Exalted: The Jade Standard
HISTORY OF THE JADE COURT
The history of creation is the culmination of heroic and, often times tragic, tails woven by the exalted scions who wield the sword of fate in their hands. One such tragic tail speaks of the once glorious Dynast house Tepet, loyal banner-men of the empresses providence and authority of the denizens of creation. For centuries the Scarlet impress waged war against the enemies of the realm and the enemies of creation as a whole. When the empress spoke, the teeming masses of creation listened, and when she commanded the people of the world obeyed. still, among the countless faces that followed the fabled lady into legend and glory none were so willing and devote as the children of her 3rd house. Tepet, named for the brave young lover the empress took into her folds as is her right, was once the might left hand of the empress until that fateful day.
in the winter tundra of the north. in the bitter wind and gales of the air elemental, among the barren desert of shimmering white and sleepy Leviathan spirits. The might house Tepet Came face to face with the Anathema barbarian who would write their failure in the once pristine snow with the blood of its finest warriors. A barbarian know as the Bull.
For three long years the Dynast house fought a helpless war against the savage hordes in the cradle of their own lands. true of heart and resolve they stood vigilant against the tide even as the empress vanished from existence and support from the realm dwindled into nothingness.
having lost a number of their best and brightest mind in campaigns against the bull who proved to be a commander beyond the scope of a mere barbarian. Tempet reached out for the hands allies among the great houses. but, so consumed in the chaos of the empresses disappearance, the response was few and far between. among tepets largest supporters was the warlike veterans of house Seuse who, accustom to fighting losing battles, bolstered tepets forces and filled the tactical gap brought about by the death of Tepets tacticians.
In the last year of Tepets struggle Seuse veterans had almost completely replaced the tactical body of the crippled house. Indispensable among the decision making body of Seuse regulars was the young and almost completely unheard of Clan Setzu yama. The clans tactics were bold, ruthless, and effective. and it seemed for a time that they would be instrumental in turning the tables on the barbarian hordes.
But the time of the empresses disappearance was a period of blackmail and mistrust between the scions of the great houses. other allies who had rallied to Tepets cause fearing the worst for the might house of air and some suspected foul play in sesus dealing with their desperate cousins. A few intellectuals, Ledall Kel among them, suspected that the only way to account for the bulls overwhelming success against one of the most powerful house of tacticians and warriors in the realm was that he was being backed by equally skilled minds. The third party allies of tepet suspected house sesus and more importantly the Setzu yama clan were actively feeding the bull information and sabotaging tepets defensive efforts with the disappearance of the empress as a smokescreen for the betrayal.
As winter creeped up on the wounded legion of tepet it became apparent that one crucial position meant the difference between life and death for the 3rd of the empresses children. Fang gate, a fortress manse housing a host of Warstriders, served as a supply nexus for the overextended forces in the north. but two years of war and death had left the manse dangerously unsupported. A collaboration of Sell swords and specialist, bought by Ragura coin, was the only hope for the future of fang gate and the Tepet legion.
Ragura Silvarian Scimitar, a young ambitious air dragon with a mind for saving the north was approached by members of the enigmatic “all seeing eye.” wanting to investigate the claims of foul play in the north but not having the manpower to address the situation more directly given the blackmail and infighting flourishing in the absence of the empress the eye assigned Darien Nathair, a capable shinobi with contacts in the black-market, to assist in the covert operation they silvarian was calling the Frost Fang Gambit. empowered by the eye and their own sense of duty the two mustered all of their resources for the journey to frost gate. but the Frost Gate would not easily be taken.
Silvarian suspected traitors in house sesus. if he was to supply the frost gate his only option was the traitorous Fang for it was the only supply rout not guarded by sesus men or under assult by the bulls barbarians. the narrow straight was located between crumbling glacial walls and jagged bergs. Silvarian would need more than coin to buy his way into the frost gate, he would need specialist.
Darien had many contacts in the black-market, but many of them were would not sacrifice their safety for so risky a payoff. When all of the thieves and merchants of Veneef and Nellens turned their back on the venture and Darien thought he had exhausted his resources his mind turned to a shady back-dealer in house Cynis. Xachi- Jahern was not like the other bottom feeders in his house. yes he had many of the taste that Cynis scions were accustom to but he also had real passion and a no concept of a impossible task. with the promise of opportunity and adventure the Cynis snake was persuaded to offer his skills to the endeavor.
the eyes of a merchant was but half of the shekle for the ninja. he had a job to do. members of house Sesus were suspected of betraying the realms interest and he had made up his mind to get to the bottom of it. with imperial stipend he brought on a pair of bounty hunters whos record had proven not only effectiveness but the courage to run their quarry to ground regardless of their name and title. among them Kira Blodwynn, a young fire dragon the empress had once mentioned by name while speaking to Cathak Canin about the security of the realm. armed with capable bodies the Shinobi resolved to shed blood for the empress once more.
Silvarian knew the path to the gate would riddled with much more than ice. old report spoke of rogue spirits and Lithian cutthroats that nested amount the mirror like walls of the fang. He meant for this expedition to succeed. Tepet would not have another chance after this one. it didn’t take him long to make up his mind. there was only one dynast with the experience to tackle the fang though she was redoubtable lost in the confusion in the western islands battling pirates and demons. Silvarian nearly crippled his ragura holdings and bought expedient sorcerous passage to the west to track down the fabled pirate hunter of legend. When he arrived and explained his position the admiral was not without compassion but it was impossible for her to give up the fight on the western front at such a cruciel time. There was a group of sailors who had some dealing in fringe ops like the one he was purposing. she drafted a list of names and commissioned one of her land ships to the task.
Among the swords and seamen chosen by the legend herself was the Osharick Atar. a Lithain hunter with a untarnished record. give responsibility of seeing silvarians crew safely to the gate and returning the Land-ship in salvageable order They set off to the Norther ports of the realm. when they arrived word from admiral Aramida was waiting for them in the hands of Sesus Romanov. her words were:
“Some of us are in this out of loyalty and love for our nation, but none of use care more for the fate of our comrades than those who call those that would lose everything brother and sister. the reputation of Sesuse is in question and there are men and women in bed of the fire dragons who would see its named cleared. this is sesus Romanov, a man who believes his house can become more than its reputation, a man you can trust. you need good men Scimitar, men with a love for their country.”
in three short weeks the party of would be saviors had gathered and set out for the north. With the future of a great house riding on their shoulders the bravely faced the dangers of the Fang. Though nothing could have prepare them for the Fate that awaited them in the twisted heart of the Frost Fang.