Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3.   Posted by Gatekeeper.Group: archive 1
 GM, 1302 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 24 Aug 2009
at 06:38
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"No, we have to keep our vigil here," says the auburn haired woman, relieved she has not offended Perian and the others enough to give them cause to leave. "It is straightforward enough. Just inside is the reception, and you should be guided to Doctor Harvest from there, if he has not already come out himself."

She and the battle-scarred man with one dark eye step aside and allow Perian, Volya, Verad and Ashen Feather through the doors.

Within, the halls are simple and barely adorned, kept scrubbed clean by the diligent work of nurses and volunteers. Right at the entrance, a simply dressed, severe-faced woman in a white apron with a green leaf embroidered at the breast is kneeling, with a bucket of soapy water and a mop. She makes no comment as the four step through, only continues washing, straining her mop and washing again with calloused hands accustomed to work.

The reception itself is not out in the open, but placed inside an adjacent room accessible from the waiting area out front by a small window. Several stone benches line the room for those waiting for appointments or visiting hours with their sick loved ones. There are a few waiting there: a woman in a shroud, with three children huddled nearby; a younger couple, their hands held tightly together as tears stream down the woman's thin face; an older man, sitting alone with a ragged book bound in leather.

Two figures stand at the reception window. One is a woman dressed in all white -- tunic, skirt and cap -- with the leaf embroidered on the breast, and on the cloth hat as well. The other is a stern man with black, wavy hair and skin the color of tree bark, wearing a long white buttoned coat. He looks up, seeing the newcomers arrive, scrutinizing them with his mismatched eyes: one green, the other dull and grey.

The woman starts to greet them, but the man with mismatched eyes touches her shoulder and steps out of the small room from a side door. "I am Harvest of Stones. We will speak, but my schedule is busy. I hope you will not take it as rude that I must work as we talk."

[Private to Kares Perian: Oh, and the stunt. A +1 and a +2, so far.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:45, Tue 25 Aug 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 58 posts
Tue 25 Aug 2009
at 08:21
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"Thank you," Perian says as he passes the guards and into the Hospice itself. He steps carefully around the nurse cleaning the stones, and follows directions into the reception. As he enters, he casts his gaze about the room, briefly noting and assessing each figure within. In this quarter, he'd expect any native to be almost constantly wary, had they the strength to look up - so anyone who ignores the newcomers may be worth a second, deeper, look. [Private to GM: OOC: Being vaguely paranoid, probably without cause. But it makes for exposition, so it's good.]

When Harvest of Stones introduces himself, Perian sketches a brief bow of respect, and replies. "Of course. I am Kares Perian, of the 'Runners, and appologize for the delay and circumstances of our visit. There was some trouble on the way, which we were careful to ensure would not reflect upon you." Matching the other's pace, Perian walks alongside the Doctor, seeming undisturbed by the state of the patients he crosses.

"While our initial cargo has been regrettably delayed, I have a tale to tell that is well worth it, if not more. So I trust that all is in order with yourself as well?"

[Private to GM: I'm not entirely sure about the specifics here, as to whether I need to convince Harvest to let me see the Immaculates (or to admit they exist), or if I'll be mainly working on expounding my viewpoint to the Immaculates.

The story I hope to tell relates to pure, possibly holy water. Which should be medically useful, and is entirely within my purview as a Zenith, and given the effects from my prior prayer (and possibly, the effects of the story itself).
 GM, 1324 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Tue 15 Sep 2009
at 17:12
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Perian gives the employees and patrons an appraising glance. The woman on the floor washing just keeps washing. The crying couple hardly spare the Freerunners a glance, too caught up in their emotions. The mother with her children gathers them closer to her, a mix of fear and mistrust on her face. The old man seems neither interested nor concerned, keeping his eyes on his book ("The Riven Dynasty"). The nurse in the registration booth steps out toward an adjacent corridor, slipping out of sight.

"I am well, all things considered," says Harvest of Stones grimly. He, too, gives Perian and his group a scrutinizing gaze, the mismatched eyes giving the tall, dark-haired man a sinister appearance.[Private to Kares Perian: You see that the pupil of Harvest's dull grey eye is not quite black, but a strange dark blue. The pupil seems to change shape independently of the other eye, so you're pretty certain it's a mechanical eye.]

Volya steps forward to introduce herself as well, her bow less of a bow than a heavy nod. "I am Volya Mori." Perian notices she leaves out the Freerunner association, though anyone who knows the 'Runners would recognize the Mori name. "This is my colleague, a doctor and thaumaturgist, Ashen Feather."

The doctor with tightly braided hair inclines his head as well. "Your reputation is well-respected, Doctor Harvest. If I can offer any aid I would be glad to."

Verad's greeting is terse, but his bow sharp and elegant. "Najalin Verad."

Harvest looks briefly startled at Verad, his brows drawing in sharply. Then weariness takes over, and he speaks quietly so the patrons do not hear. "The Verdant Mercy is a difficult place to practice. Sometimes, all we can give patients is a merciful death. Lately, we've had more help, but it almost seems more merciful not to give hope that can just be taken away. The delays you speak of come at an unfortunate time... I do not know words can alleviate that. But I will hear you out. Come."

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:15, Tue 15 Sept 2009.

 GM, 1325 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Tue 15 Sep 2009
at 17:18
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Doctor Harvest continues past an old set of swinging doors (only one of which actually swings), and briskly leads Perian, Volya, Verad and Ashen through a series of dim corridors.

The Hospice is full. Overly full. Every room is being utilized, rare are there chambers with only a single bed. Perian and the others glimpse examples of great suffering: a bone-thin woman covered in terrible sores, sponged clean by a grim-faced nurse. A diseased man moaning, thrashing with fever, strapped to his bed to keep him from harming herself. A teenage boy with half an arm and both legs missing, sitting forlornly in a wheelchair with a blank look on his face. Somewhere echoes the noisome sound of vomit splashing into a bucket, repeated several times as the group passes by. Sharp cries of pain or desperate pleas punctuate the silence between.

Finally they approach a quieter, cleaner area, where nurses quickly sanitize themselves with carefully rationed disinfectant, water and soap before plunging back into the 'fray' - a battle against disease and death. Harvest of Stones directs everyone to an area where they can temporarily store coats or cloaks and don one of the white coats or robes the nurses wear. Gloves are also available, of varying sizes, and Harvest insists the visitors wash their hands before wearing them. Hair must also be tied back, though the hats and hairnets are optional.

"I believe I know why you are here, but I'd prefer to hear it from you," Harvest pronounces as he begins his usual sanitary ritual, expecting everyone to follow suit. "I admit to being surprised a Peace Force agent travels with Freerunners; I am sure you must have an explanation."

[Private to Kares Perian: Not sure exactly what setup you need for your next tale, I believe you wanted a water source though so figured the prep room with all the sanitation considerations would be appropriate.]
Kares Perian
 player, 61 posts
Wed 16 Sep 2009
at 06:14
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
As he follows Harvest through the hospice, Perian does not flinch at the sight of the wounded and ill. Nor does he ignore them, instead allowing the atmosphere of the place fill him, threads of despair, hope, strength, weakness, life and death all melded together.

Following the doctor's lead, he sets aside his cloak, but pauses before going further.

"Three reasons, really, under a single cause. Change is coming to the Coils, which I'm sure you know already - some of us view it as a chance at Freedom, but at the core we all know what is at stake. Survival. The future. The reason for which places like this exist, rather than empty necropoli."

Perian reaches up and fits his hair against his head, holding it in place with the circlet he wears.

"Our first reason, the one you suspect, is that we believe we can find friends here, with whom we may work to protect the future - here, in Pasiap's grasp, within the reach of Earth, and further. We are promised destruction, for choosing life, for making choices, for wanting more than a brief existence and solitary death. But we refuse this fate, and with help may yet be free, and help others gain their own freedom."

Carefully, next, he washes his hands, nodding in thanks as the necessary materials are provided.

"I will not lie to you. We go into danger, and our hoped for companions risk their lives. But, whether we gain their aid or not, we will set forth. Much as you do here - in the face of the world, there are things that *must* be done, things that are *right*, no matter what the end will be."

Perian glances over at Verad, staring intently at the Peaceforcer for a moment, then resumes speaking.

"Second, we know the the 'Runners are not suited to administering the reaches of the Earth, should it become Free. Nor do we want to - but we know some of the ways in which the current system fails and is corrupted. And some of the people who may have a chance at making it better."

"So when the opportunity presented itself, I thought to show some of what the Peace Force chooses to ignore, to be blind to, to dismiss. Because hope would cost too much, of the luxuries higher levels favor. So that even if *we* fail, something good might come out of it, a chance at small mercies when all else is falling."

Finally, he comes to a stop by the basin where hands, clothing, and instruments are cleaned as best as possible.

"As to my third reason... I am afraid I must contradict you, Harvest of Stones. Sometimes words are more precious than *anything*. But this far, you've only heard truth and treason, practical matters for a practical life. Will you listen to my tale as well?"

As he speaks, Perian's gloved fingers wave lightly about him, seeming to shape and direct his beginning story.

[Private to GM: OOC: Pausing here. Feel free to respond.

My plan is to tell a story of healing waters, and use either the prayer points I've accumulated or a seperate prayer roll to bless and purify the water used here. Which should work at least as well as alcohol for cleansing purposes, I hope...
 GM, 1330 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 17 Sep 2009
at 16:20
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Perian has chosen his companions well. Pixie would have been a bad idea, groaning and retching and ruining the solemn procession with her complaints. None of the three that walk with Perian so much as flinch at the state of the patients, though at times Volya's wolfish face winces sympathetically, and Ashen Feather lips press tightly in a frown. Verad's face is smooth and unreadable, relegating himself to silent observer during the walk, but once or twice he shakes his head as if aggrieved by the suffering he sees.

At the sanitation room, all of them consent willingly to the cleanliness ritual, putting aside coats and cloaks, washing hands with soap and putting on the nurse's white. Volya looks somewhat awkward in her coat; the largest size barely fits her, and the scabbard of her curved sword pokes through the bottom, destroying the impression that she is a mere visitor. Ashen Feather is the most accustomed to the process, washing thoroughly but efficiently and donning coat and gloves as if they were made for him.

Verad adds to Perian's explanation when the Peace Forces are brought up, speaking calmly as he adjusts a white lapel. His more ornate violet and grey hued coat has been neatly folded in a locker. "Officially, I serve a minor branch of the Peace Force, but I am not on duty," he says carefully. "I've no authority to bring the Forces here to investigate your establishment, and certainly not to condemn it. I am interested in truth, for now that we are at the cusp of change, I would like my associates to be able to make an educated, honest choice."

"Verad's all right," Volya contributes gruffly. She's bound her hair back too, but the fur she can do little about unless she shaves herself. "There'll be no fighting here between the Freerunners and the Forces. Perian speaks for all of us, I swear on my mother Libera's soul."

Ashen just nods sharply, concentrated now on his open medical kit, examining the vials and tools within. He freshly cleans a set of surgical needles and knives, a magnifying glass and stethoscope for examinations, then replaces them in the kit. Clearly he is intending to be of aid whether welcomed to it or not.
 GM, 1331 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 17 Sep 2009
at 16:40
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Harvest of Stones listens to Perian and his companions speak, offering little in the way of remarks in between. At one point he focuses solely on Verad, scrutinizing his face and demeanor. Another time he touches Ashen's shoulder, and gestures to a nearby medical cabinet, suggesting that he replenish what he can if necessary. "We cannot spare much," he murmurs to his fellow doctor-thaumaturge, "but if you are a doctor worth those tools. I would be fool not to offer what I can."

When Perian pauses in his discourse, Doctor Harvest leaves Ashen Feather to his preparations and turns to face him directly. By now he is dressed and ready, his own kit held in one gloved hand. His oddly artificial grey eye stares so intently that any normal mortal would feel his skin crawl.

"So you would claim words alone can be as precious as skilled healers and plentiful resources?" Harvest steps close enough to Perian that he can see a faint scar crossing the eyelid of the grey-pupilled eye. "I will hear your tale, Sunchosen, so long as you will come quickly afterward, and hear my own side of things. I am not so eloquent as you - but I can speak from experience, and you can judge truth with your own eyes and ears, as Verad has come to do."

Volya tenses slightly, and Verad's face is as deliberately neutral as ever; they wait to see how Perian will respond.

[Private to Kares Perian: The easy explanation here is that Harvest's false eye allows him to see a being's true nature, so he is calling you out as a Celestial to see if it will make a difference. Obviously it probably won't, since you were planning on using your Zenith power anyway... but he doesn't know that. ;)]

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:44, Thu 17 Sept 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 62 posts
Fri 18 Sep 2009
at 05:49
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Perian meets Harvest's gaze with equanimity, nodding briefly as his nature s revealed but betraying no indication of worry of discomfort.

"You deal with wounds and diseases of the flesh, and perhaps even of the mind, here. What I am, what I know, would be another tale entire, one of torture and healing for the soul. But that is not our present concern. I will heed you, Harvest of Stones, and thank you for teaching me."

The motions of Perian's hands have ceased, then he reaches outwards, seeming to gather all those nearby into their compass.

"I do not know the name of the town, for it crumbled away many years ago, when the land tired and water grew scarce. But in its heyday, it was a noble place. Not grand and bejewelled as many others of the time, but all the townspeople had their own Wood and Earth constructs from which to gather food, and a great passage of Water was open to all, for drink or travel. Nor was it a small village, for many travellers came there, to trade and talk and sometimes remain."

"One year, the harvests were particularly rich, and riches flowed through the town, some portion remaining there in return for fruit of the villager's labor. It would have been a year of great joy, but it was also the year the plague came. No one knows where it came from, or how, but come it did, and it spread among the living like fire, like treasure, like hatred."

Perian's voice is low, his expression partly distracted as though he were hearing the tale for the first time, and repeating it. Still, he catches the eyes of his audience, seeming to direct his words personally to each and every one of them.

"This was not one of those mythical diseases that only the Chosen can cure, nor some foul curse set by the servants of destruction or madness. It was just an ordinary pestilence, part of the natural workings of the world. So the law of the land paid it little heed, so long as it was contained."

"And clever doctors did, in time, devise a cure, one that proved most efficient in saving the afflicted, or protecting them from infection. But even where they were not greedy, the materials for the cure were expensive, and rare. So the rich of the land cared little for what occured, so long as they were untroubled."

As the tale goes on, those who witnessed Perian's story in the caverns may notice an almost familiar feeling, of other presences drawn by his words, listening, curious - not hostile, but not, necessarily, well disposed or comprehensible.

"I believe, but do not know, that the people then were much as we are now, at heart. Some among them, from all walks of life, braved the dangers to help their fellows, for any number of reasons - many of which we can guess at. Others fled or surrendered to despair, and more simply looked away, thinking that they would be untouched so long as they drew no attention."

"Be as it may, in time the reality of the plague grew too great to deny or ignore in the town, but by then it had spread beyond the means at hand to contain it. And, even while quarantines were imposed by frightened rulers, a cold, hard fact remained in the bottom of the minds of those who cared."

"However much jade might be offered, there were not enough medicines for all."

"Of the multitude of heroic acts this knowledge induced, and the other sort, I will say no more - not because they did not matter, but because the details have been lost. Still, I believe, but do not know, that the people of the town behaved better than they might have."

Perian falls deeper into his words, which seem to be directed almost in passing to his visible audience, reaching instead towards the intangible one. Still, his story is compelling even so, as he continues to recite and relate events that have never taken place within the Coils.

"And one day, a stranger came to the sickened town, past the barriers and borders that had been established to prevent those within from leaving. This stranger was not the first to do so, for sometimes a doctor would devise a new cure, a smuggler would risk infection for riches, or some other cause to visit would arise. Still, it was a rare event, and the stranger seemed to have no care for the few remaining treasures in the village, nor to claim medical expertise."

"Instead, the stranger walked among the ill, and spoke to them, tales wonderous and strange, and listened. You suspect, perhaps, what the topics were, and my tale says no more about them, but for one thing. In that town where shadows were growing, the stranger stood beside the now brackish waters and spoke about the Sun."

For a long while, Perian is silent, allowing others to imagine what those other, earlier, words might have been. Then the smoothly picks up the thread of his story.

"'Why do you trouble us with these tales?' asked the people, 'We know the ways of the Sun, and still we fall sick and die. Have you come, then, to bury us all in its light? Or simply to tell us that fate and duty bind us to our dismal ends?'"

"'I come from the wild and the cities, and care not for destiny or despair. We share the sun's kiss, and strive towards righteousness, and that is all I am sure of,' was the only reply. Then the stranger reached down, gathered a handful of scummy water, and watched it pour down - for what fell was not the slightly oily fluid the villagers had known, but fresh, clear water, glowing with the radiance of the Sun."

"Then they drank."

As he speaks, Perian matches his motions to those of the stranger in his tale, collecting water from the cleaning basin. Golden light flickers around him, focused in his hands, then spreads into the water and pipes, fading as it propagates, but leaving a tangible impresison of health and cleanliness behind.

"And then? It is known that the town survived, and prospered for many more years. It is said that its springs were blessed, and brought long and healthy lives to those who drank from them. It is rumored that a foreign doctor came up with an inexpensive treatment. It is whispered that the land became more just, for a time. It is possible that the truth of the tale endures beyond the passing of that time."

"What do you say, Harvest of Stones?"

[Private to GM: Spend 9 motes on First Performance Excellency, including (or plus) 1 mote to 'banish darkness' from the water. Spend a little peripheral in order to glow, as it's appropriate.

Rolled 11 successes, difficulty 6 for a prayer with no offerings. Hence, it should do something - or I'll expend some points from my previous prayer to have something happen (purifying water is one of my options).

This message was last edited by the player at 05:54, Fri 18 Sept 2009.

 GM, 1340 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Mon 21 Sep 2009
at 03:47
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
When Perian reaches the climax of his tale, gesturing over the water basin and glowing with radiant sunlight, there are exclamations of surprise and appreciation. Harvest takes a step back -- "Sun's light!" -- and a long exhalation is heard from Verad, who has his notebook out, uncompromisingly thorough about chronicling the Tales of Kares Perian in his neat shorthand.

Volya and Ashen, of course, already knew what Perian was. And they've seen Free in action before, though his light is not that of the Sun, nor is his eloquence quite so fluent and filled with imagery. Free is bombastic, over-exaggerated, a hair's-breadth from insane. Perian, on the other hand, makes one feel as if they are living the tale. The pair of them nod appreciatively at the gesture, understanding now what he is attempting.

The golden aura surrounding Perian builds in warmth and brightness before it fades, the circular Zenith disc standing out clearly on his forehead. Everything is brighter, clearer, awash in the light of day. The people of Coils, long accustomed to artificial light and darkness, have to shield their eyes. Harvest in particular, with his sinister essence-gazing eye, cannot even bear to look upon that light without flinching and covering his face.

Attracted by the light and Perian's voice, the small gods he has impressed with his prayers work their subtle magic. The water by Perian's hands is cleansed, sparkling and clean, blessed by their attention. But the blessing spreads further than that, upon every filled basin and barrel in the Hospice, wherever water stands open to the air and the light that floods through corridors, spills into adjacent rooms. [Private to GM: Another being, theoretically but never truly known to Perian, hears the tale as well. Miles above, past twenty-two underground floors long devoid of the sunlight, above the earthen surface of creation and toward the canopy of Heaven lit by sun, moon and stars, this powerful entity answers Perian's prayer as well.]

Then Perian lapses into silence, and stills the channeling of Essence until only the hint of a glimmer shines on his brow. Doctor Harvest shakes his head, eyes still wide from witnessing the blessing, while Verad's pen scratch scratch scratches his impressions vigorously. "Incredible," Harvest of Stones finally pronounces, "And this water is fit for disinfectant? The Hospice and its patients will appreciate this gift. However, that light... let us hope that it did not reach the eyes of anyone who would make an enemy of the Celestials."

"So you seek the defectors, yes? Come, then... we will see what miracles you can work for the terminal ward. They await you there." And Harvest gestures for the small group to follow him down another series of corridors, moving briskly ahead.

[Private to Kares Perian: With a +3 you got 4 more sux! wow! So I decided to give the effect of your successful prayer more range. This is good, in that you don't have to expend further to bless the water, but bad because it MAY attract unwanted attention your way. Fortunately you've got Sparrow and Pixie watching outside!

Also I just realized, there isn't really much for you to reply to here. I hope it's enough for at least a reaction, until I find the time to describe where the Immaculates are.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:15, Wed 23 Sept 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 63 posts
Mon 21 Sep 2009
at 07:38
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"What I have told is not a well-known tale," Perian replies as the essence flows surrounding him dampen down. "Still, I believe that water, thus cleansed, should prove most averse to being corrupted once more." He nods as Harvest gestures for the group to follow, and goes along without hesitation.

"I do not like to think of my tales as miracles, more a matter of knowing, of listening, of speaking. Though I'll grant my explanation is likely no clearer. Still, if you can find the time, means, and will, I believe that those who heard my story would be willing to devote some of their attention to the Hospice."

He steps through a door, holding it open for those who follow, and finishes, "But you are, of course, Free to choose your path as you will. I neither wish to compel nor purchase your heart." With those words, Perian steps into the terminal ward, to see and hear what Harvest has yet to show him.

[Private to GM: OOC: More attention this way just splits up the Dragonblood and Immaculate forces further. One hopes.

Did I expend part of my prior prayer 'points' on this miracle? Either way works.

Perhaps Verad and the others are developing some minor Intimacy or appreciation for Perian? Not for me to know, but it seems possible.

Also, I've been having fun playing with Perian's incomprehension about what life on the surface is like. Rivers, fields, agriculture, open space...

Motes are 9/17 Personal, 37/39(41) peripheral

This message was last edited by the player at 07:39, Mon 21 Sept 2009.

 GM, 1348 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Wed 23 Sep 2009
at 22:47
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
The terminal ward holds the sickest patients of all. This series of chambers is as close to a tomb as one may get while still living, for each and every one of the patients held there are considered to be hopeless cases. They are here to die -- at the very least, in comfort and grace.

The sights Perian, Volya and the others see here are not quite as graphic as what was seen before, if only because the patients are so ill their bodies are too weak even for convulsing, thrashing or screams. The nurses must give them almost constant care, sponging them clean, changing bedsheets, bringing them to the pot, holding their head when they need to vomit. The mood of this area is one of a deep, persistent despair, so prevalent it is almost palpable.

Then, abruptly, Harvest of Stones opens a door in the terminal ward leading to another wide chamber. The room itself is no different than any other deep in the Hospice, yet the change of ambiance is so sudden it is jarring. There are several beds here, with patients that lack the sunken eyes and slack-jawed despondent expressions of the other ill. Their skin is still pallid, and their limbs painfully thin, but they look relieved... even happy. Here and there are family members gathered to the beds to speak to recuperating mothers, fathers or children.

The healers checking the patients are not the typical harried doctor or world-weary nurse the group has seen thus far in the Hospice. The tell-tale aspect markings upon their skin - tints of crimson, leaf green or granite -- reveal them to be Dragon-blooded strong in breeding, and their bald-shaven heads hint at Immaculate training, though they no longer wear the simple silk or linen robes of their station. Instead they wear commoner's clothes, beneath the white coats and gloves that sanitation rules require. There are at least a dozen Terrestrials here, some of them seated and resting, others laying their hands on patients that are wheeled in, easing their aches and pains with Essence.

Harvest closes the door behind them, and looks at Perian seriously. "I believe these are the ones you seek. These former monks have come to my hospice in exchange for aiding our patients. They are true healers, Kares Perian. Their power banishes disease and madness, and there is still hardly enough power among them as it is, to handle the amount of sick we have coming in. And you would take them from here, for what? Perhaps you would give that argument to all the men and women gathered here."

One by one, the ex-Immaculates take notice of the new group that has entered with Doctor Harvest. Most do not stop what they are doing, but those who are free of duty gaze at the newcomers with wariness or concern. The happily chatting families quiet down, noticing the sudden tension in the room.

[Private to Kares Perian: Whew, sorry for the length it took for the setup. Now it's time to stunt away. :D I think we may have a bit of a back-and-forth here, but how long that lasts depends on how you word your opening argument, of course.

Oh, to answer your questions.
- You spent 2 prayer points.
- Intimacy gains are a possibility here, though with Verad it may be hard to tell initially. He's very interested in chronicling you though!

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:05, Wed 23 Sept 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 65 posts
Fri 25 Sep 2009
at 06:48
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"Certainly," Perian agrees as Harvest sets his challenge, the Solar seeming unperturbed the glances and attention focused on him. He pitches his voice to carry to all those in the ward, Dragonblood and patient alike, while ostensibly focusing on the Doctor.

"You know what happens outside thee walls - in many cases, that is why you are here. So I will no insult you with mentions of the dangers and condiitons beyond, of the cruelty and corruption that are rampant. You know this, and have made your way here to try to make things better, here where the powers outside will not deign to look."

"And what you do is admirable, is necessary, is right."

Perian's gaze sweeps the men and women assembled in the room, catching each one in turn. He extends his hands, reaching outwards half-helplessly.

"But still."

"I will not diminish you with cheap analogies, making the claims you are all to familiar with - that there are greater matters afoot, that others know best what should be done, that minor setbacks matter less than grand goals, that all current ills will be made right in the distant future. Those are words and ways we have rejected, you and I."

"Instead, I shall simply set my case, and trust you to tell me where and how your expertise and duty lie."

His voice is soft, yet fills the chamber, intent and terribly, frightfully honest.

"The Coils, and the society within, are failing. We all know this, though it is hard to say or to accept. Still, we try. Even now, the people of Earth rise up to demand the life that is theirs by right - of hard labour, of fair dealings, of simple humanity. Even now, the Free cease to seek the surface and instead remain here to fight for the freedom of those who will neither thank them nor seek the Surface. Even now, uncollared Celestials fight the old order and seek to bring change."

Perian raises his right hand, palm out, as if to interrupt.

"I am all of those. Ready to fight for change. One of the Free. And Chosen by the Sun. Proof, if you will, that the Immaculate Path is wrong - I do not hunger for blood, or revenge. Only truth. Only what is right. Not even power or authority, if what I hope for comes to be. And I know I can be wrong, and change, which is more than the current order can swear to."

"If you feel I must still be a fearsome and deadly threat, then I will not detain you - do as you think best, and leave if you will. I will not compel you, or trick you into granting me assistance. But for myself, for all that the Sun knows my name, I will not reject you if you seek my aid, however you choose."

He lowers his hand, and returns to his initial topic.

"To the lords of the higher districts, Earth's troubles are best solved with extinction. Thus, they'll win a few more centuries of luxury and power, through death and terror. They will not, they cannot, imagine any other choice, both becuase change is abhorent to them - and because they fear the free Celestials, and are willing to burn everything so long as their onetime slaves also die."

"Because Earth matters, because true freedom is not won by abandoning one's friends, because I want to learn the truth, I intend to stand against the Immaculates and seek the freedom of Earth - though it might cost me my own."

"I will not take you for granted and repeat how much your skills and power would matter in the coming conflicts, or appeal to ancient duties you may owe. You know your minds, your selves, and your honor, far better than I. The battles you fight here are as desperate and deadly as any I will face, if not more so. Yet there is one difference between your path and mine."

The words Perian speaks next are laden with significance, intent on making themselves understood.

"You fight for the present. I fight for the future."

"Without the present, the future cannot come - but if there is no future, then the present shall cease."

"All I ask is your help, to make Earth safe once more, to allow the people of Earth the freedom to set their own paths, to hold back decay and destruction one moment more. All I am sure I can give is truth and freedom, and a chance to give the Coils a future we can be proud of."

[Private to GM: Rolled 0 successes on reading motivation. Hence, no clues beyond the text. At least it wasn't a botch!]

This message was last edited by the player at 08:13, Fri 25 Sept 2009.

 GM, 1373 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
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Sat 3 Oct 2009
at 09:30
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Perian has the attention of the entire room from the start. The Freerunners accompanying him remain a step behind, giving their spokesperson the floor while Harvest of Stones looks on stoically. In Harvest's mind, he has done his part, he has brought Perian this far. He has shown him the ugly, unavoidable truths that lie within the Hospice. The rest lies between Perian and the Immaculates to be resolved. Though the doctor has his own hope, deep inside, for the result, it is not for him to demand.

Among those directly addressed by Perian's words the reactions are mixed. The ordinary people, the patients and their families, are either startled or downright frightened. Not all of them understand enough of what is going on beyond their immediate concerns to follow exactly what he means when he speaks of corruption and extinction, of freedom and change, of doing the right thing. Talk of Celestials draws out murmurs from them as they huddle together, holding hands, seeking comfort and solidarity as family members. A couple of the older folks shout out in instinctive fear and prayer to the Dragons when he reveals himself to be one of the Uncollared, as well! A confused child starts to cry, shushed by her mother, and the ambiance of the room grows steadily more uncomfortable.

Nonetheless, even among the confusion and fear there are a few among the downtrodden citizens who listen with a glint of intelligence, understanding, even eagerness in their eyes. They are by and large young adults, old enough and educated enough to know what Perian speaks of, but not so old the dogma of the Immaculate Philosophy has had time to settle into their minds completely. Even so, these brave few glance at the ex-monks, uncertain whether to react openly. The Terrestrials may not wear the robes any more, but before their change of heart, they recited the Texts and plied the teachings.

The ex-Immaculates themselves are more disciplined in their reactions. Most of them do not even cease their examination and treatment of the patients as Perian finishes his speech. They learned how to school their minds to be wary of gold and silver tongues, to deconstruct and challenge arguments that seem too good, too right to be true. They are not easily impressed -- but they are not openly hostile, either.

A dozen pairs of eyes glance at one another, conveying unspoken meaning. Who will address these bold words, give answer to the heartfelt plea of a confessed Celestial? A silence falls, once the crying child is comforted, the discomfort replaced by tension. Cloth rustles and footsteps shift as those ex-monks not deeply engaged in healing quietly confer with one another. Finally, a trio steps forward, consisting of the eldest among the Wood Immaculate healers, a stone-faced Earth Immaculate and a solemn Water.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:48, Sat 03 Oct 2009.

 GM, 1374 posts
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Sat 3 Oct 2009
at 09:49
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
The elder speaks first, as expected by his seniority. "I am called Profound Arrow, Kares Perian. And these are Even Precipice," he indicates the female Earth Aspect, "and Charal River." The Water, a relatively young male. "Perhaps you are not interested in us as individuals, but I would like to speak to you honestly and candidly, on behalf of all my colleagues."

"Given how well spoken you are, if you have come to us revealing your Exalted nature openly, then you must know of our stance as well. We have put aside the ordained cloth, for we are disillusioned and disturbed by the direction the Order has both condoned and itself taken. We are sympathizers to the Celestials, for while we believe you potentially dangerous, we do not believe you should be treated as slaves."

Arrow holds up a wizened hand in caution. "That does not however, mean we are not at all believers in the Philosophy, or that we necessarily dream of the Order's destruction. There are good words in the Texts, that have been taken to extremes - to the point the Order, and by extension the Council that listens to its advice, has forgotten the duty we have to protect and guide our people. Because of this we have chosen to serve the people in as direct a way as possible: bringing the healing gift to this most unfortunate of hospitals, ignored and at times even antagonized by Council-supported organization."

Now his hands are folded in front of him as he paces slowly, his younger companions standing stoically in place. "I am to understand by your words you do not believe it enough that we save lives on a daily basis. Very well, this may be so. However, while you are inclined to think of the larger picture, most average citizens of the Coils consider the loss of a loved one as world-shaking, if not more so, than the loss of freedom and rights. Are we to promise that leaving their parent, sibling or lover to die now, will bring them a better life later, when in truth we cannot be truly certain of the outcome?"
Kares Perian
 player, 69 posts
Sun 4 Oct 2009
at 03:00
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"If my words were unclear, I appologise. I am interested in you as individuals, but much of what I had to say applied to all of us, and I thought it best to clear the ground," Perian replies, then listens to Profound Arrow's reply.

"One matter to keep in mind is that I can be mistaken, and I know this. Such views are not common, or popular, within the heirarchy you have left, and that marks one of the key differences between what I hope to ahceive and the current state of affairs."

"Still, I agree that there is value to the Texts, though they have been sorely misused - further illustraiton of my thesis, perhaps. But we are not here to discuss philosophy and seek to perfect one another's understanding of the world. While such diversions may be profitable, there are more important matters at hand for all of us."

Perian steps to the side, moving so as to ensure that any who choose to leave will not need to pass to close to him.

"I am neither ruler nor sifu, and I shall not seek to dictate your actions. Yet, as the Philosophy suggests, I shall attempt to show you what you must learn, so that you may understand yourselves better."

"Consider this. As Doctor Harvest can attest, the Hospice would greatly benefit if one among you were to set a collar to my neck, and force me to serve. Through tales and deeds, I might bring light and life among those most deprived of hope - all for the mere price of my freedom, my soul, my future."

"Yet you refuse to grant the people of Earth this additional measure of kindness, because you know that it is wrong. What is wrong about it, then? The loss of freedom and rights, perhaps? That of a single being, perhaps inhuman in the eyes of many, is not worth some additional surcease from pain to the rest?"

"So you already know part of the answer."

He gestures widely, catching the expanse of the room, of the Hospice, of the people within.

"But never mind me - consider the people of the Earth. You wish to serve them, as well as you can. So, pray allow me to return your question. Do you speak for them? Have the men and women of Earth told you that you must tend to their bodies only, and allow them to lose their freedom and rights? Do they devoutly desire to become mindless drones, so long as you can repair them and send them forth more often?"

"I do not belive it is so. Again, do not rely on me to make up your minds. Ask them"

Perian's gaze encompasses the normal citizens in the room.

"I cannot promise victory. I cannot promise that no more lives will be lost, if some of you choose to help me. I can promise a chance to break the chains that have forced this sector, this district, the Coils into slow ruin and extinction."

"So ask, if you will. Ask if they are satisfied with a life in which they must first fall into the clutches of death before they have a chance at proper care. Ask if starvation and overwork are better deaths than disease and wounds. Ask if their brothers, sisters, parents and children are not already risking their lives for a chance at a better life."

"You need not ask the questions I have posed. Only be fair, when you ask, when you explain the choice they face."

"And another thing. However the people wish you to behave, you are not slaves. Do what you think is right - even if it means refusing me when Earth wishes you to help the Free. Even if it means joining us despite the help you could provide here. I know what it is to live only at the whim of others, and it is not a fate I would wish you to partake of."

He stares into the eyes of each of the trio in turn, showing neither command nor servility, but... curiosity?

"And one more lesson, if I may. It concerns pride, and prisons."

"You are not the only dissatisfied Immaculates. There are others, wilder, hungry for battle and conflict. Yet the Free seek you out. Why?"

"Perhaps because we care for what comes after, and wish to have the assistance of some we trust will look after the Coils, rather than try to break them."

"Perhaps because it is not martial power that will be most essential to our success, but knowledge or the Inner Temple, of the people within and beyond."

"Perhaps because many of us have known kindness and healing here, and seek to return the favor as we may."

"Have you lost so much of yourselves that it is only blood and violence that you see?"

 GM, 1384 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
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Thu 8 Oct 2009
at 04:19
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
At first, the people addressed by Perian are confused and afraid to even be mentioned or addressed personally, and cringe from his attention. Even now it is easier for them to listen to the ex-monks than to the Anathema, least of all to themselves.

Though life is tough, and indeed there is starvation, overwork and sickness, which all but the best connected of them are inadequate to resist, the idea that things could actually be different is a strange, new thing for them. Most of the adults are hard-bitten cynics, whose instinctive response to Perian's words might have been "You're just giving us false hope!"

But Perian, as a spokesperson of the gods, of a hope and future he cannot guarantee but truly believes in with all his heart, stirs something in those ordinary men and women, elderly and children. Something beyond the fear -- the long-lost desire to question their current state of existence. They glance at each other uncertainly, then toward the robed healers and ex-Immaculates attending them. The question is in all of their eyes.

"Is what this man says possible?" one of the citizens, a young man, finally says aloud. A woman old enough to be a mother, sitting up in bed, asks, "If you fight for us, could we have better medicine here?" Another, an elderly man adds, "Better schools for our children and grandchildren?"

"Bah, we've heard this one before!" someone else spits dismissively, and soon the entire room erupts with people talking over one another, about failed rebellions and about relatives that got arrested and never returned, about children that died from famine and parents that died because supplies came too late. "And what about prayer! Going to temple never saved us, only told us what we should and shouldn't do!" "NO! That sort of blasphemous attitude is why we're all suffering now!"
 GM, 1385 posts
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 Five Coils Artificer
Thu 8 Oct 2009
at 04:23
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"Enough!" says Profound Arrow sharply. He's no longer wearing the Immaculate white, but he knows how to deliver a sermon, and the citizens remember that, at least. The room quiets down. "Perian, your words, carelessly given, can lead people to reckless decisions. These people cannot answer the questions you ask, because they have not been given the means with which to judge that properly."

"For the most part, these are not rebels. They have had a difficult life but have no idea of the extent at which they have actually been wronged. These are a people that, for generations, have been stifled from learning how to read more than basic signs and phrases, lived on the dregs of resources gleaned from the Districts while the rest was given to their 'betters', believed themselves helpless without a higher power to guide them spiritually and tell them what is best for them."

"That is why the Council's system has worked for so long, because everything is so compartmentalized. Even most Immaculates are not privy to everything that happens above. I KNOW it is wrong!" Arrow's voice trembles, admitting to this in front of everyone - his peers, his citizens, the Freerunners, doctors and Perian himself. It's as if those words are a lightning bolt, splitting the noble oak.

"I first had my doubts in my years as an acolyte," says Charal River, speaking for the first time while his elder regains his composure. He looks down at his hands, smooth-fingered, unlike the calloused hands of the workers. "But the current interpretation of the Texts is an ingenious part of the system. It encourages you to believe that what you are doing is for the best of the people and for society. It makes you believe it works best when everyone stays unquestioningly in their predetermined place in society. Whether it is as worker or soldier, monk or slave."

Even Precipice steps forward, though uncertainty mars her marble-veined features. "Yet there are good teachings in the Texts," she reiterates importantly. "They promote a strong work ethic, respect for peers and elders, discipline and moderation of excesses. The Immaculate Dragons are good ideals to strive toward. I believe in this. I will not be a slaveowner, but I also fear a world where there is no order whatsoever, where any golden-tongued Anathema can shatter civilization and lead them to sin unchecked."

"Let me explain to you where we stand now, Perian," continues Profound Arrow, lucid enough now to cut to the point. "We will never again be able to agree with the ways of the current Order and Council. This we know. However, before we make any decision, we must meet with your allies personally. We only have your word that should the District be liberated, it would not thereafter be used for your, or another Celestial's gain. Nor do we even know just how many people you have at your disposal, or what their talents are. We can at least estimate for you whether what you wish to do is possible. But if it is not, or if we judge your allies lacking in integrity, we will return here to the Hospice where we can tend to these people in peace, and you will disturb us no longer."

[Private to Kares Perian: Apologies for how long this took to write, and how wordy it is. I wanted to express all the different points of view, both pro and con, inspired by Perian's speech, but don't really want to stretch this scene much longer, either. So did it all in big chunks. I also thought having the ex-Immaculates say "bring us to your allies" would lead to you uniting with a bigger group faster, and thus make the game faster for everyone. :)]

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:25, Thu 08 Oct 2009.

Kares Perian
 player, 72 posts
Fri 9 Oct 2009
at 06:51
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"Truth is dangerous, certainly, but remains essential," Perian nods, his attention on the replies of the former monks, and on the currents of conversation flowing among the people behind them. "And your honesty deserves no less from me."

"To the best of my knowledge, neither Free nor the 'Runners have any intention of ruling over the Districts once the shackle of the Immaculates has been removed. Nor do I wish to impose my will on others."

"I cannot swear that the other free Celestials are equally lacking in ambition, but I do not intend to see one tyranny removed only to be replaced with another - or with destruction. That far, at least, the Texts and I concur."

"As to what may happen afterwards, once Earth is free and no longer theatened by destruction? Measures have been taken, so that I or others like me may be stopped if we prove to be closer to the view the current interpreters of the Philosophy hold than my stories suggest. However such things develop, you are surely aware that both your actions in the immediate future and the good you have done here will contribute to granting your views an ear among the people."

Stepping towards the door, Perian adresses Profound Arrow directly.

"It seems we are not so opposed, in the end. We will be glad of what support and knowledge you can lend us. But I will be fair once more, and tell you one more thing."

"The current rulers of the Coils tried to drown Water, to slay the Celestials there. The death of all the rest did not concern them. And now that the uncollared walk in Earth, they send troops from Fire to contain and destroy. When you see what destruction the upper levels are willing, or hoping, to wreak upon these levels, I do not believe you will be willing, or able, to refuse your aid."

"So, if you truly think to remain neutral and dedicated only to healing those who come here, do not follow me. I doubt you will have much time to regret it, should we fail. If you'd see how things stand, then it will be my pleasure, and honor, to show you the way to where our people and many of our allies wait."

The bow that follows is a natural extension of Perian's discourse, respect for an equal and a subtle assertion of leadership at once.

[Private to GM:

OOC: Doing my part to speed things up. I'm entirely willing to move on from here, at the speed of plot.

In all, this feels like a fairly successful conversation too...

In my previous post I've suggested that they don't even need to risk their skins, if they'll tell us about useful things like passwords, passages, and so forth that could be of immediate use. Now I'm entirely willing to lead them to where the fighting is going on, so they can see what is at stake more viscerally. And I'm being honest about it, which helps with worries about manipulation - and helps them be in a receptive mindset when they get there.

Any stunt dice will go to motes, but with travel imminent motes become less important - just tell me what I've got left at the end!
 GM, 1389 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Wed 14 Oct 2009
at 04:00
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"Truth is essential, but can be dangerous without context," Profound Arrow clarifies, though he does not press the matter now, listening instead to what else Perian has to say. His expression turns increasingly grave, grooves deepening in his bark-like skin.

Of the three monks addressing Perian, Charal River looks the most deeply disturbed at the confirmation of the Water District situation. "So they really went through with it. I'm disappointed, but not completely surprised." A sad sigh escapes his lips. "Many of those orders come up from the Council or even the Transcendent. But I'm ashamed to say such excesses are embraced by an increasing majority even among the monks."

"I have always thought that if the Anathema were never enslaved, none of this would be necessary," says the Earth Immaculate, Even Precipice. She shakes her head slowly, so deep in thought she almost seems to be talking to herself. "It is a shame what a mess our leaders have made of society. It is the hubris of the higher districts that is to blame. They who wished to harness the power of the Anathema for themselves, become in turn the monsters they would control. Is that not so? Will it truly lead us to civil war? I am troubled by this..." Her hand reaches for her hearthstone amulet, white jade carved in the likeness of the Elemental Dragon of Earth.

"There is much that begs confirmation," Arrow cautions, raising a wizened hand. "The Fire District soldiers, I had heard were quelling a riot, not specifically seeking out Celestials. Perhaps it is the Celestials who started this riot, thus triggering the Peace Force to react according to protocol. We do not know this for certain yet."

"Perian, what you emphasized earlier is true. Changing the Coils for the better ought not to require any bloodshed at all. Unfortunately, so much of popular Immaculate doctrine is tied in cautionary tales about the Celestials. If not for that you might even find more Immaculates who would take your side. The stories of the world-destroyers of yore are so deeply ingrained into our society that every sacrifice becomes justified if manipulated into some way to protect us against them."

"I have seen what the 'Anathema' are capable of, uncollared and undisciplined. Still, I cannot rightfully support the extremes my people have gone to," River says vehemently.

"That does not exclude being careful about who we trust, River. The fact that Perian cannot speak for every one of your comrades is exactly why we must meet them ourselves. We cannot afford to make a final decision on a whim. Even if the only help we offer is intelligence and advice, the actions that result from our aid will still be on our conscience."
 GM, 1390 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
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Wed 14 Oct 2009
at 04:09
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
The common folk (patients and otherwise) look on, keeping their comments to a minimum, but the glances they throw one another are concerned, uncertain, at times even fearful. All they are certain of is that they are witnessing something unprecedented in the history of Coils: the cooperation of Celestial and Terrestrial, the possibility of civil war on a grand scale. Would their world ever be the same?

One thing is for certain -- whether the commoners will speak for or against these tides of change, they will surely spread word of it. That alone has the potential of shifting the balance of power in the City of Pasiap's Resolve, and beyond.

Finally, Precipice nods in stoic agreement. "I see no other choice. I will accompany you and Perian, Master Arrow."

"I must go with you as well," asserts River.

Profound Arrow accepts their wishes with a nod, then abruptly turns to Harvest of Stones, who listens near the door with a weary look on his face. "Doctor Harvest, even should we agree to join the Celestials in force, we will have a few of ours remain with you. I hope that is satisfactory."

"It will have to do," replies Harvest heavily, stepping aside as several more of the gathered ex-Immaculates with Arrow assemble with the Freerunners - some assertively, others reluctantly, but all by choice. The doctor's strangely mismatched eyes return to stare at Perian. "Will you be leaving right away, then?"

[Private to Kares Perian: For your posts, I can hand you a +3 and a +2 stunt-wise. I'm not rolling anything, mostly because I feel it unnecessary. They'll go with you anyway, I think it's going to be more RP and circumstances than social stunts that decides things at this point. They don't need the same kind of convincing Alivia had, they had a longer time to think about defecting. I guess they just need confirmation more than anything.

Unfortunately, though, I'm not totally sure how much you have left in terms of motes. I think that what will end up happening anyways is that you'll be advanced enough hours that you'll get all your motes back.

I think at this point you could post your last words, if any, and lead the way out of the Hospice (have Harvest escort you if you prefer). I'll take over from there.
Kares Perian
 player, 74 posts
Fri 16 Oct 2009
at 07:26
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"Thank you," Perian's words are brief, but sincere. "I hope we will have an opportunity to speak further, of matters related to our interests rather than the fate of the living and the Coils."

He turns towards Harvest next, and adresses the doctor directly. "I have listened to the people here, and been heard in turn. For your care, my thanks and compliments, if you'll have them. But I have not heard you, Harvest of Stones, nothing more than to meet you and be known."

"If you wish, I will listen to you, to be advised, cursed, helped, or set on my way. The reason for my visit concerns us all, in the end."

Perian steps towards the door, gesturing to his fellow 'Runners to follow a short distance away, that he might hear out what Harvest has to say in as much privacy as the doctor desires. "My own words answer your question, I fear. We do not know how much time we have, only that it grows short - so, duty fulfilled for the moment, we must leave."

"Still, I will remain long enough to heed your answer, doctor, however long or short it may be."

[Private to GM: And ready to head out. The last with Harvest is an effort to collect extra backing from an obviously well connected source, and genuine interest.

A reply of 'I'll mind my business, which you have made much harder, now go away' is entirely acceptable.

And (unless Harvest says something especially interesting), we can probalby move on now.
 GM, 1402 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
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Tue 20 Oct 2009
at 08:47
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Harvest blinks warily, then with a measure of surprise as Perian turns back to address him one last time and give him a chance to speak for himself. "Perian, you'll do what you think is right, and you'll measure the greater good as encompassing the lesser. I don't think I could change that, and I won't."

He sighs heavily and rubs a hand against his forehead -- ever the pessimist, it seems. "The Hospice speaks for itself. There are people suffering here, and the most that I can offer a great many of them is a comfortable place to die. So wherever you go I hope you remember what you have seen. Take our story up to the higher districts. Let them know what they've done, that the 'leftovers' they've discarded don't just disappear once they're tossed into the trash." Here his voice briefly rises, sharpens, his bitterness fully exposed.

"I damn well hope your efforts won't be a waste, and it won't lead to a backlash and even greater suffering for us ordinary folk. We don't have the ear of the gods, we don't have the spark you do." The way he speaks, Perian is almost certain he wishes he did. A man like him might have been chosen by the Sun, if not for his damning lack of faith. "But I am not the keeper of these former monks. The decision to help you or not is theirs. So all I can really do... is wish you luck."

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:48, Tue 20 Oct 2009.

 GM, 1403 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
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Tue 20 Oct 2009
at 08:48
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Profound Arrow, Even Precipice and Charal River join Volya and her Freerunners, and Verad, who has been rapidly recording the proceedings in his neat shorthand. His fingers are stained with ink, his expression rapt with concentration as he finishes off the notes. Harvest of Stones leads the large and rather eclectic group out into the hallway again, to finally give the patients and their families some peace.

"Heard back from the Boss," announces Volya in her typically gruff tone. "Looks like we'll rendezvous with him in Sector 5. That'll be as good a time as any to meet the Celestials. Irjin Edgestrider's made contact with several of them and his team reports they've successfully routed the Fire District forces that came to put down the riot. Said they had some nasty superweapon with 'em, too."

"Those Celestials... heh. They had less than 100 untrained fighters with 'em, and maybe a scale of Edgestrider Freerunners. For a long time the Boss was the only Celestial we really knew. With so many of 'em at once, I'd be willing to believe in a few miracles myself."

Doctor Harvest makes no comment on 'miracles' (a word Perian himself finds excessive), bringing the group back out into the streets of the Diseased Quarter. Dark-haired Blood Sparrow joins them promptly and without comment, but Pixie rushes up to them with relief. "FINALLY! Let's get outta --" she sees Harvest, and Volya's warning expression, and quickly quiets down "-- here."

[Private to Kares Perian: Ok! It may take a bit more setup for me to incorporate you in South Sector 5 but that's where you're headed. It'll be assumed in between that you'll meet with Free, and you'll go with him (likely with Alivia, Verad, Profound Arrow and his two subordinates) to meet the people in Sector 5. It may be another few days unfortunately, so if you've got any other things you'd like say or do in the meantime, go right ahead. Either in this scene or a different one if you need that.]
Kares Perian
 player, 76 posts
Fri 23 Oct 2009
at 06:43
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
"Your good wishes mean a lot to me, Doctor," Perian replies as they leave the Hospice, "And I do not intend to forget - your work here is impressive and I hope you find what you seek."

As the group reaches the gates of the Hospice, Perian adresses Profound Arrow respectfully. "Before meeting you and those whom you advise, I thought to offer you a gift, to show how I valued your contribution. Now, it seems superfluous to view it as such."

"Still, where we are going, much might be lost - and it may be for the best that some things remain safe, to teach the future what the past once held."

Carefully reaching into his clothing, he withdraws the texts of the Lady Aoi. "Though the lessons in these may end us to battle, it would be best if they themselves remained untouched. Will you see to them?"

[Private to GM: OOC: High Conviction: do what's right, even if it isn't necessary.]
 GM, 1421 posts
 Exalted Storyteller
 Five Coils Artificer
Sun 15 Nov 2009
at 00:39
Re: Floor B23 - City of Pasiap's Resolve, East Sector 3
Harvest of Stones manages a stiff bow to Perian's words, and replies gruffly, "Just make sure those words of yours lead to a gain for this district. We've had entirely too many losses already." He does not step beyond the front door with him, but remains there with the guards, crossing his arms as he watches Perian, the Freerunners and rogue Immaculates go.

Profound Arrow looks surprised but not displeased at the gift Perian presents belatedly to him. He seems to be familiar with Lady Aoi's works, and muses with only a slight frown, "Devotion for one may be destruction for another. Loyalty alone is not a virtue should it be a loyalty undeserved. And how might we judge the worthy from the wasteful, with what lies before us, or the consequences that have yet to be?"

It doesn't seem the older man wishes an answer, but he inclines his head to acknowledge the gift, passing the scroll on to Charal River to carry. Perhaps it is notable that he entrusts such words with malleable Water, rather than the rigid Earth represented by Even Precipice.

"It will be done," Arrow concludes, cryptically. For a moment longer, Verad's pen scribbles upon his notebook, perhaps recording this last short exchange as well.

Shrugging -- clearly the nuances here are beyond her -- Volya instructs Blood Sparrow and Pixie to take point. "They need the exercise," is her aside, as the two Freerunners step obediently (and in Pixie's case, excitedly) forward. Ashen Feather requests to stay behind with Harvest for a time, and the remaining group of eight make their way to meet the others in South Sector 5.

[Private to Kares Perian: And, since we've been here long enough I hope the subtlety here will suffice for now, I'll be writing you into Sector 5 ASAP.]