- You and the Comet Demon appear out of the escape smoke at the boundary to the Life Master's domain. (You've been there before).
- There is the traditional honor guard; they seem eminently wary of you, and close to hostile to the Comet Demon.
- Let us know in general what you plan to do; due to Laura being out of town, we'll probably fast-forward as much as possible, rather than play out in detail, but if there's something specific you want to say /ask, do feel free to put that in. :)
- (Or if you just want to flee)
I act very politely and lower my weapons.
I will offer 2 Tael as a tribute to the lifemaster. I apologize for the crassness of my gift, but explain that I was pulled here directly from combat against this demon. I of course vow not to continue the combat here.
I will tell them what I can about the demon (which isn't much. Southern abomination (from their point of view), trying to use Torghut armies to strengthen itself.)
- The Life Master does want to know more about what goals this Southern abomination has; how does it seek to be stronger, and how was it "using" the armies?
I think breaking the wall was part of a ritual rather than particularly advantageous to the fighters. But I am not sure. (Is there a Torghut equivalent of "that's above my pay grade"?)
If the lifemaster is not too busy I will ask for healing since I recall I was pretty low in HP when I left the combat.
He will grant this boon. Take 52 hit points back, and 13 corruption points.
(You are sneaky enough to get back to the Empire after that if you want to.)
- She heads back to the Empire and Xiao Fa...
Er, Xiao Fa? Good news is I survived my zoinking to North of the wall! I think I got mojoed by the Life Master, though. Can you help me out?
"Please, sit. Listen to the sound of my voice. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and evenly. Count your breaths in, and out..."
As Kasumi is breathing and counting, she might notice Xiao Fa breathing along with her.
After a bit, Xiao Fa says, “Hnh. Open your eyes, Kasumi.”
He makes some calming tea, pours a cup for Kasumi, and has one himself, before continuing.
“You have in fact been mojoed. A troubling amount. You *should* have started feeling the effects already, however, something... seems to be holding the corruption in abeyance.” he shakes his head, contemplating his tea.
He looks at you again, and says, "This will require careful monitoring before I make any attempt to clear it.
[If you didn’t mention the healing before, Xiao Fa adds at this point: What was done to you, as precisely as you can tell?] If I may, what did you and the Life Master discuss?"
[Also just to ask all my questions at once, in case you’re not feeling super-puttery:] “Do you have any abilities that require spending a point of Yang, Yin, or Chi?"
I give him all the detail; there's not much.
I have some schticks for yang (got your nose, superleap) and yin (vanish, you are asking the wrong question, sense supernatural). Nothing for chi though.
Oh wait, I do have one for chi (Not bad chance)
Perhaps I will stay away from the talismans until you tell me otherwise.
Xiao Fa nods. “Very well. Please use your spend a chi ability while I watch. Warn me if this is something I will need to defend against.”
Kasumi looks around, "ok, it will be perilious if I fail, but that's usually for me. I'll, umm, climb the tea tent walls, that's plausable..." And I spend a chi. Replacing a climbing roll with a coin flip, we get tails, so she fails.
- The party isn't with the circus at the moment, so there isn't really a tea tent. We'll assume Kasumi climbs around the dining suite in that hapless inn that Wei Han just punched a hole in; she accidentally kicks the hanging lamp, spilling burning oil on Xiao Fa and setting the tablecloth on fire.
- Xiao Fa! You are on fire! Take a point of Health damage and then an action.
Stop drop and roll to put myself out.
I’ll use Tao That Can Be Seen while she does that, Yin +10 yin fortune,for 21 successes.
- You watch as it's happening and it's very... polite. Like the corruption points were "instructed" to wait and only corrupt her stats once she chose what she wanted. She does the roll->coin flip thing, and it clearly gets "interpreted" as battle magic, so one of her Yin and one of her Chi get together and prepare to turn into a point of Battle (life and blood), but unfortunately, 13 corruption points are not enough to make that transformation. So then it moves down to her Not-Bad Chance shtick and converts it into a Battle shtick using 6 corruption points.
Not-Bad Dodge: If you have a chance of dodging a particular attack, you can spend a Blood point to substitute a perilous coin flip. 1/run, may not spend points to re-flip. Heads you dodge it all, Tails you take it all.
- Normally, the corruption points just start changing stats and shticks in the direction of the caster who bestowed the corruption (unless they are burned as necromancers tend to do.) This should have happened well before she got back to you, since she has more than her Tao. These clearly were trying to be as helpful as possible by waiting until her wishes were made clear. That they were already spent, but decided not to resolve yet is why you couldn't just clear them before they spent themselves.
- But with 21, you do realize that you can blow them away before the remaining points resolve if you get more than double their value to overpower the points and the shtick that is holding them up simultaneously. (This would have required 26 successes earlier. Now 14 should do for the remainder.)
If I have a sense that the rest of the corruption is happening right now, i.e. my choices are put myself out or stop Kasumi from being more northern, I'll stop Kasumi from being more northern this action and put myself out next action.
16+5 chi fortune = 21 dice with chi mastery using restore the balance gives me 17 successes, which leaves me with 14 even if I need to take 3 off the top for Sankara foolishness.
If I think I have time, I'll put myself out as originally planned.
- You think that the rest of the corruption is progressing; you can't tell whether it's "next action" or "next drift" or "next turn" without taking an action to observe, which (if it's "next action", would probably be bad). So take another Health point of damage before you put yourself out after the next roll.
- (Hmm. Destruction of corruption probably qualifies as Sankara foolishness, yeah. )
What Does She Need to return her shtick to its previous state?
While I'm thinking about this, putting myself out, I say to her, "Kasumi, put out the tablecloth."
- Her chi has shifted away from the laws and and nature of the Empire towards the chaotic North and a nature of Battle.
- She will need to symbolically renounce Battle, in an encounter in which Battle is the obvious and easy choice of resolution, but she chooses to do something more lawful/orderly/Empire-ish instead. (The situation can be contrived by the party to fit this purpose, but the stakes must be non-zero, either naturally or because they have been contrived to be so).
- After that, she should come back to you and you can put her through a little meditation-with-cleansing-incenses ritual, and that should fix it.