Dragon's Wrath

Sepherenes Diary 2

I’ve been sent an invitation to a dinner taking place at the Palace of Meetings on the Fourth Rung of the mountain-city of Mahltin. Immediately,
I went back to the rest of the Archons. I showed them the invitation, explained the situation and asked them what they thought I should do. They
all unanimously said exactly what I was afraid of hearing, “You have to go.” I already knew it. There was no telling who was going to be there, or
whether or not it was a trap. But if I didn’t go, there’s no telling what we are passing up. And secondly, we all agreed that if I was going to go
that I had to show up in style. So Kalak and I went shopping.

For years, Sepherene knew that she was an attractive woman. Men have no shame when they see a beautiful girl. But she never knew what she could

look like if she had an expert helping her. She almost felt like a sideshow act as everyone she passed in the few minute walk to carts for the 4th
rung gawked and drooled. One man even walked off the edge the third rung because he wasn’t watching himself. He survived by luck, landing on a
moving cart. It was as if she commanded their attention through supernatural beauty.

When Sepherene arrived, the room was empty except for a large table, a chair at each
end, and a ton of food. On the far side of the room was a balcony. As the door shut behind her, all the noise of Mahltin vanished. Usually in order to be heard, someone had to yell. If she dropped a fork, it might actually echo in here. She stood by the Balcony doors, waiting, enjoying the silence, and attempting to stay calm.

The door opened a few minutes later. In walked a man, unfamiliar to Sepherene. He greeted Sepherene politely and asked her to sit. She did. And after a few minutes of quiet eating, he finally broke the silence. “So you don’t remember me, do you Sepherene?” There were a few moments of confusion, but Sepherene couldn’t place him. Eventually, he stopped playing games and introduced himself. His name was
Forsaken Debt. That’s when it all came back to her.

Back when Sepherene was held by those slavers nearly fifteen years ago, one of them named Ralf, had a son. He was quiet, kept to himself, and seemed like a pretty ordinary child. That is, until she shot Ralf during her escape with the Unconquered Wolf. She had a feeling this dinner may have something to do with that. And when she made herself look up from her food, he was holding an ornate pistol with multiple barrels and and ornate designs across it, spelling out “Catalyst” in Sepherene’s native tongue of Forest-speak.

Sepherene tried to remain calm, but it wasnt working. She was about to flip the table, when he turned the pistol over in his hand, gripping it by the barrel and slid it across the table to her. She picked it up. “A gift? Why?” He smiled. “That day was what sparked a change in my life. In both of our lives. It’s what led us to our own forms of greatness. You rule a city in the Blessed Isle, I’m aligned with the Guild. And that right there is the gun that started it. It marked you, what you would become. It was the Catalyst. So I give it to you, as a gift. May you use it, and start something else great.”

Sepherene didn’t know what to say. He said he was with the Guild. He was working with the Second Hunt. But he wished that we could put that aside. He wants us to be friends.
So they talked a little more, she turned the pistol over in her hands. And then before she knew it, it was time for him to go. He walked over shook her hand. Said he had a lovely time. And turned to go.

Gavol, the devil on her shoulder, popped up out of nowhere, as he tends to do. “Ya know, Seph, he is the enemy. You could kill him. Right here. One shot. He’s not even
an exalt. But this is your last chance.”

Everything went in slow motion. Sepherene thought about it. First, sound proof room. Second, gun in her hand. Third, his back was turned. No defenses. No armor. Gavol was right. She could take out one of the Second Hunt. Send a message. Sepherene raised the Catalyst. He reached the door handle. She pulled back the firing mechanism. “Last Chance Seph!” Forsaken Debt turned around to give one last smile. Sepherene was sitting hands folded on the table. And the door shut.

“Come on, Seph. You never do anything fun..”

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Sepherene's Diary 1
So I’ve decided to continue writing again, after the last “mission” I’ve gone on. It all started when we arrived back from Imperial City. Cynis Indry had

been pushing the “Demon Scale” business. So I soon found that I didn’t have much time to hand over the scale. I put together a plan, and decided I would march
with him and his men to Psiap’s Stairs, or where ever it was that he was taking it. So I explained to the rest what exactly the situation was and that I would
return within the month.

In the days I spent preparing for the trip, we all began to notice the Gold Legion, Cynis Indry’s men, moving around Beacon and making notes on architecture,

building’s locations, and other important information. It was not unusual for them to be doing such things. After all, that was what they had done in Hjubah to
attempt to find the Vault which held the Demon Scale to begin with. But the other Archons and I felt as if these notes got into the wrong hands that it could be
bad news for us, especially if the hands in question were the dirty hands of the Wyld Hunt. Beacon would be invaded before Kalak could make an inspiring speech
about it…

Three days into the trip to the Stair, we stopped at some open clearing. He gave them an order which I hadn’t entirely heard and they began to spread out

through the clearing and lay a bunch of open pieces of paper on the ground. Once they were finished they all stepped out of the way and I took a look at what
they’ve arranged. It was a large, detailed and functional map of Beacon. Cynis Indry immediately turned to me and began to strike a deal. He asked that if I
wish the map to be destroyed that I should not protest that he put a clamp of some sort on the scale. It was something to magically mark it as his own. It’s
intent is so that when the time comes, if I do not wish to give up the Scale I do not have to power to withhold it from him. He assured me that when he brought
it to the Stair, it would be removed and I could do as I wished. So I complied and took a metaphorical spooful from a bottle labeled Sepherene’s medicine…

A few weeks later, with the map long-burned to ashes, we arrived in Psiap’s Stair. It was a large city, and it housed some type Dragon-blooded training

center. I forget what it was called. Kalak and Leon reminded me a few times. And Indry mentioned it so many that I felt like I should know it more than my own
mother’s name, but it’s hard to remember all of these things about the Realm. I went in with Indry to deliver the Scale. I handed it to him to carry. We trekked
up the beginning of a small mountain where the training center was. We went inside and climbed nearly to the top of that, before we found the hallway that lead
to the “Headmaster’s Quarters.” I didn’t do much while I was there. I may not have even spoken. But I watched the whole trade go down. I watched them talk like
friends. And at one point, I even swear the Headmaster began to stare at me. By the time Indry began to leave, I almost couldn’t stop myself from running out.
I glanced behind me aswe walked down the hall and he was there, staring at me still. I knew that something had gone wrong…

Knowing I didn’t have a lot of time to come up with a plan, and assuming he was suspecting me of being some impostor, I didn’t think it was wise for me to

even leave the training center. I would just hide out inside somewhere and wait for the time to strike. After a few hours, the clock struck midnight. I figured
now would be best. Most of the Dragon-bloods would be asleep. So as I snuck through the hall and decisively incapaciated the few people patrolling the halls, I
soon found myself in the same hallway. I saw two doors: the one to the Headmaster’s quarters and another that Indry had pointed out to be the one he would keep it
in. I crept over, and listened. I heard no movement inside and saw no light coming from under the door. I attempted to text the knob and it was in fact open. This
had to be a trap. But at this point, huddled down in front of a door there was nothing else to do but spring the trap. I silently swung the door open enough for me
to slide in, and smoothly closed it behind me. I turned around to see the Scale standing in the center of the room and the hearthstone was still fitted inside.
Gavol was doing pull-ups on one of the crossbars of the scale. “Hey! You came back for me!!” I was almost startled by the fact that he was yelling, but I
remembered that I’m the only one unlucky enough to be able to hear him. “Hey, to you too.” I whispered, “Now let’s get out of here.” I grabbed the Scale, and spun
around to run out the door and then I realized I almost forgot something. I took out the piece of paper in my pocket and folded it in half to stand it up. The side
facing the door has a symbol of a shadowy mountain. I set it right in the center of the room where the Scale was a moment before. I turned back around to see that I
had failed. The Headmaster was in the doorway…

“Are you here alone?” is the question that sticks in my mind the most. I wasn’t sure how to handle it. It’s obvious he recognized me. He is curious whether the

Ascending Phoenix is here. If he can end the Rebellion and the damage the “Heretics” cause right now. But if I tell him they are not here, then I may invited a fight
that I can not hope to win. “Are you alone here?” I’m not sure whether he repeated it or I asked it so many times that my ears are finally convincing me he said it.
“I am. I do not need them. I am the Shadow of the Mountain.” And before I knew what was happening he moved out of my way and allowed me to go free. “The Shadow of
the Mountain has struck again!” I soared through the hallways before the dragon-bloods could respond to my screams.

The Divine Banquet. That is the idea I returned to Beacon to find out about. The Archons are in the middle of near-open war with the Realm and Kalak wants to

throw a party. It sounds about right. At first, I thought it was a very dumb idea but it turns out there have been some developments since I left with Indry. Siphon
of the Blue Void came by to let us know that the Wyld Hunt has been called off. It appears no one seems to know why, but apparently some other threat has begun to
crawl out of the shadows. I suppose we’re very lucky. So with this newly discovered time of peace, we get to work on the gathering allies. Which I suppose means
preparing for the Divine Banquet.

Every new year, during the five day calibration, the Hall of the Coiled Sun was the place to be. Lord Circon would throw a party for all of the Dragonswrath

Plains, including Gods, Elementals, and Exalts. If all goes as planned we are going to spend the next 21 months preparing a festival of such magnitude the Gods will
have no other choice but to ally themselves with us. We shall show ourselves to be capable of orchestrating large affairs, entertaining supernatural beings, and that
we are fair and just people deserving to rule their lands. If we can sway the Gods, the people and cities will follow in suit…

I’ve just returned from the Dragon’s Gate. It was quite an adventure. We met with the God, Diegan, to discuss a possible alliance and to invite him to the Divine

Banquet. He was glad to help us as soon as we proved to him that the Scarlet Empress was gone and the Realm had been lying to him for years. After that betrayal, he
wanted nothing to do with them. But that left us with one problem. The Realm cities that were on either side of him had warehouses that were wired to his gate and
slowly sapped his essence to power their war machines. We needed to break the machine connected to his gates. I suggested that Camreal and I go to the base that is
“Less Guarded.” While sending Kalak and Leon to handle the “war bunker” that was the other warehouse. They agreed and we set out on our separate ways. Ours was simple.
I went in, stole a warstrider and attempted to blow up the building. In the mean time, Camreal snuck over and worked his geomancy to overload the machines and make
sure the machines will never operate again. I don’t entirely know what happened in the other one but from what I understand, Kalak almost died. And Leon had to save
him by using that new fiery cape. Maybe we can trust Leon…

Day 5 of Preparation

We’ve finally give everyone their jobs for the next 21 months. A large portion of the people are rebuilding the city after the little firepollen incident. That

will take time. It would be best if the whole city was completed by the time the gods arrive. I got stuck with invitations.

Day 45 of Preparation-

A large portion of invitations were filled out incorrectly. Faron didn’t entirely explain how but we have to redo 200 invitations and summonings..

Day 85 of Preparation

We are attempting to get all the invitations prepared. But we lack the man power. The City is taking longer than expected but everything else is going well. The

Decorations could probably be finished in a month if we were still so far away.

Day 210 of Preparation

Cutters do not cook well. But one did fall into a cauldron of steamed beetles. We’re not sure whether it would but considered an exotic twist or an insult. I

constantly find myself exhaus

Day 315 of Preparation

We’re halfway to Calibration and nothing is complete. I’ve begun to worry that we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. I mean, who knew so many Gods eat cats?

Day 450 of Preparation

Invitations are finally complete. I can finally sit back and relax. This is such a relief. I just have to wait for everyone to finish their assignments. And I

just received news that the city is fully repaired.

Day 451 of Preparation

I hate this banquet. Why am I gardening now?

Day 525 of Preparation

Kalak has set up some kind of electric instrument orchestra so that he can perform for the Gods. I hope it’s enough for them.

Day 600 of Preparation

Everything is just about done. We have a month until Calibration and everything is set up. Now we just have to hope everyone arrives.

Day 1 of Calibration

It is starting in just under an hour. I told everyone I needed a few minutes to calm down. I figured I would come and make another small passage. It truly is

a terrifying thought that we have to entertain hundreds of Gods for 5 whole days hoping that nothing goes wrong. At least we know Silken Venom isn’t going to do
anything crazy. He’s been willing to help us this whole time.

Four hours later

I’m going to kill Silken Venom. How dare he kill the Sea of Amber Blades?! Investigation is necessary but it will not take long.

Day 3 of Calibration- Mid-day

We’ve investigated the last of the usual suspects. I can’t believe none of them have done it. I’m not sure why anyone else would’e. There’s no motive.

Day 4 of Calibration

Nobody knows that the Sea of Amber Blades is dead. And we saw another star fall. We can only assume another God has died. In an attempt to give a reason to note

attendance, I orchestrated the greatest game of hide and seek creation has ever known. Seven hours later, it ended. It was a bad idea. But we discovered it wasn’t
one of ours. I suppose it was just a coincidence…

Day 5 of Calibration

We got all the way to the end of the Ceremony without anyone realizing he was dead. There was one thing that Faron didn’t mention. The Sea of Amber Blades is

supposed to make a speech declaring how good the Banquet was. We were just about to come out with the news, when there was a commotion down in the town square. A
straw hat erupted into a burst of fire and light. And within a moment, the Sea of Amber Blades was there. Alive and Well. He congratulated us on the Divine Banquet
being the best one he’s ever attended. He declared that everyone else should come back next year. And then the fireworks started. I remember looking up at the sky,
thinking to myself “They surprised us with fireworks!” It was an uplifting moment after finding out I’ve been chasing ghosts for 5 days for absolutely no other
reason than a dumb prank. I heard someone behind me ask Sea of Amber Blades about the second shooting star and how he made them fall. I knew what his response was
going to be before he could even say. Those weren’t fireworks. They were shooting stars. And their numbers may be in the hundreds…

It’s been 6 months since Calibration. Time has been flying by recently. It is alarming. We still have no idea what happened to the stars. The Loom of Fate is

going nuts all the time. Apparently nobody in Yu-Shan can read it. And I just left a meeting Siphon of the Blue Void where he told us that we are being hunted again.
Luckily, it’s not the true Wyld Hunt. But it is definitely not going to be easy. They asked for volunteers to form a hunt, so naturally five of our greatest enemies
decided to form up. They include Father Downpour, Magistrate Falchion, Cathak Atmus, a high-level Guild official, and someone else. I remember them saying something
about the fifth member killing one of this circle right before I became part of it, two years ago. Knowing this now, I’m not sure whether I was allowed to help because
of my value or as a replacement of their “Mapis Maluni” or whatever. One of Camreal’s trees on the edge of the city just lit up. I supppose I should go check it out…

As I investigated the trees. I found a guard of Beacon saying that this has been happening recently and three guards have gone missing recently. I decided to

go investigate, so I contacted I-am and requested he alert the others. Along the way, there were some rather large bees that attacked. It was odd, but not nearly
as alarming as we would come to find out. When we reach a small abandoned farm house, we found 6 people that had been mutated into monsters. Apparently, Leon
recognized it as the Wyld Pox. It is an infectious disease that pops up around the Dragonswrath plains now and again. And it has rapid effects of the Wyld. We used
I-am to contact Virtuous Reed and when he arrived, he had brought along one of Leon’s henchmen. They brought news that in our absence, The Hall of the Coiled Sun was
infiltrated and Silas was injured. So we were forced to hurry back in case something went terribly wrong. As it turns out, Silas stumbled upon someone inside the Hearth
room and they attacked him. We investigated the room after we were sure Silas was going to make it. They opened up a map of the Dragonswrath plains and stabbed into the
city of Mhaltin was a large blade that had words running up the side that read “All Ties Must End.” Surrounding the dagger were four items but I’m afraid the Guild
crest is the only one that I can think of. It is burned into my mind so deeply. This is the most threatened I’ve felt since my escape. The Wyld Hunt, although more
powerful, was not as terrifying because it wasn’t as personal. This is someone that knows what I have done, and some would say I have wronged. We’ve all discussed
what we want to do about this and it seems we are all on the same page. We can not sit by and be hunted. Effective immediately, we are going to Mhaltin and we will
make the hunters become the Hunted…

We went through the armory, gathered our gear, alerted everyone to our trip and gathered the other exalts to let them know that they are the last line of defense

while we are gone. We saddled up our horses and began to ride across the plains. Days later, we are coming up over a hill and we began to feel a pulsing through
the ground. It felt almost like a heartbeat. Ba-Bum. Ba-Bum. Ba-Bum. And as we reached the top, we saw what was causing it. The city of Mhaltin is a large city, with
tons of ground-breaking technology. It is built into a large mountain and it uses monorails and wired-carts to move people from place to place. We entered the city
soon after with our fake visas from Siphon of the Blue Void. We were placed on level two of four. And apparently level four is where the leaders of the city stay.
I assume that is where the Replacement Hunt is staying. Once we got settled into the Inn, I headed up to level 3 to see how tight security is. I swiped a few visas
from some of the rich people just to realize how rare level fours really are. That’s when I felt a tug at my clothing. “Excuse me, are you Maiden Sepherene?” I
turned around to find a small boy holding a piece of paper. I had a brief moment of quiet panic again, like when I was confronted by the Headmaster. “Why, yes I am.”
I kneeled down beside him. “What can I do for you?” And without saying another word, he handed me the piece of paper in his hand and ran off…

“You have been cordially invited to dinner. This is clearance for level four. Come Alone.” And instead of a signature there was a small Guild symbol. It looked

just like the one back in Beacon. That scared feeling of being hunted was suddenly back. And it doesn’t seem to be going away…

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Sepherenes Anger Management 5

The crew and I returned to Beacon after a little while and although I would’ve liked nothing more than a little relaxation, that’s not the
life of a “God.” Before we knew it, we were summoned to see Virtuous Reed. In our absense, he has continued with some of his science projects.
He summoned us because he realized a project of his had gone missing. He had been working on some type of cross-pollination in an attempt
to create a flower that produces firedust. You can load it into a fire wand and it goes boom. But it also has an odd side-effect. If it is
ingested in just about any way, the subject feels a rush of euphoria. The feel on top of the world, and for the most part it’s true. Because
once the spontaneous fires start spawning around them, well.. you get the idea. We hadn’t fully realized the severity of the condition until
we tried to track the thief. Before we knew it, Camreal had sniffed out enough of a trail to set fire to a rather large portion of Beacon.
We were moving through the city attempting to save as many people and homes as we could, but it was spreading too quickly. I did the only
thing I could. I used a technique I learned not too long ago and channeled my strength. I picked up Camreal and hurled him to the edge of the
city. Then I continued crashing through walls and saving the people of Beacon. The lucky thing is Gods know other gods.. Or at least in our
case. I look up into the sky to see a large tidal wave about to come washing down over the city. Riding this wave are two familiar faces.

One is a bit dragon-like and I know it to be Cobalguin, a Dragon, River-God and ally. We share the worship of Beacon in this Pantheon and
recently my Sisters have been staying with him so he can gain his strength back. He has been teaching them and they have been praying. Every
one benefits while I’ve been off in Hjubah.

The second was Drana, my second in command of our Sisters and, I suppose, my best friend. She has helped me with so much. After the death of
the Unconquered Wolf of the Diamond Shield, I exalted and everyone looked to me for leadership as they had with Wolf. But the moral of the
story was that I hadn’t been in the game nearly as long as he had. Or I think. To be honest, I hadn’t had much opportunity to hear about
Wolf. He kept everything pretty tight to the vest around us. But when I had to give everyone direction, Drana was there to help me.

And in moments the wave crashes over the city, drowning all the raging fires. The people of Beacon were saved from certain doom. But the theft
was no closer to being solved. Whoever they were, they were good..

A few days later, a message arrives at the Hall of the Coiled Sun. Cynis Indry is on his way. He will be arriving in a few days and we are
to have a meal and the Demon Scale prepared. We set everything up for him and his people. And when he arrives, I am forced to tell him that
there was a mix up with the message. I did not intend for him to come so quickly because in my haste, I misspoke. I just meant to warn him
where we were, and that I was not running out on our deal. He was not happy. I could tell that much. But at this point there was nothing he
could do about it. With how much I’ve helped him, he still owed me. The Demon Scale is the find of a century, not to mention the history
associated with it.

We begin to figure out our next move. With only 5 months left until Calibration, we start to look into the remaining deal we have with the
time limit of the new Year. I should clarify. With the Chitin business taken care of, the only deal left is the two artifacts that have
been promised to the Shadow of the Mountain. Kalak made a deal with this Abyssal back near the beginning of the year and has since delayed
returning these artifacts to him because there was another bargain with Nelens Wysell saying that he could use them as blackmail against the
House Regara. So in the months since, we’ve been letting Wysell take them to the Imperial City to be used in the “Deliberative.”

Sure enough, before we can have a discussion about this, news comes from the Imperial City. The meeting in the Deliberative was scheduled
to be held within a week. Quite frankly, I thought Kalak was going to have a bad run of luck, because even in all my power traveling from
Beacon to the Imperial city would take at least eight times that amount. I thought we were going to have to chalk it up to a loss before we
realized just how much we are capable of.

As it turns out, we have an air aspect inside Beacon that has consistent contact with a Sidereal, Siphon of the Blue Void. And his mission is
to get us Solar Exalts into power and ruling creation again. It’s quite a great idea, honestly. Although I’m entirely unsure how one would
go about ruling all of creation.. The Air Aspect happens to know a teleport spell that can put us anywhere on creation instantly. At first, it
seemed to be a problem because the spell is a one way ticket. (ANACHRONISM!) But the Gold Faction has a base set up in the city.

So we spend the day preparing the spell and packing our things. Eventually everyone is standing in a room with the Air Aspect, Siphon
of the Blue Void and Shadow of the Mountain. It takes a few minutes to explain the situation such as where we will be arriving, how much time
we have in the city, and any other miscellaneous information. And all the while a small breeze is swirling through the room. I remember thinking
about the possible consequences of going into the Imperial City as the wind picked up and erased it from my mind. It almost felt as if I had to
hold my ground against the wind, but at the same time weightless. All of a sudden the world around me went black, then white. It was as if I was
a living painting on a blank canvas. And suddenly details began to appear before my eyes. First the outlines, then the colors, then the textures.
It appears like one of I-Am’s rendered images when he’s multitasking too much. But soon enough, it’s as if we’ve been in that room the whole time.

I take a look around and we seem to be in some type of clocktower with a bunch of machines set up and a dozen people working furiously on
something. We were introduced to the Gold Faction members, given Realm disguises, and shown a large map of the city. And we get to work
immediately concocting a plan…

Its been six days.. We have no idea what we’re doing. Especially me. I’m currently locked inside a vault in the museum. It all started last week
when we tried to set up a master plan for this “Heist”, as Kalak called it. We found out all the possible routes the Yeddim could take. Yeddim are
massive mammoths the Dragon-bloods use for hauling. We did a stake out on the factory that destroys and rebuilds the artifacts. We came up with a ton
of different ideas. I thought it would be a good idea to hide inside the museum and wait for the Curator to open it. And sure enough he did. I attempted
to sneak past him on his way out. And although I got what I desired, I could swear he saw me. And winked. Of course, he then shut the door behind me and
locked me in here. For all I know, when it opens I will be greeted by the 100 most powerful dragon bloods in the Imperial City. It appears empty, and the
floor is covered in what I can only describe as pressure plates.

So we’ve made it out of Imperial City. I was not in a favorable position when the morning came. I heard the door unlocking, and used an essence technique
to make the eyes of others pass over me without hesitation. But I was standing in the center of the vault, which was exactly where they were to put the large
chest. I saw Curator walk in, chest in hand and walked directly to me. I could tell there would not be enough room on the plate where I was standing. It was
either me or the chest. So I did the only thing I could and stepped backwards. There was a loud click and the Curator looked up from the chest. And looked
me right in the eye. “Oh no! I think someone is in here!” he yelled. And the door shut.

What happened next was all done in such a blur, I never stood a chance. The chest dropped to the floor, he kicked the chest into me, and it threw me into the
wall. I opened my eyes, the chest pinning me to the back of the wall and the curator standing right on the other side of it. With all my strength, I pushed
back against him, but it was clearly pointless. The curator was not happy about thieves stealing from him. I attempted to persuade him with the idea that he
couldn’t stop us. There were too many. But I was wrong, yet again. He said we werent leaving with it, but he would allow us to leave. Since he didn’t want to
out me and have me killed, despite it being simpler, I decided it was time for a gambit.

“I once traded a treasured artifact from an immaculate monk for the Ascending Phoenix. And then stole the Phoenix back from him.” The scale tipped. But in no
time it tipped back in the Curators favor.

“I am worshiped by an entire city as a God!” I yelled. I thought I had him. That was it. The scale was tipped so far.

“I am the Shadow of the Mountain and my presence extends far beyond my physical being!” The scale flipped on me, and the next thing I know I am laying on the
ground and I have to fight to remain conscious. I felt myself being lifted, and there is a loud clang as I can only assume the door opens. I remember thinking
“This is it. I’ve pushed it too far this time. We’ve all been had. That Abyssal tricked us into coming to the Imperial City. And now I’ve doomed us all.”
But as Creation has shown me many times, I am almost always incorrect.

The Shadow of the Mountain is an ancient Night Caste from the First Age. He has been the curator for pretty much ever. And he has a group of people that move
throughout Creation and thieve under the name Shado"ww of the Mountain. I never stood a chance in that “Weigh-In.” He had the deeds of presumably hundreds to
help him, not to mention everything he has done.

He was forgiving though. He allowed us to leave, he even gave us the artifacts, but for a price. Apparently the Hall of the Coiled Sun was once inhabited by
some very dear friends of his, and our suits were once owned by them. He said if we handed in the suits, we could take them. So we did. Before we left, he
also extended me an offer if I chose. I could be a Shadow of the Mountain. Of course I accepted. After that, we ran away yelling “The Shadow of the Mountain
had done it again!” We ran to the clock tower. And before we knew it, we were rendering again. We were back in Beacon.

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Sepherene's Anger Management Log IV
Inspection… What kind of inspection? The ghostly soldiers were moving to some type of predetermined positions around the Citadel of Points. Some were on the walls looking out into the distance, but all of them were at complete attention. Kalak and I moved up on to the walls while Camreal and Leon ran away. The Dust Dragon was beginning to form off in the distance. Kalak and I watched as the Dragon moved closer and closer. I began demanding it declare itself, attempting to see if it was sentient. After all, if it could inspect the soldiers, it had to be capable of thought. But it simply ignored me. It came right up to the gates and waited for them to open. And as soon as they did it strolled through the courtyard, making sure everything was in its rightful place. Everyone took turns attempting to interact with it. Some more aggressive than others. Camreal ended up ok though. Kalak was finally the one to get through to the thing, once it realized the true power of his presence. He started talking to it, but all it could do is screech and metallic roar. Leon and I watched from a safe distance while the communication attempts still fail. All the while that’s happening, Camreal moves into the Citadel and notices a few guards that are acting differently. Instead of standing motionless and staring blankly, there were a few of them that were attempting to pick up pieces of a window and wall and place them back together. After a moment they complete it, and the Dragon begins to dissolve. We watch as the remnants of the dragon crash to the ground. But as that happens, I see a tiny glint of light. It was falling as if part of the Dragon. It was a sickly green that turned my stomach.And it was gone as quickly as it had come. My first thought was that maybe it was a side effect of the erratic essence flows through Hjubah mixed with geomancy of the defenses. I request Leons papers he found in the Temple we had been at a few hours prior. After a few moments of research I found that my hypothesis was incorrect. Next, my thoughts wandered to the Shining Path. They did have some weird green torches. But then on the last bit of records that Leon gave me, I notice some reports that talk of an eerie green light making people sick. Complaints they sound like. But I decided to go back to the Temple to find proof. After tearing the Temple apart looking for proof, I found the reports I was looking for.

They explain in greater detail the complaints that were coming in about the light. They
seemed to be centralized around the Manse but there were sightings all over the city.
Eventually all the information lead back to the Prefect. Something around him, or the Prefect himself, was causing this green light. And since we were searching for him, that would mean..I rushed back to the Citadel knowing now just how screwed we might be.

We attempted to summon the Prefects soul after I filled everyone in on the details. But there was no success. It doesn’t make any sense. If the green came from the Dragon, then that would mean that the Prefect is involved with it. But we could not bring his soul back. After a bit of thought we decide to go in and call it a night. It was geting dark anyway. I could not help but wrack my brain over and over trying to make sense of this. This all makes sense somehow. We lay down for the night, ghostly soldiers leaving us to ourselves. I was asleep as soon as my eyes were closed. It was definitely a long day. Although, that seems to be the pattern in Hjubah. I did not rest easy though. I was plagued by dreams of a dark, rocky manse floating high above the city and slowly drifting back down into its rightful place, coincidentally crushing the Shining Path. Or it popping back its existence and them being simply wiped away in place of it. I continuously saw flashes of the paintings I found in the library. The Scarlet Empress stared deep into my eyes with her cruel, evil eyes and her arrogant grin. Knowing the knowledge I seek is so clearly out of my grasp. I could almost see her taking the hearthstone and swinging it in front of my face. That green star. All seven points. Seven

reasons I can’t find it. Its nauseating. The green stone..

I woke with a startle. Sitting up immediately, I yell “Of course!” Everyone behind me awakes but I pay them no attention. I merely put on my shoes and go sprinting out into the rubble of the Dust Dragon. Using whatever strength I have in me, I start tearing through the remnants of skyscapers and other building and materials that made up such a fearsome beast. After what seems like forever I reach the bottom. I turn over what had to be the last stone for what felt like the fifth time and there it is. I found it. I see a green stone, fashioned into a seven pointed star. And it was just lying there at my feet. I reached down and picked it up. And in the time it took me to stand up straight, it crumbled to dust in my fingertips. “What? No! NO! NO! NO!” I’m sure I heard the others standing behind saying things like “She’s lost her mind, huh?” But I was too busy trying to think about what just happened. “I don’t understand. It was right there!” After a few minutes I give up and go back inside and attempt to get some actual rest. But it doesn’t even matter. “At this rate, we’ll be dead by calibration.” We woke the next morning ready to start again. This time Kalak has an idea. He decides to try summoning Twenty Feathered Stride. He tells the tale of our group because he heard that is how Twenty Feathered was worshiped. Sure enough, at the end of the tale, the ground began to rumble. The dragon reappeared from the rubble I had thrown everywhere a few hours ago while searching for the hearthstone. And this time it took no effort for Kalak to gather its attention towards him. He asked it questions again but all it could do was screech. Then Kalak grabbed a stick and carved a large question in the ground. “Can you understand this?” And it carved a positive answer into the ground. This continued a time or two and eventually it said it would show us the Prefect. The dragons eyes, one small blue and one larger yellow, changed sizes. The blue was now bigger. Also, the body language changed. The way the Dragon held itself changed slightly. “You’re the Prefect?” I asked. And again, the giant finger made of rock and metal dragged its way through the ground. YES. “We are looking for the manse. The one that you were attuned to. Do you know where it is?” Instead of carving a message in the ground this time, it simply head out it’s gigantic hand in front of me. I looked closer. In the center of its hand sat the hearthstone. It held it there as if waiting for me to take it. I slowly reached out and took it from its hand. And this time it didn’t turn to dust. It was real. I started to attune to it. The nausea was hitting me hard. I didn’t realize I was starting fade into unconsciousness. But I was brought back to reality when I heard a loud screeching metal sound. I stared up, trying to get my eyes to focus. The Dragon was roaring and the yellow eye was larger again. Twenty Feathered Stride was angry. I could see large chunks of the Dragon falling to the ground. It seemed to be falling apart without the power of the Manse. It started attacking and we started fleeing. Everything was kind of hazy, but I remember Camreal flying at me in full human form. It took me a second to realize that he can’t fly of his own power when in human form. I thought it would be a great idea to use essence to phase past him. Until I realized how fast he was going to slam into the ground. I grabbed his legs and even with my strength we tumbled to the ground. Although I did slow him down enough to prevent him from becoming a hieroglyph. There was a bright flash and Leon was up by its head. I was about to call him insane before I realized he was saving Kalak. A few moments later the Dragon fell to pieces and we were walking back to the Fluid Residence. I had the Seven Pointed Star and we just had to go and try the Scale. When we returned, it was straight to the hearthroom. I put the hearthstone in the scale and it was a seamless fit. That’s when I heard a new voice. And sitting on the scale was a small impish devil. He said his name was Gavol. And that we were now stuck with each other. He said he is the First Circle Demon who was tasked with being the Judge of the Scale. Except instead of being there when the scale is used, he is there all the time. As long as I am attuned to them, he is there. And at first he didn’t tell me, but I’m the only one that can see him. I feel like this will wear on me after a while. But he says that he will share all of the secrets of the Scale with me as time goes on. After trying to convince the others to try and wager the power of their souls against one another and getting nowhere, I went to Indry and explained that I would like to test the scale. He got the Tepets to come and wager it out. In the end, Tepet Felo won over Xuma but I think finally realizing that they did all of those things together brought them closer as siblings. So since I knew how the scale worked, we were free to leave Hjubah. Or so I thought. Apparently, Leon does have a trait or two of his people and I don’t mean the power over fire. I will admit, when he told me that Kathak Draven was in Hjubah and he’s been watching us, I wanted to kill him. I’ve killed fire aspects before and I’m sure I will do it again. It may even be Leon. But sadly, I was able to keep my frame of mind and maintain enough restraint. I’m pretty sure he’ll still be able to see my handprint on his face a week from now. It took me a while to calm down but once I did, he was able to explain the full situation to me. He had sent an ally of his to follow Draven and report in and give us an idea of when he was coming. But on his way back to us, it became known that he was being followed. He ended up leading them right to Hjubah. So apparently, the blue haired woman I saw a few days ago, was one of Dravens people. That’s when he found out they were in Hjubah. They said that we are not to leave the city and that Leon has to hand in the Ascending Phoenix or we all die. We all talk about our options for pretty much ever. And finally we decide to find another way out of the city. That’s when I had the idea. I told them I would like to stay behind. I was going to talk with Gavol. Leon caught on and decided to stay also. He decided it would be a bad idea, if Kathak saw him out searching for secret tunnels. Once everyone had left, I turned to Leon. “I understand why you did what you did. I want to trust you and Kalak and Camreal. But with that being said, we have agreed on two things. And I think it’s time we took care of them.” Leon and I arrived in the blotch in no time. We knocked on the door, brought in a crate of “supplies” and walked straight down to the two guiding lights of the Shining Path. I started off the conversation by asking them for help. But they didnt seem inclined. I even tried persuading them by telling them that the Wyld Hunt wants their son. Their response was more or less a giant “So?” I tried to pluck at their heartstrings by explaining I would love to bring his body back but they love to burn the Anathema. And all their compassion for their first born child amounted to “Well be sure to sweep up the ashes for us.” The monsters they’ve become since the Deathlord got his hands on their souls. I couldn’t keep this up much longer. I was being filled with rage by these evil bastards. Finally, I gave up restraint. “Well it seems you can’t help us. Leon? It would seem this was a USELESS effort…” Then he proceeded to take the “supplies” and does a polite half bow directly in front of them, before blowing the crate up. It all happened so quickly after this. We both phased from the physical plane for an instant with our essence techniques. Just long enough to dodge the explosions. Apparently when we came in with one of the crates of “supplies” the Juggernaut took it upon himself to bring the rest of them inside. When we returned to our natural state, we were standing on the Jade platform that made the vault. The cathedral was dust. And crouching and covering Camreal’s parents was the Juggernaut. It stood up and revealed their mangled bodies but they were clearly still alive. I stared into the sky and saw thousands of souls that the Shining Path had been collecting, flying off across the city. There was no time to deal with that though. I looked over at Leon. “I’ll keep him busy. Finish this.” I turned and brought

up the scale. I dashed forward and as I was swinging the scale towards the top of the Juggernaut. I heard the familiar voice of the little devil on my shoulder. “Extend the orbs chains.” I willed it and although my attack initially missed, the chains extended much farther than I thought possible and wrapped completely around the Juggernaut. “Indestructible. He wont be breaking those.” That’s when I saw the jets of flame and smelled the burning flesh. They were dead for sure. Everything went white for a moment.

I ran up as fast as I could, slamming my fists on the door as hard as I could. “HELP!

SOMEBODY!” Wolf was waiting down the hill counting to thirty before he followed. As the door opened, I saw a man in Immaculate robes standing there. He did not seemed pleased. “Please sir, I’m being chased by bandits. Do you offer safety?” He stopped just a moment to consider the options. “Very well. Come in, dea-” His eyes shot over my head to the man charging up the hill. I had no idea how he knew, but before I could enter the doorway he shoved me back and yelled, “Anathema!!!” As the door shuts, Wolf charges into it. There’s a loud crack and it doesn’t budge. “That was fast. Normally it takes a whole minute before the covers blown..” He throws his shoulder into it one last time, and the door finally gives out. He stumbles through, and sees two men, each with
daiklaves. They glance at each other and take a stance. I attempt to sneak through the doorway but there seems to be something stopping me. Something I can’t see. Before I can react, a fierce battle begins. Swords slash faster than my eyes can blink. The Wolf starts to give off an intense light and the two men surround themselves with a fiery aura. I took my razor claws, slashing against the solid air. I gave it a good kick and still nothing. I had to help him. That’s when I saw it. One of the men leaped over the Wolf, landed on the other side of him, and put his hand out. Flame spilled out over the Wolf in an instant. And his skin was vanishing before my eyes. “NOOO!!!” Tears started to well up. There was a flash of white again.

I came to and I felt as if I could still hear the screaming. As my vision cleared, almost no time had passed. But I did hear the screaming. It was from the Juggernaut, who was still pulling at the chains of the Scale. But it did him no good. It almost sounded like the Juggernaut was…crying. Then out of the jade came large red spines, splitting the jade. One of them opened and out came Chitin.He seemed a normal size man, but he had large red gauntlets and a very cold look in his eyes. The Juggernaut finally untangled himself from the chains and ran at the new opponent. But with no effort Chitin pushed him back and tore the armor open. He turned away back towards the bodies. He reached out towards Leon and pushed him aside gently. And then he bent down and tore dark, nasty energy from their chest. I’m sure it was their soul and exaltation. Chitin stood back up and went for the juggernaut. I stepped forward and saw a child sitting inside the armor. “Chitin. He is a boy. He is not necessary.” I was hoping I did not just make myself an target of his frustrations. "Very well. You know, as the

contract says, you can call on me. I will uphold that." And he was gone.

Before me and Leon had time to discuss what we’ve done Kalak came crashing down to the jade platform we’ve been standing on. For what felt like the hundreth time I heard him yell “What did you do?” At first I tried to explain but then Leon had the idea to have I-am show him a video of the goings on with Camreal’s parents. So we discussed what we did. But we conveniently left out the part about Chitin. And then they said that we have a way out. We went back to the Fluid Residence and after ensuring nobody would witness our escape, we ran off into a dark secret tunnel. We walked for days. Even weeks. Eventually we came out exactly where Kalak thought we would. He has a friend with a large snake and a tunnel network to a ton of cities around the plains, including Beacon. So we’ve been inside this snake for about 18 hours now. We’ll be back to our home any time now.
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Sepherene Flashback I

Faced with untold danger from a giant dragon made out of the ruins of Hjubah, Sepherene weighed the odds of activating her armor. The pros outweigh the cons.

“Stealth mode: Engage.”

All of a sudden, Sepherene felt a pulling from the center of her chest. It was an extremely uncomfortable feeling. To push away the nausea, Sepherene had to close her eyes. After a second, the feeling leaves her and she reopens her eyes to find all of her equipment missing. She was missing her armor, her hearth stones, everything. Her boots! Her claws!

Sepherene began to feel weak. They were just gone. How could they be gone. She
began checking her body to see if all of it was just invisible. But she could her skin. She could tell she was no longer weighed down by all the metal. Her vision started to fade. One of the last things she heard was “Why aren’t you running?!”

White out

Before Sepherene could realize what was going on around her, she was back in one
of the many safehouses around creation The Unconquered Wolf of the Diamond Shield
had set up. If she remembered this one, she was in Port Calin. It was the first safehouse she had been brought to since her rescue from the Guildmen. She could feel herself striding through the hall towards the Wolf’s room. There’s no way Sepherene could forget this moment. This is when she made the choice to devote her life to working with the Unconquered Wolf, and destroying the Guild and House Cynis of the Realm. Sepherene was so nervous. She worried so much about what the Wolf would say, that she couldn’t walk in right away. She paced the hall for a few moments trying to gather the courage. Through the door she could hear voices.

“We have to send her home.”

“Drana, she’s not going to want to go home. She can’t. She’s been so strong for so long, she wouldn’t fit back at home. Her parents will treat her like the baby she was and she will give in to it. Stagnant waters spoil.”

“Wolf, she deserves to go home. She’s going to want revenge but she’s not like you. She’s gonna find out how little she’s capable of, and it’s going to crush her. Or worse, she’s going to die out there trying to keep up with you.”

“I wouldn’t let her die. I wouldn’t let any of you die.”

“Of course not, but Seph and I kind of looked out for each other in Bright Harbor. I know how she is and I want her to be happy. She is my friend and she should go home.”

“That’s neither my choice to make, nor is it yours. She’ll tell us what she wants. After
all, you want to stay.”

“Thats different. Just think about it.”

“I have. If she wishes to stay, I’m going to help her, train her, and give her these.”

“She cant use those.”

“Anyone can, with training.”

Sepherene came to her senses. She heard footsteps coming towards the door. And here she is standing right in front of it. Eavesdropping no less. She sideshifted into the room across the hall and quietly pushed the door closed. After she heard the one leave, she opened the door again and saw Wolf taking a pair of golden boots and putting them in a chest. A golden glow shined from inside.

“Wolf, I’d like to talk..”

White out

It was approaching twilight, when Sepherene left the cabin of the Lady’s Luck. She was
carrying a chest out of the cabin and down to the stern. She set the chest down on the deck in front a man sized white sheet. Slowly the rest of the Night-sisters gathered around.

“It is time to say good bye to our friend and leader. The name Unconquered Wolf of the
Diamond Shield has struck fear in the name of the Guild for a long time. Sadly, his war
with them is over. But our war is just beginning. It’s no longer just about the Guild.
It’s about The Realm, House Cynis, and Nexus. It’s about freedom. About all women having control of their lives, no longer being toys and objects to be bought and sold by men. It’s about no longer having to lose ones we love to the Terrestrials playing King. By the time we are done with this war, we will bring about a new age. An age of the Unconquered.”

After a few moments of lighting candles and saying prayers, the women take the man under the sheet, set him in a boat. Sepherene reaches out and opens the chest she had carried out. She takes a pair of steel claws and boots out of the chest and sets them in the boat with him.

Then together they lower it into the water. It begins to separate from the Lady’s Luck.
And then one of the women set it ablaze with an arrow.

“He was a dear friend, a mentor, and a true hero. He did all he could to save everyone.
And in the end, this is where his destiny lead him. He is with the Unconquered Sun now.”

“What are they doing? Playing cards?” Drana says. The rest of the women laugh and crack a smile for the first time in days.

Sepherene reaches into the chest and pulls out a larger, shinier pair of claws and boots.
Obviously orichalcum.

White out

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Sepherene's Anger Management Log III

As I last left off, we were relaxing in the Fluid Residence after visiting the museum. We
took a small amount of time to discuss the things I found there. From what it appears, theoriginal manse of Hjubah that had caused the explosion that destroyed the city was no ordinary manse. Based on the evidence I found, it would appear that two people were the only ones to ever attune to it. Those people were the Scarlett Empress and the Prefect of Hjubah. And until now, they were probably the only ones that knew its true design.

Cynis Indry opened the vault he was looking for a few days ago, as I’ve already said. And
from it we recieved the Demon Scale. As we now know for sure, that vault was part of the original manse. And they were most definitely linked. The manse by design is one hundred percent, a malfean manse. It was a manse drawing energy from hell. And those attuned to it have the ability to operate the Demon Scale.

Now with those two being the only ones that have attuned to it, I have reason to believe
that if the manse is still intact, then it would be free to attune to. After all, the prefect is dead. And the Scarlett Empress has been missing for a very long time. It is thought that she is dead, of course nobody knows how.

I spent much of the night writing, and plotting. I don’t trust any of these men with the
true power of the Demon Scale. I can not allow them to get their hands on a hearthstone. I believe the best way to ensure the Demon Scale is used for purposes worthy of the Unconquered, is for me to monitor its use. So I must find a way to distract the rest of them and tear them away from the search for the manse. But things have been so crazy it is impossible to tell whats going to happen.

After all, when we awoke we decided our next action would be to try and find the Prefect’s spirit. Hopefully, it is still lingering in Hjubah. But if we can find him we can surely
find out more about the location to this manse. Or some valuable information to how it
operated. To know how something works is the best way to know how break it and how to fix it.

We followed the aquaducts as far as we could. And then started to move among the ruins. We saw the Citadel of points, but continued on. We figured the best place to start would be the Temple. So we continued walking. We moved around skyscraper after skyscraper until we thought there couldn’t be anymore. All of a sudden we turn a corner, to where the Temple should be and see a huge wall in front of us.

Everyone begins to investigate by moving around it, I decided it would be much faster to reach the top of it. So me and Camreal race to the top and after I soar into the air, I
look down to see the Temple on top of a huge hexagonal pillar with a diameter of a few
hundred feet. But the are stairs to get to the top of it. And so I contact I-am to tell
him to share this information with them. Eventually we are all on top of the hexagon.

The Temple is very obviously a temple of the air. There are sails covering almost the
whole thing. As we enter we feel a cool, constant, and controlled breeze going through the entire temple. Kalak suggests that we split up and search the place. I find the Essence Affairs Chamber. And begin looking through things. I don’t find much of value except for a name. Twenty Feathered Stride. The God of Hjubah. He’s gotta know the most. And whether they know it or not, I’m going to find him.

During this time, everyone has come up empty. Camreal has attempted to summon the the Prefect’s spirit. But he wound up summoning a different one. That spirit told us that the prefect left, because he used to have weekly meetings with Twenty Feathered Stride. Sadly, we are not sure where to look for him. These meetings constantly changed places. So it seems as if our only hope is Twenty Feathered Stride.

As this conversation ends, we hear a bell ring. The bell is clearly at the top of the Temple. It seemed completely normal until the shrieking started. And the metal on metal grinding. Curious what was happening, we turn towards the exit and see outside the door, there are skyscapers breaking apart and shifting, and rebuilding itself. After a few moments, it is clear the shape it is taking. A Dragon.

Faced with untold danger from a giant dragon made out of the ruins of Hjubah, I weighed the odds of activating my armor. The pros outweigh the cons.

“Stealth mode: Engage.”

All of a sudden, I felt a pulling from the center of hmy chest. It was an extremely
uncomfortable feeling. To push away the nausea, I had to close my eyes. After a second,
the feeling leaves and as I reopen my eyes, I find all of the equipment missing. My things. All of it. Armor, hearthstones, everything. Boots! Claws!

I began to feel weak. They were just gone. How could they be gone. After I began checking my body to see if all of it was just invisible I realized I could bare skin. I could tell I was no longer weighed down by all the metal. My vision started to fade. One of the last things I heard was “Why aren’t you running?!” (See flashback 1)

When I gained control of myself again, I realized the dragon was staring right at me.
And nobody else was to be seen. To I gave everything bit of my energy I could to fleeing
from this giant beast. I leapt from the temple, landed on the aquaducts and took off as
fast as my feet and essence could take me. It was moving straight towards me, and I
dodged every one of its attacks until we heard a bell. The dragon disintegrated. And I was safe once again. But my things were gone. On my own, hidden in the aquaducts, I gave into a moment of weakness and shed a single tear for the loss of such important gifts. How irresponsible I was for doing such a thing. I knew that my armor did not agree with the flow of essence around Hjubah. Well, its no matter. I realized I have to get back to the group. So here I am taking a few moments to scribble my thoughts in my journal. It can hold my emotions for now. It’s not a good idea for me to bring them back to the group. I only hope I do not seem fragile when I return.

Hopefully someone will be able to find me some.. gear. I mean, we are headed to the Citadel of Points. The spirit did mention that was a location for meetings at one point.

Continued—

We arrived at the Citadel. It appears to be inhabited by spirits of the Guards of Hjubah. I moved further into the Citadel and found myself some weaponry and armor. Just something temporary while I-am runs a diagnostic on my armor. He may be able to tell me what happened to it. We are unsure what to do at this point. Oh no.. there’s another rumble.. Please don’t be the dragon.

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Sepherene's Anger Management Log II
I am attempting to make my logs more often. It took much too long to complete the last one. So I believe where I last left off was when our group was heading towards Hjubah to find Camreal’s parents. See, when I originally joined this group I did not realize that they were involved ultimatum with a Third Circle demon. Kitin, the demon, was summoned to protect Camreal’s old village and he is stuck there until he no longer has to protect the people of his village, including Camreal’s parents. Kitin struck a deal with us, that he would not destroy us and everyone we know and care for, if we kill Camreal’s parents. Normally, I would say to hang the demon, we’ll destroy him or die trying before we kill any innocent people, but it has come to my attention that they are most likely Abyssal Exalts. And I refuse to help anything controlled by a Deathlord. I’ve heard the stories of Thorns when I was young. It has stuck with me since. So when an ally of the Phoenix came to us with the news that they are in Hjubah, we set out immediately. Upon arrival, we saw that Hjubah was in ruins, as it has been for many years. There was some type of explosion years ago and it leveled most of the city. Skyscrapers toppled, buildings crumpled, monsters thrived, people died. In the city, we found a lake, a large crater which was the source of the explosion, and a large system of aquaducts that encircle the city. Of course, a portion of them are destroyed along with everything else. After a bit of searching around, we notice that there are people on top of the aquaducts. They are walking around, looking off into the distance, holding papers out and all sorts of things. I steal one of the papers and alert the men to our presence. I notice they are responding with surprisingly non-violent action, and more awe than anything. And after a few moments to figure out what to do, we approach them, declaring we are not hostile. They asked us for proof that we were not members of the Shining Path. And I show them, after someone explains to me that the Shining Path is the cult that most likely follows Camreal’s parents. And since we realize we are on the same team, or at least not opposing teams, we ask to see their leader. And they take us immediately. We come in to a lighthouse which is part of the aquaducts and we are introduced to a man named Cynis Indry. I despise the Cynis House but I decide not to cause any problems. But I could’ve sworn I’ve heard that name before. Indry is leaning over a large table in the center of the room which seems to have a map of the city. He goes on about why hes here. He was searching for a vault for some high paying Dynast. That’s when I realize, I heard of him all right. He’s part of the Wyld Hunt! With a quick look of our surroundings, his second in command is standing in full combat gear with his hand on his sword. And then I see Indry grab a knife from the table and turn around quickly for the first time. I decide its better to strike sooner rather than later and I promptly bring my boot into his face sending him back into his second in command. Swords are drawn around the room, but Indry seems more confused than anything. I feel embarrassed almost immediately and the Phoenix is right there to make me feel worse. I explain to him that Indry is part of the Wyld Hunt and it is explained to me just how wrong I was. That’s when I find out that Indry is not part of the Wyld Hunt and is actually the greatest treasure hunter in the realm. His maps were not for conquer but for exploration and plunder. The Phoenix, despite my rash actions, has managed to come out of the room with a deal. We will help him find the vault if he can help us while we are here for our mission. He points us towards the Blotch and the Fluid Residence (A manse). Those are our best places to start. So we sleep for the night and first thing in the morning we head out to the Fluid Residence. It was both safer and closer. On our way there we come across some Shining Path followers for the first time in Hjubah. I thought they must be inside the Fluid Residence. After an attack that left only one alive and a botched interrogation that left us with nothing but hints of some “Juggernaut”, we continue forward to the manse. I lead the way until, all of a sudden, I fall. It takes me a second to realize that there is no hole. I seem to be falling into the ground but it moves as if liquid. The Fluid Residence suddenly makes more sense. All of us use different forms of travel to get to the Manse. I flew for the first time. It was a wonderful feeling. I knew that essence can give remarkable abilities and super natural gifts. But I never dreamed one day I would take to the skies like bird. Too bad the Phoenix can’t do this. It would really give his symbolism some ground to stand on. Being the first to arrive, I quickly search the place and notice it seems to be empty, broken and it is filled with water. They arrive shortly after that and we are quickly attacked by a number of fish. They seem to be large goldfish but with tentacles. Odd. They inhabit the water in the manse, and after we kill them it is apparent that they were no match for us. Searching for the hearthroom, we have nowhere to go but down. And sure enough we find it along with a small fountain inside. There are tons of papers all over the floor and a quick inspection shows us that the Manse was never truly finished. They attempted to power it up and it caused some explosion in a first manse built long before it. Thanks to Camreal’s extensive knowledge of Geomancy, we are able to get it operating correctly and we attune to it immediately. This makes the second manse in our control. After sleeping another night in the Fluid Residence, we set out for the Blotch. Its a long dangerous journey across this destroyed city. The last stretch before we reach the Blotch, we are forced to travel through some wrecked buildings. While, moving from one to another, we hear some people coming. We hide, and I activate my suit, expecting to fade out of existence. Instead, I am greeted by painful screaming and immediately turn it off. I turn around to see a ghost hovering behind me. It was not very happy so to avoid a fight, especially with people coming, I leapt up to where the two buildings met and peaked out at the people coming towards us. As they come out a hole in the side of the building, they notice the spirit immediately and capture it with little to no effort. The Phoenix shows himself after realizing who they are. They were sent here by the Realm after the explosion to prevent it from being turned into a shadowland. Apparently, they didn’t succeed but they were still alive. They weren’t very happy though. They immediately retreated into the building and I took off after them. I followed them through the shattered building. They started to move down towards ground level. I realized I had to stop them and after they wouldn’t listen to reason, I leapt down the hole and stole the captured ghost from them. Once we were all on the ground, they tell me to hand it over but I wouldn’t for my life. I order them to tell me everything they know and I’ll return it. They tell me that they are bringing the ghosts back to the Speakers, a man and woman. They begin to search out more ghosts, and due to a suit malfunction I end up back with the group. I tell them what I found out about the two Speakers. We decide to continue forward. Our goal is straight ahead of us. As we hit the ground level, it was the home stretch before we actually enter the Blotch. Thats when we heard the thunder, or what we thought was thunder. Little did we know, in just a moment we were gonna find out what the Juggernaut really was. As the hulking, black armored monster came thundering towards us, Kalak and Leon grabbed their swords and prepared for a fight. I grabbed Camreal and took off toward the Blotch, knowing that we would regret getting too close to that..thing. Body and essence pushing us as fast as possible, we reached the the edge of the crater in no time and I leapt into the air and soared down towards the people in the basin. I saw everything was built around some central pillar and at the bottom there are large double doors. We soar down and down at break-neck speed. And as we slam into the ground, I realize we are surrounded by Path Walkers. Luckily, nihilists don’t know anger. They explain that it is not time for the sermon yet. But we obviously aren’t looking for their philosophies so I open the door anyway. The door opened up into a large, dark cathedral. Everyone walked in and began to search around. I thought that if there is a sermon soon, there must be another way into the cathedral for the Speakers to make their appearance. So I go behind the altar and find a single doorway with some stairs that go down. I went down the stairs to the next door frame and peeked through. What I saw on the other side was creepy, and definitely worthy of the name Shining Path. The room was lit by eery blue and green torches, and there were a number of cloaked figures standing around. After a moment of watching, one of the figures turns their head enough to expose its face. It was quite alarming. They looked.. dead. And they were all standing around some machine in the center of the room. On the far side of the room is a bag, just like the one that those people captured the ghost in. The cultists opened the bag and the machine sucked a number of spirits in, the ghosts screaming the entire time, and started pushing blue jars out of another end of it. It seems to be containing the spirits. The screams are unnerving. They sound like women and children. After we kill Camreal’s parents, I thought I would have to free them and set them to rest. Finally, I tear my eyes away from the machine and continue looking around the room. I finally see a man and woman, alive, and they seem to be controlling this process. I use Iam to contact the others. Tell them I’ve found the Speakers and that Camreal should come to the base of

the stairs to confirm it. After a few moments, he appears looking into the room and gives me a small nod. It’s them. We’ve made it.

I tell Kalak and Leon to count to 10 and come running. I step out of the shadows making my presence obvious. “Hey, I’m very sorry. I guess I’m early?” Camreal’s parents seem surprised that I’m here but not afraid. “Yes the sermon wont begin for another hour.” They tell me. "Well that’s a shame because there are a bunch of people upstairs. I turn my head towards the stairs and the rest of the group comes running out. “See how I could be confused?” They didn’t find my shenanigans funny. These people are all business. Before we can attack, they tell us that they know why we are here and they are hoping that we can settle this peacefully. “The best way to do that is to surrender yourselves.” But of course I’m not that lucky. They talk of striking another deal with Kitin trading a large number of souls from this ruined city instead of their two souls. Of course it’s a gamble and there is no way to guarantee it. Me and Leon both disagree, while Kalak and Camreal are listening intently. After a quick discussion it becomes clear that neither side is going to budge and Leon gives up. I am the only one that doesn’t wish to work with these Abyssals and doom hundreds

of souls to untold torture in Hell. I play it calm for a few more moments evaluating my situation. If I could just kill one of them, then the odds of them going through with this plan shrink considerably. I immediately leap across the room, grab one of the creepy torches, nock it, and send it flying from a bow towards Camreal’s mother. It doesn’t pierce her as I wished and everyone seems prepared to stop me. So I activate my suit and take off before they can stop me.

A few hours later, I arrive in the lighthouse. Although initially Indry is afraid of why I am there, I quickly explained that my friends have been perverted by evil and are helping a pair of Abyssal Exalts in the Blotch. “We must destroy them before they do something irreparable.” We are going to blow the place sky high.. again. I begin to tell him the layout of the place so that we can plan this better. “Did you say jade??” Indry faces lights up and he starts talking about his vault. That might be the location of the vault he has been looking for. So the plan changes a little bit. We get a bunch of his men, and his explosives and load it all up in his carts. We travel straight into the blotch and prepare for the craziest idea I’ve ever had. We move straight down the cathedral so Indry can inspect it. After a few minutes, the rest of the group shows up. They are curious as to why Indry is here and why I am back, but we just keep looking for the vault. They attempt to investigate the carts but I don’t believe any one realized the danger I brought with me. It did not take long before Indry had found the lock. After a crazy lock sequence we find that there is a slot in the wall. It is shaped like something I’ve seen before.. Leon. He has a pendant that hes made very clear is extremely important to him. And it is the same size and shape. He may literally hold the key to this vault. We convince him to try it, and it works. The vault opens up, and we see riches. Untold riches. I start inspecting and counting the jade pieces and such, and Indry says that there should be something else. He didn’t come here to find money. He continues walking through and finds a door all the way at the end. He opens it, and inside the room he finds a large scale. It is as long as a staff and has two handles. Indry starts babbling about this thing. Of course! Legendary! I cant.. wait for it! Finally I can’t take it anymore. “Are you gonna tell us what it is?” “This is the Demon Scale. The story says that it can judge the weight of someone’s soul. If the legend is true the Scarlet Empress won it from a third circle demon years ago by proving her soul weighed more than his. The demon got so angry that he hurled the scale far off into the horizon. The scale takes into account your past, present, and future and sees what you shall accomplish for Creation. Nobody knows what she won, but they say it was something incredibly powerful. Wait, if it landed here then.. The lake wasn’t formed by a meteor at all!” With all the information, we realize that we now have a way to finish this Kitin problem once and for all. All we need is to challenge him, prove one of us is better than him and, in his weakened state, slay him. Me and Leon both suggest Kalak. But of course we still have months before this happens. So now we play the waiting game. We all leave, content to be working together again, and head back to the Fluid Residence. I go back to the lighthouse with Indry and talk with him about other things we could do. Iam says that he has data on half of the city, the part with the Fluid Residence, and he can tell us things about the past and present. So if we had another Manse, we could have all of the information on Hjubah, even why exactly it blew up. We know it was a geomantic error. But that’s about it. And based on what Iam tells me, I had what I thought was a crazy idea. Iam says that there are no remnants of the manse that exploded. So that means either the explosion was big enough to incinerate the manse but not big enough to incinerate anything around it or something else is going on here. Wherever that manse is, it’s in one piece. So after such a long discussion about it all, Indry points me towards a few key places that could give us some information on the manse. The first one is the museum. So we arrive in front of the Museum and it is large and mostly still in one piece. Kalak opens the door and theres a distinct decompression. we step in to see everything covered in some thick, blue goo. We all split up and take a different wing. I remember Indry saying that local history would be the best bet. So I take that one. After analyzing all the murals and things, there is one thing that is not described at all. And it is the first manse. I look back towards the time it would have been built in the timeline of their exhibit but there is just an empty spot. It struck me as odd. And of course with a closer inspection, I find a button and a secret door. I walk through and there is a secret exhibit. The Seven Pointed Star. The Seven Pointed Star was the manse that was built in Hjubah and later “exploded.” The plaques all describe it as Malfean in nature! And as I move further into the exhibit, there were paintings of the Scarlet Empress. They all imply but would never state that she had it erected. but in one of the paintings, she was holding a hearthstone. The shape, a seven pointed star, looked very familiar actually. I’ve seen it on the side of the Demon Scale. Realizing that the only way our plan to defeat Kitin will only work if we have that hearthstone, I start gathering all the stuff in that room that isn’t nailed down. I’m going to bring it all back and see what Indry can make of it all. I leave the secret room to see Leon wandering aimlessly. He seems lost and says we must leave immediately, if we can. That’s when we here a crash. A large statue with a bull’s head and large axe comes crashing through the hallway. It uses some essence technique to cloud my visor. As I open it, I caught a whiff of some terrible stench probably given off by the goo. I leap into the air, swing from the ceiling, and kick the statue monster in the face. I’m not sure why, but even though my boots connected well, it didn’t seem to phase him at all. Me and Leon take a few turns trying to break the statue but we have no luck. So we do the smart thing, and run. We never would’ve made it out if we hasn’t run into the others. Every time we ran towards the exit we would be in a different wing. There was some illusion affecting us. But apparently Kalak and Camreal could see through it. As we leave the museum, we head back to the Residence, and call it a day. I decide to relax with some tea and write a story..
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hectic life

I know i have not rote in a while. I had found more news about my parents and there order of the shining path and the fact they were abisals since i last wrote. Me and my group of travelers had found there whereabouts and confronted them. I could not go through with the original deal i had with kiyten. seeing them i could not bring myself to kill them. Even though they had left me thinking they were dead and did not bother to contact me all these years to at least let me know they were alive. I had to find out that they were from a demon of all things. Seeing there there was so much i wanted to ask them. i wanted to know where they been how they managed to survive the attack on my village. Since they survived why they were never there when i felt so alone in this life. Why did they never help me in my studies of geomancy or necromancy. I would have even loved i little advice now and then. although if i was able to ask all i wanted to know my group would have never gotten on with are mission. with everything they put me through i could not bring myself to kill them. lucky for me i was not alone in convincing the group to side with my parents instead because keleck had a stack in this as well for kiyten had marked him and needed my parents help to fix him. although leon and seferon were not so easily swayed. they still wanted my parents dead but i could not allow them to do that after all i had just been reunited with my parents i don’t think i ever really planned to kill them. I don’t remember all the details of how we managed to convince them that siding with my parents was the better option but we must have for no blood was spilled that night. My parents had a way to please kiyten and not have to die they would offer them all the souls they had collected in this room. although we had no way of getting the demon here or not enough souls so we left with the task of getting more souls. although instead we found the vault that had inside it the demon skill. a item were one can way ones soul to that of a demon,s and if the persons soul is worth more weaken the demon to the point were it could be banished. after visiting a musum we found out we might need a special harth stone to operate it. only thing is we have no clue where the manse is that carry it

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Sepherene's Anger Management

So, my fellow sisters have seen that I have been on edge the last month or so. They say it may be best for me to write out my thoughts. They believe it to be therapeutic. So here goes nothing..

These problems all started a month or so ago. I was headed towards Speandal, a large city in the Dragons Wrath Plains. Its unique in the way it has a ground level and an upper level suspended by a complex system of criss-crossing pillars. And a number of lifts to travel between
the two. As my sisters and I find board, I decide to investigate the city and I come across a fight which has caused explosions, collapsed buildings and a very swelled ego in a specific Solar, The Ascending Phoenix. He is attacking a monk, which seemed foolish, but he was the
first one of my kind I had found so I decided it might be in my best interest to help him. So during a break in the fight, I sneak towards the monk,and manage to convince him that I have been hunting him and I wish to help. “You may have no reason to trust me but I’m going to do
it anyway, but I feel we’ll have a better chance of success if we work together. But of course you know that, you’re the wise religous leader.” After a small scuffle with the Ascending Phoenix, I swap sides and make my escape with the “Anathema.” He apparently had other friends:
Camreal who is a Lunar, Leon who is a fire aspect Terrestial, Virtuous Reed who is a Twilight. We escape to the lower city, and make a plan for the next few days. After a display of caste marks, we all agree to help each other for a while. And try to plan our next move against the
Immaculates. As we draw plans for battle, Silken Venom, a local God, says that it may be best for us to scout out tunnels under the city. He says there are devices down there clouding his senses. So he aids us how he can and we depart immediately, hoping to find something that can
help us in the fall of Speandal. If only I had known how right we were..

So as we traveled beneath the undercity of Speandal, we found poisonous gases, monsters, ancient technology, and a First Age Solar Manse. We started traveling through and and we didn’t find much at first. But eventually the caverns led into an actual hallway with rooms filled with
all sorts of things. One seemed to be a device that had two spoons attached. They rotated very quickly. But who could eat that fast? And why were there holes in it? I suppose I am not the best with technology. But that is what we have Reed for. He actually is a rock scientist. We
continued farther and discovered a very large chamber. As we started to explore it, they were attacked. Something in this place was invisible. I saw that there was a device on the wall that seemed to be out of sync. I activated my spider-foot style, and ran along the wall until I
reached it. At the time I wasn’t sure what the device did. It seemed to be some golden blades that were swinging from a fixed point. Two of the blades were scraping when they passed each other so I used my father’s boots to knock the one back into its normal alignment. It was
relatively easy despite having to hang down in between the giant swinging blades that surely kill a lesser Exalt. I almost wish the terrestial had tried first. Something about him rubs me the wrong way. He says he is on our side, but he hasn’t said anything about exile. So I must
assume subterfuge.

After the device was realigned, I continued farther along the large chamber, I came across a large tapestry that spanned the wall and at the bottom, on the floor, a large bug with blades on its back. I take a quick look around and see that there is an abundance of these creatures.
These are what my allies are fighting. I realized I have to stop this now. I am familiar with the idea of a hive mind, so I decide to take a chance. I use my razor claws to cut my way down the tapestry, riding it like the waves crashing on a shore, and as I near the floor I
leap from the wall and attempt to extinguish the bug. Sadly, my efforts were thwarted. Its chitinous armor was nigh-impenetrable, and its claws had the strength of the gravity of a thousand suns. I had made peace with my life’s end, when the bug began to speak with me, albeit
in rough, short words. I attempt to make a deal with the bug for our release. Once the Queen is inclined to acquiesce my request, the Phoenix comes along and begins the whole process over again. Although I realized he must be used to leading this group, does he think I am incompetent?
Perhaps, I just have to prove my worth, whether he allows me or not.

These bugs are now speaking of their master. They take orders from someone else. This thought is intriguing. If there was some way to gain control of them. But that is for another time perhaps. After a short time of arguing and exploration, their master comes. It is none other than Virtuous
Reed. Being a native of this town, he had created and hidden these bugs here for a purpose. He speaks of raising these halls, using these bugs to lift the castle from it’s swampy grave. It is a First Age Solar Manse of War and it can do amazing things if it is restored. But he says that in doing this, we will destroy Speandal. Completely. Everyone will die, but it is necessary. As I ready myself for a fight, I realize that there isn’t one. They love the idea. What in the Gods is wrong with these idiots? How will we ever live the life we want when our first major act is filled with such death and destruction? These fools are blinded by glory and power. Although, that is man. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was surprised. I spent what felt like ages trying to talk them out of this, but they heard none of it. I was sure this would end with their blood spilt. But then someone talked sense. Evacuation. The Immaculates were already planning it because of the stunt that the Ascending Phoenix pulled. They want the people of Speandal to believe he is a monster. Uprooting them from their homes is surely one way to do so. Although really, they would just need to hear him speak as I just did. So after a long discussion, which is a recurring theme with these people, I get them to agree to let me go up to Higher Speandal and evacuate the rest of the city.

I spend the next few days in upper Speandal while they prepare for raising the manse and evacuating the lower city. I am glad to be on my own again. They are not the easiest group to work with. So far, everything I have attempted on my own has been a success until they put their filthy masculine fingers on it. If they had let me do what I wish, we wouldn’t even be doing this right now. I could’ve gained control of the “cutters” used them to remove the Immaculates from the city. Still, if things go awry, I can always go back to Father Downpour. I’ve already managed to get my hands on the Ascending Phoenix’s sigil. Something that he would only give to an ally. So on day three, I finally set my plan into action. I find a lowly immaculate, kill him, and use his attire to gain access to the places that they are currently keeping prisoners. While wearing the robes, I simply tell the guards that it something has gone wrong and Father Downpour has requested them immediately. They resist at first, but I remind them that “it will be there head” and they quickly change tune. At that point, I walk into the holding area, request that everyone remain calm, and walk to the evacuation points. With the news that they are free to go, nobody causes problems or asks questions, too afraid to look a gift horse in the mouth. I only had a few hours left at this point. And I finally knew what I wanted. And I knew how I could use it to gain me some influence. All I needed was the Ascending Phoenix..

I searched out Father Downpour. “You!” he screamed. “Why should I not kill you here?!” I simply reminded him that I’m the only way he’ll ever see the Ascending Phoenix again and his tune changed like undertrousers in Thorns. “I can bring him here. Now. I have his sigil as proof I know where he is and he trusts me. The only thing I wish from you is your hammer. It is a powerful weapon, and a sign of faith. It is unbelievably useful to anyone who holds it. His head, for your hammer.” Despite his reluctance, he agrees. And I tell him to meet me at the top of the center stairs in an hour.

“Kalak I need your help. There is something I need and you are the only one that can help me get it.” I realized I wasn’t teling him enough, but if he knew he may not help me. And there is too much power in that hammer to waste. I tie his hands up. and walk him up the stairs, unmolested.
When we get to the top, the foes face each other and the Phoenix realizes what I have done. Luckily, he is either a good actor or extremely disappointed I betrayed him. None the less, he doesn’t break the rope. Downpour’s men put the Phoenix on his knees and put his head on a table.
Things are about to get messy unless I act quickly. “Wait now, we had a deal! I need the hammer, before I lose my leverage.” It took some work, he was unwilling to give me the hammer first, but eventually I got through to him. “What a defeat to kill him with his own weapon.” With the
hammer in my hands, I watched the Grand Daiklave rise into the air. I remember making eye contact with the Phoenix, and although he would never admit it, I could see the fear in his eyes. I regret to this day, the decision I made here. I took the hammer, and hefted it right into
Downpour’s legs, sweeping them out from under him. I leaned over Downpour looked him right in the eye and asked him with the biggest grin I could muster, “Now what have we learned?” We made our escape to the lower city, and that’s when we realized the danger we were in.. The cutters
were already released. And they were cutting through the pillars. Speandal really would fall.

The next few days were kind of blurry. There was the huge fight for the destruction of Speandal, then the rebuilding of Speandal, the raising of the Manse, repairing it, and finally exploring it and finding a way to attune to it. There is so much involved it’s likely to cause me more stress
than its worth to recite these events. But rest assured, it was exhausting.

Next we went.. somewhere. Torvus! That was it. I’m not sure why we went. They don’t explain a lot to me. I vaguely remember retrieving an orichalcum-feathered bird. But I couldn’t tell you how it happened. All I remember is disliking Leon more and my hair was singed. Which may be linked somehow..But here we are, in Torvus and there is a very strong Immaculate presence. They seemed to be hunting down all the Phoenix’s followers. His influence reaches farther than I thought possible. Here he is with a large cult following and I’ve got a ragtag band of women.
I feel like I have been slacking in my quest for the throne. After all, if he could do it.. But anyway, we hear there will be a meeting for all the expected anathema worshipers. They will come and listen to the monks preach, telling them to turn away from their dark path before its too late. It should be an interesting spectacle. I can’t wait to see it.

So I sat quietly in the ampitheater, waiting for the show to begin. Thats when I heard it. Marching..chanting.. an open declaration of rebellion. I rush out of the ampitheater only to see a crowd of people moving toward the ampitheater chanting for the Phoenix. To stop the noise, a fire aspect comes out and threatens to kill them. I forget her name. She was a Magistrate or something.. Oh well, I saw her conjure the fire to her weapon and the fear in people’s eyes. I wish I could remember what she said, but Terrestrials often provoke a buzzing, trumpet-y sound when I attempt to listen to them. “Wah wah wah-wah wahhh wah wahh.” I’m pretty sure that’s why Leon and I don’t get along so well. Perhaps in time..

“The Ascending Phoenix should be the least of your worries!” Not my most intimidating line, but the show of power had to unsettle her. Or so I thought. I was foolish and headstrong. I attacked head like some brute. It took 3 seconds and one slash and I was terribly wounded. I under
estimated her abilities and it nearly killed me. I took off running, hoping I had given the people a long enough distraction to escape. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore. All I thought was run, gather my things and escape to Speandal. Everyone followed behind me, and and sadly, that
included the Magistrate and all her lackeys.

I separated from them on the way back to Speandal. Since we were being followed, I thought it best if I doubled backward and flared my anima to give the people extra time to rest. It went off without a hitch. And I even left downpour’s hammer at the spot of my eruption. It warned them
that we were prepared to destroy them if they continued persuing us.

We arrive back at Speandal, with more people and more scars. I, of course, arrived first. I went to Virtuous Reed to see if he had any medical supplies. He did not. But he did manage to heal me and then some. There was an experiment he wished me to participate in. Something about porcupine quills. It hurt a lot but it was very useful. I’ll get to that part.. The Phoenix decides it is time to claim himself a God to be worshipped by his cult when he returns. I wasn’t sure I was willing to allow him this. After all I had done to help him, how is he the only one that recieves the acclaim? It did not take much convincing. I must say although the Ascending Phoenix isn’t the smartest of leaders, tactically or otherwise, he means well. And that is a much more admirable quality. He quickly accepted the idea that we should rule as a group. We constructed a pantheon. I was named Archon of Blinding Justice of the great city of Beacon. So much symbolism, it hurts. I do like it though. It gives our people something to strive for. We even include Silken Venom.

Everything was going well when we were given a tip that the leader of the Wyld Hunt was on his way. It caused quite the panic among us, and we began preparing for battle immediately. We will be a formidable foe. I’ve secretly been working on exit strategies. Hopefully, I won’t need them. But I haven’t survived this long by staying optimistic. And to top it all off, they want to go to a fortress to the south. Apparently it has followers of the Phoenix from before the fall of Speandal. So we start on the 12 hour hike.

When we near the fortress, we can see people on the walls. They seem to be watching us approach. I went ahead and scout with some of the cutters. There was a valley that looks like it had previously been filled with water but has long since dried up. A moat? Cutters began tunnel under the fort. As I began to move back to the group, the watchers on the wall yelled out to us. “Did Father Downpour send you?!” The Phoenix confirms that we are in fact sent by Father Downpour. Then he includes me in the plan by suggesting I don myself in the Immaculate robes and follow him in. So as we enter the fortress, we see a Guard Captain and an Immaculate Monk. Unsure what to do here, I ask, “so what has been going on recently? Father Downpour didn’t spare so many details..” They talk of their efforts to convert the people of the Archons back to Immaculate believers. I had to think quickly, and I had to make them believe I was one of them. After a veiled suggestion of torture, they were appauled and said they were not allowed to harm them. That was unexpected. So I did the first thing that came to mind. “No! No! That is not what I meant at all! What is wrong with you??” Outrage is the best way to get somebody off your back. “I was thinking something more..outside the normal. Sermon may be a way to convert children, or the godless.
But it will have no effect on someone that has had their mind perverted in such a way.” Have you thought about maybe killing the Phoenix? How hard could that be?" They were confused. They had no idea how to find him, let alone kill him. “You are a fool. You can have a fake Ascending
Phoenix arrive to save them with a group of followers and then have him fall to your captain. they believe he is dead and no longer truly deserving of worship.” They loved the idea. The captain gets to be the Phoenix Slayer, the Immaculate gets the credit for turning the followers of the Archons back. “We even have our own forces here outside. They could disguise themselves as his Phoenix Guard. We march on the fortress, you leave the gates open, fake fight, yada, yada, yada, and then stab! the phoenix goes down and you come out smelling like a white mushroom.”

The battle went off without issue. We turned on them, killed them and we were about to begin celebrating. But then I realized we needed the Immaculate monk dead. I run straight across the fort, jump into his window and begin attacking him. but not before he activates some stone statue
on the wall and it starts blasting magical water. In moments the room is full and the monk is making it very difficult to kill him. In frustration I lash out at the statue, hoping to halt its watery flow. I break off an arm, and then part of its jaw. The monk seems alarmed. Hes trying to stop me, and so I assume I must be close to breaking it. As I bash the other arm, I am caught off guard as the dragon tears from the wall, lift me up and swims straight through the other side of the room. Little did I know, the fortress has been filling with water. As we are swimming through the fortress, I am trying to escape. I use my pure strength to wriggle free, swing his remaining arm around the remainder of his jaw, and I use it rein him. Thats when I hear “Can you let me go? Please?” We reasoned and struck a deal. Long story short, I defeated a contained river god, freed him, and he is now my ally. He rid the place of the deadly water, and is currently now working on restoring his river that I earlier believe to be a moat. One more God to add to the Pantheon.

I would continue with more detail but apparently we are heading to find Camreal’s parents.. So this will continue..

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The Secrets of Speandal

Kalak paced the streets of Lower Speandal, occasionally looking up at the great hole in the colossus platform thousands of feet above his head. He had barely slept since the destruction of the Immaculate Temple. Detonating the firedust reserves had gone off without a hitch (whether or not he trusted him, The Shadow of the Mountain had proven a useful ally), but now he was worse off than ever before. The ensuing battle with Father Downpour had destroyed the city’s four elevators and left his Phoenix Guard, his worshipers and his fellow Exalted trapped in Lower Speandal. If they took the main tower to the Upper City, the Dynasts would know immediately, and anyone who tried to leave the city would be smudged from Creation by the Spiral-Topped Manse.

His message of rebellion against the Immaculate Order had left trapped and under siege. And worse, those trapped with him were starting to break under pressure. “Realm loyalists are trapped in the Lower City as well, my Lord Phoenix,” a defected Thousand Scales named Jerric had told Kalak the other day, “They seek amnesty with those above us, and it won’t be long until the hunger of the others outweighs their faith. To escape this without surrender is impossible.” Kalak stopped as he thought of that conversation, watching the sun shine through the hole in the Upper City. His thoughts drifted to his past and what had brought him here. He put a hand towards his chest, the scars were healed but he still remembered the words as if the Shadow of the Mountain cut them yesterday: I will come for you when the sun of your life is at it’s peak.

“They say it is impossible to escape this.” Kalak said to no one in particular, “I promised to do the impossible the day Thorns fell…”

He would get out of this city, he already had a sizable force and the entire city of Torvus at his back. If he could contact them somehow they could-

A look of realization came across Kalak’s face before he took off for the inn his Circle was using as a base.
=====================

“The Serpent what?”, Silken Venom asked, his eight eyes doing the spider equivalent to raising an eyebrow.

“In Torvus, we met a ”/campaigns/dragon-s-wrath/characters/lawret" class=“wiki-content-link”>Solar who used a giant snake to collect books from libraries across Creation." Kalak said to the Circle, which had gathered at an inn in the lower city. “If the serpent’s tunnels run underneath Speandal, then we can escape with our followers to Torvus.”

“What does this have to do with the god?” Maiden Sepherene asked, resting her feet on the table in the inn’s common room.

“Silken Venom is the god of the city,” Kalak said, “He omniscient within the walls of Speandal. He can find the location, and we can escape all the more quickly.”

“Yes, well….about that….” Silken Venom was rubbing his front legs together nervously, “You see…..I have no idea what’s occurring under the city.” Realizing that all the eyes in the room were on him, the god explained his situation. “A few thousand years ago, this city was ruled by a Solar named ”/campaigns/dragon-s-wrath/characters/lord-circon-of-the-coiled-sun" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lord Circon of the Coiled Sun. We got into an argument because he was able to hide his palace from my divine sight, I got really angry and….I sank the whole thing…."

Camreal was sitting on the the table, but the shaking of his feline head told him that he was upset about the issue at hand. Leon spoke up at the cat’s silence, “Then we’ll have to explore it ourselves to find these tunnels. I suggest we-”

“Hang on,” Kalak asked, looking at the god, “Are you saying that there are First Age ruins sitting under this city?” The spider nodded, and the Ascending Phoenix grinned.

“People…I think a new plan is in order.”

=================

The passages beneath the Spiral Topped Manse had been long and winding. Eventually leading the group to an enormous building marked with the symbol of a dragon wrapped around the sun.

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