Dynasty of Dovak

BY : JohnDoe
Category: +A through F > Exalted RPG
Dragon prints: 2114
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 24 – Reya (65XP 52DX, 64/47 spent) – Privileges of Rank


Reya and Nanals have Stormwinded up the mountain to check on the mines.

 

The first mine they check on has been abandoned, as has the second. Nanals walks Reya through the scene as she checks for clues.

 

On their way to the third, Reya speaks, “So what exactly is Lame Louve’s domain anyway? Why do these people worship you?”

 

Nanals shrugs offhandedly, “Vengeance mostly. Scorned lovers. That sort of thing.”

 

Reya shakes her head in disgust, “How could you lead these people so astray?”

 

Nanals simply sighs and gestures that they have reached the next mine.

 

In the third mine they find signs of a struggle: blood splattered on the walls, mining tracks turned up, tools laying discarded.

 

“This looks promising.” Nanals announces and starts to head into the mine, blade drawn.

 

“Stop!” Reya calls out, “We should move on to the next mine, look for survivors.”

 

Nanals casts her a withering look, “We’re here to banish ghosts child, not to baby-sit mortals.”

 

“The ghosts,” Reya explains patiently, “Will be hunting the mortals. The mortals here are clearly dead, which means the ghosts have moved on. We can waste our time looking where the ghosts have been, or we can proceed to where the ghosts are going and head them off.”

 

Nanals considers this, “Hmm. The Honest mine then. It’s the most fortified.”

 

Reya motions for Nanals to lead the way and they speed on to the Honest mine. As they approach they hear the sounds of conflict. Zombies hammer at a crude barricade, shambling slowly round as the Dragon’s fly up on their dust devils.


Nanals waves a hand, and Obsidian Butterflies cut the zombies, driving them to the ground. Reya speaks the Burning Name and blasts away the remaining zombies.

 

Reya dispels her Stormwind and starts clearing the barricade. Nanals follows to find the miners inside wrestling with materialized hungry ghosts. Reya and Nanals batter the ghosts, easily saving the miners.

 

Pick, battered and slashed, falls to his knees in front of the Dragons and motions for the other miners to bow down. The Honest family crowd behind Pick, supplicating themselves with their heads to the ground. The other miners present alternately take a knee, or otherwise kneel, clearly unsure of the proper protocol but grateful for the rescue. The assembled survivors are clearly more numerous than just the Honest family, but whilst Reya is no expert she hopes this isn’t all the survivors.

 

Reya looks down at Pick, “I assume you’re in charge here.” She begins, and noting the complete lack of understanding she activates Language Learning Ritual, “Are you in charge?

 

I am Pick, patriarch of the Honest family. This is my family. We are protecting our neighbors to the best of our ability, great one, but I would not presume to be in charge in the face of…” He looks up at Nanals and Reya, “Such greatness as yourselves.

 

Reya notes that Pick’s gaze lingers longer on Nanals than herself, “Yes is fine. Which neighbors aren’t here? We need to find survivors and kill the dead.

 

Despite the gravity of the situation, Pick chortles, “Kill the dead?” He catches sight of Reya’s ‘I’m in no mood’ face, “Of course Déesse. The ridge miners must be holed up with Vosh. Further down the mountain is Rushing’s mines, the Kiln said they tried to stop there first, but found them embattled so they came here.

 

Reya nods, “I assume you know where that mine is?” She addresses Nanals as she strides out of the mine.

 

Nanals whips up a new Stormwind Rider and they blast off for the next mine.

 

The Rushing barricades have already been over-run when the Dragon’s arrive. Noises come from inside, but they’re not the noises of combat. Reya races in, a zombie is trapped, pinning to a wall by a mining cart. She dispatches it quickly. The living area is awash with blood and ichor. Mutilated bodies have been stacked to one side, irreverently piled up for a necromancer’s attention. Reya burns the bodies to ash with Soul Fire Cremation Technique and turns to leave, when a scraping sound catches her attention.

 

“Who’s there?” She calls out, “Show yourself!”

 

Reya approaches a cot, and pushes it out of the way, revealing a small hiding hole. Inside a filthy child cowers. Reya extends a hand and drops to one knee. She softens her voice, “Come out child, you’re safe now.”

 

The child looks up at Reya “Are you the princess?” She sniffs in River-tongue.

 

Reya kicks herself internally and responds in the girl’s language, “I’m Reya. I’m one of the princess’s friends from across the Inland Sea. You are safe now. What is your name?

 

Rushing Stream. My father…” She gestures at the ashes where Reya burnt the bodies, “They’re all gone.


Reya helps the girl up, she looks about eight, her dirty hair crudely cropped short. “Then this is your mine now.” She lays a protective hand on the girl’s shoulder. “We’ll take you to the Honest mine with the other survivors.” She leads the girl outside to Nanals, “Run Rushing Stream here back to Pick and the other survivors, then meet me at the Shaz mine. Then we sweep the tunnels.”

 

Nanals takes the girl and races her back up the mountain, whilst Reya casts her own Stormwind to proceed to the Shaz Vosh mine.

 

Reya surprises herself that she arrives before Nanals, like with the Honest mine zombies menace barricades. Reya spends burning fire into the zombie pack, drawing them away from the barricades and out into the daylight. Reya easily stays ahead of the pack and is blasting the last of them as Nanals appears beside her. They enter the mine together, and hear Vosh call to them from behind the barricades in his heavily accented High Realm, “Danireya, Exalted One, is that you?”

 

“Yes, it’s me. And my grandmother. The Satrap sent us. Are you alright?”

 

They see Vosh’s face as he clambers up to look at them from a hole in the barricade, “Yes, Princes of the Earth, our mines, so close to the realm of the spirits have salt wards. I have diligently maintained them since the time of my grand-father’s passing oh Great Exalted Déesse.”

“Are there any other survivors with you? The ridge miners?”

 

“Many of them. Some fell coming here. They are safe with me.”


Nanals huffs, “Well that’s something, but it won’t save these old feet. We need to flush out the remaining ghosts.”

 

“There are miles of tunnels under the mountain how do you propose we-” Reya stops, “You want to use these people as bait.”

 

“Well...” Nanals turns a palm to the sky, “Not these people. Pick can provide a wounded mortal or two. Unless you have a better idea?”

 

Reya pinches the bridge of her nose in frustration, “Vosh, keep your people behind the salt line.”

 

She and Nanals turn to ride back to the Honest mine.

 

“So when was the last time you were here, daimother. Before the Dovaks took power, obviously.”

 

“Obviously.” Nanals looks off to the horizon, almost as if struggling with a painful memory, “I was… much younger. Exploring the world. Getting out from under the expectations of my mother.” She drops her voice almost below the volume of the dust-devil beneath her, “And searching for lost treasures.”

 

“You must have left some impression for the locals to still worship you after all this time. Pick is quite enamored. You’ve bewitched these people, daimother, and led them from the proper path.”

 

Nanals snorts derisively, “What proper path? The Realm taking food from the mouths of their children at the point of a sword? Much nobler than accepting prayers freely given.”

 

“You know that isn’t fair!” Reya snaps, Stormwind bucking wildly, “We don’t ‘take food from the mouths of children’! The Realm helps the Satrapy’s grow. Is there one improvement in this land since you were here that isn’t the result of the Realm guiding these people?”


“Is there one problem you’ve fixed since being here that wasn’t caused by us?”

 

Before Reya can retort, Nanals is dismounting and striding into the Honest mine. Which is just as well, because she can’t actually think of a retort. She follows Nanals in.

 

The miners are huddled in a circle, weapons drawn looking fraught with worry and badly battered.

 

Thank Tomonas you are back!” Pick exclaims, “Are Vosh and the ridge miners safe?

 

They are safe. Vosh has salt-wards.” Reya reassures, Pick pulls a face as if to say ‘of course he does’.

 

Little Stream, come here girl.” Nanals calls out, her tone the very model of a Dynastic matriarch. Rushing Stream pushes her way out from the huddled masses. With a flick of her wrist, Nanals rakes the girl with her whisper thin sword. Stream drops, Reya and the miners catch their breath but as Reya starts towards the girl she begins to sob, clearly still alive and only superficially hurt. Nanals turns to Reya, “Ride her through the mines. The blood will draw out any hungry ghosts. I’ll stay here and guard this lot.”

 

Reya faces up to Nanals, but her grandmother is inscrutable. And powerful. And terrible. They lock eyes with a heart beat, then two.

 

Fine.” She spits through clenched teeth, and gently she wraps an arm around Stream and leads her out past the Honest barricade. Carefully, Reya calls up a Stormwind to carry the pair through the mine. They don’t have to go far before the first hungry ghosts start to appear. Stream clutches desperately to Reya as she blasts the ghosts with fire, burning them away and stopping to dispose of corpses as they find them.

 

Eventually they return to the Honest mine. The miners are all asleep and Nanals stands vigil over them. She gives Reya a look as if challenging her to say something.

 

“I think I got them all.” Reya says instead, gently encouraging Rushing Stream forward as Nanals prods Pick and the closest miners awake with her foot.

 

Nanals kneels by the child and vines flash out from her anima, stitching closed both the wound she inflicted and the scrapes suffered by the attack of the dead and healing her instantly. “Well done Rushing Matriarch: you have been of great service this day and we will report your bravery to the crown.

 

The waking miners start to dress their wounds and organize themselves as Nanals and Reya head back to Dovak.

 

“How is your guest doing, daimother?” Reya asks on the way back.

 

“I don’t like to micro-manage. She will get job done, I have every confidence.”

 

The pair ride back to town in silence.

 

****

 

Reya begins training Geese-Flying-South Adminstration (10XP) and Investigation 1 (3DX).



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