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Varanim After Zahara and Spring have returned to the Cascade from locking up Lucent, one of the servant staff accosts Spring with some hesitation, apparently considering him safer to approach than the recently-wrathful Empress. "Sir, if you could spare a moment, there's a set of rooms putting out a bit of a smell, but the, ah, occupant has been volatile about interruptions in the past."

Spring "A smell."

zahara is lagging a step or two behind Spring, looking distant and somewhat drained.

Varanim "Sort of a... rotting odor? It's just that she threatened necromancy to the last batch of maids who tried to clean in there." The servant, a middle-aged man, looks undecided about whether it's safe to disapprove of even such an obviously cut-rate Solar.

Spring "Ah."

Spring "Yes. Zahara -- " he glances over for her approval -- "and I will investigate."

zahara nods the affirmative. "This should be interesting."

Varanim With some obvious relief, the man leads them to--unsurprisingly--Varanim's room. (...)

Varanim Inside, the source of the odor appears to be Varanim's nightstand, which has been dragged over next to the desk and turned into an impromptu dissection table for some kind of small plasmic that was never meant to exist on this side of the Shroud. There's also a half-eaten sandwich on the corner of the table, which probably isn't helping the smell. (...)

Varanim And finally, the desk is strikingly bare of papers for anyone who's seen the room previously, with only a few small piles and what look like labeled scraps of paper left.

zahara wrinkles her nose. "That's disgusting."

Spring "Indeed." Spring eats the sandwich, then rifles through the papers.

zahara "That there? Also disgusting." she stabs her finger at him as he eats the sandwich.

Varanim First to hand: a seemingly dense page of arcane writing in fact turns out to be music, written for the trumpet if one happens to be familiar with such things. Scribbling in the top has a little Eclipse symbol and a note saying "Classical bullshit, look for better music later. Something about heralds?"

Varanim Next to the nightstand Zahara notices is tucked a bottle of some fancy cordial, which has an oddly dusty coating as if acquired from somewhere not quite legitimate. Around the neck is a bow, and a note with an eclipse symbol surmounted by a little blue crown. Inside the folded paper says, "It was a good thing you were trying to do. I'm sorry."

Spring glances at the music idly, humming to himself.

zahara picks up the bottle slowly and removes the note. She reads it and then closes her fist over the note, looking over the rest of the room in a direction that happens to be opposite Spring.

Varanim In the direction of Zahara's gaze is a chair turned into a small table, where a little paper with "(invisible Night symbol)" written on it rests on a slim stack of papers. They contain concise notes of all Varanim's information on the Ija, and also what she knows about the Abyssal who was watching the Cascade before decapitation and subsequent mailing to Varanim.

Varanim The largest pile on the desk appears to be for Spring. (...)

Varanim It's a messy stack of two books and a ragged mismatched handful of papers. It's topped by a note saying "unfinished projects," scribbled with a little Twilight symbol that has two little spiders drawn in as eyes to make it a creepy kind of smiley-face. The first book is "A Spell-Crossed Love," with the first half of the pages now heavily annotated with various comments, criticisms, and...

Varanim ...corrections.

Varanim The second book is the activated Varanim the Last: A Basic Text, with a note stuck in the front saying, "Might be funny."

Varanim The papers appear to be a half-finished outline for Varanim's treatment of atheism at the school, although it's not clear whether she intended them as a spoken lecture or a written exercise to be left behind.

Spring "Hm."

Spring picks up the pile and eats it, of course.

Spring scans through the magic Varanim book in his belly.

Varanim Unsurprisingly, Varanim seems to have omitted some details from what she's mentioned of her past travels to Spring, including a fairly disturbing dream episode with the Green Lady.

Spring "Hm."

Varanim And finally, a short note marked with Zenith symbol on the outside, and "(that means Lucent)" written underneath. Should anyone look inside, it says, "I think now that the truth would have been better: 1. I don't. 2. I'm not. 3. I do."

Helpful annotation!

Lucent "Then SAY IT." Lucent, on the other hand, IS shouting, directly on her face. "SAY you do not love her! SAY you are not manipulating us! SAY it, damn you, without evading, without lying! Say that you want m..." Too, too close. "... just SAY it!"


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