On the Shoulders of Giants
Just arrived in Footfall, circus is unpacking onto the docks. Babi told me to find a find a place to pitch our tents. It’s pretty amazing here: those statues are massive and it’s like they might drop the city at any moment- totally scary! Heading out now!
Not a very jolly place- everyone looks glum and it stinks of rotting wood and bad fish. Still all the more need for a few shows to put a smile on their face.
Spoke to to an official from Thysr who said we’d need some sort of sponsor if we wanted to travel up the statues to Palanquin. He was a bit funny looking with a third eye but seemed a decent enough fellow. Their wizards made some sort of stone flower in the middle of the bay; apparently it grew out of the sea and you can jump out of it and fly all the way to the top. Ash was super excited to visit and find out how it works.
Heard a lot of shouting form the market and found a bunch of locals riled up at one of the officials and their guards. Turned out a woman had had her kid stolen by monsters, and she wasn’t the first. Terrible! I promised to do something about it and asked for help finding them
Met a local priest called Cynical Peridot, he seems pretty broken down- apparently had a falling out with the other priests up top and now he’s slumming it here, trying to bring some faith to the people. Peridot says that there are groups of monsters hiding between the statue’s toes. Ash seemed very interested in sticky wyld patches or something, but the key thing is we have somewhere to look.
Success! Found a bunch of sea goblins and some sort of sharkman hiding in the depths. They had the kids in a seaweed shack and luckily there was a little pocket of air down there. We managed to beat up the beasties and bring the children back up to the surface. I was glowing like anything when we reached the top and Blossom looked soooo grumpy, it was hilarious.
After we waded in a big crowd showed up – I guess because of all the light. So then I sent them to go and fetch the parents who were missing their kids, and Ash started physicking them back to health, with backslaps and whatnot. Everyone was really pleased, well except for the people with kids still missing, which is pretty awful, I guess. I feel bad about getting their hopes up, but what else could I do?
Anyway a merchant called Fair-Spoken Rishi shows up and he’s real happy with how things turned out and offers to put up the whole circus on the Galleon, which is the big market ship we’d stopped by earlier. Blossom was super suspicious as ever, and wandered off pretty much right away, but Ash and I stayed there by the leg for a few hours so we could look after the kids and wait for any more parents to arrive.
Peridot hobbled up and seemed kind of suprised that we’d saved the day, anyhow he offers Ash to talk to him all about the gods and religious things. So we said thanks for the help and offered him a free pass to tonight’s show, which should hopefully be a cracker.
Anyhow once we got back to the Circus they’d pretty much set up on the top deck of the Galleon and Blossom had been helping with moving stuff over from the docks. She’d put on some makeup so you couldn’t tell she was made of metal, which is pretty clever, though she’ll be in trouble with Babi if she uses too much of it! She’s always scolding the clowns for that.
So I took a bit of a rest and Ash went down into the bottom of the ship and magicked up a water elemental or something? Anyway he says it’s going to stop people drowning and keep watch for trouble. Blossom went to watch the spell, but Bi Lao and Jin say she pretty much just curled up on a beam and had a snooze. Guess magic isn’t always that exciting!
Evening rolls around and I’m getting ready for the opening day performance when Ash says he’s spotted some troublemakers in the crowd. Maybe those dragonbloods who’ve been hunting him all over? Anyhow Blossom is going to go hide in the ship’s mast and keep an eye out for any dodgy business so we should be alright. The show must go on!
Oh dear, that all went a bit wrong! No sooner had I started the performance than the dragonblooded jumped out of the stands and started attacking us. Poor Ash got jumped by a bunch of them at once and then disappeared in a flash of light. He said he’d be back and Blossom tells me that it’s a special gift he has or something. Must be a magic thing.
Anyway they didn’t stop just because he vanished; the firey one tried to fight me on the tightrope but Blossom shot him off and he didn’t roll well with the fall; must have hurt! Blackbeak was a real champion, he flew down and dealt with all their soldiers, and I guess he must have inspired the rest of the circus because they all came streaming out to give those thugs a kicking. I had tears in my eyes, I couldn’t believe they’d be so brave!
Anyway things got a bit worse because whilst I was playing with the watery one, whose name is Nelens Leraki, Blossom got shot! It looked really bad for her then, but Blackbeak went and bit the wood dragon in the neck, and before she could shoot Blossom again I knocked her off the Galleon. Anyway, whilst I was distracted Leraki grabbed his firey friend and jumped overboard- so I guess maybe we’ll meet again. I hope so because I’d like to finish my dance with him sometime when he hasn’t been shot.
Anyway with all that done the local watch showed up; a really funny looking woman named Comet is their boss and she believed us that it wasn’t our fault and said that we should come and visit their sorcerors sometime so I know that Ash will be super happy about that when he comes back. Blossom was actually glowing for once and looked super-uncomfortable about it, it was sort of funny but actually I’m glad to know that she’s the same as me that way, even if she tries to hide it. Anyhow Comet left some soldiers to clear things up and took her floating cloud back to the barracks. That’s super cool by the way, Ash and Blossom should learn to make one of those.
We’ve been waiting for Ash to come back. Blossom has been resting in her tent, making foul smelling stuff, which I don’t think can be healthy. She says he should be back when the sun sets. I spent the day having a wander across the ships and getting to know people a bit- there were lots of little problems I could easily help with, missing pets and shifting loads around and it was kind of a relief after yesterday’s troubles just to get some people smiling.
Still no sign of Ash. Starting to worry. Have sent Blackbeak up to look for him; hopefully there’ll be some sign soon.
Ash isn’t dead! I was getting seriously worried when he didn’t turn up, but eventually a note arrived saying he was up in Umbar, which apparently is on one of the statue’s bums. Blossom seemed pretty impressed whien I proved I new what Ash’s name looked like in writing, and then she read the rest of the letter out for me. Feeling in a much better mood now and looking forward to tonight’s performance.
Performance went great. Everyone in the galleon was cheering my name at the end and soooo many smiling faces looking up at me from the deck. Totally nailed it. Ash turned up right at the end and he’s got some fancy duds from some sort of hidden sorceror house. He’s got this magic gem thing that looks like one of those furry fruit- at first I thought it was kind’ve silly to be honest but II guess a furry gem is pretty unique just by itself!
Ash and Blossom both need to take it easy for a while so we’re holding off on a big climb up the stairs until they aren’t going to bleed over everything. Happy with that myself because I need a bit of time to think about this whole priestess of the sun thing; people have started giving me wierd offerings along with the normal presents and this guy keeps showing up and bowing at me. Don’t know how to handle it right- going out with Ash this morning to see Peridot who is an old hand at the priest game.
Good chat with the old grump about priesting duties. Apparently I’m supposed to be making sure offerings get sent on to the sun and other gods who can help people. I knew it couldn’t be right to have them all bowing and scraping to me, so glad I checked!
Weird moment when we were walking back- this guy comes out of the crowd and offers me sweets, only it turns out it’s actually Blossom. Anyway she’s mysterious for a bit and then stalks down some alley and when she comes back she’s in a really foul mood and shoots Ash this super sour look. He’s going to go check it out and see what’s up. Hope everything is okay.
Urgh, lectured by Babi about showmanship. I’m not a child any more, I know how to work a crowd! Guess I might need to tone it down a bit to give the rest of the crew a chance to shine (He he!)
So apparently Blossom is having trouble with the Immaculate faith being wrong and is still worried that she’s some sort of thieving demon. Turns out that stealing stuff isn’t exactly new to her because…she’s an assassin. Dun dun dun! Totally called it. Anyhow apparently she works for some old geezer called The Guide who steers the Realm aright by murderising people. Ash looked so dubious about the whole thing that it was almost funny, except I guess murder isn’t ever funny, is it? Anyhow we sent a magic message back to this guide to let him know that Blossom was okay, but needed his advice and stuff, but not advice based on the immaculate faith because that’s all bunk. No reply yet, but I guess the little messenger thing has a long journey to make.
We’re going to visit Umbra, which is the little village on one of the statue’s bums where Ash appeared after his vanishing trick. Blossom thinks that her friend Sun might be there, because there is some sort of secret assassin hideout. Sounds pretty exciting, cant’ wait to have an explore.
Just destroyed the others in a race up to Umbra. Sort’ve feel bad for them, Ash is pretty old after all, but they both seemed up for it at the time. Hopefully they’ll be along soon.
Been like half a bell and they’re still not here. I feel less bad now, because I’m not sure they’re even trying. It’s not like they don’t work out at all, maybe all that time spent book learning and making stinky potions rotted their legs.
Talked to a local woman and she said that this areas gone bad since the Palanquin elite through all their criminals down onto the Bearers. Apparently I should watch myself around here or I might get snatched. She was unloading a whopping pack of drugs at the time, so I reckon she probably knows her way about town.
Grrrr! The others finally made it and we went for a wander into the tunnels- Blossom says to wait up whilst she has a dangerous liason in an alley and then these wierd demon guys come up to up and start juggling. Pretty good stuff actually, it takes real talent to communicate a theme through the parabolas of beanbags. Anyhow I’d just started to dance back at them, returning the favour, and then Blossom goes and drops some sort of poison gas cloud right at my feet! So pissed off, right now.
So apparently now we’re smashing up some archeological dig or something? Blossom wasn’t really clear. Blossom seriously didn’t believe that I could distract some guards so she could sneak in. Its like, “Hello Blossom! I don’t question your ability to be a professional bitch!” Hope Ash is enjoying himself anyway- he’s been seeing invisible demon tubes and waffling on about…well actually I can’t remember, but it was super interesting to him. He’s got some sort of crystal spirit helping him now; pretty cool actually, it can hear through walls and just vanishes when he waves his hand. His magic seems awesome, unlike some people’s stupid spells.
Okay, so I’m rocking the distraction when Blossom says she needs our help anyway and we need to be ready to stop anyone leaving. When Ash comes out to tell me the guy I’m dancing for gets super pissy and runs back to his friends with hurt feelings. I guess he didn’t appreciate that I wanted to distract him /and/ put on a good show. Anyway Blossom does her sleep cloud thing and they all try to come running out, only I’m leaning on the door now and they can’t get it open. Eventually one of then burns the hinges off with like acid or something and then things get really crazy with us fighting with the door in the way and Ash shooting off his firewand here there and everywhere! Long story short soon they’re all taking a nap.
Ash says that the magic doodad inside is like connectied to the the statue’s muscles or something and they’re planning to make it walk! This is obviously super cool except for the whole smashing footfall and maybe dropping the city problem. Anyway we’re going to take it apart and fingers crossed that’ll stop any big problems.
We have a new friend! The Acolytes of …freedom, liberation? Something revolutionary. They sent a sorceror to come see how we were doing. She seems pretty friendly and apparently she learned how to sorcelate from a book, which is super tricky. Anyway we’re going back to her place for a chat.
Hmm, Blossom was acting super susipcious. I think she might want to hurt the guards to stop them telling on us. Made up an excuse about wanting to leave a note so I could go back and check on her, but everything seemed hunky dory. She’s getting super annoyed at me for blabbing all her secrets, but I kind of feel she needs to stop being a dodgy assassin if she’s going to serve the Sun properly. People aren’t going to trust us if we act untrustworthy.
Oh man. Just finished tea with demon sorceror lady (still haven’t seen these Blood Apes that are apparently around somewhere) Anyway Ash and her are having a nice (super boring) chat and then Blossom’s like ‘hey I want to meet all the Acolytes so I can murderise them’. Well not exactly that but that’s totally how it sounded. I don’t know why the Sun would have picked someone who’s travelled around killing people just for wanting a better life. I’m starting to worry that that maybe she was right about being an Anathema. Going to have to keep an eye on things.
On a more practical note, we’re going to do some other jobs for the Acolytes to get help with finding Setting Sun casts Long Shadows, and in the meantime we’ll have a look around town for the safehouse that’s supposedly hidden here.
Had a bit of a break for tea and Blossom forced me to swear not to tell anyone about her safehouse. Seemed to me like she was making a fuss about nothing, but Ash agreed with her, so I guess maybe she’s onto something. Anyway if it’s important I’ll just persuade Blossom to tell whoever, I guess. That way she’ll be doing a good deed, so it’s a double win!
Okay so after traipsing about for almost an hour looking for some missing lotus petals we finally found the place. Apparently. Honestly I only spotted one flower with just a single missing petal and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a lotus, so I’m not sure what Ash has been looking at. Must be some sort of magic thing, I guess. Blossom is going to go and do a secret knock or something. She’s disappeared off anyhow.
O. M .G ! Guess who just showed up whilst we were lurking in an alley. It was only watery dragon Nellens coming home with his shopping. He was pretty damn scared just bumping into Ash, but fair play to Blossom, he didn’t recognise me at all in this disguise. Ha Ha! when I pulled off my wig I think he shit a brick.
We were just catching up and letting him know that his Immaculate Philosophy is all wrong when some purple glowing star lady came flying out the window. Looks like Blossom shot her. Anyhow Nellens goes running up to protect her and it all kicks off- Ash damned near takes her head off with his firewand and she started trying to shoot us. Anyway, Nelly and I get into it and the starlady hops up a wall and throws dirty underwear in my face! I think she must really be the Anathema the dragonbloods worry about. I’d explain that to Nelly but Ash just set him on fire so I probably ought to give him a minute.
Told Nelly to hold fire for a moment whilst I dealt with purple girl, and gave her a bit of thumping only to find out that he had run off to start wailing on Ash. Purples whips out some magic scroll thing and all of a sudden out pops a whole bunch of paper soldiers (which is a pretty cool trick, to be honest). Anyway then Blossom comes running out the window with fire guy in hot pursuit (hehe!) only he’s got wise this time and cuts the washing line.
Long story short we all end up scrapping in the street, and Nelly is showing off some seriously tight moves; actually manages to clock me one right in the chin! I spring back up to continue the fun, and then bloody Blossom only goes and shoots him!
Suffice to say that takes the joy out of it for everyone, so the um.. woman she gives up and then after a bit of raging about fire dude clicks that we need to get serious and stops too. I did my best and bandaging Nelly up and he’s breathing but shallow and then the lady says a whole bunch of stuff about the immaculate faith being wrong, her pals running things behind the scenes and everyone’s pretty excited but then I guess as we’re carrying Nellens up to bed she slips away, which doesn’t improve anyone’s mood.
So we’re like who was that to fire guy, and he’s like ‘it was a guide, get out of my house’ and we’re like ‘oh but this is actually Blossom’s house’ and then Blossom’s like ‘Oh, but I was working for a bunch of assassins who murder people like us, so maybe it is your house.’ Anyway it’s definitely super awkward so we grab some notes from a hidden hidey hole and bail before he sets everything on fire.
So not sure what we’re doing next. We’ve got the guide’s bow which I’ve got to say is waaaay too heavy, so no wonder she left it when she skedaddled. Maybe Blossom will find a clue to where her friend went in the notes. We should probably head back to the circus before too long, else Babi will get grumpy.
I hope Nelly will be alright.
We went to a tea shop to unwind for a bit, and I’m afraid we may have chased off all the customers. I think Blossom must have scared them what with the whole ‘floating pool of darkness’ thing she’s got going. It’s definitely a bit creepy, if you ask me. Anyway Ash is good enough to get us all some tea so we chill for a bit, but then Rama comes running up and lets us know that the Ysyr are hunting for us. We decide we better make a run for it, and hide Ash’s crotch-palace until the heat dies down.
I ended up with Blossom somehow and she made us walk basically the whole way there. It’s no wonder she’s so slow getting places when she seems to take 5 minutes checking no one’s looking every time she crosses the road. Anyhow we made it to Ash’s place (which is actually pretty cool looking but it’s fun to rib him about the location) and have a chat with Rama about what the Acolytes want. There was a lot of talk about smuggling rebels up to the top-city amongst the circus but that seems way too risky to me. I can’t put my folks in harm’s way.
Blossom has decided to go and scout the top-side, whilst Ash and I go speak with Peridot again and see if he can point us in the direction of where the City-Father might have been locked away. Rama’s thinks that there may have been a secret sanctuary somewhere that is now his prison. I think the others are mostly interested in learning how the gateway to heaven works, but freeing the poor god seems a worthy deed in itself.
Wow! What a rush! Ash was really scared of jumping off the edge of the statue so I just grabbed him and went for it. If that’s how it feels for Blackbeak all the time no wonder he’s so bouncy after a dive.
Spoke with Dot and he says that the City-Father had a Chosen of his own. Some lady called Kauri who was basically invincible so long as she was in the city. Well it sounds like the Acolytes were betrayed and she got dragged off to a prison somewhere to make sure that Mu couldn’t appoint another champion. These Ysyr folks don’t mess around! Anyway we’ve let Blossom know to look out for any clues as to what may have happened to her. Hopefully she’ll creep back soon with some juicy stories.
Blossom came back and apparently she met up with the Supreme Sorcerer’s Most Favoured up on the disk. Some sort of silver clad mutant, apparently. The others think that he must be some sort of exalt because of his shapechanging armour and apparently his boss is learning the Third Circle of sorcery which is supposed to be super-hard. Anyway apparently he likes his parties so we’re going to visit his daughter- Blood of Comets and see if we can get an invite.
So the conversation with Comets went okay, I think. She’s asked us to invite the rebels to join the circus and in return she’ll get us a ticket up to the top level. Seems fair enough. Definitely appears that they’ve captured Nelly and his pal too, and unfortunately she wouldn’t let us see them. Only one thing for it then; follow their ship and find out where the secret prison is. Blossom and I are going to hitch a lift, and Ash is going to summon up some sort of elemental and then join us. Maybe we’ll be able to spot the exigent Kauri too, that’d be handy.
Good thing the water’s warm because that trip took quite a while. Still we were able to direct Ash so hopefully he’s not far behind. The prison is like a big water lotus but with four whopping towers sticking out the top of it. We’re going to nip up the anchor chains and see if we can’t find out who they’ve got trapped up there.
Found Kauri! She’s stuck in a dangling cage chatting with some fancy fellow and a pirate lady. Guess they must be the folks in maximum security holding. Anyway we’re going to use Blossom’s messenger to try to talk to Kauri and work out the best way to free her. (Not sure Blossom is convinced that’s the plan.)
Oookay things going a little faster than expected. That fancy man, Dillen(?) popped out a sword from nowhere and started making a break for it, so we figured we might as well pitch in. Judging by his glow I guess he’s one of us solars too, though we’ve not had time to exchange more than a few words. Dealt with the guards without too much trouble and I’ve grabbed Kauri. Ash arrived with perfect timing and has started to throw firebirds at the place which is keeping them on their toes down below. Pirate lady had some sort of horrid bloodsword hidden away and she’s now dropped down and started murderising folk judging by the laughter and screams. I’m just squishing a demon wasps and then we’ll head down there too. Nelly and his pal and getting escorted off the ship right now, bet they’ll be surprised to see us show up!
Oh gods, that was so embarrassing. So Kauri and I dropped down on the docks and told the guards they better let Nelly and his friend go otherwise they’d be in for it; suffice to say they didn’t play ball. I ran in, got tripped on one of their spears and ended up going arse over tit right past the dragonbloods; Kauri saved the day (Blackbeak and Hera helped) but it was just completely humiliating.
I’m not quite sure what happened while I had the wind knocked out of me; I think Ash blew up some war machines and from the sounds of the courtyard there was one heck of a fight. At some point the lotus towers started flexing around like tentacles and tried to smash everyone, I think maybe a sorcerer did it? Anyhow Blossom, the sword-dandy and lady-pirate managed to chop their way through everyone and then Ash stopped the whole prison from tearing itself apart. So good job team I guess.
Pirate-lady is some sort of crazy death-exalt on a justice/revenge spree. Her glowiness was super scary looking and she has skuill armour. SKULL ARMOUR. Anyhow we managed to persuade the sailors to get out of her way and she…killed (the fuck?!) their ship and sailed off on it. The rest of us all jumped into Ash’s elemental and hightailed it out of their before we got into any more trouble. Let’s be honest we mostly had to leave to stop Blossom murderising the ‘witnesses’; the good news is that sword-chap, Dilun, seems to be a pretty decent guy and isn’t down with the murder.
Managing to get over my shame a bit now; Delun told us about how he ended up in the lockup- apparently Blood of Comets shoved him their just because he wouldn’t murder some champion of theirs that he trounced in a duel. Total Bullshit. Anyhow I made some noise about how we needed to shake things up with Ysyr if that’s how they are going to treat people and the dragonbros actually said that in that case we could work together. They shook my hand. Even Hera and he’s a super grump! I just know that we’re going to be great friends by the end of this.
Oh Delun’s sister apparently got lost in some sort of ancient tomb or something and needs rescuing. She’s some sort of island scholar I think? Ash was super excited to try to find her and talk about books and whatnot (hehe – maybe they’ll be Booklovers!). Anyhow we need to get back to Palanquin first and make sure Babi and everyone is alright; Blossom sent them a message but the team was a bit worried that they might all get arrested as payback fro the prison thing.
Took about four hours to get back to Palanquin, so we had plenty of time to get our strength back and chat a bit. Delun seems like a pretty stand up guy- he helped patch up Nelly and seems like he’ll be keeping an eye on Blossom to keep her on the straight and narrow. I hadn’t really thought before about how messed us it was that she was raised by a bunch of murderers and then her ‘dad’ tried to have her killed. No wonder she’s always jumping to killing folks as a solution.
Had a good chat with the dragonbros about their friend who I must’ve killed. Wasn’t really sure how to talk through it but Nelly was pretty decent about the whole thing; seems like death was always on the table for them, what with being professional ‘monster’ hunters. I’ve really got to help them find her body so they can give her a proper send off and make sure her folks get her stuff back.; It’s ancestral relics or something. Maybe Ash will set one of his elementals to searching the sea floor for them.
I’ve killed two people now. That poor guard didn’t even see it coming. I need to be more careful, or maybe I’ll end up like Blossom, not even caring about it.
Back at Palanquin and we’ve got a plan. Kauri is going to lead us up to Hogo-mu’s sanctum and we’re going to check out whether he’s been trapped there by the Ysyrans. If we can free the city-father then we’ll be able to demand a talk with the Most Favoured with all the leverage on our side. Blossom’s going to head out there now and make sure things are okay before we all surface.
Blossom’s back and the Circus is alright (phew). Babi’s making plans to get out of hear before news of the prisonbreak arrives. Blossom also brought back Maki, the sloth-tamer. Seems he had a run-in with the guards and is trying to make a name for himself with the Acolytes. Something about him is a bit off…but he knows how to look after Shogun properly and has a pretty good act; fingers crossed he’ll be an asset to the circus once he’s got this hate for Ysyr out of his system. I’m heading out with him to meet up with some rebel sympathisers, Blossom and Kauri are slipping back in to check on old contacts whilst Delun gets his gear back with Ash. We’ll meet up in Umbar.
The dragonbros are going to be taking down the ‘workings’ in the statues to make sure they don’t animate and wreck the city. Apparently this Supreme Sorceror could finish them all in a couple of days if he really obtains this ‘Third Circle’ of magic!
At the teahouse in Umbar now; everything seems to be going well. I sent Maki off to earn his spurs and got the Acolytes to touch base with Kauri. They’re going to do like a big rite of worship for Hogo-Mu at midnight; hopefully that will give him some power to assist in the escape attempt. Apparently Ash has been through Delun’s drawings about the tomb he lost his sister in and it’s some sort of weird time-vault thingy…you know what, I have no idea what Ash was talking about (again) but the good news is that the sister probably isn’t going to starve to death. Anyway we’re going to climb up to the top level now; should be fun!
Climb was pretty uneventful; Blossom almost fell off for a moment there, but then I guess she was saving her strength for guiding us through the upper city, cause we were super sneaky!
So I’m currently sitting in a dusty cavern watching some magic pool and hoping that Delun and Ash pop back out of it in a minute, cause if they can’t that means they’re stuck in Hogo-mu’s sanctum and we’ll have to wait for Blossom to break the magic bindings. That could take forever!
Sooo I waited for like 5 minutes and then decided that maybe they’d got into trouble and jumped in, and I was like totally right. When I got there it was like this dying roof garden floating in nowhere and Ash was out cold bleeding out of his everywhere, and Delun was fighting some 10 foot demon dude. So I danced in there and we got to work on kicking its arse; it was already bleeding and on fire, so I guess Ash and Delun had been giving it a hard time before I got there, and then apparently it like shouted Ash to death or something? Sounds pretty horrid.
So Delun and I are both pretty pissed off about Ashen, and even his rock friend ,Gens was pitching in, trying to stab him whilst we kept him distracted. The thing hit like a truck, but we managed to keep it on the back foot, and eventually I guess it couldn’t handle all the holes Delun had poked in it, cause it tried to hang back and take a breather. Thats when I kicked its teeth in; damn thing went down like a sack of bricks and then kind of melted into the ground.
Delun got Ash patched up as best he could, but says he’ll need some rest (which given how bad he looks seems pretty sensible), Gens is carrying him around for the time being until he gets his strength back. Meanwhile we found Hu-go Mu chained up to Octavian’s throne on the edge of this floating disk. I snapped the chain and he seemed pretty happy about how things were looking but asked us to go fetch Kauri for him.
Delun brought Kauri back and she’s been catching up with her god. Smiles all round! On the downside Ash says that Octavian isn’t actually dead and has probably just been sent back to hell. Apparently he wants Delun to summon him again later for a rematch. Fat chance, creep!
The city father says that he can’t offer too much help as he’s not much of a fighter, but can help stir up the people, and gave Ash a cool little model of the city so that he can see where everything is. Apparently this Supreme Sorcerer is definitely another Solar like us and that means he has the divine right to boss everyone around. Everyone but us! Delun was super excited to learn that we’ve actually got the authority to get the world working the way it ought- I think he’s super conscientious because of how good he is at murderising folks. Makes a change from some people (I’m looking at you Blossom!)
Ash thinks that we might be able to break the warding keeping the god stuck here if we can open an entrance to his sanctum from somewhere else; apparently it should form where-ever is most appropriate so I’m going to run on down to the prayer service and see if we can’t get a new temple for him sorted out or something.
We managed to get out of the sanctum okay, and Ash persuaded us to leave him there and get on with freeing Ho-Go Mu. I hope he’s alright!
We got a little bit sidetracked talking about our role as chosen of heaven. I’m not sure that Blossom really gets it, but I’m sure that between us we’ll be able to show her that it’s a good thing for us to have a divine mandate (hanging around with Ash is teaching me all kinds of fancy words!)
Anyhow we ran for the edge of the disc and floated into that air current the Ysyr Lotus pumps out its roof; Blossom and Delen landed all subtle-like to look out for trouble, whilst Kauri and I drifted down to the party on the galleon.
We made a pretty fancy entrance, and people were real excited to see Kauri after all these years. Despite my warnings Babi hadn’t packed up the circus though; if anyone gets hurt I’m going to give her a real talking to. Peridot isn’t about so I have to handle priest duties myself- not sure if I did it right, but I mostly just worked the crowd like I would in a show and things seemed to work out okay. I just put my faith in everyone cheering making the miracle happen and when I opened the tent flaps out walks the City Father. Win.
The big man starts pressing the flesh, and I get a message from Blossom that there’s trouble coming, so head out with Delen to make sure they don’t disturb the party. Turns out there’re about a hundred of the crab soldiers out there as well as a bunch of their sorcerors. I tried to explain that the people had every right to celebrate and worship their god, but they weren’t having any of it. The leader sorcerer tried to through some sort of firebird at us but Delen splattered it with his sword. Things got a bit frantic then.
The soldiers mobbed us on the gangplank and we ended up knocking most of them out or into the water. I think something happened on the ship, because their were a few screams, but it didn’t go on too long, so I’ve a feeling that Blossom took care of it from her perch on the mast. Delen chewed his way through most of the crab-guys without breaking a sweat and Blackbeak was swooping by over their heads, keeping them distracted. I got caught us with the sorceror who’d magicked up some woody claws and we went a few rounds before one of the wizards in the rear tried to blow us all up with a firebird. Delen was looking a lttle crispy around the edges awards, but we mostly got clear of the blast and pulling my dance-partner to safety (mostly) seemed to be enough for him to believe that maybe we did have the power of the sun after all.
The shield line in front of the archers were keeping their eyes on the skies thanks to Blackie so they didn’t see me coming until it was too late and once they got a taste of what their friends had been eating they decided not to hang around. That left just one sorcerer standing (on account of Blossom straight up murdered one who was trying to leave on a cloud! SIGH) but that turned out to be none other than Blood of Comets.
Anyhow what with all her friends running or bleeding I thought she might be a bit more reasonable about things but then she points up and THERE’S A GIANT FUCKING MONSTER FALLING ON US!
So I realise that this must be Comet’s’ dad the Most Favoured and tried to get him to stop and listen, but he just blows me off and comes crashing down on top of Delun. They have a bit of a tussle and Blossom swims under a dock or something, cause I lose track of her again, then Comets starts yelling about how we’re the leaders of the rebellion, which is totally unfair because we only got here a week ago!
Anyhow Octodad managed to get his slippery tentacles around Delun and started squeezing, but Blossom and I laid into him and managed to force him to let go before any bones got broken. Meanwhile Blackbeak swooped down on Comet as she started conjuring up another firebird and hauled her up into the air. Squidman completely freaks out at this and demands we put her down, but I force him to agree to quit fighting and eventually he caves.
Soon as the battling is done Delun starts tending to all the wounded soldiers; he’s got a real soft heart given that it was all their fault for attacking us in the first place. We all sit down with the Most Favoured and lay out the situation – we aren’t happy with the Empire keeping all the people here miserable and threatening to squish them all when they get these statues walking. He tells us that the Empire needs the statues to defend themselves and his boss/pal the Supreme Sorceror isn’t likely to compromise on that. We bargain a bit, and it seems like they’ll be willing to build up a new fancy city for the people here in exchange for them leaving the statues.
We put our heads together and decide that we’re probably alright with this, though we’ll need to have a tour of the rest of the Empire to make sure that the people there actually are being treated okay; otherwise we’re going to have to take some more serious steps to deal with things. (Delun and Blossom also sound be bit like they maybe didn’t work as hard to become Chosen as I did? I get the impression they maybe don’t think that we deserve to have been picked. Will have to talk with them more and sort this out).
I tell Kauri about how things have been sorted out and she’s super-ungrateful. She’s way more interested in the city than in keeping the people happy and safe. Guess that’s why we’re chosen by the sun and she isn’t. Anyhow I let the rest of the people know that soon they’d have a home with land and sunlight and everything, and they were a much better crowd. I’m sure everyone will come around eventually; this is way better than being stuff living in broken down ships their whole life.
Blossom uses her spells to let our pals know that they ought not to kick off any trouble whilst we get this new city sorted out, but apparently Rama has already summoned up a load of demons to cause trouble. Shit. Seems like somebody might have killed those guards we knocked out in the sorcery node – my bet is that some of her demons might be murderising folk for no good reason. Blossom’s already run off on her cloud to try to stop things getting messy; we’ll have to catch her up once we get Ash.
Blossom realised that she might need some backup so picked up Delun on her cloud whilst I clung onto Blackbeak and hoped for the best. Once we reached Ash’s Manse we decided we better split up to deal with all the chaos breaking out in the city. They headed off to speak to Rama about her demons and I flew up towards the disc where I could see a fire breaking out.
Blackbeak ended up flying me right through the flames to where the Dragonbros were trying to storm the governor’s mansion. I guess they didn’t realise that the Most Favoured wasn’t home. Anyhow I tried to keep the peace before anyone else got hurt and managed to talk Nelly down, but Hera (to the surprise of no-one) threw a hissy fit and kept running on towards the gates. I had to chase him down and tackle him to a stop to make him listen to reason. Eventually I got through to him and he agreed to give peace a chance…or at least to leave town without murderising everyone.
(Note to self: avoid putting hands in fires; just because my magic glowiness is nice and friendly doesn’t mean other people’s are!)
Anyhow I went to find a fountain to cool off my burns, and then a big old raven turned up and transformed into the Most Favoured. That is way cooler than turning into a big squid monster; I’m gonna learn to do it someday! Anyway he was all charm and got me a doctor to see to the blisters and had one of his sorcerors send a message to the others to let them know all was well and that they should meet here.
After a couple of hours Delun arrived; seems like they managed to deal with the demon issue. Luckily it was only dancing demons whipping up crowds instead of packs of killer apes stalking the streets. Apparently if you agitate the the demons they jump out of their hosts as slugthingys and you can chop them up. Blossom was using her sleep cloud magic to calm things down in the streets where it had got really violent, so that helped too. Anyway apparently she had some other business last night because she didn’t get back for hours and when she did she was in a bad mood and hid under the bed like a crazy person.
All in all a very eventful day!
The next morning we had a near disaster with Blossom threatening to poke a harpist’s ears in, just because she was probably a spy. Anyhow we got out of the house without any bloodshed and met up with the Silvery Squid. He was friendly still, but it became pretty clear that he hasn’t got the foggiest how he’s going to keep the promise he made us. Happy enough for us to find people to help though, so I picked through the courtiers and found a guy called Unlucky Reed who’s super keen to make his name setting up this new city. Hopefully he knows what he’s doing, but if not at least he’s enthusiastic.
Anyhow we’re off for a stroll around the city whilst he preps supplies for the journey. Hopefully Ash will be feeling better soon and we can fill him in on everything that happened whilst he was sleeping through the night.
Yay, we found Ash! Looks like he’s back to full health and none the worse for oozing blood out of ears, so good job Delun. We had a lot of catching up to do (what a crazy night!) but I think he was pretty happy with how things worked out. (Well okay, actually he seems a little bit suspicious that the Empire might not follow through on their promise, but I’m sure it’ll turn out alright).
Once we were all caught up we went shopping for a bit to make sure we had everything we needed for our island hopping trip. Blossom picked me up some nice veils and whilst we were in the dressing room she asked me to make a distraction so she could go and visit her old assassin friend without any demon spies following her. I’m glad she’s trusting me to help out with her personal stuff now!
I did a bit of a song and dance routine in the market and once that was sorted we had a bit of a look at the demon that was following us which was a kinda rainbow-cloud-jelly thingy. I kinda accidentally broke it a little when I grabbed it to have a look, but I don’t think demon’s really matter? Ash seems pretty happy to kill them, so I guess they’re all bad even if they look cutish. Anyhow we decided to split up and take care of individual stuff for the rest of the day. Ash went off to have a look at the big gate thing in the middle of the city and Delun went down to Footfall to try to get his old bow back from the guards.
I went to the monastery to find Blossom, and that place was seriously wierd. It’s tucked away inside one of the statue’s ears and there’s glowing purple rocks sticking out of the walls everywhere. People were just sitting around not doing anything- what a waste of time. Anyhow I found Blossom slacking off with her friend, just sitting there pondering past lives or something? I gave the meditation thing a quick try and it was dead easy- a couple of quick katas and I could see into the mind of the statue and it was all like “I don’t want to move, I’m standing like this ’cause I need to be”. The old monk guys there said I was super talented, so I guess at least he was wise enough to recognise my awesomeness. Hehe.
Anyway I decided I better leave Blossom to it, otherwise she’d probably get discouraged by her progress compared to me. We agreed to meet up on the docks tomorrow.
We’re underway! All aboard the Tidemare! We decided we fancied getting ourselves a ship, so Delun suggested we go to where the region’s pirates (wow, he sure hates those guys) are hanging out and take one of theirs; sounds like a plan where everyone’s a winner! (Un)Lucky Reed got us some nice maps and it looks like it should only be a few weeks trouble to get to the islands. I’m gonna teach Blackbeak some tricks and Blossom says she’ll make some fancy duds for me and my groupie. This should be fun!