alsoquin: Deep in a state of turmoil after the revelations forced upon him regarding his patron the Sun, Lucent Copper Haze has fled the Sunlands, taking to Amika's back and riding at immense speed towards the deep south, land of his birth. Though his journey cuts across many lands, it proves largely uneventful, which merely provides the Solar more time to ponder.

alsoquin: Now, days after his departure, Luc finally arrives in the realm of the Pole of Fire, where the warping energies of the Wyld and pure elemental Essence comingle. Here, much is flammable that stands undamaged elsewhere; the air is hazy with smoke and heat and the very rocks of the earth burn and are consumed.

Colapso spent the time on Amika's back, his food running out quickly and forcing him to live off the land... it had been a long time since he had been here, and he could not help but smile. The closest place to the sun, in his eyes... once, he wondered if the sun had been born on those very fires...

Colapso is now known as Lucent

Lucent spent the time on Amika's back, his food running out quickly and forcing him to live off the land... it had been a long time since he had been here, and he could not help but smile. The closest place to the sun, in his eyes... once, he wondered if the sun had been born on those very fires...

Lucent: He wondered if here, his faith could be reborn, as he once believed his god had been.

alsoquin: Magma flows like rivers of water through deep channels, and in places the fires even escape the power of gravity and rise up to flit about, uncontrolled, in the air itself. In the distance, the pole of fire, the vast jade column, rises through a field of pure conflagration, so thick it almost cannot be seen, and the ground falls away below it. It is here that Luc journeys.

Lucent closes his eyes - he does not have to see it... simply let Amika continue to take him there... untouchable by the flames. He prays to the sun, tears coming from his closed eyes and evaporating as soon as they do... opening his eyes only when he feels he has come to the great collumn

alsoquin: Luc opens his eyes and takes in the majesty of the Fire Pole -- the grand, elaborate carvings in the perfect, red jade, telling the story of Ua, the grandest of all existences...

alsoquin: Though Lucent lacks the Essence sight, the intense energy that flows through the pole, cementing the very existence of Creation, is still quite perceptible. As Luc feels the Ur-Flames flicker around him he feels a little more at home, the power of cleansing fire working through him....

Lucent opens the coronal, and lays the orbs in front of him. He begins climbing them, like a stair... until he comes upon the pillar, touching it, feeling it. The orbs form a mandala at his feet then... and he kneels, letting go of the pole... and meditation, knelt on a Mandala of Heaven in front of the Essence of All Fire.

alsoquin: Entering into a deep trance state, Luc harmonizes his Essence directly with the Pole of Fire, and feels the Essence flow directly into his veins, invigorating his Solar Essence and burning away impurity and doubt. For three days and three nights Luc sits so, unmoving and still.

alsoquin: Then, at the end of the third night, someone comes to him.

alsoquin: Luc's eyes open, slowly but surely, seeing only the field of endless fire that stretches all around him in every direction. Then, from far away, he sees someone begin to walk towards him...

Lucent gets up on the mandala, slowly... still waking up, as it were. His golden eyes watch the strange as he comes closer, and a single orb - the shield of mars - detaches from the mandala, coming close to him.

Lucent: A single mental command, and Amika awakens, as well, to wait for the coming of this stranger...

Lucent: "Who goes there?"

alsoquin: It is a boy, perhaps a few years older than Luc, but still full of youthful vigor. His wine-red hair is tousled, a little long and unkempt; he wears a loose red robe that is open to reveal his chest and which widens to great cuffs at his ankles. Rings of red jade line his fingers,

alsoquin: and a jade daiklave hangs at his belt, with the bas-relief image of a great spiny dragon upon it, and the characters "Ata'la" upon its pommel. He bears a mischevious yet knowing smile and deep, dark brown eyes.

alsoquin: "Lucent Copper Haze," he says, in a soft, unthreatening, yet upbeat way. "Greetings."

Lucent: It is hard. He wishes to go and jump to him, and hold him tightly... such a grand figure, as always. Such a reminder there is order to this world... but instead, he just bows slightly, his eyes watering a bit, a smile in his face. "Greetings, Hesiesh. It has been a long time, Immaculate Dragon. I wondered if you were gone..."

alsoquin: The Dragon Incarnate nods at Lucent. "We have each slept through much. Even now, I slumber deeply, though Ata'la" -- he pats his sword lightly -- "has drawn out an ounce of my slumbering perception. But my brothers and sisters and I live still."

Lucent: "I would have thought he did. I had forgotten how long he had been in slumber... he did not recognize us. It was so strange..." He sighs. "So you know about me, too?"

Lucent: "It... it is good to be able to say I know you." He says with a smile. "Together with the others, I kept meeting so many people that I just... I just could not let them know. Lallu... a Celestial Lion... Selonis, if you remember such names... they remembered me, and I just could not say anything. Even the Solars themselves."

alsoquin: The dragon nods. "As I have slept I have cast my perceptions out to learn of the world as it stands today. You live an unprecedented destiny, Lucent, and one that nothing has prepared you for."

alsoquin: He raises one hand and waves it over a portion of the unquenchable fire that fills the air, and it peels away, becoming a vision in its place.

alsoquin: In that spot of air, Lucent sees laid out the whole of Creation, with the vastness of Mount Meru at its center, and the other realms, spiralling dizzily about in circles around the central point. Black tendrils spiral abstractly through Creation, shifting and pulsing....

Lucent nods and watches, saying to no one in particular... "None of them did."

alsoquin: Above it all, however, shines the sun, somehow grander in this vision than even in the sky above, casting an intense yet healing light... and in the southeast of Creation, a single, perfectly circular mirror reflects that light....

alsoquin: Lucent watches as a dark sphere passes through the sky and crosses in front of the sun, obscuring its light entirely... but the circular mirror still shines as bright.

Lucent watches in awe... "The sun... Hesiesh, he... the Eclipse.."

alsoquin: "Much has happened in your absence. You do not know of how your brothers and sisters came to give up the world to darkness, or how my children diminished their gift in service of petty concerns...."

alsoquin: Hesiesh snaps, and the vision is gone. "Or what has occurred with your own father."

Lucent: "I know that Rosada destroyed my lands. I know this is all their faul..." He stops, the golden pools blinking constinuously in turmoil... "... my father? The Sun?"

Lucent is still shaken by the sight, waiting, waiting for Hesiesh's answer...

alsoquin: The dragon's expression grows a little more grave. "When we sought to elevate your kind, we believed that you would rule the world in perfected splendor... that the peace bought in blood would transcend history and exalt itself to ever greater levels of glory."

Lucent: "But we did! Hesiesh, you saw it... the Deliberative, the Age of Glory... you have seen it! It was glorious, it was beautiful... Meru... you remember Meru!"

alsoquin: "I do." He nods. "But there was a darkness at the heart of the world, and as it grew it turned loyal flesh to vicious cancer." His eyes flash a little. "And as it grew on Earth, so did it in Heaven."

Lucent: "... you mean that what happenned to The Five... is the same that happenned to the Sun?"

alsoquin: "You have been asleep, Lucent. You did not stand by as the darkness spread through all." He gestures upwards. "Or to watch the nourishing light become wan and shadowed."

alsoquin: The young dragon's expression breaks, and he chuckles a little, as if remembering a secret, but slightly sad joke.

alsoquin: "Today, all is lessened from what you remember. My children look to me, though I sleep, and the fires in their hearts grow dim. You look to reflect the sky, but the clouds have gathered and the light cannot be seen. That is why you have come here, is it not?"

Lucent: "... tell me, then. Yes, I was asleep. Sometimes, I think I still am. I catch myself waking up and feeling her by my side... thinking we are still in the Age of Glory. Thinking this was all just a bad dream. Tell me. You have been asleep, as well. You would understand..."

alsoquin: "I do. I have slept through much. And I am sad to see what has become of many in my absence. My children fight amongst themselves, and they forget... a fire burns within each of them, a fire far too great to ever go out." Tiny flames of different colors dance above his fingers as he says this.

alsoquin: "You are the same way, Luc. You forget."

Lucent: "I... do?"

Lucent: "What do I forget? I remember them... I grieve for them still!"

alsoquin: Hesiesh shakes his head, then ritualistically draws out Ata'la and points it towards the center of Luc's chest. "Look upon yourself, Lucent."

Lucent looks down, at his chest... the center of the Coronal, the Sun's place... and his white-gold robe falling behind it, the golden armor beneath.... but is it that? He touches it... his heart, pehaps?

alsoquin: Luc gazes down and sees a wondrous sight... within his own breast shines a sun, as vast and brilliant as the one overhead.... so bright, so huge, as almost to consume the world... but instead, its light merely blankets the world with joy and life, giving a glorious sheen even to the endless sheets of fire....

alsoquin: "Do not lose your faith, Lucent. If the Sun above cannot guide you, let this one do instead."

Lucent cups it on his hands in wonder... smiling... his tears coming like orichalcum, not fading in the fire... holding it like the most precious thing in the world. "... I... I did forget..."

Lucent: "Thank you, Hesiesh..."

alsoquin: The dragon nods, smiling mischievously again. "It is a long dark night that embraces the world now, Lucent, and it will grow much darker before it ends. A sun will be needed to cast away that darkness and begin a new day. Do not forget again that it is to that light that you are truly sworn, regardless of what occurs in heaven."

Lucent: "I will not..." He holds the sun, and it seems to fade into his chest... but he feels grander. Greater. Unconquered. And if he was going to embody the sun... to do His Work and that of Heaven... he would have to BE. The tears begin to fade, and he tries to formulate a thought...

Lucent: "Ata'la..."

Lucent coughs, trying to find his voice

Lucent: "Ata'la brought the matter to your attention. Like he said he would..."

Lucent: "What are you going to do about it? And your brothers...?"

alsoquin: Hesiesh's grin grows wider and his eyes gleam with the color of the fields of flame that surround him. "Our time to sleep is not yet over. But we will aid you, when the time is right, in the fashion that we can. When the Head of the Dragon rises in the sky, look to it." He slides Ata'la back through his belt and stands, looking as if he feels quite clever.

Lucent shakes his head, as if trying not to grin, looking likely very strange with his face still rosy and tear-filled. "Damn you, Hesiesh. Never change." He nods, "I will make sure I tell that to My Circle, when I see them again."

alsoquin: The Dragon nods. "Farewell, Lucent. May the road rise to meet you, and the sky step down to visit." He makes a melodramatic flourish, then walks away, out into the endless fire, to disappear once again.

Lucent does likewise, the lights of heaven shining around him. And then he takes to the other side... the time of meditating was over. He knew what to do. To embody Him, to embody Heaven. The only question was to find out how... and a hermit could not do so.

Lucent: He had a world to stride upon, now