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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Those who've read Slade's Shadowrun campaign journal or my earlier thread are likely aware that our gaming group has taken up Exalted as a result of a friend having to move. I'm going to attempt to keep a log of the series. Again, guys, this is my first time playing the game, so please bear with me if/when I start making mistakes.

    The Roster
    Spoiler
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    Shichirou, a Dawn Caste Solar whose Exaltation manifested during the horrors of Thorns. He was a guard before taking his Second Breath, which occurred when he turned to face a horde of zombies despite knowing he couldn't win against them. If it's not too obvious from the reading, I'm playing Shichirou.

    Nightshade, a Night Caste with an intelligent familiar that is part-dragon, part-panther. Before Exalting, she was a woodland scout. The dragon panther was actually the trusted companion of her prior incarnation, and their reuniting led to her Exaltation.

    Fox, an Eclipse Caste, a gentleman-thief with an artifact mask. He aspires to go down in history as having performed one of the greatest heists. He doesn't like to summon his Solar Saber unless he has to, which is why we're considering having Shichirou teach him Martial Arts.

    Sybrus, a destitute wandering Eclipse Caste with Terrestrial and Celestial Circle sorcery. An escaped slave, apparently.

    Edrick, a Zenith Caste who wears enough armor to make a typical linebacker look puny. Pursued by the Wyld Hunt, Edrick is also a survivor of Thorns.

    Delmin, a Twilight Caste with medical knowledge.

    Get Busy Dyin'

    During the Saturday session, we actually played First-Age counterparts to our characters. We fought off armies of the Fair Folk against the southern borders of Creation. To make a long story short, we kicked some major butt, and then came the Usurpation. Heaven's Fist, my First Age character, sacrificed his life to give the others time to escape, after which they set up caches and the like for their eventual reincarnations.

    You All Meet In The Tavern Inn...

    Monday's game had us playing in the Second Age, in a fishing community north of Thorns, literally just after the whole "shadowland" thing went down. Most of the players' characters met each other rather conveniently in an inn. Edrick, Fox, and Shichirou share some drinks while mulling over the situation in Thorns. When Delmin comes in and mentions his healing talents, we opt to take him right to the refugee camp, since one of the guardsmen has a broken arm.

    Something's Fishy...

    On the way, we spot a strange half-fish, half-man watching us from an alley. When he realizes we see him spying, he moves as though to flee, at which point I clothesline him. Turns out that he's Mezzo, the god of this particular city (oops), and that he was hoping to warn us that an agent of the Wyld Hunt was in the area. He explains that he'd rather not have that particular flavor of carnage in his city. We thank him for warning us, and head to the refugee camp. While Delmin patches up the guy with the broken arm, Shichirou catches up with a friend and fellow muscular guardsman, Togo.

    While all this is going down, Sybrus enters the inn, only to find said representative of the Wyld Hunt. Luckily, he avoids the Dragon-blooded's notice. When the Terrestrial storms out of the place, Sybrus tails him all the way to the refugee camp...

    Face Me, Anathema!

    The Dragon-blooded shows up at the camp and boldly announces that he knows that Anathema are present. He challenges them to reveal themselves, and it's all Shichirou can do not to do just that (I love Foolhardy Contempt, even though I know it's gonna bite me in the rear sooner than later). Finally, he strides off, at which point we decide to head back into town.

    Fox and Shichirou choose to find the Dragon-blooded's home and confront him there; Edrick makes the same decision, but has to stop and put his armor on. Meanwhile, Nightshade and Sybrus are approached and convinced by Mezzo that it's in their best interests to stop the Dragon-blooded by any means necessary. We all pretty much arrive there simultaneously. When it turns out that the front door is locked, Shichirou stabs one of the trench spikes through the lock to "open" it for them, and then uses acrobatics to ascend to the second floor, where he smashes through the window to discover the Terrestrial in the process of talking to an Infallible Messenger.

    Wish I could remember the line Shichirou had delivered when he grabbed the Dragon-blooded by the head and hurled him at the wall.

    Anyway, before he can get his fight on, Edrick reached the second floor, and proceeded to reduce him to a smear on the floor. With no one to instruct him, the Infallible Messenger decided to twiddle its thumbs and wait for the spell to expire.

    ...Want A Magazine?

    Mezzo meets with us on our way down, and offers us a chance at protection, making some vague allusions to "pulling strings and calling in favors." We accept his offer, staying at the inn until then.

    After some thought, Shichirou decided to share his secret with Togo. After a long sparring match, he confides his Exaltation to the guardsman, and demonstrates by splitting a boulder with one punch.

    Fox and Shichirou also spar at one point; we both took care to not let our anima banners flare during the fight. At the end of the match, however, we noticed that we were being observed. A fellow in robes and a conical straw hat was standing on a treetop, applauding. He explains that he means us no harm, that he was Mezzo's contact, and that he would put us under his protection - in the South. Since we don't detect any deception on his part, we travel back to the inn with him, at which point he gathers the rest of the PCs together for our departure. He takes us through a shiny door and into a stone room, at which point the session ended.

    Anyway, we'll be playing again in just a few hours; so far the game's looking to be pretty fun.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2009-12-17 at 10:51 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Yuki Akuma's Avatar

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e]

    You clotheslined a city god? Hahah. You're already starting to kick divine arse, I see.

    Try doing that in the Imperial City some time.

    No. Seriously. That guy needs his face smacked in.

    (The First Age prelude idea is awesome. I've wanted to try it out ever since Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals mentioned it.)
    Last edited by Yuki Akuma; 2009-12-12 at 08:19 AM.
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    You clotheslined a city god? Hahah. You're already starting to kick divine arse, I see.
    Well, we did later get the impression that he was trying to make himself appear less powerful than he actually was, but I'm still counting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Try doing that in the Imperial City some time.

    No. Seriously. That guy needs his face smacked in.
    I was thinking that the Perfect of Paragon needs the beating more, but I'll see what I can do. All in all, we're more likely to end up throwing down against Mask of Winters before we get anywhere near the Imperial City.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    The First Age prelude idea is awesome. I've wanted to try it out ever since Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals mentioned it.
    I thought the First Age prelude was pretty neat; most of the time, we didn't roll for anything, because for the most part, we were just that awesome. Even the youngest party members had been Exalted for at least 10 years, and Heaven's Fist was over 1400 years old.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2009-12-12 at 09:22 AM.

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e]

    I thought the First Age prelude was pretty neat; most of the time, we didn't roll for anything, because for the most part, we were just that awesome. Even the youngest party members had been Exalted for at least 10 years, and Heaven's Fist was over 1400 years old.
    And my character, Tepet Erdrick Arada, the Zenith Alcard mentioned earlier, in his first age self, I didn't care much for the Heirophant, and considered him to be inferior to me. And the Heirophant WAS A SURVIVOR OF THE PRIMORDIAL WAR!!!

    Yea... broken powerful characters... but hell of a way to go!

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e]

    Looong update this time around, because we played for at least twelve hours.

    Training Facilities...

    The Raiden Sidereal led us into what was essentially a giant stone facility that was equal parts library, training room, lab, and park. We each got a room to ourselves; Raiden explained that we could train and study for a bit before briefing us. We also got a bit of a brief explanation on Exaltation in general, for those who were unfamiliar with it. He also told us that the facility had an A.I. that would provide for our needs, namely food and water and other easily-obtained comforts.

    We had a bit of a training montage with Fox and Shichirou to explain how my character is teaching him martial arts, after which Shichirou headed to the library, eager to learn more about artifacts like the ones he wields. While he couldn't find any other examples of trench spikes, he managed to find plenty of interesting stuff ("Ooh, warstriders!"). Fox found a book about a magic mask much like the one he possesses, albeit with superior powers. Delmin and Sybrus were already in the library, of course, researching lockpicking and spells respectively.

    Something's Rotten in Denmark...

    Edrick appears briefly to cast a scathing comment at Shichirou's fighting prowess, claiming that Nightshade could likely take him in a fight. Shichirou finds it odd that Edrick would say something like that, but informs him that it's not the sort of thing he'd care to test right now (...while I pencil in three points of Limit on my character sheet).

    The next morning, Fox's buff jacket is missing. He interrogates the A.I. about it, and the A.I. concludes that Shichirou had entered his room in the middle of the night. A quick search reveals that said jacket is in Shichirou's room, although Shichirou has no recollection of taking it. Suspecting something sinister, he convinces Fox that perhaps not all is right, and that some malevolent force is trying to spread dissent in our ranks. Concerned about the possibility of secret passages, he punches the wall hard enough to penetrate through the wood and into the stone... where sand starts flooding in. The wall seals up of its own accord a few moments later, at which point the facility starts feeling more and more like a prison.

    Of course, things got worse the next night, when Nightshade's panther dragon was poisoned... and the A.I. claims that it was Delmin, probably the one person in the group with the best ability (but least incentive) to do so. Asking the A.I. reveals that only Raiden could tamper with its memory in such a way to falsify information like that, and that its detection methods pierce mundane disguises (and even Fox's mask). Delmin is the first to volunteer to assist the dragon in recovering, while the rest of us try and continue our investigation. Of course, the stress of not having her companion around is causing Nightshade to build up Limit...

    The days continue to pass like this, with our characters supposedly antagonizing each other, even when we were off doing something else with somebody else; Nightshade shows up at Shichirou's door to challenge him to a fight (another three points of Limit... ), accusing him of being responsible for both the poisoning and the theft. Even when Raiden turns up, he is unable to help us ascertain the truth... although the more astute party members notice he's hiding something. This sort of thing goes on until we hole ourselves up in the library, all seated at the same table even, with the exception of Nightshade, who's tending to her dragon, and Delmin, who is at the next table over, brewing up a potion.

    Shichirou appears to her and finally says something to set her off before disappearing in the direction of the library; days of constant annoyance have led to her Limit Breaking. Despite our pointing out that Deliberate Cruelty is not Brooklyn Rage, she decides that the best course of action is to storm into the library and be physically violent with me.

    We're Gonna Need More Rope

    Once Nightshade is tranquilized and tied up, we call for Raiden for another discussion, locking down the room in the process. However, it's during this time that Shichirou notices that our gracious host does not cast a shadow, a trait we had not previously observed in him. Shichirou continues to chat with "Raiden" for a few seconds, and then flips the table up at him, only for Raiden to be replaced with... himself? Albeit a Shichirou without the shiny, shiny artifacts, but still a tad on the creepy side. It takes me a few seconds, but I manage to bring down my doppelganger with relative ease, after which we restrain him. The A.I., of course, expressed confusion at the presence of two Shichirous in the same room.

    Interrogation follows next. Those of you with a weak stomach may want to leave the room... actually, we didn't really do much in the way of torture, since three of the four interrogators had a Compassion of three or higher. Aside from the rather-humorous occasion of two botches cancelling each other out, all we really learned from him was that his shapeshifting is the result of Charms he possesses. We persuade him into opening the portal so that we can finally leave, although we know for a fact that we'll likely be facing treachery on his part the second the portal is open... which is why a collection of well-placed acupuncture needles will be keeping him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. We also took care to have the A.I. synthesize us some food and water (Sybrus' idea)... after all, this is the South.

    Through the Portal, Take One

    Shichirou picks up the doppelganger, and we step through the portal again... and then it was time for a break from the session. After some chilling out with TV and really big sandwiches, we eventually started up again.

    Through the Portal, Take Two

    We emerged from the other side of the portal into a tiny hut. Of course, the presence of the panther dragon made it even more cramped. When we spill outside, we see carnage. Dead people scattered around, and living people chained to one another in a long line. Our doppelganger captive yells to the overseer of all this mess, a massive refrigerator-type covered in solid bronze, who takes notice and starts making his way over to us. Fox, with his Compassion of 4, immediately suggests we kill our captive... and starts berating Shichirou when he suggests that we do otherwise. Shichirou punches out the doppelganger and hurls him aside like a ragdoll in anticipation of the fight to come... only for Big, Bad, and Bronze to go over to the downed doppelganger, sling him over his shoulder, and dash away with supernatural speed... and no amount of, "Hey, smelting-face! Get over here and face me!" is enough to persuade him to do otherwise. I pencil in some Limit, again, and note that I'm only two away from Limit Breaking.

    After freeing the villagers, disposing of the dead, and guiding them to another town, we get it into our heads to follow the baddie's tracks out of the city. Decent rolls lead us to another village. We camp out a few miles away, while Nightshade slips inside for a quick nighttime look. Sure enough, she finds a few of his footprints in the town. The next day, Fox disguises himself and wanders into the settlement. A bit of observation reveals an utter dearth of children. When he meets a woman drawing water from the well, he claims that he was a resident of the town years and years ago, and has returned for a brief visit, and then he asks about the giant fellow. She leads him into the town hall, where the massive brute resides.

    The Many and the Few

    Turns out that he's a slaver (big surprise), so Fox feigns interest in joining him. Fox also casually notices that the fellow is wearing soulsteel armor (although sans the faces and screams, strangely enough), though he doesn't ask him about it. Oh, and there's also a faceless, child-sized monstrosity sitting with him; he explains that it's a servant. The huge guy agrees to take him on a trial run the next night, mentioning a mysterious boss by name of "The Many and the Few." Also, Fox managed to glean an odd bit of information from the woman: the residents of the town don't have any children because they made a deal with a "god," vowing not to engage in any baby-making except on Calibration, in exchange for prosperity. When Fox reports back, Edrick decides to ask the gods about that last little factoid; he has each of us sacrifice a bit of blood, and then makes a prayer to the Southern god of war; said god sends a draconic underling to talk with Edrick. After a bit of fact-checking, said dragon informs us that no such "transaction" has been reported.

    We also make plans to follow Fox and the massive brute on the way to whatever village they intend on enslaving next. They set off at nightfall, with us quietly following a distance behind.

    "People of Littner, We're Here to Enslave You!"

    ...actually, believe it or not, that's just what Fox said, when he stood on the town square. The villagers' response was, as expected, unimpressed and a little confused. After a few minutes of telling the townspeople to place the chains on willingly before his titanic companion wipes them out, he finally suggests to Fox that they convene for a second in one of the houses. He addresses the "servant," which suddenly sprouts a face. Apparently the servant is a conduit through which he can communicate with his boss, the aforementioned "The Many and the Few," to which he explains that he's here with one of the Solars. Fox doesn't deny being a Solar, but he disavows any dealings with our circle; nonetheless, both claim that the presence of an Eclipse Caste Solar on their side could be helpful, and then The Many and the Few mentions that there's potential for further dealings in the immediate future, if Fox would care to meet him/her in the village from which we emerged from the gate.

    In the meantime, they've got some slaving to do...

    Of course, by that time, we're strolling into town. Just as Big, Bad, and Ugly is about to smite down one of the protesting villagers, Edrick strolls up to him and taps him on the shoulder. They do a brief bit of discussion, in which Edrick asks to speak with his superior. He brings out the servant, which develops the face again, only for Edrick to inform it that The Few and the Many is speaking to a priest of the Unconquered Sun, and then annihilate it with a swing of his grand daiklaive. We start the battle, at which point the big guy's armor starts seeping bronze. Unfortunately, his soak is apparently twice the maximum any one of us can do with an attack, so we're pinging him down with repeated application of minimum damage... at which point one of his charms affords him a free counterattack of twenty-plus dice of bashing damage each time we do so. Oh, and he's also got the ability to ignore wound penalties, and almost forty health levels. Thank goodness for perfect defenses.

    Three Hours Later...

    No, really, that's quite serious. We were at this fight for upwards of three hours, which isn't to say we didn't enjoy it... but still, it was pretty vicious. It was clear that we were outclassed, but like the Solars we were, we perservered. Finally, he started fleeing, but we weren't going to let him just get away. I was surprised to find out that I could jump further than he could run, even with his, "I dash twice as fast" charm. I fell into the "jump, flurry, jump" cycle, while Nightshade got on her panther dragon to snipe from, and Delmin cast that spell that conjures a cloud for him and Edrick to fly around on. Oh, and Sybrus cast Death of Obsidian Butterflies, but it got soaked fairly easily. Of course, the funny bit is that Fox feigned being knocked out by Delmin, so when he took off, the baddie was carrying Fox on his shoulder.

    The thing is, when he realizes he can't get away, he tosses Fox aside and turns to face me again. I get in a couple of attacks, but use up my last motes of Essence on my perfect soak against his counterattacks. Likewise, Edrick ends up knocked out after running out of Essence before having to soak a final counterattack. Sybrus catches up while we're keeping him occupied, and delivers a flurry of minimum damage. That's when Fox changes his face back to normal and stands, summons his Solar Saber, and delivers a trio of blows that finish the big metallic blockhead off, reducing him to dust.

    Oh, and when we picked up his equipment, it felt "wrong." Gonna have to look into that.

    Now I'm quite eager to see just what happens next time.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2009-12-14 at 01:24 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e]

    After our Shadowrun game last night, we ended up doing just a bit of Exalted... by which I mean, about four hours.

    Deal With the Devil

    We rest for a few hours, 'cuz that was some fight. After everyone's recovered, it turns out that Fox still wants to have that "meeting" with The Many and the Few. Naturally, we're not letting him go alone, despite his insistence; we manage to persuade him to let Shichirou and Sybrus come along with him, posing as "bodyguards," and letting Nightshade sneak along with her Stealth excellencies and charms, while Edrick and Delmin are on standby just outside the city, on that cloud Delmin can summon.

    Oh, and I kicked off Inevitable Victory Meditation at the beginning of the day. Yes, yes I would like to bank sixteen successes which I can replace any one Martial Arts roll with. That is awesome.

    However, it's all for naught; when we get to the hut in which the meeting is supposed to occur, the entity inside instructs Fox to leave his "bodyguards" at the door. So Fox strolls inside, while Shichirou and Sybrus listen at the door, mentally cursing.

    The voice, which keeps alternating between male, female, and neutral, manifests itself as a black hand with green nails, drumming its fingers on the table as it talks to Fox. The hand explains that it has access to several artifact-laden secret places, but that the presence of a Solar is required to actually "open the door," as it were. Fox is offered a tenth of any monetary gains, and twenty percent of any artifacts they find, provided he's willing to act as a willing tool for the hand and its agents for a year and a day. He tries to talk it up to forty percent, but he botches the roll. He still manages to talk his way into thirty percent, at which point the hand extends itself in his direction and says something about binding pacts and Malfeas.

    Surprising everyone, even the ST, Fox takes the hand in his own and shakes it. A black tattoo forms itself on his right shoulder. Only now realizing his mistake, Fox performs an epic Larceny roll, and secretly begins writing up a note on the back of his magic map without the hand noticing. There's a sudden tear in reality, leading into a desert with red sands and a green sky, faithfully noted down by Fox before he drops the map, and then both Fox and hand go inside the rift, which closes behind them.

    The Big No

    We bust inside, just literally seconds too late, and find his note, explaining what had occurred inside the hut. It doesn't take but a couple of brain cells' worth of Occult to realize that he's in Malfeas, and that we have no idea how we're gonna get him out of there.

    We start making plans; Edrick and Sybrus are going to the slaver town to see if they can learn more, while Nightshade, Delmin, and Shichirou take the portal to the Gold Faction facility to look in the library. While we're there, we leave a note for Raiden, explaining everything that had happened over the last couple of sessions, plus a few things we had managed to puzzle out.

    Conversion Conversation

    With a couple days' worth of detective work, Edrick and Sybrus find out the truth behind the dealings of the slaving town. In reality, the "god" they had bargained with was our big brute from last session, only with his anima banner flaring and using that "I cover my skin in bronze" charm. Taking three days of in-character time to set it up, Edrick manages to rally the town and deliver an empowered speech decrying the false deity and offering them the grace of the Unconquered Sun... and only gets two stunt dice on it.

    I'll add a little more to this post after finals are over and I understand a bit more of what happened; the ST is actually at a loss for what to do about Fox, and I can't say I blame him.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    With a couple days' worth of detective work, Edrick and Sybrus find out the truth behind the dealings of the slaving town. In reality, the "god" they had bargained with was our big brute from last session, only with his anima banner flaring and using that "I cover my skin in bronze" charm. Taking three days of in-character time to set it up, Edrick manages to rally the town and deliver an empowered speech decrying the false deity and offering them the grace of the Unconquered Sun... and only gets two stunt dice on it.
    Yup... two dice. Though it was still an epic prayer roll. Though now that the town is no longer middlemen for slavers, they lost a drastic amount of income. So, using my Sun given talents, I asked the Southern God of War and Cattle (no kidding) to be nice and give them generous livestock crops to make up for the lack of income.

    Now, about that water elemental...

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Getting two stunt dice on an oratory roll is quite a feat, really.

    Oh, and no need to worry. Your buddy won't be in Malfaes for five days yet. He has to cross the Endless Desert first.

    The bad news? It'll also take you five days to reach him even if he's only halfway through the trek, and another five days to get him out of there.

    (Also, that god of war and cattle is badass. He has an order of what amounts to battle-nuns. They drink the blood of their enemies.)
    Last edited by Yuki Akuma; 2009-12-19 at 11:33 AM.
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Getting two stunt dice on an oratory roll is quite a feat, really.
    He was also the first player to get a two-die stunt on anything. Heh, he even managed to get a two-die stunt this session... too bad it was as an NPC the ST was having him run.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    (Also, that god of war and cattle is badass. He has an order of what amounts to battle-nuns. They drink the blood of their enemies.)
    Indeed; the Night caste's player was pretty impressed, actually, when she came across that.

    Anyway, on to the session...

    Lemme first say that Delmin's player was not here. Cybrus and Nightshade were here, but they really didn't involve themselves much. Edrick's player got here a little late (jobs and the holidays and such). Since Fox was "indisposed," the presence of his player at the time was kinda irrelevant. In other words, it's gonna be a whole lot of Shichirou up ahead.

    Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

    See, with Edrick taking three days to try and convert the people over, that gave Shichirou some time to think about his own options. Naturally, one of his first priorities was that of rescuing his pupil. However, he knew that there was very little he could actually do about it one way or the other. Given his talents at it, he begins asking around to learn about any martial arts events in the area.

    A Tournament, You Say...

    He hears about an annual tournament held in the far South, sponsored by the god Kokage, the Master of Duels, in which the winner can attain wondrous prizes. It occurs to him that if he wins, he could ask the deity for something to aid him in recovering Fox from Malfeas. Given that such a journey would take weeks normally, he convinces Nightshade to fly him there on her dragon panther, making sure the rest of the party also knows where we're going.

    Before long, Shichirou is at the Flaming Arena, eagerly anticipating the qualifying rounds and making conversation with Sah Mi, a martial artist out to prove himself to his sifu. Shichirou had to eliminate three competitors to advance, a feat that was accomplished with a montage. Along the way, he observed that there were perhaps a half-dozen Terrestrial Exalted who were also participating. Also, once Edrick is done with his whole conversion thing, he and Delmin fly over on a cloud. While he's not too happy with my choice of action, he understands that it's still probably my best way of contributing.

    Who's the Bigger Hothead Here?

    Shichirou's first opponent was a Fire aspect Dragon-blood. When she found out that I had a rather nice left hook, her strategy began to involve using a blast of flame to launch herself out of the range of my attacks. While that was annoying, her attempts to liquefy my lungs with said fire put me in a considerably worse mood... (strangely enough, my perfect soak didn't apply to it. ) With his life on the line, Shichirou kicks off a bunch of Essence to boost his next attack.

    Realizing that she's facing Anathema, she forfeits the match, at which point her and the rest of the Immaculates fling themselves at Shichirou. Kokage actually stops the fight - after all, he's the Master of Duels, not Ganging Up On A Guy And Curb-Stomping Him, regardless of whether he supports the Immaculate philosophy or not. Since they're unwilling to face Shichirou one-on-one, the Terrestrials eventually leave.

    Kokage is actually quite surprised and pleased by the presence of a Solar at his tournament, though now he has to figure out how to handle it when so many combatants just dropped out. I'm given the opportunity to recover for a bit, and then...

    The Next Match

    Because of the loss of combatants, I got boosted right up to the final fight. My opponent turned out to be Sah Mi, who reveals early into the duel that he is a practitioner of Jade Mountain Style. When chunks of the marble floor start uprooting themselves to armor him, it's more than a little surprising. He begins grappling Shichirou, proving quite difficult to escape from, though I'm not exactly making it easy for him. "Why won't you drop?" he roars finally, to which I reply with a headbutt and, "You first!"

    After finally knocking him out, I'm declared the winner of the tournament. I explain the situation with Fox to Kokage, and talk to him about helping my group to rescue Fox in lieu of whatever prize he would give me. He agrees to look into it, at which point I also ask him about a means of finding the tomb of my past incarnation, to which he also agrees to look into, although he mentions that Lytek, god of exaltations, will probably want to speak with me.

    That said, the Wyld Hunt will be along before too long, and Kokage won't be able to harbor us, so we make our way back to the Gold Faction facility, where we find Raiden waiting for us. (This one had a shadow; I'm halfway certain he wasn't Queen Dopplepopolis. )

    Not in Hell?!?

    We do some divining, even invoking gods and summoning demons of the Second Circle. We're all quite surprised to discover that Fox isn't in Malfeas after all; he might've been earlier, but now he's in the South. More specifically, as we learn, he's trapped in the library in Virtue, the now-ruined city-state of our First Age selves (although we don't know that last part). We even got to communicate briefly with Fox via Infallible Messengers, although he got caught doing so by the shapechanger. Fox was ordered to lie about his location, but he was clever enough to tip us off about it by using a different language to tell said fib.

    We wrapped up the session after that, and now it looks like we might be able to rescue Fox after all.

    I did learn more about his deal, by the way. His end of the bargain is to serve them for a year and a day; in return, they can't harm him or knowingly send him into danger, and he also gets ten percent of the wealth and thirty percent of the artifacts they gain through his service. If Fox plays his cards right, he might be able to arrange it so that the demon breaks the deal.

    Also, I'm currently at 19 experience, if I've been tracking it right. I'm just not sure what to do with it, though; there are plenty of Charms that look tempting, but my perspective of them gets a little skewed when compared to other Charms. When I can take a boulder to the head without it even messing up my hair, how useful is it to double my jumping distance?
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2009-12-20 at 09:55 AM.

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    Hey, guys, we finished up on the story arc tonight. It went as follows...

    Buried Virtue...

    Since we now know that Fox is not in Hell, we no longer require a means of getting into it; Shichirou talks it over with Kokage and instead gets a number of useful artifacts and a couple of hearthstones.

    After that, we began the journey to the ruined city. Of course, even without Survival Charms ("So what if I'm skinny-dipping in lava?"), we're Solar Exalted. In other words, we managed just fine... although some of the Wyld-tainted zones were amusing; I believe one of them had sugar instead of sand...

    Virtue itself was pretty big. The city was, if I recall correctly, on par with New York (the state, not the city) for size... and all of it was buried under some hundred feet of sand or so. Of course, given that it's First Age architecture, that meant that a good amount of the roofs were still poking out, and with our group's ability to damage objects, getting into buildings wasn't really that hard. We finally found one that wasn't filled with sand, and discovered a tunnel at the bottom of it.

    A Million Monkeys...

    At the end of the tunnel is a massive cavern with a force of erymanthoi (blood apes), all at work digging. Overseeing and "assisting" them are neomah. Luckily, we've got an Eclipse Caste in our group. Because of Sybrus, none of them could attack us, so after a minute or so, one of the blood apes comes up to us and asks what our business here is. Edrick simply says, "Take us to your leader." We get led through tunnels and doors to a massive cathedral, clearly once devoted to the Unconquered Sun, but now covered in blasphemous sigils and tapestries that depict the deaths of the gods. Waiting for us is a tall bald man wearing desecrated priest's robes. He is, of course, the Many and the Few.

    Mexican Standoff...

    We kinda cut to the chase with the Many and the Few (...y'know what? I'm gonna just call him "Nero" from now on; it's shorter, and the ST already said that it was one of the names he went by...); chances are that he would've started off with some sort of warm greeting, small talk, and the like, but we pre-empt him and tell him we want our fellow Solar back. Smug and smirking, he informs us that he's prepared to make a deal so that we can recover him.

    "Mind if we see him first?" Shichirou asks. Nero presumably uses some sort of charm to summon Cypher (I swear, though, I keep wanting to call him "Queen Dopplepopolis" now. ) and Fox. Cypher is, however, disguised as Molag (i.e., "Big, Bad, and Bronze." I've got to get their names right once; might as well do it in the arc's finale), but we recognize him due to his lack of a shadow. Also, did I mention he's wearing soulsteel orichalcum power armor? Because he's totally wearing soulsteel orichalcum power armor. You can tell it's soulsteel orichalcum because of the blackness and screaming faces gleaming gold.

    Nero starts monologuing (Oh, the monologuing) about how the Unconquered Sun turned his face from them during their time of need (i.e., the Usurpation). We posit to him in reply that perhaps we deserved it, that perhaps the Usurpation was a crucible through which we might be purified. He informs us of his goal of establishing the order of Cecylene in Creation. Of course, Edrick will have none of that; he strides up to where Cypher and Fox stand, side-by-side, calling Nero out for his corruption, and then surprises everyone, everyone, by drawing his daiklave and cleaving right into Fox with it. Fox drops, and then combat starts.

    ...

    Surprised as he is by the sight of his pupil falling, Shichirou understands Edrick's reasoning; there was really no way for Fox to get out of the deal, a deal he never should have made in the first place. Now, don't get me wrong here, Shichirou still wants to punch Edrick in the jaw, but there are other things to deal with at the moment. After all, we just killed Nero's one bargaining chip. Cypher has just enough time to start using some of Molag's charms, causing the black gold power armor to start glowing with malevolent green runes.

    Remember how obscene the fight against Molag was? Well, Cypher's ability to emulate the person he's copying is pretty spot-on. Also, we learned later, the soulsteel orichalcum power armor he's wearing lets him regenerate one level of bashing every tick, and he's got a gem of adamant skin, turning all our lethal damage into bashing.

    Good thing Edrick and I were doing aggravated instead.

    Shichirou grapples Cypher, getting drained of five motes of Essence for coming into contact with his soulsteel orichalcum power armor, because that's exactly what soulsteel orichalcum power armor does, while Edrick daiklaves him repeatedly.

    While we're doing that, and Nightshade is getting her archery on, Sybrus and Delmin start their spellcasting; Sybrus is doing the flying guillotine thing, and Delmin is doing the bubble thing (and leaving everyone except himself and Nightshade out of it).

    Turns out that Nero is rather a lot like Gaara from Naruto; he uses his Charms from Cecylene to manipulate sand in battle, and is also capable of discorporating himself into said sand to deliver undodgeable attacks. He makes a cheap shot against Shichirou while he's grappling Cypher... oh, did I say a cheap shot? I meant seven. Perfect defenses are great... until you run out of Essence. Through a combination of luck and perfect defenses, I managed to survive his barrage and crush Cypher incapacitated for Edrick to finish off.

    Did I mention the guillotine spell never hit Nero, because he kept perfect dodging it? Did I mention that his perfect dodge apparently lasts the whole tick, allowing him to fire it off once during my flurry against him and then not have to worry about it, even during Edrick's attack? Because it totally did. Sorry for the little rant there, but Edrick's player had a point; a lot of Infernal charms are individually worth several Solar charms.

    Seeing that his barrage did nothing, Shichirou jumps atop the bubble, at which point Nero blasts us with an unblockable area-of-effect sand wave, the fifteen dice of lethal damage kind of sand wave. Out of Essence and with a Dodge DV in the negatives from his big ol' flurry, Shichirou and his four remaining health levels are low on options, so Shichirou clenches his fists, bares his trench spikes, and says his first prayer to the Unconquered Sun, asking only for the fortitude to continue through the onslaught.

    Two-dice stunt gave me just enough motes to kick off my perfect defense.

    So, as the wave of green sand passes through, Shichirou stands unharmed, and says, "Maybe the Unconquered Sun hasn't abandoned us after all."

    Nero decides to use countermagic on the bubble so that whatever gamebreakfer he has planned will hit all of us instead of just most of us. I got a chance to find out that while replacing your last, one-die attack on a flurry with sixteen successes from your Inevitable Victory Meditation is quite amusing, it's even better if you have Solar Hero Form up. Nero does that "post-win, shouldn't-even-be-happening-because-I-cut-your-throat, fancy-parting-words" bit that villains and heroes alike do after taking enough damage to kill them, and then he dies. Once he's gone, it starts raining ink. Oh, and he was apparently a Load-Bearing Boss, because the cavern with all the blood apes collapsed. Mind you, the chapel was still fine, but it meant that we'd have to blast out through the roof.

    Edrick torches the remains of Fox and Cypher with his anima power. Sybrus gathers Fox's gear and promises to deliver it to his next incarnation the second we can find him, while Edrick looks eagerly at the slightly-damaged orichalcum power armor, which the ST declares is now and has always been orichalcum and never soulsteel, ever. Shichirou ends up with the Gem of Adamant Skin, though we had to do a montage in which we go to the long-buried manse and dig it out.

    We let Raiden know how it all went, and persuade him to fix the power armor. After that, the ST declared that we're done until January, at which point the story will skip ahead a year.

    Was a pretty fun session altogether; I'm kinda disappointed that Edrick had to kill Fox, but the ST's letting him keep the experience points for building his new character. From what I gathered, his new guy's gonna be something along the lines of a master occult detective.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Alucard has a point, and several Infernal charms do seem to be rather butch.

    However, after cracking open the Infernal PDF, it appears that the charms that Nero was using have 2 MAJOR flaws in them:

    #1: Can only be used in a barren landscape (as defined by requiring 4 suxx to find food and/or shelter)

    #2: If the attack can hit insubstantial objects (ala Spirit Cutting Attack) then the charm will not function against the attack. Ever.

    So... yea, that is a major weakness we did not know about or have the ability to capitalize on. It seems that as you figure out these weaknesses you can get around them.

    Now about that 81 health levels combo that the GM mentioned...
    Last edited by Slade; 2009-12-27 at 03:27 PM.

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    So... yea, that is a major weakness we did not know about or have the ability to capitalize on. It seems that as you figure out these weaknesses you can get around them...
    Speaking of which, did the ST ever tell you about that thing Nero was going to do, the one that was supposedly really broken, but some piddling little weakness or another prevented entirely? Because I'm kinda curious to know just what it was in the first place...

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    No clue. I thought it was the sand thing at the very end, but that was no big deal.

    Maybe the GM will be telling us what it was when he gets down here on the 2nd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    No clue. I thought it was the sand thing at the very end, but that was no big deal.

    Maybe the GM will be telling us what it was when he gets down here on the 2nd.
    Actually, got my chance to talk to him. Turned out it was the sand thing; he just would've done it over and over from the very start until we were just red smears amongst all the sand. Given, I would have actually preferred it to, "Hey, kick off your perfect soak five times."

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    "Maybe the GM will be telling us what it was when he gets down here on the 2nd."

    Scratch that, he wont be here until the 9th. Which is better for me, hopefully I won't have to work.

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Pretty awesome read. Keep it up.
    My girlfriend(non-gamer) after watching me play an RPG on the Xbox: "So, you're just killing people and taking their stuff?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    "You weak minded fools! If you had the strength of will to look past his illusionary fire, you would see that - OH GOD, IT BURNS! IT BURNS EVEN HOTTER THAN THE REAL THING!"

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Hey, guys, played again Saturday.

    "How I Spent My Summer Vacation..."

    After what happened last session, the party had a year of downtime.

    Since Shichirou wants to eventually take back Thorns, he spent a good amount of the year gathering followers, including the former guardsmen of Thorns. He also spent some time discreetly winning martial arts tournaments, posing as a Fire-aspected Terrestrial thanks to a hearthstone in his possession. He was joined by Sybrus in his travels.

    Edrick was preaching to the southern towns we'd saved. Y'know, Unconquered Sun worship and all that. Delmin also remained in the South, helping Edrick out, while Nightshade essentially did what she could to keep the Wyld Hunt's attention away from the South. Thank goodness for Stealth charms, eh?

    Mezzo, the god of that fishing community, has been able to spruce the town up into a respectable city, thanks to the wealth he got from that artifact suit of armor we left him. Of course, a bigger city means that more guards are required, so the Golden Armaments of Heaven Brigade (i.e., Shichirou's entourage of guardsmen from Thorns) are willing to help out a bit, and have taken up temporary residence in the barracks.

    New Guy In Town...

    A Guild caravan is on its way, presumably having taken an interest in the town's sudden increase in wealth. Shichirou finds himself called to the gates, where one of his men is having trouble with a fellow in one of the wagons. As much as my character would like to just bar the haughty, aristocratic pretty-boy from entering, he checks to see that the papers are legitimate, and then grits his teeth and lets the caravan proceed.

    I like to think that the fact that said arrogant androgynous aristocrat just happens to be a fellow PC doesn't have anything to do with that decision...

    Also amongst the Guild caravan is a much politer fellow, who introduces himself as Talon. Shichirou and Sybrus note that he has a Lookshy accent. Before too long, we end up taking him around the city for a brief tour.

    You Guys Again?!

    It's about that time that Raiden informs Edrick and Delmin that big things are coming up, and that the group needs to get back together. Also, Fox's Solar essence has finally reincarnated. Thanks to the gateways in the Gold Faction's facility, he's able to bring Edrick and Delmin to the fishing community in a jiffy. Edrick starts trying to find Shichirou, and happens to meet the Guild fellow, and recognizes him (apparently they'd adventured together before), and brings him along to find me. I'm less than pleased to discover that the blueblood is actually one of the Chosen of the Unconquered Sun - a Dawn Caste, in fact. Anyway, Talon decides to tag along as we head back to the barracks, despite Edrick wanting to talk to the group in private about Raiden's message. When we reach the barracks and Talon still hasn't gotten a clue, Edrick flat-out asks him to wait outside for a bit while we talk... at which point Talon starts eavesdropping on us.

    When Edrick gets to the part about Fox, Talon starts getting flashbacks; yeah, he's Fox's new incarnation, and he took four dots in Past Lives. Once we finish chatting (mostly not noteworthy, except for what's been mentioned before... oh, and I crushed a boulder in my bare hands), we check back with Talon, and then head to the inn, while he starts discussing these flashbacks with Edrick. Edrick realizes them for what they are, and starts telling Talon about him, while Sybrus gives him his old character's equipment.

    Once we're actually there, though, there's not much time for relaxing; Edrick's caste mark starts blazing, indicating the presence of a creature of darkness. Mezzo, ever afraid of us drawing the Wyld Hunt, shows up out of nowhere and has Edrick, Shichirou, and the pretty-boy hunker down in the manor of the Terrestrial we killed while Nightshade (surprise, surprise!), Delmin, Talon, and Sybrus scout for any obvious things, like zombies or hobgoblins.

    Somebody Get Me A Pen...

    Of course, there is an utter dearth of hobgoblins. However, once night falls and Mezzo can do a proper lockdown, all of us get involved in the search, using Edrick's evildar to try to flush out whatever poor sap is walking around as a creature of darkness. Turns out that whatever it is, it's in the barracks. You know, the one where my men train and sleep. Faced with the suggestion that Edrick punch each one of my men in the chest to see if Enemy-Castigating Solar Judgment causes one of them to burst into flames or something, Shichirou instead has them jog briskly past Edrick; sure enough, it doesn't take long for one to set off Edrick's caste mark, at which point the guy starts sprinting with supernatural speed. Nightshade slows him down with a couple of fowling arrows, but we don't catch up to him until he's in this decrepit house.

    Remember the messenger-servant-sideways-eye-thing from a while back? Yeah, there's another one of those there. The servant-thingie grins, the guy burns to a crisp from a bunch of sigils on his back, and then it starts raining ink. Again. We manage to find a scorched document after scouring the house; it's clear that someone tried to burn a letter, but we could still make out two words: "Lytek," and "plans." There's also the remains of a wax seal; the party can kinda see a swan, and a crescent moon with seven stars in it.

    How convenient - we were scheduled to see Lytek, anyway.

    This wasn't the end of the session, but I'm headed to bed for now; will post again later with more details on the session.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-01-11 at 04:57 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    The meeting with Lytek was awesome.

    So was the CELESTIAL BATTLE ARMOR.... but that goes without saying.

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    Continuing from last time...

    "It's Cloudy In Yu-Shan."

    We started heading east, until we found a portal to Yu-Shan. Our impressions of Yu-Shan were that it was cloudy, crowded, and had rather a lot of gates. Our contact to lead us to Lytek, another fishy god, was named Forte, and was a very vivid blue. After quite a bit of walking around (I'll assume that the ST was just making sure we weren't going to try and raise some hell in heaven), we make it to the Celestial Bureau, and from there to Lytek's office. After the celestial lions, we observed tall bookshelves, along with exactly enough chairs for our group, plus one.

    "Genesis For Dummies"

    Lytek explains to us that, first of all, everything in Yu-shan is so hectic because of the re-emergence of the Solars. Thanks to us, everything's a big, big mess. Secondly, he'd like our assistance in a relatively-sensitive manner. An object has been stolen from him, an object of great importance. Lytek is very reluctant to explain just what it is that's been stolen, but he's willing to tell us what it looks like: a key with ever-rotating gears meshed on one end. It can also apparently take the appearance of a sword, with aforementioned gears taking the place of the hilt. Believe it or not, the key had actually been stolen a year prior (a.k.a., when Fox died), and he's been keeping it a secret until we meet him. We show him the letter with his name on it, and he recognizes the seal as that of one of the gods of plotting things, who had gone missing just before the Usurpation. Only a small handful of individuals would be able to even access it, and out of those, supposedly only he could actually take it from its resting place.

    As a personal gift to us, Lytek fixed up the celestial battle armor from before, and upgraded it with wings.

    Our group determined that the best place to start looking for the key was in the East, since we were already there... and Talon had something to look for there, as well...

    The Mask

    Well, once we're out of Yu-shan, we jet further east, until we're nearly enveloped by the Wyld; we finally reach the temple where Talon's first incarnation's epic mask is enshrined. In the quartet of ziggurats is the mask's resting place. However, when we go inside, the blind guardian spirit apologizes profusely, and explains that the mask was stolen.

    Of course, that gave us a piece of the puzzle; the ancient mask could disguise the wearer's appearance (and even Essence!) to look like that of anybody, so whoever stole the mask could make himself appear to be Lytek for whatever sort of security system that might've been tied to the key.

    Before we dismiss her, the spirit gives us our next destination: Gray Falls.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    OK, since TheCountAlucard is unable to post for a while, I will be making tonight's post for him.

    For the record, I am the Player of Tepet Erdrick, the Zenith with the built in (and thus uncontrollable) Taint's Warning (or as The Count has mentioned, the "Evildar"tm).

    Anyways, the party now has to get into the City of Greyfalls.

    For those not in the know,
    Spoiler
    Show
    Greyfalls is a Realm controlled kingdom in the River Provence or Scavenger Lands, and it was to the Realm like Australia was to England; a Prison Colony. A colony no more, they are a very profitable realm tributary now, but it is crawling with Dragon Blooded and Immaculate Monks.


    Now, we are a group of Solar Exalted, and not well liked by the Immaculate Order. So, since our Pretty Boy Kyushin is a Guild Caravan master, he simply poses as an Outcaste Dragon Blood (since he is packing Jade equipment, and has the right attitude, this is not a problem.

    Shichirou, The Count's character, simply covers all of his Ori (which is not much) with baggy clothing, and poses as a guard. I do as well, but pose as a House of Bells graduate (which Erdrick is anyway) and the pose as functionaries of the Guild Caravan.

    Well, it seems that Erdrick's reputation (Known Anathema, Wanted) proceeded me, and a Greyfalls magistrate knew this beforehand and wanted a Talent of Jade (i.e. a 4 dot resource) from Kyushin as bribe to remain silent on the issue. To which Kyushin gained a point of limit and a whole lot of anger.

    Kyushin and Tallon (the Eclipse posing as Kyushin's major-domo) stew over this and inform him that they will deliver the magistrate's Talent of Jade (i.e. the 4 dot resource) to his office tomorrow afternoon. They go back to the guild caravan and let off steam.

    Meanwhile, Erdrick, Shichirou, Sybrus go exploring the Mist Town of Greyfalls looking for this key thief. After exploring a dead end lead for around 2 hours, the god of plots himself finally gives us a clue (in the form of a 12 year old girl), and we head to a certain spot in the Mist Town.

    It turns out that this is the home of one of the god of secrets mortal servants, and he is going to be bait here for an assassin (his patron clued him in on the plot... PLOT... hello...). So we get the team together (Kyushin informs Erdrick of the blackmail attempt), and we wait.

    And wait....

    And wait....

    And wait....

    Finally.

    Evildartm goes off... and get ready.

    Someone make a spot check (not me, I'm a tank, and need my EXP towards other stuff); and makes a ruckus, eventually, it turns into a 3 on 1 melee, and the assassin decides that discretion is the better part of valor and runs. FAST. The other three Solars (myself included) decide to guard the old man.

    Our two dawn castes take off after the assassin, but thanks to her lightning speed charm, they can't keep up.

    But I can, and since the assassin has burned through her peripheral essence by now, all pretense of stealth is gone, so, using Whirlwind Armor Donning Prana and Hauberk Lightening Gesture, I put on the Celestial Battle Armor (in less than 3 seconds, thank you) and go after her with a flight speed of 20 ticks. Needless to say, I catch her.

    And knock her ass out.

    A quick interrogation (and multiple uses of Enemy Castigating Solar Judgment and 2nd Presence Excellency) later, she reveals to us that she works for Mask of Winters and that she stole the key from Lytek's office (and that she has the 5 dot version of the Mask, called Mask of Many Souls (which I made the name up for the thing on the spot).

    We give the better mask to Tallon (his from a previous 1st age life) who give his mask to Sybrus, as we form our next plan. In short, we turn the mask on Mask of Winters, and learn of the next step; Mask of Winters turning the Key of Lytek over to... some one (our bet is an Infernal of some kind.)

    So we begin to set off... and we remember about the corrupt magistrate. Kyushin, Tallon, and Erdrick set off to see him. We get there, and Kyushin give the Magistrate a choice: Me, or the Talent of Jade.

    The magistrate chooses the Jade.

    So Kyushin gives him his jade... in the form of a Jade Reaper Daiklaive to the heart in one swift stroke. Killing him on the spot.
    Being a Zenith, I use my Anima power to send him on to the next life, with a "You have chosen poorly" to send him off.

    Then we leave, using Raiden's triple move speed power to get us back to Mezzo's town.

    And that brings us up to date...

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    I LMAO at that last "You have chosen poorly". That is some funny stuff.
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    "You weak minded fools! If you had the strength of will to look past his illusionary fire, you would see that - OH GOD, IT BURNS! IT BURNS EVEN HOTTER THAN THE REAL THING!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    The magistrate chooses the Jade...
    Yes, yes he did...

    Yeah, I've really not got much to add to that, except maybe explaining that the reason for my inability to post was a recent eviction.

    With any luck, we'll be able to just take the key and be off with it. Naturally, we won't be so lucky. How will our plan get messed up? Tune in next time and find out!
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-01-26 at 02:56 AM.

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    And now for the next game.

    We drove up to the GM's house 200+ miles away this time. A sort of housewarming party/ Solar asskickery session.

    Any-who, we are now onto the Mask of Many Souls being used to infiltrate and find the location of the meet for the drop of the key.

    So far, we (as in Sybrus and Tallon) have been in Thorns for less than half an hour and saw GHOSTRAPE and nearly limit broke right there.

    Meanwhile, Erdrick and Shichiro are playing gateway (for those not in the know, Gateway is the Chess & Go hybrid). We both have no poker face, so we are playing normal rules. Since Shichiro has no War ability, I usually win.

    Kyushin, our local pretty boy dawn caste, is with his carvan, practicing Calligraphy while his Guild servants wheel and deal in Mezzo's town.

    Meanwhile in Thorns, Tallon, with the Mask of Many Souls, is pulling off the great spy.

    Meanwhile, Sybrus is languishing in the "Slave Quarters" a.k.a. the feeding room. He is playing up the "property" of the Abyssal assassin so no one else will incur "her" wrath.

    Tallon, (whose player is not the coldest beer in the 6 pack) is yakking it up with the head of the spymasters.... inside the Zombie Castlevania Fortress of the Juggernaut.

    Sybrus, meanwhile is tagging along with the "mistress" while Tallon as assassin mistress is Mastery of Small Manners his way around the VERY sticky and tricky and spikey political situation of Thorns/Juggernaut and Mask of Winters abyssal servants (i.e. one of which he is faking himself as)

    2 days later, Tallon has discovered the location of the meet; Erdrick and Shichiro head off to the location (with a "It's Morphing Time! from Tallon's character).

    Meanwhile, Tallon and Sybrus are trying (and failing) to talk their way out of the Juggernaut. Making there way to the meet, they find the "buyer".

    They are infernal exalts. Sand boy and Tall dark and ugly make their return, yet AGAIN, while the buyer is some kind of Adorjan speed-demon (pun intended).

    As soon as the key is presented, Erdrick, in the 100 mph armor, crashes through the walls and grabs the key, taking it 20 yards away. Needless to say that starts the fight.

    More on this later....

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    Meanwhile, Erdrick and Shichiro are playing gateway (for those not in the know, Gateway is the Chess & Go hybrid). We both have no poker face, so we are playing normal rules. Since Shichiro has no War ability, I usually win.
    Though, as a Dawn Caste, I could probably have spent a few XP to suddenly gain enough dots in War for a come-from-behind victory, but I'm saving it for my upcoming Combo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    Tallon, (whose player is not the coldest beer in the 6 pack) is yakking it up with the head of the spymasters.... inside the Zombie Castlevania Fortress of the Juggernaut.

    Sybrus, meanwhile is tagging along with the "mistress" while Tallon as assassin mistress is Mastery of Small Manners his way around the VERY sticky and tricky and spikey political situation of Thorns/Juggernaut and Mask of Winters abyssal servants (i.e. one of which he is faking himself as)
    Even with Mastery of Small Manners, the mission probably wouldn't've succeeded if you hadn't mind-raped that Abyssal with Enemy-Castigating Solar Judgment. Speaking of which, we still need to kill her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    They are infernal exalts. Sand boy and Tall dark and ugly make their return, yet AGAIN, while the buyer is some kind of Adorjan speed-demon (pun intended).
    Actually, Tall Dark and Ugly wasn't the same Tall Dark and Ugly as last time, if I recall correctly; he was just another massive Infernal.

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    And its later...

    The fight was fast and furious, but we prevail, because we had the key at the start of the fight.

    We ran, with me doing a Neo as I grab Tallon and Sybrus, who had their butts kicked royally by one of Mask of Winter's Midnight caste who was a master of Dark Messiah (which, by the way is way better than Solar Hero style).

    Anywho, after running (and having Shichirou gaining more limit, dang Fool Hearty Contempt) we decided to, of course, give back Lytek's key.

    We do, and in exchange for the key, I ask Lytek to be the political patron of the returning Solar Exalted (no, not Exalted of Lytek, but in the very cut throat political world of Yu-Shan, he is the one championing the Solars.)
    In return, AMBROSIA!!!!

    Then, as we are returning to creation, the real GodDESS of plot reveals her self to us, and she reveals the big show.

    Turns out the Magic Lytek Key is Legion's only true weakness. So, he made plans to get ahold of it so he knew where it was at all times.

    He also wanted Virtue (our first age selves capital city in the south) because there was Items/Information/Techniques hidden away down there that would let him sneak into Lookshy (or Deheleshin, as it was known in the good old days) and steal stuff. Don't know what kind of stuff, but it would be bad stuff for us.

    All in all, not a bad plan. And he would gotten away with it if it wasn't for us darn meddling kids!!

    We return to creation, and after a lot "Whattawegunnadoknow?" talking, including getting ahold of Rayden so he can put his two cents in (since he is a Visir, this is what he is supposed to do), we decide to head to Virtue.

    Looting around in Virtue, we find:
    1) a 1500- year old first age lunar, who is a little of base (aka Crazy, but she is sane in comparison to the rest of them) the was guarding the place. She was Shichirou's first age lunar mate and was... happy... to see him.
    2) a busted up and not functional Royal Warstrider powering the AI of the city (as best it can)
    3) Tallon's first age loot of goodies and something else, but damn if I can remember what it was... (hint hint)
    4) Mozan's old journals. Mozan was Erdrick's first age incarnation, and being an Aesthetic Monk had very few possessions, even his never ending supply of first age artifacts where only "his" because he needed them to conquer more of the Wyld and make creation bigger. So most of his stuff wound up lost during the usurpation.
    He did however, write his thoughts down (in Old Realm of course, and Erdrick doesn't have old realm) and in the 50 volume book set he kept his journals (he was a damn old Solar, of course, so all of his Journals are a rather extensive collection. So, I take them to get some insight.... as soon as I learn old realm.
    5) Shichirou and his first age mate got to "know" each other.
    6) not much else, other than some insight into the 1st age.

    We had to take off then, and leave the first age lunar there to continue guarding the place (and creation does not need yet another unstable first age lunar in there anyway, like the other 5). As soon as we deal with this Legion dude, maybe a vacation to Chiaroscuro will be in order. Maybe.

    We get back to Mezzo's town, and we have yet to decide what to do further, other than might have to ask Lytek for the key back.
    Last edited by Slade; 2010-01-31 at 04:59 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    We ran, with me doing a Neo as I grab Talon and Sybrus, who had their butts kicked royally by one of Mask of Winter's Midnight caste who was a master of Dark Messiah (which, by the way is way better than Solar Hero style).
    He beat them both down in one turn, IIRC. Likely because they're not as combat-specialized as we are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    Anywho, after running (and having Shichirou gaining more limit, dang Foolhardy Contempt) we decided to, of course, give back Lytek's key.
    Though now we'll have to ask him for it back, at least temporarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    Turns out the Magic Autochthon Key is Legion's only true weakness. So, he made plans to get ahold of it so he knew where it was at all times.
    Legion, as it turns out, wasn't a Green Sun Prince at all; he was a Solar akuma who managed to split up his soul. Thanks to an upgrade of that one minion spell, he can just keep throwing himself into new bodies. Also, that brute and the Adorjan chick? They were also Legion. The other thing about the key is that hitting one of the Yozis with it would allow a loophole to let that Yozi into Creation for a little while; long enough for some serious destruction, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    2) a busted up and not functional Royal Warstrider powering the AI of the city (as best it can)
    If my memory serves me, it was one that I commissioned to be built, but never got the chance to use, thanks to the Usurpation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slade View Post
    6) not much else, other than some insight into the 1st age.
    Like how my First Age incarnation invented the Solar version of Void Avatar Prana?

    Our characters also found out that Mask of Winters is hosting a Martial Arts tournament in one month. Shichirou, naturally, will be on it like white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm. He doesn't care about the prize ("immortality," probably through the Black Exaltation), but it's a chance to prove himself, and the Wyld Hunt won't be watching for him there, for a change.

    I intend on making some Combo that includes Heaven Thunder Hammer, and just win each match by knocking the opponent twenty yards out of the ring.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2010-02-06 at 05:15 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    I have no knowledge of Exalted but this is still a damn good read.

    Keep it up!!
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Oh, forgot to mention something... what did the Abyssals of Mask of Winters receive in exchange for the key? Activation codes for some unknown First Age magitech; quite potentially a very powerful ace in the hole.

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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Very cool.
    Did you guys start off with any additional charms or the like?
    Because you seem to be much more powerful than normal solars.
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    Default Re: After Thorns... [Exalted 2e campaign journal]

    Quote Originally Posted by wadledo View Post
    Very cool.
    Did you guys start off with any additional charms or the like?
    Because you seem to be much more powerful than normal solars.
    Err, I'm pretty sure we went by the guidelines for character creation in the core book, plus a few traits and flaws from Scroll of Heroes; for instance, Sybrus took Impotent, and Edrick has Permanent Caste Mark. Other than that, though, I don't see anything that might make us extra-powerful.

    On the other hand, we're currently at almost 60 experience; that might be a factor, there.

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