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Exalted:End of an Era

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[Highlights seem a good plan to me.


So Scene 1: Mia? tallying the results of the vote and Lenco starting to panic.

Scene 2 (or 1b): A Silune POV of the proceedings

Scene 3: Lenco realising his plans are falling apart just as he's outed.


I think Web may just be placed in an awkward position with all this. Lenco would probably trying to get either Web or Silune to intervene. I see the bigger risks being the supporting Commanders - like Tzun.]

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((That works for me. So here goes....))


[Far, far too long later...]


By now, even Mia had problems keeping her eyes open. They'd been at it for a full day straight, going from vote to heated (and lengthy!) debate to the next vote. Some of the Commanders weren't even Exalted and Mia presumed that the only thing keeping them on their feet was the non-abating stream of khaf brought in by servants at all hours.


Voting on a new Chumyo was a much lengthier and complex process than Mia had expected. A candidate needed a two-third majority to win and new candidates could be added (or old ones retired) if such a majority wasn't reached. It seemed straight forward enough - on paper.


In the first two rounds, both Lenco and Del Ran had not made their bid public. Instead, they had waited. Mia soon understood why. The first rounds were intended to gauge what the Commanders wanted - restraint, enthusiasm, old veterans or new dogs. No one was able to achieve a majority at this point, so these candidates were essentially throw-aways while the room reached some sort of consensus.


Then, in the third round, Lenco made his bid. Del Ran waited for the fourth and was in fact the last candidate to step forward. Timing was crucial here. Make your bid too soon and supporters might grow frustrated that you missed the 2/3 majority round after round, and migrate to another candidate. Make your bid too late and run the risk that there was already a winner emerging. As it turned out, Del Ran's timing was perfect. His pairing with Nefvarin Chia was similarly perfect - the grizzled veteran would run the show in these times of crisis, whilst grooming a promising successor with an eye to the future.


Now they were on to voting round seven and there were only two candidates left: Lenco and Del Ran. Looking at the piles of stones before her - marked with a bear rune for Commander Ran and a stag for Ambassador Lenco - Mia could already see that the veteran had won a majority. But was it two-thirds? She began counting by pushing two of Ran's stones forward, followed by one of Lenco, and repeating that. It was simple enough: if Del Ran still had stones when Lenco ran out, he won. Counting in this fashion was also a brazen statement on her part, a sign that she believed he had it. In truth, she couldn't be absolutely certain just by eyeing the piles, but she had a good feeling about this...


Shaya had a good feeling about it too. Since Del Ran had made his bid just three rounds ago, more and more Commanders had gravitated towards him. Now it was clear that he was getting there - if not this round, then certainly the next. But she thought it was this one. Then Mia began counting stones in two's and one's - she felt it too. The Dawn couldn't suppress a smile - bordering on a smirk when she saw Lenco's rising frustration. We've got this.

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Silune watched the proceedings with great interest. It seemed the Terrestrials weren't going to kill each other after all, acting all civil and honourable. She saw Lenco signal, his movements becoming more urgent by the minute. The fool. she thought dispassionately.He is going to give himself away soon, if he doesn't stop. And me as well. She shook her head in disgust. Terrestrials!


She noticed one of the entourage of the Solar had picked up on Lenco's subtle movements. From her vantage point she could see the young woman slip into the crowd and start looking for the recipient of the gestures. Already secure in her hiding, she retreated deeper into the shadows, just to be sure she wasn't found out. Solars were extraordinary and they attracted extraordinary people. For all she knew this girl might be a ghost blooded who could see through walls, or something. She was pale enough.


When the time came for the Solar to lay down her title, Silune expected trouble. The fact that the Solar actually relinquished her power surprised her greatly. This was not how she remembered Solars.


"She is planning something. You know Solars. Kill her, or get out while you are still able to walk."


Silune shook her head vigorously to ban the voice from her mind. This was an important moment in history, she could feel it in her bones. She would not have it sullied by dark thoughts of pain and bloodshed. Silently she inched closer to make sure she didn't miss anything. The token of respect from all the Terrestrials had her confused. She had never expected them to be able to show anything but hatred towards their self imposed Anathema enemies.


"Don't let them fool you. They are biding their time. Do you see them tense up, ready to strike at a word from their elder? Ready to betray..."


"Shut up!" she hissed through her teeth. Clapping a hand in front of her mouth, realizing she had said it out loud, even if but a whisper, retreating immediately in silence and darkness. Waiting to see if anyone had noticed. She was lucky that the young man beside the Solar had spoken up just at that moment, making it nigh impossible for anyone to have heard her. And even if they had heard, they wouldn't be able to spot her, she comforted herself. Focus! and her attention went to the young man, who brought up a good point to put one of the Terrestrial commanders in his place. She couldn't help but grin. Her self-control firmly established again.


She hadn't expected the vote to last this long, but she was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, it was quite interesting. She learned quite a bit about the inner power structure and politics of the Seventh Legion, and she filed that information away for future use.


At the third round, Lenco came forward as a candidate himself, that was no surprise. What surprised Silune was the amount of support he had amongst the commanders. If he was depraved enough to hire an assassin, others must be aware of the lengths he would go to to get his way as well?


When the old Earth Exalt stepped forward the next round, she found herself rooting for him. He was the only one who had acted with honour and dignity, despite being Dragonblooded.


After the seventh vote had been cast, it was clear for Silune who should be the new military leader, the new Chumyo. It was the old Earth Exalt, who was supported by the Solar. If he wins, at least she gets her way with the choice of her new leader. It seems she is not completely letting go of power. Again she grinned. Her mood had improved dispite being surrounded by Dragonblooded. A rare feat.


A decision in the Seventh round for the leadership of the Seventh Legion? This must be it. Even the young woman counting the stones was expecting a result by the way she was counting...




Lenco was getting more frustrated by the minute. His assassin seemed to have vanished and he was trying to signal web to do something to rig the vote. In the mean time he just had to do it the old fashioned way. He hadn't become commander of the Diplomatic Core by being bad at politics, so he launched into the political game with all his skill and wit. He knew he was the superior politician in the room.


The first two rounds were just for warming up, the candidates not really taken into consideration seriously, just to get a feeling of the political battlefield. He felt confident to step forward in the third round, expecting some resistance but arrogant enough to trust his clout and social manoeuvring to get him the majority he needed. When he failed to get even close to half of the votes, he got really annoyed. It was as if someone of equal skill was working against him. He looked in the direction of Web. If she wasn't coming through with some support anytime soon, he might have to take measures against her.


Then Del Ran stepped forward and Lenco knew he was getting in trouble. He pulled out every trick he could legally get away with without losing support and played the other commanders as if his life depended on it.


Every vote he had to take on Del Ran, he lost more support, until three votes later, the situation looked grim. The assistant who was responsible for counting the votes started counting in ones and twos. A sure sign she was convinced he had lost.


At least he still had his second back-up plan for if all else failed...

Edited by Biologist

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Web knew the game of politics just as well as Lenco did. He may have more experience with the specifics of the Seventh Legion, but voting for a new Chumyo was well beyond the usual. Especially given the circumstances that necessitated it.


As such, she could safely ignore the request to rig the vote - at least for the first few rounds. She could excuse the lack of action on Lenco's first round - the third vote - as wanting to see and assess the quality and quantity of his opponents.


The fourth round was the most interesting, Del Ran made his candidacy known. Again - since there was an addition to the number, Web had another excuse for holding back.


She was also aware of Lenco's growing agitation, and knew that trouble was brewing. In what form, she didn't know.


Of course, Shaya's admittance of being a Solar did provide another safety net for Web's lack of action. Lenco's masters would have surely pointed out the inherent enmity between the Chosen of the Sun and the Servants of Darkness.


If she acted in such a way as to make herself known, it would most likely result in a large scale brawl. Which was unlikely to serve Lenco's cause well.


She narrowed her eyes slightly, and chewed on her bottom lip. To any casual observer it could be attributed to the mounting tension of the vote.


Hopefully, to Lenco, it looked like she was considering her potential options and likelihood of success given the new information and circumstances.


[Web's trying to play Lenco as much as possible, maintaining a fence position for as long as possible.]

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When the stones were tallied, Del Ran had won the vote with a majority closer to seven to three than two thirds. There was a cheer, when the result was announced and Del Ran stepped forward to face his peers as they would award him the title of Chumyo. Lenco fumed. His 'ally', the Abyssal, had been useless ever since the Solar had revealed herself as such. Still, she might be of use later so he would let her live despite her cowardice now.


Commander Oriat Kun, an aging Air Exalt, approached him and took the regalia Shaya had willingly handed over hours before. She attached the gold Phoenix to his armour and adjusted the knotted crimson tassels. It was official now: Del Ran was the new Chumyo.


"Thank you for your trust and support." He spoke. "Together we will raise the Seventh Legion from the ashes of Lookshy. That is my solemn promise."


Then he turned to Lenco. "There is one more thing that needs to be done. Commander Lenco, I accuse you of being Akuma." Before Lenco could get a word in, Del Ran spoke clearly: "Black Heron at the edge of the pool of Wisdom."


Like a sorcery spell, commander Lenco's eyes turned completely black, while he uttered a bloodcurdling scream of rage and frustration. The commanders closest to him took a step back in shock, hands going to their blades. The unexpected turn of events catching them off guard. The other commanders in the room looked appalled and disgusted.


Lenco's face twisted in a vicious snarl and his voice took on the high pitched tinge of madness. "Have it your way. If I cannot rule, then no-one can." The next word he spoke had not been heard in a long time in Creation. The three set of doors to the meeting hall burst open and hulking forms rushed in, like huge stunted humans, with bristling fur sticky and crimson with blood, muscled arms, sharp tusks and talons promising a bloodbath.


Hanzo looked aghast. "Bloodapes."

Edited by Biologist

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Shaya would be the first to admit that she knew nothing about politics. If she had been in Del Ran's shoes, she would have tossed her hat in at the first opportunity (and lost, if the way the early candidates fared was any indication). Nor did she fully understand the intricacies of currying votes, lightly shifting your position this way and that until you connected with enough people. However, violence was something she *did* understand. Not to mention that she'd been itching to take care of Lenco for several days now, ever since Web informed her that the ambassador was an Akuma. As such, she almost felt relief when the Akuma was outed. Even the onset of Blood Apes did not deter her.


She stepped lightly forward, blocking the Akuma's path from as many mortal aides and lieutenants as she could. She also blocked him from Web, Hanzo and Mia. She had never seen the latter two in combat and she had an inkling that the former fared best if she wasn't seen. Judging the Akuma and Blood Apes before her to pose a serious threat, she wasted no time activating some of her signature Charm sets. It was a good thing that she'd revealed her nature earlier, because there was no denying it as a bright golden glow began to fill the room.


"Bring it, Demon," she spat mockingly at Lenco.


((I assume that Shaya has a combo that includes Enemy-Castigating Solar Judgement, Five-Fold Bulwark Stance & Ready in Eight Directions - in addition to the obvious Charms such as Tiger Strike. So yeah, that's a lot of Essence in one fell swoop.))

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[Not to mention the only thing she's seen Web doing is counter-spelling/mass defence thing. And chances are she wouldn't be wearing her Soulsteel dagger - since that would be a big signpost of her nature]


Unlike Shaya, Web was more comfortable in the diplomatic boardroom than on the battlefield. However - now that Lenco had been revealed, it was unlikely that the gathered Commanders would listen to any accusation he made against personas in the room. Including her.


That made things slightly easier. Though the Blood Apes would be a problem...


Especially as her counter-spells would show her up. Whether in Essence cost or in relative weakness.


Taking in the scene, Web calculated the risk and cost of her defensive set - which Shaya would be familiar with the feel of - compared with the cost of trying to break the bonds that held the demons in Creation.


Failure to break the bonds would likely result in non-contracted demons on the loose. Which would be Very Bad. Which did leave the other option - taking the chance on the defence.


Though she would have to be selective in it - not to over-extend her own energy and make herself a target.


Still uncertain on how her Essence would react with a flaring Solar - or indeed Solars in general, Web chose the recipients.


The mortal contingent, the new Chumyo Del Ran and his second-in-line Commander Chia. It wouldn't be good if either of the new leaders were injured badly. With that in mind, Gard Nex also qualified - he wouldn't leave Commander Chia's side, and she had gotten along with him too.


And the mortals had less defence than the Dragon Blooded - so they needed the extra help - at least til they could get out of combat. Hopefully, Mia could slip out and get the rest of the unit before too long.


[i'm thinking not many would recognise Abyssal-Essence shaping - so practically only the already alert Solar would know exactly what she's doing. The others may just assume its one of the other Exalts prepping for combat. Lenco may know its Abyssal Essence too - but given her targets he may assume she's going to cause some trouble.]

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Keeping a low profile - literally, as she didn't want to be spotted by the Blood Apes - Mia crept along to the window. She had seen Blood Apes before, as the Bull's sorceress Samara liked to use them as shock troops, and thought they were foul creatures. She shuddered to think what might happen if one of them broke free and ran rampage on the city.


She reached the hallway, stood up and ran to one of the small windows. Opening it, she pulled a thin, ivory flute out of her sleeve pocket and set it to her lips.




The sound was that of the Coastal Owl, a creature found commonly in Lookshy but only very rarely in Nexus. It was also the agreed upon signal for Pheonix to act.


With that done, she crept back to the meeting chamber.


((If the summoner dies, the demons go free, right? Someone might want to tell Shaya to save Lenco until after the Blood Apes are killed.))

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Hanzo looked at the blood soaked monstrosities bursting into the room. He got out his sword in a reflex and was looking around for the best target. The thought of watching Shaya's back crossed his mind for a moment, but he had a feeling she was vigilant to the point of full spatial awareness around her. He stayed close to her just in case, but focused on the dangers that mattered.


The Commanders did the same: they readied their weapons or took on a battle stance from one of the styles of heaven, and took the rushing bloodapes head on. Jade blades bit deep into demon flesh as razor talons scraped through jade armour. The sounds were horrible, Hanzo had never really been in a melee like this before. But thankfully his mind filtered it away for later observation. Now he needed to stay sharp and keep his mind on the battle.


He heard Shaya challenge Lenco and a thought crossed his mind. If Lenco was the summoner of these demons, then their contract would end when Lenco died. That would not banish them back, but set them free to do their own bidding. Which was even worse.


So he turned to Shaya, talking loud enough for her to hear over the noise of fighting: "Sir, if Lenco is the summoner, killing him will free the bloodapes."


By now, bloodapes outnumbered the soldiers two to one, though the seemingly steady stream coming through the doors had died down. Del Ran was shouting orders and the Terrestrials shifted positions and moved into formation, slowly turning the tide of battle in their favour.


Never the less, it was going to be a long and bloody fight...




Lenco looked at Shaya, uttering a cruel and haughty bark of laughter. "Your light will not shine in here, slave. Your budding powers are no match for mine!" He brandished a black Jade daiklave at her and assumed a stance of power and fluidity. This Anathema would know the might of his improved Terrestrial powers and he was yearning for her blood. If the little runt of an Abyssal would come through with her supposed alliance, he could claim victory over one of the chosen of the Sun before noon. His master would be pleased. Very pleased.




Silune watched the battle unfold with horror. Before her eyes Bloodapes turned into Dragonblooded and the commanders turned into her friends and lovers of old.

The stream of Terrestrials was endless, wave upon wave of fanatical Jade clad soldiers attacked her and slew her sisters and brothers, her champions and generals, before wounding her with a cruel blade. As she looked upon the corpses of the defenders of creation, Jade tipped spears pierced her torn evening dress and went through her flesh, burning her. Slowly her power waned and she too fell. Unable to defend the ones that were still standing.


Silune sat against the farthest wall in the highest corner she could crawl back into, knees drawn up, hands covering her ears, and eyes shut firmly to shut out the sounds of slaughter. Please make it go away...

Edited by Biologist

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The call of a Coastal Owl issued from the direction of Lenco's manor. Pheonix grinned, glad to finally have something to do other than wait.


Quickly gathering the unit, Pheonix started her march on the building. She issued quick orders while on route.


"Hare." The scout quickly appeared at her side, "I want to know what we're facing. Who and how many." He nodded and swiftly went ahead.


"I want Essence Lances charged and ready to fire at a moments notice. Gunn, you're up front with me. Until we know what's in there, strike pattern delta."


The unit merged flawlessly into the formation dictated by their lieutenant - pattern delta was the standard for close quarters combat in an enemy stronghold.


Though Pheonix wouldn't count the opulent diplomatic mansion as a 'stronghold' - too many ways in, which should work to her advantage.


Her fists started to glow as she prepped for combat.


[i'm thinking Silune will really hate Lenco after this. If only to have a target to blame for remembered trauma.


And probably a good idea for Hanzo not to be next to the Abyssal when her Essence flares. Not that her anima is dangerous or anything.... the reaction might be however.]

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((Takhesis, do you want to rp the unit since they're currently under Pheonix' command?))


Shaya swore when Hanzo issued his warning. Extending mercy to the Akuma, even if only temporary, had not been part of her plan. Still, she supposed it would make for an interesting battle. The room was quickly filling up with Blood Apes, their large, hulking bodies covered in blood-red fur and bony spines. The scent of dried blood hung around them and when one of them roared, his breath was afoul with rotting flesh. They never stopped when they saw the golden light of the sun, as their love for violence was greater than any sense of self-preservation. The apes had no refinement or tactics, they merely moved to swarm their enemies with their superior strength and bloodlust. Shaya, on the other hand, moved as a leaf on the wind, twisting this way and that as she dodged attacks and launched counter attacks of her own. She focused the bulk of her attention on Lenco, meeting his black sword with her white. Sickly green swirls and golden sparks rang off the respective blades as the two clashed in combat.


Mia was still making her way around the room quietly. Combat wasn't her way and she carried no weapons on (nor did she know how to use any). Instead, she quietly gathered up the attending mortals and, under her cover of going unnoticed, helped them escape the death-filled room. As they emptied the room one by one, both the Exalted combatants and the Blood Apes had more room to manoeuvre. She didn't know if that was good or bad - the demons' long arms had about the same reach as some of the jade swords present, but the Terrestrial seemed to be making better use of the available terrain. She couldn't be sure, as she lacked the military insight to assess the situation, but felt that evacuating the mortals was the right thing to do regardless. At one point, she came to Hanzo. "This way," she whispered as she prepared to lead the mortal (so she thought) engineer to safety.

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[okies - I'm going to assume it'll take them a few combat ticks to show up, due to travel time and Hare's report so Pheonix can organise a slightly better battle plan.....]

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Hanzo was trying to help in the fight as best as he could. He was trained in swordmanship just like any other Lookshyan boy, yet he missed the experience from real battles. He knew the movements, but it took him a moment to adjust to the unfamiliar tactics of his opponents and their flowing, natural fighting style. More through luck than anything else, he had only suffered minor wounds. I hope these demons don't carry infectious diseases or poison. he thought. But then a sobering notion came unbidden to his mind: to be able to die from disease or poison, he had to survive this fight first. With renewed fervor he battled the blood apes, using the superior fighting skills of the commanders and Terrestrial aides at his side to his advantage.


When Mia took hold of his arm in a moment of reprieve, he looked at her with bewilderment. "What?" he said, and immediately turned away again and took advantage of a rear position to stab a bloodape in the back of the knee, the tip of his blade sticking out the other end. He withdrew his sword with a sickening sucking sound and the Dragonblooded lieutenant facing the monster used a finishing move on the momentarily disabled bloodape.


Then he turned back to Mia, Bloodape ichor splattered across his face, his look somewhat less bewildered. "I am a bit busy right now." he managed to get out, before pushing past her, deflecting a swinging taloned arm aimed at Mia. "Get the people out and signal the reinforcements." he said as he gently tried to push her farther out of the melee, wanting to turn back to take part of the bloody chaos again.

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As Mia worked her way around the room, Web could concentrate more of her Essence on those still in the room. Mainly as the Blood Apes blood thirst fed their battle rage on those still fighting.


Her Caste Mark was starting to show now however, and she could only hope that the present demons provided more threat than she did. Her Charm set had started to take effect, her chosen targets shadows seeming to gain a life of their own.


Shaya, having been present during the first encounter with the Abyssal and having the story confirmed by all her unit, would know that it wasn't harmful. That is should she notice it - or have her attention called to it.


Anyone else however would be freaked out - as moving shadows weren't natural.


Entering the building proved easy - and the sound of fighting carried to the trained soldiers' ears. Not wanting to alert the wrong parties, Pheonix signalled the unit to move as silently as possible through the halls.


Hare moved up to Pheonix's side to report on the situation. As expected - Lenco hadn't taken well to being outed and was fighting. The problem was the fact he'd apparently summoned a cohort of Blood Apes.


These Blood Apes meant that the gathered Commanders couldn't co-ordinate effectively against the main objective.


The room also had multiple entryways - which Hare noted, Mia was using to evacuate some of those present. Let's hope none of those she's letting out are part of a demon-worshipping cult.


Pheonix was confident that a surprise flank would work to break the deadlock, but she was also aware that the rules of Nexus may present a problem. With that in mind - for once being politically savvy, mainly due to not wanting the fledgling Seventh coming under heavy criticism that would damage its support - Pheonix made an odd decision.


"Hare - go back to the Bronze Tiger barracks. Tell Captain Dace about the demon outbreak at this location. Ask him to send aid for the clean up." Her tone brooked no argument - not that anyone would want to argue with the Fire Aspect on a good day.


She signalled the majority of the unit to surround and protect Mouse, on the off chance she'd be able to do something to disrupt the demons' link to Creation.

The Lancers were to flank one of the larger doorways, Gunn stood behind her while she stood in front of the closed doors.


Plan was she kick the doors open and duck, the twins would then fire round the frame over her head, then duck back to recharge. Gunn would then come forward to cover them and her. After that, was anyone's guess.


Glancing both ways to see the Lancers ready, Pheonix silently counted down.


'Three, two, one.' Her foot lashed out at the doors.....


[Think that's a good point to be evil and switch to the room inside tongue.gif]

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By virtue of her skill and exaltation, Shaya became the centre of the battle (*). Demons and Exalted flowed around her like the tide, alternately surging forward and falling back. The Terrestrial Commanders rallied together, pushing back against the foul creatures summoned by the Akuma. Together, they held the Blood Apes at bay. But while the Apes' initial onslaught had broken itself against a wall of Jade, they kept coming and the Exalted - though holding - were unable to turn the battle decisively in their favour. Perhaps the Solar Exalt could make a difference, if she weren't forced to hold back - for she was now firmly entrenched in battle with the Infernal and unwilling to kill him yet.


((* Heroism-Encouraging Presence))


Mia surveyed the room. With the exception of Hanzo, who was miraculously holding his own, the mortals were either out of the way, regrettably dead, or protected behind a wall of Exalted. She saw the Abyssal dart back and forth, seemingly reinforcing the Terrestrials. Her efforts had mixed results, as some Commanders, noticing the dancing shadows and not surprisingly thinking them another of Lenco's summons, shifted their attention from the Apes to the shadows. For the most part though, the shadows were an aid.


Mia saw that the Moonshadow's Caste Mark was beginning to bleed. That wasn't good - in this battle frenzy, no one was going to stop and ask questions before they killed her. Still moving silently, she made her way over to the Abyssal in an attempt to get her attention - Web needed to stop now, or risk exposure.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Web was aware of the mixed results of her efforts. Hopefully once a shadow or two had absorbed a demons attack, those Commanders that had turned to deal with the 'new' threat would get the hint and face the Blood Apes again.


She was concentrating on avoiding the aforementioned Blood Apes, taking a small breather to avoid a fast drain out from over-exertion.


It was during this period that Mia slipped up to her. Hopefully Lenco was too involved in combat with Shaya to notice either of them.


[Will make Pheonix's entrance at a 'dramatic' moment, since its likely the unit's still getting into position timewise at this point....


I'm sure Web already knows the risks of her Essence expenditure... the question is how will the DBs react to having her aid them against the demons? If they realise it that is.]

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Lenco felt Shaya's hesitance and redoubled his attacks, making optimal use of the fact that she wasn't going to kill her. His black Jade daiklave darted back and forth, trying her defenses. He was probing her, learning her style and tricks so he could create an opening. All the while grinning maniacally... He had the upper hand, he would win the day.

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To be honest, I can't picture the Terrestrials' discovery of Web ending well. It might be different if there was time to talk it over, but as it is... They're in the middle of a frenzied combat with an Akuma and bunch of Blood Apes. If they spot an Abyssal, they're not gonna stop to see whose side she's on - they're gonna assume she's with the enemy. Of course Shaya and Del Ran would stand up for her, but not all of the Commanders will buy that. Some of them will think the Solar and her new Chumyo are also corrupted. At best, there will be confusion (which Lenco will capitalize on). At worst, there will be infighting between the Terrestrials (which Lenco will also capitalize on). Either way, I think Web being discovered will only add to the bloodshed. Which is why Mia is trying to get her out NOW, before someone sees the bleeding Caste Mark.


Unless either of you thinks I'm being needlessly pessimistic? In which case I'm open to an alternate scenario.))

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[Perhaps there could be an Abyssal/Akuma showdown? As in Lenco realises he's done for - but tries to take the 'traitor' out with him?


That might give the Commanders pause - after all if she's hated by the Akuma she can't be that bad right? It would at least delay them enough for stuff to happen - like Lenco's death?


Of course, there's still the issue of 'Abyssal - kill it' afterwards. Though Pheonix did send for the Bronze Tigers to help with the aftermath.... so that could be a way out of it.]

Edited by Takhesis

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((I think it would end badly if Web was discovered. Think about what the Terrestrials have gone through. Lookshy has been destroyed, one of their own is a Solar and even worse, another trusted commander is an akuma, who summoned a horde of bloodapes to kill them all. They're not going to think: the abyssal is going to be okay, IMHO smile.gif With being betrayed fresh on their minds, they probably cannot think clearly enough to see the abyssal for whom she really is... So I'd say, best plan is to vanish through the exit Mia provides.))

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((I've been thinking some more about the Web conundrum and imo there are two things to deal with.


1. Lenco vs Web

When Lenco notices that Web is working against his Blood Apes, she'll be found out. He'll move to attack her and we can have a big showdown. That might be cool, since it's been coming for some time and Web hasn't really had a chance to shine in one-on-one combat yet. I'm not too worried about the outcome, as both of them are primarily diplomats so I suspect that they're about evenly matched.


2. The Aftermath

This has me worried. Solars are considered Anathema, but it's been about a millennium since their atrocities (meaning it's mostly legend now), when they appear in the Second Age it's usually as heroes, and their Patron is the God of Light and Justice. Abyssals, on the other hand, have a couple of dead, nihilistic *ssholes as Patrons and when they appear in the Second Age, it's to kill people and turn places into Shadowlands. There's also Thorns to consider, which is still fresh on everyone's mind. So I seriously doubt that ALL the Commanders are just gonna be fine with Web.


What I think would happen, is that Shaya and Del Ran vouch for her and half of the Commanders will reluctantly take their word for it, especially if they've seen Web fight Lenco. The other half will believe it's a scheme of sorts and that the New Seventh was corrupted from the start (since Web works directly for the woman who founded the New Seventh). They'll take their field legions and leave the New Seventh. Since these are Lookshyan Commanders, who don't suffer evil to live, they'll probably fight the 'corrupted' New Seventh. So at that point, we're looking at a New Seventh vs Old Legions war - if it spills over to the River Council, we might even be looking at a full-scale civil war in the East.


Now that could be an interesting tragedy to have develop. Web tries to help the River Province, and by mere presence of her Dark Exaltation she ends up triggering a war. It would also lead to renewed tension in the group, as Shaya will wonder if maybe this was Web's plan all along. Both could be very appropriate tragedies to happen to an Abyssal. My problem with that, however, is that Web is wicked smart when it comes to politics and such. Wouldn't she have foreseen that her Exaltation being publicly known would drive the Commanders apart?))

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[Point 1: Lenco has the edge in combat - if only due to his Lookshyan backround. But Abyssals are 'stronger' Exalts than DB's in general.


P2: Why do you think Web had the asylum claim made to another Commander, and saying her association with Shaya was a temporary custody situation? After all, Shaya did intend to let the High Council deal with her at the first meeting. Assisting against an Akuma should at least help support Web's claim.


another point to consider before Web gets dragged out by Mia:


Leaving the battle arena would technically count as a scene change: therefore Web's Charm set would cut out/fade out. Leading to a waste of Essence - which would make her 'patrons' laugh.]

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((High Command is not the same as all Commanders. The former are, I'd guess, some 5 Generals who are used to handling delicate situations with discretion. The latter are 10-20 Commanders who are not. That is why Shaya took Web to the Chumyo-to-be only, rather than introduce her to all the Commanders at the meeting. It's also why High Command kept Shaya's condition to themselves instead of sharing it with the rest of the army.


Both Biologist and I came to the 'will have bad fall-out' conclusion independently of each other, so I think there's certainly some merit to that. However, Web is your character and Mia is not going to drag her off. Mia does (has) indicate(d) that she thinks remaining would be a Bad Idea, but it's up to Web to decide if she stays or goes. As for ending the scene, there's also the option of hiding instead of leaving the room entirely.


So all in all: It's up to you what Web does IC. But since both Biologist and I think the fall-out will be Bad, I think we need to keep that in mind as a very real option OOC.))

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Web turned slightly to see what Mia was indicating. One eye on the battle - making sure they weren't swept up in combat - and the other one Mia's gestures towards one of the doors.


It looked like Mia thought it was time to leave. Before she could respond in the negative - her defence Charms needed her attention to be effective - another door burst open.


Pheonix's foot connected with the door, causing it to fly open. In one continuous motion, the Fire Exalt followed the door into the room. Her leading leg swept low and she took up an observation crouch.


The Lancer Twins fired their charged lances at the nearest hostile, the double bolts passing overhead - close enough that the Fire Exalt could feel the heat of their passing.


On second thoughts - moving back might be a good plan. Web didn't want to get in Pheonix's way, so indicating to Mia to lead the way Web started to back away from the battle.


Shots fired, the twins retook their flanking positions behind the cover of the doorframe while Gunn moved forward. The hulking Gunzosha practically dwarfed the crouching lieutenant.


Mouse closed her eyes and focused on the room. There was so much Essence inside... it was almost overwhelming. So much wrongness too. Taking a deep breath, Mouse filtered everything but that which shouldn't belong.


By this time, Web had nearly reached the exit. Her shadows started to slow down. Not wanting to completely abandon the defence, she tried to send more power into them. Her own Essence flows felt sluggish... and an unpleasant pressure started to build up in her forehead. No...not yet.....


Mouse's eyes flew open as she went through the last motions of a thaumaturgical ritual designed to correct and aid local geomantic lines. Hopefully that would strengthen Creation against the otherworldly beings currently locked in combat.


Web's shadows strained to keep in motion, then collapsed back into their normal, stationary state. Whispers added to the headache and Web quickly left the room. Away from those she could hurt.


She sank against the wall, curling up into herself, muttering a sort of mantra to herself over and over.

"You're not my master. You do not control me."


All that she could hear in reply was a horrid laughter....


[Resonance release imminent.... evil me is prolonging it tongue.gif]

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Shaya's head briefly whipped up when the door opened. She relaxed again when she saw it was Pheonix bringing backup, and shouted: "Don't kill Lenco!" She was relatively certain that the Fireblood had about as much occult expertise as she (which was to say: very, very little).


The moment of distraction lasted less than the blink of an eye and normally, Shaya's preternatural defenses should have covered for it. But Lenco was an expert at hiding his movements and striking in the unguarded heartbeat of his opponent. This was the opening he had been waiting for. Bringing his black blade down, he attacked the Dawn's right shoulder, severing muscle and tendon. Not gifted with ambidexterity, Shaya dropped the sword from her now-useless hand and sucker punched Lenco with the left instead, her fist glowing golden even in the daylight. The Akuma's head snapped back and he staggered, even as Shaya could feel a sickening numbness spread from her shoulder through the rest of her body....




The Blood Apes spread through the room, howling as they ripped and tore. They even welcomed the Fire Terrestrial and her fighters, seeing them as new cattle for the slaughter. It never occurred to the Demons that they might lose. They fought with reckless abandon, never stopping to aid each other. Some of them, having downed an opponent, neglected the battle all together as they danced in their victim's blood. It was a ghastly sight, but the Exalted Commanders were determined to fight back and prevail...




Mia heard a deep, dissonant laughter rise on the air. The sound made her skin crawl and she knew instinctively that it didn't belong. Nothing in Creation made sounds like that. Trying to block the sound out, she looked around the room and saw Web. The Abyssal was pale(r than usual) and swayed lightly while she walked, as if she were drunk. Thinking that the Moonshadow might be in trouble, Mia slipped out a different door, then doubled back to where the Abyssal should be.


((I'm deliberately sending Mia through a different door so Takhesis has time for Web to leave / explode / etc if she prefers.))

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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