The Brotherhood of Virtue

Part V: Dread Pirate Yensen

In which Chiaroscuro's liberation begins, and Shadow Edge finally meets his sister.

The Exalted only have one night to recover after their fight. Their very first morning in the manse, a letter arrives from the Tri-Khan, summoning them to his palace. They meet the Khan over breakfast, and learn that Tepet Lisara has used a Charm to send word back to the Wyld Hunt – the four Dragon-Blooded who traveled with her now know that she is kept at the Tri-Khans palace.

Decisive action must be taken. Rakios speaks with Lisara again, and finally manages to convince her that the Solars are no demons – as a token of trust he returns her daiklave to her. Meanwhile, Shadow Edge, Keemia and Arbash head out to prepare to take care of the Wyld Hunt: Keemia will distract the Immaculate Monk Sesus Tav with a rumor of a heretic prophet, while Shadow Edge sneaks into the Hunt and speaks with Yasur. Yasur, upset with how Sesus Tav killed four innocent men, agrees not to stop the Solar Exalted if they take action against the Dragon-Blooded.

Now, however, something unexpected happens: Rakios completes the training regime he was given by his sifu, and she visits him with more instructions. Rakios is to begin undertaking serious study of sorcery, and besides this training he must also speak with a fellow student, a Dawn caste pirate named Yensen, who needs guidance. As she takes off, the mysterious teacher leaves behind a note for Shadow Edge. It reads:

“Shadow Edge,
Your sister is dead. Seek her no longer.”

Reading this, Edge is overcome with fear, and immediately sets sail on a Guild racing ship to meet Cynis Megara at sea.

Keemia and Rakios go through with their original plan, not knowing where Shadow Edge has gone. They seek to lure Sesus Tav into a trap before he liberates Lisara. Rakios takes the role of the “heretic prophet” and preaches to the native Chiaroscurans about the three hundred champions who will save the world. Sesus Tav is drawn to the false prophet like a moth to the flame. They fight; only thanks to his sorcerous skin of bronze does Rakios survive, and while he suffers several nicks and cuts he manages to kill Sesus Tav with a well-placed strike to his throat. In the fight, Rakios’ anima has flared up, and for the first time since the First Age the glass towers of Chiaroscuro glitter with the light of the Solar Exalted.

Rakios now hides in a house in the Plaza, while Keemia tries to control the awestruck crowd. Some time passes, until Arbash arrives with dire news. Shadow Edge is at sea, about to intervene in a naval battle between a Realm ship and a pirate flying a Solar flag. Arbash has been forced to fight the other Dragon-Blooded without Shadow Edge’s aid, and he is injured.

Rakios suspects the worst: Shadow Edge is intervening in a battle between Cynis Megara and Captain Yensen, the Dawn caste pirate. He takes Keemia on his back and begins to swim, trying to catch up with Shadow Edge by whatever means. Before he can get there, though, Shadow Edge has already found Yensen. The pirate captain holds everyone on Cynis Megara’s ship as his captives, and plans to collect a fine ransom for them. Shadow Edge refuses to buy his sisters’ life, and duels the pirate captain; he is struck down by the Dawn caste’s daiklave, though he manages to injure the great warrior.

When Rakios finally arrives, he find Yensen open to negotiations. They work out an agreement giving Yensen safe haven in Chiaroscuro if he sets Shadow Edge and his sister free. Unfortunately, before the deal can be sealed, the captain is shot. Shadow Edge’s wounds have been treated by Cynis Megara, and he has awoken; as thanks for her charity, Edge stabbed her with a piece of broken glass and has now set his sights on murdering Captain Yensen. A short but brutal fight ensues in which Shadow Edge is again struck down, Keemia is grievously wounded, and Rakios strikes Yensen unconscious by hitting him with the mast of his own ship.

With Shadow Edge unconscious, Keemia bleeding profusely, and Rakios’ anima burning, the heroes must consider their next move carefully. They are still in Realm-controlled waters, with a hijacked Dynast ship and an angry pirate crew surrounding them…

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