4334/Prayer For The Refugees

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Prayer For The Refugees
Date of Scene: 17 July 2016
Location: Lumiere
Synopsis: Those rescued from the Wall of Cruel Customs have temporary refuge at the Church of Bleak Mercy. But where will they go from now on?
Cast of Characters: 974, Kushiko, 984, Staren, Inga, Count Kord, Tomoe

Carna (974) has posed:
    The Church of Bleak Mercy has frequently served as a travel hub, and a sanctuary to return to after a particularly horrifying (that's most) expedition into Lumiere. But not much time has spent there otherwise. But now, large crowds of civilian Lanterns, extremely vulnerable to predatory Unlit and more militant Lanterns, have wound up on the church grounds, and it's become rather... Crowded. As much as some may have wanted to question them about things, about the other parts of Lumiere they come from, their experiences, etc. returning to the Church right now treats one to the dismal sight of refugees packed so tight that there's barely even room to walk, and even the spaces between headstones have become places where withered, dead-looking individuals lie huddled, staring out at their surroundings blankly.

    Their features are just about as bad as some Unlit. Skinned, missing pieces of their flesh, bones showing through skin in places... Many are very close to reverting to Unlit status. Especially those who have struggled to make it to the Wall of Cruel Customs, braved the dangers of the Urban Decay, lost so many along the way, unless to be put through that revolving door of awful that the Unlit Concept of Borders engineered to prey upon the hopeless and the weak.

    They appear quite... Hollow. Even the eyes of many are missing. Pin points of dim light float in pools of darkness in their place. While there is some chatter, and quiet murmurs, it's mainly just a whole lot of people, children, adults, and the elderly (when such can even be distinguished by appearance for any of these), sitting around in despair and tight quarters, while a lone woman in religious garb either attends to them or does no such thing. It's kind of hard to tell. What can she do for them? They eat the 'life force' of their fellow Dead. Aside from healing 'waters' (made out of spiritual essence) from a fountain linked to the River Styx, she can not feed them, cloth them, or care for them except to give them a relatively safe space to stay.

    As Carna stands just inside the gates in from the Urban Decay's streets, and takes all this in, she realizes grimly that eventually, many of these will leave and try to make the trek again, simply because they have no other option if they intend to keep their sanity.

    If they give up, they stop coming back.

Kushiko has posed:
Curiosity and intrigue--and the combat that sometimes flowed from it--have oft been the source of impetus for Kushiko's whim to even come to Lumiere. To say nothing of some of those Dead Lights and the like she acquired through those visits, and summary study by the Lotus who guides her.

It is for those reasons: curiosity and intrigue--that she has made the time to conduct operations into Lumiere because quite frankly, nothing like what she's seen here exists in her own world or even some of the basic Multiversal worlds, and what is beheld today is no less a horror yet not one she readily knows can be dealt with in any reasonable way.

Nonetheless, she descends, landing noiselessly upon one of the walls supporting those Gates. Though by 'she' we mean that it's one of her frames, specifically Mag Prime, along with Valkyr landing on the opposite side of the gate by Carna, landing in a smooth crouch that /should/ mean she descended from much higher but the lack of impact by the felinoid frame defies that assumption.

The monocular-looking Mag Prime regards Carna for a moment. "... they don't have much hope now, do they? Only inevitability." The Tenno's voice is an odd thing, given voice not through a speaker directly but through the energy permeating the suit like an ethereal whisper.

At least that's as much as she can sense until she knows explicitly more.

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
If people needed to eat and drink, the sheer number of them in this strange Churchgrounds would be impossible to manage. Thankfully the dead need not food or water! Right?

    "This isn't going to work." The Solar, a figure full of life in this place exclaims upon stepping forward, making her way towards the lone priestess.

Staren has posed:
    Staren leads Inga through the piles of bones surrounding the Cavern of Death. "I wonder if any of these might be dragon bones? Not sure what dragons are, here, though..." At the hole, he explains that they sort of float down, demonstrating by jumping in first without using wings, then leads her through the gate in the cavernous blackness to the church.

    And stops immediately, staring. "There are this many lanterns?! ...What do they all /do/...?" he asks.

Inga has posed:
Inga smoothes her dress as she reaches the bottom, having struggled to keep her dress from billowing out all the way down. "Well /that/ was unsettling," she comments, moving forward with Staren. She stoops a few times to pick up some choice bones. "Ooh what a nice femur..."

Inga looks up then, seeing the people gathered in the churchyard, her eyes widening. "Oh..." she says, a look of sadness on her face. What a terrible state.

She still pockets the femur though. Good for bone fences.

Count Kord has posed:
    Kord shows up a little late, and when he does, he spends a moment to examine his surroundings. His Murkrow is standing on his shoulder, giving a judgmental eye to the Lanterns as they walk by. Kord himself walks around and assesses their state of sanity, making sure none of them will just flip out or turn out to just be here to cause trouble for the weaklings.

    Kord's eyes turn to rest on Inga, having caught sight of her pocketing a piece of bone she found on the ground. He stares with those pale blue eyes for a moment, and chooses to approach her and ask her, "What form of magic do you weave?" The air of menace is at odds with the casual tone he takes toward her, his deep and vaguely Romanian accent and language carrying no hostility toward her. He seems to recognize the purpose of collecting stray bones.

    His Murkrow, Aas, stares at Inga almost unblinkingly.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe has moved to make her self in to the chruch she's been quite forthe most part what can she do for these beings? She's from a world where she's not even sure they have souls or anything in herafter and it eats at her a little bit. The long suffering of these poor souls save maybe trying to well? Lift theirt spirits but she's got to think about how,right? She's got no idea for the moment and she's staring to think on the topic.

Carna (974) has posed:
    Carna's answer to Kushiko, via her tennou, is a simple, "I would not know. It is not hope that drives me." Not entirely true, but definitely not false. It was her hunger that got her to this point. The gnawing Darkness inside that pushed her to keep seeking out more and more. But is that still what motivates her, or has she gained something from her involvement with the Living? She doesn't know. But she does know one thing. "If they stop being willing to keep trying, they will stop returning from death... Or they will return to being Unlit and start the cycle all over."

    It's something that Carna was aware of, but it's not until she says it out loud that she really grasps it as well. The possibility that this might not be her first time through. That, among the relatively scant few Unlit who crawl up from the base of Lumiere, planetary distances below them, she could have completed the cycle of becoming a Lantern, fallen into despair, and had to hunt down a source of sanity again. Unlikely, given the small number who make it up here in the first place, but possible given enough time.

    How many 'selves' as she gone through before arriving at this one?

    Karal's words, though an understatement, are accurate enough that no further commentary is needed. She summed it up perfectly well in that one sentence. This is not sustainable. Lanterns will gradually fall to Unlit and other foes, and since it is not a 1:1 transfer of Dead Lights to Unlit to create a Lantern, and the available essence of the native population of this afterlife is limited -- no more is coming when it's all gone -- it's entirely possible that there will eventually be no Lanterns left at all, just eternally hungry Unlit who can never gain enough Dead Lights to become sane. The words of that awful Wall are starting to come back to haunt them. 'Lanterns are a dead end.'

    She looks towards Staren next, however, and adds on, "While my information is almost as limited as yours, I believe we have adequate evidence to assume that at least a fraction of all the Dead who awaited reincarnation and dwelled within Lumiere have a matching population of Lanterns. Though given how many must be consumed for even a single Unlit to become like me... The proportion of the original Lit compared to the number of Lanterns is probably disparate." She gestures and says, "But these are 'civilian' Lanterns. And ones who have died so many times that the scars of their own resurrection have 'stuck'. I have not developed any yet myself, but it is, to use the term already mentioned, inevitable."

Carna (974) has posed:
    Carna has not met Inga before, but she is accompanying Staren, so the dead woman turns to bow her head in greeting. The Living seem to find that formality comforting for some reason. Kord is a familiar sight by this point, but the bird... Carna does not recall seeing it before. Which means either A) She saw it and didn't write it down, and her crumbling memory didn't hold onto it as a result or B) She never saw it. In many ways, her memory is as unreliable as Kushiko's. Probably less, since very little remains in her head if she doesn't take the time to write it down. But there is a degree of sympathy there for their habit of missed recollections.

    Carna sees Karal heading for Peacemaker Longita, so she begins picking her way through the huddled masses making navigation difficult, and wishes she felt more empathy for the other Lanterns. There is a part of her that recognizes their suffering and is unhappy about it, but it could be described more as a vague frustration than sadness. And the Lantern wishes there was more to her feelings than that. But there just isn't. Something else she might eventually gain through exposure to the Living?

    Longita, for her part, looks up at the Exalt's approach, smiling from behind the thin chains that link her eye-concealing shroud to the throat-wrap that together form her hood in a two-piece cage of cloth. "Welcome to the Church of Bleak Mercy. My apologies for not welcoming you or your companions sooner." She gestures sweepingly. "I have been somewhat occupied."

Inga has posed:
Inga nods to Kord as he approaches her, tucking the bone into the pouch at her waist. "You mean why am I taking the bone I presume? Large bones such as this are excellent for making bone fences, which are generally used to protect an area. I have had a good bit of success with one in my own world," she explains, looking to the very crowded church with a frown. "It looks as though this place could use another safe space," she finishes quietly before looking back to Kord with a slightly raised brow. Was this explaination satisfactory?

Inga follows the others as the approach the priestess of the church, leaning on her staff as she goes. As Carna greets her, Inga returns the slight bow, wondering what she can do here. It is an undoubtedly eery place.

"Bleak mercy?" she asks. That's...well, a very apt description, sadly.

Staren has posed:
    Staren's visor hides his face as he listens to Carna (as always, he wears his power armor while in such a dangerous place. It's just good sense,) looking over the assembled lanterns. "What are they striving for? If there is a world of the living atop Lumiere, there can be no way to reach it... Where do they go? And I hate to suggest this for the umpteenth time, but... Until we can find Lumiere's living world and see if they even /can/ go there... Could they perhaps set up somewhere less dangerous in the Multiverse?"

Kushiko has posed:
After a few moments of introspective observation, Valkyr decides to leap towards the upper levels, parkouring her way up and around and finding a reasonably decent position should things turn unfortunate. Where this position is hard to say for certain, but given the fact she can bound and scale sheer surfaces and ripline her way through? One guess is as good as any.

Which leaves Mag Prime in the meantime; alloyed in a subtle yet pronounced way next to Valkyr's sleek curves, she passively gazed at those who were here. Those that were skinned. Those that were were eyeless; something that was similar to the Warframe in that regard. Not that anyone need know that.

Nonetheless through the optics of the frame did Kushiko observe and mark those who had come; Staren, Karal, Kord--these were the most familiar, followed by Tomoe, but no familiarity with the Witch who has elected to take that bone as Kord questions her. The tabi-footed figure stalks silently behind Carna like a shadow for the time.

Listening, observing, contemplating. The Tenno's voice muses thoughtfully, "It's a cycle, isn't it? But nothing... nothing's really being generated either. There's only so much energy through the dead, or am I understanding that wrong?"

Her head cants slightly towards that bird with Kord for a moment. All the more being here makes her feel like this was something she may need to find the plans for Nekros and reconstruct him.

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
"In the lands I hail from," Karal Rei Lin announces upon nearing the Peacemaker, "There is a great Underworld... spiritually... 'below' the land of the living. Not unlike this one. Lumiere even feels... similar... to that dread place. The ghosts there do not.. EAT one another, they do not change from hungry beasts to thinking people and back again... though it is no less ruthless and bleak. The dead do not come back to life... but through lethe, the forgetting of things, they re-enter the cycle of reincarnation and wait to be drawn in by a newborn's first breath. From what I understand... that cycle itself is broken here. Lumiere stagnates. The Unlit are mere empty shells of souls that devour bits and pieces of more spirits and may slowly... somehow... be born again into thinking people, but it still is not life. Am I understanding this properly?"

    At the moment, Karal Rei Lin is much, MUCH more formal sounding and polite than normal. She's adopted a softer, gentler demeanor than the ferocious warrior that brought down the wall.

    And what a drain it is to try and be so polite.

    "... Well. As you can see, there are some problems here. One, not nearly enough space... two, NOTHING for these people to do... what are they to do, simply... sit here, and rot? The dead need no food, no water, they have nowhere to live, only their lives to defend... a few ideas are coming to me!"

    She swirls about dramatically and gestures off into the distance, towards... well, nowhere in particular, just the distance. "The rotted sprawl of buildings. Much of the worst of it nearby is clear. We can organize them to rebuild and fortify! There's no shortage of building materials. They will make their own places to stay and have something to be PROUD of, gain some purpose! .... NEXT..."

    This is where Karal Rei Lin grins almost dangerously. "Perhaps Lumiere's connection to its living lands are gone, but there are OTHERS now. In my homeland of Creation, there is geomancy, the art of building on natural places of power and... focusing, redirecting it, utilizing it. This natural power is what Lumiere lacks. Nothing comes in from elsewhere... there's no new life, no new spirit... Essence... Dead Lights... whatever it is. It won't be easy... may not even be possible... but if we could somehow... connect Lumiere to the dragon lines and powers of the worlds out there... what benefit might that be?"

Count Kord has posed:
    Kord starts to smile as Inga explains. "Protective magic..." he murmurs, enjoying the idea of it. "I could never master something like that," he says, seeming... wistful? He turns his attention away from her to the others, starting to overhear something ambitious coming from a powerful warrior over there. The concept of rebuilding occurred to him, but... He looks over all of the dead things that shiver and fear for their empty existences, and wonders what that could possibly do for them. Their purpose...

    "My name is Kord," he introduces to Inga, with a simple bow, his arm folded before him in the traditional way, "If you'll excuse me..." He seems to like Inga, judging by how pleasant he is toward her.

    He steps up to Karal and says, "I approve of this idea. But it would not just be for themselves." He looks over the Lanterns that have collected here, and looks back to Karal, "The fortifications should be made under the idea that it will be a waypoint for the powerful to rely on. They would gain a purpose: Assisting those that would free them from this unending nightmare. In exchange, we could share the Dead Lights we accrue with them, giving them ... payment for their services."

    "I can bring in some soldiers to get a quicker start on the process," he offers to Karal. He glances aside at Longita, wondering if she has any input or objections.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe does observe all the peoplehere nshe listens to those whom are speaking. She does start to hink on an idea, or two she has some but they are more pratical problems, to better secure things here so they do have a save havaen but as she's about to open her mouth. She stare at lin Mouth open eyes wid why didn't she think of somethinglike that then agains he lacks the power to do so.

"...So what your syaing is we give this place an infusion of life energy from anoter world that could handle such a donation?"

Carna (974) has posed:
    The Peacemaker just smiles enigmatically at Inga as she remarks on the name of the church. "I am certain that the worlds you come from are as strange to us as ours is to you." Longita then shakes her head towards Mag Prime, and says, "You are correct. That is part of why the Church seeks to re-establish the connection between Lumiere and the World of Ashes. At least if that bridge is formed, the balance will be restored. There will be many more options for what happens after that. Anything done here and now is simply delaying the inevitable. The current cycle is not sustainable."

    Carna listens intently to Karal. Before meeting these Living, she knew very little and had many strange ideas about what being Living entailed. That they were little better than Unlit: savage beings who were responsible for the state of Lumiere by exterminating each other until none were left. The idea of an Underworld that actually FUNCTIONS in tandem with a world for the living is still strange. But the idea of building fortifications does not sound like a bad idea. Dwellings... That's another matter. The Dead do not need a place to reside long-term. They have no need of food or comfort, despite the Church providing the latter as much as it can. But something to occupy their time? That has a great value. More than most Living would suspect.

    Carna says to Staren about his idea, "Are you willing to trust that no Lantern here would betray that generosity by seeking nourishment and power from any hosts they are given? Or that being held prisoner for the safety of themselves and others would not inspire rebellion out of a desire to be free? Or that, even if they are agreeable and cooperative, Dead whose awareness comes from those they killed and cannibalized would not face hostility from those less amicable to the idea of working with them? Are those in your world friendly with the Dead? Would they welcome us with open arms? Without suspicion or revulsion?" Carna gestures around. "As you can see, not all are as intact as I am. Not all can pass for Living humans. If someone looking like that--" she points at a charred, withered husk so decrepit that it can't even be identified as male or female at a glance. "--approached you without what you know about Lumiere, perhaps even armed, or desperate with hunger that led them to violence, can you say you would have reasonably viewed them as harmless civilians of a Dead race instead of as a monster?"

    Carna shakes her head. "I agree that somewhere else might be safer in the short-term, but transporting large numbers of Lanterns out of Lumiere has complications both logistical and otherwise that I wish to be certain are addressed before committing to such a course of action. As well, discerning what they desire with their fates. It may seem a simple matter to you to want to leave here. But even I still hope to one day reach the peak of Lumiere, and see what lies there. It is a drive I can not ignore, only postpone. A temporary relocation, I agree with. But not a mass exodus. Can you facilitate that until proper facilities are prepared?"

Carna (974) has posed:
    Peacemaker Longita inclines her head towards Karal as she speaks, listening and taking in her proposal and her explanations. Carna's words are allowed to run on in the background, unremarked upon, as Kord joins in to offer his own input, and his own take on the idea, and Longita listens to him in turn. Tomoe's addition at the end about an infusion of life energy has the blind-folded priestess tapping a finger to her chin through the narrow golden chains that 'cage' the lower half of her face, from shroud to collar.

    "I lack the authority to say whether large scale construction projects would be approved by the Church. But if it leads to relinking the World of Ashes, then I believe it will gain support from the High Matron. Do you understand the threat to any living forces that come here, though? While great strides have been made in making the Urban Decay safer, the Unlit are still prevalent, and Lanterns that have strayed from the path of Light as well. Anyone who comes here will be a target. And the waves of invading Unlit will not stop simply because their primary paths of entrance have been blocked. Their numbers are so fast that they might simply pile up and climb over each other until they pour over any obstacles we can erect, like they did in the beginning." Longita looks around carefull at those making this proposal. "You understand the risk that you will be putting yourself and others in with this? If so, I will inform the High Matron. We will not interfere in either case. But I can offer more support with her approval."

Kushiko has posed:
There is something that keeps sticking in Kushiko's mind--'energy'. More to wit, the energy of undeath and otherwise, energy that is sometimes harvested upon the death of those not just here, but in other regards. It scratches at her mind like old memories.

The swirling vortex of energy within Mag's domed helmet seems to pulse faintly, mimicing some farflung consideration of the Operator. "They probably could not help themselves once they fed on certain energies. Not knowing when the next 'meal' would be..." That's a theory at least. "... or for that matter being consumed as well." It does occur to her more than ever that she may need to look into re-acquiring Nekros. She feels that master of the undead would help her in cases like this.

"Some of us do well with tasks like those. We cannot say for sure how others do... but the matter of the Unlit is something we find ourselves capable of dealing with in ways they may find difficult to deal with." After all, a matter of sheer numbers is quite literally something the Tenno /relish/ dealing with, and what they were made and trained for. Death seeking behavior asides at times.

"... besides which we wonder if we can, with more exposure, do something with the energies we have sensed here at times. Harness and siphon off, distill and stabilize." She trails off, the monocular iris of Mag Prime remaining utterly impassive as she speaks. They did have some Dead Lights themselves after all, something which the Lotus and Ordis both were working to analyze a bit better.

Inga has posed:
Inga listens carefully to Rei Lin as she explains about reincarnation. Staren had told her something similar about what was happening here. Very troubling. What could be done? Rei Lin certainly has an idea, but she looks to Carna, then the priestess, wondering what they will have to say. If she touched these beings, would their wyrd still be readable to her?

Inga bows slightly to Kord upon introduction. "Inga Freyjasdottir. A pleasure. I could show you a bone fence in practice at another time, if you'd like," she comments. She has bones hanging from her belt, both human and animal. Some carved with runes.

Inga nods to the Peacemaker. "Undoubtedly," she replies. In all honestly, Solomon Island is barely better than this place. At least they're not eating each other. Not at the moment, anyway. Inga won't rule anything out.

She looks out at the gathered Dead, pursing her lips as she listens to what the others have to say. "These are good ideas, I think. I believe making this place look more, well, livable will keep these souls from becoming lost. Unlit? Is that your term?" she asks, raising a brow. "As for fortifications, I can help with this. I can establish wards that will keep any fortifications from being overrun," she offers.

Inga turns, looking around again, then closing her eyes. "Would either of you be able to tell me more about the history of this place? Perhaps...I might be able to piece together what caused the life cycle to become broken...and thus figure out how to reestablish the connection."

It's a terrible place, for certain. Opening her Sight wide in this place would be unpleasant to say the least, but Inga believes it is her duty to do so. To help if she can.

The wisewoman looks to Kushiko. "Hmm. That is a thought...I wonder what would happen if I channeled my anima into one of the dead...it is life energy. The energy of the earth. My earth, anyway..." sort of gets complicated. Inga doesn't understand it all herself, but even here she buzzes with it.

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
"Well..." Lin's exuberance fades the more she ponders the Peacemaker's words. A glance is cast at Kord... she purses her lips.

    "... Just what keeps the Church grounds safe from the Unlit that we cannot build out there? Or expand the grounds... there's something of a risk involved no matter what... didn't consider the idea of so many unlit they'd pile up to the heavens, that's... eeuuuugh. Need some kind of powerful sorcery and wards to hold them back. I know of such powers... but not how to wield them myself." She heaves an aggravated sigh.

    She was getting somewhere and now isn't so sure.

Staren has posed:
    Staren frowns. "Well, obviously, they have to behave themselves... But if they did, I think it would be less of a problem." He crosses his arms. "Constructing facilities somewhere safe and uninhabited, we can do, at least. To make temporary homes. I'm not sure how to make /this/ place safe, though."

Count Kord has posed:
    "The Unlit will hound these people with or without walls, with or without soldiers or training or any hope to make any change in this world," Kord replies to Longita, his patience apparently remaining intact despite the impossible challenges she's referenced. "My point is that in order to keep these Lanterns sane, they need to have stability. I don't mean just walls and crossbowmen, I mean... wards," he gestures to Karal briefly in support of her suggestion, "I could arrange for them to be made. Shields that will repel the force of death and the dark. The undertakers and mystics of my home lands may be able to craft enough to keep out the things of middling strength, the most abundant of the Unlit."

    "If we just put them in homes on some unfamiliar world, they will go from limited purpose to NO purpose, at least while they get settled in. Or worse, they would be tempted to devour all life they come across. These are a broken people, and they are not living people, and the idea of taking them from an alien world to another alien world does not feel like it would be for the best."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe does not know magic, it was just a thought that popped into her mind. She also looks over to Rei Li and Ingawhom she seems to be drifting towards. The Salamnder woman seems happy to see Ina arrive she has a lot more understanding of things like this.

"It's good to have you here Inga."

She notes to the wisewoman before settling in to listen once more. She also looks to Linlistening as well, aside from heridea of offworld life energy.

"So we need to figure out how to get to the root ofthe problem before it's too later, in a way we're on a timer like I was in the Death Game..."

Carna (974) has posed:
    Carna nods then and goes silent. As long as Staren and the others have thought this through, she doesn't have any objection. Though Kord makes the point Carna was trying to much better. Relocating them could turn out badly in many, many ways. Even with preparation. Any such arrangement will have to be extremely temporary if engaged.

    Longita smiles sympathetically towards and Karal and says, "It is a good idea. I agree that any action which supports the restoration of balance is a fortunate one. The history of Lumiere is this: Lumiere is a world-device made long ago that facilitates reincarnation of the Dead into the world of the Living, now known as the World of Ashes. It was the place where the Dead resided and waited, contributing to maintaining the vessel through various tasks until their turn came. But all at once, all the Living died simultaneously. The Underworld, which lies below Lumiere, became overburdened with souls. From there, the Unlit arose: Hollow shells of Darkness that hunger for Light, no matter its source. Who would claim sustenance and power from the other Dead -- the native Dead like myself, known as Lit."

    Longita gestures to Carna. "When an Unlit with a human form consumes enough of this energy, known as Dead Lights, they may gain awareness and a sense of self. But the only true redemption and salvation for them can be found by relinking Lumiere to the World of Ashes. The First Lantern went to restore that link long ago, and many others have tried since, and yet Lumiere remains broken. The cycle has repeated many times. Only by taking in the Silent Souls of the Lords of Silence, those who have abandoned their roles in protecting and administrating Lumiere, can a Lantern do what the First Lantern and all his successors have failed to."

    Carna seems not to mind being used as an example in this explanation. It's accurate after all. She was a mindless monster, functioning on something less than thought but more than instinct, that drove her to kill and consume in order to fill the hollow Darkness within her. And now she is this. "Even I am not free of the lure of Light and power. I can not say if any of these weakened, Light-starved ones here are trustworthy, if they had the opportunity to feast on those who could not fight back. Lanterns are predators."

    Longita inclines her head, seeing nothing wrong with that description. "Fortifications, dwellings, purpose, something to use their time upon, wards... All of these are worthy ideas. But that which keeps the Church ground and the surrounding streets safe only extends so far at this time. The grace of the God of Reason, the maker of all things, the Creator himself, dread Urizen, is what allows we Peacemakers to perform miraculous works in His name. That includes creating places where vessels of utter Darkness, without mind or soul, can not trespass."

    Longita bows. "If you have other means to protect these defensive lines, your own wards, then they are welcome. The Lit are frail, unlike Lanterns. We native Dead can not return from destruction if we die a second time, and our physical abilities are less as well. Not only are we few in number, but there is simply very little we can contribute directly. Cold comfort and bleak mercy... A lightless hope in a world of endless death... We can offer this, and guidance. But we can not stop the Unlit advance, or fight at you side."

Inga has posed:
Inga folds her hands on top of her staff, listening thoughtfully. "The Silent Souls of the Lords of Silence?" she asks. That seems an important piece.

But now they have a better idea of what needs to be done. It will not be easy. It sounds rather impossible, but Inga's done many things she thought were impossible before so she's not going to limit herself now, nor underestimate the considerable abilities of the Multiverse's elite.

Inga is quiet for a long time, thinking this over. It is going to take a great deal of thinking, but there are ideas beginning to form she is not ready to speak just yet. First things first. "I cannot ward this entire place...but I can create another area or two for the Lanterns to shelter from those that would prey upon them. It will be an interesting challenge," she says with a small smile. "I will ruminate on the large problem further...and perhaps explore a bit on my own," she adds.

Inga looks to Carna then. "And you... Are you willing to fight for these people? To risk yourself to attempt, like others before you, to reestablish the connection between this place and the world of the living?" she asks bluntly.

Kushiko has posed:
Many possibilities exist here, don't they? Unvoiced is the option the Tenno could possibly bring; not quite the 'wards' that Inga or others offer, but more physical constructs and defensive emplacements. Specters, which are replicants of the Tenno in varying configurations.

Yes, this idea had potential, but she too was fairly tacit otherwise.

"Shore up things here then go and fix it for good however we can." the Tenno remarks quietly. "As to purpose," she begins in reference to what Kord says, "That is entirely dependent on them. I agree with what he says--simply moving them about to prevent harm does little to truly aid them long term from the sound of it."

Not that she could frown--after all, the golem-like frame has no face, no eyes in the traditional sense as she regards Carna for a moment, before looking at Longita. "Maybe we can give them one should they desire it. We won't know until we ask." The thought does occur about giving them a mixture of martial training as much as discipline through her own personal experiences.

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
"Not many ideas comin' to mind for the barely-Lanterns who can't control themselves... except maybe seeing if they could be organized or set loose against the Unlit and watched..." Lin answers rather pragmatically. She's scratching her chin here.

    "Maybe it's time to stop focusing on martial prowess and think about learning Sorcery or something else useful... some problems can't be solved with swords and fists. This is sure one of them. Can take the Lanterns where they need to go, though..."

Staren has posed:
    Staren nods. "I'm certainly not saying we should give up the quest. Just that... maybe it would ease things a bit if they didn't all have to crowd in here. We'll have to find a way to make this 'city' safe... but if you could ward out the unlit, you'd have done it already...""

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe listens to tehe tale of cycles and the talk of digging in and warding would be a good idea. Helping these souls find a purpose in thier unlife wouldbe good and a way to help ground them wouldn't it? She was so lost in the death game. She looks to Ing now listening onward.

"We'll nbeed more than wards I think, as we have said. Their choices in the end will still belong to them, right?"