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.

Session 14 – Reya (40XP 32DX, 36/29 spent) – Two problems


“The hearth is shattered.” Ganan turns and walks out.


Nula snaps her eyes open, “Did he just-”


Muli sighs, eyes still closed, “Leave him. We don’t need him.”


Reya takes a moment to compose herself, she inhales and exhales, “He needs time to cool off. So do we all. Get some rest. I need to see Tinkara.”


Muli smiles but says nothing. Joints aching, Reya pulls herself up and makes her way into the Tower of Air. Tinkara is still with the royal physicians. Reya gestures at them, “Get out.”


The physicians look to each other, bow deeply, “Honored Prince of the Earth, we are sworn-”


“Get. Out. Now.” Wind whips around Reya as lightning crackles in her mouth. The physicians pick up their tools, and leave hastily. Tinkara just looks down at the ground. “Tell me.”


Tinkara says nothing, but silent tears begin to fall.

“Tinkara. The Anathema looks more like you than your father does. And you called him something. Oka. 'I’ll talk. Convince.' Melody was telling me the history of your kingdom, your brother left the kingdom seventeen years ago because he wasn’t convinced of the superiority of the Exalted. Your best troops are dead. My family will take days to recover. I know that you know something. If you care about me at all. If you care about the kingdom at all. Then you’ll tell me everything. So… tell me.”

Tinkara wipes her face, “You learned Riverspeak?” She gives a half-smile.

“Tinkara.”


Tinkara takes a deep breath then lays her warclub in her lap. She refuses to look up from it but begins to talk: “Since time immemorial Tomonas has watched over these lands. His children (blessed with long-life, beauty, wisdom and might) have led the people to glory. Then, your Realm started expanding. Pushing north into the Scavanger Lands, taking the cities to the East. Your Immaculates preached to Darios, who welcomed the Realm here. My brother Yochanan was born, then me. We converted the old temple. Grew up. Welcomed a Satrap. But Yochanan… he never really accepted the faith we were born into. According to the Perfected Hierarchy we are inauspicious, condemned by our parentage, and our proper place is working in service to the Dragon-Blooded. Yochanan was ready to accept a Satrap, giving us advice on how to run the kingdom wisely. He wasn’t ready to accept that we were inferior.”


“And this led to him becoming an Anathema, how?”


“Yoch… challenged a Dragon-Blooded, seventeen years ago. To prove that we were just as powerful. Just as worthy. It was Ragara Haseti. He was new to the kingdom. None of us really knew what the Exalted could do. The fight wasn’t even close. Haseti humiliated him. Yoch, he might have been willing to accept that we were inferior… but... he had a son. My brother loved his son, wouldn’t accept.” She takes a long breath, “Yochanan ventured into the jungles to find a way to increase his son’s power. He… blasphemed against the natural order. I followed him. I saw what he tried to do to little Oka. The child didn’t… couldn’t have survived. Yochanan was heart-broken, he left the kingdom in disgrace. But, that Anathema… I swear, I haven’t seen my brother in seventeen years. And I hadn’t seen Oka since that night either… until this morning. The Deathknight is my nephew, I know it.”


Reya sits beside Tinkara and takes her hand, “I know this is hard. But you have no idea where Oka has been for the past seventeen years? How to find him? How to beat him? Weaknesses? Who’s his mother?”


Tinkara shakes her head, “I don’t know. I was sure... I was sure he was dead. Mother? Oka’s mother died in childbirth. It’s… common with our bloodline. Mortals can’t contain the power.” She snorts and shakes her head. “I don’t know anything else.”


Reya helps the wounded Tinkara into bed.

The next morning, the Dragon-Blooded and Tinkara assemble to discuss the disastrous Wyld Hunt. Melody and Muli treat the assembled Dragon-Blooded’s wounds. They take count of their forces: the Mnemon troops are essentially untouched, but whilst there are plenty of Dovaki troops remaining, they’re mostly green conscripts. Fortunately The fay that menaced the traders have been essentially destroyed and the forces of the dead are probably diminished: the Dragon-Blooded have claimed two Mortwrights, two war ghosts, and over a thousand zombies. The Nephwrack is badly mauled, though their Anathema is still at large. The bear-folk threat, however, is still a present danger, small raids and skirmishes are an on-going problem, and Eletha’s cryptic warning that there is more to the threat than meets the eye hangs heavy on everyone’s mind.

 

Reya and Ganan keep most of what they know about The Gift of Merciful Silence to themselves, sharing only details of his combat prowess, caste and capabilities. The Dragon-Blooded break and Reya walks into the courtyard by herself to summon Yipyip.

“Blood of Ragara and Blood of Cynis. You wish me to take you to Tomonas?”

“Wait, Ragara and Cynis?”

“My master chose me for my perception. I am well versed in taking the measure of all my riders. And knowledge of get of my master’s father is a part of my nature.”

“Haseti’s… father? Haseti taught you who was a Ragara based on his father’s blood? Not his mothers?”

Yipyip bobs in what Reya takes to be a nod, and flutters distractedly, “Any who share the blood of Ragara Haseti’s father, within three generations, may call on me to bear them. Your husband was related but too distantly. But you, and your children, may call on me.”

“Thank you. Please wait a moment.” Reya sets her voice on the wind, “Mother, would you please come to the courtyard garden.” She then calls her daughter. Within a minute or two Alinos arrives.

“What is it, daughter?”

“I need you to test a sorcerous binding. Yipyip, does my mother meet the criteria of your binding?”

The agata turns, spins, brushes up against Alinos, kneels and folds in its wings, “She may ride. As may her children.”

“Thank you mother, I know you must be very busy.” Reya curtsies, and Alinos blinks and leers at her for a moment before throwing her hands in the air and leaving, shaking her head.

Nula arrives, and Yipyip confirms that she may ride but is three generations removed. Reya dismisses the demon and her daughter, and goes to seek out her grandmother. Whilst looking for Nanals, Reya receives a summons from the Satrap, who is calling together her advisors.

 

Bekara, Alinos, Nanals, Sahar, and Reya assemble in the Satrap’s quarters in the Wall:

“I have gathered us here,” Bekara begins, “To assess our situation.”

“With respect, Auntie,” Reya says, eager to get her grandmother alone, “Didn’t we do that this morning?”

Bekara, unfazed, replies curtly “This morning the Dragon-Blooded discussed where we are now. Now, as Satrap, I wish to consult with my advisors on what to do next.”

Sahar speaks up, “We have received word from our allies. Mnemon acknowledges our situation as does Lookshy.”

Reya, politely, “What exactly does that mean, what did Mnemon say in response to our request for a Wyld Hunt.”

“‘Noted.’”

“‘Noted’?” Reya repeats, bewildered.

“As you know, our Matriarch was attacked by Anathema herself in Jiara. She has deployed the great strength of the House Legions to take Jiara, which leaves precious little left to project strength this far east. Between these walls, I have been briefed as to her strategy: she has been able to take the capital with little difficulty, thanks in part to the use of some innovative firedust-based siege weapons, and now she plans to take the three remaining major settlements simultaneously. This will crush the rebellion, and free troops for us.”

Reya smiles politely, and through her clenched teeth, “Jiara is a thirty day march away. I know. On account of having made that march only a week ago.”

Sahar flounders and looks to Bekara for support. Bekara speaks, “My second cousin, your aunt, is leading the assault on Daric, which is not as far. But there is no telling how long that siege will last. With the… publicity of the campaign in Jiara, it would be unwise to count on support from grandmother arriving anytime soon.”

“And is Lookshy’s… acknowledgment as utterly bloodless?”

Nanals speaks up, her voice is quiet and measured, “Amilar Zochu can spare us no troops. Between the danger of Thorns and Anathema sightings in the River Province, they have no forces free to march south to us. He has promised to spread news of the Anathema to mercenaries and Immaculates alike. And to raise our plight with the General Staff.” She spreads her hands in a shrug.

“Dovak has,” Bekara gives a wily smile, “Two problems. Beastmen and the Anathema. How do we advise the king?”

“Ragara Haseti had the right idea,” Reya begins carefully, “We play our enemies against each other. We know the bear-folk think the dead are unclean, and with the dead burned away, we can guess that the Anathema will be looking to raise a new army. If we move quickly… perhaps we can convince the bear-folk that the Anathema is the greater threat?”

Nanals lays a hand on her grand-daughter’s back, “That, my dear, would require pin-pointing the location of the bear-folk city. Something which has eluded us since the Realm first came to Dovak. If we can’t find the bear-folk, how do we make overtures to them?”

Reya thinks, “We’ve got maps. I’ve seen mothers. And the scouting reports from the Dovaki Guard. If we pool our knowledge, maybe consult with Tomonas, perhaps we can find it?”

Reya can tell her elders are hiding something. Both Alinos and Bekara are clearly uncomfortable with this idea, but Nanals is positively beaming at the suggestion. Regardless, they can’t come up with a reason not to share what they know. They summon Melody, Tinkara and Billowing Willow Smoke. Alinos fetches her maps of the area and lays them out by Bekara's. Bekara and Alinos’s maps are clearly both of the same area, but the annotations and Dragon-lines are wildly different. Melody and Willow mark both sets of maps with the findings of the patrols. The Dragon-Blooded are unreadable, but Tinkara looks puzzled.

Reya speaks in a low voice, “Thoughts?”

Tinkara quietly gestures at the maps, “Your mother’s map matches what I know of the kingdom’s geomancy. We don’t make maps like this,” she gestures, and makes a flapping motion with her hands, “But... you can see the convergence at Eletha’s woodland. The flow of water essence with the river. How the lines of power all come to rest at the palace. The Satraps maps are wrong. Eletha’s demense is missing, the palace sits on only a single Dragon-line, and the river is marked with… fire? Essence.”

Reya studies both maps. Every attack from the bearfolk seems almost random on Alinos’ maps, but is on a dragon-line according to Bekara’s map. Whilst Alinos’s map shows the palace should sit on a demense but doesn’t, the lines converge closer to Tomonas’s sanctuary on Bekara’s, somewhere in the mountains. All of the beast-folk attacks are from the direction of the jungles, never from the mountains where the dragon-lines converge. There’s also a clear pattern of escalation with bear-folk attacks growing more frequent and their forces more numerous. Cross referencing both maps, Reya makes a note of several possible locations in the mountains.

 

Meeting concluded, the assembled women disperse, but Bekara keeps Reya behind, stopping her questioning Nanals. Bekara begins tutoring Reya in the finer aspects of bureaucracy and the economy of Dovak.


[Day 8 – Night]

Reya spends 3DX training Bureaucracy 1 and 8XP on Opening The Mind's Gate.



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