I can't wait more and must get back to telling you about Exalted because I adore this game so much and no one's letting me info dump my joy on them at the moment. But there's so much that's happened since I last wrote anything so I need to catch you up super fast!
Well, we fought in the Black Chase, convincing Undying Fury and The Emissary to help us. One notable thing we found was a weird black sarcophagus that filled us with dread, and which the Anathema destroyed.The fighting was fierce and we were glad we'd convinced the Anathema to join, or the Imperial Army would have been destroyed. However, the Realm didn't see it that way, and we were returned to the Cathak estate and placed under house arrest. Following a show trial, we were sentenced to death but our unit helped us escape the night before our execution. I was worried about what would happen to our uncle, but he reassured us. I believe I painted the sunrise over his estate, using lots of the Cathak fire colours, as a parting gift.
Somewhere around here, the Empress disappeared. We sent her Infallible Messenger messages to say we would look for her, but had no idea where to start.
Can't remember exactly where we went, probably Nexus. Don't remember the adventures until we decided to go to Thorns.
It was horrific. We looked for our sister Mei and for Captain Ling, but found neither. Their houses were neat and tidy, though, which somehow made the Dead place creepier. Eventually ended with an epic battle against the Mask of Winters on top of their behemoth, during which we Exalted and briefly met with Ignis Divine himself, who called us his children and blessed us and told us help was on its way and it was super dramatic and I fired an arrow of golden light and I really want to write this up properly at some point but I'm racing through to get to where we are because I love where we are so damn much.
The Azure Titan and his band arrived in the Five Metal Shrike (I think these are all things from the rulebook, but please remember everything in our game is heavily adapted). He summoned the sword, Edelweiss, from its home in the sun and defended us as we ran to the Shrike (a spaceship type thing). The Emissary lost an arm and was killed, maybe? Kito and I were taken to New Meru, where we were given training in our new powers. Azure Titan (known as Big Blue to his friends) is Dawn Caste, as is Kito, and taught us about fighting. Meredith is Twilight and I love her to pieces - she looks messy and swears constantly and is probably the best sorceror to have lived. Eskill is the Zenith, the priest, and taught us about prayer. Sabine, the Night and tried to teach us stealth and subtlety and was impressed with my archery, given I was so newly Exalted. She's a bit of a tease. The Eclipse only met with me, as a fellow Eclipse, and only ever for brief periods. She taught me some stuff but not loads. We stayed in the houses that had belonged to our previous incarnations. Mine was light and airy and filled with poetry; I quickly converted an upstairs room to a studio and painted the view, painted places we visited and people we met. When we left, I knew I'd have to leave the paintings behind, which felt ok. Like a promise we'd come back. Kito was a bit surprised by his place. filled with statues and artwork that turned out to be of his previous incarnation, by his previous incarnation. They were, apparently, a bit vain.
Eventually, we had to return to Creation proper. I think a year had passed? And I forget exactly why, but I think it was Hak we met and he said we had options about what to investigate and we decided to go to a shattered archipelego (something to do with the way Solar souls had been prevented from returning to Creation, or something, I forget). I think we started in Nexus, in the Emissary's tower, and our former unit were there and Hak suggested we call on our allies, and I sent a message to Fury and then went to open the door and he was there, the intensity of his expression emblazoned on my brain. He followed me up the stairs and sat beside me as we decided what to do. Kito was - is - still afraid of him, but I haven't been since that moment I bowed my head and apologised to him for what was done at the Hold of White Idols.
Anyway, he joins us for a few adventures, including one where we hide in a river boat that was smuggling drugs (possibly for the Empire?) and he saved me when I nearly died from breathing some of the dust, and then we went to cross the ocean to get to this archipelego. Kito used his cloud to carry us, and when he got tired, found a boat to request refuge on, but they tried to kill us. In character, I remember nothing because I was almost immediately nearly killed. Out of characetr, Fury took me below deck and worked to save my life while Kito hit his first limit break and brutally tortured and murdered the entire crew...
We made it to the land, with me still drifting in and out of consciousness. Eventually recovered but still not enough to join Kito. He found a blacksmith and there was something about him and it was the Emissary who'd used a fancy charm to live as someone else for a period of time in order to not die when the Mask of Winters killed him.
More stuff, and we decide to go to the ruined city of Deninsor to use as a base. Lots of drama there, but I managed to attume to the hearthstone just in time to stop the automata etc from killing the others. The city is mine. We try to get a few people to come join us (secretly, safely) to get the factories running again. Kito still wary of Fury, but he's reluctant to leave us. We have to go se tup safe houses and safe routes for people to travel to us, and he stays to look after the city but I message him frequently to let him know how we are and he responds each time with "ok". But one night, when we're staying at the pub we first stayed at in whichever city it was, the Laughing Badger, I think, with Lawrence, there's a knocking and I go to the window, feeling like it might be him... and it's not. It's Lawrence at the door and I have to let him down gently.
We find a baby solar somewhere else. Fury destroys an Immaculate Monastary: he holds them responsible for the death of his mate. Rey exalts but doesn't tell us for ages.
Eventually, we do something and have a big party to celebrate and Fury finally tells me what I'd hoped for ages: he is my lunar mate. I relax. I draw Fury as I first saw him after Exalting, but surrounded by birds. Weird dream shared with Kito, "the well is hunting you".
Game goes on sabbatical.
Picks up. A year has passed, trying to rebuid Deninsor. Emissary decides it's time to visit Speramin. Fury and Tiger join. Fury has calmed a lot over the year, and wants to be known by a former name again, Brilliant Rain. Only Taji sticks to this. He freaks them all out a bit by being so calm. He tries diplomacy with the beastmen outside, though it doesn't work until he calmly squishes the skull of one. We're led to the lunar who's set up home here. He tries talking to her, but she doesn't recognise him and the Emissary ends up crushing her. He and Kito then stroll around the perimeter of the city until they're able to unpick the magics that hold it in stasis. Kito becomes guardian of the city. Fury and I return to Deninsor, the Emissary to Nexus, and Rey and Tiger stay with Kito.
It's a bitter winter, and the heating breaks under Deninsor. My craftsmen show me what's needed to fix it, and I head to Nexus to retrieve it, getting caught in a blizzard, losing my beloved wingblade and nearly dying in the process, but eventually make it. The Emissary figures out some of what I put myself through and I feel bad: people died the previous winter because I delegated, and this winter I nearly died because I didn't. He is sympathetic, understanding that I'm trying to learn but swinging from one extreme to another. He helps me get the piece back safely. I try to downplay the experience, but Fury holds me while I cry and doesn't ask difficult questions.
I miss Kito. We see each other rarely. Fury has to visit his holdings, a pilgrimage he has undertaken before, and I miss him too. I find being alone very hard. I paint a huge piece, depicting the Emissary's Tower, and figure out a way to send it to him to be a surprise. It will take months to arrive.
Hak visits and sets us a task, to learn about Death Knights. He suggests we capture one. I visit Kito to plan, bringing things I've found in Deninsor I think will make good gifts for Kito, Rey and Tiger - and Kito's lunar mate (Kestrel), who's shown up and I haven't heard much about except that she's there. Turns out, she was travelling with a friend who is Tiger's solar mate (Violet). Feel bad I haven't brought anything for her.
There's a couple of Shadowlands we consider starting in. One is not far from the floating mountain Metagalapa, and Kito wonders if we could hide the death knight under there. We go to investigate. He flies up it with Tiger and Kestrel; I stay on the ground with Fury and Violet. We're there long enough I get restless, and we creep beneath the mountain, quickly deciding it is not a place to bring a creature of darkness. Fury tells us to stay quiet and leave quietly, and I do not argue: something swims through the ice beneath our feet, and it frightens even him. We set up campfire. I fret about Kito, but the others reassure me. Fury sings a lunar song of the First Age; I lie nestled into him, sketching his hands. We sleep, and are woken by Hak, who takes us into the mountain. The group there have discovered it's a crashed Directional Titan; the Emissary is already there, cackling with glee. My heart sinks: Kito looks so happy without me and with his new friends, and now he's found a better gift for the Emissary than I could ever provide, I squish the feeling, try not to let it add to the sense of loss and inadequacy that's been building. Kito goes back to Speramin to make use of the genesis lab to create a temporary crew for the Titan. There were 4 in the First Age, flying battleships powerful enough to destroy a whole city, and Kito has found the newest.While he's in Speramin, I explore. It's beautiful, carrying a pattern of cherry blossoms, a sense of the fury of nature, of working with nature to protect nature. I assist the Emissary as he makes as many repairs as possible. He thanks us with weapons and armour from the sets that matched the decor. Working with my hands, carrying out the repairs, it helps stem some of the sense of loss and helplessness I've been feeling.
The Emissary and Hak work to move the mountain that had formed on the back of the Directional Titan (as people were living on it); they adjusted Fate so it seemed as though it had always been in its new place. Even though I watched them move it, it still affected me. Strange experience. The Emissary finds a place to hide the Titan that's equidistant between Nexus, Deninsor and Speramin. We return to our respective cities to make sure things are ok (I sort out a few disputes that the team I'd left in charge had struggled with - Cainen, Rhiannon etc are good fighters but aren't so strong as city leaders. They do their best).
Kito, Rey, Fury and I meet up again and last minute decide to go to a different Shadowland than originally planned. We explore the ruins during the day, but realise we'll need to go in at night to actually find anyone. Waiting outside, Fury tells us the history of this place: a mad king who burnt the entire city as funerary offerings, creating a Shadowland in the process.
Night falls. As the sun dips below the horizon, green fire restores the city to... not life, but some mirror of it.