This post has the following content warnings:
Jul 02, 2022 4:44 AM
Daémon Fleet characters dropped on The Untamed
+ Show First Post
Total: 545
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

The week-long trip progresses.  The small towns they pass are all much the same as each other, and the townsfolk continue to be wary and alarmed at the strange creatures that are travelling down the river.

Some of this alarm gets them attention in the form of cultivators from other sects trying to figure out if they're some kind of monster.  These ones in pale cyan robes, for example.

Permalink

Florentho has taken to standing watch on the bow, being less bothered by the sunlight than the humans.  He bows towards the cultivators, which presumably a monster wouldn't.  

Permalink

Cyan-robe cultivators are still suspicious, and continue watching from shore for a while.  The boat's markings are clearly from Lotus Pier.  

Finally deciding to approach, one of them flips onto their sword and hovers over.  They are from the Shao sect, one of the tiny ones at the edges of Yunmeng.  Who and what are they?

Permalink

Azure can introduce everyone.  He decides against explaining that daemons are their souls, since that seems too complicated.  Instead, he just points to them and mentions their names, and that they're sentient.  There's also the matter of not being sure how much information he's supposed to be giving out.  They can hardly be a secret - the boat isn't big enough to hide Araeneve and Salanaya even if the canopy had doors.  

"We're under orders by Sect Leader Jiang to travel to Cloud Recesses."

Permalink

They are so curious, but also seem terrified of getting on Sect Leader Jiang's bad side by slowing them down.

This group in particular isn't on any kind of time limit, and their sect leader is probably going to want to know about this sort of thing.  Judging by the current time of day and speed of the boat, they guess the town that they'll likely be stopping at this evening.  Perhaps they could chat on shore in the evening?

Permalink

Florentho isn't sensing any hostility, and Alizara seems eager to have someone to ask questions of.  

Azure has questions of his own.  He really does need to get more perspectives of this world.

The Lotus Pier healer had suggested they avoid non-cultivators until they formed golden cores.  Diseases could spread.  That meant sleeping in the boat, washing thoroughly, and casting Life Dew as much as he can per day for whatever slight boost it offered to non-daemons.  They've also been given aromatic salves to cover themselves in to drive away biting insects, and fine netting to put over the open front and back of the boat.  At least they never have to worry about clean drinking water with Araeneve around.

This was entirely reasonable, but it did mean that Azure wasn't able to get all of the perspectives he wanted.  Not when everyone was so suspicious of Florentho and none of the humans could go into town.

Permalink

Cyan cultivators are back and as curious as ever.

Permalink

Azure has had a few hours to think of how to phrase things.  He's decided to explain that they're from another world, and that everyone on their original world has a daemon since birth.  He does not explain that the daemons are souls or that Iarlaith is some kind of mysterious interdimensional twin of Sect Leader Nie.  The first is apparently strange enough to locals that it would derail the conversation as well as not relevant to curious strangers; the second Iarlaith has asked to keep close until they figure out the mystery themselves.  

Permalink

These aren't important cultivators, and haven't seen Sect Leader Nie in person, so this holds up.

Permalink

If they seem finished, he has some questions of his own.

"What is your opinion on Yunmeng Jiang?"

Permalink

"Sect Leader Jiang is scary," one of them says in a whisper, to the obvious agreement of the others.  It is commonly understood that it is unwise to offend Sect Leader Jiang, and that he is easily offended.

They have a number of stories, though nothing first-hand.

He is obsessed with seeking out his dead marital brother, who he killed himself seven years ago.  Sect Leader Jiang has been seen hunting shifty individuals, shouting that they're possessed by the Yiling Patriarch, then whipping them.  Sometimes they're taken away to Lotus Pier where they're never seen again.  They're probably locked in his dungeon forever.  Admittedly, those ones are ones that have definitely been doing demonic cultivation.  Which is bad.

Permalink

They don't have context on a lot of this.  What is demonic cultivation?  Is possession even a real thing?  Who was the Yiling Patriarch?  He'd been mentioned by their book as a traitor, but nothing else.

Azure's own personal dislike is making him want to believe them.  And they do seem to be being honest.  He reluctantly has to admit that they did get one thing wrong, however.  They've been inside of Lotus Pier's dungeon, and it was empty and rather small.

Permalink

Demonic cultivation is a form of cultivation which runs on resentful energy, and involves raising and controlling corpses and the dead.  It corrupts people and turns them crazy and evil.  And also causes them to be hunted down by Sandu Shengshou, if the insanity and general social scorn wasn't bad enough.  

Possession is a thing.  It's one of many things that the dead can do to harm the living if they aren't given the proper burial rites or have unfinished grievances in life that are preventing them from passing on.  Stopping ghosts is one of the things all cultivators do, not just Sect Leader Jiang.  He's just strange in that he's obsessed with looking for a very particular soul.  And admittedly demonic cultivators who have controlled evil ghosts are probably going to be better at being evil ghosts. 

The Yiling Patriarch started off as Wei Wuxian, the son of a servant who had been taken in by the previous Sect Leader Jiang and raised as a brother to Jiang Wanyin.  He vanished at the start of the Sunshot Campaign and came back with demonic cultivation and used it in the war.  After the war was won, he took control of the Wen cultivators himself and started building an army of their enemies and the dead, then started murdering people.  Sandu Shengshou had to kill him himself.  Otherwise, the entire world would have eventually fallen under his reign.

Permalink

He mentally notes all of this.  That is, unfortunately, something of a good reason.  

Azure asks some clarifying questions about the Sunshot Campaign.  He learns that the Qishan Wen were the ones being fought against, which had been implied but not explicitly stated. 

Permalink

Alizara wants to know more about demonic cultivation.  And evil.  How is evil defined?  How is it measured?  Is it possible to control corpses with regular spiritual energy?  How many types of energy are there?

Permalink

They find these questions concerning!  Is she trying to get interrogated by Sandu Shengshou?  

There are evil detecting compasses, so it must be measurable or detectable in some way.  Though, that's an invention of the Yiling Patriarch, so Lotus Pier doesn't have any.  Even though the compasses aren't demonic cultivation themselves, Sect Leader Jiang bans them and anything else that the Yiling Patriarch invented just in case.  Being so close to Yunmeng, their little clan also avoids them to keep from getting on his bad side.  They give her a little bit of the theory, but don't know much of it themselves beyond what they need to have become cultivators at all.

Permalink

Azure really doesn't like the thought of Sect Leader Jiang getting anywhere near his sister.  He pulls her away, reinforcing their warning with a more explicit one.  They need to avoid causing any danger to themselves.

Behind them, Florentho is the one to admit that they're afraid of him.  They can't fight someone who can take out Araeneve, and this seems like a situation where they might get hurt if they break the rules, and he's still too new to know what all of the rules are.

Permalink

"How am I supposed to learn things if I can't ask questions?" she asks.  Though does eventually get wheedled into a promise to be careful asking questions about anything that might be related.

Permalink

Their retreat means that Iarlaith and Verity are the ones left to talk.  

Iarlaith wants to know more about the Nie sect.

Permalink

They are - or were - some of the fiercest warriors in the land.  The last Sect Leader before the current one was Chifeng-zun, general of the Sunshot Campaign and a powerful fighter.  He died young, even by the standards of the Qinghe Nie who are prone to qi deviations.

As for the current leader, their information matches what Iarlaith has already been told.  Nie Huaisang is anxious and rather useless, and many of the clans are starting to think of the sect as no longer one of the great ones on par with Jin and Lan and Jiang.

Permalink

Iarlaith sighs.  If it turns out that he really is some kind of inter-dimensional copy of the Head-shaker, that's going to be so embarrassing.  At least no one will try to make him do anything useful.

Permalink

Well, they have the information they asked for, and seem to have exhausted the aliens' questions, so the cultivators can leave them to their sleep.  

Night passes, and day, then another and another.  The river is quite long.  They meditate and watch the scenery and reread their few books, including the Cloud Recesses rule book which they might actually manage to memorize out of boredom if nothing else.

They take turns on night watch, which keeps them out of trouble.  The river is safe, the few issues being suspicious cultivators coming to check on the odd creatures. 

Permalink

"I miss video games," Iarlaith whines.  "And the internet."

"Everything is so far apart here.  They did this just to vex me, I'm sure of it.  Sure, some of these places are farms, but then there's just trees and random open fields?"

Permalink

"Huh.  I used to play a lot of video games," she considers, turning back from where she'd been staring at the far shore.  "I haven't really missed them, though.  They were something I could do when I wasn't able to do anything else.  But here there are new things to do, and meditation that does something."

Permalink

Iarlaith finds this argument baffling.  "But there were so many things to do on the Fleet?  Even in Lotus Pier there wasn't that much to do."

Total: 545
Posts Per Page: