(Note: This session was shortened due to DM madness, and the following session will be sans Mithril on the 27th)
The party has regrouped and is making a list of things to do before and during the Yu-Shan trip. The first order of business is to interrogate the Sorceress, Navrali Tova, further and then the Martial Artist, The Bro. However the interrogation does not go according to plan. While she reveals some minimal amount of information (including to not awaken The Bro under any circumstances), she seems to be struggling against her Urge to destroy her enemies. Olivia tries using her full-power combo to persuade her to ignore her Urge, but all this does is trigger her Torment, which affects everyone in the room to fly into a berserker rage. Olivia manages to avoid it by focusing on her lust for this hot piece of ass, Mithril and Hunter use virtue channels to avoid succumbing, but Kami is overtaken and immediately stabs Navrali with his sleeping potion needle before Olivia corrals him and uses her persuasion ability to get him to stop. Since her Crown of Thunders power is already active she is also able to restrain the berserk rage of the minions who are standing guard.
With the interrogation a bit of a wash, the party is now ready to turn over the Infernals and the Bell to Heaven. A portal is summoned and the party is escorted into Yu-Shan by the plain-clothed Sidereal, Verrance. Upon entering the magical supercity, everyone is completely blown away by its majesty, of course. Instead of streets, the buildings have canals running between them with superfast boats that rapidly brings the party to the Forbidding Manse of Ivy, center of secrets in Heaven’s Bureaucracy.
The party meets another Sidereal named T.J. and then is brought to the office of an ordinary looking man who seems to have limitless patience and is completely unflappable (and is also Essence 7). Even when Kami dumps the Infernal on his desk, he seems mildly interested and directs them to bring the Infernals to Lytek, God of Exaltation, while the bell is taken away to be stored in a secret vault and misinformation to be dealt to the Silver Prince’s spy in Yu-Shan. Meanwhile, submission of the bell turns out to involve paperwork that Mithril fails to complete on his own, so Olivia helps him while Kami and Hunter bring the Infernals upstairs. Olivia, meanwhile, is also relentlessly flirting with every Sidereal in line of sight, especially the Instructor whose office they’re occupying.
Kami and Hunter meet Lytek, a wild-haired scatterbrained savant who identifies Kami by his Exaltation number and Hunter as an object of some curiosity. He also takes the Infernals with a keen interest, putting them on tables for study and at one point casually extracting the essence from the Bro’s chest in a rather messy display of essence vivisection. In this room, all essence is solid, and he begins molding it to understand it better. Kami and Hunter try gaining insight into how to reverse Hunter’s condition but the leads are limited, and they are also somewhat put off by how casual Lytek seems to be about actual human lives. Exaltations are his business, after all!
Olivia and Mithril finally finish filing the paperwork for the bell and head upstairs, Lytek is distracted from his work by the sight of Mithril. Some interrogation follows, after which Lytek pensively returns to his work. Olivia asks, as a favor, to never be exalted, which Lytek agrees to with mild surprise.
Mithril is also accosted at one point by T.J. who suggests that if a portal to Kamak is opened, it will need allies on the Creation end for trade and for protection, and that he knows a group of Solars who would be willing to be that ally. Surprised to find that Mithril has already met some of them, T.J. encourages him to pursue this relationship further.
Olivia has asked for Heaven’s help in masking their actions from view by the Loom of Fate, which it turns out is difficult to do and also probably won’t help since most of their enemies are outside fate, but promises are made about restoring the Moon-Sheltered Manse’s fate-shadowing powers. Olivia also asks about a way to keep in touch with Heaven, which T.J. can also provide. He produces a seemingly normal journal but insists it is a powerful artifact and that if you write the date on the top of a page, he will know everything that is on that page. Mithril can’t seem to absorb this “artifact” into his Technomorphic Integration Engine, and T.J.’s insistence on its power leads the party realize it’s just an ordinary journal, but somehow T.J. will be able to read its contents. They are escorted back by Verrance, who impresses upon Kami that his work is important and he is fated to succeed.
Once the party is back at the Moon-Sheltered Manse, everyone has work to do. Mithril flies off to check on the progress of the portal with Kamak and then collect the last artifact from the Solars in the Northeast. Hunter schemes how to get his Monstrance out to Heaven for further study without winding up a lab rat himself, and ponders capturing an Abyssal for Heaven’s study and possibly getting in touch with his last spy in Skullstone. Olivia makes several trips back and forth to her factory-cathedral to have the soulsteel ingots manufactured into power armor and weapons for her minions.
Meanwhile, after a good deal of effort Kami manages to get the sequence of DNA that produces the virus. Kami then designs and creates a new version of the virus with an enzyme that can remove the sequence, and tests it on a tissue sample he took from Jacob. He finds it works somewhat, but after a while it stops working before the cells are fully cleansed. Turns out some of the viral sequences have been injected into the telomeres (tips of the chromosomes) and there isn’t enough DNA on both sides for the enzyme to remove the sequence. Attempts to isolate the enzyme telomerase don’t seem to go so well, so Olivia steps in and digs into the Guild archives, finding a reference to a “telomere” in the summoning incantation of the God of Cancer. Olivia promptly arranges to have a summoning conducted, where Kami is also present.
The God of Cancer shows up, a wizened, cranky old man who seems to be used to mostly being asked to inflict cancer on people (since Solar medicine can normally cure cancer). Kami asks about telomeres, and it turns out the God of Cancer has two incantation strips, one that can lengthen telomeres on any designated tissue and another that can shorten them. Olivia arranges to have these purchased for a fair price and have the Bureaucracy of Heaven bribed in his favor for the trouble. With these strips, Kami believes he may now be able to finally cure Jacob once and for all.
- Lytek: “Well let’s have a look at his essence shard.” *Casually extracts it from his chest, as it beats like a heart a few times before stopping and the body writhes and then lies still* Hunter and Kami: “………….”
- T.J.: “Take care of this precious artifact!” Someone: “…It’s just a regular journal, isn’t it…” T.J.: “HUSH!”
- Olivia: “I try flirting more with this Sidereal. Does it have any effect?” DM: “He likes you, but his conviction is really high…”
- “The God of Cancer? Does he look like a crab?”
- God of Cancer: “Ughh, you think this job is easy? Always making people wither away and die painfully, it’s a tough job.” Soon, Olivia: “I’m going to see if we can bribe the bureaucracy of heaven to have him reassigned since it seems like he hates his job.”