A summons came this morning to Vanishing Lotus, Chosen of Secrets, and her bodyguard Kirsi of the Full Moon Caste, bidding them to the Division of Endings. Once there, they met with Temperate Raven, Chosen of Endings, and her newest puzzle – a lump of starmetal only recently recovered from a region in the southeast. The god’s end had been unforeseen and, more worrisome, outside of fate. Even the name of the deity was unknown. Vanishing Lotus and Kirsi were tasked with uncovering both the identity of the dead god and the circumstances surrounding his or her end. The only clue Temperate Raven could offer was that the god appeared to be the god of a specific place, or object, likely a former member of the Bureau of Humanity. Jasper, her spirit assistant, was busy trying to analyze what residue remained on the unfortunate corpse.
Leaving Temperate Raven to her work, the two Exalted traveled to the Division of Humanity, Offices of Disaster and Ruin, hoping to learn of any recently ruined cities or masses of newly dead human souls. Along the way they literally ran into a Chosen of Battles, Lightning-Struck Oak, as he was leaving the office they intended to enter. Their attempt proved futile. The god Ozymandias, Reminder of Great and Forgotten Works, could offer no useful information. Following their natural inclination to ferret out secrets (and because the offices of Ruin and Death lie only a little way apart) the two turned to the offices of Taru-Han, abandoned when she was reassigned to the Division of Heaven. With luck, an unforwarded prayer or memo would offer some clues.
Only mildly concerned about an audit, Vanishing Lotus carefully broke into the seemingly empty set of offices. Their only companion was a Soul Collector, perched on an empty sconce. Taru-Han’s office was closed, and, having been warned of entering a god’s office (even abandoned) without permission, Vanishing Lotus pushed open the mail slot to peek inside. Kirsi barely managed to pull her back as a clawlike hand reached out of the mail slot in response. The office, as it turned out, was full of Soul Collectors. Concerned that the Collectors had been waylaid in an attempt to cover a recent mass murder, Kirsi opened the door and ducked. The swarm of Soul Collectors flew out, and the two Celestial Exalted gave chase, hoping to see their destination. Upon seeing the Soul Collectors flying in the direction of their rookery, the two returned to the offices to take a peek into the now-empty room. A god was waiting for them. Anub-akhet, a god of embalming, had been in one of the seemingly-abandoned offices. Far from reporting their break-in, the god seemed pleased that the two Exalts had gotten rid of the noise. He informed them that he had sensed no souls in the Collectors’ possession, and suspected that they had merely been born of the remnants of Taru-Han’s power still in the office.
After lunch, they commissioned a flying rickshaw to carry them to the Division of Heaven, to inquire at the offices of Taru-Han. Along the way, they were attacked by an odd group – an assortment of barbarian-gods from disparate tribes, riding horses formed from cloud. While Vanishing Lotus made good use of her staff and windblade, Kirsi proved that gravity was for mortals through skillful leaps paired with excellent use of her paired hookswords. They managed to give better than they got, and in the end only half of the six attackers were still around when the lion dogs came to break things up. The Exalts were cleared of any wrongdoing, and discovered that the little gods who had attacked him were from ruined or supplanted tribes. There was no proof that this was more than an attempted mugging by desperate, purview-less gods, but Vanishing Lotus and Kirsi returned to their Manse, the Pagoda of Last Season’s Rain, with new suspicions.