As the tale of the Exalted Continues

Saiten's Journal 7

Descending wood 20 continued

By the time I had regained my senses, and calmed down somewhat, Aster was already helping the injured.Our own party had come out of the fight mostly unscathed, but we had shredded our attackers. While pleased that we had emerged victorious, I was morose at the sight of the victims of our defense.
I helped aster as best I could; Put pressure on wounds while she bound them, held down the men who refused to stay still.

Dasadi approached me as I assisted Aster. He was staring at me intently. My headlamp! I had forgotten all about it! Broken walls had warned me that powerful people were on the lookout for those of us who bore the marks of Solars. If Dasadi was one of those people, I guess I would have the chance to truly see how powerful of a person he truly was.
In the mean time, I had more important things to do than to ponder Dasadi’s intentions. I continued helping Aster with the wounded, when I saw Piper speaking to one of the men. As I walked over to him, I could hear him explaining between groans that our attackers were escaped prisoners, and that he had no idea who Platon was. I spoke to the room, saying that whomever would answer our questions would receive priority aid. One man was quicker to answer than the rest. He said that there was a creature in the prison that had killed all of the guards and set them free. The only condition being that they killed the next group of people who entered the warehouse. I would have thought that would mean Platon, but nobody saw him enter before us. I wasn’t sure if he was lying, or just blind, but everyone we questioned after him agreed. Nobody had come through that door but us. I know what I saw, but I couldn’t help but think there was something else going on here. Something that is guiding us along, blind to the true purpose of it’s manipulations.

Once Aster had finished dealing with the critically injured, we retreated to the far corner of the warehouse to discuss our next move. It was here when Dasadi made his move. He commanded my attention, then promptly revealed his own headlamp. His own mark of the Solar.
Aster was delighted. She immediately set her own mark ablaze, eager to show Dasadi her true nature. Dasadi was beside himself at the discovery of two other Solars. Piper chose to keep his mark hidden, which is probably for the best. While Dasadi has chosen to reveal his nature to us, caution is never a bad idea. I’m sure piper will reveal her mark when he thinks it is appropriate.

After we had calmed down, and our headlamps had dimmed, we decided to make our way to the prison. At the back of the warehouse, there was a hole in the wall that led to a small alleyway. The alley, while crudely constructed, allowed unrestricted access to the wall of the prison, which towered over us. If it were not for the giant hole in the side of it, I’m sure it would be quite effective at keeping inmates contained.

I had my concerns about entering the prison. This city had one of the best police force that I’ve ever encountered, and if they discovered us inside, it might send the wrong impression. The others reminded me that the creature had decimated the guards of the prison, so it would be better for us to take the lead on this. They were right of course. If this creature had killed all the guards in the prison, it would be up to us to stop it.

As we passed through the hole, I remarked at the size of the claw marks on the side of the wall. This thing was big. It could probably cleave a man in half with minimal effort. A small chill of excitement went through me. I bet this creature would give me a good fight.
We explored the prison for quite a while, finding body after body of both prisoner and guard alike. Eventually following a set of bloody tracks of what must of been from this creature, to the main courtyard. We lost track of it there. The tracks went in every which way. Impossible to tell whether it was coming or going. Looking up at the walkways and guard towers, we noticed something horrifying. There were bodies of guards pinned in place. I could tell that they were positioned to look normal from the street, but from this angle, they were more grotesque. I can only assume that the creature had the prisoners place the guards up there to give it more time for us to find our way to the warehouse.

We hadn’t been there long when Piper said she heard the sound of guards outside the walls investigating. It seems the scarecrows on the walkway only worked for so long. We looked at each other briefly. All of us, except Aster were covered in blood from our earlier fight. If the people outside were indeed guards, finding a bloodied group of suspicious people, amidst all of their fallen comrades would likely not look good. We hastily made our way out of the prison.
Once we got back to the alley, we all agreed it would be best to change to avoid suspicion. Dasadi didn’t have a change of clothes with him, so he turned his cloak inside out. He didn’t look terribly pleased as he did it, as he was no less bloody than myself or piper. While I changed into my laundry clothes, Piper took the prompt bit too literally, and donned a new body. He introduced herself as Garnet this time. Dasadi was understandably confused, but was quickly hushed as we started to make our way away from the prison.
I couldn’t help but look back with disappointment as we left. No Platon, and no creature. Will I ever get any answers?

As we made our way from the prison, we heard an alarm sound. No doubt the people investigating outside the prison had made it inside. I could only hope the creature wasn’t still there.
We found our way to an inn a fair distance from the prison. “The Clan’s Respite”, it was called. I ordered us rooms for the night, and brought food and wash basins up with us. Dasadi seemed offended that I got my own room. I just didn’t want a repeat of last time.
I washed my uniform as we spoke of the day’s events. Dasadi explained that while he, myself and Aster were all Solars, we were not all the same. An audible sigh escaped Pipers lips, then he lit his mark to show that he was also among the ranks of the Solars. I think this surprised Dasadi less than the reveal from earlier today had. Perhaps he already suspected Piper?
He explained to us that the marks that each of us bore on our foreheads, indicated a type of caste that we belonged to. He is what’s known as a twilight caste, while Piper is a night caste. Aster, and by extension Broken Walls are both Zenith. I belong to the ranks of the Dawn Caste. Our marks give hints to our abilities, and can serve as a warning to those who would choose to do us harm. Together, we are the chosen of the Unconquered sun, the god of the Solar Exalted.

I feel like I understand a little bit more about the changes that have happened to me in the past seven months. Dasadi has given me insight into this world I have become part of. I won’t forget it.

I spent the next while scrubbing my leathers. The bloodstains gained from the fight in the warehouse were being more stubborn than most i’ve dealt with recently. I should really speak with Aster about how she manages to keep clean at all hours of the day. It would be nice to not have to do laundry as often.


Edgar_Grim Lorithad

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