Summary:Cerin journeys to meet with the cleansed, but lessened, Atomos.


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`Cerin Thanks to the newly repaired gate network, Cerin doesn't have to invoke Imrama's help to pay a visit to Atomos, which is handy, as his purpose there is somewhat mysterious. Instead, he travels to the nearest gate, inputs the new co-ordinates and soon finds himself within Atomnos. Once there, he takes stock of how the world has changed since he was last here.

Cerin steps out onto a small dock in the qlippan, the quicksilver sea that fills the vast philosopher's stone that is the plane of Atomnos. In the absence of the twin destructive influence of the Neverborn and the Yozis, the plane appears to have recovered a bit since Cerin's last visit.

The silvery water now appears free of the black lines of tainted Essence that streaked it before, and the sky-fires far above burn brighter and with less smoke.

The crystalline tower of Avixos, Cerin's destination just a quick skip across the water from here, is still mottled and cracked, but some of its original radiance has returned and the spots have faded from deep black to a faint brown.

`Cerin smiles a little at the improvements which are visible. He begins to consider a series of paintings as he strides through the city, heading for the tower.

The stairs downwards into the crystalline basement that greeted the Solars on their previous visits are still here, almost inviting Cerin to enter.

`Cerin descends the stairs, his footsteps light. Perhaps paintings of the city as it brightens?

The long stairs are quite familiar to Cerin, and at the bottom he finds the chamber -- the black and gold pillar, the pool that stretches down to the bottom of the great sea, the tiny rock that sits on a small pedestal and serves as Atomnos' only current form of communication.

It would appear to Cerin that the rock has grown incrementally bigger since the last time he saw it.

`Cerin "Atomnos," Cerin says as he grips the rock. "You seem to be brighter, since last I saw you."

the fundamental order is restoring, it says. the taint of decay is gone

`Cerin "I will be interested to see how your restoration progresses," Cerin says. "I perhaps will paint series to show it. But for today, I come to ask for your advice."

`Cerin "I have an artifact I wish to unmake, that I can use some of the pieces anew"

The rock dips slightly, in a gesture that one might read as a nod. show me it says.

`Cerin produces from a cache egg the Perfect's Septre.

an impressive work it says. the staff of ten thousand rivers

`Cerin mentally consults the growing library inside himself for information on the staff.

The staff is a quite ancient device, a piece from the early times of the First Age. The purpose of the Staff seems to have been almost entirely innocent once -- for the Exalts had access to far more powerful techniques in their day -- but in the hands of the Prefect it had become a tool of oppression and control.

`Cerin "It has fallen far from its original prestige," Cerin says. "This is why I wish to see it made new."

The rock spins slightly to suggest its agreement. it is flawed as it is it says. it should be reborn

`Cerin smiles. "I would see it reborn as a ring, at least in part."

and what purpose will it serve the rock says. what grand design will you weave of it

`Cerin "A future, a reminder, a promise," Cerin says softly to the rock. "It is a ring for my beloved."

a promise woven of this staff the rock says, will be much more than a simple affair

`Cerin "That is why I chose this staff."

The rock lies down in a gesture of graveness. then shatter it the voice says. break the staff here, across this altar, that your essence might be infused in its remains

`Cerin sets down the Staff of Ten Thousand Rivers upon the altar. Then he channels his essence into it. Concentrating on unlocking, unbinding, unweaving every iota of essence within the staff, until every single component is distinct from every other. A brilliant light fills the throne room, so bright that it might blind anyone but Cerin. And then the staff is no more.

The rock looks on with satisfaction. leave what remains here it says. it shall be forged anew

`Cerin "Thank you," Cerin says. And then he turns to depart.


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Page last modified on December 07, 2010, at 07:51 PM