The landscape churns in its mad, irrational exuberance, and for what seems like an eternity, there is nothing, no sense of even the slightest sanity that might reflect upon Imrama's question.
But then, somewhere, in the corner of his eye... one spot -- a tiny star -- grows still, as all the chaos around it writhes yet more strongly.
As Imrama stares intently at the star, it begins to rise up overhead, leaving a wake of black emptiness in the roiling Wyld behind it. It reaches up towards the sky, and grows as it does, getting larger and larger, shaking the very sky and firmament as it does... until, suddenly, engorged beyond reason, it shatters, and the walls of reality peel away on all sides, leaving the Fable floating in an empty blackness.
The blackness hangs unbroken and still for a few moments, and then, in the sky above... the sun is born from the blackness. Its light shines down upon a building of stone, alone on an ocean isle... but past the shores of that ocean the darkness is still thick.
The ship drifts towards the building, and as it does, more details emerge... the great mountain that sits beside it... the tiny, twinkling stars that fill the sky above it... and the black tendrils that reach from below towards the building. Blessed Isle, Imperial Manse, Imperial Mountain - are the tendrils visual metaphor for Yozi (possibly Yozi and Malfean) influence, or more literal? The
ocean island might actually be Meru as a whole
Up above, a dark shadow begins to slide over the face of the sun, and as the light it casts downwards grows fainter, the tendrils below grow thicker and more numerous.
Off far to one side, shrouded almost entirely in darkness, stands a wolf in a red cloak... where his heart should be is only a black emptiness, and he holds the tendrils fast in one hand.
The stars above are those that shine on Creation, but Imrama sees that three of them -- brighter, stronger than the others -- are moving, shifting in place... drawing nearer to the sun....
The shadow passes further and further across the sun, as the three stars move to form a taut triange just around its borders... they reach their places just as the sun is blotted out -- and at that instant, every one of the other stars in the sky transforms to a jagged, mirror-black shard, and as one they all streak down viciously from the sky, most falling into the darkness, but one falling straight to the heart of the manse, and another plunging to the center of the mountain. The three are the dragons, obviously What happens to the ones that fall into the darkness? Are they cast down into Malfaeas, or killed, will they be reborn? Are they just irrelevant?
In the new darkness, lit only by the three brilliant stars above, more is revealed -- for each of the three sends out its own tendrils, and those of the smallest of the three stars (Nyx) sit wrapped tightly around the emptiness at the wolf's chest.
Still the ship grows closer and closer to the great fortress, and as it does, three flowers can be seen.
Upon the ground at the building's foot, a black rose crosses the ocean, its petals constantly falling behind it and coating the land where it steps. The roseblack invades the realm
Upon one side of the manse, a red lily climbs upwards towards the roof, a golden droplet of nectar suspended within its heart. Is the nectar based on the solar potion they drank to Exalt, or something else?
And in the darkness, the wolf watches both with a hungry eye, as with one hand he lowers a great lotus, with four petals of black and one of brilliant red, a golden light shining mutedly from its heart, towards the manse. totally lost about the lotus - am I missing something ? Yes, the evil.
He moves to smash it downwards, into the building... but just as he does, time seems to stop. Upon one of his fingers, tiny reflections of the three stars glint for just a moment -- This is the ring from Herons then it is as if the very years fall away, and the building, now worn with the weight of years, stands unblemished, and the sun shines over a world too vast to see, cast intricately of the finest gold.
Faces float about through the sky, phantoms, yet somehow real... a child with a vicious smile, and a green sun upon his brow... Infernal of Ligier, or Malfeas? ? a beautiful man whose smile hides unimaginable ugliness... a man who is his own shadow.... Five Days Darkness? ? Which Primordials?
Upon the newly cast manse, a white-haired wolf with a choker of black lifts a paw cast in darkest ebony in the air, while streamers of grey light flicker from its head and plunge into the earth, where they burrow down far beyond where light can reach.... The white-haired wolf is Ymir. The darkest ebon is probably the daybreaker. The choker could be her normal clothing, but could also indicate her being in the service of evil what does this action represent? is this a rendering of something we already knew Ymir did, or is it something new? I'm not sure. Possibly the paw is also Siram, in which case it's the last tale.
In front of the wolf is an owl, wrought in black and gold; and in its talons it clutches one of the shards that fell from the sky. In a moment, the wolf strikes and tears it apart; the shard falls to the earth, and lets out a vast, pure tone. In the distance, the green child frowns, and his light changes to purest yellow. I think the Owl is either Talmuda or Arexus Above, in the vision of the present, all the stars became shards and fell from the sky (that's what, 25 constellations of varying size, maybe plus the Maidens?). Here, in the past, the owl clutches one such shard. Huh? Maybe a fietch soul. Also, Arexus was used to manipulate a primodial, by Talmuda. That part could be highly metaphorical wild theory #1: UCS is related to Ligier. See: Green sun/Yellow sun. Let's go make UCS cry :P
Then it is the present once again, and the boat has reached the roof of the building; it pulls up silently aside, as if beckoning the Solars to disembark.
Far out beyond the roof of the manse, the star-lit bounds of the world extend -- to where they did a moment ago, in gold -- but now, they are wrought in iron, and twisted by ages.
Abovehead, the sun has been hidden entirely... but it does not emerge out again from the other side. In its place, two new lights rise: one deepest crimson red, and one most brilliant, alien green. Green = Ligier/Yozi? Red = ?Related to Red Lily? Zahara feels a burning at her neck... as the locket she has just recently repaired grows fiery-hot. Ow.
The wolf still stands overhead. He places the five-petalled flower down upon the building, and as he does jagged thorns of iron and waves of carnage wash over the world, burying it beneath a sea of death. Then he blows once, and the red lily's petals blow off into the sky. Cerin /not/ working with Lily?
For a moment, all that either can see is the utter destruction of all, the world ravaged by fire and ice, and darkness filling every crack in the world even as the unforgiving red and green lights fill the sky....
When Imrama looks at Zahara, he sees something overlaid upon her -- grey feathers, speckled with spots of blood. Who/what has grey feathers? Not sure. My anima is a burning swan, so flame/white. Maybe Talmuda? Maybe something necessary to activate Amulet. Reaver? And as he looks, he sees the shards -- one in Zahara's hand, one below her feet, one shining down from the mountain, one with the weight of ages behind it... and one... obscured... Five pieces of the Chime of Ages: one Z has, one underground (in the Underworld?), one on the Imperial Mountain, two others unclear. Is the piece I have the amulet, or the one Cerin gave me? Do I need to find them, or are they going to work from wherever they are?
They float around Zahara's locket... her heart... and ring, with five pure tones... and as one, the darkness in the wolf's heart and the darkness in the sky shatter and turn to insubstantial smoke as they fall... Heart...Grace? Compassion?
And from the sky, where the one sun once stood, miniature suns... hundreds of them... begin to rain down, each perhaps an inch and a half across, tendrils of reddish-gold fire leaping from them as they rain upon the earth.
As light fills the vast world once more, the slightest tinge of darkness impinges upon the edges of the world, and traces of black run into the earth... as if to say: "This is not the end...." But then the vision begins to fade. Must learn soul-shredding recycling spell.
Two of the tiny suns fall upon Imrama's face and seem to hang there before his eyes, suspended by nothing... and as he stares through them, the world takes on a clarity he had never before believed possible.