Summary:Spring meets with Harel, under deep cover, to learn of the Lion's plan.



< To Catch a Thief | Sol Invictus Logs | Tales of Darkest Night >

Spring stands in a small garden near the border of the True Realm, thoughtfully eating a flower.

There is a long wait before a set of nearby bushes rustle in a pre-determined seventeen-part pattern, signalling the nearby presence of Spring's intended conversational partner.

Spring appears not to take notice as he walks over to the decorative stream and carefully washes his face. The syncopated splashes of water, though, spell out a message in a tongue designed for just this purpose....

Spring "Harel. What have you discovered?"

A nearby shadow steps out of itself and subtly transforms into a man, who smiles slightly in response. "A few things, that hopefully you can help me piece together the implications of."

Spring "I expect so. What are they?"

"As your message indicated you are aware of," he says, "the Lion has arranged for time in Netheos to be frozen, and crafted a series of events to play out during that time." He breaks off a stick from one of the nearby plants and begins using it to draw in lines of shadow on the earth below.

"There's a network of communications, which I was unable to make myself privy to, but which I gathered what I could from the ectoplasmic rumblings; contact was made to at least four other Deathlords." He draws little ghosts with crowns to symbolize them, with a stick-figure lion with an unhappy expression in the center, lines leading out from it connecting to and circling the outer figures.

"However, the communication appears to largely be one-way; there's no regular stream of information flowing back, and no evidence that his individual plans are impacted by this contact."

Spring "Hm. Warned, but not organized."

Harel nods. "Meanwhile, the Lion's forces have been organizing around what seem to be three distinct purposes."

"There is a large, general purpose military group, composed of a subset of his vast army of the dead; they consist of forces who would be unable to move while the Calendar is inactive and thus must be purposed for action in Creation."

"Then, there are two smaller groups: a commando unit, here" -- he draws out images of arguable utility to illustrate his explanation -- "which appears to be led by an Abyssal but otherwise composed of other Exalts who appear to be under his thrall."

"And here" -- he draws another helpful picture -- "a small spectre unit, that appears to be warriors protecting a core of powerful necromancers."

Spring "Hm."

Spring "Can you identify the Abyssal?"

Spring "Is there a specific location at which this army intends to come into Creation?"

"I'm not sure which Abyssal. I haven't been able to observe them training directly. I can tell you there's a Lunar and a few Dynasts in the mix." He swoops over and begins sketching a distorted, inaccurate map of the Imperial Mountain region.

Spring "A Lunar."

Spring "And are there many Lunars working with the Lion?"

"Not many, no. This is the only one I've come into contact with." He continues drawing his map. "Lord's Crossing is here," he says, "and presumably any forces intended for Meru will emerge there. Meanwhile," he says, "the Lion appears to be targeting a location here"

 -- he points to a spot on the northeast slope of the Mountain, just over the line into the Free Realm -- "for some purpose."

Spring "Yes."

Spring "That fits with what I know."

Spring "And what of the other Abyssals?"

"They don't operate out of the Thousand," he says. "They have some purpose here, but it seems to be disconnected with the Lion's other plans -- they are not coordinating with the leaders of the other groups, or even communicating with the Lion's army at all beyond an occasional, content-free check-in."

Spring "Hm."

Spring grimaces.

Spring "How unhelpful of them."

Spring "Can you ascertain whether the Walker in Darkness or the Mask of Winters were contacted by the Lion?"

"Yes, actually, I can: neither has been." He absentmindedly sketches a smiling and frowning face in the dirt. "Based on what I have been able to gather, the Mask and the Lion don't... really get along. And all the other Deathlords seem to consider the Walker, well... a bit of a chump."

Spring "So I have heard."

Spring "All right."

Spring "Be careful, Harel. You have been most helpful. I am eager for you to remain so."

Harel nods impishly. "I will endeavor to do so."

< To Catch a Thief | Sol Invictus Logs | Tales of Darkest Night >

Page last modified on July 04, 2009, at 01:17 AM