(I may transplant this to Whirlwind Novel method later...)
Inspired by a thread on /tg/ about 'how did you exalt?' I wrote this:
I was a combat medic lookshy's fabled gunzosa troops. I equally did a lot of field maintenance, seeing as for them to get hurt at all their gunzosa power armor would have to be damaged quite a lot too.
I was not strong, nor was I especially brave. I was not a warrior, but I had a seemingly endless stamina when it came to spending ours suturing wounded men. My resistance to fatigue even allowed me to keep pace with the gunzosa troops, landing me a spot as one of a couple of combat medics for a scale of them.
One time, while deployed to help defend a marukan village against marauding undead the ranks broke, a giant undead monster of flesh lashed together with brass rivets storming towards us
I had only basic hand to hand training, plus I had practised a lot of throwing some of the acupuncture needles I had around as thrown weapons - so I did just that. it of course didn't do much, other than now I didn't have my acupuncture needles.
After the battle I was patching up soldiers when I came to a not so stunning realization: To fight the undead scourge that had taken Thorns we'd need to do more than just hold our ground... we needed to do something. I myself wished I could help in that process, while trying to stop a marukan soldier from bleeding to death, the poor man's left arm having been torn off...
and then suddenly his wounds closed as what looked like fresh flesh and bone started growing - slowly - into a new arm. Also, I was glowing, a lot. Sure, I was inside a tent while this happened, but people outside noticed it none the less.
Three hours later the soldier's arm was regenerated - what a miracle!
I was brought before the local commander of the lookshyan forces present... but I could not speak to explain myself. While doing the procedure with the arm ancient memories had flooded my mind, almost displacing my own. People calling my name, I did not hear them; the name I now knew was mine was a different one: Bright Machine Speaker.
The captain, a seasoned dragonblood, wasn't sure if I'd gone mad, become anathema, or a combination of both. However, Lookshyan immaculate doctrine is not the same as that practised on the blessed isle. This probably saved my life that night: The captain asked me to 'do that arm thing again' on a couple of other crippled soldiers that had been grievously wounded in action.
I spent the rest of the night ceaselessly patching up soldiers with a precision I hadn't had before. Legs came back, arms came back, hands worked again. I was cheered, but cautiously so. The word around the camp was that I was anathema... but with these results, how could that be a bad thing?
In lookshy you are always judged by your actions first, with spiritual matters and other nosh later. I had been judged to be an asset.
The next day I was rushed back to Lookshy where I was made to stand before the general staff - the senior dragonblooded leaders of lookshy.
To my surprise one of them had thought it had been one of the gunzosa soldiers who had exalted. But I was judged on my merits none the less. I was deemed a risk, at least to the extent that my powers were largely unknown and that with my new memories my loyalty to lookshy was guestioned. The old me felt great shame. I had served Lookshy all my life, with all my being. I had worked hard educating myself into a physician, a battlefield surgeon. The 'new' older me didn't seem to mind, wanting to find old places that I remembered but knew not the name of.
I was given indefinite leave. I was told that should I want to return to lookshy and serve it again, I would have to prove that I again trustworthy and able to do so. That I had given five men the use of all their limbs back apparently wasn't enough for this.
I prepared leaving Lookshy on foot with all my earthly possessions, my clothes, my uniform, a fine set of doctor and surgeons tools I had received as a gift from my family when I had graduated... oh the looks they gave me when I told them I had to leave. Some cried, some looked confused. My parents had passed away some time ago, but I had aunts, uncles, and their family, to contend with. Some asked if I had done something wrong, others if I had truly made deals with demons. I simply told them I had... been blessed, but not by the dragons - and certainly not by demons. Still, it was weird.
The rumor that I was anathema had spread through-out the city, and I had in turn heard that someone had assaulted and again crippled one of the soldiers who's broken leg I had fixed. I felt I needed to leave quickly lest I become a target as well.
The night before I left I was approached by a strange figure. I had never learnt much of Lookshy's old lore, I only knew how to read, write and what other few things that lookshyan citizens were taught as children: I was no academic - yet. The figure, a man clad in ancient robes, with a face with crusty wrinkles so sharp and cracked that they... were inhuman. This was not a human.
I had seen many a dragonblood in my days. I was close to forty, and had served Lookshy all my life. I paid my respect to the dragonblooded. I did not pray much, for my family had never been graced by the dragons, nor anything else, and we had always been content with that. But this, this was not a man, nor was it a dragonblood.
This was a god.
The figure introduced himself as Tu Yu, his lips moving in weird ways, as if his face had become parchment or thin stone; it creaked and cracked as the lips moved, giving off tiny sprinkles of dust as he spoke. He spoke of old times, to which my new memories spoke in kind, me remembering a much younger looking Tu Yu, in a city much different than Lookshy, but in the same place.
Tu Yu said it was good to see me again, and that he had hidden everything where instructed. I knew not of what he spoke, but again ancient memories seemed to tell me that it was all ok. I followed the strange old god through the streets of Lookshy.
Through tiny passage-ways and hidden shortcuts, we made our way from my humble apartment in the district of schools, over to the academy of sorcery, Valkhavsen - but I dared not ask why. As I knew through my military training, then when it came to dealing with fae and spirits, it is best to leave such to the dragonbloods, and that mindset was still in effect - even though the ancient memories I now had told me to treat this god more as a friend.
Somehow we got into Valkhavsen, were we were greeted by old scholars who bowed deeply to Tu Yu. It occurred to me that I had not shown such respect to the god, so I quickly joined in, only for Tu Yu to berate me: I should be the one he saluted, not the other way around. This puzzled me greatly.
I followed Tu Yu further down into Valkhavsen, the old bearded scholars, some of them dragonbloods, questioning me endlessly: Had my essence awakened, did I speak new languages, was I able to do new things? I was quite confused. They seemed to know more about me than I knew. This just seemed to intrigue them even more, prompting them to ask even more questions I wasn't sure how to answer. I was a combat medic, a good one at that, and a part time magi-technician, not a demi-god or a sorcerer as they seemed to believe.
It was when Tu Yu dismissed the scholars and led me deep into strange tunnels under Valkhavens that things started to make sense. Passing through golden fire that did not feel hot, the iconography on the walls, the symbols... it all seemed frighteningly familiar - and yet it was also clear that someone was wrong. I could not say what, but the damaged were at least clear enough: the place was a ruin, a ruin with golden pillars with sun-burst motifs everywhere. This was a ruin of an ancient anathema lair. How could such a place be under Lookshy?
Tu Yu asked if I remembered building this place. I said yes without even thinking about it, only to catch myself wondering why I had said that. The god smiled, revealing inhumanly long and crooked teeth, like finger long shards of bone, yellowed and... dusty?
The god said that I was ready and revealed a hidden cache of... junk. Gears, jewels with runes inscribed on them, bits of steel and a few small ingots of an oddly warm kind of gold. No, it couldn't be gold. It was far too heavy to be gold.
Looking over the pile I started to remember things. I remembered asking Tu Yu to hide something I had taken apart, I remembered how to put them back together again, I remembered how to make things without tools, I also... knew that I couldn't do any of that right now. It was then I became concious of my own essence, holding one of the ingots of warm... orichalcum.
It was then that Tu Yu handed me a handful of glowing golden crystalic spheres - he then bid me to fare well on my journey, stating that his promise was to lead you here and give you these things. I looked at them, knowing what they were without knowing the words for them.
I threw the orbs around the ruined hall with a pinpoint precision that would make even dragonbloods envious, and for a brief hour the place lit up - reinvigorated by compressed crystalic essence storage devices releasing all their glory. The place rumbled, ancient machinery coming to life and reassembling the gears and gems and orichalcum before my eyes. The ingots were sliced into rods, plates and other bits. The gems were set, the gears put into place. In a matter of minutes a wonder probably not seen in creation for millennia was there once again.
I looked like a golden disk with five finger-sized holes in them. It was about half an inch thick, and the edge of it was... well... it went inwards, revealing sharp golden barbs or something on the inside. I beheld its glory. Then I understood its purpose and took it into my hands, my fingers fitting perfectly into the holes. I powered it with essence, and the bards inside the disk came out and spun at great speed, making an awful noise. It looked quite impressive.
Then the whole place, this factory cathedral, went dark once again, only the glowing caste mark on my forehead giving off any light. The place groaned, like a hungry beast having been made to exert itself once again.
I could instantly tell what was wrong: the whole place was failing. It needed repairs, it needed essence. Looking around I saw the walls of the great factory hall, revealing golden inlays in white marble that would support a very specific geomantic effect: this place was meant to fly... and it was burried underground, under Lookshy.
I rushed to a place I knew but had never seen before, and with my gyroscopic chakram cut myself so that I bled. It hurt, yes, but my ancient memories told me that I would heal again. my medical knowlegde telling me that could fix myself up even faster. I bled into a receptacle that slowly came to life. I bled a lot, to the point that most men would have fainted - but I held my conciousness like a warrior held his blade in the face of a murderous horde.
Then the receptacle closed off somehow and the rumbling stopped.
I sat down hard on the floor, panting. I had lost a lot of blood. I pulled out my surgeons tools and went to work. When I was done my wrist didn't even have a scar, although it still hurt. How long I had been at work was beyond me, but I knew that it was past dawn and that I was meant to leave the city post haste.
Sneaking out the same way I got in proved strangely easy. I could have sworn I saw a few of the same old scholars from the night before distracting people as I made my way out, but I did not stop to question them. One thing I did know: I could now answer a lot more of their questions, should I ever come back.