Exalted South: Crimson Sands

Session 5: JUSTICE

The party travels to a seedy, dangerous part of Chiaroscuro to investigate the hooded shadow-figure who was seen working with Sharak Tyrrol. Chenzira and Shimmering Mirage are visibly armed; no one messes with them as they pass through.

When they get to the address Ghost had given, they see a hovel dimly lit with light. Mirage shifts into a cat to investigate and inside spies their target consulting with his dark master via a bowl of blood. The speaker in the bowl of blood indicates that they are being watched and Mirage escapes, but not before realizing that the hooded figure is possessed and being manipulated by some sort of spirit. She returns to the others and advises them of what she has seen.

They decide to storm the hovel, and Chenzira was the first to burst in, her caste mark glowing so that their target could not escape into shadows again. Nekhbet attempts to exorcise the spirit. As she is about to, however, the spirit seems to recognize her, and calls out her name and urges her to run. It’s then that a horde of shambling undead are unleashed upon them. In the distance a big, hulking creature arises – a terrible brute with a bloodied apron – and begins to make its way toward them.

Chenzira had subdued the hooded figure and was holding him captive, but it was clear her skills were needed elsewhere. She handed him off to Shimmering Mirage and went to fight the unholy beast. Sethos joined the fray and begin to mow down the walking dead as well, but not before obtaining a nasty bite from one.

As the others fought, Nekhbet began preparing a spell. She chanted over a lantern in her hand, and when her spell was finished it she opened it to release a swarm of locusts which began to decimate their opponents alone with Sethos’s blade.

Meanwhile, Chenzira was fighting the bloodied, hulking monster. Though he was a challenge, in the end he was no match for her massive blade Eater of Chaos or her martial prowess and he too was defeated.

Shimmering Mirage had been struggling with the hooded figure but at the fight’s end he ceased his attempts to escape and asked to speak to Nekhbet alone, claiming that he was her father. The Lunar did not believe him, but Sethos did not detect this to be a lie. After some debate they allowed her some time alone with him.

The ghost revealed that he was forcefully bound to serve his master, the Pharaoh, who had dark plans for Chiaroscuro. He warned Nekhbet that her mother served the Pharaoh faithfully and had been waiting for him on the other side. He said he wanted to help her, but was limited due to his forced bondage to the Pharaoh. He said that, perhaps, Necromancy could be used to free him, since it had been used to bind him – and that the Snake that Ate the Moon had been the one to do it.

Nekhbet informs the others of what she has learned, and the party convinces the ghost to write down what he has told him, admitting his involvement with Sharak Tyrrol so that they can present it to Iskaldur as proof. They decide to release him for now, and return to seek out Iskaldur.

Iskaldur is pleased with what they had found but requires more solid evidence to release Ghost and publicly convict Tyrrol. The party decides to journey to Sethos’ residence outside the city to recover and plan what to do next.

As they are training and recovering, a summons comes for Shimmering Mirage at the palace. To her delight it is her beloved mentor, Scar Fang, who has terrified the guards, as he is in warform. She greets him happily and invites him to accompany her to Sethos’ residence outside the city, where she introduces him to everyone. She lets him know that Sethos is “her” Solar and when her mentor looks less that impressed, suggests that they spar. Sethos accepts and Scar Fang promptly strips down to nothing (though still in warform) and challenges the Solar with nothing but his bare fists.

Though Shimmering Mirage expects Scar Fang to beat Sethos into a bloodied pulp, the Solar holds his own and even manages to impress the Full Moon Lunar. The fight ends with Scar Fang accepting him as worthy. Afterwards, they gather with Scar Fang to eat. Shimmering Mirage admits he came due to a letter she had written the Silver Pact after their encounter with the Snake that Ate the Moon, and he shares the following Lunar prophecy passed down from Ingosh Silverclaws:

The Fickle Lady shows me things, my friends. Terrible things. A time of tumult for all our kind. I see an empty throne and a rotting mountain corpse. An ancient prison throws open its doors, and a plague of locusts who walk like men descends on the land. The dead rise to become gods, and gods fall to become the dead. A great fire erupts in the South, greater than has ever been seen before. Five score is the number of dead princes. Two score and ten is the number of the green sun princes who break the world. May the Lady save us all!

The party then discusses how to proceed with handling the troubling situations that have been presented to them. They decide to deal with Tyrrol first, and they will raid his homes to find the evidence that Iskaldur needs.

The raid is planned to be two stages – while Tyrrol is at his residence outside of Chiaroscuro, the party enters his home in the city using their status as official police. While they find proof of his involvement in the criminal underworld, there is nothing about the assassination or the undead. They decide to go confront him in his outer residence.

The four mount their supernatural steeds and ride through the desert, fully-armored and cloaked after Sethos magnificently shouts to the desert sky, “WE RIDE!”

When they arrive at Tyrrol’s residence the guards demand to know what they are there for, and all Sethos says is “JUSTICE” while flashing the insignia of the secret police. Most of the guards flee into the desert in terror as they ride forward. Chenzira rides straight into the home’s door with her massive warhorse, breaking it down. The thugs inside are not so easy to frighten, and begin to attack them.

As the entire party fights, someone jumps at Sethos from the shadows. It is Tyrrol, and the two have a facedown. Sethos easily has the upper hand, and as Tyrrol lay dying and Sethos is about to pierce his heart with the final deathblow, Tyrrol melts into shadow at the last moment and appears a safe distance away. He has accepted the Black Exaltation from the Pharaoh.

The others are still fighting off thugs, and Tyrrol attempts to escape. He begins to run at a supernatural speed, and so Sethos mounts his steed again to give chase. However, Tyrrol’s God-Blooded guardian appears to hinder Sethos. Though Shimmering Mirage cleaves apart the God-Blooded with Atonement, the distraction was enough to allow Tyrrol to escape.

Chenzira and Nekhbet have destroyed the packs of thugs who were attacking and those who are not already in the corpse pile run away screaming. Shimmering Mirage retrieves the God-Blood’s weapon, an orichalchum whip, and the party goes to investigate the residence. There is plenty of damning evidence – including the skeletal remains of another secret police member, and a scrying bowl made of soulsteel.

The party returns once again to Iskaldur with the evidence and tell him everything that has happened. Iskaldur is concerned with what will become of Tyrrol next, and assign the party the duty of keeping an eye out for him. They come up with the plan of attempting to prove to the Wyld Hunt that Tyrrol was the “Anathema” the entire time, and is the true monster that should be hunted down and destroyed.

With this evidence in his hands, Iskaldur advises the party that he can now release Ghost into their care, and that the Dragonblood will be their responsibility from this point onward.

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