Forgotten Suns: Log - Mining the Sun

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Thirteen Lives Bridge

8th day of Ascending Wood, RY 769
Outside Watch Valley 23 Mar 2005

By daybreak, the circle reaches the mountains. As they climb the winding road, they see a cloud of dust on the valley road, obviously a large number of horsemen moving swiftly toward Watch Valley. Guen investigates to discover a large group of 35 dragon-blooded, with about 40 mortal soldiers.

As the mass descended on the town, they slammed into the shield generated by the new solar manse. While doing no damage, it stopped the terrestrials, but not their mortal soldiers. After eavesdropping enough to hear the head of the column say "there is the new spire, just like he said", Guen returned to the circle, where they vacillated between two theories about why the Wyld Hunt might be there. They reasoned that either the commotion caused by the eristrufa impersonating a solar led them to the Lap and the eristrufa somehow gave them a trail to follow or that someone from the town of Watch Valley witnessed the rebirth of the solar manse and made their way to the Lap to inform authorities.

Either way, the circle elected to continue, though Gutts pined for his "Welcome to Guttstopia" sign and portraits. Eventually, they hit upon the idea of concealing their trail, which Regret can do quite well.

9th day of Ascending Wood, RY 769
Southern mountain range 23 Mar 2005

After an uneventful night, the circle put more distance between themselves and the Wyld Hunt, reaching Thirteen Lives Bridge just after dusk. Waiting for them, were a cadre of deathnights:

After a few insults are exchanged, Vision states that if Regret be handed over to her, the rest of the circle will be unharmed. Regret suggests they take the deal. Unswayed, everyone else attacks, with Stag opening the conflict by turning all of the zombies to dust. Most of the circle stayed in their wagon, charging the horses across the bridge with the thought to sweep any in their way off.

A rousing fight follows, with Gutts being seriously hurt early by an armor-ignoring arrow from the concealed Vexes. Cruxis, about to be thrown off the bridge by Periwinkle, grabs her and jumps off. Figuring Periwinkle would grab hold of part of the bridge to save herself, Cruxis planned on grabbing her, but a shot from Regret's spear knocked her unconscious in mid air, leaving Cruixis to use her as a springboard to leap to a handhold. As she fell, she regained consciousness, possible through the efforts of Gumela. An instant before hitting the rocks, her body transformed to blood, splattering messily all over the rocks.

Needing to call upon peripheral essence, Stag dropped his identity, causing the entire group to forget his actions from that point on. Stag put the essence to good use, killing Callous Disregard. Through the melee, Gumela cursed most of the group one at a time, usually decreasing their Dexterity. Guen also got nailed with a charm that cut his healing rate to one-tenth normal.

Thirteen Lives Bridge 30 Mar 2005

As the melee continued, Guen took to the air to try to find Vexes, who was dealing some serious damage with his bow. Though he took a while to find and reach, he directed his fire mostly as Guen. Once the circle made its way to the other end of the bridge, Gumela spewed out threads, killing the half of the horses pulling the wagon and injuring the rest. Vision had cast a frost barrier that prevented visibility and ranged weapons from reaching her and Gumela. After knocking out Unfortunate Interdiction (and killing him while unconscious), about half the circle penetrated the barrier and dispatched Gumela. Vision, however, had escaped through a rift she had cut to the underworld. Vexes managed to elude Guen long enough to join her, with the circle reaching the rift just in time to see it close.

After the fight, the circle noticed that the splash of blood and gore on the rocks that had been Periwinkle was gone, and the deathnight nowhere to be found. The dead horses were tossed after her into the chasm. All of the blood on the bridge concerned the circle, fearing they might be tracked somehow. While not all of the circle completely understood the logic of this, Guen tracked down a deer and, as a cat, savaged it on the bridge. The resulting mess and carcass seemed to satisfy people, and they moved up the road, finding the horses used by the deathnights. After tossing the saddles, bits and bridles into the ravine and harnessing the horses to their wagon, the circle moved deeper into the mountains.

Hunters & Prey

10th day of Ascending Wood, RY 769 through 16th day of Ascending Wood, RY 769
Southern mountains ?? Apr 2005

Led only by Regret's notion of where the mine was, the next week of winding through the mountains passed uneventfully, though most of the circle still suffered under the effects of Gumela's curses the majority of the time. The magic waned around the time they hit an elevated, airid plane, cooking in the sun.

On the 14th, the gossamer armor the circle took from the fair folk in Watch Valley began to degrade.

17th day of Ascending Wood, RY 769
Southern mountains ?? Apr 2005

Toward the end of the day, the circle came upon a destroyed campsite littered with dozens of corpses. Feeding on them were abacasteri, metallic lions with molten gold for blood. After dispatching a few and driving the rest away, the circle discovered that the camp was the remains of a dragon-blooded hunting party.

While some of the dead were terrestrials, most were slaves. According to a diary kept by one of the hunters, they were searching for furnace rhinos, anxious to gain the mineral wealth that comes if you manage to bring one down. Based on the tracks at the site, it appeared that a single one of these beasts slaughtered everyone in the camp.

Guen followed the tracks until the light failed.

18th day of Ascending Wood, RY 769
Southern mountains ?? Apr 2005

At dawn, after the rest of the group had healed a bit more and Varden fixed the hunting party's wagon, Guen resumed the search, quickly locating a unique moonsilver furnace rhino referred to by the hunters as Mutoxis. Not content to let the beast be (and wanting its moonsilver horn), the circle engaged the beast and, after a serious pummeling, brought it down.

After loading it onto he wagon appropriated from the hunters (built for that exact purpose), the circle moved from the high, arid plain to even higher mountains. As Regret led the circle into a narrow path leading up a twin peaked mountain, Guen noticed that the path had all the markings of a lunar's territory.

Guen called out, as appropriate for entering another lunar's land, and a deep, hawk-like cry answered. Fairly soon, two hawkmen appeared, armed with spears. After some brief questions, they asked the circle to follow them, leading them up the mountain. To a rock formation known as Last Basalt.

After a long climb up the pinnacle, a small village welcomed the circle, lead by a huge hawkman with moonsilver feathers. Kardak is large even for a deadly beastman. Standing nine meters in human form (twelve as the hawkman), he accepted the gift of the rhino's moonsilver horn in exchange for his hospitality. Though initially refusing to allow Regret to stay, Kardak consented after Regret presented him with a finger wearing a moonsilver ring. Regret claimed he cut the finger from a dragon-blooded man. Kardak clearly recognized the ring, but spoke no more of it.

Kardak gives a brief tour of the village, which includes some ruins as well as a ring of monoliths surrounding pristine statues of the Celestial Icarna. At Gutts' request, three hawkmen are dispatched to Watch Valley to check on the dragon-blooded.

Empire Mine

19th day of Ascendng Wood, RY 769
Last Basalt 9?? Jun 2005

As a training demonstration, Kardak suggests a duel with the entire circle. Stag declines, with a certain degree of disgust, but the rest agree. As they prepare, Stag harnesses the constellation of the Lovers to instantly seduce one of Kardak's women, just in case a distraction is needed.

The duel was to use lethal force until one side surrenders. Kardak opened by testing out his opposition with a single attack to each. He held is own with parries until Gutts opened with a pummeling of attacks, devastating the lunar, who broke out laughing and withdrew, quickly regenerating his gaping wounds.

As sunset approaches, Regret gathers the circle in the monolith ring and instructs Gutts to stand under the arms of the statue of the Unconquered Sun. Just as the sun sets, Regret tells Gutts to fire up is anima. Its light seems to concentrate into the statues and bounce between them. When the beam hits the Maiden of Secrets, it reflects across the jungle valley below into a collection of trees. Something within ignites, burning with white fire.

Guen took wing, followed by Kardak and some hawkmen, carrying the circle towards the fire, which turned out to be a spire of marble with an orichalcum top. Water cascaded down the spire, while white flame scorched the trees surrounding the top. Below, an encampment of dragon-blooded organized defenses, guarding a mine called Dense Effulgence Root. Two monks walked among them, observing. A handful of mortal infantry and archers appeared to be on full alert.

20th day of Ascendng Wood, RY 769 to 21st day of Ascendng Wood, RY 769
Dense Effulgence Root 23 Jun 2005

Though the dragon-blooded spotted the circle approaching by air, once the circle got close, they took to the trees. A search party of mortals was sent to flush the circle out. They were dealt with without much noise, about half of them being captured and the rest killed. The event gives the circle plans for trying to exhaust the mine's defenders with several days of psychological warfare. Hawkmen were dispatched to make strange, loud noises at various parts of the surrounding jungle at random intervals. Occasionally, the one of the bodies from the search party would be air-dropped into the camp at night.

Meanwhile, Guen slipped into the mine in animal form. Some quick exploring revealed most of the tunnels hadn't been used for some time. He found one bricked in section and squeezed to the other side as a bat. A small camber lay on the other side, very cold and surrounded by salt. As a bat, his sonar became confused as it seemed that sometimes the walls were there and sometimes they were not. Not knowing what to make of it, he moved on, finding the only entrance to the manse. With more shapeshifting, he slipped past the mortal guard into the main chamber of the manse, which lay empty. Returning to human form, he tried to attune to the manse after several hours of concentration. He was unsuccessful, realizing that others were already attuned. The second he made the attunement attempt, several dragon-blooded scrambled to get into the manse, but Guen slipped away before they got there.

From the shelter of the trees, the circle and the hawkmen continued to watch the camp, counting the dragon-blooded and guessing at their abilities. Though they didn't know their names, they determined the mine was inhabited by:

The circle, most with Regret's charms, gained a lot of information on the terrestrials from the captured scouts. They spent quite a while planning an attack.

22nd day of Ascendng Wood, RY 769
Dense Effulgence Root 1 Jul 2005

With the permission of the circle, Regret fed on the surviving scouts, killing them. One of these, he consumed, taking on his identity. After donning his armor, he made his way back into the camp shortly after midnight. He snuck in from the side, near the main building, dropping Stag's automation assassin on the way. Then, he staggered loudly into the center of the camp and collapsed. In the resulting confusion, Guen slipped back into the manse and began to concentrate on attuning again.

Hours later, Regret had been brought into the barracks until he "recovered" and could be questioned. Guen attempted to attune, again triggering a rush of dragon-blooded into towards the mine entrance. As soon as a few entered the mine, hawkmen attacked the archers on post. At the same time, Stag directed his automaton into Last Envy's bed and poisoned him to death. Hearing the attack, Regret got up and started killing all the infantry he could find, mostly from behind. Stag stood upslope with two hawkmen, concentrating on the automaton. Varden, Guts, Kardak and two more hawkmen stood by him, watching the attack unfold. Two hawkmen ferried Cruxis to the roof of the main building, where he took much pleasure in dispatching one of the demons.

As Guen transformed back into animal form to see what the dragon-blooded would do in the manse, the automaton hitched a ride on the robes of Cynis Falen Myrsal, who was out of bed and moving up the stairs to the roof of the main building. As the terrestrial was just about to attack Cruxis from the stairwell, Stag had the automation attack, the poison bringing down the sorcerer.

One of the demons, having used charms to track the essence use of Varden and Gutts, found their position and attacked. Stag ignored him while Guts and Varden brought him down.

Dense Effulgence Root 7 Jul 2005

The hawkmen continued taking out mortal archers and infanty. Cruxis leapt from his roof into a group of infantry, gathering the wrath of one of the warstridesr and the last demon.

The two other active warstrider leapt to repel the hawkmen. Dragon-blooded also moved across the courtyard to engage them. Gutts responded by having Kardak carry him as fast as possible through the air, throwing Gutts at speed onto the largest of the dragon-blooded, then continuing to attack the warstrider who was slaughtering his children. For his own part, Gutts pretty much destroyed the terrestrial on whom he landed. As some of the dragon-blooded leapt onto the roof to engage the hawkmen, Varden dropped among them, taking on two at once. Regret, on the roof of a nearby building, lent a hand by dealing with more infantry. Arrows started to deal damage to the circles.

Stag, realizing that his automaton was now too far away to be effective, had the remaining hawkman fly him down to the roof Cruxis had just left. Once there, he noticed someone climbing into the third warstrider, and gave a hawkman the automaton to drop in on the strider. The pilot, however, had already closed the hatch, so rather than find a way in, Stag pummeled him unconscious with martial arts at a distance.

Guen emerged from the mine as a beastman, and went after the dragon-blooded archer who was chewing up Gutts and Varden. Though taking a few arrows himself, he eliminated the threat. Kardak kept trying and failing to knock the warstrider off the roof, doing some damage in the process and preventing him from attacking anything else. Gutts and Varden, now fighting three dragon-blooded and several infantry at once, made some headway by switching up opponents. They brought down a few terrestrials, but more took their place.

Dense Effulgence Root 2 Aug 2005

Regret and the hawkmen continued to shred the mortal archers and infantry, Regret regaining all the essence he was spending. Gutts, Varden and Kardak managed to get the upper hand on their opponents, eventually taking them all down. Cruxis continued to hold off the warstrider as Stag pummeled him unconscious from a distance as well.

Guen brought down the second dragon-blooded archer just as Cynis Belar Yana, the remaining immaculate, emerged from the cave and breathed fire on him. Having no time to don armor, Yana trusted in his substantial dodge charms. Unfortunately for him, Stag's distance martial arts attacks were exactly the right type of attack to make these charms useless, damaging him severely, with Guen finishing him off.

Dense Effulgence Root 9 Aug 2005

As the hawkmen cleaned up the last of the infantry, the circle healed and started looting the bodies. They mostly completely ignored the remaining mortals, who spent most of the time cowering. Around a third of the dragon-blooded were simply unconscious. After some discussion, the circle (mostly Gutts, Regret and Cruxis) dispatched all but Nellens Kesa, who Guen wanted to keep alive to determine why he was not attuned to the manse. The group interrogated him, again with the assistance of Regret's charms, discovering he was newly assigned to the mine. He also told them that, by Imperial edict, the mine was to remain unused and that those assigned there were generally being punished or kept out of the way, but that it's secrecy was its primary defense. Kesa realized during this interrogation that, adding the loss of a valuable imperial holding to his already black record, he was pretty screwed. Eventually, the circle allowed him to take the remaining mortal males (Kardak claimed the women) out of the site, though with only minimum gear.

The circle spends the day dividing up the loot. A bunch of jade artifacts were left over that that the circle did not want, so they were handed over to Kardak:

  • Battleworn Daughter: Paired short daiklaves, red jade
  • Benificent Bile: dagger, red jade
  • Common Tyrant: Goremaul, red jade
  • Empty Kingdom: Daiklave, black jade
  • Erani's Passion: Daiklave, red jade (given up by Cruxis)
  • Eyeless Tail: Reinforced buff jacket, black jade
  • Heartcage: Breastplate, black jade (given up by Regret)
  • Hearthstone Amulet, blue jade
  • Hearthstone amulet, orichalcum
  • Hearthstone amulet, orichalcum
  • Hearthstone amulet, orichalcum
  • Hearthstone amulet, orichalcum
  • Hearthstone amulet, white jade
  • Leaping Coin Binding: Reinforced buff jacket, green jade
  • Praising Smoke & Savage Mirror: Paired short daiklaves, red jade
  • Scorning Fortress: Reinforced breastplate, black jade
  • Sowing Thorns: short powerbow, green jade (given up by Cruxis)
  • Thrashing Iceflow: Grand Daiklave, white jade
  • Unfettered Pearl: Reinforced breastplate, blue jade
  • Vengeful tsunami: short powerbow, black jade

Left behind by Last Envy was a small air vehicle, a Cloudwalking Ingot. With the circle a six members and the vehicle only holding three (four, if Guen turns into something small), that some decisions would need to be made. At dinner, Cruxis mentions some thoughts that have been on his mind for a long time. He reasoned that since one of the ingredients to the Three Gated Cage was the "breath of a Primordial" and the only Primordial the circle knew how to reach was Autochthon, he and Regret should go into the portal that Regret found out about and negotiate for it. Since the key word is "negotiate", Cruxis reasoned that he and Regret would have a better chance going alone.

Regret liked the plan right away and, knowing the invaders were looking for five magical materials, they should follow his initial plan and offer the location of the mine in trade. He also added that, since the circle was looking for Soul Mirror, and artifact that the Lover was looking for, it would be better if he were elsewhere as they did so.

The circle reluctantly agreed, not really liking the idea, but finding no fault in the logic.

22nd day of Ascendng Wood, RY 769 to 16th day of Resplendent Wood
Dense Effulgence Root 15 Aug 2005

Before splitting, the circle decided to take some time to rest and train. They spent about a month at the manse and on Last Basalt. Early on, Regret discovered that the cold, bricked in section of the mine was a shadowland and he spent most of his time there. He discovered a number of children were casually buried there, and eventually these were exhumed and given a proper burial outside (via a charm from Stag). They also used briardust to fill the area with living matter, and surrounded it with the most of the captured hearthstones, in an effort to destroy the shadowland.

Within this cave, but outside the shadowland, a chest containing several ingots of orichalcum and gold was discovered, having been placed there recently. Within the air vehicle, they discovered an empty container that appeared tailor made to hold this orichalcum. The circle thought that that the orichalcum might have been a bribe to get one (or more) of the dragon-blooded to get assigned back to the Realm.

The group tried attuning to the manse, but determined that someone else was still alive who had attuned to it. Stag gains some insight into who this is, but keeps it to himself. To avoid detection, the group decides not to alter the manse to remove its attunements, and return its hearthstone to the hearth. They also drove the warstriders deep into the mine and left them there, since they could not be removed from it.

Several weeks into the training, the hawkmen previously dispatched to Watch Valley return, indicating that the dragon-blooded have gotten past the shield and now control the city. Two weeks after this, the circle feels their attunement to the manse in Watch Valley fade.

Concerned about the wyld energy from the ruined manse on top of Last Basalt, Varden asks Stag to help fix it. He refuses at first, but then relents. While they don't have enough time to make the demesne a manse, they do manage to channel some of the energy into making fresh water flow through a cave system that Varden carves out, to Stags specifications. (Stag's specifications happen to shape the cave into the symbol of the Maiden of Serenity, but no one seems to notice.) The moonsilver corpse of Mutoxis is stored within this cave. Kardak promises to guard it. If any no-moons stop by, he will turn it over to them for some kind of exchange, promising the circle a percentage.

On the 14th of the month, the gossamer armor worn by memebers of the circle degrades a bit more.

On the day before the circle departs, Regret gives Bonewedge to Stag and claims the grand daiklave they recovered from Callous Disregard. He also briefs them on Chiaroscuro.

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