< Thirteen And Birds | Sol Invictus Logs | In The Summer Palace 1 >

Cerin was met with an unusual sight as he stepped out of the fireplace in an abandoned temple near Unden. The sky, so brilliantly blue and clear in the Sunlands, hung dark and oppressive over the Realm. These were no ordinary clouds -- deep crimson red mixed with black in shifting, striated patterns while cold winds blew across the earth.

It was not too long a walk to Unden, where the Grand Hall of Opaline Arches stood, the largest manse in the small city. It did not take a great deal of scouting to determine that Cathak Arigan was currently operating out of the seventh floor, nor was it difficult to secure a spot on the roof of a nearby building from which Cerin could look into the manse in question.

At the moment, Arigan's chamber sits empty.

Cerin studies the clouds with a frown as he sits watching the mans chambers, wrapped up in concealing essence. He hadn't paid so much attention on the way over, but now he had not so much to do, we devoted some effort to the clouds.

charlequin The Essence patterns of those clouds is quite unusual. It seems quite unlikely that this is a natural phenomenon, though it'd be hard to guess how long it had gone on for.

charlequin As Cerin contemplates the clouds, two gentlemen enter the room. One, a shorter, dark purple-haired man with a thin beard Cerin immediately recognizes as Arigan, a high-ranking general in the Cathak house. The other is unfamiliar.

Cerin turns away from his studies of the sky, turning his full attention back to the room of the general and his strange companion. Even as he extends his hearing out to catch what they might say, his eyes are trying to determine the nature of his companion.

charlequin The other man is taller and thinner, with a long red ponytail. He speaks first. "I think we will be well-served by this arrangement, Arigan. House Ragara has weakened as the fighting has worn on. I believe we can end their influence in one massive stroke."

Cerin idly listens as he starts to sketch.

charlequin Arigan nods and speaks in response. "I am glad that you believe so. I knew your reticence could be be melted when you were shown what we have at our disposal."

charlequin The other Terrestrial laughs as they step out a second door. They vanish from sight for a moment until they emerge at the bottom of a spiral stair into the nearby atrium, where a variety of svelte youths lounge about various decorative plants and a large central fountain.

charlequin The other speaks again. "I remain concerned about external forces, however. The Anathema in the Southeast and this new upstart Lily army are both potential threats to our Realm."

Cerin smiles to himself. The location was just about perfect now. He starts to sketch the complex scene before him, making sure to catch each and every curve of the youths about the room, every droplet of water from the fountains.

charlequin Arigan smiles wide. "The Lily army is no threat to us."

charlequin The red-haired man cocks an eyebrow. "You are so certain of this."

charlequin Arigan smiles and nods again.

Cerin gets out his paints.

charlequin He continues. "And I have quality information on the lands of the Anathema. They will not dare to strike against us. Even now, they have turned their military might away from the Realm, so certain are they of defeat should they strike at us."

Cerin smiles softly, as he carefully paints the crimson stain on the man's armour.

charlequin The other man does not seem to entirely accept this statement. "How can you be certain? What if the enemies of the Realm join their forces together to strike against us, as they have done in the past?"

Cerin starts to paint a shocked impression on the man's face.

charlequin "It is simple," Arigan says. "I have ways of being certain about these things. Very certain."

Cerin contrives to paint the virtous guardian with a sorrowful manner

charlequin The Dragon-Blood reaches one hand inside the cloak he wears over his armor, and draws forth a single, delicate red flower.

charlequin "With this in hand," he says to his companion's shocked expression, "we need never fear the Solar anathema again."

Cerin frowns softly and paints the flower in with an elaborate flourish of the brush. And then he shoots him.

charlequin Cerin's bolt arcs through the air. Moments before it strikes, Arigan spins around to face it, a shape of brilliant fire rising from his belt to intercept it -- but the arrow tears through it like paper and strikes the Terrestrial squarely in the chest, propelling him backwards where he collapses against the side of the fountain. His hand flops backwards and releases the lily, which falls into the water with a tiny splash

charlequin The other Dragonling has his daiklave out in an instant to protect against other arrows, but it is quickly evident that no others are coming. Sword still held tightly, he leans down to open up the note affixed to the arrow -- then gasps aloud as he sees what is portrayed within.

Cerin is already moving, heading for the man's office, flowing from shadow to shadow, leaping from wall to wall. Once inside, he spends a brief few moments memorising the contents of the documents contained within, returnign everything to it's proper place, and then he is away.

Tags: (:tags Unden, Realm, Visions of Eclipse, Red Lily :)

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