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File: Maka Character Sheet 1.jpg (308 KB, 1119x982)
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It's late at night.

It feels so strange, after so long an exile, to be finally able to sleep once more in your old bed.

Well, truth be told, there is remarkably little sleeping involved. Tia makes rather sure of that throughout the night.

The next morning, the palace wakes up early, with attendants and secretaries and dignitaries crowding the corridors and hallways. The chatters and murmurs and footsteps of the gears of bureaucracy grinding back to full speed fill the air.

Trying your best to relax your mind after the rather busy week you just faced, you stare up, fixing your eyes on the silken canopy hanging over your bed, and let your mind wander.

Strange, mechanical Exalted from another dimension are considering invading your own in order to keep their world alive. And you'll have to find a way to stave off that war, possibly by retrieving a legendary artifact of doom of which no one seems to know anything.

Your father is back in charge as the Despot of Gem. None is the wiser that you and your friends are Exalted, at least for now, so his position should be relatively stable. And hey, he approved of your marriage, or at least didn't make a fuss of it, so there's that.

Your mother's whereabouts are still unknown. Your best hope is that she will reveal herself once news of this little coup d'etat you just did reaches her. So she knows that Gem is safe for her once more.

And your sister finally got dad to approve of her marriage, too. I mean, it's not a mystery he doesn't like Rankar Jr, and that is understandable. But at least he's not opposing it anymore.

...You pray this isn't going to tear apart your family any more than it already is.

In the end, what Karas said yesterday is true: you can't afford to stay too long here in Gem. Not with the Realm being suspicious after all the weird stuff that happened recently.

...There are still a few things you absolutely must do before leaving, though.

"What's wrong, Maka?" Tia's face pops up from under the blankets. "You're worried about something?"

(cont.)
>>
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"...I was just thinking." You try and smile. No sense being worried now. Everything went... about as well as you could have hoped. Right? "Better get up and get dressed. We have still a few things to take care of before we return to Tianna."

"Boo." Tia mopes, locking her arms around your waist to keep you from getting up.

You groan. "Tia, please. I know all this talking and all this bureaucracy business bores you, but I have to do it."

>And you have to come with me. Pretty please?
>You don't have to come with me. You're free to wander around the palace.
>You don't have to come with me. You're free to wander around town.
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you go to the fighting pits?
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you go to the red light district?
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you go to the marketplace?
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you have a walk outside town? There might be Fair Folk outside!
>(Other?)
>>
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>Who are we?
Maka, an exiled noble Exalted as a Zenith-caste Solar. Queen of Gem, now ruling the western island of Tianna. You have gathered a vast amount of allies and friends, and defeated every threat to Tianna up to now, though not without difficulty.
You recently discovered that Tianna is actually an artificial island, built around a First Age Titan: an almighty flying fortress. Your forces have crushed the Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water, a Deathlord who tried to usurp its power for himself.
And now, on the day of your wedding, the Unconquered Sun Himself appeared to you and crowned you Princess of Creation, asking you to be an example for others in these dark times.
After securing the alliance of the nearby realm of Neck (or Okeanos, as they prefer to be called), you received news from your remote homeland of Gem: Rankar, the man who usurped your throne, holds your father and sister prisoner, and is about to marry her to his own son in an attempt to solidify and legitimize his power over the city.
You found out that Rankar was dealing with Alchemical Exalted, strange machine heroes from another world. Their world is dying and they're desperate to find the raw materials they need to repair it, and you're trying to find a way to avoid a war that could endanger Creation...


>Solar? Zenith? I don't know Exalted...
This quest is as newbie-friendly as possible, and I want it to work as a newbie's intro to Exalted. If you have ANY question, ask in thread. For the setting, google "1d4chan exalted".

>Archive?
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Tianna

>System?
Dicepool-like system. When performing an action, everyone rolls 2d10 when posting. The first X rolls are considered, where X is equal to attribute + ability.

>XP?
Attributes cost [current score x5] xp. Abilities cost [current score x3] xp, except Zenith costing [(current score x3) -1]. Charms cost 10 xp, except for Zenith-based charms (related to charisma and physical/mental fortitude) which cost 8 xp. At the end of every "session" (thread) you will be presented with a list of possible acquisitions.

>Twitter?
@exaltedfag

>Any questions?
http://ask.fm/Exaltedfag

New System Info: http://pastebin.com/pvAZpsJ6
Characters info (player-made): http://pastebin.com/5WnD47jp
Quest in ebook format (player-made): https://www.dropbox.com/s/0wl5obxcwuakgdj/Exalted%20Quest%20-%20Threads%2001-101%20%5Bpdf%5D.rar?dl=0
Meanwhiles: http://pastebin.com/u/Exaltedfag
>>
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Here's the calendar. You're making plans to leave Gem tomorrow at dawn, and return to Tianna.
>>
>>1442269
>>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you have a walk outside town? There might be Fair Folk outside!
There's no real way to keep Tia out of trouble when she's not with us, but at least this way she's getting in the right kind of trouble.
>>
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>>1442269
>And you have to come with me. Pretty please?
I love you Tia, but I'm not sure you even know how to hold back if we let you go out around town. Although the Fair Folk outside might be fine too.

Woowoo Exalted Quest!
Those are some old character sheets EF.
>>
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>>1442276
>Those are some old character sheets EF.

FUCK FUCK FUCK I POSTED THE WRONG SHEET YOU'RE RIGHT
>>
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>>1442277
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
>>
>>1442269
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you have a walk outside town? There might be Fair Folk outside!
>>
>>1442277
Daijobu EF

We should be at 13XP if we didn't buy any charms last thread. Sorry.
>>
>>1442290
You didn't, vote was pretty split, yeah 13 XP.
>>
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you have a walk outside town? There might be Fair Folk outside!

Welcome back EF.
>>
say EF, martial arts tiers DO work the same in your creation, right?
>>
>>1442307
Kind of but not really.

I've been over this in another thread but i can't find it, so i'll give you the short version: there's less of a power gap.

The terrestrial->celestial->sidereal tiers increase in wierdness, scope, and versatility, but they don't have large practical combat power gaps.

Basically I want a DB with 100 XP to have at least a fair shot at taking down a sidereal at 100 XP, all other things being equal. Strict powerlevels are boring, and this makes DBs into much more believable threats.
>>
>>1442269
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you go to the red light district?
>>
>>1442312
>to have at least a fair shot
I can see the reasoning behind this, though sidereal martial arts have to bring plenty of versatility and scope to justify their limited availability. Come to think of it PAoC might be a good contender in terms of versatility, especially with what is essentially parrying sorcery.
I'll have to dig through the threads once in a while - again - for the full version of what you said. Thanks for the quick answer.
>>
>>1442269
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you go to the red light district?
>>
>>1442313
>>1442353
That would cause so much trouble... I'm almost tempted to vote for it.
>>
>>1442347
Yes, that's the point. A Sidereal's punches will hurt about as much as a DB's punches, all other factors being equal (stats, equipment, etc).

The difference is that the Sidereal can also do some extra, non-strictly-combat-related crazy stuff like punch words out of your brain or kick pneumonia into your lungs or headbutt you into an alternate timeline.

But, as far as "punching you dead" goes, they are equal or at least very close.
>>
>>1442269
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you go to the red light district?
Tia will probably meet the other solar, and hopefully go all out on her.
>>
>>1442269
>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you have a walk outside town? There might be Fair Folk outside!
>>
>>1442358
Is Tia still black?
Glad to have you back!
>>
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oh yeah, I forgot
>>
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>>1442385
>>
>>1442359
We don't really know if she is a Solar or not, I thought she might be an Abyssal after some shadowrunny thinking.

I'm super conflicted about her. I want to go back ourselves and deal with her because I'm still annoyed that we lost, but at the same time that's almost what she wants, us chasing after her.
>>
>>1442390
We clearly need to deal with her ourselves. I mean we're friends now, or at least as much of friends as you can be from as single successful Social attack.
>>
>>1442269
>>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you have a walk outside town? There might be Fair Folk outside!

Good to see you EF.
>>
>>1442269
>>You don't have to come with me. If you're bored, why don't you go to the red light district?

Now how would one go about summoning that Draw Anon thats been around, at least in HMs threads?
>>
>>1442416
He hasn't even drawn Mali yet, chill
What would happen if Mali met Maka?
>>
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"You don't have to come with me." You complain, trying to peel Tia off your waist. "If you're bored, why don't you go to the red light district?" You suggest, half joking.

"It's not as much fun without you." She replies.

...Well, all modesty aside, you can't call her wrong. "You might still enjoy it." You insist. "Or maybe you could take a walk out of town."

It feels strange to say that. Normally inviting people to take a walk outside Gem is an euphemism for "kill yourself". It's just dawn, so it's probably still cool, but the temperature will quickly climb up to eventually reach the point of boiling water around noon.

But you know Tia. She'll adapt.

"What's outside, anyway? It looked like just a lot of desert." She pouts.

"Sometimes there are Fair Folk out there."

"Really?" She finally lets go, excited, and you take your chance and finally manage to stand back up.

"The city limits have some wards, but out there it's basically the middle of nowhere. We get some Fae troubles every now and then. I'm sure you'll find some to play with."

"Alright!" She fist pumps. "I'll go out there and see what I can find."

"Take care!" You wave at her as she leaves the room. "Have fun!"

Well, that will keep her entertained for a bit.

Now, what should be your first order of business today? What are the things you really NEED to do here in Gem before leaving?

>I need to clear some things with Arras Sahlak.
>I need to see dad and Eskarin once more. I can give them the Kiss of the Sun, after all.
>I need to make economic plans. One of the reasons we came here to Gem is that Tianna's finances are running a bit dry, after all.
>I need to check up on Rankar Sr.. I'm sure Radiant Starfall has brought him in by now.
>I need to properly pack my bags and decide what to bring with me to my new home in Tianna. I'm essentially moving out of my parent's home, after all...
>(Other?)
>>
>>1442426
>I need to make economic plans. One of the reasons we came here to Gem is that Tianna's finances are running a bit dry, after all.
Well more like go talk to Mik about them because then I need to drag him over to Rankar and get him all Oathed up. Or Rankar then money as long as we drag Mik along.
>>
>>1442426
>>I need to check up on Rankar Sr.. I'm sure Radiant Starfall has brought him in by now.
Can't have a security leak
>>
>>1442426
>>I need to clear some things with Arras Sahlak.
She is the only non-family member down here who knows we're a Solar, we need to make sure it stays that way.
>>
>>1442426
>I need to see dad and Eskarin once more. I can give them the Kiss of the Sun, after all.
>>
>>1442426
>I need to make economic plans. One of the reasons we came here to Gem is that Tianna's finances are running a bit dry, after all.
>>
>>1442429
>>1442433
>>1442434
>>1442437
This array of votes amused me more than it should
>>
>>1442426
>>I need to find Mikahil, then it's of to check up on Rankar Sr.

>>1442419
>He hasn't even drawn Mali yet, chill
He has time and he's fast as Adjoran
>What would happen if Mali met Maka?
Sex and theraphy, maybe a combination of both.
>>
>>1442426
>>I need to check up on Rankar Sr.. I'm sure Radiant Starfall has brought him in by now.
>>
>>1442426
Give sis and dad kiss of the sun.
>>
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(Vote is pretty much an equal split between several options again so I'll just assume that you want to do all three eventually. I'll handle that.)

(Is there anything else other than those things I listed that you would want Maka to do before leaving?)
>>
>>1442485
Let's not forget to ask Dad about getting Rekka a new sword or maybe asking Val about fixing his old one if she can in time or isn't busy otherwise..
>>
>>1442485
Um, see if there are people willing to immigrate to Pearl?
>>
>>1442489
Not this, we don't want any connection between Gem and Pearl that casts suspicion on Dad.

Plus it's not really feasible getting from here to there for a lot of people, maybe we could try asking specific people, but even then they'll have to make the journey on their own.
>>
>>1442489
>Um, see if there are people willing to immigrate to Pearl?

Pearl is really far. It would be a journey taking months without the use of sorcery, not to mention quite dangerous. So, getting a lot of people from here to there would be really impractical.

The closest thing you could do is to scout and recruit maybe a handful of people here in Gem and shuttle them to Tianna (in secret) with the Azure Chariot sorcery But we're talking about... say, five people or so.
>>
>>1442448
eh, please let's ask before we unnaturally extend their lifespans. Especially now since sis is married
>>
Then could we get some dream pearls to take back with us? Maybe enough to open a nice, little salon.
>>
>>1442512
I don't know about opening a salon, but taking a few for ourselves might be useful.
>>
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You've got a lot of things to do. And...

it's best to start with that.

You get dressed properly, and head for dad's study. If you know him, he'll be there at work.

And, boom, he is. Stack of accounting books on his desk, mug of tea in his hands. "Dear." He nods at you as you enter, relaxing in the chair and taking a sip.

However, you can tell a subtle hint of nervousness in him. Ever since he learned that you're Exalted? Or that you're married? Or pregnant?

...Well, you can't blame him. You gave him plenty of reasons.

"I, um." You glance around. He's alone. There is a servant and a couple of guards posted out of the door, but they clearly had orders to leave him in peace. You quietly close the door behind you and move into the study.

He rolls his eyes noticing your circumspect behavior. "Oh gods." He groans, defensively. "What IS it now?"

You try your best smile. "Relax. Not bad news. Just a thing I didn't tell you yesterday, that, uh, you might want to know."

He hesitates, taking a second sip. "...I can't imagine ANYTHING else you could tell me that would surprise me."

You shrug. "You're making such a big deal out of this. It probably won't.It's just a neat thing you'll want to hear about. Well, you and Eskarin."

"Oh, she's out. She's on a "date"." He grumbles, You can feel the venom dripping from his teeth.

"They probably want some time alone to put some order in all the crazy that just happened." You justify them. "Anyway, here's the talk. As a Chosen and a priestess of the Unconquered Sun, I have acquired certain unique powers."

"Yeah, I was actually curious." Askar nods. "I get it that you're a Solar, but it's not really clear what that does entail other than making you really scary for a lot of people."

"I, um. I have many gifts, let's say." Best not to get into too much detail. "But one of them is, I can grant a blessing unto people. This blessing is limited, that is, I can only give out a certain amount, but it Awakens the Essence of mortals."

"Awakened Essence? Like what martial artists and sorcerers use?" He's intrigued.

"Yes. I can only give that to six people, and I've already used two of those blessings. Maybe in the future I'll be able to do more, but not much more. It's not JUST Awakened Essence, it's also a divine blessing. It's essentially equivalent to being a God-Blooded. It makes you healthier, you heal and recover faster, and it extends your lifespan as well."

Askar steeples his fingers. "By how much?"

"I'm not sure." You admit. "Time will tell, I guess."

"Any side-effects?" He asks, in a cautious tone.

"It's not a medicine I'm trying to sell." You try not to laugh at the sudden, deadpan joke. "I wanted to give you this blessing. You and Eskarin. And mom, if we'll ever find her. You're my family. I owe it to you."

He clearly stops to think. He's not suspicious of you, but still, that won't stop him from weighting all options...

[cont.]
>>
>>1442546
>"Yes. I can only give that to six people, and I've already used two of those blessings."

Correct that to "three", sorry. I'm dumb today.
>>
After a long pause, he relaxes. "I will accept the blessing of the Unconquered Sun, if it's not something that will mark me as an obvious Anathema."

Well of course. He's got a country to run under the eye of the Realm and all that.

"It shouldn't."

"Very well, then- wait, shouldn't?"

"Well, it had some weird effects on someone, but she was already weird to begin with." You explain, thinking back to Pyre Spark's strange golden eyes. "Don't worry."

He tenses up, clenching his jaw, as you approach him, lean down, and gently kiss his forehead.

You feel the flow of Essence out of yourself and into him, as a warm, soft, gentle tingle. Light erupts from your Anima, and the study is bathed for a few seconds by a blinding golden light.

Then, it quietly, slowly dies down.

Askar remains tensed up for a few more seconds, then relaxes. "...I don't feel any different."

"Strange." You mumble. "It might be your age."

"...Hey, are you calling me old?"

You bite your tongue. "I'm just saying that up to now all the people I've Kissed were really young."

"..."

"Wow. That came out wrong, didn't it."

He nods, silently.

[cont.)
>>
>>1442555
Pyre wasn't that much younger than Maka. Right?

How old are we? How old is she?
>>
I can't post.
>>
Every time i try to post the final bit, i get a "connection error" and i don't have time to figure out what it's causing it because I have to leave right now. I'll see if i can get the rest through when i come back.
>>
>>1442561
>>1442566
Some people has the same problem the last couple of days.

Try breaking up the post into smaller pieces or using the original reply form.
>>
>>1442561
There are connection issues with big posts. If you make smaller updates it'll work
>>
>>1442566
Hit reply at the top of the page and don't quote other replies.
>>
>>1442385
>>1442388
Right back at you Anons.
>>
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>>1442773
>>
"Well... give it time." You try and brush it away with a cheerful smile. "I'm sure it will-..."

You stop as you notice your father lifting an arm, and staring at the palm of his own hand in amazement.

"...It's happening?" You ask.

"I'm definitely feeling something." He opens and closes his fist a few times. "...Yes, something is changing but I can't tell what it is. This feels so weird."

"Imagine how weird I must have felt." You nod. "You'll take some time getting used to it. You'll also have to train. Maybe try your hand at sorcery or martial arts or something like that."

He relaxes, slumping in the chair. "When I'll have the time." Is his groaning response.

The two of you spend some more valuable family time together after this. After a while, both pressed for time, you part ways. You leave your dad back to his job, and leave the room.

He informed you that Eskarin is probably somewhere around town goofing off, and will be back by night.

Now, next on the list is...


(I have to leave for a while now. I'll continue with having Maka do the things we discussed, but feel free to keep writing suggestions on both what to do, and how to do it. I'd like to wrap the Gem arc in this thread, honestly, so sorry if it feels like I'm rushing.)
>>
>>1443099
>Maybe try your hand at sorcery or martial arts or something like that.
If he decides to learn Sorcery before we leave, and by that I mean make the decision, not go through all the steps, that would take more time than we have left, we should tell him about Infallible Messenger. I'm 99% sure we've seen Amata use it so we should know about it.
Between that and Val's travel spell we can be here pretty fast in the event of an emergency.
>>
>>1442546
>I've already used two of those blessings
Wasn't it three? I seem to remember minimaid getting smootched too.
>>
>>1442561
>>1442566
Had the same problem until I chopped up a larger post into 3-4 smaller ones.
>>
>>1443099
>feel free to keep writing suggestions on both what to do, and how to do it.
Well in regards to getting Rankar Eclipse Oath'd I've had a few general ideas.

I don't care if we force him to stay or go, but either way I want him promising to not only never reveal us being a Solar, but to never directly or indirectly bring harm to Gem or our family.

If he chooses to leave then we promise not to chase him or hound him as long as he keeps up his end of the bargain and if he chooses to stay then he also has to help out Dad, but we can grant him a sort of parole and guarantee his safety.
>>
New post soon™
>>
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>>1444625
It's 545 AM. Please hurry.
I'm dying and I work in 3 hours and 15 minutes. That's what I get for catching up on EDQ
>>
>>1444625
I helt out as long as I could, but I am going too pass out any second now, see you tomorrow
>>
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Mikahil's room is filled with gold.

Of course, it's not ONLY gold, but the gold is the part that catches your attention. Baskets full of coins, stacks of ingots as high as a grown man, and an assortment of gemstones and jewels scattered on the desk that would make the Scarlet Empress herself blush with envy.

Ok, No. Maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration. Still, impressive.

"Hard at work as always?" You suggest, entering the room.

He's taking stock of a slender silver tiara studded with rubies, setting it delicately back on the desk top as he cracks his neck left and right and relaxes on the chair. "I don't know if this qualifies more as work or as pleasure." He grins. "Your father told me that if we needed anything from the treasury to help sustain Tianna's economy, we could just take it." He glances around the room with a meaningful gesture. "Your city is insultingly rich."

You like that phrasing. "Don't leave him destitute."

"Even if we took everything in this room it would do no real lasting harm to Gem's finances." He notes. "I was mostly thinking of what to bring over. We can carry only so much on the Chariot, after all... and, most importantly, we must be careful with what we bring over."

"You mean, devalue our currency?"

"Exactly." He points out. "I want to load up with gold. Silver is easier to come across, and we could also buy it from the Guild, so it's not particularly important to have. We can use gold both for coinage and for distilling in Orichalcum, so we get the most use."

"Ingots, I guess?" You glance aside at the baskets filled with coins.

"Yeah. We'd have to melt it down anyway, so no reason to carry the coins. I'm even surprised that Gem has them, I thought that all Realm satrapies were banned from using gold currency."

"It doesn't circulate much." You point out. "It's used mostly as an unit of account and transferred in bulk, usually by independent merchants and businesses who don't want to use the Guild's coin."

"That's why all the coins here are brand new?"

"Probably, yeah." You nod, eyes, on the desk. "Thinking of anything else?" You wonder. Why all the gems...?

"I just wanted to see them." He fidgets a bit with the tiara. "Do we want to bring some jewelry back home, too?" He asks.

(cont.)
>>
You briefly think about it. "...Jewelry makes for good gifts in important occasions, yes." You nod.

"It does." He nods. "And nearly every culture has the custom of exchanging gifts in jewelry during a wedding."

"Yes, we did it." You mention, lifting your right hand and letting the moonsilver ring on your finger catch a glimpse of light.

"I know. I'm talking about different occasions." He suggests playfully. "Remember the girls from the Neck? for our alliance?"

"Oh, right." With all the things going on right now, it honestly passed your mind. In the Neck, unions and alliances are celebrated through weddings. So if you wanted to unite Tianna and the Neck...

"Plus, jewelry has other uses, on top of gifts and a store of value. It draws attention and enhances natural beauty." He closes one eye and stares at you through an egg-sized amethyst, playfully. "I mean, you hardly need jewelry to turn heads or to be the most striking person in a particular room, but it wouldn't hurt to bring some back home for yourself, right?"

>I don't think I need more jewelry for myself.
>I should bring home just one thing, as a memento of Gem.
>I should bring home a few good, choice pieces.
>I should bring home as much as I can carry! You can never have enough.
>I should bring home a crown. I'm a queen, but I don't have one yet.
>I should bring home metal and stones to have a custom crown crafted for myself.
>(Other?)
>>
>>1444663
>>I should bring home a few good, choice pieces.
including a piece from our mother as a memento that actually means something to us.
>>
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>>1444663
>I should bring home as much as I can carry! You can never have enough.
>I should bring home metal and stones to have a custom crown crafted for myself.
I think this is the one time Maka is allowed to be a little spoiled about stuff, Dad owes us some wedding presents anyway. Something else I've talked about is wanting a necklace setting specifically for the Golden Reach hearthstone since it's not useful as an actual Hearthstone it should at least be nice to look at sitting over Maka's bosom.
>>
>>1444663
>>I should bring home a few good, choice pieces.
We should save room to wear stuff we find later that catches our eye, no need to fill up all our "slots" in one go.
>>I should bring home metal and stones to have a custom crown crafted for myself.
I suggest using Gold and Sapphires, as Zeniths are associated with gold and blue. Also we should craft it in such a manner that our mundane crown compliments our Crown of Thunders.
>>
>>1444663
>>I should bring home as much as I can carry! You can never have enough.
>>I should bring home metal and stones to have a custom crown crafted for myself.
I like >>1444671 suggestions for the crown.
>>
>>1444669
>it should at least be nice to look at sitting over Maka's bosom.
But no one would see it there, it would be lost in the ampleness of Maka's Makas. Really, there is no point in us taking or crafting necklaces, they our wasted on someone of Maka's talents, we should focus on other types of jewelry.
>>
>>1444674
>they our wasted
Fuck, that was the wrong "our/are." This is what happens when you post before your morning coffee. You make mistakes you haven't made since elementary school.
>>
>>1444663
>I should bring home a few good, choice pieces.
>I should bring home a crown. I'm a queen, but I don't have one yet.
I vote we bring a nice looking crown home from Gem, then have it modified or added to when we get back to Pearl. That way it would symbolically represent the union between our two cities.
And let's be honest here, anything we find in the treasury of Gem is going to be swag as fuck. It's not like we're slumming it by going with the pre-made option.
>>
>>1444674
>he doesn't want Maka in a choker
>he doesn't want to see Tia's face when we dig a locket out of our cleavage and pop it open to reveal a tiny picture of her being cute
>>
>>1444694
>>he doesn't want to see Tia's face when we dig a locket out of our cleavage and pop it open to reveal a tiny picture of her mantis form
>>
>>1444663
>I should bring home as much as I can carry! You can never have enough.
>I should bring home metal and stones to have a custom crown crafted for myself.
Materialist Maka is cute.
>>
>>1444697
That's the one.
>>
>>1444697
Alright, you win this round.
>>
>>1444663

>I should bring home as much as I can carry! You can never have enough.
>I should bring home metal and stones to have a custom crown crafted for myself.
We'll need a lot if we're marrying multiple people from the Neck
>>
>>1444662
>I was mostly thinking of what to bring over. We can carry only so much on the Chariot, after all...
If we start running low on space we could forge a few big ass solid gold swords and carry those in Elsewhere with us.
>>
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You scratch your chin, pondering the mass of gems and jewels on the desk.

"I'll bring with me a few good ones, then. There's no reason to overdo it." You decide, picking a few off the table. The tiara, a few pairs of adorned earrings and piercings, jeweled bracelets and necklaces...

There! You're jingling a bit, but it's enough for you to carry comfortably on your person without looking ridiculous That's a good guideline, isn't it?

"Alright then. I'll pack up the-" Mikahil starts, but you interrupt him.

"Wait, I'm not quite finished." You pick a few gemstones from the pile and weigh them in your hands. "I was thinking that it would be nice to have a crown forged for Tianna. Something precious, but also symbolic. Mhhh... let me see..."

"You really like jewelry, don't you?" Mikahil smiles.

"Did anyone tell you the name of this city?"

You both giggle at the joke.

"These are from the regular treasury, right?"

"Yes, your father gave me the keys and-" He stops. "Wait. "regular" treasury?"

"Oh." You shrug nonchalantly. "Don't mind me. I'll be right back."

Enjoying this brief moment of toying with poor Mikahil, you leave him for a bit, and return to your own room.

Of course, back when you lived here, you had your own jewelry. The stuff you wore when you were a kid, or a teenager, on both formal occasions and nights out. It would be inappropriate for a young lady of certain lineage to even show herself without wearing her best around Gem's high society, after all.

So, you complete your selection with a few pieces with some added... personal value. Some are downright nostalgic.

You try not to dwell on the memories too much, and scrounge around for the best pure gems you can find, including a handful of beautiful sapphires.

The color of Venus, and of love.

You gingerly return back to Mikahil.

"All done?" He sounds rather upset that there apparently was a "second" treasury he wasn't shown.

"All done." You reply, gingerly. "Back home I'll have a crown of Tianna designed and made."

"...Valeriana?"

"...Maybe?"

He sighs. "Poor girl's gonna get overworked."

"Mhh." Maybe you ARE asking too many things of her. "I'll think about it." You toss the little pouch full of gemstones in the air, and snatch it back in your hand. It jingles pleasantly. "So."

"So?" He tilts his head.

"If Starfall has caught Rankar, I think we should pay him a visit."

"Oh?" He wonders. "What do you plan to do with him?"

"Well, he's not a monster. And he might be family soon, sort of." You take a deep breath. "Can you bind him with an Oath?"

He flashes a half-grin, standing up. "Can do. "

(cont.)
>>
You obviously want to bind him so that he will never be able to hurt or harm Gem, you or your family, directly or indirectly. And also, that he will not reveal that you or the others are "Anathema".

But once that is taken care of, how do you want to handle him?

>Set free.
>Exiled from Gem.
>Kept under supervision / house arrest.
>Kept as a slave.
>Sold as a slave.
>Imprisoned.
>Maimed, blinded or branded.
>Leave it to your father to decide.
>(Other)
>>
>>1444740
>Kept as a slave.
>Branded.
>>
>>1444740
>Exiled from Gem.
>Kept under supervision / house arrest.
Give him a choice.

Oh and I guess now would also be a good time to grill him about what happened to Mom.
>>
>>1444740
>>Leave it to your father to decide.
>>
>>1444740
>Leave it to your father to decide, with the personal suggestion of house arrest
>>
>>1444740
>Leave it to your father to decide.

Will be good to further restore Dad's authority in Gem if he's handling his would-be usurper.
>>
>>1444740
>Branded.
>Otherwise Leave it to your father to decide.
Gem is dad's territory, at least until we've conquered all the territory between it and Tianna, so we should leave this kind of thing to him. Mostly.
>>
>>1444740
>Branded.
>Leave it to your father to decide.
>>1444753
>Oh and I guess now would also be a good time to grill him about what happened to Mom.
Of course, we have a lot to do today, need to keep from having to visit people twice.
>>1444777
>at least until we've conquered all the territory between it and Tianna
Does anyone have a map showing where Tianna is located in Creation? It would be nice to know just how much conquering we need to do to unite our two main cities.
>>
>>1444787
>Does anyone have a map showing where Tianna is located in Creation?
I know that map exists, and I thought I had it saved, but apparently I don't.
>>
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>>1444787
I have this one of only the West. You can't see it from here, but the only port to get from the West to Gem is from The Lap which means we need to pass right next to the Realm.

I wonder if we could build a road that cuts straight through the mountains directly Besides Gem.
>>
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>>1444787
>>
>>1444815
The fact that Maka made it that far prior to her Exaltation is really quite an impressive display.
>>
>>1444823
As a mortal she could have made the trip by going through the Realm, it'd be easy to get there from the Lap and it probably wasn't impossible to find a boat going to Tianna since it was a city led by a supposed DragonBlooded.
>>
>>1444839
She still would have had to cross the Southern Desert to get to The Lap.
>>
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Rankar V languishes in a prison cell in the palace's dungeons.

"Languishes" is perhaps not the right word: it gives the idea of someone sitting alone, head hanging, in an empty, dark room with iron bars at the window.

This cell is not really quite that bad. It has a bed, a desk and a chair, and even a bookcase filled with a good selection of novels. A platter rests on the desk, filled with fresh bread, a bowl of pork soup with peppers, and a cup of red wine. The food has been barely touched.

But Rankar V is all but languishing. The moment he sees you approaching, he bolts up from his chair, and desperately, instinctively scrambles for the furthest corner of the cell, back to the wall. What you see in his eyes is an irrational, paranoid terror, not the understandable fear of a man reacting unreasonably to unreasonable circumstances.

"Be calm." You invite him, as the guards let you and Mikahil into his cell. The gate is locked behind you.

"...Where's my son?" Is the first think he asks,

"He's fine." You inform him. "Him and Eskarin might still wed someday, if my father doesn't change his mind. I don't know how good will that do to you." You invite him to the chair wordlessly. "We need to talk."

"Why? Aren't you going to kill me?" He asks, matter-of-factly.

"I'm not in charge here, my father is. And he's a hard but fair man. You didn't kill him when he was in your power. I doubt he will do differently."

"But you're Anathema." He points out.

You sit down on the edge of the bed, and stare a hole in his face. "Yes. Keep that in mind, because I'm here to ask you one question." You let your castemark briefly flare, intimidatingly. "And I will KNOW if you lie to me."

He gulps and nods.

You take a deep, deep breath.
[JUDGE'S EAR TECHNIQUE]
"What happened to my mother? What happened to Elenia?"

(cont.)
>>
"...I don't know."

You tap your foot impatiently. "That might not be a lie, but you're not so dumb to think that I'll be satisfied with that, right?" You urge him, leaning closer.

He gulps again, and scrambles for words. "...I- I intended to capture you all alive, or as much as possible. But you and your brother escaped, and I couldn't trace you. Elenia..."

"What happened to her?"

"I sent a dozen or so of my persona guards to apprehend her. They were my best men. Absolutely loyal. I knew she was somewhere in the palace, so I had them search everywhere while other guards blocked the exits. Half went for her chambers, half for the guest's rooms..."

You motion for him to continue.

His eyes dart left and right as he tries to focus. "...so my guards split up, and the ones searching the guest rooms suddenly heard a fight in the other room. They rushed... and found a bloodbath there."

"You BASTARD." Riding on the wave of emotion, you stand up, clenching your fists, charging one aimed straight at his face. "What did your men DO to my mother?!"

He winces and recoils, trying to shield himself with arms and hands. "No! You don't understand! MY MEN had been killed in that room!"

You lower your fists. "...What."

"That's what I'd like to know!" He replies. "I don't know what happened! My men combed through the carnage, and your mother was nowhere to be found, and no sign of her escaping, either."

Your mind races. Did some unseen party, maybe a spirit or an Exalted, somehow jump in to defend Elenia?

She's fragile and weak of body. It was already a miracle that she could have children, much less three of them. You remember all the medicines and drugs she had to take from the physicians whenever she felt ill, which was fairly often.

There is no way she could have hurt a fly.

Unless...

"...How?"

"How what?"

"How did your men die? What kind of wound?"

"...Smashed to a pulp." He spits out. "Completely torn limb from limb. Bones shattered. Some had been thrown through walls.

You sit back down.

"I kept this incident secret. I didn't want to cause a panic, or strange rumors." Rankar explains. "All the damage was repaired, and the evidence disposed of."

>Continue with the binding oath
>You still have some questions for him (what?)
>>
>>1444864
>Continue with the binding oath
It occurs to me, if Mom is still "alive" couldn't we reach her with an Infallible Messenger?
>>
>>1444864
>Continue with the binding oath
Okay, so he didn't kill her, so I can continue to believe that she didn't become an Abyssal like some anons keep insisting.
God I hope they're wrong, that would be so fucking stupid.
>>
>>1444864
>Continue with the binding oath
>>1444877
I thought I was the only one who didn't like that idea.
We're already doing an Abyssal redemption with Feur De Lis, and we have Phoenix and Baron for good non-redemption seeking ones. We don't need any more.
>>
>>1444864
>Continue with the binding oath
>>
>>1444877
Putting the whole MakaMom theory aside, "smashed to a pulp" is exactly how we've personally seen other Abyssal victims described.

>>1444880
We always need more Allies
>>
>>1444901
I mean any mortal goombah vs an unarmed exalted fighter will end up the same way. Smashing enemies to pulp is hardly an abyssal only thing.
>>
>>1444901
I don't care. The people who keep pushing for it have so turned me against the idea that I'd rather have her turn out to be a Green Sun Prince(ess) than an Abyssal. Not the homebrew ones that EF has hinted at from time to time, but the actual canon ones from the 2E Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals that everyone hates, with all that implies.
Literally ANYTHING would be better.
>>
A life of sickness, requires a strong will to live thou. 99% certain it was a Luner exaltation.
>>
You take in all that has been said.

"Alright." You nod at Mikahil. "Do it."

Rankar recoils. "Do what?"

Mikahil stands up and approaches him. "Swear an oath." He informs him.

"Oath?"

"That you will never visit harm on Maka's family, or Gem, forevermore."

He seems to get a grip on himself. "...Or?"

"Or you will be cursed by Heaven."

"No, I don't mean that." He shakes his head. "What happens if I don't swear your oath? You've already said that judging me is your father's job, not yours. I answered your questions already. Why should I swear such an oath?"

"Don't you think that, knowing that you are bound by such an oath, my father will feel far more at ease dealing with you? He might decide to release you." You point out.

"'Might' is hardly anything." He replies. "I want to be freed from this cell. I'd be willing to work for your father in some capacity if he requires, but I want to be free and safe. And... I want to be able to see my son."

"...I told you, That decision is my father's."

"So you can't offer me anything but an oath that will bind me, to which I have to agree voluntarily." He points out.

"Yes."

"...Well, I'm out of the game anyway." He shrugs. "After all that happened, I doubt that I'll be able to get enough support for another coup, even if I tried."

"Do you swear, then?" Mikahil extends his hand.

"I do." He shakes.

From Mikahil's Anima, the words of the Oath emerge, glowing in spectral gold. Their display dazzles the room with their full glory, then fades.

"That... that was actual magic." Rankar mumbles.

"Yes." Mikahil points out. "I advise you follow the oath dutifully."

Before walking out, one last thing is nagging at you. "...Say, Rankar. Why is this cell so comfortable? How did you convince my father to treat you so well? He was pretty angry."

"Oh, I didn't." He replies, recovering his wits. "While I was Despot, I had all the cells in the dungeon be improved like this." He points a finger at you. "Take this lesson, little princess: never have, in your palace, a dungeon you wouldn't want to be locked into yourself."

"I'll take that life lesson to heart." You conclude, leaving him to his lunch and his books.

(cont.)
>>
You just about did everything that needed doing in the palace, unless other things come to mind. it's early afternoon.

You still wanted to see Arras Sahlak, who is probably at her parlor in Gem's red lights district.

You also wanted to see Eskarin one last time before leaving, but she's out in town right now. You can search for her, but you're also fairly confident that she will return by night, so you will eventually get to see her before departing.

And... you're maybe a bit worried about Tia. Who knows what she's up to?

>Go and see Arras Sahlak
>Look for Eskarin
>Leave the city and try and find Tia outside
>Other plans (what?)
>>
Rankar is right on this one, you can tell how enlightened a culture is by looking at their prisons. Treat your prisoners like humans and they will be much less inclined towards brutality and crime.
>>
>>1444924
>>Go and see Arras Sahlak
I'd be for looking for Eskarin if we had a more specific lead than "the city," and it will be more fun the longer we leave Tia alone to get into more trouble.
>>
>Go and see Arras Sahlak
>Other plans (what?)
I'm actually super curious about this new lead on mom, maybe ask Mik his opinion on the matter and see if he can't dig anything up?
>>
>>1444924
>Look for Eskarin
Did mom become a lunar?
>>
>>1444874
I can't believe we haven't tried that one. Are there any mechanics to the messeger that would prevent the message from being delivered because if not then might as well do it.
>>
>>1444920
>never have, in your palace, a dungeon you wouldn't want to be locked into yourself

Ah yes...the Havelock Venitari school of politics. I suggest we learn from him.
>>
>>1444963
with poor constitution I might guess an Abyssal, you know, a bit of manhandling and stress and there goes the heart. Maybe a solar.
>>
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>>1444738
>a few pairs of adorned earrings and piercings
>piercings

Yummy~

More benefits of super human durability.
>>
>>1444964
>I can't believe we haven't tried that one. Are there any mechanics to the messeger that would prevent the message from being delivered because if not then might as well do it.

You need to know the name of the recipient.

The recipient needs to be in the same world (so, for example, can't send from Creation to Yu Shan / Malfeas / the Underworld / etc).

It's possible to create, with advanced Sorcery, sealed areas unreachable by the Messenger.


So, you know. Technically infallible.
>>
>>1444980
Well let's at least give it a try, it'll tell us something whether is succeeds or fails. If we get nothing I'd still like to ask Mik to prepare an investigation though.
>>
>>1444964
Nope messenger will reach anyone no matter where they are... that is if they are on Creation.
>>
>>1444924
>Go and see Arras Sahlak
>>
>>1444974
talking about that, how are we even able to pierce something? I mean we have that superhuman durability thing going so hard even a fucking dusk caste wasn't able to slice us with his swords. I fear we might make the piercings useless as such...
>>
>>1444924
>>Go and see Arras Sahlak
>>
>>1445013
We can probably selectively reduce our durability
>>
>>1445013
To be fair most of that was due to our charms, as long as we relax and let it happen it'll probably be easier.
>>
>>1444924
>Go and see Arras Sahlak
>>
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And after all that's happened, you can't get rid of one nagging though in the back of your head.

Arras Sahlak.

After making sure that everything is in order in the palace, you don on a cloak and head out, tracing your steps back to the city's infamous red light district.

Specifically, the Azure Heaven.

You try and relax, focus. You need to stay focused.

You walk in.

A familiar scene: a refined establishment catering to most vices of the city is laid bare before you. Several crowded tables are scattered around the floor, where the guests are entertained by music, liquors, meat, and companionship of any kind they would require.

Well, nearly any. As far as possible. The dream opals in the back would fulfill a good deal of those impossible requests, however.

It's nice to see this place being so crowded with people even after a coup, anyway. The economy must be good.

"Can I take your cloak, honored customer~?"

That's...

You take off your cloak and give Hotau a wry smile.

"Oh my." She blushes. "I do remember you. It's a pleasure to have you with us at the Azure Heaven again." She executes a perfect, polite bow as she collects the cloak and neatly folds it in one flowing gesture. "Is your wife not with you today?"

"She's... she's busy." You explain it away.

"I see~. Well, what can I offer you? Would you like a table?"

"I need to talk with the owner." You reply.

"Madame Sahlak?" She wonders. "Is this about your request to become a dancer at our establishment?"

"...I just wanted to see her again."

"She does that effect to everyone." Hotau nods politely, handing off your cloak to the receptionist. "She did inform us that you would be welcome should you ever return, as well."

She accompanies you all the way up to her private rooms.

Why are you feeling nervous?

(cont.)
>>
>>1445128
Commit THM
>>
>>1445128
Did we ever upgrade our social defenses?
>>
I completely forgot about dancing in this place, we should do it while we have the chance.
>>
>>1445133
We bought Transcendent Hero's Meditation to boost our MDV, personally I wanted another one, but this will have to do.
>>
>>1445133
well, we should (have).
>>
>>1445128
It's not often we see Maka nervous. It's cute, and not in the way Maka usually is.

>>1445132
The problem is we don't have quite enough Essence to have THM and all our offensive social charms without flaring.
Still, Arras is a case where defense is as important as offense, so I'll support it.
>>1445134
We should.
>>
>>1445147
>The problem is we don't have quite enough Essence to have THM and all our offensive social charms without flaring.
Don't we?
3 Personal C.Essence is enough for THM, TGP, and HSDD as well as two Burn for RLSS. We would need another for the Crown if we end up a little short, but that would be pretty obvious on it's own.
>>
>>1445153
I was almost positive last time I did the math the Essence cost of our offensive Social Charms and our Personal Essence was the same, and I don't think we've upped our Essence since then. Maybe air did the math wrong.
>>
>>1445165
>Maybe air did the math wrong.
Maybe "I" did the math wrong.
I have no clue what typo I made for autocorrect to change I to air. How do you fuck up a one letter word?
>>
>>1445165
>>1445167
If you used air to do the math, you're probably a sidereal, in which your math is either correct or beyond this world's sciences.
>>
>>1445165
Did you count both Terrifying Glorious Presence and Heart Compelling Method together?
We have both but only one is applicable at a time.

We will also be short on essence if we need to use TttH and we won't be able to use JET without flaring either. We might be able to bring out the Crown if we weave the conversation in a way that has her asking about it or we come up with a reason to show it.
>>
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You have a lot of good memories about this room.

And of the woman sitting behind the desk there, who greets you with a predator's smile as soon as you open the door and step in.

She quietly sets down the long, ornate pen she was writing with, with a careful motion so as to not spill any ink.

"Thank you, Hotau. You can go."

She obliges and locks the door behind herself.

Arras spends a few good seconds looking you up and down, the way an art connoisseur would appreciate a fine statue. "I was wrong on some things and right on others, it seems."

You walk closer. "You were wrong when you said that I had no chance to recapture Gem for myself and my family." You remind her.

"And I was right when I said that, in the end, I would have you dancing on my stage." She notes playfully. "This is why you're here, is it not? To offer yourself up to the lustful gazes of my guests, and dance for their pleasures."

"You're putting such a negative spin on it."

"No sane woman of class and status would allow herself to be caught dead performing in such a disreputable establishment as this one." She scolds you. "You filthy exhibitionist."

"Oh? Does that make you a sadist, then, considering how much you seem to be enjoying yourself right now." You lean across the desk, challenging her with your eyes.

Arras stands up. "I'm definitely a sadist." She proclaims, proudly. "Or I wouldn't be doing this."

"I haven't agreed to dancing yet, though."

"Oh, I'm sure we can arrange that. For example, I could let the Realm Satrap know a few juicy details about just how many Anathema are currently in town, for example."

"You said that you wouldn't do that because that would mean you wouldn't be able to have me in your bed again." You remind her.

She gives a subtle sideways nod in the direction of the aforementioned bed. "Then don't waste any more time." she replies, scathing.

>Yes, ma'am.
>You're not the boss of me.
>No, YOU get in the bed.
>That can wait. I wanted to talk about the dancing now.
>I'll dance but only if you give me something in return.
>I'll dance, but only if you defeat me. In that bed.
>You wouldn't dare sell me out like that.
>I want to know more about you.
>(Other?)
>>
>>1445176
>I'll dance but only if you give me something in return.
I like her, this rivalry is fun.
>>
>>1445176
>That can wait. I wanted to talk about the dancing now.
>I'll dance but only if you give me something in return.
>>
>>1445176
>You wouldn't dare sell me out like that.
Nuh uh honey, you aren't the boss of this town.

We'll get to the bed, but it's going to be on our terms. And go ahead and commit THM
>>
[transcendant hero's meditation], [terrifying glorious presence] and [husband-seducing demon dance] are activated, btw.
>>
>>1445176
The amount of money you stand to gain from my dancing is obscene, even in this place.

Everyone wants to see the high and mighty brought low and humbled.

I'll dance, but I want some things in return.

But we can talk about that after.

Let's see if I -can- be humbled or brought low.

Because I don't think you have what it takes.

Point meaningfully towards the bed.
>>
Will we have enough essence for social attacks while in bed/dancing?
>>
I'd recommend to dance on a later occasion and not as a way of bargaining.
>>
>>1445176
>>You wouldn't dare sell me out like that.
>>
>>1445199
I'll second this, at the moment it would be too much like following her orders, we dance when we want because we want to.

>>1445196
We're good for either RLSS for our full Sexy Attack with the charms we already have up or Talking to the Heart for a Perfect Attack if we need it instead, maybe both depending on how much time passes between uses.
>>
>>1445176
>>I'll dance, but only if you defeat me. In that bed.
>>1445196
Most of our charms can be committed, meaning they'll stay active till we're done with them. However, Husband Seducing Demon Dance is a Burn Charm, which means it only stays up for one action, and we don't have enough Personal Essence to use it twice, meaning we can't use it for both bed and dancing in succession without flaring.
And I double checked my math this time.
>>
>>1445199
>>1445202
I'd agree to it weren't for the fact that "later" is going to be a VERY long time. Tianna and Gen are pretty far away from each other, and it takes multiple days to get from one to the other even with Val's fast travel spell. So if you want to dance here, it pretty much HAS to be now.
>>
>>1445176
>(Leaning back with a self-sure smile)
>You wouldn't dare sell me out like that.
pretty much as >>1445188
said
>>
>>1445208
Then let's not, keep her anxious and waiting this time around.
>>
>>1445176
>I'll dance, but only if you defeat me. In that bed.
>>
>>1445204
As long as one update happens between sex and dance then we should be able to use it both times with the essence we'd regen.
>>
>>1445214
That's fine if you feel that way. I'm just pointing out to the people who want to dance on this visit, that this is our last chance to do so. And who knows when our next visit will be?
>>
>>1445214
That's frustrating for Maka too.
>>
>>1445223
Yeah, but we have a husband waiting for us with a pile of Raksha skulls. Also shoot, we didn't correct what's her face when she called Tia our Wife.
>>
>>1445226
Tia will be fine. She'd probably like that Maka danced.
>>
>>1445176
>No, YOU get in the bed.
>I'll dance but only if you give me something in return.
>>
>>1445229
Yeah, but only if Maka was the dominant one in the conversation beforehand. She seemed kinda disappointed last time when Arras got the better of us socially, but didn't really care that we had sex right there and from what I'm remembering didn't include her.
Tia's priorities can be a little weird sometimes.
>>
>>1445214
long game?
sent her an infailable messenger to tease her?
Yes please. Blueballing is go.
>>
>>1445241
We'd better take this opportunity to show Arras who's boss, then, one way or another. I imagine Tia wouldn't be happy if she came back from Raksha hunting only to find Arras got the better of us again.
>>
>>1445264
I honestly don't care what else we do here so long as we can get that one thing across.
>>
>>1445261
But is it really worth it if we have to blueball ourselves to do it?
>>
>>1445274
That'd kill me. We don't even have dance clubs in Tianna (that we know of...do we have any?)
>>
>>1445274
Because we miss out sleeping with one person?

We'll live.
>>
>>1445277
Amata has a much better chance of finding out if we do it in Tianna, and I can never figure out what she will and won't approve of. Even Tia is easier to figure out and she is legit crazy.
Plus Tianna isn't as rich as Gem, so any clubs there are almost certainly not as fancy.
>>
>>1445282
>See >>1445277
>>
>>1445282
No, because judging by what Maka said in the last post, and the opinions of several anons since then, we really do want to dance here. We just want to do it on our own terms rather than Arras's.
>>
>>1445277
we are revered as goddess of dance, war and sex. If we open a dance club everyone will visit it.
>>
>>1445302
We built an open air stage on top of our fort just so people could come watch us sing and dance.
>>
>>1445310
That's not the same thing as a dance club. Or whatever you want to call this place.
>>
You give a bare, bored glance at the bed Arras is pointing at

"I'm not someone you can order around that easily, Arras. I'm not one of your cheap courtesans. There are only two people in Creation that can make that kind of demands to me, and you are neither."

"Aw, that's a shame." She smiles, caressing the bottom of your chin with a slender finger. "I guess I'll just have to invite the Satrap for tea and spend some quality time with him, then, if you wouldn't want to spend it with me."

You cut through her bluff. "You wouldn't dare to sell me out like that."

"Why not?"

"Three reasons. The first is that you'd be on the grill yourself, for consorting with an Anathema."

"Oh my, you're right. We certainly consorted a lot, that night, and for a very long time."

"Second, you don't want me as an enemy."

"Enemy? I thought we were lovers?" She replies, faking surprise and outrage at your insinuation.

"Third: would you really do all this just force get me to dance at your locale - something I'm already willing to do?"

"You don't get it, do you?" Her finger slides up, caressing your cheek. "It's not about what I can gain from this. It's about being the one in charge."

You understand now.

"The Princess of Gem, and an Exalted on top of that, not just dancing for you privately, but selling herself, for the entertainment of strangers, at your behest." You hiss. "That's the thought that makes you hard."

"You should know. I told you" She pulls back, straightening herself. "I'm a sadist. And you, my dear, are the most delicious toy I've ever had."

>I'm not your toy. You're getting arrogant, and I see no reason to humor you any longer. (leave)
>I guess even this is not so bad, once in a while. Very well, enjoy this show, because you get it only once. (dance for her) (S+Z)
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)
>We'll see who is the toy and who is the owner once I'm finished with you. (seduce her) (S+Z)
>(Other?)

[I'll point out that the first option is available only because you have Transcendant Hero's Meditation]
>>
>>1445323
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)
Strong independent woman, who don't need no other woman to dance.
>>
Rolled 6, 3 = 9 (2d10)

>>1445323
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)
>>
Rolled 10, 6 = 16 (2d10)

>>1445328
Derp, dice. Use whatever charm we can without flaring our anima. HSDD?
>>
Rolled 6, 3 = 9 (2d10)

>>1445323
>>I guess even this is not so bad, once in a while. Very well, enjoy this show, because you get it only once. (dance for her) (S+Z)
Sub Maka isn't something that happens often, usually only when Amata or Tia outrolls us in bed. It's an interesting change of pace. As long as we don't actually become her servant, but wheres the fun without a little risk?
>>
Rolled 10, 4 = 14 (2d10)

>>1445323
>>We'll see who is the toy and who is the owner once I'm finished with you. (seduce her) (S+Z)
Activate it, fuck it pop the Crown and watch her dance for us.

>>1445333
We have it activated already, we could pop HLSS if we go for seduce.
>>
Rolled 5, 9 = 14 (2d10)

>>1445323
>We'll see who is the toy and who is the owner once I'm finished with you. (seduce her) (S+Z)
Punch her in the snout to establish superiority.

Only, y'know, metaphorically and all sexy-like.
>>
Rolled 9, 7 = 16 (2d10)

>>1445323
>>I guess even this is not so bad, once in a while. Very well, enjoy this show, because you get it only once. (dance for her) (S+Z)
What >>1445343 said.
>>
Rolled 2, 4 = 6 (2d20)

>>1445323
>>We'll see who is the toy and who is the owner once I'm finished with you. (seduce her) (S+Z)
>>
>>1445323
Are the dance options both to dance in the club or is the "dance for her" a private dance?
>>
Rolled 7, 8 = 15 (2d10)

>>1445323
Extra dice if we need it
>>
>>1445323
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)

Safety dance~
>>
>>1445358
I assumed both were dancing in the club, with the difference being whether we were doing it from a submissive or dominant position towards Arras. If the "dance for her" is indeed a private dance then my vote is changing.
>>
>>1445369
>I assumed both were dancing in the club, with the difference being whether we were doing it from a submissive or dominant position towards Arras. If the "dance for her" is indeed a private dance then my vote is changing.

I'm assuming both are for dancing in the club, yes. A private dance with her could be a write-in.
>>
>>1445343
That could be solved simply by sleeping with more people.
Anyway, both are interesting dances, but I want Maka to show off to people because she likes it, not because someone else wants to feel powerful.
>>
>>1445394
I want both, but to do that we have to tell her we're doing for her, even if we're really doing it for ourselves.
>>
>>1445344
>>1445323
If dancing is winning, I'd rather dance for ourselves than for her.
>>
>>1445382
Good to know. By the EF, can I vote for more than one option? I'm fine with both kinds of dancing.
>>
>>1445407
Sure.
>>
>>1445323
Changing to include both votes I support
>>1445331
>I guess even this is not so bad, once in a while. Very well, enjoy this show, because you get it only once. (dance for her) (S+Z)
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)
>>
>>1445401
>If dancing is winning, I'd rather dance for ourselves than for her.
Same here, though I was thinking we could do both. Show her who's in charge in bed then dance for our own enjoyment (or the other way around, I guess). Using whatever charms we need to make a strong impression.
>>
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>>1445323
>>1445343
>>1445424
I'll vote for both too
>I guess even this is not so bad, once in a while. Very well, enjoy this show, because you get it only once. (dance for her) (S+Z)
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)
Also, I've voting for #16 or #24, in that order, for our outfit.
>>
>>1445431
Well reminded, I'll vote for 23, though.
>>
>>1445323
>>1445347
Changing vote
>I guess even this is not so bad, once in a while. Very well, enjoy this show, because you get it only once. (dance for her) (S+Z)
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)
>>1445431
#16, definitely.
>>
>>1445431
I'll second #24. 16 feels more special, like for the gods or special guests.
>>
>>1445433
I'd vote for 23 if we were sleeping with her, but it doesn't seem like a good dancing outfit.
To me our dancing outfits are 16, 24, and maybe 02, with 05 and 01 without some of the more obstructive pieces for religious ceremonies. 20 also seems good for dancing, either religious or fun, very versatile.
>>
>>1445431
if this were our turf I'd be all for something unfit for dancing like 21 and make a show of changing into something more provoking by way of phantom-conjuring performance, both veiling and revealing teasingly
>>
>>1445323
>>1445331
And, uh, I guess I'll vote for both dances too, if everyone is doing it.
>I guess even this is not so bad, once in a while. Very well, enjoy this show, because you get it only once. (dance for her) (S+Z)
>If I want to dance, I'll dance for my own pleasure, of my own will, by my own terms. (dance on your own) (S+Z)
>>
>>1445470
Uh, nice idea for when we have a fancy club of our own.
We need to get some dream pearls too.
>>
>>1445472
One of us! One of us!
>>
>>1445470
>>1445473
Yes, that is definitely something we should do once we have a proper place for it in a setting where we don't need to worry about being called an Anathema.
>>
Hey, if we had enough of those pearls, we could make a memory library for Maka. Save some of them for personal use to put important dreams in, or precious memories. Events like her exaltation, meeting with tia, the first official date with tia, the festival, meeting the Tyrant, etc.
If those things can store emotions from the dream/memory, it'd be excellent to avoid going full curse.
>>
>>1445483
I wonder if we can put memories attached to our Exaltation into one. I'm not talking about ones we've experienced, like the Usurpation, or the Wyld excursion from a thread or two ago, I mean stuff that wasn't scrubbed from our shard but we haven't triggered yet.
If we can't, maybe we could make a variant that could.
>>
As we don't know what she is I suggest we use that double success against creatures of darkness ability to see if it works.
I'm inclined to believe that she's a sidereal but I have nothing to really back that up.
>>
>>1445495
I'll second this as long as we have the personal essence for it.
>>
>>1445495
>>1445499
thirded
>>
>>1445495
That seems excessive paranoia. She's most likely another solar.
>>
>>1445509
You don't know and we have to gain a lot from trying.
>>
>>1445509
It's a moot point anyway.
That charm costs 3 burn, we can't use it and HSDD at the same time, and since we're unsure HSDD is the safer bet.
>>
>>1445517
>HSDD
I meant RLSS
>>
Where do we stand on showing her the crown? As she knows what we are I don't see a problem with hitting her with just what she's dealing with (if we've already used it please forgive my memory) but if there's anyone who thinks differently I'd rather have the argument now than when it will slow down the quest.
On that note what do we plan on deploying charm wise?
>>
>>1445528
Maybe if she starts getting to insistent that she's better than us, but as long as it stays at this level I don't mind letting her have her fun.
Andwe should use Rose Lipped Seduction Style, along with all the charms we already have committed.
>>
>>1445528
I'd rather not show it, that'd only give her more encouragement to dom Maka.
>>
Rolled 3, 5 = 8 (2d10)

>>1445540
>along with all the charms we already have committed.
Also, I think we have a couple unrolled dice
>>
>>1445343
>Rolled 6, 3 = 9 (2d10)
>>1445549
>Rolled 3, 5 = 8 (2d10)
The dice are not on my side today.
>>
Rolled 10, 4 = 14 (2d10)

>>1445323
Rolling again just incase
>>
Maybe we'll get lucky and her rolls will be worse.
>>
>>1445597
>Maybe we'll get lucky and her rolls will be worse.
She already made her rolls
>>1445323
>[I'll point out that the first option is available only because you have Transcendant Hero's Meditation]
That means she already attacked us, and our charm helped mitigate the damage. What we're doing now is our "Counter Attack."
>>
"I'll warn you right now." You stand up, and stare down at her, mustering up your defiance. "I'm a very, very dangerous toy."

"Oh my." She giggles, dripping down playfully on the bed, lusciously rolling herself up in the decorated silken blankets. "Isn't the danger part of the thrill?"

"I will dance if I want to, Arras" You turn your back to her. "Think of it as you will. I just want to dance. That is all. Making it into a contest of will is pointless, you control freak."

"And so, the exhibitionist princess will expose herself for the benefit of the masses." She declares to an invisible public, with a grandiose gesture. "Do everyone a favor, my dear Exalted princess."

Arras snaps her fingers to draw your attention, then points at the drawer in her desk.

You reach for it and pull it open. You find scattered silver coins and gemstones, among them a shining dream opal, a few scattered papers of little importance, and... a porcelain mask. It's vaguely feminine in appearance, but overall featureless. It doesn't even have holes for the eyes or the mouth.

"...this?" You take the mask and opal out, and present them at Arras.

"Good doggie." She grins.

"Arras, I'm going to jam this mask up your-"

"That mask will conceal your identity on the stage. As hilarious it would be for you to be recognized, I'm mostly worried that your father will have my head if that happens."

If only your fathers knew the things you've done.

You put the mask on. It fits perfectly, adhering to your face. It's oddly comfortable, and somehow, you can still see clearly.

"And this?" You fidget with the dream opal.

"Half of your payment for the performance of tonight." She explains. "I tried my best to capture the sensation of our night of passion. it would be only right if you had a copy."

You stare at the shining gemstone. "...You had a dream of our night together, and put it in a dream opal?"

"I'm quite a skilled dreamer, you know." She suggests. "I might have... altered a few details from that night. I dare say I have improved on them, though, so you won't really have anything to complain about." She concludes with a giggle.

"...Wait, does that mean that your establishment is selling to its customers a dream of me and you having sex?"

"Oh, not quite. It's from my point of view, so... it's just you and the dreamer, I guess."

You stare at the gem, unsure if you should be angry or impressed.

"It's a best-seller."

"I should charge you for this."

"You'll get paid." She hints, obliquely. "Now, get out there! The masses crave spectacle."

She ushers you out of the room, where Hotau is still waiting for you. She welcomes you with a perfect bow.

(cont.)
>>
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"It's you, right? Miss dancer?"

"You can't recognize me?"

Her smile is perfectly polite. "You're the only one who entered that room. Please, this way. I'll show you the backstage. We have a good selection of outfits for you, but lady Sahlak told us that you wouldn't need them?"

You let Hotau drag you all the way to the backstage, with its lights and mirrors reflecting a person suspiciously similar yet dissimilar to yourself right back to you. It feels so strange. It doesn't look like a mask at all.

You have no reason to be nervous. You got this.

And yet, a strange mix of emotions wells up in your heart, completely unwarranted and unrequired.

That tinge of tension before a performance, that no amount of self-confidence in Creation can erase.
A vague feeling of disgust for agreeing to doing this, and enjoying it.
Perverse excitement.
The worst part, however, is that you're also feeling a bit of happiness. Not the happiness of an artist doing something she likes, but the happiness of a dog doing what it's told by its master, tail wagging.

You kick all those emotions, especially that last one, out of your heart.

None of that matters now.

You change into your best outfit for the job.

The curtains open, and you step onto the stage.

The guests look rather surprised. This show is unannounced, after all. No one was expecting you.

Even better. You have everyone's attention now.

(cont.)
>>
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"Dear ladies and gentlemen." A warm voice greets the silence. You glance aside, to notice Ayzir in the corner of the stage, giving your introduction. "Today, the Azure Heaven will grant you a once-in-a-lifetime surprise show. A mysterious, exotic beauty, hailing from lands beyond our ken, will dance for you, and only you."

Lights begin to go out. It's your turn.

[S+Z= 6 3 10 6 6 3 10 4 5 9 9 7 2 4 7 = 8+1 = 9 successes]

(What sort of dance you want to dance for them?)

>Acrobatic. Show off your skill.
>Performance. Put your heart into it.
>Sensual. It's this kind of place.
>Erotic. Go all out.
(Other?)
>>
>>1445647
FINALLY, we can find out just how good at sex we actually are.
To bad that was one of our weaker performances.
>>1445653
>>Sensual. It's this kind of place.
>>Erotic. Go all out.
Go as far as we can while keeping what little cloths we have on.
>>
>>1445653
>Erotic. Go all out.
>>
>>1445653
>Erotic. Go all out.
>>
>>1445653
>>Sensual. It's this kind of place
Though feel free to go all out for the finale.
>>
>>1445653
>Erotic. Go all out.
It's even more exciting that they'll never discover it's Maka. We can do our very, very best~
>>
>>1445653
>>Erotic. Go all out.
>>
>>1445649
>That tinge of tension before a performance, that no amount of self-confidence in Creation can erase.
>Perverse excitement.
Man, I wouldn't have minded keeping these two. They actually seem fun and harmless.
>>
>>1445653
>Acrobatic. Show off your skill.
>Sensual. It's this kind of place.
>>
>>1445680
The mask seems magical, I wonder if Arras has a way to turn it off. She probably wouldn't because of our father, but I'm wondering about the possibility of if she could, and whether that's better or worse for Maka's exhibitionism.
>>
>>1445653
>Sexual. We can't contain ourselves.
>>
>>1445705
Curse go home.
>>
>>1445653
>Acrobatic. Show off your skill.
>>
>>1445705
Maka doesn't start orgies ON PURPOSE.
She does sometimes take advantage of ones she causes by accident though.
>>
>>1445703
I wonder if we could convince her to part with it. Might be a useful thing to have around, however it works (and not just for future exhibitionism purposes... though there might be a lot of that anyway).
>>
I have to leave you for today.

Furthermore, it's likely that I won't be able to post tomorrow, as I'll be away from my PC all day.

I'll continue this thread when I'm able to.
>>
>>1445732
Thanks for running EQ! It was fun.
>>
>>1445653
>Sensual. It's this kind of place
Man I'm hating the bitch on this girl more and more, if Silk were here I wouldn't have the slightest problem with her going to town on this girl to get rid of that dream.

I swear if this ends before we set things straight I'm going to go crazy.
>>
>>1445653
>>Sensual. It's this kind of place.
>>
>>1445732
Thanks for running. I've been following the quest for a while, but this is the first time I've actually been able to participate. I'll look forward to the continuation.
>>
Man, blueballing is the worst kind of cliffhanger.
>>
>>1445717
I love that accidental orgies is a phrase that can be used unironicly in this quest.
>>
Alright, so this is just a stupid, out-of-nowhere idea, but what if Maka were to go male, jack off, go female, and then inseminate herself. Would the spooge vanish on transformation? Is autoimpregnation possible? Does it count as sex or masturbation? Is it gay to get your own cum inside you? Should I just stop posting and move to a small shack in Alaska, there to live out my shame in solitude? Pressing questions demand answers.
>>
>Erotic. Go all out.
>>
>>1446454
We'd probably end up with a Maka clone, though whther it would be a boy or a girl would be up to chance.
It also wouldn't look exactly like Maka despite being a clone, as Maka's ridiculous hotness comes from her Social Score being beyond Mortal levels, so they would probably look like Maka pre-exaltation, or our male-self's equivalent.
>>
>>1446454
>Should I just stop posting and move to a small shack in Alaska, there to live out my shame in solitude?
Yes.
>>
>>1446454
Considering Exalted, I'm surprised this is the first time I've seen this question come up, even outside this thread. I'm guessing >>1446551 has it right, but any Storyteller might have other, more entertaining ideas.

>Should I just stop posting and move to a small shack in Alaska, there to live out my shame in solitude?
Yes, but I tell everyone to do that. It's good life advice in general.
>>
>>1446699
Alaska is quite possibly the most beautiful place I've ever visited, so you know
>>
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>>1445442
Outfit 02, the tabard should be the go to for the most important occasions. As befitting its status as the first important outfit we got.

And it's ultra hot.
>>
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>>1447077
I love the tabard, but I feel like it's position as the default outfit has been replaced by the outfit UCS-senpai gave us when he gave us the Crown.
>>
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>>1448231
And that really sucks. I wish the nice artist that drew the new Maka art went with the tabard.

Makes me sad.
>>
>>1448318
The tabard was nice, but it had it's day.
Our new "default" was part of our wedding gift from UCS, it is better in every way that matters, because UCS is the best.
>>
Are we going to renew Maka's wardrobe when the Gem arc is done?
>>
>>1449057
Nobody knows what is happening when the Gem arc is done, not even if we're going to still be on 4chan or if we're moving to another site that would be easier on EF.
>>
Hey there.
Still away. Will try to produce a post tomorrow.
>>
>>1445653
>Performance
>Sensual
>>
>>1449089
I do like Anonkun, but ultimately I'm fine with whatever EF thinks is best. I'll keep following either way.
>>
>>1449089
Why would EF not be down to keep running on 4chan? He was the biggest backer of /qst/ out of all the QMs at the time.
>>
>>1449355
I'd rather not use anonkun if possible, since I'm stuck as a filthy mobile poster for the foreseeable future and the site doesn't seem to like my browser. I guess I'll just have to figure something out if it comes down to it. It's certainly better than somewhere that requires an account to post.

This is the first I've heard of a potential move anyway. What's up, EF?
>>
>>1449717
Because he's running out of time to run quests, and running on 4chan usually requires having a good few hours to dedicate to a session.
>>
>>1449717
>>1449727
Because Anonkun is more accommodating to one or two posts a day as opposed to the 4chan style of needing to set aside entire days to run.
>>
>>1449760
I dunno man, this board is pretty slow. It's been two and a half days since the start of this thread and it's still nowhere near falling off the front page. I could see this thing staying up for a week, no problem.
>>
>>1449784
Well, if he makes the switch to Anon-kun he should make a few posts here with links to make sure a large part of his audience follows.
>>
>>1449937
>Not following QMs on Twitter
>>
>>1449998
>Actually bothering with that worthless over hyped service.
>>
>>1450474
What other way is there to reliably get updates on schedules?
>>
Re: AKun and related.

(Sorry the intermission, but i'm on a long train ride and too tired to focus on writing our next story post. I'll put it up later, i just want tor ant about a few thoughts that haunted my night. inb4 >blogging)

Don't get me wrong. Even though i was in support of /qst/ when it was first implemented, I would've much preferred if quests could have remained on /tg/. Still, I wanted to give the board a fair chance. It's also the reason i started a Traveller Quest at the time, as a test.
Anyway.
My quetion of moving to AKun is less asbout not liking /qst/ (i do like it,though /tg/ was a better environment) and more about having less and less free time in the way a quest thread needs. Even though /qst/ is not as fast as /tg/, the structure is still close enough. Threads fall off etc. Honestly AKun seems a lot more appropriate for what i have to do. More tools, a chat, etc.

Note that i said HAVE TO, not WANT TO. If i had all the free time in the world, i would gladly keep posting on /qst/. Unfortunately, i do not, and AKun offers me an excellent alternate solution.

I have not yet made my mind 100%. I will probably move, but the idea of leaving 4chan saddens me. But i have many things to consider...

One thing i thought about was maybe putting up a patreon or something. It all comes down to money unfortunately, and the reason i can't dedicate as much time to the Quest as i used to is that i'm also writing for other projects, which are commercial or have prospects to become so. (I'm writing and publishing D&D adventure modules, and i'm working together with others to 2 RPG projects: one about Lovecraft's Dreamlands, and another about giant robots punching each other). Exalted Quest eats in my time dedicated to my other projects, which are probably my last-ditch attempt at seeing if i have a hope to make a living out of what i love (RPGs, writing, fun things that are fun) before having to sell my soul to the megacorps.

Anyway, we cxan worry about this crap some other time. New story post as soon as i can make it happen (hour at most, hopefully).

Thank you for your patience.
>>
Your eyes wander around the crowd ogling you, on display for all to see. Even many of the employees are surprised by your appearance, as well as your outfit.
Some of them are wearing more daring outfits, or even none at all, but you know how it works.
It's never about what you show. It's about what you don't.
And the border between the two, in your case, is just a bit of gravity.
You step up to the edge of the stage and bow deeply.
Then the show starts.
Soft, sensual, alluring movements are your opening, you accomany them with a wave of your hands, beckoning the onlookers, twisting your hips and shaking your chest rhythmically, to the improvised tune of the musicians to the side of the stage. Their tempo is terrible, but you can't blame them for being unprepared, after all.
As you meet the eyes of the transfixed, hypnotized crowd, you can't help but idly wonder how many have also used that Dream Opal that Arras produced. How many hasve had you visit their dreams.
They wouldn't be able to recognize you with this mask, but, with your dance, you tell them: this is the real deal, in the flesh, in front of your eyes. You can look, but you can't touch.

You let your dance become wilder and wilder, a sharp belly-dancing segment suddenly interrupted by a sommersault and cartwheels. Gravity and Inerrtia follow your whims, and keep the few strings and tassels of lusciouisly decorated black silk where you want them to be, a dance inside your dance. You're almost surprised that the strings are not snapping under the weight of the hopes, wishes, prayers and curses of your audience.

It's not like a nipple is anything special. Nipples are a dime a dozen in places like these. (Sometimes literally.) No one in their right mind would be scandalized by seeing one in a shady estasblishment catering to adult entertainment in the red lights district. Not even if it was yours.
But humans are by their very nature creatures that crave the forbidden.
And the more you almost bare yourself, the wilder their desired become.

They're loving it. You are, too.

If you had any interest in making a carreer out of this, you could string them along for weeks, months, even years. Push them to the point of addiction, even madness.

You certainly have the power to do so, without even too much effort.

But, this is a one-of-a-kind show.
(Cont.)
>>
So, you give them the grand finale. At the very end, when the music has caught up with you and had built to the apex of its crescendo, you leap up, arms raised to the sky. For the brief second you hang in mid-air, before gravity reasserts its dominance, the spell is broken, and tey see all that there is to see.

A single, near-animalistic howl fills the hall with its echo, just as you hit the floor of the wooden stage in a split and the music ceases.

Show's over.

Nearly everyone in the hall - all the customers, and a good deal of the employees as well - leaps up in unison, clapping, whistling, cheering. Silver coins and jade scrip bills begin to flood the stage, thrown by the richest and most impressed members of your appreciative audience.

The curtains roll closed, cutting you off from them. The noise is softened, and you pick up a single,slow clap coming from behind you, behind the stage.

Arras Sahlak is there. Her clapping is rather unenthusiastic, and her face bears a half-grin.

"So?" you prod her.

"Eh." she shrugs. "Good, I guess?"

You don't reply with words, but you're pretty sure that your glare gets the message across.

"I mean." she replies, defensively. "Better than any mortal could hope to do, sure. But from a Solar Exalted, I was expecting better. I KNOW you can do better."

>Why? What did I do wrong?
>I could always do an encore.
>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>Then why don't you get out there and try and do any better?
>Too bad. Now, you mentioned some kind of payment...
>(other?)
>>
>>1450661
>I could always do an encore.
>>
>>1450661
>Why? What did I do wrong?
>I could always do an encore.
Was that sensual.or erotic? Seems they were tied.
>>
>>1450661
>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
We save the best for our lovers. And our enemies.
>>
>>1450661
>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>Besides I wouldn't want this palce to shut down for employing an anathema now would I?
>>
>>1450665
>Was that sensual.or erotic? Seems they were tied.

Yes, pretty much.
>>
>>1450661
>>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>>
>>1450669
Have we spent any Burn Essence yet?

I'd still like the chance to try ECSJ on her just to see if it would work if we have the essence for it.
>>
>>1450676
Not yet spent Burn. You have enough to try ECSJ.
>>
>>1450676
>>1450680
Let's spend some then
>>
>>1450684
Let's not waste motes with that
>>
>>1450661
>>Why? What did I do wrong?
>>I could always do an encore.

>>1450680
We didn't use RLSS?
>>
>>1450661
>encore
>>
>>1450690
It's not like we don't have the essence for it and if we do end up doing a private encore we might as well not hold back.
>>
>>1450694
Why a private encore? That's boring.
>>
>>1450694
I don't think it'll have any effect. Don't we have other offensive social charms to use?
>>
>>1450691
Well, yes, i meant that you recovered enough Burn by now to use ECSJ with only personal motes.
>>
>>1450699
Talking to the heart is the only other one that's really applicable here.
>>1450690
"Waste" when we won't use any more burn for the rest of the thread anyway.
>>
>>1450697
>>1450699
I suggested private because then we could use all our charms on her specifically and not have to worry about being seen flaring because she already knows what we are.

A focused attack will always be more effective than a spread out one when trying to take a single person down.
>>
>>1450703
I, for one, would rather avoid such confrontation. Not only because I like this sort competition and don't want it to end in anyone's favor, but because it also gives her the chance to go all out on Maka. Regardless of how many we have, dice are still dice, and we all know that our dice is always worse than their dice.
>>
>>1450661
>Why? What did I do wrong?
>I could always do an encore.
>>
>>1450703
>A focused attack will always be more effective than a spread out one when trying to take a single person down.
But doing another public dance means we get a second attack against them without giving them a chance to retaliate like they would if we were in private.
Plus, I don't think she's a CoD, just a bit of a bitch, so I don't think ECSJ would be helpful.
>>
>>1450706
It's also exactly what she wanted. She wanted a private performance, we denied her, and now after she called our skill in question we give in. Good doggy!

>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>>
>>1450706
It's only competition if we actually fight back.
>>
>>1450720
>She wanted a private performance
No she didn't.
She wanted us to either dance for her club or have sex with her. She never mentioned wanting a private dance anywhere.
>>
>>1450661
>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>>
>>1450661
>>I could always do an encore.
>>
>>1450662
>>1450665
>>1450691
>>1450692
>>1450709
>>1450750

>>1450667
>>1450668
>>1450674
>>1450720
>>1450747

We seem really conflicted on how we should be dealing with Arras.
>>
>>1450768
I for one have no desire to be that smug bitch's pet.

If it was any other character maybe, but not Maka
>>
>>1450768
I'll admit I really don't like her. I don't mind Maka being subby, but not to a mean-streaked sadist who I don't like, let alone trust.
>>
>>1450661
>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>>
>>1450661
>>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>>
>>1450661
>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
But,
>I could always do an encore.
>So what do you have to offer, to convince me to show off everything I've got?

Innuendo intended, of course. Maybe we can invite Tia to watch too (assuming she'd approve of how we end up approaching this).

>>1450778
Same here, though I want Maka to play along and enjoy this, just turn the tables in this relationship at the same time. But it seems like we're about split on it.
>>
>>1450661
>>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
>>
>>1450785
>>1450778
Personally, I don't like her. But regarding the story as a whole, I like the character; it's such a powerful contrast to Maka, a different kind of passion, that I can't not enjoy this.
Plus, I like conflicted Maka in general (of course I like confident Maka too).
>>
>>1450768
>We seem really conflicted on how we should be dealing with Arras.

Well, so is Maka, so it makes sense.
>>
>>1450793
>Same here
(To clarify, I'm fine with the character herself, but I'd prefer Maka to be confident and in-charge in this relationship too. Not that there's anything wrong with some conflict, internal and external.)
>>
>>1450802
same
>>
The only interest that I have in her is finding out for certain what she is, the last thing we want is for her to make trouble later and for us not to know what we're dealing with.
>>
>>1450661
>Why? What did I do wrong?
>I could always do an encore.

>>1450802
At least for me, it's not that I don't want Maka to be confident and in-charge, so much as I'm enjoying seeing how she acts when she isn't, even if the character isn't the nicest.
Really, the only people Maka ever acts subservient too are Amata and Tia on occasion, and we know they won't take advantage of her, and least not in a way she would want them to, and to UCS, and well, everyone is subservient to to him to some extent, so that doesn't really count.
>>
>>1450806
We probably want to give our new Alchemical friend a heads up about her anyway since we're leaving later.

>>1450811
My problem with her isn't even that she's getting the better of us, it's that people are letting her. We aren't putting up a fight.
>>
>>1450811
>and to UCS, and well, everyone is subservient to to him to some extent, so that doesn't really count.
Despite the fact that her behavior isn't really what most would consider priestly, Maka is pretty religious, so I imagine she'd listen to any one the Incarnae if they asked her to do something.
>>
>>1450806
This is important too, I think. Whatever role she ends up playing in the future, it would be good to know what we're dealing with.

>>1450811
I can certainly understand that. That's part of the reason I want Maka to get the mask, I admit (the idea of becoming the Mysterious Masked Exhibitionist of Tianna is amusing).
>>
>>1450661
>I told you, I was not dancing for you. I was dancing for myself.
"You'll just have to learn to live with what I decide to give you."

I like the banter, and I like her as a foil to Maka, but I don't want our main girl to become subservient.
>>
I'll be honest, whenever I see a new ID I get suspicious.
>>
>>1450824
>so I imagine she'd listen to any one the Incarnae if they asked her to do something.
It would probably come down to a difference of attitude. With UCS we would smile and skip to do what he asks, but the others would be a more respectful sure why not kind of deal.
>>
>>1450835
I understand that, but in my case it's because I'm on a phone and so you should hate me for mobileposting rather than samefagging.
Not that I've ever understood the hate for mobile posters, but I have seen it.
>>
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You bite your tongue and try to stay calm.

"So what, you want an encore?"

"Tsk." She clicks her tongue at you, dismissively. "You can't now, can you?"

"Why not?"

"We told everyone this was a one-of-a-kind show. You can't just go back on that claim, even if the people out there would like it. It would be unprofessional."

"Well, sorry if I'm not a professional." You walk up to her. "This is not my day job, you know."

"I know, I know." She smiles and nods.

"Besides, I told you. I'm not dancing for you. I'm dancing for myself. For my own entertainment."

"Did you have fun?" She asks you, suddenly, with a piercing stare.

"Yes." You reply, confidently.

"Do you want to have..." She closes up the distance even more, bringing her warm, petite body in contact with your skin. "...Even more fun?"

>With you? Who in their right mind would?
>Not after how you've treated me today, Arras.
>I'll consider you payment for my performance, then.
>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
>I am going to destroy you. You're not going to be able to dream of anyone else after today. (s+z)
>(Other?)

(To clarify: first and second are a rejection, one insulting and one polite. Third is "yes" but no social combat involved other than defending yourself. Fourth is a single social attack aimed at establishing dominance over Arras, but nothing more. Fifth is initiating full scale social attack to completely break her and bind her with a major intimacy. Might take multiple rolls.)
>>
(Also, signing off for the next 6 or so hours, will continue when able to.)
>>
>>1450842
>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
By the way, how expensive are the dream stones? Can we get a good number of them before leaving?
>>
>>1450842
>>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
While I'm fine with being the sub, not trying is unacceptable.
Be sure to use RLSS, and throw in ECSJ in case that other anon was right.
>>
Rolled 3, 10 = 13 (2d10)

>>1450853
Forgot dice.
>>
Rolled 8, 8 = 16 (2d10)

>>1450842
>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
Use RLSS. I don't really care one way or another about ECSJ, go ahead and use it if it won't cause us to flare so high people outside the room would notice.
>>
Rolled 2, 1 = 3 (2d10)

>>1450842
>>1450849
Oh right, we gotta roll those
>>
Rolled 5, 10 = 15 (2d10)

>>1450842
>>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)

Burn for RLSS
>>
Rolled 9, 10 = 19 (2d10)

>>1450842
>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
Charms charms. RLSS and ECSJ.

Definitely the former, but I won't fight if people don't want the latter. Also don't if the flaring would be too big or wouldn't go down by the time we left.
>>
Rolled 3, 7 = 10 (2d10)

>>1450842
>>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)

Lets burn a RLSS
>>
Rolled 6, 8 = 14 (2d10)

>>1450842
>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
>>
Rolled 9, 15 = 24 (2d20)

>>1450842
>>
Rolled 4, 1 = 5 (2d10)

>>1450842
Fugg
>>
Rolled 6, 5 = 11 (2d10)

>>1450842
>>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
>>
If you intend to drag (or be dragged by) Arras to her bedroom, you can probably flare safely there. It's isolated enough that even a full iconic flare wouldn't be seen outside.

You'd have to wait for the flare to die down afterwards, of course, if you don't want to be seen.

On the other hand, you can't be sure if Arras has some kind of evil masterplan to expose you as an Anathema should you show your anima flaring in her rooms. Up to you if you think she is the kind of person who will do that / if she has anything to gain from that / if you want to be on the safe side / etc.
>>
Rolled 5, 4 = 9 (2d10)

>>1450842
>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
We should definitely activate RLSS, at least. I'm less sure about ECSJ, so I guess I'll stay neutral on that for now. It's a gamble, but it might pay off... and if it doesn't, we'd at least know what she isn't.
>>
>>1450855
>>1450863
>>1450865
>3 10s
Things are going to be different from last time.
>>
>>1450863
>>1450867
Sure.

>>1450881
I vote for not flaring, in case we win this round and she's a sore loser.

>>1450889
>Admitted sadist.
>Runs a parlor that deals in dreams
The only thing scarier than her being an Abyssal would be if she were a Fair Folk noble who had taken Arras' place.
>>
>>1450898
I'd be happier if she were just a Fae, it would be easier to just take her out.

Honestly I would prefer if she were just a Solar too. An Abyssal working a brothel isn't just working a brothel, she's sure to have dangerous hidden agendas and might even be here just to set up a foothold for a Deathlord.
>>
>>1450910
Or she could be a rogue abyssal. Those are possible too, though I doubt she's anything other than a solar.
>>
>>1450898
>in case we win this round and she's a sore loser.
The difference between Social and Physical combat is that if you win Social combat they always end up liking you more, where as with Physical combat what they think of you afterwards depends on their own views on combat.
>>
>>1450910
Point taken. Just out of curiosity, are there any Deathlords who are interested in the South?
>>
>>1450913
The First and Forsaken Lion is always trying to blow up Gem, that rascal.
And he has a second Deathlord who is subservient to him, but her name escapes me at the moment.
>>
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>>1450913
The First and Forsaken Lion, the most physically dangerous Deathlord. He owns the largest army in all of the Underworld and maybe in Creation unless the entire Realm got their shit together. He's the Deathlord Fight Guy basially.

By canon at least.
>>
>>1450842
>I'll consider you payment for my performance, then.
>>
>>1450917
Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears, maybe?
>>
>>1450917
>>1450921
However, it should be noted that he screwed up the Deathlords' last plan to kill everyone in Creation, and the Neverborn fucked his shit up severely for it. So he refuses to act again until he is 100% sure his plan will work, out of fear of being punished again.
>>1450933
I looked it up, it's Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers. I forgot because he name is both ridiculously silly (Princess Magnificent) edgy (Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers) even by Underworld standards.
>>
>>1450937
>the Neverborn fucked his shit up severely for it.
Yeah he's basically what will happen to the Silver Prince assuming he didn't die for good.
>>
>>1450940
He didn't screw up quite that bad, he might just be made a servant to another Deathlord like Princess Magnificent is.
>>
>>1450948
>Princess Magnificent
Also, I giggle every time I type that.
>>
>>1450933
Isn't she the Deathlord focusing on Lookshy? That would put her in the East, where as The Lion focuses mostly on the South.
>>
>>1450951
"Tremble, mortals! New agonies now descend upon you, for we are Deathknights send by the terrible Princess Magnificent!"
>snickering
"S-shut up!"
>>
>>1450954
>>1450937
Also, did Bright Shattered Ice become a Deathlord or just get reincarnated to someone like Arianna? I can't remember.
>>
>>1450956
Well none of the Deathlords have a canon First Age identity beyond possible hints as far as I know.

But Arianna would have happened regardless of whether Bright Shattered Ice became a Deathlord or not because they aren't related at all beyond having held the same Exaltation shard.
>>
>>1450842
>Not after how you've treated me today, Arras.
>>
Rolled 6, 6 = 12 (2d10)

>>1450842
>I really need to take out some stress on you, so sure. (s+z)
>>
New post soon(tm).
>>
That does it. You're through being nice. You're through playing along Arras' whims.

Now it's her turn.

You lean in and kiss her deeply, savagely, With force. You shove her onto the ground of the backstage.

"There's just the curtain between us and the stage." She hints, with an aside glance. "What if someone lifts it?"

"I wouldn't have a problem with it." You lean over her, smiling confidently. "It's all in good fun, right? And I really need to take out some stress."

"My. Did I stress you out? I'm so sorry."

"Oh, you will be." You lean closer, feeling the heat radiating from her luscious, defenseless body. "You will be."

"Maka..."

"Yes?"

"Take the mask off."

"Oh?"

"I want it to be you."

You can't help but oblige. "Be careful what you wish for." You warn her.

(cont.)
>>
How much Essence do we have left? Also if we're going to Dom and we're going to Flair I want to Crown so we put her in her place hard!
If we're not Flaring that's fine too.
>>
>>1452156
I don't trust her with knowledge of the Crown. If we were going to show it to her, we should have chosen the option to break and bind her.
>>
>>1452156
I'm against popping the crown during the act, it should only be shown after successfully domming her, if at all. Letting her know of it before she's been defeated in bed is just giving her more reasons to fight Maka.
>>
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A hour of torrid passion passes. You're not playing for endurance, here.

You know you can outlast her - You can outlast anyone, except maybe Tia. But you're not willing to waste so much time on her.

No, you'll be going for the knockout blow.

[ROSE-LIPPED SEDUCTION STYLE]

[Social + Zenith = 3 10 8 8 2 1 5 10 9 10 3 7 6 8 4 = 11+1 = 12 successes]

And, when you're done with her, she IS sorry.

After ten rounds of relentless, uninterrupted lovemaking, you stand up to tower on her, lying on the wooden floor of the backstage, twisted in a knot, silently begging for mercy.

Then, you pick her up and bring her back to her room for another thirty. You only stop when the bed catches fire.

By the end of it, her body is hot. In the "white-hot" sense, like heated up iron in the forge. Her bed quickly begins smoldering, a blatant fire-hazard. The building's walls might be stone, but the floor and ceiling are expensive imported wood planks, a rarity and status symbol in Gem.

She... doesn't look like she did it on purpose. She either channeled too much of her own Essence to try and resist you and accidentally flared her anima, or maybe you pushed her far enough that she completely lost control.

Well... this is a suitably dramatic ending, you note with some amusement. She's lying on the floor, paralyzed, her body and brains turned temporarily to mush by your sexual arts, and radiating enough heat to scorch the floor, which starts to blacken and sizzle around her.

However, when you realize the fire is actually spreading, you briefly panic. You try and lift her up from being in contact with the floor, and burn yourself.

In that moment, you hear a knock at the door. You're so confused and caught by surprise that you do the only reasonable thing, and go and open it.

Outside, you find Ayzir and Hotau, each holding two buckets full of water and with a very patient smile on their faces.

Hotau lifts one bucket, and politely hands it to you.

(cont.)
>>
You take it. "...How long have you two been here?" You wonder. In the background, Arras is desperately trying to stand back up, flailing around softly and uselessly.

"Since she started screaming your name."

"Oh. Quite a bit then."

The three of you put the fires out, including dunking a couple of buckets on the fire-starter herself. The water sizzles and flash-evaporates, filling the room with steam, but the fire dies down, and the cold water seems to refresh Arras, at least a bit.

She slowly picks herself back up.

"Fancy another go or ten?" You grin confidently.

She gives you one cold, distant stare. The look of a woman beyond the brink, barely able to string together a coherent sentence.

"...You win this time, Maka."

You get smugger. "I'll let you know next time I drop by Gem. You glance at the mask, resting on the (now singed) floor of the room. "Can I take that with me?"

"Hell no." She replies, turning around to survey the damage to her room. "It cost me a fortune, and we use it to guarantee anonymity to guest stars at the Azure Heaven. I need it for work." She gestures at the two courtesans next to you. "You get Ayzir and Hotau if you want them."

"Really?" You turn around, facing the two.

They both bow deeply.

Arras nods, like it's no big deal. She's still fazed, though, so it turns into a stiff, jerky motion. "They're my slaves. I'll just sign them off to you. Besides, you already kind of ruined them."

"That's a bit of a mean thing to say, mistress." Hotau complains.

"Ruined?" You wonder. "What did I do?"

"They keep talking about you and bring you up in conversations. Seems like they've grown quite attached." Arras explains. "But it's annoying, so I'm letting them go. And, I told you you'd get paid for your dance. Here's your payment."

>I didn't do this to get paid, I told you. I did it because I wanted to.
>I don't accept payment in slaves. I'd rather take that mask.
>I don't accept payment in slaves. If you write them off to me, I'll free them.
>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.
>Alright, I'll take them. Hotau, Ayzir, you'll serve me from now on.
>(Other?)
>>
>>1452230
>Alright, I'll take them. Hotau, Ayzir, you'll serve me from now on.
>But I still want that mask. Name your price.
And that's a win!

So, did we figure out her caste?
>>
>>1452230
>I don't accept payment in slaves. If you write them off to me, I'll free them.
>>
>>1452230
>>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.
>>
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>>1452230
>>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.

>dat update
>>
>>1452230
>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.
We've had to ward off two Deathlords in less than a year. So think carefully about your decision.
>>
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>>1452230
>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.

Ah, so Arras is a social specced fire aspect. Mystery solved!
>>
>>1452295
>defeating deathlords
"Sounds amazing and safer than anywhere else, where do I sign in?"
>>
>>1452230
>I don't accept payment in slaves. If you write them off to me, I'll free them.
Also we're leaving soon and we wouldn't be able to take them home with us. Our rides are all full I think. Well if they still want to come maybe we could figure something out, but we're already taking home one extra.

Also don't underestimate DBs. We legit thought her Celestial tier, she'll be scary in the future. Ask her if/when she plans to start a proper house, if she ever wants backing she could ask us.
>>
>>1452230
>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.
>Alright, I'll take them. Hotau, Ayzir, you'll serve me from now on.
>But you know, I could easily buy my own slaves and train them to be just as good. I still want the mask.
>>
>>1452230
>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.
>Otherwise I'll just free them.
>>
>>1452302
You make it sound so much easier than it actually was.
>>
>>1452312
There's no way she'll ever part with that mask, it's probably her only Artifact considering she's a new DB from a purely mortal family. Let's keep some goodwill and let her keep it.
>>
In more work for Val, we can add 'Make Mask of Anonymity' to her list of massive things to do.

Surely there is a demon that can do this sort of thing? Binding one would be a lot faster that making another trinket.
>>
>>1452331
I'm all for letting her keep it because it'll remind her of us and that time she was briefly our interest.
>>
>filling valuable chariot space with slaves
Shiggy diggy do, scoob.
>>
>>1452388
We can't take the chariot back anyway, there are already too many people.
>>
>>1452328
It's what they'd be hearing it like.
>>1452331
On the other hand, being in our good graces could be much more profitable; unless she asks for some huge amount of money, in which case selling it would be just as good.
>>
>>1452407
With only Engine as an extra passenger we can take her with us as long as Tia spends most of the travel time in smol form.

Two extra on top of that is harder.
>>
>>1452429
There's also the entire group that came here ahead of us.
>>
>>1452409
The mask isn't the prize here anon the eager to please Dragon Blood slave is, all else is theatre.
>>
>>1452331
I really, really want the mask, it'd be like the last nail on the coffin. We made her slaves love us and now we take a piece of her business.

Besides, if she plays this smart and ask for the right things, she could easily buy another one or similar.
>>
>>1452438
They do have their own Sorcerer.

>>1452441
I don't really care about the mask and I'm not feeling mean spirited enough after winning to deprive her of a source of security.
>>
>>1452456
>They do have their own Sorcerer.
Do they know the spell? I think they just took a regular boat to get here.
>>
>>1452484
There was a whole thread about this Anon, Aexel bugged Val about it and used it to get over before us. What boat would be fast enough to get to Gem from Tianna in a week?
>>
>>1452522
That thread was months ago, I don't know how long the time between them leaving and us leaving was.
>>
>>1452230
>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.
Though it's been a while since I read the last threads, and I'm clueless about this whole transportation problem. We still need to pick up Amber on the way back, right?

>>1452331
I second this. I want the mask, but if it's that important to her, I say we let her keep it... unless there's something of equal value to her we could trade. Otherwise, taking it feels like a bit too much.
>>
You explain your predicament to the two courtesans as Arras oversees the damage that she just caused (probably while internally blaming you for it but realizing she can't claim so outright).

"...I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place, you know?"

The two exchange a glance.

"We don't mind."

"Is it worse than Gem?"

Ayzir's question briefly causes you to stop and think.

"...Probably not." You admit. "Still, it's a long journey, and... it's, well."

They look determined. "We want to come with you." Hotau explains in no uncertain terms.

Well, you can't blame them. Even if they don't know you that well, they're probably ready to gamble for it being better than being entertainers at a red lights dream parlor. Arras never gave you the idea of being an owner that treats her slaves badly, but they're still merchandise here that she has to effectively loan to customers.

Well, you were already planning on having Aexel run an extra trip to carry all that cash from Gem's treasury to Tianna. You can take two extra people.

But, if they're going to join you in Pearl, then they probably should know the real deal before they sign up with you.

You explain it to them. The Solar thing, Tianna, and all that, in broad strokes.

(cont.)
>>
>>1452230
>I'll take you, but only if you genuinely want to come. I live far away, and it's kind of a troublesome place.
Admittedly, they'd be great attendants at the water elemental shrine on Flow's Respite. They'd also probably be amazed by all the water, being from Gem.
>>
Ayzir seems undaunted, or rather, even more determined. He listens intently and nods forcefully from now to then, and seeing his tail sway calmly left and right behind you makes you realize how tough his life must have been, in a city like Gem where god-blooded are not particularly well accepted or tolerated, and which pays even just lip service to the Immaculate Philosophy due to its ties to the Realm (which includes the tenet of "God-Blooded are a mistake of the natural order and should never have been born").

You have to wonder if all the countless small scars marking his skin have anything to do with that.

The prospect of a nation ruled by Exalted and in which strange and exotic creatures are welcome must be compelling to him.

Hotau, on the other hand, seems terrified. Not quite in the "terror" sense, but she jumped when you first explained yourself being a Solar, and has since been fidgeting excitedly, interrupting you to ask plenty of questions.

Behind those gentle green eyes staring at you you can see a deep, wary curiosity, like that of a man holding a man over an open flame, wanting to touch it yet fearful of being burned by it.

You oblige to her questions patiently, even when they start veering on the inane, or the deeply personal.

"That's the full story." You conclude to the two slaves. "Do you still want to come with me?"

"If you will have us." Hotau bows.

Ayzir follows her gesture silently.

"Alright. Show yourselves at the palace tomorrow half a hour before down. Pack your things, but you can only bring with you as much as you can carry in a backpack or a small suitcase.

They nod. Being slaves, even if high class, they probably don't even own that much as personal propriety.

>I still need to clear some things with Arras Sahlak. (what?)
>i still need to clear some things with Hotau and Ayzir (what?)
>I can go back to the palace and wait for Eskarin to come back.
>I'll go around town to look for Eskarin.
>I'll walk around this area to look for Tia, in case she came here to play in the red light district like I suggested her to.
>I'll head outside town to look for Tia, in case she went out to "play" with the Fair Folk like I suggested her to.
>(Other?)

(Late night here, so will go to sleep. See you tomorrow.)
>>
>>1452596
>I'll head outside town to look for Tia, in case she went out to "play" with the Fair Folk like I suggested her to.
>>
>>1452596
>>I can go back to the palace and wait for Eskarin to come back.
The only thing stupider than wandering around a giant city without a clear destination, is wandering around the desert outside a giant city without a clear destination.
>>
>>1452596
>I'll go around town to look for Eskarin.

Adventure! Random encounters!
>>
>>1452596
>I still need to clear some things with Arras Sahlak. (what?)
Just to play with her while she's still horny and leave her just before she climaxes.
>>
>>1452596
>I can go back to the palace and wait for Eskarin to come back.
Multiple trips was the obvious answer.
>>
>>1452596
>I'll go around town to look for Eskarin.
>I'll walk around this area to look for Tia, in case she came here to play in the red light district like I suggested her to.
>Look into acquiring more dream pearls
>>
>>1452596
>I can go back to the palace and wait for Eskarin to come back.
If we're going to bring up the Kiss of the Sun, that's better to do indoors. Besides, we could mention what we did with Rankar Sr. to dad.

>>1452633
No natural hazards can harm us, and anything else that might pose a problem for us would be a problem for Gem, as well.
>>
>>1452596
>I'll go around town to look for Eskarin.
>Look into acquiring more dream pearls
>>
>>1452596
>>I'll go around town to look for Eskarin.
>>
>>1452596
>>I'll go around town to look for Eskarin.
>>
>>1452596
>I'll go around town to look for Eskarin.
Tia can handle herself.
>>
New post soon(tm).
>>
Well, no reason to not take one last walk around the streets of Gem before you have to return to Tianna. Who knows how long you'll have to wait since your next visit?

You take a stroll around the district, enjoying a few brief visits to a few other establishments on your way, before moving on to the market.

Most stalls and shops are starting to open up only now, and the roads are beginning to crowd. This place will be the busiest once the sun sets and the temperature drops a bit more, but even now there's quite some activity. Song and music and the calls of beckoning shop owners fill the air above the din of the street, and the delicious smells of mixed spices wafts from multiple directions

After learning a bit more about the situation, you can't help but admit that Border of Integer and Rational must have done an amazing work. The economy of Gem is booming even beyond its regular level of already-outrageous wealth: the shops and stalls are closely packed, with no space on the avenue left unused, and everywhere you look, you see displays filled with expensive goods, imports from the furthest corners of Creation, and silver changing hands.

You're keeping your eyes open for Eskarin and Rankar Jr. - you're not sure that they're here, but a stroll around the shopping avenues would make for a great date - but you also take some time to appreciate the richness of the market. You've never seen it like this, and there's a lot that catches your fancy.

Being the princess of Gem gives you essentially an unlimited credit line here, as long as you don't go WAY overboard... do you want to do some shopping while you're looking for your sister?

You could buy some souvenirs for the people who've had to stay back in Tianna - Amata is the first and foremost in your mind - but you could also look for something nice for yourself...

>No, I don't really need anything.
>I could get a nice dress! There's a lot to choose from, and they all look great..
>There's a store with the finest Arbani weapons, as well as great imported pieces.
>You can also buy mystical gems here, like Dream Opals, Yasal Crystals...
>There are some alchemist's stores, drug stores and apothecaries that look promising.
>I could hit the curio shops and see if I find something weird and unique.
>Oh, the slave market is just next to here. I could check there for someone interesting.
>Here's a game store. The windows are full of colorful boards and little miniatures.
>I could get some decor for the house. An incense burner, a tea set, or maybe a picture.
>It's been a while since I read a good book, and there are a lot of bookstores here.
>(Other?)

(I'm assuming that you will buy some souvenirs for the people back home, since you have no real reason not to, but let me know if you don't want to.)
(Also, the vote above is for what to get for yourself, but if you have ideas for gifts to bring home, feel free to write-in them in addition to your vote.)
>>
>>1454691
>You can also buy mystical gems here, like Dream Opals, Yasal Crystals...
>Oh, the slave market is just next to here. I could check there for someone interesting.
>I could get some decor for the house. An incense burner, a tea set, or maybe a picture.
Maybe see if we can get some magitech for Irene to experiment on?
>>
>>1454705
>Maybe see if we can get some magitech for Irene to experiment on?

Serious magitech would not normally be for sale in common shopping arcades. That would be roughly the equivalent of being able to buy a M1 Abrams or an electron microscope at Walmart.
Of course, there's always the off-chance of finding some functioning magitech trinket, or the extremely small chance of finding an actually powerful item that the shop owner couldn't recognize as such, but we're talking about very unlikely odds.
>>
>>1454691
>Oh, the slave market is just next to here. I could check there for someone interesting.
>You can also buy mystical gems here, like Dream Opals, Yasal Crystals...
>>
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>>1454691
>I could get a nice dress! There's a lot to choose from, and they all look great..
>You can also buy mystical gems here, like Dream Opals, Yasal Crystals...
>I could get some decor for the house. An incense burner, a tea set, or maybe a picture.

Some small gubbins would be nice.

And more clothes of course!
>>
>>1454691
>I could get a nice dress! There's a lot to choose from, and they all look great..
>I could get some decor for the house. An incense burner, a tea set, or maybe a picture.
Clothes are always nice and something for the house is just as lovely, but not slaves.

We might want to hit up a bookstore to find something for Amata and Milly since if I remember right they both love cheesy romance novels. Not sure what to get Regis though, maybe some model sandships?
>>
>>1454691
>I could get a nice dress! There's a lot to choose from, and they all look great..
>You can also buy mystical gems here, like Dream Opals, Yasal Crystals...
>There are some alchemist's stores, drug stores and apothecaries that look promising.
>I could hit the curio shops and see if I find something weird and unique.
>Oh, the slave market is just next to here. I could check there for someone interesting.
>I could get some decor for the house. An incense burner, a tea set, or maybe a picture.
Release your inner materialist girl
>>
>>1454691
>>I could get a nice dress! There's a lot to choose from, and they all look great..
>You can also buy mystical gems here, like Dream Opals, Yasal Crystals...
That should be fine for-
>Oh, the slave market is just next to here. I could check there for someone interesting.
If you want to introduce new NPCs just say so.
>>
>>1454691
>I could get a nice dress! There's a lot to choose from, and they all look great..
>You can also buy mystical gems here, like Dream Opals, Yasal Crystals...
>There are some alchemist's stores, drug stores and apothecaries that look promising.
>Oh, the slave market is just next to here. I could check there for someone interesting.
>>
>>1454691
>I could get some decor for the house. An incense burner, a tea set, or maybe a picture.
Because burning a bit of valuable incense helps dealing with gods if you do it in their name.
>>
>>1454891
>Rolling for bullshit luck.

You failed.
>>
>>1454691
Hey maybe we should bring back a pet?

I mean we do have Zenith at six and we could use a non-magical familiar for the intermediate charms.
>>
I won't have time to post today unfortunately. I'll post on Twitter when I'll be able to pick back up the thread.
>>
>>1455195
We'll be here!
>>
>>1455046
>>>1454691
>Hey maybe we should bring back a pet?

That's a good write-in.
>>
>>1455583
This is me.
>>
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>>1455585
I'll always be a fan of lions.
>>
>>1455635
The Zenith Caste is typically associated with Bulls. Dawns are the ones associated with large jungle cats.
Not that this prevents us from owning one, but there are people who like to take this type of thing into consideration.
>>
>>1455987
And since I'm open to the page anyway, Twilights are associated with Spiders, Nights with Wolves, and Eclipses with Falcons.
Also the Dawn association is technically Tigers, not cats in general.
>>
>>1455046
>>1455583
>>1455635
What's this? Are we finally going to have a good reason to get Friend of Creation? I know we're talking about a Familiar. Let me dream.
>>
>>1455987
I mostly want a lion because of their association to royalty, us being the Princess of Creation and all.

>>1456001
I think FoC is actually part of the tree to get to the good Familiar charms, also I never lost hope for full Disney Princess Maka.
>>
>>1456026
>I think FoC is actually part of the tree to get to the good Familiar charms

You are correct.
>>
>>1454808
>Hey maybe we should bring back a pet?
I'll add this cool write-in to my vote, because it's a cool write in.
>>
>>1454691
>a family pet we just remembered we had
>>
There really is a lot here.

You spend almost a hour wandering around the marketplace, taking in the dizzying variety of wares on show all around.

There's just so much you want. Are you being selfish, or spoiled?

Well, maybe. You ARE a princess. Is it so bad to be spoiled?

You just spared Gem from both a civil war and an alien invasion. (Ok, the alien invasion has just been delayed, but still! Let's be optimistic.) Aren't you entitled to a little reward?

You start by buying a few souvenirs for the people at home. You find an incredibly cute pair of matching outfits for Millian and Regis, and a beautiful porcelain tea set that you're sure Amata will love...

...Should you buy something for Silk?

What do you even GET her?

...oh, right, you already got her a gift. What was her name? Amber Herald? You wonder how much fun Silk's having with her.

Then, matching sets of Arbani firewands and chiaroscuran glass swords for Iohannes, Rubel, Alexei and Marat.

And for Pyre Spark, you found a beautiful gold brooch shaped like a sunflower.

Now, for yourself... a lot of things caught your attention.

To start with, you being visiting all the stores selling animals common and exotic, just to see if there's anything catching your curiosity.

You decide on...

>...nothing, really. You already have a pet, after all. You don't need another one.
>A lion.
>A tiger.
>A bull.
>A spider.
>A wolf.
>A falcon.
>A horse.
>A snake.
>A dog.
>A cat.
>A rabbit.
>(Other?)

(I wrote in all the animals that have been mentioned plus whatever came to mind, but feel free to write-in anything, or change your mind and move on to the next shop)
>>
>>1458886
>>...nothing, really. You already have a pet, after all. You don't need another one.
I'm just not interested in having more pets.
>>
>>1458886
>A lion.
Lions are cool.
>>
>>1458886
>>1458898
wolves are cool too
>>
>>1458886
>A bull.
>>
>>1458886
I'm fine with a bull or a lion, though if we're only Getting one, I say a bull.
That way our familiar won't get jealous when we get one of the Celestial Lions from Yu-Shan.
>>
>>1458886
>A lion.
>A falcon.
>A horse.
>A rabbit.
What about fantastical creatures? Where's the lion horse thing the exalted like to ride?
>>
>snake

A nice little one, that can serve as a bracelet.
>>
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>>1458886
>A dog.

Man's best friend.
>>
>>1458886
>A lion
>A tiger
>A falcon
>A rabbit
I wonder if Silk can transform them into animal people.
>>
>>1458929
A Celestial Lion wouldn't be a Familiar and I'm sure Amata would kill us if we tried to make them into one.

>>1458998
I don't know about animal people, but I was entertaining the thought of leaving it in Silk's Wyld Zone so it could get a couple of cool mutations, like Large or Wings or something.
>>
>>1459015
>A Celestial Lion wouldn't be a Familiar
Raksha aren't supposed to be familiar's either, and yet we made Silk one.
>>
>>1459017
Yeah, but Fae aren't people so no one is going to complain about that.
>>
>>1459021
And neither are Celestial Lions.
>>
>>1458957
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't those things only tameable by Exalts? So they wouldn't be for sale in a normal, mortal-run store.
Meaning we either need to find a wild one, or "acquire" one from a hostile Exalt.
Also, someone should remember what they are called, that would make looking for one much easier.
>>
>>1459024
Celestial Lions are people. Technically, according to Heaven's laws, they are more people than you.
Of course, they were the ones who lobbied for those laws in the first place.

>>1458957
Simhata. You're not going to find one in a pet shop in Gem. If you want one, you'll have to go out and find one. Consider it a subquest.

>>1459027
You're right.
>>
>>1459037
>Technically, according to Heaven's laws, they are more people than you.
I feel like I don't spend enough time on /pol/ to be able to respond to this information in the manner that I really want to.
>>
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>>1459041
By law, Exalts run Creaton and Gods run Yu Shan.

If you're strict about it, only Sids and Eclipses have any legitimate reason to enter Heaven, which means a Lion would have more rights then most Solars.
>>
>>1459045
That doesn't make me any less disgruntled.
>>
>>1459063
Why?

They aren't actually Lions, they're Gods shaped like Lions.
>>
>>1459068
It's "more people" thing that bugs me. If a god came down from Yu-Shan to Creation we wouldn't act like we were better than them despite the fact that, as you said, Exalts run Creation, so the fact that they not only get to act like asshole if we visit Yu-Shan, but that the law is set up so that they don't even have to act like assholes to look down on us, bugs me.
>>
>>1459085
The Exalted don't lawfully rule Creation. Not without the Mandate of Heaven.
>>
>>1459085
They're the enforcers of all laws in heaven. To gods, especially the high ones in Yu-Shan, humans are basically just living prayer batteries that generate Quintessence and Ambrosia for them.
>>
>>1459091
Doesn't Maka's ownership of part of the Crown of Thunders mean she has the Mandate, even if the Exalts in general do not?
If so, my point stands, Maka would not treat any gods who visited her like that. She was even nice to Nysela, and she beat her with a bat.
>>
>>1459101
No, it means he's on the short list of prospective Mandate holders. Right now nobody holds it in any capacity.
>>
>>1459106
My memory isn't working for shit today, because that's not how I remember that conversation going.
>>
>>1459114
I'm briefly busy right now but I will set this argument straight in a bit. For now focus on whether you want to buy an animal or not.

Not buying one here because you're already considering trying to obtain a Simhata is a legitimate choice.

Right now it seems that no animal is generating a lot of interest. Lion is the most voted, but just at 3 votes.

(in-character, Maka would know about Simhatas, if you're wondering.)
>>
>>1459123
I'm perfectly fine with waiting for a Simhata.
Aren't they mostly found in the South? My memory is telling me that, but as established it's been acting up today.
>>
>>1459123
I wouldn't mind trying to get one, but I wonder if we have the time for it considering we want to leave soon. I guess we could go look for one and check up on Tia at the same time.

Also I worry about the redundancy of having a super horse when we have a Swift Rider that we already never use.
>>
>>1459137
>I wouldn't mind trying to get one, but I wonder if we have the time for it considering we want to leave soon.

Oh, it wouldn't be something done before leaving. There are no Simhata that close to Gem. I was thinking about it being a downtime thing after the Gem arc is over.

With Azure Chariot you have relatively fast transportation across Creation, after all.

>>1459137
>Also I worry about the redundancy of having a super horse when we have a Swift Rider that we already never use.

That too is a possible issue.
>>
The issue, I feel, is getting something that we can't find reasonably in Tianna. There are horses there, and probably rabbits, dogs, cats, snakes, spiders, etc. Lions, Tigers and Wolves are the only real exotic choices, I feel.
>>
>>1459150
I think I want to stick with just a lion for now, but I don't mind o=if people want to get a Simhata too later on when we have the time. We already have two familiars after all, what's two more.

Another question though, you mentioned once there was a charm to grant an animal familiar awakened essence, how many could we do that to?
>>
>>1459190
>Another question though, you mentioned once there was a charm to grant an animal familiar awakened essence, how many could we do that to?

One. It's not just Awakened Essence, it's a way of creating a very personal bond with your unique familiar.

There might be an Elder Charm allowing for a greater number of "familiars" than just one.
>>
>>1459211
>One
If that's the case, we should save it for the Simhata if we're intending to get one.
Lion-Horse>Regular Lion.
>>
>>1459229
Sure and we are Elder Essence, we might be able to get that Elder Charm.

I just remembered it's Mother's Day, Divine Mother Maka isn't a bad title.
>>
>>1459101
>Doesn't Maka's ownership of part of the Crown of Thunders mean she has the Mandate, even if the Exalts in general do not?
>>1459106
>No, it means he's on the short list of prospective Mandate holders. Right now nobody holds it in any capacity.

The Crown of Thunders reinstates the Mandate just for the owner. It's a badge of legitimacy from the Unconquered Sun.

>>1459101
>She was even nice to Nysela, and she beat her with a bat.
I shouldn't need to point out that that was comedic violence. It had no consequence and produced no damage. Getting hung up on that is like getting mad at someone for giving you a tap on the shoulder.

>>1459085
>If a god came down from Yu-Shan to Creation we wouldn't act like we were better than them despite the fact that, as you said, Exalts run Creation, so the fact that they not only get to act like asshole if we visit Yu-Shan, but that the law is set up so that they don't even have to act like assholes to look down on us, bugs me.

The laws of heaven do protect resident, high-ranking gods over passing-by nonsidereal Exalted. If that upsets you, offer a write-in action to find a way to get back into Heaven and change its laws at the next best occasion and try and convince the other players that it is a worthwhile course of action.


New post soon. Sorry for the wait.
>>
>>1459516
This would be a good question for your ask, but since it's a current topic...is Yu-shan counted as part of Creation or "above" it (besides the literal meaning, flying city and all that)? Same could be asked of Malfeas; wasn't he stitched onto Creation itself?
>>
>>1459539
Neither counts as part of Creation. They are their own realms.
>>
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One particular animal in a large area behind an expansive stall catches your attention. Locked into metal wire cages a bit too small for each of their respective sizes, you find a vast assortment of the larger, more dangerous animals of the south-east.

All of the beasts look wounded, scarred, miserable and malnourished. You can only imagine the sort of trip they've had to endure to be brought all the way here.

You guess this shop must be the main supplier for the animals used in exotic shows, and in the pit fights here in Gem. And probably of some of the most improbable and ostentatious "pets" for the rich and the nobility.

Well, that includes you, so you're in no position to judge, are you?

You walk past the cages, trying not to breathe too deeply the horrendous animal smell that wafts from them. Tigers, gazelles, crocodiles, zebras, aurochs, bears, boars, austrechs, clawstriders, omen dogs... the list goes on and on.

And then, your eyes catch a particular beast.

Behind one last wireframe cage, one particularly large, vicious-looking lion locks eyes with you.

One of them is swollen and bloody, maybe infected, and his entire body bears the mark of wounds, scrapes and bruises, some quite old, especially on the paws. The beast must have been desperately trying to claw her way out of the cage. You can count his ribs on his malnourished body, one by one.

The beast doesn't move an inch, too weak for any sort of physical defiance, but his eyes stay locked on you. You feel personally challenged.

"...I want him." You snap your fingers at the shop clerk, drawing his attention.

"Are you sure, milady? We already got a really good offer from the fighting pits for this beast. They made us a very good deal. I can vouch for the beast's quality! I've directed the hunt myself, you see."

You don't need charms for this: your innate bullshit meter is enough. The pits wouldn't want this poor sod of a beast, and you're fairly sure no one else will want it either. This lion ruined itself by trying too hard to escape, probably refusing food as well, and now it's obviously unfit for sale.

"How much?"

"Three talents, ma'am."

This wreck isn't worth one. Heck, it isn't worth half.

"I'll give you four." You reply, fishing in your pockets and taking out a cushion-cut ruby between your fingers. "Give or take. This should cover it."

The clerk can't obviously believe his luck. As he leans closer to accept the precious gem, you feel an irresistible impulse...

You flick the ruby into his forehead, hard enough to produce an audible THWACK and causing the man to fall back on his ass with a loud scream of pain.

"Keep the change." You dismiss him, as he rolls on the ground holding his face with both hands.

>Have the cage carried to the palace. Your dad is going to give you HELL for this.
>Have the cage opened here. You'll handle this.
>(Other?)
>>
>>1459637
>Have the cage opened here. You'll handle this.
Poor kitty, let's see what we can do for you
>>
>>1459637
>>Have the cage opened here. You'll handle this.
>Roll to seduce
>>
>>1459637
>>Have the cage opened here. You'll handle this.
>>
>>1459637
>>Have the cage opened here. You'll handle this.
What a shit hole.
>>
>>1459637
>Have the cage opened here. You'll handle this.
>>
>>1459637
>>Have the cage opened here. You'll handle this.
>>
"Alright. Open the cage."

The clerk is still rolling on the floor. You turn to the attendant, standing next to you, still mildly shocked.

"Open the cage."

"Ma'am, I can't open the cage here." He justifies himself, inching away.

You groan, grab the cage door, and rip it open.

The lion stares at the now-open door for a full second, processing what just happened.

Then, it immediately pounces on you. You have absolutely no idea where it got the energy to do that.

You feel its razor-sharp claws dig deep into your skin and flesh, one paw digging in your right hip, one on your left side. Faster than you can summon your defensive Charms, and filling you with sharp, shredding pain.

You react, flying on pure instinct, lifting both arms as the weight of the beast shoves you back.

Just as you hit the ground with your back, you sock the beast in the face with all your strength, knocking it clear off you.

As you hear the screams of workers and passerbys scattering and fleeing, you leap back up, dripping blood from your wounds, and lock eyes with the beast.

He didn't roar, He didn't make a noise. Only now, staring you down, the beast shows its teeth, emitting a low, menacing growl.

He begins to circle around you, with slow steps.

>Knock him out. (p+d)
>Tire him out. (p+z)
>Approach him calmly. (s+z)
>(Other?)
>>
Rolled 6, 1 = 7 (2d10)

>>1459810
>>Approach him calmly. (s+z)

Dis nigga deserves better.
>>
Rolled 6, 1 = 7 (2d10)

>>1459810
>>Approach him calmly. (s+z)
I pretty sure our social charms don't work here, but we can pop a level of soak just in case.
>>
Rolled 7, 1 = 8 (2d10)

>>1459810
>>Approach him calmly. (s+z)
>>
>>1459810
>(Other?)
Roll to seduce
>>
>>1459852
That doesn't work.
>>
>>1459852
i think that'd only work if we were a Lunar
>>
>>1459810
Could we just buy Friend of Creation here and now?
>>
>>1459637
I can't stop looking at that eye.
>>
>>1459893
I'd be down with that.
>>
Rolled 7, 8 = 15 (2d10)

>>1459810
>Tire him out. (p+z)
He probably can't last much
>>
Rolled 5, 2 = 7 (2d10)

>>1459810
>>Approach him calmly. (s+z)
Activate the first level of our soak charm, just to be safe.
>>
Rolled 8, 1 = 9 (2d10)

>>1459810
>Approach him calmly. (s+z)
>>
Rolled 7, 10 = 17 (2d10)

>>1459810
>Approach him calmly. (s+z)
>>
>>1459516
>The Crown of Thunders reinstates the Mandate just for the owner.
Yeah, but we don't have the Crown. We have a fragment of the Crown. We don't get the Mandate itself until we've earned it, as I remember.
>>
>>1459956
By getting the crown straight from the unconquered sun he gave us the mandate.

He wouldn't have given it to us at all if we hadn't earned it.
>>
>>1459967
Again, we don't have the whole crown. UCS specifically said that others Solars might also get a shard given to them, and as I recall he (or the Golden God we visited, one of the two) also specifically said we HADN'T earned even a piece of it; giving us a fragment was his way of pushing us to prove ourselves worthy.
>>
>>1460093
That may be so, but at the end of the day the UCS gave us a piece of the Crown as a reward and a test. So he gave us a part of the Mandate as a reward and test.
>>
>>1460106
>part of the Mandate
that first word is so decidedly important and
>test
as well
>>
You raise one hand, outstretched towards the beast, and take slow, cautious steps towards him.

"Easy now."

The lion emits his low growl again, baring fangs at you, ears flattened, hair standing on end.

You keep your eyes on his, and step closer and closer.

"You have nothing to fear from me."

[S+Z= 6 1 6 1 7 1 7 8 5 2 8 1 = 4 successes]

The lion slowly pulls back as you approach him. Even when you bring your arm in biting range, he keeps pulling back, until his back is to the wall.

Reaching out to him, you place your hand on the top of his head. His hair is thin, stringy, coming off in clumps at your touch.

The shopping arcade falls silent as everyone stares in disbelief at you quelling the beast with a touch.

Then the lion slaps your arm aside with claws outstretched, in a contemptuous gesture, slashing three deep bloody scratches in your arm.

"...I can see it's going to take a while for you to trust me." You grin and bear, trying not to show pain despite bleeding from a lot of places.

You glance aside, to a group of four zealous market guards in steel helmets and shortbows drawn, hesitant and panicky, who have placed themselves between the crowd and the lion.

"...Do we shoot?" One of them asks you, confused.

"No, you dumbass." You reply, sternly.

They lower their bows, and eye the beast warily.

The lion, on the other hand, barely acknowledges them. He's got his eyes on you.

You try and step back.

The lion walks up to your side, eyeing you warily.

You stretch a hand to touch him.

You get another set of bloody claw marks.

"Gonna take a while." You nod again to yourself.

>...I should probably, uh, try and get you to come home with me? You're a bit unmanageable right now.
>I'm sure I can continue shopping even with you clawing at me every minute or so.
>Wait, I was supposed to go and find Eskarin! How did I end up buying a lion instead?
>(other?)
>>
Rolled 2, 6 = 8 (2d10)

>>1459810
>>1459810
Animal Handling, an excercise in Survival skills and Charisma for us.
Fmi, could we use TttH in combination with nonverbal communication?
>>
>>1460293
>...I should probably, uh, try and get you to come home with me? You're a bit unmanageable right now.
>>
>>1460295
>Fmi, could we use TttH in combination with nonverbal communication?
Yes, but in this case it wouldn't change much. You did beat its social defense (it's not trying to kill and eat you anymore), but just barely (it's not your friend, at all).
>>
>>1460293
>>Wait, I was supposed to go and find Eskarin! How did I end up buying a lion instead?

Nothing improves a date between young lovers like a big sister in a constant state of being mauled by a lion.
>>
>>1460293
>...I should probably, uh, try and get you to come home with me? You're a bit unmanageable right now.
We gotta go get his eye treated and get him fed.

Did we get hurt from that, like actual health damage?
>>
>>1460329
We'll be fine as soon as we can buy FoC at the end of the thread, so in like a couple of days.
>>
>>1460293
>I'm sure I can continue shopping even with you clawing at me every minute or so.
>>
>>1460293
>>...I should probably, uh, try and get you to come home with me? You're a bit unmanageable right now.
I am REALLY tempted to go look for Eskarin, but we this guy is actually dangerous to people without our level of Soak.
>>
>>1460293
>...I should probably, uh, try and get you to come home with me? You're a bit unmanageable right now.

Then we can get it some proper food and maybe find someone willing to look at those wounds.
>>
>>1460341
2 Damage. Pretty bad wounds for a mortal, but nothing a few hours of rest wouldn't heal for you.
>>
>>1460388
Maybe we should try treating him here. I'm pretty sure Survival covers treating animals and getting a little trust from him now along with a handful of sedatives will to keep him calm and stop him from bolting once were in the streets.
>>
>>1460293
>>...I should probably, uh, try and get you to come home with me? You're a bit unmanageable right now.
>>
You take a few steps on the road that will lead you out of the market and towards the palace. People all around you give you a wide berth.

The lion follows you for those few steps, then eyes a woman and child pair on the side of the road. He advances towards them, ready to pounce.

"Hey." You slap him on the head. "Bad cat."

He growls and digs his claws across your stomach.

You grab him by the mane and struggle to keep him pinned to the ground, then drag him along one-armed while digging in your pockets for loose change.

"We're not going anywhere like this. Hey, you!" You pull a handful of silver coins out, and shake your full fist at a ragged young man staring at the situation, like many aghast locals, while keeping a respectful distance.

The man points at himself, as if to ask "me?"

"Yeah, you! Grab this. Run at the butcher's. Grab the biggest cuts of meat you can find. Drag them here. Be fast."

The lion roars and paws at the man as he draws closer, You manage to pour the coins in his hands at the third try.

"Don't even think of running with the money." You warn him.

He nods frantically. You don't think he is.

Five minutes later, he's back with an entire leg of ham, freshly chopped, over his shoulder, and panting.

The lion nearly leaps out of your grasp. You have to grab and pin him to the ground again, netting you more cuts and bruises as you barely manage to grab the leg with the other hand.

You tentatively let the lion go. He growls in your face and tries to swipe the ham off your hand.

Well, at least NOW he's following you.

It takes you a good half on hour of dangling the meat in front of him, slapping him when he tries to eat people, and getting bloody claw marks all over your body, before you can make it back to the palace.

There, you run across your father and Valeriana, in the courtyard, examining the damage the outer walls suffered in the fight.

"...Bloody hell." Your father groans, exasperated. "You know very well what I told you about bringing animals home, young lady."

"...I know."

"Now bring him back."

"But daaaaaad."

(putting thread on hold, will go to sleep soon)
>>
Meanwhile, it's mid afternoon by now, so after this cat business is sorted out, what are your plans?

>Back to shopping!
>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon.
>Look for Eskarin.
>(other?)
>>
>>1460737
>>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon.
But on our soak charm now that we're back home and claws clanging off us won't be a big deal.
>>
>>1460737
>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon
Time for Fluffy to get a proper check up.

Also he needs a better name than Fluffy. And Soak charms.
>>
>>1460737
>>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon.
And seriously, throw on our soak charm before he actually does more damage than we can heal in a day.
>>
>>1460737
>Back to shopping!
There's too many things we need to get before leaving.
>>
>>1460737
>>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon.
>>
>>1460737
>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon.
>>
>>1460737
>could somebody make sure Tia is still alive?
>>
>>1460737
>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon.
And definitely activate that soak charm.
>>
"Oops, I missed a lot of Exalted Quest. I wonder what happened while I wa-"

>unanimous vote to release a lion in the middle of the shopping district

>>1460737
>Try and train him, or, at least, do whatever you can do about him in half an afternoon.
>>
>>1461261
Sometimes we make decisions aren't very smart. Or rather, we make our decisions as though we're in a vacuum without regards to how the circumstances surrounding those decisions could affect them.
>>
If you were still a teenager, your dad would have already grounded your ass for a year. It takes you a while to calm him down.

Meanwhile, Valeriana, more matter-of-factly, just points out the practical difficulties of getting the lion on an Azure Chariot and keep him calm for the entire flight.

...You have to admit you hadn't thought about that.

In any case, you have your hands full for now. You send servants to fetch more meat and water, and try your best to care for the poor beast.

The lion is still quite aggressive. He doesn't have a lot of energy to wander around, and is clearly feeling threatened. He still doesn't tolerate you touching him, baring claws at you every time you try and do that.

He devours the meat you offer him with desperate hunger.

Once the lion is done, he curls up on the grass of the palace's garden, looking finally a bit more at peace.

You extend an arm, and place it against his flank, feeling its fast-paced heartbeat and breathing. The beast shoots you a death-glare, but does not react.

Now... the hard part.

You need to get the cat into a bath.

(cont.)
>>
"...Maka?"

As Eskarin returns home, around sunset, accompanied by Rankar Jr, at the conclusion of her date together, she is greeted by the rather unique sight of you (with claw marks cutting across your face diagonally) and a huge lion chilling together in a large wooden pail filled with soapy water in the palace garden.

"...Yes?" You ask back, trying to act like nothing is wrong.

"I..." She turns to look at Rankar Jr.

The boy shrugs, just as confused.

"...Does dad know?" She finally asks.

"Oh? Mh. Yeah, he's mad."

She sighs. "Of course he's mad." Taking a few steps closer, she regards the beast with a mix of fear and curiosity. "...Is he... aggressive?"

"Oh, yeah. A lot. Stay clear of him."

She takes a step back. "I thought you had weird crazy superpowers that let you do anything."

"Not ANYTHING." You point out, caressing the lion's soapy mane. "I've got things I'm good at, things I'm okay at, things I'm bad at, and things I'm trying to learn."

She stares at your clawed-over face for a few seconds. "...Yes, I can see that. Well... I'll be in my room."

"You'll want to see dad." You glance sideways at Rankar Jr, who has been silent up to now, looking worried, either because of the lion or because of you. "You too."

"What happened?" He finally asks.

"We found your father. Askar is probably deciding right now, or has already made up his mind."

He turns a panicked glance at Eskarin, who nods. "Let's go speak with him."

The two rush past you.

You've probably interfered enough in this. it's probably best if you let them handle the rest. Just...

"Eskarin?"

She stops on the door and turns around. "Yes?"

"I'll come and see you later tonight." You give Rankar Jr. a dirty look and grin. "Be decent."

"Right back at you." She groans, rushing into the palace and slamming the door.

"Family. Am I right?" You scratch the lion's head. The beast emits a soft, low purr in response. "Did you have any?"

No response.
Well, not like you were expecting one.

"I can't keep calling you lion, I guess."

>Name?
>>
>>1464655
"Ari"
>>
>>1464655
Leo
Nice and simple
>>
>>1464674
Leo is good.

Has a mane, so safe to assume boy lion right?
>>
>>1464655
I'm a fan of the old classics like Simba or Mufasa.

If he eye ends up having a scar we could call him Scar or Kovu after his son, which means the same thing.
>>
>>1464655
>>1464666
>Ari
I like it.
>>
>>1464655
>Leo
It's easier to remember, and I don't want to spend to much effort on an animal that isn't even our familiar.
>>
>>1464655
This Lion has been nothing but unpleasant and outright aggressive and hostile.
I suggest we call him Cuddles.
>>
>>1464736
"Oy gevalt, you want me to what? Sit here like some schmuck and glare at the goyim? I suffer in the desert so you can have some giggles?"
>>
>>1464655
Arlan
Or Ari
>>
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89 KB
89 KB JPG
>>1465279
>Arlan
I see what you did there
>>
>>1464655
Ari sounds good.
>>
>>1464655
Leo
>>
>>1464655
The Right Honorable Lord Percival Fluffington Von Snoodlkins, Esquire.
>>
File: Eskarin.jpg (273 KB, 850x1096)
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273 KB JPG
You think about a new name for your pet for a long time before finally settling on something.

"...Ari!"

The lion doesn't seem to realize he's just been named, nor does he care.

This isn't going to be easy.

You climb out of the tub, leaving the lion there to soak in. You don't think he's going to run away or cause problems right now - he's both well fed and dead tired. No reason to go anywhere.

Putting your clothes back on, you head back in the palace and make your way up to Eskarin's rooms.

But first.

You place your ear to the door. Just to stay on the safe side.

You hear nothing, and knock. The door is unlocked, inviting you in.

As she locks the door behind you, Eskarin gives you an annoyed look. "Dad has decided to keep Rankar's dad around the palace. I assume this was your doing?"

"I helped." You shrug, walking in. "...Are you mad? What did I do?"

She drops onto her bed, face down, and hugs the pillow forcefully. "I'm not mad at you. I'm... I'm mad in general. Too many bizarre things happening at once."

You sigh, sitting down next to her on the edge of the bed. "Tell me about it."

"You got crazy powers out of the whole deal." She complains, tossing and turning. "AND got married to a weird wild girl from the north. All I got is a headache."

"About that." You point out. "I can give you some."

She lifts her head from the bed, turning it to you in surprise. "It works like that?"

"Apparently?" You shrug. "I can bless people with Awakened Essence. I can't take it away, though. I gave this blessing to a few people working with me, and dad. It's on the table for you, too."

She rolls over closer to you.

"It would make me feel a lot safer if you had it."

"Can you give it to Rankar, too?" She wonders. "I wouldn't want it if he can't have it."

"I can do it only so many times." You shake your head. "And... I'm keeping the last one I can use for mom."

"Mom." She rolls onto her back, staring at the ceiling. "I wonder where she is. Do you think she's alright?"

"I don't know." You really don't. "I... I just hope."

"Yeah."

You lean closer to her, blocking her view of the ceiling, "If anything wrong happens, you'll be able to be the one who protects your boyfriend."

"Maybe you're right." She concedes. "...How does it work?"

"Just this." You kiss her forehead, and the room is bathed in light as your Anima goes iconic.

(cont.)
>>
Eskarin nearly falls off the bed.

Once the light dissipates, she's left staring at the ceiling. Slowly, she straightens herself, sitting up. "Whoa. Whoa."

"Are you feeling okay?" You wonder. "Some people have... weird reactions after this."

She starts staring at her own hands. "It feels like... it feels like being able to see an entire new color all of sudden. It feels like I'm on Sweet Cordial."

"...What?" You stand up. "Eskarin! You take Sweet Cordial?"

"What the hell are you talking about, Maka? YOU made me try it."

Oh. Uhm. "...Well, it was just once! Just that one time."

"...It was." She clenches her fist, staring at it intensely. "...Dad never found out, right?"

"Did you tell him?"

"No, did you?"

"No." You shake your head. "NEVER tell him."

"He's already mad enough for the lion."

"I couldn't help it! He was so... He NEEDED me! I couldn't leave him there."

"Yes, yes." She nods patiently, rolling on the bed.

The two of you enjoy a good couple of hours or so of carefree, slightly conspiratorial sisterly conversations.

It feels good. It feels like being back home again.

When finally Eskarin falls asleep, it's pretty late into the night. You sneak yourself our of her room.

It's not long until dawn, and your departure.

>I should rest and wait.
>I should check up on Ari. Make sure he's fine.
>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now.
>(Other?)
>>
>>1465634
>>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now.
Plot hook!
>>
>>1465634
>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now
Take a moment to chain or otherwise render the lion safe for everybody else first, though. Can't just leave that sucker loose in the house.
>>
>>1465634
>I should rest and wait.
>Ask someone to go buy dream stones for you
>>
>>1465634
>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now.
>>
>>1465634
>>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now.

And yeah make sure the lion is secure.
>>
>>1465634
Seconding:
>>1465640
>>
>>1465640
Either this or get someone like Talon to keep an eye on him.
>>
>>1465634
>>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now.
After securing the Lion.
>>
>>1465634
>>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now.
>>
>>1465634
>I should check up on Ari. Make sure he's fine.
And make sure he is secured. Then
>I should try and find Tia. She hasn't returned, and I'm a bit worried by now.
>>
File: Swiftrider.png (1.22 MB, 1152x679)
1.22 MB
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That's REALLY strange.

I mean, not that Tia is particularly punctual. Quite the opposite, generally. But it's strange that she'd be so late, considering how bored she was.

As you make your way at a brisk pace through the streets of Gem, you worry that she might have gotten in some trouble.

And this is Tia we're talking about. You have no idea what sort of trouble we could be talking about, here.

You briefly wonder if she could be in the city somewhere, but you'd probably be seeing craters and explosions by now if she were.

Or at least hear about them.

On your way out, you stop by the gardens. Ari is peacefully dozing off in a corner. Someone (probably one of the guards, and probably under orders from your father) tied a large rope around his neck and to a post. It has quite a bit of slack, but not enough to either get out or into the palace.

He probably won't like it when he wakes up.

You push past the city gates and outside into the desert. Gem is built underground and inside a volcano, and shielded from the heat of the day, but there are multiple accesses to the city, of course.

They're guarded, but only in the interest of taking merchants entering and leaving the city. No one in their right mind would march an army up to Gem. It's as safe as a city can be.

...Well, ok, it did have that little problem with the Alchemicals, but it doesn't count.

The sand is scorching hot under your feet, despite the coolness of the night. You search around a bit, and are quickly reminded just how BIG the desert is. You're going nowhere on foot.

It's a good thing you have a Swift Rider! You run back in town and retrieve the small metallic suitcase from your things. Back outside, you unfold it with a gesture, into its vehicle form.

It won't give you a bird's eye view like flying, but it'll help you get around faster.

You could hassle either the sorcerors or the other Lunars for help, but it's probably better if you leave them alone. Everyone has been hard at work.

But you're not COMPLETELY without leads.

As you ride across the trackless desert, you briefly focus your thoughts on the moonsilver wedding ring at your finger.

A vague thought drifts into your mind. Little more than a feeling, it tugs lightly at your heart. You let that sensation steer your hands, and launch the Rider at full speed in one particular direction.

South.

(Will finish writing this in a bit, got busy right now. Sorry.)
>>
>>1466037
>But you're not COMPLETELY without leads.
>As you ride across the trackless desert, you briefly focus your thoughts on the moonsilver wedding ring at your finger.
>A vague thought drifts into your mind. Little more than a feeling, it tugs lightly at your heart. You let that sensation steer your hands, and launch the Rider at full speed in one particular direction.
>South.
Our non-weapon artifacts should really be listed somewhere, because I completely forgot our wedding rings did that.
>>
>>1466072
You have a point.
>>
>>1466037
>moonsilver wedding ring
Wasn't ours Orichalcum?
I thought I remembered all our wedding rings being made of our respective MM.
>>
>>1466085
Damnit, you're right. I got confused. For some reason I thought the metals were swapped around.
>>
>>1466037
>inb4 Tia is having a throw-down with the Five-Metal Shrike
>>
File: Wagon.jpg (1.48 MB, 1228x900)
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You cut through the blazing-hot sands, across the empty desert. You have NO IDEA why Tia would be here, or why ANYONE would be for that matter.

But something is DEFINITELY wrong. You're seeing fire on the horizon. The sand is burning.

For a few seconds, you have to wonder if what you're seeing isn't actually the Elemental Pole of Fire. But there's no way that that would be so close to Gem. You're not THAT far South. Beyond civilization, sure, but not yet at the literal edge of the universe.

As you get closer, the source of the fire is revealed, even though it takes you a few seconds to actually process it.

Scattered all around the dunes, immense stone body parts are scattered in crumbled, broken heaps. Arms, legs, torsos, heads. Despite being made from stone, they are burning, and the fire doesn't look like a normal fire at all. It's not a blazing inferno, but rather the soft flames that you'd see from candles of matchsticks.

When you set fire to something really large, the flame doesn't just... scale up. And yet, these fragments of huge statues, which you guess must have been about... thirty? fifty? meters tall, are "on fire" as if they were barely a palm tall, and you were just THAT much smaller.

This has "Wyld" written all over it.

The stone body parts are scattered all around a small, covered caravan wagon... which is just as weird, honestly. There is NOTHING further South, and no one could possibly get lost so badly as to travel straight South of Gem. What's this wagon doing here?

...and what's supposed to pull it? There's no horses, no oxen or anything.

And, beyond the giant pile of broken stone body parts on fire, you hear a fight going on.

>This is too suspicious. Check the wagon first.
>Someone might need your help. Get to where the fight is.
>You're not dealing with this. Head back to Gem.
>(Other?)
>>
>>1466532
>This is too suspicious. Check the wagon first.
>>
>>1466532
>>This is too suspicious. Check the wagon first.
Commit Integrity-Protecting Prana. No need to take chances with Fair Folk.
>>
>>1466532
>>This is too suspicious. Check the wagon first.
Commit Integrity Protecting Prana
>>
Going to bed. Continuing tomorrow.
>>
>>1466532
>This is too suspicious. Check the wagon first.
>>
>>1466532
>This is too suspicious. Check the wagon first.
>>
>>1466532
>This is too suspicious. Check the wagon first.
Definitely IPP. At least a level of AoDJ for good measure, too.
>>
Guys how are we even going to transport any animals?

>>1464653
>Meanwhile, Valeriana, more matter-of-factly, just points out the practical difficulties of getting the lion on an Azure Chariot and keep him calm for the entire flight.
Oh. I missed a day.
>>
[INTEGRITY-PROTECTING PRANA]

You cautiously approach the wagon. It seems very lightly damaged, a bit singed, a bit torn, but mostly intact. It's a desert model, with thicker, padded wheels so that it will not sink in the soft sand.

You lean in and take a peek inside, and are greeted by the sight of the wrong end of a firewand.

"Easy now." You raise both hands in a show of good faith "I was just checking."

Inside, the wagon is filled with small crates and barrels, and the free space is crowded by four soldiers, all looking heavily armed and rather nervous. They have no marks of identification or uniforms, clad in anonymous chainmail and wearing white cloaks, but they look like tough, well-prepared veterans.

At the far end of the wagon, wrapped in the same sort of cloak, is a young woman with golden hair peeking out of her hood. Her face is mostly concealed.

"You don't look like a hobgoblin." She notes, not without faint amusement.

"Faes are tricky, ma'am." One of the soldiers warns her. "Keep in mind how we got in this mess."

"You have a point. Faes are indeed tricky." She concedes.

"Just tell me what's going on." You point out. "If I'm a Fae trick, I already know, and, if not, maybe I can help."

"Oh, we were just returning from a trip to a particular city not far south of here, when a bunch of fairies decided to start some trouble with us."

"There are no cities south of here." You point out.

"That's what you believe." She giggles. "And you're not even entirely wrong about that."

You glance around, at the carnage and destruction of those dozens and dozens of giant fire statues, ruined. Now that you're closer, you can get a better look.

Many of the surfaces are chipped, ruined, almost eaten. Scattered across the sands, you spot a million sharp shards of obsidian, each one carved in the same shape: a butterfly wing.

You turn back to the woman in the wagon. "You're a sorceress."

"Well, no sense denying the obvious I guess." She admits, pulling down the hood and beaming a smile at you.

(cont.)
>>
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The gesture reveals a rather pretty face, angular and light-skinned - someone from the coast, at least, or even further north maybe. Her ice-blue eyes are piercing and inquisitive. You see the brilliant outline of a Twilight caste mark on her forehead, and the gleam of a Orichalcum breastplate on her chest.

You nod to yourself.

Doubt begins to creep in her expression. "Um, by any chance you don't recognize me?"

"Never seen you before." You reply.

She groans. "I thought I was famous. What about this?" She points at her castemark. "Does this scare you?"

You shrug. "Not the first I've seen."

"Cheer up, ma'am. We're far south of Chiaroscuro. Of course the mountain-dwellers around these parts will not know of you." One soldiers intervenes, trying to uplift her spirits.

"I should be just as upset at you not recognizing me, you know." You shoot right back at her. "I'm rather well-known."

She gives you a long stare. "...A famous belly-dancer?"

"...nevermind." You wave your hand in dismissal. "Maka."

"Jasara." She nods.

An explosion echoes behind the mountain of shattered giant corpses.

"Have you by any chance seen a white- er, no, a dark-skinned girl with silver-green hair, in a wedding dress, probably carrying a longsword?" You ask, staring in the direction of the fight, which is apparently getting more intense.

"Yes, she dropped by while we were having Fae problems. I think she's over there helping my good friend deal with it. Is she your friend?"

"Husband."

"I see." She mumbles. "You've got a lively husband."

>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
>You could just sit here in the wagon with her and wait for the fight to be over, making some small talk.
>>
>>1467656
>>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
Let's go get Tia. We can decide what to do with these people from there.
>>
>>1467656
>>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
New friends!
>>
>>1467656
>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
I have a few vague Ideas about this person
>>
>>1467656
>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
>>
>>1467656
>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
>>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
>>
>>1467656
>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
>>
>>1467656
>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
I'm leaning towards not showing off the crown.
>>
>>1467656
Jasara? FUCK YEAH! I guess that means Demetheus is probably having fun with Tia. I hope we get to keep her on board!
>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
Then see where it goes. If the fight's gone this long, they probably need some help. Plus, we'd get to show off some ECSJ.
>>
>>1467656
>You have no reason not to reveal yourself as a Solar to this woman at this point. Maybe you'll learn something more.
>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.
>>
>>1467656
>Maybe you should head out and join the fight, in case Tia and Jasara's "friend" need any help.

Leave the Solar card in the back pocket for now.
>>
>>1467656
>"...A famous belly-dancer?"

Not famous enough clearly.

What's fame as a background? Influence? Cult? Need to buy that up.
>>
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"Well." You turn around and head outside, rubbing your hands. "I better go and help them."

"You're one of us, right?" Jasara mentions casually.

"What gave it away?" You turn about, castemark flashing.

The soldiers gasp in surprise, but the Twilight just smiles. "Nothing in particular, but now I know."

"Touché." You wave at her. "Well, I'll be going and getting my husband back, then."

"Oh, I think they're almost done." She smiles.

One last loud impact explosion echoes from behind the mass of burning stone corpses, and you see a human-like figure wreathed in flames dart up into the air on a ballistic course, flailing helplessly for most of the trajectory.

She lands on top of the forehead of one of the broken heads, and the flames part around her. She picks herself up, clearly all wounded and black and blue, and screams pure rage at someone you can't quite see behind all the clutter.

"You MISERABLE CREATION-BORN! You SHAPED SCUM! How DARE YOU! This isn't OVER yet! I will have my REVENGE! DO YOU HEAR ME? THIS ISN'T OVER YET!"

Then, she ducks as a boulder-sized block of flaming stone is chucked at her. Continuously cursing, she drops down on the sand, using the severed head for cover. The sand melts into glass at the touch, and before you can react, she skates away, with incredible speed.

(cont.)
>>
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Then, the stone head she took cover behind rumbles and is lifted up in the air, and below it you spot Tia, Anima iconic, lifting it up over her head like a tiny ant almost comically lifting a pebble countless times her size.

She takes aim and playfully throws the burning stone head at the fae disappearing in the distance. You're not sure if it's a hit or a miss, but it's probably the gesture that count.

"Nice show." A new voice chimes in, as an elder, distinguished gentleman walks up to Tia, sheathing a chipped and ruined chiaroscuran glass sword. "Thanks for the help, Tia." The man has a glowing golden Anima burning and dancing about him, and an Eclipse castemark blazing from his forehead.

"It was fun." She nods energetically, with a grin that puts all of her teeth on display. "...Oh! Maka!" She finally notices you as you draw closer.

You brace for impact just before she bodyslams you with her usual cannonball force. "I was worried for you, Tia. So I thought I'd come and check."

(cont.)
>>
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"Friend of yours?" The man approaches as well, rather more calm. You can't help but notice that both of them are lightly wounded, covered in nicks and bruises and cuts and scrapes. The fight must have been going for quite a bit.

"She's my wife!" Tia proudly proclaims, lifting and squeezing you and rubbing her cheek against yours hard enough to snap any non-Exalted's neck.

"Pleased to meet you." The old gentleman smiles patiently. "Admiral Sand. Just Sand for my friends."

You give the man a second look. You've heard of him.

You didn't know he was Exalted, but Admiral Sand is a well-known independent merchant prince across the South. One who will always stick to his word, and whose deals and prices you can always trust.

This sort of notoriety allowed him to build up a small trading empire to rival the Guild, at least on the local level... which is no small feat.

"I've heard of the famous Admiral Sand. I'm Maka." You manage (somehow) to wrestle one arm free to shake his hand. "I heard that you w-"

The moment your hand touches Sand's hand, however, you both get a shock from your palms, as if from a sudden burst of static electricity.

(cont.)
>>
The force of the shock sends you both to the ground, though it's more because of the surprise than because of pressure or pain, and, when you reopen your eyes and stand up, a golden brilliance is spreading around you.

Briefly panicking, you notice your Lesser Crown of Thunders came out unbidden, and is now shining on your head.

Even more surprising, Another identical display of power is shining on the head of the old man.

"Y-you have..." You can't help but point and gawk.

Sand is just as astonished as you are. "..."

In all this, Tia seems to barely have noticed what just happened, or maybe she doesn't care as much. "So, are we following that Fae or what? She'll get away!"

>I, uh. ...no, I think we both have an interesting story to tell to each other.
>...Right. Tia is right. The Fae. We can talk about this later.
>Uh... you go, Tia. We'll wait for you here.
>...Maybe it's best, yes. Let's pretend that nothing happened.
>(Other?)
>>
>>1467747
>Uh... you go, Tia. We'll wait for you here.

If he has the personal approval of the UCS, does that prove he must be a good sort of person?
>>
>>1467747
>Uh... you go, Tia. We'll wait for you here.
Buhhh
>>
>>1467747
>...Right. Tia is right. The Fae. We can talk about this later.
>>
>>1467747
Do we even have enough time to be chasing after Fae right now?
And, there is no way we are going to send Tia alone again. We would just be forced to track her down again later.

>I, uh. ...no, I think we both have an interesting story to tell to each other.
>>
>>1467748
Well, I think the reputation we knew of already suggested that. This just strongly recommends him as Someone We Want to Be Allies With. Still want to swap stories. Conky's been busy.
>>
>>1467747
>I, uh. ...no, I think we both have an interesting story to tell to each other.
>[Princes of the Universe intensifies]
Super hype.
>>
>>1467747
>Zenith with the Lesser Crown
>Eclipse with the Lesser Crown
New subquest: form a secondary Circle, with one Solar of each Caste who bears the Lesser Crown of Thunders. That's pretty much a full Mandate, right?
>>
>>1467747
>>I, uh. ...no, I think we both have an interesting story to tell to each other.
>>
>>1467747
>Uh... you go, Tia. We'll wait for you here.
okay, that works
>>
>>1467756
I like the cut of your jib friend.
>>
>>1467747
>>...Right. Tia is right. The Fae. We can talk about this later.
A Fae that can survive a fight with two exalts, even if it loses, isn't something you should just leave running around.
>>
>>1467747
>>...Right. Tia is right. The Fae. We can talk about this later.
>>1467756
But if we do that I'll feel bad when the time comes when we take the full Crown for ourselves.
>>
>>1467770
Don't worry, by that time we'll have social-fu'd all the other holders into being even happier than we are for getting it.
>>
>>1467747
>>Uh... you go, Tia. We'll wait for you here.
>>
>>1467775
Oh for sure. I'm just saying I'll feel bad about it if we also become friends with them.
Unless you're suggesting we go full Desus and Social-fu ourselves into never being guilty about anything because we're clearly always 100% in the right.
>>
>>1467782
Nah. I was thinking something far more benign. Think about it. Everyone in our current Circle could be a leader in their own right by virtue of being a Solar. Economically, Mikahil already is. Thing is, not every actually wants to be the head honcho. So when the time comes, and we've become friends will all the other Holders, I think they'll be happy to let us have the big chair while they tend to their areas of passion and expertise. At least, that's what I hope and want to have Maka work towards.
>>
>1467747
>...Right. Tia is right. The Fae. We can talk about this later.
Swift Rider Go!
>>
>>1467786
With Jasara's First Age boner, she's going to flip when we whip that out.
>>
>>1467785
>I was thinking something far more benign.
It sounded like you were making a joke about Socialing people imto submission.
As for your actual point, I don't think anybody would have been given a shard of the Crown unless they had an interest in claiming what it represents.
>>
>>1467747
>Uh... you go, Tia. We'll wait for you here.
Oh, nice.
>>
>>1467794
Yeah, it was a joke. But pointedly a joke. I don't want Maka to become that. Powerful Solars and consequences, and all that.

You make a fair point, but as I thought about it more, I realized it's not even as simple as I laid out. Even in the First Age they eventually settled on the Deliberative. Having the Mandate doesn't mean you have to have one ruler. Plus we have the Realm to take into account, the lessons we have IC devoted to learning from the fall of the First Age, AND the possible return of Autochthon and his Alchemicals. It's going to be awhile before we have to worry about this in earnest, I think, but whatever ruling structure we end up with might be something different than anything that's been tried before. Will the other Holders try and make cases for themselves to get it? Possibly. In the end it's Senpai's decision, so I'm not going to worry too much about it. Maka wants people to get along as much as possible, and I don't see why that should stop with other Holders.

Though we should definitely ask Sand if he got invited to the Summer Camp.
>>
>>1467804
As I starting point, we should expand from a Solar Deliberative to a Celestial Deliberative. I theory I'd want to include the Dragon-Blooded and Alchmicals too, but that would give us thousands of members, and make it literally impossible to get anything done.
I also remember a storytime from /tg/ about someone trying this, and even the increase from Solar to Celestial size made it hard to react fast enough in times of crisis, so there should also be a representative from each Celestial Caste that can form a council to make rapid decisions during such times.
Of course, we still need to answer what role the Abyssal's would play in all this, and none of it really matters at all until we have the Mandate and have overthrown the Realm.
>>
>>1467811
Tie votes to families for DBs
the patriarchs and matriarchs would get to vote for their family in the Deliberative
>>
>>1467811
>Abyssal's
I swear I never make this mistake with a pen and paper, but when typing on a keyboard I constantly use apostrophes when pluralizing things.
>>
>>1467815
That might work. And given how their society works, Alchemicals probably wouldn't object to much being excluded. At least not at the beginning,
That still leaves the question of what to do with Abyssals. I personally would treat them just like Solars, but I imagine there would be many on both sides of the Solar/Abyssal line who disagreed with that.
>>
>>1467811
>>1467823
Yeah, Alchemicals were never designed to rule, so they might not be a huge problem. There could be a lot of lessons to take from Autochthonia on how to balance Exalted power.

Abyssals are going to be problematic. We were lucky enough to find some nice ones, but there are plenty who are loyal to the Deathlords and the Neverborn. Ideally, any Abyssal would be reformed into a Solar, but who knows? Maybe there's a place for masters of death to get along with Creation like "ours" have. Even if the Deathlords are somehow dealt with (better yet if they can somehow be truly killed), the Neverborn are there to stay while Creation exists. So I could see Abyssals who didn't want to reform being troubleshooters for and dukes of the Underworld.
>>
I don't remember the specifics, but I remember Gunstar Autochthonia had the Celestial, Dragon-Blooded, and Alchemical Exalts all working together.
>>
>>1467827
>Ideally
Ideally we'll riding Dragonform!Tia into the sunset while wielding the Aidenweiss and bride-carrying UCS-senpai in our arms BEFORE we're done.

...

that said I'd love to have Alchemicals as DB-overseers of sorts. A bit of autochthonian national pride would work wonders for the dragonbloods working with the deliberative.
>>
>>1467849
>bride-carrying UCS-senpai in our arms

>not wanting to feel the warmth of being carried in UCS-senpai's strong arms
>>
>>1467858
It's like you don't even want Sol Invictus as OUR fanboy... well even more that is
>>
>>1467862
It's like you don't want to have slumber parties with Nysela on the Daystar where we giggle about how cool UCS is.
>>
>>1467864
hey, we can do both
>>
>>1467868
>implying Nysela will still hang out with us if senpai ever actually notices us
she will be too jelly
>>
>>1467747
>...Right. Tia is right. The Fae. We can talk about this later.
>>
>>1467849
There. That's how we solve the Lesser Crown Problem. Whoever convinces UCS to let them borrow the Aidenweiss gets the big chair.

Also, I wonder if Tia actually has a dragon form. She's got the kraken one, after all...

>>1467864
I'd like to see them getting headpats at the same time and being completely zoned out by it.

>>1467869
Until we tell senpai to give her a little more notice. Fangirls gotta stick together.
>>
>>1467873
There is a charm that lets you hunt elementals for their forms and powers. Greater. Elemental. Dragon.

>>1467869
see >>1467873
He's a bro.
>>
>>1467875
Hmm. If it isn't true death like Ghost-Eating Technique, then that might be pretty easy.

"Hey, Flame?"
>"Yes, Tia?"
"Run."
>>
>>1467873
>Whoever convinces UCS to let them borrow the Aidenweiss gets the big chair.
I don't think one person is supposed to have both the Crown of Thunders and the Aidenweiss. One if for the High King/Queen, the other for the Supreme General. While one person CAN be both, they really shouldn't be.
>>
>>1467891
Ah, yeah. Good point. We've let Karas do the leading of troops ever since he showed up.
>>
>>1467880
also that reminds me of a story where a Lunar managed to convince Luna to lend out a shape from her...
>>
>>1467891
So I have a question.
The Crown of Thunders is the symbol of ultimate political authority.
The Aidenweiss is the symbol of supreme military authority.
Is there a similar artifact for religious authority? Or does that fall under the Crown of Thunders purview, like how Zeniths are both rulers and priests?
>>
"Um."

You both turn your heads towards the fleeing Fae.

"...Alright."

You take out your ride in one smooth motion and hop on top of it, just as Tia grows wings and-

...Why is Admiral Sand on a horse?

Well, whatever. He's already launched his ride at a gallop across the dunes, and he's as fast as your Swift Rider. You launch yourself in hot pursuit, barely hearing Jasara screaming, behind you, "IS THAT A MODEL 5 SWIFTRIDER" as she vanishes in the distance.

That Fae is FAST. You steer your ride closer to Sand.

"I thought you Eclipse had diplomatic immunity! Why did that Fae attack you?" You scream at him past the thundering of the hooves and the humming of the Swift Rider.

"She made a little rock monster." He gestures with his hand, suggesting something about a few inches tall. "And had it hide in the sand in front of our wheels."

"So she could claim that you were the aggressor?"

He shakes his head. "Fae are tricky."

"Tell me about it."

"You got Fae troubles too?" He wonders

You briefly think of Silk.

"In a way, yes."

"Less talk! More chase!" Tia urges you, buzzing you, then spreading her wings wider and catching up speed, distancing you and getting closer and closer to her quarry.

"Why are we even chasing her?" Sand remarks. "I'm fine with her running away."

...You really don't know. You just went with the flow.

After about ten-twenty minutes of chase, you really lost your bearings. the mountainous background gave way to a smooth, sandy flatland, uniform in all directions.

"...I think we're pushing into Bordermarches."

Sand nods, eyes on the prize.

But, thanks to her greater flying speed, it's Tia who reaches her first. She finally catches up with the skating fae, and throws her sword like a boomerang at her.

The fae swerves to dodge, and the blade slams against the sand, blasting open a crater on impact.

But the dodge caused her to lose just enough speed for Tia to catch up completely. She drops from the sky, pulling the wings back into her body, and plummets on top of her in a dropkick.

There's a much bigger explosion on impact, disproportionate compared to Tia's effective size and weight.

You leap off the Rider and rush up to help her. You feel a n aura of blazing, oppressive heat radiating from the Fae, pinned to the ground under the Lunar. All around her from the sand, giant stone hands and giant stone heads on fire start to emerge, clawing their way out of the desert.

>Leap in and hit the Fae before she can summon help. (p+d)
>Help Tia keep the Fae pinned down. (p+z)
>Let Tia do her thing, and focus on keeping her clear of those animated statues. (p+d)
>Order the Fae to surrender.
>(Other?)
>>
Rolled 9, 10 = 19 (2d10)

>>1467960
>Leap in and hit the Fae before she can summon help. (p+d)
SHS and ECSJ

Why did people want to chase it? It's not even close to Gem.
>>
Rolled 5, 8 = 13 (2d10)

>>1467960
>>Help Tia keep the Fae pinned down. (p+z)
>>
Rolled 10, 10 = 20 (2d10)

>>1467960
>>Leap in and hit the Fae before she can summon help. (p+d)
SHS and ECSJ

>>1467967
I just wanted another pet Fae. This one has fire and rocks!
>>
>>1467975
>Rolled 10, 10 = 20 (2d10)
I think that was the first success I rolled this thread.
Also, I just noticed my ID changed, and while I'm used to that happening on my phone, I think this is the first time it's happened on my home network.
>>
>>1467975
>I just wanted another pet Fae. This one has fire and rocks!
No more pet Fae, we already have a new one waiting for us back home and I don't even want to think how we're going to feed two Fae, let alone three.
>>
Rolled 6, 4 = 10 (2d10)

>>1467960
>Leap in and hit the Fae before she can summon help. (p+d)

>>1467967
Another vote for SHS and ECSJ. At least we don't have to worry about flaring at this point.

>>1467975
At this point our pet maybe become paste.
>>
Rolled 3, 9 = 12 (2d10)

>>1467960
>>Let Tia do her thing, and focus on keeping her clear of those animated statues. (p+d)
>>
Rolled 3, 9 = 12 (2d10)

>>1467960
>Leap in and hit the Fae before she can summon help. (p+d)
>>
>>1467960
Oh shit, can we summon our Gauntlets, too? That may actually be overkill, though.
>>
>>1467980
Pretty Please?
>>
Rolled 7, 9 = 16 (2d10)

>>1467960
>Leap in and hit the Fae before she can summon help. (p+d)

>>1467967
I figured we ought to take care of her while we have the chance, rather than let her escape and maybe become a problem later. Not a major problem, maybe, but still.
>>