Circles Shattered and Reforged

You Dropped a Patropolis On Me
Yeah, no, the rhythm is lost...
  • Making their way back to the Roar, the crew debates where to suggest the city drops.
  • Calculations suggest a final diameter of roughly 500 miles of damage. Pick a square on the map to blow up.
  • With charts from Amberhall’s quarters, the Exalts plot out where, perhaps, it might be ideal for the city to cause mass devastation.
  • Straight down is…difficult. It’s very likely that the city would end up buried under a mile or more of ice.
  • The amount of slowing down that Hatiq can manage is minimal; he has to tunnel through the flesh of Autochthon, assume a proper trajectory to land where desired, and sufficiently displace the shockwave from hurting his denizens.
  • Eventually, a tentative location is picked: To the east of the Haslanti borders lie the Tear Eater barbarians. They aren’t a threat to the Haslanti yet, but there’s also a small shadowland they wouldn’t mind messing up.
  • On the other hand, it’s also very close to the borders of the Bull of the North.
  • The planning continues…
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No Rest For the Exalted
Not even the very Exalted
  • It really isn’t long at all before Athyfer departs again.
  • Sparrow takes it into her head to do something productive with her time.
  • She looks up old mining maps, and locates a distant adamant veing that had been obstructed by an encroaching Blight zone for many years.
  • Recruiting the rest of the PC’s into this, she requisitions some equipment and the Exalted (and some of their Mortal crew) begin their journey into the great black underbelly of Autochthon.
  • It isn’t long at all before a couple of the characters begin to hear something. It’s very, very distant, but to Lion, it’s not wholly unfamiliar…
  • Time passes. Days, even. The characters scale a great metal mountain. The noise gets louder. More of the PC’s hear it.
  • Several days of crossing the metallic landscape later, damn near everyone’s heard that awful, grating, tearing metallic sound. But it’s not the first thing on their minds; that would be the Blight Zone they’ve come to. A custodian beetle-god with evident corruption lumbers across its borders.
  • Our heroes decide to subdue it, hoping to cure it and use its assistance.
  • This does not go well, starting with Dusk’s accidental activation of the explosive charges for his sling, and ending with the death of the big bad beetleborg rather than its capture.
  • Along the way, Unari is badly hurt.
  • In the aftermath, Lion and Dusk wander off separately to fume. Sparrow’s frustration reaches a breaking point, and she begins methodically picking apart the fallen deity as the fauna of Autochthon begin to digest it.
  • Hours later, Lion returns, bearing news: the noise—whatever it is—is drawing closer. It’s still near a hundred miles away, and approaching slowly enough to be outpaced, but it’s coming, and toward Hatiq to boot.
  • Seeking further reconaissance, the Exalted send off Precious to scope out the source of the noise.
  • This goes…poorly. Sending the one solitary mechanical entity in the group into the zone of corrupted and infectious mechanical things was poorly considered. Of course, Sparrow could always just build another Precious.
  • Sparrow comes out of her Limit Break and realizes that this may in fact still be horrific just in time for a gremlinized Precious to attack.
  • Sparrow tearfully deactivates her Familiar, and realizes that the corruption is too endemic to her Essence to cure with her current skills and tools.
  • Erryl, on the other hand, is a Lunar who specializes in moving fast and being undetected. She flies away into the dark, promising to catch up to the others.
  • Several hours later, she does just that, as a galloping yeddim. What’s coming is really, REALLY big.
  • Making their way back to Hatiq, the Exalted demand to speak to who’s in charge.
  • Who’s In charge seem to be currently arguing about labor laws and can’t be disturbed.
  • Oh, Yes They Can. This is big.
  • Before they can effectively protest, Lion employs Solar Illusion-magic and convinces them that oh yes, this is important.
  • The city itself gets involved. Hatiq appears at the gathering, in a humaniform body, and calmly acknowledges the danger. He presents an option—“Operation Tumbleweed”, it seems, a mechanism to remove the city from the Great Maker’s Body—and suggests the populace get to work on that.
  • The PC’s begin to plan where Hatiq might want to place himself, only for Sparrow to realize that the city, falling from so great a height, will cause great damage wherever it lands…
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The Descent of Exalts
It All Comes Tumbling Down, Tumbling Down, Tumbling Down...
  • After several minutes of falling, Irgalah’s vat-organ-chamber hits a gradual incline which slows it down. It still hits the ground, but the insides are spinning at several hundred miles an hour when it does so.
  • In the meantime, Lion and Sparrow manage to extricate and awaken Seer of Bright Vistas.
  • Unari is the only character meaningfully injured by the fall, trying to protect her Solar Mate.
  • Well, the Princess’s mortal Demiurge assistance are reduced to red paste.
  • The Princess herself arises more or less none the worse for wear. The PC’s refuse to let her just escape, and so engage her in combat.
  • In the meantime, the PC’s discover that under her veil, she’s…made some cosmetic adjustments. Her mouth is stitched into a permanent smile, and her eyes are replaced with glass beads. The veil she wears seems to be woven voice-cloth.
  • It’s like 7 vs. 1. Do the math. Even if she did take one of them down, Arc and Vista are prepared to jump in.
  • The Princess finally falls. Lyim takes an ear as a trophy. Sparrow takes the veil. Lion lays her body to rest, leaving behind silk armor, soulsteel wire that held her lips, and a pair of eyes that roll away in opposite directions.
  • Vista employs strange Autochthonian not-quite-Sorcery to re-don all her armor-artifact-charms.
  • Our heroes begin a very long walk back to Hatiq. At a certain point, the road forks, and while our man Arc wishes to take the downward path—implied to be toward Xexas—the others realize that Vista has the right direction, and takes the path upward toward the Patropolis from whence they came.
  • Again, long walk. A Blight Zone is crossed, and yea, there was much kicking of robo-cancer ass, amen.
  • Finally, the Exalted make it back, and there is cheering, and hot baths, and Arc is taken in for upgrades but going to be left to sit for a couple months so his pesky desire to go down to Xexas for reasons he refuses to clarify to the PC’s.
  • Athyfer is back, and he’s been spending this time exploring and learning and apparently oh yes he ran into the Skald and seems to have killed him for realz simply by stating his name.
  • The Skald did have the whip he’d promised Mother on him, and so hey, Athyfer honors that.
  • The crew seems more disciplined now—Akeva had used Tiger-Warrior Training, but it seems like Erryl, of all people, turned into an extremely effective drill sergeant while nobody was looking and trained up the crew even more. Pretty much everyone’s rocking straight 4’s in their physicals at this point.
  • Erryl claims to know nothing.
  • Over dinner, Athyfer catches up with the PC’s.
  • He’s rather enthused about this whole place; he remembers the Maker from the Primordial War, but being inside is rather fascinating, if tragic to see how he’s doing…
  • By the by, Athyfer is beginning to suspect that Hatiq isn’t really “The Last City” Spear claims it to be.
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Welcome to the Machine
And meet some new...friends?
  • The Circle finds themselves confronted with over a dozen armed guards. Did we mention they don’t speak the language?
  • Well, sort of. Autochthonian sounds like a broken, grammatically strained version of Old Realm that requires severe mental gymnastics to make sound understandable.
  • Threats and tense glares are exchanged for a bit, but an ignited caste mark and words from Linguistics-favoring Lion calm the situation.
  • One of the soldiers turns to his commanding officer and offers to escort them into the city. Said officer nods his agreement, and the soldier leads the way.
  • He introduces himself as Spear, and in the course of broken conversation mentions that he, too, is a champion among his people.
  • Spear guides the PC’s up spiralling tunnels, until they reach a city made of severe jade blocks, towering from floor to ceiling. “Welcome to Hatiq.” He says. “Welcome to the last city.”
  • The Exalted are taken to official quarters and questioned, briefly, before the city is attacked by gremlins.
  • The PC’s join the fray, taking on one of the bigger ones themselves, a giant beetle of a thing with a human, smiling mask made of some strange cloth nailed to its face..
  • The Hatiqan people fare generally quite well—the city is literally mobilized against them, buildings sliding around to crush smaller invaders, windows closing and opening to shield bowmen and allow them to reload.
  • Perfect victory, right?
  • Not really. It seems one of the elder Exalted in this city, Seer of Bright Vistas, was captured outside.
  • The Circle agrees to help, assisting the Soulsteel caste Alchemical Subtle Hewing Arc, who introduces himself by rewriting Sparrow’s brain to be able to speak Autochtonian.
  • The PC’s leave the city and find themselves in the metallic wilderness of the Great Maker. Another Colossus, Bright Alarum Carillon, points them in the right direction. Carillon does ask Arc to avoid the city of Xexas, which the later almost pre-emptively snaps back that he will.
  • Over time, as the PC’s travel for days and weeks, Arc’s cold personality begins to crack as his Clarity begins to drop. He kills a void-tainted village of Steam mutants on the way, taking one as a guide.
  • Our heroes finally find their way to the mad metropolis of Irgalah, fighting their way through dozens of lesser creations with stitched-on doll faces. By this point, Arc is not calm at all.
  • Finally, they make it down to a vats chamber, finding a couple of Voidbringer demiurges preparing to attach tainted charms to the sedated, charmless body of Vista.
  • Oh, also the Ragdoll Princess and Ellaphelia. The later comes to the defense of the former, opening her stitched mouth to reveal a mass of mechanical soulsteel arms, the sort of thing that would be a terror…
  • To anyone who wasn’t Akeva. It’s an extended battle, but he escapes unharmed, tearing the burlap skin of the doll apart.
  • Meanwhile, Sparrow and Lion attempt to free the Moonsilver alchemical from the vat she’s in, preventing the implanatation of voidtech and its concommitant corruption.
  • Savant has his own problems, as the Shadow seems to have tagged along with Athyfer’s crew, and while the old-now-young Eclipse had other things to do, it seems, the Shadow does not. It screams and yells at the Ragdoll Princess while she looks on, but she pays it no heed. Only Savant really even seems to hear it.
  • Finally, Savant convinces the shadow to let him and his deal with the Princess. It disappears, although not altogether happily.
  • The metropolis grows upset at the fighting in her, finally twisting off the vats complex furiously and dropping everyone aboard down a hundred-mile abyss.
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Moving on Up
And up and up and up...
  • Returning to Icehome, our heroes check with the crew to see if it’s all good if they break with the Halsanti.
  • With the exception of Maldanir, it’s all good, yo.
  • So, they dock in Icehome, purchase supplies, and then send their one concerned ex-crew member to tender Sparrowsteel’s resignation.
  • Before anyone on the ground can hope to mobilize, the Roar has departed for the sky, beginning to ascend toward the Moon of Brass and Steel.
  • It’s days and days of going up, but finally they get there.
  • They’ve been beat, however. Raphares is there with Verith, on the Imperative.
  • Unari’s childhood associate greets them, and prepares to share his knowledge of the Great Maker with them all, pending one thing: He wants Unari to join him for a private dinner.
  • The Lunar concedes, and all told it’s a fairly sedate affair. He serves up one of her favorite childhood meals, and just…reminisces. Wonders if things could have been different. Muses on what might have been, had they Exalted according to plan, as Dragon-Blooded.
  • Unari refuses to play this game. What is, is.
  • Raphares concedes the point, but before Unari leaves, asks her a question she wasn’t expecting: “Were we ever friends?”
  • Unari’s response: “With our childhood, I don’t think it’s possible to for us to have been friends.”
  • Raphares nods, sadly. “Goodbye, Unari.”
  • The next morning, Raphares opens a port in Autochthon’s surface—no, it wasn’t just an extroverted Eye, it’s the whole damned Primordial—and leads the way in.
  • The Exalted find themselves travelling a long, dark corridor, broad enough for them to pilot their ships down.
  • This place is a mess. Mechanical spiders everywhere, wretched, broad spots of rust. It’s creepy.
  • Eventually, some of the spiders attack. These ones are not entirely mechanical, possessed of bits not particularly mechanical, but not particularly spider-y, either.
  • Meh. Nothing major. Our heroes fend them off.
  • The Roar and the Imperative come to a wall of rust. They ask Raphares about it—oh. It’s not Raphares anymore. Apparently since this morning he’s been Athyfer. But the First Age Elder in a young body is understanding about the confusion, and he gladly opens the way, blowing a hole that crumbles ever-wider.
  • The PC’s sail into a great cavernous opening, as a dead city of rust and bodies falls away into blackness beneath them.
  • Finally, they find tunnels marked with strange signs—but they’re signs of human habitation, too. The ships are too large to proceed, so the Exalted disembark and enter.
  • There are…traps? down here. Steam burns the unwary. But there are signs clearly indicating them in pictograph form. Perhaps they aren’t traps. Maybe there’s no malice in them at all.
  • On the other hand, there’s those armed folks who seem to be pointing things at our heroes. That might not go over so well.
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Mad City
This town just ain't big enough for the four of us.
  • Six disintegrates the blood ape skull, forcing that soul into Lethe. Borin screams and is frustrated at the loss of his trophy, but he’s shushed: Exalts are talking.
  • Sort of. Six bites back on her Hateful Wretched Noise to converse a bit with Lion, especially when the Solar tells her wayward sister about what happened to Blasphemy. Six doesn’t want to believe it, but Pyrian Truth-Telling Charms don’t lie.
  • Lion tentatively reaches out to the Infernal, asking for a piece of her, which shall be part of Blasphemy when he is remade—which she WILL do.
  • Six, in turn cuts a strip of skin off her arm—a piece unmarked by the yellow-jade that marks so much of her. She then leaves, blasting a hole in the other side of the house on her way out.
  • Meanwhile, outside the city a few miles down the cliff, all hell has broken loose. Just about literally, really. The presence of three Lions inside Fate has caused a minor loom failure, in the shape of dozens of demons spontaneously manifesting.
  • One of them—an Amphelisa—appears on the Roar. While initially docile, Aurochs manages to accidentally antagonize it and send it berserk.
  • It tries to scuttle below decks, but a screaming noise and a flash of light drive it back. It dies shortly thereafter.
  • The heroes proceed to hunt through the city, kicking newly-spun Neomah-towers into the sea, crushing sesseljae under gauntleted fists and orichalcum hammers, and splattering Erymanthoi.
  • A strange figure—masked and glowing yellow—is occasionally seen sprinting through the city. No telling what they’re doing, but they’re constantly running west, no matter when they’re seen.
  • Once Lion and Savant finish their ten-mile walk back to the city, it’s almost over. Lion does deal the finishing blow, though, with an activation fo Demon-Wracking Glory that causes agonizing pain to all Creatures of Darkness in the area.
  • Oh, right, Pine’s kids are technically Creatures of Darkness. They don’t die, mercifully!
  • Fate sets itself a little more aright; Fourth Lion finds herself on the road, cursing herself that she hadn’t asked the first one more questions. First Lion and Special Lion are still in Kaet’s landing.
  • The damage done is pinpoint, particular. Just enough to force a ship to land at a specific spot. Fortunately, it’s easily fixed.
  • Onwards our heroes go. Icehome waits—and with it, a great decision.
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An Offer She Can Refuse
  • Obviously, Sparrowsteel doesn’t exactly pounce on this. But she takes some time to return to the Roar, only to find her crew has already been delivered.
  • Granted, this is hardly the crack team the Haslanti would have assembled. Erryl claims full responsibility.
  • Rather than give an immediate answer, Sparrow instead asks for a little time to make sure the repairs on the Roar are sufficient. She doesn’t mention the new crew.
  • Permission granted.
  • Sparrow then delivers Mina’s body to the Rayfair clan, and pretty much offers her own life to Grandpa Rayfair in atonement.
  • Eschaton Rayfair then proceeds to very badly wound Sparrow with a lightning bolt to the neck in place of a headsman’s axe—surprise, Twilight, he took you up on that offer!—leaving her very badly wounded and less a few feet of hair. He calls his vengeance done.
  • He does, however, arrange for breakfast to be brought to her the next morning, and makes it clear that if another of the Haslanti dies for her short-sightedness, he will not necessarily be so lenient.
  • That done, our heroes continue on their way on a great circuit of the Haslanti City-States.
  • Meanwhile, as sessions pass, we get more updates on the Abyssals from the Skald’s.
  1. The Princess also encounters corrupted things within Autochthon, her and Ellaphelia befriending them.
  2. The Emmissary’s take-no-more-crap attitude gets him stomped on by a disgruntled custodian.
  3. The Daughter encounters a Soulsteel Exalt in the tunnels.
  4. The Echo is the only one who escaped being caught up in Autochthon. She reflects to herself that perhaps Cloreth is still alive. He died twice in one night already. Maybe he has one more death in him…
  • While crossing the White Sea, they suffer a minor issue that forces them to change course and dock at Kaet’s Landing for repairs.
  • Lion feels OH CRAP MULTIPLE LION SIGNAL many miles out.
  • Upon docking, she manages to follow her back-tingles to Borin’s estate, right above the cliffside city.
  • Her and Dusk enter the building, only to find an exorcism taking place, at the hands of a silent figure clad in heavy furs lined in paper wards, masked with a white deer-skull, supporting herself with a heavy staff.
  • Oh, yeah. Another Lion.
  • Lion moves to ask questions, but is silenced by a pair of paper strips: “SLENCE.” “BUSY.”
  • The ghost of Borin appears, as does that of the townsfolk whose blood-ape skull rests on his mantle.
  • Before Lion or Dusk or even the other Lion can say or do more, one of the walls explodes.
  • Six almost growls as she stalks in through the wreckage. “Do you have a soul, too?!”
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Your Head Asplode
Well, not YOUR head...
  • Immediately following Mina’s death, all hell breaks loose.
  • Sparrow gets Ina on-board the ship, and Lion tries to take care of her.
  • In the hustle, Sparrow drops the receipt, which includes an address for the retrieval of wergild for the death of Mina Rayfair.
  • A soldier attempting to maintain order finds the document.
  • Savant stills the crowd by claiming to be an official investigator, and convinces everyone to leave while he looks around.
  • It seems nobody was around to actually hurl a weapon. Dusk’s own Essence Sight reveals the dissipating traces of Branding Judgment Attack, not unlike his own.
  • The last page of the ledger has another charm—not one familiar to the PC’s, but apparently guaranteeing delivery of a small object or missive.
  • A military investigator shows up moments later. He documents the scene, and tells Sparrow and company to show up at a particular address the following day to answer some questions.
  • In general, Kouvin’s questions are few: “Explain what happened the 7th night of Resplendent Wood of last year”, and “Do you think this could have been avoided.”
  • Dusk (Or at least, a copy of Dusk, with the Night himself riding its senses) attempts to draw blame on himself, painting himself as every inch the unrepenant Anathema.
  • Others are less…overt.
  • Meanwhile, Mother—as the only person who remained on the ship (and remains conscious)—finds a small crowd of people gathering outside.
  • Mina is also drawn in for questioning. Of course, she wasn’t present then, but his questions are different: “Do you wish to continue to serve with Officer Sparrowsteel?” (A nod.) “Are you aware of the circumstances leading up to yesterday?” (A shake of the head.) “While this is a matter for the head of your family…given your options, would you accept the wergild offered?”
  • To this, Mina breaks down crying.
  • Kouvin then calls Sparrowsteel in for a second conversation. He makes it clear that in other circumstances, her own predicament would probably be more dire. Her associates have been reckless, dangerous, and brought their trouble back with them to lands they have no real ties to. Sparrow even agrees with large parts of this.
  • But an olive branch is offered: her own return to active duty—effective immediately—the installation of the Ascendant Nimbus Roar into the Haslanti Aerial fleet, and its staffing with a crew specifically from the Haslanti, picked by the Haslanti.
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Home Again, Home Again
Nothing to see here, folks.
  • Our heroes come to in the pit of an expansive crater reaching as far as they can see. We open from Sparrow’s perspective.

Sparrow opens her eyes, vaguely headachey. As she stares straight above, into the sky, thoughts occur to her, in fairly rapid succession.
First, as her vision clears: “My, the moon is large tonight.”
Second, as she blinks twice: “…was the moon always so metallic?”
Third, as she sits up and looks around to get her bearings—an act complicated by her ruined artifact arm: “Oh, there’s the moon all the way over there. Pff. How silly of me. No wonder…it’s…so…um…”
“Oh, hell.”

  • The great sphere in the sky is an unknown distance away. It doesn’t seem particularly interested in responding.
  • The Ascendant Nimbus Roar slowly drifts their way. It is badly damaged—having survived that at all by dint of having received an order to deploy its Stormclaw Reaper units only moments early enough.
  • It’s airworthy—barely—and Sparrow attempts to make some basic repairs as she flies back home.
  • Meanwhile, on the Moon of Brass and Steel, in a tunnel wires and rust…

We see Shackle, still badly wounded. He’s alone. His chest is bare, and clearly the Ragdoll Princess was unfinished with her work fixing him when the great white something took him.
A loud, clunking Tunk-tunktunktunk — like the turning of broken gears — resounds around him.
He opens one eye, bleary and pained. “What’s that?”
A metallic screech answers.
“That’s not the first time I’ve gotten that offer.” He says.
A low and rusty roar shakes the ground and walls. Shackle closes his eyes and leans back.
“Sure. Why not?”
Around him, shuddering clockwork figures begin to move out of the shadow.

  • Our heroes continue south. The devastation is widespread, nearly 1500 miles across and having wiped the whole of Diamond Hearth off the map. The crater opens up the furthest north to the White Sea, which has begun filling the hole in the world our heroes made.
  • Sparrow stops for a few days in Kaet’s Landing. She gives a cursory report not mentioning the PC’s involvement in the devastation, and began repairs—though Icehome would be the best place to do it.
  • While in Kaet’s Landing, Lion learns that Six has been through. She brutally attacked Other Lion, but seemed disturbed—and furious!—that she would be soul-eaten. She also caused some property damage to Pine’s front door. But that was replaced.
  • Six has, lamentably, disappeared to parts unknown.
  • Also, Savant encounters Erryl, a Steward who may or may not have encountered him before, but seems to be part of the Lunar conspiracy that the characters have encountered.
  • Savant learns that the Soldiers who were returned to the Bull were executed for treason. Forced to dig their own graves, first. Other soldiers were ordered to watch. If any made a break for it and escaped, then the ones who let them past would take their place digging and dying.
  • Savant manages to convince her to pull some strings and get a crew and replacement parts for the Roar.
  • The crew makes their way to the Haslanti Capital, where Sparrow is met by some unpleasant news: apparently, the Guild realized there were some funds missing from their budget, hired the Nexus Freelance Troubleshooting Union to go through their books, found out exactly where all their missing funds went a year ago, and took them back. Every bit of property damage and every mortal staff member who died has now been paid for. There’s even a ledger, documenting everything. It’s quite thorough, though it seems to be missing a page.
  • Sparrow, apparently not having been in the know about where the money came from, is furious. But Savant disappears, leaving Lyim to take the brunt of her fury.
  • Later on, she gets ready to do some work on the Roar. Enter the Twins. Sparrow realizes Mina is holding something with her name on it. This is news to Mina, but hey! It’s for Miss Sparrowsteel!
  • The piece of paper is the last page of the ledger, assessing fines for the death of one Dragonblooded Guild personnel, Unrelenting Rain. These are calculated, a footnote is made about “Alternative ledger balancing option: financed by U. Spring.” And at the bottom, stamped in violet ink, are the words: “PAID IN FULL.”
  • Mina’s head, heart, and shoulder explode.

End session.

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Boom
Big Badda Boom
  • The Skald and the Exalts briefly converse. Lion and Dusk attempt to climb on top of the sphere containing the rings containing the Eye, but it ascends through the ceiling, trying to shake them off.
  • Damn stubborn Exalts, with their ridiculously graceful Athletics capabilities.
  • Eventually, the floor parts, and the ceiling opens up into it. Dusk and Lion have travelled full circle.
  • The PC’s retreat; the Skald promises several more acts before the beautiful conclusion.
  • Meanwhile, Unari goes to speak to the Daughter of the Shattered Phalanx, who resembles a cousin of Raphares. The conversation is inconclusive, and leaves the No-Moon perplexed.
  • Later, Dusk goes to see the rest of the city. There, he comes to discover that everyone there seems to be bound into a pattern, and the further out one goes, the shorter and less complex it goes—whereas there are week-long interlocking dramas in the Citadel itself, several miles outside one finds a woman chopping phantasmal vegetables. Every ten minutes or so, she asks her son what he’s doing at the window; he’s waiting for the airships to arrive. This conversation has been repeating every ten minutes for centuries.
  • Dusk then encounters bodies that address him directly. While at first he thinks this is the Skald speaking to him, he soon learns that another Deathknight—Echo—is following him, taking shots at him that consistently seem to miss. Dusk forms some suspicions about who she is—or was—but she brushes off questions, instead informing him that he would play his part in this great drama, just as she would—a story that ends with them both dead at each other’s hands, possibly in some terribly ironic pose.
  • …That last shot was actually very close.
  • Sparrow takes to using her Chaos-Repelling Prana to give people some breathing room for Essence, and quickly, it is learned that the silver threads emanating from the Eye of Autochthon—through which the Skald maintains control—do not properly reach into her clockwork mandala. Instead, the threads fray, part, and try to reach through, trying to pull the hole in the Underworld open.
  • Interesting. Sparrow uses the Mandala to see what happens when people are separated from the network.
  • Answer: they keep going until their rhythm is disturbed. At that point, they realize they’re no longer in the pattern, and the madness that’s been going on inside for so long takes hold. They scream, attack, and run about—until they leave the mandala and where were we again?
  • While exploring this effect inside the Citadel, they encounter Shackle again. This time, the combat does not go so well for him; the flesh is stripped off his gut by an errant claw of Mother’s, and then…

<>

  • Ellaphelia comes to collect the body. And the soul inside it. She drags Shackle off easily, making it clear our heroes are not to follow.
  • Returning to the ship, they find that the Emissary—who has been constantly put-upon, randomly attacked, and stuffed in a closet every time they turned their backs—has once more been put-upon, randomly attacked, and stuffed in a closet. Upside down, this time.
  • Dusk realizes this is the work of Echo.
  • The Emissary is livid, and decides to take matters into his own hands. He leaves the Roar to go start some shit.
  • Before he leaves, he animates the food stores.
  • Fortunately, rotten zombie whale steaks and creeping rancid whale-blubber slime isn’t terribly threatening. Lion manages to break out Demon-Wracking Glory to pacify it all.
  • They then decide to rain down this repast on the citadel.
  • On fire.
  • Meanwhile, the Emissary collapses one of the towers. Unfortunately, an Eclipse botch comes into play, and instead of falling on the Citadel, the whole thing comes down on his head. He’s alive, but…
  • The Emissary is now upset. He pulls the Exalts into his main hall with Evil Deathlord Powers, and there, prepares to confront them with Echo.
  • Who does not show. Matter of fact, she leaves a note—sort of—as a middle finger to the Skald.
  • Akeva and Lion attempt to reach the Library, learn what they can about the Skald, and end his story.
  • The Skald sics everyone he can on those two. Meanwhile, he pulls up the Eye of Autochthon to bring his full force to bear on the Exalted.
  • This…is less than successful.
  • Dusk—having planted several explosive traps on the adamant sphere—rattles the container up.
  • Sparrow feels something from the eye trying to get through. It wants through. It wants through.
  • Finally, Mother shatters the sphere with her Kool-Aid Hyena Combo. The Eye swings into Sparrow’s Mandala, begins to unfold, and then everything goes white…
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