< Garden Conversation | Sol Invictus Logs | A Revelation >

Having learned the location of the central Necropolis from Ssithumi, Zahara proposed that they attempt to excavate the remains of their former selves and see if any of their grave goods could help them. The avaricious gleam in her eyes was not lost on any member of the Circle. Only those with tombs in Rathess elected to go along, the rest being uninterested in the persuit.

  • Zahara walks through the city, looking for imposing-looking buildings that look like churches, wearing a veil over her nose and mouth just in case they meet up with some scary dust.

<Markuran> "Did the lizard tell you anything of what this necropolis looks like?"

<Zahara> "No, we haven't spoken since we met. All I know is that if we find it, it's ours."

  • Cerin shakes his head "She did not"

<Markuran> "You think it's one building?"

  • Zahara shrugs, "I suppose we'll find out soon. It would be convenient if we were all buried in the same place... say.. do you think we LIKED eachother back then?"
  • Markuran considers for a moment "I don't know. We were different people."

<Zahara> "I don't think they liked you before, though. Maybe 'cause you jumped on their ships." she says, deadpan.

  • Cerin chuckles "Perhaps we were, perhaps we were not...it should effect us now.."

<Markuran> "Maybe back then they knew enough to tell people before doing unusual things."

  • Zahara "Somehow I doubt it."
  • Markuran points at a loomingly tall wall of black metal that gives off no shine at all, despite the high sun. "Maybe that's it?"
  • Zahara flings her hair back over her shoulder.

<Cerin> "That is something alright" he shields his eyes

<Zahara> "Whatever it is, it looks interesting." She cracks her knuckles.

<Markuran> "Lets see if there's a door or something.."

<Markuran> "If not, we can always go through the wall."

<Zahara> "Hmm let's try not to bring any gigantic black buildings down on our heads today."

<Cerin> "I am sure there will be doors, people are not in the habit of building walls with no enterances through"

<Markuran> "Well maybe they wanted to keep us out. They are tombs after all..if they are tombs."

  • Markuran begins to make his way around the black wall, looking for a door or window of some sort

On the far side of the wall, inset is a massive gate, seemingly composed of the same black metal, with doors one hundred feet wide and intricately carved with depictions of Solar heroism. They seem to be closed tight.

<Markuran> "Looks like a tomb for Solars. Think it's open?"

  • Cerin raises an eyebrow within the helm "Yes, I iamgine they left it unlocked these 3000 years, that is why it is still closed"
  • Zahara runs her fingers along the designs, looking for a bit that moves

<Markuran> "Well, will it hurt me if I try to open it?"

<Zahara> "You could always try it and find out," she says absently, fingers skimming lightly over the carvings, along the lines, and edges. She pays extra attention to the center, and to both edges, and the walls just beyond the edges.

  • Cerin looks the door over with his essence sight, watching the reactiosn to Zee's fingers
  • Zahara also allows her Essence to touch the lines of the door, seeking acceptance

<Cerin> "Zahara...you want to but the essence in there, and there" his hand gently guiding hers

  • Zahara smiles, allowing him to move her hand. "Why, thank you"

As Zahara presses against one particular figure, it lights up; light arcs across from it to other figures, until every Solar depicted shines with a brilliant light. There is a click, and suddenly the gates begin to open.

<Zahara> "Mmmm. Shiny."

  • Markuran moves past the two hand-holders, chuckling slightly as he enters the interior of the necropolis.
  • Zahara steps back, accidentally bumping into Cerin. "whoops!"

Within the outer wall, several large, imposing tombs stand; beyond them, another wall.

  • willows is now known as willows-afk

<Markuran> "Do you think we should check those tombs? Or try the other wall?"

  • Cerin gently catches her "Careful" he speaks softly

<Zahara> "It's so big... I was just a bit startled, is all.."

  • Markuran turns to glare at Zahara and Cerin. "We can find you two a tomb and a midwife later, I believe we were here for a reason."
  • Zahara sighs and pulls away, walking into the tomb. "I was just admiring the tomb for a moment, why is that so wrong?"

<Markuran> "Where I come from, we don't refer to a male's virility as a "tomb", Zahara."

<Zahara> "I don't know what you're talking about, Markuran." she says airily.

  • Zahara pushes past him, literally, and approaches the first of the tombs, looking for some inscription or picture that would indicate what's inside.
  • Cerin looks at Marku for a brief moment before walking off to another tomb, studying its inscriptions
  • Markuran laughs again as Zahara shoves past him. Leaving her to these tombs, he goes to investigate the inner wall.
  • Zahara ponders curses to put on Mark's 'manhood' as she inspects the tomb, looking for a way in.

Each tomb is unique, suiting the temperament of its original owner. All are built from similar materials, however, which were likely quarried from the nearby environs.

  • Cerin sighs, the essence flows on his tomb far too complex. He moves over to Zahara, standing next to her "Any idea how to get into one of these things?"
  • Markuran starts walking around the necropolis, searching for a way further inside

<Zahara> "Not yet... but I'm still looking."

<Cerin> "Oh..wait..do you see there?" his finger traces an arc, following the lines of a scaleedged door

<Zahara> "Ah hah..." she inspects the edges of the door, and following the logic of the gate, looks for the 'lock.' She grins, and presses her fingers lightly against it, channeling Essence into the mechanism "We're such a good team."

The door slides open soundlessly.

  • Cerin smiles "We are...though I sense a certain about of ..ire from Marku"

<Zahara> "He's just cranky because I cursed his penis." she says, a little louder than necessary.

  • Cerin bites abck on a laugh

The inner wall is made entirely of carefully polished stone, aligned in nearly flat surfaces. Far away from where Zahara and Cerin stand, another gateway can be be found, similar in design to the first.

<Zahara> "Soon, it will shrivel and turn blue."

<Zahara> "And," she continues cheerfully as she goes through the door beyond, "If he's lucky, it'll fall off."

  • Cerin winces slightly
  • Zahara peers around in the chamber(?) beyond
  • Markuran immitates the hand-movements Zahara and Cerin made on the other door, prodding at it with his Anima, hoping it will cooperate and open. It looks like it'd hurt to punch.

The entrance room of the tomb is large and spacious. The walls are covered with elaborate, abstract mosaics with Solar designs. At the far end, a set of stairs leads down into the darkness.

  • Zahara looks for any indication of caste

<Zahara> (on the walls)

Markuran's gate responds and creaks open.

The tomb being raided seems to indicate the Eclipse caste.

  • Markuran nods at it happily and returns to the tomb where Cerin and Zahara are probably wasting their time groping eachother.
  • Markuran sticks his head into the open tomb and bellows "CERIN? ZAHARA?"
  • Zahara looks around, trying to make sense of the mosaics before going beyond. "An Eclipse is buried he... ow, MUST he shout like a wounded cow?"

<Markuran> ::Dust and spiders fall from the ceiling in a rain::

<Cerin> me nods resignedly "Aparantly, yes"

<Markuran> "ARE YOU IN HERE?"

  • Zahara shakes her head, "As I was saying, an Eclipse is buried here, from the indications on the mosaic. I wonder what she was like.." then she looks behind her and shouts, "NO!"
  • Markuran follows the two down the stairs. "I found a way into the next...place."

<Zahara> "And we found the way into this one."

  • Cerin walks down the stairs infront of Zahara and Marku, eyes alert for danger, his helm aplifying all light
  • Cerin stops short "Do /not/ step on this step...it would not be pleasant"

<Zahara> "What kind of not pleasant?"

  • Zahara eyes it curiously

<Cerin> "It bears similar essence to that of your hammer"

<Zahara> "We could use some extra not pleasantness for the Manse."

<Markuran> "I don't think you can steal a step."

<Zahara> "No, but we could find out how it *works*"

<Markuran> "Why don't you step on it and let Cerin watch the essence?"

<Zahara> "Why don't you yell at it, and set off every trap in the whole place?"

<Markuran> "We'd know where they were then, wouldn't we?"

<Zahara> "I'm sure we would. We'll come back to this, later." She announces, and hops lightly over the offending step.

  • Markuran steps across it as well, moving along down the dark hallway.

<Zahara> "It's dark in here." she comments. "Hold on, I'll fix that." she allows a moment for any eye-shielding to happen, then alights her anima, flooding the darkness away

  • Cerin presses on cautiously, not noticing the difference in light
  • Zahara takes her sword from her belt, and holds it cautiously, in case another trap is tripped before it is noticed. "You'd think they didn't want anyone inside." she comments drily.
  • Zahara follows along behind Cerin, admiring the view.

The chamber at the foot of the stairs is dark and cobwebby. Within, a simple obsidian sarcophagus sits; around it, stone chests and containers. On the walls, images of the Solar's heroic deeds line the walls.

  • Markuran fills the hall with a blinding flare of gold-red light as he channels power into his magical defenses just in case some traps are more insidious then ice-filled steps.

<Markuran> "Do you think the dead will object to us?"

  • Zahara pats the bags she brought with her, to carry away booty in. "That must be it! I don't know, that depends on if they stay dead or not."

<Markuran> "What is that supposed to mean?"

<Zahara> "Well, you saw the Deathlord's army. *they* didn't stay dead." She slips her vision into second sight, searching for signs of immaterial foes.

<Markuran> "The undead aren't the only ones who can object to our presence, Zahara."

  • Markuran lunges forward, launching himself down the stairs to barrel into Zahara, throwing the both of them down the steps as a rush of air passes over his back. The two Solars skid down the steps a bit further as if Zahara was some sort of weirdly shaped waverider.

<Zahara> "Oof oof oof oof oof OW!"

A huge obsidian blade swings through the air where Zahara stood moments ago, then embeds itself in the wall.

  • Markuran breathes heavily for a second, still laying on top of Zahara's still-intact body. He pats her on the back. "You're welcome."
  • Zahara does not breathe much, due to the heavy barbarian on top of her. "raaghhh"
  • Markuran stands up, offering Zahara a hand
  • Zahara takes a moment to catch her breath, checking herself for bruises. "Ugh. What happened?" she accepts the hand.

<Markuran> "A giant blade came out of the wall and tried to cut you in half. I saved you."

<Zahara> "How kind. Thank you." She rearranges her disheveled hair and dress, then gasps, horrified. "Oh damn.."

<Markuran> "What?"

  • Zahara holds out a slightly crushed hand. "I broke a nail." and pouts.

<Markuran> "Better your fingernail then your skull."

<Markuran> "Come on, Cerin's gotten ahead of us."

  • Zahara sighs, and follows him down the hall, occasionally inspecting her finger mournfully.

<Cerin> "STOP!" he leaps backwards pushing them back, his legs flicking to immaterialitly as the block smashes through them

  • Zahara shrieks as she is once again crushed by falling men.
  • Markuran falls flat on his back, on top of Zahara as Cerin throws him to the ground. He coughs. "You could have said something instead of leaping at us.."

<Zahara> *mmmphh MOOPPPHH!*

<Markuran> "Where'd Zahara go?"

  • Cerin picks Marku up, and offers a hand to Zahara

<Markuran> "Oh, there she is!"

<Markuran> "Are you alright, Zahara?"

<Zahara> "I," she announces breathlessly, "Am going to stay far behind you two beasts." She takes Cerin's hand and hauls herself up unceremoniously.

  • Zahara inspects her fingers again, finds no new carnage on their tips, and sets about rearranging her hair and dress.

<Markuran> "What if the next trap comes from behind?"

<Zahara> "Then you'll have to crush me again. But UNTIL then, I prefer to remain upright and breathing."

<Markuran> "But you'll be too far away to crush. The rock will crush you for good. Then you won't be able to enjoy it when Cerin tries to crush you."

<Zahara> "I enjoy it far more than when YOU crush me."

<Markuran> "A blind goat could notice."

  • Markuran peers at the fallen collumn of stone.
  • Zahara leaves it ambiguous as to whether she refers to the rock or Cerin. "..You're a blind goat? No wonder you keep smashing things with your head."
  • Markuran snorts in amusement as he edges past the fallen rock and starts back down the stairs.
  • Zahara hangs way back, as promised.
  • Cerin presses on ahead of Marku, watching for more of these damned traps

<Markuran> "I bet the floor falls away next."

<Markuran> "The epic stories always have pits in them. Where the bones of the unworthy are gnawed on by vipers."

<Zahara> "So if one opens, you plan to just jump in, then?"

<Markuran> "My bones are worthy, Zahara."

<Markuran> "The snakes will not feast on me."

<Markuran> "Though I could do with something to eat, I keep thinking if I eat any of the plants around here, they'll still be crawling around in my belly a year from now."

  • Zahara chuckles, "That I would not doubt."

<Markuran> "I don't know how you stand those bugs crawling around inside you."

At the bottom of the stairs lies the burial chamber. Within it lies a simple obsidian sarcophagus, simple in design; around it, various stone shelves and chests. Upon the walls are mosaics depicting the Solar's great deeds.

<Zahara> "They mend my bones when you crush me. It's really quite pleasant."

<Zahara> "Hmm I wonder if they can fix my fingernail..."

  • Markuran shakes his head. "I prefer anything I put inside my body to be already-dead."

<Zahara> "You like them well enough when they're bringing you back from the edge of death."

<Markuran> "I don't carry them around in me all the time though. When they're fixing me is something different.."

  • Zahara shrugs a little, "I guess I'm just not as squeamish as you, then." She looks at the mosaics, in interest.
  • Cerin has been doing that for the past few minutes, whilst they argued
  • Markuran glares at Zahara. "I am not squeamish. It is not..right to have bugs crawling around in your guts." Moving to the coffin itself, the big man peers at the lid for any indication of who is within

The mosaics depict a tall, dark-skinned Solar -- dark blue, almost black -- slaying a variety of unusual beasts -- insectoid bipedal beasts, bodies bearing only mouths and eyes with ten crystalline wings, and others. Then, the same solar sitting in the deliberative, the same Solar crafting an incomprehensible object of some kind; and, finally, the same solar, dying as a thin, blonde woman in black robes with numerous ties flowing from them stabs him through with a dark blade.

The captions read "Talmuda fighting in the great war against the Hundredfold; Talmuda in the deliberative; Talmuda crafting the Chime of Ages; Talmuda betrayed."

<Zahara> "They're not bugs, anyway. They're demons." she says matter-of-factly, as if that makes it BETTER. "I wonder if that's Talmuda"

  • Markuran starts searching the boxes and shelves for anything interesting or important-looking, making sure to read any inscriptions first
  • Zahara walks over to the last image, "Betrayed by another Solar." she looks over her shoulder, "Here, Markuran, a picture of you!"
  • Markuran looks over his shoulder. "That says "Talmuda."
  • Cerin doesnt laugh. He thinks back to something he heard before
  • Zahara taps the first word, "Yes, but THIS" she taps the second, "says betrayed."

<Markuran> "I wasn't a woman."

  • Zahara turns and regards him with some amusement, "So the mystery remains." She looks around the tomb for loot, before approaching the sarcophagas itself.

The boxes seem to contain mostly goods from the Solar's life -- fine garments, valuable trinkets, and so on. In one, there is a pendant, made of orichalcum, on a thin gossamer chain.

  • Markuran lifts the pendant, peering at it closely. Several of the trinkets have already gone into a sack slung over one of Mark's shoulders.
  • Zahara eyes Markuran, "Those are MY grave-good, you know. This is obviously MY tomb."

As Zahara glances at the pendant, an overwhelming rush comes over her.

She sees herself, standing before a field of alien, twisted beings, watching as her fellows march up to them and fall in battle. She lifts her sword and charges into them, screaming.

  • Zahara blinks, eyes unfocusing for a moment as she steps back until she reaches the wall, leaning against it. When her eyes clear, she pushes herself back upright. "That pendant.. Give it to me."

<Cerin> "Zahara...are you alright?"

  • Markuran shrugs and hands it to her

Then, standing in a bedchamber, nude, with a petite blonde woman, holding one another close, staring at a raging fire in one corner.

Then, grasping at her own stomach, as blood spurts uncontrollably from it.

  • Zahara gasps a bit, still in a bit of shock as she takes the pendant from Marku's hand. "Thank..you.." she says a bit shakily, which is very unlike her. "I'm fine. Fine."
  • Cerin moves over to her "You do not sound ..fine" some concern filling his voice
  • Zahara holds the pendant up to the light of her anima, color returning to her cheeks. "It was nothing, Cerin. This is what's important."
  • Cerin studies the pendant as she holds it
  • Markuran examines the rest of the boxes
  • Zahara unfastens the clasp and places it around her neck, looking over her shoulder at Cerin as she holds up the loose ends, "Would you..?"

Little else of obvious value appears to be within this tomb -- value to anyone besides Talmuda's latest incarnation, that is.

<Cerin> "Of course" he leans in close to her, fastening it about her necky deftly"

<Zahara> "Thank you." She smiles, then starts collecting the trinkets from her old life, "I had good taste." she comments.

  • Zahara finally comes up to the coffin, and cracks it open, peering inside.
  • Cerin smiles "You still do" admiring the necklace and the person wearing it

Inside the coffin lies the musty skeleton of Talmuda, a brilliant gold daiklave trimmed heavily with deep blue-black jade lying beside it.

  • Markuran helps Zahara with the sacrophagus's lid, shoving it off to the side. "A better find then that bauble, I'd say."
  • Zahara hefts the sword, holding it up and testing the weight and balance. "This is a fine piece of workmanship indeed."

<Cerin> "The essence worked into it is exquisite, Zahara, I only wish you could see it"

  • Zahara compares it to the mosaics "I wish I could, Cerin. Perhaps you could draw it for me later." she smiles

<Cerin> "Of course" he smiles back

<Markuran> "Is that all you think we will find in here?"

  • Markuran shakes his head, disappointed. "The stories say the tombs of the golden ancestors were guarded like fortresses and their ghosts more powerful then little gods, mighty in their vengence for any intrusion. And we had three pathetic traps. Clearly, these lizards were incompetent grave diggers."
  • Zahara gives the thing a couple of test-swings. Since she has not attuned it yet, it is unweildy, and her arcs slightly uncontrolled, though not without skill. "It's bigger than the ones I am used to." she comments. Then she leans over and inspects the skeleton appraisingly. "The bones of an Exalt are powerful." she says, "The magic that flowed through them will help channel Essence through my artifacts."

<Markuran> "How do you expect to carry away a skeleton?"

<Zahara> "Piece by piece."

  • Zahara breaks off a hand
  • Markuran sighs. "You have no respect for the dead. That used to be you!

<Cerin> "Then it is no different to any of her other possesions"

<Markuran> "Well he still might mind. He isnt exactly her. Otherwise he wouldn't have a ghost. And he must, or they wouldn't bother with these ghost-appeasing tombs."

<Zahara> "I respect the dead very much. These bones contain power, and you should be happy I'm not taking them from a living Exalt instead."

  • Zahara tucks the hand into an empty bag, and starts dismantling the rest of the arm.
  • Markuran shakes his head. "When I take trophies from the dead, I am honoring them. You take this for nothing but personal gain."

<Zahara> "It's MY skeleton. I don't see why it shouldn't become part of me again." she says logically.

  • Markuran shakes his head, giving up.
  • Cerin sits on chest, watching

<Zahara> "Besides, at least it will be useful, instead of merely ornamental like your honorable trophies."

<Markuran> "I make things from my trophies."

<Zahara> "Some of them, yes." She grunts as she uses the sword to break up the ribcage. "Don't worry, I won't use your bones without permission."

  • Markuran shakes his head again. "You will someday bring a terrible punishment upon yourself with your sacrilige."

<Zahara> "Don't be silly. Hundreds of tribes use bones for things."

<Cerin> "Generally not their own, though the point does stand"

<Zahara> "Only because they generally CAN'T use their own."

  • Cerin conceeds this point with a shrug

<Markuran> "They honor the bones, or are prepared to deal with the dead."

<Zahara> "As I am."

<Zahara> "Besides, wouldn't you wish to live on in the grand workings of things, and help your next incarnation?"

<Cerin> "The bones have this odd shimmer to them, though I see no ghost rising"

  • Markuran snorts. "I will live on in other ways then as polish for his daiklave."

<Zahara> "I'm sure you will." she nods and smiles and slots the ribs one by one into her bag, followed by the other arm. "I'll have to come back for the rest." she says, lifting the skull and cradling it in her arm.

  • Zahara idly considers trying to make the skull into something that talks.

(:tags Talmuda, Hundredfold, Chime of Ages, Ymir, Daybreaker, First Age Flashbacks:)

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