Shadow of the Setting Sun

Fish Market Fracas

Waking early the following morning, the group meets up at a fountain between their respective hotels and decides to check out Coral’s famous fish market. After a short jaunt back to toward the docks, they find themselves at one of the largest and most diverse fish markets in all of Creation. Darian-Rashad Arbani decides to purchase a whole, freshly caught tuna for breakfast, and has the fish vendor cut a section off for the group while the rest is sent back to his hotel. Everyone gladly chows down on the fresh fish before deciding to explore the market a bit more.

While looking around, a disturbance in the crowd behind them draws the group’s attention just in time to see an Immaculate monk, still soaked in sea water, shove his way through the crowd. Before they can react, the monk points at Phineas Poch and shouts a challenge, naming him an Anathema and vowing to destroy him. Phineas waves his hands and says that the monk must be mistaken, but the Immaculate turns a deaf ear and explains that his ship went down in the storm when they attempted to follow the group to Coral, and that by the grace of the Elemental Dragon of Water, he alone survived to ensure the Wyld Hunt’s completion. Darian-Rashad draws his rapier and retreats to the monk’s side, looking upon Phineas with shock and terror. As Phineas attempts again to claim his innocence (activating Iron Kettle Body with his personal essence as he does so), the Immaculate slips into Water Dragon stance and attacks.

With liquid speed and grace, the monk darts forward, ducking a blow from Lukela Maite`‘s wrackstaff and dodging an arrow from Phineas’s bow, to strike Phineas in the chest with a punch. Though unharmed, Phineas staggers back feigning injury, bringing a satisfied smirk to the Immaculate’s face. Making good on his feint, Darian-Rashad springs forward, skewering the Immaculate monk between the ribs from behind with his rapier. As the monk cries out in pain and shock, Gwyn Branson strikes with False Shell Emmolient attack to pave the way for her next blow. Using the monk’s surprise to her advantage, Lukela swings her wrackstaff up at the monk’s tender bits, catching him soundly on the underside of his thigh as he adjusts his stance. Wincing, he turns his attention to Lukela and leaps into a handstand-back kick which sails an less than an inch from her face as she drops back. Pressing the advantage Darian-Rashad stabs at the monk again, grazing his shoulder. Phineas fires again and misses as Gwyn uses Veins of Wood to imbue her staff with poison and strikes the monk’s exposed arm, poisoning him. The Immaculate launches himself into an aerial spin, dodging Lukela’s downward swing, and batting aside Darian-Rashad’s lunge. As he comes down from the spinning leap he lashes out, striking Phineas in the shoulder, and the blow ripples through the air like a pebble piercing the surface of a still pond, striking each of the other combatants as well. Phineas fires again, and the monk darts aside, causing the arrow to sail into one of the vendor’s goods. Injured and outnumbered, the Immaculate changes tactics, determined to bring the Anathema down before he succumbs himself. With a stutter step forward the monk taps Phineas in the chest with two fingers, twisting his wrist as he does so, and Phineas sputters, coughing up some of the blood that is beginning to fill his lungs. Seeing the monk’s new tactic, Gwyn produces another dose of poison and tosses it to Darian-Rashad, who coats his blade with it. Lukela smashes her wrackstaff into the monk’s arm from his right, as Phineas fires his bow again, missing as he is overcome by a coughing fit. The monk advances once more, striking Phineas with Drowning in Blood Technique again, and Phineas goes to his knees unable to empty his lungs of blood quickly enough to keep up. Seeing that they are running out of time to save their friend, the others leap to his aid. Darian-Rashad uses Essence Overwhelming to bury his rapier in the monk’s side as Lukela slides her hands down to the chisle-end of her wrackstaff and swings with all her might, smashing the cudgel end into the back of the monk’s skull, KOing him. Gwyn rushes to Phineas’ side as the poison from Darian-Rashad’s blade causes the unconscious monk to convulse and expire. Meanwhile Lukela, still disguised as a Sijanese Funerist in training, attends to the dead monk, administering a passable version of last rights.

As the group recovers, Darian-Rashad looks over the crowd of onlookers and notices, only after already having looked past him, a tall hooded man wearing a porcelain mask who stares intently at the group through the crowd. By the time Darian-Rashad looks back, the man is gone. At that moment the crowd parts again as a contingent of city guards arrive to keep the peace. The guards look to the prone form of the Immaculate monk, and then to the Sijanese excorcist still coughing up blood. They tell the group to sheath their weapons and stay still while a few of the guards ask around the crowd to find out what happened. Having used only personal essence, the group is able to make it look as though they were simply shopping when the crazed Immaculate attacked them. By luck, they were able to overcome the monk, but almost lost their friend in the process. The guards murmur among themselves and then ask the characters to come with them, escorting them to a large estate in the nicest part of the city. Not wanting to offend Sijan, the local magistrate thanks the group for killing an enemy of the state, explaining that Coral is not a satrapy to The Realm and that Exalts of any kind are not welcome within Coral’s borders. The magistrate invites the group to dine with him, and his servants produce a lavish feast over several hours, during which the magistrate repeatedly apologizes for the assault and states his hopes that it won’t color Phineas’ (and by extension Sijan’s) perception of Coral as a whole. The magistrate also upgrades the rest of the group to the same posh hotel that Darian-Rashad is staying at as a final gesture.

On their way back to the hotel, the group passes a beggar, whom Lukela and Phineas recognize as the drunken old man from the previous day. The old man grabs Gwyn’s clothing and rants about his missing island again. Darian-Rashad begins to question the man about this island, recognizing some of what the man says from his dream. The man rants about living statues and magical treasures before mentioning that there is a spirit in the eastern reaches of the Coral Archipelago that knows how to reach the island, and the group decides to take the old man with them to search for the island themselves. Chartering a ship east, the group sets sail to find the spirit who knows the secret of the disappearing island.

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