Summary:The Solars travel to Estoc in pursuit of the evasive Lilith.

XP:C4, I4, L4, Z4


< Void and Light | Sol Invictus Logs | The Greatest Hunter of This Age >

Cerin sat in one of the higher gardens of the Cascade, studying the silver necklace on the leather cord which hung before the featureless mask of his black armour.

Stare at it though he does, the pendant reveals no more secrets to him by sight alone; only the process of attuning it will now grant him more of what he seeks.

Lucent steps into the garden, announcing himself (not that anyone needed to announce themselves to Cerin) with a single cough.

Lucent "Am I interrupting anything?"

Cerin "Just contemplating this," he makes the amulet sway. "We can find lilith."

Lucent "Finally! Is that what will take us to that mass-murderer?"

zahara ::Honestly you'd think people had nothing better to do than complain about their neighbor's demon dog.:: Zahara interjects out of nowhere. (Of course, Cerin had the notion something like this might happen some time ago)

Lucent "Oh. That is good."

Cerin "Well, hopefully we can get some answers about the Chrysanthemum."

Cerin decides there's not much use talking more, and attunes to the amulet.

Lucent "And hopefully get us whatever she managed to save from it..."

Cerin "I believe when you mostly trash the place to retrieve something, the correct phrase is 'looted'"

Cerin would, absent his supernal capacity to avoid surprise in all things, not be prepared for the overwhelming wave of emotion that strikes him the moment his motes touch the pendant: pure, unadulterated rage.

It takes a few more moments for the other information provided by the Congruence-of-Hearts Pendant -- that a supremely healthy Lilith is currently somewhere in the coastal southwest -- to filter through.

Cerin "Hmmm, she is ... a tad annoyed."

Imrama cruises casually into the garden, walking with a laid-back stride. In the midst of eating a banana, he waves. "Morning all. What's the good word?"

Cerin "In fact, I would say she is the second most annoyed being I have ever been privy to the emotions of. Ah, hello Air Admiral."

zahara "Did someone say annoyed?" Zahara follows Imrama in, taking a moment to enjoy the view before slipping around him to lean over Cerin's shoulders, wrapping her arms around him lightly.

Imrama "What it is, The Wolf."

Cerin "This is a Congruence-of-Hearts pendant, which Lilith was once, long ago, obliging enough to impart a mote to. She is currently in fine health, exceedingly annoyed, and some five thousand miles from here."

Cerin "I would like to alter at least one of those facts."

zahara "Well, let's get to it then."

Imrama "Yes, lets." Rising over the hight shrub-walls of the garden, the Fable looms into view, casting it captain in sillouette.


Imrama The Fable of the Reconstruction speeds towards the Violet Coast at a speed which outpaces the sun, and so as they approach their destination, it seems to be ealier in the day than when they left.

Cerin "Left a bit, if you would be so kind," Cerin offers gentle correction to the Air Admiral's line, basing on the intelligence of the Pendant

Imrama "I always follow the advice of magical jewelry, and its never steared me wrong yet." Imrama adjusts the course accordingly.

zahara "You do? What other magical jewelry have you followed?" She lounges in a hammock on deck.

The ship banks across the vast, ruinous swamps and azure, brilliant waves that meet at the shore in the area once known as the Wastes, but the land here is different than it once was: numerous triangular structures capped with death's heads and new "roads" bordered by paths of bone-white powder now dot the swamps that have fallen under the sway of the Tenebrous Apostle.

Cerin finds his pendant guiding them north along the jagged coastline, towards the less thoroughly swamped portions of the Thanatocracy.

Imrama "Oh, lets see. There was the Crown of Seven Winds, the Opal Earings of Zurk, and Rovash has been known to take council from the talking ring in his..." Imrama trails off.

Cerin guides Imrama north, along the coast.

zahara "The... I'm not sure I want to know."

Imrama thinks for a moment. "No, you probably don't."

Imrama "Although, didn't you see it during the Revels Valentine?"

zahara "Oh... that," she says airily. "I could hardly take notice of everything that happened during that."

Cerin "I believe I had found something which required your urgent attention," Cerin offers as additional cover.

The vessel continues to advance up the coastline, and some time before the rest of the crew does, Cerin notices that the path the pendant is leading the group down is one that seems to point almost precisely at a familiar location that lies not too far ahead...

zahara swings out of the hammock and goes to join Cerin. "So where are we heading?"

Cerin "It appears we are approaching the nation of Estoc."

zahara " favorite."

zahara raises an inquiring eyebrow at Cerin.

Cerin "I was here, some time ago, with Herons. It is where the trio of the Red Lily were offered their Exaltations by the Thousand Faced Man."

zahara "Fascinating. So this is where the plague of the Red Lily started."

Cerin "In a one sense of the word, yes."

Cerin "Shall we fly on?"

The city now beckons to them from the shoreline in front of the ship, a singular piece of architecture in almost undeveloped wilderness -- a circular city built of whitish-tan stones and ringed by blue canals, once heavily populated but now abandoned and beginning to be reclaimed by the wild.

As they draw closer, there is no longer any doubt in Cerin's mind that the pendant is leading him directly there.

Cerin "That is our destination," Cerin says. As they draw nearer, Cerin expands his perceptions more than he ever has. He activates the Total Awareness Approach and suddenly everything within a sphere of six miles becomes apparent to him. Every sight, every sound. He watches a thousand birds fly in the jungle, hears a million insects chirp. All of it. All at once.

The first thing that Cerin notices about Estoc is that there are exactly 97 birds and approximately 15,000 insects within it, and he simply cannot be certain which one is secretly Lilith.

The second thing he notices is that her compatriots have no such protections, and as a result are currently walking in plain view along the sides of two of the city's azure canals -- one a man with a silver monocle, dressed in an outfit whose color is oddly hard to pin down, with a black rapier held in place by his belt;

the other a being that appears to be webs of golden light woven together into a vaguely humanoid shape -- albeit one with three of each type of limb, three eyes, and three tails -- with nearly-opaque bluish-green stones that seem almost fluid, like tiny bubbles are slowly floating up through them and popping into the air.

Cerin "Oh. That is interesting." Disdaining words as rather imprecise, Cerin instead gets out his paints, sketching the two denizens of the city.

Cerin "They appear to be searching for something."

zahara "Something that is annoyingly unfound, I assume?"

Cerin "Apparently so. Do you know who they are, Imrama?"

Imrama peers at the sketches. "The fellow with the fancy eyewear is rightly called Exceedingly Grand Lazaren. The one with the exceedingly fancy mode of being is named Uq."

Cerin "I suppose the name does suit him," Cerin conceeds.

Imrama "Should we go down and interfere in their search?"

zahara "We should find whatever it is, before they do. That would be amusing."

Cerin "It might be effacious in determining which of the 97 birds or 15427 insects could be lilith, too."

zahara "That does not sound particularly simple, unless Imrama's can see her name somehow."

Imrama "I would need to examine each such insect individually. I expect it would take some time."

Cerin "Well, I was assuming she might reveal herself when we interfered," Cerin says as he casts his vision simultaneously through the whole of the city. As he does, he observes where the pair have already searched, where the birds are (discounting two as they leave the city, but soon adding a further three to his consideration.) and the motions of the insects (a reduicing number as the birds feed). All searching for the most probable

Cerin destination of Lilith and her compatriots.

Cerin quickly compiles a mental inventory of the objects to be found within the city: mostly rocks, water, various clearly unimportant First Age castoffs, plants poking through the streets, and so on.

Within three seconds, he's narrowed his search down to six specific areas which have clearly not been traversed by the visitors and which present a challenging searching approach for anyone without omnisight; within five, he's narrowed those to two;

within ten seconds he's selected a single two-story former residential building on the northwestern outer edge, overlooking the ocean, whose construction appears to have been designed to conceal the existence of a small pocket of artificially warped space hidden between two adjacent bedrooms, and whose contents are still unclear even with his tremendous vision.

Cerin "Ah, I think I might have located it," Cerin announces after 10 seconds. "Or certainly something of interest."

zahara grins. "Amazing as always. Point us at it!"

Imrama "Excellent! I'm interested in things."

Cerin directs Imrama to the small residential building on the northwestern outer edge overlooking the ocean. "In here," he remarks.

Imrama banks the craft wide and low towards the indicated building, keeping far from Lazaren and Uq.

The building is a bungalow at most, a small house clearly intended for those in the twilight of their lives and lacking in any grand amenities.The (presumably wooden) door appears to have rotted off the hinges long before, leaving an inviting open portal to the inside.

< Void and Light | Sol Invictus Logs | The Greatest Hunter of This Age >

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