Hey, here is a continuation of my Exalted stories about Sanalos, but this is from the point of view a Sidereal who is surprisingly idealistic for her kind.
I am however worried that this four-art story isn't as good as Crashing Wave, and I wrote it before I had the Sidereal book so please point out if I did anything wrong.

Saint of the Stars
part one.
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Saint of the Stars: The Vision



She looked out upon the Loom.

Cats Eye Lantern's Shining Brilliance-Cats Eye for short, Cats Eye's Ridiculously Long Name to her detractors and "Brilliance" to all those who wish to woo her, for they loved to compare the last word of her name to the pitiful light that were the Solars, for surely their glory couldn't stand against the brilliance of your beauty, such attempts at a pick up line only made Cats Eye roll her eyes, or if was particularly stupid, to perform the ancient martial arts move Male Stupidity Sends You Flying Again, a powerful punch performable only by females and only when it would be funny because the Pattern Spiders would deem it so, it sent the offending male flying into the sky for their stupidity. It might be the only martial arts move universally known throughout Creation, despite never actually being taught. Apparently it was instinctual. 


- stood in her monochromatic blue outfit. From her Sidereal-given top and baggy pants and shoes sparkling with the light of the stars themselves to her mundane sash, scarf and bandanna, it all that she wore was blue, even her eyes were blue with blue stars in her eyes, all of which was befitting a Chosen of Serenity. What stood out however was her short, straight blond hair.
She saw many things in the loom: The Solars returning, the Scarlet Empress gone, the Realm breaking, the Lunars marching in to take Creation for themselves- all the while the things she couldn't see, Malfeas, the Infernals, the Fae, the Underworld and the Abyssals ran rampant and unchecked by all the forces fighting against each other.
She didn't need to look over her shoulder into Yu-Shan to see perhaps the worst thing of all: The Sidereal factions animosity starting to deepen.
The Bronze and Gold Factions were starting to conflict and argue more and more. With the reappearance of the Solars, its obvious that a Sidereal Civil War was not a long ways off. The Bronze Faction was the majority and was led by Chejop Kejack- the Gold Faction in all probability will lose to superior numbers and power, and the Sidereals will only continue to oppose the Solars, when unity was needed to fight the growing threats against Creation.
However that wasn't even the main concern of a Sidereal Civil War.

The Sidereals were caretakers of the Loom. If they stopped their duties too long in their war, a long war of subterfuge and assassination and of manipulating fate, the Loom would unravel and Creation would return to Unshaped Chaos.

The Sidereals fighting themselves, would be just as bad as the entire Wyld invading Creation all at once.

The world was, in short, teetering on the edge of the Abyss, with everyone trying their hardest to push it off the cliff. She looked on, hoping that she would get a brief glimpse of the future that could help her save all of Creation.

It was humbling, how an Exalted was seemingly all powerful- until they remembered there was ten-thousand and a few hundred something people like them. She couldn't do anything if it just meant that someone would just mess up her plan. Things were desperate enough to look into the Loom and see what vision of the future it would give her- if it would give her anything at all.
 So she looked into it with all her faith and hope, like every day before today. It was nearing the end of her free hour, if she didn't receive a vision, she would have to get to her Sidereal duties, another day of dealing with jerk gods and elementals, another day of correcting and untangling Threads in the Loom while Lunars, Solars, Terrestrials and all the other Exalts and Gods pulled and tugged it every which way in an endless tug of war straining the Loom to its limits, threatening to snap and end Creation forever.

Please
she pleaded to the Loom itself
Give me hope, give me something to save us all.....please.....I need this....

However none were coming.
 It had been 59 minutes, she was about to turn to leave when suddenly three things flashed before her eyes. 
First Cats Eye saw herself holding a plain white mask as if about to put it on. Next she saw the Scarlet Court in the Imperial City. 
Lastly she saw a man, with sea-green hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a red longcoat with gold lining and deep blue martial arts clothes underneath, yet had on pirate boots. Little did she know that she was looking upon Sanalos Peleps.
 Her sight returned to normal, the vision burned into her mind.

 Cats Eye looked back into the Loom with new found hope, her eyes sparkling with blue stars. She silently thanked the loom and headed off to find the mask she saw, her faith in Creation, restored


part two.
Spoiler
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Saint of the Stars: The Mask

Cats Eye thought as she walked through Yu-Shan.
If the visions she received was correct, she was to get a mask, put it on and go to the Imperial Court to......meet that man? The vision was unclear on that last part, but she knew it had something to do with him. Neither did she know why the mask was needed for this. It was just the vision the Loom had shown her, the vision she had to follow. All would become clear in time, no matter how unclear it was now. She was a Sidereal after all, it was her purpose to take care of the Loom.
Cats Eye turned and walked down a side-hall labeled "Clothes", going past various rooms labeled "Shirts" "Monk Robes" "Shoes" "Pants"- she could hear the bellow the Pants God going "PANTS FOR THE PANTS GOD! TROUSERS FOR THE TROUSER OFFICE!"
soon she finally got to the room labeled "Masks". She opened the door.

Inside was an ordinary office with a number of great filing cabinets behind the desk. Seated at the desk, was the God of Masks, Myzzic. Myzzic quite obviously, wore a colorful mask and all other details were useless because he the God of Masks, why bother describing him as anything other than what he was in Essence: a mask over a face?
The God of Masks was doing paperwork, obviously on Masks. He had a rubber stamp. He took a paper from one pile, quickly saw what kind of paper it was, and what mask it was for, stamped it with the seal of the Mask God then put it into the other pile. He did this repeatedly while a minor god of filing took papers from the bottom of the pile, zipped around until it found the papers proper place then put it there, then zipped back to the approved pile to repeat the cycle.
Neither Myzzic nor his minor god of filing serving him seemed to look up from their work or even notice Cats Eye. They just kept on doing what they doing forever and ever. It seemed this eternity was what they did all day, and were near robotic and efficient in how they did it, one could almost think of them as machines, just two other cogs and gears forever turning in Heaven like perfect clockwork.
Cats Eye however, felt sorry for them. Or at least, for Myzzic. The minor god of filing was probably happy as a puppy just running back forth between pile and filing cabinet forever and was probably just as intelligent. Myzzic however was a God of Masks, not paperwork. He probably wanted to go around with a big bag of masks and give everyone a mask, go up to children, sit them on his knees and ask them "why hello son, what kind of mask would you like for Mask Day?" and they'd answer "one of my favorite hero!" and he would laugh jollily and give them a mask of their favorite hero, because he was the God of Masks. Instead he was here, stamping forever and ever. Poor Mask God.

After a few minutes of waiting to be noticed and coughing a few times in the Ahem fashion, Cats Eye finally said.
"Hello?"
The God of Masks answered
"Hi."
He didn't ever stop what he was doing, or look up at her. He just kept on sorting and stamping. He after all had work to do. If Cats Eye had not heard the "Hi." she wouldn't have even known the God of Masks had responded, his movements so economical and efficient that he had only moved his mouth and nothing else to speak to her. A few more moments passed.
"Uh....I'm here for something."
Myzzic spoke again, still not moving anything other than his mouth.
"Is this about those TPS reports? I already put the new cover sheets on those, got the memo you see."
"No! Agh, I'm a Chosen of Serenity, this is important!"
"Really? What is it then?"
The God of Masks asked as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
"I need a mask."
She described the mask to Myzzic.
The God of Masks finally stopped what he was doing.
and looked up.
"You mean you need THAT kind of mask? The kind of mask you are describing, is one from the First Age, which allows one to disguise themselves as anyone as long they wear the mask. Those things are very valuable, and not common."
Well at least now she knew one reason why she needed The Mask, she was apparently to disguise herself with it.
"Great, do you have one? Since you are the God of Masks and all that?"
"Er....I had a Mask....."
"What happened?"
"Yea, after work I like to y'know, play poker with some of my god friends, blow off some steam, make a few bets have fun y'know? Well in this game I sorta.....bet my magical disguise Mask against the God of Dueling's sword, I lost and now the Dueling God Bercalo has it. You will have to take it up with him."
A Chosen of Serenity going up against the God of Dueling. Great.

Cats Eye sighed as she walked over to the Conflicts Department. This was just how things worked in Yu-Shan. Whatever gods that weren't addicted to the Games of Divinity, were spending their whole day doing nothing but a flood of paperwork and then blowing off steam in the evening in reckless ways which leads to petty unimportant problems like a Sidereal having to go to the God of Dueling to get an artifact that she needs to save Creation because the God of Masks lost a poker game against said God of Dueling.
Cats Eye often wondered what the point was of the Games of Divinity. Seriously, why did the Primordials even make this thing? It just seemed to cause no end of trouble. First it was the reason there was a Creation in the first place which makes the Fae angry, then the gods overthrew the Primordials to play them which led to the Exalted, which led to the Usurpation, which led to the current mess they had now. Even today the Games of Divinity caused a shortage of gods actually working in Yu-Shan, thus causing the remaining gods to be overworked, thus causing them to blow off steam in their breaks in ways that only caused problems for everyone. If the Games didn't exist, Heaven would be running a lot smoother, heck if the Games didn't exist, perhaps there wouldn't be any Exalted. Still, the Games of Divinity seemed pointless as it only impeded the protection and taking care of Creation- if the gods, the Celestial Incarnae could tear themselves from those addictive Games, the situation would be a whole lot more solvable.

Until then, she would just have to make do.

She had gone up to the Conflicts Receptionist, a god of receptions.
The god of receptions looked up and asked
"Oh! A Sidereal. Weird, your not a Chosen of Battles, what brings you here?"
"I need to speak to Bercalo, God of Dueling."
"Oh, him. Left hall of the Left hall, last door on the right."
"Thank you."
She followed the directions, passing by conflicts such as “Star-Crossed Lovers” “Father is Son’s Enemy” and “Insignificant Jewelry that Dooms World.” and opened the door labeled "Dueling"
Inside was what looked like a spanish swashbuckler with a rapier use his sword to stamp, sort and file all the papers in a blur, it was this crazy display of swordplay that somehow filed all the peoples he had to do and perfectly.
The swashbuckler finished, then turned to Cats Eye.
"Weird, you are not a Chosen of Battles. But you ARE a Senorita of Serenity! What brings you here to my humble office?"
"I'm looking for something, a mask."
"A mask? You mean the one the I won off Senor Mask God?'
The God of Dueling thought to himself Heh, estupido Myzzic didn't even see me cheat.
"Yes that one. Tell me where it is."
"Ah unfortunately senorita, I'm a God of Dueling and I haven't dueled in a week. Too long a time to go without dueling, for a Dueling God."
"You are refusing to give me the info unless we duel?"
"Exactly, Senorita. To the roof, there are many places for dueling there."

The roof of the Department of Conflicts, was interesting to say the least.
To say that it was a specially designed arena was an understatement. To say that it was a specially designed battlefield was to hit right on the mark. One could fight with entire armies up here. Many people had, in the First Age many Solars fought with armies of demons and elementals against each other for fun. It was used to hone many Dawn general’s tactics and strategy. Today, there were still some Chosen of Battles who came up here and waged…..well, battles against each other to keep their tactical skill sharp.
You could say that it was in fact a sparring area for armies, or at least their commanders.
The roof contained all the terrain you could think of and was set up like Creation in miniature. The Roof of the Department of Conflicts was 100 square miles in area at the least.
Cats Eye and Bercalo, the God of Dueling were in the northern section of the roof, a mile away from the edge. They were on a summit with various shields and weapons strewn about from previous battles.
Bercalo drew his saber.
Cats Eye got out her powerbow.
Bercalo fell into a fighting stance and Cats Eye knock an arrow.
They waited for each other to make a move.
Then Cats Eye let the arrow loose, zooming through the air.
Bercalo ducked under it while he charged, he parried the next arrow then the one after that then slashed at Cats Eye herself- only to be parried by the bow.
Looking quizzically he tried a few more slashes to be blocked or parried by the bow, Cats Eye was good at making a ranged weapon into a melee shield.
She then jumped over Bercalo, firing off two arrows as she arced over him, both hitting their mark.
She flipped and landed on the ground just in time to see Bercalo grab a shield then use it as a snowboard to go sliding down the summit.
Cats Eye followed suit and went after him.

As they slid down the mountain on their impromptu snowboards, Cats Eye fired off arrows at Bercalo. He always kept moving, dodging and parrying despite all her efforts.
She put away her bow then moved her snowboard-shield closer, she began to fight hand-to-sword against Bercalo.
She dodged and weaved while she attacked Bercalo, a blade being no match for Exalted speed and reflexes. The hits on Bercalo started to accumulate and he started to slow down. Finally she knocked the sword out of his hands, step onto his snowboard- shield then slammed him down on it just as the snow-board shield skidded to a halt at the edge of the roof, friction finally taking over.
“I have beaten you.”
“Si, Senorita….”
“Tell me where the mask is. Now.”
“I er….don’t have it anymore…..I challenged a guy named Smashing Maraca on a bet, that if I won the duel he would give me his Orichalcum Maraca’s he uses as weapons. I lost, he has the mask now.”
“YOU MEAN THAT WE FOUGHT THIS WHOLE DUEL, JUST SO THAT YOU WOULD TELL ME THAT YOU DON’T HAVE IT ANYMORE!?“
“Si, I’m a God of Dueling, I like to duel. I’m a jerk like that.”
Wait…did you say Orichalcum maracas?”
“Si. He was a Solar. Dawn Caste.”


part three
Spoiler
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Saint of the Stars: DANG SIDEREALS!

Smashing Maraca practiced.
What he was practicing, was martial arts. He was going through a certain form, over and over again. Life Circle Fish Form it was, mainly used for counter-attacks.
He started on Fish Flows Down the Stream, shifting into Fish Descends the Waterfall then into Calm Salt Sea. Then he shifted into Fish Ascends the Waterfall, and then finally goes into Fish Fights up the Stream. He kept repeating it. He was on a rooftop, in Chiaroscuro, his orichalcum maracas set down off to the side. His brother, Fiddle of Six Lucky Strings, was off being sociallike and moneylike. Maraca didn’t really care for that, he just found peace in this constant controlled movement of martial arts.
Maraca like his brother was dark-skinned, yellow-eyed and wore a white shirt. He had red hair like his brother, but he was bald and a great big mustache instead. Maraca wore a loose blue vest and red pants with cowboy boots. On his head he wore a white cowboy hat. All was going fine.
Until a woman appeared. She was blonde in all blue clothes from her sparkling pants and shirt to her normal looking scarf and bandana. She carried some sort of bow.
“Hello Smashing Maraca.” She said
“Who are you, and what do you want?” he replied
“I am Cats Eye Lantern’s Shining Brilliance. You may call me Cats Eye. I’m a Chosen of Serenity and I want the Mask you have.”
“Darn Sidereals.” Maraca muttered under his breath.
“I’m not gonna give it you, ya dang Sidereal.”
“Please….give it to me. I need it. It is for saving Creation. I’d rather not use violence.”
“Yea, saving Creation like you guys did during the Usurpation? Right, I’m gonna go ahead and keep my Mask now.”
“I know there were mistakes made, but please, can’t you forgive and forget?”
Maraca willed his orichalcum maracas to his hands.
“Not with memories of the First Age.”
Cats Eye sighed and lifted her bow.
“Very well.” She loosed an arrow. Smashing Maraca dodged and ran forward, a maraca in each hand attacking Cats Eye.
She began to dodge and block back, getting in an attack where she could. Cats Eye knew what she was doing right now to put it lightly, was insane. She was a Joybringer trying to fight a Dawn for crying out loud, she could be fighting a Night or Eclipse right now which would at least be fair, but no she had to pick a fight with one of the best warriors in the entire world. If she had been a Chosen of Battles or Endings, she would’ve had a good shot at this.
Now that the thought occurred to her, she realized she might not be the best Sidereal ever, she did believe in the path of a Chosen of Serenity, but she seemed to get into fights too often to be called one. The Loom of Fate could not have made a mistake couldn’t it? Mixed up a Battle and Serenity Exaltation or something like that?
Oh and she just realized that attacking a Solar like this might bring up an Audit or something. Well, she never really cared for Sidereal politics and Bureau directives anyways. What mattered to her was making people happy, and the best way to make people happy was to save Creation.
She finally got a good kick in and sent Smashing Maraca crashing into the next building, she ran across the roof-top then jumped, pressing the attack. However in midair there came a yell
“SKYBREAKER, HOOOOOOO!!!”
Cats Eye looked to the side just in time to see and dodge a ridiculously big Starmetal grand daiklave chop down in a vertical arc, wielded by this guy in rags and ridiculously spiky red, wild hair with a rag tied like a bandana around his head. She saw his eyes and immediately thought
What is a Chosen of Journeys doing here?
For he had the iconic golden eyes with stars inside.
They both jumped over to another roof.
“and Who are you?” Cats Eye asked.
“I,” the man in rags announced while a big wolf with glowing eyes jumped up next to him
“am Kelgan Giantsblade, The Wolf in the South, Wanderer of Creation.”
He declared with a flourish. Cats Eye rolled her eyes at the obvious “Bull in the North” style rip-off title.
“these are my companions, the blade I call Skybreaker, and my wolf companion, Three Fangs Strong. The three of us together make me AWESOME!”
Bewildered, Cats Eye asked.
“Let me guess….the Bureau of Destiny sent you here for an Audit or something.”
“Huh? Aw-dit? Whaddaryu talking about? Wha’s this Byur-row?”
“….Your a Chosen of Journeys right? A Sidereal? Don’t you know about this stuff?”
“…Lady, I have NO idea watchu talking about, I just know that I’m suddenly awesome all the time and that for some reason people keep forgetting my name. I go into an inn, pay for a room, next morning they forgot m’name! Forgot I was even there! I go up to a tribe, be all friendly like offer to catch ‘em some food and they are all friendly like, I go hunting, hours later I come back and they forgot m’name! I seduce a pretty girl, we have a great date, and a great night in bed, wake up in the morning, still in her bed and she forgot m’name! People keep forgetting m’name and keep chasing me away ‘cause they claim they don’t know me or something when I clearly introduced myself clearly and all that! What the Malfeas?”
Three Fangs Strong growled something at Kelgan
“WHAT!? Don’t tell you forgot to, mate! You’re the only friend I have who remembers!”
A growl and a bark from Three Fangs Strong.
“Oh Whew, you just kidding. Don’t do that man, you scared me.”
Cats Eye first thought was:
Weirdest. Sidereal. Ever.
Her second thought was:
That’s the trouble with Arcane Fate. He must be some Ronin we somehow missed. I doubt I could bring him to Yu-Shan though, the fact that he doesn’t even know what a Sidereal is or what his powers are means he has never even been approached and the fact that he attacked me probably doesn’t mean he will come willingly any time soon. I have no time for forcefully bringing in a rogue Sidereal. I have a Mask to get.
Wait a minute. A thought struck her.
“Why did you attack me?”
“Oh, cause you were attacking him to steal something. That’s bad. I’m kicking your ass like the criminal you are.”
Silence fell as Cats Eye tried to work this out: A Sidereal Ronin who was completely ignorant over what he was, who apparently gone around using his divine powers of the Maidens to seduce women, wielding a starmetal grand daiklave- who knows what god was murdered to make it- with a wolf companion, attacked her with no subtlety or tactics at all, because she tried to steal something?
“DANG SIDEREALS!”
Her thoughts were interrupted by that shout.
Smashing Maraca landed on the room between them, he was glowing gold and angry.
“You called for backup didn’t you?” Smashing Maraca accused Cats Eye
“No! I came to help you!” Kelgan protested.
“Shaddup, lying Sidereal.”
With that Smashing Maraca charged toward Kelgan
“Don’t matter how many you send at me! I’m Smashing Maraca, Dawn Caste! I’ll fight all of you and win!”
Maraca’s maraca and Kelgan’s blade met as the two-handed weapon wielder and the two-weapon wielder met, Maraca again had the advantage, the big weapon being unwieldy to block with and heavy to dodge with. Kelgan accumulated bruises from the maracas and only managed to score one slash on Maraca.
The game changed when Cats Eye came in and launched a martial arts assault of punches and kicks. Maraca didn’t exactly fall- he just turned so that he was fighting both Sidereals at the same time. Maraca was dodging, attacking and blocking both of them, he was truly an artisan of combat.
Then Three Fangs Strong saw an opening and charged to attack Maraca.
KICK!
“YIP!”
Three Fangs Strong sprawled on the ground from Maraca’s punt, whining in pain.
Kelgan was stunned.
“How DARE-“
WHACK!
Maraca whacked Kelgan with his maraca off to the side.
Kelgan got up his eyes enraged
“I said…”
Kelgan shouted
“HOW DARE YOU HARM THREE FANGS STRONG!”
Kelgan charged roaring in rage and attacking Maraca recklessly.
Kelgan’s blade became a flurry of steel, driving Maraca back, step by step, Maraca was actually sweating and paying full attention to Kelgan. Rage apparently increased ones skill and ability something to insane heights. It was simply crazy, Maraca strained to keep up and Kelgan scored more than one blow on Maraca.
Then Maraca contemptuously disarmed Kelgan, then hit him in the stomach, the shoulder the face, then finally punted him back to Three Fangs Strong, laying him flat on his back.
Maraca had enough of this sidereal trash, he walked over to Kelgan and raised his Maraca to end Kelgan’s life
A feminine “yoohoo!” interrupted him.
Both Kelgan and Maraca looked to see Cats Eye at the edge of the building, holding the ivory white Mask. She winked. They suddenly realized: she had used Kelgan as a distraction so that she could steal the Mask without being seen. Kelgan had helped Cats Eye accomplish what he had been trying to prevent.

She then jumped off the building.

Smashing Maraca ran forward in full fury, clutching both Maraca’s shouting
“NO! THAT’S MY MASK! YOU DANG SIDEREAL I’M GONNA-“
He the suddenly stopped mid-charge.
Kelgan got up, picking his grand daiklave and get Three Fangs Strong back up on his feet, wondering what just happened. It looked as if Maraca was trying to figure out why what he was doing.
Maraca suddenly turned around.
“Why was I going in this direction?”
“Huh?”
“Wait…where is my Mask? Its not in my pocket anymore!”
“Didn’t you just see her take it-“
Kelgan was interrupted
“Darn lying Sidereal! You took it didn’t you! I’m gonna kill you, ya dang Sidereal!”
Kelgan found himself running away from town, chased by someone angry.
Again.

As Cats Eye walked to the Yu-Shan Gate to the Imperial City, carrying the Mask she smiled.
Time to fulfill her destiny.


part four
Spoiler
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Saint of the Stars: Saima Ragara

Cats Eye Lantern’s Shining Brilliance walked up to the Imperial Court. A party, one so often thrown in the Imperial City of late was starting. Any loyal subject of the Scarlet Empire would say that it was a testament to the Dynasts strength and endurance to continue the parties and celebrations, to maintain a happy and strong atmosphere in these dark days of the Empress’s absence, and keep the people’s morale high.
In truth, those who threw these parties were one of many things. Some threw them because they were denial of the obvious: the Empire was finally falling, the rule of the Dragon-Blooded finally ending. Some did it strategically, as strikes and battles in a game of intrigue and subterfuge that would lead to said fall. Finally other partied to celebrate the fall of the Empire….and the rise of whatever chaos comes next. Anyone with eyes saw that Regent Fokuf will not last the year and neither would the society around him.
Cats Eye looked upon the Imperial Court knowing that in there, somewhere was the man she saw in her vision.

The man that she believed would save Creation.

She had to believe that she was here to find that man; she had to believe that the Loom had sent her to help save Creation. It was this faith that sustained her against the entire world on the brink of destruction. She put on her Mask and her resplendent destiny, and went inside the Court.

Sanalos finished writing a letter to Salt Lily and handed it to his messenger who did a quick bow and left. Salt Lily was the new Co-Boss of Home Fleet. After he had killed Old Fin, someone had to take the position. Thing is Salt Lily had been more the result of internal politics rather than his usual search for competence and experience. Coral Flower in a stunning turn of events made a campaign to have the new Co-boss be female to better break the patriarchal society of the West. Kiggas and Rib Shark had launched counter-arguments that the company needed someone who can get the job done and Sanalos had agreed with them. However Coral Flower had launched a response that she would chop off Sanalos’s manhood if he didn’t choose someone female for the position, Exaltation or no and he frankly believed her.
So to alleviate tensions among the Co-Bosses he chose Salt Lily, a mildly successful captain but was unusually young and relatively inexperienced. She had light blue hair with pigtails bronze skin and brown eyes, often wearing colorful dresses. Salt Lily had always been a cheery, cute girl. Even when she was busy torturing a pirate for information with a fork she was happy and upbeat. She was also a martial artist and wielded cats claws. While Coral Flower had indeed what she wanted- a second female Co-boss, she had been struck dumb by the fact she was a cute, young upbeat girl that was basically completely the opposite of Coral Flower in every way. As a result Salt Lily angered and annoyed Coral Flower just as often she was made glad because of her.
Kiggas and Rib Shark had been too hypnotized by Salt Lily’s cuteness to really complain about her. The fact she had also proved that she could handle herself on a ship helped but there were better people out there. However Sanalos was not worried, Salt Lily being Co-boss of Home Fleet meant she was in a familiar environment she knew how to deal with and would not go offend people in other lands.
Coral Flower made a wish and got what she hated while it came true and Kiggas and Rib Shark started to like what they did not want in the first place. Exactly as planned.

He walked to the Court. He was dressed in formal court attire, particularly a gaudy scarlet long coat with jade lining. He entered the party, where people were laughing and drinking the most expensive and rich wines in Creation while the greatest schemers in the Realm conversed with their pawns.
He stayed on the outer edges of it. Well-bred Dragon-Blooded were so obvious that they were always in the center of the parties, for most of the outcastes and found eggs didn’t have blood thick enough with the dragons to fool anyone that they belonged in the center of the party. The center of the party was for Dynasts, True Dynasts, and the real Dragon-Blooded of the Realm- all the Outcastes and Found Eggs only deserved the outer party. They were after all outcastes and found eggs, they didn’t really deserve to be in the center of the Empire, so neither did they really deserve in the center of the parties either.
The party itself was therefore like Creation in miniature: the Dynasts scheming among themselves while all the outcasts around the edges conversed in their own cliques and groups, most not surprisingly congregating around Exalts of similar Aspects or Exalts from the same elemental pole. Sanalos was rather an exception. He preferred to seek out Exalted from different directions and different Aspects. He found their different view points refreshing.
He traveled in a circuitous route around the Dynastic center and through his Found Egg counterparts to come over to a familiar figure.
“Hey Wiletro” he greeted
“How is it going?”
Wiletro an Air Aspect with fiery orange hair enough to make him look like a Fire Aspect, he had green eyes and dressed in loose fitting light blue robe-like clothes with dark blue lining with sandals. Wiletro had been Sanalos’s talking companion for all the time they had been at Court. Even other found egg Dragon-Blooded didn’t care much for either of them. Wiletro wasn’t exactly the guy cut out for politics and Sanalos wasn’t really a guy one really feels like they can trust- despite all his efforts to cultivate a charming and charismatic personality.
‘Y’know, the usual.” Wiletro shrugged.
“M’brother is out on the Wyld Hunt, m’sister is still nose-deep in books…not much to say, other than that I still have to freaking attend these parties can no else in my family can.”
Ah Yes, Sanalos remembered. Wiletro was a found egg, his brother Jatone an Earth Aspect had been found by the Scarlet Empress and had been offered the Razor of the Coin, and had picked the Immaculate Order- on the condition that his brother and sister, Wiletro and Skyrial, were to be protected, educated and brought up in the Scarlet Dynasty, the Scarlet Empress of course accepted because they too might Exalt into Dragon-Blooded. Since Skyrial was too young and Jatone out hunting Anathema, Wiletro was stuck being dealing with politics. While the guy was smart and good at fighting- Sanalos had seen him use both sorcery and martial arts and he did not want to be on the receiving end of such skill- he just didn’t have a good head for political or even social stuff, it just wasn’t his forte. However, the guy kept it up all the same, he was a protective brother to the end.
In a way, Sanalos admired him. He was brave enough to face something out of his element every single day.
“Well Wiletro, I’m honestly feeling depressed.”
Wiletro quirked an eyebrow at that.
“We’ve talked about it before haven’t we? The Empire is freaking dying. You know as much as I do, as much as everyone in this room does, it won’t last the year. Regent Fokuf would be a puppet ruler if he didn’t sign every paper put under his nose, the Two Ring Circus is just a bunch of arguing idiots and the Great Houses are all out for themselves. Yet I do not know what to do. It is the Empire that has stood for centuries, the Empire that protects us from the threats around us and it is collapsing before our eyes. I want to do something….but I am but one Exalted. I feel helpless, despite all the new power I have. I wonder, what do you think of this? What do you think I should do?”
Wiletro leaned back against a column, breathed in and out then looked at Sanalos
“Find a reason to do something. I have my sister, it is why I’d do anything, face any foe to make sure she is fine. Ask yourself what you have and commit yourself to protect it.”
“Very…very well.”
Sanalos searched himself. To his dismay he couldn’t find anything worth that much protection and devotion, surely maybe his fellow smugglers, the Swift Sea Smugglers, were worth protecting? Yes, but they were more something he commanded, his relationship was too impersonal and abstract. He felt the need to protect them, it just wasn’t a personal intimate one. He had a relationship of the mind, not one of the heart, which was what he dearly needed.

Cats Eye, disguised as Saima Ragara strode through the party. Her disguise Saima was a Wood Aspect Dynast, with an intricate dress and flowers in green hair, Saima was well bred, well-raised and well-mannered. While Saima Ragara conversed, chattered and handled the world around her with poise and control, Cats Eye frantically searched for the man she though would save Creation. She would find him, right?
Right?
All these colorful Dynasts and nobles around her confused her. She hadn’t been in the Imperial Court before and keeping track of it can be confusing when everyone kept wandering around. There were hundreds of Dragon-Blooded in this room alone, if an Anathema were to reveal themselves right in the middle of the room, they wouldn’t make it to the door alive. Of course there were various servants and guards around as well, only cluttering things further.
She decided to go to the center of the room, where the Dynasts were, she was disguised as a dynast with good blood after all and the center would be a good place to spot the man that showed up in the Vision.
The center was a complicated mix of dancing and talking that only Exalted had the will and the ability to keep up without messing up. She commented, talked, wheeled around, danced, spun, turned and conversed all at the same time, allowing her to see the entire room while keeping up the social façade.
Eventually they saw each other.

Sanalos looking despondent, wondered what he could find that he could care for. He decided to silently ask Creation what it should be.
It answered by showing him Saima Ragara, with flowing green hair with flowers and an intricate dress, dancing the center. She was the most beautiful thing in the world to him, a maddening desire crept in, to keep the flower that was Saima safe from the ravages of the world, to protect her, knowing that the chaos that would ensue upon the world and destroy everything. He wanted to stand against that, and keep the flower safe and untouched. Such a person did not deserve to be destroyed, did not deserve this dark time she lived in.
Sanalos could not deny it. He was in love with Saima Ragara.
Then she caught his sight for a moment- but only for a moment, a flashing moment before returning to her dance in the center.
But
A dark, cynical voice from the back of his head, that had often been his companion for so long spoke.
She just is like the rest, yes? She is also a Dynast- she is in the center after all. She is probably just another schemer, another noble scrabbling for power. Why waste your protection on her?
No, he fought back, he couldn’t believe it. But he did.
You have fallen in love with a vixen who will play you like a harp, then discard you like a throwing knife grown too dull. She is not worth it. She probably doesn’t even know you exist, she may have looked at you, but she didn’t see you. She is a Dynast after all.
Torn asunder by his own outlook on life, he promptly left the Court.

Saima Ragara, aka Cats Eye did in fact see Sanalos. However she saw that he was in the outer party, while she was in the inner one. Dynasts did not associate with found eggs and outcastes, especially at parties where everyone would see them. If she broke the dance now, it would not only be socially inappropriate, but out of character for Saima Ragara which would wreak havoc with her resplendent destiny. Instead she turned her head as if she didn’t see anything and kept on dancing and talking, knowing it was better to approach him after the party or when it was dying down to speak with him.
However she soon saw him leaving, looking a little upset.
No! This would not do.
However she had been distracted and almost bumped into one of the Dynasts in the dance. Her Mask saved her as when she saw the Dynast, her hand flew to her face in concern that it might fall off and caused a chain reaction that allowed her to get back into the dance.

In another reality, Cats Eye had indeed bumped into the Dynast because she didn’t have the Mask to be concerned about because she had decided to go the Court without it because she had resplendent destinies, thus causing both to fall onto the floor and said resplendent destiny to be completely wrecked, revealing her true form while Sanalos was still in the room, everyone declaring her Anathema and getting killed by a super-combined Elemental Bolt Attack. In this other reality Sanalos had either became an Anathema hating fanatic who gone off to join the Immaculate order because an Anathema had toyed with his heart, or had committed suicide for his love dying horribly in front of him, we don’t really know.

But it was not that reality. In this reality Saima had found a polite way out of the dance and out of the Court. She followed Sanalos, determined not to let him get away. However he seemed to have vanished, he was apparently good at keeping people off his tail.
After searching around outside for a while, she collapsed from exhaustion, where could he be?
She perked up when she heard a voice speak.

Sanalos stood outside the Court, looking up into the starry night sky. He was thinking, not a contemplative kind of thought but a conflictive kind of thought; a battle was raging in his head over what to do about Saima Ragara. He loved her, yet he never met her, she was a dynast and probably would never reciprocate his newfound affection. Worse the cynical voice in his head was launching even more arrows to strike him in the heart.
Are you sure you even love her? It might just be a crush, or a fleeting feeling of lust. You have never been in love before, how should you know? Even if you do love her, is it just because she looks pretty? She might not be the right person, just the right looks and body.
Besides, it is love at first sight, foolish young love. It is not real, or faithful, you would fall head over heels in love with any girl on the street probably, you being too busy to have an actual life or anything…

As that cynical part of him spoke, he felt the world become more and more bleak, he felt all the light and hope drain away replaced by harsh reality and logic and emotions drowned by a bitter darkness grown from his days in the West when he was just a beggar on the street trying to survive, the beggar boy who left other beggar boys to die after he had used them to steal food, the beggar boy who cowardly fled a life of strength and tough living on the streets to be a smuggler on a ship and to start caring for his crewmates, then his crew, then the fleet he Co-Boss’d and then finally got into the cushy position of Boss of the company, then became an Exalted, blackmailed House Peleps into adopting him so he could live in the lap of luxury and have the time of his life while every beggar and pirate life out the hard life in the West, scraping by what they can.

I mean, oh a crime boss who has manipulated and schemed his way into living like a king who doesn’t truly deserve anything he has, how heroic and selfless. Truly you are a paragon of morals and virtue! Face it, you are no better than the scheming bastards bastards inside, you just don’t have the blood.

Then something snapped within Sanalos, and he mentally punched his cynical voice into next week.
He flared his anima banner.
“You know what? Frack all that, I know, I’m no hero, I plan, I scheme, I’m a selfish bastard who likes luxury and all its trappings, it is what I do. It is what I am.”
He paused then spoke louder
“I know, I may not know what love is, or if Saima Ragara is a schemer or not, but what I do know is that I care for her. I know that if she dies something bright and pure will die and the world will become a little dimmer. I don’t want that. I want to protect her. Better: I have plan. I can protect her, by protecting the entire world, fighting off all the threats and making a better world where she doesn’t have to be a schemer, if she ever was one.”
He then announced for all to hear:
“From this day forth, I vow upon Saima Ragara that I will protect Creation, and eventually forge a new world so she will be protected for the rest of her life! This, I swear!”


Cats Eye saw Sanalos make his speech. She realized: she didn’t need to speak to him, he just need to see her, to be inspired by Saima Ragara to be set on the path.
Her plan to save Creation was in motion, question is: what was it?

Sanalos thought to himself:
The best way to protect Creation is to save the Scarlet Empire, and to save the empire, there needs to be an Empress or Emperor. I must find someone to be that ruler.
Sanalos clenched his hands into fists.
Even if I have to become said ruler myself.