charlequin Zahara is led by a guard into a small room, whose only furnishings are a simple desk and a chair. The Arbiter of Stones stands, back turned, facing the far wall. "Please sit," he says, as she enters.
Zahara follows the guard thoughtfully, and glances appraisingly over the room, then seats herself neatly at the desk.
charlequin "Welcome, Zahara Zhan."
Zahara "Thank you, Arbiter of Stones." she replies drily, "Although I wish our meeting could have occured under more auspicious circumstances."
charlequin "Indeed. I am disappointed to be placed in this circumstance so shortly after such an illustrious delegation has arrived."
Zahara "I assure you, we will place all our resources at your disposal to discover the perpetrator of this terrible crime."
charlequin "That is good, that is good. This heinous crime cannot go unpunished."
Zahara "I suppose we should get to the point of this interview, so as not to waste precious time."
charlequin nods. "Tell me, what did you see during the Promenade?"
Zahara "Hmm, I saw the music and dancing, of course, everything seeming to move in perfect accord. The Lineages seemed to be conversing amongst themselves, with no sign of worry that I could tell." she says, slowly and thoughtfully, trying to remember anything that had not caught her immediate attention the first time
Zahara "I believe it was... the end of the seventh shift of the dance, when three members of the Bin Al Zen lineage began to vomit blood, and I rushed over to assist. There was...chaos. And then you arrived to take hold of the matter."
Zahara "I regret I was only able to save one of the Bin Al Zen," she bows her head silently, a gesture of respect for the dead.
Zahara raises her head slowly, thoughtful. "I did, however, notice, that of all places, the area around the barque was most clear, as if - and of course, this is mere speculation - but it was as if they were forewarned not to be there. Is it always such, with the area near the barques clear?"
charlequin "No, traditionally the dances carry visitors close to the Lineages."
charlequin considers this information for a moment.
charlequin "I must ask you to be honest with me, Zahara."
Zahara "I see." she says, tapping her long nails against the desk. "I have been nothing but honest since we arrived, and will of course continue to be so."
charlequin "Good, good. I must know, then. It is... not believeable to me, Zahara, that this is a coincidence. That members of our ruling class would be assassinated so close to your arrival."
charlequin He leans over on the desk. "Who could have masterminded such an action, and how does it relate to your group?"
Zahara "Nor to I. I can only assume that someone is using our arrival to throw the suspicion elsewhere. It is much easier to blame the stranger, than the one you have known and trusted." she replies evenly. "Our most vocal enemy upon Meru is known as Lai Misuna, but when we left, he was occupied with a war of his own. I am of two minds about whether he is involved."
charlequin "Tell me more of this Lai Misuna."
Zahara "On the one hand, it would be a very effective blow to the Sunlands to eliminate the leadership by framing us for muder upon our first diplomatic foray into your land. On the other hand, I am not sure he is quite clever enough to be the one to do this."
Zahara "Lai is the leader of a group which wishes to elevate the lesser gods of the land to rule over it as its masters, rather than attend to the duties for which they were created."
charlequin "And this is who you wage your war with."
Zahara "As a part of this plan, they require an item from each plane. One of these is of course from Xara, called an etchcrystal. We too had hoped to find the etchcrystals here, but our aim was to open peaceful trade to get them, along with discovering what else we would benefit from trading to eachother."
Zahara "Yes, this is who we war with."
charlequin Me looks Zahara over. "You did not mention this desire to our diplomatic envoys."
Zahara "I spoke of opening trade with you, did I not? We did not have time to get into the details before the party."
charlequin "Indeed." Me looks Zahara over for a moment. "I think I have heard all I need from you for the moment. You may depart, Zahara."
Zahara rises smoothly and bows courteously to the Arbiter. "I hope that this interview has been helpful, Arbiter. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance, and please convey my well-wishes to the Bin-al-zen that I healed - I unfortunately did not have time to learn his name."
charlequin nods. "I will inform him of such."
Tags: (:tags Arbiter of Stones, Xara, Bin-al-Zen, Lai Misuna, Etchcrystal, Exaltation Checklist :)