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Forgotten Suns: Log - Chiaroscuro

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Getting There[edit]

17th day of Resplendent Wood, RY 769
Dense Effulgence Root 22 Sep 2005

The morning the circle planned to leave, a message showed up in a bottle claimed from one of the dragon-blooded:

Dearest cousin -

I know you said not to use the bottles until you contacted me, but I have news that bears directly on the matter at hand, regarding the one with whom you have struck a deal. I inadvertently (really!) overheard a discussion between our mothers. They seem to believe they’ve uncovered a connection between Last Envy and the Cult of the Illuminated. If that’s true, I can’t help but wonder if the cargo you will deliver to him will be handed over to those heretics, though I have no idea to what use they might put it. Surely they are not sophisticated enough to actually forge it.

I beg you again to avoid this business altogether. At the very least, postpone it until I can dig more into this matter. Breaking an edict is one thing, but consorting with heretics is another. They’d never let you back here if that happened. Tread lightly, cousin. I couldn’t bear it if anything were to happen to you.

Yours,

A.

The group realized that they’d killed Last Envy, but had only a vague idea of what the Cult of the Illuminated is. After some discussion, Varden found enough writing samples of the intended recipient of the message to forge a response (five successes):

Your words have persuaded me. I will try to delay as long as possible, but time is of the essence. Find out quickly.

After some last minute preparation, including Gutts taking crude pictograph notes from Kardak on his techniques of “wooing” women, the group piled into the Cloudwalking Ingot and took off. A quick flyby of Watch Valley revealed the shield had been deactivated, and dragon-blooded seemed to be in charge. The group flew towards Chiaroscuro at low altitude, mostly over the water. They circled around to approach the city from the south, landing well outside the wall to the old city. Concealing the vehicle (five successes), the used the water from the Forgotten Manse to contact Jorias. He indicates his just arrived in the city, and will be looking for a hotel on the north side. After agreeing to use the water again in two hours, they headed on foot into the city.

After a long walk, they reached the main slave market in the old city. Gutts buys two 20-year old slaves, both of attractive northern stock. Emily, the female, is a skilled tailor and cook. Morton, the male, is built more for manual labor, so Gutts buys a palanquin, ording Morton to pull he and Emily northward, leaving the rest of the circle to walk. He eventually hits a commercial district and stops at Fig Leaf Fashion to but clothes for himself, the circle and his new slaves.

Meanwhile, the group eventually hires a coach and heads north as well. While many foreigners mill about the city, an ornate carriage with a jade seal of House Mnemon on the doors catches their eyes, largely because a half-dozen humanoid creatures with no eyes or other facial features stand guard around it. The circle ignores the blank looks of the nearly jet-black beings, continuing north. By then, Jorias has secured a suite in the Marble Crane, an up scale hotel on the north coast. Checking in under the name of Grey Rose, the group eventually rendezvous there.

Upon arrival, Gutts comes across as noble of some kind, and the concierge assumes Guen is his seneschal, negotiating everything with him. A smaller suite of rooms is reserved for the new slaves. Jorias, fully shaved and in much better physical shape than Gutts and Guen remember, waits in the main suite and the group catches up.

Guen tells the circle about Tamuz, the lunar who installed the Tri-Kahn of the city into power and Tamaz, a First Age lunar with a suspiciously similar name who is thought to lair near by. He suggests that these two might be one and the same and, even if they aren’t, it might be useful to talk to someone who lived during the First Age at some point.

For his part, Jorias informs them that Adrios wants a message delivered in secret to the mother of Golden Hand of the Tri-Kahn’s wives. The mother’s is apparently referred to only as Unfettered. Adrios didn’t specify the contents of the message, and Jorias didn’t look. The rest of the circle doesn’t even consider reading it, or wonder much about who the woman is what Adrios wants with her. Gutts remembers that Adrios mentioned working for the Tri-Khan at some point in the past.

He has also has been told, via whisper in his ear from a spell, that Sundial wants them to meet {guide} at a place called the Vermillion Ribbon about an hour before noon the next day.

Emily knocks on the door, indicating she has prepared a feast, so the circle eats, bathes and sleeps.

18th day of Resplendent Wood, RY 769
Chiaroscuro 28 Sep 2005

At first light, Guen becomes a bird, grabs the silver tube containing Varden’s message and flies into the palace of the Tri-Kahn to locate Unfettered. His efforts are hampered by not knowing what she looks like, and by the fact that he does not speak the language that the people in the house speak. He uncovers a couple of candidates for Unfettered and Golden Hand, but is interrupted when a northern looking man notices something odd about the bird carrying the metal tube and starts asking it questions. Guen eventually returns back to the hotel with the message undelivered.

Stag goes to Vermillion Ribbon ahead of time, a couple hours before noon. Noticing a very long line and sign saying “Dancing today only: Blossom”, he bribes his way into the club through neighboring apartment. Having talked to some people outside who described Blossom as the most amazing and beautiful dancer ever, Stag develops an irrational need to get past her guards to get backstage, but does not succeed. Guen comes later, shapeshifting in. Gutts, who was looking at houses and buying another elephant, comes with slaves, presenting a massive bribe to get in, really irritating the patrons on line. Varden’s gem of desire allows he and Jorias to get past the doorman with no problem.

After introductions, {guide} indicates that he has seen a sapphire containing five glowing lights, mounted in a necklace in possession of unexalted member of imperial family. He gave it to a dancer at the Vermillion Ribbon named Volaria. Volaria supposed to be there, but isn’t. While this is happening, two dragon-blooded enter with eyeless servants and start questioning a particular waitress. Just as the circle moves to investigate, Blossom starts dancing, transfixing everyone in the room. With eye contact, she plants suggestions into most people’s heads. {who got what suggestions}

After the dance, the dragon-blooded take waitress by the arm outside. At various intervals, Gutts, Guen and Jorias follow, while Stag tries to get back stage again, this time succeeding. When he gets close to Blossom, he is entangled by her suddenly animated clothes. They flirt a bit and she kisses, then releases him. Stag leaves via the stage, barely hearing Blossom chew out her guards and start smashing stuff.

Meanwhile, outside, Guen finally manages to eavesdrop a bit on the dragon-blooded. They are clearly using truth detecting magic, asking {waitress} about wearabouts of {savant}. Eventually, they toss her out of the wagon, and the circle gets some information out of her.

They go back into the now empty club. The manager is bribed to reveal the location of Volaria’s home, and the circle goes there, with the elephant. Circle in Volaria’s apartment building, looking for her.

18th day of Resplendent Wood, RY 769
Chiaroscuro 20 Oct 2005

Scent track to club, then to abandoned building. Find dead Volaria. Track scent of killer to plaza.

Meet Grandmother Bright. Has gem. Will give it to party if they retreive a book supposedly found by {savant}. Warns Gutts that creator of his armor will want it back if he sees it.

Bathtub animation. Gutts shoots with firestick. Fondue.

19th day of Resplendent Wood, RY 769
Chiaroscuro 20 Oct 2005

Guen finds house of Tower Horse. Dragon blooded are walking out. Tower Horse is dead in secret room.

Emerald hides book in Tower Horse’s candle factory, but Tower cannot find it. Scent of human/bear in drawer in factory.

Chiaroscuro 25 Oct 2005

Guen hears people moving down the alley toward the candle factory. This turns out to be the eyeless ones. With no consultation to the others, Stag runs out the door to confront them. He sees two dragon-blooded at both ends of the alley and becomes entranced with a magical contradiction floating in the air above one of them. Unresisting, two of the eyeless ones bind his hands behind his back. Gutts runs out to defend him, but is also transfixed by the magic. He is disarmed and led down the alley. As the rest of the circle starts making ranged attacks at the eyeless ones from within the factory, Stag manages to solve the contradiction and shake off the effects, spin-kicking the eyeless one leading him down the alley into unconsciousness and running back into the factory. Just before diving through the door, he sends one last kick, this one magically ranged, towards Gutts, which snaps him out of his fascination. Gutts breaks his bonds, calls his sword to him, and moves back into the factory.