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Storyteller The Sun strides boldly into the sky to light a new day, his first rays shining through the windows and waking Carmine and Corve after their long night of intense planning and discussion...and whatever else may have occurred.

Carmine wakes with the dawn, suddenly tensing at the entirely new sensation of someone in bed with her, before relaxing as she realises it's Corve and presses up to him "Wake up..." she demands, though not that forcefully

Corve snaps his eyes open and, for the first time in years, he doesn't wake up with a reflexive grab at Judging Thunder, always placed under the bed. He looks at Carmine and smiles, rolling his neck. "Hey..." he murmurs, rubbing his temple softly. "Good morning."

Storyteller There is a sharp, repeated rapping at the door of the room and a young female voice comes from the other side. "Breakfast! Get your breakfast or go hungry!!" Then footsteps as the woman moves on to inform the next room.

Carmine "Good morning.." she smiles before turning to give the door a disagreeable glance.

Corve groans and tosses his head back. Not the most romantic way to start a day, that's for sure. Then again... they really should be getting up. It's light out, which means that they can inspect the ziggurat. "Well... so much for the 'good' part," he murmurs with a chuckle. "Come on," he says, nuzzling. "We should go."

Carmine makes a disagreeble noise that turns into a pleased sound as he nuzzles "I suppose..." she pauses for a moment, then slips off the bed, picking up the four lengths of silk from the floor, tieing them around her body.

Corve stretches, thoughts of 'purpose' and 'duty' streaming through his head. Very... conflicted... thoughts. Finally, he just rolls out of bed and grabs his clothing, slipping it on and then wrapping his suncoat around his shoulders, making sure all his weapons are loaded, sheathed, and holstered. He swings Judging Thunder over his shoulder and locks it in place, and slips his hands into his coat, waiting for her to be ready before opening the door.

Carmine puts Eminence over her shoulder, and then walks out of the door.

Corve follows. "You know... we might attract a little bit of attention," he murmurs. It might not be the wisest course to continue displaying their... sunny aspects.

Carmine "Well, I can't exactly leave this anywhere...Or hide it." she says.

Corve grins. "I noticed," and continues walking. As he does, he slips his suncoat off and then wraps it *over* Judging Thunder, eliminating most of the bright, golden attire he has.

Carmine "Perhaps you should investigate the ziggurat quietly while I attract people's attention..."

Corve isn't sure how comfortable he is about that anymore. "Umm... we'll see when we get to the ziggurat. We'll have a better idea what we have to do then."

Carmine nods, and walks into the breakfast room

Corve finds a table and pulls out the chairs... taking a seat. It's... not as awkward as he thought it would be, though he still feels a creeping silence everywhere. "Wonder how Myrrh and Xar are doing with those talismans..."

Storyteller Corve and Carmine discuss their absent partners quietly over a none too horrid breakfast of omelette made from some strange, reddish egg and vegetables neither has ever seen in their lives. Quite tasty. Then they depart the inn where they've taken up residence and go into the city of Stzang-Ouol.

Storyteller From any point in the city the Ziggurat is easy to see, towering as it does above the rest of the urbanity with a blocky majesty, perched atop a constructed hill. The five huge steps that form the six-sided pyramid tower hundreds of feet into the air.

Corve approaches the ziggurat calmly, looking upwards along its side as he scratches his chin softly, pondering. "So... ready to go inside?" He looks at her and smiles a little. "We need to get a good layout of the place before we come here with Myrrh and Xar."

Carmine glances up, then nods "Of course."

Corve nods as well and wraps his arm around her, careful of Eminence. "Right then," he says, and starts walking up the large-stepped stairs towards the actual entrance of the ziggurat.

Carmine walks by his side, not entirely used to the arm wrapped around her, but not exactly discomforted by it either

Storyteller The entrance complex is actually a separate building perched on the edge of the false hilltop. Husky guards wearing shining ebony chainmail and shining white robes guard the entrance to stop the rabble, or curious tourists, from entering the city's religious and political center casually. One of the large men, towering a good two feet and hundred pounds over Corve, holds out his pike.

Guard "Outsiders are not permitted into the ziggurat."

Corve tilts his head slightly. "Whatb makes you suppose we're outsiders?" It's a simple question, which the guard will have an obvious answer to.

Guard "I don't know you and you did not perform the proper rituals on your way here to prove yourself authorized to enter."

Corve raises a brow. "What *are* the proper rituals?"

Guard "You do not need to know that."

Corve smiles. "I obviously do if I want to get inside, don't I?"

Guard heaves a deep sigh. "Return to the city, there is nothing for you to see here."

Corve narrows his eyes. "Don't patronize me, please. I know how this works... just tell me what I need to know, and we'll get out of your hair. You wouldn't want to be annoyed more, would you? I'm very persistant." It doesn't even sound like a threat. It's just a friendly comment.

Guard "Entering into the Ziggurat is a crime if you do not have permission to be within. Unless you wish to be detained, please return to the city."

Corve looks at the guard. "What do I need to do to have permission?"

Guard "Be a high official of the city."

Carmine Killing them all wouldn't really help things...she smiles helpfully at the guards. Until he mentions the d word. She really doesn't like that.

Corve "Mind pointing me in the general direction?" He continues keeping his voice friendly, even as he inspects the guards, their surroundings, and what sort of stunt they would have to pull to actually get in if they didn't get permission.

Storyteller Other then the two large guards standing at the outer entrance there are two more further on in and the guardhouse may actually house another one or two to give the standing guards breaks every so often. And then there's the ziggurat itself, with who knows what inside...and anything happening outside the welcoming complex is visible to anyone on the street below or above.

Corve waits for the guard's answer as he peeks around subtley, resisting the urge to hum a tune.

Guard "The direction you need to go is behind you."

Guard is clearly getting tired of Corve, though his partner is eyeing Carmine with great interest.

Corve isn't getting very tired of anything... at least, not in all appearances. "Listen... I just want to look inside. I'll go through all the proper channels... but you're not making it very easy." He sighs, using the time to continue examining the surroundings. "What do you lose by instructing us as to how we can gain access inside?"

Carmine boredly plays with her hair, looking up the great ziggurat "Yes, what would we have to do?" she asks quietly of his companion...

Guard "I told you, outsiders aren't allowed inside at all." He looks over at his partner and shakes his head. "At all."

Corve "But *why?*"

Guard "Does your homeland allow people to casually wander through its capital buildings at all?"

Corve shrugs. "Some. However, when a person *does* request access to a restricted area or building, we usually direct them to where they can find information as to how to gain access. People have important matters to attend to, and restricting access completely can not only harm their interests, but potentially the interest of the land itself. Which would be a pity. I'm sure you agree."

Guard "We are different. You can speak to the civil authorities in their city offices. Not here."

Corve smiles. "And where would those offices be?"

Guard grunts and gives Corve the location of one of the civil offices in the city, near the largest marketplace.

Corve grins wide and tips his hat slightly, raising a brow. "See? We *aren't* all that different. You just take far longer. No worries, though, bureaucracies are all a mess. It's not your fault." He takes a step back, making to leave. "I'm sure we'll see each other again. Have a nice day."

Carmine smiles, and waves. Especially at the second guard.

Guard glares at his partner as the other man smiles at Carmine as she leaves.

Corve leans over and whispers softly. "Let's walk around the ziggurat... I want to get a look at the rest of the sides. Might take a while, but it might be worth it." There could be other, less legal, but easier entrances.

Carmine nods, and lets him lead her, keeping her eyes out

Storyteller Carmine and Corve do their best to survey the area around the Ziggurat and find an alternate entrance. While they gather a good bit of information on how they might approach it they are able to find only two other entrances, both guarded. One is a religious entrance and exit for processions and is guarded even more heavily then the main entrance. The other is a servant's entrance, which has only a single guard.

Corve continues walking and then turns around the ziggurat and begins walking back towards the hotel. "Well, I think we know where to try to get in..." he says, smiling at his companion. "Anything on the agenda before we head back? You want to see if we can find anything interesting or..." he shrugs, looking around. "We've got..." he says, looking up. "Two hours, approximately, before we need to take the talismans to the shop."

Carmine "Could we have a look around the market?"

Corve smiles and nods. "Sounds like a plan... let's go." He twists his steps to head straight into the market.

Storyteller The large markets of Stzang-Ouol are vast and twisting, a labyrinth of stalls and shops and people screeching out their wares on street corners. While this particular market seems to concentrate on fabric, food and other fairly common things there are hints and signs of markets with far more exotic contents and trades going on.

Storyteller The square where Carmine and Corve find themselves is build around a large fountain with a statue of a nude man wrestling with an equally nude man with the head of a sheep. Neither is sure what to make of it, particularly given the areas from which water is produced.

Corve looks over at Carmine, tilting his head. "Did you have anything specific that you wanted to look for?" he asks, clearing his throat and looking at the statue with a little smirk. "Aside from the architectural art?"

Carmine raises an eyebrow. "I just wanted to look around. People say markets are interesting places but I've never been around one..."

Corve narrows his brow and thinks. "I never took you to Abundance's bazzar? That's... odd." Then again, the terms were different at that moment in time.

Corve "Will have to do that when we get back, hm?"

Carmine nods "That would be nice."

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