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Lucent When Lucent Copper Haze woke to the modern age, he had a cache of riches stored from the First Age; amidst them paintings the likes of which the world had seldom seen since. He donated those to the Sunlands upon his arrival, now adorning one of its great palaces, that of one of Zahara's dignataries. Word of the Sun and the man let Lucent have it for himself for a day, asking for Cerin to join him amidst the private museum, surrounded by pieces from all over Creation...

Lucent surrounded by pieces from all over Creation...

Cerin walks into the museum and over to Lucent as he stood before the great painting. "Good day to you, Lucent Copper Haze," he says with a nod of his head, studying the painting.

Lucent bows, "Good day to you, Cerin the Wolf. It has been long since we last talked."

Cerin "It has been some time, yes."

Lucent "How has time been treating you?" Lucent asks, walking past a grand painting of a Calibration Feast, something out of an end-of-the-world vision together with a grand festivity. "You have been gone more than the usual of late."

Cerin "There have been, how does it go? 'Places to go, people to see'" he says as he turns his attention this fresh painting. "I am well enough though, I suppose. And yourself?"

Lucent "Worried. But that is not too different from any other time, is it?" He shrugs, "We will always be besieged by outside forces that wish to destroy us and plunge all existence into darkness. I just tend to worry more when I knew them personally."

Cerin "And who would this be, in particular?"

Lucent "The Mask of Winters. The Lion. And. Well. Varanim."

Cerin "I was aware that you knew the Mask of Winters, yes. The other two would surprise me," he says, making it a question, or at least a demand for more information

Lucent "I knew all of you, Cerin. I was around for a long time in the First Age. I fought alongside Ymir and had heated arguments with Rosada. We never got along well, but at least I had some measure of respect and admiration for him." He looks at the painting, "And Varanim... were you there when Zahara met the Mask of Winters?"

Cerin "Yes, of course."

Lucent "His manneirisms? The casual manner of his actions and words, the way he thinks himself more grounded than his peers, dry wit and offensive sarcasm, the love of death and a disdain of tradition? Does that not remind you of someone else?"

Cerin raised an eyebrow. "That is hardly a specific list, although yes, certain people bear more resemblance to it than others."

Lucent "But she is a Twilight. Necromancer. With a similar personality. It is my firm belief she is going down a similar path... and not by herself, Cerin, but you know better than most how there are forces watching our every move. They will try to make her fall, like they did... all of us."

Cerin "Varanim is a great many things, but I do think she is likely to fall," he reassures Lucent. "Perhaps saunter vaguely downwards."

Lucent "Well, yes, one could never say we would, as well. But here we are." He shrugs, "But this is beside the point, I should have known you would say the same thing as Zahara did. But the fact is, I am not waiting along for this to happen again. That is why I want you to come with me to the Chrysanthemum."

Cerin "The Chrysanthemum is ... not at its best."

Lucent "Indeed. But Quen's old flame was from that place. She was together with him on everything. I want to know if she is still alive, and if not, if she left anything behind. It is the nature of Chosen of Secrets, you see. They write down EVERYTHING."

Cerin nods.

Lucent "And their peers keep those immense archives. But I think she is alive. It was... the way Quen reacted when we last talked, back when he pushed a shard of shadow in my soul and I stole one of his monstrances. It was not the reaction of a lost loved one, but... it was strange. All the same."

Lucent sighs, "I wish I was better at READING people."

Cerin "The reaction of someone who has lost a loved one and is learning to love them again?" He said. He shared Lucent's inability to read people. At least until his charms parred them right down to the finest of layers.

Lucent "Pehaps. Which means she may be reincarnated... can your interrogation learn of past lives, Cerin?"

Cerin "Anything that they know themselves, and perhaps a little more. It cannot create rememberence from nothing."

Lucent "And are memories of past lives things they know by themselves? Is the Shard a separate being, with separate memories, or merely untouched depths of their own?"

Cerin "That is perhaps a more interesting question than you think. They certainly could be. And yet they are certainly joined in the Exalt," he replies, after a little thought on the matter. "Certainty if someone has experienced the memories though, they are then their memories too."

Lucent "And we tend to experience those memories when we meet beings we once knew. Like former lovers. So, if she is reincarnated, you would know if she has met the Mask, and how much of any past assossiation has resurfaced."

Cerin "Indeed," he said with a nod.

Lucent nods. "And I suppose you will also hate me if I place the opportunity of Varanim's corruption as a tasty morsel before Quen, to push her test foward to a moment where she can better withstand it?"

Cerin "I would think you foolish, certainly. He does not, I suspect, share your difficulties at reading people. Which would tend to defeat the point of trying to trick him."

Lucent "Except, of course, that no one cannot read me without a throughout investigation. Something he would not have time to do." He smiles, "Cerin, you know I am not Lucent Copper Haze. I can be who I need to be."

Cerin "I would still consider you foolish," he says after some consideration. "Varanim has, I think, already been courted by one Deathlord. Besides, it is not the Mask of Winters she should be looking out for. Can you imagine her working with herself, only more so?"

Lucent gets a mental image which is a strange mixture of disturbing and hillarious. His face is an indescribable mixture of both as he struggles to find an answer, "... that is a very good point..."

Lucent "Who should we be looking out for, then?"

Cerin "That, I am not sure of."

Lucent "Hmmmm."

Lucent is now somewhat lost for words. "Well, then. Now I feel silly. Let us go back to the Chrysanthemum."

Cerin "Very well," he agrees with a nod.

Lucent "I intend to walk through the front door, as diplomatic envoys, but without prior warning. What do you think?"

Cerin "I think that ruined shells of cities rarely require diplomatic status to enter without difficulties and further, that finding someone to present ourselves too might take some searching."

Lucent "I thought the remaining Sidereals had returned to it, and did not want to startle them. They might be a little on edge after that. Well, then, let us simply go there and look over their archive, then."

Cerin "There are, I believe, somewhere in the region of half a dozen surviving sidereals that I know of. Somewhere in all Creation. This quite aside from the difficulties of getting there, now that the gate network is broken."

Lucent "I imagine we can, however?"

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