Circles Shattered and Reforged

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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Things to do in the Citadel when you're Alive
See?! I didn't repeat it this time!
  • The Skald welcomes his guests, and orders that rooms be prepared for them, and dinner.
  • The Ragdoll Princess and Ellaphelia take the PC’s across the Citadel of the Eternal Saga to their rooms. Along the way, they see one man stab another in a vicious rage over a woman. The Princess steps aside—in fact, was diverting out of the path of his fall before he was even stabbed—and leads the Exalted onward.
  • The room is covered in traps. They aren’t hard to find, mind you: vents for poison gas, mirrored ceiling designed to break into a rain of piercing shards, etc. Savant uncovers the traps. All of them.
  • He then leaves taunting notes.
  • Our heroes decide to go on to dinner—and that they’ll be staying aboard the Roar, thank you.
  • Dinner is…off. Actually, flavorless. Another deathknight is there—a tall woman, with strong Realm features, and in soulsteel plate—as well as a host of denizens of the castle. All of them are Pinned. They pay attention to Lyim’s seat, nodding along to a speech that another figure would have given, had the PC’s not been there that evening.
  • Lyim makes faces, and actually manages to make a few of the people there crack a smile.
  • Mother is seated next to the Skald, and they engage in conversation.

<>

  • Mother then sees a figure looking out over the balcony—the slaver she murdered in Nexus. He’s leaner than he was, maybe a little harder. But he’s significantly healthier than the last time she saw him, too, and that’s just plain unacceptable.

<>

  • Mother tracks down the slaver, and is in fact even guided by a fourth deathknight, finding the new Abyssal in control of dozens of pinned slaves. He drives them against her, and using his whip (and a crash course in Hungry Ghost Style) slowly breaks her down. Just when she’s paralyzed and barely able to move, the Skald terminates the battle from afar, dropping her back at the table.
  • After dinner, the PC’s explore the Citadel more, and discover a library, with books covering all their histories. Of course, “Dusk” doesn’t seem to have one. But everyone else does!
  • Further exploration reveals that the whole of the citadel seems to be in a loop. Conversations repeat themselves, people die only to rise again and start over. There are hundreds of tiny dramas interlocked and ongoing forever.
  • Curiously, the people who Lyim drove to break character are now missing.
  • Lion attempts to influence the direction of the stories by interacting with characters, subtly influencing the gossip, etc.
  • Dusk finds his way in the secret tunnels to a door. Attempting to open it invokes questions:

“What is your fear?”

  • Dusk finds out the wrong answer has consequences, and is very nearly electrocuted multiple times. Returning to the ship, it turns out Sparrowsteel somehow knows the answer.
  • And the answer to subsequent questions:

“What is your fear?”
“That I should disappear, as motes of dust on a sunbeam.”
“What is your desire.”
“That my story should not end.”
“What is the shape of your deliverance.”
“An egg, in which I may slumber until I wake again.”

  • The door opens, and our heroes find their way into a chamber with the Eye of Autochthon, encased in soulsteel rings, encased in an adamant sphere.
  • Also, the Skald.
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Into the North
...again.
  • Our heroes take the Roar back east and north, stopping through the Coral Archipelago to pick up supplies and trade goods, and possibly hear word of the Skald.
  • Word does not come easily, but Lion plays in the market and finds an unexpected listener—another Lion, who (unnerved by the appearance of her unmarred twin) attempts to leave. Lion plays a song about two sisters long separated, and does so well enough that not only does this Lion stop, but the song itself is now part of the cultural consciousness of the city.
  • The Exalts then proceed to Diamond Hearth, engaging in some trade, and encountering barbarian raiders, who re-enact the same attack every night regardless of how many arrows are planted in them, or how badly they are wounded.
  • Dusk captures one on their next raid, and pumps him for information. This is difficult, takes hours, and he only gets a little bit of information regarding “A woman with a spear” before the pin through his heart pops, and he goes limp.
  • The circle then proceeds north. Along the way, Mother torments the Emissary to the point that he draws a thin line of blood with his knife. He isn’t smiling anymore.
  • They find the Shadowland after several days. The landscape is covered in great steel towers, piercing the clouds. All the Exalts become aware of not only the half-stifling feel of Shadowlands Essence, but a precise tingle dancing across their skin.
  • They do not recognize the meaning of this. Roar, on the other hand…

The panels of the ship light up, and the whole ship rings out eagerly. “Source detected. Crew of the Ascendant Nimbus Roar, we are returning home.”

  • The airship begins to bank towards an unknown destination, informing the crew that it is heading in to dock.

“Command recognized.” The ship intones. “Requesting authorization from the Eye.”
“Requesting authorization from the eye.”
“Requesting authorization from the eye.”

  • It seems that whatever signal the Roar is expecting never comes. The vessel suggests that the Köline empire has suffered a temporary coup. It does not make value judgments regarding this; such matters are left to the crew to decide.
  • …this would be easier to debate upon if it weren’t for an incoming spike of Essence. The Roar’s Essence absorption capacitors take most of it, but it seems the Emissary of Alternative Diplomacies does not take it so well. It seems that the spikes of Essence are specifically worse for creatures of Death; one can only imagine that his head would have exploded from the first pulse if not for the Roar’s capabilities.
  • The ship that departed Skullstone appears as the Exalts rise above the clouds; there to greet them are the veiled figure of the Ragdoll Princess and her stitched-up creation, whom she introduces as Ellaphelia. She agrees to take the Exalted to meet the Skald, who wishes to meet them in turn.
  • She leads the Roar across miles of iced-over cityscape. People live in the towers, but they do not seem to notice the Roar, or at least seem restrained from acknowledging its presence.
  • At the northern reaches, where the Eye is, the city seems to have been disassembled into a steel forest, and a great mansion in the middle is formed not according to the proudly technological motifs of the Köline empire, but the flowing lines of the First Age.
  • The docks are manned by workers who—upon permission from the Princess—eagerly lash down the Roar. Perhaps a little too eagerly…
  • The Princess is accompanied by another figure, a woman in Soulsteel armor with a great direlance.
  • The Ragdoll Princess leads the Exalted through the halls of the Ivory Citadel of the Eternal Saga. There are many people there who, like those outside, do not acknowledge the presence of the Exalted. She leads them on to the library of the Skald.

A figure descends from the bookshelves, tall and wiry. A grey cloak ripples down after him, though it fans out as he descends into four translucent wings. He wears a mask, in a constant smile, covered with shifting words.
“Greetings, Chosen of the Sun.” He intones. “I am the Ash-Winged Skald. I am very glad your story has brought you here.”

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Go West, Young Exalts!
Covering the whole of Creation, one pole at a time
  • As the Exalts begin to regroup, Lyim receives a message from his mentor: He’s in trouble; the Silver Prince seems to not take kindly to him. An attack should be coming in a week’s time. Help, ASAP!
  • The others agree to help, and fly quickly to the Golden Bull’s camp. It is, unfortunately, too late. The few bodies they do find are dead, and have been converted into exploding traps—fortunately, nobody is badly hurt by this. Physically, anyway.
  • Onward to Skullstone proper, then!
  • The Exalts arrive in time to see the departure of another guest: a woman clad and veiled in black, followed by an ambulatory sackdoll. A third figure at the Skullstone docks, a young man with long white hair and a soulsteel powerbow, speaks to her, calls her “Princess,” and seems disappointed regarding something involving her and someone known as the Skald, but bids her and her doll farewell.
  • Curiously, the ship they depart in is an airship. Stranger yet is Sparrowsteel’s revelation, that the airship is identical in design—if not in exact materials used—to Raphares’ airship, which she recognizes from the plans she took from Athyfer’s wrecked manse.
  • When they land, the deathknight on the ground greets them, introducing himself as the Emissary of Alternative Diplomacies. He bids them welcome to Skullstone, offers to set them up with accommodations, and suggests they catch a necrodrama—they’re quite popular.
  • The heroes decline the former, but do take in the artistic scene. The play then proceeds to attempt to instill an intimacy of Awe towards the Silver Prince. And for the first time in the game, perhaps, the PC’s eat limit to fight it off.
  • After that, and after dinner, they are met by a boy who proceeds to reiterate the offer of fine lodgings for Skullstone’s honored guests. He also gives Lyim a box.
  • After much deliberation, our heroes open the box, and inside is an ornate soulsteel plate with an invitation to an audience with the Prince.
  • They accept the invitation, and are accompanied by the Emissary.
  • The Prince welcomes back the prodigal son of Skullstone, and his companions. He claims ignorance of any wrongdoing towards Lyim’s mentor, having only asked for his Emissary to get a word sent out. The Emissary then whimsically claims things just didn’t go smooth (the rascal!)
  • The Prince orders the Emissary to leave, and begins to speak to the Exalts of the Ash-Winged Skald, an ancient ghost of stasis and stories, who makes his home in the furthest frozen reaches of the North. The Deathknight with the wicked pincushion the Exalts had encountered earlier, and this was one of his servants.
  • The Prince wants him…dealt with. And is willing to pay handsomely.
  • The exalts agree, with a couple conditions:
  1. Full salvage rights.
  2. Skullstone ceases to expand in Creation for 50 years, and withdraws any advances made in the last few years.
  3. Orichalcum and gold.
  4. Skullstone declares war on the Lintha.
  • The Prince agrees to these terms, and calls in the Emissary. He requests the Emissary follow the heroes to the Ivory Citadel of the Eternal Saga, doing them no harm nor allowing it to come to them, nor taking anything. The Emissary agrees—but is rather dismayed when Lyim seals the agreement with his Anima Banner.
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And Then A Year Happened
  • Our Heroes decided to part ways for a time. Players may post about what they did in response to this article.
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A Leisurely Retreat
Meh. The Fighting's done by now.
  • Akeva re-enters the warehouse, and informs the circle that they have other Solars waiting outside.
  • The Nexus Freelance Troubleshooter’s Union spokesman here—Hare of the Streets—inquires as to the well-being of any remaining Guild Personnel. In between the asking of the question and the response of its answer, Unrelenting Rain is quickly dispatched.
  • The Union members enter, and Hare uses an Investigation combo to quickly discern the general course of events. The Guild’s property has been damaged, and they’ve lost many employees. Neither one is a terrible loss, of course—they can be replaced—but repairs and training are expensive. The Circle is left with an invoice counted in multiple talents of silver.
  • Savant agrees to pay them back in 48 hours, and does…with funds he’s liberated from other Guild operations. Lyim launders the money to hide their tracks.
  • Unari sends an Infallible Messenger to Ina and Mina, getting them to bring in the Roar.
  • Savant investigates the camp of Dressh’s army. It seems to be fairly functional, with sesselja medics, tomescu trainers, agatae acting as mounts and safety nets for soldiers drilling to take on Raphares’ own airship. There are also neomae acting as ahem camp followers. Nut’s own people are there, joyfully reunited, though many of those liberated from the city are understandably nervous about the number of demons.
  • Savant’s investigations show that the soldiers were lured to Dressh’s service by a promise from him to train them and then lead them in battle against Raphares. One surviving Dragon-Blooded officer seems to have become an assistant to Dressh. Dusk attacks her in her sleep, but suspends the damage with a charm until the next day.
  • The Ascendant Nimbus Roar appears over Dressh’s camp. Dusk remotely explodes the surviving officer’s head, and this, combined with a speech from Lion, induces the surviving human population of the army to submit and take a ride home in the ship. The demonic infrastructure of the camp is subsequently reduced to its motonic components.
  • The people of the East are quickly returned home, and the Bull’s errant soldiers are dropped off in his territories.
  • It is only within sight of Kaet’s Landing that Blasphemy is possessed by Adorjan. In his body, she waits until a minute is almost up, and then turns to Lion and reminds her that she promised she would take this one away. She promised, she promised
  • Blasphemy’s body cracks and crumbles into dust, leaving only a finely carved heart of flecked gray stone.
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The Red Beast Bites Back
  • Despite her best attempts otherwise, Six cannot defend Dressh from the rain of blows.

Akeva feels his boot sink into the Slayer’s chest; flesh and bone and probably a little of the viscera underneath all give way underneath a kick that would crack mountains and shatter walls.
Dressh staggers, spits up blood, and grins. “Damn. Good shot, kid.” He rests a hand on Akeva’s shoulder. “But I won’t go so easy on you, next time.” And with that, he collapses to the ground, his anima still burning in an emerald inferno around him.
FINISH HIM.” Staenfoldt urges from the sidelines, and his words strike like a whipcrack upon the soul. It might actually cause pain, if Akeva hadn’t long ago decided to do just that.

  • Akeva deals the final blow.

Akeva turns, whipping a leg at Six and threatening her with one of his punishing kicks to force her on the defensive and instead punts one of the guildsmen corpses at her. While he doesn’t use enough force to inflict damage on her, his intention is to obscure her view while she attempts to keep it from passing. When moves to swat the corpse down out of her view, the first sight she is greeted with is Akeva at full sprint, leaping up and using the falling corpse as a spring to vault over her towards dressh, whirling in midair and landing on the ground over him. Akeva reaches down and yanks him halfway up from the ground by his collar, forcing the mountain of man’s senses to at least know what comes next. Akeva snarls his words inches away from his enemy’s. “When you see Malfeas, tell him I’m comin’ for him next.”
Then Akeva pulls his fist back, and it explodes in a roiling sphere of golden fire, essence spiraling and screaming as it’s quickly charged, harnessed, and weaponized into pure, world-sundering power. He lets go of Dressh, then drives a single fist down straight into the man’s head. His fist flies faster than sight, connecting with an impact that can be felt blocks away. The warehouse shudders and buckers as an impact crater forms around them four feet deep, cracks surrounding both men taking the vague shape of the 8-pointed sunburst.

  • Lion offers Mother a chance to ask Six questions before she executes her errant “Little Sister.” Mother declines.
  • Furious, Six leaves the scene. She takes a few blows from Lion, Savant, and Lyim (7 levels total), but this does not stop her from running up the wall, out the window, and into the night. The wounds do leave a spatter of blood, which Savant collects.
  • And so the night’s conflict ends.
  • …Or does it!

“Excuse me, all combatants in the warehouse.” Comes a voice from outside. “This is the Nexus Freelance Troubleshooter Union, here to negotiate on behalf of the Guild. Please stop fighting.”
“Are there any surviving Guild personnel in the building?”

  • Savant and Akeva takes a moment to consider their answer and with the help of a knife to the face and a bootheel to the throat, make their answer a reality. “No.”
  • The speaker seems to be insistent on resolving matters quickly. As he seems to recognize Akeva’s voice, they send their local celebrity out to negotiate.
  • Akeva steps out, and gets a look at the local representatives of the Nexus Freelance Troubleshooter Union. The one with the megaphone is a girly-looking boy, not particularly intimidating at all. However, the armored Orichalcum figures surrounding him seem a little more imposing.
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The Tide Officially Turns
And against the Water Aspect, no less!
  • Sparrow is officialy tired of this bullshit, and Sajira has spent too much Essence to ontinue defending for much longer. Between her and Lyim, they manage to strike him down.
  • DOUBLE TAP. Sparrow splatters his head like an overripe pumpkin.
  • Six and Mother continue to struggle.
  • Lion challenges Dressh. The Slayer questions if she wants to die, too.

Akeva blinks when he hears Dressh threatening to kill Lion, and then gets up. He spits out blood, taking comfort in that he can feel his pain dulling and wounds knitting back together. “Too? You think you killed me? Who the hell do you think I am?” He picks himself up, and resumes his stance. Inside, though, he decides he needs to buy himself time.

  • Dressh acknowledges the challenge. He also questions if Akeva really wants to keep going, given that he just got the shit knocked out of him.
  • Lion impales Dressh with her spear.
  • Dressh does not like this, and explodes the spear with Green Sun Nimbus Flare while it’s still inside him. But hey, Akeva’s the target here, so he keeps going despite the blows raining down on him: Lyim is picking away at him with Holy arrows, Lion is stabbing him, and Sparrow sends Unari like a tortoiseshell hockey puck to embed the Lunar in his back.
  • Unrelenting Rain takes a defensive position to cover someone with unique and useful skills.
  • She and Lion exchange blows briefly.
  • When Savant enters the fray, the battle becomes brutally one-sided, and she is forced to retire.
  • Six, on the other hand, won’t stop wriggling, and Mother, in a fit of pique, decides that if she wants to go help Dressh that much, she can just GO.
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