< A Series of Conversations | Sol Invictus Logs | City Underground >

Cerin ventures once more with Marku and Zahara into the tombs of Rathess, this time seeking his own tomb. He wanders at random, letting whim or intuition guide him. Eventually he comes to a low building on the northern edge of the necropolis, it is rather plain, except for some small lines and details picked out in gold. Its door faces to the north, made of a strange violet-tinted metal, inlaid with a golden design.

  • Markuran taps idly at the metal, checking its strength and wondering if it can be removed for later use

<Cerin> "Marku, I would prefer it if you did not sunder the doors of my tomb." Cerin notes, studying the doors himself.

  • Zahara runs her fingers over the places that opened her tomb

<Markuran> "Not until after you've entered, certainly."

  • Cerin raises his eyebrow at this, then studies the door further. Perhaps something in the design?
  • Cerin frowns softly at the door, then moves his hands to brush it there...and there. He waits the nessesary time, then presses there. Another pause. Another press. And the door hinges open silently.

<Markuran> "How'd you do that?"

<Cerin> "The mechanism was fairly simple to deduce, especially with the clues on the door."

<Zahara> "He's good like that."

  • Zahara stands on her tip toes to kiss him.
  • Cerin kisses her back, then looks into the tomb, stepping forward cautiously.
  • Markuran follows the two lovers into Cerin's crypt, keeping a careful eye out for evil shadows, falling knives, bottomless pits and devilish gas clouds

The inside of the building is... unusual. In the sense that it appears to be a single empty room, featureless and dull.

<Markuran> "No pit?"

<Cerin> "...nothing?" Cerin says with a mixture of suprise and some concern. He starts to look about the room with more detail.

  • Markuran starts poking at alls, floors, bare spots.

Cerin notices a faint trickle of Essence running in a thin line down one wall of the empty room.

<Zahara> "Nothing... not even your corpse."

  • Cerin walks over to the line, studying it in more detail, then after a short while, he tries to pull on it, or feed some motes into it.

<Markuran> "Maybe he was so sneaky he hid himself."

The line flows downwards, then bends to snake across the floor. It stops at an unlikely spot, far from either the middle or edge of the floor, where it seems to have created a tiny pool of Essence.

  • Cerin smiles and walks over there, not answering Zahara or Marku. Now, if he's right, he gently pulls up here. Like so, and ..something should happen.
  • Zahara watches him with interest

<Cerin> "Watch out!" he says, as something starts to happen.

In just a moment, the floor of the room detaches itself from the walls, and begins to plunge downwards at an extraordinary speed.

  • Zahara activates her stone, grabs Cerin, and doesn't fall
  • Markuran is not grabbed. Falls.
  • Cerin looks down after the retreating floor "Thank you love, though I really think we should be down there..."

<Markuran> "ZAHARA!!!" Even as he yells at her for not catching him, Mark flings himself at one of the walls and with a great SMASH, clings to suddenly-made holes in the stone.

<Zahara> "Well, I thought we could follow in a more leisurely fashion... Sorry Marku! I could only grab one at a time."

  • Cerin smiles, but then frowns at Marku as he smashes the stonework. "Well, shall we start to descend?"

<Markuran> "Well, if you'd like me to make more holes, sure.."

<Cerin> "I would prefer it if you didnt, Marku."

  • Zahara summons her weapons and sends the chain and staff down to Marku, for him to grab onto
  • Cerin holds on to Zahara as they walk down the air to the tomb below.
  • Markuran hauls himself up on the chain. "If you'll give me the stone, I can carry you both."
  • Zahara ponders this, "Okay, hold on." she walks over to Marku, sits herself on his shoulder, waits for Cerin to get settled, and then, while the weapons support them for a few tenuous seconds, swaps her stone out of her socket into Marku's
  • Cerin sits on Marku's other shoulder, and wiats for him to walk them down.

The large barbarian begins to descend into the deep, deep pit left by the drop of the floor. The walls remain featureless as they descend, for what seems like an inordinately long time.

  • Cerin whispers "We should have just ridden it down."

<Markuran> "I can drop you if you'd like.."

<Zahara> "No thanks, But you could step it up a little bit. I'd prefer to get to the bottom before Calibration."

  • Markuran lengthens his downward strides, practically jumping down in the air.

Eventually the three reach the bottom, where the floor of the room sits, seemingly unharmed by the fall. To one side is a simple rectangular opening, leading into a room in which a simple stone casket can be seen.

<Markuran> "Sure..your bottomless pit has a bottom.."

  • Markuran lets the other two Exalted off his back before giving Zahara her rock.

<Zahara> "Yes, Marku, your bottomless pit is better."

  • Cerin leaps off his shoulder lightly.
  • Markuran brightens
  • Zahara leaps off as well, reclaiming and socketing her stone.
  • Cerin starts to walk towards the casket, casting his eyes about as he does.
  • Zahara looks around as well, although she's not the most observant.

<Zahara> "Do you think it would have hurt much if we'd gone down with the floor?" she asks idly

The room containing the casket appears to be largely featureless as well. The casket itself is blocky and smooth; the walls bear no great mosaics, no incredible decorations.

  • Zahara walks over to the casket and runs her fingers along the stone. "Well, at least it doesn't have spikes."

<Cerin> "I doubt it was intended to injure. I felt no danger as I pulled the essence.

<Markuran> "A Sk? the floor...why didn't Cerin get any pictures?"

<Zahara> "Do you normally feel danger?"

<Cerin> "If it was going to be dangerous, yes, always"

<Zahara> "Hmmm.. always? Or just when you're manipulating Essence?"

  • Cerin pauses, then starts to study the walls in more detail. Perhaps this room is like the one above. Nothing about this tomb seems to obvious. "Always."
  • Zahara attempts to open the blocky box

<Markuran> "I should try to do that. I sounds useful. Do *you* see any pictures?"

<Zahara> "No pictures from this angle."

<Cerin> "Could you leave that alone please, Zahara, for the moment" as she touches it.

As Zahara barely touches it, the lid of the sarcophagus easily slides off with a loud CLUNK. Within, no remains lie -- merely a small, leather-bound book.

  • Zahara pouts a little "It's too late."

<Cerin> "Ah."

  • Zahara picks up the book and reads the cover
  • Cerin walks over to look within. Then at the book in Zahara's hand.

<Zahara> "Apparently your pictures are in here."

The book is small, with no lettering of any kind on any outer surface. It is bound in brown leather, undecorated, and tied closed. Its pages show no obvious signs of aging, from a quick glance.

<Cerin> "Though no body...still. Did I not leave one?" he frowns then looks at Zee "Could I have the book please?" he asks, curious as to its contents

<Zahara> "Only if you open it."

  • Zahara holds the book out
  • Cerin takes the book, weighting it slightly in his hand, then he pulls on the ribbon holding it shut, and opens it to the first page.

<Markuran> "You have the strangest buriel chamber, Cerin.."

Within, written in a glittering gold lettering, are strange, scratchy characters, unlike any the Solars have ever seen before.

Suddenly, Cerin finds himself overcome:


He remembers himself, carrying a quill of orichalcum behind his ear; drawing it out, and writing scratchy characters into just such a book, seated upon a balcony that looks out over a vast sea.


Remembers feeling, reflexively, for the book where it hangs at his belt, as he ducks through a collapsing tunnel, the shadows just behind him -- one catches at his foot, and he falls....


Remembers standing in a vast hall, receiving a report that he quickly notes down into the book. The man speaking to him -- he wears long, flowing robes and he looks so familiar he knows he's seen him before many times maybe only he just can't seem to make out his FACE and there's a tiny little pin in the shape of a golden flower on his lapel....


Remembers putting the book down upon his desk, and looking up into the mirror -- seeing his -- her -- own beautiful face, framed by pale blond, almost white locks, and the dark blue-skinned man waiting in the bed behind her....


The visions end, as suddenly as they began.

<Zahara> "What is it, Cerin?" she lends him an arm to hold him steady, and looks from his glazed expression to the book and back

  • Cerin gasps and steps back alittle, as reality returns.

<Markuran> "What vision was sent?"

<Cerin> "I...I am not sure." he seems confused, and reaches up to touch his face. This is his face.

  • Zahara touches his hand, "The book?"
  • Cerin looks at the book in front of him again.
  • Cerin grips her hand a little. "You were right, this book is my pictures. It was with me all through the visions. And I do not know what it says."

The characters are clearly written in some form of elaborate cypher -- even a thorough, Charm-aided glance reveals nothing of their secrets.

<Markuran> "Thats it?"

<Zahara> "Yeah.. where did your bones go?"

<Markuran> "And didn't you have any treasures?"

<Zahara> "That book, I think, is a treasure."

<Cerin> "I do.. not know." he looks at Zahara "That book was my life. I am not sure what I would value over it."

  • Markuran peers at it.."Well, perhaps."

<Markuran> "You mean you wrote down your whole life?"

<Cerin> "It was with me. Every single time I saw myself, It was there. I risked my life for this book."

<Zahara> "It seems to have some kind of ... cryptic spell on it. I cannot read the words."

<Cerin> "Nor can I."

  • Cerin carefully reties the book shut, stowing it safely away from the world in the Cache Egg for now.
  • Cerin carefully resets the lid on the sarcophagus, cheeking that it was as he left it. "I think we should leave now."

<Zahara> "There's nothing else?"

<Zahara> "I was hoping to use your bones..." she pouts a bit. "Are you sure there aren't some secret hidden doors?"

<Cerin> "I do not think so. The chamber is bare, there are no hidden wires of essence for me to pull here."

<Markuran> "Then how did they expect us to get back up?

<Zahara> "Climb?

<Cerin> "Perhaps they did not." he shrugs. "I will study the platform outside."

  • Cerin is sounding rather distracted as he speaks, replaying the visions in his mind.

<Markuran> "We best be standing on the floor. Otherwise there might be demons and dark clouds under it when it rises, trapping us here forever. Or some such thing."

  • Cerin walks out, studying the rockstrewn floor as he does "Ah." he smiles as he sees the trigger, partially covered by the rock. "I suspect we may well ascend as fast as this thing descended."
  • Markuran nods. "Obivously. Otherwise it would be comfortable.
  • Cerin seems to remember something important, and holds out his hand to Zahara.
  • Zahara takes his hand. "Let's find out."
  • Cerin smiles as she takes it, and then pulls. Scant seconds later they are in the upper room once more.

<Zahara> "Wooh, what a trip!"

  • Cerin nods, smiling more happily now, the thrill bringing him back to himself somewhat

<Markuran> "Can we see about the doors, now?"

<Zahara> "What do you want with the doors?"

<Cerin> "See what about the doors, Marku?"

<Markuran> "They're made of something interesting.."

<Markuran> "And there's nothing even in your tomb anymore, so they aren't needed."

<Cerin> "I would prefer that you left them alone. At least until I discover just why I was buried like this. No Great Mosaics. But no warnings either."

  • Cerin starts to lead Zahara out of the tombs.
  • Zahara trots along

Once all the solars are out of the tomb, Cerin closes the door, then taps it ...there. Within the door, barely audiable sounds can be heard as the doors relock themselves.

  • Markuran looks at the necropolis..."There are many other tombs here, unclaimed.."

<Cerin> "There are."

<Markuran> "We should re-seal the necropolis."

  • Cerin nods "That would be best. If others wish to look, they may open it themselves."
  • Cerin walks out of the tomb complex with Marku and Zahara, leading Zahara by the hand, then he gestures to Marku to shut the doors.
  • Markuran hauls the giant stone doors of the necropolis shut. "And sealing them?"
  • Cerin smiles then moves his hands deliberately. motes of essence stream from his fingers as they do, reversing the changes that Zahara made when she opened it at first. There is no sound. The doors simply, unmistakably, become locked once more.
  • Markuran nods. "And now we have all recovered our posessions."

<Cerin> "You might have Marku. I think I might have a bit of searching yet."

Tags: (:tags Rathess, Ymir, Ymir's Diary, First Age Flashbacks, Sidereals:)

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