Dragon's Wrath

Voyage to the Isle
The Adventure Begins

Narrated by: Kalak Jalenai

Twenty men.

I sail to conquer the most powerful nation in Creation with only twenty men. More impossible things have been done, I suppose.

We set off with a trading fleet from Lookshy to the Dragonswrath Plains, my men on a separate boat than myself in order to keep from arousing suspicion. Captain Lecarte seemed like an acceptable captain…for a Dynast, that is. However, he seems awfully protective of his cargo, though it is of little concern to me. The trip was sure to take a few weeks at least. The Inward Sea always seems so small on a map…

Things were going very well until the fleet was attacked by pirates. I managed to fight them off quite easily, as did the rest of the crew. It is here that I learned I was not the only ‘Anathema’ traveling on the ship. Among them was a Solar named Tobiah Lazuli, a merchant transporting goods to the Blessed Isle. After the attack, it was obvious that he and I were both Chosen by the greatest of the gods.

After the pirate attack, Captain Lecarte had to take a detour in order to repair the ship, separating me from my men. He nervously told us of a contraband cargo that he was transporting for one of the Dynast Houses and how we all faced death if the contraband was discovered. Thanks to a strange, shapeshifting necromancer named Camreal (who appeared to be Exalted, if not by the Unconquered Sun), we summoned the spirit of the ship’s now-dead super. Using the information given, Tobiah faked the super’s signature and gained ownership of the ship’s contraband: numerous items made from the five magical materials.

This contraband proved to be more trouble than originally thought, as the small fishing island had a Dynast army upon it searching for our cargo. We quickly attacked the army, thinking they were trying to lay claim to one of the dragon lines that have emerged recently in the Isle. A small number escaped, leaving behind a Dragon-Blooded sorcerer named Delio Lefaye, who explained they were interrogating the island’s god, hoping to use her omniscience within her domain to find our contraband. I convinced this small god to swear allegiance to my cause, in exchange for bringing down the Immaculate Order. She is hardly a powerful god, but every allegiance helps.

We took Delio Lefaye as our captive so she wouldn’t tell the Wyld Hunt of our arrival to the Blessed Isle. Her attitude makes me think she believes she is free, but I won’t allow her to stray too far from us. Especially when we reach the Blessed Isle.

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Our Arrival
A New Enemy Appears

Narrated By: Kalak Jalenai

I am shaken by the events that have occurred before arriving in Drakinshire, shaken both physically and mentally. The wounds I have suffered will heal in time, but I fear that the scars of my past will constantly return to haunt me.

We had left the fishing island with little issue. On board the ship, we found a drunkard named Wallace, who proved to be quite knowledgeable despite his inebriated state. We discovered that our ‘contraband’ was a collection of powerful artifacts, many of which seemed to belong to some sort of set. Among these artifacts were more mundane tools (such as silverware) also made from magical materials. Either way, my makeshift group had decided there that none of this contraband should reach the hands of any member of the Scarlet Dynasty.

That very night, things began to take a terrible turn. I woke that night with a message telling me to head to the cargo hold. There I found one of the soldiers who attacked me on the island. I had allowed him to live due to him showing great bravery and standing against me when all his fellow soldiers had run. It seems he wasn’t grateful, since he wished to challenge me again.

I accepted his challenge, even agreeing to face him with a simple steel blade and without my armor. He fought very well, but he could not beat a Chosen of the Unconquered Sun. As I left him to die in peace in the cargo room, I stopped as I felt a chill in the air. Quickly grabbing my daiklave, I spun around to find the young soldier had risen again, the blood from his wounds swirling to form a daiklave in his sword hand. I recognized this, I had seen it at Thorns five years ago. The soldier had become an Abyssal.

I fought as best I could and my comrades held off the suddenly rising undead around us, but a well placed thrust left me helpless and dying. The Abyssal didn’t kill me though. Instead, using his blade, he carved a single sentence into my chest, a ‘message’ from his friend. The very words that chilled me to the bone the night my uncle was slaughtered.

I Will come for you when the Sun of your life is at it’s highest.

The soldier escaped and my comrades fought off the undead hordes that suddenly appeared, but none of the danger could have shaken me as much as those words. The words carved into my chest will have healed by the time we set off again, but their mark is still upon my soul. Whoever killed my uncle, he knows who I am and where I am. But more importantly, he wants me alive. For whatever reason, my uncle’s murderer wants to face me when I am stronger. Why? What made me so special that night in Thorns? And what makes me any more different from the other Solars in my company?

I must rest now. When these wounds heal, I will begin my conquest of the Blessed Isle.

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The Road to Torvus
The Noble Thieves

Narrated By: Kalak Jalenai

After a month in the city of Drakinshire, we heard rumors that House Ragara’s caravans were being robbed on their way to the city of Torvus, preventing the small town from receiving any food or supplies from the Threshold. I resented the idea of helping one of the Great Houses retain their ill-gotten fortune, but there were suffering people who needed help.

House Ragara provided us with a decoy-caravan to take to Torvus and instructed us to pull on a drawstring at the first sign of trouble. With these instructions we set off for Torvus. The first few days on the road were uneventful, but a day away from the city a strange thing happened. Our group saw a strange light on the horizon right around midday. My Phoenix Guard immediately fell into unconsciousness, quickly followed by my fellow Exalted. I was the last to fall asleep, and managed to see the thieves approaching our caravan. I managed to pull the drawstring, launching a flare into the sky, and tried to fight them off, but exhaustion quickly overtook me.

When I awoke, I was in a cell with my Phoenix Guard and fellow Exalted. The thieves were led by a mortal by the name of Kean, who revealed much to me when he attempted to interrogate us. We learned that Kean and his band of thieves were doing this in order to earn their way into a larger group of bandits lead by a master thief known only as The Shadow of the Mountain. He also told us that House Ragara was selling their goods to Torvus at extremely high prices. The thieves were stealing from the caravans in order to make them more affordable.

Luckily, the merchant Lazuli had a plan. He owned a shipping company independent from the Scarlet Dynasty, and worked out a deal to ship more affordable goods to Torvus, with the promise that Kean’s men will not steal from Lazuli’s caravans. Wallace even agreed to help fix their broken artifact which (apparently) put our caravan to sleep.

However, I could not undo the actions I had done earlier. The flares I sent up had attracted the attention of a Magistrate. I had both the thieves and my forces prep for battle, but told them to wait for my signal. Approaching the Magistrate, I told them that a drunkard in our caravan had sent up the flares when a wheel on our wagon broke.

Unfortunately, the Magistrate didn’t believe us and drew his great hammer to smash open the walls of the house the thieves were hiding in. I was ready to call them down on the Magistrate’s forces…..but no thieves were inside. In fact, they weren’t anywhere in sight. The Magistrate, frustrated but with no proof we had betrayed the law, left us to our business.

As we approach the gates of Torvus, I wonder where exactly Kean ran off to. Wallace is still working on repairing their artifact, and I doubt they will continue their thieving ways without that security. I doubt we have seen the last of Kean or his Noble Thieves, but hopefully next time we will meet as allies.

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THE TALE UNFOLDS

Narrated by: Camreal

I had found out about a boat that was heading to the Blessed Isle. It was not hard, for a lunar such as myself, to gain passage. I figured this would be a good way to get there to investigate the dragon lines I had heard about. Maybe I could even find people willing to follow me in the practice of necromancy, granted my reputation as “Demon Fighter” precedes me.

While aboard this boat we were attacked by pirates. I was forced to intervene just when I was coming across a breakthrough in my research. I was able to take out one with my martial arts, and left the rest to the two men that seemed to be tearing through waves of them. I later found their names to be Kalak and Tobian. I knew they must be Exalted, probably of the Unconquered Sun.

After the pirates were defeated the two that seemed to handle themselves well needed to find the ship’s Super, but he couldn’t be found. I offered to perform a ritual to see if he was dead, and it turned out he was. The one called Tobian was able to forge his signature which put him in charge of the cargo. The cargo was full of armor, weapons, and many things of different metals that I assumed were for each type of Exalted.

we got to a fishers island where I found out that the cargo we had was being hunted down by others. Namely a scale from the Blessed Isle. I detected the presence of a source of high essence, not strong enough to be a dragon line though, which seemed to be coming from the direction of the Scale’s encampment. I knew this could not be good, and after talking to the other two Exalted we decided to go explore the camp. When there I scouted out the area as a cat. I found a girl talking to what looked like an orb, and after relaying what happened to the group they decided to attack. Sometimes I wonder if they will every learn to not rush into battle when there may not be a need for it. Just because I can talk with the dead does not mean I wish that fate upon anyone. I was able to get the group to talk to the god which we found out was what was trapped in the orb. Kalak and the god came to a deal and we took the girl named Delio Lefaye with us as a circumstantial ally. She was trying to get information from the god for the Scale.

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The Boat of the Dead

Narrated by: Camreal

We then left the fishing island. On board the ship we found a drunkard named Wallace. He was smarter then you would think, although nowhere near my level of genius. We discovered that our “contraband” was a collection of powerful equipment as well as more mundane tools (such as silverware) made from Magical Materials.

That night things got interesting. I felt the presence of a ghostly chill in the air and knew we were about to have visitors. This is the type of stuff I live for! It turns out that Kalak was in a battle with a member of the Scale we fought on the island that somehow got aboard the ship. When the soldier died it caused a rip between the world of the living and the world of the dead, for this man had become an abyssal. I woke the rest of the group, and we went down to where Kalak was, but in the room outside the cargo hold were attacked by the now rising dead. I turned into a wolf to hold them off, but I realized that they would not stop coming unless I closed the rip. I turned back to human and after a long ritual with the help of Delio Lefaye was able to close the rip. These fools don’t realize how doomed they would be without me and my Necromantic abilities.

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Deception in the Swamps
Enter the Crocodile Hunter

From the journals of: Kalak Jalenai, the Phoenix Rising

I am not happy. I have been deceived. I don’t like to be deceived.

Torvus was not a happy looking town. Not only did the people appear to be in states of extreme poverty, but a huge gash ran through the city, as if a giant sword ripped through the city’s buildings and streets. We paid a visit to Ledaal Joriag, the city’s governor, and learned that he was mourning the loss of his son, Jeves. Joriag explained that his son was killed by a crocodile while in the swamps hunting clawstriders. Seeing that we appeared to be experienced warriors, he asked us to slay and skin the crocodile that killed his son.

I was immediately suspicious. Torvus is known for it’s leatherworking, and as such is populated by experienced hunters of crocodiles, Torvus Dragons and Clawstriders. Surely there are more qualified people for such a task. I should have turned down the offer right then and there. However, Joriag was willing to reward us with a favor, and a Dynast Favor is not something you turn down. I would return with the reptile’s skin, and use my favor to begin the conquest of the Isle.

Knowing nothing about how to hunt any crocodiles (much less a specific one), our circle decided that we needed an expert. Luckily, we met a Dragon-Blooded named V’neef Canton who agreed to serve as a guide in the swamplands surrounding Torvus. At a hunting lodge in the swamps, we were outfitted with proper equipment and set off the next night. It was a pretty uneventful trip….until we were attacked by a pack of clawstriders. We managed to escape the beasts by climbing into a sky mantis tower, but it only seemed a matter of time before the beasts caught us. That is, until they suddenly stopped their assault on the tower and returned to the swamps, as if something was calling them. Or someone….

When we reached the area where Joriag told us his son died, we found a large lake filled with crocodiles. Luckily, the necromancer Camreal could transform into a crocodile and swim among the others without getting attacked. He swam deep into the lake and managed to find the crocodile we searched for: the one missing an eye with a scar on it’s foreclaw. Dragging him out by his tail, Camreal took him to the surface where I, Lazuli and Canton subdued it.

I had my chance to slay the beast, but I hesitated. The crocodile had shown an unusual amount of intelligence while we dragged it from the swamp. Instead of driving a knife in the creature, I attempted to communicate with it, asking it why it chose to kill the governor’s son. And after that, all was revealed.

The crocodile transformed into a young man wearing an eyepatch, introducing himself as Ledaal Jeves. We had been tricked. Joriag did not send us to avenge his son, but to unknowingly kill the “anathema” his son had become!

Joriag deceived me, trying to make me kill a fellow Exalted. I don’t intend to take this lying down. We are all making our way back to Torvus (Jeves too), and the Incarnae help Joriag when we get there…

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A Minor Detour
The Serpent Tunnels

Narrated by: Kalak Jalenai

Our trip back to Torvus with Jeves was indeed quite interesting. When we were less than a day’s trek from the city, the earth rumbled beneath our feet as some tunneling…thing threw up dirt from it’s path. As it burrowed beneath us, the ground fell beneath us into an underground river. The water’s path carried us at rapid speeds until we were deposited in a large underground tunnel. With no way back to the surface, we traveled forward.

The tunnels appeared to be caused by something extremely large, and it seemed to have broken through structures. Lapis believes that the structures he could identify dated back to the First Age of Creation. We also found strange snake-men scavenging through the tunnels, who proved to be less than hospitable at the sight of us. We escaped the creatures by crossing a rope bridge onto an immense pillar in the middle of what seemed to be an underground lake.

The pillar had a broken stone staircase spiraling around it and a symbol of the Sun in the center of it. Putting my hand atop the symbol, I revealed myself as the Unconquered Sun’s Chosen. The earth began to shake again as something climbed up the great pillar. Soon, I was face to face with a gigantic snake with fangs large enough to skewer a man. We tried to fight the beast, but we were quickly swallowed by the creature. Lapis was even wounded by one of the serpent’s great fangs.

As we reached the snake’s gullet however, we discovered to our amazement that we were not being digested. In fact, the snakes innards were surprisingly dry and roomy. A few moments later, our party was spat up by the great snake. We found ourselves in front of a staircase leading to the surface, with Torvus only a short walk away. These “Serpent Tunnels” as I have taken to calling them are quite an anomaly. I will have to search them further at a later time. First, however, I have unfinished business with Torvus’ governor…

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An Explosive Return
The Flame Ignites

Narrated by: Kalak Jalenai

We returned to Torvus shortly after we emerged from the Serpent Tunnels, and I was determined to see that Joriag paid for his deception and lies. I went into the governor’s mansion alone with Jeves, giving my fellow Solars orders to tell a magistrate of Joriag’s attempt to harbor anathema if I did not return. As the Lunar and I approached the manor, I silently hoped that my allies would not have to find a magistrate.

We quickly found our way through the mansion to the governor’s office, where I discovered that my plan would end up being much more difficult than I previously thought. The governor was speaking with the magistrate that we had run into earlier. Fortunately, Joriag chose to speak to us in a private room about the matter. When I revealed Jeves to the governor, he at first seemed thrilled to see his son again. However, I could tell that he was being false, and with some coercing on my part (and the part of my blade) he quickly revealed his true intentions.

Trapped between myself and his son, I gave the governor a single offer: give control of the city over to his son, and my allies would not tell magistrates that he was harboring anathema. Scared for his reputation, Joriag agreed. However, I was wreckless in my ‘negotiations’ and revealed that I was a Chosen of the Unconquered Sun. This proved to be problematic.

After Joriag sent the magistrate on his way (thankfully, he did not recognize me), we met with my allies in the governor’s office, where he offered us tea as he put together the paperwork to make Jeves the new governor of Torvus. However, we were all lead into a trap, for Joriag’s jade tea cup was some sort of artifact. Smashing the cup on his desk, he claimed that he would never put his city in the hands of anathema, and rapidly began taking on Essence to create a great explosion. He was going to destroy himself in order to destroy us!!

At that moment….I’m not entirely sure what happened. The world around us seemed to freeze in time and become drained of color. A shadow seemed to rise up from the corner of the room, warning us to run and that he “could only give us sixty seconds” before it vanished as quickly as it appeared. Heeding the mysterious figure’s advice, we ran into the streets of Torvus just as the mysterious effect wore off. The governor’s palace was consumed in a blaze of glorious fire. Joriag was dead.

As the people of Torvus began to gather around the chaos, I took my chance to rally them. Finding a high spot in the town, I gave a speech declaring myself the Ascending Phoenix. I told them that the Realm was corrupt, that Joriag’s days of abusing the mortals of Torvus was at an end and in his place a new Age would rise. An age where nobility would not take advantage of peasantry. A Golden Age that would see me as the Realm’s new Emperor.

As the people of Torvus cheered my name, I realized that I had started a fire. A fire that would spread across the Dragonswrath Plains. Across the Blessed Isle. A golden fire that would burn the lies of the Scarlet Dynasty to ash, and from the flames I would rise: reborn as the Golden Emperor of Creation.

My conquest had begun.

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The Fires of Knowledge and the Shadow of Change
Finding The Drowned Library

It’s been a whole year since the original mayor of Torvus died, and under our guidance it has greatly improved. Ledaal Jeves still maintains the guise of serving the Scarlet Dynasty, as do most of the city’s inhabitants. Lapis has established numerous trade routes with his burgeoning mercantile company while Wallace, Camreal and Lefaye have constructed an impressive manse upon the ruins of the old palace. The hearthstones we were all gifted with heal us rapidly overnight, with the slightly disturbing cost of our skin shedding like a snakes while we sleep.

Within this year of improving Torvus, we also managed to return to the Serpent Tunnels, where we made an impressive discovery. First of all, the tunnels run for miles surrounding Torvus and could most likely span to the rest of the Blessed Isle (maybe through all of Creation). Our second discovery was perhaps more fascinating. After following the tunnels underneath Torvus, we found a sunken city. Most of the buildings within were ruined and broken, but they seemed to be the homes of the snake creatures we fought in our last trek through the tunnels. Rather than fight the creatures, we took shelter in the only building that seemed intact.

What we found within was a library. A well stocked, well kept library with material spanning from recently written trashy romance novels to ancient tomes of First Age Lore. A quick search of the building determined that we were not alone there. Not only was the great serpent we encountered in the library, but we also found another Chosen of the Unconquered Sun. Lawret claimed to have operated within Torvus’s library with his fellow Circle mates, collecting lore from around the Blessed Isle to store there. However, when Governor Joriag discovered what they were, he sunk the library into the earth. Lawret was the only one who stayed due to his strange affliction. Due to a bite from the Great Serpent, Lawret now bore features similar to those of the snake men who lived outside the Drowned Library (though nowhere nearly as advanced).

Lawret was more than happy to offer us his books to aid us, but something weighed heavily on my mind. If the Librarian had transformed due to a bite from the Serpent, what would become of Lapis Lazuli?

My answer came later on, when Lapis woke up to find he had suffered the same afflictions as Lawret. His eyes had turned yellow and snakelike, his nose became smaller and he seemed to grow fangs. Too ashamed by his strange appearance, Lapis remained in his room while thugs from the House Ragara Merchants came to try tearing up his business. We tried to fight them off, but were interrupted by a visiting magistrate. I explained to the Magistrate that I was a member of House Sesus, which put the thugs in the wrong for attacking me. The Magistrate dealt with them accordingly: by burning them to death on the spot. I attempted to talk her out of such drastic measures, but she refused. I’m not sure why I felt such sympathy for these hooligans. I am leading a crusade to overthrow the Scarlet Dynasty, many more people will die in order to see myself on the Realm’s Throne.

Within this time, the people of Torvus have become allies in my cause. They worship me as their savior (though not openly) and many have even joined the ranks of my Phoenix Guard. It has been a productive year, but I cannot remain in one place too long. More people across the Isle must hear the message of the Ascending Phoenix. My Circle and I will leave at first light tomorrow morning. I can only hope that all our endeavors will be as successful as Torvus…

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Darkness within the Light
The Shadow of the Shining Path

We left for Spaendal from Torvus roughly a week ago. Today we came across a small village on the way, a farming village which seemed to be doing quite well, despite the poor farmland throughout most of the Isle. A sizable force of armed men were camped on the outskirts of the village, so we decided to investigate why. Lo and behold, who do we find within the village leading the armed men but Magistrate Kiro himself.

Kiro (along with Falchin, the other Magistrate we met back in Torvus) were searching for a missing Immaculate Monk who had supposedly passed through the village on his way to Torvus. When we came across Falchin, she had been ‘questioning’ a villager about a mysterious decorative scroll that she found within the man’s home. By questioning, I meant throwing the man through a wall and demanding he explain the origins of the scroll.

As I talked down the Magistrate before she killed the man, Camreal set off to the surrounding countryside to if there was a connection between the plentiful farms and the Immaculate Monk’s disappearance. I questioned a few of the villagers, learning that many of them supposedly bought the scrolls from two musicians passing through the town. I found nothing odd about the scrolls, so I thought nothing of it and decided to visit the city’s mayor to see if he knew anything about the missing Monk.

When Camreal returned, he told us something rather interesting. The farms surrounding the village who were being helped by a local field god were failing. The mayor didn’t seem to know anything about these strange events, but we noticed that his son (a mortal) possessed a very nice blue jade daiklave. As I questioned them about the origins of the blade, Camreal made a frightening discovery about the decorative scrolls hanging in the mayor’s office (and in homes all over the village). When put together, they formed a symbol for an infamous ancestor cult known as the Shining Path.

I have already seen Thorns fall to the Mask of Winters, I won’t see anywhere else fall to his wickedness. My circle and I fought off the son, who was somehow able to wield the daiklave as easily as if he were one of the Chosen. After a fight that took us to the manor’s garden, we were able to defeat the boy and take the daiklave.

We interrogated the mayor when he tried signaling for help from the clock tower, and he revealed that the entire village was part of this death cult. I refused to see such evil take control of the Blessed Isle. I got to my men on the outside of the village and told them to burn the village to the ground. Thankfully, the villagers were not well armed and the two Magistrates were able to assist us.

Kiro is truly an honorable warrior. It is truly unfortunate that he would see me as evil if he knew who I truly was. However, I fear for the rest of the Isle. If this village worshiped this “Shining Path”, how far could these heretical words have spread.

There’s nothing I can do about it now. All I can do is continue my campaign to become Emperor of the Realm, and hope that these death cults are in my path…

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