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As Scarab enters the Half Past Inn that evening, with a new offer and some information to relay to Soran, she finds both Soran and Syla at one of the tables, various maps and papers spread between them as they talk. The bartender is there as she always is, while a few other men and woman of the resistance discuss things at other tables.

Scarab steps inside the Inn quickly, leaning against the wall near a table with a sigh of relief escaping her lips. She looks a bit bothered by something for certain, though it's not easy to tell what it is at first glance. There's also the faintest trace of jade peeping out from one of the folds of her loose scarf.

Soran glances up as Scarab enters before grinning slightly as he waves. "Evening, Scarab. Everything alright?" Syla turns in her seat a bit before waving with a smile as well. Neither seem to notice the jade just yet.

Scarab looks over at her benefactor, and shrugs once. "That depends."

Soran raises an eyebrow slightly as he tilts his head. "...On?"

<Scarab> I have news, good... bad... and then, something else rather.., interesting, to say the least.

He nods, gathering up the papers and setting them aside. Syla shifts her seat some as well before gesturing for Scarab to take a seat at the table as well while speaking. "So what's up, then?"

Scarab walks closer to the two, having a seat with them. She doesn't quite relax like usual in the chair, a bit of tension still in her body language. "Well, firstly.. to be blunt.. I hope you don't mind that I ignored your movement restrictions to get valuable information."

Soran manages a faint grin. "I suspected one or two of you would go against it. At least you're far more proficent at sneaking around than some of the others."

<Scarab> That's correct. I'm used to this sort of thing. I figured any intelligence on the soldiers moving into town rapidly could be useful.

Soran nods again. "It definitetly would be. So what have you found?"

Scarab rubs her chin a few times. "While staking out the marketplace, I happened upon a brave resistance supporter being struck down by what appears to be a prominent Dragon-Blooded general sent in here. She goes by the name of Dendra.

Soran frowns slightly before nodding. "Of Blue Water, is the rest of her title." He sighs. "News of a kid attacking a Dragon Blooded was heard. I didn't know Dendra was the one they sent. She's... quite powerful, to say the least."

<Scarab> This woman is NOTHING like the firey warrior we encountered earlier. A definite professional in every manner. Her grace with a sword is only matched by what seems her utter cruelty to the weak...

<Scarab> Or at least, the people not on her "winning team" so to speak.

Soran nods, closing his eyes. "Her abilities aren't unknown to me. Her presence here will complicate things until we finally leave, more than likely." Syla meanwhile frowns. "Least she wasn't the escort for the investigator. Things would have gone a lot worse then."

Scarab nods in agreement to the wind spirit.

<Scarab> Good point. But this is definitely getting ugly fast. We can't remain here much longer before they uncover our network.

Scarab looks around and the common room once, then back at Soran and company. "However, there's a lot more than happened at the marketplace that I'm not sure you heard about."

Soran nods. "We should be ready to move in two days or so." He tilts his head slightly. "Oh? What's that?"

<Scarab> Well, I had no trouble avoiding unwanted eyes from the Realm troopers, but a strange woman seemed to notice me.

Syla blinks a couple of times. "Really?"

<Scarab> A woman all in black, with pale skin, like it had never seen the sun. Madam Tanoi was her title. She was quite friendly.. obviously not working for the Realm, either.

Scarab looks pensive. "Something about her mannerism bothered me... I can't put my finger on what it is, just an unsettled feeling she gave me."

Soran blinks once, twice, then a third time. "...Tanoi? Are you sure?" Syla glances over at Soran, frowning now.

<Scarab> Using my cover we simply engaged in some idle conversation in the meat tent, and I happened to follow her back to her mansion.

<Scarab> This is where it gets interesting...

They nod, remaining silent as you speak.

Scarab lowers her voice. "Portraying msyelf as an info monger, I discovered she was very interested in searching for a lost sister of hers. The more she began to describe her appearance... violet eyes, beautiful face, an interest in sorcery... it immediately dawned on me that she was describing Ciel."

<Scarab> She did in fact look very similar... I don't doubt that that they may be sisters.

<Scarab> Then she even told me the name straight out, meaning "Beloved" in an ancient language.

Soran blinks a few more times, leaning back as his expression darkens. "Sister. Pale skin that has never seen the sun... And the name." He mutters a curse. "I see. What did you tell her, if anything?"

<Scarab> Originally from the East, the family moved here a year after the disappearance with her father. Apparently a VERY wealthy man, at that....

Scarab pauses to consider. "Not trusting her motives as simply reuniting a shattered family, I did not reveal anything too specific. Other than I might have a contact who has seen her pass through town."

<Scarab> This hit the spot dead on, as she was immediately asking all sorts of questions the vagueness didn't cover. I promised to return to her with more info when I could, hoping to size this up with you first.

Soran nods. "That's good, at least. This Tanoi is much more than she appears to be, let me assure you." He rubs his forehead. "She knows Ciel, and the two would have been sisters in a sense had others been able to have their way. I would ask you lead her astray with false information." He looks at Scarab. "And she probably already knows of your true nature, considering she is somewhat similiar, just... twisted."

Scarab then pulls away her scarf to reveal an absolutely exquiste fine jade necklace. "This was a token of our agreement, and by the looks of it, her burning desire to see Ciel."

Syla lets out a whistle.

Scarab grins once at Syla.

Scarab doesn't hold it for long as now Soran commands her attention. "Twisted? Like.. how?"

Five_Pillars comes into the room. "Hey, Soran." He says "The guys holding our friend the Son of Hesiah say he's trying to burn the place down again. They asked you to come down."

Five_Pillars jerks a finger towards the doorway.

Soran's expression hardens. "When she says she's from the East, she refers to the city of Thorns. A shadowland. She... used to be like you and the others, until she was killed by the Wyld Hunt. She came back though, but as a champion of death." Soran glances over at Five, frowning. "Again? What are we going to /do/ with that kid?" He gets to his feet, frowning. "We'll finish this later, Scarab." He heads for the trapdoor, opening it and descending into the tunnel as he shuts it behind him. Syla meanwhile gathers up the papers and brings them over, smiling slightly at Five. "Evening, Five Pillars."

<Five_Pillars> He nods at her. "Goodnight, Syla. And thank you." He bows, slightly, and heads towards Scarab.

Scarab looks a bit confused at this explaination, hmming softly to herself.

She smiles. "No problem." She finishes putting the papers away before disappearing.

Five_Pillars says "So. Scarab. I don't think we've really had much time to talk."

Scarab straightens up and covers up the necklace again, not sure if she wants to display proudly what now very well might be a gift from an udnead woman. She tries to smile at Five, but obviously it's not working all that well.

<Five_Pillars> Five says "... but something's wrong."

<Five_Pillars> Five sits down at the table. "What happened?"

<Scarab> Just some recon work turning out a little bit interesting.

Scarab sighs. "Okay. Maybe disconcerting is more the right word for it."

<Five_Pillars> He raises a wrinkled brow. "You want to talk about it?"

Scarab shrugs. "Soran got me all wound up inside. Might as well keep going."

<Five_Pillars> Five nods. "Well. It won't leave me." He says "So what happened?"

<Scarab> Realm servants are one thing, but then Soran tells me this woman I met named Madam Tanoi is a "Champion of Death". A twisted , dead Exalted or something. And she just happens to be looking for Ciel.

Five_Pillars says "I see. I take it you and Madam Tanoi ..."

Scarab drums her fingers on the tabletop. "We met while I was observing Dragon-Blooded brutality in the market square. She was able to pierce my disguise somehow, but was friendly, almost terribly so."

Five_Pillars says "I see. And you're worried that you put the rest of us, and the hundreds of mortals depending on us, in grave danger, because of what you did."

<Scarab> Ehh... well, yes. Not my first choice.

Five_Pillars says "Well. You didn't do it on purpose. You're not the type."

Five_Pillars says "You can't blame yourself. If anything, Soran should have told us Ciel was mixed up with these people. But he's the one holding his cards so close to his chest."

<Scarab> You do realize this is important. If she's on the trail of Ciel, now it's my job to throw her off of it. I'm doing Soran a favor here.

Five_Pillars says "She saw through you once. Obviously something a little more ... direct, is required, to discourage her."

Five_Pillars cracks his knuckles.

Five_Pillars says "We'll be leaving in a day or two anyway, so it's too late to worry about it now. But if she follows us." He grins. "You and I can go pay her a visit, and dissuade her."

Scarab glances sidelong at Five. "For an old man, you sure are a tough cookie."

Five_Pillars says "Hey. That's no way to talk to somebody who could be your grandfather. What does your grandmother look like, again?"

Five_Pillars winks.

Scarab rolls her eyes. "Ugh. My grandfather thinks I'm a disgrace to the family ancestors. Don't remind me." :P

Five_Pillars says "So. For now, we'll let Soran deal with this. But if those eyes of yours catch this gal again, let me know."

Five_Pillars says "In the meantime, however. I have something for you. A little thank you, for the last job."

Scarab stares at Five. "What are you thanking me for? -- not that I mind presents."

Five_Pillars lays a flexible metal glove on the table, so well made it moves and flexes without a sound, fingerless.

Five_Pillars says "Things got a little hairy, once Diamond lost control. You shouldered the burden. Literally."

Five_Pillars says "That should fit under those gloves you always wear"

Scarab reaches out to examine the workmanship of the gloves, looking surprised.

<Scarab> Well, well... this is unexpected. Did you make this yourself?

Five_Pillars says "Push a bit of essence into it.

Five_Pillars says "No. We don;t have time for me to make you a proper one. Yet."

Five_Pillars says "I did, however, do a little bit of work on it."

Scarab takes off the black leather glove of her gripepr set and flexes her slender fingers once. She then tries slipping the metallic fingerless one on in it's place, pushing the tiniest portion of the energy of Creation into it as well as her hand.

The gauntlet frosts over, becoming ice cold, as waves of cold radiate off of it.

Five_Pillars says "Hit somebody with that, and they'll notice it."

Scarab makes a fist a few times, obviously liking what she sees. "This must be my lucky day."

Five_Pillars grins. "Just make sure you turn it off before you shake any hands. And thank Syla. She helped."

Scarab turns her hand over a few times idly.

Five_Pillars says "Anyway. I figured a little bit more punch, and some metal between you and a sword wouldn't go awry"

<Scarab> Eh-heh. Well, you've got my thanks, Five Pillars! I'll say one thing though... you're probably the most reliable one here.

Five_Pillars shrugs. "I can count on you. You've been very reliable, and we both know that if you wanted to run, you have plenty of chances, and we'd never find you."

Scarab begins chuckling to herself.

<Scarab> That's one way of putting it. Of course you realize, I may not continue to help Soran. But our goals intersect for now.

Five_Pillars nods. "I may not, either."

Five_Pillars says "Anyway. I have things still left to do tonight. But I'm going to do some sparring later tonight."

Five_Pillars says "Feel free to come down to the courtyard after dinner. A little bit of combat practice certainly can't hurt."

Scarab nods once. "What the hell. I have some stress I need to get out anyway."

Five_Pillars nods. "Go0d. I'll see you there." He stands, and holds out his hand. "It's good to know you;re with us, Scarab."

Scarab stands as well and almost forgets to turn the freezing guantlet off before shaking his! Luckily she catches herself and the resulting handshake is not too chilly.

<Five_Pillars> Five grins, and heads up to check on Camel.

<Scarab> Nice to know you've got my back, Five.

Five_Pillars knocks on the door, in his customary manner. Five soft knocks. Monastary-trained habits die hard.

Number Ten Camel is down in the tunnels, in a training room. Over a dozen wooden blocks hang from the cieling, and are all swinging back at forth as Camel repeatedly parries them, only for them to swing back around.

Scarab heads off to mull over her next course of action. Maybe after mixing it up some she can concoct some good stories for Tanoi just in case.

Five_Pillars waits a moment, then goes down to the training tunnels. He watches Camel for a bit, nodding, but remaining silent.

Number Ten Camel shines, his mark burning brightly, a great pale gold scorpion waxing and waning in his anima as his power flows, he is bruised and sweating and gasping, many times he doesn't fully parry a block.

Five_Pillars waits a moment, and then strikes, his hand flickering out and stopping one of the blocks. "How about a break?"

Number Ten Camel slashes his sword at where the block should have been, and seeing Five, grunts, parries a block behind him with another flare of light, before crouching down under the reach of the blocks. "If you like, old man."

Number Ten Camel crawls out of the room, leaving the chipped and battered wood to clack furiously at itself.

<Five_Pillars> Five nods, as he moves into the center, and concentrates for a moment, his own anima flaring, as five pillars form, for an instant, around him, and his anima blocks five swinging wegiths, stopping them cold, as he robs them of momentum.

Five_Pillars says "Come on up to my room for a second. I have something to show you."

Number Ten Camel raises an eyebrow, but sheathes his sword and nods.

<Five_Pillars> Five heads up to his room, and once inside, moves over and begins making tea. "So. You seem to be doing very well with your training." He's standing in front of a large, man-sized shape, under a sheet.

Number Ten Camel leans against a wall, wincing. "Not so much. But we will see."

Five_Pillars nods. "You'll improve. As you get a little more acclimated to your powers, you'll find such feats easier." He finishes brewing the tea and comes over, pouring a cup for Camel, and then one for himself, sitting down on the floor, and incling his head at a coushin for Camel to sit on.

Number Ten Camel eases himself down onto the cushion slowly, and sips at the tea slowly. "Thank you for the tea. May stars dance in your favour" he intones, ritually.

<Five_Pillars> Five inclines his head again. "And also in yours."

Five_Pillars takes a sip of the tea, then sets it down. "How's your armor holding up?"

Number Ten Camel grimaces. "It's a bit battered, to be honest."

Five_Pillars says "Well." He considers a moment. "Perhaps we should get you in something a bit sturdier."

Number Ten Camel shrugs slightly. "It's going to be hot out there."

<Number Ten Camel> As rats wearing buff jackets learn.

Five_Pillars says "Indeed. But how to keep armor less contricting, without sacrificing protection." He takes a sip of his tea. "Something I've been thinking on."

Five_Pillars nods.

<Number Ten Camel> Well. There's always magic I guess.

<NumberTenCamel> Jade alloy or whatever those guys wear?

Five_Pillars frowns. "Jade's not tiring. But it's bulky."

Five_Pillars says "And you have to be a dragonblooded to wear it, without alot of work."

Five_Pillars stands, setting his teacup down. "However. I think I may have something that might work."

<Number Ten Camel> You just like beating around the bush, don't you?

Five_Pillars says "I wanted time to finish my tea." He looks at Camel, mildly.

NumberTenCamel finishes his tea. spitting a stalk floating in it into his hand and knotting it deftly. "As you like, friend."

Five_Pillars pulls the sheet off the suit of armor, a set of breastplate, re-enforced for war, and cunningly light, and yet, protective.

<Number Ten Camel> Impressive.

NumberTenCamel lifts it by the shoulders, hefting it. "Light."

Five_Pillars says "You haven't seen the half of it." He grins. "Try sending a touch of essence into it."

Number Ten Camel frowns, concentrating... his anima flickers about.. then he sags.. "No good. I'm dry"

Five_Pillars nods. "Well. Lets get it on you, and then I'll show you what I mean."

Number Ten Camel coughs. "Very well. I'll be back in a few minutes."

Five_Pillars says "... I care for you Camel, but not like that. I took vows, and I have no interest in robbing the cradle, even if I hadn't."

Five_Pillars says "However. I'll not intrude, if you wish privacy." He heads for the door, going to wait outside.

Number Ten Camel shakes his head. "It's not that, Five. I want to trust you.. but somethings... I can't. Not yet."

NumberTenCamel pushes the door shut softly once Five has passed through, and then pulls it open a little while later, once he's gotten changed into the new armour.

Five_Pillars pauses at the door. "Well. If you want to talk, I will always listen. And say nothing of it to any other." He goes out he door, before that last emote.

Five_Pillars comes back in. "Alright then." He looks at Camel, a bit critically. "How does that feel?"

Number Ten Camel tugs at one of the plates. "I'll need to adjust it a little. Also not sure I could wear it all day, in the sun."

<Number Ten Camel> Sturdy though.

Five_Pillars says "Yes, well. That's to be expected." He says "Now, push a tiny mote of essence into it, and hold it there."

Number Ten Camel squints his purple eyes glittering in the reflect glow of his mark as he musters a little energy.. and laughs.. "That's amazing.."

Five_Pillars nods. "Thank you." He says "It'll stay that way as long as you hold the essence there."

Number Ten Camel laughs freely, in a high and fine voice, turning around with arms spread. "It's so much lighter!"

Five_Pillars grins, and nods. "And it should be cooler to wear, too."

NumberTenCamel smiles widely. "This is a fine gift, friend. I can only hope to return the favour one day." He grins impishly. "Want to know a secret?"

Five_Pillars says "I would be honored to share your trust."

<Number Ten Camel> My name is not really Number Ten Camel, though my parents would call me that to strangers. In truth I am Moonlit Amethyst. You are the first person I've told.

Five_Pillars bows his head. "Amethyst. A fitting name, for a jewel in the rough." He raisesa finger to his lips. "But, as I promised, it shall go no further."

Number Ten Camel bows slightly at the waist. "My thanks. And now, I think.. I'm going for a bath. I need to soak these bruises out of me."

Five_Pillars nods. "Very well." He considers a moment. "I'm going to be doing some sparring, later tonight, after dinner, in the courtyard, if you'd care to join us."

Five_Pillars says "Not essence studies. But skill and luck si worth at least as much as charms."

<Number Ten Camel> I will see how I feel. But I will probably watch at least.

Number Ten Camel gathers up his old suit of armour.

Five_Pillars nods. "Be well, Amethyst. You have a great future ahead of you."

<Number Ten Camel> Perhaps. But will it be a long one? Only the stars know.

Number Ten Camel leaves, smiling.

<Five_Pillars> Five says "A man can change his stars."

<Number Ten Camel> With what? A really long pole?

<Five_Pillars> "With his actions. The stars show the path of least resistance, like the way a river runs."

Five_Pillars says "But you can move a river, with effort, and skill. Dam it, redirect it, or slow it up."

<Number Ten Camel> If I could read the stars accurately, I might worry about such things.

Five_Pillars says "The Stars predict. But you control your own fate."

NumberTenCamel leaves! Completely! Finally!

Five_Pillars nods.

NumberTenCamel is now known as Huw

Huw drops a giant bunny on FivePIllars

Five_Pillars closes the door, and sit down in front of the jade and hearthstones in front of him, considering them.

Five_Pillars mediatates. And soaks the bunny.

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