Summary:Swift Falcon presents intelligence on the state of Varang.

XP:C1, I1


< Families | Sol Invictus Logs | An Aerial Coffee >

Cerin Cerin has decided on a relatively secluded location for the debriefing, but it isn't one that should cause any difficulties for the three participants to reach. It's a small (and now abandoned, thanks to the internal shiftings of the Cascade making it impossible to reach from within) tea garden, on the Southern face of the Cascade, close to peak. It offers fine views out over the city, and the jungle beyond. Cerin has set up a

Cerin small table to hold any notes that might be produced, as well as a small tea set. Cerin himself appears to have occupied his time with sketching out the view, as he waits for both Swift Falcon and Imrama to join him up here ...

Imrama approaches the garden terrace by climbing through the air around the Cascade in a wide spiral. Setting foot beside Cerin, he admires the sketch, and says as much. "Another gorgeous day in Solaria; this is an excellent land for painters and poets." Imrama produces his long pipe and begins to pack it with bits of a shredded gray root.

Swift Falcon flips up, feet-first, from a spot of concealment underneath the lip of the garden outcropping -- a place that Cerin was well aware of his presence, certainly, but that any casual passerby and even most Exalts would have missed him completely. "Greetings," he says, and carefully takes his seet.

Cerin "At times, most certainly," he agrees with a nod. He closes the sketchbook, though, just as Swift Falcon beings his leap. "Greetings," he says, inclining his head.

Imrama gives a start at Swift Falcon's surprise arrival, and flashes a quick smile as he lights his pipe. "Good day, young master."

Cerin "So, I trust your recent trip was interesting? Although since there was no need for Imrama or Zahara here to apologise, not too interesting ..."

Swift Falcon nods. "Hello, Imrama, Cerin." He looks up at the sky, takes in the beautiful view and the brilliant light of the slightly-darkened sun for just a moment, and then shakes his head quickly. "Not too interesting, yes," he says. "Just interesting enough."

Imrama "I am glad to hear that your experience fell within that happy medium. I am immensely curious as to your findings." Imrama begins to smoke, chewing on the end of his pipe thoughtfully.

"How familiar are you with Varang prior to recent events?" he says.

Imrama "We know that they are an insular, rigidly organized society defined by a national obsession with astrology and that they were strong but relatively passive allies of the Realm."

"Varang has historically been ruled by the wazirat, the council of cyclically elected leaders chosen from amongst the pandits, the astrologically-determined ruling class," he says. "But though their astrological society remains unbroken, that is no longer true."

Imrama nods and exhales a large, unusually solid-looking puff of gray smoke. The mass floats off and away, over the garden and towards its edge, looking very much like a tiny cloud. As it lingers over a rose bush, there is a faint rumbling like an exceedingly small roll of thunder. An arc of tiny lightning flashes, and the miniature cloud begins to rain on the bush.

He continues. "The Thrice-Foretold Eminence Palace stands at the very heart of their capital Yane, and before, the wizarat ruled from its highest floor. But now, they have been moved downwards an entire five stories, and a new ruler takes residence in the uppermost chambers."

"The name the palace servants utter is 'the Chosen Child,' and there appears to be a sizeable staff dedicated solely to its care."

Cerin "Yes, the emissary sent to the Deliberative said that she was the Astrological Emissary of this 'Chosen Child'," Cerin nods.

"There are twenty-seven individuals dedicated solely to the Chosen Child's care," he continues, "drawn from members of the castes appropriate to their role in aiding this child, but each with an unusual astrological structure somewhere in their chart -- at least, I'm inferring that after the first five I looked up in their chart repository all did."

Imrama "What did you discover about the Child? Or about the Astrological Emissary, for that matter?"

"The Emissary is Junis Kel, a pandit by birth, but with a flaw in her chart that marks her as inferior to her fellow ruling class. The Chosen Child designated her as its very first servant, which elevated her to the position she holds today; now she is its mouthpiece to the rest of Varang, and the one directing activities in its name."

Cerin "Do all of the charts you checked share the same flaw, or merely that all had a flaw in some place?"

"The Chosen Child itself is shrouded in secrecy. I don't think it actually leaves the Chamber, which is heavily guarded, allows in no light, and has locking hallways surrounding it on every side -- too challenging a target given my mission parameters."

He responds then to Cerin's question. "Not precisely the same. In each case, the overall chart called clearly for a specific caste, but a specific inauspicious reversal elsewhere in the chart cast a negative pall over it, generally leading to individuals who were seen as lower-class even amongst their own caste."

Cerin "Heavily guarded by who, or what?"

"Warrior-caste Varangians," he says, "Like all of the Chosen Child's people, they bear a mark, of a black and a gold serpent biting one another's tails; it seems to grant them the ability to use Essence, though they are not Exalts."

Imrama "Hmm. Cerin, when we met Junis Kel, what was your assessment of her Essence-use?"

Cerin "Impressive, for a mortal at least," he says, after a few moments consideration. "But no match for many Exalted."

Imrama "It sounds to me like there is nothing to be done for it but to visit Yane in person and request a meeting with this Chosen Child." Imrama taps out his pipe into a bed of petunias. "Have you anything else to report, Swift Falcon?"

"Yes," he says. "As best as I understand, entirely unrelated to this matter." He looks around. "Have any of your circle visited Varang in Netheos?"

Imrama looks over at Cerin quizzically. "Well, I haven't."

Cerin "Varanim or Spring may well have done," Cerin says. "I have not, though."

"From what I can gather, only a few of the Varangians linger on as ghosts after death -- those who are born with the destiny to do so." He makes an odd expression, as if something about this troubles him. "In Netheos, the cities of Varang are great polished machines of metal and stone, and these ghosts exist only to tend those mechanical cities."

Imrama "Is it known to what purpose they tend them?"

"They say there is a destiny, a time at which they will rise up," he says.

Cerin raises a significant eyebrow.

Imrama "That sounds...ominous."

"I would not disagree," he says, "especially in light of the situation aboveground."

< Families | Sol Invictus Logs | An Aerial Coffee >

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