Summary:Zahara works with Ebon Blade of Vengeance to form a plot to retrieve his Monstrance.



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kAFKaesque In the gloomy room that Ebon prefers to meet with her in, Zahara waits. She contemplates the smooth expanse of the table, barely visible in the meager light, her thoughts drifting back to the first time Ebon had spilled his bounty across it. The heads of the Broken Suns.

It is not long before there is a faint rustling on the breeze, and then, in that moment, there is a spot in which the darkness is ever so slightly deeper -- that is all the notice that Ebon Blade of Vengeance gives of his presence.

zahara does not notice at first, so deep is she in contemplation of the table. And frankly, she's never been THAT observant. When she does notice him, she endeavors to make it look as if she knew he was there all along. "Good evening, Ebon Blade of Vengeance."

"Evening, Zahara," he says. His voice is raspy and thick, with its usual hints of bitterness and slightly unhinged anger

zahara gestures for him to sit across from her, "Do you have anything of interest to report?"

"Of interest?" the gravelly voice says, as the shadow seems to shift backwards slightly. "I brought you your topic of interest: a conspiracy of the foolish and, now, the dead."

zahara "Yes, and it was indeed thanks to you that we were able to minimize the damage they caused. Though I imagine you were ever so slightly gratified at the destruction of the Aurora district."

"I didn't do it," he says. "I don't care too deeply about what others bring down to ash, only what I can render so myself."

stryck "Fair enough," she says and taps her nails lightly against the table. Finally, she speaks again. "As with all things, your service to me comes with a price. With the last war over, I find my mind turning to this more often, seeking the best way to fulfill this obligation."

"Indeed," says the shadow, and Zahara hears the faint sound of slick, polished steel sliding across steel. "It is a task that would benefit both of us greatly."

Zahara "So it comes to a question. Though she seeks the source of the noise, she does not appear at all alarmed by it. "There are several ways to separate you from your Master. Disposing of him entirely would, of course be the most direct but possibly least efficient. And you would still be tied to your Malfaen. There was a curious incident with another Abyssal that rendered her... a blank slate. This may or may not be replicatable but you wo

Zahara but you would lose who you are. There is the choice to turn back to the Sun and free your shard of all but the echoes of your past. There may well be more, but the path you take is yours."

"I have no interest in turning to the Sun," he says, "or seeking redemption of any kind. My path is my own and I am bound to it, and to the dead god I already know will devour me when my appointed day comes." The steel sound stops abruptly. "I wish only to be free of the idiot puppetmaster who holds my strings."

Zahara "I understand." She considers this. "It will be done, one way or another. I think this calls for a consultation with our resident expert in visiting Deathlords. Well, one of them." She half-smiles, and rises, walking to the door and signaling to a servant to request Varanim's presence.

Varanim The servant was lucky enough to catch Varanim on one of her forays into the kitchen for food, so she comes ambling along a few minutes later preceded by the crunching of an apple. "Whash going on?" she asks, sticking her head into the room.

Zahara "Varanim the Last, meet Ebon Blade of Vengeance." She gestures towards the slightly darker darkness in the room with her.

That darkness nods very slightly and grunts in greeting.

Varanim "It's a very nice inky smudge," Varanim says to Zahara after a short consideration.

Zahara "He is an abyssal currently in the service of the Walker in Darkness... and myself."

Varanim "Uh-huh. How's that working out for you?" she asks the shadow, slouching against the wall by the door.

"It could be better," he says with a slight snarl.

Varanim pauses to spit out a seed into her palm, then looks back at Zahara. "So far, pretty funny. Where do I come in?"

Zahara "We need to end his service to the Walker. I thought you might have some ideas on that."

Varanim "Oh, that's a fun one. It's pretty etched in, so it'd take some kind of deep rewriting that might not be survivable. There's at least a couple of obvious lines of investigation to try, though--either a total soulforging, or something a bit more directed, maybe a resonance effect to shake up the old pattern long enough to make a new one. You'd probably need the Monstrance for that, though."

Zahara "Do you know where yours is kept, and how well-guarded it is?"

"Of course I know," says the shadow, irritatedly. "It's hung in the Tower of Regret, with the others."

Zahara "Well. That's convenient."

"'Convenient' isn't what I'd call it," he says.

Varanim "You could pay a visit and ask for it," she says helpfully to Zahara. "It'd give me a chance to hand back the head of his other kid that got delivered here." She considers for a moment, then frowns. "It's not really fresh anymore."

Zahara "Who knows, we could add it to our collection. Maybe Lucent can talk him into it."

Varanim spreads her hands. "My track record for visiting Deathlords without leaving pieces isn't actually very good, but I could work on that problem if you don't otherwise know how to get it."

Zahara "Well, there's always the option of killing him. I'm not entirely sure what that would do to Ebon though."

Varanim "I'll give you a hint: if I were doing the machinery for making Abyssals, I'd probably realize that those cute little Monstrance things might make a great shunt system for things that were going to kill me."

Varanim "Now, why do you want free-roaming Abyssals?"

Zahara "Because I promised."

Varanim shrugs. "Without a Monstrance to play with, you've got my best speculation. I think it can be done, but no guarantee it'll work the first time."

Zahara "I'll speak with Cerin. Ebon, are you willing to try a few experiments?"

"I'm willing to do whatever you need," he says. "Just give me what I am promised."

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