think it might be better to have him oublietted at this rate.
    Avara:
    the problem is
    Cliffjord:
    Unless we are using this for Yasha’s anger managment.
    Avara:
    you’d have to capture the right one
    Avara:
    also: if you want to capture him, do something to capture him?
    Cliffjord:
    I feel like I’m skating on very thin ice for siding with not murdering him outright.
    Avara:
    the ice gets thinner when you do nothing
    Cliffjord:
    Deeeeep.
    Gensh:
    Atrax watches closely, feeling the currents of essence. The Eihim that died is… the real one… up to the very moment of utter death, at which point a new “real one” appears out of nothing.
    Avara:
    HE’S USING THE SHARINGAN

Mnemon Atrax:
…They’re all the real one.

Yasha:
(I don’t have a means to stop something of that nature. Would someone else like to try their hand, or shall I continue exhausting the both of us?)

  • Versil Antona sighs at the constant appearing and disappearing of the Lunar, raking his brain. “May I try? With actually addressing him?”

Mnemon Atrax:
Rather. This is a fruitless endeavor. The real one is both here and not. Am I warm?

  • Mnemon Atrax looks at the Lunar.

Eihim:
Oh, no. I’m here in the flesh. It would be rude to do otherwise.

Mnemon Atrax:
Regardless, I can already see that violence won’t solve this. You’ll keep doing your trick, Yasha will keep doing hers.

  • Yasha lets Versil be a distraction, while she attempts to consult her demon on advice against such a slippery dick.

Mnemon Atrax:
We only waste energy.
Avara:
versil and atrax

Versil Antona:
Eihim? That’s your name right? I assume you aren’t going to come willingly are you? You’ll do this trick when that happens too, right?
Yasha whispers: “Wolkir, have you any advice to deal with someone so capable of escaping both death and capture?”
You whisper to Avara: test
Avara whispers: Success
You whisper to Avara: The demon laughs, “Do something unexpected! You’re already boring! He expects to die, so he’s not even resisting it!”

Eihim:
Oh, no. I have to stay here. This is where the audience is.

  • Yasha considers options…

Versil Antona:
So… would you be willing to come after you get to tell your story time and explain yourself in full? And if not that, after the Thing is over?

Eihim:
Well, certainly.

Yasha:
(Lillun, do you care to hear what he has to say?)

  • Yasha considers options further while waiting for the verdict.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I would be interested in how he infiltrated this sealed room, but I dare not let him speak more than he does already. Not all are warded against words.

  • Yasha is going to shut down his verility factory~! Fire to kick nuts.

Yasha:
Fire and Fire – Perfect Success

Versil Antona:
If I may be open in addressing you Holy Queen Mother-

  • Fabula Grimmsby slow claps.
  • Mnemon Atrax just pinches the bridge of her nose.
  • Eihim crumples.
    Yasha whispers: “A bit immature, but that might do it.”

Mnemon Atrax:
…Did that seriously just work?
You whisper to Avara: Wolkir gives a wan grin. “Well, it’s a start.”
Yasha whispers: “Obviously. I have much to learn. I accept that.”

  • Yasha gestures to Murmur. (Could you please bind him now?)

Gabrien Murmur:
Right. Not that I’d wish Steve’s oubliette on anyone.

  • Gabrien Murmur casts the gilded chains around the Lunar, and they begin to burn into his skin. With a grunt, he begins to drag the prisoner away.
  • Cearr follows as a second guard.
  • Yasha will return to her seat now, postulating what she could’ve done better to stop him. She was too brutish and blunt, but she didn’t know what other options she might have, really.
    Witch is disconnected.
  • Versil Antona sighs and rolls his arms, returning to his own seat.
    Witch has connected.
  • Mnemon Atrax returns to her own seat, shaking her head a bit.
  • Lillun Dragondaughter quickly retakes her place on the centrail dais.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
My children, an unprecendented event has occurred just now. We have been infiltrated not a rogue actor among our own number but by an outside force. Yours is the duty of choosing how we will respond to this new threat. For now, however, we must address the immediate concern. His… liquor cabinet or whatever it may be remains in this chamber. We cannot allow it to remain while it may hold a transmitting artifact – or even a soul-breaker orb. We must swiftly come to a resolution on what to do with it.

Versil Antona:
If I may propose the course of action perhaps we actually examine it first? If he wanted to, he could have activated it a number of moments there. We may find a clue to actually whatever his motives were. Should we find it to confirm our worst fears we dispose of it and act accordingly.

Mnemon Atrax:
I’ll inspect it.

  • Mnemon Atrax volunteers.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Does the assembled Thing agree to open the trunk here?

Nebata Higarda:
Shake it a little, then pour me a martini!

Yasha:
(It would be advisable to open it outside, but there may be something of immediate necessity within. No objection, but maintain caution.)

Tepet Lyanna:
A martini sounds good! …What’s a martini?

  • Yasha looks to Lyanna. (A drink for adults.)

Tepet Lyanna:
Oooohhh… I want one!

Tepet Lyanna:
Open it up!

Tigershark:
I demand first right to any bourbon!

Yasha:
(They do bad things to your head. That’s why they’re for adults—adults know better, or should, and it’s on their own heads what happens to them.)

  • Versil Antona remains silent, allowing his mind to wander a bit.

Lolat:
Oh for-! One of the expendable newbies get in there and open the damn thing!

  • Mnemon Atrax stands and walks over to the case just as she said, beginning to open it up and look into it’s contents.
    Witch:
    I think that was the general spot
    Gensh:
    Yeah
    Witch:
    Day to take stock of everything and look for any hidden compartments for other things.
    Gensh:
    righto

Mnemon Atrax:
Day and Day – Perfect Success
Witch:
i cannot lose with day it would seem
Avara:
congrats.
Cliffjord:
Day man
Avara:
it’s really your day to shine.
Cliffjord:
Fighter of the night man
Witch:
versil go home, you’re drunk
Cliffjord:
It’s funny because he was Lunar.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Witch is disconnected.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Witch has connected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Avara:
GREETINGS
Cliffjord:
HELLO
Cliffjord:
IS ME YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?
Witch:
I’M LOOKING FOR BOOZE
Avara:
perfect draw, so hopefully you find a lot!
Gensh:
There seem to be two components to the trunk. The lower part is a rather cramped liquor cabinet indeed, crudely affixed to the upper part. In fact, it seems as though the upper part is upside-down. Its own lid was removed to connect it to the liquor cabinet, though there’s a hole in the back of the shelving to reach the other compartment. Does Atrax reach in the hole?
Witch:
Yep
Gensh:
She reaches in to find it cold and moist. She’s grabbing something. Yep. That’s definitely a heart alright.

Mnemon Atrax:

Avara:
… ohhh, i think i get it
Avara:
birb is the liquor cabinet?
Avara:
or, his heart/soul is in it
Gensh:
not quite

Mnemon Atrax:
That is exactly what I think it is.
Gensh:
ATRAX, ROLL EARTH

Mnemon Atrax:
Earth and Air – Neutral Success
Cliffjord:

Cliffjord:
I don’t think that’s a soul jar.
Avara:
it might be his body transmogrified
Cliffjord:
>inb4 mimic
You whisper to Witch: An overwhelming thirst comes over Atrax. She really wants to make a literal Bloody Merela. She recognizes that she’s being controlled and has a few seconds to react.

  • Mnemon Atrax lets go of the heart, calmly and steadily withdrawing her hand to keep the moment calm.
    Cliffjord is disconnected.
    Cliffjord has connected.
    Cliffjord is disconnected.
  • Yasha is quietly awaiting atrax’s next action, decision or declaration.

Mnemon Atrax:
Liquor and so on. Seems harmless enough. I can simply take it and easily dispose of it after this.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Then do so. There are those among us who can provide support should you require it.

  • Mnemon Atrax nods respectfully to the Queen-Mother’s decision and then shuts the case up before simply carrying it with her back to her seat.
    Witch is disconnected.
    Witch has connected.
    Avara is disconnected.
    Avara has connected.
    Witch is disconnected.

Yasha:
Day and Water – Neutral Success
Witch has connected.

Mnemon Atrax:
Day and Water – Neutral Success
Witch is disconnected.**

View
Before the Thing

Gensh:
While the whole city-within-a-city that is the Conventicle Malfeasant is the tiny kingdom of the Holy Queen-Mother, it was originally only a single building which was as much her prison as a palace. That building serves the same purpose today, rising above the friendly-looking buildings of the central courtyards as a funhouse mirror duplicate of the Dragonblooded Imperial Palace cast in tainted brass and rotten ebony.
Gensh:
It is the second day of Walpurgis, and as such, it is the day of the mandatory Thing. The Althing Infernal is the governmental organ of the Infernal Exalted, guided but not controlled by their mortal Queen. Any of their kind may call a Thing, a council of their kind, but only the Althing on the second day of Walpurgis is mandatory.
Gensh:
The Queen-Mother has guided the newcomers to their seats early, as she will not be able to help them once the meeting has begun.

  • Mnemon Atrax is guided to a seat further off from the other two. She shrugs slightly and sits down, uncaring really of whatever odd seating schedule this meeting has.
  • Yasha takes her seat wordlessly, cautiously focused on the proceedings.
  • Mnemon Atrax hums a bit in thought due to the early arrival. Perhaps some others would drift in soon as well. Though given just what sort of a varied lot they were, who truly knew?
  • Gabrien Murmur waves politely from across the room. In Autochthonia, being early was on time. Being on time was late. Being late meant no rations.
  • Mnemon Atrax casually waves to the Duke. Well, she certainly should have expected him.
  • Voljian Hidari enters but is clearly irked she isn’t the first here.
  • Yasha waves in greeting to those coming in, still not entirely sure what was going to happen.

Blade McIron:
BLADE MC IRON WILL WEIGH IN ON THIS COUNCIL

Florivet Whim-o-Wind:
No, bro, get back here.

Mnemon Atrax:
…What is with that one?

Blade McIron:
BLADE MCIRON WILL NOT WEIGH IN ON THIS COUNCIL

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Mina, don’t you think it’s time you took your seat.

Mina Khagan:
Mina is best bodyguard. But Mina understands.

  • Mina Khagan rises out of the Queen-Mother’s shadow and takes a seat.

Mnemon Atrax:
Ah, I remember her from before.

  • Mnemon Atrax mutters a bit.
  • Lillun Dragondaughter crosses over from her dais at the center to speak with the newcomers.
  • Mnemon Atrax fixes her attention Lilun as she approaches.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Shall I explain the proceedings, or do you wish to put your information-gathering skills to the test?

Mnemon Atrax:
Why not a bit of both?

  • Mnemon Atrax answers with a somewhat hungry looking grin.
  • Yasha nods in agreement with Mnemon.
    Witch is disconnected.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Very well, then. In short, the Althing Infernal is the closest thing you’ll have to leadership. It is a pure democracy, with each of you having equal vote regardless of experience. In practice, there are a number of voting blocs. The Calibration session is mandatory, but you or anyone else may call a Thing at any time during the year if you wish to petition the Yozis or ask your fellows for nation-scale aid. Since this is your first Thing, just try your hand at voting. Feel out the politics of your fellows. Technincally, you may propose an action, but your fellows will not look kindly on your, quote, “wasting their time.” You need deeds to your name before they will respect you.
Witch has connected.

  • Yasha nods in understanding. It was a simple enough approach. The agendas of the different blocs would likely come out in short time.
  • Mnemon Atrax nods, already taking various options into consideration.

Mnemon Atrax:
Well, let’s find out for ourselves what some of these blocs might be, hm?

  • Mnemon Atrax looks over at Yasha.

Yasha:
(I suppose that would require talking to the others, then, unelss you want to observe them in action instead?)

Mnemon Atrax:
Either or both. There are still few here yet and you and the Duke seemed to take well to eachother. I’m sure that he’d be well aware of such matters.

  • Yasha nods. (I will talk to him, then. Do you have anyone in mind for yourself?)
  • Mnemon Atrax ponders a bit. “There are two others at the moment, but I have a feeling that the Queen-Mother’s bodyguard doesn’t care about politics and… Well, to sum up a bit of politics no Creation, let’s just say that the other individual who’s here likely wouldn’t care for my presence simply based upon where the two of us hail from. I shall keep an eye on others entering and see if I cannot work something out from there.”
  • Yasha nods one last time, and goes to approach the Duke, waving in greeting.

Gabrien Murmur:
Ah, greetings, my good Scholar. How have the festivities treated you?

Yasha:
(I took the time to enjoy an art show during the evening, but otherwise I haven’t had much on my mind. How has it been for yourself?)

Gabrien Murmur:
I’m depressed. I hate parties. I miss my wife. Kimbery keeps getting drunk and grabbing my ass.

Gabrien Murmur:
And getting sober and grabbing my ass.

Yasha:
(I.. see. It seems that life here has not treated you particularly well?)

Gabrien Murmur:
Oh, no, it’s great. You don’t understand how grateful I am to the Yozis. Princess Cecelyne, especially, was there for me when I needed the Great Maker the most. I just hate Walpurgis. The others, you know? If I come to hell, I come because I need to speak with someone or do something. None of this putzing about, getting drunk and waking up in bed with strange demons.

  • Yasha nods firmly. The chaos of Walpurgis was… probably not the best introduction people could have to Hell. It was also disturbingly pointless at times. (Do you have any interest in matters such as today’s event?)

Gabrien Murmur:
Oh, I always try to get a few words in. I used to be especially gung-ho. Back in my younger days, the Green Sun actually had four Infernals who he bestowed his favor on. I was one of them, you know. Then I did something… questionable. Kyrie had been trying to oust me for months, and she got her chance. Eventually, she was so adamant in enforcing Ligier’s will that he just did away with having Four Virtures and retained Kyrie as his sole Herald.

Yasha:
(Sycophantic, or simply loyal, I wonder. Are there any other groups or people I should be aware of?)

Gabrien Murmur:
All of them. Why are you even trusting me? Trust no one until you know for certain they will lay down your life for you. You’ll start having them soon – flashbacks from your past lives. We were betrayed, all of us. Our retainers rose up and murdered us all. Innocent or guilty. Any who might help us. But just think – enough of us were wicked enough they felt it necessary.

Yasha:
(I can go in with questionably applicable information that I know is questionable, or I can go in blind. You have no genuine benefit in lying to me, and you do not seem the sort to gain enjoyment from sadism and schaudenfredue.)

Gabrien Murmur:
Appearances are deceiving, my dear Scholar. Is not one of the first Charms requisitioned by more social Champions the Integrated Artifact Transmogrifier? If a hero wrought from gleaming orichalc can make himself look like a mere Lumpen, then what can we monsters pretend to be?

Yasha:
(Would it be worth the effort? I do not think so. Would you be so insistent on instilling a sense of distrust in me if you thought me a toy? I do not believe so. Perhaps I am wrong, but you seem less interested in trivial pursuits such as that. If you do not wish to give me information—all you have to do is say so.)

Gabrien Murmur:
I am trying to instill in you the caution required in this profession. I am clearly no good at it. The one daughter I actually raised is probably the most impetuous person I know.

Yasha:
(Caution isn’t something that is easily measured. I approached the person I believe most likely to not betray me—I could have done nothing, or I could have gone to meet someone I do not know anything about to ask them. As I said—something is better than nothing, when you’re aware something could be a trap.)

Gabrien Murmur:
Fine. Ask your questions, then. I swear on the Endless Desert that I shall answer true or not at all.

Yasha:
(I am told that there are political blocs amongst the voters here. That is what I was referring to when I asked about individuals and groups—I would like to know which groups there are, their agendas, and to what they take offense.)

Gabrien Murmur:
Well, that’s a big question. There’s lots of factions, and they overlap in contradictory ways. My advice is to avoid them altogether. You’ll get dragged into a few eventually. To answer the question properly, It’s easiest to think of them in terms of priorities. I could be here all day listing them. Think instead in terms of whether you want to interact with Creation or with Malfeas and then whether you want to build or to conquer. As an Archduke, I have both holdings in Creation and in Malfeas, so my attention is divided. However, because of my profession, I am firmly in the building camp. Together, these lead me to being in a variety of factions. Most prominently, I represent Her Highness Cecelyne’s interests to the Thing as a direct emissary.

Yasha:
(Interesting information indeed.)
Gensh:
Though the lower seats are reserved for the participating asura and the 23 enormous obsidian thrones are reserved for the humaniform jouten of the Yozis (when they actually come), there is a wide middle ring of seats for guest observers. Some guests have begun to filter in as well.
Avara:
anything on witch’s end of things?

  • Tepet Lyanna practically skips in as she enters, waving excitedly to the Queen-Mother while bearing an extremely cheery expression on her face. She also looks back at waves to a woman behind her in the ‘audience’ before skipping up to Lilun.

Tepet Lyanna:
Hello Auntie Lil! Are there going to be exciting things today?

  • Lillun Dragondaughter winces.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I’m not that old yet…

Yasha:
(Thank you for your information. Since people are filing in, I will return to my seat. Good luck.)

Gabrien Murmur:
Maker’s luck. You’ll need it.

  • Mnemon Atrax cocks an eyebrow at the odd scene, but pays more attention to the Demons that file in to observe the scene as well. She spies a couple that certainly seem out of place amongst such beings though much like McIron. The woman that the latest arrival waved to had been at the Arena as well and then there was someone behind her who didn’t quite seem Mortal. The animalistic aspects of his person speaking well enough for that.
  • Yasha will relay Murmur’s information to Atrax.

Mnemon Atrax:
I see. So rather than just a handful of power bases like the average voting bloc, it’s more like a cavalcade of various political parties with overlapping and contrasting goals.

  • Yasha nods. (It seems there are groups, but they are countless groups. It would be better, for now, to consolidate your interests and work from there.)
  • Tepet Lyanna takes a seat after speaking to Lilun a little more. She kicks her feet leisurely, a pair of oversized velvet shoes on them.
  • Mnemon Atrax looks across the room and blinks before taking on a look of unabashed surprise.

Mnemon Atrax:
Is that…?

  • Yasha follows Atrax’s gaze with some confusion.

Mnemon Atrax:
I… I think it is… But why is he here?

Yasha:
(Who?)

Mnemon Atrax:
Ledaal Kes.

Mnemon Atrax:
One of the finest minds in all the Realm. And perhaps the most dangerous as well. He doesn’t have much to do in regards to politics, but… It wouldn’t be right to count him out.

Mnemon Atrax:
To say that I’m surprised to see him here would also be an understatement. I’d heard the rumors in regards to the woman by his side and didn’t doubt they were true, but Kes actually being here for this is a whole other matter.

Yasha:
(We’re required to be here. The only reason he wouldn’t be is if he wasn’t a citizen of Malfeas.)

  • Mnemon Atrax shakes her head.

Mnemon Atrax:
I doubt he is. There’s something more to his presence.

Yasha:
(We shall see.)

Mnemon Atrax:
Perhaps.

  • Mnemon Atrax has become rather unnerved.

Mnemon Atrax:
…Just keep your eye on him, Yasha. I have a bad feeling about this.
Gensh:
A voice begins to whisper in their ears. It’s uncomfortable not just because it is unexpected, but because they can feel its presence, feel the air moving as if a mouth was truly there.

Eihim:
Pardon me. A moment of your time, if you would.

  • Mnemon Atrax straightens up sharply at the unexpected voice, rather abruptly reminded of her old schooling before starting to turn her head slightly. Just enough to look back at the pair of Demons behind her before turning the other way and looking at the other individual.
  • Yasha leans back a bit in her seat, once she’s checked to make sure nobody was actually there. Wondering if the person contacting her had any means of getting a reply, she put up a few test words. (Stop. Being. A. Creep.)

Eihim:
Apologies. Please, join me here. I’m afraid I cannot descend to the main floor.

  • Mnemon Atrax looks forward again for a few moments before starting to rise and walk up to where the one that wished to speak was.
  • Eihim is wearing a long, feathered cloak and is sitting on some long object covered with a heavy blue tablecloth.
  • Yasha follows Atrax, senses open in case of an ambush or other trick.
  • Mnemon Atrax cocks an eyebrow as she surveys the cloaked man.

Eihim:
Hello, hello. You may call me Vile Lunar Eihim. I am clearly something of an outsider here, but I like to stay abreast of things. Might I have your names?

Mnemon Atrax:
Atrax. Well met, Eihim.

Yasha:
(Yasha. A pleasure to make your acquaintance.)

  • Mnemon Atrax inwardly begins to wonder about a Lunar being here though. Much like the presence of Kes, its a somewhat unnerving prospect. But then he might well be an Asura of one Yozi or another.

Eihim:
Oh, likewise, likewise. Tell me, what do you think of things here? What impression do your fellows give you?

Yasha:
(Chaotic and self-interested, as a general statement.)

Mnemon Atrax:
Truth be told? Disjointed. To make any real change, there needs to some manner of unity.

Eihim:
Would you use the word “stagnant”? How about “boring”?

  • Mnemon Atrax gains a glint in her eye at both of these words.

Mnemon Atrax:
Aptly put.

Yasha:
(Probability is high, particularly during this celebration.)

Eihim:
Oh, Yasha. Don’t count probabilities. Feel.

Yasha:
(I have not had enough time to actually observe the people here to get a feel for stagnation.)

Yasha:
(To my eyes, almost everyone in Malfeas and Creation is unproductive, bordering on useless. The exceptions are those willing to trample on everyone else, thus detrimenting the worlds instead of benefiting them.)

Yasha:
(If you want my ‘feeling’ for people, it would be ‘in my way’.)\

Eihim:
Ah, but won’t you be trampling on them, then? A question for the both of you. What is your favorite game?

Yasha:
No answer comes from Yasha. She hasn’t really had much time to invest and enjoy in luxury matters like that.

  • Mnemon Atrax considers the matter for a moment. She had much… “free time” within the family manse. “Gateway is the first that comes to mind.”

Eihim:
Mm. Textbook answer. Then let me ask you, what is the purpose of Creation? Why do we live?

Yasha:
(Why do we live, or why were we made?)

Mnemon Atrax:
To evolve. But that has become forgotten.

  • Mnemon Atrax answers instantly.

Eihim:
You ask a pointed question, Yasha. Please, give me both answers, if you would.

Yasha:
(We were created to fulfill a role in maintaining the functionality of our home-world, through whatever means is available. Prayer, maintenance. For warriors, to slaughter those that would destroy the world in its entirety.)

Yasha:
(We live for whatever purpose we find in our own life. While others can judge our best aptitude, and our past lives can inform on our present selves, we cannot find the drive to live except from within.)

Yasha:
(Anything past our basic function, we must build up ourselves.)

Eihim:
Those are both excellent answers. They’re wrong, but they’re well-reasoned and heartfelt. The truth is the purpose of life, the universe, and everything is entertainment. Questions about existence itself belong to the titans, who sprang up from nothing. Creation was made as the power source to their game parlor. Humans in particular were created to mock Autochthon – the Great Maker, as you know him, Yasha. That’s why the Yozis want to retake Creation and are oh-so-willing to let you have it. They don’t want it. Your rulership would be doing their maintenance work, free of charge.

  • Yasha is not amused.
  • Mnemon Atrax looks rather amused by Eihim’s own answer to the question.

Yasha:
(Was there a purpose in calling us up here?)

Mnemon Atrax:
Entertainment, Yasha.

  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles a little.

Eihim:
All right, I see I’ve rustled a few feathers. Come, sit. Perhaps a drink. I make a mean Bloody Merela, if I do say so myself.

  • Mnemon Atrax takes a seat willingly. She’ll stand to hear him out a bit longer. It’s something to do while waiting for the actual proceedings to begin.
  • Yasha sits as well, but doesn’t drink. There’s not really a point, since she can’t taste the bloody drink anyway, and she’d have to remove her mask to try the drink.

Eihim:
You know, a lot of people think this is a quintessentially Dragonblooded drink. Puts the pep back in you after a hard night. There are even some rumors that the first round was mixed using Merela’s own blood intstead of tomato juice.

  • Eihim chuckles faintly.
  • Mnemon Atrax grins. “I’ve tried every wine and then some in mother’s private reserve. Let’s see how you compare.”

Eihim:
I hope to satisfy.

  • Eihim pulls glasses and the ingredients from beneath the tablecloth.

Eihim:
Anys Syn, a Sidereal, was the one to name it, actually. It was a moment of exceptionally poor taste while recovering from a binge during the Contagion.

Mnemon Atrax:
A Sidereal, hm? I do recall meeting one of those in recent days.

Eihim:
Oh, they’re here and there. They’ve spent so much effort managing the Realm’s bloodlines, it’s little wonder if you caught sight of one.

Mnemon Atrax:
I see…

  • Mnemon Atrax mutters more to herself than anything.

Eihim:
Atrax, I believe your home has its own hidden managers as well. The Adamant caste, I believe?
Gensh:
*yasha

  • Tepet Lyanna seems to take that moment to rise out of her seat and head upstairs herself, sitting with that same woman from the arena, who she eagerly talks to while waiting on the fancy Thing to start.
  • Mnemon Atrax looks over at Yasha with some intrigue.
  • Yasha raises an eyebrow at Atrax.

Eihim:
Ah, you were not aware. No matter. Drinks are served.

Yasha:
(The adamant caste is largely held to be myth and rumor. I assume they do exist, but I have little interest in them. I did nothing to cross their judgement, and they took out harmful elements to the whole without engaging in genocide.)

  • Eihim smiles.
    Avara:
    sorry, i misread gensh’s post and missed the correction.
    Avara:
    i saw eihim asking atrax about a place called the adamant castle
    Gensh:
    you’re thinking of the invisible fortress
  • Mnemon Atrax takes a sip of the drink provided before taking a proper drink of it. “Ah… This is quite good.”
    Witch:
    Larquen jigged on off to there
    Avara:
    … terrible with names.
    Avara:
    larquen is a familiar name. vaguely.
    Witch:
    Mask of Winters
    Avara:
    ah.

Eihim:
You know, Yasha, your society calls into question many of Creation’s conceits. Particularly, the notions of divine right and noble blood. The upper crust of both societies are believed to have lived virtuous past lives. But this is not so dramatically enforced in Autochthonia. There is not the Dragon’s blood to lend credence to the notion. Only faith.

Yasha:
(It’s not only belief, but it’s also not as concrete fact as the common worker may wish to believe. Peoples’ past lives are monitored and recorded by the governments of Autochthonia, and assignments, education, and other such matters are given with this knowledge. Some families will, however, use bribery and other means to get the soul gems of their family into influencial positions. Things of that nature.)

Mnemon Atrax:
Blood runs deep. I’ve heard tale of Lunars, or Anathema as the Immaculates would say, that feast upon the blood of beasts.

Eihim:
Mm. I must ask you, Yasha. What constitutes a virtuous person? How is that decided? Atrax, do you believe it is in the blood your kin and mine venerate?

Yasha:
(Are you going to verbally smack my answer aside with your own beliefs again?)

Yasha:
(I do not care that you believe we exist for amusement. However, how you conduct yourself informs on how you see us.)

Eihim:
It is not my belief. It is fact. You may browse the forbidden libraries of Orabilis without sanction. You will find this there.

Yasha:
(Then I will let you answer your own question. What is nobility?)

Mnemon Atrax:
In a fashion, yes. But perhaps, it may be “power” that is the most venerated.

Eihim:
Well, nobility can come from many places. Let’s start with narrowing the scope. Where does royalty originate? You cannot earn royalty. If you marry a royal, then you are merely a consort. It is your children who are royalty. If you conquer or build or create your own nation, then you are an upstart. You are not given the respect of royalty, and you do not possess the dignity of a born royal. The vital gravitas is absent. So at first glance, it does seem to be in the blood.

Eihim:
But Atrax is not wrong. It is a matter of confidence. He is royal who says he is. A noble seeks justification. “I am noble because the royal recognizes me.” The Exalted never really ruled. “I am Chosen by the gods. I bear the mandate of heaven.” They are not the Unconquered Sun who decreed himself King of Heaven.

  • Yasha shrugs.

Yasha:
(You may think that. However, despite your confidence, I have no interest in following you. Confidence is nothing without charisma. You must have the fealty of the people to rule. Ruling through fear will lead to a poor kingdom and an eventual rebellion. Hatred, all the more. People must love and respect you without being able to take advantage of your good will.)

Yasha:
(What that means and requires varies from culture to culture, but you cannot rule simply because you say you are king.)

Eihim:
No? That’s literally how it worked for Malfeas.

  • Mnemon Atrax continues to enjoy her drink, enjoying the debate.

Yasha:
(A being made as the physical concept of ruling, among a group of people born to their concepts and incapable of understanding things outside of those concepts, declared himself to be king. The others, lacking any desire and aptitude as kings, assented. Yet, when he tried to rule those who came after… you can see the results around us. He did not have the hearts of the people.)

Eihim:
Well, neither did the Scarlet Empress at first. The difference between the two is, I think, little more than paranoia on the latter’s part. Crush your foes. Purge your own. Use your iron rod of rulership as a cudgel.

Yasha:
(The Scarlet Empress, from what little I have been able to learn of her, built her society with the concept of people loving and respecting her, and her alone, as the centerpiece.)

  • Mnemon Atrax chuckles with a dark amusement.

Mnemon Atrax:
No. It was fear.

Eihim:
Untrue. The common folk love her because they do not know better. It is the very instinct of a beast to serve an alpha.

Mnemon Atrax:
More than fear. Tangled webs and a need, desire for her alone. All options seemed to fail in light of the Empress herself. And yet that is what nearly destroyed the Realm. The small folk loved her, but the highborn saw it for what it was.

Mnemon Atrax:
No grand heir, no one person that could possibly make up for all that she was.

Mnemon Atrax:
And then, she was gone.

  • Yasha shrugs again. This wasn’t something she had a lot of education on, so she had no place in a debate centered on the red queen.

Mnemon Atrax:
The Realm still stands, but with a foot in the grave and a stagnant rot.

  • Mnemon Atrax finishes her drink and gently sits the glass back upon the table.

Eihim:
Yes, that was always a bit of contention with my own people. If only one of her children were true royal. Alas, they are mere nobles who relied upon her validation. Even that one whose name was erased. Even domineering Mnemon.

Mnemon Atrax:
Mother was… perhaps the closest. But now she’s gone too. Whisked off by Sidereals. Isn’t that funny?

  • Mnemon Atrax dons a disturbing little grin for a moment before lapsing back into her amused look.

Eihim:
Ah, I thought I had smelled her on you. Well, this has an enlightening chat. But I am sure you must be getting back. As for myself, I have a bit of setup work to do. I shall be delivering a grand performance today. You can’t miss it.

  • Yasha will rise, nodding her head to Eihim. (Thank you for your hospitality.) That said, she’ll head back to her seat.
  • Mnemon Atrax nods respectfully to Eihim before raising from her seat with no lack of grace. “It is has been a true pleasure chatting with you, Eihim. I’d hope to do so again as well. Good day.” She then heads back for her own seat as well, thoroughly enjoyed with the encounter.

Mnemon Atrax:
Now philosophy is a subject I can enjoy passing the time with.

  • Mnemon Atrax speaks a bit after both of them are seated again.

Yasha:
(Had he more respect for the views of others, I would agree.)

  • Mnemon Atrax shrugs.
    Witch is disconnected.
    Avara is disconnected.
View
Ligier's Labyrinth

Gensh:
Heading out of the arena, the Queen-Mother pauses.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I believe there is enough time remaining for me to accompany you for one final event before I must away to my duties. What sort of festivity would best entertain us?

  • Mnemon Atrax ponders over the matter.

Mnemon Atrax:
We’ve had a taste of combat. Why not a taste of trivia?

Versil Antona:
I am fine for any event. I’ve had my fill of combat… for now at least.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Trivia, is it? There are still a few sites of notice we haven’t visited. The ancient prison, the new prison, and the forbidden boneyard. There is also an art show, and the Green Sun has arranged a bit of sport through which one might earn some minor treasures from his personal collection.

Mnemon Atrax:
The far latter sounds most of interest to me.
Avara has connected.

Versil Antona:
Agreed, some sporting fun with a prize sounds delightful.
Avara is disconnected.
Gensh:
While Yasha provides some polite excuses and departs for the art show instead, Lillun guides the other two to the event.
Gensh:
Many demons rule infernal kingdoms. In fact, much of the politicking among the second circle is in reference to such kingdoms or to guilds or other organizations of similar power. The third circle are for the most part above this. They are landscapes to themselves and care nothing for the drawing of artificial borders.
Gensh:
Ligier, however, is as ever intimately involved in the affairs of his subjects, for their living conditions reflect his skill as liege-lord. For practice ruling mortals after his triumphant return to Creation, he manages a mighty kingdom that spans several layers of the Demon City, known as the Empire of the Green Sun.
Gensh:
It is on these lands that the competition is to take place. He has constructed along with his sister Amalion, an enormous open-air labyrinth through which he has strewn a number of his least treasures, collected from the beginning of time. As demons and Exalted alike are particularly durable, most of the traps are designed to catapult their victims high into the air, forcing them to bear witness to the glory of his sun-body before ejecting them from the game. Those who make it to the center of the labyrinth will make out like kings.
Gensh:
The Green Sun as a distinct humaniform is absent from the event. As first among the third circle, he has many other parties to attend. It is said he will grant audience to a winner, however, and some of his souls are nearby.

Mnemon Atrax:
All the reason to try our best, hm?

Lillun Dragondaughter:
Quite. It seems one of your fellows is about to enter as well.

Versil Antona:
Shall we watch first? I feel like it would be in both interest for foreknowledge. And amusement.

Mnemon Atrax:
Let’s see how far this one gets.

  • Voljian Hidari has a proud, military air about her – from her stiff stance to her cautious observation of her surroundings. Rare among the asura, she has forgone any distinct mutations in favor of using powered armor. She has a full armament of daiklave, shield, and powerbow. Atrax recognizes her as Lookshyan, though likely a commoner.
    Gensh:
    There’s a large wall filled with stadium seating along one of the sides of the labyrinth. The Queen-Mother guides the pair there to look down on the trial from above.
  • Mnemon Atrax gains a particular look of amusement as she notes the origin of Hidari.
    Gensh:
    Draw in order to evaluate the maze, Hidari’s performance, or what have you.
    Witch:
    Single or?
    Witch:
    Eh screw it, here we go

Mnemon Atrax:
Air and Air – Perfect Success
Witch:
WOO
Gensh:
what are you even rolling for
Cliffjord:
Get in there- Oh yeah.
Witch:
Evaluating the maze itself
Gensh:
At first glance, the maze does not seem particularly interesting. The design is minimalistic in order to keep the focus on the action. That action being the sudden ejector trapdoors, explosive tiles, wild demon beasts, and fights between contestants. In contrast to his forebear as always, the Green Sun’s trial seems to demand a calm and measured response.
Witch:
And now Day to follow along with watching Hidari’s progress

Mnemon Atrax:
Day and Air – Outside Success
Cliffjord:
Not so good…
Witch is disconnected.
Witch has connected.

  • Voljian Hidari progresses through the maze slowly and surely, with military discipline. Though disarming the traps is clearly outside her area of expertise, she easily avoids them or triggers them prematurely. She plays it safe with the beasts, most large enough or numerous enough to indefinitely restrain a contestant or physically throw them out of the labyrinth. Her bow and shield serve her well, and she could easily increase her pace if she needed. Soon enough, however, she stops. Something blurry passes in front of her several times. Then, she is unceremoniously flung out of the maze, disqualified.
    Cliffjord:
    HOCKEY BUZZER
  • Mnemon Atrax blinks.

Mnemon Atrax:
What was…?

Versil Antona:
Another contestant perhaps? No idea…

  • Voljian Hidari makes her way up to the stands to watch the other contestants.

Mnemon Atrax:
Most likely. Well, you want to go solo or together?

Versil Antona:
As much as my pride demands to do alone, we are probably mere fledglings compared to some who have attempted this course. Shall you lead or shall I?

Mnemon Atrax:
Go right ahead if you wish.

  • Mnemon Atrax gets up from her seat and starts to head down with Versil.

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
Hail, challengers.

Versil Antona:
Hail…

  • Versil Antona pauses for a moment.

Versil Antona:
To thou.

  • Mnemon Atrax gives a similar greeting.

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
I am the Warden of the Green Sun. Fret not. There is little in the way of rules for this challenge. Just know that you cannot climb over the walls, look over the walls, destroy the walls, or the like. Looking through them is permitted. If you have further questions, you may ask before entry.

Mnemon Atrax:
None from I.

Versil Antona:
Can we come back if we can’t carry it all?

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
I am afraid you may try but once. You already enter the maze with foreknowledge of its interior. A second attempt would not be a test of valor so much as memorization.

  • Mnemon Atrax nods and looks to Versil. He did wish to take charge of the moment after all.

Versil Antona:
Well, worth an attempt. Come, let us take these glories for ourselves then, shall we?
Gensh:
The first hall seems a straight shot.
Cliffjord1 has connected.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord1 is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Witch is disconnected.
Witch has connected.

  • Versil Antona takes the lead, making sure his coat was unbuttoned and his pistols ready to draw. “Any surprises for us or do we have a while till the first?”

Sondok Who Stands in Doorways:
Oh, why don’t we say the first surprise is where the first surprise is.
Witch is disconnected.
Witch has connected.

Versil Antona:
…You get rather bored out here don’t you?

  • Versil Antona looked to his companion and asked “Ready to go?”

Mnemon Atrax:
On second thought, let’s make this interesting. Whoever gets the most wins a favor from the other. I’ll let you go first.

Versil Antona:
Fair enough. Not sure what you have to offer me but I’ll accept.

  • Versil Antona starts briskly walking through the course, rather regretting not paying his full attention to it being run.
    Gensh:
    There’s a violent KA-CHUNK, and now a metal spike is hurtling directly toward Versil.
    Cliffjord:
    Oh boy!
    Cliffjord:
    So Art Cast Living is Elec, so roll that, right?
    Gensh:
    You draw for whatever element you want to use to avoid it. You could even draw for Fire to attack it.
    Cliffjord:
    I’ll go Elec since it seems most related to the trait.
    Cliffjord:
    We don’t have Elec.
    Witch:
    Elec = Air here
    Cliffjord:
    Oh. OH YEAH CAUSE THING
    Cliffjord:
    Sorry, sorry, I’m an idiot.
    Cliffjord:
    Air and Fire – Neutral Success
    Cliffjord:
    Fuck yeah.
    Gensh:
    Versil’s form shudders and becomes liquid – too late, as the spke drives through his torso. The injury isn’t as bad as it could have been, and he avoided the embarassment of being catapulted out the door. At the noise, a pair of scaled demons with brass daiklaves emerge from the other end of the passage.
  • Versil Antona hisses, grabbing his chest before he decides to bolt for it, drawing two pistols (hopefully the ones overpacked with powder) and dives, aiming between the demons as he fires at the arc, hoping the cloud of smoke and flame is able to cover him.
    Cliffjord:
    Fire and Fire – Perfect Success
    Cliffjord:
    YEAH
    Cliffjord:
    Versil Cortez Antona Of Chiaroscuro is far beyond your puny demons!
    Gensh:
    The flames surge through the passage, rushing over the demons and leaving them cooked to perfection. A panel in the floor slides open, and tiny imps drag the bodies away to be sent to one of the countless banquets. The path splits to the left and right. The right leads to a room while the left continues.
  • Versil Antona continues right as he holsters the pistols, keeping a healthy pace at this point. He couldn’t do slow. Everything needed to flow and at least look impressive if not BE impressive.
    Gensh:
    The small room seems to be entirely empty, save a brass lockbox in its center. It is a dead end.
  • Versil Antona doesn’t even skip a beat, dashing to the box and drawing a pistol to blast the lock before turning on his foot and drawing another in case of a trap.
    Cliffjord:
    Fire and Day – Outside Success
    Gensh:
    The lid blows off the lockbox. Inside is a key marked N.
  • Cliffjord quickly grabs the key and takes it in his teeth, running back the same path he went except this time to follow the course proper. He hoped he wouldn’t need to rely too heavily on his firearms, he didn’t envisage much place to stop and reload.
    Gensh:
    The passage has five branches here – to continue forward or enter one of the two paths leading left or right.
  • Cliffjord opts for far right, assuming it to contain another treasure room.
    Gensh:
    The room beyond is wide and long, with another hallway connected to the far end. In keeping with Ligier’s architectural preference, there’s absolutely nothing in here to obstruct the view of his sun-body. Which is to say there’s absolutely nothing in here.

Versil Antona:

  • Versil Antona stops and examines the key in his hand quickly. He turns it over a few times before replacing it in his teeth and going back to try the leftmost path.
    Gensh:
    This room is angled so that Versil cannot see all of it from the doorway. It seems to follow parallel to the main path.
  • Versil Antona stops and compares the paths, muttering past the key in his mouth. “Leftmost is alternate route… Right most is likely and other treasure room then. Left and right middle are probably single rooms then.” He doubles back into the right most and bolts for the far side, looking halfway between the floor and what’s ahead.
    Gensh:
    The walls shudder and begin closing inward. Draw, because you GOTTA GO FAST

Versil Antona:
Air and Earth – Neutral Success
Cliffjord:
Holy shit. I drew that expecting to use Art Cast Living to.
Gensh:
A moment’s hesitation was all it took for Versil to be crushed between the walls near the end of the room. Still, his liquid body trickled out between them. The way back seems to be closed off for now. There’s some sort of bull-headed demon waiting at the end of the long hallway, with no other exits in sight. Versil has a few moments to react before it charges.

  • Versil Antona shook himself quickly. That did hurt but not as much as this was going to if he didn’t get moving and he’d have time to nurse his pains later. Another pistol, another paperweight the moment he fires. He sighed and sprinted, running along it for a few moments and springing off, practically making contact before attempting to blast it’s skull.

Versil Antona:
Fire and Earth – Failure
Gensh:
The bull demon roars, dropping its head low and rearing back. Versil witnesses a beautiful scene of nothing but the Green Sun looming over him, and just like that, he’s outside the maze.
Cliffjord:
Reeeeerolling.
Cliffjord:
Fire and Night – Neutral Success
Gensh:
He’s still flung, but does not get ejected from the maze.

  • Versil Antona lands back down with a barely audible curse, surprisingly gracefully on his feet. Evidentally violence was not the answer to this problem. He opted instead to dash straight back into the fray and try slide past him this time.

Versil Antona:
Air and Water – Failure
Cliffjord:
Rerolling because fuck you demon.

Versil Antona:
Air and Fire – Neutral Success
Gensh:
Versil skids to a stop much too soon on the sun-baked stone floor. Fortunately, the extra traction helps him in jumping out of the way before the demon breaks his bones.

  • Versil Antona spat the key out into his hands and held his arms out, posturing and taunting the demon. “You roadblock! You know who I am!? How about just move out of the way or die, huh!? Save me the work!” He mentally steeled himself to juke past and bolt when the demon made a move.

Versil Antona:
Air and Air – Perfect Success
Gensh:
Versil rushes past the demon to the open doorway on the other side. The room beyond has a large, heavily secured chest in its center and three doorways leading to different passages. He has a few seconds before the demon can turn around and resume its pursuit.

  • Versil Antona bolts for the chest and tries the key, getting ready to dash for the passage closest to his left. “You better work you worthless hunk of scrap, risking my hide here…”
    Gensh:
    The key does not work. This chest is labelled XV. The demon roars and makes for the room as Versil hurries to the left passage. It’s a small room with another chest in it. No exit.
  • Versil Antona curses audibly. If at his luck or the demon it’s unknown but he bolts for the chest and checks the lable, trying the key if it’s labled N or trying to blast it with a pistol if not but he wasn’t about to try anything more committed than a quickdrawn shot.
    Gensh:
    This one isn’t even a real chest. It’s a metal block with locks on it.
    Witch is disconnected.
  • Versil Antona lets out another curse as he dashes back, hoping to be able to duck into the middle passage quietly without having to waste more time with the demon. But he doubted his luck would hold up long enough for that to be the case.
    Gensh:
    Roll Niiiiiight

Versil Antona:
Night and Water – Outside Success
Cliffjord:
DON’T YOU GIVE OUT ON ME NOW.
Cliffjord:
A CHARACTER THIS ARROGANT IS NOT ALLOWED TO FAIL.
Gensh:
Versil rushes past as the demon checks the right passage, but it catches sight of him as he rushes ahead. This passage is particularly narrow. Almost too narrow for the demon but not quite. There doesn’t seem to be anything in here either.

Versil Antona:
…Well, suppose I have no choice.

  • Versil Antona turned on his heel and with back against the wall did something even he acknowledged as stupid. He drew two of his remaining pistols (now numbering 4) and started firing into the passage. “The name is Versil Cortez Antona! Tell whoever you find the name, you can meet the rest I’ve sent along from this plane!”

Versil Antona:
Fire and Night – Neutral Success
Gensh:
The flame fills the narrow passage, making an impassable field of death. Unfortunately, the demon is simply too stupid for that to matter. It charges through, lowering its head to fling him out of the labyrinth. Only, it dies toward the end of the passage. Sheer momentum carries it forward, sliding to a stop. The impact doesn’t hurt much, but its horns are stuck in the wall, pinning the Infernal.

  • Versil Antona grunts as his knees take the brunt of knock but he counts his blessings in still being in the game. “I hope they don’t plan to make lunch from you, I’d lose my hunger.” He simply dragged his legs up, wiggling and trickling through the more difficult spots with a fluid grace before stepping along it’s back and heading out to try the final passage.
    Gensh:
    DODGE

Versil Antona:
Air and Wood – Outside Success
Gensh:
Versil just barely avoids a steel net as it falls from the wall nearby. This clearly isn’t part of the maze.

  • Versil Antona stops for a moment and starts reloading his pistols, once again back tracking to the closing walls room, checking to see if it has in fact opened again.
    Gensh:
    It has not.

Versil Antona:
…For a festive time, I’m not having much fun.

  • Versil Antona opts to try the treasure room again, sizing up the XV chest properly this time round. Clearly he was missing something.
    Avara has connected.
    Gensh:
    The chest is heavily locked down. If he had bigger guns or power armor like Hidari, he might not have any trouble just forcing it open. The N key definitely doesn’t work, though.

Versil Antona:
So you will remain un-cooperative… What about…

  • Versil Antona jogs back to the metal block that was locked down, giving it a closer look. He wasn’t exactly pressed for time now.
    Gensh:
    On closer inspection, it is still just a metal block. A previous challenger carved expletives on it in five languages.

Versil Antona:
Heh, a man after my own heart.

  • Versil Antona draws his fingers along the carvings before leaving to try the next room. He was starting to get frustrated however.
    Gensh:
    There doesn’t seem to be anything he didn’t notice before. WHOA LOOK OUT

Versil Antona:
Air and Water – Failure
Cliffjord:
Reroll because I want that chest or it broken.
Cliffjord:
Air and Wood – Outside Success
Gensh:
Something rolls past Versil. There’s an explosion, and bits of bull-demon gore splatter the room.

Cynis Nana:
Fucking cock shit cunt.

  • Versil Antona turns and draws his last of his originally prepped pistols, ready to fire as he enters his practiced stance. “I’ll give you one chance to be useful to me and not die. Fancy it?” He hoped to God however this was still had more of those explosives otherwise he was wasting two more shots on clean-up.

Cynis Nana:
Fucking try it, bitch. We’re not allowed to kill each other, fuckface.

Versil Antona:
And I assume those only wound not kill?

Cynis Nana:
Eh.

Versil Antona:
Okay so you’re lying then or very, very stupid.

Cynis Nana:
I have a good lawyer.

Versil Antona:
I have an excuse.

  • Versil Antona was openly smirking now, fingers hovering dangerously close to the triggers.

Cynis Nana:
Grow a pair, dickshit.

  • Cynis Nana falls over and starts to roll away.
  • Versil Antona opens fire as he steps back, cautious of another attempted bombing.

Versil Antona:
Fire and Wyld – Perfect Success
Witch has connected.

  • Cynis Nana does not need to stop, drop, and roll, as she was already doing that. But she is definitely on fire.

Versil Antona:
Versil Cortez Antona of Chiaroscuro! Learn that name quickly before you die!

Cynis Nana:
Oh. You’re one of the new fucks. I don’t remember anyone, so I didn’t know. Bitch, this won’t kill anyone. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Like being inside your mother.
Cliffjord1 has connected.
Cliffjord is disconnected.
Cliffjord1 is disconnected.
Cliffjord has connected.
Cliffjord:
I miss anything there?
Witch:
Did you get Nana’s retort?
Cliffjord:
Oh yes.
Witch:
Then you’re good

Versil Antona:
I’ll make sure to slap that smart mouth before I finish you off!

  • Versil Antona drew the next pair of pistols, a scrowl coming over him. If they wanted in under his skin, they were doing the job alright.
  • Cynis Nana doesn’t even respond but rolls away and into the net room.
  • Versil Antona sprints after and makes sure to continue well into the room, to try and head them off.
    Gensh:
    DODGE

Versil Antona:
Air and Night – Failure
Cliffjord:
GOD DAMN IT
Cliffjord:
LET’S TOTALLY IMBALANCE THE WORLD THEN. WE’RE ALL IN ON THIS. Reroll!
Cliffjord:
Air and Wyld – Perfect Success
Gensh:
There’s a quick beeping, then an explosion. And another and another. Nana rolls in an elaborate pattern through a minefield, but in his furor to catch her, Versil runs through it with enough speed to avoid all the explosions.

Versil Antona:
Now enough of your dull party tricks! I’m tired of this game already and you are not helping!

  • Versil Antona throws a hard kick at them whilst mid-roll hoping to throw them off pattern and into their own trap. Or just plain hurt them,

Versil Antona:
Fire and Day – Outside Success
Gensh:
Versil succeeds, but with a bit too much vigor. They both land on a mine.
Gensh:
Choose your next element carefully to avoid ejection from the maze.

Versil Antona:
Earth and Day – Failure
Gensh:
The mine goes off with enough force to trigger several others, and the pair are violently blasted into the air. Above them is the glory of the Green Sun and below, a fiery hellstorm worthy of his approval. Still, the magic of the maze does cause them to be shunted out of its bounds as they fall to the city street.

Cynis Nana:
Shitbiscuits.

  • Mnemon Atrax slowly claps.
  • Versil Antona quickly rights himself midair and lands on his feet (albeit nearly taking out his kneecaps from the roughness of the landing), maintaining a deathglare at Cynis.

Cynis Nana:
Welp, time to drown my sorrows in enough celestial cocaine to ensure I never sleep again.

  • Cynis Nana still doesn’t get up but just starts rolling down the street.

Mnemon Atrax:
Definitely a Cynis alright.
Avara:
cynis family stereotypes in a nutshell, folks

Versil Antona:
A what!?

  • Versil Antona snapped as he turned, a twitch coming about his left eye. His hands were shaking.

Mnemon Atrax:
House Cynis of The Realm. Their bunch is… quite like that one.

  • Versil Antona clenched his fist till his knuckles turned white before slicking his hair back and taking a single deep breath. “The lot of them can rot.”

Cynis Nana:
What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the House of Bells, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Anathema, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire Realm army. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Creation, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your Essence is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the Realm Legions and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

Mnemon Atrax:
…What the hell is the “USA”?
Avara:
cynis, stop being a stereotype bundle and go sit in the corner.
Avara:
also, less cocaine

Versil Antona:
…Just one more kick, that’s all I need.

  • Mnemon Atrax makes a gesture like ‘go right ahead’.

Versil Antona:
Thank you.

  • Versil Antona lines up his shot before taking a long run up and putting the boot in before giving the traditional Chiaroscurian gesture one gives to their enemies.

Versil Antona:
The balance is expended.
Gensh:
OH BOY, ESCALATION TIME

Realm Balance:
Earth and Air – Neutral Success
Gensh:
and nothing
Witch:
damnit gensh
Gensh:
balance is recharged
Gensh:
you may proceed with kick
Gensh:
or backflip if you’re wielding a curved sword

Versil Antona:
Fire and Wood – Failure
Witch:
oml
Cliffjord:
THIS
Cliffjord:
CHILD
Cliffjord:
I’M REROLLING I DON’T CARE I WANT TO KICK THEM AND I WILL.
Avara:
versi is incapable of luck today
Cliffjord:
Fire and Night – Neutral Success
Gensh:
Versil misses his target, but he does manage to pin her blanket to the ground, unrolling her like a demonic burrito.

Cynis Nana:
Boy.

Cynis Nana:
You done fucked up.

  • Mnemon Atrax pinches the bridge of her nose.
  • Versil Antona silently and with a pleasant smirk, picks up the blanket, balls it up and tosses it into the most awkward to reach gutter he can see.
  • Cynis Nana puffs up.
  • Versil Antona dusts his hand and walks back to Atrax without another word.
  • Cynis Nana stands up again.

Cynis Nana:
You have made an enemy of me this day, Versil Cortez Antona Of Chiaroscuro. Remember that.

  • Cynis Nana walks off.
    Cliffjord:
    Bitch, you like 5. You couldn’t spell the Of.

Mnemon Atrax:
brb
Witch:
Back

Mnemon Atrax:
Right, so. Done making enemies?

Versil Antona:
Just about.

Mnemon Atrax:
Let’s… Go see how Yasha is doing then. Before she makes a new one too.

Lillun Dragondaughter:
I’ll lead the way to make sure we get you three together again. Safety in numbers, seeing how things turned out when you split.

Versil Antona:
I nearly had it before she ruined it…
Cliffjord is disconnected.

Mnemon Atrax:
Quite. Thank you.

  • Mnemon Atrax nods to Lilun and follows after her.
View
Flashback: Yasha Finds a Sifu

[1:52:41 PM] Gensh: It had been a trying time, but one that was worthwhile. An encounter with a beta subroutine – or rather, with a “demon of the first circle” – led to becoming something more than she had ever dreamed. Infernal Exalted. The notion that mere mortals could be Chosen was both wonderful and terrifying, for there was no oversight, no review of a would-be Champion’s exploits and faults. For all the paltry good those did.

Still, she had been Chosen, not by the Great Maker as she had so long ago, but by one of his kin. She had spoken with her patron and with others. She had learned of the jewel called Creation and their exile from it. Their Divine Ministers – no, demons of the third circle, unquestionables – had examined her and given her to their own subroutines for training.

She had been taught much in the arts of warfare and statecraft. Her own talents had been improved upon, folded over and over and had their impurities driven out.

She had spoken with the holy Queen-Mother, who all the Yozis entrusted with assuring their divine purpose.

And now, she was free for a time. Creation’s year would soon end, and the five timeless days of Calibration would follow. During this time, the inhabitants of Creation would break all manner of taboo, culminating in the Carnival of Meeting where god and man walked side by side. So too did the Yozis, in doing the unthinkable and selecting mortal Champions, decide to hold a celebration of shattered taboo. Soon would be the festival of Walpurgis, where she would be formally introduced to all of Malfeas and given her first duties. Until then, she could do as she willed.
[1:52:57 PM] Gensh: Balance: The Demon City
Earth 4 (1-17)
Water 2 (18-25)
Fire 7 (26-54)
Wood 1 (55-58)
Air 4 (59-75)
Day 2 (79-84)
Night 1 (85-92)
Wyld 3 (92-100)
Death 0

The Demon City is a realm of ancient power fallen upon itself. It is hateful and fundamentally unchanging, try though it might to mutilate itself into a more beautiful form. There is nothing new beneath the Green Sun and no place to hide from its overbearing light.
[1:57:09 PM] Avara: ((ooc: done?))
[1:57:18 PM] Gensh: yes
[2:07:32 PM] Avara: Yasha observed the distilled nature of Malfeas as she walked across the city, some sketchwork for both blueprints and artistic works in hand. She had boggled at the notion of art for its own sake, as opposed to channeling such talents into work for the benefit of the state at first, but it spoke to her on an instinctual level. Here she wasn’t a Sodalite, and while competition thrived amidst survival of the fittest with many of the betas in Hell, this wasn’t Claslat. It wasn’t even in the same realm as Claslat—literally and figuratively. With these facts, even acknowledging the fact that her new rank would inevitably call for responsibilities and duties, she felt liberated. Free. Another strange notion, but also not unwelcome.

At the moment, she was walking through the streets to try and learn more about the city itself. Not just its geography, but its nature. The heart of the macro-patropolis was more than its design, even more than Malfeas himself. The heart was the people on which the city’s day-to-day life was built, and the history of each place. Before she could properly serve, before she could let creation and inspiration run free, she had to survey and review. To help in getting information and ideas, she had also taken to prodding the subroutine in her own soul. She wasn’t sure what term was appropriate, not entirely, but he was… fun. Interesting. Crazy. And full of information, so valuable.
[2:10:47 PM] Gensh: What trait did we end up assigning to him?
[2:11:38 PM] Avara: He’s the First Age solar. no trait was asked past that. I’d place him as Artistic.
[2:11:57 PM] Avara: between Artistic, Courteous, Scornful and Determined
[2:12:37 PM] Avara: ((either Artistic or Determined. Given that Joker can be kinda… fickle. going with artistic over determined))
[2:15:47 PM] Avara: ((… though either works really. so if you disagree, feel free to change it around))
[2:26:48 PM] Gensh: Wolkir, as he called himself, hardly seemed different from a mortal at first glance. Only, things were subtly wrong about him. His skin was white as a blank canvas, and his hair was black as ink. His presence was sharper and bolder, somehow. Whenever she tried to illustrate him, his outline was several times thicker than the rest of the scene, and wild and jagged. His eyes were the sharp violet of her soulgem, and his teeth were smiths’ hammers and sculptors’ chisels. He was dressed in finery which she only recently learned was high fashion at the fall of Creation’s greatest Champions.

His voice was the confident, unsettlingly calm-excited timbre of an official covering up a catastrophe.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t my favorite creator in all the world? What can I do for you today? Shine your shoes? Brush your teeth? Bake you a pie?”

He got in her face as she spoke, leaning on her and grabbing at her shoulders. Personal space was a luxury in cramped Autochthonia, but the demon had no regard for propriety either.

“Oh, I’m kidding, I know exactly why you’re here! But for the benefit of the audience at home, let’s have you say it out loud.”
[2:33:41 PM] Avara: It was still a strange experience, being divided between the Greater Self that was the Yasha Body and their Inner Self or Lesser Self, Yasha the soul. She could only ‘say it out loud’ within the confines of her own soul, since her ability to speak had been robbed from her by the Champions of her native land. Words blipped onto her mask briefly in Malfeas, but within Yasha, the Champion’s soul spoke.

“Do you ever plan to tell me who this audience is, Wolkir?” She discarded the question as soon as she spoke it, moving on to something more… worthwhile. “I was hoping that you would be willing to tell me more about… for lack of better terminology, the spirit of Hell. I want to learn from you.”
[2:41:35 PM] Gensh: “Oh, I’ll give you a schooling!” the demon roared, smacking a gloved fist into his other hand.

The threat of violence vanished as abruptly as it had come. He drew down a large canvas from nowhere and began to doodle on it with a paintbrush he’d drawn from his sleeve.

“You see, the Yozis are broken, so everything that springs from them is just as broken,” he said, bouncing on springs which had emerged from the bottoms of his shoes. “They’re all driven by desperate, mad urges – so far removed from rational people like us! Now, that’s not to say they don’t have a sense of justice. You grew up in a world where people are allegedly equals, but circumstances are very different. Here, they embrace inequality! Fight to live! Fight to rule! Even the lowliest of serfs can gain citizenship if they only have the will!”
[2:45:26 PM] Avara: “In other words, they choose to be honest about their approach to pursuing their own gains instead of aiding a whole or pretending to. It is… strange to have so much focus on the individual. But the fact that you can advance your own station by your own merit is a good one. You are the sum of your past lives, skills and experiences. Even if there is nobody present to take note of it all, a person should be able to, and should have to, earn their place.”
[2:48:30 PM] Gensh: “Yes, it brings a tear to my eye,” Wolkir says, dabbing with a handkerchief. “All that stands between them and the respect they deserve are the guilds, the petty kingdoms, the neighborhood watch associations, the priests, the bounty hunters, the assassins, the law enforcement agencies, the whims of the god-emperors of the third circle, and the city itself, which sometimes collapses because His Majesty the Demon Emperor has an itch on his left asscheek!”
[2:50:43 PM | Edited 2:50:54 PM] Avara: Yasha was left chuckling from Wolkir’s rant. He was actually pretty funny, when he tried. “It is an unfair system, but you did say that was the point. It is unfair, but those who conquer that unfairness are those capable of serving Hell’s needs. In the end, it is still a selection process for those worthy of rank and respect. I presume a similar, but more covert, approach is taken for the Champions?”
[3:00:09 PM] Gensh: “I’m afraid I can’t help you there, my beloved mastermind and mindmaster. I wasn’t really briefed on the subject,” he says, sliding black briefs over his trousers.

He puts another pair over his head and holds up his fingers on either side like animal ears.

“I am the night,” he gargles.

Removing the costume, his tone returns to normal.

“I just remember feeling that you were perfect, and then bang! We’re stuck together like bats and cats! Her holiness the Queen-Mother might be able to tell us more if you want to find out without letting anyone find out. Some of the Yozis don’t take kindly to people snooping around. She’s only human – I bet she’s got a secret or two we could draw out!”

He points vigorously at the canvas which has a crude caricature of the Queen-Mother with a mustache.
[3:03:31 PM] Avara: Yasha was enjoying his humorous attitude, but they took a moment to spin the canvas around, the portrait landing on a more accurate painting of the Queen-Mother. Still with a moustache, though. “Then she is probably our best bet to get information on the political machinations of the city. With this sort of system in place already, and the degree of power entrusted to untested individuals, it is important to get ahead of the game. Before we get to that, though, Wolkir. Have you any particular stories on the history of the patropolis?”
[3:07:47 PM] Gensh: “Oh, boss, you’re kidding! The Demon Realm goes through larger wars in a weekend than Autochthonia has ever had! It’s all part of being infinite! I’ll tell you what – you hear something interesting, and I’ll dig up what I know on the subject. It’s not like I’m going anywhere!”
[3:10:32 PM] Avara: “That seems a wise approach. Otherwise, we would likely be here until well after Calibration’s end between infinite stories and your particular brand of humor,” Yasha snarked gently, the Greater Self moving towards the place where she had first met the Queen-Mother. “How many previous ‘bosses’ have you had, before bonding with my soul?”
[3:25:21 PM] Gensh: “Oh, we’re all unique! Only certain souls are strong enough,” he says, flexing his inadequate muscles, “to bear the burden of an Exaltation for even a short while. If we don’t find a match within, oh, say, a week, we die horribly as the Solar essence burns our bodies and souls to cinder.”

On one of the upper levels of the Demon City is a great tumor of brass and granite, as much wild Yozi flesh as meticulously constructed temple. It is the Conventicle Malfeasant, a dome constructed to shield new or generally skittish Infernals from the horrors of the demon realm at large.
[3:25:22 PM] Gensh: Balance: The Conventicle Malfeasant
Earth 3 (1-12)
Water 3 (13-24)
Fire 3 (25-36)
Wood 3 (27-48)
Air 3 (49-60)
Day 3 (61-72)
Night 3 (73-84)
Wyld 3 (85-100)
Death 0

The Conventicle Malfeasant is an independent city-state within the Demon City comparable to any in creation. Its environment is as much a mixture as its sponsoring Yozis and the Infernal Exalts which it houses.
[3:32:05 PM] Avara: “That seems… inefficient,” Yasha intoned with some disapproval. There had to be a better system. Maybe she should make a better system. It wasn’t like she could expect anyone else to, if they hadn’t yet done so. Spinning the canvas of the Queen-Mother again, it turned into a picture of the city of Malfeas… which started to move, showing the Greater Self’s viewpoint, while she herself started painting blueprints into reality as she started concept work on a better way to manage the exaltation system.

-

Yasha looked around the Conventicle Malfeasant, searching for those who might seem like they knew what was going on. With Infernals coming in fresh and new, most would likely be confused—the ones who were sure of themself would be the ones more experienced. More importantly, the demons here that knew what was what would, hopefully, be able to guide her to the Queen-Mother. Or, more likely, where she had to place a request for an audience, given their difference in rank. She did take some time to look over any new recruits, though, as she passed by.
[3:47:03 PM] Gensh: As it happened, most of the unsettled folks were support staff, humans brought from the squalor of Creation to support the Exalted in something resembling comfort. To make up for the very low numbers – a mere 50 asura like her and a handful of akuma whose identities were concealed for their own protection – the Yozis did their best not to keep the asura alive. Even if they were utterly crippled, the Yozis could rebuild them better than before.

There were other new asura recently due to a catastrophic incident involving the destruction of a dam and some sort of horrifying behemoth which is still on the loose. Still, these other newbies were scattered and operating on their own terms. It would be difficult to find them at all before Walpurgis.
[3:48:38 PM] Gensh: Decide how you wish to search for information and the sort of person you’re looking for.
[3:53:51 PM] Avara: Someone in charge, based on memories of her own arrival in Malfeas—the same sort of person as the one or ones that brought her to the holy Queen-Mother. Unless that was a third-circle demon, in which case someone among the support staff. Primarily, information-seeking will be done by observation, supplemented by politely asking for information as to how she might arrange a meeting with the Queen-Mother for further information and instruction. With the focus on moving with the flow of people and taking a more peaceful approach, I think Water would be appropriate if an element needs be declared.
[4:02:09 PM] Gensh: Water is indeed an apt element.

She was first introduced to the Queen-Mother by demons, yes.

The palace of the Queen-Mother is an easy to spot location within the Conventicle, an enormous, sprawling affair mockingly patterned after the palace of Creation’s own queen. As an asura, it would be easy enough to walk up to the front doors and schedule a meeting. Still, if she wishes to keep things secret, another avenue may be desirable, possibly borrowing someone else’s scheduled meeting in exchange for a favor.
[4:06:42 PM] Avara: Targetting someone who seemed more a blunt instrument and unuseful type to the purpose of serving or bettering Hell past being yet another brute (as if blood apes didn’t already serve the purpose), Yasha will attempt to persuade the person to give her their meeting and schedule another, making sure to ‘speak’ at a readable speed. Rather than a favor, unless necessary to offer one, she’ll try to use the subterfuge skills of Night to convince the target their time right now is better spent becoming stronger before meeting anyone of such prestige.
[4:12:45 PM] Gensh: A typical-looking barbarian wearing only a kilt and sandals, covered in woad, and an enormous axe, walks by on the way to the palace.
[4:14:28 PM] Avara: That seemed like the right sort of target. And if what Yasha understood about her powers was accurate, if he was all dumb muscle he couldn’t really do much to her anyway. Which would lend credence to her arguments, if he tried fighting. She slipped up beside him from the shadows, tapping his shoulder.
[4:21:10 PM] Gensh: “Hm?” he grunted, turning around.

His body was a wall of raw muscle, eight feet tall. His grand grimcleaver of Malfean brass and orichalc glinted in the light of the Green Sun. Its blade alone was large enough to serve as a door. With the handle, it was taller than a peasant’s hovel.

“Who the hell are you? I’ll give you three seconds to make me care.”
[4:26:35 PM] Avara: How best to do this…? Yasha pondered, before settling on something.
<if>
It ground against her instincts, but anger was probably the better choice to incite if he was already chomping at the bit to prove his superiority anyway. Perhaps placing a wager would be the best approach. If he could read. If not, it would be trickier, though she did cast a rather amused glance at his weapon, the implication of ‘Compensating for something?’ clear enough.
[4:33:37 PM] Gensh: ROOOOOOLL
[4:34:08 PM] Avara: 1d100 => 71
[4:46:27 PM] Gensh: Night – Perfect Match – Success/And
“Look, kid,” he says with a voice like gravel. “I get it. You don’t have to do no tough guy act for me. I gets it. You want to play with the big boys and get on Lil’ Miss Lil’s good side. Come on, I’ll say you helped me with something.”

He pats her on the head with a leathery hand and continues on his way to the palace.

“The name’s Cearr, last of the Talinin. What’s your story, kid?”
[4:52:34 PM] Avara: The machismo was painful, but… well, it was one way to get things done. She could figure out how to make things work from here. At least he wasn’t as mindlessly brutish as she first thought, though her spotting and manipulation skills obviously needed work.

<my> She had to take some time to get the right words, instead of Beta or Champion. <yours?>
[5:23:47 PM] Gensh: “My tribe got dragged into a war between the Solars and the Dragonbloods. The first time you see a second-circle, you know? It broke me. Another demon offered me a second chance. ’course, everyone was dead since I ran off.”

He waves to the attendants and guards at the entrance. They don’t seem to mind and simply allow the two of you to pass. Various demon species run throughout the hallways on the countless administrative tasks required to direct the asura and their support staffs.

The Queen-Mother’s throne is an elaborate work of sculpting, carved from a single giant mass of razor obsidian and bound with brass. Images of the Yozis who collected the Exaltations rise up fronm its back, and the seat sits upon countless tiny demon forms.

A mortal with no power, the Queen-Mother has grown in the nearly 23 years of her service. A mature woman with pale skin and long hair which is only rarely cut. It begins black as night but turns to a brilliant vermillion as it grows out. Her crown is a chain of brass magatama, and she wears a gown of the same colors – ebon, scarlet, and gold.

She sits soundly upon the throne, taking a strong stance. She is clearly surprised to see another there at a scheduled appointment, but she masks whatever she may feel about it.

“Cearr. I see you have brought our new member. I hope Yasha has not caused you any trouble.”

“Nah, she’s been a big help. She doesn’t give me any backtalk neither.”

“Excellent,” the Queen-Mother says sharply. “Praytell why she has accompanied you here today?”

“I’ll let the kid speak for herself.”
[6:00:50 PM] Avara: ((Sorry. Sleep issues interrupted))
[6:01:21 PM] Gensh: i think you need some infernal monster
[6:01:34 PM] Avara: ?
[6:01:52 PM] Gensh: infernal monster style/monster energy drink
[6:02:09 PM] Avara: Ahh
[6:02:16 PM] Avara: Yes, that would help.
[6:03:06 PM] Avara: Kinda feel like i screwed up on the tutorial thing. Trying to figure out what’s going on and what to do.
[6:08:39 PM] Avara:
[6:12:30 PM] Gensh: “Is there a reason you could not ask one of your direct patrons? I appreciate your trust in me, but you must not come running to Mother with every problem.”
[6:17:34 PM] Avara: Inside Yasha’s head, she just gave Wolrik a flat stare.


[6:24:19 PM] Gensh: “I do not begrudge you for seeking one to trust in this realm of facades, but you must find a means of gathering information which is not so bold. Shall Mother recommend you a tutor?”

Wolkir crosses his arms.

“All work and no play makes the Queen a dull girl.”
[6:28:26 PM] Avara: <if> Yasha gave the Queen-Mother a bow, to show gratitude. At least she hadn’t been thrown out on her ass, like she was expecting for a moment there.
[6:30:09 PM] Gensh: “Then I shall do as such. Is there anything else I can do for you while you are here?”
[6:30:24 PM] Gensh: From here on out, you may interrupt dialog with a roll at any time.
[6:30:57 PM] Gensh: Progressing through dialog naturally may earn you something without disrupting the balance, but pressing forward is the only means of assuring it.
[6:34:19 PM] Avara: Any input from Wolkir on this? Because otherwise… I don’t really have anything I’d be asking for with an information source secured.
[6:35:43 PM] Gensh: “Ask her why the Deathlord crossed the road!”
[6:37:24 PM] Avara: <as>

-

“We should save jokes for people who don’t have the power to cripple our efforts to not become a pile of splatter on the wall. Like the tutor she is assigning us, perhaps.”
[6:42:50 PM] Gensh: “Then be at peace, and may the spirit of the titans guide you. I will send notice when I hear from your tutor candidate.”

Guards sternly escort Yasha from the palace, a far cry from the lax treatment Cearr had received.
[6:43:38 PM] Gensh: Where do you want to go from here? There wasn’t a whole lot of system interaction thus far. I could spin up a bit of quick combat training.
[6:44:11 PM] Avara: Yes please. I was half-expecting to end up fighting Cearr, but i clearly misread the everything.
[6:44:30 PM] Gensh: you just got a perfect result on the talky part
[6:44:53 PM] Gensh: also, he’s a big dumb barbarian, but he’s a big dumb barbarian who knows he can’t just obliterate teammates
[6:45:11 PM] Avara: So, yes, combat training would be good.
[6:49:18 PM] Gensh: Some time later, Cearr tracks Yasha down.

“Dull! Dull!” he grunts. “Where’d that fire and spite go? Don’t tell me you’re going to be another one of those gits who pretends they’re everything and then kisses Li’l Lil’s feet! Come on! Show old Cearr you’ve got hellfire in you! Give me a good hit once, and I’ll show you the ropes! How’s that sound?”
[6:53:08 PM] Avara: <how> Yasha answered, turning to face him. <as> Yasha gestured for him to attack, trying to stoke the Fire in him with their own confidence. Their powers were almost all defense-oriented, so if he wanted to show them the ropes, this was the best approach anyway.
[6:59:57 PM] Gensh: “Your hospital stay.”

Roll(1d100)0:
45,
0
Total:45

Wood – Failure

He takes a slow, ponderous swing, not expecting much resistance. In fact, it’s fairly clear that he was expecting her to jump away. When she doesn’t, his axe clangs against her hardened flesh with enough force that the vibration causes him to drop it.
[7:04:03 PM] Avara: Yasha sways a bit with the hit, but she keeps stable footing, letting the axe hit her indestructible skin. She moved fluidly, trying to take advantage of the surprise and disarmament as her painted form blurred, suddenly solidifying into a kick.

Owing to the soak-and-counter fighting approach, despite the fluidity, Earth? 1d100 => 10
[7:14:15 PM] Gensh: Earth – Perfect Success

He stumbles backward under the force of the blow. A normal attack like a kick could not normally harm a being of mighty essence like an Infernal, but Yasha’s use of her transformation put mystic force behind it.

Roll(1d100)0:
17,
0
Total:17

Water – Superficial Wound – Towering

As he takes a step backward, he begins to deflate, returning to his natural size. As it happens, the tribesmen of the northeast are on the short side to provide greater muscle efficiency.

“Hellfire and damnation! That was over quickly!” he laughs, not at all phased by his sudden size decrease. “Fair is fair, old Cearr will teach you how to fight like an asura!”
[7:21:24 PM] Avara: Yasha took a breath to calm down after the battle, and nodded. Lessons in combat would be helpful—basic tutoring aside, she was a sodalite up until her desertion and exaltation. Alongside the tutor, this would hopefully give her a real foundation to build on for whatever trials lay ahead.

<hopefully> Yasha picked up the axe Cearr had dropped, returning it to him. <my>
[7:25:14 PM] Gensh: “That’s all great! Who doesn’t love being an invicible brass monster? But remember that you can’t slow down. Trading blows is fun, but there are some monsters you can’t do that with. Sids and some creepy spirits. Lots of undead.”
[7:28:11 PM] Avara: Yasha nodded, moving around a bit more—still moving like strokes of ink from a calligraphy brush, only entirely clear when she stood still. <flowing> Full disclosure was important, if he was going to teach her anything.
[7:35:01 PM] Gensh: “You probably caught it already, but we don’t really get injured like normal people. It’s not our bodies. It’s who we are. Be careful you don’t lose a defense you were depending on.”
[7:40:32 PM] Avara: <thank> Yasha nodded, committing that to memory. Every trade of blows could result in something irreplaceable being lost. In that way, they were more like mortals than people realized.
[7:40:32 PM] Avara: <thank> Yasha nodded, committing that to memory. Every trade of blows could result in something irreplaceable being lost. In that way, they were more like mortals than people realized.

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Versil's Letter Home

“Dear Mother, how did the funeral go? I’m sorry I could not attend, but you know how people are over ‘kin-slayers’, so this letter must suffice. Things are going well on my travels, I have become a champion in this land (they only offer mere belts as prizes though) just as we were taught to be. I may be home visiting soon but right now there is a festival ongoing that I simply must attend. I imagine business is booming since Father has become obsessed with it. If you find any leads on who planted those weapons, drop me a letter. Your darling son, Versil. P.S. Make sure the servants do not touch my easel, I just fixed it to get the perfect amount of light on it.”

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