< The Secret of Mysteries | Red Ice Logs | The Second Meeting >

Kinqueduran walks the streets of Ur, dodging red-robed monks and their demonic servants. While Yurik has given a token of safety to both Kin and Iron Horse, the Red finds it best to avoid the temptation to go on a stabbing spree.

Most of the Alograns themselves keep their distance from the strangely-dressed foreigner, eyeing him suspiciously and making ward-signs against evil with their fingers. Mothers herd their children toward the demon-leading monks, sheltering behind them from the Exalt.

Kinqueduran pauses, biting his tongue, annoyed. After a moment, he turns, looking for a relatively isolated spot to sit down.

In the corner of his vision, Kin catches sight of a tiny black flame, seeming to guesture for him to come closer. The flame is burning softly in a pile of rubbish at the edge of a doorway into a celler.

His curiousity piqued, K approaches the flame, the grip on his spear tightening. A tiny woman made of black fire is standing on one of the lower steps into the celler enterance. "Carmine Rain Hunter?"

K: "Kinqueduran is my name."

Fire-Woman: "Ah, yes. I bring a message from Fabriza." the little woman's pronunciation is a bit off, but you understand who she means. She has a terrible accent regardless of what she says.

Kinqueduran clenches his teeth at the accent, then nods slightly. "What message?"

Fire-Woman: "Come inside, where we will not be overheard. These people must not know what we say."

Kinqueduran nods a bit, following the messenger. The little woman, no bigger then Kin's clenched fist, waves her hand and the door opens. She steps inside, disappearing into the dark room beyond. There is no sense of demonic activity with, nor any trace of their presence on the wind that emerges from the doorway. It seems simply a dark, quiet and unused room.

Kinqueduran follows slowly, his guard up, scarlet eyes searching the room.

Fire-Woman: "Thank you for coming, Kinqueduran. Now, I introduce you to my master. He has been waiting for you."

K: "Your master? How many masters is that, now, that have wanted to meet with me? Four?"

A man a few inches taller then Kin steps through a mirror that is made evident by a flaming flourish of the tiny elemental's hand. As he walks through, the mirror shatters, scattering a cloud of razor-edged dust into the air. The shards of glass form a dangerous aura around the man, hovering in place. He smiles broadly, a more charming smile then the Red has seen on many of the gods in Yu-Shan.

Deimos would be handsome, extremely so, if his flame-orange hair was not matted and tangled with sweat and dirt, shining with broken glass and his scuplted face not marred by fingernail marks that have clawed his eyes from his skull, leaving only bloody pits of black fire. Bare-chested, the big god is covered in self-inflicted scars, some still bleeding. His entire body glitters with broken shards of mirror.

Deimos: "I am Deimos. Your compatriots have summoned me to you. You have an acceptance to give me."

Kinqueduran takes a step back, furrowing his brow. "An acceptance?"

Deimos: "Yes. An offer has been made. I am here to claim your acceptance."

K: "What offer?"

Deimos sighs poetically, raising one hand. "They did not communicate their deal to you, then. A disappointment."

K: "What deal?"

Kinqueduran attempts to politely make it apparent that the small talk grates on him.

Deimos: "You are impatient, good. I like you. I will be happy to have your acceptance." the god smiles brilliantly. The fact that the movement of his facial muscles contracts his eye-sockets is somewhat disturbing however. "Your friend agreed already, you know. Two of them. But I have you, best of the lot. My brothers are so strange...almost as strange as our sisters.."

Deimos frowns. "But we should not talk of them. They might hear us. And then where would you be?"

Kinqueduran clears his throat. "What...offer?"

Deimos: "Oh, yes. I let you see the Dark Stars and touch the skies of the dead. And in return, you will shatter the Daughter and make the Mother weep. The Unmaker will scream and rage, but my father will be pleased. That is all that matters. He is so rarely pleased these days..."

K: "What does it mean, to see the Dark Stars and touch the skies of the dead?"

Deimos steps forward and taps Kinqueduran on the forehead, mirror-shards digging into the flesh where his Castemark lays dormant. "I will gift you, as my sister Mars has. But you will serve me first, of course. You will want to, I am much better then Mars. I don't suppose I would mind if you served her first. But you will serve me as well. I like you."

Kinqueduran winces, stepping back. "What would Mars have to say about it? Office 6?"

Deimos shrugs, a ripple of the muscles in his chest and shoulders dislodging several large bits of mirror, which fall to the ground and fragment before flying up to join his halo. "Mars never did like to share. But she doesn't pay attention anymore, you know that. What could she do about it anyway? Complain to father? Ha!" the man's laugh sends shivers down Kinqueduran's spine.

Kinqueduran grits his teeth. "And Office 6?"

Deimos frowns. "What?"

K: "If I accept this 'deal', how would it affect my work at Office 6? Your crony called the name of one of the officers there, I assume you know what it is."

Deimos: "Is that important? Well. It depends on whoever is in charge of this "Office 6". But serving me will be far more rewarding then being any dragon's flunky. Yes."

K: "It is important. As I said, your flunky dropped Febrisa's name, albeit with miserable pronunciation."

Deimos: "I don't know that name. I do not trouble myself with such small matters. That is what the pyre-dancers are for. As I said, I have no influence over those who have usurped Yu-Shan."

Kinqueduran rubs the bridge of his nose. "Exactly what are you offering me?"

Deimos raises both arms dramatically, the movement releasing another rain of broken glass. "I have said! The magic of the dark heavens! The favor of Deimos, Lord of Madness, Third of the Five Lords, son of Ouranos the Thousand Eyed! The true shadow of the pale realities Mars has given you."

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