Spring zahara She notes his look at the bottle and queries, "hmm, do you not drink these days? I can provide some... water, or juice?"
Spring Spring "It is all the same to me. I am merely not used to drinking from a goblet."
Spring zahara half-smiles, and nods. "Well, I think you will find that doing so makes the flavor a bit better." She takes her own glass and sips it slowly. "So." She incises a small pattern into the table with a fingernail. "Your plans are coming to fruition. Are you getting everything you wanted from your return to the Sunlands?"
Spring "That is a very difficult question."
Spring "I am glad to see you all again, of course, and I feel that things have much improved since...I left."
zahara nods slowly. "...but?"
Spring "But I fear that my new approach to things is not being welcomed with the eagerness which, in an ideal world, it perhaps might."
Spring "I suppose that is no surprise, but you asked what I wanted, not what I expected."
Spring sips from his drink, regarding its ripples absently.
zahara "It is true that this world is not ideal. I have long given up on the idea that I - we - can make it so."
Spring "Have you?"
Spring "Then what are we..." he gestures, to take in the building project, and the panaroma of Solaria before them, "doing here?"
zahara rubs her forehead tiredly. "Surviving. Trying. Making it better than it was, if not perfect."
Spring "Forgive me, I misunderstood. You have given up on the ideal but not on the goal."
Spring "I suspect that is the best approach in many ways."
Spring "And yet..." Spring turns to face her more directly. "While there is a soul in suffering, I know that there is, at least, one simple act I could take to improve the world. How, then, can I say that I am satisfied when the ideal has not yet been reached?"
zahara "It all seems hollow sometimes. The First Age was glorious, but... it was flawed. I was flawed. And now it has all been forgotten, aside from ruins and artifacts that are more fodder for fighting and conquest than knowledge and rebuilding."
zahara She traces her finger around the rim of her goblet, then takes a long slow drink, closing her eyes to savor the taste and the feel of it burning down her throat. "I am not one to ask about saving souls. I make war and conquest, and create suffering in my enemies. I use knowledge for my own power. It burns in me and I revel in it." She pauses, "How then can I accept your ways so easily when I should be your enemy?"
Spring "You cannot, I suspect. If you do someday -- and I hope that you will -- it will certainly not be easy."
Spring "But remember that I was no stranger to war and suffering. You must be immersed in such things to truly give them up. A sacrifice of something you have never tried is scarcely a sacrifice at all." Spring swallows his goblet absent-mindedly.
Spring "The First Age fell, it is true. And so we are trying again, with the knowledge of what happened then, and how we may do better. The Third Age may fall as well. We may go mad, or die, or grow tired of our work."
Spring "But until that day I intend to assume that it will last forever, and to do my best to ensure that it does. If it falls, I have no doubt that our next incarnations will take up the gauntlet and try again to recreate the glories of a time that may never really have been -- when we ruled in harmony, and all was at peace."
Spring "We have the power. The difficulty is merely implementation."
zahara tenses at his words. "I am no stranger to sacrifice. I have little desire to make any more." She sets the goblet down carefully and shakes her head a little, leaning back in her chair with a breath. "It would be simple if one person had the power. But too many people hold it, with different ideals. Too many visions of perfection, or power, or glory. While we all exist there can be no lasting peace."
Spring "That is what I told the stars."
Spring gestures, then realizes his goblet is missing and looks around for a second before continuing.
Spring "When I went to the Cathedral, I asked the dead stars to tell me how we could come together. How we could work as one, and be at peace with one another. How a thousand suns could shine in the sky as a million stars might."
Spring "This is what they told me to do."
zahara "The stars cannot always be right."
Spring "I must believe in something."
zahara nods quietly and looks out over the site. "It is better that way."
Spring speaks, after a pause. "That is a beautiful dress."
zahara blinks in surprise looking down to check which one she's wearing. "Oh, thank you." She seems slightly mystified at the change of subject but accepts it.
Spring "That is one of the garments you have woven of love, correct? How, exactly, do you do such a marvelous thing?"
zahara launches into a detailed description of the path taken between the physical and the material, incorporating the wyld into solid creations and... "Oh you didn't actually want to know the theory, did you. It's a charm."
Spring smiles. "I have sworn an oath never to kill again. Would it work with a commitment of that sort?"
zahara considers, then nods. "You will have to repeat or elaborate on it until I have enough fabric... what exactly do you wish made of it?"
Spring "Nothing too elaborate." A gesture takes in the simple red-gold cloth he is wearing wrapped around his torso. "Hopefully somewhat...sturdier, though."
zahara "Not even a little elaborate?" she asks hopefully
Spring grins. "You may make things as elaborate as you wish."