23. All Good Things...

Nexus is bleeding. Val, Jorek & Rey must make some reckless decisions in a last-ditched effort to save the city.

All Good Things…

ExalTwitch Episode

Episode No.: 23
Original Air Date: August 21, 2016

NPC Appearances:
Crest Exultant, Ember, Infinite Dirge, Rain-After-Storms, Sanguine Grasp, Speaks-of-Silence, Starlight Dove,
Three Fates Shadow

YouTube Archive: ExalTwitch Day 23
ReCapt: ReCapt Episode 23

“Sometimes when you wake up you know things won’t be the same after this day.”

Val, Rey, Jorek, Three Fates Shadow and Speaks-of-Silence arrive in Nexus via the river, together with Klem’s unconscious husband. They reason that he’ll be safe pretty much anywhere if they can save Nexus, and so they stride out, Valeria preparing to speak to the populace. Rey calls out Jorek for his behavior earlier and questions his ability to handle the tasks ahead. He assures them he will be all right, and gives Rey the gift he received from Rain-After-Storms: Smashfists.

Outside the tunnels, Nexus is falling apart: buildings are collapsing, citizens are looting, trade is at a standstill. Valeria positions herself on the stage and begins her speech, aiming to inspire hope and convince the people that the disease has been cured. A crowd begins to gather: Val offers her words as food to anyone who will stay and listen; Jorek volunteers to hear peoples’ economic petitions; Rey offers to deal with any looters who are causing families trouble. Gradually an even larger crowd gathers and lines form before each of the Solars as they work to heal the city. Val even lends her spear to a member of the Golden Tigers to use as a banner around Nexus.

Valeria: “This is how we shine.”

Citizens climb on to the city walls and shout down to the Tepet army that the disease has been cured. Shortly after, Crest Exultant’s airship flies overhead and drops notes to the soldiers. The party, believing Crest to have fulfilled his end of the bargain, walks through the front gates to witness the army’s departure. It is in that moment that the soldiers begin to catapult pitch into the city, and a Dragonblooded crew member of the airship is thrown from the deck, hanged by his neck. Jorek manages to sever the rope and the man is caught by Nexus citizens. A figure appears at the bow of the airship: Infinite Dirge has taken command of it!

Rey races off in pursuit of the airship, calling for Three Fates’ help. Jorek and Valeria demand to speak to the army’s commander, hoping to stop the attack on Nexus. What they find instead is Tide, now in command of a smaller unit of soldiers, but secretly still held prisoner by Ember. Speaking to them privately, Tide informs them that Dirge’s notes, dropped from the airship, have convinced the Tepet army that the outer ring of Nexus has been infected by the mysterious disease. Tide offers to turn away her individual unit, but that she can’t hope to do the same for the rest of the army: Val and Jorek will have to either sabotage the catapults firing on the city, or speak to the general and try to convince him of his mistake. She also asks the Solars to release her from her oath to them so that she won’t be taken back to the Blessed Isle and forced back on the drug. Jorek tells her they need to speak to Rey first, but Val promises to help her get away. The two set off towards the centre of camp, seeking House Tepet’s commander.

Rey and Three Fates Shadow leap up on to the underside of the airship, sneaking aboard. Rey finds Crest Exultant, unconscious and beaten within an inch of his life, and wrapped in cold iron chains. She hopes to persuade Rain-After-Storms to set the ship down, but instead decides that she needs to take command and defeat Infinite Dirge. Stepping out on to the deck, and taking in the five House Tepet sailors standing at the edge with nooses around their neck, Rey taunts Infinite Dirge after he smashes a piece of ship: “I see you’re as good as a captain as you are a boyfriend!” With a snarl, she launches herself at him, but he easily deflects her, pushing a hostage off the deck. Rey leaps off, swinging along the side and hurling three of the hostages below decks to keep them safe. Sneaking back to the stairs, she finds Three Fates dead to rights, as Infinite Dirge and Sanguine Grasp stand over her. At a blinding speed, Rey rushes out of the shadows, smashing into Infinite Dirge, knocking him to the floor, unconscious. Sanguine grabs him and takes off and over the edge of the airship: Rey watches as she hooks herself back on to the underside and swings around. Rey and Three Fates grab ropes and swing down underneath to meet them. 400 metres above Nexus, Rey grabs the rope holding the Abyssals up and whips it downwards. As she falls, Sanguine Grasp manages to sever Rey’s rope, but she is saved by Three Fates. The two watch as Sanguine uses Infinite Dirge’s unconscious body to cushion her blow as she limps away.

Arriving at the centre of House Tepet’s army camp, Valeria and Jorek meet Tepet Ken-sha, a conceited and vain but obviously powerful Dragon-Blooded. Trading on his dreams of being recognized as a hero on the Blessed Isle, Valeria convinces him that the disease is cured and that he could be the hero returning triumphant who vanquished it. Easily won over, Ken-sha agrees to call off the army’s advance: Jorek will write the proclamation of their victory, but they must also accept his wager. Rolling a die each, Jorek getting a high roll means they will simply leave immediately; if Ken-sha gets the higher roll, he gets to bring Valeria and Jorek back to the Blessed Isle as his prisoners. Jorek, unable to resist the lure of risks and gambling but believing Ken-sha to be using loaded dice, fixes the die roll in his favour. The Solars win, but not before the commander physically gags Val to prevent her from speaking until they’ve left, and privately lets Jorek know that he caught his lies.

Valeria and Jorek meet Rey outside the walls of Nexus as the airship is set down: the rescued mercenaries are sent off to let House Tepet know the true enemies were the Abyssals, not Crest Exultant, and the three watch the army pack up as they prepare to start the process of fixing Nexus.

In a small alley, Speaks-of-Silence crouches over Infinite Dirge’s body as Starlight Dove approaches her: “It’s time that we had a talk in private….”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License