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Summary: Varanim digs into the history of the flower device.

XP:I1, L1, V1, Z1

Varanim With so many demands on resources, Varanim hasn't yet troubled herself with ghosts that are already hungry. The area of Lucien's pit is now thoroughly ringed with salt, but within that boundary is a secondary outline, a section of the floor space now occupied by a large incense burner--to blunt the horrific smell--a large workbench, and the death-flower itself.

Varanim She invited "anyone who needs more giggles" to come along for the examination of the device's past.

zahara checks out the salt ring, leaning idly on the starmetal spear she'd brought along for old time's sake.

Lucent winces. "This place is horrible."

zahara "It's not that bad. He kept his trash all in one place."

Imrama "Have you amended his orders at all, to avoid problems like these in the future?"

Varanim doesn't intrude in the background conversation, humming under her breath almost contentedly as she works.

Varanim She places four small and smoke-blackened mirrors around the flower, then seats herself as she did during the earlier examination with Cerin. She studies the threadings of the incense smoke through the flower's petals, the gleam of the light off its soulsteel surface, and finally casts her mind free to consider the screams written on its Essence.

zahara "Not quite yet. He's on hiatus."

Varanim plunges her mind back, back, into the mists of time, the ancient origins of the device that sits before her....

First, in blackness, she hears sounds: the sounds of a forge.

Bit by bit, the sight comes into focus -- the translucent smiths working soulsteel with great hammers in a forge far beneath the surface of the Underworld...

She sees the shadewrights complete the flower... sees it placed in a palanquin and carried with great honor to the surface of Netheos, the blue light of Pluto shining down and glinting across its polished petals....

Varanim watches as the flower is placed upon a great stone table in the center of a chalk-white city, tied down with great soulsteel chains, and left...

She sees as the indescribable spiritual ruins of the slain Primordials rain down, and the very ground of Netheos is shattered and changed... as the white city is swallowed up by the black darkness below, and the flower slips into the blackness of the newly-formed Labyrinth...

There is an epoch of darkness.

And then, raspy, chittering voices. Hateful voices. The voices of the dead and damned... and then, the feeling of ghastly fingers... the sound of metal dragged across stone... until finally, the flower emerges in the crowded, shattered, pitch-black amphiskopolis that was once its beautiful city -- and a new set of wrights go to work upon it...

Varanim sees the device worked to hateful completion... sees it strapped to skeletal beasts of burden and dragged to the surface... sees the Ija who carefully bend its petals into place, who ready it with the souls of slain prisoners....

Sees the device's horrific wrath unleashed upon the armies of the Shogunate, once, twice, more... Until finally, it is captured, Dragon-Blood soldiers swarming to the orders of the anachronistic Elementalist who commands them... until it is crated up and dragged back in darkness to a fortress, where it rests, first in darkness, then in the somnolent blanket of the Wyld...

And then, much much later, she sees the Wyld peel back, and soon after, the crate cracked open, the faux figure of Evim Estar standing over it, gazing at the find for only a moment before setting down to disassemble it...

And then all that remains is the slow process of assembly, as ignorant mortals deliver the pieces one by one to the basement of the house rented out for just this purpose... and then, finally, the fateful day where Evim arrives to activate it.

Varanim At the end of the long ritual, Varanim shudders, dry-heaves for a minute, then cracks her knuckles and turns back to the others.

Varanim "Made in the first days of the blue sun, bloomed in the white city until the Primordial rain buried them both, reforged by spectres and finished by the Ija, used against the Shogunate until they captured it, buried with Tara Zhan. Found again by Evim Estar, whose mask holds."

Lucent "So Evim was in Tara Zhan, and you know when. And if he knows of Tara Zhan's arsenals, the Sidereal might be the same one we had seen before, with her, when you looked into Lucent's corpse. That being, either Herons... or the other one."

zahara "Tara Zhan hm. I suppose we should have been more thorough when we investigated the keep."

Varanim nods. "Also, the details of the thing's reassembly are complicated and long irrelevant. I suspect the list of people who know those secrets is very short, if only we knew a goddess like that."

Imrama "We should make preparations to release your ancestor from her prison, and question her. There are a great many questions she should be able to answer, or at least complicate with further questions."


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Page last modified on February 08, 2009, at 02:13 AM