Lucent finished preparations to go through the barrier of existence and into the demi-real aether between Heaven and Earth. To whit, he now has cookies. Munching on the first, he waits for Cerin outside the Cascade. "Meh. Birds' were better."
Cerin "Such are the lesser considered problems with rebirth," he observes. He was, of course, already prepared for a trip to just about anywhere in Creation as a matter of course. He makes a gesture, and the dematerialized Agatae behind him opens a circle in the air, linking them to the Golden Crysanthemum.
Cerin He steps through.
Lucent steps through, whistling an old tune. "You always lose something. Even when your old self is there, waiting for you."
Cerin "As you can see, this place is not what it once was..." he gestures around him.
Lucent "So this is where blind prophets come to hide." He whispers, taking a look about him, a pointed shrug to Cerin's words, "I have never laid my eyes on it, actually. It was of far lesser importance on my time. The Sidereals whose whispers crossed mine were in Creation or in Heaven."
The Chrysanthemum, at this point, is showing the signs of its disuse: though it has largely been cleaned after the massacre, it nonetheless has a dingy, unkempt appearance that reflects the lack of effort now put into maintaining its spotless appearance. (...)
The door through which Cerin had most recently entered the flower dome itself hangs open halfway.
Lucent strides inside. "I expected it to be in even worse shape, somehow."
Cerin "Lucent, some caution, please. Someone has been here since I last was," he says quitely, joining him through the doorway, and casting his visions through the now abandoned halls
The halls have been further ransacked, even in comparison to their state after the attack by the Lily: the carpets are torn up, the paintings flung to the ground, the braziers emptied and their ashes sifted through, the bookshelves turned over and then broken into flinders.
Lucent "How do you know?"
Cerin "The door closed. And the place has been ransacked, more than it was by the original attack."
Cerin "The door was closed"
Lucent "Damnit. What kind of Night Caste are you, you should have taken everything not bolted down."
Cerin "I was on my way to the Jade Pleasure Dome."
Lucent ::Well, that explains it. Think any of them are still around?::
Lucent shifts to silent communication on the off-chance they are being observed
Cerin ::I cannot see any of them, but please remain here for a few moments:: And with that, Cerin heads deeper into the building, looking around him for signs of who and what and when this occured, his senses tuned to the slightest differences from his observations from before.
Lucent takes a bite off another cookie. "Hunters will be hunters, I guess."
The differences are not hidden from Cerin's eyes, though a variety of Essence techniques were applied to mask the passage of those who came through here: Cerin picks up the traces of three individuals, a male Lunar, a female God-Exalt, and a third whose exact description appears to be... vague.
Cerin Cerin follows the trail through the building, ::Please, feel free to follow, although slowly::, most especially trying to pick up more clues as to the identity and purpose of the odd trio.
Lucent follows. Although slowly.
The individuals who ransacked the Chrysanthemum seem to have had a very wide mandate: it is clear that they began at the entrance, then moved out to gather information where they found it and to destroy whatever they passed whether it had been useful or not. (...)
Cerin doesn't have to venture much further in to be relatively certain that whoever these mystery visitors were, they no longer remain within the building.
Looking around, Cerin projects himself, trying to grasp the mindset of the person who trashed the room he stands in -- the irritation as they tip over bookshelves, the pause as they see something that might command their attention, then the further anger as they see how irrelevant it is. (...
This was clearly a person drawn here as an undesirable consequence of something that happened to them elsewhere, Cerin decides, and who clearly wanted whoever followed them here to have even less luck than they did.
Cerin "They are long gone," he notes to Lucent as he steps into the room. "I'm not sure if they found what they were looking for."
Lucent looks at a relatively defaced wall. "They just burnt all in their wake. I hope there is anything still to find here... it would be terrible if it was all lost." Lucent sighs, "Any idea who they were?"
Cerin "Distressingly little, a lunar, a god-exalt ... and something else."
Lucent "Lunar? Hmmmm. Not any we know?"
Cerin "As far as I can tell, no-one we know."
Lucent "Hmmm. New players."
Lucent looks around, tries to find something salvageable
Cerin joins him in the searching.
The two Solars go from top to bottom, through the entirety of the Chrysanthemum, looking for salvageable and useful pieces of information somehow left behind by the people who have trashed the place. (...)
Mostly, what they find is ruined and destroyed items, chaos and destruction. But here and there, after hours of exhaustive searching, a few bits that seem to have been missed catch their eye: (...)
scraps of paper containing subsections of lists regarding destinies attached to specific locations in Creation. A portion of a seniority report describing the assignation of various Sidereals to specific tasks. A report on the re-emergence of Solars (conclusion: utilize Solars as a targeted task force while maintaining a zealous anti-Anathema policy within the Realm.) (...)
A page from a treatise on forms of Essence channelling techniques, including their hypothetical capabilities and origins. Small fragments of several personnel files: Seven Leaping Herons, Qian Mian (fallen), Zinnobia (fallen), Jinia Azure-Feather, Ubo Uato. And finally, a small portion of the report on the unsuccessful attempts to contact and sway Lai Misuna before his Exaltation.
Lucent "Hmmm." Lucent mumbled, picking all of them he possibly could, the Coronal forming a lotus-shaped basket. "The bastards were throughout."
Cerin "Yes, thorough indeed. Still, we have an interesting collection of scraps to occupy us for the moment."
Lucent "Will need a Sorcerer to piece those things together. Or maybe Zahara's craft."
Cerin "Zahara's craft or her spells, yes," he nods.
Lucent finishes placing the last piece in there. "Think there is anything left here?"
Cerin "Yes," and then he paused for a moment as he considered all Creation. Wondering on the best way to discover the identities of the three who had ransacked the place.
Cerin feels himself drawn outwards, to the gardens and the landscape that surround the Chrysanthemum headquarters. He follows the steps downwards for a while, until he reaches the very edge of the island. (...)
Bending over, it is there that Cerin discovers something: a tiny moonsilver brooch, in the shape of an owl, that appears to have somehow fallen off (or been dropped) -- and on its back is written, in the language of Old Realm, a single name: Lilith.