ATL Exalted

A Rose by another name...

The Circle arrives in Chiaroscuro on the heels of the information from Forge mistress’s journal, though it is quite out of date. After looking around the city and learning of the Undercity where her goal would be located, the Circle set out to determine where to look and how to gain access. They learn of a local god called Grandmother Bright who was said to know a great deal of First Age knowledge, and would be willing to share, for a price. Seeing no other option, the Circle visits Grandmother Bright in the Plaza, a few blocks of homes she call homes and protects fiercely. They see the clean streets and well kept houses and the mindless thralls maintaining it all and realize she is not to be trifled with. Grandmother Bright meets them with caution and immediately recognized them for Solars. She proceeds to lecture them on their failures in the First Age. Eventually she agrees to help them in exchange for removing a local problem.

She directs the Circle to an area in the city with still standing First Age glass towers, now the residence of the Kilmoran merchant house. The storehouse they seek is under the streets in that area, however the only access leads through a broken essence station that once powered the subways. She tells them a Forbidden God has taken up residence in that station and their payment for her information is to remove this menace from Creation. The Circle agrees and asks a few questions about their target.

The Circle heads to the Kilmoran area and discovers a school for teenagers has been setup onto of the original entrance to the underground tunnels. Unwilling to brazenly destroy the school to get to their goal, the Circle looks around and decides to purchase a small bakery/deli a block away with their large amount of funds created through illicit means. They promptly bring in architects to being expanding the store’s basement and they soon break into the roof of a subway tunnel under the shop. After equipping themselves for a stroll through the darkness, the Circle jumps down the hole and follows the tunnel North toward the essence station.

At the station they find the remnants of the Forbidden God’s cult. There are only a handful of worshipers left, the rest had been slaughtered very recently and brutally. The God is nowhere to be seen, but it’s essence effects can be detected by Grepthar. The Circle quickly engages the cultists, and after a long fight, with Ursa taking some serious injuries from the cult champion and his great hammer, the enemies are dispatched. The God chooses that time to appear. It is a Leech god, over 10 feet long with vestigial human limbs and a face. Grepthar quickly shoots the God in the human face while it is inmaterial using his charms. The god materializes and takes a large bite out of Grepthar in revenge, but not before another arrow spears him. Mako finishes of the God, now that it is materialized, and it breaks down into raw essence and disappears.

Nursing their wounds, the Circle presses on, aware that someone may have beaten them to the weapons storage. The find the storeroom covered in a layer of green crystal glass. Everything is covered by it, from the floors to the walls to the ceiling, even the unfortunate soldiers and Dragon Blooded who were fighting in the room so long ago. Unfortunately they are not alone in here, and almost run into an undead hulking abomination carrying away a large essence cannon encased in green glass. After looking around, there are more of the creatures, and led by an old friend from the North, the Abyssal Rose. They have never met face to face before, but it was evident she knew of them even back then. She is directing the abominations to break off and take the First Age weapons. She brought along a Dragon Blooded convert who directs her attention to a glassed figure of a woman, who other than the Forge mistress. Rose carves a message for the Circle who she knows is coming soon and leaves with her pilfered goods. The Dragon Blooded, Alamar, decides to stay behind and destroy the encased Solars.

Ursa takes this opportunity to sneak behind him and plan his axe solidly in his back. The young man falls on his face and is held down by Ursa. Rose quickly returns upon hearing Alamar’s scream but stops short at the sight of the Solars. She gives a cryptic smile and thanks the Solars for their efforts to locate this cache for her and hopes they will meet again. She then turns around and runs off with her goods leaving Alamar to die. In no condition to give chase, the Circle interrogates the Dragon Blooded who reveals Rose has a ship in harbor waiting to take their goods back north. Instead of killing the young man, it is decided to hand Alamar over to Grandmother Bright.

Rose did a good job pilfering the storeroom, however she did overlook one weapon, an Implosion Bow, which Mako sees much potential for. They also find the Forge mistress does indeed carry three hearthstones, which hopefully will power the factory. In addition, they discover Requin, the previous life of Grepthar, frozen in time in a green glass prison. The Circle decides to ship both of them and the weapon in Mako’s ship back north hidden in crates. Now the only question is how to stop Rose and her stolen cannons. She likely means ill for the North.

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Voyage Home

The Circle leaves the Undercity bloodied and bruised, but very indignant that Rose got away with a set of Essence cannons. Once back above ground, Mako sends a score of trusted sailors to pack and move the goods they discovered onto his ship. The Dragon Blooded they captured is thrown onto the ship under lock and key. The Crashing Wave was easily found in dock, and their crew looked like they were getting underway to sail soon. After some debate, it was decided to sabotage their rudder to slow their ship and allows a sea boarding to inspect their cargo.

Both ships set sail and Lady Quicksilver caught up a week later with the Crashing Wave. In that week Grepthar had removed the Implosion Bow and mounted it to their ship in case of boarding action. The Wave’s captain and crew were armed for combat, but Mako requested only to look at their cargo. Through Mako’s charm, the captain of the Wave begrudgingly agreed. Down in the hold, Mako and Ursa found three large crates, sealed and unmarked. The ship captain didn’t know what was in them, he was only paid to deliver them. Mako opened all three crates and found two will junk, but the third had a bloated body with tubes and liquid bottles tied into it. Sounds of bubbling and gurgling could be heard from the body. They get a plank placed and lift the crate, no resealed, and start carrying it out. Unfortunately they accidentally dropped the box back into the hold where the body inside explodes and releases a black sludge that quickly dissolved all it touches. The Crashing Wave received severe damage to its hull and began sinking. The captain cursed at them but refused Mako’s offer to come to his ship. The Wave dropped longboats and most sailors abandoned ship, a few were rescued by Mako.

Escaping from Rose’s trap, the Circle returns to the North and the Palace of Shaping Air. They install the 3 hearthstones and bring the factory to full power. The Director informs them he will need time for repairs if the Zephyr is to be completed well. He is given the go ahead after first producing a communications orb and an artifact gun for Mako. Using one of the hearthstones, the factors is shielded and illusioned. So it will take about 6 months to get up to speed and finish the airship.

In the meantime, the Immaculate order has visited Bear town but left without much problems it seems. However weeks later the head of said monk is delivered with a note from Rose that she took care of the problem for them. In Whitewall the body of the monk was found nailed to the city walls. The Syndics warn Ursa they will not be able to help in this matter as they are neutral in Realm affairs. Mako quickly distances himself from Ursa in hope he can affect change from the outside. The Circle now preps for a confrontation with the Realm, in what form they don’t know.

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The Immaculate Order's Visit

Upon returning home, the Circle hears that a delegation has arrived from the Realm. It was lead by an Immaculate monk with a small group of armed escorts. Asking around town and the local Immaculate temple, the Circle learns the delegation has been asking around about the many towns west of Whitewall, and in particular if they have seen any Anathema.

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