< Father Of Snakes | Sol Invictus Logs | Seeking Allies >
Behind you, the ship that bore you here, a first age warship called Heiseish's Glory Overwhealming is moored in the docks, dwarfing the ships around it. It has carried you, some less enlighted dragonblooded and a host of men to here. Kirighast. From where there has been a most distrubing report of anathema within the city recieved from the realm's highest diplomat in the city. The city itself spreads out, the dockside warehouses giving way to residences and places of business behind them. Visible over all these buildings is the massive temple to Ahlat, though a temple to the immaculate dragons, some distance away, is almost as large. Most of the dockside work has stopped as you arrive, and there is a squad of guards along the dockside, moving towards you.
- Sesus_Azonia hops up onto the railing of the deck, balancing easily. She is wearing the requisite costume of a few scraps of cloth, that any gorgeous girl in Creation is prone to wearing, although her scraps are covered in red jade chips, like sequins, that glitter in the light. She also wears a long gauzy scarf.
- Cynis_WhiteJaguar grins as he swaggers along with Azonia, walking toward the guards that are coming up to meet them. As always, Jaguar is happy to be given attention. He brushes a few purposefully-disarrayed strands of blond hair back from his shining amber eyes and makes a show of stretching muscles as if releaving the tension of a long voyage instead of preening
- Cracked Ivory? spots Jaguar and breaks into a run "There you are!"
The guard squad approaches as some the other troops step up onto the deck behind you. The woman leading the squad draws a small breath at the three people infront of her, before she finds her tongue "Welcome to Kirighast, Reverent Masters, the govenor and Ahlat have been informed of your arrival. There are residences for your exalted personages near the palace, and barracks for the troops, as you requested."
- Cynis_Jaguar makes an elaborate, Temple-style bow to the Guard Captain, giving her a charmingly white smile. "Thank you Captain. If you would escort us there, it would be a pleasure to have your company and your knowledge of this city to guide us as we settle in. Then, we must attend to the reports that have drawn us here."
The Leader seems slightly taken a back at both the smile and the offer, but nods "Of course, Reverent Masters. I will guide you to yoru residences and then your troops and their officers to the barracks, if that is acceptable?"
- Cracked Ivory? pulls some hair out of her face and makes some courtly motions at the troops.
<CynisJaguar?> "That would be splendid. Shall we go?"
- Cynis_Jaguar makes small-talk with the Captain until she is distracted by something one of her soldiers says, then turns to Cracked Ivory?. "Where did you get to?"
- Sesus_Azonia scans the assembled troops to see if any look particularly buff and cute, then lifts her eyes to the rest of the city, eyes traveling over the buildings, and the temples. "I see your temple to Ahlat rises above the temple to the Immaculate Dragons." she observes.
<CrackedIvory?> "I...had...meditations to perform."
Leader looks briefly put out "The ..ah Temple to the dragons has much more extensive grounds, I am lead to believe." she says by way of apology.
<CrackedIvory?> "You know that each handspan of excess height is equivalent to a full square yard of footprint."
<CrackedIvory?> "I hope."
<SesusAzonia?> "It is certainly more beautiful, however that is an affront to the Dragons themselves." She glances over at Cracked Ivory, "And I have very small hands." she adds.
<CynisJaguar?> "We have more important matters to deal with then bickering over the laws regarding temple dimensions. Please, leave the Captain alone. I am sure she did not design the temples."
<CrackedIvory?> "This is true."
The leader is obviously rather uncomfortable by this, and very relieved when the Earth aspect brings this point up.
<SesusAzonia?> "You are correct. We should speak of this with those that designed the temples."
<CrackedIvory?> "Let us continue!"
The trip through the city is uneventuful, a large crowd has gathered to watch your progress through the city, kept under control by more of the city's guards.
<CynisJaguar?> "They are probably dead, Azonia."
<SesusAzonia?> "I'm sure they left descendants."
- Cynis_Jaguar shakes his head slightly, sending wisps of hair into his eyes. Idly, Jaguar swings The Char lightly up to his shoulder, proudly displaying both the weapon and his bare arms as he passes a group of young women. His smile is directed at the crowd as a whole, though it seems to seek out any pretty youth his eyes land on, which is a considerable number. Ahlat has standards among his worshippers and priests, they say.
- Sesus_Azonia idly inspects the temple of Ahlat as they wend their way through the city, poising herself so as to show off her assets in a very sparkly fashion. "I think you could easily just chop the tip off, where it shears in like that." she comments.
The squad leader looks aghast at this suggestion, though she says nothing.
The quarters you have been provided are more than adequet for your needs (perhaps a little too fancy in fact) though you do notice some of the non-Immaculate Dragonbloods in your retinue are looking a little ..upset at the standards
- Cynis_Jaguar gives them a haughty glower.
- Cracked Ivory? quietly arranges a "meditation retreat" (party) with them.
- Sesus_Azonia retires to her room with a companion to read poetry with, and contemplates the shortening of Ahlat
You are soon settled into your quaarters, and the troops into their barracks. There is some half a an afternoon left before evening devotions.
- Sesus_Azonia finishes her epic poem-reading session presently, and emerges from her quarters, freshly washed.
- Cynis_Jaguar steps out of his own washroom just in time to catch Azonia. Still towelling his hair dry and wrapped in another, he peers at her cautiously. "Are you going somewhere?"
<SesusAzonia?> "Yes, to the Temples."
<CynisJaguar?> "Will you wait for me to dress? I will come with you. You might need..support."
- Sesus_Azonia scoffs, "You do not wish to support me, you've already tried to dissuade me all the way here."
<CynisJaguar?> "Only from pestering those not involved."
- Sesus_Azonia shrugs, "I shall wait. But we must show a united front to Ahlat's people."
- Cynis_Jaguar returns shortly, now decently clothed.
The temple of Ahlat rises above the city, even more imposing than it looked from the harbour, though it as nothing compared to the great temples to the dragons back on the isles. The temple is guarded by the Brides, all in dress uniform, and there are many golden statues to Ahlat and his Aurochs.
- Cynis_Jaguar asks one of the Brides, with a polite smile, where he might find the High priest
The Bride bows to the Dragonblooded, and shows them to the high priests chambers. The High Priest carries the Blood of Ahlat in his viens, and is a powerful looking man, much more muscled than even Jaguar. He is dressed in ceremonial robes, though he is not wearing the bullhorn hat. "Welcome to the temple of Ahlat in kirighast, Noble Dragonborn."
<SesusAzonia?> "A pleasure to visit such a magnificent temple as this."
- Cynis_Jaguar bows. "Thank you, High priest. We came to ask you of the Anathema that are said to hide in your domains."
He bows low "I am at you-....Ah, Anathema..?" He sounds nervous at this.
<CynisJaguar?> "We have gathered reports of Anathema in and around Harborhead."
- Sesus_Azonia shoots an annoyed look at Jaguar
High Priest "I had not heard of anathema in the city, not for several months. We hear such terrible rumours from the land beyond the mountain range though.."
<SesusAzonia?> "What tales did you hear several months ago then?
High Priest "There was mention of one of the wyld twisted ones within the city. There were several most gruesome murders, however I believe some of the soldiers from the garrison the realm most generously stations here destroyed it."
<SesusAzonia?> "You should be grateful the Realm stations anyone here, with the disrespect you and yours show to the Dragons." she says icily.
- Cynis_Jaguar cuts across Azonia's comment "Have there been any further problems?"
The Priest ignores Azonia's comment "The ah..city has been a little more restless recently, though nothing too out of the ordinary."
- Cynis_Jaguar studies the Priest's face and body language under the guise of checking him out surrupticiously. "We will be conducting our own investigation, our reports are more current then a few months. Maybe this Anathema has simply gone to ground."
High Priest "Of course Noble Dragonborn, if any in the temple can be of help to you, please ask of us."
- Cynis_Jaguar bows to the High Priest, offering him a gracious smile. "Thank you for your time."
- Cynis_Jaguar gently guides Azonia away, to talk to a high-ranking officer in the barracks.
- Sesus_Azonia does not bow, nor smile. She turns to Jaguar once they are away from the majority of the crowd and punches him solidly in the well-muscled arm
- Cynis_Jaguar winces. "What was that for?"
<SesusAzonia?> "For your imitation of a united front, you bastard."
Sesus Eshuto is the highest ranking DB in the barracks, a rather flamboyantly dressed water aspect with deep blue skin and pale green hair. He welcomes you into the office he has with loud gestures. "Welcome reverent Masters."
<SesusAzonia?> "Another meditation session, Ivory?"
<CrackedIvory?> "Something of the sort."
<CrackedIvory?> "So what pases for news here?"
<SesusAzonia?> "We're just trying to find out." she turns to the water aspect, "Have you heard any unusual rumors lately, sir?"
<CynisJaguar?> "That is what we're here to discover. Dragonlord?"
<CynisJaguar?> "Has there been any in the city?"
Eshuto "The city has been a little uneasy recently, Masters, but that is hardly suprising with the anathema just over the mountains. The temple here has reported several break-ins to my men, though no-one has been caught yet. Several of my squads, have vanished too, bothin within this city, and on wider patrol, though I have tried to keep that quiet reverent masters"
<CynisJaguar?> "Have any clues as to the disappearances turned up?"
Eshuto "Some people ahve come forward when questioned by our troops to say the missing squads were seen in persuit the nights that they vanished, though on occasion they have been reported alive at times past their deaths.."
- Cynis_Jaguar frowns. "Where have these disappearances been happening?"
- Sesus_Azonia frowns thoughtfully "As ghosts, or flesh?"
Eshuto "Alive by all acocunts. I have a map of the disappearances, Masters. They are all over the city, though more concentrated to the east."
<CynisJaguar?> "I need a copy of that map. Do any of the men know that area well?"
Eshuto "I had one prepared when we recieved word that your were coming reverent masters. I will see to it that my best are at your disposal."
<SesusAzonia?> "Perhaps it is the Dragons' revenge on Ahlat" she mutters under her breath.
Eshuto "Is there any other way I can help you, reverent masters?"
- Cynis_Jaguar shakes his head. "Not at the moment."
He retrives for you the map, carefully annotated, and directs his sergent to direct you to the troops you will need.
Azonia takes the map from Jaguar and unrolls it, looking at it, and firmly squashing her annoyance with the man. "Hmmmm."
There are actually two maps. The first is a city map of Kirighast, it has various crosses marked on it, with dates next to them, along with some that have times. These disapperances have been happening for about the last month. And are mostly taking place away from the temple to the dragons, as well as the barracks.
The second map is a larger scale map, showing this city and several of the ones around it. It has marked on it several of the long range sweeps the realm troops do. For training mostly and some anti-bandit work. Several of the longer ranging patrols, mostly in the direction of a city called 'Mirra' have similarly vanished without trace.
<SesusAzonia?> "Well, looks like they're keeping away from the well-armed areas. Typical bandits, working the edges of the city."
<CynisJaguar?> "Mmm. I don't think so."
<CynisJaguar?> "I want to follow one of the trails to Mirra."
<SesusAzonia?> "Well they're a bit more like a Guerilla army with what they've accomplished."
<SesusAzonia?> "Let's take this one." she points to the one with the most disappearances on it
- Cynis Jaguar? nods. "Yes. But they might not attack us. We'll make arrangements with the High Priest and the Garrisons to make it appear we're still here, then find Ivory and head out with a patrol of the best."
<SesusAzonia?> "Agreed. We should wear the colors of the garrison here."
- Cynis Jaguar? nods. "I'm sure they have some Brides or Guards our sizes, we can borrow uniforms."
- Sesus Azonia? sets off to do as suggested.
The arrangements are easily made, a squad of the best men from the troops you brought and the local realm garrison is assembled, and appropriate uniforms are found for you. From a distance at least you will appear to be a normal patrol. Once they get closer, the blessings you have recieved from the dragons will make the ruse harder to pull off.
The temple is much as when you left it, still patrolled by the Brides, still taller than the temple to the dragons, and you are both shown to the highpriest once more.
- Cynis Jaguar? lets Ivory take charge of the patrol as it begins on its way, taking himself and Azonia off to meet with the High Priest
High`Priest "Welcome back, reverant masters"
- Cynis Jaguar? bows slightly once more, smiling warmly at the God-Blood. Despite being a blasphemous creation of a prayer-mongering god that should be left to its own devices and delt with only by specialy trained Exalts, he is rather good at his job. And attractive. "We are leaving the city for a few days."
- High`Priest raises to an eyebrow "If I might enquire, where to?"
<CynisJaguar?> "We are taking a patrol out. I am hoping you can help maintain the appearance we are within the city."
- High`Priest smiles slyly and nods "Of course, reverant masters. Where is your patrol headed?"
<CynisJaguar?> "We will have to decide on the way, as the Dragons guide us. We are meeting them soon."
- High`Priest nods "I understand."
<SesusAzonia?> "If you do well, I'll allow the Dragons to increase the size of their temple, instead of bringing this one down to its proper height." she sniffs.
- High`Priest briefly has a very strange expression cross his face before he bows "Reverent Master, this temple has stood for years. It.."
<SesusAzonia?> "And of course, the temple to the Dragons simply is not finished, correct?" she slides in smoothly.
- High`Priest nods slowly, controlling himself.
<SesusAzonia?> "And of course, you will be contributing funds to the construction, yes? As a properly subservient god should exalt its betters, so should you and your followers."
- Cynis Jaguar? glowers at Azonia.
- High`Priest speaks slowly "Just so, Reverant Master."
<SesusAzonia?> "It gladdens my heart immensely to hear that, High Priest of Ahlat." She smiles benevolently. "But for now, we must be off."
<SesusAzonia?> "Your city seems to need a bit of saving."
- High`Priest nods "It appears it does, yes, Reverant Master."
- High`Priest is totally not interesting in Jaguar's hotness now, btw.
- Sesus Azonia? turns on her heel and exits the temple, back to the Legions, to get dressed
- High`Priest "I wish you the best for your endevour, Reverant Master."
- Cynis Jaguar? shakes his head after Azonia leaves. "I thank you. Do not worry over much about her demands, she can be diverted easily. I'll get her sent back to the Isle once this is resolved, before returning here."
<SesusAzonia?> "I heard that!" she calls over her shoulder
- Cynis Jaguar? shrugs. "I will return later, though."
- High`Priest bows "Thank you, Reverant Master."
- Cynis Jaguar? returns the bow with another smile, starting to follow Azonia.
- Sesus Azonia? heads to the 'patrol' still arguing with Jaguar about his disrespect for the Dragons
The first two days are rather boring, walking with the troops along the road, sticking to one of the patrol arcs, though you are before any of the disappearances, and nothing of much interest happens. Soon you come upon the first of the 'last known position' sites.
- Cynis Jaguar? keeps an idle eye on his patrol, peering around for other traces of heathen lineage. For a report on the heathen lineages. Of course.
The squad, being a hand picked selection of Realm soliders, has no people of such ...interesting descent.
- Sesus Azonia? keeps her eyes on the surrounding area, and her mind on designing the new spire of the temple
No shadows leap out to attack you, the day progresing just as boring as the last two, the patrol making good speeds along the route towards Mirra. Soon you reach the far end of the patrol, about a day's march from Mirra itself, and start the long loop back. While you are taking your watch at the far end of the loop, your keen eyes pick out several glows on the horizon toward Mirra. They are golden yellow glows.
<SesusAzonia?> "Halt, troops!" she calls, and looks over at Jaguar, "Do you see that?"
- Cynis Jaguar? nods, peering out towards Mirra. "I think Mirra needs our attention."
<SesusAzonia?> "Double your pace, men, we must hurry!" she breaks from her leisurely pace into a hurried one that will nonetheless leave the troops reasonably well off at the end of the trip.
- Cynis Jaguar? starts into a distance-eating trot considerably faster then Azonia's pace
About 12 hours later, Jaguar reaches the walls of Mirra. They seem to have been unmolested by whatever caused the glow, and the gates to the city are open.
- Cynis Jaguar? strides into the city easily, trying to figure out where the glow originated
As he approaches the city, Jaguar notices the land around the city seems to be in much more use than one would expect, and from the patterns it seems to be troops that have been drilling and marching. He also sees evidence of various wooden fortifactions that have been there til recently. Within the city itself, he notices that (especially close to the walls) there has been a lot of new construction, in the form of low warehouses, forges and refineries.
- Cynis Jaguar? moves through the city, examining the various buildings for the newness of the earth used to build them, tasting the dust on his tongue as he goes. Every so often, he shakes his head, unhappy with what the Earth tells him
People within the city are regarding you with curiousity and fear, keeping well away from you as you wander through the city. From the taste of the earth, these building have been made in the last year for certain, and more likely within the last season. They all seem to be in full swing, too.
- Cynis Jaguar? moves further into the city, searching for an official building of some sort
There is a large temple to Ahlat, as well as several large official-looking buildings
Jaguar reaches the temple without incident, the temple once more guarded by the Brides. "What is your purpose here, Reverent Master?" one of the Brides interrogates.
<CynisJaguar?> "I am bringing a message from your High Priest as a favor. He wishes the master of this temple to hear it in private."
The bride bows and leads you to the priest of the temple. The priest is in full ceremonial robes and he bows as you enter "Welcome Reverent Master."
- Cynis Jaguar? offers the priest a bow in turn. "Your High Priest has asked me to bring you a message as a personal favor. It is for you alone."
The priest gives a meaningful look to the bride behind you, then nods "Please follow me."
- Cynis Jaguar? nods, trailing the Priest, eyes darting around to see if there are any signs of activity in the Temple
There are various people making offerings to Ahlat. thats about it. Some brides praying.
He leads you to his quarters, off to one side of the altar. "Do you wish for a seat, Reverent Master?"
- Cynis Jaguar? shakes his head, eyeing the priest carefully for a moment
He waits for you to speak.
<CynisJaguar?> "The High Priest was good enough to tell me that there have been disturbances in the capital recently. After talking with him and government officials, it was determined that there was very little I could do. But he advised me to come here and ask you personally. It seems he was right, there is a great deal going on in the area, yes?"
The priest bows low, "There is, yes, Reverant Master."
<CynisJaguar?> "What can you tell me of it?"
The priest starts into a long explanation of the reasons. He has no idea where the squads might have vanished. The largescale building and training is to aid the defence of Harbourhead against the anathema over the mountains.
<CynisJaguar?> "Strange the Realm has not been informed. And neither has the garrison in Kirighast."
- Priest* "Messengers were sent, Reverent Master, I assure you."
<CynisJaguar?> "How long has the build up been going on? A season?"
<Kraken> He nods. "About that, Reverent Master."
<CynisJaguar?> "It seems then there is a problem in communications. Who dispatched the messengers, Priest?"
Priest "I intructed the messengers myself."
<CynisJaguar?> "I see. How long ago?"
He gives a date. Some mental math reveals it to be around 2 months ago.
- Cynis Jaguar? nods, smiling at the Priest with enough warmth to match the molten blood of the Earth that flows in his veins. "I had hoped we could work this out simply. But if the messengers have gone missing for two months, and so many things seem to have happened then...I am afraid there must be a great deal of work done." Bowing to the priest enough to display the ripple of muscles under his too-small borrowed uniform..
Jaguar claps him on the shoulder, letting a bit of the Earth move across the gap between them, solidifying vague thoughts
The priest gasps as you clap him on the shoulder, a flush of warmth spreading through him at the touch. After a short but ...enlightening interlude, the priest once again apologises "I am sorry Prince of Earth..you..you must follow me." He seems very uncomfortable now.
<CynisJaguar?> "Follow you to what?"
Priest "Outside.." he pauses "To the forges...I have to show you."
<CynisJaguar?> "Show me what you must, then. And let us hope it can be delt with acceptably. I would not want to tarnish our relationship."
The priest leads you out of the rooms and out of his chambers, and through the middle of the temple. When you are about half way through it, people start to enter. They are Brides of Ahlat and they are all wearing bloodred breastplates, with large swords on their backs. A full scale steps within the temple, and the doors shut. To your left and right, men armed with swords and bows step out of the shadows. The priest turns to you once more and whispers "I am truely sorry for what cannot be, Prince of Earth, but you know far too much." As he says this, the brides all draw daikliaves of the same blood red metal, and glowing red bulls horns appear on their foreheads. Similar signs, but in yellow, appear on the foreheads of all the men on either side of you.
- Cynis Jaguar? nods, turning back to face the now-glowing Priest. "I, too am sorry." Roughly pulling the heretic into his arms, Jaguar kisses him deeply, turning to keep the Priest between himself and the majority of the other heretical Anathema. Momentarily, the muscles under onyx skin transform from hard flesh to flexible stone and the stance of the kiss hardens into a bear hug that breaks the Priest even as he tries to summon his Charms.
The priest struggles valiantly in your arms, though even the strength granted to him by his god fails him, and he hangs broken in Jaguar's arms. The Brides have circled closer, now in two rings around the pair.
<CynisJaguar?> "You may have taken the seed of your pagan god into yourselves, bitches, but did his manhood so blind you that you think you will defeat the Realm and the Order? The Dragons will tear him down for his blasphemy and then the seed in your wombs will turn back and you will wither and die."
<CynisJaguar?> "May the Earth of your bones fall to dust, the Water of your blood be black, the Fire of your hearts flicker and dim, the Air of your breath still and the Wood of your flesh be plagued."
One of the Bride laughs loudly in response "You think we are simple shadows of divinity? How foolish you are. We are the chosen of Ahlat, we will lead his warriors into battle. There are more of his champions in this city alone than there are your kind in the realm."
<CynisJaguar?> "A mindless bull has more power then the Five Dragons, children of Gaia Herself? You are the fool here, slut of the bull."
Bride "The five dragons spent themselves long ago, we are a fresh new breath upon the world, to sweep away the faded past."
<CynisJaguar?> "You are as deluded as the Anathema who ruled 5,000 years ago. You will suffer their fate. In a season, a month, you will be nothing but a nightmare to frighten your sister's children, fathered by true sons of the Dynasty."
Bride "In a season we will be feasting in the Imperial City. As we watch the pyres of your brothers and sisters in the order burn around us."
<CynisJaguar?> "Against the Order, may as well be the cows you worshipows. A herd can trample, but with a few warriors, it will be so much
The bride shakes her head, and the circle contracts. "And now you must return to the dragons you revere so much."
- Cynis Jaguar? tosses the broken Priest into the air and, as the body falls back toward the Earth, Jaguar slams his stone-encrusted fist into it, the other hand gripping The Char tightly. "THE EARTH REJECTS YOU!" with a terrific WHAM of crushed bones as the Earth withdraws its strength from the priest's body and the stone above, the corpse flies into the air and the dome begins to splinter
- Cynis Jaguar? rushes the mouthy bride, the Char billowing flames as he bellows a challenge. And the first steak is roasted! But before too long, even the mighty Jaguar is pulled down by the bovine masses, vanishing under the onslaught of crimson hooves.
For a short while there is silence, and then the roof starts to fall in. Jaguar is left with a tomb of stone and the broken bodies of his final enemies. In the distance, approaching the city Azonia sees the dominating temple to Ahlat collapse to it's foundations.
< Father Of Snakes | Sol Invictus Logs | Seeking Allies >