Dynasty of Dovak

BY : JohnDoe
Category: +A through F > Exalted RPG
Dragon prints: 2279
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 41 – Reya (115XP 92DX, 75/59 spent; 18SP) and Melody – Sister-In-Law

 

Realm Year 768, Present Day

 

Reya looks down of Urza Arcus from her tower in the Palace of the Bear. Having claimed Mishra’s old quarters for herself, she has a spectacular view of the caldera city. She fingers the Collar of Dawn’s Cleansing Light about her neck and muses on the deal her aunt made with the Lookshyans: if they helped to conquer the city, they could leave with whatever they could carry. As it happened, they didn’t need to carry a lot.

 

Urza Arcus’s wealth was staggering, even by the standards of the Realm. The elder of every tower had worn a Collar of Dawn’s Cleansing light. Troves of weapons, whilst no true artifacts had been found the blades were lighter and sharper than even Realm steel. Dozens of lesser artifacts like the Yassal Crystal now wielded by her husband, or the Resplendent Satchel of Healing claimed by her sister-in-law had been found horded in the Palace. Other… trinkets had been uncovered in the towers furthest from the city’s entrance – the far side of the city. For a couple of days work, the Lookshyans had walked away with treasure enough to retire on. Reya had no reason to stop them.

 

The once prosperous “Far Side” of the city was now the bearfolk slum. She had Ganan round up some Dovaki and build walls and checkpoints, and corralled the native bearfolk population into that quarter. Urza Arcus had been underpopulated, the entire city fit within that quarter. Not easily, but well enough. The copper veins that run through-out the mountain were just as rich here, and the Far Side was set their daily mining quotas. Reaper, the new Prince of Urza Arcus, remained notionally in charge of his conquered people: seeing that the copper was delivered and any artifacts handed over.

 

Reya had found a particularly beautiful collar: not the standard green jade which she now wore, nor the Anathema’s Orichalcum (as worn by Melody) – this was a string of purifying pearls. Reya had tried to give it to Tinkara to smooth over the… unpleasantness. It didn’t go well. Tinkara threw the pearls at her in a rage. Reya had given the pearl necklace to her husband instead. Ganan wore it without complaint or comment, he’d just thanked her and kissed her cheek. What couldn’t Tinkara be more like that?

 

Reya thumbs other the collar in her hands. She’d found it in Mishra’s room and knew at once what it was. She wasn’t that desperate. Tinkara would come around.

 

Brightsky had come through for Dovak surprisingly quickly once credit had given way to priceless treasures from the First Age. The city that had been razed by The Gift of Merciful Silence was well on the way to being rebuilt. Each of the Alinos had been given a tower in Urza Arcus (even Nanals had her own tower), and, in the fashion of the Empress, Reya had appointed them rooms in the palace as well. If Bekara or Alinos had objected to Reya claiming Urza Arcus for herself, they’d not felt confident enough to raise those concerns out loud.

 

The bulk of the treasures had been indexed and sent home to the Blessed Isle: a record had been sent to Mnemon. Nula, Muli and Jorod had been sent on that particular errand: Reya had summoned three vast flying elementals to bear the treasure to the Jiaran ports and sent the children laden with enough wealth to start their own kingdoms. She knew they each had good reason to return, and return they had (no doubt having skimmed some treasures for themselves).

 

A knock at her door interrupts her thoughts, Reya goes to the door and opens it to see Gracious Pealing Melody waiting for her. She embraces her, “How is my favorite sister-in-law?” Reya asks with genuine warmth.

 

“Nauseated.” Melody replies, “But I’ve got to say,” She points at her collar. “These things really work.”

 

Reya laughs, genuinely, “Yes, they do.”

 

“Same the beds aren’t enchanted.”

 

“You’re Dragon-Blooded. Take one of the bearfolk out of the pen to use as a maid.” Reya grins.

 

Melody draws a deep breath, “Actually that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. This city is your conquest, no-one disputes that. And you’ve been more than fair to the family and to your allies.”

 

“But?” Reya asks, her mirth evaporated.

 

“Corralling the bearfolk. Making them mine. Using them as unpaid slaves. It’s inhumane, Rey. You’ve had good reason to base yourself here – no-one disputes that, or all the good you’ve done for Dovak – but you are an advisor to the Satrap. Looking down on your city of slaves from your high tower… it’s not a good look, babe. Give the bearfolk some breathing room, and come back to Dovak with me.”

 

Reya’s eyes narrow, and her face takes on the countenance of a storm, “Say what you mean, sister.”

 

Melody puts her hands in the air, “You’re my Matriarch. My loyalty is to you first, and then the Realm. But if you want me to say it, I’ll say it – you look like a crazed Anathema, and I’m worried you’re about a day away from commanding the bearfolk to worship you as a god.”


Reya turns and looks back out the window. “Alright, I’ll come back with you. Did you bring Clapper?”

 

Melody nods an affirmative.

 

“Then I guess we’re going back the long way.”

 

****

 

Reya and Melody ride over the mountains and through the Shaz mine. The mountain path is now beaten into a crude road: once Dovak is repaired, Reya makes a mental note to see this path properly set in Realm fashion.

 

Melody gives a small silver coin to one of the younger Shaz miners who crosses their path. Despite the vast wealth in goods, Urza Arcus did not possess much in the way of coinage, and the purchasing power of the Dragons remains much what it was. Still, Melody feels obligated to give something.

 

“We should call in on Pick.” Reya suggests, “Ask after daimother.”

 

Melody shrugs and spurs Clapper up the mountain for the Honest mine. Reya notes the hardened blocks of salt set into the entrance of the mine and baring access to the living quarters as they arrive and dismount.

 

Honest Pick is hard at work, but immediately drops to his knees on seeing the Dragon-Blooded, “Queen Danireya! Exalted Melody! How can your unworthy servant assist you, mighty ones?

 

Reya smiles kindly, “Please rise, noble servant. My grandmother is still missing: I know you are her faithful servant. Do you know anything that might help us contact her?

 

Melody is a little taken aback by how much Danireya’s Riverspeak has improved, but she doesn’t comment.

 

Pick stands but bows, doubled over at the waist, “Regrettably I have not seen,” He swallows, obviously finding it hard to speak of his goddess casually, “Your grandmother, since the both of you graced my humble mine with your presence to see off the ghosts.

 

That reminds me,” Reya asks, “How does the girl, Rushing Stream, fare?

 

Pick rises from his bow, then bows again, “Your grandmother showed the girl great favor. I’ve taken her under my protection and the Rushing fortune flourishes.

 

Reya nods, “Good. Thank you Honest Pick, it’s been a pleasure as always. Carry on.

 

As they leave the mine, Melody asks, “Want to stop at the Rushing mine?”

 

Reya shrugs, “Sure. I trust Pick, but I trusted Nanals so...”

 

Clapper descends the mountain and they stop at the Rushing mine, Reya sees Stream barking instructions to various men, including some Honest boys. She seems to be doing fine. The Dragons do not dismount, and ride on back to Dovak.

 

Ganan has lined out the city in grid format, rebuilding in ordered rows parallel with the ambient Dragon-lines. Construction proceeds as planned, most buildings are finished. The unordered sprawling tenements have been replaced with ordered stone buildings, purpose built to meet the needs of the citizens, and wide open roads to accommodate Clapper. A lesser architect might consider the job already complete.

 

They ride up to the Wall and dismount, then proceed to the Satrap’s quarters. Bekara, Sahar and Ganan are pouring over the new maps of Dovak. The Satrap is seated, Sahar and Ganan stand, flanking her. Crown of Laurels slinks by Ganan’s feet, and Reya catches sight of a bound, dematerialized agata hovering above Ganan, and an immaterial neomah by his side.

 

“-goes right here.” Ganan finishes pointing at the map, he looks up and sees Reya and Melody and smiles broadly at them.

 

Bekara looks witheringly, “Danireya, an unexpected pleasure.”

 

Danireya bows, “I’ve been acting like a crazed Anathema and shirking my duties to the Realm. I see the rebuild is well in hand.”

 

“It’s less a rebuild and more a start-over. Ganan had us knock down buildings untouched by the fire to realize his vision.” Sahar looks at Ganan admiringly.

 

Ganan shrugs demurely.

 

“Just go with it,” Melody advises, “City is a lot nicer now.”

 

Bekara hands Reya a letter, despite her normally stony demeanor the Satrap seems to be beaming as she does so, “Congratulations.”

 

Reya opens the letter, with Melody reading over her shoulder:

 

Dearest Great-Granddaughter,

 

Your aunt and mother have written glowing recommendations and with the successful hunt of the Anathema and your heroic conquest of the Lost City, I have recommended that they return to the Blessed Isle. The Satrapy of Dovak, therefore requires a new Satrap and, given your expertise, I have no reservations on appointing you.

 

Gracious Pealing Melody will serve as your Garrison Commander. Tepet Agoram, Cynis Ganan, and Mnemon Alinos Nula will serve as your official advisors. Your fourth advisor is on-route from Jiara with the official papers for your appointment.

 

As the Blessed Isle continues to drift rudderless, it is more important than ever to remember the value of family.

 

With Greatest Expectations,

Your Grand Daimother,

Mnemon

 

Melody whistles, “Promotions all round.”

 

Sahar practically squeals with delight.

 

“When will you be leaving?” Reya asks politely.

 

“Your mother has already confirmed the details with Mnemon via sorcery, I understand your parents are packed and ready to leave. As soon as your fourth advisor arrives, Sahar and I will also depart. I should like some time to arrange a Captaincy for Jorod before he joins us on the Blessed Isle: I presume Ferad will be staying with you and that this will not represent an imposition?”

 

Melody gives a short bow, “Whether my husband stays or returns to the Blessed Isle is his decision to make, but either way it will not be an imposition.”

 

“If I may impose?” Reya cuts in, addressing Bekara, “I know that Mnemon Sahar is eager to return to civilization,” She nods at her cousin, “But her knowledge of the Satrapy is exceeded only by your own. A brief, transitory period where she instructs my new advisors as you both instructed me would be invaluable.”

 

Sahar’s good mood evaporates, “We’ve discussed this mother.” She implores the Satrap.

 

Bekara leans back in her chair, “We’ll review when Mnemon’s messenger arrives with the transfer orders. If it’s an experienced, properly educated advisor then you will return with me. If it’s a more… novel appointment, then you’ll stay and see to their proper education until I’m ready to send for your brother. Is that all?”

 

Reya bows, “If there’s nothing you require of me, I should see that everything else is in order.”

 

Bekara dismisses them with a wave, and Ganan mouths that he’ll catch up with the pair later. Laurels plods out the room, following at Reya’s heels.

 

Once they’re outside Reya turns to Melody, “Ferad might go back to the Blessed Isle?”

 

“Of course not!” Melody laughs, “He’s staying with us. Jorod too. Haven’t worked out the details for that yet.”

 

The pair make their way to Alinos and Johon’s room. The elders are already packed up and ready to go. Alinos addresses her offhand, “Oh you’re finally back. Mnemon’s letters arrived yesterday. Your father and I were just about to go.”

 

“You’re going to leave with Nanals still missing?” Melody blurts out.

 

“My mother once stepped out for some air on my fourteenth birthday. I had just Exalted. I didn’t see her again until my graduation from the Heptagram. I’m sure she’ll show up.” Alinos fusses with Danireya’s hair to straighten it.

 

“We’re reasonably confident that daimother unleashed an unbound Demon of the Second Circle and was sucked into Malfeas.” Reya delivers, matter of fact.

 

Alinos nods, “Yes, well, wouldn’t be the first time. Glad I’m not the Satrap who has to clean up after that. You girls will be fine. Write me if you need anything.”

 

“We could use your troops.” Melody takes advantage of the opening, “You and Johon brought more soldiers than anyone else. Dropping down to just Ferad’s guards is going to hurt us, especially as Lookshy knows how much wealth we were sitting on and the bear-folk aren’t exactly pleased with the current state of affairs.”

 

“Hmm.” Alinos considers, “We’ll leave you a Wing and increase your stipends.”

 

Danireya curtsies, “Thank you mother.”

 

“This is an excellent proving ground for the both of you,” Alinos remarks, “Using the bear-folk to make up the lost mining income is inspired. A more constrained mind would have put them all to death and squandered a resource. Keep up that sort of thinking and you’ll make an excellent Satrap.”

 

She dismisses them with a wave.

 

“You want to procrastinate seeing anyone else, or are we going to go tell the Dovaks?” Melody ribs.

 

“I… don’t think that’s a good idea.”

 

“You don’t think it’s a good idea to tell the king that the three most powerful Dragon-Blooded in the kingdom are leaving, including the Satrap, and that you’re going to be serving as the new Satrap?”

 

“I just don’t think we should do it together.” Reya says levelly.

 

“Come on, we’re doing it now.”

 

Reya drops to one knee to pet Laurels, then they head for the Tower of Air.

 

The Mnemon guards wave them up to the court room. Darios sits on the throne with Tinkara at his side. As well as the Mnemon guards, the Dragon-Blooded note that there are young Dovaki – raw recruits – guarding the royals as well.

 

“King Darios,” Reya beings, “You may have noticed some activity from my family over the past day.”

 

Darios Dovak raises a hand, “Satrap Mnemon Bekara has informed the crown that she may be leaving. I confess, I had hoped the Realm would send… someone new to replace her.”

 

Reya gives a short bow, “I’m sorry to disappoint. Melody, Ganan, Agoram, Ferad, Nula, Muli and myself will be staying. Jorod will be taking a short vacation with us, and who knows – he may fall in love with your kingdom.”

 

“If that’s all. There are pressing matters of state that require my attention.”

 

Reya turns and mutters to Melody, “Come on, let’s go.”

 

“No, this is bullshit!” Melody makes a scene, “Reya has saved your kingdom over and over again. And so have I, unless you’ve forgotten me shooting Mishra in the god-damn neck to save your life princess!” She jabs an accusing finger at Tinkara, “You’ve got not right to be pissy at us because we caught your favorite elemental red-handed helping the Anathema who burned the city to the ground!”

 

Melody remember how I said I didn’t think it was a good idea to do this with you, come on.” Reya starts to pull Melody out of the throne room.

 

“Wait!” Tinkara calls.

 

Reya stops, her heart hammering in her chest, she lets go of Melody’s arm.

 

“This isn’t about Tomonas.” Tinkara says, and Reya’s heart sinks. Tinkara looks queasy then vomits forth a massive spray of wriggling maggots in the middle of the court room.

 

“Come on.” Reya says as she drags Melody out of the tower.

 

“What the hell, Rey!” Melody says, “Is that going to happen to me if-” Melody feels nauseated.

 

“Yes.” Reya turns to face Melody, “Yes it will. So don’t.”

 

“You cursed the princess? And pissed off the local gods?” Melody shakes her head, “No wonder they want someone else.”

 

“I was sleeping with the princess. I involved her in my most secret plans. Just because I love- just because you care about someone, that doesn’t stop them from betraying your secrets. Magic does.”

 

Ganan walks up to the pair. “Construction is going well. Sahar hates you. Jorod seems oddly pleased. How did they take it?”

 

“They’re not happy. They wanted someone else.” Reya says simply.

 

“The princess vomited maggots all over the floor!” Melody adds chipperly.

 

Ganan’s eye’s narrow, “What. Did. You. Do?”


Reya squares off to her husband, “How much detail do you want?” She stares him down.

 

Ganan looks away, “We’re not your enemies, beloved. But relations with the Dovaki won’t improve if you’ve cursed the royals.”

 

“Believe me, relations won’t improve if I un-curse the royals.” Reya states sincerely.

 

“Anyway,” Ganan continues, “We have a problem. An Imperial Magistrate just turned up at the Wall, demanding to see the Satrap.”

 

Melody raises a finger, “Technically, that’s still Bekara.”

 

“And Bekara has imprisoned the magistrate and wants to kill her – that’s the problem.”

 

Reya shakes her head, “Murder of an imperial agent? Sounds uncharacteristic, Gan.”

 

“The magistrate is investigating Mnemon Nanals on charges of infernalism. Apparently Alinos is convinced that Nanals unleashed an unbound second circle demon on Creation then disappeared, so naturally…”

 

“Okay, I get when Rey cares,” Melody points at Ganan accusingly, “But why do you care? You don’t want Nanals exposed. This sort of expedient solution is exactly your kind of thing.”

 

Reya sighs, “It’s Cynis Jinabar isn’t it?”

 

Ganan shrugs apologetically.

 

“I should have just stayed in my tower…”

 



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