Scarlet Sky Conspiracy

RY 767 Ascending Water - Ledaal Catala Akashan  

Being the 28th Day of Water, Ascending, Year of Our Realm 767
Steady Foundation Pagoda, Imperial Mountain, Blessed Isle

By the grace of the Dragons, my friends:

Ledaal Mockshanta, a beloved elder cousin most enlightened in the Immaculate teachings and called to serve as a monk, and I recently sat down to discuss philosophy over tea. She gently chastised me for my secularism, especially when I confided in her regarding my worries regarding my essence. Had I been a more attentive student I might have recognized the gift of the dragons far sooner. At her advice, I have made the journey to the Imperial Mountain to make the pilgrimage up the Spine of the Amaranthine Dragon…

The letter continues describing the conversation, subsequent journey, and various spiritual insights Akashan has had. Members of the conspiracy see the following:

I regret that this last month has primarily involved consolidation. I must thank my dear cousin Aisa for settling my worries. Now that I know what is going on I have been able to secure time for other projects. Even if the event was not holy, the increase in power it brings is significant. My peers on the leading council were glad to pick up some of my slack to ensure that I do not risk losing the enlightenment I am chasing with mundane distractions. I do not mean to make light of the experience, for it humbles and awes me every hour of every day.

Most of my time has been spent in meetings, mentoring some of the bright up-and-coming members of my house. Most of it was technical, providing assistance for some of the planned manse upgrades, their commissions or maintenance duties, and their research. Of particular interest was a thread of most impious… envy let us call it that ran through many of those conversations. There is an unvoiced belief, a true one I might add, that our creative magic is not the equal of our combative gifts. Much of this I attribute to a lack of interest. War brings glory and riches far faster and more broadly acknowledged than labor.

To be blunt, we are decaying. Our ability to service our existing stockpile of wonders is barely adequate and we consume them faster than we can produce replacements. If the trend continues the balance of power is going to shift against us, and we may find we are spending for more Exalted blood and mortal treasure to hold what we already if we are not thrown back across the Inner Sea entirely. Once we have the throne, we shall face an equally great task of holding it even without considering politics.

But all is not bad. I have begun working with the Folk of the Mountain on something which may prove decisive when battle comes. A method by which enlightened noncombatants can transfer the Dragon's Breath to those in the thick of the fighting. If my testing is successful, our warriors will be able to utilize their charms more frequently and freely than our opponents. This could do much to counter the numbers we will no-doubt lack.

A final note, but perhaps the most important, I believe I know how the Scarlet Stone could be made to work for us. Their commander would or could not divulge the nature of their oaths directly. At my request, I was invited to participate in a prayer ceremony to their craftsmen god. The room in which it took place contained a complex mechanism entirely covered in writing in the tongue of the Old Realm and another I recognize as native to the Folk. Prayerful acts involved chants, which I believe incode operating instructions, an labor with the device. The belief is that as god of machines, their "Maker" receives worship from machines being operated with votive toil. While I could only read half of the device and understood none of the chants, I was able to divine the operating principles. Through the use of my essence applied in precise ways I caused the central prayer-gear to turn so rapidly it produced a loud "Om" a sacred sound to the Folk as well as us. This was apparently a sign of excellent devotion and they were less, though not entirely non, hostile to my presence.

Later, the commander and I played a game of their homeland while I relayed the news, having just been there myself. It involves a number of tiles stamped with ideographic glyphs. The game is played by using the existing lines on the board to represent arguments, historical events, or other complex chains of ideas graphically. I noticed as we played that the Scarlet Stone's tile was placed in obligation to the tile of the Scarlet Throne, which was not the same as that of the absent (Her Most Highly Exalted Majesty) Scarlet Empress. I believe this means that they serve the possition of empress rather than the person of Her Most High Exalted Majesty. If we can convincingly place Aisa on the throne and declare her empress they should follow us against alternate contenders and their armies.

In Fire, Faith, and Blood,
Ledaal Catala Akashan Ledaal 

Added to the end of the letter itself
P.S. I see the Postal Carriers have acted with their usual alacrity. I arrived home to find I had beat my letters in transit.