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07:23, 27th May 2024 (GMT+0)

Part 68a - Princes of the Universe.

Posted by DworkinFor group 0
Dworkin
GM, 3521 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 11 Dec 2010
at 17:27
  • msg #40

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"This is the part I hate." Random sighs, "What if the Archons aren't using Amber as a diversion for their real plan?  What if they're moving somewhere else to distract us from the real goal, which is a sudden, direct assault on Amber?"

"See?  It's becoming more and more complex.  We need to decide."


Fiona nods her head, "Exactly.  We can keep on second-guessing ourselves until the end of time.  There comes a point where we have to decide to commit ourselves.  If we're right, we win.  If we're wrong... well we have to hope we're not so badly wrong that we can't correct it."

She turns towards Amabael, "You, Amabael was it?  You are an Archon.  You know how they think.  What do you think their most likely short term goal would be?"

+ SHORT TERM, FOR AN ARCHON, IS FAR DIFFERENT FROM WHAT A HUMAN WOULD CALL SHORT TERM.  BUT WITH THE INFORMATION WE HAVE HEARD SINCE COMING HERE, WE WOULD SAY THAT THEIR IMMEDIATE AIM WOULD BE PRECISELY WHAT IT HAS BEEN SINCE THEIR RELEASE - THE DESTRUCTION OF EVERYTHING, AND THE CREATION OF A NEW HOME FOR THEMSELVES. +

+ ALL ELSE WOULD BE BUT A MINOR DIVERSION. +

Cyan
player, 5084 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Sun 12 Dec 2010
at 13:38
  • msg #41

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Cyan shrugs.  "For the moment, it matters not - whether this be distraction or reality, they have chosen the perfect place to set their finger.  We cannot ignore the assault upon Amber."

She bites her lip.  "I agree with Amabael, from what I have seen of Harbonah.  Single-minded, he would not pass up any opportunity to seize his goal.  I question, however, if I am needed here.  If this is naught but a conventional assault, does Amber seriously require our full attention?  If the Archons are not...are not..."  She trails off, frowning, as Berd shunts further information her way.

Then she speaks, low and rapid, and tiny sparks glitter in her sapphire eyes.  "We have contacted the nephillim - they show interest in our plan, but also have their own strategems in place, as we speak.  The Seraphim continue to scatter across Myriad Worlds, but with every passing moment more of them turn back upon their own paths, re-tracing their movements.  They...."

She blinks, shakes her head.  The light fades from her eyes.  "Perhaps you should show them," Cyan mutters.

Berd grumbles something indistinct, then breathes.

The glittering cloud expands into dark disk, within which floats an ellipse of shining points of light - so many they are at first a plane, then a sparkle as the view closes, then, when they fill the image a flow may barely be made out.  "The Myriad Worlds," Cyan states.  An ugly series of dark lines begins, slowly linking a region between both poles of infinity, like a chasm across the lights with cracks leading away from it.  "The breaks...more numerous now, but according to Berd, 'within parameters of growth'.  The Archons have not been focusing upon them to excess, but..."

Now thin, tiny lines begin to appear upon the image.  "Seraphim movement."  They form a random pattern across the Myriad Worlds, Berd zooming in to demonstrate their exact movements, then zooming out again.  Then some of their motion ceases before the colour of the line changes from the tip, beginning to flow back along itself.

"Those lines - the Archons have begun to retrace their steps."

More and more lines begin the tip-backward colour change.

"They're hunting."  Cyan squints.  "They're narrowing something down, each of them...sensing it?  Passing what they seek, then realizing they've gone past it, and doubling back?  Like a cosmic game of Hot-and-Cold?"  Berd snorts again.  "Or yes, like using the bisection method of linear convergence, thankyouverymuch," Cyan snaps, exasperated.

She closes her eyes.  "...Broken God," Cyan whispers.  "Are they still seeking that?"
This message was last edited by the player at 00:30, Tue 14 Dec 2010.
Tahirah
player, 459 posts
Let's...not look into
your future again, OK?
Tue 14 Dec 2010
at 00:13
  • msg #42

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Tahirah looks at the cloud in wonder.  Such a small thing, to represent, apparently, everything.  And beautiful.

A small choking sound manages to slip out from her hood as the dark lines appear, quickly stifled, with a visible shake of her head.  She steps forward, watching the Seraphim movements appear, and watches.
This message was last edited by the player at 00:53, Fri 17 Dec 2010.
Dworkin
GM, 3523 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 14 Dec 2010
at 22:01
  • msg #43

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"If you deem it necessary, then by all means leave the defence of Amber to us." Random says, nodding, "We do, after all, know the lay of the land around the city, and we do know a little about defending it."

"If the Archons are not coming here, then we are facing enemies no more dangerous than others we have seen over the years."


He pounds one fist angrilly on the armrest of the throne.  "And we can defeat them, just as we have defeated all those who came before."
Tahirah
player, 461 posts
Let's...not look into
your future again, OK?
Fri 17 Dec 2010
at 01:57
  • msg #44

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Unconsciously, Tahirah begins to sway slightly, as she watches Berd's display.  She seems transfixed, perhaps even hypnotized, until abruptly, she speaks.

"No."

She reaches out with a hand, and tilts her head, almost as if sighting across her fingers.  "No," she says, again.  "They are not coming here.  And they are not lost, or seeking that which is.  They know exactly where they are going.  I see Crystals In The Clouds... precision hidden in seeming chaos.  Timing and distraction."

Somewhat more helpfully, she continues.  "They are going...here," she thrusts her hand out abruptly, not pointing with a single finger, but with all five splayed.   "And they will all reach these five points at the same moment."

"If it is the Broken God that they still seek, then they have found the pieces."
Banglen-Yp
player, 743 posts
Off the beaten track
            ''Who am I?''
Fri 17 Dec 2010
at 06:33
  • msg #45

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

 

•• Oh shiny ••

A choir of approval ripples through the identical crowd and a murmur ensues.  One would be forced to realise they were not talking amongst themselves as they were one and shared all.  And even so, one of them stood slightly apart.

•• Five places at once • I know how they feel ••

A perplexing smile from the one standing slightly apart followed by a glance towards the others like her.

•• And who is the broken god • what is the significance of bringing the pieces together ••

•• One • and many • will have to assume something applicable to waging war • whether subversively or not ••


 
Fiona
NPC, 48 posts
What's on your mind?
Oh yes... I knew that.
Sun 19 Dec 2010
at 21:03
  • msg #46

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"Perhaps they aren't searching, just as she says." Fiona gestures towards Tahirah, "Perhaps they have been sent to collect something, or several somethings, whose locations were already known to them."

"Weapons of some sort would seem to be the most likely.  Or things which can be used to construct weapons.  Those five locations might be the places where the construction is to take place."

Cyan
player, 5086 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Fri 24 Dec 2010
at 19:34
  • msg #47

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"Broken God."  Cyan nods again, as the pieces slowly begin to come toegether...and perhaps literally.  They may not have much time.  "A swift summary - Broken God was a being of vast power, torn apart and scattered through the Myriad Worlds."  She glances at Berd for a moment, then shakes her head.  "The Seraphim spent years tracking down its fragments, sometimes with assistance."

Sometimes with her assistance.

"The pieces of Broken God can be...'excited' is not exactly correct, but close enough.  When so empowered, they dampen supernatural abilities, prevent the use of magic, of travel between worlds, block what you know as 'Trump', stop the use of the Grand Pattern and the Logrus.  All things."  Her lips thin, her topaz eyes shading toward translucence.

"Perhaps they have been building something with the pieces they have collected.  Creating something.  They have demonstrated such prowess in the past."

Tahirah's conclusion puts fear in voice.  "Berd.  Where are these places?  Show us!"

Instantly, the image breaks into five, Berd bending his wills toward focusing upon those five locals, each picture spiralling closer and closer to where Tahirah indicates.
Dworkin
GM, 3528 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 4 Jan 2011
at 23:10
  • msg #48

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Images take shape, shimmering in the air.  Coalescing into five distinct locations.

In one place a mountain, or a series of them, stacked up, one plateau atop another, broader one, forming a vast ziggurat.  Rivers flow from the topmost point, falling from layer to layer in roaring cataracts...

The second place would be unremarkable - a world of forests and mountains and plains.  And then a closer look reveals that the mountains are moving, roaming ponderously across the world, leave long trails of bare earth in their wake.  Further behind, new vegetation covers the scarred ground...

A third place, a world of raging storm winds, and a land of bare stone, polished smooth by blowing dust, beneath a sullen red sun...

Fourth: a sprawling city of cyclopean architecture, crumbling into ruin.  And there are Archons here already... danioti, eshurianti and herenethi fighting against each other among shattered buildings which are, themselves, as large as the cities found in some worlds.  The sky burns, and lightning falls in endless cascades, adding to the ravages of simple entropy...

And the fifth world is strangest of all... a land of elementary geometric shapes, brightly coloured, like a child's painting.  There are people and animals here, but strange and distorted, almost two dimensional in form.  Only one thing breaks the simplicity of this landscape - a silver thread which swells as the viewpoint moves closer, to become a gleaming metal tower stretching from earth to sky...
Cyan
player, 5090 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Tue 11 Jan 2011
at 12:07
  • msg #49

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

The Myriad Worlds are wonderous indeed - every vista Berd opens is something new to Cyan, travelled as she is.  So many places she should see with her own eyes, so many places and so little time.  Unlike the demigods around her, she is no immortal.

A wry smile touches her lips, then she gasps, leaning forward as the fourth scene flows into view.  Archons battling.  "Seraphim and nephillim?" she wonders.  "Or merely rivals?"  It could be either, given the fractitious tendancies of their enemy.

Then the fifth, and a memory strikes her.  "Towers.  They have built such things before - transmitters, THX 1138 named them.  With storage areas.  And apparently others.  I remember them building power within the tower to strike back at Jack when he devastated their forces from within the Elemental Node."  Her finger traces a path along the slender, steely needle in the image.  "Can you show us more closely, Berd?  Tahirah, what do you make of this?"

Her sapphire gaze strays to the single Archon among them.  "Amabael - do you have knowledge of these things?"
Dworkin
GM, 3532 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Wed 12 Jan 2011
at 17:31
  • msg #50

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

+ TOWERS MAY BE USED FOR A NUMBER OF PURPOSES. + Amabael responds, + TO IMPRISON DIFFICULT OR IMPORTANT CAPTIVES.  TO FOCUS ENERGIES INHERENT IN A PLACE.  AS MARKERS OR BEACONS.  AS STATEMENTS OF MASTERY.  WITHOUT KNOWING MORE OF THIS PLACE, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE MORE PRECISE. +

The viewpoint slides in, closer to the tower, revealing that the surface is covered with a myriad openings, small only in comparison to the tower itself, and... something distracts Cyan for a moment... the world with the warring Archons draws her attention, though she can not see why at first.
Banglen-Yp
player, 745 posts
Off the beaten track
            ''Who am I?''
Fri 14 Jan 2011
at 06:13
  • msg #51

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

 

•• Narf • I say •• Narf ••

An eerie giggle rippled through the group of Banglen-Yp's.

 
Fiona
NPC, 49 posts
What's on your mind?
Oh yes... I knew that.
Sun 16 Jan 2011
at 15:14
  • msg #52

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Fiona ignores the strange behaviour of the Banglen-Yps.  After all, for them it does seem to be their normal activity.

Instead she moves closer, studying the images which are, apparently, being generated by the small dragon.  "This world... " she indicates the colourful one, with the strangely misshapen inhabitants, "It looks wrong.  Is that the Archon's doing?  Or is it something else?"

Amabael responds, + IT IS, PERHAPS, THE NORMAL APPEARANCE OF THE WORLD.  WE CAN CONCEIVE OF NOTHING WHICH ARCHONS WOULD DO WHICH WOULD PRODUCE SUCH A RESULT.  THEIR METHODS ARE MORE DESTRUTIVE. +
Cyan
player, 5091 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Mon 17 Jan 2011
at 12:20
  • msg #53

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"Of course," Cyan murmurs, stepping closer.  "Thank you, Amabael...that warrents immediate attention, I suspect."  They should move to check the tower this moment.  Only...

Her eyes narrow, brightening slightly, and she purses her lips in thought as the others speak.  Then the bard sucks in a breath.  "Right," she whispers, and her back straightens.  "There."  Her finger stabs toward the fourth image.  "It is not only a battle between factions of Seraphim - they are perhaps nephillim, perhaps Seraphim who have foresaken their former views.  Berd - see if you can mark the sides, extrapolating from Right's movement."

She swings around to face the others.  "Five places of critical importance, where the Seraphim gather.  We must discover what they plan at these places, while their armies attack Amber...possibly to distract us, possibly to hold us in place while they prepare a finishing move.  And even now potential allies struggle against those who would destroy everything."

The bard turns back to the image.  "Amber can hold against the enemies here - we must assist elsewhere, where their true strength musters.  We must scout for knowledge.  And we must do so now.  That is my feeling - what say you all?  And where would you go?"

Her hand rises, indicates two worlds - the battle and the tower.  "I would begin here and here.  Dangerous to split our forces, but..."
Dworkin
GM, 3534 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 22 Jan 2011
at 20:01
  • msg #54

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"Then why split them?" interjects Random.  "Deal with them one at a time.  If all of these are places which are important to the Archons, you may have to visit all of them eventually."

He considers for a moment, "We can't spare any troops to assist you in this, so you are probably better bringing your entire force to bear on each location, in sequence."
Cyan
player, 5092 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Mon 24 Jan 2011
at 14:39
  • msg #55

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"Time," Cyan whispers.  "We may have little to none.  Scouting parties to seek out each place, to see if our full force must be brought to bear upon them."  She turns to face the king.  "If the Archons are pressuring us here, it may well be because they need us held here, now.  They must know the army they have fielded can do nothing else to Amber, in the end."

She returns her gaze to the 'screens'.  "Therefore we may be facing an endgame preparation of their own, in these five places.  While splitting ones forces is often the death knell, we may not have time to visit them in order."

Turning back to the king, she nods decisively.  "I myself will go to this place, first."  She indicates the world where the Archons battle.  "I recognize at least one of them - an ally.  Berd?"

The little drake reaches out with his mind through the crystalline reality of Amber, preparing himself as Cyan shuffles through her small pack of palanqueti....
Tahirah
player, 463 posts
Let's...not look into
your future again, OK?
Tue 25 Jan 2011
at 00:45
  • msg #56

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"They've split their forces," Tahirah notes.  "If we focus ours, it would give us the advantage in each location...and if they require all five for their purpose, then we have all the time we need.  If we begin at the one you've chosen, where they are already embattled, our joining seems less likely to be noted and reported.  If we can strike there and turn the tide quickly, then perhaps we can move on to a second location before word can spread, disrupting both without splitting ourselves."
Aaron
player, 1810 posts
Truth in my mind,
Worlds at my fingertips.
Tue 25 Jan 2011
at 13:32
  • msg #57

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"I disagree."

It is Aaron's voice which replies to Tahirah's summation of their position.  "We have no proof that they need all five, only that they have chosen to send their forces to all five.  If they only need four of them, or three, or even one, and we choose the wrong one to block...  Or equally bad... what if they just need to take any one of the five in order to succeed?"

"We've seen that they are using an attack on Amber as a decoy, so how do we know that some of these places aren't also decoys?  Time and again we have witnessed their use of cunning and guile.  Sometimes they have shown themselves to be so crafty that I've wondered if they even know their own plans."
Cyan
player, 5093 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Tue 25 Jan 2011
at 14:09
  • msg #58

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Shuffling through the cards, Cyan allows the others to continue the discussion, considering their responses.  Both Aaron and Tahirah make very valid points.  Normally, she would completely agree with Tahirah - fragmentation makes for poor strategy.  But now?  Desperate times.  They may not have the luxury of going with the solid strategy, as Aaron points out.

Which of them is correct?

Her fingers stray across a card - the Tired Soldier.  It comes free into her hand: the image of a warrior at rest, his back against his rucksack, all shaded by the overhanging boughs of an oak tree.  Though he is weary and scarred in both body and spirit, the man's grim stare still holds resolute determination.  Her ruby eyes sharpen as she studies the picture, and at a flick of her finger it rings like crystal.

Colours swim in the palanquet as she focuses.

"James of Amber," Cyan breathes.  "If you can, please answer."
Cyan
player, 5094 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Tue 25 Jan 2011
at 15:14
  • msg #59

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

"...James...nothing."  Biting back a soldier's oath, Cyan flicks the palanquet again, her eyes clearing to pale, pale topaz.  Then she nods.  "The card is not dead.  He is there, but there is a wall."  Her momentary fear subsides and her eyes shift to a rich emerald.  "Berd?"

The drake rolls his glittering orbs, but sets to seeking out the veteran.

"Tahirah, I will be going to this location."  Cyan indicates the world where the battle transpires.  "Whether or not the others choose their own paths, I would appreciate your assistance."
Dworkin
GM, 3536 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 25 Jan 2011
at 17:18
  • msg #60

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

A heated discussion starts then.  There is too much at stake for all to be risked on a failed gamble.  Unfortunately opinions on what constitutes the least risky course of action vary.

Some want to stay and defend Amber.  Some want to split up and take on the Archons in as many locations as possible, simultaneously.  Some want to focus on a single location and strike hard, then move on to the next.  This latter group are also divided, unable to decide on which location should be chosen first.

The princes and princesses of Amber are equally undecided.

The only thing everybody can apparently agree on is that something must be done.
Cyan
player, 5095 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Tue 25 Jan 2011
at 18:07
  • msg #61

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Cyan shakes her head.  This is getting nowhere.  She considers the situation, noting that the Princes and Princesses of Amber can certainly defend their land ablely against the army arrayed against it.  As for the five locations, she must begin somewhere.

Again, her eyes rise to the battle.  There.  Allies, and a precarious position - the place to start.

Her eyes sweep across the others, weighing, assessing.  She holds James' card in her hand, still.  Then the bard nods once, decisively.  "No time," she states clearly, her trained voice ringing through the room.  "We all must make a choice - for once not by concensus, but specific to each of our spirits.  I begin here."  Her free hand stabs a finger at the battle. "Those with me, come now, or I fear you will have to find your own path.  Berd?"

Still trying to reach James, the drake focuses on the image and his eyes begin to blaze.  The image burns white - a portal into the Underflow - and Cyan strides forward to vanish into its endless brilliance.
Banglen-Yp
player, 746 posts
Off the beaten track
            ''Who am I?''
Wed 26 Jan 2011
at 06:57
  • msg #62

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

 

•• We are off to see the wizard • the wonderful wizard of Oz ••

Holding hands half of the Banglen-Yp's skipped and dance the light fandango into the light that may not have been at the end of a tunnel but nevertheless hopefulyl leading to a brighter future.

•• Be good now • we will send you a post card ••

The parting-greeting came from both groups of Banglen-Yp's and was aimed at all and none.

Then the last of the ones heading into the light tripped the light fantastic and was gone.

 
Nine Lives
player, 1 post
''Meow'' said the cat and
grinned from ear to ear
Wed 26 Jan 2011
at 21:02
  • msg #63

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Slinking forth out of nowhere, as if a reversed-polarity-cat from Cheshire it was, a sabretooth tiger sprung into the light and was then gone, leaving not even a grin behind -- although the last to fade was its behind.
Tahirah
player, 464 posts
Let's...not look into
your future again, OK?
Fri 28 Jan 2011
at 16:53
  • msg #65

Re: Part 68a - Princes of the Universe

Tahirah hesitates for a surprisingly long time.  Indeed, very nearly too long, before she finally steps forward to follow.

...Of course, it's not quite too long, and her pure white robes blend briefly with the shining light of the portal, almost making her vanish a moment before she does, in fact, vanish.
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