Scene 1: Opening Gambit.   Posted by Dragonlord.Group: 0
Dragonlord
 GM, 17 posts
Mon 12 Nov 2018
at 16:38
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
The Blue Gull Agency is a modest modern building in the bustling business heart of Nexus. The originally titled Nexus District is a collection of a score of islands crisscrossed by numerous canals bearing everything from enterprising private gondolas to the small yachts of the rich. Upon the islands soared the elegant towers of First Age Hollow standing like giants amidst the clusters of modern construction at their bases. Trading concerns, companies, nobility, and embassies found their status determined by exactly where they could afford to put their offices.

The Blue Gull Agency reflects the interests of its patron, House Cathak. Despite Cathak's military power and acumen its trading interests were subsidiary and thus the BGA's position occupying a very nice but modest four story edifice overlooking the canals. Red and gold trim edged the building's windows and doors and its sign was a blue bird made of fine glass. Still there was no denying it was a busy structure with merchants and bureaucrats entering and leaving at all hours to conduct business spanning the River Province.

This innocuous, by Nexus standards, building was just fine for the informally labeled House of Eyes that headquartered here. Spies conducting a spy's business for House Cathak.

Today the House of Eye's mistress watched the clusttered canal below from her 3rd floor corner office. Behind her one of her agents finished his report.

"...in conclusion Cathak's interests in the Ulfe satrapy are imperiled. As one of the few sources of jade units of the 19th Legion were permanently stationed to protect the town and its mines. The routes required to support the Dragon with needed supplies have shown signs of sabotage. Bandits, equipment failure, and disease have afflicted our caravans and ships affiliated with Cathak in particular. The House of Eyes has been requested by our superiors to investigate and support Dragon-Lord Ulstang and Satrap Fendye."




This message was last edited by the GM at 05:05, Tue 13 Nov 2018.

Cathak Prisca
 player, 16 posts
 Of Many Secrets
 Loyal Administrator
Wed 14 Nov 2018
at 01:29
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
Her office was a richly appointed affair but held to every impression of discipline and focus that gave the precious woods, metals, and gems in it's arrangement an air of military precision and functionality... even when it was common among those who attended her to comment of how her wealth could fuel a village until the last of it's descendants had returned to the cycle and their discarded vessels were no more than humble dirt once more. The woman was no different in how she tended to her own appearance. The fragrances of fine perfumes clinging to person and garb with careful application. Her dress elegant and relaxed implying that it had been one of her rare days of leisure in a schedule that was grueling to her exalted betters and hellish to her spiritual equals. The outer layer comprised of rich crimson silk with hem and cuff circled by gold and green. A simple, gown of white silk beneath that spoke to a consideration for her traditional auguries regarding the weather of a given day so that she might appear ever prepared and considerate of every facet of her environment and day to day activity. The aspect of the woman herself, in kind, was one that spoke to that same meticulous care and the more martial inclinations of her family with clean, strong lines tinged by a softness that lent itself to a more feminine definition of handsomeness; made intimidating by the weight behind her smoldering and smokey hued eyes, the wildness of her deceptively dark hair at odds with every note and hint of her fearsome will and restraint.

It was clear enough to her agent that she was attentive and that her lack of response was purely from her rumination upon the details. Such sabotage bore wretched fruit for the ledger and only forced her to commit more of her consideration towards such troubleshooting where the efforts of her chosen agents and compatriots failed. The list of enemies that the House had was a long one and only exasperated by their famed subtlety in some regards in contrast to the refined might of the Legions that formed the core of her betters' fist and claim to the seat of Queen Maker that had been ascribed to them. Essence stirred within her as a result of such contemplation in mirroring of the agitation born of impatience from the richer coffees and tea.

"And have we been provided with the audience schedules for Dragon-Lord Ulstang and Satrap Fendye? Dossiers, as well? An audience will need to be arranged so that we might begin an official and... public inquiry as to the situation and using such as well as excuse for more covert inquiries whilst still respecting propriety where able. The possibilities of whom or what might be behind this are almost limitless but the assumption of targeted malice certainly narrows things to only the whole of Creation and beyond." Prisca concluded in a warm voice with a touch of humour despite the gravity of the topic as she approached her desk and drew out one of the drawers to produce a slim, black volume that contained some of her notes and dissertations upon the local and neighboring politics.

OOC: Recognizing the names, places, and pattern if any in the report provide through the lens of political analysis.

19:39, Today: Cathak Prisca rolled 4 successes using 10d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7.  Lore 3 + Int 5 + 2 Essence (Personal).

This message was last edited by the player at 01:38, Wed 14 Nov 2018.

Dragonlord
 GM, 18 posts
Fri 16 Nov 2018
at 21:55
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
The presentation is spare but informative as the man lays out what is known.

The Ulfe Satrapy -- Ulfe is a modest sized city whose existence is predicated on the prosperous mines in the surrounding hills. While a variety of minerals are mined its the small but productive jade mine which elicits House Cathak's interests and its incorporation as a Realm Satrapy centuries ago. As long as the jade flowed Ulfe was left mostly to its own devices. Immaculate evangelists had great success among the miners of Ulfe and today maintain a modest temple in the city of Ulfe and deal with most the satrapy's problems with spirits.

Unfortunately when the Marukan Alliance threw off Realm control during the last invasion and became a 7th Legion protectorate Ulfe found itself isolated to the south. To the north the main trade routes to nexus were along a string of city states owing allegiance to the Confederation of Rivers. Ulfe continued with its declared loyalty to the Realm and its position among difficult to reach mountain valleys made invasion a daunting prospect, leading to the status quo today. Trade was maintained with the Realm via Guild intermediaries with Cathak backing. The trade cities of the north experienced a variety of plagues in the last 10 years leaving the northern trade route unpatrolled and wild. Travel is difficult and expensive and Guild caravans charge more for the dangers.

Ulfe itself is mostly unremarkable. A rough mining town that has become more civilized due to Immaculate influence. Of note is that there is a cadre of mortal sorcerers who influence Ulfe from behind the scenes. Their workings have increased both the prosperity of the mines and the safety of the valley against various external threats. Suspicious and private they keep to the shadows and away from Immaculate scrutiny. Most know them as the Magus Council and its most prominent member is supposedly a woman by the name of Crystal Vision.

There has been a division among the Immaculate believers as a strain of heresy based on the Looksyan faith appeared some 70 years ago. Its found its appeal among the independent citizens of Ulfe. The leader of the Immaculate Temple is Abbot Vneef Shugarin (or Noisy Crow as his intimates know him).

Satrap Fendye
has been posted here for 9 years and done a fair job of keeping things running. A member of a patrician family owing alligiance to House Cathak, the Andurin. There has been no hint of corruption or disloyalty beyond what is to be expected of a Satrap and she is a devote member of the Immaculate temple. She has notably turned a blind eye to the Magus Council's activities in spite of Abbot Shugarin's protests.

Dragon-Lord Ulstang has been in charge of the dragon protecting Ulfe for over 10 years. His loyalty to House Cathak is questionable as he is a Lost Egg installed by the Empress and a student of Pasiap's Stairs. His diligence has been commendable in protecting Ulfe but he has refused summons back to the Blessed Isle and turned back replacements sent to take over the Dragon. It is assumed he fears being replaced by a Cathak loyalist, a legitimate concern, as Cathak looks for loyalty to the House. His aspect is Air.

"...we can arrange a meeting with all concerned though we find that Dragon-Lord Ulstang will be suspicious and less willing to cooperate. Satrap Fendye should be no problem."


Cathak Prisca
 player, 17 posts
 Of Many Secrets
 Loyal Administrator
Sat 17 Nov 2018
at 01:12
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
Her jaw worked for a moment as a hand rose to brush along the line of her jaw in consideration of the meaning of the words. Her expression shifting into a smile then suffused with the fire that could only come from the blood of House of Cathak. Her gaze turning back out to the view afforded her by the window that defined a full wall of her office. An utterly impractical consideration from the perspectives of security yet Cathak Prisca had always seemed a woman near invulnerable in the execution of her duty as if guided by the hand of fate in a way that only the terrestrial exalted or the sidereal allies might know.

"Please do, I shall meet personally with the Dragon-Lord first and apart from the Satrap." she concluded as she considered the information with a finer eye and ear. She could twist him to her finger as his reputation and exploits implied a deep love of his autonomy and a resentment for those that might server as his superiors in the great courts of the realms... His standing as exalted, however, would put her at a lower rank in his eyes as to his knowledge she was no more than mortal. This was a dangerous preconception that she intended to take advantage of she should scent even a hint of it. The Satrap, on the other hand, was one she would have to approach as an equal and the hints of shared interest or at last blind spots was enticing in it's own right along side the presence of this so called Magus Council.

The travel distance remained a concern as well as the remoteness of the location. A gamble by any measure when so much of her power was locked in bureaucracy and governance of the Realm and local interests in Nexus and the surrounding states. Still, she could do something from such a position and the remoteness could certainly allow a measure more freedom with those abilities and talents she did not so openly advertise.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:58, Sat 17 Nov 2018.

Dragonlord
 GM, 19 posts
Thu 22 Nov 2018
at 23:57
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
Spark-of-Night works his jaw as he considers the logistics of mistress of the House of Eye's suggestions.

"How would you prefer to travel? And should we send word ahead that a Cathak-ordained audit is about to descend on Ulfe or would you rather surprise them with your presence? I think Fendye will take the visit in stride but Ulstang...his reactions might be unpredictable. He has no love of House Cathak despite the 19th Legion falling within our influence."
Cathak Prisca
 player, 18 posts
 Of Many Secrets
 Loyal Administrator
Sat 24 Nov 2018
at 03:13
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
"If we're honest? Simply. I'm not so fragile as some might make me out to be when it comes to matters of travel and accommodations. As for the matter of announcing our intentions, let us coordinate that with my arrival to a degree. Allow them a week's advanced notice as is only polite but ensure that my own arrival is as precisely timed as possible." Prisca replied after some rumination as she continued to consult the contents of that slim, black book. A finger tracing down each page with a practiced speed that Spark-of-Night was well aware was far slower than her true reading speed.

"I intend to show Ulstang respect as he has made it entirely clear that he bears no love of the House but the tolerance for his wayward manner balances upon two facts; his success and his usefulness as a result there of. It will be an interesting conversation with him... The Magus Council is something that will also have to be considered but that's something that may require a more... freeform approach." the woman added after some further consideration as she closed the book and slid it into the pockets of her outer robe.
Dragonlord
 GM, 20 posts
Tue 27 Nov 2018
at 19:09
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
Spark-of-Night nods, "As you say, Lady. We'll coordinate as you wish and send the messengers immediately."

[Is there anything else you wish to bring up or we can move onto the journey.]
Cathak Prisca
 player, 19 posts
 Of Many Secrets
 Loyal Administrator
Fri 30 Nov 2018
at 01:09
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
There were a precious few that did not have some notion that Cathak Prisca was a powerful woman but the extent of her power was a jealously guarded secret. The thrust and parry of social intrigue almost perpetually demanding precarious balancing of understated ability and demonstrative authority. This lesson was hardly forgotten in the discreet arrangements that were made to prepare for the journey to the Satrapy of Ulfe. A flurry of requisitions, arranged missives, runners, messengers, caravaners, soldiers, and more dispatched from her desk along the most discreet and trusted of channels to their intended recipients.

The result, of course, was a carefully vetted entourage of members of her inner court along side a small contingent of patrician house guards and their corresponding officers. Each a veteran of more unconventional forms of warfare to better counter act the threats presented by those uncivilized paths by which they must travel to reach Ulfe. Further additions included after much review, consultation, and consideration for guides drawn from those tribes and professional wanders that regarded these stretches of untamed land with the eyes of a native. Those eccentricities of character and deviations of flesh as might arise from such regarded with polite ignorance in the customs of those offices abroad that represented the Realm.

The means of travel, in keeping with the other practicalities, remained a tasteful but ultimately utilitarian affair. The carriages for her personal court of servants and bureaucrats well appointed but without the boastful displays of wealth that might have carried them through the streets of Nexus. Their frame and structure girded against the potential adversities of the road and further. The horses of sturdy and fine bread meant to make good but not quick time upon the roads. The banners of House Cathak, of course, remained in distinct evidence in the coats of arms adorning the doors of each carriage as well as the shields and breasts of the armored soldiers.
Dragonlord
 GM, 21 posts
Sat 15 Dec 2018
at 01:15
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
The latest reports cross Prisca's lap as she sets them down with a sigh. The roads promised to be interesting and dangerous. Plagues had struck no less than three of the small city states between Nexus and the valley causing severe disruptions and lawlessness. It made it easy for raiders to operate or to hide one's true targets. Luckily her people were sharp and had seen the patterns of attacks against Cathak's merchants.

The three cities: Avor, Nimnbus, and Quail, were much alike having been colonies of a larger state several centuries before. Since then they have fallen out with each other in a soap opera of betrayals and wars spaced with periods of distrustful peace.

Of particular note was the increase of Seventh Legion patrols along the main southern road, paid for by Nexus to try and bring some safety for its landborn commerce. Expensive but effective in keeping the banditry from boiling over into neighborning states.

Of course the Seventh Legion is no friend of the Realm or House Cathak.

Spark-of-Night is aware of his lady's wishes and keeps the caravan organized and on time as it begins to trundle its way south.

"When we reach Nimbus there will be a Seventh Legion watchpost. The troubles in these lands can make their natural suspicians of us more overt I'm afraid." he informs her as the carriage rumbles down the road.
Cathak Prisca
 player, 20 posts
 Of Many Secrets
 Loyal Administrator
Sat 15 Dec 2018
at 16:11
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
It was not so much an expression of distrust for the work of Spark-of-Night but that her work ethic, upbringing, and past experiences simply would not allow her to be idle even when greater work was before her. Cheerful, in her way, but focus and disciplined, her influence could be felt through the caravan even when she was not directly involved. Those moments of direct involvement, however, in any of the little matters that could plague such a journey were often decisively resolved and in such a fashion as to mesh almost imperceptibly with the work and intentions of her bureaucratic aide.

The increase in Seventh legion patrols was a point of concern and had the canny administrator considering their options on the matter as she took one of her brief moments of 'rest' later into the evening of the first day. The scattering of scrolls and books around her further evidence toward her intellectual inclinations and steady consumption of information for both the coming task and, seemingly, a dozen additional steps to come in the far future. A smile quirking her lips as she glanced up for an instant towards Spark-of-Night.

"Famously fond of us considering the rather volatile history of interaction we've with that particular mercenary legion. Enough is in order from an official perspective that I don't suspect an issue but I've been brushing up to ensure I'm prepared to speak for our little caravan as they'll likely want to speak with me regardless at the check point." Prsica mused with some consideration of a bound tome before her. Her eyes dark and alight with the particular of her fearsome intellect. Sparks-of-Night was aware of some of her secrets by nature of his proximity to her but not all of them in truth. The greatest was something kept well and duly to her chest as none needed to be aware of her particular capacities beyond a grasp of the terrestrial circle of sorcery.


OOC:Anything I can roll to get a run down on the 7th legion?

Dragonlord
 GM, 22 posts
Sat 15 Dec 2018
at 17:29
Scene 1: Opening Gambit
Lore + Intelligence if the focus is history, politics, or something similar.
Cathak Prisca
 player, 21 posts
 Of Many Secrets
 Loyal Administrator
Sat 15 Dec 2018
at 18:51
Scene 1: Opening Gambit

13:50, Today: Cathak Prisca rolled 6 successes using 10d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7.  Lore 3 + Int 5 + 2 Essence (Personal).