Exalted South: Crimson Sands

Session 4. The Four

Though the Snake that Ate the Moon has told the party all he knows as they requested, and promised to teach them sweet forbidden Necromancy and provide detailed maps of the Underworld, Pasha Sethos is not moved and Chenzira does not trust his slippery forked tongue. They refuse to offer him sanctuary and cast him out into the desert, alone, to face the wrath of his Master.

In defeat he turns to the unforgiving expanse of the desert as the dry winds whip his ebony tresses in a dramatic fashion. The unforgiving light beats down on his pale, beautiful skin, already burning it as he walks slowly off to face his exile. Could this mysterious, tortured man have become a worthy Ally in time? Could he have been saved from his own darkness, and led back to the embrace of the Unconquered Sun? The party will now never know, and they must live with the burden of this sin and all of the consequences thier choice brings.

After cruelly watching the death knight wander off alone into the sands, the party then returns to speak once more to the Crowfather, who surrenders the Amulet of Lost Souls as promised. He asks to speak to Nekhbet alone and requests that she leave the Rookery to travel with the others. She recognizes his behavior; he is kicking her out of the nest. She agrees and lets the others know she will be departing with them.

After returning to Chiaroscuro, the adventurers travel back to Grandmother Bright to complete thier end of the bargain. They return the amulet to her and she advises them that though she cannot directly answer the question they came to her with, if they investigate Sethos’ enemy Sharak Tyrrol then they will come upon the answers they seek.

Still disappointed at losing the chance at learning Necromancy, Shimmering Mirage requests that before investigations begin they go explore Sethos’ tomb where he Exalted, as he had mentioned it had First Age writings within it. Curious to see how the excavation is proceeding, Sethos agrees and contracts Sand Captain Tolbek to take the party to the location. Tolbek readily welcomed the work, explaining that due to Realm interference with high levies on exported goods, his own business was suffering.

After arriving to the excavation site, the party travels to Sethos’ tomb. It appears to be exactly as he left it, but Mirage notices a hidden door. They manage to get it open and also discover that it has traps guarding the passageway beyond. They survive/deal with the traps and come to a large central tomb that is dedicated to “The Four”, with statue monuments to unknown figures set in each direction that guard a door and passageway similar to the one they just came down from.

They choose to first attempt to enter the passageway for the burial chamber of “Cataclysm”, but find it to be caved in with rocks and decide to return later. They choose next to attempt to enter the chamber marked by the moonsilver plaque and statue of “Finality”. The are able to travel the passageway without harm from the traps. The walls tell the tale of the Finality’s deeds during the First Age. At the end of the passageway is a burial chamber and within they find a sarcophagus, with Mirage opens. Inside is a remains of a figure wearing moonsilver armor, which the Lunar attempts to take – awakening the hungry ghost, which sees her scythe and immediately attacks her, trying to grab it from her.

The party fights the ghost of the First Age Lunar, though it proves to be an incredible challenge. They are victorious, but exhausted. However, they decide to press on and once more return to Cataclysm’s chamber. Chenzira is able to clear the way while the others rest, and at the end of the passageway another sarcophagus is found. Chenzira opens it, but this time Nekhbet lays the spirit within to rest. Chenzira obtains a massive sword and armor.

The last chamber they visit is that of the “Scourge of Cynthia”, and from the sarcophagus Nekhbet finds armor and two flame wands. She is once again able to lay the spirit to rest before it attacks her.

Having visited all the burial chambers, Sethos pieces together clues from each room that there is something that the middle chamber is protecting as well. The party returns to the center and manages to activate another trap, this time causing the four giant statues that guard each chamber to come alive and attack them. Though they all fight valiantly, it is Chenzira who deals out the most destruction with her impressive new blade. The statues are defeated – though Chenzira is saddened by this, as they were very beautiful – and in the center of the chamber a chest is now revealed. The party opens it and finds four bridles and a magitech disc that plays a recorded image. It is a Sidereal who speaks about the Four and how they defied the Deliberative, and that he regrets that they had to be hunted down and put to rest here. It was noted that when an image of the Deliberative was shown, in the Lunar section was a man fitting Ghost’s description.

Shimmerage Mirage realizes of all the First Age Lunars still alive, the most likely person for him to be is Tamuz, and shares this revelation with the party. However, she is reluctant to speak about him, both from fear of him and from not wanting to reveal the Lunar’s Thousands Streams River Project to the three Solars. She advises they cannot be certain it is even really him, and it would be best to avoid dealings with him if possible. Sethos realizes she is not telling them the entire truth but does not press her.

Uncertain what to do with the bridles, the party returns to the surface to find four supernatural steeds waiting. Shimmering Mirage greets hers, named Despair, and he remarks how they have all changed. Chenzira has to prove her dominance to her own warsteed, but the others readily accept their masters. Despair advises they can be summoned with the bridles and do not have to be kept like normal horses. The party decides to race their horses and then return with Tolbek to Chiaroscuro. On the way back, Tolbek and Chenzira get to know each other VERY WELL, INDEED.

Immediately when they get back, Sethos receives an urgent summons from his friend Ragara Hitoshi, asking they meet in private as soon as possible. Sethos invites him to his residence, and Shimmering Mirage spies upon them as a cat. Hitoshi reveals that someone has forged his signature and sent for a Wyld Hunt to come to Chiaroscuro. He offers whatever aid he can to Sethos, and lets him know he informed him as soon as he found out. Shimmering Mirage, still a cat, bites him in outrage. He kicks her away but she transforms back into her human form and threatens him with her scythe, but Sethos orders her to back down, which she reluctantly obeys. Sethos reassures his friend that he does not blame him and that he will deal with the issue.

Sethos and Mirage go to inform the others, and they determine they have several months to prepare for the Wyld Hunt’s arrival. In the meantime, Sethos wants to continue investigations into his rival due to Grandmother Bright’s information. Sethos makes subtle inquiries around town and Mirage goes to spy on Tyrrol’s household. A certain hooded person seems to visit regularly, but always seems to vanish into the shadows when she attempts to follow him. Sethos learns that Tyrrol has involvement in many shady things, but has no solid evidence against him.

The party decides to go question Ghost further and see if he can provide any more information or insight into what they have learned, and perhaps to gain his aid against the Wyld Hunt.

Ghost is miserable in his cell, wanting to die as usual. He feels useless as prisoner and once again insists that it would have been more merciful to let him die that to be kept captive. Sethos reminds him of his promise, and they share the information they learned from their investigations. Ghost recognizes the figure that Mirage saw, and gives them the location he stays at in the most dangerous part of Chiaroscuro. The party then asks if he would fight at their side against the Wyld Hunt. He agrees – anything to have a purpose again – if they can release him from his cell.

Magically, Iskaldur shows up, wondering what business the party had with the prisoner. Sethos tells him everything – that there is a Wyld Hunt on the way, that Tyrrol was somehow most likely involved in the assassination attempt, and they want to take Ghost into their custody. Iskaldur advises that he would need proof in order to lay the blame on Tyrrol, and he cannot so easily release an assassin sent after the Tri-Khan. However, he says, if proof of Tyrrol’s involvement COULD be obtained, then an exchange could perhaps be arranged. The party agrees to this and makes plans to journey to the part of Chiaroscuro that Ghost indicated the mysterious hooded figure was currently dwelling.

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SaffuranSomei Jehzavere

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