Mana P4y1s17

Mana: And so it was written: Pokiehlember 4th, Year 1, Undine's Day. Deep in the night, in the archives of the University - A messenger, hooded and paper-masked, arrives for Rigo.
Rigo is in a chair, leaned back at a truly mathematically improbable angle. His feet rest on top of a heavy table, he's got a book in one hand and his wine gourd in the other. He looks backward at the messenger. "Ah. … Hm. Is it that time already?"
Mana: It's a neatly pleated paper mask, angled towards the front. A cat-face. "Yes. It is. The Emperor is calling on you."
Rigo tips his gourd back for a swallow and nods. "Sooner than I was expecting, but I suppose it can't be helped without… Well, moot point." He slides out of the chair, which maintains its previous tilt. Look man, recliners are expensive and nails are cheap. The book gets closed and tossed on the table. "Alright, let's go."
Mana: Underneath dark shroud, the messenger leads the way out of the university -
Mana: Up through the Dreaming City, past the Salamander Palace, up into the Gardens of Jinn.
Mana: There's a huge, fog-shrouded moon, hovering right over the tower.
Mana: It glows with a sliver of faint red light, circling it - the hour of Viglum.
Mana: Into the tower. Into the elevator. And only now, does the messenger say: "Yes, it can't be helped."
Rigo shrugs. "Its OK. I've spent most of the day studying, I suppose I should do something else to break it up."
Mana: Eventually, the hallway at the top of the tower. The messenger waits inside the lift.
Mana: The gates forward, in turn, await you.
Rigo takes another drink and strides through the gates. Nothing ventured, and all that.
Mana: the Moon-Reflecting Pool:
Mana: Mercury ripples at your feet, glowing with the brilliant moonlight.
Mana: The full breadth of the city splays out in all directions - the harbor and its ice, the brilliant neon of Wisp, the imposing red lights of Millions' citadel, at the edge.
Mana: The Emperor stands, dressed in bleached bone and white and in sandals. Bald, smooth-skinned, his eyebrows long and wiry like climbing caterpillars.
Mana: He nods to Rigo as he arrives.
Rigo narrows his eyes slightly at the Citadel. Fuckin' Toth. But both of those are projects for tomorrow. He bows politely to the Emperor. "Thanks for giving me the day to read up."
Mana: "Anything of interest?"
Rigo wobbles his hand. "Not for me. Mostly research. My friends have had a hell of a day though. We'll see how well they handle some of the revelations in the morning, I guess."
Mana: He turns to look at Rigo and smiles. "Well enough, I hope."
Mana: "The Pure of Heart…" He says, trailing off, and the smile takes on an impish edge.
Rigo chuckles. "I have honestly never really liked that term, you know. It's certainly… catchy, but not even close to accurate."
Mana: "Pure like a toddler, perhaps?"
Mana: "Certainly, I imagine the tantrums are equivalent."
Rigo: "They can be. Some of them even throw their toy dragons around. That's going to be a spanking I do not relish giving."
Mana: The Emperor nods.
Mana: "I'd like to ask you to act as an Imperial Emissary. A temporary arrangement, I'm sure…"
Mana: "…It can't be any other way…"
Mana: "…But…"
Mana: "Ah, regardless of how this ends, wouldn't we all like to have a tidier Titania for it?"
Rigo looks back out over the city. "For what its worth, I kinda regret being put in opposition to you. But as you say, it can't be any other way. A world without stories… ugh. I'm not drunk enough. Who or what do you need me to Emissary at?"
Mana: The Emperor looks where Rigo does.
Mana: "You think -you- regret it?"
Mana: And he laughs.
Rigo laughs. "I wouldn't dare to speak for His Imperial Majesty's feelings in such a matter. But I wouldn't expect you are particularly wild about it either, no."
Mana: "Hmph! It's horrible. Know that I've wracked all astrologies to find a way to slip out of it-"
Mana: "But the thing about being Emperor is that there's only one of you."
Mana: "And as such, this fate falls upon me and me alone."
Rigo: "Obviously you need to crown a successor and get yourself killed so you don't have to deal with it."
Rigo: "You've got a whole village of idiots to do the job. … Both of them. Hah!"
Mana: "Ah, surely, a carefully grown garden does nothing but reward its keeper in his old age."
Mana: "As for the extent of my sanction,"
Mana: "I would like one less Scorpion Army. I would like one less violent gun-toting Goddess Cult. I would very much appreciate my city not collapsing as its heart is ripped out. Services kidnapping my people is also a bit upsetting."
Mana: "These are my impossible requests. Since you neglected to attend my coronation, I'll take these gifts in stead!"
Rigo: "Tsk. Four gifts becuase I didnt come to your party? A little greedy, don't you think? Besides, I was a little busy. Lucky for you, the Scorpion Army I'll do for a freebie. An idiot friend parked them right on my doorstep, and that's unacceptable. It won't be a permanent fix, but I think… Well originally honestly I was going to pick them up and put them down again in Paradise.
Rigo: " A small smile.
Mana: "An Imperial Sanction means you can drop anyone in Paradise you'd like, with a few small exceptions."
Rigo: "Oh no I mean without killing them first."
Rigo: "But there were some flaws with that plan, so I am changing it."
Mana: "Oh?"
Rigo: "Mm. Updates to come, like I said I am changing it. Nothing set in stone yet." A sip form his gourd. "Have you met the Goblin King, by any chance? Or would the two of you having a face-to-face neccesitate an imediate battle to the death?"
Mana: "Admittedly," The Emperor says, with a note of some reproach. "I am under the impression that I would be able to take him."
Rigo shrugs. "I'm not looking to bet on it either way." A vague gesture. "I need to go see him at some point anyway. Maybe I can figure out some sort of vaguely peaceful resolution. You both seem like decent enough folk."
Mana: "Possibly. I rather enjoy this city intact, given."
Rigo: "No doubt. It's where lots of people keep their stuff."
Rigo rubs chin. "I think… a handful of my friends are working on the Goddess cult angle. Or rather, they're all working on it, a few of them are working on it more. Ditto the Services."
Mana: "Certainly heartening."
Mana: "For this brief, shining time, our interests align."
Mana: From the pocket of his robe, he offers a stoppered gourd. "And when this shining time ends, won't you come and share a cup of devil wine with me?"
Rigo: "I'd be glad to. The problem is… the inevitable impasse. So, personally, the quandry is 'do I work to secure your position by removing your enemies, and then turn on you myself or do I just work on minimizing the collateral nd let them bring you down'."
Rigo: "I guess only one of those ways involves a cup of devil wine though."
Mana: "My intricately laid plans are so clever I sometimes amaze myself." The Emperor says, with a faux-solemn nod.
Rigo: "If I get hit by space-time dynamite, you just jumped to the top of my list of suspects."
Mana: "So it shall be."
Rigo: "So what sort of comepnsation am I looking at for being your emmisary?"
Mana: "You know, you're the first of them to ask that!"
Rigo: "I'm older, more cynical, and have an invading army on the doorstep of my home, another one underneath it, and a third invading it from another world."
Rigo: "And Prince Hawk is sitting on my favrite beer. It makes a body grumpy."
Mana: "I will prepare something."
Mana: "I will have it sent to you when it is ready."
Rigo raises an eyebrow. "The check is in the mail? Really?" He looks more amused than offended. "Sure, why not. I guess if you can't extend a line of credit to the Emperor, the world's in worse shape than we realized anyway."
Mana: The Emperor bows.
Rigo: "You might also want to get a good stiff drink ready for Erinee. I think she's in for a rough day tomorrow."
Mana: "So it shall be."
Mana: He tosses the flask to Rigo.
Rigo catches the booze and tucks it into his robe. "Appreciated. Guess that means I'm on retainer now, hah!" He looks out over the city again. "I guess I'll get to work in the morning. It's gonna be busy all around, I think. Sleep well, I can see myself out."
[OOC] Mana: 1x Devil Wine - Grants "Your Actions are Target: Group" (4)
Mana: "And the same to you."
Rigo bows politely and heads back to the lift.
Mana: And so it was written.

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