Characters: Micah, Celeste
Location: Micah's Room - Family Apartments - Mandrake Manor - Amber City
Location: Colosseum - Beneath Mandrake Manor - Amber City
Location: Chamber of the Vessell - Mandrake Hospital - Amber City
In Micah's room, the woman known as Fleur is lying in Micah's bed, tucked in, fully clothed. What appear to be her shoes are on the floor beside the bed. Micah sits on a chair to the side of the bed, half dozing. The woman's eyes are open and stare blankly off into space. They glow with a soft luminescense. The squire's room is empty, Jonah having gone off on some mission or other.
Celeste taps gently on the door, wearing shorts and vest of snarkskin and carrying a military rucksack.
Micah's eyes open and his head lifts as that knock sounds. He rises to his feet and glances to the unresponsive woman on the bed. One soft sigh later, he opens the door after crossing the intervening space. He blinks at the garments Celeste is wearing. "Trip to the beach?" he asks softly. He opens the door so she can step inside.
Celeste notes, "Going to Rebma. They don't have a general so I'll be filling in and grooming one of their own for the task. But that's between you and me, hrrm? I'd planned for you to come with me but whatever the hell is up with that..." she gestures to fluer, "Is a good reason to stay home, I suppose."
Micah nods about the general part, and the it staying between them. "I can do that," he says. "I won't say anything to anybody, at any rate." He frowns when she calls Fleur a 'that'. "She's not a 'that', Cousin. She's a Fleur. But yes, you are right. I'd like to be here when she comes out of it... if she comes out of it." The woman on the bed looks normal, save for the glowing eyes. And her energies look more or less normal, save for the fact that they're pulled inward, toward her core. "Amy said there's nothing she can do and suggested I.. wait."
Celeste says, "I have more tools at my disposal. But you didn't ask for my help."
Micah nods his agreement to her. "You're right. I didn't ask for your help. You have so much on your plate already, Celeste. And being sick yesterday, and again today...? I didn't want to add more to all of that."
Celeste looks to him, "I'm fine, it's always something To be honest? I'd rest a LOT easier leaving you and she here if I knew she wasn't a danger to the family cause THIS? Is strange and strange worries me a bit."
"I am sorry," says Micah. "She's not a danger to the familiy. I wouldn't have brought her here if she was." He takes a breath, and glances back to Fleur. "I caused this. I'm not entirely certain now, but I caused this."
Celeste squints at Micah, "There's no way I know of you could have caused this micah."
Micah shakes his head. "We had an argument. She was angry. Then her eyes went all glowy and I didn't think anything of it. Then she was like this. I couldn't just leave her on the beach."
Celeste waggles a stump, "This is some mechanism or reflex, You did not, as an external force cause this. Could be she became aggitated and this triggers some response but still, I'd not blame you. " she sighs and sets the bag down, "Would you like me to leave her be, or would you like it if I looked closer to see if I might help?"
Micah listens to what she has to say, then nods. "You're right, of course. I still blame me." He shrugs a little bit. With her question, he waves toward the bed. "Please do. I would appreciate it."
Celeste squats, "This is a childish temper tantrum as far as I can tell. she's not in distress." she turns, "I could hasten her waking up but if you think she was piqued when THIS happened..." she looks bemused.
Micah frowns and shakes his head. "This wasn't a temper tantrum, Cousin," he says. But he nods about her not being in distress. He huffs a soft laugh and shakes his head at the last bit. "No, please. She was mad at me enough as it was. Really, we were mad at each other. I suppose this can be considered our first fight." He breathes out softly. "Thanks for having a look, though. I appreciate it."
Celeste looks to Micah, "I know what a temper tatum looks like, but as you say. At the least-she is not suffering. And this is a DIRTY tactic for fighting. His Grace and I might have our rows I'd never leave him fretting by my side like that if I could avoid it. Tell her playing dead in a house full of dragons is NOT an appropriate response."
Micah looks wryly at her. "I'll be sure to tell her." Which means he most probably won't tell her anything of the sort. "Amy thought she might be stuck in a vision or something."
Celeste makes a face, another seer, "I have not observed your life energies, or any other of the seers I know doing this."
Micah lifts a shoulder. "I don't know if she's a seer or not. I've never observed her having a vision or anything of the sort. I suppose I'll find out when she wakes up."
Celeste eyes her and exhales, "Well, long as she makes you happy. Shall I arrange for a ride to rebma in a few days?"
Micah considers that for a moment, and looks to Fleur. He finally nods, his expression fond. "Yes. She makes me happy." He glances back to Celeste and nods. "Yes, Cousin, please do."
Celeste studies him, "IS there anything you need?"
Micah shakes his head. "Nothing I can think of, no. Thank you."
Celeste hesitates and murmurs, "Why don't you walk with me a bit, Cousin, you'll be here when she wakes." she assures, "There's something I'd show you."
Micah contemplates that, and then nods. He leans down and brushes his lips to Fleur's forehead, and his hand over her hair, and then rises and steps away from the bed. "Alright. Lead the way."
--[ Colosseum ]-------------------------------------[ Mandrake Gymnasium ]----
An elliptical bowl, the Mandrake Gymnasium is located somewhere
beneath the streets of Amber. The floor is a large oval of
tightly-caulked wood, covered in an inch of packed sand. Around the
floor is a man-high wall, and then a row of benches, seating for
perhaps a hundred people. Above the benches is a massive dome,
covering the entire arena and supporting lamps that burn with an
eternal flame. The wall around the arena floor, and the wall behind
the benches, are intricately carved with scenes of struggle and
battle, including portrayals of the great Dragonslayers of Mandrake
The floor has hatchways hidden within it, opening to a great hypogeum
set below, a warren of tunnels and rooms that store equipment for
ready access in the arena, as well as medical facilities, locker
rooms, and even baths.
The only visible exit is the tunnel that leads out through the
--[ views ]---------------------------------------
Celeste leads Micah down the stairs, through the dining room, into the kitchen where the staff work to feed the many mouths of mandrake all those who keep it running, but also oddly there are armed and armored guards at both entrances to the kitchen. Celeste moves to a huge walk in dry store with a pantry in the back. She moves a sack of flour out of the way and puts in her right arm even though it's missing a hand-this the arm that has the elaborate and stylized Mandrake Dragon on the inside of her forearm-this is identiical to tatoos he may have seen on Chase, Trist, and Lucian. As soon as does this there's a click and the sound of HEAVY stone moving smoothly out of the way revealing a steep staircase. And down they go into a line of fire that burns in a trough to illimunate the way to the colosseum.
Micah follows his cousin down the stairs and through the dining room. Into the kitchen, there's puzzlement evident on his face, but Micah neither comments nor questions. He follows into the dry store with pantry. He takes note of the intricate dragon tattoo, expression thoughtful. He has indeed seen them on Chase, Trist, and Lucian, but thought nothing of it. He looks from the tattoo at the click in the wall, expression going to curious now. He follows her through the opening and down the stairs.
Celeste notes, "This is the Coloseum. A recent rediscovery of our house. The passageways of this and ajacent chambers stretch all the way down to Damsel's rest-beneath the hospital. The hall of heros, mineral springs, emergency provisions, all kinds of things down here-but there's one in particular that I'd like to show you."
Micah glances away from everything there is to see here, and over to Celeste as she speaks. He nods to each of her points, filing it all away. He nods to the last part. "What is it that you'd like to show me?"
Celeste murmurs softly, "Mandrake's duty to Amber." She moves towards the rear of the coloseum.
Micah follows along beside Celeste, and nods to her words about the duty to Amber. He follows without comment or futher questions, though he's obviusly curious.
--[ Chamber of the Vessel ]------------------[ Mandrake Charity Hospital ]----
This chamber is carved from the bedrock of Amber, and has stood
unchanged for a thousand years or more. The walls have been polished
to dark mirrors, reflecting the cold light of sorcery that illuminates
the room. No more than twenty feet on a side, it is not a room
designed for many occupants, and usually only has one. In the center
of the room is a raised dais, with a narrow pallet atop it. On the
pallet lies the Vessel of Mandrake.
The size of a child, and human in shape though not entirely in
appearance, the Vessel was one a thing of light and beauty, and from
time to time there are glimpses of that former glory. Now, though, it
has become a dark and misshapen thing. Lesions and tumors mark its
skin, and patches of gangrene and necrosis taint white flesh. Its eyes
are a blind white, its mouth puckered and dry. It is bald, nude, and
--[ lhelp ]---------------------------------------
Celeste opens the door and notes, "This is a meter, a guage, it's a bit creepy. Not my doing but being disquited by it is natural."
Micah follows along behind Celeste still. He still doesn't ask any questions, nor speak. He glances to Celeste as she speaks again. He nods and steps forward to look at the thing there on the dias. He doesn't seem discomfited, nor disquieted by it as he looks upon it. To judge by his expression, Micah has seen it before.
Celeste eyes him and notes, "Well IT creeped me out when I saw it. It is how most of us interact with the Vessel." She touches it, "IT can feel, and hear, don't know if it can see. Quina will come down when she's home and play the harp for it, Chase will come down and sing bawdies to it, others have come down and read. IT seems...to prefer company." She lets her hand slide off of it, "This is safe to touch." She stick her arm into another cubby hole and again a wall rolls away to reveal a MASSIVE chamber and what looks like a giant spore, or yeasty-ball suspended from the walls by fiberous threads. it was once pristine and white In the basement of the Mandrake hospital is the Vessel, and it's the greatest representation of Mandrake's duty. When created it was this beautiful white pure thing which absorbed disease and purified it. It still does that, but it now looks kind of like you'd expect an air filter to look after a few millennia of use, which is not good. It's a living thing, and the Mandrakes can keep it working, but it's an open question how long. And it's life energies look much light Celeste's do...but on a muuuuuch larger scale.
Celeste says, "This? You should NEVER touch."
Micah doesn't seem very inclined to touch it, at present. But he does look it over. There's more curiousity in his eyes than anything. He looks away from it as there's that sound of the wall moving. He looks away and over to what is revealed. The small thing, the meter, that hadn't given Micah pause at all. The big thing? That is disturbing. "Why?" he asks. His tone is curious, now that he's getting used to seeing it. Though he asks, he doesn't move any closer to it. "Why do they look so.. unwell?"
Celeste looks wry, "Because it didn't come with instructions. Somehow, we forgot it was down here, much less how to maintain it. The reason I know so much useless life magic is trying to test theories and study mechanisms this could be repaired or cleansed. We keep Amber disease free, and this is how, the vessle cycles all living energy that passes into amber like a filter, mundane plagues, blights, and the like-will never trouble Amber so long as the vessel exists."
Celeste says, "And in a bid to understand it I've tied myself to it. Thus why I've been getting ill."
Micah nods slowly. "What would happen if I touched it?" He still makes no move to go closer to the large grey thing. He nods to the rest, thinking things through. And then he goes still. Completely still, eyes unfocused. He gasps and takes a step toward the larger portion of the vessel, hand outstretched toward it somewhere down low on it. It's a good thing he's halfway across the room away from it, for he's no close to being able to touch it. Yet.
Celeste sighs and sees that curiosity and reaches out to touch it herself, "This." as if recogizing that brand of curiosity. Instantly her skin becomes riddled with lesions, her eyes cloud over and weep with cataracts, her breath wheezes, and she falls to her hands and knees to retch.
Micah comes out of the vision and stumbles. He shakes his head and refocuses on the here and now... only to see basically what he'd just seen. "Celeste! Don-" But he's too late to tell her not to touch it, that he knows now. He hurries to her side and drops to one knee beside her, his arm slipping around her shoulders to help give her some support. "Damn it, Celeste. An explanation would have sufficed," he says.
Celeste wipes her mouth and inhales deeply, then coughs and sputters...but mist leaves her mouth and her eyes clear, her skin improves. She wipes her mouth, "I'm fine-you were worrying me. I thought a demonstraition might stick better than a lecture." She movews to rise, "I'm fine."
Celeste says, "But you wouldn't be. Lucian might though at first it's overwhelming, easy to panic."
Micah keeps his arm around her until she starts getting better. After, his hand rubs her back. He shakes his head. "I had a vision," he says. "I wasn't going to touch it." He glances up at it, and then back to her. "I didn't want to touch it before, now I really don't." He rises to his feet and offers her a hand to help her up as well. He nods. "I'd probably die, huh?"
Celeste nods, "Very possibly. And I'm fond of you-so let's move away." She frowns, "Another vision?"
Micah steps away from it with her. He nods to her question. "Yes. You. Were performing a ritual. Then you touched the Vessel and.. well, you got sick like you did just now." Micah shrugs a little bit. "It's the first I've had in.. three days, I think. Maybe four."
Celeste looks abashed, "Sorry. That was the ritual in which I entangled my living energy with it's. Not...much help...but I hoped It'd buy more time. Each breath I exhale, I purge a small bit of what it's accumulated."
Micah shakes his head. "Don't be sorry. It's okay." He falls quiet for a few moments, and then frowns at her. "Celeste? Is there any way to fix it?"
Celeste exhales, "anything's possible, but I know of no way inspite all the study and work. I Think we can replace it, however."
Celeste says, "But attempting to do so is going to be...an enormous undertaking just to test the theory."
Micah tilts his head curiously. "Replace it? Replace it how? With what?" He nods about the enormous undertaking part. "Well. How can I help?"
Celeste looks wry, "No, Quina's going to talk to Random, get me access to the libary. And...I don't know if anyone wants to help me becuase it may mean snuffing lots of life from a shadow so that the flow of life amongst it's neughboring shadows may be controlled and will permit me to implant a colony of organisms such as this, and try to channel the flowing energies into the colony. That's just one of the challenges."
Celeste is standing in the vessel chamber talking to Micah, apparently she's giving the tour
Micah has turned away from the Vessel and is facing Celeste now, listening quietly to what she's telling him. He frowns a bit. "Snuffing lots of life from a shadow? That doesn't sound good. Do they have to be killed, or can they be moved to a different shadow?"
Trist wanders in hands in pocket as he shuffles his feet he seems to be wandering aimlessly at the moment. His eyes on the ground before him.
Celeste notes, "Life flows like water. Sometime when you have time, I'll take you on shadow walk with me and you can see how life moves a global scale. Basically I would need to orchestrate the flow of living energy on a massive scale and move it in a predictable path-a mass die off is far easier and predictable than anything else...." She stops and turns, "Love? Are you alright?"
Micah looks up from Celeste in mid explanation, and his eyes trail Trist as the man wanders aimlessly in. He nods absently to Celeste, about the shadow walk. "I'd love to," he says. His tone is as distracted as his nod was absent. "Trist? Everything okay?" He glances to Celeste, the questions coming nearly on top of each other.
Trist blinks and looks up at the two and smiles then looks around and realizes where he is. "Oh yea I'm fine was just strolling and thinking. Guess I should keep better track of my surroundings." he says impishly with a grin, "What's going on?" he inquires with a tilt of his head whatever he was brooding about seems to have melted away.
Celeste eyes him, "You look troubled..." she shrugs, "I'm leaving shortly to aid Martin with some things. I was just teaching Micah about our duty."