The Mandate of the Heavens

The Mask and the Sword
Sessions 8+9

Glory to the Unconquered Sun, this the last day before Calibrations fall. Glory to the last fading sun of the year, may his chosen guard the darkness while he rests. Starting out 4 months prior Orichal and Marteau went to investigate Ander’s City where a man named Rico was in charge of the force that had attacked Goldennight these past few months, leaving at the start of winter’s fall they found the trip arduous but using their unique skills they were able to earn their passage to a riverside port in the southern most reaches of the Thousand Kingdoms, where they sold their mounts and booked passage down river to the swampy trading capital of Nexus. Finding Nexus a horrible cesspool of unsavory characters but not the one they were looking for they were once again off to the outpost of Greyfalls, an isolated and distant satrap of the realm. Arriving there without issue they quickly encountered an essence flare which revealed them to the guardians of the outpost as Solars, after an ultimately brief battle in which two Dragonblooded were brutally cut down they escaped on Marteau’s newly learned Stormwind Rider spell to the safety of Ander’s City. After a brief search they found who they were looking for in a midclass tavern called the Cracked Pot, the gentleman named Rico and his bodyguard Andre, both very large men of a certain level of shadiness. Determining that he was the man who had the connections, Marteau worked with Orichal to write up a new contract, which would use Rico’s mercenary army as a border patrol for the southern reaches of Golden Iris, in exchange for a piece of Golden Iris’ rich opium and thaumaturgical resources. Orichal was suprized when he tried to seal the pact with his oathbond, only to find that the pact was already sealed, the light glow of the symbol of the Sun Triumphant blazing to life on Rico’s forehead. They took Andre back to Golden Iris to assess the needs of the nation and report on them back to Rico, along with some papers that Rico had kept in case he needed to blackmail the inside source in Goldennight.

After returning to check on his people Orichal was interrupted by Mikael who lead him through the portal to meet up with the newly exalted Najla. Having explored the last reaches of the new exalts manse Orichal brought her through the gate to meet with Marteau, where in Golden Iris of the Heavens was extremely distraught by stone that Najla brought with her, which was “tainted by the underworld”. After quickly introducing the merchant’s daughter to Orichal’s assistant Green Sword, Marteau suggested that they pray to the unconquered sun whom Najla had seen at her exaltation for guidance, and was granted an image he didn’t quite comprehend, a white mask with a blue swirl in the corner of one eye. Najla quickly recognized it as being the same as the man who had tried to kill her before her exaltation, and they all followed her back through the gate to her manse.

The budding circle was able to determine that there was an entire division of imperial troops in the city, close to 1000 men along with at least 24 dragonblooded commanders, not including the weird men in the masks, of which they now knew of 4, a man in blue with a wavecleaver daiklaive made of blue jade, a man in red with a very large dire lance made of red jade. a man in black with a silverline staff etched with black jade, and a man in green with an oversized large power bow crafted from an unknown green jade alloy. With help still on it’s way from Nexus, Najla decided to scout the leaders of the occupation with her exceptional stealth skills, and after watching a heated conversation between a mirror-calm Man in Blue and a very angry Imperial General followed some men to the Council building in the center of town, where they burst through the door without warning. She retreated back up the hill to the manor where the General was to see if she could collect any papers while the troops were occupied elsewhere when Orichal and Marteau who were waiting in the Guild Hall heard a commotion break out and caught sight of the Council building up in flames and a disciplined force of Imperial troops trying to put it out. There were several casualties in the fire but most of the losses were the documentation and files stored within, there was praise all around for the rapid response of the Imperial troops to the horrible fire, but there was another rumor spread by the guild allies, quickly matching the other in popular opinion that the Imperials actually started the fire. After investigating the fire closer they couldn’t come up with any proof it was the imperials but clearly something was fishy, this is when the letter from Eisan Pearl arrived, written in guild cant, hidden under a letter from a mother figure, he said that he was returning with help as soon as he could, from the guild.

Determining that they needed to act now the trio formulated a plan that would split the army into three pieces and expose at least one of the dragonblooded commanders to capture. Putting their plan into action just before the fall of calibration, all three flared their totemic auras in three different directions, causing widespread panic in the ranks of the imperials who mustered as fast as they could to engage all three monsters they perceived in the darkness. The plan worked perfectly dividing the troops into much smaller groups which were easily ambushed by the Stormwind Rider equipt solar circle. Quickly striking the group was able to knock out a red jade armored man and carry him away before anyone could even retaliate.

Nation Divided
Session 7

Glory to the Unconquered Sun on this the month of Ascending Air, in which the seeds of change were planted. Using Ariana’s stormwind rider spell as transport Marteau took six women of the Order of the Golden Iris Most Magnificent to Norhaven to establish a school, the women were appalled at what they found, girls who couldn’t even write in their native language much less old realm. They quickly got together all of the young girls and any boys who wanted to listen in, cause the lack of overall education in Norhaven was just unthinkable to someone from Golden Iris. In return Orichal sent 3 of his barbarian warriors to Golden Iris where they were suitably appalled by the weak men and utter lack of any sort of warrior caste. On orders from Orichal they established a training grounds near the guard barracks where they are currently trying to bulk up some of the men while laughing at their utter lack of skills. Both groups are having a hard time adjusting to the others culture, being so different the women of Golden Iris could not truly understand why anyone would not teach these girls basic language skills and the men of Norhaven could not truly understand why so much deference is given to the women of Golden Iris, as they don’t look like they could even wield a blade, and why any woman would ever want a man as weak as the men they are laughing at on the training fields.

After establishing this trading of ideas they pushed forward to a more pressing matter, the recent and continuing attacks on Goldenheart. They went to Goldenheart and tried to figure out exactly who was controlling the attacks, and to what purpose. They determined that it was likely that who ever was attacking was after the book that is used to record the Eugenics data for the entire kingdom, and that this meant that the culprit was likely someone within Goldenheart itself. On this idea they made a sortie into the Hundred Kingdoms to an unknown city where they encountered a magistrate who attempted to sell them out to Realm spies within the city, with little effort they managed to kill the magistrate and escape back across the border into Golden Iris, with little more information than they started with. Returning home they came up with a plan to trap the inside informant, by setting up an ambush of a fake messenger, they were able to capture three men who they quickly brought to Iridaceae where they were interogated and found to be part of a mercanary organization out of the hundred kingdoms city of Ander run by a man named Rico. As Orichal went home to check on his nation he was interrupted by the portal opening on it’s own once again, this time leading to a face to face with Najla

Nexus and Other Exotic Locales
Session 6

Glory to the Unconquered Sun and all his Children on this day the 2nd of Resplendent Air one of his chosen has been reborn into creation, not of heroics or compassion but of need was borne Najla, Night’s guardian. Having been given a mission by her guild contact to investigate on of the ruins outside of Tiber’s Pass Najla brought only one of her organization with her to the ruins indicated where she found a man in a blue hooded cloak conversing in High Realm with a wall, unable to understand what he was saying she tried to get a better look at his face sneaking around to find that he was wearing a full mask, pure white with a red swirl coming from one eye. The man was alerted to their presence escaping away with who ever he was talking with surprising and incapacitating Najla’s ally in the process. Returning to the ruins carrying her ally Najla was able to find a mask that appeared to be exactly like the one the man was wearing on the far side of the wall, going to show the mask to her ally, she was surprised to see the man had returned, the battle to follow was very one sided, the man intent on killing her, the last thing she remembers before blacking out is the tip of the man’s blue jade wavecleaver piercing the center of her chest, and the sound of a woman screaming. In the shadows of her dying mind she meet a man with 4 arms who offered her a place in the world and a purpose to fulfill, she took his hand and awoke, rubbing her chest where the sword should have pierced her she was greeted by the dead body of her ally and the arrival of 4 more of her allies, who seemed awestruck and fearful of the giant mouse who raised from the pool of golden sunlight surrounding Najla. Najla looked over her shoulder to see what they were afraid of and knew what she had become, she had heard the stories of the bogeymen of the night, the Solar exalted who were terrible demons that possessed unclean spirits and made them commit horrible atrocities, she managed to calm two of her allies enough to get them to carry the corpse of their friend back into town, while the other two ran screaming ‘Anathema’ and Najla retreated to the safety of ruins she was certain others wouldn’t search.
Her anima retreated Najla made her way back into town, getting information on what was happening from merchants along the road, it seemed that the wyld hunt had been called and that everyone was looking for her, but with her new found power staying hidden wasn’t hard at all, a little mundane disguise got her into city past guards not looking for a stray street child. Inside the city she found the tension high, there was debate over what should be done about the solar, if the Immaculate Order was on a witch hunt or not. Najla made a dead drop for her guild contact and was sneaking back to her cheap lodgings when she almost ran into a Dragon-blooded patrol and ducked into a building, a building in the center of town she had never noticed before. It gave her pause, as she was certain she would have noticed this building before, having walked by it hundreds of times, but it seemed empty and no one seemed to be paying attention to it at all, and if the state of the furniture in this room meant anything, it hadn’t seen use for hundreds of years. She explored the structure finding a collapsing staircase going up, which she was sure would collapse at a light sneeze, and a staircase carved into the earth heading down to a black door. Examining the door closer she saw it had the symbol for rat or mouse written on it in gold lettering and used a mote of essence to open it once she was sure there were no traps on it, the room behind the door was in much better shape than the building she had just come from although completely dark and in a very odd style, all pointed blacked metals, dark woods, and red cushioned Gothic style furniture, a far cry from anything she was used to. The first room appeared to be an entrance hall of some sort with hooks for hanging coats and plush furniture for waiting and on the far side a door that looked exactly like the one she had just come through, hesitantly she activated the far door, at which point the door behind her closed, the one in front of her not opening till it finished, the room opening into a surreal scene, it was a lavish room in the same style of the one she had just come from but for one very confusing point, the room seemed to be upside down, and gravity didn’t seem to have a problem with that, the candelabra was hanging up from the floor and the furniture was contently sitting on the ceiling, she quickly made her way to the door on the far side, trying not to think too hard about it. The next room was no less confusing, there were sharp toothed fish swimming around the room, the room wasn’t filled with water or anything but the fish were just swimming lazily around the air, even more confusing was the windows to this room seemed to look out on a deep sea filled with contently flying tropical birds, after bapping a fish over the head for looking too interested in how she might taste, she made a quick exit from this weird room and right into another.

Witching Hour
Session 5

Glory to the Unconquered Sun on the 3rd day of Ascending Air, where in many journeys become one. Having recovered Ariana from her hermitage, Marteau and Orichal returned to Goldennight via Ariana’s Stormwind Rider spell to find there had been a second attack, a slightly larger one that had been easily repelled by the extra troops they had brought, only 4 people had died in the attack, and it wasn’t from the invaders but instead was a side effect of an escaped demon running amok in the city, which the council assured would be put down promptly and that the small loss of life was nothing to really worry about in the long run. After trying to use the Stormwind Rider spell to try to catch up to the marauders and failing due to the fact it was almost impossible to see out of the whirlwind, they decided to stay the night in Goldennight, during the night 2 more people were murdered by the demon. Heading out in the morning via horseback to make a better job of searching the trail, the chosen of Sol Invictus encountered an ambush of some 15 men, at least one of which was dragonblooded. Orichal went totemic in an effort to take down the clearly surprised scouting party, managing to take down 7 horses with unerring aim, unfortunately 13 men escaped on the remaining 9 horses, including the dragonblooded soldier. Orichal and Ariana were able to stabilize all the injured men while Marteau went back to Goldennight for medical transport, returning the next day with help Marteau and Orichal decided it was time to check on Helheim and Yggdrasil, and Ariana was eager to see the Altar of the Sun. Arriving at the Altar of the Sun, once again they discovered that their new ally could not pass the gate, and decided to go alone through the gate to the waiting Mikael and Green Sword, finding everyone in Yggdrasil in greats spirits and well fed. The 200 farmers had recovered stone from nearby collapsed farmsteads and rebuilt some rough shelters as well as repairing a section of the irrigation system and corralling some of the livestock. Everyone was happy to see Orichal and Green Sword made indication that no one had come through the large gates in their absence. Thinking it best to be stealthy Orichal and Marteau snuck out the portal entrance to find the farmlands above a barren and snowy wasteland, with dead crops left in the field and the distant fortress oddly quiet. On approach the gates were closed but no response to hail was given, Marteau and Green Sword used their impressive strength to pull open the two large wooden doors to reveal a completely deserted outer town, after encountering and turning to sparkling water what Orichal identified as a cataphract, a type of fairfolk developed solely for war, Orichal and Marteau struck a temporary retreat, to reassess the situation. Mikael returned and let them know there appeared to be people within the inner gate, so they pushed forward to there encountering a stunningly beautiful androgynous creature ridding a horse with 8 legs and 2 heads and staring at the gate to the inner courtyard where the long house was. After trying to communicate to it two pale white lions with flaming manes and flaming tongues paced out of the shadows of the building circling around them as they made their way into the inner sanctum and found that the fairfolk either would not or could not follow them in. Using this to instigate bargaining Orichal managed to get them to retreat but not before they made a final ultimatum “Tribute” was required to prevent this from happening again.

Changing Tides
Session 4

Glory to the Unconquered Sun, now in the 27th day of Descending Earth, for his chosen have gained the services of another ally, Ariana, the witch of the woods. In a venture that began with the introduction of Orichal to the people of Golden Iris and the introduction of Marteau to the High Magi of the Order of the Golden Iris Most Magnificent, the chosen of the sun decided that it was in their best interest to survey the lands under their control and began a progressus through the cities that make up the nation of Golden Iris. After visiting the first city outside the capital Marteau discovered something slightly disturbing, the technology that was present in the Golden Iris cities was powered by large collections of bound demons, and when confronting the women in private about this they admitted that, that was how they powered all the essence equipment and that the few lives that were sacrificed every year in the complex rituals that bound the demons were a small price to pay. The travel to the third city was uneventful and they soon found themselves on the road to the last city, where they seemed to encounter many failures of their carts, wheels running off on their own for no reason at all. After closer examination they found that the stone within the road had been drawn with simple but annoy hexes and were told by one of the Order that it was likely the work of the witch that lived in the wood. Marteau was able to observe little imp like demons that scattered when ever he seemed to show interest in them. When they arrived at the final town they learned that it had just recently been attacked and several of it’s buildings burnt, fearing more attacks Orichal suggested they rally the troops along the burnt buildings in ambush for attackers that might return, wanted to make sure that no one else was hurt. Orichal spent the night in the central building to protect the largest concentration of people, while Marteau stayed in the burnt lands as backup for the defenders, but the only thing that ‘attacked’ was a single imp who was deftly pierced with a spear leaving a gooey mess on the scroll it was carrying, which contained only a set of coordinates. Having determined that the troops were enough to defend the city against any assault that had gauged their power much weaker that the newly arrived honor guard, the two solars set out to the location and found the quaint home of Ariana the exiled witch, who had been living in the woods for 800 years, conserving her energy through ritual magic, sealing away all but her most basic magic to allow her to live in peace. After convincing her that Golden Iris might be changing, becoming different and might be ready for her return, she shed her magics and returned to her younger self, weaker in spirit but stronger in resolve.

Enter Yggdrasil
Session 3

Glory to the Unconquered Sun on this the 23rd and 24th days of Descending Fire, where in the great city-manse Yggdrasil was restored onto it’s owner Orichal and into his service was rendered the terrestrial Green Sword. The days began with a decent into the great layers of Yggdrasil where in the subtle blessings of Sextes Jylis maintained a pleasant temperature as our great heroes investigated the collapsing structures of what was once a great city, descending layer by layer through farm and city and forest till they reached the base of the great tree and went inside, claiming the Stone of Resilient Bamboo for it’s rightful owner and bedding down to rest after the long and arduous journey which involved an encounter with a very large snow tiger of whom they removed one eye from before it sunk back into the deep forests. In the morning they ascended the structure to find that their exploits had been watched by eager townsfolk and that their actions had elicited a response from a cowardly herald and his guard. After deftly and completely denying the heralds request to bring him to audience with the current ruler of Helheim, the herald thinking better of confrontation with two of the sun’s chosen beat a hasty retreat, but for one of his number the mute giant Green Sword who offered his blade to Orichal, who would not accept it, wishing to test his new ally before accepting him to service.

Enter the Solars
Session 2

Glory to the Unconquered Sun, On the 22nd of Descending Fire Marteau, Zenith Caste Chosen of the Sun, explored further the Altar of the Sun seeking a way to get at the hearthstone floating in the middle of the black room. While searching the manse he found an oricalcum dire lance which he used to push the stone into reach and activate what was left of the manse’s power. Having figured that the gate might get him back to find out if his friend was okay he proceeded to test out the gate and in the process met Golden Iris of the Heavens the manse’s sentience, who was less than complete in light of her horrible damage. He still managed to activate the gate back to Sijan, where he popped out face to face with his Dragonblooded pursuers, after a short battle he retreated back through the gate to lick his wounds, passing out in the manse and awakening to a odd kitten on his head and went to explore the area nearby, receiving a warm greeting within the city of Iridaceae and it’s Order of the Golden Iris Most Magnificant, making a good impression on the current ruler of Golden Iris, Aimee Song and her witches, who agreed to help him find out if his friend in Sijan was okay and make a path back up to the Altar of the Sun. Arriving back in the Altar of the Sun he noticed that the ring was once again filled with shimmering liquid, and he decided to jump through it once again.

Glory to the Unconquered Sun, today on the 23rd of Descending Fire saw the rebirth of a Solar soul, Orichal having been imprisoned for 8500 days and nights with the free hold of the Lions of the Snow, was freed in accordance with a non-aggression treaty with the Lions of the Snow, only to find out he had been held captive for more than 60 years in the world beyond the freehold. On his way back to Helheim he encountered a caravan of slavers bringing a cart full of slaves to trade with the Fae, and he learned that the person he had left in charge of Helheim had been trading slaves for riches with the Lions of the Snow. He proved his worth in the eyes of the Sun Immortal when he faced the slavers on his own to save the souls of the slaves from the horrible fate they were destine for in the clutches of the Fair Folk. Following his exaltation he freed the slaves who let him know of the horrible mismanagement that his nation had seen since his departure. He followed the people back to his home jarldom of Helhiem where he met with an new old friend, Mikhael the Raven, a child sized talking raven who lead him to a door deep into the earth where he ran face first into Marteau.

Session 1

Glory to the Unconquered Sun, on the 22nd of Descending Fire, in the Realm Year 768, reborn into the world was one of his chosen when the mantle of his priesthood was bestowed upon the Ghost-blooded Marteau who in defending the right of the dead against impossible odds proved the strength of his heart and his worthiness to hold the Mandate of Heaven. Pursued by Dragonblooded and perhaps a whole Wyld Hunt he fled to the only place he felt would be safe the graveyard-city of Sijan where still blazing from his exaltation he encountered a friendly priest who shuffled him into a nearby crypt and slammed the door behind him. Trapped and unsure Marteau was pursued into a hidden hallway by the Dragonblooded, his friend yelling once last thing before going silent. “Hit the wall”; He did and cast the Dragonblooded into somewhere that defied logical explanation, his pursuers delayed he made his way into the hidden room under the crypt to find a shimmering sheet of water suspended upright in the center of a ring mounted on a pedestal. Seeing no other way of escape he lept into the ring and found himself in a collapsing structure a nearly identical ring empty of water behind him. Exploring into the structure he found a odd room filled with silver chafe and an interesting room filled with blackness so dark that even his solar caste mark couldn’t illuminate it, floating within was a white crystal that beckoned to him.


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