Series 03

29 July 2003 to 7 October 2003

Week 1 29 July 2003

Week 2 5 August 2003

Week 3 12 August 2003

Week 4 19 August 2003

Week 5 26 August 2003

Week 6 2 September 2003

Week 7 9 September 2003

Week 8 16 September 2003 – Cancelled

Week 9 23 September 2003

Week 10 30 September 2003

Week 11 7 October 2003

Jul 25, 2003 msg 3187

Players – Carlos, Matt Baker, Dave W

Ant: A great game, gentlemen. Not a single sword drawn or dice rolled in anger.

Pure RP all the way through. Hope one evening was enough. I wasn’t sure we could put together a coherent story in one evening.

I think Malla named you all very well.

Braxus – the radiance of the Unconquered Sun

Jireh – the majesty of the Unconquered Sun

Shadrach – the wisdom of the Unconquered Sun

James – the fury of the Unconquered Sun

Ace: I think there was some excellent interaction between you all, and I thought the walk through the city of your enemies was particularly good

Ant: Ah well, then. Looks like the two Exalts will have to find and kill the Scarlet Empress on their own (with a third joining them later).

Ant: Perhaps Marcus is too busy setting up a martial arts school.

Ant: After returning back to Malla’s house, you are told someone is waiting to see you.

You are shown in to the antechamber where a tall, pale man dressed in black leather armour is lounging, a sword propped up against his chair. He seems very self-assured and has a slight smirk on his face. He stands half-heartedly as you enter.

“Greetings, Exalted brethren. I come with a message from the Mask of Winters.” He pauses, gauging your reactions.

He sits again. “He says he has foreseen your mission, to destroy one of great power, allied with those who have even greater power. He knows you are great men, but even such as you need the help of other great men to aid you. He, too, has a vested interest in seeing the destruction of the corrupted, and suggests you may succeed with the help of the Malfeans. He offers to aid you in your mission, perhaps by sending me with you.”

He sighs. “He also says he is aware of the redemption of Opal and Mercy’s Blade, and promises not to pursue them if you accept this alliance. He gives you his word that there will be no double dealing, no double crossing, and no ulterior motive on his part. He wishes to see the Scarlet Empress dead, and has sent me to help. Should you need others, you have only to ask.”

“What do you say?”

Gordy: I won’t be there so it’s not for me to judge.

Ant: But Marcus has met the Mask of Winters (and killed him once, I believe). BTW: I thought I’d let you all in on a secret: The Unconquered Sun didn’t convert Yllira from Fae into human….. He gave her a soul.

David W: I have no idea what’s going on.

Gordy: that doesn’t figure – if she was Marcus’s consort in a past life then she must’ve had a soul?

Ant: What makes you think that?

Gordy: Because you said that I remember seeing her bind Marcus’s wounds – and she was in Marcus’s tomb. Unless that was her soul that was in the tomb? Marcus just freed it?

Ant: Now this is all true. You saw her body and remember her (vaguely) from your previous life (or lives, in your case). She WAS a consort, THAT much you remember. And recently she was fae and now she seems human. I told you the Unconquered Sun gave her a soul. The rest is a mystery (but don’t worry, I know what happened).

Your past is an enigma. But it IS coherent.

Ant: So Braxus refuses outright. James? Jirah? (to respond to the question).

Ace: I would bow to the greater wisdom of those whom know of this person. Let him give me time to think over and discuss with my friends. I would need a fewdays to think it over. I must see what destiny has placed in front of us and

see where to perhaps guide our hand.

Help is always welcome but can sometimes when offered freely such as this

comes with a silent blade not usually for those that have accepted the help

but for those around, whom they care for

Matt Baker: We need all the help we can get for this. She was powerful BEFORE she became twisted. We let them help us kill the empress, then we kill them. We also need to try and find a way to kill the Mask of Winters in a more permanent manner. Then we kill the sidereal monk to make a statement to the remaining sidereal that we will no longer be manipulated by them, and then we kill any dragon blooded who oppose us. I’m being redeemed here btw (before anyone comments on the bloodthirsty nature of the above). Doesn’t stop me being practical, and doing what’s necessary to further the cause of the Unconquered Sun, however squeamish others may be about it. If we can find ways to permanently remove any of the above from the equation without killing them, then I’ll listen. Can’t think of any, though. Oh, one last thought. Why don’t we try and ask the Unconquered Sun what he thinks of this offer?

Ant: The priests are the ones who can hear him clearest. They should ask (Braxus? Marcus?) if they feel they should.

Ant: And Shadrach is still meditating on what to do.

The man in black stands. He salutes you with a smile, and says “I will await your decision and return it to the Mask of Winters. He bears you no

ill-will, and suggests that you may not yet be powerful enough to face the

Scarlet Empress without our help. He recommends that we put aside our

differences to face the greater threat. We can learn from each other and

face our collective foes like brethren. And we ARE brethren, although we

have chosen different paths.”

He bows and says “I leave you to think on our offer. If you need me, you

shall find me at the Immaculate Order citadel in Imperial Square. Until

then.”

Gordy: Words of warning brethren – to speak to Mask of Winters is to offer him words to

use against you. He has crossed us one time too many. His deeds and his words

show him to be untrustworthy. Let him recant his ways and become a Solar once

more, only then I will listen to him. Mark my words there is evil in his

making. He is not to be trusted.

Carlos: After the man has left, Cathak Shadrach says “The stream finds the sea.

The wind changes it not.”

Aug 11, 2003 msg3188

Ant: Looking forward to getting through a LOT with just two players. Maybe you’ll even

find the Scarlet Empress?

Week 3

Ant: I’d like to take a moment to congratulate Carlos, whose character tore an oak

tree out of the ground and threw it down to stand on to address the crowds.

After his address (during which the cloud cover broke and a long beam of

sunlight lit up the area he was standing in) the three characters were

considered gods, and had hundreds of people bringing their sick to them to be healed.

I’d also like to congratulate David, for killing one and injuring four in

around 3 seconds. He also managed to heal two soldiers, and tell a crowd of 150

– 200 fanatical worshippers to stop pushing at the back.

And finally, to Tara who managed to play with the rest of us freaks and

for demanding the right to heal several babies and old ladies before running

out of power and giving everyone cash to find their own doctors.

Week 4

Ant: I have the manga pictures

Week 5

Ant: The Cathak kinsmen have a great shock about who they happen to be fighting (again). Last time it was an ally (Strength of Many, Lunar Exalted). This time it’s….?

Week 6

Ant: The bad news is that Carlos won’t be there this tuesday (although many might

think that good news).

The good news is that Exalted is still running. And I have Manacle and Coin,

Savage Seas and Ruins of Rathess to go with it!! Hooray, etc.

I’ll just have to assume that Cathak Shadrach just gives in to his baser

urges and goes off with a faerie or two.

Ant: Here’s the deal – the heroes (heh!) have made their way to the edge of the

world, and have come to an oasis on the borders of the Wyld – the fae

realm. They’ve met the Fae who’ve been fighting an incursion of Infernals

(Exalted and demons) and need help, as a huge army of Infernals is on its

way to wipe them out. The real problem is that the Fae are as bad as the

Infernals, so who do the Solars help?

On the way south, they met a ‘monstrous demon’ who they fought to a

standstill. When it looked like two of the three protagonists were going

to die, they found out that this demon was actually a Lunar Exalted.

The real issue behind the original mission is to go to Malfeas to find the

Scarlet Empress and find out if what theSolars have been told is true. If

it is, then the two who’ve gone to find her can be guides to the main body

of Solars. If it is not, then the two need to find out why their

arch-enemies, who called a truce and gave them the information, would send

them to hell……. (Well, duh! Who’d talk to their arch-enemies and

believe anything they’d say?). Got it?

Gordy: Well – naturally Marcus would be more inclined to help the Fae for obvious

reasons. I’ve forgotten his partner’s name – the one who used to be a Fae?

Ant: The name of your fae is Yllira. Besides, she’s not fae anymore. The Unconquered Sun really returned her to you when you asked. He even returned her soul, which was imprisoned to some extent when he returned her physical body.

Ant: For those who have faced the Wyld Hunt, I’ve found out how tough it’s

supposed to be:

Three to seven Immaculate Monks of between 250 and 450 experience points.

One sorcerer of similar level (who may or may not have quite a number of

demons at his command).

Between 25 and 50 mortal soldiers (a ‘scale’ or two).

A warstrider suit or two…..

You may find your next encounter is rather harder to deal with. And you’ve

been less than discrete, walking around the Dragon-Blooded capital fully

armoured (in some cases, which was encouraged by Sesus Malla). Could be

they’ll visit soon. Of course, a battle with over 30,000 protagonists is

unlikely to escape notice too….

The western wall of the keep is collapsing as the magics worked by the

Scarlet Empress take their toll. It sags, then suddenly gives way,

crushing some of the fae and some of the goblins. More goblins rush

towards the gaping hole in the keep’s defences, but then a counter-charge

is led by Cathak Shadrach, his hammer glinting in the glare from Char’s

anima. The deathknights follow him, and they begin to close the hole with

goblin dead. Fae meets goblin, the beautiful and the truly ugly cross

swords, hammers, axes and spears, and victims on both sides stagger away to

fall and die. Marcus’s prayer is answered, and a huge (18 foot high)

golden lion appears beside Shadrach, tearing at the intruders as they come

through the ruined wall.

The flaming tar begins to go out. Each of the Exalted feel the presence of

magic, and assume that some sort of elemental magic is being used to put

out the fire. Cathak Tomas roars above the din of the battle that he can

feel some fire essence being used to dampen the fire, and that he will

attempt to use his fire anima to rouse it.

Four more ladders are pushed up along the north and east walls. Each is

accompanied by scores of arrows as the attackers seek to stop the defenders

from pushing them off. Char’s bowfire slows as his essence reserves run

low, and he cannot kill as many of the ballistae crewmen as he needs – 4

men fall, but it’s not enough. Three ballista bolts fly towards the keep

walls, one imbedding itself in the stonework, one passing through the

crenallations and striking a fae, the third wrapping itself around a

portion of the northeast section of wall. The chains taughten as they are

pulled by dozens of men and goblins.

The battle is fierce in the east, where a ladder went unnoticed. A giant

is picking up fae and throwing them over the wall, to crash into the

seething mass outside. Behind him, three hobgoblins fight more fae, and

you can see one of the deathknights in the confused melee. He’s striking

down the creatures where they stand, although he’s alone as the fae with

him have been killed. You see his dark anima flare as he uses charms to

help him cut through the mob around him. In mere moments, he will be

facing the giant one on one.

The south wall is also engaged, as the fae there are fighting off bizarre

goblin/bat hybrids. The fighting is less fierce there, although there seem

to be some slain on either side.

Strength of Many has finished off his opponent as its head flies over the

battlements to land in the horde below. The body falls, blood gushing out

of the torn neck, and he turns, sensing more attackers behind him. Marcus

also waits for the next wave, having felled his opponent with a little help

from Char.

Cathak Erland waits on the battlements, surveying the battlefield. In his

estimation, after the night action by Char and the current battle, there

are perhaps 14, maybe 15 thousand infernals. There are approximately 156

fae, of the original 300. He is shaken from his reverie when a battering

ram hits the gates on the walls full on.

Strength of Many raises his head high, lifting one arm high and his axe

aloft and bellows a savage battle roar. He picks up the still spurting

body of his enemy and pitches it over the wall, directly at a ladder. The

attackers climbing this ladder are knocked off as the body catches each one

while plumeting to the ground.

Yet another ballista bolt hits the wall, and the whole structure shakes as

the battering ram hits the fortress gates again. Cathak Erland rushes to

the wall and begins to push at a ladder. Three arrows hit him, two

deflected away by his armour. The third grazes his head drawing blood. A

low groan that grows to a battle cry sounds in his throat as he pushes

against the combined weight of the ladder, the attackers trying to jump the

gap between it and the wall and those below who are pushing the ladder

against the wall. Gradually, the ladder begins reverse direction and then

falls, crushing dozens underneath.

Strength of Many looks about the keep, then shouts to the men under his

command in the courtyard below. He points to the east wall. His words

seem lost in the din of the battle, but the men turn almost as one and run

towards the stairs up where the giant and the deathknight are starting to

fight. Goblins are racing past the combatants on the east wall, into the

keep, and deathknight, stalled by the giant, is incapable of stopping them.

Cathak Tomas, the Dragon-Blooded screams something, but he can’t be heard.

He indicates the south wall, where the remaining fae have fallen and the

winged creatures are making their way across the bridge. A few fae try to

meet them, but they are being sidelined as almost four dozen of the

creatures are holding the south wall and southern end of the bridge. The

first across falls with an arrow in his chest. Faintly, Char can be heard

cheering overhead. The rest of his archers, however, are now in hand to

hand combat and cannot help him.

Back on the east wall, magic flares as the deathknight uses charm after

charm to counter the massive strength of the giant, and the fight seems

even. There is a brief flash of golden light, and Marcus flies into the

fight, using his seven section staff to polevault. Crying out to the

Unconquered Sun, he uses his martial arts and kicks the giant full in the

face, targeting his eyes, then flipping backwards to land on the parapet,

his staff ready and his one arm outstretched fist balled.

Strength of Many races to the ruined wall to help with the defence. As he

arrives, he finds most of the fae pushed back to the keep, but Cathak

Shadrach stands in the middle of the courtyard, swinging his hammer above

his head, taking out oncoming goblinoids. He sees Strength of Many out of

the corner of his eye and shouts “I am like the scythe at harvest”. He

looks to be on the verge of capitulating to their sheer numbers, however.

Three more arrows shoot from overhead, humming in the air as they pass,

striking down three of the goblins.

Above, Cathak Tomas prepares to hold the narrow bridge across the keep,

walking to the mid point, and waiting for the oncoming winged creatures.

Marcus and the unknown deathknight face the giant, although even as they

wait warily for the attack, they can see dozens of goblins coming over the

wall behind him. Erland holds the north wall with a small number of fae,

Cathak Shadrach and Strength of Many are holding the gap in the west wall.

Far above them all, glowing like the noon-time sun, Char stands on the

tower, arrows burning the air with essence.

The goblins let out a cheer, as far to the west, a figure dressed in scarlet reappears.

Ant: The Scarlet Empress returns to the fray. She can be seen as a red glow,

dwarfed by the combined golden animas of Char, Cathak Erland, Cathak

Shadrach and Marcus.

Howling their battle cries, the goblins increase the ferocity of their

attack. The chains holding the huge ballistae arrows taughten as they

pull, bringing the top of the northeast wall of the keep down. The

stonework crushes dozens as it falls, but then Cathak Erland and his men

topple into the shrieking mob below. At first, the goblins shrink back as

his anima blinds them, but, urged on by the hobgoblins and greater goblins,

they surge forward. He finds himself inside a rapidly shrinking circle,

the outer edges of which are defined by the tip of his daiklave.

Cathak Tomas begins to stride across the bridge, meeting winged creatures

and felling them as they approach. A few at the back take off and land

behind him. Caught in a pincer, he fights bravely but is overwhelmed by

the creatures. They are moments away from spearing him, until a flash of

golden light looms from above, and Char lands beside him. As bright as the

sun at noon, his anima blinds the winged goblins, and then, spurred by his

essence and totem animal, it forms a giant golden wolf which howls at the

sky and snarls at his enemies. His golden gauntlets flash as he swings

left and right, tearing at the goblins. They fall back, throats torn from

them, to drown in their own blood.

Over by the western wall, the golden hammer of Cathak Shadrach can be seen

rhythmically rising and falling, golden glints from his anima reflecting in

the darkness. Shoulder to shoulder with Strength of Many, the two hold the

goblins coming through the gap at bay. They fight side by side, and

although the fae with them are dead, they begin to fill the gap with goblin

bodies. Still they come on, though, climbing their own dead to reach the

two Exalts.

Char helps Cathak Tomas back to his feet during a brief respite. Tomas can

see a deathknight at the other end of the bridge. He’s made his way to the

south wall and begins to meet the winged goblins there. Retrieving his

jade daiklave, Tomas starts across the blood slicked bridge to meet the

deathknight in the middle and create his own pincer manoeuvre.

The walls shake again as the battering ram hits the gates. Char turns,

recalling the words of the fae lord that the wyld can be bent to the will

of one with sufficient power. He concentrates, willing the wyld to form as

he desires. Ignoring the battle around him – the screams of the wounded

and dying, the arrows raining across the battlements, the clash of arms –

he forces the wyld around him to do as he wishes. The ground outside the

gate begins to melt, the stone disintegrating into a thick mire. With a

cry, the goblins on the battering ram begin to sink, their feet and ankles

submerging in the filth, quickly followed by their knees and thighs.

Pulled under by the weight of their armour, he smiles grimly as the start

to drown.

Marcus and the lone deathknight face off against the giant. Marcus jumps

up in a flying kick as the deathknight strikes low with his daiklave. The

giant, slow to respond, sweeps his club from his left to right in front of

him and beats them both down. Falling, Marcus tastes blood. The

deathknight falls hard, the breath forced from his body. Drawing his seven

section staff, Marcus draws his essence in and begins to shape it. The

giant moves forwards, lifting his club above his head, ready to crash down.

One end of the staff, now glowing golden, whips out, catching him in the

throat. Before the giant can react, the second end flashes out, taking out

an eye. Arms moving like a blur, Marcus strikes the giant several times

before he can even react to the blow to the throat. The club falls, and

the giant totters backwards, his face a smashed, bloody mess. He leans

against the battlements, and Marcus delivers a flying turning kick,

catching him in the chest and knocking him clean over the side. Scores of

goblins have come across the east wall while the Exalts were facing the

goblins. The cover the entire eastern courtyard and are moving southwards.

The Scarlet Empress returns to hurling bolts of power at the fortress.

Most of the fae are dead. Perhaps 80 remain. From inside the keep, you

hear someone shout “The walls have fallen – retreat to the keep!”

Week 7

Ant: Thank you, gentlemen, for a very unusual end to the battle last night. I

really wasn’t expecting you to win, but calling the malleable reality of

the Wyld to form a tsunami to sweep away the remnants of the Infernal army.

The trouble is, they know you now!

Ant: I think it’s interesting that even the demigods don’t know the gods.

Although a couple of them do have a clearer idea of their past lives.

Seems they were statesmen.

Ace: Ahh the price of being a visionary!!!!!!!

Thanks for letting us win, though I came close to being another dead solar.

I have thinking more on the deliberative council and will let you know more

later on.

I have two great characters in Exhalted and now have a crux for both of

them. Ohh what joy for you MR Arstrong.

Well you did say if you had the will you can bend the wyld to your whim, so

I did. Mind you Shadrachs tsnami was good. Nearly got washed away in all the

excitement.

Ant: Being a visionary is one thing, but changing a governmental system which

has been in force for over 3000 years (in one form or another) is another

thing entirely.

I didn’t let you win at all, mister. I thought you’d lose and had plans

for that particular contingency. You won, however, and I have to hand it

to both of you, you deserved to. Your actions carried the day. True, the

Fae were depleted by around 87%, but the infernal army was pretty much

destroyed (97% dead). I’m sure that area of the Wyld will never be the

same. Mountains, 10 foot spikes, lakes, chasms, ripples and lastly, a

tidal wave. Weird.

Ace: Char feels restless, he dreams of the solar council of old then watches as

the faces change to the new vision of his dream for the realm. His feet grow

restless for the road again, Rathess what do you hold for me???

The dragon kings must again be found, who rules the land once known as

Rathess and what awaits Char and his companions. The scarlet empress knows

him she has seen the might of the solar within him and will search him out

he is sure. But nothing can stand in the way of his vision, it is the way

the first footsteps in saving the realm from itself. I must stride on.

Ant: I’d give you xp for that, but it’s not fair, because Carlos can’t email to

the list and get the same reward. Still, it IS only Carlos. Have 3 xp.

Ant: If Carlos is there, I’ll run Exalted. I have a lot of plans for them all, they have a lot to get

through, and I’m sure the Ebon Dragon is most displeased at the dent in his

plans by beating his beautiful wife in the battle.

Ace: Well Char will walk his path and not fear the consequences; his path is the

righteous one. Soon all will walk this path, guided by the new deliberative.

Ant: The New Solar Deliberative? I like the sound of that!

He has to get to/restore Rathess first. I dare say he’ll need the help of

his circlemates. Not that anyone’s FORMED a proper Circle yet. BTW: A

TRUE Circle has a representative of each of the five castes. Eclipse

caste, anyone?

Week 8 – Cancelled. msg 3469

So far, the gentlemen have met, fought, then befriended a Lunar Exalted

called Strength of Many (and he is VERY tough). Next on the journey, they

met an old hermit ‘wise woman’ who told them that they should either: take

the throne themselves or help Tepet Ejava. After being told a few more

gems about the future (or the past?), the heroes left.

They journeyed far southeast, to the edge of the world and met the Fae

there. They helped the Fae battle 30,000 infernals, although only about 40

of the Fae remain. The Scarlet Empress was the leader of the 30,000 and

she’s fled with the remnant of her army (about 900) back to Malfeas. Char,

Marcus, Shadrach and Cathak Erland were at the battle, although Erland and

Marcus were missing at the end of it. James arrives too late to help in

the battle, and can only wander through the aftermath – thousands of dead

and dying, mostly floating in a foul swamp/lake.

Char and Shadrach journeyed north with a Fae (one of Char’s chosen

‘scouts’) and Strength of Many. They met a Sidereal Exalted who explained

that even though the Sidereals chose to kill the Solars 2000 years ago,

some of their number opposed them. These ‘opposers’ <ahem> were called the

Gold faction, after the colour of the Solars they supported. The others

were called the Bronze faction. He carried a message to the four, telling

them that Rathess was the answer and that the Solar Deliberative needs to

be re-established in the ancient seat of their power – Rathess.

Char and his Fae companion left to go Northeast to the ruins of Rathess,

while Shadrach returned south to the Fae stronghold, ready to pursue the

Scarlet Empress in to Malfeas. At this point, James joins them.

Ant:  I have at least one player tonight, and possibly Matt Baker will be joining too. Cathak Shadrach (Carlos) is going to attempt to persuade his arch-enemy, the Scarlet Empress, to return from the Dark Side (the fool), and since this is the last time he’ll be able to play this block, he wants to play. Strangely.

Week 9

Ant: As far as I know, James will be contacting Marcus and Braxus via telepathy

spell. I’d like to be cc’d in every communication, please! The reason for

it is that the Unconquered Sun will know what has been said, and he’ll be

asked for his judgement in the matter. I need to know all the facts!

Ace: Exhalted lose ends

My demigods are walking their paths of destiny. Anyway who wants to go to

hell??

Jirah has been there, and Char has enough on his plate as it is thankyou

very much

Gm’s any recommendation on controlling them??

Ant: It’s true that Marcus, Char, Braxus, Jirah, James, Shadrach, Turoc and

Erland (whew! Have I missed any?) have a destiny to go to. Char and

Marcus are actively pursuing theirs. Erland is missing, Turoc is ignoring

his (he’s gone back to his barbarian people), Braxus and Jirah are sort of

ignoring theirs – baiting the Dragon-Blooded, James and Shadrach are

currently in hell, looking to escape with their greatest enemy as an ally.

But still you all continue to further the plans of the Unconquered Sun very

much, thank you. He’s quite happy with your progress.

Ant: Have any of you actually spoken about the events in the game? James was

going to use magic to contact the two Zeniths.

Ant: I think Braxus isn’t available for comment at the moment.

The Unconquered Sun has something to say.

Wonder if we’ll see a fight between James and Shadrach?

Matt B: Not sure how much of a fight that’d be, really.. Especially as I’d probably

catch him by surprise

Ant: Although the dawn caste DOES have the Scarlet Empress on his side

Matt B: A tough night caste versus a dawn caste? I think it’s the sorcery which

will tip the balance…..

Matt B: Revenge is a dish best served Cold.

James might be borderline psychotic when he’s peeved, but he’s not stupid

enough to do anything in the middle of hell. Depends how angry he gets I

guess, which at the moment is somewhere between scaldingly hot and

volcanic. Not fond of being backed into corners with someone else I don’t

particularly trust dictating my life or death. That and the aphorisms,

which would be fine if any of them ever actually made any sense, but they

SO rarely do!

We need to follow through whatever the idiot has put in progress now,

unless an alternative presents itself in the meantime. Once the dust has

settled however, Shadrach and James will most definitely be having.. Words.

Ant: I think you need to make a wits + occult roll, needing as many successes as

the opposing attack got. If you fail, it blinks out. If you succeed, it

takes the hit as if it were hurt, vanishing if it ever takes (cumulatively)

as many hits as you have…. What do you think?

Ant: OK, so James, Shadrach and the Empress will be coming out through hell

together? Ah, the possibilities are endless.

Ant: This is all very well, but you have yet to make a perfect circle.

Gordy: What happened to my Eclipse character?

Ant: You haven’t played him (yet).

Gordy: Give me a chance. I was looking forward to playing him with Braxus and company.

Ant: But he is out there. Almost full circle.

Ant: He hasn’t been Exalted yet. He’s still somewhere between Kirighast and Gem

with plenty of slaves for the mines.

Ant: Won’t be a perfect circle til you play him.

Ant: The clearing is deserted, barring a small group of individuals circling a

dying fire. Twisted trees line the clearing, their black trunks picked out

in the silver moonlight. In the darkness, little can be seen of each of

the dancing individuals, although occassionally the moon appears from

behind clouds to illuminate the scene. Each robed figure dances around the

dying fire, each singing a song last heard centuries ago. Glints of silver

can be seen reflecting from them as they dance. Then the central one

shouts “Zsofika, The Kite Flute, come to us”.

Suddenly, distant drums begin to sound. The embers of the fire burn low,

and a humanoid figure seems almost to fade in from the darkness. A female

figure, tall and lithe, with black skin, great soft eyes, and long red

hair, with brass bells woven in.

The central robed figure steps forwards. “Begin your celebration, Zsofika.

Braxus is your target! Braxus! And he is with another you may choose –

Jirah Ashad.” The voice rises to a shriek “James, Shadrach, Erland, Marcus

and Char! All these you can choose!”

Her dark skin smoking, and her eyes showing the blaze of the fire before it

died, she steps forwards in time with the drum beat, the bells in her

crimson hair ringing as the breeze picks at it. After taking 10 steps, she

draws her swords and clashes them together, gnashing her teeth as she does

so. all in time with the drum beats. Each 10 steps after, she crashes her

dual swords together, sparks flaring in the dim light. After taking 100

steps, a second figure appears in the fire. Carrying a large standard, the

tubular bells hanging from the crosspiece whistle in the wind, a low

howling wail. After another 100 steps, a second standard bearer arrives.

With her train and entourage following behind her, Zsofika begins her celebration.

Week 10

Week 11

Series 03 – (Reprise) The Deliberative

The Deliberative

Oct 8, 2003 msg 4059

Ant: The ruins are peaceful. Light clouds scud across the sky, and birds wheel in the air. A cool, gentle breeze blows, picking at your hair and cloaks. Those present are Braxus, Jirah, James, Marcus, Char, Kzin, Erland, Mercy, Hope, Shadrach, Turoc, Akosta, Oliverus and Bringer of Peace, who looks distinctly uncomfortable. Shortly after this, another member arrives. Twelve feet tall, body slightly misshapen, but very muscular and powerful, a large goblin-like creature stands in your midst, a dawn caste symbol shining brightly on his brow.

You stand in the centre of a great amphitheater, the seats going out in rows, two hundred and fifty in total and all ruined, ravaged by the passage of time. You are dwarfed in stature by the huge structure, but even more so by the presence of the Unconquered Sun who stands at a podium at the head of the ‘stage’. Each hand resting on each side of the podium, his translucent golden form leans forward as he addresses you. He speaks and his voice booms across the ruins, his radiance brightening as he speaks.

”I, the Unconquered Sun, speak.

Once, 2000 years ago, the member of the Solar Deliberative were priests and kings. But I turned my back on the world of men. In my anger, I turned away.

But now, I cannot ignore the cries of the suffering any longer. So I have called the ancient heroes. I have called each of you back out of legend, back out of the myths they have created about you. I have called each of you to restore righteousness to the world, and so you have, after a fashion, righting wrongs both large and small. But now it is time to make a stand.

The Dragon Blooded have their Deliberative, both great and small. The Deathlords have their own councils. The Infernals, the Fae and the Lunars have their governments and moots and the Silver Way. Even the Sidereals, split between the Gold and the Bronze have their own methods of decision making. Now it is time for ours, the first and most glorious, to be re-instituted.

He pauses, and his radiance becomes brilliant. Bringer of Peace gasps and shades her eyes. Olliverus seems to be (much to his surprise) immune to the light, which, moments before, would have blinded him.

I, the Unconquered Sun, hereby inaugurate and bless the 2275th meeting of the Solar Deliberative. As was the past glorious, so shall be the future. May the twin lights of the Unconquered Sun and the Truth forever shine within its halls. Long may it govern the affair of men, spirits and Exalts. May the members of the Deliberative do each other honour, and respect the lives and liberty of all in their care. May the Solar Exalted reign in righteousness and strength, honour and glory.”

As he says the last word, the Sun breaks through the cloud cover and a bright shaft of sunlight lights up the stage you are all standing on. “It is time to take up arms. Your time has come again.

Ant: Well, it’s a toss up (oo-er) between James (Matt Baker), Shadrach (Carlos) and/or Char (Ace). Although Filial Wisdom (the Goblin King type) might have a few choice words. Mind you, I don’t think anything will kick off in the presence of the Unconquered Sun, the greatest god of the Exalted universe. Now, one of you has something to say to the others. Speak.”

Deliberative point 1 – The Scarlet Empress.

Matt B:  We need to talk and make a collective decision on something that is too important for any one or two of us to decide, hence this convocation.

Actually another burning issue has arisen since I got here, but the reason I asked our Father to call the deliberative to session needs to be addressed first.

A decision needs to be made regarding the future of the woman formerly known as the Scarlet Empress. She who has been missing for years, yes. She is no longer missing, and she is no longer herself. She has become Infernally Exalted, and is (or at least until recently was) the betrothed of the Ebon Dragon, the head of the Yozi himself. She is currently incarcerated in Yu-Shan after a minor.. Deception, you could say, on my part. She was claiming to have repented of her Infernal ways, hence the imprisonment awaiting trial for redemption. However, she has just admitted this to be a ruse to get certain of us to free her from her betrothal to the Yozi. She is due to be released soon, as without the redemption plea there are apparently no grounds for holding her according to the laws of heaven.

She has made us an offer. In return for her freedom, she has promised a number of things. The first is that she will not return to her former groom to be. She claims to wish only to return to her seat of power over the dragon blooded nation. She claims that she will cease persecution of Solars throughout the realm. She also, although this has since become a worthless component of her offer, says that she will help us gain access to the first age defenses of the realm. This loses value as a part of the offer since it transpires that the defenses were in fact designed by certain of our number, myself included, and our Lord has seen fit to return to me the memories of that construction.. So we should be able to regain control over them forthwith. In light of how upset the Ebon Dragon is likely to be over her recent.. abdication, and our part in it, I strongly suggest that this become a priority, by the way.

So, do we free her and let her regain her place at the head of the Dragonblooded realm, certain as we now are that she is an Infernal? Or do we execute her forthwith, for her crimes against humanity, those both already committed and those she is sure to commit in the future, morally and spiritually corrupt as she most certainly now is?

I am for her outright destruction, personally. She is too powerful to be let loose again in her Infernal state, and she is most certainly not repentant. She will cause us and the world nothing but trouble if released.

The floor is now open to discussion.

David W:  Yes, that is what she wanted, we agreed to nothing. Unfortunately she has us a little over an arrow on the Ebon dragon’s plans. Good intelligence is as useful as another army in battle.

The one thing I am uncertain of is the effect of killing her. Will she be able to come straight back form the underworld? The Demon I had to kill can apparently do that, which is a little vexing.

Ant: Bringer of Peace smiles a little smugly. She exclaims “If you kill the Scarlet Empress, she will go to the Underworld, not to Malfeas where she is so celebrated. Once she’s there, she’s mine.” She gives an odd, evil grin, until she realises the Unconquered Sun has turned His attention to her, and she lets out an alarmed little squeak and shrinks visibly.

Gordy: Marcus speaks – “As solar we have been reborn to guide and teach. What we need to agree on is do we want mortals to treat as Gods? That is the way to discord and to the curse.”

Oliverus pipes. “If only I had known that this was my destiny perhaps I would’ve lived my life differently. I have captured, bought and sold slaves from across the world. I know that many other mortals care not for their other kind. Why should you? But I know that every one of us – forgive me, I still see myself as mortal – would still wish to have our freedom. not to be dictated to by immortals. We’ve had our belly full from the Dragon Blooded. I never bowed to any God and I did as I wished. now you have shown me that that is all to change. Just by being present in the world you have changed it. The way of the Dragon Blooded is at an end.”

Ace: Char speaks I have no wish to be worshipped or held as a Demigod. I did not choose this path, I was given no choice. I lost much to be a “child of the sun”, so now I make my own path with what I now am. The Scarlet whore should be executed for her crimes her body quartered and sent to the edges of the world and burnt. So no wind would ever bring that foulness together again.

Jirah speaks I fear that she is to powerful an entity to be released back to her old position. She I am sure has a grudge against many of us here. She should be held imprisoned until her redemption is proven. But alas we lack the security and power to hold her, so I fear she must die. But allowed to die with dignity as is her right, for whom she once was.

Ace: We should take one representative from each caste to represent them, this stands for all exalted not just solar. Also the Fey and humans should have the same voice as all in the deliberative. We solar must act to protect humanity and the other races that mingle with us. As Jirah stated are we not princes amongst man, we are not kings. I have no wish to rule the realm as it was before. We must learn from our mistakes and take a step towards truth and the real way. Gods make mistakes, so we as “demigods” are more likely as we have all had human experience to make those mistakes more easily. As James said humans are corruptible, but power corrupts all. Let us take measure of power and share it amongst all in the realm. So we make not the same mistakes again.

The representatives should only stand in place for 30 years, and can only take the position again every 120 years. Humans and other races whose lives are short have only one chance to stand to represent.

Ant: “Would you rather be mortal again, Char?” The Unconquered Sun turns to him. “I exalted you many years ago. Three thousand years ago, when you wished to be exalted in order to protect your people. You gained much when you became a ‘child of the sun’, and even now you have power such as others only dream of. Why are you so quick to dole out death? Cannot righteous fury be tempered with mercy? You yourself were a member of the Immaculate Order and ready to kill Solar Exalted. Erland too was a member, as was Marcus and Shadrach. Mercy and Hope were Abyssals. Do you put the Scarlet Empress to death and then start on them? And then you, Erland, Marcus and Shadrach? Where does it end?

I have given you power, all of you. I ask that you use it wisely and with consideration. Do not be eager to dole out death, but do not be reticent about doing so when it is needed. I ask you to decide amongst yourselves whether it is needed now.”

Ant: Again, the Unconquered Sun turns towards Char.

”Brave words, wisely said, and, indeed, as caring as you once were. Fairness, equality and a voice for all were always your beliefs. However, consider this: do you think the Silver Way will admit you if you allow the Lunars a voice on the Deliberative? Do you think the Dragon-Blooded will give you a chance to speak in their councils if you give them a chance to speak in yours? And what makes you think that if you allow these others to speak in your council, they will disband their own?

I wonder that if your plans go through, that the Solars may become the minority. It could be that you become little more than extremely powerful guards.”

The Unconquered Sun Yu Shan

Ace: I have no wish to be mortal again. But what you say about the others may be true. That is why we have come back as we are, so that they learn fear. Let them know that if we choose to act none can stand in our path leas they be swept aside like dead leaves

Ace: Solar deliberative – Jirrahs view I feel that only the solars should sit in their seat of power to guide the realm. Our left hand should be the sidereal exalted, we must be guided by portent and vision. Our right the might of the dragon blooded led and guided by us the children of the sun. But Char is right we must hear the voice of the mortals, for who else understands mortality, life and death than those whose existence to us is like the flame of a candle. Destined to burn brightly for a while, whilst a mere gust extinguish their flame.

I propose that we have advisors from these others, so that they know that their voice be heard. But we must lead with a guided hand, and bring them back to the paradise we all seek.

Be still Char your want that your vision become real clouds your mind, sleep, dream and seek knowledge in the other realms of your mind. Clarity is what we seek, your vision is one of ideal and is valued but the world is not without corruption and those who would use that vision of yours to destroy you. James is right, mortals are too easily corrupted; but we can help them and guide and guard them to better things and a life of value. I wish mortals to look me in the eye and not fear the flash of death for insolence. They are the providers and the strength at the base of our pillar. We cannot grow strong and tall without them. We have many eyes and ears, but with them our senses will be in the millions. They should have voice here, but only to advise.

Adrian: Braxus says the following I have heard much from you my brothers and sisters and we seem decided then the Scarlet Empress is to be executed. She has shown herself to be false, and far too unreliable to be trusted with any sort of power. She attempts to extort from us, The Solar, information and protection! She fears the Ebon Dragon’s revenge because she turned away from him, she was persuaded to because his grand plans for the total domination of the level of Creation meant the destruction of everything she once ruled. And how far she has fallen! It is decided that this Deliberative sits in righteous judgement casts it’s vote and executes the former leader and Empress of the Dragon Blooded! And who will tell them? Char? Erland? James? Me? Or perhaps we should lie and hide the fact that THAT is exactly what we have done? Or are we to tell them the truth? That we, The Solar have held a court of judgement and found her guilty of crimes against humanity and executed her! Are we then to turn around and invite the Dragon Blooded to sit with us in a “Grand Council”? If the boot was on the other foot how would you react James? You are the swiftest killer amongst us and I am grateful that your shadow falls across those who oppose us. I would expect you to meet out any vengeance a thousand fold against those who strike out at the Solar, whatever your personal feelings. I know that a strike at the Solar is a blow against my family. We have to persuade the Dragon Blooded to unite with us. And even the Fae have decided that they now have to join with us because you my brothers and sisters have brought them into the light! Killing this woman solves nothing and presents us with more problems than it currently solves! But this leads us away from the case brought before us. My view on the Scarlet Empress is that she should have what remains of the Infernal presence removed from her and she be brought before the Dragon Blooded council and answer to them. We then put ourselves forward as the new leaders of Creation and with the Dragon blooded as our vassals against the Infernal and Abyssal. That is my opinion. Are there any other comments?

Gordy: I concur. My teaching has taught that there is a time for action and a time for patience. We must be patient with Mortals. However – it is the immortals who have erred where we must exhibit less patience. We must not show that we are weak. For Mercy and Hope it was appropriate that we showed Mercy. As for the Scarlet Empress. Does she really show remorse? We should strip her of her immortality. Make her Mortal and show us that she is sorry for her action.

Gordy: What of the last arrival? You who have been reborn for the longest. You have heard us. I feel that you see us as enemies of yours? You consider Rithas to be your collective Manse, do you not?

Ant: The goblinoid turns slowly, his massive bulk moving almost in slow motion as he brings his eyes to bear on Marcus. “Wheeere were yoooou when I needed heelp with theee Draaagon Blooded? Wheeen I waaaas hounded by theee Wyld Huuunt?”

He turns to the Unconquered Sun and raises a fist, shaking it “Aaaand wheeere were yooou? Yooou turned yooour baaack on meeee”.

”I aaam Filial Wisdom. I aaaam alooone.”

Ace: JIrah speak again. I feel Braxus speaks well here, she should be judged by her own as I feel should all. If we give the dragon blooded no voice on their empress then we give them no voice that we are willing to listen to, only our own voices. That is no way to start the new order, let her be judged by her own. But also let it be known that if she is allowed to live and falls again, she will feel as will her supporters our wrath. Mercy must be tempered with fire, if there is to be hope.

Ace: Char peps up  understand you anger, but let it burn our enemies not our brothers. Divided we are weak. Together strong, now we begin our stand together and our strength will grow.

Gordy: We too were hunted by the Wild Hunt. – Marcus speaks. We have only just been re-exalted again, reborn only recently in time.

Gordy: You are no longer Alone. We have returned. We must thank you for guarding Rathess while we were all away.

Ant: “No! NO! It was mine, and it is mine stiiill. I waaas no meere guaaard! I aaam KING!”

Ace: Jirrah peps up Filial sun brother, if I may call you that. As you say I was not there when they hunted you, when I was hunted I too was alone. But now I ask your forgiveness, for If I could have acted I did not. For I knew nothing of your plight, but look how plight has made you strong. Guarded Rathess well you have. Again I ask forgiveness brother

Ant: The Unconquered Sun stands, his light flowing freely.

Bringer of Peace turns away and covers her face with her hands.

”I am unable to remove taint from an unwilling individual. If the Scarlet Empress is to go back to her people, she must do so as an Infernal. I do not know if the Dragon-Blooded have enough power to execute her, should they desire to do so. She is the longest lived of the Dragon-Blooded and the most powerful of their sorcerers. She has been corrupted and given power as an Infernal. And lastly, she has had a direct relationship with the most powerful of the Yozis. Do you think they could kill her? Do you think you could?”

The Unconquered Sun. Yu Shan.

Ant: “NO! THERE WILL BE NO FORGIVENESS!”

Filial Wisdom turns and walks out of the circle into the ruins.

Oct 9, 2003 msg 4096

Gordy: Marcus turns to the Sun.

”O Lord help us to convince our brother. If not then we will expend much energy fighting him. It would be better that he were stripped of his powers.”

Ace: Father if you will not strip him of his powers, forgive me for I will have to kill him. Rathess must be reborn in the new order, he stands in our way. All I ask is the power to remove him and bring Rathess back to us all. Much blood will have be spilt and his army will know terror, that I will give them.

Stripped of his powers I am sure he would rather be dead than less than he now is, help us in our struggle and let us rebuild Rathess.

David W: Erland says: *Shakes head* So that’s one abstention. Anyone actually keeping score? Oh, and did anyone think to bring any beer?

Ant: “I cannot strip the powers of those unwilling. I exalt and allow those so exalted to do as they will. I gave man these powers many years ago, and that gift is beyond repentance. I will not kill him, either, for there is always the possibility that he may see the error of his ways. If you feel he needs to be removed, then so be it. I am not here to nursemaid you and show you the way you must go. You find your own path, and in so doing, you will become stronger.

As for the Scarlet Empress, do you, who espouse justice, and ask to slay those within your ranks who dissent, judge your enemies without first hearing their case? And by what authority do you decide she should be slain? You brought her to Yu Shan just as you brought Mercy and Hope, and yet she has not claimed repentance. She is not here to be reformed. No meeting of the gods is required. She is imprisoned unlawfully.

So, you are here to decide three things, then. The first is whether the Scarlet Empress be executed and by whom? She says she has important information on the Ebon Dragon in return for her freedom. Are we not interested in what she claims to know?

The second is the form the Deliberative will take in the future. Will you have a chamber of Solar Exalted? Or will you attempt to have members of each class and caste involved?

Finally, which of you is to be the leader of the others? Which of you stands out as the spokesman? Which one of you will handle the mantle of leadership better than the others? Which one of you is most respected?

This is the first office. There will be others, but you must choose which is to be the foremost amongst equals.

Gordy: Marcus turns to the Unconquered Sun

”Lord, there must be a reason why you have exalted Filial Wisdom? Do you exalt people just because you feel like it? Forgive me for speaking out in this way.  Please let us know why you wished to exalt Filial Wisdom? Was it because he wanted to be exalted? I did not ask to be exalted again – yet you did. I am grateful. You must let us know why you did this or you will see your children fight amongst each other and many will be lost. Your reign will fail – Again!”

Gordy: Anger flashes across MArcus’ brow. He raises his voice – the first time that any of you have heard this.

Who wishes us to regain Rathess? Do you Lord? I do not wish to fight my brethren but that is what you have intimated. I will walk away from Rathess if that is the case – let others die needlessly for this aim. I have much other work to do. We have wasted enough time with this Deliberative – for all it does is deliberate! A decision must be made.

Do we condemn the Scarlet Empress or Not? Shall we accompany her as a guard to the Dragon Blooded and have her sentence her. If they do not – what will we do then? I vote that we remove her once and for all – execute her!

Do we fight for Rathess needlessly? Do we purge ourselves of Filial Wisdom and loose an ally because Rathess once was ours? If our father will not help us then we must ‘Persuade’ Filial Wisdom over to our point of view and if not – do we waste time fighting him? Or shall we set up a new Rathess somewhere else?

Who shall be our leader? Or will we bicker amongst each other like spoilt children?

I have a further 2 items.

1. If the Dragon Blooded do not join us then we must extinguish them. We will build Rathess on the ruins of the Imperial City.

2. If we form this Super Council – where all can join – we must impress on the others that they  must dissolve their own councils. If they do not then this New World Order will not happen.

Ant: The radiance of the Unconquered Sun dims and flickers. The clouds cross the light and the daylight darkens. Very slowly, He speaks. “Again, Marcus, AGAIN? Beware of who you speak to, for you may be my son, but I demand respect. My reign did not fail at any time. Instead the Solars brought about their own downfall. They became arrogant in their power. The downtrodden rebelled. I turned away in disgust. It is that simple.

Why did I exalt him? Did I do it on a whim? Have you come so far and still know so little, Marcus?

I exalted each and every one of you over three thousand years ago. I invested each one of you with my power. I have not done so since. Do you understand? I exalted you three millennia ago to do the job that needed doing. You have not been re-Exalted. You have carried through that original Exaltation. The same as Filial Wisdom.

Gordy: Forgive my arrogance and disrespect Father. Then I ask one thing and this will alter much? Give us memory of our past lives. Then we will know. We will know what we really were. Know what we all did, so we may properly repair the damage. Unless you feel that clouding our memory will help us rebuild anew?

Ant: “And what benefit do think you will get from knowing your overindulgence and your cruelties? What benefit do you think you will get from knowing how corrupt you became? You will learn as you have learned – little by little – so you will be able to accept what you were and build something far better for the future. You want to build anew, it is true. Shadrach, though he says it not, wishes for the Exalted to stand aside and allow man to make his own future. Char, also, and Jirah wish for this. You wish to rebuild and make a lasting legacy. And in this, I fear, you will make again the mistakes of the past. This time, you will be the ones who create a society like that of the Dragon-Blooded.

How many generations do you think it will take to forget you?

But still, I will not lead. You must make your own choices and perhaps your own mistakes….”

Ace: Char answers Man should lead their own destiny, my only wish is to protect. In the end I feel we should be likened to legends, and when it is told that we have been seen or our actions done, mortals will say ahh tis only a story a tale you tell. That is what I want, protect them without their knowledge.

Jirah states Some of us should be known, princes amongst them we are and must remain. But yes knowledge of my past I seek not. In time I will learn if there is anything I should regret, I have none yet. On the scarlet empress give me a few days once I have left the imperial city. I will listen to the fortunes and visions that I will call. Perhaps they will enlighten us upon our decisions, destiny may call upon us yet to make a decision that we may or may not regret. I will also call to those of the sidereal that I know are loyal and ask them to foresee what action we should undertake. This could be the beginning of the future for us. Let us not make rash decisions. But when a decision is made we act as a whole.

Ant: Mercy steps forward. She says “I remember the old days, although I was very young at the time.” She walks towards the Unconquered Sun and turns around and faces you all. “I remember only too well the night my father died.”

She points at Jirah and then at Char. “I didn’t know you then, though I’d heard of your exploits, of course. I don’t know how you died that murderous night, or even if you managed to escape to carry on the war against the Dragon-Blooded. But I remember my father. I remember racing from battle to confused battle that night. I remember Turoc and Shadrach going out into the gardens to staunch the flow of the Dragon-Blooded invading our house to kill us. They went to buy us time to prepare. They didn’t return.

I remember my father and Marcus standing shoulder to shoulder, against wave after wave of Dragon-Blooded coming through the doors and up the stairs. And I remember James watching their backs, making sure any coming from behind were… dealt with.

And I remember, after what seemed to be hours of fighting, when my family were at their weakest, the coming of the Sidereal. Marcus was first. Stepping forward into the lobby to face that Sidereal b*st*rd, he was weak and bloody from the long fight he’d been in. The Dragon-Blooded formed a circle around the two. The fight lasted sometime and I’ve never seen anyone fight as well as Marcus did. But the odds were against him. The Sidereal had fate on his side and he was fresh while Marcus was weakened. In the end, the Sidereal broke his leg, and then, handicapped as he was, Marcus was unable to defend himself properly. He was killed defending his home and his friends.

When it was my father’s turn, he was swamped by Dragon-Blooded. I remember as his golden armour was coloured red by the blood of his enemies and I watched as he was weighed down with the bodies of the fallen. But in the end, the Sidereal took him. He was more heavily armed than Marcus and it took more to finish him off, but they did. I watched as the people I cared about were murdered by the Dragon-Blooded, orchestrated by the Sidereal. And the Lunars? Those who were your spouses and companions? Their response to this murder was to flee!

Why would I trust any of them? Why should I forgive them? I watched them butcher my family that night. I watched them put my father and Marcus to death, and I knew that they’d done the same to Turoc and Shadrach. The only ‘pleasure’ I got out of that night was that it took over 400 of them to do it. 600 were sent, and just under 200 returned, I heard.

And now you tell me that not only do I have to give up any place on a Deliberative that we’re all entitled to, but I have to give it up to one of my father’s killers. They’re still around, Kejak and his men. He’s the one who killed Marcus and Braxus. Why not give him a seat on your Deliberative? Why not allow the Scarlet Empress to sit on your Deliberative? The Sidereal are just as much our enemies as she. Or is it because it happened 2,000 years ago and you know longer remember that they can be forgiven, Char? I will not agree to your plans. Why should two of our enemies be allowed to govern and two others not? Dragon-Blooded, Sidereal, Abyssal, Infernal. ALL enemies and yet you choose to ally yourself with some and call others mortal enemies. I say we rule ourselves and use our might and our power to make the world a better place for mortals.

Why should man govern himself? Look at Nexus and the rest of the Scavenger Lands. There is man governing himself and all he does is create misery for himself. Slavers, drugs, poverty. Is that your utopia?

I vote no to your idea of the Deliberative. I say the Solar Exalted maintain the old ways – Solars Exalted for the Solar Deliberative.

Carlos: Mighty Shadrach steps forward, his hammer in one hand.

”We are the sapling. The sapling needs all of its branches and leaves from which our seed will grow under the radiance of the Sun, water from the heavens, and nutrients of the earth, and with the wind to spread our seeds to all the corners of creation. Then we will grow strong and stand against the darkness until the dawn of the Third Age.”

Having said that, he nods to Mercy and steps back.

Adrian: I have considered my position and the position of the Solar Deliberative The Execution must not be allowed to continue here under our rules. It will cause a LOT of bloodshed! This is the most difficult decision I have had to make in some time. My feelings are as follows.

It is plain to see that the opinions we have are currently as diverse as the winds, We are The Solar. We should be united. But we are not. Until that time when we can see a common purpose I see no reason for this deliberative to continue. Until we as a whole are prepared to accept our responsibilities as leaders of mortal man then this future that all of us hope to see will not come. Even in our lifetime. I am not fond of the Dragon Blooded for all they have done in the past but, like my beautiful daughter, I believe they are capable of redemption if properly guided. Is that not the case Mercy? They turned on us or, should I say, WERE turned against us by others. We must make sure that this never happens again. BUT again if we cannot agree on this in this most sacred council then, this deliberative is at an end. I will put myself forward if nominated for the leadership of the Solar. It is my duty to do so, but I have much still to learn so I will be tempered by advice, no doubt freely given!

I will attempt to talk to Filial Wisdom when this meeting is finished. I maybe able to talk him around to uniting with us. There must be no more bitterness or resentment now of all times. That is how we fell in the first place. Does anyone wish to disagree? 

Ant: The Unconquered Sun seems to be concentrating. “Hmm, there is one missing”.

He then turns to Marcus. “It is a shame that the first Deliberative in so many years ends thus. Perhaps I am at fault for allowing you all to walk your own paths and not giving further direction. But the Games of Divinity take up so much of my time, and I am forced to trust you as I always have.

I take it, Marcus, that you vote for Braxus as your leader? And I also take it that agree with him that the Deliberative is to be disbanded again? What do you think about the Scarlet Empress?

You may leave, my son, when you have told us your views on the Empress”.

Gordy: I understand. I will stay until all is resolved. The Scarlet Empress should be tried by a higher court. We do not have the required wisdom to pass sentence. There are many ramifications that we can not foresee completely.

I agree that Braxus should be the leader.

Ant: The Unconquered Sun steps down from the podium.

He walks towards Braxus. The ghostly golden outline still towers over Braxus, tall men, both wearing full armour. And even though Braxus has been described often as a god, still the presence of the Unconquered Sun dwarfs him.

”You have been seconded, my son. Do any of you others vote for him?”

Carlos: Got a call from Carlos – wants to say that he has much to add and say that will help us make a decision. He wants nobody to make a decision about the Scarlet Empress until he has had his say. He agrees that we should adjourn the Deliberative.

Ace:  Jirrah says I disagree with the appointment of Braxus as leader, he is still young and is led away by a pretty face. I mean no offense brother, we have yet to see if we survive your idea in the imperial city. I hope the ruse I have placed to them will work and that we can leave unharassed form its walls. If it is wished I will put myself to you in making a decision. I will see what the fates have in store with the choices of leader.

But who else would stand? I am not as great as many of you, and my ways are different from many of you. I hope my voice will be heard on this. The deliberative must not disband, we must start anew and grow. The future is a mist before us and we cannot see through it’s veil, but let us journey together to drink from the cup of joy that awaits us at the end of our journey. We must take the first step together, as I fear that if we do not then we will forever walk a separate path.

Char says

Mercy you may not agree with my views, but you must see that the hatchet must be buried. No more blood to be spilt in revenge of old hurts. We must stride ahead and rebuild anew, learn from the mistakes of the past. Not carry them like a burden, for soon it would wear you down and we need you strong. I know few of you, and Braxus I know not, Jirah you talk of the fates. We must live our lives without looking to the stars to see our paths. Destiny is ours for the taking, grasp it firm and hold onto it mould it into what you want, not let it mould you.

The deliberative must stay together, but we should have three to lead us. Strength, nobility and courage. That is what we should look for in our leaders. Who before us fills those needs, at least we can make a start. Choose three and when we are knowing our path then comes the time to select the one who leads.

Oct 15, 2003 msg 4270
Carlos: With elaborate patience, Shadrach again steps forward. The big man turns to face the entire group and then demands “What is our purpose?

As I have already said: “We are the sapling.  The sapling needs all of its branches and leaves from which our seed will grow under the radiance of the Sun, water from the heavens, and nutrients of the earth, and with the wind to spread our seeds to all the corners of creation.  Then we will grow strong and stand against the darkness until the dawn of the Third Age.

The meaning of these words, these mere empty reflections of our souls, is this: The branches are the exalted allied to our cause and the support we will need. Our Seed is Hope, Peace and Enlightenment. The First Age saw the rise of the Exalted and of Man. The Second Age saw the Tyranny of the Exalted and the Fall of Man. The Third Age will see the Rule of Man over Man. We are here to heal the wounded world, Not to further harm it. The Solar Exalted may be the princes of the earth but no Exalted must rule over Creation.

The strength of many is great, however, the strength of one is greater, for the strength of one is indivisible. So must we be One. One in Purpose, One in Voice, One in Judgement. For if we are not, then all of Creation will suffer.

Once we have established the rule of man and taught them new laws and governments, we could establish a peace treaty and set of rules with the Deathlords, Infernals, Fey and the dragons (one of the rules could that there will be no new Exalted once all of the Solars are reborn). This could be called “The Great Accord,” and will be enforced by all of the Exalted, who will all be based in a rebuilt Rathess and supplied by the cities of man. In return we will teach them law and wisdom but not sorcery, and defend them from supernatural threats. We will not however govern them or deal with their mundane disputes.

The Scarlet Empress is more use to us alive than dead. And if you cannot see how, then you have all the political nounce to join the lib-dem party! As for leaders we do not need one, as our leader is the Unconquered Sun and all solar voices have equal say, even James, for we will need his cynicism’s to balance out our optimism: as much as his special talents in the upcoming battles. So lads what do you think?

Ace: Char turns to Shadrach, perhaps my passion for a new way clouds my judgement. I listen to your words and they stand close to my heart, I agree with you over the deliberative but of the scarlet whore I worry. She is dangerous and would be able to rally all of the realm behind her if she wanted and would we become her quarry again?? We are not as powerful as we once were, that would take us centuries to achieve that again.

What word do we have from her that she will not raise against us an army of dragon blooded, that we are too weak to destroy. We must keep the allies we have gained, the fey, spirits and godlings that some of us have encountered. The sidereal seem partly to have come over to us, that is a start and I know that there maybe a voice amongst the ranks of the mortal soldier that talks of our mercy. I feel that man must hear our voice also.

Gordy: As I have not yet been given leave of this assembly I would like to second my brother Shadrach’s comments.

In our hands lies the husbandry of the new World Tree. But be careful that we do not shade the earth from the sun, lest we recast our shadow once again. If you say that the leaves are to be Man themselves then I agree. We must work with man. But consider that in winter the leaves of some trees die away and only the branches remain till the next spring. Man is mortal and we are immortal and it is this which will forever divide us from our brethren Man. It is doubtless that the mortals will look upon us as godlings – that cannot be avoided but we must endeavor to understand their hasty ways. Indeed, all of us have been given the great advantage and fortune of being reborn to believe that we were mortals before we were given the ‘impression’ of being ‘re-exalted’. This invaluable experience will now temper our views and it shows the great wisdom of our Father in this matter. Some of us have been given the chance to live amongst kin who are mortal, their plight was our plight. Let us not forget what it was like to be a mortal (even if it was but for a fleeting moment). My recent anger is abated and I pray forgiveness from this assembly. I therefore change my view on this matter. I agree with those in this august assembly who believe that we must act as guardians and no longer as rulers else we will become the leaves and branches and will starve the forest floor of needed light and the creatures below will have no recourse but to live in darkness for that is all they will know. This is the situation where people like the Scarlet Empress will hold sway – when we overshadow the mortal races.

Ant: The Unconquered Sun dims slightly, and you get an air of slight amusement. When he speaks, however, his voice still has the authority you are used to. He says “I see my children are still as diverse as the mortals I exalted. It is good and to be expected. It is your greatest strength but also your greatest weakness. You have so many enemies that you cannot choose one on which to focus. The Scarlet Empress, the Mask of Winters and the Deathlords, the Infernals, the Sidereal, the Ebon Dragon, all these have been listed against you. You deliberate on the inclusion of others in the Solar Deliberative and you speak in your turn. Nothing has been decided. There has been no agreement.

Perhaps, and this should have been put forward first, you should decide WHICH of your enemies is the most urgent? What will your purpose be in the near future? Will you fight against the Yozis first? Will you attempt to clear Rathess and take back your throne? Or does the Mask of Winters command your attention first and foremost? Perhaps it is time that each of you put forward what you think is the most important issue facing you? Perhaps now is the time, during the first Solar Deliberative in over 2000 years, to decide the course of the returning Solars?

It is a shame that not all of your number can be here. There is one missing.”

The Unconquered Sun, Yu Shan.

Ant: “This may be my last address in person. Politics being what they are, it makes it very difficult to meet with you all in person. I am pleased to see strength and righteousness in you. And I am pleased that you care for the people of Creation. It is what I wanted. However, as I said, I will not be able to meet you in person any longer. You will be denied audience with any of the major Celestial gods, myself included. I will keep a watch on you, though. There are some things a father will not do, despite the pressure.

When I leave the affairs of men behind, I will entrust them to you. I will not be able to redeem anymore Abyssals. You will have to make your case to the lower hierarchy, especially the Bureau of the Heavens.

I hear the idea of allowing others into your Deliberative with some amusement. Were you gods in Yu Shan, you would be punished for such a concept. I think it’s time you stopped your frivolities and got on with your job. You are the princes of the earth, not others. You are the ones suited to the task of ruling, not mortals. Do you think that mortals will be best suited to it? Are you not aware that some men sell others to the Fae? Are you aware of the narcotics that are peddled? Or the murders that are perpetrated because of the lust for wealth and power? Do you really think that mortals, who are so short lived and whose greed shines brightly, are right to lead you in a new world? Do you Char? Or Marcus? Jirah? And you Shadrach? You who argue so eloquently for the sake of mortals, are you aware of whom you argue? And the Dragon-Blooded? They were your foot-soldiers. On what basis do you see fit to elevate them? Are you aware of their place in the Celestial hierarchy? And yet, you have decided, godlings who have been around for what, 2 decades? 3? You have decided to elevate them above the petty spirits and elementals, above the greater spirits and elementals to the reaches of the greater spirits and elementals, into the realm of the gods! Into the realm that you, just you, and perhaps the greater of the other celestial exalted share. Should we uproot a hierarchy that has been in place for over 5,000 years? Should we make the greater spirits, and minor godlings do obeisance to the mortals and the Dragon-Blooded? Will you be on the front lines fighting the rebellion that will undoubtedly occur? For all that you are gods, you think like mortals.

I think you need direction. I have not deigned to give you direction, beyond making the world a righteous place. It appears it was not enough. I am waiting for you to decide on a common theme and foe. I have not the time to wait long. Make your decision. Or perhaps I should make it for you? I tire of your discussion. You discuss endless minutiae of who shall sit in judgement on a civilisation you have not even built. Your enemies are many. You need to be on guard from all quarters. You need to face the Deathlords and their ilk, the Infernals, the Bronze Faction Sidereal, who have allied themselves with you at least temporarily. You need to stand against the Ebon Dragon and the Scarlet Empress first and foremost.

And as for leadership, some of you argue that Braxus is your leader, that the mantle is his. However, at least one of you says he is a mere figurehead, and the rest are apathetic. Now I demand of you: answer me!

Nov 27, 2003 msg4796

Carlos: Shadrach still wants to have his say regarding the New Solar Deliberative. He thinks mankind should be left in total peace to rule themselves and the Exalted (of all kinds) should be shipped into Rathess. Peace treaties should be made with the Deathlords and the Fae and the Infernals should be confined to hell.