Summary:Lucent carves a new nation out of the Southern desert -- with the assistance of his friends.

XP:L1, V1, Z1


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Lucent steps out of first mirrors into the desert... "... and with the God's Blessings I intend to place a great cathedral of glass to serve as a gate between Solaria and my new na..." He stops as he steps out, to contemplate just WHAT would be waiting for them on the other side...

Doctor Lucent emerges into a horrible vista. Even now, years later, no foliage clings to the rocks, no small desert animals range through the dunes; the sand is stained with black soot and the burned, shattered remnants of structures stretch out in every direction, skeletons strewn amongst them.

Lucent "..." Lucent makes a gesture, a prayer for their souls and their suffering

Varanim Varanim's eyebrows shoot up at the devastation on this side of the Shroud, then she shrugs philosophically and drips blood in one eye to see how things look in Netheos.

Lucent "It was not like this when I left. It was... still coming."

Doctor Things in Netheos are... not good. The other side of the Shroud is shredded -- scraps of loose ectoplasm float through the air, while the ground underneath is torn and gouged. The damage doesn't seem to have abated at all since the SUE tore through.

zahara "So many ways to rip Creation apart."

Lucent "None of them good." He sighs. "What do you see, Lethe-Saint?"

Varanim whistles. "It looks like shit."

Lucent "But without immediate threats to Mortal safety?"

Varanim "Immediate? No."

Lucent walked on the sands, extending his reach. He closed his eyes and allowed his light to pour through them, cleansing the corpses and sending their souls, if they still had vestiges of such things, onwards to Lethe "And long-term?"

Varanim "Well, uh, I wouldn't build any towns here unless you wanted to name them things like Sadville or Everyone-has-the-plague-opolis."

Lucent smiles and looks at her. "There is nothing we cannot cleanse. There is nothing we cannot make brighter. Here is where our capital will be." He waves to it. "I can stop the plagues."

Lucent "Remember what I told you? Everything has its cracks."

Varanim "I've heard worse ideas, but that's not really saying that much. I suppose it might work if you kept a close eye... How far does the Shadowland stretch, anyway?"

Lucent gazes towards the West. "Quite a few miles on that direction."

Lucent "How far can you cleanse its taint?"

Lucent looks at both Varanim and Zahara, of course. They would be working in concert for this!

zahara "The space I can walk in a day."

Lucent looks around. "... hm. It will be a very long day."

Varanim does a little math in her head. "A hundred and fifty miles in a circle, give or take."

Varanim "What I do won't make anything bloom on this side of the Shroud. I can work on a large area, and Zahara should work where you want to build your capital," she suggests, eyes narrowed in thought.

Lucent "We will need to spend a few days here. I can aid you in your Spells, and we can have it all cleansed in a week, give or take, then." He considers, glancing around the landscape in search for something... that he cannot see. "I imagine both of your spells together will create a line of purity unmatched at the center. Ah, a moment now..."

Lucent He sighs allows the sands to rise around him, forming a great image of an empty vessel towering like an anima above his head! When he speaks the sands break from the ground as he projects his voice throughout the wasteland as far as he can... and that is very far indeed! "SISTERS OF THE EMPTY SAND. COME TO ME."

Doctor From the ground itself, three tiny whirlwinds of silica and hot desert breeze fling themselves upwards, taking on form and shape and purpose as they do, until, united, they stand before Lucent: the Sisters.

Lucent walks to them, greeting them with an almost-dance to each in turn. "I missed you, my ladies. You have my deepest thanks for your services." He brightens, "Zahara, I am sure you remember them? I am told they have managed to miss most of my Circlemates in their time in Solaria... Varanim, those are the Sisters of the Empty Sand, great princesses of possibility."

Doctor "Charmed," they say, in unison, and grin in Varanim's general direction.

zahara "Ah, yes. Your... friends."

Varanim looks at the Sisters with a jaundiced eye, checking their Essence. "Cute alliteration."

Lucent "Are they not? Mistresses of glamour." He nods. "Is it done, the Clarion Call?"

Sisters "All is as best we can render it," the first sister says. "But the land here is sick, and wounded," says the second. "We will be laboring for some time," finishes the third.

Varanim "Do they always carry each other's sentences?" she asks Zahara. "That must get really annoying."

zahara "Oh yes. They do all sorts of things at the same time."

zahara directs a significant look at Lucent

Lucent blushes. "We... well, yes, they are GREAT at working in tandem! In fact, they were as one until they kept themselves apart with such accountrements..." He touched a lock of blonde hair, admiring it. "I think that for the desired effect, the spell should come together with my speech to the assembled, what do you think?"

Varanim There is perhaps the briefest moment where Varanim looks at the Sisters and Lucent with a flat lack expression, then she shrugs and looks vaguely grumpy as she usually is when people are asking her to do work. "Doesn't matter to me. I can tell you how long the spell will take, I sit at the geomantic center to do it, so whatever fripperies you want at the edge are thankfully not my problem...

Varanim long as they don't interrupt me chanting and eating kittens and the like."

Lucent "Oh, I will be at the center of it. So you will be at my side, as my queen."

Lucent "PERFECT!"

Lucent "They will all see as Lights of Lethe emanate from you!" He gestures

Varanim "Uh, what? No."

Varanim "I need to... be in Netheos for the spell. No public gatherings allowed, sorry."

Lucent "... oh." Lucent sighs out, crestfallen

Lucent "Can you even coordinate it with Zahara from Netheos? The rings do not work accross planes..."

zahara "We shall have to coordinate the old-fashioned way. Simple timing."

Varanim "Yes, luckily both of us can count. Shall we plan, then?" Varanim seems slightly more interested in usual than talking to Zahara, possibly because it involves not talking to the Sisters.

zahara "Indeed. I brought my stick," She hefts the taproot staff. "Is there anything else you need?"

Lucent "Do please." Lucent turns to the Sisters. "You will have help, Zahara will cleanse the land. Her and Varanim," he looks at Nim with a vacant smile. "You just need to work on it when that is said and done. You can begin to enact the call now."

Lucent "No, Zahara. You may start. Just tell me when, I want to time the climax of the speech to it."

Sisters The Sisters nod in unison. "Of course."

Lucent As Zahara and Varanim step away Lucent Copper Haze watches the Sisters of the Empty Sand as they weave their spells, humming a pleasant tune to them, his hand on theirs' to make them steadier, helping their work in all ways he could! ::A pity you cannot be here with me, nim...::

Varanim ::I suspect you'll console yourself somehow.::

zahara begins the long process of pacing out a circle with Lucent and the Fae wing of his harem in the direct center. ::V:: Ok, I know I said it was a good idea to get together with Lucent before, but I might be changing my mind due to copious evidence to the contrary. ::

Varanim examines the lay of the land and sets out in the general direction where things are trending worse, staff over her shoulder. To Zahara she says, ::Hmm? Oh, that. Don't worry about it; the plasmic problems down here are worth the trip.::

zahara runs through the familiar incantations, her anima building slowly into a burgeoning bonfire of life, ::V:: Oh, well in that case, on with the wedding!::

Varanim ::Yes, I expect he will at some point.:: Varanim kneels, slashes her hand open against a spur of broken rock, and presses her bloody palm against the ground--and some seconds later, she is gone across the Shroud, with only a gust of cold rotting wind to mark her place.

The sisters labor away, their work long and challenging, the workings of glamour a matter of great precision.

"Are your others finished with their workings?" asks the first sister. "It would not do to be early," says the second. "Everything should be timed just right," finishes the third

Lucent "They will take a day still." He nods. "I thought people would... take some time to get here?"

"Just checking," they say, and grin.

Bertrand? March 23, 2009, at 01:44 AM

A day passes.

The Sisters' spell is quite unlike the Exalts' works of sorcery; it does not go off with a bang, but merely a faint, pleasant humming, an almost subconscious feeling that it has come into play and the working is complete.

But though the Sisters assure Lucent that it is functioning properly, the distant stragglers have yet to arrive.

Varanim Varanim, who actually doesn't need nearly that much time to cast her spell, takes the opportunity instead to sightsee in the devastation and avoid Lucent's harem. A bit more than half an hour before things are supposed to all climax, she heads back to her chosen place to sit and begin her casting.

zahara contemplates the deep ironies of her life as she moves through the rituals of the Benediction of Archgenesis. The power flows through her veins, flickers over her skin in its seductive glory as she draws upon the highest circle of sorcery. In her wake, cacti grow and bloom and hardy grasses push through the blackened soil. Water, the precious blood of life in the South, gurgles and bursts through the parched rock.

Lucent paces about. "They should be here when the lights start! The CLEANSING!"

Lucent begins to notice the blooms all around him... "... it has already started, even!"

Lucent ::Zahara? This looks... from here, this looks GLORIOUS.::

Varanim Where she sits, Varanim begins to speak, describing the shape of the devastation in a wide range beyond the circle of lasting abundance that Zahara is making. Calmly in a forgotten tongue she lays bare the nature of the wound in the Shroud, until the air around her shivers with the blasphemy of it.

Varanim Then, as her aura unfolds above her in a tower of incense-wreathed sunset eyes, she reaches out her left hand and begins to correct the world she has described.

zahara Her anima burns brightly, rivaling the sun with its searing, cleansing flame (she holds her hand out for a moment, a shadow on the ground, reaching.) She reaches the last of the outer compass points and moves towards the center, the heart of the ancient tree in one hand, the other open and trailing liquid light as the power suffusing her spills into the earth. She is the bringer of life, today.

zahara ::Life is funny, isn't it?:: She raises the staff, in the geomantic center of the circle, waiting for the precise moment to finish the spell.

On the horizons, far distant from the epicenter of the great work, tiny lights begin to gleam.

zahara brings the staff above her head with both hands, canting the final word of the spell in a shout that echoes for miles. The essence she has called upon rushes through her, and for a moment, she feels at one with the land, a creature of pure essence. A wave of power tangibly rushes outward from her, slowing as it expands and finally lapping at the edges of the circle. A gentle rain begins.

Varanim For half a mile around Varanim, the dead air shudders like a plucked string; for many tens of miles more her anima is visible, blazing ever higher in the Netheos wasteland. By now the words are dragging themselves out, the rhythm of the spell demanding its own conclusion.

Varanim As she speaks the final syllable she flings her consciousness momentarily out of her body and up into her anima, and everywhere that her eyes see, there is rectification.

And as all this happens, the lights on the distant horizon grow larger: torches, lanterns -- the lights of people, survivors, stragglers who once called this land, or other ruined lands their home. They are not healthy people, or well-fed, or whole of body or spirit... but they come anyway, drawn by the Sisters' song...

knowing, in some deep, distant part of themselves, that they are ready to begin again.

Lucent Amidst that conflagration of life, Lucent allows his anima to shine bright as he can, calling the people to him. A beacon to their walk, forming great shapes of Old Realm writing from sand and new petals in the air. Shapes that speak of 'Home.'

Lucent And within them all a statue he had risen out of Sand and sculpted with the mastery Zahara had given him, sculpted out of his own touches and his own music, in the way only a Zenith could when putting his heart into it... and as his anima shines, all that becomes great shapes of glass, and the immense statue of Varanim The First looks at them all. Under her, it is written 'LETHE'

Varanim feels the spell toll away into the distance, leaving her expelled from the once-Shadowland and back on the living side of the Shroud. She opens her eyes with a quiet sigh, feeling much smaller, then blinks a couple of times at the horizon.

Varanim ::What the fuck?::

Lucent "Welcome. Welcome, one and all, those who follow the Kashaen and know who I am. Those who do not. Know you are home, now, if you wish to be... in the place of Lethe. In the ultimate oasis. Where we will cleanse our bodies, our souls, our lives of taint and erect cities that shall risen the Heavens! Welcome, one and all, to Eden."

Lucent ::Surprise!::

zahara slowly lifts her hands away from the staff, now planted in the ground and still visibly growing into a tree. She looks up and sees the statue, the warmth of the Essence suffusing her not quite enough to let the giant statue of Varanim pass without comment. ::Wow. I did not expect that.::

Lucent ::I want my heart close to me. I want them to see her, even if she will not show herself.::

Varanim ::Zahara,:: she says privately after a moment, ::d'you think he'd sulk much if that thing shattered mysteriously in the night?::

Lucent cracks his Hearthstone, separating the symbols of 'Heaven' and 'Hell'... and suddenly, there are two of him, Lucent as shot through the images of Azuriphel and Sangrael, standard-bearers of Yu-Shan and Malfeas. They speak in unison, with Azuriphel sanctifying this ceremony... and Sangrael dancing with the Sisters, an spetacle to change lives.

Lucent "Bring me your wounded, bring me your faith, bring me your despair. It is the time for healing. It is the time of the Third Age. The Age has turned while you survived here... and in this place shall Dragons and Dreams come to live with you and bring you to an age of untold wonders and illumination!"

zahara ::V:: Indubitably. ::

zahara ::He does put on a good show though, doesn't he? Even I feel a little fuzzy inside.::

Varanim ::That IS the problem,:: she sighs in agreement to Zahara as she dusts the sand off herself and begins the walk back toward the new oasis.

Lucent "You have been hurt. You have been broken. But you must have seen my plea before for Imrama Stormfound, and I am sure you, from the South, made your prayers... he has recovered, thanks to your prayers!" He says, as to make each and all the ones who prayed feel as heroes!

Lucent ::Did you like it?:: He asks of neither in particular. ::The Sisters helped, too!::

Varanim ::I... really can't talk to him when he's like this,:: she says to Zahara, an odd note in her mental 'voice.' ::Say something that'll make him smile.::

zahara ::It was very impressive, Luc! They will remember it forever. ::

Lucent "And as he would say: The South Will Rise Again! And we shall be the Lynchpin of this new south! Its bullwark! For we know shadow... and we will never let it threaten its light again! As its beating golden heart! Let us build our world." Azuriphel speaks, letting his own blood drip into the sands. "And save it."

Lucent There is a very long 'awwwwwwww' conducted via the Rings. ::Thank you, Empress!::

Lucent ::This Hearthstone is really useful.:: Said the calmer Lucent. ::There is SOMETHING to being two. This is exhilirating! I feel... I feel even greater than an Exalt feels. Do you see, Varanim?:: Said the furor one, finishing his dance with the third sister and watching her, his draconian wings twitching.

Varanim is reaching the edge of the crowds, working her way closer--hat pulled down a little low, not that she needs to worry about anyone recognizing her with Lucent commanding all eyes. ::I see.::

Lucent ... but the unearthly beautiful dragon-winged obsidian Lucent dances his way to her, picking her by the arm and starting yet another dance! "Meet your QUEEN!" The more sober Lucent finished a prayer for the Sun. ::What did you think of my craftsmanship, Zahara?::

zahara ::It is a rush, isn't it? Loosing the power, bending it to your will. ...did you just give her a kingdom, Luc?:: She climbs up into the branches of the tree, avoiding the press of the crowd, though with her anima banner still flaring she is not exactly capable of hiding. ::Unexpectedly accurate portrayal of... a young Varanim, if I'm not mistaken.::

Lucent ::My beauty deserves one!:: The Obsidian Lucent laughs, through the ring and reality!

zahara ::As far as extravagent presents go, this one comes with a lot of tedious paperwork.::

Lucent ::Indeed. She has the most exquisite flower in her hair, I always find.:: Said the calmer Lucent. "And welcome the Empress of the Sunlands, our parent Empire! Empress of the universe! Usherer of the Third Age! This is none other than Zahara Zhan, the Dreambreaker!"

zahara waves and smiles, and chucks a couple flowers at people.

Varanim Momentarily stunned, Varanim is pulled in by the Sangrael-Lucent, flashing a somewhat sickly smile at the crowd that blurs before her. "He's just kidding, I was barely involved." Thankfully, the Empress then draws the attention away.

Lucent "We are humble today!" Sangrael-Lucent grins as they dance, a grin too perfect to be true.

zahara looks for a likely mortal to dance with. Preferably someone not too wan and scraggly.

Lucent Azuriphel-Lucent watches the people go wild at that, the sisters creating beverages and song out of the earth and their sunlight for the people. There must, after all, be a party, before he can tend to any of the wounded or sick! ::The people always love you, Zahara.::

Varanim "Modesty is my least favorite form of vanity," she murmurs to Sangrael through gritted teeth as he sweeps her along. "But my loathing of being stared at is stronger." Still, she doesn't pull away.

zahara ::Not very bright, are they?:: But still, she takes the elbow of the nearest suitable candidate and dances with him, spinning around the gathering with abandon, still half-drunk on Essence.

Lucent Zahara dances with quite a handsome tribesman of dark skin and strong features, something like what Markuran would be if his skin was chocolate and his eyes had the swirls of faerie heritage! The man was not half-bad at it, for a Mortal. ::I would say,:: Azuriphel-Lucent replies, smiling. ::That they are quite bright!::

Lucent And Sangrael-Lucent takes Varanim's soulsteel arm, kissing it's palm in front of all. "If it helps, you can picture them all naked. Or get very, very, very drunk, that helps, too, I am told!"

Varanim cups Sangrael-Lucent's face in her soulsteel hand for a moment after the kiss. "We're going to talk about this later," she says quietly, and the light in her eyes as she looks at him is very hard to read.

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Page last modified on March 23, 2009, at 02:44 AM