Modern Exalted: Bring back the Light

Adventure log 16
By Nataxo

Sesus set about creating a manse at the volcano while the rest of us returned to the mainland to investigate the Grass Spiders further. I directed the agency’s resources to find what they could. VDS interrogated Krishna again, to see what else he knew.

The Grass Spiders, apparently, are organized into discrete cells, so one group cannot compromise the rest of the organization. They dead-drop messages by carving them into mortals’ fates. These messages are coded, but Krishna gave us the key to the cipher.

The Grass Spiders are basically a rogue element of the old Directorate, making money through black market arms and intelligence.They maintain contacts with current UES and other intelligence services, and their main focus is gathering information about the primordial war, with the idea they’d use their artifacts to either make lots of money or conquer the world. They’re fully-trained spies and elite intelligence operatives who went rogue for more money. They have unofficial bases throughout the East, but distinguishing Grass Spiders, TUSC, and other intelligence is nigh-impossible.

Worryingly, the Spiders have spies everywhere. We were concerned with the possibility there may be spies in our own organizations. Gil decided genocide was the answer. He tried to trick some of my employees to an “island getaway”, but I stopped that. He went off to train, and VDS conducted some interviews to determine the loyalty of my employees.

Once Sesus returned from his work, he summoned a demon to talk our way into the Lotus Dome in Heaven, to gain access to the Rolls of Glorious Divinity, so we could determine which mortals were used to pass messages by the Spiders. Of course, the Rolls had not been updated in 300 years. We found the god in charge unconscious and drunk. We woke him up, and he was mortified about how much undone work he had. We bribed him to find the information we needed, and left, though VDS stayed behind to hide and watch him.

Two days later, he found it, hid it in a jade scroll case, and started leaving. VDS, hiding outside of Fate, stole the scroll case, planted a bug on the god, and followed him to the post office. The god wrote a letter and was about to send it out for delivery when VDS stepped back into Fate to stop him. The letter was addressed to Kish’ta of the Black Forest. VDS intimidated the god, who was looking for a bribe to keep the info secret. During the conversation, VDS planted a tracer in the letter.

Afterwards, we consulted the pattern spiders. Kish’ta is a Sidereal Chosen of Secrets of unknown location, believed to be rogue. We went to the Forbidding Manse of Ivy (run by Chejop Kejak) to find more about her. VDS, as another Chosen of Secrets, was the only one allowed to enter. He talked to Chejop Kejak and was able to get Kish’ta’s training records and physical description.

The tracer showed up in Nechara, so we went there, to a lumber warehouse belonging to the Eastern Logging Company at the edge of a river. VDS scouted as we secured the area. He went in, and found what appeared to be an automaton typing nonsense at a computer. We purposefully triggered the obvious trap to make the Grass Spiders think we had died in the resulting giant explosion.

View
Adventure log 15
By Nataxo

After we returned from the wild, appropriately shielded against fire, VDS went back down to the island to do more scouting with a red jade grappling hook Sesus crafted. While sneaking through the cave system under the volcano, he found a room with a purple crystal spire growing through it, with a group of mutants living there. Some were wielding spears of pink crystal and ruby, and others were cooking meat over pools of magma.

We met back up and VDS planted stun charges throughout the room, though Sesus and I “voted down his plan to mine the nursery”. After the grenades went off, we rushed into the room, easily knocking out the remaining guards, and putting them all on a raised platform so they wouldn’t drown in the magma.

We stormed into the boss’s room, and after a brief fight, we knocked him out. An old mutant, the boss’s father, started shouting that he would not surrender, but we were able to quickly negotiate a peace and heal his son once we realized this was the wrong tribe.

We then attacked the correct tribe, which had been armed with modern weapons. We gathered that over the past year, three groups had visited the island, the first arriving ten months ago. The second group, led by Leaping Silhouette, arrived four months ago. They fought the first group and won, but were badly hurt in the process. A month later, a third group arrived on the island and ambushed Leaping Silhouette’s group.

This third group consisted of five people: “one who glowed like the sun (Solar), one shone like the moon (Lunar), one that shone with harsh red light (Sidereal), one that glowed black as midnight (Abyssal), and one that shone with the deep blue of the pre-dawn sky (Sidereal, Nocturnal, Alchemical, or Dragonblooded?)”. They handed Leaping Silhouette over to Kesserk to sacrifice, killed Nesso, and left with the captured Sidereal trainees.

View
Adventure log 14
By Nataxo

We took some time off for personal goals, so I went to Heaven to meditate for a few months. During that time, Sesus and Gil secured a manse site, fighting some giant ants to do so. VDS finished his interrogation of the captured Sidereal and learned that he was working with a mercenary group called the Grass Spiders.

At the conclusion of my meditation, someone from the Bureaucracy told me that Leaping Silhouette’s Exaltation had been recovered. I demanded to know why I hadn’t been informed of his absence, but the Bureaucrat couldn’t really give an answer. I was able, at least, to calm down and find out that the Exaltations for the trainees were not recovered.

I met back up with my allies and we began investigating what happened. Consulting with my pattern spider, we learned that Leaping Silhouette had been ritually sacrificed on the Isle of Blue Fire, an island somewhere in Creation with a volcano that spews blue fire. Sesus speculated that the blue fire could be indicative of an uncapped domain. After further investigation and pattern spider usage we learned that the isle is in the southwest of Creation, and the nearest civilization is An-Teng. The sacrifice was performed by Kesserk of the Blue Fire Tribe, a heavily mutated human.

We learned of a legend that speaks of this tribe & island, and we narrowed down seven possible locations where it could be. We boarded the corvette and flew off to the first of these islands, and found the Isle on the first try. After flying around the island to look around, VDS went down to scout further.

While searching the tunnels that run through the volcano, VDS found one of the tribesman. It was like a bright blue centaur/cobra hybrid, and it was mining a glowing pinkinsh crystal. Progressing any further through the volcano would require protection against fire, so we went to the Wyld to gather ingredients for protective artifacts.

View
Adventure log 13
By Nataxo

The four of us engaged the enemy army. Or rather, Gil and Sesus engaged the enemy army, while Shadow and I flew the corvette into the camp. Sesus shouted orders to Gil, who inevitably became distracted swatting at a cybernetically-enhanced human. After getting cut up a bit, Gil uppercutted him into the air, and the fall knocked him out.

Meanwhile, Shadow and I snuck into the enemy camp and attacked Krishna Wapasha, Geir’s traitor Sidereal. After a short, but difficult battle, we were able to knock him out. Barely conscious ourselves, we escaped back to the corvette with the captured Sidereal.

Sesus and Gil then chased after the enemy general, a Solar. They weren’t able to catch him before he reached the convoy leaving the camp, and he emerged in an Oricalchum warstrider. After a short battle, the warstrider was scrapped, but the Solar survived, and nearly incapacitated Gil, but he was hit with a lucky blow and completely squished.

Once the fighting finished, Geir finally arrived. Wooo. He allowed us to leave with Krishna to perform the interrogation ourselves. Some investigation using pattern spiders revealed that the artifacts shipped from the dig site eventually went to Nechara, part of the Republic of Chaya, after going through most of the east.

View
Adventure log 10
By Nataxo

After a few strafing runs with explosives, the army of Lintha ghosts was routed and we took the airship back to Creation. Upon returning to Crane Bay, we interrogated the captured Abyssal, Father of the Endless Light. He revealed that he had learned of a place in the Underworld where many ghosts were being created. This place, of course, was the Underworld analogue of Seiyo. He traveled there and set up a ghost as a puppet leader, while he worked behind the scenes. While there, he discovered that Underworld Seiyo was also the location of a nexus of necromantic magic. So, he began constructing a giant, necromantic drill to cause an apocalypse in Seiyo in order to create a Shadowland and more ghosts.

After the interrogation, we took care of some business in Creation and then flew back to the Underworld. We airdropped into the throne room and after a brief battle, with the ghost puppet leader and his Necrotech-enhanced guards, the leader was knocked out and the guards killed. We brought the defeated leader out onto his balcony, I gave a speech denouncing him and revealing his duplicity, and at the climax, Sesus ripped off the ghost’s mask, revealing a Necrotech skeleton. He then cast the false leader from the balcony down to the crowd of angry citizens, followed by the soul crystal containing Father of the Endless Light.

With the false leader gone, Sesus was established as the rightful leader of his citizens’ ghosts, and he appointed Silk & Steel Sage as his regent.

View
Adventure log 9
By Nataxo

After a bit more discussion, we decided that all of us except Gil would sneak into the tower to capture the scientist. We were discovered by four Lintha guards, but Sesus was able to slow them and we quickly dispatched them.

Once we got to the laboratory, I listened to the Unspoken Word to determine where the scientist was, and we snuck up there in between guard patrols. Vengeful Dreaming Shadow used his powers of trickery to impersonate a guard and convince the scientist to open the door. Once the door was opened, the scientist realized what had happened, leaped the entire length of his lab, and began casting a spell. Turns out, not only is this guy an Abyssal, he’s an Essence 5 Abyssal.

While this was happening, Gil was providing a distraction. I’m not sure exactly what he did, but he mentioned something about a golf cart, and the tower shook with an earth-shattering kaboom.

During the ensuing combat, we fought a number a plague zombies, but we were able to wear down the Abyssal eventually. I did, however, almost get choked to unconsciousness. Near the end of the fight, the Abyssal broke through the wall of the tower, leapt out, and began sliding down the wall of the tower. Vengeful Dreaming Shadow leapt after him and was able to knock him out, though they both hit the ground immediately after. Vengeful Dreaming Shadow was fine, and the Abyssal somehow survived the fall.

Sesus, Silk, and I began mopping up the remaining plague zombies and preparing to leave. Gil and Vengeful Dreaming Shadow, on the other hand, we surrounded by about a hundred Lintha guards. The ghosts mobbed them, but Vengeful Dreaming Shadow was able to escape with the body of the Abyssal, and Gil fought his way to the commander of the ghosts, a Nephwrack Lintha (whatever that is), and engaged it in single combat.

View
Adventure log 8
By Nataxo

After a bit of downtime, it was time to fulfill our promise to Silk & Steel Sage, and help her claim part of the Underworld. The most straightforward way to enter the Underworld is apparently by crossing though a Shadowland. This is a place that exists in Creation during the day and in the Underworld at night. Sesus suggested that we should take over the Underworld analogue of Seiyo, his homeland. That meant the Shadowlands we could travel through were the Bayou of Endless Regret or the Field of Bloodied Bulls. Since the Bayou would put us between the manses of two Deathlords, Gil suggested that we should use the Field.

After flying though the Field of Bloodied Bulls in the plane Sesus enchanted, we did some scouting around and found an… interesting sight. A large pyramid, build of Underworld basalt, stood piercing the skull of a mile-long dragon skeleton. This was something that we had to investigate. So, the ship landed in a nearby field, and Vengeful Dreaming Shadow, Silk & Steel Sage, and I went to investigate. The pyramid was the center of a small city, where workers were digging up dragon parts and bringing them to the pyramid. Overseeing the workers and guarding the pyramid were green-skinned humanoids – possibly Lintha, the first humanoids.

We were able to sneak past them and follow the workers, and we came to a room where a giant bolt of black lightning was being absorbed by a spire above. We climbed up and searched some more. We came to a room where a human in a lab coat was working on consoles that looked like some combination of corpses, old early computers, and crystals. He demanded something from the guards in Ancient Sijan, so we didn’t understand it, but Vengeful Dreaming Shadow at least had the thought to record it.

We considered killing him, but we weren’t sure what that would do to the giant essence capacitor. So instead, we snuck back out, and Sesus crafted an essence battery, and Vengeful Dreaming Shadow went back in to swap it for the charged battery inside. We then began planning a campaign of manipulation and propaganda to try to take over the city without combat.

View
Adventure log 7
By Nataxo

We discussed some plans of how to deal with the powerful Exalts up ahead, while they continued discussing how to open the cage. Our planning ended when the armored man began concentrating, causing reality to flicker about him. This prompted us to rush in and attack.

During the fight, the armored man offered no offense, simply concentrating on whatever he was doing. The unarmored man revealed himself to be a Sidereal when he entered the Four Magical Materials Form. Despite our efforts, the two men were able to withstand our attacks long enough, and the armored man imploded upon himself, causing the giant adamant crystal to begin cracking open. The Sidereal escaped into Fate, and the rest of us (minus Gil, of course) fled the room before the crystal blew. After it detonated, we went back in, but there was nothing left except Gil and broken shards of adamant.

With no sign of the two Exalts, we went off to the Unconquered Sun room and explore the other rooms. The Twilight Caste room was a workshop that had been cleaved in two by tectonic activity. Of what remained, there was a bookcase containing ancient books about how to magically defy gravity. Sesus excitedly set up a makeshift restoration lab as the rest of us continued exploring.

The Night Caste room was just the barracks. The Eclipse Caste room opened into a massive chamber containing a partially-buried, upturned, orichalcum battleship. Geir and Silk & Steel Sage examined it, and determined that pretty much every system on the ship was broken, and there didn’t seem to be any apparent way to get it out.

Continuing on, the Dawn Caste room was, finally, the armory. It was mostly empty, but we were able to find about twenty essence cannons in various states of operation. There was also a massive golden mech, missing its armor and right arm. The Zenith Caste room contained altars to the 8 Incarna. After completing our search, we returned to the Twilight Caste room to discuss how to divvy up the loot.

View
Adventure log 6
By Nataxo

Sesus introduced himself to the Dragon-Blooded and spun a tale about looking to buy the mine and the land around it. They were initially suspicious, but they released him and the rest of us (minus Gil) entered the camp.

Not long after, a Hastalani diplomat arrived in a jet piloted by Captain Geir Falkman. I didn’t recognize the name, but apparently he’s an Infernal, and he outed Sesus as one. Surprisingly, things did not go south from there. Sesus negotiated with the diplomat, Shadow snuck around to assess the camp, and I established a rapport with the soldiers. While tailing Geir, Shadow saw a man with starmetal daiklaves suddenly appear, and Geir demanded a status report. The new guy said the Dragon-Blooded had been unable to breach the vault, but they would given time. However, someone had previously entered the mine, and had not returned. After this guy disappeared, Shadow left and shared this with us.

We went to the mine, and the Dragon-Blooded explained it was off limits until the supports could be improved, because of a previous collapse. The air aspect explained that the mine had produced some jade tainted with something. Sesus recognized it as an allow of jade and adamant; the air aspect excitedly told us that it may be a sixth magical material, so they don’t seem to already know about adamant.

Sesus and Geir apparently worked out some sort of deal, and Geir went outside the camp to “negotiate” with Gil. They also came to a deal, and Geir used shadow teleportation power to get all of us into the mine after speaking with the Dragon-Blooded. At the end of the mine tunnel was a large door braced with an adamant bar. We used the essence EMP to disable the door’s wards, and Gil and Sesus broke through the bar.

We entered to find a vault containing brass statues, each one depicting a Solar wielding artifacts. One statue was smashed, and as we continued on, another statue stepped forward and demanded identification. Sesus figured out that a caste mark was once used as identification, so we displayed those. My Sidereal caste mark was accepted, but the Abyssal and Infernal marks were not, so we had to fight past the brass men.

Past the hall of statues was a septagonal room containing a gold statue of a four-armed man bearing a horn, a spear, an olive branch, and a shield – the Unconquered Sun. Five hallways each bearing a Solar caste mark led away, and a sixth hallway was covered in an illusion. Past the door at the end of the hallway were two men speaking in Old Realm – one with robes and a staff, the other older and in heavy armor. Shadow and Sesus snuck forward, and Sesus discovered that these men were both Essence 5. The men were discussing how to break something – presumably, the cage holding the giant adamant crystal behind them.

View
Adventure log 5
By Nataxo

We abandoned the plan to deal with the Princess, and Sesus just summoned an Aalu to make the contract magically-binding. With that decided, we traveled up to the Hastalani League in Gil’s private jet, along with Silk & Steel Sage. Once we got near Windcreche, a blizzard hot, but the pilot was able to land the plane at the Windcreche airport, from which we rented a van and drove to Windcreche proper.

We asked around town, and we found that fate glitches had started coming from the nearby mining town of Crystal about a month ago. The Hastalani military came in to declare martial law and secure the mining town. Of course, that mining town is where Silk & Steel Sage’s dig site is.

Further investigation found that the Hastalani military has been on alert after two military groups had tried to gain access to the site. One of those groups was Artemis Global Securities, the private military contractor hired by Silk & Steel Sage. We also found that the site was secured by an infantry company of 180 men and a combat engineering squadron of 240 men, under the command of five Dragon-Blooded, each of which is approximately 3 Essence.

We hired a local to drive us out to Crystal. After about a day and a half, things started getting odd. The road was zigzagging in illogical ways, trees were growing in odd angles – basically everything was bent. Sesus explained that those are signs of the site of an uncapped essence well. Continuing onward, Silk & Steel Sage spotted an aerial drone carrying some sort of payload. This freaked out the driver, so we clambered out of the van before he fled back to Windcreche. Silk & Steel Sage disappeared, and Sesus and Gil ran toward the dig site with their Infernal super-speed. Before they left, I handed Gil a camera to wear over his ear, as I wanted to see what stupid stuff he got himself into. Vengeful Dreaming Shadow and I snuck through the forest.

Down the road, Sesus spotted a trio of APCs, and so he hid from them. Gil, of course, simply charged them as they demanded that he halt, as “this is a restricted area”. I wasn’t actually there, but the footage was somewhat spectacular. Gil smashed down on one of the APCs, destroyed the gun turrets, and captured the soldiers inside. The other APCs fled back to the dig site, though.

We met up (including Silk & Steel Sage) and began planning and interrogating the soldiers. Vengeful Dreaming Shadow forged some documents, and Sesus went in with a demon translator. The Dragon-Blooded questioned him and did not believe his story, so combat broke out.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.