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
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?
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.
Ant: I have the manga pictures
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….?
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
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
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
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!”
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Jirah has been there, and Char has enough on his plate as it is thankyou
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.