Yajur Veda

Chapter 1: A Tournament of Glories

Blood, Sand and Glory at The Flaming Arena Tournament



A Letter from Kokage Celestial God of Dueling to The Golden Lord, patron God of Ang Teng

RY 764 14th Day of Resplendent Air

It has been a most eventful tournament so far my old friend. I have some most interesting news, I have witnessed the return of not one, but two of the Solar Exalted.

During the Dawn round of my tourney, a Varagian Gladiator of exceptional skill proved herself a most efficient and deadly opponent during the first four rounds. Her name is Devi Chtara. So quick and deadly she was wielding her paired Chiaroscuro Glass swords, that all four opponents she faced in battle fell in a matter of seconds. Three of them were killed beyond the measure of the Wards prevention. Quite impressive to say the least, for a mere mortal that is. Her companion, a Guilds-man named Decimus Manlius, amassed a small fortune betting on her victories, I’m sure by the tourney’s end he will be quiet a wealthy man.

She cut a bloody yet elegant swathe to the Semi-Finals Being one among the sixty to receive The Quadrant Trophy. She chose a god forged set of Super Heavy Plate, crafted to perfection. A small miracle on my part to say the least, but in her eyes she was grateful for the victory, as if I had showered her with jade obols.

She continued on into the semi-finals. She battled the air elemental-blooded Ketun Fa, a practitioner of the mysterious Night Breeze Style, and she was able to penetrate his magical stealth and decimate him with throwing knives despite the distance handicap put in place for this fight. Next she fought fellow three black mark bearer, the savagely brutal Black Tiger. She saw the madness and cruelty in his eyes and slayed him in less than second with flame piece and sword. In the final battle of the semi-finals she went head to head with Falling Blossom Style Master Kataro Munja. Their fight was a beautiful, bloody, and deadly dance. It culminated with a final flurry of multi-colored glass blades shining with blood and her exploding in a corona of Golden, Violet and crimson light as she took the Second Breath as a Sword of Heaven right before my eyes. I was able to react within the breath of a sword slash and weave an illusion of mundane victory to conceal her exaltation from the crowd. I sent five of my Guardsmen to escort her to my chambers after her Victory. I was able to still and calm her essence, but just barely. I had forgotten how rolling, thunderous, and powerful the essence of the Solar was!

She and I talked for a longtime and I explained much to her. It turns out she is the reincarnation of my old friend Scarlet Victory. This brought a smile to my lips, as it has been a long and dark time since his departure from Creation. Under my advisement Devi is continuing to compete. I have to tutor her in how to channel her essence, and aid her in immediate endeavors in Creation. In exchange she will aid me in endeavors in Heaven at a future date. I delayed the award ceremony for The Seven Sword Emperor Trophy, heralding the beginning of the finals, so I might train her how to properly wield her charms and control the expenditure of essence.

I was teaching her the basics of the Flash Fire Technique of the Fire Dragon Style, when that pesky trickster God Runoichi interrupted my lesson! Along with him was another recently exalted Lawgiver. A young Zenith caste by the name of Metin Nir, apparently he was not just a member of Devi’s entourage, but had also exalted as the incarnation of Small Bear, Scarlet Victory’s Circle-mate from the First Age. Runoichi demanded my attention and I left Devi and her circle-mate to discuss and reflect upon their situation. Runoichi explained to me that Metin was a formerly a mortal member of the Cult of the Illuminated. A hidden temple of the faith in the catacombs of Chiaroscuro named Sanctuary, had been utterly slaughters by the mysterious Goshun. Legend states they are rat like creatures that have lived beneath the city since the fall of the First Age. These creatures were encountered by Metin and he drew Second Breath while fighting them in the name of seeking justice for the slain faithful. As he was a devoted priest of the Unconquered Sun within the Cult’s faith, it was no surprise to me that he was Chosen to be a Pillar of Heaven. Runoichi has something up his sleeve as usual and it appears to involve these returning Solars, I am very suspicious.

The awards ceremony afterward was a glorious affair. I gifted my new student with a set of essence spider silk robes, of saffron and lavender, the traditional colors of the Dawn caste. She appeared to appreciate them very much. I have high hopes for her victory, and plan to make sure her future is secure as well.

I hope this wonderful news brings a smile to your face, most reverenced one. Once again we have both lived to see the dawn of a new age, and this one fills me with hope.

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