alsoquin In a largely empty room of the manse, Zahara has located three of her demonic minions. On a raised platform of silver, sapphire, and opal ("for conductive purposes") a burning female form lazily twists in place, not particularly invested in the goings-on. (...)
alsoquin On what appears to be a similarly-constituted drying rack on the opposite side of the room, a living armor hangs, its eyes warily glancing back and forth across the room.
alsoquin Cerin stands at the far side, ready to begin his investigations.
Zahara stands off to the side, keeping a strict eye on her demons, and an interested one on Cerin's investigations, which she watches through her imperfect view of Essence.
Birds floats down the hallway with Mirror and Lucent; they are having a serious discussion about something-or-other. Mirror keeps having to intercept her hands so she does not knock down decorations and furnitures with especially enthusiastic gestures.
Cerin Cerin considers the two demons in front of him, the forms and essence flows of both quite familiar to him, for Zahara employed several Gilmyne as dancers around the manse, and she regularly wore a perronele as she went about her daily life. This time though, he wasn't so much interested in what he was beginning to realise was their gross essence structure, despite the fact his own vision had previously revealed things so much finer (...)
Cerin than many of the illustrations in sorcerous texts. This time, he was looking for something far finer than that, something so fine that he wasn't entirely sure he could see it directly. Hence the web essence strung about the room from 49 white oak flowers, for independence ... and inverted, to reasonate with the slightest connection, too fine to detect the massive similarities of their shared essence, his careful studies and (...)
Cerin maniputions of motes along the wires would only find a deeper connection, if one existed...
alsoquin Cerin ponders the matter intently. With some effort he focuses in on a level of detail far finer than any he has previously investigated -- without the combination of his Essence Sight /and/ his preternatural visual acuity he would not have been able to see it at all. A thought comes to him... perhaps a bar of gold would be useful at this stage.
Lucent "Hmmm, can you say that recipe again? I think I want to taste those..." He licks his lips, thinking of the other delicacies Birds usually makes... "The pie was great last time, too. A pity Thirteen liked dice better."
Thirteen heads purposefully down the hallway towards Cerin's laboratory, trailed by Tepet Ejava, passing Birds and Lucent on his way. "Ah, Birds, Lucent. Please, accompany me. It is time to discuss our war plans."
Lucent "... I cannot speak your name, right? Is that it? Damn Twilights."
Cerin frowns, deep in concentration. Hrm. Yes, that was rather foolish of him, to forget that, but then thirteen was just walking down the corridoor. Soon, he would have the gold.
Thirteen "I'm sorry, Lucent. I am not interested in your conversation."
Birds "I'll send a maid with my notes, Luc. You should be able to reconstruct the recipe from there. What's this about the war, Thirteen?"
Lucent "Of course not. You prefer to eat *dice*."
Lucent "And thanks, Birds. I will ask my cook to try her hand about it... she is nothing like you, though."
Thirteen coughs without breaking his stride, spits up the die, and flips it to Lucent. "I am not sure what about this concerns you unduly, Lucent, but here is what recompense I can offer." He reaches the laboratory and enters, trailing mixed Exalts.
Cerin "Welcome, Birds, Thirteen, Lucent, Ejava. Thirteen, I require the bar of gold you ate on your last tour of the manse, if you would be so kind."
Zahara (it's a 6!)
Birds "Afternoon. It's festive in here..."
Thirteen coughs again, then hands the bar to Cerin. "Cerin, Zahara, I have a difficulty involving Essence manipulation."
Zahara "A moment, please, we are in the middle of a delicate investigation. Please do not disturb the flowers, and keep to the outside of the Circle."
Lucent "Is it nessessary to keep the Perronelle like that, Zahara?"
Zahara "It is, to allow for the most surface area for the Essence connections to be seen."
Thirteen waits impatiently.
Lucent "Hmmm, if you say so..."
Lucent lets the Coronal out, turning the Mercury orb into sand and playing with it on his fingers while he waits. He was not likely to understand the details anyway...
Cerin "That is most unfortunate to hear." Cerin notes in an offhanded way as he takes the bar of gold, tilting his head to give the impression of paying attention, when in fact he is concentrating on the gold, passing it through several of the golden essence threads that he at least can see. The sight seems to fascinate him.
Cerin After it becomes apparent that thirteen is both impatient and unusually polite, Cerin clears his throat a little, and waits, still studying the golden block.
Thirteen "As you both perhaps know, the Essence patterns of Dragon-Blooded are not sturdy enough for the channeling necessary to perform martial arts of Solar power levels."
Thirteen "What can be done to reinforce them or otherwise overcome this disability?"
Lucent "I thought they were called Sidereal?"
Zahara "Why would we want to bother?"
Cerin nods to indicate that this is indeed correct. He also drops the golden brick and looks thoughtful. He may be considering Thirteen's question.
Zahara glances over at Ejava with mild curiosity, as one would look over a small dog that is attempting a trick.
alsoquin Ejava meets Zahara's glance but says nothing.
Thirteen "Because I request it, and because it will be necessary for the Roseblack to exhibit exceptional combat prowess if she is to be believed to lead us in our assault on the Realm."
Zahara "Why not find someone more capable to begin with? I am sure there are other Solars out there somewhere that you could entice with your winning ways."
Cerin extends his palm, and contentrates on a mote. "Zahara." he says softly, and gestures to his hand, where she can see the single solar mote, gleaming there. "What can you see?" He looks vaguely apologetically at Thirteen.
Birds "Hm. Maybe that's exactly what you want to do! Stick something in the Essence pattern that IS that sturdy. Like, erm, Herons or something."
Thirteen "They would not be acclaimed heroes of the Realm, Zahara."
Zahara "A single mote. Is there more I should see?"
Zahara Well, Thirteen, we have this Checklist.
Zahara and IF we complete it. We may be able to influence the power of Exaltations.
Lucent "I agree with Thirteen in that. We need the Dragon-Blooded to act as our ambassators with them. We need to keep them close." He nods. "To be all together."
Thirteen "By the time we attack the Realm, it will already be under assault by Lai's forces. The battles will be bloody, street-to-street affairs, against a population paranoid, and capable enough, if not to injure us, to decimate our mortal and lesser Exalted contingent."
Zahara "Although I would note the Dragon Bloods did not require Terrestrial leaders in the First Age."
Cerin "Yes." He says, with a quite affirmation. "As to your problem Thirteen, it is not just a matter of strength, but also of complexity. The matial arts you practice are an order of magnitude more complex than those of the so called Celestial Circle. I am not sure that a dragonblood is capable of that."
Thirteen "The most economical method for us to win the war is for us to be acclaimed by the Dynasts as liberators, rather than as conquerers. They will not accept us. But they remember the Roseblack."
Lucent "Won't the Celestial Circle alone take too long to learn? Immaculates seem to consider their martial arts to be the most grueling of all paths..." He stops, looks around... ".. yes, I have been reading up on that heretical thing."
Thirteen "An interesting suggestion, Birds. How might this be accomplished."
Thirteen "Ejava has already neared mastery of the Crimson Panoply of Victory style."
Birds "I am not sure. Maybe there is a surgical procedure. Something with...stitching."
Birds rubs her chin thoughtfully.
Zahara "Yes? What is there that I cannot see?"
Thirteen "How may we make her capable of it, Cerin?"
Cerin "It is slightly more complex that that birds. Souls are relatively immutable and I cannot make them yet." He turns back to Zahara. "Motes are not merely motes."
Zahara "Did you not hear when I referred to the Exaltation Checklist? That is, for now, our best bet at manipulating Exaltation."
Thirteen "Forgive me if I assume that that is a blatant ploy to attempt to get what you want, Zahara."
Cerin "Hrm." He turns to the Roseblack, studying her. "I suspect it would be easier if we had proper access to the rituals they use to make the new Exalts, yes. However, we do have enough of the ingredients, pre-mixed to perhaps consider this more seriously now." ::Though there is still a risk she will explode::
Birds ::That is always a danger when we pressure-cook things.::
Thirteen ::How much of a risk?::
Zahara "Motes are more than motes?"
Cerin ::Not that large a risk, compared to some of the things we do.::
Zahara "So long as we do not waste what we need for their original purpose."
Thirteen "Is it really necessary to directly modify her Essence structure? Surely it could be augmented by an artifact or sorcerous binding of some sort."
Zahara "And, Thirteen, it may be what I want, but it is also what you want if I am correct."
Cerin "It would not take much, and the insights it might give us would be invaluable, and the possibility of using an artifact would reduce both the time and risks considerably."
Birds directly addresses Ejava. "What are your thoughts on the matter?"
Zahara lofts a brow. "And I suppose you expect me to make this?"
Cerin "I know of no-one else who could, my love."
Thirteen "You may speak."
Zahara "Nor do I."
Tepet Ejava "I am intimately familiar with the history of the Realm. A strong leader is needed to quell the foolish and bind together the petty children. As the Empress sacrified to bring about that destiny, so am I prepared to do."
Cerin "It will be interesting to see if artifact would be complex enough to require the manipulation of the Fivefold Ordering of Essence."
Zahara "Will it now." She says drily.
Thirteen "I am not familiar with this concept, Cerin."
Zahara "I wasn't aware I had agreed to divert my precious time towards this artifact."
Thirteen "If you would prefer to plan your own assault on the Realm, Zahara, you need only state so."
Lucent "It will allows us to take the Realm and convert them more easily, Zahara. And give us the army to fight the Lily in equal grounds. It is a valuable use of your time..."
Zahara "So I hear."
Cerin "As I said previously, a mote is not simply a mote. Rather it has five seperate and discrete orders or orientations, that with sufficient finesse may be seen and manipulated, allowing both much greater control and much more power."
Birds nods. "If you are prepared to take up that mantle, then..."
Thirteen "I am not sure I understand your use of the word orientations in this context."
Zahara "Do these correlate to the five directions?"
Cerin "No, not precisely. And, I choose the word orientations, because while order feels to be a more appropriate phrase, there is no difference of the sort one sees when considering demonic orders or any of more usual sorcerous orders. Hence orientation, after one of the old realm meanings of the word."
Zahara "Interesting. Go on."
Thirteen carelessly assumes a martial stance, the better to hear the singing of the motes as Cerin discourses.
Birds curls up in a comfy chair to listen.
Cerin "With careful design and contruction, an artifact could be made to be sensitive to just one or two of these orientations, rather than all motes, allowing for the complexity of essence patterns one normally associates with artifatcs of multiple materials in just one, simply through these interactions."
Zahara "Hmmm that does sound intriguing."
Cerin "In addition, it through this progression of orders that it will be possible to track the seals, as that is how they are linked."
Zahara studies the mote closely, frowning. "Hmmm I cannot distinguish the orientations, but I think I know a way that I could." she muses.
Cerin "I think you have all the tools you would need within your workshop, as a remenant from the time you crafted the tools for manipulating wards and alarms for me. The principles are similar, if much more subtle."
Zahara "Yes, I was thinking of the lens."
Cerin smiles at Birds on the sofa. "Thank you."
Birds "It was nothing. I learned everything from watching you."
Birds grins at Cerin.
Zahara tries to decide whether or not making this artifact could be seen as giving into Thirteen after he openly called her idea a ploy to get what she wanted. it DOES sound intriguing. But still, she has principles.
Thirteen "Does this...ordering of Essence give you the knowledge you need to track the location of the other seals?"
Cerin "It will take a certain amount of study to ensure that I track the seals and not their progenitors or other related essences such as the hundredfold, but yes, it does."
Thirteen "How much study? Is there any task I could accomplish that would aid you?"
Cerin "I will require the loan of your seal or a very good knowledge of your whereabouts over the next day or so."
Thirteen removes his seal again and carefully hands it to Cerin.
Cerin "Thank you." He accepts it.
Zahara glances at Ejava again with a small frown, then turns her gaze to the Gilmeyne, which is much more amusing.
Tepet Ejava On the sun-porch, Cerin has dragged seven distinct tables together and covered each of them with rather extensive notes and papers. The two seals sit on two distant ends of the mass, each suspended in an unusual violet liquid, floating perhaps halfway down the glass vases. (...)
Tepet Ejava On the largest central table, Cerin has placed a scale model of Creation, lined with materials of various elemental associations. Above it, he has rigged an elaborate mobile holding more than ten distinct spheres, each with a single letter carved into them. (...)
Tepet Ejava Above /that/ hangs a series of seven Essence lenses arranged to exactly line up with the noonday sun, focusing and refracting its beam along cosmological geometric principles.
Tepet Ejava It is exactly seven minutes before noon when the other Solars arrive to see Cerin making final adjustments to his contraption.
Tepet Ejava Anyone who had been to the garden recently might notice that Cerin had had every single inch of gardening on the terrace dug up and replanted in a mystic configuration that focused its essence upon the table conglomeration in the center.
Cerin "It is a little less elegant than I had anticipated," he notes to the first arrival. "But it is hard to work the magic materials with speed, and of course, it will do what is required of it."
Zahara admires the garden. "You have been busy."
Lucent "... impressive..."
Lucent sighs. He has to stop being impressed by the Wolf.
Zahara "What is in this liquid?"
Cerin nods. "Soon though, we will find the location of the seal, though I will need a mote of your essence Zahara."
Thirteen touches the violet liquid gingerly with a finger, not breaking its surface tension.
Cerin The liquid seems far too warm.
Zahara touches her finger to Cerin's palm, leaving behind a single mote
Birds "I do not think azaleas like being at the top of hills. We will have to replant this entire garden AGAIN when you're done."
Birds looks excited for an excuse to play in dirt.
Cerin "It is some of the food dye from Birds' kitchen. It is nessary for the light that reflects off the seals to cast the correct shadows."
Zahara steps around the room careful not to disturb anything, studying the way he put everything together, and guessing at the relationships and reasons for each item in its exact place
Cerin smiles and then raises his hand, gripping the mote. In the instant before high noon, he releases the mote into the incrediably complex inwoven system of essence he has constructed, and watches it cascade down through Creation.
Zahara looks up to see the flows
Thirteen listens carefully to the quiet chimes and chords as the mote makes its way through the system.
Tepet Ejava A stream of seven individual rays of brilliant white light cascade through the lenses at the moment of noon, meeting with curved, purplish trails that slide lazily out of the two jars of liquid. They bend around the single mote Cerin has released, gaining a yellowish glow before shooting in brilliant force towards the cast-iron suspended bauble bearing the Realm letter for "A."
Lucent watches the lenses, intently, wondering how they could be used in a Temple... such beautiful things they could make.
Zahara "Well. A?"
Thirteen "How long would it take to find the other two seals?"
Zahara "Hrm. Convenient."
Cerin "I would need the Eclipse Seal, the one we have just located. As the centre, only it has knowledge of the location of all four seals."
Zahara looks rather smug at that.
Cerin starts to disassamble his contruction, least certain minor instabilities are amplified and a large area of the garden explodes.
Tags: (:tags Demons, Primordials, Tepet Ejava, Dragon-Bloods, Realm, Exaltation, Red Lily, Seals of the Deliberative, Atomnos :)