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Later on, Markuran and Birds stand in the foyer of the Echoing Spiral Remarkable, watching in awe as the building curves upwards above their heads in a distinctly non-Euclidean fashion. Iallu's quarter is supposedly on the 32nd floor.

  • Birds-of-Trinity mutters something indistinct.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "You can count floors." She heads for the first flight of stairs.

  • Markuran begins up the stairs, counting quietly to himself as he goes, watching his step *very* carefully..he had a bit too much Celestial Wine..

Despite the strange geometry of the building, it proves to be remarkably intuitive to navigate. Within a short time, the two find themselves at the door of Iallu's room.

  • Birds-of-Trinity knocks sharply.
  • Markuran knocks heavily, leaning against the door frame
  • Selonis is now known as Iallu The Ten Faceted?

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "What is it?" a voice shouts from within: a voice that manages to sound like three beautiful melodic lines entwining, yet still carry the edge of stark irritation.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "It is a lie and a secret!"

  • Markuran had opened his mouth..but Birds's answer temporarily stuns him into confusion.

There is a brief pause; then, the door slides soundlessly open.

  • Birds-of-Trinity steps inside.

It is difficult to gain a proper picture of what the room itself looks like; every visible surface is covered haphazardly with scraps of paper, small objects, and other academic detritus.

  • Markuran follows Birds inside, still a bit confused by her answer.
  • Birds-of-Trinity looks around excitedly.

In the center of it, turning and examining these items seemingly randomly, is the form of a small woman, colored exactly as normal but with a crystalline surface -- albeit one for which the location of the facets shifts with every motion. Her purple garments swing around her madly as she pores through her papers.

<Markuran> "Iallu Ten-Facets?"

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Yes? What is it?" she replies, curtly.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Um...we were wondering if you would be willing to talk about something. What was it, Marku? The...accordionfold?"

<Markuran> "We want to ask about the Hundred Fold. We have secrets in return."

  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? turns around. Her strange beauty is imperfectly concealed by the crystalline shell she wears. "Of what sort? I have no wish to hear of foolish things."

<Markuran> "Of metal birds returned from the past and flowers granting that which is not theirs to give."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Speak."

  • Birds-of-Trinity outlines the aalorai situation.
  • Markuran tells what Cerin told him of the manner in which these pseudo-Exalted are made.
  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? listens, intrigued.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "We are performing a deeper study into the Exaltation process presently."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Hmmm. How fascinating. I did not expect Kroata to rise above the waves again...." She scribbles some rapid notes upon a paper that she grabs up from the floor. "And so you come to me to learn more now, hmmm?"

<Markuran> "Actually, we come to learn of the Hundredfold."

  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? makes an audible sigh and scribbles some more on her piece of paper. "And just what did you take the aalorai to be?"

<Markuran> "Other then just them..the Xa-Mi-Taxi?"

<Markuran> "They seem nicer.."

  • Birds-of-Trinity thinks about her water-enchanted garment a bit...shifts it into a long, butterfly-sleeved furisode, and tries slicing off the hanging part of the right sleeve.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "So what you are not saying but are thinking is that the aalorai are one of one hundred."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> The sleeve parts easily from the garment.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "I am making an effort to compose a perfectly accurate treatise on the nature of Creation," she explains, "And my colleague and I were given to understand that you are something of the authority on matters of Creation's past."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "That is true."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Thus, I supplicate myself before you, beseeching your aid."

  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? considers Birds for a moment, then, shrugging, seems to decide in the affirmative.
  • Birds-of-Trinity falls to her knees and gives Markuran a small but painful kick in the shin.

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "I suppose I can assist you, slightly."

  • Markuran gets an angry look on his face before lightly brushing a hand across his chin and through his hair, then kneels beside Birds.

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "So. Ask your questions."

  • Birds-of-Trinity beams and rises back to her feet, carefully.
  • Markuran gets to his feet a moment before Birds, thinking dark and dire thoughts before he sternly reminds himself to do no such thing. "If you could tell us of the history and culture of the Xi-Ma-Taxi and the Aalori..or who some of the other Hundredfold were and where they or their remnants may be found, it would greatly help us."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "I would mouth platitudes about your generosity and beauty, but I am sure you would prefer to hear about things you didn't already know. Now, to business."

  • Birds-of-Trinity defers to her friend, who seems to have sobered up a bit.

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Very well." She turns and reaches up to the ceiling, from which she pulls down yet another -- quite large -- sheet of paper, which she affixes to the wall.

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "The beings that built the world, the Primordials -- you HAVE heard of them?" she inquires, as she begins to write elaborate notes upon the paper.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "If it isn't too much trouble, assume that you are speaking to uneducated children."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "But, yes."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Anyway. The Primordials built Creation from nothingness. And when they were done, they found themselves in need of sustenance and entertainment. Thus, life." She draws a small bunny rabbit to indicate "life."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "The Hundredfold were the sentient races of Creation, those empowered to speak, to love, to hate to build, to destroy. Each built their own empire upon the earth in their own unique fashion. Some cooperated, some warred against one another, and these relations changed many times in their tenure as Creation's stewards."

  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? looks over, to ensure that the audience is following along.
  • Birds-of-Trinity is dutifully taking notes on her severed sleeve.

<Markuran> "And humans were not among them?"

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "The aalorai were expansionists and conquerors, with a love of scale. They threw down the cities of their foes simply to raise up their great statues to their creator. The Xi-Mi-Taxi were much more restrained, preferring to keep to their own regions and construct vast and incomprehensible machinery there...."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> Raising an eyebrow, she says "No. They were not."

  • Markuran furrows his brow. "Oh."
  • Birds-of-Trinity hrms. "I notice that you take a humanlike form. Does this have to do with humanity's prevalence in this Age?"

<BirdsOfTrinity> "I have not noticed any gods in the forms of the Hundredfold, though I do not know what to look for and my eyes are not particularly sharp."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "You have your causality reversed, student. I do not look like you."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Ah. Then I am honored to wear a shape that is similar to a god's."

  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? smiles, somewhat bitterly. "That is an ironic statement, Solar."
  • Birds-of-Trinity raises an eyebrow.
  • Markuran looks as if something, or some combination of the myriad of things he was eating did not quite agree with him...or his tehology.

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Do you know what role our two kinds shared, at the start of this world?"

<BirdsOfTrinity> "I think I understand the place of gods and Heaven. Of humans I know little."

  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? shakes her head and writes a single character upon her page: SLAVE.
  • Birds-of-Trinity chokes a little.

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Why do you think you warred for so long against the aalorai and their ilk?"

<BirdsOfTrinity> "You created an entirely new race of beings so that they could serve as...that's a GOOD idea!"

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "As the Gods were created to carry the weight of Creation's maintenance on their backs, the humans were created to serve and die for the Hundredfold."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "I take it we were not fond of this idea."

  • Iallu The Ten Faceted? nods again. "But there was little you could do, until the Incarna blessed you with the Exaltation."
  • Birds-of-Trinity hrms.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "The Hundredfold were creatures of the Primordials, you say."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "..suggest."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Yes. Each of the Primordials crafted two races, to observe and guide as they saw fit."

<Markuran> "Who did Gaia the Life-Mother make?"

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Those you know as the Dragon-Kings, and the Haliime, of whom none have heard for many years. And, when the other Primordials decided they must come into being, it was she who crafted the form of humanity."

<Markuran> "Where have all these races gone, that we have never seen?"

<Markuran> "The Aalori and their island rose from the sea. And the Xa-Mi-Taxi live in the Ocean of Gears.."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "Slain, or driven beyond the bounds of Creation, or thrown into suspension to sleep through the passing of time, or locked in Malfeas, or hiding in the dark places of the world."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Cerin and Zahara are going to be greener than GRAPES."

  • Birds-of-Trinity grins hugely.

<Markuran> "Some grapes are red, you know."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Not the tasty ones." She looks at the goddess again. "Sorry, just gloating to myself a little there."

<Markuran> "The tasty ones are whiteish."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "So, the Incarna gave us the Exaltation. And with this, we threw off the yoke of the Hundredfold. But...why?"

  • Markuran bristles. "Have you not seen the glory of humanity, Birds? Are your eyes shut to the world? It is not our place to serve as slaves."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "...and yet, here we are, sopping up the delights of the city of gods."

  • Birds-of-Trinity thinks about this.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Glory, though. Yes."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "I fear we are taking up far too much of your valuable time, Goddess."

  • charlequin is now known as Iallu

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Perhaps we could meet again to discuss further?"

  • Iallu gestures, and her latest notepaper flies up towards the ceiling, to disappear amongst many others. "Hmmm, perhaps. You have been surprisingly untedious thus far."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "I do try to be surprising."

  • Iallu nods.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "If these matters of new Exaltations interest you, perhaps I can offer those as prayers, in exchange for your tutelage."

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "That would be a fascinating arrangement."

  • Iallu waves her hand again, and a hastily scrawled map of Creation pulls out of one of the bookcases.

<IalluTheTenFaceted?> "My sanctum is located here," she says, pointing to a spot in the deep north, "in the Temple of Unfeeling Ice. Perhaps you should arrange to visit me there."

  • Birds-of-Trinity carefully notes the location.

<Markuran> "I'd be happy to tell you anything I learn about the Hundredfold if you'd tell me more about the time before humanity."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "It would be my pleasyre to do so."

  • Iallu nods to Markuran. "I did not expect to see them active in this age. If any more should... appear, I would be most interested to hear of it."

<Markuran> "We have already met the Xi-Ma-Taxi"

  • Markuran frowns again.
  • Birds-of-Trinity shuffles out of the temporary office, dragging a random note behind her with her foot. It almost certainly has something interesting written on it.
  • Markuran follows Birds out, closing the door behind him after thanking the Goddess for her time.
  • Iallu returns to shuffling through her numerous papers.

Tags: (:tags Yu-Shan, Iallu, Hundredfold, God-Exalts, Aalorai, Xi-Mi-Taxi, Primordials, Gods, Dragon-Kings, Haliime, Incarna:)

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