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  1. - Top - End - #511
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Zalm explains to Slang that the good news is that the Remora has a hold three-quarters full of valuable spices, but the bad news is that the merchant from whom they liberated said spices turned out to be Guild-affiliated, and the Guild notified the Realm's pirate-hunters of the potential threat, so the answer to "who's after us" is approximately "everyone"...

    Spoiler: OOC
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    By RAW, disguising the Remora with Skiff-to-Scow Method will require Slang to commit another 5m, since its duration is Indefinite, but they've already got a lot of essence invested in the Remora and in their artifact weapon, and the Remora is still more of a location than an actor in our game, so I'm inclined to say that for the purposes of this game, Skiff-to-Scow doesn't require further commitment, but does require that the ship it's used on be claimed with Ship-Claiming Stance. Is that okay with everybody?

    Despite the need to steer clear of the regular shipping lanes until the Remora is successfully disguised, the ship's living sails speed it along at a remarkable pace, and after less than a week at sea, the time has come for the Dari group and the Lap group to part ways. The Lap group also have decisions to make, since the Lap does not lie along the coast. Making port in Chalan - the seaside satrapy which handles the vast majority of the Lap's shipping - and traveling inland on foot or by ox-cart would delay their arrival in the Lap, but travel via Sky Titan or Thunderbird, while much faster, would... not be the subtlest means of transportation.

    Regardless of the Lap-bound Exalts' decision, Kelam makes certain to bid Brown Leaf a heartfelt farewell before their parting. She hugs her girlfriend tight, heedless of any onlookers.

    "Stay safe, pearl. We'll rescue Wic's friend just as quickly as we can, and as soon as we have, we're flying right to your side, love. I'll see you then, I promise."
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  2. - Top - End - #512
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Skymoth is all in favor of traveling in style. "What's the worst that could happen? Some angry monks? Feh, I'd like to see them try."
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  3. - Top - End - #513
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Pinching the bridge of their nose, Slang sighs. "At least the profits will be high."

    Signaling to the on-duty crew members, the Captain starts to delegate various tasks. "Blue, Kwal, and Zegel go to Coela and grab the old sails. I think if we can rig them up just right, it'll throw off anyone looking for a tree in the middle of the sea at a distance. Vis, double-check that there isn't any visible growth on the hull and deck." Slang and the crew work throughout the week tweaking the Remora's appearance.

    At one point, Blue suggests attaching the feathers the Captain had gathered to the canvas sails. "To make it look like we just have decorated sails and not a tree-mast." Some of the crew took to the idea full-heartedly, enjoying time up in the riggings and gossiping where Slang wouldn't hear them.

    Slang manages to keep the three most vibrant feathers from the project, and the day before they were to depart with Wic, they pull Zalm aside. "I don't know how long the situations at Dari and the Lap will take, so try not to get into too much trouble without me." Slang gives their first mate a gentle smack on the shoulder. "While I'm away, I was wondering if you could do me a favor, Zalm. They show Zalm the three feathers. Could you make these into a set of quills for me?
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  4. - Top - End - #514
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "I would prefer subtlety to speed." Tuoni says when presented with the two potential means of transportation. "If these unfortunate events are indeed the work of the Hortatum, whatever he is doing is not yet ready. I think we can afford to move slowly and quietly."

  5. - Top - End - #515
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Leaf nods in agreement with Tuoni. "We already fought a native force jes' tryin' t' protect their homeland from us. If'n we kin avoid stirrin' up trouble, I'm all fer it."

    At the parting, she lingers in Kelam's arms, her face pressed into her lover's collar. She hasn't quite prepared herself for this part of loving someone, being afraid to leave them. "Jarabi, I'll be safe. An' I'll hold ya t' yer promise but..." She feels the sting of hot tears at the corner of her eyes and hugs Kelam tighter. "You be safe too. Don't take Wic too seriously, stay close t' the cap'n, they know what they's about." She holds Kelam for a heartbeat, two, four, eight, and then stands on her toes for a kiss before turning and vaulting up the main-mast to help rigging. If she lingers any longer, she might never let Kelam go.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
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  6. - Top - End - #516
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Wirric takes a moment to say goodbye to his menagerie of summoned creatures, ruffling Briar and Camillia beneath their leafy maws, saluting the thunderbird and bowing to the diamond elemental. He can't help but feel attached to the beings he summons, and while he'd love to bring them with him into the heart of Dari, this mission calls for more discretion than his want. Instead he gives them a smile. "Fight well, you lot. You're in the best hands I know."

    That leaves one figure he needs to say some parting words to, with the more emotive goodbyes already having been given. Wic walks across the deck, before coughing awkwardly.

    "Tuoni?"

    He's not sure what to say. He's not even sure what the shaman thinks about him anymore. But they're circlemates, and have points in common beneath their many arguments. Wirric bows low, before closing his eyes and clasping his hands in prayer. "Stay safe. Voharun's wisdom and Nasamara's valor go with you, and may Taru Han's collectors pass you by."

  7. - Top - End - #517
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    The Parting:

    Zalm is momentarily surprised by Slang's request, but then gives their captain a wink.

    "I'll see what I can do."

    A tear pricks Kelam's eye as her girlfriend vaults away up the rigging. They've spent so much time together over the last couple of months, Brown Leaf's absence feels like missing part of herself. But this won't be long, she assures herself again. Just a simple rescue mission...

    The thunderbird... "Thunderbolt Smile," he has decided to call himself... mirrors Skymoth in scoffing at Leaf and Tuoni's notions of caution, but the Vaktri's crystalline voice provides another vote for subtlety. Wic's erstwhile entourage begins squabbling as the sorcerer prepares to depart, but in a companionable way, and either Briar or Camellia interrupts with a yip or a growl whenever one of the two (usually Smile) seems to be getting too worked up. And all four of the elementals reunify in waving Wic goodbye when he does fly away, Slang and Kelam in tow.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    pfm, if you'd like for Tuoni to respond to Wic's farewell, feel free to, I'm just continuing with the introductions of Dari and Chalan while I have enough free time to write them.

    Dari:

    The late afternoon Sun is sliding down the sky by the time Wic's stormwind approaches the broken shell of Dari. While the little tempest has flown as swiftly as usual, the ride has not been the easiest or most comfortable. The air currents have been unpredictable. Maybe just a quirk of the weather, or, perhaps... another omen? Either way, best to hurry.

    A partial dome of white Jade, what's left of the Shogunate's attempt to seal Dari away for all time, still looms above the city's Southwestern quarter, but as Wic and his allies fly in from the northeast, their view into the ruins is only obstructed by the mists which cling to the broken stumps of the city's opalescent towers.

    Wic knows those towers fell long before the dome fell, long before the Empress claimed the Sword of Creation. They fell...

    ...under the relentless barrage of Essence artillery. An upswelling of anger fills Wic's Terrible Bloody Rose's heart as she witnesses her city's desecration. The usurpers have brought their full strength against Dari, of course they have. Her city stands... or stood? No, stands for everything these ungrateful upstarts oppose. Out in the streets, her people fight and die in the service of order, of rationality, of hierarchy.

    Yet, though her people fight with their all... all those who would not have already been purged by Rose's command... she knows that today their fight is lost. As much as she is loath to admit it, the undeserving have, once again, risen in triumph over their rightful masters. But with a long view... the only logical view... while the battle may be lost, the war is far from over. Rose will not allow her Scepter and her dear husband's Orb to fall into the hands of the enemy, and as long as the holy artifacts endure, Dari will rise again...


    "She will rise again," Wic finds himself saying, as his thoughts come back to the present, come back to himself.

    Chalan:

    With Slang's disguise in place, transfiguring the Remora into an image of its former self, the tree-ship has made the voyage to Chalan unmolested. Unfortunately, however, as the Remora approaches the port of Chalan, gateway to the Lap, it becomes evident that the city burns. Thick plumes of smoke rise in several different locations, including the harbor itself, where the great grain storehouses which feed Realm garrisons throughout the South are now consumed by spreading fires.

    "Gods, that looks like a rightful mess," Zalm swears. They turn to their Exalted passengers with a quizzical look. "You lot still want to go ashore here?"
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  8. - Top - End - #518
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Her eyes locked on the burning city, Leaf answers Zalm. "Yeah, we're goin' inta that. Get me close 'nough, I'll look for survivors."
    Sorry for making things complicated!
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  9. - Top - End - #519
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Uuugh..."

    Wic returns, groggy. The flashes are getting more intense. That's... probably not a good thing. He'd work on a way to drown them out, but he hasn't the time and it might cost the group his knowledge of the city. As such he keeps the stormwind baring onwards, trying to pretend nothing had happened.

    Still, he can't help but stop as they grow closer to the ruined towers. Wirric looks up at them, starting to slow the hurricane to better appreciate the view. He can remember how it was, the majesty of a past time. As far as Dari has fallen now, to stand here is to stand in Rose's memory of Dari-That-Was. And that is humbling. "It was a beautiful city, once. I... dare actually say more beautiful than Whitewall. A place of peace, calm, contentment and serenity. Gardens of emerald and fountains sapphire blue. Everything was perfect. Everything was right."

    He looks to Slang and Kelam, a strange fire in his eyes. He wants to explain, to try and put some of those old ideas into words, so they can understand this place. "We're not creatures of chaos by nature, I think. All of us, we can chafe against the grain, but we like things to make sense. Who doesn't want to feel like they fit in? Like they have somewhere to belong?"

    He waves his hands at the crumbling skyline before them. "That's what Dari was. A place where everyone fit."

  10. - Top - End - #520
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    This is the second time Wic has mumbled some phrase since Dari of the Mist has been brought up, and Slang frowns as Wic come to himself again. They listen to his ramblings with increasing concern. The Tya shrugs noncommittedly as the sorcerer finishes talking.

    “Not sure that any single place could be that for every person, Wic. To be fair, the open water and my crew gave me that sense of belonging when I’ve needed it the most.”

    The light in Wirric’s eyes reminds Slang of another comment the Twilight said the last time they flew together.

    “Before we returned to the Remora, you said something about your exaltation turning on you. What did you mean by that?”
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  11. - Top - End - #521
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Quote Originally Posted by Malozing View Post
    This is the second time Wic has mumbled some phrase since Dari of the Mist has been brought up, and Slang frowns as Wic come to himself again. They listen to his ramblings with increasing concern. The Tya shrugs noncommittedly as the sorcerer finishes talking.

    “Not sure that any single place could be that for every person, Wic. To be fair, the open water and my crew gave me that sense of belonging when I’ve needed it the most.”
    "And that's the point! Even in isolation, people find their own places within a wider schema. The central shinmatic schema, the order cosmic of underlying principles. Like the water and Tya for you, or Leaf for Kelam. A framework to make sense of existence and give it purpose. Instead of creating and imposing a system, we work with what's already there, codify it, bring it into the glorious whole and people see how much happier that whole makes them. Order isn't there to be the enemy, it's there to support us, help us stand together and stand strong. That was the underlying concept of Dari's society. Hierarchy not as some feudal lord sitting on his throne - that's an ape's understanding, but a series of metasystems, self contained but positioned in the orbit of recurrent larger groups..."

    Wic looks like he could keep going on this theme for a while, but has started to realize just how esoteric he's sounding. The sorcerer chuckles. "You should really talk with Ocelot about it, Slang - he can explain it much better than I can. I tend to get too metaphysical"

    Quote Originally Posted by Malozing View Post
    The light in Wirric’s eyes reminds Slang of another comment the Twilight said the last time they flew together.

    “Before we returned to the Remora, you said something about your exaltation turning on you. What did you mean by that?”
    "It was... just a theory." Damn it, he can't worry them about this! But he can't lie. Wic tries to smile. "Something about this place is getting to me. I... guess with everything that's been going on, my mind's a little overstressed. Walking these streets, even just thinking back to what was... it's hard to draw a line between then and now. Isn't it?"

    He waves a hand across the splintered, mist-covered towers. "Remember, the people who ruled here were our predecessors. The same blessing the Unconquered Sun gave us, he first gave them. It's hard to avoid comparison, seeing their works and what came of them, for better or worse."
    Last edited by Inspector Valin; 2019-11-14 at 06:05 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #522
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Kelam isn't certain what's going on with Wic. The sorcerer hasn't quite seemed himself ever since the subject of Dari first came up. The subject of Dari, which first came up in a message only Wic could perceive...

    Kelam still trusts Wic, but she worries for him.

    She can see the appeal of the vision the Twilight outlines... after the turmoil and squalor of Wu-Jian's slums, peace and order would admittedly be welcome... but beyond what Slang voiced out loud, the tattoos and scars on their body are a palpable reminder of how difficult it is for some to find a place within an established order.

    "Should we get started searching for your friend? Drogath?"
    Kelam asks, hoping a reminder of their purpose will help Wic work through... whatever it is he's dealing with. "I can feel the death here. It would be best if we could find him before the sun sets."
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  13. - Top - End - #523
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "I suppose it's a good thing this Daru is already ruined," Tuoni harrumphed, "else I'd be worried." Still, he inclines his head at the invocations. "Walk with the one-eyed stag, you'll need his blessing to turn this trap."

    ----------------

    Standing on the shores of Chalan, Tuoni shivers in the sudden heat. Watching the flames is reminiscent of his brief time in the South's underworld, the smell and the screams a perfect match. "There should be people fighting the fires." Even in his tiny village, they had plans in place in case a fire broke out. How could a city of this size not? "I don't see them, though - where are they? What started this?"

  14. - Top - End - #524
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Quite right, Kelam. Unfortunately the kidnapper did not deign to have Drogath provide me with a meeting spot."

    Wic manages a rueful smile. Still, this has seemingly brought him back to reality, and he nods to Kelam and Slang. "I can take us through a tour of spots that were historically significant and well built. If someone chose Dari for a meeting, they've likely got a fairly secure location in mind, rather than a single crumbling ruin in the midst of it all. Perhaps the Plaza? Maybe the Palace or the Reception Hall?"

    Wic mutters to himself, starting to walk forward into the city proper. Here is where his newfound memories might come in handy... if they don't blind him to reality, at least.

  15. - Top - End - #525
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "That... is a lot of grain."

    Skymoth isn't really an expert on economics or agriculture, but even he knows that the Lap is famous for its farmland. This looks like the makings of a serious disaster.

    "I don't suppose any of you can control the weather or talk to flames or something? I don't think I can do much to put this out."
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  16. - Top - End - #526
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Chalan:

    As the disguised Remora draws nearer to Chalan's harbor, Tuoni's question as to why no one is fighting the fires is partly answered: an irregular hail of arrows wards the ship off from docking. As the archers rise piecemeal from behind dockside crates and barrels... a sort of impromptu barricade, you realize now, not simply the detritus of stevedores' labors... you can see that they each wear some piece of red cloth in a conspicuous location - headscarves, armbands, sashes - but they possess no other uniform, and their aim is wildly inconsistent. Still, Zalm swears and orders the Remora to veer away from shore.

    "You lot can probably knock those arrows out of the sky with your fists," they say to the Exalts, "but I can't say the same for my crew, or this ship. I especially don't want them to get any funny ideas about fire arrows. I can give you a boat to row ashore if that Stanton boy didn't leave you enough magic to reach land by yourselves, but I have to do what's best for the Remora, and right now, that's standing offshore."

    Dari:

    When the airborne Exalts touch down, and the miniature tempest of Wic's stormwind dies away, the clinging mists of Dari creep in around their ankles. At the outskirts of the city, ruined twice over by weapons of the First Age and picked over by the scavengers of the second, the patchy fog does nothing more than swirl about the visitors' feet as they walk. As Wic leads on toward the better-preserved sections of the city, however, the mists grow denser and rise higher. Wic, Slang, and Kelam begin to perceive a strange odor, subtle at first, but strengthening rapidly.

    The mists almost smell soothing... almost. An acrid scent cuts through their gentle perfume, and, rather than calmed, the explorers feel... numbed.

    "Uhn..."
    Kelam groans, and she sways slightly on her feet as a sudden wave of weariness comes over her. She pauses to lean against a still-standing wall, and as she does, her motion parts the mists for a moment... revealing a corpse in the loose robes of a desert nomad slumped at the base of the wall. A slack-jawed expression is frozen on the dead man's dessicated face.

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    Valin, Mal, give me a Stamina + Resistance roll, please.
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  17. - Top - End - #527
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "We didn't... we didn't come here to die that easily, did we?"

    Wic grits his teeth, looking down at the skull. He's felt like this before. A long road to nowhere, mist all around him. The heaviness starting to weigh him down. The sorcerer grimaces, grasping at his arm with his fingernails - he hadn't let that stop him last time, he won't let it do so now. He calls out, voice muted and tired, but unbroken.

    "Forward. Keep... keep going forward. Out of the fog."

    Spoiler
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    (4d10)[5][7][4][10](26) Stamina + Resistance + Stunt Dice. Add a WP for an autosuccess. Wic might botch this...

  18. - Top - End - #528
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf scans the shore as the Remora pulls away. "I'll do what I can. Best if'n we split up an' divide their fire. I don't think they's organized 'enough t' deal wit' three targets. I don't want nobody hurt unless we gotta." With that, she shed her robe-top, stripped her mail and stuffed it into a belt-bag, and dove into the water. As she fell, she filled her lungs with essence and air, her muscles primed for a swift swim. She would head for shore, staying underwater as much as possible to foil the defenders' aim.

    Spoiler: OOC & Rolls
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    I'm guessing this will be an athletics roll to swim to shore quickly while remaining underwater. Also activating Strength Increasing Exercise (6m) to bring her STR to 7.
    STR+ Athletics + Stunt + Excellency (1)
    (5d10)[4][8][8][7][3](30)
    (5d10)[7][3][10][1][3](24)
    (5d10)[2][6][2][6][1](17)
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    At the unfamiliar name, Slang tilts their head to the side, but Slang starts to piece together a small idea when Wic explains what he has been experiencing. However, the effects of the mists stop any further comment on that matter.

    Shaking their heads, Slang tries to clear their head and focuses on finding a way out of the mist. Their hand finds Kelam’s shoulder, and the Tya tugs the woman, coaxing her to follow.

    “Stay close.”

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Stamina 3 + Resistance 4 + Stunt 2 = 9 Dice (9d10)[1][9][5][9][6][2][7][6][7](52)
    Last edited by Malozing; 2019-11-18 at 07:22 PM.
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  20. - Top - End - #530
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Why would you..." Tuoni sighs. The whole point of separating the group had been to avoid getting entangled in things like this, and whichever group held the burning shore obviously didn't want their help. Nothing for it now, though.

    Tuoni turns to Zalm. "Go ahead and take the ship out - if we need you, can we signal with a light at night on the shore?"

  21. - Top - End - #531
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Dari:

    Wic, Slang, and Kelam press on through the mists as best they can, though they all feel the first effects of the city's now-poisoned breath. Despite the hazardous mist, it is obvious that many scavengers have searched the city before... obvious from the rubble clearly disturbed from its original resting place, obvious from the defaced mosaics and empty plinths, and obvious from the corpses intermittently visible through the fog.

    As the trio enter the city's grand plaza, Kelam's body goes rigid, and she warns Wic and Slang to stop.

    "There's a shadowland here,"
    she cautions.

    And suddenly Wic remembers. He... no, Terrible Bloody Rose ordered a final stand here as the usurpers closed in on the palace. She can still see the shattered remnants of the makeshift barricades they erected, their last-ditch efforts to delay the inevitable...

    She remembers his last-ditch efforts to delay the inevitable.

    "Ocelot..."


    He died here, Rose suddenly remembers. Her beloved died in this very plaza. He gave his life freely, buying her the time to... to do what had to be done.

    The mists briefly part, revealing what lies beyond the death-haunted plaza. The grand central palace of Dari, once a shimmering monument to the beauty of order and civility, is a gutted ruin, its twisted walls blossoming outward like a flower, torn open from within.

    And a surge of grim pride wells up in Rose's breast as she remembers the fruit of Ocelot's sacrifice. It was not only the deaths of Dari's defenders which irrevocably stained the Plaza with the essence of death. The usurpers did not escape Rose's rightful vengeance.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    So, the Plaza is a small shadowland, and the Palace is somewhat... exploded. Oh, and you're still surrounded by mist. Where would y'all like to search?


    Chalan:

    Zalm snorts a laugh.

    "Can you figure out a way to distinguish it from whatever fires the townspeople decide to light next?"

    They purse their lips.

    "We could definitely respond to any of your animas, but I don't know if you want to risk any other attention that might draw."
    Last edited by Ascension; 2019-11-18 at 10:00 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #532
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "I think we may have to risk it - we lack Wirric's magic or Slang's connection to the Remora. Either way, good luck and stay safe."

    Jean took a few steps back, and then surged forwards. With every step he felt his essence gather under him, with every swing of his arms the updraft grew. When he lept off the slide, it was like he had wings.

    Branches thick as a man's leg filled the air, turning the forest puddles and pools into a thousand broken mirrors. Too thick and too weak to hold most adults, they were the acknowledged home of the children of Linowa - Tuoni's were no exception. It made sparring with them infuriating.

    Tuoni stood in the center of a forest grove, staff held tightly in sweat-slicked hands. The girls had been training for barely a year now and already he was hard-pressed to keep up - their mother's blood ran strong in them, and with it they'd achieved feats he could barely dream of. Slowly he turned, eyes tracing the sky's reflection in the pools. There was a violent crack, and he twisted as a branch fell where he'd been standing and kicked up a splash of water. If it'd hit him, it probably would have broken his shoulder. It was a distraction.

    The girls came at him from behind, and he groaned as he was forced to pivot on his bad leg to avoid their first strikes. They were learning so fast, and he couldn't help but feel a spark of pride through the pain as they kept him turning, spinning around him like two little dervishes. Fighting back a smile, he let his knee buckle and Kyllikki, always more reckless than her sister, fell for the trap. His leg swept out but Lovi was already there, and his shin slammed into the ironwood of her own staff with bruising force. The two of them had him now, and they both knew it. They closed in, and Tuoni lept. Up and up, the crane-style form they'd only learned last week carrying him over both their strikes and back into the center of the glade. Age and treachery might just win the day yet...


    Leaping off the Remora with the wind in his hair, Tuoni soared through the air on currents of essence and made it halfway to the harbor in a single bound. Fortunately for his clothes, halfway to the harbor was also the swimming Brown Leaf. For barely a heartbeat he was balanced on the woman's broad-shouldered back before he lept back into the air with an echoing chuckle.

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    Using Wings Spread to Sky for 4m

  23. - Top - End - #533
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Death. Kelam's warning gets a shudder from Wirric. He glances behind the Abyssal, up at the great structure rising on the other side of the plaza. It might just be him, but the sight of Dari's ruined palace reminds him of one of the first images of the Celestial Lotus he can recall. Dari's tombstone representing the ascendance of the individual soul through self mastery. He can feel some faint pride Rose would've taken with that allegory.

    "It's also our best way out of the mists. I'm not fond of treading the borders of life and death, but if this is our option..."

    Unless Kelam has an objection, Wic presses on up to the shattered barricades, using Lusus for support as he slowly makes his way across the shattered barricades, turning to offer Slang and Kelam a hand in clambering over the rubble. The Solar takes a second to glance around the devastated grand plaza, taking in the bones and faded blood of yesteryear. Rose never saw this fight, but Wic's mind is sharp enough to redraw the strokes of Dari's final stand. The Dragon Blooded broke through here, the defenders formed up with their backs to the fountain, a terrestrial's blow ruining the ornamental statue at its centre.

    The problem helps Wic recoup his spirits a little - it's a chance to get his mind off Drogath and focus on a problem. But there's one key part of the picture that might be the most relevant of all. One defender whose fate mattered to Rose.

    Ocelot

    Spoiler
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    (9d10)[64] Perception + Investigation + Stunt - Penalty for a Case Scene action to determine exactly where on the battlefield Ocelot fell and how. Busting out Crafty Observation Method through Personal for 2 autosux and doubled 9s, and 2m of Excellency from Peripheral - it also lessens the time needed to 'a handful of seconds' and broadens Case Scene enough to make sure Wic can recostruct something like this. He just sherlock scanned the plaza basically.

  24. - Top - End - #534
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Skymoth sighs and purses his lips as Tuoni and Brown Leaf jump overboard. As a warrior, his instinct is to run toward a fight -- but the slaughter of the Brides still weighs heavily on him. Things were so much simpler when he could just fight whoever was in front of him and trust the gods to sort it all out.

    The ship rocks as it turns, a tya sailor moves past with a sail line, and Skymoth is gone in a nearly silent splash. Under the water, a rainbow-green hookfish sprints toward the shore. It's perhaps three feet long, and Skymoth is briefly distracted as the flex of his scale-covered muscle makes him think back to how tasty that fish was. It's a slightly unsettling thought.
    Avatar by araveugnitsuga.

  25. - Top - End - #535
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Maybe they would have brought Drograth into the shadowland. Trying to have as much advantage over us as possible."

    Slang squeezes Kelam's shoulder. "Sorry."

    They take Wic's offered hand and continues forward. Eyes searching for any signs of people or trouble.

    Spoiler: ooc
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    Perception 3 + Awareness 4 + Stunt 2 - Penalty 1 = 8 Dice (8d10)[9][5][1][7][7][10][4][4](47)
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  26. - Top - End - #536
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    With the sun still in the sky, and the ruins already void of life, the transition into the shadowland is a subtle one. The Exalts can feel the shift in the Plaza's essence, but a mortal explorer might cross the boundary with no more warning than a brief chill. There is one other difference, however: where elsewhere in the ruins, the trio encountered dessicated bodies, here in the Plaza, there are only empty suits of armor, many of them, speckled with blood and rust, but conspicuously missing their former occupants.

    As Wic, Slang, and Kelam scrabble over another broken barricade, they suddenly hear a scratching sound. The gauntlet of a suit of antique plate armor has come detached... and come alive. It scrabbles across the ground, spider-like, though it lets one of its fingers drag stiffly behind it.

    "Wait!" Kelam says before anyone thinks to attack the animated gauntlet, "Look!"

    She waves away the mist, revealing that the gauntlet is, in fact, writing a message in the dust layered atop the Plaza's tile, writing in shaky High Realm characters...

    "You were told to come alone."
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    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  27. - Top - End - #537
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Yes. Come alone, to a dead city on the borders of the Underworld, full of scavengers, crumbling ruins and poisoned mist! What could befall me on such a trip?!"

    Wic laughs up at the sky. After so much death and misery, this little puppeteer act is almost quaint to the sorcerer. He bows, smiling at a point in the mid distence he fancies their foes to be watching from.

    "I brought only two close friends. Not the Wyld Hunt. Nor my Elementals. I came to talk, not to start a fight but neither to give you an easy ambush target. If I was that stupid, would I really be worth your time?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    is my last roll paused while this plays out or is the Gauntlet linked? ^^

    Also, Instil to try and get a minor intimacy of Forivas/Wic (charming) Late so apologies if my math's off. This should just be HPM, TDS and a free 1m Excellency

    (15d10)[4][9][9][4][4][9][3][8][3][8][5][6][1][4][6](83)

  28. - Top - End - #538
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Dari:

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Sorry I forgot your Case Scene action, Valin!

    The animate hand is fortunate that Wic is in any mood to be civil, as it has distracted him on the threshold of an important realization... on the threshold of a sacred spot. There... just a few feet beyond the gauntlet's scrawlings... there where the next line of barricades is smashed to splinters, where the tile itself was shattered and broken, not by artillery fire or the blast of Rose's ultimate weapon, but by the fury of the hand-to-hand fighting... there Shining Ocelot fell, his body struggling to heal around the jade spears thrust into his flesh, the barrel of his moonsilver devil caster glowing so hot from repeated firing that it left a molten imprint in the tile when it spun out of his hand for the last time.

    Ocelot was more administrator than warrior, but it still cost a full Sworn Kinship of Dragons their lives to bring him down. Yet, the Dragons could afford to pay such a cost. They could spawn more champions simply by procreating. But would there ever be a man such as Shining Ocelot again?

    He...

    "Wic!"
    Kelam says, with volume and intensity enough to suggest that this isn't the first time she's said his name, belatedly stirring the sorcerer from his reverie. "The gauntlet is writing again."

    "If you wish to talk," the puppet glove has written, "enter the necropolis."

    Forging on into Dari's underworld does not seem like a particularly inviting prospect, but the trio of explorers can't linger in the poisoned mists much longer without some respite... not while the fog's numbing touch keeps gnawing at their souls.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Everyone loses another 1 Willpower, and must make another Stamina+Resistance check.

    Chalan:

    Brown Leaf:

    Swimming powerfully, never surfacing long enough for the poorly organized archers to get off a clean shot, Brown Leaf reaches the shore without trouble. She emerges from the water in front of a teenage boy, who seems instantly caught between terror, bewilderment, and a rapidly blossoming crush.

    "W-where are you from?" he challenges her, in a shaky voice. "Are you from one of the H-Houses?"

    Tuoni:

    Tuoni's second leap brings him to shore some twenty feet away from Brown Leaf's point of emergence. After his obviously supernatural flight, the nearest archers back away in awe.

    "When did 'macculate monks start wearing masks?!" one of them blurts out.

    Skymoth:

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'm going to roll some Perception to see if anybody on shore noticed Skymoth's transformation. Could you give me a Dex+Stealth roll, Eurus?
    Spoiler: Roll
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    (5d10)[9][10][3][8][10](40)
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    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  29. - Top - End - #539
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Chalan:

    One archer's eyes widen. By some stroke of luck, she caught a glimpse of something she wasn't meant to see, something which suggests an even worse turn of events than a landing by Immaculate monks or agents of the Great Houses of the Scarlet Dynasty.

    "ANATHEMA!" she shouts, pointing down at the water, down where the fish who was, until a moment ago, a man dove into the sea.

    The archers facing Brown Leaf and Tuoni tense up, their minds abuzz with fears and doubts.
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    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  30. - Top - End - #540
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf takes a deep breath, wipes water from her face, wrings out her undershirt and then answers the boy. "Naw, big man. We jes was comin' in t' head t' The Lap. I'm from Harborhead. You from here?" She points to the barricades, and the burning buildings beyond. "Why's a big man like you here shootin' innocent travelers? Why ain't you carryin' water or stampin' burnin' thatch?" She flexed out her shoulders and pectorals as she spoke, both to shake some water clear, and to keep the youth friendly. She'd noticed Kelam always seemed distracted when she did those particular movements.

    Spoiler: OOC & Rolls
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    Brown Leaf is trying to get the teenager on her side without giving anything away beyond the obvious. She is targeting his burgeoning intimacy and trying to strengthen it, in hopes that he'll advocate for her with the locals. CHA + Presence + TDS + Stunt
    (3d10)[8][7][10](25)
    (3d10)[10][9][1](20)
    (3d10)[9][9][9](27)
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

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