Influence From The Shadows

A Knight of Azure

Finding The One of Legend

• Lynn reconnects her senses with Molly. TAK “I’m here to meet the one known as Kagura.” J “She doesn’t exist.” TAK “So this was a trap.” J “Trap is the wrong word. The person that you actually want to meet with is Nathaniel Gotrelas. We can either lead you to his tower now, or give you directions.” TAK “What would you prefer?” J “It might be easier for you to sneak there without us.” TAK looks across at all of them, and then says that is acceptable. J gives directions. TAK sits down in a chair with his large cloak. The others (J, F, L, S, Andrei) all leave, finding Meidas and Gregor having a large argument in the front gate. They argue over why each one is here, the simple obvious place and false group. They argue over the differences in their organizations. They argue for twenty minutes, and then leave in opposite directions with Meidas heading towards Nathaniel’s Tower. They get into the wagon, J and Andrei driving, and head off. They pick up Nathaniel on the way, F “It worked, we gave him directions to your tower.” Nathaniel “Do you have any idea what will happen when he arrives at my tower and meets Helmut without my permission to enter.” F “He seemed like a reasonable man.” Nathaniel “If you say so.” Sleeps on the way back. Get back to the tower, Nath opens the door, and everyone but Andrei notices the blood on the carpet. Nath “I told you this would happen. Helmut, you’d best not be dead.” Helmut “Not dead sir, only heavily injured.” TAK sat in one of the chairs nearby. L uses Ki healing to repair some of Helmut’s injuries. Nath “Good Helmut, now clean up that blood that you got on my carpet.” Helmut “Yes sir.” Helmut begins cleaning up. Nathaniel asks TAK what he is doing here, and what he is looking for. TAK says that he needs more additional information on Orochi, and where he could find it. Nath “Why,” TAK “I need to destroy it.” Nath “You plan on destroying an Aeon, by yourself?” TAK “Yes.” Nath “Sure. Alright, let me do some research.” Nath heads up stairs. Nath “Helmut, fetch my reading glasses!” Helmut “Yes sir.” He goes up to look for the glasses. TAK and the others sit, none of them saying a word. After an hour of research Nath and Helmut came back down. Brings a large black leather book. He describes the simple details about Orochi. Background, what it is and does, what it is supposed to do. TAK asks where he would find it. Nathaniel tells him the forest that Orochi might be able to be found in. TAK thanks him, and asks how he could get to Varja. Nath “Well, you could walk, or take a boat, but it would take a very long time. You could also take a zepplin, but they are very expensive.” TAK “A zepplin then, that could work. I shall be going then.” As TAK is leaving J pipes up “Could you also make a large scene when you leave in order to bring the Inquisition and Tol Rauko with you?” TAK “I will see what I can do.” F scans everyone there’s aura’s to gauge them. TAK leaves. Nath “Well, it looks like you lot have done your part of the bargain, now I suppose it is time that I kept up my end of the bargain. What is it that you want to know?” L “Information on the Aeons.” Nath “And which Aeons would that be?” L “Well, we have heard some about Orochi, so information on Rudraksha and Kagutsuchi.” Nath informs them of the simple information and rumours around Rudraksha, and additional information, as well as the location where they believe Kagutsuchi is sealed away. Comments that the one forest is near the mountain range. They try to figure out how to get there, realize that zepplin would be fastest and ask how expensive it would be. Nath has Helmut fetch some tickets from when he did some guest lectures at the Great University of Lucrecio. Says about 800 GC for luxury, asks Helmut how much it was for him to go with him, Helmut says 200 GC. They express that that is a lot of money, and how much more it would be to get the rest of the way. Nath suggests another 1000 GC probably. They try to figure out how they could make that much money. Very expensive, F suggests trying to get in and hide, but L doesn’t like that idea. F asks how long it would take them to get there. Nath says about a week. They try to find some way to make money. Nath offers to let them pick up a puppet he order from Frastas the Puppet Master. F asks Helmut to stand aside asks how much he gets paid, Helmut says that Nath pays his freelance workers better. F asks how much Helmut is paid, he says enough. They go back to the inn for the night.
• In the night F, and S notice that there is a large ki explosion near the edge of the city. F wakes up L, and the two go to the zepplin port to see if TAK is going there. S goes to the edge of the city, finds that most of the guards are there looking for TAK. S doesn’t see any signs of TAK being outside the city, but does see a flash of porcelain armour heading back into the city. F sees that the zepplin won’t be arriving until the next evening. Eventually they return to continue sleeping.
• The group take the carriage out in the morning. Hadiyya is approached by 5 Church guars, she tells them to get out of her way. They call her a heretic, she says that that is little coming from people that can’t prove that their god even exists. L, S, and Andrei notice as they approach from the carriage on the street. The first guard draws his sword, tries to stab her but she dodges the blade and responds with a responding kick to his face, and dodges the other four with barely any effort. Hadiyya “Are you even trying.” Andrei stops the cart and watches. L talks to Shadow “An impressive showing.” S “Indeed.” He steps out of the cart with his Sang Kauw. He charges the closest of the church soldiers, stabbing him in the right shoulder, tearing the limb right off and killing him instantly. H uses a capoeira area attak on three of the still standing guards, hitting the first one solidly, striking the second solidly in the chest, and harming the third as well. Andrei stays on the cart and acts as lookout, notices that there don’t seem to be other soldiers nearby, only civilians. Lynn concentrates for a time. The unharmed guard lashes at Hadiyya with his sword, but she dodges easily. Hadiyya unleashes another area attack, hitting the first one again, the second one taking no damage from the armour but staggered again, and the third hit lighter again. S yells at the other soldiers to leave, very intimidating in the process. They grab their fallen comrade and attempt to fall back. Hadiyya curses after them in Jashu. Lynn hears the insults.
• L gets out of the carriage. In Jashu L offers H a ride. S “Are you alright.” H “I was doing fine. This has made my life much more difficult.” Hadiyya accepts their ride offer. H asks to be taken to her dorm at the University of History and Politics, which is in the same direction but further then the doll shop. H seems incredibly nervous with all this. L “We’ll drop you off at your dorm, we just have a doll to pick up first.” H looks confused at the comment. L “Don’t ask.” H comments on the rarity of a Kushistani woman that has been fighting the Inquisition, and what they would do once they can get some more people. She says that she will need to gather up her belongins and leave now. They make small talk in Jashu, about what Hadiyya is doing here, what her major is, talking about her desire for training and that her father seemed to have the hopes for her that most have for their sons. H “Blessings of Jihamath upon you.” H comments on L dog’s eyes and the psychic matrices and the lack of subtlety of their traveling arrangements.
• They arrive at Frastas the puppet master’s shop. Lynn and Andrei enter. Seeing all the puppets Shadow runs in S “Andrei, guard the carriage, I need to buy something for my son.” They go to Frastas, inform them that they are here to pick up a puppet for Nath. Frastas “Ah yes, Arkayas. A fine piece, a real piece of art she is. Took many an hour of work. I assume you have the papers for her.” L gives them the papers, he goes into the back. S notices that two harlequin (1 male and 1 female) seem to be staring at him, and that they seem to be glowy. Points this out to L. L “Leave them be S, we can be on our way soon enough.” S stares at one, but feels the other staring into him. Frastas comes back wheeling an 8 foot box. Frastas “Here she is. Do be careful with her, she is quite valuable.” S asks about the creepy puppets, if he actually made them himself, Frastas “Yes, from wood from an old burned theater, the most splendid wood.” Shadow buys a small simple puppet for his son, it would cost 1 GC, he pays 2. They go out, and realize that it would be incredibly difficult to make this puppet fit, so they would otherwise have to tie it to the top. S heads back in to ask about it, sees the harlequins have changed places, asks about it. Frastas “I like to move things around, keeps the look of the shop new and different.” S confused a bit asks how to arrange for transporting it. Frastas suggests using a cart. S goes out, tells them this, mentions the puppets, L tells S to focus on the important things and not the puppets. They notice that there is a cart behind Frastas’ shop. L and S go back to ask if they could use his cart, the harlequin’s hanging from the roof and freak out S. S “They moved again.” Frastas, “But I’m sure they’ve always been there,” with a big smile. They ask to borrow his cart, L pays him 5 GC so they wheel the cart around and he ties the doll in place for him. They then head to the University, with S pulling the cart in front of the carriage. They drop off Hadiyya and then return to Nathaniel’s tower. Fenix also heads back to Nathaniel’s tower after seeing no sign of TAK, but does see the regular people coming back.
• All return to Nathaniel’s, F first and notices the others coming pulling a cart. L “It was the only option.” F “What?” L “The cart.” F “Okay.” L “We could only travel here at the speed of Shadow on foot.” F “I was traveling on foot.” S “There were glowing puppets.” L “Again with the puppets.” They argue over the puppets again, L knocks on the door. Helmut opens it, summons Nath, who greets them and asks over his puppet. They take it off and bring it in. They bring it in to his house for him. Nath “Excellent.” S offers to help him open the box. Nath “No, these are the kinds of things to do in its own sweet time, to savour, without a crowd to witness. Helmut shuddered. S then tells him about the strange puppets that he saw, commenting on their supernatural tendencies, and perhaps based on the amterial that they were made out of. L shakes her head about it all and the focus on the damn puppets. Nath “Well, perhaps they are, or perhaps they are not. Maybe its Frastas, maybe it’s not. Maybe Frastas is a puppet himself, [chuckles] but probably not.” He then begins to slowly count out the GC to pay out the group, but there is a knock on the door. Helmut answers and finds Hadiyya al-Rashid Muffarij, who introduces herself, and says that she has to talk to Nath. She tells him the situation that she is in, and that she needs to get back to Kushistan. F offers to count out the coin for him. Nath mentions that he has some friends that are going to be taking a zepplin to Lucrecio. Hadiyya grimaces as she realizes that she will be traveling with them. She tries to figure out a way to have the money to be able to pay for her travel. She asks how, L says she was with them to travel and get the puppet with them, Andrei says that she didn’t help, she was just there. Nath said that she could be paid if she carried the puppet crate up to his 8th floor of his tower. F sells Nath his carriage, since he likes it so much. Nath gives F 300 GC for it to cover his other ticket so that he can buy his second ticket. H, F, and S carry the crate up, place it beside the 10 foot tall large golem. H calls down to Helmut to ask whether they were to open the box and place the puppet, or just put the crate in the wall. Helmut “Lord help you if you open that box.” Nath bristled down below.
• F “The zepplin leaves tonight.” L “Then we best go and purchase tickets.” H “Thank you professor. Here is your receipt, I shall have to wire the money back to you. I shall miss our classes.” Nath “You’d best also keep up with your studies. Once you get back here I expect you to continue back to your old level and better. Otherwise, I’ll kick your ass when you get back.” They head out. Andrei takes back the cart to Frastas. J takes the book that he took back also.
• There are very few guards on the way, only a few Tol Rauko soldiers that don’t recognize F. They go to the airport, buy there tickets. J has a fair argument over being able to have his weapons. S lets them put his Sang Kauw with his luggage. L and H describe J, about the kind of man that he is and what he does. Andrei arrives, L gives him the ticket, they tell him that he can’t have his sword. Andrei “That’s not going to happen. You may peace bond it.” Man, “There is no sheath. You may get it back in your room.” Andrei hands over the sword, but is unhappy. They head onto the zepplin. S, F, J, and L share one room, H and Andrei share a different room. Andrei and S get their weapons back. Lynn changes into a dress. F removes his shirt once more. They all hit up the dining hall, except for F. for all you can eat fine food, S piles his favourites high, the others find what they want, H more Kushistani food with a large cup of coffee. F decides to go looking for TAK. He uses Ki Detection, finds TAK in one drawing room, and detects one powerful soldier that is coming towards him after using it. Goes to the door, knocks, no respons, F “Is that you in there?”, no response. Decides to go to the dining hall, passes a lovely woman in a long flowing hoop dress going the other way, who eyes him as she passes. Entering the hall, L shakes her head; “I had hoped that charade would have lasted a little longer.” H blushing “Why isn’t he wearing a shirt?” L “He was on his best behaviour in Hausser. Trying to be subtle.” F lets J know that TAK is here with them. J “Is he in our room.” F “No.” J “Good.” F also lets them know about the one guard that seems quite capable. L and H discuss the university, and Nathaniel’s teaching style. F sees the woman enter the dining cart, and he approaches as she grabs a small sandwich. F “Name’s Fenix.” Woman; “Nice to meet you Mr. Fenix.” F “And you are?” Woman “Bridgette.” F “So what brings you here.” Bridgette “Travelling to see what of the world while I have the time.” F “Limited means?” Bridgette “Not so much, but it is expensive to travel.” F “What’s there to do for fun around here?” Bridgette “Well, the dining cart has a great amount of food, chatting with other guests, as well as soft feather beds.” F “Understandable. Couldn’t help but notice that you were checking me out in the hallways.” Bridgette “Well, you are a most unique specimen.” F “That I am.” Bridgette “And why are you here Mr. Fenix?” F “Travelling business. What I do specifically is harder to say.” Bridgette “Ooh, a mysterious man are we. A great deal of things of interest I’m sure.” F “Where are you going to.” Brigette “Du’Lucart for now.” F “Will you be there for a time?” Brigette “Perhaps.” F “Maybe I’ll see you again then.” Brigette “Maybe.” She takes a bite of her sandwich and then leaves through the different doors. They all eat a great deal, drink the various beverages, Andrei the liquors, S the teas. They talk about a great variety of things, S consuming food in the corner, L and H talk, then include F also to talk about martial arts. L “He’s even learned to sleep with his eyes open.” H “How do you learn that, and why would you want to.” L “Repeated kicking.” H is stunned into silence, and drinks more coffee. After gorging himself on supper, Shadow moves on to dessert.
• F leaves and goes back to the room where TAK was, but it was still locked. F “I suppose I shall see you when we land.” A returns to his room, finds the blinds drawn and door locked. Unlocks the door, goes in, sees TAK in his room. Andrei nods to him, sits, and sleeps. S falls asleep in the dining cart. H opens the door, sees TAK, slowly enters and closes the door. Goes to her seat. H “I’m going to live through the night aren’t I?” She gets no response. She stares out the window, trying to ignore TAK, but shakes like a leaf before sleeping.
• They spend the other days of travel aboard the zeppelin. H eventually sleeps, and lives. F eventually gets the others to open the doors and finds TAK with his companions.
• They arrive in Du’Lacart. F asks TAK “Will you be going to Varja next.” TAK “Yes, I will be taking the next zeppelin.” The next zeppelin leaves the next day in the evening. L to H “So, what will you do now.” H “Well, I need to try and cross the largest desert in the world without money, and by myself. This leaves me with a few options, several that I won’t even consider.” L “That helps then.” They head out, and L asks how much a ticket to Markushias would be. 220 GC. L “You’re welcome to come with us if you can get a ticket.” H “I’m against prostitution and murder on a basic level, so it sounds like I won’t be able to.” L “Shall we buy our tickets tonight then and explore Du’Lucart until the zeppelin comes tomorrow.” All but H buy their tickets for tomorrow, then L offers to give H some coin to help her along her way, gives her 5 GC. H “I’m against taking it, but under the current circumstances I need it. Thank you.”
• F sees Bridgette and asks her where she will be staying, Bridgette “I have some family that she will be staying with.” F “Ah, I see. Would you be free tonight.” Bridgette “Perhaps, but I could persuaded.” F “Well, you and my chest could become better acquainted.” Bridgette “Sorry, but I’m not quite that free.” Runs a hand done his chest and then turns and leaves. Fenix curses his foiled luck.
• J leads them to the nearest hotel, which is an incredibly expensive hotel known as the “Glittering Magistrate”. Lynn walks into a lighpole, while the rest hear a female scream down an alley and run after it.
• Within the alley they see a young woman being stood over by a Symbiosis. The Light Side of the Symbiosis charges zeon. Shadow charges the dark side, stabbing it heavily with his Sang Kauw and causing dark blood sprays all about. F and H go at the same speed, F “Ladies first.” H attempts to attack the dark side also, catching the limb with its dark claw and flinging it away. F charges and attacks the light half, which throws up a supernatural shield of light that absorbs the incredibly solid attack. L throws up an energy shield over herself. Andrei moves forward and attacks the dark half, the light have intercedes its shield in the way, absorbing the strike from his blade as light sparks and fragments. The dark half hisses and spits at all of you. The tongue lashes out towards Shadow, but he is able to dodge the lashing and lunging tongue from the creature. The light half fires a light beam at Fenix, grazing him with a solid blast. Fenix accumulates ki, and activates his Arcane Armour power. H lashes against the dark half, punching it solidly in its awkward face. Shadow attacks the dark half again, and stabs it through its right calf to bring it down to its knees, bubbling away in a mixture of light and dark bubbles as the tongue lashes away in the air.
• H checks on the unconscious girl. Pats her on the cheek, but finds that she is quite out cold. L “Shall we take her back to the inn, to wait for her to wake up?” H “That would probably best.” All of them then notice 3 individuals in trench coats running towards them. They wait for them, with S standing defensively. The woman in charge “State your business and why you are here.” F “We just arrived in the city, got of the zeppelin, heard a scream, and investigated.” L “We don’t know what it was, some kind of abomination.” Woman “And you dealt with it.” F “Yes.” S “And who are we dealing with?” Woman “Talia, agent of The Requiem.” H “The Requiem?” F “We’re quite far from home.” Talia “We are an investigation group.” L “We were thinking of taking the girl in to the inn in order to take care of her.” Talia “A noble pursuit. We will take care of her however. We will also need to get statements from all of you, but that we can do here.” H “How do you mean take care of her?” Talia “Ensure that she recovers.” H “Good.” They get their statement, then take the girl and allow the others to leave. They go back to the hotel, and all get their own rooms except Lynn and H who share a room. They turn in for the night.

Copyright © 2012 by Jeremy Marshall

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