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The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

10 Aug 2007, 23:02

“Thank you.” Cathak Damian, wearing the clothes of a Realm bureaucrat, nodded to the messenger and then closed the door heavily. He turned towards his companions.

Sesus Nagazzer had pushed past his shock in the early minutes and hours following the attacks, sending out fleets of messengers, coordinating warnings against those who might not be aware of the dangers yet, spreading the guards to find assassins who had already struck, and generally attempting to quell the panic rising across the Imperial City. For his part, Fokuf had let himself slide slightly out of his shell, and his easygoing words and calm certainty that the Realm would survive – coupled with subtle Charms that smoothed the worries of those he spoke with – had helped to prevent the horrifying night from dissolving into civil war on the spot. Accusations had flown quickly and angrily, with everyone finding someone to blame, ranging from the Iselsi themselves (which was reasonable), to Mnemon (whose warnings were seen by some as a way of divorcing herself from blame), to increasingly insane propositions such as the Mouth of Peace or the Bull of the North. Finally, the two had decided that they had done what they could, and had retreated to Nagazzer’s private chambers. Damian was continuing to organize messages, as the Realm took stock of their losses.

“Two more sets of bad news.” Damian’s voice was heavy with loss. “They’ve found Ledaal Kes and Ragara Szaya dead in their quarters. And we’ve just gotten a report from Ragara’s personal staff; he succumbed to poison from an unknown source.” He collapsed into a chair. “That brings us up to ninety-seven attacks confirmed. Maybe we’ll be lucky, and that will be all.”

“Lucky.” Nagazzer’s voice was hollow. “Everything is ruined. Kes… he was a good man. A loyal ally. He did not deserve…” He trailed off. “And yet, I find myself unable to even mourn him properly.”

“Ejava.” Fokuf’s voice was soft, but Nagazzer nodded.

“Sixty-eight fatalities. I can’t even…” He trailed off, and looked over to Damian. “I understand how you felt, now.”

“I wish that you didn’t.” Damian nodded exhaustedly. “We got most of the assassins, at least. Thirty-eight killed.”

“Lovely. And in the meantime…” Nagazzer cursed. “Of the twenty-seven leaders of the ten Houses, there are six survivors. Six.” He clenched a fist. “Mmenon, V’Neef, Peleps Febaris, Ledaal Caros, and a pair of Nellens mortals who only survived because the assassins didn’t consider them worth assigning first-strike status. Of the other seventy targets that we have identified, there are sixteen survivors. The leadership of the Dynasty has been shattered in a single blow. It does not comfort me that they probably can’t do it again. We’re a mess.”

“Which, I assume, is why we’re all dodging the two biggest questions.” Fokuf spoke softly, thoughtfully, and the other two turned to stare at him. Finally, Damian spoke.

“What two questions?”

“First, what is the enemy’s next move?” Fokuf stood suddenly, pacing back and forth as he spoke. “The Iselsi have already fled, leaving behind their members that were not Infernal like them. We assume – we’ll have to check them all incredibly carefully. But it is Mnemon’s account that I’m most worried about. The assassin who attacked her, she said, was a Solar Anathema… but with the green sun of Malfeas burning on his brow, not the gold of our world. She was certain of it.” He looked to the others. “I’ve never heard of anything like that. Where did Adorjan gain Solar Exaltations? And how many more might she have?”

Nagazzer sounded faint. “And the second question?”

“What do we do about Mnemon?”

This time, Damian and Nagazzer both nodded unhappily. Finally, Damian spoke. “It’ll have to be V’Neef to oppose her. No one else can. Even that might not be enough. A lot of people are suspicious of her, but the fact is that half the survivors of this attack would have died without her warnings.” He frowned. “Which, quite frankly, I find suspicious. Why did she survive the first attack easily enough to have those minions still to send?”

“Something to look into.” Fokuf nodded. “But we have to decide if we are willing to sacrifice our desires for the Dynasty.” He looked to Damian. “This can’t be a co-incidence. First the Sidereals fall, then the Deathlords, and now us. I can’t help but wonder if the Infernal had a hand in your civil war as well. The timing is just too co-incidental.”

“It’s possible.” Damian shook his head. “If there was an attack, this would be the time for it. No Sidereal is allowed to modify the Loom during Calibration without the express approval of the Maidens themselves. It’s too dangerous to affect fate right now. If the Yozi were to make a move, it would have to be now. It would be the only way to manage a surprise attack.” He paused. “Like this one.”

“Well, then. We have our work cut out for us.” Fokuf stood. “Two and a half days from now, the Deliberative is meeting to discuss the disaster and make plans. They needed that long for the Great Houses to decide who was going to be in charge. It will be the last day of Calibration. If something else is going to happen – it will be right then.”

“I agree.” Nagazzer nodded firmly, some of his old spirit returning. “We will have to prepare for the worst.”

“I’ll find the Inner Circle and tell them our suspicions.” Damian stood, heading for the door. “They’ll need to know what’s going on.”

“Alright, then. We’ve got two days to pull our Houses together.” Fokuf grinned suddenly, pushing back the pain. “Nothing like a challenge, eh?”

“Hmph.” Nagazzer laughed despite himself. “I suppose you’ve survived harder.”

“Once or twice.” Fokuf stood as well, heading from the room. Despite his brave words, he could feel depression hovering at the edges, waiting to be let in. This was going to be incredibly difficult.

And they had no idea what would come next.
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

10 Aug 2007, 23:15

I so adore chapters like this, excellent character interaction, uncertainty mixed mystery - love it love it love it.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 00:50

It must be hard for sidereals to not know what is going to happen next.
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von Schabov
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 02:44

Ledaal Kes? Ragara Szaya? Seriously you show no mercy or human compassion for your fellow forumite.
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 12:28

von Schabov wrote:
Ledaal Kes? Ragara Szaya? Seriously you show no mercy or human compassion for your fellow forumite.


You do not know pain until you know being a fan of Lunars in the first edition of the game.
I write stories. No, really.
 
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 16:07

Dinosaur wrote:
von Schabov wrote:
Ledaal Kes? Ragara Szaya? Seriously you show no mercy or human compassion for your fellow forumite.


You do not know pain until you know being a fan of Lunars in the first edition of the game.


At least you and TW didn't lead the Great Internet Rampage of 2007 when 2e Lunars came out.

Anyway, I'm amused and impressed that it's Fokuf that cuts right to the heart of the matter. The Infernal attack has pretty well tumbled everything, and all the survivors have been reacting, really everyone has, for the last few chapters. While our heroes don't have the information they need to seize control back of the plot, quite yet, they're starting to try.

I find it interesting that Red Sky at Night, now Dynasty's Shadowed Light, all have something to do with a Yozi and this Competition. And we still don't know what it is, why it's happening, or why every Yozi in Malfaes it seems is willing to draw this much fire from Heaven. Makes me wonder what could be worth it...
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 16:47

Epiphany wrote:
I find it interesting that Red Sky at Night, now Dynasty's Shadowed Light, all have something to do with a Yozi and this Competition. And we still don't know what it is, why it's happening, or why every Yozi in Malfaes it seems is willing to draw this much fire from Heaven. Makes me wonder what could be worth it...


Imagine yourself as a nearly omniscient/omnipotent/omnipresent being of pure energy. Your own children rise against you with minions that even you couldnt comprehend as having a chance against you. You lose the war and are forced to swear upon your very own name before being locked away inside your brother - forever. For the last five, ten-thousand years all you've been thinking about is getting out and getting revenge...really what do you think Yozi's could want the most?

Revenge
Freedom
Resetting the 'correct' order of things

(not necessarily in that order, but thats what I think anyway)
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 16:55

Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
Epiphany wrote:
I find it interesting that Red Sky at Night, now Dynasty's Shadowed Light, all have something to do with a Yozi and this Competition. And we still don't know what it is, why it's happening, or why every Yozi in Malfaes it seems is willing to draw this much fire from Heaven. Makes me wonder what could be worth it...


Imagine yourself as a nearly omniscient/omnipotent/omnipresent being of pure energy. Your own children rise against you with minions that even you couldnt comprehend as having a chance against you. You lose the war and are forced to swear upon your very own name before being locked away inside your brother - forever. For the last five, ten-thousand years all you've been thinking about is getting out and getting revenge...really what do you think Yozi's could want the most?

Revenge
Freedom
Resetting the 'correct' order of things

(not necessarily in that order, but thats what I think anyway)


Let me rephrase.

The Yozi's don't routinely invade Creation. It's likely that this set of stories is seeing centuries of planning coming to fruition as well as the expenditure of most if not all of their resources in Creation. This is a huge, huge investment (and if it wasn't, they have no excuse for not breaking out sooner).

So, the rephrased question: What do they want that can get them their revenge and freedom, that's worth taking such terrible risks as all of this?
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

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von Schabov
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 17:31

Dinosaur wrote:
von Schabov wrote:
Ledaal Kes? Ragara Szaya? Seriously you show no mercy or human compassion for your fellow forumite.


You do not know pain until you know being a fan of Lunars in the first edition of the game.


Well i barely restrain myself from unleashing elemental fury on second edition DB charm writers. I just begin to understand what was it like to be a lunar player during the first edition. :neutral:
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Deaths Pale Mistress
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 21:01

Epiphany wrote:
Let me rephrase.

The Yozi's don't routinely invade Creation. It's likely that this set of stories is seeing centuries of planning coming to fruition as well as the expenditure of most if not all of their resources in Creation. This is a huge, huge investment (and if it wasn't, they have no excuse for not breaking out sooner).

So, the rephrased question: What do they want that can get them their revenge and freedom, that's worth taking such terrible risks as all of this?


I believe you answered your own question my dear Sidereal. :<3: :<3: :<3:

In the pursuit of freedom and revenge, is nothing worth risking at all? Rather, what wouldnt you risk to seek your own vindication and release from prison?

The whispers say 'nothing'.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Friv
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 22:02

von Schabov wrote:
Ledaal Kes? Ragara Szaya? Seriously you show no mercy or human compassion for your fellow forumite.


Just wait until the next story. I fully expect to be assasinated.

Epiphany wrote:
I find it interesting that Red Sky at Night, now Dynasty's Shadowed Light, all have something to do with a Yozi and this Competition. And we still don't know what it is, why it's happening, or why every Yozi in Malfaes it seems is willing to draw this much fire from Heaven. Makes me wonder what could be worth it...


Well, at the risk of being cryptic, you'll have to wait for the finale of In Which to find out the full details... :greensun:
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Epiphany
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 22:15

Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
Epiphany wrote:
Let me rephrase.

The Yozi's don't routinely invade Creation. It's likely that this set of stories is seeing centuries of planning coming to fruition as well as the expenditure of most if not all of their resources in Creation. This is a huge, huge investment (and if it wasn't, they have no excuse for not breaking out sooner).

So, the rephrased question: What do they want that can get them their revenge and freedom, that's worth taking such terrible risks as all of this?


I believe you answered your own question my dear Sidereal. :<3: :<3: :<3:

In the pursuit of freedom and revenge, is nothing worth risking at all? Rather, what wouldnt you risk to seek your own vindication and release from prison?

The whispers say 'nothing'.


It just begs the question. Why now, why all at once? ...and how are they going to get free by killing a bunch of Dragonblooded and taking over an island?
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

My Novels / My Series / My Short Stories
 
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Deaths Pale Mistress
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 23:08

Epiphany wrote:
It just begs the question. Why now, why all at once? ...and how are they going to get free by killing a bunch of Dragonblooded and taking over an island?


Shock value I would wager. It's what I would do, without the Blessed Isle in some semblance of order it makes the rest of the world seem that much more in chaos - easier to take over. I imagine whatever plans the Yozi's have in store will be revealed to us soon enough...but this is only one step and I am certain it's only just the beginning.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Epiphany
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

11 Aug 2007, 23:44

If they wanted to take over the world just through simple conquest, either the Usurpation or especially the Great Contagion would have been the time to do it. Or that big Faerie invasion a few centuries back.

Yeah, the Bull crushed the Tepet Legion, the Mask of Winters occupies Thorns, etc., but for the most part this isn't a great time to just up and kill everyone. Not relative to other points of history.

My question stands!
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

My Novels / My Series / My Short Stories
 
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

12 Aug 2007, 00:16

Epiphany wrote:
If they wanted to take over the world just through simple conquest, either the Usurpation or especially the Great Contagion would have been the time to do it. Or that big Faerie invasion a few centuries back.

Yeah, the Bull crushed the Tepet Legion, the Mask of Winters occupies Thorns, etc., but for the most part this isn't a great time to just up and kill everyone. Not relative to other points of history.

My question stands!


As exceptionally cryptic hints are fun, the question is clearly: What do the Yozi have now that they did not have before, and how could that help their plans?

If you answer that, and also read my brain, you may figure the answer out before I reveal it in a few weeks. Or a month. Depending on how long until that part of In Which happens.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

12 Aug 2007, 00:18

Friv wrote:
Epiphany wrote:
If they wanted to take over the world just through simple conquest, either the Usurpation or especially the Great Contagion would have been the time to do it. Or that big Faerie invasion a few centuries back.

Yeah, the Bull crushed the Tepet Legion, the Mask of Winters occupies Thorns, etc., but for the most part this isn't a great time to just up and kill everyone. Not relative to other points of history.

My question stands!


As exceptionally cryptic hints are fun, the question is clearly: What do the Yozi have now that they did not have before, and how could that help their plans?

If you answer that, and also read my brain, you may figure the answer out before I reveal it in a few weeks. Or a month. Depending on how long until that part of In Which happens.


They (read: the Ebon Dragon) have the Scarlet Empress. Perhaps the Yozi's initiated a mass assassination attempt of the major dynastic players on the eve of the Deathlords defeat to prepare the Blessed Isle for her return. It makes sense to me now that I think about it. Oh Friv, I so love your games (even though I could be wrong).
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

12 Aug 2007, 01:10

They also have 50 Solar shards. Well, the Ebon Dragon does anyway. Although, since one of them assisted in Mnemon's assassination, he appears to be sharing them.

Still, this seems too unorganized for all the Yozies to be working together, so I think they must still need an additional MacGuffin, possibly the Sword of Creation.
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Re: The Dynasty's Shadowed Light, Part 28: Toll

12 Aug 2007, 01:41

BrilliantRain wrote:
They also have 50 Solar shards. Well, the Ebon Dragon does anyway. Although, since one of them assisted in Mnemon's assassination, he appears to be sharing them.

Still, this seems too unorganized for all the Yozies to be working together, so I think they must still need an additional MacGuffin, possibly the Sword of Creation.


With fifty Infernal exalted being led by none other then the Scarlet Empress herself (now possibly a Dragon-Blooded Akuma of inconceivable might) leading them...they already have unmitigated access to the Sword of Creation in the Imperial Manse, she needs only to walk in and whisper the order.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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