Beyond the Tomb of Five Corners - Session 4
Kuros: We'll start at the temple where you defeated the Mistress of Pacts Sealed in Blood.
Kuros: We'll just continue on from immediately after she died and the Barrow King simulacrum fell apart.
Alyssa: "If there's anywhere else to explore, I vote we do so another day. Another week, even."
Gavane: "Considering your wounds that may be wise."
Alyssa: "Yes, and I have blood over my dress. I need a tailor in the worst possible way."
SonoftheMetalFlame chuckles quietly at Alyssa's comment, poking around the place a bit more and analyzing the architecture.
Gavane: "Ah, that's a problem I don't have."
Gavane's clothes, as usual, are whole once more and free of blood.
Gavane: "It would be prudent of course to give at least a cursory examination to the rest of the structure."
Alyssa looks his clothes up and down. "I despise you," she says, in a deadpan voice, then winks.
Gavane: "Hey, I worked long and hard for that."
Alyssa: "True. Is there anything to suggest where this building is in the North, Son?" Alyssa calls, changing the subject.
SonoftheMetalFlame: "I'm not really sure. If there is something about the way it's built that could tell me that, I don't know it.
Gavane: "And the way the snow is coming down we won't see the Imperial Mountain from here."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "I'd assume it's somewhere North Gethamane based on how cold it is, but I can't get any more accurate than that."
Alyssa: "Ah well. I'm sure we can find out on our next visit, assuming that we can retain access."
Gavane carefully picks up the reaper daiklave left behind after Alyssa is done immolating the Mistress's remains."Curious manufacture, this. Not exactly my kind of thing, though."
Gavane: "Son, do you want to take a look at this thing? And what should we do with it afterwards?"
SonoftheMetalFlame wanders around for just a while longer before heading to the door. "Well, I'm done here. Not much to learn or do."
SonoftheMetalFlame approaches the daiklave and inspects it closely, waving it about and inspecting the details with an eyepiece he pulls out.
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Just looks like your standard daiklave made of soulsteel."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Which, you know, is rare in and of itself. Not often that one sees soulsteel."
Gavane: "Personally I'm in favor of leaving it here. If her next incarnation wants it, she can come and take it."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "I'd agree. We're not going to be selling it any time soon and if anyone sees us carrying one around, they'll know something's amiss with us for sure."
Alyssa: "Seems fair. I certainly don't want the filthy thing."
SonoftheMetalFlame sighs. "Though, I wish I had access to my forge... I could reduce this to pure soulsteel, and that would be a very nice thing to have."
Alyssa: "So, gentlemen. Care to escort me to the nearest inn? There's probably one at the nearest town."
Gavane: "It would be tempting to go looking for the last sarcophagus, but that's curiosity of the sort that doesn't benefit anyone. So yes, let us leave this place and go somewhere with a little more sun."
SonoftheMetalFlame nods. "Yeah, I'm a bit chilly. Not much one for the cold."
Kuros: The gate is right where it was, a window hanging in the middle of the air leading back to the room with the dias.
Alyssa steps into the dias room and looks around.
SonoftheMetalFlame follows after Alyssa.
Gavane: (while walking up the stair back to the top) "We should do something about that wagon up top and see if we can hide the entrance. We don't want everybody to know about this place."
SonoftheMetalFlame nods. "Good thinking."
Alyssa: "Well, maybe you could use part of the wagon to cover the entrance and then bury it?"
Gavane: "And then there's the matter of the remaining bandits, this fake Barrow King has reassembled - but that can wait until your wounds are healed."
Alyssa: "I shouldn't really take a week," Alyssa promises. "A day or two at most."
Gavane frowns. "The bandits's wagon seems to have come from a northwestern direction. Let's see if we can get something to eat and a place to stay in that village our guide mentioned. Tomorrow we can start working on our remaining problems."
SonoftheMetalFlame nods silently.
Kuros: (We're going to say Caran heads back to NE Spoke and will rendezvous later.)
Kuros: (He wants to get his troops.)
Alyssa: "Do you want to cover up the entrance before we go?"
Gavane looks to Son to take the lead
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Actually, if you guys want to head to town, I will gladly ensure that the tomb can never be entered in again. I will simply meet with you in the morning."
Alyssa: "As long as we can get in when we need to, that seems fine."
Gavane: "Well, we do want to get in again we just don't want anyone else to stumble on it by accident ..."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Well, we would be able to enter again. And anyone sufficiently powerful could as well. But it would prevent the majority of people from gaining access."
Gavane: "Sounds good."
Alyssa: "We'll see you in the village then."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Great. Be safe."
Gavane nods, memorizes the direction of the wagon trail, then accompanies Alyssa to the village
Gavane: "Until then."
Kuros: It is a few hours until night, and by the time you reach the village, the sun has nearly set.
Kuros: The village is rather small, less than a square mile in size, and with no paved roads.
Alyssa looks for an inn.
Kuros: There's one on the outskirts, identifiable only by a wooden sign inscribed with a cup and stack of coins. It is faded and decrepit. The building is wood, two stories, and looks like it could fall down at any point.
Gavane: "This looks promising," Gavane states drily.
Kuros: A room will only cost resources 1.
Alyssa: "I've slept in worse," Alyssa admits. "Once. Poorly."
Kuros: The inside is just as shabby as the outside. A few tables, and only a a fire and a few lamps for illumination.
Kuros: An older, balding man emerges from what you presume is the kitchen in the back.
Kuros: His eyes flick over you as he stands behind the bar. "Travelers, welcome. What can I do for you?"
Alyssa: "I require rooms for myself and two companions," Alyssa says uncompromisingly. She draws a few dinars from a coin pouch at her belt then drops them back into the pouch.
Kuros: The propietor greedily snatches them up. "Of course, of course! Do you require food?"
Gavane stays a step behind, silently
Alyssa: "Yes," Alyssa confirms. "What do you have?"
Kuros: "We have mutton, bread, some onions, beets...we haven't had any travelers in ages, much less traders."
Kuros: "The rooms upstairs are empty, choose any you like."
Alyssa nods. "I will eat upstairs then. Bring up a platter with some of everything," she orders. "Gavane?"
Gavane nods. "Yes. The same, please."
Kuros: The man nods his head. "Of course! No trouble at all!"
Kuros: He bustles off to the kitchen.
Alyssa: Alyssa walks upstairs, her staff tapping every step before she puts her foot on it, checking it's ability to support her weight.
Kuros: Some creak a bit ominously, but you make it
Gavane takes a room next to Alyssa's, studiously avoiding any creaking steps and floor boards on the way
Gavane: Avoiding to make noise seems to be a bit of an obsession for him.
Gavane: (Gavane will do the usual paranoia routine - fiddling with locks, trapping the window, but not much else)
Gavane: (oh right, he draws a picture of Son's demonic impersonator from memory into his little black book)
Kuros: And it is now morning
Gavane: As the sun rises Gavane takes a morning walk around the village.
Kuros: The village seems to mainly consist of farmers. There are outlying fields of wheat, and the like.
SonoftheMetalFlame stumbles up to the village, heading straight to the inn.
Kuros: There are no guild offices, or virtually any signs of trade.
Alyssa stays in bed and rests.
Gavane: Later in the morning after the customary exercises he returns to the inn, taking what passes for breakfast there.
SonoftheMetalFlame waves Gavane over to his table to join him for the morning meal.
Gavane: "A good morning to you. Everything is safe, I assume?" He sits down.
Kuros: The breakfast is a rather mediocre barley soup.
SonoftheMetalFlame smiles and nods, speaking between sips of his soup. "Very. Nobody will be getting in there without a bit of a struggle, and arachnaphobes... well..." he trails off, chuckling to himself.
Gavane is stoic as always about his food. What matters is the energy it gives him, not how it tastes.
Gavane: "A sorcerous spell?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "A friendly deal with your local first circle demon is all. And by friendly deal, I mean complete control of."
Gavane: "Ah, I see." Gavane is silent for a minute. "While we are on the subject, I meant to ask earlier - that demon we met at your tomb, does your book mention its name?"
SonoftheMetalFlame shakes his head. "I don't know its name, no. It will take a bit more research for me to know that for sure - but I am willing to bet that it is of the Second Circle."
Gavane: (Gavane keeps this conversation quiet enough to avoid attention unless someone is very deliberately spying on them)
SonoftheMetalFlame: (Yeah, Son as well. He may be prideful, but he knows better than to go around talking about demons.)
Gavane: "Which means?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Which means that she's rather powerful."
SonoftheMetalFlame finishes off his bowl of soup and begins to stand. "Powerful enough to kill my previous incarnation, apparently. Worrisome, but I'm sure we can figure out a way to take care of her."
Gavane: "Then we'll not initiate a confrontation until you have finished your research."
Gavane finishes his meal as well. "I was going to investigate the wagon tracks left by the bandits. I assume you will want to rest today? Alyssa is still sleeping as far as I know."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Yeah, I would definitely like to rest up. Wake me when you return from your investigation."
SonoftheMetalFlame And with that, Son walks off to his room.
Gavane: "I will."
Kuros: You want to investigate the tracks?
Gavane sets out towards the forest again, once more heading for the tomb. He tries to avoid taking the same path as to not wear deeper the tracks they left the last day.
Kuros: It takes several hours to get there, and in front of the entrance is now a fairly natural looking pile of dead brush and large rockws.
Kuros: The debris is covered in spiderwebs, but you don't see anything else.
Kuros: The tracks are nearly gone, but you manage to follow them several miles north to a wider, well traveled dirt road that runs north and south
Kuros: The road is covered with a multitude of tracks, however, and it seems to be rather busy. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to continue to follow the tracks on it.
Gavane follows the road to the north, looking out for wagon tracks that leave the road to one side.
Kuros: You do not see any tracks leaving the road, but after nearly an hour's walk, you come upon a river with a bridge across it. There's a wooden hut, crudely built, on the edge of the river. You see two men standing outside, chatting, with pikes and old, but well-kept armor.
Gavane approaches and greets them in Riverspeak with a Nexus accent. "Mercury's blessing and a good day to you, folks."
Kuros: One of the soldiers grabs his pike. "And to you! If you're looking to cross, fee is 2 bits!"
Gavane: He rummages around and produces two silver bits.
Gavane: "Say, you seem like the people who'd know - back down the road I heard rumors about some sort of bandit horde making these parts unsafe. Any truth in that?"
Kuros: "Bandit horde? Not any more than usual, friend."
Kuros: "I heard there was some trouble to the south with some fellow called the Barrow King, but that's it."
Gavane: "How much is 'usual'?" He hands over the silver.
Kuros: He takes it, and seems friendlier now. "Oh, you know. Some idiot merchant decides to try to the trip to Nexus without guards or protection. They get what they deserve, if you ask me."
Kuros: "There's some weird tales from the north, if that interests you. We've had a few families of supposed refugees come through here the past couple of weeks."
Kuros: "Sayin something about the dead overrunning their towns."
Kuros: He shrugs.
Gavane: "The dead? Huh."
Kuros: "People always have a story to try to get out of the toll."
Gavane: "Well, after that Thorns business, who knows what's truth and what's a tall tale?"
Gavane: "They mention any specifics, like places I should avoid going north?"
Kuros: He shrugs again. "Lanterntown is the biggest city I know if until you get near Sijan." He shudders. "And you won't catch me goin near that place, let me tell you."
Gavane: "How far 'till there?"
Kuros: "Lanterntown'll take ya a couple weeks. Just follow this road north, and take the east fork in a few days."
Gavane nods. "Thanks for the news and a quiet day to you."
Gavane: (as I said, going so far that I'll be back at the village by sundown)
Kuros: You don't find anything more of interest, going as far north as you can.
Kuros: You encounter the occasional merchant or traveler, but no refugees.
Kuros: And you make it back to the village just at nightfall
Gavane makes for the inn directly and gets himself something to eat and drink after the hard walking of the day
SonoftheMetalFlame: (I'll wake up shortly before sundown if no one wakes me before then, but otherwise no)
Alyssa: Alyssa sleeps or tries to
Gavane: While dinner is being prepared Gavane looks for the others upstairs, knocking on doors.
Alyssa wakes. "Who is it?"
Gavane: "It's me, Gavane. You've had dinner yet?"
Kuros: You hear voices floating up from the lower level.. "...you seek to interfere with the Immaculate Order?"
SonoftheMetalFlame bolts upright in his bed and gets out as quickly as he can while being silent and opens the door, motioning to Gavane to enter.
Gavane silently walks back to the stairs, his clothes taking on the color and texture of the walls
Gavane: To Son he shakes his head and points at his ear, then downstairs.
Gavane: (going closer to listen and take a look)
Gavane: (Easily Overlooked Presence Method activated)
Kuros: "No, no of course not! How can I serve the Order?"
Gavane: (can I see who's talking?)
Kuros: Not from the top of the stairs.
Kuros: "Four travelers, good innkeep! They came through here within the past week!"
Gavane: (ok, Mental Invisibility Technique and full on stealth, slinking down the stairs, back to the wall)
Kuros: "I have three staying with here, sir, but they just arrived yesterday!"
Kuros: You see the innkeeper standing, shoulders hunched, looking at the ground. He's speaking to an older man, with nearly grey hair, dressed in a blue and white cloak. A pair of jade claws are hung at his side
Kuros: His hair is white/bluish, and his skin is medium blue, resembling that of the sea
Kuros: And the air smells salty
Kuros: "Where did they come from?"
Kuros: The innkeeper stammers. "Th-the north..."
Kuros: The man nods. "I see. Bring me some food, innkeeper."
Kuros: He turns, and sits at a nearby table, brushing it off with a gloved hand before he sits.
Alyssa: "Not yet," Alyssa replies loud enough to be heard in the hallway.
SonoftheMetalFlame: gives a strange looks of displeasure, and sneaks down to Alyssa's door. He puts a finger to his lips when he can see her.
Alyssa blinks and then nods, pushing aside her blanket to stand
SonoftheMetalFlame enters the room and closes the door. Whispering quietly, he says, "There's at least one person of the Immaculate Order downstairs."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Gavane is current inspecting, but it may be best that we sneak out of here through a window or something. No good can come of them finding us."
Alyssa's face loses all expression. "I understand."
Alyssa shrugs on her one spare dress, hangs her money pouch on the belt and starts to don her boots, staying in reach of her staff.
SonoftheMetalFlame: "I must grab the rest of my things and then I will return here. Do not leave unless it is an emergency."
SonoftheMetalFlame quietly exits the room and heads to his own, retreiving his pack and equipping his bracers and armor. He gives the room a quick once over and then heads out.
Alyssa: "Understood," Alyssa whispers. "If we are seperated, go to our friend." She traces a Dawn Caste mark on her forehead, using no name in case overheard."
SonoftheMetalFlame reenters Alyssa's room, and looks about a bit. "Do you have anything triangular? Or thin and long?"
Alyssa: "how long?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Not terribly. I'm just going to lay something down to indicate which way we'll be heading. Our friend will probably know to follow where it points. If not... well, we'll figure that out later."
Alyssa offers him a decorative hairpin.
Alyssa's gathering everything of hers from the room.
SonoftheMetalFlame sets the hairpin on the windowsill and points it toward the forest.
SonoftheMetalFlame opens the shuttered window quietly and slowly, steps on the windowsill, and turns back. "Now we make our exit."
Alyssa looks out the window at the ground beneath and winces.
Kuros: (It's about 10 feet to the ground.)
Gavane: The door slowly and carefully opens behind you.
Gavane: For a moment there's nothing behind it, then the blind spot in your perceptions slides to the side and Gavane is standing there, his expression serious.
SonoftheMetalFlame pulls himself back from the edge of the window a bit just before he jumps, smiling. "Good to see you. Ready to get out of here?"
Alyssa picks up the hair pin.
Gavane closes the door behind him again. "That would be one possibility, although one that incriminates us to a certain degree."
Alyssa: "What's happening?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "They're going to know something's up whether we go or stay. I think it's likely they'll find out more if we stick around."
Gavane: "There is one of the Dragonblooded down there asking about travellers. An Immaculate from the sound of it."
Gavane thinks for a moment. "Where do we go?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Not sure, but the forest is a good start."
Alyssa: "We can't outrun a real Hunt, if this is one, on foot."
Gavane: "There's only one of them downstairs, no way to know if there are more without looking."
Gavane: "I'll take a look around, see if there's more of them in the village, then meet you in the forest, ok?"
Alyssa: "True. Brazening our way out is risky with artifacts and hearthstones."
SonoftheMetalFlame nods. "Sounds like a good plan. Shall we meet at the cave, then?"
Gavane: "That's a few hours in."
Gavane: "Wait at the edge of the forest, I won't be long."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Alright." With that he, turns around and leaps to the ground outside.
Kuros: You land between the wall of the inn and some other shop. THe alleyway is narrow, and stinks. They apparently dump scraps somewhere nearby.
Alyssa: Alyssa climbs out the window after him, hanging from the ledge and then drops from it.
Kuros: As you land, a light rain begins to fall, sprinkling you with water.
Gavane lands catlike before once more disappearing into a curious blind spot in your sight
SonoftheMetalFlame quietly and cautiously heads down to the edge of the alley, checking around the corner to make sure no one is around.
Alyssa follows as quietly as she can manage.
Gavane moves ahead, making sure there are no hostiles between them and the forst
Kuros: Gavane: As you near the northern edge of the village, you see two riders on horses blocking the main path out of the village.
Gavane: "Careful, two riders ahead blocking the main path." With a bit of effort Son and Alyssa can see Gavane returning toward them.
Gavane: "Go around them and you should be able to avoid them."
Kuros: Since it is night, almost everyone is out of the streets. You can get to the forest relatively easily.
Alyssa pulls a hood over her pale hair to make it less likely to be seen in what little light there is.
SonoftheMetalFlame nods to Gavane, pulling his cloak tightly around him as he begins trekking over to the forest.
Gavane hovers close to the riders for the critical window during which they might be able to see the others, then returns to see if there are more riders or other strangers in the village.
Gavane: Finally he returns, still under the cover of powerful Charms, to the inn to see what the Dragonblooded is doing.
Kuros: (You want to go into the inn?)
Gavane: (yeah, peek in through the window and listen)
Kuros: No glass in the window, just shutters, so it is easy to hear.
Kuros: You recognize the voice of the Dragon-Blooded, who seems to be talking with two others you don't recognize.
Kuros: "We've scoured the village, sir, and we have guards at the main road leading into and out of the village."
Gavane uses a knife to open the shutters a few millimeters so he can look in.
Kuros: You are not going to be able to see much through a few millimeters...
Gavane returns to the back of the inn, jumps back up into the room and once more moves down the stairs like a ghost, trying to see who's talking now
Kuros: You see two more dragon-blooded. One has faintly red skin, and the other has no noticeable markings, seated at the table with the original DB.
Kuros: The red one shakes his head. "No one we found remembers them. They apparently havent' left the inn."
Kuros: The elder nods. "They are not in the building. Tommorow, we'll expand the search to the surrounding forest."
Kuros: "Keep guards on the road, and assign two of the men to patrol the perimeter of the village."
Kuros: "Our reinforcements should be here in a day or two. I don't want to try to take down four of the demons without them."
Kuros: The red skinned one nods. "I understand." He gets up, and leaves via the front door.
Kuros: The elder one stands, and gestures at the younger one, and they head upstairs.
ExBot: Gavane rolled 1 dice and achieved 0 successes. (Valor roll)
Gavane moves out of the way, up the stairs and leaves the way he came in.
Gavane: Under cover of darkness he makes his way into the forest where the others are (hopefully) waiting.
Kuros: You find them easily enough.
Gavane lightly knocks on a tree to announce his coming
Gavane: "Bad news, I'm afraid."
Alyssa: "They have a legion surrounding the area?"
Gavane grins lightly. "Not yet."
Alyssa: "Well that is something."
SonoftheMetalFlameremoves his hands from his sheathed weapons. "Let's hear it."
Gavane: "Two Dragonblooded, possibly three plus a few riders. They're expecting reinforcements within a day or two, though."
Gavane: "Tomorrow they plan on expanding their search to include the forest."
SonoftheMetalFlame holds a stoic face. "Then we should be leaving as soon as possible."
Gavane: "Our options are to either stay and fight or, as you say, to leave."
Gavane: "With Caran having gone ahead back to Northeast Spoke option one is for the moment the more risky one."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Fight? I don't think that is a good idea." He pauses for a moment, and then lets slip a smile. "Besides, Cavan would miss out on all of the fun."
Alyssa: "I dislike fleeing from Dragonblooded, but I have to agree with you both."
Alyssa: "In that case, where should we go?"
Gavane: "Their commander shows visible signs of age - he might possess significant power."
Alyssa: "Spoke, to meet Caran? Through the Doors once more? Or elsewhere? My manse is to the north-west, but it is not all that close."
Gavane: "I'd prefer not to go towards Northeast Spoke. Assuming they follow us that might force a confrontation in a place with too much potential for collateral damage."
Gavane: "Son, do you have some sorcerous way of communication to apprise Caran of the events here?"
SonoftheMetalFlame thinks for a moment. "The best I can do is summon a demon to deliver a message."
Gavane: "So we could meet up with Caran again at some later point, regardless of where we go."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "If my demon succeeds in getting the message to him, then yes."
Gavane: "I'd say we either move north or use one of the gates. Considering the geography they have most likely come from the south."
Alyssa: "We aren't precisely sure of where the gates are sited. If we go north, we would be fairly safe if we can get to Sijan - even the Wyld Hunt wouldn't trifle with the city of the dead."
SonoftheMetalFlame is looking down, lost in thought. He doesn't look up as he speaks. "I'd say Alyssa's manse or mine would be best. Northwest, and slightly closer than Sijan. I have allies at my manse and hiding there shouldn't be terribly difficult if they don't know our identities."
Kuros: (How far from the village perimeter did you guys go?)
Gavane: (one, two hundred meters into the forest, far enough to be well out of sight and earshot?)
Gavane: "They will have descriptions, the question is how good they will be. I don't think we've spoken of names to anyone here."
Alyssa: Alyssa considers. "The innkeeper heard me use your name, Gavane."
Kuros: You hear voices floating through the woods...
Kuros: "...informant said they..." "Don't...even here...only three..."
Gavane holds up one hand to indicate silence
Gavane: (which direction?)
Kuros: (West, where the village is. We'll assume you exited on the east side of the village.)
Kuros: "This far...godforsaken...wife and mistress back..."
Kuros: There's the sound of rather crude laughter.
Kuros: The voices fade away as they move to the south
Gavane lowers his hand again. "A bit more distance maybe ..."
SonoftheMetalFlame nods, not waiting for the others as he carefully moves Northeast.
Alyssa: "Go around the north side of the village," Alyssa suggests. "Then if we head west we're going towards the River of Tears. A boat would let us move faster."
Gavane nods. "That could work. There are rumors of undead attacks on villages northwest of here which might impede efforts to track and follow us.""
Alyssa: "Undead attacks? I wonder if they are connected to our recent encounter. I thought Mask of Winters was based further south, only around Thorns."
Gavane: "She did seem to like the walking dead, maybe there is a connection."
Kuros: Do you take the road, or try to stick to the forests?
Kuros: (They're not super dense, but does anyone have survival charms or skills?)
Alyssa: (survival 2)
Kuros: (OK, so Alyssa, the haughty courtier, knows how to survive in the wilderness...)
SonoftheMetalFlame: A few days in to the journey, Son begins inscribing a sigil in ground.
SonoftheMetalFlame: As he makes the marks, he begins talking. "It just dawned on me that we can make much better time with some help."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Do either of you have a fear of insects?"
Gavane: "Not in particular. Why?"
Alyssa: "I'll try to control myself."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Well, there are some demons that make wonderful mounts. They just happen to be gigantic wasps."
Alyssa shrugs. "I'll try anything once."
Gavane: "Isn't that rather ... conspicuous?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "As long as we stay low, I don't think so."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "And, you know, avoid villages."
Gavane: "It would be a tactical advantage in that case."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "I believe so, yes."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Just don't let them catch you staring at another riding animal with any desire. They can be pretty jealous."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "But aside from that little quirk, they're quite obedient."
SonoftheMetalFlame begins chanting as it draws closer to midnight...
Alyssa: "Thank you for the warning. Are you going to summon three of them?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: (before the chanting) "Yes, though I can only summon one a night. And we will ride two to one of them, and one of us will get one to his or herself. The third one will deliver the message to Caran."
Kuros: The sigil begins to glow as you chant, casting the area in a sickly green light. As the chanting continues, your anima flares higher and brighter, until it is visible for miles.
Gavane shields his eyes. "This does kinda give our position away ..."
Kuros: A blob of green light appears above the sigil, hanging in the air. With a ripple, it resolves itself into a gigantic, chitinous black wasp.
Kuros: It buzzes, looking around, its mandibles clacking
SonoftheMetalFlame turns to Gavane briefly. "I do apologize for that, but the speed we gain shall easily offset their quite temporary knowledge of our position. If they're even close enough to see my anima."
SonoftheMetalFlame turns back to the wasp. "Good evening. We request your assistance."
Kuros: The wasp buzzes its membraneous wings briefly, then dips forward, bending two of its six legs in a bow.
Kuros: (And bear in mind, your anima is going to be flaring fo rhours.)
Kuros: (Which means if you ride it, it will be a golden comet streaking through the sky...)
Gavane: "We should get you under cover until the light dies down again. The trees may serve as a slight shield, but not if we fly above them."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "I don't think there is much we can do to cover my anima. Our best bet would be to continue on foot in the wrong direction. Get them thinking we're heading somewhere else."
Gavane: (Gavane is thinking 'on the other hand if they see this, it should draw them away from NE Spoke. so, win/win')
Gavane: "Let's just continue then."
Kuros: (How many wasps do you want, Son?)
SonoftheMetalFlame: (We'll just go with two. No need to provide a connect-the-dots map to the Wyld Hunt.)
SonoftheMetalFlame: (And I'm sending one to Gavane to simply deliver a message to him notifying him that we will be at my manse - assuming that is what we agreed on.)
SonoftheMetalFlame: (And then I would like for it to offer itself as a faithful mount to him to help him return to us, unless he chooses not to use it in which case I wish to release it from service.)
Alyssa: "Son, where is your Manse precisely?"
Alyssa: "And how protected is it?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Somewhere between Sijan and Port Calin, near the River of Tears."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "And it's not terribly fortified, but I have a couple of demons guarding it and a Dragonblooded ally tending to it."
Gavane: "A Dragonblooded as ally? Not a believer of the Immaculate Doctrine then, I take it?"
SonoftheMetalFlame chuckles. "Something like that."
Alyssa: "It's fairly public, is it not? My manse is a little further away but more remote. We might be better going there first, then travelling on more discreetly if we are to go to yours."
SonoftheMetalFlame shrugs. "It doesn't make a big difference to me, so that is fine."
Gavane: "That might be a good opportunity to defy tracking, yes."
SonoftheMetalFlame turns to the newly summoned messenger wasp. "Amend what I said earlier. Please tell our friend that we will be heading to Alyssa's manse [and I notify it where that is if it needs to either take Caran there or tell Caran]. Good journey."
Kuros: The wasp dips a bow again, and a voice emerges from it, sounding like brass bells. "Of course, Master."
Kuros: It buzzes off into the air.
Gavane: During one rest stop Gavane's face twists and changes in a way you have seen several times before before settling into the features of a Realm-born man with green eyes and slightly longer black hair. When he speaks it is in a different voice and with a light accent of Low Realm.
Gavane: "To confuse our enemies I will assume the name of Lei Zu from now on. It might be advantageous if you also switched to different second order names."
Gavane: "At least when there is the possibility of being overheard."
Alyssa: "Alright, I'll think of something to use once we leave my estate, I don't want to confuse anyone there."
SonoftheMetalFlame: nods. "Very well. I shall go by Casteen until things calm down."
Kuros: As you are flying northwest...
Kuros: About 100 miles south of where your manses lie, you pass over a village...
Kuros: You see a stream of people fleeing from it, and what appears to be a horde of shambling creatures swarming through the village.
Kuros: The sounds of their screams drift upwards
Kuros: (And everyone roll Compassion)
ExBot: Alyssa rolled 2 dice and achieved 0 successes. [ 2 6 ]
ExBot: Casteen rolled 2 dice and achieved 0 successes. [ 3 4 ]
ExBot: Lei_Zu rolled 2 dice and achieved 1 successes. [ 7 4 ]
Lei_Zu frowns. "Can you go a bit lower, Casteen?"
Alyssa: "What are those things?" Alyssa asks, squinting. "Zombies?"
Casteen looks back at Lei Zu. "I suppose so. Agatae, please take us down closer."
Kuros: As you buzz closer to the ground, you see that it is undeed a horde of zombies, perhaps 30-50. They are shambing through the streets of the village. The village appears almost empty, except for the corpses of the villagers lying on the streets, and the dead walking among them.
Kuros: The survivors are fleeing south, away from the village.
Lei_Zu tries to make out any sort of driving intelligence, a leader or something like that
Kuros: They seem very uncoordinated
Kuros: No visible leader
Kuros: They're basically just roaming around the village at random
Lei_Zu: "Walking corpses without any intelligence to them. This is not the instrument of a sane person, this is a weapon of terror."
Kuros: OK, cliffhanger it is!
Casteen: (Dun dun dun!)
Alyssa: next game is saturday, right?
Kuros: Saturday, yes
Kuros: 12PM PST
Kuros: oh, XP. 8xp
 Addendum - Meanwhile on the way back to Northeast Spoke
Kuros: After the group finished in the Tomb, you decided to head back to Northeast Spoke to gather your men. The rest of the group had said they were headed northwest.
Kuros: You are three days on the road to NE Spoke, and it is late afternoon. This part of the road is empty, and you haven't seen another traveler for days.
Kuros: You hear a faint buzzing, and notice a black dot approaching from out of the sun.
Caran looks at the object quizzically
Kuros: The buzzing gets louder, and the size of the dot increases, as it heads toward you. It quickly resolves into the shape of a giant wasp, longer than you are tall.
Caran finds this a little less pleasant than he was expecting
Kuros: It is a deep, irridescent black with shimmering wings.
Caran watches the bug closely, waiting to respond to any attack
Kuros: It circles once more, and lands ten feet away from you, its wings kicking up little clouds of dust.
Caran stands warily, waiting for it to act.
Kuros: It cocks its head, its mandibles opening and closing. "You are Caran?" Its voice sounds like tinny bells.
Caran: "Yes. Who is asking?"
Kuros: "I serve your companion, Son of the Metal Flame."
Kuros: "I am to tell you that they are journeying to his home, to the Northwest."
Caran frowns. "Why?"
Kuros: "He did not say. I am to take you to them, if you wish."
Caran: "Can you carry me?"
Kuros: "Of course."
Caran looks of a ways. "How far away is this place?"
Kuros: It lifts severeal of its spindly legs restlessly. "It is there."
Kuros: It points with one leg towards the northwest.
Caran: (How far from Spoke am I still)
Kuros: (2 or 3 days)
Kuros: "I can take you elsewhere, if you wish."
Kuros: "I am to serve you."
Caran: "Well, I should gather the men, "caran talks to himself, "but if Son sent this thing to me it must be important. And it will take who knows how long to march the men back here"
Caran looks to the bug. "You will carry me to were I am to Son's home."
Kuros: It dips its head, its mandibles clicking. "Of course."
Caran thinks "the Claw's can manage by themselves for a bit longer
Caran: Slowy Caran will approach the insect and sit upon it.
Kuros: Its shiny carapace is perfectly smooth, and somewhat slick, but there are a few places where it is relatively easy to sit steadily.
Kuros: With a sharp buzz, it leaps into the air with a lurch, and darts off to the northwest.