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emerald viper
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Quirky Exalted Campaigns

03 Sep 2011, 18:25

I do a lot of writing for games that my boyfriend runs. He sets up all the numbers and I come up with goofy (sometimes extremely non-canon) business to occupy the characters. While this isn't exactly a "story" - these are a few of the games that I've put together. I think it sort of fits under "few shot" fiction - or conceptual stories anyway.

Destroyer of Fishtanks, Destroyer of Worlds

A Quirky Exalted Campaign Session by Emerald Viper


Inspired By:
Pirates of the Caribbean, Slayers, Time Bandits, Looney Tunes, The Fifth Element, Indiana Jones, Spaceballs, Titanic and Despicable Me


Maledict Incarna, a very powerful Fair Folk Prince owns The Last Chance Casino not far off the coast of Azure. The players have been signed up for a gladiatorial arena match in order to gain an item from him.

This item is on display under a magical shield in front of Maledict’s private box. The shield will be disrupted if Maledict is no longer in the immediate vicinity of the item. The party is beholden to a Bronze Faction Chosen of Endings Sidereal, Himitsu – who is going to bet something intangible for them, should they lose (and is also the one who arranged this death match in the first place).

The players probably stand to lose their souls or something like that, given that Himitsu is “a magnificent bastard”. When the party starts losing – or when the match is disrupted, Himitsu will elegantly vanish and cannot be found.

Since this is the West, Maledict decides that a mock naval battle with pirates is in order. He floods his arena with Wyld-tainted water and puts a giant kracken in there for good measure. The party is assigned to crew a fleet of three miniature (8 foot) pirate ships with one small cannon on each.

These ships are obviously built on a “toy” scale and not made to be crewed by Exalts. Feel free to have them break, sink, etc. the ships and have to tussle with the kracken in the Wyld-tainted seawater. Sail checks are standard as with a regular ship, but the miniature size increases the difficulty on every roll. Firing the cannon requires some measure of Archery skill. Discerning the best way to set up the ships is a War roll.

Their opponents are cataphractoi who serve Incarna – but these fair folk don’t have the same trouble as our heroes crewing the tiny fleet they have been assigned. They are a group of miniature (3 foot) tall “Pirates” with a capital “P” – the most cliché pirates you can envision – with peglegs and parrots and a propensity to shout “YAAAARR!” in their high-pitched little voices.

The mini-pirates do not actually say anything else. For being so tiny, they are ferocious and are able to swiftly maneuver their little ships, causing our Exalts no end of grief. They are also armed with cannons – which fire not only cannonballs (which the party is supplied with) but also all manner of Wyld-tainted ocean life. Squid launchers. Octopus launchers. Firing a Squid Launcher is a Wits+Archery roll.

Have lots of Integrity and Resistance rolls – and when they’re failed, do something really kickass like turn some Solar’s armor into a mermaid suit or a coconut bra. You get the idea.

But the trouble doesn’t end there. A crew member of The Ying Long who “serves” under
Jing Wei has decided that Maledict can’t be trusted to hold up his end of the bargain and doesn’t like leaving the business of retrieving this artifact to the “rookies” - and so he sends Viper.

**Viper**(Emerald Viper is a 300 year old Changing Moon Lunar. She is a kleptomaniac, alcoholic, foodie and sexual opportunist (Temperance 1) whose spirit form is a large constrictor snake. She is absolutely not afraid of anything – even to the point where most people fear she's completely insane (Valor 5). In her spare time she runs a whorehouse in Nexus. She has the attention span of a mayfly and what she lacks in Intelligence she makes up in Charisma. Her favorite forms (besides snake) are a giant sea serpent and a tiny blue-ring octopus.)

**The Ying Long** This is how the party got to The Last Chance Casino in the first place – they were sailing with Jing Wei (as per last session) and he marooned them there. Jing Wei is a very old Outcaste Water-Aspect smuggler/pirate with a serious reputation. It is not possible for the party to take advantage of him – or avoid being marooned for lying to him. This is because his crew consists of himself – his Water-Aspect daughter (Matsu), an Essence 6 Dawn Caste Solar (Crashing Wave), an old and dangerous Lunar (Emerald Viper) - - - and “Shoatie” aka. The Shoat of The Mire – a usually invisible Dusk Caste Abyssal who is infatuated with birds (your party's Lunar had better watch out!). All are loyal to Jing Wei for different reasons and unlikely to betray him. I suspect that this combination of characters from Steven's game will be more than enough to trump whatever your party can bring to bear. I've got sheets for whichever ones you need.

Anyway, this is how things throw down during the match. Emerald Viper disrupts the match, changing into a giant sea serpent (mountainous spirit expression). Maledict throws a temper tantrum that “The Solars/Lunars are cheating!” and revokes the dome which protects the audience from the Arena and also the bubble protecting his artifact.

That’s when Viper accidentally releases the floodgates that hold the water in the arena from below. You know there’s nothing worse to hear a character say than the fateful word “Oops” – especially when she’s staring at something that looks like a large floating drain plug in confusion. This sends everything spiraling down the arena plumbing – which is as vast and eccentric as a water park. If anyone is still on a boat, amp up all Sail rolls by two. Dexterity+Dodge rolls, lots of em’.

Cue: “Hey, is that a Great White Shark flying at us?”

In the midst of this chaos, Viper makes a go for the artifact and may or may not succeed in seizing it. If she has it, the party will have to pursue her – if she misses it, she’ll pursue them. In addition to her giant sea - monster form, she also changes into a snake, a tiger shark and a blue-ring octopus (and may well hide in a champagne bucket and get wasted as the madness commences).

Wyld-tainted water carrying miniature pirates and all kinds of sea life ravages the Casino in the form of a self-propelling Tidal Wave, upending a gruesome dinner party enjoyed by two Abyssals, causing a Sidereal cheating at poker to be detected (Hey, it's Himitsu!), ruining Judge Fakheru’s (the lesser elemental dragon of water) turn of the roulette wheel and also disturbing a small branch of the Wyld Hunt captained by a Wood-Aspect Tepet indulging his opium habit.

Every time the party thinks they have escaped the semi-sentient Tidal Wave that is scouring the halls, let them hear the roar of water and break some doors down. The Tidal Wave chases whoever has the artifact and will continue to chase them until they exit the Casino.

So, now – in addition to the Mini-Pirate Cataphractoi who serve Incarna, Deathknights, Pirate Zombies (from the Abyssal Dinner Party) a Dragon, Dragonbloods (and a dozen panicky whores) and angry Celestial Mobsters (gambling with Himitsu) are also running amok (or chasing the party for revenge).

Cue “Saber Dance” and play it up like Bugs Bunny. This is a great opportunity for stunting off of floating pool tables and using fabulous weapons of opportunity like chafing dishes, chandeliers and chairs while white-water rafting down the hallways of this exotic fair folk Casino. And don’t forget the other fae. Some of them may be furious, but Incarna is probably applauding and drinking his Mai Tai – this is a “pirate story” at its most fabulously nonsensical.

Feel free to add more mayhem as the plug that Viper released in the Arena is actually causing the REAL ocean to fill into the Casino and sink it. Evacuate the Casino like the movie Spaceballs. And of course, there are never enough lifeboats for all of the freaks! As the Casino goes the way of the Titanic, ol' Maledict can play his violin from the rooftop. It’s not like he can’t just dredge the place back up to the surface, after all.

But can the party escape, or are they all headed for Davey Jones locker?

_____________________________________________________________
 
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webkilla
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Re: Quirky Exalted Campaigns

03 Sep 2011, 18:44

I want to play in your game

like, a lot


but I live in the europes :(
I have a webcomic: http://psitech.comicgen.com - Its kinda like exalted, except more furry, more fanservice, more fun, more sci-fi.
- may contain people being called "bob"
 
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emerald viper
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Essence 2
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Joined: 03 Aug 2010, 20:03
Title: Changing Moon
Exalt: Lunar
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Re: Quirky Exalted Campaigns

03 Sep 2011, 19:34

Sleeping Beauty's Library
Inspired by Doctor Who, Evangelion, Alice in Wonderland and Anderson's Fairy Tales


The Twilight-Caste Loremaster and Sorceress Altessa Endymion was revered as “The Chief Secretary of Information” of The Deliberative, directly serving Queen Merela. Merela was never fond of Altessa (neither were most of her peers) but felt obliged to offer her a position of significance because of her vast knowledge.
Assisted by a team of Sidereals/Gods and other Twilight Solars, Altessa was the lead programmer of “the internet” of the First Age, I AM. This was her crowning glory and she was obsessed with its immortality. I AM was based out of Altessa’s own manse which is known as “The Library”. She refers to the vast artificial intelligence as “my baby” and it calls her “mother”. I AM is the only “creature” living or artificial that Altessa has ever been capable of holding a civil conversation with.

Cheop Kejak, if asked about Altessa still regards her as one of “the most dangerous Solars” ever to have lived – and it is plausible to assume that she knows things about the Sidereals that even they themselves have forgotten. Altessa gained her immense knowledge of craft – not from Autochthon like some other ancient Twilights, but from a primordial &/or unshaped Fae now known as The Weeping Maiden. Kejak is especially sore that Altessa was not killed during The Usurpation. He does not know how she devised a plan to escape, but he suspects that she went into The Wyld.

Long before The Usurpation, Altessa began to realize that trouble was brewing. She mobilized her Library (and with it the vast amount of knowledge she had gathered to program “I AM”). She then created around her manse a Solar Sanctuary that would be maintained with her own Essence and the efforts of an army of Illuthrita. She then sailed out into the deep Wyld, counting on a bargain made with The Weeping Maiden to keep her little bastion of Creation safe. Unbeknownst to Altessa, The Weeping Maiden made an effort to invade Creation during The Usurpation and was trapped in a physical form by the Solar who later became the The Silver Prince.

When The Weeping Maiden is freed, she may be interested in visiting with Altessa. Of course, Altessa harbors no misconceptions about the nature of her frequent “tea guest”. She knows with certainty that one day The Weeping Maiden will destroy her – when she can no longer provide anything “interesting” and she considers that a great challenge to her own formidable intellect. This Scherazade-style storytelling has been going on for more than a thousand years (but has paused since The Usurpation) for reasons that Altessa cannot fathom as her awareness does not extend far beyond her Library.
Altessa has attempted to reach Creation several times with elaborate probes that she has constructed in her sleep – but with no success. She knows that something has happened but cannot imagine what. Having left Creation before The Usurpation, it is quite possible that she believes The Deliberative still exists and that her peers have simply forgotten about her.

The Library has NEVER BEEN FOUND (Its location is limited to certain individuals, mostly Sidereals working for Oversight and including the little god Madame Marthacine, another “tea guest” of Altessa’s). Since The Library was a project spearheaded by a Solar working with a team almost completely comprised of Sidereals, its existence was shrouded when the Sidereals concealed themselves. Only a Sidereal, certain Gods or a completely unaltered ancient text could tell anyone in Creation about this Library. It could also be uncovered by visiting Tea Gardens of Yu-Shan, as the God who runs this Solar-training facility (Pugumien) is one of Altessa’s few friends. Bringing her up would lead to an awkward conversation with Lytek who has been unable to find Altessa’s Exaltation. He fears that it has been captured by the Deathlords and would be very pleased to learn that Altessa somehow survived the Usurpation. Not that he “likes” Altessa – but the consequences of her terrifying intellect in the hands of someone like The Eye or The Silver Prince is too horrible to consider.

The Solar Sanctuary which surrounds Altessa’s library has proved a most effective deterrent for the curious and really, the Library doesn’t actually do anything that should concern more powerful denizens of the Wyld. It just floats above a sea of churning primordial chaos, adding the interesting-if-improbable addition of an alabastar-and-orichalcum tower (surrounded by several Italian-Renaissance style piazzas, outbuildings and lush gardens) to the scenery. The entire complex of The Library is about the size of a large University… and indeed, that is what it was meant to resemble. Altessa duplicated Sperimin in its entirety – but without “the people” that she “never did get along with”. Her staff consists of brilliantly constructed machines made to resemble insects, Builder Bugs and Illuthrita (117 – 120 in Wonders of the Lost Age), who are under specific instructions to remain unseen (so as not to spoil the view). Among other things, Altessa cultivates rare and exotic flowers, venomous snakes and salamanders, insects which have not been seen in many centuries, butterflies and a strain of Wyld silkworms which spin the gossamer she uses to wire many of her constructs.

Altessa was a very old Solar even by the standards of The First Age. She is Twilight Caste (Essence 7 or 8) and appears to be roughly forty or fifty. She wears a small pair of green-colored glasses that sit on her nose without arms (like “The Matrix”). These are an artifact which allow her to observe Essence flow around her manse and pinpoint problem sites before they begin to deteriorate. Almost everything she builds is nigh indestructible – thanks to the liberal use of the Charm “Art of Permanence” and some Solar Circle Sorcery. The party may discover this if they try to damage her home. Even the tea cups which she leaves everywhere miraculously repair themselves when they are smashed. This should be boatloads of fun and quite frustrating!

Altessa tends to dress in Victorian-style garments of pure white which make her bronze skin stand out in stark contrast to her cornflower-blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes. When she slips off her stifling Victorian gowns and intelligent gossamer cloak, Altessa dresses simply in a white breeches and a loose shirt which allow her freedom of movement. She prefers to be called “Tess” with no ostentatious prefixes attached. She has a special affinity for spiders – much of her library is decorated with gold or orichalcum spiders and gossamer webs. The amulet which holds her most treasured “hearthstone” - not actually a hearthstone but The Wonderous Globe of Precious Stability - is in the shape of a spider.

While she is not particularly physically imposing, Tess a master of FIVE martial arts styles, ranging from innocuous, non-magical and meditative (Tai Chi) to world-destroying Creation-rearranging styles that SHOULD only be known by Sidereals (such as the legendary “Perfected Lotus Style”). The Sidereals who came to know her well may remark that she would have been a very good “Chosen of Secrets” if the Unconquered Sun hadn’t had other plans for her.

Despite being a survivor of the darkest era of Solar rule, Altessa’s fault is quite simply that she cares nothing for “people”, preferring the company of her books and tremendous artifact collection which includes a piece of the Primordial Bright Shattered Ice (given to her by the Twilight-Caste sorceress of that same name). Her museum is filled with artifacts created by the Dragon Kings and other predecessors of the Exalted. She has a fascination with the Wyld and has some more dangerous “pets” wandering about in the labyrinthine halls of her manse, but they don’t concern her – though they may be powerful enough to destroy the party. See: Winter Rose, Fire Ants, Heart Wasp, Chillikin (not tainted by The Usurpation), Illuthrita, Snakebud Tree, Tomb Beast – and pretty much anything else found in Creatures of the Wyld 1 & 2.

Altessa especially prizes intellectuals/philosophers and would “collect” them if she could – but her abrasiveness drives off anyone who doesn't like being seen as a science experiment – because that's what she thinks all people are. Strictly speaking, Altessa is not a “thief” (she won’t take anything that hasn’t been “donated” to her) – and she is also not a “tyrant” (she won’t force people to do things “against their will”). Now, it certainly doesn’t hurt that as old and powerful as she is, Altessa can manipulate and coerce people simply with her presence. Even still, she replaced her living entourage with automatons long before heading off into the Wyld so many centuries ago.

The Essence drained to maintain Altessa’s vast Library in the depths of the Wyld caused her to undertake drastic measures. She put herself into a kind of cryogenic state. Of course, not knowing how long it would take for stability to be restored within Creation, Altessa also planned to continue working while asleep. She merged her consciousness with “I AM” and the system that maintains her Library, a connection that will immediately be severed should she wake up.

Alone, she lacks the power to return her Library to Creation without risking its destruction (which she will never do), but if some Essence-users were to visit her, that would give her the energy needed to rouse herself from stasis while maintaining all of the Library’s essential systems. Controlling the whole Library still involves the commitment of nearly all of her Essence and her complete attention. While in stasis, the energy produced by her flaring anima will maintain the building, when she is roused – she will begin to glow normally as any Solar who has spent all of their personal (and at least 10 points of peripheral) Essence. And without her pure intellect to meticulously guide every part of the system, Altessa’s waking will doubtless cause malfunctions throughout The Library.

OUTSIDE THE LIBRARY:
1. Reflecting Pool (the size of a football field containing giant, man-eating koi fish)
2. Firefly Pond – water induces hallucinations that can be dangerous
3. On the beach (where the party docks) the Wyld is slowly encroaching
4. Pier for Airship Docking (very large ship, non-running due to Wyld infestation)
5. Mirror Dojo – for practicing Sidereal Martial Arts
6. North Observation Deck – a telescope, getting pulled into the Wyld
7. South Observation Deck – Can you see Creation – or is it a mirage?
8. Hydroponics Lab/Garden – experiments galore. They will eat you.
9. Rose Garden
10. Liarbirds – throughout the forest. Bioengineered ravens that talk nonstop and seem to enjoy causing people to panic.
11. Marble Slab movable paving stones that hover 6 inches off the ground make paths throughout the island. With the proper command words, these paths move – and even turn into staircases (in elegant spirals) to access seemingly illogical doors – ala’ Winchester Mystery House.
12. Shop and Hanger.

ROSE GARDEN:
Immediately surrounding the main entrance. Like the story Sleeping Beauty the (Winter) roses have grown up all over the Library (castle).

1. Automaton Assassin (4), in the form of snakes, running loose
2. Clockwork Efficacy Servitors (12), gardening, they have cut the Winter Roses down to almost nothing in one small area while they have devoured the building everywhere else. The Snakebud tree is also overgrown.
3. Clockwork Efficacy Gardener, non-operational
4. Cup of still warm tea sitting on a little table.
5. (Creatures from “Creatures of The Wyld”) running loose.

THE HANGER:
1. Resplendent Dolphin Class Undersea Courier (4) – and another Wyld-mutated killer koi hiding in the pool beneath it.
2. Tools EVERYWHERE
3. Warbirds (4). All non-operational.
4. Partially Dismantled Royal Warstrider “Callisto” AI of 4
5. Teapot, several cups full of still warm tea.
6. PIER for docking very large First Age warship
** A good distance out the back door of The Hanger is the MIRROR DOJO – 5 stories tall, mirrors on floor, ceiling and all walls. Used for practice of Sidereal Martial Arts. No trophies, except for a single white silk ribbon in a frame.

THE SHOP:
1. Fivefold Harmonic Adapter in a drawer marked “Junk”
2. Tools EVERYWHERE.
3. Forge Hand Gauntlets on workbench near cup of tea.
4. Portable Geomantic Recharging Module
5. Recorder of Everlasting Glories. Connected to I AM terminal. Records an experiment conducted with the Geomantic Recharging Module. If the party watches the experiment, have them notice a strange little creature manipulating the object in the background. This is “Spot”.
6. Cup of still warm tea.
7. Several crates of Quagmire Perimeter Mines, deactivated
8. Clockwork Efficacy Servitors (10), working on various projects
9. Collar of Clockwork Diligence (3, some broken)

**The Servitors will remark if asked about the Collars – that the “dogs” have all “disappeared”. They do not understand why this has happened. Investigation will reveal that the dogs died centuries ago and have crumbled into dust.

MAIN ENTRANCE DOORS – Flash caste mark and doors will open.
Do anything else and you'll just get tired.

LOBBY:
I AM terminal, an expressionless humanoid face (like an ivory mask) appears as a free-floating hologram. “WELCOME.” It says in OLD REALM. “You have been expected.” A Clockwork Servitor explains that the Mistress is indisposed but desires that her guest be well cared for. If asked how long the Mistress has been “indisposed” – the Servitor will reply “XXXX years, 200 days, 16 hours and 43 minutes” Someone with a really good roll may identify this as about the time of The Usurpation. Ideally, the party will take this to mean that “The Mistress” is dead.

If the party is hungry or tired, I AM will direct them to the dining room or to bedchambers which have been prepared for them. If not, a Servitor will direct them to The Library and tell them to make themselves at home in the sitting room outside of the Mistress's study. The Servitor will bring them tea in about thirty minutes if they wait – if not, they may explore.

If they wait in the lobby for any amount of time, they will note that the murals shift to show different scenes from the Primordial War.If someone rolls successfully to examine the Library's geomancy, they learn that it is a combination Solar/Sidereal manse built on what appears to be a demesne of Wyld energy. It’s a micro-creation built like the Primordials created “Creation” out of Chaos.

ATRIUM:
Between the Dining Room and The Lobby where the party will probably enter is an overgrown Atrium with a glass corridor. Fish swim (and fly) overhead. An orichalcum birdcage is unoccupied and a bed for some large creature lies empty near the doors of The Bath. As with everywhere else, there is a cup of tea sitting on a small table here.

Dining Room
:
An impressive space obviously designed for a large audience with a portrait of Altessa and her Lunar mate Desmond- who appears as a short, wiry older man. While the two are both undeniably striking, they are not as “godlike” as some Solars portrayed themselves - though the likeness has a “real” feel to it – the faces watch you. In fact, SPOT is watching from behind this portrait, excited by the prospect of company.

Several Ever-Vigilant Guardians will punish the party for any perceived misbehavior over dinner and eject them from the manse if the should choose to tear up the portrait or any of the furniture. The chillikins elsewhere in the room can be persuaded out when the fruit is set on the table by the Servitors, or by any party member showing their caste mark. SPOT will flee if the picture is torn down and the party will startle a dozen illuthrita hiding in the walls “watching” them. Spot will scamper off into the garden much faster than the party can pursue him.

And remember the first rule of Storytelling.
* If something is not scary enough - make it a swarm.

Now on the other hand, if the party is well-behaved the flowers in the arrangements on the table will open as the party enters and sits. Chairs will adjust to their height and shape to be perfectly comfortable. Wine glasses (full of a celestial vintage) literally rise out of the table. The white lace curtains open to show a view of the Wyld dominated by the trees on the edge of Altessa’s garden and four large, gold marble columns.

I AM terminal can be called upon to play whatever the party would like to watch (within reason), replacing the window with a hologram that drops from the ceiling. Neither I AM nor any construct/creature knows that The Usurpation has occurred. They will all repeat the same date when consulted about “The Mistress“. “The Master” was last seen five days before “The Mistress” became indisposed.

Guest Rooms:

Four identical rooms provide sumptuous accommodations for any guest, just down the hall to the right of the dining room. At the end of the hall is a bathroom and the bath. There is a small sitting area with a fireplace also and some extremely old magazines.

Lunar Dojo
(Training Room, down the opposite hall from the dining room) obviously designed for practice of martial arts and done in the fashion of a traditional dojo. Impeccably clean. Exploring will note that one of the “heavybags” is made of solid stone and dented several times by enormous paws that left claw marks. Further exploration will reveal a suit of moonsilver armor in a closet with a daiklave resting in front of it, as one might expect from a samurai. A staircase in the room seems to lead to “nowhere” – a perceptive eye will realize that it is to “Elsewhere” and probably the secret “den” of the Lunar who used this space. No characters can access it. Also present are an I AM terminal and trophies of extinct monsters.

Solar Dojo –
similar to Lunar Dojo but with more natural light. Leads out onto the testing field. Stairs lead down to TESTING FIELD where a Warstrider-sized practice dummy is sitting. It is missing its head.

Testing Field: STAIRS on opposite side of Testing field lead up to an ivory tea pavilion surrounded by carnivorous homicidal flowers that do the “Alice in Wonderland” “wake up” when the party arrives. Then they try to eat everyone.

Kitchen and Laundry:

Pristine, food preserved. Running water. Little bio-engineered lizard scuttles around, unhinges its jaw and gulps up a mouse.
I AM terminal (if consulted about the carnivorous lizard): “The Mistress could have certainly prevented pests from infesting her home – but apparently she enjoyed permitting their existence and letting her “pets” eat them instead. She found it “amusing”.” Such lizards with even stranger abilities are everywhere – some will freeze, incinerate or teleport around their prey. They look like Leopard Geckos in varying colors.

**SPOT is in the refrigerator. See Spot run!

Japanese Style “Bath”
(designed to look like a waterfall and garden indoors, starlit sky above). Pristine white towels and perfumes. A dog-eared copy of “The Book of Three Circles” sits on a rock next to a cup of tea – still warm.

The Museum (below the lobby):
An enormous space, but with Louvre like flair. There is the appearance of natural sunlight through a glass ceiling and the floor is white and gold marble. There are fountains and staircase separating “collections”,

1. Paintings and Sculptures
2. Numerous Teacups
3. Dragon King botanical experiments (Bulb of Demise and Renewal (1))
4. Partial Skeleton of a Behemoth
5. Model of the Loom of Fate/Model of a Pattern Spider
6. Fragment of a Treatise on Crafting Sentient Life written by Autochthon
7. Ever-Vigilant Guardians (60), patrolling
8. Clockwork Efficacy Servitor (10), dusting
9. Clockwork Efficacy Overworked Curator AI 3
10. (Both The Library and The Museum operate on the principle of infinite fractal space, that is to say, they both go on forever, AMBER series.)
11. SEE SPOT RUN!

Upstairs from The Lobby, The Library:
More than twenty floors of books filling the entire central tower, the room is illuminated by a suspended-in-midair fragment of the Primordial Bright Shattered Ice, 200 foot tall piece of perfect blue crystal. (Both The Library and The Museum operate on the principle of infinite fractal space, that is to say, they both go on forever, AMBER series.)
- - - Clockwork Efficacy Chief Librarian, Mousy and Jumpy, AI 3

Powered by Awesome: The Hearthstone Room
Empty, walls are beautifully decorated with fractal-like patterns of Essence.

AND THEN YOU LOOK UP. This is actually the base floor of The Library. The blue glowing source of all power in the manse is A PIECE OF A PRIMORDIAL?! THE LIBRARY IS ALIVE?! It also totally makes Tardis noises.

A direct line can be drawn up from the hearthstone room of the manse through the 200 ft long shard of the primordial to the center of Altessa’s sorcery workroom atop the tower. How else could Solar, Sidereal and Wyld energies be twined together? This isn’t just a manse... it’s a mini-Creation - POWERED BY PRIMORDIAL.

The Sorceress’s “Work” Area, atop the tower.
Intricate grooves line the white marble of this raised platform which is about 50’ by 50’. Constructs keep the fires lit. Upon closer inspection, the area was last used to banish a demon of the third circle – successfully? SEE SPOT RUN!

Sidereal Star Chamber:
(A door near Altessa's Chambers appears to be a maintenance closet but actually leads to the Sidereal Star Chamber). The ceiling which appears completely transparent shows all the stars of the night sky along with a manipulatible hologram. This is a tool for Sidereal Astrology. An expert will observe at this point that the manse (while much of it is Solar in nature – also resembles a Sidereal manse). This is the other Tower (aside from the Library). The lower levels contain books and museum items.

Altessa’s Chambers

Servitors will request that the party does not enter, but will not stop them.

On the Vanity in Altessa's Room:
1. More TEA!
2. Age-Staving Cordial (3), consumed regularly like a tea or coffee.
3. Face powder + cosmetics, but the real gem is a mirror that adjusts the lighting of the entire house so that the person looking in it will appear at their best.

(Have the ugliest character in the party sit in front of the mirror after the party sorts out what it does - - - and then have the lights go out!)
4. Moonsilver ring on nightstand with a letter addressed to “Desmond”.
5. Absurd amount of clothing in closet, almost all white or gold, like the rest of the house. Perfectly crafted.
6. Jewelry box, “old” hearthstone bracers. Beautiful flawless mirror makes up one wall. Very close inspection will reveal that the mirror shows a door not otherwise within the room. This is the entrance to The Secret Solar Super Lab. Every paranoid Twilight has one. And if they don't, they should!
7. Books and research everywhere around the room, four desks covered in research material and books stacked into the ceiling. Only one pen – and one chair – on wheels.

*The key to the Secret Solar Super Lab can be found in the tea garden ONLY after the party has explored the rest of the Manse. The key bearer will be revealed as a small intelligent shapechanger – if the library is fully explored, or I AM is consulted, it will be revealed as “SPOT”. Spot appears to be an Illuthrita except that he had eyes and a black spot around one of them. He is far more intelligent and calculating and may be seen hiding elsewhere by the party. When addressed by name, Spot will come obediently and when ordered will give the key to the party, otherwise he will flee. The doors cannot be opened any other way (well, barring destructive sorcery).

LETTER TO “DESMOND” (In Old Realm):

Desmond –
Please make sure the Servitors have not over-pruned my Winter Roses. Check the irrigation system for the Snakebud tree and turn on the Ever-Vigilant Guardians before you leave. Give Merela and Bright my apologies - not that they will be expecting me. They both know how I loathe parties. Bring home a bottle of good wine - I have something special planned for your return from Meru.
- Tess


Through the Looking Glass (The Secret Solar Super Lab):
Down a flight of stairs is a quartz and orichalcum Stasis Chamber – in which Altessa resides. SuperTank Clockwork Efficacy Bodyguards (2) guard the door. These will attack the party. Make them BEASTLY, you want everyone damn near dead when they get past. IE – “Whatever they were guarding must be REALLY GOOD”.

There is also a maintenance closet with 25 constructs in it and a “Hallway of Death” which leads from the secret passage near the Hot Spring to the Lab. An extension cord is run from I AM to the stasis chamber.

The party will most certainly pull it out of the wall (either on purpose or accidentally while fighting), which will begin the process of Altessa waking up. Let them see Altessa first. She looks dead/very well preserved, but when everyone surrounds her – she’ll wake up suddenly.

At this point they should already know about the Illuthrita draining their Essence and may be annoyed but not surprised when several (including SPOT) drain Essence from each party member to Wake Up The Mistress.

Altessa will listen intently to what has happened and drink her XXXX year old tea (which tastes just fine should anyone else dare to drink it). She evaluates her own reflection and remarks that she looks pretty good for being XXXX years old (or however old she is, depending on when you're placing the Usurpation), although she did spend many years in stasis.

Then... BIG BOOM!

Tess – I AM, report!
I AM - Malfunction in main power core, power at 50% and dropping, switching to secondary power. Weather Controls Offline,
(It is now raining or snowing or both outside. Maybe even raining up into the sky or sideways?)

Tess (decides to get up, stumbles a bit) Stasis. Nasty business.
(notices that the party has destroyed her constructs) EEEEKK! What have you done to my babies?


Again - BIG, BIG BOOM! (Dex rolls?)

I AM – Secondary Power Core offline. Main power at 40% and dropping, Security Offline… Wyld Shield at 60%
Tess – Don't care how you got in anymore. Unless you feel like swimming in the Deep Wyld we need to act at once!


AS THE PARTY ATTEMPTS TO get the power back up, which involves traveling from Altessa’s Lab to the OUTBUILDING shop (the complete other side of the grounds) - all “Security Devices” and Clockwork Servitors will be attacking them. Altessa will dismantle most of them with a sweep of her hand but when she gets to work on something, the party will need to fend off a swarm of Guardians AND the Essence Weapons mounted on the tower which are malfunctioning and firing on them.

Tess will ask the party if anyone can pilot a Warstrider and let someone take a ride in Callisto. The power to the Warstrider will die as they have to escape, preventing them from taking the Royal Warstrider with them. But the idea of fighting a HUGE SWARM of Ever-Vigilant Guardians, the gun turrents and the encroaching Wyld from a Warstrider is too damn ANIME to resist!

CONCLUSION - This manse should be blown up, though not without Altessa working some Super-Solar charms in attempt to save it. This explosion will include among other things a giant piece of Primordial falling through the entire tower and the whole shebang dissolving into the Wyld.

Let your players think they have obliterated a priceless treasure and watch them cry and panic. Then let them count whatever loot you've allowed them to salvage and grin like the evil little monkeys they are.

An alternate way of ending this mess is to have your players bring Tess along as they escape. She is surprisingly unconcerned by the destruction of her fortress. She will pull out her “laptop” when they have returned to Creation and inquire as to the “success of the transfer”.

I AM - All data transferred to your other manse successfully.

Altessa’s new goal will be to update I AM/reinstall it everywhere with all of the information she has missed in the last XXXX years. Of course, a Solar as powerful (and absolutely crazy) as she is – will invariably cause loads of other trouble.

It'll be fun.
 
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Re: Quirky Exalted Campaigns

03 Sep 2011, 19:55

The Masque of The Seven Despairs
Underworld Roulette at Cold House
This is THE MASQUE of THE RED DEATH meets CLUE.

Who-done-it, who’s gonna do it – who’s WHO? And is anyone really dead?

The four servants of the long-missing Deathlord “The Eye and Seven Despairs” (Mistress Star, Midnight, Scavenger and Scar) and a host of interested parties (Tyoka, Stygia, the D’hennish, a servant of The Lover and a nephwrack?) gather at Cold House to divide up The Eye's estate.

The party has also received/bartered for/stolen an invitation to the event on behalf of a very old and powerful ghost, the warlord Phaestus (in service of The First and Forsaken Lion) - who formally stated that he had “no desire to become involved”. If Phaestus is contacted at any point during the affair, he will laugh at the party’s unfortunate position and ask them why they THOUGHT he gave them his invitation for so little in return. “Tis not the prize you thought it was, eh?”

How they secure this rare opportunity is to be resolved before they arrive at Cold House. They are expecting initially to stay for two days. All that they know is that the Deathlord has officially been “missing” for more than a year and a day, and as is customary, his surviving “heirs” have decided to divide up his estate.

The party are not designated “heirs” but with the help of Phaestus and “Dead Eddie” Palindrome (a ghost playwright they are well-acquainted with from their time in Nexus), they have been called in as “witnesses” and “supervisors” to make sure that the heirs “play nice”.

Truthfully, they had better uncover who’s planning on “killing” who – and behind which “masque” the Deathlord himself hides – before this maddening little underworld fete really gets out of control.

Without Further Adieu, the Players:
ALDUS Nerrin – mortician-ghost ruler of “The Wailing Wall” portion of Stygia
RED VEIL of the D’hennish – tribal emissary from the ghosts of the far south
Selected by “The Eye” to supervise preceedings – Aldus is a stuffy, legally minded number-cruncher while Red Veil never speaks but is a ruthless enforcer of the desired “peace”. If someone does something underhanded within her sight, she will certainly kill them – or toss a soulsteel dagger as a “warning”.

What these two have been paid to oversee the affair is not subject for discussion. Phaestus was supposed to chiefly preside over the event – as the party holds his invitation, it will fall to one of them (probably the Eclipse) to speak throughout the negotiations (as the executor) with the advice of Aldus – and under the “protection” of Red Veil.

These two are the first they meet when they arrive at Cold House bearing Phaestus’s invitation:

Aldus is relieved that he will no longer be “overseer” of the event, reveals that he holds all of the official documents of transfer-of-power and titles to land - and confesses immediately to the party that he is most concerned about the presence of one individual who was NOT invited – and that is WISP, a young, ambitious nephwrack. However, asking him to leave may prove complicated, because he comes at the instruction of one of the elder nephwrack, Voice of Oblivion.

Red Veil makes a special habit to watch the actions of LADY MASQUE - A masked ghost of tremendous power, with a considerable retinue, a favorite to inherit a large portion of the lands surrounding Cold House

The party is then escorted to meet the rest of the guests, who are seated around the table in the Deathlord’s main audience chamber. Among the gathered are:

“HER HIGHNESS” Princess Annuaski of Tyoka – ambitious princess of a kingdom destroyed by The Contagion. What Annuaski hopes to gain is not clear, but she has brought a large retinue and behaves in an exceedingly paranoid fashion. Her retinue includes…

“MASTER OBSIDIAN” Obsidian Heart of The Void - Moonshadow Caste Abyssal, in service to The Lover. Sent on a whim of his mistress, he is currently serving as the bodyguard of Princess Annuaski though it seems doubtful that he cares what becomes of her. He seems more intent on charming Mistress Star and anyone in the party who seems especially vulnerable to flattery.

And of course, there are the four Abyssal servants of the missing Deathlord, residents of Cold House -

“MISTRESS STAR” Star of Dirt and Doubt – Ghost, former concubine of The Eye. Unbeknownst to EVERYONE, Star IS The Deathlord himself, playing her three Abyssals against one another. She appears to be an innocent in the midst of this mess, naïve and beautiful.

“LADY MIDNIGHT” Chorus at Midnight – Day Caste Abyssal, servant of The Eye
Midnight is in charge of The Eye’s spies and assassins, which she will utilize ruthlessly in pursuing her own aims.

“LORD SCAVENGER” Blood Scavenger – Daybreak Caste Abyssal, servant of The Eye. Necromancy and technology are his principle assets, he is detested by everyone at Cold House especially the usual servants who claim that he sometimes seizes them unaware to use them in his horrific experiments. This is proven true upon investigation.

“LORD SCAR” Scar of Uproar – Dusk Caste Abyssal, servant of The Eye. Commander of the Eye’s army and the Cold House guard, which he will call out without hesitation to imprison anyone caught investigating him OR Mistress Star.

DAY TWO:
The morning’s proceedings have barely begun when the particularly gruesome death of Lord Scavenger throws a wrench in things, it is determined that everyone (9 surviving not counting the party) - will need to stay another few days. This also sets a trend. Everyone who dies, dies gruesomely and they ALL are found missing one eye – their left.

*Investigation will reveal that Midnight and Scavenger got in a fight over possession of Mistress Star (pending the planned death of LORD SCAR) which Midnight won. Scavenger is impaled and choked on his own entrails (seemingly by a malfunctioning machine of his) when the party discovers him in his laboratory (they are sent to fetch him as he is late). The death of Scavenger immediately halts all business. If confronted about Scavenger’s death, Star will shed convincing tears and Midnight will vehemently deny all allegations.

DAY THREE:
Before Scavenger’s corpse can be hauled in and reanimated to answer questions, it mysteriously “goes missing”. The Necromancer called in for the feat (yesterday) is understandably annoyed when he arrives. He is revealed to be a late arrival to the game, thought to be a hold-out. “MASTER NEEDLES” is an old Lintha ghost of a powerful background and a colleague of LORD SCAVENGER. He immediately goes to Lord Scavenger’s laboratory to look for evidence and does not deal with the party unless he must.

To appease the grumbling, Mistress Star suggests that they throw a masked ball.

By the end of the Ball, everyone will be at each other’s throats as it is obvious that SOMEONE would prefer that ALL of The Eye’s “heirs” – “rest in pieces”. The guests will depart, leaving only our chief suspects. Guests can, however, be grilled for information on any of the heirs, which is of a limited and negligible quality. Theories about Lady Masque’s identity are especially ludicrous and incoherent. It is obvious that no one knows WHO she is, though they don’t want to admit that much.

As the amusements are winding down, another heir (ANNUASKI) – who previously left the party feeling “ill” will turn up dead, bringing the number down to nine again – and eight after the demise of the much-maligned nephwrack “WISP” – killed outside, he had “too much to drink” and staggered off, unmourned.

Master Needles (working downstairs throughout the party) will prove most indifferent to these deaths, and possibly responsible for Wisp’s demise. But before he can be formally accused (as soon as someone goes to fetch him), he’ll also be GONE.

DAY FOUR:
(Some of Needle’s retainers will soon show up demanding to know his whereabouts, which proves that he did not go “home”.)
* Investigation will reveal that Master Needles did orchestrate Wisp’s death, but on the suggestion from Wisp’s own superior, Voice of Oblivion. Annuaski committed suicide, but someone wished for it to look like murder, one of her retinue will confess to hiding in the closet while an unseen force hacked her mistress’s corpse to pieces. The likely candidate for this? Midnight and her spies.

This presents a problem, however, because Midnight notably did NOT kill Master Needles, as she was ruthlessly interrogating the party in “mock court” while this murder happened. The responsibility for Needle’s murder falls on Lady Masque, who lacks any convincing alibi. In truth, Master Obsidian killed Needles (presumably for the perceived murder of Annuaski) but the party will probably be unable to prove this – as he did it while in the guise of Lady Masque. Lady Masque will be insulted by any such allegations and will threaten to leave if the party continues to suspect her.

DAY FIVE:
This is when things will become particularly tense, leaving a magical seven survivors – including the now-suspicious ALDUS & RED VEIL, MASTER OBSIDIAN (who did very little good for his supposed “mistress”), LADY MASQUE, LADY MIDNIGHT, LORD SCAR and innocent “MISTRESS STAR” who has a perfect alibi for every murder thusfar committed.) Realistically, up until this point she has been IN THE PRESENCE of the party whenever someone has turned up dead – having never left the Ball when Wisp and Annuaski were murdered (her innocence seen by ALL of the guests).

The party will be put in a situation where the only conceivable outcome is to eliminate ALL of the contenders for the prize EXCEPT whichever one of them happens to be the Deathlord in disguise. Clues by this point should point them in the direction of guessing that the Deathlord may not be “gone” after all. They can get this information from either Master Needles or one of the nephwracks -such as Voice of Oblivion. But if The Eye is crashing his own funeral – whose face is he wearing?

OBSIDIAN and MIDNIGHT should set themselves up as the most viable candidates for a ruthless takedown. If the party doesn’t eliminate them, they’ll be the next two to fall – Midnight “killing” Obsidian (she does not take an eye) – and drops him into a ravine where no corpse can be found, or if she is caught or detained, Obsidian fleeing before Midnight can kill him, which will cause her to confess her intentions of killing him, claiming that he’s murdered ANNUASKI and NEEDLES – and probably SCAVENGER too. Since the party ought to know that Midnight murdered SCAVENGER – and probably thinks she murdered Annuaski also, this will not likely convince them. Since Midnight will neither confess nor surrender, they will likely have to kill her. If they don’t, she’ll turn up dead anyway – in exactly the same fashion as SCAVENGER was found murdered, and missing an eye.

Interesting form of “justice” – or did the party have the wrong killer all along?

DAY SIX:
This leaves ALDUS, RED VEIL, MASQUE, SCAR and STAR. RED VEIL, sans eye - will turn up dead next with the first REAL clue – she stumbled upon someone and pulled out a chunk of their hair. The hair is white and wirey, making it look like MASQUE killed her.

MASQUE will suddenly be in a hurry to leave after RED VEIL’s death. If stopped on her departure, she will remove her mask and confess that she is ASURA MONTIADO, an emissary of the Dual Monarchs who are disturbed by the whispers they’ve heard around Cold House. She will suggest that the party look for VEIL, as she doubts the silent “enforcer” is really “dead-dead”. As proof of her innocence, MASQUE reveals that in life she was a “Master of Observances”, the highest-ranking Sijanese mortician and as such, was provided with sumptuous after-death arrangements. Clearly, she’s not in it for the money. She vows to return if the party does not find Veil alive and gives them everything they should need to find her, wishing them luck. They’re going to need it.

VEIL, of course is not DEAD and is next observed attempting to kill SCAR, who is trying to protect STAR. The circumstances of this can only be explained from SCAR and STAR’s perspective as VEIL does not speak. Veil is notably missing an eye. When asked to show how she came back from the dead before, she will demonstrate an ability to change the appearance of a corpse. THIS is the second REAL clue.

Investigating Midnight’s chambers (which can be easily explored now that she is dead) the party will come across a journal which details the plan formed by Midnight, Star, Scar and Scavenger to kill THE EYE. They will also learn of Midnight’s raging obsession with Star and loathing for SCAVENGER, whom she believed to be a crude barbarian and especially SCAR, whom she believed to be STAR’s lover. This should make it fairly clear that Midnight definitely killed SCAVENGER and would definitely kill SCAR.

If SCAR is confronted about the betrayal of the Deathlord with Midnight’s journal, he will argue that he was tricked into it by STAR, whom he loves.

STAR will argue that SCAR coerced her, which seems like a much more likely scenario – how could a mere ghost control a Deathknight? STAR will confess that she’s been madly in love with Midnight, whom The Eye forbade to see her - and that when The Eye was gone, SCAR controlled her treated her horribly and kept her from her lover, who is sadly now DEAD (sniff sniff). Everything in Midnight’s journal suggests that this is true. SCAR will deny everything.

DAY SEVEN:
THE party will be asked to rule “whodunit” and banish the offender from the proceedings. The offender will be found dead on the road and the acquitted “victim” will be the next murdered, leaving only ALDUS and STAR remaining. Since Aldus holds the paperwork, the party must take it from him if they don’t want to be the next ones dead – or figure out who they should kill first. Star, by appearances, will be traumatized by the bloodiness that had ensued and vow that if anyone still “wants” her master’s preserve, THEY MIGHT AS WELL TAKE IT!

Pleased by this outcome, the Moonshadow Caste “MASTER OBSIDIAN” returns to take up the offer, which STAR stubbornly rescinds (anybody but YOU, that is!). It won’t take a genius to realize that somebody’s going to die again – but will it be the spoilt heiress, the neighboring prince or the poor working stiff just trying to keep things running smoothly?

And what about those pesky “living” folks? In the beginning, they didn’t seem like trouble – but now an awful lot of dead are somewhat “more dead” than before!

What will likely happen is that STAR will attempt to seduce someone from the party (and possibly already has), OBSIDIAN will attempt to “make a deal” (as he’s done previously) and ALDUS will try to get someone to leave (while they still can, irregardless of the number of “deaths” that have occurred on the road out of town).

STAR will come in screaming later, having been attacked by someone she swears was Master Obsidian who tried to cut her eye out, which is notably missing and bleeding everywhere. Where he went, she does not know.

Before the party convenes with ALDUS to determine what should be done next, VEIL (why doesn’t anyone stay DEAD in the Underworld?) may also try to kill one or more of them. When killed, she will write one word in her own blood “EYE”. If the party can’t figure this one out, they’re already DEAD.

If they investigate STAR more fully, they will discover VEIL’s missing eye lovingly wrapped in silk and kept inside her jewelry box – which includes quite a collection of eyes now, one stolen from each victim. And if they’ve got the guts to yank off Star's new bandage publically – they’ll discover a gaping hole of darkness – and the revelation that she is, in fact, the puppetmaster “The Eye”. Beauty, of course – is in the eye of the beholder, and a few charms can manipulate anyone.

As you can imagine, it’s kinda hard plotting to get rid of everybody (without losing your diplomatic immunity) when you know full well that if you stab the wrong somebody, he’ll make a Monstrance of Celestial Portion out of your skull and send you screaming into the void.

It’s all fun and games – until somebody loses an eye.
Then everything is going according to plan.

Conclusion:
Winning his game will doubtless have consequences, but ultimately – The Eye wants to be caught. What’s the use of ruthlessly killing off all of your subordinates by seducing them and turning them against one another – if no one knows you’ve done it? He will let whoever uncovers his plan go free – and possibly grant them a single request.

In exchange, he wants them to tell everyone in the Underworld what they saw at Cold House – a warning to his would-be usurpers that despite all appearances (haggard, shrunken and corpse-like) The Eye is not a Deathlord to be trifled with.

Also, he throws smashing good parties!
 
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Re: Quirky Exalted Campaigns

03 Sep 2011, 20:05

I am loving this

so much


sounds awesome!
I have a webcomic: http://psitech.comicgen.com - Its kinda like exalted, except more furry, more fanservice, more fun, more sci-fi.
- may contain people being called "bob"

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