Session Log 1
SWS|Storyteller: It's around noon when each of you reach the city of Anilin. A few hundred miles North-West of the ruins of the old Imperial City of Greyfalls, it was only a few hundred years ago that Anilin had been a small town scarcely worth mentioning on a map, but since then it had grown into something grand. With the advent of human sciences and engineering, and the discovery of the steam engine and then gasoline, great leaps and bounds of progress had been made. Large buildings dominated the landscape beyond the sturdy city walls, all red brick or smooth white stone. In the east, the Haltan district of the city was all giant redwood trees, with wooden houses and walkways between them and only lush forest beneath. It was quite a sight to behold.
SWS|Storyteller: Each of you had been brought her by rumors that seemed too good to be true. Lienne had heard tell that one of the Scarlet Empress's eldest daughters was in the city, throwing a wild party. It was entirely plausible, as tales of her leaving the Blessed Isle to travel were well-known, but usually they never mentioned a where or how. Onyx Bull's Mentor had simply told him to go there, that something important was waiting for him, while Cirasa had heard of great riches and artifacts that a cunning thief could make a fortune from within this city. Object, on the other hand, had been invited to act as the Chef for one of the members of the City Council, as her fame as a world-class chef had spread across creation over the last few centuries. And Willow was drawn by tales of the God of the Hunt leaving a quiver of magical arrows in this city, intent on acquiring them.
SWS|Storyteller: Perhaps it's just chance that you were all drawn by the same rumors, and all arrived around the same time. You're all stopped at the city gates, however, four guardsmen looking over each of you. One of them steps forward, holding a clipboard with some paper on it, holding a quill, "Name, species and reason for visiting Anilin?" He asked, looking over them with a raised brow.
IndigoSilkMonkey: Indigo Silk Monkey spoke softly. "I am Indigo Silk Monkey, a, uh, mortal street performer of some skill. This..." He motions at Lienne. "Is my entourage. We're just travelling through, stopping where business might be... made"
* Onyx_Bull looks up from the ground, a confused look on his face for a moment before he focuses on the guard. "Bull, human..." he says in a dull tone, before looking up at the wall absently for a moment "I don't really know why I was told to come here, my master thought it would be a good idea.". Bull simply stares at a point just over the guards shoulder before focusing on his face again.
Cirasa: Cirasa internally raises an eyebrow at the security. Sepping forward, he points at his mouth, waggling a finger, before pointing at the clipboard and quill with a slightly goofy smile, and holding out his hand. His two siblings hang a little ways behind him, but not too far, all too mindful of how he felt about them. Of course, a few days back back when Lisara had asked about why they were visiting, he had been rather honest, rubbing two coins together while whistling in faux-innocence. And, of course, she had given him the look that always made him feel a bit embarrassed.
SWS|Storyteller: "Street performers?" The guard asked Indigo, nodding his head slightly and scribling something on the paper, "You'll need to recieve a permit from the city council or one of the officials to perform on the streets, though you might find a tavern that will hire you to perform without one." He said, then nodded to Onyx Bull, writing his name down as well, "Alright, I'll put you down as a tourist, then." He murmured, gesturing that Onyx Bull, Lienne and Indigo could go through, then looking to Cirasa. He blinked hard, then shrugged, handing over the clipboard and quill.
* Cirasa quickly scribbled down, "Cirasa, Lisara, and Deskan Azalik; Humans; Traveling and meeting a friend in-city," before handing it back with a smile, and waiting.
* Onyx_Bull nods slowly, before walking through the gate and stopping, staring around at the city... and the people in it, somewhat apprehensively.
SWS|Storyteller: The guard took his clipboard back, reading it over, "Good penmanship. I suppose you need it though, eh?" He asked, favoring Cirasa with a smile and a nod, gesturing him and his siblings through.
Object: Desire walks up, pulling a small wagon loaded with items. Dressed in a relatively ornate travel tunic and boots stained with travel dust, as well as an embroidered satin blue blindfold that clashes with her red hair, she looks far too small to travel alone. Nonetheless, she stares at the man with the clipboard, and replies confidently, "Inappropriate Object of Desire, Yozi-kin, invited by the august body of the City Council of Anilin."
SWS|Storyteller: The city was even more impressive once Onyx entered it. It was huge and sprawling, large enough to rival Lookshy and Thorns, and with architecture far more impressive, with wide, smooth roads on which metal vehicles lacking any evidence of an essence engine speed along, though there are sidewalks for people who don't want to get flattened by those cars, which easily reached 40Mph in some cases.
* Cirasa nods, and smiles. He didn't mind peoples' reactions to it; it was only natural, after all. Quickly waving his two siblings up, they skip forward. Lisara, being herself, stops and curtsies towards the guard before following Cirasa. The two catch up, and he takes one of their hands in each of his as they enter.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "Understood, thank you for your time" Silk murmurs while passing by, gently dragging Lienne along. "Well, that seems to have gone without issue. Would you prefer to stay and rest for a while or get right to work, la-uh, Lienne?"
SWS|Storyteller: The guard blinked at Desire, about to say something about her size and age before she mentioned who she was, "Oh! Lady Desire, it's a pleasure to have you in our City. I was told to expect you." He nodded, writing something quickly and gesturing her through, "The Council is in session at the moment. Councilor Davi Attala will be glad to see you."
* Onyx_Bull sensing the other people at the gate starting to approach behind him, quickly looks back to make sure none of them would walk into him, before staring at the vista before him - the largest place he had been to was barely a town... this was somewhat overwhelming.
Windswept_Willow: Willow was standing at the back of the group and keeping some distance, a emerald green cloack covering her mostly with a leaf like pattern embroidered into it. She stepped up the the guard after everyone else had passed, speaking quietly. "Windswept Willow ... human from the bordermashes, I came here because I heard the god of the hunt was in this city and I came for worship... I wasn't expecting a gated community however."
Object: Desire makes a small curtsy, before taking her handcart and proceeded into the town, taking her time to not get run over or run over anyone's foot.
Cirasa: Cirasa smiles, before sighing. Ten years old and he still doesn't know his manners, he thinks, as Deskan stares at the armored man that had, until just a moment ago, been standing perfectly still. A slight twist reminds him of his manners, and he quickly looks away, as Cirasa rolls his eyes and shoots an apologetic look at the man.
Lienne: Lienne huffs, the road to the city was long and her bag became more and more heavy with every step. "Obviously, I'd like to rest, dear Kang. You know that journey was exhausting!" She continues to walk forward while having her head turned to the IndigoSilkMonkey, "We really should find a nice inn to stay in, unlike the last one we wen-" Her words stopping as she crashed head first into a large
Lienne: bulky man in front of her. Her eyes train upwards at the man, fear quite evident. "O-oh... I am so... So...rry..." she murmurs, frozen in place.
SWS|Storyteller: It seemed the main street that the city gates lead into was a business district. The combined scents of bakeries and restaurants of all kinds assaulted the senses of those who entered, the sound of people in taverns drinking in merriment. The guard blinked at Willow, looking her over, "The God of the Hunt is no longer in residence, but you're welcome to enter." He murmured, noting her more tribal appearance, "Do you have any Wyld Mutations? I know it's touchy question, but it's city policy to make note of Wyld Mutants."
Windswept_Willow: "I do not..." she said, pulling down her hood, appearing to be normal though beautiful, though her hair may have had a faint bark like quality to it where it met her scalp.
SWS|Storyteller: He raised a brow at her hair, "It's also policy for me to take note of Exalted, though I've found most of them don't care to admit it. I don't suppose you will?" The guard asked.
Windswept_Willow: "I am? Is that a problem?" she asked.
SWS|Storyteller: "No, it's no problem. I'm just meant to, well... note it down if visitors are Exalted. Wood-aspect, right?" He asked with a smile, nodding and writing it down, "You're free to enter. Enjoy your stay in Anilin."
* Onyx_Bull starts at the impact on his back, sliding forwards with surprising speed. and spinning around. Seeing that it is just a woman, and that she was unharmed, he relaxes. "Be more careful, you could have hurt yourself." he rubs his eye for a moment, starting to walk into the city "I need to pay more attention here than usual" he mutters to himself.
* Cirasa huffs slightly as he laughs at the sight of the little woman running into the larger man. Deskan actually laughed out loud, while his older sister was too busy staring at the passing vehicles to notice. In his own head, he was noting almost unconsciously the way she had bounced off him within shifting him in the slightest. It was interesting, to say the least.
Windswept_Willow: "Yes..." she seemed curious about the fact he had to keep note of these things, nodding "Thank you." she pulled her hood back up then and moved to enter the city, looking around at the ... grandness of it all in a bit of awe.
Lienne: Lienne's view of the sprawling city had been veiled by her "run in" with the hulking man. "Y-yes, I apologized deeply." She said, raising her voice so the man could hear as he had begun walking away. Once he got a few feet away from her she quickly darted to IndigoSilkMonkey's side and whispered furiously. "How is he so enormous?! I thought I was going to get eaten, this city is horrid and we've only been inside for a moment!"
SWS|Storyteller: As Willow was passing through the gates, another group of people, cloaked and hooded, the guard nodded to them, "Name, species and reason f- URK!" His sentence was suddenly cut off as the foremost hooded figure withdrew a large blade of shimmering silver and drove it through his chest, gesturing to the others who ran forward, dispatching the other three guards at the gate before charging into the city, moving very fast, spreading out while the leader kicked the dead guard off his blade.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "I.. I'm not sure. Perhaps a mutation or a deformity of some kind?" Silk sounded rather distressed. "You... You really ought to be more wary of where you go, by the way. Keeping you safe gets much harder if you're not paying attention"
Windswept_Willow: She blinked and turned, staring at the scene before her and frowning as the guard died "... what was the reason for such violence?" she asked
* Cirasa whirls, and seeing the attackers, makes his decision instantly. Both arms out, he quickly and gently forces his siblings back towards a wall, or even an alley if one is close. Please just run by, he thought. He wouldn't bother them at all if they did. But if they came for him and his charges...
* Onyx_Bull once again spins around at the sound of the commotion, his eyes narrow, before his stance shifts subtly as he starts to move quickly back to the gate.
SWS|Storyteller: The other three had already spread out at startling speed and could be anywhere by now, while the first idly used his cloak to wipe blood from his very large sword which shone a shimmering silver, "Ma-Ha-Suchi demands it." He replied in an even tone, "Civilisation must burn." He said, stepping forward slowly, golden, cat-like eyes shimmering beneath his shadowed hood.
Windswept_Willow: "hmm I think I understand their security now..." she murmured quietly, drawing her bow in case the lunar goon tried to attack her but made no agressive moves otherwise.
Object: Desire, not having yet successfully navigated past this traffic jam of people, turns at this point, confused by everyone's actions. "What's going on?"
IndigoSilkMonkey: With reflexes honed by years of martial arts training, Silk gently swept himself between Lienne and any would-be assailants.
SWS|Storyteller: The Lunar nodded his head slightly to Willow, sheathing his sword and continuing into the city, walking slowly, while guards can be heard yelling out from atop the city walls. He would not make aggressive moves against any of them unless they attacked him, instead walking casually into the city streets, a sputtering car speeding towards him.
* Onyx_Bull walks straight up to the man, trying to grab him by the shoulder and spin him around.
Lienne: The scene with the cloaked men and guards flies by Lienne so quickly she was barely able to comprehend what happened. Her gaze on Silk, watching as he moves carefully in front of her. "Kang, what is going on?" She asks, worry filling every word. As she tries to glimpse over the scene, eyes darting left and right, they finally land on a woman, bow in hand, and the last cloaked man heading into the city.
Windswept_Willow: Since he ignored her she moved over to the guard she just talked to and that he stabbed, looking to see if he was still alive at all and if so, if there's anything she could do with her knowledge of medicine to save him.
* Cirasa turns his siblings, hurrying them away. As well, he hopes for them to not have to see anything. They had already seen enough, and he didn't feel like letting them see any more. Once they were securely behind something and hiding, only then would he even bother to look back.
Cirasa: Cirasa did not like much what the figure had said. Civilization would be what kept his family safe. But not getting stabbed at the moment would also keep them safe, and probably more effectively.
SWS|Storyteller: The guard was quite thoroughly dead, a sucking, blood chest wound from the 6-inch thick blade being driven through his torso. At least he died quickly, Willow noted. The cloaked Lunar stopped, turning to glare at Onyx Bull, "That is unwise." He stated flatly.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "Four possibly hostile elements... The guardsman, he is no more. Please make sure to stay behind me, if they're here for you they will find it difficult getting close to you without legs. Silk's voice lowered into a half-growl as his stance lowered into a defensive posture.
Windswept_Willow: She stood up then, frowning just a bit at the man who killed the guard, having her bow drawn then and pulling out a broad headed arrow as she noticed that larger scary man was about to get into some shit with the lunar
* Onyx_Bull returns his gaze without flinching, before giving a the man a mirthless smile "So is killing a city guard."
SWS|Storyteller: A shimmering Full-Moon Caste Mark shone through the Lunar's hood then, and the cloaked figure started to grow, nine feet tall and bulging muscles, the cloak getting tossed aside to reveal a large figure with human and feline features, covered in thick tawny fur, "Let. Go." It growled, its hood torn apart by the growth, revealing a feline face, with a muzzle full of huge, sharp teeth.
Object: Frowning with concentration, Desire sits on the edge of her wagon, and listens alertly, after making sure she's well out of the way of the impending action.
Lienne: Lienne's worrisome eyes suddenly narrowed into thin slits. "You don't think they could have caught up to us so quickly do you? We just got to this city..." Her words came out as a low whisper, anger was evident in her voice but it was easy to hear the twinge of fear that was woven in.
Cirasa: Having found shelter for the other two, Cirasa finally looks back... and yeah, the big guy was going to pick a fight. The young man quickly balanced the thoughts in his head of 'deal with it later' or 'eliminate threat now.' Nodding to himself, he shot the two younger ones a sharp look before concentrating, his eyesight suddenly shifting.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "I don't think their business concerns us, but as always, rather safe than sorry. Let's get some distance between them and us. Though I think if we were in any danger they'd have come this way already" Silk motions for Lienne to continue a little bit further up the street.
SWS|Storyteller: Cars could be heard screeching to stops, people fleeing their vehicles and crying out in terror, some screaming, "ANATHEMA! Help!" The city guard was mobilising, figures armed with firewands, flamepieces and bows behind others with spears and halberds.
* Onyx_Bull 's stance shifts suddenly, his left foot sliding rapidly towards the Lunars, before slamming his shoulder into his stomach and attempting to flip him over his back.
Object: Having finally figured out what's going on (that last cry helped considerably), Desire grabs her wagon, and makes her way quickly away from the scene, being slightly less careful to avoid people this time, and more careful about getting the hell away.
SWS|Storyteller: The massive Lunar let out a disbelieving roar as it was hurled onto its back so goddamn effortlessly by someone with half its body mass, and the city guard closed in, one of them moving alongside Windswept Willow, his own bow drawn, "I take it the big one isn't with you?" He asked her jovially while drawing back an arrow.
Onyx_Bull: As the Lunar starts to fall, Onyx's spins his body slightly as he passes by, trying to score large gashes up the Lunars body as it passes, and retaining his hold on his arm as he falls.
SWS|Storyteller: The Lunar roared as its flesh and fur were shredded and torn by the sharp spikes on Onyx Bull's armor, blood splattering Onyx Bull's armor further and soaking the Lunar's tawny fur. One of the guards can be heard letting out a gasp of surprise.
SWS|Storyteller: Desire, meanwhile, has been lead to the safety of a nearby tavern by two members of the guard, who are assuming she's someone's lost child. The tavern if filled with people completely unaware of the chaos going on outside, deep in their drink, with a lutist playing something cheerful on stage.
Cirasa: Cirasa's jaw -almost- drops as the man flips and slams the much, -much- more massive Anathema into the ground. More drawing was the blood that sprayed out, as what was under the cloak was suddenly revealed.
Windswept_Willow: She looked to the guard joining her, smiling "Well which one? They're both quite large... but no." she responded, drawing two arrows at the same time which both sprouted sharp thorns on them (Dragon graced arrow and Swallows defend the nest) and then fired them at the lunar when there was a open shot on him. The arrows flying along leaving a green misty trail as they did so.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "It seems the city guard has the situation under control... We should find an inn to rest at, please stay on your guard and follow me" Silk takes Lienne firmly by the arm and starts walking towards the nearest inn-looking building, presumably the one Desire is currently in.
Lienne: Once Kang convinced Lienne that the Lunar was certainly not after them, her worry and fear simply turned to amusement as she watched the smaller, yet still large man she bumped into fling the huge Lunar around like a wet rag. Each hit gained a quiet "Yes... Good one!" as she watched on as if it was some sort of spectacle. Her entertainment was halted when Kang took her arm and began leading her away. "Oh, but Kang! I want to watch what happens!" She said in an agitated voice. Leaning her head back just to see the tribal-looking woman's arrows hit the Lunar.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "I... Very well" Silk sighs "but at the slightest hint of us getting caught up in this commotion we're going to have to start moving very fast. Try not to attract attention, if you would please" He lets go of Lienne's arm and warily runs his gaze around the area.
SWS|Storyteller: The Lunar roared, the creature somehow still alive even after blows that would have killed any mortal three times over. The arrows driving deep into its chest, but still it struggled. The guard hesitated, not sure what to do, waiting to see how the situation would resolve itself
* Onyx_Bull brings himself in line alongside the lunars body, using his grip on the monsters arm to raise the Lunar's head slightly off the ground, before bringing his fist down with all of his strength into the lunars face.
Cirasa: The young man's jaw finally did drop at the sight of the Anathema still being alive. It wasn't possible, but he had heard the stories.
SWS|Storyteller: The Lunar roared, suddenly overpowering Onyx Bull off in a fit of strength and slipping free from the grapple leaping to its feat and swinging his huge moonsilver Daiklave at him, a huge overhead blow, while burning essence to shrug off its wounds, some of them starting to heal slowly.
* Onyx_Bull brings his arm up quickly, punching the side of the blade and forcing it into the ground next to him. He grins, obviously having fun.
Cirasa: Criasa shivers a bit when he sees the Anathema throw the man aside. Thankfully, that man knocks aside the demon's blade just as easily. Knowing that such creatures were far greater than they appeared, he decided he was going to intervene. With one silent push, he flew upwards before leaping off another wall, and to the roof of a nearby building.
Cirasa: Upon reaching the roof, he charged quickly, getting a better angle before diving off. A blade jumping to his hand from its hiding spot is driven down hard, pomel first across the hopefully unaware anathema's head.
SWS|Storyteller: The Lunar roared out loud, but such a blow wasn't enough to knock him out, the Lunar indescribably still moving despite the fact he should be dead or at the very least unconscious after the hits he's taken now. He growls, then slumps onto his knees, releasing his warform and shifting back to a human shape, castemark burning on his forehead, a faint anima glow around him. He dropped his daiklave, raising his hands in surrender, the darkskinned man, now a more reasonable 6'2", wearing only a loincloth, though each of them could spot the golden eyes of his tell and the tawny colour of his hair and cat ears, "I surrender." He growled. The city guard moved in, eying his wounds warily.
Windswept_Willow: Willow kept her bow up and primed with a arrow in case he tried to do anything stupid
Windswept_Willow: She decided to ask "Do you all actually have any means to restrain him once his wounds have healed?" she asked
SWS|Storyteller: Another man approached casually, a figure with smooth, bronzed skin and golden hair, wearing a finely tailored black suit, approached the scene without hesitation, "I do." He said with a smile, glancing to the Lunar, letting out a long sigh, gesturing for two guards wearing Gunzosha armor to take him away, "I'm Councilor Davi Attala. Thank you for your intervention. I've no doubt many of our guardsmen would have died if not for you." He said to them, eying Onyx and Cirasa.
* Cirasa coughs, noting that any idea of staying quiet had just disappeared. Normal people didn't walk around with foot-and-a-half-long jade and moonsilver "knives." Still, he couldn't help but stare. The Anathema was -still fucking awake-, even after that blow.
* Cirasa points at himself, and shakes his head, before pointing at the other two. With his empty hand, that is.
Lienne: Lienne finally finished watching the little show all the random travelers put on, and was especially amused by the one that jumped down from the skies with some oversized toothpick. "Kang, this spectacle has grown tiresome, where was it you wished to take me? I'm tired and these bags are not getting any lighter." She said calmly, turning to the Indigo Silk Monkey.
Windswept_Willow: She blinked and took a deep breath of relief, putting her arrows and bow away then, closing her cloak around her once more
* Onyx_Bull is still watching the Lunar intently, and gives a non-committal "Hmm" in response to the Councilor... before his title sinks in, and he remembers his manners, and bows to the man.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "There's an Inn just down this street" Silk points in the general direction. "If it pleases you, I could carry your bags as well"
Lienne: Lienne eyes Kang's figure. He was already carrying several bags and she did not wish to burden him anymore so than she already has. "No... Thank you Kang, that is quite alright. What is a few more steps after how long we've been going? I will be fine." She smiled kindly and pushed the bag's strap up so it would not slip from her weak shoulders.
SWS|Storyteller: The councilor looks faintly amused, turning his gaze to Windswept Willow and nodding to her appreciatively as well. The Lunar was bound in solid manacles made from jade, and hauled off by those armored men, while the rest of the guard moved to either clean up or search for others. "I'm in your debt, regardless. I'd be glad to have you all as visitors at my home tonight. I believe my chef was arriving today as well." He murmured, moving over to pick up the dropped clipboard, looking it over, "Ah yes, her name is right here..." He said.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "Very well" Silk nods. "Then, this way if you'd please" He leads the way, parting any bystanders for ease of passage towards the inn.
Cirasa: Cirasa carefully stows his blade in his pack, before taking one look around and sighing. That was quite a bit of blood. It wwasn't too bad though - or so he thought - so he gave a sharp whistle towards where his siblings were hiding, while quickly moving over towards them.
Windswept_Willow: She seemed thoughtful "I guess I could enjoy your hospitality, the one I seek left here anyway and I doubt I'll catch up to them any time soon." she said.
* Onyx_Bull 's eye twitches slightly, looking somewhat apprehensive as he begins to follow the Chancellor. Hopefully this is what his master spoke of he thinks, before looking at Willow curiously.
SWS|Storyteller: Davi gestured to Cirasa and his siblings, "I insist you and your... family? Join us as well." He said with a broad smile, and Cirasa felt a sudden desire to do as the man said. He seemed so very charming. He gestured to Indigo and Lienne as well, and some guards moved towards them, "You two. You witnessed everything?"
Cirasa: Lisara gasps and lets out a short "Eep" at all the blood, while Deskan looks relieved. The two cling to him as he walks back over. He gives a bow towards the councilor. He wasn't going to pass up the offer, for sure.
Windswept_Willow: Not much to look at, a woman hidden in a green cloak with leaves and a few tribal patterns embroidered onto it
Object: Meanwhile, Desire was wandering through the city's sidewalks, occasionally asking directions as to where to find the home of Councillor Davi Attala.
SWS|Storyteller: Desire would easily recieve directions to his home, and many people would no doubt also inform her that he could be found back near the city gates, since the rumor on everyone's tongue was about how he'd left the council session in a rush once he'd heard of the attack.
Cirasa: He would accomplish one goal or another, and the "kids" could do with a night under a -really- nice roof. The man also seemed nice enough. A couple pokes, and the two step forward and introduce themselves. He himself just smiled at the man slightly nervously.
SWS|Storyteller: Davi returned the smile, nodding his head slightly and making some signs with his hands. Some kind of sign language? Sadly not one that Cirasa was versed in, however, so its meaning was lost on him. "If you'll all follow me, I'll show you to my home. It's always nice to have guests." He said with a smile.
Lienne: Both Lienne's and Kang's swift walk towards the inn was halted as two guards asked if they had seen everything that transpired. Lienne never liked guards after what happened in the last city so she tried to put her... skills to good use. "What? No sir! We just arrived at the city and suddenly I heard loud sounds and screaming! We tried running away sooner but the streets were so crowded we couldn't get through, it was awful. I was curious as to what happened but was too afraid to look... We're simply heading to the inn to rest after our long and tiresome journey." She said in her sweetest voice, her face showing genuine concern as to what the "loud sounds" were about.
Object: Desire, however, knows that finding a non-moving building is a much safer and easier task than finding a man running off for battle. As a result, she continued until arriving at said non-moving building, knocking on the door and introducing herself to any help that might answer.
* Cirasa tilts his head in confusion at the signs, but his smiles firms up and becomes more comfortable. The young man follows quietly along, while the two with him stare and gape at everything.
Windswept_Willow: Willow said nothing unless she was spoken to, following along quietly, her footsteps were strangly very quiet.
SWS|Storyteller: The guards raised their brows at Lienne's story, clearly not believing her lies for a second, then looked to the Councilor, who waved them over, "If you'll come with us, Councilor Davi wants you to join him." One of the guards said in an even tone.
SWS|Storyteller: One of the other guards patted Lienne's shoulder, "You'd have fooled us if we didn't see you cheering the big guy on." He said jovially.
IndigoSilkMonkey: Slik snarls at the last guard. "Keep your hands to yourself if you want to keep them"
Lienne: Lienne cursed herself ten times over for being so drawn to fighting spectacles. She nodded dejectedly at the guards and mumbled "I swear that was me crying in fear, not cheering."
SWS|Storyteller: The guard looked at little shocked by Silk's outburst, withdrawing his hand quickly, "I uh... if you'll follow us." He said, leading them to join up with Councilor Davi, who smiled at them, "Would you be the street performers?" He asked, holding up the clipboard, "I insist you both join me at my home as well."
SWS|Storyteller: It wasn't far to Councilor Davi Attala's home, a large building of smooth white stone, with golden inlays around parts of it, a veritable mansion. They were shown inside, and servants lead them to a wing of the house where each of them was given a large, spacious room and told that dinner would be shortly, and theat they could make themselves comfortable until then. Likewise, Desire had been set up with her own rooms and shown the kitchens, the kitchen staff respectful and polite and eager to please her.
Lienne: "It is alright Kang, please calm yourself. He did nothing to warrant such animosity." Lienne turned towards the guard and curtsied gracefully. "I apologize for my companions outburst, he is protective." Afterwards she turns to Kang and quietly whispers to him. "I am so sorry, I should've listened and followed you before... You know my weakness for those dramatic fights..." She truly did feel guilty, they were supposed to keep a low profile and yet everything went downhill after that damned Lunar attacked.
Windswept_Willow: She blinked as she entered her room "... well this is... fancy..." she was unsure if she would appreciate the posh and extra comforts or if she'd feel uncomfortable sleeping somewhere so out of her element.
* Cirasa whistles softly at the grandeur of the Councilor's house. It was the first time he had been inside such a nice house. Or at least the first time with permission. The two youngsters were giggling, and he had to grab them to prevent them from just jumping straight into the fluffy beds.
IndigoSilkMonkey: "It's alright, if we tread carefully around the situation, some good might come of it" Silk whispered to Lienne. "I do admit though, that sometimes I wish you were perhaps a bit more... prudent"
* Onyx_Bull looks around the room somewhat awed, before choosing a corner giving him a good view of the room, and sitting down to meditate, waiting for whatever will happen later.
* Cirasa caught the attention of one of the servants, making a short wavy motion with his hands, before making scrubbing motions at his arms and pointing two his siblings. The three were clearly at least a bit dusty from the trek to the city.
SWS|Storyteller: The servant who showed Onyx to his room gazed at him anxiously, "S-sir? Would you like me to find some... clean clothing for you? And perhaps a bath?" She asked, eying his bloodied, razor-covered armor. Cirasa's servant nodded slightly, moving through another door and pouring him a bath of hot water. Apparently they even have indoor plumbing here.
Windswept_Willow: Willow decided to take a bath on her own unless a servant offered to pour it, she'd bathe herself otherwise though and also moved to wash her clothes and armor, a bit dusty herself after her trip.
Object: After seeing things from her cart (left outside; soon to be dismantled) were placed in the kitchen and her room, Desire changed into a cleaner outfit and apron, then immediately set about getting to know the kitchen staff and learning the unique traits to the local kitchen.
* Cirasa bowed and smiled at the servant, before shoeing Lisara in first with a change of nicer clothes, even if they were certainly not fancy. The squeal of delight from beyond the door told him the water of was nice and hot. A short time later, and they were all cleaned up, and he finally allowed them to plop down on the beds, now sure they wouldn't make a horrible mess of them.
* Onyx_Bull looks down at his armour, rubbing one of his gauntleted fingers along one of the armour ridge, causing a squeak. "I-I suppose so. Thank you."
SWS|Storyteller: Suffice to say the group were all pampered by the servants, with clean clothing found for anyone who asked for it, and baths readily available. The kitchen staff informed Desire that their master wished for her to dine with him tonight, and that she didn't have to worry about working in the kitchens right now, but they were happy to show her around.
Cirasa: The young man himself wanders around for a while, greeting the servants with a nod and a smile, whilst his siblings rested in the room. This place was -fancy-.
Windswept_Willow: Willow didn't have much in the way of dressed and especially fancy clothes but her tunic, pants and boots were well tailored and broken in, some fancy touches like embroidery but still rugged and useful for her line of work, both having many pockets. She decided to leave her gear off of her in the room for now though she kept her belt that had the bag and several vials on it.
Lienne: "Oh please, we'd still be in that tiny speck of a village if it wasn't for my lack of 'prudence'..." Lienne sighed. She placed her bag by the door and strolled over to the bed, gently placing herself on the far too soft for her tastes bed. "I must admit, it is soothing being in such a nice place again, but I do not trust it. Kang, we must find a way to get out of this and quickly. You know the rumors of the Empress' daughter's gala said that is it to be held soon... We need to prepare, not attend to the whims of some Councilor who decided he wants some simple 'street performers' in his home." Lienne continued to ramble on, unhappy about the circumstances.
Object: Desire, nonetheless, observes how the kitchen staff runs things for quite a while, before retiring to play in the bath/wash up, and put on one of her more excessively ruffled and lacy and covered-in-bows dresses.
SWS|Storyteller: After an hour or so of being allowed to relax as they pleased, bathe and change and what-have-you, servants would come to inform them that dinner was being served, and if you'd follow them, they would happily show you to the dining hall.
Cirasa: Returning to his room, he makes sure his siblings are prepared. They are, of course. Their mother taught them well. He left his things there, except for the brush and little board that he always carried. Certain... tools... were very carefully hidden, lest a servant stumble over them. As well, his blades stayed there. Even if for some awful reason he did need them, they would come when called.
Windswept_Willow: Willow sat up and stretched, following after the servant then wordlessly
Cirasa: When the servant came, he quickly ushered the others out, and the three followed along quietly.
Onyx_Bull: Now that Bull is out of his armour, it is clearly visible that from his hands that he is far thinner than he should be, and without his cloak shadowing his face, the dark rings under his eyes and pale skin are evident. At least he is clean and his hair is actually tied back for once however. He arrives at dining room and looks at the people in there, definately uncomfortable in the clothes he is wearing.
Object: Desire lets herself be escorted to the table, looking, with her outfit, like a giant, life-size doll, complete with white gloves. Aside from that, she looks like a normal 12 year old girl, apart from long, pointed ears and a blue blindfold across her eyes.
Windswept_Willow: Willow looked kinda frontier'sy in her clothing, she moved to sit down somewhere at the table
* Cirasa barely recognizes the man without his armor, but in the spirit of friendship, grins and waves at him. A moment later, the most adorable little thing walks in. He's fairly sure that if it wasn't for the up-class circumstances, Lisara would have squealed and taken off towards the young girl. He, himself, noted the humor in having a blind and a mute as guests.
SWS|Storyteller: The dining hall is large and grandoise, and each of them are guided to a chair. A large banquet had been laid out for them, with fine crystal wine glasses filled with a rich, expensive red wine. Councilor Davi is sitting at the head of the table, and greets them all jovially. To Onyx Bull's surprise, someone else he recognises is at the table as well, his Mentor raised a hand and wiggling his fingers in a casual wave, smirking.
Windswept_Willow: Willow felt very... exposed and uncomfortable there, it might have been obvious to some, it wasn't a setting she had any experiance in what so ever... she was baffled even by the presence of extra silverware that she found redundant or without purpose
Onyx_Bull: A faint smile comes over Bull's face, as he walks over to the man and bows, before taking a seat next to him. "How do you always beat me everywhere I go." he says in a voice that is actually cheerful
Lienne: Lienne, finally deciding it was in her best interest to go to the dinner, got up and took her bag with her. She did not trust her belonging with some man she had not even had the chance to formally 'meet'. She arrived at the dining hall late, with everyone sitting at their seat all ready to be presented with food. Lienne glides to the last two seats available and places her bag next to her chair.
* Cirasa seated his siblings, before sitting between them, a slight grin on his face. He was also just a bit red, having completely forgotten which fork was which. In the time honored tradition of men everywhere, he pretended to know what he was doing while covertly watching his siblings and the other guests for any hints on which utensil to grab.
SWS|Storyteller: "Don't feel bad. I know all the shortcuts, is all." Bull's Sifu, Undefeated Sky, replied in a friendly tone, patting his shoulder, "You look well, all things considered." He added, the bald, white-bearded man seeming quite cheerful. Davi smiled to his guests, "Everyone, feel free to help yourselves to the food. I'll admit, I have... ulterior motives for inviting you to my home. Your presence in my city was not entirely unexpected, you see. Or a coincidence."
Windswept_Willow: "... I don't like the sound of that." she said, frowning and looking to him before looking to the food, checking it and the wine for drugs before starting to eat if it was clean.
SWS|Storyteller: The food and wine were drug-free, though very well seasoned, she'd note.
* Object slowly began to eat, pausing after each bite to assess the ingredients and preparation carefully.
* Cirasa places his little board and brush on the table, anticipating needing them at some point, before waving at the other guests. Moments later, Davi made his anouncement, and the young man froze, before locking his gaze onto the councilor.
* Onyx_Bull 's face drops at his master's last comment, looking down at his plate. "Yes, last night wasn't too bad" he mutters to him, before pulling himself together and looking around the table.
Cirasa: Cirasa gives the man a very flat, -very- expectant look.
SWS|Storyteller: Sky squeezed Bull's shoulder slightly, a small comfort, considering. Then he drew his hand away, going silent as Davi started to speak slowly, "To put it bluntly, I had an associate arrange things for your arrival. I have need of skilled people such as yourselves, and I'm willing to richly reward you for your services." He said, glancing to Lienne, "But the rumors that drew you here are true. Things you desire, am I correct? I can give you those things, and all I ask is your assistance in matters of some import."
* Onyx_Bull looks at his master, and at Davi, before starting to pick at his food, not really eating much, only a faint shaking of his hand showing his true feelings.
Windswept_Willow: She blinked "So that quiver actually exists then?" she asked
Windswept_Willow: "or I mean it's actually here?"
Lienne: Lienne's eyes narrowed as she listened to Davi speak. I knew it couldn't have been a coincidence that this was the first time we heard of a time and place in the rumors... She thought to herself. "And what is it that you want our... assistance for?" She asked, skeptical.
* Cirasa bit his lip and frowned, before relaxing slightly and shrugging to his siblings, who immediately dug in. If the man was going to do anything untowards, he would have done so already. He instead look at the man, and tilted his head, raising one eyebrow.
Cirasa: He then grabbed his board, a small, lacquered thing, and wrote two words on it before holding it up, "Desire? Matters?"
Cirasa: He then hoped the man could read it from this far away, feeling a bit silly.
SWS|Storyteller: "Mmhmm." Davi replied to Willow with a faint smile, sipping some wine, "To put things bluntly, I need you to deal with some threats to my city. I have an army, certainly, but it is not a large one. Our city is not a war-like place, and a small group of powerful, well-trained individuals would be more useful to me than the small force that keeps my city safe." He replied, "To put things bluntly, there are many working against my city. Some who act as allies are secretly working against us, and others who seek to destroy us, like Ma-Ha-Suchi to the south, and the Deathlord that rules the Shadowlands a few hundred miles north of here. Basically, I need champions, and my allies thought you would serve me best. And I'm in a position to give you things you want."
Windswept_Willow: She blinked "I'm a hunter... not a mercenary..." she responded quietly
Cirasa: On the one hand, it seemed like a very unpleasant job. On the other, if he could deliver... Cirasa glanced at his siblings, before turning back. This Davi now had his full and undivided attention.
Lienne: Lienne turned to see what the silent man had written on his little board. She smiled at the writing, her heart feeling a twinge of pity. His life must be difficult with his impairment, but looking over his two siblings, she understood he took good care of them. She respected the man. She drifted away in her own thoughts until Davi explained why he needed them. "Why would you need a simple flutist and acrobat as..." she giggle aloud "champions?"
* Onyx_Bull has stopped eating, and is resting his head in one hand, rubbing at his temple. "Lunars come from near the Wyld... No... No, can't. Not again." he mutters, staring at his master.
SWS|Storyteller: "A simple flutist and an acrobat would serve me little. Fortunately you and your companion aren't so simple, hm?" Davi replied with a smile, "Let us get this out of the way right now. I know you're all Terrestrial Exalted. And now you all know. Except for Desire. She's just an incredibly talented and long-lived chef." He said, nodding to the demon-blooded girl respectfully, smiling. Then he looked to Onyx, "Would a chance to kill some Fair Folk traitors encourage you? We had treaties with the Fair Folk to the east of here. Treaties we believe they're breaking. I understand you have strong feelings about those who come from the Wyld."
Windswept_Willow: Willow herself cringed as she heard of the fae, not wanting to go anywhere near them.
* Object nods her head and smiles to her host for the compliment, then returns to tasting and listening.
* Onyx_Bull chuckles a little crazily "I would prefer to never see them again". At this he closes his eyes, and mutters a few words under his breath, and when he opens them he seems somewhat calmer, though his eyes still flicker around the room.
Cirasa: Catching the look out of the corner of his eye, he shot a smile at the young woman, before turning back to business. A quick swipe cleared the board, and several equally fast strokes cover it again. This was... scary. He turned the board up, revealing fine writing to Davi, carefully not showing it to his siblings. "Keep them safe? Even if I Die?"
Lienne: Lienne instantly dropped her outward appearances of giggles and smiles. This man knew, so suddenly all of his words had become less of a rich man's joke and more of a serious matter. Her face became stone-cold and her eyes locked on Davi, gaze never wavering.
SWS|Storyteller: Davi looked to Cirasa and nodded his head, "Of course." He said seriously, "I'm not going to force any of you to do things you don't wish to, but I do need your aid none-the-less. The people of my city need your aid."
Windswept_Willow: "I was quite far away when I recieved notice of the god of the hunt being here... why would you seek me out specifically..." she asked, frowning.
* Cirasa simply nodded solemnly. The gesture was clear. He was in, and the details did not matter. Though the fae were bad. The stories of them were almost as terrifying as those of the Anathema.
Lienne: Lienne leaned back in her chair, never touching the food on her plate. "Aaah yes, 'the people of your city need us'... You say you can give us what we want, but why should I even consider putting myself at risk without having any proof of your commitment to your side of the bargain... Hmm?"
SWS|Storyteller: "I didn't seek you out particularly. Those who were helping me simply gathered the best people for the task in whatever manner they could." He replied to Windswept Willow, then looked to Lienne, chuckling, "Unlike the huntress, you're quite mercenary indeed, aren't you? Would you like for me to introduce you to the Empress's daughter? She's staying in a villa not far from here. I believe right now she's in the midst of one of her wild parties. It would be a simple matter for me to get you access."
Lienne: Lienne's eyes widen before she is, albeit slowly, able to revert herself into a calm state. "Very well..."
SWS|Storyteller: "So, are there any more questions?" He asked cheerfully, idly eating, "Anything else I can offer you, beyond what I know you already wish for?"
Cirasa: Now free of -that-, Cirasa relaxes and begins to eat. Though he does raise an eyebrow at the mention of Wild Parties, ones that would draw another dragon-blood. This food! he thought, surprised by the flavor, and instantly distracted.
Object: Wiping her mouth with a napkin, Desire speaks up. "If I may, sir, where are they going?"
Windswept_Willow: "Perhaps a lead on wherever the god of the hunt has gone or is going I suppose..." she sighed "I guess some supplies of my choosing and currency if I'm going to be working for a reward..." she saida bit offishly.
SWS|Storyteller: "Truthfully, Desire, the first place I wish for them to go is into the Bordermarshes East of here, to investigate the Fae and Wyld Folk there, ensure that they're maintaining their treaty with us, and perhaps encourage them to do so if they're not." Davi told Desire, smiling, "Perhaps you'd like to accompany them? I understand there are fruits and vegetables unlike any in creation to be found in the Bordermarshes."
Windswept_Willow: "I'll also need a... stable..."
SWS|Storyteller: He then looked to Windswept Willow, "A stable? For a horse, or for something else?" He asked, amused, "I can offer you all of that, though the God of the Hunt is presently at his home in Yu-Shan, no doubt beyond your reach for the moment."
* Onyx_Bull is clearly significantly unhappy about where he is being sent first "Is this another [i[test[/i]?" he says to his master somewhat causticly.
SWS|Storyteller: Undefeated Sky glanced to Onyx Bull, "If you cannot rule over your fears, they will consume you. Better for you to face it now than for your wounds to fester." He replied seriously.
Object: "I'm not going to turn down a trip to the borderlands with an armed escort, no. Though mounts for everyone would probably make the trip faster and easier, if we're going to talk about stables."
* Cirasa cringed hard at the mention of festering wounds, certain memories brought back.
SWS|Storyteller: "Mounts are a simple enough matter to arrange." Davi assured Object.
Windswept_Willow: "Somthing else, a aviary... preferably a large one." she said crypticly, then waved her hand "I have a mount, have no need of an extra one." she said.
SWS|Storyteller: "Your Strix, yes?" Davi replied with an amused chuckle, nodding his head slightly, "I can arrange that."
* Onyx_Bull sighs and rubs at his face. He however seems to accept his masters reasoning.
Cirasa: He cursed himself inwardly for getting caught off-guard like that, before calming his thoughts and returning slowly to his food. He watches the two younger ones, but they seem to have missed the comment.
Windswept_Willow: "Well yes..." she said, blinking as he knew about the giant fuckin owl she had.
Lienne: Lienne spends the rest of the conversation simply listening, her gaze and attention falling to the large man she had been cheering for before, he seemed truly distraught by the task appointed to him, and she could not help but stare and wonder what had happened to him.
Cirasa: Finishing off his place, Cirasa looks back up, seeming a bit recovered from that slip. He does give the one named Object a curious look, though. Davi had mentioned long-lived, and a very skilled chef. That left the young dragon-blood wondering how old she actually was.
Object: Desire finishes off her plate as well, having sampled a bit of everything, and is turning to face each person around the table as if she were staring at them, before turning to the next half a minute later.
* Cirasa sees Devi getting up, and quickly stands himself, moving to... well, speak wasn't quite the right term.
Cirasa: Several quick scribbles before he even reaches the man, and he has the board ready, knowing the councilor was smart enough to know what he wanted.
Windswept_Willow: Willow finished off her meal soon enough "I suppose I'll go put my companion away then and go get some rest." she said, standing up and moving to leave unless stopped.
Cirasa: "Arrangements regarding them?" the board questions as he holds it up to Devi.
SilverWingedSeraph: Councilor Davi smiled as Cirasa approached, reading the sign and nodding his head slightly, "Were anything to happen to you, I'd gladly adopt them myself. They'd not want for anything, and while you're away, they're welcome to rooms here." He told him seriously.
* Onyx_Bull wanders off with his master, and they can be heard sparring somewhere in the building.
* Cirasa nods, still flat in expression before tilting his head. A few swipes. He holds it up again, "If I Succeed? Can you Help?" He assumed Davi would have an idea of what he was -really- looking for.
* Cirasa quietly notes to himself that, regardless of the space it takes, he needs a larger board.
Cirasa: Seeing the look of confusion, he quickly begins writing, flipping, and writing again. "Somewhere safe. For Them." Flip. "This world, dangerous." Scratch. "Anathema attack, just earlier." Swipes. "War everywhere. Is Anywhere Safe?" The final message is accompanied by a serious, and very haggard look.
SilverWingedSeraph: "There are some safe places. Not many anymore, though. Not in Creation." Davi replied after a moment, "But yes. I could find you a safe place, one hidden and unlikely to ever be threatened."
Lienne: Lienne sat at the table, the man with two kids was talking to Davi in the corner of the dining hall and the rest seemed to have left, so she sat there mulling over the things that were said, and asked of her. Her thoughts began to give her a headache so she turned her attention elsewhere, to the silent man and Davi. Lienne peered at the man's board and could almost read most of what was written.
Lienne: 'Thank goodness he has excellent penmanship...' She thought.
* Cirasa slumps with a sigh before straightening up. He gives the man a single look of absolute conviction before bowing deeply.
SilverWingedSeraph: Davi bowed his head slightly, "I'll do whatever I can." He assured Cirasa again.
* Cirasa returns to the table, smiling gently at the two. They had gotten seconds from somewhere. He could cook, fairly alright even, but the food here was excellent.
Cirasa: Noticing that there was only one group left at the table, and the lady had been watching him, he gave a small, awkward wave.