Cerin ::Long-Awaited Spring, I would like to show you something, when it is convinient for you. Please, come to my study::
Spring arrives in a few minutes.
Cerin Cerin's door has been replaced since the events of earlier, and looks quite a bit sturdier than it was. It is, however, ajar when Spring arrives. Cerin is standing within, dressed in comfortable cloths rather than his more usual black suit. In front him on an easel is a large painting. The painting is Creation, from a point of view outside any of the planes, for they are all shown on it, all picked out in Cerin's usual attention (...)
Cerin to detail. "Greetings, Spring. Please, come in."
Spring does so, admiring the new painting. "Hello, Cerin."
Cerin As Spring walked nearer, the detail employed on the painting become more apparent. There was a small Jade dome visible at the heart of heaven, which was itself surrounded by the minature isles of glass. Malfeas' central square was visible too, and the isles of ash. Teserach showed the orrery, and over Netheos, Pluto burned with blue light. "I thought that this might be useful when you came to teach those about the planes beyond (...)
Cerin our own."
Spring "A brilliant idea. I commend you for it." Spring lightly traces his finger over a few routes his journeys have taken, without touching the painting itself.
Cerin "Touch it," he says quietly, "And offer it a mote."
Spring does so, his finger happening to be over the Isles of Ash, at the spot where the Orrery of Darkness lies hidden.
Cerin There is a transition, and suddenly Spring is within the painting, standing upon a few folds of the wyld. A few moments later, Cerin joins him.
Cerin The area of the wyld they are standing on, now that they are within the painting, obviously has several 'seats' made from polychromatic folds of pure chaos, caught in the moment of the painting and in addition, there are several trails of wyld leading out amongst the planes, which seem like they might be solid enough to walk on.
Cerin Cerin smiles. "Would you like to take a walk?"
Cerin Cerin sets off along the track that will take them around the 'inner core' of Creation, Meru and its 6 immediate satellites. "I think your entire class should be able to fit inside."
Spring "This would certainly make field trips more accessible."
Cerin "Alas, it is no substitute for actually travelling to the planes," he says. "But it gives an idea beyond your tution, perhaps," he notes, as they step out onto the brilliant stylised plane of Elysion.
Spring "Indeed." Spring looks around curiously, revelling in the sight -- and his sight.
Cerin In the distance, Spring can see a hunt going on, lions stalking a herd of gazelle, brilliant red flashes as one is caught, the claws opening it up. Rather closer to the pair there is a village of the inhabitants of the plane, the winged creatures acting out their lives.
Spring "For some reason, Cerin, I suspect that you did not bring me here merely to examine your handiwork, fantastic though it might be."
Cerin "No, that was not my entire purpose. I would like to speak to you about Lucent's assassination."
Spring pauses. "Who do you expect to commit it?"
Cerin "I hope to induce the Broken Suns to try in earnest."
Spring "Who are the Broken Suns?"
Cerin "We know very little of them. They are a cult dedicated to our downfall, organised via phrophetic dreams from an unknown source. All the members are tattooed with broken suns."
Cerin "They are currently planning acts of mayhem and destruction within Solaria."
Cerin "I would like to divert several of their cells away from their current tasks to instead attempt to kill Lucent."
Spring "Have you discussed this plan with Lucent?"
Cerin "Yes, he has agreed."
Spring "It seems a reasonable approach, then. What level of force are they capable of mustering?"
Cerin "I am not entirely sure. The cell my agent has infiltrated is currently working to obtain Essence weaponry from agents of the Mask Of Winters, however."
Spring "The Deathlords assail us from all sides. I suppose this is only to be expected."
Cerin "Yes. I imagine that other cells will be working to obtain similar weapons, whilst others work into positions to strike down people of note within the city."
Spring "We will need to place Lucent in a dangerous position, such that we can draw them to attack him out of turn. Perhaps he may begin investigating the Broken Suns, to draw attention to himself?"
Spring "Ideally, we will be able to use his assassination to inspire the populace to reveal the agents within their midst."
Cerin "That is rather out of character for Lucent, and whilst the cult might not pick up on it, their masters probably will. It was instead my suggestion that he leave the Cascade under the pretense of an argument with someone, perhaps Varanim or myself. At that point he is vulnerable, and a fitting capstone for their planned mayhem. It is my hope to catch them as they wheel about."
Spring "I am concerned that leaving the Cascade will not, in itself, be fitting enticement to cause them to abandon their normal plan. Lucent is, after all, rather difficult to kill."
Spring "We must make him appear incapable of defending himself."
Cerin "This is true. Hmmm."
Spring "What level of infiltration do you have with regards to the Broken Suns?"
Spring "It occurs to me that their agents may be delayed by their requirements for additional weaponry to attack Lucent. Perhaps we may provide them with weapons of our own."
Cerin "I currently have one agent within them, she is tasked with security, not procurement. What you suggest is also made more difficult by the lack of communication between cells, except as mediated by dreams."
Spring frowns. "They are well protected."
Spring "Dreams, you say?"
Spring "Then their communication channel is one-way, and not protected."
Spring "That must be our target."
Spring "The Unity makes it clear that control of dreams is at least possible to an accomplished sorceress."
Cerin "Indeed, although it also tells us that it allows communication in more than one direction."
Spring "Yes, but the communication must be initiated by one party. They do not have the capability to begin communication with their masters at any time."
Spring "We will simply have to ensure that we encourage them to strike at once."
Cerin "That is true. Although we cannot eliminate the posibility that they have observers, within or without the cell."
Spring "If that is so, then we will not be able to draw them usefully out of position at all, assuming the observers have more direct means of contact. However, we may be able to identify these observers in this manner, which will, at the very least, provide us with new avenues of interrogation."
Cerin "Indeed," he nods. "I wonder how we would fake the prophetic signs within the dream, however. They are constant for Telani's dream, but I doubt they are the same for everyone."
Spring "We must find a way to eavesdrop on the dreams that are sent, I suppose."
Cerin nods. "And without alerting them."