Is it time to leave Nexus behind?

“Exalted isn’t a game about safety… it’s about moving forward.”

The session begins with Jorek, Rey and Valeria’s continued attempts to communicate with the mysterious stranger from the forest. They are mostly unsuccessful, but manage to figure out that he is a friend of Speaks-of-Silence’s. He leads them away from the manse, where they find a slightly injured Speaks-of-Silence, who reveals that their new companion is an old friend of hers: another Lunar, Races-the-Dead. She urges the Solars to leave Nexus with all haste, or the enemy pursuing them will destroy them. They will flee to her family in the Wyld, a chaotic and dangerous place. She warns them to only take those companions who can survive the journey, and Rey realizes that this means her father must be left behind.

She enters the manse to break the news to Alvor, Ember and Three Fates: she may love her father more than anything, but he can no longer come with her. Alvor agrees his staying is the best course, and tells Rey he is proud of her for doing the right thing.

Ember tells Rey it is her decision whether he accompanies them or remains in Nexus to look after her father. Rey, dealing with a change of heart since her conversation with Starlight Dove a short while before, invites Ember to come — that he will have to trust her as to why. He agrees, as does Three Fates, and they prepare to leave.

Exquisite Tide’s fate, though, presents a problem for the Solars. After much deliberation it is decided that she can’t come with them, nor can she remain in Nexus. Valeria tells her to go north and make her own life, independent from her toxic family. Before leaving, Tide reveals that she has created an order of sentry for Alvor: House Tepet’s soldiers will be in his charge for his protection. “The Anathema could not be trusted, the Immaculate Order said…. I trust that they were wrong.” Jorek communicates to Rey how generous this is, and successfully manages to instill in her some grudging respect towards Tide, who parts from the group. Alvor and Totes the Terrible Goat are taken into Nexus via Klem.

Valeria, Jorek, Rey, Ember and Three Fates Shadow, flanked by Races-the-Dead and Speaks-of-Silence, set off towards the South, travelling for five days and nights. When they stop to make camp, Speaks-of-Silence elaborates on the different types of Exalted: “There are Solars, Lunars, and others… Sidereals, concerned with fate. There seem to be two factions: one who wishes to see the Solars back, and one that drove them out.” She explains that Starlight Dove is almost certainly of the faction sympathetic to the Solars’ cause, but what of the mysterious archer?

The night is an … eventful one: Ember and Rey share a passionate moment in the tent, while Valeria and Speaks-of-Silence sit beneath a tree and contemplate their loneliness – they admit they both “need” the other and share a kiss, although Speaks-of-Silence murmurs “Jorek”… who has wandered a distance away, alone.

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