Circles Shattered and Reforged

Year 2 - Calibration!
You've got some red in your ledger...
  • The Calibration of the second year is marked by the appearance of another strange figure.
  • A woman of Tear Eater descent appears on the borders of Hatiq, and begins to read off a list of the dead.
  • The names are nearly beyond counting, but the causes of death are much less numerous. Starvation and disease are common, but most often they are named as having died in the fall of Hatiq from the skies.
  • She spends the second day reading, too.
  • By the end of the second day, a thing is happening. She’s been using Essence to sustain herself; she’s refused food and water, and while she spends the evening in contemplation she has not slept. Her caste mark appears.
  • It bleeds.
  • The PC’s do NOT kill her right off the bat. She in fact continues her roll of names, spending every day of Calibration reading, until finally she concludes.
  • She identifies herself as The Last Memory of the Unshattered Lands.
  • She departs, having aired the grievances, with the promise that her people will decide what they wish to do next when she returns to them.
  • Another oddity: She claims to have no patron Deathlord. What is with this strange woman?
Year 2
More Arrivals
  • Good news, everyone! Lion brought Blasphemy Asim back from the not-really-dead!
  • In the springtime of the second year, a figure rides into town:

Unari will glare at the speaker. “Havew we met? And does one of us owe the other a punch in the face?”
“Threatening your elders, child?” And with this, the figure pulls back her hood. Her age is indeterminate—she looks perhaps fifty, but the light oceanic green cast to her skin, and hair white like seafoam, hint that her age may be far greater.
“Once again, Unari,you are a disappointment to your ancestors.” says Tepet Kiemi. Her voice is…slightly more teasing than one might expect.
“That would depend on which line you’re refering to.”
“The one that would send out more than a defenseless old woman to disapprove of their wayward child’s decisions in body art and spiritual compromise.”

  • Kiemi claims to mean no threat and is openly pleased to see her former student, but is open in noting that under other circumstances, yes, she’d see the Exalts killed.
  • That said, for the meantime she’d be glad to provide some assistance while her home is under repairs from assassination attempts weather damage.
  • Ina also brings in a new face, in the shape of Akleus Thorn, her new husband in an arranged marriage. She isn’t particularly emotionally attached to him, but as the youngest member of a Terrestrial bloodline (and the only surviving Exalt of her generation) she’s expected to continue the family line.

And then…we come to Calibration. But that’s practically a post in and of itself.

Year 1 - Guild Dealings
They couldn't stay away forever!

Months later, while the snows are still heavy on the ground, but after Lyim has done his fast-talking sale of an Autochthonian ROUS, a visitor arrives.

  • Brack Hullin is the head of a northern mammoth caravan, and shows up to offer his services to assist in distributing Hatiqi goods across the north.
  • He has one condition: He wants sole distribution rights across everything between the White and Inner seas.
  • On the whole, he seems to be working above the board—he himself acknowledges the futility of trying to pull a fast one on a collective of supergenius heroes who also are capable of laying waste to powerful nations even without a city to drop on them.
  • A deal is struck, and Brack Hullen’s caravan now brings in solid money for the PC’s, as long as Sparrowsteel keeps working.
YEAR 1 - Rats for sale!
A rat, anyway. Bought by a Hare, as it turns out.
  • The Citizens of Hatiq find themselves in a poor position. To be sure, they’ve escaped the crushing tectonic thing that would have flattened the Patropolis to a jadesteel pancake, but their supplies are limited. And even if they hadn’t left the surrounding area a blasted wasteland from the impact, the hardscrabble soil of the frozen north isn’t forthcoming for crops.
  • Unari tries to pull in favors from the Silver Pact, only to learn she doesn’t actually have much in the way of pull-age. Her mentor, however, teaches her a charm that can imbue the land with fertility for a time.
  • In the short term, the crew of the Roar finds themselves needing to sell SOMETHING. In this case, they end up taking a young draft rat and a handful of fragments of Hatiq’s carapace, and taking them to the place where anything and everything can be sold: Nexus.
  • Turns out Lyim does a bang-up job promoting the domesticated ROUS, and Lion trains it to do tricks on the way into the city.
  • The bidding is fierce. It starts in the thousands of dinars and rapidly escalates.
  • He is rapidly outbid.
  • He reiterates his bid: One Talent. Jade.
  • Yep, that pretty much clinches it.
  • He has his assistant, Perfissa, hand the funds over, and refers them to a proper seed distributor.
  • Said fellow—Sweet Plum Arnech—overcharges, but seems to enjoy haggling with Lyim until a reasonable price is met.
  • Akeva, when he has a bit, heads to a bookstore, to get books with which he might Learn Things.
  • He runs into an old friend, who directs him towards a few titles—one of which seems to be written by a previous incarnation of Akeva’s.
  • Dusk also meets up with someone from his past…
  • So, armed with food, seeds, knowledge, and just enough space to store it all, the Exalts return home…
Now Entering Time Skip

Following the departure of the Bull, Hatiq establishes it does not possess an innate connection to the Essence Flows of Creation. Sparrow begins terraforming the surrounding area in the interests of making a demesne that he can tap into.

This will take roughly 5-6 years from start to finish. Until otherwise stated, the following posts will happen episodically over this time period.

Welcome to the Neighborhood!
We didn't have a gift basket, so we brought a request to surrender
  • It takes a while for the Roar to catch up with the city where it has fallen. The administrativa of the tripartite arrive safe and sound to the city, only to find things a bit of a wreck.
  • All things considered, a 10% fatality rate isn’t bad for what the Patropolis has been through. By any other standards, it’s still pretty awful. They’re burning the bodies for safety reasons, but the Harvesters present are all kind of mortified that they can’t be processed back into the body of the Great Maker like they could before.
  • They also lack a Ewer of Souls. They won’t be able to be monitored properly via Soulgems anymore. This is slightly more horrifying.
  • The PC’s do what they can, but move up to the upper layer of the city eventually. There, in the center square, is a figure that they haven’t met in person. The Bull of the North has arrived, to thank the city for committing an act of ethnic cleansing upon the Tear Eaters he was ready to go to war with, and he was prepared to welcome them into the fold of his empire with open arms. To do so would also allow him to divert the war engine he’d been building up into a civil works force to help the newcomer to Creation integrate and recover from its obvious recent disaster.
  • Our heroes obviously take issue with the Bull waltzing in and wanting to own the place.
  • The Bull, Samea (with accompanying dematerialized Florivet tank), the Tripartite, and Hatiq’s humanoid avatar converse in private with the PC’s.
  • The city’s keepers—and the city itself—are willing, if not particularly eager, to pay the price of bending knee to the Bull.
  • The Bull, for his part, feels his demands are more than reasonable. He’s reasonable, even. If they say no, then he walks away. He’ll ask again later, when they should know better. He won’t really have patience for fools then, but hey, they’ll do the right thing, right?
  • Finally, exasperated by the standstill, Yurgen asks Hatiq point-blank what he is, prepared to assert the Creation-Ruling Mandate that places him over God and Demon and even terribly cleverly made automaton.
  • “Exalt” was about the last thing he was expecting, but when Hatiq flares his anima—flashing the lights of the entire city—Yurgen backs down, at least for now.
  • Meanwhile, Lion and Dusk notice that Florivet’s looking a little ragged around the edges. It turns out that as they speak, he’s being unmade in Malfeas, broken down into Azoth for use in some Infernal’s trinket. Samea hasn’t realized this yet.
  • Yurgen elects to leave, although not before Lion has the chance to privately speak to him.
  • And with that, he and his leave.
Making Your Mark on the World
...yeah, that was pretty bad.
  • With a location selected, the Exalted set to work attacking the project.
  • Sparrow and Unari do a lot of the technical work, alongside the laborers of Hatiq and Bright Alarum Carillon.
  • Lion and Akeva do some of the heavy lifting.
  • Lyim coordinates.
  • Dusk goes gremlin-hunting with Vista.
  • Finally, everything is ready:

All around Hatiq, the dozen ways out break loose, the interior structures—floors and walls and ceilings inside snapping inward to provide structure and support
The buildings of the lower level shift positions one last time, not to defend against invaders, but to provide optimal structural integrity against the pressures the patropolis will soon face.
And then, with a squealing sound like a prelude to the coming destruction, the wall to the aft of the Roar begins to tear open, blunt segmented tentacles pounding their way through.
The Ascendant Nimbus Roar begins to cruise away as the walls tear open wider and wider. The main external body of the city is partially visible now, a great wall of white jade slowly applying pressure, tearing open the Machine God more and more.
As the Patropolis tears free of the wall—something that takes several minutes, being miles in diameter—it places its tunnel-tendrils (tundrels?) down to some invisibly dark floor, the ruins of its neighbor that Athyrfer crumbled away months ago. It bears a slight resemblance, one might imagine from a distance, to an octopus or marrotte. Or a covered stadium on many flexible legs, depending on one’s inclination.
“At this time, citizens, the Essence of Hatiq is greatly restricted. The Luminors ask that you understand as visibility may be impaired for a while.”
The city follows the Roar, teetering slightly as it does so; as it comes to the point where the Exalted of Creation first entered—the tunnel large enough for the Roar and the Imperative to fly side-by-side—the patropolis pauses. The city carefully tears open the tunnel, widening it by a factor of ten to begin to even begin to squeeze itself in.
As it enters this final corridor, the city takes its limbs and wraps them around itself, angling the joints to shred the great hallways of the Machine God. Vista, tied down and facing up, looks pained.
The city glows with green light—its own anima, one supposes—as it begins to churn. Custodians begin to leap in at Hatiq, defending the body of Autochthon, only to be torn apart by the Alchemical’s defenses.

  • The progress of the city seems to be going well, until the Roar reaches the end of the corridor. The first time they were here, Raphares opened the way in with words in honor and prayer to the Machine God. Does anyone know the way out?

“So,” muses Dusk, “do we fire on the bulkhead?”
“…command acknowledged.” Intones the ship. “Deploying weapons.”
WAIT!!!” Sparrowsteel cries out.
“We have weapons?” Akeva blinks.
“Pause.” Says Dusk. “I asked a question of the captain.”
“Of course.” Responds the ship. “You did not issue any orders.” Says the ship, even as its crystalline projections begin to shine and hum.
“We only fire if we can’t find a place to get out of Hatiq’s way.” Suiting word to action, Sparrow is already pulling up the scanners and looking for any sort of passage big enough.
The weapons continue to build in pitch, but do not fire. “Warning.” Says the Roar. “Weapons will discharge in ten seconds. At close range, a shockwave may result, as well as impact by shrapnel; please brace for impact.”
Now Sparrow is pissed the hell off. “Stop! Who gave the order to fire?”
“Not me.” Asserts Dusk. He looks across the systems for a method of pausing the assault.
“Five. Four. Three…” The voice of the ship continues to calmly count down.
“Roar, CEASE FIRE!” Shouts Sparrowsteel. “STAND DOWN!”
“Cease fire, damn it!” Commands Akeva.
“Roar, stand down!” Orders Unari
“Two…One…” The Roar drones.
MANUAL FIRE!” Shouts Akeva. “Gimme the controls!”
“…Denied.” Says Roar. And then there is a crackling, ringing cry like the scream of a thunderbird, and everything goes white.
“You son of a bi-” Akeva grumbles, before the rest of his words are drowned out.

  • The explosion opens the way with minimal damage to Roar’s structural integrity, allowing the ship, her crew, and their passengers to escape.
  • The Roar is not forthcoming with the identity of the one who ordered it to fire. But perhaps there are more pressing concerns…

Above, the balled-up mass of Hatiq pushes at the hole torn in Autochthon’s body again and again, widening it more and more, until finally, with you miles below and out of the way of a direct descent, the city pulls free.
It teeters at the edge for a second—afraid, perhaps?—before rolling, taking the plunge. The surrounding tendrils spin around, writhing, and the city rolls in the air like a ball pitched with a spin. It falls, falls, falls, plummeting as it shoots to the East.
It descends in a swift arc—for certain values of “Swift”, anyway—hours of freefall, etc.
The plume of dirt and stone as it strikes the ground is visible even from this far up. The ground ripples like a wave for hundreds of miles around. Hundreds of camps of Tear-Eaters are torn apart in the ensuing impact.
Far to the south, a sound like a peal of thunder races through the camp of the Bull of the North, and his tankard splashes as the ground shakes. Yurgen looks up, and to the North.
Six stands amidst fallen cultists and demons in the northern wastes. She takes a deep breath as finally, everyone is still. Then the roar of an impacting city hits her, and she collapses, holding her hands to her ears.
Across the Haslanti City-states, people hear the noise.
Even in Nexus and the Blessed Isle, men and women will plainly hear the grumble of a world forced to greet an unwelcomed visitor.
And there, at the heart of it all, in the middle of a crater where all trees and grass have been blasted away as far as the eye can see, as though tilled by the passage of a mountain, rests the city of Hatiq.
Slowly, the tendrils upon which it walked unravel and pull away. As it does, it pulls apart its shell—the shattered canopy and walls to which the force of impact was mostly distributed, opening up the patropolis to Creation like a jade flower.
Slowly, with the city’s permission, people begin to leave. And for the first time in thousands of years, they see their ancestors’ sky.
Clouds. A sun. Even a crystalline rainbow crosses the heavens.
Perhaps this is the world welcoming them home.
Probably not.

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…
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…
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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