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IC [Exalted 2.5] Guerrillas in the Mist

HardKore Keltoid

RAW Cultist
Validated User
It's the night of the 25th of Descending Fire, and the relentless heat still feels as if it could turn the Lesser Rock River to steam. Five days remain until the start of Calibration.

Greyfalls has been in disarray for some time now, with brewing internal conflicts forming dire cracks in its loyalty, the loss of the Tepet Legions and the ever-present threat from the Hundred Kingdoms. As a distant satrapy of a declining empire, it seems sure to fall, sooner or later, without the intervention of the Dragons.

The few disgraced misfits approaching Garrison Heights will have to do. summoned by Satrap Nellens Rombulac to the Scintillating River Palace with great urgency.

Allegedly the summer home of the Scarlet Empress, the great palace is the size of most city blocks and almost entirely wrought of white jade,. Implosion bows, obviously of more recent manufacture, are set into the battlements below carvings of Mela and Pasiap, glaringly out of place - though not so much as the fang of Warstriders lined up behind the district's high walls.

Through the grand entrance and up the staircase, three increasingly furious voices can be heard from behind a guarded door.. The guards would clearly never pass muster in any proper legion, wearing naked chopping swords, plain off-white armor adorned with a single bright patch to state their supposed loyalty, and bearing facial tattoos that certainly aren't legionary issue. They turn to face a full circle of Dragons, and are understandably awed at the sight.

"We, uh, the satrap is busy with..."

"Why should a child of fire bow before children of dust? A hundred grains of sand are no threat beneath a dragon's tread!" A booming, faintly crackling voice carries from behind the door.

"That" the other guard interjects, jerking a thumb over his shoulder. "So um, we can't receive ya 'til the boss simmers down, s'bad form, sorry, 'bout that."
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
Wind flows unceasingly around Cynis Falen Malina, wafting from her pale ashen-white hair and rippling the folds of her rich purple kimono before threading out to caress the room around her; every breeze brings back reports of touch and scent, allowing her to "see" the room without ever using her eyes, and also, unfortunately, to smell the unwashed mortal guards in precise detail.

Carefully, Malina reaches up to adjust the hang of the black silk veil dangling from her fascinator. The delicate netting, studded with gold pearls, conceals her upper face from view, leaving only her mouth to express her displeasure at this snub. "Well, I am sure that we have no wish to interrupt the General's business," she lies. "Have your servants escort us into the withdrawing room and serve us refreshments while we await the Satrap's pleasure."
 

insomniac

Registered User
Validated User
Sesus Kaeo has come unarmored, but not unarmed; not girded for battle, but she's almost never seen without the daiklaves on her back, but tonight they are worn over fine silk rather than jadesteel. She's foregone an escort, as well; her Wing, rather newly arrived, is still enjoying the change of pace in living in a building they didn't have to carry. Her attention is, for the moment, distracted by the sight of the warstriders. She lingers at the sight, taking a step toward them. She barely seems to notice the guards' apologies until she starts to laugh; unlike Malina's forced courtesy, he amusement seems genuine.

"Clearly, the Satrap and the General are engaged in their deliberations." 'Deliberations.' Not 'raging argument.' It's not even a lie, really, when a Dragon-Blooded makes such a statement; it's a simple statement that the facts of the matter are what she has said they are, not what they may appear to be. "I would enjoy a glass of something chilled and sweet. Whatever would be suitable."
 

aeryn

Registered User
Validated User
"'zat what they call 'em now? 'Deliberations?' Last time I deliberated like that, it ended with 5 off-duty soldiers, a narrow deserted alleyway, and several folk with broken bones. Or maybe I just 'deliberated' wrong." Nadal let out a snorted laugh as he lounged casually against a pillar, visibly fighting back laughter at the unusual, uncomfortable scene. He stepped between the guards and clapped them both on the shoulder, letting the strong smell of fresh seawater waft off of him, his deep-blue tinged skin slightly sallow in the brigt lights of the anteroom. "And I'll take a glass of something that burns your eyes just thinking about it, followed by two glasses of something that will rot your livir if you're in the same satrap for too long."
 

Markov

The Fabulous King
Validated User
Cathak Domician Ventesus arrives with full equipment, ready to begin immediately on whatever duties will be requested of them. As with the other, he seems content enough to stand back and wait patiently for the Satrap and General to finish their discussion, though with an added thought he takes a moment to speak with one of the guardsmen at the door. "Perhaps, at least, you would inform them of our arrival? While I'm sure they do not wish to be interrupted, I doubt they would like their business carried beyond those doors and into the ears of so many who were not originally included." With the region in such a state as it was, such open dissent among powerful leaders would look like weakness, and weaken morale.
 

HardKore Keltoid

RAW Cultist
Validated User
The two alleged soldiers are either trained too poorly, or too well, letting a dragonblood step between them without incident. They aren't complete fools, though - they can sense that Malina is none-too-pleased, and they know that a displeased Dragon could have them torn to shreds with relative impunity. They exchange a few words.

"Servants? We got servants? Why didn't anybody tell me I had servants? Say, while they're escortin' ya, have 'em bring me whatever Salty's havin'."

"She means Lord Wild Grove's servants, fool."

"...Oh, well puncture my dreams why don'cha? Wassa withdrawin' room? That like a room without drugs in it, that they lock the Cynis boys in?" Why would this place need a room fer that?"

The wiser of the two is already resting his head on his palm, muttering unpleasantly. "Get in there an' tell our betters we've got guests. I'll escort 'em."

"But don't that leave the door wide open?"

"Press the advantage while we have it! Our enemies are countless, and still you hold us back?" The resident Fire Aspect continues to employ his own spectacular methods of persuasion.

"If our enemies are about, I think now's the perfect time to invite them in."

As promised, the circle is escorted to a grand room some forty feet square, capable of serving and seating twice their number. In fact, there are already three other guests seated at a nearby table:

A tall, thin, pale woman with flame-red hair and a lifting voice, dressed in a buff jacket so plain as to stand out in a place this ostentatious.

A squat, bald man with skin the color of sun-dried mud brick, wearing spectacles and an obvious breastplate under his cloak.

A tall, broad thing in black jade articulated plate and - rarity of rarities - a matching helmet, completely obscuring any features.

They seem to be passing notes to one-another, of all things.

The servants arrive soon after, gracious and unobtrusive, bearing a pitcher of imported Chayan fire-blossom tea for Kaeo, a bottle of Sijanese spiced rum for Nadal, and...An opium pipe for Malina. Apparently, when a Cynis asks for "refreshments", this is what comes to mind.

A young, smiling, rosy-cheeked girl approaches Domician, blushing. "Will there be anything else?"
 

OldKentuckyShark

Doritos from Japan
Validated User
Malina arches an eyebrow ironically when she sees the pipe -- a gesture totally wasted because of her veil. With expertise born of long nights of familial debauchery she takes the proffered pipe, draws deeply, and holds the breath until she feels the curiously ticklish internal sensation of a sesselja swimming up her sternum to curl around her lungs. Zug makes a satisfied rumble as he leeched the drug from her system.

Her point made, she hands the pipe back to the serving girl. "Thank you, dear; the quality of your product is most agreeable, but tonight wine will suffice." Curling vapor spills out of her mouth as she gives the serving girl a cool smile.

Malina glides into the room, her posture changing imperceptibly as she enters. The cool, refined scholar vanishes, to be replaced by someone warmer and more inviting. She glides to the table and insinuates herself between the flame-haired woman and the armored figure with a smile and an abashed bow of her head. "I am afraid our host is currently indisposed, so we will have to introduce ourselves. Allow me to take up the burden; I am Cynis Falen Malina." She gestures at the rest of the circle, either naming each one or allowing them to name themselves. Then she leans forward, propping her chin up on her hands and smiling. "And who might you be?"

Spoiler: Show
Activating Auspicious First Meeting Attitude.
 

aeryn

Registered User
Validated User
Nadal accepted the bottle of rum with a hearty thanks, and wasted no time opening it and drinking deeply. Within seconds, nearly a quarter of the bottle was drained. He took a deep, satisfied sigh and then looked up, smiling and giving an insolent wave to the gathered presences. "All better in here then? Wonderful! A fine good day to all of you. Iselsi Nadal at your service. And surely not one of those 'enemies' you were all bellowing so prettily about!" Nadal laughed and leaned back in his chair, staring off into nothing. At the same time, the bloodstone set in his torque worked its magic, completely neutralizing the alcohol in his system, allowing him to seem harmless without risking his wits.He loked around, briefly studying the armored individual, marking him as the most obvious threat in the room.
 

Markov

The Fabulous King
Validated User
"No, I believe this will suffice for now. Should anything else be required, you'll be summoned again; the haste and quality of your service has been noted." Direct, though not necessarily hostile, he answered the girl's question before turning his attention to the other three in the room, properly introducing himself once he was indicated. "Cathak Domician Ventesus. I look forward to restoring order to Greyfalls and its surrounding area...if you share in that cause, then it will be an honor to work with you." Ending with a slight nod, he stepped back and crossed his arms over his chest, drawing attention away from himself to allow for the next in the line of introductions.
 

insomniac

Registered User
Validated User
Kaeo takes the offered tea with all the graciousness expected from one of the Dragon-Blooded Host; that is to say, nothing as gauche as actually acknowledging a servant, but giving a general and distinct impression of thanking the servant. She does take a passing glance toward the departing opium pipe, but doesn't speak up--this probably isn't the time to indulge, with the Satrap and the General arguing a few doors away.

"And I am Winglord Sesus Kaeo, newly assigned to the Twenty-Third Legion." She reaches a hand to adjust the swords as she moves to take a seat, legs to one side of the chair, spread out and relaxed as she starts to sip at the chilled tea. She doesn't introduce herself as Sesus Maela's daughter, but it's likely that she's recognized for it all the same. "And I fear I've dressed entirely wrong for the evening's events. Here I am all in silk, when it seems everyone else thought to dress in steel and jade. I feel terribly embarassed, and I worry--when the Satrap calls me to speak, should I always come dressed for a war?"
 
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