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 16 – Reya (45XP 36DX, 36/29 spent) – End of Chapter 1

Melody (40/32)

 

Our trio of warriors are led down into the City of the Bearfolk. The construction of the buildings seems broadly similar to that of the Tower of Air: various towers of faux jade are laid out in geometric mandala patterns. The streets are wide, easily able to accommodate Clapper and the bearfolk escort without disrupting normal traffic. The city is large, easily twice the size of Dovak, but seems sparsely populated.

 

Bearfolk civilians scurry away from the warriors as they are led to a central tower, larger than the rest. Though the gate into the tower is wide enough to accommodate Melody’s mount, the bearfolk indicate that she should dismount and they are led inside. Leaving Clapper and Crown of Laurels outside, the Dragons are led to a grand throne room.

 

Seated upon an enormous throne of gold is a broad shouldered, mighty looking bearfolk warrior, perhaps just past his prime, he looks more bestial than most of the bearfolk the Dragons have encountered thus far. At his side is a tall, scared woman, her dark hair is pulled back in a severe bun, but apart from her bear-like ears she looks like a normal mortal. A fine brass torc adorns the woman's neck. The escorting warriors withdraw, there are no guards. The man begins to speak in Dovaki, and after a line or two, the woman starts to speak more loudly in Riverspeak:

 

I am the Prince of Ursa Arcus – the City of the Bear. And this is my most trusted advisor. For years your Realm has wanted nothing but to suppress our gods and rob our mountains – our peoples locked in a bitter war, which we did not start. We will accept your surrender and allow you to withdraw from the City of Tomonas.

 

Not surrender. Peace.” Reya locks her fingers together, “Together – peace.

 

The man on the throne laughs and hawks a large wad of spit on the ground. The woman speaks again:

 

What possible reason would we have to ever make peace with the Realm?

 

Anathema.

 

The man and woman exchange a look, the man then grunts and starts speaking in Dovaki again. The woman lets him speak half a sentence then starts speaking in Riverspeak again:

 

We do not fear the shadows nor attribute any power not of the Dragons to demons as the Realm does. The Anathema are your concern not ours.

 

Melody bows deeply, once to each of their hosts:

 

Wise and noble Prince of Ursa Arcus. There are many in the East who think as you do. Let the Realm deal with the Anathema, whilst we watch our own kingdoms. And it is true, even, that the Lunar Anathema have been known to nest among beastfolk. I would say that the Lunar Anathema whisper lies to the beastfolk, poisoning them against the Realm. Others would say the Lunars are champions to the beastfolk. But we do not speak of Lunar Anathema. This is a Deathknight. Likely journeyed here from Thorns. A necromancer who defiles the dead to set them against the living. The Realm has killed many of your warriors, true. We kill them, then lay the bodies to rest. This is not a matter of the Realm against the Anathema. Or the Dragons against the Bears. It is the living against the dead.

 

Their hosts consider this and quickly converse with each other in Dovaki.

 

Do you have proof of this?

 

Reya spreads her arms, palm up and slowly approaches: “We are three. Not an army. We came in peace. Seeking alliance.

 

Even so, it could be a trap. A fanciful tale of the dead designed to lure us from safety. Why lay siege to us, across rough terrain, here where we are strongest, when you could lure our forces out to your ally Eletha’s shadowland and murder our forces there?

 

Eletha is dead.” Melody says simply, “Killed by the dead. The Keening Shriek of Mother’s Love Lost – the Nephwrack led a force against us and killed Eletha. You know the dead are strong here. You attacked us when half of Dovak was put to sleep – we suspect the Deathknight was behind that particular bit of sorcery.

 

Reya adds, “For years, House Ragara has defended Dovak. They are treacherous. They make pacts with the dead against the living. No more. Now House Tepet defends Dovak. Tepet and Mnemon, honorable Houses. Warriors. Builders. Peace.

 

Very well. An alliance against the Deathknight. Ursa Arcus will stand by you against the forces of the dead. We will take your measure and see how honorable you are. But let us be clear, this truce is a ceasefire not peace. Once the dead are dealt with, then we will reevaluate our position.

 

Reya bows, “Wise Prince.

 

Melody adds, “As we are here, perhaps you would permit us to walk your fine city. We are… humbled by its splendor. Your home is quite magnificent and we would see more of it. Under guard, of course.

 

This is acceptable.” The woman steps forward, she gestures to herself, “I will guide you. You may call me Mishra.

 

Mishra shows them around a small part of the city. The bearfolk seem to live well, the city is remarkably intact and the markets seem well stocked. The bearfolk population is much larger than the Realm had estimated, anticipating a roving, tribal clan of nomads – instead it seems to be as large as the human population of Dovak. The Dragons see several shrines to Tomonas, as well as numerous other gods (Reya and Ganan recognize the Dogs of Unbroken Earth and Mallory among other heretical iconography).

 

Mishra regales them with tales of battles long past, when the humans and bearfolk lived together in peace and fought against many enemies – most of the stories involve Eletha as the villain. As dusk falls, the city starts to glow in a pale blue light, the stone from the towers lighting up in a dim aurora. Mishra sequesters the Dragonblooded together in the stables with Clapper with the promise to send a delegation with them back to Dovak in the morning.

 

The quarters are modest, to say the least, but dry and comfortable. The Dragons sleep in shifts – lest they are murdered in their sleep and replaced with Anathema. At first light the Dragons and a small contingent of bearfolk warriors set back off for Dovak via the mountain paths. Melody watches them carefully – it is clear they are as unfamiliar with the route as the Dragon-Blooded are, but they travel without incident back to the Tower of Air and announce their success in negotiating a truce with the bear-folk.

 

Alinos and Bekara confess little luck in locating the Nephwrack and the Anathema – the heart-rot tree is clearly a gateway to the Underworld, but there is reluctance to follow them to the land of the dead. The Dragon-Blooded agree to fortify Eletha’s woodland, and Ganan leaves to with one of the bearfolk to help raise battlements against the dead.

 

The bearfolk agree to patrol the jungles and woodlands and report activity of the dead back to the Dovaki – providing they cease military action against them and send no further expeditions to their city. The Satrap and Alinos are clearly uncomfortable with this alliance but acknowledge the need to stand together against the dead.

 

Melody restocks and resupplies, then has a touching moment with her son. Reya speaks with Nula, who suggests that a first age city is likely the real reason why they have come to Dovak – and they wonder what treasures it may contain. A messenger finds them both – whilst finding quarters for the bearfolk contingent, Ragara Haseti’s room was searched: something has ransacked Haseti’s room and revealed a hidden compartment that Agoram and Ganan missed when they searched the room. It’s unclear exactly what was taken, but judging from the ruined wards and protections it was something of great occult power.

 

As night falls, the Dragon’s reflect on what they have achieved (all their old enemies are either dead or allies), what they have discovered (about themselves and why they are here), and what challenges are yet to face them (not least among them, an Anathema – mighty in sorcery and in combat)

[Day 10 – Night]



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