Freedom and Dreams

Session 3

A Perfect Circle?

Sabin, Shadows at Sea, and Natsue relaxed in Three Falls public drinking hall. The masters of the Imperial tribute caravan sat at the high table, enjoying the the finest food and liquor the town had to offer. As they enjoyed their food and drink, they realized that the local people where slowly filtering out of the hall. Natsue noticed them subtly whispering to each other before leaving the hall. Natsue and Shadows made an effort to blend into the crowd, while Sabin brazenly followed the locals into their meeting hall.

Inside, a young woman was in the middle of a speech explaining that Three Falls had to make a choice about whether to rebel against the Empire of Prasad. The Chosen of the Sun who had rescued her had promised to remain and defend Three Fall from reprisal. When she saw Sabin, she fell silent. An old woman told him that this was a local matter and tried to ascertain whether Sabin worked for the Empire. She decided that he did not, and carried on with the debate, speaking against the risk of rebelling. Shadows cut into the debate, encouraging the people to rebel, and Natsue countered that they should consider their options carefully.

The debate continued for some time, which neither side seeming to gain a majority. Eventually, Shadows spoke again in favor of freedom, and Natsue following in his wake, asking the people to look at who was profiting from having the Empire in Three Falls. A young man, incensed by the words the debate, accused his grandmother of being the one to pocket the wealth, that she and the elders were selling the future of his generation. Sabin, having remained quiet through the debate, seized the moment, shouting over the crowd and inciting them to take back the tribute wealth of the imperial caravan. Many of the young men and women cheered in agreement and began marching out into the night…


Trush, Starfall, and Willow were waiting at the temple for the people's decision. Willow nervously swept, and Thrush helped him. Starfall lounged comfortably watching them with disinterest. Sky hurried in with news of a mob forming, seemingly intent on violence and urged Thrush to do something about it. He went out and confronted the crowd, forcing their attention with his essence fueled presence. He and Sabin debated the best first steps for rebellion, with Sabin arguing for taking the caravan and Thrush urging patients. As the debate between the two Exalted starting heating up, Willow quietly moved behind Sabin and struck him with his shovel with a resounding clang. Sabin stumbled forward from the force of the blow. Starfall attempted to defuse the situation, but the crowd paid her little attention. Others, including members of the caravan had started gathering to see what the commotion was about, and Natsue suggested they take the conversation somewhere more private. The six Chosen headed for the temple, and the crowd disbursed.

Upon entering the temple, Natsue peered into the spirit world, saw Might Breaks the Trees, and politely bowed to the god, who bowed back. Thrush and Sabin continued the debate about the proper way to hurt the empire or start a rebellion. Sabin expressed distaste for not acting immediately, but nominally agreed to Thrush's plan. Their conversation was cut short by the arrival of Ashai and Inti, who informed the Solars that Three Falls had voted to rebel. Ashai revealed that the young had voted against their family elders, which was unprecedented in the town. Thrush bid Inti to come with the six best hunters of Three Falls in the morning to begin their instruction in the ways of war.

The next morning, Trush named Inti and the other six hunters assembled as his lieutenants. With Sabin's assistance, he began instructing them in the ways of war. Might Breaks the Trees appeared to grant his blessing to their efforts, and Sabin was shocked at everyone's lack of reaction to the god's manifestation. During a break in the training, Thrush asked for Natsue's assistance to write a letter to Little Fish to tell him about the nascent rebellion.

Later in the morning, Flames Ascending entered the temple, and was shocked to find the manifest Treebreaker and the hunters dutifully taking instruction. Before she could intervene, Starfull told her about the threat of Berengiere, the Weaver of Voices, and convinced her to go into the mountains to look for the demon. Flames Ascending looked wary, but agreed that demons needed to be dealt with and departed.

Rel Nas, one of the caravan masters, came to the temple to announce the impending departure of the imperial caravan. Scouts had reported that the wildlife seems pacified, so they will take to the road. Ashai refused to go with him, to which he responded with confusion; as the emperor's promised bride, she had no choice but to come. Thrush stepped in with cold words and a cold stare, and Rel Nas nervously said the next tribute caravan will have to collect the emperor's bride.

As the caravan departed, the Solars heard the blast of horns. Inti and the other hunters said it was a warning of danger. Another hunter ran in, and said that more apemen had been spotted south of the town. Trush asked them to prepare a defense, and he and most of the other Solars went to see the source of danger for themselves. Natsue stayed behind with Ashai and Might Breaks the Trees.

Sabin suggested leading the apemen to attack the caravan, a plan that the others quickly agreed to. Most of them tailed the caravan, and Shadows at Sea sneaked through through the forest to find the apemen. What he discovered, was not just the apemen making their way through the trees, but three massive, gorilla-like blood-apes thrashing their way through the underbrush. With a clever quip, he attracted their attention, leaped into the trees, and began running toward the caravan with the demons and apemen following.

Meanwhile, the other Solars approached the caravan through the cover of the forest. In his eagerness, Thrush approached too closely, and attracted the attention of one of the caravan's rearguard. He claimed he had come to see the caravan off and that the horns heralded their departure. The guard returned to the caravan, then he, and Thrush, turned to look toward the sound of thrashing coming from the south…


Chazzminder Chazzminder

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