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I met up with Ardent Raven, Akane Keiko, and Ambassador Sivri on the way to the Silverlight. The trip proved to be uneventful. Raven was bored out of his wits. Keiko was chattering the whole time with Sparrow who seemed to enjoy the company of the talkative Terrestrial. I stayed at the bridge for long periods of time giving an excuse for Keiko to be there and the over-energetic Sparrow to have someone to chat with. I stayed in touch with Hiromi Izumi using the Infallible Messenger. The rebuilding of Nexus is proving to be quite profitable. She’s just the right person to take advantage of it.
Finally, we had a visual of the mountain city of Orun Telva. Mountain City describes the locale perfectly. It’s a city the size of and carved into the mountains. We also spotted another mountain rather out of place in the area. Aside from not being in the mountainous area. It was cobalt blue. Sapphire Sparrow being overly excited decides to investigate.
Getting too close proved to be a rather bad idea. The mountain undulated into the behemoth we were sent to stop. Sparrow outdid herself with the evasive maneuvers. Keiko and I went outside to investigate. We were confident that our Charms would keep us safe. What we saw was an enormous head with four beaked jaws suddenly closing on a maniacally grinning Raven.
Suddenly, a sickening crunch was felt and heard as part of the sinuous body of the behemoth struck the hull. I took out my axes and summoned the power of the Unconquered Sun and rained cutting terror on the great beast. Crackling energy hit it and my Lightning Torment Axes spread it throughout its body. And while it did not disgorge Raven it flinched long enough that the Silverlight was able to get out of range. I was advised by Keiko and Sparrow to regroup.
I sent out a few Infallible Messengers to Cousin Raya and Glimmer of the Stars to request for assistance. Sparrow kept the monster interested and lured it away from the great city despite the repairs being made on the ship.
The arrival of assistance was timely. The behemoth had grown tired of chasing us. The three fully armed Battle Carriers were able to stand in front of the behemoth before it reached the main city. It had halted and given us an opportunity to think our strategy. Unsurprisingly, Raya, Glimmer, and the rest of my lieutenants, with the exception of Izumi arrived. With them were Radu and Benjaho. Apparently, those with more experience at combatting these behemoths suggested we take the way of Ardent Raven and enter the beast.
The plan was simplicity itself, the ships would provide cover fire and Glimmer would use his Warstrider to open the maw of the beast. We’d all find our way inside and take it from there. My Terrestrial lieutenants (I think I shall have to find a name for their group…), all insisted on coming and had I forbade them to go they would have found a way anyway and unecessarily complicate matters.
There was little trouble in getting in the maw though we were confronted with a rather steep drop. Keiko made some quick chainwork to provide us with a lifeline. Saki quickly noted the location of the heart. Yoko, Naoko, and Yori opened up a hole. A few Athletics Charms and a Shape Changed Radu and I was able to ensure the safe passage into the heart. I noticed that Keiko was injured but she shrugged it off, serious rather than cheerful for once. I wondered where Raya, Benjaho, and Glimmer were.
I had little time for musing as I saw the enormous heart beating and Raven hanging from the ceiling, his possessions on the floor beneath him. My lieutenants quickly formed a protective phalanx around me as we moved obliquely towards Raven ready for a trap. With a curt signal, Saki severed the lines that held up Raven and with a gesture and a little help from Yori we eased him down. He was fully awake by now and getting his possessions.
Naoko made a warning signal and pointed, though it was uneccessary as I felt it myself. A powerful being was materializing in front of us. I recognized it as a demon but its name and purpose escaped me at the moment. Two blood apes materialized to the left as well. The demon greeted us cordially and explained it was bound to do us harm. It tired of its bindings and would be grateful if it was vanquished. It introduced itself as Stanewald, She who Surmounted the Omphalos and despite my warning on attacking a Quicksilver Falcon and facing the retribution of Heaven, battle was joined.
She danced her dance and her Shadow Bodies materialized and surrounded us and we squared off. My lieutenants andI only grazed the main body and she was unable to harm us as well. And then Raya, Benjaho, and Glimmer made an appearance. They managed to hold back the Shadow Bodies and the Blood Apes while we handled Stanewald herself.
A surprise came from Oil in Water who made an appearance and suddenly mauled Stanewald. A frustrated Glimmer had used Emerald Circle Banishment on a hapless Blood Ape, crushing it into its component particles and crushing those as well. It was like squashing a mosquito with a huge Essence Cannon. Benjaho swatted aside Shadow Bodies with what suspiciously looked like Solar Hero form. Radu had torn apart the other Blood Ape and a suddenly visible Hanya evicerated a Shadow Body. The tide was turned.
As Stanewald herself was distracted and hesitant due to the actions of the other Exalts, I finally landed a solid hit that finished her off. She seemed so grateful she was banished. Maybe I shall summon her when I can. Unfortunately, we still have no idea who sent her. That aside we had to make quick our escape. This behemoth does not seem to operate well without an animating intelligence.
Orun Telva proved to be yet another challenge. We were requested to meet their delegation in front of the main gate. Apparently, there was an army and a superweapon waiting to repel us in case we decided to enter. That was according to intelligence reports by the overly enthusiastic Ardent Raven. While he went along with Hanya’s agents inside the city, a delegation headed by a very obvious God Blooded approached us.
He brought with him treasures for us and the promised premium of Orichalcum. He was very evasive and even attempted to lie to the Chosen. After much wheedling and evasion, his sire Golden Eagle finally made himself known. He proved to be the Northern animal god. After his story was related to us, he agreed to cut a deal, his production would go to us as well as his contracts with various business firms buying from Orun Telva. Notable however was that the Orichalcum stockpiles was oathsworn to someone else.
With that said, I sealed it with an Eclipse Oath. The rest is semantics. We made our way back to Denandsor. Now, my musings are cut off as a call has come from Deliberative communications to attend the Chamber. I think, I’ll go as Haru today.
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