Exalted: What we did on our coastal vacation

This was post-last session, leading up to the session I am going to run today. As usual it was written by Scott


The Eye and Seven Despairs:
Well, that the “Deathknight” was actually a Deathlord was NOT an
eventuality I was expecting, and it would have been BAD for DI and Talia
if Viola, Anathea, and Kunrad hadn’t shown up. Shades of Ravenloft and
all that, considering that DI at least was injured in the fight with the
Immaculates, scurrying around looking for a way out! Ick!
In any event, we overwhelmed him without taking any losses by,
essentially, swarming the snake and hitting him whenever he wasn’t dodging
us, and forcing him to burn Essence like crazy when he was dodging. The
interesting question is what will happen with his death or dissolution:
will he die and stay dead (ie, did the Unconquered Sun’s intervention give
him the freedom to reach Lethe or Oblivion), or will he come back? If
he’s coming back, will his return be delayed by the Unconquered Sun’s
intervention, and will that intervention have any impact on who and what
he is?
If he’s dead, can his Neverborn master retrieve the piece of himself that
made the Eye and Seven Despairs a Deathlord, or is it lost forever?
Chances are it’s either retrievable or replaceable, but what may be a
problem for the Neverborn is that the supply of First Age Solar souls is
… well, really small if not nil at this point (it’s most likely nil).
So while the Neverborn might want to raise up a new Deathlord to replace
him, and certainly his insanity made him less than what he should have
been, the Neverborn might have to settle for promoting one of the
Deathknights, which will take quite a while to rise to the level of power
and Essence that the Eye and Seven Despairs had. So while we might have
allowed the Neverborn to bring in a competent replacement for him, that
competent replacement might not be nearly as powerful for a long time.
If, instead, he will be back, we’ve gained an enemy, BUT it will be a
while before he can reform, even without the effects of Viola’s prayer.
And, even if he’s our enemy, just like the Mask is (and even more personal
of one), the Eye is, well, not all there. It’s hard to predict whether
this new enemy will take priority over the old enemy of his old
circle-mates, or whether we’ll only pop to the top of his list of things
to do when he sees us. If he is coming back, we’ll keep our fingers
crossed that the effects of Viola’s prayer are a) reformation is delayed
while the Neverborn has to “cleanse” the soul of the “taint” of Sol
Invictus, b) the effect of the prayer was to blast the memory of what
happened over the last weeks out of his soul, or c) both of the above.
The Magisterium:
Ah, so my guess of the tower being an academy of some sort seems to be
accurate: it’s, apparently, a magic academy of some sort. Not at the
level of Sperimin, of course, but still..this way we don’t have to deal
with Raksi for a while (thank diety of your choice). I can see Kunrad is
going to be spending a bunch of time there, perhaps DI as well, and any
other budding sorcerors (like The Ally, etc). Kunrad will have to look
into changing the settings on the “door locks” as well: can access be
turned off to the various castes? If so, it might well be a good idea to
do so: we don’t need Sidies popping in without invitations and while we
don’t necessarily mind Solars doing so we definitely DO mind Abyssals (or
Infernals, but we don’t know about them yet) doing so. Have to spend some
time here looking into it, probably within the month so that it can be
closed, if it can be closed, to intruders before it reappears. Not to
mention that there’s a LOT to look at in the library, and in other places
that we didn’t take the time to search out in our first run through it.
It might well be a bargaining chip to use in our dealings with the Lunars
and the Sidereals: you play nice with us, and we’ll give you access to the
Magisterium.
The warstrider is an interesting puzzle as well: it’s possible that the
hearthstone’s ability will make it possible to jump it out of the tower,
and Kunrad’s book may very well have notes on how to attract the right
sort of god to a warstrider. If that’s the case, then getting it out and
active wouldn’t be TOO hard. If it ISN’T the case, then things could be a
lot more difficult, though if it has a flight system that works it could
probably be flown down the stairwell and walked out the front door
(assuming, of course, that it can be used without a god, or that a god can
be enticed into taking up residence)… Of course, what we’re going to do
with a noble warstrider whose primary magical material may very well be
starmetal is not currently totally clear.
A Sidereal captive:
Since she was unconscious the entire session, we haven’t, yet, learned
much of anything about Sleeping Siddie yet. I expect her to become a MUCH
more important item next session. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is
that once she wakes up and realizes that she doesn’t have the quick way
out of Dodge she usually does (those prayer strips), we’ll probably have
SOME time to talk. At that point, it’ll be time to show her artifacts we
recovered from the Eye, and tell her that we managed to put down a
Deathlord.
Marriage negotiations:
I missed out on most all of what Charen was doing this session, either Fe
and Paul were downstairs, or I was trying to get dinner ready and wasn’t
able to listen too closely. Apparently things are moving forwards, but
there’s still things like dates, etc, to be worked out.
The Book:
The ancient book Kunrad has been reading is proving rather interesting, if
somewhat esoteric. The information on warstriders isn’t particularly
necessary right now, but that IS the sort of thing that the
factory-cathedral was built to produce (among other things). It’s also
useful info for trading to others that might not have it, not to mention
that there may very well be information in it on just how to attract a god
to animate the warstrider inside the Magisterium… The Princes of the
Fallen Tower spell is in the same category as the God-Forged Champion of
War spell: interesting, somewhat esoteric, but very useful in the right
circumstances (but not very useful in others). Kunrad could hope for a
treatment on demonology and the spells Demon of the Second Circle and
Sapphire Circle Banishment, or the manse-raising spell Raise the Puissant
Sanctum and the information gathering Whirlwind of Fate, but we shall see
what’s in there. Hmmmmm, maybe Magma Kraken… While the newly
discovered “book reader” was going through the book’s table of contents,
it got interrupted when the door was opened and the Eye and Seven Despairs
shot at us and things went to combat.
Next Session:
I expect next session will be devoted to cleaning up the left-over bits
from the last session, and we may get started on the expedition to the
Court of Seasons if things move smoothly. I have no idea if this plays
any role in the GMs thought process, but I’m expecting at most 3-4 more
sessions before the end of May and the return of Damion. I don’t know if
Damion’s return is something the GM is looking to work into Pilgrimage or
not, but if it ISN’T, then we might cover some time the next session or
two so that we can return from Pilgrimage to meet up with whatever
Damion’s come up with this time (hopefully NOT an Infernal…) If, on the
other hand, the GM is planning on incorporating Damion’s return into the
whole Pilgrimage thing, then we won’t need our Pilgrimage points until
he’s here.
Kunrad: Probably start with trying to lock up the Magisterium, then deal
with Sleeping Siddie, and whatever happens next. Returning to Lookshy
might be delayed a bit while he works on locking up the Magisterium. If
there’s time before we need to deal with the issue of the Whisperer and a
trip North, begin looking into the plans that DI brought back from Eight
and see what can be done about building a grand daiklave for him.
Additionally, there’s the question of Torinn may be getting as a wedding
present, what to give Hara (hmmmm, might be something here in the
Magisterium), etc. Give the book-reader a chance to finish reading the
table of contents of the ancient sorcery book so Kunrad can skip over
areas of currently less import and cut to those of more current interest
(if any).
Viola: Help deal with Sleeping Siddie, then help DI with the missing
Ghost-blood Girls. Return to Lookshy and probably present her case for
Lorius’ hand to the head of Gens Amilar.
Charen: Charen might want to take counsel with people in Gens Amilar on
scheduling issues: setting the wedding far enough in the future that we
can get to the Court of Seasons and back before we have to go to the
wedding. A question to be raised should be the use of a skyship to
transport the wedding party: while we have a pair of sky chariots, they’re
going to be full with just us, and that’s without the Gens Amilar (and
possibly other Lookshyan) guests. If the wedding is scheduled to allow
for some time to get everyone to Lookshy, then take a mundane ship to the
Isle, then overland mundane transport to the site of the wedding, using a
skyship will free up a LOT of time for us, AND it might serve as a
not-so-subtle reminder of just how technologically advanced Lookshy is:
“Look, they can use a skyship to transport wedding guests!” But that’s
something that only the Amilar’s can arrange, we can’t.
DI: Help deal with Sleeping Siddie, share plans with Kunrad, then find
out what happened with his allies, the Ghost-blood Girls. If Kunrad stays
in Tyre and the Magisterium for a bit, then it would make sense for him to
go with Viola to Lookshy even if Kunrad’s busy..
EXP: Looks like we’re still looking at a minimum of 2-3 sessions before we
reach Meru (Court of Seasons & Wedding Bells), so I’d say as long as
you’re within 10-15 points of what you need to succeed at Pilgrimage after
the 5 points we got for this session, you’re good here. The free Charm
will certainly come in handy, Kunrad’s probably going to buy his Second
Presence Excellency, and pay the 15(!!!) points for the Magisterium’s (5
dot) Hearthstone. Viola ought to look VERY hard at either the Resistance
Charm Ox-Body Technique (which increases the amount of damage she can
take) or the Dodge Charm chain that leads to Seven Shadow Evasion (a
perfect Dodge, similar to but less expensive in mote terms than what the
Eye and Seven Despairs was using against us). For Charen, the most
efficient use of the free Charm would, obviously, be to use it to get one
of the Charms from a non-Solar tree, whether that.s a Spirit charm like
Principle of Motion or whatever, but using it on a Charm that would cost
her 10 points to learn (like maybe Terrestrial Circle Sorcery) is still a
good use of it. What DI needs/wants, I’m less sure: certainly Ox-Body
would be good, but it’s not an especially efficient use of the free Charm
since I’m sure DI has Resistance as a favored Ability. Perhaps the Dodge
charm chain leading to Seven Shadow Evasion, if he doesn’t have Dodge?
Long Range Plans:
1 – Visit the Court of Seasons around the period when the Whisperer’s in
charge. If the perfected water solves the Whisperer’s poisoning problem,
SOMEONE’S going to pay, I’d expect. Of course, it turns out the Court of
Seasons is going to be near Whitewall at that time, where the Bull is
apparently heading next based on what he said to DI about going to deal
with the Syndics… Which means we have a decent chance of running into
him and his, either on our way to or from the Court or at the Court
itself.
2 – Charen and Torinn, at least, will be traveling to the Blessed Isle for
a wedding. The more of us who go with them, the higher the likelihood of
a slip that reveals us, but being there puts us in a position to find out
things that we’ll be much harder pressed to find out from a distance (for
instance, what fallout has there been in the Immaculates from the events
in Yu-Shan over Calibration, what seems to be the balance of power amongst
the Great Houses, etc). However, I think, given what it seems Cainan
knows, we can be relatively sure that either he won’t ask awkward
questions and might well run some degree of interference against them, or
that it’s a very big trap (all the servants are Immaculates, the gazebos
hide warstriders, all the guests are members of the Wyld Hunt, etc).
3 – Return to Meru and open up the Temple to Sol Invictus there, at the
same time accomplish our goal of boosting our Essence via Pilgrimage.
This could get very ugly, or could go very smoothly. A lot will depend on
whether we’re spotted leaving the gate and on whether we can a) pass as
Dragon-blooded on pilgrimage to the Imperial Mountain, the holy site of
the Earth Dragon, or b) whether we can bushwhack across the flanks of the
mountain that aren’t heavily trafficked by the Empire. If we go with plan
b), we’ll probably reduce the number of encounters we have, but the
Imperials or Immaculates we DO encounter are more likely to think that
we’re up to no good. If we go with plan a), and we’ve been to the
wedding, then getting up the mountain should be easy, covering up our
tracks afterwards might be a LOT harder. Right now I’m leaning towards
b), because it will lower our odds of meeting someone who was a guest at
the wedding and can recognize us, especially if Talia is coming AND has
wilderness skills.
4 – Meet with Cathak Cainan’s representative (I expect it will be Dorotea,
just to keep the information chain to a minimum, but we will see…) and
discuss matters of mutual interest. It will be rather interesting to see
if this meeting is attended by representatives from other Houses or not,
if it is it means that Cainan takes the threat to Creation seriously
enough to take some risks in sounding out others on speaking with, as
opposed to just trying to exterminate, Solar Anathema, not to mention that
other Houses agree with him. Where to hold the meeting is also an
interesting question: I’d suggest NOT Crossroads, if it’s a trap (and it
could be) we don’t need our civilians in the line of fire. Right now I’m
thinking Nexus, but there are other options like perhaps Tyre.
5 – Return to Yu-Shan for the next Carnival of Meeting. We don’t have an
invitation, but as Solars I’m not sure we NEED one to go to Yu-Shan (we’ll
find out when we’re working on #1, since the most likely way to do that is
going to be to go through Yu-Shan, though we might be able to take the sky
chariots IF we’ll all fit now), and it would be a good time to try to get
a conversation going on what changes should be made. Kojack’s been gone
for a year, the Siddies will have sorted themselves out (mostly), and
everyone’s had a year to think about things. Not to mention that there’s
more opportunities to make contacts for fun and profit… and a copy god.
Of course, if the Bull goes to Whitewall, the gods might be even more
agitated about him (the Syndics of Whitewall are Celestial gods, though
about no one other than they know this).
6 – Make our first delivery of grave-goods to the Underworld to pay our
annual tribute. I’d forgotten about this for a bit, but it IS still out
there..
7 – Return to the factory-cathedral and check on how work there is going.
It won’t be fully operational yet, but the activity there may have drawn
attention and it wouldn’t hurt to check on it.
8 – After checking on the factory-cathedral, take the golems to the ruined
temple complex in the north. That complex may well have things worth
having in it, not to mention that the temple could be rebuilt.. and,
unlike the temples at Cornith and on Meru, it’s far enough from the Realm
that we won’t have too many worries about the Realm trying to close it
down.
Oh, and I just had a thought:
The tower hadn’t been seen in a very long time, and just a few months ago it began appearing, once a month, on the night of the new moon. Why would it suddenly start doing this? It’s hearthstone was found in the hearthroom, it was what the Eye and Seven Despairs was after (probably because it would give him control of the place and because of it’s special properties). The Magisterium’s a Siderea-aspected Manse.
We happen to know that a particularly powerful and highly ranked Sidereal recently renounced his position and was abjured by his Maiden: Kejop Chejak. Anyone want to bet that this manse wasn’t his before he went rogue?