charlequin Having slain Lai Misuna's second-in-command with extreme vengeance and wrested control of her flying mecha city, the Solars find themselves once again in between immediate excitements.
Zahara frowns, "Not to be a downer, but we really shouldn't have killed that woman so quickly."
Thirteen "Must you always opt for the slow lingering deaths?"
charlequin Blood drips slowly onto the floor to punctuate Zee's sentence.
brasslantern "Look, I'm sorry I got her blood all over the ice map thing! I'm sorry! Can you let it go!"
Cerin "They do tend to be more informative."
Cerin has cleaned most of the map off anyway, and is guiding the city south.
Zahara "It's not so much that, as we could have gotten information about Lai's PLANS. The pain is just extra."
Thirteen "I am sure that we will acquire all the information we need when Lai sends emissaries to parlay with us after we obliterate Gem."
Zahara "You think so, do you? The girl was his Second in Command. At the Parlay, Lai will still have some advantage and work to hide what he does not want us to know. Whereas in my dungeon, one has no advantage." she nods to Cerin, "And he can read the words they do not speak aloud."
Thirteen "He will be able to read those words in any case. But I cannot deny that she would have been useful alive."
Thirteen "Alas, we must work with the resources we possess."
Cerin "Such as her ghost."
Lucent "And about the thing with sun, too." He says nothing about the dungeon - some things just have to be done, after all... "How fast will we get to the cascade in this?"
Kai "Also, there was no way we were going to be able to keep her alive."
Zahara ponders for a moment..."You read my mind, Cerin... I was just thinking how Ebon Blade of Vengeance would be able to assist us with such things."
Cerin "I'm not entirely sure. I would guess in a matter of hours, but I have not been watching the map long enough to accurately gauge our speed."
Thirteen continues running his hands over the controls lightly, examining the systems.
Cerin starts to steer the massive city out over the sea, so as not to tear up too much of the countryside.
Thirteen holds his breath for a moment, meditating. In his mind a great tree is growing -- made of will and wisdom, his hands and feet and spear merely branches springing from the trunk of his determination. Carefully, he envisions a new branch growing, encompassing the ship and its systems.
Thirteen Without thought, he places one hand firmly on a tarnished copper knob, and a bright blast of Essence pours from the ship to stir the water below to a frenzy.
charlequin A tiny bolt of Essence shoots from the miniature golden ship within the controls to mirror the massive blast outside. The water below bursts upwards in a massive splash, but at its apex it seems to solidify, hanging in place for a moment before the solid splash-shape begins to rapidly sink below the waves.
Zahara "What did you just do?"
Zahara peers in his direction suspiciously
Thirteen "I have located the weapon systems."
Zahara "You made a mountain." she observes, pointing to the map.
Thirteen "Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two events are associated."
Thirteen "This device appears to be able to transmute substances into the five elements, as well as having two other applications that are not immediately apparent."
Cerin "How interesting."
Zahara "Hmm. Can you control the amount of the elements that you create, or combine them?"
Thirteen experiments, touching the earth knob very lightly.
Zahara moseys on over, inspecting the controls, watching how Thirteen uses them, and how the essence of the city moves and shifts, keeping an eye on whether or not it is draining the dragon lines it rides
charlequin The process is not what one would instinctively describe as "simple," but the city's weapons systems can in fact be modulated in quantity of effect, and even put to subtle use -- at least, if the user is sufficiently deft and skillful
Thirteen "We must adapt this system at once. It has the potential to be useful for nearly any activity, destructive or otherwise."
Thirteen "I theorize that you would be the best at utilizing this controls for fine effects, since it is essentially an artistic process."
Zahara "Hmm yes. It could be incredibly useful. I could simply create building materials when and where I need them. It is too bad it doesn't seem to make Orichalcum, though. Hmmm."
charlequin Zahara can see that the city does in fact draw up quite an extensive amount of Essence from the underlying dragon lines to power these weapon systems.
Zahara "Unfortunately, however, it is draining the Dragon Lines to create this material... too much use in one area could render it dead...which in itself is a weapon. Although the city, I imagine, would then fall."
Thirteen "It would be intriguing to investigate the behavior of Essence in an area that has been completely drained by this device -- whether it would eventually return, or completely reroute around the dead zone."
Kai "I think the city falling is probably a pretty good weapon, too." A pause. "Y'know, in a pinch."
Zahara "I believe it would eventually return, unless it was given a new path to flow through. It is possible to redirect dragon lines through modification of the environment...say, moving a river's bed, or planting or destroying a forest.
Cerin "Well, it something to try far from the sunlands, I think. They have a most pleasant geomancy, on the whole."
Zahara "Wait! We almost forgot!"
Zahara has a sudden realization! "The Checklist!"
Cerin considers things as he swings the city around to the north. He reaches out for the air button, manipulating it so that the air is parted around the ship, speeding their travel dramatically in a way that will only get faster as the air essence gets more abundant.
Zahara "Hmmm interesting method, Cerin."
Cerin smiles as he guides the ship ever northwards.
Zahara slips her arms around Cerin's waist, "It's too bad you're piloting this thing... I wouldn't mind exploring the city a bit."
Cerin kisses her cheek softly. "We'll be landing soon anyway." He gestures down to the map, now almost a blur with the speed of their air enhanced transit. "In fact..." Cerin starts to let off the effect slowly, eventually bringing them to halt over the edge of a massive precipice. There is no ground, just an endless fall into blizzards and snow.
Zahara "That's a shame... Maybe on the way back."
Cerin nods with a smile. "On the way back."
charlequin The far north is a truly majestic sight. Air stretches out in every direction, the sheer scale of sky-like distance in every direction almost rendering thought impossible. Snow falls lazily from a cloudless sky above into the empty blue vault below. The air is chill in a crisp way that triggers some heretofore unknown twinges of memory, deep in Cerin's inner self....
charlequin Those with the most fine tuned of vision can make out the thin white line of infinite height that is the pole of air, some ways in the distance
Zahara "Hmmmm nice pole."
Cerin pulls a little away from Zahara, the city's motion neutral to that of creation, trying to focus inwards, to track down this elusive thought. Varex? The Bjorde? Something else?
charlequin It's hard to tell. Cerin feels almost... homesick, but there's something else there as well....
Zahara frowns a little as he pulls away, and strides over to the window, hands clasped behind her back, to stare at the pole.
Cerin shakes his head with a frown. He steps closer to Zahara once more, slipping anarm around her "To the pole then?"
Zahara "That seems best, yes." She exits the room
charlequin With the city no longer moving, it is not at all difficult to retreat to the surface and walk out into the great empty sky-sea.
Zahara forms a platform of cris-crossed swords for those who cannot fly on their own.
Kai hops on.
Cerin remains next to Zahara, one arm round her waist, balancing on the hem of her dress.
charlequin Since there is, quite obviously, no terrain, the trip is quite straightforward.
charlequin The pole itself is much like the others, a truly massive column of pure jade, carved with the same -- or rather, another portion of the same -- bizarre, prehistoric runes and symbols.
charlequin Mela is not specifically visible just at the moment.
Cerin ::I felt something strange in the city:: Cerin remarks to Zahara ::I felt ... almos homesick::
Zahara retrieves several samples of Elemental Air from the pole, keeping them in special jars. ::Really.. have you been here before?::
Thirteen runs his fingers down the pole quickly, examining the runes.
Cerin ::Never this far north. Though, in the stories I have read of Ymir, she was from the North, and she lived here for some time after that.::
Zahara ::Aha, that could be the reason... when we have a chance, we should return here, and see what she may have left behind.::
Cerin ::There was something else, too. I could not say what it was...:: an annoyed tone in his voice. ::I would like to spend a little time here before we return.::
charlequin Thirteen digs into the strange, complex language of the pole's pictographs. Much like what Birds read from the Pole of Water, it is one-fifth of a rather fascinating story. Where the water pole spoke of exiles creating the world, this one (...)
charlequin seems to refer to a strange and utterly unheard of realm gripped by a great conflict, with unimaginable stakes. This portion of the tale ends with a tearing asunder of the realm itself, and the exile of fifty beings in its wake...
Lucent looks up... amazed. "I never expected it to be so... literally... supporting Creation..."
Zahara "Oh yes, they're all like that, Luc."
Cerin "They are quite the most impressive sights ... Though it appears Mela is absent ... a shame." He snaps out of his introspection
Lucent "Must be quite a sight... we... could go see the Southern one when we are down south, right...?" He asks, tentatively, trying hard not to beg like a kid asking his mom for groceries.
charlequin Even for Thirteen's prodigious talents, the sheer scope of the multi-layered reference and innuendo in the thickly self-referential language causes him to take quite some time, carefully and intricately analyzing the dense work.
Kai "Too bad you can't eat it..."
Zahara chuckles, "Well we've already collected the Elemental Fire essence...but I suppose we could go there if we have extra time."
Cerin "We already have the Fire Essence Luc, though after the war ..." He looks at Thirteen, and the essence the man is channeling. "Yes."
Zahara "You could try to eat it, if you like."
Lucent "Yes!" He nearly jumps, then tries to regain his compusure... "Well, um, that would be great, Cerin."
Cerin "My love, if you could get me a little closer to the pole ... on the binds perhaps..."
Lucent "... are they tasty?"
Zahara obliges, sending out a tentacle of Bond for him to walk upon.
Cerin treads out along the binds, closer to the pole, breathing in the chill essence of the pole, breathing in its crystal clarity and focusing inwards as he does, the ultimate cold of the ice freezing and slowing the errant thoughts, the sunlight of his mind tracking down all the memories of the North that hovered on the edges of rembrance.
charlequin Cerin isolates, somewhere deep down, the fleetingest glimpse of a memory -- a floating lockbox, placed into the sky by a tiny, pale hand....
Cerin reaches out towards the pole, letting his castemark blaze on his forehead, pulling with his essence at the pole and through that, the whole of the north, focusing as he does on the lockbox. As he pulls he twists his own pattern through the minute differences that seperated his shard from that of Ymir's, calling the box to it's owner.
Zahara watches, impressed as always with his mastery of essence
charlequin Despite the great effort, the distant traces of the object Cerin seeks remain undetectable.
Tags: (:tags Crystal, Elemental Poles, Mela, Ymir, First Age Flashbacks, Lockbox, Exaltation Checklist :)