<Zahara> "So, how do you think Marku's test is going?" she asks. She allows a hint of worry to tinge her question.

<Zahara> "So, how do you think Marku's test is going?" she asks. She allows a hint of worry to tinge her question. -}}> *chanserv* op #SolInvictus Zahara

<Kai> "Do you think it's just a test of arms? I mean, how do you really test honor?"

  • Shiro is now known as Cerin
  • Zahara shrugs a little, "I would think the test of Strength is a test of arms. Honor, well. I suppose they could ask him to promise something and tempt him to break it."

<Cerin> "Or place him in some situation, where there are many choices of what to do, and where one is the 'honourable' one. Assuming they have the same views of honour as we do, or rather, as Marku does."

<Zahara> "Something tells me their view of honor is more similar to Marku's than the rest of ours. He has as much rage as them, sometimes."

<Cerin> "That is true."

<Zahara> "Though he does value his ancestors, as far as I can tell. And people and humanity in general, to quite a ridiculous degree."

<Kai> "Hm. I suppose it's a good thing he's the one taking the test, then."

<Zahara> "Well, unless they are trying to have him prove his honor by having him choose something else over humanity.'

<Cerin> "Indeed."

<YoungMan?> The Exalts hear the sound of approaching footsteps. Cerin can easily identify Serenal as the approacher.

  • Cerin mouths "Serenal."
  • Zahara sighs and sits on a convenient piece of furniture and stares out the window. "Do you think he'll be long" she turns to regard the door, "Ah, my favorite neutered puppy."
  • Serenal enters, looking somewhat confused. She sits down quietly.

<Kai> "Is everything alright, Serenal?"

  • Zahara crosses her legs and leans back slightly, regarding the Lunar, and waits for her to answer Kai's question.

<Serenal?> "Markuran still has not emerged from his test of honor."

<Kai> "Is that unusual?"

<Zahara> "What was this test that you sent him into?"

<Kai> "I think he rather sent himself, Zahara."

<Serenal?> "I do not know. Every test is different, tailored to the one who is to be tested."

<Kai> "But you seem troubled..."

<Serenal?> "It is unusual. I do not know of a test that has gone on so long as this."

  • Kai smiles, "Hm. I suspect Markuran is an unsuual case."

<Serenal?> "Perhaps." She composes herself a little. "Now that you have seen the great city of Lachu Atapis, I am sure you recognize the superiority of our way of life!"

<Zahara> "I do have one question about your way of life."

  • Serenal hesitates for a moment, an instinctual animal defense reflex. "...ask."

<Zahara> "You spurn the trappings of civilization, according to your words. Yet you live in a city that is nearly larger than our own capitol. I don't understand this."

<Serenal?> "Your cities are weak and filthy. You fill a city this size with a million creatures, too weak to fend for themselves and too stupid to live away from their own shit. Such a city is fit only to be a playground for our kind, not a cage for mortal whelps."

<Zahara> "So if there were more of you, you would not let them all stay here?"

<Serenal?> "Our territories are vast. Were too many to come here, we would battle them viciously for the right to our space."

<Zahara> "You would make war with other Chosen simply to define who gets to piss where, then?"

  • Serenal gets defensive again. "It is the way of our kind."

<Zahara> "Oh, I'm not saying that it's unusual. It's just something all humans do, if they let their anger overcome their common sense."

<Kai> "As though you wouldn't get all in a ruff if someone moved into the Labyrinth and set up shop."

<Serenal?> "You do not truly understand anger, Zahara. What do you know of it?" she spits.

<Zahara> "Yes, Kai, but I am only human. Chosen by the Sun, yes, but still, human."

  • Zahara quirks a brow at Serenal, "I'm quite sure you've seen my anger while you were spying on us, Serenal. But you are correct, I keep a leash on my anger."

<Serenal?> "That makes you weak! You put foolish pride and false dignity above the power that anger offers!"

<Zahara> "And yet I have cowed you. Twice."

<Cerin> "Power is nothing without control, Serenal. When you are angry, truely angry, you have no control. I know this. I know this very well."

  • Serenal bares her teeth at Zahara and hisses.
  • Zahara toys with the collars around her neck idly and smiles serenely at Serenal.

<Serenal?> "How would you know such a thing?"

<Cerin> "Because I have had a rage in me that burned brighter than the sun. And in that instant, I cared for nothing except to kill my foe. And kill him I did, eating his very soul. And in that moment, had anyone else in the world acted, I would not have seen, would not have noticed, could have died."

<Serenal?> "But would you have had it otherwise? You safe, your foe unbeaten?" She says this with great bitterness.

<Cerin> "My foe I could have beaten without the anger, without the rage. It was foolish to get so angry."

  • Serenal seems to lose some of her ire and instead merely become sulky.

<Zahara> "Anger is an important emotion indeed, but control it, use, it, use it to sharpen your senses and your blade. But do not let it use you."

<Zahara> "You are stronger than your Rage."

  • Serenal continues sulking a little, though she doesn't seem able to completely brush off the advice.
  • Zahara nods slightly to herself.

<Zahara> "So." She looks out the window. "I suppose it is against the rules to try to rescue our erstwhile barbarian."

<Kai> "Do you think he needs rescuing?"

<Zahara> "He always needs rescuing. Usually from himself."

  • Cerin nods, sadly

<Zahara> "He's probably doing fine, though. Just taking extra time to convert people to his cause, or eating a really really large dinner."

  • Cerin snorts.

<Cerin> "I wonder how long he will be.."

  • Zahara shrugs, "As long as he wants, I suppose. I have not felt him die, yet."
  • Serenal raises an eyebrow.

<Cerin> "True. Serenal, is the aught else of interest in Lachu Atapis?"

<Serenal?> "What do you wish to see? There is much left of the previous age that bores me, but it might prove of some interest to you."

<Cerin> "Is there a library here?"

<Serenal?> "Yes, the remnants of one."

<Cerin> "The remnants?"

<Serenal?> "Much of it has not survived the passage of time."

<Zahara> "Ah, well, perhaps we can do something about that."

  • Zahara rises and gestures for Serenal to lead the way
  • Serenal leads the Solars down into the depths of the city, then up to a square building near its center.
  • Zahara inspects the building curiously

<Serenal?> "This is the library."

<Zahara> "It's very square."

The outside was once decorated with elaborate gildwork, but almost all of it appears to have worn off in the intervening years. The door stands open, leading to a musty and claustrophobic room inside.

<Serenal?> "The builders of this city were fond of squares."

<Zahara> "It works quite well, really. Shall we go in?"

<Cerin> "So I see..."

The inside of the library is tight and close, stone shelves running parallel to one another, with tiny hallways joining them.

Old, mouldering books sit upon the shelves, undisturbed for many years.

  • Zahara runs her finger just above the spines of the books, looking for titles of interest.
  • Kai wanders around, looking for items of interest that do not involve reading.
  • Cerin is looking for books on Ymir, on the hundredfold and on essence.

Kai locates for herself a small shelf of odd metal accoutrements.

Cerin and Zahara stumble into a small section of the annotated minutes of the Solar Deliberative.

  • Kai sorts through the objects boredly.

They seem to be little more than strange metal tschotchkes.

  • Cerin 's eyes light slightly, as he starts to flick through them with great care.
  • Zahara focuses in on the room, going over each object twice, casting back in her memories for any relevant connections

Zahara notices something odd -- a book whose spine is written in a strangely familiar handwriting....

  • Cerin looks into the minutes, both at the time of the murder as best he can place it, and also for the bitter flower rebellion...
  • Zahara blinks, and backs up down the isle, "I THOUGHT I saw this..." she carefully pulls the book off the shelf, cradling it in her arms
  • Cerin looks up briefly "What have you found my love?"

It is entitled "Raven's Heart."

  • Zahara turns the spine towrds him, "This book, the writing looks familiar."

<Cerin> "Ah." he smiles.

The book seems to contain an odd, elaborate story within.

  • Zahara pulls up a chair and reads aloud.
  • Kai moves over when Z starts reading.
  • Cerin doesn't stop reading the minutes, he does listen though.

"It was a cold night as the fog lifted over the town of Raven; forty-three lay dead, and the mayor's daughter fled for her life."

  • Zahara continues, doing voices for the various characters.

Suddenly, Serenal sits bolt-upright. "Markuran is returning from his test!"

  • Zahara tilts her head to the side for a moment, "He seems to think he has done well."
  • Markuran has!
  • Markuran rocks!

As fascinating as the story of a tragic love triangle between a powerful hero, a dead princess, and a beautiful fae, and the elaborate conspiracy in which they become entwined, is, it will have to wait for later!

  • Kai smiles.
  • Markuran is full of anger, but traces of pride and determination are clear.
  • Zahara closes the book and turns to Serenal, "You don't mind if I take this with me, do you?"

Serenal leads the group back to the test chamber, where Markuran has just been ushered out of the moongate and back to the three thrones.

<Serenal?> "No, take it if you wish. We have no use for it."

<Zahara> "Thank you. Now we should go to see what the Elders have to say."

<Cerin> "And these?" he holds up the papers

<Serenal?> "Yes, those as well. Let us hurry!"

  • Cerin stores them in his cache egg!

As they arrive, Marku is standing in front of the three Lunar elders, awaiting judgment.

<Cerin> Then walks to Zahara's side

<BirdLunar?> "Markuran, do you believe you have demonstrated your honor?"

<Markuran> "I have done so many times. I did so where-ever you sent me."

<RhinoLunar?> nods. "You have done well, Markuran the Bear. We have observed your actions, and we are impressed with what we have seen. The Pact will grant you a place within our ranks, and ally with the Sunlands in the coming war."

<Serenal?> seems to fill with a mix of emotions, all at once.

<Markuran> "Was Vashu of your..Pact?"

<CatLunar?> "No. We had never spoken to him."

<Markuran> "He was a Lunar. But he was no man any longer, but for brief spells. He saved me and he spared the boy. But his heart was the beast that he had consumed. It ate him from inside as surely as his grief. Tell me truly, how alike are you to he?"

The three Lunars stare at Markuran silently, and a subtle look is the only answer he receives.....

After a brief pause, one of them speaks up, as if the question were never asked.

<CatLunar?> "You are now welcome in Lachu Atapis at any time; it is your second home, to come to as you choose. We ask that you bear the marks of Luna somewhere upon your body, to signify our allegiance; in return, one of our own will similarly pledge our Pact's allegiance to you."

  • Markuran looks at the arm he rammed down the mad Lunar's throat, lightly rubbing the places where the fangs entered his flesh.
  • Markuran nods. "Fill these scars with moonsilver and I will wear them in honor of Luna and those she gives her favor to."

The Lunars nod.

<CatLunar?> "What mark shall you ask for one of the Pact to wear?"

<Markuran> "Do I set the one to wear the mark as well as the mark itself?"

<RhinoLunar?> "You may, if you wish."

  • Zahara flicks her gaze between Marku and Serenal meaningfully. Hint hint.

<Markuran> "In return for my scars, let Serendal or you, Elder Bird, wear the Old Realm glyph for 'human' upon her breast in Orichalcum. Zahara can provide the traces of the metal required."

  • Zahara raises a brow, hiding her smirk expertly.
  • Markuran waits for the Elder to decide who she would prefer to set the mark upon.

<BirdLunar?> raises a feathered eyebrow, then gestures expressively to Serenal.

<Serenal?> looks at Marku with a thoroughly confused set of emotions... then she seems to settle on bitter resignation, and trudges over to the Solars.

  • Markuran nods to himself, a lesson learned either way. Though his opinion of the bird Lunar drops. A feat, considering the lowness of it already.

Tags: (:tags Serenal, Raven's Heart, Lunar Elders, Lachu Atapis :) < Test of Honor | Sol Invictus Logs | Regarding Herons >