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Chapter One: The Lost Girl

 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Verdant Thorn - let’s follow your tracks. They look like our best lead at the moment,” Diamond Flow says. “We can always look at the notes further once we stop for camp.”

Diamond keeps her eyes peeled on both eye level and above. It seems as if whatever did this came from the skies or the jungles. Or both. At any rate, she’s determined to see any threat before it harms the Hearth.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:10 am 
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“Hmm, what? Did you all find something?” Naxos looks down at the rest of them, obviously having paid a lot of attention to this butterfly that landed on him and moving almost by automation since then, trying not to disturb it. “I was communing with this lovely local.” He indicates the placid butterfly. “Did someone mention poetry?”

Naxos moves close to the item with Verdant Thorn, fingers on his chin. “The cadence is pre-Shogunate-style, which isn’t surprising. It’s equal parts instruction and moral statement. I *think* part of this is allegorical, but perhaps in references to myths so long-lost we don’t have a good reference point to drawl parallels. Hmm.”

He first tries to analyze it through a purely linguistic lens, then through one that might be better understood with reference to history, even going so far as to pull out a small scroll of early Shogunate poetry and grammar forms to reference at times.

Following those moments of reflection, he begins looking around again here for any spirit doors made visible by the light of his hearthstone. He starts hopping up the pyramid as he does so, looking for such doors from new vantage points. Hopefully this doesn’t jar the butterfly into moving!


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:10 am 
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Rolling Int + Lore, 9 dice + 2 stunt die + 1 success
Rolling some dice:
12d10: 41 (2, 6, 2, 6, 1, 3, 1, 2, 4, 1, 10, 3)


Rolling Int + Linguistics, 8 dice + 2 stunt die + 1 success
Rolling some dice:
11d10: 70 (10, 3, 3, 8, 5, 10, 6, 3, 8, 4, 10)


Preemptive reroll of a single non-1 failure per 10 rolled, from Linguistics Excellency - take from left to right if applicable:
Rolling some dice:
4d10: 26 (10, 3, 9, 4)


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Naxos is reasonably sure the poem is, while a bit florid, being very literal. The Caul has been important to the Dragon-Blooded host since time immemorial, but you've had to claw for it. That's part of the wildness, the raw primal energy that makes this place so sacred in a way. This temple helped mark an ancient boundary of sorts, between control of the Exalted and the wild things at the edge of the wild. If he had to guess, given the flight based nature of what happened here, there's a flying spirit of some sort down the path you're following. Is that better or worse than it being a metaphor for the worldly sins that distract one from the path of pure enlightenment? You really can't say.

But the time to contemplate that is later, as Verdant Thorn strikes a path into the jungle following broken branches and scuffed tree trunks. You suppose one nice thing about the fact they took massed prisoners is that once you get used to the trail, it becomes abundantly easy to follow. These soldiers and presumably some mortal scholars were very alive and very unhappy about being taken. There's sections of moss where the obvious track of fingers is smeared in the green, the odd personal item, at one point a torn off fingernail embedded in a tree.

The trail goes as such for miles. It takes the better part of an afternoon for it to go anywhere worthwhile and at a certain point the plain length becomes almost a mockery. Who did this that hates Terrestrials enough to kidnap a camp of mostly mortals and fly them a good three miles as the vulture flies? Emerging from the jungle into a rocky clearing, you get your first likely answer: There's a village before you, built onto a rocky cliff face as the jungle gives way to a mountain slope. But not a village of sticks and stones and lashed beams in a rickety configuration high up on the cliff. This is a village of wide arches, carved paths in the stone, and hundreds of feet up and to the side stylized murals in the stone over every non functional surface.

And in this village, beastmen live. Beastmen of feather and talon. You see them flit about, a community unbound by ties to the earth itself. How do they fly? With the aid of demons, you are sure! Or wings. You know, either way. How do wings work anyway? Demons, probably.

But at least you....might have an idea where your missing explorers went. The actual village is cliffside, not beginning for dozens of feet above you, but you have the visual cover from the jungle's verge for now. That cover will disappear if you go forth though.


Last edited by Alpharius on Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:45 pm 
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"So this poem is...very literal. Verdant Thorn, you're leading is to some kind of flying spirit, and while I wish that was a metaphor, it is not. Just to make you aware. This temple marked the boundaries of what the ancient Dragon-Blooded here controlled, and what they did not. In that way it's like a border fort, and a boundary marker. It was nice of them to let us know what's beyond, too."

Naxos hops down from the pyramid, smoothing his hair. Going down the trail, he pauses to look at what was lost here and there - a fitting metaphor for these peoples' lives. It's a long trek, and even his spirit of archeological adventure is starting to wane when the way opens up.

"...Oh. This is fascinating. Any gods of flight would definitely be pleased by this."


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:50 am 
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"And every one of them is an enemy and person snatcher at best," Diamond Flow says as she kneels in the grasses. She looks over the groupings of flying beastmen, trying to get something like an accurate count of them. She also looks at what weapons they're holding and in particular anything like a ranged weapon - spears, bows, slings and the like. Then, she tries to judge the distance from the village to ground and how lethal a fall from the height may end up being. "This is .... not good," she frowns.

"They have every conceivable advantage up there. If we climb we'll be exposed and they can pick us off with impunity. I'm thinking our best bet will be to follow the cliff and scale away from the village. Someplace with cover if we can," she says as she starts tilting her head to follow her gaze along the cliff in either direction, looking for a suitable place to make their crossing.

"Unless someone has a better idea?" she says with hopefulness tinging her hushed voice.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:13 pm 
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Sesus can be found writing almost every thing being said down on his not pad as they move if asked why he always says to help me remember. He also add times and locations. So y’all get ready and I will go see if we can talk our way out. While they look at me you will have better chances to look around and form a plan. he starts to walk straight up to the beast men letting the group know he’s going to do this. Once in ear shot he speaks at a calm manner.Hello good people. I would like to know if we can trade some information and drinks.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:54 am 
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"I could try to sneak around, with the stealthy gifts of Mela I can at least figure out maybe where the prisoners are..."

Naxos trails off as Talos just heads straight in. He blinks, almost dumbfounded. "Merciful Dragons, or that, I guess."


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Diamond Flow, from the cover of the jungle, is getting a very up close look at the warriors of these people as several of the figures flying, walking, flitting, and hopping about on the cliffside community peel off and rocket towards the ground like comets. They surround Sesus Talos, a half dozen raptor-men (and two raptor women) armed with glittering steel spears and axes in their impossible wing-hands. They bark something at him in...heavily accented Old Realm? Who here speaks Old Realm? Show of hands, without tipping yourselves off in cover.

Diamond Flow, give me a Perception+Awareness roll to get the other things you were asking about (A good casing of their community and numbers, etc). The quality of weapons and armaments you're seeing much closer right now and they look perfectly capably made. And adorned with some rather fine looking etchings, these birds really do seem to love their carved adornments!

Naxos, your butterfly friend returns and rests on your head. Where were you when Talos was walking into the arms of death, huh butterfly? Some friend you are.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Diamond Flow just watches with blank shock as Talos openly walks into the group. She glances at Naxos and hisses quietly, "What are they saying?"

Without precisely moving, she tenses, corded muscles settling into poised and ready tension. Ready to strike when this goes south. It seems almost inevitable.

((I'm just rolling dice here because I figure my earlier description is my stunt.))

Perception 4 +Awareness 5 + Stunt 2 = 11 dice

Rolling some dice:
11d10: 68 (3, 9, 2, 8, 3, 10, 10, 7, 9, 3, 4)


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:06 am 
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"I don't think they're inviting him in for tea and little cakes, that's for sure..."

Naxos leans forward a bit, to better hear the conversation. "By the way Diamond, you still haven't gotten through that Old Realm primer I loaned you last year? 'E is for Erymanthoi' is the most basic you're going to get with that kind of thing without risking rudimentary meme-traps in less savory but more fundamental writings designed to actually break down the borders of reality while teaching you the language underpinning it."

He frowns, and sighs again. "This is pretty basic border-patrol-speak, just what you might expect. Telling him to drop his weapons, calling him an invader, and a boast about what they'll do if he doesn't comply, which...it involves dropping him from high up. I know I could survive that but I am pretty sure Talos cannot, not from the height they can fly to. Not that Talos is going to let them do that if it comes to it. I'm going to move to flank, but I will tell you now - going in with flux flaring and Artifact blades flashing is not going to get us to our goals, and I know you know it. Dragons, quash his fire ust a bit, for once..."

Still muttering about his sworn brother's impulsive folly, Naxos moves off quietly to find a better position, leaving Heavenly Typhoon in its sheath so as not to give away his position with random glinting off the metal, and using his anima to quell any tiny breezes or stirrings left by his wake.

Rolling Dex + Stealth, 9 dice + 2 stunt die + 1 success from Stealth Excellency
Rolling some dice:
11d10: 62 (5, 9, 6, 7, 2, 6, 6, 10, 6, 3, 2)


Preemptively, roll an additional non-Charm die for every 10 on a roll enhanced by this Charm. Take from left to right as needed.
Rolling some dice:
5d10: 16 (1, 6, 4, 4, 1)


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Diamond Flow eyeballs their community, and the many beaked faced emerging to observe the incident down below. Dozens at least, but this is a town not a great avian metropolis you think. The village begins a few dozen feet up the cliff face, with a fall from its lower ends being painful but not necessarily instant death for one of the mighty Princes of the Earth.

A fall from up high? Well, divine intervention is always possible.

Naxos slips away successfully, but to the player's despair finds that the house rule that 10 powered non-charm die on the Stealth Excellency is a houserule from the GM's other game and not in effect here. Tragedy! Lamentations! The bird men are mono focused on Talos for the moment, affording your jungle group a fair amount of lee way to move about and act without notice. The Sesus is at least doing his job as a distraction to perfection.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:27 am 
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Verdant Thorn has been about a dozen feet or so behind Diamond Flow and Naxos now for quite some time. He is casually and calmly watching the situation as he takes small, very small given the current happenings, puffs of a herbal remedy he has prepared himself. Exactly for this situation.

His nerves are calm, he moves just within whisper-reach of the two and says, "I do speak Old Realm, and I know what they are saying, would you like me to join Talos and try to converse with them?"

He's only kidding of course, he knows Diamond Flow and Naxos too well. They are both ready for a fight, soldiers already counting up the potential targets that need to be put down. For a brief moment he too runs his fingers through a few arrows to count them while they rest in his quiver.

After this his eyes carefully focus on the beastmen, their cities, and their architectural style. He looks for clues that can be used to reason with them, anything he can spot or decipher with his knowledge of their Old Realm language. A brief emerald light swirls in his eyes as he looks past the battlefield and gazes into the very soul of the city.

((Using the charm: Careful Insight-Gathering Study, I am spending 4 peri motes (now at 25/31) to add 2 automatic successes to my Lore Check.))

Rolling Lore + Intelligence, 10 die + 2 stunt die + 2 automatic successes

Rolling some dice:
Rolling some dice:
12d10: 72 (4, 4, 8, 10, 8, 6, 4, 8, 5, 5, 5, 5)


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Talos, the exact order given to you by the raptor-man was thus: "Realm invader! Drop your weapons and place your hands on your head, or so help me we will toss you from a thousand feet up!"

Verdant Thorn: You're at a bit of a distance to make out some of the more complex patterns, but some of the carved murals are enormous. There's a lot of stylization, but he recognizes a recurring figure that isn't a bird-man but is a bird of vast scale with lightning crackling in its wings and beak always marked with blood. It appears as a central figure of reverence to these people, and if he has to guess is possibly their progenitor. A god? Some kind of unique Behemoth crawled out of the wyld? But if you can stop violence from happening, their obvious religious focus on this entity might be a good angle to press socially with especially if you can find some way to meet it in person and see how it stands on the Immaculate Philosophy and the idea of proper regularly scheduled worship from more than just bird-men.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter One: The Lost Girl
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:25 pm 
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"Thorn, if you think you can salvage this situation, do it. Just be ready to fight if it goes poorly. I'm putting myself into ambush position," Diamond Flow says in a serious tone. She frowns, moving with deathly seriousness now, although there's a slight, almost giddy tugging at the edge of her lips. She could feel the possibility of a fight and the thrill of it was dancing in her gut. A chance to hone herself.

She almost hoped diplomacy would fail.

But she would never sabotage her Hearth or put Taban in unnecessary danger, so she instead ducks down into the brush, moving with deathly slowness. She's in no rush to get where she's going, her eyes picking out a place away from the others so that if Verdant Thorn emerges her own position wont be compromised. With the careful slowness and grace of a lynx, she moves into a more favorable position in the brush.

Stealth 3 + Dexterity 5 + Stunt 2 = 10 dice

Rolling some dice:
10d10: 61 (5, 4, 2, 1, 10, 10, 7, 3, 10, 9)


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