Summary:Imrama asks Ssithumi for whatever she can remember about Remembrance.



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Imrama The mid-day rain falls heavy on the First City as the Fable of the Reconstruction comes to dock. The flight-spire looks far different from the last time Imrama visited: renewed to former glory along with the rest of Rathess' ancient buildings. Imrama recites a few prayers to his father's Satrap after docking, and then procedes to the seat of local authority.

Imrama finds his way to the gold-trimmed pyramid, marked at its corners by the statues of the outer elements and guarded by the most honored of Rathess' honor guard, and into the office from which Ssithumi governs the booming city:

black stone walls covered in grand tapestries, great greenish brass lanterns casting dappled light on the walls, and the elaborately dressed Draconis herself, seated in front of a broad desk in a massive yellow jade chair at the room's exact center.

SsithumiAnTohatep looks up from her desk as Imrama enters, with a little surprise. "Hrm?"

Imrama bows deeply just after crossing the threshold, and straightens to address the Dragon Queen. "Felicitous greetings, Ssithumi-An-Tohatep. After months of regretable but unavoidable delay, I have come to continue the conversation we began before the eclipse. Is now a good time?"

SsithumiAnTohatep "Please," she says, pushing an assortment of odd objects off of the desk with one scarred, bracered arm. "Come in and sit. There are chairs that... your kind might use, in the alcove on the left."

Imrama "Many thanks, but I have no need of them." Imrama sits down quite comfortably on the air. "When last we spoke, I named several matters that you expressed an interest in discussing. In the intervening time, one subject has become more pressing than the others: Remembrance of Seven Tears."

SsithumiAnTohatep nods quietly, folding her claws on the desk before her.

Imrama "She was a dream to me once, a character out of some romantic and exciting story. I wished to find her, or learn what became of her, in order to chase that dream. But now, knowing what she has done, the need to locate her has become a much harsher and more desperate thing. So I ask you: what can you tell me of my former wife?"

SsithumiAnTohatep "She is not one who those in my dual lineage ever dealt with directly," she says. "All that I remember is what was learned from others."

Imrama nods, and leans forward a bit.

SsithumiAnTohatep "She served as a travelling field agent for the Deliberative. Remembrance was Chosen of Mercury, a fitting companion to the one who you once were," she says, gesturing warmly to Imrama.

SsithumiAnTohatep "I know that she was often set to the task of monitoring places of security concern, in order to root out Yozi-worship and mundane rebellion alike before they could rise up to threaten the Solar Exalted, and it was in this capacity that Ymir first met her."

Imrama "We had gotten this impression from infromation and relics Cerin has accumulated relating to Ymir. There is some suggestion that she was not...virtuous in the excercise of her duties."

SsithumiAnTohatep "Ymir was unable to put any proof to the matter," she says. "Circumstantial evidence, yes, but nothing that could conclusively demonstrate her complicity in anything. And after Ymir returned from Rintoko, she had other matters to occupy her -- especially as Remembrance was killed in action not long afterwards."

Imrama nods. "Do you know much about the circumstances of that death?"

SsithumiAnTohatep "Demons of the Third Circle were set upon the Deliberative capital," she says. "Three of them, with no seeming purpose but to wreak destruction upon the crown of the Exalted society. Those Chosen of the Stars were always the first to respond to demonic incursions in Creation, and Remembrance was one of those who was killed in action in dealing with the threat."

Imrama turns his head in thought for a moment. "From what I have heard of this event, another of the casualties was Fierce Red Star. Are you aware of any others, or do you know the names of the Demons involved?"

Imrama "Reshina was one, I believe?"

SsithumiAnTohatep "Reshina, Soul of Cecylene. Estefal, Soul of Lytodea. And Kiatsh-Ligan, Soul of Oramus."

Imrama "Hrm. I know very little about Lytodea and Oramus both. But as to their casualties, do you know anything more?"

SsithumiAnTohatep shakes her head. "Not as much as I am sure you hope. I know that some great number of shock troops -- those of the Dragon's Blood, especially -- were killed, as well as several Celestial Exalts, one of them a Sidereal."

Imrama "A third after Remembrance and Fierce Red Star, or just one that you know of, unnamed?"

SsithumiAnTohatep "The former," she says. "I actually knew only of Remembrance being amongst them," she says, "because that was the only name Ymir mentioned."

Imrama "I see." Imrama sighs. "

Imrama "I thought for a moment that we might have stumbled onto a decisive factor in the Fall of the Five, but of course it cannot be as simple as all that."

SsithumiAnTohatep shakes her head. "I am sorry," she says. "I hoped that what I knew might be able to help you." She pauses. "What else do you know of these... Five?"

Imrama "We know the names of four, and at least one identity of the fifth. We know that their shards retain their full and complete memories, and that this likely produces dangerous psychological effects when they exalt at birth and grow up as ancient adults trapped in the bodies of children. And we know that at least four of them are despicably evil."

SsithumiAnTohatep "Who are the other three?" she says.

Imrama "Qian Mian, Zinobia, and a Serenity whose name I do not know."

SsithumiAnTohatep She runs the names over her mind briefly. "Neither of them was amongst the dead at Reshina's hands, I am certain of that."

Imrama corrects himself. "Er, possibly named Maril."

SsithumiAnTohatep "I do not recognize the third name, I am afraid."

Imrama "Because you know that both Qian Mian and Zinobia were involved in later events, or died at later times?"

SsithumiAnTohatep "I know both lived to see the waning days of the Solar Exalted," she says.

Imrama "I see. This reminds me of a few more names that I aught to ask you about, though they are more directly connected to other members of the circle: Khajen, Vovoka, and Tara Zhan."

Imrama "We know that they were exalts, but are only certain of their activity during the interregnum of your sleep."

SsithumiAnTohatep "Tara was a cunning strategist and brilliant scholar, Chosen of the mighty Earth, and Khajen was a scion of the Southern fires, a lord of battles and champion of all those who dwelt amongst the sands." She shakes her head. "I have never heard the name Vovoka before."

Imrama "I see. We know that all three were involved in...strangeness that has to do with Lucent's history. I know that you have been reserved about your knowledge of him before, in order that history might play out as it must. I will trust that you have told us all that you can in this instance."

SsithumiAnTohatep shakes her head. "I held my tongue before only at Lucent's behest: he swore to me that his deception was necessary, and I aided him only because I judged his intentions to be true." She looks straight at Imrama. "I know nothing of this matter now, and I would speak of it if I did, if only to put Lucent's mind at ease."

Imrama smiles and nods along with Ssithumi's words. "I understand, Ochilike, and I respect your decision and the difficulty you must have faced in making it."

SsithumiAnTohatep narrows her eyes for a moment, as if in thought. Then, her head jerks to the side, suddenly, as if in sudden realization. "Have... you been to the Love Nest, Imrama?"

Imrama " not know what that is."

Imrama "But I am aprehensive about the possibilities."

SsithumiAnTohatep "It was a small, floating manse, nestled in the clouds above the southwestern ocean," she says. "I know that your predecessor was wont to meet his wife there, amongst their travels," she continues, and shakes her head briefly. "I am sorry I did not think of it sooner."

Imrama "You have a great many years of lore and memory to consider, Ssithumi-An-Tohatep. I appreciate your effort in determining which details might be of use to me. This surely sounds important. I will have to visit the manse as soon as possible - though I cannot say I relish the thought of sifting through the wreckage of that romance."

SsithumiAnTohatep nods sadly once more. "Thank you for your visit, Imrama."

Imrama "Thank you for your hospitality and invaluable assistance. I know that you must be very busy with affairs of your reborn state. If there is anything that I can do to be of help to your union of Draconic enclaves, please let me know."

SsithumiAnTohatep "I shall," she says, "I shall."

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Page last modified on March 21, 2009, at 08:50 PM