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.

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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?

04 – Volcano God

After considering your options, you decide to try to blend in with a group of traders heading though the Vanchow Gate. As you are walking towards the traders, you notice a group of Terrestrial Gods milling around one of the many tchotchke booths in the plaza. You hear one of the gods arguing with the peddler.

“I don’t know how you can get away with charging so much for this cheap crap. I can get idols on the Blessed Isle for a third of the price!” the god says.

“Then maybe you should have bought your idols before coming to Yu-Shan. If you aren’t going to buy something, then move along. I got other customers.” The peddler turns away from the Terrestrial God. The God is speechless at such poor treatment.

You decide to take the opportunity to cause a distraction. Pulling a piece of Quintessence out of your pocket, you take aim at one of the Unconquered Sun idols sitting on a shelf above the god. Ping! The idol is unbalanced and is knocked off the shelf. It hits the god square in the head.

“First you snub me and then you attack me. Do you know who I am? I am Quidel of the Combusting Precipice. I have thousands of worshipers in Creation who offer prayers to me daily to avoid offending me. I….“ The Volcano god continues on for a while.

Ignoring the god’s ranting, the peddler picks up the fallen idol and looks around to see how it managed to fall off the shelf. You duck behind a planter, but can’t help peeking over it to see what happens. Not finding the culprit, the peddler shrugs and turns back to the Terrestrial God, idol in hand. One of Sol Invictus’ four arms is broken off. “I’ll give you this one for twenty-five percent off, if you’d like.”

The god roars in frustration. The air begins to heat up around the god and a few of the wooden idols light on fire. “Are you crazy?! What do you think you are doing?” The peddler says, as he tried to put out the flames. You duck your head back down behind the planter and put your hand over your mouth to hide your giggles.

As the argument between the Terrestrial god and the peddler heats up, you notice that your group of traders is about to approach the lions. You dash past the fight, hiding behind the crowd that has gathered to watch it. You quickly catch up with the traders. The lions, distracted by the now burning tchotchke booth, wave the traders though.

You follow the traders down a long tunnel. Soon you pick up the scent of damp earth and rain. You heart starts to speed up and you hold back your desire to run ahead. You always loved visiting Creation.

You emerge from the gate outside of the city of Vanchow. From your vantage point, you can make out the Sword of Creation.

 

What will you do now?

  • Catch a ride on a ship to the threshold
  • Lose yourself in the city
  • Find a caravan to head away from any Yu-Shan Gate
  • Other

OOC: Svante escapes to Creation hiding with a group, but I couldn’t help but include the Volcano God. Gold Star for Caladon for their suggestion!

You have money! You just got your weekly allowance from Nanny! It’s in your bookbag. You have plenty of Quintessence pieces….which dissolve into nothing when you reach Creation. Oops. Good thing you have this apple.

As for skills, you can read and write and have some basic knowledge (Lore) and have some skill in math (Bureaucracy). You speak the Language of Yu-Shan and have picked up the street language of the Blessed Isle (Linguistics). You know to be sneaky with all of your air duct eavesdropping (Stealth) and have a pretty good arm (Thrown). Oh and of course you know Martial Arts! Maybe you can get a job as protecting the caravan from bandits!

Actually, 12 year-olds on the Blessed Isle aren’t that far behind you in school. Kids in the Threshold are kind of dumb, though they seem to have a lot more fun than you do.

Nanny… She is going to be so worried

You would never refer to Vanchow as the Imperial City. It’s not really that large of a city. It is only important because of its significance to the Shogun’s Military.

You remember Akachi pretty well actually. Unlike most of Yu-Shan, Akachi’s clothes are not flashy, but very practical. He wears no jewelry except for a plain wedding band on his left hand. He has always treated you with kindness. However, those time when you really screw up (like when you tired to sneak into the Jade Pleasure Dome), it is Akachi that comes and puts the fear of Saturn into you. He has never hit you, but one look and you know that you are in deep deep trouble.

((However, when asked to describe Akachi, Svante will give a different description every time, unless Akachi is standing right in front of him. You also don’t remember that moment of confusion before you recognized Akachi. However, unfortunately for Akachi, you do remember that he wants to drag you though the Wyld. ))

 

 

03 – Bathroom

You stay very still in your hiding place, frozen in terror. Your heart pounds so loudly in your chest that you wouldn’t be surprised if they can hear it in the hallway. You try to think of a way out of your situation. Creation. You have to head towards the Gates in the Downtown Plaza. You have to get out of Yu-Shan and head to Creation.

“Svante?” the stranger calls. When you hear his voice this time, you realize suddenly that this man isn’t a stranger at all. It is one of your tutors, Akachi. You hear the sound of someone pulling a chair towards the wall. They know you are in the air ducts! You crawl away from Akachi and the Owl and towards the outside.

No, boy. You hear the Owl’s voice in your head. Head back towards the bathroom. Stay out of reach when you near the vent. Having no other real choice, you awkwardly begin to turn to head towards the bathroom, when the vent grate squeaks. Akachi pops his head into the vent.

“Maidens, how can you still fit in here?” Akachi takes a moment to untangle one of his dreadlocks that had got caught on the hinge of the vent. “Svante, let’s get out of here. We are going on a little trip. Won’t that be fun?” You stop at the sound of his voice. You like Akachi. Out of all of your teachers, he is your favorite. You remember that one time that you went swimming with dolphins in the Western Sea. You remember his showing you the great trees of the East. Other memories of all the fun times you had with Akachi flood your mind.

Be strong, boy, the owl says in your head. Turning away from Akachi was one of the most difficult things you have ever done. You begin to head back towards the bathroom.

Good. Lead him to the bathroom. I’ll take care of the rest.

“Svante! Where are you going?”

“He’s heading towards the bathroom! We can catch him there!” the Owl proclaims.

When you near the bathroom vent, you stop just out of arm’s reach. Your will wavers. Why would Akachi do anything to hurt you? He doesn’t seem to be the type to drag you out into the Wyld.

“Ah, he stopping. Svante, why don’t you come out of the vents and we can talk.” Akachi walks into the bathroom and then the bathroom door slams shut.

“Keeper? What are you doing!?” You hear the bathroom door handle jiggle.

“Svante, come out though the vent in the classroom,” The owl instructs you calmly. You cautiously open the vent and find the owl waiting for you. Your classmates stare at you in shock. You are very confused about what just happened.

The owl smoothes out his feathers and explains. “I am the Keeper of the Locks, god of all that has been locked away. And Akachi’s very existence is a rather large secret that is now locked away in the bathroom. “

“What? Keeper, let me out of here!” Akachi begins to bang on the door.

You are still very confused. Why is the Owl helping you?

The owl sighs and says “You’ll understand when you are older. Though that moment of clarity might be coming sooner than you think.”

“I’ll tell Nara-O…” Akachi threatens.

“Go ahead and tell Nara-O. I’d sure he would be greatly entertained by the story of how four thousand year old Exalt managed to get himself locked into a bathroom.”

Akachi begins to kick the bathroom door down. Both you and the owl jump, as the door slams against its frame. “I always forget how strong he is,” the owl mumbles.

“Now go, boy! I can’t hold him here for long,” the owl says, as the door slams again. You gather up your book bag and begin to head out of the classroom. Your classmates are whispering again about you, but you ignore them.

“Keeper! You are really straining the bonds of our friendship right now.”

“Oh, hush you! I’m not going to keep you in there for long. Though you haven’t paid me back the Ambrosia you owe me yet…” The owl sits back down at his desk. “Now, where were we, class? Oh yes, the Order-Conferring Trade Pattern….”

It is dark out now. Luna has raised high in the sky and lights up the streets of downtown Yu-Shan. You head towards the plaza where the Gates of the Blessed Isle are located. As usual, three Celestial Lions are guarding each of the gates.

You’ll need to find a way past them to enter.

 

What do you do?

  • Wait for a large group to show up and sneak in with them
  • Try to casually walk by the lions and bluff your way through the gate.
  • Cause a distraction and sneak by while the lions are busy.
  • Maybe Svante has a better idea?

OOC –

Svante wins! Our boy is from the north! As you can tell, I’ll be using the other names chosen for NPCs.

You feel impatient to be on your way. Though it is night in Yu-Shan, you know that the Games of Divinity control what satellites light up the sky rather than the time of day. It is currently early afternoon in Creation. There is a lot of traffic going in and out of the Gates. Mostly groups of one or two gods, but there are traders with goods going in and out of Yu-Shan.

OOC: I had some doubts about the last scene actually. I thought about changing the Exalt’s age, but I decided to go with my original plan for the NPC and see what happens. I already had in the back of my mind that Akachi and the Owl had a pretty good friendship. If it was a fair fight, the Owl would have lost. However, the Owl is not without a bit of power himself, so he was able to take advantage of Akachi’s trust and lock him in the bathroom. Also, I think it would be rather dull for a four thousand year old exalt to be infallible. I just hope I didn’t make Akachi seem too incompetent.