Summary:The Solars plot what to do with their unexpected prisoner, while informing those who most vitally need to know of his capture.

XP:C4, I4, L4, S4, V4, Z4


< So Underhanded | Sol Invictus Logs | The War of Black Thorns >

Spring "Before anyone asks, I will not eat the Mask of Winters."

Zahara "What, he's not Innocent enough for you?"

Spring "Too spiky."

Cerin diplomatically refrains from recalling previous times when Spring had noted that spikiness was no obstactle to swallowing.

Oh nine hundred fifteen, the quarry remains in place
: Bertrand intones seriously over the ring network.

At the moment, no fewer than seven of the Solars' retinue are standing under Bertrand's fierce watch, carefully observing the crowded White Room from seven angles to ensure that none of its valuable prisoners are trying anything funny.

Imrama "We need a new strategy for holding high value prisoners. I don't like having Star and Remembrance in the same space, but having the Mask in there with them is just begging Saturn for a bad end."

Spring "Agreed."

Cerin nods.

Zahara "It is getting a bit crowded isn't it." She taps her foot. "We'll need a bigger prison. I think I know of a decent Earth-aspected demesne that I could harness..."

Spring "I am not sure keeping them all in one location, that being below the palace of the Sunlands, is in fact ideal."

Cerin "It does generally let us keep an eye on them. But it does also place them within our wards."

Zahara "But, within a second set of wards designed specifically for the dungeon."

Spring "If we cannot convert them, we need a place to keep them where they cannot work together, and where freeing one of them will not immediately free all the others."

Spring "We all know it is possible to configure your Essence such that a White Room will have no effect on it."

Zahara "They all have collars, but I'm not quite sure it's enough without them also being in the Room."

Spring "Have we contacted the Shadeborn?"

Imrama "No. And I have something I think we should discuss before doing so."

Spring "We should put them in Bi'allah," Spring mutters to himself

Zahara "Bi'allah is a bit inconvenient to get to."

Spring "Perfect."

Spring "We need merely devise summoning spells, allowing us to bring our prisoners to us at will, and send them back."

Cerin "What if one of the Five Who Are Fallen, or the Mask for that matter, simply makes enough noise that they are killed by the guardians?"

Imrama "Once we open this up to other members of the Deliberative, really to anyone outside our Circle and associated governments, it becomes an inherently political problem. That means argument and debate. The longer we take to resolve the issue, the longer the people of Thorns and Lookshy live in bondage. The Lion will also continue to benefit from our distraction."

Spring "Hm." Spring frowns at Cerin's totally valid point.

Spring "I think I did not make myself clear, Imrama."

Spring "While I see your point regarding political expediency, I think it important to remember that the Shadeborn have the responsibility, the experience and the specialized abilities for dealing with extremely powerful ghosts...and we do not."

Zahara "I'm not sure about the experience part, but the rest seems accurate. However I am loathe to give up my prisoners to anyone."

Imrama nods his head. "Very true. It is because of our lack of expertise in the matter, combined with the logistical and procedural hurdles to dealing with the Mask in a formal, above board way, that I am suggesting we offer him a deal."

Spring "Mm."

Spring "What kind of deal?"

Imrama "Some manner of continued existence in return for surrender without qualification and complete cooperation in the dismantling of his infrastructure of terror."

Zahara "Say, do you think Deathlords can come back from being cast directly into the Void?"

Zahara "Or crazy-ass Sidereals?"

Spring "Yes on the first. I am not completely sure on the second."

Imrama turns to Zahara. "The cautionary factor, in all three cases as I see them, is the shard. Either their shards are destroyed utterly, in which case we have diminished permanently one of Creation's greatest resources, or they survive, in which case they are still corrupted and still subject to powers which hate and loath us."

Varanim Varanim, who has sat slouched through the entire proceedings with every evidence of alertness but without uttering a word, wiggles her hand in a "sorta" motion at Spring's comment.

Zahara "I'm really not sure the world needs more of us."

  1. SolInvictus: mode (+q Cerin) by ChanServ

Spring "Since we cannot now control, limit or utilize free shards, I am not sure we can usefully threaten the Mask's existence, as we would need to do in order to make such a deal."

Imrama "Given how much wrath we have shown to others for destroying Solar shards, I would think we might expect the same reaction from others of our fellow chosen, if we were to destroy the shards of their once and future compatriots."

Imrama "In any case, I say that I am inclined to invite the Mask to make a plea before we proceed to put him on trial. What say the rest of you?"

Zahara "We would have to craft an incredibly tight Oath to enforce that, and more."

Spring "That would certainly be traditional."

Varanim "Not to be snide, but isn't that how you got here?"

Imrama tilts his head, curiously.

Varanim shrugs slightly. "Not a day ago you were in his faces about ignoring the last oath he made to you."

Imrama strokes his chin. "You have a fine point there."

Zahara "We should have just finished him off. At least his new incarnation would have had to start over."

Imrama "Alright then, new plan: we call Injara and have her round up the Shadeborn. We'll need to notify Karal Linwei as well. I'd still like to see what we can bargain out of him in small, limited chunks. He strikes me as far less monomaniacal than our other two 'guests'."

Varanim "Also maybe relevant, Pluto owes us a favor."

Zahara frowns sourly at the mention of Pluto.

Imrama gestures to Varanim with his index finger. "Point."

Bertrand? November 29, 2009, at 01:20 AM

Injara Quite rapidly after being summoned, Injara arrives, her oddly complex robes trailing after her as she quickly strides into where the Solars await her. "You summoned me."

Spring "And you came."

Injara nods. "Your message was very vague. What situation is so urgent that you needed me to travel here immediately?"

Imrama "The Empress has the Mask of Winters in her basement. We are trying to make sure that we benefit from, rather than suffer for, this situation."

Injara raises an eyebrow.

Zahara "What can I say? These things just happen."

Spring "One moment you are having coffee, the next..." Spring shrugs elaborately.

Injara "How do you have him secured now?"

Zahara "Partly via his voluntary surrender. And partly via the White Room, a collar and assorted chains."

Varanim "In with their crazy Sidereals, of course."

Injara "It is quite unlikely that those can truly hold him," she says, her eyes darting back and forth over the area above her head in rapid thought. "Though he will likely refrain from breaking free from them immediately, in order to avoid an immediate retaliatory strike. You will need a more secure holding facility."

Imrama ::Spring. Have we considered handing Star and Remembrance over to Berwin and his company? Do you think they would be able to hold them?::

Zahara "Yes, we were just discussing that in fact."

Spring ::I suspect so. We must discuss it with them."

Spring '''::

Injara taps her chin concernedly. "What, exactly, do you plan to do with him now?"

Spring "Ask you what to do."

Imrama "There's been some talk of a trial. We'll know more when the chief complaintant gets here."

Injara grins. "Wise." She looks around. "Do you have paper? ...and... another table?" she says, looking at the semi-repurposed torture device currently being used to hold the Solars' drinks.

Zahara "You don't like my table?" she demands.

Lucent "It DOES send the wrong message in a talk about due proccess and proper incarceration of godlike beings."

Zahara "I'm not entirely sure that it does, in this particular case. Hello, Lucent. You're looking better."

Injara sighs. "Alright," she says, spreading a proffered sheet of paper out and plucking a quill from thin air. "You will need, at minimum, three redundant imprisonment mechanisms in order to even conceivably hold the Mask. You'll want to begin here..." she says, furiously sketching away at the beginnings of a Deathlord jail.

Spring "Mostly I find the stains discomfiting."

Lucent "Stepping in the edge of soul-rapture must have a rejuvenating effect. Thank you again, Spring, for my continued existence." Lucent bows, "And hello to all."

Spring "But of course."

Zahara "Do you think that Mask has a Monstrance?"

Imrama "Agreed. Zahara, what would the fastest available method of constructing this jail be, once Injara has outlined its requirements? How can we assist in the process?"

Zahara "Hmm probably not."

Zahara ponders. "There is a spell to create manses. I suspect that this jail will require power of some sort. I may need to borrow some of your Essence to build it more quickly."

Varanim "I'm not fetching any more Monstrances with you," Varanim stirs herself enough to glare at Zahara.

Zahara "Oh come on, it was fun!" She grins back.

Injara Even as Injara sketches away, close on Lucent's heels, another figure knocks on the door. "Hello? You asked me to meet you down here?" calls out Linwei's voice from the other side.

Lucent opens the door. "Well met, Karal Linwei."

Lucent "You came just in time to go fetch a monstrance!"

Injara Linwei blinks.

Imrama "Maybe. First, it is our duty to inform you as the member of the Deliberative most directly impacted by this, that we have arrested and detained an notorious enemy of Creation."

Injara looks taken aback for a moment. "You... you can't be serious."

Spring "We can be on occasion."

Cerin "Rare occasion," Cerin feels compelled to add, for factual accuracy.

Lucent "We are always serious. Except when we are not."

Zahara just shrugs

Zahara "If you want to say hi, I can let you in."

Injara pauses for a long moment, and then shakes her head, her fists tightening. "No, I don't think that would be a good idea."

Injara ::Ten hundred forty five, the quarry is secure,:: Bertrand intones over the mindlink.

Spring "Injara."

Imrama "We are working on a more secure facility in which to hold the Scourge of Lookshy, and then the next step will likely be a public trial of some sort. For now, you can know for certain that the despot is not on his thrown, although I doubt that that alone will make the reconquest of your home a simple matter."

Injara finishes her design with a flourish. "Spring."

Spring "How would the Shadeborn have dealt with the Mask, had they managed to overpower and seize him, as presumably you have been attempting to do since your return?"

Injara Linwei nods to Imrama. "I would not imagine so either," she says, "though simply knowing that justice might soon be done is enough, for now."

Varanim sits up briefly to scan the design, then slumps back with a thoughtful look. After a moment she glances at the empty chair next to hers, then at Lucent with a Well? expression.

Lucent smiles even brighter than he is - and after capturing quen, that takes some doing! - and takes his seat beside Varanim.

Lucent "The victory got to you, or something?"

Varanim "Quiet, mommy has a hangover."

Injara "The Mask has not been our primary target, actually," she says. "We avoided him specifically both to avoid any unforeseen consequences regarding his agreements with the Sunlands, as well as any difficulty resulting from the vastness of his resources." She shakes her head slightly. "Those I have been able to coordinate with have selected a lesser target: the Alabaster Baronet."

Injara -- ::Ten hundred forty seven, Bertrand is still annoying,:: a surprisingly irritated Innocence ring-talks as this conversation continues --

Lucent "You ALWAYS do!"

Spring ::Now, now.::

Injara "Our plan has actually been to arrange a surprise strike, take him off-guard, and then track the remnants of his Essence such that we can construct a prison around him as he reforms. Then we might study the process, to better understand how to fight the other Deathlords."

Spring "Ah."

Spring "We could still do that with the Mask. It would give us time to construct the prison, perhaps."

Spring "Do they return exactly as they are?"

Injara "Much like a God, only without even the chastening and potential censure of the heavenly bureaucracy. They are, as best we know, entirely immune to death."

Imrama "We might substitute the Mask in your experiment, but we would need to be assured that he could not escape entirely if something went wrong."

Zahara "What about cleansing his shard?"

Lucent "Would not studying the Mask whole be better than studying another's remains?"

Zahara "For a while, yes."

Cerin "Assuming he co-operates."

Injara nods to Imrama. "I am not sure I would risk it." Then, turning to Zahara: "We do not yet know how. Killing a Deathlord will, we hope, be the first step needed."

Spring frowns. "It was frustratingly clever for the Mask to surrender to us. Hopefully the other Deathlords do not learn of it, or they will all do it."

Imrama considers how he could best publicize this strategy to the other Deathlords.

Lucent "We will put him on a public trial in front of the entire Creation and Heaven. I would think they would be deaf not to hear of it then."

Imrama "We have the specifications, yes? How soon may we begin construction?"

Injara "And then when we know how..." Linwei trails off, her fists growing almost white.

Lucent "Larquen Quen goes into his goodnight."

Injara "You can rely on the assistance of even the more... intractable" -- she looks irritated even saying this -- "members of the Shadeborn on this matter," Injara says. "I will... see to it."

Lucent "They will have to come here, however. Taking the Mask to the Underworld, to even a Shadowland, is guaranteeing our very own collective doomsday."

Spring "How do the Deathlords feel about Brightlands?"

Imrama "Or visiting Lethe itself, for that matter?"

Cerin "I am not sure that Brightlands would make ideal prison places. The undefined nature of the place might make a permanent prison tricky."

Zahara "I still vote for the Void"

Injara "We can pass close to the energy of Lethe and feel no pull in," Injara says, "though I cannot say how the Abyssal energies in a Deathlord's makeup might render a different effect."

Lucent "Worth a try, if we are stress-testing Deathlord Essence."

Imrama 's eyes glaze over briefly as he remembers something else that needs to be talked about among his friends. ::We have another matter to discuss as a Circle. Thanks to Spring's ingenuity, we now have one soul, freely given.::

Cerin ::We do.::

Zahara ::Ahh yes. Rather clever of him.::

Lucent ::Indeed. The time is now upon us.::

Spring ::smug silence'''*::

Varanim "Nice call on the kitten thing," Varanim notes to Injara while the others talk about whatever it is they're going on about.

Injara "It would only follow that oppositional forces would be required to hold a powerful death-aspected being," she says.

Injara "And... you're welcome."

Lucent considers. "Varanim. Care to engage on a small theoretical exercise?"

Varanim looks resigned. "Do I have a choice?"

Cerin ::So what is next?::

Lucent "Assume you were locked and put on trial by a group of brain-dead idiots who could never hold a candle to your genius."

Lucent "What manner of stratagems would you devise in this situation?"

Varanim looks at Lucent with grudging admiration in her bloodshot eyes. "I'll start on a list."

Zahara ::Well, I have to combine them properly according to the recipe and then.... soul surgery.::

Injara Karal Linwei nods slowly. "I... I need to go inform my countrymen of the news."

< So Underhanded | Sol Invictus Logs | The War of Black Thorns >

Page last modified on November 29, 2009, at 02:20 AM