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Lux Fiala

WiP.

0 · 230 views · located in Creation

a character in “A Tale in the Time of Tumult”, as played by Jakuri-chan

Description

Image


BANNER
TYPE
Solar
NATURE
Defender
ASPECT
Eclipse




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ATTRIBUTES



PHYSICAL
STRENGTH //1// DEXTERITY //3// STAMINA //3//


SOCIAL
CHARISMA //4// MANIPULATION //1// APPEARANCE //4//


MENTAL
PERCEPTION //4// INTELLIGENCE //4// WITS //3//



ABILITIES



WARFARE
ARCHERY – 0
ATHLETICS – 0
AWARENESS – 2
DODGE – 3
INTEGRITY – 3
MARTIAL ARTS – 2
MELEE – 4
RESISTANCE – 2
THROWN – 0
WAR – 0
LIFE
CRAFT – 0
LARCENY – 0
LINGUISTICS – 3
PERFORMANCE – 0
PRESENCE – 2
RIDE – 0
SAIL – 0
SOCIALIZE – 1
STEALTH – 0
SURVIVAL – 2
WISDOM
BUREAUCRACY – 0
INVESTIGATION – 0
LORE – 3
MEDICINE – 1
OCCULT – 2





SPECIALTIES
Rudimentary Medical Knowledge
Knife Wielder
Twinkle Toes
Artifact Utilization
Subtleties of Connotation



HER LIFE



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PERSONALITY
Over all, Lux comes across as a cheerful and optimistic young woman. Energetic and playful, she can seem as if she doesn't have a care in the world at times. It can seem like she's a very simplistic person that has few thoughts of depth in her head, though that is indeed far from the truth. She has led a tumultuous and rather chaotic sort of life that has left her as she is...she's learned and experienced much, and while a lot of people would've let their overall experiences leave them jaded, the same cannot be said of Lux. In manner of speaking, the core of her personality is adamant and steadfast against the tragedies and sorrows of Creation. Though the world has become a sad and twisted place that likely seems to be slowly dying, Lux remains able to carry onward with an honest and shockingly true smile.

Lux is isn't oblivious or ignorant toward the state of the world. She isn't innocent or inexperienced when it comes to any of it, she's seen awful things and experienced atrocious things. She's suffered, shed tears, feared for her life and had to take lives in order to survive to see another day. Perhaps the circumstances of her life should have left her broken, a twisted and bitter individual who trusts no one. A lot of people would've ended up like that, someone who'd abandoned their morality and become entirely self-serving.

In a way...maybe the events of her life did leave her broken? The fact that she remains seemingly such a vibrant and unnervingly ingenuous girl is indeed unsettling in the eyes of some. Many people might initially believe she's putting on a façade, that she's trying to manipulate them. It's true that there are those out there who would, and do indeed, do that. However, Lux....

She is completely genuine. Though the world has tested her resolve again and again, each time she's overcome it. She still possesses the wherewithal to trust others, and she knows that she likely trusts too easily in a world that's so broken, but...a part of her, perhaps a childish and naïve part believes that maybe, the world is partly so broken because no one trusts anyone. If the world is going to ever get any better, then people have to be willing to take a step forward. She's willing to take that step forward, even if she's alone in doing so. Likely, her resilience stems from her early years...where she was raised by dogs. Chances are high that she adopted many of their traits, and those served to become the basis for her personality, and became more complex over the years as she was never able to steer away from them. Dogs and animals in general are relatively simple in terms of personality and how they process the world. Their very nature is what it is, as is Lux's.

With her, what you see is what you get.

Though she's led a short life thus far, she's experienced much in it, and that has allowed her to develop a strong sense of the world. She's developed a defined sense of morality, of what she considers right and wrong. Lux has become someone who tries to right the wrongs that she comes across, whether they be as simple as helping a pregnant woman carry her groceries, or something as complex as fighting against some kind of grand injustice. Her reasoning for doing so, for doing anything she does is just as simple as...because. Because, why not? Why shouldn't she aid others? What good comes from ignoring a cry for help? The world is already so broken, shutting out others only serves to further sever the ties between people, and darkens Creation even more. While she's not able to fix the whole world, she can fix some of the smaller things, and that's something worthwhile, at least, she thinks so.

Along with her natural nature, Lux is also a very open-minded individual, it’s as if she lacks the capacity to even be prejudice. While the general populace at large tends be suspicious and be heavily bias toward one group or another, such as the Anathema. Lux herself holds none against any one person or another for being whatever they are, as she chooses to view people based upon their actions, words and thoughts. In her aimless travels, she’s met people from all walks of life, and she’s seen equal amounts good and bad between them all, no one group has ever stood out as worse than another to her. Certainly, if she’d grown up in a more conventional setting, she’d hold the same views, those preconceptions and fears would be as ingrained into her as the need to breathe.

Regardless from what walk of life someone comes from, Lux is always willing to extend a hand out to them if they need it. She’s someone who treats everyone the same, right off the bat if it can be helped. How Lux socializes with people, her generally open-nature toward them...that’s the only way she knows how to be. Due in part to this, she definitely comes as having a very casual attitude at times, perhaps seeming oblivious as well. Well...honestly, she is on the oblivious side of the spectrum when it comes to social interactions. Naturally, this is not out of malice. Her overall upbringing left out a lot, even when a human finally started to look after her. This person was definitely not the best role model for a young child whose entire lifetime up til then had her being raised by actual dogs. Still, this person did her best, and at the very least, she helped Lux develop a strong and pure heart...even if she did not do the most fantastic of jobs helping her learn how to not be a near borderline social disaster. Still, even if Lux’s general mannerisms leave a lot to be desired, she’s never really considerably rude. Ignorant and graceless as she can be, she still makes definite attempts at being polite and showing good conduct when such situations arise.

It...just so happens that Lux sometimes says things that are a bit inappropriate, or her mouth works before her mind and she winds up saying something that should only be thought. This is something she’s trying her best to get a handle on. Results so far have been rather mixed, and she’s developed enough sense that this embarrasses her.

Despite her natural lack of etiquette, Lux is actually a rather intelligent young woman. She’s always soaked up knowledge like a sponge, so while she may not be an expert on any particular thing, she still knows a lot of of things, both unspecific and overly specific in nature. She knows how to do this or that, and even is fluent in several languages due to insisting upon learning them from her mentor….

Though, as a juxtaposition to that, she cannot read a map...not because she’s incapable of doing so, but because she’s led a rather nomadic life across The Scavenger Lands for years. Journeying without a purpose or destination in mind, and typically avoiding the stifling and suffocating nature of cities and larger settlements when coming across them has led to Lux not even really know where she’s been before, or even how to really navigate besides choosing a direction and going til...something.

One final thing about Lux that’s worth noting, there are times where when she angers, she seemingly turns animalistic. The things that anger her are probably what would be expected, generally, people who are ill-treating others, senseless acts of cruelty, and things of that caliber. When she begins to rage, Lux’s cheery and gentle-nature seemingly evaporates away, as if it never existed in the first place and she even seems to lose the ability to coherently communicate as her mind is seeped in pure fury. Like the dogs who raised her, when Lux becomes this severely angered, she growls, bears her teeth and her normally soft face becomes as fierce and sharp as a knife, she acts completely like a feral dog would toward the focal point of her ire. Thankfully, as Lux has gotten older and become more in tune with her humanity, these episodes have become far less frequent than when she was a young child.


MOTIVATIONS
None


VIRTUES
COMPASSION – 3
TEMPERANCE – 2
CONVICTION – 2
VALOR – 2


LIMIT BREAK
“This is the quickest way to end this, no more games….”
As all Exalted, Lux’s strongest Virture can become her downfall. Her compassion drives her to live with an open-heart and empathize with others without more than a mere thought. However, when the Great Curse overcomes her, Lux’s compassion twists her. While she’s normally a rather gentle young woman, a definite darker side of her emerges that’s unsettling to behold. Her rational thought slips away, and her instincts drive her forward to act upon her “compassion.” Suddenly, Lux becomes someone who’s willing to jump to the extremes such as straight up merciless murder without a second thought if the ends seemingly justify the means. In this state of mind, Lux seems to move less like a human and more like an animal, thoughtless and careless, she’ll do whatever feels “right,” even if it horrifies others or could lead her own demise.


MERITS


    Jack-of-All-Trades

    Characters with this Merit have a broad basis of knowledge and skill to draw upon and an almost preternatural ability to adapt their understanding to new purposes and situations. They suffer no penalty to Attribute rolls when lacking the required Ability for a dice pool.

    Innocent

    There’s something about the character that appeals to people. They tend to see them in the best light, and treat them as an innocent child. Often, the character’s motives are obscured by the conception that you are naif and childlike, and they will be moved to protect them. The character gains +2 die in Social situations when meeting people for the first time. This gift doesn’t prevent people from seeing the character for their true colors after knowing them for a time, and they can easily gain enemies if they abuse this gift.

    Medium

    The character possess a natural affinity to sense and hear Spirits, ghosts, and shades. Unless the character has the appropriate Charms, they can’t see them, but they can sense their presence naturally, and can speak with them when they are near. The character may ask their assistance without Sorcery, by simply pleading and cajoling, but they will want something in return. The character can can add +2 die to your Occult Charms, and Sorcerery dealing with the Other side.

    Talismanic Fortune

    The character is so blessed with good luck, that those traveling with her often consider her a lucky mascot for them, rival to any talisman. Thrice a session the character may re-roll any dice pool of her own, or allow a re-roll of any other players dice pool. Once the dice are re-rolled the second result must stand. The lucky character must be present in a scene for a re-roll to be allowed, they are the one favored by Fate after all….

    Untamable

    The character is rather resistant to any kind of mental control, they are rarely broken in interrogations, by drugs, and the Fae’s Glamours are nearly useless against them.

FLAWS


    Caste Scar

    Upon the character's Exaltation her caste mark was burning so intensely that they was left with a scar in form of the mark, forever visible on her forehead. Unless she covers it they will be clearly recognized as a Solar. Furthermore their Essence seeps through the scar when she uses it to fuel their Charms. The first two steps of the Anima Banner apply to her even if she uses Essence from her Personal Pool.

    Strangeness

    Life is just a little stranger for this character. Fae seek them out for conversations, Elementals manifest often to dance in their campfire, but only on their watch. Sometimes it rains toads in their path path. Frost sometimes forms patterns of ancient ritual circles in their breath. If a magical animal comes out of a forest, it will speak to them first. Gods may sometimes drop by for tea, and nothing else. Great Malfeans may send trinkets of skin and bile, wrapped in pretty red wrapper. Birds may break into First Age Operas in your path, and then revert to chirping. Odd things just happen. These events tend to complicate their situation, rather than help.

    Nightmares

    Some of the character’s nights are filled with nightmares. There are eves where they don’t rest well. Sometimes they are so intense they may lose a die to all your actions. Some nightmares can even be mistaken for reality. A crafty Storyteller can use this for all sorts of mischief...

    Lifesaver

    This character believes that life is the most sacred gift, and will not take a life except in the most extreme of circumstances. They rarely never willingly endanger the lives of innocents, or in any way of participating in their killing. They have little problem with animals, and will kill evil and non-humans creatures to protect others if necessary. Senseless death in all forms repulses them.

    Infamous Mentor

    The character was cared for by someone who’s reputation is less than savory. The known association between them has left some to view the character themselves in an unfavorable light, even if they are in no way responsible for the deeds of their mentor. Regardless of how long it's been since the two have been in each other’s company, the character themselves suffers the mentor’s reputation, and occasional attempts have been and will be made to hinder or trouble them.



PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

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BACKGROUND



MAGIC/GEAR/TALENTS


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STATS
ESSENCE SCORE //2// HEALTH POINTS //6|6// WILLPOWER POOL //5|5//


ESSENCE MOTES
PERSONAL POOL //6// PERIPHERAL POOL //15//


CHARMS

  • Shadow Over Water
    Dodge – 3
    Essence – 2
    Cost – 1m
    Type – Reflexive
    Duration – Instant

    The Chosen move like shadows over water—with perfect grace and speed. This maneuver restores defensive advantage to a beleaguered or overextended fighter. This Charm is used in response to an attack. It allows the Exalt to ignore all penalties that apply to their Dodge DV when resolving that attack. Their Dodge DV is still 0 against an unavoidable attack, but they take no further penalties.

    Righteous Lion Defense
    Integrity – 3
    Essence – 1
    Cost – N/A
    Type – Permanent
    Duration – Permanent

    To the Solar Exalted, “death” and “surrender” are almost the same thing. This Charm helps a character hold fast to their fundamental Intimacies in the face of temptation. The player picks one of the character’s Intimacies when purchasing this Charm. For the purposes of this Solar Charm, this loyalty must be to an ideal—not to a person or a love, but sometimes to a relationship; not to a tribe or city, but sometimes to the nation she might build of them; not to a battle or a war, but to the extinction of one foe or the conquest of a great region.

    This Charm allows the character to treat mental influence to betray or forsake that Intimacy as an unacceptable order. If the character voluntarily abandons that Intimacy or it becomes obsolete, this Charm ceases to function until, first, a new story begins and, second, the character chooses a new Intimacy to which the Charm applies. Players can also shift this Charm to a new Intimacy at any time by spending one experience point. Players can purchase this Charm a second time to reinforce one additional Intimacy. Any further loyalties require more specialized magic.

    Spirit-Detecting Glance
    Occult – 2
    Essence – 2
    Cost – 1m
    Type – Reflexive
    Duration – One Scene

    Spirits cannot hide from the Lawgivers. Spirits such as demons, ghosts and Gods often move through the world in dematerialized form, completely hidden from all observers. This Charm lets the character see, hear, smell and feel—but not touch—dematerialized creatures. It makes dematerialized creatures within the normal range of the character’s senses valid targets for the characters Awareness actions, including reflexive Awareness actions.

    Spirit-Cutting Attack
    Occult – 2
    Essence – 2
    Cost – 1m
    Type – Supplemental
    Duration – Instant
    Prerequisite Charms – Spirit-Detecting Glance

    The Solar Exalted may attack even the subtle Essence of dematerialized spirits. This Charm enhances an attack, making dematerialized creatures within the attack’s normal range valid targets. The attack deals aggravated damage to spirits, materialized or otherwise. This Charm is explicitly permitted to supplement actions using other Abilities. If the character cannot see the spirit they are attacking, they receive the normal -2 external penalty.

    Hungry Tiger Technique
    Melee – 2
    Essence – 1
    Cost – 1m
    Type – Supplemental
    Duration – Instant

    Solar warriors make themselves one with their blades. The Exalt spends one mote and makes a Melee-based attack. This Charm allows the Solar’s player to count extra successes on the attack roll twice for the purposes of determining raw damage.

    Integrity-Protecting Prana
    Integrity – 1
    Essence – 1
    Cost – 3m/1wp
    Type – Reflexive
    Duration – One Day

    The Sun’s Chosen define their own reality. This Charm protects the character from any Shaping effect that directly alters their mind, body, spirit or traits. This includes instantaneous Shaping effects and any new alterations caused by long-term Shaping effects. This Charm also protects the character from any undodgeable, unblockable Shaping attacks. Wyld energy cannot create a serpent inside the character’s stomach or turn their armor to lava, whether it’s manipulated by an enemy or its own random whims, because these effects inflict immediate damage and the character’s DV is not applicable.

    This Charm does not protect against the miscellaneous dangers of the Wyld. If a Wyld effect creates a hundred-headed snake monster with burning chalcedony eyes that then eats the character, this is not directly altering the character’s body through shaping. Nor is it an “attack” when a Wyld effect transforms the character’s armor into harmless gossamer spider webs—simply an undesirable effect.

    Sagacious Reading of Intent
    Linguistics – 1
    Essence – 1
    Cost – 1m
    Type – Reflexive
    Duration – Instant

    The Lawgivers see others’ purposes. This Charm identifies the motivation behind a given statement that the Exalt reads or hears—a one sentence summary of what the person making that statement hopes to gain. If the Exalt invokes this Charm to defend against a social attack, and the attacker’s purpose is fundamentally hostile toward the Exalt or the Exalt’s Motivation, this Charm negates the attack.


COMBOS

  • N/A


SORCERY

  • N/A


PREFERRED COMBAT STYLE
Distract and Strike
Lux is aware that she is rather on the smaller side, and knows that she is not capable of taking down most opponents with sheer strength or brute force thanks to this, so she prefers to try to distract enemy combatants and fell them in haste.
End it Quickly
Generally in line with her nature, Lux prefers to kill as mercifully as possible. If she has to kill, she doesn't want to needlessly draw the act out and cause anyone prolonged suffering. She prefers to strike fast and true
Knife Wielding
Stemming from her early years as being the ward of bandits, Lux has something of a talent for knife wielding overall. She's tried her hand with other weapons, but seems to just have knack for knives. Overall, she's actually rather skilled with them, and quite deadly when need be. Typically, she wields any knife of hers in a reverse grip and can actually double-wield if she feels it necessary, though she's less skilled with her left hand.
Hand-to-Hand Combat
Though not her strongest area, Lux does possess some level of skill in hand-to-hand combat, enough that she at least defend herself and land a few blows. While she'll default to knife wielding most of the time, if caught without her knives or in an area not suitable for knife fighting, Lux has with her a rather standard pair of knuckle-dusters that she'll slip on to give her an extra edge.


LANGUAGES KNOWN
Riverspeak
Seatongue
Forest-tongue
High Realm

ARTIFACTS
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A lantern that burns everlasting no matter the circumstance—the history of the Amaranthine Flame has otherwise been lost to time with only rumors and hearsay remaining. Lux came across the Lantern during her aimless wanderings across The Scavenger Lands. Venturing in an old ruin that she felt drawn to, she found it buried in some rubble, with its flame still flickering. Looking untarnished and otherwise new, Lux felt compelled to take it with her, only to discover down the line that it was an Artifact that was made specifically for Fire-Aspect Terrestrials like herself; who made it, how or why, Lux doesn't know. What Lux knows of the Lantern, she's discovered herself, and she's aware that it may yet hold abilities and secrets she's completely unaware of.... Lux also named it herself.

Otherwise appearing rather ordinary, the Amaranthine Flame has an outer shell composed of copper that has never once oxidized or rusted throughout its life, appearing still to be new. Within the lantern, however, is Red Jade from which its eternal flame burns. Only in the hands of a Fire Aspect Terrestrial Exalted does the lantern’s true potential show. The lantern is capable of manipulating fire on varying levels, depending on the intent of its wielder at the time, though Lux typically uses it to light campfires or to see in dark areas. When utilized in combat, the lantern sends out a flame in the form of a large bird at the behest of its wielder that is rather akin to the Flight of the Brilliant Raptor spell. A bird birthed of ruby flames seeks out the target the lantern’s wielder desires to strike and streaks across the field before smashing into it, violently exploding and spewing forth flames that incinerate a rather wide area around the target.

Damage done by this attack is dependent upon the lantern wielder’s (Lore + Occult). The lantern’s power is capable of being called upon on an as needed basis, but is limited by its wielder’s essence motes. Each time the Amaranthine Flame is used in battle, it costs its wielder 4m.


IMPEDIMENTA



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So begins...

Lux Fiala's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Nimin Hedrox Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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In all, she really wasn’t entirely sure what to make of all...this. Though her life was rather dictated by strange ordeals and unusual phenomena, she knew enough to understand that she’d committed herself to something that was on an entirely different level. Why she of all the Exalted in Creation had been chosen….

She, who wandered Creation aimless and without purpose. She, who was uncertain of her lot. She, who’d become a black sheep among those other loyal Solars, who wholeheartedly supported what she found herself doubting.

There were many others, many who were stronger, and many who had achieved feats that marked them as heroes in the eyes of some. Yet, it was she that had received a summons and a plea from none other than a member of the Celestial Bureaucracy—a Dragon. She had the option to refuse the request...however, she could not in good conscious do so. Even if it was far beyond her understanding as to why she was sought out, she wasn’t one to deny what seemed to be a legitimate appeal for aid. If there was something she could do to help absolve whatever sort of situation this was, she’d oblige to the best of her capabilities, that was the right thing to do, after all.

Though doubt and questions plagued her, Lux boarded the ethereal ship that’d awaited her—it had seemed she’d been amidst the first of its pickups. The deck was empty, there was no one aboard as the ship sailed itself to and fro.

The salty sea air was cool against her skin. Heavy and damp, it settled upon her in a manner that felt almost weighted. Though perhaps contradictory, it was both comforting and unsettling. Such was how it always was when she’d traveled upon the seas. It always felt as if the oceans and its spirits weren’t entirely sure how to feel about her. The waters could be as smooth as glass, the winds as gentle as a sigh, and the skies as clear as crystal, and never could she find herself feeling completely at ease upon the ocean. This instance was no different.

As the ghostly ship made what Lux assumed to be its rounds, gathering up other willing individuals, Lux herself had decided that she would seat herself upon its deck and...wait. She’d wait and observe those who were apparently to form her traveling party. It wasn’t often that she actually traveled with a group—since it was she’d decided to try to find her own way, she really had been finding her own way. It was a rare day that she was ever in the company of another for more than a short while. Agreeing to whatever task this was also meant to agreeing to be in the company of whomever else had decided to at least hear out their summoner. It was worth her taking a bit of time to merely watch. Most definitely, they were an odd bunch. Lux continued her vigil, making no motion to greet or speak to anyone as they boarded the ship, instead she opted to nibble upon a small piece of chocolate that she’d fished out of one of her many pockets.

….well, she kept silent, til another one of the few stray passengers decided to be the one who broke the ice. By the looks of him, he was a Lunar—an Exalt that was meant to be the shadow to the light of a Solar Exalt like herself. In her short life, she’d met a few Lunars...and it seemed she was to meet yet more. Lux kept her green eyes trained upon him, as he cleared his throat and spoke, “So...no that all of we be here, I think introductions be in order.” he bowed, placing a hand across his chest, “I be named Ashen Sky of Wavecrest. Might I have tha pleasure of knowing who might ye all be?”

Wavecrest…. So, this Lunar hailed from the West—though his accent would’ve made Lux suspect as much, even if he hadn’t openly announced it. She was familiar with the accent, after all, Vered had developed a mild one from her time there that bled into and dyed any of the other tongues she spoke.

Perhaps she might be better off still attempting to observe and muse over her apparent companions...Lux could not bring herself to ignore the Lunar’s—Ashen’s—attempt to instigate introductions. It’d be a while since she’d had to introduce herself to a group…. It’d been a while since she’d been in a group of people who would need to even know her name at all. It was an odd feeling, realizing that.

Well...no time like the present to get over that…! Is what some people might say. Lux was not one of those people, but she was one to make an honest attempt, at least. So, deciding to bite the arrow, she breathed in deep as she swallowed the bit of chocolate she’d been savoring. She hoisted herself upward with a needless sound escaping her throat as she habitually brushed off her bottom before she herself returned the gesture of a shallow bow to him, the sea breeze tousling her short hair as she so—she felt it brush against the scar upon her forehead. After a moment, Lux stood herself back upright, and clasped her hands together at her front, and smiled.

“Introductions are always awkward, aren’t they?” she awkwardly laughed before she half-snorted as she tried to clear her throat—realizing what sort of noise she’d made, her cheeks reddened a bit, “Ah...anyway, I’m Lux...Fiala, I suppose you could say I hail from The Scavenger Lands?” Lux stopped herself there, that was enough for an introduction, wasn’t it? “As it stands, it’s nice to make your acquaintance, Ashen. And it’s nice to make everyone else’s, as well.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Nimin Hedrox Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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#, as written by Sepokku
“Chieftain, there was a messenger today.”

Astrid’s skin fluttered ever so slightly as she practiced the Unfettering, her skin shifting and adjusting ever so slightly as the protean nature of her very existence made itself known. The gift from Luna did not cease to change her form, nor did her eyes open, “And?”

“The Censor of the West requests your presence.”

Her left eye opened, a cat-eyed pupil staring back at the elk spirit that stood before her. Slowly the pupil returned to the shape of a human’s, “Very well.” The Chieftain rose to her feet and with a lazy stretch, immediately beginning preparing for departure.


The vessel that met her was by no means shabby. Deciding that the West was incredibly misogynistic, Astrid opted to take on a male form for her initial contact with the ship’s crew and the Censor himself. With a whim, her hair was shortened to a bob cut, her chest smoothed out, and her hips slimmed down to that of a man’s. Without bluster, she walked onto the ship and waited.

She hadn’t been the first person that the vessel had picked up. A small creature sat on the deck nearby, nibbling on cacao. Astrid’s nose twitched slightly, cacao didn’t grow well in the North. At least, not where she was from. The scent reminded her of delicate fruit that had been dipped in liquid cacao, it was quite a blissful memory. She’d only been lucky enough to try such a delicacy twice before. Sighing, she found herself a place on the deck and laid on her back to stare at the sky while she waited.

After some time, and picking up a few more “honored guests,” someone began to speak. “I be Ashen Sky of Wavecrest.” Astrid became suddenly aware that the person speaking was a Lunar. Her war-form blurred into existence as she towered at her full height of two hundred and fifty-five centimeters.

Covered in white and black fur, Astrid silently walked towards Ashen Sky until she was able to clearly look him up and down. As a human, she was a bit lean and fairly tall, but not incredibly imposing in stature. However, in this form, she was a paragon of sinewy muscle, the fusion of tiger and human. She bared her teeth in a grin, “Cascading Moonlight.” The runic tattoos that fixed her shape into something almost tangible flared into existence, telling a story of her time in the Silver Pact.


The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls poured the last of his watering can onto the final poppy flower. It certainly could have been left up to his servants, but it brought about a certain level of catharsis in Artisan to do it himself. Smiling, he began to make his way back to the workshop that lies at the center of his field of plants.

“Sir, a message.”

Stopping for a moment, Artisan picked a few flowering plants that were used to create Nepenthe. The flowers were beautiful this time of the year. “What does it say?”

One of the spirits bound to him answered, “We’re needed.”

“Always.” With a warm smile, the Deathknight’s delicate hands waved the spirit away. One of his employees was nearby watching over the indentured servants. “Gentry. I will be out on business for a bit. Care for the shop while I’m out?”


Artisan stood in front of a wagon as the boat pulled up before him. “Load her up.” His servants carefully removed the box from the back of the wagon and took their time putting it onto the ship. He smiled to himself as he boarded the ship, it was about time the powers that be recognized his talents.

“I be Ashen Sky of Wavecrest.” One of the guests previous to him had begun to speak as the boat had started to sail away, which seemed to upset someone else who had arrived before him. The man who had spoken was approached by another man who had shifted into a mixture between human and animal. ”Lunars…” Artisan would never know why Luna’s children always had to have a pissing contest with whoever they met. With a bored expression, the Abyssal watched the scene play out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Nimin Hedrox Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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#, as written by Wake
Ashen Sky smiled bemusedly at the shorter girl that was first to follow up on introductions. Somewhere in the back of his head his western sensibilities were slightly piqued with her presence onboard the ship at sea, but considering that it's voyage was made at the command of a dragon he bite his tongue on the matter for now. He put a hand over his chest and gave her a theatrical bow. "Tis no more awkwardness than tha' of voyage at is norm to make. But it be my pleasure to be making yer acquaintance as well, Miss Fiala."

Then the shadow of the other Lunar fell upon Ashen Sky. He turned his head to him and found his neck craning upwards. The creature before him was a towering thing, striped white and black in its fur. Powerful muscles rippled along its form and a gleaming fangs greeted him as the larger creature grinned down at him. "Cascading Moonlight." It wasn't a name, but a greeting. Silently Ashen Sky Cursed his mentor for not fully fleshing him up on the proper etiquette of the pact. This was the first time the shorter Lunar had met another of his kind that wasn't his flighty oaf of a mentor, and now he was being sized up by his fellow child of the Moon. The former privateer did not posses the same charm assume his warform as the other did, and thus didn't have any physical means to respond to the clear but subtle challenge. If he was nervous about this disparity between them though, he did a masterful job of hiding it. After all, it wasn't as if he couldn't meet the display with a show of his own.

He grinned back up at the man infront of him. "Guide your hunt." He put a hand on his hip and looked the other Lunar up and down. "Well, well. An impressive shape ta' take. Ya wear it as fashion big boyo or did ya put it on jus fer me?" As he talked his grin seemed to widen slightly, unnaturally so, while his eye took on a vaguely manic and predatory gaze. A magic of his own suffused his face, darkening it save for his own shimmering silver tattoos, and giving his form a faint air of menace. "What," He said with a smile full of teeth that appeared to take a sharper edge "were ya worried I'd bite?" It was a simple trick, of devious magic. While the Full Moon had presented himself to Ashen Sky with a show of Mettle, he responded with a show of Cunning, and wove a minor illusion around himself as a thing to be wary of. Not as a threat, but as something that could prove far, far from an easy prey if provoked. For this was not meant as an escalation, but rather as a form of return to the tiger skinned lunar's own greeting in custom.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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Under the brilliance of a full moon the surface of a natural spring glistened, with silken robes hanging in a nearby tree. The peaceful beautiful of the scene was soon interrupted by the emergence of a golden haired man from the center of the spring. They pulled their long hair back and tied it, with a cord on their wrist, into a ponytail. Standing up the man exposed himself while walking to the silken robes, drying himself before adorning himself with the robes.

After dressing the man grabbed a small wine container and his intricately crafted staff hidden among the grass underneath the tree. Taking a long swig from the wine within they walked towards their lodging, a large inn room located near the spring. Inside their room a woman was laying down in their bed, their clothes discarded and their body shining from sweat from their earlier engagement. The man placed some sheets on her before taking another drink from their container.

The man was known as Baek Kwan and had operated in this coastal town for over a month. They are a wandering exalted, offering their services to those willing to pay. Their activities had gained them some renown among those with enough wealth to purchase their services while instilling fear on those who would act against them. This had gained Kwan an equal amount of allies and enemies as well as money and influence. The monetary gain however wasn't his main motivation, it was the influence and information he could gain through his activities.

This is because he was not just any exalted, he was a Solar exalted. Solar's are hunted down and executed by those currently in power and the fragile egos of the Dragon-blooded. Baek Kwan's goals aligned with the Gold Faction, a group of people who wanted to see the Solar exalted back in control, overthrowing the corrupt Realm. He didn't have any desire to rule, in fact he didn't even really believe that Solar's would rule any better, he just had a personal grudge against the Realm and the Great Houses that flourished within. He would align himself with them as long as he could use their influence and power to exact his revenge.

While drinking and watching the beautiful scene outside their room, Kwan saw a peculiar sight. A crystal winged Osprey was flying towards his room, landing about a foot away from him. Curious he approached the bird and obtained the scroll the bird was carrying. Unfurling and reading the message revealed that the sender was requesting their presence at the spire of Fakharu. Apparently their deeds had gained them enough renown or notoriety to rouse the interest of the Censor of the Celestial Bureaucracy and Dragon of Water for a matter of 'personal interest'. Intrigued by the proposal and the possible gains he could make by participating, Kwan drank a little more wine before a fox like smile adorned his face.

Baek Kwan awaited the arrival of the arrival of the ivory ship with a small number of bags carrying a few essentials needed while journeying. While waiting he looked among his supplies, among them hidden was a container housing opium, tobacco, and an assortment of herbs for smoking. Kwan had attempted to rid himself of his vices but his addiction to the sweet taste of opium was hard to overcome. He would attempt to stave it off with vices which held a smaller grasp on him but he would carry some with him just in case.

A mist had settled into the harbor before the ivory shipped arrived to welcome him aboard. After walking up the ramp Kwan noticed that there was already a number of occupants onboard. One was a man with that had a number of animalistic features visible and silver tattoos adorning their body, undoubtedly a Lunar exalt. A young looking woman was also nearby, she was eating chocolate, a delicacy but not entirely uncommon. He couldn't tell what exalted they were just from their appearance. The others onboard were also hard to distinguish just by appearance, although one was very pale a common trait of an Abyssal.

After some time the ship hadn't made any additional stops, meaning that those onboard were probably the entirety of the party asked to attend. It could be possible that there was another ship or that other members may be further a long but until such an event occur it was safe to assume that this was all of the passengers.

In an attempt to 'break the ice' the visible Lunar had chosen to address everyone and introduce themselves saying, “So… no that all of we be here, I think introductions be in order. I be named Ashen Sky of Wavecreast. Might I have tha pleasure of knowing who might ye all be?”

In response the young lady said, “Introductions are always awkward, aren’t they?” She awkwardly laughed before she half-snorted as she tried to clear her throat. She seemed embarrassed by the action which elicited Baek Kwan's familiar fox like smile. “Ah . . . anyway, I’m Lux . . . Fiala, I suppose you could say I hail from The Scavenger Lands? As it stands, it’s nice to make your acquaintance, Ashen. And it’s nice to make everyone else’s, as well.” Still smiling, Kwan gave her a slight nod.

A less friendlier exchange then occurred as a man of slight build approached the Lunar. The slight man then began to transform, revealing white and black fur as well as a more muscular build and tiger traits. The tiger Lunar then bared their teeth in a grin, responding with only two words, “Cascading Moonlight.” Their greeting seemed like some sort of challenge but Kwan was unfamiliar with the customs of Lunar exalted.

The pale skinned man said something but was too far for Baek Kwan to pick up exactly. They seemed to be disinterested in introducing themselves as well as the Lunar's exchange. They did continue to observe the exchange with a bored expression.

Ashen Sky then responded to the Lunar's greeting. Activating a charm before replying, "Guide your hunt." He then placed his hands on his hip and gazed at the other Lunar. "Well, well. An impressive shape ta' take. Ya wear it as fashion big boyo or did ya put it on jus fer me?" His appearance darkened, making his shimmering silver tattoos become more pronounced before continuing, "What, were ya worried I'd bite?"

Kwan wasn't all too interested in their exchange so he chose instead to approach Lux, sitting a few feet away from her. Removing some tobacco and cloves from within his bag and the hidden pipe in his robes, Kwan prepared his pipe and lit it with a match. Taking a few drags before exhaling the smoke away from Lux. Kwan offered his hand in greeting to her before saying, "Nice to meet you as well, Lady Fiala." He then interrupted the Lunar's exchange by introducing himself with a fox like grin. "Name is Baek Kwan . . . Anyone know anything about what we got ourselves into or are we all just as in the dark as each other?"


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Nimin Hedrox Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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#, as written by Sepokku
Astrid’s eyes did not falter, her gaze locked firmly onto Ashen Sky, a critical look of assessment on her face. She barely paid attention to his words while examining the tattoos that adorned his body. Lunars from the West had the most dramatic Moonsilver Tattoos, a simple necessity of people who found themselves frequently in water. The story his tattoos told was one of Cunning and desperation, not that desperation was uncommon among the Lunars. She had experienced plenty of desperation herself...

“Were ya worried I’d bite?”

She continued to stare him down for a few long seconds before replying. “I’m sure your bark is worse than your bite.” So this was one of the men that were to be her packmate for the time being. “You’re from the West. I hope you don’t ascribe to that patriarchal bullshit.” With a roll of her shoulders, Astrid turned away from the other Lunar and started prowling away. She called over her shoulder, “You’re one of Luna’s children, gender, form, and reality are mutable to you. Reconcile that with Western ideals.”

Raising a hand to her face to hide a yawn, Astrid’s form shifted down into that of a small black cat. Her eyes scanned the remaining occupants of the boat before her padded feet carried her silently to the side of the only other woman on board, where she curled into a ball and promptly began to nap.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Nimin Hedrox Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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….whatever attempts she would’ve made to further the initiated introductions, they were otherwise interrupted by something of a show of...force? Capability? Between the Lunar known as Ashen Sky and yet another Lunar who’d joined the fray—they’d called themselves “Cascading Moonlight,” and assumed a form between human and tiger—one that was large and was meant to be intimidating. Yet, Lux actually found it fascinating, and perhaps it was childish, but she actually thought that it was really neat.

Lux had crossed paths with Lunars prior to this but, never more than one at a time. She didn’t know if this interaction between Ashen and Moonlight was a completely expected occurrence. Did all Lunars attempt to assert themselves when they met another? Overall, she knew actually very little about Lunars and their ways. The only sources of information she had were ones she herself didn’t quite feel were reliable. Those who mentored her, who taught her before she set out on her own…. Though they would’ve probably liked for her to have accepted their words and “lessons” about Lunars at face value, but Lux had her doubts about the validity of their teachings. They’d always tried to make it seem like they were supposed to be lesser than herself because she was a Solar…that wasn’t something that had ever sat well with Lux, and it never would.

A nervous grin crept up over Lux’s face as the exchange between the two Lunars continued—Ashen activating some sort of Charm, mirroring the other Lunar’s form. She could make out a subtle silver glimmer from his form as it seemed to darken, a projected air of predation had overcome him. That was it, however. It was a sort of show. A way to confer that even if he might not win in fight, it’d take too much effort for it to be worthwhile. Even if Lux didn’t know squat about Lunars and their customs, it was still easy enough to read an interaction for what it was...insofar as she was concerned, at least.

The presence of others attracted by the scene broke Lux from her own musings about it...and she silent craned her own head about to observe. ….a Deathknight was evidently among their summoned party, how curious. She knew even less about they than she did about Lunars, though she knew one was under the service of the Gold Faction. ….his name eluded her, as she’d only had ever heard him spoken of in hushed tones. Lux knew of the wives’ tales and dark whispered rumors that surrounded Deathknights, their very existences, and their overall everything. What was truth and what was hearsay, she couldn’t say, nor did she she want to dye her expectations of them with falsities. Whoever and whatever sort of individual this Deathknight was, that was something to be judged based upon his actions, and Lux would come to her own conclusions in time.

Again, lost in her own thoughts, Lux found herself somewhat startled from them by the sound of a match being struck to life rather nearby her, and it took almost every bit of the little Eclipse’s composure to not squawk in a manner that would most certainly attract seagulls under normal sailing circumstances. Though, there was nothing she could do to stop the inevitable reddening of her cheeks as she turned to look at the source of the sound—only to find that a hand was extended toward her. “Nice to meet you, Lady Fiala.”

The overly formal way in which she was addressed made Lux freeze. Never in her whole short life had she’d been called a “Lady.” She wasn’t of noble birth or high status. She really didn’t quite know how to react to that. It might seem rude to rebuff the attempt at politeness, but it felt really weird to her to be addressed as “Lady” anything. During Lux’s inner debate over how to handle this, the owner of the hand that was still extended toward her blundering self again spoke, this time making a point to address everyone else. “Name is Baek Kwan…. Anyone know anything about what we got ourselves into or are we all just in the dark as each other?”

Shaking off her doubt and uncertainties, Lux wanted to smack herself for taking so long to respond to the man—Kwan. She was never one who excelled in the realm of socializing, if she was to be traveling with these people for a somewhat significant timeframe, she needed to remedy that as much as possible, and the moments she spent getting lost in her own head needed to cease ASAP. Going forward with that line of thought, Lux made it a point to awkwardly shove her small hand into the man’s and try to shake it. Handshakes weren’t something she’d done a lot of either.

“Uh, Mister Kwan, I can’t say that I personally know much about what’s going on either.” Lux answered him, pulling her hand back to her side as she clasped both together at chest level, and twiddled her thumbs. “I received a request for my presence, to help resolve some evidently dire situation, and I obliged. What that situation is, I do not know though....” she mumbled the last bit, and turned her eyes down toward her hands. Lux mustered a small shrug, however. The lack thereof knowledge really did not do much to actually bother her. “In truth, I’m more curious why I was summoned. I mean, if it’s believed I can be of help, then I’ll gladly do what I can, though it may not be much....”

As Lux had spoken, it seemed that she had missed the conclusion of the encounter between the Lunars. It was only when Lux caught sight of Moonlight’s form shifting once more, shrinking down into the shape of a cat that she even realized. Her gaze was instantly back upon the Lunar, whose feline eyes were scanning between them all...til they settled upon her. Lux’s eyes followed the Lunar as she trotted on over to her side, plopped herself down and began to...sleep. This was regarded with silence from the Eclipse Caste, she wasn't wholly sure what to think. The hybrid form that Moonlight had assumed before had been fascinating to Lux, but this one was….

“Cute….” the thought slipped from Lux’s mouth before she could help herself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Nimin Hedrox Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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#, as written by Sepokku
Artisan watched the display play out between the two Lunars with a bored expression, his mouth upturned slightly when the second Lunar changed appearance; it seemed the two had to establish some sort of pack hierarchy, just like the dogs he had grown up with. For a brief moment, he entertained the notion of training either Lunar using positive reinforcement, just as he had trained all his dogs, before dismissing it as entirely unnecessary.

The tall blonde-haired man who had boarded after Artisan meandered towards the blonde-haired girl who had introduced herself as Lux. For a split second, the moonlight framed the duo and the whispers of the Neverborn sounded senselessly in the Abyssal’s ears. Those two had to be Solars, probably. At the very least the Neverborn did not appreciate their being on the voyage. The man produced a pipe and tobacco which raised a question Artisan hadn’t considered before. Can Exalted still feel the effects of various drugs and poisons? As far as he knew, only very strong poisons worked on them; by extension would very strong drugs be the only way for an Exalted to use?

“Name is Baek Kwan . . . Anyone know anything about what we got ourselves into or are we all just as in the dark as each other?”

After a moment, the blonde girl answered the stranger’s query, though she seemed just as lost as he was. She seemed almost as eager to help as a puppy that was to one day be a sheepdog. Idly Artisan wondered if all Solars were this clueless, certainly the Bishop mentioned they were mostly without guidance these days.

The Lunars seemed to finish their exchange, as one of them shifted into a cat and joined the two Solars. It suddenly hit Artisan that this was the most Exalted, nay the only Exalted that Artisan had seen since joining their ranks. Putting on his most winning smile, the Deathknight slowly approached Baek and Lux, taking a seat on the side of the boat nearest to them. “I’m The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls, and I suppose one could say I’m from Ikh Bayan.”

Scrutinizing both of their faces, he couldn’t help but wonder, did no one else know why they were here? Clearing his throat he continued thoughtfully, ”Well let’s see if we can’t work backward to find a way out of the dark. There are six individuals here, who I presume are Exalted like myself.” He pointed to each person on deck while counting with his fingers. “We were summoned by the Western Censor, Lord Fakharu, who is also a Dragon of Water. Finally, the letter mentioned the matter at hand is most dire.”

He looked down at the black cat that had curled up by Lux, its breathing had evened out, apparently already napping. “Somehow I don’t think the Tiger Lunar was summoned for their tactfulness.” Artisan looked Baek up and down, “You’re no stranger to war either. If I had to hazard a guess?” He paused for dramatic effect while taking a quick look at everyone, “We’re a strike team. Fakharu could raise Gods of his own court for most issues, so he intends to send us somewhere his jurisdiction doesn’t reach." He grinned, "At least that's would be my bet, if I were a betting man.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lux Fiala Character Portrait: Astrid Character Portrait: The Wandering Artisan Clad in Souls Character Portrait: Ashen Sky Character Portrait: Nimin Hedrox Character Portrait: Baek Kwan
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She stood by quiet as the others spoke, her eyes still partly drawn to the Lunar who’d taken to the form of a feline. The Deathknight’s introduction passed overtop her head—she was only aware enough to really catch his name and little else. She heard him questioning why they were all gathered together...and making assumptions in regards to the matter. Again, why she of all Exalted had received a summons was beyond her. Why Fakharu had summoned them all, it didn’t matter to her. She’d gotten a plea for help, that was all that she needed to know. Whether or not the others ended up agreeing to assist Fakharu in whatever matters he asked of them, that didn’t matter either. There’d been more than one instance where Lux had ended up having to absolve things on her own when others deemed them not worth their time. She’d do it again...even if she wasn’t the best suited to most tasks.

Folks had called her naïve before, she’d been called a lot of things before. She was, in a manner of speaking. If she was that, then that was fine.

Wanting to help others...and doing it, that was something that defined her life. She had no purpose, no goal, nothing to aim for. Lux took to traveling the world in order to find...something for herself, to gain perspective and to refine the views she held on many matters—including those she had on the Cult of the Illuminated. In her travels, she still had yet to find many answers. The only answer she’d reach thus far was that she felt compelled to help others, if only in the most minor of ways. From little things to the large, anything that makes things better….

That was enough.

“To be truthful with the lot of you, I don’t much care why we were all summoned in this manner.” Lux responded in a quiet voice. “Whether we’re needed for reasons of discretion or otherwise, it doesn’t matter to me. I only want to help however I can...if I can.”