BY INVITATION ONLY The Dragons' Run - Act 1

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Chaka

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#1
CHARACTER INDEX - PRIVATE - The Dragons' Run - Character Sheets

It's a beautiful, sunny spring afternoon right at the edge of Creation.

South of Wavecrest Archipelago and north of the Caul's endless holy war, a long-shattered island kingdom glitters in the afternoon son. An t-Oileánra is a forgotten, backwater archipelago, home to an eccentric Dragon-Blooded culture and a shifting patchwork of fiercely independent clans. From the Ninety Isles in the west over to the Bars of Uny in the east and from Hosk to Wathort the islands are abuzz with activity as they prepare for the festival of Sundering. Lastland is getting ready for one of the biggest parties of the year.

Even backwaters have backwaters, and the isle of Seppish, on the northwest edge of the islands, definitely fits that description. It is small and relatively unimportant, the holding of Clan Sorelt - a mortal clan affiliated with the Serpent Clan Banoron, the Water-Dragons who find themselves ascendant in these times. Even here preparations are busily underway, but the Seppishfolk can be forgiven as the Sorelt Hearthfather runs about like a headless chicken, ensuring preparations are perfect. Each year the Banoron Hearthmother spends the festival with one of the mortal clans who she protects, and it is the honour of Seppish this year to host her. And where the Hearthmother goes, other Serpents are often found, and not just Banoron Serpents either.

Though most of Seppish is rocks and hardscabble farmland, it supports a village, Seppish Town, nestled into a cove on the south-eastern side of the island and the only place where larger ships can dock on Seppish's rocky, craggy coastline. Perhaps 40 or 50 families, low wooden houses arranged around the Hearth Hall of the clan and walled in to protect against pirates and raiders. The Hearth Hall is a large, three story wooden structure, ornately carved and maintained.

As the preparations go on, three Serpent Lords are now arriving, little aware of the role they will play in deciding their archipelago's future....
 
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Hair

Edgepeasant
#2
Abyss' Black Reach

As The Wavestrider's hull slices through the white tipped crests Abyss' Black Reach hears the call that they are approaching Seppish. She leaves her cabin, weaving past sailors singing a shanty as they prepare to heave to.


She climbs the forecastle and scan the surrounds of the island for an acceptable anchor point. The Wavestrider is a full three-decked warship, even the cove doesn't have a harbour deep enough for her to dock. They select a point in the lee of Seppish just inside the cove. She indicates a location to her mate, then returns to her cabin to prepare for landfall, indicating to the crew to ready the rowboats on her way. Once she has her affairs in order, and as she feels the ship turning windward, she leaves her cabin, boots and satchel in hand.

Abyss approaches the "guest quarters", vacated by her officers. She knocks on the first door, and as it is answered by one of the Lady Caerdath's servants she smiles. "Let your mistress know we have arrived, please. I am going ashore immediately. If the Lady Caerdath is ready she may accompany me, otherwise the crew will have the second boat ready for you when you're ready."

That business taken care of Abyss ascends to the deck, and hops into the boat the crew have readied. The row over to the harbour is short and uneventful. As the boat reaches the quay Abyss pulls on her boots and hops ashore, tossing a bag of coin to the harbourmaster. As she walks down the quay into the town she stands straighter, chest pushing out, assured in her competence. As her Essence surges her black irises expand out, nearly covering the sclera, and her skin darkens towards black in the section between her boots and trousers. [Spending 5 P.Motes on Dragon Mariner Approach, taking the Heroic aspect, so folks with problems will be drawn to me.] She pushes her way through the crowd, making for the house where her Hearthmother is staying.
 
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Sarky

They're good direwolves, Drozzt
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#3
Jensa:

"Ah, land ho and all that, how exciting!"

Jensa had not been expecting the captain's courtesy, but was versed enough in the basics of seafaring that she recognised the shouts of landfall from the deck. She gave herself an appraising look in her small mirror. Long auburn hair tied up and skewered in place by half a dozen needles. Light flowing silk shirt and pants of cherry red and ocean blue, hanging scandalously low on one shoulder. Erubescent Blossom Lash hanging loosely around her waist as a fashion accessory.

"Kato darling, I'll need you to help the troupe unload their equipment on one of the next boats. Sato my dear, we're going ashore!"

Jensa swept regally out of the cabins and hopped daintily aboard the landing vessel. On land she hooked her left arm into Abyss' right, and let the gallant captain lead the way. "Sato, could you be a dear and head into the markets? See if they have that fruit I like. And try to find some gossip too, darling!"

She turned her attention back to Abyss and the crowds ahead. "Such bustle! My dear captain, I had been led to believe Seppish was a rather quiet land, all told." She gasped excitedly, "Oh! Do you think somebody famous is here?"
 
#4
Yvara of the Grey Serpents,
Junior Magistrate of the Tribunal



The Feather's Folly skips cheerfully over the surf as Yvara leans into the wind, tacking into the harbour with the playful breeze filling her single sail and dancing with her hair. The tiny wee boat practically shivers, sharing the skipper's excitement.

A festival awaits, and Yvara looks forward to not having to do her job. Hopefully. She observes to herself that she has one of those jobs where the less work she has to do, the better off everyone else is. You know, like a plague doctor, except better dressed. Also, you can't catch judicial precedent. Clan law is not contagious, although it is (and Yvara sniggers to herself) a hereditary condition.

The view up the slope to the wooden houses nearly distracts her as she glides along towards the dock, her magpie eyes caught by the festival preparations. As a Tribunal magistrate, with a teeny discreet boat, she could probably get away with tying up anywhere, but she's not a complete langer, and as such bumps the Feather gently in place somewhere out of the way, near the edge of the docks. Vaulting up to the dock and lashing the Feather neatly to the jetty, Yvara realises her mouth is watering. Sauntering off, she offers a grin to the harbourmaster as she briefly displays her judicial seal and loudly announces her intention to find a slab of grilled tuna the size of her face, and put it in her face.

To the market!
 
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Hair

Edgepeasant
#5
Abyss' Black Reach

Abyss' bullish rush turns into swagger as space opens up around her. The peasants had noticed the deep stink of the rotting sea floor that surrounded her any time her anima banner began to show. It helped that her guards had caught up to her, having tied off the boat and given directions to the porters regarding her baggage.

Abyss glances down at the slight woman on her arm. "Don't be obtuse, dear, it's unattractive." A playful grin flashes across her face. "Of course somebody famous is here, I've just docked." Abyss' shark-like eyes flash across the market, then up to the Hearth Hall. She suppresses a grimace. "How very provincial, I was hoping for something... I don't know what I was hoping for. Duty calls, and the bitch is roaring from up there," she gestures up to the Hearth Home. "I trust you can find your own accommodation, Lady Caerdath, or will I have the pleasure of your company while I climb?"

As they continue up the hill Abyss beckons one of her guards. "Head back to The Wavestrider, there's a transport bearing the Mon, tell the lads to be ready for trouble." The guard turns and takes off back the way they had come. "And have them bring up my lamellar!" she roars at his retreating back.
 
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Sarky

They're good direwolves, Drozzt
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#6
Jensa:

"Yes to both" she replied. "It's only polite to say hello to those in charge before looking for a bed. And not least of all because they may have access to better beds! I am here on Seppish," she unhooked her arm momentarily to strike an overly dramatic pose, "to perform. The appreciative audience transcends clan boundaries. As do appreciative patrons."

She latched on to the swaggering captain once more. "Let us proceed oh captain, my captain!"
 

Chaka

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#7
Sarky Sarky Hair Hair
As you move up the docks towards the village and Hearth Hall, you notice two things - there's no Banoron vessel in dock yet, though the honour berth is left free for Banoron Lesanda's arrival. There is also a small transport flying the Imperial Mon berthed not too far away, guarded by two very bored looking mortal legionnaires.

FuzzMonster FuzzMonster

The market is small but a hubbub of activity, as Clan Sorelt pushes the boat out to impress the Serpent Lords in their midst. Tuna, hake and cod is cooking away merrily, and various weavers, bakers and craftsmen are shouting over each other, hawking their wares.

Roll Per+Awareness.
 
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#8
Yvara

Fat. Sizzling. Slab. Tuna.

Around a mouthful of deepwater fish, Yvara enjoys the market, enjoying the produce, the crafts, the hum of the people.

Nonetheless, she’s not the kind to relax into pure naivety, and her senses are not let free to gambol wildly.

Perception + Awareness, 7 dice, 4 successes.
https://rolz.org/embed?X34776786
 
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Chaka

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#9
FuzzMonster FuzzMonster

As you inhale a skull-sized tuna steak and wash it down with some of the local ale (and speaking of large slabs of steak) a man catches your eye. Mostly he achieves this by sheer gravitational mass - he is *bigger* than almost anyone in the market, though he moves with a lightness of step that belies his size. He wears a buff jacket in Caerdath colours and is not visibly armed, though you can tell, professionally speaking, that he can handle himself.

Sato. One of Caerdath Maya Jensa's troupe. Must mean she's in town somewhere, too.

Hair Hair Sarky Sarky

You bypass most of the market, some of the Seppishfolk staring in awe at Abyss' raw display of power and rapt at Jensa's beauty. As you approach the Hearth Hall you see a portly, weatherbeaten man in slightly moth-eaten finery scuttling around, micromanaging servants. He looks every inch a fisherman and the tunic fit maybe a decade ago. Sorelt Fen, no doubt. The Hearthfather. He glances up, sees you both and casually half-bows. "Fair winds and calm seas, Serpents. Blessed day."
 
#10
Yvara

That burly lump of a man will look around to find a lanky athletic smile of a young woman in his shadow.

“Hoy there big man! Your mistress, the dancer, is she here? She’s resplendent, and I’d see her know that.”

Yvara has an easy grin, and her lazy motion betrays not her trained reflexes. She’s redolent, perhaps not with beauty but with health and strength and cheer.
 
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Hair

Edgepeasant
#11
Abyss' Black Reach

"Hearthfather Sorlet!" Abyss exclaims as she steps forward, arms out as if embracing a relative. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance. The Hearthmother Banoron has sent me ahead to oversee the preparation of the Hearth Home for her needs." She gestures to the dancer at her side. "It is my pleasure to introduce Lady Caerdath Jensa, an entertainer here for the celebration. She took a berth on The Wavestrider, since we were coming the same way." Abyss steps closer, grabbing the headman by his elbow. "What is the story with the Realm transport below? Should I expect trouble?"
 

Chaka

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#12
Hair Hair Sarky Sarky

He flinches slightly at the mispronounced name, though he says nothing. He embraces you roughly, and briefly. "Wavestrider, eh? Your reputation precedes you, Captain. Lesanda said you'd be coming. As for the Realm, I guess you didn't hear? Daejon is attending our festivities at Lesanda's invitation. The Satrap of Lastland himself. I'm so excited I could about shit. Begging your pardon, Lady Caerdath." He bows again to Jensa, deeper this time. "You honour us, Caerdath. Be welcome at our Hearth."
 

Chaka

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#13
FuzzMonster FuzzMonster

Sato looks at you for a long moment, then his face splits into a wide grin. "Hello, Yvara. Fair winds. Lady Jensa is here of course. She'll be performing later, and I have no doubt she'll be thrilled to see you again. You are well? Pleasant journey?" He is open, calm and friendly, though he seems a little distracted. Glancing over your shoulder from time to time.
 
#14
Yvara

Gosh. He seems a wee bit off balance. What's his game?

"Hello yourself Sato, all things good? My journey was pretty cheerful and relaxed, largely on account of the voyage towards which I was sailing. Are you looking forward to anything in particular regarding the celebration?"

Why's he so uneasy? He took a mo to respond and he's looking over my shoulder. Surely his mistress is not such a harridan, seeing as she's already a siren, no?

(Reading Intentions as to why he's so apparently unsettled. Surely it's not the presence of a hard nosed magistrate that has him rattled, nah, never.

Not the best roll ever, 2 successes.

)
 

Sarky

They're good direwolves, Drozzt
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#15
Jensa:

The bow was returned in kind and then some, Jensa smoothly transitioning from hanging off the captain's arm to professional courtier, allure and diplomacy in equal measure. She looked him square in the eye. "Hearthfather Sorelt Fen, your warm welcome honours me on my first visit to your lands, and I thank you. I am looking forward to presenting my humble troupe for the entertainment of your Hearth and... guests."

She bit her lower lip at that last word, almost fearfully, eyes flickering from the Hearthfather to the anchored Peleps ship, just long enough to make her meaning clear, before averting her gaze, as if embarrassed and recomposing herself. All the while she watched Sorelt's body language and facial expression at the unspoken mention of the Realm.

"My apologies, Hearthfather, it has been a lengthy trip and I grow... restless, when I have not danced in a while. Shall we speak of arrangements for my troupe, or is there another with that responsibility?

[Rolling Perception + Socialize to Read Intentions and see what intimacies Sorelt has regarding the Realm. Spending 4m personal on Loquacious Courtier Technique for 2 auto-successes]

[6 successes + 2 from Charm = 8!]
 

Chaka

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#16
Sarky Sarky

Sorelt's eyes follow yours, and his expression hardens, just for a moment. He looks... off-balance. Annoyed. She invited the Peleps and didn't tell Fel beforehand. He's off-kilter, and he does not like that. It's momentary, then it passes. "We are looking forward to giving you the opportunity! Your reputation precedes you too, and I've heard wonderful things from across the islands. I'll have my niece, Feray, see to getting you and your troupe organised."

FuzzMonster FuzzMonster

Sato looks like he was carved out of olive-coloured stone, and you get about as much when you try to read him. "Just looking forward to helping Jensa perform. You know how it goes."
 
#17
Yvara

Ah well. If it's important, it'll come up, and I'll be happy to help.

"I do, and I have a thing to look forward to now! Let me know if there is any way I can help, yes? I'll be at the Hearth Hall."

Her hunger temporarily beaten back, Yvara strolls on out of the market up to the clan hall, wiping her hands clean. The bustle of servants catches her eye, and she contemplates sleeping on the island or merely snoozing aboard the Feather tonight.
 

Hair

Edgepeasant
#18
Abyss' Black Reach

Abyss spits to the side as Jensa introduces herself. "Fuckers are here officially, eh? Guess I might get a chance to pound one or two in the fighting rings, then. Regardless, I hope you don't mind me doing a walkthrough of the Hearth Home? Not that I don't trust you, specifically. I mistrust everyone. Comes with the job, sometimes."

Without waiting for an answer Abyss pushes forward into the building, signalling her guards as she does so. They peel off to check nearby buildings for overlooking windows, while Abyss moves into the Hearth Home proper. Essence surges up her neck as she crosses the threshold, her vision sharpens, her thoughts become more... oily, how an assassin must think. She quickly sweeps through the common areas and receiving rooms, noting entrances, the locations of furniture stick in her mind allowing her to know if they've been moved later. She barges into the kitchen, memorising faces even as she dismisses the staff with a growl and gesture. From there she enters the serving passages, mapping out the hidden passages before she climbs to the upper floors. Here she slows, giving each room a thorough search, as opposed to the quick walk through of the downstairs, her men would examine the furniture below for surprises. She labours especially over the master suite, feeling the pillows, the mattress, the carpet for anything out of order. She knocks on the walls, ensuring the thunk of solid wood surrounds the room. She gazes out the window, marking each room with line of sight to the suite, before hauling herself onto the roof, checking for easy means of access.

Spending 2 motes on Indisputable Physical Analysis Technique for an auto success, rerolling 6s til they fail to appear



 

Chaka

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#19
Hair Hair

You map the Hearth Home so thoroughly that you could find your way around it blindfold. Lines of defense, blind corners, escape routes... you know it all. However, all looks well.

Abyss' Black Reach will enjoy a 2-die environmental bonus to rolls to navigate, sneak or otherwise maneuver around the Hearth Home for the rest of the scene.

FuzzMonster FuzzMonster

As you crest your hill, she catches your eye talking to the Sorelt Hearthfather. A beautiful woman, dressed in red, laughing and moving with the grace of a dancer. She wears her aspect like a crown. Jensa is here, and the evening is looking up.

Sarky Sarky

You see her skipping up the hill, light of step and heart for a magistrate, her boundless enthusiasm for everything as infectuous as it is saccharine. Yvara is here.
 
#20
Yvara

Delightful.

Yvara's pace slows, and she approaches at a gentle stroll. Never one to be rude or intrusive, she'll offer a slow smile and a gentle bow from a few paces away.

"Caerdath Maya Jensa, and Hearthfather, hello. Seppish has presented a lovely welcome today, and it's only improved by seeing you! I have come to the Hall to offer my greetings and respects, and find that I can begin from right outside the front door."

She's wearing (from the ground up) light sandals, baggy but respectable linen pants, into which the long tails of Bell Beneath The Waves are tucked, and a simple ribbon tying back her hair.