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Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game

Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game – September 9, 2008 4:32 PM (edited 9/9/08 12:32 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
I'm going to start posting a synopsis of the weekly Exalted game I've been running. It has started out as an Heroic Mortal game, we've played two sessions so far and I expect the characters to Exalt midway through the next session. The game is set in Nexus, although it will likely involve some out of city travel at points.

Characters

Sooner or later I'll post the characters on the RPGCC, but for now here is a quick summary:

Klave Scrimshaw - Hard bitten middle aged man living in the slum of Nightside. Klave is something of a P.I. and makes his living solving small problems for people. While not above using violence to achieve his ends Klave is filled with compassion and has been known to help his fellow slum dwellers for little or no reward, a practice which has left him few monetary rewards but has earned him the patronage of the god of Nightside, Blacklung.

Vinda - A girl in her mid to late twenties, Vinda is tall and willowy with long brown hair. She acts as a freelance bounty hunter, tracking down criminals attempting to escape the justice of the council and bringing them back alive for judgment when the usual police force is unable to apprehend the fugitive. Vinda lives in a comfortable apartment in Sentinel's Hill.

John "Ash" Almer - Disfigured and gruff from one too many accidents over the beaker and too much time spent in the lab, John Almer is a genius at alchemy, with a particular flair for explosives. His "Ash" product line represents the highest quality tools a criminal can buy, and his work has netted him a small fortune. While he maintains a shabby-seeming apartment on the Lawless Front the interior is well kept and he keeps a second dwelling on an estate outside of Nexus.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - Session 1 – September 26, 2008 8:08 PM (edited 9/26/08 4:12 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
The game opened to crisp fall air on the first day of Calibration in Nexus with our characters in that most cliched of settings - a tavern. As the day wore down they prepared to leave but were stopped at the door by the bartender and given a flyer with a proclamation from the Council of Entities that all citizens were barred from the streets after nightfall and that anyone found would be facing a "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude from the guards who were anticipating increased disruptiveness from local spirits. It also had a reminder that a rogue rage spirit has been possessing people and driving them to murder and gave them a few basic ways to recognize a person possessed by such a spirit (before they try to kill you).

The characters pass the night uneventfully in the bar: John Almer gets a room and rests, Klave proceeded to drink and be merry, and Vinda kept to herself, generally fending off any unwanted amorous propositions.

Come morning the characters leave the tavern in a crowd of other people who found themselves sequestered there. As they were crossing the Night Market they heard someone cry out for help, claiming that they had been robbed. This elicited no particular surprise in that area of Nexus - what was surprising was that he proceeded to loudly offer a rich reward to any who could return his stolen goods.

Vinda immediately climbed to nearby rooftops to look for fleeing criminals, while Klave (being filled with compassion AND dirt poor) rushed to the victim on the ground and John Almer (being bereft of compassion AND filthy rich) strolled towards the direction of the victim at a slow enough pace that others could deal with any danger that might still be present.

It turns out that John's fears were unfounded, as the crime had been conducted sometime during the night - the victim identified himself as Jar Bentol, a mid-level operative in the Guild's Division of Wonders (which deals with relics from the First Age). He had met a buyer in a third story room of a nearby building but was attacked from behind during the meeting and when he woke up both his buyer and the item had disappeared. He described the item as a trapezoid, two feet long on its longest side, made out of black jade with silver lines all around the edges and a depression the size of an egg in the center. He offered a Resources 3 reward each, OR the option for each of them to buy one item through his division at cost. He left the name of a restaurant near the Guild headquarters where the characters could reliably find him once they retrieved the item, giving them a brief description of the man he was dealing with.

After Jar Bentol left John Almer offered to better Jar's offer to Klave and Vinda if they would help John find the item for himself instead of returning it to Jar. After some heated negotiating the characters came to an accord and Jar's interests in the matter were quickly forgotten.

Klave and Vinda searched the immediate building - talking to the neighbors and the landlord. They learned that the man Jar was meeting rented the building regularly, but rarely slept there, preferring to use it for business transactions. They also had seen him in conjunction with a larger man who the smaller man whom Jar was meeting called "Henry".

John Almer left to search for information on the artifact and what it did, only able to find out that it might have been a control panel for some First Age device and that the impression in the center was most likely for a hearthstone.

The three characters each spoke to their various contacts about the situation.

John's contact in the Guild said that Jar was generally rather full of himself, but had managed a few good deals lately, and forwarded John to Jar's superior. Speaking to that man John found out that Jar's superior knew nothing of the deal and that Jar seemed to be trying to work out of the Guild structure to make a really big deal on his own in an effort to cement his name within the organization as well as generate a small private fortune.

Klave's contacts knew little of import.

Vinda spoke with a contact of hers who operates as a fence and identified the man as a servant of a Lord Korynthan, generally handling Korynthan's less savory bits of business.

The characters were meeting to discuss their findings when I realized I had neglected to give them a critical bit of information. In order to remedy this, a bum wearing the purple silk tunic that Jar's buyer was wearing walked by their outdoor bistro as they were having lunch. The characters interrogated him and learned he had taken it off of the body of a man killed in the park. Following the bum to the location of the body, the characters discovered the bodies of Jar's thieves stuffed in some bushes. The larger man's head appeared to have been completely caved in by trauma with a blunt object. Some nearby street urchins who witnessed the attack described a very large man with a gauntlet made of a shiny white stone and a smaller, dark haired woman.



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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - Session 1 - DM thoughts on the session – September 26, 2008 8:11 PM (edited 9/26/08 4:11 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
For my first session running after a two year hiatus I was fairly pleased with this. My biggest gripe would be that the characters were building elaborate plans to infiltrate Lord Korynthan's household and I railroaded them back onto the plot, whereas in the past I would have adapted my plot to accommodate the characters' plans. Still, even that was kind of ok since I was hesitant to give the characters true freedom before they Exalted, for fear that it might get them killed.

I loved the fact that Pete (who was playing John Almer) decided to employ the other characters' directly, trumping the needs of the NPC. It went a huge distance towards setting the difference in economic status of the three characters.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - Session 2 – September 26, 2008 9:06 PM (edited 9/26/08 5:06 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Picking up where they left off the first session the characters now had a new mystery - the identity of the man and woman who killed Korynthan's men.

The characters pretty quickly recognize the man from the description: A God-blood by the name of Murlo Stone-Fist. A little investigating through their underworld contacts pretty quickly reveals the woman's identity to be Ras Thok - another God-blood, this one the daughter of a shadow god while Murlo claims an Earth Elemental father. They work as freelance thieves and spies, generally offering their services to any of the larger criminal organizations that are in need of them without becoming too entangled with any one organization.

While in the process of inquiring about the two god-bloods, Klave left the others to ask his friend, Black Lung, small god of the slum of Nightside, what to expect from god-bloods in general, as all three characters had concern about taking on such potent beings on their own. On his way there dusk was approaching and he encounters someone in the middle of the road standing stock still - Klave notices small ghostly drops of blood falling from the individual's fingers - one of the signs that the council said people possessed by the Rage Spirit would show prior to attacking.

Klave tries to run away, but the man lets off an unearthly howl and runs straight at Klave, swiping with talon-like fingers. It is a short, but brutal fight, with Klave definitely getting the worst of things. Finally he ducks down an alley and throws one of John's explosives around the corner at the rage spirit. Just hitting he does a tremendous amount of damage, but not enough to stop it for good. At that moment a tall man with red jade armor shows up and draws the Rage Spirit's attention. Seeing that it is ignoring John the man pulls a fist-size gemstone out of his pocket, holding it up to his mouth he blows through it and ghostly flames fly out to engulf the Rage Spirit. As they hit they appear to do no damage to the man possessed or his clothing, but a shadowy shape detaches from the body and writhes in pain, finally fleeing.

The man introduces himself as Genso [something, can't remember his full name now] Nefvarin - a leading member of the 7th leading embassy in Nexus. He says that Klave's wounds are beyond his ability to heal, but if Klave will come with him to the embassy (which is relatively nearby) his uncle can most likely help. Klave's wounds being quite dire, he agrees, and Genso Nefvarin hoists the possessed man (now fainted) on his shoulder. They get to the Embassy and are introduced to the main room where there is a table that Klave at first things is sitting next to a bonsai tree, but after a moment realizes that the tree is a man, and is the very uncle that Nefvarin brought him to meet. The uncle introduces himself, hears his nephews request and then lays his hand on Klave's forehead. Klave's wounds heal, only to reappear mirrored on the uncle's body - where they then heal quickly, as if forest growth had sped up and covered over the wounds. He does the same for the other man and the other man is taken off to rest while Klave joins the two Legionairres for tea. Over the course of the meal Nefvarin gives Klave a small money pouch (resources 2) and says that the 7th Legion may have need of the services of a man like Klave - someone with knowledge of Nexus's less savory aspects. He says to stop round periodically and that they might have work for him.

Klave leaves and continues onto his meeting with Black Lung. Meanwhile, Vinda and John have both been inquiring about Murlo and Ras to their own contacts. They narrow down the rough neighborhood that Murlo and Ras are usually seen around, but don't get an exact address.

After the characters regroup, Vinda and Klave decide to track down the person Jar received the artifact from in the first place. When they do so they find a man who is absolutely convinced that Jar screwed him. He had come back from making a pretty good haul, and new that this item was worth money. He gave it to Jar to offload for him (Jar would take a substantial commission) and he knows that Jar had a meeting with a prospective buyer the other night, but now hasn't heard anything from Jar.

Vinda also talks to her fence who has heard that a big deal is going down with the An-Teng leadership two nights hence.

The characters go their own ways for the evening, reconvening that morning at the 7 Legged Millipede, a mid level tavern near the Night Market (also the neighborhood they have pinned down as being Murlo and Ras' stomping grounds).

As they are discussing their plan of action for the day five men crash through the door, saying that the characters will learn to keep their noses out of Murlo and Ras's business. The ensuing fight is short but furious and in the end the characters manage to take two of the assailants prisoner (and try to take the leader prisoner as well but accidentally killing him when trying to knock him unconscious). From the assailants they learn where Murlo and Ra's hideout is.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - Session 2 - DM thoughts on the session – September 26, 2008 9:08 PM (edited 9/26/08 5:08 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
I initially wanted to have the item stolen by Korynthan and then stolen again by someone else just to thicken the plot a bit - the more parties involved the more potential development hooks would exist down the road. That being said, I wish I had put more thought into this aspect of things because in a lot of ways session 2 played out exactly like session 1, but with combat.

Which maybe is not a bad thing - with three new players we needed a session with some minimal plot issues that would allow them to get a feel for how combat worked. Klave's one on one with the Rage Spirit was an excellent demo session, and the fight against four extras and one heroic mortal at the end got everyone into the swing of things.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - Session 2 - DM thoughts on the session – September 29, 2008 12:56 PM (edited 9/29/08 8:56 AM)
Cuzzdog (1522 posts) Head of Gamer Corner R&D
Rating: Not Rated
Nice read. Keep it up!

Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - Session 2 - DM thoughts on the session – September 29, 2008 1:06 PM (edited 9/29/08 9:06 AM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Yeah, I'm a bit behind (tonight's game will be Session 5), so once I get through the backlog the details will probably be a bit more accurate Smile Not that you really have anything to compare it to, but it's the principle of the thing.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game – October 9, 2008 3:00 AM (edited 10/8/08 11:00 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Having finally determined where Murlo and Ras live, and that the handoff is intended for tomorrow night, the characters set about recovering their goods before the trade occurs. Vinda stakes out the hideout, climbing to the rooftops a few blocks away and then making her way to the roof of the building across the street and sits in stakeout for the course of the day, arranging to meet the others at a bar near Murlo and Ras's hideout around 1pm.

In the morning he sees Ras (the woman) leave the house, bidding goodbye to someone in the doorway and strolling away at a leisurely pace. Several hours later she returns, clutching a bag with some groceries and moving at a run. She enters the house quickly and after about fifteen minutes Vinda sees the shades being pulled and occasionally shuddering from something inside. Another fifteen minutes go by and Ras leaves the house again, this time moving quickly and fingering the knife at her belt. Vinda follows by rooftop, going completely unnoticed, and tracks her to a tavern well known to be a refuge for members of the An Teng mafia, rumored to be the ones buying the item. Vinda waits for half an hour but Ras does not reappear. Vinda goes to meet the others.

Meanwhile - Klave visited Black Lung, the god of his neighborhood and a friend and sometimes ally, and asked what he should know about fighting God Blooded. Black Lung told him that they might have some tricks associated with their godly parents, and identified Murlo as being the child of an Earth Elemental and Ras the daughter of a Shadow God.

John Almer spent the time returning to his apartment and stocking up on small explosives and other useful items from his "Ash" product line.

When the three characters meet again at the bar and Vinda explains Ras's whereabouts they decide to ambush her as she returns to her hideout. Vinda runs back to watch the bar, while Klave and John Almer take position at an intersection along the route Ras took from her home to the bar.

Vinda follows Ras back from the bar, sending out a call when she was a block away to alert John and Klave. As she rounds the corner John Almer steps out and asks her for a light for his cigarette. Ras shakes her head and continues moving forward while stepping around him. He lashes out with his cane, but she dodges, running forward and throwing two knives back at him. Meanwhile Klave begins to run in from the other alley that he was covering and Vinda is on the roof of a building across the way, drawing his bow and then shooting at Ras' leg to try to cripple her. The arrow goes through Ras's leg, but she continues to move forward. John throws a smoke bomb at a horse tied to a wagon, spooking the horse and blocking off Ras's escape route. Finally Klave lobs one of John's "Ash" bombs at Ras - the blast catches her head on and she falls into unconsciousness.

The party brought Ras to a nearby inn, rented a room for the day, paying double when the innkeeper balked at the shape in the sack. They tied Ras to the bed and brought her around. Over the course of the interrogation she tells them that she had gone out in the morning to take care of some errands and to check in on the thugs that she had hired, when she discovered that the party had killed and captured the thugs she raced back to Murlo. Together they decided to see if the An Teng would make the drop a day early - this evening instead of next evening. Murlo and Ras had a hidden entrance into the Undercity beneath their apartment, which they would use for the drop. Murlo locked up the house after Ras left and took the artifact to the drop point, Ras went to go inform the An Teng. She just left them when the party captured her, and they agreed to move the drop to earlier in the evening. Then Ras gave them directions to how to access their hidden basement from standard Undercity tunnels.

The party raced to the tunnels in an effort to get their before the drop went down. Moving through the tunnels they found the hidden entrance Ras spoke of, hidden behind a cranny of rock that looked impassable. Moving into the passageway they quickly come to a T section with one set of footprints moving to the left, leaving deep impressions in the damp dirt of the tunnel floor.

Creeping forward they gradually notice a light and here voices. Eventually they come to a small cul-de-sac with a broken fountain in the center and a ruined temple on the far end, with seven gods carved above the entryway. They see Murlo meeting with a woman with dark hair, who has accepted the artifact, which she holds easily under one arm, and she is in the process of handing over a bag of money to him. The deal is complete and they begin to walk across the entryway when the woman freezes and announces that they are being watched.

Dropping the artifact and the money bag the two attack the characters. The fight is short but furious, with Murlo attempting to pin John Almer beneath a statue, and Klave and the woman bowling over Klave and attempting to get him into a hold. Vinda shot at both foes as opportunity allowed. At one point Murlo hit John Almer with a solid blow and sent John flying. John's head hit the fountain and as he sprawled on the ground trying to regain his wits he stared at the four armed god above the center of the temple's archway and a light began to emanate from his body - as the light touched Vinda and Klave they, too, began to glow with this holy light, the three of them together lighting the small underground grotto as if it were noon.

Murlo and Ras both recoil in shock and horror, Ras immediately running for the exit. Murlo stayed to take a swing at John Almer and John and Vinda together, coordinating attacks, finished him off. Klave followed Ras but she was able to knock him over again and disappear into the darkness, leaving no tracks.

The party spent some time in the darkness coming to grips with what happened to them (and letting their animas die down) and then went above ground to search Murlo and Ras's hideout, finding a bunch of papers that were in a heavily booby trapped desk. One of the booby traps went off and lit the desk on fire, partially burning the papers, but they appear to be accountings of various financial arrangements (blackmail) that Murlo and Ras had with people around the city. They also took Murlo's money bag, which had Resources 5 in it, and the artifact. Retiring to John Almer's home for safety.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - DM's thoughts – October 9, 2008 3:07 AM (edited 10/8/08 11:11 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Well, this was the reward that the last two sessions had built up to - the fun of running an in-session Exaltation. It was definitely worth doing, but I think I would handle it differently next time. The characters exalted in the middle of a fight, basically once they had taken enough damage to make it obvious that what saved them was their newfound power. They each received one ox body (1 x -1, 2 x -2), a basic defense charm (either Dipping Swallow or Shadow Over Water, depending on their primary defensive ability) and one excellency that applied to their primary attack. I enforced dice caps and the one charm per turn rule, but didn't make them worry about motes (not that it mattered in such a short time anyway).

It worked out well, and the players were excited, but I think it slowed down the combat too much. I think next time I would do it as a cliffhanger - Exalt them in the middle of combat and have a "continued next week" sense about it, maybe having some extras run into the fight at the start of the next session to make things interesting again. Definitely having more combatants for the characters to kill.

For anyone who is interested, Murlo was an Essence 2 god blood, capable of doing a lot of damage with his White Jade Smashfist, but not having any other tricks up his sleeve. The woman, soon to be a recurring foil, is Jackal, a lieutenant in the An Tang and a Water Aspected Dragonblood. I think she's Essence 3 and has a fair bit of the Terrestrial Hero Style martial art, which is what she was using to keep knocking Klave down and try to grapple him. Her escape was also managed by the book, as she has a robust supplement of stealth charms that none of the players were capable of countering at that time.

I also wrote out the memories and exaltation experience that each character had, which I got the sense the players enjoyed reading, I'm posting them below this for your enjoyment.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - Vinda's Exaltation – October 9, 2008 3:09 AM (edited 10/8/08 11:09 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Exaltation – Vinda

A warm glow begins to suffuse the area around you, golden filled with ghostly whites and pale golds, tinged on the edge with blacks and dark purples. Eventually you realize that the light is coming from you, and in your minds eye you relive memories at terrifying pace, able to absorb only bits and pieces of the torrent of information.

In the pale light of the moon, in a body taller and stronger than the one you wear now, you run across the face of the world, faster than the wind. The reassuring weight of your power bow, Last Silent Sigh, presses down on your back; you imagine it is eager for the task ahead of you. Behind you your contingent of Rangers follow by skyship, it’s a new ship, and one of the fastest in the fleet, but the distance is great and time is short. Your Charms only uncovered this plot a few hours ago, and by tomorrow morning the cultists could open a crack in the world that opens to Malfeas. The consequences could be disastrous, possibly up to the Ebon Dragon’s escape from the Yozi prison. And so you run, reaching the site of the sacrifice even a moment too late is not an option.

It is another day, this time arguing in the Deliberative over another proposal. You are loathe to turn over surveillance on Mount Meru to the Terrestrials, but your fellow Night Castes are unwilling to work when in the Exalted City, preferring to spend their time in Meru relaxing and enjoying the benefits of their work. “Delegation is our prerogative, Shadow Mirror, you need to relax!” says your friend Seven Wisdom Surfeit as you leave the deliberative chamber.

It is night in the White City and you find yourself crouched among the buildings in the rain, your hearing still impaired from whatever weapon the treacherous Dragon Bloods used against you. It was impossible to tell how many of you survived the assault during the Calibration Feast, but for now you were out of the building and safely hidden. A patrol of gunzosha went by, wielding flame lances and exploring alleyways in an effort to find any other escapees from the feast. In the distance you had seen a Solar anima flare, and stop suddenly. Whoever it was was most likely dead. As you turn to leave a voice calls out “Halt! Reinforcements! We’ve found Shadow Mirror!” You turn, silent death, a bow of essence appearing in your hand and arrows pulled from the air. The group of Terrestrials wore Dragon Armor, but still fell quickly. If you were to make it out of Meru alive, future groups would have to be avoided or dealt with in an equally silent fashion. Barun had remained in his laboratory in Hollow rather than come to the Feast, if you could make it there then perhaps the two of you could begin a counterattack. They would have the Gates of Auspicious Passage and the Aviary guarded, but if you could escape the range of Meru’s defenses then your Charms could take you to Hollow . . .


As you pull your mind from the grip of the memories you notice that your body feels stronger, your wounds and fatigue wear you down less, and there is an energy in your step that you have never felt before. You realize the memories have taken no more than the space of a second, and the battle is still going on around you.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - John Almer's Exaltation Story – October 9, 2008 3:09 AM (edited 10/8/08 11:09 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Exaltation – John Almer

A warm glow begins to suffuse the area around you, a brilliant dark amber color shot through with purples and blues of oncoming twilight. Eventually you realize that the light is coming from you, and in your minds eye you relive memories at terrifying pace, able to absorb only bits and pieces of the torrent of information.

The great door to the forge workshop slides ponderously open and you are greeted by a blast of heat. The Dragonblooded Gens besides you seems nervous – unsure of how to treat this incarnation of his master. You are nervous as well, doubtful of living up to the legacy of this place’s great master. But as you walk in and pick up a hammer, turning it over in your hand the sense of rightness that you have felt since drawing your Second Breath reasserts itself – these tools were made for you, and you for them. Now you are new, but soon you will create new marvels for the people of Creation, as you did before when you wore a different body.

You stride tirelessly through the Wyld, keeping an eye for the change in surrounding that would mark the change from Middlemarches to the Deep Wyld. Already you noticed the ground begin to give way and swirl into meaningless colors – like a child’s paint set spilled on the floor. But your charms kept the Wyld at bay prevented it from inflicting horrendous mutations on you, or from turning your clothing into lava, or acid, or honey, or one of the other endless permutations of chaos. A short time later, your surroundings having finally lost the last vestige of meaning you stop and begin Wyld Shaping. You bring your hands together in front of you, scooping together raw filaments of the Wyld and forcing your will upon them. Slowly they condense into a heart shaped mass of obsidian and ruby, with the face of a child on the front, and as your shaping is completed the heart starts to beat and the eyes slowly open. “Who am I?” it asks, and with a small smile you reply “You are the Artificial Intelligence of the warstrider Azure Lightning and soon you will be united with your body”.

You return to your workshop, calmed by the clean order of it all after your last argument with Kal Bax. He was hardly unbiased in the matter of the Titan Airships that you were designing – him and his precious manses. Besides, the essence drain in the local geomantic grid should be well within operational parameters. There would be no long term effects provided the Titans remained mobile. And the new Photoshinmaic technology that Dreden had invented might even circumvent that problem – once the retrofit is complete. Besides, that was an old battle, and the Deliberative already voted in your favor, production of the Titans had commenced and was well on schedule to be completed within the next century. This new project was much more interesting . . . how to fit the sort of essence generation necessary for the Shrike’s destructive power into such a small space without incinerating the ship’s crew . . . hmmm. . . .


As you pull your mind from the grip of the memories you notice that your body feels stronger, your wounds and fatigue wear you down less, and there is an energy in your step that you have never felt before. You realize the memories have taken no more than the space of a second, and the battle is still going on around you.


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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - DM's thoughts – October 9, 2008 3:10 AM (edited 10/8/08 11:10 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Exaltation – Klave Scrimshaw

A warm glow begins to suffuse the area around you, a brilliant gold color that makes you think of noon in the park and better days of your youth. Eventually you realize that the light is coming from you, and in your minds eye you relive memories at terrifying pace, able to absorb only bits and pieces of the torrent of information.

“By the power vested in me by the Unconquered Sun, I know pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride”, you say, as your two Dragonblooded retainers lean in for their first kiss as man and wife. You smile a bit, wondering when this part of your priesthood took a back seat to placating gods of commerce and trade. You understood, really, almost anyone could officiate a wedding but there were only sixty Zeniths in the entire world who could talk to the Gods on their level. Still, it was fulfilling to be able to do this for Karal and Loaw – they had provided many years of excellent service, and would bear strong children to carry on their line.

You enter the room slowly, allowing the demon time to register who you are. You smile slightly as its face turns to despair. It is a being whose very existence is woven of lies, for whom truth is unknowable, untouchable. But you are Usuf Areoul, and you have wrested the truth from criminals and murderers, from stones and thunderstorms. And before this demon is dispatched it will have no secrets and no lies from you.

Cursing you slammed your fist on the tome. As High Inquisitor it was your job to root out heretics of all sorts, and Infernalists above all, but to find evidence of a fellow Solar going over to the ancient enemy was too much to be believed. As you return to your chambers you consider the problem. You must move cautiously, to bring this accusation about without sufficient proof could shatter the Deliberative. Entering your chamber in the Deliberative tower you spend a mote of essence to power the lights and gasp as your arms are grabbed and you feel a piercing pain in your abdomen. Looking down a golden blade just from your stomach and as darkness descends a voice speaks in your ear: “Yes, Korgan, I have gone over to the enemy, but you only found the clues we wanted you to find. Soon all of the Solars will die, in a night of blood and fire, but you must leave a little ahead of schedule. Lest the plan be compromised.”

At last, a different, booming voice speaks in your mind: “You who fight, powerless against an unjust and uncaring world, know that I have given you the power to triumph. In my anger, I turned my face from the world of men, but I shall do so no longer. Know that you are among my chosen priests. Go, and make the world righteous and just as you know best. Take light into darkness, and know you act with my blessing.”


As you pull your mind from the grip of the memories you notice that your body feels stronger, your wounds and fatigue wear you down less, and there is an energy in your step that you have never felt before. You realize the memories have taken no more than the space of a second, and the battle is still going on around you.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - DM's thoughts – October 9, 2008 5:04 PM (edited 10/9/08 1:04 PM)
chaoscat (452 posts) Ambassador of Good Will
Rating: Not Rated
Nice job with all three exaltations. I'm happy to see Draden becomming a recurring first age character Wink

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Talraen (11:16 AM): That, and I've learned to parse through Tozzi's contempt
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game - DM's thoughts – October 9, 2008 6:06 PM (edited 10/9/08 2:06 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Yeah, I took a page out of Steve's book and decided to re-use characters. I particularly liked using Dreden here because when I read about Photoshinmaic Vortices in the Dreams of the First Age book my first thought was "that's exactly the kind of 'blow up the world' shit that Dreden would have made!"

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game – January 5, 2010 5:40 PM (edited 1/5/10 12:40 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Aftermath of Exaltation:

* The party Exalts while fighting Murlo and the Dragon Blooded, killing Murlo and driving off the Dragon Blooded, who escapes.
* Rifle through Murlo & Ras's Hideout
o Take papers from Murlo's desk
* Return to Ash's house
* Fortify Ash's house & hide artifact
o Ash makes custom charm to hide artifact magically
o Vinda fortifies windows and doors with traps
* Go to dinner in Ash's dining room
* Mysterious visitor during dinner speaks on behalf of the An Teng crime syndicate. She says they can keep the payment in exchange for the artifact and the An Teng's gratitude - and likely some future contracts as well. They have 24 hours to decide. If not, they return the cash, no hard feelings.
* Visitor leaves, the party discusses.
* The next day the party goes to the Guild to ask Jhun to set up a meeting w/ dept. head., which she does for the following day.
* Vinda & Klave go to check on personal business
* Did Vinda and Klave get separate An-Teng offers?
* Klave is asked to come to the 7th Legion Embassy. When there, the officer who saved him from the rage spirit tells him that two new Deathknights from the Mask of Winters are coming to town. They will need someone to act as their guide and go-between in the rougher areas of Nexus and the 7th Legion asks Klave to take up this task so that he could spy on them. He is warned that it is a dangerous job, but when he accepts he receives a handsome payment, with the promise of more to come.
* That evening at Ash’s home the visitor from the An Teng returns, asking what their decision is. They return the money and say they are sorry they cannot turn over the artifact. She accepts the money and leaves.
* The following day they return to the Guild, this time bringing the artifact with them. Due to the danger, they take the cable cars hanging above the city – a remnant still functional from the First Age.
* Along the way their car is stopped and they are attacked, several arrows shoot at the car, along with some explosives. The party eventually beats off the attackers, but the car is still stuck . . . don’t remember how this ends? Do you climb down there? Or along the cable to get to the station?
* Meeting with the Heirarch goes well. They study the artifact and declare it the long-lost controls to the dam of Nexus. She offers an incredible sum for it (Resources 5). When asked what they would do with it she says they would turn it over to the Emissary. They are willing to pay a vast sum to do so for the goodwill it buys them with the local government, whom they work hard to get along with.
* Ash declines to sell for that price, but instead asks to be brought into the Guild at a relatively low level. I believe small payments were also given to Vinda and Klave.
* Vinda installs herself in a small office in the Guild tower, as is common for bodyguards of Guild members.


Meeting the Emissary:

* Once the dam control artifact has been returned to the Emissary the characters receive a summons to the council building.
* Upon arriving they discover that the summons was from the Emissary himself.
* They attend him, and are invited into his private chamber.
* The first thing he does is remove his mask, an unprecedented occurrence in the history of Nexus. Doing so reveals a startlingly handsome man in his middle years, with a thick crop of blond hair and piercing blue eyes.
* He informs them that he knows they are Solar Exalted, and that he, too is a Solar Exalted. But unlike them, he was alive during the First Age. He was, in fact, the Eclipse caste member of their circle, and he worked hard to ensure that all of their Exaltations would be drawn to Nexus so that he could help them grow into their power again, in this dangerous age.
* He offers to teach sorcery to Ash and martial arts to Klave and tells them all that he will call on them from time to time when he has tasks for them.
* He further cautions them not to reveal their nature as Solar Exalted and swears them to an oath not to reveal his secret either.


Firewander:

* The Emissary tells the party that with the control panel to the Nexus dam in their hands it makes sense to recover the hearthstone needed to power it. The manse is under the water at the confluence of the three rivers. There is a passageway there from the old government buildings in Firewander.
* Party travels into Firewander. Distance and time seem to warp there as they end up spending a full day traversing the countryside while homing in on the old Tower of Nexus. Vinda uses her skills to avoid the Hobgoblin patrols as much as possible but eventually they are unable to avoid any more and are forced to fight, quickly dispatching one of the patrols.
* Coming up on the tower they see two guards posted out front. They do recon on the outside of the tower but find the glass windows only start several stories up and are made out of adamant. Upon finding this out they go in via the front door. They dispatch the guards there without making too much noise and successfully enter the building.
* They walk up the staircases through the two story high entry room. Circular staircases crisscross up into the air. They check the first row of doors and eventually discover a section of the tower that doesn't seem to be accessible from this floor.
* Klave breaks down the wall and they find a small, rectangular room with a circular shaft in one corner. The shaft has no entryway. They decide to look on higher floors before breaking through the shaft itself.
* Vinda scouts ahead of the rest of the group and hears the musical laughter of the Fair Folk on the floor above, and human voices raised in defiance.
* The group briefly debates whether or not to go to their aid, as their present goal is of such pressing importance, but in the end a combination of Klave's compassion and the calculated fact that the humans may have valuable information about the tower cause them to go to the humans' assistance.
* Bashing in the door they find a Fair Folk noble, several hobgoblins and two Bugbears, as well as 6 human prisoners. The Noble and the Hobgoblins were pitting the prisoners in single combat against the bugbears for sport.
* A short but fierce battle takes place. Two more of the humans are killed, but the party triumphs, culminating in Vinda chasing the Fair Folk noble out into the central staircase area and doing a badass stunt to kill her,involving attempting to swing onto her using a rope, but falling on top of the Fair Folk Noble and then finally killing her on the stairs. The humans know little about the tower but are determined to go with the party - they would surely die trying to leave Firewander, and one of them remembers Vinda displaying god-like abilities while trying to escort Amaya back from the Undercity. They accept Vinda's leadership for the time being, and tentatively take orders from Klave and Ash as well, but usually looking to Vinda for confirmation first.
* The party goes further up the tower and eventually finds an access point to the shaft in one of the upper offices, that looked to have been very sumptuous during the First Age. The shaft appears to have been some sort of a lift, but is no longer functional. Reasoning that it would be easier to make the descent from the lowest floor, the party goes back down and Klave breaks a hole in the shaft.
* The party decides to sleep for the night before making the descent.



The Access Tunnel:

* In the morning they descend, Vinda goes first. Upon reaching the bottom she finds an archway with words in Old Realm that said "Gold Level Access Only" - the runes glow and it appears to be powered independently from the tower, whose power is now gone. The others come down and on trying to cross the doorway a bolt of energy shoots out at them, but this last blast of energy seems to short out what remained in the system.
* Upon passing through the archway they see a control panel with a series of symbols on it, one of which appears to be representing the water manse. Past this the floor dropped away and there was a rail in the center that ran through the tunnel - the remnants of a First Age subway but without the car.
* The party walks down the tunnels, illuminating the way with their animas. After a short time they're ambushed by a group of giant rats. They take some wounds, but otherwise triumph fairly easily.
* Slightly further on they come across a transport car that appears to have been designed to run on the tracks. It's tipped over in the middle of the track, collapsed tunnel surrounds it blocking the path. Klave cracked one of the windows, allowing access to the car. They looted the inside of the car, recovering several small items of First Age manufacture, most notably a drink of Celestial Wine, offering access to quick and easy healing. Once they finished Klave was able to break open one of the other windows which allowed access to the tunnel past the point of collapse.
* The party walks further down the tunnel, passing a couple of turns, which correspond with the map the found in the initial tunnel entrance.


In the Water Manse:

* Eventually, they come to the end of the passageway and find a number of skeletons, one of which was wearing an Orichalcum ring. Ash has a flashback to his death scene and realizes this as his First Age self, who was the Deliberative's Governor in the old city of Hollow (where Nexus now stands) and who died while trying to flee the Dragonblooded assassins in his chambers in the Manse but was cut off by a rear guard contingent. He killed them all but died from his wounds. Ash takes the ring and wears it.
* The party follows the sole door out of this room, finding themselves in a long hallway that slowly spirals upwards. They pass a variety of doors, some open, some not.
* At one point the party comes across a particularly impressive looking closed door that Klave bashes in. It turns out that door was a pressure seal and that the room beyond had opened up to the water. The characters are knocked off their feet by the powerful jet but soon enough Ash is able to use his Craftsman Needs No Tools combo to reseal the door.
* Eventually they realize that the spiral is tightening and they have reached the top of the manse. Going in they see a large control room with a ceiling of see through Adamant, though little can be seen in the darkened waters at the bottom of Nexus's bay. The room also features:
o A doorway to the outside, currently locked
o Various control panels, currently deactivated
o 3 Images picked out in Jade plates, glowing dimly. They are:
+ A pair of vertical white lines with a horizontal blue line midway through it, the bottom half of the H is also blue. There are marks on the side corresponding to a First Age measuring system for distance.
+ A highly intricate pattern picked out in flecks of black Jade, most of which are currently glowing, but some of which are dull.
+ A set of pairs of horizontal lines, 7 pairs in total, forming a pyramid. The bottom four pairs are illuminated, the upper three are not. Knowing that this manse offers the hearthstone that controls the Dam the characters correctly assume that this last image monitors the dam's current height, but the other two images remain a mystery.
o Another door opposite the one they initially entered.
* Leaving the control room through the opposite door the party finds a hallway with a slow downward sloping spiral that is the mirror of the one they came up. Again passing a variety of doors and the occasional human remains the only one of note appears to be a room with massive gears, that would seem to be located in the center column of the manse. Many of the gears are bent and mangled and there is a partially shattered human skeleton in this room with the remains of a maul.
* Continuing further down the party comes to a room that might be the mirror of the one they used to enter the Manse. Here there are several bodies bearing Jade arms and armor. As the party enters the room ghosts rise from the bodies. Bound to defend this place for all time they attack!
* The ensuing battle is long and difficult but the party eventually triumphs. They take the following items off the corpses:
o A Black Jade Reinforced Breastplate with sharpened Adamant Scales all over it. Ash identifies it as Razortide.
o A Green Jade Long Powerbow called Blood Harvest
o A Red Jade breastplate, of relatively common manufacture

* Finding a door into the center of the manse they ascend a short, circular staircase. It ends butting up into the central column but there appears to be the cutout of a door, with an inner column blocking the way.
* Ash realizes that the Manse was meant to rise and sink at command, and that likely the earlier room with gears was what prevented the rising of the manse. He goes back to the room and uses his combo with Craftsman Needs No Tools to repair the damage.
* Klave goes to the control room to raise the manse above the water.
* Once the manse has risen, Ash enters the hearthstone room and attunes the manse, gaining control of the hearthstone.
* Klave, however, is shocked by what he sees outside the manse – a great battle has overtaken Nexus while the party has been underground. There are anima flares all over the city and great billows of smoke, and a darkness in the air. There are also several ships coming towards the manse.
* Once Ash has finished attuning to the manse the party comes exits the manse from the control room, finding that the top of the structure serves as a dock now that it has broken above the waves.
* The two ships that are coming appear to be crewed by the undead, mostly skeletons but with a few spinal chains.
* Vinda makes quick work of most of the spinal chains before the ships reach the manse, with Klave and Ash finishing up the rest of them. Ash determines that the hearthstone of the manse grants him control over water and uses it to attack the ships.
* After the battle a third ship comes, this crewed by the living.
o On it is a dragonblooded sent to watch for the party by the Emissary.
o He has been given the control panel to the manse.
o The Emissary told him that it was critical that the dam be raised in order to prevent the undead fleet from surrounding the city, thereby fully besieging Nexus.
* The party immediately sets sail for the nearest landing to the dam.



Battle for the Dam of Nexus:

* The fighting around the dam is too furious on the south shore to make a landing, so the party lands on the north shore.
* Running up the ramp from the docks the party finds the entrance to the dam already battered down, surrounded by zombies and a great monstrosity – a ball of dead bodies 10 feet tall, with the arms and heads all facing outwards.
* A short battle ensues – the monstrous sphere of undead tries to run over the party members, biting and clawing at any that come to close. But Vinda puts several arrows into it and finally Klave lets fly with a devastating punch, sending the giant sphere hurling 50 yards into the mass of zombies, destroying them all.
* The dam is structured with three great towers – one at each entrance and one in the center. The pathways between them run through the dam itself – on the bottom level.
* Going to the center of the dam they come across another encounter – a Nephwrack, 2 great zombies with weapons grafted onto them and a small amount of regular zombies. The fight is more difficult this time, the Nephwrack keeps trying to cast a sorcery, though when he does Ash is able to destroy the shadow creature summoned with some of his explosives. While that occurs the giant zombies dealt out great blows with their axes.
* Once the fight was done the party trekked all the way up the stairs, 8 stories into the air.
* As they entered the control room they found the bodies of the guards there horrifically mutilated. Vinda’s Surprise Anticipation Method activated, a heartbeat before the party was ambushed.
* The villain was a small child, perhaps 10 years old, but with fangs and claws, and four rusted iron chains growing out of his back that ended in spikes. Using them he could navigate floors and ceilings and such. This fight was harsher than those that came before. The child leapt immediately onto Ash and bit his throat, sucking his blood. But doing so exposed him to attacks from Vinda and Klave. After a few rounds of attacks from all three party members, he fled, leaping out a window. The party thought the attack was done, but he had grabbed onto the side of the tower with his chains and came back to fight them anew. The mortals accompanying the party were terrified by the child’s awful presence and could be of no help. Finally, Klave used the same charm he used on the sphere of undead outside the dam and the child went flying out the window. Unfortunately he did so on the East side of the dam, and the child’s body fell among the enemy ships, completely unrecoverable. At present they do not know if he is alive or dead.
* Dawn came and brought with it a new event. While one undead army surrounds Nexus on the North and East, another has approached from the Southwest. The fighting around the dam has reached a standstill and the armies are in an uneasy stalemate – for the time being.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Synopsis of Weekly Exalted Game – January 5, 2010 5:41 PM (edited 1/5/10 12:41 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
Yeah . . . so, this fell off quite some time ago, but I put together a basic sequence of events just recently to try to get my head back in the Exalted mindset. It's missing a few things (the whole subplot of the premade adventure, for example) which I may go back in and add at some point, but I thought you guys might like to know what basically happened for the rest of this game. When we start up again I'll try to stick to writing about it on a regular basis.

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
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