Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement.   Posted by Gatekeeper.Group: archive 1
Yaishin Higura
 player, 110 posts
Tue 5 May 2009
at 21:50
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Higura listens raptly as the various groups exchange tales and descriptions of recent event, nodding his head to show his understanding. He ponders for a long moment, taking in all the new information and letting it all stew for a time.

"Those are really interesting news. So you now have a contact within the limits of the Conclave?" He asks, tilting his head to the side. "This might be a great boon in our planned attack, since it might be able to grant us information we normally would not have lest we went in and inspected the situation ourselves. Meeting with this 'Free' also seems advisable - the more fronts we can engage in this battle, the better."

Higura pauses briefly when there is mention of 'Pale Gaze', although even him is not certain why the name makes him ponder. Perhaps it brings back some buried memories in him? At the moment, it is nothing more than a dull, vague feeling however, so he lets it drop to focus on more important matters.

"Third and I will be responsible for moving the prisoners, yes - though if assistance if necessary at all, it would likely be with the one that is under my watch, Jilana. She... does not understand what we are trying to do, and might be belligerent. Not in a violent way, of course, since I have restricted her from doing so. But she might be verbally assualting those in the vicinity, so it might be best to limit how many people she is in contact with."

"It is almost sad, in a way. She was brought up with so much hatred for our kind that she seems unable to entertain the notion that there is not always a sinister ulterior motive to our actions. I have managed to see her true nature, however, despite the barrage of anger and hatred she dishes out - those are my functions, after all. She is a good and dedicated person at the core... But she is also the victim of a system that made her believe that anything related to our kind is a great and nonredeemable evil."

"It is my hope that my dealings with her will at least let her doubt these convictions, later if not in the immediate."
Talia Zerith
 player, 55 posts
Tue 5 May 2009
at 22:45
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Talia listens quietly as the two groups trade news.  At one point she interrupts the flow of conversation.  "You're meeting with the Freerunners?  I know some of those guys."

[Private to GM: I did a bunch of rolls for crafting the badges, because I wasn't really sure if there was anyplace in particualr I should put them.  My initial role was 5 successes; on ten subsequent rolls I got a total of 47 successes.  I'm not really sure how long I have or how many badges we need, so I just kinda guessed.]

This message was last edited by the player at 22:52, Tue 05 May 2009.

Ledaal Xurizu
 player, 156 posts
 No Moon Lunar
 Sorcerer and Test Subject
Tue 5 May 2009
at 23:23
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"Yes, we do," he nods to Higura.  "I think the Mockingbird would be very amenable to providing us with information regarding security within the Concalve, and perhaps more," Xurizu adds a little more.  "Though it would carry some risk, we could consider sharing with him the times of attacks, if he could also add some of his own agents to the mix, as a further distraction and division."
Third Beneficiary of Orderly Knowledge
 player, 179 posts
Wed 6 May 2009
at 03:59
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Third nods. 'The prisoners will be led there. And Nanaret, they will not be slaves. They will join us because it is the right thing to do, not because we force them to.' it says, standing as it looks towards Higura. ' The Immaculate Corruption runs deep. But not so deep as to escape the gaze of truth.' it says, a small, odd smile on it's face as it looks towards the others.

It looks notably concerned by the strange mention of the black-essenced young girl, but when asked, doesn't elaborate beyond 'a bad feeling'.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:32, Wed 06 May 2009.

Peleps Dashu
 player, 254 posts
 Night Caste Solar
 Criminal Investigator
Wed 6 May 2009
at 04:11
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Dashu had been very quiet after returning.  Truth be told he was a little shaken by Tyco's departure, although he couldn't convince himself it was unexpected.  Given their history, Dashu was well aware of the Dawn's views on things and they differed quite drastically from this group's.  That being said, Dashu's goals were not necessarily completely in line with everyone elses either.  He had been hoping for escape, not revolution.  But more than anything else he wanted to see his fellow slaves freed so he figured he'd lend what aid he could to revolutionaries.

"Mockingbird would probably be agreeable to any arrangement he found to profitable.  Not having the Dragons breath down his throat would be in his best interest.  I wasn't able to get enough of a read on him to tell if he would behave any better for a new government than an old one.  He might be an ally we want to rely on sparingly.  By the way, has anyone given any thought, as to what happens after our initial assault?  If we take over the entire level, do we have any contingency plans for the inevitable retaliation?"
Tervila Dena
 player, 211 posts
 Full Moon Lunar
 Messenger
Wed 6 May 2009
at 16:56
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"I thought it over a bit.  I'm not sure retaliation will be a problem if we convince the Gatekeeper to help us.  From what the Builder Bugs have told us, the Gatekeeper of Water was able to completely take over and destroy the Dragonblooded there." Dena suggests.  "However more planning cannot possibly hurt." she turns back to the queen.
"From your knowledge of the District, is there any access here besides the elevator?  Or could we fortify that and know that the Dragonblooded cannot assault any other point?"
Danae Adela
 player, 167 posts
Wed 6 May 2009
at 17:50
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"I thought about more-or-less the same things" Danae admitted with a shrug.  "Water District can be attributed as an Anomaly, but once Earth District goes, it's going to be difficult--if not impossible, for them to hide that from the populace--there's too many people living down here who'll be missed--that's even disregarding the resources put into it...  Frankly, we're not going to have a lot of downtime--we'll have to more-or-less immediately push into the Fire District, and keep the Legions off balanced and unable to properly mobilize--otherwise, we'll wind up losing from arms attrition alone.  Pretty much, we'll be at war immediately after the Earth District drops off the grid."

Crossing her arms, Danae gathers her thoughts, then continues, slightly more hesitantly.  "I... THINK that if we can take Fire District, we'll be in a position where they'll be unable to 'Appreciably' retaliate without dramatically reducing their own overall power...  Of course, this 'Will' encourage them to dig in, and no doubt Wood and Air are going to be 'Very' well fortified by the time we can actually reach them--and Heaven only knows what the Transcendant Levels have to throw at us...  Contingencywise though, we don't have much, but if we can take Earth, while still making our intention as Liberators clear to the people of the District, then we'll have a foudnation to push into Fire, and tip the balance of things in our favor for a change...  That's my estimate anyway."
Saina Nanaret
 player, 161 posts
Wed 6 May 2009
at 17:58
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"Right thing to do? Maybe they not agree that it is right," Nanaret says to Third curiously.

Fortunately, the Lunar does not seem interested in maintaining yet another moral debate about such things. "Hrmmm, but I can also help with these prisoners if need be. However, maybe much better I change out of Immaculate garb first. May as well get ready for leaving the area, too. I agree it would be good idea to move sooner than later."

Nanaret nods apologetically to the Queen and others, lifts her cloth wrapped bundle, and withdraws from the center of the settlement, heading for the room she had claimed among the foreman's quarter. Dreams-of-Light is in good hands now, so she does not need to watch over her so attentively now. Though her silence is also a bit discouraging, the Zenith probably needs a great deal of rest.

...

Inside her room, Nanaret changes out of her immaculate robe and cloak, and puts on the simple worker's clothes and hat she'd taken from back in the Water District. Then she starts packing what few belongings she has (more than she did at the Pit, at least) into a canvas bag she'd grabbed from the storage rooms. This also, incidentally, includes some of the clothing and exceptional / enchanted equipment she took from the wood acolytes who attacked the mining settlement, as well as the mining gear and worksuit. Much to her pleasure the Changing Moon is starting to put together quite a collection of disguises.

Finally, she shoulders her bag and snatches up the serpent staff with the moonsilver core that Danae had crafted for her. It is still unattuned, so quite heavy, but Nanaret will be familiarizing herself with the weapon as soon as possible.
Gatekeeper
 GM, 808 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Wed 6 May 2009
at 18:40
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
The Queen follows the Celestials' conversation through Jhenli, who conveys to her what words and meanings she cannot immediately grasp. Fortunately all the Realm languages have some root of similarity to them, so it does not require complete translation of every word.

"The Gatekeeper of Earth is the authority on who can enter or leave the District of Earth from above," Chilomena replies to Dena's query about District access. "That is why it is the Gatekeeper. That said, there would most definitely be Terrestrials in Fire District with the authority to override it. But any invaders from above would be at a disadvantage if the Gatekeeper of Earth turns against them."

"The elevator would not be the only place invading Terrestrials could enter should they be hostile. They could potentially open up manual ports downward from Floor B20 to the Gatekeeper Control Floor B21. They could override the Interdistrict Freight Elevators, as well, of which there are a total of two currently in operation. However, securing the Inner Temple and the central shaft would still prevent the most direct route downward, and fortifying Floor B21 would block any forces they try to move downward manually."

"It will be difficult but not impossible should you manage to unite the disparate groups of this district. I will continue to produce warriors, the Gatekeeper will provide automaton guardians, and any rebel elements or laborer uprisings would provide additional mortal fighters. I should also add that with its upper border secured, the new Republic of the Water District would be able to provide combatants as well. The Gatekeeper of Water, as I mentioned, will be sending two Celestials upward to assess and possibly infiltrate the Inner Temple."

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:40, Wed 06 May 2009.

Gatekeeper
 GM, 809 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Wed 6 May 2009
at 18:56
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"They are called Veldygar Arhandor and Broken Eternal," continues Jhenli at a glance from the Hive Queen, to ease the burden of continuing to translate information that both he and Chilomena know. "It seems Veldygar is one of the Crowned Suns, an Eclipse Solar. Eternal is... the Gatekeeper has described as a 'cursed' or 'tainted' Solar. It is not familiar with how this came to be, only that his Essence is akin to a Nightbringer's, but... lacking any warmth."

In fact the explanation Jhenli gives sounds similar to how the Celestials from the Conclave described Mourning Bell. Jhenli and Chilomena both seem utterly mystified by the possibility of 'cursing' a Solar though, so can only take these descriptions at face value and convey them as they heard them. Their assumption is that the Dragon-blooded have found a means to corrupt Solar Essence, one way or another -- a disturbing prospect.

"In any case," Jhenli says, after an uncomfortable silence. "Both of these free Celestials have agreed to aid an uprising should it happen, if only because it would also further their own personal freedom. That is as much as we can ask any of you, Creators. They know of your presence here and will ally with you."
Ledaal Xurizu
 player, 157 posts
 No Moon Lunar
 Sorcerer and Test Subject
Wed 6 May 2009
at 20:23
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"That sounds like a good projection, Danae," Xurizu says as he contemplates the very little he knows about the Coils with any certainty.  "Once we have dealt with the Fire District, I imagine the forces that we face and the threats we overcome will become less direct and more ... esoteric.  The Wood District," he speaks it's name in an odd mixture of loathing and wonder, "is where I spent a lot of my time, that I remember anyway.  It is where Zerabia comes from, or at least where I met her once before, and perhaps where these 'cursed' Solars come from.  I imagine things only get less 'grounded' when we go higher"

"I will go now, and prepare for our move into your hive, Queen Chilomena.  Goodbye," he says, nodding to people and then going back to the small quarters he had claimed in the mines.  When he reaches them he first checks the door then sitting on the bed, he gets out the small from his pocket which Pale Gaze had slipped him in the aftermath of the fight.

Then he swallows it.
Third Beneficiary of Orderly Knowledge
 player, 180 posts
Thu 7 May 2009
at 01:08
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Third bows. 'With your permission, Queen Chilomena, Third would like to begin the transportation of Bastion and Willow to your Hive's hospitality. Third shall go to inform them of the move and have them prepare.' Third bows once more to the assembled Celestials and Chilomena, before walking towards the makeshift holding area, considering the information about the 'tainted' Solars... Things that the Wood District doesn't even like mentioned. But things that filter down, endlessly, in strange reports and unexplained crimes.

OOC: Cut to 3 Immaculates!

This message was last edited by the player at 04:23, Thu 07 May 2009.

Yaishin Higura
 player, 111 posts
Thu 7 May 2009
at 01:20
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Listening to the plans and assessments, Higura nods in understanding, trying to absorb all the information everyone brings to the table. After a particular comment, however, he seems to pause, tilting his head curiously in Talia's direction.

"Pardon me if I should not ask but... You have been in contact with some of these 'Freerunners'? It would seem like potentially very important knowledge. How was your... contact with them? We have been toying with the idea of communicating with Free and his people, since we seem to share common objectives, in the immediate at least. But we do not know much about him or his group past what is said of them."
Talia Zerith
 player, 56 posts
Thu 7 May 2009
at 02:04
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"Yeah, I lived with some of them for a while.  After my collar shut off, they helped me out.  I only saw Free a couple times.  He probably won't remember me."
Yaishin Higura
 player, 112 posts
Thu 7 May 2009
at 02:10
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"Ah, I see... So it was more of an alliance of convenience then, I surmise. Any experience is good knowledge, however, and I am certain there will be an advantage to your familiarity with them, however brief it might have been."

"How was your stay with them, if I may ask? There are so many different rumors circulating about them, but as it almost always is, I suspect none of them holds the full truth. Do you think his people might be amenable to an alliance with ours? Or do you believe them unwilling to ally with those not their own in this fashion?"
Gatekeeper
 GM, 813 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 7 May 2009
at 21:16
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Xurizu swallows the emerald carrying another fleeting yet disturbing memory. While he struggles with the knowledge revealed to him, Chilomena nods in approval of the Celestials preparing for departure. The Hive Queen begins to give directions to her own entourage, a mix of Old Realm and insect-speak and chemicals that sends the emerald and sapphire bugs scurrying back toward the Hive to prepare rooms and living areas for human guests, while onyx workers form lines to help transport any belongings the Exalted or refugees might want to take from the camp.

[Private to Ledaal Xurizu: The King Cobra found her beautiful. That long, cascading dark hair, the lovely, smooth face and dark eyes. He hadn't been expecting that at all. She was too young, too fragile seeming to be a target, and the part of his psyche not ravaged by mind control, hypnosis and memory-stealing screamed not to hurt her.

Not the silver-barbed chains. That just wouldn't do.

He stalked her first, through the streets of Fire District. She was a beacon of purity in those soot-stained alleyways, a cool breeze in the oppressive heat of the factory furnaces. Mesmerized, Xurizu followed her, his swift and analytical mind piecing together an impression of her from what he observed, even as his struggling heart was simultaneously drawn to her and sickened at what he would do. What he must do.

Sienna, his gorgeous, captivating (demanding, cruel) keeper wished to test him, he understood that much. It was simple to kill a man who he knows has done wrong, whose weathered, hard-bitten face had the capacity for sin. It was comparatively simple to snuff the life of a woman who has never known pain or struggle, whose eyes are filled with naught but avarice and self-indulgence. But a girl such as this? He wondered if Sienna had forced him simply because he gazed at her with longing.

In the end, though, Halima was a rebel, too. She was a consummate courtesan who had the ear of some key officers in the Peace Forces and the Legions, and she was feeding that information to Celestial sympathizers and sky-chasers who yearned for the fabled 'above world'.

Now the King Cobra would deny her that sky.

He caught her gaze from across the street, his eyes flaring with power. When the spell took hold of her, he could have told her anything. He could have whispered to her to run away, to change her appearance, to hide with people she trusted and lay low. He could have told her to come away with him, to fall in love with him, to bring him to her rebel superiors. But Sienna's commands were too strong, too fresh, too overpowering in his mind, and his infatuation with Halima paled compared to his owner's scalding suggestions.

"Come to the B16 Sector 7 exhaust shaft at 23:00, and leap over the railing. I promise... you will fly."

The last he saw of Halima was the fluttering of her dark, luxurious hair, stark against her pale silk overgarment, just before she descended into the flames. Somewhere in the Fire District, he'd stashed away the bit of silk that remained of her.
]

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:59, Thu 07 May 2009.

Ledaal Xurizu
 player, 158 posts
 No Moon Lunar
 Sorcerer and Test Subject
Thu 7 May 2009
at 23:17
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Alone in his room as the memory washed over him, Xurizu leans against the wall.  Alone in his room with the memory of what he had done, Xurizu sheds tears for a woman who would never see the sky.  Alone in his room with the last sight of a woman who he would never now have the chance to love, he weeps.

I promise ... you will fly

Then he stands and walks over to the basin in his room, splashing his eyes to clean them.  He could see her face, the one who had driven him to that, hovering over his shoulder in the mirror.  He hated her, that was easy enough.  He just wished he didn't love her too.

He spends a long time packing his meger belongings, and for the moment, re-attuning to the armour and weapon he had stolen.  Then, when he is calm again, he emerges, to give what help he could with the moving.
Saina Nanaret
 player, 162 posts
Fri 8 May 2009
at 02:01
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Nanaret comes out of her room with her canvas bag and the exquisitely crafted serpent-sting staff. She'd found her hook swords and had those belted to her waist as well. But the staff is of a quality far and beyond the mundane factories of Five Coils can produce. Its shape is sturdy, the surface textured both for easy grip and to enhance damage, and its construction supple enough to stretch, bend, lash out and snap back if need be.

She has thought for some time on what to name it, and nothing has come to mind. The staff almost seems to transcend the need for a name. Then it strikes her. The Five Coils, the Five Elements. The Transcendent level sitting on top of them. The serpent staff, named so for its jointed body, allowing it to bend, fold, or coil like a snake.

Thus Nanaret names the staff the Sixth Coil. For with this weapon she will transcend the Terrestrial coils and seek her freedom above with her allies.

The Lunar feels no particular need to announce this revalation, though. Striding back toward the center of the settlement, she refuses help from the builder insects that might try to take the burden of her belongings away, and stands near Higura. "Hmm, hope I not interrupting, but we should go help Third with prisoners then? They are five, and only one of Third."
Tervila Dena
 player, 212 posts
 Full Moon Lunar
 Messenger
Fri 8 May 2009
at 02:33
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"If we're to fortify we'll need serious defenses.  The Water District seemed to be crawling with Warstriders, we'll have to see if we can import a few." Dena muses, planning to herself as she headed to help move baggage and goods.  Finding four Onyx moving a ludicrously heavy table, she encourages them to abandon it as useless in their future situation and directs them to only take the chair cushions on the theory that new, lighter tables and chairs will likely be available at the hive.  Helping the mortals to pack, she instructs them to carry their own clothes with them and loads the tools and raw materials onto the Onyx instead after seeing how rough they are.  Strong bugs, but clearly the artisan caste were the ones with a delicate touch.
Talia Zerith
 player, 57 posts
Fri 8 May 2009
at 03:57
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Talia considers Higura's words.  "Well, yes, I suppose you could say it was chance that put us together, but at the same time, our goals were fairly similar.  They want freedom.  They want out from under the Immaculate Order.  They're pretty rough around the edges, but they're good people, and they're brave.  They've escalated things lately, after what happened in the Water District.
"I think we could definately work with them.  The part that might be tricky is convincing Free.  He can be a bit...erratic.  He has noble intentions, and lofty ideas, but he can be unpredictable.  Whoever we send to talk to him is going to have to prove themselves."

Yaishin Higura
 player, 113 posts
Fri 8 May 2009
at 04:44
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"That is good to hear." The doctor responds, smiling. "I would have expected someone like Free to want to test the people he works with - despite what some might describe his actions, he must be a prudent individual to have managed to escape captivity this long. Perhaps, then the time comes, you could accompany the group of us that will meet with Free and his people? It might help smooth relations and help both sides to realize the advantages of working with one another."

He nods, then turns to Nanaret when she arrives, acknowledging her point immediately. "Very true, Miss Nanaret. I need to be taking Jilava out now, and explain to her the current situation. I hope they will not cause too many incidents... But well, if we play our cards right, they shall not be our captors for much longer." He nods, and smiles to the Lunar. "I appreciate the offer for help, Miss Nanaret. I am certain this will come in handy."

Before leaving, he turns back towards Talia, inclining his head politely. "It was a pleasure talking to you, Miss Talia. Perhaps we can work together again in the near future." With that, the doctor leaves as well, headed for the makeshift cells where the Immaculates are being held.
Saina Nanaret
 player, 163 posts
Fri 8 May 2009
at 22:50
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
"I would hope I not need to use force. Too much tangling with Immaculates lately." Nanaret sighs. "But better have more guards just in case." Her fingers curl around the textured steel surface of Sixth Coil.

"Is very good thing we are moving. Thank you, Queen Chilomena of Hive Irix, and entourage." Nanaret bows shortly, then follows Higura to the storage area, after folding her artifact weapon into a compact position and placing it partially shoved in her bag like a makeshift sheath.
Peleps Dashu
 player, 255 posts
 Night Caste Solar
 Criminal Investigator
Sat 9 May 2009
at 19:11
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
After asking his questions, Dashu had been content to sit and listen.  He was, afterall, exhausted.  He did want to know something from Talia.  "In your experience with the Freerunners, was there a man who went by the name Pale Gaze who worked with them?"
Talia Zerith
 player, 58 posts
Sat 9 May 2009
at 21:01
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
Talia shrugs in response to Dashu's query, "I've heard the name before, but I never met him.  I think he was more of an independent contact, not really part of the group.  Sorry."
Gatekeeper
 GM, 825 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sun 10 May 2009
at 04:08
Re: Floor B25 - The Lost Corridors, Mining Settlement
The exodus into Hive Irix Chilomena begins in earnest. Queen Chilomena leads the way with her gaggle of princesses, her communicator and stalward guards. Her assistants from the lesser castes swarm the mining complex in droves, bringing away useful items and desired belongings, and breaking down the rest. All that remains by the end of it are just the buildings themselves, not even a single eyelash to hint that people have lived there.

Around the same time, Saffron and Grinning Turtle quietly make their own exit. They, too, have their own agenda, at least for the moment. In direct opposition to Tycho's militant rebellion, Saffron intends to peacefully bring healing, comfort and aid to the ordinary people who may well be caught in the conflict that will soon erupt throughout Earth District. Turtle, having remained mostly dormant and deeply thoughtful for the past weeks, has resolved to join her as her bodyguard. Saffron also brings her new assistant culled from the refugees, Tamra, with them.

Perhaps they will meet the others again, somewhere on the way to the top. Perhaps not. Saffron does leave with Higura some useful alchemical recipes, reagents and tools, though, and personally wishes him luck, as they were once fellow collared doctors employed in the Pit. [Private to Yaishin Higura: I'll let you know exactly what was handed over later.]

The remaining Celestials may now settle in the Hive for the time being, until the final touches are placed on their plan to ascend -- and hopefully liberate -- the District.



OOC: Closing this thread! Go to the Builder Bug Hive if you haven't already.
link to a message in this game