As Karas, Mikahil and Valeriana (especially Valeriana) work their way into their sleeping bags, and just as the final rays of twilight disappear from the sky, you find yourself staring restlessly at the golden-roofed palace.Sure, you're just passing by. You're in kind of a hurry. You're on your way back to Gem to reclaim your homeland and save your family. But, in any case, Valeriana's travel spell only works during daylight hours, and now you're here, at the Pinnacle of Mercy. One of the largest functioning shrines in Creation still dedicated to a deity closely associated to the Unconquered Sun: The Golden Lord....Are you REALLY going to go to bed quietly, wake up tomorrow at dawn, and leave without even seeing him?...To be honest, you're not sure what seeing him would accomplish, either. His nation is essentially occupied by the Realm, so you can't exactly talk An-Teng into an alliance or something. And you have a feeling that, for all his lofty station, there's painfully little that the Golden Lord can DO for you.You've managed to successfully pass yourself for just another traveler, perhaps here to make her case heard to the Golden Lord, the highest judge of the land. Like so many others. If you just wait in line patiently, you'll take forever to get to Gem....You're not sure what to do with yourself, at this point.>If I reveal myself as a Solar Exalted, I will doubtlessly be allowed to meet the Golden Lord.>Maybe I can talk the guards into letting me through anyway, even at night-time. (s+z)>The guards don't want to let me through, so the best solution is to sneak in quietly. (p+n)>Mikahil said that people with white or silver hair are seen as a bad omen here. If I remove my headscarf, it might scare the guards away and let me move freely.>I'll just wait for morning. We can deal with this after dawn.>It's not an urgent matter anyway. I'll visit the Golden Lord some other time.>Tia is still awake. I could ask her for advice.>I could wake up Karas and ask him for advice.>I could wake up Mikahil and ask him for advice.>I could wake up Valeriana and ask him for advice.>(Other?)
>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 oun in an attempt to solidify and legitimize his power over the city.>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=Solar%20Questhttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Solar%2C+Quest>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/ExaltedfagNew System Info: http://pastebin.com/pvAZpsJ6Characters info (player-made): http://pastebin.com/5WnD47jpQuest in ebook format (player-made): https://www.dropbox.com/s/0wl5obxcwuakgdj/Exalted%20Quest%20-%20Threads%2001-101%20%5Bpdf%5D.rar?dl=0Meanwhiles: http://pastebin.com/u/Exaltedfag
Rolled 9, 1 = 10 (2d10)>>359397>>Maybe I can talk the guards into letting me through anyway, even at night-time. (s+z)It's be nice to see him, but we don't really NEED to.Also welcome back EF!
Rolled 10, 9 = 19 (2d10)>>359397>Maybe I can talk the guards into letting me through anyway, even at night-time. (s+z)Pop TttH just to be sure, we don't really need to see him, but the opportunity is too big to pass up and I can't imagine when we'll have the chance or time to talk to him again.Nice to see you again EF, hope whatever happened ended well.
>>359397>>Maybe I can talk the guards into letting me through anyway, even at night-time. (s+z)Hello EF, good that I got here just as it was starting. It was a long hiatus, I though the quest might be goner.
Rolled 2, 4 = 6 (2d10)>>359413Dice.
Rolled 4, 4 = 8 (2d10)>>359397>Maybe I can talk the guards into letting me through anyway, even at night-time. (s+z)There might be something we could do for him even if he can't do anything for us. Plus the chance to social-fu a local leader in a realm occupied country might be a good long-term investment. In case we want to incite a rebellion or something at a later date. Or maybe ask him to subtly suggest his followers throw in an extra prayer or two for us to build our cult score.
>It's not an urgent matter anyway. I'll visit the Golden Lord some other time.He's can wait until we start expanding or holdings in the south.
>>359420>He's can wait until we start expanding or holdings in the south.If we start now, his territory can act as a base of operations in the South.World Unification Domination is a long term plan, best to get as many pieces in place as early as we can.
Rolled 3, 5 = 8 (2d10)>>359400>Maybe I can talk the guards into letting me through anyway, even at night-time. (s+z)
Dice really took a turn downhill, should we use any charms just in case?
>>359430Sure, we'll probably want TGP up for our talk with the Golden Lord anyway.
Rolled 3, 5 = 8 (2d10)>>359430>>359434Now that I've thought about it, TTtH would be good too.
>>359434Yep, commit TGP now. We might as well have its utility from the beginning if we're going to use it later.
>not one success after the first two postsI see, so it's going to be one of those threads then.
Rolled 8, 8 = 16 (2d10)some more dice since there's TGP
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>359449Let's hope not
>>359449>>359450Sasuga, dice gods
Rolled 1, 2 = 3 (2d10)
>>359449>>359404>>359406>>3594506 dice successes now +1 automatic success. Guards will probably offer to carry us.
>>359457They are the guards of a pretty important god, I'd give our odds 50/50, maybe 60/40 in favor.
>>359459m8 they're mortals, even the most disciplined mortal would shit himself at about half of our successes
[TERRIFYING GLORIOUS PRESENCE](picking last dice from previous thread to fill in the pool)[s+z= 9 1 10 9 2 4 4 4 3 5 8 8 4 1 2 = 7 successes]Making up your mind, you walk away from your improvised camp (earning yourself an annoyed click of the tongue from Tia, who was already dutifully waiting for you inside your sleeping bag) and make your way to one of the night guards of the palace. Clad in polished copper chain mail and sporting tall, brass-plated helms, they're easy to spot even in the night."Excuse me..." You begin."What is the problem?" The soldier asks."I was wondering if I might be allowed to see the Golden Lord even outside his normal office hours." You simply ask, feeling confident."I'm sorry, but that's just not possible." The guard replies, suddenly sounding quite annoyed. You get the feeling that they have to deal with this kind of requests fairly often. "Visiting hours are very strict.""I understand, of course." You admit. "But mine is a rather special case in which I'm sure the Golden Lord will be rather interested."The guard seems to decide to humor you. "What would your special case be, ma'am?""It's something that's for the Golden Lord alone to know, I'm afraid." You suggest, with smile and a wink."Very well." The guard smiles back. "Then you'll be able to tell him...""Splendid.""...tomorrow morning, when visiting hours reopen." The guard bows at you and gently shoves you back on your way, away from the palace grounds. "Have a nice night, honored visitor."You're quite stunned for a moment. You thought you were doing well! What was that?...Sun-King Radiance?You narrow your eyes at the guards, who gently shoo you away. Looks like you're not getting access this way.>Reveal myself as a Solar.>Try to sneak in. (p+n)>Reveal my silver hair and hope it does enough of an impression that I can walk in.>Wait for morning.>I'll visit him another time.>Ask for advice (to whom?)>(Other?)
>>359460I'm just thinking they might be enlightened.>>359463See?>I'll visit him another time.It's not that important that we do this now. We can stop by again on the way back.
>>359463Reveal the crown of thunders, but not the solar caste mark.Also these guys are obviously doing something supernatural.
>>359467No, I don't see. They obviously aren't mortals, which makes revealing our solar nature a lot more risky. I think revealing the crown is a better idea, since it's less demonized.
>>359463>>I'll visit him another time.I mean I suppose we could visit on the return trip.Also leave a message for him with our name, being the god that he is it'd be odd if he hadn't heard about us even from the Most Sagacious Grapevine.
>>359463>Reveal myself as a Solar.>...Sun-King Radiance?There's another Solar here?
>>359472Or the Golden lord gives his chosen monks a similar degree of protection and mental fortitude.Or both.
>>359472Or solar-themed god-blooded, or solar half-castes, or maybe solar-powered enlightened mortals.
>>359468>Reveal the crown of thunders, but not the solar caste mark.NO!Crown of thunders is an even bigger deal than being a Solar. I'd be fine with showing it to the Golden Lord, but not out here where word could get back to people we don't want knowing yet.>>359470>They obviously aren't mortalsSun-King Radiance is the one that let's someone share their mental defenses with their followers, no reason they can't be mortals if the Golden Lord has it, or something similar.
>>359470An-Teng is the one place not to view Solars as Anathema wholesale what with their Patron god and all. Plus revealing the crown is a way bigger deal than revealing we're a Solar.We could try to hit him with Talking to the Heart
>>359480The crown of thunders is NOT a big deal from the point of view of the uninformed masses. Nobody actually knows what they're looking at, they can just instinctively tell that it's important. Only really high-ups like exalts and gods actually know about it.Meanwhile the caste mark would make all mortals go crazy, because it's widely known.
>>359485But An-Teng is also a tightly held Realm satrapy, so you can't expect them to go out of their way to save us when it might get their shit wrecked by pissed off Immaculates.I say keep our shit holstered until something more important crops up.
>>I'll visit him another time.The return trip as the queen of Gem, is a far more appropriate time to deal with him.
>...Sun-King Radiance?Shit. If they completely defended the attack, then the person boosting the guards has 8+ social defense.Maka's
>>359486>The crown of thunders is NOT a big deal from the point of view of the uninformed masses. Nobody actually knows what they're looking at, they can just instinctively tell that it's important.That doesn't stop people from gossiping about it, a matter of fact some mysterious, super important glowing thing that just appeared above someone's head in the middle of the night while you were visiting the Golden Lord sounds like an excellent gossip topic.
>>359487That would be true closer to the ports and where the actual satrapy sat, but way out here in the Golden Lord's HQ no one will say anything or do anything to put him in danger, especially not one of his guards.
>>359463>>I'll visit him another time.We already have enough on our plate. No need to make a fuss when we are in a hurry.
>>359492People are already gossiping about it, as plenty of mortals and higher have seen it by now. The point is it isn't going to hurt us if we show it here, since we'll be long gone before that catches up with us here. We are leaving in the morning.
>>359490Sounds like the Golden Lord's charm, which makes sense, he would want to protect his mortals from spooky shit trying to mess with them.
>>359490Maka's is only (M+Z)/2=5
Sounds like we're leaving though, maybe we could pray to GL and see if he doesn't send someone for us instead
>>359494What about gossip from supplicants to the golden lord though? Can you assume that absolutely none of them are stringent Immaculates who will rat us out immediately? I don't see the immediate need in flashing our cred as the big kahuna exalt of creation just to cut in line.Let's just visit the Golden Lord on the return trip from Gem when we have time to spare waiting.
>>359502And you don't think the Crown is a bigger flashing sign that just our caste mark for half a second to one guy in front of us?
>>359501A prayer could also work, yes.I really hate it how all of you people are trying to play a high-essence solar as a spooky secret shadowrunner. This is EXALTED, people. We're supposed to be awesome and over the top.
>>359509You think a quick TttH to GL right here would be enough to get us in?We're only going shadowrunner while we travel, we'll be huge shining Solar Queen once we get to Gem.
I think it's unnecessary to risk either on what is essentially a sideshow when we can be getting to Gem.We can hit this guy with both barrels on the return trip though.
>>359499Maka's awfully gullible for how good she usually is at convincing people of things. It's kinda cute, as opposed to the rest of Maka, which is really sexy.>>359509Yeah but we're on our way to save our mortal family. That is more important than this, which is literally just a way to kill time till dawn.
>>359511All we need to get us in is signal that we're a solar, or that we have the crown of thunders, to someone.If we signal it past the mortal guards and directly to the god, then that works just fine.High essence zenith, anon. I really don't see Maka just randomly giving up.>>359513We aren't risking anything. We'll just leave in the morning no matter what.And you know perfectly well the return trip isn't happening, you're just sidestepping the issue with this.>>359516I think one of the closest ties the UCS has to creation would be a much bigger deal to Maka than that.
You bite your lips and return to your "camp" just outside the palace grounds, where the others (except Tia) are already fast asleep....You really don't have a good reason to brute force this. it could cause trouble for you, for the Golden Lord, and for everyone involved, after all.Besides, he's a sun-god, so he probably has good reasons to not be disturbed at night, you reason.Giving up on the idea of meeting him in person right away, you consider the alternatives.You could pray to him, but... actually, is he listening, during the night?>It's probably just best to give up for now. It's not urgent, and you'll be back soon.>You could pray to him, something to let him know he has the attention of a Solar Exalted. (s+z)>(Other?)
Rolled 3, 7 = 10 (2d10)>>359523>>You could pray to him, something to let him know he has the attention of a Solar Exalted. (s+z)
Rolled 2, 7 = 9 (2d10)>>359523>>You could pray to him, something to let him know he has the attention of a Solar Exalted. (s+z)Do gods sleep?CHARMS
Rolled 8, 1 = 9 (2d10)>>359523>You could pray to him, something to let him know he has the attention of a Solar Exalted. (s+z)No harm in that, as long as we're not causing a a scene while on a timetable.
>>359519Why wouldn't the return trip happen? We still have to get back to Tianna unless you think we're just leaving the West for good. I'm wanting to get a move on with the big stuff in Exalted Quest after that hiatus and cutting in line to talk to a side npc seems like a waste of everyone's time.
Rolled 10, 4 = 14 (2d10)>>359523>>You could pray to him, something to let him know he has the attention of a Solar Exalted. (s+z)
>>359529Because if there's no reason for it to happen now, there won't be any reason for it to happen then. This will always be a "side quest", and there will always be something critically important somewhere else.
>>359529This isn't just any NPC, this is UCS' left hand man, more important than even Ocean Father.Plus we'll always have things to do, if we don't make time for these things we'll never get to them, so while we're here and waiting we should go for it.
>>359537>>359539Yeah but we're currently on a trip to the real shit in Gem. After we finish up there we won't have anything of particular importance to do until the training montage. So lets wait until after we finish up in Gem to visit the Golden Lord properly.
>>359537But unlike now, there won't be any reason NOT for it to happen then. People would be less hesitant about making a fuss when we don't have to worry about whether or not being detained will cut into our travel time. And if worse comes to worse we can just wait in line.
>>359540>>359542You know that's not true, there's *always* something.In fact, this current moment is probably one of the best possible times for it, because while we have important engagements scheduled, they're actually waiting for us to get there. Most crises are things we'd need to race towards.
Rolled 3, 8 = 11 (2d10)>>359523>You could pray to him, something to let him know he has the attention of a Solar Exalted. (s+z)>>359516It's a worry, though, because if his social defence is that high, it makes me wonder what his social attack is.
>>359544So lets make the "Always something" after Gem be "Visit the Golden Lord".I'm absolutely down with visiting the guy, just not while we're heading to Gem to handle the usurper.
Rolled 8, 4 = 12 (2d10)>>359548Probably just as high, it's not really a big deal though, GL isn't the malicious God, one of the cooler ones in fact.
Rolled 8, 4 = 12 (2d10)>>359544And we have NO engagements after that one making it an even better time. Unless he summons us after our prayer reaches him, then meeting him now would be fine.Speaking of which, we could use a few more rolls.
>>359552Not yet we don't.>>359549The visit is happening now if the prayer works, so it doesn't matter. If the prayer doesn't work then the visit was probably never going to happen no matter what.
Rolled 8, 9 = 17 (2d10)>>359523>>You could pray to him, something to let him know he has the attention of a Solar Exalted. (s+z)Make it work. Also, we have enough experience to get a social defense charm if that is necessary.
Rolled 7, 2 = 9 (2d10)
>>359555Maybe, it depends on the content of the prayer. We might just be namedropping ourselves and asking for his blessing or some guidance or whatever.If we do then we do.
>>359559I was kinda hoping to pick up JET this time actually, especially if Rankar ends up trying that "I know where your mother is" tactic I expect of him, plus I've been wanting it for a while now.
>>359561Naw, obviously the prayer is going to lead to a conversation, or at least an attempt, because anything else would be completely against the point of everything we've been doing here.
You make your way around the pagoda-like temple to a smaller, separate shrine housing a brass statue of the Golden Lord, reclined upon a throne, a red-tiled gazebo roof protecting it and its worshipers from rain and the elements. The place is deserted. The wind rustling through the leaves of nearby trees, and the distant chatter of a few guards are the only noises you can hear.Silently, you kneel before it and spend a few minutes in contemplating, hoping that your thoughts, in some form or another, will reach him.[s+z= 3 7 2 7 8 1 10 4 3 8 8 4 8 4 8 = 9 successes]"Golden Lord, Arbiter of Justice of the lands of An-Teng, Highest Judge of Creation, hear my words." You whisper. "I am Maka. Queen of Gem in Exile, Golden Bull, Pillar of Heaven, Chosen of the Unconquered Sun and Daughter of Hope. I have a great wish to meet you in person, as fellow servants of the Sun. If you are listening to me, please, send me a sign."You linger under the golden statue for a few minutes before standing up.Shooting furtive glances to the temple guards, you wait. You wait five, ten minutes, half a hour...After one hour has passed with no response, you begin to doubt that the Golden Lord is reachable at all during the night.>Ask the guards>Go to sleep>Try something else (what?)>(Other?)
>>359574>>Go to sleepI guess that is it then...
>>359574>Go to sleepWell that's that then, we'll try again on the loop back
>>359574>Go to sleep
>>359574(that was 10, not 9, sorry)
>>359589As long as the outcome doesn't change it's fine.
>>359574>>Go to sleep
Resigned and feeling a bit let down, you head back to the camp and sneak in your sleeping back, where Tia does her best to cheer you up throughout the night.As the first light of dawn hits the Pinnacle of Mercy's golden roof, your circle is roused from its sleep.It takes a bit longer to properly rouse Valeriana, who looks especially sleepy and stressed, You wonder if it's the intensive use of the spell that's tiring her out, or if it's just her backlog of sleepless nights from days, even weeks before that's taking its toll.As you prepare yourselves to pack up your things and head deeper in the forest to find a secluded place where she can summon the Azure Chariot without causing too much of a ruckus, just as the temple's petitioners begin to also wake up and line up in front of the gates, something unexpected happens.Escorted by two guards, a monk heads straight for your group, despite you being already kinda out-of-the-way and trying your best to not draw attention. Did they suspect anything?The main is in his fourties, clean-shaven (beard and head alike), wearing a long saffron robe and a heavy brass necklace. A carved, curved staff that seems to be made entirely out of ivory is in his hands as a symbol of office."Are you Maka?" He darts a glance at you, offering a brief bow.Karas also glares at you, but more in a "WHAT DID YOU DOOOOOO" way. Still, he says nothing.>That I am.>Who needs to know?>You've got the wrong person.>(other?)
>>359611>That I am.I mean I bet Val could use a few more minutes of sleep, plus we're like a stone's throw away from Gem, we could be there in like 10 minutes on the Chariot once we get going.
>>359611>That I am.>>359620Giving her a day's rest might not be a terrible idea, that way she won't crash us en route.
>>359611>Who needs to know?
>>359611>Who needs to know?Blast it, we're busy now.
>>359611>>That I am.
>>359574I wonder if we could get GL to judge Rankor for usurping Gem from our family. Assuming he's still alive by the time we'r back on the throne.
"That I am." You reply to the monk. "Who needs to know?""The Golden Lord." He replies, dryly. He follows up with a gesture inviting you to follow him."You've been busy tonight." Mikahil notes. "But it's morning already..."Meanwhile, Valeriana yawns and stretches. "Depends what time you want to get to Gem." She mumbles.Mikahil takes his map put and measures the distance you'd cover if you left right now. "Mh, you're right. We have some slack here. If we left now, we'd arrive about...""Four o'clock in the afternoon, maybe five." She replies. "If you want to leave a bit later this morning, we can do that.""Just not too late." Mikahil nods. "I wouldn't mind meeting the Golden Lord myself.""Eh." Karas shrugs. "He might be a cool dude.">No, we should leave right now. We can't waste time.>We'll leave a bit later then. Let's go and visit the Golden Lord, if he'll have us.>We could take a day off. Valeriana looks like she could use one.>(Other?)
>>359666>>We'll leave a bit later then. Let's go and visit the Golden Lord, if he'll have us.Anyone who doesn't want to Valeriana can stay behind and do whatever nap.
>>359666>We could take a day off. Valeriana looks like she could use one.I want her at relatively full strength once we're in there, but Gem won't get reconquered until we're there ourselves. Not that I think this'll win, but hey.
>>359666>We could take a day off. Valeriana looks like she could use one.
>>359666>We'll leave a bit later then. Let's go and visit the Golden Lord, if he'll have us.
>>359666>>We'll leave a bit later then. Let's go and visit the Golden Lord, if he'll have us.He probably did notice the prayer after all. I wonder why he waited until dawn?
>>359705A stickler to the rules I guess.
>>359675We could always have her send an Infallible Messenger to our infiltration party asking for an update. We've made pretty good time, after all. It's not like our whole circle can meet the Golden Lord without Starfall here.
>>359724I don't think Val knows that spell, we should ask and make sure.
>>359727I think she does. Also it's one of the most basic and widespread ones.
>>359666>(Other?)>We'll meet with the Golden Lord. Val will contact the infiltration party if she can, and only if there's no pressing news from them we'll take a day to let her rest.
"Feel like taking a day off? You look really tired." You ask Valeriana."I can take my day of when we're in Gem." She replies. "I can fly one more day, don't worry.""Then I guess we'll be leaving just a bit later. Give us a couple hours to meet with the Golden Lord, in the meanwhile-"You didn't even have time to finish your sentence: she rolls up in her sleeping bag and instantly falls back asleep. Karas chuckles.So you, Mikahil, Karas, and of course Tia turn back to the monk. "We're coming, then."He nods. "Please follow me."He leads you across the courtyard and into the temple. The decorations are splendid, with carved, lacquered wood panels and pelts of rare and savage creatures embellishing the temple's corridors. Gold and warm colors dominate the field of view, yet the atmosphere is cool. For all the decorations, this place feels austere. You really feel like you're venturing in the abode of a being that commands respect. Parts of it do remind you of a courthouse, especially the hushed silence interrupted, every now and then, by dim conversations going on in the background.Other guards and monks are everywhere in the temple, but the most distinguishing feature of it is the steady trickle of petitioners, each with his or her own case to bring before the Golden Lord.You can see that they are put on hold, and the guards and monks attempt to appease them and convince them that they will be heard soon. You're effectively skipping ahead of the line, but, with the way the monk is leading you through the corridors, this would not be apparent to anyone standing there."Beyond here." The monk stands aside, pointing to a great arched door, two wooden pillars painted black and red and orange, with elegantly draped saffron silk tents acting as a door between them. The aroma of incense hangs in the air, vague but clearly present as a reminder of the sacred nature of this place.You push through. Beyond, furnished entirely in polished, gleaming wood and ivory, with accents of gold here and there, is a vast room, dimly lit except for the far end, where, atop a throne standing on an elevated platform, sits the god, beautiful, bronze-skinned and golden-haired, in an austere pose.Mikahil and Karas kneel. You instinctively do the same, without thinking. In a courthouse, the greatest respect is always accorded to the judge, after all."Stand up, please." His voice is booming yet graceful, and seems to echo perfectly in the finely-adjusted acoustic of the courthouse. "I welcome you to An-Teng, Chosen of the Unconquered Sun. I am the Golden Lord." He introduces himself, quite formally. "I am Maka. I can assume you heard my voice raised in prayer to you this night?" You reply in kind."Not quite. But, I certainly heard it this morning." He replies. "The night is not my domain.""I am Karas, Maka's brother.""Mikahil. A pleasure to be standing before you.""Uh? Oh, I'm Tia. Hi."(cont.)
"Likewise" He replies. "So, what do you seek my counsel for?">Leave it to Mikahil.>Ask him about the situation in An Teng.>Tell him about the situation in Gem.>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.>Inform him about the situation in Tianna and the struggles you're facing as the founder of a new nation there.>Talk to him about the Skullstone problem.>Ask him what his advice would be in dealing with the Realm.>(Other question?)>Ask him if there's anything you can do for him.>Ask him if he can help you with something. (what?)>(Other?)
>>359798>>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.I am fine with anything else really. We just came here to have a chat.
>>359798>Tell him about the situation in Gem.>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.>Inform him about the situation in Tianna and the struggles you're facing as the founder of a new nation there.Even this feels like a lot, but I feel like the Crown and our new nation are more or less connected and then I'm also curious on what he think we should do about the Rankar, eternal prison? Execution? Eclipse Oath and forced exile?
>>359798>>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.>Talk to him about the Skullstone problem.We're about so solve the Gem situation anyway.
>>359798>>Talk to him about the Skullstone problem.>>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.>>Leave it to Mikahil.
>>359798>Ask him what his advice would be in dealing with the Realm.I imagine as a Strapy of the Realm he has a great deal more experience with them then we do, given how far away from them Gem is and how little interest they seemed to have in Tianna.I'm also fine with questions anyone else wants to ask.>Ask him if there's anything you can do for him.It's only politeAfter that>>Leave it to Mikahil.
>>359798Wooooh! My first Exalted Quest after discovering Maka and Exalted like probably half her IC mortal followers! The porn boards.>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.>Ask him specifically about how comfortable he is serving the realm and all here in An Teng. If he's doing plenty of good as is, we don't need to interfere for plenty of time. An Teng doesn't seem the worst off. But if he has something he'd like us to do, we could always throw it on the giant pile of promises.
>>359798>>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.>Talk to him about the Skullstone problem.Also ask him about the Realm and what we can do to try to avoid conflict with it.
>>359798>Tell him about the Crown, ask him what you should do.>Ask him about the situation in An Teng.>Ask him what his advice would be in dealing with the Realm.
>Leave it to Mikahil.>Ask him about the situation in An Teng.>Ask him if there's anything you can do for him.I fail to see, what asking him about the Crown would do, save give any spies, more reason to see, Tianna be wiped of the map.And its just good manners, to offer to help people, before asking them for help.
>>359840The crown isn't a secret.We also aren't really asking for help, we're just discussing things.
>>359840>>359841Yeah, I see this more as a "let's touch bases, I respect your wisdom and power, and am showing it by consulting with you before messing around in your sphere of operations".
"First of all..." You step forward. "You should see this."You summon the Crown, and feel the reflected radiance of the Mandate fill your brow and shine throughout the room.The Golden Lord's eyes widen. "...I believe I understand, but, nonetheless, I would like you to tell me the full story."You do so, telling him, in brief, most of the relevant things that happened since Exaltation that have evidently led to the Unconquered Sun entrusting the Lesser Crown of Thunders to you."Even though it's weightless, it feels as such as burden on my head." You conclude to him."Nonetheless, there is wisdom I trust in the Unconquered Sun's decisions.""I don't know. I guess there is, but I don't feel like I've done so much as to deserve this high honor... and the responsibilities that come with it." You reply."I don't believe you did, either." He replies, merciless. "The Crown is the Sun's way to forcing you to live up to that Crown with your future actions.""So... He did not grant me the Crown because of my actions, but...""Because you are his best hope in the future? Possibly. Hope exists only in the future, after all. Still, your actions and behavior in the past and present are what made him consider you in the first place." He muses. "He wants to believe in you. His decision to grant you the Lesser Crown of Thunders... I'd consider it fairly unreasonable." The Golden Lord allows himself a brief smirk. "I would've advised the Unconquered Sun against it.""You bastard!" Tia steps out of line, pointing an angry finger at the god. "Are you saying that Maka isn't awesome enough for the Unconquered Sun?"Karas tries to wrestle Tia back to a more composed state, but the Golden Lord doesn't seem much fazed by her rude intervention. "That's more or less what I'm saying, yes. Still, I am not Him, and He might be better-equipped than I am to make this decision.""...What should I do, then?"His eyes pierce through you. "Try harder. No human is perfect, and that applies to the Exalted as well, but, through effort, you can approach perfection in all things. And for one who would want to lead, nothing less than perfection should be the aim.""Does aiming for an unreachable objective even make sense?" You wonder."Were you not Exalted to achieve the impossible?" Is his reply. "...Good point." You concede. You glance inwards, to your internal time sense. If you want to make it to Gem comfortably and without hurry, you'll have, at best, another hour or so with the Golden Lord before you have to leave.>Leave the ground to Mikahil.>Ask him about An Teng.>Tell him about how you should behave in Gem.>Inform him about the situation in Tianna.>Talk to him about Skullstone.>Ask him for advice in dealing with the Realm.>(Other question?)>Ask him if he needs help with anything.>(Other?)
>>359890How long does each option take?I want to ask>Ask him for advice in dealing with the Realm.but I want Mikahil to have his turn to ask any questions he has too.
>>359904Sounds good, though, if there's time, I'd ask if he needs help with anything too.
>>359890>Ask him about An Teng.>Tell him about how you should behave in Gem.>Ask him if he needs help with anything.That's savage GL, not that I completely disagree with you though.
>>359904>>359890>Ask him for advice in dealing with the Realm.Then>Leave the ground to Mikahil.
>>359939>>359904I'll second these.
>>359890>Inform him about the situation in Tianna.>Talk to him about Skullstone.>Ask him for advice in dealing with the Realm.
"...I have another question for you, Golden Lord." You proclaim.He nods, patiently."...I have a lot on my plate right now. Gem, Skullstone, the West, and more. But... the biggest question is one that I managed to dodge and sidestep up to now. I wouldn't be able to do it forever."He waits."The Realm."He nods. "I imagine this to be the question on the minds of most of the Solars who Exalted in this Age.""Do you have any advice for me?""What is the Realm, to you?" He asks back.>An enemy to be conquered.>An enemy to be destroyed.>The inheritors of usurpers, nothing more.>The Usurpation was a crime, but I cannot blame people who were not alive at the time for it.>Their rule over Creation is illegitimate.>I feel like they're misguided. But it should be possible to find common ground.>They're not monsters, but there's no way they'll give up without a vicious fight.>It's done more harm than good. Creation would be better off without it.>It's done more good than harm. I wish there'd be a way to coexist without spilling blood.>The Realm is corrupt. It needs to be reformed, somehow.>I'm... I'm not too sure myself. I still have many questions and little answers.>(Other?)
>>359994>>The Usurpation was a crime, but I cannot blame people who were not alive at the time for it.>>The Realm is corrupt. It needs to be reformed, somehow.
>>359994>The Usurpation was a crime, but I cannot blame people who were not alive at the time for it.>They're not monsters, but there's no way they'll give up without a vicious fight.
>>359994>They're not monsters, but there's no way they'll give up without a vicious fight.> It's done more good than harm, protecting what of creation it can without the solars."Now, hopefully we can make that vicious fight an ideological one instead of one with weapons.. But I fear that if I do start winning over the people's hearts, those loyal to the realm will launch a crusade to stop me militarily before I can win that way."
>>359994>>The Usurpation was a crime, but I cannot blame people who were not alive at the time for it.>>They're not monsters, but there's no way they'll give up without a vicious fight.
>>359994>It's done more good than harm. I wish there'd be a way to coexist without spilling blood.>The Realm is corrupt. It needs to be reformed, somehow.Let's be real, the First Age Solars totally deserved to get murdered like that, but that doesn't matter anymore, they aren't the ones who did it and we aren't the ones who got killed.
>>359994>"The Solars forfeited the right to rule with their tyrany. The Dragonblooded have forfeited it through their abuses, and through watching the mortal population shrink drastically under their stewardship."
>>359994>I'm... I'm not too sure myself. I still have many questions and little answers.
>>360023Yeah. I was going to vote for the Usurpation as crime thing, but then I thought back to Maka's memories. I'm not sure she'd actually agree.
>>359994>The Usurpation was a crime, but I cannot blame people who were not alive at the time for it.>They're not monsters, but there's no way they'll give up without a vicious fight.>It's done as much harm as good. The Solars weren't perfect, but this isn't any better.
>>360030>It's done as much harm as good. The Solars weren't perfect, but this isn't any better.I like that, add it to >>360003
>>359994>The Realm is corrupt. It needs to be reformed, somehow.>They're not monsters, but there's no way they'll give up without a vicious fight.
>>360029 I think she would think that the Usurpation was wrong, but that the wrong answer was the only choice left. Horrible, but it had to happen.
>>359994>>The Realm is corrupt. It needs to be reformed, somehow.>>I'm... I'm not too sure myself. I still have many questions and little answers.
>>359994Changing my vote>The Usurpation was a crime, but I cannot blame people who were not alive at the time for it.>Their rule over Creation is illegitimate.>They're not monsters, but there's no way they'll give up without a vicious fight.>It's done more good than harm. They did what they could without just solars to guard creation, even if now they are guarding only themselves.
>>359994Whatever one might think, it is a fact that the population shrunk by 90% since the Usurpation and Creation lost a good chunk of territory to the fae and Deathlords. So...>Their rule over Creation is illegitimate.Also, a military conflict with the realm will be inevitable.
>>360089The blood of the Dragons grows weaker with each generation while Creation's foes grow stronger and more cunning. Not even mentioning the looming Civil War.Part of it is legitimacy, yes, but at this point it's also that it's mightiest defenders, the Celestials, are either hiding behind the scenes or overworked, have recused themselves to the borders of the world, or are hunted down. It's untenable.
You think about it."We're talking about a nation of humans and Exalted. There's good people and bad people there, They have a religion that literally paints me as the worst thing ever, but... they kind of had a reason to believe that? Even if it's factually wrong. but they're not... monsters or anything. They're not demons or fae or undead, just people trying their best."The Golden Lord keeps listening."It's true that the Usurpation happened, that it overthrew the legitimate rulers of Creation, and that it set back mankind massively... but I can't quite blame them, for many reasons.""If you believe that..." The god makes a wide gesture. "Then Creation is yours for the taking, is it not? It's only a matter of how you obtain it."You nod briefly."Ask yourself that, then. How do you intend to grasp Creation?""That's what I was asking you." You grumble back at him.He seems to smile. "The Usurpation was illegitimate, you say, because it stole Creation from the Solar Exalted. Much the same way Rankar stole the throne of Gem from your family?""...What are you trying to say?""Yet, if I recall correctly, the throne of Gem was also obtained by force and cunning by your grandfather, a mere slave gladiator, who dethroned the previous ruler. Quite likewise, who did the Solars originally wrestle Creation from?""...Are you seriously making an argument for the Primordials?" Mikahil mumbles."I'm saying that mere precedence is not true justice." He replies, simply. "At the same time, claiming that you have a right to rule Creation just because you can do it better than the Realm can is as faulty as a Guild Prince's argument would be if he murdered the owners of a parcel of farmland and replaced them with fae-bewitched, soul-drained slaves, on the grounds that that terrain will be more productive like that. "Better" is in the eye of the beholder.""...What should I do, then?""You should find your own justice.">...I think I understand, Golden Lord. I will search for my own justice.>I'm afraid I don't understand.. What are you even talking about?>...I will think long and hard on your words, Golden Lord.>(Other?)
>>360195>...I will think long and hard on your words, Golden Lord
>>360195>I'm afraid I don't understand.. What are you even talking about?
>>360195Creation is ruled by the cycle of upheaval, and there's always a cost. The Daughter of Hope can find a better way. >...I think I understand, Golden Lord. I will search for my own justice.>Mikahil?
>>360195>>...I think I understand, Golden Lord. I will search for my own justice.
>>360260>The Daughter of HopeMaka: The Daughter of Hope Sounds like a Magic Card
>>360195>>...I think I understand, Golden Lord. I will search for my own justice.Maka's own justice huh, what matters most to us and why we really want to make a new nation. We want to save everyone.
>>360195>...I think I understand, Golden Lord. I will search for my own justice.It always comes down to playing the hand that has been dealt. There is no need to dwell on words too much.
>>360287>what matters most to usThe Booty
>>360279Maka would definitely be a mono-White card.
>>360305We have the best booty (Tia/Amata/Us).Though we never did get that color coded hair harem from that one place in the West, did we?
"...I think I understand, Golden Lord. I will search for my own justice." You nod, and step back.As his words are still lingering in your ears, Mikahil steps forward. "My lord, I'd like to ask for your counsel as well.""About what?"He grins as he unrolls a sheaf of papers, all thickly written on both sides, from inside his sleeve. "I'm afraid it's a rather more... dry and technical subject, Lord. Could you look over these documents and tell me your opinions?"He lets out a long, yet somehow amused sigh. "Rather more practical, I'd say." He comments, accepting the papers and beginning to page through them."Direction-wide economic policy proposals don't review themselves." He replies. Both Karas and Tia shoot pained glances at you, silently begging for mercy.>Come to their rescue and escape with them.>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.
>>360325>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.They don't have to stay though
>>360325>>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.
>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.Now this if legitimately interesting to me.
>>360319Never say never. I mean we invited those Dragon-Bloods to come visit, and I'm pretty sure at least one was interested.>>360325>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too. But the others can go do whatever.
>>360325>We need to start hearing stuff like this, if we want to avoid just sitting in our harem sexing until it's time to punch or sex something else. Which seeing that lead to the Tyrant last time...>But we should also give them a knowing "Yeah, you can go now."
>>360325>>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.I didn't think he would have economic proposals ready in hand. He really is ready for anything isn't he?
>>360310Are you joking? We like sex way too much to not be red.
>>360346But what we love best is smiting sex (Amber anyone?). White/Red.
>>360343Mikahil a best.Not in the same way Maka a best, or Val a best, or Tia or Amata a best, but still a best.
>>360325>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.>>360329>>360340>>360341Yeah, let them go check up on Valeriana. Tell her we're almost(?) done. Stop by the gift shop, too.
>>360346That's just one part of it though and we have much more in common with White than Red considering it's other attributes, but thinking about it she's more likely both W/R leaning more towards White..Even from a mechanics standpoint Maka is more W than R, she's got lots of defense stuff and charms to buff up extras with only a splash of direct damage from SHS.
>>360378Oh boy, now we're going to have to make an exalted friends of Maka deck.
>>360388There's already a Magic deck called Justice League or super friends depending on who you ask.
>>360325>Come to their rescue and escape with them.
>>360325>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.
>>360325>>Actually, you want to hear Mikahil's policy questions too.Gods yes, I need to hear best character talk more.
The Golden Lord goes over his papers in record time. "You know, a few Solars in the middle First Age had very similar ideas.""I know about the Order Conferring Trade Pattern, but this is not quite the same. Although I would like to be able to eventually phase to a jade-based currency to obtain part of those benefits against the Wyld-" Mikahil begins, but the Golden Lord interrupts him."No, I'm not talking about the Order Conferring Trade Pattern. I'm talking about some smaller-scale but rather ambitious projects undertaken, on a personal basis, by some Solars, in their territories and holdings." He lifts his head from the papers, and meets Mikahil's shocked gaze. "You thought you were the first to think of this particular system of ideas?"He recovers quickly. "I like thinking of myself as amazingly brilliant, yes."The god buries his eyes in the papers once more. "Brilliance is not your greatest asset here.""Ow." You comment."...You don't ever pull any punches, do you?""I don't mean it particularly badly." The god replies, sounding quite amused. "Your proposal here is very rooted in economic reality, Many might consider it a crazy scheme, but it's not quite as crazy as many of the things ancient Solars tried. Your advantage here is that, unlike them, you're finding compromises between the current reality of economic and trading practices in the West, and the ideal scenario in your mind. Whereas their plans seldom were troubled by such details.""We don't have quite the resources to snap our fingers and make it rain... yet." He admits. "So, what is your opinion here?""Admirable policies in many respects. The breaking up of Guild monopolies and the incentives for the other traders to split up in smaller companies are a touch I particularly like. If there's one direction which would enjoy the greatest benefits and the least drawbacks from a decentralization of trade, it's the West. Of course, the Guild will not take these measures quietly.""It's fine, I don't expect them to." Mikahil replies. "On the other hand..." He flips through more pages. "The subsidies to productive activities for the least developed areas and the welfare system you intend to adopt will necessarily require a centralized organization, which clashes with the naturally-federalized nature of a politically unified West.""Because of the Direction's unique geography? Yes, I recognize that this might sound like a contradiction, and it wouldn't be easy to implement. It's why I wanted to ask you about it."More rustling of papers. "I would add a local trade authority to each holding, either on the provincial or regional level. Have them report seasonally. carefully weight how much power and authority they should have. Make them dependent on the federal government and independent from the local, but they should be made up prevalently of locals."(cont.)
"How often should they be audited? Even if we separate them from the local government's chain of command, corruption can become a problem frighteningly fast like this." Mikahil muses."Ideally, as often as possible, but practically, I would say that once a season plus surprise inspections... maybe yearly or so, would be acceptable. Either handle the auditing through the central government, an independently-appointed panel, or perhaps ask Fakharu. He might be somewhat hard to motivate at times, but he is a wise and just god, and I think that gaining more responsibilities would do wonders for him. He likes to feel useful.""I'll look into it. Thank you." Mikahil nods. "How do you expect Coral will react to this measures?"Golden Lord glances at the paper once more. "Unrestricted naval warfare.""Figures. Any way to sweeten the deal for them?" He groans."If you can stomach it, you could broaden the scope of pirating licenses""That sort of legalized piracy would be an unsustainable drain on the economy in the long term." The Eclipse shakes his head."Then I'd focus on breaking up the pirating trust first, and then force these issues. That way, Coral wouldn't be able to put up a solid front.""They'd still oppose the resolutions.""Win some, lose some." Golden Lord concedes himself a slight smile. "Exaltation's greatest advantage is that it gives you the ability to work on long-term plans that would be impossible to a mortal. Use that to your advantage."The discussion goes on and on and on for quite some time, as Mikahil seeks the Golden Lord's advice and wisdom on many specific problems concerning his ideas for the West's future economic landscape. You manage to follow most of the discussion, and even contribute to it from time to time.In the background, Mikahil and Tia are playing Gateway, bored out of their minds.By when Mikahil seems satisfied with his answers, you don't have a lot of time left.>Part ways with the Golden Lord.>You have one last question before you go. (what?)
>>360549>Part ways with the Golden Lord.
>>360549>You have one last question before you go. (what?)That's Gl, you were cool, need anything before we hit the road?
>>360549>Golden Lord glances at the paper once more. "Unrestricted naval warfare."Truly, Coral is the greatest nation to ever bless the West.I'm totally not biased because I'm playing a solar who plans to turn them into an empire, or anything.
>>360549>>Part ways with the Golden Lord.
>>360549>Part ways with the Golden Lord.Man this guy was great!I feel like Maka would make a pass at him, if she just had time for it.
>>360588Well, nah, actually. It doesn't feel quite right. He's too much like Unconquered Sun while not being Unconquered Sun.>Time to part ways.
>>360549>Part ways with the Golden Lord.This guy was great. Good job, EF.
"Well, we should go now." You butt in before Mika can manage to "remember" something or get another word in. Karas and Tia silently rejoice."Yes, you should." The god points out. "You've disrupted my daily schedule and caused problems for everyone waiting in line for an audience. Still, I'm glad you did. If you'll ever need counsel or advice, I'm at your service.""Thank you." You and Mika bow one last time before leaving.You make your way back to the camp, with Karas and Tia more tired now than they were when they woke up, and wake up Valeriana. It's late morning by now, but you should still make it to Gem before nightfall.Valeriana takes a bit to properly wake up, but when she does, she casts the now-familiar Azure Chariot spell, and you shoot into the sky at the usual frightening speed."So." Mikahil, who looks VERY satisfied, takes out his map once more. "You certainly know Gem better than I do, since I've never been there. What's the plan?""Gem's built halfway into the crater of a volcano." You explain. "There are other mountains in the area, and most of them are volcanoes, but it's easy to recognize which one is Gem. It's more isolated than the others, has a clear path leading north that I imagine must be visible from the sky as well, and despite how remote Gem is, that path is very busy and we'll probably spot a caravan or two there. Besides, the crater is asymmetric, taking most of the southern side of the mountain.""And the city's mostly underground, right?" Mikahil wonders. "What do the people there EAT?""We import nearly everything from the Lap. That's why there are so many caravans." Karas informs him."That sounds... dangerous. What happens if the city gets sieged, or if the Lap cuts the supplies?""No one ever said Gem was a good idea. I mean, a city in a volcano?" You joke."Besides, Gem is impossible to siege." Mikahil grins. "I'd like to see you camping an army in the desert, under the sun, around a volcano, just a few hundred miles away from the Elemental Pole of Fire.""Good point." Mikahil concedes. "So, we just need to approach the city from the north and no one will see us except for the caravans?""We can avoid those simply by approaching from the north-west, at an angle, and flying low. We don't need to follow the road." Val points out."Not bad." He nods. "Once there, how do we contact our team? Your spell?""Sure." She replies. "They should just be there on standby, so we can probably hook up with them tonight unless something goes wrong somehow."(cont.)
>>360775>Everything has gone wrong somehow!
"After that leave it to me and Karas." You say confidently. "Well, according to the team that's there. Rankar doesn't have much in the way of Essence-wielding allies. He shouldn't be too hard to manage for all of us." Mikahil muses.Meanwhile Tia is clearly nervously staring at the mountains on the horizon.You fly over those mountains a few hours later, leaving the fertile Silent Crescent, with its hilly forests and green plains, behind you.What awaits you beyond those mountains is an endless desert of golden sand, stretching endlessly in all directions. You feel the temperature spike all of sudden."Whoa." Mikahil comments, after a while. "You really FEEL the difference in heat. How do you people stand this?""This is nothing. It's not even Fire season." Karas replies."Now I understand why Maka is always naked." Valeriana is sweltering. "Her homeland is a damn oven.""No, that's just Maka being weird." Karas corrects her. "You don't want to remove your clothes under the sun. You're so pale that you'll probably burn your skin right off, Exalted or not. I'd suggest getting a cloak or something, even. If we plan on spending time outside, at least. Which is a dumb idea, so nevermind that.""Wait a moment." Valeriana wonders. "Can we even get sunburn? We're Solar Exalted. Shouldn't the Sun, you know, not hurt us?"A moment of thoughtful silence passes over you."...You know, I have no idea." You admit. "It never happened to me when I was outside.""You and Karas are dark-skinned, so you don't count. Besides, I've seen essence artillery beams bounce off you, so I doubt you can get sunburn in any case. it's my own skin I'm worried about." She replies sharply."You two spend too much time indoors." Karas notes.Mikahil rolls his eyes. "If you don't have anything useful to say, please shut up.""Is it going to be this hot inside the city too?" She wonders, clearly worried."Well, in the city there's no sun, so it's going to be cooler than outside, but Gem is a lot further south. It'll still be a lot hotter than it is right now here, and besides, we're in a fast-moving chariot, so we get wind. No such thing in Gem." He explains.The Twilight groans and whimpers. As Karas predicted, it gets a lot hotter. Mikahil and Valeriana grab a couple light white blankets from your baggage and make improvised cloaks out of them, to cover themselves better against the heat and the sun. Neither of them was willing to be a living test subject for the "let's see if Solars can get sunburn" experiment.Tia has a more direct solution.(cont.)
>>360866I fucking love you Tia
The sun is nearing dusk when you finally catch sight of the familiar profile of Gem. The cone-shaped volcano really triggers that feeling of "home" in your heart.You briefly remember how you felt when you looked back on it as you last left Gem, smuggled away by merchants after Rankar's coup d'etat, lost and terrified.Now you're back. You're not entirely sure of how you should feel. You expected the sight of the cone-shaped volcano to trigger all the worst memories in you......instead, all you can think back to now, is of the happy days of your childhood, spent with your family.You exchange glances with Karas, just as the chariot slows down and douches the rocky, ashen surface of the volcano, on the far side compared to the city and about one third of the way up.You have time to get all of your baggage out of the Chariot before the sun sets, and can do things with all calm and ease, for once. No dropping to the ground from mid-air."Well, here we are." Mikahil proclaims. "What's our next course of action?">Let's head to the city by foot.>Tia, can you fly us over to the city discreetly?>Val, can you cast a Messenger at our team inside to let them know we're here and agree on a meeting point?>(Other?)(I'm going to have to leave, and will return only tomorrow. Might be 10 hours or so? But I'll pick the thread back up then, if it's still running.)
>>360949>>Tia, can you fly us over to the city discreetly?>>Val, can you cast a Messenger at our team inside to let them know we're here and agree on a meeting point?
>>360949>>Val, can you cast a Messenger at our team inside to let them know we're here and agree on a meeting point?We'll hold out for you, boss.
>>360949>>Val, can you cast a Messenger at our team inside to let them know we're here and agree on a meeting point?Worst case we can send Mik and Val on ahead the proper entry in so they in turn can smuggle Tia, Karas, and us inside. Also I fucking love Resistance Charms.We'll be here EF, I'll put it up on suptg really fast just in case.
>>360949And now I'm thinking about that time playing Dress Up with Karas.>Val, can you cast a messenger.
>>Val, can you cast a Messenger at our team inside to let them know we're here and agree on a meeting point?Easiest option if available.
>>360949>Val, can you cast a Messenger at our team inside to let them know we're here and agree on a meeting point?
>>360949>Val, can you cast a Messenger at our team inside to let them know we're here and agree on a meeting point?We play this carefully. For once, it's our mortal family at risk, rather than our super-powered loved ones.
>>360949>Let's head to the city by foot.How many will recognize their princess?
So I had a thought for the future: Is there anything stopping us from running wargames in Silk's wildzone? It would be an interesting fluff addition to our tiger warrior training of our troops, and it would keep Silk entertained.
>>362142Random mutations among our soldiers assuming we plan on running a wargame that lasts longer than a single day.
>>362193So... don't run it longer than a single day?
>>362219That makes the Wyld zone ideal for tiger warrior training, since we can cheat the 4 hours daily into half that time or whatever the ratio is. Not so great for actual wargaming to simulate a real campaign.
>>362142Man, do I want Val to hurry up and develop (or use, she's hinted she may already have them) those sweet Twilight Wyld-shaping Charms in Silk's realm.
>>362225Honestly, the real point is to ensure that Silk has playmates and running military people through training with her providing the opposition sounds fun.
>>360866>"Well, according to the team that's there. Rankar doesn't have much in the way of Essence-wielding allies. He shouldn't be too hard to manage for all of us." Mikahil muses.Sol damn it, Mika. Saying stuff like that is how you get Alchemicals.Or Abyssal MakaMom
>>362234Val has got soooo much on her plate. I think we need to remind her "Yeah, we want to get the titan flying. Yeah, we want Pearl. Yeah we want super first age military tech. But you don't need to give them to us this month. We're Exalted. Take your time. If in 10 years we still can't, maybe tell us no."
>>362322I hear you, but I think half the problem probably is BECAUSE we're Exalted. Her brilliance strains at mortal bounds, with so many ideas in her head... yet she has to be patient.She's her own worst enemy, methinks. Definitely needs some relaxation training with Maka. Hell, we could probably do for a girls' night for us, her, and Starfall if we ever got another down moment.
>>362389That, and she doesn't have enough competent help. She needs some jadeborn to help her out.
>>362389>>362402Yeah, half the effort may be "Gah, I have to make this plan so that our labor force and industry can actually do it.."
Have a thing. http://pastebin.com/5iAqpkBX
>>362738I like the concept, but feel it needs a bit more polish.It's not bad, it just seems rushed.
>>362747More that I had a writer's block with it half finished for literally six months and decided to go "fuck it" and finished it tonight.
>>362752>http://pastebin.com/5iAqpkBX"Okay, maybe she did see why Maka was chosen, considering the composition."Competition? I believe you have my same problem of misspelling words into other words and not noticing.
>>362738Cute, the hugging him bit was pretty funny.
I'm back. New post in a bit.
The volcano's craggy, uneven surface offers a lot of little niches and small caves, none too deep, but still useful places where to seek refuge from the scorching hot winds of the deepest south. You all move into one of such fissures immediately, mostly for Mikahil and Valeriana's benefit."I want to go home already." Mumbles Valeriana. "And here I thought summers in the west were hot enough." She turns to you. "How hot does it get here? Like, outside, in Fire season, during the day?"You think about it for a second. "You know how, in the West, people sometime joke along the lines that "it's so hot today that you could fry an egg, or cook a fish, or boil a pot of water, just by leaving it outside for a bit?"She nods."It's not a joke here." Karas points out. "On hot days, in Fire season, during the day? It does get hot enough for water to boil outside. People only travel at night, and dig holes in the sand, bury themselves, and hide underground during the day.""In any case, on those days the heat is the least of your problems, considering how close the southern edge of Creation is. All sort of weird things come from the south, including raiding Fair Folk." Karas helpfully adds."Why would people even LIVE here." She groans, flopping on her back on the (comparatively) cool surface of the rock."It's called Gem for a reason." You point out with a smile, fairly sure that Valeriana already knew, of course. "Say, Val, how are you feeling?""Terrible." She sits back up. "But tell me.""We should send a Messenger spell to the team already in the city. Let them know we're here, and agree on a meeting point."She nods. "Please tell me we're at least waiting for the sun to set before we move out.""We are." You reassure her."Alright." She stands back up, stumbling for just a second. "Where's the meeting point?"You think about it. "...There's a tavern in the Sunken Bazaar called the Sweet Water Spring. It's always a very busy place at this hour of the day, so we're not going to draw a lot of attention there, hopefully. Good place to meet up.""We can't quite talk freely there, though." Karas informs you. "Rankar might have informers there.""Oh, he certainly does." You nod. "If I were in his shoes, I'd have informers there, too. It's just a meeting place. Let's be careful about what we say that could be overheard, and we'll be fine."Valeriana nods, extends both arms, and, as motes of Essence begin to gather around her, she starts her chant."You who travels over land and sea, heed my call. Gently flying spirit with quicksilver wings and thunder in your eye, be born out of my wish and become a bridge of voice between here and there."Runes and glyphs appear on the palms of her hands, and in a circle swirling in front of her, as the Essence coalesces..."What's the likelihood that you and Karas might be recognized?" Mikahil wonders, in the meanwhile. "How well-known are your faces to the general public of Gem?"(cont.)
"Not zero, but not very high either, I'd imagine." Karas muses. "We weren't exactly public figures, mind you. Everyone knew and could recognize dad and mom, but I think that our faces are a bit more obscure.""In any case, we should try and stay hidden." You conclude, as Valeriana's messenger departs. "Wear headscarves and face veils. They're common enough that we wouldn't look terribly suspicious with them."No one's gonna look at your face anyway." Valeriana teases you."I'm not going to wear a face veil." Karas groans. "I'm not a damn belly-dancer.""...That's a brilliant idea.""No, Maka. No. Just no. Val, make me another one of those hooded cloaks.""Aww." You sigh in an obvious sign of displeasure.The little message-bearing spirit reappears: a tiny humanoid sprite, all blue and green and silver, with flashing butterfly wings.It speaks in Aexel's voice: "We'll see you there in a bit. Security is tight, but the situation is fairly calm. There are a lot of guards around, but they don't seem to be on high alert."Then the sprite vanishes into thin air.You glance outside the fissure you camped in. The sun will set soon. After that, it'll take about a hour or so to reach the city. But the gates will doubtlessly be guarded... you need a plan of entry. And the usual story of a travelling priestess wouldn't hold in Gem, which doesn't have much in the way of spiritual importance...>We'll just charm our way through the guards. (s+z)>We'll just brute force our way through the guards. (p+d)>We'll just sneak past the guards. (m+n)>We'll meet up with one of the trading caravans and try to pass ourselves as part of their group to enter.>We'll tell them we're traders.>We'll tell them we're miners.>We'll tell them we're entertainers.>We'll bribe them.>(Other?)
Rolled 9, 2 = 11 (2d10)>>363353>>We'll just charm our way through the guards. (s+z)>We'll tell them we're traders.
Rolled 4, 2 = 6 (2d10)>We'll just charm our way through the guards. (s+z)Do the social stuff! Yeah!
Rolled 6, 2 = 8 (2d10)>>363357>We'll tell them we're traders.Leave it to Mik for once, he probably actually has the proper papers and everything or at least great fakes.Dice just in case.
Rolled 3, 10 = 13 (2d10)>>363357>>We'll just charm our way through the guards. (s+z)>We'll tell them we're entertainers.Clearly Karas is just repressing his desire to be a belly dancer and is just being shy.
>>363357Also we should probably pop MRP if we can do it without obviously using essence. extra dice and all that
Rolled 4, 1 = 5 (2d10)>>363357>We'll just charm our way through the guards. (s+z)Also I think we're wearing our priestess outfit, let's switch to 21
>>363363>>363357Also voting to use TGP from whatever personal essence we have to spare.
>>363365seconded for what it's worth. Might be a bit ostentatious but we never wear that one.
>>363367I forgot we upgraded it to Terifying
Rolled 9, 3 = 12 (2d10)>>363357>We'll just charm our way through the guards. (s+z)And adding my vote for switching to 21
Rolled 10, 1 = 11 (2d10)>>363364>>363367It's probably not necessary, but sure, I'll add popping TGP it to my vote >>363365
Rolled 8, 10 = 18 (2d10)>>363357>We'll just charm our way through the guards. (s+z)Maybe use a cover story about being entertainers though when we sweet-talk them? Maka's charisma makes that the most natural cover. If we say we're traders, they might ask where our wares are.
Rolled 4, 9 = 13 (2d10)>>363379forgot to link to >>363357Normally I'd delete and remake to post, but I don't wanna get rid of that 10
>>363380We could just as easily be here to buy, especially if we're dressed rich and have Mik on hand for stuff.
>>363365>>363379>>363381I'm really not sure he does, or should, count three rolls by the same person. doesn't feel fair really. nothing against you anon
>>363383Of course he does, why wouldn't he?It's not like you can cheat them by rolling more than once, we practically had to throw multiple dice a person back when we rolled them one at a time.
>>363383fair enough. Normally I wouldn't roll more than twice, but it's early enough that I'm not sure about how many people are awake.It's a lot more than I though there would be.
>>363382Except buyers would have some sort of caravan of wagons or whatever to haul the stuff they buy.Or at least to haul the payment for the ores and products they intend to buy.I mean I guess we could say we're prospecting but it's not like Gem is an undiscovered resource.
>>363385It's just a holdover from other quests mostly. Don't mind me.
In a flash, you change your outfit to one more in line with local fashion, and add a veil covering your face and leaving only your eyes visible, just to stay on the safe side.Then you wait. Val and Karas take a nap, Mikahil brought a book (he's been reading it for the entire trip up to now), and Tia nervously nuzzles up to you.She's been rather silent recently, and a bit jumpy as well. You can imagine she's very tense at the prospect of meeting your family.Finally, the sun sets entirely, and the desert is bathed in the eerie bluish glow of the perfectly clear southern night sky. In the distance, you can see the eternal fire of the Pole as a dull gold-red light on the horizon: a land beyond time and space, light and darkness, day and night. Just fire....You have to wonder if, with your current blessed Exalted body and fortitude, you could actually venture to the Pole of Fire, where no one has ever been.A thought for another time. You have another objective now, after all.You pack up your stuff and make your way around the volcano, to the only gate of Gem, the sole access point to the outside world.There are caravans approaching, but none is in the vicinity right now, and the gate is very well guarded by a contingent of thirty or so soldiers. You don't quite recognize their black and red uniforms, but their equipment (chainmail, glass-steel scimitars, and bayoneted firewands, plus two ballistas placed one to either side of the entrance, loaded and crewed) really projects an idea of no-nonsense security."Crimson Shadows." Karas whispers to you. He certainly knows the landscape of Gem mercenary units better than you do... you never paid attention to that particular subject. "Chiaroscuran expatriates. Good, expensive soldiers. If Rankar is keeping them on duty just to guard the gate, he must be really trying to project an image of strength."You nod, trying not to draw attention. As soon as you're close enough, you have everyone's attention. Trade caravans to and from Gem are huge affairs, with hundreds, sometime thousands of members. Such a small group is suspicious, of course.One of the soldiers approaches you. Relaxed, non-threatening, but clearly inquisitive. "Welcome to Gem. What's your business here? You don't quite look like a trading caravan. What's up?"[TERRIFYING GLORIOUS PRESENCE][s+z= 9 2 4 2 6 2 3 10 4 1 9 3 10 1 8 = 8 successes]You get a bit closer. Not so much to be threatening, but enough to get into his zone of comfort. He steps back slightly, almost intimidated."Oh, we're not traders, we just wanted to see Gem." You offer, in a sweet tone of voice. "Is there anything wrong with that?"Bit by bit, as you draw more and more attention, even with your face covered - or perhaps especially because your face is covered - you feel the soldiers getting more and more restless and distracted, most of them busily undressing you with their eyes.(cont.)
>>363398>You nod, trying not to draw attention. >As soon as you're close enough, you have everyone's attention.haha >Bit by bit, as you draw more and more attention, even with your face covered - or perhaps especially because your face is covered kek
"It's- I mean, no, but Gem isn't quite a tourism-" the first soldier stammers, but he's clearly too confused by your words and your presence to form a coherent argument. In the confusion, Valeriana, Mikahil and Karas just walk into the city, almost unopposed. A couple of soldiers try to get in their way, but they just walk past them after exchanging a few words."What? Is there any reason I can't enter Gem?" You ask back at them, plating your hands on your hips."We... um..." The soldier is at the end of his rope. "Contraband...">What contraband could we possibly have? We don't exactly have a caravan with us.>Just let us through. Pretty please?>You better let us inside, or things could get ugly.>Oh, it's fine. You can search me.>(other?)
>>363400>Just let us through. Pretty please?We should have put Karas in some gray now that I think about it.
>>363398>He steps back slightly, almost intimidated.>you feel the soldiers getting more and more restless and distractedIt's fun meeting new people.
>>363400>Oh, it's fine. You can search me.
>>363400>Just let us through. Pretty please?
>>363400>Oh, it's fine. You can search me.Don't actually let them search us>>363403Yeah, most of the people in Tianna have already seen us at least one, if only from a distance, so it's fun having new people react to Maka.
>>363400>Oh, it's fine. You can search me.Yes, pat down the Maka.
>>363400>>Oh, it's fine. You can search me.
>>363400>>Oh, it's fine. You can search me.I can't notnight anons and EF, this 'murican needs sleep
>>363425>implying freedom ever sleeps
>>363410Yeah we should be coy and teasing, guide his hands down our sides and sweet talk him until he forgets what he wasn't doing.
>>363428>>implying freedom ever sleepsshit, got me there
"Oh, it's fine." You answer, in the most teasing tone you can muster. "You can search me.""i-i- b-bwuh?" You loosen your dress slightly.His hands move up as if on their own volition, trembling, slowly inching their way up to you, and then-And then, the soldier gets brutally shoved out of the way and replaced by another, eager to take his place.It takes about ten more seconds for the situation to degenerate into a half-baked brawl, as some soldiers struggle for their right to strip-search you, while others try to split them up and calm them down."...You guys seem busy." You note, tightening back up your dress. "I guess I'll... just go."You're in.It's been a while since you walked the streets of Gem. Half-built, half-carved into dark volcanic rock, lit by rows of enchanted gemstones shining over busy, dusty streets. It smells like ash, but feels like home.You quickly catch up to the rest of your group, gazing wistfully left and right to familiar landmarks. The Arbani villa. Darkside Fountain. The House of Gladiators. Diamond Road. Fort Ash. And The Despot's Palace, gleaming in shining black marble and obsidian in the distance.>Let's head to the rendez-vous right away.>We probably have some time. Let's walk around a bit.>We probably have some time. Let's check the palace.>(Other?)
>>363439>We probably have some time. Let's walk around a bit.How's the mood, our subjects doin' okay?Oh Maka
>>363439>>We probably have some time. Let's walk around a bit.Well, that was an interesting resolution.
>>363439>We probably have some time. Let's walk around a bit.>"...You guys seem busy." You note, tightening back up your dress. "I guess I'll... just go."Bit surprised we remembered to do that.
>>363439>>We probably have some time. Let's walk around a bit.
>>363439>We probably have some time. Let's walk around a bit.As was said earlier, meeting new people is fun.
>>363439Hey EF, does Val speak Firetongue?She's the only one in our group I can think of that doesn't.
Val and Tia don't speak Firetongue. Gem is a trade town, though, so a lot of people can speak Riverspeak.
>>363357>"I'm not going to wear a face veil." Karas groans. "I'm not a damn belly-dancer."Aren't face veils the height of masculinity in some parts of the South?
>>363451Where arw Val and Mik from natively, the West?
"We still have some time before the meeting, I think." You say. "Let's walk around a bit?"Karas agrees. You can imagine he feels as you do."So.. this is your hometown." Tia mentions. "It's weird.""What is?" You ask back. The streets are crowded, as always around this hour of the day, and whirling with colors and noise."Building a city underground. You can't see the sky." She notes, gazing up at the basalt ceiling above you."That's a good thing. Most mortals would die if they lived outside here." You nod. "And it tastes like ash.""You get used to it after a while.""Does this volcano have a god, like Dancing Smoke?"Well, Dancing Smoke was a special case, but the question surprises you. You imagine there must be a god, but you never bothered to learn about it. "I guess there is, but I don't know him or her."She mumbles something in response, and seems to focus back on taking in the sights of the city around her....It's going to take a while to get used to dark-skinned Tia, yeah.Your walk around town confirms your first impression: the city is intact and peaceful, which means that Rankar's coup d'etat must have been relatively bloodless. Security is very high, with armed mercenaries more or less everywhere, but the atmosphere is relaxed.You can't see mercenaries of the Ashen Guard anywhere, and that's not surprising. The Ashen Guard's commander, Nerus Dell, was (is? you're not sure he's still alive, at this point) a personal friend of your father. You wonder if they were disbanded or what happened to them.>Let's head to the Sweet Water Spring, the others might be waiting for us.>Try and gather some information by asking questions around.>Move through the seedier parts of town.>Head to the palace.>Head to the market.>(Other?)
>>363467>>Head to the market.
>>363467>Let's head to the Sweet Water Spring, the others might be waiting for us.
>>363467>Head to the market.
(i have to briefly AFK)
>>363467>>>Let's head to the Sweet Water Spring, the others might be waiting for us.Let's see what they know.
>>363467>You imagine there must be a god, but you never bothered to learn about it.Is the shortage of spirituality in Gem weirding anyone else out? The city is apparently so irreverent that claiming to be a traveling priest is unworkable, and the Crown Princess doesn't know the name or even gender of the volcano's God.Wouldn't a city built in a fucking volcano have very good reasons to have close ties with the volcano's deity? Wouldn't Gem's tribute and worship be ludicrously valuable to any deity? If I remember right, the gods receive ambrosia is proportion to the value of the sacrifices made in their name, which is a delicious luxury, a source or power, and the currency of heaven all at once. And I'm pretty such there isn't any regional exchange rate for sacrifices. The God of Gem ought to be fucking LOADED by divine standards, since by the standards of the average person in Creation everyone in Gem is filthy rich, even the beggars who barely have two garnets to rub together.So why is this city of ludicrous wealth so spiritually deficit? Why is there apparently such a power vacuum of Exalted in the city? Why are people who live in such a scorching, inhospitable climate not motivated to worship gods who might alleviate some of the burden?I think there's something going on behind the scenes, here. I bet there's a Sidereal playing power behind the throne while the rulers play musical chairs, and we have no idea.
>>363544It's Gem, the city memetically doomed to blow up no matter what happens. It makes perfect sense desu
>>363544Canonically there are a couple of good reasons for this, we'll have to see how much EF kept for the quest.
>>363548I really doubt that's common knowledge among people on the street, otherwise half of them would have left by now and the other half would be MORE willing to try any option that might let things last a little longer.>>363549What reasons are those? I've picked up all my Exalted knowledge from this quest, 1d4chan,and a smattering of incidental conversations in other threads, so if there's a solid explanation for it that I just I missed learning I'd like to know.
>>363553>I really doubt that's common knowledge among people on the streetYou're thinking it backwards.
You probably shouldn't wander around too much, in any case. You have an appointment.You make your way to the Sweet Water Spring Tavern, the Sunken Bazaar's most popular establishment.Which doesn't mean it's the best one, of course. It's a large, noisy, rowdy, messy pub carved mostly straight down from the market's ground level, accessed via a large spiral staircase festooned with colorful clothes ribbons and advertisement banners. Inside, it's packed, as usual. Off-duty miners and workers, merchants, traders, lesser noble scions, mercenaries. Even a motley crew such as yours doesn't draw that much attention. A live band plays cheerful music and three rather pretty dancers entertain the patrons that bother to pay attention, while busy waiters and waitresses juggle drinks and orders."It's crowded." Tia notes the obvious."Gem has... nearly one million inhabitants. It's hard to do a proper census. But it's plenty of places like these." Karas notes, casually grabbing one of the few empty spots at the counter and asking the bartender for a cold beer. The handful of guild silver dinars he slaps on the table as a follow-up gets a reaction out of Mikahil. "THAT much?"You nod, sitting down as well but limiting yourself to a glass of water. "Price of living is fairly high in Gem, especially for luxuries. ESPECIALLY for good food and drink." You never had to really deal with it as a personal problem, honestly, but you do know that it is one. "Beer comes from the Lap, after all... like nearly all foodstuff here. It's a long trip.""And the Realm controls the Lap." Valeriana mumbles. "...They wouldn't cut food supplies to the entire city because of you, would they?"You freeze in mid-drink, and put your glass back down."...They would, wouldn't they?" You eye Mikahil, suddenly panic-stricken. You never thought about it. The Lap is Gem's lifeline."It's hard to say." He replies. "They probably wouldn't do it immediately. Without the Empress, the Realm can't take large-scale decisive action quickly. I'd imagine the Lap-Gem commerce nets them a massive amount of money they'd be loathe to lose, especially if we extend them an olive branch and continue upholding trade. But, in the long term, it puts us at a critical disadvantage, because it means that the Realm could potentially cut supplies any time. They'd lose money, but we'd lose lives."That's about when a couple hands suddenly cover your eyes."Who am I?" An unrecognizable voice calls out. You have absolutely no idea who this could be.(cont.)
>Go to sleep with the thread still alive >Wake up to EF back and posting Feels good, man
>>363556>You nod, sitting down as well but limiting yourself to a glass of water.The clothes we're wearing are pretty fancy, it might be suspicious if we don't splurge a little.Or maybe I'm overthinking it.
"...Starfall." You guess."How did you know?" She pouts, as you turn around to face her.The rest of the team is here. Aexel, Talon, Zareen and Lynne. The latter nods smugly at Karas, who frowns back at him in response. "Nice to see you again!" The diminutive Lunar says, in a sing-along tone.There aren't quite enough seats for everyone. A few of them are carrying drinks in hand. Talon has a beer mug that looks amusingly small in his oversized hands. Lynne holds a slender martini glass.Zareen has an unlabeled, two-thirds-empty bottle of red wine. "Let's finish the drinks, pay up, and leave." Karas suggests."Sure. Where are we going?" Starfall replies."Where are you staying?" You keep the conversation as innocuous as possible."Alicia's house." She smiles. "She'll be happy to see you, I think.""Alicia?" You don't recognize the name."Alicia Dell." She suggests.You don't recognize the name, but you can assume that the surname links her to Nerus Dell. The captain of the Ashen Guard, Gem's best mercenaries. Always been a family friend. You can't imagine he likes Rankar any more than you do. He might be under surveillance, though... If he's still alive. Maybe that's why Starfall mentioned this Alicia? A relative of his?>Pretend to recognize the name, move out following Starfall.>Ask for more information>Ask for Nerus Dell's whereabouts>Suggest a different location (one you feel safer about)(Other?)
>>363544You realize Gem is in the middle of nowhere right. It near a month's journey to and from Gem, thou a desert so hot it will kill both mortals and Exalted without protection. Literally the only reason that Gem exists is the ridiculously ludicrously rich gem mines. No god here get worship, as its basically impossible for humans to live here. Any god with any power won't get assigned to the literal edge of the world. Also pretty sure the volcano is extinct, by the books.
>>363563>Pretend to recognize the name, move out following Starfall.Ask once we're out of the tavern, maybe in Seatongue or something if we still want to be careful of listeners.Luckily there's a couple of things we could do to become less dependent on the Lap, if we can connect a Wyld path from Gem to Tianna we can start importing food straight to Gem, there's that one admittedly Solar level spell that terraforms any surrounding environment into hyper fertile arable land or we could wyldshape a portion of land into the same, that'll require more maintenance though.
>>363563>Pretend to recognize the name, move out following Starfall.She's a Night Caste, after all. If there's anybody who even CAN listen in on us without being spotted with her and Five Tails around, then we're screwed wherever we are.
>>363563>Pretend to recognize the name, move out following Starfall.They're smart, I assume they've checked to make sure the place isn't under surveillance, and any questions we have can be asked better in private.
>>363563>Pretend to recognize the name, move out following Starfall.
>>363563Wait, so Talon is still in his Warform? I guess he could pass as a simple beastman...
>>363564>You realize Gem is in the middle of nowhere right. It near a month's journey to and from Gem, thou a desert so hot it will kill both mortals and Exalted without protection.So was America, once but settlers came over just the same on the promise of riches. And Gem, unlike the sadly El Dorado-less New World, actually delivers on that promise.>No god here get worship, as its basically impossible for humans to live here.Except for the million humans in the city?>Any god with any power won't get assigned to the literal edge of the worldThere are exceptions to every rule, and Gem seems like an exception to many of them.Plus, isn't the edge of Creation where you want strong gods on hand to resist the Wyld? I get that with the corruption in heaven civic duty isn't exactly in great supply, but surely there must be at least a few gods willing to accept the drawbacks of such an isolated domain, in exchange for the benefits of such a wealthy one.>Also pretty sure the volcano is extinct, by the books.Ah. That would go a long way towards explaining why it's not worshipped.Now that I think about it, with the amount of mining Gem does it'd make sense that they'd be on better terms with the Earth elemental courts in the area than with gods. It'd probably be a much more practical relationship.
>>363544The short version is that the Despot keeps it that way, he keeps Cult/God worship regulated the same way he does everything in Gem, tax the shit out of it. The few smaller Gods on his side aren't rich because the sacrifices he doles out aren't that impressive especially to the big name gods so they don't care about siding with Gem.Another thing is that Gem is way to close to the Wyld for most gods comfort, that shit can fuck with them super nasty.
>>363576Hmm. Seems a little odd that despite how often Gem changes rulers, they all have about the same policy with the gods. If just one contender for the throne offered the big bucks, that'd throw the whole deterrent off.
>>363574No, nothing in the real world comes close to how ridiculous Gem is. Haven't you been paying attention?By the way, I hope you aren't all mispronouncing Gem, it has a hard G :^)
>>363563>Pretend to recognize the name, move out following Starfall.I've missed those abs.
>>363576>>363578It'll be interesting seeing how Gem changes under Maka's rule, given her closer relationship with the gods than previous rulers.>>363580They truly are a thing of beauty. They make me wish the vote on whether or not increasing Maka's Physical score would make her more muscular had gone the other way, though I also worry what that would've looked like when we reach 6+ in Physical.
>>363578In canon Rankars have been ruling for about 70-80 years so they've had a while to do all this.That's why I said it depends on how much EF takes from canon, as far as the quest is concerned Maka's family replaced Rankars by RAW so it's possible that Maka's parents did the same thing or maybe none of that matters and there's totally some spooky things going on.Another thing to remember is that Gem is a really young city, it's not built on top of a First Age anything and was in fact settled a couple hundred years after the Balorian Crusade so as far as the Gods are concerned it's a new town way out on the frontier
>>363581>They make me wish the vote on whether or not increasing Maka's Physical score would make her more muscular had gone the other way, though I also worry what that would've looked like when we reach 6+ in Physical.More and more perfectly beautiful, without going into bodybuilder leagues. That's how appearance works in exalted, things become more perfect while still not over the top. It's a sort of additional supernatural dimension to beauty once you're past 5, it's not something that's possible IRL.
>>363565I like these ideas, though I'd hate to add more to Val's plate. Never thought I'd wish we had another Twilight around. Okay, that's a lie. Twilights a best.
>>363590Honestly one of the best ways is the one I absolutely don't want to force onto Val, the Solar Spell.Val isn't that dedicated to the Sorceress path and asking her to make that sacrifice is terrible.
>>363457>Where arw Val and Mik from natively, the West?Valeriana is from the North, or, at least, has a slight Northern accent. You don't quite know exactly where she's from.Mikahil... who knows.>>363571>Wait, so Talon is still in his Warform? I guess he could pass as a simple beastman...Yes. And he does. despite all of its faults, Gem is a surprisingly tolerant city. The streets are often full of colorful characters.
>>363598>Valeriana is from the North>bring her all the way to the SouthI'm so sorry.
Radiant and the others, acting as naturally as possible, pay up their bills and walk outside with you, showing you the way. The path leads you towards the poorer neighborhood of the city, but not quite straight into it. Around the lowest, deepest corridors of the underground side of Gem, where the gemstones shedding light on the streets are more sparse and the environment gets darker and hotter and less crowded, they take a turn into a dusty, narrow alley whose only population is a few desert rats, a lonely beggar with a filthy brown cloak thrown over him, and a couple kids, just as filthy and scruffy, kicking a ball of rags around. The kids make a big show out of ignoring you. Most windows are barred, and most houses seem abandoned.Starfall walks past the beggar, flicking a silver coin on his wooden plate. He nods, hoists himself up with some apparent difficulty, and shuffles away."...have you ever been here?" Karas whispers."This part of town? Mom and dad would've had us grounded for a month if we even though about coming near this place." You hiss back. You feel out of your depth here.After a minute of silence, the dull noise of a lock opening ecohes from one of the many ash-coated doors facing on the street. Nonetheless, Starfall knocks on it and waits. You're not sure if the fact that she knocked seven times is significant.Someone knocks once on the other side, and the door opens on a dark, barren household. A servant in dark clothes, without saying a word, bows at you and ushers you inside, towards the only room of the house from which you can see light. An inner room, without windows on the outside.(cont.)
>>363601>Maka has to head North for some reason>Val comes along because we don't speak Skytongue>Giggling to herself at the thought of Maka having to deal with the North's weather>Maka's fine due to Hardship-Surviving SpiritOn a more serious note and speaking of HSS, we should suggest that all our circle learn it, especially Val. Not just for the weather immunity, but for ability to go longer without food, drink or sleep, which is something I think she especially would find useful.
Around a hastily-set table with a few plates and cups, and two pewter pitchers filled with water and wine, sits a face you haven't seen in a good while."Nerus Dell!""Princess Maka." He stands up, politely. "Prince Karas. Welcome back to Gem." He concedes himself a brief giggle. "Although, from what I hear, your situation is quite a bit different."Starfall smiles. "I gave him the short version.""It's enough for me. If you aren't demons wearing human skin...""We aren't." Karas sits down."Then given the choice I'd like to have your family back on the throne. Rankar is bad for my business, as you can imagine."You sit down as well. "Besides, I still owe your father a favor." He pours water for everyone involved. You can barely fit into the room, and there aren't enough chairs, but you make do.>Ask him about his circumstances.>Ask him about Rankar.>Ask him about your father.>Ask him about your mother.>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.>Ask him about the Realm.>Begin working on a plan to take the city back.>(other?)
>>363610>>Ask him about his circumstances.>>Ask him about Rankar.>>Ask him about your father.>>Ask him about your mother.>>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.I'm sorry EF but none of these things should be skipped.
>>363610>Ask him about your father.>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.>Ask him about your mother.Family first did they get that message to Papa and Imouto?Mom last
>>363610>>Ask him about your father.>>Ask him about your mother.>>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.
>>363610>Ask him about your father.>Ask him about your mother.>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.
There's not much reason to ask about Rankar IMO. We have enough exalts here to conquer a celestial direction, not just a city we're already inside of.
>>363610>Ask him about your mother.>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.
>>363618Don't go underestimating crazy rich people
>>363627Exalted are a lot crazier than mortals, anon, especially solars.
>>363610>Ask him about his circumstances.>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.>Ask him about your mother.
>>363630That's no reason to be irresponsible, Rankar is our enemy that's reason enough to be thorough.
>>363610>Ask him about your father.>Ask him about your mother.>Ask him about your sister and her forced marriage.Also, I don't remember but did we ever get the names of our dad, mom, and sis?
>>363646Askar is DadEskarin is ImoutoElenia is Mom
>>363610>sit on someone's lapIts a little tight.
>>363610Yeah, it turns out that the whole demon skin thing was an ex use the dragonblooded made up to justify their change in power all those years ago. I'm sure that as a citizen of Gem it must shock and horrify you that anyone would be willing to rewrite history to justify their rule, but I assure you that it is in fact true.
>>363649The question is, would Tia rather sit on our lap so she can lay on Maka's Makas, or have Maka sit on hers so she can hold on to them for "support."
>>363652Maka is the taller one, so Tia would probably sit on Maka's lap.Then again, Tia would probably consider not being able to see a worthwhile trade for the ability to grope Maka in public.
>>363657Tia can be any size she wants to
"...Do you know anything about Elenia?" You start by asking the question weighting heaviest on your heart.He slowly shakes his head. "...When the coup happened, we were stationed on the outer perimeter. We had no idea what was happening, so I don't have a first-hand account of what happened exactly. I don't think anyone except the palace guards and maybe servants know, other than Rankar himself of course. It all happened inside the palace, and news filtered out slowly and filled with contradictions."Karas slaps his hand on the table. "What do you KNOW?"Nerus breathes in. "That there's no body, and there's no official stance on Rankar's behalf." He takes one sip of wine. "Multiple witnesses had seen her fighting against Rankar's mercenaries. According to what I heard, the intention was to catch her alive, much like your father and sister were. Staffs, truncheons, tonfas and nets.""...So you don't think he killed her?" Miakhil interjects."If Rankar had captured both your father and your mother, it would make no sense to keep one hidden and the other not, at least not that I can think of. And if she was killed by accident in the fighting, a body would've turned up. I don't think Rankar would've dumped it without a proper burial with the risk of having a pissed off ghost in his palace. With respect, princess, but if your mother became a restless ghost, I sure as hell wouldn't want to deal with her.""She was... very determined." You have to admit. "But she also was ill and with bad health overall... she could've..." "Maybe died by accident in the confusion, and Rankar doesn't want to admit that because, if he does, people will think that he had her murdered, even if she might've passed away naturally that same day by sheer coincidence." Coldly, Nerus nods. "It might sound callous, but I thought about this, and I think it's not unlikely. Rankar is not stupid. He knows your family was well-liked around town, and he took great care to not harm your father or sister. He might've even let you escape in exile without doing anything to stop you.""What, you're his fan now?" Karas growls."Not at all, not at all." the mercenary captain steps back. "I'm just saying that... maybe the only one who really knows what happened to your mother is Rankar, and I wouldn't be surprised if it had little, or nothing, to do with him, at this point.""What about my sister?" You continue."Princess Eskarin is in the palace. She's confined, as far as I can tell, and is due to marry Rankar's only son, Rankar VI, in three days.""What?!" You jump up reflexively. "Three days?!"Talon groans. "Man, that guy sure loves his own name."Nerus nods gravely. "As far as I know, everything's ready for the marriage ceremony. I must admit I don't have fresh news on your sister, nor do I know much about Rankar VI... or Rankar Junior, how people call him around here now. neither of them has shown themselves much recently."(cont.)
You sit back down. "...Both cooped up in the palace, huh."Karas pounds his fists on the table angrily. "What the hell is that monster doing to our cute little sister?! Maka, we gotta smash the palace up right now! I ain't gonna stand for this!">He's right. We gotta act right now.>Do you know where my father is kept?>What do you know about Rankar's forces?>What's your situation? Do you still have your men at your orders?>How do you think the Realm will react if we take back the city?>(other?)
>>363670>Do you know where my father is kept?
>>363670>>Do you know where my father is kept?
>>363670>>How do you think the Realm will react if we take back the city?The Realm is potentially our biggest threat here. Before we act, we need to make sure that they aren't going to cut off our food lines.
>>363650The Horror! No one in Gem would ever do such a thing.It happens so frequently that nobody, including the people in power, knows the true story.
>>363670>>He's right. We gotta act right now.We have to act now, but we don't have to start smashing things up. We have plenty of stealth capability with us. It wouldn't be too hard to get her out or sneak in to talk with her.I mean, there will likely be fighting sooner rather than later, but there's no sense in starting it like this when we don't have to.
>>363670>(other?)Tell Karas to calm down, we still have a couple days and Val needs to rest still. Rushing in unprepared won't help anyone.>Do you know where my father is kept?
>>363670>>What do you know about Rankar's forces?>>What's your situation? Do you still have your men at your orders?
>>363673Whatever house stands to gain the most from Gem trade through the lap wont pull the plug immediately.Of course that's not to say they never will, but then we'll have smugglers and the guild that will undoubtedly swoop in to sell food at exorbitant prices.
>>363670>>How do you think the Realm will react if we take back the city?If possible I'd like to take back Gem as silently as possible with no one realizing we're back until we can manage some sort of self sufficiency.Luckily we have a bunch of Social Exalts here to help, to start I think we need to find a way to delay the wedding, maybe shoot the city with a Wise Eyed attack, maybe two if Mikahil has it as well as well as whatever Talon and Lynne can give.
>>363673If we want to keep it low profile, then we bust our father out and keep supernatural shenanigans to a minimum. Make it look like yet another Gem coup with some powerful mercenaries backing it up.
>>363680Wedding Crashers: Exalted
>>363680>to start I think we need to find a way to delay the weddingGetting our sister out will certainly do that,
>>363665>I'm just saying that... maybe the only one who really knows what happened to your mother is Rankar, and I wouldn't be surprised if it had little, or nothing, to do with him, at this point."I guess we really will need JET for this
If we reinstate our parents, or put our sister on the throne, without it being widely known that we were the ones who did it, then the realm would never have a reason to be hostile to Gem.Just saying.
>>363699Lie Detector Charm GET!
>>363670>What the hell is that monster doing to our cute little sister?!Turning her into a lewd, just like Maka.>If we reinstate our parents, or put our sister on the throne, without it being widely known that we were the ones who did it, then the realm would never have a reason to be hostile to Gem.True fact. If we keep it in the family, but let one of the mortals be the actual butt on the throne, then we could keep things running smoothly, at least until we figure out an alternative source of food.
>>363706Mik thinks we have some leeway between us being outed and the Realm cutting us off, just in case we do end up needing to reveal ourselves we aren't in immediate danger, but it would be better to start thinking of alternatives soon.
>>363706This is probably the best solution for now.Especially if we give them the Kiss of the Sun. I think we have enough left to do all three.
>>363713Well if we really wanted to we could probably have val and silk or something like that make a food factory underground.
>>363706On a related stealth note, we could switch to Dude!Maka if we don't want to be identified.
>>363726We'd need pants
>>363723I'd prefer to conquer a local Fae court and build a highway to Silk's place. Or something like that. Maybe route it through Optimus Prime instead?
"Do you know where my father is held?"Nerus nods. "Up to a few days ago, he was in the castle's prisons, but recently he has been moved to one of the guest's rooms, under your sister's, er, insistence. He's still under strict surveillance."Starfall smiles. "First floor of the palace, left wing. Last room of the corridor, with three windows facing on the outside. Fairly accessible, guards nonwithstanding."The mercenary whistles. "You're certainly something."She shrugs nonchalantly. "Well, I AM the latest maid hired as a new member of the palace staff, after all.""You're amazing." You recognize."Please praise me some more." She winks."What about those guards?" Karas busts her bubble."There's about two hundred at the palace at all times. They move in groups, each group change turns at different times, staggered. They have overlapping patrol areas, and come from about ten different mercenary companies, under special contracts. Their officers are personally appointed by Rankar and loyal to him."Nerus nods. "He's very careful. Still, if you have the sort of abilities that I've had the chance of seeing miss Starfall here employ, I don't think they'll stop you for long. But there's more.""The Dragon-Blooded." You nod."The Realm has an embassy and trade offices in Gem, of course, but they're not involved with anything Rankar does, so we can ignore them." Nerus continues. "Two of his top officers are Dragon-Blooded mercenaries. He has two more Exalted within the palace, though they're non-combatants from what I know. Some sort of bureuacrats or advisors.""They could still pack a mean punch." Aexel suggests. "Or be sorcerors.""Could be. On top of that, Rankar managed to somehow get Rekka as a bodyguard.""...Rekka?" Karas exclaims, surprised. "Rekka, the Flying Blade? The Desert-Cleaving Sword? "He nods and smiles. "The one and only.""Is he famous?" Valeriana wonders."Rekka is the greatest swordsman of the South." You explain. "He's a living legend. His skills with a blade are second to none. And Karas has always been a fan of his.""Oh, shut up." He replies, clearly embarrassed. "Is he Exalted?" Tia wonders.You, Karas and Nerus stare at each other and shrug."Eeeh...""...No one knows?""...I don't think he is, but then again, he DID defeat Exalted swordsmen." The mercenary informs you. "Whatever he is, he is a power to be reckoned with.""...I wonder if I could defeat him, now." Karas mumbles."I wonder why he's working for Rankar, rather." You reply. "He's never cared about anything other than perfectioning his art. I can't imagine him becoming a mercenary." Pause. "No offense.""None taken." Nerus grins. "I honestly don't know. There must be a reason, of course."Lynne taps his foot. "So, what's out first order of business?"(cont.)
>>363726Maka was already not widely known before, and now she doesn't resemble her old self much anymore either. I don't think it's an issue. Maybe a bit more for Karas, but even he probably has nothing to worry about.
>>363726Does it really matter if anyone knows who we are in the end, as long as they don't find out we're a Solar?
>I still need to know something. (what?)>We raise an army inside Gem.>We look for contacts and allies that will support us.>We contact my father.>We break free my father.>We rescue my sister.>We sneak in the palace and confront Rankar.>We sneak in the palace and confront Rankar Jr.>We gather more intel and wait, for now.>(Other?)
>>363723>Well if we really wanted to we could probably have val and silk or something like that make a food factory underground.Or in the Wyld. You remember how close Gem is to the edge of Creation, and therefore how close it is to Wyld pockets, right? We could establish our new faerie pet in one of Gem's Wyld pockets, have Silk back at Tianna, and ship goods directly through the Wyld from one faerie dominion to the other.After all, the Wyld doesn't follow conventional rules on space; as long as they're narratively linked, you can get from any part of the Wyld to any other part of the Wyld in as long as it takes to tell the story.Here's a picture of Maka's sickly mom (who was apparently healthy enough to give birth to three healthy children, so take her sickliness with a grain of salt).
>>363734>>We break free my father.>>We rescue my sister.then after that>>We sneak in the palace and confront Rankar.
>>363734>I want to meet my family>I want to see Rekka and discover why he supports Rankar.
>>363733Doesn't everyone know that the Queen of Tianna is a solar?
>>363745Why would anyone think the queen of tianna is here, half a world away?
>>363735>who was apparently healthy enough to give birth to three healthy children, so take her sickliness with a grain of saltIt's not like she gave birth to them last month, anon
>We break free my father.>We rescue my sister.Their safety is the only thing that prevents us going all out.We have almost a 2 to 1 advantage in exalted.
>>363745>Doesn't everyone know that the Queen of Tianna is a solar?How many people in the far South do you think have even heard of Tianna, let alone have new enough news to know that Amata is no longer the sole monarch?
>>363734>We look for contacts and allies that will support us.We have a few day before the wedding, let's use that to gain as big an advantage as we can.>>363745Amata is Queen of Tianna, and people think she's a DB, but the do know the new queen of Pearl is one. But I don't think many people know that the Queen of Pearl and the Princess of Gem are the same person.
>>363749>It's not like she gave birth to them last month, anonShe's sickly because of a childhood case of scarlet fever, from which she never fully recovered, if I remember correctly. So I'm willing to wager the sickliness predates her first pregnancy.
>>363734>We gather more intel and wait, for now.>We look for contacts and allies that will support us.>We contact my father.We have three days before the wedding to prep, let's use those to the fullest, we'll contact dad and if we really need to we'll break them out right then and there, but for now let's start turning the city against the Rankar with some Social charms
>>363750That's not even considering the vast gulf in qualitative difference between the exalted in question either. As badass as a Realm emissary could be, he or she can't ever be a combat monster like our heavy hitters.
>>363761Sidereals can be pretty nasty, anonAnd let's not forget that Gem is one of the known hotspots for Alechemical activity in Creation.
>>363750Give us a bit of time anon, sure we can win, but let's try and make this as bloodless as possible.I'm like, half worried that imouto has fallen in love with Rankar Jr. for real and that he might not be a total dick like his dad considering no one knows much about him.
>>363761>As badass as a Realm emissary could be, he or she can't ever be a combat monster like our heavy hitters.That's not necessarily true. While Karas has a much higher upper limit compared to a Dragon-blooded, he hasn't even been exalted for an entire year. A Dragon-blooded emissary, though, could have literally centuries of studying Immaculate martial arts under their belt. And unlike the Neck, Gem is actually important to send someone competent.I'm not saying that's necessarily the case, mind you, but to discount the value of centuries of experience in favor of just going with whomever has the stronger flavor of exaltation is a dangerous underestimation to make.
>>363763That would explain one thing.
>>363773And let's not ignore totally-not-a-Solar Rekka
>>363763There those of us that haven't forgotten the report of "Locusts" in the South we got a while back.
>>363763Yeah but why would sidereals bother advising some mortal king when there are solars and dragonblooded to manipulate. Seems like a waste of time unless Rankar is some sid's pet project.>>363773I get what you're driving at but I sincerely doubt the realm emissaries are centuries old Immaculate Grandmasters. I'd imagine they'd be competent house members given a task of ensuring the continuation of profitable trade.That being said we'll never know for sure until we see them I guess.
First and Forsaken Lion might also be in on this
>>363734>>We look for contacts and allies that will support us.>>We contact my father.
>>363734>>We gather more intel and wait, then crash te wedding
>>363782Of course he is, he has MakaMom
>>363780Why would a sidereal sit on the throne of some totally-mundane-nothing-special-to-see-here volcanic island in the middle of nowhere?
>>363792She feels so much better now! And after the coup, her patron revealed the truth of how corrupt all rulers in Creation are. It's really a mercy that she's been putting them down. Don't worry, though, she'll be happy to stand by her husband when he's on the throne again. He'll need a good advisor, after all.
>>363792>>363803Such a family. Poor imouto must feel left out or will pretend to until she stops pretending she isn't a sid
>>363812Style seems to fit the family. I like it.
Also to me Rekka vs Karas has Sidereal influence all over it
>>363797Point.Who knows what the sids are up to and why they do it.
"We've got three days." You spell out to everyone assembled. "That's plenty enough time. I think that it's best if we execute this coup as bloodlessly as possible, and without it being publicly known that there's Solars behind this whole deal.""Agreed." Karas nods. "No magic, no obvious charms, no artifacts.""First of all, we must look for people who'll support us." You continue. "And in Gem, the power is in the hands of the Despot... and the Trader Houses.""All five houses support the Despot nominally, but you know how things are. Offer them more, make sure that they're not hurt by the coup, and they'll look the other way.""The old man of house Arbani is an old friend of my father, at least." You remind him."Friendship counts for something, but doesn't automatically mean he'll support you." The mercenary reminds you. "Same for the other houses. Arbani, Sahlak, Iblan, Circla and Trasti will all want reassurances before they take your side. And yet the more people know that we're preparing something, the more likely it is that the information will leak to Rankar.""What do these Houses deal in?" Mikahil is interested."Arbani is the largest firewand manufacturer in the South." You explain. "An old friend and hunting buddy of my dad's is the house head. Shalak runs the brothels and dream parlors.""..:Dream Parlors?" Tia wonders."One of the gems that are extracted here are called Dream Opals." Karas explains. "They can hold dreams, and, by sleeping with one of those in your hand, you have that same dream. There are professional dreamers that record dreams, and, in a dream parlor, you have a huge selection of stones at your disposal, with all sorts of dreams you ca experience.""I am interested." Tia replies."Word around is that one of the daughters of Shakal recently Exalted, by the way." Nerus notes. "It's still sketchy and might be just a rumor, but apparently a patron at one of her establishments attacked her, and she threw him through three walls.""Could also be just a rumor." Lynne adds. "I've seen or heard nothing definitive about it. Might be a publicity stunt.""Anyway." You continue. "House Iblan is the richest. They run the mines all over Gem. Circla handles the gladiatorial pits and the fighting rings, and Trasti the banks, loan houses, and casinos.""And then there's the mercenaries." Karas continues. "Gem has probably about a hundred different units going around, in the employ of the houses, the Despot, other private entrepreneurs, traders, or just waiting for the next contract."You clear your throat. "Well, we want to act fast, to we're not going to have time to speak with everyone. Besides, we don't want too many people to know about what we're organizing. So, first of all, if we want to get some support..."(cont.)
>Start with House Arbani.>Start with House Sahlak.>Start with House Iblan.>Start with House Circla.>Start with House Trasti.>Start with getting some mercenaries on your side.>We don't need to look for support. We should act quickly, instead.>(Other?)
>>363835>>Start with House Arbani.At the very least, even if he doesn't join us his friendship with our dad means we should be able to convince him not to go running to Rankar.
>>363835>>Start with House Sahlak.By Exalted, you mean as a DB? I am for looking into this unless anybody particularly wants one of the other options.
>>363832>Start with House Arbani.Seems like the easiest sell.Circla was the house that sponsored GrandpapaMaka correct?
>>363835>>Start with House Arbani.But before that, get to work on sneaking out or at least talking to our sister. That's more important. We have more than enough time for the coup, but it's only three days for her.
>>363835>Start with House Arbani.Start with the friend and then he can point us to the others, I really want the Iblan for the money after this, all that gold waiting to be made into Orichalcum.
>>363832>"Anyway." You continue. "House Iblan is the richest. They run the mines all over Gem.Please don't be Lannister rippoffs.
>>363850The entire point of the city is the mining industry, it's inevitably a profitable business here.
>>363835>>Start with House ArbaniWe should try and get House Arbani and Iblan on our side first, so we can hire and arm mercenaries. Trying to get much more than that risks word getting back to Rankar.
>>363859I don't think you know what I meant.
>>363860>and arm mercenaries.Speaking of weapons, since we're trying to avoid people winding out that "anathema" are involved in this, we should avoid using artifacts made of Orichalcum or Moonsilver.
>>363860Trasti is an easy buy too considering our history, get Karas to to a few matches in the gladiator pit, maybe spur them on with a Karas v Rekka title match if they're the gloryhound type.
>>363863>winding outFinding out, rather
>>363861I sure fucking do. Lannisters are rich because of their mines. This house here is rich because of their mines. COINCEIDENCE???? Yes. And it's not even a similar situation, as you'll see when you spend a few minutes learning about Gem and the south of Creation, if you ever do.
>>363860But I'm also worried about the mercs, if they have any sort of job integrity they'll go to there boss if someone tries to buy them out, plus if were talking money then the Despot can always match or even double anything we have to offer so bribes are pretty hard to do.
>>363872Then we don't try and hire ones that are already employed, especially not by Rankar.
>>363871Jesus anon calm down. I just meant that, if EF has to invent the characters for that house, because I don't know if there's a source book that outlines them, they DON'T act like another family famous for their mines.
I wonder what kind of dream Maka could store in these opals. Her dreams could be worth a fortune.Tia's dreams are all about Maka and Maka's Makas That's why her Opal wold be the most valuable
>>363832>Start with House Arbani.Right, my vote. Duh.
>>363888You're safe with me.1) They're from a sourcebook (although I'm taking a few liberties with them)2) I don't watch/read Game of Thrones.
>>363888And I'm telling you there's no particular reason for them to, because they are in a completely different world, in completely different circumstance. There aren't any similarities between them except in the most superficial ways.>calm downFuck you, you smug bitch. If you want a civil discussion then don't come into it like a cunt on wheels.
>>363898Now you're just being rude.>>363896Thank you.
>>363898>Fuck you, you smug bitch. If you want a civil discussion then don't come into it like a cunt on wheels.As an independent third party who wants you both to shut up, you're the one who did that, not them.
"First of all, we should go and see if we can get the Arbani on our side. Is old man Halan still head of the house?""Yes, thankfully." Nerus replies. "I don't know what will become of his house when he dies, given that his sons and the rest of the family is...""They're not Arbani Halan." Karas sums it up."No." Nerus shakes his head. "They're not Arbani Halan at all.""Anything we should know? How did Rankar treat him?""Very well, actually. He bought a large stock of firewands and flamepieces, and had a unique piece made for his son as a marriage gift. He spent a lot of money on them.""Because he knows that Halan would prefer seeing dad, rather than him, on the throne." Karas muses. "Oh, undoubtedly his generosity had this very specific objective in mind." The mercenary nods. "But he was still very generous.""Right. Well, let's pay him a visit then."[SESSION END]
>>363911>[SESSION END]It's over!Thanks for the thread as always EF!
>>363900He's the one who not only insulted my intelligence but also refused to actually make an argument while doing so, basically just going "tehee anon you're so dumb~", either for the sake of being annoying, or not knowing that it's obnoxious to do so.>>363899You reap what you sow.
>>363911EF, why are you ignoring the importance of saving our little sister?We ultimately came here for the sake of family.
>>363911Oh, did you see my paste here? >>362738
>>363918Because that's what people voted for. And we did that because if we save her before takeing down Rankar it will alert him to our presence, making it harder to do so.She's fine, and will be at least up until the marriage, so chill the fuck out.
>>363924People voted for other things because all of the available votes were for other things.She's not fine, she's the only actually time-critical objective we have, except for possibly our mother which we need to find out about first.All of the coup things can wait.
>>363926All of this stuff is preparations to save her anon, we're killing 2 birds with 1 stone here.
>>363928That makes no sense, since none of those things are actually needed in any way to save her.
>>363926>People voted for other things because all of the available votes were for other things.No they weren't. Look here >>363670The vote>He's right. We gotta act right now.Would have us acting to save her right now.And here >>363734>We rescue my sister.Would have us going straight to free her.People chose the slow, careful approach both times, quit your fucking bitching.
>>363926A grand total of two people voted to save her right now, that's a losing vote.We have three days before the wedding and no, she isn't in any danger until we actually rescue here. Since Radiant said she got hired to be a maid in the palace we have a way to contact them in case that changes and we need a more immediate break out. So for now we're waiting and building up our forces.
>>363911Hey thanks for running EF! Anyone know how much exp we have?
>>363918I'm not. I't's an important thing that Maka is keeping in mind, but, considering the votes, the consensus seems to be that she's in no immediate danger and that there's some time before the marriage ceremony.Besides:"Rescue my sister" votes:>>363738>>363750"Find allies first" votes:>>363759>>363753>>363784>>363921I did, and liked it! +1 XPFor this thread:Base: +2 XPStarting a Revolution: +1 XPPutting you at 16 XP!Charms incoming.Also, after thinking about it I've decided that I don't like and want to drop Army-Crushing Glory, for the following reasons:1) It feels more like a mass-combat charm than a social charm.2) Is actually pretty boring as far as its effect goes. 3) It's not going to FEEL impressive, and it actually removes stuff from play rather than add it.I'd like to know if you agree or disagree, and if you have any ideas or suggestions for a power to replace it. (I have some ideas of my own, but I'd like to hear yours first.)
>>363929Saving Eskarin is the domino that's going to start our revolultion, once we get her out we're going to have to get started on the coup right that second since that will put Rankar on high alert.
>>363931>>363937Both of those votes had a majority focus on the family actually. Are you saying they lost just because they were split up? Because if the various houses were given in the same vote then that would have lost.But fine, fuck it, I just hope you take this into consideration for future votes.
DAWN:DEATH FROM AFAR: (1C) +3d to ranged attacks for the scene. (2B) +3d to one ranged attack.SHOCKWAVE FIST TECHNIQUE: (1B) An unarmed attack can be carried out at a range of [Phys+Dawn]x10 meters.ONE WEAPON, TWO BLOWS: (1B) Your attack is applied separately against two different targets within reach.REGIMENT-SLAYING STRIKE: (3B) Allows you to attack an entire crowd, mob or military unit with one attack.ZENITH:TRANSCENDENT HERO'S MEDITATION: (1C) +3d to your Social Defense pool for the scene.ETERNAL SURVIVOR ATTITUDE: (1C) +3d to survival rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one survival roll.MOUNTAIN'S ENDURANCE: (1C) +3d to endurance rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one endurance roll.ESSENCE-GATHERING TEMPER: (Perm.) Every time you lose a health level, you regain two Burn Essence.FRIEND OF CREATION: (Perm.) All natural animals in Creation are friendly to you. (2B) You can give them simple orders.OX-BODY TECHNIQUE: (Perm.) +2 Health Levels. Can be bought multiple times.TWILIGHT:WISE ARTISAN'S SKILL: (1C) +3d to crafting rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one crafting roll.STANCE OF THE MAGISTRATE: (1C) +3d to investigation rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one investigation roll.JUDGE'S EAR TECHNIQUE: (1C) Can tell when a person lies knowingly, for the scene. NIGHT:SHADOW ARTS: (1C) +3d to stealth rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one stealth roll.CLEAR SENSE LIGHT: (1C) +3d to awareness rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one awareness roll.CELESTIAL MIGHT: (1C) +3d to athletics rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one athletics roll.ECLIPSE:MASTER OF LETTERS: (1C) +3d to linguistics rolls for the scene (2B): +3d to one linguistics roll.MASTERY OF SMALL MANNERS: (3B) You learn the short-term objectives of people in the scene. Gives straightforward ideas, but does not reveal complex plans.SAGACIOUS READING OF INTENT: (2B) You select a statement you either heard or read, and can discern the true reason that caused its author to utter or write it, and what he intends to gain from it.
>>363937I Agree with the passive nature of army crushing glory being rather unimpressive. I'd say if it's all about mega social attacks have it be like inspired performance style on crack.Maybe switch it to a burn only charm that when activated lets us make an enormous social attack to utterly quell any opposition to us in a given scene. Like Maka going solo in front of an army of fae or a large Wyld Hunt and commanding them to leave. Since the commit portion would be missing i'd say allow us to dump all relevant social charms into it. I'd say crank up the burn cost in that case, it should be the social nuclear option otherwise we'll just spam it every time we have to deal with any large group.
>>363937I don't mind it going as long as we get something interesting in return, for something more narratively impressive, how about instead of just being unable to act against us they have to follow a single order from us, that way if we want to have the same effect as ACG we can order them to sit down and shut up, but it still leaves us options open to play around.>>363946>JUDGE'S EAR TECHNIQUE: (1C) Can tell when a person lies knowingly, for the scene.Where's mom Rankar and also do you actually love each other Sis and R.JR if that happens
>>363937>Base: +2 XPI was about to ask whether running into a second day changes our base XP. Guess not.>I don't like and want to drop Army-Crushing GlorI'm fine with it as long as we get an XP refund>if you have any ideas or suggestions for a power to replace it.Which tree was it the Elder power for?>>363941If you actually look, the people voting for finding allies and contacts were actually voting for CONTACTING our dad, not breaking him out. Presumably for the reasons >>363938 mentioned.>>363946>JUDGE'S EAR TECHNIQUE: (1C) Can tell when a person lies knowingly, for the scene.
>>363949Contacting our dad is still completely different than what we got.
>>363946Aren't some higher level charms now available as well?If not, >JUDGE'S EAR TECHNIQUE
>>363941There's a reason that Break out Dad and Contact Dad we're separate options, just because both involved our family doesn't mean they lead to the same action.Breaking out dad is the same as rescuing Imouto, an immediate response that leads to things happening now.Contacting dad gives us more leeway, we tell him we're in Gem and what we're planning
>>363946>ESSENCE-GATHERING TEMPER: (Perm.) Every time you lose a health level, you regain two Burn Essence.Gonna have to go with this
>>363947That's not a horrible idea...
So.How much xp for Kara's Harem Style MA and fitting armor?
>>363952No we just haven't done it yet, we started on gathering allies, which by the way actually has the highest votes total, since dad isn't here to contact right this second. We'll get into contact once we break off the meeting.
>>363946>JUDGE'S EAR TECHNIQUE: (1C) Can tell when a person lies knowingly, for the scene.
>>363946>TRANSCENDENT HERO'S MEDITATION: (1C) +3d to your Social Defense pool for the scene.We really should have this.>>363937>I did, and liked it! +1 XPThanks. I've been thinking about making a few excerpts from the Good Book Maka's Cult has.Current table of Contents:Sayings of The Unconquered Sun by The Unconquered SonOn Righteous Conduct, by NyselaOn Forgiveness And Mercy, by MakaThe Nature of "Anathema" and other creatures (Not Sure who should make this)Realm of the Dead by Tyrant (Its Ghost Written)On other Gods, by Maka
>>363937What did you have in mind to replace it EF?
>>363966The nature of anathema should be written by Mika probably. Or Zaan
>>363970Even better to have it written by one of the dragonblooded.Even BETTER if it was one of the immaculates we sorta halfway maybe befriended in the Neck.
>>363974Or Running Swallow
>>363966>Realm of the Dead by Tyrant (Its Ghost Written)>Ghost WrittenNo but seriously Feurdelis should write that part.
Anyone have any idea what the remaining slots in our Summoning the Loyal Steel should be? Our boots and gauntlets probably take up 2, and EF said we could have the swift rider in there, but beyond those and an all purpose knife I'm drawing blanks.
>>363988We only have four slots.
>>363988We'll use them as they come, no need to fill it up with junk we probably won't use anyway.Leave some spaces open just in case we find like, Solar Excalibur or something.
>>363960Essence Gathering Temper combined with Ox Body technique would go straight to our toughness. The amount of essence this would give is phenomenal and now our essence doubles as health given that we have a perfect defense.
>>363996Yep, it also opens up other essence gathering charms.
>>363946>ESSENCE-GATHERING TEMPER: (Perm.) Every time you lose a health level, you regain two Burn Essence.This definitely. I vote for this.
>>363996>The amount of essence this would give is phenomenalWhen was the last time we ran out of essence?I'm not saying it isn't important, but right now JET is more important, given we're gonna have to interrogate Rankar soon.
>>363988Our wars trader, when we have one.
>>363996I do want this and at least another Ox Body, but we can afford it next thread. Right now JET has an urgency without upcoming social game.
>>364004We'll have enough to get that by the end of next session. We should get JET eventually, I agree, but strictly speaking none of the charms are pressing. Even JET as Mik is with us. Essence Gathering Temper might come in handy if we go against that undefeated swordsman.
>>364019Right and what if JET would be immediately useful IN the next session?We're effectively indestructible with the stuff we're currently facing and essence is not a problem, so why grab that stuff now over JET when we can grab JET now and pick up essence gathering temper later?
>>364019Except we're planing on doing social stuff next session, so the social charm is probably going to be more useful than the charm that triggers when we take physical damage.
>>364027>>364024Well, if you feel that strongly about it, I'll change my vote to JET now on the condition that we get EGT next time. How about it?
>>364043Nobody can guarantee that for you.
>>364043I can't guarantee how other people vote, but I was on the fence between getting that and SHOCKWAVE FIST TECHNIQUE next, so I can at least promise my vote for EGT next time.
>>364043>>364057I could also vote for it next time, assuming I catch the thread whenever it is. I do think it's a good idea, it's just that JET is a very important charm to have in general, one of the most used solar ones for a reason, and it's especially important now that we're entering an environment of intrigue.
So I haven't given up on getting Wings of the Raptor, but recently I've been torn between a feathery angel set
Or a mecha set.
>>363949>>if you have any ideas or suggestions for a power to replace it.>Which tree was it the Elder power for?The "Social attack" tree of Zenith.>>363956>Aren't some higher level charms now available as well?No, because you can access Elder Charms only if you "complete a tree", that is, buy ALL charms related to a certain field. You did this with "unarmored soak" and "social attack", and already bought those Elder Charms.You'll unlock a new Elder Charm when you reach the end of a new Tree.>>363947>Maybe switch it to a burn only charm that when activated lets us make an enormous social attack to utterly quell any opposition to us in a given sceneI don't dislike that idea, but the problem is... that's something that Maka KIND OF can already do with her current charms. It doesn't feel like a new power.>>363948>how about instead of just being unable to act against us they have to follow a single order from us, that way if we want to have the same effect as ACG we can order them to sit down and shut up, but it still leaves us options open to play around.For example, this is quite a bit better, but I can't shake the feeling that it'll resurrect the ancient UMI flamewar, so I'm very nervous about it.>>363949>I'm fine with it as long as we get an XP refundI was thinking more along the lines of "change the charm's effect".>>364009A warstrider is way too big for that charm.>>363968>What did you have in mind to replace it EF?I have a few ideas, mostly inspired by actual social charms in the corebooks (but modified).- A charm that allows you to make long-distance social attacks. Kind of similar to Horizon-to-Horizon, but one you can actually control and aim. I like the idea, but I'm not sure how it'd work in actual play.- A charm that, when activated, lets you instill a specific emotion in someone. It does so without a roll. It's not technically a social attack, but it can act as a defense modifier on other social attacks, or be used to other effects.- A charm that enhances a specific performance so that it will affect an enormous area. extremely unsubtle, but the equivalent of social orbital artillery.Given that Maka's specialty is seduction, I've been thinking about charms that affect that, but nothing comes to mind. (Keep in mind that I want the charms to actually do something new, and not just be "more dice" or "higher numbers": Maka's numbers are about as high as they can get)
>>364078>A charm that, when activated, lets you instill a specific emotion in someone. It does so without a roll. It's not technically a social attack, but it can act as a defense modifier on other social attacks, or be used to other effects.I don't like the idea of something that can reach into someone unwilling and do something to them not being termed as an attack. That way it could just bypass all defenses, even perfect defense charms, couldn't it?Maybe name it a shaping effect instead of a social attack? Or maybe a perfect social attack... I don't know.>A charm that enhances a specific performance so that it will affect an enormous area. extremely unsubtle, but the equivalent of social orbital artillery.I do like this one.
>>364078I think I have an idea, but first can you explain how Horizon-to-Horizon actually works? How is it determined what the automatic social attack they receive from seeing us does?
>>364078If you want it to fulfill the role that Army Crushing Glory was really meant to fill but better, making it the AoE-boosting performance would be appropriate.If you combined that with seduction, we would get the entirely redundant power of making everyone want to have sex with us.
>>364078>- A charm that, when activated, lets you instill a specific emotion in someone. It does so without a roll. It's not technically a social attack, but it can act as a defense modifier on other social attacks, or be used to other effects.I really like this one, but how about something like forcing it be only emotions Maka feels strongly about, I like the idea of using this to show someone what mercy feels like or using it on Amata to show her how much we love her, it would techincally be a nerf, but I like how it changes the thematics of the charm>- A charm that enhances a specific performance so that it will affect an enormous area. extremely unsubtle, but the equivalent of social orbital artillery.This one is just fun for the sheer power of it.
>>364094It builds an intimacy for you. Essentially, "I like Maka".>>364097Yeah it IS pretty redundant. Honestly with that charm my first idea was just, like, an enormous concert with an outrageous display of Essence as lightshow.I have to AFK now, but I'll be back later.
>>364111I mean, didn't we already display our ability to convince an entire crowd of people to have sex with us quite early in our adventures? The festival for Dancing Smoke?Still sad about her. I wonder if there's like, a way for her to return to her naive state until we're ready to make the titan fly in a couple centuries. :/
>>364078>A charm that enhances a specific performance so that it will affect an enormous area. extremely unsubtle, but the equivalent of social orbital artillery.So if we used this while having sex, would people in the blast zone WANT to have sex with Maka, like a seduction attack, or would they feel like they WERE having sex with Maka, since that's also a social attack?I feel slightly ashamed for asking this question. But only slightly.
>>364148Don't feel ashamed, that is a very important distinction.
>>364111>It builds an intimacy for you. Essentially, "I like Maka".I don't think that works with my idea, so I'm throwing my support behind > A charm that enhances a specific performance so that it will affect an enormous area. extremely unsubtle, but the equivalent of social orbital artillery.The only downside seems to be lack of subtlety, and that's not usually Maka's MO anyway.
>>364154I like the artillery approach too. And I don't think being unsubtle is really a downside when what you're doing is the equivalent of artillery.
>>364078>For example, this is quite a bit better, but I can't shake the feeling that it'll resurrect the ancient UMI flamewar, so I'm very nervous about it.I dunno, it doesn't seem that similar to me. I mean, it's a short duration thing with no lasting effects, right? There's no actual mindrape angle there. It's just a shortcut into the natural tendency of people to do what a perceived authority figure tells them to.Hell, it's not even a particularly "out there" effect to start with. It's just a weaponized, juiced-up Bavarian fire drill. If you just act like you're supposed to be doing what you're doing, it's not always all that hard to get people to just do what you say in reality, either.The idea really strikes me as being like a weaponized Talking To The Heart, in that it conveys an intent perfectly and convinces someone to go with it. Just like TTTH might sway someone's opinions briefly until they stop to actually think about it, that charm idea would have them do as they're told briefly until they stop and say "Wait, who the fuck are you anyway?"
>>364078>Given that Maka's specialty is seduction, I've been thinking about charms that affect that, but nothing comes to mind.I've given this some thought, and the best I've been able to come up with is something similar to Horizon-to-Horizon. Some kind of permanent charm that targets anyone who sees Maka, the real one, as I don't see how it would be useful through images of her, and anyone who it succeeds on takes a hit to their Social Defense as their to busy thinking about how hot Maka is to form proper arguments.Not sure if that's really on the same level as the other stuff being suggested though, it strikes me more as a Zenith 5 charm than an Elder charm.
>>366546Why did my ID change? This is XOIyjJuT if anyone cares. I doubt they do, but I don't know why it changed.
>>364839I kinda like this. The potential for funny shenanigans is great, too. I mean, a Solar's purview is authority, so you could see it as temporarily impressing on people that they should naturally listen to us. You could make it cover one order a scene to prevent the danger of it being spammed, too.
I guess the Charm chosen is Judge's Ear Technique.As for the Elder Charm, I'll consider everything that we've said here and think about something appropriate by next thread.
Man, it takes awhile for threads to fall off this board.