Imrama walks among the bibliophiles and pagewrights of Solaria's central market, carrying a blocky brown sack under one arm. The sun hangs low in the sky, still a particularly happy sight this soon after the tumult of Calibration. His shopping done for the day, Imrama reaches out with his mind to contact a circlemate. ::Phoenix. Please forgive the interruption, but are you presently at liberty?::
Phoenix ::For you I would escape from the belly of a celestial lion, but such heroics are unnecessary, as I'm merely procuring certain metals and alchemical agents in the company of my handmaidens. What is it you need?::
Imrama ::I have an idea I wish to speak with you about. Would it be possible for you to join me for tea at The Den of Silent Thunders?::
Phoenix ::Of course. It's near to the bell of the third hour; I think we can conclude our business and meet then?::
Imrama ::Excellent. I will see you there shortly.::
Imrama Shortly thereafter, at the tolling of the third hour, Imrama kneels at a low table in the Den's sumptuously minimalist VIP lounge.
Phoenix says to two handmaidens, "Paea, Mosese, I must away on a mysterious errand. Here is a list. Procure the things on it; I will confer with you on them at the second hour after dark." She tightens the straps on her slippers and flies back to the Manse, arriving at the Den only shortly after Imrama does. "Imrama, I am at your service."
Imrama "Then please, Lady Phoenix, take your leisure." Imrama gestures to the place prepared for Phoenix at the opposite side of the table. "I have a pot of the finest Imperial Folly, and a scheme I think you may be interested in."
Phoenix takes a seat and pours Imrama's cup. "Oh, then I will give you my full attention."
Imrama takes the kettle from Phoenix to pour her cup, and then raises his own in salute to his friend. "We have done much for Creation in the past several days, we and our circlemates. And there is much more ahead for us to do. This is why I have invited you to tea."
Phoenix returns the salute. "I take it then that you have some questions, or, having considered them, you have turned questions into plans..."
Imrama "Well, I want very much for the project of our reformed Deliberative to succeed. And while my last experiment with proposing a constitution was a clear mistake, I believe that we will need some sort of foundational document if we are to build a functional and enduring institution together."
Phoenix nods. "I agree. The problem that suggests to me is, how do we arrive at a document that is a reasonable compromise of everyone's liking?"
Imrama "A thorny problem. One for which I have an unorthodox solution!" Imrama takes out his bag and removes the contents onto the woven mat to the Southern side of the table. When he is finished, several beautiful and uniquely ornamented books, each roughly the height and width of an adult hand, are displayed for Phoenix's inspection.
Phoenix chooses a book at random and opens it to examine. "These are..."
Imrama The first few pages of the book Phoenix holds have several short paragraphs copied out in a delicate Old Realm calligraphy. The rest are blank. "These are largely empty volumes, with just a few initial ideas I offer for a Deliberative Constitution. There is one for each member of our circle."
Phoenix "I think I begin to see the shape of your idea." She puts down the book. "So each armed with one of these, we can make suggestions and revisions at our leisure..."
Imrama "You are eternally insightful, Phoenix. Perhaps you already see, then, why I have brought this idea to you initially. With your mastery of the inherent magic of the written word, every addition, ammendation or comment made by one of us can be made to appear in the volumes of our fellows. Each standing before our own private mirrors, we may examine our collective reflections."
Phoenix "One merely takes into account your resourcefulness, and all things fall into place. I think we can do this, though it'll take some time and perhaps some experiments; I've never made two books that can talk back to one another." Phoenix looks excited. "It will be a grand challenge!"
Imrama "I am edified, as always, by your adventurous nature, Phoenix of Ashes." Again, Imrama raises his cup to his circlemate, and finishes its contents with gusto.
Phoenix grins and pours some more. "It keeps my feet off the ground, I suppose. Is this text then the complete...first draft?" She flips through one of the books again.
Imrama "I would not go so far as to call it even a draft. It is only an assemblage of ideas, none of which I am wedded to."
Imrama "I only want to initiate the conversation about the parameters of our Deliberative and the Faith Ecliptic, not seek a plebiscite on my ideas alone."
Phoenix That's probably the best way to proceed, considering." She coughs. "I have been wondering something."
Imrama "Yes?" Imrama raises his left eyebrow and blows steam off of his tea.
Phoenix "I have noticed that many of our entourage are earthbound, and it seems this is a shameful state for us to leave them in, when nearly all our Circlemates and ourselves are able to fly."
Phoenix "You perceive that you are somewhat the expert in the matter of flight... I wonder if we can construct some sort of personal transport apparatus that a person can wear, much like a removable pair of wings? I realise we could consult the neomahs for a more permanent solution, but that seems...unright."
Imrama 's eyes sparkle. "In the First Age, such devices to provide personal flight were quite common. My belt is one such example, but literal wings were also in use. I have the designs and specifications for this sort of artifact, recently recovered from the hidden cache of knowledge in the Terminal Aerie. What's mine is, of course, at the disposal of our circle."
Phoenix "That's excellent. I'll have my people consult you in more detail presently."
Phoenix The conversation turns to more mundane matters until their busy schedules force the Exalts to excuse themselves.