< Nexus and Lookshy | Sol Invictus Logs | Kai and the Imperial Manse >

Summary: Zahara goes to inform Marku about the Ebon Blade.

XP:M1, Z1

  • Zahara knocks softly on Markuran's quarters, noting the chipped and shattered slate along the hallway with a frown. It wasn't from today, that's for sure, or she wouldn't be here right now. "Markuran, I need to speak with you."

<Markuran?> "I'm coming..just a minute..." The door opens to reveal Marku, holding a fur around his waist and looking tired, but relaxed. "What?"

<Zahara?> "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" she peers past his shoulder curiously.

  • Markuran shakes his head. "No. Birds and I were talking, then she gave me another massage..and I went to sleep after she left. You woke me up. Was there a reason..or can I go back to bed?"
  • Markuran scrubs a hand through his hair. His right hand, the skin stained as if from contact with coal or paint that didn't entirly wash off.

<Zahara?> "Ah, it is good to see you and Birds getting on so well. I do have a reason, but I wouldn't want to.. un-relax you."

<Markuran?> "You've already woken me. Come in, I'll dress. Tell me what this stressful reason is." Marku leaves the door open and turns back into his room, shuffling around in search for his underclothes and pants

  • Zahara sits on the bed, curling her legs up beneath her and watches idly as he dresses. Once he has finished, she speaks again. "I have seen the way you turned our enemies into allies, and I admire that. To turn the dagger away from your own heart and sieze that weapon, use it against its maker, is truly useful."
  • Markuran nods idly as he finishes with his pants. Now having covered his privates, the big barbarian simply takes a seat on his workbench, unconciously obscuring a heavy jade and iron chest from Zahara's view. It is suffienctly bulky that an edge sticks out even from behind Marku's broad back

<Zahara?> "I wished to tell you that I have done the same, with one you thought unredeemable."

  • Markuran shifts slightly in his seat, tension becoming visible in the muscles of his neck and shoulders. "Really. Whom?"
  • Zahara speaks quietly, but there is the steel of confidence in her voice. "Ebon Blade of Vengeance."
  • Markuran blinks and rubs at his beard. "Who?"
  • Zahara smiles slightly, "You knew him as Ivory Orchid Ghost, but that name symbolized service to a different master."

<Markuran?> "And how did you arrive at this..conversion?" The big man's voice is strained and his jaw is clenched. He is exerting an effort to keep himself calm and physically relaxed

<Zahara?> "We spoke at length."

<Markuran?> "And?"

<Zahara?> "And he agreed that our purposes agreed with his true goals in this life. And, I do believe he was a bit bored with hanging from the wall." she says nonchalantly.

  • Zahara loosens her hair, and begins to re-braid it as she watches him.
  • Markuran flexes one heavy fist unconciously. "I saw no light within him. I have seen none since we captured him. Now you say you have found it. I will speak with him...but regardless, he is your prisoner. Do as you wish. But if he seems to turn his back to us once more, I will feel his life run between my fingers."
  • Zahara smiles slightly, "You saw no light because you refused to look in the right place. Not everyone responds to being blinded by glory. Some respond to logic and reason. If he turns his back on us, your fingers will not reach him before I remove his abilities, and the gods themselves strike him down." She raises her hand, and on her wrist a new mottled soulsteel and orichalcum bracelet rattles, along with three pure gold ones.

<Zahara?> "If his free will fails us, and I do not believe it will, then he will die."

<Zahara?> "Until then, he will serve as an elite assassin to rid ourselves of the leaders of the armies that oppose us."

  • Markuran nods. "Very well. I will still speak with him. But later, not now. He is your responsibility."

<Zahara?> "He is indeed. When you speak with him, I would accompany you. And I ask that you not harm him. Doing so would make him regret his oath, and make him less effective."

  • Markuran hesitates. "I will not maim him without cause, Zahara."

<Zahara?> "What cause could he give you?"

<Markuran?> "I will know if he gives it. I distrust him."

<Zahara?> "He serves the cause of Death, not evil. You yourself serve Death, every time you slay an opponent. Our goals are not so different."

<Zahara?> "Just as those who serve the Sun do not always share *our* goals."

<Markuran?> "That does not make him easier to trust, Zahara. I do not give my soul to death and let it take over my life. I fight for life and living, justice and the people that I protect."

<Zahara?> "You have never had to choose between life and certain death. The urge to live is powerful, often stronger than reason."

  • Markuran sits up straighter, folding his arms across his chest and glowering. "I have made such choices, Zahara. For myself and others. It happened that I survived my choices. But do not say I have not swum that whirlpool."
  • Markuran is now known as Telgar

<Zahara?> "Then your death was not at all certain."

<Markuran?> "It seemed so at the time. The choice is the same. Death or life."

<Markuran?> "If I close my hand around your throat and offer you life or death, your choice is made no less important by my removing my hand afterwards, regardless of the decision."

  • Zahara nods in acceptance, "You are a stronger man than many."
  • Markuran shifts his attention to Zahara's arm, her comment finally setting off a light in his mind. "What are those?"

<Zahara?> "I devised a new version of the Essence Blocking Collars. This version will be more useful, actually. Instead of simply blocking Essence from being spent, it redirects it to the one wearing the bracelet. It still prevents the subject from utilizing their Essence when they channel, however the other benefit is that it can be used by friends to support eachother."

<Markuran?> "Thus the three gold rings?"

<Zahara?> "Indeed. In the Essence conversion between different types, such as the Deathknight's energy, there is some loss. Between two of the same type, the energy exchange is pure and none is lost."

  • Markuran nods. "Impressive. We will have to see about making more for those we will soon Exalt."
  • Zahara frowns slightly, "I'm afraid the conversion between lesser Gods' Essence is even worse. Most efficient, is Solar to Solar, then Abyssal to Solar. Their energies are most like ours, although inverted. The others are almost not worth bothering."

<Markuran?> "There may be a trick to it you have not found. We can search for the means to do it better."

<Zahara?> "It has been too long since we worked on an artifact together." she comments. "Remember, we used to work closely when we first came here?"

  • Markuran nods. "I liked you, once. I hope to be your friend again. Though no longer do I entertain thoughts of taking you onto the lake in a small, well-balanced boat." the big man grins, the tension leaving his muscles once more
  • Zahara chuckles, "Someday..."
  • Markuran raises an eyebrow. "In response to which part..."
  • Zahara smiles, "The first, of course. You have outgrown small boats."

<Markuran?> "Ah, true. There are large, well-balanced boats, though."

<Zahara?> "Perhaps Birds will join you in one."

  • Markuran shrugs. "She seems too..erratic. Cerin might enjoy a late-night row..."

<Zahara?> "He does indeed." she tilts her head slightly, "He has commented on your large muscles, you know."

  • Markuran nods solemnly. "I will have to thank him. He has his own impressive attributes."
  • Zahara leans back on her hands, sinking slightly into the mattress. "I have memorized them."
  • Markuran snorts. "I imagine so."

<Zahara?> "I find it strange that you have found no one to care for, with such a large heart."

<Markuran?> "I have, in the past. But it is dangerous for them to love me when we are at war. And they are old now, eager for a peaceful life in the village."

<Markuran?> "It is hard to find someone willing to share a life like the one we live."

<Zahara?> "You need a woman who is strong. Someone like us, or perhaps one of the Dragonlings you've brought to our side."

<Markuran?> "There is the slight problem that none of the dragonlings are the sort I fancy."

<Zahara?> 'What sort do you fancy?"

<Markuran?> "Honorable, strong. Attractive and intelligent."

<Zahara?> "Okay, well what do you find attractive? At least one of the Dragonlings have to fulfill the other parts."

  • Markuran shrugs. "Not them. They're too..colorful."

<Zahara?> "You've been spoiled by my beauty, then, it seems?" she says teasingly

<Markuran?> "Of course not. Cerin's much more attractive. Or Birds. She'd be a much better mate. She cooks."

  • Zahara sticks her tongue out at Marku
  • Markuran shrugs. "It's true."

<Zahara?> "I make other things."

<Markuran?> "Not things I can eat."

<Zahara?> "I probably *could* but I'd rather make scarves for Cerin, than steak. Besides, that's what servants are for."

  • Markuran shakes his head, sighing. "You rely too much on servants, Zahara. It is more rewarding to hunt and make your own food."
  • Zahara makes a face, "I have no need to cook eels for myself, Marku. I have more important things to do."
  • Markuran shrugs. "Regardless."
  • Markuran stands up, leaving the large chest of black iron, sealed with bonds of black jade and locked with an orichalcum pad almost as large as Marku's palm. The big man shuffles through his room, looking for his tunic
  • Zahara finds herself fascinated by Marku's ass.
  • Markuran notices the attention to his rear end and takes his time dressing, making sure Zahara notices his other important parts.
  • Zahara notices him notice her staring at him and drags her eyes away. She clears her throath. "What a lovely... chest.. you have there." she says, having siezed on the next most impressive object in the room.
  • Markuran looks down. Then over. "Lovely?"

<Zahara?> "It is very well-made. Looks almost as secure as downstairs."

<Markuran?> "It should be. It holds something..well. It needs protecting."

<Zahara?> "What?"

<Markuran?> "A weapon. Made from Kiriath's bones and coffin, forged with my blood, only in the darkness. Quinched in the fluids of creatures that sleep in the day and kill at night, hammered with a tool used only for this, made from a dragon's tooth."

<Zahara?> "That does not sounds like a weapon for a warrior of the Light."

<Markuran?> "It reminds me of what I have been in the past."

<Zahara?> "Just make sure it does not drive you to *become* what you have been in the past. There was no good left behind in that coffin."

<Zahara?> "Things exposed to such power carry echoes of it, even if reformed."

  • Markuran nods. "I know, Zahara. I am being careful."

<Zahara?> "May I see it?"

  • Markuran nods. After several minutes of work at the locks he opens the chest and pulls out the Grim Reminder. As long as his forearm, the weapon is covered in dark spikes of soulsteel that protrude from between struts of age-blackened bone and dusky gold
  • Zahara recoils a little at the sight of the malevolent thing, "Markuran..." she starts to close her mouth, then spits out exactly what she thinks of it, "That looks like a weapon fit for a Deathlord, not a Solar. I wouldn't be surprised if it killed you."
  • Markuran nods. "It may. It will keep me wary of the danger of dark things. Though I have thought to make something to balance it, a light to counter its darkness. The Bear Armor is well and good, but I can do better now."
  • Markuran shrugs. "Besides, its getting tight around my shoulders and stomach."
  • Zahara 's eyes seem to focus beyond the surface as she looks at the evil thing's core. "Wary... if you don't let it seduce you." she frowns touching the contours of the thing. "It will take a very powerful artifact to counter the evil in this one."
  • Markuran nods. "I will make one. Though time is short..."

<Zahara?> "I will help you." she pauses, looks up at him, "If you want me to."

  • Markuran smiles. "Yes, I think that'd be helpful. Hopefully we can become friends once more if we work together."
  • Zahara nods in agreement, "Yes, our goals have always been similar, but our paths different. We need to walk the same path on this."

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Page last modified on February 03, 2009, at 03:11 AM