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Henry
Essence 5
Essence 5
Topic Author
Posts: 719
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 18:48
Title: Lookshyan brat
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Awkward flailing and some hair pulling
Artifact: Magitech and heirlooms
Location: Rhode Island

A Confederacy of Dunces

27 May 2012, 19:22

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him - Jonathan Swift

The Confederation of Rivers - no, the entire River Province - is in danger! Luckily, these guys are here to save the day.

Oh boy...




This is not an advertisement for a game, a requst for players, or anything productive like that. It's just a place for us to post scraps and pieces for a chat game, and maybe, occasionally, something of relevance for the players.
Last edited by Henry on 18 Jun 2012, 19:43, edited 2 times in total.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
yuriejb
Essence 1
Essence 1
Posts: 10
Joined: 20 Sep 2008, 21:02

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

27 May 2012, 19:25

Name: Ninten Zhu Rei, The One Eyed Dragon(ess)
Concept: Very Angry Swordsperson
Caste: Dawn
Motivation: I WANT MY OLD BODY BACK DAMMIT!
Anima: A coiling serpent made out of golden fire.

Attributes:
Str: 2 Cha: 2 Per: 3
Dex: 5 Man: 2 Int: 3
Sta: 4 App: 5 Wit: 3

Abilities (+/* = Favored/Caste)

*Archery
+Athletics 3
Awareness 3
+Dodge 5
Integrity 1
Lore 1
*Martial Arts 3
*Melee 5
+Presence 3
+Resistance 3
Ride 1
+Survival 3
*Thrown 3
*War

Specialties
Athletics: Leaping 1
Dodge: In Melee 3
Melee: Swords 3
Presence: Seduction 1

Backgrounds:
Artifact 2 (Reaper Daiklaive)
Artifact 1 (Orihalcum Chain Shirt)
Artifact 1 (Collar of Dawn's Clensing Light)
Artifact 1 (Perfected Boots)
Resources 1

Virtues (Limit Break: Berserk Anger)
Compassion 2
Temperance 1
Conviction 3
Valor 3

Essence: 3
Willpower /8
Personal Essence: /17
Peripheral Essence: /38 (29)
Attunement: 9
Overdrive Pools
EGT: 0/10

Intimacies: Himself (+ Personal Pride), Dex (+ Curiousity), Scarlet Scar (+/- Respect/Aggrivation), Raksha

(- MURDERTHOUGHTS!), The Realm (- Pricks), Scavenger Lands (+ My Home), (Slot Open), (Slot Open), (Slot

Open)

Health Levels:
0/0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-4/-4/I/Dy/Dy/Dy/Dead

Combat:

Clinch
Spd 6, Acc +, Dmg+0B, Def--, Rate 1

Kick
Spd 5, Acc +0, Dmg+3B, Def-2, Rate 2

Punch
Spd 5, Acc +1, Dmg+0B, Def+2, Rate 3

Morning Glory (Orihalcum Reaper Daiklaive)
Spd 4, Acc +6, Dmg+4L/2, Def+2, Rate 4, O

Throwing Knives
Spd 5, Acc +0, Dmg+2L, Rate 3, Rng 15

Dodge DV: 6 (8 in Melee)
Parry DV: 5

Armor- 15B/13L/7A

Natural Soak: 10B/5L

Orihalcum Chain Shirt
Soak: +7L/+5B, Hardness 3L/3B, Mob -0, Fatigue 0

Equipment:
Throwing Knives
Ratty Cloak
Soulsteel Reaper Daiklaive

Charms:

Athletics
Second Excellency

Dodge
Shadow Over Water (1m, Ignore all penalties to dodge DV)
Seven Shadows Evasion (8m, Perfect Dodge)
Burning Corona Evasion (2m/5m, strike target blind when dodging)

Melee
First Excellency
One Weapon, Two Blows (3m, Repeat damage on step 10)
Flashing Edge of Dawn (Ignore step 7-9 on 1w2B, add 1 post-soak damage.)
Peony Blossom Attack (3m, Melee attack to all enemies in 3 yards)
Call The Blade (1m, Recall weapon within 30 yards)
Iron Raptor Technique (2/4m. Launch weapon/unblockable projectile with range 24 yards, knockdown)

Thrown
First Excellency
Joint-Wounding Attack (2m, Each HL damage subtracts 1 die from physical attribute pools, Crippling)
Flashing Draw Mastery (+1 Success to JB, Reflexive ready weapon, first attack Spd 3)

Resistance
Ox Body Meditation x2 (-0/+1, 2x -1/+1)
Invincible Essence Reinforcement x2 (Stamina +6 for natural soak)
Essence-Gathering Temper (Overdrive Pool: 1m for soak, 2m for B, 3m for L/A)

Survival
Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit (10m, Ignore environmental penalties to survival checks)

Merits
Enchanting Features (2)

Flaws


Bonus Points
Charisma & Manipulation +1 (8)
Dodge and Melee +2 (4)
Specialities +4 (2)
Compassion +1 (1)
Willpower +3 (3)
4 Favored/Caste Charms (12)
Merits (2)

XP
 
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webkilla
Essence 6
Essence 6
Posts: 1483
Joined: 18 Sep 2009, 12:20
Title: Barbabe arbiter of unbound gravitas
Exalt: Alchemical
Fighting Style: March of the Thrice-linked Digital Webwork
Artifact: 4Chans Might
Location: Denmark, land of lego and vikings
Contact:

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

28 May 2012, 01:59

Might I ask what the theme of this game will be?

...and can I sign up to it?
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"
 
kyriotsu
Essence 4
Essence 4
Posts: 387
Joined: 02 Feb 2011, 11:09
Title: Overworked Celestial Desk Jockey
Exalt: Sidereal
Fighting Style: Beat It Until It Stops Moving Style
Artifact: Bringer of Peace [Starmetal Grimscythe]
Location: Right Behind You.
Contact:

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

28 May 2012, 19:41

We're already kinda loaded, Web. >_<

Image

“Momma always said there’d be days like this. She also said you gotta do right. And this right here? This ain’t right. Don’t worry – it’ll only hurt f’ a week.”

Name: Dex, or First Fist of the Sun.
Caste: Zenith Caste
Concept: Good Ol’ Down Home Farmer’s Boy Turned Big Damn Hero
Motivation: Travel, see Creation in all it’s wonder and glory, and figure out just what the hell to do as a Lawgiver.
Intimacies: +His Momma (Taught Him Wrong From Right), +Solars (Interest!), +The People (He’s The People’s Champion!), +Home Village (Nameless), + Lianzi Ai (nice girl!), +Dragon (BROSBROSBROSBROS), +Scarlet (He's Da Boss!), +Thirteen (Creepy Comrade!), -The Guild (Jerks.), -Slavery (Slaving Bad!), -Raksha (Douchebags), -Peleps Conspirators (They. Must. Pay.)
Anima Banner: A majestic golden sun-halo rises and hangs behind the Solar, silhouetting his frame as the Unconquered Sun’s rays descend upon all and sundry.
Anima Powers: Exalted 2nd Edition Core – p. 94.

Experience: 195
Experience Purchases: 172/195 spent (23 remaining)
Enemy-Castigating Solar Judgement (8)
Hypnotic Tongue Technique (8)
You Can Be More (8)
Immanent Solar Glory (Performance) (8)
Swallowing The Lotus Root (8)
Lightning Mental Armament (4)
Lore 1 (3)
First Medicine Excellency (8)
Phantom-Conjuring Performance (8)
Invincible Essence Reinforcement (8)
Specialty: Solar Hero Style +2 (3)
Flawless Diagnosis Technique (8)
Ailment-Rectifying Method (8)
Hammer-On-Iron Technique (8)
Increasing Strength Exercise (8)
Dexterity 3 (8)
Hewer-Sharpened Fist (8)
Adamant Skin Technique (8)
Intelligence 3 (8)
Second Medicine Excellency (8)
Soul Fire Resurgence (8)
Monkey Leap Technique (8)
Wholeness-Restoring Meditation (8)
Hunter Bags The Deer (8)
Stubborn Monkey Hesitation (8)
Resistance 5 (7)

== Attributes ==
(Physical)
Strength *****
Dexterity ***
Stamina ****
(Social)
Charisma ****
Manipulation **
Appearance ***
(Mental)
Perception ***
Wits **
Intelligence ***

== Abilities ==
(Dawn)
Archery
*Martial Arts ***** (+2 Solar Hero Style, +1 Improvised Weapons)
*Melee ***
Thrown
War

(Zenith)
*Integrity *****
*Performance ***** (+1 Inspiration)
*Presence **** (+1 Honesty)
*Resistance *****
*Survival **

(Twilight)
Craft (Wood) **
Investigation
Lore *
*Medicine ***
Occult

(Night)
*Athletics ****
Awareness *****
*Dodge *****
Larceny
Stealth

(Eclipse)
Bureaucracy
Linguistics
Ride
Sail
Socialize

== Charms ==
Martial Arts: 1st Excellency, Infinite Martial Arts Mastery, Swallowing The Lotus Root, Solar Hero Style (Fists of Iron Technique, Sledgehammer Fist Punch, Dragon Coil Technique, Solar Hero Form, Heaven Thunder Hammer, Hammer-On-Iron Technique, Hewer-Sharpened Fist), First Pulse Style (Lightning Mental Armament, Stubborn Monkey Hesitation, Hunter Bags The Deer)
Resistance: Ox-Body Technique x2, Body-Mending Meditation, Durability of Oak Meditation, Spirit Strengthens The Skin, Iron Skin Concentration, Adamant Skin Technique (Valor-flawed), Iron Kettle Body, Armored In Righteousness Stance, Invincible Essence Reinforcement, Soul Fire Resurgence
Performance: 2nd Excellency, Respect-Commanding Attitude, Heart-Compelling Method, Phantom-Conjuring Performance, Immanent Solar Glory
Integrity: 3rd Excellency, Integrity-Protecting Prana, Temptation Resisting Stance, Elusive Dream Defense
Presence: 2nd Excellency, Majestic Radiant Presence, Enemy-Castigating Solar Judgment, Hypnotic Tongue Technique, You Can Be More
Medicine: 1st Excellency, 2nd Excellency, Flawless Diagnosis Technique, Ailment-Rectifying Method, Wholeness-Restoring Meditation
Athletics: Increasing Strength Exercise, Monkey Leap Technique

== Backgrounds ==
Artifact * (Orichalcum Smashfists)
Artifact * (Orichalcum God-Kicking Boots)
Artifact * (Orichalcum Breastplate)
Backing
Contacts ** (Cult of the Illuminated)
Cult ***
Face **
Familiar *** (A mouse. A small white mouse. With a sun sigil. He calls it Boo.)
Followers
Influence
Manse
Mentor
Resources **

== Virtues == (Virtue Flaw: Red Rage of Compassion)
Compassion ****
Conviction **
Temperance ***
Valor ****

== Merits ==
Common Sense (1)
Brutal Attack (4)

== Flaws ==
Code of Honor (3)
Unlucky (2)
Permanent Caste Mark (2)

== Metaphysical Stats ==
Essence: ***
Personal: 14/14
Peripheral: 31/45
Committed: Orichalcum Smashfists (6), Orichalcum God-Kicking Boots (6), Orichalcum Breastplate (2)
Willpower: *****

== Combat Stats ==
Weapons:
Clinch - Speed 6, Accuracy +0 (+10), Damage +5B, Rate 1, Tags C,N,P
Punch - Speed 5, Accuracy +1 (+8/+11 /w Brutal Attack, +13 /w S.H.S), Damage +5B, Defense +2, Rate 3, Tags N
Kick - Speed 5, Accuracy +0 (+7/+10 /w Brutal Attack, +12 /w S.H.S), Damage +8B, Defense -2, Rate 2, Tags N
Staff - Speed 5, Accuracy +2 (+7/+9 /w Brutal Attack, +11 /w S.H.S), Damage +10B, Defense +2, Rate 2, Tags: 2, M, R
Orichalcum Smashfist (Clinch): Speed 7, Accuracy +2 (+9/+12 /w Brutal Attack, +14 /w Solar Hero Style), Damage +9B/2, Defense —, Rate 2, Tags: C, M, O, P
Orichalcum Smashfist (Strike): Speed 5, Accuracy +3 (+10/+13 /w Brutal Attack, +15 /w Solar Hero Style) Damage +10B/2, Defense +3, Rate 3, Tags: M, O
Orichalcum God-Kicking Boots: Speed 5, Accuracy +3 (+10/+13 /w Brutal Attack, +15 /w Solar Hero Style), Damage +12B/2, Defense +1, Rate 3, Tags: M, O

Soak: 14B / 16L / 9A (8B / 8L w/o armor)
Armor: Orichalcum Breastplate - Soak 8L/6B, 3L/3B Hardness, Mobility -0, Fatigue 1
Dodge DV: 7
Parry DV: 5 (Punch), 6 (Punch /w Solar Hero Style), 5 (Kick/God-Kicking Boots), 6 (Kick/GKB /w SHS), 6 (Smashfist), 7 (Smashfist with SHS)
Dodge MDV: 7
Parry MDV: 5 (6 /w Inspiration)

Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap
(2 -1s, 4 -2s from Ox-Body Technique x2)

Trademark Combo: Was That A Fly (Durability of Oak Meditation + Iron Kettle Body + Armored In Righteousness) 7 motes, ups soak to 26B/28L/21A.
Last edited by kyriotsu on 09 Jan 2014, 19:27, edited 60 times in total.
 
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webkilla
Essence 6
Essence 6
Posts: 1483
Joined: 18 Sep 2009, 12:20
Title: Barbabe arbiter of unbound gravitas
Exalt: Alchemical
Fighting Style: March of the Thrice-linked Digital Webwork
Artifact: 4Chans Might
Location: Denmark, land of lego and vikings
Contact:

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

29 May 2012, 01:46

oh, didn't notice that - my bad
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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Raiden
Essence 5
Essence 5
Posts: 945
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 21:33
Title: Dead-Eyed Angel
Exalt: Solar
Fighting Style: Righteous Devil Style - aka Shoot It Till It Dies
Artifact: Twin Orichalchum Plasma Tongue Repeaters
Location: Wherever AmeriCorps feels like sending me.
Contact:

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

02 Jun 2012, 19:04

Name: Ascending Water Thirteen
Concept: Ninja
Caste: Night
Motivation: Re-establish his Clan
Anima: Streaming afterimages of himself

XP:
Attributes:
Str: 4 Cha: 3 Per: 4
Dex: 5 Man: 5 Int: 2
Sta: 3 App: 2 Wit: 5

Abilities (+/* = Favored/Caste)

Archery 4
*Martial Arts 5
Melee 4
*Thrown 5
*Integrity 4
Performance 1
Presence 3
Survival 3
*Resistance 4
*Investigation 4
Occult 2
Lore 5
+Athletics 5
+Awareness 5
+Dodge 5
+Larceny 5
+Stealth 5


Specialties
Archery: Sunfire Array 2
Melee: Sunfire Array 2
Martial Arts: Claws 3
Stealth: Blending With Shadows 3
Dodge: Flashing Afterimages 2
Athletics: Parkour 2

Backgrounds:
Artifact 5 (Armor of the Unseen Assassin)
Artifact 2 (Orichalchum Razor Claws)
Artifact 1 (Moonsilver Hearthstone Amulet)
Hearthstone 1 (Gemstone of Shadows)
Resources 2

Virtues (Limit Break: Heart of Flint)
Compassion 1
Temperance 4
Conviction 5
Valor 3

Essence: 4
Willpower 8/8
Personal Essence: 19/19
Peripheral Essence: 29/45 (16)
Attunement: 16


Intimacies: The Year Star Clan (+), Water Dragon Style Scroll (+), The Armor of the Unseen Assassin (+), Code of Honor (+), The Hunting Lodge (Manse +), Kellyn (+), Immaculate Monks (-)

Health Levels:
0/-1/-1/-2/-2/-4/I/Dy/Dy/Dy/Dead

Combat:

Clinch
Spd 6 Acc 10 Dmg +5B Def-- Rate 1

Kick
Spd 5 Acc 10 Dmg +8B Def 8 Rate 2

Punch
Spd 5 Acc 11 Dmg +5B Def+2 Rate 3

Sun's Rays (Orichalchum Razor Claws) (Water Dragon Form)
Spd 5 Acc 18(22) Dmg +9L/2 Def 19 (23) Rate 4 Tags M,O

Shuriken
Spd 4 Acc 8 Dmg +6L Rate 3 Rng 20

Dodge DV: 8 (9 against Ranged)
Parry DV: 12 (13 against Ranged)
Mental Dodge DV: 6
Mental Parry DV: 4
Join Battle: 9

Armor (in Water Dragon Form)- 15(20)B/10(16)L/8(13)A

Armor of the Unseen Assassin
Soak 8L/12B Hardness 4L/4B Mobility -0 Fatigue 0

Equipment:
Shuriken
Armor of Unseen Assassin (Double ground speed, +2 strength for feats of strength/damage in attacks, +4 bonus to stealth, Cloaking device [+4 diff notice while moving, +8 while not moving, -2 external penalty to all attacks against them), +2 bonus to Awareness (essence sight), immunity to Sidereal fate charms)
Moonsilver Hearthstone Amulet
Gemstone of Shadows (Hearthstone, creates shadows)
Orichalchum Razor Claws
Familiar 1

Charms:

MELEE[b]
2nd Melee Excellency
Hungry Tiger Technique
Dipping Swallow Defense

[b]MARTIAL ARTS

Second Martial Arts Excellency
[Water Dragon Style]
Flowing Water Defense
Rippling Water Strike
Drowning-In-Blood Technique
Shrugging Water Dragon Escape
Water Dragon Form
Flow-Reversal Strike
Crashing Wave Style
Theft-of-Essence Method
Ghost-Restraining Whirlpool Stance
Bottomless Depths Defense
Essence-Dousing Wave Attack
Tsunami Force Shout
Tiger Style
Crimson Leaping Cat Technique
Striking Fury Claws
Tiger Form

THROWN
Second Thrown Excellency
Triple-Distance Attack Technique
Cascade of Cutting Terror

INTEGRITY
Integrity-Protecting Prana
Temptation-Resistance Stance
Elusive Dream Defense
Transcendent Hero's Meditation

RESISTANCE
Second Resistance Excellency
Battle Fury Focus
Bloodthirsty Sword Dancer Spirit
Immunity To Everything Technique

OCCULT
Spirit-Detecting Glance
Spirit-Cutting Attack

LORE
First Lore Excellency
Essence Lending Method
Will-Bolstering Method
Chaos Repelling Pattern
Wyld-Shaping Technique
Order-Affirming Blow

MEDICINE
Second Medicine Excellency

ATHLETICS
Graceful Crane Stance
Monkey Leap Technique
Foe-Vaulting Technique
Increasing Strength Exercise
Spider-Foot Style
Feather-Foot Style
Eagle Wing Style

AWARENESS
1st Awareness Excellency
Keen Hearing and Touch Technique
Unsurpassed Hearing and Touch Technique

DODGE
Shadow Over Water
Seven Shadow Evasion
Reflex Sidestep Technique
Flow Like Blood

LARCENY
Second Larceny Excellency
Flawless Pickpocketing Technique
Lock Opening Touch

STEALTH
Second Stealth Excellency
Easily Overlooked Presence Method
Mental Invisibility Technique

Flaws
Code of Honor (3)
Phobia: Lightning (2)
Last edited by Raiden on 07 Jan 2016, 20:27, edited 73 times in total.
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Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!
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Kitsunemimi-Maiden
Essence 3
Essence 3
Posts: 219
Joined: 02 Aug 2007, 13:21
Title: Official SidereaLunaRaksha
Exalt: Sidereal
Fighting Style: Foxmaths
Artifact: Resplendent Accountancy Glasses

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

10 Jun 2012, 21:34

Name: Lianzi Ai
Concept: Hedonistic cult leader and lovestruck attendant
Motivation: Be loved by all as a goddess
Intimacies: Her cultists (approval), mortals (bemused pity), the Guild (Vengeance shall be mine), Dex (~<3)
EXP: 9

== Attributes == 8/6/4
(Physical)
Strength: **
Dexterity: *****
Stamina: **
(Social)
Charisma: *
Manipulation: *
Appearance: *****
(Mental)
Perception: ***
Wits: *****
Intelligence: ***

== Abilities == 12 Training +28 [+4 free specialties]
Caste:
Athletics *** [+2 mutation: Tail(Balance)]
Awareness *** [+2 mutation: Hearing]
Dodge *** [+1 vs Loved Ones]
Larceny ***
Stealth *** [+1 vs Loved Ones]
Favored:
Investigation *
Martial Arts ***** [+1 Chains, +1 Clinches, +1 vs Loved Ones]
Performance ***
Presence ***
Socialize * [+1 Seduction]
Other:
Integrity *
Resistance *
Lore ***
Medicine *
Occult ***
Linguistics *** [Riverspeak, High Realm, Foresttongue, Old Realm]

== Backgrounds == 16/14+2 [0]
Artifact * [Thread of Passion: Moonsilver Dire Chain]
Artifact ** [Jade Hearthstone Bracers]
Artifact **** [Moonsilver Resplendent Reinforced Breastplate]
Cult **
Inheritance * [Tail, Acute Sense: Hearing]
Manse *** [Love-Treads-Softly Stone]
Resources *

== Metaphysical Stats ==
Essence: ***
Personal: 19/5 [19 recoverable]
Peripheral: 42/13 [20 recoverable]
Committed: 12m artifacts [+6m committed to activate armor]
Recovery: +8m/hour (Cult 2, Manse 6)
Willpower: **********/8

=== Virtues ===
Compassion *****
*Conviction ***
Temperance *
Valor *
Limit: 10/0

== Combat Stats ==
Weapons:
Thread of Passion: Spd 4, Acc +2 (13), Dmg +8B/2 (10B), Def +4 (15), Rate 2-1; M, O, R
Clinch: Spd 6, Acc +3, Dmg +6B/2, Def -, RAte 1; C, M, O, P, R
Soak: 6L/7B or 13L/17B (8L/8B hardness)
Armor: Moonsilver Articulated Plate [Fatigue 1]

Dodge DV: 6
Parry DV: 8
Dodge MDV: 7
Parry MDV: 2

Health Levels:
-0:
-1:
-1:
-2:
-2:
-4:
Incapacitated:
Dying (Stamina):
Dead:
On Infernal logic:
(4:22:38 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: So I did the only logical thing.
(4:22:49 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: I fell in love with the bad guy and twisted his spine into a pretzel
 
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Henry
Essence 5
Essence 5
Topic Author
Posts: 719
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 18:48
Title: Lookshyan brat
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Awkward flailing and some hair pulling
Artifact: Magitech and heirlooms
Location: Rhode Island

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

29 Jun 2012, 21:27

This is a placeholder, for now. Eventually I'll put some information about our campaign here, mostly a synopsis of the setting and characters. Nothing major.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
User avatar
Henry
Essence 5
Essence 5
Topic Author
Posts: 719
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 18:48
Title: Lookshyan brat
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Awkward flailing and some hair pulling
Artifact: Magitech and heirlooms
Location: Rhode Island

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

29 Jun 2012, 21:30

The sugar beet hit Lieutenant Gerzen Aghlonis in the temple. It fell to the ground, landing with a damp thud, and rolled away on the uneven dirt.

“What,” Gerzen asked, “was that for?”

“Insubordination,” Tsheteri Naevani said.

“Huh?”

In lieu of an answer, Naevani reached for the next available round object, which turned out to be an apple. She hurled that at Gerzen, too. He caught it, smoothly, easily. That annoyed Naevani to no end.

“Really,” he said, “why’d you do that?”

“You know perfectly well what that was for,” she scowled.

“No, I don’t.” He took a bite of the apple. “That’s why I asked.”

Naevani rolled her eyes. “You’re a twit, you know that. A real twit. Anyway, just stay away from Rei; understand?”

“Rei? Dragon? Why? Does she bite?”

“Rei is…well, Rei’s been better. It’s complicated.”

“Is it because she’s an Anathema? Excuse me, a, um, Solar Exalt? Because I am all over that.” He struck a pose.

He wasn’t bad looking; Naevani had to give him that. And in his cavalry trooper’s uniform he even looked a bit dashing, cutting a fine profile with his fair hair and his long, Mishakan nose. Not at all like Naevani, who wore her uniform with all of the gangly grace of scarecrow; no one would ever call her pretty.

“You’re incorrigible,” Naevani sighed, turning back towards her wagon. There was still plenty of work to be done.

“It’s not like that,” Gerzen protested. “The way I see it, you and me, we’re in danger of losing our jobs.”

“How do you mean?”

“The captain. He’s been hiring Exalts left and right, opening up the company to them, trying to make a safe place for them, right?”

“Yes, he has. And why not? You can see from the captain, from the others, like Granite Wolf, that there’s no reason to be afraid of the Exalted. They can help or they can hurt, just like anything else.”

“Right, and they’re being a little too helpful, if you know what I mean.”

“Sorry, I don’t,” Naevani grunted as she manhandled a heavy box into the wagon.

“You saw how Dragon fought,” Gerzen continued, bending over to help her. “How that big guy, Dex, fought. With guys like that throwing punches, I’m going to be out of a job real quick. I mean, I’m okay with a sword and everything, but I can’t hold a candle to that.”

“I don’t think your ability to marshal motes is the sole determinant for your usefulness to the company.”

“Yeah, sure, you tell yourself that. Me, I figure that if I can’t do my old job, I might as well get a new one, making myself useful to the Ana-. The Exalts.”

“Useful? How? By getting into their pants?”

Gerzen shrugged. “Not at all. Just trying to be helpful, run little tasks for them. Like a camp aid.”

“An aide-de-camp.”

“Sure, that. But if I’m friendly with them and they’re friendly with me, I’m that much more likely to keep my job, right? Exalts are the future of the company, and I aim to be part of the future too.”

They lifted up a heavy crate together and it clattered down onto the wagon bed, causing the vehicle to shake.

Naevani paused for a moment to catch her breath. “I think you’re too worried. They’ll always need soldiers.”

“Yeah, to follow orders. They’re going to be in charge of everything, soon enough. We don’t stand a chance.”

“None of the Exalts can do exactly what we do,” Naevani sniffed.

“That’s only because they haven’t tried,” Gerzen said. “As soon as the captain, or any of them, put their minds to scouting or engineering you’ll be obsolete. Dragon’s help you if they try to be killjoys as well.”

“Shut up, Gerzen.”

“That’s Lieutenant Aghlonis to you.”

“I outrank you, so I’ll call you whatever I want.”

“Do you outrank me?” He hauled another box up. “I’ve always been fuzzy on where the quartermaster fits into the company’s ranks. Are you above the horses? Or below the privates?”

Naevani scowled, searching for a comeback, when a flash of steel caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. The slave boy, Lanis, was playing with her kit over the on the other side village green, waving her sword around and slashing at imaginary foes. Dropping the box she was lifting, Naevani rushed over, shouting out to the boy to put the weapon down.

“Never touch this,” she said sternly, wrenching the weapon out of his hands. “Understand?”

“I was just trying it out,” Lanis whined. “I wasn’t going to hurt anyone.”

“You could have hurt Tekana,” Naevani said, gesturing at the girl sitting under a nearby tree. “And you could have hurt yourself.”

“No I wouldn’t have.”

Naevani resisted the urge to beat some obedience into the child. He was free now, and deserved better than that.

“You will do as I say,” she commanded. “Understand?”

Lanis shrunk. “Yes.”

“If I ever see you playing with my weapons again, you will be punished. Understand?”

“Yes.”

“And if you ever do anything dangerous again, you will be punished? Understand?”

“Yes.”

Lanis looked close to tears, so miserable that Naevani softened, just a little.

“Besides,” she said, gently, “you never touch another soldier’s weapons.”

“Never?”

“Never. It angers the spirit of the sword if anyone but its owner touches it. You don’t want to anger the gods, do you?”

“I guess not. No.”

“Good. Then, if you ever get a sword, you’ll polish it and pray to its spirit every day. But until that happens, you won’t ever touch someone else’s sword. Or bow, or spear. Understand?”

“I understand. So, say, this your sword?”

“It is.” Naevani slid the weapon back into its sheathe.

“Wow. Did Captain Scarlet give it to you?”

“No. I bought it myself.”

“How many bad guys have you killed with it? Five? Ten?” Lanis tried to think of a larger number. “A hundred?”

“I’ve never killed anyone.”

“Oh,” Lanis said, disappointed. “I thought you were a soldier.”

“Not that kind of soldier,” Naevani said. “I help build things, like bridges and trenches. And I make sure that everyone has food to eat and boots on their feet.”

“That sounds boring,” Lanis said.

“It’s very important – I tell everyone where to go, and I make sure they get there.”

“That sounds like you’re just the person I’m looking for,” a man said, walking over to them.

Naevani squinted at the newcomer, and it took a moment before she recognized him as Haldas, the Dragon-blood that Rei had captured the other night. He was thoroughly unimpressive fellow, with dark features and hair the color of mud, but he held his head high and his nose up, as if he was a peer of the Realm.

“You can get me boots?” Haldas asked. “I need boots.”

“Maybe,” Naevani said slowly. “It depends on what they have here in town.”

“I need you to get me pair, now. I seem to have misplaced mine.” He gestured at his bare feet.

“You misplaced yours?”

“Perhaps they were stolen,” Haldas said irritably. “I don’t know. But I need new ones, now.”

“Okay. Hey, Gerzen!” Naevani called out. “You wanted to help the Exalts? Here’s your chance.”

“What?” he shouted back, from over by the wagon. “Sorry, I’m busy.” He patted one of the horses on the neck

“Haldas here wants some boots.”

“Can’t help! Busy!” Gerzen lead the horse over to the green and watched intently as it nibbled at the grass. “Very busy!”

“Oh, Dragons burn him,” Naevani muttered, turning back to Haldas.

She had dealt with Dragon-bloods before, plenty of times, back in Calin. There were even a few in her extended family, and she knew just how manage the arrogance that was typical of the breed, asking for everything and giving nothing.

“Well?” the Dragon-blood asked.

“I can’t promise anything,” she said, “but we might have something in the troop’s supplies. Hey, Lanis, you want to help the Scarlet Moon Company?”

“Sure!” The boy jumped up.

“Then why don’t you go into the barracks building, right there, and find a soldier. Ask him if we have any boots in the store. Usually they’re kept with the tents and spare uniforms.”

“Right. Boots, in with the tents.”

“And get some socks, too!” Naevani called out as the boy dashed off.

“Camp follower?” Haldas asked. “A squire?”

Naevani got back to loading the wagon. “Something like that. A slave that the captain’s, um, friends liberated.”

“A slave? Freed? Why?”

“Don’t know. Captain’s funny like that.” She struggled with a particularly heavy load.

Haldas watched her, content to not help. “That is quite odd, freeing a slave. Low class, if you ask me, the sort of thing a rabble rouser would do. Slaves should be treated well, but freeing them… That’s just short-sighted. It will only encourage the others to misbehave.”

Naevani shrugged. “I don’t understand it myself; there are nobles, there are commoners, and there are slaves. That’s the natural order of things. But I don’t let the captain hear me talk like that – he hates slavery something fierce.”

“Strange.”

“Flabbergasting,” she agreed.

After a couple more loads the wagon was full, and Naevani was completely exhausted and covered in sweat. She still hadn’t had a chance to bathe after coming back from her foraging trip, and she must stink to high heaven. Maybe tonight, she thought wistfully, in a tub with warm water and a little bit of scented soap, if they had scented soap in this town…

But that was for later. For now, she needed Lanis. The boy had been gone for over half an hour, and had probably either gotten lost or gotten into trouble. Or, more likely, both. Excusing herself from the august presence of Haldas and his bare feet, Naevani went off searching for the newly freed slave, making a beeline for the company’s supply dump.

The building the company had appropriated as its barracks had been the home of someone prosperous, judging by the stone walls and tile roof. Naevani would have guessed a merchant or a lesser noble, someone involved in the profitable processing and trade of the sugar beets. Whoever he had been he was gone now, killed by the wasps or fled to the capital, and the building was filled to the bursting point with company soldiers and supplies.

The first floor of the house was mostly given over to a large hall, with a kitchen and foyer tacked on as afterthoughts. The hall filled with tables of polished wood and elegant chairs, furniture that was far too fine for the cavalry troopers who sprawled about room, playing games and drinking. At least, there were dice and wine cups in front of the soldiers, but no seemed to be doing anything with them. Whispered conversations and a nervous giggle were all that greeted Naevani as she opened the door.

She paused for a moment at the odd scene, the body language of the troopers making her hackles rise. Why were they so tense? Something was horribly wrong here.

“The boy,” Naevani said, finally. “Have any of you seen the boy? He just came through here, looking for boots. Where is he?”

A few guilty glances were cast her way, but no answers.

“Where is he?” she repeated. Entering into the room took considerable effort; there was a force that pushed back against her, as if she was walking into the sea. Naevani balked, her arms dropping to her side, but as they did so her hand brushed up against the hilt of her sword. Grasping the weapon as encouragement, she gritted her teeth and pushed onward.

“Where is the boy?” Still no answer. “The back yard, at the supply dump - is he there?”

Not waiting for the non-answer, Naevani strode towards the kitchen and the rear of the house, her boots ringing loudly on the polished floor. She paused at the door; there was a thin stream of liquid running under the floor, dark and sticky, and with an unmistakable scent. Blood.

She never hesitated, even though every part of her mind told her to play it safe, to walk away. Drawing the sword, she kicked open the door and burst into the kitchen, desperately looking around for Lanis. He wasn’t here, though; the room was empty, save for the piles of supplies and the man standing right in front of her.

The man was short, no taller than Naevani, with broad shoulders, black hair, and a bland, gray pallor to his skin. His black, knee length coat had small, iron skulls for buttons, and he wore heavy riding boots and gloves. His face was unremarkable, if unattractive, and the lower part of it was covered by a grey scarf.

Naevani didn’t notice any of this. The only thing she saw were his eyes, blue eyes so pale they were almost colorless, eyes that burned with an awful light.

“Good morning,” he said, his voice a harsh whisper. He looked at her sword. “That won’t be necessary.”

Naevani shuddered, unable to disagree. The sword tumbled from her fingers, gouging out a chunk of fine wood from the floor.

“Wh…where…is…the boy?” she stammered, trying to back away from those horrible eyes.

“Interesting question,” the deathknight rasped. “I have some questions myself.”

Naevani shied away, trying to escape, trying to stumble back towards the door. But there was no escaping his eyes.

“Tell me what you know.”

* * *

It took a long time for Naevani to wake up. Lanis poking her didn’t help.

“Stop it,” she said, thickly, waving him off.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“Fine,” she grunted. “I’m fine.”

She looked around. Where was she? It looked like a kitchen, filled with supplies.

Lanis peered at her, nervously playing with the pair of boots slung across his shoulders. “What happened? Did you fall down?”

“Maybe. I don’t know.”

“What’s that?” He pointed at the scroll she had bunched up in her fist.

Naevani stared at it, stupidly. “I don’t know.” She shuddered. “And I don’t want to know.”

She thought about dropping the scroll, but something stopped her. After all, it was addressed to Scarlet Scar. He would want to read it.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
User avatar
Henry
Essence 5
Essence 5
Topic Author
Posts: 719
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 18:48
Title: Lookshyan brat
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Awkward flailing and some hair pulling
Artifact: Magitech and heirlooms
Location: Rhode Island

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

23 Jul 2012, 07:05

Name: Scarlet Scar, The Silver Executive, Scar-Eyed Interloper, Jenahm Scarlet
Caste: Changing Moon Lunar
Motivation: Grow his company into a creation-spanning powerhouse like the Guild.
Anima: Red Panda~
Tell: Big fluffy tail and ears.
Intimacies: +The Scarlet Moon Company (Protection and Expansion), + Mercenaries (respect), +Profit (Want), +Halta (Protection), +His Mercs (Affection), +Solars (Interest), -The Realm (Stupid heads!), -The Guild (Fucking slavers), -Slavery (Hatred)

Gloves of Martial Readiness Attack: 10 dice, 8L base damage,

Soak: 6L/10B

DDV: 5 PDV: 6 MDV: 7

XP: 2 (140 total)

Attributes

STR: 2
DEX: 4
STA: 2

*CHA: 5
*MAN: 5
*APP: 5

PER: 3
*INT: 4
WIT: 3

Abilities

Archery:
Athletics: 2
Awareness: 2
*Bureaucracy: 3
Craft:
Dodge: 3
Investigation: 2
Integrity: 3
Larceny:
Linguistics: 2 (Riverspeak, Forestongue, High Realm)
Lore: 2
Martial Arts:
Medicine:
Melee: 4
Occult: 2
Performance: 2
Presence: 5
Resistance: 1
Ride:
Sail:
Socialize: 3
*Survival: 2
Stealth: 1
Thrown:
War: 3

Specialties

Melee: Gloves of Martial Readiness 2
War: Mercenaries under his employ 2

Merits and Flaws

Greater Curse: 3 (A little more susceptible to the curse. Sometimes smiles at inappropriate times.)
Known Anathema: 4 (The famous Silver Executive, the Scarlet Scar, the scourge of Linowans, He Whose Claws Are For Hire)
Oath: 3 (Never betray a mercenary under his employ for any reason.) (Cache: 3)
Cache: 3 (His full resources are available within range of his main office in Nexus and at the branch offices near Halta and chiaroscuro)

Backgrounds

Resources: 4 (Hundreds of years of Scarlet Family profits.)
Backing: 5 (Owner and leader of The Scarlet Moon Company, an up and coming mercenary company with hundreds of recruits across the East.)
Command: 3 (The Scarlet Moon Mercenaries, including the main office and branch offices across the East.)
Influence: 3 (Known throughout the Scavenger Lands)
Manse: 3 (Gem of Grace)
Artifact: 3 (Gloves of Martial Readiness)
Allies: 2 (Lookshyan Air-Aspected Sorcerer-Engineer, Solar Dawn-Caste trainer and commander)
Reputation: 2 (Uf-ya, Honored)
Arsenal: 2
Henchmen: 2 (2 godblooded Thaumaturges, 1 heroic mortal 'aquisitions expert')

Knacks

Prey's Skin Disguise
Life of the Hummingbird
Twin-Faced Hero
Changing Plumage Mastery

Charms

Second Dexterity Excellency
Second Charisma Excellency
Second Manipulation Excellency
Second Intelligence Excellency
Herd Reinforcement Stance
Dog-Tongue Method
School as Shark Formation
School in the Reeds Technique
Face of the Moon Concealment
Mirror Sight Dismay
Cat-Face Presentation
Mask of White Jade
Commanded to Fly
Labyrinth of the Beast
Butterfly Eyes Defense
Butterfly Eyes Tread
Butterfly Eyes Fist
Golden Tiger Stance
Wary Swallow Method
Culling the Pride
Maintaining the Pack
Herd-Strengthening Invocation

Advantages

Essence: 3

Personal: 17/17
Peripheral: 30/30
Commited: 8 peripheral

Compassion: 3 [] [] []
Conviction: 2 [] []
Temperance: 2 [] []
Valor: 3 [] [] []

Willpower: 7 [] [] [] [] [] [] []

Health

-0 []
-1 [] []
-2 [] []
-4 [] []
Inc []

----
Inventory

Gem of Grace: +2 to any Charisma or Manipulation rolls given the target can see him.

Moonsilver Gloves of Martial Readiness (Fine Print): Spd 5, Acc +4, Dam +6L, Def +5, Rate 3, Attune 8, Repair: 1

Exceptional Reinforced Buff Jacket: 5L/8B, Mobility -0, Fatigue 2.

Personal Mount: Longshadow (Saddled with good saddlebags.)
Last edited by Henry on 25 Apr 2013, 19:31, edited 1 time in total.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
User avatar
Henry
Essence 5
Essence 5
Topic Author
Posts: 719
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 18:48
Title: Lookshyan brat
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Awkward flailing and some hair pulling
Artifact: Magitech and heirlooms
Location: Rhode Island

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

23 Jul 2012, 07:06

Scarlet Moon Company:
CCR: 5 DV Bonus: +3 CCD: +3L Armor: +2L/B
Endurance: 7
Might: 2
Morale: 3
Magnitude: 250 members total, Mag 4 at max
Formation: Relaxed

Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4; Charisma 2,
Manipulation 2, Appearance 3;
Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 4
Abilities: Archery 2, Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Bureaucracy 2,
Craft (Fire) 2, Dodge 2, Integrity 3,
Investigation 2,, Linguistics 3, Lore
1, Martial Arts 3, Medicine 2, Melee 4, Occult 2, Presence 2,
Resistance 3 (Disease +1), Ride 2, Socialize 2, Stealth 3
Survival 3, Thrown 2, War 3
Join Battle: 6
Attacks:
Exceptional Chopping Swords: Speed 4, Accuracy 9, Damage 9L/2, Defense
7, Rate 2
Knife: Speed 5, Accuracy 8, Damage 5L, Defense 7, Rate 3
Self Bow: Speed 6, Accuracy 5, Damage 6L, Range 150 Rate 2
Soak: 6L/11B (Exceptional Chain hauberks, 6L/7B, -1 mobility penalty)
Willpower: 7
Essence: 1
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
User avatar
Henry
Essence 5
Essence 5
Topic Author
Posts: 719
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 18:48
Title: Lookshyan brat
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Awkward flailing and some hair pulling
Artifact: Magitech and heirlooms
Location: Rhode Island

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

26 Jul 2012, 22:24

The sun was setting, casting long shadows across Shadowholt. The Linowan town was a collection of ugly buildings made of grey-black brick, huddled on the banks of the Silver River, shying away from the shadowland of the Black Chase. Narrow streets wound around hills and trees, filled with the sounds of merchants hawking their wares, of boats groaning and straining against their moorings, of priests and bells calling out their evening prayers. There was an energy in the town, but it was a nervous energy, filled with the electricity of expectation and uncertainty.

Peleps Deled didn’t care. Nothing in this town concerned him or even interested him; it was place to stop and rest, something that was in his way, nothing more. The Linowan’s lack of piety disgusted, their casual adoption of the Hundred Gods Heresy infuriated him, but there was nothing he could do about it, not right now. Right now he was on the hunt.

His sturdy boots squelched in the mud of Shadowholt’s streets as he made his way towards the center of town. Deled was a big man, even by the elevated standards of the East, and he moved with the easy grace of a predator, stepping around the crowds that were hurrying home in the gathering dark. The going was slow.

Deled could have forced people out of his way with his bulk, or intimidated them into submission by pushing back his hood and displaying his elemental markings, or even executed them on the spot for daring to insult his position in the Immaculate hierarchy. But he did none of these things, even though he was entertained by the notion of beating the heresy out of these savages. Instead he kept his head down, his weapons concealed, and his thoughts to himself.

Soon enough he came to the street that led up the hill, a little wider and a little less filthy than the other paths that crisscrossed the town. The homes here were nicer, too, and there was the occasional official structure, festooned with the bizarre markings and trophies that made up the mon of the Linowan queen. The monk walked up to a building at the top of the hill. The Imperial Consulate was a mean thing, a shoddy square building that had thick, high walls and little else to recommend it. Deled knocked on the door, a single, loud rap.

The top half of the door opened up. A pair of suspicious eyes peered out into the street.

“What’s your business?” the doorman asked.

“Open the door,” Deled said. “Now.” He pushed back his hood, just enough to show his face.

The doorman blanched. “Yes-yes, sir,” he stammered, hastily opening up the bottom half of the door. “C-come right in.”

He ushered Deled into the consulate’s gloomy interior. Candles burned fitfully in copper sconces, adding to the dark with their smoke even as they tried to take away from it with their guttering light. A threadbare carpet lay on the hallway floor, and a few decorative panels hung on the wall. Servants and functionaries hurried about, paying no more attention to Deled than the Linowans outside had.

“Can this miserable servant do anything for you, enlightened one?” the doorman groveled. “Wine? Water? Food?”

“No.” Deled hadn’t eaten since yesterday and hadn’t had a drink since this morning, but he would need to purify himself before allowed any food or water to pass his lips. A night of prayer and meditation in the Immaculate Temple, a small structure tacked on to the consulate, would do. But that would come later.

“Where is Peleps Acran?” he asked.

“This way,” the doorman said, gesturing down the hall. “In the consul’s office. Please allow this miserable servant to show you.”

“I know the room,” Deled said, pushing the doorman out of the way. Useless mortal. At least he knew his place. The other servants were properly behaved as well, ducking out of Deled’s path as he walked down the hall.

Deled didn’t bother to knock before he opened the door. The room on the other side was bright and cheery, with tall windows and high ceilings. A small fire burned in the fireplace, giving a warm glow to the heavy, solid furniture. Everything was made of stone or of Eastern hardwood, and there were colorful pillows scattered all over the place.

A slender, athletic man with sharp features sat behind the desk, his feet propped up on the marble edifice. His blue-black hair was receding into a widow’s peak, and his eyebrows were arched, as if he was perpetually surprised. As Deled entered the man swung his legs down and pulled at his elaborate silk robes.

“Ah, cousin,” Peleps Acran said pleasantly. “So glad you could make it. Please, sit down.” He gestured at the chairs by the fireplace.

Deled ignored him and kneeled down on the floor, in front of the desk. “We are alone.”

“Yes, yes, of course.” Acran peered over the desk, nonplussed at Deled’s choice of seating arrangements. “We’re all alone.”

Deled shrugged, a barely perceptible movement of the shoulders.

“I trust your journey went well.”

Deled shrugged again.

“No problems?”

Silence.

“Good, good,” Acran murmured, leaning back in the chair. His blue eyes glittered the firelight. “Now, tell me why you failed.”

Deled shifted.

“No, really,” Acran continued, his voice taking on a harsher tone. “I want to know why you are here, empty-handed. I want to know why I haven’t been presented with Scarlet Scar’s head. I want to know why Vasaan is still employing Anathema mercenaries. And I want to know why I am going to have to wait, apparently indefinitely, to advance the interests of our house. Cousin.”

Deled frowned, ever so slightly. “You know why we did not attack the Anathema. There were too many of them.”

“Too many? Too many for the mighty Peleps Deled, Master of the Pinnacle, slayer of Anathema beyond count? I find that difficult to believe.”

“The message was sent, after the I called off the ambush, and-”

“Oh, I received that message, as unwelcome a set of words that ever travelled on the winds. But I am reluctant to believe it. What happened?”

Deled struggled to control his anger. “Your spy told me,” he growled, “that there were only two Anathema in Vasaan. The Trickster, Scarlet Scar, and the Forsaken, Granite Wolf. Nellens Haldas told me they tended to operate separately. That their tactics were mobile, swift, but dispersed. So I planned an ambush based on this information.”

“Was this information incorrect? I would hate to think that our esteemed cousin from House Nellens would lie.”

“It was incomplete,” Deled replied, chewing on the words. “Some of the local spirits, gods who lacked discipline, helped us, and we drew Scarlet Scar into an ambush. But the Trickster had other anathema with him – one of the Blasphemous, another Forsaken, this one a woman, and others.”

“Others?”

“I could not tell what kind of demons they were. Perhaps other Tricksters, perhaps some of the Wretched.”

“And these Anathema frightened you?”

“No. But I did not have the advantage of numbers and I did not know what the Anathema were capable of. It would have been unwise, to attack without knowing more, so my Brotherhood and I withdrew, back to the hiding place in the swamp.”

“And you didn’t kill any of them?” Acran’s eyebrows rose to even greater elevations.

“No.”

“So now there are at least four, possible more, Anathema running around Vasaan.” Acran sighed. “This greatly complicates things.”

“Yes.”

“And you need more men.”

“Yes.”

Acran pursed his lips thoughtfully, leaning forward on the desk. “Do you know what we are doing here, cousin?”

Deled shrugged.

“We,” Acran said, gesturing around the room, “are trying to expand the influence of our house. You, me, our dear cousin Kaizoku Atarove up in Rubylak – we’re all trying to make House Peleps the dominant power in the East. That is our immediate goal.”

“I am trying to kill Anathema,” Deled growled.

“You might think you are trying to kill Anathema or uphold the Immaculate Faith, but in reality you are working for House Peleps. I can’t have you haring off to kill heretics, like you did last year when you wiped out that brotherhood of assassins. Honestly, what was that all about? You need perspective, and you need to see that House Peleps is the key to the future success of the Wyld hunt in the East. Do you understand that?”

“I do not need you.”

“Rubbish. You need our House, and you need our money. What we need you to do is follow orders, and those orders were to kill Scarlet Scar. I don’t care if it cost you your whole Brotherhood – he had to die. And you failed to kill him.”

Deled clenched his jaw.

“Now you’ve made things infinitely more difficult,” Acran continued. “First you fail to kill Scarlet, and now I lose contact with Haldas and that damn innkeeper, who were my only agents in region. I’m of half a mind call of the whole operation, but we need Vasaan and we need it badly. Or, rather, we need to keep it out of the wrong hands. If the Anathema gain a foothold there it will undermine our whole position in Linowan and it will be the Battle of Futile Blood all over again. Now, you don’t want that, do you?”

“No.”

“Of course not! None of us are eager to send House Peleps down the same road as House Tepet. Fortunately, we are far too clever to repeat their mistakes. We won’t tackle the Anathema head on, if we can avoid it, but we do need to fight them, eventually. So show more aggression.”

Deled glared up at the smaller man. “Do not give me orders.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“The Dragons themselves enlighten me – I follow their wisdom first, the word of the Empress second, and your… instructions only when it suits me.”

“Lovely. Let me know how following the wisdom of the Dragons works when your coffers are empty and you have no troops.” Acran slid out of his chair and walked around the desk to face Deled, as slender and deadly as a blade. “I need you to kill those Anathema, and you need me to keep you in curry. If you can’t kill them, I will find someone else who can. Understand?”

Deled looked at Acran, impassive.

“I haven’t come this far,” Acran said, “just to have you muck things up because the Anathema are too scary. I’ve spent too much treasure and spilled too much blood to back down. You will return to Vasaan, with greater numbers, and you will eliminate the Anathema.”

Acran turned away from Deled, towards one of the tall windows that looked out over Shadowholt.

“And then,” he said, his reflection catching in the glass, “there will be a reckoning.”
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
User avatar
Henry
Essence 5
Essence 5
Topic Author
Posts: 719
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 18:48
Title: Lookshyan brat
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Awkward flailing and some hair pulling
Artifact: Magitech and heirlooms
Location: Rhode Island

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

05 Aug 2012, 15:44

“Be careful with that!”

The box fell to the ground with a crash. Naevani winced.

“Sorry, ma’am,” the trooper said to her.

“I told you to be careful,” she sighed, kneeling down and fussing with the box. “These reagents are very delicate. If they become unsettled they’re useless.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And we still have another dozen boxes to check. I want you to bring all of them to the yard here, and for Dragons’ grace be careful!”

“Yes, sir. Won’t happen again, ma’am.”

The trooper didn’t seem to be particularly repentant. Naevani glared as he slouched out of the yard behind the merchant’s house, back towards the Scarlet Moon’s main supply dump on the village green. The cavalry troopers were the best fighters in the company, but they were terrible workers, regarding physical labor as beneath them and slacking off as much as possible. Every demand Naevani made of them was met with sullen looks and dragging feet, and it was a minor miracle if they performed even the most basic of tasks on time. Naevani longed for some solid, uncomplaining infantrymen to order around or, better yet, a talon of sappers. But the detachment in Onas was long on cavalry and short on everything else, so she did her best with what was available.

Which wasn’t much. Scarlet Scar and the other Exalts had ridden off with most of the cavalry a few days ago, leaving Naevani in command at Onas, bossing around a few dozen soldiers and a small mountain of supplies, supplies that she now had to catalogue and repack in preparation for the shift back to the capital. The cavalry troopers being what they were, the task was almost entirely Naevani’s to deal with, and it was boring, thankless, backbreaking work. Just the sort that she was used to.

It never seemed to change; the work was the same no matter where she was or who she was working for. Items had to be counted, boxes had to be packed, soldiers had to be fed. The Scarlet Moons used a slightly different accounting system than the Invincible Steel Legions of Calin and Pel Kan’s Ordinaries of Lookshy, but the principles were the same. A roll of paper with a column detailing what they were supposed to have, another column detailing what they actually had, and sums and signatures to back it all up. On rare occasions the numbers were the same, usually they were short, and sometimes the real inventory exceed the records. Naevani had ceased to be baffled by that last occurrence; it was just one of the inexplicable variables of military life.

Another mercenary staggered in under a heavy box, this one full of carefully wrapped jars of firedust. He knew enough to handle it carefully, at least, so Naevani only had to scold him for putting the box down in the center of the yard instead of by the wall on the far edge, where it belonged. As the soldier left he almost tripped over the next shipment – another box of firedust, this one carried by Tekana and Lanis. One child was holding on to each end of the container, and they staggered under the weight.

“Where does it go?” Lanis gasped, his face red, robbed of its usual enthusiasm.

“Here,” Tekana said, “next to the rest of the firedust.”

The container went down, but incorrectly, with its front edge away from the wall. As it was all but impossible to access the jars given the box’s current orientation, Naevani was about to ask the children to move it but Tekana spoke first.

“No, this end outward,” she said. “Come on, lift it again.”

“Do we have to?” Lanis whined.

“Yes, we do. See, the runes here, on the side? This way has to face out.”

“Alright,” Lanis said sullenly.

With another heave the box was twisted around into the proper position, and the children hustled away from it as if it was something poisonous. They sat down under the small apple tree that grew in the corner of the yard, where they bickered and chatted, trying to rest without it looking like they were resting.

Naevani watched them out of the corner of her eye as she did her cataloguing, thinking it unfair, or at least incorrect, to call Tekana a child. She was growing fast, and it wouldn’t be too long before her girlishness was replaced by the awkwardness of adolescence. Already she was leaps and bounds ahead of Lanis, who was still wrapped in the self-centered shortsightedness of childhood, and it wasn’t just her age that set her apart. There was an alertness to her, and a wariness as well, as if she regarded everyone and everything as an enemy, a potential threat to be confronted and overcome.

Acting on an impulse, Naevani called out to her. “Tekana, please come over here.”

The girl sighed and pushed off the ground, fixing her dress so it was just so, and glided across the yard, moving with well-taught grace, stopping in front of Naeavani where the older woman sat on the dirt in front of the boxes. “Yes?” she asked.

“I need you to help me with my sums,” Naevani said, looking up. “Would you double check my math?” She tried to hand a scroll to the girl.

“I…I don’t know…” Tekana said, looking at the loosely wrapped paper with distaste.

“Oh, come on now. It’s not hard, and I’m certain your tutors inculcated you with the basics of arithmetic.”

“Tutors?” Tekana said warily.

“Yes, tutors. The ones who taught you how to read High Realm, like what’s on the box here. The ones that all highborn girls have.”

Tekana blushed. “I’m not highborn. I’m not anything. I’m just a slave. Ex-slave.”

“Don’t worry about it; it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Why, I’m well-bred myself. Just don’t tell anyone.” She winked conspiratorially.

“I know that,” Tekana snapped. She blushed again.

“Oh, you’ve heard of me?”

“No.”

“But you’ve heard of my family?”

The girl looked away, twisting about in her thread-bare dress.

“Come on,” Naevani prompted. “I enjoy the ephemera of fame and notoriety: it satisfies my inflated notion of self-importance. You’ve heard of Gens Tsheteri?”

“I’ve, um, heard of Gens Tsheteri,” Tekana said, still not looking at her, “everyone has. It’s one of the great houses of Calin. Your father was shogun.”

“My uncle,” Naevani corrected her. “Once removed. Or something to that effect. They don’t bother much with the cadet houses in Calin; the players of the Great Game only care about those with a chance to inherit something important. But my uncle’s grandiosity aside, I bet most young women haven’t heard of Gens Tsheteri. Your tutors must have been very good.”

“Maybe I just listen to what people say. At the teahouse.”

“Did the gossip at the teahouse teach you how to walk like a lady? Or how to roll your ‘r’s in proper High Realm fashion?” Neavani smiled. “I’ve been underestimating the refinement of these beet farmers. They’re really something.”

Tekana bit her lip.

“Well, hey,” Naevani said encouragingly, “don’t let me get you down. My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. All I’m trying to say is that we’re not that different, and there’s no reason to hide who or what you are. So why don’t you sit down and help me with my sums? Sound good?”

She waved the scroll again. After some hesitation Tekana took it, along with a pencil that Naevani offered up.

“The way I see it,” Naevani said as Tekana sat down on the grass next to her, “us women of good breeding have to stick together. It’s us against the lesser folk, isn’t it? Now, what I need to you to do is check the numbers on this scroll against the numbers in the crate, and make sure everything is accounted for. Can you do that?”

“I… yes. I think so.”

“Are you good at sums?”

“No. I mean, Roven had me do some bookkeeping for the teahouse. From time to time.”

“Good enough. Ask me if you have any questions.”

They worked for a while in silence, Tekana searching through the open boxes while Naevani organized the supplies on the far side of the yard. The addition and subtraction didn’t pose any problems for Tekana, and she had graceful penmanship, the pencil resting gently in her hand and flowing effortlessly across the page. There was something about her writing that bothered Naevani, though, something she couldn’t quite place.

After the soldiers dropped off another load, Naevani came back over to help the girl open the boxes. It took a fair bit of effort to pry the lids off, and Naevani was sweating at the end of it. She dropped the crowbar and looked up at the hot sun, wiping the perspiration off her brow.

She grinned at Tekana. “Not what they teach you about in school, is it? The histories, the poems, they’re all about how great and exciting and romantic war is; they don’t talk about opening boxes and tying knots.”

“It’s okay,” Tekana said.

“Better than fighting, that’s for sure.”

“You don’t like to fight?”

“Not really,” Naevani said. “Don’t have the stomach for it.”

“Then why are you a soldier?”

“That’s easy. I wanted to help my family, help Calin, and I don’t have the guile to be in politics, or the patience to be in trade. I like to work with my hands, and there’s a lot to soldiering besides the fighting.” To emphasize the point, she grunted and ripped off another box top.

“But you’re not with your family anymore.”

Naevani grinned. “Good point. Turns out they didn’t have much use for me. I’m…”

Broken.

Useless.

Barren.

“…I’m not very good at taking orders. I wasn’t a good fit for the Invincible Steel Legions, but I’m much better off here in the Scarlet Moon company. It’s easier to speak your mind here and, what’s better, people listen to you. But I still respect my family and honor it every day.”

That last part was a lie, a dreadful, biting lie, but Tekana didn’t need to know that.

“See,” Naevani continued, “no matter what we do we honor our families, so long as we do it well. Even if they’re not here to see it we honor them, and they honor us in return. Family never leaves us.”

“Except for when they do,” Tekana said.

* * *

The order to move out came a few days later. The rider brought news of a battle at the fortress of Lavail, a battle against demons and fire that left the town ruined and the fortress gate smashed. That sounded too direct, too violent for Scarlet Scar’s normal style of command, which usually relied on subtlety and misdirection to win the day. Perhaps, Naevani mused, his new Exalted allies were affecting his decision-making. Granite Wolf wouldn’t like that.

In a hectic scramble that Naevani did her best to control, the troopers packed up the company’s supplies and made ready to depart. Half a dozen wagons and a long train of spare mounts assembled under her direction, just outside the walls of Onas, while Sergeant Yvenne kept a stern eye on the cavalry troopers in the village green. Naevani was grateful for the presence of the tough sergeant, a veteran of a dozen campaigns and much better suited to commanding soldiers in the field than the Calinti quartermaster was. Hopefully the march would be nothing more than that, a simple matter of travelling from Onas to the capital, which Naevani’s skill at organization would be more than adequate to handle. But if things turned sour she would rely heavily on Yvenne’s talent.

When they were ready to depart most of the troopers rode to the front of the little column with the remainder in the rear, tending to the spare horses. The wagons were in the middle, between the two bodies of soldiers, and Naevani took her customary place in the first wagon, the children beside her on the seat. With a slight twinge of guilt (the remnant of her schooling in the Immaculate Faith) she led the assembled company in a brief prayer to the god of the road and the god of season, asking for swift travel and clear skies. Then they were off with a flick of the reins, the wagon rattling and rumbling over the rough country road, kicking up a plume of dust into the dry sky of the season of Ascending Wood.

There was a clatter of hooves on loose stones as a horse was brought up next to the wagon.

“I thought we were going to the Farrenhill,” Nellens Haldas said, looking down at Naevani. Actually, his saddle was about the same height as the wagon seat, a little lower if anything, but he tried to look down on her.

“We are,” Naevani replied.

“But you’re taking the wrong road. The high road goes east to the capital; we’re going south.”

“We are.”

“Why? If our plans have been changed, I would like to be informed of it. After all, I am the most capable member of our company, so it’s only right that I know as much as I can so I can help as much as I can.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, it is,” Haldas huffed. “I’d like to think you had a little bit of respect for me. After all, we’re comrades in arms.”

“Are we?”

“Aren’t we?” he asked, baffled.

Naevani shrugged. Haldas opened his mouth, closed it, then looked around for support from someone. Anyone.

“She means she’s your superior,” Tekana said, coming to Haldas’ rescue from her seat next to Naevani. “So you should listen to her. We all should.”

“Ah. Oh. I see.”

“And we’re heading south because the road is drier,” Tekana continued. “It’s smoother than the main road, too. Better for the wagons, I guess. It turns east in a couple of miles and runs to the capital.”

“I see.” Haldas pulled himself upright on his horse. “Very well. I apologize, ma’am, for my, um…”

“Insubordination,” Naevani supplied.

“Yes, my insubordination. Good day, ma’am.” He primly turned his horse away, spurring it up the road to rejoin the main column.

Naevani hummed thoughtfully. “You know quite a lot, don’t you?” she said, glancing sideways at Tekana. “It’s taken me most of a season to a get sense of the land and figure out the geography, and I know what I’m looking for. Either you have a very good eye, or Roven took you travelling a lot.”

Tekana hesitated. “My mother taught me,” she said, finally.

The next few minutes passed in silence, save for the clatter of the wagon.

“Iselsi,” Tekana continued. “My name is Iselsi Tekana. My mother was from House Iselsi. She was a Magistrate, and she took me on trips, once or twice, on the road. The Great Eastern Road, the one that runs from Greyfalls to the sea.”

More silence.

“The road passes through here,” she said. “But it’s not as good as it is further south. I’d like to go on the road again. Away from here.”

“After we’re done,” Naevani said, “when I can spare the time, I’ll take you to the sea again, if you want. Back to your family.”

“What family? I never had a family. It was just mother and I.”

“But Iselsi is a Great House; you must have relatives with holdings in the Threshold or back on the Blessed Isle. I’ll get you back with them, where you belong.”

Tekana shook, holding on to her knees. “There isn’t anyone,” she said in a quavering voice, tears forming in her blue eyes. “It was just mother and I. And Nak. He was always there, even when mother had to go do the Empress’ work. And they’re both dead.”

“I’m sorry,” Naevani said lamely. Doing the only thing she could think of she reached around the girl’s shoulders, giving her a hug. That made things a little better.

“Nak was good with horses. Like you. He wasn’t nice to them; I don’t think he liked them. I don’t think he liked anything. But he was good with them.”

The girl drew in a ragged breath.

“He ran away with me, after mother died. We rode off on a horses, on Aethon. But they caught us. The men from House Peleps caught us. They said Nak had to die, that Archons can’t outlive their Magistrate. I always thought he was so brave, but he screamed and screamed and screamed while they killed him.”

“Hush now,” Naevani whispered. “Don’t think about that.”

“I do think about it. All the time. Every day. I think about so I won’t forget their faces.”

“You shouldn’t trouble yourself. Think about the good times, not the bad times.”

“There are no good times,” Tekana said. “Not since mother died. Not since they killed Nak. Not since they made me help them, help that pig Roven.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Being sorry doesn’t make it good.” She mumbled something

“What’s that?”

“One thing,” Tekana murmured. “One thing will make it good.”

“What?”

“A talent of jade.”


* * *

“And they’re up ahead?” Naevani asked.

Sergeant Yvenne nodded. “In the bush alongside the road.”

“The bocage.”

“Pardon, ma’am?”

“That kind of bush is called bocage. Or a hedgerow, if you want to be vulgar.”

“I see. Ma’am.”

Naevani clambered up the embankment on that lined the road, motioning for Yvenne to follow. The heavyset sergeant slid down from her saddle with a grunt and climbed up after Naevani.

“There?” Naevani asked, pointing down the road. From up here they had a good view of the countryside, a mostly flat plain divided into innumerable fields by high stone walls and the even higher bocage. There was a particularly thick patch of it that lined the road, about a mile in front of them

“Yes ma’am,” Yvenne said, panting a little. “On both sides of the road.”

“How many did your scouts see?”

“A couple dozen. Fairly well-armed, no real armor aside from a few helmets and quilted jacks.”

“And you’re certain they’re bandits?”

Yvenne nodded. “They’re from the Uplands, north of here. One step away from barbarians. They don’t come south, unless it’s to raid or to complain to the king. And Haldas didn’t see any petitions.”

“Haldas? He’s on patrol duty now?”

“Yes ma’am. He’s alert and, while he’s not trained to be a soldier, he is blessed by the Dragons, which counts for something. And, uh, I thought it would be better for morale if I stationed him away from the rest of the troops.”

“Not the most popular? Well, he’s gained my approval now. Good work.”

“What are we going to do? I could send out scouts, find an alternate route.”

“There’s a path north of here, I know, that runs closer to the river… but, no.” Naevani shook her head. “We won’t leave them behind to ambush the next poor travelers who happen to pass through. We’ll take care of them now.”

“Ma’am? With all due respect, it doesn’t look like this road gets much use. Apart from a couple local farmers, it doesn’t hardly see any traffic at all. I can’t see any harm with us skirting around, and it would save us a bunch of trouble.”

“Our duty, sergeant, is to kill the enemies of Vasaan.”

“Yes ma’am.” Yvenne did not seem pleased.

“Take the first squad along that northern path and take the bandits from the rear. I want you to hit their positions at a gallop, frighten them, and chase them out into the open. I’ll stay with the second squad and finish them off once you flush them out. Any comments? And I mean that – I value your advice.”

“No, ma’am, it seems like a sound plan. I’ll bring the trumpeter with me and have him sound out the charge. That way you’ll know when we’re engaged.”

“That sounds wise. Move quickly Sergeant, and be careful.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Naevani returned Yvenne’s salute and slid down the embankment, back towards the wagons, trying to display more confidence than she felt. She had never led men into battle before, save for a few times while she was in the Steel Legions and her platoon of engineers had strayed within bowshot of the enemy. This was different, though; it was a small fight, to be sure, nothing like a proper battle, but the risk was real, to her and to her men.

And what if she died? What if she caught a stray arrow in the throat, or if she was sloppy and didn’t parry a spear thrust or an axe swing? What if her horse lost its footing and she fell into a ditch and broke her neck? What would she leave behind?

Not much. A little bit of money to go into the company’s pool for widows and the disabled. Letters to her parents and her siblings that she’d written in advance. Another letter to her husband – her ex-husband – that he’d probably tear up and throw away without reading. That was all.

No children, she thought, looking at Lanis and Tekana sitting on the wagon. No legacy, nothing to carry on her name or her memory. Not for lack of trying, but it’s hard for a mere mortal to succeed at the impossible. And if she couldn’t do that, if she couldn’t perform the most simple, basic function of life, what good was she? What was she other than failure, a pathetic, misbegotten failure?

Naevani wrapped her fingers around the reassuring weight of her sword. No good came from that, she chided herself. No one ever got anywhere by lingering over things past. The soldiers needed her to lead, needed her to command, needed her to focus on the here and now. With a snort of annoyance, Naevani wrapped the sword belt around her waist and across her shoulder, pulling it tight. It was time to fight.

Before she left Naevani motioned the children to come over to her. Lanis skipped over, excited by all of the action going on around him, while Tekana came more cautiously. She knew that the trooper’s hurried motions and whispered words meant that danger was near.

“Listen up,” Naevani said, “I want the two of you to be safe, do you here? Stay here by the wagons with the corporal, and if anything goes wrong, if anyone comes near the wagon who isn’t one of the Scarlet Moons, I want you to run and hide in the bocage over there. Understand?”

They nodded.

“And Tekana, in case I get hurt in this fight, I want you to promise that you will go and speak to the captain or to Dex and tell them everything you told me. They need to know. Do you promise?”

“Yes, I promise,” Tekana said.

Naevani drew up her braid and pinned it into place on top of her head. It made a good cushion for her helmet when she pulled it down on her head and tightened her chin strap.

“There,” she said, “I’m all protected now. Even thicker than your silly head.”

She rapped against the steel with her knuckles, reaching out with her free hand to knock on Lanis’ head as well. The boy laughed.

“Don’t get hurt,” Tekana said. “Please.”

“I won’t. Well, I probably won’t. But I’m not much of a prognosticator, so I need you to talk to the captain, just in case.”

“I will.”

“Good.”

“Just don’t get hurt.”

Naevani laughed. “I’ll try my best. I promise.”

“Promises aren’t worth much.”

“No they aren’t,” Naevani said.

But, then again, what is?
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
User avatar
PeleCindertind
Essence 6
Essence 6
Posts: 1044
Joined: 05 Apr 2006, 23:51
Title: Boarding School Drama Magnet
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Vicious rumors and one night stands
Artifact: Safara of the Five Truths daiklave
Location: The middle finger of the Mid-West
Contact:

Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

30 Sep 2012, 07:04

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E X A L T E D : S O L A R ( 2 E D )
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NAME
Kellyn Chanlyeya

ANIMA
A unicorn rears over her head, shimmering like a borealis

PLAYER: Pele CONCEPT: Actress CAMPAIGN: Henry

MOTIVATION: Repent for the Children CASTE: Eclipse

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D E S C R I P T I O N
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AGE: 22 BUILD: Lithe HOMELAND: Northern Wastes

HEIGHT: 5'8 SKIN: fair GENDER: female

WEIGHT: 125 lbs HAIR: pale blonde EYES: pale pink

Exp: 7
Spent: 209

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A T T R I B U T E S
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PHYSICAL
Strength: 3
Dexterity: 3
Stamina: 3

SOCIAL
Charisma: 4
Manipulation: 5
Appearance: 3

MENTAL
Perception: 4
Intelligence: 3
Wits: 3
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A B I L I T I E S
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DAWN
Archery 0
War 0
Martial 0
Melee 0
*Thrown 5

ZENITH
*Integrity 3
Performance 1
*Presence 4
Resistance 0
Survival 0

TWILIGHT
Craft 0
Investigation 1
Lore 2
Medicine 3
Occult 1

NIGHT
*Athletics 3
Awareness 3
Dodge 4
*Larceny 5
Stealth 1

ECLIPSE
*Bureaucracy 5
*Linguistics 2
*Ride 3
*Sail 1
*Socialize 5

SPECIALTIES
Larceny: Disguise 3
Thrown: Eye of the Storm Sling 3
Presence: Making Allies 2

LANGUAGES
Sky Tongue (native)
River Speak
Forest Tongue

INTIMACIES
---
---

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A D V A N T A G E S
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VIRTUES
Valor 2
Conviction 3
Temperance 2
Compassion 2

HEALTH LEVELS
-0 -1 -1 -2 -2 -4 In

ESSENCE
Permanent 4
Personal 16
Peripheral 38
Committed 6

BACKGROUNDS
Allies 2 (Chill, noble of the Diamond Court)
Resources 2
Artifact
Travelling Trunk: 3
Battle Sling: 1
Cult 2 (Chill's "wife")

WILLPOWER
Permanent 7

LIMIT
[x][][][][][][][]

FLAW: Cruelty
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M E R I T S
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Silver Tongue: (3) Kellyn learned to lie and manipulate from the beings that created the art, making deception easier for her. When she is purposely trying to deceive, she receives two more dice.

Weapon of Choice: (2) Because she has been using a sling her whole life, in her hand, Eye of the Storm becomes even more powerful and accurate (+1 to both). If she should use another weapon, she takes a -2 penalty.

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F L A W S
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Oathbound: (3) Kellyn has sworn to her fae "husband" that she will uphold fae interests in her dealings in Creation.

Greater Curse: (2) Perhaps it was her upbringing, but Kellyn is quicker to indulge in Cruelty than other Solars because her Curse is stronger.

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C O M B A T
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WEAPONS

Eye of the Storm: Orichalcum sling
Speed 5 Accuracy +4 Damage +6L Defense - Rate 2 Distance 160

PHYSICAL STATS
Dodge DV: 4
Parry DV: 3
Mental Dodge DV: 7
Mental Parry DV: 3
Join Battle: 5

Soak Bashing Lethal Aggravated
Base: 3 1 -
Armor: 3 5 5
Total: 6 6 5

Movement Base
Run 3
Sprint 9
Leap (V) 4
Leap (H) 8

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C H A R M S
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Mastery of Small Manners: 1m (240)
Taboo Inflicting Diatribe: 3m, 1wp
Second Socialize Excellency: 2m per success
First Larceny Excellency: 1m per die
Flawlessly Impenetrable Disguise: 7m
Graceful Crane Stance: 1m
Flawless Pickpocketing Technique: 3m
Second Performance Excellency: 2m per success
Second Presence Excellency: 2m per success
Hypnotic Tongue Technique: 10m, 1wp
Enemy-Castigating Solar Judgement: 2m
Sagacious Reading of Intent: 3m
First Thrown Excellency: 1m per dice
Joint Wounding Attack: 3m
Observer Deceiving Attack: 3m
Shadow Over Water
Seven Shadow Evasion
Perfect Mirror
Integrity Protecting Prana
Destiny-Manifesting Method
Majestic Radient Presence
Venomous Whispers Technique
Bureau Rectifying Method

Custom Charm: Endless Stone Meditation 5m 1w
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C H A R M S - C O M B O S
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A R T I F A C T S
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Traveling trunk: The trunk hides in elsewhere until she needs it. When opened it becomes a curtained dresing room for her. For the cost of three motes, a sketch, and a sample of cloth, it can make any new costume she'll need.

Eye of the Storm: Kellyn was raised to fight off wolves, bears, and wyld twisted barbarians with her sling. After realizing it was time for her to return to Creation, Chill presented her with a gift, an orichalcum Sling of Deadly Prowess. Without attunment, Eye of the Storm is just a rigid piece of metal, but with 3 motes of essence it becomes a deadly weapon in her hand. Although Kellyn could have chosen any kind of weapon, she prefers the sling as one that is easy to hide in her various disguises.

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B A C K S T O R Y
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Kellyn was thirteen when she first saw that gods could fall. And when they fell, the world crashed with them. Born and raised in a herding village outside the cursed city of Fella. The Wyld Hunt descended on it like locusts. They ruined the village and killed those who tried to stop them or even suggested they should stand up to them. Althought the Hunt was merely passing through, when the headman revealed himself to be a Lunar. The Hunt destroyed him and left the village in ruins. Already in the start of a famine, the destruction of the headman and much of the village ensured that the village would not survive. In a desperate bid to stay alive, the village slowly began following the Icewalkers. One day, while she was attempting to gather food, a snowstorm forced her to seek shelter in a cave or freeze to death. The cave was inhabited by a Fae noble who told Kellyn to call him Chill. Although she was supposed to be his meal, when she suddenly exalted, he was forced to reconsider his decision. Kellyn pitied Chill for having to live off the life force of others and after realizing he could have a pet Eclipse, the two came to an agreement. Over the next few years, Kellyn helped Chill create a network of villages and semi-nomadic tribes that offered their children to him exchange for the protection of the Diamond Court. After the greater part of a decade, Kellyn decided it was time to return to Creation. There had to be more the Unconqured Sun's plan than offering up children to Chill. Although he was sad to see her go, Chill allowed her to leave after the two of them came up with disguises to that the Wyld Hunt would have more trouble finding her if she should accidentally be revealed as a Solar. Chill anticipates she will return and need his help. Once that happens, she will be as good as his slave.

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I T E M S
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One set of traveling clothes
Eye of the Storm
collection of rocks
Basic traveling gear

5 costumes:
Meena: A flirty out going saloon girl who turns just about anything into an induendo rather shamelessly. Outfit is red and black with an overbust corset, a skirt that's short in the front and long in the back, black fishnet tights, and high heels. Her hair is bright brassy blonde in large sausage curls, her eyes are bright green.

Negeen: A quiet, slightly morbid priestess of Sijan. She speaks barely above a whisper behind the black veil that hides her face from the nose down. The long black robes hide her ebony hair, leaving only piercing black eyes and her pale hands visible.

Jem: an adolescent street urchin who speaks with an uneducated twang and begs for just a few jade from likily passers by. Dressed in ragged dirty shirt and pants that are a size or two too large, her auburn hair is ratty, but her brown eyes are large and innocent.

Sanaa: very tall Eastern trader with deep green hair and bark brown skin. She rarely speaks in anything but Forest Tongue, and dresses in traditional Eastern clothing. She is rough and doesn't like taking no for an answer.

T'visha: A slave or servant from the Blessed Isle, her olive skin and blue-black hair are a little dirty. Her simple blue dress is worn, but not threadbare. She speaks River Speak, hesitating to use another language, and is very nervous. She likely lost her former masters in a recent upheval, and is looking for a way to hide with her fellow mortals.
Last edited by PeleCindertind on 10 Feb 2014, 23:35, edited 1 time in total.
 
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PeleCindertind
Essence 6
Essence 6
Posts: 1044
Joined: 05 Apr 2006, 23:51
Title: Boarding School Drama Magnet
Exalt: Dragon-Blooded
Fighting Style: Vicious rumors and one night stands
Artifact: Safara of the Five Truths daiklave
Location: The middle finger of the Mid-West
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Re: A Confederacy of Dunces

20 Nov 2013, 10:35

Kellyn short! For those who have been wondering how it happened...and for those who hadn't....welcome to your new nightmare. ^_^

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The pace she set was neither hard nor leisurely, but was enough to leave unquestioned in her escort’s minds that this was a true assignment and not some noble flight of fancy. She wanted to run. She wanted to pour her essence into her mount and run it until its heart exploded. She wanted to put as much distance as possible as quickly as possible between her and him. But the one night of rest after such an expensive battle had barely been enough to restore her fellow Exalts, she could not risk pushing mere mortals so hard. Instead, the small task force rode for four hours, rested for four, then rode again until nightfall. Rather than make camp, however, the troop walked the beasts, in spans of two hours with two hour breaks. In this manner they made steady, if not speedy, progress without undue strain on rider or beast.

The serious pull of her face left no room for question with her escort, but she could see the curiosity and confusion on their faces. Their eyes shifted from looking at her, and then to each other. She understood their question: why only send the new woman to bring the city back? She was not a warrior -- and then there were the rumors. Rumors that she had sacrificed people of the North to a horrible Raksha master; rumors that she served him still; rumors that she was not just a servant to one, but married to it! Kellyn ignored them, wrapped in her own miasma of concern, anxiety, and – if she was truly honest with herself and her feelings – fear. Besides, the truth of the rumors would not have given them any comfort. And she understood their confusion, had Wolf ordered her on this mission there would have been many loud words exchanged with the commander detailing her disagreement with his decision. But she had volunteered as an excuse to just get away.

Annoyance crept in, quite unwelcome, but with no concern for the norms and mores of emotions. Why should she want to put so much space between them so suddenly? The very basis of their relationship was open acceptance of what the other was and what was needed for survival. So what if he wanted to teach that girl to kill? It was no concern of hers what he did. She had never bothered to worry about the decisions and feelings of others – unless, of course, those decisions and feelings had stood in her way. But in those cases, she had eradicated them. Why did it bother her so much that he had not listened when she said no? Surely he could see that it would be more beneficial to train the girl to be a diplomat. There were always more fighters, but people who could do what Kellyn did were truly rare and gifted. Why could he not see that it would be better to have someone ready to step into her position when Kellyn had to leave?

Oh, said the cruel, nasal voiced part of her mind, you know perfectly well it has nothing to do with any of that. You’re scared you’ve been replaced.

The horse tossed its head and minced a few steps in response to Kellyn’s tightened grip on its reins. She forced herself to relax and patted its mane soothingly. What that awful voice said was not true anyway. No one could replace her! Besides, they had promised each other…

You’re terrified that you’ve been replaced, the voice insisted. It sounded like it took delight in highlighting her fears. And that the Arbiter was right. You worry he will leave you and his bastard and you will have no choice but to return to Chill, where you will never be able to leave. Then Chill will eat your baby as he has eaten so many others, taking Thirteen away from you completely. Then you will really be alone.

She gasped as if the voice had stabbed her and straightened in her saddle. Her mount’s ears flicked back in concern and her escort tensed. They tightened their circle around her, scanning the area with weapons ready. Kellyn did not notice as she struggled to counter the words of the nasty little voice. Thirteen would not leave her or replace her, they had an agreement about that! And so what if he replaced her with that little Realm girl? That did not mean she would have to leave the Scarlet Moons, and if she did, she could go to Egrinatrix. He might not like that she had another man’s child, but surely he would not dare turn down his mate.

Ah, well, you seem to have it all figured out then.

Kellyn breathed a sigh of relief; yes, she did have everything figured out. Figured out and in control just as she had everything. It was only then she realized one of the soldiers was tapping her shoulder.

“My lady? My lady, are you all right?” The worry in his voice was perfunctory. He was not worried about her physical health but rather why she had stopped. She shrugged him off and hissed through her teeth.

“Yes, of course I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”

The soldier gave no reply, and Kellyn did not expect one. Squaring her shoulders, she tossed her blonde hair over one shoulder and began riding again.

Unless Egrinatrix’s tribe has a law that says bastards have to be killed. Then you’ll be pretty much in the same position as with Chill – only instead of a whole kingdom of fae fearing you, you’ll just be the bed toy of a minor warlord. Mother would be so proud.

Kellyn jerked on the reins so hard, her horse squeaked in protest. Her escort had to stop so suddenly, the soldiers nearly made their horses sit.

Maybe you could make your tribe name The Diplomat Formerly Known As Lady Chill. Although the more honest one would be Ninja’s Rejected Whore.

“Stop!” Kellyn snapped.

“My lady…?” This time the concern was real. Kellyn held up her hand, her mind racing to rationalize and restore the delicate order of her psyche. She could not be so torn and distracted when she went to face the Duke. Broken as his court was after she was done with it, he had time to rebuild. She had no idea what they would be facing now, and the soldiers were counting on her to get them through the pocket of near-Wyld the Duke called home.

“We’re stopping,” she finally said.

“Now?” A different soldier asked. “But we have another -- ”

“Now.” Kellyn insisted. She had thought this mission would distract her from her thoughts, but they were insisting on being heard. She needed to regain control or they would all be in trouble. Without a word of explanation, she dismounted and headed into the shelter of the shady trees. When she had found a good spot, she settled down and focused on the task of dealing with her emotions. She started with what she was sure of, with the how and why of herself and Thirteen.


Even with the experience of Chill’s court, joining the Scarlet Moons was a shock. After her first antagonistic run-in with the perpetually angry Granite Wolf, then the horror in the faces of the others when she revealed her feelings regarding the fae, it had been trying to say the least. She had made herself tea to steady her resolve and try to feel more at home. That was the first time she saw him, though he must have been there when she formally introduced herself to the others.

He stood in the entrance of her tent, green eyes peering at her over the mask that covered the rest of his face. The light from her lamp rolled off his armor like water droplets off a duck’s back. He was so still, so silent, at first Kellyn thought it was a prank to try and scare her. Then he had blinked and looked slightly at her kettle.

“Would you like some tea?” She offered him. It was as if her speaking had broken a spell. Thirteen had not walked away, he had vanished. Kellyn got up and looked out of her tent, but there was no sign of him. She finished half the pot before feeling soothed enough to rest. Gathering the tea set to dump out the rest, she had a thought. She fetched a fresh cup and moved the cup and the kettle to the middle of the entrance of the tent. Then she had gone to bed. In the morning, the kettle was empty and the tea cup was upside down.

After that first night, things improved. Like a feral cat that was learning to trust humans again, Thirteen gradually began to let himself be in Kellyn’s company. At first they did not speak. They merely sat together and drank tea. Sometimes Kellyn worked while they drank, and he simply watched. When the pot was empty, Thirteen simply got up and left.

But Kellyn was used to talking, and after a particularly frustrating encounter with Dex and Dragon, she needed someone to vent her annoyance to. She waited until he had taken his first sip before she began speaking. It was not a conversation. Kellyn talked, Thirteen sat and drank and gave no indication of listening or caring. At least not until the pot was gone. Before he left, he patted her awkwardly on the shoulder. The touch had warmed Kellyn more than the tea had, and while she was still annoyed with the two, she felt much more comfortable.

Things continued in this manner for a while longer. Kellyn would talk and Thirteen had enough manners to stay until she was done. She had no idea if he cared or if he was even really listening, but not knowing was strangely comforting to her. She could tell him anything she liked or wanted and his own manners would keep it more secret than a coded diary hidden under the paw of a Netherworld beast. While she adjusted to living with the Scarlet Moons, having Thirteen to just talk at helped her immensely, but it was a little frustrating for her to not know what he thought. She could not read him, and it both annoyed and excited her immensely. She finally understood the excitement of the chase, but she would not mind some confirmation that she was not playing alone.

The confirmation came suddenly, with two small gestures that told Kellyn everything she needed to know. The first was when he stood up for her against Dragon, ordering the warrior to be nice. The second was when, instead of going to her tent, he took her into his transportable manse for tea. She had loved the manse from the moment she had set foot in it. It was dark, lit only by candles, with most of the space taken up by a coy pond. It smelled fresh, natural, like fresh cut vegetables or the smell of the earth after a light rain. It was cool, a welcome relief from the oppressive heat they had traveled through. He had served her tea, then disappeared for a while. When he returned, he laid out two scrolls. One was very old, so much so that she feared to touch it lest it turn into powder under her fingers. The second was newer, the ink only recently dry. The hand was so precise and exact she wondered if one of the hobbies of her ninja was calligraphy.

“Don’t….like talking.” Thirteen said. He touched the first scroll. “Code.” He touched the second scroll. “Me.”

Kellyn was so overwhelmed with pleasure she nearly cried. He had been listening to her! And even though she had told him about her life with Chill, the tribe she had been raised with, and the many children she had lead to slaughter, he did not care.

“You,” she paused, looking at him. “You don’t think I’m evil? Or planning to sell you to the fae?”

“You…survive.” He had said, meeting her eyes. “I respect…that.”

Kellyn smiled and started to read.

The mutual respect for survival became the foundation of their friendship, and to the surprise of both of them, their physical attraction. Of course, they had not meant for the last bit at all, but looking back Kellyn realized it was only natural as they grew closer and began to trust each other. It started innocently; occasionally she would hold his hand. Or he would touch his shoulder, smooth her hair, or even meet her eyes. When he looked at her, she felt her heart flutter, knowing how much that simple gesture meant. Perhaps they would have continued so innocently, had not Thirteen’s life been so drastically changed.

Deled was dead. The creature which had destroyed his home, his tribe, and tried so hard to destroy him, was finally dead. Thirteen sat by the pond, the tea Kellyn had made him had long grown cold. He had not even tasted it. He had only starred at the cape and cowl of his greatest enemy. His mask was off, revealing the whole of the scar Deled had given him, his black hair loose and hanging down his back. Kellyn had said nothing, she had simply watch him until her second cup of solitary tea. Finally she had reached her limit. She sat next to him and touched the edge of the war trophy.

“What will you do now?” she asked him.

“Do…not…know.” He replied.

“He’s dead now. Your clan has been avenged. You must be happy about that at least.”

“Alone.”

“You’re the last of your clan, yes.” She agreed, then made him look at her. “But you are not alone. I’m here.” Her hand lost itself briefly in his long black hair. She felt him tense, preparing to strike, and she froze. “It is just me,” she whispered. She waited until he relaxed again. She kept her pale pink eyes on him as her hands moved to touch his cheeks. She traced the line of his jaw, his chin, then his nose down towards his lips. Niether one knew who made the move first. Perhaps they both had moved at the same time. But before they knew it, their lips had met and locked. It had been Kellyn’s first true kiss, and she had delighted in every detail about it. And it did not stop at the kiss. Niether of them had known what to do since it was the first time for both, so they acted on instinct. There were clumsy kisses and awkward moments aplenty, but strangely Kellyn did not remember that part. She just remembered loving the contact, feeling his hands fumble with her clothes as much as she fumbled with his armor. His skin against hers, the hard, killing muscles holding her close, she had never felt so safe.

Kellyn smiled at the memory of her first time. They both had improved with practice and experience, but for some time no one else knew anything had happened, or continued to happen. Not until after several more times. When they had been discovered, neither of them felt any shame or guilt although they were made to feel like they had done something bad. Things might have stayed just the same had not Arbiter revealed that she was pregnant with Thirteen’s child – even before Kellyn herself was sure. Maybe if that had not happened, she would not be in this mess now. She had hoped no one had heard him, but then Granite Wolf had brought it up while planning for the attack against the Realm.

“Stay back for my condition,” she grumbled allowed. “Of all the misogynistic, callus, and rude things to say.”

Thirteen had been understandably upset, and was only more so when Kellyn did not come to his manse. Instead she had returned to her own tent to lie down and fume over Granite’s remarks. His silent entrances no longer startled her, so when she felt another presence in her tent, she did not panic, she merely gestured him in. He came to stand near her while she laid on her cot.

“Is…it…true?” he asked.

“I don’t know yet. I might be.” He knelt by her as she looked at him. She sensed more than heard his question. “If I am, it is yours. And no, I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. Whatever it is, you don’t need to worry. I won’t bother you.”

He touched her hand. It was not comforting or a proposition. She sighed and elaborated.

“If I am, I will leave, or something. Either way you don’t need to worry about it.” The grip on her hand had tightened and Kellyn saw something in his eyes she never had before – fear.

“Don’t. Go.” He said in his husky whisper.

“You want me to stay?” she asked incredulously. Thirteen knelt by her and took her other hand. Had he been anyone else, it would have been terribly romantic.

“Feel ill,” he said. “When not near you.”

She said nothing, but urged him with her eyes to keep going.

“Poisoned. Cursed. Bad when near, worse when far.” It looked like it was starting to cause him physical pain to talk. Kellyn put a finger to his lips.

“You want me to stay, even if I am pregnant?” She asked him.

He nodded then, with a noticeable physical force he spoke again,

“Rebuild clan. With baby.”

Kellyn felt tears well in her eyes when he said that, but she kept herself restrained.

“Then I will stay. And if you are cursed, I am.”

Thirteen tilted his head.

“Because I feel the same,” she told him. She removed the mask and kissed him.


A cooling calm settled over Kellyn as she returned to the present. Thirteen was not the type to throw around promises like that. Maybe Kellyn would be replaced one day, but that day had not come. And even if it did, Thirteen would not abandon her if there was a baby. His code was very clear: he could not abandon his clan. She stood and dusted her pale blue woolen dress off. That nasty voice was welcome to say whatever it wanted. Kellyn was herself again. She was a diplomat, the very rarity of her position was what made her great at it. Others may jeer at her, but she knew she was right. If the girl did not adhere to the Code, Thirteen would not need Kellyn to order him not to teach her. Getting upset was just silly.

“We are about to enter a fae holding,” she told her escorts as she returned. “I am sure many of you have heard horror stories about them. Some of them are true. I promise you now that you will not be sacrificed or left to deal with them on your own. If you enter the holding, you will leave with all your emotions in tact. But that does not mean there will not be dangers. You will see things, hear things, maybe even feel things that are odd, terrifying, and unnatural. We are going to return the citizens to their homes, but I understand if some of you do not want to join me. It is healthy to fear the Raksha, even when you know them. I will not judge you, I will not punish, and I will give only a glowing report to Granite. All I ask is that you are honest with yourself about if you are willing. If you come with me, you will need to stay calm, keep your wits about you, and keep your emotions under control. Those of you can do that are welcome to join me. Those who don’t will remain here and wait for our return.”


Kellyn was flanked by three guards when she entered the courtyard of the Duke. He had done little rebuilding in the time since she had last seen him. But then, immortal fae often take several centuries to do anything. What rush were they in, after all?

“Why if it is not the darling little diplomat who cast out my court and then sent me a city to babysit.” The Duke sneered as she dismounted. Kellyn dropped a graceful curtsy.

“If you expect me to apologize for the former, you will be disappointed. Regarding the latter, I have come to relieve you of that duty. I realize it was an imposition, but I am grateful to you.” She told him.

“Damned it certainly was,” the Duke replied. Both laughed, the absurd, feather light giggle so common with court aristocracy.

“Where are they then?” She asked.

“Around back, my dear. And mostly unharmed,” he said. “The physical count remains the same. We only nibbled.” He snapped at Kellyn’s nose and the absurd laugh was shared between them.

“Well then I have good news. We’ve routed the Realm, but you’re welcome to pick off the stragglers.”

“Oh how delightful! Fear is delectable when it is fresh.” He patted her hand. “Yes, yes, my dear. You go on around back and you’ll find them. There’s a girl.”

The Duke, as all Fae were, was true to his word. The citizens had set up a respectable refugee camp in his backyard. At first there was no notice of Kellyn and her reduced escort, but word spread quickly and within a few moments, the small group was surrounded by terrified men too old to fight, women, and children. The avalanche of questions buried them until Kellyn was able to restore calm.

“My dear citizens, I bare good news! Your city is saved! The Realm has been routed to the man!”

The cheers of the crowd were deafening at the news. Kellyn grinned warmly. She had no idea how it truly felt to be so worried about a home, but she was pleased that the people were pleased.

“But at a high cost,” she yelled. The cheers died quickly. “The city will need a lot of rebuilding and the cost in terms of soldiers was high as well. That is why you are needed. We will rebuild the city, and it will be greater, stronger, and better than it was. From the ashes rises the phoenix and so shall it be with your home. So, quickly! Gather your things and we shall all return to your home!”

Excited once again, helped by a push of her essence carried through her voice, the citizens hurried to do as they were told. Kellyn nodded, pleased with herself. There were many unknowns for her, but at the moment she was content.

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