Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 8 of 22 FirstFirst 123456789101112131415161718 ... LastLast
Results 211 to 240 of 657
  1. - Top - End - #211
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Somewhere on the trail
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    With the monks speaking up about Leaf’s absence, Slang couldn’t help but feel a nervousness. The Tya found these young monks could easily be compared to Remora’s crew. Slang shakes their head to clear the thought from their mind and steps forward, placing a steadying hand on Leaf’s shoulder.

    “Either way, Leaf did best she could to set up everything to protect you all before leaving when she was called away,” Slang says. “She may have hoped it was enough, but sometimes, life doesn’t always go as planned.”

    “You choosing to learn to defend yourselves and your homes is a good thing, but like Wind and Tuoni have said, it is best not to tangle with a Hunt at this point and have unnecessary deaths. How we’ll manage that really should wait until we’ve had some rest. We rushed here as soon as Leaf told us what she heard.”

    Slang squeezes Leaf’s shoulder as they lean in closer to whisper into her ear.

    “Rest and clear your head. Your home might have changed while you were gone, but the people are still the same people who you grew up with. We need to find the best way to protect your people.”

    With their piece said, Slang's mind wanders back to the Remora with slight anxiety.
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  2. - Top - End - #212
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Wind's words might as well have been grains of sand against a mud-brick wall, enough of them thrown with enough force over years might have an effect, but the villagers' words shattered Leaf's resolve like a sudden earthquake. How appropriate, then, that Captain's Slang's encouragement began mending the damage almost as soon as it had been inflicted. They were right, she had done everything she could think of for her people before leaving. It had not been enough, but that just meant she had to think deeper and try harder.

    "I'm sorry I was gone fer so long, but the valley-folk've been strong since long a'fore this temple were built, an' it didn't need no savior before me. I...I can't be what y' want me t' be. Ya'll know me, known me since before I was crawlin', an' I ain't any different now. This valley..."

    She gestured around at the high clouded mountains, the sand gleaming in the sun and the distant strings of smoke from the waking villages.

    "This is...all it needs t' be. Wind, you don't get that. You want a world without dragons...I want a world like this, stable. It...it needs stewards, folk who know their purpose is t' serve the people an' the spirits an' the land, an' while I'd love t' be that person...I can't...not any more. I seen too much, I tasted the air outside an' I know I can't sit by no more. I can't do that if'n I'm always worried 'bout some great power gettin' it inta their mind t' come here an' wreck the place. I ain't no grand-master, I can't take on disciples an' teach 'em t' fight like me. I'm...I'm jes' a simple country monk, it's all I'll ever be. I need t' know that nobody's got a reason t' come here, an' before that were jes fear'a somebody lookin' t' ride in here an' rule it...but now I'm scared'a somebody comin' in an' changin' things usin' me. If you leave here, now, yer takin' my peace'a mind with you."

    She reached up, squeezed Slang's hand in gratitude, then leaned into Wind's shadow, staring up at him. "You ain't runnin' off an' leavin' the consequences'a yer problems again. Didja know that after Kidale, the Realm killed some boy what looked like him? Staked 'im up an' a dozen others. They don't need you here t' persecute my people, an' we can't let 'em investigate. You leave with yer trappings, an' what? Them Immaculate 'nathema hunters won't notice a couple dozen villagers with fightin' injuries an' shaved heads? You take 'em with you, an' they see a lotta empty houses an' beds, then burn down the villages t' root out any survivin' cultists? What else? They go t' see Lou Kahn or any'a her client-gods, an they hear-tell 'bout two, two golden Immaculate monks who lived here an' worked with the villagers? Naw. You dug yersself in too deep. Yer seein' this through, an then yer goin back t' Jasara t' apologize. Yer gonna do that, or we's gonna have a problem, y'hear?"

    Spoiler: OOC & Rolls
    Show
    I think Leaf is going to take some Limit from that rebuke. It stung pretty hard.
    (3d10)[7][2][5](14)
    Last edited by Sticks; 2019-06-23 at 10:58 PM.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  3. - Top - End - #213
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Wind looks troubled when Leaf recounts the public executions in Chiaroscuro, but when she's finished saying her piece he shakes his head, incredulous.

    "You say, 'We can't let them investigate,'"
    he echoes, "but how in Creation do you intend to stop them? Defeat them before they reach the valley, send them running? They would only come back in greater force, and if you can't stay here and won't let me stay, then someone would end up suffering their retaliation without even the hope of Exalted assistance.

    "Presently, we could still eliminate all hard evidence of 'Anathema' presence here. They might still compel the truth from a villager or from Lou-Khan, but we would at least have a chance to allay their suspicions. If you were to attack them, though, you would remove all doubt."


    He takes on a pleading tone, desperate for Leaf to see reason.

    "Please don't let nostalgia overwhelm your judgment. Were it achievable, your ideal of stasis might be fine for a place like this, remote, rural, and possessed of few of the resources the Realm hungers for, but I doubt the slaves at the Bent Creek mines would cherish your fear of change. Nor the Djala freed by Kidale and Faka Kun."


    He lets out a heavy sigh.

    "But I suspect your friend is right. We can all approach this with clearer heads when you have had time to rest and I've had time to process this news. It's likely pointless to keep going on like this."


    Kelam drifts to Leaf's side.

    "Don't let him get under your skin,"
    she whispers. "Everyone's emotions are running high, and I think everyone's a little overwhelmed at the moment. Take this breather, talk to me. We will find an answer, okay?"
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  4. - Top - End - #214
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf's first impulse was to keep the argument going...but she could see that would go nowhere. If she wanted the people of the valley to understand...whatever it was she was trying to make them understand, she'd figure that out later...then she would guide them by example.

    "Kelam's right, we got time before the Immaculates an' Brides get here, they'll haveta ride or walk, an' it ain't a short journey. I'm goin' inta the valley. Sand-creek's millstone prolly needs replacin' since I left, might see if'n I kin help."

    With that, Brown Leaf turned on her heel and walked out of the monastery, headed into the hills and fields of her homeland, and whatever work waited there. At no point did rest cross her mind.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  5. - Top - End - #215
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Kelam follows Brown Leaf out of the monastery. Even with her longer stride, she has to hurry to keep pace with her determined girlfriend.

    "Leaf! Pearl... Please... wait. Slow down. It's been a full day since we've slept. I know how much it means to you to help your people, but you won't help anyone by exhausting yourself."


    She puts her hand on Leaf's shoulder, not restraining her, but simply making contact.

    "Don't they deserve to have you at your very best?"
    she asks softly.
    Last edited by Ascension; 2019-06-24 at 02:14 PM.
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  6. - Top - End - #216
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Leaf did stop, but did not turn back.

    "I can't, jarabi. I can't rest now. You heard 'em, I di'int leave 'em prepared enough. They think I shouldn'tve left at all. I ain't...I ain't what he's convinced 'em I oughtta be." She spat the pronoun as though it tasted bitter. "I been gone two years, an' in that time they been needin' somebody t' look after 'em. I shoulda known I couldn't trust 'em t' Lou Kahn, hell, that's what the damn Order's about. We put spirits in their place an' make sure they don't take advantage'a folk...DAMN IT!"

    Brown Leaf stomped a foot in frustration, stirring up a cloud of sand and causing a tile to fall off the compound wall's roof. She turned to look at it dejectedly. "...I shoulda known...I'm better at breakin' stuff than fixin' it, always have been. I broke that tile, this place's harmony, givin' 'em a taste'a what the Sun's power kin do, made 'em want more of it. Maybe if'n I'd been better at not breakin' stuff...Sifu wouldn't've left..." She trailed off despondently.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  7. - Top - End - #217
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Kelam wraps both her arms around Brown Leaf, hugging her tightly.

    "Pearl, no... You can't blame yourself for the actions of others. Not your sifu, not Lou-Khan... not Wind or anyone in the villages. They're all their own people... they all made their own decisions."


    'And you did, as well, when you pledged yourself to my service,'
    the dark whisper within reminds her, but Kelam is undeterred. 'I know,' she mentally acknowledges.

    "And all of us are limited to the gifts that we've been given. If you want to talk about breaking things..."


    Kelam takes Leaf's hand and guides it to her forehead, where the bleeding brand of the Dusk Caste sleeps just beneath the cool surface of her skin.

    "I've been consecrated by the Void to murder the world. And I can't just set my nature aside. But you and Lupo taught me that I have the ability... the responsibility... to use my talents, as best I can, to do what good I can. Please hear that word... we do what we can. None of us can fix everything. None of us... individually... can do everything for everyone. We just try to do our best. That's all any of us can ask of anyone."


    She lowers her head, touching her forehead to Leaf's, and looks her girlfriend in the eyes.

    "We're here for you; Slang and Tuoni and Wic and I are all here for you, and we're going to help you and your people as best we can, but if anything goes wrong... It's not your fault. You didn't make this happen, you never asked for this. You're not callous, you're not indifferent, you're here and you're fighting for your beliefs, and that's all anyone can ask of you. Do you hear me, Pearl?"
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  8. - Top - End - #218
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf embraced Kelam in return. She hadn't realized how badly she needed this support, how long she had been going without it. She hugged her girlfriend tight, taking comfort in her presence.Kelam's long hair fell over her face and she breathed in its scent, still carrying a bit of fragrance from the bath-house. She remembered the words of the goddess inhabiting those springs, her jealous scorn for Alhat...and something niggled at the back of her mind.

    "Yer right, love. I'm sorry I'm bein' dumb 'bout this. None of us was lookin' fer our Exaltations, but they came t' us by many roads. Now they's ours to do with as we see fit...an yer doin' so well! Look at you, yer not hidin' from yersself no more, yer thinkin' bout today an' tomorrow. An...if I'm bein' unfair t'you, askin' you t' deny yer nature, jes...shake me outta it like yer doin' now. I ain't gonna surpress you, I don't believe you gotta do evil t' use yer power...not any more. I guess I oughtta look at my reflection when I say that too..."

    She stepped back, shifting her hand to rest in Kelam's. She ran her thumb along the line of callouses that came from wielding a sword, the one rough part of Kelam's smooth fair skin. Again, the thought niggled.

    "Y'know, Wind's problem is that he seems t' think that havin' one means yer' automatically good, an' bein' a Dragonblood makes ya bad...he's wrong there, but he ain't wrong 'bout everythin'. That's what makes it hard t' argue with him. Yeah, a good Dynast is hard t' find, but they ain't all bad, an' outta all the Celestial Exalts we met, ain't a one'a them what wasn't complicated. Wind's tryin' t' make the world uncomplicated, good an' bad...an' I guess I'm tryin' t' do that too, makin' this valley a perfect little slice'a paradise...I jes' wanted t' show you where I came from, how nice it can be, but...things change. I gotta accept that. Places, times...people...I gotta accept that."

    Brown Leaf did feel as though she had just left some small burden behind, but that only allowed her to become aware of other burdens she had been ignoring. "Yer right though...I'm dead-tired. Let's see if'n my old cell is available...Dragons...I hope they di'int turn it into no shrine or somethin' stupid."

    She would rest first, then attend to those thoughts on the edge of her tired mind.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  9. - Top - End - #219
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Somewhere on the trail
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    As Leaf walks out of the complex, Slang grumbles under their breath. “That isn’t what I said Leaf.”

    However, they didn’t go after their circle mate. Kelam could take care of her girlfriend on her own. The two women balance each other out well. Slang turns to Wind and eyes him up briefly.

    “Sorry about being gruff with you earlier. Being tired and seeing that one—” the Tya gestures to the monk still sitting on the ground. “with an untended injury didn’t help with anyone’s first impressions. Jasara does think highly of you, and I should have remembered that. She misses you and the others.”

    Slang offers Wind a hand to shake.

    “I would ask Leaf, but seeing as she walked off, could you direct us to some rooms we could use?”
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  10. - Top - End - #220
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    pfm1995's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    USA

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Tuoni snorted behind his mask, but couldn't deny that sleep would be a welcome respite. "Perhaps a better solution will present itself - I see none now. Whatever the path, a conversation with this Lou-Khan seems inevitable - I would like to be there when it happens."

    So saying, Tuoni took his leave of them with a nod of thanks to the injured monk and went to find a nice patch of shade.

  11. - Top - End - #221
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Slang:

    "I miss her as well," Wind says to Slang, sighing. Though he's better rested, it's obvious that the confrontation with Brown Leaf - along with the dire news she delivered - took a lot out of him. He'll benefit from this respite as well.

    "There are plenty of rooms unoccupied, but they may be dustier than you'd prefer. Even with all of us cleaning regularly, I don't have enough followers to really keep up a monastery this size. Some things get neglected. But let me show you what you have to choose from..."

    Tuoni:

    With the Sun still low in the Eastern sky, there's plenty of shade to be found. Before Tuoni can drift off to sleep, however, it becomes clear that a handful of the youngest monks, along with a couple of the villagers Wind said were here as interested observers, have followed him from the courtyard.

    A boy breaks off from the group and dares to walk closer. He waves a hand in front of his face, miming putting on a mask.

    "Sir... Do you speak for a god?" he asks, in slightly awkward Low Realm. "Does your god have no face?"

    Leaf:

    Returning to the monastery, Leaf and Kelam find Leaf's cell almost exactly as she left it. A simple beaten bronze Sun disc has been nailed to the door, and the patina of dust within is thin enough to suggest that someone has done some basic cleaning at least once since Wind occupied the monastery, but nothing within has been moved, removed, or added.

    A monk's cot is purposefully not made for two, but Kelam refuses to leave Leaf's side, and the women make the best of the situation. Despite the conditions, and the turmoil of their minds, sleep comes.

    But before the couple's slumber has run its full, natural course, a soft but persistent knocking pulls them out of their dreams. Kelam's body stiffens, and she reaches for her sword. Someone is at the door.

    Wic:

    Drawing an Elemental into existence, shaping the raw Essence of Creation into a living expression of its power, is no small task, but as Wic's circle-mates catch up on sleep, his spell nears completion...
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  12. - Top - End - #222
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf stretched and looked about. It couldn't have been more than a few hours, and that more-than-a-nap-less-than-a-night sleep lurked beneath her eyelids and leadened her arms and legs. Even so, she forced herself up, met Kelam's eye and crossed to the door. She pinched the bridge of her nose between thumb and forefinger, kneading slightly at the inner-corners of her eyes to clear any sleep-dust. Then she slapped herself lightly on the cheek, blinked, and opened the door.

    "Yeah?"
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  13. - Top - End - #223
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    The woman at the door falls to her knees the moment she lays eyes on Brown Leaf.

    "Oh, it is you! You have come back to us!"

    Leaf recognizes her. Of course she does. Even if Leaf weren't blessed with a phenomenally good memory, you become rather intimately acquainted with a person when you've helped deliver their baby. Which means that the toddler peeking out from behind her mother is... another little Brown Leaf. My, that child has grown.

    The mother, Kunda, is not garbed as a monk, but a religious fervor shines in her eyes as she looks up at Leaf.

    "I'm so sorry to disturb you... They told me you were resting, but... I couldn't wait. I had to see for myself that our prayers had been answered. I knew you would hear us! When that foreign man came around with his fancy talk, I said 'No, who could trust a man like that?' but I always knew we could trust you."
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  14. - Top - End - #224
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf crouched down, frowned slightly as her foggy head also threw her a brief bout of dizziness, then focused.

    "Kunda! Hey, no no, git up, please. I...I di'in't realize I'd be missed so bad. Um...come in! We was...we was just gettin' up anyway."

    She wasn't comfortable throwing out the lie, but figured the woman was so overcome it would pass without notice. Her eyes fell on the little girl.

    "Hey, I know you. We met once, long time back, you pro'lly won't remember 'cause you was still gettin' used t' breathin' an' seein' stuff." She switched positions from her crouch to a less intimidating posture, on her knees and slightly bent, to be on the toddler's level. "I'm Brown Leaf. I grew up here." She pointed around to the walls of the temple dormitories, smiling at the child. "Yer mama an' I grew up seein' each other a lot. I lived here, an' she lived in the same village you was born in."

    She leaned against the smooth, dusty wood of the door and pushed it further ajar with her shoulder, so Kelam could see and be seen. "This is Kelam. She's very important t' me..." She paused as the little girl darted behind her mother, then laughed. "Don' worry none, she don't bite."

    Leaf turned and smiled back at Kelam, then stood and walked back to the cot, where she sat, leaving the lone chair for Kunda.

    "Please, Kunda, come in' an' tell me how things've been since I left. I feel like I been gone fer a lifetime."
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  15. - Top - End - #225
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Heel! Heel, I say!"

    Wirric snarls at the swirling maelstrom of essence that's started to take form in the circle he marked out upon the floor. The still forming cloud being lets out a caw, accompanied by a crack of thunder as it attempts to disincorporate, the essence of air longing to spread free across the sky. On another day, Wic may well have found such a display of will charming. Today however, the sorcerer's patience has grown thin. He raises Lusus up, the wolf's golden eyes glinting as the half-circle mark upon Wirric's brow begins to glow. The sorcerer starts to hiss at the proto-elemental, glaring at the spot where its eyes might be, his breath growing short.

    "I am a Prince of Creation. A master of sorcery. You exist by my hand, and take shape... by my will. Do not test me."

    The runes that make up the circle glow as the light of the Monster Maker's anima intensifies. The storm begins to subside, the shape of a bird beginning to emerge. By will and essence, Wirric has imposed form upon this creature. Even at the edge of consciousness, a Solar can not be so easily denied.

    Spoiler
    Show
    (19d10)[7][7][6][4][6][8][3][7][2][2][10][6][5][9][3][5][8][9][4](111)Int + Occult + Excellency - 1
    (2d10)[7][4](11) Stunt Dice

  16. - Top - End - #226
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    pfm1995's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    USA

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Tuoni looks up at the child, his hands clasped over his chest. "I speak and have spoken for many gods." He answered. "But never for the god of this mask, if it still exists. The mask is my elder by centuries, perhaps its face has been word down by the tread of years, or perhaps it never had one. Perhaps it just forgot." The child's insinuation roiled a small part of the shaman's stomach. If a god really did see the world through Tuoni's mask, it would know him more intimately than even his wife - by now it was more his face than the tattered skin and bone beneath it. The idea of sharing that face with another... didn't appeal. Not that he had any reason to suspect that; in the decade since he'd found his mask underneath an overturned fir tree the only thing Tuoni had learned for certain was that it kept its secrets close but it did seem above the petty politicking of the gods. More than that, the mask was his in a way that was tough to define - it acted on his will, and not before.

    "Why do you ask?" he asked, returning to the present. "Is there a god you need to speak to?"

  17. - Top - End - #227
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Wic:

    After the storm, the rainbow. The sunlight of Wirric's rising anima cracks the nascent thunderbird's cloud-shell, and prismatic radiance spills forth, solidifying as a coat of iridescent feathers. A last stroke of lightning etches the storm-bird's beak, a last boom of thunder serves as its birth cry. Its claws strike Wic's summoning circle as hail, cold and dagger sharp.

    The thunderbird draws itself up to its full height, as tall as a man; a moment later, he is a man, his beak a mask pushed back from his face, his wings a feathered cloak draped over his shoulders. His eyes flash defiantly, but his materialization is complete; Wic has already won this clash of wills.

    "What may I do for thee? Whom may I war upon?" he asks, in an archaic form of Skytongue, his voice a musical lilt, yet dripping with a ready bloodlust.

    Everyone Else:
    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I should already not be awake, as you, Sticks, will remind me when you see what time I posted this, so Brown Leaf's update is going to have to wait for later. EDIT: That goes double for Tuoni, because I didn't even notice pfm's post until after I hit send on this one.
    Last edited by Ascension; 2019-06-27 at 12:44 AM.
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  18. - Top - End - #228
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Leaf:

    Kunda looks at Kelam with confusion and suspicion. The groggy deathknight does not smile, simply nodding her greetings. The sight of her canine teeth might cast Leaf's 'she don't bite' claim into doubt.

    Leaf's question mercifully draws Kunda's attention back to her Solar kinswoman. The woman enters the cell, gently pulling her child behind her, but she ignores the chair, instead kneeling on the floor at the foot of Leaf's cot. Kelam shows some concern at the woman's submissiveness, but she chooses to let Leaf deal with the situation. She steps back from the scene, withdrawing into a shaded corner of the small room.

    "Times has been lean since you moved on, ma'am," Kunda answers Leaf. "We ain't had anything like the... like the sandstorm what you fought, but... that mister Thousand Grains got errybody used t' havin' a helpin' hand, I s'pose. We had a hard time rememberin' how to do how we did back in the ol' days, before there was any monastery here."

    She bows down, presses her forehead to the floor.

    "I'm sorry if'n we didn't live up to your expecations."

    She sits back up, but keeps her eyes lowered.

    "An' then Wind came along, an' he's nice enough, an' he's plenty strong, but... he ain't you. He doesn't have this valley in his bones."

    Tuoni:

    The boy looks thoughtful.

    "Perhaps it is you we should speak with."

    He gestures his friends closer, exchanging a few brief words with them in Flametongue. They come and sit in a loose circle around Tuoni.

    When all the children are settled in, the boy acting as their spokesperson asks, "You are... Exalted?" and taps his forehead where a Celestial caste mark would form. "Chosen, like Wind?"

    He screws up his face in thought, trying to work out how to ask the nebulous question shifting through his mind.

    "The gods you speak with... Do you speak to them like a monk? Tell them to... keep their place? Or do you speak to them like a... a..."

    He frowns, he doesn't have the right word in Low Realm. He says something in Flametongue, then repeats it, taking special care with the enunciation.

    "I am sorry, I do not know how to say it in your speech. But do you... With your power, do you respect the gods?"
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  19. - Top - End - #229
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf barely registered what Kunda said, how could she, when the woman she had known for years was kneeling at her feet. Still, she heard enough to follow along.

    "Kunda that's...please, don't do that."

    Leaf looked at Kelam, meeting her lover's eyes. Confusion, sadness, it was all written plainly on Brown Leaf's guileless face. She slid to the floor, landing softly on her knees, facing Kunda. She raised both hands and placed them on either side of the other woman's face. With a soft, trembling voice, she spoke.

    "Kunda...It's just me. I'm still jes' Leaf. Yer mama told you t' call me 'Acolyte Leaf', 'member?That were before she caught us sneakin' striderberries outta the baskets. Me an' you an' Pear Blossom. She said you shoulda known better 'cause yer older, an' we monks oughtta be ashamed fer stealin'. 'Member how we all had t' gather more berries, after dark? Sifu stayed up watchin', t' make sure we did what we was told. Thems were still the best striderberries we ever done ate, right?"

    She gently raised Kunda's face to meet her gaze. "Kunda...I'm sorry I di'in't live up t' yer expectations. I ain't sure what people 'been sayin' 'bout me since I left but...I'm still that girl I'm jes...stronger, is all. I'm sorry I weren't here t' help bring in the harvest, or t' help in other ways but...I had t' go. Please...can ya look me in the eye? I'm still...jes...Leaf."

    Spoiler: OOC & Rolls
    Show
    Okay, Leaf is making a social influence roll here. It's funny because she's once again going to use her Charisma and Presence, but in this case to convince somebody she's not awe-inspiring and a big honking deal.
    So that is Charisma + Presence + TDS + Excellency (3) + Stunt, throwing in a Willpower for an auto-success.
    (3d10)[2][5][10](17)
    (3d10)[7][9][5](21)
    (3d10)[4][8][8](20)
    (3d10)[3][8][1](12)
    +1 Success
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  20. - Top - End - #230
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    The question actually takes Wic aback somewhat. The sorcerer spends a second, considering the Thunderbird's words before turning back to the shimmering creature with a smile. "You will have your choice, my friend. I have many wars to fight. But before I can begin..."

    He places a hand across his chest. "I must safeguard one close to my heart."

    Such is the truth. The vague ideas that are beginning to form in Wirric's head can not begin with that girl lost and alone in the cold. Bring her to safety. Bring her to him. Then this growing plan can reach its next stage. He looks solemnly at the Thunderbird, meeting his creation's gaze. "My daughter is lost. I believe her to be stranded upon an iceberg in the White Sea. She strove to evade my enemies, but they may still hound her. It would take a bold and daring hero to find her, and bring her safely to me."

    Wirric clenches his fist, but now manages a bold smile for the Thunderbird. "Are you ready for such a challenge?"

  21. - Top - End - #231
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    pfm1995's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    USA

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Tuoni nodded at the initial question, though he didn't feel the need to provide proof. "I am Chosen yes, and I believe I take your meaning. I.." Tuoni started, before he realized he didn't actually know the answer to their question. He 'respected' the gods, of course he did, he had for his entire life. But, was he not married to one? And not as a worshiper, either, but as an equal partner in a relationship that now had the potential to be longer than the current age. And had he not intervened, with force, when Seven Venoms' Sea had threatened himself and his friends?

    "I... hm. I have done both, and I think I find neither to my liking. The Immaculates, and their Order, they treat the gods as something outside the communities they rule, when they should be a part of them. Not above, not outside, but among. Such is the way in much of my home." And, while it's true that some gods stood above and outside the Linowa, more did not - many could tell tales of feasting in Golden-Eyed Jorst's hall, or dancing round the fire with the gods and goddesses of the rivers and lakes. It was... good. When it worked.

    "I begin to believe, though, that there may need to be those who stand above both, to prevent abuses." Tenepeshu, and the entirety of Champoor, was a sterling example but so too was Ahlat. But was Tuoni describing himself? He didn't know - he certainly didn't want that job, but it bore thinking about. Later. These children had come to him for a reason.

    "Does that answer your question? Which do you want for me to be?"

  22. - Top - End - #232
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Leaf:

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Okay, that erodes the strength of Kunda's Intimacy toward Brown Leaf by a step, but doesn't eradicate it, so...

    Kunda holds Brown Leaf's gaze this time, but...

    "You've got nothin' to apologize fer!" she blurts out. Maybe she's trying to convince herself, but as she continues, her conviction seems to reassert itself. "Not live up to my expectations... how could y' not? Yer... jes' wonderful. All that power Wind talks 'bout usin' t'change the world... you gave it all to us! Tha's all we needed all along. Not some foreign savior, not some greedy-guts god, not even no monks, jes' one of our own, with th' strength t' keep us safe."

    She clutches Leaf's hand.

    "I heard whisperin' that Wind's gone and got us inta trouble, but I know you kin fix it. I know you will. Tha's why yer here, now."

    Wic:

    The prideful thunderbird looks down his nose at his master.

    "What dost thou take me for?"

    He preens the feathers of his cloak with his fingers.

    "I will deliver her. I guarantee it."

    And then his mask is his beak again, his cloak his wings. He spreads those wings to their full span, and their first beat sends dust devils spiraling across the monastery's courtyard. The wind strengthens as he lifts skyward, and by the time he rises above the walls of the valley, his every wingbeat brings a clap of thunder.

    And so the living storm flies unerringly North.

    Tuoni:

    The boy frowns, and rubs at his shaved head.

    "I want to know... whether I have made a mistake. But the Chosen themselves do not know this, it seems."

    He looks around the circle of his peers, the other children looking to him, waiting for his translation, or for his verdict.

    "It is hard, knowing the right thing."
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  23. - Top - End - #233
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "That's..." Leaf paused. She couldn't deny what she knew to be true, but at the same time, she did not want this...perception of her to get out of hand. At least no more than it already had.

    "Yeah, Wind's done stirred up a whole mess'a trouble agin' this valley, an' that's why we're here." She indicated Kelam with a jerk of her head. "Kelam's an amazin' warrior, an we got Tuoni, who might be able t' help with Lou Kahn, if'n she's been actin' out. Cap'n Slang's likely tougher'n they look, an...I dunno if you seen them, but you gotta see them scars'n stuff, it's crazy. An' then there's Wic, he-" At that moment a clap of thunder rang out, shaking the room.

    "...is prolly what's causin' that. It's okay, he's on our side."

    She stood, gently tugging Kunda to her feet. She smiled reassuringly, looking between the woman and her daughter, little Brown Leaf. "I'm jes' so glad t' be home. Let's git errybody t'gether now we've had some rest...'least I hope they done rested."
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  24. - Top - End - #234
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Somewhere on the trail
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Slang subconsciously moves at the sound of thunder; as if shifting with the rocking motions of a ship in rough waters, the Tya slams hard onto the floor.

    “Owwww.”

    The sudden jolt made it harder for Slang to regain their barrings. The thunder continuing in the distance, slowly fading, helps clear the fog in the Captain’s head.

    Hearing soft murmurings down the hall, Slang walks out of the slightly dusty room they borrowed toward the conversation. From an open door, the Captain could hear Leaf speaking in Flametonge with another. Not wanting to startle anyone, Slang knocked on the door frame before poking their head in.

    “Hi.” Slang nods at the woman and waves at the little girl before turning to Leaf and Kelam. “Sounds like Wic’s done. Did you two get any sleep?”
    "In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

  25. - Top - End - #235
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf smiled and pulled the door further open. "Oh, hey, Cap'n!"

    She turned back into the room. "Kunda, this here's Cap'n Slang, one'a my friends. They're a Tya, from way off in the Western Sea. Kunda, sometime later how's 'bout we take little Leaf down t' the library an git out Sifu's ol' atlas? Oh yeah!"

    She whirled around again.

    "Cap'n, this here's Kunda, me'n her grew up t'gether. An' this's her lil' girl, Brown Leaf. Heh, guess you kin figure where the name comes from. An..." A thought struck her; no she was no-longer tired. She had things to do, how could she be tired when there was work to be done? But...she wasn't everybody. She and Kelam had never...exactly shared a bunk before, in the literal sense, she didn't know her girlfriend's habits.

    "Hey, Jarabi, you get enough sleep? I could go fer some more down-time if'n you need t' rest."
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  26. - Top - End - #236
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    pfm1995's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    USA

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    "Yes, it is," Tuoni commiserated, "when there may have never been a right thing at all. Find your grandparents, child, and speak to them. I find they often settle things, one way or another."

  27. - Top - End - #237
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Ascension's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Tuoni:

    Tuoni can tell from his expression that the boy is still not quite satisfied with that answer, but it's good enough. He says a few words in Flametongue, and the children stand.

    "Thank you, sir," he says to Tuoni. "You have given me much to think about."

    With that, the children disperse, leaving the shaman to his rest.

    Leaf and Slang:

    Kelam gives Leaf a thin smile. In her sepulchral Old Realm, she says, "The Sun is still up, isn't it? Then I haven't gotten enough sleep. But I'll manage."

    Everyone:

    While the Exalts could likely all have used more rest, the clap of the thunderbird's mighty wing beats are as sure a summons from slumber as any rooster's crow, and equally sure a sign to the inhabitants of the valley that something supernatural is afoot. By the time Leaf, Slang, and Kelam step out into the courtyard again, trailed by Kunda and her girl, Wind is waiting for them, standing near Tuoni's dwindling patch of shade.

    "I'm sorry your rest was interrupted so soon, but it is good to see you,"
    he greets them. "I've already sent runners to warn the villages of the threat we face... rumors would have spread regardless, and they likely would have made it sound even worse, so best to take responsibility for the message now. However, we need to come to an agreement on how we plan to respond. It will be best for everyone if we can present a unified front."

    He nods toward where Wirric recently saw his summoned thunderbird off.

    "That means catching your sorcerer up to speed on the situation as well."
    Last edited by Ascension; 2019-07-03 at 02:15 PM.
    Braga avatar by Luci!

    Current Games:
    Spoiler
    Show
    GMing The Lotus Blossoms! [Exalted 3E] (OOC)

  28. - Top - End - #238
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Wirric sits there in the pagoda, watching the Thunderbird fly with a satisfied smile. He has confidence in the creature: it would be thorough, and possesses more than enough strength to see his daughter through the path to safety. Freed from the worry of her fate, at least for the moment, Wic takes a second to lean back against the wall, closing his eyes with a sigh. The sorcerers mind turns slowly, reluctantly, to the chain of thought the Thunderbird's question had begun.

    War.

    This Circle had been formed essentially to stop a war. The Hortatum's plan would likely lead to some form of large scale conflict between the Realm and newly emerged Solar powers. Such a campaign would be destructive for both sides, and so opposing the rogue Sidereal seems perfectly logical. A protracted, bloody conflict over the future rulership of Creation is in no one's best interests.

    But can it truly be avoided?

    Look at Wind. Look at the people here. Brown Leaf might hate to admit it, might rightly point out that Wind's actions had drawn the Realm's attention, and yet... the disciples seem happy. They are developing themselves down a path that seems positive, training and living together. The mislead monk at the head of it all was likely furthering the Hortatum's plan in some subtle way, but leaving that aside, Wic struggles to weigh his actions. In striving to help people and share his beliefs, he'd provoked armed conflict and placed lives at risk. Does that mean he should not preach his doctrine? Not try to uplift and inspire the people around him against a tyrannical state that hadn't cared about this little valley in decades? It's hard to condemn heartfelt preaching, at least from what little he's witnessed so far. And he can't see any way in which this action could possibly profit the Zenith.

    Wirric groans to himself. He wants to say that Wind is wrong in acting so directly. The lessons of a lifetime in Whitewall speak against what the Zenith is doing here. Wic's instincts, when not overtaken by emotion, are always to stifle change and eliminate factors he can't predict or control. Threatening the status quo is a bad idea. You don't know what the consequences will be. Things could get so much worse. It'd been why Brown Leaf had made him so uncomfortable at first, back in the Arena of the Sun. The sorcerer chuckles to himself. Hasn't that always been his way? Worrying about about rash action and consequence, while the Hero of Harbourhead charged forward to right wrongs and pull evildoers into her ineffable chorus.

    And that might be where he's always gone wrong, on reflection. What had keeping to the status quo ever done for Wic Stanton? It'd held him down there in his little cellar, year after year, keeping his objections and fears to himself. Every time he'd fretted about the Arena and its operation, the status quo was what he clung to, the shield that stood between him and the cell block. Wirric shudders at the memory of his table, of the blood and bile his work entailed. Even now he can still feel the whispers of doubt, cold as the breeze on the back of his neck. People like Cathak Pala think along such lines too, even if they would be disgusted by the comparison with as low a man as Wirric. Everyone fears chaos. They fear change. And they'll do whatever it takes to halt that threat.

    But that attitude leads to tolerating injustice. That change had set Wic free, given him the chance to finally break away from his situation. Defying the status quo was what led to his Exaltation. And it wasn't just him. He might not speak for Tuoni but Brown Leaf had won freedom from the chains of Immaculate doctrine, Ivory Knife had been willing to slay a king as soon as the chance presented itself, and who knew more about defying the situation you were presented with than Captain Slang? All the Solars Wirric had met stand beyond what is, and strive towards what could be, what should be. Is that the will of the Unconquered Sun for his Chosen? Were they not warriors and revolutionaries in the times before the first Solar Deliberative?

    And yet - isn't this exactly how The Hortatum thinks? The man who'll lie, cheat, and set his charges into a trap in order to act for the good of the world.

    In the upper floor of the pagoda, Wirric chuckles under his breath. However far he's come, whatever he might aspire to, even when pondering how best to do good... at his heart, Wic Stanton remains the same man the Syndics had sentenced. He looks up towards the roof of the pagoda with a strange grin, echoing the words of the three divine justices of Whitewall.

    "Villain, Villain, Thrice Damned Villain."

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Brown Leaf sighed, disappointed that she was in agreement with Wind. "Yep, I'll go git 'im."

    She walked to the front of the pagoda-tower, paused before its small shrine, and leapt. She sailed up over the crenelated tiles of the roof, clearing the first and second tiers of roofing. Her jump carried her almost to the third tier, but not quite. The octagonal eve passed below her chest, then suddenly rose past her face as she fell. With casual ease, she extended her hand and caught a sturdy beam, the faded paint worn where she had gripped it in times gone by. A quick flex of her arm lifted her onto the roof, and memory guided her feet to the best angle for the next stage. She sprung upwards, gripping the red-painted wood of the fourth roof's rafters one-handed. She swung, tucking her legs in so that she landed atop the warm tiles on her feet, facing the same direction as when she hung below. She turned, backed up a few steps, then took off at a run across the sloped pantiles, leaping feet from the edge to grab the fifth-tier beam that mirrored the ones below. With a flick of the wrist, she spun herself up and landed on the outermost point of the roof, facing inward at the topmost floor, shaded by the eight-sided center-peak under which stood Wirric.

    Brown Leaf straightened, dusted off her hands and smiled at the sorcerer. "Heya bud. We're fixin' t' have a meetin' down b'low. I reckon yer plumb tuckered out from alla yer storm-summonin' an' whatnot. How'sabout I take you back t' ground-level quick-like?"

    Spoiler: OOC & Rolls
    Show
    Just a fun bit of fluff here, Leaf probably trained by climbing this Pagoda regularly, only since Exalting she can skip the first couple stories by just jumping. Those were always the most tedious part anyway. So, that first jump was brought to you by Monkey Leap Technique, and the rest is a climbing Athletics action. I described it mostly as Leaf being dexterous, but there was some strength involved in hauling herself up so easily. That said, we'll go DEX here.
    So that is DEX+Athletics+Stunt+Artifact+Excellency (3)
    (3d10)[2][6][6](14)
    (3d10)[7][6][5](18)
    (3d10)[4][8][4](16)
    (3d10)[4][7][9](20)
    (3d10)[9][7][10](26)
    Last edited by Sticks; 2019-07-03 at 05:43 PM.
    Sorry for making things complicated!
    -Me

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: The Lotus Blossoms! - Volume II

    Wirric, seated as he was, just gapes at Brown Leaf for a second. Then the sorcerer grins, unable to hide a chuckle at the rambunctious monk. "You are incorrigible."

    Slowly Wic pulls himself upright, using Lusus for support. He does feel somewhat tired. He walks slowly towards Leaf, nodding, "Very well. I doubt I have much to add, but as ever, I am at your service. And now my mind can rest a little easier, thank the Sun."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •