16. The Bigger They Are….

The following day, back in Nexus, the party searches for Pearl but end up encountering much more than they bargained for.

The Bigger They Are…

ExalTwitch Episode

Episode No.: 16
Original Air Date: June 19, 2016

NPC Appearances:
Ember, Exquisite Tide, Pearl.

YouTube Archive: ExalTwitch Day 16
ReCapt: Episodes 16 and 17

“Sometimes you might have to make a choice: to sacrifice some in order to save the many….”

Having spent the night at the Manse, the Circle returns to Nexus. They may have beaten back the Abyssals, but other crises remain: Where is Exquisite Tide? To what or whom is Entropy loyal? If Pearl’s disease has infected many, what is the trigger? The Exalted discuss their plans to address these problems: Rey intends to meet Kanna and direct the Golden Tigers to be her “eyes & ears” in Nexus, as well as bodyguards for Val & Jorek. Jorek intends to put the wheels in motion to start rebuilding Rey’s old apartment block, but most importantly, they will hopefully all find Pearl and get him to tell them the trigger to the disease.

At the gates into Nexus, they encounter an injured woman, Felicity, a traveller from the North who was thrown out of the city for sharing stories she had heard about the Angel of Nexus. When pressed, Felicity reveals that the person who bribed the guards to throw her out and also arranged for her to be beaten was Exquisite Tide. In the wake of this, Felicity wonders where each of the Circle find their courage. Rey believes she isn’t brave, but that her hatred for running away naturally leads to “bravery”; Val believes herself to have gained her courage with her Exaltation, and that when given the opportunity to do good, she feels compelled to follow through; Jorek believes that everyone who truly wants something done will find the ability to do it. The heroes take Felicity back to her rooms and as thanks she gifts Rey a salve for burns made from a small leaf.

Suddenly, a blazing pillar of light with runes swirling around it explodes from deeper within Nexus: the Circle believes it to be Pearl, but is he causing trouble, or in danger? While they may be at odds with him, they recognize that if he dies, so does knowledge of the disease’s trigger…. Racing into the city, they discover Pearl desperately trying to fend off Exquisite Tide on a rooftop. As Ember launches Rey and Val up towards the fray, Tide lands a giant blow on Pearl, knocking him up into the air. Val tries to reason with Tide to talk her down, while Rey is less civil, as the two of them will never see eye to eye.

Jorek manages to catch the falling Pearl, but his injuries are too severe. A desperate Jorek lies to dying Pearl, promising to carry on his work with the disease if he can learn the trigger. With his dying breath, Pearl tells him the trigger is ease of mind: “When there is nothing left to worry about, when all your troubles belong to someone else, I strike!”

Back on the rooftop, bored of their conversation, Tide leaps down to the ground and starts smashing up the building beneath them. The Circle decides to deal with Tide once and for all and leap into combat. Jorek distracts Tide long enough to allow Ember to slice her back, and she strikes back with her goremaul, severely injuring Ember. Val and Rey work together to beat Tide down while an Air Immaculate (seemingly working with Tide) has engaged Summer Blaze and Jorek in a separate building. As an injured Tide attempts to flee, Jorek shoots her three times and brings her down.

Everyone converges on the fallen Tide while the Air Immaculate escapes. Rey is adamant Tide not be allowed to live and Ember asserts that since she means nothing to him, he couldn’t care less what happens to her. Tide plays her last card: she has captured Three-Fates Shadow, and she will die if not saved in the following hours. Tide also claims that she has been protecting Ember from the repercussions of betraying the Wyld Hunt and his house. Val, desperately hoping to save Three-Fates, tries to bargain for the Abyssal’s safe return, setting her against Rey, who firmly believes that Tide’s death and saving many lives far outweighs saving Three-Fates. Jorek proposes a compromise: Tide will turn over Three-Fates Shadow, alive, and never set foot in Nexus again so that she may live. However, she must also swear to never take another life except when she herself is in mortal danger. Exquisite Tide, surrounded by her enemies, is about to respond to this proposal….

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