Science Fiction [Exalted: Heaven's Reach] The Hunt for Burning Feather
In my group's Exalted campaign, my Lunar bounty hunter was put in a slave collar and forced to fight his friends by Burning Feather. Later, after he was rescued, we learned that Burning Feather was a Yozi sympathizer, attempting to open a portal up to Yozi space.

Now that we have a little downtime in-game, I will be using this thread to chronicle Imminent Silver Fetter's hunt for this rogue program spirit that wronged him.
The bounty hunter known as Imminent Silver Fetter looks down at the bright green jewel of a world called Mahalanka. It seemed like a lifetime since he had been here; even though it had only been a few months, the memory of it still sent shivers down his spine. Last time, he had been the prey. Not this time; now, he was hunting.

He pushed off from the scavenger ship he'd hitched a ride on and descended through the atmosphere, taking the form of a space polyp to resist the crushing pressure and heat. At half a mile above the surface, when his shell was cool enough, he unfurled into the shape of a draxyx, great leathery wings turning his rocketing descent into a safer speed, and made his way to a temple he remembered well. The last time he had been here, it was surrounded by a perpetual storm Now that the planet's essence had been balanced, the storms were gone; but still, no living thing grew here. Donning his totem shape of a man-sized spider, he crawled around the abandoned temple of Burning Feather, scenting about for any clues. (PER + Investigation, 5 succ).

52 = 2[d10]+10[d10]+5[d10]+9[d10]+6[d10]+7[d10]+7[d10]+6[d10][/sub(What does he find?)
Attainment / Lies.
Cautiously / Dull.

The frescos on the wall depict various outrageous scenes of Burning Feather bringing peace and joy to all people--famous figures from history smile adoringly at her along side simple farmers and craftsmen. Ridiculous, Fetter decides. What's more, he can't get so much as a whiff of her scent, and there appears to be nothing here connecting the goddess to this temple at all. He questions whether she's even been here at all since it's dedication.

Disappointed, but not discouraged, Fetter heads to Raksi's palace... Or, at least, the spot where it used to be. (is there anything left? SU: Yes, and...)
) Yes, and...<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

He finds the vast majority of the palace collapsed into a giant crater, but a few wings remain. What's more, part of the landing pad survived, and a few junky craft sit, growing moss. He crawls into the still standing portions of the palace, careful to keep the form of a small rodent, so as not to disturb the tenuous foundations. (PER + Investigation, 1 succ)
38 = 5[d10]+3[d10]+5[d10]+8[d10]+3[d10]+4[d10]+6[d10]+4[d10]<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Enormously / Rustic.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Despite his thorough search, he finds no clues pertaining to Burning Feather.
He heads back to the landing pad and hotwires a ship, a huge, clunky bulk freighter that must have once hauled illicit cargo for the Queen of Fangs, and heads out.
Mahalanka has nothing for him.

After a few days travel, he arrives back on Nexus VI, traveling under an assumed (consumed?) identity. He figures Burning Feather may be on the lam, but she's still a creature of her programming. Her primary function was to oversee narcotics, hallucinogens, and other forms of mind bending pleasures; she'll seek to recuperate her power the only way she knows how... And if there's something illegal and illicit going down, Nexus underworld will know about it.

Fetter visits all the smuggler hangouts he knows, assuming various identities to rub shoulders with ship captains and pilots, becoming the literal fly on the wall to overhear private conversations, listening in for anything that could give him a clue. (WITS + Larceny + Contacts, 1d stunt, 8 succ)

61 = 5[d10]+10[d10]+5[d10]+2[d10]+9[d10]+10[d10]+7[d10]+3[d10]+10[d10]<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

What does he find?

Bestow / A representative.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Loyally / Dry.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

After several weeks of keeping his ear to the ground, Fetter discovers better than a clue... He learns that Burning Feather has actually started actively recruiting worshippers, forming a new cult on the edge of the frontier. Oh, she isn't being blatant about it; but Fetter learns of a cult with just the right mix of Yozi sympathy and religious drug usage that has Burning Feather's style all over it. Even better--he finds one of her recruiters, a fanatical yet completely short-sighted acolyte named Drol.

Fetter infiltrates their cult, posing as a lowlife thief who has converted.
What does he learn in the cult?

Befriend / Victory.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

What kind of victory?

Aggressively / Defeated.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

He learns that underneath all the pleasure seeking, there is a violent bent to the cult. Those who want to progress, must hunt down the cult's enemies... and take them as slaves. Fetter volunteers for one of these "aggressive proselytization" missions.
What's the "mission" like?

Dangerously / Modern.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Will they succeed?

(7[d10]) Yes.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

The cult has decided to attack a rather dangerous enemy: a Wyld Hunt. Though nowhere near as well trained or sophisticated as a Wyld Hunt in Imperial Space, these Yozi-sympathizer hunters are still equipped with advanced weaponry and armor. Fetter is not sure whether this isn't a suicide mission--at least, for the mortals involved.
To his surprise, however, the cultists pull the raid off. They are a more dangerous foe than he realized.
He volunteers his big, rusty cargo ship to transport the slaves, and is directed to a hidden temple on the planet Lacross Folly.
Do they take his ship?

(9[d10]) Yes.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

What's the hidden temple like?

Positively / Bizarre.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

As soon as he arrives, he knows he's in the right place. The architecture and layout of the temple is truly bizarre. Acolytes move about, totally unconcerned with the floating flower/squid demons that flit about overhead. Many buildings appear to have been grown rather than built, and they follow an alien geometry. Fetter is welcomed, but it quickly becomes obvious that if he is to stay, he would have to participate in blasphemous rites that he has no desire to take part in, even to keep his cover. So, he pretends to leave, sets his ship on autopilot for orbit, and sneaks in the Lunar way.
Stealth roll

83 = 5[d10]+2[d10]+7[d10]+2[d10]+2[d10]+8[d10]+10[d10]+4[d10]+3[d10]+9[d10]+9[d10]+6[d10]+5[d10]+4[d10]+7[d10]<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Inevitable Spoor Discovery

57 = 3[d10]+10[d10]+9[d10]+6[d10]+4[d10]+8[d10]+8[d10]+9[d10]<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Has Burning Feather been here in the last month?

(1[d10]) No, and...<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Control / Portals.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Fetter quickly finds the main worship area--a large, almost auditorium sized den full of silk drapes and divans, and smoke and pungent aromas, and whips and chains and dark stains on the carpet. He tests the air for her scent... And finds nothing. She's not been here in at least a month, if not longer. What he does find, however, gives even him pause: in the center of the room is an empty archway, much like the ones used to access the Grand Celestial Mountain. This one, though, is made of a strange technology. Fetter's seen it once before--on Mahalanka, subverting the planet's essence to power a gateway to Yozi space. Burning Feather, it would seem, was not in this galaxy.

For the first time on a hunt, Fetter doesn't know what to do. He's never failed to track down his target before... But taking a portal to Yozi space outside the galaxy... It scares him. There's no guarantee that if he goes through, he can get back again. Even being able to fly through space without a ship is no help if one is light years away with no access to The Ways.

Fetter waits patiently. A spider allows its prey to come to it. He takes up a position in a corner of the ceiling, blends in to the wall, and watches.

Does anyone open the portal?

(1[d10]) No, and...<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Care / Wounds.<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>


32 = 7[d10]+9[d10]+2[d10]+6[d10]+8[d10]<DIV style="DISPLAY: inline" class=result>

Has the portal been broken for over a month?

(7[d10]) Yes.
A week goes by. Acolytes visit the portal when they're not having ceremonies, but not to open it. It seems they're working on it, trying to repair it. It seems that it once worked, but has somehow broken down. Could it be that Burning Feather is not through the portal after all, but is remaining hidden until it is fixed? Or did she, in fact, go through, and is now trapped until her worshippers can fix the portal? Fetter looks the thing over while no one is around; it appears to have been inoperative for over a month, at least.

((I'm still getting the hang of this formatting... bear with me!))
Hi Sovem,

Thank you for sharing your story. Regarding formatting, are you use the "Encode" link at the top of the Play screen?
((I lost some text and some rolls--twice; the difficulties of only having an iPhone to work through--in which Fetter discovers a deep schism and a growing sense of mistrust between the cultists who are only in it for the pleasure and/or power, and the more sadistically minded Yozi-worshippers. Fetter identified the ring leaders of the various factions, and hunted down and consumed the form of the "lieutenant" of the less-sadistic faction, and told their friends that he overheard the pro-Yozi faction talking about "a purge" of those "not dedicated enough to the cause." Then he hinted that he knew where they held their secret meetings and volunteered to listen in for more info. They didn't want to believe their fellow cultists were talking about purging *them*, but when Fetter left the body for them to find--heart ripped out and all--it sealed the ruse.))

Is the Yozi faction becoming paranoid about the other cultists behavior?

(10[d10]) Yes, and...

The next part of Fetter's plan carried significantly more risk. He followed the most well respected of the Yozi faction around until the portal was repaired. They were becoming increasingly paranoid about the other faction's behavior, and especially wondered about the strange murder of one of said faction's members (which they, of course, knew they hadn't done). So they took to arming themselves secretly, for their own protection. The night before the ceremony in which they were finally going to reopen the portal and welcome Burning Feather back from her communion with the Stellar Intelligence, Fetter killed the Yozi faction's leader and took his form.

Impersonation roll (MAN + Larceny + 1d stunt)

36 = 7[d10]+9[d10]+2[d10]+1[d10]+7[d10]+10[d10]

"I had trouble sleeping last night, brethren," he tells the acolyte's friends, "so I went to the sanctuary to pray. The heretics were there, plotting. They received a message, from Burning Feather--once she is through, they plan on destroying the portal so our Dark Father cannot get through! That portal is not for her; it is for the return of the Yozi from their cruel banishment! Arm yourselves, brothers, and wait for my signal. We must not allow ANYONE to stand in the way of the Reclamation."

Is the anti-Yozi faction on edge, too?

(9[d10]) Yes.

The ceremony begins. Many slaves are brought forth; terrible things are done to them. Sacred drugs are passed around, but the Yozi faction only pretends to partake. They are watching through the corners of their eyes, waiting for signs of betrayal... As is, it seems, the other faction.
At last, the time has come. The gateway flares a deep, burning red as the rest of the compound darkens. Essence from tapped leylines surges into the temple and twists, converging in the center of the portal in a sickening kaleidoscope of colors. In this most reverent of moments, all attention should be on the portal, but the acolytes are all glancing sideways with trepidation. Burning Feather steps through.

"Now!" Fetter yells.

(07-03-2013, 08:31 AM)Mark Wrote: Hi Sovem,

Thank you for sharing your story. Regarding formatting, are you use the "Encode" link at the top of the Play screen?

Hi Mark, thanks for making such an awesome site!

I did, indeed, use the Encode button... This time, it seemed to work just fine. The first time, there seemed to be extra code there that wasn't there for my last post; I don't know why that is.
Fetter's call to arms was just as effective for one side as the other. Cultists everywhere whip out blasters from beneath their robes and open fire. Dozens are cut down in the opening salvos, but the firefight draws out as those who survived take cover behind pillars, tables, overturned divans and anything else they can find. A few foolish zealots fire at Burning Feather, giving Fetter the cover he needs. Diving behind a blaster-riddled sofa, he shifts down to a wasp with chameloid chitin (5 motes). Sticking close to the ceiling, he darts between stray blaster fire and takes up position above Burning Feather.

Stealth roll (DEX + Stealth + mutation + 2d stunt)

82 = 9[d10]+6[d10]+10[d10]+4[d10]+5[d10]+6[d10]+1[d10]+9[d10]+7[d10]+4[d10]+7[d10]+5[d10]+7[d10]+2[d10]

7 successes

Burning Feather awareness check (PER4 + Awareness 2 - 2i distraction) Base 5 Difficulty for size

31 = 6[d10]+10[d10]+5[d10]+10[d10]

He takes a moment to center himself; feels his quicksilver essence pooling in his extremities, readying his artificial chakras. Blaster bolts are flying; Burning Feather is screaming for them to stop and explain themselves. Fetter hears none of it. He feels the cold metallic collar around his neck, and his rage burns. Silver essence explodes outwards.

He drops towards the goddess, instantly becoming a giant spider once more. From four of his clawed legs, argent essence spins out into intricate webs (Octopus and Spider Barrage, 6m 1wp; Argent Weaver's Art, 4m)

Web attack (DEX + Firearms + Acc 4 + 2d stunt)

91 = 10[d10]+3[d10]+8[d10]+10[d10]+3[d10]+9[d10]+4[d10]+5[d10]+2[d10]+5[d10]+8[d10]+10[d10]+7[d10]+7[d10]

Web 1; 11 succ

79 = 6[d10]+9[d10]+1[d10]+2[d10]+6[d10]+7[d10]+5[d10]+9[d10]+5[d10]+10[d10]+3[d10]+9[d10]+1[d10]+6[d10]

Web 2; 6 succ

75 = 5[d10]+9[d10]+1[d10]+3[d10]+7[d10]+7[d10]+3[d10]+8[d10]+6[d10]+5[d10]+8[d10]+3[d10]+6[d10]+4[d10]

Web 3; 5 succ

104 = 10[d10]+10[d10]+6[d10]+9[d10]+10[d10]+2[d10]+7[d10]+8[d10]+8[d10]+8[d10]+8[d10]+2[d10]+6[d10]+10[d10]

Web 4; 14 succ

Burning Feather is cloaked in silver nets in the span of a heartbeat, and before she can even react, Fetter is on top of her; fangs digging into the back of her neck while his other legs wrap around her, clinging to the web and squeezing her into the ground.

Bite attack (DEX + MA + 4 excellency + 1d stunt)

40 = 5[d10]+2[d10]+10[d10]+2[d10]+1[d10]+3[d10]+2[d10]+1[d10]+5[d10]+5[d10]+4[d10]

Only rolled 11 dice? Should've been 15

25 = 4[d10]+10[d10]+3[d10]+8[d10]

5 succ; Damage 8L + Poison, -12L soak, Impressions of STR (4m), final Dmg 3dL

14 = 8[d10]+2[d10]+4[d10]

1 Lethal damage. Burning Feather's poison resistance roll (STA8 + Resistance 5 vs 3L, 3, -3 poison)

51 = 1[d10]+8[d10]+5[d10]+6[d10]+3[d10]+4[d10]+1[d10]+2[d10]+1[d10]+10[d10]+3[d10]+5[d10]+2[d10]

1B damage, poison now 2L, 3, -1 until next turn

8 = 8[d10]

Clinch roll (DEX + MA + 2d stunt) ((I forgot my MA specialty last roll, too. Oh well, wouldn't have made a difference))

92 = 10[d10]+7[d10]+1[d10]+3[d10]+6[d10]+9[d10]+7[d10]+2[d10]+5[d10]+8[d10]+10[d10]+10[d10]+9[d10]+5[d10]

Damage STR 4 + 11 successes= 15L (Lethal for spider's claws) - 12L soak= 3dL (Imp. of STRx2, 4m) 5dL

28 = 2[d10]+5[d10]+6[d10]+10[d10]+5[d10]

Do the acolytes notice Fetter's attack?

(2[d10]) No.

The attack happens so fast, the warring acolytes do not even notice. Burning Feather shrieks with rage at having been assaulted, but Fetter squeezes the air out of her artificial lungs as she does, shifting form into a giant bull monkey, pressing down all his weight on top of her. (Lightning Change Style, 6m)

Surprise round over. Fetter Join Battle

36 = 3[d10]+4[d10]+9[d10]+3[d10]+10[d10]+7[d10]

Burning Feather Join Battle (-1 internal penalty from poison)

38 = 4[d10]+9[d10]+9[d10]+9[d10]+7[d10]

(I forgot that a Clinch is piercing)

32 = 10[d10]+10[d10]+7[d10]+5[d10]

3 more damage

Fetter clinch roll (STR 14 + MA 5+ specialty 2 +2d stunt)

118 = 4[d10]+2[d10]+7[d10]+3[d10]+1[d10]+4[d10]+6[d10]+2[d10]+3[d10]+8[d10]+7[d10]+10[d10]+7[d10]+4[d10]+3[d10]+4[d10]+8[d10]+9[d10]+5[d10]+2[d10]+5[d10]+4[d10]+10[d10]

10 succ; BF's resist attempt (DEX 4 + MA 3 + specialty 2 -1 wound pen -1 poison pen) + 14 external penalty from highest web

27 = 9[d10]+6[d10]+3[d10]+3[d10]+2[d10]+1[d10]+3[d10]

10 net successes; Damage =STR + 10 -13B soak(piercing)= 11B (Subduing the Honored Foe, 4m)= 22B

125 = 6[d10]+9[d10]+3[d10]+7[d10]+5[d10]+4[d10]+2[d10]+1[d10]+5[d10]+9[d10]+9[d10]+2[d10]+8[d10]+9[d10]+5[d10]+9[d10]+5[d10]+10[d10]+1[d10]+6[d10]+6[d10]+4[d10]

8 damage, plus that already inflicted, takes out Burning Feather's 13 health levels (and the charm makes sure none of the bashing wraps around to lethal)

Her scream comes out a squeak, then a staticky rasp as her sensors overload and her glowing essence eyes go dark.

Do the cultists notice the giant bull monkey that just strangled their goddess?

(7[d10]) Yes.

Which side is winning? (Even, loyalists, Odd, Yozi worshippers)

9 = 9[d10]

One of the cultists screams, "They've killed Burning Feather!" Obviously, they assume Fetter is some sort of demon. Those Fetter had infiltrated let out a defiant cheer and leapt out from their barricades, charging the few remaining Burning Feather loyalists.

Seizing the opportunity, Fetter scoops up the goddess' unconscious form in one massive hand, and barrels through the room and out the door (widening said doorway in the process).

Outside, the floating demons congregate, obviously confused as to what is going on. A few move towards Fetter, but he doesn't stop. He races towards the mountains. Once he's sufficiently far enough away to avoid pursuit, he shifts into a giant strix and scoops up Burning Feather with his claws.

It's a few hours flight to the nearest Manse. He knows it will be no trouble gettin in. There are quite a few gods who will be very eager to see him...

Wow! Well, while that might take no time to read, it took me a few hours to roleplay out. Exalted, even when playing solo, is not a quick game to play.

It may seem anti-climatic, Fetter dropping on top of his prey and taking her out before she even got off an attack; but, trust me, my adrenaline was up! Her stats are quite dangerous; if this had been a drawn out battle, she would have had Fetter back in a slave collar in no time. I knew I had to throw everything I had at her.

With motes recovered from stunts, Fetter only ever had to spend 1 mote of Peripheral essence; otherwise, he kept his expenditures only in the Personal pool, in case he had to stealth out of there.

The bullmonkey is an actual link you can click on to see the inspiration behind the form. I used the stats for a Yeddim.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)