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<Cerin> Cerin walks into Herons room, having decided to ask some questions before he set out on a chase after vague feelings of intuition.

The Sidereal, clad in a fresh emerald-green cloak but looking somewhat grayer than when Cerin first met him, sits, back to the door, meditating upon his bed. "Hello, Cerin," he says, as the Solar enters.

<Cerin> "Greetings Herons. You look in better health. I have some questions to ask of you."

  • Herons spends a few moments concluding his meditations and then exits his posture, turning around to face the Solar. "I am much recovered, thank you. How can I aid you today?"

<Cerin> "I would like to talk with you somewhat about exactly how I ended up leaving certain items" his hands gesture to the badges "with the flowers for safekeeping."

  • Herons nods slowly.

<Cerin> "How, then?"

  • Herons sighs. "Ymir came to us, very unexpectedly, in the middle of the night. She had a small box with those possessions you indicate within, which she gave to us. I believe her exact words were 'There is something wicked afoot. I may require you to hold these items for some time.'"

<Cerin> "And when was this in relation to Talmuda's death?"

<Herons?> "The night before."

  • Cerin nods slowly "I left nothing else with you, aside from what you returned to me?"
  • Herons winces a little bit. "There was... the one other pin."

<Cerin> "What happened to that?"

  • Herons sighs. "I can only assume it was stolen by whoever betrayed us from the inside."
  • Cerin 's eyes flash "What does it do?"
  • Herons raises an eyebrow very slightly. "It marked the leadership of the Shadows Resplendent. It would have enabled Ymir's access to those places and things that came with that position... Nothing else, unless Ymir had caused it to be so herself."
  • Cerin nods "I see. When did Ymir return to the Cysanthemum?"
  • Herons clearly doesn't want to be talking about this, but he seems reasonably clear that his options are limited. "Shortly after the murder. She snuck into the chamber without anyone noticing. When we received word of the general's death, several of us immediately realized she might attempt to consult the Orrery. When we found her, she was there, with the murder weapon in hand."

<Cerin> "And so you attacked her. Then what?"

<Herons?> "She flew into a rage. Struck against us. Left seven of our number at death's door. She fled through the streets, with Knights in full pursuit. When she reached the gate that, ah, you followed me through" -- there is a slight shift of rhythm here -- "those who followed her saw a massive display of Essence as she entered the gate. Afterwards, we found ourselves unable to enter Bi'Allah through the gate network."

  • Herons pauses as if considering for a moment. "This was left on the ground." He fishes into his robes and pulls something out: a thin, silvery rope of the most exceptional fineness and softness, with a single elaborate knot tied at the very center
  • Cerin takes the cord from him, studying it curiously "I see. And you asked no Solars to break the blocks on Bi`Allah?"
  • Herons sighs more deeply this time. "No. We knew she was trapped. Without sorcerous knowledge of her own, she had no way to leave and we were certain she had more actions on her agenda. We knew we could wait for the Path of Stars to align and either catch her emerging or access Bi'Allah ourselves."

<Cerin> "So what became of the Daybreaker then?"

<Herons?> "It was collected and brought for study. No one but the Knights, the War Council, and the Perfect Circle knew it was in our possession."

<Cerin> "Collected from where?"

<Herons?> "From the ground. She did not carry it with her beyond the walls of the Chrysanthemum."

  • Cerin nods "And the results of this study? What did you look for? What did you find?"

<Herons?> "We were... unable to complete it."

<Cerin> "Ah. What interuppted you?"

This is clearly the most difficult part yet for Herons to relate. "A member of the Perfect Circle asked to examine the blade himself. He told us that he believed he could learn much about the nature of the undead creatures by examining it."

<Cerin> "Who and when?"

<Herons?> "Kiriath. Perhaps a month after Ymir disappeared."

<Cerin> "Then?"

<Herons?> "We never recovered it."

  • Cerin nods "So what happened to Ymir after all this?"

This is all very tiring for Herons; he looks like he could really use a nap by this point. "We waited. We knew she would have to emerge via the Path of Stars, with the gates blocked from accessing Bi'allah. We were prepared to stop her...

<Cerin> "And?"

<Herons?> "The difficulty with Kiriath interfered."

<Cerin> "Ah, yes that might have I can imagine. This was how long after he took the sword?"

<Herons?> "Less than a year."

  • Cerin nods "Thank you. Was anything of General Talmuda's taken after his death?"

<Herons?> "Not that we could determine. His body was untouched beyond the wounds that slew him; his possessions did not appear to have been moved in any way."

  • Cerin nods "I think I will be leaving now." he tilts his head "Oh, before I go, how many Solars capable of shaping the Adamant Circle were alive at this time?"
  • Herons thinks for a moment. "Perhaps seven? Not a great many."
  • Cerin nods "Thank you." then departs for the gates

When he arrives at the gate, spends a few brief moments to activate the gate, and then after a moments consideration activates the sequence suggested to him as the orrery was stolen. The sigils roar to life, broadcasting a location well within the borders of Creation -- somewhat to the west. The gate opens.

  • Cerin wraps himself in stealth magics and then steps through.
  • Cerin finds himself emerging into what seems to be some sort of entryway, fallen into disrepair. Abstract bluish-green mosaics line the walls, where several elaborate fountains still flow into pools set into the floor -- but the water has grown milky and the mosaics faded. A door opposite the Solar leads... somewhere.
  • Cerin spends a few moments looking around the small room he finds himself in, especially examining the essence flows to check if he is a manse or similar location, even as he starts to look for clues on who might have passed through here.

The building clearly helps to channel powerful Essence flows, though they appear to have grown the slightest bit wild as the building has fallen into disrepair. It does not appear that anyone has passed this way in several years; the dust is largely undisturbed of late, though clearly beyond the central path there is dust far, far older than that.

  • Cerin presses forward then, listening at the door before opening it slowly and carefully, pushing it shut behind him.

There is naught but silence behind the door.

  • Cerin goes through then

The door opens into what was once a First Age city. Great cobbled streets run between buildings, each smooth and curved, built to allow ideal airflow between them and to reveal great open spaces within the sky. Small blue canals cut through the ground, flowing out in a variety of directions. The sound of the sea can be easily heard, and the smell of salt; gulls fly about.

  • Cerin looks around for any signs of occupation and for the structure of the building he just emerged from ...

The door is connected to a fairly large building, rising up above his current location to perhaps five stories, narrowing as it rises. The area seems to be deserted, other than the gulls.

  • Cerin decides to spend some time exploring the ancient manse, both to see if it all so deserted and also to gain a better look over the town, looking for administrative buildings

Beyond the small enclave he entered through, there are primary doors to the manse as well. They lead into a vast central entrance chamber, complete with large fountains and a variety of entertaining spaces. Spiralling staircases lead up to verandas and mezzanines, which themselves curve upward to various other chambers. It seems likely that the building was once used as a secondary home for entertaining guests, or holding medium-sized soirees. Cerin expects he could easily locate an external porch if he wished to do so.

  • Cerin does, as he wanders through the manse on whim, exploring it curiously before he eventually emerges back into the outdoors, now above the city

Finding a porch on the smallest fifth floor of the manse, Cerin emerges to look out upon the city. From this vantage point -- above the roofs of nearly every other building -- he can see the shoreline and the ocean's waves that rise up to it, a gorgeous cerulean color, just past the walls of the final buildings. The city as a whole is open and inviting. Most of the buildings seem likely to have been purposed to fairly mundane uses, though there is some sort of circular meeting hall that catches his eye.

  • Cerin decends through the manse, and goes for the meeting hall, spending his time as he does looking for a clue to the name of the place he has found himself in

Walking the streets Cerin finds the mix of the small trickle of the nearby water paths and the distant roar of the ocean remarkably soothing. As he approaches the meeting hall, he can easily make out the runes that tell him where he has arrived: the city of Estoc.

To say Cerin was unsurprised by this goes without saying, and he smiles to himself as he quietly slips into the meeting hall, feelings extended to their max, as he starts to look around the meeting hall.

The room is perhaps fifty yards wide, and not tremendously high. Smooth, comfortable-looking marble benches surround a central pool of standing water; other smaller pools occur further out from the center. A gentle breeze blows through, and thin rays of light are allowed in by the ceiling. This room, too, has clearly been used more recently than the thousands of years ago the city was last occupied.

  • Cerin examines the pools as he walks through the building, trying to work out exactly who or what was here when there were people here last.

Cerin can tell, the centralmost area was the last used for any sort of meeting. Four people stood there: a thin gentleman arrived first, coming from the easternmost door; then a heavyset man sat opposite him; and shortly thereafter a woman came in to sit between them and they were all assembled.

  • Cerin considers this for a moment, and then wonders about when the 4 left, and most specifically when the 4th person left.

The meeting adjourned, all three people left simultaneously.

  • Cerin considers as he leaves the place, exactly who the 4th person was, and how they left such a hole...

Tags: (:tags Herons, Badges of Office, Sidereals, Ymir, Talmuda, Chrysanthemum, Orrery of Light, Solar Circle Sorcery, Bi'allah, Daybreaker, Kiriath, Path of Stars, Estoc, Lai Misuna, Holbar, Shikaya, Thousand-Faced Man :)

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