Forgotten Suns: Log - The Machine
Loose ends with the Silver Pact
|15th day of Resplendent Fire, RY 769
|28 Nov 2007
Fly to the manse, taking pains to fly high enough to avoid being spotted. On the X hour trip, they checked the communication water at noon. Ranesk answered, but no Cruxis or Regret. Transferred booty to manse.
|16th-28th day of Resplendent Fire, RY 769
Spent two weeks combing over the books and investigating the tech (warstriders in particular). Doing other training. (Specifics still need ironed out.)
After a ton of arguing, decided to remove the original page of the Empty Canvas recipe and give that to the lunars, without making a copy. Jorias secretly memorized it. Varden also secretly made a copy.
|1st day of Descending Fire, RY 769
Circle takes Cloudwalking Ingot (and Ranesk) to the lunar camp. Varden stays behind with Forgone Vitriol to "work on the warstriders". Ranesk makes a big impression, and Korlysto has a very long, private talk with him. During the feast held in the circle's honor:
- Guen tries to clear Iron Monsoon's name, and is very successful.
- Gutts tries to make himself (and only himself) look good, and impresses those impressed by physicality.
- Stag tries to be unnoticeable, and succeeds perfectly.
- Adrios tries to come across as a strong silent type, but fails to make much of an impression.
- Jorias says very little, but fills in details of Guen's story on occasion. He attempts to paint Guen in a good light, and succeeds reasonably well.
|2nd day of Descending Fire, RY 769
After resting, the group meets with Korlysto privately. He suggests that the attack on Wyr'palja may have been a precursor to the Usurpation. He also wonders aloud about what the correct choice is between loyalty to your mate versus those around you. Guen makes a long, impassioned case that Iron Monsoon acted correctly in killing Wyr'palja.
Korlysto eventually asks for the formula, which is handed over. He clearly realizes that it must be a page from a larger work, but comments on it only briefly. He then asks them what they want.
- Guen asks for the cunaria plant, or information on how to acquire one. Korlysto suggests that he has contacts in heaven that he can ask, and will do so.
- Gutts asks him to locate Cruxis and Regret, indicating where they were last seen. Korlysto doesn't know much about that part of the world, but has heard rumors that a strong lunar there, Ten Stripes has vanished as well. Thinking they might be connected, he gives Gutts a skull covered with writing that he claims will allow them entrance into Ten Stripe's territory without being eaten.
- Stag, told a favor is due him, asks if he might take it later on, to which Korlysto agrees.
- Adrios stoically says that he "needs nothing", which impresses Korlysto.
After the meeting, the circle heads back to the manse and plots their next move.
|3rd day of Descending Fire, RY 769 - 26th day of Descending Air, RY 770
|18 Dec 2007
The circle's next move turns out to be self-exploration. After so much time together in the Wyld, they all go in separate directions to get in touch with their inner magic (and thereby raise their Essence). These journeys take four months, after which, they agree to meet back at the manse.
On his essence trip to Yu-Shan, Adrios discovers that blue cunaria in two places: a field on the grounds of the palace of the Maiden of Endings, and somewhere within the Violet Bier of Sorrows. Edict prevents it from growing elsewhere. By now, few have heard of it. Finds out possible allies who might be willing to get it: Lytek, god of exaltation, who hates the deathlords. Nara-O, head of the Forbidding Manse of Ivy, who would be interested in the process. Both would ask for serious favors in return. Lytek would probably be more discrete.
Meanwhile, a new character enters the story. Juuken, having been tasked by the White Queen to find out what happened in Gem, uncovers information about Dense Effulgence Root. On the way there, he runs across a small remnant of the force that attacked Gem, mostly dead from some kind of disease. The dead all had holes in their foreheads, where gems that had been embedded there were pried out. Though barely alive, one creature with a body of clay with machinery of some kind worked into it remained. Through delirious eyes it called to Juuken as if his name was Darkly Fluttering Eyes, identifying itself as Flawlessly Wrathful Sunrise. It hands a bag containing the gemstones from the heads of its unit to "Darkly Fluttering Eyes", with instructions to make sure they are returned to Ot. It gives a pass-phrase to get the gems into Ot: "the light is too bright for my huge, underdeveloped subterranean eyes", then dies.
Trouble in the Southwest
|27th day of Descending Air, RY 770
|15 Feb 2008
After getting their affairs in order, the circle uses powers provided by the Wyr'paljan Caduceus to fly in glory to Last Basalt. They find the place in ruins with a suggestion that Kardak is dead. While they ponder this, they are ambushed by Synergistically Industrious Combine, whom they ultimately dispatch.
|27th day of Descending Air, RY 770
|5 Jun 2008
Investigate mine: populated by slaves mining and refining orichalcum. Juuken introduces himself as part of the Imperial Army, running from political "trouble" should he go back. No one trusts him. Eventually communicate with them. All from tribe to the south. They have heard of Ten Stripes, but know she was defeated. Return tribe to home using hover vehicles.
|28th day of Descending Air, RY 770
Meet tribal elders. In broken Old Realm, relates story of Ten Stripes and the name of her killer: Excessively Righteous Blossom.
Go to heat of Ot from directions from elder. Juuken walks right up and offers the bag of souls and the passphrase. Ot will allow his companions in if they show him their souls. All flare anima except Stag, who belligerently refuses for no reason. For a time, he waits outside while the others go in, but eventually consents when the others won't move on without him.
After a decontamination process, they move down a long metal hallway. The place seems abandoned, and they see several doors marked with "quarantine" in Old Realm. Eventually find a dead body, green with sickness.
Stag identifies it as the Great Contagion.
Into the machine
|28th day of Descending Air, RY 770
|15 Jun 2008
Proceed on, reaching a "town center" of sorts. Stairs leading to it covered with the dead. Group pries out the gems in their heads and adds them to the bag. Gutts uses some brawl charms to "clear" the bodies, essentially smashing them to gooey bits that wash to either side of the stairs.
Voice contact with other side of door, eventually with Regret. Regret lobbies to let them in, largely on the idea that they have the power to heal the disease. This argument takes a while but works. More decontamination. Meet Gloriously Still Alloy and Unrepentantly Battleworn Servant. Regret takes them deeper inside, brings them up to date, hinting that they are being monitored (which Guen fails to notice). They try their communication water and actually get ahold of Cruxis. He tells them where he is and they resolve to join up.
They meet Kerok, Grand Autocrat, and Silkily Descending Mountain. He asks for help with the disease, and defends the invasion. Also tells them about souls. Leaves the circle to debate amongst themselves, trying to figure out what to do in the face of:
- Autochthonians clearly intent on conquering enough of Creation, steal its minerals and incorporate the souls of its inhabitants into their system.
- Autochthonians maintain Autochthon, and the disease clearly must be hurting him. Unknown what will happen if enough Autochthonians die to cause massive harm to the Primordial. Probably epic bad juju.
- How to handle the disease. Jorias thinks a charm in Wyr'palja's style book will help to create an anti-disease.
- How to enforce any deal made, such as helping with the disease in exchange for them leaving Creation.
|1st day of Ascending Water, RY 770
Spend much time debating. Eventually decide to meet Cruxis. Take a vehicle. Run across gremlins. Destroy them.
|2st day of Ascending Water, RY 770
|19 Sep 2008
Meet Cruxis. More debate. Decide to get "breath of Primordial" in Pole of Smoke. Repair and use train to get there. Fight three destroyers. Regret uses new MA style, Cruxis reveals combo, Stag possesses one destroyer to fight another.
|2nd day of Ascending Water, RY 770
|19 Sep 2008
Descend into smoke. Gutts flies to grab the smoke while rest of group attacked by Harphah. After some acidic smoke breath and damage, dragon flees. Circle returns with smoke. Takes train back, discusses more options.
|3rd day of Ascending Water, RY 770
Spend a lot of time plotting. Eventually decide that the thing to do is to heal Autochthon. To this end, they figure they need to find out more about the religious texts and other secret information, so they make a deal with Grand Autocrat Kerok, suggesting that they might be able to heal the plague if they can get access to information about the earliest days of human habitation in Autochthonia. For obvious political reasons, Kerok makes a show of assisting the circle in the main temple of Yugash. Some aren't pleased, but the circle gets access to the inner secrets. The plan is to find some excuse to have Jorias fire up the cure, while they look for clues on how to help Autochthon.
|3rd to 7th day of Ascending Water, RY 770
Stag, Jorias, Guen, Juuken and Fern start looking through the Tome of the Great Maker. Jorias secretly makes a copy, then finds a "clue" to give him an excuse to start using Infectious Cure Method to tackle the plague. The rest keep reading. The others spend their time guarding Jorias' inert form and training.
As the research is wrapping up, a loud, deep noise rumbles through the whole of Yugash, a metallic groan, like large masses of metal rubbing together. Seconds before, Regret is startled by a feeling that he shares once the noise stops: a shadowland just opened nearby. Ignoring the noise entirely, most of the circle rushes to the site of the shadowland, leaving Cruxis behind with Jorias.
After winding through numerous corridors, the circle finds a large room filled with corpses. Most were clearly victims of the plague, but others were obviously killed by edged weapons. It appears the place was being used as a hospital of sorts, but some force came in and slaughtered those who were still alive. After Stag disposed of the bodies, the group split up at this point:
- Regret went back to tell Cruxis what had happened, so that he could summon some locals to a party in the shadowland in the hopes of closing it. The group also figured that Regret might be better off further away from the shadowland, so he would stay to guard Jorias.
- Varden and Adrios stayed in the room with the shadowland to prepare it for the party, with Varden going all out with Craft charms.
- Gutts, Guen, Juuken and Stag tracked the scent of the force that attacked the room, finding an "airlock" sort of setup. Stag eventually possessed the door to open it, revealing a number of Autochthonian soldiers. Still in the door, Stag rolled through the other side of the airlock, revealing a large storage area that had been converted into a field barracks. Within, more soldiers scrambled, while Excessively Righteous Blossom and a strange, fiery woman rose to meet the circle.
|21 Jan 2009
After quite a lot of carnage, and taking a bit of a beating, Gutts eviscerates Blossom, with some clinching help from Guen. The fiery woman revealed herself to be an abyssal named Golden Venna Boar-Rider, who inherited the soul of Meticulous Owl (same anima).
Meanwhile, as Varden and Adrios prepare for the party, they hear something very large approaching in the hallway outside.
|Rave Against the Machine ⋅ 18 Feb 2009
The loud approach turns out to be Vehemently Thunderous Denial, a 30-foot tall alchemical sent by Cruxis. After introducing himself, he unfolds into a large stage, with sound system and lights. He eventually gets positioned between the shadowland and the rest of the room. Varden makes no other attempt to cordon off the shadowland, but puts up a vague "danger" sign. As he is setting up disco balls, and other final touches, a group of populat mortals arrives, indicating that they are "the band", known as Fistful of Contraband. As they set up and do sound checks, another group arrives, claiming to be "the band", known as Gremlins Taste Better. Varden makes them both audition, and awards the first set to Fistful of Contraband and the second to Gremlins Taste Better.
Fresh from the earlier battle, most of the rest of the circle arrives just slightly ahead of four guys carrying in the large barrels of booze. Once the booze is set up, Cruxis arrives with around fifty revelers, all young, athletic and scantily clad. Vehemently Thunderous Denial fires up the dance music to entertain them while more people arrive. Varden mans the door, demanding clothing as the "cover" to get in. Adrios and Jukken keep near the shadowland, alert for trouble (and also spreading around the salt that Cruxis was asked to bring down). Stag stands impassively in the dead center of the dance floor, completely ignoring people. Guen keeps an eye on the crowd in beastman form. Gutts stays near the booze and drinks.
More people arrive and start to dance, including Unrepentantly Battleworn Servant, who comes in with her mortal "crew", sheds most of her clothes gladly, pounds down some drinks, and dances like there is no tomorrow. Once the place is fairly full, Fistful of Contraband takes the stage, kicking it up a notch. Cruxis spends his time dancing, and trying to subtly make matches among the people in the crowd. He sends a woman Stag's way, and Stag purposefully leads her on all night. (He's also a surprisingly excellent dancer.)
As the band heats up, Vehemently Thunderous Denial spews a blue mist into the crowd, a pleasure drug. Jukken falls under its spell almost immediately, and abandons his post to chat up a passing woman. Shortly after, Adrios spies three ghosts coming towards the room through the entrance to the Underworld. These turn out to be old souls, lost in the Labyrinth after being on the loosing side of a political struggle involving the Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils. Most of their number had been taken by the who knows what inside the Labyrinth, and they were desperate to get out of it. To attract help, Adrios fired a flaming arrow at Guen. Eventually, someone suggests that it would be possible to put the ghosts into soul gems, allowing the ghosts to be "reincarnated" into Autochthonian society. Not knowing if this is possible, Varden ends up wiring Vehemently Thunderous Denial into "the P.A. system", and issues a somewhat inarticulate Yugash-wide page for Silkily Descending Mountain.
She eventually shows up, refusing to remove clothes to get in. She sees Cruxis (who wears his own face for the first time since his limit break) and smacks him as she walks by. She is intrigued by the ghosts and the plan, and escorts them out of the room, smacking Cruxis again on the way out. Varden offers her a drink, but she says she'll have one when she comes back.
As more and more people arrive, one group is obviously still suffering from the plague, having heard the rumors that this place was a hospital/sanctuary of sorts (which it was). Varden offers to cure them in exchange for their clothes. On tentatively agrees, and when this actually seems to work, the other quickly follow. They are shunned when they enter, but Cruxis takes them under his wing, spewing nonsense about "love being the cure".
A musical interlude from Vehemently Thunderous Denial follows the end of Fistful of Contraband's set, while Gremlins Taste Better sets up. During a short, quiet moment between songs, everyone hears a woman screaming "The eye is open! The eye is open!" She falls down, spasming, but still screaming her message, eyes rolling back into her head. Jukken thinks he sees something like an anima flare under her skin, like rotating gearing, but it fades as she falls unconscious. The party flares up again as the music starts, and the circle takes the girl behind the stage to investigate. Once conscious, she remembers nothing about the incident. Stag interrogates her about any similar experiences she might have had, but she seems like a completely normal mortal.
Meanwhile, Varden has been maneuvering cots and curtains from when the room was a hospital into a "private area" that more and more people enter. Somewhere along the way, Gutts decides to hit on the still-dancing Unrepentantly Battleworn Servant, and is making good progress, when another dose of pleasure gas hits. Both Gutts and Cruxis botch their rolls this time. Cruxis, who had been appearing to be a hedonist while covertly following another agenda, focuses instead on the hedonism, though the result is much the same. Gutts, on the other hand, is filled with an emotion he has never felt: love for his fellow man.
With the room backed, Varden acrobatically joins the party, just in time to impress the returning Silkily Descending Mountain. Guen is persuaded to take on human form and join the festivities. Cruxis goes into the "private area". Jukken brings a lady friend back there as well, but is repelled at the site of Cruixis in the middle of an orgy, so attempts to bring her into the shadowland for some privacy. They are banished by Adrios, who still maintains vigil, and wind up leaving the room entirely, plan be damned. At some point, the woman Stag has been leading on passes out, and he mostly forgets about her.
In spite of the revelry, even the relatively weak shadowland does not seem to change much. It is suggested that sex within border of the shadowland itself may help. Around this time, with the night winding on, some people start to leave, but Cruxis invokes a charm that forces them to watch a performance, in this case his pleasuring of five women at once within the shadowland. Encouraging the crowd to join in (aided by the drugs, booze, prior events in the "private area" and some charms) a large number of the crowd join in the festivities in front of the shadowland. As the "performance" reaches its apex, the shadowland retreats quite a bit.
After a less intense repeat performance closes it a bit more, the party winds down, with many people sleeping on cots, the floor, each other, even on a now humanoid Vehemently Thunderous Denial.
In the morning, Stag, Adrios, Guen and Cruxis wake in various states and go back to Ot to get food. Varden wakes next to a sleeping Silkily Descending Mountain and makes her a flower out of fiber optic cable. They eventually go back to Ot as well. Unrepentantly Battleworn Servant, who fell asleep next to Gutts is long gone even before the others awaken. Guts remains snoring.
|8th day of Ascending Water, RY 770
|The Outside Calls ⋅ 18 Feb 2009
Back at the town, after some refreshment, most of the circle meets up with Regret, who is watching over Jorias. An alchemical the Regret calls Fair-Spoken Rishi is examining Jorias with elaborate machinery, totally lost in his work. Regret says that he's trying to figure out how to sustain the effect the Jorias is maintaining.
Silkily Descending Mountain enters and summons the circle to meet with Grand Autocrat Kerok. They are told the loud noise from the previous day was Ot screaming. With the cure in place, Kerok broke quarantine to send a few alchemicals to Ot's head to see what was happening. One reported feeling a "pull" from the southern part of Creation, and Ot claims to see a faint column of light from there, though the other do not see it.
Kerok intends to send Gloriously Still Alloy, Heavenly Bitter Metal, Silkily Descending Mountain and Unrepentantly Battleworn Servant to see what is going on, and requests assistance. The circle asks for some time to talk about it.
A lackey is dispatched to get Gutts, who has since woken up and is talking with Vehemently Thunderous Denial. The large alchemical, having been asked by Cruxis to hold another party tonight to try to close out the last of the shadowland, has been preparing the room.
With Gutts joining the rest of the circle back in Ot, Fair-Spoken Rishi announces that he has figured out a way to keep the cure effect going without Jorias, so Jorias is woken up and brought up to speed. The group quickly decides to join the alchemicals going southward.