Istenda leads them to the place they will call home, in this city.
Holbar casts his eyes about him with a certain amount of wary wonder.
Lai Misuna follows, a distracted look in his eye, trying to take it all in.
alsoquin The Esh district is a bustling residential neighborhood -- earthen structures and carefully bred fungi form tiny homes, rising up four or five levels from the ground, and thin curved passageways run between them. The streets are bustling, though the strange beings that flit about everywhere grant a great deal of space to the unexpected humans.
alsoquin A bit of a commotion seems to be beginning, though in the background -- humans in the streets of Era'vina is an unprecedented sight.
Istenda walks with confidence, casting the occasional glance back at the humans, watching how they stand out amongst the Hundredfold with an amused smile on his reptilian face.
alsoquin As the commotion begins to grow louder, one Hundredfold in particular steps out of the nearby passageways, catching Istenda's eye as he does so: a tall, thin man, composed entirely of fungus and glowing a pale blue. On his shoulder sits a tiny black fox.
Olosh "Istenda-bar-Kasima, there you are." A swirl of yellow greetings drifts in his direction.
Istenda pauses and addresses the man. "Problems, Olosh?" he smiles slowly.
Olosh does a little eyebrow-shrug. "Only the usual, and the...vagrants."
Olosh **not bar-kasima
Istenda chuckles. "Yes, they are creating quite a stir aren't they? Join us, if you will. I'm sure that you will find them as fascinating as I have."
Lai Misuna turns and raises an eyebrow to Holbar
Olosh releases a smudge of annoyance, but comes along.
Holbar smiles. "If you've got a problem with us, Olosh, I'm sure we can talk it out and come to some kind of arrangement." The light glints off of one of his canines.
Istenda introduces them as they walk. "The loud one would be Holbar. The girl is Shikaya, and the quiet one is Lai Misuna, their new leader."
alsoquin Shikaya waves curtly but does not speak.
Holbar "I like to think of myself as the difficult one."
Olosh looks at Holbar, at first blankly, but with increasing alarm.
Istenda "Loud, difficult. Whatever you choose." his tail twitches a bit, "I suggest you watch what you say here, though, until you have proven to the others that you are more than an upstart ex-slave."
Holbar stops walking.
Lai Misuna "Greetings, Olosh." He inclines his head, doing his best not to stare at the strange man and mostly managing.
Olosh The luminescence of his fungal flesh stutters and then brightens dramatically. His eyes roll back in his head, and confused plumes of bright-coloured spores gush into the air, making a sound like a surprised brass band.
Olosh staggers and leans on the nearest wall.
Istenda stops, and turns to watch Olosh. He does not seem particularly surprised.
Istenda "Another one?"
Holbar "Here's an alternate suggestion. Screw you, how do I get out of here?"
alsoquin Shikaya laughs. "Running away as soon as the going gets rough?"
Istenda gestures back towards the Gate
Lai Misuna "Is something the matter with him?" He asks Istenda with concern.
Holbar rounds on Shikaya. "Where's your fucking backbone, bitch? I thought that we weren't going to let people walk over us any more. Not Exalts. Not gods. And definitely not fucking lizards."
Olosh "That was a stronger vision than I have had in many years."
alsoquin stares at Holbar. "Then be a man and hit him instead of blubbering."
Holbar thinks a moment, shrugs, nods, turns, and sends a vicious haymaker whistling through the air towards Istenda's face.
Lai Misuna puts a warning hand on Holbar's arm. "Calm yourself, my new friend."
Olosh "Istenda, what are these ...people... doing here?"
Istenda generally ignores Holbar's outburst, "Intriguing." He says to Olosh, absently flipping a strange crystalline mace into the way of Holbar's fist, deflecting it to the side.
alsoquin Shikaya stands back, smugly.
Holbar glances sidewise at Lai, eyes narrowed. "I'm not taking this shit. If these fuckers are going to look down on us for not having been fucked over by Exalts for quite as long as they have, then I don't think we need them."
Holbar "Convince me otherwise."
Istenda "They are here," he raises a brow, "Because I was asked to bring them here."
Istenda "They're here to help us take back Creation. Assuming they're strong enough to handle the responsibility."
Olosh makes a jingly blue spore-noise. "That's some dream. If you're going to take back Creation, you'll need some breakfast. Join me, explain?"
Holbar "See. Right there. Help THEM take back Creation. From US. The humans. The ones who overthrew their worthless asses in the first place."
Holbar "What do you think will happen to our people then?"
Olosh When Lai and Shikaya aren't looking, Olosh points at them and gives Istenda a look of extreme bafflement.
Istenda bows slightly to the others. "Do you wish to join us?" Secretly, he's laughing at Olosh. "We intend to raise up the ones who wish to join us, as you did. And you will rule over them when the battles are won."
Lai Misuna gives Holbar a look that translates to Just show some patience. Right now, we are weak. When we are exalted, thing will change.
Istenda "Worry not, we do not intend to make your kind slaves again. Our intention is to live in peace amongst eachother."
Lai Misuna "Holbar, please. At least talk with them. If you still disagree, we can discuss things."
alsoquin Shikaya leans over to Holbar and speaks harshly, but quietly. "Have you looked around you?" She runs her eyes over the city around her. "Even if every creature here is a warrior, there can't be more than a hundred thousand of them, maybe two. We just need them until we can choose others from our kind."
Holbar clenches and unclenches his fists, breathing heavily, then turns to Istenda.
Holbar "Peace starts with politeness."
Istenda manages not to laugh at Holbar's outlandish statement, considering his recent behavior. "Then, perhaps we should start over. If you refrain from attempting to kill me, I will be polite."
Holbar "We tried that, and it didn't work out, so I had to try to kill you."
Holbar "Are you going to try harder this time?"
Olosh takes a moment to size up the humans.
Istenda "You must excuse me, Holbar." he says seriously. "Your kind have committed genocide on mine. Centuries of anger are difficult to overcome."
Istenda "Shall we continue?"
Olosh cuts in--"Is this your first visit to Era'vina?"
Holbar stares into Istenda's eyes, then nods slightly. "Okay. I can buy that."
Holbar "We'll try again."
Holbar "Yes, it's our first visit to this place."
Olosh "Then you -must- see the spider gardens."
Istenda smiles, "Thank you." He bows again, a bit deeper this kind.
Lai Misuna lets out his breath, almost imperceptably.
Holbar "Spider gardens."
Holbar "Like, gardens that are full of spiders?"
alsoquin The group proceeds inwards to a reasonably spacious set of earthen rooms, where some crystalline automata are already preparing a meal -- the quarters Istenda has had prepared for them.
Istenda opens the door for them, gesturing for them to proceed through as he holds it open politely.
Lai Misuna "Thank you, Istenda." He says with a nod. "The spider gardens sound ... intriguing, I must admit."
Holbar nods to Istenda as he steps into the room, immediately taking a seat and watching the meal preparations hungrily.
alsoquin The decor is not... too difficult for a human, though all the chairs are sloped in somewhat unexpected ways and the reddish-green color scheme is not something that they would have seen often before....
Olosh pokes at some interesting fermented herbs. They are turning a very appetizing colour of fuzz.
alsoquin Shikaya looks over the place with an unusual expression. "How... inviting."
Lai Misuna takes a seat on one of the strange chairs.
Istenda closes the door behind them with a soft, fungusy whoosh. "Please, sit. We will eat together, and discuss the future. This will be your home, if you wish to remain with us."
alsoquin Shikaya seats herself carefully.
alsoquin The tiny crystalline creatures set three courses of unidentifiable (but enticing) meat and vegetables, plus unusually-colored blue and purple liquids, upon the table.
Holbar "Fucked up."
Istenda demonstrates the proper way to sit in the chairs, by doing so himself. It becomes apparent why the chairs are formed the way they are, as it allows his distinctly nonhuman anatomy to conform comfortably to them.
Holbar begins eating.
Lai Misuna raises an eyebrow, and starts to eat.
alsoquin The food is delicious, if a little disconcerting.
Istenda eats with proper manners for a dragon king. Which is also a little disconcerting.
alsoquin Shikaya holds back from the food for the moment; better if she waited to make sure no one else died before eating. "So what do we do from here?"
Olosh displays proper Okasha eating, which is no less comforting, but rather less messy. It's just a matter of finding an unoccupied fold of the digestive labyrinth...
Istenda wipes his mouth on a napkin-like item. "First, you must choose a god to Exalt you. And then convince him that you are worthy. After that, it is a matter of gathering the proper materials for the fusion."
Istenda "I will not lie to you; it will not be easy. But you were chosen for your capabilities to overcome things that most mortals would balk at."
Holbar "So, if we have to go to all that work, what the fuck was the point of the vials?"
alsoquin As Holbar speaks, there's a knock at the door.
Istenda "They ar.." he looks up. "A moment, please." He gestures to one of the the atomata to get the door.
Lai Misuna "I believe it is much like the foundations of a house, Holbar."
alsoquin Three of the tiny creatures stand piggyback upon one another to reach the handle, only to be sent flying as the door opens into them. Standing behind it is another Okasha -- a woman, with long, thin tassels falling from her head down towards her feet.
alsoquin She wears a red and purple outfit of rather elaborate patterning -- presumably formalwear of some kind -- and carries a similarly intricate wood-staff that grips crystals at each end.
Lai Misuna stares at the woman for several seconds before he seems to get control of himself back, taking a swift drink from a cup.
Istenda rises and bows lightly to the Okasha. "Elari, it is good to see you again. Can I help you?"
Olosh motions to a chair almost absently, but also emits a cryptic and complex whorl of spores. =Elari, I haven't seen you. Very busy?=
Lai Misuna Elari. He tries the name in his mind several times.
Holbar raises an eyebrow as he scarfs down more food.
Elari nods with familiarity at the other Okasha. =Very busy indeed, brother.= Then she addresses Istenda, with a knowingly respectful bow. "Yes, Istenda. I am in understanding that our city has unexpected guests. As a lead Celebrant it is my duty to welcome them."
Istenda "I apologize for not informing you in advance. My new friends are Holbar, Shikaya, and Lai." He gestures to each in turn.
Holbar waves. "Nice tassels."
Lai Misuna rises from his seat to greet her "Greetings, Elari."
Shikaya pokes the food, then nods to the Okasha. "Greetings, Elari."
Elari "Ah." She places her staff in the air in front of her, where it hangs without visible support, and turns to make an elaborate, bowing gesture with both hands. "As Second Arisen Celebrant of the city of Era'vina, I welcome you to our city." Her eyes roll over Holbar, Shikaya, and... does Lai imagine that they linger for a moment on him?
Elari The spores around Elari's head begin to thicken, as they did for Olosh earlier. =...humans, brother? What in existence is this about?=
Olosh "Will you join us for the meal?" =They wish to wage a war on themselves that we may retake Creation.=
Elari "But of course." She seats herself carefully, and looks over all of the assembled once again. =Is this Istenda's idea?=
Istenda seats himself after Elari, and signals for the Automata to bring out more food.
Lai Misuna seats himself too.
Olosh shrugs at that, and consumes a bendy piece of meat that might have once been the local analogue of fish.
Elari "I hope that your arrival in Era'vina has been pleasant. We have... not had guests of any manner in many, many years."
Istenda smiles at Lai, pleased with his politeness.
Istenda passes him a particularly fine piece of..something.
Lai Misuna "So far it has been very interesting. From what I have seen of it, you .. have a beautiful city."
Elari 's spores take on a bluish-green tinge... maybe that's a smile? "I thank you. It is a remnant of past glory that we have strived so hard to maintain."
Shikaya "Soon, you will reclaim much more." She smiles, finally taking a little bit of her food
Lai Misuna samples the fine piece of something, and smiles to Istenda in thanks before return to doing his best to not watch Elari
Holbar rolls his eyes at Shikaya, and keeps eating.
Elari "I... hope so." She looks over the group. "I am sure you realize that the citizens of our city are not... used to your presence here. They will perhaps react in... untoward ways at first." She shoots a very brief look at Istenda.
Olosh glances over at Istenda a few times, surreptitiously, while he's talking.
Istenda gives her a look that says "If I could speak in spore, I'd tell you."
Elari "Please do not allow that to form your true opinion of us. We are thinking, feeling creatures, like you, and there is much pain in the past."
Holbar "So, uh, this pain you're talking about."
Shikaya smiles at Holbar. Her eyes glint a little... before she looks at Elari. "We will make them used to us, not to worry."
Holbar "This is from when the humans decided that they had enough of being your slaves, right?"
Holbar "I'm just making sure we're all on the same page."
Istenda sighs slightly. Reminds himself not to snap.
Istenda "Though amongst our people, you may want to phrase it more politely."
Holbar "Okay. Good to know."
Holbar "I thought I was."
Shikaya "I suppose you are lucky. They did not enslave you in turn."
Holbar shrugs and smiles, eating.
Olosh drops a piece of...fruit? mineral?
Istenda "They could not. They drove us beyond the borders of Creation, was that not enough? To lose our world, that we had worked so hard to bring to glory?"
Elari eats enough to be considered poilte before rising. "I thank you for the hospitality, but I must excuse myself; I have many duties." She looks over the three humans again. "If you have need of anything, please come to the Three Tiers, near the center of the city; one of us will be able to assist you."
Olosh "Or perhaps they dared not, eh?"
Shikaya "You are still free, and alive, so honestly, you are lucky. And they tried glory themselves, and that is why we are here." She smiles, a simple gesture to say goodbye to Elari. "To show a better path to you all." Serving us, for one.
Istenda gives Elari a look that plainly says he wishes he could join her rather than dealing with his tiresome guests. But he rises, and thanks her nonetheless.
Lai Misuna "Thank you Elari, I will be sure to do so, should the need arise."
Elari nods to Istenda, glances at her brother with a quick =As always, I trust you to keep this under control=, retrieves her still-hanging staff, and departs.
Olosh =You what?= is what Olosh would have liked to say, but it is too late.
Holbar "So. Do you have a list of gods somewhere?"
Istenda grits his teeth, leveling a long look at his guests. But he does not mention how the humans were always destined to be slaves, so much that once they had no masters, they turned inwards, to enslave themselves. It wouldn't be polite.
Istenda "It would be best to choose one you have worshipped in your lifetime."
Lai Misuna "You know of no gods?" He asks of Holbar "I had it in mind to ask the god of Chaya, Unfolding Petal."
Holbar "What is he, a god of flowers or something?"
Lai Misuna "You could say that, yes." The flower that defines a nation
Olosh makes a very uncomfortable face. It is perhaps the first completely clear expression he has shown before the humans, and even with his Hundredfols features its meaning is clear.
Istenda "Well, if you cannot choose yet, perhaps we should start with Lai's god of choice. Olosh," he smiles to the Okasha, "Would you care to join us?"
Holbar shrugs dubiously. "Well, I mean, if that's your thing."
Olosh looks at some part of Istenda's body as though recalling something under his clothes. "Yes. Yes, I will."
Istenda raises a brow. "Good then. Shall we?"
Elari A mildly long and arduous journey later, the five beings arrive in the nation of Chaya, where the red flower festival is in full bloom and the locals are displaying the sure signs of intoxication.
Elari If past experience is any judge, Lai expects that Unfolding Petal will be holding court in one of the larger groves outside the capital city.
Lai Misuna smiles to himself. Home. He draws in a deep breath.
Istenda "Lai, you seem to know the way. Please, lead us."
Lai Misuna nods. "Please, follow me." He starts to lead the strange quintet towards the temple-groves around the capital. After a while, it's easy to tell at which one Unfolding Petal is holding court and so he leads them there.
Elari The Chayan citizens commit acts that are, at the very least, inappropriate for polite company all around as the group proceeds through the fields.
Elari There in the grove, amidst the beautifully blooming red trees, the god himself stands, his own body like a great red flower surrounding a vaguely human-shaped body within. At the moment, several maidens appear to be tying a maypole under his careful scrutiny, as pollen drifts through the air around him.
Istenda watches them frolick with ironic amusement. Propagating their species seems to be the one thing they all excel at.
Lai Misuna walks towards the god, waiting to be noticed.
Holbar grins as he watches the festivities, dimming slightly as they approach the god.
Akuna A voice from behind the band clears its throat, loudly, and a small hand tugs at Holbar's pant-leg from behind.
Holbar turns, raising an eyebrow.
Akuna Holbat has to look down to meet the doe-eyed gaze of a small waif, dressed in elegant finery. He looks up pitiably at the large man and says "Please sir, my master would like to speak with you and your friends."
Olosh looks that the child curiously. "Is this one of your larvae?"
Holbar "Not mine personally."
Holbar glances over at Lai, then back. "The big man's busy right now. Who's your master, anyway?"
Istenda looks at the 'larva' curiously.
Akuna The young servant points further back behind him, to where an elegantly adorned man with long hair and decidedly...sharp features sits in a scissors chair, sipping deep red wine and being waited on by two well-dressed and attentive looking young girls.
Elari After Lai stands for a moment, Unfolding Petal finally takes note of him, and saunters over to begin a conversation with the young man.
Akuna waves lazily with his right hand at the party, while drinking from the glass in his left, and eyeing them over it.
Holbar eyes Akuna appraisingly, looks back at Lai, then shrugs. "Hey, Shikaya. C'mere."
Istenda decides to let Lai handle his own negotiations, and approaches the seated man.
Lai Misuna bows respectfully to his god. "Unfolding Petal, I have a proposition for you. Would it be possible for us to speak in private for a short time?"
Holbar heads towards Akuna also, stepping a little quicker so as to get to him before Istenda.
Elari Unfolding Petal looks Lai up and down for a moment. Satisfied that he is indeed a reasonable choice, he nods. "Yes, yes. Please come this way," he says, waving one hand and opening a petal-circled doorway to his personal sanctum.
Istenda nods to Akuna, looking once again as he did when he first met the humans. "I heard you wish to speak with us."
Holbar "Actually, he wanted to speak with me and my friends."
Istenda rolls his eyes. "Of course."
Akuna gives Istenda and Holbar both an intense look, and a smile that reveals his canines. "I wanted to speak with all of you."
Holbar gestures widely. "Start."
Akuna "Gladly." Akuna gives the slightest suggestion of a bow. "I have had a vision!" He snaps his fingers, and the taller of the two girls begins to fan him with en enourmous ostrich feather fan.
Holbar "You're ALREADY boring me."
Akuna "And in this vision, I saw you, and you and you - each of you." Akuna points to each member of his audience in turn.
Istenda finds himself hoping Akuna will punch Holbar.
Akuna snears at, and then immediately ignores Holbar, turning instead to Istenda.
Olosh sees Istenda's posture shift. This is really not the time to claw Holbar's eyes out with your feet, Istenda!
Istenda "Tell me more of this vision." Istenda says, fighting his instincts to put the slave down.
Akuna "I forsee a great campaign, a war of glory and blood the likes of which has not been seen in one hundred lifetimes." Akuna holds out his left hand to the shorter girl, and she begins a manicure. "I see...power." Akuna's eyes twinkle with a predatory gleam. "I am interested in power."
Istenda "What do you have to offer?"
Akuna "Chiefly, my brilliance and scintilating company. But I also hold in reserve 5,000 light-foot, 2,000 bowmen and 1,000 seasoned cavalry."
Olosh "I don't believe you."
Istenda smiles, "Ahhh, well, your brilliance and scintillating company would have been enough, but you sweeten the deal so nicely."
Holbar eyes Istenda, then looks back to Akuna. "Lai's busy now."
Holbar "When he stops being so busy, maybe you can work something out with him."
Akuna locking gaze with Olosh, Akuna takes his hands to the left side and claps twice. The small boy tottles over, and looks up expectantly. "Youngling, fetch my second." Akuna runs a sharpened nail under the boy's chin. "And make haste."
Istenda "Holbar is correct, Lai Misuna is our leader, and we cannot accept a deal without his assent." He pauses. "Perhaps introductions are in order."
Akuna "Oh, but of course." Akuna leans back in his chair, at ease like a jungle cat in its lair. "I am Akuna Ravdash, the scourge of Rock River, at your service." Akuna gives another quarter bow, as to indicate that he is at no one's service but his own.
Istenda "I am known as Istenda. My companions are Shikaya and... Holbar. Lai, as you know, is discussing matters with Unfolding Petal."
Shikaya bows, "Greetings, Akuna."
Olosh nods to Istenda as the Dragon King had just saved him from doing some unpleasant errand.
Holbar "Why, exactly, do you want power?"
Olosh *as if
Istenda **Olosh, Shikaya and... Holbar.
Akuna adopts a the sort of smile a childless aunt would use to patronize a young nephew. "Dear boy, you misunderstand. I am mearly interested in power."
Akuna "You can appreciate the distinction, I hope."
Shikaya "Yes, the second shows a lack of commitment and ambition."
Holbar rolls his eyes. "Okay. When you get done mincing around showing off how fucking clever you think you are, maybe you can answer my question. Let me know."
Akuna gives Shikaya another toothy smile. "I promise you, lady, I do not lack in ambition." His face grows stern with malice. "Or commitment."
Istenda cracks his knuckles, which has a slightly odd effect. "So it would seem. How did you come upon this army of yours, Akuna Ravdash, Scourge of Rock River?"
Akuna smiles again, as though the brightness may wash away all of his implied threats. "It was made with the same means that any great man depends upon: according to my needs and the circumstances of the moment, I variably built it, bought it, and stole it. The Argent Wolves have grown from the straggling survivors of my father's palace guard to one of the largest mercenary companies in all of the Scavenger Lands."
Shikaya "Well, there is some ambition there, I will admit." She smiles back at him.
Istenda cocks his head to one side thoughtfully. "Your father's palace guard." he echoes.
Akuna "Yes, as my impecable taste and bearing no doubt demonstrate, I am of noble breeding." The shorter girl has now produced a tourine of husked pomegranate, which Akuna begins to snack on delicately.
Istenda "That must have been quite a battle."
Holbar "So. Not done mincing around yet, huh?"
Akuna does not merely ignore Holbar passively. Instead, Holbar experiences an overwhelming sense of his own non-existence, eminating from the person of Akuna.
Holbar "Okay. Well, let me be frank."
Istenda winces as Holbar speaks again, and crosses his arms over his chest. After a moment, he smiles at Akuna. "While without politeness, my companion did pose an interesting question. Why is it that you seek more power, if you have gathered so much of it already on your own?"
Holbar "I'm not sure our little get-together needs a pompous, puffed-up poser with nothing better to do than to opportunistically grab onto any little speck of upward mobility that comes his way. In case you hadn't noticed, some of us stand for something."
Holbar "But when you grow some balls, and maybe find some kind of fucking reason for existence beyond hiring people to fan you, come on back and maybe we can work something out."
Holbar "'Scuse me. I could eat."
Holbar smiles and wanders off.
Akuna continues to chat with Istenda, pinching a single jewel of pomegranate between thumb and forefinger, though not so tightly as to break. "All life is war. The strong strangle the weak just loosely enough to allow them base survival. The weak struggle against the strong in the hopes of supplanting them."
Istenda "I would say that the pollen had gotten to his brain, but he really is that irritating." he mutters, then listens.
Akuna "I have reached the pinnacle of what I can make of my current postion and condition. I have a...hunch, that your cause would present me with the opportunity to rise to a greater level of competition."
Olosh "A hunch."
Shikaya giggles at Holbar's outburst. "Breeding may be overratted... but you amuse me, Akuna. I would not be averse to working with you, at the very least. As long as you are here to follow our cause..."
Akuna "Your company has the air of upward mobility about it, your uncouth friend not withstanding."
Shikaya "You are very perceptive."
Istenda glances over at Olosh, wondering if he'd seen this Akuna in any of his visions
Olosh catches the glance, tries to do a spore-thing, and pauses. Shakes his head.
Istenda nods slightly, and returns his gaze to Akuna. "Where is your company based?"
Olosh decides to have a pomegranate. He produces one from somewhere in his garments, and smoothly conceals its large blue fuzzy patch.
Akuna "We remain as ever, on the move. Our summerquarters are presently in Nathir."
Akuna "I have made it a practice, however, to take in the revels when my schedule allows. It was quite fortuitous that my visit to Chaya happened to visit with your own." There is another predatory gleam in Akuna's left eye. "Tell me, what brings your company to this fair nation?"
Istenda "Destiny." He grins. "And a date with a God."
Akuna "Of course." Akuna raises his glass in salute. "Working on that upaward mobility, no doubt." He finishes his wine with a knowing grin.
Istenda chuckles, "You are perceptive. Tell me, what gods do you worship?"
Akuna "Oh, but there are so many."
Istenda "Which one above the others?"
Akuna "The Three of Great Forks, local and regional oficiants of war and lust. The list does go on. I have paid a lot of temple taxes in my day."
Istenda nods, considering whether those would be likely to come to their side.
Akuna "Why, do you have a particular god to propose?"
Istenda smiles slightly. "It is always best to obtain the patronage of a god that you have worshipped."
Akuna purses his lips. "I see. Something to help assure that I will rise in station?"
Istenda nods in assent.
Akuna licks his lips. "Then I will have to give it a great deal of thought."
Istenda looks out over Chaya, "This has been a fine festival indeed."