I: An Apple for the Creature.   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
Kogane
 player, 79 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 17:21
I: An Apple for the Creature
Kogane smiles at Najalin's offhand dismissal. "Well, you're not wrong."

She remains silent as Memory plays her entire hand, beyond letting out a slow, weary sigh at her companions ongoing openness.

With the arrival of a god, Kogane turns to face her, a smile playing across her lips as she stands, confident and ready, against the grand splendour unfolding around her.

Once Mafiti has been made manifest, and Najalin greets her in abject respect, Kogane speaks.

"It is good to see a god, after a day of pretenders and monsters. My greetings to you, Mafiti." She does not bow. No reason to embarrass the goddess by requiring reciprocation, surrounded as she is by her followers. As a result, she leaves Memory to do the vast majority of the gesticulations and speaking.
Narrator
 GM, 76 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 17:38
I: An Apple for the Creature
"I see that the Unconquered Sun's arrogance still runs true in his children," the goddess says with a smile, looking at Kogane. Najalin does not react to hearing the god's name; he could have already figured out the two Exalt's nature, or else maybe he didn't recognize the god's name. Meanwhile Mafiti turns to Memory, frowning, "Though this one is interesting."

The goddess looks at the tribespeople, and her lower hands let go of each other in a sweeping upward motion, "Rise, my children! Tonight we feast." Her upheld hands glow with Essence, and a low rumble shakes the entire village as creatures of stone and wood rise from the ground, taking upon the final preparation duties from the tribespeople's hands.

"I will hear your petitions soon, after I talk with our guests. For now, enjoy!"

Another rumble follows the goddess' words, but this time instead of a sound born of Essence it is a natural albeit primal music being beaten into drums by one of the summoned elementals. A haunting flute joins the beating, and another, and suddenly a full-fledged song is being woven around the gathering place as the tribespeople move to sit, eat or dance, apparently used to this kind of enjoyment.

"Come, Exalted Ones. Sit with me, and let us talk."

The Goddess sits down on crossed legs, beckoning for the Exalts to approach. Najalin does so promptly, also sitting cross-legged by the towering goddess, and Orchid follows, still with a hand on her weapon, to sit two paces from her master.
Kogane
 player, 80 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 18:24
I: An Apple for the Creature
When the god mentions Memory, Kogane can't help but reply, "You have no idea." She does not otherwise waver, even at the accusation of arrogance. It's hardly inaccurate, after all.

She joins the god in sitting shortly after Najalin, though she folds her legs beneath heróresting her hands on her closed lapórather than crossing them. She gives Najalin a smile. "I see why you like this island."
Memory
 player, 67 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 18:43
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory tilts her head at the categorization of herself as 'interesting' while the goddess was frowning. That doesn't seem to bode particularly well. ...Nor is she quite sure of what to make of the fact that Kogane agrees. Perhaps it's not that bad, then.

The others follow after Mafiti, answering her beckon to sit with her, but Memory hesitates and looks down at Cascade. "Would you like to come with us, little one?"
Narrator
 GM, 77 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 18:48
I: An Apple for the Creature
Cascade looks at Memory with wide eyes and nods vigorously, then looks towards the goddess and trembles, shrinking a bit. She jumps towards Memory and splashes on her clothes, running up and forming an amorphous blob of water around her shoulders instead of taking humanoid shape again.
Memory
 player, 68 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 19:01
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory smiles as Cascade rushes up to her shoulders and forms a... blob. "No need to worry. If she gets mad, I'll make sure it's at me, not you." With that, Memory makes her way over to where the others are sitting and joins them, dropping unceremoniously to a cross-legged position beside Kogane.
Narrator
 GM, 78 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 22:33
I: An Apple for the Creature
"I am not mad at you, riverling. You are an unexpectedly wayward child, but you have done no harm." The goddess smiles to Cascade, displaying rows of serrated teeth. The small elemental reforms into her humanoid shape again, and smiles back to the goddess, before hiding within Memory's hair, making it instantly wet, but without dripping.

"Fascinating," Najalin comments, "I had never seen such a young elemental display such amount of independent personality. You are truly a marvel, Mafiti."

The goddess inclines her head to the sorcerer, accepting the compliment graciously. She turns towards Memory.

"First, the matter you brought up. One does not simply run into a deathlord, child. Not if they want to survive the encounter." The goddess waves a hand, and earthen elementals appear bearing trays of foods and drinks, which they lay around the Exalted before retreating. Keen observation would reveal that gathering hall is no longer quite the same; instead of opening into the village as before, a wondrous vista spreads in each direction, rolling forested hills filled with greenery to the east, ever-higher snow-capped mountains rising like stairs towards the north, a placid, tranquil sea to the west and endless open fields to the south. The tribespeople within the hall seem somewhat translucent to the Exalted, as if proximity to the goddess has transported them to a state not quite in Creation. The transition was so smooth that neither Solar could remember when exactly it happened, other than at one point looking up and seeing their surroundings changed.

"The Bodhisattva is a dangerous individual. The one you seek to rescue was foolish, and in his foolishness added to the deathlord's increasing power. You cannot make the same mistake as him."

Najalin listens to this intently, without interrupting or saying anything. He does, however, start to eat from the offered trays, as does Orchid.
Kogane
 player, 81 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 22:38
I: An Apple for the Creature
Perhaps having taken the goddess's words against her arrogance to heart, Kogane sits and is quiet while Mafiti speaks. Nor does she partake of any of the food offered, her hands remaining folded on her lap as she listens attentively. For all that she'd been wary to promise aid to the captain, it would seem Kogane takes the quest to save Britannia's lover entirely seriously.
Memory
 player, 69 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 22:47
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory smiles as Cascade relaxes and rushes up into her hair, offering the goddess a grateful nod for calming the little elemental. She frowns again as the matter of the Bodhisattva comes up, still wanting to discuss how she might help Kogane the training she wants, but doesn't argue. The goddess had said 'first', so perhaps they would get to it later.

Memory takes no notice of the changes to the guest hall, full attention given over to Mafiti. Once she finishes, Memory considers her words for a moment, then says, "Well, foolish or not, I've given my word to help free him and I'd do it again if given the choice. And, anyway, foolishness should not cost someone so much." She smiles. "I'm pretty sure I've done quite a few foolish things today, already, if Kogane and Britannia are to be believed." She reaches up a hand, as if she means to sheepishly run it through her hair, but remembers Cascade is there and hesitates for a moment before lowering her hand.

"I don't know what a deathlord is or what makes this one dangerous, but I am more than happy to listen if you have advice."
Narrator
 GM, 79 posts
Mon 23 Jul 2018
at 21:40
I: An Apple for the Creature
"His foolishness was in choosing to face the Bodhisattva without truly understanding what that entails, child. His quest was doomed to fail from the start, and so will yours be if you are not careful." The goddess sighs.

"The deathlords are the lingering ghosts of Sons and Daughters of the Sun, slaughtered by the Dragon-Blooded at the end of the First Age and offered power over death by the husks of our Primordial enemies. Their dread masters wish for nothing else than to completely annihilate all of Creation, casting all gods and mortals into the Void, and the deathlords are happy to further their will." She glances at Najalin, "They are the true enemies of the world, despite his Realm's teachings otherwise. My advice to you is that you are too young to face a deathlord and win, especially one with a foothold in Creation like the Bodhisattva."
Memory
 player, 70 posts
Mon 23 Jul 2018
at 23:42
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory considers Mafiti's words for a long moment, brow furrowing as she looked down at her hands. "Well..." she says slowly, "maybe I don't have to face him. I only want to help Britannia's beloved. At least for now. If the Bodhisattva is all you say, then he should probably be stopped, even if it can't be done until later." She looks up again and meets the goddess's gaze. "Britannia thought getting the Fruit of your island to him would be enough. If I could bring that to him, without running across the Bodhisattva, do you think that could work?"
Narrator
 GM, 80 posts
Tue 24 Jul 2018
at 00:24
I: An Apple for the Creature
"Yes, that is exactly why you can't just foolishly wander into his domain like the person you're trying to save, and gift him yet more Exalted thralls to play with and use. His hold on his domain is already strong as it is."

The goddess rests her chin on a fist -- made with one of her lower arms, since the upper ones still hold her weapon and shield even while sitting -- and ponders Memory's question about the Fruit.

"I do not know. I don't know the specifics of this person, or exactly how he is kept in the condition he is. Looking into the Bodishattva's domain is... difficult, even for me. But if he is fighting the deathlord's thralldom even now, then it is possible that the Fruit will help him break free. Managing it without confronting the Bodhisattva personally would be the optimal solution, yes."
Memory
 player, 71 posts
Tue 24 Jul 2018
at 10:44
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory perks up at the goddess's concession, brightening at even the hint that Mafiti thinks there might be a chance. "Then I'll do that," she says excitedly. She pauses, thinking. "Hm. Do you have any advice on how I could accomplish that? Avoiding the Bodhisattva, I mean? And does this mean I can take your Guardian's trial?"
Narrator
 GM, 81 posts
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 10:21
I: An Apple for the Creature
"As I said, it's difficult for me to look into his domain. The deathlords retain all the knowledge of their living days, and the Bodhisattva knows how to ward himself against prying eyes. I can't help you with avoiding him, but I suggest you have a good plan and know what you're up against before doing anything. Carelessly walking into the Bodhisattva's domain would help no one."

"As for the Trial, yes. Feel free to visit the Grove and trade words with the Guardian."
Kogane
 player, 82 posts
Mon 6 Aug 2018
at 11:54
I: An Apple for the Creature
Kogane listens patiently as Memory and the goddess speak of Deathlords and Primordials. The wolf-girl had some passing knowledge of spirits and strangeness, but these deep mysteries were beyond her scope. Thus, she set this new, world-shaking knowledge aside to be examined later.

When a break arrives in the conversation, Kogane speaks up.

"There was actually something else that requested one of your fruit. Even apparently dredged Memory out of the ocean to speed that up. I'm not entirely sure what she was, fey or spirit, but she was an... amalgamation of sea creatures, I suppose? She called herself Zul'thoth the Devourer."
Memory
 player, 72 posts
Tue 7 Aug 2018
at 04:17
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory breaks into a smile as the Goddess gives permission, excitement at the prospect of being able to help Britannia clearly overriding whatever wariness she may have felt at Mafiti's explanation of the Bodhisattva. She dips her head gratefully. "Then I will. Thank you, ma'am."

She stands without waiting for anything further and turns to go... only to realize that their surroundings have changed. Memory turns and regards the picturesque vista, turning a circle, and frowns, evidently very confused. She's certain it hadn't been like this before. She's still frowning toward the rolling expanse of scenery and translucent people, head slightly tilted, when Kogane speaks up.

Memory doesn't turn back toward the others. "Oh, yes. Zul'thoth. I owe her a favor as well. But I apparently didn't promise her the Fruit, so I hopefully won't need to take the Trial more than once." She seems to be only paying half-attention to the group, evidently trying to figure out quite where the exit is among the rolling hills and mountains and forests.
Narrator
 GM, 82 posts
Sat 11 Aug 2018
at 21:38
I: An Apple for the Creature
The goddess smirks, apparently amused by Memory's restlessness, but her visage darkens when Zul'thoth is brought up.

"I know of that creature."

Mafiti's hand tightens around her trident, and an eerie cackle of energy flows through her weapon, accompanied by the distant roar of waves. The goddess takes a deep breath, and the sound vanishes.

"I know not what she is, either. She appeared one day at the edge of my domain, and though she has taken no overt action against my people I do not trust her. My Herald was supposed to investigate the creature further, but I have not heard back from her yet. She was supposed to be here, but is not."
Memory
 player, 73 posts
Sat 11 Aug 2018
at 22:30
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory turns back to Mafiti and the others as the goddess's tone shifts and she frowns, tilting her head. She casts a single glance back toward what she had thought was the exit, but that doesn't seem to be shifting back soon and knowing something more of Zul'thoth might be helpful. Resuming her place beside Kogane, but copying the wolf woman's posture and position this time, she asks, "What is it about Zul'thoth that you mistrust? She seemed rather... reticent, but she did help us. And perhaps we could look for your Herald. What do they look like?"
Kogane
 player, 83 posts
Sat 11 Aug 2018
at 23:03
I: An Apple for the Creature
Kogane rests her chin on a fist, waving her other hand in the air. "She was smug and I wanted to punch her in the face. When a shapeshifter goes to that length to look as obviously evil as possible, I prefer to trust that claim, in the form of not trusting a word they say."
Narrator
 GM, 83 posts
Sat 11 Aug 2018
at 23:23
I: An Apple for the Creature
"Her Essence is... strange, like a mixture of sorts. It feels wrong, in a way I can't quite pinpoint, and not being able to tell what exactly is wrong with it worries me as much as finding it strange in the first place. Moreover, she has not given me any reason to trust her from her actions, either."

"As for my Herald, her name is Wijaya. She is one of the girls from the village."
Memory
 player, 74 posts
Sun 12 Aug 2018
at 00:15
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory really isn't sure what either Kogane nor Mafiti mean about Zul'thoth seeming evil or untrustworthy. Zul'thoth had been helpful... though also unwilling to share much. Maybe that was the problem. Perhaps the silence, then, was what worried them.

Memory blinks. "Wait, Wijaya? We saw her earlier, by the waterfall where we met Cascade," she says, cocking the shoulder upon which the tiny elemental sat as if in demonstration. "She wanted to know why we wanted to get the Fruit and to warn us about accidentally burning anyone. Though, I wouldn't call her a 'girl', precisely. She said she was Kota's grandmother and she was quite old." She considers the goddess for a moment. "...Which I suppose could still be considered a girl from an island's perspective. But, yes. I think she must be back."

The Exalt shrugs and shakes her head. "She did say she would see us at the feast, so you should see her soon, I think."
Kogane
 player, 84 posts
Sun 12 Aug 2018
at 17:32
I: An Apple for the Creature
Kogane's ears perk up at the mention of the old lady. "Wait," she interjects, surprised, "her name was Wijaya?"

The wolf-girl immediately sinks back into thought, pressing her hand into her chin and knitting her brow together. Her tail flaps against the ground irritatedly, attempting to puzzle out what is becoming an increasingly frustrating island for the swordswolf.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:38, Mon 13 Aug 2018.

Narrator
 GM, 84 posts
Sun 12 Aug 2018
at 17:40
I: An Apple for the Creature
Mafiti chuckles.

"Ah, my Herald is ever the independent mind, taking for herself even those duties that are not hers." There is clearly fondness in the goddess' words and smile. "But it is as you say. I forget sometimes how the passage of time can be harsh on mortals, even those blessed by the gods. In my eyes I still see her as the girl she was when she accepted her role, I suppose."

"She should be here already, though. She is not one for being late."
Kogane
 player, 85 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 00:40
I: An Apple for the Creature
Kogane finally reemerges from her own thoughts, none the wiser from her consternation. She places a hand on her sword, using it as a cane as she pushes herself to her feet.

"Well," she mutters, "if the rest of my day has been any indication, that's probably a sign of incoming trouble."
Memory
 player, 75 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 11:09
I: An Apple for the Creature
Memory watches Kogane rise and looks back and forth between her fellow Solar and the goddess, frowning. "Couldn't we just go look for her?" she asks, eyes settling on Kogane's sword. She turns to Mafiti. "I wouldn't mind, really. I need to wait until after the feast to take the Trial, yes? So I could go looking for Wijaya in the meantime."