Nadjib as Velvet Fist, Ex-Prostitute Martial Arts Mistress
Jon C as Spectre, Sorcerer Supreme
Bill as Isandlwana, Travelling Matchmaker
Game Mastered by Krzyś
Release Date: 5th of November 2009
The day started with Velvet Fist, Isandlwana, Spectre and their companions entering the town of Maret. They found it completely destroyed. The stench of death surrounded the whole place. There were bodies and dried blood on the streets and in the houses.
It was then that Velvet Fist found a man who did not die yet. She asked him who is responsible for this.
"The Whirlwind," were his last words.
Velvet Fist stood up and shouted out to the Heavens that he who is responsible for this massacre will be punished, then she took off towards where the trail led her. Her mentor followed her grudgingly.
In order to decipher how this tragedy came to be, Spectre examined the bodies while Isandlwana looked at the footprints left in the sand. She concluded that such footwork could belong to either a group of people of similar build or to one person possessing incredible speed. Spectre noted that many of the bodies where either cut with such a force that even bone shattered when the blade came through or cut several times in the blink of an eye. Other findings were that judging by their clothes, they were attacked at night, most likely two days ago, many tried to flee but they were also killed. Only their livestock was spared, whether by intent or having run away was unclear. Meanwhile, Isandlwana checked the trail leading out and into Maret to see how many travellers passed in the recent days, it seemed like only one person on horseback came in and left about two days ago.
Spectre tried to find if there is any specific pattern to the killings by putting rocks where the bodies were found. He noticed that the rocks vibrated and moved slightly when placed so he opened his eyes to the patterns of Essence. He saw that Maret was built on the crossing of powerful Dragon Lines. They have not been tapped but had a thin layer of silver sand on it.
The Lawgivers and their servants prepared a funeral pyre and as it burned, they set off to follow the trail going in the direction of a town about two days away.
On their journey they discussed what the motive behind this crime could be and speculated whether a geomantic plot was in operation. One that could perhaps change the nature of the energy flow, giving it a deathly taint, and if repeated at other important foci, it would be possible to achieve some large-scale sorcerous effect.
Fortunately for Velvet Fist, who had wandered off the trail, they caught up with her on their second day of travel. They reached the town of Daiyu when it shortly after nightfall. Spectre looked at the essence patterns within the town and noticed it was all covered in silver sand. Even the air itself had them floating around. He decided to look around Daiyu's perimeter while the other two went to warn the mayor of the slaughter.
When hearing the news of what happened to Maret, Isandlwana realised the man was feigning surprise. She was unable to draw any more information out of him. He did offer them to stay at the inn for the night, as a way of thanking them for the warning, but Isandlwana knew he merely wanted them to stay in one place. Confident in their ability to overcome the threat, they went to the inn.
On their way there, Velvet Fist made a speech to inform everyone of the faith of their neighbouring town and that they have nothing to fear for that tragedy won't be repeated here. An old lady raced out of a nearby house, shouting "Sun-born!" and pointing her finger at her. A man in his mid-years run out of the house soon after, apologising he took his mother back to the house. Velvet Fist knocked on their door, the man greeted her and apologised again, saying that his mother has become a little nuts in her old years. The sound of fists bashing the floor was coming from upstairs. After an unsuccessful attempt to seduce the man, Velvet Fist returned to accompany Isandlwana to the inn.
Meanwhile, Spectre's search proved slightly fruitless. There was no source to the unnatural silver sands, they merely seemed to have been put there by someone and slightly tainted the local Dragon Lines. The other thing he noticed was how the townsfolk were not alarmed by the presence of a strange robed figure walking through the night at all.
Ending his survey, he was nearly ambushed by a thug. Fortunately, his bodyguard was fast enough to knock him out before the thug had any chance to hurt Spectre. Spectre told his bodyguard to carry the man and they entered the inn with a very drunk (already!) friend. They sat down at the table occupied by the other Solars and began discussing what to do with him when he woke up.
Not long into the discussion, the place quieted as the law-enforcers entered. The sheriff ordered everyone to leave the premises but not the Solars. He demanded their arrest. He claimed they have attacked the man sitting next to them, hitting him unconscious and dragging all the way here. The Solars demanded witnesses, to which the sheriff replied he has more than enough and he can take the Exalts to them.
Impatient as they are, the sheriff's assistants reach for their flamepieces but they were too slow. The Sheriff found himself staring at the inside of Isandlwana's firewand while the rest stood there in silence. A shot was fired at Velvet Fist, who dodged out of the way with preternatural grace while Spectre turned the table on its side and hid behind it with his bodyguard.
Another shot was fired at the ceiling as Velvet Fist's sashes spun around the weapons, taking them away from their hands. The sheriff tried to grab the firewand in order to wrestle it out of Isandlwana's hands but instead she hit him with firedust hidden in her sleeve. She quickly took his gun and used it to put a display of fire-breathing in hopes they would mistake them for Terrestrials.
Having disarmed the entire watch, Spectre and his bodyguard escorted the law-enforcers. As they walked out, they noticed a lone sniper taking aim at them. Velvet Fist threw a fan at him but he crouched and she only hit the building. After the fan returned to her, Isandlwana reasoned with the man by using a firewand aimed at him and flamepieces aimed at his fellow officers. His weapon dropped to the ground shortly thereafter.
The Exalts decided it would be easier if Velvet Fist and Spectre's bodyguard were to stay behind with the sheriff's deputies while Spectre and Isandlwana set off to have words with the mayor.
It is strange how sessions go. I planned for the players to begin in Daiyu after having witnessed the atrocities committed at a town they previously visited. Before I finished saying the intro, the players started asking me questions about this town and the next thing I know, they are in that town investigating! If I were a more experienced storyteller, I would smack them for interrupting my story! That would teach them their place for sure!
As is, I had to improvise what actually happened there. In my infinite wisdom I even managed to confuse setting information: ley lines are actually called Dragon Lines (sorry Jon! as compensation I may not kill your character next session). I also noticed I should have given Jon some information on the magical properties of the setting, I think I confused him on how common Dragon Lines are.
I also thought there would be some deaths when the cops came in. Instead all I got is thinking they are misguided innocents and lots of disarming attempts. Next fight will be a lot more good vs evil.
Overall, I was quite happy how this birthday session ended up being.