Cloak & Dagger

Part IV: The Winter Folk
A summary

Wanting to travel quickly but discreetly, they spoke with Bob, who they had met in Whitewall, to get some horses. Bob was a guardsman who had been showing them around in Whitewall, and over the day they had taken a liking to him. Cloak decided that, upon returning to Whitewall, he would make sure Bob got an impeccable reputation.

They rode north from Whitewall, into rough and rugged terrain. Dagger could ride well enough, but Cloak was not used to horses, and nearly had a terrible accident. Kodia suggested she might kill his horse and take its shape, so that Cloak might ride upon her back instead – it was agreed, that this was wise, and so the Lunar carried him for the rest of the journey. As they made camp on the way, they often spoke of their homelands – Weilin, of the cold, wind-torn Haslanti, Kodia of the tall trees of Halta, and Velak of the strictures of his Realm upbringing.

After some time of travel, they realized that finding the Raksha Freehold on horseback might take a long time, in the inaccessible, mountainous terrain. While they would prefer a subtle approach, it was agreed they must favor speed over discretion, and so Weilin once more summoned his magical cloud and they took to the skies. Soon, they spotted a patch of strange fog, and flew to investigate.

Within this fog lay hidden the mysterious Freehold called Ice Blossom. Velak used his silver tongue and Eclipse anima banner to persuade one of the Fair Folk to guide them inside through the dangerous, freezing fog. Once inside, they found that the freeholds’ members were devoted to perfecting their skills, each within a given field. They located a guardsman named Himedallr, who had been practicing such keen eyes, and such keen ears, that he could find Rune instantly. Velak persuaded him to aid them.

Thus they discovered Rune, caught in the clutches of a Fair Folk torturer named Exquisite Pain. Rune explained, that he had made a bargain – the Raksha had been torturing many helpless mortals, who had been sold to him by the Guild. To spare their lives and souls, Rune had agreed to take their place. The deal had been such, that he could escape without breaking any oath – but strange gossamer manacles had him bound to the wall, and he dared not try to break them until the mortals had reached safety.

Weilin assured him, that they had seen no mortals in the surrounding mountains. Then, as Velak distracted the torturer, Weilin freed Rune from his bonds, and they escaped the Freehold using Himedallr’s services to find a safe passage out.

Once outside, they slew Himedallr and Rune thanked them for freeing him. Despite his horrible injuries, he was well enough to travel. They would return to Whitewall on horseback, for while Weilin’s cloud could not carry all four of them, Rune’s faithful horse had waited for him outside the Freehold.

As they traveled, they came upon an ancient monument used by Dragon Kings to summon the spirits of the dead. Thinking they might perhaps commune with Geyr Hammerfists’ victims, Weilin performed a ceremony, and a ghost answered – saying that Geyr Hammerfist was hiding on an airship somewhere in the mountains. The ghost also said that it was here seeking Geyr out of love – a love that had been born of his own murder. This greatly disturbed all four of the Exalts.

It was resolved that it was urgent to find Geyr Hammerfist. Rune promised he would return to Whitewall and do what he could to restore order there, while Cloak, Dagger, and Kodia should search the mountains for the hidden airship. Thus, they parted ways.

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Part III: To Whitewall
A summary

In the land of Thrassa, the two heroes were approached by Uvanavu, the God of Health. He explained that he feared the Bull of the North was planning to move on Whitewall, and he feared for the city’s safety. Knowing that Cloak had once pacified the Bull of the North with words alone, he pleaded that the Eclipse Caste tried to work out a peaceful agreement with the Bull.

Velak agreed, and using sorcery, Weilin summoned up a magical cloud, on which the two could travel swiftly to Kaneko’s camp, bringing with them the flute. Kodia came along, seated on Weilin’s shoulder in the shape of a pigeon.

They met with Yurgen Kaneko in his camp, as he prepared his armies. After presenting him and Samea with the Ghost-Calling Shakuhachi, they discussed the Whitewall situation over drinks until late in the night, and eventually came to an agreement. Cloak and Dagger would have until Calibration to work out a peaceful alliance between the nations; if Whitewall would not declare itself an open ally of Kaneko by then, he would invade it.

Right after they had come to this agreement, however, word came to them that Uvanavu had somehow disappeared. Hurriedly, they traveled to Whitewall on the magical cloud to find out what had become of him – knowing that the situation was quite grave, with the Celestial God of Health suddenly missing.

In Whitewall, their suspicions fell immediately on a strange Anathema who had killed a captain of the guard named Ayla, and also murdered most of the Immaculate Monks stationed in the city. They suspected another corrupted Solar, much like Queen Meredith, and hurriedly sought audience with the Syndics who rule Whitewall. The god Yo-Ping answered them, and told them the situation was dire: Not only had Uvanavu gone missing, but also a Solar named Rune, who had been working in secret for the Syndics. Rune would perhaps be able to find Uvanavu, but he had ventured to a Raksha Freehold a week earlier and not returned since; Yo-Ping feared he might be dead.

Methodically, Cloak and Dagger investigated where the anathema had struck. By asking around among the Guardians, they were eventually able to find a likely suspect: A man named Geyr Hammerfist, who had been set out on winter exile and ought to be dead – but he had made contact with his sister, and when they interrogated her they learned he had been conspiring against Captain Ayla.

Some investigation revealed that his motive was twofold – in part, he had sought revenge on the Guardians for placing him in exile, but also, he had interrogated Ayla on the whereabouts of some powerful thaumaturgical supplies. It seems he had been looking for a particularly powerful Yasal crystal, which can be used to imprison spirits. A god like Uvanavu would be too powerful to catch with the crystal alone, but perhaps it could be used in some greater scheme.

Yet all they knew of Geyr Hammerfist was his name, and the fact that he had stolen a crystal – they knew not where he might be hiding. Having heard that Rune was skilled in investigating crimes, they decided their next course of action must be to find out if he was still alive, and if so, to save him.

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Part II: The Queen of Thrassa
A summary

Traveling to the capitol of Thrassa, Cloak and Dagger learned about the strange religious practices of the Queen Meredith, and that people now worshiped strange ancient ghosts rather than their own ancestors. To approach subtly, they disguised themselves as emissaries from Sijan, and infiltrated the palace seeking audience with her.

They soon discovered that the advisors to the King were, in fact, possessed by powerful ghosts, and that the King himself had become a broken, confused old man where once he was a great conqueror. They met the Queen in the hearthroom of the palace-manse, where she was busy praying to the Great Dead.

Dagger left to search through the palace for the vaults, to obtain the flute – while Cloak stayed with the Queen. Learning of his Exalted nature, she used strange Charms to seduce him, and he learned – much too late – that she was a corrupted Solar Exalt, infused with the power of death. She and her ghostly handmaids led him to her bed, where they intended to eat him alive.

Strangely, however, a mysterious man arrived to intervene. Before Queen Meredith could kill her prey, he used a strange Charm to lift the scales from Mnemon Velak’s eyes, and he saw her for the monster she was. For a moment, he thought the strange man seemed like his teacher, but he dismissed the thought.

While the Queen was distracted, Dagger sought out the vault of the manse-palace and opened it. Inside, he found the prize they sought – the Ghost-Calling Shakuhachi – but as he grabbed it, his demon assistant alerted him to that his friend was in danger. Cloak and Dagger fought the queen and her handmaids, but with one of them already half-dead, they realized they could not defeat her, and fled.

In the forest, while Cloak was recovering from the horrendously infected injuries he had sustained, the two met Kodia. She somehow recognized Weilin from a past life, and he recognized her – for reasons she could not quite comprehend, she promised to aid them in defeating the Queen.

With her aid, they returned to the palace once Cloak was feeling better, and defeated Meredith and her entourage, slaying her with a well-placed arrow from Dagger’s bow. Before they left to report to Samea, they made sure to restore the palace-manse to its former glory, and Dagger attuned to it so that he could channel its powers.

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Part I: The Shakuhachi
A summary

Mnemon Velak and Weilin Longtooth met in the warm season in the lands of the Icewalker Tribes, both summoned there by Samea of the Blackwater Mammoth Tribe. She spoke to them about her own intentions of seeing the North united in a peaceful way, and thought that where Yurgen had applied the sword, the two heroes could try diplomacy. Many Northerners worship their ancestors, and she had heard of a flute whose tones would be pleasing to the ears of the dead: The Ghost-Calling Shakuhachi.

Together, Velak and Weilin took it upon themselves to travel to the realm of a Scavenger Lord named Jay-Woo. There, they infiltrated his palace skillfully, and while Velak distracted the court with an excellent display of his martial arts skills, Weilin snuck into the vault with the aid of a summoned demon. It was here that they earned their nicknames – Cloak and Dagger.

Sadly, they found the vault empty – two other con men had used the exact same scheme only two weeks prior to their arrival.

Following the trail the con men had left, the two traveled to the Kingdom of Thrassa, where a new religion was spreading, devoted to worship of something called the Great Dead. The heroes heard, that this was the religion of the new Queen, and the King had adopted it as official.

To find the con men, Cloak entered into a martial arts tournament in the city of Maul. Soon, he faced one of the thieves, an Air Aspected Outcaste posing as an Immaculate Monk under the guidance of a Realm-born Water Aspect. They defeated the two Dragon-Blooded con men, but learned that they had already sold the flute to the Queen of Thrassa.

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