Diary of Setoko Shiroishi
Origin of the Taint
It’s still a haze for me, but I shall try to explain what happened to me during the battle against the Anathema.
I’ve decided to keep a diary to account for the events, in an attempt to keep myself sane, if nothing else.
Where to begin? My squad was dispatched to fight an Anathema. How ever, during the battle I exalted, was chosen, or something of the kind, into an Anathema myself. Seconds after, was I kidnapped… Or rescued? Either way, I was picked up, and flown away with great speed.
I found myself in the care of other Anathema, they insisted on putting some forsaken tattoos all over my body. They said something about “Without them, you will turn into a monster”, so I resisted less then I could have. I can sense the monster within me, however.
After they where done, I took my chance to leave. I ran for what seemed like days on end. And my body reacted on it’s own, I turned into a white-lion.
Day 1 of the Taint
I caught up with a small entourage, of a guild woman as well as some guards. After introducing myself, I came to follow them. I followed a rumor, regarding a Manse close to where the original White Lion went missing.
Day 2 of the Taint
We soon arrived at the mine at which point we met the exalted Cherubael. Excessive enough to make me think he was a dragon blooded, but he was something else entirely. Cherubael seems to know more about the Taint then anyone, so I decided to accompany him. Cherubael had quite a an entourage as well, four men strong. All of them armed to teeth, aside for the scribe. We made our way into the manse, after some bickering with the guild representative. Inside I found it… The hammer of the White Lion. My body instinctively knew what to do ones I grabbed a hold of it. Lord Cherubael seemed to get pieces of the books he wanted. The manse was unstable, but even the heroic deeds of the beautiful, but short, Tiger Blossom, did not help. We had to seek out the other two manses. So we set out to them, before long. Tiger Blossom, on her account, had disappeared as quickly as she appeared. Mysterious sort, these people.
Day 3 of the Taint
Lord Cherubael and I spoke regarding the Tainted during the night. I learnt a great many things. Maybe this is not a Taint… But a blessing? Apparently, I’m a chosen of Luna. A Lunar Exalted. I can feel the monster within me though, can this truly be a blessing? We where visited during the night, by the guilds woman whom I had traveled with earlier. She sent her newest guard, who turned out to be Tiger Blossom. Together we set off to the second Manse.
Day 4 of the Taint
The talk I had with Lord Cherubael has left me unsure of my current state of being. The monster seems calm, but when ever I fight it seems to stir. I still feel to be in control, so I will not need to do anything drastic just yet.
Also… I don’t… Like… Horses! That is all I will say of that.
It seems we met a true Anathema, today. Lord Cherubael seemed to know about him, and vice versa. The brilliant glow, as if, from a sun shun from Cherubael. I too, let loose. I could feel the monster stir vigilantly within me. I managed to keep it at bay. But I used it’s powers, I still felt like me though. Is the monster becoming more like me… Or am I becoming the monster? For now, it seems I can trust Lord Cherubael, no use thinking about it too much.
Day 5 of the Taint
I met my childhood friend Gharo today. He was as fierce as always. He insisted on taking me drinking, Tiger Blossom decided to come along. I was never very affected by alcohol, but I seem to be even more resistant now. An odd man entered the establishment, if it could be called that. A Lunar Exalted said to be my teacher. He seemed busy how ever, and left shortly after. Lord Cherubael came to see us shortly after, as we had someone important to visit. I remember little of the trader himself, for I was busy being drunk, and infatuated with the short, but beautiful, Tiger Blossom. She and Cherubael are what I previously would call Anathema, but their actual titles are Solar Exalted, God Kings of Creation.
Day 6 of the Taint
We set off for Hydro. A redoubt of Lookshy. As a Lookshy soldier, I should have long since returned to my company. But how can I? The monster stirs, but is, as of yet, calm. Even if the Immaculate texts are incorrect in what my state of being means. Most of the world still believes it. I cannot stop serving Lookshy, but I cannot serve it directly, at least not yet.
I ran into Liana today, she looked well… Aside from wearing ridiculous attire. She was to be married. Rightly so, they accused me for being an Anethema, her and her uncle. Her uncle was trying to test me, I saw no way out. React, and be killed. Don’t react, and they would spot my new found resilience. Right before they hit me, to my surprise, Tiger Blossom jumped in the way of the knives. It was odd, for a moment the monster in my screamed… I wanted to charge Liana’s uncle. Out of shock how ever, being used to being the protector, rarely the protected, I merely rushed to Tiger Blossoms aide, as she was carried away. I once again found myself under the employ of my Commander, and friend, Liana. I told her of why we where there. However, due to the Hothead, we could not get much done. It must have been due to my current state of being, but I really wanted to retaliate. I am a mere captain, no more. This is where I realized, my calling is greater now. I do not serve Lookshy, even if that’s what I want, I serve the world.
Day 7 of the Taint
As if I didn’t dislike the Hothead enough, she actually cut me, badly too. The biggest surprise was Cherubael, how ever. Not only did he over react to the poet, but he also punched me as I tried to stop him. The poet must have done something, for lord Cherubael to react in such a manor.
Tiger Blossom managed to get me to my senses, how ever. We set off for the Manse. On the way Liana caught up to us. After a few words spoken, she came along to the Manse. We fought a demon, and Tiger Blossom truly showed her strength in this battle, I was indeed impressed. In finishing the demon off… I don’t know if it was pride, the monster within, or just myself being sick of demon, but I used my powers, revealing myself to Liana. Liana, unsurprising, punched me. We had a brief conversation, where I tried to convince her that being a Lunar and an Anathema are different. How ever, it was interrupted when I realized that Tiger Blossom was drowning. I quickly punched the waterfall, and dragged her out. She seemed fine, to my relief. At which points I figured it was my turn, without actually knowing what I was doing, I chose to leap into the waterfall. After remaining in the waterfall for a few minutes, Tiger Blossom kicked me, and herself, out of it. Most impressive from someone so small. We managed to convince Liana to speak to her uncle, about turning the Manse off. After that, we set off to find the intruder that the Manse had started screaming about.
It was, unsurprisingly, Cherubael. He provided me with my hammers, and left. Seeing as there was an army looking for him, Tiger Blossom convinced me to jump out of a window. Into less then clean water, part of me felt this was a good thing… Wouldn’t this mean that the Manse was turned off? In either case, we didn’t have time to think about it further, we set off to leave town.
Cherubael caught up with us. There was no time to confront him now, he provided us with horses, and we left as a group.
When we set camp, it was time. After returning the punch to Lord Cherubael, I tried to inquire of what was going through his mind. He was very elusive in his words, it had something to do with his sister, and the poet insulting her. Shortly after, his sister actually appeared, they had a brief conversation. After checking if I had a specific charm, which I was using at the moment, to counteract the Hothead’s blade, she attack me. I tried my best to parry, but her power was monstrous. Anger stirred within me, I felt as if the monster would take over. I am, how ever, glad the monster seems to listen to reason.
Day 8 of the Taint
We arrived in Great Forks, meeting up with a messenger leading us to Bai-Lung, or w-ever name that man is using now. Great Forks is a confusing place, I nearly had my pocket picked, my religion converted, and my mind blasted, by the local populous. Wise Hog of the Autumn appeared in front of the Inn, after which we went into the inn, to find Bai-Lung. After we sat down, to eat. Bai-Lung and Cherubael started to go at it. Bai-Lung was very upset with how Cherubael had conducted himself. I some extent, I agreed with our scribe. I was however unsatisfied with his reasoning, as it seemed as if he believed he had rectified the situation on his own. I pointed out that it was a group effort, regardless of who messed up with, or who fixed what.
Everyone split up having business of their own to deal with. I went to train with the Hog, Bai-Lung tagged along to observe.
Being a Lookshy soldier, captain even… I’ve gotten used to the most grueling training any mortal can imagine. This was nothing compered to training as a chosen of Luna. The pain, the panic the occurs when you feel that death creeps closer. I was able to uphold my pride as a Lookshy soldier, but I also felt that I was able to discover a pride as a Lunar Exalted.
The Hog forced me to call up the beast… How ever, it was an odd sensation. I’ve feared it thus far, feeling that it was a different being. I did indeed feel different, I sensed more… How ever, I still felt like myself, strange indeed.
Later that day, we rescued one of Tiger Blossoms friends, by hatching a very silly plan. Is this all my captain experience is good for, as a distraction? Oh well. Oh, and Cherubael obtained a house, with a shadowland-basement… Interesting day, is what it was!
Day 9 of the Taint
Apparently, the scribe got himself in some trouble, but the first I hear of it, is Tiger Blossom bursting through the door, and with a heavy breath, says that she’s found the Chimera.
This started a cat and mouse chase, to find my unlucky counterpart.
[The Rabbit] appeared, to assist us. Thanks to her assistance where we able to find the spiders nest.
A battle ensued, Tiger Blossom set the spider-webs ablaze. And we where able to keep it from running away.
I stared into the eyes of my brother… Called out to the humanity I knew was still in him. The chimera stopped, he kept the others at bay, but he looked upon me with pleading eyes. I wanted to save him. I had to save him.
How ever, yet again my fealty gets in the way. My master, Wise Hog, comes crashing down from the roof, and pins the Chimera under his body. He orders me to attack.
Cherubael sets his sword into the neck of the Chimera, but it was still drawing breath. I decided that it was time to end it’s misery…
My master tried convince me that it was too late, but I could see the uncertainty in his eyes. I was lucky… If not for these tattoos. I’d be the one who would lie here dead. There was a brief conversation after this, speculations and theories… Apparently there was a plan hatched. If they need my help, I will do what I can, how ever all this talking gave me a headache…