The Dead Exalt

Session #1: A Broken Family
Summary from the perspective of Oris [Shane]

It had been a long time since Oris felt truly accepted. However, sitting in that tavern with his new friends and watching them go about everything made him feel just that, a sense of having a place. Everything was good with his new family. Looking back, Oris should have known better. He was never destined for a simple life, and neither were his friends. Yet being the people that they were, when the little girl came stumbling into the bar, they couldn’t refuse her help.

Oris was very upset as he looked down at the little girl cradled in his arms. He moved swiftly to lay her down on the bed so that Amy, just a girl herself, could get a look at her and bind her injuries. Some were all too familiar to Oris. The long slash bruises of a whip. If anything else, maybe he could have overlooked it, but ever since that day years ago with his sister, whips had left a scar that wouldn’t leave Oris’s heart. He was overcome by a seething rage. He barely battled it down. He knew nobody here was responsible, and he had learned long ago to control his temper. When you are as big as Oris, it is easy to harm people by accident when you are mad.

After everything was settled with the girl, Lily by name, the group decided to help her and reunite her with her family if at all possible. It shouldn’t be that difficult. It would be hard to stop the five of them, all Solars and all very strong in different ways. This was clearly in evidence when you observe Amy, a delicate little girl, but she’d smile the entire time while her wolf mauled you if you had provoked her. Or Oris’s friend Jat, the smoothest man alive in Oris’s opinion, but if cornered, those knives where much more than decoration.

So they traveled and journeyed to Nexus. Most of the way Oris had a knot of worry in his stomach. This was the Guild’s home, and he wanted nothing else to do with that particular band of merchants, if they could even be called such.

Jat got them through the gates with relative ease with his fantastic smile. The group didn’t get very far before the first objective was side-lined because Jynx the infuriating had been taken. Oris didn’t much care for that particular cat. Jynx harbored some ill will after Oris became such good friends with Jat. So after some fancy and clever antics done by Ken, he appeared to just float into the air to Oris. The group found themselves outside the door to where Jynx was being held. Two guards stopped our little band fast in its tracks, and even fast talking from Jat didn’t get them in. Yet seeing the worry on Jat’s face for his lost friend, Oris couldn’t not lend his strength for Jat’s cause. Lifting both guards, one in each hand, Oris knocked both their heads together. Finally he could let out a little of the rage that he had built up from finding Lily.

The blow did considerable damage, yet the strike from Ken knocked both down and through the door, and the group erupted into action. It didn’t take long before everyone was once again moving and on their way with Jynx. If only this was the extent of the trouble they would get into. They couldn’t know what would happen next.

After a night spent in the bar, finding some new leads and putting on a great show for everyone, the group was met with disaster. They awoke to find a large crowd outside around a burnt building. Moving forward, they saw the word ‘Anathema’ burnt clearly into the ground. Oris’s stomach dropped. The guards attempted to stop the group, but Oris and the wolf set them back. It became clear who it was; only one person had that frame. Lorna’s body was mangled, whipped, and burnt. They never should have come to Nexus. Amy clung to the front of Lorna’s body. Ken stared into nothing a blank mask. Jat attempted to pull Amy away, but she wouldn’t leave. Oris bubbled with rage. He was done. He had promised no one would hurt his family again, and this band of friends was his only family left. He wouldn’t lose them. Not again. Never again. They would pay. If only they had known what they had unleashed onto themselves.

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Session #2: Welcome to Nexus

Through the beautiful eyes of Jat (Nort)

I looked upon Amy as she kneeled down and stared angrily at our mangled friend Lorna‘s body. I placed my hand upon her shoulder. With my vivid and persuasive words, I convinced the young woman that we must get away from Lorna with haste. I knew Lorna wouldn’t want us to die here, too, and that she would want us to find her killers and Lily’s brother.

As we started walking, we discussed what we saw and the burned word that cause hate towards our kind. Quickly I changed the subject to more pressing matters that could lead us into the right direction. I pushed my beautiful red locks out of my face and said to my companions that we should head to the Little Market and shop around for some items and some food. We started on our walk, silent and angry.

After the long, five hour walk, we made it to the entrance of the Little Market. Carts and people of all kinds hurried about; merchants sold their wares to passing people. The air smelt of foods of all varieties. Our small party walked through the crowd only to be approached by a man who claimed to be a fish salesman. He said something about barrels, and Amy perked up. We walked into a tent to see huge barrels with fish pouring out of the tops.

Ken walked over and put his ear to one of them but heard no noise or movement. With Oris standing behind me like a strong shadow, Amy’s wolf smashed into one of the barrels. Fish spilled out onto the floor as the man cursed us and got right into my face, saliva spraying everywhere. I felt Oris shuffle behind me as he pushed the man back and said that he would fix the barrel for him, but the man demanded two barrels. Oris agreed, and the group, embarrassed and angry, walked back out of the tent.

Just then a group of soldiers came walking through the crowd, knocking people over and trampling an old man. Amy ran over and helped him up. The man told us that they are Realm soldiers, and they believe they are the cat’s pajamas. The man scurried off as Amy looked upon me with those pained eyes. I told everyone that the Night Market doesn’t open until later tonight, and we had plenty of time to kill until we could find Sol Marsh.

In a blink of an eye I was alone with my dear friend Jynx. Jynx stared at me, pulled his whiskers, and adjusted his monocle. With a smile he goes back to examining the scene. I needed to find some armor to protect my gorgeous body from evil, so I approached a clothing stall. Jynx found a very fine looking buff jacket. I looked it over with pure astonishment. I walked up to the old woman behind the stall and asked if I could purchase it, but the price was way too high. With my charm and wonderful smile, she agreed to let me have it if I deliver a small amount of material to the Big Market before tomorrow. I agreed and walked out with my new jacket and saw my big friend Oris with a bundle of sticks on his back.

Before we could discuss anything, we heard screaming, crashing, and a distinct growl from inside. We came running into the restaurant to see Ken standing over one of the soldiers from before and Amy’s wolf biting into another one’s arm. Oris ran into the room and tackled one to the ground as I let loose a knife into a man’s knee, causing him to knock himself out. The battle was over in seconds, and I stood behind Ken as he held up the last soldier by the scruff of his neck. After a few words, he let him go, and the man ran off. The restaurant erupted in cheers as they started serving us warm food and beer on the house.

At dinner I relayed the information about the old woman to the group, and we set off towards the old woman’s stall. Outside her stall were nine big boxes. My face turned red as I proclaimed that the woman said the delivery would be small. I tried picking up one of the crates, but I had hurt my leg in the battle and couldn’t carry it. Oris picked them up with ease and placed them on a cart, and we took off, only to hear a man scream in the distance about his cart.

We reached the Big Market, dropped off the goods, and got paid heavily for it. I promised the group I would take it back to the woman in the morning. We headed down an alley way and found a door. We knocked, and a nicely dressed fat man opened it. He pronounced that he was the owner and asked what he could do to help. I explained we were here to see his special goods, and I shook my new coin purse at him. After looking at his wares, we realized that this wasn’t the man for us. He told us where we could find Sol Marsh, and we promised him we’d take care of Sol for him.

We followed the fat man’s directions to a store front on a side street. We walked in, and Oris picked up some barrels that felt light. Words came out of a back door as a greasy, lanky, black-haired man came slithering out of the door. Something about him made my skin crawl. A conversation proceeded, and he told us we had come to the right place to buy slaves. However, Sol said I had to leave Jynx and my knives up here. I agreed because I had Oris with me, and I’ve seen what he can do to people with his fists.

Sol took us down some stairs and into a big room full of people tied up with chains, some hanging from the ceiling and some laying in their own filth. Oris placed his hand on my shoulder and squeezed; I knew I had to hurry. Sol showed us the young boys, and I saw a boy that looked almost exactly like Lily. Oris pointed and unshackled the boy.

I was about to hand my bag of coin to the rat as we heard a ruckus coming from up top. Oris and I walked up with Sol to see two bloody corpses laying on the ground; one was split in two. Ken was all bronze, breathing heavily atop a man with a sword wound through his chest. Sol screamed that he was his best customer just as Oris smashed his face into the ground with one punch. The two body guards that were with him stepped back and surrendered. They ran back into his office and grabbed his gold. Ken grabbed one by the shirt and asked what they saw here today. They both replied with nothing and ran off.

Ken smelt fire and ran out into the street toward a blazing building while we stayed and searched the bodies. Ken returned and told us he saw a burnt body with the same marking on the ground that were next to Lorna’s earlier that day and that two figures run into a manhole down the road. I shuddered and walked down the staircase.

An hour later we had released all two hundred slaves, who looked upon us with fear. I told them to wait here so we can go save the other people and kill the slavers. I told Bob, one of the slaves, not to open for anyone except if he hears the password “Bonanna.”

We ran over to the fat man’s slave outpost, and he was overjoyed to hear the news, but just as he sent his men over to round up the slaves, I stumbled and threw a knife over his head. He screamed as the rest of my friends leaped to action, knocking out the two body guards. We missed the slaver as he ran out the door. We chased after him only to see him talking to two soldiers. I looked upon my companions and thought of how screwed we are.

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Session #3:

The abrupt stop brought dust around the rag tag group. Ken cursed under his breath as they came upon the slaver, the coward taking shelter behind two guards. With Amy‘s caste symbol glowing bright, the group’s identities were obvious. Not wanting to explain himself, or let justice slip away from a slaver, Ken ran forward, jumped, and stomped upon a guardsman’s face. Slamming down with his sword, Ken skewered the slaver and continued with his run, taunting the guardsmen to give a chance for the others to run.

“You just…..left the slaves up there? Still in shackles?” Ken looked at the others. They had tracked him to the sewer where he had laid low. Apparently they decided finding him was a priority, which was probably a first for Kensai. Ken would have preferred to search the sewers, the perpetrators of the fire having used them. In the end they decided to leave Amy and Oris to search.

Up above Ken and Jat returned to the slaves, though they were unsure what to do with them. Jat came up with a plan to utilize barrels to smuggle the slaves to freedom. Not wanting to dedicate the time that would take, Ken persuaded him to instead have the guard force release them, slavery being illegal in Nexus after all.

Regrouping once again in the sewers, Ken and Jat discovered the others had found a subterranean village. Esmerelda, the village elder, apparently had already set them on a mission. She took Oris’s blood for some unknown reason, but they assumed it would be very bad if they did not complete the task given. Throwing her bones, a map appeared before them of the sewer tunnels. Ken blinked at it, dubious about making sense of the maze, but Jat was sure he could figure it out.

Using the directions given, the group came upon an encampment of tents surrounding a huge fire. Sneaking into the camp, Ken made his way into one of the tents, curious as to what manner of enemy they face. He found out all too quickly as a naked woman turned to look at him. She was heavy with muscle and was in the process of chewing on a human leg, a small one that appeared to have belong to a child. The death of another child, the burn victim in the city, was still fresh in Ken’s mind, and this new act of child murder drew him to instant violence.

The others must have been confused for a moment, as the back of a tent burst open with two chunks of cannibal barbarian exploding out of it. Among the ruins of the shredded tent, Kensai held firm and glowered at the rest of the barbarians, towering sword over his shoulders. Joining the battle, Oris, Kensai, and the others were able to take down the rest of the barbarians with relative ease, keeping the surviving captives safe.

That’s when the leader, Krillig, decided to show himself, accompanied by two rather large men as back up. Kensai was happy with getting the captives back to safety but made sure to give a rude gesture to the man as they ran. Turning a corner Ken changed his mind; after all if this leader is still around, are the underground people….. Ken guessed he would call them morlocks…. Would these morlocks truly be safe? Suddenly stopping, Ken waited at the corner, sword at the ready. As the enemy approached he swung, but the foe saw through the ruse and had thrown a corpse in Ken’s way. Another battle ensued, far more difficult than the last. Oris had been able to hold the alpha barbarian in a grapple while Kensai speared the man through. The group stumbled back to the morlock village, heavily injured but now with the freed captives of the cannibal barbarians.

The village greeted them warmly, happy to see their loved ones returned. The village elder gave Oris back his blood and rubbed in healing ointment to treat his wounds. Kensai talked Amy into treating him the same way, but it was much less pleasant than he pictured.

Kensai confronted the village elder about two morlocks he had spotted running from the fire in the city. She agreed to let him and Jat speak with them. Using a harsh good guardsmen/bad guardsmen routine, mostly because it entertained Ken, Jat and Ken were able to interrogate the two men and find out that they had nothing to do with the fire, but did hear an odd voice from the actual murderer.

Once they returned back to the surface, the group decided to check on the slaves that were given to the guardsmen to be freed. Tracking down the guard they spoke to, they found a barracks. Inside it was revealed that their commander, Adolf, had imprisoned the slaves, and Bob, the slaves’ de facto leader, was missing. Jat attempted to sweet talk Adolf to learning more, but he was quickly turned away. Once outside, Jat explained what he saw, and Kensai barged in, anger and guilt swelling over him.

WHY ARE YOU ALL BEHIND BARS? WHAT HAPPENED? AND WHERE THE $@#! IS ”/characters/bob-27" class=“wiki-content-link”>BOB?!" Kensai screamed at the slaves before turning his glare towards Adolf. Adolf warned Kensai that he would be arrested for causing trouble. The slaves shouted that Bob was killed. Kensai gripped his blade.

“Well if you’re going to arrest me, I guess you will have to disarm me. Come on… Take my sword….” Kensai looked at Adolf with a sadistic grin, one devoid of any real humor. Within a minute guard bodies littered the barracks, the group of Exalted standing over them. One remaining guardsmen ran for the back door, and Kensai chased him. Once he was caught, Ken tried to pry answers from the man, but they were interrupted when he saw a group of heavily armed men and a woman making their way into the front door of the barracks.

“What is a guild member doing here?!?” The guardsmen cried.

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Session 4

Written by Sam, aka Amy “Amythest Blind Sunrise”.

She walked by with two humans at her sides. They were gaunt, barely clothed, and shackled to her like dogs. I think if they were dogs, she’d have treated them better. Oris noticed her, and his whole being seemed to radiate disgust. Jat suggested he be the one to take the liberated out of Nexus, alone. I had no arguments with that plan and surprisingly neither did Ken. We bade farewell to Oris and headed toward the woman.

She was a guild member. One of nine, her guards informed us. She looked about fifty years old, extremely angular face, wore a straw hat, and was named the Lady of The Salt. She spent a lot of time staring at me. I’m not sure if it was my age or if my cast mark was showing again. My party members…Ken, Ken needs to stop getting into death or death situations.

While she stares at me, Jat steps forward and calms I’m his slave. She comments on my looks. I see why she was staring at me. Sex slaves bring more money than normal slaves. Jat had just saved my life. I owe him.

Jat seems distracted the closer he gets to the Lady of Salt. I suddenly realize why, the male slave looks like him. I say nothing, after all in this moment I am a slave. She recognized us as the ones causing her issues on her slave trade business. She informed us of a civility wanting to remove and ban us from Nexus. We were given a mission by her. I can’t recall the exact details, mostly because if we’re genuinely double crossing her the less I know the better. We complete the mission, she said, we would be allowed to come and go in Nexus. We would also get the male slave, who was Jat’s brother. She gave us instructions on how to find our friend and the other bodies that had been stolen. I wish I could have closed my eyes. This much suffering was getting to me. Our conversation ends with the Lady of The Salt, and we set off with her guards toward the dock.

Jat and I tried to make small talk with the guards. They’re names were Cletus and Travis. Cletus did not say two words to us. Travis was somewhat talkative. We found out that he and Cletus were merceneries. They worked for the Guild because the Guild paid a lot. I asked about the Lady of The Salt. Travis informed me she has been in the slave trade for 40 years. Her name was given to her because nothing she sells ever rots. I had heard of a merchant magic that could preserve meat. I shudder to think about that, humans reduced to meat. I want her dead. We finally arrive at the dock.

Ken flashed some jade, and we acquired a boat. Pleasant introductions were given for the most part. Woody was the name of our captain, and that was fitting since the poor soul had fake arms and legs. Jat and Ken both introduced themselves. Before I could say my name, Ken piped in with “Small Tits.” I’m not sure why I tolerate Ken. Not every woman has gigantic breasts. I think he forgets I’m not that old, barely 17. My body’s not fully developed. He’ll be sorry when it is. I shrug it off. No point in arguing with him.

Talking with Woody, we discover that the Guild normally checks boats, but was bribed out of checking the black vessel we were after. I headed toward the crew to heal them and mend any wounds. I’m not sure what Jat and Kensai did. I think Jat got sea sick. Jynx spent most of his time on the boat talking to Woody. He seemed very adept to sailing, probably a good thing if we become captainless.

While mending to the sick and wounded, I learned that theLady of The Salt was the only active member of the Guild. Two others of the nine that were note worthy were Blossoms On The Night Breeze and Gavin Bast. Blossoms is rumored to be a spirit creature with horns. Gavin is said to be an Earth aspect Dragon Blooded. He is the only known Exalted member of the Guild. I asked about the Sunless Folk. No one knows much. This seems to be a trend. We eventually arrive at the black vessel.

We bade farewell to Woody, who promised to return in 2 days to retrieve us. Ken leaps onto the vessel without issue. I climb on Ulrich’s back and assist Jat up and tell Ulrich to leap upon the vessel. The wolf doesn’t make it. He took a running start and suddenly became frightened. He stops, slams into the side of the vessel and knocks both Jat and I off his back. Ken is nowhere to be seen at this moment. I managed to climb back onto Ulrich. We had to save Jat from drowning. Back on shore we reunite with Ken, who just shrugs at us.

As we traveled in town, we ran across a girl we had saved. Her family wanted to thank us for saving her, so we joined them for dinner. The meal was the best they could offer, and I felt bad eating it. Not because it wasn’t good food, but because they were a family of limited means. We gathered from the family that there were strange occurrences in the north east. We thanked them for the meal. Ken made a threat towards anyone wishing to harm their daughter. And we headed in the direction of the occurrences.

On our journey we stumbled upon what we assumed were zombies. They weren’t. I recognized the energy around being necrotic energy. I wasn’t sure what or who was affecting them. The couple told us a story of a man named Barrow Black. Black was a bandit and slave seller. He was killed by an out casted Dragon blooded named Larek, who was a member of House Synis. I ask if there was a way to contact Larek. The couple told us he and his crew hang around the outskirt of town protecting the town. I healed them. We thanked them and headed toward the outskirts of town.

We found Larek chopping wood. He’s not an unattractive man. He killed Black because he demanded tribute from a free town. Ken being Ken, head butted him. I can’t recall why. I think that’s how Ken says hello. Before any real fighting can happen, I step in and heal Larek, which doesn’t set well with Ken. Jat doesn’t say anything.

I move on to heal the rest of his crew. My travel companions inform me that there is a place nearby of Exalted power, and it was inactive due to safeguards. They and Larek believe the people we are looking for are there. I ask Larek who amongst his crew is the strongest. He points to a large man named Merrick. I approach him and cast bronze skin. Jat and Ken were visibly upset with me. Larek looked apprehensive. Blazing like a bonfire, I turned them and said, “Think of this as gesture of good will. We have granted the safety of the village and his crew this way.” Ken yelled something about me wasting my energy. I ignored him. We set off toward the hill of Exalted power.

The conversations with Larek were strained. I can’t say I blame him. I’ve heard stories of Dragon Blooded. I tried to be as pleasant as possible. I believe on judging people based on themselves alone and not what the group as a whole has done. Ken grumbled ahead of the trail, ignoring Larek and I. Jat walked along uncomfortably. I managed to find out from Larek that the Lady of the Salt’s amulet radiates magic. (I imagine if we can get that removed from her, we can stop her. ) I asked him questions about his aspect, mostly if I was right in guessing he was a wood aspect Dragon Blooded. He sounded wounded when he said “Yes”. I told him I didn’t mean to insult him, I had just read about wood aspects. Not him exactly but wood aspect Dragon Blooded. He said I would read about him one day.

We finally reached the source of Exalted Power. We fought off zombies, automatons, and bandits. All the fighting was a blur to me. Ken and Larek would make an excellent team if they could agree with each other. Amongst the chaos, we found out that Barrow Black is the leader of the bandits. I think there’s an assumption that it’s an imposter since Larek killed Black. We begin looking for imposter (Off-Black?)

The room we are in has a sundial that is used to move stair cases around to different doors. The first door contains on its floor my caste mark. The caste mark was set deep into ground. In the middle of the ground sits a coffin with old realm runes on it. Guarding the coffin was a bloody horse. The horse also has old realm runes and razor blades. Ken and Larek defeat the horse. I tell them that the runes on the coffin are a sealing spell. The ones on the horse were a summoning spell. The exact words on the tomb were:

No hero lies in this vessel
For she Demon of Yozi
Liar.

I know Yozi are powerful demons used by the Twilight caste in summoning. The woman in the coffin is stunning. Her tiara and robe have binding runes on them. Whoever put her here didn’t want her leaving. When we opened the casket, her body disappeared. I’m not sure where she went, so we move onto the next room.

The second room is a night caste room. Stone table, stone coffin. The room itself is a giant trap. Jat and Jynx manage to disarm it. Ken and Larek retrieve the child inside the coffin. He cradles a golden bow. Ken recognizes the boy as being one he thought he saved. He vows vengeance on whoever did this to the child. We move onto a third room.

In the third room we find Barrow Black and a woman in white robes. The woman in white was Red Death’s sister. Ken asked her if she was going to die like a bitch like her brother did. I don’t know what happened after that. I was attacked. The woman in white hit me with something. I was thrown off of Ulrich, and as I slammed into the floor I saw Ulrich leap towards her to attack her.

After that, I just remember the smell of blood and darkness. I should probably start casting Bronze Skin on myself. I hope Ken, Jat, Jynx, and Larek survived. We could use Oris. I hope he’s ok.

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