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Once upon a time, a rich Guild factor in the city of Port Calin had a lovely young daughter who was his pride and joy. She had a quick mind, a nimble body, a good heart and a pretty face. The factor wanted nothing more than for his lovely girl to take up the family business and become a rich Guild factor herself. But the girl loved art and beauty more than money, and she fled Port Calin for Nexus, the City of 10,000 Sins. Free of her father’s unrealistic expectations, she lived there happily ever after.

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful and talented actress in Nexus, the poisoned heart of the Scavenger Lands. She deigned to fall in love with a poet and be his muse, but he took ill and began to waste away before her eyes. Her inspiration, the actress knew, was driving her beloved into an early grave. The poet had not yet composed the masterpiece that was worthy of being the last thing he would ever write, so the actress abandoned him. (As much as she loved him, the actress loved his talent more.) The poet’s tears fell on his sickbed, and his withered hand clutched at the air where she had been. The poet never died, and the actress lived happily ever after.

Once upon a time, there lived a woman who toured the Scavenger Lands in a traveling carnival with those who considered themselves her peers. Addicted to bright morning and to the adulation of an amazed crowd, the performer desired to spin for the gods of Great Forks a glorious tale that would win her their adoring patronage. In that tale, she was partnered with a dishonest carnival barker who used his legitimate travels to conceal criminal activities. The heroic champions of Great Forks uncovered this illicit activity in the tale’s second act—as heroic champions inevitably do—and confronted the criminal partners. While speaking in her defense, the performer was dramatically, perhaps conveniently, graced by the Unconquered Sun and spoke so eloquently that the Spinner of Glorious Tales himself came to listen. The duplicitous barker was executed for his crimes, but the unknowing performer saw to it that the rest of the carnival’s crew was spared. Talespinner took her in to educate her, and she lived happily ever after.

Upon this Time of Tumult, there exists a Solar Exalt of the Eclipse Caste who tours the countryside independently but not alone. She has inherited enviable sums of money and vast holdings from her deceased Guild factor father. She owns the traveling carnival show with which she had lived and trained for so many years before her Exaltation. Upon her face, she wears a magical mask made for her by Shalrina, Daimyo of Faces. Hidden in the wings behind her is the well-meaning Cult of the Illuminated, which took her in and educated her after her Exaltation. In the shadows that the Cult casts are the subtle Chosen of the Maidens who consider the reemerging Solar Exalted to be Creation’s best hope for salvation.

With so many advantages, this Eclipse Caste walks to and fro on the Threshold, and up and down in it, urging the Children of Earth toward revolution. Tyranny is her enemy; freedom her inspiration. Her name (today) is Mirror Flag. Because of her, the people of Creation will live happily ever after…

…if any of these stories are true.