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Cerin Cerin is spending his afternoon out in one of the upper gardens of the Cascade, looking out over Solaria towards the Blessed Isle. He has some tea on a table beside, and a large easel in front of him, although at present he is instead sketching in a large, loose-leafed book.

Varanim wanders in with half a pastry in her hand. "You hrfh stff t'show me," she mumbles through her current bite.

Cerin "Pardon?" he says, looking up from the sketches.

Varanim swallows and says a little more distinctly, "Dead things. You know, spooky stuff?"

Cerin "Ah, yes." he sets down the sketchbook. "Tea?" he offers. "And when you say 'dead things' do you mean, things that are in the process of dying, things that are in the process of never dying or things that have been dead for some time?"

Varanim "Second or third," Varanim says after a moment of consideration and after waving off the offer of tea. "You people were up to quite a bit of hanky-panky before I arrived. Got some cool notes to share?"

Cerin "My notes on the second are rather considerable and were not made entirely by myself. They are also not here," he gestures to the garden. It lacks bookshelves. "So perhaps the third might be the best topic for now. Of course, I have no notes here on that either, but they are shorter and so easier to just talk about."

Varanim sprawls onto a nearby bench and laces her fingers behind her head. "Besides Lucent's narcissistic obsession with the Mask of Winters, what kinds of Deathlord meets have you people had?"

Cerin "Just the Mask of Winters, to date," Cerin says, as he opens up the sketch book again, starting to draw. "And ... calling cards from the Lion."

Cerin "Oh, and the Walker in Darkness, but that was some time ago."

Varanim "Any cards besides the spies? And what's the deal with Mask, besides him and certain of your Zeniths not being able to quit each other?"

Cerin "I have my suspicions," he says as he continues to sketch, "that he was behind the Third Circle Demon which killed Zahara, and it is he who unleashed the Shadowed Unlife Equation."

Varanim "So he's either really busy--and he seemed pretty chill the one time I met him--or he has special feelings for you guys. Neat, remind me to move out of the Cascade soon."

Cerin "I would tend to suspect the latter," he says. "As for the Mask of Winters ... no, we know disturblingly little about what he intends now that he has captured the city of Lookshy."

Cerin (...)

Cerin "Oh, and thanks to Lucent, we know he was the curator of the Most Unparalleled Gathering of Wonders. This granted him access to no small stash of artifacts, including The Diplomat's Bane, a magical lantern which binds people into treaties and agreements. It is how we accquired much of the Sunlands ..."

Varanim nods. "Chick dig the guys with the gear. He have any notable sidekicks when you saw him?"

Cerin "He has several Abyssals in his employ, including the two with residence here, as well as the Juggernaught, of course." From his position on the page, the sketch might be finished soon.

Varanim "Yes, that." Varanim gets that weary look that occasionally crosses her face when she's remembering some particularly charming turn of her studies. "Someone should really fix that thing."

Cerin "Yes, that would probably be helpful." He thoughtfully regards the sketchbook.

Varanim "I'll put it on my list." Varanim slouches to her feet, casting an eye at Cerin's sketchbook.

Cerin seems satisfied and turns it around. (...)

Cerin It shows one of the most complex essence diagrams Varanim has ever seen. It comprises multiple distinct layers, the interesting features of each labelled in Cerin's neat script, detailing the charm they are associated with, its power and effects. The flow lines used each have a distinct colouring, indicative of the changes of Orientation which occur as the motes flow along them. Over the page from the charms that surround him is (...)

Cerin the Deathlord himself. He quite clearly comprises two souls, Hun and Po, both massively swollen with power and linked with a single bridge of malfean essence, again highly complex, the multiple anchor points all labelled neatly. "The Mask of Winters."

Varanim Varanim's face lights up in a brief smile, free of sarcasm, as her eyes run over the diagram. "You're so cute when you're being coy."

Cerin Cerin smiles.

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