Imrama finds himself at liberty in the ancient draconic city of Rathess. Seeing an opportunity to reach out to a potential ally, Imrama sets off to one of the city's Flying Towers, searching for Relza, Satrap of Vanileth.
alsoquin There are quite a few of the flight towers in the city, but only one appears to be fully intact -- without any airship trade occurring, the towers have been a low priority in Rathess' restoration. No one appears to be guarding the particular tower, and the door pushes open easily.
Imrama enters, and announces his presence with a call traditionally used by crew docking an airship. "The sky is lonely; will the earth greet its own?"
alsoquin The Solar's words echo up the hollow central shaft of the tower for a moment, disappearing into the area far above. Perhaps sixty seconds pass before words, sharp-edged and metallic, stream back down: "For this moment alone, may they be together."
Imrama , hearing the response to his call, smiles and shouts up into the long hollow of the tower. "Imrama Stormfound requests an audiance with the Satrap of all that flies over Rathess."
alsoquin At the very top of the tower, in the cupola chamber once reserved for the entrance of the grandest ships, sits Relza, Fourth Daimyo of Flight; she is a tall woman, covered head to toe in bluish-purple metallic feathers, and two vast steel wings lay furled across her back. (...)
alsoquin Throughout the chamber, on makeshift shelves, floating plates, and other conveyances, are hundreds upon hundreds of tiny scale models of airships: those of the past, from the first vessel to ever sail the skies through the fall of the Shogunate; those of the present, including the Fable of the Reconstruction; and many that have never been seen in Creation. (...)
alsoquin Many of the models (the older ones, Imrama would guess) are made from fine materials -- precious metals, gemstones, eternal ice and cold fire and other substances with the touch of Essence about them -- but others are made of increasingly raw materials, until some appear to be assembled entirely of rat bones, ivy, and other detritus of the collapsed city.
Imrama gives obeisances befitting both a revered god and a spinster aunt. "Mindful and attentive Relza, I greet you in the name of both the Sunlands, and of my father, Vanileth."
Relza turns to gaze at Imrama... her shoulders hunched, her eyes narrow. "What trickery do you play at, mortal? I know of none such as you."
Imrama "I am given neither to exageration nor deceit, watchful Daimyo. I was fostered as an infant and raised in the house of Vanileth, in the far North of Creation's present limits. I come to speak to you of the shape of the world, and of our respective places within it."
Relza looks Imrama up and down for a moment. "That is a strange tale you tell. Why would Vanileth take up one such as you?"
Imrama "Out of kindness perhaps, or out of duty. As an intricate component of a vast and mysterious plan, or on a whim - I do not claim to know my father well. He is a god, and I am a man, and I harbor no illusions about the chasm between our natures."
Relza seems to consider it for a moment. "Then tell me of the shape of the world, youngling. For I see one word alone for it: broken."
Imrama offers Relza a visual demonstration of his connection to Vanileth. He holds out his left hand, and another self, another Imrama appears there, holding it with his right. The two speak in unison for a moment, as lightning crackles out of the clear sky above the tower, passing through the great dome and into each Imrama, harmlessly. "I have come to you because I fervently agree,"
Imrama The twin voices carry a terrible, thunderous echo, "And because I believe I know how to fix it."
Imrama allows the duplicate to fade, and the lightning ceases to strike. "Once, the peoples of Creation sailed the sky as easily as they now sail the sea. Once, ships of the air connected every city in the world. They made Creation's economy hum and bustle, and that made its military might unquestionable."
Imrama "It can be so again."
Relza "And how? This edifice stands returned to functionality, and yet... no ships come. Perhaps all who build them have perished from the world."
Imrama "All? Perhaps. Most, certainly. But a few have been reborn. The talents and resources necessary to restore powered flight to the world are falling into place. The people need only to be taught, by those who still remember the forgotten glory."
Relza "And you seek to do this?"
Relza reaches absent-mindedly to stop the spinning of several of the models, but follows up almost immediately by setting others into motion.
Imrama "I would give the world back all it has lost in the way of wonder, and much more beside. Yes, I seek to do this, this thing that would restore your province and portfolio and renew your glory among the gods. My question to you is: are you interested?"
Relza nods quickly, as Imrama speaks. "I wish nothing else." She stops a few other models, leaving only one still spinning: the one Imrama captains. "But you come to me today instead of setting this in motion already. Why? What do you seek?"
Imrama "Daimyo, you have gifts in great abundance; knowledge, and power over flying things. You once oversaw air travel for this region, and I have come to see if you would take an active part in rebuilding it."
Relza looks about for a moment, and her wings, which have remained folded during the conversation, slowly spread out into their full metallic glory. "I would do this."
Imrama grins and inclines his head towards the Fourth Daimyo. "Then we shall undoubtedly succeed."