Influence From The Shadows

An End to Ashes

Old Wounds Must Be Closed Eventually

• BB uses Medicine to heal Shadow, and informs that he has very limited zeon for the casting of Healing magic. The party agrees that Jormangander needs the most reparation a Recover (he lists all the damage that he’s taken from the rooms), and the rest suggest Fenix gets another Heal to also help him (+75).
• Andrei pulls the Key from the Jail Room, Jormangander pulls out the other 4 keys. They place them in the pillar and turn the keys. Jormangander draws both hammers, Taiko his sword, Shadow his bow (to draw complaints from Taiko). The pillar collapses to reveal a gore covered stairwell. They ascend.
• They find themselves in the ashen throne room, and the large statue. The form of Kammist Rall emerges from the ash, talk to Lynn, surround her, talk of what she did. Taiko pushes through. T bets J 10 GC that he’ll be the one to kill Kammist. T “So that is why you sent death.” KR “Tried to understand it by using its power.” T “I just picked up a sword. It’s much easier, and I didn’t lose my family.” The ash vanishes, the statue explodes, and KR and his creatures appear.
• Agent Arturian’s voice ripples through the air as he refuses their damage to reality, and creates the creature doubles.
• The Caller of Infernal Fate charges in, unleashes its grand explosion, reducing Fenix and Lynn to clouds of ash in the fury of flame, heavily harming Andrei, Jormangander, and Taiko, Shadow taking light damage. Kammist stares at the crater that was his hated adversary. The Succubi just stare at Kammist. Shadow sidesteps in order get line of sight to the summoner. Taiko charges the summoner, promising his soul to Tsukyomi as a gift,” lashing down with his sword he glanced across Kammist and Angelise. Andrei skirts around The Caller. The Dark Caller moves behind Taiko to try and defend Kammist, lashes out with its flame backhand striking heavily across Taiko, shaking his knees. Jormangander evades around the first Caller, dropping one hammer to two hand his other one. Lynn’s crystal glows, rhymes about the hero’s purpose not being done, bringing her, and through his pendant Fenix, back to life with half health, and brings them back although mostly naked. Lynn has Molly vision, and access to all the psychic powers. Taiko uses all of his fatigue in a super doom attack (439 final attack roll), Angelise almost gets Kammist out of the way, but Taiko cleaves all three in a shower of gore and ash that paints the ash pick like so many cherry blossoms. Taiko used all his fatigue in the process. Fenix bursts up through the ash, only wearing his pendant and magic cloak, charges Ki, and strikes at the Caller, striking it, but realizing his fire isn’t as effective against the great flaming monster. Shadow buries an arrow deeply into that Caller as well, but it ignores it. Jormangander picks up a second hammer and moves to engage the Caller, but the creatures flaming hide stops it. The Dark Caller raises its hand, brings it down upon the fatigued Taiko to pulp his head with his own shield. Andrei moves against the Caller and attacks with his blade, carving heavily into it with its cold damage. Lynn activates her psychic powers into her again. The Caller unleashes its AOE again, Fenix dodges, Lynn’s shield soaks it up, and Jormangander and Andrei both tank it with their weapons. Taiko’s spirit is satisfied with his noble vengeance sacrifice, and then notices that Lynn is alive, healthy, and naked. The rest of the fight fades from his vision. Lynn stands from the ashes and uses Psychic Assault on The Dark Caller at an Impossible level, solidly crushing its resistance. Jormangander enters wood-chipper mode using his three hammer blows, raining blows down upon it, tearing into its flaming hide. Fenix moves in to strike against The Caller again, hitting it hard with his palms. The Dark Caller moves behind Andrei, lashes down at him with his palm, slapping him unconscious into the ashes. Shadow fires at The Caller, burying another arrow into him. The Caller lashes out with its fist at Jormangander, but his armour just soaks up the pain and suffering. Shadow fires another arrow into the Caller, gouging out the flames in fire. Fenix sends another assault into The Caller. The Caller brings its fist down upon Fenix, who spends all but one of his last fatigue points to try and dodge it, but the fist strikes him heavily, with the wounds and fatigue. Jormangander unleashes his assault upon the Caller again, the two tearing great damage into it, but the third fails. Lynn mind controls the Dark Caller, sending the Dark Caller to bring its arm heavily down upon its flaming brother. The Caller decides to lunge towards Lynn to try and bring her down, Jormangander heavily attacks it as it charges away from him, Lynn uses Psychokinetic Armour and gets thrown against the back wall, but without taking damage. Shadow fires an arrow to greatly harm the creature and slowing it slightly. Jormangander charges back into The Caller, sending his hammer through the creature to carve its right leg from its body. The Caller fades away in glowing flame, and The Dark Caller faded away.
• BB goes over to try and help Taiko, stands there for a moment, frowns and talks to the air for a bit, as the entity tells him that he must let Taiko die because he serves Tsukiyomi, and then comes back. “I’m afraid I can’t bring him back.” Looks at Andrei, “Him I might be able to help him.” J “Do what you want, I’m going to look around.” T’s ghost “You aren’t daring to loot me are you?” J “You don’t need it anymore.” T “You tiny short bastard, how dare you.” J “You know I can still hit you. I’ll let the comment go since you’re dead.” Lynn takes the cloak and backpack. S to T’s ghost “May I take the weapon repair kit?” T’s ghost “Yes.” Jormangander loots Taiko for his money and food, Shadow takes the Gladius Lacrimarum. S “That money would probably better serve many people rather then just one.” J “Probably. I didn’t kill him, so fine.” They split the money. S “Since he was a warrior, can we bury him with his weapons and armour?” J “I don’t want it.” Lynn uses Shadows eyes again. She takes Taiko over and tells his ghost in Yamato that she did love him and is sorry to see him die. Taiko begins playing an Inhuman love song in Yamato. He is only able to begin before his spirit is swept away. BB stabilizes Andrei. Fenix and Shadow loot Kammist, finding the Crystal Challice, which Fenix takes.
• They begin to tend to their own wounds. Lynn takes one of Taiko’s shirts to wear as a dress, taking a strap from his armour to use as a belt, and she also wears Zelna’s purple suade boots.
• Taiko finds himself appearing in Tsukyomi’s Throne room, still singing. Tsukyomi “Looks like your time has come to serve me.” T “So it appears.” Tsukyomi “Well, I have no need of you for now, so you may entertain my demons.” She sends him to the Oni.
• J “Well, looks like we’ve accomplished what we sent out to do here, he’s dead.” L “Can we at least bury Taiko first?” Jormangander carries Andrei out from the building. The horses are lead back out, and Lynn looks in the fire room, but sees that it is only an ashen husk. She coats Taiko in his own alcohol, then lights him on fire and then rapidly leaves. Lynn hooks the destriers back up to the carriage, Jormangander loads food and lots of water into the back. Jormangander drives the carriage while Fenix and Andrei rest, Shadow rides silently in the carriage as does BB. Lynn rides Valkyrie and leads Buttercup.
• On the road again.
• You travel for five days, it is fairly quiet travel through the paths and away. Lynn realizes that her Saint Amulet was destroyed in the fires. While passing along the road, Fenix and Andrei, and Lynn buy clothes from a peddling merchant: F “Sir, do you sell pants.” Man “Yes.” F “Good, I would like to try them on.”, Andrei is sad that they don’t have a shovel. At the end of the mid-point of the fifth day, they see the towers of Hausser rising in the distance. It takes them several more hours to reach the outskirts of the city. There are no walls at all, Jormangander shakes his head.
• Everyone but Lynn notices that there are guards surrounding the entrance, one bearing the mark of The Inquisition, the other bearing the mark of Tol Rauko. Fenix turns off his Ki powers and hides his pendant, they tell Lynn, who gets into the carriage F “Turn off your powers and we’ll tap you on the shoulder three times when we are safe.” Shadow rides Valkyrie and uses Ki Concealment. J “You’d better give me a good reason why to hide.” F “These aren’t nice people.” The guards approach them ask why they’re here, J “Doing research in the city.” Look into the carriage, ask Andrei and Lynn about it, the rest say they are here to protect Lynn. The others inform them that The Azure Knight , argue about their opposing opinions.
• Inside the city. J “I can’t believe they don’t have any walls. Just walk right on in.” F “Shadow, could you assist me in finding information.” S “I could help with that.” F “I wanted to know what kind of presence the Inquisition and Tol Rauko have in the city.” S “That is quite the bit of information.” F “I’m sure you could find.” Andrei asks if he can tap Lynn yet. F “Wait till we get to an Inn.” They notice the Palace of Music. Shadow goes off to look for information, talks to one of the treat sellers, who has a variety of sugared breads, candied fruits, and liquid choclate. Talks of the basic things, the things going around town, which turns to The Azure Knight and the extra soldiers around. S “Really, that would be much trouble. About how many are there do you think?” Patissier “About 500 additional swords have clustered the city.”
• Several hours go by. They continue to explore, looking for inns further into the city near the libraries, the universities, and some towers, but don’t find any. They head towards the Palace of Music, learning that there is a collection of Varjan music and Kabuki theatre there. Groups of 3-4 soldiers of both kinds are found. Jormangander wants to go find a tavern. J looks for someone to ask, sees a local and asks him “Hey, where’s a good place to drink around here?” Man “Visitors? Then closer to the entrance of the city.”
• They go find a tavern “Dancing Bookmark” around 11 pm, Fenix leads Lynn and Shadow enter the tavern while Jormangander leads the Carriage to the back, while Andrei stays with the horses. It is a nice tavern, and 18 Inquisition soldiers are staying there. Fenix approaches the front desk, asks if there are rooms available. There are, they are good quality (25 SC a night per room). Fenix pays for 3 rooms for the night, filling the last open rooms. F “We’d also like some privacy, we have some not social types.” Tavern master “Just please don’t bother the Inquisition soldiers, they are jumpy.” F “I’ll spread the word.” Go up to the rooms. Taps Lynn to wake her up. L “That took a while.” F “Quite the situation in town.” L “What kind of situation.” F “Inquisition and Tol Rauko soldiers everywhere.” L “Great, this is problematic. If he keep a low profile we’ll try to avoid them as much as possible.” F “How much leeway from the Church?” L “Don’t let them see you do anything strange.” F “Caution is the approach, great.” They get the others from the stable. L to J “So, what did you tell the guards, and about me?” J “Gave them my name and said we were here for research. That is all.” L “So, we’ll have to keep things very careful with going through the library, I can read through their eyes too.” J, Shadow, and Andrei all go to get some food. All of the Inquisition guards have gone to bed. After all of them get food, they go to bed. Andrei asks the tavern keeper for good libraries around, he says about the University, common universities, and the private collections due to some being used and others not open to anyone. He goes to bed also.
• Jormangander rooms with Andrei, Fenix with Lynn, Shadow with Baby Blue. Shadow remains very quiet, complementing his failure. Lynn talks to Fenix about what she is hoping to learn “Ki Healing.” Fenix comments on her fragile little body since she is trying to harness it.
• They wake up, eat, discuss what to do. J “Thought we were going to the library.” F “Are we doing anything else too, you don’t strike me as the real reader.” J “I’ll still tag along.” F “I’m not a real reader myself.” Andrei “You going with her, to be eyes, and ears.” L “What languages do you know?” F “Latin” S “Also Jashu.” Andrei “Also Jashu.” L “Also Jashu, Yamato, and Ailish.”
• Fenix wears a shirt!!! Necklace hidden under. They head to the nearest public library. They travel for one hour. Nice single story library, lots of windows and oaken doors. They head inside and find two librarians, one male, one female. “May we help you, gentlemen, and woman, find anything.” Fenix “Yes, we are looking for information on things.” Library “Anything more specific?” F “Anything on history? Could you point us in that direction.” Point to the 18 aisles. F “Any more specific things?” They give the subheadings, nothing before Zhorne began combining the Empire. F “Anything before that.” Librarian “Some in the mythology section.” F “Excellent, we will go there then.” Jormangander waits as the others look for books. Shadow finds some, the others don’t and gives them for the others to read. Andrei gets nothing from it, Lynn and Fenix sit arm in arm in order to work together, Jormangader takes another. Andrei and Fenix get nothing, Lynn gets some simple myths despite Fenix’s failures for basic creation myth’s, Jormangander finds some more indepth ones, commenting on three names; Rudraksha, Kagutsuchi, and Orochi. They find no other books, and think of moving to try a University library. Lynn donates a GC as they leave.
• They go to the University of Science, but find the gate barred to people with weapons. Those that have weapons refuse to leave their things, so Shadow waits outside in the carriage, Lynn and Fenix head into the University of Science, and Jormangnader and Andrei go looking for a private collector.
• Fenix and Lynn pretend to be a couple as they walk to the Administration Buildings. The buildings are large and incredibly fancy. They go to the Admin desk. The older woman behind the desk L “Hello miss.” Admin “Miss, now aren’t you sweet. What can I do for you?” Lynn “We are looking for information on the Aeons.” Admin “This is the University of Science, we don’t deal with such dribble here.” They try to persuade, but she has no information about these kinds of things. They go looking for the University of The Arts.
• Jormangander and Andrei go to the nearest tower with a private collector. They go to the tower of Nathaniel Gotralas. They knock, a guard wearing chain beneath a suit, holding a walking stick. They ask if the owner of this tower has a private library that they could use. The guard says yes, but his master would have to meet them in person before hand. He is currently out but should return for his evening meal. The two of them go looking for the next nearest tower.
• Lynn, Fenix, and Shadow go to the University of the Arts. The man behind the Admin. L “Do you have any books or poems here?” Admin “Yes, we have many in fact, floors and floors of it.” Ask about myths, and history, other locations and the other University may be more fitting. Ask if they could join, says a 1000 GC donation each would work. They ask about entering as students. Responds on the costs and all the work. They go back to the carriage. Shadow asks how things went. L says it would cost a great deal of money. They go looking for the others, but they don’t know where, so they go to the nearest tower to try and find them.
• At the next tower, J and Andrei ask the guard standing outside the shorter tower. It is private, and the owner doesn’t let them touch anything. J asks about reading a book, guard says it wouldn’t happen. As they turn away, they see the carriage coming up with Shadow driving. It is early afternoon, and J and Shadow see The Azure Knight, covered in a cloak and hat, trying to move behind the tower. J “I’m not going after him.” S “I think we should stay the course. I agree.” They head back to the first tower once J says about the guy willing to let them in.
• They get back to the tower at 4. Wait for the man to return. S “So, if we saw him, he most assuredly saw us.” J “But he didn’t do anything.” S “But he may eventually.” J “You’re very paranoid.” S “Why I lived so long in this business.” J “I’ve lived a long time too.”
• Eventually they see Natahniel going back into his tower. J introduces them as Nathaniel and his servant there. He comments that J doesn’t look like the scholarly. Points them to Lynn and Fenix Nathaniel says that they look more the part. He pats his hand and they notice the bookshaped ring on his finger. Lynn asks that they are researching about Aeons. He invites them inside to talk in private. They discuss that Lynn has found the names of Rudraksha, Kagutsuchi, and Orochi. They are looking for more information. He inquires about where, and if there were any information that they had acquired before, or any other books that they have. Shadow shows his dark one. Nathaniel comments on it, but says that it is probably designed for one with a skill that is quite different. Fenix then shows his book, which Nathaniel asks about when they got it, J “Several months ago.” Nathaniel “Interesting.” Invites them to sit and have some tea, Fenix and Lynn accept both, Shadow tea, and Jormangander stands tealess. Nathaniel has his house servant Helmut fetch the items from the upper levels. Nathaniel then introduces himself, and asks of their other names. After they introduce themselves Nathaniel smiles and comments on how interesting their names are. He then asks what they could tell of the book, F admits nothing, Nathaniel comments on its resemblance of a musical score. Commenting on all of that, Nathaniel inquired how much information they would want to learn. L, as much as they possibly could. Nathaniel offers them to trade for the book in order to be told things about them. F “I am quite fond of it, I would like to keep it.” Nathaniel nods understanding it. He invites the group to spend supper with him, they accept. Nathaniel sends Helmut to fetch supper. Nathaniel then asks them, “So, may I ask why it is you wish to learn all this information?” The group asks to be able to speak amoungst themselves for a bit. Nathaniel agrees and goes upstairs to assist with supper preparation. They discuss whether they should tell him, and they figure that he is a nice man (Nathaniel calls down from above that he agrees). They call him back downstairs and tell him of their dreams, Fenix mentioning both. Nathaniel comments on how incredibly interesting all of their tales and names are for all this. He offers a trade as he brings down a group of fresh baked buns (Fenix is happy they aren’t old buns, Nathaniel offers some old buns he keeps warm in the cupboard for just these occasions). Nathaniel offers a trade to provide them with the information that they want, if they could do something for him. Fenix asks about the ring Nathaniel wears, if it is highly important. Nathaniel avoids the question, which Fenix calls him on. They ask his opinion on the soldiers in the city, and Nathaniel is openly hostile to the unnecessary presence of their swords. Fenix then asks if Nathaniel knows anything about his pendant, pulling it out from his shirt. Nathaniel pulled him down in order to see, notices the small crystal bird within, and comments on the book containing the information on Kagutsuchi, mother of flames and the phoenix’s. In trade for the knowledge they request, he asks them to do a favour for him. The options are to either get rid of all the Inquisitors and Tol Rauko forces in the city, give him Fenix’s book and fetch a shipment of parts from a toymaker in the city, or to locate someone that is here trying to gain information and make them either drive The Azure Knight from the city by force, or else talk to him, bring him to this tower, and see if Nathaniel can provide all the knowledge that he needs to leave of his own accord in order to take the soldiers with him. F “Where would we start,” there was a hesitation before J “Well, I saw him behind the other tower that we visited.” F “And you didn’t think it was important to tell us?” J “I though it was important, but I knew it was better not to mention it.” F “Then we can go find him.” Fenix also asks Nathaniel if he has any artificers that he might know. Nathaniel mentions the toymaker again, and says that there might be another depending on how much gold he’s willing to spend. F “Enough.” Nathaniel “Then you should try “The Crimson Sun Droplet” Antique Shop. You need to ask for a mister Green. They will they will tell you there is no mister Green. You must then clarify that you were asking about miss Aquamarine Sharoo. Then take two steps to the left to avoid the percussion needles that are poisoned, and would lead to a quick and painful death. They will then ask what you are here for, and you may be quite honest. I wish you all the best of luck, try not to die.” They stay for supper.

Copyright © 2012 by Jeremy Marshall

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