Later on, Markuran and Birds stand in the foyer of the Echoing Spiral Remarkable, watching in awe as the building curves upwards above their heads in a distinctly non-Euclidean fashion. Iallu's quarter is supposedly on the 32nd floor.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "You can count floors." She heads for the first flight of stairs.
Despite the strange geometry of the building, it proves to be remarkably intuitive to navigate. Within a short time, the two find themselves at the door of Iallu's room.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "It is a lie and a secret!"
There is a brief pause; then, the door slides soundlessly open.
It is difficult to gain a proper picture of what the room itself looks like; every visible surface is covered haphazardly with scraps of paper, small objects, and other academic detritus.
In the center of it, turning and examining these items seemingly randomly, is the form of a small woman, colored exactly as normal but with a crystalline surface -- albeit one for which the location of the facets shifts with every motion. Her purple garments swing around her madly as she pores through her papers.
<Markuran> "Iallu Ten-Facets?"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Um...we were wondering if you would be willing to talk about something. What was it, Marku? The...accordionfold?"
<Markuran> "We want to ask about the Hundred Fold. We have secrets in return."
<Markuran> "Of metal birds returned from the past and flowers granting that which is not theirs to give."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "We are performing a deeper study into the Exaltation process presently."
<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Hmmm. How fascinating. I did not expect Kroata to rise above the waves again...." She scribbles some rapid notes upon a paper that she grabs up from the floor. "And so you come to me to learn more now, hmmm?"
<Markuran> "Actually, we come to learn of the Hundredfold."
<Markuran> "Other then just them..the Xa-Mi-Taxi?"
<Markuran> "They seem nicer.."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "So what you are not saying but are thinking is that the aalorai are one of one hundred."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I am making an effort to compose a perfectly accurate treatise on the nature of Creation," she explains, "And my colleague and I were given to understand that you are something of the authority on matters of Creation's past."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Thus, I supplicate myself before you, beseeching your aid."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I would mouth platitudes about your generosity and beauty, but I am sure you would prefer to hear about things you didn't already know. Now, to business."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "If it isn't too much trouble, assume that you are speaking to uneducated children."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "But, yes."
<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Anyway. The Primordials built Creation from nothingness. And when they were done, they found themselves in need of sustenance and entertainment. Thus, life." She draws a small bunny rabbit to indicate "life."
<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "The Hundredfold were the sentient races of Creation, those empowered to speak, to love, to hate to build, to destroy. Each built their own empire upon the earth in their own unique fashion. Some cooperated, some warred against one another, and these relations changed many times in their tenure as Creation's stewards."
<Markuran> "And humans were not among them?"
<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "The aalorai were expansionists and conquerors, with a love of scale. They threw down the cities of their foes simply to raise up their great statues to their creator. The Xi-Mi-Taxi were much more restrained, preferring to keep to their own regions and construct vast and incomprehensible machinery there...."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I have not noticed any gods in the forms of the Hundredfold, though I do not know what to look for and my eyes are not particularly sharp."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Ah. Then I am honored to wear a shape that is similar to a god's."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I think I understand the place of gods and Heaven. Of humans I know little."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "You created an entirely new race of beings so that they could serve as...that's a GOOD idea!"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I take it we were not fond of this idea."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "The Hundredfold were creatures of the Primordials, you say."
<Markuran> "Who did Gaia the Life-Mother make?"
<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Those you know as the Dragon-Kings, and the Haliime, of whom none have heard for many years. And, when the other Primordials decided they must come into being, it was she who crafted the form of humanity."
<Markuran> "Where have all these races gone, that we have never seen?"
<Markuran> "The Aalori and their island rose from the sea. And the Xa-Mi-Taxi live in the Ocean of Gears.."
<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Slain, or driven beyond the bounds of Creation, or thrown into suspension to sleep through the passing of time, or locked in Malfeas, or hiding in the dark places of the world."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Cerin and Zahara are going to be greener than GRAPES."
<Markuran> "Some grapes are red, you know."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Not the tasty ones." She looks at the goddess again. "Sorry, just gloating to myself a little there."
<Markuran> "The tasty ones are whiteish."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "So, the Incarna gave us the Exaltation. And with this, we threw off the yoke of the Hundredfold. But...why?"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "...and yet, here we are, sopping up the delights of the city of gods."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Glory, though. Yes."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I fear we are taking up far too much of your valuable time, Goddess."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Perhaps we could meet again to discuss further?"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I do try to be surprising."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "If these matters of new Exaltations interest you, perhaps I can offer those as prayers, in exchange for your tutelage."
<Markuran> "I'd be happy to tell you anything I learn about the Hundredfold if you'd tell me more about the time before humanity."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "It would be my pleasyre to do so."
<Markuran> "We have already met the Xi-Ma-Taxi"
Tags: (:tags Yu-Shan, Iallu, Hundredfold, God-Exalts, Aalorai, Xi-Mi-Taxi, Primordials, Gods, Dragon-Kings, Haliime, Incarna:)