Summary:The Solars encounter the ultimate result of Varanim's plan -- the Brightlord Amaya.

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


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The Fable of the Reconstruction hangs at the center of the spinning rock structure in which the ja'Dikera ghosts slowly groom the Essence pools that will become new beings, rushing off to incarnate in the bodies of newly-born Hundredfold somewhere out in the vast world.

The ghosts continue to pay the Solars no mind, even as they float about, poking and inspecting the structure for their own interests.

Varanim ponders centimating the Hundredfold count, turning a pebble over and over in her hand at the rail.

Spring "Should we go and talk to them?"

Varanim "It's either that, or find a different Essence structure of the same type to milk for parts."

Spring "You pose a compelling alternative, but I still favor talking to them."

Varanim "What do your funny eyes see about their relationships?"

Spring squints.

Spring sees the lines of bright light shoot out to join together the ghostly forms in an intricate pattern of relations between the long-dead figures.

Spring quickly learns that none of the figures knew each other in life -- indeed, many of them would have been quite likely to dislike each other.

However, since coming here, each has slid comfortably into their new role as stewards of the afterlife -- learning to communicate briefly and wordlessly with their fellows as they engage in the subtle dance of resouling.

Now, Spring would be hard-pressed to find one that did not consider its fellows to be, at least, comrades-in-arms in a great and important work.

Spring "They like and respect each other in their undead camaraderie."

Varanim "Hm, so there are personality structures. Well, ask your questions so we can get on with it," she says, with possibly a touch more than her normal irritability as she flexes her soulsteel hand.

Spring "Hello!"

The nearest-by ghost looks up with an inquisitive, tilted head at Spring. "Hello," it says, or rather, it thinks in an odd, vaguely difficult-sounding "voice" which is nonetheless entirely comprehensible to the Solars present.

Spring "What are you?"

"We are the Stewards of the ja'Dikera," it says, simply.

Spring "How did you come to be here?"

"We were chosen in another life," it says. "We passed beyond the living world, at the beckoning call of a voice we heard before we were born," it says. "All that live must have a roost to return to when life flees their emptying forms, and here we fulfill the existence of such for our own kind."

Spring "Where are the human Stewards?"

There is a vibration and a hum as the ghost stops, perhaps to commune with its fellows through some strange vibratic connection running through the rocks themselves.

Finally, the hum stops and it turns its head to answer: "They dwell within view of the Soulfont," it says. "Their call to action is rare, I am told, so they watch from afar, until needed."

Spring "Rare? How do they differ?"

"All beings are different," it says, as some of the strings combining above vibrate and another droplet of Essence-water grows larger. "We... must constantly tune, or the lines will fall to disarray."

"At the Soulfont... only more... unique situations call for their presence."

Spring "Mm."

Spring "How can we find the Soulfont?"

Varanim "So... you're picky souls?"

"You are... human, yes?" it says, as a sort of indirect answer to Spring's question.

Spring "In many ways."

It reaches a ghostly hand-like-thing out and taps Spring's chest. "You can find it."

Varanim snickers.

Spring "Anything slightly more specific?"

"The pattern of Lethe's waters yields to the heart and mind," it says. "Seek, and ye shall find."

Spring "Thank you. That was, indeed, slightly more specific."

Varanim "Also, be careful what you ask for," she adds unnecessarily.

Spring "Shall we go?"


A slightly puzzled Spring leaves the rocky sphere along with his companions in search of the Soulfont, a process which ultimately proves at least somewhat easier than expected.

After a few moments of considering and rejecting all other potential options, after a long moment Spring finally stops, closes his eyes, and simply thinks to himself that he very much wants to find the Soulfont, and within a few moments he already begins to almost-unnoticeably incline his body in the necessary direction.

A slightly long, but quite pleasant, journey through strange and unusual soul-spaces in pursuit of whatever direction Spring happens to be pointing at any given moment eventually leads them on towards their destination, which Cerin, of course, first recognizes from some long distance away:

an almost unimaginably enormous crystalline fountain, hundreds of massive discs, each larger than the one above it, at whose edge water is divided into hundreds or thousands of tiny individual streams that pulse and glow with a heavenly light, and grow thicker and more tangible as they descend the levels...

Cerin "So, now all we need is to manufacture an appropriately unique situation."

Cerin remembers how at the very top, the fragments of expired souls mix in with the water to be purified and reconstituted into new ones, though that spot is far above where the ship sits now.

Varanim "Fresher water will be better," she notes, eyeing the edifice.

Spring looks around for the human Stewards.

Cerin "The freshest is at the peak."

As the Solars rise up towards the top of the fountain, it narrows, each platter smaller in circumference than the one below, until finally, far above -- where the sky has darkened to purplish-blue -- a single platform, no more than a foot across, sits alone at the top.

A jet of water emanating from somewhere deep within the fountain gushes up in a twenty-foot jet from a hole in the platter's center, while a ring at the edge of the platter spills out little Essence fragments into the water.

Cerin "So, what, other than the water, did you need?"

Varanim "That Spectre. If you can bring it up, I'll get the last piece."

Varanim fishes a little glittery pebble out of her pocket, looking a little nervous about the whole affair.

Cerin "Oh, that," he nods, and calls to his cache egg, which materializes at his side. From it's place next to the septre of the Perfect, he pulls out what seems to be a bundle of vines and flowers. The cache-egg is then dismissed with a gesture. Setting the bundle on the ground, Cerin starts to carefully unfold it. He's obviously working to some remembered sequence, slowly making the circle larger and larger as the vine is folded ever

Cerin outwards. The circle eventually reaches a point when it is some two yards across, and a perfect circle. Within it, a spectre suddenly appears.

The Abyss-tainted ghost seems almost at war with the very surroundings -- its edge frays against the warm, gentle air of Lethe with a metallic grinding sound, even standing still.

Varanim "It'll do that," she smirks at the spectre, waggling her soulsteel fingers at it.

Varanim "Put that gaudy armor to work and trap some of the water for us," she says to Lucent, then nods to Cerin. "We want to dip both pieces in and hold them there until it's finished."

As if on cue, a second Fable with a second Imrama at its helm comes into sight and carefully navigates over to its partner, sailing directly into it until both ships, and both Imramas, merge into one another, leaving the distinct Solars from both ships suddenly standing together on a single deck.


Lucent "Hello to you, too! Yes, I had a nice day, discovering that Atomnos is actually nice. And a perfectionist."

Varanim ::Lucent,:: she says privately, ::you said you wanted to know more of what I'm thinking.::

Spring "Hello, other Imrama."

Spring takes some water in his hand and tastes it.

It tastes pleasantly warm and soul-y. It seems like it will fill his belly with vigorous aliveness.

Lucent ::Yes, I did!:: Lucent says as he begins to move like a maestro - and the water begins to slide upwards, caught in invisible hands of an invisible semisphere. ::Any thoughts to share?::

Imrama waves to Spring. "Its not that there was another me here just now. More that I was here, and also elsewhere, but now am only here," he explains, helpfully.

Varanim ::I'm thinking that I hope you can forgive me someday if this goes poorly.::

Varanim bends to carefully place the little pebble in the water, pressing it down with her palm to hold against the current. Then she reaches out with her other hand and sinks soulsteel fingers into the spectre's chest, latching where a heart once beat.

Varanim In half of her mind she summons the finely detailed, tightly organized structure that represents in shorthand all she knows about "Deathlord." In the other half, she considers the corresponding void in Letheon, ripe to give rise to a symmetry. As her anima unfolds above them, she reaches out with the hand of her heart and beckons to the statue she spoke to not long ago.

Spring "Hm."

From somewhere far above, something begins to descend, as if at Varanim's beckoning. At first, it is indistinguishable -- an almost invisible gray dot on an endless sky.

As it descends, one by one, the Solars are able to get a good look at exactly what Varanim has summoned here: a rounded, abstract statue of a young girl, maybe five years old at most, in a loose robe and dragging some strange, formless object behind her.

The statue's face is nothing more than a rounded surface with slight depressions for eyes and mouth, yet somehow it exudes personality, has the quality of something that could only possibly be depicting some real person.

As it sinks down further, finally settling at an easy float on a level with the Solars, Lucent notes with a shock that even though he knows he's never, ever seen it before, something about the girl depicted by this statue is intimately, unimaginably familiar to him.

Lucent ::I know her.::

Lucent ::... Spring, why do I know her?::

Imrama "Hello, Amaya," Imrama says, bowing to the statue. "Who is this 'Amaya'?" he asks Varanim, more quietly.

Varanim "Someone who could have existed but never did. A completely unused higher soul."

Spring ::You know her because she is, in a mostly inaccurate sense, your child.::

Lucent "What"

Spring ::It isn't particularly complex. Varanim sacrificed her ability to have a family. This is the child you would have had together if she had not done so. I could be wrong, but, as always, I am a peerless scholar.::

Spring "A pretty name."

Lucent "..."

Lucent "Too much"

Varanim Varanim says, still without turning around, "I asked, and she said yes."

Spring "What does it mean? Amaya?"

Lucent walks to the statue, touching it with tears in his eyes. "Morning Grace. It was always the first flower to bloom with the sun, before there were no more."

Lucent "I was going to try to make new ones. Even if fake, the day she was born. To bloom with a new dawn..."

Spring "She will bloom brightly now."

Amaya As the Solars stand around talking about her, Amaya suddenly blinks... somehow.

Amaya "Hello," says a small voice from somewhere within the statue.

Spring "Hello."

Lucent "H --" For once, Lucent had no words

Imrama puts his hand on Lucent's shoulder. ::I am so sorry, my friend. I cannot imagine how hard this is. But even amidst the ashes, there is a small gift. You have been cheated of your daughter, and yet, here she is. Why not take the opportunity to talk to her?::

Amaya looks over at the water, which Varanim's hand still presses into the current. "I... am ready," she says, and looks to Varanim for a final nod of approval.

Lucent "You... you are..." Lucent stops, wipes his tears, tries again. "I am Lucent, it is a... it is wonderful to meet you, Amaya."

Imrama , who has no memory of his birth parents, a criminally insane ersatz mother and two highly unorthodox fathers, cries just a bit, watching Lucent with Amaya.

Amaya smiles -- abstractly -- at him. "Hello!" She leans over and, without any particular form of hesitation, gives him a big hug.

Amaya Amaya's body is as heavy as a statue, but despite being made of granite, her arms are soft and gentle like a real little girl.

Lucent just stands there for a moment

Lucent then picks her up, attempts to lift her from the ground, and cries out, "YOU ARE PERFECT!"

Amaya laughs a tiny laugh, then steps back over towards the water -- still smiling -- after he sets her down again.

Varanim nods wordlessly to the statue.

Lucent looks curiously at Varanim, to elated to remember suspicion

Amaya With a gentle, simple, quiet step, Amaya drops her tiny foot into the pool of water.

Amaya There is a moment's pause, and then, suddenly, everything happens at once.

Amaya The shiny pebble roars into life, glowing with an intense, brilliant light. At the same moment, the spectre whose soul Varanim has plunged her hand into begins to unravel, the tainted energy of its form flowing straight through in parallel to the life-power Varanim feels growing in her other hand...

Amaya The two sources shoot through Varanim's arms and into the center of her soul, where for just a moment, she feels an intense conflict, like the two opposed forces are going to tear her apart. Then, just a moment later, it all bursts forth in an uncontrollable torrent -- and Amaya is there to catch it, all of it.

Amaya In an instant, twelve beautiful white wings unfurl from her back; seven spinning halos blink into being around her body (and the topmost one floating above her head); her robes grow out and become almost infinitely radiant, all while splitting into an uncountable number of ribbons and beautiful folds.

Amaya floats up over the ground as her robes extend down to the floor beneath, giving her the appearance, almost, of a tall adult; and all around, pieces of essence from all around draw together and congeal into a huge wheel of white metal, with four differently shaded circles, which attaches itself to her back and begins to slowly and methodically rotate perpendicular to the ground.

Amaya Though they already seemed open, now Amaya opens her eyes for real, and blinding lights pour out of them like destructive beams of force, and a moment later the same is true for her two tiny hands --

Amaya then her granite mouth opens and a light even more powerful pours forth from it, even as a much larger and lower voice speaks with volume that can be heard across Letheon: "I live."

Varanim squints, flicking bits of water off her hands and shading her eyes. ::And now, I'm pretty much necromanced out for the day.::

Lucent ::This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life.::

Lucent ::I love Necromancy.::

Amaya steps -- floats? -- forward, a radiant floating goddess, her granite skin a marked contrast against the luminous ribbons and wheels and wings that fill the air all around her.

Amaya "This world has had need of the balance that I bring," she says, her voice still the low, echoing sound and no longer the tiny voice of a small girl.

Lucent "It waited for you its entire existence."

Amaya It is at this moment that from all around, in every direction, wispy, translucent figures begin to arrive, slowly wafting through the air to take their places in a vast perimeter around the top of the Soulfont:

Amaya men in ancient and long-abandoned military uniforms, elderly women bedecked in the office-marks of southeastern shamanism, young brides and small children and portly gourmands well into life and a hundred other archetypes of humanity alike, drawn out of their waiting places, all gathering in mute witness of this momentous occasion.

Varanim finger-waves with the hand shading her eyes, patting down her pockets for booze with the other hand.

Spring spits up a bottle of scotch and hands it to her.

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Page last modified on May 04, 2010, at 03:57 PM