< Seeking Luna | Sol Invictus Logs | Dueling Rovash >
Astride what appears to be a large grizzly bear made entirely of seawater, Rovash the Infinite waits patiently, outside the gates of the Labyrinthine Cascade.
- Birds-of-Trinity comes to the gate, patting her hair. It is sculpted into a neat ziggurat today, and a mirror sits atop it like the eye of a little god, four-cornered.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Rovash! Welcome to the Labyrinthine Cascade. I trust that your trip was pleasant and exciting?"
<Rovash?> "Greetings, my darling! You look dazzling enough to slay thirty-six men. Yes, I have had a delightful journey."
- Markuran follows behind Birds, looking annoyed. Despite his irritating with allowing the Wyld one here, the big barbarian cleaned himself rather well. His hair is cut neatly, his new beard trimmed, the Bear Armor fleshly polished. In the interests of appearing peaceful, Markuran removed much of the armor, wearing only the breastplate. A long-sleeved tunic covers the scars and muscles of his arms and a heavy spider-fur cloak finishes his fae-welcoming outfit.
- Rovash nods to Markuran. "You, too, are looking splendid today." He gestures at Markuran with seven of his arms.
- Zahara is not there to greet Rovash, instead she is meditating on the dances of the Gilmeyne, and her newly reborn memories of her childhood. She lounges, seemingly at ease in a great pile of crimson pillows, her gauzy deep red dress seems to float around her form.
<Rovash?> "Shall you lead on? I am eager to begin!"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "That is my plan."
<Rovash?> "Let us do so!" Twelve arms point skyward, enthusiastically.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Please, come this way. It is a long walk; perhaps you will tell me of your most recent adventure along the way?"
<Markuran> "You have more arms then you did last time."
- Cerin is clad in the same well tailored pale grey clothing he wore to heaven, the thin gold edges glinting in the sunlight as he stands atop the manse, observing the arival of the fey and his mount.
<Rovash?> "Ah, yes. One can never have too many arms, you know." Turning to Birds and beginning to walk, he continues. "Since last we spoke, I have been beyond the boundaries of the world, seeking fortune and glory!"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Ah, glory. The most delicious of the dramatic achievements."
- Zahara occasionally twists her new ring back and forth on her finger, the only outward sign of her agitation. Welcoming the fae into any aspect of her life other than the business end of a weapon was not on her to-do list for the next century or five. Her thoughts turn, then, to the chamber she prepared for Rovash. Made of White Jade and enchanted in a similar fashion to her Wyld-destroying charm, it is square, and completely empty.
<Markuran> "Did you find fortune and glory beyond the world, Rovash?"
- Markuran glances at the polypoid with dark eyes full of suspicion. A muscular twitch in Marku's arm gives away his unease with the situation, despite his dress.
- Cerin steps down from his perch atop the manse, working his way through the passageways to find Zahara, greeting her with a small kiss "He's arrived."
- Birds-of-Trinity walks toward the Manse.
<Rovash?> "Indeed!" Rovash says, and draws forth a blade to match his bear. "When I ripped Love's Seventh Ocean from the heart of those without name, ten thousand bards simultaneously began to tell my story."
- Zahara rises fluidly, her eyes dark. "He has." she says softly. "I am *so* looking forward to meeting him again" she adds drily.
The party arrives at the gates of the manse.
- Markuran nods, suitably impressed by this bizare story. With a surreptitious eye, Marku compares the Fair Lord's muscularture to his own, trying to decide which of them is stronger.
- Birds-of-Trinity pauses for a moment, then opens the door and leads the others inside.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "That would explain what happened..."
Markuran notes that while clearly well muscled, Rovash has a lean build; it is unlikely he could directly outlift Marku in a contest.
- Zahara nods to the Gilmeyne behind her, and it shifts into a new dance that she had taught it, although the demon had improved upon her motions a thousandfold. The dance is the story of a little girl with a stick.
- Markuran nods slightly to himself. "When do you expect your lover to arrive?"
<Rovash?> "When I go to the appointed place, she will come. I am sure of this."
The party begins to near the room prepared by Zahara; she and Cerin can hear the chatter and the footsteps as they approach.
- Zahara stands before the door, awaiting them calmly. "This should be interesting, in many ways." she notes.
- Cerin listens to the conversation, ignoring the dance of the gilmyne, taking Zahara's hand. He nods "Very."
- Rovash walks up to the door and stops, looking in and smiling. "The beautiful Zahara Zahn. I thank you for the generous hospitality you have shown in allowing me to come here."
- Zahara nods minutely in acceptance, "Indeed." Her lips form a thin line as she inspects the creature. "And I must thank you for your willingness to submit to our studies."
- Rovash gestures with four hands. "It is nothing to one such as I."
He walks into the room, looking at every surface with interest. "What would you have me do first?"
- Markuran gives Zahara a firm "be good" glower as he takes half a second away from his intense scrutiny of the Fair Folk in their midst
<Zahara> "What IS one such as you?" she asks mildly, following him in. The room glows translucently, lit from all six sides. There are repeated patterns minutely inscribed into the jade, each reinforcing the one before it, each imposing more order upon the structure. "First, I would have you stand still." she says, ignoring Markuran's look.
- Rovash begins to idly juggle small colored balls with several hands.
Hearing Zahara's command, his hands cease their movement, and fold at his sides.
- Zahara nods to Cerin, who she assumes is bearing an empty book entitled "The Fair Folk"
- Cerin steps in behind him, his eyes already watching the strnage ways the flows twist and mix with the energy of creation. He starts to draw.
<Rovash?> "I am a being from beyond the world, born to the purest chaos." He continues to stand still. "I forged for myself a Heart, that I might learn of the world, for it beckoned me so, even in my non-existent state."
<Zahara> "Yet when you took that form, you also took upon yourself the frailty of Creation."
- Rovash has a great urge to send three or more hands to his forehead, but resists! "Alas, it is true. The sacrifices we must make for love!"
<Cerin> "What is this heart of yours?" Cerin asks as he sketches the dynamics of the flows, the flows themselves altering far too rapidly to be drawn.
- Rovash addresses Zahara. "May I show him?"
- Zahara looks to Cerin to see if he is ready, and if so, gives her assent
- Cerin spends a few minutes finishing the dynamical sketch, then nods.
- Zahara holds up her hand
<Zahara> "I believe we should do this first part outside of this room, actually."
<Zahara> "The second will be within, but I do not wish for you to.. tire, too quickly."
- Rovash reaches two hands into his cloak, and draws out an object -- a great goblet, made entirely of water. Within it swirls a liquid that can only be described as liquid ruby, complete with ever-shifting facets; within it, a miniature image of Rovash dances.
- Zahara leads them all into the regular ol' dungeon.
- Cerin immediately notices that the Essence which flows through the cup seems to be simultaneously flowing within Rovash's body.
- Cerin blinks.
- Rovash slips his Heart back into his cloak.
<Rovash?> "Do you find that interesting?"
- Cerin takes down several notes "That was most curious...That cup is you? and you are the cup, as far as the essence of the world is concerned."
- Rovash nods. "I speak truth when I say that it is my heart."
<Cerin> "I did not realise how truely you spoke. Until I saw."
<Markuran> "Which came first, the goblet or you?"
- Rovash blinks. "There is no such thing. I came into being at the moment that I crafted this cup into existence. The two are indivisible."
<Markuran> "How did you make it if making it made you?"
<Rovash?> "That is an excellent question!" That said, he turns his attention to Cerin. "What would you have me do next?"
<Cerin> "You said you took on the ..fraility of creation when you entered it. Can you take that off while you are here?"
<Rovash> "By the eight heavens, no! I would dissolve into nothingness."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Can you...take on a /different kind/ of frailty?"
<Zahara> "What happens when you are separated from your Heart? Do you need to be in contact with it?"
<Rovash?> "Oh, certainly! I have worn more bodies than I have fingers! Today I come to you clad in Creation's finest water, tinged with the Essence of jealousy." He turns to Zahara. "Without certain measures, I cannot be; a mere thought calls it to my hand. If it were to be stolen from me... it would be as if my very self were taken away, given to the control of another."
- Zahara seems quite taken by that idea
<Markuran> "After Zahara and Cerin are finished prodding you in various embarssing places, would you offer me a favor, Rovash?"
- Rovash nods to Markuran. "What can I do for you?"
<Markuran> "I was simply hoping for a contest of skill and strength. I haven't matched arms against one of the Fair Folk. Though at the moment, you would win a simple contest of arms."
- Rovash chuckles uproariously.
<Rovash?> "Ha! For that alone, I shall grant your request."
- Cerin ponders. "Can you channel any essence beyond that which is filling this form of yours?"
- Rovash waves a hand in the air and conjures up a crystalline rose, which he presents to Birds-of-Trinity.
- Birds-of-Trinity sniffs the flower absently.
- Zahara watches, her eyes following his every move. "I would see more of your magics."
- Cerin watches the flows of essence wrap around and in on themselves to make the rose, watching it crystallize into the rose. "Beautiful."
- Rovash puts five hands to his chin in a thinking gesture. "What to do, what to do....?"
<Zahara> "Start small, and work up to the more impressive ones." she suggests
- Rovash impresses Cerin with a variety of glamorous tricks -- conjuring beasts from a glass of water, shifting his appearance in numerous ways, and so on.
- Cerin watches all with varying degrees of interest and quiet amazement.
<Rovash> "These, humble though they be, are my abilities."
<Zahara> "Excellent. Now we shall do all of that again, but inside the White Room."
<Rovash> "Indeed! Lead on."
- Zahara leads them back to The White Room, and seals them all inside, assuming they follow. The door disappears into the patterns in the walls.
- Markuran peers at the door-space idly.
- Zahara lofts a brow at him, "Yes?"
<Rovash?> "An astonishing transformation."
- Cerin is watching carefully for the interaction of the order of the room with the carefully bound chaos of the fey.
<Zahara> "How does it feel?"
- Zahara smiles slightly. "Please, repeat the magics you showed us in the other room, if you can."
- Rovash begins to repeat his conjurations, frowning and twitching with his fingers as the field of order locks out his gossamer effects.
<Rovash?> "I am finding myself... ineffective."
- Zahara watches Rovash with an amused glint in her eyes, smoothing the fabric of her dress with the fingers of one hand, "So it would seem," she says slowly, "Keep trying until you have attempted all of the forms."
- Rovash continues his attempts. Some he achieves with some difficulty, while others are completely impossible within the room's confines.
- Cerin watches these attempts with interest. "Could I see your Heart again?"
- Zahara takes note of those that actually occur mentally, and
- Rovash draws the goblet out once more.
- Cerin checks to see that once more the flows still match.
Still, the flows of Rovash and his Heart are one and the same.
<Cerin> "I would what would happen if the Heart were in here, you were outside.." Cerin muses.
- Zahara mentally takes note of those that actually occur, and begins to toy with her ring again. Inside she is as gleeful as a child with a new toy, but her exterior is calm and instructive. "Those magics that you were able to do, what other permutations do they have? For instance, if another Fae would shape them differently?"
<Rovash?> "More than I could count for you. You will find us an idiosyncratic kind, should you meet many of us."
<Zahara> "I have met your kind before, albeit briefly."
<Zahara> "And if you were to be challenged, how would you defend yourself? You have shown us your pretty toys already."
<Rovash?> "By one of your kind? I would fight, as a man would do. Against my own, I have other methods."
<Markuran> "That would be easier answered simply by watching our contest, Zahara."
<Cerin> "Other methods?"
<Zahara> "Show me what you would do against one of your own, and I will, of course, watch your contest with Markuran when it occurs."
<Rovash?> "Hmmm. May we step from this room?"
<Zahara> "Can you do none of them here?"
<Rovash?> "When I contest with my own, I do so entirely in the realm of glamour. Such effects will prove useless here."
- Zahara traces one of the patterns in the door-wall backwards, and the catch releases, door sliding back and into the wall, which becomes less translucent. She gestures for him to precede her.
- Rovash steps out into the hall.
- Markuran follows Zahara out, giving her a warning glare to be nice!
Once free of the pattern field, Rovash relaxes.
- Cerin follows Zahara out, eager to watch this glamoured contest.
- Zahara once again ingores Markuran's glares. She has been EXCEEDINGLY nice so far, so he can just stuff it up his hairy ass, she thinks to herself.
<Rovash?> "Were I to contest with another, I might strike at them with the glamorous shape of any problem I could devise. To cause a lover to turn against them, for instance."
Cerin, for one brief moment, feels certain that Zahara has lied to him; but it passes.
<Zahara> "Could you do so to a human, or only to your kind?"
<Rovash?> "Such things are ephemeral to your kind; they have no true reality here. I can give a glimpse of them, but they have no true effect upon you."
- Cerin tenses slightly giving Zahara a slightly hurt look, before refocusing his attention back on Rovash.
<Rovash?> "That, I believe, is more or less the limit of my abilities. Beyond that, I simply wander, and perform, and quest evermore for glory."
- Zahara looks at Cerin inquiringly for the moment, before realizing that it was most likely Rovash's fault. "What gives you glory, then? To trick and decieve others, or to feed upon the hearts of children?"
- Rovash appears taken aback.
<Rovash?> "No!" He resumes a calmer demeanor. "I find the uncontrolled feasting of my fellows... uncouth."
<Rovash?> "No, I gain glory as your kind do -- through great deeds, the awe of the people, the tales of storytellers, the winning of great treasures...."
<Zahara> "You prefer the more controlled kind, then? Say the slave trade with the Guild, which delivers your food to you on a silver platter?"
- Rovash looks distressed. "I have never partaken of such."
- Cerin focuses back on the fae. If Zahara wants to keep the truth from him, thats her perogative. But... No. Rovash. He focuses more on fae, letting himself study the patterns more deeply, letting his eyes follow the fractal swirls of chaos...
<Zahara> "Then who do you steal the will to live from? Do you seduce them with your tricks, and crystal roses? Do you promise them dreams of sweet happiness, or glory, or their heart's desire?"
- Markuran peers curiously at Rovosh, awaiting the reply. A fair folk that claims not to devour minds, dreams and souls? A liar or an aberrant..
<Rovash?> "I have subsided on the flowing adulation of the crowd for a thousand years, Zahara. In an epileptic fit when I first journeyed to Creation, I swore to a lover that I would taste not of a human's soul unless freely proffered, without beguilements; and I have kept to that vow."
<Zahara> "And your lover, whom you await so eagerly?"
<Markuran> "Can you teach your arts to those like us?"
<Rovash?> "She is... unlike me."
<Rovash?> "It is to Injara that I swore this oath."
<Zahara> "What is she like?"
<Rovash?> "A woman, great and terrible. She ruled this land when first I came to Creation, and I -- I, the master of beguilements -- was myself smitten the moment I saw her. She drove me to swear against my own nature to be at her side, and I did so gladly." He looks down at his many hands.
<Rovash?> "She perished from this world, many years ago, and I went mad with grief."
<Zahara> "How did she perish?"
<Markuran> "And if she perished, why do you seek her now? Perishment is rather final, for most people."
<Rovash?> "Slain, by her advisors, partners, friends. Betrayed."
- Rovash looks up. "May I call to her now? I swear unto you that she will cause no harm to you, or any that you protect; and then you shall see for yourself."
<Zahara> "No, not yet."
<Markuran> "What else do you need from him, Zahara? He has done as you asked."
- Zahara pulls herself up haughtily and looks at Marku coldly. "I am not finished."
- Zahara frowns, "although this next part will be more difficult than I had anticipated, due to his vow."
- Markuran narrows his eyes at Zahara. "Why would his vow interfere with anything you would want him to do, Zahara?" the big man's voice rumbles coldly, an avalance of ice
- Zahara turns to regard him fully, "I must study ALL aspects of the Fae. Even the distasteful ones."
- Cerin raises himself from his studies of the flows and twists "That might be interesting, yes."
<Markuran> "Then you are willing to make sacrifices of course. And would permit him some of your own dreams."
- Zahara is about to respond angrily, having prepared herself for Markuran's ire, then pauses, "Perhaps. If you would like to see what I would turn into." she says, softly. "It would not be the first time."
<Cerin> "There is no need for you to do that Zahara. He can feed on me. It will be most interesting to watch that way."
<Zahara> "I doubt you would be able to see properly, nor pay full attention."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Hold on."
- Markuran looks to Rovash, opening his mouth to repeat an earlier question. Then Birds interrupts.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Cerin, you are the one with perceptions. We need your eyes."
- Rovash turns to look curiously at Birds.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Zahara, you are the sorceress! It is, ultimately, for your edification that we are performing these studies."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "This is correct?"
<Zahara> "This is correct, indeed."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "And, Rovash, I understand that one who is not drunk from too deeply will recover. Is this also correct?"
- Rovash nods. "The experience will be... jarring. But it can be done without permanent repercussions."
<Zahara> "What aspect is it that you feed upon?"
<BirdsOfTrinity> "You may feed from me. I wish to experience this depletion."
- Markuran holds up a hand between Birds and Rovash. "My own moment, if you please. I was thinking that Rovash and I might make a wager on our contest. If he wins, he can drink of my dreams. And if I win, he will do me some favor of like value. To make Zahara happy, even if I win, Birds wishes to let Rovash drink of her."
- Cerin shrugs inwardly. Watching two lots of dreams be eaten would be interesting. very interesting.
<Zahara> "Did you ever think to have all of us vying for your attentions, Rovash? Certainly this will make it into your tales of glory."
- Rovash smiles. "Indeed, I can hear the tale of the deft rogue who led four Lords of Creation to offer themselves willingly to him already beginning to form on the tongues of the musicians."
<Rovash?> "For today, I shall turn to Birds. And I shall give Markuran a fortnight to think over his offer again; and should he stand by it, we shall duel."
<Markuran> "Zahara diverted you from my question when I asked it first. Can you teach me your magics, Rovash?"
<Rovash?> "I could craft for you a talisman that contained a work of glamour; I doubt any but Zahara could come closer than that."
- Markuran considers. "I will stand by my offer."
<Zahara> "As well as you could learn the magics of the Dynasts, Markuran. I, however, would be interested in learning a useful.. glamour, such as you call it."
<Markuran> "You are not going to be dueling him for the favor, Zahara."
- Rovash nods. "Now, I must make my demonstration." Eight hands beckon Birds-of-Trinity to come closer.
- Birds-of-Trinity wanders over, bemused.
<Zahara> "No, I am granting him his long lost love."
- Markuran makes a sarcastic sounding grunt deep in his chest
- Cerin studies the fae and Birds. "Birds, would you flare your anima just briefly. I would like to observe Rovash in sunlight.."
- Rovash holds Birds-of-Trinity in twelve of his arms. He whispers, "Do not be afraid, beautiful one." Then he lays one hand on Birds' forehead and closes his eyes.
- Birds-of-Trinity nods to Cerin and does so.
- Zahara watches Rovash and Birds dispassionately, although some part of her grumbles and roils to allow such a thing on one she calls friend. This is quite easily squashed, however.
- Cerin watches the play of sunlight over the fae, marking its reactions as he does, before settling to watch the feeding.
Birds remembers a peaceful day: the warm sunlight, the cool mug of nectar, the tousled hair of a boy from the next village, the song of a washer woman on the breeze. And then, it is gone.
Cerin sees the tiniest part of Birds' soul begin to twitch and unweave, and a single mote of Essence flows from within into the deep, endless maw he can suddenly perceive within Rovash's form.
Then, a moment later, Rovash opens his eyes once again.
<Rovash?> "There, I have done it."
- Cerin lets out a small sigh. "That was ...unusual."
- Zahara eyes Birds, "Did it hurt?"
- Birds-of-Trinity looks around. "Was that all?"
<Rovash?> "Indeed it was. I took only the slightest drop."
<BirdsOfTrinity> "No...eldritch maw of teeth that cannot be counted?"
<Rovash?> "....only were I to consume you utterly, my dear."
<Zahara> "Can you manifest such without actually consuming someone?"
<Rovash> "A vision of it, yes."
<Zahara> "Please." she gestures.
- Rovash waves a hand and a terrible blackness washes over Zahara, punctuated only by the glimmering and gnashing of an infinitude of teeth. It lasts only a moment, and then is gone.
- Cerin watches the moment from outside. what did he do?
- Zahara jumps, then steels herself, nearly biting her tongue as the blackness touches her.
<Zahara> "That was..sufficient. Thank you."
- Rovash folds six pairs of hands across themselves and bows lightly.
<Cerin> "Zahara..are you alright?" he is instantly at her side
<Zahara> "I am quite fine, it was only an illusion." The voice inside her head adds 'this time' as she smiles tightly.
- Markuran nods to himself. "I still stand by my offer, Rovash. When do you wish our contest?"
<Rovash?> "Hmmm. A week from now, as the sun sets upon the forest. That should be suitable."
- Cerin nods and kisses her cheek
<Markuran> "Since you are the challenged, you may decide the location."
<Rovash?> "We shall duel in a nearby glade, where a stream is riven in two by a rock shaped as a vicious knife."
- Markuran nods. "In a week, then. Zahara, are you done now?"
<Zahara> "For now, but no, I am not completely finished."
- Rovash looks somewhat crestfallen. "I understand. I shall return here in a week, then."
- Markuran offers the Fae an arm to seal their bargain, giving him a somewhat understanding look at Zahara's cruelty.
- Rovash offers five arms in response.
- Markuran clasps them one at a time.
- Cerin eyes widen slightly at the amount of essence marku just spent. To make the fae like him. How curious.
- Rovash turns to leave. "Thank you for your hospitality, Sun-touched. I look forward to our duel, Markuran, may they sing songs of it for ages to come."
- Rovash walks away for a moment, turns to blow a kiss to Birds, and then departs. He is passed by a barbarian running in the opposite direction, apparently with news.
- Zahara watches Rovash depart thoughtfully, noting the direction in which he retires.
- Barbarian arrives, out of breath, at Solars' location. "A litter... of darkest ebon, borne by men clad in black robes... has arrived... asked to meet with you..."
<Markuran> "Find the Terrestrial spies and have them meet us outside. We'll be there shortly." Marku takes off at a trot, heading for his own rooms to gather the rest of his armor and weapons.
- Barbarian runs off to alert the ninjas.
- Cerin flows off to get his own armour on before returning to Zahara's side.
- Zahara summons her armory, which floats above her obediently.
- Markuran arrives outside the Cascade, glowering and shining in the dying light of the Sun. Armsbreaker gleams against the tanned skin of his forearm, waiting to be used
- Zahara then wends her way through the Labyrinth to the customary receiving area, which still happens to be trapped from the last visit they expected
- Cerin follows at Zahara's side as they are lead to the dark litter. As they get closer, Cerin observes the litter and the bearers with interest, noting both essence and the more physical nature.
Beyond the walls of the manse sits the black litter -- a large, elaborate affair, carved entirely of jet black wood and hung with dark curtains. Four... people, clad entirely in black robes, carry it aloft, seeming not to tire or strain at doing so. Cerin notices a familiarly brilliant display of Essence within.
<Cerin> "The Mask of Winters." Cerin speaks softly.
- Markuran glowers darkly under thick eyebrows. "What do you want, Deathlord?" the bass rumble of the big Zenith's voice easily reaches the litter
- Zahara crosses her arms over her chest, and regards him with a look of polite interest, "Yes, do tell us what brings you to our doors, Mask of Winters." she says pleasantly.
Mask Of Winters? "I have important matters to speak of with you," says the familiar voice from within the litter.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Oh, speaking. How nice."
- Birds-of-Trinity adjusts her mirror.
<Markuran> "What matters."
- Cerin takes advantage of the charm he has gained since last he saw him to study the mask of winters more closely.
As Cerin studies the Essence of Mask of Winters, for the first time, with clear eyes, he begins to notice its odd construction...
Mask Of Winters? "It has come to my attention that you are currently faced with a difficulty close to my own area of expertise."
- Cerin frowns, focusing more closely on the construct.
<Zahara> "So it would seem. However, it makes one wonder why you would care to stop such a thing, given your propensity towards death."
Indeed, how odd... Cerin has seen other ghosts before, but the Mask is different... he seems to possess two souls, like a living human...But what is that connecting the two of them....?
<Markuran> "The black tide of doom ghouls sweeping across the South, yes. As Zahara said, you should be helping them, not here talking from a litter."
One hand sticks out from the litter to gesture expressively. "Contrary to what you may believe, I have no more wish to see Creation dissolve into nothingness than you. I have better purposes to see it put to."
- Cerin frowns more deeply, radiating concern and curiousity as he studies the bridge, filtering out the brilliant crystal flare of the charms and the sorcerries bound around the man.
<Markuran> "How odd, considering your brothers and sisters. What is it you wish to tell us?"
The hand shakes a single finger. "Ah, not yet. There is still an unspoken difficulty between us."
<Zahara> "I cannot begin to imagine what that would be." she says lightly.
Mask Of Winters? "I imagine you could not. Still, this betrayal, purposeful or no, wounded me deeply. Deeply!" The hand clutches into a fist.
Mask Of Winters? "Nevertheless, I am willing to allow this insult to pass."
<Markuran> "Betrayal? How can we betray you when we have no alliance?"
<Zahara> "One would think that an ally who would leave so quickly, had no reason to stay."
Mask Of Winters? "I ask for very little. Merely a small token. Then all shall be peaceful between our nations again." He pauses. "We are closer neighbors than ever before, now, after all."
<Zahara> "What token would this be?"
Mask Of Winters? "Merely that you agree to respect the newly-forged border that we share."
Mask Of Winters? "I have... interests to the north. In exchange, I will offer you the assistance that you need to use against the Unlife Equation."
- Markuran glances at the others for their feelings
<Zahara> "I have no particular tie to those in the North. Would you in turn respect the new border as well?"
<Mask Of Winters?> "I would happily do so."
- Cerin murmurs very softly close to zahara's ear "lookshy."
<Markuran> "I for one will respect our current borders with Thorns."
<Zahara> "This is not to say that our borders in other directions will not change, of course, but that which we share with Thorns will remain unchanged."
Mask Of Winters? "That is agreeable to me."
- Zahara looks to her companions for confirmation
- Markuran nods.
- Cerin gives a small nod. His body shows concern though.
- Zahara looks, then to Birds
<Zahara> "Then we agree. We will not challenge the border between the Sunlands and Thorns."
Mask Of Winters? "It is agreed! An emissary shall arrive within three days to make the arrangements."
<Zahara> "As long as you agree to the same, no aggression between our two nations shall cross the border."
Mask Of Winters? "Indeed."
The bearers suddenly begin to move, and walk the litter away from the Solars. Their strange, shambling gait bears them away from the manse, moving slowly. After a few moments, Cerin realizes he will be surprised in exactly ten seconds.
Ten seconds later, a voice speaks from behind the Solars: "That was an interesting decision."
- Markuran turns around slowly, glowering and one hand clinched into a fist
<BirdsOfTrinity> "Interesting is one of my names."
- Birds-of-Trinity turns to see the speaker.
- Zahara lofts a brow, spinning smartly on her heel.
- Cerin turns smoothly
Leaning against one side of the doorway behind the Solars is Seven Herons Leaping, looking somewhat more ragged than he did when last they saw him, but with a grin on his face.
<Zahara> "I thought so, myself."
- Cerin eyes range over the man in green. It was a crysthamum. He casts his mind back to a vision he saw several months ago.
<Zahara> "Have you come to tell us the way to defeat the Equation without the Deathlords help in an ironic twist of fate?"
- Birds-of-Trinity realizes she is still dressed up, and changes her attire to match Heron's exactly.
<Herons?> "Actually, no, though I did intend to ask you to address the matter. Though it seems like that won't be necessary."
- Markuran crosses his arms over his chest and maintains his glower. "Did someone finally give you a beating or did you simply forget to bathe?"
He steps forward a few paces, to meet the Solars.
Cerin stares closely at the Sidereal, looking for something his memory tells him should be there....
<Zahara> "We're on top of it" she says drily.
After a few moments, he catches the quickest glimpse of it: a tiny golden pin in the shape of a flower, pinned to the neck of Herons' robe.
- Cerin smiles softly as he catches sight of the pin. Then he stills the smile within the helmet he wears.
Ignoring Markuran's comment, he faces Zahara. "At the moment, I'm most interested in collecting the object you acquired for me."
<Zahara> "Ah, yes, another one of our more interesting decisions."
<Markuran> "Do you plan to trade if for better clothes?"
- Herons continues to ignore Markuran.
<Cerin> "Ah. The sphere."
- Zahara notices Herons' participation in 'Ignore Markuran Day' with a self-satisfied nod.
- Markuran idly considers forcing the arrogant Sidereal to lick his boots...
<Herons?> "I can most likely assist you in other matters, if you allow me to do so."
<Zahara> "What matters would those be?"
- Markuran manages to make himself resist the temptation..though he isn't quite sure why he does this. Sighing to himself, Marku contents his pride with glowering viciously at the Sidereal and making his displeasure with the man's presence and continued life plain for him to see.
<Herons?> "Perhaps the impending invasion force from the Realm?"
<Zahara> "Ah, that. I have a plan for that."
- Markuran growls. "If you wish to help, help. Do not hint and scheme and plot. For once in your existence, be a man instead of a rat in the shadows."
<Herons?> "Ah, do you? Interesting..."
<Zahara> "I would be interested to hear your views on it, however. Possibly in less company than we have now."
<Cerin> "There might be something you could help with though..." he makes sure Zahara sees just where his gaze falls on Herons. his neck.
<Herons?> "Ah. And what would that be?"
- Zahara follows Cerin's gaze, then turns back to Cerin with an inquiring look
<Cerin> "I have developed an interest in the flows of essence. And of Exaltation. Another person to study would be most welcome."
<Herons?> "That could be arranged."
- Cerin nods. "That would be enlightening for me, I am sure. Thank you."
<Zahara> "Would you care to join me for dinner? We can discuss things over a nice roasted giant spider thing."
- Herons nods. "I would enjoy that."
- Zahara smiles, "Excellent."
<Markuran> "We're out of giant spider thing."
- Birds-of-Trinity looks sad.
<BirdsOfTrinity> "I like spider thing."
<Markuran> "We still have those pastries you made from it. And the pies I baked."
Tags: (:tags Rovash the Infinite, Fair Folk, Injara, Mask of Winters, Shadowed Unlife Equation, Lookshy, Aalorai, Herons:)
< Seeking Luna | Sol Invictus Logs | Dueling Rovash >