Summary:Spring begins his introductory curriculum for the young Solars. - INCOMPLETE?



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Spring stands in the main classroom of the Academy of the Sunlands. Finished in rich mahogany and muted slate, the floor is an enormous mosaic, an abstract map of the planes of Creation. He waits, feet just outside the circle which denotes Meru.

After a while, a small group of Solars filters in, as per his request: the (as usual) smirking Nesula in the lead, a quiet Swift Falcon and reasonably cheerful Arathi behind, and a skeptical-looking Verbena in the far back.

Spring "Good afternoon. How are you all today?"

"We're good," Nesula says, clearly taking her role as "leader" quite seriously.

The other students, apparently clear on their respective roles here, nod vaguely in agreement but are otherwise fairly quiet.

Spring "I suppose you are all wondering why I have called you here."

"You've always wanted to say that, haven't you," mutters Verbena from the back.

"Actually... yes," Nesula says.

Spring "Tell me what you know of the First Age."

"...everything?" Arathi says.

Spring glances at Arathi sidelong.

Spring "Assume for the moment that I had some ulterior motive in asking that question."

"Our kind were slaughtered and vanished from the world," Swift Falcon says, in a practicedly even voice. "That's the most important thing."

Spring "Why?"

"Because... that's why the world went to shit?" Arathi interrupts: "Actually, the Shogunate, though not reaching the heights of the preceeding Deliberative era, produced many--" Swift Falcon waves his hand somewhat dismissively at him, as if pre-emptively cutting off what he knows will be an overly long digression.

Spring "Excuse me. My question was unclear."

Spring "Why were the Solars killed?"

"Good question," Verbena says. "If you buy what those Sidereal types say, it's because we deserved it." "We did," Nesula says, and narrows her eyes.

Spring "How could we have fallen to such a state as to deserve utter destruction?"

"I don't know. Voodoo?" Verbena says, in quick response.

"Is this some kind of philosophical question?" Swift Falcon says. "Ruleres are overthrown because those with the power to do so chafe under their rule. It's as normal as the flow of time itself."

Spring "Hm."

Spring "It is inevitable, then?"

"Also a good question," Verbena says. "But not one that I know why we would be expected to have an answer to."

Spring "I am merely attempting to ascertain the axioms on which you base your plans of behavior."

Spring "On the assumption that usurpation cannot be avoided, the optimal pattern of action for a ruler is clearly to be as despotic and aggrandizing as possible."

Spring "The combined powers of an Eclipse and a Zenith make this extremely straightforward, with the Night, Twilight, and Dawn providing infrastructural support."

"Yes," she says. "I agree with that."

Spring "Solars are rather well equipped for the task. One might even say designed for it."

"I don't like where this is going," Nesula says, a skeptical expression on her face, and her fingers drumming with an irritated concern that Spring recognizes from his Circlemates' stories, if not personal experience.

Spring "Let me take another approach, then."

"Such as?" Swift Falcon asks.

Spring "Let us assume that your desire is to live."

Spring "Let us further assume that, given sufficient motivation and time, enemies of lesser personal power than yourself can construct situations in which they will be able to kill you."

Spring "Both of these assumptions seem reasonably borne out by the evidence available to us."

Nesula laughs caustically.

Spring "What is your best method of protecting yourself from them?"

"Kill them," Swift Falcon says, matter-of-factly.

Spring "Congratulations. Now you have more enemies with more motivation."

Spring "Let me forestall your next response by pointing out the dangers of recursive processes."

"I think that maybe depends on who your enemies are and how you kill them," Verbena says.

Spring "Let me make something clear to you."

Spring cocks an eyebrow at Swift Falcon, and a wave of infuriating scent rolls towards him.

The Night caste stands up, looking rather irritated but not particularly seeming to have any real inclination to resist, walks over to Spring, and takes a swing at him.

Spring casually steps forward, letting the swing brush past his shoulder, and extends an open hand to lightly brush Falcon along the third chakra. There is an almost palpable burst of sunlight as his entire Essence reserve pours out of the disruption and vanishes into the surrounding dragon-lines.

At the end of it, Swift Falcon stands there, stripped of useful capabilities and with a cross look his face (and a slightly winded tone to his breathing.)

Spring "You are not Sidereals."

Spring "I recommend you stop making plans based on the assumption that you are the most intelligent people in the room."

Spring "Eventually you will enter the wrong room."

"What's your alternate proposal, then?" Nesula says. "If your enemies are alive, you seem to agree that they can ruin things for you."

Spring "Given sufficient motivation."

"Hm," she says.

Spring stands up, and steps into the circle labeled "Meru." The walls surrounding the group calmly rearrange themselves brick by brick, until they depict a perfect map of the plane.

Spring makes a few smaller adjustments, and the wall immediately before them shows a map of an area they all know quite well -- the Empire of the Sunlands.

Spring "Perhaps you may have noticed that the Sunlands is a rather pleasant place for a mortal to live."

Spring "Did you think Zahara did this out of the goodness of her heart?"

"Definitely not," Nesula says, and most of those present burst into laughter.

Spring "You may find the reality more surprising."

Spring "Zahara is a brilliant leader with several capable advisors. She improves the welfare of the citizens of the Sunlands out of prudence."

Spring "There are over a billion mortals in the world, and less than thirty Solars, only half of which -- at most -- are known to us and at all disposed to our cause."

Nesula nods slowl.

Spring "You are capable, brilliant, talented and dangerous. But you are not invulnerable. And you are outnumbered."

Spring "Zahara knows this, and I know it. I hope to help you learn it."

Spring "You are the Chosen."

Spring "But there are things in this world that you must fear."

Spring "Are there any questions?"

"So," Verbena says, "...why did you call us here? All this" -- she gestures vaguely to indicate his little lesson -- "suggests something of a broader purpose."

Spring "I have already given you the information you need to deduce that, in fact."

Spring "I fear you."

Spring "I fear that you may decide to attempt to destroy us one day, and I fear as well that you may bring down the wrath of Creation upon all our heads if left unchecked."

"That's not very nice," Nesula says, quietly.

Spring "I apologize. I thought you might appreciate my forthright awareness of your power."

Spring "I fear, too, that you might be destroyed, as some of our own have been, lost to temptation, to violence, to the darkness."

Spring "Your strength is vital to the safety of Creation."

Arathi nods. He's surprisingly optimistic for someone in his postion.

Spring "Thank you for your patience."

Spring "Tomorrow our guest speaker will be Cerin the Wolf. In the meantime, if there is anything in particular you would like to study or discuss, my time is at your disposal for the remainder of the day."

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Page last modified on July 06, 2009, at 10:27 PM