Resplendent fire 8
Once my training was completed, I made my way back to Champoor. When I returned to our compound, I found Broken Walls training with the guardsmen. He was showing them proper fighting forms, and stances.
During my trip to Volivat, one of the things that stood out was it’s guard force. They were well trained, well coordinated, and always visible to the populace. That was something lacking with the Champoorie guard. I admired Broken Walls’ efforts to bring the local guard’s to a higher standard.
Once Broken Walls had completed his training, I asked if there was any way that I might help with the guards training. He suggested that given my daily training regime, I might be of help training their physical fitness. I’m not sure many would be able to keep up with my strict regiment, but I agreed to take the guards with me on my morning runs. Maybe some of my ideals would rub off on them along the way. The world could always use more heroes.
I finally got a chance to ask Aster how she managed to stay clean, despite the world’s best efforts. She told me that Litaka had given her a special necklace that lets her light wash her of even the most filthy stains. When I asked her where Litaka was, that I might ask him of it, she told me that he had departed while I was away from Champoor.
The news was a bit of a surprise to me. Litaka and Aster were very close. I almost expected him to become a regular sight in Champoor. Still, his departure was also of some relief. I was never able to shake that unsettling feeling about him.
Resplendent fire 9-14
I spent the rest of this week working with the guards that Broken Walls had hoped to train into a proper fighting force. We left in the mornings for my usual 10k run. I’m surprised at how hard it is for them to keep up with me. I must be that running in full gear is slowing them. I have only the uniform, whilst they have full armor, packs, weapons. Still, they will be better off training with the extra weight. I’ll just have to be patient.
We encountered a few muggings on our runs. Nothing out the ordinary for me. I dispersed the attackers with ease. I tried to show the guard how I handled the situations. They looked hesitant to attempt to disarm people the same way I do. They’ll get there eventually.
Resplendent fire 15
This morning, none of the guards showed up for my morning run. Their numbers had been dwindling towards the end of last week. A 10k run every single day, no matter what, was a lot to ask of a man. I guess I’ll just go back to running alone. At least I can run at my own pace.
When I returned, I discovered Aster frantically preparing for an engagement of some sort; Trying to get her hair just right. She told me she was meeting with Hatellus, and wanted to look good for it. Its hard to imagine, but it seems Aster is unaware of how beautiful she actually is. I somehow doubt that styling her hair differently, or wearing a different dress would change that. Still, I wished her luck on her evening, then retired to my room.
Resplendent fire 16
I had returned from my morning patrol, when I saw Aster and Chaoxi gossiping about the previous evening. It seems I had mistook the engagement that Aster was going on. As it turns out, it was a date. Aster was trying to court Hatellus. I don’t really know how to take this news. Hatellus is hundreds of years old, while Aster is 17. I’d say she doesn’t really know what she’s getting herself into, but neither do I. I’m only 24. I’ve never even had a serious relationship myself.
I know Aster can take care of herself. And while trying to court a god may not be the best idea, I can understand her desire to have a long lived companion.
I had just finished digesting the news of Aster’s evening, when Piper approached me, wanting my help with something. We’ve known for a while that Kadu’s followers had set up some sort of city improvement project. They had even tied Aster’s name to it at one point, until she requested them to stop. Piper now wanted to find out the details of the project.
For months now, Kadu’s recruiters have been gathering workers, and shipping them off to work. Where they were working, was unknown, and that’s where Piper wanted my help. She asked me to disguise myself, and go offer my services with the next recruitment party.
I’ve spoken with Piper before about my thoughts on disguising myself. I am a hero. And a hero should be visible. A hero shouldn’t hide himself and sneak around in the shadows. We argued back and forth, but eventually I relented. I agreed to go to the recruitment meeting, but I will do it in my own uniform. If Kadu’s men were serious and wanted to help improve the city, then they should have no reservations about having a hero such as myself help. Piper was happy to have my help, but a little disappointed at my attitude towards the disguise.
After she left, I spent the next few hours climbing the tower that Broken Walls had built. It’s a pretty good workout actually. There are few good places to grip, so each move has to be done carefully.
I had scaled the tower a few times, when Piper returned. She gathered Broken Walls, Myself, Aster, and Chaoxi to one of the meeting rooms in the Rising Sun House. He seemed to be worried somebody was listening to her. Piper is normally careful about her surroundings, but this time, he seemed extra cautious. He told us that yet another god had made itself known to her.
It seems that Akimu, the god of murder, and a spirit named Hathesis have been convincing their follows to murder people in the streets at night. I had wondered why the city had shut down around night fall. I didn’t think it was quite at this level though. I tell my friends that I can’t stand by and allow this sort of thing to occur freely. I would face these spirits, and put a stop to this once and for all.
Piper was appreciative, but felt that we didn’t know the full story yet. She was meeting with her contacts again soon, and felt that my sudden appearance and knowledge of the situation, may tip his hand. Currently, Hathesis believed Piper to be a potential recruit. Piper wanted to use this to her advantage, and I reluctantly agreed. I will be putting a stop to this, but I will heed my friends advise, and wait for the right moment. That being said, If I were to just happen to be taking a late night stroll, and happened to see an innocent in danger, it would be rather uncharacteristic of me to not help…
Resplendent fire 17.
I awoke, and began preparing myself for my mission to infiltrate the city improvement project. I don’t really consider myself much of a spy, but if it will helps the city, I will try to act the part.
When I descended the stairs, I found Broken Walls returning to the compound. He had gone off to meet with Mauk’s followers, with the hope of finding out more about Akimu, and his followers. He relayed to us that Akimu’s followers steal the souls of people, and that Mauk once tried to stop them. They said that there was a bell that existed within black quarter that had some sort of connection to Akimu. Mauk had tried to break the bell long ago; he failed, leaving a large crack in the side of it. If Mauk failed to break this bell, I want to try my hand at it. Must be quite something if it can withstand Mauk’s cudgel.
Broken Walls and I had just finished our conversation, when I noticed Aster pacing around. She seemed very distracted. When questioned, she told me that she was going to be seeing Hatellus again, and was hoping to give him a gift. I blurted out that he would probably like a fancy pen, as he is a god of contracts. She loved the idea, and hurried off.
I was about to head out to meet with the followers of Kadu, when Broken Walls stopped me. He asked me if I was sure that I wanted to do this alone. I told him that I would welcome the company if he desired to join me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I know Broken walls to be dependable in a pinch.
He took it upon himself to don a disguise. He mostly looked the same, but older, and more ragged. Better than I could have done for sure. Hopefully it would be enough for Kadu’s men.
We made our way to the meeting place that Piper had told us of. There were quite a few people around, all excited for the work offered by Kadu’s men. When I offered my services, they were quite surprised. They recognized me immediately. I told them that I had heard that they were attempting to improve the city, and that I would want to do my part to help. Champoor had become my home, and I wanted to help make it a better place. They were not convinced. They told me that part of the agreement, was to spend a year away from the city, working at a quarry. I wasn’t sure I could commit to a year. I wasn’t sure I could commit to a week in all honesty. The city needed heroes within the city, stopping the murders that were happening. I questioned myself if this were truly the right call. I want to help Piper find the information he needs, but a year is too long. I decided to try my hand at deception. I told them that I would work for three months. If they knew of me, they know that I could surely do the work of many men in short order. They reluctantly agreed, but still wanted me to sign a contract. I signed myself as Genos, hoping they didn’t know my actual name. He stuffed my papers and those of the others (Broken Walls included) into a pouch and told us to hop on his wagon. It was a long ride to the quarry.
During the ride, I was approached by a few people. Most of them curious about my fight with Silgur. I explained to them that I just punched him, and he went away. They were not convinced. Broken Walls convinced me during the ride that it would be best for us to not interact openly. They recognised me, and he felt they might make a connection to him if we were seen together too often. We spent the rest of the ride apart. As time went on, I recognized some of the areas. We were traveling north of the city, which I had explored quite a bit during my time away for training.
We arrived at the quarry fairly late. It was getting to be dusk. Lights could be seen through out the drab encampment. I could tell that they didn’t put much effort into making the place appear in good condition. They gave all of us uniforms, and told us to get changed. I ignored this suggestion, and went to find some of the veterans of the quarry. Broken Walls did the same. The general consensus, is that the people don’t like it here, but they agreed to the year contract, so they are putting up with it. For a year’s labour, they are to receive a bag of silver. The term bag seems to be undefined, as the amount in the bag seemed to vary largely from person to person. When I met up with Broken Walls, he had found that people who fail to meet quotas, or that try to leave before their contract ends, are beaten severely. We decided it best to meet with the management of the quarry to see about perhaps improving the conditions here, and to get the information we desired.
We confronted a group of guards, and demanded they bring us to their boss. They laughed and said that wasn’t happening. One tried to hit me. He must have been here for a while. I imagine the guards who had been to the city recently, would have heard that fighting me is not a good idea. I spared him serious injury, but I made my point. They showed me to their boss, a man named Nork.
Nork seemed offended that they would even bring somebody to see him. He ordered me beaten at once. The guards in the room all hesitantly brought out their clubs, and raised them to attack. I swiftly grabbed one and snapped it in half effortlessly. He listened to us after that. He told us that the stone was being shipped to build a wall far away. Not even a wall for Champoor. So much for a city improvement project. We convinced him to tell us who he reported to. A man named Razu Topeshi. I think Broken Walls recognized the name. Nork didn’t seem to know much more than he told us. We told him that we would be leaving. As I walked towards the gate, Broken Walls spoke loudly as he dawned Dauntless. Anyone who wanted to leave, was free to do so. And the people here had better be taken care of, or we will hear of it. Also, he said he would return within one years time to make sure that people were being paid what they promised.
With that, I blew down the gate with a single, shattering blow and made our way off into the night.
When It became clear that we weren’t going to be making it back to Chapoor tonight, I decided to try and find my way to my training camp. It a few hours of fast paced hiking, but definitely closer than the city. We eventually found our way to the river, and followed it south until we found my camp. It was pitch black by the time we got there. I made a small fire to warm us as we slept. Shortly before I drifted off, I noticed a small fox curl up next to us. He must have been lonely.