Exalted: Tales of the Nighted City

Fall of the Satrap
Campaign History, Part 21

Early morning of the fifth day of the Festival of Great Spirits, Shadow Scorpion was awakened in his mansion by the blind fortunetelling bird. The bird held the tile from his cage labelled “Danger.” Shadow Scorpion gathered his weapons just before two demons materialized and attacked. He was skillful enough to escape them through stealth and lead them down to the Dark Waves Brotherhood underground lair. With numbers on his side, Shadow Scorpion easily destroyed the demon assassins.

Meanwhile, Mambu was awakened by a thudding sound in the Ivory Bastion. He found First Wisdom out front thrashing a guard dog spirit from Perfect Loyalty’s sanctum. The dog spirit had tracked Mambu by scent but failed to avoid First Wisdom. He went to Kabar to tell him about the attempt to track him down.

In a dream, Kabar was once again tempted by Ninth Handmaiden of Dust, but, thanks to an artifact crafted by Mambu, he was ready. He trapped the Handmaiden in the dream and interrogated her. Kabar learned that the Handmaiden (or more accurately, her master the Deathlord called Mask of Winters) believed the heroes to be in possession of a might weapon that could change the course of history. She offered to ally with the heroes and help them end slavery, using this weapon together, but Kabar refused. When asked about her whereabouts, the Handmaiden said she was very far away but still close.

The dream ended and Mnemon Karn called for Kabar. Outside the school a Prasadi army demanded Kabar be turned over for inciting rebellion, theft of property, and suspicion of being an Anathema. They announce if he gives himself up, all within will receive amnesty, but if they resisted the army would burn the school down. Kabar and the Unchained fought rather than surrender. Kabar killed two Dragonblooded officers and the Unchained routed the Prasadi.

The three heroes met together and deduced Perfect Loyalty and the Satrap together were behind the attacks. Dark Waves operatives informed Shadow Scorpion that the Ceremony of Loyalty had started and that all nobles had been required to attend. The heroes decided now was the time to make the final move on the Satrap and reinstateTan Khari. Infiltrating the Ceremony of Loyalty at the arena, they found the children of the nobles being kept as hostages. The Satrap, with Ivory Monkey at his side, gave a speech about loyalty and telling them he would be sending the children to Kamthahar to be “tutored,” implying they would be killed if the nobles of Champoor acted against him. Kabar revealed himself and introduced Tan Khari as the last heir of the Sultan. At Tan Khari’s direction, Kabar entered into a duel with the Satrap, but his Dragonblood bodyguards immediately joined in, as did Mambu and Kabar. After a climactic battle, the Satrap and his bodyguards were finally killed. Ivory Monkey escaped in the confusion.

Outside, the Unchained had defeated the Prasadi elite guard. Tan Khari and the heroes continued to the palace to retake it. The palace guards fortified their position and Subtle Purpose cloaked them in shadow to help them. Kabar forced the spirit to materialize and Shadow Scorpion successfully threatened the god into abandoning the Prasadi. The heroes’ forces broke into the palace. Their plans was for Tan Khari to sit on the throne and enforce the ancient pact between his bloodline and the Court of Night. However, the group was immediately intercepted by the elemental water dragon Zu Ko Roth.

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Liberating the Isle of Grain
Campaign History, Part 20

Leaving the sanctum of Perfect Loyalty, the heroes startled a temple acolyte who ran to tell his superiors of the glowing anathema. Golden Jug intervened and knocked out the young priest. Golden Jug was pleased the heroes were able to follow his advice and pull one over on Perfect Loyalty. The group left the temple and found the area in the midst of celebration, including an elaborate dance with unmarried woman. Vapor was pulled into the dance and became engrossed in discussion with his partner.

Back at the Ivory Bastion, Mambu was able to summon the ghost of his ancestor and have him recant the contract with Perfect Loyalty. He then destroyed the tablet, ending the contract with Perfect Loyalty forever. Before departing, Mambu’s ancestor told him about the nature of the underworld, and how it was ruled many different Deathlords, some of who are setting their sights on expanding into the world of the living.

That nightthe Ninth Handmaiden of Dust attempted to seduce Kabar through his dreams. He was able to resist but awoke feeling drained. He discussed with Mambu ways to safeguard his dreams against intrusion. Shadow Scorpion received a letter from an operative of the Guild, a massive trade organization that is looking to ally with the Dark Waves Brotherhood and take over Ekos’ place in Champoor and the southwestern region.

In the morning on the 4th day of the festival, Shadow Scorpion’s people had ships ready for the assault on the Isle of Grain. The heroes along with an intelligent blood ape named Winston that Mambu had summoned and Kabar’s army set sail and arrived at the island in a few hours. The house Ekos guards were not eager to fight and retreated from the superior force. The heroes found the slaves in their sleeping pins, but they were too drunk to effectively make an escape, having been given an excessive amount of rice wine by their masters. Kabar realized it was a ploy and that their arrival had been anticipated.

Ekos Togosh, the leader of his house, arrived with a large army of mercenaries and three Fair Folk warriors. He said he’d been warned the Isle of Grain might be the next target of the abolitionist forces, and he was there with his “unconventional allies” to end them once and for all. The forces clashed and the Kabar led his Unchained to victory over their oppressors. Ekos Togosh was captured as a prisoner and the Fair Folk elites were killed.

Returning to Champoor, they began to make preparations to gather the loyalists on the final day of the festival. However, Shadow Scorpions contact discovered that several younger members of the noble houses had gone missing that day, including Argent Hawk and Rose Path.

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Festival of Great Spirits, Days 1-3
Campaign History, Part 19

Retreating from the conflict with Ninth Handmaiden of Dust, Hateful Carapace, Prophet of the Sunless Sky, and Ivory Monkey, the heroes moved through the Dark Waves Brotherhood tunnels back toward the Ivory Bastion. Surprisingly, Vali Brilliant Snow met them in the tunnel.

Brilliant Snow revealed that she enchanted a compass to keep track of Mambu and his state of being because she realized how important he was to changing fate of Champoor. The group continued to Bronze Ledger’s mansion where Brilliant Snow treated their wounds. Mambu recovered enough to use his own healing skills as well. Brilliant Snow pledged herself as an ally against the satrap, going against her mother and most of her family. She agreed to send books from the Thrice Blessed Archive to aid Mambu’s research. Mambu examined her compass and concluded that he could replicate the effect using Ninth Handmaiden of Dust’s blood as a focus.

While the group recovered, Dark Waves spies brought word that the city is once again gripped with fear of the Anathema. Rumors spread that Ivory Monkey was attacked by Anathema, and strangely Shadow Scorpions attempt to spread a rumor about Ivory Monkey working with Anathema has completely failed. The spies also say that Ivory Monkey and his aids have left the city. Ashen Atani brought similar news, though none of contacts agreed on when Ivory Monkey left for Kamthahar or by what means, which she found odd.

With Brilliant Snows books, Mambu was able to devise and enact a treatment for the mindless tiger men who had been previously captured. He summoned a demon harpist who played a song of recovering lost memories and, using a drug that linked their consciousness, he repaired the mind of one of the tiger men from within. He saw in the tiger man’s memories growing up in a tribe of others like him, hunting and fighting in the jungle, and being captured in battle with the Fair Folk. Mambu also saw glimpses of the Eldest of Wounded Earth, the same mystical tree from Vapor’s dream-memory in which he hid a page of the Labyrinthine Mind. The tiger man fully recovered and swore to repay the debt he owed for their returning him to his mind. He told them where to find them in the jungle to the north and left.

The first day of the Festival of Great Spirits, the Day of Growth, began. The Nine Venom’s Clan arrived at the Unchained facility and the challenge match began. Vapor and Mambu intercepted and interrogated a spy who was trying to find evidence of the Unchained and Ka Bar’s disloyalty to the satrap. They successfully intimidated him into reporting back that the Unchained were a normal school. Meanwhile Stone Ox did well against the Nine Venom’s champion until they gave him an illegal stimulant called Dragon’s Ichor. Mambu noticed its effects and informed Ka Bar, who stalled the match with a long speech, letting the Dragon’s Ichor run its course. Stone Ox won the match and the Nine Venom’s Clan left in shame and defeat.

On the Day of Mystery, Shadow Scorpion ensured his gang was giving proper reverence to Subtle Purpose, as his patronage was key to illegal activity in the city. Ka Bar went to discuss strategy with Tan Khari but found he had left the Ivory Bastion. Organizing a search party, the found the young sultan observing the palace from a distant, considering the weight in human lives his uprising would cost. Though perhaps too headstrong, he showed himself to be thoughtful and to have a keen strategic mind.

Ka Bar and Vapor investigated the villa that Ivory Monkey had been staying at. It had been cleared out and no traces remained. However, Ka Bar uncovered a message left by one of the servants, possibly Karos Lyna, stating that the “advisors” had some kind of control over Ivory Monkey and they had likely eaten three other servants. A brief interview with a Prasadi guard captain also revealed that the honor guard who had been assigned to the villa had been killed, but the heroes had not done that.

On the Day of Order, Mambu and the group prepared to infiltrate Perfect Loyalty‘s sanctum. Using the stolen coin of offering and the knowledge that Perfect Loyalty would be at a ceremony in his honor, they entered the sanctum. After a brief fight with guardian dogs, they searched the throne room for Mambu’s contract. They successfully recovered it, as well as the house Vali contract, a vial of oil of the mountains, a jade dog statue, and an orichalcum arrow.

On the way out, the group encountered the sanctum itself given form. They battled this entity and destroyed it, allowing them to escape back to the real world. Now Mambu can finally perform the ritual to break his (and Brilliant Snow’s) contract with Perfect Loyalty.

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Assault on Ivory Monkey
Campaign History, Part 18

One month after the fall of Bronze Ledger, the heroes are moving their plans forward. Shadow Scorpion integrated what remained of Bronze Ledger’s gang and took up residence in her mansion. Ka Bar finished training the Unchained, making them a fearsome force. Mambu completed sorcerous workings to bind magic into his armor. Vapor continued to hunt for information onIvory Monkey, but things were suspiciously quiet. Now approaches the Festival of Great Spirits, a local five day celebration that honors the Court of Night and the Satrap.

Mnemon Karn gleefully revealed to Ka Bar that their school had been formally challenged by a minor martial arts school in Champoor called the Nine Venoms Clan. They accepted the challenge and chose to hold the tournament in their dojo at the beginning of the Festival of Great Spirits. Investigations revealed that the Clan loves to use poison and is likely using this challenge as a way to boost their own reputation.

Shadow Scorpion met with Ashen Atani, the informant within the House Ashen spy networks who had previously worked with Bronze Ledger. She agreed to continue her arrangement with Shadow Scorpion and provided him with the exclusive intel on the noble houses and the Prasadi. Her report revealed the Satrap has been sending messages back to the Prasadi capital Kamthahar seeking aid against the Anathema, but so far his requests have been denied since the rulers do not believe him. Also of note, Ivory Monkey had quietly arrived in Champoor weeks ago and was staying at a villa in the Royal District. Three strange advisors arrived with him.

While drinking with his friend in the portion of the Bronze Ledger mansion Shadow Scorpion allowed him, Mambu was visited by Golden Jug. The spirit dropped hints about the real nature of the Festival of Great Spirits and that Perfect Loyalty would be attending a ceremony on the day dedicated to him, one of the few times he would be out of his sanctum. Shadow Scorpion and Mambu formulated a plan to infiltrate Perfect Loyalty’s sanctum during this time to steal the contracts that bound Mambu’s family in service to the god.

When the heroes gathered at the Ivory Bastion to discuss their plans, Tan Khari announced his plan to reveal himself to the public and start his revolution during the festival. The heroes and his advisors corrected some of his naïve assumptions about the people coming to his aid, but they agreed to set up a meeting with Jahar and the other loyalist to make real plans to return the heir to power.

The heroes decided that they would help Vapor get his vengeance against Ivory Monkey sooner rather than later. Wearing in the traditional masks of the Festival of Great Spirits, they made their way to Ivory Monkey’s villa. His “advisors” were a young woman in a mask, a hulking figure in black rusted armor, and a pale intellectual in a fine black cloak. When Ivory Monkey adjusted the mask of one of his servant girls, Vapor was shocked to discover the servant was his wife’s sister Karos Lyna, who he thought had died with the rest of her family.

Seeing no reason to wait, Ka Bar sprang into action and the fight began. The advisors quickly revealed themselves as more than strange characters: the woman was Ninth Handmaiden of Dust, and her companions, Hateful Carapace and Prophet of the Sunless Sky, were cut from the same cloth. The battle was bloody and explosive. Prophet of the Sunless Sky called forth a kraken of living magma, and Hateful Carapace engaged in brutal hand to hand combat. When Mambu was knocked unconscious and the Handmaiden disappeared into the shadows, the heroes realized, for the first time, they might not win this fight. Ka Bar called for the retreat and carried Mambu to safety. For some reason, Ivory Monkey and his friends did not pursue.

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"Did Someone Just Throw a Scorpion at Me?”
Campaign History Part 18

The group of mercenaries outside the House of Obedience were led by Ekos Crimson Tempest, eldest son of the leader of the family. He recognized Ka Bar in his “Green Lantern” disguise as the person behind the recent rash of slave-freeing. Crimson Tempest stated that the Court of Night heard his prayers and delivered his enemies to him. To prove how Zu Ko Roth favored him, he summoned a rainstorm that gave him an edge in battle.

“Edge” or not, 20 seconds later Crimson Tempest was dead and his mercenaries scattered before the heroes. Following through with the plan, the heroes took the freed slaves to a Dark Waves safe house Shadow Scorpion had prepared. Ka Bar gave a speech about the fight against slavery and Saba vouched for his leadership and compassion. Only about 15 of the group were old enough to serve as members of the Unchained army, but others joined the support staff. About 50 remained at the safe house until a way can be found to move them safely out of the city to better lives or back to their families.

That night, Mambu decided not to drug himself to avoid dreaming. In his unimpaired dreams, an angry Perfect Loyalty demanded that Mambu present himself in person at his sanctum so they could discuss a more stringent contract. Mambu did as he was instructed the next morning and was led to the door to Perfect Loyalty’s sanctum, accessible only by the high priest of the temple of the Court of Night. Once Mambu was bodily in the god’s sanctum, Perfect Loyalty demanded he sign a new contract forcing Mambu to serve him in the physical world one day of every month. Perfect Loyalty revealed that he was an old god who served the cruel Primordials in the time before the Exalted. Mambu refused, and seeing that Perfect Loyalty was wary of the Solar Exalted and the Unconquered Sun, successfully intimidated the god into backing off his demands. Perfect Loyalty released him but said they would discuss the topic again. Mambu noted that his family’s original contract was there in the sanctum.

Mnemon Karn discussed with Ka Bar his newly opened school. Under the pretense of keeping an eye on heroes, he asked to join the school as a teacher. He was happy to return to work that he loved, sharing his knowledge of the martial arts with attentive students.

That night the heroes finally moved on Bronze Ledger while the bulk of her forces were out guarding a large shipment coming in on the docks. Breaking though the most secure part of the gang’s facility with a blood ape, the heroes attacked the main force and shredded it. Some members of the gang escaped the bloodbath, and Ka Bar’s impassioned speech paired with a logical offer from Shadow Scorpion (“you should be loyal to the Dark Waves Brotherhood, not Bronze Ledger”) convinced them to switch sides.

Led by intel from these new recruits, the heroes found the occult laboratory of the sorcerer who had been sending living shadows after them. The sorcerer was prepared and summoned seven shadows to protect him while he fled through an escape hatch. Mambu eviscerated him with a well-placed Death of Obsidian Butterflies, and Ka Bar and Shadow Scorpion dealt with the shadows.

After following the escape hatch (which led to the gang’s storage area), the heroes overheard the arrival of Bronze Ledger and her main force. Peeking out of the door to the storage room, Shadow Scorpion chucked the vial containing a manticore (which he found on the Fair Folk they killed in Sleeping Man) at Bronze Ledger. In shock, she picked the small creature off her face. “Did someone just throw a scorpion at me?” she asked before the creature mutated to full-size and began slaughtering.

Bronze Ledger’s forces managed to put down the beast after suffering heavy losses, which was when the heroes decided to strike. The battle was brief, and Bronze Ledger did not survive long. Shadow Scorpions gang now controlled Bronze Ledger’s assets, including her mansion, smuggling goods, and about half of her gang members.

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First Light of Freedom
Campaign History, Part 17

The heroes “convinced” the Dark Waves Brotherhood spy to turn and work for them. He reported that a large shipment of occult materials and other valuables was coming in and Bronze Ledger would be diverting a considerable portion of her gang to protect it.

Ka Bar’s school continued to flourish, and Vapor was impressed by how quickly these freed slaves were forming into a cohesive army. Saba particularly was picking up archer skills at an amazing rate. However, Many Words warned Ka Bar he’d overheard Saba planning a raid of the Ekos training facility the House of Obedience. He discussed this with her and found that she believed her young children were still being kept there. Ka Bar agreed to strike the facility and set the slaves there free.

Shadow Scorpion’s Dark Waves Brotherhood connections were able to find news of the Realm officer Vapor has been tracking. Ivory Monkey was in route to Champoor via the Silver River and his ship had been attacked by the savage tribes that target Realm convoys. His advisors were apparently killed but he untouched and the ship is still on its way. Ivory Monkey is a powerful Dragonblooded known for breaking rebellions, and Vapor believes he was the one that gave the order to kill his family. Vapor also had a dream about hiding a metal page for someone wearing the same signet ring Mambu wears. In the dream he hid the object in a mystical tree called the Eldest of the Wounded Earth, which was believed to have been destroyed more than a thousand years ago.

Messengers from Vali Brilliant Snow contacted Mambu, asking for him to visit her immediately. He found her in terrible shape, ragged and tired. She stated that Perfect Loyalty will not let him avoid punishment, he will pass the punishment on to others. She gave him the key to the private section of the Thrice Blessed Archive, telling him to check the desk. Doing so, he discovered it was not a desk at all, but a mechanical puzzle which, when solved, revealed a hidden staircase into a subbasement. Here he found a large collection of contracts either brokered by or directly with Perfect Loyalty. Examining the legal language of the contracts with Perfect Loyalty similar to the one his ancestors undertook, he discovered a loophole: getting one of the participates of the contract (living or dead) to recant and then destroying the contract would end it.

Sheppard of Blades summoned Shadow Scorpion to a meeting where he revealed that he had been informed that Shadow Scorpion is not, in fact, Nosa Twisted Blade. Shadow Scorpion was able to play it off that he used multiple aliases and leaned on the fact that he made money for the organization. Sheppard of Blades seemed to accept that answer and asked that he and Bronze Ledger end their “ugliness.”

That night with a Blood Ape as a distraction the heroes assaulted the Ekos slave training facility called the House of Obedience (or, in some translation of the language, the House of Manners). They slaughtered the guards, set the building on fire, and freed all of the slaves inside, but on their way out encountered a large force of house Ekos mercenaries approaching the building.

Hopefully someone is reading these. +2 Solar XP if you have by the 8/21 session, just mention it to me on Sunday.

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Shadow Men and Tiger-Men
Campaign History, Part 16

Escaping the burning tea house, Mambu and Shadow Scorpion took their captive to one of their rooms at the Inn. There Shadow Scorpion, disguised as a member of house Ekos, convinced the this assassin to give up information. He said he was working for Bronze Ledger, whose plan was to eliminate his lieutenants and him so she can take over his gang. Additionally he stated Bronze Ledger recently recruited a sorcerer from Ysyr who was responsible for the shadow men. Shadow Scorpion bargained with the assassin to turn on his former employer and act as his informant. His fee was high and they set a time for the assassin to return to collect it. Shadow Scorpion encountered Bean on his way out, who said strange cloaked figures had been sniffing around the inn and asking about the heroes.

Meanwhile Ka Bar worked to get his school up and running. He hired Whisper of the Wind to be an instructor in archery for the Unchained and Ananda to handle the day to day logistics. Shadow Scorpion arrived and informed them of the shadow men who had attacked him and of Bronze Ledger’s plan to oust him. The meets was interrupted by a shadow man who had tracked Shadow Scorpion there. The heroes destroyed it and decided to move their meeting to a more secure location: the Ivory Bastion.

Whisper of the Wind was amazed at the underground fortress Ivory Bastion and its automated protector First Wisdom. He felt a strong sense of deja vu from the place, as if he’d been there before. The heroes decided that they needed to solidify their powerbase before making a final push to overthrow the satrap, reinstate Tan Khari, and abolishing slavery. The first step would be to deal with Bronze Ledger.

While leaving the Ivory Bastion through the Dark Waves warehouse, the heroes heard someone arguing with the guards in front of the warehouse. They left through the side entrance and Ka Bar led the strangers away from the warehouse. These cloaked figures revealed themselves as the tiger-men servants of the Fair Folk Song of Rain. They were ordered to bring Shadow Scorpion, Ka Bar and Mambu to their mistress and had tracked them by scent. They demanded Ka Bar return with them and grew violent when he refused. Whisper of the Wind and Shadow Scorpion launched an ambush and the heroes battled the tiger-men on the streets. They killed three of the tiger-men and knocking the other two unconscious. Shadow Scorpion and Ka Bar decided to hold the living tiger-men at Dark Waves Brotherhood facility until it could be determined if the Fair Folk influence could be overcome and their minds restored.

The group recovered from the fight and returned to the inn to see if the assassin Shadow Scorpion tried to turn had claimed his fee. He had not, but Ka Bar noticed a patron at the bar was not who he appeared to be. With a variety of subtle and not subtle threats, they forced him to reveal he was a spy working for Bronze Ledger who had been instructed to keep track of everyone who came to this inn. Under interrogation he drew a map of Bronze Ledger’s mansion/compound, including its entrance from the Dark Waves tunnels.

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Return to Champoor
Campaign History, Part 15

While preparing the re-purposed Ekos barge to transport the Unchained secretly back to Champoor, Shadow Scorpion and Mambu visited Tan Khari. They updated him on the political situation in Champoor and corrected many of his advisors’ misapprehensions about the standing of the royal houses.

Tan Khari understood that with the recent battle on the streets it would not be long before the satrap would send another larger army to investigate. He decided it was time to leave Sleeping Man. Shadow Scorpion suggested that the best place for them to plan to return to power and stay unseen might be in Champoor itself. He explained that they had a fortress underground which none but they knew of, The Ivory Bastion. Tan Khari, seeing no deception in Shadow Scorpion, agreed to this plan.

Mambu volunteered to help the young sultan prepare to leave, seeing his small but still impressive collection of ancient books. Reading through the more interesting volumes, Mambu found a passage about the early days of Champoor back in the First Age that described a city basically where Sleeping Man was. What interested him was that it made no mention of the hills the city was built on, only plains.

Intrigued by this discovery, Mambu went to a secluded area on top of the “head” of the hills and summoned a blood ape with the task of “dig as far down as you can.” The ape dug for a few hours, tearing through dirt and stone until he reached a metal plate his claws could not penetrate. Mambu inspected the metal plate, finding it to be of unknown construction but with surprising artistry. A nearby monastery had heard the howls of the demonic blood ape and sent monks to banish the demon, but Mambu had already dismissed it. Mambu convinced them he’d seen the demon digging and there must be something evil in the pit, leading the monks to set wards around the area and fill the pit back in themselves.

In the morning the barge set off down river to return to Champoor. Shadow Scorpion had sent a message via his hawk to one of his lieutenants informing her of this smuggling shipment, and everything went smoothly on reaching the docks. The lieutenant informed him that odd things had been happening in recent days: one of his other lieutenants had been murdered mysteriously, the ship he was supposed to return on received a surprise inspection, several of his agents had been outed, and she felt as if she was being followed. After offloading their “slaves” and secretly transporting them to Ka Bar’s school, Shadow Scorpion set off to investigate these events.

Meanwhile, Mambu helped Tan Khari, his advisor Korvis and his bodyguard Deisetzu become at home in the Ivory Bastion. Shadow Scorpion and Mambu had decided to be up front with their identity as Solar Exalted, and Tan Khari took the revelation well, though Deisetzu did not. To ease her mind, Mambu decided to craft her a weapon fit to guard the sultan. Before starting his project, he got her drunk to see who she really was under all that duty and honor. Understand the strength of her character, he felt he could make something that fit her. Mambu forged Deisetzu a katana of exceptional quality. He also committed a sorcerous working to blade that increased the bodyguard’s skills when her charge was in danger. Deisetzu marveled at this creation.

Mambu felt he needed more answers about his discovery in Sleeping man, so he conducted research in the Tome of the Labyrinthine Mind. He reached new depths in the mystical book, seeing disorganized and fragmented notes. While still brilliant and revealing new understanding of crafting and the occult, the notes also showed a growing paranoia and madness in the author. One page referenced a “solution to Aegathar,” something called “Final Wisdom,” and how a ceremonial dagger would be an added level of security beyond the Words of Activation. Also found here were further plans for the diaklave that led Mambu to decipher the measurement notation that had puzzled him before. The detailed schematics he’d found earlier for First Wisdom were not for him at all, but something much, much larger.

Shadow Scorpion followed up with one of his lieutenants, Rain, that was supposedly to have a meeting with Bronze Ledger at her tea house later that day. He found Rain being attacked by a living shadow. He rescued her and defeated the being, which left only a scrape of cloth behind. Telling her to lay low, he impersonated her and went to the meeting in her place. Bronze Ledger did not come to the meeting but her lieutenant did make an offer for “Rain” to switch to their gang. Shadow Scorpion as Rain asked for more time to consider the offer and they set another appointment for later than night.

Shadow Scorpion showed Mambu the scrape of cloth and described the living shadow he found. Mambu recognized the spell that could summon a shadow to be used as a spy or assassin, meaning that Bronze Ledger had a sorcerer of some kind in her employment.

Shadow Scorpion (still disguised as Rain) and Mambu went separately to the tea house for the next meeting. However, it was an ambush and Shadow Scorpion was poisoned. Easily defeating the would-be assassin from The Dark Waves Brotherhood despite being drugged, Shadow Scorpion decided to take him for interrogation and burn down the tea house. As they prepared their arson, three shadow-men attack them. Using the fire to their advantage, the heroes destroyed the attackers and left through a secret door to the underground tunnels with the still-unconscious assassin.

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New Allies
Campaign History, Part 14

After mopping up the final survivors of the Prasadi and Ekos slavers, the heroes turned their attention to the ships they had arrived on. The Prasadi ship immediately set off on to the Silver River where it was an easy target for Mambu’s Flight of the Brilliant Raptor. Meanwhile there was a commotion aboard the slaver barge. Investigating, Mambu and Shadow Scorpion found the slave oarsmen attempting to revolt, but the remaining Ekos slave masters were chaining them up to prevent this uprising. The heroes killed the slavers and set the oarsmen free.

The freed slaves gathered all of the valuables, weapons, and armor of their fallen foes, and Ka Bar gave the defeated a blessing to see them into the afterlife. While he finished burning the bodies, a stranger called to him from a nearby rooftop to alert him to the city guard that was coming to investigate. Ka Bar left and went back to their base of operations to congratulate his troops and discuss next moves, but the stranger had followed him unseen.

The stranger introduced himself as Wisp of the Wind, also known as Vapor. He was a traveler new to the region but he has no love for Dragonblooded or slavers. and he admired how they helped free the oarsmen. He explained that he was in Sleeping Man tracking down a soul-stealing Fair Folk that had been preying on children. Vapor believed his target had recently arrived. Just then, they heard the voice of a mother calling for her lost son. Investigating, Vapor saw this disappearance fit the pattern of the other victims.

Tracking the Fair Folk, the heroes intercepted him before he could drain the boy’s soul. Vapor put an arrow through the Fair Folk’s eye, but he managed to break a strange vial first. From the vial came a scorpion which mutated before their eyes into a deadly manticore. The heroes put down the beast without taking a scratch. Among the Fair Folk’s belongings, Shadow Scorpion found a second scorpion vial.

Vapor agreed to travel with the heroes for a time, both recognizing that there was more to the other than meets the eye. Shadow Scorpion made preparations for the Dark Waves Brotherhood ship to return to Champoor with normal goods while re-purposing the Ekos barge to take the freed slaves in discreetly.

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The Battle of Sleeping Man
Campaign History, Part 13

Drawing inspiration from the Black Shield Academy, Ka Bar decided to open his own martial arts school in Champoor. He purchased an old building near the Black Shield Academy, and Mambu helped him with repairs. They planned to have Shadow Scorpion’s Dark Waves Brotherhood connections smuggle his freed slaves back into the city and build up a core of a slave rebellion under the satrap’s nose.

Shadow Scorpion met again with Bronze Ledger. She was suspicious that he had a hand in the failure of the agents she sent to spy on Jahar. Though she appeared to buy his cover story, she still attempted to poison him, but his natural paranoia protected him.

Ka Bar found Ananda returned from Sleeping Man at their inn. Unfortunately she was laying in a pool of her own blood. Mambu’s divine medical skill saved her life, and she informed them a house Ekos assassin had tried to kill her and that Ka Bar’s freedmen in Sleeping Man were likely exposed.

Calling in a favor from Words of Iron, Shadow Scorpion arrange a smuggling ship to go to Sleeping Man. They met up there with the twenty four slaves Ka Bar had freed, but house Ekos slavers backed up by Prasadi elite troops and a Dragonblooded officer were not far behind. Word of the freed slaves living in Sleep Man had spread and they wanted to make a show of force to put them down.

Under Ka Bar’s direction, the freedmen took up arms and engaged the enemy on the streets of Sleeping Man. Backing their enemy against the sea, they did not allow them to escape. The heroes and their small fighting force killed their opponents to a man.

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