Exalted: In A Mirror Darkly

Finality

Hovering above a ten-thousand strong eidolon army, the assembled Exalts try to chart their next move.

Shocked by Garland’s apparent betrayal, and by the appearance of eidolons marching in ranks, they stay above Vaise to observe for a time. As the hours until the city becomes a massive shadowland tick away, the eidolon army moves in to the city, and begins to multiply.

Eidolons increase their numbers by devouring the souls of the living, and the souls of the recently dead stay within the body until they rise at the next sunset as ghosts. This being the case, the recently dead can be devoured, and their souls converted in to new eidolons.

Seeking to prevent this from happening, Gi Dong Bak has his allies train the airships weaponry on the city, but there is only enough remaining ordenance to start a few fires… fires which are quickly extinguished. All the warstrider bays are empty, most of the firedust stores cleaned out… the aiship is strangely vacant of arms and weapons. And while the fight to take it over had been hard, it had not been as difficult as one might have expected. Within a few hours, the population of Vaise has risen from a few hundred surviving Essence users, to nearly two million eidolons.

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Episode 04: Airship Raid

After meeting up with Spear of the East, who had been posing as the airship Captain Vale, the assembled teams of Exalted began their midnight raid of the Realm Airship. With Inari and Seven Fist Shadow acting as scouts, Spear’s airboat was able to approach undetected from above.

Landing on the top of the ship, the two groups of Solar’s split up. Arctus’ group went to the aft of the ship, while Gi Dong Bak and his group headed for the bow, hoping to find the bridge. They encountered a group of Dragon Blooded soldiers inside the gas bag. The soldiers were well trained and well armed, and the fight was an intense one. Eventually, the Solars were victorious, and continued towards the bridge.

The group moved through the ship, and opened a hatchway which led to a Warstrider launch bay. They saw an Imperial Warstrider prepping for launch, and chose to circumvent the area. Unknown to them, the leader of the Wyld Hunt had loaded a Soul Breaker Orb on to his personal Warstrider. He had taken command of this airship, with the express purpose of claiming revenge on the Bull of the North. He had no qualms about sacrificing the capital city of Vaise in his attack, nor any concern for the potential consequences. In his mind, his mandate to destroy Anathema is far more important than the opinions of the bureaucrats back in the Realm, or the lives of Thresholders.

As the warstrider prepared for launch, the Solars made their way to the bridge. Fighting their way past the guards, they captured the bridge… just in time to see the Soulbreaker Orb detonate.

Shocked by the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction, the Solars scrambled to find a way to aid the city below. Nearly the entire population was slain, and only a handful of high essence persons survived. The Exalted spent the night and most of the day retrieving survivors, hoping to vacate before sunset brought the emergence of a new shadowland.

Mid way through the day, from the deck of the airship, high above the city, the assembled Solars and allies saw the approach of what appeared to be an army marching toward Vaise. Looking through the telescopes on the bridge, they saw that the army was lead by Garland… and that the army was composed entirely of Eidolons, nearly ten thousand strong.

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Episode 03: Budokai: Aftermath of Choices

Aldeus and his allies are discussing the presence of the Infernals. After a speech from Inari about the dangers of trusting demons, Aldeus seems all but convinced that accepting their offer is a terrible idea. Just then, the Pale Swordsman arrived, in a rage, and launched a furious attack upon the assembled Exalted.

After the smoke cleared, the Pale Swordsman lie dead. Realizing that the Pale Swordsman’s attack was no doubt in response to Lily accepting the Infernal’s offer, the assembled Exalts rushed back to the Arena to confront the Yozi worshipers. Both Aldeus and Bak were radiant with the expendature of Essence, and caused quite a commotion. They arrived at the Infernal’s suite, only to find it empty. Before they could figure out their next move, Aldeus and Bak were both struck in the back, and that blow caused their Essence to recede.

Turning around, they both saw Grahf standing behind them.

  • Grahf advised that they make themselves inconspicuous for the time being. He wanted Tiger to visit him when things cooled down.
  • Back in their room, the assembled Exalted reviewed their situation. After Tiger helped heal the allies, Bak offered to go an speak with the Lover Clad in Raiment of Tears on Tiger’s behalf.
  • Outside the Lover’s private booth, Bak could sense her anger. A layer of frost had collected on the marble floor and any metal surfaces. Bak had hoped to offer the Lover a bargain; in exchange for leaving Tiger and his allies alone, he would give her two of the Infernals to replace the Abyssals she lost. The Lover informed him that she no longer had any authority over Tiger… but she would be willing to speak of terms if he managed to capture any of the Green Sun Princes.
  • Confused, Bak returned to Tiger and the others to tell them of what the Lover had said. Not long after his arrival, a knock sounded at the door. Answering the knock, the door opened to reveal nothing but darkness. Tiger was dragged into the yawning portal by an unseen force… and found himself in the presence of his new master… the Mask of Winters.
  • The Mask of Winters informed Tiger that he would be assigned a new mission soon, and that in the morning he would be expected to speak with Prince Resplendent in the Ruin of Ages, one of his Deathknights.
  • While the Solar’s made their way to the Arena, Tiger went to meet with Grahf. Grahf offered to take Tiger on as his apprentice, if he would agree to kill Fei Wong. Tiger claimed he no longer cared what happened to Fei Wong… but still declined Grahf’s offer. Grahf told Tiger to seek him out… when he changed his mind.
  • During their matches against the “Realm Dignitary Team”, Nyle managed to pull of a remarkable success in the ring, to a standing ovation. His opponent was the Earth aspect.
  • Cybele and Crimson both slew their opponents, though not intentionally or out of malice.
  • After the match, the Bull of the North’s Solar team agreed to aid Gi Dong Bak and his allies. They would attempt to take down the Wyld Hunt team once they all reached the airship.
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Episode 02: Budokai: Revelations and Farewells

PREVIOUS EPISODE RECAPS NOT DONE YET! (my bad)

After winning their first match, the Solars are given a two day respite before their next match.

  • Gi Dong Bak seeks out the Bull of the North’s Solar team, to find healing for Kiara. He finds that the Solars are hoping to join the Bull’s forces, and that he sent them to the Budokai to prove themselves to him. Bak taught their youngest member, Arctos, Body Mending Meditation Technique in exchange for her aid in mending Kiara’s wounds.
  • Cybele and Bak spoke with Inari about hte possibility of the Lunars allying themselves with their own Solar force. Inari is willing to do what he can to help, but the Lunar’s leader, Rikioh, is extremely distrustful of Solars. Inari will do what he can.
  • While wandering the corridors, Gi Dong Bak was approached by several hooded figures. They demanded he follow them. Bak agreed, warily, and was led to the basements of the arena. There, he met with Shogun Ichigeki.
    The Shogun informed Bak that the Budokai masked an alternative purpose; a meeting between high ranking diplomats from Lookshy, Nexus, Halta, and the Bull of the North. The intent of this meeting is to form a new defensive union of states to stand firm against the Realm.
  • Bak swore the following oaths to the Shogun: Do not reveal the Eastern Alliance, and do not overthrow or usurp the Shogun.
  • The Shogun has asked for Bak’s assistance in slaying or disabling several of the Budokai’s teams. These teams hope to win the tournament, and then ask that the Shogun make Vaise a satrapy of the Realm. The Shogun wishes for Vaise to remain independent and would not accept such a request, but he would loose face among the other probationary members of the Alliance if he isn’t seen to be able to deal with his own problems. That’s where Bak and his allies come in.
  • In exchange for Bak’s aid, the Shogun has offered to pardon Bak’s father and restore him to Daimyo. Bak also convinced the Shogun to grant the Lunars possession of the Dark Wood, in exchange for their aid. And, if Bak wins the tournament, the Shogun is willing to give Bak a high ranking political office at his side.
  • Crimson Assassin was approached by a man who called himself “Rapturous Weeper”. Weeper seemed to know a great deal about all the Solars, and had information about their past lives. When the party went to speak with him at length, he revealed he and his allies to be Infernal Exalted, servants of the Yozi. He offered to take any of the Solar’s on as allies, and offered to cleanse Aldeus of the Neverborn corruption. He also offered to cure Kiara of her ‘condition’, and reveal the secret origin of the Eidolons. He hinted that it had something to do with the Sidereal exalted… The players declined, and Weeper let them leave.
  • Cybele and Nyle learned that the Realm representative teams were not staying in the Realm embassy, instead staying on the airship. The reasons for this remain a mystery.
  • Bak went to speak with Guild Factor Logia, hoping to secure some method of transport that could carry them to the Realm Airship hovering in the sky above Vaise. The Factor would not agree to keep Bak’s request in confidence… but did tell him to seek out Captain Vale at the Vaise shipping docks.
  • Aldeus returned with Lily to the Weeper. The Weeper remembered her, and took her inside to speak, as Aldeus left.
  • Later, while going over their plans to assault the Realm teams with Inari, Aldeus was attacked by Pale Swordsman, who had flown into a rage. Presumably, because Lily took the Infernal’s bargain. Aldeus slew the swordsman, finally taking revenge on his brother’s killer.
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Episode 01 - Wrath of Khan

Liao Khan has come back to Arroyo, and he is not pleased. He spent years… DECADES planning and maneuvering so that Liao Tsien, his grandson, would be able to fulfill a prophecy.

But then Tsien rebuffed the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears offer of Exaltation. As a result of this unexpected turn, Liao Khan has had to adjust his tactics.

Using his contacts within Grafes, he has managed to steal one of the Lover’s Monstrances of Celestial Portion. And he’s going to use it to meld his soul with Tsien’s, and become an Exalted.

Meanwhile, two Solars come to Arroyo. After finding out that Gi Dong Bak is also a Solar, they are spending some time sharing information when Liao Khan arrives.

In the forest, Lily informs Aldeus of Khan’s approach, and tells him that the Lover wants Aldeus to stop Khan.

After a tense exchange of words between the Solars and Liao Khan, Tsien takes his Grandfather in to his sanctum. There, Khan reveals his plan for Tsien, but Tsien manages to turn the tables on him, trapping him in a barrier.

Meanwhile, his Solar allies, with the help of Kiara defeat Khan’s ghostly bodyguards. Now they have Liao Khan trapped in Tsien’s sanctum… for now.

Part 2

Liao Khan appears to be trapped in Liao Tsien’s basement. But he still has some tricks up his sleeve. Among them, his most powerful ghostly bodyguard, Danilus.

As Tiger in the Dark and the rest of the Solars begin to head down the stairs to find out what has become of Liao Tsien, Danilus appears before them. Without a word, he smashed his brother with the Grand Goremaul they buried him with, sending Aldeus flying up the stairs to smash into the roof of the tea house.

Danilus is furious with his brother. He killed their father, and through his own selfish action, caused his own death. His is determined to have his revenge. Despite being a ghost, he somehow has access to the same abilities and Essence he once had as a Solar… or so it seems. Nyle suggests that a strange gold torc he wears may be the source of this power.

As this new battle raged above them, Liao Khan and Tsien discussed what would happen now. Tsien managed to convince Khan that his only real option was to give him the Monstrance, no strings attached. It was the only chance he had of not facing the Lover’s wrath for it’s theft.

Khan agreed… or so it seemed. The Monstrance appeared in Tsien’s basement, and after a while, Tsien climbed inside. The Monstrance snapped closed on him, impaling his heart… and he was face to face with the Lover. It had been a trick. She and Khan had been working together the entire time. By climbing in to the Monstrance, he accepted the bargain, and was transformed into an Abyssal Exalted. The Lover gloats over her victory, and Tsien vows to kill her.

Danilus seems to have the upper hand on his brother, and shocked and outmatched, Tiger in the Darkness flees in to the woods. Danilus pursues him for a time, but eventually Aldeus looses him. Eventually, Lily catches up to him, and says she has a message from the Lover. “Good Job”. By giving Aldeus the orders she did, she reinforced the perception that Khan was escaping her wrath.

The next morning, the monthly airship arrives, and begins offloading goods, passengers, and bags of mail. A messenger from the capital nails a flyer to the town’s bulletin board, announcing the 500th Vaise Budokai. The prize, as always, for the winning team of five martial artists is a boon each from the Shogun. Bak realizes that if he wins this tournament, he can have he and his father’s names cleared, and possibly even see their titles restored. Such requests have been honored in the past.

Gi Dong Bak asked Garland to travel to Nexus, or possibly even Lookshy, to see about hiring a mercenary company or two. He feels that the time is soon approaching to make a move for the throne of Vaise. Garland left on the airship, as it departed.

Gi Dong Bak and Kiara sought out the council of Fei Wong, once a legendary martial artist known as the White Tiger. He had participated in several Budokai during his years as a wandering hero, and had several suggestions for them. As they gathered Exalted were discussing their plans, a man walked in to the tea house, and introduced himself as Leon… an Eidolon.

After forcing an oath from Kiara, that she would not harm him, and that she would protect him against the other Eidolons, Leon revealed all that he knew about them.

Firstly, that the Eidolons are led by the “Ravagers”, powerful Awakened Knights. That their leader is none other than Lysander, the first male Black Rose Knight to recieve the Black Blood. That the Ravagers have amassed an army of the lesser, animilistic “soldier” eidolons. And that the Ravagers are planning to go to the Budokai, perhaps to kill and replace the Shogun. He also revealed, somewhat mattor of factly, the existance of the Sidereal Exalted, and their hand in the creation of the Black Rose Knights.

After deciding to help Leon, Andrew sought out Barson, and pledged an oath that he would not allow Arroyo to come to harm. This seemed to calm some of Barson’s doubts, but he is still worried that the presence of the Exalted will bring more trouble than aid to his people.

Meanwhile, while out in the forests near Arroyo, Cybele met with Inari, a Lunar Exalted who claims to be her Lunar Ally from ages long past. He explained that the other Lunars who have taken control of the Dark Wood do not trust the Solar Exalted, but that he has heard of her exploits in Halta, and remembers some of their time together in the First Age. He is willing to aid her however he can, but he cannot afford to compromised his position with the other Lunars.

Gi Dong Bak asked Spear of the East and Garland to go an acquire a mercenary force for him, in case he needed to make a bid for the throne of Vaise. After setting that plan in motion, the Solars and their companions set out for the Vaise Budokai.

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