< Kai Chats With Her Sword | Sol Invictus Logs | Rathess Library Chats >

The morning rolls around and Kai awaits the arrival of others at the breakfast table.

  • Birds arrives with a basket of fruit and a small dog.
  • Zahara yawns and stretches, taking a languid shower before showing up to breakfast, freshly washed and slightly drippy.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Oh, Kai, good morning, have you met Troublesome Boy?" She indicates the puppy.

<Kai> "I have not." She says, happily snatching a piece of fruit.

<Zahara> "Birds, where did you get a puppy?" she asks, tying her hair up into a long tail.

  • Birds looks out the window. "...oh, places..."

<Kai> "Hm." Kai pets the puppy.

<Zahara> ::Reaver comes hop-flying in. He's not very good at flying yet, but he's picked up a little bit of it lately.::

The puppy bites Kai, not hard, but clearly wondering what she tastes like. "Don't do that, dear," Birds tells him.

  • Zahara leans down and scoops Reaver up from the floor when he tugs on her skirt. He clacks his beak and makes an odd chirping noise at the puppy.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Hello, Zee. Where's the boy?"

<Zahara> "Oh, ninja'ing around somewhere."

<Zahara> "I'm sure he'll show up when we least expect it."

<Kai> "Well, I hope so. I have a few things to bring up."

  • Birds nods and looks at her shoes. "You know, I have fewer reasons to buy shoes than I used to. What's on your mind, Kai?"

<Kai> "I've, uhm, put together some puzzle pieces..."

<Zahara> "Puzzle pieces? Shoes?"

<Kai> "I've been talking to Arexus," she lays Daybreaker in front of her on the table, "about some First Age goings-on."

<Zahara> "Oh so?"

  • Birds floats over the table, building a chair out slices of bread. "Arexus?"

<Kai> "Uhm... I hope I don't mangle it too much in the explaining... Oh, where to start..."

<Kai> "The guy in the sword."

  • Reaver and Troublesome Boy continue to look at each other in that odd way that pets do when discovering one another's existence.

<BirdsOfTrinity> "Oh, I don't think we have met." She waves at the sword. "Hello!"

<Kai> "Okay. So the Solar Deliberative was lead by a group called the Perfect Circle, one of each caste, each bearing one of the seals, like Cerin has."

<Zahara> "Well maybe he'll correct you if you get anything wrong." She keeps Reaver in check by scratching between his wings

<Kai> "Hopefully."

<Zahara> "go on then"

<Kai> "So, Ymir had the Night Seal, Kiriath has the Zenith, someone named Rosada had the Dawn. Black Iris and Askaru had the other two, but I don't know much about them."

<Kai> "Ymir disappeared with hers after killing Talmuda. Arezus is convinced she acted alone--he was told by the Sidereals."

  • Zahara nods, and listens. Meanwhile, Reaver slips from her grasp and skitters across the table to where the puppy is, screeching to an abrupt halt and tilting his head from side to side. Bright red eyes blink.

<Zahara> "They don't know everything."

<Kai> "Kiriath's was recovered and locked away after he was sealed away. Kiriath killed Rosada during his rampage--in fact, Rosada was the only major solar to die there. His seal was never recovered, until the empress wound up with it. Rosada was killed with his own sword. Daybreaker."

<Kai> "Or they do, and they were lying."

<Zahara> "Kiriath was there, when Ymir killed m..Talmuda."

<Zahara> "So... you were Rosada?"

<Kai> "Yes... But his ghost went on to become the Forsaken Lion. And if your right, his sword killed Talmuda... In Ymir's hands?"

<Zahara> "Bad Reaver!" Zahara interrupts briefly, as he attempts to chew the puppy's tail off - it just keeps MOVING.

  • Zahara clears her throat and returns to the important revealations. "Hrmmmm yes, actually... Kiriath was behind Ymir, and Ymir had your sword."

<Kai> "Rosada's sword, at the time. Three members of the Circle killed Talmuda, and the Sidereals covered it up... Then Ymir flees with her Seal... This part I don't understand at all."

  • Birds pokes Reaver. "Honey, puppies aren't tasty. Here, have a wind-up bird." She twists one up and sends it scuttling across the table. "You guys were really messed up in your previous lives, evidently."
  • Reaver pounces with glee on the mechanical toy!

<Zahara> "I suspect you were at LEAST as messed up as we were. Hmph."

<Kai> "So, Ymir hides her seal, and Kiriath seem to hide Rosada's, but not his own..."

<Zahara> "Maybe he was using it for something."

  • Birds Of Trinity finishes the chair and hovers above it as though sitting there. "Yeah, probably. Why would Kiriath do that?"

<Zahara> "They were keys to something, weren't they?"

<Kai> "I think they control parts of the Solar Manse?"

<Zahara> "Where is it?"

<Zahara> "But why wouldn't he keep Rosadas? And what the hell was Ymir up to anyway?"

<Zahara> "Did Kiriath compel her to kill Talmuda? Or did he do it of his own free will? Was that creature that's possessing Markuran involved then too?"

  • Cerin taps his foot on the ground beneath the chair he's sitting on, then is suddenly visible as he moves. "I don't know."

<Kai> "Gah! Don't do that!"

  • Zahara starts, then turns and smiles wryly. "See I told you."
  • Birds squeaks. "Oh! Cerin..."
  • Zahara leans over and gives Cerin a hello kiss
  • Cerin kisses her back, then smiles apologetically at Kai

<Kai> "Meanwhile, Rosada's soul shard is trapped in his sword, Daybreaker. Later on, Arexus finds it with the remains of an undead war party, tries to trap a Yozi soul with it, fails, and is trapped inside. An age later, I find it, and get Rosada's shard."

<Zahara> "Wait, who was Arexus?"

<Kai> "He was a sorceror, around the same time.

<Cerin> "Ymir was weilding that sword when the Crysanthamums tried to kill her, near the Orrerry."

<Zahara> "So Arexus was trying to trap a Yozi soul in it, when Rosada's soul was already in it, and then HIS soul got trapped in it?"

<Kai> "But! Ymir gets it back to Rosada some time before hew dies!" a pause "OR! She gets it to Kiriath, who kills Rosada with it."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "It must be getting crowded in there."

<Zahara> "So this sword was like a Cynis."

<Kai> "Only part of Rosada's soul was in it. The rest of him was a scary ghost."

<Kai> "A Cynis?"

<Zahara> "Passed around to everyone who had a pulse."

<Cerin> "From the state Ymir was in, I am not sure that it was her who returned it, to anywhere..."

  • Birds snickers.

<Kai> "But she still had her seal."

  • Cerin nods "That was on her body, in Bi`Allah. Sealed behind an impentrable barrier."

<Zahara> "Do you have it?"

<Cerin> "Of course. You've seen it."

<Cerin> "It does ...Nothing."

<Kai> "She hides her seal so you can get it, and Kiriath does SOMETHING with the Dawn Seal..."

<Zahara> ::Reaver finally tires of batting the wind-up bird around and crunches it down."

<Kai> "But the Empress had the Dawn Seal at the Imperial Manse."

  • Cerin nods.

<Zahara> ::He finds himself entranced with the rapidly wagging tail again. Little red eyes dart back and forth with its motion, until he finally can't take it anymore.... *POUNCE* he and the puppy go tumbling off the table.

  • Birds watches the pets with mild amusement.

<Kai> "So presumable the seals do something there."

<Kai> "And the other three seals were secreted away in the capitol."

<Zahara> "We still don't know where most of the Seals are... perhaps they only activate when they are all together, or when they are at the Manse."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "You sorcerors are tricksy like that."

  • Birds thinks.

<Cerin> "And somehow, the Crysanthamums ended up with Ymir's personal effects ... her ring, two of her badges of office, a dagger and some documents ... Zahara, if you can remember ... what was Ymir wearing? Every detail you can remember, please..."

<BirdsOfTrinity> "But Cerin, you should be able to tell if they are -supposed- to do something, right?"

<Cerin> "It is obviously an artifact of some power. It just does nothing."

  • Zahara suppresses a shiver as she casts her mind back to the all-too-recent ancient memory, and describes all she remembers about both Ymir and Kiriath's clothing.
  • Cerin listens very carefully.

Ymir was wearing her typical outfit, black ribbons and all, but when Zahara focuses on her collar the badges of office are conspicuously missing. She can't remember anything of what Kiriath was wearing -- just his face.

  • Zahara tries, as she finishes describing Kiriath, to push her memory a little further... just a little bit, a glimpse, a smell, a voice, anything at all... who was it? Who else was there, that terrified her so?

Zahara has a memory of a horrific, inhuman face, bearing a twisted smile.

  • Zahara twitches
  • Zahara haltingly describes the face as well as she can. "This one... there was something terribly wrong with him. And I can't remember who he was!"
  • Cerin holds her as she describes it
  • Kai to Arexus, "What did Rosada look like?"

<Arexus?> "Rough-skinned, long dark hair, beard and mustache. Always frowning."

<Zahara> "Did he ever look...inhuman?"

<Arexus?> "What? No."

<Zahara> "Do you remember anyone who looked like..." *she describes the face again*

<Arexus?> "....no."

  • Zahara frowns. "Damn... SOMEONE has to know who this guy was..."

<Zahara> "I bet he's disguised his memory with magic." she frowns

  • Reaver and Troublesome Boy tumble their way across the floor, chirping, barking, squeaking and yipping in a flurry of limbs, to bounce off Zahara and Cerin's feet.

<Kai> "So, we have the Night Seal... And the Empress had the Dawn Seal. I mean... Is there any way to find her?"

<Cerin> "That is an ... interesting question."

<Zahara> "Hmmm... that's a good question. One must wonder if she took it with her...wherever she went."

<Kai> "I mean, it's a big thing to have the seal... But it's a bigger thing to know how she got it."

  • Cerin nods. "That is very true."

<Zahara> "Somehow I suspect she will not be terribly forthcoming if we were to ask her, if we even knew where she was. Cerin, do you think you could track her down if we were to get to her Manse?"

<Cerin> "It is ... possible. I am not sure how easy it will be though.""

<Zahara> "Well..." she sighs. "We'll have to add that to our incredibly short list of things to do."

The Solars arrive in Nexus, the bustling city of trade. It is not quite as it once was -- threat of war has led to the city locking down its borders more heavily and hiring vast quantities of mercenaries to patrol the streets. As recognized allies of the Council, however, the Solars have little trouble gaining admittance.

Happily returned to the streets of her birth, the first thing Kai does is buy a large hunk of roast fowl from a street vendor. "Best in town," she smiles, returning to the others. "Uhm... Unusual as this is, maybe I should do most of the talking here." She looks over the other solars. "and maybe you guys should, y'know, lay low a bit."

  • Zahara arches a brow at Kai.

Once back in the city, Kai remembers the path she wishes to take with ease. Cutting through the more empty than usual streets, Kai leads the group into the notorious Cinnabar district of Nexus, then down a series of increasingly dark alleys.

Eventually, the Solars reach an area where the alleyways narrow down to thin passages, only a man wide, between intricate patterns of buildings; Kai finally stops beside one largely normal looking building, and knocks on a largely concealed doorway three times.

  • Zahara concentrates on looking inconspicuous and possibly a little helpless, just in case someone feels like entertaining her.

After a few moments, a voice answers from within. "Who's there?"

<Kai> "Kai Buckthorn. I'm here to see Ten-Eyes."

One of several small panels in the door slides open; something looks out at the group from inside, very carefully; then the doorway comes unlocked and swings lightly open, showing the way into a narrow, barely lit staircase leading downwards.

  • Kai steps in.
  • Zahara trails along behind

The spiral staircase leads down about five floors before emptying into the center of a torch-lit hallway with four other staircases at its corners; Kai knows to take the upper-left one. It too goes down some distance before emptying into more hallways, which eventually zig-zag over to a small room.

  • Cerin follows behind Zahara, not that anyone notices.

Lit only by perhaps fifty candles, a shadowy figure sits in a plush red chair, one thin bony hand holding a glass of liquor, his face shrouded by a dark hood. There is a thick, ashy smell in the room.

<Osiril?> "Wellllcome, Kai, I have not seeeeeeeen you in some time," the figure says, in a strange, hissy voice.

<Kai> "I left town after my father died. Well, not that I need to tell you." She smiles.

  • Zahara watches the interactions curiously, and takes a moment to discern the motives of creepy hissy guy.

<Osiril?> "Indeeeeeeed." There is a light hiss. "What brinnnnnngs you to seeeeeee me today?"

<Kai> "I need to know about some people."

The hooded figure nods very slightly in the orangish light, and the glass-holding hand inclines to indicate that Kai should continue.

  • Zahara stands off to the side, observing the conversation, the room, and the mysterious person who seems to be Kai's friend

<Kai> "Lai Misuna. You'd probably recognise him, his image showed up a hundred feet tall, blazing in the sky not too long ago, along with two others, a man and a woman. Those two killed my father. I need to know who they are, where they come from..."

  • Osiril makes a sharp intake of breath, complete with a dry rattling noise. "You asssssssk much, Buckthhhhorn." He sets down the cup on a bookshelf and reaches up with one long, sharp fingernail to what appears to be a loose web of silk ropes hanging from the ceiling. With a slight tug, it falls down to hang vertically, revealing an elaborate geometric pattern.

<Kai> "I do, I know it. But it is important, I promise you."

  • Zahara raises a brow and shifts her sight into the other, viewing the magic that the creature works - or not, as the case may be.
  • Osiril takes a candle from the ledges in the back of the room and holds it to the bottommost strand of the silk. As the flame slowly rises along the strand and branches off in different directions, he begins to explain.
  • Osiril 's voice becomes oddly clear and distant. "Lai Misuna of Larjyn, child of a family of some repute. Born under the sign of the Sorcerer."

<Osiril?> "Wandered frequently from his home. It was in the East where he made a discovery that changed everything." A single strand, wrapped around itself seven times, flares up brightly.

<Osiril?> "It is here that the invisible strands tug at the weave. He is drawn to Estoc, he and two others." The claw points out two other strands, pulling in from the sides. "Holbar and Shikaya."

<Osiril?> "They were given the gift of ambrosia, and each went back to their homelands to find a willing partner. One year passes." The pattern burns along the outer edges now.

<Osiril?> "The strands join back together, here. The weave threads throughout Creation" -- the three strands bend out to the edges of the silken pattern, and even beyond, before drawing back together -- "and all the while, the invisible threads holds fast, pulling them into place."

<Osiril?> "Then..." The three strands of silk have burned red, purple, and brown since they came back together; suddenly they shoot off one hundred or more runners, each of which flares up into a different, brilliant color as it burns.

<Osiril?> "What will happen now? Will the weave pull itself apart? I cannot say."

<Osiril?> The last of the silk burns up and drops as ashes to the ground, and Osiril leans back into his chair.

  • Kai glances back at the others very. very briefly, giving them a look that says 'Did that make sense to anyone?'
  • Zahara nods slightly

<Zahara> "So the real question is... who is pulling the invisible threads?"

  • Osiril nods.

<Cerin> ::Ask of him what beings his divinations would not show::

<Kai> "There are beings you... could not speak of?"

  • Osiril nods, more slowly.

<Kai> "Those that pull the strings."

  • Osiril nods once more.

<Zahara> "Can you tell us who they are NOT?"

<Kai> "They are not the gods that Lai calls patrons, I'll wager."

  • Osiril 's hand gestures positively at Kai. He reaches up and pulls down another web of silk, larger than the first. This one is already colored -- it forms a perfect map of Creation, hanging perpendicular to the ground.
  • Birds watches, waiting.

After a second, Osiril pulls on one of its corners, and it falls, until strands at its corners catch on some unseen hook far above, and it hangs instead perfectly parallel to the floor. He reaches out and pulls downward on some of the strands, and a vast network of silk pulls downward from the surface of creation into an elaborate latticework, culminating at the bottom in a knot of green and black that he holds between two clawed fingers.

With a quick motion, he sets the knot aflame and it burns brilliantly, racing upward to the surface of creation, which is consumed in a brilliant, smoky blaze. With that, he lifts up his glass once more and takes a deep, deep draught.

  • Zahara raises a brow. "The future?"

<Cerin> ::Beware that which sleeps below Rintoko ... I do not think it sleeps any more.::

<Kai> ::But what is it?::

<Cerin> ::I do not know.::

<BirdsOfTrinity> ::Probably better that way.::

<Zahara> ::Maybe we should ask your friend, Kai."

<Kai> "... Rintoko."

<Cerin> ::Though Ymir did battle with one of them, if the stories are to be believed. And the description of that sounds much like the thing that took Marku::

  • Osiril doesn't say anything in response to Kai's query.

<Zahara> "Can you show what would happen if that knot were...taken care of?"

<Cerin> ::I was right. It is Rintoko. Whatever that is, beyond a city that was sealed in the first age::

  • Osiril has returned to his original voice. "Thhhhat is not for me to ssssssay."
  • Osiril turns to Kai. "Priiiiiicccccccccce."

<Kai> "Yes?"

<Osiril?> One clawed finger gestures towards Daybreaker. "Let me hold thhhhhhhhhat, for a momentttttt."

<Zahara> ::Just a note, Kai. Make sure to negotiate the price BEFORE you get the product.::

<Kai> ::Lessons hard learned::

  • Kai keeps her eyes firmly on

<Zahara> "If you tell us what you learn from it."

<Kai> "Osiril." She begins to walk forward. "You should know that I don't let this blade leave my hand." She draws the blade and holds it forward. "But you may handle it thus, and know what you will."

  • Cerin studies the demon and the sword with interest, as he listens for what isn't said.
  • Osiril holds it gingerly in his long, clawed fingers. After a moment, strands of black, swirling darkness rise out from the places where he touches it and swirl around his hands, faster and faster; the sword itself begins to unglow with a dark light. A faint whispering sound can be heard by each of the Solars at the far edge of their hearing....

<Osiril?> With a quick motion, one hand releases the sword and grabs a new silk net, which it drags through the blackness. When it emerges, it is dyed the deepest black. Letting the sword go with the other hand, Osiril hangs the net upon the ceiling and the swirls of black and the unglow fade entirely.

<Osiril?> "I willllll alwaysssss be heeeeeere, Buckthhhhhhorn. Goodbye."

  • Kai bows deeply. "My thanks, Ten-Eyes."
  • Osiril makes a vague hand gesture at Kai as he sinks further into his chair.

<Zahara> ::What IS he anyway?::

  • Kai moves back to the others, and toward the stairs.

<Cerin> ::He was once the mortal child of a demon of the second circle. He is now something different, closer to a demon than mortal. You noticed he was dematerialised, and merely manifested, I trust?::

<Zahara> ::Indeed.::

<Kai> :: So, uhm, how much did we learn here? ::

<Zahara> ::That we need to do something about Rintoko.::

<BirdsOfTrinity> ::Spiders are not fun. That man had a serious spider...complex. That was not fun. What were you saying about roast fowl, Kai? I'd like to have something comfortable in my hand before we confer overmuch.:: Birds shudders.

<Kai> to Arexus: "Are you all right?"

<Kai> "Oh, best in town!" she smiles.

  • Arexus replies with a vague groaning noise.
  • Zahara checks out the sword to see if it looks different

<Cerin> ::We also know where the three came from.::

<Kai> :: And their names, finally. ::

<BirdsOfTrinity> ::Rintoko... you think this is urgent enough for the top of the list, or should we handle the Chaya and so on issues first?::

<Zahara> ::Honestly it seems that all our ills spring from one font. But if we can weaken it by dealing with the others, we might have more of a chance to strike through its heart.::

The sword appears no worse for the wear.

<Kai> :: Chaya might give us a lead on what to expect in Rintoko. ::

<Cerin> :: I think Rintoko is something we had best investigate when we have secured our position up here. We need to leave the world in a state we can return to.::

<Cerin> ::We also know the location of the other two of the three, or where they came from at least::

<Zahara> ::Oh?::

<Cerin> ::You could see it from the map, though he only mentioned Lai. Gem and Diamond Hearth.::

<Zahara> ::Hmmmm... our list keeps growing without end. I suspect I cast Benediction of Archgenesis on it while I was exceedingly drunk.::

<Cerin> ::Gem is where the Shadowed Unlife Equation originated in Creation, or that is a probable location. And Diamond Hearth is the home of the Haslanti, and their mechanised armies that march on the north.::

<Zahara> ::Well that explains things somewhat, at least.::

<Cerin> ::I think we need to investigate Estoc, to the west.::

<Zahara> ::Perhaps I should bring some demons along this time.::

Some time later, when she feels that Arexus is probably recovered, Kai sits down with the sword again.

<Kai> "So, one more question."

<Arexus?> "....uh huh."

<Kai> "Do you know anything about a place called Rintoko?"

<Arexus?> "Rintoko. That was a city in the Underways."

<Kai> Yes."

<Arexus?> "It was abandoned."

<Kai> "Why?"

<Osiril?> "People started disappearing there. There was some kind of cult, kidnapping and murdering people there. They evacuated it, and then there was some sort of disaster -- earthquake, or something. No one ever moved back in."

<Kai> "Ymir went there, no?"

<Arexus?> "Yes."

<Arexus?> "She was gone for some time, too."

<Kai> "They declared her dead. Do you know anything about what she found?"

<Arexus?> "She wouldn't talk about it. Said it wasn't for us to know."

<Kai> "Hm. I fear she may have brought some of it back with her..."

<Arexus?> "Hm, why do you think that?"

<Kai> "I don't know... Maybe I'm grasping at straws... But it seems like a lot of trouble started after that... Where was Rintoko, anyway?

<Arexus?> "Deep underground."

<Kai> "Mm, but where geographically?"

<Arexus?> "Do you have a map?"

<Kai> "I'm sure I can find one." Kai does a little searching, and quickly turns up a map of the Realm.

<Arexus?> In her hands, Daybreaker shifts and twists a little bit -- turning to point at the location on the map marked out by the legend Q11.

<Kai> "Hm. Oh, one last thing, while I think of it: The Circle had badges of office, did they not?"

<Arexus?> "Yyyyyessssss...."

<Kai> Do you know if they had any signifigance or, like, powers, beyond indicating status?"

<Arexus?> "They were keys, I believe, to the tools of governance."

<Kai> "The Tools of Governance?"

<Arexus?> "The devices and magical machinery that the deliberative used to help maintain the nation."

<Kai> "And these were kept in the Manse?"

<Arexus?> "I don't know what sort of things they had in particular. I never sat on the Circle."

<Kai> "Hm. Thank you."

Tags: (:tags Troublesome Boy, Arexus Jonai, Daybreaker, Solar Deliberative, Perfect Circle, Seals of the Deliberative, Dawn Caste Seal, Zenith Caste Seal, Night Caste Seal, Rosada, Ymir, Kiriath, Talmuda, Sidereals, Empress, First and Forsaken Lion, Imperial Manse, Orrery, Nexus, Osiril Ten-Eyes, Lai Misuna, Larjyn, Estoc, Holbar, Shikaya, God-Exalts, Rintoko, Shadowed Unlife Equation, Haslanti, Gem, Diamond Hearth, Underways :)

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