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Episode 2.25
The Circle prepared for the arrival of the Bull of the North:

Bright Shadow learned that the Bull was making a three-pronged attack to assault different areas of Hiemal simultaneously. In response, Syn and Reiza hurried south to Braebrecken Port.

Meanwhile, Northern Light returned to Maidenstar at the head of an army three thousand strong. She, along with her hird and Syn's tiger warriors, made final fortifications and preparations.

The night before the Bull of the North was to arrive, Taiphen investigated the Bull's spies. He discovered that one of them was Wicasa. After a short chase, Taiphen captured him and then interrogated him. Wicasa explained that he felt that Linowa had been forced into changing, and that he had never been given a say in that matter. Taiphen did not take kindly to this accusation, and made to strike Wicasa. A bolt of lightning destroyed the roof, creating a distraction, and Wicasa fled into the wind. Taiphen's mind reached a breaking point, and he walked away from Hiemal's troubles to go solve his own.
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Episode 2.24
The Circle prepared for the arrival of the Bull of the North:

Syndoriel met with Mara. She gave important information regarding the officers in the Bull's horde.

He, along with Bright Shadow and Taiphen, laid dangerous traps to damage the Bull's front lines and provide early warnings.

Taiphen learned from one of the Bull's spies that there were two more prowling about: An Air Aspect and a Linowan.
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Episode 2.23
The Circle remains divided, somewhat.

Syndoriel, Taiphen, and Bright Shadow reunited in the town of Maidenstar to meet the Icewalker advance party.

That night, they ran into Specter via his calling cards to Taiphen. After some tense moments, he agreed to surrender his stolen goods in exchange for those the Circle would loot from the Bull's forces. He also revealed that Gossamer had tried to drown herself, which pained both Syn and Taiphen at the heart.

The following day, the advance party arrived. The Circle was able to eke additional information from the group, but the negotiations for peace were fruitless.
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Taiphen's Contingencies
These words have only been written down once. It has only existed long enough for Taiphen to share with those in his inner circle and traveling companions for memorization purposes, and is based on his observations of the group. They are meant to provide ideas and possible outs towards himself and his fellow Solars should one or more of the group turn cruel or lose their sanity.

As a precaution, all countermeasures must have some sort of defense or resistance towards sorcerous manipulation – though great care must be taken to turn the innate power of a Solar into either a liability or a non-issue, it would not do to ignore their prowess with sorcery as it does not rely on the innate strength of the Exalts beyond their effort of will.

Syn – His great speed and athletic nature make him a difficult opponent to pin down. In the event that he should lose his sanity and become a threat, great care must be taken in laying down traps to slow his movement. Ideally, he should be led into and kept within a room he cannot escape from through brute force – perhaps a sorcerous working could be used to create such a thing? Alternatively, an endless maze could be created as the hypothetical trap to stall for time, forcing him to expend much of his energy searching for an exit – whether that be by forcing his way through the walls or by running through across the maze’s twists and turns. In addition, conversation must be kept to a minimum due to his supernatural charisma and wit – a crazed Syn must not be given a chance to convince anyone or buy time to aid him in escaping a trap unless enough time has passed for him to surrender or pass out. Ear plugs are recommended.

Northern Light – Her knowledge of the Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style makes her a dangerous liability should her zeal and dedication be taken to its logical extreme. Her most dangerous weapons – in both literal and figurative turns – are her words, and cannot be disarmed like a normal weapon. Therefore, disabling her ability to speak and sing is of the highest priority. An immediate, but difficult method would be literally going for her throat, to render her voice hoarse and barely a whisper. Ideally, the aid of Seven Heartbeats Silence would be enlisted to steal the breath away from her throat before it can be used to harm others – Seven must be protected at all costs due to Northern Light’s dislike for Seven because of this. As with Syn, conversation should be kept to a minimum to prevent influence through her words, and ear plugs should be used. Trickery is another option, though what form it would take needs more study.

Bright Shadow – Similar to Northern Light, her invisible bow makes Bright Shadow difficult to disarm under normal means. Her skill with sorcery and great knowledge ensures she is dangerous even without the bow. Steps must be taken to immobilize her arms and silence her immediately, to prevent spellcasting and use of the bow. Seven Heartbeats Silence can aid with countering sorcery, though distorting the artifacts Bright Shadow uses may be a potential avenue towards immobilizing her. Forcing close-quarters combat could also prevent Bright Shadow from unleashing her most powerful spells and arrows due to the potential of catching herself in the crossfire – the best defense may be a good offense in this case, as it would either disable her outright if executed properly or potentially force her to flee using Solar power. Either case would prevent potential damage, so overwhelming force without pause for thought could be the ideal strategy.

Taiphen – It would be difficult to trick, confuse, or even detect Taiphen before he wishes to be seen due to his awareness and stealth capabilities. Baiting out his first strike on something non-vital – perhaps through taunting or misdirection with bait such as an unruly demon - would place Taiphen at a disadvantage due to how much power tends to be used preparing for the initial strike. Another option is simply seizing the initiative instead, preventing attacks or forcing defensive maneuvers to drain energy and willpower. Playing to potential paranoia and forcing him to discern through too many lies in the name of gaining some information is an excellent strategy for draining Taiphen’s power. Psychological warfare might be another option – though not visible, his superhuman hearing allows for one-sided conversations that may cause missteps or mistakes, assuming the loss of sanity hasn’t stolen his ability to listen or comprehend what others are saying. In addition, Taiphen lacks a method of attacking from afar – preventing him from charging at and engaging with others at close range would limit his ability to truly hurt anyone, and attacking from afar would generally prevent any form of retaliation. Finding a way to track him even through stealth would be ideal – Xua Huo or other Dragonblooded with similar skillsets could help if given an opportunity to ‘tag’ Taiphen with some form of tracking magic.

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Episode 2.22
Hiemal -- The Circle remains divided

1) Kagirinai, Bright Shadow, and Kumasi travel with the Mnemon group to Heartvale. Along the way, they meet with Niveans who are enthused about the words of the new High Priestess. Kalin puts them in their place. Shadow bids her farewell and departs, in bird form, to Braebrecken.

2) Bright Shadow and Taiphen investigate the Fae Prince known as Fear-Eater. A fearsome figure himself, they discovered that he was training soldiers in Braebrecken's defense--at the cost of a beautiful youth once a month. They waited until the New Moon, then intercepted his ritual. Shadow bound him to a mortal form, and the two of them coerced Fear-Eater to join them.

3) Northern Light and Syndoriel marched toward Maidenstar, gathering a mighty army of Niveans on their way. Syn sped ahead in order to intercept the Icewalker advance party.
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Game Master:
Exalted (2nd)
15 other campaigns in this setting
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