EmberOfGlory steps out into the hallway with an audible "hrmph" of irritation.
Cerin allows him to walk a little further, before he makes his presence noticable in the corridor. "If I might have a few moments more of your time," he asks politely and as he does, he activates the Thought-Plumbing Approach, subtly but completely wrapping Ember of Glory in his thrall.
EmberOfGlory turns around irritatedly. "What now?"
Cerin "I would like to talk to you more about the Calender," Cerin says. "What happened when it was stopped the last time?"
EmberOfGlory sneers just a little as he answers. "Time stopped. Abbadon did not move, the stars did not turn, the rivers did not flow. All things that time moves forward were held still; hourglasses did not empty or rains end; battles were fought on and on with no resolution; all true motive force for those in Netheos was lost."
Cerin "So, how then was it fixed, with no-one having motive force?"
EmberOfGlory , despite his significant desire not to be participating in this conversation, somehow does not turn and walk away. "That is an excellent question. Perhaps someone who studied the matter would be able to answer it for you." (...)
Cerin "Were the Deathlords similarly frozen during this time?"
EmberOfGlory "The Deathlords had not yet taken on their current form of incarnation," he says.
Cerin "So it was a long time ago that this happened, then? Or have the deathlords not been as they are for much time?"
EmberOfGlory "A very long time, yes."
Cerin "Is time all that the Calendar provides?"
EmberOfGlory "It is the motive force of all that occurs in Netheos. It ties the stars to the earth and causes each person to arrive in Netheos after those who have died before them. What more would you wish for it to do?"
Cerin "No, I suppose that is quite sufficient."
Cerin "What might one gain from stealing a cog from it?"
EmberOfGlory pauses for a moment, thrown a little by the question. "An unusual souvenir, perhaps?"
Cerin "Would you care to hypothesise futher?"
EmberOfGlory "No, I would not," he says, and turns to leave.
Cerin "Before you go, can you tell me what designs the Mask Of Winters has for the Calendar?"
EmberOfGlory goes into diplomat mode. "The Calendar of Setesh is a necessity for a properly functioning Underworld and as a citizen of such the Mask of Winters' policy is to preserve and maintain the functionality of this important object."
Cerin "Of course," he says with a smile. "I should let you get back to work. Thank you for your time," he says.
Cerin And then he fades into the air.
Cerin And then so too does the memory of this conversation.
EmberOfGlory stands awkwardly in the hallway for a moment, clearly confused about what exactly he's doing. Why is he out in the hallway? Didn't he have work to do?
EmberOfGlory After a second, he turns and walks back to where he came from. (...)
EmberOfGlory Running over the conversation in his head with the aid of Essence-fueled information-gathering, Cerin is able to work out some of what underlies the conversation that just occurred. (...)
EmberOfGlory The Mask of Winters clearly does not have a plan to alter or disturb the Calendar's functioning -- at least one that Ember is familiar with -- and his answer, though boilerplate, seemed accurate: the Mask's policy is to keep the Calendar running correctly. (...)
EmberOfGlory If anything, he suspected that Cerin was hatching some sort of pernicious plot involving the Calendar, possibly to strike against the Mask, and as such he was trying to avoid giving away one specific piece of information: that those with soul-shards linked to the power of a deity (including the Malfean-tied Deathlords) would be immune to the effects of the the time stop.