5634/Good Night, Moon - Act IV

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Good Night, Moon - Act IV
Date of Scene: 13 January 2018
Location: Lumiere
Synopsis: A play in five parts. Part four.
Cast of Characters: 974, 513, 774, Tomoe, Captain Flint, Kushiko, Count Kord

Carna (974) has posed:
    During the last performance, they learned of two men with very similar names. One was taken in by the nobles of Lostrata. The other recruited by the Heroine that had been such a great force for change there in the First Candle. Despite the time that passed, they made the effort to get to know each other better, to maintain ties, and meet up regularly to discuss what each had learned. The seeming tragedy of two strangers who wished to be friends drifting apart is seemingly being actively subverted by their efforts.

    And yet, the narrator said this was a tragedy, yes? That there was a rivalry between them? So where does that come in? The fourth act is about to begin. How many more are left?

    And that message about the Wandering Eye, also known the Underworld Moon, or Luna, watching and learning from others acted... Internalizing both bad and good. What will such an alien being turn out to be in the end?

Finna (513) has posed:
"Los... Lostrata... Los." Finna's leaning back on the bench, arms folded, tail now slapping the stone periodically. She looks a bit troubled to say the least at the turn of events in this story...

    Both ears lay flat to her head, twitching periodically as she simultaneously taps a finger against the opposing arm, wearing a mighty frown. The performance is GREAT, but the story's bothering her...

    Briefly she casts her gaze off into the distance, perhaps wondering if there's any way to reach the world Lumiere once connected to.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Dorian's sort of choreographing most of this, in a way. He's seeing where it's going fall apart, he thinks. But in a rare case of knowing when to SHUT HIS MOUTH, he's kept his opinions about how he thinks the story is going to go mostly to himself. Unless someone asks, of course.

    For the time being he just wants to watch and see if he's connecting things the way they're going to actually go. A part of him wonders how accurate all of this is. But then again, he could ask the same about early Tevinter history -- so long's passed that nobody's sure what's real and what isn't.

    So instead of a snarky smirk, Dorian's actually wearing a very thoughtful look on his face. It makes him look older, and the dark Tevinter fashion he's wearing doesn't hurt in the area of his looking 'mature', either. He's going to hate himself later for being so introspective; he doesn't want wrinkles.

Tomoe has posed:
The play has proven to be quite good so far, but at this point? She's almost certain this is some of this world's history being told to her. She does seem to niot have much to say out loud but she is listening to the pirate crew as they speak for a moment.

Captain Flint has posed:
The dynamic of two friends becoming rivals isn't lost on either of the pirates in the audience. Once, a clean-shaven, able bodied John Silver had told Flint that the two of them might be friends by the time the Urca hunt was over. That was months ago, but the younger pirate still often finds himself wondering where he stands with the captain. Perhaps it's time to find out?

     Silver looks over at Flint. "Do you remember what I told you before we took the Urca?" The choice of 'we' is important--controlling the narrative to make it sound as if he stood in solidarity with the Walrus, rather than acting for his own survival.

     "I remember threatening your life to ensure the accuracy of your recollection," says Flint flatly, not bothering to turn his head towards Silver.

     As the preparations for the next act continue, Silver is left to pick up the pieces of that attempt. "I could've left any time after you took the prize," he abruptly states, before leaning back in his seat with a threatening creak of wood. They really scrounged to put the seating together, didn't they?

     Flint can't deny Silver's assertion is true. At least, he could've /tried/ to leave. And the captain's not sure he would've stopped Silver. That he stayed past the Urca hunt for other jobs was mildly surprising. His sacrifice, however, was cause for a serious re-evaluation of the man's character. "I believe I see what you're getting at," he says. "I think you've proven yourself worth some extra responsibilities aboard the Walrus. We'll discuss it later. For now, let's enjoy the play."

Kushiko has posed:
Clearly, they're arriving at the tragedy forewarned at the beginning of the play itself. Yet there's many pieces here that could coincide with what's going on in the interim.

Kushiko half-imagined Enark would be simply unable to contain himself were he here.

An aside look towards Finna. Well, at least they had a potential surrogate in that department at least, at least earlier on. Still, there's little she has to venture as the play goes, at least just yet, having since migrated relatively closer to where the other Elites were presently. What she does say is for Dorian at least. <"Someone looks thoughtful, and here he led me to believe he was hardly that serious."> the young girl that that guides the Mag alludes quietly. It's half of a tease, but at the same time, recognizing the problems that are yet to come.

Carna (974) has posed:
    The lights dim as before, pushed out by blue-black-flamed candles, and the curtains part. This time, the backdrop is sharply divided. On one side, the silhouette of the palace and estates of the nobility, and on the other, there is the silhouette of mountains of some kind. The actor who plays Los, the soul snatched up by the nobles, stands on the left, with the palace. The actor who plays Sol stands on the right, before the mountains. Also to the left, the noblewoman who recruited Los. Also to the right, the Heroine who recruited Sol.

    "While Los and Sol strived to maintain communication with each other, to keep the friendship that began out of chance and continued for a long time alive, to meet when they could, and discuss their thoughts and experiences, those experiences became so drastically different, that though their ideals were still the same, they could no longer recognize what they had shared with the other. Los was pressured by the nobility he had studied with to accept the Crown of the Crimson King and rule over Lostrata. Sol roamed the lands, gaining strength, confidence, and wisdom as he worked and fought for the people."

    The lighting on the palace side shifts to red tinted. "Los accepted the Crown unwillingly, but on the condition that he was free to do as he wished, intending to help the people as the nobles had not. He found allies at court who wished to make Lostrata better, but their methods were at times extreme." A man in a mask that some here, Kord in particular, may recognize as Prospero, the 'Court Wizard' encountered most recently in the Halloween journey to the past, joins Los and the noblewoman (who Tomoe would most likely recognize both in this Act and the previous Act from her first stint at playing the Dragon Knight Adair, during Lumiere's first year in the Multiverse. She was one of the masked nobles at the party who plotted to assassinate the Crimson King, who was chased down into the depths of the palace, and who suicided into an unspeakable valley lined with giant coffins and the promise of Oblivion, rather than be captured. Duchess Ephebelt.

Count Kord has posed:
    Kord's arms unfold from a crossed, indifferent posture to lower his hands to his knees, hands balling up into loose fists. He glares up at the depiction of Prospero, because it reminds the Count of his experience during that party where the 'Crimson King' had released the essence of fear over everyone. There's a moment of recollection, though, here... something makes Kord's brow knit.

    The moral weight of this occurs to him. He lowers his eyes as he realizes that the insular behavior, the isolation, had made Los vulnerable. So what of Kord himself?

Kushiko has posed:
<"... mmm. Lonely is the head that wears the crown."> Kushiko muses quietly, ever so faintly in regards to Los. <"Allies, but not friends."> Not that she has much more to offer just yet past that observation as she watches. She keeps her voice 'down', audible mostly to the other Elites nearby, rather than the natives here.

Finna (513) has posed:
She knew it. She KNEW this was going to happen. The authority to rule, the decadence of court... Finna's all but scowling now at the fate that the Crimson King has ended up in. She recognizes none of the figures around Los, but can hazard a guess about what's in their minds.

    And that's why her gaze turns more towards the Heroine and Sol...

Tomoe has posed:
The play carries on now asn contiunes to hold Tomoe's attention. She pauses as she sees someone she does know and thinks back to that night posing as Adir? She does wonder is there a connection to Adair and herself somehow? She muses on this for a moment but she's more curious about the noble.

"I know that noble from Luminers's first Halloween..."

Carna (974) has posed:
    "On their jouney, Sol and the Heroine gathered companions and allies of their own. They were joined by the insightful Seer of the Styx, and the clever Maretta in the First Candle." A woman in a robe that conceals whatever level of decay and age her Dead body is in beneath (though the worn, wrinkled, flesh of her hands, almost as though it had been 'twisted' or 'rung out' after being removed, and then put back on not-as-tightly as it fit before indicates it is probably not a pleasant sight), and a face-concealing hood moves from off stage to stand with Sol. A pale-skinned, bare-footed girl in an ankle-length 'white' (as much as any ancient fabric is white in Lumiere) dress, a large wig concealing her face and much of her head, steps forth as well. Probably the young actress who played the Wandering Power when it was just a form crawling and then walking beneath a sheet. She is also one of the few, very rare, examples of children encountered in Lumiere as well. She looks... Very similar to another mystery girl that has been running about of late, who cryptically told them all to meet her on the Moon for answers.

    "After helping the people of the Second Candle, Sol was asked by to be their king in place of the King of the Iron Mask." Some people in what look like desert-appropriate attire emerge from the right side to surround the Heroine, Maretta, and Sol. "But he refused, saying, 'You already have a capable king. Give him your support, and tell him your needs. He will lead you well.' He was joined by mighty Atemnu of the Sands, a warrior impressed with Sol's accomplishments. He brought with him the skillful and stealth Cassim al'Karuk. The growing band advanced to the Third Candle."

    "Meanwhile, the newly-crowned Crimson King gained more to his side, but rather than supporting him directly, they planned around him." Distressingly considering who Prospero is suspected of secretly being, the God of Invention, Cro, moves to stand shoulder to shoulder with him, the Duchess, and Los. "Together, they planned ways to improve Lostrata, and to unravel the mystery of the vanished gods. As well, they considered how to protect the First Candle from threats... From within and without."

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Unfortunately all of the similarities between these actors and major players of Lumiere is going to go over Dorian's head. His involvement in recent events has been less than most of the others here, so he doesn't recognize any of these actors. He can only look at the story as it's being presented with his own eyes, with the eyes of now. So many of the hidden truths within will remain hidden to his eyes unless someone else thinks to reveal them.

    Nonetheless it's definitely entertaining, at the very least. And should still give him more insight into the world of Lumiere. Perhaps that will give him an edge should he manage to break through the exterior of the world and poke at its inner workings at some point in the future...

Finna (513) has posed:
The girl in the white dress' appearance is the first thing in a while to get Finna's eyes widening. The dress, the hair, that's pretty telling! After widening, they narrow and her attention ramps up even more heavily.

    First to look at the Seer with the wrinkled hands....

    "Now what happens to the Crimson King again?" She tries to rummage through her memories. A lot of the details of Lumiere have, up until now, gone in one ear and out the other. Looking at her one can almost imagine smoke coming from her ears as she struggles to remember tidbits of lore and piece them together...

    "How far did Sol make it?"

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is on the edge of her seat but she knows how it's likely going to end. It's going to be a matter of how it happened. The gods vanished some time before everything broke but she wonder just how did it break? She tilts her head and is lost in thought for a moment till Finna speaks up. "I think we'll find out but given the play I think we're seeing some of history, here Finna."

Count Kord has posed:

    Kord remembers the great band of soldiers they had seen from the Unlit they had faced early in their experiences in Lumiere. He remembers something that was, perhaps, an echo of Sol... a soul so powerful, so pure, that the Unlit using it against them failed because the soul piece itself turned against it. A tithe from someone so righteous that it burned the hand of the evil, so to speak.

    Kord carefully squinted at the depiction of Cro. He looked between Cro and Prospero. He focused directly on Prospero's presence here.

    "The King goes mad. His kingdom dissolves. An Unlit consumes his sanity and freedom over time, and guides him to use fear to solve his problems," Kord explains to Finna. "The throne he would sit upon was some manner of monster, and his crown's blessing would not perform its purpose as it was intended. And he had no direction. No protection. He was dead the moment he allowed the nobles to take him for their purposes."

Captain Flint has posed:
It's becoming apparent that much of Lumiere's history is remembered in the same way the Greek epics are in most contemporary Earths. To wit, fact seems inextricably paired with myth, even remembered /as/ myth in some cases.

     What worries the captain is that he finds it interesting enough to warrant further research. And given the apparent scarcity of literature on the matter, that leaves his options with asking someone else or exploring this place for himself. It'll probably come down to the latter, and that'll be a hard sell.

Carna (974) has posed:
    "'Should we not establish a standing army, to call upon when the time is needed?' proposed the Crimson King. 'Nay,' responded the God of Invention. 'The Moon watches over all. Under its Light, we should erect beacons to collect it, so that protectors may move from place swiftly as the need arises, carried on Moonlight.'"

    The Duchess fans herself with her hand-fan. "'But first there must be protectors to use this system,' suggested the noblewoman. 'A discrete force, capable of subtlety and stealth, who can quietly deal with problems without disrupting the lives of the law-abiding, would be ideal, I think.'"

    "But then the other, the Court Wizard who had brought his great knowledge and arcane works to Lostrata, had a suggestion. 'Why not children?' asked he." Los, Ephebelt, and Cro turn to Prospero. "'There are many orphaned souls. Despite the best efforts of the nobility reformed by our beloved Heroine, more Living children have died than there are families willing to care for them. They roam the streets unattended, getting up to all sorts of mischief. To punish them as criminals for breaking rules would be unfair to those who do not know better. So would it not be more ideal to educate them? To care for them? To make them they who uphold the law? If they are given purpose, direction, responsibility, and training, their use as guardians would solve two problems at once.'"

    There is a brief pause as the other three look at each other, but then they turn back to Prospero. "They agreed that this was a fine idea."

    The light shifts back to the right side, with Sol. It was red when they were in the First Candle, just as it still is when the scene is set in the palace. Then it became green when in the Second Candle. Now the light has shifted to purple. "Sol had seen and fought against the rigours of nature in the Second Candle. Though he now followed the steps of the Dead that would lead to reincarnation, freeing him of the constraints of life with each ascension, he was seeking more, not less. As the shackles of lingering mortality fell away, he gained from those he met, shared in their existences and learned their histories and solved their problems, enriching himself and them i nturn. When he reached the Third Candle, he visited the City of Dreams, and there learned from the Sleepers, and saw all the many possibilities of dreams laid out before him. He safeguarded them against those Things which would have harmed them or infiltrated their slumber, and the people came to him, asking him to be their king instead of the Faceless King who ruled over them from a place beyond dreaming."

    But he declined, saying, "'You have a king perfect for those who dwell in dreams. When you can reach the same place as your king, you will have gained an enlightenment beyond attaining one's fantasies. So let dreams be not merely an escape, but the means to reach what you strive for: wishes even grander, and more real, than dreams.'"

    Standing with the growing crowd of Sol, the Heroine, the Seer, Maretta, a tall man in a leather vest and loncloth, Atemnu, and two figures in cloaks and turbans, those Cassim al'Karuk, more are added. "Before leaving the Third Candle, Dullahan, the Dream Knight, and Princess Tome, of Kadath, joined the band of Champions."

    A knightly figure with a very cylindrical helm steps forth from off-stage, as well as a woman in a funereal shroud and gauzey gown, with a ring of plastic flowers for a crown.

Finna (513) has posed:
"That being the throne we just encountered." Finna mumbles, shoulders sagging deflatedly as she starts making the connections. She quiets again as the play continues...

    "A small task force made of specially trained kids that can go anywhere because of the Moon, somehow? And it's totally the idea of everyone but the King. ... yeah, GREAT idea, Kingy."

Kushiko has posed:
There's a particular stillness that seems to radiate out of the Tenno for a few fleeting moments when the use of children as weapons is mentioned. It's... more profound than any other moments of stillness that Finna, Tomoe, or Kord have perhaps witnessed.

Mostly due to the fact that she was--is--a child, and one who was used as a weapon. Maybe not intentionally, maybe intentionally and deliberately, but the lights on the Mag seem to dim a little. Even with the somewhat... /better/ for Sol, seemingly... conflict was coming to a head, but this resonated with her in a more foul way than she anticipated.

Tomoe has posed:
The use of Children as weapons that does chill and she now has an idea of what happned to all the souls of dead children now or a far better idea. She does notice the reaction from the Tenno, it's brief but she clearly aware of it.

Count Kord has posed:
    "... he left him."

    Kord's jaw tenses.

    "He just left him there. All those people, abandoned to those ... predators. He went on this journey of purpose when it was /right there/ from the start..."

    He might start bleeding from the eyes of he manages to look anymore pale and calmly furious about this. His voice is very quiet.

    This is resonating with Kord a lot harder than it should if people make assumptions on how his behavior came to be. Kushiko isn't alone here, but it's a different direction it seems to come from: Abandonment. Darkness. Loneliness. No friends, or allies, and even those that were found easily and simply were shattered.


Captain Flint has posed:
John Silver blanches when the Wizard starts talking, and he looks more and more disquieted the longer his plan goes on. What he's describing sounds like child soldiers. Actually, even worse than that--child assassins, or secret police. That the Wizard is making it sound as if he's doing these children a kindness by weaponizing them is just icing on the cake. He's the bad guy in this, right?

     God, he hopes so.

Carna (974) has posed:
    The sensations radiating from Kushiko have some of the warrior Lanterns nearby smoothly orienting on her instead of the play, keen to such emanations with their predator instincts. It is not that they seek to hunt Kushiko, but more like two wild beasts meeting and sizing each other up. Trying to decide whether they will come to blows or go their separate ways.

    The red light appears again, shifting focus to the goings-on at the palace. "At that time, growing more and more resentful of being treated as little more than a figurehead, his efforts to order resources to the needy being diverted, advisors cautioning against actions that might destabilize the authorities even if he felt they were right, and succumbing to fear of being plotted against, the Crimson King tried to justify his existence, to assert his position, and do something for those he had promised his friend he would try to aid. He sought to enforce his rule in any way he could, some of it being petty laws that undermind the nobles or aided the people but which were not serious enough that the nobles cared to argue over them. Some of them more sweeping, if ceremonial, gestures that did not directly impact them. He mandated regular celebrations, particularly a day to celebrate death and fear, to become someone else in order to remind these long-dead souls who they were... To refresh them with the knowledge of what being alive was. He consecrated this day to all the gods, their mysterious absence still going unresolved."

    As Prospero and Cro drift away to discuss something together in the shadows, and the Duchess turns to conceal her masked face with her fan as she talks to unseen figures in the background, the King sits upon his throne alone, watching as figures dressed in black body suits to minimize the detail of their forms, dance before him with multi-colored scarves and modern (or at least 20th/21st century) Halloween masks incongruous with the rest of the stage props and costuming. Apparently 'courtly entertainment'.

Carna (974) has posed:
    "Though being reminded of what it was to be alive was not the purpose of Lostrata, but rather to be the place they purged themselves of such things, he commanded this happen anyway. And so, it became one of the few things the Dead had to look forward to. Many stopped ascending Lumiere in search of enlightenment. Some, drawn by something new, even descended, undoing their work in progressing and regaining some of the stains of mortality they had been cleansed of."

    Little fake fireworks of tinsel and other reflective metal dangle in the 'sky' to catch a multi-colored light display, as a large, glowing papier-mache jack-o-lantern is lowered from above. After little more than speaking and light changes for Act IV so far, the sudden spectacle, and the addition of what sounds like a small, non-professional, but compentent band beginning to play on brass instruments, violins, and drums in the background to an energetic if somewhat menacing tune, perfect for Halloween, is enough to send the civilian Lanterns into gasps and franting chattering. They have never been to that Halloween party, after all. This is all new to them. The very IDEA of a celebration, of gathering a bunch of people together in a unified purpose of enjoyment and revelry, is utterly alien, and they don't know what to do with it. Some seemingly are so overwhelmed that they react impulsively. Some try that clapping thing from earlier. Some stand up, waving their arms and letting out ululating 'cheers' like someone trying to scream in a nightmare but unable to make their waking vocal cords cooperate properly. One falls from his seat, thrashing on the floor almost like having a seizure from the sensory overload.

    If this does not stop soon, there is every indication that their reactions to the unknown may grow more extreme and insane. And there are people (to use the term very loosely) with few compulsions against violence starting to look twitchy, already on alert from the Tenno and the additional feeling of Kord's wrathfulness. They are not so overwhelmed as those whose minds are nearly gone, but they are intrigued at the very least. That intrigue, however, does not override their immediate need to protect themselves from behavior that resembles that of Unlit, in much the same way that a small animal running by even a thoroughly domesticated dog may still cause it to give chase without thought.

Kushiko has posed:
In other situations, Kushiko might be trying to calm things juuust a bit. Truthfully, she probably still thinks that, but as the play continues to fully unfold, as much as her 'face' is seemingly forward? The Warrior Lanterns as they size her up don't have any kind of remote sense that they're at her flank, at her back. Every angle is 'forward', every angle simmers with the coldest pall of death.

It's directed at the revelations they're presently seeing in the play itself, but it's the kind of sensation that nearly everyone here could probably pick up on, given enough time.

Indeed, her ire became that shared with Kord, as time went on, even if in different reasons, they would eventually align, perhaps. Yet with the 'party' (which she herself had not been a part of) having the reactions it did, the lights on the Warframe's suit began to shimmer once more. And then she spoke--not with the typical resonance, but with a singular voice, quiet and unassuming.

And that of a child, a young girl no more than 13.

<<"Calm down, all of you.">> And yet, as she said this a strange energy roiled out from her, something that sought first instead to lock down the Warrior Lanterns in place, using their own armor. The rest of it, however was this strange, cooling energy of some kind. She drew upon the Void in a most instinctive way, not to ruin, but to wreathe this energy protectively. <<"Do not fear the unknown. Learn of it. Embrace it. Embrace a balance you have yet known, all of you.">> Where the words came from, she knew not. Only that they needed to be said.

Whether it would work, well. She released her 'grip', without undue harm; quite the opposite, before her 'gaze' seemed to affix itself to everyone present, all at once. Just what truly lay within this strange being?

Tomoe has posed:
The Story goes on and she's interested. However the audiences' responses highlight how damaged those remain in this world who retain any level of self awareness. So many basic taken for granted thing have been lost. She quietly looks to Kushiko and some o the locals but she seems to be handling it. She seems to agree with Kushiko's actions she does wish to say something, but after what Kushiko did it seems to be unnecessary for her to say anything. She remains on alert though for more trouble but she's hopeful the Tenno will be enough to keep the people calm. She also wonders how would she even think to top something like that?

Finna (513) has posed:
The reaction the Lanterns through the crowd give to such a simple thing as music is enough to actually FRIGHTEN Finna a bit. She FLINCHES down into her seat, but quickly starts looking around at the racket and clamor!

    Sensing the crowd's getting a bit on the rambunctious side though, Finna stands up, cups both hands to her face, and calls out...

    "Revel! Cheer! Sing and dance! Nothing to fight about... nothing to fight about at all!" There's something about these words that tugs on heartstrings, even from the dead who forgot they had such things. The deep urge to vent stress with a bit of exercise matched with a deep content in a way that just shouldn't mix. Hopefully enough to clamp down on violent impulses though.

Count Kord has posed:
    As events progress to what he already understands, as the context aligns the details he has seen only glimpses of, Kord's fury fades. He momentarily feels his wrath simply... fade. It leaves him that coldness he had only felt from the abandonment that spawned his defiance in the first place. As the festivities are emulated, he turns his attention away from it and to the Lanterns around him.

    He doesn't have anything to say to people deprived and born of monsters that couldn't have a cultural foundation. He doesn't even know if he could consider any of them truly human. Carna was included in this.

    He breathed a sigh of relief as he heard the others speak up, and turned to view the stage once more... letting the others do what he knows he can't.

Captain Flint has posed:
"What the fuck?" Silver scoots his chair away from a Lantern currently engaged in the aforementioned waving-of-arms and hooting.

     Flint observes it, too, caught between finding it fascinating and finding the wariness of the other, more sane Lanterns to be worrisome. The fascination is winning out, albeit just barely. Otherwise, he'd absolutely be making things worse by refusing to brook threats and drawing his pistol. "They don't understand," says the captain cautiously. It sounds as if he's explaining it to himself just as much as Silver. "They just see the others doing it."

Carna (974) has posed:
    Eventually, things settle down. The combination of Kushiko giving a brief respite, a chance to regain awareness of themselves, and a voice to listen to other than whatever insidious Darkness whispers stir in their heads, and then Finna spinning light into that darkness with her words in turn, buys time for the music slowing and then ending on deep, low notes. Apparently the musical performance was cut short with the extreme responses of the audience. The fact that this Midnight Troupe is even performing all this unaffected, or knows all this history when only someone like a Blue Scholar, as Enark is, would have access to it (and even his knowledge is incomplete) is very unusual, and perhaps 'where are they actually getting all this from' might be a good question to start asking.

    The tinsel balls reflecting the light to mimic the dazzling display of fireworks go back up on strings, the jack-o-lantern goes dark as whatever was lighting it from within is extinguished. The civilians seem to slowly get ahold of themselves. Which is good, because the warriors looked like they were about to get stabby if the erratic behavior of these so close to ceasing to be Lanterns started frothing at the mouth and lunging at them. They sit back down, and pay attention again. The one on the ground stays there, too physically exhausted from the ordeal to do anything else. He (or she. It's hard to tell when they're that emaciated) has little in the way of stolen spirit bits to regenerate stamina with, after all.

    "However, some of those who came to Lostrata for the celebrations were ones whose existences were touched and altered by the efforts of Sol and his Champions. They brought stories of the Hero, some already calling him the 'Hero King' despite having accepted no such role. So even in the midst of celebrations organized by the Crimson King, eventually the people spoke not of their enjoyment, of what he had done for them, but what his friend was doing distantly, roaming free, choosing how to act, and helping others as Los was being kept from."

    Los folds his hands beneath his masked chin. "He was glad to know Sol was still alive, and still following the dreams they had shared. But even so, he could not help but feel resentment." The red light shifts focus upon the right side again, changing to blue this time. "Sol had made it to the Fourth Candle. The highest of them all. He had been to every one of them, aside from the fallen Fifth Candle, and now he was at that point that was closest to the Living world. The last hurdle separating the Dead from reincarnation. In the desolate domain of this place of greatest enlightenment, he found souls near absent of all humanity trying to find their way through seemingly endless snowy forests, to reach an abandoned city that was the last stop-over point for this pilgrimmage before having to cross a vast icy black sea. It was rumored that Sol and Princess Tome might be seeking to marry despite having reached the place where there was only one journey left before all journeys were over. However, there was another rumor. It seemed those closer to the two of them felt that Sol and the Heroine might be potential partners instead."

Carna (974) has posed:
    "However, when Sol and his Champions stayed to guide those on their pilgrimmage to safety, to rebuild the ruins of that ancient city that bore towers decorated with great stone faces, to have an actual functioning city there in the Fifth Candle, the Heroine had other obligations to attend. She had sensed the fall of a great Power. One of the Lords of Silence had been destroyed somehow. So she left the matter of the Fourth Candle to Sol and the Princess, and the Heroine and little Maretta descended Lumiere." The relationship dynamic between Sol, Tome, Maretta, and the Heroine is made clear in a single scene. It's very simple. But carries a lot of meaning. The Heroine walks away from the group on the right. Sol looks after her while holding Tome's hand. Tome is looking between Sol and the Heroine, knowing that he's looking at the other woman instead of her. Maretta chases after the Heroine, trying to take her hand, but the hands always swings out of reach just before she can make contact. It is carefully choreographed, clearly. But it's timed so well, flows so naturally, that it's easy to forget these are actors performing a role, rather than the audience watching the original scene with the original historical figures play out before them.

    The light shifts to the left, red once more, as the Heroine and Maretta arrive before Los. "They reached the First Candle just as the Crimson King was at his most isolated and fragile. The Heroine, the one whom he could have gone with back then, the one who wanted him to be a hero too, to do the same things Sol was doing, had come back to him. The one whom he had admired the beauty of, who now approached him, and told Los that he was needed, that as the Crimson King, there were responsibilities he had, and things only he could do, and they did not involve political maneuvering with the beasts of his court... It was what he needed to regain some of himself."

    Los, hesitant at first as the Heroine stands before him, Maretta lurking a few steps back, arms folded defensively over her chest, eventually pushes himself up from his throne and bows with humility at being given what must have been seen as redemption and a second chance.

Carna (974) has posed:
    The light on both left and right dim to nothing, a spotlight shining down instead on a wooden box with an outfit of leather and cloth laid out in a neat pile atop it. A pair of boots sit in front of it, and a pair of gloves and a michievously smiling white theater mask lies on top of the pile. "So set out the Heroine, and the Crimson King, and Maretta, to find who had slain a Lord of Silence. That was when the other Lords of Silence began to die. First had come the Silent Lord of Haunted Cavern, whom the Heroine had already sensed. The next, would be the Silent Lord of Ashen Sky. And as the slaying of such Powers as the Lords was ongoing..."

    The light shifts to the right and back to blue again. The backdrop that has consistently been mountains all this time has shifted to castle ramparts. Sol, the Seer, Atemnu, Dullahan, and Tome, all seem to be looking out over a wall at something even though they are only gazing off-stage. "In response to laying claim to that ancient city they were challenged by a great army."

    The stage lights go out, the actors move off the stage, and the curtains close.