< Regarding Herons | Sol Invictus Logs | Serenal's Tattoo >

Summary: Marku tells the other Solars about his test; the Solars return home and begin planning for future action.

  • Zahara makes sure there are no others within sight or hearing, ensconcing the group safely in a small room, although she has had food and drink brought so that they might relax while they talk.

<Cerin?> "So, Marku, this test of yours?"

<Zahara?> "Yes, do tell us what happened. You were gone quite a long time."

  • Markuran idly rubs at the newly moonsilvered scars on his right arm. "I was..somewhere far North. In a snowstorm. My armor was gone, I was in summer clothes. And I was as good as mortal. I nearly froze."
  • Cerin raises an eyebrow "How did you get there?"

<Markuran?> "I walked through a shining moonlit doorway in their grand hall. And then I was there.'

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Like I always say, never trust moonlight. It's fattening."

  • Markuran prods his stomach. Nods.
  • Cerin frowns softly "And when you returned, you were clad in your armour once more?"

<Markuran?> "Yes."

<Cerin?> "Hmmm. So anyway, in this test, what happened, beyond you being mortal?"

<Markuran?> "A Lunar saved me from freezing, an old man. I got better much faster then I think I should have...as a mortal, I mean."

<Markuran?> "When I told him I was there to help the village, he told me that he'd once taken his wife there when she needed help. A strange beast attacked her and left her dying. The shamans in the village refused to help her for fear of a curse and she died."

<Markuran?> "When I got to the village, the Cheiftan told me their hunters were being slaughtered by some beast in the forest, but lied when I questioned him about the old man's wife."

  • Kai listens attentively.

<Markuran?> "The Cheiftan's helper or attendant told me the truth, much what the old Lunar had said. I took him with me to hunt down the beast. I was going to offer it to the old man as a peace gift, I was sure it was him killing the hunters for revenge."

<Markuran?> "But when we tracked it down, the old man was the beast. I tried speaking to him, reasoning with him. But the beast had devoured him. He was an animal with the Spark of Luna. He attacked the hunter and only at the last moment spared him. He forced us to kill him."

<Markuran?> "Now the Chieftan and the Shamans who refused to help his wife will fast one day each month for every hunter that died. And they burried his corpse by themselves. They have lost their names and I decreed that when replacements were properly trained, the old Shamans would be exiled. The young hunter who went with me will be their Cheif when he comes of age."

<Markuran?> "And then, I returned."

<Kai?> "Wow."

<Zahara?> "Ah, how did the Shamans feel about those edicts?"

<Markuran?> "I'm sure they are unhappy and resentful. But I promised I would return and threatened, without saying so, to beat them to death if they did not do as I instructed."

<Markuran?> "Their stupidity and heartlessness killed good men and drove a Chosen to madness."

<Zahara?> "So you are either victorious or have made for yourself an enemy. Either way, it seemed you won the test."

<Zahara?> "Fear drives men to do strange things, after all."

<Markuran?> "I hope Cerin or Birds will be able to help me find the village I was sent to and return there. I intend to see they carry out my bans."

  • Birds taps a stick on the floor.

<Cerin?> "Well, where was the portal?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "There is another way, but it will require guile."

<Markuran?> "The portal was in the back of their great hall place. What are you talking about, Birds?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "You are familiar with the technique of the wise book. It is very versatile."

<Markuran?> "No..I'm not familiar with that.."

<Zahara?> "Which wise book?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "I'll demonstrate." She takes a pen and scribbles something onto her sleeve, then waves her arm in Markuran's face.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Now I know something you did!" Lines of ink appear on the sleeve's other side, showing a map of the Sunlands.

<Cerin?> "That is interesting, very interesting."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "I wish I understood how it works."

<Markuran?> "Um..can you tell me how to get back to the village?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Anyway, my thought is that one could arrange things so that, the next time you meet with the Lunar elders, their knowledge of the location of all Lunars would be revealed to us. In this manner, you can locate he whom you met."

  • Zahara leans over and inspects Birds' sleeve with interest. "How intriguing."

<Markuran?> "I think, then, we should meet with them again sometime soon."

<Zahara?> "Perhaps our little Serenal will know."

  • Birds nods. "Perhaps we should be getting back to the Cascade for the moment? We can make arrangements for things along the way, I think."

<Markuran?> "If none of you object, I think I must speak to Serenal."

<Markuran?> "Zahara, did you already provide the Orichalcum for her tattoo?"

  • Birds nods.

<Zahara?> "Yes, and our gates are likely to have an opening near the village anyway. No, I have not made her tattoo yet, I did not think to bring Orichalcum with me. I shall do it upon our return to the Cascade."

  • Markuran nods.

<Markuran?> "Do you know where she is?"

<Zahara?> "I'm sure she's hovering outside the door trying to spy on us or some such."

  • Markuran looks to Cerin

<Zahara?> "Either way, her Honor will not permit her to stay behind when we leave."

<Cerin?> "She doesn't seem to be outside."

<Markuran?> "Will you help me find her? Zahara and Birds can prepare to leave."

<Cerin?> "I will, though it seems we have a vistor of sorts." He stands and goes to the door, and to the room.

  • Markuran follows, still rubbing his arm.

<Zahara?> "Ah, how delightful."

<alsoquin?> A few rooms off, a rather large cat -- perhaps a panther of some sort -- lies luxuriously upon a large stone table, seemingly asleep, though one large yellow eye remains wide open.

  • Zahara follows Cerin, and looks at the panther curiously. She looks for signs as to what its true form is.

<Cerin?> "Greetings, Daughter of Luna."

  • Birds takes the Lunar's cue and sinks to the floor to lounge.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Have we met?"

  • Markuran glowers at the cat. "Be a human, if you still call yourself one."

<Zahara?> "Marku, don't be so affronted. It is their way. They have forsaken their humanity, remember?"

  • Ravina snorts a little and opens her other eye, stretching out her forelegs and then settling into a wakeful position. "I was assigned to await you when your discussion was complete. Your business with the Elders is concluded, yes?"

<Ravina?> "I am Ravina," she adds, almost as an afterthought.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Humanity is as distant to us as them, for that matter."

<Zahara?> "Very true, Birds of Trinity. Very true. But we seek to be its ideal expression, rather than to divorce from it completely."

  • Birds nods. "We are honoured to meet you, Ravina. I don't believe that the Elders asked to see us again, no."

<Zahara?> "It is a pleasure to meet you, Ravina. I assume you know our names already?"

<Ravina?> "Yes, I am fully aware of each of you. Do you require anything else of the Pact before you depart?"

<Zahara?> "Only our companion who chose to return with us as a symbol of our allied nations."

<Ravina?> "Ah, yes. I can summon her, if you would like. Shall we meet at the gate of the city?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "That will do."

  • Zahara nods in acceptance.
  • Ravina transforms into a sparrow and flits out of the room.

<Zahara?> "Please bring the Elders the message that all of the Silver Pact who announce themselves are welcome within the Cascades.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "That is accommodating of you, Zahara."

<Zahara?> "Well, One can only hope that it will bring the message with it that those who do not, are not."

<Ravina?> ------

  • Birds unrolls the list of Stuff To Do and makes a disappointed noise. "We are way behind schedule here."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "What are we going to do about this Exaltation toolkit?"

  • Markuran lounges in the warm waters, head propped against a bundle of soft cloth and feathers. The hot springs under the Cascade were cultivated by Zahara for her enjoyment, totally seperate from the dangerous labyrinth of cursed water elsewhere. Marku's clothes are being cleaned after he dirtied them hunting for a pink-plumed tyrant lizard.

<Markuran?> "We must collect the required ingrediants. Selonis may be able to help get a peach at least. I am going to speak with him again very soon."

<Zahara?> "I may be able to summon one of Ligier's souls to see if it has access to the tears."

  • Birds writes a note under the peach. It reads: Selonis? Lions are not stealthy beings.

<Markuran?> "Do we even know what half of these things are?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "That would be excellent. Who among us can journey safely in the wilds beyond Creation? We must find some of the essence of that place."

<Zahara?> "I can."

<Zahara?> "Although the Fae and I are not exactly on friendly terms. Nor do I think any of us should go on these quests alone."

  • Birds nods.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Yeah, what -are- these things? What's a Xara?"

<Cerin?> "Not what, where. Xara is one of the other realms."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Oh, right. I knew that."

<Cerin?> "As to what etchcrystal is though, I have no idea.."

<Zahara?> "Hopefully it is what it sounds like."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Constable Bi-tarmu, your guard troupe should get to training the new recruits, if Markuran likes. I'm afraid that we do not have the leisure to train more tiger warriors like yourself."

<Ravina?> The constable nods.

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "It would probably be wise to stay in the realms with which we're familiar until those tasks are complete...I don't relish the prospect of alien shores just yet, and our search may locate some new allies."

<Cerin?> "Staying within the realms with which we are familiar will do us little good when the vast bulk of the list is in the other realms..."

  • Birds makes a goofy face at Cerin.

<Zahara?> "Well there is one more thing in Creation, so to speak. The elements."

  • Markuran gently shakes Serenal awake from where the young Lunar had fallen asleep in the warm waters. "Serenal."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Hmm. I have been -meaning- to pay the elementals at Fire House a visit."

  • Serenal shakes herself off like a cat and blinks herself awake. "Ah, um, yes?"

<Markuran?> "We need to collect Essence of the Deepest Wyld and the concentrated power of all Five Poles. I thought you might have some ideas."

<Zahara?> "Ah, yes, she can come with me to the Wyld."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "Is it true that, in the farthest North, the ground disappears, and there is nothing but the cold air of winter, stretching gloriously in every direction?"

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "I have always wanted to see that."

  • Serenal glowers a tiny bit but does not object to Zahara. "I also know of several elementals which journey regularly to the Pole of Wood. I might be able to contact them and ask for assistance in that direction."
  • Serenal thinks for a moment, and speaks again: "The challenge," she says, "will be reaching the Pole of Earth."

<Zahara?> "Birds, do you think you could fly there, in the wind?"

<Zahara?> "Ah, Cerin can do that. Through the gate, and back again in no time."

  • Birds nods to Serenal, "Yes, the party pole."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> (eek strike that)

<Cerin?> "I've seen the foot of the imperial mountain before. I could climb it."

  • Birds thinks about the wind. "I am a daughter of the Sun. The wind is nothing."
  • Zahara ponders idly "I wonder how far up you'll have to go before it counts as pure"
  • Birds in a careless tone

<Cerin?> "I might have to climb a long way..No matter."

<Cerin?> "Bi'allah dust is the one that worries me."

<Serenal?> Relovia, who has been chatting with some of Cerin's ninja squad, speaks up. "We can offer significant assistance in reaching the Imperial Mountain."

  • Serenal looks at the list. "What is troubling about Bi'allah?"

<Cerin?> "the gateways will not take us there."

  • Markuran snaps his fingers. "That northern Dragon-King I hunted with. We can ask him to help us gather the Air we need."

<BirdsOfTrinity?> "The what will not who us where?"

  • Birds looks a bit shocked.
  • Cerin nods to Relovia "I walked into the imperial library with Ahina."
  • Serenal looks confused. "Why not?
  • Cerin frowns.

<Cerin?> "I'm not sure." he says quietly.

<Zahara?> "Well, we shall have to find an alternate route then."

  • Markuran watches Serenal with vague, lazy interest as she thinks hard. "And the things we know nothing about? The Xi-Ma-Taxi may tell us something. What about Rovash?"

<Cerin?> "Or perhaps not. Though why..." he shakes his head. "Do we know anyone to the West?"

<Zahara?> "He's off somewhere with his ghostly wife, I suppose."

  • Markuran frowns. "Not Rovash..Rovak? Something. The one who Exalted Bertrand."
  • Markuran turns to glower at the flower-man. "Who Exalted you?"

<Bertrand?> "Rovak, sir."

<Zahara?> "Ah, him. He's...mmm...atoning for his sins."

<Zahara?> "Have you a better use for him? Perhaps we can send HIM to the pole of Wood. He seemed rather..viney."

<Markuran?> "He might know of some of the ingrediants. Or be able to point us to more scholarly gods."

<Zahara?> "True... what we need is to get our hands on that damn flower."

<Zahara?> "I wish to know how he made so many copies of this toolkit!"

<Ssithumi?> "When I return to Rathess, I will begin to interrogate those of my kind whose memories have returned with their coming enlightenment and ask whether any have useful information about this task."

<Zahara?> "Thank you, Ssithumi. Perhaps one of yours has information on how to get this Bi'allah dust."

  • Ssithumi nods.

<Ssithumi?> "We should discuss the matter of arranging our defense. I can pledge the warriors of the reborn Rathess to the upcoming war. But who will command the armies of the Sunlands?"

  • Zahara pokes her thumb over her shoulder, "Bertrand can do it."

<Zahara?> "He's got to be at least as good a general as Rannath."

  • Markuran shrugs. "When I can not command them, I don't see a problem letting Bertrand try."

<Zahara?> "How about it, Bertie?" she grins at him, "Feel like becoming a leader of the free world?"

  • Bertrand swallows and stammers a little. "I, uh, I have been studying military strategy in the Cascade library....."

<Zahara?> "If you had an army coming at your army from either side, what would you do?"

  • Bertrand blinks. "Uh, try to get them to run into each other?"

<Zahara?> "Good, good. See? He's ready."

<Zahara?> "You all know about the protections surrounding the Sunlands, correct? Bertrand's strategy would work quite well if he utilized that."

<Markuran?> "That reminds me, I should visit the Sharpglade and speak with the Leafwalkers."

<Zahara?> "Yes, yes you should. They are sentient by now aren't they?"

<Markuran?> "The Leafwalkers have always been intelligent. The trees I must check on."

  • Ssithumi nods to Bertrand, apparently missing the humor in the situation. "Contact me swiftly when I return to Rathess; we will arrange for combat exercises to begin immediately between the troops of the Sunlands and the Dragon-Kings."

< Regarding Herons | Sol Invictus Logs | Serenal's Tattoo >

Page last modified on February 03, 2009, at 03:46 AM