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1089578 No. 1089578 ID: 521475

Despite some of you being complete strangers, you've all been seated together at a restaurant in Nexus, due to the law against dining alone after sundown. Some guy tried to sell you a memory crystal containing a treasure map.
A pretty lady at another table (who turned out to be dragon-blooded) bought him a drink (which turned out to contain yozi venom) and then, while he was dying, grabbed the crystal and ran off. Might want to be out of town before her employer realizes that one of you actually managed to boot it up first, and got a pretty good look at the map.
Site's over a thousand miles away, but most of that would be river travel, and there's an underground manse, so it should be easy enough to zero in on with geomantic surveying tools even if the map, or your memory or navigational skills, end up a few miles off-target.
If somebody's willing to pay for yozi venom (which is not cheap!) to cover it up, gotta be something seriously valuable out there.

Destination is ~800 mi southeast of Nexus as the crow flies, and half that far north-northeast of the ruins of Denandsor, right in the middle of rocky uplands between the headwaters of the Rolling River and a minor tributary of the Grey River.
So, you could take a more direct route up the Grey, but then face a longer trek overland,
or start by going up the Yellow past Great Forks and then turn south along the Rolling.
Or try something more complicated, to take advantage of esoteric travel options and/or throw off potential pursuit.

Houserule hub: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10VAUEYEqWYWcQ9gz4bk9uok8OkAIYl1cy50KEw2y75o
120 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1090681 ID: 7ce054

"Do you believe that Anathema are indeed evil beings, and if so then why would we want to welcome an individual seeking such company?" Caitlyn asked as she stepped closer to comfort Fleegman and offer him a sense of safety "Need I remind you that it was a Dynast who poisoned this man, not Anathema?" The woman wasn't being aggressive towards Taitapet, but she was looking for something more substantial than a casual 'trust me'. "This man is the one who was harmed and has the most at risk, so if you can convince him of your good intentions then you have my approval as well."
No. 1090682 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet frowns for moment, contemplating what exactly the woman in armor half-accosting him wants him to say, and then speaks. "Someone very important to me appeared before me, now an Anathema, and told me... she said various things about the world, its history and the nature of Anathema before departing. I journey to learn of the veracity, one way or the other, of her words." He smiles. "So an alliance should be mutually beneficial I think."

Taitapet doesn't speak of his deeper feelings toward the Realm, his overall goals or even what kind of Exalt the woman he mentioned was. He spoke the minimum needed to answer Caitlyn and seem open about his past, cards still close to his chest. He maintained a smile and sincere eyes though, and wasn't even holding back too much so it's likely only a very astute listener would detect it but... it is detectable. Sincere, but not giving the full picture.
No. 1090683 ID: 7ce054

"If you wish to observe the nature of Anathema then you are welcome to keep my company, though I would caution you to refrain from that general term and simply use the term of chosen. There are those in our number who take offense to the Anathema moniker and I cannot ensure your safety from the eldest of those who stride across Creation."
No. 1090684 ID: e5fb2d

Taitapet bows a little at that, just showing respect. "Very well, I can go along with that."

"The advice is appreciated, Chosen..." He pauses. "Chosen certainly, but Chosen by anything specific?"
No. 1090685 ID: 7ce054

Caitlyn spoke with deep conviction and pride, completely bereft of misdirection. By realm standards, she might come across as simplistic and unrefined, but her confidence was allowed to shine through. "I am a priestess of Venus and champion of her cause. It is my calling to deliver her message of peace and joy to those who only understand violence."
No. 1090713 ID: 965bce

rolled 7, 8, 6, 10, 6, 4, 4, 10, 3, 3, 5, 8, 1, 7, 10, 9, 5, 2, 5, 7, 1, 6, 3, 6, 2, 1, 1, 2, 4, 9 = 155

For the moment, Spinel is hanging back with Kisara's followers, hood up to conceal her lack of bestial traits, and allowing the other Exalted to confront the newly arrived dynast—either. Her anima banner has finally receded to the point where blending into a crowed is possible, and as either a physician or ranged combatant, her place is not on the front lines. (Dexterity 5 + Stealth 1)

>He doesn't seem to be lying...
What does reading motivation have to say about that? (Perception 4 + Investigation 1). Perhaps Caitlyn's interrogation provides a cooperation bonus die?

While Spinel is not going to step forward to offer the suggestion yet, if they wishes to ensure the Dragon-Blood is not here to harm, spy on, or otherwise betray the group, an Eclipse oath would solve the problem. ...surely in such an overlarge circle, one of their number is an Eclipse?
No. 1090720 ID: fbc9ce

That looks correct for me.
No. 1090723 ID: e0c5dd

rolled 3, 7, 7, 1, 5, 10, 10, 4, 2, 6 = 55

Rolling for my followers to notice Spinel among them. Bit of a wasted exercise, but it’s just in case. Perception 3 and Awareness 3, plus 4 extra dice in case of any bonuses.
No. 1090741 ID: 231662

Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun arrives after completed his last minite browsing. He seems refreshed, even after having lugged 3 large crates across town. He quickly notices the presence of Taitapet among his companions.

"Ah, Kisara, is this one of our hirelings? A captain or other quality specialist i assume. Please advise of an appropriate time for introduction ls once we have all completed our respective duties."

He dusts his hands off & looks to see if there are any minions requiring either assistance or supervision, currently standing near the group, but with a look to about to step away at any moment
No. 1090743 ID: e0c5dd

“Uh, no. This is someone who wants in on the hunt. They’re a dynast…but they’re not going to kill us. I think…”
She nervously looked towards Cold, glancing at Taitapet as well.
No. 1090744 ID: 231662

He raises an eyebrow & speaks in a more elegant tongue than the colloquial RiverSpeak he has been addressing others in before
《High Realm》

"Oh, a Dynast, I knew it, I could just smell the quality. Where are you from? I understand most usually ask what house, but I find that your location of upbringing is far more revealing of ones character, wouldn't you agree?"
"I am known as Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun, an affectation I use when dealing with those of the Threshold. Not that I look down upon them, you see, I too am a provincial, raised in Thorns before..."

His face darkens as he seems distracted by unsettling thoughts & memories, before making eye contact again with his stones, granite coloured eyes & mustering up an uneasy smile.

"Well, since then I am presenting with my Threshold moniker."
No. 1090761 ID: 231662

hundred pounds of mostly random trinkets and rocks, practical utility dubious
- Big bag of dried foods (fruit, fish & goat jerky etc)
- Big waterskin of freshwater
No. 1090768 ID: cfc7cc

Worth noting, if you're scaling the load to your strength and stamina with Unbreakable Bones of Stone active, but your metabolic needs are still based on natural ratings, that could be upwards of six weeks of food per slot.
Or maybe two of those five-gallon backpack-barrels of water, one slung on each shoulder, with a couple weeks of trail rations stacked on top of each?
No. 1090771 ID: 231662

(The two barrels of water with food stacked on top sounds perfect. Cold will do that)
No. 1090773 ID: e5fb2d

"I mostly grew up bouncing around The House of High Waves." He then stops for a moment, before adopting a very sheepish expression. "Not as an employee you understand..."


"I was sent to the Imperial City for schooling soon after, but that isn't really connected to your question now, is it? So I won't bore you with those details." Even though his eyes clearly want to! He isn't remotely trying to hide that!

They must be pleasant memories.
No. 1090831 ID: 91d957

He swaps back into RiverSpeak as he gestures to the others

"Well, if thry have already welcomed you, I see no reason for me not to do the same. We discuss about your upbringing once we arrive & camp has been set up."
No. 1090835 ID: cfc7cc

>The Burning Champion — 05/11/2024 6:17 PM
>As for what I am carrying, about as much food and water as I can carry, and a fancy compass with all 5 elemental poles marked on it that she stole off a ship on her journey eastward from the Ocean
No. 1090878 ID: cfc7cc

rolled 6, 4, 6, 1, 10, 9, 1, 10, 10, 10, 4, 8, 6, 5, 10, 5, 8, 10, 1, 4, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 6, 7, 1, 4, 1, 3, 9, 6, 6, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 2, 9, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8, 6, 9, 2, 2 = 292

Three young men with buff jackets, tetsubos, and hostile intent are loitering in or near Fleegman's apartment. Roll for Stealth and Awareness to see who spots who first.
Short of flight, teleportation, or demolishing walls, there are two ways in or out of the apartment: the building's interior stairs and hallways, which are dark and cramped, involving a lot of locked doors and blind corners... or the rear fire escape, skeletal catwalks of iron-hard black resin resembling ladders or thornbushes more than stairs, dangling over an alley knee-deep with oily stagnant water, and leading to a window which definitely isn't meant to be opened from the outside, but at least there's moonlight. How are you approaching?
No. 1090978 ID: 1bf782

rolled 4, 8, 2, 3, 5, 6 = 28

Perception + Awareness +3 dice for extras
No. 1090979 ID: 1bf782

rolled 4, 8, 1, 9, 9, 7, 4 = 42

Dex + Stealth (-1 penalty) +3 for extras
No. 1090980 ID: 1bf782

Cold looks around, noticing at the last moment the somewhat unexpected reception. He signals to the others to hang back a moment behind a stack of boxes nefore they are all seen.
No. 1090988 ID: e5fb2d

The men chuckle to themselves at the sight of someone gazing in that sort of way at the place they're guarding. They both approach, one of them is posted inside precisely to give them this sort of flexibility.
No. 1090990 ID: e5fb2d

(Join Debate)
No. 1090992 ID: e5fb2d

rolled 7, 2, 8, 8, 9, 10, 1, 7, 1, 8, 9, 5, 6, 7, 9, 3, 8, 8, 2, 6 = 124

No. 1090997 ID: 1bf782

Seeing the sentries approach, Cold resigns himself to having a discussion. He signals to his guide to wait behind him as he confidently strides towards them. Leaning on a wall with his flinty stare hinting at his displeasure of being delayed
No. 1091001 ID: cfc7cc

After some initial attempts at diplomacy, one of the goons smashes a hole through the wall where Cold's head was a moment earlier. Cold then steals a knife off the man's belt and stabs him with it for four levels of lethal damage.

The other goon panics and flees, while a third (who was waiting inside) attempts to negotiate a surrender, in exchange for his friend getting urgently needed medical attention.
No. 1091040 ID: cfc7cc

Wounded goon who organized the ambush at Fleegman's apartment is stabilized. Might eventually regain full use of his left arm, with luck or further treatment. Both of his buddies, plus the girlfriend of the one who ran off in a panic, have been disarmed and are surrounded by enough huge beastmen that they don't dare make trouble... at least for the moment. What will you do with them?

All the expedition crew and equipment - or at least everything you'll be able to find on such short notice, more than enough to fill a casting of Stormwind Rider to capacity - has been assembled and packed. Will you be setting out immediately via spell, before dawn?
Or loading it onto a ship first (to lay a false trail and/or bring reinforcements closer to the destination), then launching from the deck once you're outside the city?
There's enough moonlight that high-speed overland navigation is possible, but it won't be easy.
No. 1091050 ID: 0b12aa

Woe would vote to leave as soon as possible, but I (the player) vote for the ship plan.
No. 1091082 ID: 965bce

rolled 6, 1, 1, 10, 2, 9, 5, 9, 5, 4, 10, 8, 5, 5, 6, 9, 10, 7, 3, 3 = 118

>Wounded goon who organized the ambush at Fleegman's apartment is stabilized.
>Second medical emergency within two hours
"Is this going to be a pattern?"

>Wounded goon who organized the ambush at Fleegman's apartment is stabilized. Might eventually regain full use of his left arm, with luck or further treatment.
With bleeding staunched and immediate death off the table, let's see bad the rest of it is. (Perception 4 + Medicine 5), plus Flawless Diagnosis Technique. How bad is the crippling wound, how many health levels is he down?

>"What will you do with them?"
"To be clear, I did not keep him from Lethe just so someone could add further knives. I'm not in the business of facilitating torture."

> lay a false trail and/or bring reinforcements closer to the destination
"A feint might help in reducing the rate of medical interventions."
No. 1091094 ID: cfc7cc

"No, my friend wasn't running away from a back-alley knife fight! He's no coward! And, um, also we aren't criminals and definitely would never be involved with such a thing. Some fey horseman came from the firewander district, lanced and trampled him."
"Well, that does sound fairly consistent with him having been struck first in the shoulder, with superhuman force focused on a sharp point, knocked down by the impact onto cobblestones, and then crushed by something weighing several hundred pounds moving at about 20mph, but...
>Flawless Diagnosis Technique
"...something's not quite right."
"What do you mean? There's even a clear hoofprint on his jacket right there."
"That definitely is an impression from a horseshoe, but it doesn't quite line up with the deepest bruising."

After some further alchemical tests...

"Aha! There's no traces of wyld taint in the wound. And who ever heard of a fae horse with iron shoes?"

Turns out that Cold had a horseshoe he was carrying around on a string, intending to eventually enchant it. Inflicted the puncture wound (and concomitant shattered scapula) with a knife, rather than a cavalry lance, and apparently managed to put a cavalry charge's worth of force behind it with a jump from a standing start. If not for a sturdy mammoth-hide jacket, might have torn open the brachial artery, killed that poor bastard on the spot.

In mechanical terms, the patient is down five lethal health levels - four from the initial strike, plus one from subsequent bleeding - and if that broken shoulderblade is allowed to heal wrong, he'll be at a persistent -2 wound penalty due to chronic pain and reduced range of motion in his left arm and back.
No. 1091139 ID: 7ce054

"A fey noble rampaging around Nexus sounds like a real problem. Perhaps we should delay our departure long enough to take care of this threat? I would hate to bring further strife to this city, such as it is, but this may be the only way to ultimately bring about peace for all." Caitlyn suggests, taking the thug's description seriously.
No. 1091140 ID: 094811

“Yeah….that’s bad. I also say we deal with this, the wyld can be….problematic. Believe me. I know more than most.”
She was just standing nearby, leaning against the wall of the barracks, her ears dropped down a bit in worry.
No. 1091141 ID: 094811

*Drooped, sorry.
No. 1091290 ID: 7ce054

"Please, can you tell me more of this fey knight? I shall hunt down this fiend while I have time before departure."
No. 1091333 ID: 81376c

“Well, on the subject of our departure, allow me to suggest. I say we leave by ship, lay a false trail. Might throw off any pursuers, allow last minute decisions. Unless anyone has any objections?”
Kisara was clearly taking charge, her ears had pricked up, her tone of voice had changed slightly, etcetera.
No. 1091335 ID: ee10ae

"A valid and useful idea." Thousand Maws gives her a smile in support. "I happen to have a ship I could use for the purpose, as well, if everyone wishes."
No. 1091341 ID: e28b6f

"Yeah, sure."
No. 1091457 ID: cfc7cc

Spinel Caryatid's Flawless Diagnosis Technique has determined that there was no such horseman, and Fleegman can confirm.
No. 1091511 ID: 253151

Cold, having seen the medical emergency been resolved, left to continue packing. He returns shortly after, with a great leap to near Caitlyn, pnce seeing she was readying to hunt the mysterious assailant of the injured. With a wave for her to come closer, he quietly explains the situation

"Ah, Caitlyn, so valiant of you to seek justice, but I cant help but feel I am somewhat responsible for this. When Fkeegman & I approached his residence, there were three armed & aggressive men awaiting us. As I moved forward to discuss the options if them looking away, they attacked me , so I acquired a dagger from the soon to be wounded warrior which caused him to realise he was out matched & flee, so I leapt & struck him but once, but he fell mightily to the ground with grave injury. My heart softened to see his plight, so we hurtied here for medical attention, taking his two accomplices with us I believe. In all the excitement I am not quite sure who accompanied us. The tale invented of the Fae was an invention of these men, I suppose for the purpose of deflection of their nefarious intent upon Fleegman & I, or to dissuade others of the notion of Exalted being involved, eitherway, a little bit of duplicitous rumour will aid us in maintaining what few shreds of anonymity remains about is & our intentions. I couldn't bear you to put yourself at risk seeking a fable that has little bearing to the truth."
No. 1091513 ID: 965bce

rolled 1, 1, 6, 2, 5, 5, 2, 7, 8, 5, 9, 6, 3, 4, 9, 4, 2, 2, 10, 2, 9, 2, 7, 5, 10, 6, 7, 7, 4, 10 = 160

As it doesn't seem the expedition is going to be rushing off immediately, Spinel Caryatid is going to commandeer part of the barracks' kitchen and break out her alchemy kit, to whip up some hero's recovery to treat the broken shoulder blade. Along the way, she borrows Cold's horseshoe for inclusion in the ritual, muttering about "sympathetic resonances" (the iron struck a blow but did not cause the injury in the intended recipient- that's symbolism she can use).

Paying 2m (per houserules) activation cost for the ritual, spending 1 wp on an autosuccess. (Intelligence 5 + Occult 1 + Art of Alchemy + 1 + Stunt). Could potentially add a cooperation die or or two if anyone with dots in Occult wants to assist in an hour of potion making.

Assuming that succeeds, I'd be willing to throw Wound-Mending Care Technique at wrapping things up. ...are we discharging/releasing the surrendered assailants back to Nexus and their employers, or brining them along for the ride?

> If you're forming up most of the expedition as a single unit, who's the leader?
> And who's in special character slots?
Willing to assign Spinel as a sorcerer/specialist. If we don't have enough relays, could swap to that role, but she does have a ranged option.
No. 1091521 ID: 7ce054

rolled 4, 4, 6, 2, 7, 8, 3, 9, 4, 8, 10 = 65

"I see, thank you for the clarification." Caityln then approaches the one who had told the tale of the fey "While we are taking a moment to explore the truth, why dont we discuss why you were waiting for Fleegman to return to his home? Please seize this opportunity for redemption as I abhor violence."

=======[ OOC ]=======

Charisma 3 + Presence 0 + Stone of Humble Glory 5
Channel Compassion +5 Successes
Appearance 5
-1 WP
-1 Compassion Channel
No. 1091531 ID: cfc7cc

Treatment successful, despite some unexpected challenges. A less astute alchemist would likely have seen the potion spoiled by contamination from Nexus's miasma.
>Could potentially add a cooperation die or or two if anyone with dots in Occult wants to assist in an hour of potion making.
They'd need to know the specific procedure to be able to help, though not necessarily the full corresponding degree.
No. 1091563 ID: 43fe43

rolled 2, 10, 6, 5, 2, 1, 10, 6, 10, 9, 1, 7, 2, 6, 5, 4, 9, 3, 8, 1, 6, 5, 3, 2, 10, 10, 3, 5, 8, 2, 3, 5, 6, 2, 5, 7, 3, 7, 1, 5, 3, 6, 8, 7, 10, 1, 6, 7, 8, 5 = 266

Champion is going to take a simple route to preparing for the oncoming voyage. Much as she stated she was going to do in >>1089693 she is going to pursue looking for a big enough ship for the party to steal in order to take care of 150 people, and the far simpler problem of food and drink she's going to handle by just waiting until she no longer is obviously a dragon, and just walking up to a prepared pile of food barrels and water that aren't quite being loaded yet, and hefting a barrel over each shoulder, food on the left water on the right, and walking off like she owned the place.

Just walking around with stolen barrels in hand, she was going to find the tallest building she could climb, and go looking out at the horizon in order to make sure that the weather was going to be good in the south by south east direction.
No. 1091565 ID: c1fc91

Kisara then stepped in next to the goon.
“Look. We won’t kill you. We promise. But you’re not coming out of this without giving something up. So, since I’m the ruling authority in this place, under the rules of my people, you owe us a life-debt. Me and my friend here.”
She gestured to Cold.
“So, you work for us, and everything’s okay. Deal?”
No. 1091603 ID: 3c020a

rolled 5, 10, 10, 7, 9, 7, 4, 7, 6, 7, 8, 7, 2, 3, 6 = 98

Cold Blooded in the Blaze of the Sun puts down his three crates, pushing them into place like they were light cartons & not the thick, weathered wooden crates they were & nods meaningfully at Kisara's words, the hilt of his large sword looming ominously over his shoulder

"I think you understand how we are better friends than opponents"

《OoC Cha + Presence to Influence them, +10 dice for binus/stunts/modifiers》
No. 1091617 ID: aa29a7

Cold crosses his arms

"You understand that at my great personal restraint, you three are here, alive & mostly well. Ergo, you each owe me a great boon, as do I owe our alchemically inclined medic here for her gift to me."

He puts his hands upon his hips as he turns to face Spinel, giving a deep nod in appreciation, before returning a stern gaze to the three

"Do as Kisara commands..." He nods in the direction of Kisara to clearly identify of whom he is referring to "& your debt to me will be squared, as I will entreat Spinel to offer her terms for negating my debt to her"
No. 1091618 ID: 7ce054

Caitlyn gently pulls Cold to the side and speaks softly

"Are you certain this is a good idea? We don't know this individual's situation. They may not be trustworthy at all, or if they are then they may have children depending on them. We should learn more of their situation before any proclamations, dont you think?"
No. 1091619 ID: aa29a7

His granite eyes open wide with realisation as he hurriedly turns for hushed whispers to Caitlyn

"You may well be right? But it isn't unknown for one to claim they have dependents to lessen their obligation to others. What do you recommend? I am of the mind that while they are with us, it is harder for them to pass information back to their original employer"
No. 1091620 ID: 7ce054

"I am not certain. Let us ask them of their situation an employer. We will either have a better understanding of their commitments, or if they have an unreliable character. I worry about taking such an individual into the field."
No. 1091669 ID: cfc7cc

Ten successes against MDV 0. Last thing he remembers, he was laying in the street, face-down in a puddle of his own blood, then there was a bright light and he was floating through the air above the rooftops. Most of the pain is gone now, and he's on a clean, soft bed, surrounded by wolves who walk like men, while a beautiful, terrible, golden angel commands him to confess his sins and repent.

Not quite what he was expecting from the afterlife, but then again it's not like he was some pious scholar. Surprises happen.

He starts spilling as much of his life story as he can remember, with particular emphasis on anything memorably meritorious (small kindnesses to monks or orphans, defending his friends through thick and thin, sporadically attending immaculate services, a few imperfectly-recalled sutras) or shameful (mostly drugs, opportunistic violence, clandestine affair with his buddy's girlfriend's mother-in-law) under the apparent impression that leaving anything significant out might get him torn apart by those celestial beastmen, then reincarnated as some sort of fish.

As for Fleegman's apartment, well, guy who lives there stole something from his dealer's boss. Might've been a reward if they got it back, or captured the guy in order to make an example of him.
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