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  • Zahara presses the combination for Rathess once Cerin has activated the key. "You know, we should really find a way to prevent other people from accessing our gate," she comments as the ring turns into a rippling pool of light.
  • Cerin nods "Perhaps we need to set up a guard post here of some kind...modifying the gates would be difficult to accomplish quickly"

<Zahara> "Yes," she says as she steps through the gate, waiting for Cerin to arrive on the other side before continuing, "That would be good. In the future, perhaps we can build some sort of.. paralyzing trap for those who enter without the proper code."

  • Cerin steps through after her. He nods "That would work, or perhaps something that would divert them"

<Zahara> "I'd like to see who tries to enter our Realm. Honestly, we could just build a very large cage around it." She looks around the broken city, trying to determine the most lucrative building to loot. "That would probably be easiest." She strikes off towards a sealed-looking building that looks like it were a public place rather than a residence.

<Cerin> "It could always dirvert them toward a large cage somewhere else...but a cage would be simplest, yes". Cerin walks by her side towards the building, definately one of the larger ones in the human octant, an area he has yet to explore much, beyond the laboratory. As they walk they pass by a great many of the towerblocks that served the Rathess dwellers as homes

<Cerin> "Perhaps a small force of Rannath's men, and some demons would be best suited for the initial guards though"

<Zahara> "I think diverting them will have to wait until we have more time. There's a war coming, and I have a ton of projects to finish before I get to this one." She comes to a halt in front of the imposing-looking building, "What do you think this was?"

  • Cerin nods "We do have a lot to focus on. I wish I could take some of the burden from you but...my gifts do not lend me the skill at artifice that you possess." He looks up at the building, noting the fine work embedded in the white marble that comprises the bulk of the building "I am not rightly sure, from its size it must have had something to do with the running of the city. I think"
  • Zahara shakes her head, "Darling, you've already helped me immensely. Your skill at seeing the flows of Essence has made the creation of artifacts a thousand times easier. No longer do I have to rely only on trial and error." she touches the marble facade lightly, running her fingers across the cool surface. "Let's hope the interior is intact."

<Cerin> "If the doors are intact, it likely will be, though that creates its own problems: How to open the doors without destroying them. It would be a shame too damage more of this city. Luckily..I managed to aquire some of these.." he reaches into a pouch on the armour, drawing forth a leather wrap. When he unfolds it, there are a number of lengths of crystal of all different sizes

  • Zahara lofts a brow, inspecting the crystals, "What are those? Some sort of key?"

<Cerin> "Ssithumi said they were crystal lockpicks...Dragonking criminals used them in the previous age."

<Zahara> "How interesting. Are they durable?" she picks one up and inspects it curiously, "One would think crystal would just snap off in the locks."

<Cerin> "IF the locks were normal locks, yes, but you remember the lock on your room when we stayed here after it was just discovered? It relies on precise shapes and pressures of a crystal, not movement of tumblers and other things normal locks do.."

  • Zahara replaces the crystal pick on the leather where it came from, "Well, I'll let you play the Dragon King thief. I would likely just break the lock."
  • Zahara steps aside and watches
  • Cerin smiles and kneels down infront of the lock, peering at it intently for a few minutes before selecting some of the picks, pressing them to lock in series and combination, occasionally frowning and selecting others...

<Cerin> Several minutes after he starts the lock on the building starts to click and cycle, and he smiles triumphantly

<Zahara> "You are a demigod." she smiles.

  • Zahara pulls him to his feet and kisses him, then disengages, and tries the door.

<Cerin> "And you are a goddess" he smiles as the door swings outward as she pulls, pulling on the other one. A wash of fetid air spills over the pair. Cerin gasps a little as it does.

  • Zahara covers her nose and mouth with her hand "Well that's pleasant" she coughs

<Zahara> "I think we should leave these open.

<Cerin> He nods. "Definately. This place needs air."

  • Zahara props the doors open with chunks of rubble from down the block, and enters the building, motes of dust dancing in the shaft of sunlight, exulting in the breeze that set them free of their long-held places atop..well..everything.
  • Cerin forces a mote of essence into his anima, a diffuse white gold light spreading out from him to illuminate the room beyond where the light from the door and the small windows reach. His castemark gleams "What a grand entrance hall" he remarks as he looks about him at the pillars and the mosaics
  • Zahara watches the dust play with Cerin's anima for a bit, then moves her eyes beyond. The ceiling arches far above them, sparkling with insets of precious metals in expressive patterns and in the center, a mural of two Dragon Kings, dressed in flowing robes, exchanging a rectangular object.
  • Cerin tilts his head "I wonder what that is...perhaps Ssithumi would know." He shrugs slightly "Where to now?" his eyes sweeping the room, noting the large doors at the other end, others doors to either side, and the two large staircases.

<Zahara> "Well, let's try the main corridor first. We can come back and try the second level if there's nothing in there."

  • Cerin nods and starts to stride across the floor, the almost hynotic flowing of the armour disturbing almost no dust as he moves, shadows playing on the walls behind the pillars. When he reaches there he pulls the doors open in a cloud of dust, holding them for Zahara, after a brief peek into the room beyond.
  • Zahara waits for the dust to clear before entering the next room, "Well they certainly had good architects in the First Age. I wonder if this was built by the Dragon Kings themselves, or by their allies? They would probably require special tools, given that they seem a bit too..clawed..to use human tools." She looks around, "Tapestries." she notes, looking at the faded glory adorning the walls.

<Cerin> "I'm not sure.." his eyes play over the tapestries "They had a magic once" he notes with a touch of sadness. A coridoor stretches in front of them, rooms to either side visible in the faint light his anima castes

  • Zahara shakes her head and tries the first door to the right. "There was a lot of magic, once." she says softly. "Now we struggle and claw to find the merest shreds of how to do so once again." The door slides open, another puff of dust escaping. Beyond is what seems to be a study room, with a large desk with an oddly shaped chare before it, and shelves around it.

<Cerin> "An office of sorts" he coughs against the dust again, then steps inside "A Dragonking chair in the human octant? Perhaps he was some kind of intermediary..though not too highly placed from the size of this room and the lack of the sun.."

  • Zahara pulls the chair out and tries sitting in it. It takes her a minute to figure out her legs are supposed to be tucked behind the front rungs. "Actually, it's surprisingly comfortable. I imagine it's meant so either species could sit here, as long as they know how."
  • Zahara looks at the desk from her vantage point, and leans forward a bit, pressing a panel near the wall below the first shelf. It springs open easily, reavealing...nothing. An empty storage space.
  • Cerin sighs softly. Some brief fiddling with the drawers in the desk reveals nothing of interest, merely a letter opener and some dried ink bottles
  • Zahara extracts herself from the chair, and checks for other storage areas, "Well, perhaps we'll find something in one of the others."
  • Zahara heads for the next office door, and pulls it open unceremoniously. She looks slightly peeved.

<Cerin> "What is....Oh. Yes, that is unfortunate.." as he takes in the sight beyond the door

<Cerin> There is a man, or woman sprawled over the desk, one with a human chair. there are ribs missing at the back, as though their heart has been removed. it seems that in their death, they managed to bleed rather a lot over the papers and books in front of them...

<Zahara> "It is." she frowns. "Do you think they're still legible?"

  • Zahara walks over to the dessicated corpse and pulls the papers out from beneath it.
  • Cerin leans over to study them too "These are unreadable...though.." he rubs his finger "This paper feels unlike any paper I've felt before.."

<Zahara> "It's stood up well, aside from the blood, actually." she holds a sheet up to the light, inspecting the few letters that are still visible around the edges of the blood splatter

  • Cerin is left peering at the back of a sheet of paper, being the only light here. "Can you make anything out?"

<Zahara> "No, but I might be able to flake some of this off... is there another letter opener in here?" she scrapes at it with a long fingernail.

  • Cerin 'persaudes' the desk draw to open. "Ah, here's one" he produces a thin golden knife, with an ivory handle and hands it to Zahara
  • Zahara smiles, "Thank you." and sets the paper back down on the table, moving the dead guy over a bit to give her more room to work. "I wonder what killed him." she comments as she scratches studiously at the blood, flaking it off as well as possible. "It seems deliberate, like a ritual. Or maybe someone just likes to eat hearts."
  • Cerin gently lowers the corpse to the floor "You'd think anyone performing a ritual would pick a less ...random space." He peers down at the paper as the blood is slowly flaked away

<Zahara> "Well, a battle ritual, perhaps." She brushes the chair off, then seats herself in it to get a better angle. "I think I can make out a couple of words.. " she wipes the blade of the knife off on the edge of the desk, sending a little shower of flakes to the floor. "See here. Something about.. well this says Dragon. I can't see the next word."

  • Cerin studies the document "And here it mentions the sun?" he points down "I wonder if these papers can survive water...it might make cleaning them eaiser.."
  • Zahara takes all of them, and places them neatly in her loot bag. "Good idea.. we can start with a blank scrap, but, Well, we'll have better equipment back at the lab, anyway. Let's see what else we can find before we spend too much time on these..."
  • Cerin nods "Perhaps we should try some of the upper floors. All these rooms seem so small, so the people owning them cant be of much import.."

<Zahara> "Maybe there will be a library up there. That would explain why there are so many small rooms down here..." she says, hopefully.

  • Cerin smiles "Perhaps. IT would also explain why this place was so big..."
  • Zahara brings her trusty letter opener, stepping delicately over the corpse, and walking back out, through the grand doors, and catches a bit of fresh air before heading up the stairway
  • Cerin flows up the stairs just ahead of her, his anima lighting the way. When he reaches the doors he pushes on them, then frowns as it appears they're stuck. He pushes harder, forcing them open. There is a thump behind them.

<Zahara> "Ooh something must have been blocking them."

  • Zahara peers around the edge of the door

<Cerin> There is a bookcase lying on the floor. there are a lot more beyond it, revealing in the shafts of light coming down from the mostly overgrown ceiling. there seems to be a large hole smashed in the top, shards of glass on the floor.

<Zahara> "Well, there go my 'walk around Rathess barefoot' aspirations" she says drily. "Now I suppose we'll see how well their paper does with water... the rain has undoubtedly gotten through what's left of the ceiling." She picks her way over the fallen bookcases.

  • Cerin grins softly "If you have such an objection to shoes I could carry you" he follows atfer her, more alert now, the hole in the ceiling may have let stalkers or other beasts inside
  • Zahara chuckles, "Perhaps later, although it does sound rather nice..." She hoists up several of the fallen bookshelves, righting them, and inspecting what lies below. The bookshelves tower above her, mute witness to the strength her body should not hold. "They must have taken the books out before they moved them.. I don't see anything, but.."
  • Zahara leans down and picks up a glasslike fragment. "This looks like it was once part of a recording crystal..."
  • Cerin nods "Almost certainly. I wonder if its possible to restore them somehow...probably not..." he points to some of the shelves still standing. "Maybe they will have something."

<Zahara> "Not without some kind of.. sorcery, or charm, I don't think. The technology is alien to me, or I could try to piece the shards together." she moves over to one of the standing shelves, and stands on her tip-toes to see what's on the higher shelves. "Well, this looks interesting."

<Cerin> "What have you found, love?" pressing up to her back and gently lifting her alittle so she can retrive whatecer it is, easier

  • Zahara smiles over her shoulder, "Thanks darling," and her questing fingers close on the crystal she'd seen the sparkle of. "I think it's one of those record crystals.. I hope it is."
  • Cerin gently lowers her to floor again, gently kissing the back of her neck, before stepping back to let her turn easily
  • Zahara displays her prize, an unassuming bluish crystal. "It's not the same as the one Ssithumi had, but it looks similar."

<Cerin> "You feed it some of your essence, if you want to see whats on it"

  • Zahara holds it up in her palm, and allows her Essence to imbue it with life..
  • Cerin waits for the slightly unfocused look to leave her eyes before he speaks "What is it?"
  • Zahara blinks a little, "I'm not sure, their accent was hard to understand. I only watched the beginning, but it seemed to be some sort of school for the Dragon Kings' children."

<Cerin> "Oh. Not quite what we were hoping for..but.." he smiles

  • Zahara shrugs a little, "Still, an insight into their culture, and what things were like then." she slips the crystal into her loot sack
  • Cerin starts to walk along the lines of shelves "It looks like someone or something has been in here before us, these shelves should be fuller.."

<Zahara> "Well given the state of the ceiling... I'm surprised anything is still standing." she sighs a little, "I had such high hopes." she cranes her neck to see the top shelves, "Someday I'm going to create a spell that will make me taller."

  • Zahara sets mode: +o John Telgar?
  • Cerin laughs softly, then casually walks up the shelves to examine the upper shelves "there are some things you might want to look at up here.." he smiles down at her, and offers his hand
  • Zahara chuckles, "Well that's cheating, you know." and ascends into the air on her own, taking his hand when she reaches his height.

<Cerin> "And she says I'm cheating..." he shakes his head slowly then kisses her before gesturing to the shelf. There are several undamaged books on it, as well as another of the crystals.

  • Zahara looks at the shelves now in view. "Excellent.. They must have made their paper out of something... well not how we make it now, at least." She rights the books so she can read their spines. "Hmmm. The adventures of.. Scale?" she chuckles opening the smallest volume. "See Scale.. See Scale Run. Run, Scale, Run. A national treasure to be sure."
  • Cerin laughs "That was not the book I was refering too" he pulls out the slightly thicker tome a few books along and hands it to her
  • Zahara grins, and accepts the tome, reading the title, "A Treatise on Salinian Methods" she eagerly, but carefully flips the book open, and begins paging through it, the pages feeling thin, yet still whole beneath her questing fingers. "Cerin.. This is what we've been looking for."

<Zahara> "We must get Birds to copy this for us, in case something happens to the original."

  • Cerin nods then looks at her "What is it exactly though? I remembered seeing the Salinian Method mentioned in some of your notes, though its not something I'm familiar with.."
  • Zahara smiles, eyes glittering. "Spells. The Salinian college created the concept of finding Essence through patterns of nature, and it is rumored.. that they bound the teachings of achieving the highest level of Sorcery into Creation itself."
  • Cerin 's eyes go slightly wide "That is incrediable...that we could do that once..and may well be able to do that again" he smiles at her

<Zahara> "It is.. and I will be the first in this Age to do so." she declares. "I will need time, though. Time to study this book, and if it is anything like learning the Circle of Sapphire, I will need to go on a quest."

  • Cerin smiles "You will be. I would go with you beyond the edges of the world, to help you on such a quest, if I thought it would do the slightest bit of good, but this is something you have to endure alone, is it not?"
  • Zahara smiles back and touches his cheek, "You're sweet, but yes... I will have to do it alone, although the edges of the world are much easier to reach with the Gates."
  • Cerin nods "Then perhaps I will not be without you too long."

<Zahara> "I hope not." she frowns. "I rather like being near you." she squeezes his hand. "But now.. let's see what else is here. There may be others, as well."

  • Cerin squeezes her hand back then starts to walk along the bookshelf
  • Zahara treads along in the air beside him, after picking up the crystal that laid near the Salinian tome. "I wish I could have come here during its glory days... I wonder what happened to all of the books..." she casts her gaze around, and from her new vantage, sees beyond a chunk of broken ceiling a large charred spot.

<Cerin> "Looters probably. Hunting someone who had turned looter was the reason I came here the first time..its books are likely scattered over Creation by now...you may even have some of them in your own library." he follows her gaze to the charred spot "I wonder what caused that.."

  • Zahara frowns, "A fire... maybe lightning? Or maybe set on purpose. I've heard stories about people who think knowlege is dangerous."

<Cerin> "As have I...should we take a look, or move on to more fruitful pastures..if what was there is destroyed, to an extent it matters little what it was.."

<Zahara> "Well, let's gather all that remains, and then move on."

  • Cerin nods. he drops to the floor and starts to walk over there
  • Zahara takes the upper path, so as to see if anything else remains on the shelves. She plucks one more crystal from a shelf, and finds another book, which gets tucked into her loot sack along with pretty much everything else, though she wraps the crystals first. She joins Cerin near the scorched spot.
  • Cerin doesnt look too happy with it. "Did you find anything else?" Then he points to the mark on the floor, where it has melted and flowed a little "This must have been set diliberately..no natural fire burns this hot"
  • Zahara frowns, "Just one more crystal, and a book. I wish I could find the person who did this... I know they're probably long gone, but it makes me SO angry!"

<Cerin> "There is a chance it was just to cover for a theft my dear. It is beyond my current skill to read any deeper...it was a through job whatever its purpose"

<Zahara> "Even so! The destruction of any library is worthy of punishment."

  • Cerin nods "There is nothing here for us anyway. Maybe there will be more worthwhile books on the shelves beyond"

<Zahara> "Lead the way."

  • Cerin walks around the burnt patch to the shelves beyond. He selects a row at random, then starts to walk down it, looking for thicker books and crystals
  • Zahara takes the next row, walking high enough that she can see the top shelves. "They seem to have gotten most of the good ones." she calls over to him.
  • Cerin sighs "There are a few crystals over here...not all of them look like they will work properly though...whats this.?.oh..nothing"

<Zahara> "What's what?" she peeks over the top of the shelf

  • Cerin holds up a book. It looks slightly foxed. Its possibly been badgered and maybed wolved too. Its title is unreadable. "The spine mentioned the sapphire circle, though inside its just gibberish.."
  • Zahara frowns, "Well.. maybe with enough study I can read it. It may need a key to read. Bring it with us."
  • Cerin nods and slips it into his own bag "Is there anything over that side?"

<Zahara> "There are several more of these crystals. The top shelves seem to be the most likely to have things on them. Unfortunately, they seem to be the things nobody cared enough to put at eye level."

  • Cerin sighs but nods his head "Thats pretty mcuh what its like in this row.."
  • Zahara nods, and they continue wandering through the library for several hours, sorting through the books, and taking all the crystals they can find.

Tags: (:tags Rathess, Crystal Tech, Solar Circle Sorcery:)

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