Turning fully around and beginning to walk, her honor guard falling into step, the Dragon-King says wryly, "There is someone I would like you to meet."
Zahara tucks the vial of essence-laden water into her pouch and straightens her clothes - or rather, they straighten themselves, becoming more ceremonial rather than her practical spelunking set.
Thirteen follows the Dragon-King absently, reading the documents they found as he walks.
Cerin walks beside Zahara and Ssithumi "I see you have most of the Eastern Octant repaired now."
Ssithumi "Yes. Now that we have those who can think as well as those who can labor, the process has quickened considerably. The assistance of the pterok from Vesathar has been invaluable as well." Ssithumi sounds quite proud of their accomplishments.
Zahara "Have any more of your young reached the appropriate age for Exaltation, or shown early promise?"
Ssithumi "Some, yes. I expect we can bring about five more in the coming month."
Zahara "Excellent to hear. Just send me a message when they are ready."
Ssithumi and her honor guard lead the Solars through the winding streets, into another Octant and to a tall, spiralling tower. "I shall do so, Zahara. Here, please enter." She presses her claw against a plate of crystal next to the door, which slides open soundlessly.
Thirteen pauses and reaches out to touch the red-gold clothing of one of the Dragon-King guards.
Cerin steps inside
Thirteen "Interesting cloth."
Ssithumi Inside, a pleasant chamber -- lit by sun vents in the ceiling -- awaits, with staircases leading up. "We are heading to the sixth floor."
Zahara proceeds up the stairs with the rest
Thirteen "Is this cloth worked with orichalcum?"
Cerin walks up the stairs, curious as to who Ssithumi has found.
Thirteen follows them even as he speaks.
Ssithumi The Dragon-King Thirteen speaks to does not appear to have a full grasp of human language, but the other turns to him and nods.
Thirteen hears the motion of his head and turns to him. "Does it have significance or power?"
Ssithumi The raptok -- who Cerin recognizes suddenly as Ahoram -- nods slightly. "This was the garb of the Radiant Sabres. It is light but durable, and signifies praise for the Unconquered Sun, and recognition of blood shed in his name."
Kai "Who were the Radiant Sabers?" Kai pipes up.
Thirteen "Ah. I approve of such worshipfulness."
Ssithumi Ahoram -- the first Dragon-King enlightened by Zahara -- turns back to speak to Kai. "The foremost warriors of the fallen Deliberative. Many of us were proud to serve them, in another life." He turns back as the group crests the top of the stairs and enters into another chamber.
Thirteen "Perhaps you shall have the chance to serve the Deliberative again."
Thirteen unties the red-gold cloth from under his blindfold and ties it around his arm as he proceeds into the new chamber.
Cerin steps inside.
charlequin This room seems to be a comfortable living chamber. Decorative plants line the walls, and tables and shelves line many of the outside walls. A small table bearing what appear to be cups of a warm liquid, and a pitcher from which they were poured, sits between several small couches.
charlequin Sitting in one chair is...
Lucent Copper is sit on a chair, staring at the shining city outside with a sad, vacant smile. As he turns, the boy - certainly no more than a boy, both in stature and in his lean, smooth face, that has certainly never had hair in it - blinks, returning there and filling the room with a warm, friendly smile. "Oh, they finally arrived? Do I have the pleasure to address the Lords of the Sunlands?"
Zahara "You do. And you are...?"
Lucent Copper "Lucent Copper Haze! Came a long way to meet you all!"
Lucent Copper is... enthusiastic
Zahara eyes him dubiously, then looks at Ssithumi. "I...see. Well at least you are polite." she sends a veiled glance in Flowers' direction.
Cerin ::He is a Zenith, and he possesses the same command of essence that we do.:: "Greetings, Lucient Copper Haze." he says with the small nod that is his formal greeting.
Thirteen tightens his lips for a moment, then subsides. "I greet you, Lucent, as a brother." He bows and taps his head on the floor.
Lucent Copper smiles, his eyes shining like pools of gold while he appraises them, the smile still there, innocent and cheerful. "You are... Zahara Zahn, correct? And Cerin the Wolf? And, and.." He looks at Thirteen, puzzled.
Thirteen "My name is Thirteen Blooming Flowers."
Zahara "Do not forget our young friend, Kai Buckthorn."
brasslantern smiles, albeit a little confusedly, and bows.
charlequin smiles a reptilian, toothy grin. "Luc has journeyed from the south to seek you out."
Lucent Copper "A pleasure to meet you. A pleasure to meet you all!" He bows, the artifact on his shoulders and chest catching the light, seven gems shining as one. "And I hope we can be allies. It has been... hard, to find some these days."
Zahara "It is possible. Do tell us about yourself."
Lucent Copper "I am from the South. I Exalted among my people, the Kashaen - I have brought them here... or what is left of them. My people have been... darkened, the past century or so, by the influence of the First and Forsaken Lion. I got the images of all they used to be when Exalted... and was able to send a minion of his' - some kind of Shadow-tinted Infernal, I think, Solar one at that - crying back and try to reform them..."
Lucent Copper "... But then the Shadowed Unlife Equation happened. And it was hard enough even before that. What with the tales of the Red Lily, the Courts in turmoil, this.. Realm... tell you the truth, all I know of the world is what my people knew - hardly much - and what I can piece together on my mind. So, um.. I have come for sanctuary... to help you... and to know if you have any clue just what the hell is going on."
Zahara "Your people, you said you brought them with you?"
Cerin "We have something of an idea, yes." Cerin says simply.
Lucent Copper "I did, the ones I could salvage. Six Hundred strong among the useful ones, few more than a thousand if you want to count the old, young, and sickly. I trained the six hundred the best I could with First Age ways... was easier than shake death-faith out of them. If you do agree to give me sanctuary the Kashaen will fight for the sunlands with their life, I can assure you."
Thirteen "First Age ways?"
Zahara "They still have faith in the Deathlords?"
Lucent Copper nods at Thirteen, "I found the description of it in my Manse when I Exalted - what used to be my own palace before. Basically, I train them to be the finest warriors and horsemen a mortal can be." He smiles smugly, "We have met many conflicts in the way here. I have not lost a single one of my lieutenants on account of this training."
Lucent Copper "No, Zahara... I have shaken that out of them. Was not easy, however. Some were already... dead, somehow. In their eyes. Like they had been subjected to a depraved version of this same training. Those, I had to burn away..."
Thirteen leans forward. "Very interesting."
Cerin nods "That is, yes."
Lucent Copper "It.. is? I thought you had done the same on the Sunlands?"
Zahara "None of our people had been so corrupted."
Lucent Copper "I mean the training. Without it mortals are quite... how can I say it... unreliable."
Lucent Copper "In terms of skill, I mean."
Thirteen "We lack the knowledge you possess."
Zahara "Aha. We are currently without a general of such skill, although we have highly trained troops already."
Thirteen "Mortals are generally incapable at the best of times, though our troops are reasonably talented. I will be interested to witness your tribe's military drills."
Lucent Copper "I can make them better, I assure you."
Cerin nods silently to that sentiment. To see how the essence compared would be interesting...
Thirteen "I'm glad you are so determined to assist us." Thirteen pronounces this sentiment in a deadpan halfway between sarcasm and honesty.
Thirteen "The gods are warring on the Sunlands and all Creation. We are all that stands between them and oblivion."
Thirteen "That is what is going on."
Lucent Copper seems to grow a bit, there - now that he has something more to offer. "I can also be of great help to the works of the Sunlands, ms. Zahn. I do not know how well your own magic may be working on it..." He stops, and goes to the next subject. The /interesting/ one. "But what do they /want/? I have avoided this Red Lily so far, but aside from the heresy of them having their own Chosen..."
Zahara "As has become rather a tradition in the Sunlands, I ask that you wear this for the next seven days, so that we can determine whether or not we will remain allies." She unlocks one of the orichalcum collars from her neck and dangles it at Luc.
Zahara "As for the Red Lily, they wish to depose all mortals and Exalts, and assume rulership over all Creation."
Thirteen scowls abruptly at the sound of the collar's click. Abandoning conversation, he steps to the window, basking in the warmth of the sun.
Lucent Copper looks at it for a long moment... "Just what is that?"
Thirteen "A choke-chain, by which we may bring rabid dogs to heel."
Kai sighs as the collars come out.
Zahara "So to speak."
Zahara "Thirteen is apparently unsure of himself enough that wearing one frightens him."
Lucent Copper "And should it frighten me? I come to you as an equal, if a disfranchised one, Zahara."
Thirteen idly reaches out and touches the window with one finger.
Thirteen "I do not fear your devices, Dreambreaker. Merely your intentions."
Zahara "You have no need to fear if your motives are pure, which they seem to be."
Thirteen walks calmly away from the window as it abruptly shatters into a thousand pieces. "Are you an equal, Lucent?"
Lucent Copper opens his arms, making the lightest of bows, eyes closed. "Then, I place myself at your mercy. Go ahead..."
Thirteen "You are our brother, of course."
Thirteen "And you possess resources that we certainly desire."
Lucent Copper turns to Thirteen, deadly serious, unamused. "Yes. I am."
Cerin "He is." Cerin says quietly but surely.
Zahara smiles slightly, "I appreciate your willingness to ascede." She snaps the collar around his neck, and switches one of the bracelets to her other arm.
Thirteen "I merely think it is important to note the balance of power."
Thirteen "Every family has prodigal sons."
Zahara "Understand that this is merely for the safety of all of us."
Thirteen "Except you, of course."
Lucent Copper "I trust you, Ms. Zahn." He nods, "And you Thirteen? All the others, I had heard of, but not you. I would expect not to hear of Cerin, unless you two are playing Night and Day, Iron Wolves?"
charlequin scratch that
Lucent Copper "I trust you, Ms. Zahn." He nods, "And you Thirteen? All the others, I had heard of, but not you. I would expect not to hear of Cerin, not of a Copper Spider."
Cerin "Thirteen is a recent addition our number. Very recent."
Zahara "Thank you, Lucent. And Thirteen, of course my Empire's safety is primary."
Lucent Copper holds to the collar a bit, trying to get it comfortable. "Seven days, eh...?"
Zahara "He came to us not three days ago, to point out, oh so delicately, all the flaws with which we suffer from."
Thirteen "And to rectify them, and bring the Sunlands my unparalleled tactical acumen."
Kai "He skipped over the obvious ones..."
Thirteen "And to seek my brothers, and beg their friendship and their assistance."
Thirteen "And sisters. Forgive me."
Zahara "Seven indeed."
Lucent Copper giggles. "I commend your modesty."
Thirteen "You needn't. I have none."
Thirteen "If you had waited a year and a day before approaching us, I assure you, you would have heard of me."
Thirteen "I will require a full and detailed description of your capabilities. I have not heard of you either."
Lucent Copper "You are honest, on the very least."
Zahara "So it seems we have two men appear out of obscurity at a very opportune time."
Lucent Copper "Oh, I will tell you it all, given time. I did not have the time to save the world much while I was saving my people. Oh, and... I understand you are now working together with the Sunland's Chosen of Battles on the War Strategy? I would love to see how you are going about it..."
Zahara "You are well-informed."
Lucent Copper "Well, there was little opportunity to this, I assure you. Blame the Lion."
Zahara "Although I am not sure where you heard of a Chosen of Battles."
Thirteen "None in the Sunlands can teach me aught about strategy. I work alone. Those who wish to watch and learn are welcome."
Lucent Copper "You do... not? Are they going with another sobriquet those days? If you have made a Solar kingdom, surely your star-touched advisors are here?"
Zahara rolls her eyes
Lucent Copper "... what?"
Zahara "They seem to be rather in hiding, and have not come to us."
Zahara was, in fact, rolling her eyes at 13
Thirteen doesn't notice. Or maybe he can hear your eyeballs turn. You don't know!
Zahara "Perhaps they wait, but also, many of their number have been recently slain. By, we assume, the Lily."
Lucent Copper "Oh, I see..."
Lucent Copper turns to the one on the back. "You do not speak much, do you, Kai?"
Thirteen "Kai's words are constant wisdom. She ensures this by speaking only when she has something wise to say."
Kai smiles. "i generally wait 'til the yelling and posturing is all over before I try to say anything."
Thirteen "An excellent demonstration."
Lucent Copper looks at Thirteen. "In this company, this is certainly wise."
Thirteen "We are not children, Lucent Copper Haze. Unnecessarily dissembling serves none of us. If we will succeed, we will succeed by being aware of our capabilities."
Thirteen "Not by being polite about them."
Zahara "Oh, but being polite about them makes them much more palatable. And is hardly difficult."
Kai "Save for those of us for whom being polite IS one of our abilities..."
Thirteen "Should a demon come ravening from the Underworld who can only be beaten back by milk-faced modesty and quiet utterances of 'Aw, shucks, it's not so much, really,' rest assured I will leave it to you."
Zahara laughs, "Should a demon come ravening from the underworld, I will banish it, and THEN be polite about it."
Lucent Copper "There is no harm in being polite in ANY occasion, Thirteen. Though I suppose this is why talking to others is not one of the gifts of your brethren." He walks to a window, placing himself under the sunlight. "And actually, that is exactly why we have people like Zahara Zahn."
Zahara "Thank you, Lucent. I do believe we will get along."
Thirteen "That is why."
Kai "Uhm... We've done the demon situation, actually... And, uhm, they usually ARE looking for me."
Cerin "That's true."
Lucent Copper smiles. "I would hope so!"
Lucent Copper "Did you leave any unfinished bussiness with them? Or your past selves, pehaps?"
Zahara "I really must learn how to banish those of the Third Circle, though. That is one area wherein I must improve."
Kai "Sort of? They'd like the sword."
Kai "Also, 'milk-faced'? I don't think I'll stand for that, thank you very much."
Zahara "Have any of you heard of where to find this knowledge?"
Thirteen drums his fingers on the wall. "Forgive me, Kai. I did not intend to offend you."
Lucent Copper "What do you know, you can approach politeness."
Thirteen "Alas, I know little of sorcery."
Lucent Copper "The libraries in our old capital? Surely the Dragons would not dare to burn everything?"
Thirteen "Yes. For example, when somebody makes an attempt at something he is not naturally bent towards, I would not attempt to humiliate them for doing so."
Zahara "Someone dared to burn most of Rathess, just recently. What you see here is the result of Ssithumi and her people's tireless efforts at reconstruction."
Thirteen "Zahara is modest, and neglects to mention her own architectural mastery, which she has also contributed."
Zahara "I did assist, yes. But I have sadly not had as much time as I wished to devote to it, thus Ssithumi must take the lion's share of the praise."
Lucent Copper smiles.
Zahara "As for Juche, we ought to take another trip there, indeed. It would be a highly appropriate place to find this information." she smiles wryly.
Zahara steps back and takes Cerin's hand, squeezing it gently.
Lucent Copper "What of the dead? You seem only concerned about the Lily, but the Lion..."
Kai "OH, we're aware of the Lion."
Thirteen "The two are as one. They seek the same goals; driving back one will thwart the other."
Cerin squeezes back. "But they are, as Thirteen says, co-operating."
Zahara "The dead nearest us we have... mmm... made peace with for the nonce. Although they are not terribly happy with our refusal to hold a true alliance."
Lucent Copper blinks "The Gods... are cooperating with Ghosts?"
Cerin "Along with the demons of hell, too."
Lucent Copper "That is.. strange. For both what I learned as a mortal and in my Manse..."
Kai "The Lion has been part of the Lily's plot since the First Age."
Lucent Copper covers his face. "... and I come here for sanctuary..."
Zahara "Well you will be safer here than alone."
Thirteen "Since we will turn back the plots of the Gods and bring a new Age of glories, no place in Creation is particularly less safe than any other."
Thirteen "However, I assure you that, if there is one place that will certainly not be destroyed in the war, it is the Sunlands."
Lucent Copper "I just did not realise things were so... dire. I was expecting to help you against the Lily and get your help to avenge my people with the dead later, but this... this is like my old memories. Greater, pehaps."
Thirteen "Oh yes? What memories are those?"
Lucent Copper "Disconnect things. I just remember great fights and the like. Aside from the dead everything else seemed... less. Less Chosen around, even. You are the only Solars I heard about, you tell me you have no Sidereals... on my dreams, they are everywhere, sort of. Surely you have them as well?"
Zahara "Just one."
Lucent Copper "Well, the only Solars aside from the Shadow-Infernal working for the dead, that is."
Zahara "Oh yes, Ikara."
Thirteen "We have them, but more in the sense of valuable possessions than as trusted friends."
Lucent Copper "I was asking if you did not have the same dreams, actually. But... who?"
Zahara "Did that Shadow infernal of yours have a castemark similar to ours, but dark and bleeding?"
Lucent Copper "Yes. Yes, he did."
Lucent Copper 's face darken as he remembers details. /It was not the only thing bleeding./
Zahara "They are known as Abyssals, or Deathknights. Corrupted versions of us, and many of them are powerful. They work for death, and the deathlords."
Zahara "I actually have one working for us. he has, as it were, switched sides. And his deadly abilities have come in handy."
Lucent Copper "... so he works directly for the dead? I see... and why would you be holding your fellow Chosen as possessions?"
Thirteen "As with any possession, so that we do not lose them."
Lucent Copper "Would it not be better to make them friends?"
Kai "It's more 'warped world view' than actual ownership."
Thirteen "You may assume that were it better to make them friends that we would have done so."
Zahara "We have worked for eachother at various points. Currently he is, mmm, under the weather, and we are taking care of him."
Zahara "Flowers presumes much about our relationship."
Lucent Copper "Flowers presumes much period, seems like."
Zahara "So it would seem."
Lucent Copper leans against the window, catching some of the sun and closing his eyes so as to /not/ see Flowers face as he says so.
Thirteen "Are you suggesting that if Herons were to ask to leave the manse that you would allow it wthout a whimper?"
Zahara "If he asked politely, he could leave."
Zahara "I would fear for his safety, however."
Thirteen "Clearly this is a topic I am glad to have broached."
Zahara "Why so?"
Thirteen "It is apparent that the Sidereals have been embroiled in the plan of the Red Lily's since the First Age."
Thirteen lightly brandishes the papers they found as he speaks.
Zahara "So you wish me to cage Herons?"
Thirteen smiles slightly.
Zahara "Now THAT is a twist."
Thirteen "For his safety, and our gain. There are predators outside our doors, after all."
Lucent Copper moves his head back, the light making his dark brown hair glint in bronze, the beauty of his golden eyes filled with turmoil "... is there someone who ISN'T?"
Zahara "Isn't what? at our door?"
Lucent Copper "With the Red Lily."
Zahara "Ah. Yes, that would be Us."
Thirteen "Perhaps he will wish to leave us. If so, it would be a decision borne of fear and hasty thought. We must restrict him from doing so, as he cannot be trusted with control over his own actions."
Cerin "There are god who side with us and not them. The majority of the people of creation are resisting their advances as best they can."
Thirteen "After all. We have much to discuss with him."
Zahara hands Thirteen a collar made of starmetal, with matching bracelet and smiles sweetly.
Zahara "Go right ahead."
Lucent Copper walks up to Thirteen, and holds his hand up... and higher... and higher... until he is at his face. "You wait. Let me talk to the man."
Thirteen takes the collar and swallows it.
Thirteen clicks the bracelet closed on his arm.
Zahara wrinkles her nose. "That is disgusting, you know."
Thirteen "If you wish to speak with Herons, you may. I will accompany you. Hopefully Cerin will as well."
Cerin "Of course."
Lucent Copper "There are, Cerin...? Well, that is something, at least. Honestly, I expected to learn things were not as bad as I imagined. You all have not made the best to make this... how can I say... optimistic."
Thirteen "I did say we were going to win."
Thirteen "Keep it in mind, if you worry."
Lucent Copper "And yes, I would. I would prefer to make a friend of a fellow Chosen." The gems along his upper torso shine again, "We are meant to be together, you know."
Zahara "Technically we are meant to be with the Dynasts as well, although they seem to disagree violently."
Cerin "As Herons well knows. That is not the issue."
Zahara "I must speak with the Chosen of the Moon soon, however. Our alliance may be on shaky ground with Marku gone."
Thirteen "If I ensure he cannot leave, we will indeed be together."
Zahara "He has made no motion to leave, you know. I don't know why you are so worried he will flee."
Thirteen "Yes, Zahara, I agree. We should make contact with the Lunars as soon as possible. They would be ideal officers in our army."
Lucent Copper "You said lots of things, Flower. And I am with Zahara. Leave dealing with people to those who can understand it."
Thirteen "I am not worried. I merely see no need to avoid taking precautions."
Thirteen "The things I say are true, boy."
Zahara "Then you understand clearly the need for precautions in new situations."
Thirteen smirks and taps his collar. "Very clever, Zahara."
Lucent Copper "Alot of the time, Thirteen, the truth depends on what people want to hear. So old, and learned so very little..."
Zahara bows deeply.
Thirteen "However, I don't think it was I who suggested that politeness may be a virtue."
Thirteen "Perhaps, though, it is something that deserves consideration, when dealing with your brothers."
Thirteen "I am not impressed with your people-handling capabilities thus far, Lucent."
Thirteen "When you demonstrate talent, perhaps I will remark it, and treat your opinions with greater consideration."
Zahara "Making more friends, I see."
Thirteen "I am learning politeness. Thus, I seek to emulate those who consider themselves my better in the field."
Kai "Well, at least you won't have trouble finding teachers," Kai smiles.
Lucent Copper smiles again, "You will see soon, won't you, Thirteen?"
Thirteen "I cannot say. If you assure me thusly, I am sure you will prove right."
Zahara "Well, shall we go speak with Herons?"
Thirteen "Shall we arrange transportation for your people, Lucent?"
Zahara waves her hand dismissively, "They can come through the gates, as soon as I open the door on the other side."
Lucent Copper 's smile is honest... innocent... with only the slightest tint of something mischievous as he face Thirteen. Something so honest, like the sun, just as warm... that could melt a glacier, and dry the dew from a flower. "Yes, of course. They are on the West side of the City. I suppose we go talk to Herons then?"
Zahara refers, of course, to the cage surrounding the Gate near the Sunlands.
Vassal left at 14/12/05 02:48:29
Thirteen "The sooner the better."
charlequin Ssithumi, who (with her honor guard) has been biding her time by the doorway, nods. "I am glad you have understood your position correctly," she says, clearly including all the Solars in this statement. "Will you be taking your leave of Rathess?"
Zahara rises, straightening her gown. "I believe we must, Ssithumi. Thank you for your gracious hosting."
Thirteen "I plan to speak with you again regarding the Radiant Sabers, Ssithumi."
Thirteen "Until then."
charlequin Ssithumi nods to the group.
Lucent Copper "Thank you very much, Ssithumi. For sheltering me, for directing me to them. Neither me nor my people will ever forget this. And when you are in trouble... both me and mine will do our best to be here to help, you have my word."
Cerin "Thank you for your hosting." He nods ::I suspect I will be returning sooner than that, Ssithumi.:: "Walk in the sun, always."
Lucent Copper There is music, then, and in it the sealing of an oath in the essence of Creation.
charlequin Ssithumi nods quite warmly to Luc. "I have been pleased to spend this time with you. It has been too long." She smiles again, waves to the other Solars, and departs, her honor guard in close pursuit.
charlequin The Solars return to the Sunlands, and Luc gets his first look at the Labyrinthine Cascade.
charlequin The magnificent ziggurat stands astride a great river, water falling from the top and down the outer walls. The manse that is home to the Solars is impressive to an astounding degree.
Zahara pilots the airship expertly and such.
charlequin Luc might also be impressed by the massive First Age airship that Zahara flies them home in.
Lucent Copper "... quite impressive!" He says, one hand on the window, eyes shining... and one gets the feeling that, were he not so proper, he would have both hands on the windows already, or be running around the airship before...
Zahara "Isn't it though?"
Lucent Copper "QUITE! Labyrinthine Cascade, is it? Beautifully named as well..."
Lucent Copper "... and you are a great pilot, Zahara!"
Zahara "I have had much practice since the first day I found this machine."
charlequin Zahara lands the airship carefully and leads Luc into the manse.
Lucent Copper "This gives me more hope, for sure..."
Zahara "Do try not to wander around on your own, it is a maze without parallel, and shifts constantly."
Zahara "Those who are attuned can control it. The servants have guiding artifacts tattooed into their skin, along with inhibitions for their improper use."
Lucent Copper "So I need one of them to guide me here? Very well."
Lucent Copper "Ingenious defense system, as well. I hope I will be able to attune to it soon, however."
Zahara "For the time being, the servants can show you around. We will have a permanent room created for you."
Thirteen "You have provided them with inhibitions? Most impressive. Is it a quality of the artifact."
Lucent Copper "You are most kind!"
Zahara "It is two artifacts in one, so to speak."
Cerin There are 5 large paintings in the entrance hall to the Cascade. The first is a view of Heaven, the Carnival of Meeting in full swing, lights dancing in the sky above packed streets of gods and men and fae. The second shows a great plain, a savana of unparralled beauty. Low trees may be seen in the distance and in the foreground, lions play, though these are no earthly beasts, seeming to possess a life far beyond anything in Creation (...)
Cerin The Third painting shows the water pole, in all it's glory, strange hieroglyphics twisting around it, and then, curling about it too, an immense, beautiful dragon. The Dragon of Water. Daanda. Sleeping. The forth shows a simple orchard at first glance, painted from within the high walls. Nothing too odd. Until one notices the gardens, strange many limbed gods. And then the fruit on the trees. The Peaches of Immortality. (...)
Cerin The fifth and final painting shows the Labyrinth Cascade, and atop of it, a small but fantastically detailed figure stands. She is Zahara Zhan and she stands trimuphant, red dress blowing in the winds of her power, a solar circle spell corousucating around her, and lighting up all of the sky in brillant light.
Thirteen "Fascinating. How powerful are the inhibitions? Will they override strongly motivated desires?"
Thirteen grabs a passing servant's arm and inspects his tattoos with his fingers.
Lucent Copper stops, and gawks at the paintings. "... amazing..."
Thirteen "I did not realize you had such capabilities. Are they effective on mortals alone?"
Lucent Copper "Those are... beautiful! Who painted them? The Water Dragon... so beautiful... Zahara... you look striking, here."
Thirteen "We must discuss this further. The military implications are staggering."
charlequin Moving on from the entrance hall, the Solars stalk through the hallways, eventually arriving at the door to the room where Herons has been put up, which stands closed before them.
Thirteen "Give me time to consider, and I will come to confer with you."
Zahara smiles to Lucent, "Thank you. Cerin has done an amazing job." she tilts her head a little, "The tattoos bind to the life force of the wearer."
Lucent Copper turns to Cerin in awe
Thirteen "How much work are they to create?"
Zahara "Easier with every application. I have become quite good at them recently. I am, however, running low on the materials I need to create them. I'm nearly out of Orichalcum, hardly a talent or two left in the storeroom." she frowns.
Cerin smiles softly
Thirteen "How may we most straightfowardly accumulate more?"
Zahara "The easiest way is to Shape some. But that does tend to annoy the Fae."
Lucent Copper "I have no words to describe their beauty, Cerin the Wolf. I hope I my smile can convey the compliments my lips cannot..."
Thirteen "Today is a day of revelations, it appears. I knew you did not fear the Wyld, but I did not realize you commanded it."
Zahara watches Cerin's reaction to Luc
Zahara "Of course I do. After all, I have a very personal interest in the realm of the Fae."
Thirteen "Oh yes?"
Zahara "You have heard of Tevezst surely."
Cerin is evidently very pleased at the complements "Your smile does indeed."
Zahara "Or at least his screams."
Thirteen "I am aware of your personal valued possession, yes."
Zahara "He... inspired me."
Thirteen "I see."
Lucent Copper lets his smile catch the light of the seven gems, an smile of the completion of heaven, of a boy's innocence, of his pleasure at witnessing perfection... letting them all dance on his eyes, before giving a nod that is as a bow. "Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to see this beauty. I thought that sort of beaty was all but lost..."
Lucent Copper begins to come out of his reverie to the talk about screams
Thirteen "Yes, I can understand how that might encourage you to learn to master the Wyld."
Thirteen "This is a talent I would like to learn, when there is time."
Thirteen "Let us converse with Herons."
Zahara "We shall see." She turns and proceeds down a twisting hallway, "Come this way."
Zahara opens the door to Herons' chamber. "Good afternoon, Herons. Are you feeling well?"
charlequin Zahara walks into the chamber to find only a woman, red-haired, reading a book in a chair next to the empty bed. As Zahara walks in she looks up and responds. "Herons is not here."
Thirteen "Where has he gone?"
Zahara "I see, then he is feeling better."
Ikara nods to Zahara. "He told me that there were urgent matters that required his attention elsewhere, and that he would return as soon as possible. He has generally been accurate with such assertions in the past."
Zahara "Ah, excellent. And how are you?"
Lucent Copper shakes his head. "It will not be today that you will see it then, Flower."
Ikara closes her book neatly in her lap. "I am displeased as to the state of things, though my physical and mental state is, I would admit, 'fine.'"
Thirteen "I cannot say I am surprised."
Zahara sits on Herons' bed, and crosses her legs. "Do go on, Ikara."
Lucent Copper "Oh, where are my manners...? Hello, Ikara. I am Lucent Copper Haze."
Ikara shrugs slightly. "There is little to say. I am unable to assist in the maintenance of the borders of Creation, so threats from beyond are likely to appear in but a short time. My kind are scattered or dead, so we are unable to take proper countermeasures against the spiritual uprising. It is an unpleasantly difficult situation."
Ikara nods curtly to Luc.
Zahara "Understandable, but that is why you are here, is it not? That we may work together for our common cause."
Ikara seems slightly underwhelmed by Zahara's suggestion.
Ikara "It will have to do."
Lucent Copper "The borders? What about the Moon-Kissed?"
Zahara "Besides, now we have Flowers here to solve all our problems!" she says cheerfully, "And Lucent to... what is it you do again?"
Cerin "What can you tell me of those of you who escaped? Where would they have gone to ground?"
Thirteen "How would you normally maintain the borders of Creation? We must accomplish this task, since your kind are now derelict."
Lucent Copper takes a few more steps closer, and smiles at Ikara, while answering to Zahara. "Many things. I am sure I can help you with many, many problems."
Ikara "The metaphysical borders... Lucent." She turns to Cerin. "I am uncertain. We had a number of readily prepared hiding places, but I visited each of those in turn before returning to the Isles of Glass and found them razed. If anyone has hidden out, it is not where I would immediately think to look for them."
Ikara She then answers Thirteen. "There are fields, boundaries placed on the outside of Creation, that hold back invasions from beyond. The Knights would maintain these, committing our unique Essence to powering their flows, which relied on the intricate twists and turns of fate itself."
Cerin decides to see what the whims of fate and intuition suggest to him as to their location.
Zahara "In the other Realms?"
Zahara "Possibly? These borders are there or they are not there."
Thirteen "Could Zahara duplicate this task with her versatile Essence?"
Lucent Copper closes his arms and leans against the wall, hearing. He would need to talk to Ikara later, oh yes... probably with Zahara's help. Why did he feel he would have no rest from now on...?
Tags: (:tags Vesathar Valley, Rathess, Dragon-Kings, Ahoram, Ssithumi, Radiant Sabres, Solar Deliberative, Kashaen, First and Forsaken Lion, Abyssals, Shadowed Unlife Equation, Sidereals, Juche, Ikara, Herons, Airship, Tevezst, Barriers of Creation :)