Bur Omisce: Special Invitation
Preperations are under-way for the party to make the journey through the hidden paths beneath Bur Omisace to the temple of Shiva! So far the group of travellers haven't had much to do beyond sit around eating Choux pastries and drinking tea and waiting for Sister May to bring news that they are ready to move. What she brings with her upon her return is a short white furred Moomba, his fur a radiant, glorious white that shines with a vitality all of its own making as he approaches you. "My friends," Sister May murmurs, "Father Mongra here wanted to see you."
Silmeria blinks, tilting her head in puzzlement, but rises to her feed and curtsies before the Moomba. "And a good day to you, Father... How may we help the Temple of Lord Alexander?" While the Esper seems marginally thrown by the sudden need for conference, clearly she is nothing if not patient and willing to help.
Lee, during the wait, seems to have drifted off in a light nap, his chin resting on his chest and hat hiding his face. The return of Sister May, and the Moomba alongside her, seems to rouse him, though, his head lifting as he looks around. A yawns, and a stretch, and he's on his feet as well, though with less purpose than Silmeria, and with no word spoken. He does tip his hat's brim to Sister May and Father Mongra, though, as is polite to do.
Marduke has been rather enjoying himself with the wait. Tea being one of his favorient drinks and the pastries a delight. Yet as the Moomba approaches he stands up and offers a bow, "Good day Father Mongra." Offering a easy going smile, examining the man a moment before moving to retake his seat. NOP
The Moomba smiles and bows to you all and spreads his arms, and mimes something that is difficult to make out, it might be "Come with me" or "Prepare yourself" or "The dawn is really rather nice at this time of the year." The staff cracking into the side of Silmeria's head however is quite potent, this is swiftly followed by a dancing Moomba body who slams his staff into the back fo Marduke's head and then a quick jab to Lee's stomach and a rather powerful upper-cut to the chin lays him low as well. Mazurek and Ainsley are still off in another room making preparations. It's odd however... as you all crumple into unconciousness a fog and odd lilting piping song fills your ears. It lasts for well you can't say how long but as the strange fog clears from your eyes and you are seated around a white iron table under a very nice pagoda of beach wood wrapped in vines beside a swiftly flowing river. There is tea served on the table in front of you all and the soft flute music is being played by the slender, white robed figure who is leaning against the railing of the pagoda with his back to the river and the strange, hazy, half seen city scape on the far shore....
Taken entirely by surprise, Silmeria folds up and drops to the ground like a sack of bricks... Or she would, had she not swum back into awareness to find herself seated. Blinking slowly, she casts a careful eye around their surroundings, one hand absently rising to gingerly touch the back of her head. "I, um.... okay... Was that, um... really necessary, sir...?" she asks of the figure in white. "I'm not complaining, mind... well, okay, maybe a bit." Clearing her throat, the Esper seems to decide perhaps she'd be better off shutting her mouth, and subsides into an uneasy silence.
Lee's eyes dart, following the strikes to first Silmeria, then Marduke, and doesn't have the time to mutter "Bugger all" before he's out as well. As he comes to, he lifts a gloved hand to his chin, rubbing it carefully as he mutters to himself, "Well, that's a fine how-d'ya-do..." Glancing towards the sound of Silmeria's voice, and catching sight of the esper seated just as he is, he speaks up, a hint of a scowl shaping his features, "I'll complain enough fer th'both of us, how's that? Quite vociferously, if it's a'right wi' you." That said, he turns his crimson gaze to the flute-player, giving the individual a quiet visual inspection.
Marduke barely has time to offer a yelp of surprise seeing the crack of the staff to Silmerias head. Eyes rollingup into the back of his head as he gets smacked next and falls to the ground in a crumpled heap. Yet as the fog clears he reaches up to rub his head, "I wish I could say this was uncommon to have things happen to me like this." Looking around as he fidgets in seat for a moment, and just shakes his head, "still at least they provided music and tea this time." Reaching over to pick up the glass and give the tea a sip. A glance to Lee, 'No use complaining, I am sure they had their reasons, and I am even more sure they will not explain them one bit."
The figure ignores their complaints whilst he plays, bringing his song to a gentle close, he then sets the flute in his lap and lifts his head and smiles at the party. It is a warm, welcoming smile, "I am sorry children but Father Mongra has a.. peculiar technique. I am so very glad you could join me however, we have much to discuss and only this small window of oppurtunity in which to do so." It's hard to put an age to him, young or old, tall or thing, he just is and his presence is warm and pleasent and inviting. "It has been sometime since I've had guests so please drink the tea, enjoy my gardens. Be warned however you have but one question apiece before I must send your minds back unto your bodies."
Silmeria's lips twitch upward at this answer, her head bowing low. "Of course, sir, I understand. Thank you, very much, for your hospitality." With that, she presses her lips together against any immediate questions she might have, and busies herself with the drinking of her tea. No sense, apparently, in taking one's leave too soon. NOP
Lee gives Marduke a dry chuckle in reply, waving a hand, "Oh, that's all irrelevant, old son; th'only point'd be that complainin' such'd make me feel better." Turning his attention back to the flute player as the tune ends, he listens to the man's explanation, "Peculiar technique, indeed... Owin' t'tha circumstances, I'll assume y'know our names, but it strikes me that it'd only be polite fer a host t'introduce 'isself. 'Course, if'n you'd like ta go through th'formalities, it'd be easy enough fer us t'oblige." The young man seems to still be a bit sour on being shanghai'd, but only a touch, and even that is fading quickly as he takes his mind from the matter.
Marduke just calmly offers another sip of his tea, "A dream land or something like that is it? We have gotten a very rare invitation indeed." Mardukes voice is calm and relaxed, still rubbing his head, "That is going to be sore when I wake up." Then turns his attention to the figure as he considers him a moment, and just ones, "Just one question then. Though you mentioned something to discuss?"
The figure blinks and smiles, moving forwards to seat himself in a chair opposite them, "Oh of course, how remiss of me, I do appologise Master Lee. As I said it has been sometime since I last had the chance to entertain. Certain matters and devices are stirring upon Terra which have drawn my attention and this led to an oppurtunity for me to speak directly unto you three." He then regards Marduke, "No dream, just a displacement, of course I should technicly count that as your question Marduke but as it was not directed at my person I shall let it slide this time as for matters to discuss we must speak of Shemhazzi, of the Conduit it is forming through the one known as Ainsley and of course Miss Silmeria's un-known nemesis. Of course by discuss you shall ask the questions you wish answered and I shall furnish you with what information I may."
Silmeria nods slowly, bringing her teacup to her lips, as she mulls over the question to be asked, and no few other matters besides. "We thank you very much, my Lord," she says first, "for your willingness to aid us this way. But... I think it best that perhaps my question be answered last. Father would likely be cross with me, should I dive in without thinking."
Lee chuckles a bit to himself, "A'right, s'pose that's th'way it is..." He takes a moment, as Silmeria speaks, to examine what's offered on the table, considering what, if anything, to partake of. "As fer me, I'm of a similar mind t' Miss Silmeria, 'ere, though in my case it's more a matter o'decidin' whether or not I've a question t'ask at all. So, s'pose Mister Marduke 'ere gets first crack."
Marduke coughs a moment and blinks a moment. Wait that was, no it wasn't his question. he was just speculating and glances around a moment and hmms. He shakes his head, "I am honestly not sure exactly what it is I should be back here to be honest. Though I think right now the best place for me to start would be in something i have heard about once that may of aid to me and my goals personally, or to ask a question that is to be of aid to Ainsley. Of that I am not sure." There are no questions in there mostly musing to himself as he glances to the others and sighs a moment tough choice this one is. "Lee why don't you start? He did mention a condiuit between Ainsley and Shemhazzi, Silmerias unknown nemesis and if you dont' have a specific question in mind it may be prudent for you to start us off by asking about the conduit yes?"
The figure chuckles at Marduke's word-play, the sunlight catching in his golden hair as he turns his head to regard Lee, "Yes child of..." he pauses and gives him a knowing smile, "The wide-world, why do you not lead forward? It is clear your companions need a breathing space to formulate their thoughts. Drink tea, enjoy the cakes and think hard but take not too long. We have until the noon-tide hour ends."
Silmeria chuckles into her cup, shaking her head. "My apologies, my Lord, I think I started a trend..." Glancing at Lee, the blond raises a curious eyebrow, but seems content to say nothing of the man's hinting at his less-than-transparent nature. "By all means, master Lee, do go ahead." NOP
Lee sighs as the buck is passed back to him, and with authority, picking up his teacup and having a sip from it, murmuring, "Child o'tha wide-world, indeed; of skies an' night..." Louder, he says, "Fine, I s'pose I'll be first after all... You'll need t'be patient, though; as I said, not even sure I -have- a question worth askin' here." And so, he lapses into silence, swirling his tea slowly in his cup with eyes affixed on the moving liquid, deep in thought for many minutes. Of course, the bid for time works to the advantage of the other two as well, as it's time they can also use to think.
Marduke sips his head slowly as he just shakes his head at that. He just muses for a moment and sighs at that shaking his head, "As well, he has already told us what we need to be asking about. I did have a specific question in mind but I suppose I will be the one to start us off on this. We do have limited time after all. You mentioned a conduite between Ainsley and Shemhazzi, can you explain in more detail what you meant by that and what is going on with it?"
The man turns to regard Marduke, his expression unredable and then he nods, "Ainsley has linked herself to Shemhazzi, through her curiosity and ignorance. What should not have been forgotten was long lost when the Goblin Race turned to machines and science over tribalism and nature. The conduit is allowing Shemhazzi to reach out into the world. Not as they would through a Lucavite but through other mortals near Ainsley, when she sleeps she broadcasts and though Shemhazzi would prefer Ainsley to fall to her directly she is thus far resisting. But there are others in the world who have not resisted and are moving against her, they see her as the key to bringing about their vision of the world."
Silmeria sets her teacup down, folding her hands under her chin, elbows rested on the tabletop. In this way, for a long moment, she considers this information. Drawing in a deep breath, she lets it out slowly, closing her eyes. "That is indeed different enough to be real concern, my Lord," she murmurs. Eyes flick to Lee, a sun-bleached eyebrow rising in silent question.
Lee remains in thought as Marduke asks his question, though it's certain the young man is at least paying some attention to what's being said even as he ponders. And after a long-seeming, quiet while, Lee closes his eyes, "Guess there's a couple or three questions I -could- ask... Could ask fer yer name, since y'didn't rise t'my proddin' about bein' a polite host, but wastin' m'question on that'd seem a waste, quite honestly. That's about th'only question I'd be able t'ask fer my own sake, really; no other questions on my affairs that I can't find th'answers to on m'own, in time." He takes a sip of his tea, "Well, save fer maybe one. But that's a personal matter 'tween me an' my... 'father', guess y'could say. Which jus' leaves a couple questions I could ask on behalf o'someone else. An th'only person in our group o'travelers what directly concerns me is Ainsley." His eyes dark towards Marduke, with a slight grin, "Surprised you used yer own question on 'er, actually." Just as quick as it appeared, the grin is gone, and Lee is once again almost uncharacteristically serious. "So, guess this makes another question 'bout Ainsley an' Shemhazzai. Ains 'as told me what she knows o'tha matter, fer all that I can't really 'elp her any wit'it in most senses. An' I'm only along 'ere 'cause she asked me t'come, t'help 'er along as best I can. Two ways I could ask this... It's either "How can Shemhazzai's hold on Ainsley be ferever broken?" or "How can Shemhazzai be ferever sealed away from th'world?" Take yer pick."
Marduke just takes in the information and sighs softly, "that would explain so much, so very very much." Putting his tea down no longer thirsty it seems. He leans back as he thinks a moment and glances to Lee at his question and nods slowly.
The man regards Lee quietly for a moment, playing with his flute and then nods his head, "I have indeed been remiss as a host, even after your earlier promptings, as such I must make restituion and as such can answer your queries and questions as one." He sets his flute on the table and regards Lee solemnly, "My name is Alexander, these are my Tranquil Garden's we reside within currently. Shemhazzai's hold can be broken only in the Temple of Diabolos, it's location is something she already seeks but reaching the temple is in itself not enough. You must have the Obsidian Hand-Mirror, The Star-Song Key and the Torque of Entropy. These three items reside upon the face of Terra already but locating them will require great fortitude on the part of all involved. As for cutting Shemhazzai off from the world forever that is not without the power of any but Shemhazzai herself, should she wish to rejoin us in her rightful place..." he inclines his head, sunlight reflecting in his hair like spun gold, his features so very hard to focus on as the flowing river burbles and chuckles behind him, sparkling in the late noon-tide sun.
Silmeria nods slowly, keeping her head bowed once Alexander reveals his identity, a soft smile on her face, as though a suspicion has borne fruit. "My Lord," she begins, now that her time has come, "you, and your servants, spoke of a nemesis... Is there anything you could tell us about this person that would aid us? Of all of this ordeal, that's the mystery that has weighed heaviest upon my mind, for if any wish us to fail, they will be at the heart of it all... And yet, I don't understand why they would do this."
Lee listens to the answers Alexander gives. At the revelation of identity, Lee simply nods in acceptance, and if he feels any inclination towards reverence, he doesn't show it, seeming to take the information in stride and regarding Alexander as he would any other man, if politely and respectfully. His gaze becomes more intense at the information about breaking Shemhazzai's hold, the young man committing it all to memory, and likewise what is said about Shemhazzai and her connection to the world. Once Alexander is finished, he nods his head, "Thank you fer the information, good sir."
Marduke wishes right now really hard he had a notepad and a quill. Working to put the three items to memory and smiling at the same time, "Ha temple of the void, I called that one!" Stopping himself after with a faint bluch, "Err sorry." Coughing a moment and smiling again, "Obsidian Hand-Mirror, Star-Song Key, and Torque of Entropy." Repeating them a couple more times and clearly planning on helping find those items. He reaches for his tea again to take a sip. It is only then that he takes note of who the man is as he introduced himself. He blinks, once, then twice and gulps down his tea, "Oh my, this truly is a honor indeed. Thank you for seeing us Lord Alexander." Offering a polite bow of his head.
The white robed figure gives Silmeria a sad look, then glances at Marduke and shakes his had, "As I said, matters are out of balance, I am permitted to act when normally I could but advise through my council." He then sigh and turn his gaze back to Silmeria, "Your nemesis seeks not to interfere with the fate of Ainsley, for she sees it as beneath her. It is of little interest beyond a pleasent diversion. She is a soul long hidden in the purgatory of the Void between life and death. Long has she hidden there, the last remnant of a long lost story remembered by only a few of the Greater Spirits. She has a servant most fearsome and foul whose power is equal almost unto her own and whose tempered spirit is so in tune with his dark mistress that they can be as one together and greatly enhance what they may accomplish." he shakes his head, "Sadly you did not request their names and so I cannot reveal them but I can tell you these three things to aid you. The court will answer the call when made, the remnants of what their forgotten potential are the path to triumph and when the Golden Servant wakes at the touch of the Wingless' weapons beware for he is near."
Silmeria droops faintly at the remonstration, nodding slowly. "Then I shall do my best to uncover the truth, my Lord, and seek those who may bring an end to this tale. My thanks, for all that you've been able to provide."
Lee takes, finally, another sip of his tea, listening quietly to Silmeria's question, and Alexander's answer, tsking slightly to himself in sympathy as the answer doesn't yield everything that might have been hoped for. Beyond that, he remains quiet.
Marduke shakes his head, "Wow... anyway I can help Silmeria let me know. Ainsley and your paths are rough ones, makes mine look easy now." Sipping his tea slowly and offering a sigh, "A lot of work ahead of us. Still we know which direction to go now." NOdding as he puts the tea down, "Thank you Lord Alexander, we are truly grateful for your help."
The figure smiles and picks up his flute, "My help had a price... a all things must have balance so too did this or else the balance that permitted me to aid you would be further out of alignment with what is and what should be. Fare thee well children." He begins to play again and once more that fog of quiet, comfortable lassitude washes over you and as the music plays time ceases to have meaning until you wake up sat back in the room with Father Mongra and Sister May waiting for you to return. The white moomba grins and nods, tapping his staff on the floor then turns and walks out as the dryad sister shakes her head, "I.. am sorry about Father Mongra... I hope all is well?" She smiles and motions toward the stairs, "Come we are ready to leave for Shiva's temple."
Silmeria levers herself up, rubbing the back of her head for a moment. "No need to worry, Sister," she says, picking herself off the floor and shaking her head to clear the cobwebs. "It turned out to be a welcome necessity... Give us but a moment, I think, and we'll be ready to go."
Lee groans and hoists himself to his feet, rubbing his chin; ah, -there's- the pain he was first expecting. Wincing, he nods in agreement with Silmeria, "As well can be expected... Though, s'it all right, next time I'm by this way, if I hit -him-", he gestured after Father Mongra, "over the 'ead with a stick? I mean, figure I owe 'im, so ought repay 'im in kind. Though I can't promise 'im such a fine trip as we've 'ad." He doesn't sound completely serious... Well, maybe half-serious, perhaps.
Marduke reaches up to rub his head as he weaks up, "Yep... it hurts." Moving to sit up he offers a smile, "but worth it. though I worry what the cost was, there was no mention of that." sighing softly as he moves to stand up and reaches for his staff and sighs, "Yea give us a few moments and we will be ready."
Sister May smiles, "I fear Father Mongra would defeat you Master Lee, he's had more martial training then any one I know. Now you all sit and recover and when you are ready we'll all head downstairs. We must move swiftly, I have been getting some disturbing reports of incidents in town. But when you are ready we will move out."