The Tardy Circle

In Which The Circle Talks Themselves In Circles And Go To A Party.
Descending Fire 765:
9, Moonday:

The morning meeting concludes.  Evening Mist wants to Circle to go to Palanquin for their next adventure.  DS suggested they should go to the Northeast location before winter.  Either way, they were waiting for the family party talk with Talespinner about going to Yu Shan.

Harmony talks to a very confused Gu Fei Nara about a private meeting at the party.

DS and Seven go on a hunting trip to get away from the city that turns out disappointing.

11, Venusday:

The party happens.  Gu Fei Nara finds out the meeting Harmony wanted privacy for wasn't with him, he then tells Harmony about the amnesiac agent thing.  Gu Fei Nara also talks to DS, apparently to try an drink him under the table, and is told an enthralling story by Kviik.

Harmony and Xian snip at each other through poetry.

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In Which The Story Returns To Events In Great Forks
Descending Fire 765: more meetings
8, Sunday:

Darkening Sky and Kazu have a meeting with the Triad of Great Forks to talk about how the Circle might get to Yu Shan and how not to get killed by the Bronze Faction while there.  They also talked about how they wanted to talk to Lytek and why.

Options included:
Getting a private meeting by Kazu saying he had a message from the Neverborn
Getting a private meeting with DS saying he was the representative of some dark power
Having an open meeting so everyone in Yu Shan could hear what they had to say

Feard finished altering the artifact taxidermy tools into surgery tools.

Harmony had a dream with a bunch of gods that wasn't as momentous as originally implied.

9, Moonday:

At breakfast, DS talked with the other members of the Circle (sans Kazu who had already left for the day) about their meeting the Three and the options they suggested.

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Wherein A Portion Of The Circle Goes To Nexus
Descending Fire 765: Stuff happens in Nexus
3,  Venusday – 7,  Saturnsday?:

Harmony, Xian Lin, and Seven go to Nexus to engage in parties, entertainment, and politics.  He talks to the Emissary and to the Princess to convince the Guild to tell the  Plausible Deniability Branch of the Guild to knock that shit out.

Harmony and Xian Lin interview thaumaturges and sorcerers for the Intent household.  Harmony decides on a former Chayan who was was initiated into plant based sorcery by a goddess and also has training as an healer/herbalist.  He also hired an old man from Sijan skilled in thaumaturgy related to the dead who wanted a partial retirement.

They also interviewed a Dragon-blooded sorcerer, who wasn't hired for the family, but Harmony did hire him to bring the other two to Great Forks with the agreement that Harmony would recommend him to Dayshield if he proved satisfactory.

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Wherein The Transcriber Of The Adventure Logs Is Too Tired To Write Something More Elaborate
Resplendent Fire 765: nap time
17, Mercuryday…and Beyond?:

Xian Lin and Feard being the ritual to alert amulet holders to the presence of someone with a necro-bomb.

Harmony begins his search for who's sending info to Deathlords, and finds out that its probably because Kazu will tell anyone who asks where he's going.  In the process he found that a Sidereal was also Wen the Scribe and that other-Wen had a post in Great Forks information Ministry.  Upon abandoning that persona,  Jozakura forgot about Wen, that she was trying to find out why there were two Wens,  and even that Talespinner was invited to assist.

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Wherein the Circle Returns To Their Point Of Origin, As Circles Are Wont To Do
Resplendent Fire 765: Downtime rears its ugly head
15, Sunsday:

After an uneventful trip back from Maelstrom, the Circle returns to Great Forks

16, Moonsday:

Xian Lin and Feard meet with Dayshield to plan a working that can detect and alert someone to the necro-bombs.  They decided to key it to Dayshield's temple to help power it.

Harmony had breakfast with Mom and Dad, discussing the trip and future plans.  A surprise Nezri appeared and was invited to breakfast.  Among things discussed: Shi-renn had interesting things to say about his time with the Circle, having enjoyed the experience.  Nezri informed Shi-renn and his second in command they weren't allowed to take the Falcon on adventures with the Circle.  The Circle has more leeway dealing with Rathess after the recent events, Nezri mentioned that if the Circle didn't know what they were going to do he could act as a commanding officer, which Evening Mist objected to since she would rather the Circle not be 'advised' by someone who wanted them dead.  Nezri and Dad bonded over logistics.

In an evening meeting, Kazu wanted to stay another month to finish his army training which had been rudely interrupted.  Harmony informed the Circle he was going to look into Deathlord agents, as they seemed to well informed.

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In Which The Circle Arrived At Maelstrom and Found, As Expected, No One Wanted To Let Them In
Resplendent Fire 765: so unloved
12, Marsday:

During the trip to Maelstrom, Kazu and Elaine were chatting and, among other things, she mentioned the living had 3 souls.  When questioned, she revealed that she (and perhaps many of the Underworld) consider the body to be another soul.

The Circle & Company arrive at Maelstrom. The Circle was not allowed into Maelstrom because of DS.  Svava, one of the Valkyrie, went out to meet them.  Judging from the way Elaine greeted her, they might have a thing.    She also didn't want Charon to leave Maelstrom to meet DS, but Charon, apparently, does what he wants.  Shi-renn offered himself as hostage to her captain, and his offer was accepted.

Some time in the midst of the meeting, Shi-renn 's anima banner was noted within the fortress.  Svava was irritated to realize who he was.

Charon and DS went to talk below decks where DS was asked about life under the Lover, and other things concerning Charon's enemies.   Charon mentioned that his title was still a tie to the Lover and he should get a new one.  Charon offered to help, but it would require a ritual that involved some of  DS's hair, blood, and a possession of his.

Back with the rest of the Circle, they talk with Charon about what Tyr did, and how often they would be able to accomplish it.  Charon said it would at least require someone of his power level, the item with pieces mined from Oblivion, and a large population center.  He also suggested a trip to Lytek, where DS and Kazu mentioned again that they didn't have a way to Yu Shan, nor any Sidereals, let alone any that might be inclined to help.  

Charon also talked about how Mask of Winters was an idiot.  He also talked about when MoW was trying to gain territory in the Northwest two hundred years ago, Charon sent a bunch of his people to deal with him.  They succeeded, and were sure they actually "killed" him, but MoW came back.

DS left the headphones he had with Charon, who said he'd like to study it and then assured DS he would unmake it.

Charon told Elaine to take the group where they wanted, but since they couldn't think of a pressing place they needed to be, she agreed to take them somewhere in the future.

Shi-renn eventually returned with a broken arm, and bruised face, and a bunch of other injuries.  He was smiling though.

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Wherein It Is Revealed That The Lover Watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Resplendent Fire 765: Who's next? Abyssal Giles? Abyssal Xander?
9, Moonsday:

After several uneventful days at sea,  a storm hit.  There were also some under-gulls (the under-gulls which herald an oncoming storm?), Elaine said they often indicated the presence of a Leviathan, a serpent which was like the Underworld's version of a Lesser Elemental Dragon.  Hopefully it wouldn't be in the mood to be troublesome.

However, the storms usually pass quickly, but this one didn't.  After some investigation, it was revealed to be a necromantic working which trapped in ship in a funnel of energy.  After they wouldn't shake the storm, Harmony was able see beyond the funnel enough to see the ship was headed straight into a cliff.  After some harrowing moments, they were able to break the ship free from the storm.  Elaine needed some time to figure out where they were in relation to Maelstrom, so they needed to anchor at the ominous island.  Kazu sent his puppies while Xian Lin sent her demon.  Many of the puppies died, and the one who survived reported being attacked by a creature DS recognized as one of the Lover's pets, thereafter dubbed the Wendigo.  Asrathifaf (or something, its names isn't spelled anywhere that I see) came back with a note from the Wilted Willow asking for parley. 

Xian Lin and Harmony decided to go see what it was about, and invited her for tea.  Kazu set up tea and set up as many slights as he could think of.  The Willow showed up with Angelus…I mean, the Blood Drenched Angel.  Because of course.  They had hoped the letter would piss DS enough to make him show up, which shows they don't really know him at all if true.  Xian Lin agreed to invite DS up, and Angelus pulled the oathbinding trick revealing himself to be a Moonshadow.  DS agreed to go, they made a lot of insinuations indicating that DS was just following the Lover's orders, but he really needed to stop being naughty and sending raids to the Citadel of Crimson Ice, and some shenanigans he pulled in the North that inconvenienced one of their plans or something.  They were being kinda oblique about it all, but eventually said enough for DS to realize they were talking about the stunt he, Kazu, and Elaine pulled with the Realm and Ice-walker ghost armies.  They wanted him to stop, and tried to negotiate with some information.  DS declined, indicating anything the Lover wanted to tell him wasn't anything that would actually be helpful for him to know.

The Wilted Willow and The Blood Drenched Angel left, saying they were going to leave in an hour and  Wendigo was going to hunt if they felt like fighting it.

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In Which the Circle Returns To The Underworld
Resplendent Fire 765: as habits go, it's a questionable one
In Which the Circle Once Again Returns To The Underworld, Which Many Would Argue Probably Isn't Recommended For One's Continued Good Health
 
5, Marsday:

The rest of the Circle reunites with Xian Lin, and go talk with Nezri about Dragonkings, Deathlords, and what they might be planning.  Evening Mist shows up, and is informed that Harmony was still in the Underworld arguing with great granddad.  She informed Nezri that he would send a Dragon-blood to help her son, and then organized the household to send prayers to Harmony, the Ferrymen, and Charon.  Haneiko says she has another assignment so wouldn't be going with the Circle to meet Charon.  Nezri says someone else could go, and indicates it would probably be Captain Shi-renn.

After gathering supplies, the Circle returned to the Underworld at sunset.  Captain Shi-renn was apparently enthusiastic to go, and chatted about whether or not he'd be able to pull the same trick as Elains new ship and take her to the Underworld as a ghost ship.  He also asked if he would be able to sail the ship, implying that the current captain couldn't possibly be as skilled as he was.  Upon meeting him, Elaine was not super thrilled to realize that he was  the Dragon-blood that had infiltrated their organization, and escaped with info Charon would prefer they didn't have, and in the process of going undercover had a valkyrie(?) named Sigrún fall in love with him, but he burned her ship and left her stranded on an island as he escaped.  Sigrún has  apparently been stuck as a guard at Maelstrom since Charon said he wouldn't give her another ship for 30 years. According to Elaine, Sigrún is still upset and would probably kill him.

Elaine informed the Circle (and guest) that navigation to Maelstrom was tricky and would take a couple days.

 

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In Which the Circle Bravely Ran Away
Resplendent Fire 765: When danger reared it's ugly head, they bravely turned tail and fled
 4, Venusday

While Kazu was finishing up releasing Tyr, the Lord of Void, from his bindings, Darkening Sky felt the approach of four Abyssals. Alerting Kazu and Harmony they needed to get out of here yesterday, he then picked up Kazu and the pot o' souls to get back to the ship ASAP to tell Captain Elaine the trouble.  Harmony, from the crows nest, gave a description of the vessel, which Elaine recognized and called the "Hissy Fit."  The mere presence of the vessel inspired a feeling of dread.  After some fancy ship work, fairly impressive parrying, a prayer that made a certain god super cranky at Feard for forcing him to intervene, and an Essence blast that knocked Kazu head over heals, they got the F out of there.  Also helpful was using Harmony's ancestor as a magnet much in the way Kazu's relative was used to speed the journey to Grey Falls Crater.

Once they were clear, Elaine said the ship was The Lion's Wrath, The First and Forsaken Lion's flagship, but she called it the Hissy Fit so as not to give it more power since it seemed powered by fear of it.

They talked about stuff involving Deathlords, Abyssals, and how often they'd be able to pull what they did in Grey Falls.  It was theorized that Tyr was acting against orders and The Deathlords and Neverborn would not be pleased that the Dragonkings showed what they were capable of/planning.  DS made plans with Elaine to meet Charon while he was still alive to be able to do so, the rest of the Circle decided to tag along.

5, Marsday:

They arrived at Underworld Great Forks and Harmony's Great Grand-dad, who was unhappy at the treatment and argued with Harmony about what he was owed.  At dawn they returned to Creation.  Seven ran off to do some errands.  DS, Kazu, and Feard went to talk to Nezri , who was pretty well informed due to the presence of Haneiko with the Circle, about what happened and plans going forward.

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On The Road Again
Resplendent Fire 765:

Wherein the Circle Is Once Again On The Road, Metaphorically As The Case May Be, As Their Journey Takes Brings Them To The Oceans Of The Underworld

 

3 Mercuryday - 4, Venusday:

Seven finished healing in the manse once known as the Doomsday Bunker, and the Semi-Circle returns to Great Forks.  The ship destined for the Underworld was finished and the ship was burnt.  After going through the nearby shadowlands, the Circle found that the ghost ship was created and Captain Elaine was nearby waiting, correctly assuming the Circle wanted to go to the water-logged crater once known as Grey Falls.

Captain Elaine was able to make a link between Kazu and his relative to make the trip quicker.  The trip was relatively uneventful, and the travelers speculated on what the Dragonkings hoped to accomplish.  It was theorized that the blast was intended to break Creation creating a hole leading to the Labyrinth, if not the Void itself.  When they reached to "deep waters" near Grey Falls, the crew went trawling for ghosts, and Kazu was able to help sent the ghosts to Lethe so as to rescue as many as possible.  On the way a Moonshadow Abyssal and his (probably) Day Caste parnter were discovered doing something to a group of ghosts.  The Moonshadow was killed, but was finished off by his partner so the Circle couldn't make him talk.  The surviving Abyssal was successfully able to hide to spy another day.

At the center of the blast, the Circle found Tyr, the Dragonking Master of Void, bound by chains made from the souls of the Tepets.  Tyr had a bit to say, revealing those following the Path of Void could hear the whispers of the Neverborn, Walker In Darkness was the one that empowered the Dragonkings and also bound Tyr for his failure.  

Kazu (Light's Valor) asked Harmony (Fading Laughter) to sanctify an Oath that Tyr wouldn't follow the path of Void in his next life, and wouldn't follow any dark paths if Light's Valor ever regained the implements that made the dark paths.  Whether the Oath effects later lifetimes remains to be seen.

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