Let it be known that the Bureau of Destiny sees fit to appoint a representative in the southeast this season.
The representative is to travel to Sounding Sands Province, therein to Renzenkalteth Prefecture, therein to Ieska‘s Bastion, known to the local populace as Red Jade Canyon.
Close examination of the Loom of Fate has revealed unexpected weft in the tapestry indicative of active external presences or imprudent shaping of local reality. The representative is to take all measures necessary to ensure the continued integrity of the tapestry, including:
- Personal investigation of the matter
- Moving Wyld Hunt assets and other Realm interests toward the target
- Alerting local embedded operatives, to the extent that their discretion allows
- Filing such paperwork as may be required
These measures alone should be considered a sub-minimum effort. Additional measures are to be undertaken at the discretion of the representative.
Be aware that Silver Pact representatives have been active in the local prefecture in recent decades. Be alert for societal infiltration and the potential of activated opponents. Be aware also that local spirit courts may not look kindly on attempts to recruit them into the investigation, and that this matter is currently in arbitration at the highest levels.
The Bureau of Destiny has elected Eight-Ways Ready as its representative in the southeast for this season. Zero additional representatives may be assigned to this prefecture as warranted by circumstances.
Thus it is known.
Eight-Ways Ready is a guard. She must be a guard – she has a sword like a guard, wears the uniform of a guard, spits and grumbles like a guard, slouches in the sun like one, salutes like one. Clearly she is a guard. Her skin color? Oh, just like the rest of them, I suppose – hired in Ember before Vaspasian’s entourage turned south for the winter. Her face? Stop asking me about the guards – what are you, sweet on her? Gah. Pay attention to your work.
In her cover identity of Nameless Guard #3, Eight-Ways Ready is respectful in the presence of authority, and slouched and crude in its absence. There is little to say about her that has not been said about every guard.
Underneath that, beneath layers of carefully cultivated mystery, Eight-Ways is a mid-level bureaucrat forced into a secret war between impossibly powerful operatives, with all of reality as its stakes. She would rather be retired – she should have been retired a lifetime ago, were she mortal. As a hereditary historian in Sijan, she would have been happy to live out her life learning about past wars rather than participating in them.
But Mars herself decided that Eight-Ways’ life should instead become interesting, a word uttered as a curse in the Bureau (and by Eight-Ways herself). Her birth name was buried for her protection. She never became a historian like her mother and her grandmother before her. She used to see glimpses of this life from time to time, in her dreams – quiet, calm, full of hope. Of course, that life and that world also ended, definitively and painfully. She no longer sees glimpses of the horrible fires and consuming maws of emptiness that consumed that world decades ago. She knows the price that the world would have paid for her quiet, calm life, and so when her great-grand-nieces and -nephews play in the streets of Sijan, sometimes she takes a little time to appreciate that. They live because of her sacrifice.
Eight-Ways Ready tries to be a little detached from the wars and skirmishes and atrocities that she is sometimes called on to witness – or even to initiate. She finds that role difficult.
Intimacies: “I serve so that others may live” (Defining), “Creation’s enemies are my enemies” (Major), “A good book” (Positive), “Any mention of the word ‘interesting'” (Negative), “Baltana Vaspasian”
Eight-Ways Ready is perpetually alert, with excellent attention to detail. Her memory is augmented by the presence of a few spirits that conceal themselves in her clothing and scabbard, and who whisper hints and names to her when she might otherwise forget. She is also a well-learned historian with access to records that go back near to the creation of the world. What she isn’t is particularly inclined to politics or socializing. She prefers a quiet night with a book to a loud night on the town.
While not yet prepared for the highest mysteries of the Sidereal arts, Eight-Ways Ready is a superb martial artist, practicing both Single Point Style (her preferred form) and Crane Style (when caught unarmed). When armed with a sword, she is unbelievably swift and deadly, as if her blade had a mind of its own. Her strikes go directly to the heart and throat. When unarmed, she fights defensively, protecting herself and others while striking back instantly against those who would seek to harm her. In either style she is capable of handling multiple attackers.
As Chosen of Battle, Eight-Ways is also familiar with the arts of war, and knows multiple patterns in which troops may be deployed to sap the strength of different supernatural foes. She can see and trap spirits, strike them or drain their power, or cajole them into service for a time. Some of these spirits are particularly good at inserting ideas into a person’s mind, though what they do with these ideas is their own matter.
- Falta Imbeth, a fellow guard that Eight-Ways finds trustworthy. Kindly, secretive, decisive.
- Yetsanikonti, a local woman who is actually a small god serving the Bureau in deep cover for a past misdeed. Overbearing, compassionate, mysterious.
- Fastidious Pen, Eight-Ways’ supervisor in the Bureau of Destiny. Courteous, efficient, overwhelmed.
- What will Eight-Ways Ready do if she discovers Multaniko‘s presence?
- Is Eight-Ways Ready of the Bronze Faction, or the Gold Faction?
- Is Eight-Ways Ready on this mission as a rest from her other work, or as punishment?