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Eliax patiently puts away the two bowls he took out earlier as Thirteen returns to normal consciousness.

Thirteen "Thank you. I suspect that will turn out to have been most helpful."

Eliax nods. "I, of course, must ask several things of you before you leave." And he says it in the tone of voice that suggests that "ask" is him choosing to be polite.

Thirteen "Explain."

Eliax "You must not tell those who still live the location of our Cathedral. It is... inconvenient when those who cannot enter come here with blindness in their eyes."

Thirteen "Mm."

Eliax "And you must be certain that you have completed your business here before you leave."

Thirteen "What further business might I have?"

Eliax "I don't know." Having put away the implements, he walks back up to the dais. "But it is quite unlikely that you will be able to return."

Thirteen "What do you expect to prevent me?"

Eliax "Your death line does not extend a great distance into the future."

Thirteen "Hm."

Thirteen "I suspect I can accede to both those requests with a minimum of inconvenience."

Eliax nods.

Thirteen "Well. I have much to do, it would appear. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. I have only one question. How may I locate Nightshade?"

Eliax gestures to the door. "I will send someone along to assist you."

Thirteen "Farewell, then. Do not hesitate to call on us in future if you decide the Exalted Deliberative will suit your needs."

Thirteen walks towards the recalcitrant door.

Eliax The door remains unrepentantly closed.

Thirteen gives Eliax a raised eyebrow.

Eliax shrugs.

Thirteen swings his spear around and knocks relatively politely on the door with the butt end.

Eliax The door hesitates for a long moment, as if considering further stubbornness, but then, finally, creaks open far enough for Thirteen to comfortably step back out.

Thirteen steps out and makes his way back to the bottom of the hill.

Eliax When he gets there, he finds Berwyn, oddly enough, chatting with another individual, a relatively tall man wrapped in a dark grey cloak, with similarly greyish-blue skin showing on the long-fingered, soulsteel-ringed hands that hold it around him.

Thirteen "You have made a friend."

Berwyn "Ah, it took you long enough, Thirteen Blooming Flowers." He gestures politely to his new companion. "Harel and I have been waiting for you."

Thirteen "Communing with ancient dead stars is surprisingly time-consuming."

Thirteen "What useful skills does Harel provide us?"

HarelShadesfell reaches up and pulls his cloak back, revealing his bald, narrow grey head. "I'm probably the only person with my skillset you've met and your new ally just told you that he'd send me along to help you out. Are you always so picky about your associates?" He grins to make abundantly clear the tone in which his question is intended.

Thirteen "What is your skillset?"

Thirteen "Also, yes."

Harel "I am one of the shadow-touched. Well," he says, and gets a glint in his eye, "one of the, like, five or six." He bends down and whistles, and a nearby dead shoreline creature waddles over to eat out of his palm.

Thirteen "What does that provide for me?"

Harel "I can probably deal with matters related to Netheos better'n you. And I know a bit of anti-astrology." He pats the horrifying little plasmic on the head gently and it croak-squwacks in... delight? "I'm also an asset nobody else has, since I know for certain where the others are and none of 'em are out on loan."

Thirteen "Quite reasonable."

Thirteen "What drives you to serve me?"

Harel stands up and looks very slightly more serious. "The Cult has kept my family safe for, well... a pretty darn long time. If they say I'm supposed to help you," he says, and grins again. "Well, here I am!"

Thirteen "The Cult."

Thirteen glances at Berwyn.

Harel "You are the one who went to their Cathedral," Berwyn says, with a touch of amusement.

Thirteen "Yes."

Thirteen "Shall we go, then? I am sure we have much travelling to do to reach Nightshade."

Harel Both of Thirteen's companions nod.

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