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> Next steps - protecting Chisomo & Chibueze
Christine
post Aug 2 2017, 07:53 AM
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All

Have had next to no time to think about this, apologies, I blame Terry and Percy, which isn’t entirely fair but neither is life. We need to protect the remnants of Chibueze & Chisomo from Rachane the Devourer. I’m sure there must be something clever we could do to save them, lure Rachane into a trap by using the last luck of Evaristus, lure Louhi to a place (probably by using one of the other Chosen Alfari as he wants to devour them) and at the same time weaken Salas / Certizal, but I can’t work it out yet and I don’t think we know enough about how things work. Louhi is still benefiting from his pact with Rachane, I don’t see the merit in looking for a fight when we don’t know how to kill someone.

I’m concerned about the warning from Talthar about the Echoes of the Word, and CA’s warning about the word “cathexis” – if I am right in ordinary terms it means focussing all your will or emotion on one thing in a way that isn’t the healthiest – sort of more than an obsession – but here it is a word of power that seems to draw out that focus in a supernatural sense. Perhaps the word that was spoken did that to someone – drew out their strength and mental will, and in so doing formed the gods from what was left? Maybe the gods are parts of one person? It’s all just speculation, I can’t scry, and the Decrees I used to have were shattered over the Dawn.

But we have little time and we need to do something, so I think all we can do is to try and protect the two remnants as we have said we will. Dusk seems to be of a similar view when we very briefly discussed it. We can find a place, in Miere I imagine as the map works there, and use the divine haven function of the map to protect them – I am not sure how long they can remain there without problems but it buys us time and them safety – I’d suggest such a location was physically hidden and defended as well in order to avoid Louhi or others trying to get in / send in summonations and break it.

I’ve listed all the anomalies below – any comments welcome but I am aware we have very little time.

Liara



Activate Anomalies: Glorianave unleash Rudtreth - 7425

Activate Defences (Guardian): Thimon Rebellion - 8154

Deactivate Anomalies: Battle of Bridge End - 9895 Activate Defences (Dynamo): KotL slay Baf-rav-el - 10115

Divine Haven: Myron Forges Peace (811)

Increase Peon Strength in Nacht: The Feral Plague (427)

Weaken One Anomaly, Strengthen Another: Reforging of the Shattered Isles (1011)

Weaken Person In Anomaly (one use only, not 100% success rate, should really really not be used on living anchors): Cavrin Killed (7537)

Transport Person/Object out of Anomaly (not 100% success rate): Birth of Voradal (5326)

Transport Person Into Anomaly (not 100% success rate): Mimram Treaty Ratified (8126)

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Christine
post Aug 2 2017, 08:58 AM
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It turns out we need an active anomaly to use the Divine Haven on, so I have prepared a shortlist.

It excludes the linked active anomalies #10 and #8 which we need to resolve (in that order), #2 which is the Citadel Cellar / Salas’ ritual chamber linked to Louhi, and #13, the Netter shrine which we are hoping to be able to use in some way to catch or trap some of the many things we’d like to catch or trap.

Also excluded are #26, #27, #31, #36, #38, #39, which are being investigated by the second group hired by the Inquisition.

This leaves the below, which isn’t as helpful as I had liked, as we have only one anomaly we know anything about, and the Courtyard. I’m reluctant to interfere with an anomaly when we don’t know what it does. Furthermore, all of these anomalies are fairly central and using them could pose a significant risk to the people nearby. Realistically, the Courtyard is our best option if we don't want to use the Cellar or the Shrine, so I am going to investigate further on that basis.

Liara


Anomaly #11

Location: The Citadel, Courtyard
Nature: Unknown
Notes: Anyone attempting to investigate this anomaly via the map becomes suddenly incapable of breath, in the manner of a Drown spell. This effect is permanent until dispelled. Caution is advised in the event of further investigation.

Anomaly #28

Location: Oval building by Citadel
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #29

Location: Corner building by Citadel
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #30

Location: Warehouse
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #32

Location: Central Path
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #33

Location: North of Central Path
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #34

Location: South of Central Path
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #35

Location: F-shaped building by Citadel
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #37

Location: Triangle building by Citadel
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

Anomaly #40

Location: Southernmost, near Grey Tug
Nature: ??
Notes: ??

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RichFromant
post Aug 2 2017, 09:34 AM
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Hello,

I have got a proper job now so don't get much of a chance to get out and about as I would like but I should be good to come and help when you next go back to Port Meire.

So, I have read most of what you have wrote, but being honest, I was pretty drunk when I did and sure I have forgotten some already but you get points for trying right? But looking at the above, is it worth investigating the warehouse that is Anomaly 30? My main thinking that if we getting some form of haven spell cast we probably want it inside somewhere so that people don't accidentally walk in to it then never leave because it feels great in them. The other buildings on the list are all by the citadel which could end up being caught up in the stuff planned for there.

That's about the most helpful input I can give for now, hopefully others can add more

Harley Skinner
Rodanne Watch Captain
Amlasian Chair Champion IM1017



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Rich

For extended length bookings and queries please use fromum@labyrinthe.co.uk
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Christine
post Aug 2 2017, 10:11 AM
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Thanks Harley - I think the courtyard one works (its like a big cube of water, inside is all underwater and full of nasty sea things), and the others are too near people. We've done some scrying and think its the best plan so we're going to go with that - at least people are avoiding the are because its so dangerous and normal people can't just walk underwater, so it shouldn't impact on their lives.

Liara
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ethuil
post Aug 2 2017, 10:49 AM
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(Following the decision to keep Chibueze safe in a Haven, the following occurs in late July, giving you some time and space before the next event to discuss and plan - sorry that you don't actually have all that time to discuss and plan.)

It is no small thing to move a true Goddess. Those Deities who walk the world in manifest forms may do so trivially; those for Whom manifestation is irrelevant find it far more difficult. And yet, in desperation, it is done. As time runs short to shield the Goddess Chibueze and Her wounded brother Chisomo from the Devourer, prayers are sent up in Her name. The offered words tell Her first of the plan, and draw Her second back to Port Miere - where sanctuary will await, once all is in place.

When Her touch begins to fall on the city, many days ahead of Her full arrival, the difference is palpable. Those of low birth find themselves kneeling more fully at the feet of those who claim dominion over them, cowed by the knowledge that they are less and their masters are more. The Reavers are stronger, harder, and begin not to tolerate the presence of lesser beings.

Fortunately for the city’s peasantry, the Reavers also seem to consider themselves above the need to slay them for their insolence - or too important to do so personally. Occasionally, and only occasionally, people feel instead the value of small deeds - how they build up upon one another to improve the state of the world.

So the presence of Chibueze draws slowly over Port Miere, and comes to rest past the Citadel at its rear - where a flooded courtyard stands nestled amidst the domineering building. Few are touched by Her power as it passes the last few steps to its destination, for almost all have been evacuated from the area by the Reavers and the City Watch, driven all the harder by the righteousness lent to them by Her power.

Getting into the courtyard does not prove easy for the mercenaries, but it does certainly prove to be simple. Walk through Water spells for those who need them, lanterns to see within the dark depths of the fetid ocean water, and more than a few blades to slice apart the sea creatures that lash within its depths. No effort is made to push onwards and find the resolution to the anomaly, for to do so would be to render the expedition pointless - instead they simply scour the anomaly for black ribbons and then hunker down in a tower of stone.

Once there, Dusk brings his hands to his head and begins to scry. The now-familiar low chuckle that fills his ears in response, a lie and the truth all at once, tells him that the message has gotten where it needs to. Back on Primus, where a waystation sprawls over the new Eastern coastline, small hands turn the dials on Salas’s map.

“8 - 1 - 1 - 5,” murmurs the Inquisitor known as Daedalia Wilton, observed by several guards and the ever-present gaze of her unasked-for God.

The final dial clicks into place, and there is a wash of golden power that hurls all of them against the walls - a wash that spills out so heavily that it crashes into the Xathrean Ocean like another tidal wave. But where Salas’s Dawn tempest destroyed cities, this huge wall of golden energy leaves the ocean calm. It billows forth into the Mittlenacht and beyond to Port Miere, where in a rush like an exhaled breath it settles upon the Citadel’s courtyard.

In a moment, the oppressive nature of Chibueze’s presence fades - the faint lingering of Chisomo’s lifts from the city. There is nothing at all but the forced peace, an echo of a hundred treaties and accords formed in the past, made manifest upon the area. Even the sea creatures still, coming to rest on the ground around the courtyard’s fountain.

One by one the mercenaries tumble out of the water, shaking themselves and pulling strings of poisonous seaweed from their limbs.

“Well,” Zaton says, wrinkling his nose up and pocketing some of the seaweed for later. “Tha’s unpleasant.”

“The water, or the ritual?” quips Morgan.

Zaton grunts. “Yeah.”

Harley lifts his head, takes off his swimming goggles, and looks up at the now still waters before them. “Definitely looks like a haven. How long do you think it’s going to hold up?”

“No idea. Could be here the rest of the year.” Liara steps towards the edge of the anomaly, one hand out, and traces where the power ends. “I wonder whose power this is. Can you tell, er, your highness?”

A short, pale figure in silver robes steps alongside the priest. Power crackles between the woman’s fingertips, a mixture of prismatic lightning, coiling bands of viridian, and a monochrome braid of glowing spiritual power. They spill out from her hands as she raises them not unlike Liara a moment before.

“It seems comfortable here,” remarks the Sallow Princess idly, tilting her head. “As if it has found something it knows. Not the Seven; the anomaly itself. In all likelihood, it is the power of the Lord of the Deep.”

“[----] Gods. First the Green Mana Dragon has fire, and now Salas has Gold magic?”

Cleophas turns her head and stares blankly up at the conglomeration of snow and ice next to her. “Deific powers are not bound by the shackles of mortals. To Them, the barriers of the Dragons or the colour of souls do not exist. Casting the shadows of your own bindings upon the Gods will only lead you to misundersta-”

Rufus is the first to notice as Liara stumbles, clutching her heart. He steps forward, lifting his sword, and then the ground shakes - a quake that rumbles all things but the anomaly before them, which remains untouched and untroubled by the shaking power. In the sky, a huge storm begins to draw in from the Mittlenacht, crackling with vicious lightning that seems not to snap but to sprawl like tentacles.

“Rachane,” Dusk says, pulling his shield from his back. “We should -”

“No - no, it’s not Him.”

“Liara?”

“It’s not him, it’s the Reavers. Achramas. She’s felt like this before, when...oh, [----] hell. Find out which of them is dead.” They stare blankly at her, and Liara waves her good hand at Dusk. “Mielikki. Tapio. One of them’s dead, this is just like with Ilmatar.”

Dusk reaches for the power left hovering around him. “Which of them is dead?” he asks, feeling the prayer rush out from him. The response is instant, a lie but still the truth - he knows how to tell the difference now, knows the half-frustrated and half-amused voice that echoes through his mind.

Mielikki.

He casts again, a longer miracle this time. “How did he die?”

Just like his sister - at the hands of someone he loved. Everyone has a weakness. His limbs were transported from his body one by one until he could no longer stand. He gave everything - fought an eternal fight - but you cannot fight when you are in a dozen pieces.

Liara looks at Dusk with an empty, expressionless gaze for a moment before standing straighter, and opens her mouth to tell them to leave - seconds before the assassins leap out of the shadows. Morgan, Rufus and Harley are fighting on instinct before anyone, Dusk and Snow a moment later. Zaton slinks into the shadows behind the familiar masked figures and strikes at them from surprise - Marrow walls away several of them and begins to fight the others.

But there are too many. Wizards come on the heels of the assassins and call acid and lightning down from the sky; warriors with more power than any of the forces of Certizal that they have fought before step forward. More, and more, and more come - cutting off their path to the anomaly where sanctuary can be found.

Then there is a sharp, pained gasp from the middle of the group - the cacophony of a thousand incomprehensible whispers - and they are gone.

For a long, long moment, all that each of them can hear is the fluttering of pages. Whorls of incandescent light spill before their eyes, interwoven with shadows. There is the glimpse of bookcases and stairs, twisted and impossible as they trail up walls and across the ceiling and coil in upon themselves. Of pouring waterfalls filled with faces; of wisps of power that flicker in and out of being in the air, each a different colour from the last, the colour of hope, the colour of dreams.

They land hard upon the ground of an unfamiliar building, castle-like in its grandeur, staring up at a pair of wooden doors bedecked in silver scrollwork. Most of them are sprawled over the flagstones, some crouched, one or two still throwing their blades before them in a strike at nothing but air. The only person standing is Cleophas, who hisses as she pushes shut the two-story-high doors. There is a bloody stain on her back, pooling through the silver silk of her robes.

“Was that -”

The Sallow Princess chokes back a retch, and keeps one hand over the doors as if afraid they might open. “Don’t think about it,” she mutters, the sound only discernible because of the sudden silence. “Don’t. It’s not real. It’s all in your head, he’s just in your head, just a memory, he’s not - you don’t have to -”

They press healing prayers into Cleophas’s wound and the blood ceases to pool across her back. When she turns to face them, her eyes are not her own - brown where they should be hazel, the gold and green within them drawn away.

“Thank you,” she says, folding her shaking hands in front of her. Her voice is strange - a chorus of her own with the whispers of another. “I apologise for the sudden transport. My actions are sometimes involuntary. I hope that you are all well.”

“To be fair,” Rufus says, sheathing his sword, “I think we needed it. Did you see how hard that one with the hammer was hitting? And there were fifty more behind him.”

Zaton nods as he cleans his daggers. “Theyz all got bigger. Others waz easy to drop. Theez fight like they mean it.”

“Because he consumed Mielikki,” sighs Liara, resting against the wall of the corridor. “Achramas - where’s Tapio?”

...alive. He’s alive. Miel is…

“I know. I know he’s dead.”

I think I’m dying, Rosie. Every time one of them dies -

“Well you’re not dead yet, and we’re very stubborn. You’re on Primus, and Louhi can’t get there, right, he’s trapped in the net too.”

He - yes. Yes.

The connection falls silent, and Liara rubs at her face to try and shake the image of a body sundered into twenty pieces. Everyone slowly picks themselves up from the floor, dusts off the last of the seaweed and the wounds from the ambush, and begins to wonder what it is they ought to do next.

“Where the hell are we?” asks Snow, after walking down one corridor only to end up right back where he started. “This place is weird.”

Cleophas smiles, and places a hand on the wall across from the Library doors. “Welcome,” she says, as the wall fades into nothingness and reveals a separate corridor, “to the Bieltene Academy of Ritualism. If you would like to follow me, I will show you the way out.”

(Returning to the anomaly where Chibueze and Chisomo are being kept safe, the ambush eventually disperses and the haven - and the Goddess and God - are there completely safe. There are occasionally tendrils of huge ebon ribbons that reach out from the Mittlenacht and towards the golden water, but they recoil without harming anyone or anything.)


--------------------
- Rebecca
PS: My inbox is full on purpose. Please email stantz[at]gmail[dot]com if you need to get hold of me.
PPS: I just published my debut novel (:O) - check it out here if you like historical fantasy! - https://goo.gl/9YFgyL
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RichFromant
post Aug 2 2017, 10:50 AM
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QUOTE(Christine @ Aug 2 2017, 11:11 AM) *
Thanks Harley - I think the courtyard one works (its like a big cube of water, inside is all underwater and full of nasty sea things), and the others are too near people. We've done some scrying and think its the best plan so we're going to go with that - at least people are avoiding the are because its so dangerous and normal people can't just walk underwater, so it shouldn't impact on their lives.

Liara



Right, all good. We going to have to go there to do the divine haven thing I take it? Will pack my swimming stuff!

Other then that just let me know when and where we meeting and I will get some food ready before we set off.

Harley


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Rich

For extended length bookings and queries please use fromum@labyrinthe.co.uk
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giles
post Aug 2 2017, 10:59 AM
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The only thing I could think of was to go find them a pact and pact him?
Are we putting them in the divine haven? Or transporting him into it?

Morgan
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ethuil
post Aug 7 2017, 12:43 PM
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All,

I wished to make you aware that Chosen Achramas arrived here late last night. She appears to be in a great deal of pain, and incredibly weak, but she is very much alive. She has conversed little with us, save to request sanctuary of me - which I am duty bound to give. We will keep her guarded as best as we can (which, I am pleased to say, is a significant improvement on recent months due to an increase in funding).

Given the determination of the Exalted Darkness to enact whatever plan it is he has for the Chosen, and the continued unexplained presence of the Shattered World and its Pantheon, I believe it important that we balance continuing to resolve the city's anomalies with fighting the battles we have been dealt. To that end we have made certain that the list of anomalies is updated, that you may best choose a path forwards.

Inquisitor Wilton


--------------------
- Rebecca
PS: My inbox is full on purpose. Please email stantz[at]gmail[dot]com if you need to get hold of me.
PPS: I just published my debut novel (:O) - check it out here if you like historical fantasy! - https://goo.gl/9YFgyL
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