In Which Elliott Is Not The Storyteller

Vance: Vance set the channel topic: my city now

  • Camena is terrified.

Svetlana: Hm, clearly we are distant relatives. Though it depends on which order your name is in.

Camena: Hahah. I think inverted?

Svetlana: Possibly close relatives, if one of us had to change it at Ellis Island.

Camena: Hahaha.

Camena: The Manse of Names?

Icaria: I don't have close relatives. The other librarians always said they read me out of a book.

Camena: …oh dear, if you weren't hopelessly gay, Camena would have to corrupt you something merciless.

Svetlana: Um, I hate to tell you this, but that's actually a perfect setup for a whole passel of siblings you don't know about.

Icaria: You should write hopelessly corrupt novels.

Icaria: Well, I mean, they weren't sorcerers, so I assumed they were joking.

Svetlana: "Yes, you are alone in the world. We read you out of Sailors of Shark Isle, Volume IV."

Icaria: Unless sorcery was part of the advanced librarian tiers.

Camena: Isn't it?

Camena: I work with librarians.

Camena: I know librarians.

Camena: And they are sick-minded folk.

Svetlana: "The other twenty-seven volumes… ah… (sweatdrop) produced absolutely nobody. Certainly nobody who swore vengeance upon us and all our children, and also nobody who took service with Ma-Ha-Suchi, and also nobody who turned out to be the reincarnation of that Eye fairy guy, and also there were certainly not twelve Lunars."

Svetlana: That would have been a better joke with Sidereals instead of Lunars, which is what they originally intended to say, only they forgot.

Camena: Secretly, half the world's Exalted population was read into existence by them.

Svetlana: The Sailors of Shark Isle, by J. Prison

Camena: Oh, man.

Camena: That's solid, Jenna.

Camena: Take 3 points.

Svetlana: Yay!

Icaria: Oh, so that's how they imprisoned the Solars of old, by writing a torrid romance novel so good they didn't want to leave,.

Icaria: I kind of want to start a running joke where Icaria is completely unimpressed by Svetlana but is a hopeless admirer of her reports.

Icaria: To the point where he doesn't even recognize that they aren't fiction, even when they describe events he was directly present for.

Svetlana: Probably. Or possibly they just had really bad covers and the Sidereals assumed that nobody would ever actually open the books that the Solars were kept in, but the Neverborn were really desperate for reading material.

Svetlana: "Oh God orbiting Oblivion endlessly sucks so much and the next Game of Thrones book is taking forever FINE I will read Sailors of Shark Isle."

Camena: For some reason, the Imp of the Perverse just put made me imagine the Mouth of the Void as just an enormous toilet with Neverborn tomb-bodies circling it.

Svetlana: "I have read literally everything els—oh, hey, this isn't bad. I like this guy's manly thews, they remind me of the screaming spire-tendons of Igl."

Svetlana: It is a reasonable interpretation of the text, I think.

Svetlana: I mean, I don't think anyone's bothered to build a porcelain seat or anything.

Svetlana: Unless some Solar got really snide.

Camena: Man. The Primordial King had killer thews.

  • Icaria uses his XP to go ahead and add Ghost-Eating Technique to his sheet.

Vance: Eat those ghosts!

Icaria: If Occult is going to be my Supernal, I may as well lean into it.

Vance: I have a chicken to finish baking and consume, and we can get these festivities going.

Camena: Man, Robert.

Camena: You are always consuming nutrients.

Camena: Like, two or three times a day.

Camena: It's a problem.

Svetlana: He should eat ghosts instead like Icaria.

Camena: Also.

Camena: Ummm…


Icaria: I'm gonna have to eat a lot of ghosts if I want to get to the point where I'm a walking library of delicious spirit magic.

Camena: Mmmm.

Camena: Maaaaaaaagic.

Vance: Okey-dokey, folks.

Vance: Is everyone here & ready?

Icaria: Present and accounted for.

Svetlana: Here!

Camena: Partially ici.

Svetlana: That's one way to beat the heat.

Vance: Is it okay if we start, and then cut to your intro once the stars align?

Camena: Totes.

Camena: I am easy.

Camena: Like Saturday morning.

Camena: Which is far easier.

Vance: Okay.

  • Vance set the channel topic: let's get this party started

Vance: When last we met, Icaria and Svetlana had tracked a roaming hellboar back to a gaping hole in the walls of a provincial mansion, which was somehow filled with lush Eastern forests. As they surveyed the wreck, a hapless-seeming young man stumbled out, out of breath and panic-eyed.

Icaria: "Hey."

Vance: "It stops?" he asks, baffled at the transition between forest and city streets. "No! Another trap!"

Icaria: "I've had mornings like that."

Icaria: "If it's a trap, I guess you've sprung it, so you may as well tell us your name."

Svetlana: "He might have been asking for a trap."

Vance: His eyes flicker warily between the two of you.

Icaria: "Oh, wow, you're right. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have assumed."

Vance: (Icaria, give me a Presence roll.)

Icaria: Fail.

Vance: How many sux?

Icaria: Zero.

Icaria: My Presence pool is like 3.

Vance: …any 1s?

Vance: You get to add an Attribute!

Icaria: I didn't forget.

Vance: Yikes.

Icaria: Its literally 2 + 1.

Icaria: No ones, so not a botch.

Icaria: My Socialize is better, so I'm not completely helpless, but I haven't yet found the Classic of Making the First Impression of Being An Interesting and Really Hot Guy.

Vance: "I'm running, no matter what you say. I don't care if you follow, but get away from her!"

  • Icaria considers.

Icaria: No, that's dumb.

Icaria: Join Battle.

Icaria: If he wants to get away, he can roll to disengage.

Vance: Your Wits + Awareness senses inform you that this guy is too trivial to be worth engaging combat mechanics, and that no roll is required to keep pace with him.

Icaria: That's really convenient!

Vance: If you want to physically stop him, you can try that.

Icaria: I'll take him by the collar.

Vance: "Agh! No, please, let me go!"

Icaria: "These truths have been laid down for us, that drama must uphold the unities."

Icaria: "The unity of time, the unity of action, and most importantly, the unity of place. Please stop trying to run away from where the action is happening."

Svetlana: Dessa's frowning off into the forest, because she's guessing that he doesn't mean her by "her." She's going to add Keen Hearing to her Keen Scent.

Icaria: "If you're being chased by a boar or something, we can handle it."

Svetlana: Svetlana does, rather. I only said Dessa because the earlier discussion of names managed to confuse me many hours later.

Vance: He struggles against your grip like a mad dog. His limbs are paper-light—Svetlana's ears catch his heart pounding staccato against his ribs, and from the smell of his sweat he hasn't eaten in at least a day.

Svetlana: "I don't hear a boar…"

Icaria: I gently pat him on the head to soothe him. My generous heart doesn't care if he isn't beefcake.

Vance: "Please, I'm begging, just let me go. I have money, back at my house, a family, whatever you want. She'll kill me!"

Vance: Svetlana, roll Perception + Awareness.

Icaria: "She'll probably just follow you home and kill them, too," says Icaria, vaguely.

Icaria: "You'd be better off running towards someone capable of fighting her off. Such as us!"

Svetlana: "One would expect, you know, thundering brush," 2 successes, "oinking, pigflute…"

  • Icaria flexes his bicep, which as I believe I have previously mentioned is really only okay.

Icaria: "…also, who are we talking about, again? I don't approve of using not asking questions as a dramatic technique to prolong suspense."

Vance: Svetlana picks out enough of the ambient sounds and smells from inside the mansion-forest to know that there are other things inside, but it doesn't sound like anything is currently in pursuit.

  • Icaria remembers that he found actual 10-sided dice and gets them.

Vance: "The executioner. I was sentenced to death. I'm a felon, I admit it, but I don't want to die like this!"

Svetlana: Svetlana squints at him. "They execute you by releasing you into a forest and hunting you?"

Icaria: "That's logical. Not wanting to die, I mean, not hunting felons for sport."

  • Icaria approves of this character establishing his motivation so clearly.

Vance: "Please let go of me instead of debating!"

Icaria: "Okay, but first tell me what you did. I shall know if you're lying!"

  • Icaria really only has like 50-50 odds, although my Read Intentions isn't awful.

Svetlana: "I'm actually more interested in knowing what agitated the hellboar than what he did."

Vance: "Smuggling, bribing guards. I've stolen and sold contraband, but I'm not a killer."

Icaria: Six successes on a Read Intentions roll.

Icaria: Is he being truthful?

Vance: Overly truthful, in fact. He's not downplaying his record. He's probably a few seconds away from saying whatever he thinks you want to hear."

* Svetlana glances at him. "Do you know anything about what prompted the boar to rampage?"

  • Icaria lets go.

Icaria: "Okay, you carry on running while my partner interrogates you."

* Svetlana grabs for him as Icaria lets go.

  • Icaria carries on the remainder of the conversation while effortlessly keeping pace, sideways.

Vance: "It's all for sport," he huffs, running flat out, but not very fast. "She keeps the beasts starved, and sets them loose before the hunts. Likes to wet her spear with beasts, before moving onto men."

Vance: "If that's what broke through the wall, I'll give everything I have to the Boar God!"

Icaria: "So, her massacre is well-staged."

Icaria: "Anyway, I thought you said you had a wife and children. Don't make rash promises to hungry gods!"

Vance: Svetlana snags him at this point, unless his answer prompts her not to.

Icaria: Meanwhile, Icaria realizes that he should probably be chasing somebody else.

Vance: "If my wife is a clever woman, which she is, she'll have taken the children and left this crazy satrapy. They'd be better robbing travelers on the roadways than living in this cursed satrapy."

Icaria: Seems logical.

Svetlana: Svetlana stares at him for a moment. "Cooperation probably offers more of a future," she says, but shrugs, and lets him go. "But you can go."

Icaria: "We'll distract them for you," says Icaria, who feels that the unities have led him astray.

Vance: "You've let me go, and you don't look like her people. I'm going to my house for the last of my things, and if you want to come, you're welcome to. My name is Ink Pheasant."

Vance: "Being hunted for sport has diminished my manners."

Icaria: "It's cool."

  • Icaria considers more genre-appropriate ways to phrase this sentiment.

Icaria: But while I do that, I'm going to cast Invulnerable Skin of Bronze.

Svetlana: Svetlana believes she can find and identify this 'she' without him, and that if necessary she can find him by that name, so she lets him go.

Icaria: I suspect people with questions and weapons are approaching.

Vance: There are people watching—just folks on the street, no one with weapons. You sure you want to turn into living bronze?

Icaria: It's established that I have no sense at all.

  • Icaria considers whether he should arrest this character trait before it goes too far, or whether it's fun.

Vance: You successfully cast your spell. This causes a great deal of excitement!

Svetlana: Svetlana whistles a call in hopes that her familiar (a wood-elemental-blooded mospid, Maksim) is somewhere around rather than sleeping on a roof back by the tea house.

Icaria: In theory I have a familiar, although I have yet to establish what she is.

Vance: Maksim crests the rooftops with commendable speed, alighting on a nearby shrine. His mouth is bloody with what looks suspiciously like hellboar meat.

Svetlana: Heh.

Icaria: I better cast Cirrus Skiff, too.

Vance: And now, for something completely different.

Icaria: In for an obol, in for a mountain of jade!

Vance: Elliott, are you ready for your introduction?

Svetlana: Oh, man, the Empress is going to show up!

Camena: Totes

Icaria: No, I summoned a cloud, not an Empress.

Icaria: Although, I don't object to my spells delivering random important NPCs!

Vance: Where are you? I'm presuming somewhere near the docks?

Icaria: She could ride on the cloud.

Camena: Yeah. Camena rode in with a bawdy group of cut-rate traders.

Icaria: She'd be all "Thanks for summoning this cloud I was stuck on! Also, by what leave are you so handsome? Please marry my youngest son and begin a series of economic and social reforms."

Icaria: That kind of thing is always happening, according to my literature.

Vance: What brings Camena to Gloam?

Camena: Rumors of a tapestry that had been previously lost to history—The Great Jade Turtle Devours the Sun.

Camena: She gonna steal it.

Vance: Who did rumor say has this tapestry?

Camena: One of the local heads of the satrapy's been trading in art en masse lately. Records show most of it's benign, but there's a big, tasty chunk of blasphemous masterpieces in there, too.

Vance: Okay.

Icaria: Would that make them more or less valuable?

Camena: Certainly more interesting!

Camena: Plus, Camena has a thing for reclaiming Solar artifacts. Lowercase-a. Usually.

Icaria: I suppose I'll be totally into blasphemy if I ever figure out I'm Anathema.

Icaria: It hasn't quite sunk in yet.

Camena: She's not 100% sure yet either. Thus her fascination.

Icaria: You sound cool! Let's be ignorance buddies!

Vance: Camena's ship has just docked in Gloam's harbor and been moored by one of the sprawling piers. To starboard, there's a Guild trading junk. To port, a creaking trireme flying the eight-color flag of Masal. Assuming you have any goods for trade, your second mate is overseeing the crew as they haul it off. From the foredeck of your ship, you can hear a great hubbub that appears to be coming from one of the dockside teahouses hither, and a faint flare of white Terrestrial anima yon.

Icaria: Now that I'm hanging around with a magistrate as her Watson, it's my function to be wrong about a wide variety of things.

Camena: "Frickery."

Camena: No one aboard's quite sure what the word means, but she says it a lot.

Camena: "Well, then, m'little sparrows. Keep the ship afloat and try your best to look unassuming. And please keep Jubilation safe," she adds, strapping a firewand over her shoulder as she leaps down from the prow, silk skirts and sleeves billowing under her leather breastplate.

Camena: She's off to see the anima!

Camena: The wonderful anima of Earth!

Camena: Camena is basically dangersexual.

Vance: Ambling through the streets of Gloam, she sees all sorts of fanciful goods being carted off towards the docks?tea bricks, a coffle of slaves, acid-green silk. The white glare leads her into the city's more prosperous quarter, where the shacks give way to houses proper, and then to structures that aspire to be mansions. A small battalion of monks with shaved heads runs past her, paying her no heed, their nine-ring staffs jingling pleasantly.

Vance: Eventually, she draws just around the corner from a small estate. A portly man with a bright purple beard is surrounded in an elemental blaze that smooths down the uneven cobblestones at his feet. He dips his left hand into gutter-mud, gives it a practiced roll between forefinger and thumb, and then smears it onto the mansion's wall with his right, where it solidifies into something like adobe. He appears to have patched up part of the wall with this technique, mending incongruously over its wooden frame. "Ox dung and horse piss," he curses cheerily.

Camena: "It doesn't look all that bad, Prince of the Earth," Camena says, affecting a sudden and demure bearing. (5m for Harmonious Presence)

Vance: "If it were worse," he says, turning to give the newcomer a looking-over, "I'd be swearing by dragon's balls and the Empress's chamber pot." He chuckles at his own joke, becoming more showy with his craftsmanship?he tosses splatters of mud that land in ornately spiraling shapes, making the patched wall seem like an aesthetic choice. "What brings a captain to the house of Sesus Jaspindar?

Camena: She blushes, playing the violet. "Worry, sir. I saw…I saw the anima, and I thought. But I am foolish, as always. Forgive this one. She served in the legions of a lesser house, and cannot shake the battle hymns of the Terrestrial Host."

Camena: "May I… may I ask what has made such a hole, my Prince?"

Vance: (Roll Manipulation + Presence.)

Camena: (3.)

Vance: "A veteran of the legions, eh? If you get the chance, you'll have to tell me who you served under. I was never one for command, but I have all sorts of cousins and schoolfriends in the service. This, ah, elegant addition to the front wall, is a happy coincidence. A happy, pig-shaped coincidence that broke free of its damned cage and gored half the kitchen servants instead of getting roasted for my dinner."

Camena: "A pig of that size?" she asks, her voice peppered with awe and salted with surprise. "Is it custom to keep such creatures in Gloam? The lady of my legion, Atari Lonai, kept a bear for a pet, but certainly not one of such magnificent proportions! And, to eat?"

Vance: "Well, not keeping for long. This beast came down by way of Nexus—some Guild fool said it was a gift, but if you ask me he thought he could sell it for bloodsport in Rujal then left it on our doorstep when the damn thing's upkeep cut his pursestrings too dearly."

Vance: (Your Guile is being Read Intentions'd.)

Camena: (Currently a 5.)

Vance: "Anyway, it's gone on a rampage—although I don't hear any more shouting from that direction, so let's pray an Immaculate was taking tea. But not pray where they can hear us! They do their best to keep the dockfolk safe, bless their shaved heads."

Camena: "Indeed, my lord. By your gracious leave?" Assuming he consents, she makes her way out of sight and strips off her breastplate, tying her skirts and sleeves and she drapes the robe of an Immaculate over herself, tying her long hair back into a tight bun and dusting her face with powder that highlights every wrinkle and sunspot, adding fifteen years. She comes back to the mansion around the other way, looking for any sign of a way in.

Vance: (Is this the kind of disguise you need to roll for, or is it Flawlessly Perfect?)

Camena: (Rolling. 4 successes.)

Vance: Camena makes out the entryway to the mansion on the side opposite the boar-damaged wall, manned by guards wearing the House Sesus mon. Around the corner, a jutting extension off the main building seems to have several other doors, likely for servants and such types. But before she can investigate further, a hysterical voice is calling for her: "Venerable sir! Venerable sir! There's a god!"

Icaria: Is it… delicious?

Svetlana: Not every god is for eating. Some are actually for completing paperwork.

Camena: "A god, you say?" she replies, turning on her heel. Her face is a mask of iron piety.

Vance: "A great spirit!" warns the approaching supplicant, a street urchin of indeterminate gender. "His skin is made of gold! He can walk on the clouds! Hurry, venerable sir, he went that way!" The child points in the same direction as the gaggle of monks Camena had seen earlier.

Camena: Camena moves with due expedience and dignity.

Vance: Now we cut back to Icaria and Svetlana, a few minutes ago.

Vance: Svetlana's keen ears pick up the sound of rapid footfalls and jangling weaponry, picking up speed and heading in her direction.

Svetlana: "Max, could you check things out from the air? I'd like to know if I'm walking into—ah, nevermind, it's walking into me."

Svetlana: "Icaria, let's take this out of the street," Svetlana says, and walks through the gap into the forest.

Vance: (I'd assumed y'all ran with Ink Pheasant, so the forest-gap wouldn't be immediately accessible.)

Vance: (Not all the way back to his house, but at least a few blocks.)

Icaria: "Did you hear a pig?"

Svetlana: (I admit to being deeply thrown by how the sequence of events moved me, but I guess I chased after Icaria.)

Icaria: I'm not completely sure whether I actually wound up moving either, but I shall assume that we are where the Storyteller places us.

Svetlana: Possibly instead of walking through the gap into the forest, I either start moving back to the gap if there's time or find somewhere to wait if not.

Vance: (I had figured he was running as fast as he could while dialoguing, which I may not have adequately conveyed. If Svetlana wants to take it out of the streets, a scarcely-populated alleyway looms nearby.)

Svetlana: I'll wait by the alleyway entrance, then. Not in it, because obviously they're not coming for me and wouldn't deviate.

Icaria: I will simply stay where I am, then, waiting for the plot to come to me, as befits a protagonist.

Icaria: Meanwhile I converse with Svetlana, speaking loudly to cover the distance between us.

Icaria: "The executioner is taking her time, isn't she? Maybe we should go and look for her? I'd feel silly if she murdered a bunch of tax avoiders while we waited for her to show up!"

Svetlana: "Don't be ridiculous. They would have been killed long before she went after a smuggler."

Icaria: "Oh, right, staging!"

Svetlana: "A smuggler damages the fabric of the local law, but tax avoidance is a dagger aimed at the Realm's own heart."

Icaria: "I really meant that smugglers probably run faster, but your point is equally cogent."

Svetlana: "It's true, smuggling is a more athletic activity."

Vance: A well-ordered formation of Immaculate monks approaches you, directed by the shouts of nearby villagers. They carry weapons—curved swords, nine-ring staffs, tetsubos—but keep them sheathed or lowered, not quite past the threshold of outright aggression. One of them, a young woman with a scarred ear, addresses Icaria with unwavering confidence. "Greetings. You are disturbing the peace, and putting the folk of this town into disarray with your presence. I ask that you speak with us, be you spirit or sorcerer, so that we might mend this state of affairs."

Icaria: "Sorry about the trouble. Someone was hunting felons for sport, over behind that wall. It's inappropriate."

Icaria: "Whose home is this, anyway? This sounds like your bailiwick."

Vance: "It is not for gods to meddle in the affairs of women. If you wish to complain of injustice, one of us would be glad to act as an intermediary between you and the local magister."

Svetlana: Svetlana gives the monk a dry look.

Icaria: "No worries, I brought my own magistrate."

  • Icaria waves at Svetlana.

Icaria: Regrettably I am unfamiliar with the intricacies of Realm law, under which hunting felons for sport is probably not actually a crime.

Svetlana: "Sometimes I think I might do better with an intermediary," Svetlana admits. "But the sentiment is essentially correct."

Svetlana: She straightens. She brushes off her clothes. "I apologize for the disruption my assistant caused. He is reckless and we were preparing for a potentially violent confrontation."

Svetlana: She glances at Icaria. "Unless you prefer not to be apologized for, in which case you may conduct this conversation as you please, I suppose."

Icaria: "I submit myself to your judgment, magistra."

Vance: "This is disreputable behavior, and"—if the monk had not spent two dozen years studying the martial arts, meditation, and breath control, her face might begin to betray a hint of frustration.—"and you can't just bring your own magistrate!"

  • Icaria knows the correct forms from his books of etiquette. Which were like three hundred years old.

Icaria: There's no point arguing with people who are telling me I can't do things I have clearly already done.

Vance: "Spirit, if you are to continue to visit Gloam, I ask that you come down here and cease to make a ruckus. Magistrate, this is not your jurisdiction. Is this unruly spirit your bound servant? If so, I would ask that you better instruct your demons in the Immaculate tenets."

Vance: "And register yourself in our Index of Demonologists, for the duration of our stay."

Svetlana: Svetlana murmurs to her mospid, "Max, can you let me know if any group comes out from that forest? I don't want to miss them."

Icaria: "There's no ruckus!" I say. "This is a perfectly orthodox spell. I barely altered it from the classic form."

  • Icaria drops down to the ground anyway.

Vance: (Elliott, btw, one of these monks is you.)

Camena: (I am aware. Camena is gauging.)

Svetlana: She looks back at the monk. "I do not believe him to be a spirit, although I am of course not the expert on such matters. I recruited him in the normal fashion, as a man."

Icaria: "A librarian."

Camena: Camena makes a note of that statement, shooting the magistrate a saucy eyebrow.

Icaria: I was going to say.

Icaria: But I'm already on the crimes list today, apparently.

Vance: The monk waves in the general direction of the people who directed her here with shouts of "a god! a god!" "That is a ruckus. It is a classic ruckus. I have, however, mistaken you for a spirit. That does not lessen the ruckus. Your sorcery has disrupted the peace. It is… not… illegal," she says, almost definitely not wishing that it were a capital crime, "but it must cease. Thank you for descending. What are your names?"

  • Icaria lets the boss do the talking.

Svetlana: "Your pardon, Immaculate," Svetlana says, or whatever the correct address would actually be, "but I am concerned that someone agitated a hellboar theoretically meant as a sacrifice into bursting out of its confinement and trampling a path of destruction through the city, for the sake of their fun. I am also concerned that when we encounter this person they may not submit peaceably and say, 'You are right, Magistrate, I have erred, and you must do with me as you will.' Thus I cannot actually fault my assistant's choice to prepare himself, only its timing."

Svetlana: "I am Evdeniya."

Svetlana: "Naturally the Imperial Magistracy is also deeply concerned about ruckuses in the glorious dominions of the Realm and I will be certain to mete out justice when I have considered the case."

Vance: There is a murmuring among the monks, which is crystal clear to Svetlana's ears. They are uncertain of their jurisdiction—some think that harboring a dangerous nuisance is a purely secular crime, and thus not within their purview; their fellows argue that they definitely would have remembered if the prayer calendar specified the sacrifice of a hellboar any time in the next month; some counterargue that the satrapy already has a magistrate and who is this Evdeniya anyway.

Vance: (Roll Manipulation + Presence.)

Svetlana: 1 success.

Vance: (Roll 2 more dice and add a success for a two-point stunt.)

Svetlana: 1 success + 1 success + no successes on the 2 bonus dice.

Icaria: Our group desperately needs a face.

Svetlana: I think we're getting one.

Icaria: If only there was a flashy thief-captain hiding in the offing, waiting to join our circle of friends!

Camena: "With respects, might it settle matters if this one were to stay with the strangers as… a humble guide, to ease all matters of Gloam's serenity?" She bows low to the lead monk. "It would please this one to be of service to Gloam in this matter."

Svetlana: My long-lost twin sister, who looks nothing like me because we are in impenetrable disguises! Or something.

Vance: The scarred-ear monk silences her brethren with a gesture. "Magistrate Evdeniya, I fear that this is not proper. It is certainly not right?" and then Camena speaks up.

Vance: "Certainly not right, for injustice to be done. But your methods would not be condoned by the magistrate of Gloam, or by Satrap Jaspindar, and have caused all manner of trouble. Perhaps my sister here"—indicating Camena—"could show you to the local Magistrate's office, so that you might discuss this and other matters properly."

Vance: (Camena, roll Manipulation + Presence.)

Camena: (7!)

Svetlana: Svetlana chews on her lip for a moment, then says, "I suppose there is no harm in it."

Vance: The scarred-eared monk takes Camena briefly aside. "Oh, thank all the dragons, thank you. This sorcerer is a dangerous idiot and I think the magistrate is mocking me. Take them to Hjalti's offices, don't tell them he's riding circuits until they've waited at least an hour. And then offer to find them reputable lodgings. If I don't have to deal with them again, I will personally sing your praises to the Grand Abbess, Sister…"

Camena: Camena bows low. "In all matters, I obey."

Vance: (She's ellipsising because she thinks she's forgotten your name.)

Camena: "Sister Tamara obeys," she adds, realizing.

Vance: "Tamara! I'm sorry, I really should know all of your names by now."

  • Svetlana rolls Perception+Awareness to see if she hears the instructions and comes up with 7 successes, so she probably does.

Vance: (You definitely do.)

Vance: The monks disperse, leaving the three of you to your own devices. The occasional shouts of "a god!" are met with kind instructions that, no, it is only a sorcerer in the service of our Empress, and a stern reminder not to disrupt the calm, especially this close to the satrap's mansion (all of which Svetlana hears).

Svetlana: Svetlana waits a moment to see what Camena does.

Icaria: is very annoyed that he is once again prevented from doing justice, but having cast himself as "helpful archon" he feels unable to switch codes again within the same scene.

Camena: Camena drops her affected accent in short order once she's certain the monks are out of earshot. "Thank gods," she says, her voice losing its Realm affectations. "What an insufferable lot they are."

Svetlana: Svetlana processes.

Svetlana: Svetlana briefly bluescreens.

Camena: Camena looks at Svetlana, suddenly realizing. "Oh frickery, you're actually one, aren't you? A magistrate?"

Icaria: "An impostor!" cries Icaria. "Did you join the monks to flee an arranged marriage?"


Icaria: "Or are you a demon in disguise? It's okay; you can tell me the truth."

Camena: Camena also bluescreens.

Icaria: "Maybe you replaced your twin sister, who was a monk? That happens sometimes."

Icaria: "People are constantly running into secret twins they were separated from at birth."

Icaria: "…maybe even me!"

Icaria: "Oh, god, what if I have a twin brother I don't know about? What if he's more handsome than I am?"

Camena: She looks to Svetlana now. "He's cute, but he's not very bright. Except, of course, reflective. So, yes, bright. But not the other kind."

Svetlana: Svetlana scratches above her eyebrow after Camena's question, which puts her hand in a good position to half-facepalm at Icaria.

Svetlana: "In the end, we are all as we are," she manages.

Icaria: "I know a lot of stuff," protests Icaria.

Svetlana: "Would you like to assist us in…" Svetlana waves a hand vaguely in the direction of the backyard forest a few blocks away "At this point, I believe it to be a tempest in a teacup for all the trouble it's caused me, but perhaps it will prove interesting."

Camena: "I can't say it hasn't piqued my curiosity," Camena shoots back, her voice drifting back into a comfortable register with a twist of Seatongue.

Icaria: Icaria dances from one foot to the other, as it to indicate that yes, we should all totally investigate the mystery before the mysterious executioner executes everybody and neatly clears the bodies away.

Icaria: I mean, why did I even transform myself into living metal if not to fight villains?

Icaria: It's my other outfit that makes this look really attractive.

Svetlana: Svetlana gives Camena the kind of look of someone who'd normally want to ask questions but has some inexplicable reason for feeling it's rude, then shrugs and begins to walk briskly towards the manor.

Vance: (I don't know what time zones y'all are in, but if people need to go to sleep, this seems as good a stopping point as any.)

Vance: (I don't mind going longer if not.)

Icaria: It's my day off tomorrow (EST), so I'm up for whatever if people still want to.

Svetlana: There is a certain Seinfeldian symmetry in ending the session right outside the gap between street and forest. I should probably toast an English muffin and put some sort of toppings on it and eat it but other than that I am good to continue. It is 8 o'clock here.

Camena: It's getting a bit late for me :disappointed: I've got meetings tomorrow morning.

  • Vance shakes fist at meetings.

Svetlana: Thank you for running!

  • Camena claps for Vance.

Icaria: Hooray!

Vance: No problem!

Svetlana: I stand by the family thing. The name similarity and the disguising is too much to ignore. Plus we all know from Keychain of Heaven that the Incarnae like Exalting relatives.

Icaria: I feel that a session in which I am somehow mistaken for an idiot means I didn't earn Twilight Solar XP.

Vance: Oh yeah, XP.

Vance: You all get 5.

Vance: Svetlana removed a potential Wyld Hunt by impersonating a magistrate, so 2 Solar XP.

Camena: Oh, totally.

Camena: Re: family.

Icaria: Oh, no!

Icaria: My more attractive twin brother is canon!

Vance: Did anyone uphold Intimacies?

Camena: Not really.

Icaria: I upheld my principle that "I'm entitled to meddle because of reasons."

Vance: 2 Solar XP to you.

Icaria: As well as my principle that "I would like to lead an exciting life."

Icaria: Oho! So I was doing the right thing after all! How I feel when I'm drunk is correct?

Vance: Yes. Except Skyrim wasn't better than Morrowind.

Vance: I start school next week and don't know exactly what my schedule looks like, but I'll certainly have time to run and will be in Pacific Time.

Icaria: I forgot to use my tagline.

Svetlana: Nope. I missed the chance to be freaked out by them calling Icaria a spirit, but it's just as well as it would have been farcical to do so.

Icaria: I'll try to be less farcical so you can have a turn.

Camena: Haha.

Vance: Exalted: A Serious Game About Serious Things

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