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  • Zahara has been considering the implication that she never makes her prisoners love her, and sets them free, and all that crap that Marku had been spouting the other day, ever since. He thinks she cannot make a prisoner useful? Well, she'll start with his 'favorite' the one he thinks is unredeemable, and useless aside from practicing armbreaking on. Thus, she enters the dungeons. Zahara palms the doorlock open, and enters the main chamber, turning to the cell door as the other closes behind her. After a moment's thought, she opens the cell door, flooding the darkened chamber with the even blue-white light from behind her. The cell smells better than it did last time, she notes as she steps in, ignoring the dragon blood chained to the desk opposite Ivory.

The Dynast looks like he has seen better days, and makes no signal of recognition as Zahara enters the room.

  • Ivory stirs and groans a little on the wall.

<Ivory?> "Have you come to kill me today?" he says breathily.

<Zahara> "I have had a change of heart," she announces to her prisoner, affecting a compassionate demeanor. "It pained me to see Marku treat you as disposable. I disagree. I have not come to kill you, but to give you the option of a better life."

  • Ivory makes a sickening motion that was most likely intended as spitting; however, no saliva remains.

<Ivory?> "Those words are foolish."

  • Zahara removes a soulsteel collar from around her neck. This one looks different from the one he'd worn before, although the differences are subtle. A matching bracelet, of mixed soulsteel and orichalcum, adorns her wrist. "Foolish, perhaps." she says, as she fastens the new collar around his neck, then with a simple touch, removes the original. "But you have very few options."

<Ivory?> "My life and my death, both serve the causes of Oblivion."

<Zahara> "And it is your calling to bring death, correct?"

<Ivory?> "I do so, if that is your question."

<Zahara> "You serve no one well, hanging from a wall in a dungeon." she cups his chin in her hand, forcing him to look directly into her eyes, "Is that how you will spend the rest of your days? And I do mean all of them."

<Ivory?> "I will still hang here when you have died a thousand times and your brilliant castles ground down into dust. I can wait."

<Zahara> "You can indeed wait. Is it that you expect some brilliant rescue? Or are you really planning to wait until the rain wears this Manse into dust?"

  • Ivory attempts to shrug with skeletine shoulders.
  • Zahara shrugs in return, her own shoulders doing a much better job. She releases the rings from the wall and steps back. "Let us take a walk, then, and consider the matter further." She turns her back on him, and opens the door into the main dungeon chamber.
  • Ivory slides down from the wall. His muscles (or what's left of them) tense up -- Zahara gets the sense he is considering an attack.

After a moment, though, he relents, and slowly shuffles out the door.

<Zahara> "That was wise of you," she comments over her shoulder as she leads him to the main door, opening that as well and emerging into the labyrinthine corridors of the manse. "Not that I would have begrudged you the attempt."

  • Ivory continues moving out into the central chamber.

<Ivory?> "What now?"

<Zahara> "I thought I would show you the gardens." she looks over her shoulder, "Unless you'd prefer to go back in there."

  • Ivory screws up his rotting face in disgust. "Gardens." Nonetheless, he trudges onwards.
  • Zahara chuckles and leads the way, the labyrinth altering its paths in minor ways around her, as it always does. "What would you do with your freedom, if you had it?" she asks as they walk.

<Ivory?> "Destroy all living beings, until finally the rotting world caved in upon itself and my suffering was ended."

<Zahara> "I see. And so you kill in service to your Lord, who left you here to suffer alone. With no food, nor water, nor light. In constant pain."

<Zahara> "You'd think he would have at least sent a letter."

  • Zahara looks at him sympathetically.

<Ivory?> "What does that matter? I do the work of death even hanging rotting in a dungeon, forgotten to the world." Bile drips from his lips.

<Zahara> "How so?" she seats herself on an ornate bench near a fountain of blue essence that spills into a wide pool of water. "What work have you done these past months?"

<Ivory?> "I have built up within me the Essence of death. In time, it will flow out to poison the land around me." He reaches out one hand, and a rosebush wilts, as if in demonstration.

  • Zahara gestures him to a table with hot and chilled food, wine and water. "Take what you wish. It will not harm you, if I had wanted to do that I would have done it inside." she watches the rose wilt with a mild frown, then plucks one of the dead roses from the plant and places it in her hair. "I'm sure that will be lovely for you, when it happens."
  • Ivory considers the food briefly, then begins to consume it.
  • Zahara watches him eat for a few moments, then asks, "Your purpose to Oblivion would be served well in a war, would it not? What difference does it make, who you kill first?"

<Ivory?> "What war?"

<Zahara> "With the Realm, of course. And the Gods."

<Ivory?> "I have my own battles to fight."

<Zahara> "And possibly with the one that holds the reins to your power. The one you cannot escape, even though he cares nothing for you or your existance." she adds. "Without whom you would truly be free."

<Ivory?> "What is control?" he says, as he drinks the wine. "All of us are fated to death and destruction in the end."

<Zahara> "Control is being able to choose your path to the end."

  • Ivory brings his fist down upon the table, scattering food and drink violently across the beautiful lawn.
  • Zahara catches an apple as it flies towards her, and calmly takes a bite.

<Ivory?> "What is your purpose here? I tire of your games."

<Zahara> "My purpose is to see whether it's worth it to bring you out of the dungeon on a more permanent basis. You do not seem terribly interested so far."

<Ivory?> "It matters not whether I rot in your dungeon."

  • Ivory grimaces.

<Zahara> "Perhaps Markuran is right, and your only use in Creation is for him to practice breaking limbs. And you are correct, in that you matter not a whit for anything else."

  • Zahara stands, and tosses the partially eaten apple to him.
  • Ivory catches it in one rotten hand, and stares at it, blankly, for a moment.

<Zahara> "Or perhaps you will be useful after all. I have a few experiments I've been putting off."

Zahara gets the faintest tinge of... regret? ... from Ivory's baleful stare.

<Zahara> "My erstwhile companions kept insisting that I shouldn't do such things to living creatures." she says, with a chill in her voice. "But you insist on not living... Don't you?"

<Ivory?> "I... " He trails off.

<Zahara> "I would have let you do your work, only guided by us. You could have grown strong, and roamed free, able to use the abilities you were given."

<Zahara> "But you choose to sulk, instead. Very noble of you."

<Ivory?> "I do not sulk!" He rises to his feet angrily.

<Ivory?> "I have no power to act of my own. The dark ones would have me dance like a puppet. Can you end that?"

<Zahara> "It is my intention to rid the world of all who oppose me. Including the Deathlords. Can I end it? You chose it. Will you choose otherwise?"

  • Ivory sits down again. "What is your goal?"

<Zahara> "Why do you care? I thought you wished to spend eternity in the dungeon." she lofts a brow, watching him intently.

<Ivory?> "I am curious."

<Zahara> "I wish to return Creation from the wreck it has become, to the glory of the First Age. Of course, much of the rest of the world disagrees with me and must be eliminated along the way."

<Ivory?> "...eliminated."

<Zahara> "That would be where you would have come in."

<Ivory?> "And my... theoretical role?"

<Zahara> "I was thinking of having you head a team of assassins that would eliminate leaders beyond our borders. It pains me that you do not wish to join me." she looks a bit crestfallen at that. "But I am sure I can find another suitable candidate."

<Ivory?> "Hmmmm."

<Zahara> "Hmm perhaps Bertrand..." she rises, and heads back the way they came, "Coming?"

<Ivory?> "I do not... think so."

<Ivory?> "You have need of assassins, yes?"

<Zahara> "You would prefer to be escorted more forcefully?"

  • Zahara turns to regard him, "I did mention that, yes."

<Ivory?> "I would prefer to kill, as is my wont. I could do this thing for you."

<Zahara> "Why should I believe you will return to me, and not your previous master?"

  • Ivory 's eyesockets shine with an unholy light. "We will seal an oath, you and I. As long as you work to the destruction of my former master, you shall have my services."

<Zahara> "I cannot guarantee I will spend every moment furthering this goal, of course. It will take a long time, while we tend to more pressing concerns such as the armies set against us. But the downfall of your former master will happen, by me or through me."

<Ivory?> "That is satisfactory. As I said, I have an eternity to wait." A cold smile crosses his rotting face.

<Zahara> "And of course, you will not harm any Sunlander who has not betrayed me?"

  • Ivory nods. "That is an acceptable sacrifice."

<Zahara> "Do you wish to keep your current Title?"

<Ivory?> "...no. It is a poor fit."

<Zahara> "Then we will seal the oath on your new name, when you choose it."

<Ivory?> "Then you shall swear this oath with Blade of Ebon Vengeance ."

  • Zahara reaches out to touch his hand, and speaks the Oath. The two are surrounded by the ribbons of Essence which tell the tale of the Oath, and then lift to the heavens to be recorded. "It is done, then, Blade of Ebon Vengeance." She runs the tips of her fingers along the collar on his neck, "This shall symbolize your service to me. It will not hinder you from using your abilities unless you anger me."
  • Blade Of Ebon? nods.

<Zahara> "I do not anticipate ever having to activate it, however."

<Zahara> "Now, let us go inside to discuss your first assignment."

Tags: (:tags Ivory Orchid Ghost, Ebon Blade of Vengeance:)

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