The creature's head whips upwards quickly, leaving trails of smoke behind it. Without hesitating, it pounces at Cerin.
The beast bucks and fights, but Marku manages to close his beefy arms around it, giving no quarter even as its skin singes his flesh and its claws rake at his skin.
<Markuran> "You might be strong, demon-tiger, but nothing's stronger then me! And we need you dead to keep millions alive." Marku grunts as the beast twists in his grasp, wrestling it to the ground and slamming his face into its soft muzzle, setting free a horrid scream and a wave of burning black blood
The beast snarls as the arrows plunge into its eyes, sending huge gouts of flame and smoke shooting out upon impact.
The creature roars mightily as Markuran's arms break its fiery ribs. It begins to bleed brilliant orange, flaming blood.
Cerin's arrows strike the tiger deep within its mouth and it howls a terrible scream, as its fires dim and go out. It falls from Marku's blistering arms as a brittle shell of ashes.
<Cerin> "I am sure she will be. It was an impressive beast." He begins the dedication to grala, murmuring his request upon the essences of the world. He would like Audience with Grala, for a matter of great import and urgency.
Within moments, Cerin hears the howl on the wind that signals the coming of Grala's hounds.
The spirit dogs sniff Cerin for a moment, then howl their assent to the wind.
<Cerin> "Thank you, Hounds of Grala."
A few moments later, the winds pick up to a stiff breeze, and from above, the beautiful yet terrifying visage of Grala the Hunter flies down, alighting on a nearby tree.
<Cerin> "Greetings Grala, Mistress Of The Eternal Hunt, this kill is a gift to you from myself and my companion, Markuran the Bear. Please may we travel somewhere more private to talk?"
The two find themselves within a dark chamber, lit only by a single torch burning upon one wall. The skulls of numerous animals -- and humans -- line the walls; the floor is cool earth. Grala steps over to a wooden perch which she alights upon easily. There is clearly no intended seating for the Solars.
<Cerin> "Despite your advice, I have continued to be involved in the lily, because they will not leave the sunlands alone. And a plan of their's has come to light. I ask for your help in thwarting this plan."
<Markuran> "We can't help but deal with them. They will rain ten million of their false Exalted upon Creation if we do not stop them!"
<Cerin> "It was not my intention to continue to deal with them, but they do not seem like they will leave us alone. They have infiltrated our armies, set up listening posts in our boarders."
<Cerin> "My fate is tied to that of Zahara, and hers to the sunlands. I cannot ignore this."
<Markuran> "You would have him be a coward? Join those who would destroy all that Creation is and can be for their own selfish greed, just to save his skin?"
<Markuran> "I know much about what makes men good, Goddess! And it is not skins on their walls!"
<Cerin> "Marku! Please, be queit."
<Cerin> "Markuran. If you attempt to harm Grala, I will knock you out and carry you back to the sunlands after I hav finished talking with Grala. She has been my friend and ally for longer than you."
<Cerin> "I wish for you essence, and that of your hounds. We are but four solars against ten million exalts and their gods. We seek to level the field somewhat with exalts of our own godly allies."
<Cerin> "Why not?" he asks curious
<Cerin> "Grala, I have hunted for you for many years. The life of the woman I love and my own life are going to be at risk. Such an army has not been seen in Creation since the end of the war. I would hope you would at least tell me the reason why you cannot do such a thing to help me."
<Cerin> "You cannot because you have already contributed some of your soul?"
<Markuran> "Then have all the Gods forgotten who they once were? In the First Age, there was an order to the world and now all the gods will destroy what shreds of that remain and take what they can for themselves, or sit by and watch others destroy the order so they can prosper?"
<Markuran> "The fallen times of this Age are not the place for such things! Those who would save the world must stand together and fight against the evils who serve only themselves. How are we to fight the Deathlords, the Yozi? The Fae and all the other threats if even the gods themselves turn against those who give them power?"
<Cerin> "We remember little of the time before. I have but small scraps of who I once was and a diary that I cannot read. There are few books that survived the ages either. Tell us."
<Markuran> "So the gods will trade revenge against those millenia dead for the life of Creation? Do they think the Great Gods will not take notice when their servants are killed en masse?"
<Cerin> "Into slavery?"
<Cerin> "Enslaved to who? The Primordials? Or to some other agency? To Us?"
<Markuran> "Again, we return to the issue. You will stand aside and sacrifice the hope of the mortal world to prevent something that may never happen."
<Markuran> "Will the gods and their new Exalted, those with the most powerful and numerous, not simply enslave you again? Will the new Exalted not simply take our places? Will the Deathlords go silently into the Void and the fae run in terror, will Creation be at peace once we are gone?"
<Markuran> "If we couldn't, they would not fear us."
<Markuran> "Will they step up? Will you?"
<Markuran> "We can find a place like that."
<Cerin> "Thank you Grala."