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alsoquin It is not long after Marku leaves, bringing his horrifying creatures with him, that Zahara has her first taste of solitude. She can hear the sounds from outside -- some sort of fracas or altercation. At first her guards stay put, but after a few moments one inclines his head as if listening, then motions to the other to follow as he flees the room. Though still tied and powerless, Zee is alone.

Zahara{EM} is in a state far beyond shock. It had been bad enough to feel them dissecting her internal organs, but the all-too-brief flushes of returning health and lessened pain made it all the worse. She hangs limply in her bonds, thoroughly exhausted and her eyes start to droop closed. Finally she is alo...

Zahara{EM} feels a surge of hope, which she forces back down with the lump in her raw and bleeding throat. She'd been dreaming of this moment for the past three days, just being alone. Left alone to sleep. But her mind twists as her gaze lands on the slowly darkening ember from the candle that provided the only light.

Zahara{EM} 's eyes then fall on the black patch of drying blood, fluids and bile on the floor beneath her. "Blood," she whispers, testing her voice. Then a little louder; "Blood."

Zahara{EM} laughs softly to herself, the noise not unusual to anyone in the vicinity, although the timbre of her voice has changed, gaining a ragged and hysterical edge.

Zahara{EM} braces herself for a second, then sinks her teeth into her tongue, filling her mouth with a fresh spurt of the liquid. It never seems to run out, not with the demons... She forces her mind away and concentrates on the task at hand.

Zahara{EM} spits the blood on the floor before herself in a ragged approximation of a circle, turns her head to focus on the smoldering ember, and then softly begins to chant, the words sounding harsh and wrong to her ears, not like the fluidity with which she usually speaks. Still; they are pronounced perfectly. Each word. She has known these words for years.

Zahara{EM} wills her words, the essence of her blood-gift to be carried to the remnant of flame. Wills it not die. Wills herself to be heard. She calls upon the lineage of Smoking Mirror.

alsoquin Zahara chants, and the blood circle she has drawn begins to glow, ever so faintly, and pulse with the rhythm of the words she speaks. Though she can channel no Essence herself, the raised-hairs feeling of its presence is still familiar to her.

alsoquin It takes a little longer than she expected, perhaps, but the moment comes where Zahara knows to stop chanting.

alsoquin She looks up from her preparations, and sees the tiny flame sputter and grow for a moment... before lifting itself up off the candle and into the air, and flitting over towards her.

alsoquin Zahara has seen many fire butterflies before, but this one is different... its flame wings are shot through with deep crimson and touches of black, and elaborately curved ram's horns leave its tiny abstract head and curve off into space. It leaves afterimages of its presence as it flies, and the serene sound of crackling follows through the air. It is, Zahara knows, the lord of a large city's conflagrations.

Zahara{EM} carefully finishes the last word before grinning widely, her eyes glitter with newfound pride. Not an Eclipse huh? Helpless huh?

Zahara{EM} bows her head to the elemental and speaks formally. "Orem, Lord of Conflagrations, I thank you for coming, and hope my gift of essence pleases you."

alsoquin The creature's wings crackle and pop as they slowly beat in the air, and it wafts over to land upon Zahara's nose.

alsoquin It beats its wings slowly and lazily, gathering in the Essence offered up by Zahara's lifeblood, and awaits her request.

Zahara{EM} considers asking it to help her escape, but realizes she cannot leave without what she came with. "Orem, I would ask you to bring a message for me. Can you speak with Smoking Mirror from here?"

alsoquin His tiny, horned fire head shakes slowly back and forth.

Zahara{EM} 's skin crawls as she knowingly damns herself to stay here longer. The flame spirit could easily burn through the ropes, she knows. But leaving...that would be harder, and she is not sure she can even walk. She frowns, and casts her mind about for someone still on this plane to heed her call.

Zahara{EM} coughs, and spits up bile as the realization comes to her. One in the Manse, who knows the gates. One whom the fire courts are familiar with.

Zahara{EM} "Tell her... Tell her that Kiriath has the Eclipse Seal. Tell her that I cannot leave, and I require their *immediate* assistance. And she is to...Tell them that... Tell them the collars are malfunctioning in Creation and to remove them."

Zahara{EM} "And tell her, and them, exactly where I am."

charlequin The tiny creature nods its head slightly, then looks up into her eyes quizzically, as if to ask "who?"

Zahara{EM} grimaces then spits it out. "Tell Relovia, the Immaculate Dragon. She resides in the Cascade. Tell her, they must come within three days. It will require considerable power to retrive the Eclipse..seal."

charlequin The creature nods its tiny head again, then lifts off once again. It flitters through the air, then out through the crack in the window on the northern wall.

Zahara{EM} watches until it is gone, and the flame that lights the room dies, and then her eyes roll back in her head and she passes out in a sleep so deep it mirrors unconsciousness

charlequin As Zahara passes out, in a room three stories above, a man in a silver cloak gazes out a large window at the vast canopy of Haltan trees, and the fires that are consuming many of them in the distance.

charlequin As his eagle eye spots the fire butterfly rise up from below and climb into the sky, he takes a single sip of wine.

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