11 – The Inky Haired Girl

You duck down as the nasty glob sails over you and hits the girl in front of you. The girl plucks the spitball out of her inky black hair with a look of distaste. Then she turns around and looks at you. Before you exaltation this girl would barely register your existence. Now she is looking directly at you. Who threw it, she mouths. You shrug and point your thumb behind you. She sits up taller in her desk to look behind you. Her inky black hair swishes as she sits back down in her desk.

You hear the sound of a page being torn out of her notebook. Looking over her shoulder, you try to see what she is doing. With precision movements, she intricately folds a note she has written. Then she passes you her handiwork. You begin to open it, but she puts her hand on yours to stop you. She nods behind you. You pass the note back to the student behind you, who then passes it along.

A few minutes later, one of the students yelps. You turn around and see that the note has unfolded itself into a crane and is now attacking your least favorite person, the bully. The bully’s straw is discarded as he tries to fend off the crane’s attacks. Bloody paper cuts appear on his arm. The girl has a sinister smile on her face as she watches her crane do its work.

The owl breaks through the crowd of students and catches the crane and crushes it with one hand. He takes the girl aside to talk to her. She is appropriately contrite to the owl. The owl standing behind her, she then goes to the bully and apologizes. On her way back to her seat, she winks at you. You are unsure how you feel about this girl. The trick with the crane was cool but she kind of creeps you out.

Just before lunch, an older girl with violet eyes walks into class. She meets your eyes and smiles at you. Annoyed with the girl, the Owl walks her out of the classroom. As soon as the door clicks shut, everyone gets out of their seats and puts their ear at the door. You try to make room for yourself, but you are once again shoved out of the way. Apparently, some things never change. You consider going for the air ducts, but the door opens and the Owl calls the name of your Resplendent Destiny. You walk outside of the classroom.

The girl with violet eyes is waiting for you. The owl positions himself behind you. “I’d like to talk to him alone,” the girl says. There is shouting coming from the classroom. The owl sighs and heads back in to see what trouble the other students are getting into.

She smirks. “It’s amazing what a little Astrology can accomplish. The class is going to drive him nuts all day. Come on. Let’s go.” She leads you to an empty class room and opens a window. “How about we blow this joint and go meet the Five Score Fellowship?”

What do you do?

  • Leave with the Girl with violet eyes and go meet some Sidereals
  • Leave with the Girl with violet eyes and sneak away to go see Nanny
  • Go back to class. Creepy girl looked kind of sad that you were leaving.
  • Other

OCC: I hope I’m not making the other students seem psychotic.

It’s a single floor building.

This is how I am house ruling arcane fate at exaltation. When a Sidereal first exalts, there is no rolling for Arcane Fate. Your destiny and history is wiped clean. Only those who are immune would have a chance to remember you.

Akachi has not let you visit Nanny yet. He says it would be too painful for you. You haven’t had a chance to sneak away because you’ve been hurt or too busy learning to be a Sidereal.

Girl with violet eyes is not creepy. She seems to be the cheerful type.

Akachi explained about Arcane Fate and told you that there is no way Nanny would remember you. However, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want to see Nanny even if she doesn’t remember you or maybe want to see for your own eyes if it is true. It’s all up to you guys want he wants.

When you ask about how he can have people remember him, he explains about Resplendent Destinies and walks you though creating your own.

You recovered pretty quickly from your Physical Injures. It took you a month to recover from the shock of Exaltation, losing Nanny, etc. ((Svante might not be fully recovered yet. But he is at the point where he is ready to deal with things again. And he is an exalt, so I figured Svante is more resilient than most kids. ))

((Figuring out how long between the first and second chapter was difficult to be honest. I wanted the time gap to be long enough so Svante can deal with things, but not too long to where he would have already met the other Sidereals.))

((Also, I am going to slow down the pace of updates to give people more time to respond. We are past Svante’s Exaltation, which was the big event I wanted to get to quickly. So Hero (Quest) will be updating Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.))

10 – Spitballs

The handrails of the staircase are smooth under your long, elegant fingers.   There is something odd about the railing.   They are lower than you are used to. The musky smell of leather and the flowery smell of paper compete for dominance in the air.    You do not recognize the library, but you have the feeling that you have been coming here your whole life.   You pass by a shelf of books and head to a locked glass cabinet filled with scrolls.  The Owl is there staring at one scroll in particular.

“Have you made your decision yet, Owl?”  You ask him.  Your voice is odd.  Still high pitched, but …. different.

“Yes,” the Owl replies, “though I keep changing it every five minutes.”    You walk over to the god and embrace him from behind, resting your chin on his shoulder.

“She will leave you alone if the scroll leaves your domain,” you tell him.    The Owl pulls away and paces towards one of the shelves of books and back towards the cabinet again.
“I’ll find a place to keep the scroll safe and hidden,” you assure him.

“I know.”  Quickly, as if before he changes his mind again, he touches the lock on the cabinet.  It clicks open.  He removes the scroll from the cabinet and reluctantly holds it out to you.   You take the scroll with your unfamiliar hand.  He shudders as the scroll leaves his domain.   You put the scroll in your bag.

“Be careful.   I can’t lose you,” the Owl whispers.   You put your hand on his feathered cheek.   He reaches up and grips your hand in his own.

“I’ll return to you.  I promise.”

With a gasp you wake up.  Disoriented, you look around.  You are in a large bedroom in Akachi’s downtown manse.   You shake your head, trying to dispel the remains of that very bizarre dream from your mind.  You reposition your pillows and try to go back to sleep.

“I can’t believe you are sending me back to school,” you tell Akachi the next morning as he walks you to school.   “Don’t I need more time to…rest up and stuff.  I’ve been through a life changing experience.”

“It’s been over a month since your exaltation.   You have healed physically and are back to your energetic self.  Routine will help you more than sitting around the manse.  Also, you need to learn to get along with children your own age. ”  You make a face and continue walking down the streets of downtown Yu-Shan.

“Isn’t there more important stuff for me to do?  You said Sidereals are all overworked.  I can help!”

Akachi snickers.  “Then you are the only Sidereal that actually wants to do their job.  But no need to rush though childhood, Svante.  You’ll have thousands of years to file expense reports.”
You notice two woman in a café, staring at you and Akachi.  When you return their stare, they look away and pretend you don’t exist.

“Why are those people staring at us?”

“Who?”  Akachi looks over at the café and the two women pointedly not looking your way.   “Oh.  Those are other Sidereals.  I’ll have to introduce you to the rabble eventually.  They are quiet curious about you.”  You wave at them and the two Sidereals enthusiastically wave back.   “Let’s keep moving shall we?”   Akachi guides you away from the café.

Akachi stops just outside the classroom door.   “Now what did I tell you this morning?”

“No charms.  No fighting.  Don’t tell anyone about being in class before or being a Sidereal. “

“And what else?”

You sigh.  “Be good and listen to the Owl.”

Akachi hands you your book bag.   “Keeper will drop you off at my office after school.  Maybe I will take you up on your offer to help with the paperwork, since you are so eager.”

“Hey!  I’m not going to school and help you with your paperwork!” you yell down the hallway as Akachi walks away.

You enter the classroom.   You go immediately to your desk, but the Owl calls you to the front of the room.   As the owl introduces you the class, you squirm under your Resplendent Destiny.   You feel the Key push at you, trying to adjust the way you act.   You ignore it and head back to your desk.

The Owl begins class.  He is teaching Skytongue.  You are a few lessons behind, but you can fill in the gaps rather easily.  You hate not being able to understand what someone is saying, so you try to pay attention.   What if you miss overhearing a secret just because you can’t understand them?

Anyways, you are a Sidereal now.  Chosen by Jupiter herself.  All of your past misbehaviors have been forgotten.  It’s time to put childish pursuits…..

You hear someone launching a spit ball in your direction.

What do you do?

  • Raise your hand and tell the Owl someone is attacking you with spit balls…Yeah….Like you are going to do that!
  • Block the nasty thing with a notebook and ignore it.  You are the chosen of Jupiter. Spitballs are beneath your notice.
  • Block the nasty thing and make your own spit ball.  You have been attacked.  This means WAR!
  • Duck and let it hit the person a row over. Play dumb when they look at you.
  • Other

OCC – Ah, school and the asshole God-blooded children return!   I hope the transition between the serious dream and the school scene isn’t too jarring.

Also, I forgot to give Caladon a gold star for suggesting Avoiding the Truth Technique at the end of Chapter one.   So here it is!

This Resplendent Destiny is called Kamon. Kamon is the god blooded child of someone that works in the Bureau of Destiny.

((This question I can answer. Svante had to create his own Resplendent Destiny as Sidereals can’t use Astrology on other Sidereals. But Akachi sort of walked him though the process. It’s a pretty flimsy RD. It will only last a year, unless he burns it up though Anima Banner Flaring.

And he can take it off and put it on at will.))

09 – Ninja Wizard

You clumsily duck away from Gina’s knife, but fortunately the arch of the knife’s throw was wide. You hear the knife bounce off of the caravan wagon behind you. As your mind struggles to figure out what to do, Edita cries, “Wait! Don’t attack the kid. He’s just a little boy!”

The two remaining guards hesitate and look at each other in bewilderment at Edita’s command. That is when you notice the condition of the caravan members. Edita is pale and holding her arm as if it is broken and Gina’s forehead has a bloody slash and is starting to show a bad bruise. Bodies litter the ground around the caravan camp. The blood apes have reduced the caravan’s numbers down to four.

You notice a dim white and yellow light in the distance. Akachi and the demon summoner are still fighting. You need to buy some time. You try to stand up and face both Edita and Gina, but fall back down. You have never been in so much pain in your life. Your insides feel like they have been torn open..

“It’s me! Sv…Wakoto! I traveled with you from Vanchow. I might be a bit greener, but I am still me!” you say in desperation.

The guards are doubtful and tense ready to attack in spite of Edita’s earlier words. “I have never seen you before in my life, kid. “ Gina declares.

You are baffled. “But… I helped you feed the horses carrots. You were going to teach me how to ride.” The light of the Earth Aspect Anima is still lit. You just need more time. You realize if the truth doesn’t work, then you can tell a really big lie. Tell them you are anathema and then they can see how absurd the idea is.

“You are right to fear me,” you begin, as you stand up painfully. “That is because I am a….Ninja Wizard.” You try to show off a few martial arts moves to intimidate them, but almost fall over. You stop because of how painful it is to move. Wincing in pain would ruin the image you are trying to project. “I sneak around in the darkness searching for …. Umm…. Innocent children to possession! I am the night…“

“Wow, Edita, are you hearing this horse shit? “ Gina interrupts, laughing. “That demon must have thumped my head harder than I thought!” Edita and the rest of the caravan are at a loss for words at your speech. The light of the yellow and white anima suddenly snuffs out.

“But it is the truth!”

“The truth? Why would an anathema possess some kid? “ one of the guards asks.  You see Akachi walk towards the caravan camp. His dreadlocks are tied back by a piece of cloth covering his forehead. A faint blue light shines through the cloth.

“Umm….because I like to sneak around in air ducts? Kids fit better in Air Ducts.” you finish lamely.

Akachi finally reaches the camp and looks you over and seems relieved that you are still alive. He addresses Edita. “What is going on here?”

Gina answers for her. “This kid claims to be Anathema. Or a ‘Ninja Wizard’ “ she imitates. “I’ve heard many stories from Stowaways, but this has to be the best!”

“I didn’t stow away! I was working off my fare as a caravan guard! And I think I did a good job getting rid of all of the blood apes. “

Akachi grins, “You did a magnificent job taking care of all of the blood apes, Svante. Now let’s get you home.” He turns to the rest of the caravan. “Svante is my sister’s son. He is always getting into trouble. I appreciate you keeping an eye on him. “

“I’m not going anywhere with you. You said you were going to drag me though the Wyld!” Akachi looks utterly confused at this statement. And then he bursts out laughing. “Oh, Maidens. You must have missed the first part of my conversation with Keeper.”

“The first part……So, you weren’t going to drag me though the Wyld?”

“The last thing I would do is to take you to the Wyld. Or do anything else that would hurt you,” Akachi explains. “Now, let’s help Edita get her caravan back in order shall we? And maybe go home?”

Akachi convinces Gina to sell him one of the caravan horses and the two of you head back to Vanchow. On the ride back, you ask, “Why did they act like they didn’t remember me?”

Akachi is quiet for a moment. “Because they didn’t remember you. When you are chosen by the Maidens of Fate, evidence of your existence is erased from creation. Mortals will not remember you. The members of the caravan will not even remember me after a while. “

“What about gods? Will the Owl and Nanny remember me?”

“Keeper? He works for the Bureau of Destiny, so he will remember you. Nanny….” He doesn’t continue.

You are silent as you consider the implications of this. “You knew! That is why you came to get me at school! Why didn’t you tell me?! Why didn’t you warn me this was going to happen?!” You are so angry that you don’t really know what to do with yourself at first. You want to hit Akachi. You try to jump off the horse and run away. But Akachi stops the horse and holds you tight.

“Svante, I didn’t know until this afternoon you were going to exalt! Usually, we tell future Sidereals when the turn sixteen. By the time they exalt in their early twenties, they are prepared. You are twelve for gods’ sake! We have never had someone exalt so young.”

“You mean I am the youngest?” You stop struggling.

“Yes. Well, there was one Lunar who exalted at your age just before the Usurpation. She was dragged though the Wyld by her mentor to escape the Solar’s madness. “

“What happens now?” you ask. Nanny…. You never got to say good bye. But then, she wouldn’t remember you saying good bye anyways.

“We go home. You learn to control your new powers. I write up some nice destinies for Edita and her sister in gratitude for watching over you. And get back to the ever increasing pile of paperwork on my desk. “

“Paperwork?” Akachi must be kidding. Why would an exalt worry about paperwork? “Why Edita?”

“What?”

“Why did you choose Edita? Gina is prettier.” Akachi chuckles at your comment about Gina.

“Edita was the one that was against you coming on the caravan. She was the one who hired the guards. If you were going to exalt, being on a caravan was better than being in a city. If I wasn’t there to watch over you, then she was the only one who could keep the guards from attacking you. Also… “ Akachi smiles, “well, when you are older you will understand why I’d prefer someone who works with paper and ink than someone who works with horses.” You snort at this. Horses are way more interesting than bookkeeping.

“Can you promise me something, Svante?”

“Umm… What is it?”

“Can you not tell anyone that Keeper locked me in the bathroom?”


OCC – End of Chapter one! I considered giving you guys the choice of Svante going ronin, but I really want to write about him driving the Five Score Fellowship nuts. I hope you guys would like the various ways he does so!

In celebration of finishing chapter one, I started a website to keep track of this game. All the discussions and decision making will happen here, but for my own sanity I want an easy reference for the posts and characters.

Give me a day or two to get the first post of chapter two up. I got a couple of ideas I need to choose from.

08 – Blood Apes

The blood ape growls at you and takes a swipe at your head. Reflexively, you duck under the blood ape’s arm. You turn to run. As you scramble to get away the demon, you trip and fall hard to the ground. You scream in pain as the blood ape digs its claws into your shin and starts to drag you closer. You kick at the demon and scream for help. You glance up and see if anyone in the caravan can hear you.

Gina and Edita are circling another blood ape. When you scream, Gina looks away from the blood ape and calls your name. The blood ape takes advantage of her distraction and knocks her off of her feet. Edita screams Gina’s name and charges the blood ape, sword in hand.

The demon rolls you over. You can smell the blood ape’s rancid breath and feel its warmth on your cheek. Your heart is pounding. You realize that no one is going to save you. Not Gina. Not Nanny. Not Akachi. You are going to die. You close your eyes.

And the secrets of Creation reveal themselves to you.

Time slows down. The threads of fate vibrate around you. You can sense the one connected to the blood ape buzzing against your own. The thread stings your hand, as you reach out and wrench it away from your own thread. The violent separation of the two threads causes you to scream out in pain.

When you open your eyes again, the blood ape is gone. You hop up off of the ground and run back towards the caravan camp. You painfully jar your leg with each step.

There are two more blood apes in camp. Their threads of fate are entangled with the threads of the caravan. You grab both of the threads and yank the blood apes out of existence. The pain is unbearable. You fall to your knees.

You try to sense where the blood apes’ summoner is. She is already being dealt with the tall man, who is suddenly very familiar to you. Akachi. The battle is almost over.

You sigh with relief. After what you have been though, the Wyld seems like nothing. You hear footsteps approach, as the caravan surrounds you. You look up and see Edita and Gina stare down at you. A green light reflects off of their terrified faces.

Feeling confused, you raise your hand and realize it is glowing with a brilliant green aura. This doesn’t look like any Dragon blooded Anima you have seen before.

One of the guards says, “It’s injured. Kill it. Kill it quick before it summons more demons.”

Gina throws her knife at you.

 

What do you do now?

  • Try to talk your friends out of killing you. They must be scared by the fact you are glowing green.
  • Run away and hide. You don’t want to hurt anyone.
  • Attack. You just took out three demons, you can easily handle the entire caravan.
  • Other

 


OOC: The results are in! Svante is an Oracle. Chosen of Journeys was a close second. Gold star for semicausal for suggesting Unweaving Method. Boy is Svante going to be confused, when he uses that charm the next time and it isn’t quite as effective.

07 – The Tall Man

As you gobble down your third bowl of stew, you listen conversations around you and try to forget about the tall man. While the guard’s conversation of the various Martial Art Tournaments would normally hold your interest, your mind keeps coming back to the tall man and his presence with this caravan.

You decide to trust your instincts. You put your empty bowl on the ground next to you and make as if you need to take a piss. Circling around camp, you creep next to the wagon nearest to the tall man and listen to his conversation.

“I’ve been thinking about the watch schedule,” Edita says.

“Oh?”

“If I switch you with Poyo, then you will be free until midnight.”

“Hmm… Suddenly, I have a lot of time to fill. Seems like I’ll have to find some way to amuse myself until then.”

“I have something for you to fill… your time with.” You hear Edita stand. “I’ll go talk to Poyo.”

“You’re the boss,” the tall man replies. As Edita walks off, the tall man mutters in dismay, “Something for you to fill? Gods, no wonder it’s been a while.” The tall man grabs his multi-colored cloak and follows Edita.

That entire conversation seemed like total nonsense until it hits you. SEX! They were talking about sex! No wonder it made no sense. You shake your head at the stupidity of adults and their inability to talk unambiguously about sex.

You see Gina heading over to the horse. As you head her direction, you can see that she is talking to one of the horses.

“What do you think, Peachy? Yeah, I think Orange and Purple clash, too. My sister has the worst taste in…” Gina sees you walking up. “Hey, Kid! Want to help me give treats to the horses?” She hands you a carrot and shows you how to give a horse a treat without losing a finger. Peachy is very gentle as she takes the carrot from you, but she quickly turns the carrot into mush. You are glad she didn’t decide your fingers were tasty too.

“Have you ever ridden a horse before kid?” Gina asks, as pats one of the horse’s neck.

“Not a real one,” you reply. You have ridden many conjured horses in Yu-Shan. No one uses real horses in Yu-Shan because of the droppings and the smell.

Gina gives you confused look at this comment. “I’ve day dreamed about riding a horse thousands of time,” you lamely add. “Can I ride a horse now?” you ask, trying to cover your flub.

“Nah. It’s too dark to ride now. Maybe if you get up early enough, there will be time in the morning. “ Gina gives her last carrot away. “Look, all gone,” she declares, showing the horses her empty hands. “There will be more carrots tomorrow, you greedy animals. You eat almost as much as Wakoto here.“ She winks at you to take the sting out of her comment.

“Well, I am off to bed!” She pauses and then rolls her eyes. “Or would be if I didn’t have some damned peacock in my tent. Oh well, don’t stay up too late, Wakoto. Not if you want to ride horses tomorrow!” She heads back to the other adults at the fire.

“I won’t!” you promise. You sit down on a rock, near the horses and day dream about riding down Anathema on horseback. Gina is riding by your side, wearing full plate armor, like in the Shogun’s armies. She smiles at you and together you cut all the Anathema down and return their stolen powers to the Sun and Moon.

An icy wind blows though the orchard by the campsite. You shiver, wishing you hadn’t forgotten your new cloak in Vanchow. Looking up, you realize that you are far enough away from the city to see all the stars in the sky. You try to go back to your day dream, but a strange tingling sensation comes over you.

You know that you will never ride horses with Gina.

You know that won’t be with this caravan for much longer.

Everyone in this caravan is in danger.

You stand up from your rock and look franticly around. There are still a few people around the fire. Three of the guards are standing around the perimeter of the caravan. You see the tall man, now shirtless, stroll purposely towards the fire. “Wake everyone up. We are being attacked.” He pulls one of the drunken caravan drivers to his feet. “Get the weapons out and make sure everyone is armed.”

“I’ll get them, “ Edita is carrying two leather breastplates. She sees Gina and tosses her one of them.

The tall man looks around. “Where’s the boy?”

You heart starts pounding in your chest. You were right. You were right about the tall man. You turn to run away from camp.

And run right smack into a blood ape.


What happens next?

  • As forbidden Secrets of sorcery burn your mind, you banish the blood ape attacking you.
  • You reach a state of Serenity. You realize that running away from camp was a poor choice and you can go back and make a different choice.
  • Perhaps it would be best for you and your companions to continue on their Journey.
  • To survive this Battle, you need to push yourself beyond your limits.
  • Your martial arts training kicks in and you have a sudden insight on how to bring about this blood ape’s Ending.

OOC: I’m really anxious to see what you guys choose.

((While Exaltation is a life changing event, it isn’t going to change Svante’s basic personality. Though, Svante is not a static character, he will change as he grows up (based on your decisions) )).
((No Sidereal had anything to do with Svante exalted at this early age. It is all the Maiden’s doing. ))

06 – New Clothes

“Fare?” You scratch your head confused. “I thought I was going to be a guard?”

Gina laughs, “You are a bit too small to be a guard. Maybe when you grow up a bit.”

“Oh,” you say disappointed. Suddenly you have an idea. Your Yu-Shan clothes make you stand out and your shoes aren’t really durable enough for tramping around Creation.

“I’ll be right back. Don’t leave without me!” You rush back into town and find the nearest tailor shop. You run in, slightly out of breath.

“How much would you give me for these Clothes and Shoes.” You say as you start stripping down.

“Whoa, boy!” the store clerk says. “Let me see that shirt.” He looks over the fine embroidery and cloth. “Nice. Pure Silk?”

“Yes, sir”

“Hmmm…. It’s a bit gaudy… “ He looks down at your muddy pants and shoes, which you are still wearing “and dirty.”

You don’t have time for this. “I’m in a hurry. Do you want them or not?“

The clerk sighs. “I’ll give you store credit…”

“I need jade.” You think for a moment. “I’ll take some jade and store credit.”

“Agreed.” Clerk looks at your book bag, which you dropped on the floor in your haste to disrobe. “You selling the bag too?”

“Umm…”

“I wouldn’t sell the bag, if were you, child,” a tall, dark man walks out of one of the dressing rooms. You can still see the folds and wrinkles in his fine clothes. He walks towards one of the mirrors and begins trying on one of the cloaks. He discards the first dull grey one he tried on and picks up a brightly colored one. He pulls his dreadlocks out from under the cloak and check himself out in the mirror. “A man carries his life in his bag. You shouldn’t be so willing to replace it.”

You pick up the bag and throw it over your shoulder. “I’m keeping the bag.” You didn’t really want to clean out your book bag anyways.

After the clerk helps you pick out some clothes and shoes, you head to the dressing room to put them on. You can hear the tall man talking quietly to the clerk, but cannot make out what they are saying. When you are finished, the tall man is gone. The clerk, looking a bit puzzled at a small bag of jade, says. “Here’s your money. Oh and don’t forget this.” He holds one of the cloaks in his hand. “It’s going to be cold out. “

You race back to the caravan. “There you are! I had to harness the horses by myself.” Gina is working on hooking up last of the horses to one of the wagons.

“I got your fare,” you say, handing Gina the bag of jade.

“Oh!” She takes the bag. “Where did you get this?”

“I sold my clothes. I don’t need them anymore anyways,” you explain.

Gina looks conflicted and gives you back the bag of jade. “Keep your money, kid. You are going to need it.”

“But you said I needed to pay my fare!”

“Gods! I said you can work off your fare. You didn’t need to sell off your clothes, Wakoto. “ Gina looks distressed by the whole situation.

“I can still help you with the horses,” you offer. “Or guard the caravan.”

Gina rolls her eyes. “You aren’t going to give that up, aren’t you?”

“Hey! If we are going to make that campsite before dark, we need to get going!” Edita yells. You see the tall man from the tailor shop next to her. You are suspicious of his appearance at the caravan. Gina jumps up to the front of one of the wagons and holds her hand down to help you up. “Time to get this show on the road.” You look at her hand and consider staying in town.

“Why are we leaving so late in the day?” you ask. You decide to put the tall man out of your mind. It’s probably just coincidence.

“One of the other caravans was attacked a few days ago. So we decided to hire a few extra guards. Unfortunately, this took longer than we thought. So we didn’t budget staying in an inn for an extra day, so we are heading to a campsite a few hours outside of Vanchow and camping there for the night.”

You think about this. “Why can’t you just wait until the Dragonbloods have caught the bandits? Wouldn’t it be safer?”

“We can’t afford to wait. If we don’t get these goods to their destination, we don’t get paid. We don’t get paid, we don’t eat. This is why Edita didn’t want you on the trip. She didn’t want to be responsible for you.”

“So, why did you speak up for me?” you ask.

“My are you full of questions.” Gina thinks for a moment and says. “Because, after our parents died, Edita and I were out on the streets for a bit before our Aunt found us. The streets are no place for a kid.” She glances at you. “And we can always use an extra guard.”

You ignore her jab as Gina’s Aunt reminds you about Nanny. By this time, you are usually home from class and she must be worried about you. You’ll have to buy her Morning Glories again. With a shock, you realize that you might ever get a chance to. You might not ever be able to return to Yu-Shan and never see her again.

“I’m feeling kind of tired,” You tell Gina and crawl into the back of the Wagon. It is filled with various crates and barrels, but you find a space for yourself to sit down. You curl up around your book bag and think about the events of the past day. What did you do that made Akachi so mad that he would drag you though the Wyld? Maybe you misheard him? You remember the owl helping you get away. Obviously something bad is going on. You remember Edita’s words about things not being so bad at home. Maybe you should have stayed and talked to Akachi.

Tears fall on your book bag as you silently cry yourself to sleep.

The smell of food wakes you. You sit up and hear laughter coming from outside the wagon. You scramble to get out from under cloak you were sleeping under. You pick it up and notice it is the cloak that the tall man bought at the tailor’s shop. How had it gotten here? How long have we been stopped?

You peak out of the wagon. Everyone is around a campfire, eating dinner. Even the tall man from the tailor shop is there.

“Ah! I told you the smell of food will wake him up!” Gina spoons some stew into a bowl for you. You are starving. You jump down off the wagon and grab the bowl. “Thank you!” you say as you shovel food in your mouth. The tall man stares at your poor table manners. You slow down your pace and try to eat like a normal person.

As you eat, you try not to stare at the tall man, sitting next to Edita. Why is he here? You wonder if he is following you. The tall man pauses in his eating and whispers something into Edita’s ear. She blushes and laughs. He smiles as he resumes eating.

Now what?

  • Ask Gina if she can show you how to ride one of the horses. You have never ridden a REAL horse before.
  • Show off your Martial Arts Skills. There is still a chance to show the sisters that you have the stuff to be a guard.
  • Sneak away and leave the caravan. You can’t be sure this guy isn’t from Yu-Shan.
  • Other

OOC: Dialogue takes up a lot of space. And Gold Star for semicasual and their idea of selling clothes for money.

05 – Caravan

Waving goodbye to some very confused traders, you immediately take off towards the city. As you run though the cool, damp air, you splash though the muddy street puddles because there is no one to tell you not to.

The smell of bread from a bakery attracts your attention. It hasn’t been too long since lunch, but you already hungry. You rummage around in your book bag for your money pouch and realize with horror that it is empty! Plopping down on the street curb in front of the bakery, you realize that your weekly allowance evaporated when you crossed over into Creation. Still hungry, you pull out a slightly bruised apple from your book bag and eat that while you consider your options. You decide getting a far away as possible from a Yu-Shan gate is the best option. From previous trips, you know that all the caravans meet at the shrine of the local travel god at the edge of town.

You finish your apple and toss the core into a nearby bush. You head towards the shrine and wonder around for a bit, listening in on conversations. One caravan going west seems to be a good choice. You walk up to the caravan master, who is busy with inventorying the caravan supplies.

“Excuse me?” The caravan master looks up from her lists at the sound of your voice. You smile in what is hopefully a trustworthy manner and say “Are you looking for caravan guards?”

“We are always looking for help,” the caravan master replies carefully, after noticing your fine, but muddy, Yu-Shan clothing. “Is your father looking for work?”

You shake your head and point at yourself. “I’m looking for work.”

The caravan master bursts out laughing. “You? A caravan guard? Run back home, kid.” She looks down again at her books.

“I have training! Watch!” She looks up just in time to see you kick a bag off the top of a crate. The bag falls to the ground, scattering all the tools in it. “Oops! I’ll pick them up.” You quickly put the tools back into their bag and place the bag on the crate. The bag threatens to fall again, but you catch it and set it upright.

Sighing, the caravan master puts down her list and walks towards you. She takes you by the shoulders and says “A caravan is no place for a kid. No matter how bad it must seem at home, but it’s better than being here. Go home.”

“But… I can’t go home…” You are frustrated. It’s not like you can tell her the truth, even if she’d believe it.

“Oh, let him come with us, Edita! Look, he is about to cry,” Another woman comes up, carrying a harness over her shoulder.

“This kid is trouble. Look at how richly he is dressed, Gina. His parents are going to come looking for him.” She lets you go and heads back to her books.

“No they aren’t. My parents are dead.” You interject, as you try to stealthy wipe the unshed tears from your eyes. You were NOT about the cry. You are too old for crying.

“Being with us is better than being on the streets.” Gina remarks. The caravan master meets the other woman’s eyes. You suddenly noticed that they look very similar to each other. They are sisters.

“Shit,” Edita curses. “Fine. The boy is your responsibility, Gina.” Gina smiles and turns to you.

“What’s your name, kid?”

“Wakoto.”

“That’s a cute name.” She tussles your hair. “So, Wakoto. How would you like to work off your fare?”

How would you like to work off your fare?

  • Help Gina with the horses. You know nothing about the animals and want to learn more
  • Load the caravan up. You like the idea of a hard day’s work
  • Help Edita with her inventory and try to get into her good graces.
  • Other

OOC:  Hmm…. You can’t think of anything that you haven’t been caught for lately. You’ve tried to be good after that Jade Pleasure Dome incident a couple weeks ago. And that wasn’t really your fault. Your bully classmate ((who has yet to name)) dared you into trying to sneak into the Jade Pleasure Dome. You can’t turn down a dare, right?