Descending Air 10
The Winter season is in full swing, and the last ships until the turning of the season are nearly fully packed on the docks of Siegsdorf. Aujaq, keeping watch over the unnaturally calm seas, spies a looming storm on the horizon though. His exalted vision makes out a small ship being driven at enormous speed before the fury of the storm: A Dragon-prowed vessel. Amongst its crew he makes out a sorceror controlling the storm, and he knows – the Dragon Blooded are coming!
Vlad and Aujaq notice a small spirit talking to Sayuri on the docks – at which point she comes and ernestly encourages the Exalts to leave immediately before the storm arrives. Aujaq calls upon the local sea-god, kept pacified by the local’s offerings, and sends him to delay the Dragon bloods. None of the Exalts are willing to risk the seas with sorcerors and violent sea gods about, and so they take to horseback and ride through the snow covered forests to Vendig.
Nearly a week later the cold Exalts make it to the outskirts of Vendig, but again the keen eyes of Aujaq make out a familiar boat in the docks of Vendig – the Dragon-prow ship, looking a little worse for the weather. Worried that the city may already be against them, the send Mal in to investigate the situation. Mal easily passed in the morning traffic, overlooked by the local pickpockets and guards alike. He quickly spots the many rumour mongers and overhears them discussing their current targets – there are descriptions of Vlad, Pyotr and Mal circulating, and good money being handed out for this information!
Meanwhile Aujaq calls for the city-father of Vendig – and the god appears as an armoured angel, with a belt of ship-rope. After some flattery from the Exalts, The god reveals that the dragon blooded are indeed in town, and have already threatened him should he offer aid to the anathema. After much discussion (especially between Aujaq and the Doctor) they humbly ask the god to tell the dragon bloods of the Anathema Queen Marlene in Reiherheim. He thanks them for their clever plan and leaves.
They then prepare to enter Vendig city by disguising Pyotr and Vlad, and then enter the city gates along with the last rush at sunset before the gates are closed against the hungry-ghosts. Mal spots a human-shaped distortion of air also watching the gates as they pass unnoticed into the city.
They sneak through the night streets towards the poor quarter and the underground passages. Mostly they go unnoticed, but Mal spots a street begged paying attention to the well dressed figure of Laima as she enters the sewer entrance. He tries to offer a bribe, or future employment to the beggar, but leaves with the sneaking suspicion that word will spread of their arrival..
The Doctor and Mal, both experienced with keeping unobserved, sneak through the streets to visits lady Ragara Syn. When they arrive they surprise Syn with a guest dressed in realm patrician gear. Lady Syn quickly interrupts any introductions, telling the Doctor “your patient is in the downstairs servants quarters, please take yourself and your servant there immediately”. It is not until some hours later that Syn comes to meet them and inform them that her guest is Detective Tantei of Chanos Prefecture, hot on the trail of three anathema who terrorized Siegsdorf. She knows from his descriptions that Mal, Vlad and Pyotr are his targets, and that the detective was guiding a group of Immaculate Monks on a Wyld Hunt. She urged them to keep out of trouble, and to avoid these zealots if at all possible.
On the way out they meet Tantei at the gates of the Ragara household, and he thanks the doctor for her efforts in healing the citizens of the realm. He guides the doctor with a gentle hand on the back, offering his carriage to take her to any destination in the city she needs, along with a few jade coins for services rendered. Mal and the Doctor take the carriage to a random house, and then walk back to the Manse-Fort in theory quarter.
Back in the Manse the exalts consider their situation and weigh their options. They are divided on possible actions, but agree that sticking together is the safest option, to avoid being taken out individually. Kerker is advanced as a possible location to hide out, or heading even further north into the Icewalker lands as long as they are away from the dragonbloods. A strange feeling of being watched comes over the Doctor, and upon examination Aujaq sees that her essence has been infected by some water essence – and she is being tracked. Vlad sends her downstairs to the draining pool where the essence is removed, but everyone is on edge now.
Aujaq calls Koda back to his side, and the other exalts start to prepare for the worst – still divided over running of standing ground. Aujaq sends Koda to spy on the dragonbloods, so they will learn something. Koda sniffs them out at the Golden Pavillion, an expensive in for merchants and other foreigners from the Realm, and begins to sense the power of the dragonbloods, all the while passing this information back to Aujaq. Until suddenly one of the dragonbloods comes forward and drags Koda and grounds him in a material form – his shock increases as he is captured by a yasal crystal and he is cut off from communicating with Aujaq.
Aujaq picks up his god-spear and tells the others in no uncertain term – we rescue Koda now.
Descending Air 18