As our heroes settle in for the night at the records house in Larjyn, they are awoken to a commotion at the center of town. Everyone in the town has gathered to watch a procession of guards leading five battered women down the road. Each woman is chained to one another, and their bellies and backs are marked with different colored symbols depicting the five elements. They are being led toward a platform set up with five posts facing each direction and the center. Below the posts is some sort of bowl or receptacle.
After spending time arguing whether they should get involved and potentially hurt others, Lefty let’s his compassion get the better of him and rushes out to the crowd. He draws many of them away by flaring his anima banner of a long golden road. He then proceeds to rush away, dodging those that tried getting in his way. He eventually uses his powers to vault himself over the wall and to safety.
Meanwhile, Ruko and Mustang rush off to save the women from slaughter while the people are distracted. Ruko uses his lightning speed and ability to go undetected to sneak attack the guards on the platform. Mustang marches forward, orichalcum hammer drawn, and draws more attention his way. He rushes the platform, calls the horse and cart, which Lefty broke the horses off with a smashing fist on his way out of Larjyn. Smashing the posts holding two of the women, Mustang grabs the falling posts, jumps on the back of his horse, and rides with the added load back toward the records house. Ruko leaps off the platform onto their barreling cart, sending it flying toward the other shackled women. He tosses them inside and uses it like a rickshaw. The two manage to get back to the records house and save the five women from certain death.
Lefty is awoken the next day by the Goddess of Chaya and is granted a jade leaf compass that will guide them toward the source of the trees’ energy. After resting up, the three then sneak out of Larjyn with a bit of shennanigans.
They travel back to Moonsilver Manse in order to check up on Akara Thunder and get supplies. Ruko and Lefty repay Mustang’s kindness of a place to stay by doing some work around the ranch in the morning. After a meal they head off in the direction shown by the leaf compass, which takes them about a week to the edge of the forestline to the northeast.
They run into a group of lumberjacks and their leader Larek. They warn our Exalted heroes about strange beasts that have hampered their gathering of firewood. The heroes ignore the warnings and head to the north away from the lumberjacks and make their way into the wilderness. The wilderness is untamed, so the going is slow. They build a make-shift camp and spend each day making inroads into the forest.
On the third day, Mustang decides to try and commune with the local spirits. He is answered by a snarling voice of the Arczeckhi Tribal Lands God Mokuu. He senses their powers and decides to send an envoy of beastmen to accompany them.
That night the three are surrounded by wolfmen and a beautiful woman wearing tribal garb. She says they are to follow her and that the travel would last another week. They pack up and follow, and during their travels Letfy seems a bit disturbed. He eventually makes his way to the woman and tries to talk with her, but she acts as if he doesn’t exist. Lefty tells his companions that the woman is Erisa, a woman from his past, and he is flabbergasted when she then says that she is a queen to one of the tribal leaders.
They eventually arrive at a native encampment filled with tents and longhouses. They make a friend with one of the more friendly barbarians before being led to meet the leader of the wolf tribe, Eternal Fang. Erisa rests at his side, grinning every now and then at Lefty. After some discussion, he reveals himself as a Lunar Exalt, and the three reveal themselves as Solars. This seems to shock Erisa.
Eternal Fang explains that the once strong alliance of the Arczeckhi Tribal Lands has fallen apart. His close friend Crushing Paw, who is the leader of the bear tribe, has broken their alliance and has taken up sole residence of the tribal confederation’s manse. The landscape has also changed to become mountainous. The already large bearmen have become much larger and stronger than before.
They decide that the Fair Folk and perhaps Blossom have something to do with the sudden change, and they promise to work together to try and snap Crushing Paw back to his former senses.
That night while the rested in their tents, Lefty awakens to find Erisa giving him a bit of a “massage.” Lefty wakes up his companions with his shouts, but he talks them back to their own tents. Erisa tells Lefty that she is after a hearthstone as part of a contract, leading to her bedding Eternal Fang. Lefty is unhappy, but if he says anything he would be a the mercy of the angry Lunar.
What will happen when the heroes take on a legion of barbarians and beastmen?