Beyond the Tomb of Five Corners - Session 10
Kuros: Casteen and Alyssa have freed Lokan, Thelaos is still in the little shadowland with his friend, and I don't remember what Lei Zu was doing.
White_Reaper: "So, you speak with the dead, Thhhelaos? Can you summon ghosts, too? It would be nice to ask one of the guys back there a few more pointed questions ..."
Thelaos: "I can not summon them, no. But if they linger here, we can find them."
White_Reaper: He frowns. "I'll take what I can get. There's supposed to be a few more of these necromancers and my order was to kill them all."
White_Reaper: (spend 1m, how far 'till sunrise?)
Kuros: (An hour)
White_Reaper nods and leaves to find the others
Kuros: Alyssa and Casteen had drug Lokan out to the central area, I believe...
Alyssa: (Casteen wants to nick the orb and breaking the altar sounds wise)
Casteen: (Correct on both counts. That DB's weapon might be nice too, don't remember if someone did something with that)
Kuros: (No, no one has taken it.)
White_Reaper: (according to the map, do we have investigated all the area we'd pegged as likely hideout?)
White_Reaper draws a quick sketch to later add to the map
White_Reaper: Apparently writing something in his little black book Lei Zu - still in his White Reaper disguise, blood spattered white robe and all - joins Alyssa and Casteen
Alyssa looks at the altar. "Any suggestions on how to break this?"
White_Reaper: "Not my area of expertise, I'm afraid. Casteen?"
Casteen: "I haven't quite thought about that, yet. Let me look it over again."
White_Reaper: "According to that ghost, Niasios, in the other room a prisoner was brought through the Shadowland into the Underworld. It might have been Caran, considering that we haven't found him here."
Alyssa rubs at her face. "Sounds possible."
Casteen walks around the obelisk silently, examining it closely.
White_Reaper: "Another matter to consider is the rest of this order. According to the minister they were 'less than a dozen' - so far we have taken out three, so it stands to reason that there are more."
Alyssa turns to Lokan. "Do you have any idea how many of the red-robed clowns there were, divine one?"
Kuros: (He's unconscious)
White_Reaper: "Mmh, that is a good idea. If he was a prisoner here for so long, he should know his captors."
White_Reaper: "As the city god, maybe he has some way to find them, too?"
Alyssa: "Perhaps. He would probably have considerable sway over the other Gods of the city."
Casteen doesn't appear to have listened to anything anyone else said, as he simply interrupts what's being said. "I don't think that breaking it may be an option. Something like this is almost certainly protected, and by greater sorceries than I am capable of performing."
Alyssa: "Can we risk leaving it here were someone else might abuse it?"
White_Reaper frowns. "Performed by whom then?"
White_Reaper: "The protective sorcery that is."
Casteen: "No, we certainly cannot leave it here. I think that transporting it somewhere else would be wise. My university, perhaps."
Casteen: "And I could not tell you who performed it. Someone with a great deal of interest in the Yozi, no doubt."
Alyssa: "Well, we can give some thought as to how it is to be moved then."
Casteen: "I could easily summon a demon to do all of the work for us."
Casteen: "Oh, no. It would have to be much later this day."
Alyssa: "I thought so, from your previous comments. So we'll be down here a while guarding it I suppose."
Casteen: "For getting it out of here in the very near present, I do not have any ideas."
Kuros: (Daytime! You can leave the Shadowland now, if you want, Thelaos)
White_Reaper: "That would be prudent anyway, just to intercept any further members of this order showing up here."
White_Reaper: "At least until this god wakes up and can tell us whether he has a better method."
Kuros: Lokan moans slightly, and his eye sflutter open.
White_Reaper waits, watching the god closely
Kuros: "What...what happened?"
Casteen: "What is the last thing that you remember?"
Kuros: "Clearly? I...I discovered something wrong, undernearth my city. I came to see what it was. Someone attacked me. After that...it is all a blur..."
Kuros: He holds his head, and looks down at his pitifully shrunken frame. "What happened to me?"
Alyssa: "Well, you nailed to a chair for about a century."]
Casteen: "Well. That someone was part of a cult that has been raising undead and causing general mayhem since they imprisoned you. They had you bound to a chair and were draining your essence, but we managed to rescue you. And here we are, beneath the city."
Kuros: He looks shocked, then sighs. "And my captors?"
White_Reaper: "Can you not remember your captors? Their master is dead and annihilated, but there might be more. Mortals, most likely, but ..."
Kuros: He stands up, already beginning to look a little stronger. "No, but I can find them. The stink of their worship is unmistakable." He looks at the obelisk. "That is what I sensed, what I came to find."
Alyssa: "So... what is it?"
White_Reaper smiles thinly. "That is good. We mean to eradicate them entirely. And have a few hard questions to ask of them."
Kuros: He shakes his head. "I don't know what it is."
Alyssa: "Well I'll just go on considering it a stand for Casteen's new shiny thing then."
Kuros: He looks at all of you. "Thank you for..rescuing me. Who are all of you?"
Alyssa: "We represent the Society of the Lawgiver."
Kuros: "I'm afraid I haven't heard of you."
Casteen: "We came into existance sometime after you were imprisoned, so that is no surprise."
Alyssa: "We're an ancient and mystic society that didn't exist when you got locked up here."
Kuros: Lokan looks at Alyssa's caste mark and Casteen's pillar of golden fire. "I...see."
Kuros: "Well, you are welcome in my city, and you have my thanks for what you did."
Kuros: He gives a small, not at all pleasent smile. "I think I need to catch up on what has been going on while I was...away. Who is the current leader of my city?"
Casteen: "Actually, I was thinking of perhaps discussing a few things about this city with you. In the time that you have been gone, it's become rather corrupt. I thought you might like some assistance in... how should I say this... doing a bit of cleaning up?"
White_Reaper: "Who leads the city? A weak man who let himself be bullied by these cultists."
Alyssa: "Several generations of weak men, to be fair."
Thelaos stands by quietly and listens, having been brought into this mainly by chance.
Kuros: "They conspired with this...cult?"
Alyssa: "They appear to have made some kind of deal. Possibly ministers not inclined to deal were removed although that is merely speculation on my part."
Kuros: He narrows his eyes. "But this current one...he worked with them?"
Alyssa: "So it would appear."
Kuros: "That cannot be allowed to stand."
Thelaos: "Do you suspect that he was aware of what this cult was doing?"
Thelaos: (addressed to the other solars - not the god)
White_Reaper: "It is not so much a suspicion though as it is the implication of their own words."
Thelaos nods, "I have spent very little time in this city.. how deep is the corruption?"
Alyssa: "It is their law to pray to Lokan at every business transaction, sustaining him for this cult to drain."
Alyssa: "Generations deep."
White_Reaper: "Although how far it extends beyond the highest ranks of the government, we do not yet know."
Kuros: Lokan nods. "I see."
Kuros: He turns to Casteen. "Not that I wouldn't appreciate the help, but why would you want to help?"
White_Reaper: "The Society of the Lawgiver aims to promote peace and just rulership, not corruption and murder."
Casteen tries to give a pleasant smile. "Honestly? Multiple reasons. One, I have a great interest in making sure the guild is prosperous here. I am a lover of all things crafted, from art to weapons. The lampmakers here should flourish."
Casteen: "Two. What my friend here said - we promote peace and just rulership. It is in our interest to better all of Creation."
Casteen: "Three. I run a university nearby and I would not like to see something like this happen again in the area."
Kuros: "From what you have said...I will need your help if I want to help my city."
White_Reaper grins "If you are recovered enough to find those people for us we will make certain they cause no more trouble ..."
Kuros: He nods briefly. "I can find them, though I am far from...back to my old self."
Casteen: "If you want, during this time, we can notify everyone of your return and suggest that they pray to you to help bring the city back from corruption."
Kuros: He closes his eyes for a moment. "There are...four of them. I think."
Alyssa: "That should be managable. I think the lesser gods in Lanterntown will welcome your return and assist us."
Kuros: His eyes flick over Alyssa and Casteen. "Though perhaps we should wait until you are a bit..less noticeable."
Casteen smiles. "Yes, that was quite in the plan."
Alyssa: (Alyssa's should be almost gone at this point)
Casteen: (Not mine. Big bright flaring anima here. :) )
Alyssa: "Perhaps you would like to guard this altar here for the moment?" Alyssa suggests. "It should only take two of us to take Lokan up to our Inn where he can rest in more comfort."
Casteen nods. "That sounds like a good plan. It will give me more time to study it as well."
White_Reaper: "As long as there are no more Dragonblooded among them, it will take only one of us to take care of these remnants. We will need more than just a number, though."
Kuros: Lokan shakes his head. "I can't tell anything more about them without getting closer."
White_Reaper: He turns to Thelaos. "Speaking of which, have you found any ghosts of the two men in red robes here?"
White_Reaper: Back to Lokan: "Then you will have to come with us."
Kuros: He nods.
Kuros: "I can take you to them."
Alyssa: "Should anyone remain here with Casteen?"
Thelaos: "I'll remain here.. I might have a few questions."
Casteen nods. "I'll be glad to answer them."
White_Reaper: "In that case. Can we have a word in private among us, city god?"
Kuros: Lokan inclines his head, and walks down a hallway out of earshot.
Alyssa: "What's on your mind?"
White_Reaper waits until he is away, then turns to Thelaos. "So. An end to the implications and word games. Are you one of the Solar Exalted?"
White_Reaper: "If you intend to stay here with Casteen we should have clarity in this matter."
Thelaos: "Yes, I am. And what is this order you serve?"
Alyssa: "We are the order."
White_Reaper nods. "Do you plan on doing us or our agenda as stated harm?" he briefly looks to Alyssa as Thelaos answers, knowing that she will know of any lie.
Alyssa: (use the Judge's Ear Technique)
Thelaos shakes his head no, "not now, no. This is the first time I've met any others, and I'm in no hurry to make any more enemies."
White_Reaper: He briefly looks to Alyssa as Thelaos answers, knowing that she will recognize any lie.
Thelaos looks toward the obelisk idly as he continues, "it was chance that brought me here. I knew little of this city or the extent of our slain enemy's evil.. and nothing of you. I came here for the ghost, who's safety has been secured for now."
Thelaos: "If it's alright with you, however, I would like to stay with you - your order - for a while."
Alyssa nods. "You are welcome among us, Thelaos."
Thelaos smiles, "thank you."
White_Reaper bows to Alyssa and then to Thelaos, trusting Alyssa with such judgements
White_Reaper: "Then we have clarity. Very good."
Casteen: "Perhaps we should mention that we have the Wyld Hunt after us? I think it might affect your desire to join us.
White_Reaper: "For certain values of 'after us', that is." He shrugs. "It's not like they don't mean to kill every single Anathema anyway."
Thelaos furrows his brow for a moment, considering this information. "No.. it's only a matter of time before the hunt finds me as well. I may as well not be alone."
Thelaos pauses and continues, "and I should mention that I am not without enemies."
Alyssa: "Pah! As if any fool can go through life without accumulating them."
White_Reaper: It is a strange sight to see the Reaper smile. "Our greatest enemy is dead."
Thelaos holds up his daiklaive, now wrapped again in its cloth, "this.. I took from an old malefactor of mine in a shadowland near my home. I don't know who he was.. or what.. but he may be out for my blood after what I did to him."
Thelaos: "Greatest enemy..?"
White_Reaper: "Not that it stops him from ruling a certain city on the coast of the inland sea ..."
White_Reaper shrugs. "He is on my list as are all the others whose End will come in time."
White_Reaper: "But enough of that."
Alyssa: "Yes, let's deal with those higher on the list."
Thelaos: (if White Reaper and Alyssa go with the god to check out the city.. Thelaos will stay back with Casteen and just try to get caught up, heh.)
Kuros: (Do you two particularly want to RP out finding and killing the 4 cultists?)
Kuros: (No. It's just 4 mortal cultists.)
White_Reaper: (not necessarily. Step 1: Find, Step 2: Capture, Step 3: Interrogate, 4. Execute)
White_Reaper: (subjects of the interrogation: 1. number and identity of cult member. 2. activities and corrupt city officials, 3. what happened to Caran)
Thelaos: (don't forget 1.5 - any connections outside the cult or city officials)
White_Reaper: (under activities: what was the plan behind the undead raising or were those just 'tests' as I think one of them said? what have they found out about the orb/pillar?)
Kuros: THe 4 cult members are the last. They each identify the others. They were mostly richer people, though one was the Minister of Security, responsible for police in the city.
Kuros: All of the city officials, at least those with any prominence are more or less corrupt. None knew exactly what went on with the cult, but the Prime Minister, Tzu Lao, and the others did what the cult wanted. Granted, the cult tended to kill those who didn't cooperate, but the officials enjoyed the rewards (mainly elimination of rivals and such) of cooperating.
Kuros: The cult has no connection outside the city.
Kuros: The DB was beginning to experiment with necromancy after a stranger, dressed all in silver and black, showed up and spoke with the DB. The stranger gave the cult the soulsteel orb, and the zombie raisings were just the DB learning its power. None of the mortals could make the orb work yet.
Kuros: Caran was a fluke. They captured him, and the stranger was very excited when they brought him back, and carted him off into the Underworld.
White_Reaper: (do they know where he was brought? the stranger's name? where he can be found or how he can be reached?)
Kuros: (No, no, and no. They weren't allowed contact with the stranger.)
White_Reaper: (if Alyssa is in favor of a spectacle then Lei Zu will keep the blood-spattered robes and the Reaper face and terrorize anyone present during the arrests)
Kuros: (You're killing them?)
White_Reaper: (yes, in private and with the Nameless Weapon)
Kuros: Lokan looks sadder and sadder as the cultists die.
Kuros: After the, uh, disposal of the cultists, what do you do?
Lei_Zu: "So. One objective reached. What now, Alyssa?"
Alyssa: "I suggest we return to our Inn and wait until Lao Tzu turns up frothing at the mouth."
Alyssa: "Why go looking for a minister, when one is bound to seek us out?"
Lei_Zu: "And then? What do we do with these corrupt officials?" He waves the list, which includes Lao Tzu's name.
Alyssa: "What happens then us up to Lokan."
Alyssa: Alyssa looks at Lokan and raises one eyebrow.
Lei_Zu frowns. "It is not a god's place to rule or dissolve a government."
Alyssa: "Nor is it the place of a city's government to conspire against its God."
Lei_Zu shrugs. "It wasn't the goverment, so the point is moot. My point however is, that god though he may be Lokan has not the authority to decide this. It must be our decision."
Alyssa: "Say then, that my opinion has not yet been formed and Tzu's reaction to Lokan will shape it."
Lei_Zu: "Yes, and all of us should be there to decide that."
Alyssa asks Lokan: "Do you have a sanctuary we can escort you to?"
Kuros: "Thank you for the offer, but I can return on my own."
Alyssa: "Alright then. Thanks for guiding us to the cultists."
Kuros: He smiles faintly. "Thank you for freeing me. I have some...catching up to do."
Kuros: He turns, and begins to walk down a street, fading quickly away
Alyssa: "Casteen can't move the altar until tonight. Perhaps we shoudl take him something to eat and decide what to do now."
Lei_Zu: "That would seem prudent."
Alyssa finds a food vendor, gets some food to go and we head back to the catacombs?
Lei_Zu passes by the White Lily on the way and carries his gathered possessions along down the catacombs
Lei_Zu: "In case the good minister's reaction is less than friendly."
Lei_Zu: Instead of the White Reaper a Realm-born man with green eyes and long black hair tied back into an orderly braid is accompanying Alyssa when she returns to the catacombs. He wears expensive silk robes in a shade of blue so dark it is almost black.
Thelaos is standing with his folded, waiting patiently when the two return. He greets Alyssa, "welcome back. Who is this?"
Alyssa: Alyssa looks at Lei Zu. "You can explain this."
Lei_Zu bows in polite greeting to an equal. "I am called Lei Zu and I am also a member of the Society."
Casteen looks up from the obelisk, which he is still observing closely as if he'd never stopped. He grins at Thelaos' question and just goes back to observing.
Thelaos nods, "I see.. good to meet you." He looks over at Alyssa, "how many more of you are there..?"
Lei_Zu: "You could say that I am responsible for the White Reaper, who is himself not a member in truth. He is more of a tool, a mad dog to be unleashed on our enemies."
Lei_Zu: He spready his hands grinning. "My tool, our tool."
Alyssa: "Dramatist," Alyssa sighs. She offers the food. "I didn't think you'd want to stay down here without something to eat at least."
Lei_Zu: "How are your studies progressing?"
Casteen looks at Alyssa and smiles, taking the food. "I'd forgotten about eating. Thank you."
Casteen turns to Lei Zu. "I'm not learning much, unfortunately. I really need to have access to my library."
Lei_Zu: "Is speed essential in this matter? Does it pose an imminent danger?"
Casteen: "No, it doesn't appear to be a threat any time soon. Not without someone who knows how to work it."
Lei_Zu nods slowly. "In that case there are a few more pressing matters to attend here. There will be time for study once we have removed this thing from here."
Casteen nods. "Alright. What are our plans?"
Lei_Zu: "Namely the questions of what to do about our missing member and his possible abductor, that 'stranger in silver and black, and secondly the matter of this city's corrupted goverment."
Casteen: "Have you made any progress with any of those?"
Alyssa: "One of the cultists was a minister."
Lei_Zu: "It seems certain now, that this so-called stranger was the one to give the necromantic orb to the Order. And he is the one, who took Caran away into the Underworld."
Alyssa: "I think we can guess at his affiliation."
Lei_Zu frowns. "Is a pursuit into the Underworld feasible at all?"
Lei_Zu: He looks to the others who are vastly more knowledgable about occult matters.
Casteen shakes his head. "I'm sure it is feasible, not I highly doubt that it would end in our favor. It is incredibly dangerous, even for solar exalts."
Alyssa: "It's risky, but not impossible. We need to do some clearing up here first, but if we leave Lanterntown's leaders as they are then we could go once the altar has been secured."
Alyssa: "The main risk is that once we enter the underworld proper, we would no longer be able to respire essence."
Lei_Zu: "So it is like a pursuit and fight under water. There comes a point, when returning to the surface is your only option."
Lei_Zu: "And the more head start our enemy has the greater our problems become."
Alyssa: "Essentially yes. But it is the only lead that we have."
Lei_Zu: "And we can't leave one of our Circle to the mercies of these people. The Mistress ... she was turned by them into something horrific."
Alyssa: "Casteen, if you summon a demon to carry the altar, could it deliver the thing to your manse without you?"
Casteen: "As long as it was not waylaid, it would have no trouble at all."
Alyssa: "So you could summon it and then we could leave immediately to chase after Caran?"
Casteen nods. "That is certainly a possibility, but... well, I do not want to sound callous, but I do not think the risk of entering the Underworld is worth it. I do not think we could survive."
Lei_Zu: "Can we take the agatae into the Underworld? Our opponent has one day head start on us, but if we can move faster ... of course we would also need a way to track him."
Alyssa: "I don't like the risks myself, but it's that or giving up on Caran."
Casteen: "We can certainly take the agatae with us. But if we are going down there, we will need a clear plan on how much time we will devote to finding Caran and how we shall get out. And, of course, how to even locate Caran."
Lei_Zu: "If it proves to be too dangerous, we will turn back and consider other possibilities."
Lei_Zu: "You said, you could also summon a demon for tracking?"
Casteen: "Yes, but it is not without risks. I do not specifically know of any demons that can do tracking, though no doubt they exist. I would have to summon a demon with the intent of finding one that can track, which means that it's behaviors and temperament are completely unpredictable."
After some more discussion Casteen summons a tracking demon this night and the four Exalts enter the Underworld through the Shadowland to pursue Caran's kidnapper. Shortly before nightfall they return on the following day, exhausted and unsuccessful. No essence respiration, hostile ghosts and tracks that disappear into nothing. Even the demon's fine nose (and other sensory organs) are numbed by the dead air and choking clouds of ash. Defeated the four Chosen retire to the White Lily.
Alyssa orders a meal in her suite for everyone.
Kuros: Perhaps an hour after your return, there is a knock on your door.
Casteen orders some of Alyssa's wine as well.
Alyssa: "Come in!" Alyssa calls from her divan.
Kuros: The door opens, and Tzu Lao stands in the doorway.
Alyssa: (does he have his guards with him?)
Kuros: Not visible.
Kuros: He steps into the apartment, and shuts the door behind him.
Kuros: "Well?" he says, looking suspicious.
Alyssa: "Well?" Alyssa asks him. "Goodness, aren't you feeling eloquent."
Alyssa: "The matter has been dealt with, if that is what you mean."
Kuros: He narrows his eyes. "That's better."
Kuros: "You will be leaving soon, I trust?"
Alyssa: Alyssa shrugs and looks over at Lei Zu.
Lei_Zu: "There is the matter of a number of ... collaborators."
Kuros: "Our agreement was you would leave!" he hisses, beginning to get red in the face.
Lei_Zu: "If I recall the report in question, that was something you and you alone said."
Kuros: He steps back toward the door, opening it. "I see."
Alyssa looks at him. "When we are done here, we will follow our business elsewhere."
Kuros: He opens the door, and leaves without another word.
Lei_Zu: "There is really no need for you to be rude."
Alyssa: "Well that went well."
Casteen shrugs. "His loss. I'm sure he'll be surprised when we rearrange the government and he's not a part of it anymore."
Alyssa: "Hopefully that can wait until morning. I want a good night's sleep first."
Lei_Zu: "We should discuss our position sooner rather than later, though."
Alyssa: "Alright. What do you want to do?"
Lei_Zu: "My opinion is that those who have collaborated with the Order and benefited from it should stand trial according to the laws of this city."
Casteen: "Fully agreed."
Alyssa: "Who would judge these trials? Us?"
Lei_Zu: "I have the list of names and the testimony of the four we interrogated, among them the Minister for Interior Security himself."
Alyssa: "For that matter, what are the laws about trials here?"
Lei_Zu: "In honesty I do not know how the justice system works in these parts."
Alyssa: "Badly, one suspects."
Lei_Zu: "But if there's a judge free of corruption or some other jurisdictionary body, then that is who should do it. We are outsiders here, this is an internal matter."
Alyssa: "Then I suppose that the first thing to do will be to find such a judge."
Lei_Zu: "Our responsibility is to make sure that no one escapes judgement by undue means."
Over the next few days:
- everyone who was named as a collaborator of the Order of the Silver Chair is brought to trial according to the laws of the city
- corruption is rampant in the justice system, but Lei Zu and Casteen demons are everywhere, bringing up everyone taking bribes or otherwise mishandling justice up on charges
- sentences of varying severity are levied on quite a few of the higher up officials
- quite a few officials, including Tzu Lao, managed to escape from the city however
- Casteen sends hunter demons after them
- after much effort, the Circle manages to find some reasonably honest people and stick them into positions of power
- watcher demons will covertly observe the goverment and notify the circle if they stray from their path
- Lei Zu taps the city's sources of intelligence, politely 'asking' the new Ministers of Interior and External Security to forward regular digests of notable events and general information to him
- some resentment against the Immaculate Order, from whose ranks the criminals of the Silver Chair Order came, is promoted among the common people of Lanterntown
Kuros: Next game is Saturday at 1PM PST
Lei_Zu: 7XP it was?
Casteen: How much downtime will we have had at the beginning of the next sessions then?
Kuros: However muc his needed for everyone to get what they want done
Kuros: For whatever you want to do Charm/Sorcery/Ability/etc training wise