Episode 3 part 4 With the party over the circle made their way to their chambers in Rain's home. Echo propped a chair against the door, fearing a nightly visit by Rain's amorous mother. Dorn however hired a rickshaw and travelled back to his apartment in the city centre.
In the house the others awoke and Kheralin activate her charm, and slipped out easily, listening in on the guards, and discovering that the King and his son was dead, apparently at the hands of Rain. The city soldier were let into the house, and questioned were asked as the building was turned over. Aisha was questioned, though claimed to be the gardener, while Light said he was Unfettered Emerald's doctor. Echo of course got too much attention, but cowed them into submission on the presentation of his medal of office as captain of the Iron Eagle's of Nexus.
Rain arrived at one of the main squares near the arena. He was there looking for someone, a contact, a beggar who was also a minor member of his cult. On finding the vagrant, as usual the man was sat there with a dish expecting what small offerings people could give him. Rain dropped in two bits of silver and asked the beggar what was going on. Recognizing his master's voice, the beggar explained that he had heard that the King was dead, and that Rain was the killer. Rain was shocked by this and left, heading to Dorn's apartment.
Aisha, Echo and Light left the house and went into the city, hoping to get to Dorn. They took different routes, but were being followed. Aisha lost her tail in amongst the markets, while Light went looking for their mercenary friend. Since arriving in Khacin the mercenary had been staying near to Dorn and on the look out for anything strange. Light found him at the inn. Light was riding his camel he had purchased the other day in the market, and so he swapped with the mercenary. The mercenary rode the camel into the market, with Light on foot, before parting ways, the mecenary now being tailed by the soldiers.
At Dorn's apartment there was a knock on the door, and Dorn was met by Rain. Rain explained the problem as Dorn made preparations for the fight later. Rain set about making breakfast from the left overs in the apartment. They were soon joined by Kheralin.
Echo only noticed he was being followed as he went into the inn where Dorn was staying. He proceeded up the steps before turning back and rushing the guards. He kicked the one down the stairs and drew his sword on the other and threatened the man before throwing him down the stairs to join his friend.
Eventually all the circle was in Dorn's apartment. Rain was working out what to do, knowing that they had to turn the tables quickly. They still needed access to the library of the Manse of the Grey Tiger. It was decided that Dorn would go take part in the tournament, with Aisha watching. It was suggested that Dorn should try and make as much of a show as possible. Kheralin had already scouted out the the palace and the walls, and so Rain decided that now was a good time for an uprising, not just to take down the Immaculate Faith of Khacin, but also as a cover for them to get into the library.
It was time for the tournament, and Dorn and Aisha headed off to the Circle of Blood arena. The high black metal walls loomed over them, and from within they could hear the cheering of the crowds. The pair entered the areana through the combatant gate, and were led deep down into the arena. Above the roars of the crowd dulled, and about them were cages of prisoners, animals and beasts from the Wyld. They waited and queued and eventually they were brought to the lift from where Dorn would be winched up into the arena. Aisha was led to a private box from which to watch as Dorn made his final preparations.
Meanwhile, near to the slums, Rain was gathering the followers of his cult. They came from all walks of life. Their numbers grew as they began to approach the road to the palace upon the hill. Amongst their number Echo, Light and Kheralin hid, ready to take action. But with them were a number of mercenaries hired by Echo and Kheralin. Rain took his position to the front of the crowd, and from there made his proclamations and speeches, urging the crowd on.
Dorn was winched up on the lift, the floor of the arena opening and spilling light down into the darkness. The roar of the crowd was deafening. He stood in the centre of the arena as his name was announced to the excited mob. He then saw his opponent emerge from below the arena. She was tall and muscular, and brandished an enormous hammer of white stone. As her name was read out Aisha realized that it was not who Dorn was meant to fight. It was one of the Dragon Blooded who Kheralin had learnt of.
The two warriors walked up to each other and stared each other down. The Dragon Blood announced herself as Solemn Topaz. The two Exalts stared each other down. Each traded insults, trying to crush the other's will to fight. Aisha however is more concerned about how their identities were made known.
The fight began, with Topaz breaking her cool, and struck out with the enormous Goremaul. The hammer sent thunderous tremors through the arena, as Dorn dodge the strikes. Dorn, having noted the slowness of the weapon timed an attack. He grabbed the Dragon Blood, and embraced her in crushing grip. The gauntlets and razor harness dug in as both struggled for control of the grapple. Dorn crushed Topaz's armour, before with a roar he hurled her towards one of the pillars in the arena, breaking her against the column of metal with a sickening snap.
The arena exploded in to cheers and then screams. They soon realized that Dorn was the enemy of prophecy. A sun demon. His essence was boiling around him, and his anima banner, a great bear of the north, had erupted around him.
At the palace walls the mob of cultists, with Echo, Kheralin, Light and Rain, had gathered and were being urged on by the monumental words of Rain, his very words loaded with magic. Rain decreed that for too long had the Immaculate Faith of the Grey Tiger denyed them the truth of the library, and the now was a time of reckoning. Kheralin, calling upon her charms, easily lept up on the palace walls and snuck into the guard tower so that she might open the gates.
In the arena Dorn called for the people to witness the weakness of the Dragon Blooded. But in response there was a terrible roar from within the royal box, as the god, The Grey Tiger, Kha Alahan, called for Dorn, the 'Blackened Sun' of prophecy to come and face him in battle. The god strode forth, almost a full 10 feet tall, carrying a flaming red jade Dire Lance. The god had a perfect body of a man, but with claws and feet and head of a lion. The god leapt forward, shifting form into a centaur like form, ready to charge Dorn.
The crowd of revolutionaries waited outside the gate, with Rain, Echo and Light amongst their number. Kheralin had already worked her way inside to the guard tower from where she might open the gates. Rain took the time to pray to the local god of the library. This god, The Thousand Eyes of Books in the Night, was an Owl like god and a servant of the Grey Tiger. Rain offered a place in the new order to the god in return for knowledge of the city. In return the god sent a vision, a route from where Rain stood to the library, but such a route that would evade guards and traps. On the palace walls a priest of the Temple of the Grey Tiger appear. Rain recognised him as Generous Thought of Winter. The priest was the head of the temple and recognised Rain on sight. Winter denounced the mob, suggesting they should ask for forgiveness for their herecy should ask for forgiveness and hand over the vile traitor, calling out it's leaders to show themselves. Light nudges Rain, who asks him if this means he thinks he is in charge of the current rabble, or the more specific rabble of the circle. Dropping his hood, Rain steps forward and acknowledges the priest, asking him if
he would come down and speak with them, explain the error of their ways. The priest, recognising Rain denounces him as a murder as well as a heretic, an Anathema as spoken about in prophecy, and a traitor and charges him with regicide. Rain replies that he doesn't know if the priest really believes he killed the king or is just using it for political advantage, but Rain has been with some of his followers since his arrival in the city. He again invites the priest down to the street to explain his position amongst the people. Then from the guard tower there is a scream as a guard is sent to plummet to his death by Kheralin. Rain demands that the priest opens the gate so that the people may enter the library, read the prophecy and decide for themselves.
But the gates open. 'Let them in, listen to his words, but nothing else' spoke the priest. Rain, Light and Echo suspect a trap. They were right. There beyond the gate was a talon of 50 elite guard of Khacin. With them were monks of the temple, and in addition, two Dragon Blooded. One of them stood at the head of the guard. He wore the armour of the realm, and was already wreathed in an anima of fire. He was drawing essence together. The other Dragon Blood was a monk, armed with blue jade razor claws. Water danced about him as he enacted the kata of the Water Dragon Form fighting style.
Rain unbuckled his sword belt and handed to Light in order to give a sign of trust. He demanded to know how long the throne of Khacin had been in the thrall of the Realm. Rain hoped to buy some time. The fire-aspect responds that they are simply doing their duty as part of the Wyld Hunt, that they are to here to hunt Rain and his kind. The sorcerer then begins to fuse his essence into a ball of obsidian. Light and Rain recognised this action and realised they would have to act quickly or else be caught in the cloud of razor sharp obsidian butterflies.
Taking action Echo threw off his cloak and called upon his charms. He leapt forward, soaring into the sky and over the palace gates and into the throng of soldier, swinging his great sword back and forth, cutting through the men. Light threw to Rain his belt of swords. The former priest channeled his essence, unleashing as the Thunderbolt Attack Prana. Rain leapt forward, trailing golden essence, forcing his soul steel blade at the sorcerer. But even with a dead on strike, there was little injury, just a clang of metal. the sorcerer had a skin of bronze. Rain had hoped the the attack would have disrupted the spell.
The sorcerer maintained his concentration and command of the magic. The ball of obsidian exploded into a cloud of butterflies. They rushed forward, with Rain dodging what little he could at such a close range, and Light standing firm as he hoped his recently acquired soul steel armour would take the brunt of the attack. All about Light, the mob of cultists were cut to ribbons as the butterflies deflected of Light's dark metal armour. Rain however was not so lucky as any part of his body not protected by armour was cut to ribbons. Blood ran from the hundreds of cuts all over his body.
The water-aspect monk made his advance upon Light, demonstrating the water dragon. He gives a small bow, to which Light responds by unleashing the finished sorcery of the Flying Guillotine. The lightning fast razor chain shot forward, spinning towards the Dragonblood. With an effortless cartwheel the monk dodged the attack, which in stead strikes one of the guard. The chain wrapped around the man's waist, severing him in half.
Echo continued to wade through the soldiers, hacking at them as if they were mere weeds. He laughed with each strike. With a roar he issued a Mob Dispersing Rebuke, not believing that he needs to invoke the powers of the Dawn caste to scare of these enemies. However, the soldiers maintain their ground.
Finishing off the remaining guards in the tower and deciding that her mission is the priority, rather than helping the others in their fight, Kheralin starts on her way to the library intent of retrieving the book of prophecy the circle requires, but she looks out of the window of the tower to watch the fight unfold, fearing that she may need to intervene. The guard mob Echo, who uses his training to parry the onslaught. Soldier intervene between Rain and the Dragon Blooded Sorcerer. Rain leaps over their heads and attacks in a spinning fury. Blood streamed off Rain's injuries painting him as a red whirlwind of death. In response the sorcerer raised a hand, battered by Rain's blows. At his palm flames grew until he unleashed it at Rain as an elemental bolt. Rain however called upon his charms and blurred out of the way.
The water-aspect monk struck a series of blows at Brilliant Light of the Woods. The highly trained martial artists' attacks were powerful and accurate, with the jade razor claws tearing through the armour and bringing Light to his knees.
At the arena the tiger-god, Kha Alahan, the Grey Tiger, charged at Dorn. Dorn had gathered his essence, focusing his rage, and every muscle bulged with barely concealed power. His anima banner, the great golden bear, roared out in fury as Dorn invoked the Solar Hero Form, and then Battle Fury Focus. Aisha had run off to try and release the dangerous animals within the bowels of the arena. She raced down into the darkness.
With the Tiger-God bearing down upon him, Dorn smashed down upon the arena floor, sending a shock wave through the arena. The floor collapsed, sending both Dorn and the Grey Tiger plummeting down 20 feet. The battle ground was now a ruinous maze of corridors, prisons and chambers. Unknown numbers of beasts and men had been crushed by the collapse. But for Dorn it had stalled the Grey Tiger's attack. Dust cloaked his movement and he readied himself to face the god up close.
From no where the god lashed out with his Dire Lance. The red jade blade glowed with fire, as a ruby hearth stone glowed in the head of the spear. Dorn is surprised by the flurry of blows, but is able to sidestep them as they punched through stone. But then Dorn realises that this was a city god he was facing, and so was tied to the city, and in turn able to appear anywhere in the city. There was no way to avoid this fight. Dorn grabbed the spear and pulled the god towards him, grabbing the god in an attempt to hurl the god.
In the arena chambers Aisha set about unlocking the cages, hoping the beast might act as a distraction. She also prepared her yasal crystal, for she realised there may be a captured demon beast that would act as a new source of power.
Episode 3 part 4
With the party over the circle made their way to their chambers in Rain's home. Echo propped a chair against the door, fearing a nightly visit by Rain's amorous mother. Dorn however hired a rickshaw and travelled back to his apartment in the city centre.In the morning there was a loud banging on the door to the manor house. The servants alerted Rain that they were here for him, that he was under arrest. Rain, taking some servant clothes, fled, cloaking himself with the power of his anima banner. He leapt over the wall of the garden and on into the city.