Dynasty of Dovak

BY : JohnDoe
Category: +A through F > Exalted RPG
Dragon prints: 2113
Disclaimer: White Wolf, Exalted and Exalted 3rd Edition are all trademarks of White Wolf Publishing AB, and official characters, names, places and text are copyrighted by White Wolf. I do not own Exalted and I'm not making money from this fiction.

High Realm
Old Realm

Our heroes stand facing the mountain trail that will lead them up into the mines.

Reya: "Ganan, why aren't you wearing your breastplate."

Ganan: "It hurts."

Tinkara: "I don't understand the reference. But you'll have to wear that armor. The climb is perilous, it won't support your weight in Bronze."

Ganan grumbles and starts strapping in.

Reya: "How far is the mountain trail?"

Tinkara: "It'll take us about three hours. There's not a trail, as such. The road will lead us to the Shavok mine-"

Ganan interjects: "The WHAT?!"

Tinkara: "The Shaz Vosh mines. The Shaz family has mined copper here for generations, Vosh is the family's current patriarch. They have the... honour of having the holding closest to Tomanas. Rich mines, but dangerous. You've already contended with mountain lions, Ganan, but more dangerous foes await us in the wilds."

Reya: "Why doesn't a more direct road exist?"

Tinkara: "In ancient times, Tomanas would walk amongst the people. He could be found consorting with the royals in the palace, or basking in the adoration of the masses in the temple, or extolling our warriors to acts of great bravery in the barracks. He would only retreat to his cave for solitude rarely, and even then, his most trusted servants could simply fly up to him."

Tinkara gestures to the cave mouth set at the top of a beyond sheer incline overlooking the palace.

Tinkara: "There was never need to forge a road. If Tomonas had wanted one, he would have commanded it. His sanctuary is secluded for a reason. Then, when Tomanas taught my people the Immaculate ways, the seclusion of his sanctuary was considered right and proper."

Ganan, gruffly: "What can we expect?"

Tinkara: "Most of the local gods don't fully understand the Immaculate ways. They might see our journey as heretical, and try to stop us. Others are renegades who have fled to the mountains to avoid the monks, who may attack us on principle. If we're unlucky we may encounter a Striyx, or a bear... but fortunately, the bear-folk live in the jungles -- they can't reach the mines without going through the city, so we're unlikely to encounter them. Tomonas will be glad to see us once we reach him."

The trio set out on the mountain path. The sun is strong and they pass a couple of convoys: local miners from different mines gather together for strength in numbers (to ward away great cats) and bring their ores to the city. Ganan takes the chance to minister to them, and they express their envy that the Princes of the Earth are mighty enough to travel in so small a party. Eventually, they make it to the Shaz mines, where Vosh leads them though his mine and into the wilds that lead to Tomonas.

Ganan takes point, the better to fend off any dangers they come across. They don't get far before being ambushed by a great cat!

Ganan: "What's that on the rocks! Brace yourselves!"

Great Cat spends WP and starts on 6i
Ganan buys 2 successes and starts on 7i (13/22m)
Tinkara starts on 6i
Reya starts on 5i (13/26m)

Sizing up the beast, Ganan holds back, waiting for it to pounce (5i)!

"Get behind me!" Tinkara roughly pushes Reya back, warclub in hand, ready to defend her lover to the death.

The beast pounces, claws extended putting it's all into the kill (Willpower, Ambush Hunter), as Ganan darts forward. Ganan ducks under the beats leap and delivers a punishing blow to the gut, Smashing the beast with his fists (Become the Hammer, Force of the Mountain, 9/18m), it Crashes to the ground, prone (Great Cat -4i, Ganan 19i).

Reya sends forth a wave of flame! The Burning Name washes over the cat, visibly wounding it with horrific burns (2L, Reya 3i).

Ganan 13/19m.

Ganan straddles the beast and grabs at it. Though he successfully gets a hold of the beast (hit, pass initiative roll), the wounded animal fights for its life, refusing to yield to the grapple (Willpower, 9 successes to 8 on control roll). Ganan squeezes, breaking the beasts ribs (putting it on its last -2). Tinkara rushes in and brains the squirming beast, knocking it unconsious, and Reya delivers the coup de gras, putting the wounded animal out of its misery.

Ganan: "We're lucky there weren't more of them."

Tinkara: "What are you talking about, they're solitary hunters?"

Ganan grimaces but says nothing.

The trio walks on, and the terrain gets tougher and tougher. Eventually, they have to make a sheer climb. Ganan forges ahead to find the easiest route and then helps the others up on a line.

On they go until they find the mountain vegetation building up. The path narrows and as they round a bend, they are confronted by an Elemental mass of vines and roots sporting an impressive set of jaws -- a Greenmaw!

Greenmaw spends 1WP for 10i (on 8 dice!!!)
Tinkara 6i
Driving his hand into the very mountain itself, Ganan pulls forth Thunders Crash with a warcry like a peal of thunder! 5i (13/16m)
Reya 3i (13/26m)

Yum. The Greenmaw wants the tasty looking one and lashes out with Swaying Sundew Tongue (75m, 7i). Ganan, knowing full well that he does not want to end up inside a Greenmaw's belly, uses all his skill (11/12m, stunt) to fend off the probing tongue, which he easily batters aside.

Tinkara wastes no time. As Ganan batters away the tongue she seizes her opening, closing in and whacking the beast bodily (which digs in its roots to defend against the blow (71m, 6i). Tinkara's warclub is a weapon of the gods and delivers a powerful swat to the beast's thick hide (Tinkara 11i, Greenmaw 2i).

Not to be outdone, Ganan barrels forward crashing into the beast and setting it offbalance (Ganan 18i, Greenmaw -5i).

Reya sends a wave of flame over the creatures head, but it doesn't uproot (Reya 6i, Greenmaw -7i).

Ganan 13/15m.
Greenmaw 76m.

Ganan Becomes the Hammer, and strikes a telling blow (6B, reset to 3i). The beast twists right into Tinkara who batters it right back at Ganan (3B, reset to 3i). Tinkara takes her eyes off her foe for a moment to smile back at Reya.

Reya takes the opening to launch a gout of flame directly into the creature's mouth (3L, reset to 3i). Mouth burning, the Greenmaw lashes its whip-like tail at Tinkara whilst she is distracted. The slam opens up her guard (-2i) and turns the course of battle in the Greenmaw's favor (4i).

Ganan 13/19m.

Seeking to set the one with the bigger club off-balance, the Greenmaw whips its tail round at Ganan (1 WP), but again the blow is deflected by Ganan's massive tetsubo.

Reya and Ganan attack at the same time. Flame and club batter the Greenmaw (1i), leaving husband (6i) and wife (5i) emboldened.

Tinkara recovered her footing and strikes, Shifting the flow of battle in her favor (4i). She lines up a killing blow on the Greenmaw (0i), but it fails to connect! (Zero success on 9 dice!)

Ganan 13/23m.

As the Greenmaw lets out a bestial hiss towards Tinkara, Ganan bellows "STAY AWAY FROM MY FRIENDS!" and brings his tetsubo down in a Hammering blow which crushes Elemental creature (13/20m). He drives his tetsubo back into the mountain (13/17m).

Reya: "You weren't lying when you said the journey would be perilous Tinkara."

Tinkara, ignoring her and looking at Ganan: "Friends?"

Ganan: "T'was the heat of the moment. My blood was up." *sneering* "Princess."

Tinkara: "Of course, my friend. Of course."

Ganan: "We should proceed in silence. God-Blood. Lest we draw more inauspicious creatures."

The party makes its way on for the better part of an hour (and Ganan refills to 13/22). There is no trail. Not even a goat path. They forge over wild rock, grasses and lichen, leaping crags and scrambling ever upwards, guided by Tinkara's grunts and pointing. Reya and Tinkara hold hands much of the way, grinning at each other as Ganan forges ahead, pretending not to notice.

Then the air thickens. Like a feeling of impending thunder. Three night-black dogs, each larger than the mountain lion which attacked them earlier lope into view. Their paws hardly seem to touch the mountain as they approach in a tight formation which by rights shouldn't be possible. Tinkara does not recognize these wild deities, but they are well known to the Dragon-Blooded.

Reya: "Well met Dogs of the Unbroken Earth." *She bows deeply* "We are humble rangers. We leave no road behind us." *she gestures* "And make no claim, honored and mighty gods, to your wild domain. We merely wish to pass through."

Dog1: "And why should we let you pass through mortal?" *Sneeringly* "This is the domain of gods, your kind shall have no truck with us!"

Reya: *Failed Read Intentions roll. They have Guile 1. 1.* "We are Princes of the Earth. I am Mnemon Alinos Danireya, and I am on Realm business. We seek an audience with Tomonas, as is our blood-right."

Ganan, nodding sagaciously: "We require no escort to your master, stand aside and let us pass."

Dog2, mockingly: "Our master?"

Dog3, mockingly: "An escort?"

Dog1: "Dragon-Blooded. It is thanks to your kind that the miners no longer leave us gifts. That we have been pushed back. That roads lead to the mines in our mountains. Tomonas will fall. Too bad you won't be alive to see it!"

Dog1: (1WP) 9i
Dog2: (1WP) 8i
Dog3: (1WP) 9i
Ganan: (Summon Tetsubo, Full Excellency, 6/21m) 12i
Reya: 8i
Tinkara: 6i

Ganan runs in, Smashing the Third Dog to the ground with his tetsubo (4/17m, 28i, Earth Aura; Dog3 to -1i), despite the dog's best efforts at defense (1WP).

First Dog identifies Reya as the leader of the party and races past Ganan to engage her, snapping her body in his mighty jaws (Grapple, 6 rounds of control, 7i). He shakes Reya roughly from side to side, teeth biting deep into Dragon-Blooded flesh (6L, Reya in -2; Dog1 reset to 3i).

Reya speaks the Burning Name as she tries to bring her shield to bear. All the Hidden Secrets Whisper to her the Dog's weaknesses, as she blasts it point-blank, despite the dog's best defense (12/21m, 18i, 1a, Air Aura; Dog1 on -1i, 1WP spent to raise Parry). Reya starts to glow blue as the wind whips up around her.

"Get the fuck away from her!" Tinkara roars as she charges First Dog, bringing her warclub down in a Smashing attack that knocks the beast prone (Tinkara 16i; Dog1 -12i, Prone, 2 rounds of control remaining).

"Fight me you coward!" Ganan barks at Second Dog, who barrels towards him jaws wide. Ganan plays through the Mountain Strikes Moon Kata, knocking the jaws of the beast shut before it can take hold.

Third Dog rises, unsteadily to its feet, shaking its head to clear it.

Ganan 9/21m.
Reya 13/25m.

From Mountain Strikes Moon, to Moon Sways Mountain, Ganan twirls his tetsubo impossibly, bringing it down in an Excellent strike with the Force of Mountain. The blow incapacitates Second Dog, Jade dispersing its corporeal form (4/17m, 3i).

"Burn." Reya speaks the Burning Name, and First Dog releases her from its jaws as the flames crash over him. Reya shines a bright as the moon, the winds howling off her whipping at the flames (12/20m, 2a, Air Aura, 3i).

Before it can rise, Tinkara brings her warclub down on First Dog, shattering its skull (3i).

Third Dog snaps at Ganan, who fends off the blows performing the kata of Earth Dragon Style, yet despite Ganan's Immaculate skill, the blow lands. And without his Skin of Bronze, the blow is telling. God-teeth sink into mortal flesh, Ganan gives the barest grunt of pain as the grip on his tetsubo slackens for just an instant (Initative Shift! Ganan -2i, Dog2 17i). Second Dog gives no quarter and bites down, hard, Fangs of the Hunt striking true (7L, Reset to 3i).

Ganan 4/13m
Reya 13/24m

"Ganan!" Reya cries as she almost starts toward him.
"No, stay back!" Is Ganan's sharp response as he wrestles with the God, determined to keep it from harming the woman he loves. Reya waits, holding back to see what will happen (Delay, 1i).

Tinkara pays no heed, rushing in and knocking the God to the ground, her smashing attack bounces harmlessly off the Dog's hide as she drives it into the ground.

Second Dog sees this isn't winnable and starts to Hurry Home, its form dissipating before their eyes.

Ganan delivers a punishing blow to the prone Dog God (6i, -4i), and Reya unleashes a stream of fire (3i, -5i.)

Ganan 9/13m
Reya 13/24m

Ganan (5B), Tinkara (2B), and Reya (1L, 13/22m, 2a) all deliver desperate last blows on the last God Dog as it slips away from them, borne back to its sanctum to plot revenge for its fallen friends. Ganan holds his tetsubo aloft and banishes it into his anima, returning to dim (9/6m).

Both Ganan (7L, -1) and Reya (6L, -2) are badly wounded.

Time passes as they trek on (Ganan: 13/7m; Reya 13/26m), the company proceeding in grim silence. The dangers if the mountain have yet to harm Tinkara, but she is under no illusions of divine protection. Eventually, she breaks the silence.

Tinkara, quietly: "Thank you for trusting me. And fighting beside me. Truly the Dragon-Blooded are the greatest of warriors."

Ganan, quietly: "Would that that were true. We have faced down beasts, Elementals and Gods this day, but individually the Anathema are stronger still. Our strength lies in numbers. Much as your miners travel in groups. We should have brought the children."

Reya: "They are needed to guard the fey. We'll make it. Though next time, we fly up on the back of Elementals."

Ganan looks to the sky. A bird is circling them. Not a Striyx. Too small. But big enough. The bird notices Ganan, noticing it.


Eagle: (1WP) 4i Medium range from the ground
Ganan: (11/3m) 8i
Tinkara: 6i
Reya: 3i

Ganan draws back a javelin and sends it flying into the sky. The eagle contemptuously weaves to one side and the spear sails past harmlessly.

Tinkara rushes to Reya's side, ready to intercept the bird as it careens straight towards her.

The eagle Rushes toward Reya, on the mountainside, there is no escape from this aerial foe (2 success to 3).

As the eagle draws in Close Reya lets fly another gout of flame as she raises her shield, again the eagle dodges.

Ganan 13/6m

Closer target now, Ganan lets fly with another javelin, but again the bird twists in the sky and it sails by harmlessly.

Tinkara keeps Reya protected, club drawn back and ready to swing.

The eagle launches a Death Dive on Reya, but Tinkara intercepts the blow. Talons rake at the God-Blood, drawing blood (1L, -0).

As feather and claw swamps the princess, Reya lets loose with the burning name -- once more listening to Hidden Secrets Whispered. Flames engulf the bird, scattering its attacks (Crash! Reya 13i, Eagle -1i).

Ganan: 13/11m
Reya: 13/25m

Reya turns the flames to roast the bird, setting it alight (2L, reset to 3i).

Ganan walks up to the bird and reaches into the fire. Crushing it in his mighty grip (Grapple, Decisive Savage, 3B, 3i, 11/7m).

"Hold it still." Tinkara inhales, and exhales on the swing. As Ganan holds the bird steady, her warclub does the rest.

Tinkara: "Where did that come from?"

Reya: "I think the real question is 'who did it come from?' There's no way a lone bird of prey attacks three humans. We don't look that close to death!"

Ganan: "It didn't attack until it saw we had noticed it. It was tracking us."

Tinkara shudders but nothing more is said, and they carry on.

Tinkara: "It's not far now. Over this rise there's a crag, like two crossed swords. We enter the cleft and it puts us in a network of caves. We follow that down, and we'll enter Tomonas' sanctuary from the back."

Ganan: "I sense something. A spirit is near."

Tinkara: "Tomonas?"

Ganan: "No. It's immaterial." *He pauses and tastes the air.* "There on that turn. Exactly where we have to pass." (11/4m)

Reya: "Come on. We'll get closer and examine it in our bracers."

Ganan nods and the party approaches a narrow vale in the rock face. When they reach the area Ganan pinpointed the spirt to, they are cast into darkness!

Mortwright: (1WP) 6i
Ganan: 7i (9/0) Blind
Tinkara: 6i Blind
Reya: 3i Blind

With a Spirit Grounding Shout, Ganan Becomes the Hammer and Strikes with the Force of the Mountain, slamming his fists in a Smashing attack where he had pinpointed the spirit (2/0m, Earth Aura, CRASH! 23i; Mortwright -4i).

Unable to see their foe, or strike at spirits, Tinkara braces herself for whatever there is to come!

Reya listens to the Hidden Secrets Whispered, and with her own Shout, lets fly with the Burning Name... but not being able to see where Ganan had knocked the ghost, her blow goes wide (13/18m).

The Mortwright, it's work done, immaterially sinks into the earth where the Dragon-Blooded cannot follow, Disengaging and eventually Withdrawing.

A low moan fills the gloom. "What is that!" Yelps Tinkara.

"The Dead." Comes Ganan's grim response.

Zombie Scale: 5i, Size 2, Magnitude 12

Two dozen zombies shuffle into the darkness. Our heroes are beset on all sides. Ganan and Tinkara fend off the shambling creatures, but their attacks rake Reya (2i).

Ganan: 7/0m
Reya: 13/18m

Ganan smashes out into the darkness. He can smell his foe, hear their shuffling gait... but he can't see them. He calls upon his years of discipline (1 WP), martial arts skill (3/0) and lays waste to the dead in the dark. Blow after blow fells one foul creature after another and the horde reels from his mighty fists (13B, reset to 3i, Crash bonus 8i).

Encouraged by a foe she can fight, Tinkara presses the advantage and dispatches the remaining zombies. The trio emerges from the darkness, the Mortwright fled.

Tinkara: "I need... I need a minute. To rest. To..."

Ganan: "We don't have time. You fought well. We need to press on. To reach Tomonas. We can rest there. Regroup. Fly back to the palace. After we have our answers."

Reya: "These mountains are not known for the restless dead. This was an ambush, meant for us. Do you think it was set by whoever sent the eagle?"

Tinkara: "Living beasts and dead men make a strange combination. The eagle I lay at the feet of the bear-folk -- they make strange alliances. But the dead? Our ancestors used to placate the dead, before the Immaculates came, but not even the bear-folk are inhuman enough to raise them. The dead are unclean to them. Eletha's woodlands were haunted by its victims, perhaps this is the fey's revenge against us?"

Ganan: "Did you not say that most of the fey's victims were found alive? Soulless?"

Tinkara: "Damning proof then! These are the souls it stole!"

Ganan: "These were bodies. If Eletha were our necromancer, it wouldn't be letting the bodies of its victims wander the woods. It would raise them as zombies."

Ganan and Tinkara hold each other's gaze for a heartbeat, then two. The God-Blood blinks.

Tinkara: "Maybe. I bow to your wisdom Prince of the Earth. Here's the cleft. Careful it's wet. We climb in, and down and we're there."

The three climb into the cave, and enter... the domain of Tomonas.

Ganan: 3/5m, -1 Wound Penalty (7L)
Reya: 13/23m, -2 Wound Penalty (6L)
Tinkara: -0 Wound Penalty (1L)

[Day 4 - Evening]

Ganan buys an Ox-Body Technique, Heart-Hardening Meditation and works on training Stamina 2 and Bone Crushing Strike.

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