5659/Good Night, Moon - Act V

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Good Night, Moon - Act V
Date of Scene: 26 January 2018
Location: Lumiere
Synopsis: A play in five parts. Part five.
Cast of Characters: 974, Count Kord, Captain Flint, Kushiko, 774, 513, Tomoe

Carna (974) has posed:
    The intermission is a little bit longer this time. It seems that a great deal is being set up behind the curtains. Given how swiftly they have swapped out props, scenery, and costumes thus far, that must mean something big is on the way. Fitting for the dramatic conclusion to this perfromance. Though when all this is done, there are likely to be questions that need asking and answers that need answering. But for now, after an extended wait, which the Lanterns seem not to notice as readily due to their heavily distorted sense of time (though with how much has changed about their lives and experiences thanks to this play in such a short span of time, it must seem the equivalent of the world transforming at light speed for them).

    Still, eventually, the curtains part once more. Where the story left off, Sol and his companions had claimed and begun to rebuild an abandoned ancient city in the Fourth Candle -- the highest point in Lumiere, where the link between the lands of the dead and the living could be found. And they were being challenged by a great army.

    The background is entirely of this castle-city now, with the actors who played Sol, Dullahan the Dream Knight, the Seer of the Styx, Princess Tome of Kadath, and Atemnu of the Sands all gathered upon the ramparts overlooking the wastes of the Fourth Candle. Silhouettes of an army below are cast through the use of lights and cardboard cut-outs to indicae an amassing of many troops, though there is obviously a limit to how many exactly they can fit on the stage's backdrop.

    "'Invaders! Invaders!' yelled the army." the narrator begins.

    "Sol attempted to communicate with them, saying, 'Identify yourselves, you have come in such force against so few!'"

    "But the army only said, 'Invaders! Invaders!' and raised their weapons."

    "'We are not invaders. Many with us are simply those seeking to continue their pilgrimmage to the World of the Living!' protested Sol."

    "'Invaders! Invaders!' was the army's cry."

    "This continued, as the others stood by and watched. Sol had been lauded as having the potential to be king, due to all he had accomplished, and how he treated his fellow souls. But for all the challenges he had faced, he had overcome them readily. No matter the obstacle, none had truly stopped his progress. And now, he could see only conflict as the answer if this army were to attack, for they would not listen to him. The Seer, however, had another suggestion."

Count Kord has posed:
    Kord's gaze flicks between Sol and the army. The narration explains something of a familiar problem: The refusal to communicate. He looks with sympathy at the depiction of Sol, moreso now than before, but flicks his eyes to the Seer when a suggestion is mentioned. He untenses from the more aggravating aspects of this play for him, with the pause between acts giving him some time to mellow out. Some of his experiences here in Lumiere mean that the story has a strong effect on him.

    He's still frowning. He hasn't enjoyed this story from the beginning. He has the air of a studious soul, not one who is entertained.

Captain Flint has posed:
Flint and Silver both seem to have some familiarity with what's going on in the plot, even if they both react to it differently. Flint meets the cries of the army with something like bitter acceptance, while Silver's expression is one of muted dread. The both of them have some experience with calming unruly, unreasonable crowds of armed men, since their crew is very often one such crowd. For Silver, who's never had a command responsibility before, the realization that it's not /just/ the Walrus crew that acts this way seems to have opened his eyes.

     Both men are the edges of their seats, neither one wanting to draw attention away from what's likely to be the most important moment in the play. The army's not listening to Sol's attempts to reason, which means without some sort of intervention from another party, or an extreme show of skill from Sol and his companions, the pilgrimmage ends here.

Kushiko has posed:
Probably just as well they took the time they did, given what happened last time. The passage of time doesn't particularly bother the Tenno, with the Mag of Kushiko's simply just 'sitting' as she is inclined to do. And by sitting we mean meditatively sitting cross legged, floating quietly at the end of one of the rows of seats for not wanting to actually occupy a seat she did not need.

In a night of performance already filled with auspicious implications, she found herself in quiet anticipation of how it may yet resolve. Though when it comes to the army, her own instincts in a different situation, when faced with something like that is the thrill of a potential fight yet to come. The way the army is reacting seems a bit off to her, though remains something she is resolved to wait and see as to why, rather than speculating.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Dorian isn't surprised by this, by the army that refuses to listen. Thedas is much the same, particularly if one is a mage in Ferelden. Or a Tevinter... pretty much anywhere that's NOT Tevinter. Besides that, one doesn't send warriors to be diplomats.

    Nonetheless, he does frown at this development, leaning forward to prop his elbow on his knee and his chin in his hand. It's a gesture and an expression of concentration. He is also curious about this other suggestion; generally when one party is determined to fight, a fight is going to happen.

    Of course he's also leery -- one does have to wonder how the world got like it is now. Where did things go wrong? Was it just one thing? If so, was it THIS 'suggestion'? Is he about to see where everything started unraveling? Or had it already begun in this story?

Finna (513) has posed:
Finna's not used to being PATIENT for anything. All this waiting and preparations have her itching to start browsing the seating and finding someone to pester and tease as a source of amusement and distraction from the QUIET.

    She has a few reasons to dislike being off by herself, alone, and surrounded by silence, save perhaps when resting.

    So when the set is once again revealed she jumps forth to the edge of her seat to peer carefully at the play,practically devouring what's there to see with a wandering gaze!

    "Well. THAT escalated quickly. Who fields a whole army against a small, powerful team?" She's tempted to sarcastically add, 'that never goes well' based on some things she's seen, but bites her tongue... and leaves it peaking out the side of her mouth instead.

    The smartassed expression dims though as she focuses on the story again.

    "... WHOSE army is this anyways...?"

Tomoe has posed:
the Intermission takes a bit longer, and Tomoe is all right with that she has a chance to think about what she's seen so far in the play. It certainly proving to be quite enlightening about the possible past of this ruined world. Also she thought the extra time get the native audiance members time to calm down after what just happened last time. The army has met Sol and she wonders how this will play out.

Carna (974) has posed:
    The Seer, a woman in a hooded robe, with gnarled, bandaged hands, steps up behind Sol and speaks to him. "'I foresee that a battle would be devastating here. You are one whose light has dispelled the darkness. But now, as you faced this army of shadows, the intensity of your soul only deepens their own convictions. They resist you because you are opposed in fundamental nature.'"

    Sol's actor turns to the Seer and asks, "'What would you have me do? If they will not converse, if they will not be reasoned with, if they do not even say what it is they desire, and bring against me and those under my protection threat of arms, how would a king dissuade such forces if not by conquering and scattering them as I have the other foes before now?'"

    "The Seer laughed at Sol. 'Oh, you think yourself a king now, simply because you have a castle? After all your humility in the other Candles, you have claimed the right of kingship for yourself, merely because others assert that you are befitting the role? You amuse me with your change in attitude, Sol.'" The Seer takes several steps away, trying to guide Sol by the arm to speak with her 'privately' away from the others.

    "However, if it is kingship you seek, then you must temper you growing hubris, and you must earn the right to call yourself king. You have faced many challenges, but none have truly tested your character. Here, in the Fourth Candle, where all unnecessary trappings of the soul should be stripped away, you stand boasting of your authority and speaking for many other souls. You deny being an invader even as you stand upon the stones placed by another, or perhaps grown here by Lumiere itself. Is arrogance your core? Is your pride what guides you to declare yourself ruler? Is being boastful the essence of the King of the Fourth Candle? What have you left behind to ascend this high? Nothing. You have only gained and gained."

    Sol staggers and falls to one knee before the Seer. "'You are right,' he admitted. 'I thought that all my experienced alone were enough to enrich me; that the destinies I changed, the lives I improved through my strength and my words, were evidence of my growth. But now when faced with a strange foe, their refusal to listen to words means I fall back immediately upon violence? I truly do not deserve to be king.'"

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    And then there's a shake of Dorian's head. He's not the sort to be able to understand much of sacrifice, to be honest, despite willingly leaving of Tevinter and all its hedonistic excesses. But isn't that part of the deal? To fight to keep everything that one worked for? Hadn't Sol worked to get this far? Wasn't he entitled to everything he'd gained? What value could giving it up place on everything he'd gained? More than that, what value did that place on everyone else's efforts if he just gave it up?

    Dorian waits for this to play out, then, since it all seems to fly in the face of conventional reasoning. It could be a clue. And it could be useful later, to know what tactic was used. Though Dorian finds it unlikely that he should be in any position similar, it could be worth remembering.

Captain Flint has posed:
Humbling the man who would be king isn't where either of the pirates thought this story would go. The soldiers, ironically, were right--though Sol's change of heart with regards towards violence draws a sigh from Flint.

     Silver looks curiously over, only to find that the captain is paying attention to the play. The annoyed frown on his face confirms the quartermaster's suspicion. "Hoping for a fight?"

     "You wouldn't understand," he says to Silver. Probably a poor choice of words, and one that'll be sure to see this subject brought up again, but it buys him some time to explain it properly sometime later. The ends absolutely justify the means. If the soldiers won't listen to reason, or give any reasons of their own, then they deserve whatever Sol gives them, whether they're meant to be a test by some outside power or not. Surely, if such a power is present, it doesn't expect someone to come this close to enlightenment and just give it up.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe feels a shudder inwardly at the process of how souls were treated here. Not a fate she'd want to suffer but she watches listening thinging as sol seems to have his chracter challenged at this point, and he admits he does not deseve to be king an interesting bit. Also the comments from her compansions also tell her a bit more about them too. Such as with Flint and Silver.

Count Kord has posed:

    Kord straightens in his seat as he realizes what they are. Shades. Shadows, perhaps similar to previous examples he's sighted. Again, there they are, a strange impression of people, lacking the complexity that normal humanity possesses. "Is this where he came from...? These shades, perhaps?" he thinks aloud, "They were there in the court, too... Opposed to the Light, hmm?"

    He smiles, briefly, as it gives him an idea. He doesn't seem fixated on the story, his mind going elsewhere for now. Sol's plight is largely ignored here, as Kord carries no empathy for this moment. His eyes follow other points of the play, the other characters. The Seer's behavior draws his eyes.

    "What is the depth of himself he is meant to discard?" he wonders.

Finna (513) has posed:
Finna's skeptical of this development. It speaks of a sense of morality and give and take that's fundamentally opposed to much of her belief systems. To gain and to gain and to gain whatever one can, and hold it, that is the nature of life! If you lose something, it's because you were not capable of holding onto it or did not wish to hard enough.

    So she purses her lips and folds her arms uncertainly at this turn in the story.

    Quite unexpectedly she abandons Dorian by vaulting over the crowd... and lands withan almost weightless impact on the stone bench next to Captain Flint and John Silver.

    "... What do you make of this, o men who refute their would-be king? Is Sol wrong...?"

Carna (974) has posed:
    The Seer looks down, then, and decides to give Sol advice, seeing he was truly repentant for his hastiness and ego.

    "'You speak of changing destinies. Does a single bolt of lightning that strikes in the forest, starting a fire, know the fire's destiny? It is but there fleetingly, touching off sparks, does not see how the flames might spread, and can not conceive of the world beyond the trees. Gaining humility is indeed important -- to not become swollen with gladness at one's own accomplishments. You, who have been called the 'Hero King', must always remember your origins, rather than the praise heaped upon you.'"

    "'You are the lightning bolt, that brings brief illumination, and sends out sparks. But you must become the flame, to ascend past the vestiges of your mortal existence. And to do that, you must gather to you those you have touched, and those who have touched you in kind. You must remember they who helped you come this far, and treasure them and those you would protect above yourself.'"

    The Seer then looks out upon the army below. "'And you must find one to be your other half, who will match your soul, and fill the missing parts, so that you can be Balanced with the world. There is a Crown you must claim if you are to be king. It will show you the way to the future, the destinies you seek to influence. It will show you how to end this without losing everyone around you, and possibly losing yourself as well.'"

    "'It is the Blackened Crown, a ring forged in the Flames of Prophecy, by mighty Urthona, in the Eternity before time itself. It will show you the future, but it will be up to you to enact or change it.'"

    Sol rises and says, "'I do not doubt what you say is true. But is it your abilities as a Seer that make you so certain that this Army of Shadows will overcome us were we to clash?'"

    The Seer feigns laughing. Another alien behavior these Lanterns watching probably do not understand at all. What joy is there in this existence, after all? "'Hahaha. No, it is only common sense. Your soul is light. Theirs is darkness. The brighter the light, the deeper the darkness. All you could do is make them stronger with your resistance, until your own light is extinguished. The battle would be decided before it even began. A king should know better than to fight such an engagement. Come now, leave this to those you have entrusted. Out in the wastes of this place, the Blackened Crown awaits.'"

Kushiko has posed:
<"What is sacrifice?"> Kushiko's voice is quiet, moving amidst Tomoe, Kord, Finna and perhaps even Dorian and Flint among them. The question isn't one meant to be answered. The voice of a young girl, briefly contemplative. <"We grow, we change because something, even if it is seemingly small, is given as payment. There is always a price to pay, for power, even if that cost is delayed.">

Such words were spoken only as the Seer's words were concluded--at least, for the time being. <"Balance must be held, at the end.">

Captain Flint has posed:
Silver scoffs at Finna--after overcoming his initial awe at her acrobatics. He's still a little new to open displays of power from Elites. "Contrary to what the crown says, there's a difference between a criminal and a revolutionary," he says. Though he might appear quite physically different than when the two first met, there are aspects of his personality that remain. Perhaps some time with Flint will strip him of his trend towards self-preservation.

     "Considering the treatment they receive, the distinction is lagely academic," Flint retorts. With a glance towards Finna and an expression entirely without Silver's wonderment, the captain offers an actual answer to her question. "He's wrong to doubt himself. He gave them a chance for diplomacy, which they refused. That makes them an enemy. If there's to be a sacrifice, it shouldn't be his conviction, or his ambition, that's offered."

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    A thoughtful look... that actually makes some degree of sense, Dorian realizes. Speaking completely figuratively, the more light shines, the greater the shadows become. Sol's light would only cast the shadows in greater relief. And there's something to be said for delegation of duties -- one man can't do everything himself, even if he can't technically die. So perhaps it's better left to others, in that case.

    Things are starting to fall into place for Dorian. About Lumiere, about the state of the world, and what's basically causing it. The concept of reincarnation isn't really new to Dorian. And that seems to be what all this is a metaphor for -- not just not-dying, but living again, even if it means dying first. There's something broken here, that cycle has stopped. This could be how it was broken.

Finna (513) has posed:
"Ooooogh... I've made a few blunders. Hardly wrong to doubt yourself and take a step back. Buuuut... yeah, it's either push on or turn back and make everything for nothing. They're an enemy alright!" Finna admits, albeit a bit reluctantly and with a rarely seen dash of humility and embarassment flushing across her cheeks.

    "Third option's great if you can find it, sure! ...But this funky quest to the ends of Lumiere and back over it's a bit much! I wonder..."

    Spotting Silver's expression, Finna SMILES teasily at the man. "So what is that difference?"

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe pauses for a moment at what Kushiko says what is sacrifice? It's a good questiont o ask about something like this. Tomoe has no answer to the question though and wisely does not say a thing in turn ither than.

"I do not know."

To the Tenno She's not sure what to say but she does watch tthe play onwards, "Hummmm. I think I have an idea of what's going on."

Carna (974) has posed:
    The curtains sweep closed. Another intermission, it seems, though a briefer one, as a few things get moved around. It is only a minute or two at most. When the curtains open, the background has changed. It is still a city-castle of sorts, but the buildings are all upside-down. The Heroine, Los, and Maretta appear to be gathered in this place. "'Here is where the killers of the Silent Lord of Haunted Cavern have been tracked to. The unknown assailants slew him in the Second Candle and fled here, to the underside of Lumiere.'"

    "Los, who had been seated upon the throne, and not engaged in combat, had been told he was important and necessary to this task. And yet, it appeared they were facing assassins. He had, of course, brought with him armed forced to aid him. He was the King. Exposing himself to attack by assassins would not do. And yet, he could not see in what way he personally was required. 'You wish me to have my soldiers scour these ruins?' he asked hesitantly, used to being coerced or instructed what to do, after so long being managed by his advisors."

    The Heroine turns to Los and asks, "'Is that what you think you should do?'"

    Los seems taken aback, and looks at the soldiers behind him uncertainly. Then he stands up straighter and says, "'I think that we should close off access to this place at once, to keep the assassins from escaping. If they slew a Lord of Silence, they can not be feeble foes, no matter what trickery they employed. The God of Invention has recently devised tools which gather Moonlight. They might permit us to transport forces into this location without undoing the seal.'"

    The Heroine nods. "'That seems a solid course of action. I alone could not hold this entire abandoned city against those seeking escape. Maretta and I shall seek signs of the assassins and their camp while barricades are established.'"

    "Los, after so long having independence and self-worth beaten out of him by the undercutting of his supposed influence by others, began to feel pride in his ability to aid the one whom he had fallen in love with so long ago. He became bolder in manner and speech, and when he returned to the palace to contact the God of Invention, he was assertive in his instructions, and Cro agreed to the test of the new devices."

Captain Flint has posed:
"A criminal isn't doing what he's doing to pick a fight," says Silver, not attempting to hide that observation from Flint in the slightest.

     "Whereas a revolutionary has more on the mind than simple survival," Flint says without taking his eyes off of the play. "But... both men must be painted as monstrous, lest people realize survival and change can happen without a king's approval."

     "There, see," says Silver, as if it weren't obvious. "/He's/ the one going around refuting kings."

     "I'd have no problem with kings, if it weren't for the tendency for power to be entwined with money. Even Los can't escape it--everything he's tried to do has been frustrated or undercut by the nobles." Hopefully, the real Los kept the confidence he gained. But, something about the current state of this place casts a pall on the eventual fate of both Los and his friend Sol.

Kushiko has posed:
A slight, ambivalent motion from the Tenno in response mostly to Tomoe, given the momentum forward in the play itself. She was seeing where this could lead, where the shadows and light would inevitably come to a head.

The calamity was certain to be coming, but how much of it through the play would be truth, and how much would be merely the vehicle to entertain. <"The both of them are like a mirrored cycle. To their lowest points, to their highest points."> the Tenno observes.

Count Kord has posed:
    Flint's assertions and the events happening on stage draw a big sigh from Kord. He watches the interactions and briefly squints at the mention of the God of Invention once again being relevant here.

    "They should have stayed in the same place," he murmurs, repeating a sentiment he had earlier in the play, "He'll never survive this change without someone close by. They'll pick a different king the moment it suits them."

Tomoe has posed:
The show goes on and Tomoe watches with a good deal of atten5tion now. She does comment to Flint and Silver on kings.

"I can get that, but when it comes to kings it's playing a dice game. You could get a good ruler who gives a damn, or a someone you need to get the old heave ho. I don't think there is a perfect system of government out there."

She gets The Tennos response or so she thinks for a moment. "Two sides of the same coin?"

Finna (513) has posed:
"They're clearly trying to put him somewhere else for their convenience... Assassination, maybe. Or just spreading rumors..." Finna scowls at how naive Los appears to be in regards to this job of his.

    She shrugs helplessly at Silver. "... And you're the guy who's tromping around with him, with a whole Multiverse to explore!" She cannot HELP but tease, apparently.

    "One day, I should explain my people's way to you.... this poor Los fellow could've used a bit of barbarian in him."

Carna (974) has posed:
    The actors are dimmed in the (somehow gray-hued) lights of the stage in this 'underneath Lumiere' location, and a panorama of sorts plays, demonstrating the actions of the Heroine, Los, and Maretta. Exploring, building, camping and laughing together, and seemingly both Los and Maretta making advances on the Heroine at different times, to no avail. There are battles against assassins, and some sort of skeletal centipede thing. Los is injured at one point, and the Heroine defends him while the tiny white-haired girl, Maretta, faces off against a pillar of skulls and arms.

    The narrator briefly describes the events. "Time passed as these three, with the occasional involvement of the God of Invention, routed out evil from the underbelly of Lumiere, the domain below Lostrata, and yet not quite at the very bottom. They bonded, and Los began to heal his spirit, while the machinations of the nobles went unchecked at court. However, the pride of the people in their King as he disposed of the things that had threatened the most impoverished, they who still yet dwelled in the abandoned reaches, grew and grew. And as he came to know them, he made providing them what they lacked a priority. In all ways, simply being with the Heroine had made him become a better peson, one happier with his existence, and happier to help others in any way he could."

    "Maretta saw the way that Los viewed the one she loved in turn, and felt she could do nothing to stand between them, just as she could not stand between the Heroine and Sol. But she hoped that, by becoming more responsible, and having the ability to help many, that, like Los, she could become better and more fitting a soul mate as well. So she returned from whence she came, to the Manufactory established on the Moon by the God of Invention, and there took command of building protectors for the people, and forces who could physically build a better Lumiere through tireless labor, without making any soul suffer." Maretta is darkened completely as she leaves the party.

    "And then came the dread news that another Lord of Silence had fallen. The Silent Lord of Ashen Sky, slain in the Fourth Candle. The Heroine had to leave, to find whomever was responsible, before any more Lords fell. So she left the matter of handling Lostrata to Los once again." The Heroine is darkened as she withdraws to tend to this new crisis.

    "The soldiers that had fought alongside Los and done his will in clearing the lower reaches of Lumiere, found themselves replaced by a new armed force, called the Gargoyle Knights. Unwanted children augmented with the research of Prospero, the Court Wizard, with the aid of Cro, the God of Invention." The soldiers are darkened and withdraw as well, leaving only Los alone on the stage.

    "And so Los, who had been made to feel he mattered, that he still had value and command as King, had his pride shattered once more, and was gripped by jealousy as the one whom he loved ran back to the friend he had grown to resent. And in this moment of darkness and despair, that is when he began to hear whispers."

Kushiko has posed:
With these details, some of what she and the others had done so far in Lumiere, falls alarmingly more in place. She unfolds from her meditative position she had floating, simply standing. Even without eyes on the Mag Warframe, there's a sense of incredulousness, recognition dawning, before her head canted slightly more focused to where Kord was. It was troubling to put it mildly, especially given the Candle that was mentioned where the Lord of Silence had fallen. Coupled with Los' now being pulled back beneath the mire that surrounded the duty he wasn't allowed to...

...whispers. It was a curious sound that emanated from her, one of discontent as much as keen interest in what was to come.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    That simple? Surely not. But Dorian can see now that it wasn't just one event that brought it all down. It was a combination of many things, as he'd thought -- a 'perfect storm' of sorts. Though Dorian can't help but jokingly think, ('This is why I stay away from women!') Though he knows that wasn't completely the problem.

    Insightful, though, and it's giving him some ideas. But this does look like the part where things begin to unravel in earnest.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe says "Love can make a person crazy..." She would know that from personal experiance with herself but then comes the line about Los hearing whispers and Tomoe cringes she freezes there in place. "Whispers." She shudders a bit about this she has an idea of where this is going to go but then again on some level she had an idea of how the end might be.

Captain Flint has posed:
"I don't know of any who'd refer to their own people as barbarians," says the captain. Apparently, the word has something of a derogatory bent on his world. "But, I'd welcome the chance to learn about them."

     John Silver looks as if Finna's retort has brought some sudden revelation to him, his brows furrowed and his lips pulled into a thoughtful frown. He really has been following Flint around, hasn't he? Well... yes. With a look to his prosthetic, he realizes he made that decision some time ago, too.

     Flint didn't believe that Los' confidence would last--and he was right. It looks as if it festered into anger and from that, into... madness? Thus, the transformation of friends into rivals. A confrontation between Los and Sol seems inevitable at this point. Was Sol the one killing Silent Lords?

Finna (513) has posed:
Finna knows that look! Even if she can't read minds, she knows the look in Silver's eyes. She cracks the briefest of grins, but shifts attention over to Flint. "Oh? I'll tell you all about it later!"

    Then her gaze shifts back to the play. Once again she's scowling. ".. After I digest THIS..."

Carna (974) has posed:
    The curtains close once more, for one last change in scenery. It is, again, brief. When the curtains open again, it is on a split between the Palace in Lostrata, and the castle-city in Ashron, the Fourth Candle. On one side, Los sits on his throne in contemplation, surrounded by sycophants, nobles fancing themselves, short figures in armor, and a cloaked and masked figures skulking in the shadows.

    On the other side, Sol seems to have returned with the Blackened Crown, now wearing it upon his head, to discover the siege of the castle-city is over, and his allies stand triumphant over them.

    The light shifts to blue tone as it focused upon Sol. "'Where has the Army of Shadows gone?' asked Sol, the new King of the Fourth Candle, having claimed the Blackened Crown from its previous bearer with the Seer's aid."

    Dullahan turns, wielding a segmented whip in hand. "'Princess Tome spoke with them. They became less hostile after you left, but still would not negotiate. Atemnu hunted within the castle and found the discarded markers of many of the Dead who failed to achieve Enlightenment, for they could not leave behind the last dregs of their mortality to be reborn. It turned them into these Shades. Between Atemnu and I, we destroyed the soul markers, freeing the Shades from their confinement on this plane. It took quite some time, but now the Army of Shadows is no more, banished to whatever Deathly place remains for the dregs of a soul denied physical existence.'"

Carna (974) has posed:
    Sol falls to his hands and knees as Dullahan turns away. "What the others did not know, was that Sol had discovered the Army of Shadows had not come to attack them, nor were their cries of 'Invaders!' meant for they who held the city. It was a warning. A warning that terrible creatures were coming from the fallen Fifth Candle, Nu'Ulzan. They, who had wandered so long, lost in their inability to let go of their mortal desire to be of use, to achieve something meaningful, had wanted to fight for Sol as the King's army, and defeat these foes. And now it was too late."

    "With the loss of hope, and the visions shown to him by the Crown, Sol lost the last of who he had been as a mortal man. He transformed into another. One who could fulfill the role of King as he had been destined to, without the weight of human weaknesses like the lie of a happy future."

    Princess Tome turns to Sol. "'I see my King has returned. Perhaps now that he has his Crown, he would like to choose his Queen?' the princess hinted, emboldened by her success in protecting those in the castle."

    "He who had lost the capacity for hope, was unable to deny it to others. Despite his feelings for the Heroine, who was no longer there, and had never returned those feelings, he knew his future now. He had been too late to change it. He rose, and said, in a voice that wanted to tremble with emotion, with despair, but could only boom in the manner of a bold king such as he, 'I gladly would have you by my side. But from this point forward, I shall be called Solumnus. Now, I have foreseen a great threat. We shall need to prepare for it. Let us go and speak with my old friend of the First Candle, and see if he will lend us aid in repelling the invaders to come.'"

    The Heroine then walks in from off-stage. "And it was then the Heroine arrived, and saw the Blackened Crown once worn by the Silent Lord of Ashen Sky upon the brow of Solumnus, and knew immediately both who the assassin of this second Lord was, and who must have told him of the Crown, and lured him into claiming it."

    The Heroine draws her blade, and the background turns to fire reds, and stage-thunder peals through the stage, as she leaps forth and cuts down the Seer. "It was the Silent Lord of Water who had led the new King astray. And now, having slain one of the Silent Lords herself, only one remained."

Carna (974) has posed:
    "'It was necessary,' said the Lord of Water to her killer, as her body was consumed by a splinter of Eternal flame. 'For what is to come, he had to be able to foresee it and fight against it. If he does not stop this threat, there will be no one left to stop the next. You will see that what I have done was for the best, in time.'" Then the Seer dramatically falls to the ground, and the bright colors fade as the Heroine sheathes her sword.

    "When the news reached Los, that Solumnus had become a King himself, and taken command of the Fourth Candle, that he had slain one of the Silent Lords, and so had the Heroine, just as the assassins that the Heroine had gained his help in finding, his resentment became hatred. He banned the influence of all other Kings from his domain, and closed his borders. He decided that to surpass Solumnus, who had reached the peak of Lumiere and taken control over the place that the Dead had to pass through for reincarnation, he would have to devise a way to travel directly from Lostrata to Ashron, both to allow the Dead to reincarnate without their pilgrimmage, and as a method of invading his rival King's domain."

    "He became a lord of blood and fear, and when Los and Sol next met, Los would be known as the Crimson King, and Solumnus, the Heroine, the new Seer of the Styx, Maretta, and many others, would all be thrown into battle together."

    The curtains close. "But that... Is another story."

    When the curtains open again, all of the actors and actresses are assembled on stage together. They bow or curtsey as one.

    The Lanterns, not knowing what to do, either mimic the clapping from earlier, or simply sit and stand in silence, waiting, not realizing it is over. Not until the curtains close for the final time, and the Midnight Troupe begins to take apart their stage, already preparing to move on.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    A complicated betrayal. But a betrayal nonetheless. More than one betrayal in fact. A cascade of them. Dorian sighs a bit. It does make him a little homesick, honestly. But it also is one hell of a warning. One that, finally, causes a shudder of something resembling fear to wind down his spine.

    ...Will Tevinter end up anything like this dark and barren place (albeit on a smaller scale) if things don't change there...? If so, then it's even more important that something be done about the corruption there, before a knife is sunk into the heart of the empire itself, and Tevinter as a whole dies.

    Nonetheless, as the curtains fall again, Dorian once more begins to applaud, though softer. And he notes to a nearby Lantern for a reminder, "This is how you show appreciation for the job that the actors have done. And it was indeed quite a job!" Telling a story and giving a warning. And possibly renewed the resolve or the one bastion against corruption in an almost totally corrupted empire...