Lucent knocks into Varanim's room, without his menacing crimson armor, but wearing his older armor, the crystalline Lost Mirage instead, images of dreams going by so fast around it that it just seems like a reflection of extraneous colors around the orichalcum inlaids. "Varanim?"
Varanim grunts in a vaguely welcoming manner without looking up from the notes she's scribbling, which are look like some kind of genealogy.
Lucent looks at both sides, and, seeing no-one, steals a kiss from Varanim. "I need your help."
Varanim With an expression of half annoyance, half smile after the kiss, Varanim finally looks up at him. "What?"
Lucent "I need to touch your bad head place again." He whispers in that space between them. "In front of Imrama."
Varanim starts to laugh. "Try it again, I'm pretty sure you can make that sound a little more dirty." Then her eyes sharpen. "Is this about that business with the bones?"
Lucent grins. "Thought you would like that. For old time's sake." He puts a hand on the armor. Or over his heart. "Yes. If I can pull the images out of your mind, he can identify their names... and we will know who to look for."
Varanim thinks about it only a moment, then nods. "Let's go."
Lucent holds Varanim's hand and goes knock on Imrama's room. "You there, Air Admiral?"
Varanim "Stop that," she says irritably as he knocks, pulling her hand away.
Imrama opens the door in a red silk dressing-gown and holding a snifter of brandy. "Yes, Lucent?"
Lucent begins to say something to Varanim, instantly shifting it to smile at Imrama. "We need your help. Badly."
Imrama 's eyebrows raise. "Given all that has gone on between the two of you of late, I'm not sure that that would be advisable right now, Lucent. Not that its not a pleasant thought."
Varanim "Maybe next time. Right now I have a face and he needs a name to stick on it."
Lucent freezes, laughing nervously. "N... no, nothing like THAT! And... what happenned? Nothing happenned! Just, the south, and, and..." He was blushing, and laughing, and with a big silly smile on his face. Which was a first, since the Tomb.
Lucent "... what she said!"
Imrama takes a drink and smiles back. "Okay!"
Lucent sighs in relief, pulling Varanim inside. By the hand, again. A moment later, he remembers to let go. "So, if you can put your glasses on..."
Imrama opens a pocket on his robe and two tiny suns float up to his face, forming themselves into the golden rectangles of his distinctive glasses.
Lucent moves to touch Varanim's forehead... then stops. "You sure I can...?"
Varanim rolls her eyes a bit. "Go on, I want to see how these glasses work." Her posture is a trifle nervous, though.
Lucent touches her hand as if to calm her down... and two fingers dive into her forehead, in a glimpse of light pulling out... an image of Lucent at death's door, a blue sword buried in his chest, a silver-haired woman with a spiderweb of silver tattoos weeping... "The woman. The blade."
Imrama reads the labels projected on his golden glasses. "The woman's name is Vovoka, and the sword is named 'Azure Hyacinth Realization'."
Lucent remembers the name -- a young Lunar Exalt from the far northwest, whose name he'd come across on lists and in the process of other Deliberative business in the past, but never actually managed to meet --
at about the same time that Varanim remembers encountering the sword's name -- as a lost treasure of the Primordial War, one that had been lost in a battle against the Primordial known as Meru, and whose recovery had been sought by many treasure-hunters in that era.
Lucent "I... heard about her. A young girl from... far away. Lunar. Never met her in my LIFE."
Varanim "Hm. The sword goes back to the Primordial War, versus Meru. Long-lost, et cetera--nice pedigree, if you're into that sort of thing."
Lucent "At least, I was killed well. I mean, he. Lucent was killed well." He nods, touching it again and making the next images appears... the four men with four distinct robes, red, white, black, and green.
Varanim "Dead is still de--gah, a little warning next time."
Lucent "Sorry. I thought you were fine with it now." The grip on her hand tightens.
Imrama 's eyes widen, and he shakes his head and is silent for a moment. "The red is named Khajen. The white is Tara Zhan. The green is Seven Leaping Herons. And something is...wrong with the black. I cannot see his name."
Lucent blinks "... you have GOT to be kidding me."
Varanim "Huh. It might be time to shake the Zhan family tree and see what falls out."
Lucent "The Zhan family is DEAD, what are we going to do, knock on their tombs and..." Lucent stops, looks at Varanim, and then begins to broaden a very uncharacteristic smile. "... ooh."
Lucent ::Cerin, can you come to a little Party of Secrets in Imrama's room for a moment?::
Cerin A short while later, Cerin knocks on the door
Lucent "THERE you are! So there is a conspiracy about my death involving a Lunar I never heard of and Tara Zhan and Hyacinthe and Khajen and someone without a name and heronsandwethinkthatpehaps..." He stops for breath, "Damnit, for once I wish I was Thirteen."
Lucent throws hands up the air, "I need to touch your bad head place and pick up an image of the Thousand-Faced, ok?"
Varanim blinks, leaning back in a chair and taking a discreet drink from her pocket flask while Lucent barrages Cerin.
Imrama "Two things I will observe about Tara Zhan and family: we have access to at least one ancient member of the line conveniently frozen in time. And also, the fact that most of them are dead should not be an impediment to talking with them for at least one of us."
Lucent "Khajen may have left a ghost, as well. And Herons..."
Varanim "Cutting back up to the keep to talk to the one on ice is probably more efficient, if she's thawable--otherwise I'll have to hit and miss a bit, hopping back generations in the summonings. Plus, I have a date with the spectre up there." She cracks her knuckles with something that might be described as a leer.
Cerin "No, you may not Lucent. For I do not know what he looks like."
Lucent "... you do not? But you met him. You ALL talk about him like your big damn enemy."
Cerin "And yet I do not know his face, despite by best efforts to see it."
Lucent "... well. The bastard's throughout."
Cerin "Perhaps if you would now like to backtrack and explain certain things in more detail?"
Cerin "You have mentioned Herons and Tara Zhan, and several other names of improbable combination."
Lucent "Varanim looked into the Maw, and Lucent Copper Haze's bones. Lucent died in the Red Sands of Ekael, after staggering for what seems like miles with Azure Hyacinth Realization, a lost trasure of the Primordial War used to fight Meru, buried in his chest."
Varanim "Imrama just fingered the people who were around the tomb body at the time of death. Some Lunar bint named Vovoka, and people in robes--Herons, Zhan, Khajen, and a typically enigmatic fourth in black."
Lucent uses his lights to give images to it. Images of him dead. They were not as accurate as Varanim's memories, of course, which he had not even seen so far. "There was a woman who cried about it... a northern Lunar I had never met, known as Vovoka. She was the silver-haired woman on the tomb. Pehaps a spider-Lunar." He nods, "And four hooded figures... apparently, those Varanim mentioned."
Imrama "We might also consult our Lunar allies with regard to Vovoka."
Lucent "AND we need to look for Herons. Where is he?" He looks at Varanim, "And call Khajen's and Tara Zhan's souls?"
Varanim "Hm, do we even know who Khajen is? It affects how much blood I have to haul out of the pantry."
Varanim nods at Imrama. "Ooh, allies, there's an idea. I keep forgetting you people have bunches of those."
Lucent "I never heard of him." He shakes his head. "Actually, they are not our allies. YET."
Cerin "Vovoka. Hmmm."
Cerin "Do you know anything more of this Vovoka, beyond her name?"
Lucent "She was a Northwestern Lunar. I saw her name a few times, in lists, but never met her."
Cerin "Hmmm. Ymir was interested in a lunar who appeared in her notes only as 'V'. That information is not contradictory with the scant few notes about this Lunar. This is not particularly surprising. They are very scant notes."
Lucent "Did any of the others mentioned here appear in her notes?"
Cerin "Well, Herons was a person of interest to her, as was Qian Mian."
Lucent "But those two had their fingers in too many pies, so that does not count. No 'K's?"
Cerin "No 'K's"
Cerin "But there was mention of a 'Hyacinth' associated with a string of letters. 'A X W N L B'"
Imrama makes a quick mental rundown of nine distinct First Age coordinate systems (plus the gate network codes) and feels quite confident: those letters do not code for a location in any of them.
Imrama "I do not believe so, Lucent. Or if they are, they were for a scheme of Ymir's own devising."
Lucent "Damnit. MUST she be so cryptic?"
Cerin "It is no scheme whose memory I carry. And in addition, all the other notes were written plainly."
Lucent "Adiele, Xalat.. no Eckardt. Damn it, not that either."