162 – New Beginnings

“No, I’m not okay.” You aren’t sure if you are going to rage or cry. You take Chiyoko’s hand in yours. “But I am better now I am here with you.” You know this sounds overly sentimental, but it was the truth. After everything that happened today, you couldn’t lose Chiyoko too. You needed her just as much as she needed you.

Tears trail down your cheeks and fall to the ground. Chiyoko takes you in her arms. The events from today pour out of you. You tell Chiyoko about the Elder’s vote. The star charts. Kejak and his sword. Tears the Grass. After you are finished you feel empty, yet cleansed. As if what happened today was poison that needed to be extracted.

“They used us.” Anger creeps into your words. “They are training me to become like them. A liar. A puppetmaster. Someone who uses people like tools.” You clench your fist. “No more. I am through being a puppet. And I will not become a puppetmaster.”

Chiyoko is silent all though your rant. “I don’t want to be Shogun.” She whispers. She grips the shelves of her robe and turns away from you.

“I know. I’m going to help you, too.” You consider the problem. “You have lots of relatives. We will find someone else to succeed the throne.”

Chiyoko paces the small courtyard. “You need me to be Shogun. You need me on the throne just like your elders.”

You hesitate before answering. A part of you knows your and Akachi’s plans will be easier if Chiyoko could help you. Yet you did not want to force Chiyoko to take the throne. If she didn’t want to be Shogun, you will help Chiyoko free herself from her destiny. Though at this point you aren’t sure how. “I’ll figure something out.” You promise her.

“You can’t rule, Svante. No Sidereal can.” Chiyoko reminds you. “That’s why they work though others like my father.”

“I don’t want to rule!” you yell. Chiyoko was misunderstanding you. You wonder if Kejak has been talking to her. You take a deep breath. “I just want to bring peace to Creation. Stop this pointless war between the different types of Exalt.” You stop her pacing and hold her shoulders. “Give me some time. Your father is young for a Dragonblooded. We got years to find a solution.”

Chiyoko looks down and bites her lip. “Okay,” she agrees. “I trust you, Svante.” You brush a stray strand of hair out of her eyes and kiss her. She rests her head on your shoulder.

You are confident you will figure out a solution to both the war with the Lunars and Chiyoko’s problems. Perhaps you will bring peace to Creation before Chiyoko is forced to take the throne. Then someone else, someone not Chiyoko, could become Shogun.

The sun sets and the stars twinkle into the velvet night sky. You glance up as the Broken Mask fades into the sky. Venus in the mask. What better relationship for a Chosen of Secrets than a secret one? It was comforting the stars themselves smiled on you and Chiyoko.

Yet the mask was broken, a small doubt whispers in the back of your mind.

Later, you make your way through the secret passages to where Ban is being held. With a single word, you bring down the wards and enter his cell. From a hanging chain, Ban dangles from the ceiling. He looks up, his dirty blonde hair falls away from his face. “Who are you?”

“You don’t remember me, but I remember you.” You touch the wards on the floor and bring them down.

Ban shifts out of his chains and drops to the floor. With little prior warning, he crosses the room. Ban pins you against the wall. His hand tightens around your throat. “Sidereal,” he curses.

Your heart pounds in your chest. If you misjudged Ban, you will be dead. “You told me you believed in peace. Your trial is tomorrow and it will be a sham. You will executed.” You glance up at the moon silver wards you have yet to bring down. “If you kill me now, you will never leave this cell.”

“Why are you helping me?”

“I believe in peace too.”

Ban studies you and releases you. You rub your throat. “Our peoples need to stop fighting. Something is coming. Something the maidens cannot see.” You don’t know where this knowledge comes from, but you know it to be true. “If we are to survived, everyone – Lunar, Sidereal, Dragonblooded, Mortal- must band together.”

The Lunar considers your words. “Tears the Grass?”

“Dead, but you already know that.” Nor did Ban seem displeased by this news. “You will be dead soon if you don’t go. Head South. The Yu-Shan gates are more spread out on the Southern coast of the Blessed Isle. Keep to the sea…”

“I know how to escape your people, boy.” Ban snaps. He frowns. “Do you have a name?” he asks in a softer tone.

“Svante.” You take down the final wards. “You told me to look for Ivory Ban in the Wylds where the waters meet the ice. How will you know when I arrive?”

“Do not worry about that. The Wylds will make sure you find what you seek… if you pass their trials.” Ban shifts to the Dragonfly. You follow the Lunar to the entrance of the passages. Ban flutters off into the night. You hope he makes it to the Wylds.

You are about to step out of fate when you see the guards you passed earlier are lying in the dirt. You kneel down next to them and find both asleep.

“That was brave of you,” a voice behind you says. “to face the Lunar alone.” You turn to find Haythem behind you. “Fucking stupid but brave.”

“I…” you really don’t what to say. Your whole plan was not to get caught in the first place. All you do know is you are fucked. Your mind races for a way out. Perhaps you can reason with Haythem. “Why are you here?”

Haythem bursts out laughing. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to turn you in.”

At first you are relieved. Then paranoia sets in. “So why are you here?”

Haythem ignores your questions. “Come with me.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you until you give me some answers.” You grow frustrated with the older Oracle. “You used me as bait for the Bureau of Destiny traitor.”

“Maidens, you still remember that? I’d expected you forget by now.” Haytham sighs. “I’m not giving you a choice here, Svante.” He threatens quietly.

Haythem’s tone chills you. You meet his eyes. Instead of the drug addled idiot you know, you find a stranger. Cold and sober.

“It’s an act. The drugs. The stupidity.”

Haythem smiles. “Not as much as I’d like. Come along, Svante. We are going to be late.”

“Late for what?”

“If you hurry up, all your questions will be answered.” Haythem grabs you by the shoulder and drags you along with him. His grip is firm. The Oracle leads you down Mount Meru. Your footsteps are soundless as you walk through the ruined city.

What did Haythem want with you? Was he going to kill you? You detect no impending violence from the other oracle. You keep your mouth shut and keep walking.

Finally, you come to a grove of blackened dead trees. Their dark branches reach up to stars in the velvet sky. Dead grass crunches under your feet.

“Reveal,” a firm feminine voice commands. Golden leaves sprout from the dead trees, illuminating the orchard. Ayesha Ura rises from a stone bench. Long fur in gradual shades of gold and yellow protect her from the night breeze. Her yellow starlit eyes fall upon you. She looks at Haythem with a silent question.

“Svante freed the Lunar.”

“Did he now?” Ayesha’s eyes return to you. “Why did you free the Lunar, Svante?”

“You choose your words carefully. “He didn’t do anything that deserves execution.”

“Some may think spying for the enemy is a crime worthy of death.” Haythem points out.

Shit, that was a good point. “This whole war is stupid and pointless.” You blurt out.

“Out of the mouth of babes.” Wanahton guffs. The tall Chosen of Journeys steps out from behind a tree and ambles over.

“I’m not a child,” you snap back. You grow more pissed off when Wanahton chuckles. “I want to know what is going on.” You demand.

“Svante, it’s okay.” a soft voice answers. Idir, the Chosen of Endings who offered you the sandwich, steps back into Fate. “You are among friends here.”

Friends? “Why are you here?” You ask of the Sidereals surrounding you.

All three men look to Ayesha. “We were hoping to reopen negotiations with the Lunars.” Ayesha tells you.

You frown. You were hoping to open negotiations with the Lunars with Akachi. “Why did you want to talk to the Lunars?”

Ayesha smiles. “Svante, I’d like to introduce to the Sidereals of the Gold Faction.”

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108 – Sandwiches

You hide in an empty row behind two Sidereals you have never met before.   Based on the untidiness of the attire, they are fresh from Creation.   The Sheildbearer wears a wrinkled mortal legionnaire’s uniform.   His freshly shaved head makes his almond shaped eyes loom large in his face.  The russet skinned Joybringer’s mud caked boots rest on the chair in front of her.  She is slouched in her chair brushing dried grass off her undyed linen shirt.

“You have some in your hair too, Anuli,” The man picks out a long frond of grass seeds and offers it to her as if a rose bud.  Anuli rolls her eyes and the man discards the grass on to the floor.  He runs his hand though her dark curly hair.  “I don’t see any more.”

You ignore the two Sidereals in front of you and peer between the seats at the large conference table in the middle of the room.   Flowered-filled vases vanish among the clutter of papers and maps on the table.  Sasha sits by herself at one end of the table, her fair skin paler than usual.  Her violet eyes dart towards the door each time someone enters.

“Look, Felix.  Someone brought an Uncle Jack manga to the meeting.”  Anuli snickers.   Yeva, your Sifu, giggles over the latest Pretty Dragon Princess Meru.   Yeva’s iron black hair falls straight to her chin.  Dressed in uniform of a Dragonblooded Officer, one would never know Yeva was Sidereal not Dragonblooded.  Elder Kejak glances over at the front row and the manga vanishes.  When Elder Sidereal returns to sorting through his papers, the magna appears in Yeva’s hands again.

When Akachi arrives, you duck behind the chair.  His booming laugh echoes around the room as he jokes with Wanahton and Jaived.  You peer over the chair again and watch Akachi hand Haythem a thermos.   He then joins Sasha at the conference table and coaxes a small smile out of your sister.

“I guess Elder Akachi going to babysit Sasha since the Oracle boy.”  Anuli comments.  What? You don’t need a babysitter! You hold back from defending yourself to the muddy boot Joybringer.

Felix does not answer, instead watching another group of brightly dressed Sidereals enter the room.   “The Western Convention finally arrived.”  A tanned woman leads her group down the aisle.  Half of her hair shaved off, revealing the silver piercings edging the outside of her ear.  The other half of her dark hair trails down to her chin.  Uilani.  You remember the name of the Elder who heads the Western Convention.   She sits at the conference table as the rest of her group takes a seat in the audience.

The room falls silent as another Elder Sidereal arrives.  The newly arrived Elder’s silver grey hair curls in a braid around her head like a serpent.  You freeze in fear when her cold violet eyes sweep across the room.   This is Winona, the Elder of the Northern Convention.  Disapproving lines etch Winona’s taupe face.  Her gaze is colder than the Northern Steeps of her Convention’s domain.

Another Chosen of Endings distracts you from the elder as he sits down next to the two Sidereals in front of you.   The slender, almost skeletal man is dressed in a white long sleeve shirt and grey pants. Deep scars score his golden brown cheeks.  In spite of his fearsome appearance, this man, Idir is his name, smiles as he sets his bag in the chair in front of you.

“Your late.”  Felix says.

“The meeting hasn’t started yet.  “

“Winona has already arrived.  Anyone who shows up afterwards is late.”

Idir shrugs.  “Sifu is busy giving advice to our newest Reckoner.”  You glance though the chairs again and find Winona has usurped Akachi’s chair and is now talking to Sasha.    Your sister pays close attention to the icy elder’s every word.

The doors in the back slam shut and you feel a tingle down your spine as the anti-eavesdropping spell activates.   The Uncle Jack manga disappears again and everyone begins to head to their seats.   Naoko and Meraud, the Eastern Elder, stride down the aisle.  Naoko takes a seat next to Jaived and Meraud sits at the Conference table.   Yeva takes the last chair at the table.   The lights dim and the meeting begins.

Elder Kejak rises.  “Within the next two weeks, Shogun Lung Zheng will be dead.”  The Elder Oracle says without preamble.  He pauses to let the news sink in.

“Shit.”  Anuli curses.  “No wonder they called us all back in.”

“Hush, Anuli,” Felix leans forward to catch every word.   Anuli sits back and crosses her arms.

“We have recalled all of you in the hopes that together we can avoid a succession war.” Elder Kejak continues.  “With the Fair Folk harassing our borders, we cannot afford for Creation to be in conflict.”

As Elder Kejak drones on and on about how the survival of Creation is at stake, Idir digs through his bag and pulls out an oblong foil wrapped object.   Without a single crinkle, he unwraps the foil and reveals a sandwich piled with pale turkey and bacon.  You can taste the bacon it smells so delicious.  Your stomach growls and you curl up behind the chair.

“You brought food in here?” Felix hisses.

“Yay, gods!  We haven’t eaten all day.”  Anuli whispers.  “What do you got?”

“Just sandwiches,” Idir passes Anuli a foiled wrapped package.   He holds one up at Felix in silent question.

“No…”  Felix answers.  He turns away from Idir and his sandwich and focuses on the meeting.  Your mouth waters at the thought of the sandwich.   Maybe if Idir puts it back in his bad, you can steal it without anyone noticing.  Then you remember the Owls reaction the last time you stole something.  You decide to wait until the meeting ends to find food.

“Felix wants a sandwich,” Anuli says between bites.   “He hasn’t eaten all day either.”

“I can’t believe you brought sandwiches to a meeting where we are deciding the Fate of Creation!”  Felix’s voice raises at the end of his sentence.  Elder Kejak stops talking and everyone in the room stares at Felix.  You stay curled up on the floor, willing the shadows to keep you hidden.

Mortified, Felix sinks down in the chair.  Elder Kejak resumes talking.

“Don’t you know how to be quiet?” Idir drops the sandwich back in his bag in disgust.

“Might as well eat the sandwich now,” Anuli says.

Felix covers his face with his hand.  “I don’t want the fucking sandwich!”

Elder Kejak cedes the floor to Yeva.  Your Sifu stands tall and tugs her uniform straight.   “The Shogun has decline to name an heir.  She currently,” And Yeva emphasizes the word currently.  “has six living children.  Only two are consider worthy of the Chrysanthemum Manse:  Akane and Hayate.   Akane is our preference.  She has the support of the majority of the military, though the Western Fleet and the Fourth and Seventh Legions have not yet declared a preference.    Hayate is in Meru and he will not cede the Chrysanthemum Manse readily.  He has relocated his legion to Meru.  He will force Akane to siege the manse.   During the Usurpation, Vivid of the Night Caste was able to hold the Manse for two years and Hayate hopes to do the same.”

“Have all the secret entrances to the manse been blocked?”  Someone asks.

Yeva turns to Sasha.  “Yes,” Sasha replies.  “All but one.  The Northeast corridor is still open. Hayate has this entrance guarded.”

Yeva explains.  “He is creating a weak point in his defenses to funnel any opposition though that corridor.”

“And to keep an escape route open.”  Idir whispers to Anuli.

“No,” Felix disagrees.  “If I were him, I’d hold another way out. “

“The Fourth Legion is still stationed in An-Tang.  How is  Akane returning to the Blessed Isle?”  Wanahton asks Yeva.

“She is negotiating with Admiral Mayim for ships.”  Yeva explains.

“I thought the Admiral hasn’t declared for anyone?”  Haythem yells.

“It seems like a long shot for Akane.” Another Sidereal from the Western Convention asks.  “Have we considered anyone else for Shogun?”

Yeva lists off the rest of the Shogun’s living children, “Yin’s chances for Shogun were destroyed after that failed diplomatic mission to the Hui Rebels.  “

“I don’t know,”  Anuli snickers.  “Yin negotiated his way into the rebel leader’s bed often enough.”

“Guanyu has been in disfavor with Gen Raijin since he eloped.”  You recognize the name of Chiyoko’s father.   “Besides his own daughter, he is younger than the Shogun’s grandchildren and has no military experience.  The Twins, Ming and Ning, are sorcerers.  The Shogunate will never accept a sorcerer in the Chrysanthemum Manse.  “

“And that is what stops Raijin Indrani from being Shogun.” Idir whispers.

“Raijin Indrani enjoys being the power behind the throne too much to stick her neck out.”  Anuli remarks.

You grow bored with the discussion about people who you don’t know.  Besides Chiyoko’s father, you don’t recognize any of the names.   You lay on the floor and doze for a bit.  When Elder Kejak starts talking again, you shake yourself awake.

“Each of you has been assigned to a key point in Creation.   Your mission briefing contains your orders and your Dragonblooded contacts.   I ask you not to share the details of your mission with…”

“Come now, Chejop.”   Akachi interrupts.  “Why gather us all together if we can’t share information?”

“We aren’t all secret keepers like you,” Meraud agrees.  “Someone is bound to talk.”

“If we are to succeed, the right hand must know what the left is doing,” Winona narrows her eyes at Elder Kejak.

Elder Kejak grimaces and pulls the first red envelope from the box.   “Reckoner Sasha Marquadt will continue in her assignment at the Chrysanthemum Manse.  She will also be conducting the Shogun’s last rites when her end comes.”   Sasha steps up to take her envelope and retreats back to her seat.

“Reckoner Jaived Fiala, Oracle Haytham Ajam, Shieldbearer Gens Yeva,  Joybringer Naoko Maki will be assigned to the Fourth Legion.  They are to assist Lung Akane as needed.”   Haythem rubs his face and slowly rises to get his mission.  Jaived and Naoko follow.

“Haringer Wanahton will assist Admiral Mayim in the Western Fleet and attempt to convince him to support Akane.”  Wanahton opens his mission envelope and seems confused by the tiny piece of paper.  He tucks the mission back into the envelope and goes back to his seat.  The three Sidereals in front of you collect their missions.   Anuli and Felix are assigned to the Seventh Legion and Idir is assigned to Deheleshen.

You grow more and more bored with the meeting and force yourself to stay awake as Elder Kejak continues to hand out missions.  Yes, you found out some very interesting information, but when will it end!

Finally, Elder Kejak stops calling out names.  You see a flash of red as he recovers the box and sets it aside.   “Any questions?”   Everyone in the room shifts restlessly, waiting for the meeting to end.   “I expect everyone to be at their posts by Creation’s dawn in five hours.  Meeting adjourned. “

You continue to hide in your empty row as you wait for the room to clear out.   Haytham is among the first to leave.   Sasha follows Winona, the Endings Elder.   Uilani approaches Wanahton and gathers him into her crew before she leaves.

Still at the conference table, Elder Kejak passes Akachi a red envelope.  Akachi frowns as he accepts the envelope.   You consider trailing the two Elders but you never had much luck hiding from them before.   Together the two elders leave the room.

Soon, the only two people remain in the room- Meaud, who is setting the room to rights and Idir, who is finishing his sandwich.

Meaud heads over to where Idir sits.   “You leaving soon, Idir?  You don’t have much time to get to your post.” she asks.

“In a bit.  I just need a moment to collect my thoughts.  It’s quiet in here with everyone gone.”   He offers the foil wrapped sandwich to the Elder Sidereal.   “Are you hungry?”

“No, I’m fine.  Thank you.”

Idir shrugs and stares into the distance, lost in his thoughts.

Meaud frowns at Idir. “Be sure to lock up when you leave.”   The elder leaves the room.

Once she is gone, Idir holds up his sandwich.   “Would you like the sandwich?”  he asks you.  “I’d hate for it to go to waste.”

What do you do?

  • Reveal yourself and take the Sandwich. You are hungry
  • Wait for Idir to leave and go home
  • Try to leave while Idir is still in the room
  • Other

 

 

107 – Schemes

You despair as you consider your options.   Lying to your tutor never worked out well when you neglected to do your homework.  You doubt lying about an important secret meeting you had to attend would work any better.   Also the Owl would tell Akachi what you were up to anyways.

“Is there something wrong, Svante?” the Owl asks.   He sits down at the table besides you, giving you a piercing stare.

You sigh, put the tile back in its place, and close the case.  “I know about the meeting tonight.  The one about the Shogun,” you say in Skytongue.   Few gods in Yu-Shan speak any Creation language besides Earthtongue.

The Owl puffs his feathers out and replies in the same tongue.  “I see.”   His feathery brow contract as he thinks.   He reaches over and picks up the case.   “Follow me.”

You hesitate unsure what to do.  Was the Owl leading you away from the meeting or was he, you dare hope, going to help you?    “Come along, Svante.” The Owl orders.  “There is no much time before the meeting.”    You remember your tutor did not stop you when you first found out about your birth family and decide to trust the old bird.

You follow the Owl though the crowded streets of Yu-Shan and back to your old classroom.  With a touch, the Owl unlocks the door and ushers you into the abandoned classroom.   The desks have been neatly stacked against the wall and textbooks lay discarded on a floor.   The Owl leans against his teacher’s desk and asks, “How do you plan on getting past the wards?  The wards will sense anyone passing through outside of fate.  ”

You pull Ayesha’s talisman out of your pocket.   “This will let me through the wards.”

The Owl cocks his head and picks the talisman out of your hand.  He studies it for a moment and hands it back to you.   “The Talisman will let you though the wards, but the alarm wards will still go off.”

“I have a plan for that too.”   You scratch the back of your head.  “You aren’t going to tell Akachi?”

“No, why would I tell Akachi anything?”

“You work for him.”

“No, I occasionally do favors for Akachi and consider him a friend, but I do not work for him.  I am a god of the Division of Secrets.  I am currently unassigned to any Sidereal, though that may change when you are older.”

You consider the implications of the Owl’s statement.  “You mean you can work for me?  Like Shapau works for Akachi?”   Sidereals ran offices and had godly staff, even Sasha and Wanahton had that fat toad for a secretary.   You never considered who would be on your staff.

“Perhaps, if that is what you wish.  You still have quite a few years before you are ready for the responsibility of management.”  The Owl changes the subject.  “Tell me about your plan to get into the Shogun Meeting and we can see if it is sound.   I rather not lie to Akachi and the other elders if they catch you.  ”

 

You stand still as a stone by the meeting door, waiting for someone to come unlock it.   You squeeze Ayesha’s wooden talisman tightly in your hand, leaving an indention on your palm.   Footsteps approach from down the hallway.   Naoko, Akachi’s Chosen of Serenity crafting apprentice, walks beside another taller woman.   Naoko is a short, Eastern woman with straight dark hair braided down the left side of her chest.   The second woman has dark blond hair laced with grey.   She has laugh lines around her deep blue eyes.

“We must be the first ones here.”  The Elder Sidereal places a hand against the door and closes her eyes.  The mark of Venus flares against her forehead and arcane symbols flare on the outside walls of the room.   As her caste mark fades, she opens her eyes and smiles.   “There.  The room is empty.”  The elder unlocks the door and orders Naoko to stand guard.

Five Elders – one for each direction of Creation.    Elder Kejak was the Elder for the Blessed Isle – he will be the one running the meeting.  Akachi’s domain was the South.   This elder must be Meraud, the Elder for the East, where the second largest population of people lived.

You watch other Sidereals trickle into the meeting room.  You are searching for one Sidereal in particular.  It would just be your luck if he were late to the meeting.   Finally, Haytham arrives, escorted by Wanahton and Jaived.

“Is he drunk?” Naoko asks.   The stench of cheap booze gags you as you sneak up closer to Haytham.

“Maybe a little,” Haytham answers.  “Too drunk for work.   Got to send me home!” he slurs.  The Drunken Oracle turns to leave, but Wanahton catches him by the arm.

Naoko rolls her eyes.  “Get him inside and hid him in a corner somewhere.”

Jaived snorts.  “I told you it wouldn’t work, Haytham.   Not enough Sidereals for all the work we have.   Everyone has to do their part, drunks and all.  I’m surprised they haven’t put little Svante on a committee yet.”

“Wait!” Haytham pleads.  “The Usurpation!  It was wrong!   I love Solars and plan to devote my entire life to returning them to their rightful place as rulers of Creation!”  Haytham spreads his arm wide, barely avoiding Jaived’s nose.

“Sifu, then it is very important for you to attend this meeting about deciding who will rule Creation next.”  Wanahton grabs Haytham by the shoulder and leads him to the door.  You keep pace with the drunken Oracle and cross the wards at the same time.    The talisman burns in your hand and you feel a tingling as you pass though the wards.

Haytham is not so lucky.  The alarm wards chime as they go off.  He slams face first into the wards and flung to the ground.  “Maiden’s Titties!  Even the fucking wards don’t want me to attend this meeting.”  Haytham picks himself up and brushes his robes off.   “See you around!”  He gives a little wave.  “Let me know how this whole fiasco works out.”  Jaived and Wanahton grab the Oracle and drag him back to the door.

“Search him,” Naoko orders.

“Hey now!”  Haytham complains as Jaived pats him down and goes through his pockets.   “At least buy me drinks before you start man handling me!”  Jaived pulls out a small tin of white powder.

Wanahton groans and rubs his face.   “Why, Sifu?”

“That isn’t mine!”  Haytham protests.

“It was in your pocket.” Jaived points out.

“If I was going to smuggle Celestial Cocaine into a meeting, I wouldn’t hide it in my back pocket!”

You sneak away as the argument as the door attracts more attention.   You almost feel sorry for what you and Ayesha did to Haytham, but then he did use you as bait for the Bureau Mole.

The quarter-filled amphitheater holds about 150 people.   A large conference table sits in the center of the room.   Elder Kejak, who you did not notice enter the room earlier, pauses in sorting his meeting notes to frown at the commotion at the door.   Haytham, Wanahton, and Jaived enter the room and sit near the back.   You keep to the shadows of back wall and search for a place to hide.

Where do you hide?

  • Under the large table in the center. There is a lot of room under there.
  • Near Haytham, Wanahton, and Jaived. The Drunken Sidereal will be blamed for any commotion you make.
  • In an empty row in the back. Staying away from everyone is the safest option.
  • Other

((Updates this month will be sporadic.  Stupid Work and Social Life. ))

81 – Remembering

As you watch the Desert Fox creep away, you know you should cry out, draw your sword.  Do something.  This was a Lunar, an enemy of Creation.  Both Sidereals and Dragonblooded have fallen to Lunar claws and teeth.  You were almost killed by a Lunar a few months ago.  But instead of the terror of the tiger fight, you remember the Desert Fox’s despair when she found her Fae-Eaten son.   You let her pass by unmolested then.  But now you have Sasha with you.  Together you can stop her.  You SHOULD stop her.

But once again you do nothing.

The argument between Sasha and Wanahton fades to the background as you watch the Desert Fox crawl into the forest.   She disappears behind a tree, only the glow of her anima betraying her presence.   Suddenly, the moonlight disappears.

“Where did she go?!”  Sasha pushes past Wanahton and searches the forest floor.   “Where did she go?  Svante, did you see anything?”

“No.”   You feel awful lying to your sister.  The whole situation is awful.

“We need to find her!”

“No.  We don’t.   Let the Fox go, Sasha.  She is…”

“Wanahton, leave Sasha alone.”   Shen has returned from the group of Faire Folk, carrying Mei Mei.   He hands the puppy to you.

Rory kneels beside his Oath Mother, tears running down his cheeks.   He closes his mother’s eyes and stands before the Fair Folk gathered in the Mossy Court.  “We shall retreat back to the edge of Creation and rejoin our brothers and sisters in the Bordermarches.   No more shall we be denied our place in the greatest battle reality has ever seen!”  A cheer goes up among the Fair Folk.

Greatest battle….. “Rory?  What are you talking about?”  Mei Mei wiggles in your arms, but you keep a tight grip on her.

“Envoy! “  Rory grins brightly at you.  “Find out for yourself!  Come to the Bordermarshes with us.  If you enjoyed this field of battle, imagine one more glorious.   My Oath Father has countless soldiers wearing away at the Dragon’s forces. “

“He’s talking about the Blockade.” Shen explains.

“What?!”   These Fair Folk were joining the Blockade!   That wasn’t what you wanted at all!  “I thought your Oath was to not attack the Shogunate Navy!”

“What would be the point of that Oath?  No, my Oath Mother was bound to not chase after her Admiral….”  Rory waves away the Oath as inconsequential.   “But that is in the past.  Come with us, Envoy.  You can be our prisoner!    If you are clever enough, you can enact a daring escape and join the Dragon boats.  It would be fun!”

That sounds like the exact opposite of fun.   “No, thanks.”

“Are you certain?”  Rory stares at you with hungry eyes.  “You have no idea the opportunity you are wasting.  Perhaps you need some motivation.”  The Loathing Commander and the rest of the Starfish Soldiers approach menacingly.

You feel a chill behind you.  Shen.  “You swore that we could take my ancestor’s body and leave the float unharmed.”  Out of the corner of your eye, you see his hand glow with an elemental bolt.

“My apologies, Captain.  Long have we languished in boredom while my Oath Mother played her little games and I let zeal get the better of me.”   A group of Fair Folk carry the corpse down the water staircase.   Rory and the rest of the Faire Folk place a hand over their hearts.  “Friends, Enemies, Before you lies….”

“We can do without the Eulogy. Thank you.”   Sasha cuts Rory off.  Shen and Wanahton each grab one end of the shroud and begin to carry the corpse away.   You and Sasha follow behind.

You turn and look back at the crowd of Faire Folk.   With a flourish, Rory bows.  “Until we meet on the field of battle, Envoy.”  He looks up at you with his eager, hungry eyes and grins.   You shiver and continue walking.    With the Watcher of Many Eyes shadowing you, you make it back to the boats.

Once you return to the Valiant Hummingbird, you head to your bunk and pass out.  Last thing you remember is Mei Mei settling down next to you.   Only moments later, Sasha shakes you awake.   “We are docked at the Cobalt Atoll.”

When you hid under your pillow, Sasha asks.  “Are you mad at me, too?”

“Why would I be mad at you?”

“About the Lunar.”    You groan and roll away from Sasha.   You didn’t want to think about the Lunar.

“Wanahton isn’t talking to me.   He still thinks like a mortal.  He doesn’t understand that we are at war.   The Lunars work against everything we stand for.  They will kill us if they get the chance.”

“You are Anathema.  The last Anathema I met attacked me and my friends specifically because we were children.   “

“That wasn’t me.”

“I keep trying to think of a way to explain it to him.  “  Sasha continues.

You want Sasha to go away and let you sleep.  “Have Akachi talk to him.”

“If almost being killed by a Lunar isn’t enough, I don’t know if that will help.”

You sit up and rub your eyes.   “Can we talk about this later?”

“You need to get dressed and pack.  The Valiant Hummingbird received orders to join the Blockade. I can’t believe I’m looking forward to going back to the Chrysanthemum Manse.  I’ll take Mei Mei out. “

When Sasha and Mei Mei leave, you flop back on the bed.   You hear a knock on the door.  “Pack up.  The Airship will pick us up tomorrow morning. ”  Wanahton says though the door.

“I know!” you yell back.

Wanahton pauses.  “Are you mad about what happened on the float?”

Seriously?  Why does everyone ask that?  “No!  I’m mad because no one will leave me the fuck alone.”

“Is there anything wrong?’ you hear Nesha, Captain Shen’s first mate, ask.

“No,”  Wanahton replies.  “Svante is just being thirteen.”

You throw a shoe at the closed door.   Both men chuckle as they walk away and you decide that everyone’s an asshole.

 

Later, after you have calmed down, you walk through the village with Mei Mei.  The villagers are distantly respectful now, thinking that you are Dragonblooded.  You miss the companionship of Raharjo and Tri.  You tried to talk to them earlier, but the conversation was awkward and halting.

It is almost sunset now.  You make your way through the mangroves and see Shen and Sasha walking on the beach.   You begin to walk over to join them but stop when you notice them holding hands.   Mei Mei begins to run forward, but you grab her before she does.   You hide in the mangroves.

Sasha and Shen pause on the beach, just out of sight of the dock.   They face each other, but they are too far away to make out what they are saying.   Shen brushes a strand of hair off of Sasha’s forehead.   Then he leans down and kisses her.

You watch in shock as they break off the kiss and rest their foreheads together.  Shen then walks towards the dock in the darkening night.   Sasha watches him go and once he is out of sight, she sits down in the sand and watches the ocean.   You set Mei Mei down in the sand and head towards Sasha.  What happened in the weeks you were stuck on the Blue Lady’s Float?

As you approach Sasha, you notice another woman on the beach.   For a moment you think she is Rikali, but the sun finishes setting and the stars appear in the sky.    You feel foolish for not recognizing this woman.   You would know Jupiter anywhere.

Jupiter closes the distance and embraces you.  She rests her chin on your forehead and says “Tell me what happened.”

The events on the barge come pouring out of you.   You tell her about the Blue Lady, Rory, the Lunar, her son, the Loathing Commander, the blacksmith beating her customer, even the argument between Sasha and Wanahton about the Lunar.   Jupiter listens without interruption.   When you are finished, you ask, “The Desert Fox, was it wrong to let her go?”

Jupiter looks down at you and you are once again started at how similar her eyes look to your own.   “You have doubts.”

“I don’t mean…”

Jupiter puts a finger to your lips to silence you.   “You must find your own answer to that question.”

You nod and then ask another question.  “Why did you exalt me so young?”   That was the question that burned in you since the day you took second breath.

Jupiter smiles enigmatically, hands you something, and then turns to walk away.

“Svante?”  Sasha approaches with Mei Mei at her side.    “What did she say?”

You answer as you watch Jupiter fade from sight.   “Nothing.”   Jupiter did not give you a satisfying answer to any one of your questions.  You look down at what she did give you.   In your hands is a Red Envelope addressed in glowing white ink to Chejop Kejak.

 

When you return to Yu-Shan you place the Envelope on your desk and sit on your bed and stare at it.   Why would Jupiter have you deliver a mission to Elder Kejak, not use the usual channels or deliver it herself?

You flop back on your bed.  You have been avoiding Sasha because how do you ask about why she was kissing your friend’s older brother.   Wanahton has been trying to get you alone, but you are sure he just wants to talk about the Lunar.  Frankly you wanted some time to think about things before talking to him.

You walk outside of Fate and sneak past Akachi’s office.  Your guardian is working late on paperwork.  You consider stopping but what would you say to him?  “Sorry, I wasn’t strong enough to kill the Anathema?  And I let the Fair Folk join the Blockade?”   The last thing you wanted to do is disappoint Akachi.  You slip out of the manse without being seen.

In contrast to the sunny streets of Yu-Shan, Creation was well into night.  You tap on Chiyoko’s window, hoping that she is awake.  After waiting a few minutes, you give up.   You are about to head home when Aiko opens the window.  “Oh, it’s you.”

“Hi.”   You say awkwardly.   “Is Chiyoko awake?”

“One minute.”  Aiko disappears and you hear whispering in the dorm room.  “Chiyoko!”

“What?”  Chiyoko asks drowsily.   You groan.  Aiko didn’t have to go wake Chiyoko up!

“It’s Svante.  He’s back from his mission. “

“What?!”

“Shh…  He’s at the window.”  You hear some rustling inside the door.   “Ask him about his mission!”

“Go back to sleep, Aiko!”

“Fine.  Still ask him about his mission!”

Chiyoko appears at the window annoyed.  “Hi.”

“I didn’t mean for Aiko to wake you up.   I just needed someone to talk to.“

Chiyoko still crosses her arms.  “About that mission you went on without me?

“Yeah.  I’m sorry!  Next time… Wait, you remember that?”

“Of course I remembered that.   How could you go on a mission without your circle?!”

“You remember me!”  Only fear of getting caught on school grounds after dark keeps you from shouting with joy.

“Are you a fucking idiot?  Chiyoko is pissed off at you.  Why are you happy?”  Aiko comments from the darkness of the dorm room.

“She remembers me!”  You kiss a surprised Chiyoko and then realize what you have done.  “We’ve kissed before.   That wasn’t our first kiss.”

“I know.”  She leans out of the window and gives you another kiss.

“Dragons, what is the point of you dating a secret agent of Yu-Shan if you aren’t going to ask him about his mission!”  Aiko complains.

“Shut up, Aiko.”

((The end of Chapter Five!  This was the chapter I looked forward to the most.  I left a few loose ends, but I didn’t want to go on and on.  I try to keep the posts to less than four pages.    We might deal with Svante questioning the Elders in Chapter Six.))

((This chapter was the Frenemies chapter.   You could have allied with either the Desert Fox or Rory.   I’m really surprised the Desert Fox survived to the end of the chapter.   This chapter would have either represented the first cracks in Svante’s Bronze faction beliefs or a tempering of those beliefs into something stronger.  ))

Chapter Six will start on Wednesday, December 2nd.  Svante makes his first trip to the Loom of Fate and discovers something unexpected about his past.   The outcome of this chapter will have major impact on the rest of the quest and beyond.

80 – Choices

“You are right, Sasha.  We can’t leave any loose ends.  We have to make sure the Blue Lady dies.”  You step out of fate and start running.

“Svante! Come back here!”  Sasha cries.

“What is he planning on doing?”  you hear Shen ask.   The adults’ conversation fades away as you sprint though the Mossy Court.   As you approach the battle, you slow down and observe.   You have to wait for the right moment to act.

Though the Blue Lady does not seem to tire, her skin is marred with bloody scratches.   The Desert Fox’s fur is matted with blood.   The Fair Folk are scattered around the Mossy Court like broken dolls.  Rory is trapped in a cocoon of vines hanging from a tree.   As you draw closer, the blistering dry heat of the Lunar’s anima dries the sweat on your brow.   The Desert Fox blocks the Blue Lady’s vine strike wearily and bares her teeth.   Each strike is slower than the next.  The Desert Fox will not last much longer.

The next time the Desert Fox slashes at the Blue Lady’s throat, you reach out and brush against the Blue Lady’s thread.  It much stronger than Rory’s, much more present in Creation.  Stealing her dexterity, making her clumsy is easy.  The Blue Lady misjudges and the Desert Fox’s next strike connects.   The Lunar rips out the Blue Lady’s throat.  Eyes wide, the Blue Lady tries to speak, but all that comes out of her mouth is bright blue blood.

The rest of the nobles in the Mossy Court are silent.  The only sound that can be heard were footsteps bouncing off the ground as Sasha runs towards you.   The tree encasing the Blue Lady falls to pieces and the Blue Lady’s body tumbles down to the ground.  Shen breaks through the crowd of Fair Folk to check out the Blue Lady’s corpse.

An exhausted Desert Fox transforms back to human and attempts to crawl away.   Sasha rushes past you, sword draw.    The Desert Fox staggers back but is too weak to get away.   Wanahton steps between the Desert Fox and Sasha’s sword.

Sasha hesitates before striking.  “Move aside, Wanahton.”

Wanahton stands before Sasha, blocking the Desert Fox from her view.  “No.   This is wrong and you know it.   This woman has done nothing to deserve death.   “

“This monster would see everything we work to preserve fall to ash.  You have firsthand experience what a Lunar is capable of.  One almost killed you and Svante!”

“I was almost killed by a Dragonblood, too.   I do not blame Shen for this.”

Sasha’s face is filled with anguish and she tightens her grip on her sword.  “Get out of the way!”

“No.”   Behind Wanahton, you see the Desert Fox start to creep away.

What do you do?

  • Say nothing. Let the Desert Fox escape.
  • Call Sasha’s attention to the Desert Fox’s flight.
  • Kill the Desert Fox yourself
  • Other

((That moment when you realize you forgot all about Svante’s Flying Cloak!  And I have no clue what I said color Shen’s Hair was.  Light Blue?  Violet?    Goal of next chapter is to take better character notes. Also, I’m going to start counting essence/wp usage, starting next chapter.   *grumble grumble*))

((Next post will be the last post of this chapter.  ))

79 – Unleash the Beast

Shen looks up at the towering form of the Blue Lady.  “She didn’t do that last time.”

Rory’s ears droop as he trembles in the shadow of his Oath Mother’s towering form.  After a few false starts, he replies.  “You can’t do the same thing over and over again.”

Sasha draws her sword.  “So much for peaceful negotiations.  I need a distraction.”

Shen nods and surveys the ground around him.  Eyes intent on a section of ground in front of the Blue Lady, he raises his hands and summons forth a grey and white icy giant.   Shen takes a deep breath and blows out a poof of air.  The Giant mimics the sorcerer’s movements but instead bellows a jet of freezing ice.

The Blue Lady wipes a vine at the giant and redirects its spray away from her.    The Giant shatters into icy pieces.  Her mocking grin turns into grimace of pain, as Sasha, wreathed in a scarlet glow, and slices a chunk out of the Blue Lady’s legs.   The Blue Lady takes a shaky step and trips on the ice left by the giant.

Unseen you head towards the tree holding Wanahton’s cage, passing Mei Mei as you go.  You climb the tree and walk across the branch and drop down onto the top of the cage.   With your iron hunting knife, you begin to saw though the vines holding the cage together.    Now visible, Wanahton notices you and says, “Give me your knife.  I’ll cut my way out.  Free the Desert Fox.”   You hesitate for a moment and then pass the knife down to Wanahton’s outreached hand.

“You like wind, Son of Our Admiral. “  The Blue Lady sways unsteadily as she drops to all fours.   “Let us how you do with the Flood!”   A vile deluge of mud, dead leaves, and green water spews out of her mouth.   The ground and the trees mutate in the flood’s wake.   Sasha places her hand on the soft ground of the Mossy Court.   The area around her and Shen solidifies and the island of stability bobs on top of the Blue Lady’s vile flood.

You step outside of fate again and climb down the tree.  With a cheer, the mutinous Fair Folk drop down to the ground around you and race past you towards the battle.  Rory, mounted on top of Watcher, calls the Fair Folk to him.   With Rory leading the charge, the Fair Folk shriek and swinging up the Blue Lady’s vines.   Their swords prick her skin though the tree bark and she screams in frustration, grabbing her traitorous subjects and throwing them aside.

As the Resplendent Destiny of the Traveler’s Son, you approach the Desert Fox,.   As she struggling against her bonds, you pull out your starmetal bootknife.   “If I free you, do you swear only to attack the Blue Lady?”

“Dragonboy?”   She stops struggling and stares at you in surprise.

“Do you swear?!”   you repeat.

“Yes,” the Lunar breaths.  “Quickly!  The Flood is almost upon us!”

“No, shit.”  As your knife slices though the vines, the Desert Fox glows brighter and brighter with silver anima.   Suddenly, you are thrown back against one of the trees lining the court, when a Giant Sloth explodes out of the weakened bonds.   You scramble up the tree and draw your sword, expecting an attack.

Instead the Desert Fox dashes towards the oncoming flood and leaps on top of it.   She races on top of the Vile Wind, untouched by its mutating effects.    Her wounds close with a moonlit glow leaving only silver tattoos behind.  With a clawed paw, the Desert Fox knocks the Blue Lady in the face, interrupting the flow of Wyld spew.   The Blue Lady snarls at the Lunar and the two begin to battle.

You run long the moss covered tree branches until you are just above the Blue Lady.  In your hands, you begin to weave a delicate net of your essence.   You drop it upon the Blue Lady and watch as it sears her blue flesh.   You retreat before she could figure out that the attack came from you not the Desert Fox.

With the flood dissipating, Sasha and Shen disengage and follows your progress in the trees.   “What have you done, Svante?”  Sasha yells at you.   Shen watching the Lunar and Blue Lady spar, his grey-white anima swirling around him.   Wanahton limps over with Mei Mei in his arms.  “We need to leave before the Fair Folk decide that we are more interesting opponents.  “   Rory and the Fair Folk have also fallen back and were watching the battle eagerly.

“No,”  Sasha disagrees.  “We can’t have any loose ends.”   The Lunar scratches the Blue Lady with her claws and navy blue blood fills the Blue Lady’s wounds.

What do you do?

  • You got the children.  You found Sasha and Wanahton.   Shen is still alive.  Time to go back to the ship and get out of here
  • No matter the outcome of the fight, an enemy of creation will win.  Finish off the winner while they are weaken by battle.

 

(( I’ll admit to home brewing the Blue Lady’s attack and Desert Fox running on top of it.  ))

78 – Climax

Rory’s Flask weighs heavily in your hand as you pull it out of your bag.  For a moment, you consider not giving Rory his flask.  Why is it important to Rory?  Was it an artifact of power?    If the flask was so important to the Fair Folk, what else could you get for it?   Rory’s hungry eyes have not left the Flask as you consider what to do.  You are uncertain how Rory would react if you try to change the agreement.  While you did not trust the Fair Folk, he was the closest thing you had to an ally until you found Sasha and Wanahton.

You toss the Flask to the Fair Folk Noble.      Your throw is a bit short and Rory’s eyes widen fearfully as his eyes follow the flask.  He leans forward to snatch it out of the air before it hits the ground.   Why risk angering Rory when you could play on the Fair Folk’s desire for drama?  You have no need to keep the flask to get Rory to help.   “Rory, this is Mayim Shen.   He has come to avenge his brothers’ death at the hands of your Oath Mother.”

Watcher rumbles and Rory answers.  “You are observant as always, Watcher of Many Eyes.  Tell me, Mayim Shen.   Four of your brothers have faced my Oath Mother and fallen.  What makes you so certain that you will succeed where they have failed? “

Shen takes a step forward and stands before Rory.   “When I stood next to my brother, Sora, I was not much older than our Envoy here.  I watched your mother kill him and lick his blood off of her blade.   My life was only spared so that I could bring my brother’s corpse home to my father.   I have brooded long about Our Lady of Wonder-Devouring Delight.   I forsake the Sky for the Sea to my mother’s grief so that one day I could have this opportunity for revenge.   What makes me so certain of my success?”  Shen smirks.  “You will just have to wait and see like everyone else.”

Rory laughs and claps in excitement.  “Bravo!   You are right not to spoil your stratagem, Mayim Shen.   It ruins the suspense.   Come this way.  My Oath Mother sits in judgement of the Mistress of the Moon and those she convinced to rise up in munity against Our Lady.  “

Rory and Watcher lead you and Shen though the remains of the battlefield.  One starfish warrior sadistically toy with his victim before finally stabbing them in the heart.  Two warriors duel among the dead, when suddenly one throws his sword aside and kneels before the other.   Tears stream down the warrior’s cheeks, as he takes her sword and places it at his throat.   The second warrior drops her own sword and together they begin to rip off their armor in berserk lust.    The female warrior, having exposed skin, bites…

“Svante!”  Shen calls.  “Let’s not get distracted.”

“I wasn’t distracted.” You pick up your pace to catch up with Shen and the others.

Watch grumbles and Rory asks, “Watcher wants to know if the Envoy wants a ride to better enjoy the battlefield.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Shen answer for you.  “We should look for Sasha and Wanahton.”

As Mei Mei sniffs around, you search for Sasha or Wanahton but do not see them among the dead, wounded, or otherwise occupied Fair Folk.  You walk closer to Shen and ask “Did you really forsake the Sky for the Sea for vengeance?”

“Of course not.”  Shen scoffs.  “It sounded good, didn’t it?  ”

You look to make sure Rory was not listening.  “What is your plan?”

“All of my brothers tried to best the Blue Lady relying on their skill in Martial Arts.  To be honest, I am only a fair Martial Artist.  Yet, I have other skill sets that they didn’t.”

Sorcery, you realize.  Shen continues, “Also, they didn’t have a Sidereal at their side.   If you have any tricks yourself, now it the time to use them.  I can use all the help I can get.”

You nod.   Rory stops just before the entrance of the Mossy Court.  “Envoy, my mother still does not believe me about you.  We should save her revelation of your existence for the most opportune moment.”

“Um…  right.”   You step outside of Fate.  Mei Mei looks utterly baffled at your disappearance and frantically sniffs around, looking for you.   You entangle your thread with Mei Mei’s.   Go with Shen, you tell her.  Shen calls to Mei Mei, she reluctantly follows Rory and Shen though the Mossy Court.

You find the Blue Lady, clade in sea urchin battle armor, standing on the top of her watery staircase.   In the middle of the court, you find the captured Desert Fox.  Tree roots and vines impale her flesh, trapping her to the ground of the Mossy Court.   Cages of sturdy branches hang high in the trees that line the court filled with fair folk of various states of injury.   Below the cages, stand other Fair Folk who jeer and throw fruit at the cages.

You find Sasha, uninjured and unrestrained, kneeling not far from the Lunar.   Mei Mei runs up to your sister, tail wagging.   Sasha picks up the puppy and whispers into her ear.   She sets the puppy down and notices Shen and Rory approach.  “Shen?  What are you doing here?   Why is Mei Mei with you?“  Sasha searches though the crowd, looking for you.

“What is the meaning of this interruption, Rory?  Can you not see we are busy with matters of state?”  The Blue Lady begins to descend down the stairs, her malice flooding each step.

Mei Mei barks and runs to one of the trees.   Wanahton works his way through the crowd of fair folk in the cage and signals the puppy to be quiet.  Mei Mei wags her tail and begins to play keep away with the now cheering Fair Folk.

Rory, unruffled by the Blue Lady’s anger, says, “Our Lady, may I present to you, Mayim Shen, son of Admiral Mayim Takeshi.”

The Blue Lady’s eye widen and she puts a hand to her chest.  “My Admiral!  Did he send you with a threat?“

“No.  My father did not send me. I came on my own.”   Shen approaches the Blue Lady and stand before her, hand on his sword hilt.   “I am here to avenge my brothers, retrieve the corpse of my great grandfather, and free the seas from your menace, Our Lady of Wonder-Devouring Delight.””

“Shen, what are you doing?”  Sasha repeats.  “Go back to the ship.”

“Do not interrupt, Swordswoman.   We shall complete our negotiations for your companion later.  We have an important matter to attend to.”  The Blue Lady finish descending her stair case and stands before Shen.  She barely reaches his shoulder.   “Tell us, Son of our Enemy.  Why does the Admiral not come himself?  Have we not raided enough islands to raise his ire?  He has not become…. Ill and infirm, has he?“

“My Father has never been healthier.  He has been too busy managing the Western to deal with you.”

“He has chosen to do paperwork rather than face us, his dearest and greatest enemy?”  The Mossy Court trembles beneath your feet at the Blue Lady’s indignation.

Shen’s hand tightens on his sword hilt, but he continues.  “Oh yes, my father finds paperwork much more important than you.”

The court stops trembling and the Blue Lady closes her eyes, a single tear rolls down her cheek.  “He has forgotten.  He has forgotten me and all we had together.   But no matter.”   The trees around the Mossy Court lift their roots from the ground and descend upon the Blue Lady.     Tree branches encircle her arms, legs, and torso and merge with her body.  Now towering above Shen, the twin gossamer blades of iridescent blue appear in Blue Lady’s hands.  “We will send the Admiral a gift of your corpse to remind him of what he has thrown away.  “

 

What do you do?

  • Free the Desert Fox from her bonds
  • Free Wanahton and the Mutinous Fair Folk from their cage
  • Help Shen defeat the Blue Lady
  • Other