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18:59, 23rd June 2024 (GMT+0)

Part 70b - Flatland.

Posted by DworkinFor group 0
Cyan
player, 5168 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Tue 6 Sep 2011
at 10:27
  • msg #26

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

"Well and good, Anael, well and good," Cyan murmurs.  Her voice rises.  "Those who wish to join me, take yourselves out of this world - the Archons waiting beyond it are those who battle against the Seraphim.  Those who wish to leave, do so now, I will not hold you.  Anael - one question before you escape this hell."

James, we have a problem....

"Where," she asks, her jaw tight, "are the Seraphim tasked with bringing a cube here?  They have vanished, presumably taking the cube with them."
Dworkin
GM, 3656 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 6 Sep 2011
at 20:28
  • msg #27

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

At the announcement that the Seraphim couriers have simply vanished, there comes a loud howling from the Archons, one which seems to speak more of terror than of anger or any other emotion.  When they quieten down, Anael denies any knowledge of where the cube and its bearers may have gone.  She does, however, offer a theory: + The Underflow is dangerous.  Creatures live there which can devour Archons.  Harbonah has made a grave misjudgement, in our opinion, in not sending sufficient forces to guard the cubes.  I suspect that such a creature might have killed the cube bearers. +

One of the danioti suddenly shrieks, + ALL IS LOST! + and lunges at one of its fellows.  The third takes this as a signal of some sort, and in an instant, all three danioti are embroilled in what appears to be a fight to the death!

The other Archons  move away from them, as fragments of metal atre thrown in all directions...
Cyan
player, 5170 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Sat 10 Sep 2011
at 10:47
  • msg #28

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

"Harbonah makes a great deal of errors," the General muses, ruby eyes dark.  "And it is always his followers who suffer.  This must end."

Then the danioti explode.

"Berd!" Cyan snaps, but the drake is already on it.  A surge of mental strength rolls over the trio of damaged danioti, aimed at pressing them apart (or rather, making them move themselves apart), accompanied by Cyan's own mental voice.

LISTEN, danioti - all is NOT lost!

In an instant, a flash of memories strikes their minds in rapid succession, bourne by Berd's strength.

...a vast, towering thundercloud sweeping over the land on legs of lightning...

...a howling sky where metal falls like rain...

...ten thousand crystalline spires, each singing with its own voice in the wind to create a natural, sweeping orchestra...

Dozens of memories follow, each of a different world, a different place.


There is so much yet to see.

It's a struggle, but another of Berd's minds peels away, shimmering in the light of the curious world, and attempts to isolate the crazed danioti from the world's deadening effects.  It may not be fully possible, but Berd seeks to alleviate the tremendous discomfort and pain.
Dworkin
GM, 3657 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 10 Sep 2011
at 18:48
  • msg #29

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

The danioti continue to fight, ignoring everything except their own rage.  Even with Berd working to ease the pressure on their minds, and to push them apart, their natural inability to cooperate overrides everything else.

After a few moments one of them, much the worse for wear, breaks away, travelling directly upwards with a sound like a clap of thunder.  In its wake fragments of metal rain down into the bowl.  The two remaining danioti circle each other, roaring and snarling, while the other Archons stay well away from them.  Gradually the tension seems to ease.  Perhaps neither of the pair is the original instigator of the fight...

Some semblance of what passes for normality these days slowly returns.

+ Harbonnah is too weak.  We will join your crusade. + Anael declares, though it isn't clear if she refers to all of the Archons which remain, or just to herself.
James
player, 871 posts
This thing's to do
Hamlet (IV, iv)
Mon 12 Sep 2011
at 12:27
  • msg #30

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

James moves away from the brawling danioti.  His armour seems capable of stopping the shrapnel but there's no point taking stupid risks.  He takes no other immediate action and seems willing to await the outcome of Cyan's negotiations.

Damn!  That's bad.  I'd ask whether Berd can track the Seraphim...or the cube, but I guess he's already trying.  The latter is more of a conclusion than a question.  It's the obvious next step and James has considerable confidence in the little dragon's talent for multi-tasking.
Cyan
player, 5173 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Thu 15 Sep 2011
at 12:01
  • msg #31

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Cyan bites her lip as the two Archons battle.  Her master plan is looking pretty flimsy at the moment, the test run failing utterly.  Then again...extenuating circumstances and the Archons already focused on killing each other might have something to do with that.

Berd makes the attempt, James...but he cannot discern their location.  It is possible they truly have been consumed, as Anael suggests.  Or perhaps this is a gambit...but either way, we have others on which to focus, and must deal with them.

Finally it finishes, thankfully without further loss of life between the two danioti.  One escapes, the other two remain, and Berd struggles to cover all the Archons under his power, seeking to alleviate some of their discomfiture.

"I would be thankful for your assistance, Anael," Cyan replies, satisfaction colouring her tone as her eyes lighten toward emerald.  "There will be benefits, as you will see.  Harbonah holds greater numbers, but his army is weak.  Fractious.  And I have the hammer and spike to strike at that flaw."

She turns to the other Archons.  "And you rest, make your choices.  I welcome you into this force, where many of your cousins await.  Or I give you leave to depart, unharmed - my word on that."
Dworkin
GM, 3658 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Thu 15 Sep 2011
at 19:18
  • msg #32

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

There seems to be a little uspoken communication between the Archons, as the remaining danioti move to hover alongside Anael, though not too close alonside her.  The eshurianti take off immediately, in opposite directions and at high speed, apparently unwilling to spend any more time in the company of their former companions.

The danioti adopt humanoid forms, an act which, on this world, appears to cause them considerable additional pain as the blades which cover their metallic skin stop moving.  They declare their allegiance and fealty to the General, and immediately shift back to the wheel forms, which gives them a small measure of relief.

At which point Anael requests that they leave this bizarre world, with all possible haste...
Berd
player, 931 posts
Remove the candle,
the flame remains.
Mon 19 Sep 2011
at 14:39
  • msg #33

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

The eshurianti seem the most firmly committed to Harbonah.  Cyan has noted some familial links between the Archons; is it possible they feel more loyalty than normal toward one of their own kind?  Or is it competition?  Who can say?  Whatever the reason, she allows them to leave unmolested.  No doubt they will spread word of what transpired.  It will make Harbonah wonder.  It will likely make him react, and swiftly, moving to safeguard the other cubes.

They have to hurry, and not only for the sake of the archons still here.

"Very well.  We go to the next world where a cube will be placed."  Doing battle in the Underflow would be madness; not only is she uncertain of the environment, but the beings within it might take note of conflict.

"Join your brethren beyond this world," she cries as Berd plots their course.  James...it seems time for us to leave.  Will you be leaving as you are, or will you manifest yourself?  "Make yourselves known to the danioti I name Right!"  Having found the next world, Berd prepares to transport the small group of remaining Questors; he will draw them through the Underflow beside the force of Nephillim dedicated to assist them.

Time to finish this, Cyan thinks, anticipation warring with fear.  She's close now, rushing with breakneck speed toward the end...and that end is an adamantine wall.  Not long now, James, she notes over the bridging.  Not long now.

On her shoulder, Berd sits silently, keeping his counsel.
This message was last edited by the player at 14:42, Mon 19 Sept 2011.
James
player, 872 posts
This thing's to do
Hamlet (IV, iv)
Fri 23 Sep 2011
at 13:01
  • msg #34

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

I'll change back.  Just give me a moment to move out of sight.  I've a healthy respect for the Archons' ability to learn new tricks and I'd rather our new allies didn't know this one just yet.

James looks around for the closest point that would be out of sight of the Archons' current position and takes off at a run, the flickering light that betrays his presence wavers as he moves at speed.  A short while later he reappears, Fangmir held casually over one shoulder and, rather strangely, whistling.

"Sorry about that.  Ready now."
Dworkin
GM, 3662 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 24 Sep 2011
at 15:41
  • msg #35

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Berd reopens the Underflow, a process which, perhaps due to the nature of the world, leaves him drained and aching.  Right and his Archons await them, along with the new recruits.

They start to fall... dropping into the cold vastness below.  Berd, coiled upon Cyan's shoulder with his face buried in her hair and claws hooked into the shoulder of her tunic, looks thoroughly miserable.  For everybody else though, the Underflow is, just for once, a blessed relief.

Even with the great, dark shapes swimming all around them...

The Archons form a globe around them, while Right, as Cyan's second-in-command (at least in the eyes of most of the Archons) hovers a little closer and speaks to her, the strange acoustics of the Underflow deadening his voice, + GENERAL, ANAEL BELIEVES THAT HARBONAH HAS FAILED, OR AT LEAST BEEN SERIOUSLY DELAYED FOR THE MOMENT.  SHE HAS HEARD THAT, FOR THE PLAN TO SUCCEED, ALL OF THE CUBES MUST BE IN POSITION AT THE APPOINTED TIME.  ANAEL SAYS THAT THE CUBE THAT SHE WAS TO PREPARE A LOCATION FOR HAS BEEN LOST IN THE UNDERFLOW.  WE DESTROYED ONE.  THAT MEANS THAT HARBONAH CANNOT BRING THEM ALL TO THEIR APPOINTED PLACES. +
Cyan
player, 5174 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Tue 27 Sep 2011
at 16:44
  • msg #36

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Cyan helps the little drake find a more comfortable placement on her shoulder, wincing as he tugs her hair but nothing more.  Berd seems utterly enervated and miserable; food, perhaps, will help.  They'll have to stop and get something for him.

If only he had time to sleep.

Right's news is both comforting and disturbing, on several levels.  She has no way of seeing the truth of the matter.  "Berd?" she whispers, and the dragon woozily reaches out with his senses to continue tracking the progress of the cubes.

"If that is true, Right, then we have a chance.  Now."  Her eyes narrow slight as her stomach rolls; the end may be closer than she thought.  Swallowing bile, the bard slowly nods.  "For my own plan to succeed - to have a chance of turning the tide of this accursed war - I must find a way to group as many Seraphim in one place as possible."  Her smile thins, sharpening.  "I had thought to tempt them with Harbonah's secrets.  What he has been keeping from them.  After all, was I not his General?"

Archons are nothing if not suspicious.  That their leader would have closed meetings with a creature like herself must have created quite a stir.

"Right," she slowly asks, "where is Left?"
Right
player, 29 posts
Action springs from
inner truth
Tue 27 Sep 2011
at 21:29
  • msg #37

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

+ LEFT, GENERAL? +  Right pulses frantically, changing size rapidly, and begins to shift back and forth.  Fidgeting.  Finally he replies, + LEFT... WOULD NOT SAY WHERE SHE WENT.  IT WAS VITAL TO THE TASK THAT OTHERS NOT FIND OUT ITS GOAL, SHE SAID.  SHE USED A PHRASE THAT WE HAD HEARD LONG AGO AMONG HUMANS - NEED TO KNOW BASIS - AND I, IT SEEMS, DID NOT NEED TO KNOW. +

+ BUT I AM, AS YOU KNOW GENERAL, CLEVERER THAN I LET OTHERS SEE.  I DISCOVERED WHERE LEFT HAS GONE, AND I HELD THE SECRET.  NONE HAVE OBTAINED THAT NAME FROM ME.  UNTIL NOW. +


The Archon suddenly reduces in size, and his voice drops to little more than a whisper...

+ HOSK.  LEFT HAS GONE TO THE REMAINS OF HOSK. +
James
player, 873 posts
This thing's to do
Hamlet (IV, iv)
Thu 29 Sep 2011
at 12:45
  • msg #38

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

The last few weeks and months have exposed James to more wonders than he ever dreamt could exist.  Despite that, the Underflow is still an awe-inspiring place.  The sense of scale, of size always makes him feel oddly vulnerable.

James silently considers the implications of Anael's intelligence.  If she (?) is correct, then it is not immediately necessary to pursue the other three cubes.  James wonders how that may change Cyan's broader plan.
Dworkin
GM, 3664 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 1 Oct 2011
at 19:16
  • msg #39

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Berd raises his head and gives Right a curious, if somewhat bleary-eyed, look.  The Archon, perhaps surprisingly, even seems to pick up on the unspoken question.

+ WE HAD HEARD THAT HARBONAH HAS SPOKEN OF THE PLACE, AT FIRST IN TERMS OF VENGEANCE AND ANGER, AND LATER WITH SOMETHING MORE CLOSELY RESEMBLING SATISFACTION.  LEFT SAID WE SHOULD INVESTIGATE THIS CHANGE OF ATTITUDE, SO SHE WENT THERE TO DISCOVER WHAT SHE COULD. +
James
player, 874 posts
This thing's to do
Hamlet (IV, iv)
Mon 3 Oct 2011
at 14:36
  • msg #40

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

James lowers his voice to match Right's conspiratorial whisper.

"Should I remember Hosk?  It sounds familiar somehow, but I can't place it."

"My curiosity aside, we should be careful about heading to Hosk unless we've a good reason.  Given the numbers we have here, there's a real risk we could interfere with whatever Left's working on if we arrive without knowing what's going on."

"It's your call, Cyan.  Do we go after the other cubes, check out Hosk, or find a suitable place for your plan to confront the Seraphim?"


James sounds regretful about forcing Cyan to decide.  He knows it's not an easy decision and the possible consequences of a bad choice start at disastrous and get worse from there.  On the other hand, James has great faith in both Cyan's tactical acumen and her moral judgment.  More than that, Cyan has been involved in this from the outset.  Though she may not have the ageless blood of Amber or the powers of Pattern or Logrus, James feels strongly that it will be Cyan's actions that will decide the outcome of the war.

But, you know, no pressure or anything :P
Cyan
player, 5176 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Mon 3 Oct 2011
at 16:50
  • msg #41

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Hosk.

Cyan falls into silence for a long moment, considering this revelation.  It almost isn't surprising; of course she would, at some point, need to go there.  To see for herself.  Small wonder Left kept her destination secret.

"Hosk," she murmurs in reply to James.  "A world cindered by Dorian, enraged at my supposed demise.  Untold Archons slain in a moment of terrible revenge."  Her hand reaches out toward Right, reflexively.  "Always so clever, Right.  You see in straight lines for all your curves, and sometimes that is what is needed.  Uncomplicated is not 'easy'.  Or foolish."

Or unperceptive.

"Berd will need rest," she murmurs, considering the question of Hosk, their plans, and Left's curious intuitions.  "A fine conundrum we find ourselves in, James."  He places the ball in her court, and she grimaces.  She cannot, of course, blame him; this plan is hers.  And so...

"Right.  I need to ensure that the three remaining cubes are currently not dangerous.  We cannot risk that Harbonah has some kind of backup plan, or that he has outright lied to his subordinates.  It would not be the first time."  She studies the group around them.  "With this army, I would have you eliminate at least one other group of Archons and destroy their cube.  Or hide it - I care not which."

Two cubes would surely not be enough for Harbonah to trigger a conflagration across the Myriad Worlds.  Cyan's grimace deepens, sharpening the lines of age on her face, so different now than the clean, youthful visage of two years ago.  She had best be correct; if not, the universe will suffer.

You have said so often that chances must be taken.  Heed your own words.

"A reason to find Hosk," she murmurs, and turns amethyst eyes to James.  "Left may have discovered something critical to Harbonah's plans, something he has not shared with the others.  That, in iteself, might be a reason to see.  But more..."  Her lips thin.  "Hosk is more than a world to the Seraphim.  It is a rallying flag.  If Harbonah plans something terrible with it...if I put out my call to them from Hosk itself..."

She closes her eyes.  Full circle, it seems.  "It may be the single place to which they will gather, given enough reason."

Her eyes open, pale purple, oh so pale, and one hand rises to gently touch under Berd's jaw.  The exhausted drake coils a lock of her hair about his claws, staring closely at the threads of silver within the copper.  "What say you, James and Right?"  Her eyes shift to Banglen-Yp.  "And you, One-who-is-many?"
Right
player, 30 posts
Action springs from
inner truth
Tue 4 Oct 2011
at 19:42
  • msg #42

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Right seems about to reply, and then falls silent, apparently lost in thought for several seconds.  When he speaks, though, he is filled with confidence, + GENERAL, WE ARE RELIABLE,  THE MEMBERS OF THIS, YOUR ARMY, WOULD SOONER SUFFER DESTRUCTION THAN FAIL YOU.  I KNOW ONE MORE OF THE LOCATIONS WHERE HARBONAH'S DEVICES ARE TO BE PLACED.  AT THE VERY LEAST, WITH YOUR ARMY BEHIND ME, I CAN DELAY HARBONAH'S SCHEME. +

Again the Archon pauses in thought, + IF YOU WILL GO TO... TO THAT PLACE, GENERAL, I WILL LEAD THE ARMY TO C'NACHAT'OH, THE NEXT NEAREST WORLD, AND WREAK HAVOC ON HARBONAH'S SCHEME.  IF BERD CAN SHOW US THE OTHER PLACES, I WILL ATTEMPT TO DESTROY ALL OF THEM. +

+ BUT I WILL SAY THIS, GENERAL.  IF YOU ARE DETERMINED TO GO TO THAT PLACE I WILL NOT NAME AGAIN, THEN YOU SHOULD TAKE FIVE OR SIX ARCHONS WITH YOU, FOR ADDITIONAL DEFENCE. +

James
player, 875 posts
This thing's to do
Hamlet (IV, iv)
Sat 8 Oct 2011
at 06:43
  • msg #43

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Ah!  That Hosk!  "I remember now.  Not Dorian's finest hour, I'm afraid."

"I agree with Right, we are likely to need a strong defence.  We should also find a fast-time world to eat and rest before making the attempt."


James pauses as he considers the possibility (insofar as one can pause in the Underflow).

"It may be an opportunity, when you think about it.  Hosk has tremendous psychological value to Harbonah.  Archons who wouldn't have anything to do with the Seraphim could be persuaded to seek revenge on the destroyers of Hosk.  If we can find a way to re-make Hosk, both physically and, more importantly, as a symbol..." James gives another of his characteristic shrugs.  "You'll never get a better platform for your appeal, Cyan."
Dworkin
GM, 3667 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 8 Oct 2011
at 22:05
  • msg #44

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

The Banglen-Yps seem more interested in the Underflow than in anything else, pointing at the distant shapes as they swim by, and at the shadows of worlds... shadows of Shadows?... which come into view from time to time.  One of them, though, does turn away long enough to look at Cyan and say, •• You are their General •• and then after a prolonged pause, as if that might not be clear enough, she adds, •• If what you say is good enough for them • then it is good enough for us ••

•• Their faith in you is inspiring ••


Berd, still weary it seems, nods his head slowly and stares at Right, until the Archon finally speaks, + I KNOW HOW TO FIND THESE PLACES.  THE SERAPHIM WILL BE FORCED TO FLEE BEFORE US LIKE LEAVES BEFORE THE WIND.  THOSE WHICH DO NOT WILL JOIN US, OR BE DESTROYED.  YOUR ARMY WILL SWELL, GENERAL.  YOU WILL LOOK TO THE NIGHT SKY, AND EVERY STAR WILL BE AN ARCHON, AND EVERY ARCHON ONE OF YOURS, LOYAL TO YOUR CRUSADE. +

+ I WILL ASSIGN SIX STRONG FIGHTERS TO GUARD YOU.  YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE THE STRONGEST, THOUGH, FOR I MUST LEAD YOUR ARMY. +

Cyan
player, 5177 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Tue 11 Oct 2011
at 23:06
  • msg #45

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Hosk sits within her thoughts like a lodestone, heavy and implacable, turning her ever toward the future.  "I have no doubt in your reliability, Right, and if you speak for those you lead, neither do I doubt them."  She stares blindly into the impossibly brilliant void.  "Berd will -" and does "- show you the other places.  I leave them in your 'care', Right.  I trust you will...find an appropriate counter for Harbonah's scheme."

Right's counters tend toward the brutally simple.  Not that Right is incapable of complexity, but that it is his way, and difficult to counter.

"No.  And my name lay at the root of Dorian's mad action."  She narrows her eyes at James' words, still focusing their amythest colours upon the Underflow.  "Remake...Hosk.  You might, James.  YOU might at that.  And if not you...perhaps you and Berd both."  It's not out of the question.  Berd's power can encompass an enormous area, as can the Pattern...and James has recently discovered some VERY interesting abilities of his own.

"Six of your best, Right.  I would take you instead, and you alone - that would prove sufficient - but then as you say, you are needed here.  I leave the escort configuration to you, as you know your people and their capabilities best."  She nods once.  "Then take your advice, and James', and find a place to rest.  If necessary, I'm certain James can assist with that."

She offers the Banglen-Yp - singular, plural, both? - a weak smile.  "Glad am I for your faith...I only hope I prove worthy."
James
player, 876 posts
This thing's to do
Hamlet (IV, iv)
Thu 13 Oct 2011
at 13:47
  • msg #46

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

James is troubled by Right's talk of a crusade.  The purpose of their quest had been to stop Harbonah, not to substitute him with another tyrant, no matter how enlightened and beneficent.  It doesn't really seem the time to take the point, though, and James knows that, if push came to shove, he would accept control of an army of Archons if that was what was needed to preserve the Myriad Worlds.

"I can find a "fast" world without any difficulty, but I'm not sure how my method of travel works in the Underflow, it might be faster if somebody else can do it."

"I don't know whether Hosk can be remade.  The thought just occurred to me.  It would be the perfect counter-statement to Dorian's destruction.  I got the idea from the world where the first cube was to be placed.  The Pattern there was so fragile, it felt like I could pull it apart and re-shape it.  Given what has already occurred there I suspect the underlying Pattern may be either very strong or very weak.  Either way I might be unable to do it, even with Berd's help.  But with the co-operation of enough Archons?  Who knows what we might achieve?"


James pauses, then changes subject slightly, "I disagree with what Dorian did, but I don't blame him.  We were all pretty upset when you disappeared, Cyan.  I guess I'm just a bit more pragmatic.  I was always just a bit worried that the Archons would work out how he did it and do the same to my home, or Amber."
Cyan
player, 5179 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Thu 13 Oct 2011
at 23:02
  • msg #47

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Cyan falls silent for a time, mulling over James' words.  Finally she closes her eyes and nods her head.  "I understand, James.  I...tried to hold on.  To all of you.  But it proved impossible."  Her eyes open, deep rubies that catch the void's light.  "I am sorry.  Sorry I could not hold.  Sorry for hurt it caused, before and after I...returned.  Sorry for the wound I left upon your arm, for the words I threw at you.  And I am so very, very sorry that my loss brought a world to be cindered."

She turns to face Right.  "I have no doubt that you will do as you say, Right.  None at all."  Her eyes glitter for an instant, and the palanqueti play in her mind, falling into place as if she plays the old game of foretelling.  "You will lead a vast army, strongest and sharpest of the danioti - your strength and, more importantly, your skill, will, and understanding will carry you to great heights.  In service to my cause, but your choice, the army your own."

Her smile is sad.  "Please remember my words.  I would see no worlds destroyed, no vanquished enemy annihilated.  I fight to preserve the Myriad Worlds and your people both, and if you fight in my name, you must remember this."  Her eyes glitter again, this time with unshed tears.  "You and Left...you were my only anchors for a time.  I trust you implicitly."

Her smile quirks slightly.  "I know you will do...right."

She returns her gaze to James, wiping her eyes with her free hand (Berd sits upon the other shoulder, eleven twelveths asleep).  "Ah, James, you speak of fear of reprisals, when I have seen pieces of your heart.  I do not think you would ever destroy a world to save it.  Or in revenge.  I have faith in you.  Hopefully this does not terrify you!"  The smile fades and Cyan studies the weary soldier with solemn eyes.  "I think that if there is one in this Universe who can attune the Grand Pattern to heal a world, it will be you, James.  As I said - I have faith in you."

She has had faith in many people in her life.  Sometimes her expectations proved too high, to no fault of theirs.  Sometimes they, themselves have fallen short, into darkness.  But James has always been solid, polished stone hiding a diamond within.

James...Jonnee Kay.  She laughs quietly, seeing many similarities between the two very, very different men.  "Uncomplicated," Cyan abruptly notes, seemingly out of nowhere, "is not the same as simple.  There is little of one in the other," she muses.

"Berd can find us a world.  Likely one with a great deal of food on it, mind..."
Dworkin
GM, 3668 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 15 Oct 2011
at 20:19
  • msg #48

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

The Banglen-Yp smiles back.  Her smile is not as weak as Cyan's.  •• If you do not prove worthy • then who will ••

•• No pressure ••  The smile, if anything, grows brighter.

Right whirls away, rejoining the other Archons, which are already shifting positions, reorganising themselves into  a slightly different formation.  Six have detached from the others, three danioti, and one each of the herenethi, eshurianti and sencathi.

The six home in on Cyan, while the rest start to pull away, leaving Right hovering between the two groups.  + GENERAL.  I HAVE BEEN SHOWN WHERE I MUST GO.  I TAKE MY LEAVE NOW, BUT WILL SEE YOU AGAIN, IF ONLY TO CELEBRATE OUR VICTORY, AND OUR REUNION WITH LEFT. +

The six guardians hover close around Cyan, forming a cubic arrangement, slowly wheeling and revolving around her.  Each of them in turn gives its name - the danioti are Nariel, Staosha and Suriel, the eshurianti is named Rabacyel, the herenthi Barkiel, and the sencathi gives its name as Shalgiel.

Berd begins searching, and there is a sudden sickening wrench as their course veers towards a new destination...
Cyan
player, 5180 posts
Forged of dust,
sunlight, and tears
Sat 15 Oct 2011
at 23:23
  • msg #49

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

Cyan breaks into laughter at the Banglen-Yp's qualification.  "No pressure indeed," she agrees, eyes sparkling.  "It is, in the end...just one more thing to do.  One life or an infinity, I have always thought the same.  'Worthiness' is only a word, in th end; 'trying' is action.  And so no pressure.  Just one more thing to help."

The universe.

But then, she is not alone.  Cyan knows if she falls, there are others hard at work.  Others still will take up the task.  Thus the quest has been from the beginning.

Tander.

Morgan.

Leonardo.

Kallika.

Jack.

Dorian.


Names of the fallen, the last by his 'own' hand.  There are more - there have been more, along the way, many of whom are unknown to Cyan.  Reaching into her pouch, she fingers a smooth rock, some coins...items 'found' by Berd when she rejoined him, and brought to her.

They stir feelings in her - sorrow, a yearning - and old, broken memories.

"Berd. You will find Tander's people?"

The drake cracks an eyelid open and nods.  Fractionally.

"Thank you, Banglen-Yp," she whispers.

Then comes Right's speech, and Cyan, for once, has nothing to say.  Instead, she raises her blade, the Underflow parting around its horrifying edge.  Could I break this, I would gift it to you, she thinks.  Nothing could stop you, then.  And with that, the words come.

"Farewell, Amabael - glad am I to have met you and yours!  Farwell, Right - I will see you when we end this!  Mark you are there, or Left will be most displeased at the lack of balance!"

Then his colourful form flashes deep into the Underflow, and he is gone.

"Goodbye," Cyan whispers, her sword falling.  Cursing softly under her breath, she swipes at her eyes with her free hand as Berd rakes his claws through her tangled, dulled hair.  "Lords of the West.  Every time it hurts more."  Reaching out, she seizes James' arm, holding on with a deathgrip.  Given his armor and prodigious strength, he likely barely notices.

"You do not have any quests to take on now, do you James?  I feel like bits of myself are stripping away."

But she rouses herself to greet the Archons by name and kind, bowing to each and giving them what honor she can.  Cyan has spent time with all their people, least of all the sencathi and most the danioti, but she knows Archons.  "You six," she finishes, "were chosen by Right.  He would have only picked those of great resourcefulness, strength, and loyalty.  I have every confidence in you, every confidence indeed."

And so they follow the course set by Berd.  "First star to the left," Cyan whispers, "and straight on until morning."
James
player, 877 posts
This thing's to do
Hamlet (IV, iv)
Mon 24 Oct 2011
at 13:19
  • msg #50

Re: Part 70b - Flatland

James notices Cyan's grip on his arm, though in truth his armour prevents him feeling more than a slight pressure.  The pain in her voice is more obvious, and of greater weight to James.

"No more quests." James confirms.  "All through this war, I've done what seemed best at the time, hoping that we were making a difference, maybe catching up, maybe even getting ahead.  I didn't fid the traitor in Amber, but I likely never would.  The Family and those close to them have been scheming for generations.  Tahirah has a better chance of uncovering their secrets than I ever did.  Part of me wishes Meredith was still with us.  But only part, that would be a poor use and she's been hurt enough."

"No, we're getting close to the heart of the matter now, it seems to me.  And if you're the one on whom all this is going to turn, and I think it is, then my place is here, supporting you."

"Do you remember we talked about different elements, oh, a long time ago now?  And I identified with earth?  Now think about a lever, or a see-saw if you prefer.  I see Harbonah and his ilk as the weight we have to move.  The Archons with us, and all the right-thinking people of the Worlds, they're the force pushing down, wanting change.  They might not see it as change, they might see it as the absence of change, but the way I see it, if there's no change then Harbonah wins and everything burns.  Berd, with all his power, is the lever.  You're the fulcrum.  But the fulcrum and lever have to stand on something, rest on something, just like the seesaw sits on the ground.  That's me.  Or what I'm going to try to be."
James stops abruptly, seeming embarrassed by his train of thought.

OOC: Apologies for dragging in an OOC discussion, but it strikes me as the kind of thing Cyan and James might have talked about "off-screen" at some quiet moment in the quest.
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