Beyond the Tomb of Five Corners - Session 23
Nyara_Sunswept rolls to the side, snatches up her sitar and comes up crouching, swinging her sitar's strap back over her shoulder and aiming it from the hip at the Abyssal.
Kuros: (You easily retrieve the weapon.)
SonoftheMetalFlame again enters into his combat stance, crouched low with his attention clearly on the Abyssal.
Alyssa listened for the tread of foot on ground, for the breath of those around her. She would have little opportunity to recover if she failed in this attack, unable even to see the other's defenses. Spinning her faithful staff as swiftly as she could in her hands, the ends blurring almost out of sight, she leapt forwards. "Enough! If you want revenge so badly, strike at me then!"
Rose_Blossom: The abyssal simply laughed, "Do I really have to show you how to despair? You can't possibly win." She stepped in to the attack, arms open wide and tilted her head to the side as the staff fell, sparks of dark essence rippling off her claws,slowling the staff as they passed through them, until the staff halted enitely with a nails on chalkboard sound, held firmly in her teeth.
Silk: As the shifting patch of sourceless shadow filled with demonic figures fit for the nightmares of a madman approaches the battle between the earth-bound Abyssal and Silk's circlemates suddenly one of those phantoms is not quite as ephemeral as it seems, for it possesses a hideously sharp tooth that is quite real as it strikes the Deathknight's back.
Silk: From within the cloud Silk waves hello with a mocking expression - but there is not just one of him, there are many, all dancing around one another in a crazed rhythm.
Rose_Blossom: Rose sighed, her form blurring away as the blow's fell, shadows spilling everywhere. "Really now... must we keep doing this? Just give us the key and I might be able to convince the boss to let you go."
Silk: "I am sorry," the varied shadow copies of Silk reply to Rose Blossom's words. "You'll need to make a better offer."
Kuros: As the battle continues, you see the winged shape approaching...however, as it draws nearer, you see a shadow figure appear to drop out of the sky. The figure seems to land on the back of the winged shape, driving it into the ground with n heavy boom and a shriek of pain and fury.
SonoftheMetalFlame shifts very slightly in his stance, though it is not immediately noticeable where the movement occurs. There is a blur of motion and he is suddenly in the air, practically hovering as if frozen in time. His expression is intense, eyes locked on the Abyssal woman below and in front of him. His arms are wrapped around his body, as they would be if he was spinning â€“ though he does not appear to be.
SonoftheMetalFlame: Not even a second passes before a loud crashing sound is heard behind his target and a cloud of dust rises up from where he suddenly appears. His movement is no longer sudden nor his actions abrupt. Instead, he is graceful and fluid as he spins with his claws outstretched. The cloud of dust flies outward from the strong winds created from his whirling and his claws sing both through the air and against the cursed woman.
Rose_Blossom: Rose Blossom looked distracted for a moment, almost out of her body, but the blow hit smoke and shadows billowing off her as she reappeared farther back. She was run down and vanished again, still looking uncertain.
Rose_Blossom: Rose lept, her body blurring as she put some 60 yards between herself and the solars, and dashed off into the surrounding gloom, that incalculable foot speed of hers devouring the ground beneath her.
Kuros: With another boom, the winged shape goes hurtling across the square into a building, demolishing one of the walls...
Kuros: The smaller, shadowy figure leaping after it..
Kuros: There is a ripple in the air from where the figure with the massive wings landed, and it is suddenly gone.
Kuros: The figure that was apparently doing battle with the winged shape begins limping toward you all, and seems to be clutching his side.
Nyara_Sunswept slowly straightens, brushing her Marakun duster back under the sitar and shouldering it more comfortably.
Alyssa: "WHat's going on? Where is she?"
SonoftheMetalFlame glances to Alyssa quickly and then back to the fleeing woman. "She appears to be fleeing."
Nyara_Sunswept: "The Deathknight's fled, honey," Nyara says. "Here, you don't know me but let me at least bind up your eyes, clean you up a little."
Silk: "Both of them." Silk's voice is metallic, distorted by the shadows still flying around him.
Silk: "Or rather we had assistance with the other."
Nyara_Sunswept approaches the Zenith slowly as she reaches into her pockets and pulls out a basic first aid kit, complete with bandages and cleaning cloth.
Kuros: The limping figure comes into visual range...it is an older man, dressed in purple and golden robes. He has a long gray ponytail, and is holding his left side, which seems to be bleeding.
Silk: (general description time!)
Silk: For his return to Nexus Silk has assumed the appearance of a small, elderly man wearing an embroidered jacket over a severely cut white shirt and black pants. Behind silver-rimmed glasses gray eyes examine the world with dispassionate intelligence. All in all he looks more like a successful mortal accountant or a lawyer than like a powerful Solar Exalt.
Silk: Of course, directing a host of strange, ephemeral figures around him does kinda break the mundane appearance.
Alyssa turned her face towards Nyara. "Well, pleased to meet you. I'm Alara of the White Vines? What brings you to scenic Firewander?"
SonoftheMetalFlame watches Nyara briefly, and then, certain that Alyssa will be taken care of well, turns his attention to the old man. "Speak! Are you friend or are you foe?"
Silk nods in greeting. "An enemy of our enemy it is safe to assume in any case."
Kuros: He narrows his eyes at Son. "A friend."
Kuros: He gestures at Nyara
Nyara_Sunswept is a tall, tanned woman wearing a Marakun duster and a broad-brimmed hat. At the moment, her sitar is worn across her back and her hands are held up defensively, showing healer supplies.
SonoftheMetalFlame: At those words, Son's claws make a few cracking noises and can be seen returning to the shape of fingers.
Kuros: He also has a Silvery caste mark glowing on his forehad
Kuros but not a Solar one
Silk: Though he looks at the man, Silk's supernaturally sharp ears follow the strange Exalt with the blue aura closely, in case she means Alyssa harm.
Nyara_Sunswept: "Call me Nyara. You folks looked like you could use a little help and I thought I'd stop by. Looks like I'm not the only one."
Nyara_Sunswept glances at the older man with the long gray ponytail.
Silk: Quietly Silk speaks a meaningless word while making minute gestures first toward the older man and then the blue Exalt.
SonoftheMetalFlame quickly approaches the old man and, from a slight distance, attempts to assess his wound.
Kuros: "I am Kyr, an associate of Nyara's."
Kuros: He bows slightly. "We are Sidereals, of the Gold Faction."
Silk bows politely toward the man. "Your timing is impeccable, good sir."
Nyara_Sunswept: "Isn't it just," Nyara says, chuckling with good humor. She wets the cleaning cloth down with a flask, also produced from the interior of her duster, and dabs at Alyssa's face carefully to clean up the blood before bandaging her.
Silk: "I call myself Alraune."
SonoftheMetalFlame: Son's stoic expression flickers slightly at the mention of the man being a Gold Faction Sidereal.
Kuros: "When I became aware of two such powerful Abyssals in Nexus, I was required to intervene."
Alyssa: "Yes." Alyssa makes a face, interfering with the bandaging for a moment. "They handled us quite roughly."
Kuros: "Do you know what they wanted?"
Silk: "One of them felt previously wronged by one of us, sadly."
Silk: "Thankfully her revenge remains incomplete."
Silk looks over at Alyssa and Nyara. Hiding his natural suspiciousness he asks in a friendly tone: "How bad is it?"
Nyara_Sunswept: "Alyssa, Alraune, nice to meet you." She gives Son an inquistiive, speculative look.
Nyara_Sunswept: "I'd make a joke about playing the piano but it's a little inappropriate."
SonoftheMetalFlame looks at Nyara and cracks a smile. "My apologies. My name is Son of the Metal Flame, but," he says, looking over Nyara, "you may feel free to refer to me simply as Son."
Nyara_Sunswept pats Alyssa's arm sympathetically. "I'm afraid there's only so much I can do about the long-term damage. We're better off finding a God who can make a deal for the rest."
Nyara_Sunswept: "Unless you fine ladies and gentlemen know tricks I don't."
Alyssa: "I heal quickly. My eyes will likely recover long before my pride does."
Nyara_Sunswept: "Sounds pretty handy."
Alyssa: "It has it's benefits. I am sure that your own Exaltation has its own advantages."
Nyara_Sunswept: "And I wouldn't sweat the pride, sweetie. I got off one shot before she knocked my weapon right out of my hands. Haven't felt that much like an amateur since my Year and a Day!"
Silk nods. "Sidereals. I had not expected to meet you so soon."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "I think she made a fool of us all."
Nyara_Sunswept: "Wouldn't be the first time. Just ask Thorns."
Nyara_Sunswept's face darkens for a moment.
Kuros: Kyr sighs. "We prefer to remain unobtrusive...but we have heard of your quest for Shebeth, and it is vital that you complete it."
Silk's expression freezes into a mask of neutrality. "Is that so?"
Nyara_Sunswept: "Anyway, Sir, nice to see you." She nods respectfully toward Kyr.
Kuros: He inclines his head at Nyara.
Kuros: "I am tasking Nyara to assist you. She is all we can spare, for now."
SonoftheMetalFlame raises an eyebrow at Kyr's words. "I have been under the impression lately that our past incarnations weren't such great rulers. Why the sudden faith in us?"
Alyssa coughs. "Don't let your pride get us into more trouble, Alraune," she says under her breath.
Nyara_Sunswept: "Oh, because the Shogunate and the Realm's done such a fine, grand job of things for the last 1500 years, right?"
Nyara_Sunswept laughs merrily.
Kuros: Kyr's expression doesn't change. "We have our reasons. Suffice to say, our faction believes the return of the Solar Exalted would benefit all of Creation."
SonoftheMetalFlame smiles. "Fair enough."
Kuros: "And Shebeth would be a great asset against what is coming."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "And what, precisely, is coming?"
Nyara_Sunswept stops laughing, clears her throat and has the grace to look mildly embarrassed. She covers it by finishing up with a nice good bandage/blindfold for Alyssa.
Silk raises a questioning eyebrow though Alyssa cannot see it. "What? Am I not allowed to be concerned that our operational security seems to be nothing more than a bad joke?"
Silk: He sighs. "Since it seems everybody and their dog knows."
Alyssa: "Concerned, yes. Just not homicidal."
Silk smiles thinly. "You mean suicidal perhaps. And I'm not."
SonoftheMetalFlame laughs at Silk's words. "I'm starting to think it's a pretty good joke now. Our attempts to be subtle never seem to work."
Nyara_Sunswept: "Mine doesn't, if it makes you feel any better," she says helpfully to Silk.
Silk: "A small comfort," Silk replies wearily.
Alyssa: "Would you be a dear and tell us how we came your attention?" Alyssa asks Kyr.
Kuros: "We watch all of Creation, and one can hardly waltz into one of the most famous First Age tombs, in one of the most important cities of Creation, without attracting attention."
Silk makes a mental note
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Ah! Kyr, you remind me. What precisely is it that we have taken from the tomb?"
Kuros: He turns to Son. "Let me see it."
Silk: If Silk would think it appropriate to bury his face in his hands he would do so now.
Nyara_Sunswept: Upon finishing with Alyssa, Nyara steps to stand at her side, keeping a friendly hand on her shoulder for support and guidance.
SonoftheMetalFlame looks at Silk. "I know this goes against every last bit of your survival instinct, but would you please show the man who possibly saved our lives what we obtained?"
Silk: After a few seconds' consideration Silk produces a bundle of clothes with the same carefully studied neutral expression. Holding it in one gloved hand he opens the bundle enough to see part of the heart.
Kuros: Kyr holds out his hand.
Silk holds out his hand, allowing him to look at.
Kuros: "I must examine it if you wish me to give you any information."
Silk raises an eyebrow, but relents.
Silk: It's not like there is much choice, he considers. One of these days he'll have to become more powerful than all these unnerving people, if only to salve his poor, strained nerves.
Kuros: Kyr takes it, and begins looking at it closely, touching it in various plaes.
Kuros: A voice from behind the group says, "I believe that is mine."
Alyssa: "It becomes yours when you make the agreed payment, sir."
Silk: "If you will give our sub-contractor just a moment," Silk says without turning around.
Kuros: The Emissary stirs slightly, and looks at Silk, the silvery mask seeming to change expression into one of faint annoyance.
Nyara_Sunswept turns around and looks at the Emissary.
Nyara_Sunswept says not a damn thing, though.
Kuros: "My patience runs thin, little Solar." He makes a slight gesture with a gloved hand, and the golden rod shimmers into existence.
Kuros: He extends the rod to the group in general, apparently waiting for someone to take it.
Kuros: Kyr looks up in curiosity, but says nothing
Silk turns around, bowing as if he only now recognized the Emissary. "A minute's wait is endurable, is it not?" He says reasonably.
Silk: "Are you done, master Kyr?"
Kuros: Kyr nods.
SonoftheMetalFlame approaches the Emissary, taking the rod from his grasp.
Kuros: "I do not know what it is, but--"
Silk takes the heart back from him and offers it to the Emissary
Kuros: The Emissary grasps it, his gloved fingers caressing the rings. "Finally..."
Kuros: As he touches it, the rings begin to rotate faster and glow with a silvery sheen.
Silk takes great care not to let the Emissary touch him
Nyara_Sunswept: (Cue the End Boss music.)
Nyara_Sunswept: (I say it out of love!)
Kuros: The silvery light grows brighter and brighter, until it is blinding and you can no longer see the Emissary. There is a sharp crack, and the sound of metal hitting the ground.
Kuros: The pillar of silvery light grows higher and higher, until it is hundreds of feet in the air, but there is no heat.
Silk wishes he had learned to hear the world's song of essence already
Silk passes one hand before his face, letting a porcelain mask without eyeholes appear before his face, blocking the overwhelming radiance
SonoftheMetalFlame sighs, his expression changing from one of interest to exhaustion.
SonoftheMetalFlame: (( "Here we go again..." ))
Kuros: The light slowly begins to fade, revealing a beautiful young woman, with red hair that falls to her shoulders. She looks to be in her early 20s, but her eyes are pure black with white specks scattered across them like stars.
Kuros: She is dressed in a gauzy white silk wrap, and looks somewhat confused. On her forehead, etched in silver light, is a symbol
Silk: As the light dies down the mask gains eyes again.
Kuros: Kyr suddenly gasps, and falls to his knees.
SonoftheMetalFlame suddenly looks stricken with mixed emotions. Fear, excitement, awe, and many more.
Alyssa: "What happened? Is someone injured?"
SonoftheMetalFlame: "The Maiden of Hours herself stands before us, Alyssa."
Kuros: She blinks, and looks around. "Am I back?"
Kuros: Her voice is smooth and clear, like crystal chimes
SonoftheMetalFlame nods very slowly.
SonoftheMetalFlame does not move his gaze to answer Alyssa. "Pluto."
Silk says nothing, standing still as a statue
Silk: "Glad to be of assistance," he finally says.
Kuros: There is a ripple in the air a few feet beside her, and a construct shimmers into existance. It is a doorframe, made of twisted stands of all five magical materials. THe area inside the doorframe develops a reflective sheen and begins to ripple.
Kuros: Through the doorway, five more women emerge. All look very similar, all in their early 20s. Some with black hair, some with blonde. Each bears a different symbol on their forehead.
Alyssa bows her head in what she hopes is the correct direction.
Nyara_Sunswept leans close to Alyssa and begins to whisper brief descriptions of what's going on, pausing only for the dialogue.
Kuros: They run over to stand next to Pluto, murmuring amongst themselves.
Kuros: (And everyone recognizes them as the other Five Maidens)
Nyara_Sunswept is doing her best to fill Alyssa in.
Kuros: After a few moments, one of the Maidens, bearing the symbol of Jupiter (Maiden of Secrets) turns toward you all
Alyssa nods appreciatively, having never heard of another Maiden before and being mildly terrified at the presence of the other five.
Silk: If Silk thought it might work he would hide.
Kuros: "You have returned our sister, whom we thought lost, to us."
Kuros: She smiles gently. "Fear not, you have our gratitude."
SonoftheMetalFlame says in a very weak and timid voice that cracks initially, "All in a day's work, ma'am."
Kuros: "We had thought her destroyed by She Who Lives In Her Name, so long ago..."
Kuros: Pluto steps forward. "I nearly was...I was scattered across time, trying to escape Her attack..."
Silk continues just standing there, straining all his senses to take in the entirety of the situation. The Maidens' exact appearance, the sound of their voices, everything.
Kuros: She smiles again at you all. "As the Emissary, I could not remember everything, but I knew I had to stay close to this place, to wait for the right time and the right people."
Kuros: "And now you have come, and I am restored." She bows to you all. "Again, my thanks."
Silk falls on his knees, touching his forehead to the ground before standing up again. That, he reckons in the absence of precise occult knowledge, should be correct degree of politeness.
Kuros: "As a reward, you may ask me one question each."
Alyssa barely restrains herself from asking what would be needed to earn answers.
Kuros: She smiles again. "Come, come, my friends! Don't be shy! Ask your questions, you have earned the answers!"
Kuros: ("Except for you, Kyr! You aren't a PC, so you don't count!")
SonoftheMetalFlame: (( "Would you join me in my bedchamber this evening?" ))
Kuros: (GO ahead, ask her that, see what happens...)
Nyara_Sunswept: ("What would it take to get you in bed with me?" That's the question you should ask.)
Alyssa reaches up and taps her forehead, where her caste mark still burns fiercely. "Why me? I'm not exactly a priest, or even at all devout? Why did the Unconquered Sun call on me to be one of his Resplendent Suns?"
Alyssa: (I figure I owed that one to David Eddings)
Kuros: (RIP. =()
Kuros: Pluto leans over to Alyssa, and begins whispering in her ear.
Silk: Small wisps of shadow radiate outward from Silk's own shadow as his thoughts race - what should he ask?
Alyssa is stoney faced at what she hears.
SonoftheMetalFlame clears his throat, careful not to sound so timid again. "Before I decide on a question, do you know what the future holds?"
Kuros: Pluto looks at Son. "I can tell you probabilities. THere is no set future."
SonoftheMetalFlame: "Well, um... I don't know precisely how to ask, but will I succeed in creating wonders greater than any Creation has ever seen?" He almost looks embarrassed at asking.
Kuros: Pluto leans over to Son, and begins whispering in his ear.
Kuros: Pluto laughs. "Your name will be remembered for thousands of years, that I promise you. But will it be remembered by your victims or your worshippers?"
Silk indicates that he would like to ask his question in private just like Alyssa's answer was private even though in plain sight.
Kuros: (Whoops, I meant to whisper that to Son. Everyone pretend you didn't see that.)
Kuros: Pluto smiles and leans in to SIlk
Silk nods once, sharply, as he gets his answer, not trusting his voice not to betray him in front of the others.
Nyara_Sunswept: "Ma'am, I don't know if I'm included in this fine lot or not," Nyara says, somewhat uncomfortably. "But since you're here...I wouldn't mind knowing about my family."
Nyara_Sunswept: "Whether or not my brothers and sisters, their kids, their grandkids, will last or not. Or if I'll ever have any myself."
Kuros: Pluto leans in, and whispers something to Nyara.
Nyara_Sunswept looks positively beaming with what Pluto said to her.
Kuros: She steps back towards her sisters, smiling.
Kuros: "We must return. I have been long away, and I have duties I must take up again."
Kuros: She gestures towards the silver mask lying in two halves on the ground. The scoot towards each other, and fuse into one solid, silver mask again.
Kuros: "Give this to one you think worthy of defending Nexus. It needs its Emissary, and the city is too important to lose theirs."
Silk reaches out one hand. "What does it carry besides the responsibility?"
Kuros: "And loss."
Silk: "Power tempered by conditions, I assume?"
Kuros: The Maidens begin walking toward the doorframe, dissappearing through it.
Silk takes the mask, quickly wrapping it in several layers of cloth
Kuros: Pluto nods. "The wearer cannot leave Nexus, and will be consumed with its prosperity."
Alyssa: "It seems we aren't done with Nexus quite yet then."
Silk: "But his personality will remain underneath?"
Kuros: "No one can wear it an remain unchanged."
Kuros: "Power changes everyone, and they can never remove it."
Silk nods. A worthy bargain for one with the necessary conviction.
Kuros: "Farewell, friends." with that, she turns and begins walking towards doorframe, disappearing through it unless someone stops her.
Kuros: Kyr stands, and looks at Nyara. "This will shake the very pillars of Yu-Shan. I must return. Kejack will...I do not know what he will do..."
Kuros: He looks shocked and scared at the same time.
Silk lifts one hand and bows his head deeply to the departing Maiden.
Kuros: "Stay with them, Nyara. I will send you updates as I can."
Kuros: He turns and follows them through the gateway.
Nyara_Sunswept: "Sir," she says in answer.
SonoftheMetalFlame just stands, looking at the maidens as they depart.
Nyara_Sunswept turns back to the Solars.
Silk considers a Charm he has thought of in a sleepless night, one that erases all evidence and memory from a place. Surely Jupiter's presence should be sufficient, but relying on others, even - or perhaps especially - powerful gods is always risky.
Alyssa leans heavily on her staff, contemplating what she had been told.
Nyara_Sunswept: "Well, this hasn't turned out the way I thought." She laughs a little ruefully.
Silk: He puts the wrapped mask into his bag, then looks at Son questioningly. He already holds one fragment of the key, should he hold the second as well?
SonoftheMetalFlame notices Silk's expression and holds out the rod. His face is still filled with a confusing mix of emotions.
Nyara_Sunswept: "Say, how about dinner and drinks, to celebrate? My treat."
Nyara_Sunswept: "Give you all the chance to talk over what's happened. Give me time to meet you and for you all to decide if you don't mind having me around."
Alyssa: "A meal sounds welcome."
Silk: 'Alraunes intense gray eyes measure the surroundings as he takes the rod as well, while his mind probes the essential continuum for eavesdroppers.
Silk: "In a less exposed place, yes."
Nyara_Sunswept: "You read my mind," Nyara says to Alraune.
Silk: "Take care to let your animas fade. We have had enough attention for today, I think."
Nyara_Sunswept: "I know this place, the food and the wine are the finest you'll find in all of the Bastion District! Assuming the management hasn't changed. It's been 20 years..." she says, muttering the last.
Silk: "What do you think of that, Alyssa?" His intonation alludes to all the times when he has relied on her Charms of Investigation to assess the trustworthyness of another.
Nyara_Sunswept: "So, you folks have been together for a while, I take it?"
Nyara_Sunswept: "You know, that's a little unfair. I'm the stranger here, if you've questions for me, I'll do my best to answer them."
SonoftheMetalFlame looks around the area for a moment, and with a deep sigh, his expression settles on one of extreme tiredness as he sits down on the ground.
Kuros: (OK, this is a good stopping point...)
Kuros: (You guys can continue to RP, but I'm going to award XP now...)
Kuros: (25xp each, and all virtue channels reset, all temp willpower is restored to full)
Nyara_Sunswept: (Nicely done guys! While I just joined up, it's always awesome to watch people get rewarded for the epic gaming they've done.)
Alyssa: (when's the next game?)
Kuros: (Glad you enjoyed it. Next game is Saturday at 1pm, as usual)
SonoftheMetalFlame: (( There's a chance I'll be gone. ))
Nyara_Sunswept: So, any thoughts on what your Circle's next plan of action is?
Silk: Silk has a to do list on his character sheet ;)
SonoftheMetalFlame: Well, we have to head to one of... umm... three locations?
Silk: Basically two plans in parallel: 1) Gather the fragments of the key to Shebeth
Silk: 2) Build up the foundations of a new alliance/confederation/protectorate of nations
Silk: We already 'have' Lanterntown
Silk: We should be able to add Northeast Spoke.
Silk: And Nexus ... until now that was marked off limits in my calculations, but now ... >:>
SonoftheMetalFlame: It's starting to look like Nexus is going to be underneath our umbrella.
Kuros: I'm curious to see what you will do with the Mask
SonoftheMetalFlame: We can have a competition. Nexus Idol!
SonoftheMetalFlame: Nexus' Next Top Emissary!
Silk: None of us are particularly suited to outright building or ruling an empire, so my thinking was to make it a cross of the European Union and NATO - an alliance of sovereign states, that keep to certain set of common laws, treaties and mutual assistance pacts both economically and military
Silk: With us in the Security Council, steering with a light hand.
Silk: Or whatever we call the inner circle.
SonoftheMetalFlame: That sounds like a decent plan.