WARNING: Lots of quotes tonight.
- Once Hatiq is there, Athyfer gets down to business.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the Tripartite, and honored Patropolis. You honor me by agreeing to see me on such short notice.”
He says it with such humility and conviction that it seems implausible that he actually walked in without an appointment.
“I begin by saying that I did not expect to find you alive and well. When I returned to the place in the Maker where you once made your home, I only found a cavernous wreckage dozens of miles across, and a tumorous micro-continent of rust that had tunnelled through the Maker’s body that had carved it.”
“I did not expect to find you alive and well—none of you at all” He turns, and nods towards his fellow Lawgivers as though to include them, “—and it brings me the greatest pleasure to see you all alive here, and to see this city thriving.”
“Now I come to you here, and I am about to ask a great thing of you, but nothing I expect you will not give willingly.”
He pauses for a handful of seconds, just long enough for people to lean in, curious.
“I have been to Xexas.” He says, and the shock that ripples through the the older members of the Tripartite assembly is tangible. “I have been to Xexas, and I have seen the flowers.”
“I have been to Xexas and seen the flowers, but I tell you now that when I came there were four-score blooming into the smoke; when last I left, there were seventy-three.” Another pause, shorter. “We are winning. The Maker is healing.”
“Now a chance arises; there is a spot on the surface of Creation where the Maker’s Blight touched. By the workings of your Exalted friends, and of the Bull of the North, the Blight was beaten back, but this was not all…”
“Your Mirrorblade, the colossus Seer of Bright Vistas, has chosen to stand as stalwart guardian at the edge of our world and that which saw you born. Even now she sits in a chrysalis, embracing her duty and her fate.”
“But the Blight sits beneath and around her.” He continues, his face bowed. “The Bull agrees to defend her, but…” He permits himself a laugh, and a sly glance to the assembly. “what does an Icewalker king—even one of the Chosen—know of the dangers of a Blight Zone, or of the ways of fighting one back?”
He turns to Hatiq’s solid jade body, and bows. “Patropolis, I ask for some of your people, and in some ways I ask for your best. I ask for the wise ones and the strong ones. But I have spoken with you, in years past. And I would like to think I know you.” He looks toward the door, and takes a couple of paces towards it. “Xexas became as it must be.” He bows his head. “Neither he nor you wanted that to be the sole human legacy within the maker. You became as you wished it could be. Your city was the well-protected, armored seed from which you hoped could spring anew the Autochthonian people.”
“And now I tell you that thanks to Seer’s choice, there is a fertile ground for that seed to grow. She needs your help. And she will help bring your dream to fruition.”
- There is little real debate. Athyfer is right, inasmuch as re-seeding the Autochthonian populace is exactly what Hatiq once wanted to do, and still would like to do!
- Dusk privately voices to Hatiq his concerns:
Dusk shrugs. “Your patron was an ally of ours from way back. Powerful, loyal. If it weren’t for him we might still be under to Yozi’s yoke. I have no doubt that he seems more than I ever will. I don’t deny that for the lives lost in coming here alone, let alone all the effort made by others makes this turn of events feel like a punch in the gut, to use the vernacular…” He sighs. “But I Stand by my commitments.”
- Akeva also has misgivings, although less about Vista herself, and more about the events of the past couple weeks:
“I still ain’t sure how the Blight got to there to begin with. [W]e didn’t even find what started this damned thing. Athyfer ain’t too concerned about it, since he didn’t even mention it. Assumin’ the thought occured to him.”
“And it happened at
our manse. That can’t be just an isolated incident either.”
- Hatiq holds that whatever Dissonance drove her, it held Briar’s leash and guided her to unleash the Blight upon Sparrow’s Manse. He does not have immediate concern, but Akeva is unconvinced.
- Hatiq acknowledges that restoring Rose may be the best way to find out what happened, and advises the Tripartite to allocate the appropriate resources to the regeneration of Rose and the ascension of Spear.
- Meanwhile, at the Vats, Sparrow and Unari speak with high-ranking Sodalites and confirm that the remains Sparrow purified are alive and clean. Briar’s brain and soulgem are set in a vat until such time as they can be appropriately addressed.
- There is also some discussion re: Alchemical Weaving and Exalted Sorcery. Sorry, Sparrow! This particular form of Essence-shaping is not for you!