RY 767, Ascending Water: Liquid Courage.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: 0
 GM, 127 posts
Wed 1 Jan 2020
at 03:09
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
Rain was falling on the eternally shadowed streets outside and it was dripping from holes in the roof, onto the floor above, and finally coalescing into brackish puddles in the basement at your feet.  You bought this place for pennies on the dollar, but it was still a sizeable amount, taking most of your savings.  What is about this place that attracted you to it?

The location came up for sale after the debt stopped getting paid. What did you do to ensure this location became available? To whom do you owe a favor for helping to make this happen for you?

How long have you been in Champoor? What brought you here?

Isus - lesser spirit of the court of secrets of Tenepeshu seeks out those who do business in Champoor.  Especially near the water front where the court of secrets holds more sway.  The farther north and west you go, the less Tenepeshu's power holds sway, and by extension Isus.  https://tales-of-the-dreaming-...l.com/wikis/champoor   The area known as Dusk is where the veil of Tenepeshu's veil is thinnest, casting the area in perpetual dusk, instead of darkness.  Which is how it got its namesake.  Where in the city is this building you purchased? How have you avoided Isus thus far?  Do you plan to continue avoiding the spirit or are you going to seek it out?

The man that ended up loosing this property is of little consequence to you, but he has connections that could be quite problematic if they find out what you did. Who does he know that could be a problem for you in the future?
Oaths in Ashe (DS)
 player, 13 posts
Wed 1 Jan 2020
at 21:17
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
The single point of illumination in the room came from the burning tip of the thin, paper-wrapped roll of malfean herbs. Smoke enough, and it'd give you the hunger you'd need to face the challenges of the day - but half a puff too much and someone would have to put you down like a rabid dog, the blood of your kin decorating your chin as eternal reminder of inhexhaustible hunger.
It was probably restricted goods in the city, but this was the last one that Ash carried - and the proof that it ever existed soon disappeared into one of the puddles on the ground with a hiss of smoke. No proof, no crime.

The shadows didn't bother him in the slightest - he was seeing clearer than most would under a midday sun, and had other senses to compensate even if vision turned out to be unreliable. He closed his eyes just as he stepped on the dying ember, letting himself feel for the room one floor above him and taking a moment to contemplate the recent past.

A broken table, hastily repaired with rope and prayers. A tooth embedded in the wood of a chair that had escaped the previous round of clean-up. Knife marks in the wall - hidden by the darkness and the new paint job but still there like thin scars that would never heal. He could effortlessly see the scene in his mind's eye: newcomers, rowdier and drunker than any of the locals: they didn't plan to stay more than a single day, so why bother with manners?

An inappropriate comment. An alcohol-fueled response, and suddenly the flashing of steel. The gentlemen paid to keep things at an acceptable level of chaos intervened quickly and skillfully - but not nearly quickly or skillfully enough: when they did, there was already blood on the floor - and not even their long and honorable career at breaking kneecaps for pennies let them finish things unscathed.

Wounded patrons meant less patrons (at least for the little time their goldfish memories would keep them away from alcohol), and wounded guards meant pricier guards. The combination of both factors meant the owner had to fish around for more liquidity - and to do so without letting the Guild learn of his worsened financial conditions, or they'd send people to renegotiate previous arrangements.

And so the poor guy - what even was his name again? Pale -something-.. no, Deram the Pale - had no resort but to dig his own hole deeper, and borrow from Left-Handed Spinel, a perfectly ordinary owner of a pawn shop - and also, if you know in which circles to ask, a pretty high-ranking member in the local cult of The Broker of Unfair Deals (and the main Contact of Ash in the city). Even for those in the know, it sounds just like a sobriquet that could apply to many of the spirits in the Court of Secrets. Those with more suspicious nature think it a cult to Makarios by another name, and they aren't be TOO FAR off the mark: the Second Circle in question comes from the hierarchies of Cecelyne instead, and mostly influences deals with an overwhelming difference in leverage.

This all happened several months before Ash's arrival in Champoor - months in which the carefully calculated extra debt kept The Rainbow of Shadows (or The Storm's Bounty, as it was known under the previous management) barely afloat. The arrival of the Infernal a week before and the promise of a favor later on was just an excuse to finally use some of the clauses in the contract, turning the debt from 'rough' to 'absolute stranglehold' and forcing the place on sale.

Of course, that didn't mean that everything always went according to plan. This was hardly the kind of prime real estate Ash would have wished for, for example - but it had a reputation: the cleanest visitor to the Nighted City was looking for deals illegal in most of the rest of the region, and the worst ones... well, let's just say that some of the darkened hearts here would make the Ebon Dragon very proud of the freedom he insisted of bestowing on humanity. And most of those visitors - at least the sane ones - spent most of their time in Dusk.

Normally he would have preferred somewhere closer to the harbors to keep a touch on the beat of trade, but this place could work as well. Enough drinks, skilled enough servers and enough afforded privacy could turn it into the kind of place where the trading of secrets naturally flowered: the Rainbow had a very good placement for that - not on one of the main arteries of traffic, but just 'hidden' enough on a secondary road to attract the attention of those seeking privacy or a quiet drink.

Long-term loomed two problems: the Guild was at its strongest in this part of the city, and would soon come to claim its pound of flesh - Ash was pretty sure that the previous owner didn't leave debts hanging on the locale itself, but he was still doing business in their territory, so excuses would be found - but not soon: he gave himself a few more weeks before obvious interference as posing as demon-blooded meant he was potentially dangerous. Pairing that with the fact that he was sitting on a resource they didn't particularly care about meant they likely would investigate before actually doing anything, and he had a pretty believable trail leading here from Nexus. Unless they put their whole influence into this and annoyed sorcerers for instantaneous communication, the road there and back with answers would take a bit.

Isus, on the other hand, was going to be the first step to climbing the ladder over gaining influence with Tenepeshu herself, which meant he had to play his game very well. He started purposefully as far away from his area of influence as he could: in an ideal world he'd find out some kind of anything to use as leverage before meeting the spirit; hopefully he wouldn't bother seeking him out as long as he remained small-time. But the longer he spent gathering info on the Court of Secret, the more they'd gather back - it was their very nature.

Had he unlimited focus to share Ash would also have liked to keep an eye on Deram: if he once more found himself desperate for money - or just out of spite, there was a chance he could sell to the Guild the kind of info to make life harder for his contacts. But he didn't have a personal network of spies yet (a thing he silently added to a mental 'to do' list), and he had to hope that Spinel had at least the means to give him advance warning if something of the sorts risked happening.

Short-term issues were clearer: as much as it amused him to channel the power of the Silent Wind to be able to do routine work and cleaning fast enough to cover for half a dozen people it wasn't particularly fun, and the same trick couldn't be used to serve patrons (well, it could, technically. But it was a very bad idea to do so.) So he needed staff. He needed skilled staff with a talent for getting people to spill secrets and the integrity to not spill any back. And he needed them on the cheap, too.

Had his finances allowed him, he'd have beelined straight for the House of Obedience: slavery was a blunt tool, but he wasn't nearly enough of a good person to oppose it on purely moral grounds. Had he been willing to blow attract attention there and then, he'd have filled the place with sorcerously bound demons. Things standing as they did, he did the third best thing he could: write a notice of 'staff needed - room and board included' in Flametongue, Forest-tongue and Riverspeak. In the upper floor he could provide some less than stellar lodging (the bucket-based protection against rain meant it was still early to rent them to paying patrons anyway).

While thinking he had reached up from the basement and stepped into the main floor: the stock of alcohol was... not terrible, and most of it not even watered down. Before reaching the exit, shadows coalesced around his body and changed him: if he was supposed to be carrying the blood of demons, he better play the part. His skin turned the color of obsidian at night and his hair an ashen grey - a reason as good as any for the name he'd use. Conversely, the colors of his clothes brightened, in the shades of red and gold - the only way for someone with that skintone to make himself obvious in the darkened 'days' of Champoor.

Ash, tavern owner with Bisclavaret blood in his veins was who locked the door behind himself, adding a 'Grand opening event soon' notice next to the 'staff needed' one.

Just like he had no staff he also had no event. Worst case scenario, he could provide music himself. With a brisk step he put on a wide-brimmed (and red-feathered) hat to defend himself against the rain and stepped into the city, following trails of need to offer beggars and buskers deals they couldn't refuse.
 GM, 146 posts
Sat 4 Jan 2020
at 01:37
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
You get a surprising number of interested people replying to your advertisement for work.  Unfortunately, they are not exactly... top notch.

You can manage to hire a staff that can at least do the minimum requirements for your job.  Finding people who are capable of getting people to talk is surprisingly easy.  Whores and con-men abound in Champoor, all of whom have developed various methods for extracting information from people.  Unfortunately they all come with a host of baggage problems. They have the positive quality extracting information, choose 3 negative qualities that you are forced to deal with from your staff.  All 3 qualities dont necessarily apply to each individual all the time, but collectively they all suffer from these problems.

You also manage to find an exceptional individual (Heroic mortal, God-blooded, Wyld touched, Mutant, Powerful ghost, etc) But their problems and baggage are likewise exceptional compared to the standard mortals.  You can choose to hire them as well if u wish.  They gain two positive qualities, extracting information, and one other, but suffer 2 negative qualities all their own.

Example qualities, this is not a comprehensive list, feel free to make up your own.  Lazy, Double Crossing, Double Agent, Thief, Wanted, Diseased.

As you begin your budding spy network in Champoor, you manage to luck into a decidedly juicy piece of gossip, that while not especially damaging (Not worth killing over), is quite embarrassing and the individual in question would be motivated to reach an understanding such that the information never came to light.  His enemies would also be quite motivated to procure such information.  (This is Champoor, so information that is considered embarrassing here might be their death knell somewhere else in creation).  Who did you dig up some information on, and what is this bit of information?

Unfortunately, it cost you something important to get this information. At first it seemed like an easy trade off. Just a little bit a first, then just a little more and little more until finally you ended paying/investing/giving up more than you otherwise would have upfront and you are hoping the investment pays off in the future.  What did you have to pay/do/give up?
Oaths in Ashe (DS)
 player, 15 posts
Mon 6 Jan 2020
at 21:57
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
Ah, the good, old staple of every high-class devious plan: ungodly amounts of paperwork: after a few days spent prowling the streets of Champoor for those desperate enough to accept a job at his conditions the result was... disheartening, but well within the expected.
Now he just had to figure out the best way to deal with the colorful cast he attracted: while nursing a rather strong drink he flipped at a speed barely slow enough to make the shapes of letters out, much less read his personal notes on his future staff - and in front of him the beautiful, perfectly empty schedule that he was supposed to fill in a way that wouldn't make the place collapse on his head. A task easier said than done.

Neatly piled next to that was the bureaucratic mess that would get him a meeting with Isus. He couldn't send it much farther than the day of opening his activity - or he'd be seen a troublemaker before even meeting the spirit. But it was in his best interest to postpone meeting in person. With a little bit of luck, Isus wouldn't actually want to meet in person: he was just a small-time merchant, after all... but had luck ever helped him? So he'd just use the best legalese he could muster (And he had seen some pretty creative stuff penned by the cultists of Cecelyne) to slow his own letter of presentation as much as he could, wait and see what happens.

'Former lady of negotiable affection. Too much of a focus on the physical. Can come across as too obvious. Did she even stop her former trade?' He wrote the name Ivory Lotus with with just a quick hint of hesitation - and enough speed to leave peculiar trails of ink behind the hasty cursive. 'Stranded after his captain gambled his own ship away. Doesn't like the city, but can't get away. Ties to the Guild?' The name Torn Sail soon went to fill its own spot.
'Former slave. Plays the harp. Escaped from Palanquin. Too far for bounty hunters?'
Names, duties and shared rooms filled up with preternatural speed - crossed out just as often as written in as the Exalt continued mixing talents and flaws. In time, it turned into a sort of game: it wouldn't have been as fun to start with people of flawless skills.

'Can probably drink half the supplies in one evening. Sesseljae blood or just natural talent? Keep away from bartending duties.' "Hello and welcome!" He slowed his writing to normal speed just as he called out the newcomer, blades of evening light cutting into the shadowed room. "I'm sorry, but you're early for the grand opening and late for the staff selection." As fun as the challenge was proving to be, he really didn't look forward to start the shifting on misfits from scratch once again to make room for newcomers.

"That's what you think. But you're wrong." The confidence made Ash crack a smile, but it was the voice that convinced him to spare the newcomer a glance: soft but clear, resounding like the prelude to a flute melody. A woman - very much so - was standing in the doorway, hair of every shade of blood as the rays of the perpetually dying sun hit it: either she was used to this sort of posing or she picked a very lucky spot to stop. Ash suspected the first. "Am I? Convince me."

And so she made her case: an emotional story that the Infernal barely followed after noticing that two words out of three were absolute, shameless lies. But she was still nice to listen to, and it would have been discorteous to interrupt her before she was done. More importantly, it gave him the time to examine her better. With eyes the color of a stormy sea and skin of the palest azure, it was obvious she wasn't entirely human: elementals and gods of watery domains were common enough in the Court of Secrets, after all. Siren. Or Nymph. He had no way to be sure of her specific parentage, but if he had to guess at knife point it'd be a roll between those two. Nymphs were certainly less likely to eat their partners before the fun parts of having a child could happen, but the girl had a predatory glint in her eyes whenever she smiled that he couldn't dismiss. And perhaps teeth just a little bit too sharp?

"In short -" while narrating she had made herself at home, even to the point of pouring herself a drink under his rather amused gaze. She didn't even particularly seem to care whether her story was believed or not. Probably just the good old matter of plausible deniability. "- you need someone new enough to the city to not know the kind of trouble he's getting into by taking you in. And since you didn't even mention her in passing, you're not going to tell me who your mother is."

"Well, we just met! Isn't it a bit early to want to meet my parents? Without even flowers?" She obviously understood the actual meaning of his question but nonchalantly deflected it, almost daring him to keep pushing in that direction. He sighed. Why did opportunity and danger always have to be so closely tied together? "The good stuff is on the bottom-right corner. Grab that, two glasses and come sit, we have a letter to write." Then, as if suddenly remembering an unimportant detail, he continued: "Oh. And what's your name?"
"Blood in the Water. You can probably guess why I'd rather go by Scarlet"

The letter for Isus was still waiting completion: penned in Old Realm, with just the thinnest attempts at covering up the occasional slightly odd, typically Malfean turn of phrase.

"Most noble patron of commerce.
I humbly write as a newcomer in your beautiful city to thank you for the opportunity to conduct business within the domain of your Court. To avoid stealing more of Your precious time than necessary, this last part of my missive should only find You after the rest of the necessary paperwork has reached its appropriate destination and only Your final approval is needed. I hope to soon welcome one of Your emissaries to be able to show You and them the full extent of my gratitude and of my hospitality, and I also hope my business will soon flourish enough to come at you with proposals to improve the shadowy splendor of Champoor, and with it the influence of your Court.

All in all it was a very standard, if flowery, affair: it promised gifts of prayers and secrets (for a very loose definition of secret: nobody ever used the juicy ones as a generic sacrifice) in return for the blessing of not paying him too much attention.

And so, days passed.

Most of the information he collected in the early days of his activity was hardly worth the effort: a nobleman's fetish for beastfolk could have been a juicy piece of gossip somewhere in the Realm, but here it was just a venus-day. (Besides, as Ash himself campaigned - occasionally in the presence of Mara herself - deer feet were simply nature's version of high heels).
Dragon Blooded nobility buying pleasure slaves with features not dissimilar to their own mothers? That was of course just a rumor, but who would have reacted to it with anything more than a chuckle and a shrug?

So, he had to resort to an old classic: personal legwork on flimsy leads. Geographically, he had two juicy targets: the Guild right next door and the ruling nobility in Solemn. Who'd annoy him earlier? It was a coin toss, and in time he'd need weapons against both. To begin, he decided that the satrap's court proved, ironically, the easier target: they had to hold up more of a public face.

Everything started with a rumor: a servant of the cousin of a friend of a maid once stopped for a relaxing drink and let out that 'the young miss' was occasionally not found in her bed at times when she should have been.
It took significant amounts of alcohol and prodding to discover that 'the young miss' was the daughter of Ophris Kalam, Dynast and member of the satrap's court of no little influence on matters of economy.

The girl herself (Ophris Khilana) was not Exalted, but at around 16 years old the family still had hopes for it to happen. What her family definitely didn't know, and that Ash discovered with multiple 'nightly' trips across the city was that the girl, rather unbecoming of her noble name and of the very classic martial training she received, spent multiple nights per month being surprisingly active in the underground martial arts scene of Catta, behind the persona of Sapphire Striking Snake. Not a massive secret - but something that anyone with a grudge on the satrapy would have loved to learn.

Unfortunately, his small request to 'keep an eye on that girl for me and try to get news to me in time if she risks getting killed' ended up having to be traded with increasingly onerous favors to the manager of her favourite fighting ring: free drinks, then money and finally - hopefully lastly - introducing him to a 'friend' who could turn the bet for a crucial match into a binding oath. It's unlikely that the supernatural disguise Ash used to become the 'friend' could be pierced, but it still means there's people who know he has access, however indirect, to that sort of power. And an unbreakable oath is a potentially highly valued commodity in a city of secrets.

Using Impatient Tempest Labor on a generic 'Get this business off the ground' project: time intervals for Bureaucracy actions are decreased by one degree if it makes sense (i.e: as long as him doing things fast can help.)

The letter is a Social Influence roll aimed at Isus to generate a positive tie towards Ash. I'm not particularly picky what specific kind, from "This guy is definitely not a troublemaker" on.
>22:28, Today: Oaths in Ashe (DS) rolled 9 successes using 14d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7 with rolls of 10,3,2,10,5,4,4,10,5,7, 2,10,1,1.  Manipulation + Linguistics + Excellency. last 2 dice are an assumed basic stunt.

The minions have the traits of: Extracting Information, an assortment of different flavors of Wanted (an escaped slave and a compulsive gambler with unpaid debts are two different things, but the end result is the same). At least one of the new hires (and if you know there's one...) is also a Double Agent, paid by the guild to keep an eye on Ash and his activities. Similarly, there's probably others double-dipping their salaries for other local interests. A few escaped terrible lives in Blackwater Bay and carry diseases: with his superior prowess in medicine, Ash desn't have the slightest idea of this, of how bad the situation is and if they're even infective. Jorax, save me!

Scarlet too is skilled at Extracting Information and also possesses a real Enchanting Voice, perhaps to the point of having one or two charms from the Silver-Voiced Nightingale style. On the other hand, she brings with her significantly Cumbersome Parentage, with her divine mother's enemies seeing her as a potential target and friends looking to bring her back to take her proper spot in the undersea courts. Her mother herself -at least for the moment- just sees it as a phase of growing up and doesn't give it much thought. Ash hardly trusts her any farther than he can throw her, and he can throw NOTHING at an appreciable distance - although he has no idea if she tends to put her nose into his affairs because she's Dangerously Curious about life or because she's actually a Double Agent working for the Court of Secrets

 GM, 167 posts
Tue 7 Jan 2020
at 05:33
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
Gain 1 Exp.  Post to come later
Bitter Leaf (DS)
 player, 13 posts
 Damage: B0L0A0
 Essence: 13/13+33/33
Tue 7 Jan 2020
at 18:21
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
Bitter Leaf walks up to the resurant. She's clean now and is lightly scented with some sort of flowery perfume to cover up the lingering smell of bird crap. A large cloak wrapped around her mostly covers her armor and weapon, which should make it slightly less obvious, but anyone looking carefully can probably tell.

Was this the place? It didn't look open, and she didn't see the sign that said they
were hiring. But it definitely matched the description otherwise. Whatever, she could easily outdo whoever they had for a cook if she just got a chance. She could also outdo whoever did security. In retrospect she probably should have prepared something ahead of time. Well, too late now.

She knocks on the door and waits...
Oaths in Ashe (DS)
 player, 18 posts
Tue 7 Jan 2020
at 20:59
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
The knock happened minutes after Scarlet had gone to make herself at home in her fancy new room (and - he'd later discover - to push most of the stuff of her would be roommate out of it), so while he tried to make the "Hello and welcome!" sound the proper amount of cheerful, the continuation had a slight air of 'been there, done that'. "I'm sorry, but you're early for the grand opening and late for -"

This was when he managed to open the door enough to actually see who knocked. And what he saw was many-layered. The first thing he felt, before he could even consciously gauge his guest, was a deep-seated instinct to please, joyously and to the best of his abilities, she who carried the favor of his own mother, the Shadow Lover. Murder would probably have been appropriate. Gifts of shadow and lust, unspeakable deeds of passion carried under the cover of the night. It took him a full second to come back to his senses and separate himself from the sensation - that was the other hitching a ride into his head speaking and the compulsion soon faded, leaving only a soft sensation of familiarity.

The second thing he noticed: that familiarity resonated deeper than his demon half - something about the girl stirred his memories as a mortal. Memories more often than not he preferred suppressed: memories of weakness and failure, of a young boy too weak to carry the weight of his own responsibility and too dumb to avoid being tricked by his better. Memories that led him to clench his fists hard enough for his nails to cut into the ebon flesh of his palms, leaving a near-invisible thin trail of crimson. He had known her. Not long, not deep and not while wearing this face. Could she have been a knowing aide to the one he despised, or were she and her warlord friend simply unwitting pawns?

The third thing he noticed: under the heavy clothes she was packing heat, and not insignificant: the cloak could only hide so much, and near nothing from the.. unconventional.. perceptions granted by She Who Lives in Her Name. Hardly helpful at keeping a low profile, surprisingly useful to have around when other people decide to break your kneecaps.

"- get inside." He very clearly changed tone mid-sentence, very obviously about to say something much different. "So." He made way inside, purposefully turning from her as he recomposed himself from the swirling emotions before he could fully swallow them up, covering old wounds in his soul with the soothing shadows of the Ebon Dragon, his mask unblemished by feelings as he offered her a playful, knowing grin. "What sort of trouble did deer old grandma drop at my doorstep this fine evening?" Nobody sane could make that pun, right? She probably misheard.

Standard disclaimer: I'm going ahead because in pbp it's just faster to post first and ask for forgiveness later instead of waiting for permission. Since nothing critical happens and I kind of wanted to take a stab at writing the meeting with Bitter Leaf I went ahead and did so, but I'm absolutely willing to rewind things if the as-yet mysterious post of the storyteller ends up breaking continuity.

Bitter Leaf (DS)
 player, 15 posts
 Damage: B0L0A0
 Essence: 13/13+33/33
Wed 8 Jan 2020
at 03:01
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
Bitter Leaf is hurried inside. "Umm... Grandma Dear? I'm not sure-" Wait, didn't Mara have hooves? It sounded like it, but that was a weird dream. She probably should have paid more attention. He probably meant Shadow Tulip? "-whatever, anyway I was looking for a place to stay and get food while I get my bearings, and I was told this place could do with a cook, or a guard or both and I guarantee I'm better than whoever you had filling those roles before." unless its another Anathema she thinks silently. "Wait, do I know you?" Bitter thinks she does. Someone who bought something from Blaze once. Not a connection she would have been able to make while still mortal, but now...

She didn't know the name though. "I must have forgotten your name though. Doesn't matter. Do you still have a spot for an archer slash cook in your operation?"

This message was last edited by the player at 03:03, Wed 08 Jan.

Oaths in Ashe (DS)
 player, 19 posts
Wed 8 Jan 2020
at 13:56
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
"Know me?" His smile never wavered "Most certainly not. That would require a shared 'wanted' poster. Or at the very least a night of drunken insanity. I won't say we never met, though. You can call me Ash - feel free to toss the cloak.. wherever." He motioned towards the room in a wide gesture, most tables occupied by stuff. Some of it paperwork, some of it repair materials wielded with the expertise of a paper-pusher.

An Archer. He pondered while showing her around - bows weren't weapons for back-alley brawls: they were things of outright war - or of cowardice, as was his own. But he'd never advertise himself as an archer. "And I assume you have your own reasons to not offer your talents at long-range murder to the Guild - or to the ruling satrapy." It was a statement of fact, not a question in the slightest - but he was still curious about her reaction.

"Well, this is the -" even in his shamelessness he couldn't bring himself to add "- kitchen" without coughing around it. He stood at the door while motioning her into the abused room: the previous tryouts for cook hadn't been exactly stellar, and he had half an idea to temporarily just cut off the 'food' part of things. She didn't need to know, though - at least not from him. "Feel free to impress me."

The standard he required was very low: in fact, anything that didn't result in a new plague (or a fire) would get the girl the spot she wanted. "And what of your fiery friend?" He casually continued the conversation as she set to work.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:19, Wed 08 Jan.

Bitter Leaf (DS)
 player, 16 posts
 Damage: B0L0A0
 Essence: 13/13+15/23
Thu 9 Jan 2020
at 05:17
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
She does take off her cloak, which reveals the armor, and the transparent nature of the armor reveals she has the tattoos that mark Mara's sorcerers. Also clothes, but they don't quite get everything.

When the Guild is mentioned Bitter almost can't help herself. "The Guild-" she takes a beat though "the Guild is a stain on Creation. The world would be a better place if someone puts an arrow into every last one of them."

"Blaze? So did know you! Umm... A bunch of Dynasts had trashed his fort, and killed most of his best men. He was alive and fleeing when I last saw him so... he should be okay. I hope he's okay. Cooking! Step one is cooking. " tears begin to form in her eyes before she blinks them away. She's obviously concerned with him.

"Okay, let's see..." Bitter takes stock of the kitchen. Its not terrible. She continues to mumble to herself as she begins gathering ingredients and planning. Its a bit weird for her as she's pulling on the information she gained while Exalting. She's suddenly got a lot better at cooking. There is the stuff to make a cake! A spiced carrot cake specifically. She loves cake.

Unfortunately, she's a new Exalt, she doesn't have a great grasp on Essence, and she's trying to distract herself. Thus, she pours her all into cooking. But she does a good job, especially with the constraints.

The process nearly takes an hour. When she finally takes it out of the oven, she does a half spin and declares, And Cake! there is a moment before she realizes something, her aura is glowing. Dim, but that's enough for the brand to glow. She tries to think of something to say-


Wits+Cooking roll. I could also see Intelligence, or Dexterity. If its Perception based we can subtract the last die. Anyway 10 successes!
01:01, Today: Bitter Leaf (DS) rolled 10 successes using 16d10 with the White Wolf Exalted system with a target of 7 ((4,9,5,6,5,8,2,10,6,7, 6,3,10,10,7,1)).

8 motes were spent from the peripheral aura, meaning we go up one evel of anima!

Its a Basic Craft project, it upholds the enjoy self intimacy, has a in game benefit of food. I'm pretty sure it was completed exceptionally well, and thus produces 6 silver experience   

Oaths in Ashe (DS)
 player, 20 posts
Thu 9 Jan 2020
at 19:42
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
Ash's eyebrow twitched. He was a man who could appreciate a glass-and-Jade look on a lady, and WOULD have commented on it any other day. Similarly, on a normal day he would have said something teasingly appreciative about the shadow-inked tattoos.

He half-opened his mouth to do just that as she instead went on to talk about her relationship with the Guild. She surely wouldn't have come to this district without knowing that this was where they were at their strongest, right? "...just as long as the skewered guildspeople don't get traced back to my home." That was still a noticeably cavalier attitude towards murder, but at least he wasn't actively advocating it. 'What's more romantic than this dance of death? take her here, and aid her desires to their inevitable, tragic end! It will be grand, and beautiful, and bloody!'
Having a demon in your head was rarely pleasant, occasionally useful and often a whole lot of issues. Especially if he had a penchant for tragedies, and doubly so if he was pushed into overdrive by the presence of someone so clearly marked by his progenitor.

"I'm sure he's fine." Ash scrambled to get his bearing again - he greatly disliked losing control of the rhythm of conversation, especially if it was voices in his own mind that distracted him. His tried to play that off by grounding the topic on Blaze as he was brought up. "But if you ask nicely enough, I could se-" He swallowed the "-nd a message" part. What was going on now? Was she glowing? An Exalt here? A Solar? Was that the weirdest threat in history, just casually showing off the essence of the Sun while cooking, of all things? He took half a step back. His weapon seemed miles away, and hers just casually within reach.

He was almost ready to just leg it when she turned, cake in hand and beaming like a smiling child. He pointed a finger at her. "You -" Nothing. He was entirely at a loss for words, all his smooth talking a dry well in the desert. To bounce back he just continued the natural motion of that hand, going for cake like that had just been his plan from the very beginning.
For the searing hot, uncut, just-out-of-the-oven cake.

Brain still offline (but with admirable poker face) he broke a piece off for himself, mechanically stuffing his face with it and barely registering the heat in his mouth. "- 'ou are -" he tried to continue, mouth full (and piping hot). It was only when the scent actually hit him that he found himself chewing and tasting. Then chewing some more and finally managing to swallow. "- you're actually pretty good?" The question mark a leftover from an unasked question.
Bitter Leaf (DS)
 player, 17 posts
 Damage: B0L0A0
 Essence: 13/13+15/23
Fri 10 Jan 2020
at 01:30
Oaths in Ashes - Liquid Courage
Bitter Leaf bites back a curse "Uh yeah. Impossibly good. Because of the Anathema thing. Haven't gotten complete control of it. So you cool? Uh, I also made some sort of deal with Mara. Didn't realize the dream was real actually. Anyway...." she takes a bite of the cake herself. "This really is good though! I wasn't this good before." she takes another bite.