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Session 10 - Tea and Strumpets

<Haeccity> Hey Moment? Wanna come over to my place, for tea and crumpets?
<ADamiani> OK. That's it. This session shall be "Tea and strumpets."
<Moment> Moment tries to comb the shards of shattered pattern out of her hair. "Sure. After wandering lost in the unraveled threads of fate, I could really go for some tea."

Haeccity is down in Creation, sprawled by a babble crick, straw hat pulled down over his eyes. A long fishing pole is loosely wrapped in one hand, and a length of straw hangs from his mouth, as he waits for his 'contact'.
<ADamiani> You've passed your contact a message, and eventually he or she shows up, as requested.
Jiang raises an eyebrow as she appears, but forebears comment on her new appearance. "So good of you to show up in such a timely fashion."
<ADamiani> Your contact: "I had no choice. You know that."
Jiang shrugs "Oh, theres always a choice. How is your training going? Are you enjoying yourself? Made any new friends?"
<ADamiani> She grits her teeth. "Acceptable; mistress Shen says I am making impressive progress. I wouldn't precisely describe it as enjoyable, but it remains tolderable for the time being, and yes. "
<ADamiani> "Please don't ask rhetorical questions, the sensation is... quite unpleasant."
Jiang nods "I'll keep that in mind. So. Friends. Any of the Solars, or just some of the mortals? What're you calling yourself nowadays, anyways?"
<ADamiani> "Grr. The former. And I'm going by 'Empty Vessel' these days. It seemed appropriate."
Jiang nods placidly "Maybe someday you'll thank me for this. So.. Do these friends have names? I take an interest in your well fare, you know."
<ADamiani> "Yes."
<ADamiani> "But I assume this isn't a social visit."
Jiang nods "No, but it's been awhile since I visited. I was wondering if you were allright. You remind me of my last wife, you know." He doesn't say "A shrill, vicious meglomaniac who seems to live for making people miserable." even though he /really/ wants to.
<ADamiani> "mMm Hmm. She's dead, then?"
Jiang nods "Fifteen hundred years ago. Died in the Usurption. Damn shame."
<ADamiani> "That's a long time without a wife."
Jiang shrugs "Yes, but one fines ways to keep one's time occupied. Anyways, shall we get down to business? I wouldn't want to keep you from your training, or your friends."
<ADamiani> "Yes, we shall get down to business."
<ADamiani> The bites her tongue and mutters something about /stupid fricking rhetorical questions!/
<Jiang> "Where in his Citadel does the Silver Prince have Red Stone Rising and the remnants of my fellow Sidereals?"
<ADamiani> "I can't be certain, at this point. Obviously, I don't have current intelligence on the matter."
Jiang nods "Where did he have him and where would you surmise he would have moved them?"
<ADamiani> "... but if I were you, I'd suggest the laboratory on the thirteenth level for the remnants of your peers."
Jiang nods "And Red Stone Rising?"
<ADamiani> "As for Red Stone Rising, he remains a sidereal. Details are... difficult to recall."
Jiang nods "I see. And what do you recall?"
<ADamiani> "Part of his reward for defection was a rather nice Manse in the underworld analogous to Abalone, however. If he's not in skullstone, I'd look for him there."
Jiang nods "I see, thank you. What defenses does the Citadel have, that would interferre with any attempt to reclaim the remaining essences of our fallen brothers?"
<ADamiani> "As to relocating them, I do not know. It's a potential security issue, and they might have relocated the essences if Blossom of Cerulian Fluttering expired or was turned."
<ADamiani> "Obviously, it's both guarded and warded."
<Jiang> "And in what manner is it guarded and warded?"
<ADamiani> "Being the citadel of a deathlord, there are regularly ghostly patrols, and the occasional nemissary spies. In addition, at any given time there are perhaps a half dozen first circle demons on the premises. There may or may not be a second circle demon there, depending on if the dark lord has any particular use for them."
<Jiang> "Any specific defenses for the shards?"
<ADamiani> "Yes, there is a necromantic circle erected by the Prince himself encircling most of the floor on which they reside. Obviously, the Monstrances in which they reside are difficult to open, and resistant to both damage and spellcraft. Additionally, there are three demons watching them at all times."
<Jiang> "How would one break the circle and open the monstrances?"
<ADamiani> "I'm not a necromancer, I really don't know how to break the circle. I assume a sufficiently powerful countermagic would be efficacious, but I can think of nothing shy of an adamant circle counterspell that would work.
<ADamiani> "As to the monstrances...
<ADamiani> "Each has a specially attuned key, which should be in the posession of whatever abyssal he's assigned to oversee experimentation upon the essences. I don't know who he's got working on them now. The keys themselves are worthless without a specific passphrase unique to each monstrance."
<ADamiani> "I'll write them down for you."
Jiang says "Just tell me, please."
<ADamiani> She writes it down for you.
<Jiang> "Are these passwords accurate?"
<ADamiani> "It's possible the Prince has seen fit to alter them. I really couldn't say."
Jiang nods, considering his next question "If you were going to infiltrate the Silver Prince's citadel and, without being noticed, successfully locate and free the shards, kidnap Red Stone Rising and possibly steal any Abyssal shards that have yet to be used, what would you do and what precautions would you take?"
<ADamiani> Jiang: "Well, I'd make sure my affairs are in order, first..."
Jiang nods "They are, happily enough."
<ADamiani> "Ah. Well. I'd begin by summoning a dozen or so demons to create a distraction. I'd need to find a way to disable the wards around the abyssal shards, and I really don't know of one off hand. I'd bribe certain ghosts of my acquaintence, and make sure the Prince was out of the citadel when I meant to strike.... I'd also probably deal with Red Stone Rising separately, though there's a sharp
<ADamiani> danger of his simply disappearing. I'm told Sidereals DO that
Jiang nods "Interesting. And how would you ensure the Prince was out of the citadel?"
<ADamiani> "I'd wait until he was called away for some other important business. Though he's not the most mobile of princes, there are occasional items of urgency that call for his presence elsewhere in the underworld."
Jiang nods "I see. One final thing.. What does the necromantic ward do?"
<ADamiani> "I'm not.... ENTIRELY sure. It's the sort of thing it's never safe to test. It's clear that it's almost certain death, or worse, but I'm not a necromancer."
<ADamiani> "Obviously, he wouldn't be so clumsy as to create a ward ghosts can pass though, and his abyssal shards are guarded... mostly against his own abyssals, as much as any external foe."
Jiang nods "I see. Thank you, you've been very helpful" He stretches, rising up "Well. I'm glad to hear your training is going well, and that you're making friends. Is there anything reasonable you'd care for, to make your stay more enjoyable?"
<ADamiani> "My reading material at the camp is heavily censored. I could use a small selection of ancient lore."
Jiang nods "Of course. I'll have some books sent by." He checks the time "You'd best be on your way, dear. It's getting late." He sets off himself, heading for his scheduled gate.
Jiang returns to Heaven. First, he arranges for some of his books to be delivered to Empty Vessel. Nothing dangerous, but some of the better tomes on the history and technology of the First Age. After such, he gathers his resources and sends a message to his Circle, inviting them to his place for tea.

<Moment> Moment could be found recling on a lounge chair in luxurious silk robes, hair spilled over her half-bared round shoulders, reading from a historical romance oposite a patron goddess of the art, while a minor servitor expertly massages her feet.
<Moment> (Moment sighes languidly and lays the book down on her chest, eyes closing as she enjos the foot massage, knowing all too soon she'll have to get back to work. There was still a directional convention missing, after all.

Silent_Sunset is standing at the Loom of Fate, watching the many-colored threads weave through the air and each other
<Silent_Sunset> "Mmhh, right. Golden thread, last known position near Coral, touched by the darkness of the Underworld ..."
<Silent_Sunset> "Where's this Darktide guy going?"
<Silent_Sunset> "And where can we throw a few obstacles in his way ... so he can bust he knee on them?"
<ADamiani> OK. Silent, meanwhile, what are you looking for on Darktide? And is it JUST Darktide, or are you looking for infor on his other solar, too?
<Silent_Sunset> Silent's eyes follow a Pattern Spider as she weaves the fate surrounding Moray's golden thread. Reflections in its metal body reveal that even as she weaves the most excellent plans of destiny into existence the thread bucks and twists, possessed by a will of its own. "Oh, but you won't escape my eyes ... or Heaven's judgement for that matter"
<Silent_Sunset> As Silent tries to make sense of the confusing multitude of thread, nausea overcomes him. They moving, always moving, swaying back and forth and back and forth ... iron determination keeps his sanity intact, but barely. Comprehension is denied him as the infinite information overwhelms his mind.
Silent_Sunset catches himself before he falls and quickly averts his eyes. "Ugg." He shakes the dizziness from his head. "It looked so much easier when Shu Lien did it ..."
<ADamiani> Silent: "Looking for something?"
Silent_Sunset tries not to sway, takes his hands from his eyes. "Umm?"
<ADamiani> Notable Iron Blossom seems to have arrived.
Silent_Sunset switches to a bright smile immediately
<ADamiani> "Anything I can help with?"
Silent_Sunset gives his fellow Sidereal an appropriate bow. "How nice to see you."
<ADamiani> "Of course, it's always a pleasure."
<ADamiani> He bows with equal insincerity
<ADamiani> "did you find what you were looking for?"
<Silent_Sunset> Silent makes an indefinite gesture towards the Loom behind (and over and in front of and under and ... but never mind that). "Ahh, I was just keeping up to date."
Silent_Sunset winks
<ADamiani> "Ah, well, do carry on, then."
<Silent_Sunset> "You know, the state in the Imperial City, which house is currently on top and all that ... quite a mess in the <direction Iron Blossom is assigned to> and Creation in general."
<ADamiani> "Not NEARLY so bad as things out west, I hear."
<ADamiani> "Is it true Coral nearly sank into the ocean?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Since the Disappearance everything is going sideways, or so I've heard some people say ..."
Silent_Sunset looks surprised. "Oh, not at ALL!"
<ADamiani> He shrugs.
<Silent_Sunset> "We were operating deliberately close to the point of unravelling. T'was the only way to rectify the mess our predecessors left us."
<ADamiani> "Ah. Well, rumors, you know. Peope DO talk..."
Silent_Sunset grins didn't-you-know-that-style. "The more loose fate gets, the easier we can fix the situation. Granted, a bit more paperwork in the mopping up, but far less risk than otherwise ..."
<ADamiani> "MM hmm." He sounds skeptical.
<Silent_Sunset> "And the kinds of things people talk about ... like that one rumour about the party at Singing Wind's, but I'd never believe you'd do something as insensitive as that ..."
Silent_Sunset smiles brightly, wishes Nail a good day and goes on his way
<ADamiani> He shrugs. "SOME of us don't have time to play petty little games. The truth is the truth. If some people have a problem with that..."

<Moment> Reluctantly leaving her friends house and donning more formal robes and sandals, Moment pulls back her hair with a jade barette, pinned with a well ballanced stilleto, and makes her way back to her desk, where she finds an invitation to tea with her circle. For a moment, her heart falls at the thought of the loss of comforts, but she shakes it off imediatly. She missed out on so much of the former excitement, it was definatly time for mo
<Moment> skin lightly flushed with excitement, she checks that her chest is packed and orders two porters to bring it with her too the tea, which she dresses for elegently as possible in the time aloted.
Jiang escorts Hidden Crystal, Moment and Silent Sunset to his barren dining room. The white walls have been covered with diagrams, many of the essence flows of Creation. Theres an awful lot of red. Tea for five has been set out, along with crumpets. Yay!
<ADamiani> We fade in when everyone arrives.
Jiang picks up a stick and eyes the Circle "Sit, drink your tea, and I'll explain what we're going to do next."
<Moment> Moment's two varicollored humanoid light-servants set down her sizeable chest then excuse themselves to go gossip with Jiang's staff.
Silent_Sunset sips his tea, warily examines the diagrams and grimaces as the implications hit him ... and then again as Jiang announces that he has A Plan (tm)
<Jiang> "As you can see by the diagrams surrounding you, the End of Creation is immanent."
<Jiang> "Within a decade, at most, the West will cease to exist, taking the rest of existence with it."
Hidden_Crystal just holds his tea, looks at the diagrams, and just listens.
Silent_Sunset harrumphs "Or rather the West. And we along with it, strung up by our peers on ropes of paperwork."
<Moment> Fiding him sorely lacking in help, they quietly sneak itno the kitchens and other unused rooms and begin to sureptitiously clean up. If the bronze girl weren't six feet tall, with shoulders as impressive as her bust, she might be mistaken for a simple well to do near-mortal secratary or beurocrat, sitting down to sip at her tea. She studdies the red threads 'til her head throbs, then rubs her temples.
<Silent_Sunset> "And please, Creation will not *End* ... it will *break*."
<Silent_Sunset> "No work of Saturn deserves being compared to something as messy as a Wyld breach on that scale."
<Jiang> "If the West falls, everything will be sucked into the Wyld, losing all cohension and falling into nothingness. That qualifies as an 'end'."
Silent_Sunset grins
<Moment> Moment groaned at that pronouncement. "I've somehow become responsible for this, and I can't even read diagrams that advanced. Could someone please just point me at a demon and say, "That thing's chewing on the loom of fate, kill it?" [03:19] * Jiang points at one of the diagrams "If you turn your attention to diagram 15bf10, you'll see the projected dissolution as it spreads across existence."
Jiang points at Moment "We're getting to that."
<Silent_Sunset> "Brother Jiang, I can with some authority tell you that this is not subject of Saturn's plans, so it will not end."
<Moment> She nodded to Jiang gratefuly.
<Silent_Sunset> less loud: "Though it might require a ... little bit ... of work."
<Jiang> "If something doesn't exist, then it has ended. You cannot co-opt vocabulary, without filling the appropriate forms."
<Silent_Sunset> "Heh, but Bureau of Destiny vocabulary takes precedence over common speech. Ergo I can."
<ADamiani> ["Lexical requesition form 801.11 -stroke- J")
<Jiang> "Anyways! Now then, we Sidereals are responsible for this dissolution. When we broke the Mask, we buggered up the Five Fold Symmetry of creation."
<Jiang> "The Bureau of Proper Vocabulary might have something to say about that, young man." He coughs "Can we PLEASE continue?"
Hidden_Crystal taps one slender, gloved finger against the "pin" in his hair, about ready to jab the NEXT person who interrupts.
Silent_Sunset fakes an indignant expression. "The Bureau of ... hah! As if they'd said anything in the last ... mumble, mumble .... years!"
Jiang sighs, rubbing his head. "Now then, where were we.. Oh yes. The first step in solving this issue is fairly simple."
<Silent_Sunset> Seeing annoyed faces all around, Silent falls ... well, silent. Nobody understands a joke around here ...
Jiang points at a large pad of paper tacked to the wall, with a drawing of Red Stone Rising. "This is Red Stone Rising. He is the Enemy. He noticed this dissolution years ago and, instead of working to repair it, he decided to join with the Deathlords. He took his entire circle with him."
Silent_Sunset nods, suddenly businesslike again. "Weeping Glass' information has been confirmed then?"
Jiang tears off the page, revealing a diagram of Skullstone "Our comrades are, at last report, being held here." He points at floor 13. "This information is out of date and must be reverifed. And by comrades, I mean their shards. The Silver Prince is attempting to twist them as he has Solar Shards."
Jiang nods "To a degree, to a degree. Unfortunately, I cannot reveal where I acquired this information, but it was not from Lytek."
Jiang tears away another sheet, revealing.. Abalone. "In the Underworld version of Abalone, there is a manse. Red Stone Rising was given this manse, in part payment for his treachery."
<Moment> Moment silently groaned, "Lytek, I'd like to appeal my exaltation. Clearly I was meant to be a solar." She pinched her cheek 'til she felt a bit more herself then studdied the maps carefuly.
Silent_Sunset grins ... "Thank Mars for that. The Maidens get the first pick, always ;)."
Hidden_Crystal 's eyes narrow, and he studies the maps with cold eyes.
Jiang says "Our goals are thus. Kidnap Red Stone Rising, torture him first for information and then to death. We then infiltrate the Deathlord's Citadel, recover the lost shards, steal any Abyssal shards or Monstraces we can, take the Prince's notes on his processes AND his notes regarding the fall of Creation and then detonate a First Age Weapon, reducing the Citadel and Skullstone to dust."
<Jiang> "Any questions?"
<Moment> Moment grinned, straightening up, "All right, now your speaking my languege. Do we have the first age weapon yet?"
<Silent_Sunset> Innerly sad about the wound Red Stone Rising has dealt the Five-Score Fellowship, Silent tries to give an optimistic impression to the outside.
Silent_Sunset raises an arm
<Silent_Sunset> "Do we have a First Age Weapon of Mass Destruction?"
Jiang frowns "We will need to acquire one. There are several available, though stealing one will be an involved task. We will also need to acquire a large Bag of Holding, and somebody who can cast the Threefold Binding of the Heart, or a similair spell."
<Moment> Moment ticked off points on her fingers as she prepared her questions, but bit her lower lip to hold in her eagerness.
<Moment> "A magic bag? Do those things really exist?"
<Silent_Sunset> "You can bet on that."
<Silent_Sunset> "One bored Twilight, one afternoon. Back then before all that ursurpation stuff."
Jiang nods "Indeed! Everyone needed quite a bit of luggage room, back in the good old days."
<Moment> I take it the Threefold Binding is to ensure Red Stone risings truthful response?"
<Moment> Moment glanced at her huge trunk whistfuly imagining the whole contents in a single bag.
Jiang shakes his head "No, that is to co-opt the services of the Prince's most trusted Abyssal, the one with the keys to the Sidereal Monstrances and who likely knows how to deactivate the necromantic ward on them."
<Jiang> "Though we could use it on Red Stone.. Though I had my heart set on torture."
<Hidden_Crystal> "Psychological torture is certaintly possible with it." Crystal quietly murmurs.
<Silent_Sunset> "It is hard to say, whether torture or the breaking of the mind is more cruel ... we should not be overly inhumane in delivering his rightful End, is my opinion."
<Moment> "Hm..." Moment touched her lips thoughtfuly, then placed her hands on the table. "I think we may be stretching our assets too far. May i propose we consider a plan that doesn't involve more than a year of asset aquisition?"
<Jiang> "We could do both. Anyways.. We will also need to acquire floorplans for the Citadel, verify the location of the Sidereal and Abyssal shards, and properly analyze the defenses. My information mentions ghostly patrols, Nemissary spies, Abyssals, several demons and at least one second circle demon."
Jiang shrugs "It shouldn't take more than a month, if we work hard. I know PSL has access to several Solars who can cast the spells we need."
<Silent_Sunset> "Barring that ... there are more forces we could involve."
<Jiang> "So. Further questions or suggestions?
<Moment> Moment pursed full pink lips and whistled. "I'm not at all adverse to bringing in a little solar back up, I may or may not be able to bring in a few contacts of my own, though I've lost some contact with the Cult of the Iluminated in my years of training."
<Moment> She steepled her fingers and pondered.
<Silent_Sunset> "As you know, I didn't manage to direct the Realm Fleet against Darktide for mutual annihilation quickly enough ... but we can remedy that."
<Jiang> "Very good, very good. We will want to ensure that the Prince is out of the Citadel when we make our infiltration."
<Jiang> "Oh?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Strip him of his servants, one by one."
<Moment> The brown haired girl looked up as well.
<Silent_Sunset> "We made a good beginning a few days back."
<Silent_Sunset> "I have no specifics worked out, just yet, but ..."
<Jiang> "Hmmm.. We could deprive him of a few servants, neccessitating him to deal with problems himself."
<Moment> "May I request a pause for a restating of our objective? Oviously the deathlords need to be dealt with and the Shadowlands brought back into creation, but how will our curent objective prevent the unweaving of the tapestry in the west?"
<Silent_Sunset> "We are enough to catch a Lawgiver by Surprise. We have done it before, in that great mistake called the Ursurpation."
<Silent_Sunset> "Elemental, yes? No plan will work, as long as the opposition has not found its End."
<Jiang> "It will keep him from interferring with our plans and from encouraging the fall. It will also give me access to his notes, which will be invaluable for understanding the problems."
<Moment> Moment nodded. "In the process of depriving him of servants, perhaps said servants can be put to the question to suply us with better maps of enemy teritory?"
<Jiang> "Excellent idea, we will do that then."
<Moment> "Meaning that the key is to take Red Stone Rising alive and use his knowlege of how he undid creation to repair it. It is always improtant not to loose site of the ultimate objetive. When that occurs in war time, the war takes control."
Platinum_Sky_Lover arrives at Jiang's residence, carried in an air rickshaw. She pays the small god and politely knocks on the gate, so that Jiang's servants can announce her presence. Today she's dressed in a light blue and silver bordered Chamsong, a matching pair of trousers and a silver sash. Her long hair is braided up in several loops, covered by cloth hair peices, a la chun li.
Jiang heads out to escort Platinum in, as he lacks servants. He returns with her to the dining room, it's bare walls covered with diagrams of the west, marked with alarming amounts of red.
Jiang coughs "Moment, Red didn't break creation. The alteration of the Mask was what damaged Creation."
<Moment> Moment's two porter's answer the door and admit her as it seams Jiang has no servants, only to step aside and defer to the master of the house.
Platinum_Sky_Lover kisses Jiang on the cheek. "Hello, Older Brother. Red! The color of happiness, marraiges and battles. Most auspicious! Moment, Crystal, Sunset." She kisses each of them on the cheek in turn.
<Jiang> "PSl, do you know of any Solars capable of casting Celestial Circle Sorcery?"
<Moment> Moment groaned, "I thought I knew what was going on..." She sighed. "Okay, let's try this again." She pauses to returns Platinum Sky Lover's kiss with the easy familiarity of a Western girl greeting an intimate friend.
Jiang looks uncomfortable at PSL's kiss, but shrugs it off.
Platinum_Sky_Lover scratches her head. "Aside from Glorious Sunrise? I know that Ayeshe Ura has a few select servants. But none personally. I generally make it a point not to sleep with any Solars that aren't my direct students. Ura can be a jealous bitch."
Hidden_Crystal tries not to flinch away.
Silent_Sunset mangles the sentence he was about say, has to start anew
<Moment> "The mask," she glances at Hidden Crystal, "While Jiang is checking on Solar sorcery, could you please fill me in on the Mask, Hidden Crystal?" She steps close enough to him to converse softly, but respects his personal space.
Jiang frowns "Indeed. Anyways, to explain what we're doing.. no, it's to much. To summarize.. Creation is ending, as the diagrams indicate. We need to invade the Silver Prince's citadel, steal the Sidereal shards he has, acquire Abyssal shards and Monstrances, steal his notes on the end of the world, and then blow up his castle."
Platinum_Sky_Lover gives only light pecks. But these pecks seem much more loving and intimate in their own way than PSL's more obvious displays of affection.
<Silent_Sunset> Just as PSL is arriving Silent is speaking: "... or to pursue another avenue, the Pearl Court is rather annoyed by our opponent as well and possibly open to alliance."
<Silent_Sunset> "So, if a joint effort would be possible, forces from Without could move against Dead forces as well. Added bonus, the Traitor wouldn't even see them coming."
<Silent_Sunset> "Which reminds me, we need to be careful ... treachery or not, the stars are as open to Red Stone Rising as to us."
Jiang nods "And if we remove enough of his servants, we could force him to deal with it himself. Hopefully."
<Jiang> "Yes. First things first. We deal with Red. Secondly, we start removing the Prince's other servants and acquire the weapons and spells we need. Third step, invasion."
<Silent_Sunset> "Fourth step: Profit!"
Silent_Sunset can't bite back the quip
Platinum_Sky_Lover hms. "You certainly are an ambitious little Sidereal, Elder Brother. I think you're bucking for a promotion. This should be absolutely hilarious if it's anything like the fleet fiasco. Will I have time to spend in your pod and get some serious time with my Sifu in?"
Jiang ponders "Yes, if we steal some of his artifacts, we could make a tidy profit."
Hidden_Crystal raises one slim, elegant eyebrow at Moment. "The Astrological House of the Mask, sister." he says quietly.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "And I'm sure that hotty Lytek will be happy for Abyssal Shards to tinker with."
<Jiang> "If you can recharge the Pod, then yes. However, this will time to put into action, so you may want to use as much normal time as you can."
Silent_Sunset grins "So ... we have how many voices for madness? Anyone want to play voice of reason?"
Platinum_Sky_Lover then frowns. "This Silver Prince. He's the loser who runs the Skullstone Archipelago, right? And who is this 'red'? I like to know something about people who I tear into bloody gobbets.
<Jiang> "Reason is a one trick pony. You get rational thinking. La de da. When you're good and unreasonable, the sky is the limit!"
<Jiang> "Red Stone Rising."
<Jiang> "The former leader of the Directional Convention of Water."
<Silent_Sunset> "The traitor."
<Moment> "I'm still sure I'm missing something," Moment spoke softly. "But if we need to put pressure on the Silver Prince, we can't influence his fate directly, but perhaps a combination of preasures from Solars and their followers, Lunars and their's and the Realm could be aranged, and permited to play themselves out while we make preparatory measures? War on that scale takes time to gear up."
<Silent_Sunset> "Stabbed Sorrowful North in the face."
Silent_Sunset shudders
<Jiang> "And turned our other brothers and sisters over for torture and corruption."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "And you're certain of this, Jiang? The punishment of Exalts who murder other Chosen in Yu Shan is severe. Not that I doubt you, but I want to make sure we have an iron clad defense when we get done with this."
Jiang nods to Moment "We will need to arrange for preasure, certainly. Between Solars, Lunars and Fae folk, we should keep him busy."
Jiang nods "Quite certain, quite certain."
Platinum_Sky_Lover yawns. "I'm sure we can do that. So, do you need for me to convince our girl Glorious Sunrise to use her powers on our behalf? I may need to bribe her."
<Silent_Sunset> "Hey, this is our job, right? Maintain Fate, put an End to dangers to Destiny, yes?
<Moment> Moment breathed evenly, "Indeed. May I propose we make a list?"
Jiang frowns "She would be very useful, though I advise bending her to your will quite thoroughly."
<Jiang> "Yes Moment, you may."
<Moment> "Unless one more skilled than I wishes too, then..." She pulls a roll of paper and wets a caligraphy brush between her lips.
Platinum_Sky_Lover pshaws. "I don't rely on half assed methods like 3 Fold binding. Instead, I'm going to rent an Eclipse from the Cult. I wish we could craft Oaths like they can."
<Moment> Preperations must be made by us personaly, and by oursevles weaving fate and acting politicaly.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Do you know what I believe would work the best on Sunrise? Telling her the truth."
Silent_Sunset nods
<Moment> May I have a list of those prepartions?"
<ADamiani> [Giggle. Sidereals telling the truth? No one would believe it!]
<Silent_Sunset> (That's what makes it the perfect tactic!)
<Hidden_Crystal> "Truth is a powerful tool." Crystal murmurs quietly. "No one ever expects it, too."
<Jiang> "Allright. We will need to kidnap Red Stone Rising, acquire a Solar with skill in magic, kidnap and murder the Prince's servants, acquire potent Weapons of Mass Destruction, acquire a Bag of Holding, acquire information regardin the location and defenses of our targets, arrange for the Wyld, local Solars, and local Lunars to assault the Prince's holdings."
<Moment> Moment flashed Hidden Crystal a smile.
<Moment> "What about the Realm? Might we, or our fellows, instigate them into action against Skullstone?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Also, implicitely the need for further intelligence ... gathered along the way in some cases, or in preparation in others."
Jiang considers "Hmm.. If we made friends with a few of the members of that particular convent, we could arrange for military action."
<Jiang> "Allright, yes. Further intelligence is needed."
<Jiang> "We may need to acquire a Construct, to bypass necromantic wards.."
Silent_Sunset grins "When I spoke to a 'friend' of mine earlier today and told him that chaos is the best ground on which to impress a new order I was being facetious ... but now I'm beginning to believe that it might indeed be a viable solution."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "In order to make this girl useful to us, I may need to provide her with Sorcery instruction - Celestial Spells that will serve our needs."
<Jiang> "That can be arranged, Platinum."
<Jiang> "Afterall, we have Kejack backing us on this. For the most part. I'm sure he'd loan us part of his library."
<Silent_Sunset> "Sow the seeds into the wind, call down the whirlwind over the enemies of Creation. Ride the storm, not controlling, but directing in. Then pick up the pieces and build everything up again."
Silent_Sunset frowns
<Silent_Sunset> "Kejack release works of power to a Solar?"
<Jiang> "We lie to him horribly."
Platinum_Sky_Lover sits on a table, crossing her legs. "And, in case all else fails... Jiang - can you get for us from the Forbidden Manse of Ivy the command codes and the current location of the 5 Metal Shrike? We can simply blow up Skullstone, and Red along with it."
<Moment> Moment looked up from her elegeant but slightly oversized caligraphy strokes with a broad but nervous grin. "I seem to recall that our predecessors were afraid to take those kinds of chances. Perhaps now we can undo their mistakes."
Silent_Sunset has a coughing fit as Platinum mentions that legendary old story
Platinum_Sky_Lover snorts. "Our predecessors seemed to have been possessed of sessile stupidity when they gather in large groups. I mean, killing all of the Solars, without consulting the Incarnae? That was a peice of brilliant planning."
Silent_Sunset thumps his fist on the table. "Damn right!"
<Silent_Sunset> Apparently he has been spiking his tea from a small silver bottle.
Jiang frowns "The Incarnae don't care, Platinum. The only thing they care about is the Games. They lost interest in Creation millenia ago."
<ADamiani> The pricise response was, as I recall, "Yeah, yeah, whatever."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Well, maybe someone should re-interest them. Although I suspect their supposed addiction to the games is a ruse."
Jiang shakes his head sadly "The Games were designed by the Primordials, for the minds of the Primordials. The Celestines are.. not on that level, spiritually or intellectually."
<Silent_Sunset> "Huh? Really?"
<Jiang> "Sky, I know the command codes, but I'm loathe to give them out. That horrible thing can cause immense destruction in the wrong hands."
<Silent_Sunset> "Are we the wrong hand?"
Hidden_Crystal sighs quietly.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Actually, I think it's the other way around. The Primordials aren't all that, you know. If they were, they wouldn't have lost. But then, I feel that the Celestines are the incarnate souls of Gaia. Everyone thinks I'm crazy like that."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Anyway! Skullstone, Red Stone, and the Shrike."
Jiang shrugs "They're not. Anyways, the only thing we could do regarding the Celestines would be to 'replace' them. Let them have their silly game, and have someone else do their jobs."
<Silent_Sunset> "Huh. Sure?"
<Jiang> "Yes, on to business."
<Silent_Sunset> "Shrike."
<Silent_Sunset> "Is it really as dangerous as the legends say?"
<Jiang> "It can destroy cities. Yes. Yes it is."
<Jiang> "Red Stone Rising. We know where his Manse his, and I can do some recon to scope out his location and defenses."
<Jiang> "We'll need some way to restrain him. Perhaps a Slave Collar."
Platinum_Sky_Lover nods. "We also need to pull his file. If he was able to become the directional head of a convention, then it's very likely he's skilled in the Sidereal Martial Arts. Which means he could turn us into flounders, or kill our very souls with a touch."
Hidden_Crystal shudders quietly at that suggestion, but says nothing.
<Jiang> "Allright. Who wants to scan the Loom for him, and who wants to acquire his file?"
<ADamiani> You already got his file in the first session.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "What Caste is he?"
<ADamiani> Secrets.
<Silent_Sunset> "Well, if he can do such things, it should be in the BoD files ... you have that spider, Jiang, right?"
<Jiang> "Yes, yes I do."
Silent_Sunset shakes his head. "I'm not looking at the Loom any more today. I already was closing to exploding my head earlier."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Now you know why I avoid astrology and welch out on Loom duty."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Jiang, do you have the file?"
<ADamiani> Sure, let's say PAoC?
Jiang pulls out a thick file "There we go."
<ADamiani> Also stealth charms.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "If you'll allow me?"
Platinum_Sky_Lover immediately goes to the marked subfolder that shows charm specifications, including martial arts.
Jiang grumbles "I remember the good old days, when we didn't have to do all this pissing around with petitions and counter signing and calligraphy, but could manipulate the Loom directly."
<Jiang> "You wouldn't see any of this crap happening back in the good old days, I'll tell you that. Back then, men were men, women were women, and Gods knew their place."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Understand that a connected enough Sidereal could have their file altered."
<Silent_Sunset> "The Prismatic Arrangement of Creation ... that is beyond me, yet."
Hidden_Crystal nods slowly in agreement as well.
<Silent_Sunset> "Though, how goes the saying - it's not what you possess, it's how you use it."
<Silent_Sunset> "Because I knife in the back will cramp ANYONE's style."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "That's one of the reasons some of us want the Solars back, Jiang. These pissant little bureacrat gods would be far more cooperative if you had a TwilighT censor and his Eclipse friend standing behind you.
Jiang snorts "You don't remember the Solars like I do.."
<Silent_Sunset> "We can't put off our responsibility to others like that ..."
<Jiang> (Spy on Red, figure out how to get past his defenses, then kidnap him and torture him to death.)
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "So, we'll have to work on that Great Curse. But the current set up is not fucking working, Jiang. The Dragon Blooded can't defend Creation adequately."
<Jiang> "I've been considering that, actually."
<Silent_Sunset> "I suppose our predecessors saw the Solars as a curse on the world, but we can see how THAT turned out, yes?" And Silents points at the diagrams on the walls.
Hidden_Crystal toys with the butterfly 'pin' in his hair, silently, staring at the diagrams on the wall.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Hey, they did what they had to do, back then. But all I know is that Creation was like 3 times the size in the old maps."
<Silent_Sunset> "The price of betrayal ... on both sides."
Jiang nods "True enough. But my point is, there has never been a Golden Age and there never will be. We get the Solars back, and we get a bunch of sociopaths who we'll need to kill in three thousand years time. We go without them, and we get this. It's all about picking your poison."
<Silent_Sunset> "Maybe this time they'll listen to us."
Jiang laughs, loudly and uproariously. He calms down, after a moment. "Oh, thats a good one."
<Silent_Sunset> "I mean, we can see where this leads, right? There's no use advising those who don't listen, but it is MEANT to be like that."
Hidden_Crystal pulls the pin out of his hair and curls slender, black-gloved fingers around the delicate blade, trying to control his urge to jab someone with it.
Platinum_Sky_Lover nods. "In that, you're wise. But to me it's all about the appropriate set of tools. We need big, huge earth moving machinery and construction equipment, not the saw and hammers we're trying to hold back the storm with."
<Jiang> "No, it was never meant to be like that. It was like that because the God's betrayed the Primordials, then betrayed Creation. Anyways.. Shall we move along?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Betrayal on all sides, indeed. But the position of the Fellowship IS to advise, you can't deny that, right?"
<Silent_Sunset> "So, if we do that and they listen, everything can go the right way."
Silent_Sunset frowns at PSL "Tools ... who are the tools here?"
<Jiang> "If we provide the proper advice." He shrugs "Anyways. So, how shall we deal with Red Stone? I intend to use a new charm I've mastered, and infiltrate."
Hidden_Crystal stands up and looks at everyone. "Don't we have the *present* and *future* to be discussing rather then the *past*?"

Hidden_Crystal sits down quietly, still toying with the butterfly "pin' in his hand.
<Moment> Looking dizzy, Moment put down the brush and set down the list to blow dry.
<Moment> Personal Preperations:
<Moment> Aquire an Eclipse caste solar from the Cult.
<Moment> We must kidnap or destroy the Prince's servants, gathering further intelgence along the way.
<Moment> We must aquire a weapon of mass destruction and a bag of holding.
<Moment> Also a construct to bypass necromantic wards?
<Moment> Political/Fate based preprations:
<Moment> Instigate local Solars and Lunars into action against Skullstone.
<Moment> The Realm as Well?
<Moment> The Wyld as well?
Silent_Sunset leans back into his chair, looks from Hidden Crystal to Jiang to Moment.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "We'll owe the Gold Faction some heavy favors for this nonsense."
<Silent_Sunset> well, wasn't it them doing the whole "Oh let's make a deal with the Silver Prince" thing?
<Jiang> "Then perhaps we shouldn't involve them."
<Moment> Moment blinked. "What? Who made a deal with the Silver Prince?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Looks like the emergence of the Solar Shards was no accident."
Jiang nods "Indeed."
<Silent_Sunset> "Some kinda one-hand-washes-the-other arrangement was implied by an informant of ours."
Platinum_Sky_Lover snorts again. "I don't get it. On our own, we're smart. But as there gather more and more of us together, we turn stupid."
<Silent_Sunset> "The Gold Faction might have been involved in part."
<Moment> Moment blinked, "You mean, some Sidereal told the Death Lords where to find the Jade Prison..." she swallowed hard, then sat down hard.
Silent_Sunset still leans back, sips from his tea. "Bah, cold!"

<Jiang> "Anyways, shall we start our preparations?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Uh, right. Who does what?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Nobody does anything? Not good."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Actually, from a strategic point of view, it makes perfect sense. Consider - even without the Deathknights, the Deathlords have immense power. Destruction of Creation by their hands would be inevitable. the Dragon Blooded host would not be able to stand against them."
Jiang says, patiently "I know what I intend to do. What do the rest of you think you should do?'
Platinum_Sky_Lover stops lecturing for a moment. "What is it that you need from me, Jiang? Shall I get to work on Glorious Sunrise?"
<Jiang> "That would be a good use of your time."
<Silent_Sunset> "Now seriously. I will try to keep negotiations with the Pearl Court open, though I'm not sure what I can bargain just yet."
<Jiang> "Moment, Hidden Cystal, what do you think you should do?"
<Jiang> "A good idea."
<Hidden_Crystal> "I have a meeting with a contact tonight." Crystal says quietly, eyes lowered. "Whatever information I can gather from that would almost certaintly help."
<Moment> Moment rubbed her eyes, and stared at the list.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "And what spell do you need for this Solar to cast? I presume we can't trust one of our own to do it, for various political reasons, and none of us here is a Sorcery expert."
Hidden_Crystal looks at the list to see anything further he could do, and sticks his 'pin' back into his hair.
<Jiang> "Threefold Binding of the Heart or some other form of mind control. Possibly some some counterspells, depending."
<Jiang> "Thats good, Crystal. Moment?"
<Moment> Moment rubbed her temples, then placed her hands calmly on the table.
<Moment> "I will aproach my connections in the Cult of the Illuminated and see what information I can gather on doing battle in the Shadowlands and lands fo the Dead. I will see what foes the Cult can martial against the Silver Prince."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "If this Solar doesn't know the spells, can we offer translation assistance for the tombs in that tomb, or actual spell instruction?"
<Silent_Sunset> "Mmhh. Some form of transportation would be useful. The Calibration Gate does not reach into the Underworld!."
<Moment> "When that is done, if no one better is available, I will aproach the Bronze faction and see if any of the Realms forces can be martialaed agains the Silver Prince."
<Jiang> "We can offer spell instruction, if we can acquire the spells." He stands up "Well. It sounds like we all know where to go and what to do."
Silent_Sunset looks into his tea. "Work to do everywhere", he mentions philosophically.
Platinum_Sky_Lover places a hand on Silent's shoulder. "It is our destiny, Sunset."
Silent_Sunset grins almost madly. "And I wouldn't want an End to it!"
Platinum_Sky_Lover holds up her finger, tsk tsk tsk. "Everything ends, so new things can begin."
<Silent_Sunset> "Ahh, but there are many orders of Ends."
Jiang snorts "I don't do Ends. Just short breaks."
<Silent_Sunset> "This problem might be resolved - that would be good. Or we might die - not as much fun, but no final End."
<Silent_Sunset> "And of course, one day Creation will come to and End and then there will be the last End for us, as Saturn switches off the light behind her. And what will come after that ... no one knows."
Platinum_Sky_Lover shakes her head. "No. Creation won't *end* - it will be *different*. Permanent endings deny the reality of ending. Lady Saturn is the universal metaphor for *change*."
<Silent_Sunset> "Ahh, Sister, you disappoint me. Have you listened to me at all?"
<Silent_Sunset> "All Ends are final. And all Endings are a transitions. When Creation Ends, there will be no more Creation after that."
Platinum_Sky_Lover clicks her tongue. "Which Creation are you referring to? There is a new one born and dying with each passing second."
Platinum_Sky_Lover snugs Silent. "We're being Sidereals, splitting hairs over differences."
Jiang rubs his head "If you're going to discuss philosophy, go somewhere else to do it. My living is not the place for it, thank you very much."
Silent_Sunset grins "Hairs indeed. But no, Creation itself remains as it encompasses the Loom of Fate as much as everything else."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Yes, Elder Brother!" PSL salutes Jiang. "So, my assignment is to negotiate with this Solar? I need to know exactly what she is to do."
<ADamiani> Adamant Circle Countermagic on the Prince's nasty necromancy wards.
<Jiang> "We haven't decided, precisely, how we're to use her. Casting spells and helping us infiltrate the Citadel will be part of that, but beyond that.. Just take her in hand and ensure her willing assistance, please."

<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Allright. Oh, there's one last matter. What are we going to do about Peleps Yolan? Or, the one we have up here, at any rate?"
Jiang shrugs "Do what you want with her. She's yours to dispose of as you wish."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "As a husky, handsome woman, I find her refreshing as opposed to the water lilly beauty goddesses up here."
<Silent_Sunset> "She has suffered enough already, simply for being strong in the face of adversity."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "I suspect that she loves Creation as much as we do, so she deserves to have a hand in defending it. She seems to be an exceptional woman."
<Silent_Sunset> "If that is her choice, freely made, it would be good indeed."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "If the circle agrees, I'll give her a choice - her old life back, or a new one of wondrous adventure and dire peril."
Jiang sighs and takes out a small paddle, attached to a small rubber ball with a string. As the other two discuss matters, he begins smacking the ball.
Jiang continues bouncing the ball off the paddle. "Anyways, I don't care what you do to the Dragonblood. Just remember that she's your responsibility, and that you'll be held responsible for any mess she makes."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Obviously."
<Silent_Sunset> "And she must be free to decide otherwise at all times."
Jiang nods "Well then. Have fun with her."
<Jiang> "Why?"
Platinum_Sky_Lover hms. "If I'm lucky, I met get both a Dragon Blooded *and* a Solar pet. What a lucky girl I am!"
Jiang sighs, muttering something about 'Serenities' and 'thinking with their pelvises'.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Sunset, what do you take me for? of course it will be her choice! It's not like I have those big C Charms anyway."
Platinum_Sky_Lover sticks out her tongue at Jiang! "At least I'm not miserable, old man."
Jiang raises an eyebrow "Miserable? No. Just serene and beyond being controlled by my baser instincts."
Silent_Sunset looks steely at the word 'Pet'
Hidden_Crystal glares at PSL very, very coldly at her using the word 'pet' to refer to someone's state.
Platinum_Sky_Lover notices that. She says to Crystal, "Dear, your confusing 'pet' with the word 'slave'. I've never owned a slave, and I never will. I apologize if you find the word troublesome."
Hidden_Crystal doesn't let up. He considers the word highly demeaning.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "It's a damned term of endearment! I've called you people pet! What is the damned problem?"
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Ok. pet is not a cool term for other Exalts. Noted in the black book. Gods, people are so touchy!"
<Hidden_Crystal> "Context." is all Crystal says, before finally staring at his hands.

<Jiang> "And it's not like you can talk, Silent. I know what you've got in YOUR manor."
<Jiang> "You do realize that you'll likely be in some trouble, if word gets out about your own 'pet', correct?"
<Jiang> "She's very pretty though. I'm sure you're enjoying her company."
<Silent_Sunset> Silent looks surprised. "Huh? 'My own pet'?"
Jiang smiles, amused. "I keep an eye on you youngsters."
<Silent_Sunset> A flash of understanding runy across Silent's face. "Ahh, you're talking about Dilari!"
<Jiang> "Indeed, indeed."
<Silent_Sunset> "But she's mainly here as gesture of good will from the Pearl Court."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Dilari? Your 'guest', I presume?" When Sunset mentions 'Pearl Court', "You're keeping a Rhaksha as a houseguest, *here in Yu Shan*"
<Silent_Sunset> "An honored guest of mine." A darker expression follows. "I ... feel, Nehemeth may see her as some kind of 'pet', though
<Silent_Sunset> "Hey, I couldn't well leave her down there, right?"
<ADamiani> And gosh if you aren't having a tough time getting her out of your head.
Jiang says, blandly "Of course she is. Which is why she was registered with the appropriate authorities upon entrance, of course, and acquired diplomatic identification papers for her."
<Silent_Sunset> "Uhh, naturally. Ah, yes."
Silent_Sunset starts sweating a bit
Jiang nods "Of course, of course. I'm sure everything is in proper order then."
<Silent_Sunset> "Exactly!"
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Good. I was thinking about how awful it would be watching a Celestial Lion knocking down your Pagoda, after catching the scent of a Rhaksha strumpet."
<Jiang> "We should probably introduce her around then. With the proper socializing, we can arrange a deal between Heaven and the Pearl Court for their aid. With Heaven providing proper renumeration, of course."
Platinum_Sky_Lover doesn't seem like she quite believes either Jiang or Sunset, but she's playing along with the polite fiction.
<Silent_Sunset> "Ehh."
<Silent_Sunset> "That was my plan, naturally."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Well, as long as you are prepared to take responsibility for *her* messes."
<Silent_Sunset> "Minus the introducing around. Deniability, you understand?"
Jiang nods, still bouncing the ball against the paddle. "Then I'm sure we can arrange for a few select, private parties. We'll need to reassure our guests of her legitimacy but, after that, it'll be a simple manner." He nods "Then it's settled. Platinum gets her Dragonblood, Silent Sunset gets his 'ambassador'." And boy, does he pronounce that last word drily.

<Silent_Sunset> "So, Luna has the lead in the Games of Divinity, it seems ..."
<Jiang> "Yes, I believe she does. She's always so smug when she does, though.. I'm sure the others will work to take it away from her soon."
Jiang turns to PSL "After we've finished this little task, would you care to go to Nexus with me?"
<Silent_Sunset> "She's away often enough. Would be nice seeing her in alliance with the Maidens once more. Brilliant view it was the other day."
Platinum_Sky_Lover replies to Jiang, "Why, of course! What's the errand?"
<Jiang> "Oh, a little bit work, a little bit recreation. Some grave robbing, some dancing.. And theres somebody I've been meaning to take out for miniature vacation for awhile. I'm sure she'd be delighted to meet you."
<Jiang> "She's at a Cult training camp, currently. We could make an entire field trip out of it."
<Jiang> "The rest of you could come too, if you wished."
Silent_Sunset makes a conspiracy face "What exactly do you have in mind?"
Jiang raises an eyebrow "Why, just a short, relaxing break for my Circle. Everybody needs some rest and relaxation from time to time. Isn't that right Platinum?" Jiang's face is completely bland.
Hidden_Crystal is still steadily staring down at his black-gloved hands. Short? Relaxing? Somewhere away from crowds was relaxing! But he didn't say anything.
Platinum_Sky_Lover snorts. She's sure that Jiang is plotting something - but she trusts that it's for the good of Creation. "We all do. Although Nexus is more of a work place for me than a vacation spot. But, what do you have in mind? Any specific reason of thing to do?"
<Jiang> "Hmm.. I'm sure you know Nexus' 'hot' spots better than I do. I will trust your judgement when it comes to touring those."
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Well, that depends on your definition of 'hot'. Although in the Firewander district is a patch that may make Sunset's girlfriend feel right at home.
Jiang snorts. "Interesting and exciting. I'm sure some you can come up with something to make us all laugh and clap with delight, amongst the other things we'll be doing."
Hidden_Crystal sincerely doubts it, but again doesn't say anything.
<Platinum_Sky_Lover> "Jiang, I do that every day. I can see some sort of scheme behind your eyes. But that's fine, since your my brother and I trust you. Also, I don't spend much time there these days, so I am out of touch with the happenings of the city. But I will see what I can dig up. I won't make any promises, however."
<Jiang> "Whatever you decide will be fine, I'm sure."