Session 2

From Lavosbyssals

<@Death> Maukali also finds himself within the city of Sijan, also in the land of the dead. Specifically, he has been summoned to a meeting among the upper echelons of the Mortician's Order.
<@Death> This all but reeks of importance. You have only been to such a gathering a couple times before.
<Maukali> Charming.
<Maukali> Maukali makes sure that his feathers are preened and that his robes are immaculate, then makes his way to the meeting.
<@Death> These meetings take place within a massive manse, the Hall of Observances. Essentially the governing building of Sijan, unbeknownst to many Creation side, in both worlds. Quarried of black and ashen stone, towering above all other structures within the city, it's is not a hard place to find. Within is the likewise extravagant Chamber of Conclave. Centuries old dead gather hear to discuss the affairs of Sijan in both worlds.
<@Death> The Chamber of Conclave is a three sided room, luxurious seats lining the walls on each side, inlaid with jade. Perched upon them are the impassive faces of the higher ups in the Mortician's Order, the true rulers of the City of Funerals.
<Maukali> Upon reaching the chamber, Maukali nods to whatever guards are present, then adjusts his robe one last time before entering.
<@Death> The top is an abstact mural of stained glass, filtering in the little light of the Underworld skies.
<Maukali> Once inside, he bows respectfully to the men present.
<@Death> There is whispered discussion. Something about an Exalt of some sort coming to the city, others about the "entrance", what is to be made of it. They quiet as you come into sight. One of the figures, shrouded in concealing burial garb speaks. "Bearer of Myrrh-Touched Blessings."
<Maukali> "I am he, honored elders." He bows once again. "What service may I offer?"
<@Death> The master continues. "We do indeed have need of your services. Perhaps those of your companions as well. Troubling events have arised, though we wish to keep these in utmost secrecy."
<Maukali> He nods. "But of course."
<@Death> "Within the realm of those that yet draw breath, the resting places of those who sleep have suffered a most uncommon quantity of desecration of late. This is worrying as it stands, but, we have seen something far worse that implies a singular motivating force."
<@Death> "Within the Black Chase, that connects our world, an opening in the fetid earth has been seen. This opening has a stair, that leads to a dark that few ever dare."
<Maukali> Maukali blinks, then nods. "An entry to the Labyrinth?"
<@Death> The figure nods slightly.
<Maukali> "I see." The raven man clears his throat. "When did it open?"
<@Death> "'Twas first seen a week from hence."
<@Death> "If indeed there are saboteurs in our midst, they have remained well concealed."
<Maukali> He nods. "At your leave, honored elders, I shall investigate this portal and see what can be done about closing it."
<Maukali> He pauses for a moment. "If I may ask, elders, how many have we lost to the Labyrinth?"
<@Death> He remains quiet for a moment. "One dozen and two thus far. Many more spirits have been seen pale, without motive, and our agencies in Creation inform us these are those whose graves have been desecrated. Others, those who have been lost, were among them, before they strayed from the city walls, into the Black Chase."
<@Death> "By our leave, we would have thee and your comrades among the Psychopomps uproot those agents that have disrupted our city, and bring them to whatever fate they most deserve."
<Maukali> He nods. "I will contact those whom I can with the utmost quickness."
<@Death> "Likewise." He continues.
<@Death> "A matter of lesser importance has reared its head, thou not one to be ignored."
<Maukali> Maukali watches the elders, adjusting his robes occasionally.
<@Death> "An individual of some distinction shall be arriving in our city. A king, a conquerer, an Exalt. Cathak Gaius Gan Ning."
<@Death> You have heard of this individual. A Lunar Exalted in the north eastern reaches of the Threshold, who has taken many nations under his banner. Some say his empire is a utopia, others that he is a mad demon Anathema. But he has certainly gained notoriety.
<Maukali> Maukali nods. "I have heard of this man. Do we know anything of his intentions?"
<@Death> "He comes to this city seeking to bring the wisdom of the Mortician's Order to his people. He wishes to negotiate with one of our order, a means of payment and bring our tutelage far away."
<@Death> "He furthermore comes with a portion of his vast army."
<Maukali> He nods. "If you wish, honored elders, I will volunteer myself for that position. I have wanted to travel for some time."
<@Death> "The Bearer may meet him as he goes to the Black Chase."
<@Death> "Thou art dismissed."
<Maukali> Maukali bows, then heads out of the chamber.
<@Death> The Hall of Observances is quiet, but murmuring, milling with those about business, discussing in rather hushed tones the affairs of the day.
<@Death> There is some talk of this Gan Ning, but none of the Labyrinth.
<Maukali> He sighs upon leaving the chambers, making his way out of the hall and back onto the streets. It was time to hit his study and figure out who would be the best to contact about this charming Labyrinth problem.

<@Death> The Orichalcum clad man regards you curiously. "Of what interest is this to you?"
<Sarien> "Um~We're supposed to help ghosts rest in peace~" Sarien whispers, his alto voice soft and dreamy, from several feet away. He does, of course, not mention his other interest in this, because of Greyfalls...and...he let his mind skate away from remembering.
<@Death> The former godking cocks his head. "Is this so? Your kind does this?"
<LingeringSmoke> "You're the first interesting thing I have seen in three days."
<Sarien> "Yes~" Sarien holds Froggy. The button eyes of the plush look at both the ghost and at Smoke.
<@Death> He chuckles low, albeit with little mirth. "As are you. I did assume you were one of these.... Abyssals, as one knows them."
<LingeringSmoke> "Like it ain't obvious." Smoke grins.
<@Death> The spirit glances at the frog in Sarien's hands. "Are such devices counted amoung your tools?"
<LingeringSmoke> "That's just a plushie. Last I checked."
<LingeringSmoke> He says this as if he isn't quite sure that's the case... but of course it's just a plushie. Uh. Yeah.
<@Death> His tone was somewhere between mocking, genuinely curious, and so very tired.
<@Death> "I'd be far more dismissive if I could back up such a thing."
<LingeringSmoke> "...Yeah, that's what I was thinking myself."
<Sarien> "Froggy knows things~" Sarien said quietly.
<LingeringSmoke> "Uh, anyway, you think maybe we can do something about all that?" :D
<@Death> "What do you intend to do, then?"
<Sarien> Sarien nodded dreamily. "Once I knew most of the names of those who fought for the Realm in Greyfalls~" He had learned them, you see.
<LingeringSmoke> He blinks.
<@Death> The onceking nods. "Perhaps I could learn these?"
<LingeringSmoke> "I guess I intend to let the butterfly do the work this time." :D
<LingeringSmoke> He fuzzles Sarien's hair again.
<Sarien> Drifting dreamily, Sarien begins to slowly list off names.
<@Death> He nods again, almost in rhythm to the names.
<Sarien> There are a lot of names to remember, and sometimes Sarien will break off and whisper to Froggy in Old Realm for a moment, look as though listening intently to what the plush is "saying", before continuing.
<@Death> And is if passersby weren't looking oddly enough at you fellows, now they see someone repeating hundreds of names and talking to a toy frog.
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke looks around. And, er, nicks a pastry. But mostly just looking.
<@Death> He closes his eyes. "Yes, he mutters." after a while. "I will think on this. These men in their hundreds all came forward to slay me. Like maggots, I saw them. Perhaps I still do." He pauses. "But they have names."
<Sarien> By the time he gets down to the last few names, Sarien is clutching Froggy with a white-knuckled grip.
<@Death> "I thank you now, not as the God King. But as the man named Tsadu."
<LingeringSmoke> :3
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke tries to look concerned at Sarien without doing anything someone who isn't Sarien would notice.
<Sarien> Sarien murmurs a vague sound that could have been 'you're welcome', murmurs the last name in a barren little whisper, then turns away so neither of them have to see him cry. Lots of hair and Froggy do well to cover things.
<@Death> By then, Tsadu had begun to walk off.
<LingeringSmoke> Ran Ting? Han Fing? Oh. Well that isn't good.
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke sort of collects Sarien under his arm and looks for something distracting, as once again, stupid useless compassion wars with his desire not to be hugging a crying little boy in public.
<@Death> Well, the festival proper has likely started in the square! Free food!
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke finds a nice long way where there aren't likely to be people.
<@Death> There is indeed a suitable network of alleys.
<LingeringSmoke> Mmm, dark alleys. It's like adolescence all over again.
<Sarien> Sarien just tries to stifle his crying.
<LingeringSmoke> ...Pet. Comfort? <_< o hay food :D
<@Death> And thus do you arrive at the the square where the festival proper is held. Hundreds of spirits gather within a maze of tents and awnings. Nefvarin had since given his speech, and the banquets have been laid out.
<LingeringSmoke> Woohoo!
<@Death> The smell of foods of all sort mix with the smell of incense burned in jade censers, and blood offered in silver bowls.
<Sarien> Sarien, between little sobs, tries to offer the proper prayers. He's not intending on eating it, but he figures Smoke mighttttt nottt...botherrrr...
<@Death> There are some people that look concernedly at Sarien, but more are amazed at the audaciousness of a blatant Anathema showing up at Nefvarin's festival of victory over evil.
<@Death> A lot of dirty looks and venemous whispers.
<@Death> Lingering Smoke hears quite a few Whispers of "Anathema!" and the like.
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke plays nice and respectful.
<@Death> And one runs into a problem. The priestess serving the food interrupts your attempt at prayer. Coldly, she says, "I will not serve you food."
<LingeringSmoke> He blinks at her. "'Kay. Any special reason, or just the obvious?" Sarien hangs back a little bit with Froggy.
<@Death> "I will not provide aid, comfort, or nourishment to demons such as yourself. You are an abomination. Starvation is too merciful for you."
<@Death> There's some murmured agreement, many of these indiviuals obviously being former Lookshyans.
<LingeringSmoke> He chuckles. Oh, why not stir some shit...
<LingeringSmoke> "Well, nice to see you're being open about it. That's *different*, at least." :3
<@Death> "I would not stoop to the level of your wretched kind." She responds coolly.
<LingeringSmoke> "Hee, I don't think I count as being subtle, dear." He nods.
<LingeringSmoke> "Can you give some food to this poor little dear, at least, or am I going to have to go grift for him somewhere else?" He inclines his head at Sarien.
<@Death> She glares at you. "He is clearly of the Realm. But we do not refuse food to any human being."
<@Death> She turns to Sarien and is suddenly all warmth and comfort and reassurances.
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke resists the urge to either laugh or hit on her. :D
<LingeringSmoke> And waits all respectful-like for Sarien to get some food and leave.
<Sarien> Sarien blinks at her, clutching Froggy tightly. He bends his head and talks to the frog plushie briefly in Old Realm, before finally going and getting a little food.
<@Death> She all but forces food into Sarien's mouth, with "there theres" and "far too thins" said rather often.
<LingeringSmoke> <3
<Sarien> Sarien isn't exactly comfortable with being fussed over. As soon as she'll let him, he'll slip off. With Froggy.
<@Death> "What is a living thing doing here?" She asks still trying to feed him.
<Sarien> Sarien blinks at her. "Am I...?" he asks dreamily. "I forget sometimes~" he looks at Froggy. <Old Realm> "Froggy, do you know~?"
<@Death> "Oh, you poor child. I should get you out of that dreadfully inappropriate cloth- he probably uses you doesn't he?!" She leans in. "I may be able to get you a new life, in Lookshy, as a helot. You will only get worse if you are around monsters like him."
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke sighs.
<Sarien> Big green eyes fix on the priestess and he shakes his head. "But he's nice~And he tries to take care of me and he doesn't have to~" Sarien looks at Froggy. "But Froggy thinks he's dreadfully silly~That's not very nice of him~"
<LingeringSmoke> <_<;
<LingeringSmoke> "I dunno, do I? Would the evil demon-monster technique mean you'd feed him more?"
<@Death> She whispers to Sarien. "Anathema destroy all they touch. They are worse than demons. Even demons know they are wicked. Anathema believe in their madness that they are the righteous. He will deceive you. You must leave."
<Sarien> Andddd that does it and Sarien takes off bolting.
<@Death> She looks at him concerned, having no idea why her words were so inappropriate.
<LingeringSmoke> D:
<LingeringSmoke> "Aw, man, now I'm gonna have to clean up after that... thanks for feeding him, gotta run."
<LingeringSmoke> And Smoke jogs off after him.
<@Death> And she spares one last glare at you.
<@Death> As Maukali is walking back to his study, he sees running across a street, something green, red, and fluttery. Which could only be one person.
<Maukali> "...well, that's somewhat handy." He offers a prayer to his ancestors in thanks, then takes off after Sarien.
<Maukali> "Sarien! Hold on a moment!"
<Sarien> Andddd Sarien runs into a wall. Ow. Well, at least he's stopped?
<Maukali> Maukali winces, then helps Sarien up once he reaches him. "What got into you?"
<Maukali> "Are you alright?"
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke is a little ways behind him, having lost him in the crowd a couple of times.
<Sarien> Sarien clutches Froggy pathetically. "Yes~No~Maybe so~" well, real helpful.
<Maukali> v.v
<Maukali> Maukali gives him a once over, making sure nothing's been broken.
<LingeringSmoke> "Sarien..."
<Sarien> Nope, nothing broken. He's smoothing out Froggy's plush.
<LingeringSmoke> <_<
<LingeringSmoke> "Aw, hell... You okay, butterfly?"
<Maukali> "He seems to be alright." Maukali looks to Smoke. "Seems someone was listening, though. I needed to speak with you two anyway."
<Sarien> Sarien continues smoothing out Froggy's plush. Doll-like green eyes focus vaguely on Maukali.
<Maukali> "Care to come to my study? Bit more comfortable than an alleyway."
<Sarien> Sarien lets Smoke make the decision.
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke ruffles Sarien's hair yet again. "Be glad to." :3
<LingeringSmoke> "Oh, I know I've seen you before, but I can't place..?" He grins.
<Maukali> "Maukali, known by some as the Bearer of Myrrh-Touched Blessings." He offers a hand to Smoke. "I believe we met briefly while under the tutelage of Five Days Darkness."
<LingeringSmoke> "Ahhh, right, Daybreak dude." Smoke shakes his hand.
<LingeringSmoke> "Sarien's friend."
<Maukali> He nods. "It's not too far from here."
<Sarien> Sarien is fascinated by Maukali's feathers. Every time he sees him, he's fascinated by the feathers. They're shiny~
<@Death> Sarien notices that they shimmer very nicely today~
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke will happily follow Maukali back to his place where perhaps Smoke can worm some food out of him since that priestess was a bitch I mean to talk about this undoubtedly important whatever it is.
<LingeringSmoke> It's probably some occult thing, which means he can take a nap while the Daybreaks talk.
<Sarien> Sarien briefly touches the pretty feathers, then pulls his hand back guiltily.
<Maukali> Maukali doesn't seem to notice as he leads the pair to his small apartment.
<Maukali> The three room apartment is somewhat cozy. The main room doubles as a study and an entry hall, and has bookshelves covering two of the walls; a number of chairs are there, as well as a largish desk made of wood from the Chase. To the right is a closed door, while a small kitchen and eating area branches off to the left.
<Maukali> Maukali ducks into the kitchen part. "Can I get you two anything?"
<Sarien> Sarien is distracted by books. He takes Froggy over to a bookshelf to look at the titles with him.
<LingeringSmoke> "If you've got anything to eat, I'll take some."
<Maukali> Maukali nods, then fixes up sandwiches of some sort or another.
<Maukali> "What were you two up to, if you don't mind my asking?"
<LingeringSmoke> "Can you believe it, they turned me away from the buffet at that festival." He sniffs dramatically and hams it up for a second. "And they said they'd serve anybody."
<LingeringSmoke> "Well. They gave Sarien some. That was good, until the bitch scared him off somehow."
<LingeringSmoke> "And thus we are here." He bows slightly. "Mmmm, sandwiches. You are a wonderful man and I'm sure we will be the dearest of pals, Maukali."
<Sarien> Sarien chatters to Froggy about the books that he is looking at. "This looks interesting ,Froggy~You have no taste, what do you mean it looks boring~Silly froggy~"
<Maukali> He chuckles. "Considering where I'm about to ask you to go, I doubt that." He offers both gents a sammich, then sits down at the desk. "Have you heard anything about something going on in the Chase recently?"
<@Death> Sarien, the titles seem to deal with arcane, obscure, and necromantic things.
<Sarien> Oooh, shiny~
<Sarien> But he turns to listen to Maukali like a good little doll-child.
<LingeringSmoke> "Ooh, field trip!" <3 "Not a damn thing; what horrors have been unleashed this week?"
<Maukali> "No need to be subtle, I suppose." He takes a bite of his sammich. "It seems that a portal to the Labyrinth has been opened."
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke sits down by Sarien and thoroughly enjoys the sandwich.
<Sarien> Sarien whispers a bit to Froggy. "Not about the Chase~But Froggy heard of grave descrecrations~And ghosts within the city seeming purposeless, then disappearing~"
<Maukali> "The elders of the Order have asked me to look into it, and asked me to seek out some of my fellows to help."
<Sarien> Sarien never seems to say anything about *himself* having known/heard anything. it's always credited to his little plushfrog.
<@Death> It is known that in the underworld there are naturally occuring pathways to the Labyrinth, often where atrocities took place. For it to happen so close to a major city is alarming.
<LingeringSmoke> "Huh."
<Sarien> "Oh, *dear*~"
<LingeringSmoke> "Look into it, huh? Aren't people supposed to go mad from that?" Because puns solve everything.
<Maukali> Maukali rolls his eyes. "In theory, yes."
<Sarien> Sarien doesn't seem at all concerned about that part. But he's already mad, so what does it matter?
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke looks somewhat annoyed and resigned-to-it, but that's about it.
<LingeringSmoke> "So what do you suggest we do about it?"
<LingeringSmoke> "In slightly more specific strokes."
<Maukali> "At first, I merely want to check out the area, do a bit of recon as it were. Once I know more, I'll need to find a way to close it."
<Maukali> "Any help you two could offer would be greatly appreciated."
<@Death> This is potentially the province of powerful necromancy, regarding closing it. Or long term geomancy.
[<@Death> The interior of the Labyrinth is potentially extremely dangerous, but this is mostly farther in.
[<@Death> And space has little meaning in that place.
<LingeringSmoke> Smoke nods. Daybreak stuff, like he thought.
<LingeringSmoke> "Butterfly, you did so well with the last thing that came up, do you... or Froggy have any ideas?"
<Sarien> Sarien bends his head and whispers to Froggy for a little bit.
<@Death> Regarding that, Maukali, it is quite possible the elders wanted you to meet this "Gan Ning" in the Chase.
<Maukali> Mayhaps, mayhaps...

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