Having learned the location of the central Necropolis from Ssithumi, Zahara proposed that they attempt to excavate the remains of their former selves and see if any of their grave goods could help them. The avaricious gleam in her eyes was not lost on any member of the Circle. Only those with tombs in Rathess elected to go along, the rest being uninterested in the persuit.
<Markuran> "Did the lizard tell you anything of what this necropolis looks like?"
<Zahara> "No, we haven't spoken since we met. All I know is that if we find it, it's ours."
<Markuran> "You think it's one building?"
<Zahara> "I don't think they liked you before, though. Maybe 'cause you jumped on their ships." she says, deadpan.
<Markuran> "Maybe back then they knew enough to tell people before doing unusual things."
<Cerin> "That is something alright" he shields his eyes
<Zahara> "Whatever it is, it looks interesting." She cracks her knuckles.
<Markuran> "Lets see if there's a door or something.."
<Markuran> "If not, we can always go through the wall."
<Zahara> "Hmm let's try not to bring any gigantic black buildings down on our heads today."
<Cerin> "I am sure there will be doors, people are not in the habit of building walls with no enterances through"
<Markuran> "Well maybe they wanted to keep us out. They are tombs after all..if they are tombs."
On the far side of the wall, inset is a massive gate, seemingly composed of the same black metal, with doors one hundred feet wide and intricately carved with depictions of Solar heroism. They seem to be closed tight.
<Markuran> "Looks like a tomb for Solars. Think it's open?"
<Markuran> "Well, will it hurt me if I try to open it?"
<Zahara> "You could always try it and find out," she says absently, fingers skimming lightly over the carvings, along the lines, and edges. She pays extra attention to the center, and to both edges, and the walls just beyond the edges.
<Cerin> "Zahara...you want to but the essence in there, and there" his hand gently guiding hers
As Zahara presses against one particular figure, it lights up; light arcs across from it to other figures, until every Solar depicted shines with a brilliant light. There is a click, and suddenly the gates begin to open.
<Zahara> "Mmmm. Shiny."
Within the outer wall, several large, imposing tombs stand; beyond them, another wall.
<Markuran> "Do you think we should check those tombs? Or try the other wall?"
<Zahara> "It's so big... I was just a bit startled, is all.."
<Markuran> "Where I come from, we don't refer to a male's virility as a "tomb", Zahara."
<Zahara> "I don't know what you're talking about, Markuran." she says airily.
Each tomb is unique, suiting the temperament of its original owner. All are built from similar materials, however, which were likely quarried from the nearby environs.
<Zahara> "Not yet... but I'm still looking."
<Cerin> "Oh..wait..do you see there?" his finger traces an arc, following the lines of a scaleedged door
<Zahara> "Ah hah..." she inspects the edges of the door, and following the logic of the gate, looks for the 'lock.' She grins, and presses her fingers lightly against it, channeling Essence into the mechanism "We're such a good team."
The door slides open soundlessly.
<Zahara> "He's just cranky because I cursed his penis." she says, a little louder than necessary.
The inner wall is made entirely of carefully polished stone, aligned in nearly flat surfaces. Far away from where Zahara and Cerin stand, another gateway can be be found, similar in design to the first.
<Zahara> "Soon, it will shrivel and turn blue."
<Zahara> "And," she continues cheerfully as she goes through the door beyond, "If he's lucky, it'll fall off."
The entrance room of the tomb is large and spacious. The walls are covered with elaborate, abstract mosaics with Solar designs. At the far end, a set of stairs leads down into the darkness.
<Zahara> (on the walls)
Markuran's gate responds and creaks open.
The tomb being raided seems to indicate the Eclipse caste.
<Markuran> ::Dust and spiders fall from the ceiling in a rain::
<Cerin> me nods resignedly "Aparantly, yes"
<Markuran> "ARE YOU IN HERE?"
<Zahara> "And we found the way into this one."
<Zahara> "What kind of not pleasant?"
<Cerin> "It bears similar essence to that of your hammer"
<Zahara> "We could use some extra not pleasantness for the Manse."
<Markuran> "I don't think you can steal a step."
<Zahara> "No, but we could find out how it *works*"
<Markuran> "Why don't you step on it and let Cerin watch the essence?"
<Zahara> "Why don't you yell at it, and set off every trap in the whole place?"
<Markuran> "We'd know where they were then, wouldn't we?"
<Zahara> "I'm sure we would. We'll come back to this, later." She announces, and hops lightly over the offending step.
<Zahara> "It's dark in here." she comments. "Hold on, I'll fix that." she allows a moment for any eye-shielding to happen, then alights her anima, flooding the darkness away
The chamber at the foot of the stairs is dark and cobwebby. Within, a simple obsidian sarcophagus sits; around it, stone chests and containers. On the walls, images of the Solar's heroic deeds line the walls.
<Markuran> "Do you think the dead will object to us?"
<Markuran> "What is that supposed to mean?"
<Zahara> "Well, you saw the Deathlord's army. *they* didn't stay dead." She slips her vision into second sight, searching for signs of immaterial foes.
<Markuran> "The undead aren't the only ones who can object to our presence, Zahara."
<Zahara> "Oof oof oof oof oof OW!"
A huge obsidian blade swings through the air where Zahara stood moments ago, then embeds itself in the wall.
<Markuran> "A giant blade came out of the wall and tried to cut you in half. I saved you."
<Zahara> "How kind. Thank you." She rearranges her disheveled hair and dress, then gasps, horrified. "Oh damn.."
<Markuran> "Better your fingernail then your skull."
<Markuran> "Come on, Cerin's gotten ahead of us."
<Cerin> "STOP!" he leaps backwards pushing them back, his legs flicking to immaterialitly as the block smashes through them
<Zahara> *mmmphh MOOPPPHH!*
<Markuran> "Where'd Zahara go?"
<Markuran> "Oh, there she is!"
<Markuran> "Are you alright, Zahara?"
<Zahara> "I," she announces breathlessly, "Am going to stay far behind you two beasts." She takes Cerin's hand and hauls herself up unceremoniously.
<Markuran> "What if the next trap comes from behind?"
<Zahara> "Then you'll have to crush me again. But UNTIL then, I prefer to remain upright and breathing."
<Markuran> "But you'll be too far away to crush. The rock will crush you for good. Then you won't be able to enjoy it when Cerin tries to crush you."
<Zahara> "I enjoy it far more than when YOU crush me."
<Markuran> "A blind goat could notice."
<Markuran> "I bet the floor falls away next."
<Markuran> "The epic stories always have pits in them. Where the bones of the unworthy are gnawed on by vipers."
<Zahara> "So if one opens, you plan to just jump in, then?"
<Markuran> "My bones are worthy, Zahara."
<Markuran> "The snakes will not feast on me."
<Markuran> "Though I could do with something to eat, I keep thinking if I eat any of the plants around here, they'll still be crawling around in my belly a year from now."
<Markuran> "I don't know how you stand those bugs crawling around inside you."
At the bottom of the stairs lies the burial chamber. Within it lies a simple obsidian sarcophagus, simple in design; around it, various stone shelves and chests. Upon the walls are mosaics depicting the Solar's great deeds.
<Zahara> "They mend my bones when you crush me. It's really quite pleasant."
<Zahara> "Hmm I wonder if they can fix my fingernail..."
<Zahara> "You like them well enough when they're bringing you back from the edge of death."
<Markuran> "I don't carry them around in me all the time though. When they're fixing me is something different.."
The mosaics depict a tall, dark-skinned Solar -- dark blue, almost black -- slaying a variety of unusual beasts -- insectoid bipedal beasts, bodies bearing only mouths and eyes with ten crystalline wings, and others. Then, the same solar sitting in the deliberative, the same Solar crafting an incomprehensible object of some kind; and, finally, the same solar, dying as a thin, blonde woman in black robes with numerous ties flowing from them stabs him through with a dark blade.
The captions read "Talmuda fighting in the great war against the Hundredfold; Talmuda in the deliberative; Talmuda crafting the Chime of Ages; Talmuda betrayed."
<Zahara> "They're not bugs, anyway. They're demons." she says matter-of-factly, as if that makes it BETTER. "I wonder if that's Talmuda"
<Markuran> "I wasn't a woman."
The boxes seem to contain mostly goods from the Solar's life -- fine garments, valuable trinkets, and so on. In one, there is a pendant, made of orichalcum, on a thin gossamer chain.
As Zahara glances at the pendant, an overwhelming rush comes over her.
She sees herself, standing before a field of alien, twisted beings, watching as her fellows march up to them and fall in battle. She lifts her sword and charges into them, screaming.
<Cerin> "Zahara...are you alright?"
Then, standing in a bedchamber, nude, with a petite blonde woman, holding one another close, staring at a raging fire in one corner.
Then, grasping at her own stomach, as blood spurts uncontrollably from it.
Little else of obvious value appears to be within this tomb -- value to anyone besides Talmuda's latest incarnation, that is.
<Cerin> "Of course" he leans in close to her, fastening it about her necky deftly"
<Zahara> "Thank you." She smiles, then starts collecting the trinkets from her old life, "I had good taste." she comments.
Inside the coffin lies the musty skeleton of Talmuda, a brilliant gold daiklave trimmed heavily with deep blue-black jade lying beside it.
<Cerin> "The essence worked into it is exquisite, Zahara, I only wish you could see it"
<Cerin> "Of course" he smiles back
<Markuran> "Is that all you think we will find in here?"
<Markuran> "How do you expect to carry away a skeleton?"
<Zahara> "Piece by piece."
<Cerin> "Then it is no different to any of her other possesions"
<Markuran> "Well he still might mind. He isnt exactly her. Otherwise he wouldn't have a ghost. And he must, or they wouldn't bother with these ghost-appeasing tombs."
<Zahara> "I respect the dead very much. These bones contain power, and you should be happy I'm not taking them from a living Exalt instead."
<Zahara> "It's MY skeleton. I don't see why it shouldn't become part of me again." she says logically.
<Zahara> "Besides, at least it will be useful, instead of merely ornamental like your honorable trophies."
<Markuran> "I make things from my trophies."
<Zahara> "Some of them, yes." She grunts as she uses the sword to break up the ribcage. "Don't worry, I won't use your bones without permission."
<Zahara> "Don't be silly. Hundreds of tribes use bones for things."
<Cerin> "Generally not their own, though the point does stand"
<Zahara> "Only because they generally CAN'T use their own."
<Markuran> "They honor the bones, or are prepared to deal with the dead."
<Zahara> "As I am."
<Zahara> "Besides, wouldn't you wish to live on in the grand workings of things, and help your next incarnation?"
<Cerin> "The bones have this odd shimmer to them, though I see no ghost rising"
<Zahara> "I'm sure you will." she nods and smiles and slots the ribs one by one into her bag, followed by the other arm. "I'll have to come back for the rest." she says, lifting the skull and cradling it in her arm.
(:tags Talmuda, Hundredfold, Chime of Ages, Ymir, Daybreaker, First Age Flashbacks:)