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Exalted: Age of Sorrows (IC)

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Imperialisium
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Exalted: Age of Sorrows (IC)

Postby Imperialisium » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:32 pm

OOC

The world under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity.

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EXALTED
Age of Sorrows


For over seven hundred years The Realm has been ruled by the Scarlet Empress. Sitting upon the magnificent Scarlet Throne ringed by sculptures of the Five Elemental Dragons. For Seven and Half Centuries she has reigned with a just yet uncompromising hand. Benefactor to many, tyrant to others, Imperial Mother to even fewer. The Dragon-Blooded of The Realm claimed the world as their own, their empire the successor to the Old Shogunate of the First Age, and have conquered vast swathes of land throughout the world. Holding many kingdoms and cities as vassals, satrapies to the Scarlet Empire, with very few that could challenge them. Below them the human classes thrived and prospered as vast wealth flowed into the Blessed Isle. Cities rebuilt from the chaos of the First Age's closing. Trade expanded and was protected by the sheer might of the Imperial military. Legions led by the Dragon-Blooded marched across the land. While in the Sea and up in the clouds of the Imperial Navy patrolled day and night. Yet, there were those who resisted. Various empires, kingdoms, and city-states resisted the Scarlet Empire and formed their own polities. Yet, none could assail the Empire's heart while the Empress ruled in the Imperial Manse.

At least until now...

Image

The Imperial City
Realm Year 770


As the last day of Calibration came a close. The end of the year, and 769 slipped permanently into the annals of history, a lone woman sat in a large well furnished room. The room was lit by several candles and the illuminating radiance of a small glass device encasing a bright golden ethereal flame. It show unnaturally bright to give more than enough light for the young woman as she sat cross legged on the lush, warm, carpet. A desk and cushioned chair was off to the side but she had eschewed that. On her crossed legs was a slim wooden board. On top of it sat a long scroll of white paper and in her left hand a smooth painted brush. She dabbed it in an ink pot and wrote in a flowing, perfectly spaced, accented script. Her characters and letters flowing like a gentle stream from brush stroke to paper. As she wrote line after line along the page. Detailing as one would find should they peer over her shoulder, chronological dates, a diary.

My days in the training yards, my supreme youth, spend drilling with the male counterparts of my House. I learned the sword, spear, bow, javelin, axe, and mace. I learned to ride and to swim in full gear. To sprint and march which the boys always made fun of me for constantly checking my boot straps. The way we would march on long winding trails for hours in the shadow of the Imperial Mountains rearing up into snow capped peaks. The cherry blossoms flowing like lilac rain down from their boughs to fill the valleys in their pink radiance.

She paused and continued writing several more lines. More of a sordid affair these lines were, in start contrast to the ones above, and not nearly so fond in tone. Detailing the intense and competitive physical exercises demanded of everyone in the House. How her father even would walk the training yards with the younger Dynasts of his House conducting their exercises. If one was found wanting he would pause and with fierce swipes of his olive branch baton. Smack their backs, hands, and legs to the point of drawing blood. The brush danced along the page fiercely as she detailed a line of how she had once collapsed on her three hundredth push up at the age of ten. How her father tied her to a post in front of the boys, scolding her for weakness and the shame of it, ripping her plain tunic down to her waist and taking a whip. Lashed her thirty times. Then ten more for crying. Leaving her back bloody and torn for the healers to care for only after the sun went down.

The first time I was taken before the Scarlet Throne and into the presence of the Empress. Her radiance and stern beauty. Her scarlet hair and vermillion lips. The throngs of other Dragon-Blooded, wealthy patricians, bureaucratic officials of high standing, and generals in their ornate armor. Of how her family toured the Imperial City and the vast Gardens. How I missed those days of bless. Especially, when I met him. The brush stopped. She frowned and continued on a new page. Gently placing the old page down to dry completely next to her.

The Heptagram, one of the four Imperial Academies, and there I learned the art of sorcery. Before my time at The Bells... She trailed off as she quickly summarized the long hours of reading arcane texts, chores ranging from emptying chamber pots to shelving books and scrolls, to learning the casting of spells and the summoning of spirits. Dangerous as it was. Remarking grimly the time a summoning went awry in a class room and one of the students got possessed. Seeing their bones crack and break to re-arrange themselves by the design of the spirit raging at being accidentally placed in a corporeal fleshy prison. Of being ushered out of the room while the staff dispelled the spirit and the student's broken form was carted away under a blanket. Then there was The Bells which made the competitive, brutal, training of her House seem like child's play in comparison. Yes, one learned the finer arts of generalship, logistics, and stratagems. But the physical demands were high. Running marathons, carrying heavy weights over many miles, wrestling for hours, and training with sharpened blades.

All of which made the woman she was today. She placed the brush down and stood up abruptly. Gently placing the wooden board and paper on the floor as she delicately walked barefooted to the balcony. Her flowing red robe about her. Gold threads along the trim as she leaned on the smooth lacquered railing. Her room was on the eight floor. She looked down at the wide courtyard of her family's residence in the Imperial City. Her chamber lights were the only one's still on save for those utilized by the House's guards. Their vigilance did not cease and knew she had stepped out of her room despite not making any overt sign of recognizing it. The family compound was walled and had a hectare of gardens with a solarium and fountain spewing crystal clear water. Eight stories of rooms, chambers, galleries, private and also a large central dining hall, complete with an armory while stable boys watched the mounts kept just within the gates. Beyond she could see the spires, pagodas, towers, and sea of dull lights that was the Imperial City. For it never truly slept.

A city of over two million souls. One could not accurately state how many people actually resided in or around the Imperial City. Only that the figure had exceeded two million just after the turn of the century. The canals and waterways were, however, clear since it was night. While off in the harbors dozens of trade ships, sloops, private yachts, and sleek deadly Imperial warships were at anchor. Off to the West the Imperial Manse was in complete shadow. No lights burned in its chambers. Not for the past seven years and the Legion of Silence made sure no one entered it's premises on pain of death. Not even the regent was allowed there in and had to hold court in the Imperial Government complexes adjacent.

She turned around and closed her balcony door on its track smoothly. She, however, did not return to her writing. No, she was finished remembering the past events of her life and climbed into the warm cozy bed set against a wall. Rolling onto her side to have smooth raven black hair fall about her fair flesh and sharp eyes. Covering her angular, beautiful, features. Her hand ran itself over the silk covering of the bed. It was empty besides her and she let out a sigh. Closing her eyes she fell asleep but it was not exactly peaceful. Rather, it drifted to a day she would have preferred to forget.

767 RY
Near Lookshy

The spray of sea foam splashed on the deck as she looked about her at the various armored figures. Behind her she could see the vast array of the Imperial Navy with at least a thousand ships organized in battle groups. Their flags and pennants in the breeze. The sight of two thousand ballistic missiles firing from their decks to arc over the smaller barges she stood in and strike the shore in brilliant displays of fiery fury. Canisters full of firedust and steel balls, glass pellets, and caltrops. Oil covered stones fired by catapults like fiery comets striking the prepared fortifications that dotted the beach as the armies of the Confederation of Rivers was arrayed behind them. She looked up to see the awe of Skyships exchanging fire extreme range with essence cannons and lightning ballistae. Off to the east a small fort was under siege from the air as a pair of Imperial Navy Skyships of battleship size dropped companies of Sky Marines in an aerial assault onto the fortifications. Her face turned to the beaches dead ahead as she gripped her spear. Behind her someone was vomiting as the sea rocked them back and forth.

She ducked as something heavy struck the water not far from their craft. The armies of the Confederation were firing on the transport craft with their own catapults and as the vessels closed with the sand, ballistae. Her father had insisted she not go with the first wave. But she had been adamant that she would do her House proud and lead soldiers of the empire into battle. A stone smashed just to the right of the craft spraying water over the side. Causing the soldiers on the portside to reflexively duck. Someone in the back shouted, "FIVE MINUTES!"

The seconds seemed to go on forever. Thud. The dull thump of the craft striking the beach head and the front ramp coming of fits hinges caused a yell as the soldiers rushed forward. She rushed forward on the slick decking. Twack twack twack the sounds of dozens of arrows and bolts impacting the bodies of the soldiers before her. Mowing down a dozen soldiers as the others clambered over the side to fall into the chest deep surf. She moved over to the side. Sailors helped the armored soldiers by shoving them over into the waters. She swung her leg over, "LOOK OUT!" A cry went as she looked up. Someone pushed her off into the water as a flaming stone crashed into the transport. Punching through it like it was paper. Showering a million wood splinters and other debris everywhere. She hit the water on her back. Her armor weighing her down as she hit the muddy bottom. She slowly rolled over in a panicked haze. Her arm flailing. Something grasped it and hoisted her out of the water. A soldier nodded to her and the company that was in the transport began to move as fast as possible towards the beaches. All around her the cries of battle were commencing as companies and battalions surged onto the beaches. Many made it to shore off their ships, many did not and had to wade through the surf, others were slaughtered in the water or their transports struck further out and had to desperately swim to live. Dozens of missiles flung back and forth every minute.

She reached the sand and fell to her knees in the mud. A boom to her left as an essence canon's shot struck the earth. Blasting several yards of beach into fulgurite and soldiers into messy red chunks. She looked about her in shock at the ghastly sight. Her vision panning to see soldiers running forward to get mowed down by arrows, repeating crossbows, ballistae skewing men like a pig at a fire. It was horrific. Watching a soldier lose legs to ball bearings and in shock try to pull them back towards his torso. See a man in a daze pick up his own arm and look at it like it was foreign to him. See shrapnel decapitate a shouting officer urging his men onwards. Footsteps ran to her, "Get off the beach!" The lieutenant grabbed her by the shoulder only to be struck down by a bolt to the neck. His arterial blood splashing onto her face and neck. She blinked as she touched her face. Rising to her feet she grabbed her spear and trudged along the mushy sand as the tide of Imperial troops surged onwards.

Officers shouting the glory of the Empress and Realm as they waved their swords and led their platoons onwards. It was only then as she looked to the left and right that she could see the grand scale of the operation. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers were streaming forward, landing, making ready to land, or enroute. Yet hundreds had already fallen. She picked up the pace as she caught the banner of her battalion flying high leading the charge up the steep slope to the enemy positions. A fierce bombardment from the Imperial Navy lashed across the enemy positions just over the lip of the slope. She started to ascend the slope. She didn't even see the shot. As a beam of essence slammed once more mere yards from her. Picking her up off her feat and hurling her several feet through the air to crash back into the dirt. She hit the ground with a sickening crunch. Gasping, the air in her lungs gone, she craned her neck around and cleared her eyes of sand with her bloody gauntlets. The forward Imperial sections were making contact with the enemy in brutal close quarters combat.

Her father's words echoed through her head. Remember your training and you will survive. She came to a crouch and gritted her teeth. Grasping her spear once more she thundered forward. Picking up a fallen standard she held it high. The Imperial soldiers shouting cheers and forming up alongside her as they redoubled her efforts to ascend the slope amid the torrent of missiles raining down on them. Rolling over the lip of the slope they came face to face with the enemy. The soldiers of the Confederation were a mix of the disciplined forces of Lookshy which shared a martial Shogunate heritage with the Realm, and the various levies of the other confederate members. The Imperials struck the Confederate battle lines with a loud clap of steel and bodies. She thrusted and wove with her weapon. Training taking over as she shoved her spear through the neck of a man younger than she was in the colors of the city of Nexus. Her spear batted away by a Lookshyan soldier and she expertly spun, drawing her sword, and followed through with a deft swipe that opened up the man's torso from groin to gullet. Pink ropes of innards fell out onto the ground as he grasped them. She paid no attention to the soldier's dying screams for his mother. She carried on as the Imperials began to slowly chip away at the Confederate forces. Imperial reinforcements streaming in by the minute and making their way up to join the carnage.

A bolt of flame and she deftly spun her sword and channeled her own essence. Diffusing the flame and with a wide swipe of her palm let out a torrent of flames that engulfed a squad of enemy soldiers. The battle went on for another four hours back and forth...

It was a great victory, so the Imperial Government said, and she felt it weeks later parading through the Imperial City. Her battalion in a neat column with countless others interspersed by Immaculate Monks shouting the glories of the Dragon-Blooded and Scarlet Empire. The Lord and Ladies of the Great Houses ahead of their own private armies and legions. The Imperial Navy parading around the harbor and waterways while the Skyship crews stood at salute on the railing of their ships as they flew extremely low, just above the rooftops, along the main avenues of the Imperial City. Of seeing the mighty Warstriders that had taken part later in the battle marching in lock step with the Imperial soldiers.

Yet, the dream always ended the same. Of her standing after the parade reading a scroll that a man she had meant some years before having been killed in action during the battle else ware. Of her tears and that was why he had not come to her after the horrors of that day or the ones following. Of ending with her standing on that beach seeing the faces and strewn corpses of countless warriors that would never come home. Sons, fathers, brothers, and husbands.

The Morning of the 1st Day of the Year, 770 RY, Present
She woke up sweaty as she gasped for air. Heaving and sitting up abruptly as someone was next to her. It was one of her handmaidens, Geira, the blonde haired woman was younger than her by only a year. "My Lady you kept shouting throughout the night. Was it the dream again?"

"Yes. I-I'm fine." replied Zara Azeirya Vai quickly.

"I'll get you your breakfest and morning tea." replied Geira as she left the room. Leaving her to her thoughts for a moment. She would learn the status of House Vai members today. After all it was merely six months after the horrific murders of her father and mother in the Imperial Gardens. She had put the call out for all House Vai members that could to return to the Imperial City. Storm clouds were brewing and only a fool in the Imperial Court could not see it.
Last edited by Imperialisium on Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Parcia » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:12 pm

The Morning of the 1st Day of the Year, 770 RY
The Imperial City.


The city was huge. He always knew it was large, 2 million people lived in it, but a decade and a half away meant that the true scope of the city was...fucking massive. He had spent the night in the outer districts, near the docks were he finally landed after a month at sea and was just happy to be back on land. He had spent a good portion of the day stopping by and refilling his stocks of Jade bullets and caps, as well as fire salts. He had also had an artificer take a look at both his weapon and paid him to repair any damage he the old man could see. After being assured that they were in top shape after his work, he saddled up Gypsy, tied off Donkey to her ass, and made for the Vai family palace.

It tugged at his heart, being back at his old home, but the letter had stated he was welcome home for the first time in 15 years, that his dishonor was, by order of the current head, washed clean of his hands. At the end of the day, he was more thankful no one noticed him. He saw old friends, a few old loves, old shop owners and the like that he often would have visited, either in disguise to hide from his older siblings, or with a escort.

The tall man in strange desert garb on his tall desert horse, with a mule fallowing behind did draw a few stares. What drew more stares was the Fire lance on his back, and the fire wand on his hip, drawing ire and stares from various people who were either curious or...concerned that a strange man would have a weapons like them. As he drew nearer to the Vai house hold he began to draw attention before he was stopped by a armed guards. "Dismount stranger, and present your business, what brings you here." With a bored sigh, the man unhooked his boot clad feet from the saddle and stepped to the ground, his spurs spinning ever so slightly.

"Yea, give me just a moment, I have my papers here...somewhere." Then a glint caught his eye, and he noticed the small, gold inlaid silver band on his left middle finger caught the sun. Cursing under his breath, his hand slowly sunk to his wand, expecting a fight. Instead he received a gasp and a suddenly more friendly tone of voice. "Forgive me, my sir, I was not told a Scion of house Vai was to arrive." This drew a slow turn and a puzzled stair from the man before he relaxed. Producing the letter his younger sibling had written to him some 6 months prior, the man nodded. "It is more my fault for not announcing my self, please, all I ask is for an escort to the family home."

They nodded, not even bothering to read the letter and set off with haste. He chose to not remount his horse rather to lead it along and walk among the guards on the cobbled ground. Some walking later they approached the large wooden gates of the family palace were he once again presented the letter. To his surprise, he wasn't set upon by scores of soldiers, rather by a set of royal attendants and aids. The head Butler to the family approached him and, after giving him the slightest hint of distaste for his garb, he spoke. "I recognize the signet ring on your finger my lord, yet not you you self, may I ask for you identity."


Turning, he faced the large framed painting of his late adoptive Aunt and Uncle, the people who were more parent's to him then his own. Taking off his hat in respect, he spoke.

"Xao-Long Yang."

The black Sheep had finally returned.
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Postby Acerbez » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:28 am

The Imperial City, Jade Kisser's Row.
770 RY


The first day of the 770th royal year had brought a bustling buzz to the streets and inhabitants that resided in the imperial city. The chaos seemed to have an order to it, not one that any individual could explain simply but in the grand scheme of it all- it was going how it should.

Just ahead of the hooded and veiled woman, a cart's wheel dipped into a pot like hole that created itself in the middle of the roadway. Filled with muddied water, the wheel saw that more than half of the water's escape reach almost far enough to sully a group of pedestrian. Falling just short of this, the deep green eye's of her observed the pruning expressions of the group as they glared down the cart's driver. Ready to have a strong word if they would have been hit, they continued on their way exclaiming to one another what they would have said, what they would have did... If...

Their ramblings were drowned out by the muffled words of the scores of other conversations as shop owners and patrons that rose up just like the new years sun. Coming out early to start their days with whatever it was they do. Rouzen of house Terpischora, descendant of V'neef, detached and disconnected with these common folk. She felt this immense gap of disparity from behind the black veil that covered her. As her emerald eye's pierced and shifted about the street- she thought of the indifference she felt about this disparity. Regardless of the chatter, the noise... Rouzen was a world away not only by exalted blood but in her mind, in darkened solace.

It was silent in her thoughts. She blocked the outside and barricaded herself within. It was always an interesting feeling visiting the imperial city. The life energy of so... many... people... she pondered quietly in her conscience about how many of these people- no not just these people but also other exalted who failed to really have a grasp on the tangability of life's essence. The positive vibrancy of it... The stagnant frequency of those without it... And of course the idea of reversing the positive frequency of it (and also the capacity of shifting a stagnant tone) into the negative spectrum. Reanimation she called it. Others call it necromancy but the negative connotations of this are too wide for her liking.

Her slow pace through Jade Kisser's Row halted abruptly as something crashed through her fortress of solitude. Dwarfing the background noise of the crowd and erasing its subtle presence. A collection of unrefined musical notes without rhythm played and caught her attention. She stood in the middle of the walkway honing in on its direction. To her left, across the wider road within a winding alleyway of merchant stalls was a small girl no older than 14 clutching a very familiar instrument and its bow making a very poor attempt to produce something beautiful.

Rouzen could not help but be drawn to it. Immediately shifting her course, she strutted its way and removed her hood. Displaying her tied black silk like hair laced with golden rings and clip, she approached the child. Standing above them as they bent down counting petty coins tossed into a makeshift bowl. The girl, tattered and stained with smudges of dirt and poverty looked up and saw the tall slender woman, whose mouth was still scared by her veil, wihh a slung carrying case over her own shoulder. Her eyes emboldened with curiosity, intrigue, and surprise.

" That's very amazing work... " Rouzen leaned down near to the girl, bland brown eye's met eye to eye with the magnificent green of exalted hue. A dragon blood had never spoken to the girl before, it was unlike them to bother with the down trodden and poor- lest they were of the immaculate order. "May I try? " Rouzen requested as she grabbed the violin from beside the girl and reached her hand out to be handed the bow. Of course the small child obliged, nobody paying attention and continuing on their own. Steadying herself, Rouzen pulled down her veil and pursed her lips, thumming the strings of the instrument and pressing it to her chin...

https://youtu.be/ZDsjQvt2g6o


She began to play, eyes closed. Her posture perfect rocking only to the music's rhythm, the poor quality of the strings nullified and used to produce their utmost ability. On lookers began to gather and watch the instrumental séance. Feeling the gathering of energy focusing on hers, Rouzen kept her eye's closed and lips pursed so as to keep herself from singing along. She didn't wish to further a curse of enraptured- not now atleast. The light around her slightly changing no different than heat affecting the stillness of a distanced view, except hers was not like that. The commoners were familiar with the Auras of the exalted. They were just struck by the fact an exalted played so enamorously for them at this moment they didn't hear the slight moaning and crying from her carrying case. Rouzen twirled only slightly, her hair following the wind, and opened her eyes... As her focus adjusted, the people saw the gleaming of her emerald orbed eyes.

She didn't see them though... No... They were like ghosts to her.
Last edited by Acerbez on Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Imperialisium » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:10 pm

The Imperial City
Great House Vai Residence
First Day of 770 RY


The Black Sheep. A Provincial term originating on the Coral Archipelago to the far West of the Blessed Isle. It had come into some fashional verbiage in the last hundred and seventy-five years or so. The Chamberlain, Head Butler, whichever term you preferred, recognized the name instantly. Being a savant, and savants being universally pressed into Imperial service from a young age once identified, nodded and turned away. "Follow me. Lady Vai is just having breakfast and is receiving House members." House members. Not family members. Even though all members of Great House Vai were politically and legally considered *family* it was a loose term. After all Yang and Zara Vai were not related by blood in the most remote sense. Yang was adoptive. A Lost Egg. Zara was true Dynast born. Socially within the Great Houses the hierarchy that put him below her immediately. But yet, he was technically a member again after she personally crossed his name off the Scroll of Shame. He was Exalted and thus socially above the most wealthy Patrician.

The Residence, despite not being the main stronghold of House Vai, was still immense. Eight stories not counting the basement and cellar below that. It had all the facilities one would expect and more. Over a hundred rooms, several galleries, wrap around balconies, three courtyards, stables, armory, bowyer, even a forge where House armorers, swordsmiths, and blacksmiths maintained and forged weapons and equipment. A Great Hall and a few side dining halls also were present on top of the gardens. The Chamberlain led Yang through a wide hallway into a Great Hall whereby a circular table had been set decked with maps and papers. Several men stood around the table while only one sat in a cushioned chair. A young, striking gorgeous woman, with equally fierce features, looked at various points of the maps as the men surrounding her spoke. Far enough away that they of course could not be heard as the Chamberlain stopped just within the doors. Leaving the group around the table easily one hundred meters away and that was the middle of the hall.

Several of the men were armored but none armed. It was then that Yang would notice a pair of warriors in fully super heavy plate. No, not super heavy plate. Gunzosha armor. Energy halberds shimmered a malificent purple glow with their other armored forms at their hips. Walking on a balcony a pair of crossbow men looked about. More probably out of sight. Lots of security of late.

The woman raised a pair of chopsticks to her lips and pointed with an index finger at a location Yang couldn't see on the maps. The men around her gossiped back and forth with one seeming to get a little heated with an unarmored counterpart. The woman raised a hand to silence them. A sultry voice struck Yang's ears like a blast of flame.

"Uncle. How was your trip?"

The Chamberlain nodded for Yang to approach and the men around the table parted for him to come among them. Evidently officers and administrators of Great House Vai. She did not raise her eyes to look at Yang. Simply putting another piece of sushi in her mouth followed by some salted cucumber slice. Her raven black hair, in the natural lighting it seemed to even shift with purple undertones, was done up in a top knot. Military style. Held in place by a gold clasp worked into the serpent of House Vai. Wings folded however.
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Postby Parcia » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:07 pm

Imperialisium wrote:
"Uncle. How was your trip?"



The remark caught him off guard, though it didn't really register on his face. Instead he chalked it up to her sense of humor, and not really wanting to draw her ire, brushed it off. Giving her a warm smile, he replied. "I wouldn't call a 15 year walk among the sands a "trip" but none the less, it was...eventful, if nothing else." He tensed just a bit at the security and kept his hands clear of his weapons, this was likely one of the few places' in the realm he couldn't fight his way out of and wasn't looking to needing to.

Leaning down on the table, he stood opposite her and spoke. "You'l have to forgive me for interrupting the latest War games session, but I have been spending the better part of half a year trying to figure out why you did what you did, so please, if your willing, regale me of the reason why."

He could feel the ire of a few of the generals growing on him, but brushed it off all the same. He gave not nary a single damn as to what they were planning, and really just wanted to know why he had to spend 6 months travailing, on his own dime no less, just to walk back in to the only home he was exiled from...the only home he ever really knew.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Postby Acerbez » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:44 am

The winding alleyway became somewhat of its own spectacle as a rabble of people stopped in their tracks and shop keeps ushered themselves to the storefronts to take a gander at the unfolding solo act. The piercing gaze of this exalted, the spiratic shuffling of her steps, and how her shoulders weaved and shifted with her musical passion. Nobody took notice of the small beggar girl who looked as if she was staring into heaven itself. The gates of a paradise wide opened and beaming with light and warmth of a newly found love and desire to emulate such an art. After surveying the crowd slowly, Rouzen made a full round ensuring that she made eye contact with each and every person atleast once, briefly. It was cinematically required to enraptured the crowd, she made no effort to remember their faces and in truth she had no recollection at all because she was not looking to their exteriors but more so peering within and gauging an intangible connection with their life force essence.

She found herself fulfilling her 360 pivot, cocked the poorly kept violin downwards and brought herself back to leaning towards the little girl. The bow of the instrument and rhythm vibrating as Rouzen reached the crescendo, she gazed into the small girl before pausing her performance thematically.

Everyone's faces had brightened with delight and out stretched with smiles and grins of amazement. Rouzen knew this part of her performance very well and cherished it most times... But here and now she only wished to display to this wretchedly poor child how easily they could have their strings tugged and pulled. What it was like to be the maestro of one's own destiny.

Rouzen wished to show this poor little creature something... Perhaps something that would have never been shared or brought before her eye's attention even peripherally- due to her downtrodden circumstance or lack of knowledge among the enfeebled impoverished peoples.

"Power lies with those who sieze the instruments"

Rouzen's hand holding the instrument's bow shifted slowly, bringing the rhythmic melody back up again after the silent bridge and admittedly was unwilling to withhold herself from singing any longer. She leaned back upright but kept eye contact with this child while unfurling her tongue. It was like a somber look of assurance yet earnest only for a single person out of the audience. Flawless in it's pitch and beauty, a song of scorn and mourning fluttered out only to imbalance the crowd- to snatch the smiles from their faces.


Wail no more, lonely one... Child of exiles, wail no more.
The sorrows are the world’s, though art no more alone.
How they shimmer... How they glimmer... You're poor young eye's.
A melancholy Isle... Enchanted now and dreaming lies.
And there by The Scarlet's flowing...
In the moonlight, spectre thin- Nyc'tasha sits.
Around the foot of her ancient crosses,
The grave-grass shakes and the nettle swings.
In haunted glens... the meadow-sweet...


As if a sudden black cloud overshadowed the audience, dismay and uncertainty began to overwhelm their senses. Taken aback by the sudden switch in performance, similar to how the coquetta seduces her victim. The men and women could not help themselves but feel predisposed to the anguishing serenade, they begin to drop coin and petty Jade into the begging child's cracked ceramic bowl. It became a jarring performance of an uncomfortable suspense that one wishes to cover their eye's but cannot help but peek still at what unravels.

Rouzen began to simmer with flakes of evaporating essence that ate at the ambient light around her self as she sung but they began to become concentrated, beginning to rise as she violently strung the bow across the violin in a plethora of more shrill and calculated strikes at hastened almost unnatural speed. Strings of the bow began to break and hang off as the performance continued but everyone remained stuck to the witches poise and voice.


The sad spearmint by holy wells, And gazes athwart the reek of night.
Upon things long past, Upon things to come...
Chords of mystery sound from the wild harp at her side,
Strung from the hearts of poets-ZZzzTtTtsSsk


Rouzen's eyes widened with malicious scrutiny as the last standing strings snapped against the chords and brought the bow crashing across the instruments scroll producing such a grotesque unbelonging sound unto the musical piece. Clinching her jaw, her muscles flexing with constriction but only twice before her hands dropped to her side holding the broken remains. The vestiges of her anima quickly receding into her body without even properly forming, a climax-less ensemble, she stood still as the spell ended abruptly.

Women clasping their mates shoulder hiding their faces came back to the lush morning in a daze. The men untwisted their faces from pursed half frowns and relaxed their brows as the effect of grief and gloom faded indefinitely. An unexpected turn of events, but one that should be expected with such a poor quality instrument. Rouzen, still before the child looked on her with such a frozen expression of unthawed disappointment- one in which it made her unsure if the disappointment was meant for her or the instrument. The eye's of the exalted slightly winced as she threw the broken bow aside and dropped the the violin into the child's hands, carelessly, and so the small girl couldn't help but let it fall aside and knock her ceramic bowl and spill her newly found earnings.

Already strutting away, "You can buy yourself a new one..." Rouzen remarked without apprehension, The dour and grave chill she imposed on the alleyway also following her away.
Last edited by Acerbez on Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Imperialisium » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:59 pm

Parcia wrote:
Imperialisium wrote:
"Uncle. How was your trip?"



The remark caught him off guard, though it didn't really register on his face. Instead he chalked it up to her sense of humor, and not really wanting to draw her ire, brushed it off. Giving her a warm smile, he replied. "I wouldn't call a 15 year walk among the sands a "trip" but none the less, it was...eventful, if nothing else." He tensed just a bit at the security and kept his hands clear of his weapons, this was likely one of the few places' in the realm he couldn't fight his way out of and wasn't looking to needing to.

Leaning down on the table, he stood opposite her and spoke. "You'l have to forgive me for interrupting the latest War games session, but I have been spending the better part of half a year trying to figure out why you did what you did, so please, if your willing, regale me of the reason why."

He could feel the ire of a few of the generals growing on him, but brushed it off all the same. He gave not nary a single damn as to what they were planning, and really just wanted to know why he had to spend 6 months travailing, on his own dime no less, just to walk back in to the only home he was exiled from...the only home he ever really knew.


Great House Vai Residence, Grand Hall

"Quite the trip indeed." Zara pulled out some vellum copies of warrant posters. No remark on his war game comment though the officers around the table seemed annoyed by his presence. Like he was some lowborn shoved among them. One was Lookshyan for 30 Scrip about some type of alchemical theft. Another was Paragonese for 100 Jade on something about the theft of a couple horses. There was a few more interspersed between them. Evidently, House Vai had kept tabs on him to some extent in the last 15 years. "My Father and Mother are dead. Assassins stabbed them to death just a few weeks ago in the Imperial Gardens. House Vai needs all its eggs back in the nest, now more than ever, besides...you survived this far. I doubt you'd want to have that weathered face of yours staring down from the city gates on a pike." She rolled her head to the side with those last words. Not quite playful. Not quite threatening.

"The Deliberative is gathering today in a few hours and many Dragon-Blooded will be present witnessing their House leaders deliberate on what to do in regards to Regent Fokuf's most recent blunder. Barisan." She flicked her eyes to a Northern man with a heavy brow and golden blond hair pulled back in a long braid. His bushy beard went down to his stomach and was tucked in his belt straps. He wore a golden mail coat of plate and a cape bearing the colors and sigil of House Vai. A shortsword in a pearly blue case at his side. Barisan Jeroime of Merzeillon. A town in the Northern satrapies along the coast. His fair skin was somehow paler than everyone else present despite counting at least two other Northerners around the table.

Barisan looked at Yang and spoke in a heavy, throaty, harsh accent, "The Bull of the North has destroyed much of House Tepet's army and decimated a few Legions. He's since bided his time fighting among the various far northern Icewalker tribes but now...agents report that a host is marching South, possibly bypass the Haslanti League, and make for the Realms Satrapies closest to Gethamane."

"The Bull of the North is an anathema, Yang. You will accompany me to the deliberative. Your travels abroad may be of some use during the discussions." Zara waved them all away and the small gathering of officers and bureaucrats dissolved as they went in various directions. She snapped her fingers and a pair of servants brought up tea, and a tray of various dishes like white rice, roasted pork and chicken, sushi, and a fresh salad. A hot soup was also laid out for him along with a philter of purified water. As for Anathema, that was the name given by the Immaculate Order and the Realm to the Celestial Exalted. The Solars and Lunars. Denouncing them as demons and for centuries imposing the Wyld Hunt to track down and kill any found. No matter how old or young. The hunt spared no celestial exalted. Even newborns. But in recent years with the missing Scarlet Empress, which wasn't entirely public knowledge, and resources diverted inwards the Wyld Hunt has mostly ceased. The Bull of the North is a keen example of this oversight.

Zara leaned back in her chair. "Normally I would offer something more hearty than tea but it is morning and I need you fed and sober." A chair was brought up for Yang to sit while another team of servants cleaned off the table and some waited along the sides with grooming scissors, brushes, and combs. "You will need to be washed up and groomed before coming to the Deliberative. Lest they thing my House as uncivilized." She turned her head to the side so that Yang could see her in profile. Her fierce expression suddenly shattered by an all too girly movement. Putting a strand of hair behind her ear. Her face was symmetrical, her nose straight, her mouth perfectly proportioned. If anything she looked like a living porcelain sculpture than anything else. Too perfect. Evidently the pervasive Dynastic eugenics not only sought to produce strong Exalted but also physically desirable ones too.

Her face was matched by her form. Above average height and athletic, lithe, but possessing all the traits desirable in a woman. She was looking at the water clock as it ticked another minute. She didn't look back at him as she spoke, "Tell me of your travels. I've read the reports from our spies but no doubt there is much they missed."
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Postby Parcia » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:02 pm

Great House Vai Residence, Grand Hall


He took the chair he was offered with a thankful nod and sat down. In truth he was rather hungry and the well crafted food set before him looked inciting. Setting his hat down next to him on the table, he took a moment to properly clean his hands before pouring him self some Tea. He would then reach in to his vest pocket and retrieve a small silver flask, pouring a good dab of the clear liquid inside in to the cup. "The Ice Walkers to the north brew this neat little drink with grain and potatoes, rather strong yet tasteless and comes with the neat little side effect of diluting and rendering dissolved poisons inert. I hope you understand I don't wish to insult your hospitality, yet given my experiences in the desert as well as the recent passing of our...your Parents, I wish to air on the side of caution."

Sipping the tea, he set about gathering the differing items and setting them on his plate, his years of formal dinner table training coming back to him. "Speaking of which...I'm sorry, Zara...about the lord and lady...I was so far out when it happened I didn't get the news until you sent me the letter." He paused, getting a proper grip on the chop sticks which presented a rather surprising challenge after years of using a fork or his hands. "I understand that they weren't related to me in any real way then by adoption, but I held them in high regard and considered them family." He mostly stuck to the pork and salad, having lived off of water, the "Wodka", the clear drink the Ice Walkers brew, and jerky for so long that the prospect of an actual hot meal was all to hard to give up.

He did indeed catch the gesture, and it drew a slight smile from him in between bites. She really has grown up, has she...I remember her as a girl and for what seemed like forever I had that image of that girl in my head...fuck me I am getting old. This of course was his internal monologue as he did his best to wolf down the food, and his subconscious would betray him, showing off the bronzed skin, weathered skin and over all charming visage that had won the eye, and in a few cases, the hearts of many a young Desert flower. I do have to keep in mind, Yang. He thought to him self, That this dainty little lily is likely fully able to kick my ass...shit, why does that make her seem more attractive?


Her last question eased the silence. "After the duel...I used the sewers to escape, bypassing a lot of the defenses of the city to avoid what I figured would be punishment. I didn't hear of the official story until I made it to the coast. I paid a shady captain to take me to the mainland and made my way southward. For a long while, as I was young, the going was tough, I had to survive by doing things and learning things I figure most of the Dragon blood would greatly dislike. At the same time I learned of the world in a simpler, more truthful light. Learned to appreciate a simple freedom I feel most of us tethered here don't experience all to often."
He bit in to a large chunk of pork and paused long enough to chew and swallow. "Don't get me wrong, I faced any number of hardships, fights, horrors...but at the least when I build some modicum of trust it was right and proper trust, the type of trust one would be hard pressed to find here. I lost good friends, good loves, and gained more. Over all it changed me in a way I can't really quantify in words...I did do most of those thing's the wanted posters state I did...except the Lookshy one, that's bullshit if you'l excuse the vulgar language at the table. Out in the far lands though...out were the Map ends and the eternal Forest begins...I faced some dark thing's out there..."

Clearing his mind, he spoke. "So, the Deliberative, am I going as a representative of the house or as a member of the security detail, sorta of important as to which so I know if I should leave this." He set the holstered fire wand on to the table. "With me or leave it here."
Last edited by Parcia on Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Acerbez » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:06 am

The Streets of the Imperial Districts

Rouzen continued pacing the imperial districts rather uninterested and ironically in a bad mood now that her performance went awry. It had been almost a solid fortnight since she last performed and committed to completing her set... It wasn't so much of the prospect of imposing her powers on those beneath her but there was a sort of form of sustenance that was pieced when given the opportunity for a full blown life-essence connection and her anima's emergence. A sort of suckling compared to an actual combat in which Rouzen would quite literally rip into an opponent's essence. It was akin to something she thrived upon and fully desired to fulfill herself.

Perhaps similar to a child denied their sweet's or a pair of hyena chased away by a lion over prey- No. No, no, no...! That mishap was entirely by chance! She justified to herself, as if she was rationalising with yet another. We were not chased off... We left on our own accord due to the chords of fate playing not our way but to another tune. We merely adapted to circumstance and chose to look elsewhere. I swear it....

As the day progressed and folks flocked to the streets for various activities and funnelled about, Rouzen at first walked against the tide in a callous manner. Looking only ahead of her and making no further contact with the common peoples of the imperial city. It wasn't long however that the conversation of the gathering Deliberate rose up and started to become overheard. The Regent Fokuf had been the center of much criticism, and to be entirely honest was the sole reason Rouzen had even bothered to travel to the imperial city. The recent news of house Tepet had created a shock wave of gossip in the V'neef constituents due to their commitments to marry into them. That coupled with most great houses and nobles being forewarned of the Scarlet Empress' disappearance. Things were bound to become chaotic and Rouzen fully believed without the empress holding the houses in check, it was a matter of time until the houses themselves caved in upon one another for claimancy to the throne.

Oh what a ballad of treachery and death... A song of the age and the unfolding story of a millennium. The street's flow became less and less mediocre as commoners began to ween themselves out of the way of carriages and escorts of other noble houses. Sesus, Cynis, Ledaal, Mnemon... All of them could be seen as their representatives and exalts decorated and suited to the occasion began to make their way in the streets toward the Deliberative. Rouzen had no interest to sit among neither her house of Terpischora nor its benefactor V'neef but the etiquette and mandate that she should had indeed pulled her to consider it...

As she pondered a distance out from the deliberative but within sight of it, what her next move was...? A nagging sense of piety and honor conflicted with her sense of self interest and potent disregard for their whims and desires of how she should conduct herself.

"To stand with V'neef.. Or not to stand with V'neef..." . She unslung her instrument's carrying case and placed it at her side as she removed her large hooded cloak and exposed her more formal regalia. A fluttering black dress now unclipped displayed the orange fiery butterfly like pattern. A matching black cropped top exposing her bear collar and protected shoulders by her fox shaped pauldrons. Her waist was lined with the vined branches of her Dual Urumi's in a decorative style. Placing her robe away she leaned against the post of a random building that faced the main road.

Just observing all the forthcoming attendee's behind her opaque veil.
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Postby Imperialisium » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:27 pm

Great House Vai Residence, Great Hall

"Condolences are not required but appreciated." said Zara as she held up a hand in recognition. "Hmmm Father always wondered how you escaped. He could have had you killed numerous times since then via assassins or what not. But, I think he admired your perseverance despite what you did to Aanyas." She said his name easily enough despite it being her older brother that Yang had killed with incredible dishonor. There was not much love between the siblings to put it mildly, and now that her brothers are dead there need not ever be. She turned to look at him wolf down the food and replied with a wry smile, "Oh no, you're sitting with me. If I have to go through the torture of politics you most certainly will be joining me in that pain."

Zara stood up as Yang finished his food. Watching him wash it down his gullet by the final guzzle of his tea. Servants removed the plates and utensils while the table was carried off by another team of servants. The duo of servants with the barbers scissors, razor, and combs walked up and set to work.

"Make sure to give him a close shave. He can keep a beard if we wishes but make him presentable. Oh, and wash his clothes. I can smell him from across the room."

Zara walked off and disappeared between a set of double doors.

Yang would be given the full treatment. His hair was cut, beard trimmed and shaved into nice straight lines that accented his facial features, and combed neatly. He was taken to a side room and stripped down and given a warm fresh bath with shampoo and soaps that a commoner would only be able to afford one every couple months. Then toweled dry and given a fresh set of clothes while a pair of handmaidens took his original clothes to another courtyard were they were scrubbed on a wash rack, cleaned, stains removed, and even went so far as to polish his boots clean. Using an alchemical paste to fill in the scratches and scuffmarks in the leather. House Vai's professional cobbler even managed to find some nice comfy shoes he could wear to the deliberative in the right size.

All in all he would be in stark contrast to how he looked before. He looked everything like a noble as he was positioned in the main courtyard surrounded by a full platoon of House Vai members. Some were warriors in the colors and heraldry of the house, standing next to strong warhorses. Others were servants that brought around a carriage in the livery of the Great House. A pair of footmen riding on the back with a driver and assistant sitting next to him that looked no older than ten. The other House Vai members were all Dragon-blooded. Except all wore fine clothes as befitting a gala. Even Barisan the hulking Northern member of the House was dressed in a fine grey tunic with green trim.

"You clean up well." said Zara as she seemed to appear out of nowhere behind him. She wore a silk red dress with a gold ribbon keeping her hair up and flowing behind her shoulders. Her shoulders bear as her dress came up to cover her bosom and wrap around her neck. A gold necklace with a silver winged serpent lay on her chest. It's emerald eyes seemed to stare up at Yang maliciously. She wore heeled shoes adding another two inches to her height and as she lifted her dress one could see her perfectly muscles calves. She moved to the carriage as a step ladder was pulled down and she was assisted up to it.

The door closed however while a couple other carriages were brought around with everyone able to pile into them. Though it was a bit cramped with shoulder to shoulder touching. Barisan the hulking Northerner sat opposite of Yang. "You would think that they could have used a longer design!" A couple of the other House Vai Dragon-blooded snickered at the dry comment as the caravan left the compound.

Moving to the Deliberative building. The building it self was a large golden domed structure adjoined by a large three story rectangular building holding various offices and Imperial Government departments. Two disconnected wings flanked this rectangular extension further fulfilling Government functions. It was truly a large complex entirely devoted to the administration of an Empire. And as the House Vai caravan, flanked by their mounted soldiery, neared they would see the sigils and carriages of the other Great Houses and at least two dozen Minor houses also present. Dragon-blooded from over thirty blood lines mulled about the place and white pavilion between the buildings. The Deliberative chamber itself being the large domed structure had a radius of fifty meters and arranged in a circular fashion with expertly engineered arches leading to a spiraled dome. The floor was painted in enamel of the five elemental dragons circling the world.

Stepping out of the carriages House members would be met by various other Houses, both Great and Minor, as acquaintances, friends, and with as one pair locked lips evidently lovers. Zara stepped down and without pause started to make for the entrance of the Deliberative. Barisan trailing close behind her. Truth betold she didn't like crowds that much and moved with a purpose until one stepped out in front of her. Zychere of House Cynis. He was a thin, but handsome man with jet black hair and pearly blue eyes.

"Lady Vai. A pleasure, I had hoped to see you again, you left me quite uneasily when you left the last Cynis party I invited you too a five days ago." said the man wit ha devilish smile. "I had important family matters to deal with." replied Zara quickly as she moved to walk past him. His hand shot out and wrapped around her waist. Moving her smoothly back in front of him. Even in heels she only came up to his chin. Behind his back he revealed a bouquet of flowers. "The Deliberations are not starting for another ten minutes what is the rush? Please, accept this gift as the most lovely woman here." Zara smiled but to her closest House members that had been around her long enough they could see it was a feigned one. She reached up and took the bouquet quickly.

"I thank you, Cynis Zychere." She moved past him and on into the building. Barisan giving the man a long look as he past. Zychere just smirked as he shoved his hands in his pockets and put his tongue in his cheek.
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Postby Parcia » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:37 pm

Great House Vai Residence, Great Hall

The bath and change of clothes were nice, and he did elect to keep most of his beard, though it was still cut close for his liking. The change of clothes were indeed new, though he kept to his normal styling of boots, trousers, shirt and padded vest (this one being a much cleaner and more ornate set with jade interwoven in to the threads) and his ever present hat, though it to was thoroughly cleaned and he took the liberty of sourcing a simple red silk sash, with the family crest embroidered in to it, and tied it to the hat.


Stepping out towards the carriage, he felt a little...off with out his firewand, but understood the security concerns and simply dealt with it. The ride was long and the large Northern man, and while he too cleaned up well he didn't smell all to well either. None the less, since he was there to sit with her he figured he would stay close. The man he would from now on refer to as "Fuckwit McWeiselface" put his arm around Zara, this caused him to tense and for a moment he reached for his firewand...only to remember it wasn't there. Growling softly, he made eye contact with the fuckwit and shot him as fiery of a look as he could as he walked by. He figured the death glare from Yang's 6 foot self would be enough to spook the guy, but that remained to be seen as he fallowed the rest of House Vai in to the building.
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Postby Acerbez » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:59 pm

The Deliberative

Deciding to keep to herself, thinking of no person she would actually enjoy being next to inside the House V'neef and most definitely not Terpischora. Rouzen brought herself to the entrance where she excercised her exalted authority upon a simple servant to take both her carrying case for the inmortuae which conveniently had a place for her daggers and withhold them at the front.

"As I don't plan to stay long, you are to keep these at the front--do you understand?" she ordered very coldly. The servant simply nodded while retreating into a small partition of the front. Rouzen stood firmly still watching the servant place her belongings and slightly nodded in approval after observing where he placed them. Due to their decorative nature but worry that other wood aspects would suspect that the vines lining her waist to be weapons she slide them down her curvatious shape slowly as to not unfurl them and passed them along to be placed away as well. The look of confusion on the servant almost priceless. Maintaining a cold aloof air about herself she merely side eyed the servant and proceeded through the arches where nobles and houses gathered.

She took note of the sycophantic ordeal, hand kissing and gestures of regretful absentness in eachother's daily affairs. Rather disgusted that these people insisted on maintaining their aloof nobleness and not be upfront with the true animosity they were about to impose on one another in the Deliberative. She slowly paced and scanned the individuals, not to be obvious in her curiosity as to where the houses of V'neef, Cynis, and Terpischora gathered.

It wasn't long until familiar faces started to show themselves... In the background she saw a women in a fine red silk dress and golden ribbon walking forward into the Deliberative and a familiar face from the house Cynis looking rather displeased... Smirking a bit, Rouzen was glad, atleast presumably, somebody was being honest with their sentiments. Even so much as catching the gesture of "the help" reaching for- ohhh...

"Empty handed... " interesting. Rouzen remarked to herself the typical Cynis arrogance however and figured the blue eyed prat was going to just grin and flutter off like a butterfly. All finesse and no force...
Last edited by Acerbez on Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Imperialisium » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:29 pm

The Deliberative

The Deliberative was once a place for the Empress and Great Houses to put members deemed troublesome or found wanting. Many members of Houses who ended up no Exalting and thus given Patrician status were often moved to the Deliberative should they not try to make the best of the situation and join the Imperial bureaucracy or Legions. Now, however, over the pass several years the Deliberative has seesawed. Initially, its power seemed to increase as it was no longer a technical rubberstamp for the Empress to feign that her Decree's were voted on. Yet, that was dashed once Tepet Fokuf's incompetence, which he was already a pushover, was materially brought home by the disastrous lost of most of House Tepet's army against the Bull of the North a few years ago.

Zara moved to the fore and sat before a section of seats closest to the floor. She put the flowers down beside her sat straight up as she looked about the chamber. All the Great Houses had members present. Cathaks chatted with Pelleps, Mnemon with V'neef, Ledaal with Cynis and so forth. A few of the House Vai members like Barisan moved and engaged in a conversation with a Mnemon and Cathak. When the water lock off to the side chimed everyone took their seats. To the right of House Vai sat V'neef and to the left was Cynis. Zara bristled when Zychere sat next to her on the left. She clasped her hands on her lap and did not look at him. "I hear Fokuf is positively fuming about the Lookshyan fleet seizing a dozen cargo ships destined for Grey Falls a week ago. Something about suspicious cargo when they stopped at Lookshy."

"I think most will be concerned with Bel Keraz keeping it together considering he's forecasted to have a 35% smaller budget for the remainder of the year." replied Zara curtly. Her tone was polite as befitting the chamber they were in. She needed to play the part of the lady in this place.

As everyone was seated some court officials took their positions. A trio of scriveners readied to document the words spoken. While Bel Keraz arrived with a team of Administration officials and delivered a report that the current financial forecast told that cutting the budget for infrastructure and construction by 35% in the Satrapies would yield much unrest by the subject states of the Empire." However, with the tension between the Houses and the factions forming, practically circling like buzzards already, the Houses had appropriated more and more tribute and taxes originally destined for the Imperial coffers. To build up their own territories and armies for the wars to come.

Keraz was practically trembling when he read the words. He had for the past twenty years been the head of the Imperial Bureaucracy and was very competent in his job. But with the political situation deteriorated among the Great Houses he was faced with the impossible task of maintaining an Empire ready to tear itself apart. As Keraz finished a motion was brought to the floor by him, for anyone could bring a motion to do so, for the annual Dynasty stipend be halved to help make up for the budget cuts. It was defeated by one vote in the end as the Houses voted in blocks based on the majority of their own stances on the topic. The House leaders save for Ledaal, Vai, Tepet, and Pelleps had voted for the stipend cut with some abstaining. Yet, Cathak and Mnemon wouldn't have it and their more ardent supporters managed to swing some votes their way by some quick words and promises.

Next was a slew of reports on the situation of the Empire by various bureaus. The Bureau of Climate gave their report to expect an especially stormy next month. Their reports were always about 90% accurate given that the Blessed Isle had dozens of First Age obelisks of unknown make and design that functioned as weather controlling devices. As such the Isle had near perfect weather and very predictable stormy and rain seasons. Yet, every now and then a curve ball would come along and thus was the 10% error margin. The Bureau of Maritime Trade noted a 6% increase in profits coming from ports authorities. The list wore on for three hours.

The one everyone leaned in their seats for was the situation in the North. The Bull of the North was still consolidating his power. But an army had gone Southward and was moving along the Eastern edge of the Haslanti League. Possibly to the Northern satrapies and what the response should be from The Realm. Cathak advocated moving a three Legions and auxiliaries to intercept and utterly crush this force. Yet, the Imperial Northern Army was just as understaffed and funded like the rest as more and more manpower and money was kept by the Houses. While the Satrapies increasingly just forgot to send tribute or sent a smaller amount than they should.

A V'Neef member that took to the floor quickly reminded that moving three Imperial Legions and auxiliaries out of their garrison positions would leave much of the other Northern territories without an Imperial presence. A Pelleps advocated the deployment of the Sky Fleet and the Vermillion Legion from the Blessed Isle be sent to reinforce the North. This too was blocked as House Tepet, acting in the interests of Fokuf, needed the Vermillion's loyalty to the Scarlet Throne to keep his hold on the regency. After all, he was the legitimate regent, and the Vermillion were loyal to the institution not the man. Without their protection it was much easier for the Houses to influence his removal.

A chime from a servant signaled a recess. Zara got up and left, leaving the flowers on the bench next to Zychere, as she moved outside and rolled her shoulders in an attempt to relieve the tension of sitting next to a man she loathed.
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Postby Acerbez » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:22 am

Rouzen had made her stay at the edges of the hall and floor to mainly ascertain the political climate and tension of the gathering. The amount of power in this room was immense, metaphorically speaking. Not only the heads of the great houses were present but most each and everyone of their major lined descendants found seating here in the Deliberative. Noting that Bel Keraz wreaked of uncertainty and was enshrouded with a lack of self confidence in his posturing in front of the great house leaders...

A helpless imperial child surrounded by hungry House dogs the empress left alone without food... Rouzen thought to herself. They were suppose to protect this child from molestation by strangers and yet they salivate at the mouth wide eyed wihh hunger and greed as to who will eat the most out of the pack.

As the recess was called and those in attendance motioned themselves to and from, Rouzen paused briefly before stepping out. Heavily pondering an approach to present on the floor. She was no general and was not an exceptional participant of neither her house nor V'neef despite descending from it. Her idea of the game of power was much different and she desired to keep her machinations and schemes to herself. Simply she would pace the grounds while focusing on honing into whispered conversations as best as she could. Although not entirely effective at discerning exact topics, sentiments and body language inferred alot in times of political duress. The huddled exclusivity of the Ragara, the perturbed gestures of V'neef members closely allied with Cathak as to why they would suggest such a manuevre, the suspicious glares of Mnemon to Pelleps constituents, The arrogant smirks of Sesus at the Tepet retinue, but the most despised of Rouzen was Ledaal. Not only did they compete with V'neef and vie for its southern territories but their irritating need to champion immaculate order teachings and faith leading to much of the reason Rouzen has difficulty in her own pursuits. Tensions ran deep as nobody wished to throw themselves into disadvantage and weak positioning in the game of power.




As the water clock shifted, a servant rang the bell once more to conclude the recess, beckoning back the houses, Rouzen let a faint smile form as she walked back inside... Moving towards her own house that reside in the proximity of V'neef. As she neared however, the smile would fade as she produced a much more taciturn facade. Her fellow Terpischora compatriots did not hide their feelings or expressions of awe filled surprise when seeing her push past them to take a seat next to the head of house that was rightfully hers. Believing her to come out of nowhere, some shifted and whispered their astonishment of her presence. Rouzen did not feel inclined to properly address or greet them save for the House leader, Luciano V'neef Terpischora, her uncle who oversaw the house. Any disrespect unto him would be a great mistake and an inner house suicide in terms of etiquette. Rouzen bowing for the first time in almost 2 years, he extended his hand outwardly for his estranged neice to place her forehead to the top of his hand, in which she complied. All the while, the individual whom had lost his seat spurned a squint eyed look of resent, waving his hand down the row for a space to give himself. Izodora, the obedient lap dog who fancied himself second of the house Terpischora, utterly despised Rouzen and her ungrateful use of heriditary priviledge to challenge his years of commitment and hardwork regardless of his inability to challenge her in might or knowledge.

Lucien nodded to her without expression and shifted back to face the floor. As everyone in the Deliberative briefly stood in pause, then sitting unilaterally, Lucian firm and upright whispered to his neice. "How good of you join us, I'm actually surprised you bothered to make yourself present. It's unlike you to inconvenience yourself with petty politics and house agenda.". Rouzen knew when she was being chastised passive aggressively and this was indeed one of those moments.

Her eyes portrayed nothing but a subtle contempt for this remark, one eyebrow slightly raised, she replied in a whisper so that Izodora would be sure to hear. "My house has a duty and responsibility to the Scarlet Empress and the realm, who am I to shirk one's own honor and deem myself above the laws and expectations of this sort of commitment? I represent Terpischora interest's do I not? " Izodora scoffed at her arrogant sarcasm while Luciano caught on quickly as to the intended purpose of her remark. Choosing to quickly kill the brewing animosity between the two, he reeled his glare onto them both with an angered look that guarenteed retribution should either of them press further. The echoes of Bel Keraz's voice steadying on in the Deliberative as a background to the Terpischora jabs, Luciano was adamant in seeing his wishes respected he began to question Rouzen. "Leave your petty attempts at squabbling wherever you've returned from, as I will not be embarrassed here and made a mockery of. I do not know why you choose to make yourself-" he cut his sentence short as Rouzen looked to him and clasped her hands together in a gesture of forgiveness only but a moment before she shot up from her seat to stand and address the floor and present a motion. The look of abject horror from Luciano and Izodora mirrored one another as their slacked Jaws and wide eyes could barely process what the hell Rouzen believed she was doing.

Image


The tall slender woman standing tall among the seated Deliberative quickly became the focus of attention from most if not all the entire audience. She was not a head nor a general of any legion despite her services in them, therefore like a cowlick on a head of hair, the houses glanced awkwardly for a moment. Her left hand slightly raised as if to make known she wished to take the floor. Bel Keraz would shift toward her direction, scribes with raised eyebrows on the ready to begin their work. If some were not looking before, they surely would be doing so now. "Uhmm.. Yes? " Bel Keraz asked puzzled. "You wish to present a motion? "

Continuing to make hand gestures to supplement her words, "Indeed, I do... " Rouzen replied. Luciano frozen in confusion and Izodora's mouth agape in stupidity. "It seems that the most prevalent issue here today is not the weather but in fact how to properly conduct the empires posturing of defence against foreign enemies and how to collectively eradicate them, The Bull of the North particularly." Rouzen spoke loud and firmly to best project a tone of power and one that supplemented competence. Slightly rasp in its natural form, her green eye's were lit as she slightly began to manifest her voice to reach the farthest corners of the hall.

"The recent mishap that the legion's of Tepet have experienced both on and off the battlefield indicate that a single house burdening the responsibility of repelling the realm's enemy is not only turbulent but also foolish. Not to say that the generals involved were incompetent... " Rouzen paused, doing her best not to grin at her following accusation and subliminal attack. "They were just simply inadequate in more ways than one...*clears throat* and I mean no disrespect, just merely an observation! " Despite her attempt to feign shrewd compassion, sniggering from the other households were definitely heard following the stabbing comment.

Rouzen would take note of this as well, in fact delighted that the true nature of the houses would be easier to draw out. "So clearly, a combined effort to oppose the Bull in the North and consolidate the realm's power in its satrapies should be undertaken, should it not? " Rouzen had reached her limit in projecting her voice and chose to remain focused on not showing and vestiges of her anima here in the Deliberative. Those attuned to perception however would know that she was tapping her anima to more firmly project herself.

"Fortunately, those most capable of assisting this endeavour have made themselves already known. House Pelleps understands the need to defend the North by suggesting the aerial navy, surely if the Aerial fleet isn't mobilized then their clan's naval fleet and a portion of its might should be inclined to see the north protected by both land and sea. Additionally, it is know that the House Vai is prevelantly situated in the North but motioned in favor of cutting the dynasty stipend- very noble of them despite the obstacles they face being in such close proximity. Therefore, its only fair for those that opposed cutting the stipend lend a helping hand to their fellow house. House Mnemon can surely contribute one of their many legions to supplement house Vai if not at the very least financially reinforce the garrisons and forts dotting the territory with war material, supply, and munitions... Seeing as the imperial coffers will still be withstanding their expenditures at home. ". Rouzen carried on speaking quite bluntly and brought upon a deep silence in the room as the attendees realized that house Tepet was not the only house now put under scrutiny and criticism.

"Both the houses Ragara and Ledaal are in possession of ample means whether it be magic or jade to contribute military auxiliaries into a collective force. I would argue that the Bull in the North would be hard pressed to deal with such a well equipped and diverse foci'd force such as this. Not to speak for any particular house or their integrity but I am certain neither the imperial army nor house Vai should be exclusively burdened with the the bull in the North and would appreciate any aid from their brethren. Lastly, in staunch support of my comrades of Cathak... " Rouzen looked back to catch a quick glimpse of Luciano's face before concluding her motion. She smiled innocently, masking her delinquent outburst. It's purpose was to infer to the floor that she maintained her house's approval of speaking and manipulating that effect into her speech, knowing full well Terpischora's head member would not dare to lose face by silencing her now.

Quickly looking back to Bel Keraz, Rouzen breathed in before her ending the rendition she concocted in her mind. "House Terpischora, although not mighty and sizeable as the rest of the great houses is a proud descendent of V'neef and would more likely than not, happily pledge arms should the other constituents agree, myself being the first volunteer should I be deemed fit to do so. As this is not a single house's threat or responsibility... But an issue that clearly calls for the attention of the realm as a whole. Lookshy probably laughs in jest over our inability to quell this threat and is why they take opportunity to molest imperial waters. Why not show them and the world, the empire is strong in unity and will not falter? "

Putting an end to her proposition she stood still and basked in the silence... Awaiting the result of her works. Like a fisherman in chummed waters, she listened to the sharks circling in. Even if she was shamed individually, any concensus not reached would further divide the realm and show the houses true colors as they lose face.
Last edited by Acerbez on Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Imperialisium » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:04 pm

The Deliberative Chamber

The Deliberative Chamber was silent as Rouzen began to speak. Respecting the integrity of bequeathing the floor to her. After all, this is The Realm. The Scarlet Empire. If it was going to still call itself the center of civilization than it had standards to keep. The murmurs at the beginning of Rouzen's speech died quickly as the House heads made no sound. Their faces neutral at first. Yet, about half way through they began to display subtle differences. Cainan gave Luciano a look that caused the head of House Terpischora to look down at his feet. Ragara kept her eyes on Rouzen keenly. Those murderous eyes, which if anyone knew her actual history and plots, would make her the Realms biggest killer of siblings ever. Which is not even to account for those that failed. If one would discover the various plots of Ragara they would be mortified to learn that she's tried to kill most of the Great House heads at least once. Mnemon, however, kept her face stoic and didn't seem to move a muscle beyond the subtle rising and falling of her chest to signal that she was still, in fact, breathing.

As Rouzen finished and sat back down the chamber was silent for a moment. Then erupted into clapping from House Ledaal which died faster than a convict under a heads man's axe when Mnemon and Cainan Cathak cast their glances in their general direction. Ragara, however, kept her eyes fixed on Rouzen. Like a hungry wolf looking to devour it's next meal. What schemes and plots lay in wait for Rouzen; or, perhaps Ragara found her quite entertaining and was simply bemused.

A bench creaked as the Head of House Vai stood. "I commend Rouzen of House Terpischora for taking this matter so seriously. The Northern Frontier is in need of aid more than ever. Are we not the beacon of civilization? The shield that keeps the Anathema at bay? How can we call ourselves that if we cannot keep the barbarians from banging on the city gates. I would like to call a vote to send an expeditionary force North to reinforce and combat this provocative show of force by The Bull."

Ragara, to everyone's surprise, voted yes firsts. Followed by Nellens, Cathak, Pelleps, and Ledaal. Mnemon abstained and Cynis reluctantly came in last after all others abstained to vote yes. Then the Minor Houses voted and all the northern houses came in with a resounding yes. What followed was ten minutes of clamor as individual houses cajoled, made deals and promises, or called in old favors to garner votes. In the end the motion passed and the Empire would be sending an army under House Vai, Northwards, with the only demand being that the head of House Vai herself lead them. The Skyship, a dreadnaught, Dawnlight, would be dispatched ahead of the naval force carrying the head of House Vai to take command of satrapy forces and marshal House Vai's northern forces for war.

A chime of the bell and the Deliberative was released for the day. As bells began to ring across the vast cityscape signaling the upcoming celebrations for the new year. Already a half million citizens were readying lanterns, fireworks, ready for parades and marches, opening shops and bars, and preparing their wares for the hours and hours of rampant celebration that would follow. Meanwhile, House Cynis members did the usual and sent invites to entire Houses to attend their late night festivities.
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Postby Acerbez » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:52 pm

Rouzen

"What in the God's name were you thinking!? Luciano shouted in a steep reserved anger. The pair had found themselves in near empty side room of the Deliberative that merely had a few polished tables and chairs, a room meant for the servants and petitioners to await for whatever reason. Rouzen wasn't paying much attention to what furnishings the room had but rather the high arches and ceiling height of the Deliberative itself, in all of its rooms. Luciano continued to droll out his temper by pointing out the many uncalled accusation put forth by Rouzen, from naming Ragara and Mnemon, suggesting Pellops allocate their forces, and even the look Cainan Cathak had shot his in the proceeding.

Rouzen, in a sort of arrogance that was calculated to remain respectful fluttered a few steps and her eye's flickered with a sort of deviousness. Cutting off her house head at the end of his sentence at juuuuust the right moment she retorted, "How do you know if V'neef herself didn't request that I put this forth? Hmm? Luciano's brow raised and his jaw slightly dropped in what looked to be curiosity. "She did...? " Luciano asked candidly.

" No, but that's my point! She shot back instantly. Why is it that you must always sit idly by awaiting a command in order to move your house? You're never open to allowing it to fulfill its self. We're debilitating ourselves by not playing our own tune while even the other smaller houses continue to dwarf us and swell in number. Look at Izodora, his pomposity and pride swells merely by stationing at a garrison that has not been called to Arms in- A raging boom resounded from Luciano as he neared closer to Rouzen. "Izodora has dutifully maintained his honor by following orders and rightfully earned prestige for his efforts to be apart of this house, which is much more than I can speak on regarding yourself! Abandoning your duties to chase your own pursuits of questionable value and mere self gratifying interests! Where is your discipline!? Luciano gave a brief pause to his anger and calmly but coldy took a stab at Rouzen's integrity.

"With what standing, status, or eminence leads you to believe you have any rights to speak so boldly on behalf of house Terpischora...? Rouzen having turned away from Lucian a moments ago now stood frozen for a moment, not in fear nor suspense, but if Luciano had frontal sight of her facade he would know then and there that her ambitions were very very real. Before turning back to look to hear house leader, she wiped away her malicious grimace as if professionally and theatrically changed to a look of petition. This was the moment she waited for.

"Your favoritism is so obvious! No wonder I abandoned this little sycophantic love story that is my home! There are more souls on the outskirts of Stygia that sing my name than Izodora could ever achieve- all in my houses name! You forget when you pawned me off to kill for the other houses, only because you feel being a lackey of service to others provides your house honor while they smirk and laugh at the accomplishments they become decorated with by your hard work! Rouzen spoke passionately and truthfully but for calculated reason, positioning her argument perfectly for this last remark. "There's no need to send our forces north, let the other houses claim glory so that even lost eggs have little interest in joining us. I've heard our recruitment is already so low! I'll go alone, or better yet, Send Izodora the great Achiever in my stead so that he can beguile the realm with his unwavering commitment to stand sentry! like a child running away from an argument, Rouzen feigned a rush for the door to make her leave. Her gait was followed by silence and when she grabbed the ornate handles and pulled them open, hearing nothing, she believed her rouse a failure... Walking out with nothing but the echoes of her steps in the near empty Deliberative, her prayers were answered at the lost audible moment.

Luciano poked out from the side room, holding his left hand in a high pointed gesture, he made his decree. "You are going north little one! Under Izodora's command, that is my decree. In the north you will fulfill your duty under his command and you will learn humility and the respect that comes of duty! Luciano believed his orders would spite Rouzen as he watched her walk out from the Deliberative... But that was not the case, Rouzen ever joyous that her ploy had indeed worked, set out from the Deliberative strutting down its steps with a scheming smirk.




The reality was Rouzen was on a mission rooted in callous ambition. A self mandated prophecy thats inception began at the mid days of her stay in the Heptogram, when she became more acquainted and bonded with her Anima. Any innocence further murdered on the fields in service of the various legions she mentioned to Luciano, because that's when she came to understand power.

At the Deliberatives conclusion, Rouzen collected her belongings and found herself quite famished and yearning for a meal. She had decided on something fanciful to celebrate herself, a prideful act indeed taking praises from herself for her performance with Luciano. She would find herself dining alone behind a decorated curtain in the edges of a somewhat high ended restaurant. On the second floor, under the 3rd where the truly affluent and wealthy would eat in groups. Dishing out an entire koku for one of her favorite meals, Red snapper, complimented by various sides of Cai vegetable dishes in their respective sauces and the mandatory 一万米饭 (bowl of white rice).

She ate in solace, paying little to no attention to murmurs of other patrons from beyond the curtain and in fact took her time to enjoy the food set before her. Even after finishing, ordering herself a small red clay bottle of premium rice wine simply ensignia'd 白酒. She had made her stay until she noticed the medium sized windows of the establishment signaled dusk. Her slightly flushed cheeks and glaze in her eyes, she stood and took her things and chuckled to herself... She was going to honor Izodora's fortune with tune, a tune that everyone would be beholden to.

Taken to the semi wide bustling streets where the civilians gathered with their lanterns, fireworks, and other amenities to partake in tonight's celebration. Rouzen walked over to her steed and u latched her large carrying case that held her very own instrument. Unlike the low quality violin she had borrowed earlier today, this case held the 1st age relic which was identified at the Heptogram as "La Gloria Inmortuae". A soulsteeled string instrument of necromantic origins, its Bow and face stringed with the hairs of agonized and tormented solar. The many books and materials available to the heptogram gave Rouzen many insights to the use of such a potent artifact.

It has been so long since she was genuinely happy or excited with herself... She deserved this celebration she thought. Propping the case open, low groans and subtle howls blew past her as she enamorously peered at her beloved instrument. Its small city like extentions on its face shining and flowing with the souls trapped within no differently than people moving in and around a house. She raised her beloved from its resting bed, cushioned red satin plumed by small bead like black buttons and closed its lid. Placing it back onto Ash's back she hoisted her love to her chin and turned to the street.

Whispering to herself as she laid the bow's strings across the Inmortuae, "Izodora Terpischora... I curse your name and soul. This song is yours, let it be your anguish... " The ghosts within the soul steel forced themselves to the barriers of their prison, hearing Rouzen clearly they began to moan and soundly whistle their shrieking excitement, for their release from their imprisonment although temporary, was seldom and greatly cherished. Something very similar to an isolated prisoner being let outside for the first time in years.

She closed her eye's and took a deep breath, passing for no longer than 4 seconds. When her eye's opened they were more vibrant then ever, contrasting against the dying light of the sun as her essence poured into them. Black shaded vapor began to exude from her shoulders and elbows upwards into a collected fog or cloud. A gust of wind had blewn through and moved her hair but this essence was not moved by nature. Pursing her lips and biting her lower lip, Rouzen was invigorated as she felt her muscles tense and veins slightly turning vascular.

The first stroke was gentle as were it's subsequent strokes on the Inmortuae. Even the ghosts within had gone silent as a couple of people in the street stopped in their tracks to see if this performer really had the gusto to play on such a grand evening. Picking up her pace, the rhythm began to flurry. The humans were rather interested as her anima began to show itself slightly and they were becoming more attentive to the performance as a dragon blood had joined them, performances of theirs were seldom witnessed by common folks and only the priviledge who somehow found themselves at a house's festivity ever really witnessed them often.

Playin "calmly", as she saw it, Rouzen was simply waiting for the sun to remove itself from the sky before she would really open the Inmortuae for these peasants to witness its greatness. The sun was dying down... Its twilight touching the very edges of the Imperial city.
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Parcia
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Postby Parcia » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:26 pm

Armory of House Vai
Later that day.


As the sun waned and the moon rose, the fires of the bellows kept strong and burned with a ferocity that was noticeable across the whole of the armory room. Among the stacks and racks of shields, swords, armor sets and spears, off the side of the room, nearest its farthest corner, stood Yang, working. He had taken a particularly high quality billet of steel that he had acquired in Lookshy and had finished working it in to the shape of a proper sword. His need for a appropriate sword had become apparent to him as soon as he figured he would be called in to battle against the Bull, and his current short sword would simply not do.

Having set out to work on his arms almost form the moment of returning home, he set the blade in to special oil to quench it, then setting it back in to the furnace for its proper heat treat. Letting the weapon bake for a short time, he went about going through the kit that lay before him. He had selected a Lamalar scaled armor vest, with chain mail tunic and padded undershirt to wear in place of his standard leather shirt, the many scales being of good quality Jade and steel. Secondly were the set of old, ornate throwing daggers. Roughly 8 inches long and forged of a single piece of high quality steel, the edges of the daggers were fused with an edge of white Jade he guessed had to be enchanted in some way or form, as such a thin blade should not be as strong as they were. the blades, of which he had 12 of, were of near-nay, were of indeed perfect balance for throwing and only needing a simple flick of his wrist to do so with lethal speed and accuracy. As a added piece of decoration, each blade had attached to it a small piece of red silk, meant to give the blades proper accuracy when in flight, embroidered with the Vai Family crest, the Dragon facing the blades edge, mouth agape and talons at the ready to strike at the enemies of the family.

This new set of weapons sat neatly on a single leather quiver on his belt, just at the small of his back. He had his proper clothes returned to his room, and so he had gone about this little project while bare chested, wearing the good pants that had been loaned to him. His chiseled body that would make most women swoon lay bare to the heat and flames, occasionally licking his skin and causing a slight mark, though he welcomed it as the orange and red light of the forge also lit his many scars, badges and reminders of many a fight of the past 15 years.

Waking up from his minor day dream, he set about retrieving the blade from the forge and quenched it one last time, shaking off the special clay that would give the blade a special wavy appearance when polished and smiling at his freshly made weapon. Taking time to properly cool the weapon, he set about grinding it's edge to a finish and eventually to polishing it to near mirror finish. How ever, such a weapon was still unfinished as it still required a hilt and scabbard. Setting down at the work bench, he set about crafting the hilt from wood, using a hammer and chisel as well as various dremals and files to form the hilt in to a needed shape. taking a strip of red died leather and wrapped it securely around the hilt, securing it and the small circular guard in place with a brass pummel. He gave the scabbard the same treatment, taking time to wrap it in the same red leather and brass decorations as his new blade.

Standing, he gave the weapon a few good swings and found it to be of sound make and good balance. Making his way to the court yard, he cleared a few guards and begun to practice with his new weapon in earnest, the heat of the forge and the motivation to be more prepared for this coming war driving him to ignore his aching muscles and tired bones and practice harder then he had in a long time. Soon enough he begun to focus his essence in to his strikes, producing sparks and eventually, licks of red, orange, and his anima begun to manifest as the midnight specters of ravens began to form the Nevermore around him. He had never been as powerful as his adopted siblings were, never being able to produce large gouts of flames and fireballs, instead choosing to hone it in precision and strength rather then range. As such, as his weapon begun to fly through the air it began to quietly buzz and hizz with the heat of his essence, his own sparks creating just enough heat that he could, with enough time, began to coat the polished blade in a layer of flame.

All this would make quite a show...should anyone watch.
Last edited by Parcia on Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Postby Imperialisium » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:32 pm

House Vai
Zara's Bed Chamber

Zara had secluded herself in her bed chambers upon returning from the Deliberative. Having sent out various dispatches to the House Vai holdings on the Blessed Isle and Northern Satrapies. While, also sending missives to the Imperial government to liaison with for assets in this Northern Campaign to deal with the Bull of the North's encroaching armies. So she sat, combing her hair, and delicately putting it into a bun on her head. A shout of approval rang from outside. Furrowing her brow Zara got up and walked onto her balcony. Wearing a red silk kimono. Her cousin, Yang, was training. His anima flaring as he ducked, weaved, struck, and parried against invisible foes. Causing quite a show for those about the main courtyard. Drawing guards, servants, maids, and other staff attention as they took a moment to watch. Zara smirked and walked back into her bed chamber.

Courtyard

The courtyard was full of about five dozen people watching Yang practice. Even a few Exalted belonging to the House were watching. Barisan leaned on a railing as he talked with a guardsman about Yang's footwork. "Perhaps a partner for training may help?" A sultry, serious, sharp voice rang from behind a pair of guards that swiftly parted. Each swiftly getting down to one in a bow as Zara walked between them. A quarterstaff held behind her back as she walked before yang about ten feet from him. She was gird in leather cuirass, tassets, greaves, and vambraces. She wore black leather boots and did not make direct eye contact with Yang.
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Postby Parcia » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:53 pm

Imperialisium wrote:House Vai
Zara's Challange.



The Sultry call out caught his attention and so he paused, bringing the blade to rest in to it's sheath in a smooth, graceful motion that was rather unbecoming of his brutish look. He took a moment and wagered. I figure im stronger physically, but im dead tired and sore, she's refreshed and proper with a full pool of essence, we need to play this smart, Yang.

He let slip a Cheshire grin, "Why lady Vai, I would be honored to spar with you, though I fear this kumite would be seen as...informal." The posh language almost made him gag, yet he had a crowed and was being challenged by the House head. If he won, he wagered, this would cause a disruption of the house order, likely sewing the seeds of discontent in to its command structure that would likely cause problems down the road. How ever if he lost, all it would due is bring what little reputation he had down...but, if he gave her a damn good fight, how ever an ultimately futile attempt it would be, would establish the fact he was a men to reckon with, one that the other members of the house would pause to cross.

Keeping his grin, he bowed low, crossing his feet in a actor's bow and placing his hand behind him. "We can begin when you wish to."

As if it were some taunt, a single spectral raven would dip low and settle on Zara's staff, cawing at her and glaring at her with a cocked head.
Last edited by Parcia on Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Postby Acerbez » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:58 am

Rouzen

https://youtu.be/xJeBz3HxGsI

The sun had vanished, sinking into the horizon and left behind its lost lover. The vibrant moon was full and larger than usual. The near year brought the spectral figure that she was closer to the earth more so than ever and to Rouzen, she too was in attendance, present to bear witness to here séance. The crowd began to gather, clamoring together holding lanterns and other new year paraphernalia, man, woman and child all dressed in their finest apparel for the evenings celebration... And then there was Rouzen. Forming a dark cloud above and around herself as to give her anima a stage to dance to.


The Lyrics are not of my own and used for creative purpose only, I take no credit for them.


"Wolves asleep amidst the trees,
Bats all a swaying in the breeze.
But one soul lies anxious, wide awake.
Fearing all manner of ghouls, hags and wraiths.
For Izodoro, Your sleep has flown.
Don't dare let him tremble alone
For Nyc'tasha, heartless, cold,
Paid in coin of gold.


The sweet rasp of Rouzen's voice eloquently cascaded an ensemble of unnatural notes as she coupled her performance with song. Her pupils fluxiated at the surging pulse of her anima as the rising strings that protruded from her body flowed into the hands of her marionetta Anima- it protruded into reality like a convict in spotlight while seemingly tangible green tendril like appendages poured out towards the crowd. Whirling in a chaotic manner in a dance of their own, elevating to their own accord, it wouldn't be until they were just in front of the onlookers that the whistling moans and groans that complimented the performance could be seen coming from human like visages that pulled at their own existence with miniature psudo hands.

"She comes, She'll go, leave naught behind.
But heartache and woe.
Deep... deep woe...

Lala la laa la laa...

Birds are silent for the night,
Cows turned in as daylight dies.
Naa Naa..
But one soul lies anxious wide awake...
Ouuh,
Fearing all manner of ghouls, hags and wraiths."


Parading herself and fluttering forward in motion and gliding in bliss, Rouzen's anima fully formed above took on an inhuman shape and shifted to and fro as if guiding the woman by the very strings attached to her. Effortlessly and masterfully like a puppeteer, it would lean in towards the audience at times merely to reel itself back and silently mimick a gesture of laughter. This laughter and joy was not mutual however... The people now mystified in clusters found themselves unable to turn away despite the overwhelming tide of grief overcoming them. As if their hearts slowed and their beats went silent to give way to Rouzen's melody, the neurological sensation of "fight or flight" rang alarms but in truth they were stuck. A terrifying feeling that would feel to some as if they were staring into oblivion itself. Too bewildering to ignore but petrifying in nature.

Her anima amplified by the Inmortuae expanded to excessive proportions and sized up against the nearest establishment. Rouzen debated on unleashing herself and allowing it to continue on... An action that would pull at the very spirit realm and draw out the spirits that still resided in nearby shrines but could ultimately cause alarm with the imperial sentries. She craved to scratch at them and illustrate her ability to domineer them. Even now at this very moment, the shrines that decorated shops and houses began to become irrate as the Inmortuae pulled at them, as if strong arming the spirits toward it.

Unknowing to the audience, the ghosts that resided within the Inmortuae, now allowed their freedom were actually taunting and goading the free benign spirits. A hatred rooted in jealousy, their groans were an affront to the souls that rest in proximity, that were called to and prayed by their ancestors at the shrines. Hopping along with 2 steps, the crucial moment presented itself and Rouzen interrupted her tune by pulling the bow of agonized solar hair away from the instrument like an axe or hammer in her hand and she struck against the crest of the 1st age violin- no differently than if a man were hacking limbs from a foe.

DuNN DuN. The sound of the bow clanging against the crest's strings was excruciating but somehow intricately placed to compliment the lullaby. However the vestige "string" attached to her right elbow had severed from her anima and dissipated in thin air. Her own anima looking perplexed and visibly angered at her defiance. Passing by easily 100 people, 100 who bear witness to Rouzen's reticent curse upon her houseman. She was satisfied with this and that's all that matters.. It was far too consequential to be deemed a heretic necromancer at this juncture. The 8 ghosts swirling around her feigning as mere anima vestiges or even spirits howled for the song to continue.

"My dear Izodoro shut your eyes.
Lie still, lie silent, utter no cries...
As the spectre... deprave and cold,
Paid in coin of gold.
She'll chop and slice you,
Cut and dice you,
Eat... you... up... whole...
Eat... you... whole... "


Despite her wishes to avoid the imperial garrison's attention, it would be too late. Commoners at the beginning of her rendition had fallen behind ear shot as Rouzen had proceeded through the paved roads of the city and their sobbing and outcries for help to save them from this gloom dark nightmare were heard and simple response was all it was. A woman of Eastern heritage would recall how close one of the ghosts was to her face and how human its end was as it reached to grab at her. Feeling impending doom and dread as it neared her, only to be ripped away as if sucked in by a black hole into the Inmortuae's crest yet again.

As the song spell came to an end, and the night air became semi silent. Only Rouzen smiled as her Anima dissipated... Everyone else felt panic stricken and lulled by gloom while children cried expressing their desire to go home. The audience was vexed as to how their cheery new year sentiments was ripped away from them and gave no thought to blaming the composer. Like a thief in the night that had stolen their joy, Rouzen simply continued her walk... Disappearing into the crowd. She didn't walk aimlessly without purpose or direction however...

She followed the almost invisible green trail of the 8th ghost that hadn't returned to the Inmortuae... As it made straight for house Terpischora. Rouzen had cursed Izodoro.
Last edited by Acerbez on Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Imperialisium
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Postby Imperialisium » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:17 pm

Parcia wrote:
Imperialisium wrote:House Vai
Zara's Challange.



The Sultry call out caught his attention and so he paused, bringing the blade to rest in to it's sheath in a smooth, graceful motion that was rather unbecoming of his brutish look. He took a moment and wagered. I figure im stronger physically, but im dead tired and sore, she's refreshed and proper with a full pool of essence, we need to play this smart, Yang.

He let slip a Cheshire grin, "Why lady Vai, I would be honored to spar with you, though I fear this kumite would be seen as...informal." The posh language almost made him gag, yet he had a crowed and was being challenged by the House head. If he won, he wagered, this would cause a disruption of the house order, likely sewing the seeds of discontent in to its command structure that would likely cause problems down the road. How ever if he lost, all it would due is bring what little reputation he had down...but, if he gave her a damn good fight, how ever an ultimately futile attempt it would be, would establish the fact he was a men to reckon with, one that the other members of the house would pause to cross.

Keeping his grin, he bowed low, crossing his feet in a actor's bow and placing his hand behind him. "We can begin when you wish to."

As if it were some taunt, a single spectral raven would dip low and settle on Zara's staff, cawing at her and glaring at her with a cocked head.


"Zara kept her face neutral and simply pursed her lips in acknowledgement. She signaled to Barisan who stood up right and moved to the side of the courtyard to hit a gong. The clang signaled the start of the bout. Zara moved slowly in a semi-circle. Not even adopting a stance just with the staff held behind her back. She wasn't even looking at Yang either. As if the cobblestones were more interesting. Then suddenly, true to the family crest, she moved like lightning. A serpent's strike. But it was not as one would think. Yang was no doubt a veteran of countless brawls, duels, and informal ways of fighting. Zara knew that. He would have saw a regular spin strike of a quarterstaff from a mile away. So with the arm holding the staff, furthest from Yang, while not quite turned perpendicular to him. She jabbed with it. It was a quick movement. Her arm only moving back a four or five inches. The tip of the staff impacted Yang's cheek. Just enough to give him a nice contusion and break the skin. She resumed her semi-circle stalking. She was playing and Yang knew it.
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Postby Parcia » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:03 pm

She was playing indeed, and it had already begun to grate on him. The blow was indeed as fast as a viper and the force of it carried his torso up and back, causing him to step back to keep his balance. At the same time he brought his new sword up and forward, holding it in to a high guard and setting up an all together simple defense, his sword giving him better versatility yet less reach, his spare hand still behind him at the small of his back. For a few moments the courtyard grew alive with whispers and snickers, jokes and even a few bets were made between the House head and this arrogant little lost egg.

Then the Whispers died, as the desert man made the slightest of movements, the smallest of adjustments of his stance in relation to his arms and head and removed two jade daggers, seating them between his fingers and in his palm before flicking his wrist and sending the first dagger forth with a flurry of movement that seemed just as fast, if not a little faster, then Zara opening attack. The Dagger would lance through the air with great velocity at the young women...though not as fast as it could be.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Postby Imperialisium » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:09 pm

Parcia wrote:She was playing indeed, and it had already begun to grate on him. The blow was indeed as fast as a viper and the force of it carried his torso up and back, causing him to step back to keep his balance. At the same time he brought his new sword up and forward, holding it in to a high guard and setting up an all together simple defense, his sword giving him better versatility yet less reach, his spare hand still behind him at the small of his back. For a few moments the courtyard grew alive with whispers and snickers, jokes and even a few bets were made between the House head and this arrogant little lost egg.

Then the Whispers died, as the desert man made the slightest of movements, the smallest of adjustments of his stance in relation to his arms and head and removed two jade daggers, seating them between his fingers and in his palm before flicking his wrist and sending the first dagger forth with a flurry of movement that seemed just as fast, if not a little faster, then Zara opening attack. The Dagger would lance through the air with great velocity at the young women...though not as fast as it could be.


Zara not once took her eyes of Yang and while she did not show it. She was internally surprised at the bold knife throwing move. My, my cousin, you're not so slow after all. The knife spun in a blur and a quick two handed guard and side step flicked it away in a ricochet. She spun and delivered a quick right to left strike with her quarterstaff. Aiming for his throwing hand to disrupt him. While also having the staff in front of her at an angle to move to parry a strike from the sword. Yang had the advantage of multiple weapons. She knew that, he knew that, but perhaps he had some tricks up his sleeve. Her anima, of which Yang had not seen, was still strangely absent. Truth be told she was not channeling her Exaltation yet or in the cause of her Cousin: showing it.
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Postby Parcia » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:34 pm

Indeed, the old man was not as slow as he let on, the deflection was foreseen, and the counter strike to his arm was a move he would attempt him self. How ever in his tired state she was faster then he and so all he found him self able to do was to shunt the blow, reversing the grip and letting the blow ride off it's edge, this would how ever open up his lower side to a fallow up blow. To compensate for this, he pivoted on his foot, attempting to open the distance between were the staff was and his side.

Next, he brought the edge of his sword down across her torso, attempting to intercept her Bo using the Saber's dull edge, this would be a test of his metal working as he would effectively be using it's spine as a bludgeon...a test that it would ultimately fail, as with a sharp crack, he watched in slow motion as the blade, the beautiful blade he had forged with his own hands form a spiderweb like crack and then shatter in to several pieces. This honestly caught him off guard and he temporarily lost his balancing, sending him forward in to Zara.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
Right leaning Centrist from Florida No I am not The Floridaman...hes my uncle. Other then that dont @ me about politics, im leaving that
hell hole behind until I leave Uni.
I reserve all rights to my posts, OCs, and contributions to any threads I post on.
I'm a Catholic too, figure that shit out!
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Postby Imperialisium » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:43 pm

Parcia wrote:Indeed, the old man was not as slow as he let on, the deflection was foreseen, and the counter strike to his arm was a move he would attempt him self. How ever in his tired state she was faster then he and so all he found him self able to do was to shunt the blow, reversing the grip and letting the blow ride off it's edge, this would how ever open up his lower side to a fallow up blow. To compensate for this, he pivoted on his foot, attempting to open the distance between were the staff was and his side.

Next, he brought the edge of his sword down across her torso, attempting to intercept her Bo using the Saber's dull edge, this would be a test of his metal working as he would effectively be using it's spine as a bludgeon...a test that it would ultimately fail, as with a sharp crack, he watched in slow motion as the blade, the beautiful blade he had forged with his own hands form a spiderweb like crack and then shatter in to several pieces. This honestly caught him off guard and he temporarily lost his balancing, sending him forward in to Zara.


Zara's staff was shunted by Yang's quick move and the impact was brought down into Yang's side. Her staff smacked him straight in the lower rib cage. She swung the staff around to deliver a quick follow up strike, however, Yang's offensive action with his sword. Which, if it struck probably would have forced Zara to back off her attack and give the initiative to her cousin. Was met by her moving Bo staff in mid motion. The staff broke but also her cousins blade shattered. Yang was caught off guard but Zara, as her extensive training kicked in, simply spun and carried out two swift one handed strikes with the two halves of her broken Bo staff. Wielding them like cudgels aiming for her Cousin's arm and quadricep.
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