Exalted Curtain Call Frosty Fluff

"You want to know how I… you're sure? Oh Luna, this is embarrassing. Okay. Fine. Fine. I'll tell you. I think it all started because I didn't listen to my dad."
"I don't mean that quite the way you think. I mean, I love my dad. It's just… You'll probably want some history. There's this dynast that got appointed rulership where I grew up. Some crimson lizard magistrate by the name of Timoxu Giyeta or Peyeta or something. We had a really bad year on the farm about a decade back, and he loaned my dad enough money to stay afloat. Coincidentally, a lot of people had bad years after he got put in charge. I think you can see where this is going."
"It was never anything open. There was just always a lot of coincidences that always went his way. Our barn catches on fire and burns up half our wool crop when we're starting to get ahead on our loan. The tax reassessment ends up leaving the local tavernkeeper a tenant in his own home. The Defi brothers get arrested for jade smuggling a week after they win a local transport contract instead of his grand-nephew's company. Seriously? The Defi brothers? The closest I've ever seen them get to real jade is that horrible green paint they keep trying to sell. But I'm getting off subject. He was getting ready to come around my dad's ranch and shake us down for more money, and I just couldn't take it. The empire puts him out here to try to make the realm a safer place and all that other stuff he's supposed to do, and all he sees is an opportunity to line his own pockets. Disgusting. So I fight with my dad over how we've got to do something, otherwise we're all going to become his slaves in the next few years. I yell, he yells, and I wish I could take what I said back, but I end up storming off in a huff."
"In hindsight, I should've listened to him and went to visit one of my aunts for a day or two until the lizard left, but I needed to be alone. So I took my horse and went out to ride for a while. Officially, I was inspecting the the grounds. Unofficially… I was… uh, kinda going out to sulk. There was a nice quiet little pond I always went where I could pace and throw things and say insulting stuff about his lack of parents without anyone bothering me. And that was where it started to go wrong."
"I was halfway up a tree whittling apart sticks and muttering about what'd happen when he finally got his, when I hear voices from somewhere nearby. It was getting late, so I thought my dad figured out where I'd gone and had sent a couple of my brothers to haul me back home before it got dark. So I drop out of the tree, and sneak out to see which of them it was, and it's the bloody magistrate, and at least half a dozen of his armsmen, and they're rooting around like they're looking for something."
"I must have made a noise or something, because they all look over at the bush I'm hiding behind, and it felt like someone punched me in the shoulder. So I look down, and there's this arrow sticking out of me. An arrow! And I can't beleive it's real, because it doesn't even hurt. So I'm just staring at this thing hoping it's just a bad dream and the magistrate is slapping one of his armsmen and yelling something about no weapons, and all his other armsmen start after me, so I start running for it. I think he might have been shouting at me too, but I didn't stop to listen."
"Now, his soldiers were pretty fast, but I've been wandering around those woods since almost before I could walk, and I knew every trapline, briar patch, and wasp nest in those woods, and if they wanted to catch me they were going to have to chase me through all of them."
"I don't really remember much about what happened next. I think I'd lost a lot of blood, and it was hard to think straight. I was trying to get far enough ahead of them that I could cut south and make it back to my family's place, but they were always right on my ass. And I wasn't sure I wanted to go that way. Once I thought about it a little, it'd make sense that he'd leave a couple people there to scoop me up, and where would they hide me?"
"They never quite manage to catch me, even though I'm- no, wait. you don't want to hear about this. I finally hit the end of my rope late that night. It's… kind of strange. Everything else that happened until then is hazy, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I had just come into a clearing, and the moon was out. I remember thinking it was too bright, but that was just the delerium talking. I collapsed, then, but someone caught me. I remember- I remember that she kept calling me her daughter, and saying that she was proud of me. I kept trying to tell her that was silly, and I knew who my mother was, and that she wasn't, but I couldn't get the words to come out, and then she was gone."
"After that, I had to stop and think things over. I mean, the world was different. Sharper. Cleaner, in some ways. Everything else was a secondary concern. I didn't even feel that bloody arrow in my shoulder anymore and that didn't matter… look. The moon herself came down and kissed me on the forehead and told me everything would be alright. I said I was remembering clearly, not thinking clearly. Did ya really expect me to remember a little thing like being chased?"
"When he finally caught up with me, the damn magistrate came into the clearing. By himself, no less. I think he figured his armsmen would spook me or something. I don't think he had any idea what I was. If he had, he wouldn't have come within a dozen leagues of me. Though to be fair, right then I didn't have any idea what I was either."
"He had this whole story lined up, too. I won't bore you with the details. He went on about it for what seemed like forever. The wierdest thing is, I think he was serious when he apologized about me getting shot. If you're going to scoop someone up and pretend to care for their future so you can use them as a hostage, it's counta…uh… counter productive if they get hurt before you need to prove a point."
"I hurt him really badly. I'm not sure what pushed me over the edge, I just… snapped. One moment he was talking about getting me a proper upbringing and the next thing I knew I had him by the throat and I was trying to slam his face through a tree. Hey. Could you… could you not tell One Fang Shy about this? He'll just chide me for being a wimp again, but the most frightening thing was how easy it was. He'd gotten his sword out and hit me a couple times and the clearing was on fire and his men were pouring out of the woods, but I think I still could have finished him off. He's been haunting my dreams since I was a kid and when I finally have enough of him and hit back he goes down like a sack of potatos. He wasn't even that good at fighting, either. I guess you don't need to know how to use a sword if you win all your battles with a pen. And me… well, I have four brothers. I've probably forgotten more dirty tricks than he ever learned. But still, it's kind of scary. Who's going to stop me if I do try and go too far? Makes me wonder if that's all there was to the… iiih… nevermind."
"So that's it. I took off as soon as I came to my senses. I had even more to think about then. I was anathema. I had to be. They were monsters, of course, which- well, you know how that speech goes. Pretty convenient for the dragonblooded in charge, isn't it? You know all the rest. I was headed northeast as quick as I could in hopes of outrunning the wyld hunt when you guys picked me up. I know I've said it before, but thanks for that, and everything else you've done."
"Have you been able to find out anything about what's become of my family?"

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