The Tardy Circle

The Circle Makes Questionable Choices
Ascending Wood 765: so many questions
15, Sunsday:

Kazu dragged DS to be a sparring partner because he needed to get out more.  While out there, some of the Great Forks Dragon-bloods asked them for help training the troops.  DS spent some time beating them up and Kazu spend some time talking to Thor, God of Hammers, who was interested in expanding his portfolio by making an elite unit that used hammers.

Xian Lin had a pointed conversation with Harmony over breakfast about how awful Marilee Floros was.

The Circle had a conversation before the party about deciding on who would lead them and what to do about Nezri's expectations.  Eventually it was decided that DS and Kazu would be joint leaders in some fashion and they, along with Xian Lin, would talking with Nezri and Talespinner.


Wherein the Circle Goes Back to Great Forks
Ascending Wood 765: of hell and handbaskets
7, Saturnsday -14, Saturnsday:

On the trip back, there was an alert because the Dragon-Bloods panicked at the Elementals that were on the ship, specifically the Dogs set to guard Floros.  This made Nezri quite cranky and upset with his soldiers since he said he wanted them to find out discreetly and then see if Kazu told the truth about the number of Elementals he summoned.  Now his plan was ruined.

At some point towards the end of the week, Nezri and Floros had a secret conversation that wasn't shared with the rest of the group.  Floros decided the next morning she wanted to get back to Great Forks before the rest and asked Kazu to Storm Wind Rider her.  This was a problem because they ended their conversation with Nezri telling her he wanted to speak with Kazu and she stole him away before he had the chance to.

This lead to a show down where the Dragon-Bloods were inches away from attacking the remaining members of the Circle; DS, Xian Lin, and honorary member Seven.  While violence was at least postponed, Nezri was furious, both because he assumed Floros took Kazu away so Nezri couldn't speak with him, and because it put the question whether the alliance could even work as Lookshy agreed to it under the assumption the Circle was working for Great Forks, but as far he he could see the Circle just did whatever they felt like.  Probably a whole lotta other reasons too.

DS and Xian Lin were both pretty upset with Harmony, his shortsighted actions, and the danger they were put in.  Eventually Kazu Stormwind Ridered back to the airship the they discussed what they wanted to do.  Part of thier discussion was about deciding on a leader, or at least someone who can be held accountable.  Xian Lin suggested Marilee Floros as the most expendable.  Seven was upset, and not much mollified when it was clarified that she really meant "Marilee Floros" was expenable.

On the next morning back, before dawn Kazu dragged DS to train with him since having a sparing partner was better for such things.  Harmony didn't appear until breakfast where a very chill Xian Lin waited to speak with him.

In Which the Circle Still Talks About Loot
Ascending Wood 765: They also leave though
7, Saturnsday – 7, Saturnsday? (Resplendent Wood):

The Circle finally finalized who would get what.

Kviik found herself a colony of Mice of the Sun, and they were all very happy to find a Circle of Gods.  A couple mice stayed behind with Feard, Hai'li, Tanaka to help with Science!

While hunting, Hai'li found tracked a giant bird and rider to Metagalapa, but decided not to mess with that.

The rest went home on the airship.  Kazu gave summoned Elementals out like candy, offering Nezri an Air Wolf instead of the Wood Wolf he rode in the Vault.  Captain Shi-renn wanted a fire parrot.  Seven yelled at one point about how mortals weren't worth bothering with since they can't provide help worth bothering with…or something like that.

Xian Lin decided she wanted to get into politics so took over Marilee's spot as liaison to Talespinner.

In theory there's down time for a month, who knows how long it will actually take and what will happen.

For those curious about how things ended up.

3 Black Jade Powerbows (Artifact 3, Evocations unknown)   (1) to barter for a Lunar favor for DS (magic)
      (1) to Nezri to bolster the alliance
    Trade Bait?  
1 Green Jade Crossbow (Artifact 3, Evocations unknown) Feard  
1 pouch high-grade whiteleaf (opiate) Xian Lin  
7 7 book set on Craft: Genesis Feard  
1 Artifact 137G: Deck of Cards (Artifact 5, Sentient, belonged to Fading Laughter) Harmony  
15 jade-steel sword+shield sets (Exceptional Quality Mundane Medium Weapons) Great Forks present as gift to Great Forks army?
1 Shattered Remains of a Red Jade Reinforced Breastplate Feard  
1 White Jade Chain Shirt (Artifact Light Armor, Artifact 2, No Evocations) Harmony  
1 Snake-Bodied Green Jade Warstrider (Artifact 5, 20m attune), w/1st Age Armaments Hai’li

I think we should just keep this in Circle Storage for now

1 Root-of-the-Earth Hearthstone – Earth, Standard (Manse-Born, Steady) Hai’li  
1 Gem of Incomparable Wellness Hearthstone – Wood, Greater (Dependant, Linked) Darkening Sky  
1 Orichalcum Essence Capacitor (Artifact 5, 1st Age Artifice) Party  
4 Fire Lances (1 functional, 3 broken) (Red Jade Artifact 3, Wonders of the Lost Age, p. 77) Feard (1) broken fire lance to Nezri
1 Portable Hutch (Artifact ???, Moonsilver? Portable hidey-hole) Seven  
2 talents of green jade Party (14 mina)

1 mina (1/16th talent) to Tanaka for 1 month time, 1 Mina to Hai’li

2 talents of black jade 1 to Feard, 1 to Xian Lin  
3 Green Jade arrowheads (Might be Artifacts?) Feard  
1 Fey Dagger (Mundane Light Weapon, Gossamer/Hope, Can be stored in soul) Harmony given to hai'li
1 Artifact-level Jade-steel Taxidermy Tool Kit (Sorcerous Working/Craft: Genesis Tools) DS  
  Resources 1 worth of ancient pottery —— Given to Nezri
  Shelf of Sorcerous Texts, 4 of which are magical Library

I think this is the same as the 5/7 book set on Craft:Genesis

5 Ancient Texts (3 Unknown Contents, 1 Shogunate Economics, 1 Shogunate Agriculture) Library  
3 Ancient Journals Library Given to Tanaka, copies coming back
1 Scientific Journal, Encoded, written in Old Realm. Sentient Artifact Research Library  
14 Shogunate-era Jade Obols (Mixed Jade Types) Kazu  
212 Shogunate-era Silver Dinars Kazu  
DS and Kazu Wander Off To Do Their Own Thing
Ascending Wood 765: Harmony watches from overhead
7, Saturnsday:

DS and Kazu find Mysterious Melody.  She's initially quite scared about what they planned on doing to her and didn't understand how they got there in the first place, but they assured her they wanted to try and help her.

Unfortunately, they couldn't help the ghasts she considered family.  After remembering the thaumaturgical working the Bishop of Sijan made, they adapted it to try and check on their souls and it was discovered they only had lower souls left, their upper souls (and with it any hope of being able to heal them) were gone.  They weren't sure why Melody had survived, other than maybe the others were eaten by Sophie or another fae, but she (and maybe the doctor) were the only ones left after Sophie promised not to hurt the inhabitants.  Kazu wondered if Sophie had changed Ex-chagger into something that could consume souls since the recent infiltrators they found that could talk (who ran and were then killed by Ex-chagger) didn't have upper souls as well.

They also somewhat confirmed that the ghast attacks were because they were starving, having been sustained but not fed by the Cure, for over 700 years.

Marilee assured them that the Intent compound would have a home for her and Seven suggested they get her to Great Forks by way of her portable hutch so as not to deal with the Wyld Hunt.

Melody's soul structure was intact and seemed healthy.

Afterwards, Kazu released all of the ghasts so their lower souls weren't bound any more.

It's Basically Just a Continuation of Last Session
Ascending Wood 765: so much loot that no one cares about
7, Saturnsday:

Treasure, and what to do with it, was resolved after much discussion.

Off sceen, Nezri talked with Tanaka about what had happened in Creation since he sacrificed a bunch of slaves and abandoned his people to the Great Contagion and the Cure.

Feard, Hai'li, and Wyld Hunt are staying at the manse for a month to figure out how the manse and its virtual intelligence was created.  It was decided that Lookshy wouldn't be getting the manse.  The hope was that the manse could be unbound from it's hearthstone so the hearthstone would be at its full power again, but they didn't want the knowledge of what was done to the manse to be lost.

Eventually DS asked Kazu if he wanted to come along to figure out what to do about Mysterious Melody.


Wherein Tanaka and His Family Return To Creation After a Very Unpleasant Vacation
Ascending Wood 765: so close
7, Saturnsday:

The Circle discusses what to do about Ex-chagger, whether or not he should be left alive, whether he's to dangerous to leave him alive, and if killing him would be merciful due to the changes inflicted on him.

Undecided, the Circle went to visit Sondak and get Abbott Tanaka and his family back.  After listening to the contract and finding about what loopholes may have been exploited, Nezri and the Circle agree to be the allies to return them to Creation.  Time passed oddly for them, as the younger daughter now appeared older than the son.  The girl was mostly feral and Feard took up teaching her.  The boy wouldn't put his dagger down and expected his sister to attack at any moment.  The wife, wearing silk armor indication she was probably a martial artist, was very on edge.

Oddly. they all seemed relatively chill about being saved by Anathema. 

Among the loopholes seemed to be that they were tricked with illusions that only Tanaka could see through and nothing in the contract protected them from each other.

When the Abbot was told of the problem with the former Exchequer, he felt there was nothing of this cousin left and that his cousin's soul should be released.  

Following this, the Circle discussed with Nezri what he and Lookshy were owed for helping.  This lead to a discussion about how they weren't hired and were invited as a courtesy to the Alliance since they were unhappy the last time we left without bringing them along.  Also concerns about what help or trouble they could be in the future.

While Ex-chagger was killed, the Chimera was given to Tanaka, and the fae and ghasts were dealt with, the concern of Mysterious Melody had yet to be resolved.

In Which the Circle Finally Deals With the Problem
Ascending Wood 765: The end is finally in sight
6, Jupitersday:

Nezri yells at Kazu about his abduction of Tepet ghosts, but (unhappily) stands down when informed that a Ferryman was involved in the ritual, they all were sent to Lethe, and that they decided to go along with it.  He wasn't thrilled the Tepet legions went along with it in the first place.

Marilee brought Seven to the manse heart to finish healing up.  The manse's hearthstone was a regenerating one, which was handed to Feard to fix his wounds and his hand.  When they felt ready to go, the Circle went to the gate to the Wyld.  Eventually Xian Lin made a deal with ninja-guy to close the gate by being the arbiter and informing him he won the game since Sophie forfeited.  The sprinkler system was overridden so it didn't spread the Wyld anymore.

The Circle then rests till morning.  DS vented some Resonance and was handed the hearthstone to heal most of the injuries.  People asked about the very obvious injuries, which included bleeding eyes, to which DS replied that he told them that the Neverborn will punish him if he miss behaves and he healed a lot of people in the past couple days.

In Which the Circle Fights a Deluded Sidereal and His Fae Girlfriend
Ascending Wood 765: its all fun and games until you stop winning
6, Jupitersday:

After Sophie left, the Circle decided to go and fix the command station.

Hai'li sent a beam to fix the command console, but there was a pile of rotting fish in the way, which was actually some kind of fae entity?  Either way, it found being stabbed with cold iron to be quite painful.  Light's Valor told it to move out of the way, when Sophie told it to listen, LV immediately commanded it to kill Sophie.  It destroyed Sophie's current doll and then LV commanded it to go attack her boyfriend.

During the chat with Sophie the Circle learned several things.

1.  She promised her boyfriend she'd stay since "he's looking for a way to fix things"
2. he promise he'd be grateful if she helped
3. she also mentioned he can't go to Lethe, that it doesn't work on him
4. she also claimed Xian Lin's aura was confused

Marilee traded on of the toys she stole for a dagger Sophia had that was made of "hope" and Sophie didn't mind losing it since there was a lot of hope here to work with.  Marilee (questionably) decided to "sheathe" in inside of her.  In the midst of things, Hai'li decided to tell the manse that DS's permission was needed for full system integration.

The Circle followed Sophie's doll to the shrine, where they found the friendly neighborhood Sidereal  working on a Sorcerous Working that was beyond his means to complete.  While antagonizing him, he was upset to learn the Jade Prison had been opened since "The Unconquered Sun was supposed to let this stand forever."

After further antagonizing him, telling him he couldn't help the people that were mutated by the Wyld and he definitely wasn't going to help the people who's souls she'd eaten for her dolls, no matter her promises not to hurt the people left, the Sidereal decided to pick a fight.

Sophie turned the doll into a shield to protect the Sidereal.

Marilee stabbed him with her hope dagger, which was quite a blow to the Sidereal.  Sophie moved in to help, but DS went to fight her.  At the source of the tentacles he found what appeared to be a portal to a play ground.  She tried to convince him that he would be happy if he entered, but that worked as well as you might expect.

LV lost control and Kazu had Limit Break and had a mental breakdown.  He released the ghosts in his tattoo to fight the little green men that bleed from the "Sophie Shield."

7 turned into a giant brass bunny to attack and Xian Lin attacked with sorcery from the shadows.  Eventually the Sidereal was killed and Sophie ran away saying this wasn't fun anymore.

7, who was quite injured in the fight, collapsed as her spell ended and DS went to treat her wounds.  

The session ended as Nezri confronted Kazu about WTF he did to the Tepet legions.

The Circle Travels Deeper Into the Vault
Ascending Wood 765: this was widely regarded as a bad move
6, Jupitersday:

Marilee spies on some locations through out the Vault to see if she wants to remain a spy or join the rest of the Circle as they go deeper into the manse.

In a ruined office space, she noticed some kind of heat distortion until the room burst into flames.

She then checked in the Mysterious Melody, who was trying to claw something into the floor, which, when asked, she said was parts of a story that she wanted to write down before she forgot them.  Marilee asked for the title, but it wasn't anything she recognized.  Mysterious Melody was grumpy since Floros shouldn't have been able to talk from through the intercom system since it had been broken for ages and insisted the Circle was going to die anyways.

In the camera outside the office, Marilee noticed a shark swimming around until the water disappeared and these small hooded figures with glowing eyes killed it while it flopped on the ground.  They ran away but disappeared when Marilee switched to the next camera.

This lead Marilee to decide she'd go with the rest since the cameras were too unreliable.

Going down the hallway, the Circle heard a child chanting: 

Can't even shout, can't even cry
The Gentlemen are coming by
Looking in windows, knocking on doors
They need to take seven and they might take yours
Can't call to mom, can't say a word
You're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard

Farther down the corridor the previously see little girl was spotted.  The Circle discussed what to do until the heard a giggle indicating the raksha was listening so they asked her to come by.  Xian Lin started the conversation with the girl, but it eventually became clear she was loosing the ability to speak.  Upon sensing her distress, Kazu initiated combat.   This lead to the discovery that the raksha was really a tentacle-thing and the little girl was the husk of one of the Vault's occupants who was disguised by glamor. 

Marilee stole some of the other toys (which someone from our world would recognize as a yo-yo, Pink erasure, and a nerf gun).  This and the destruction of her "doll" angered "Sophie" (as she was called on the combat tracker).  The tentacles went after Marilee, but were stopped by the others.  Turning the corner, Marilee found a ninja guy, who was dressed all in black with greyish skin and eyes that were too oval in shape.  He wanted to know if she had left so he could get by her to capture the flag, which he claimed they were playing together.  Marilee played a juggling game with him.  He also wanted to know if we'd also evict Sophie's boyfriend and wasn't sure how he put up with her.

Marilee ended up with a gun, a yo-yo, and a jump rope.

Looking into the manse system files, the girl didn't look like Mysterious Melody, but similar enough to be a sister.  The system said Mysterious Melody did have an older sister named "Shining Chorus."

Wherein the Influence of Sidereals Makes Itself Known
Ascending Wood 765:
5, Marsday:

Logs from the manse indicate unusual reading from the sorcerer's work room, some logs indicate some kind of sentient artifact.

The Circle finally gets around to investigating the sorcerer's workroom.  The visuals indicate that there's a deck of cards surrounded by wards, some books, and a vault.

Entering the space, Kazu and DS find what appears to be an endless corridor and the sense of danger, which reveals itself as a cat-bodied chimeric creature with 11 snake heads.  Kazu decided to feed it an make friends with it.  Appeasing it. they found an illusory jungle past the barrier.

Kazu brought the creature to play with the ghasts while Xian Lin and DS further explored the room.  Feard really wanted the books, so they were sent back to him.  The vault appeared to also be an endless corridor of sorts, which was suspected to lead Elsewhere.  Seven was called in to investigate, after which she called dibs.  It was apparently a saferoom inspired by Secure Den Prana, a Lunar ability to make a space in Elsewhere.

This lead to asking the manse who last held the manses hearthstone, who the manse revealed was the sorcerer, who the Circle already knew had primary attunement to the manse and was in Medical.

They finally went to the deck, which revealed itself as a sentient artifact with a multitude of identities that was created by Fading Laughter.  The Deck revealed that its previous owner was a Sidereal.  Nezri started becoming uncomfortable with the knowledge of other Anathema, as well as the Circle's claimed they were the ones that created the Immaculate Faith in the first place.

The party rests for the nice, with many grateful for the new Wyld-taint free space to rest in.


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