Children of the Unconquered Sun

Chapter Nine - Temporary Partings

Setting sail on the Night Star and heading north along the river towards the city of Varsi, the Heroic Do-Gooders briefly conferred. They knew that Setsuko and Marak would be pursuing, and a way was needed to slow them down. In the end, it was agreed that Mihir and Jumanah would ride south upon his mechanical steed. If, in four days, they had not caught up to their pursuers, they would return north to Varsi. If they did, then they would do what they could to slow their river craft and buy Desdemona and Rillin more time to finish outfitting the Night Star with its new Essence engine.

So the group split in half. Desdemona sailed her ship north up the river, while Mihir rode south and back into the jungles.

For Desdemona and Rillin, the journey was mostly uneventful and peaceful. Several days later, they encountered a Lookshy patrol captainned by the young Lookshy Terrestrial named Teresu Seifuku. He boarded the ship, stating that they were searching for the Anathema that were rumoured to be in the area. He also mentioned a certain Lunar who turned into an oversized wasp, who infiltrated the Lookshy archives and took every scrap of information pertaining to the Forgotten City of Denandsor. When confronting the San-Beast Kilarah, Rillin’s companion, Seifuku was deterred from believing she was a Lunar when Rillin revealed himself to be her advisor and that she was an ambassador of Halta. Believing that the ship held no Anathema, Seifuku left the Night Star and sailed onwards.

Rillin and Desdemona sailed into Varsi’s docks without further incident and immediately acquainted themselves with some heavenly tarts.

Meanwhile, Mihir and Jumanah did not have so easy of a time. Their journey south did end with finding Setsuko and Marak sailing the Mud Turtle upriver. Combat ensued when Marak took the first shot, taking Mihir in the back and through the shoulder. Jumanah boarded the vessel, and blood was spilled on both sides when Setsuko struck a hard, first blow, only to be grievously wounded herself when the infuriated Lunar cut loose.

With his flaming arrows, Mihir set the boat on fire and struck Marak’s firewand out of his hands, sending it into the water. In retalation, Marak lept off of the boat and through the jungle, pursuing the Solar until he lept upon him and nearly tackled him off of his horse. The two grappled for a short time, until Garron threw both riders off. Marak struck his head upon the ground and fell unconscious.

With the boat burning and Mihir losing blood quickly, he called for Jumanah to retreat. When the Lunar returned to him, both of them took Marak away with them and deeper into the jungles. They kept him bound, but Mihir healed his wounds. The Solar spoke at long length with the Dragon-Blooded, and in the end, Mihir convinced the zealot that he was not truly evil. A bargain was struck between them. In one year, Marak would return to find Mihir, and if he had held to his sanity, he would be allowed to live. If not, Marak would destroy him. Trusting that he would hold to his word, Mihir released the Dragon-blooded and convinced him to ride north with the pair to Varsi.

The three traveled together north, but roughly five miles out from the city of Varsi, Marak took his leave of Mihir and Jumanah in order to board a ship sailing south. His work would continue in Jades, where he would hunt for the murderer of Destiny’s Flower. Furthermore, Marak had no wish for anyone to realise that he might have possibly committed treachery by befriending (or at least abiding somewhat peacefully) with an Anathema.

Eventually, Mihir and Jumanah rode into the town of Varsi, soon finding Rillin and Desdemona. The four were reunited, and it was decided that they would travel next to Denandsor. There, Desdemona would search for Zhen, Rillin would search for First Age wonders, and Mihir would search for more sleeping Dragon Kings to awaken.

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Chapter Eight - Confrontation in Jades

15th Day of Wood Descending in Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever.

After a very long and exhausting journey, the quartet with the rescued Guildsmen returned to find that Jades had changed during the time they were gone. The Night Star was chained and anchored to the docks, the crew and freed slaves thrown in prison, and the Guildwoman they’d done business with – Destiny’s Flower – had been murdered. The new Guildman in charge of operations, John Silverfist, protested that everyone had thought the quartet dead and so had seized the ship and its crew.

Upon finding Aeshona, the first mate of the Night Star, bound and bloodied and whipped in her prison cell, the quartet were left to face the tender mercies of her captors: V’neef Cardassian Marak the Terrestrial bounty hunter and Captain Setsuko Sayo, the former mistress of the Night Star. The quartet had been led into a trap with the imprisoned crew acting as bait.

While Desdemona faced off with Setsuko in a duel of swords, a pair of First Age golems tangled with the two Lunars, and Mihir attempted to talk down Marak from his zealotry and his mission to kill the evil Anathema.

The golems were deactivated, and Desdemona had nearly bested Setsuko in her duel when another disaster hit. Silverfist had set fire to the prison building.

Deciding to flee before she was killed by sword or asphyxiation, Setsuko took off with Marak in tow. The quartet let them run, and after releasing all of the prisoners and slaves, they fled the prison building and got back to their ship. As a storm broke out, Desdemona set sail north on the river. Rillin released a spell to damage and disable the pursuing mercenary ships, and the do gooders made their escape.

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Chapter Seven - Reviving the Dragon Kings

27th Day of Wood Resplendent in the Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever.

The quartet of do-gooders did indeed find six of the Dragon Kings in their stasis chambers, deep in a magical slumber. There were three of the Raptok, led by an elder named Rain-Falls-Gently, one Anklok with a penchant for wild shorts, one Mosok and one Pterok. They were well-spoken and reserved, intelligent and peaceful, however they knew nothing of the world since the Great Contagion. The quartet gave them a brief recounting of history since they went to sleep, and then they took them back into Rathess.

Trusting Rain-Falls-Gently to take care of the city and restore the feral population of Dragon Kings to a state of civilisation, the quartet finally began to prepare for their return to Jades with the Guildsmen.

The former slaves who had been captured along with the Guildsmen wanted their freedom. Negotiations were made with the Guild, ending with a trade route being established with the slowly-returning Rathess and population of Dragon Kings in return for secrecy, the freedom of the slaves and goods.

The group began a return to Jades, which more or less progressed without event.

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Chapter Six - Leyata's Dragon Kings

27th Day of Wood Resplendent in the Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever.

While there remains no sign of Zhen, the party recovered after their rescue of Desdemona. The first order of business was seeking out the reptilian goddess Leyata, having promised her that they would come to see her once their errand was complete.

They found her within an old museum where many of her treasures had been preserved. There they spoke with her, and she asked them to revive the ancient race of Dragon Kings from their slumber in stasis chambers deep beneath the city. After some time and some discussion, the quartet agreed to do it.

The band ventured into the tunnels of the city, leaving other explorations for later. Rillin geeked out and restored a transportation capsule that carried them down tracks like a roller coaster deep into the water-logged tunnels.

All was going quite splendidly until they were set upon by leeches. When they fought off a good number of them, the creatures pulled themselves together into a monstrosity that spoke to them, calling itself the Avatar of the Leech-God. Though Mihir tried some diplomacy, that was short-lived before it attacked, swearing that they would never revive its hated Dragon King enemies.

The Avatar was eventually pwned in a mighty, epic battle, leaving the heroes somewhat wounded but ready to continue onwards in search of Leyata’s Dragon Kings.

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Chapter Five - Heaventouch's Betrayal

12th Day of Wood Resplendent in the Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever

After some time to explore the city of Rathess, the trio have gathered some good swag for themselves – new suits of armour, an engine upgrade for Desdemona, and a hearthstone for Mihir.

Enter Rillin Greenstrider.

While stalking an animal for a new form in a sacred hunt, Jumanah came upon a Lunar named Rillin and his companion, a San-Beast named Kilara. Bringing the Lunar back to the temple of Rathess where everyone had been making a rough, temporary home, Jumanah introduced the new Lunar to Mihir. They would have introduced him to Desdemona, but she had not returned from a lunch she was sharing with Zhen Heaventouched.

They went in search of her, and they came upon the remains of her meal, which had been drugged. Now fearing for Desdemona’s safety, Jumanah led them in a hunt for Desdemona and found her deep in an abandoned temple in the city, tied down to a clock, about to be sacrificed by the treacherous Zhen for a ritual that would taint his own Exaltation and make him into one of the Abyssals.

The ritual was stopped when Rillin and Jumanah burst through the doors, and Mihir shot the treacherous Lunar in the hands with his arrows. The pent-up energy released in a wild explosion, flinging everyone across the room to hit the walls and slump into unconsciousness. When the group awoke, Zhen was gone, and Desdemona was still alive, awake and screaming to be released.

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Chapter Four - Brotherly Wisdom

The answer was soon made clear as to why the trio were wanted alive.

Thinking that there might be some treachery, Mihir suggested the group split apart. He would face the leader of the goblins while Desdemona and Jumanah followed at a distance to launch an ambush if all went poorly. So the three went off, and Mihir was led to a great temple where an army of three hundred goblins and other creatures gathered to worship a crazed man who was whipping them into a frenzy of blood lust. This man, dressed in the skins of dead people, was preparing to sacrifice and eat the captured men and women of the Guild who were kept in cages, all in the name of his god, Han-Tha.

The thing is that Filial Wisdom was a Solar. A very crazy ass Solar. He wanted Mihir to finish a poem for him, one that would glorify the name of Han-Tha and inspire men and women to worship him on a bloody campaign of conversion.

While Mihir worked to talk down Filial Wisdom from his madness, turning his loyalty slowly away from Han-Tha to the Unconquered Sun, Desdemona received a visitor from an unknown and mysterious man, a Lunar. With his help, she found a way into the temple to retrieve that poem and light it on fire, facing the dangers of goblins along the way.

Upon discovering his poem was on fire, as well as the top floor of the temple, Filial Wisdom cried out in fury and rage. Mihir again managed to talk him away from his madness, bringing him back to sanity with logic, calm, and gentleness. Realising the crimes he had committed, Filial Wisdom ran away and across the city, to face a growing cloud and storm that was the fury of Han-Tha. Apparently gods don’t like it when they lose their high priests.

The remaining goblin hordes attacked Desdemona, Mihir, Jumanah and their mysterious Lunar pal, but the battle was short and sweet, ending with victory for the Heroes. The mysterious Lunar departed, giving his name as he did: Zhen Heaventouched.

And as he left, another figure arrived. Mihir recognised her as his mysterious benefactor in Nexus, the woman who bought him time by battling with Cardassian so he could flee to Desdemona’s ship. She introduced herself as Tenshi Terumi, and she offered herself as a teacher for the group.

The gate of the goblins they have as captives remains in the balance, as does the ultimate fate of Filial Wisdom, who rushed away to atone for his crimes.

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Chapter Three - In the Jungles

Date: 24th Day of Wood Ascending in the Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever.

Having accepted their mission from Destiny’s Flower, the trio set off for the jungles surrounding the forgotten city of Rathess. All of the child slaves had been freed, and the ten days of travel towards the city through the jungle was long and tedious but uneventful.

On the tenth day, they finally encountered a group of wolf-goat men. Taking shelter in the trees in case the group proved hostile, both Mihir and Desdemona were able to instead speak courteously and politely with them. The exchange was peaceful, and the horned wolfmen confirmed that the group of men they sought had come through and gone towards the city of Rathess. The trio took a detour to leave the territory of the wolfmen, then continued onwards and into the city.

1st Day of Wood Resplendent in the Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever.

Four days more of slow hacking through jungles finally brought the trio to the gates of ruined Rathess. Entering through the northeast, they found an abandoned cart and a dead horse, one that had been killed by a multitude of blades and had tried to fight back. Before the mystery of who did it could be solved, the group were accosted and then attacked by twelve goblins.

Most of them were killed, but those that were spared or survived can be questioned. Because they are working for someone, someone who wants the trio alive for some reason…

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Chapter Two - In Jade

Date: 14th Day of Wood Ascending in the Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever.

After two weeks of relatively peaceful sailing upon the Night’s Sky, the ship and her crew pull in to dock at the city of Jade. There they find a woman waiting for them, a representative of the Guild named Destiny’s Flower. Though Desdemona tries to sweet talk her, she is well aware that there are men, women and children aboard who are illegally-escaped slaves. Instead of trying to pursue the matter, she demands that Des, Jumanah and Mihir meet her for dinner that night to discuss a bargain.

After acquiring supplies, the Trio meet with Destiny’s Flower at a reputable inn. Both Jumanah and Mihir catch sight of an odd individual in the tavern, a fellow who had taken a great deal of notice in Desdemona himself, but when he presented no overt threat and left, he was soon forgotten.

Meanwhile, Destiny’s Flower spoke of missing companions who had gone down into the jungles towards Rathess three months ago, and they disappeared three weeks ago. She suspects that they’ve fallen prey to a vicious Wolf-Goat tribe, creations of a man called Ma-Ha-Suchi, the Mad One. If the Trio find the missing men, some news on their whereabouts, or anything useful, then Destiny’s Flower will remove the tattoos that mark the adult slaves as captives. The children she will free now, as a gesture of good will, and she also had trade information.

The Trio agreed, and they are off to explore the jungles near Rathess.

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Chapter One - Coming Together

Date: 1st Day of Wood Ascending in the Years of the Glorious Reign of our Scarlett Empress, May She Live Forever.

Having escaped into the dead of night from the Satrap’s manor, Mihir Prakash has been on the run for several weeks. It’s been a hard journey, one fraught with the perils of bounty hunters and bandits. The Dragon-blooded are after him; specifically, a Dragon-blooded hunter named Cardassian. Mihir has made his way from Greyfalls and into the city of Nexus, arriving atop his clockwork steed and bedecked in brilliant, green jade armour. Seeing his splendor, the poor gather around him, begging for charity. He is overly generous, and the silver he casts out is enough to cause a riot. Fearing for the lives of the children and the women, Mihir risks his life in order to reveal himself as one of the Solar Exalted, using his power to peacefully subdue the crowds and dispel them.

His actions attract the attention of a lot of bounty hunters, including Cardassian, who has followed his trail this far. A mysterious benefactor intervenes, heading off Cardassian and telling him to run. As he flees for his life, Mihir runs for the docks and leaps upon the deck of the Night’s Sky, a ship pulling into port with a cargo full of slaves, Desdemona, Aeshona …. and a mutiny in progress.

The ship never pulls in to dock. The cruel captain, Setsuko Sayo, was subdued in the mutiny and then thrown overboard. With the fighting left behind in the city and the crew pledging allegience to Desdemona as its new captain, the ship sailed down the river with Mihir on board. Both Mihir and Desdemona recognised each other from their days at the Satrap’s manor – he as Jezmin’s favourite boudoir slave and she as the illegitimate daughter of the Satrap himself.

The ship sailed onward down the river to the village of Cheerosh, where they put in to port for a short time. As they debarked in order to explore, they found the villagers all gathered around, on the verge of civil unrest. Half stood in support of an Immaculate Monk named Chaksu Eashan, and half stood in support of a villager named Bashir who was protecting the Leonine Lady, Jumanah Nightstalker. The crowds were dispelled peacefully, talked down from the threat of violence by both Mihir and Desdemona.

Jumanah invited them up into her tree house to speak with her, and it was revealed that all three were Exalted – Mihir and Desdemona both Solar, Jumanah a Lunar. Since she could no longer stay in Cheerosh with the growing tensions, she was the third to join Desdemona’s crew.

They then set sail for the south, towards the city of Jade.

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