Lucent is led by a guard into a small room, whose only furnishings are a simple desk and a chair. The Arbiter of Stones stands, back turned, facing the far wall. "Please sit," he says, as the Solar enters.
Lucent sits down, the orbs a little closer to him not to appear too pompous. Venus floats in front of his face, and his suit of amber crystals is silent. He tried his best to go along with the authorities. "I am ready to answer any question you might ask, Arbiter. You will see me and my compatriots are without sin here..."
charlequin nods. "I see. Tell, me, as best as you can recall, what occurred just before the incident in the ballroom."
Lucent "After the porter left us in the party, we met representatives of the four races... there was dancing, and music. I was too busy taking in the lights and sounds - very interesting ones, by the way - and then... well, the light dimmed, the music continued..."
Lucent "Everyone begun to hold their private talks... I was singing along with the music when three of the bats... the Bin-Al... just... spit blood. As if their insides were... stabbed from the inside. Or if something stabbed them all on the back, all at once."
Lucent "From there it was... panic, pretty much..."
charlequin nods. "You had noticed nothing unusual before that point in the evening?"
Lucent "Depends on how you define unusual. Everything in your plane is unusual to us."
charlequin "Nothing else led you to believe that the evening was not progressing as intended."
Lucent "Translucent wood, all the orbs, the angles... and no, nothing else. It seemed pretty natural, or at least, everyone acted pretty calm about all the strange things."
Lucent "I mean, unusual things. I am sorry if that was rude."
charlequin "It is no problem."
charlequin "So tell me about your reasons for journeying all this way to Xara."
Lucent "We wish to bring Meru to its former glory. It involves getting all of our diplomatic relations open again."
Lucent "And we need all the help we can get, as we have rivals vying for control of the ashes of Meru, instead of trying to rebuild it."
charlequin "Yes, I have heard some of this. Do tell me more of this war that you are involved with."
Lucent "They are called the Red Lily. You have Gods, here? Functionary spirits that are naturally insubstantial, and maintain the order? From the spirits of smaller things like... this chair, to abstract concepts such as war? Well... "
charlequin nods but does not interrupt.
Lucent "In Meru, we have a distinction between those that connect more to every day life, the terrestrial gods, and thoe Celestial gods, that rule over such aspects for the whole of Creation, and abstract concepts."
Lucent "Many, many terrestrial ones, such as a god of war, a god of knives, and one of Blooms, decided to overthrow the Incarna that rule Creation, and well, rule over it."
Lucent "They are also helped by... well, see, our dead. We kind of broke Meru, and it has a plane all for its dead. And they are plotting to get vengeance on us, too. They destroyed my people, the dead. Is how I got into this whole thing. They also manufactured fake versions of Meru's champions - we being the genuine issue."
Lucent "And have the help of our own primordial races. See, on Meru, it is pretty much people like me and mine, men, now. All others are either gone, or in this crazy coalition called the Red Lily."
charlequin "That is quite a complex situation. We have been fortunate to, largely, avoid such conflicts here in Xara. The emergence of such brutal violence troubles me. And, of course" -- he ceases pacing and looks straight at Lucent -- "it has begun with your arrival."
Lucent "Indeed. If you ask me if our enemies can do it... well, yes. The Chosen of the Knife are able to be around unseen, and kill them if they so wished, I think. Meru has fallen in such barbaric times... but our enemies are already past Meru itself. The Isles of Ash, our plane for the dead... their violence would spread past Meru in any case."
charlequin "And yet why would these... enemies strike against our rulers, rather than you?"
Lucent "Why would our enemies try to keep us from getting help? As I told you... they need an army to be able to face us, as they are but cheap knock-offs of us. But, if they make it so we cannot get help, their armies will catch up. It is on their best interests that neither us nor your plane gets the strength of unity."
Lucent "Makes me wonder how much of the current dissent on Meru - each faction of Chosen hates and distrusts the other - is not their doing..."
charlequin "And you have come here to our peaceful realm, knowing that such cruel enemies followed in your footsteps?"
Lucent "We did not know. If it is indeed them - and I only say this because your plane was pacific until our arrival - then they knew of our whereabouts, and are one step ahead of us. We had no way of knowing that. If we did know, Arbiter, you have my word we would not have endangered your safety."
charlequin listens, reflectively.
Lucent "In fact, if it is then, they we either have spies on our ranks, or they are in the gates to other planes waiting for the moment we go out. You have any idea how either option terrifies me."
charlequin "That troubles me further. If not these enemies, who? Who else would strike at our royal families with beings of your power present?"
Lucent "Does your plane would have people discontent with our arrival? Any dissents who would rig such a thing to make you arrive at your current suspicions - that we are better avoided and Xara closed?"
Lucent "That is clearly the motivation of the culprit, if you do not mind me saying so. I am a better diplomat and bureaucrat than I am an investigator, but such intrigues are anywhere from tribal societies up..."
Lucent "At least, that is my opinion..."
Lucent bites his lip. Maybe suggesting it might be his own people, even dissents, might not have been a good idea...
charlequin "Internal dissent, you suggest." The Arbiter nods again.
charlequin "I think I have heard what I need from you, Lucent. Thank you for your time."
Lucent "I hope I have been of some service. I wish you good luck, Arbiter."
Lucent gets up and walks out...
Tags: (:tags Arbiter of Stones, Xara, Bin-al-Zen, Red Lily, Gods, God-Exalts :)