Summary:Cerin provides Varanim with some information about his recent conversation with Zinnobia.

XP:C1, V1


< Madam | Sol Invictus Logs | The Perfect Place >

Cerin ::Varanim, do you have a spare moment? I discovered something that might be of interest, during the Hour in Nethos::

Varanim ::If it's about that stash of books, I can explain about the pictures in those.::

Varanim ::On second thought, forget I said that. Let's talk in the tea garden.::

Cerin ::Excellent, I shall be there momentarily:: Some things just weren't worth talking about.

Varanim isn't late, which means she was probably there already, sitting under a tree to shade her from the moonlight and sorting tiny bones.

Cerin arrives shortly after the conversation, holding a large scroll-case. "Good evening," he says, and then sets down the scrollcase, extracting from it a large underworld map.

Cerin On the map, there seem to be a number of lines drawn radially from Varang, annotated in Cael's neat handwriting, with numbers and some text.

Varanim "Oh, tell me a story," she says, not bothering to feign disinterest as she leans forward to study the lines.

Cerin "Okay, though it's really more of a riddle. The title of which is 'Who I met on my holiday?'"

Varanim "Is this going to be one of those things where you talked to a dead person, so you want to tell the nearest necromancer? We don't all know each other, you know."

Cerin "Not a dead person, no."

Cerin "They were all frozen at the time, after all."

Cerin "I'm almost certain the person in question was a necromancer though."

Varanim "Mm. Someone messing around in the clocky bits, or on other business?"

Cerin "Messing around in the clockworky bits. Which were still operational at the time, I might add. The map more or less describes just what they were messing with, in fact."

Varanim returns her attention to the lines, and their labels, adding, "Why 'almost' certain?"

Cerin "I've never actually seen or heard of the individual actually performing necromancy, but you might say it ... goes with the territory."

Varanim "Hm. This is way more work than I'd want to bother doing with an hour of vacation. Was the person... larger than a breadbox?"

Varanim "No, wait, I want to narrow it down more. Was the person, to your knowledge, one of Lucent's exes?"

Cerin "Narrow it down more?" Cerin questions the wisdom of that statement with the desire for a narrowed field. "Not to my knowledge, no."

Cerin "I'll allow both of those as one question, though," he graciously allows.

Varanim "And people say you aren't nice. Either a man or an unusual woman, then. Were they lucid, or one of the gibbery types?"

Cerin "If the latter, then they kept their drool very well hidden."

Varanim "Did they finish their work before you met?"

Cerin "No, they were still performing as I met"

Varanim "Did they want to talk to you?"

Cerin "Not particularly, though they were willing to."

Varanim considers that. "Would I have wanted to talk to them?"

Cerin "Almost certainly."

Varanim looks up from the map finally. "That's doesn't describe many maybe-necromancers at all."

Cerin "It was a good way to narrow the field, yes," he agrees.

Varanim "Was it an Abyssal?"

Cerin "No."

Varanim Her eyes narrow. "Did they have an above-average inappropriate fixation on shard descent?"

Cerin "The subject did not come up, but I believe you would consider that to be true."

Varanim "What did she have to say?"

Cerin "They spoke of the Jilarang, the coming sunset and the rulership of Creation."

Varanim "I usually find those conversations tedious. What's this Jilarang business, though?"

Cerin "It was, rather," he agrees. "The clockwork devices in the Underworld. The measurements and notes upon the map relate to measurements, or at least interactions, with the Jilarang by the person."

Varanim "Do you think what they were doing is an urgent problem, or is it one more for the pile?"

Cerin "That question is at least part of why I wanted to talk to you today."

Varanim flattens her soulsteel hand against the map in a crude overlap with the major structure of the lines. Scowling down, she makes several adjustments--elongated fibers here, uncomfortable-looking bends there, and finally three sharp popping twists that leave two of the fingers at odd angles.

Varanim Running her mind through the pattern in sequence, she flicks her arm with her right hand and listens to the resonances that come back: do they echo off the upper crags of arcane significance, or are they lost in the problematic depths below?

What Varanim is able to discern from her analysis suggests that the significance of this pattern is tied up entirely in one specific event, a moment of time in which the clockwork Jilarang are inextricably entwined, and that much like her own awkward finger-geomancy here, all other pattern lines that run into them are only the grasping of other hands trying to wrap around that singular event.

Whatever this purpose, it seems clear to Varanim that no one else yet holds any firm or permanent grasp upon it, and that while it may be coming soon, it's not coming soon soon.

Varanim shakes her hand back into place with a grimace and a sloshing rattle. "Feels like there's going to be more clockwork funny business, but you don't have to change your dinner plans real soon on that account."

Cerin "That is something of a relief, although not entirely unexpected."

Varanim nods, starting to turn her attention back to her work but pausing. "Anything else I should know about the person?"

Cerin "Only that they were Zinnobia, the Green Lady."

Varanim "Ah, there we go. I've always been bad at riddles." And she goes back to sorting, but slowly, as if her attention is now firmly elsewhere.

< Madam | Sol Invictus Logs | The Perfect Place >

Page last modified on May 04, 2010, at 03:56 PM