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About This Game

On the thirty-third floor of a Nechara office building, the corpse-faced woman leans out a window and pulls the trigger of her sniper rifle of soulsteel and bone, putting a single bullet through a president’s skull. High over the Southern desert, a Tengese ace pilots a jet with an open cockpit. Dodging fire from a Varangian fighter squadron, he grips the control stick with one hand and hurls lightning with the other. West of the Neck, a swimmer catches hold of the conning tower of the submarine she’s been pursuing. Taking on a monstrous bestial form, she rips open a hatch against fifty atmospheres of pressure. At an observatory in the Juche hills, a man sits before a bank of computers studying radio telescope data of distant stars, from which he derives a prophecy foretelling the collapse of a mighty corporation. In Plenilune, a retired cop with nothing to live for challenges an untouchable drug baron so he can go out in a blaze of glory. Instead he blazes with golden light as he Exalts, his service revolver shining like the sun. Welcome to the Second Age of Creation. Welcome to the Modern Age.

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Full Description

This game shows us Creation as it might have been—a world which, despite being a flat expanse girded by Chaos, nonetheless resembles our own. It’s a world of skyscrapers and superhighways, of suburbs and strip malls, of sweatshops and smartphones, and all the other trappings of modern Earth.

But while this Creation is ruled by technology, it’s not without magic. At the world’s edge, aircraft and infantry hurl bombs and bullets against supernatural insurgents. The Exalted walk among mortals, too - shapeshifting Lunars stalk terrorist spirits amid Creation’s cities, while cadets volunteer for arduous genetic experiments to join the elemental Dragon-Blooded. And then there’s the Abyssal Exalted, rising from the mysterious new shadowlands to wreak mayhem and murder.

And now, in a world wracked by war and poverty, by blind ideology and ecological decay, a new cadre of Exalted have appeared from nowhere, burning bright as the sun. Can these “Solar Exalted” sweep away the darkness of this modern age?

  1. What's new in this game
  2. The look she gave Winter was made of daggers, she didn't like being tested, especially by the likes of him. She faced the priest and started to walk toward him the sway of her hips exaggerated. "Guest? Not worshiper's?" She swayed to an inner music playing in her head, her eyes taking in the details of the church, taking the measure of the man before her. "After all if those who come here are your guests then as such obligation is yours, but if worshipers then obligation is between the god and the supplicant. Odd." She took a step. " Choice." Then another. "Of." She stopped. "Word. Don't you think?" The last She asked over her shoulder at Winter who merely shrugged. Mordrys looked at the priest now that she was closer He didn't look like a monster. She looked into his eyes wanting to find something horrible wanted to see what he was hiding in his dark little mind. "So you hungry? Who's for dinner?"
  3. Well, Constance wouldn't be Constance if she didn't insist on poking in further. Toby didn't understand. She had a recording of a general and war hero admitting he'd covered up corruption by a subordinate. What more could you want? The whole Mordrys Black and bombing thing was interesting, but no point in taking unnecessary time and risks when they clearly were confirmed to be in an improvised military headquarters, run by the Dragon-Blooded. So Toby had to wait, controlling his nerves and praying Constance would have the sense to keep it brief.
  4. Constance's lips moved as she subvocalized the important details that she was hearing, over and over, committing them to memory. Major Larissa Tepist. General Cainan. Mordrys Black. RL-20 in Noss Fens. Catherine, daughter of General Cainan. Terrorist bombing 6 months ago where a band was performing. She looked at Toby. He was going to hate this. You couldn't find the truth without taking a chance though. "I'm going in," Constance whispered. "Watch my back." With a furtive glance around, and keeping hunkered low as she moved, Constance hurried to the scattered evidence to get some photos.
  5. 'If the alleys are up to code' was a high-grade oxymoron. This town was built on corruption and greed, so every jade sickle was shaven bald, each material downgraded in quality from the architectural agency to the contractors. By now, Mikhail was sure divine providence had more of a hand in keeping these building upright than sound principles of engineering. The chill and damp drove off people without business on the streets, and the alleys were collection points of hazy fog as the pipes exhausted steam and heat from the city's infrastructure. Even if he needed to hide himself, Mikhail knew no one had the professional courtesy to care. The walls were sprayed with graffiti ranging from booty calls to outcries of revolution. Against it, sagging halfway from what would otherwise be an emergency exit, was a rusted metal contraption, leading up towards the first flight of the stairways that would, in the event of disaster, save half the people and damn the rest. Judging from the blunts floating in the pools beneath its open-caged construction, it was used recently enough to give it a dare. The cheap lock on the bars was both an insult to fire safety and a cheap nod at security. Its locking ring had been rusted through, and the butcher's marks on the key face showed it had been picked or forced open multiple times. With a forceful snap and a slight application of his curved knife, Mikhail twisted the lock open and pushed the iron-barred door aside to ascend the fire escape. He took the time going up to ponder his current situation. Doggedly he'd been obeying the demands of his calling, as was proper, but by now he'd need to consider the one trailing along the edges of perception. She had forced him - not out of hiding, but more properly in sight by having the family perform the sacrament. It would narrow his movements, gave her a clear starting point where he would be moving from. From what he'd heard, she liked her business hands-on, using her claws - a decidedly inhuman choice of weaponry. But she was subtle, using threats and then vanishing after she was sure he'd been called, not taking advantage of those cramped quarters to get the drop on him. This, to him, indicated she needed time. Time to prepare, perhaps, or time to observe him. Whether or not she truly was an assassin, he couldn't say. This period of observation could be to mark any weaknesses or oversights to be exploited, or to gauge his character and way of thinking. For all he really knew, he could be hunted right now or performing the most dangerous job interview. But he'd hope for the best, prepare for the worst. “When others turn against me for standing betwixt them and unrighteous vendetta driven by prejudice, I will stand firm. For what is to give light, must also endure burning.” he quoted under his breath, a fine mist escaping his mouth into the cold air. The flat gravel roof gave a solid view of the surrounding buildings. A massive building project, a handful of buildings close together and - as Goza intimated - a twenty foot jump between them. The old An-Teng might not know how he'd be making that jump, but Mikhail was quite confident. He crouched low and assessed his surroundings. Squat, low sheds atop each roof accessed the stairs down into the building. He oriented himself towards his target, and scanned for the gleam of moonlight on weaponry, the red-hot glare of cigarettes being smoked. Easy and quick access did not mean unguarded. Additionally, he knew that a flat roof would be the ideal place to ambush him. If the assassin forced the sacrament, knowing where the boy was already, she could have spent all this time preparing a trap ahead of him at the target site. And a roof like this was hard to hide on, and away from witnesses. "I was not born yesterday" the old Eclipse muttered to himself as he pulled himself up the corner of the roof, dropping into a crouch as he drew his pistols from the holsters tucked under his coat.
  6. "After you, my dear," Winter said with eloquence befitting a man who may have been royalty before his passing. They decided to walk. Nothing screamed 'we did it' like pulling up to a soon-to-be-murder-scene in a damn tour bus with your band's logo on the side. Winter made for rather boring conversation, as usual, but she took it in stride. To say she trusted him would have been a lie for the centuries. She knew he'd sooner save her from a fire than he would toss her into one if it suited his personal agenda to do so. She knew he heard the whispers of the Neverborn, like she did, although according to him it was nothing near as powerful as her ability. She also knew the Neverborn cared for nothing, even her or him. They were tools, slaves to the Whispers despite how much freedom they thought they had, a gilded cage was still a cage. She had to wonder what they told him... "...if all goes well The Maiden of the Mirthless Smile should bring Thorns to it's knees in a matter of weeks." Winter said. She was half listening, but caught the last part. "For every soldier that dies, she gains one for her side of the fight. The Mistress of Pacts Sealed in Blood has already joined her, in an attempt to facilitate communication and terminate hostilities." He clammed up as they passed an old man walking out of a store front. He turned up his collar to the chill of the evening and when he saw the young couple he offered them a polite smile and a nod. They both eyed him suspiciously, after all this was the slums, you eyeballed everyone with suspicion, but he went his way and they went theirs. Nine blocks later they stood outside the gates to an Immaculate Cathedral. Home to the worship of the Black Jade Emperor and his sister, the Saint Cecilia. Winter smirked and pushed the wrought iron gates open and the two made their way across the grounds to the large doors. It was an elaborate affair of stained glass and gargoyles in the shapes of dragons and demons all being cast below by The One True God, the Black Jade Emperor. They pushed open the doors and stood in the alcove near the holy water basin. Before them was a massive array of pews and in the distance an elaborate organ and stands in the back for the choir and a of course the podium where the priest would give his weekly sermons. The place was massive, like some sports fields, and the intricacy of the carvings and stained glass were enough to warm Messiah's heart and truly appreciate the beauty of what they had created here... until she remembered the guy running the place was a piece of shit cannibal stealing away the offering of the dead so loved one's couldn't rest in peace. From off to the side, from a hidden alcove deep in the back, the man they were looking for stepped out. He was older, but not old. Maybe in his fifties, looked healthy and certainly seemed normal, but didn't they all? He was in elaborate robes befitting his station and he greeted them with a smile. "I'm sorry, but we're not entertaining guests anymore this evening. Unless of course it's an emergency. Are you two alright? Were you chased in here by the dregs of the neighborhood? I can call the authorities and have them escort you home." She looked to Winter who simply smiled and motioned for her to take the lead. "It's your show. I'm just here to observe and assist as needed."
  7. Goza shook his head. "Fallen in with a bad crowd? Heh, that's one way to put it I suppose. Eh," he shrugged, blowing a plume of white smoke into the air. "Getting to the boy will be difficult, from the ground. The top three floors though, that where a lot of them do their partying and they do not have much security on the roof, flying rival gangs area bit scarce these days, you see..." his chuckle was a mixture of wheezing and mirth. "These are thugs, Mik. Not well armed and even less in the brains department, I'll bet you could mow your through the front door with little difficulty. If you're looking for quieter or faster though, try the rooftop access stairs. How you get to those... well, I can no say. It's a good twenty foot leap from either of the neighboring buildings if the alleys are up to code." Mikhail nodded. Pressing the issue would have been bad form at this point. He'd paid and pushed a bit, so it was best to take what he'd been given and make the best of it, especially if he wanted his information to be good the next time he needed it. "Thank you, old friend." He exited the shop and pulled his collar up to the chill and dampness of Deleshin's streets. He began his walk and as he tucked his hands in his pockets to stave off the chill he passed a couple. She was beautiful with long black hair and lips to match, ripped denim jeans and a thick leather jacket. Her 'date' was pale, but average with his most striking feature being his bleached white hair. Like er, his leather coat kept the chill of the evening at bay, although neither looked particularly bothered by the cold. He offered them a smile and pressed on, they were polite enough but didn't stand on ceremony and simple continued on their way, opposite the way he was going. He had some intel. It wasn't much, but it was a place to start. Meanwhile... back at Goza's...
  8. It wasn't hard for Toby to scale the fence. With the power of his exaltation leaping over the fence was easy (and totally gratifying). Constance watched him to the leap, some kind of ninja, and a part of her wondered if she could do that as well... then he just sort of faded away. Itwasn't that he disappeared, no, he was there, but she just could't focus on him all that well, like when a fly buzzed her head and she swatted at it and thought it was still close by, but she just couldn't see it until the corner of her eye caught it moving several feet away. Toby had to keep himself from chuckling. Workers and guards could see him, but they didn't notice him! Hell, he even tipped his head to a guy walking past him and the guy returned the gesture and didn't think anything of Toby not belonging there. He didn't want to push his luck, so when guards came by he slunk into the shadows that seemed to preternaturally darken and welcome him. They passed and he smirked while tucking one of their key cards into the pocket of his coat. Constance paced back and forth, worry had taken her strides about five minutes ago but since there was no gun fire or commotion from the compound she assumed he'd not been discovered, or worse, caught. She spun on her heels and gasped in shock as Toby was standing right where she had just walked. She socked him in the shoulder for scaring her but only once as stealth was of the utmost importance. He presented he with a key card. "Service entrance around back. We can climb to the catwalks from there, these old warehouses are full of them. There's a control room or watch floor or something in that one, right there," he pointed to the nearest warehouse. "Security is lighter than I thought. Follow me." Toby still wasn't a hundred percent on board with the idea of taking her along, but she was nothing if not persistent. Either he helped, or she'd just come back and get her self killed without him. He was about to turn and explain how he was going to help her over the fence when she landed with the grace of an gymnast not far from him. He wasn't the only one blessed with great power. She followed his route, phone down at her hip tucked away and recording everything she passed by. Toby even had to drag her along at one point because she'd tried to hide and record a couple of guards having a conversation. The door unlocked with a muffled 'beep', allowing them slide into the shadows of the chaotically arranged warehouse. For military types, they were quite messy... or planning on leaving... or staying. They climbed up to the unguarded catwalks and in the shadows followed them until they were not far from that 'watch floor' Toby had mentioned. Constance realized it was more of an investigation spread than a watch floor, with pictures, debris, and motic interfaces rendering three dimensional images that played through an event over and over. She recognized the event... it was a terrorist bombing that took place several months ago. A few technicians were compiling info and for the most part couldn't care less what was happening around them. She knew their type, they were working six/twelve shifts and were over worked and underappreciated. It was the woman near one of the dry erase boards littered with taped photos and colored lines for connections, that caught her eye. The large sword on her back, the one that needed a custom designed scabbard to carry it, betrayed her as one of the 'Dragon-Blooded', the new Elite Special Forces of Creation. Her uniform was different from everyone else's, which was not uncommon for them. They tended to dress in colors akin to their element and wear about anything they liked, within reason. When you were wielding the power of essence, the energy of gods (so they claimed), you got away with pretty much anything. Her choice was modest. Simple knee high boots, tight black pants and her officer's blouse underneath with a few awards pinned to the left side of her chest and a dark red leather coat that matched the hue of the red tinged alloy of her blade. Her long black hair was braided and then wrapped into a tight bun. "Major Tepist," a strong booming voice spoke calmly from the darkness. A mountain of a man stepped from the darkness dressed similarly to her save that his hair was fiery red. He was square jawed and looked like all six foot six of him was built for war. The major spun on her heels surprised. "G-general Cainan," she stood a bit taller and tried to look as professional as one could when blindsided by someone who required certain protocols when visiting... and she was never told he was visiting. "T-twhat do I owe..." "Let's keep this informal," he raised a hand dismissing her bearing. "Everyone leave please." And just like the technicians poured out in a hurry. When they had all left, he continued. "So, how goes this six month investigation?" "W-well," she was completely unprepared to brief a four star general and war hero, and it showed. "There were no survivors in the bombing save one. The only body not recovered was one Mordrys Black. Lead signer of the band that performing at the time of the explosion. Although her body was discovered among the dead she, uh... walked away." "She walked away?" He asked in disbelief. Major Tepist shrugged. "For all intents and purposes, yes, sir. Since then she has been spotted here in Deleshin, but attempts to apprehend her for questioning have all failed. It's a matter of time though, General." "I'm sure it is," he offered an assuring smirk as he handed her an envelope. "What's this?" She asked. "Your reassignment orders. There is a new batch at the RL-20 Facility that needs training, you're to report to the Noss Fens and assist the CO in getting these new eggs ready. My daughter Cathrine with be finishing your work here," he turned to walk away. "B-but sir! This is my investigation! This isn't right! It's not fair!" She changed from proud military soldier to spoiled brat in one sentence. "I worked hard to get this assignment, sir. I earned this!" He spun about, fury in his glare as wisps of embers began to slowly lift from him like they might from a fire in a soft summer breeze. "Indeed you did, Lissara. The next time you think sleeping with your commanding officer in an attempt to blackmail him into promoting you is a good idea... remember this day." He calmed, his breathing was more controlled as the embers died away. "I vouched for you. That is why I'm delivering the paperwork, personally. You let me down, you let us all down. What you did was stupid and it's only by the grace of The Black Jade Emperor that I've kept this scandal as quiet as I have. You will reports there in three days time, pack your things, Captain." "C-captain?" Her began to moisten at the sound of a demotion. "Read the paperwork, Larissa. Best of luck to you." He turned and walked out. She didn't read the paperwork right away. Her fist clenched as she watched him walk back into the shadows. After another moment, in a fit of rage her arm slid across the table of evidence sending it scattering all over the floor. The dry erase board was next and it was send sailing through the air and into the shadows with a clamor as she stomped off into the darkness herself. After the door slammed there was an awkward and eerie silence.
  9. Mordrys paused and slowly her lips bent upward into a very disturbing smile. "What," asked Winter "Punishing the cannibal is fine but we must not lose our sense of purpose. His death at our hand must not lose context or it will just be seen as an unfortunate albeit terrible murder in a city overwhelmed by such. No we must show the world and those grieving families that their hope was misplaced in the anointed of their religion. That the hope that they placed in this mortal monster was misguided and that the only true respite from the despair of death is the embracement of Oblivion." She sticks the end of a red twizzler between her black lips and takes a bite. "Shall we?"
  10. Chance broke out into a wide, radiant grin and offered Toby a fist-bump. "Yes...all right, you scout the way and I'll foll...I'll wait for you to get back and show me. Quietly, of course!" Staying put for the moment, she watched Toby start to leave, marveling despite herself at how easy it was to lose track of him in the gloom.
  11. A pause that stretched out for several moments before Toby sighed and gave in. "All right. After I find the way in, and how to get you there." Then he walked away, seeming to fade away like a ghost out the alleyway and around the corner. First step, get another angle to view their setup, and see how he could penetrate it.
  12. "One time," Chance replied hotly...or as hotly as one could while whispering. "One time I tripped. A foot scuff is not a trip. It's only a trip if you actually start to fall." She sighed and checked her phone to make sure it was on silent. "Besides, you wouldn't know what pictures to take. I need to see what's going on...who's there, what they're doing. These black ops things are set up to mess with you...they have disinformation in layers. The important looking stuff will be decoys." Chance finally shook her head. "I need to be there. I'm better than I used to be. Whatever happened..." she wasn't quite as ready to buy into the 'exalted' stuff as Toby, "...I'm faster now. I have a lot of control. I can do this." I'll just leave out the part where I'm practically a living weapon now. Not the reassuring vibe I'm going for.
  13. "Heh." Truth be told, the Solar had a very good indication what it was about him that pissed people off. Whether it was because of what he did in his past, because of the truth in what he was, or because of who he physically manhandled, there'd always be someone who'd want a piece of him. What irked him, however, was that this so-called assassin would go through these lengths, but not follow through. Had she been hiding in the apartment, she'd have had the drop on him. Instead, she wanted him to take up on the ritual sacrament and lead him here. He got up and straightened the collar of his overcoat, gently placing the ceramic cup back on its saucer on the table. "Then I will be thanking you for your hospitality, and find myself in less hospitable places, before she turns out to have followed me here." before he got out the door though, he looked over his shoulder, back at the old pervert. "But it's not her that concerns me, not yet. If this kid has fallen in with a bad crowd, I'll need to make it right somehow. I've got a promise to keep, and that means I need to be able to get to him without having to strong-arm my way through his new friends." There was an almost palpable sense of purpose radiating off Mikhail, as if he could force his way through the metal door by the strength of his conviction alone. "Goza, old friend. Is there anything you can tell me to give me an opportunity there?""
  14. "You do remember what happened the last time we worked together?" Toby asked, without changing expression still. Chance's brow furrowed as she tried to remember. "You mean the kids being kidnapped for experimentation? What about it?" Toby sighed. "First off, those were human traffickers, just standard-grade pieces of filth." It was a pre-teen pair of twins, brother and sister. For once, Toby hadn't demanded anything when Chance told him exactly what was going on. "And I told you, that was just their cover." Chance promptly insisted again. "Those crooks were working for Someone." You could hear the capitalizations. "Getting off topic!" Toby interrupted, with faint annoyance showing now. "I refer where you not only had your phone volume on with that obnoxiously loud ringtone, but the tripping. Lord Lucien the tripping. We had to stay in that crawlspace for 30 minutes until I was sure they stopped looking." Chance blushed now that she remembered. "So, now we are here, going up against not merely high-end security, but milSpec types here. Now I for one relish the challenge," and this got the first smile out of Toby, that game face grin she remembered well, "but I don't recall you saying being Exalted made you any better at sneaking around. Let me take the camera, and I'll get you the pictures you want."
  15. "Good," Chance said, glancing back around the edge of the stack of boxes she'd taken cover behind. "You still have your edge. Look over there." She waved a hand at the sinister crew and their vehicles. "I got word a few days ago that all the squatters got tossed out of the buildings around here for like, a block around. Same time, there's been chatter about..." Chance paused, noticing Toby's expression. Maybe he didn't need the whole backstory. "Okay, right. I need to get eyes on whatever's in that warehouse they're unloading those vans into. Which means I need you to..." she made little 'walky' fingers, "...find a way in, find a way for me to GET to the way in from here, without being seen, and then I'll get pictures and we can get out." When Toby's expression didn't change, she got a crestfallen look. "What?"
  16. Goza leaned in and looked at the picture as Mikhail rolled off a few notes of jade script. He looked to the picture, then to Mikhail, the back to the picture. "Mik," he pronounced it 'Mike' instead of 'Mick'. "We've done business many years. I hate to tell you, but this boy is not dead. He was not killed by one of the lowlifes around here. He is one of the lowlifes. Drugs, murder... he's part of the little band of hoodlums holed up in a building three blocks from here. It would not surprise me if the reason you've been so busy lately is because of him and his little group of bastards." "As for your other problem," he smirked as Mikhail thumbed out a few more bills of scratch. "I do not know who she is, but I do know she has an arrangement with N'Gezer. You now him? Big time drug and sex dealer. Weed so loud he smokes in surround sound. Good shit. Hell of a kick" [Connections: Criminal Underworld] "I know of him, yes." The old Solar replied dryly. "He sold you out. Word is a few days ago he made a big bargain with her. Told her everything he knew about you. Knows what hand you wipe with now and she is pissed." Goza clenched his fist to accent his point. "Something about you, old man. Something about you that just makes people wanna be all up in your gut. Why do you always have to piss everybody off? If it's any consolation, I hear she's really hot. Prettier the assassin the more the person who sent them after cares! No one wants to die by an ugly person... very shit way to end a legacy." He nodded sagely and took a drag from his cigarette.
  17. Mikhail had to admit the old An-Teng had him at a disadvantage. While he was here to ask about a slain boy, Goza had turned the tables and made it about him. He had never liked it when things revolved around him, it rarely spelled good news. He did the best he could to keep a neutral expression while accepting the small cup of scabrous dishwater that passed for tea in Goza's home. Mikhail had the constitution of a bull elephant in musth, and even he did not relish the thought of pouring this bile down his throat. "You have me all wrong Goza," he said while producing the picture of the boy he took from the tenement, "this boy was killed here some time ago. Some say it was foul play, some an accident. You of all people should know I am not amused by unresolved familial tragedies. I want to know what happened to him." Then he leaned forward a bit. "Of course I will make it worth your while. And if you do happen to have some juicy gossip that revolves around me and this trouble that revolves around the hunted hunter, well...I would be deeply appreciative." In one gulp, he threw back the small ceramic cup, the viscous liquid sliding down like hot tar. Mikhail grinned that wolfish grin while counting out some scrip in his hands. He'd know when he'd have hit the right amount of cash once Goza'd have that gleam in his eyes that said his greed had overtaken his self-preservation.
  18. The door buzzed and Mikhail entered. In this neighborhood it was a good idea to keep the gates over the doors 24/7, or better yet, just not have a business around here at all, but that wasn't the case. The store was closed for the night but that didn't mean nothing wasn't going on in the back. Goza was certainly here, as was the rancid scent of that swill he called 'tea', and appeared to be in the process of multitasking between what looked like bootlegging porn and trying to develop pictures of a few strangers having a great time in a hotel. Mikhail didn't mind the dark, his eyes focused and everything became a black and white outline to his senses. "Oh. Ohohohohoh... you are in some trouble, 'old friend'." Goza chuckled. He was walking around the back room with nothing more than the dim light of the old television screens as to not ruin the pictures he was developing (who developed pictures these days?). He was in nothing more that humble jeans, a stained white tank top and bummy house slippers and looked like he hadn't washed his hair or Fu Manchu for a week. "I know why you're here. The hunter is now the hunted, hmm?"
  19. Mikhail listened in amazement to the couple's story. "I agree, it is a strange thing that this woman would hurt you simply for the ritual to proceed. But you don't need to concern yourselves with that now." He got up from the chair and closed up his coat, his expression softening. "My condolences for your loss. You obviously don't know what happened exactly, and your feelings must be all the worse for it. The sacrament is called, so you can leave the burden of guilt with me. I will find out what happened, and once I do, I will take appropriate measures." His response was measured, as it always was in cases where those who performed the ritual were unaware of the circumstances of what they were asking vengeance for. If one calls on vengeance for themselves, it's clear-cut. But here, the greatest need of the family was knowledge and closure, not merely a simple act of revenge. It made his work more complicated, but the results were all the more beneficent for it. Picking up the picture from the table that was used to perform the ritual, he turned back towards the parents. "What was your son's name?" He nodded at the answer he received and left the apartment for the back streets, tucking the photograph in his pocket. He knew what they knew, which was not enough. And when you don't know anything, you go and visit people who do. You visit Goza. The scrawny An-Teng might pose as the proprietor of a dingy little camera store, but his real trade was in surveillance. For the last twenty years a least he'd been gathering and spreading gossip like a bee spreads pollen. Most of it of value, some of it designed to confuse people - that was how he protected himself. Like all stores in the bad parts of town, the windows were mostly covered by steel grating, and the welcoming front door gave way to small stairs leading up, blocked by a second door whose metal frame was filled with iron bars. Goza would be lured into conversation only by the promise of credits, he knew, so he'd have to be prepared to part with some lunch money to get a proper starting point in the Mikhail pressed the button on the intercom next to the barrier. "Goza, old friend. I am a simple man, with simple questions. Care to entertain an old friend with tea and conversation?"
  20. Cecil 'The Geezer' N'Gezer Quote: "Respect. Come, let us deal. A prolonged fire fight would not prove cost effective." Power Level: Below Average (his handicap makes it difficult for him to defend himself) Twenty years ago, Cecil was one of the first Dragon-Blood super soldiers to reach the public spotlight. Eight years later he suffered a crippling injury in a skirmish with Raksha that never quite healed properly. He assumed that he would be reassigned, but no. His newly acquired handicap had earned him an honorary discharge but for all intents and purposes, he was no longer of any use to the government. Seething with anger he left Meruvia and arrived in Deleshen where he used his magical prowess to go into free enterprise narcotics dealing and vice peddling. Now, twelve years later, he is a crime kingpin with a grudge against the Meruvian government and all Dragon-Bloods as a whole as he is jealous of their prowess and shuns his own handicap as a weakness. He retreats from his self-loathing with copious amounts of drugs, sex and perverse debauchery. He is always accompanied by a pair of attractive women simply reffered to as 'The Twins'. Rumors on the street say that they are awakened mortal sisters that have been trained in exotic fighting styles. The pair is known for their sadistic tendencies and act as N'Gezer's personal bodyguards and assassins. N'Gezer is a consummate businessman and gangster. While it's difficult to trust him since he's always serving his own interests, he holds a major grudge against the 'polite society' that shunned him after he became crippled. IT's for this reason he's usually willing to work others to help bring down the establishment... however, he's no one's friend. He learned that lesson a long time ago.
  21. A Thousand Little Pieces Here will be where all the NPCs for the various stories will live. While most of you at some point will encounter or even work with some of these as the stories move forward, the game is and always will be about you, the players. With each of them I may or may not include a character sheet. Feel free to use this in your own home games, but do not feel for a moment that just because I made a sheet for the NPCs that I follow those sheets. They are a guideline that I use for defining the level of threat you might face. Also I use a simple system for warning you, the players, who you should mess with and who you shouldn't. Consider it a free 'Common Sense' merit function. Power Level: Weak - Few NPCs will fall under this category, since it's usually reserved for mooks and henchmen. Weak NPCs might talk tough, but they will rarely oppose you directly. They know better. Below Average - As per the PCs but with Dice Pools generally three or four points less, lacking large amounts of health levels or Essence to pull of useful charms or combos. Heroic Mortals and weaker Dragon Bloods fall into this category. Average - Your opposition is equal to you in relative power. Above Average - These guys fight smart. They may be equal to you in power, or slightly more powerful, but they are always one step ahead in the grand scheme of things. They generally have useful combos and fight intelligently or have small armies to do all their dirty work for them. Generally these guys have pools a few points higher than your own. Obscene - Battling these guys is unwise. It will take several of you fighting as a team to bring these giants down. The pool for these guys are generally a lot larger and they do not conform to the standard rules. Infernals are a prime example of this. They have all the media, the military, and large stores of obscenely powerful weaponry lying around for use in destroying you... and they will! Try not to piss them off until you're sure you can handle the blow back.
  22. The door cautiously opened and a woman stood in the threshold. Her eyes were puffy from tears and remnants of her makeup could be seen in streaming patterns down her cheeks. She was so filled with sorrow that Grandfather Mischief's heart sank. Behind her he could see a man sitting on a chair dabbing a blood stained paper towel to his throat. Her eyes widened and she inhaled deeply as she finally looked upon the man at her door. Mikhail wasn't aware of the thaumaturgy that allowed him to hear other's prayers for vengeance, but for a moment, those who summoned him could see his golden caste mark glimmering in soft motes upon his forehead, declaring their prayers were answered by the Unconquered Sun (even if they had no idea who or what the Unconquered Sun was). "Y-you're here..." she stood aside and motioned for him to enter. "A woman, she was here... she forced me to do the ritual. I d-didn't think it was real..." For the next few minutes the couple explained to Mikhail what had happened. They provided a description of the woman that attacked them: tall, black hair, black makeup, black clothing, 'really hot' the husband offered up and it earned him a dagger-like glare from his wife. He only shrugged and asked 'what'? "She told us to direct you to those who took our son from us. It didn't make any sense to us that she would hurt us just to help you avenge us." She shrugged. "Moths ago our boy, Daniel, was taken from us. Drug dealers and hoodlums who peddle their filth no far from here have made these streets unsafe for the rest of us. Our boy left months ago and he never came home. With all the shootings and violence in the streets, the gangs, the dealers... we know it was them. A neighbor saw him being harassed by a few of them the night he disappeared. We told him never to go around that building they took over. We told him to stay away...," she broke down into tears.
  23. "To be clear, I do not need you," He corrected her swiftly and with a tone that betrayed a slight hint on his own hubris. The Dusk Caste was goo at what he did and often worked alone, for him to have chosen to be The Death Metal Messiah's 'mentor' was about as strange of an occurrence as the rumors of the Underworld could have lately. Why he decided to show her the ropes had always been a slight tapping in the back of her mind. "You've been in Creation for a half a year, I've shown you much and you've been allowed to do, how do you say it? 'Your own thing'." He leaned against the wall and folded his arms, only using one of them to gesture while he spoke. "Your days of guttural mewling into a phallus shaped object for the entertainment of these skin-socks is over. Our masters have decided you are ready, this will be your test. If you perform your duties satisfactorily then you will be free to pursue your own agenda as you see fit. If not, I will destroy you so that your power can move on to one more competent. However I will enjoy torturing your ghost for eternity until the only thing you have left is the hope that I will allow you to finally move on." It was no surprise that Winter hated Creation and for some reason he hated what Messiah did with her time, almost as if she were royalty rolling around in the mud with the peasants, but he was also a Dusk and unless it came to war, he wasn't one for the long game, that much was obvious. "This priest, William Luckley, is a corpse eater. A cannibal. Normally that wouldn't be our concern, but he's performing funerary rights to families. He's extorting money from people to perform rights for a body that isn't in the casket, it's in his freezer. Without those rights the dead can not rest peacefully, nor can the family offer proper homage to their ancestors since there was no proper burial performed." He pushed off the wall and his fist was encased in in necrotic essence. It flickered and dances like a blackish/purple flame before being snuffed out with an audible wisp. "And that, dear Priestess of the Neverborn, I shan't abide. We will rectify this problem tonight. We will give the family's closure and see to it that the cycle continues." She wasn't sure if Winter realized it or not, but it was in that moment that it dawned on Mordrys that the Abyssals were as much bound to Creation as they were to the Underworld. Creation needed them. Without them, or people to properly keep the living in line and the dead in check, one would undoubtedly overtake the other... so, why hadn't the Neverborn allowed this yet if Oblivion was their ultimate end game?
  24. Mikhail was swift, but not slap-dash, strapping on the under-armor before putting on his suit. His guns, heavy in the holsters at the side of his chest, were swiftly covered by his jacket. He decided on a shawl today, and an overcoat. The weather was nippy and cloudy, and the threat of rain loomed on the horizon. Like an undertaker preparing to meet the grieving family for the first time, he steeled himself before going out the door. "I am but one of a handful of lights in the dark of the night sky. But for some, I may be the only light they ever see." Locking the door behind him, he made his way down the hall to the elevator. The distance to cross was small, and he knew the area well. It would take him little time to reach the building, the floor, the apartment. Then, like the bearer of bad news, he'd ring the bell with that slow, long touch that signals to the inhabitants that someone was at the door who meant business.
  25. The sound of the downpour almost drowned out the sound of the phone alert, but Toby had it vibrating too. It didn't matter much, he could guess it was from Chance and what it likely was. Funny really. Toby hadn't had any work with Chance in a while. It was rare she had the money to scrape together to pay him, although in earlier years when he was thankful for any dollar he could get his prices were much more affordable. If she wanted an interview as a 'street source' - well, he was willing to discount, but truthfully he had long not taken her too seriously. A tabloid journalist who did - well, Toby got on amiably with her but at heart if you asked him who was more of a respectable professional, Toby Lupin would name himself that in a heartbeat. And with his new Exalted talents, payouts hundreds of times better were his for the plucking. So why was he heading out to meet her when he should be inside, drinking hot chocolate? Ironically, the same sun-lit powers. Which helped him sneak and hide better, for another degree of irony. They were his ticket to the best of everything, but Toby knew absolutely zilch as to why he got them. All the other known Exalted types were pretty clear. Dragon-Bloods: government super genetic enhancements. Abyssals: well, not precisely known but death, shadowlands and the Underworld were pretty glaring links. Lunars: all right, no one knew, but they were the oldest of urban legends and nobody confirmed they actually existed. The details probably would matter some day, whether or not he was found out. Under the circumstances, Chance's 'leads' were probably as good as anything, given she apparently was Exalted too now. Who'da thought? Toby parked a couple blocks away from where they would meet before he got out and then slammed the door shut. "Hi." Chance kept herself from reflexively screaming, and turned her head around to see Toby leaning on the wall behind her. How did he do that? "So, what are we looking for?"
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