The Tardy Circle

Wherein Plans Are Discussed and Made
Resplendent Wood 765: *insert Doublemint Gum jingle*
10, Mercuryday:

The Circle discussed further plans, and were stimied by the concern that the Wyld Hunt would object to anything the Circle tried to do because they were afraid of the Circle getting more powerful.  Part of the problem being that all the things they would be ok with would probably mean the Circle, or some members of it would be killed.  If Mask of Winters for example, we'd have to fight his Circle and he has more resources to train his lost Exalts. DS also brought up the concern if the Circle did pick a fight with Mask of Winters and failed, he might have more Abyssals.  Monstrances are a problem and it was questioned if something could be developed to stop Abyssal Exaltations from returning to they're monstrances.  DS, at least, was concerned that someone else might find out how to use such a device and adapt it for all Celestial Exaltations.

Eventually they decided it might be worth finding out the power and timeline of hte Dragon Kings to find how how much time they had and how worried they should be about the threat of invasion.

On the 10th, the Circle met up with Nezri to talk about their plans and concerns.  He agreed that it would be helpful information to have, but objected since a Solar Circle in their territory would probably be considered a declaration of war.  Darkening Sky pointed out that only sending "spies" is would be problematic since the spies might not understand what they saw and they didn't have a way to report what they would see to be analyzed by more knowledgeable members.

Nezri agreed and asked for a few days since Nezri had a solution that should remain secret and he needed permission to tell Great Forks and the Circle about it.

12,  Marsday:

Something is delivered from Lookshy and the New Dawn meets up with Nezri again.  Lookshy's solution is a pair of Wood Aspected twins who were bound by a working so they would each now everything the other experienced as she experienced it.  Xian Lin tentatively agreed, assuming they passed the test she wanted for them.

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In Which the Circle Decided to Rest For A Little While
Ascending Wood 765: Downtime really begins
16, Moonsday:

The Circle discussed amongst themselves what to do about Nezri's requests and what they were ok with agreeing to.  Kazu affirmed that he wouldn't let them hold him accountable for stupid reasons, such as accusing the Circle of something they didn't due.  He had his oath he made to the monk after all.

17, Mercuryday:

The Circle remeets with Nezri.  Kazu signs a document so a thaumaturge can evaluate his sincerity.  The Circle agrees to stick around for a month so his superiors would be less edgy.  Nezri mentions he might plan a party of his own on the airship.  The mice of the sun rejoice in a Great Holy Day because the Circle reached an Accord with their future slaves.  Hai'li discovered that no-one remembered her sister or had any documentation she ever existed.

Féard again used Infallible Messenger to reach Hai’bo Xue, after much struggle to even remember her name, and found out she was apparently a Sidereal and people couldn't remember her because of the Shattered Mask constellation.  

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Of Parties and Meetings
Ascending Wood 765: talky sessions are annoying to write
15, Sunsday:

Some of the Circle went to talk to Talespinner about the coming party and meeting with Nezri.

Evening Mist talked to Nezri about the announcement during the party and left a guard-Kazu.

Harmony and "Erigone" were announced at the party and entered with Caste marks shining.  Nezrti shattered his wine glass.  Xian Lin mingled to find out what the attendees thought of the announcement.  Seven got permission to punch someone who wasn't being nice.

During the party, Xian Lin, Kazu, and DS attended the meeting with Nezri.  Many things were spoken of, such as the difference between Wyld Hunt guard dogs and an alliance with Lookshy and how they were different things.  And that as far as the Wyld Hunt was concerned, killing us while they were still able to do was inevitable.  An allience with Lookshy was possible, but it would put the Circle at the mercy of Wyld Hunts again and the Circle would have to prove their commitment to Great Forks.

One proposal had to do with a treaty that would last a year where the Wyld Hunt would at least challenge the Circle to formal combat instead of some kind of ambush.  

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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.

 

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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.

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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  
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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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