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Friv
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Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

20 May 2008, 23:40

The air Sayis's relay within was crisp and cool, a faint breeze blowing over the floor.A series of squares, formed of lines of orichalcum, took up the entire far wall, casting flickering shadows over the simple steel floor. As the four Solars entered, the doors hissed shut behind them, and the squares reorganized themselves on the wall, shifting in color and light to form a vague, rectangual face. It rippled with sound, a low, barely-concealed hostility within his voice. “Greetings, Exalts of the Sun. I recognize you.”

“Thank you, Master Sayis.” Fokuf bowed deeply, glancing to the others again. They returned expressions of confusion. What had they managed to do to offend him already? “Your realm is most impressive, and...”

“You may dispense with the pleasantries, Solar.” The relay spoke with clipped precision, each word echoing a moment into the beginning of the next. “I have no interest in flowery words of deceit. Tell me, what dire need compels you forth, that you would lower yourself to seeking the Maker's aid?”

“Uh.” Fokuf opened his mouth, and then closed it. For a moment, all of his words fled him. “I wouldn't say that it's a lowering...”

“No?” The voice rose. “You think, in your arrogance, that we would have anything more to do with you, after you bound us here to rot in the darkness? I was not alive for the exodus, Solar, but I have access to Autochthon's files!” Lightning crackled at the edges of the chamber. “I have watched the memories of the Maker, seen as you chased him to the very edge of Oblivion! And now you dare to come here to beg his help?!”

Fokuf opened his mouth again, and then closed it. Very weakly, he said. “I think there may have been some misunderstanding here. I know that there were... issues... between Autocthon and some of the Solars, but our incarnations were on his side. How else could we have gotten through the seal?”

“With more Solar trickery!” Sayis roared the words, and the Exalts winced in pain from the echoes. Gritting his teeth, Tenrek stepped forwards.

“That is enough!” His face set in a scowl. “We have come here on the behest of the Primordial Gaia, to reaffirm the ties of family that bind her to her brother! The lands of Autochthon and Creation alike are about to be swarmed by the Yozi, and you won't even listen -”

“Ah, so there it is!” Sayis's voice was smugly triumphant. “You need help.”

“Uh -” Tenrek's rage abruptly deflated. “It's not like that.”

“Of course not. You acted merely from concern for an old ally. Five thousand years later.” The words crackled across the room, and Tenrek flinched, his face deflating further under the verbal assault.

“The Solars were sealed away for centuries. We couldn't respond to the threats that faced Autochthon until now -” Fokuf started up, only to be overridden by another blast of noise.

“I am not interested in your excuses! As far as I am concerned, you are enemies of the Maker, and I will not allow you to finish the job that -”

“Sayis. That is quite sufficient.” The words were purely mechanical, every syllable perfectly efficient. From the side of the room a body shimmered into being. It was clad head to toe in simple gray, edged in a faded gold that was tattered and frayed. Its face was machine, set in an expression of disapproval, and it leaned heavily on a worn iron staff as it stepped forwards, a staff that still flickered with a hint of lightning. As it swept the room, pupil-less eyes staring into each Exalt in turn, they all felt the urge to bow their heads. Fokuf and Nia did so, respectfully. After a moment, Kieran followed, and Tenrek inclined his head slightly towards the newcomer.

Sayis, for his part, was flustered into silence for several moments, the squares portraying his face collapsing into static before reforming with an expression of concern. “Master Mog. You should not exert yourself for this inconvenience.”

“Your memories are accurate, Sayis, but incomplete. Although many Solars plotted to destroy the Maker, one Circle stood by his side and aided him in his escape. Four of them stand before us now. The fifth has become a thing of corruption, a dark echo of our fallen siblings.” Mog spoke simply, a small hiss underlying his words, before turning to the Solars. “I apologize for your reception. I was not able to respond as immediately as I had planned. I am Mog, Divine Minister of Authority and one of the Eight Divinities of Autochthon. Welcome to our realm, faded though it might be.”

“Thank you, Master Mog.” Fokuf bowed again. “I must confess, I am glad that someone remembers us. I was afraid that we might not find such outside of Autochthon's core itself.”

Sayis made a strangled noise, which Mog ignored. “Indeed, we have been on watch for you. What message do you bear from our sister?”

“Gaia has put together a network of power that can revive Autochthon, but he needs to open the seals binding himself away from Creation first. We can pass here, but we can't bring anyone or anything else with us.”

“Ah.” Mog nodded slowly. “Then we are in grave danger indeed, for we can no longer open the Seal of Eight Divinities.”

“What?” Kieran stepped forwards. “How is that possible?”

“Autochthon is comatose, his body dying from within. The Divine Ministers weaken with him. What you see before you is the extent of my power in these dark days.” Mog stared deep into Kieran's eyes. “Worse, the Core is the heart of Autochthon's sickness. No Alchemical Exalt or custodian spirit could enter without falling prey to his malady and succumbing, and no mere mortal could survive within for long enough to disable the Seal. I fear that your mission has already failed.”

The room was silent for a moment, as Mog lowered his head. Kieran spoke slowly. “Would we be able to do it?”

“Enter the Maker's heart?!” Sayis started to roar the words, only to cut off at a sharp glance from Mog. The Minister considered, then nodded slowly.

“Potentially. It would be very dangerous, and there would be no guarantee of success. But if you could be taught the processes, it might be possible.” Mog sighed. “It would require understanding everything that forms them, however. Even for a Solar Exalt, it could take months.”

“I'm a very fast study. Let me try.” Kieran smiled encouragingly. After a moment, Mog nodded.

“I will confer with the other Ministers, but we may have no other choice. For now, Watchful Cerulean Aegis will lead you to sleeping quarters. You will be honoured guests of our city while we attempt the training. If it is completed to our satisfaction, we will make the attempt.”

“Thank you, Minister Mog. I won't let you down.” Kieran's smile grew even wider.

“I hope not.” With those words, the doors behind the Exalts hissed open, and Aegis leaned her head in inquiringly. When she saw Mog, her eyes widened and she quickly bowed low. The Minister spoke solemnly. “Please escort our guests to quarters that befit their status as honoured ambassadors, Aegis. You will be their liason to the city at this time.”

“Yes, Minister! I will be honoured!” Aegis gestured to the four, and they filed out, glancing backwards. Kieran whispered to her.

“Should we say anything else to him?”

“Not if he doesn't first. The Minister values efficiency.”

Anything further in the conversation was cut off as the doors hissed shut once again. The relay's face rippled with consternation. “Minister, I must protest. You have revealed your weakness to the Solars, something that all but the highest-ranking members of the Sodalities are unaware of! Would you really allow them access to the Maker?”

“It seems we have no choice.” Mog turned to step back into the shadows, but Sayis was not done.

“What if they kill the Maker?”

“Then we will all die a few decades earlier than expected.” The words were flat, and Mog began to fade as Sayis formed a reply.

“Minister Mog... my memories are not faulty. There was no Solar Circle that aided us.”

“I am aware of that.” Mog paused, semi-intangible, and looked back to the relay. “But they are not. See to it that they remain unaware. Without them, the Maker will die.”

With that, he finished fading, and the relay crackled off as well. Within the heart of his city, Sayis pondered the Minister's words, wishing that they were not true. It seemed that, for all his hatred of the traitorous Solars, he would have to tolerate their presence for some time yet.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

21 May 2008, 00:25

Personally, I don't think it matters much whether or not they aided him long ago or not. They are committed to aiding him now. Of course if they think the Autochthonians trust them, they might be less watchful for backstabbing.

Hmmmmm... If Autochthon didn't leave an opening for a specific Circle of Solars that he liked, then how did they get there? Is Gaia plotting something?
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

21 May 2008, 01:38

BrilliantRain wrote:
Hmmmmm... If Autochthon didn't leave an opening for a specific Circle of Solars that he liked, then how did they get there? Is Gaia plotting something?


That's a very good question.

It's a good thing the missing member of the circle isn't the Twilight, that should give our heroes a healthy advantage.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

22 May 2008, 23:32

BrilliantRain: Well, the next part will explain it - although only from one perspective, which could not be considered 'unbiased'.

Kailan: True, having the magitech Twilight along will help. On the other hand, having the Dawn be the corrupted one is just asking to be injured. ;)
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

23 May 2008, 01:19

Friv wrote:
Kailan: True, having the magitech Twilight along will help. On the other hand, having the Dawn be the corrupted one is just asking to be injured. ;)


I'm not Kailan ;)
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

23 May 2008, 10:19

Oops.

Why did I do that?

I think it's because I was reading several threads at once and got confused. My apologies.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

23 May 2008, 10:28

I am reading though! :D;; I just... haven't commented much at all lately because I fail.

That, and you had a lot of threads going for a while there and I'm a little lost trying to figure out what goes where. ;)
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-Four: Yes, Minister

26 May 2008, 23:59

Yeah, I can be problematic that way. Hence my rather unorthodox organization of stories. ;)
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