In Which Florium Is Not Anathema, Which Calls The Whole System into Question

Rand: When last we left Our Heroes, Lukas had just given the friendly local Infernal a reversionary interest on his soul, just in time to be handed over to a Ysyrian bro-wizard as a slave.

Rand: Also, Kenara spotted a woman who appears to have stitching going all around her neck, but this got lost a bit in the chaos.

Elesha: A reversion or a remainder?

Rand: Honestly it's neither; I just wanted to impress all the normies with powerful legal terms.

Rand: It's more like an agreement to provide special performance of a type to be specified later, on a date to be specified later.

Rand: Or, to quote Mr. Lapin, "gee, Bob, it was already the worst contract ever, and then you went and got blood on it."

Rand: Lukas, what's your take on this?

Rand: Are you prepared to sacrifice your freedom in order to prevent a war you caused?

Lukas: My take is that contracts require consent.

Rand: It appears that hell magic has a different viewpoint.

Rand: Anyway, Florium can consent for you, as your owner.

Rand: I believe you were having some sort of standoff.

Lukas: "Well, solving all your problems by trying to kill or enslave them. We can definitely be sure that you're pure-blooded Ysyri jackass."

Elesha: A look of "oh man, did I fuck up by trying to set Lukas up with a Ysyri client" dawns on Elesha's face.

Rand: "That's almost like saying you solve problems by solving them," says Florium.

Rand: "And really, chains are the best look for you. What kind of monster tears apart erymanthoi with his bare hands?"

Rand: (Technically you used a sword but Florium has forgotten this.)

Lukas: "Sorry, chains are just last season."

Rand: "For men, yes, but the fashion for our animals is slower to shift."

Rand: "Still, I don't see a point in arguing with the animal himself."

Lukas: "We just sliced your vanguard to ribbons. Unless you've got the Quarter Prince on hand, you might want to just toddle back to Ysyr."

Rand: "I shall give Palanquin a day to think the matter over. If the rabid tailor isn't brought to me in chains before sunset tomorrow, my report to the Magistocracy will indicate that Palanquin is in need of a lesson in humility."

Rand: "Maybe we can take a few hundred of your children to give the appropriate education."

Rand: "Or, you know, there's always the old rain of fire and poison."

  • Lukas reminds Rand that I specifically touched my hearthstone to the guy before I hit him.

Rand: Ah, right, so he'll pop into your dream manse tonight.

Elesha: "Counteroffer: If Ysyr goes to war against Palanquin, they'll be dealing with me, and with my devil-horse."

Elesha: "Wait, that's a threat, not a counteroffer."

Rand: Florium declines to be impressed, probably because he hasn't seen the devil-horse in action.

Rand: Instead he takes this opportunity to depart to his diplomatic bachelor pad.

Rand: Madame Capritta looks at you with dour resignation.

Rand: "Well, this isn't looking good for the fall line."

Lukas: "It's fine. It's fine. I'm not going to let anything happen to Palanquin."

Lukas: "I'm just going to make sure that lots of sharp things happen to him. Possibly repeatedly."

Rand: "Well, no, you aren't. Guards, could you please bring me some chains?"

Lukas: "Do you really want to play this game?" he asks, eyes twinkling with a sudden and eerie sobriety. "If it's not clear to you that I'm more than just a tailor, then you haven't been paying attention. If I say Palanquin will be fine, it will be fine."

Rand: "Do you really think I'm prepared to take that risk based on what I know about you?"

Rand: "Namely, that you're a Solar Exalt, a dab hand with a needle, and also a complete fool?"

Kenara: "You realize that if this happens you won't be up against him alone, right?"

Rand: "Note that Florium's mysterious death would simply make a lot of problems much worse."

Lukas: "I'm not going to kill him. As a matter of fact, if you can keep everyone else here mum about proceedings, then when next you wake, all this derision shall seem a dream and fruitless vision."

Rand: Capritta weighs her odds of carting you away against your will.

Rand: "Very well; I'll give you a gentleman's agreement. Promise to either resolve the situation without disaster or turn yourself over to Florium by sunset, and I'll allow you the opportunity to handle this your own way."

Lukas: "I'll definitely probably consider it."

Rand: "Do so. I may not be able to bring you to heel, but a note to the Cynis garrison will bring those who can, if I so decide."

Lukas: "Relax. Settling this is in everyone's interests."

Rand: "I also note that our freedom to treat the Wyld Hunt as an asset rather than an occupation is because of our special relationship with Ysyr."

Rand: "Still, the matter is now in your hands."

Lukas: Lukas, to Elesha and Kenara surreptitiously: "It always was."

  • Elesha grins in cahoots.

Rand: cahoooooooots

Lukas: So many cahoots.

Kenara: Such collusion.

Lukas: Later, at Chez Seven Directions…

Rand: "So, you've sold your body and soul to two different men, neither of whom are me?" asks Hau.

Rand: "I am displeased."

Lukas: "I would say that it's more like I've been unwillingly mortgaged."

Rand: "Ugh, bankers."

Lukas: "But it's fine. There's lots of ways I can handle this!"

Lukas: "Some of them even involving stabbing that asshole sorcerer right in his smug face."

Lukas: "Are y'all down for some stabbing?" he says, turning to Elesha and Kenara.

Kenara: "I dislike violence, but this seems to be a worthy cause for it."

Elesha: "While I feel morally obligated to advocate for restraint in most conflicts, this feels like exactly the time and the place to kill that bastard."

Rand: "So, it's to be war, then."

Rand: "I'll punch anybody for you, but some of the lads may prefer to retire."

Lukas: "In all fairness, the stabbing will be disappointingly nonlethal."

Lukas: Lukas unsheaths the Forgotten Blade. Did he still have that on him? It looks remarkably unremarkable, for a starmetal saber.

Rand: "I didn't know you had a sword," remarks Hau.

Lukas: "No one ever does."

Lukas: "So. A few options," Lukas says, brushing aside space at one of the dojo's tables.

Lukas: "We can break in and stab the memories out of him—that's what the sword does, by the way—and make it so he doesn't even remember me, much less the whole thing where I decked him to everyone's visceral satisfaction."

Elesha: "Sounds like a good option."

Lukas: "We could wait for tonight and threaten him in the Dream Palace, too, but that tips our hand and I'm not certain that a sorcerer would be as powerless there as I'd like."

Lukas: "Or I could go with him, and escape. I've got more than a few ways to do so at my disposal," he says, running a finger across a stray length of thick chain. At his lightest touch, the links come apart.

Lukas: "Or, I mean, we could really kill him, but that would lead to questions."

Rand: "The lads and I could certainly help a bit with a break-in."

Elesha: "We break in, we risk whatever protections a sorcerer's conjured up to guard him. We go into his dreams, we don't know whether he'll listen to our threats. You go with him, we risk him hunting you down," Elesha says, raising a finger for each set of risks.

Rand: "We could trick our way in," says Hau.

Rand: "If there's one thing they like in Ysyr, it's handsomeness. We've got plenty of that."

Elesha: "I'm most useful to you in the scenario where I can shoot people and have it count, but in the end, this is your caper."

Kenara: "That sounds dangerous."

Rand: "We'll just tell him we've lost our way, and our shirts, and need a place for the night. Irresistible."

Kenara: Kenara rolls her eyes, her every fiber radiating the simple message, "Men."

Lukas: "I'd like to know what you all think. Most of these scenarios put your hides at risk alongside mine."

Rand: Hau, no stranger to the language of fiber-radiation, transmits the message, "It's true; we're animals."

Kenara: "I cannot decide. It is a complicated situation and you more than anyone stand to lose if this goes wrong."

Elesha: "Whatever you pick, I'll have your back. We're a circle."

Rand: "If nobody else is voting, I vote for the plan where I possibly get to see this guy naked."

Rand: "This is like when everybody wants someone else to decide what we've having for dinner."

Rand: "Well, I'm having rump roast."

  • Lukas puts Hau in the well.
  • Kenara radiates "Animals."

Lukas: "Well, then. Sneaking it is. Or tricking. Or both?"

Rand: "Hm, we'll need less distinctive and fashionable, but still alluring, outfits."

Lukas: Lukas, naturally, has an assortment of well-tailored options.

Rand: "Hm, yes, these colors say 'idiot bumpkin', but the cut really shows off my arms. He'll never know it was us, largely on account of not looking at our faces."

Rand: "We just need one for you, with a bit of padding."

Lukas: "…what is that supposed to mean."

Rand: "Nothing, nothing—nothing a few leg days won't fix."

Rand: (Actually, I guess Lukas has Strength 3, so he doesn't really have much to be ashamed of.)

Lukas: "I will have you know that my obliques are perfectly adequate."

Rand: "I like 'em… but it's not really a martial arts school if you aren't constantly striving for improvement."

Rand: What part will Elesha and Kenara play in this shenanigan?

Elesha: Elesha's going to be the cavalry.

Elesha: Except she's not bringing along the horse, because this is a sneaking mission.

Rand: It's a good thing Lukas bought all that unholy Stealth, or I'd say the horse is probably sneakier.

Kenara: Kenara doesn't know what she's doing.

Rand: It's good that she's willing to admit it.

Rand: Everyone else in this circle is still pretending to know.

Rand: Elliott, you're the mastermind, help Kenara out.

Rand: Hopefully without her having to see any wicked bros naked.

Lukas: Where is this fellow staying?

Rand: He's in the Ysyrian embassy. Not so very different from a Dragon-Blood's party pad.

Rand: It's up in the Top, of course. Quite fancy.

Lukas: We'll send Hau and a few others in, under the pretense of being appetizers from the Palanquin ruling body, with assurances that they've captured that wicked tailor and will be handing him over promptly—and that they're hoping the emissary will enjoy some entertainment in the meantime.

Lukas: (Obviously, this is a volunteer mission.)

Kenara: "I can be bait. I can protect myself."

Lukas: The fellows case the joint and open things up for Lukas and Kenara to enter, track down the guy's quarters, grapple him good, and stab the memories out.

  • Rand looks up the name of some of your junior monkeys.

Rand: It looks like you'll be sending in Hau, Kaba, and Rishe.

Lukas: Lukas is also going to use Words as Workshop Method to produce a temporary Sorcery Detector.

Lukas: Because that's gonna be a thing.

Elesha: (It goes ding, when there's stuff.)

Rand: I'll excuse Kenara from seduction duty on the grounds that nobody wants her to have to see that.

Rand: So, what is this detector and how does it work?

Rand: Aside from going ding.

Lukas: The detector looks like… well, really, it looks like a barometer. Big cylinder, with bits inside that respond to sorcerous pressures. Reading their relative levels indicates the presence, intensity, and general nature of nearby sorcery.

Rand: Ah. A grimoiremeter.


Rand: Oh, I have one of those.

Lukas: Apparently this is actually called a Galileo thermometer.

Rand: Now I'm imagining a gaylileo thermometer, that has a little bubble with all your names attached to which rise depending on who the person near it is most attracted to.

Lukas: "I'm detecting a lot of gay energy in this direction."

Rand: So, you send your trusty monkeys off to distract Florium with card tricks, or whatever it is Hau is referring to.

Lukas: Tricks, yeah.

Rand: Honestly, it's hard to be sure; Hau's metaphors can be really abstruse. It's possible he genuinely is talking about some kind of giraffe.

Rand: So, how do you plan to go in, once the distraction is in play?

Lukas: They're expected to find time to leave a window open for Lukas.

Rand: You wait.

Rand: How long were you going to wait?

Kenara: See, this is why I was offering to be bait, so I can be in position when the time's right.

Kenara: I can dance.

Lukas: Well, then, Kenara is also bait.

Lukas: Go be bait with them, Kenara.

Rand: I would honestly prefer avoiding having to narrate that.

Kenara: It doesn't have to be raunchy (and in fact I'd rather it weren't). She can dance and that'll be enough.

Rand: My love of innuendo only goes so far. Plus, it fits better with the dramatic twist I was planning, which is this:

Rand: You're waiting in your appointed lurking place, when you hear a buzzing noise, and turn to see a sorcerer's cherub hovering by Lukas' head.

Rand: Your heart falls into your chest as you expect to hear Florium's voice, but the person who speaks isn't him.

Neall: in-your-end-o

  • Lukas places Neall in the well.

Rand: It's Hau speaking, and he says "Lukas, the window over the east gate is unlatched, but I need you now. Kaba and Rishe are compromised. This guy is even worse than you—"

Rand: His voice cuts off.

Elesha: When did Hau become a sorcerer?

Elesha: …and, possibly, hau did he become one?

Rand: That's a really good question.

Rand: Which you may ponder within the well.

Lukas: "Ugh. Why is everyone always some other things! Including me!"

Lukas: Lukas signals for Elesha to move in with him as best she can, and they make their way through, guided by the sorcerometer.

Elesha: Elesha moves in very well, owing to Graceful Crane Stance.

Rand: Don't forget Kenara!

Rand: She's already had to relinquish her chance to be bait; please don't leave her behind or I will feel even more guilty.

Rand: Anyway, you move in.

Rand: The place is only averagely tacky, probably because Florium didn't decorate himself.

Rand: The sorcery detector is… well, honestly, the place is more than averagely sorcerous.

Rand: It's not that hard to find the master bedroom, though.

Rand: You find Kaba and Rishe waiting demurely outside the lacquered red doors, firmly shut.

Rand: Well, as demure as anybody in Seven Directions can manage.

Rand: "So, you're in?" asks Kaba.

Kenara: I can be demure.

Rand: I will allow you to claim #1 in the purestakes.

Rand: After Kenara is an impassable gap, and then… I don't know, maybe the Cally?

Elesha: Could I just make a single roll to knock these guys out with blunted arrows?

Rand: She's arguably less im-pure, but that's not the same as being demure.

Rand: I suppose, if you believe the message and don't want to find out what their deal is.

Elesha: That's Elesha's risk-reward calculus, although she'll give her circlemates enough time to shut down her reach-for-the-bow if they want.

Lukas: Ride-or-die cahoots mode for Lukas.

Rand: "What are you—" is all Rishe has the chance to say.

Rand: I don't even bother to look at Elesha's dice before both of them hit the ground.

Rand: Those two just can't win for losing.

Elesha: "We should tie them up and gag them, in case they wake up before we're out."

Lukas: Lukas does the thing.

Rand: It pays to bring a tailor.

Rand: You look at the doors. They are very large and very shut.

Lukas: Shattering Grasp!

Lukas: Lukas lays on hands and they fall gently off their hinges.

Rand: You find Florium leaning over the bed, where Hau is pinned with one long, powerful arm pressed over his mouth.

Rand: Hau is practicing his gorilla kicks, but they don't really be seem to having much effect.

Rand: Magic: It Does A Body Good.

Lukas: Lukas unsheathes the Forgotten Blade—a slender epee forged from soulsteel.

Rand: Florium appears peeved. "I suppose there's no chance you've come to surrender yourself?"

Kenara: Shit, where'd he get that?

Rand: "I didn't know you had a sword," mumbles Hau through Florium's fingers.

Lukas: "Trust me, you don't want me."

Rand: "Well, not alive."

Lukas: "Necrophilia doesn't suit you."

Rand: "But I've already claimed your three monkeys as my servants, so that's a nice consolation prize along with stuffing your corpse and mounting it in the guest bathroom."

Rand: "Mounting it on the wall, you swine. I know what you were thinking."

Lukas: "Elesha. Kenara. Shall we dance?"

Rand: "Yes, let's. Hau, please pretend to be on their side for a while, then betray them when a good opportunity arises."

Rand: "I'm not your puppet!" Hau snaps, before adding: "Uh, that is a thing he can do, though."

Rand: "…where are Kaba and Rishe?"

Lukas: "It's fine," Lukas tells Hau. "I'll get the spell out of you shortly. Don't fight it, if it hurts. We'll fix it."

Rand: "There's no spell; he's lying!"

  • Lukas holds the sorcerometer in Hau's direction.

Rand: It reads fairly high.

Rand: "Well, you can worry about that later," says Florium, and sets you on fire.

Rand: J-j-join battle!

Rand: Scroll of celestial scuffling, set up!

Lukas: 3!

Kenara: 2!

Elesha: 4m on Excellency, Initiative 10.

Kenara: Oh yeah. So that puts me at 5, right?

Lukas: Yeah, 6 for me.

Rand: You lucky ducks, this fight is going to involve delicious ~target number manipulation.~

Rand: So please just go ahead and paste all your dice results.

Lukas: uggggh

Rand: This is what it means to have a nemesis, Elliott. Endless suffering!

Rand: Florium will be going first.

Rand: He idly floats off of Hau and towards the vaulted ceiling while tossing crackling black flames at Lukas.

Rand: They look a bit hungry!

Rand: He rolls six successes.

Lukas: Ties go to the defender.

Rand: Uh, that's not correct.

Lukas: Is it not?

Elesha: It is not.

Rand: It was in 2e, but not any longer.

Elesha: Unless you have that one Dodge Charm.

Lukas: Oh, you're right.

Rand: It is a bare hit. Florium withers you for five after your soak.

Lukas: Lukas swats the fires aside with the flat of his blade.

Lukas: 2m on the Melee Excellency.

Lukas: Defense 7.

Rand: …fine, fine, but you gotta declare this stuff before I resolve the attack if we're gonna get any sleep tonight.

Rand: Florium's flames are knocked aside.

Rand: Elesha, you're up.

Elesha: What range am I from Florium?

Rand: Let's say medium.

Rand: Him being up in the air and all.

Elesha: I'll move to short.

Rand: I can't stop you!

Elesha: Elesha bends backwards, drawing her bowstring down to the earth as she sends countless arrows hurtling upward at the floating sorcerer.

Elesha: Gonna use Revolving Bow Discipline, with Wise Arrow on each shot to lower his Defense by one. Starting at 4m of Excellency, and going down one with each shot.

Rand: He's going to raise his Evasion to 8.

Elesha: Attack 1: 10 successes (5,9,5,5,4,7,2,9,4,2,10,9,2,10,1,7,2,4,7)

Rand: Florium uses Trouble Shared to steal your two tens and add them to his reservoir.

Elesha: Does that turn it into a miss?

Rand: It does.

Elesha: Alas!

Kenara: Wait, why? I thought ties went to attacker?

Rand: He stole two tens, so she only gets six successes now.

Rand: He pumped his Evasion to 8.

Kenara: Oh right they're worth two each.

Rand: Anyway, it's Florium's turn again.

Rand: "I'm persistent about getting what I want," he grunts, and sends another black flame after Lukas.

Lukas: "And I told you that you don't want any of what I am right now," Lukas spits back, catching the fire on the tip of his blade and redirecting it upward in a flash of darkness.

Lukas: 4m on Melee Excellency and 2m for Dipping Swallow to ignore the onslaught.

Lukas: Defense 8.

Rand: I'll give you a one-point stunt.

Lukas: Defense 9, then.

Rand: Florium reduces his target numbers to six, which is cheating since he's not a Sidereal but whatever, and rolls 8 successes.

Lukas: Dipping Swallow gives me 1i for defending successfully.

Rand: "Well, fuck you very much, then," says Florium, and activates Your Time Will Come.

Rand: The black flame forms itself into a tiny, screaming Florium-face, and prepares to come around and murder you again later.

Rand: Lukas is up.

Lukas: Lukas is going to close some distance between them. Is that going to get him in close?

Rand: Seems fair.

Rand: Or, no.

Rand: If Elesha only got to short you won't get closer than that.

Lukas: Well, then, I'll move up and then pay 1i for a Full Defense

Rand: Is that +2?

Lukas: Yeah.

Rand: Just as well; Florium's up again.

Rand: First his flame is gonna come back around to eat your face again.

Rand: Anyway, the black flame only rolls 3 successes, so it's still waiting its chance to kill you later.

Rand: Florium gets another go.

Rand: He's going to lower his target numbers and attack Lukas again.

Lukas: Eh.

Lukas: 2m to ignore onslaught and I'm going to try and be good with an 8.

Rand: Florium rolls 7 successes.

Rand: So he uses Trouble Shared to move a ten into this roll.

Lukas: #bullshit

Rand: He hits by one and withers you for six.

Rand: Crash! goes the tailor.

Lukas: Nope.

Rand: Have you a magic to back up this denial?

Lukas: Fuckery. Not without spending too much.

Rand: Crash, says the tailor, cause the tailor goes crash!

Rand: Kenara, you finally get a go.

Kenara: Kenara roars in challenge and throws herself at the sorcerer, trying to bear him to the ground.

Rand: You're going to try a grapple?

Rand: Fair enough.

Rand: Make a decisive attack roll.

Kenara: I'm using Vicious Lunge and committing the whole 7m to it. 14 dice and one automatic success.

Kenara: 10 10 9 8 7 7 6 6 6 5 5 4 3 1, 9 successes.

Kenara: Oh, did I get any stunt dice?

Rand: Sure, I'll give you one.

Kenara: A 2, ah well.

Rand: Florium would really like to steal those tens, but there's a limit to how many motes he wants to spend.

Rand: So he's just going to steal one of your 4s.

Rand: Okay, you hit, roll your 5 initiative to succeed on the grapple gambit.

Kenara: Three more dice for the roll because of Vicious Lunge.

Kenara: 9 8 7 7 5 4 4 2, 4 successes.

Rand: That'll do it.

Rand: Okay, control roll, (Strength + Brawl).

Rand: Really, this is the important one.

Kenara: Bleh. 9 6 5 4 4 3 2, one success.

Rand: You aren't going to add any dice?

Kenara: Oh wait, right. Yeah, another 7. I want this to work.

Rand: Oh, just reroll the whole thing.

Rand: Don't ever say I never gave you anything!

Kenara: I'm glad you said so, because rolling the other seven gave me nothing.

Kenara: 10 9 9 9 8 8 7 5 5 4 3 1 1 1, eight successes.

Rand: Florium rolls five successes.

Rand: That gives you three rounds of control.

Rand: Do you want to savage, restrain, or throw?

Kenara: Savage.

Rand: Withering, or decisive?

Rand: I suppose withering is probably logical given your low Initiative.

Kenara: Withering.

Rand: Okay, roll an attack against Defense 0.

Kenara: 9 9 9 7 5 3 3 four successes.

Rand: Damn, you said that before I could activate Not Good Enough.

Rand: Okay, so, subtract his sixteen soak and roll damage.

Kenara: 4, nothing.

Rand: Well, he's still pinned, so good job.

Rand: Hau's turn!

Rand: Hau moves in to Defend Other on Lukas.

Rand: That ends the round.

Rand: Take a breath of 5 motes!

Kenara: Kenara is glowing.

Rand: Florium doesn't bother using his stocked flame under the circumstances, but tries to burn Kenara instead.

Rand: He lowers his target numbers to 6 and adds four dice.

Rand: Using any Charms, Kenara?

Kenara: Nope. I front-loaded my Essence use this fight.

Rand: Florium rolls 10 10 9 8 8 7 7 5 4 3 3 2 2 2 1 1.

Rand: He pulls a 4 out and adds it to the reservoir.

Rand: So he hits by five and rolls 9 damage dice.

Kenara: Yep.

Rand: …fail? Really?

Kenara: Ahahahaha, I am unconquerable!

Rand: Xha, do you even lift?

Rand: Elesha, it's all you.

Elesha: "Hold him right there, Kenara. I think it's time to break the haughty."

  • Lukas emotes "Putting my faith in you [with this XP token].

Rand: Florium uses Not Good Enough and names 6.

Elesha: Revolving Bow Discipline, Wise Arrow on every shot to drop his Defense by one, and being grappled gives him -2 Defense.

Elesha: Full Excellency on the first shot, which means I'm at bonfire.

Rand: He's also going to use his full dice-adder to raise his lowered Defense to 6.

Elesha: 8 successes, 4,8,5,2,8,3,1,3,9,2,4,8,5,5,5,1,9,6,7,5,10,2,6,1,3.

Elesha: Oh, and if you want to give me any stunt dice, I'll roll those.

Rand: Have one stunt die.

Elesha: It's an 8!

Rand: Florium uses Trouble Shared to steal that 8 and your 10, and to give you two 4s.

Rand: Eight motes, but worth it.

Elesha: I still hit?

Rand: That remains to be seen.

Rand: Your foolish decision to roll four 4s triggers Death-Inviting Stroke.

Elesha: …I only see two 4s?

Rand: He gave you the two in his reservoir.

Elesha: Ah.

Elesha: Fucker.

Rand: Florium spits a dragon of crackling black flame out of his perfect teeth.

Rand: He's going to add four dice and reduce the target number to 5.

Elesha: Elesha lets the recoil of her shot impel her back from the flame, displacing the air around her into a cool protective sheathe…

Elesha: …and spends 6m to raise her Evasion to 8.

Rand: That's a two-point stunt.

Rand: Alas, Florium rolls twelve successes.

Rand: Specifically, 9 8 8 7 7 7 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 1 1.

Rand: Which means he has two successes of room that he can steal and still hit you, which he does.

Rand: He then adds those successes to his damage roll.

Rand: Four successes, plus two.

Rand: Six levels of lethal damage.

Elesha: Good thing for Ox-Body!

Rand: Now he takes his own turn, albeit with a dramatically-reduced mote pool.

Elesha: I'm mid-Revolving Bow?

Rand: Didn't you miss? You lost the clash.

Elesha: I rolled against his Defense.

Elesha: If he attacks me after, that's more a counterattack than a clash.

Rand: Death-Inviting Stroke specifically says it causes a clash.

Elesha: Ah! In that case, miss.

Rand: You won't get away so easily!

Rand: Florium sends yet another dragon after the first to wither you.

Rand: I guess you've got one point of onslaught penalty?

Elesha: well, no, because Shadow Over Water

Elesha: Bereft of Uratan, Elesha is forced to jump into the saddle-that-is-not-there of midair, contorting into an evasive posture that would really be much easier if she were on a horse.

Lukas: Perhaps there is a Hidden Horse?

Elesha: Shadow Over Water to negate penalties, and 4m of Excellency to hit Evasion 7

Rand: You know I can't resist horse jokes, so take a two-point stunt.

Rand: Florium rolls 5 successes, and misses.

Rand: Kenara, you're up.

Rand: Although, I guess at this point Kenara mostly just has to decide between savaging and restraining.

Kenara: I'll shoot for restraining.

Rand: Okay, that uses up your remaining two rounds of control, and prevents him from taking an action.

Rand: Hm, his next proper one, or his next bonus one?

Rand: I guess his next bonus one.

Elesha: All of them for the round!

Rand: Kenara, you can also take a movement action with him if you want.

Kenara: Nah, I need to be ready to go at him again.

Rand: I mean, he'd go with you. You can drag him to the floor.

Kenara: All right, yeah. Down he goes.

Rand: By frantically kicking her feet in the air, Kenara is able to drag Florium to ground-level and pin him.

Rand: This prevents him from doing anything this turn.

Rand: Lukas, you're up.

Lukas: Lukas strides forward to where Kenara has Florium pinned and strikes at him, the Forgotten Blade seeming to appear and disappear between strikes rather than occupying the space between. His anima begins to blare—a kaleidoscope of color limned in gold.

Rand: "I didn't know you had a sword," says Hau, following close at your side.

Lukas: Excellent Strike + Excellency for 18 dice.

Lukas: 3,7,9,7,6,8,6,4,8,7,8,4,10,7,2,9,1,5.

Lukas: That pesky 1 rerolls into a 10.

Rand: You hit by nine.

Lukas: Don't forget that Excellent Strike also gives me a bonus success.

Rand: …by ten.

Lukas: 22 damage to wither him with…

Lukas: …less his soak… ugh, why is he so tanky?

Rand: Abs, xha.

Kenara: Leg day.

Rand: Seriously, what self-respecting sorcerer would wander into a town of barbarians without making his skin as hard as steel?

Lukas: 9,2,10,8,3,9.

Lukas: 4 successes

Rand: Well, that brings you out of crash.

Rand: He's tossing around on the floor trying to avoid your blows, but I guess Kenara still has a grip on him until her next turn.

Rand: Hau continues to Defend Other on Lukas.

Rand: End of the round!

Rand: Take a breath of 5 motes.

Rand: Florium finally bursts out of Kenara's iron grip and gets to take his own turn.

Rand: He's going to try and wither Elesha again, since she seems to have the best chance of actually harming him.

Rand: He attacks with another dragon and spends a mote to drop his target number.

Rand: Your reaction, Elesha?

Elesha: Elesha goes into a backflip, hoping to pass over the dragon entirely and land unscathed.

Elesha: Shadow Over Water and 2m for Evasion 6

Rand: Florium rolls 10 9 9 8 7 7 5 4 3 2 2 1, for seven successes.

Elesha: Did I get any stunt bonus?

Rand: Not for just a backflip!

Elesha: Then I hit by one.

Rand: Florium withers you for six damage.

Rand: Now it's your turn!

Elesha: Kenara's got more Initiative than me.

Rand: Oh, I guess she does now.

Rand: Kenara, you've moved up in the roll!

Kenara: Another attempt at a grab with Vicious Lunge and a 7m Excellency behind it.

Rand: Roll it.

Kenara: 10 10 10 9 8 8 6 6 5 4 4 3 2 1, nine successes.

Rand: That'll do it.

Rand: Roll your Initiative for the gambit.

  • Rand goes ahead and does it for you, success.

Rand: Okay, go ahead and roll (Strength + Brawl) for control.

Kenara: 10 9 8 7 5 5 5 5 4 1, five successes.

Rand: Florium rolls three successes.

Rand: You've got two rounds of control.

Rand: Savage or restrain?

Kenara: Savaaaaaaage!

Rand: Okay, roll your attack.

Kenara: 10 9 9 7 1, five successes again.

Elesha: (Don't forget she gets 1 Initiative for hitting.)

Rand: Okay, so roll your damage plus five minus his soak.

Kenara: What's his soak right now?

Rand: 16.

Kenara: Hax!

Kenara: 8, 1 success.

Rand: Well, you wither him for 1, and get an extra 1 for hitting him.

Rand: Now it's his go.

Rand: He's withering Elesha again.

Rand: Not spending any motes. You?

Elesha: Shadow Over Water, Evasion 5

Rand: 10 9 8 7 5 3 3 3 2 2 2 1, five successes.

Elesha: Drifting Leaf Elusion.

Elesha: I dodge.

Rand: Curse you!

Rand: Hau continues to Defend Other.

Rand: Elesha is up.

Elesha: Elesha is covered in burns, wreathed with burning anima, her Essence all but spent. She draws, and twelve golden arms unfold from her anima banner like a blossoming lotus. "Perish."

Rand: References! My only weakness!

Rand: Take a three-point stunt.

Elesha: Wise Arrow, +3m on Excellency, and spending a WP to add a success

Elesha: 10 successes, 6,1,9,6,5,8,4,3,1,4,8,10,2,7,8.

Rand: Is this withering?

Elesha: yes

Rand: Well, his Defense is reduced to 3, so you hit by seven.

Elesha: Whiff on damage!

Elesha: This is not Elesha's fight.

Rand: He sends you another fireball. Any response?

Kenara: Wow, that response I came up with in my head was a troubling and violent non-sequitur.

Elesha: Elesha weaves between the divine limbs of her anima, hoping to lose the fireball as twelve palms move to swat it aside.

Rand: Two points!

Elesha: Spending 1wp to raise Evasion to 4, 5 with the stunt.

Rand: 6; it's a two-point stunt.

Elesha: Oh, right!

Rand: Florium rolls 4 successes and missed.

Rand: Lukas, you're up at last.

Lukas: No quips, no jokes—Lukas bears down on Florium, his anima crystallizing into a train of prismatic feathers that trail each strike.

Lukas: Excellent Strike + 7 Excellency dice.

Rand: Two points.

Lukas: 2,10,3,10,5,3,10,2,6,7,4,9,3,6,7,3,8,7,10,4,2 = 14 successes

Rand: Yeah, that'll do it.

Rand: You hit by eleven.

Lukas: 5 damage.

Rand: Levels, or dice?

Lukas: Withering.

Rand: Okay.

Lukas: fading

Elesha: (likewise)

Rand: Okay, fine, I think I can see where this fight is going, anyway.

Rand: These stats are a beast but the mote pool is a serious limiter on how much he can use them.

Rand: So the war of attrition is in your favor.

Rand: Lukas sends the Forgotten Blade straight through Florium's eye, nailing him to the floor.

Rand: Then he twists the blade.

Rand: There is a clicking noise, like a key turning in a lock.

Rand: Would you like to do some memory alteration?

Lukas: Cutting out memory of this fight, the punching, and whatnot

Rand: I shall graciously allow it instead of going to the trouble of looking up how the Forgotten Blade actually works for the moment.

Rand: Incidentally, roll (Perception + Awareness) for me.

Rand: No reason!

Elesha: 6 successes.

Lukas: 4.

Rand: You spot Hau trying to surreptitiously exit while you're doing brain surgery without a license.

Elesha: Blunt arrow knockout.

Rand: Roll for it?

Rand: Hau isn't Kaba, after all.

Elesha: Spending WP for a success… 6 successes.

Rand: Hau raises one hand in a blurred half-motion like the turning of a minute-hand, and catches the tip of your arrow neatly between thumb and forefinger.

Rand: The sudden deceleration causes it to catch fire.

Elesha: "Fuuuck."

Rand: Hau bolts.

Lukas: "Ugh."

Elesha: Elesha takes a Tie of hatred for Ysyri.

Rand: Speaking of sorcerous fuckery, you've still got Kaba and Rishe tied up in the hallway and compromised in some unknown manner.

Rand: If that was true.

Elesha: Elesha's guessing it was not.

Lukas: Sorcerometer!

Rand: The sorcerometer reads them as extremely enchanted.

Lukas: Soul scalpel. Cutting this shit out.

Rand: …that is beyond the scope of tonight's session.

Rand: For now, you will simply have to explain how you got them back to Butt Town bound and gagged without attracting attention.

Lukas: Just change their clothes for bondage gear.

Rand: Whatever that accomplishes, it won't be "not attracting attention."

Rand: The Cynis have a house here; they don't run the whole town!

Rand: Maybe you should just disguise yourselves as two horses.

Elesha: Spill some booze on them; we're carrying back our drunken friends

Rand: If you can summon Uratan, you'll have a third horse for extra verisimilitude!

Rand: That works.

Rand: Well, it looks like I have determined that the yin-yang master stats are an absolute beast, but that mote pool is a serious limiter in even a 3v1 fight.

Rand: If I reduced the cost of his dice-switcher to one mote per die, he'd have wiped the floor with you.

Lukas: He already would have won, realistically.

Lukas: The Dawn was basically tapped.

Elesha: I think dice-switching is an unfun mechanic

Lukas: Yes, that too.

Rand: I enjoyed it!

Elesha: and that when I do Sidereals their clashes need to be super expensive, because TNs.

Rand: But his soak was probably too high.

Kenara: Way too high.

Lukas: Much.

Rand: If Kenara and Lukas had a better chance of doing reasonable withering it would have been less of a stonewall.

Lukas: I never felt good hitting him

Lukas: It felt more like treading water.

Rand: It's high because I thought it had to be for what's potentially a 5v1 boss fight, but maybe I should put a note in the stats on that.

Lukas: But he gets a turn alongside every major character. He doesn't need high soak.

Rand: Even Elesha had a hard time dealing damage, although in part that was because he blew the better part of his motes on foiling her dangerous tricks.

Rand: Yeah, true, I just worried that he'd get crashed quickly and never be able to get back to positive.

Rand: Apparently that's not an issue.

Lukas: Bon nuit, friends

Rand: Good night! I hope you were at least intrigued by these events.

Rand: Even if not thrilled by my combat testing.

Rand: Also sorry for losing you all three of your boyfriends in a single sweep.

Kenara: Bummer deal, man.

Elesha: Shun the Smiling Maiden is brutal

Rand: I mean, I don't see why you couldn't still date Tellus.

Rand: You just need to be less prejudiced!

Rand: You could even trick him into asking you on a date, and making that the favor you owe him.

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