Probably Not Anybody

Rand: Time now aligns into the pattern of my devising.

Rand: And you know what that means!

Rand: It means that it's time for me to offload all the work onto you!

Rand: Thousand Answers Mode, go!

Rand: Elesha, please tell me about some of the local martial arts yahoos who have challenged you for ownership of the yellow box since last we met.

Elesha: A flamboyant gang of Peacock stylists, dressed to kill. A teahouse full of Seven Drunken Gods stylists. Masked adherents of the Axe Dogma of Mavelin Jao.

Rand: Yeah, I'm not even sure if they even know what's in the box, either.

Rand: You've just become unexpectedly popular!

Rand: Or your horse has.

Rand: So far, none of them have really been a match for you, but regular exercise is still healthy.

Luka: Did we get XP for the last session, BTW?

Rand: Yes.

Rand: Kenara, did I hear you were planning a sideline in construction?

Elesha: It's also good to have a steady supply of customers for the medicinal herbs Elesha's been carrying ever since she left Nexus.

Kenara: It's more that Kenara has been looking out for ways to help the poor of this shitberg.

Rand: I feel like you have some good opportunities to work with that now that there's a giant collapsed building, possibly full of opera-based secrets.

Rand: Or to build a secret clubhouse! It's all good.

Kenara: So far Kenara's built a few huts where the building was, one for herself and more for whoever comes along.

Rand: It's a start!

Rand: Every opera house begins as a hut, to begin generating XP.

Kenara: Well, that and I've only got the one dot in Craft (architecture).

Rand: Luka, you made a killing off the sudden spike in sheenrite prices, no?

Rand: What are you spending all the money on?

Luka: A surprising percent of my returns have been going towards a mixture of research materials for the box and also slowly restoring an impressive organ in the opera house.

Rand: The new opera house, you mean? (By which I mean, the one that's at least a hundred years old?)

Elesha: (Elesha spends about ten minutes hawking goods while Vance drives home.)

Luka: The one we found. Was it not old? I thought it was kind of in ruins.

Tamira: I, too, shared that understanding.

Rand: It was pulled down more than a hundred years ago and the Cynis warehouse was built over where it once stood.

Rand: The yellow box was apparently buried underneath the foundations of the original building.

Rand: Which was, apparently, the old opera house.

Luka: Well, then, it's research materials and basement renovations.

Rand: There's also a new opera house on one of the other butts because people didn't just wait a hundred years to start doing opera again.

Rand: All right.

Rand: And finally, Tamira: where do you stand on the light bulb situation?

Tamira: Very strong peasant girl: definitely an Anathema. Horse-on-a-Wire: Can horses be Anathema? If so, Anathema. All others: Totally oblivious.

Rand: Is yt tyme to call the Wyld Hunt?

Kenara: (In case of Anathema, break glass.)

Tamira: Nooooo, because 1) If she doesn't use her name, they probably won't send anyone, so it's a pointless risk 2) if she does, she's practically begging assassins to come kill her.

Tamira: This is a Conundrum.

Rand: Are you particularly devout?

Tamira: Tamira knows the right words to say and particularly likes the part about Dragon-Blooded being the enlightened Chosen, but she was raised on the streets of Chiaroscuro and then in House Cynis, so not especially.

Tamira: (Read: Minor Principle)

Rand: Well, that seems fairly straightforward!

Rand: Now, to deliver some world-building exposition about the majestically callipygian city you've found yourself in.

Rand: In theory, Palanquin is governed by the Council of Families, the chosen representatives of the aristocratic families, most of whom are descended from the cloud people who live above the city.

Rand: However, because of their propensity for eccentric behavior and accidentally falling off the city, most of the real work of governance is done by…

Rand: Well, depending on who you ask, it's either run by merchants, martial arts yahoos, or nobody.

Rand: But really it's all the same thing.

Rand: Most of the martial arts societies you've run into are all financed by some guild or other, and generally act as their enforcement branch.

Rand: There was a chart in the room where Tamira's office was going to be, only, it just collapsed.

Rand: But apparently the Great Animal Society you were fighting in our last meeting are connected to the Most Worshipful Guild of Artists, Dramaturges, and Colormen.

Rand: (The connection between a martial arts brotherhood's favored style and the guild who employs them apparently doesn't exist.)

Rand: Anyway…

Rand: With that little bit of exposition delivered, how do you plan to go about discovering the secret of the yellow box?

Elesha: (Elesha returns!)

Kenara: Kenara has been focused on her own work but she has been asking people she meets about the symbol on the box. That seems like the best place to start to her.

Luka: Luka is making subtle inquiries in high society. Sketched out some of the emblems on the box as if to make a new damask pattern, asked for notes on it, claimed he saw it somewhere in the undercity and gauging reactions.

Kenara: (Kenara is again a pretty typical Zenith, and not great for information-gathering.)

Rand: Well, you both discover the same thing.

Rand: As Sadida mentioned in passing last week, the swallow emblem on the box is associated with the legendary Master Uen.

Luka: And what can I gather about him?

Rand: Well, you head straight to the source, and find yourself interrogating Falling Fox, a foxy kung fu archivist.

Rand: He never met a piece of historical trivia he couldn't punch into shape!

Rand: He relates the legend of Master Uen to you like thus:

Rand: "Back in the time before time, nobody knew any of the martial arts. They only knew how to be like themselves!"

Rand: "Cats were like cats, and tigers were like tigers. Mantises mantissed, and boars bored."

Rand: "If you wanted to learn any martial secrets, you'd have to learn them from the animals themselves!"

Rand: "Oh, and they charged a terrible price for their secrets. One women spent ten years of her life constantly fetching milk, just to be shown a single kata!"

Rand: "It was a terrible time for our dignity as humans. If you look in the books, you can see the picture of the cow milking a man—and Cow Style isn't even that great! Awful."

Rand: "It was Master Uen who put a stop to it all, by creating true martial arts, and writing the secrets of all the styles that ever were down in scrolls, so that everyone could learn them."

Rand: "All the cows had to milk themselves after that—I think that's how cows work."

Rand: "About half of the societies claim descent from Master Uen's martial legacy," explains Falling Fox. "The rest say he doesn't exist. Then, they fight!"

Elesha: "Are there any legends about Master Uen's treasures and relics?"

Rand: "Oh, hundreds. People are always claiming to have found a new Uen scroll with an undiscovered style written on it."

Rand: "Ancient weapons, things like that. One story said he caught the whole world and locked it in a box."

Rand: "I think that was just a very advanced kung fu metaphor, though."

Elesha: "But… the whole world is here."

Elesha: "Not in a box."

Rand: "Maybe we're in the box?"

Rand: "Honestly, I'm bad at koans."

Rand: "That's why I specialized in punchable facts!"

Kenara: Kenara suspects that it's a silly story told by drunk old men.

Kenara: Kenara suspects this about many things.

Rand: "I know Master ja Wunlo of Harmonious Doctrine has a weapon of his."

Rand: "At least, it has the swallow on it and it's genuinely super-old, which is as close to a verification as I can come."

Luka: Did we ever break into the box?

Elesha: No.

Luka: Did we ever really… try?

Rand: Would you like to?

Elesha: I think we determined it only opened in a certain context.

Kenara: It's jade: I'm not that strong.

Tamira: Is that context hitting it with a sword?

Elesha: Machine-gunning it with arrows probably will not work.

Elesha: But Elesha can try!

Luka: Luka makes a note to attempt minimally-invasive surgery on the box.

Rand: I mean, I'm not going to permit anybody to open the box until it's been stolen and restolen at least three more times, but you might learn something interesting by determining its exact level of indestructibility!

Luka: Luka makes a quick but methodical study, moving from mundane cutting implements to acids to having Elesha's horse do an Anathema Kick on it

Kenara: Am I correct in assuming that no amount of prying by me does anything to it?

Rand: The results are mildly interesting.

Rand: Mere prying doesn't elicit a response.

Rand: But actually applying things like acids to it causes it to spit the acid right back at you.

Kenara: Well that's startling.

Rand: Using the Anathema Kick results in the box performing a complicated series of ricochets off of various objects before going straight for Luka's head.

Rand: He dodges, because Solar, but there's definitely a sense of faint intentionality there.

Rand: Nothing really surprising, I guess, it just confirms that the box is above a certain level of magic-ness.

Rand: It's not just a random box made of impossible jade.

Kenara: It is also a random box made of impossible jade.

Rand: Correct.

Rand: Just so you can say you did, Luka also does a read-up on yellow jade, and confirms that it doesn't exist.

Tamira: Heyyy? It's jade. Can I attune to it?

Luka: "Oh, box," Luka says, frustrated but intrigued. "One day. One day, you will give up your secrets."

Rand: considers this.

Rand: Yes. Yes, you can.

Rand: Although you get the impression that you are not resonant with yellow jade, you can do this.

Rand: Five motes.

Tamira: Well, nothing else has worked. Let's try this!

Rand: You pull out the old Cynis manual on the proper rituals for attuning to someone else's weapon, appeasing its martial spirit and so forth.

Rand: You should be able to adapt these to a box. I mean, you won it in a fight, so it's basically the same.

Tamira: I pour some very nice liquor on it.

Rand: That's about what I figured. The ceremony is extremely successful.

Kenara: I now pronounce you box and wife.

Luka: It's a beautiful Boxing Day.

Rand: You are able to determine that this device is a coffer which can hold anything, in perfect safety and preservation, and will only give up its contents in response to a specific key chosen at the time of storage.

Rand: You can sense that there is one (1) thing currently in the coffer.

Tamira: Aaaaaah.

Rand: You can also store as many things in it as you like!

Rand: Also, the box has no weight while you hold it and you can sense its location within a couple of miles.

Rand: You do not, however, know the key to unlock the thing that's currently in it.

Rand: Oh, and you're allowed to give the coffer a name and unlock box Evocations.

Luka: "Do you know how many outfits I could fit into this?"

Kenara: "How many do you need?"

Tamira: "That's a very complicated question."

Luka: Luka looks at her as if she has grown another, tragically unfashionable head.

Elesha: Can we open it to store something in it without accessing the inside that has the thing in it? Is it dimensionally funky?

Tamira: Anyway, I relate this to everyone, because while an intuitive understanding is all well and good, Tamira did not attend the Heptagram (THANK THE DRAGONS) and thus does not understand this artifact nonsense.

Rand: You don't exactly open it so much as reach in and pull out what you want.

Tamira: (Once they get it open, she'll remind them it was found beneath House Cynis property and is, therefore, hers, held in care for her family. But that comes later.)

Elesha: Elesha's eyes gleam with covetousness over the magical box.

Rand: Yes, excellent, please begin stealing the box from each other.

Luka: "So. We need to find out who used to own this, what they hid, and how we can retrieve it…"

Luka: "I mean, if you're into that sort of thing?"

Luka: Luka is clearly into exactly this sort of thing.

Tamira: "Hmmm. Well, it was buried for quite some time. That's going to make that part a bit troublesome, I should think."

Luka: "It's a magic box, friend. These things are remembered, at least by someone, somewhere."

Tamira: "I didn't say impossible, I said troublesome. Maybe even the fun kind of troublesome."

Rand: "And indeed, all things are remembered," says somebody.

Rand: You suddenly realize that while you were coveting the magic box that still has no name, somebody wandered in and is leaning on the door-frame, all smug-like!

Tamira: (That's my schtick!)

Elesha: Elesha tries to gauge the newcomer's fighting spirit.

Rand: This someone is a young man with dark curls, sparkling green eyes, and… honestly it's really hard to look at him properly because he's so damn smug.

Rand: Maybe he's hot? He might also be a marmoset. He is so certain that he is not a marmoset, but a hot and cool guy, that it makes you a little doubtful.

Rand: His fighting spirit seems fairly strong.

Rand: What unit does Elesha use to measure martial arts moxie?

Elesha: The waves of spiritual pressure that roll off of a warrior's Essence, or, "horsepower."

Luka: (You are a treasure.)

Rand: Hm, your provisional horsepower rating for this guy is 759. That's pretty tough!

Rand: "Oh, but do forgive me," he says, "I was being enigmatic again."

Rand: "Please, call me Tellus. I was just passing through and couldn't help but eavesdrop on your predicament."

Tamira: "Passing through."

Rand: "And solving predicaments like this is what I live for."

Kenara: "To your satisfaction, I'm sure."

Tamira: (We are, I presume, still underground, yes?)

Kenara: (I was about to ask where we are, yeah.)

Rand: I don't think so, since you've been interviewing people, but honestly you probably are somewhere that he shouldn't be able to just wander in.

Kenara: (Also, I'm assuming that all NPCs are black unless otherwise stated, given where in Creation we are.)

Luka: Luka checks his breath and swaggers over to Tellus. "Hey," he says, and means everything.

Luka: (I thought the Dreaming Sea was more Eastern?)

Rand: I had envisioned him as sort of Greek, but you do you.

Rand: Tellus meets your omni-hey with a masterful single-eyebrow-lift technique.

Rand: Just a single twitch unleashes powerful innuendo that only Luka can see!

Rand: Shocking, unprecedented, etc.

Rand: "Anyway—I happen to know a tiny magic that would allow you to look into the past."

Rand: "You could see exactly who once owned this box, and how it came to be hidden here."

Elesha: "That's almost suspiciously convenient."

Rand: "I suppose it must be fate."

Rand: "Still, if it makes it seem more realistic, I'll be happy to ask you for something in return."

Luka: Luka is running this through Judge's Ear Technique.

Luka: Because he wants this to be true but he's also a Twilight and thus a suspicious bastard.

Rand: Which statement are you checking?

Luka: His claim that he can actually find out the person and situation.

Rand: Luka, his statement rings true.

Rand: At the very least, he has some kind of past-viewing magic that should stretch back far enough to see the thing you want.

  • Elesha reads intentions.

Rand: Tellus has a Guile of 6.

Elesha: (4m on my Excellency, 7 successes. I want a general sense of his intentions here.)

Rand: He wants you to do him the favor he's about to ask, and he'll perform the sorcery he described if you do.

Rand: That aspect seems legit to your horse sense.

Rand: "You see, you were recently involved in a scuffle between the Great Animals and the Harmonious Doctrine League. If you'd lived here a little longer, you'd realize that these scuffles happen quite often."

Kenara: (I can't not picture Garek when I try and picture Luka, Elliot.)

Rand: "You see, this section of town is on the borderline between their claimed territories, and they don't get along at all."

Rand: "It means a lot of broken teacups for me and a few business partners of mine."

Rand: "We'd prefer it if Harmonious Doctrine could be kept on the eastern side of Lock Lane, and the Great Animals held this turf."

Kenara: "You own a teahouse?"

Rand: "I own a lot of things."

Rand: "And I think you can make this happen for me."

Luka: Luka begins muttering about whether or not this could be facilitated with a sturdy enough wall.

Rand: Well, I mean. They all jump good.

Luka: Then the wall just got ten feet higher.

Elesha: "I'm sure we can find a peaceful compromise."

Rand: "I'm sure you could! Although I'd prefer it if you beat them up."

Rand: "Still, have it your own way."

Elesha: "I'm not going to beat them up just because."

Rand: "You already have several reasons! One, they're super annoying and just the worst. Two, I'm paying you to."

Luka: "Whose turf is this right now, by the way?"

Elesha: "Do I strike you as a mercenary?"

Rand: "Great Animal and Harmonious Doctrine both claim it. Hence all the martial artsing going on."

Rand: "You look a little… merchant-ary? That's not so far apart."

Elesha: "Boo."

Rand: "Well, it's up to you. Just clear all the little cranes out of my backyard and I can help you solve your mystery."

Kenara: "I would rather that neither of them came here. My home is upstairs and I don't want to deal with them."

Elesha: "Sounds like a bargain."

Rand: "Signed, sealed, and delivered."

Luka: "Is claiming this place for ourselves an acceptable solution, by any chance?"

Rand: Tellus thinks about this. "Heh, sure. I was honestly looking forward to the monkeys, but you'll do."

Rand: "You'll need a fancy martial arts name, of course. And a banner."

Tamira: "I can't speak for myself, but I don't go in for that sort of thing."

Rand: "But they can set you up with all the paperwork at the city hall."

Rand: "Oh, you can't be a martial arts society or claim turf without going through the forms."

Rand: "All part of the ancient code of kung fu as laid down by Master Uen when he ended the wars between the brotherhoods."

Tamira: >.< Tamira pinches the bridge of her nose. "Oh, for a bureaucracy that just works."

Elesha: "Oooh, a bureaucracy!"

Rand: "It looks like I'll be seeing more of you, then," says Tellus, smarming his way out the door.

Rand: Of your living room.

Rand: Y'all probably need better security if you're going to start a martial arts brotherhood.

Rand: Sisterhood.

Elesha: "The hardest part of this is going to be figuring out a name. The paperwork ain't nothin'."

Rand: A punchman club.

Tamira: "How my family got a warehouse built here if everything has to be about punching something, I will never know."

Luka: Luka is already making sketches for gi's for the crew.

Elesha: "I thought Cynis had a secret below-the-waist martial art?"

Rand: You'll also need students!

Tamira: "Well, if we did, I certainly wouldn?t tell you, would I? Wouldn't be very secret."

Luka: "How does everyone feel about gold lame? Or maybe orange?"

Rand: Or I suppose you could take over an existing school and steal their students.

Luka: (I hope you all appreciate that this will culminate in Luka reenacting "Art of the Dress" as he assembles our hypothetical kinship's martial arts regalia.)

Kenara: (I'm okay with this.)

Rand: So, anyway, you've entered into a devil's bargain with the wicked sorcerer Tellus.

Rand: Is he wicked? I'm assuming he's wicked.

Rand: He might just be annoying.

Kenara: Irritatingly handsome.

Rand: Yeah, they grow 'em like that around here.

Luka: My wicked future boyfriend.

Rand: Something about building a neighborhood on top of a giant butt just encourages all the asses to jut out.

Rand: Anyway, I guess the ball is now in your court.

Kenara: I'm gonna be heading out here shortly: meeting with a friend for coffee. Sorry, I'm in a 'desperately need to leave the house' headspace right now. :disappointed:

Elesha: Enjoy coffee!

Luka: Enjoy friend!

Elesha: Elesha saddles up to do some paperwork.

Kenara: Kenara's gonna clear out space for a meeting hall.

Luka: Fashion time for Luka.

Tamira: Tamira's going to put her ear to the ground by attending various tea houses and such in the area—both to observe the local kung-fu politics and to see if she can't figure out who might be backing our new friend.

Rand: Hm, well, you already know who the two big movers in the area are, and you find out a little more about Harmonious Doctrine. Apparently their big backer is the guild of cooks and butchers?

Rand: There have been a few attempts by the Red Salamander Brotherhood to move in as well, but they haven't been very successful.

Rand: Public opinion on both societies could go either way.

Rand: Their fights cause a lot of incidental minor damage; Great Animal tends to send junior members around after a fight to clean up; Harmonious Doctrine just pays.

Rand: You might be able to shift that tide a bit.

Luka: "So," Luka says, while trimming away at a bolt of fabric. "Do we try and usurp it off both of them at once, or barter for this little strip of nothing, or what?"

Luka: "Hey Dragon, don't you, like, own this place or something?"

Rand: Ownership is different from being on a gang's turf!

Rand: Both groups had the sense to leave direct Cynis property alone.

Elesha: "We could arrange a diplomatic summit."

Tamira: "My family has business interests here, but as you might have noticed, quite a lot of those interests are now ash. And in any case, most members of my family have been warned to keep well away from me from the time being. The collateral damage was getting expensive."

Luka: "Oh? More's the pity. But it can't hurt to have a Prince of the Earth along with us, hmmm?"

Luka: He is winking at Elesha as he says this.

Tamira: "If nothing else, I lend our endeavor a certain moral authority," she says, smiling.

Rand: Tamira, roll read intentions to determine light bulb status.

Tamira: Haha. One.

Tamira: (This isn't even a bad pool for me!)

Rand: The light bulb flickers briefly, but then goes out.

Rand: Luka's Guile is just too powerful!

Rand: As for what you learn about Tellus… pretty much everybody knows him.

Rand: And everybody dislikes him!

Rand: That or "dislikes, but thinks he's hot."

Rand: He often pops up and offers deals to people.

Tamira: Mmm, yes, Tamira knows that feeling.

Tamira: Many people feel that way about Tamira!

Rand: But nobody seems to know exactly who he is or what he keeps his money in.

Kenara: Kenara says nothing.

Rand: All they know is that he really likes being owed favors.

Rand: And that the favor you're eventually called to do may be very difficult indeed, or it may be bizarrely small.

Tamira: Well, fortunate that we already have a fairly straightforward favor on tap.

Rand: Apparently he and Hau have been in some fairly high-profile fights.

Rand: Well, supposedly it was less a fight and more a furious Hau was throwing furniture around because Tellus was being a shit.

Rand: You find this readily believable.

Rand: Anyway, if you're going to fill out paperwork, you need a school name.

Rand: And someone's got to go on paper as the master of the school.

Kenara: Not it.

Luka: Luka votes for Elesha.

Kenara: Sure, that works.

Tamira: As it's a bureaucratic fiction, Tamira has no strong feelings regarding the official leadership. Besides, as her mother always told her, you get more done when everyone's not watching you.

Elesha: "Well, if you insist."

Luka: "The Lightning Saints?" Luka offers by way of suggestion.

Luka: Really, he's absorbed in his work, eyeglasses perched on his nose and tape measures thrown over his shoulders.

Rand: You can't become a lightning saint just by saying you are!

Elesha: "That's hardly fair."

Elesha: "You all need your own fancy titles if you're going to be my lieutenants. The school needs its own name."

Elesha: "The Five Shooting Stars School, for instance."

Tamira: "Clearly I should have paid more attention to my poetry lessons?"

Rand: You won't be able to attract students if there are only allowed to be five!

Luka: "Golden Phoenix Society?"

Luka: Light bulb ping, deliberately.

Rand: Infinite Coffer Fraternity.

Tamira: Ah, now that's a roll. Six.

Luka: "The Boxers."

Rand: Hiding Horse School.

Luka: Yep, you got him.

Rand: House of the Hidden Horse.

Elesha: "The Shooting Star Horse Boxers."

Luka: "The Opera-Fist Consortium."

Rand: Tamira realizes that she is being ensnared in an Anathematic cult of personality.

Tamira: Indeed. The peasant, the tailor, the horse.

Kenara: A sexy Anathematic cult of personality.

Rand: You try to remember what the guides they made you read in secondary school said about this situation.

Tamira: She and the merchant will have to be strong!

Rand: "What To Do When You Find Yourself Worshipping the Anathema."

Rand: 1) Do not blame yourself. It is their wicked magic.

Rand: 2) Go find a monk.

Rand: 3) It's okay to sleep with them first, if you're sure it won't weaken your resolve.

Rand: 4) I don't mean the monk. Well, okay, whatever; you do you.

Kenara: (I hope she goes for the horse; that's my favorite story route.)

Rand: The best girl never gets a route, Kenara.

Tamira: (No, but seriously—Tamira's plan thus far is "wait for assassins, let the Anathema take care of them, potentially leverage the Anathema into finding out who is trying to kill her, sic Anathema on them, run away from Anathema as fast as she can.")

Rand: Ah, yes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Tamira: Preeeecisely.

Rand: And thus, Tamira was drawn into the whirlpool of the Anathematic disease called enemy-of-my-enemy-ship.

Rand: Plus you have to protect Elesha, who's possessed by a devil-horse.

Tamira: Mmmhmmm.

Rand: And that other girl who's currently in a state of quantum indeterminacy!

Rand: So, what's the final name? Do we have consensus?

Rand: I guess this is also your circle name.

Elesha: Any objections to Shooting Star Horse Boxers?

Kenara: Several, but I also can't think of a good suggestion.

Luka: Yes.

Luka: I object.

Tamira: "I've never punched a horse in my life."

Kenara: And my ride is here, so I'm out!

Tamira: (Ciao!)

Rand: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Something.

Rand: Bah, it fits so well for the first three.

Tamira: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Cynis.

Rand: You'd be the soldier, though.

Tamira: I'm not a soldier!

Elesha: The No-Need-For-Concern Dispute Resolution School.

Rand: Indiscriminate Grappling Society.

Rand: Anything-Goes Martial Arts Kings.

Luka: The White Lotus.

Luka: The Seven Directions Society.

Rand: Impossible Jade Clan.

Elesha: I like Seven Directions.

Luka: (It was in Dreaming Waters. The Seven Directions Empire)

Elesha: Even better!

Rand: So it goes, then.

Elesha: Having completed the most time-consuming portion of this task, Elesha goes to file her paperwork.

Elesha: How long would that take under normal circumstances?

Luka: Luka completes the gi while she is away in paperhell.

Rand: Not long. You hand over your paperwork to a tired clerk with violet eyes, and are officially declared Grandmaster of the Seven Directions Society.

Rand: "Incidentally," says the clerk, "you should hand the yellow box over to Harmonious Doctrine."

Rand: "You cannot remove the contents, and having it will attract dangerous attention for little gain."

Rand: "The tiny struggles between conflicting societies that you see are only the ripples on a vast sea of conflict."

Elesha: "Just a guess, but do you happen to belong to the Harmonious Doctrine?"

Rand: She smiles. "Oh, no. Harmonious Doctrine belongs to me. As it were."

Rand: "I can see that you don't believe me yet. But in time you'll get a glimpse of just how strange and dangerous Palanquin truly is, and when that time comes, I want you to understand that you do have the option of just leaving."

Rand: "You don't have to stick your hand in a beehive just so the bees can't say they won."

Elesha: "Well then, as one grandmaster to another, that box is the exclusive property of the Seven Directions Society, and if you think your two-bit school has the grit to take the box, then fucking try us."

Elesha: Elesha says this with a smile.

Rand: "Oh, no, no, no; I'm not a grandmaster. I'm just a clerk!"

Rand: "I was speaking figuratively."

Rand: "Anyway, that's all. I hope you find whatever time you choose to spend in Palanquin productive."

Rand: And the clerk is gone.

Rand: Actually, what clerk?

Rand: I have no idea what you're talking about; shut up; etc.

Elesha: "I feel as though I've just forgotten a really badass line," Elesha sighs.

Rand: Hm, did you have any other avenues of investigation you wanted to try?

Rand: It is a bit early still. I suppose I could throw a fight at you yet.

Elesha: We are two people down.

Tamira: Yeah.

Luka: Yeah.

Rand: Good, good.

Elesha: Session Name: In Which, Fucking Sidereals.

Rand: Suddenly you are attacked by a violet-eyed martial artist you've never seen before!

Rand: seriously who is she

Rand: Scroll of battle, materialize!

Luka: No.

Rand: You cannot gainsay my battle pronouncements.

Luka: I can.

Elesha: Rookie mistake, Rand.

Elesha: You can't just declare battle when someone has two islands untapped.

Rand: Bah, I still have Palanquin in play.

Rand: Which clearly states that random martial arts battles cannot be countered.

Luka: I have Protection from Pointless Fights.

Rand: It isn't pointless. It's to convey a threat. Also it's playtesting.

Rand: I need to gauge the deadliness of this deadly boss fight.

Rand: Would you do it for… a Solar XP snack?

Luka: I'm honestly getting zonkered. I've slept like shiz for the past week and a half.

Rand: But… science!

Elesha: Eight hours a night, Elliott!

Luka: I try, Vance. But last night I had a medication-induced nightmare where I was running for president of Earth against Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons, and if he won, not only would he occupy the highest office in the land, he would also be allowed to eat several of the Pips of the Demon-Godzilla Tree and acquire their dark magic.

Luka: That is the accurate and abridged version.

Elesha: I had a dream that my dad was secretly spreading a plague of mutation-inducing maggots, and that I had to go back to school for Sanskrit.

Luka: Clearly, we have different thresholds for what we can handle.

Rand: I dreamed that my players would go off on dates or to bed, and wouldn't help me test this incredibly-deadly boss battle.

Rand: I suppose there are worse dreams to have come true.

Elesha: Our will is feeble and broken.

Luka: Oh, I thought that was the start to a rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream."

Rand: Perhaps Elesha and Tamira would be willing to go 2v2?

Rand: If not, I suppose we can call it a night.

Elesha: I'm game.

Luka: Yeah, it's not like Luka is a powerhouse fighter.

Luka: Because of all those Craft Charms.

Elesha: You have Craftsman Needs No Tools!

Elesha: That's a combat Charm!

Luka: Only if you're creative. I am not.

Rand: You have to stop forgetting you have a sword.

Luka: Mais adiue, mes amis.

Rand: Good night, El.

Tamira: I mean it is the Forgotten Blade.

Tamira: Night!

Luka: What blade?

Rand: So!

Rand: Elesha and Tamira are suddenly jumped by a mysterious violet-eyed warrior you don't know who it is!

Rand: "You didn't believe Heaven's warning," she says. "This, honestly, is natural."

Rand: "But I want to give you a taste of what you're getting yourselves into, just to get you warmed up."

Rand: Time to Join Battle!

Rand: In this city street, you face mysterious warrior Seven Skies, and her henchman, Even Blade Warrior Chau!

Elesha: Elesha leaps into the saddle and readies her bow. "Heaven is only good as a repository for my arrows!"

Elesha: 8m on the Awareness Excellency.

  • Rand throws in a second warrior just because he can.

Rand: Go forth, Even Blade Warrior Lohas!

Elesha: 12 successes!

Rand: Seven Skies rolls 15 successes, spending three motes.

Rand: Ooh, I just tasted target number reductions and they're sweet.

Elesha: Yeah, that's gonna eventually get restricted.

Rand: Which specific thing?

Rand: Target number reduction generally?

Elesha: Access to TN reduction.

Elesha: Getting down to 4 is probably gonna require Ability 5, Essence 3, or thereabouts.

Rand: Well, she has those things, so it's all good either way.

Rand: Tamira, do you have a JB roll?

Tamira: Apologies, food just showed up. 2, so a total of 5 Initiative, yes?

Rand: Yep.

Tamira: Ah, but 6 due to Fast Reflexes!

Rand: Okay, just note your important stats on the roll at your convenience.

Rand: Seven Skies is going first.

Rand: She ties a purple veil over her eyes and prognosticates.

Rand: "I see only seven storms in your future," she says, "unless you change your course."

Rand: She uses Ominous Prognostics.

Rand: Unlucky number: 7!

Rand: Henceforth, each of you will lose 1 Initiative every time a 7 shows up on one of your dice.

Rand: Elesha, your turn.

Elesha: Trance of Unhesitating Speed + Wise Arrow to make one decisive attack against each of these guys, and lower their Defense against it by one.

Elesha: Full Excellency vs. Seven Skies; none on the mortals.

Rand: Seven Skies spends 2 Willpower to activate Steadfast Blade Style.

Rand: Her Parry is set to 10.

Elesha: I miss her, then.

Rand: Can she boost that with her Excellency? I did not previously consider that question.

Elesha: …and lose one Initiative to a 7.

Rand: In that case, you miss them all. She swats your arrows out of the sky with the knife she's holding in the hand that isn't glowing purple.

Elesha: …and 2 Initiative lost for each missed attack.

Rand: Lohas has the next turn.

Rand: Oh, and Even Blade's ability means that all the opponents gain 1 Initiative.

  • Rand decides to be nice and say that Seven Skies parried one attack and not three.

Elesha: Does that mean I should roll the attacks against the other two guys?

Elesha: Or just that I don't lose the Initiative?

Rand: Hm, good question.

Rand: Steadfast Blade means she parries all the attacks without you having to roll them, so maybe you don't lose Initiative for them?

Rand: What do you think?

Rand: "By spending 2 Willpower, the steadfast blade warrior can set her Parry to 10 against a single attack. If this is sufficient to block an attack against herself, she also successfully defends all allies who were also targeted by the attack."

Elesha: I think I still lose Initative.

Rand: Fair enough.

Rand: Lohas is going to take a swing at Tamira.

Elesha: …also, you gave her a cap breaker.

Elesha: Inadvisable!

Rand: It's meant to be more of a semi-perfect.

Elesha: It's expensive enough, I s'pose.


Rand: (again)

Elesha: :disappointed:

Tamira: (Blinding Spark Evasion, Flame-Borne Interception on the ready.)

Rand: Remind me what that does?

Tamira: The former's a parry buffer, the second is also a parry buff that gives +1 Parry for every attack I block till my next turn.

Rand: Or I could be less lazy and check the doc myself.

Rand: Okay, how much are you buffing your Parry?

Tamira: Wait, I'm sorry, wrong Charm.

Rand: Also maybe you mean Blinding Spark Evasion?

Rand: Or Stoking Bonfire Style?

Tamira: Yeah, I thought it was a flat Parry buff? It actually blinds if I successfully parry.

Tamira: Maybe it was when I took it. Still, a cool Charm I will totally use!

Tamira: Parry is currently 6.

Rand: In an act of ridiculous good luck which I am forced to blame on fate, Lohas rolls ten successes on ten dice.

Tamira: (-4m, -1i)

Tamira: …wow.

Rand: Luckily for you, nothing bad happens if he rolls a 7, because he rolled 4.

Rand: What's your soak?

Tamira: 3 ;_;

Rand: Lohas withers you for 7.

Tamira: Crashed!

Rand: Chau's turn.

Rand: Chau's going to try and capitalize on this and wither Tamira further.

Rand: Alas, fate only loves Lohas, and Chau rolls two successes.

Rand: Tamira, your turn.

Tamira: Well, my Parry's now 7, at least x.x

Rand: Ah, but there's always onslaught.

Rand: Which is likely to become a serious problem since Seven Skies can dump her onslaught on you.

Rand: Do you still have an action, or are you using it on some kind of Parry-boosting Charm?

Tamira: Oh! Right! I get actions! Haha? Okay! Going to give as well as I got to Lohas! (hopefully)

Tamira: Dice cap for DBs is Ability, yes?

Rand: That's right; go for that Initiative Shift.

Rand: Ability plus Speciality.

Rand: So, Ability + 1.

Rand: If you have a specialty, I mean.

Tamira: Okay, adding 5 dice with Stoking Bonfire, withering Lohas for 7!

Tamira: Also I'm hella on fire.

Rand: Aw, not quite enough for the Initiative Shift.

Rand: Turn ends, take a breath of 5 motes.

Tamira: So I didn't hit?

Rand: Yeah, 7 is good enough, so you hit.

Tamira: Oh! Soak?

Rand: You said withered, so I thought you meant you'd rolled your own damaage.

Rand: It's 4.

Rand: All their stats are on the pages below the Initiative list, but I'll add soak.

Tamira: Haha! Eleven!

Rand: That's enough to bring you to 13.

Rand: Lohas finds himself crashed.

Tamira: Heck yeah!

Rand: Okay, new turn, take your five motes.

Rand: Seven Skies is going first.

Rand: She's going after Elesha with her presumably-deadly purple hand, and spending three motes to lower her target number.

Elesha: Elesha fades away like a phantom, and uses a full Dodge Excellency to hit Evasion 11

Rand: Be sure to track your motes on the scroll.

Rand: Seven Skies rolls ten successes. Ah! So close!

Rand: Up next is Tamira again.

Tamira: Tamira presses her advantage—maybe a neat scar will convince 'em to back off! Decisive against Lohas, Stoking Bonfire 4m for 5 dice.

Rand: (Today's session name: In Which Luka is Definitely Anathema, But This Clerk Probably Isn't Anybody.)

Tamira: Again, eleven to hit! Hardness, if any?

Rand: Nope.

Tamira: A nasty 5L.

  • Rand makes a note that martial artists from styles that allow armor should probably have some hardness.

Rand: Oof, that takes him down to his -4.

Rand: Elesha is up next.

Elesha: Elesha banks an arrow through Tamira's anima, setting it ablaze as it flies towards Chau

Elesha: Wise Arrow.

Tamira: Niiiiiiiiiiice.

Elesha: And withering.

Elesha: What's the range between us?

  • Rand also notes that he really should have used the semi-perfect to block that attack, but it would make the battle take forever.

Rand: I suppose it's close.

Rand: It should probably be the master ability so that not every non-mook has it.

Kenara: (I return!)

Tamira: (Yo!)

Elesha: Hit by 1.

Rand: He's got 4 soak, so roll your damage.

Elesha: 5 damage, but I got a 7.

Rand: Ominous!

Tamira: Oh, heck, I didn't look for those. >;_<;

Tamira: I think I had at least one.

Rand: Feel free to knock as many points off your Initiative as will salve your conscience.

Tamira: You reset to 3, right?

Rand: Yeah.

Rand: Poor Chau, meanwhile, is crashed.

Rand: Still, he gets to take a turn.

Tamira: I mean it'd reset there anyway no matter where it was x.x But I knocked myself down to 2 anyway.

Rand: He's going to try and wither Tamira again before things get unpleasant for him too!

Tamira: Alright. So, my reading of Stoking Bonfire is that, if I defend against any enemy attack that isn't from Lohas, it resets, right? It's not just parry?

Elesha: You can't get around it by dodging, yeah.

Tamira: Okay. Will Parry, then.

Tamira: (I have also since realized that Stoking Bonfire can add Parry, too, lol.)

Elesha: It's all-purpose!

Tamira: So Parry is 8 for the purposes of this attack. 4m.

Rand: Chau rolls 6 successes. Not good enough!

Tamira: Heck yeah.

Tamira: Don't mess with a Prince of the Earth! :smug:

Rand: Lohas is going last. He's hurt bad, but it only increases his focus.

Tamira: He's gonna fight to the death, eh?

Rand: He uses the Even Blade mastery ability to spend a Willpower and turn his penalties into bonuses until his next turn.

Tamira: fuuuuuuuuck

Rand: Hm, yes, that is the reaction I was hoping for (makes tick on clipboard).

Rand: Going to use Charms?

Tamira: Yeah, Parry is… I can buff it by 3 if I have 5 Melee, right?

Rand: Yeah.

Tamira: Parry is 9

Tamira: And I am hella on fire.

Rand: Ah, so.

Rand: Lohas rolls 9 successes exactly.

Tamira: Whew.

Elesha: Bad news.

Tamira: …wait, what?

Rand: Attacker wins ties, sorry.

Tamira: Oh, FFS, right, ties don't go to defense anymore.

Tamira: SECOND EDITION! shakes fist

Rand: What was your soak?

Tamira: Soak is 3.

Rand: Lohas withers you for 7.

Tamira: Hella crashed.

Rand: Lohas reaps a delicious Initiative Break, but he can only keep his non-horribly-wounded self up as long as he has delicious Willpower to spend.

Elesha: (Initiative Shift, Rand.)

Tamira: (Curse you, Perilous, I wanna use Flame Warden Stance!)

Rand: Oh, right, he resets to 3 and then gets all his damage?

Rand: I'm still confused about how that interacts with Initiative Break.

Rand: Anyway, while we discuss this, Chau is going to wither Tamira some too.

Elesha: He goes to the higher of 3 or where he would have been after the damage.

Elesha: Then he rolls Join Battle again and gets that much Initiative.

Elesha: Then he gets another turn.

Rand: Wow, that's even better than I thought.

Rand: Really, Lohas? Now you fucking botch?

Tamira: Haaa.

Rand: Oh, wait, you get a bonus of +4.

Rand: Aaaaaaand you failed all those too.

Kenara: Haaaaaaa.

Tamira: Parry to 8 vs Chau because I really don't want to lose any more Initiative.

Rand: Chau rolls 1.

Rand: Fate has turned against these noble warriors.

Tamira: Oooof course.

Tamira: I am extremely hella on fire.

Rand: Now the turn ends and you can respire five motes.

Tamira: Which I will immediately burn, literally, lol.

Rand: "Fate has turned against my noble warriors," notes Seven Skies. "That's not how this is supposed to work!"

Tamira: "Fate's for gamblers and drunkards—and while I'm generally both, right now I'm stone cold sober!"

Rand: Seven Skies considers her purple hand and her daiklaive-holding hand, and decides on the sharp option.

Rand: She's going to make a Decisive attack on Tamira.

Tamira: Ha!

Tamira: Max Parry again.

Rand: She's lowering her target number to 4, and buying 4 dice.

Tamira: TN fuckery!!!! shakes fist

Kenara: (Kenara needs a hot Sidereal rival/love interest. Adding that to the list.)

Rand: She rolls an absolutely unheard-of sixteen successes, and gains 1 Initiative because of reasons.

Tamira: (Heck yeah, Sidereal smoochin'.)

Tamira: Ow, ow, ow.

Rand: She gains another 1 Initiative because of reasons.

Tamira: Soak 3, RIP me and my -1 zillion Initiative.

Kenara: (Oh, god damn it, Rand.)

Rand: No Hardness?

Tamira: ? …oh, wait, Decisive.

Tamira: Uh.

Tamira: No.

Rand: I forget, can she lower target numbers on damage?

Elesha: God, no.

Elesha: That'd be terrifying.

Tamira: (…and then Seven Skies revealed her terrible secret—she was a moa the whole time!)

Rand: Just as well.

Kenara: (Shit, not a moa.)

Rand: Tamira takes 9 health levels of damage.

Tamira: *peeks* No, I didn't take Ox-Body.

Tamira: Welp, I'm dead.

Kenara: I think Tamira just bought it.

Elesha: Or unconscious!

Kenara: TN 4 is just gross.

Rand: As Claven Signifer finds its mark just between your eyes, you find yourself thinking that life would be a lot easier if Elesha listened to warnings from Heaven.

Tamira: TN fuckery is extremely powerful.

Rand: Tamira ceases to be a contributor to this battle.

Rand: Perhaps in the morning she will find it was all a mysteriously-vivid dream?

Tamira: Boy, I hope so.

Kenara: So, is this a situation into which Kenara could reasonably make an appearance?

Rand: Prophetic dreams are a well-known thing and you should hella heed them.

Rand: Sure, feel free to drop in.

Tamira: makes a note: buy-Ox Body, because Rand's dice are made of wizards.

Rand: Narrate your appearance on the scene and roll Join Battle!

Rand: Hm, so far, the starry-eyed master seems pleasing as a boss fight.

Rand: Also, I will direct ingenue and chibi to the "Arcane Fate" ability on her sheet.

Kenara: Can I get a quick scene description?

Elesha: A starry-eyed master and her kung fu mooks attacked us out of nowhere.

Kenara: I'm aware, Rand. S'why I'm not using the S-word.

Kenara: So I fail on my Join Battle. ;>.>;

Rand: You've just arrived in the street outside your home to find Elesha and Tamira having a battle with a mysterious martial artist and two of her henchmen.

Rand: Well, Elesha is having one. Tamira has just lost one.

Rand: You both said the word once.

Rand: Note: that ability works on players, not characters.

Kenara: Right, I know. Anymore, I meant.

Tamira: …okay, I kinda love that.

  • Kenara just starts reffering to them as tittydereals.

Tamira: In fairness, I was speaking in general and I kinda feel like it should only apply to talking about hypothetical Chosen we might be, but certainly aren't, fighting

Rand: Nope, it's meant to punish people who get meta so that also applies.

Tamira: Haha.

Rand: Anyway, Seven Skies is going to add insult to injury by using Capricious Suffering to dump the onslaught penalty on Elesha.

Kenara: Kenara would've been better prepared to join savage battle if she weren't carrying more stone to build with. Not that she couldn't fight with it, but she's not carrying it right for that and she's distracted. The wall-fragment is thrown aside and she flexes in a loose grappler's stance.

Rand: Which means that her onslaught won't reset, either.

Elesha: Elesha's?

Rand: Yeah.

Rand: Oh, and for the record, Kenara, Seven Skies has made a mysterious prophecy that makes the number 7 unlucky.

Rand: Every die that shows a 7 takes 1 off your Initiative.

Kenara: Right.

Rand: Anyway, Elesha gets the next turn.

Rand: She might as well take it while you sort out your paperwork.

Elesha: …doesn't Elesha get to go before Seven this round?

Rand: No, Seven had 19, she just reset.

Rand: Because of doing a decisive.

Elesha: Ah.

Kenara: Hey Rand, does that ability count if I say the word to someone who isn't in this game?

Rand: It counts if I hear you say it.

Kenara: Okay, then.

Elesha: Elusive Mount Technique to reflexively disengage from Seven Skies.

Rand: Hm, I guess she rolls her combat movement… she's going to add 4 dice.

Elesha: 6 sux, lose 1i to a 7.

Rand: Seven Skies also rolls 6.

Rand: Who wins that?

Elesha: …player with the best stunt.

Elesha: …Seriously?

Tamira: Whaaat?

Rand: Seven Skies is as close to you as your own awareness of death. She does not seem to advance or retreat; she is simply a shadow on your consciousness that says: one day, you will grow tired, you will grow slow, and then death will take you.

Elesha: Very philosophical, but let's see her do that full of arrows.

  • Kenara dies laughing.

Elesha: Decisive attack, +8 dice, Wise Arrow to drop her Defense by 1.

Rand: Okay, if you hit, I'll let your stunt win.

Elesha: 14 successes.

Rand: She's going to max her… good lord.

Elesha: …but four 7s.

Rand: She's got 7 hardness, but I guess that doesn't matter here.

Elesha: …and only one level of damage. >.>

Rand: Now you reach the dreaded -1 level of the Chosen of Fate.

Rand: Which goes on forever.

Rand: Lohas' turn!

Rand: He's going to spend another Willpower to keep his battered body going and on-task.

Rand: It's up to him to make sure this random newcomer who probably isn't very strong doesn't get to interfere!

Rand: He's going to wither Kenara.

Rand: Are you using any Charms, Kenara?

Kenara: Would I declare Durability of Oak now or wait?

Elesha: It's up front.

Rand: Lohas rolls 12 successes, as YET ANOTHER PERSON who is NOT Seven Skies rolls four 7s.

Rand: So he hits with a threshold of 8.

Kenara: 4m to Spirit Strengthens the Skin, my soak is 13.

Kenara: And the damage is reduced by two for DoO.

  • Rand rolls six dice, and you take 3 withering damage.

Rand: Be sure to keep track of your motes on the sheet.

Kenara: I am.

Rand: Meanwhile, Kenara is crashed!

Kenara: Does 0 put me in Break or do I have to be negative?

Rand: Zero is a crash.

Kenara: That's what I thought.

Tamira: Somehow I'm still surprised how easy it is to get crashed

Rand: Either way, Kenara gets to take her turn now.

Kenara: Well, my Initiative sucks.

Rand: Yeah, she blew her Join Battle roll and started at 3.

Kenara: I'm throwing myself at Seven Skies and trying to grapple.

Rand: But that's still better than Chau who managed to BOTCH his Initiative Shift.


Rand: That's a decisive, isn't it?

Kenara: Is it?

Kenara: I don't know the rules.

Rand: I don't think you can make a gambit in Crash.

Elesha: Yeah.

Kenara: Ah, okay.

  • Rand doesn't know the rules for grapples, either, and is secretly relieved.

Kenara: In that case Kenara reels under the blow but still charges in with arms upraised and attempts to deliver a flurry of punches at Seven Skies.

Rand: That's right! Let it straighten your back!

Rand: Using any Charms?

Kenara: Fist of Iron Technique, pinging off of my Intimacy towards Tamira.

Kenara: (Which is only minor, but still.)

Rand: That's still enough to ignore 3 soak.

Rand: Okay, make your attack roll; don't forget to note any 7s.

Kenara: And I'm Excellency-ing up my pool)

Rand: (In retrospect all the terrifying abilities I gave the starry-eyed master pale before target number reduction.)

Kenara: Five successes, one seven.

Rand: Her Parry is 7, so you miss and lose 1 Initiative.

Kenara: Boo.

Rand: Last turn goes to Chau.

Rand: He's going to do his best to wither Kenara some more while she's down.

Elesha: Iiiii should probably make a decisive attack on my bed around now.

Kenara: I was about to say, it's awfully late here.

Rand: Fair enough! It has reached the four-hour mark.

Kenara: For you guys, anyway.

Rand: So, your thoughts on this boss fight as an encounter design?

Rand: My main one is that all of these swingy horoscope Charms could afford to be scarier, and that I should note the limits of target reduction more strictly.

Tamira: I was digging it for the portion I was still involved! I'm kinda gobsmacked I got one-shot though.

Kenara: I felt overwhelmed, but then I came in late and was immediately crashed before I could do anything.

Elesha: Targeting specific numbers is a good mechanic for dealing with multiple attackers of varying capability, since a bigger pool will get penalized more.

Rand: Yeah, Kenara probably was overwhelmed because I picked stronger mooks on the grounds that the two people originally in the fight were the toughest members of the party.

Elesha: Target number reduction deeeeeeefinitely needs a Willpower cost past a certain point.

Kenara: I don't think those Charms need to be any meaner than they already are.

Tamira: Honestly TN mojo does need to be gated somehow.

Rand: I think the party lost five or six Initiative to them total?

Tamira: Using it constantly really fucks up the math.

Rand: Saturn's Terrible Smile never triggered.

Kenara: Yeah, 4 is too damned low, IMO.

Kenara: When they're also rolling 16 dice, that's how you one-shot PCs.

Rand: For a Quick NPC, maybe I should just put a WP cost on all target reduction?

Elesha: Well, it's sorta tricky

Rand: Her being Essence 4 made her regular dice cap less restrictive.

Elesha: It's hard to directly map the way it improves to a Solar Excellency.

Elesha: But a WP cost wouldn't be out of place.

Kenara: So we were just completely outclassed, then?

Rand: Hm, maybe a WP cost if you use it on an attack?

Elesha: Even for non-attacks.

Rand: Well, the starry-eyed master is supposed to be able to match up with the Dawn while the rest of the circle fights an equal number of adepts/masters.

Rand: She was definitely meant to be a tougher fight than any non-Elesha member of the group.

Elesha: I definitely felt matched.

Rand: If Lohas had been completely taken out, things could have gone very differently.

Elesha: I might tune her to focus on one enemy and gain bonuses against him.

Rand: Yeah, I could throw in the left-handed master's tanking abilities or something similar.

Elesha: So she can match a Dawn, but can't also just devastate the others.

Kenara: Yeah, if she's supposed to be focusing on Elesha then she should've been attacking Elesha and not tearing Tamira apart,

Elesha: Elesha is also not a very Dawn-y Dawn, comparatively.

Rand: You destroyed the last encounter I made for you in a single attack.

Kenara: I'm ninety percent sure that I'm horribly under-balanced.

Elesha: She's got no defensive Charms!

Tamira: I was mostly tanking while I was up.

Kenara: (That is, poorly built. Not 'the rules are broken.')

Tamira: Launched one (admittedly pretty effective) decisive.

Rand: Kenara isn't super-fighty, although she's better than Luka or The Cally.

Tamira: TBH I kinda built Tamira around counters.

Rand: Yeah, one more level of damage would have changed everything.

Tamira: But if I can't get Flame Warden up, that doesn't really work.

Rand: Seven Skies never even got to use any of her monkey magic.

Elesha: Did she really need to?

Rand: No.

Rand: Hm, maybe I should replace some of her powers with some dice tricks she can use on her allies.

Kenara: Did we get XP for this session or the first?

Rand: For both.

Kenara: Quanto?

Rand: 5 XP for each session, so 10 total.

  • Elesha buys Nock-and-Canter Unity.

Rand: 4 Solar XP for each session, so 8 total.

Rand: I am also giving 2 Solar XP to everybody who helped fight Seven Skies.

Kenara: Solar XP?

Elesha: You can spend Solar XP on anything but Solar Charms

Rand: It's special anything but

Rand: yes

Kenara: Ahh.

Rand: Fuck it.

Rand: I'm calling it Arete.

Rand: Nobody can stop me.

Rand: 8 Arete for everybody!

Rand: Plus 2 for everybody who isn't Elliott.

Kenara: And I got 4 last week, yes?

Rand: This is including last week.

Rand: So you have 10 XP and 10 Arete.

Tamira: Oh goodie, I can pick up one of those shortlisted Charms.

Rand: (Vance liked to hand that shit out evenly to everybody back in the old gloamy days, but you're in my world now.)

Rand: On the whole, though, I think that was an adequately challenging boss fight, although I would have had to tune it differently if the non-fighters were here.

Rand: Or just not had a boss fight.

Rand: I feel like you were the correct amount of worried.

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