In the Bureau of Destiny in Yu-Shan, the agent known as Tako, Eight Tales, Chosen of Endings, receives his next assignment: to put an end to a grand conspiracy in the Western Region that will inevitably involve four Celestial Exalts: three Lawgivers and a Steward. He immediately sets off towards the nearest Celestial Gate of his starting location: The City of Gateway in the island of Abalone, part of the Wavecrest Archipelago.
Having finished a prior expedition to a small Wyld pocket near the Neck, Night of the Thousand Eyes receives his next mission from the Coral Navy: conduct reconnaissance and apprehend two God-Blooded drug smugglers that will be transporting a very dangerous substance in Wavecrest. While the mission is certainly not one that should concern Coral as a whole, Night dismisses the fact and heads to Wavecrest without any hesitation. He arrives at the city of Gateway, the place where the smugglers are said to be headed. Little does he know that Her Sickle from the Lightening Skies, a Lunar Exalted, has been smuggled onboard his ship, a wolf that he had rescued from a Wyld pocket and one he has somehow felt an attachment towards.
Fresh from a good night’s rest, the lady known as Lash of the Sublime Heart is summoned by her mother with an important task at hand: meet and escort a thaumaturge who will be transporting an important item into Wavecrest. Acting as her liaison, Lash is handed the official orders from their client, sealed with the insignia of a circle split vertically by a crooked line, a dot on the upper part of the inner left side and another on the lower part of the outer right side. Happily Lash sets off, eager to please her mother and to continue learning more of Wavecrest’s convoluted bureaucracy. She was told to expect a man with a potted plant in his possession at the Garuda’s Talon, a popular tavern in Gateway.
In search of his next big expedition, the explorer Ezael Soul-Iris is approached by a God-Blooded friend, Mark Dawn Treader, with a small favor in hand: a small potted plant that needs transporting to the city of Gateway in Wavecrest in his behalf. Hesitant at first, Dawn Treader secures his services by offering a map that leads to an uncharted location in the region, a rumored ruins that date back to the High First Age. Plant in hand, Ezael sets off towards Wavecrest to fulfill the simple errand.
Tako reaches Gateway and, tempted by the local delicacies and trinkets being sold in the busy port town, gets momentarily distracted and engages in enthusiastic business, making off with an expensive Siaka fang in the process. Finally he consults the stars for a lead, turning up a path that ends up at the Garuda’s Talon. Unsure whether the stars gave him a lead for his hunger pangs or his mission at hand, Tako enters the tavern.
Ezael promptly arrives in Wavecrest and reaches the Garuda’s Talon – the place where he was supposed to meet his contact, a woman of noble upbringing. Lash of the Sublime Heart immediately approaches Ezael and inquires about the plant in his possession, opening a somewhat awkward and confusing conversation as details do not seem to corroborate. With Night of the Thousand Eyes listening in and Lightening Skies trailing the Night Caste in her wolf form, an arrest immediately ensues, much to Tako’s surprise and fear when he entered the tavern.
Things quickly escalate and complicate when Peleps Saturos, a Water-Aspected Dragon-Blooded, and Ragara Menardi, a Fire-Aspected Dragon-Blooded, ambushes the five shortly after, claiming that a certain tip-off has led them to check out five Anathema that have gathered in the Garuda’s Talon. Much to the two Terrestrials’ satisfaction, they did confirm they were Anathema after Lightening Skies sheds off her wolf form and pounces upon Saturos in her full Lunar glory. A fierce fight ensues that leads to the tavern’s destruction by fire. In the end, a heavily-wounded Saturos was forced to flee and Lightening Skies’s rage costed Menardi her life. In the midst of the commotion, Lash and Ezael fled, prompting Night and Skies to follow them. Tako pursues desperately, his assignment trailing towards failure before his very eyes.
As the Exalts confront one another in the streets of Gateway, Lash’s feeble attempts to subtly influence Night just leads to their further arrest, not helped by the fact that she suddenly remembered the establishment that owns the seal from whence their orders came: The Blue Lotus, a well known drug den in Gateway. Having threatened Tako away, he eludes Skies’s watch by shedding his Resplendency, secretly trailing them as Night and Skies took Ezael and Lash away. The plant, which remained in Skies’s possession after confiscating it from Ezael, took notice that the plant had grown extensively since the first time they laid eyes on it, a strong scent emanating from its flowers causing her to feel somewhat light-headed.
Night kept the two captive within his ship while he filed his report as instructed and buried it on the ground. Almost immediately, an elderly fisherman appeared behind him and inquired about the two prisoners he now keeps, claiming to be the man who assigned the mission to him. He leads the fisherman to his ship, the fisherman noticing Tako sneaking aboard and motioning him to accompany them, surprised that a ‘Vizier’ is getting involved in the affairs.
In the brig, tensions are diffused as the fisherman reveals himself to be Albatross Mariner, Patron God of the Archipelago of Wavecrest. A high-ranking God within the Western Terrestrial Bureaucracy, he reveals a plot by a rogue debauchery God, Lurker at the Threshold, patron God of the strange plant that now sat on the table in front of them all – Jyliweed. Grateful for the Exalts’ efforts to keep the plant from reaching the wrong hands, he was struck with great interest as to why Lawgivers were transporting the item instead of God-Blooded as he had anticipated, why a Lawgiver and a Steward was put in charge to apprehending them, and why a Vizier is involved in the entire matter. It becomes a conclusion that the entire matter has been a setup and that it would merit further investigation in the future.
Albatross Mariner profusely thanks the Exalts for their service and offers them a small boon in exchange for their troubles: a red jade Wavecleaver Daiklave called ‘Marsa’, Menardi’s prized weapon of choice, and a journal that detailed Saturos and Menardi’s expeditions in the Wavecrest Archipelago as part of their duties to the Western Wyld Hunt. Written in Terrestrial High Realm, only Lash was able to decipher most of its contents, including maps to ancient ruins, rumored Solar tombs, and even a few manses that seemed to have endured through the Second Age.
With a cryptic warning that danger is upon the Exalted – one that can threaten both the mortal and supernatural order of the West – Albatross Mariner bids them farewell and looks forward to seeking their services in the near future. In the meantime, Night decides that they should immediately leave Gateway and seek out one of the ruins within Saturos and Menardi’s journal.
Experience Awarded: 5 exp to everyone
Background dots obtained:
- Artifact 2 (Wavecleaver Daiklave – Marsa)
- Contact 1 (Albatross Mariner – Brilliance of the Seas by proxy)
- Saturos and Menardi’s journal