Summary:Berwyn and Harel come by for a chat with Spring.



< The Young Nation of Jabal | Sol Invictus Logs | A White Worm >

Berwyn and Harel have both seated themselves on two of the waiting benches, across from Spring's sweeping spot; Berwyn looks much as he ever does, while Harel has seated himself quite casually with a mug of some manner of warm beverage, which he seems to be quite enjoying.

Spring pays them no mind at first, completing the row he is working on, then marks his place with a small stone and walks over to the two Exalts, swallowing the broom as he does so.

"Hello, Spring," Berwyn says.

Spring "Hello, Berwyn, Harel. I apologize for keeping you waiting."

Spring "How have you been?"

"Pretty well, actually," Harel says. "I've been checking out the Sunlands."

Spring "Oh yes?"

Spring "What do you think?"

"It's really nice," he says. "Lots of amazing food, great things to see, beautiful people to meet. I haven't gotten out and about all that much, y'know." He looks up. "Still not used to the blue sky, though.."

Spring "Mm."

Spring "Can you tell me a bit about the Cult and your family?"

"Oh sure," he says, and pauses for a moment. "...did you know that the living can't normally give birth in the Underworld?"

Spring "I did not, although it is, I suppose, not surprising."

Harel "It's true," he says, sounding oddly cheery, even as he seemingly shifts topics. "The Cult is old. Real old. When Netheos was broken, after the big war... they were one of the first groups to pull together, to provide some leadership in the Underworld now that the Shadeborn were gone."

Harel "Never tried to take everything over, though. A lot of 'em were the ghosts of Sidereals killed in the war, or Terrestrial officiants of the Solar Church. Weren't too taken with conquest, so they worked more subtly -- set up the Cathedral, gave aid to the dead who came their way, and nudged things in the underworld in the right direction when there was a big enough threat."

Spring frowns. "A familiar idea."

Harel "Old habits die hard," he says. Berwyn seems bemused at the topic: "I was not aware of that," he says, and writes himself a little note to look into the matter more at a future time.

Harel takes a big gulp from his mug and then covers its top with his large, greyish hands. "My family, the Shadesfells, we've been living under the Cult's protection. In an undisclosed location, y'understand." He flips his index finger off of his nose to punctuate the point.

Spring "Protection from what?"

Harel "Well, look, right?" he says, leaning forward. "Who're the king shits in the Underworld? The Dual Monarchy, right, who get to be in charge of Stygia because no one else can handle all the crap they have to deal with. You've got the Deathlords -- enough said. There's Sijan, who have a pretty big vested interest in being the only source of useful death assistance in their half of the world."

Harel "There's the Varang and their whole undead public works project -- they're definitely not excited about anyone messing with that. So really, the question is, who isn't on the list?" He leans back again.

Harel "The Cult ran a program to bring back the Death-Touched because they needed more than just street smarts to actually influence Netheos, and they figured rightly that we might still be around even if the Shadeborn were gone. But they protected us because pretty much everyone else in the Underworld had a vested interest in taking us -- or taking us out."

Spring "Hm."

Spring "And what did you do for them? Do you do, perhaps."

Harel "Spy stuff," he says, and grins.

Spring "Mm."

Spring "Thank you."

Harel "There's about fifty of us -- in the family, that is. Only seventeen like me. That's after generations of work, too."

Spring "How did you intend to guide me to Nightshade?"

Harel "'Reverse Cross Demon Maneuver,'" he says. "You know that one, right?" Seeing Spring's blank expression, he continues immediately. "If you know the trick, you get a demon summoned out here, tell 'em you're done with 'em right away, and time it so you get pulled back over into Cecylene with 'em. Then you can hike across the desert, slip through Malfeas, and head across the rock bridge from there."

Harel "It's a bit circuitous, but it works."

Spring "I see."

Spring "Have you done this often?"

Harel "Well," he says, looking a little embarrassed, "it works in theory, anyway."

Harel "The first part works, but I haven't actually been all the way across to the Nightshade."

Spring "You are not concerned about the dangers of hiking through a Yozi?"

Harel "Well, I didn't say it wouldn't be dangerous. I'm not really that... worried about dying, though. Such as it is."

Spring "The bravery of youth?"

Harel "Nah. Death is just like switching jobs. More of my family is dead than alive anyway." He pulls out a little waterskin, fills his cup again, and raises it. "Cheers."

Spring coughs up a cup and toasts him back.

Spring "And what will you do when you are dead?"

Harel "Retire," he says. Berwyn looks at him with an irritated, yet admiring, eye: "Lucky bastard."

Harel "Most of us aren't going to get to retire," says a voice from behind the two Exalts, and they turn to see Belladonna standing in the doorway, leaning saucily on the doorjamb with one extended arm.

Spring "Hello, Bella. What do you think?"

Harel Belladonna -- dressed in her hiking clothes today -- looks over the two Exalts carefully. "Where'd you find these guys?"

Spring "Places of power hidden from mortal eyes, as usual."

Spring "Harel, we seem to have found ourselves in a state of heightened tensions with a couple of Deathlords, mostly because of their intention to destroy all life."

Spring "Do you think you might be of assistance in this matter?"

Harel "I'm certainly interested in doing so," he says. "Those guys are huge problems."

Spring "Indeed."

Harel Belladonna looks over at him. "What's your skillset?"

Harel "Well," he says. "Bare-handed combat training. Netheos survival skills. A smattering of occultism... and a whole lot of stuff to help me get along where I'm going without anyone knowing -- or knowing who I am."

Harel Belladonna nods in satisfaction. "Sounds like you're pretty prepared."

Spring "I hope so."

Spring "Our first order of business will be to recover the arm of Varanim the Last."

< The Young Nation of Jabal | Sol Invictus Logs | A White Worm >

Page last modified on March 16, 2009, at 08:36 PM