Back in his workshop in Aden – another speciality factory-cathedral manse of course – Charles was considering. He WAS very good at artifacts, but for these he would need the assistance of a Raksha – and preferably one who’d originated out in chaos without his meddling rather than a Mardi Gras Raksha. A high power level would be best; proficiency in shaping went with that, although a reasonable level of sanity might or might not. It would be best if they actually were a reasonably skilled artificer, although knowing how to play the drums was obviously more important. Having some reasonably content (if heavily mutated) humans under their control would also be useful. It would help provide the link via a few prayers.
He asked Kierroth if he had any advice; it seemed like he’d be looking for an Entertainer / Worker noble, whether by notifying freeholds or by sending out a call – and it would be best to have something to offer the noble in return for such aid. He was sure that the price one of his peers would ask is going to be steep. Raksha don’t meddle with Primordials unless they’re certain they can get the better end of the deal. He had to admit that that was very likely with Charles though.
(Charles) “Well, I can make them some artifacts and things!”
That WAS his purview, and they did have benefits that fey treasures didn’t.
Still, he had books to read, geomantic artifacts to make (he still needed some of those for the Song of Creation)), manses to build (to expand Aden) – and, for that matter, various girls climbing into his bed.
Malinda kept saying that would lead to all kinds of complications, but nothing too odd had happened so far! Maybe she meant later?
It wasn’t long before the Balgrogs and Kickaha reported that he had some visitors aboard!
- There was a mass of golden fire that had popped up in one of the concert halls and plucked the orchestra’s drums up into itself (It had a nice rhythm, though!.
- A rather imposing looking avian lady had arrived at the Mardi Gras Manse.
- And General Koiiyana (the rabbit-army guy whom Charles had met earlier) had responded to the message – although he hadn’t actually come aboard.
There might be more later; Charles hadn’t really explained much beyond the fact that he was making some high-end artifacts dealing with Wyld powers, and was willing to pay with more artifacts and/or immunity to calcification and the ability to respire in creation at a substantial rate, for a couple of day’s assistance (from individuals meeting thus-and-such requirements) in making them.
He went to see the golden fire with the drums first. Gothmug approved! The beat was not at all bad – although they had to be careful approaching that concert hall. The vibrations were making the ground rattle even outside, and golden light was spilling from the windows and doorways. It wasn’t much trouble for Charles and Gothmug – but it was quite a problem for nearby mortals and supernaturals without eye and ear protection.
And yes, that was an amorphous golden flame infused with rhythm and the beat, playing the entire drum section! That was some impressive drumming!
(Charles) “Hello there! That’s very good!”
He wasn’t sure about the humans – but the drums and power level seemed high enough, and he could always get the human input from someone else!)
(Drums, in Morse Code) “Are you the one who sent that message? You are very small and fleshy, but the drums are of fine enough quality.”
(Charles) “Yes I am! I’ll need about a day of your time to make things… What do you need in payment?”
(Drums, still in Morse) “I must spread the beat everywhere! Even into the things that cannot hear or feel!”
(Charles) “Hrm… EVERYWHERE is a bit large! To a really large audience then? If they remember it, they will produce secondary echoes for a very long time to come!”
It looked like… its definition of “audience” included the environment, too. Ideally, even the stones should dance!
(Charles) “How about a specialty manse for the performance? It can be an amplifier and have all kinds of music-related powers and share those with you everywhere!”
Drums found that awfully tempting – but held out long enough to get Charles to throw in some anti-silence measures (and the drums; they had a really good resonance and the sticks weren’t melting or shattering like a lot of them did). His flame-and-music assumption made silence effects quite awkward however interesting and fun it was!
Hm. Perhaps throw in “producing instruments” as a minor power?
Next up… it was General Koiiyana, the rabbit fellow! Charles had saved him a lot of trouble retrieving his brother’s birthday present – those rabbit-soldier poppets. He wasn’t in Kadia, but he had responded to Charles’s message. He wanted Charles to drop by and have a meeting!
Well, why not? It looked like… he was in the cabin of some craft, having his tea. He was very rabbity, as always. Charles brought along a selection of herbal teas with a randomizer so that which one would always be a surprise!
The craft… turned out to be a giant rabbit flying fortress, crewed by rabbit airmen and pilots a lot like the ones that Charles had returned to him!
(Koiiyana) “Ah, Aden! Thank you for replying… what a pleasant gift. I do like a good herbal tea.”
(Charles) “Ah good! And I like the flying fortress… Is it by any chance the Ether Bunny?”
(Koiiyana) “No no, the Moon Jumper. It’s my own design.” (Although he had an aide write that one down – and sank into thought)
(Charles) “Also good!”
(Koiiyana): “I was wanting to stretch myself a little. My Brother, President Noriishana, is back to being an Imperial Raksha thanks to you and is leaving me alone for the time being. Thus, no need to build vehicles to protect myself! Tell me a little more about this project of yours!”
(Charles) “Well… Fundamentally it’s a big repair project! But to make it work I need assistance from some very old powers indeed – so I want to make some artifacts to pay them for it!”
(Koiiyana) “Ah, maintenance! A chore to be sure, but not as much for one such as yourself. What are you repairing?”
Well it wasn’t much of a secret any more at this point!
(Charles) “Yu-Shan and some chunks of the universe!”
(Koiiyana) “The Celestial City… or the Celestial Plain? I’ve heard some bizarre things from the Unshaped, you know, and it’s a distinction.”
(Charles, happily) “Both!”
(Koiiyana) “Hmm…” (He leaned back in his seat) “You’re going to keep that Gallery of Captured Dreams in check, yes? One such as myself would no doubt get its attention. Its? She? He? I suppose it’s immaterial with devas.”
(Charles) “I think I might be able to get some of the people there free of it… And it kind of is!”
(Koiiyana) “Wouldn’t that be nice… hmm. I could loan you some of my troops and craft. The crew might not look it, but some of them were originally of human birth. You human born are so malleable without that divine power! And the craft… well, I’d need at least one to command from! I doubt your project will go unopposed, and the Plain is just like Creation for calcification!”
(Charles) “Well, that should work! And Immunity to Calcification and related menaces is part of the payment!”
(Koiiyana) “Hrm. You can do that… could you give it to Brother, too? If I had THAT, and he didn’t, it might cause another (cringing) incident.”
(Charles) “Certainly! But he’d either have to come to see me or wait until I dropped by to see him!”
(Koiiyana) “I suppose I could stall him. I warn you, though, he loves big tastes and big entrances, so be ready if you want him to visit!”
(Charles) “Thank you for the warning there!”
(Koiiyana) “And a nasty temper!”
(Charles) “Well… THAT can probably be managed if he wants something from me!”
(Koiiyana) “Yes… well, let me know when you need me and my men! And do get those Shapeless free!”
(Charles) “I shall see what I can do!”
And it was off to see the Avian figure! It was a rather stunning emu-like lady poking around in the Mardi Gras Manse, asking questions and examining the merchandise. She made Charles feel just a little funny again! Pesky Primordials, making the standards of beauty so universal! Still, for once having multiple aspects might prove a defense… If she got too distracting, he could always run on computer HERE for a bit and let some of the girls distract him from HER. Still, that wasn’t necessary at the moment…
(Charles, somewhat hesitantly) “Er… Hello?”
She looked up at him, and met his eyes – and the gaze was quite enthralling!
(Nimue, Radiance of the Heavens) “Hello. I am Nimue, Radiance of the Heavens… Are you the master of this place? You’re younger than I thought. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This place has a child’s imagination about it.”
(Charles) “Well yes! And I do like making things… Can I help you?”
(Nimue) “I had heard that you needed assistance with a project. You had some most fascinating requirements for it… what were you going to make?”
(Charles) “A few devices to tap some of the greater creative powers of the Wyld mostly – to empower solipsism and multipresence mostly!
(Nimue) “What a fascinating idea.” (Scooting in closer) “Surely you wouldn’t be using these on yourself? Especially the solipsism.”
Oh dear! She was being even more appealing now!
(Charles) “I might make a set for that too – but it’s somebody else that might need them!”
(Nimue) “Well, if you insist on making them… I can help you! I’m good at dealing with creative things.”
She casually adjusted a nearby musical note so that it played tones that you couldn’t normally hear in Creation.
(Nimue) “You don’t need to play the drums if you can do that.”
(Charles) “Well, the drums are more of a metaphysical requirement – but the creative abilities could really help! It should only take a day or two though. So… what were you looking for?”
(Nimue) “I would like some time with…” (She delicately touched his chest with a finger -and there was that funny feeling again) “you.”
(Charles, becoming more than a bit flustered) “Uhrrm… doing what?”
(Nimue, looking mildly disappointed for a moment) “Oh, all manner of things. In bed, even”
(Charles) “Er… blank checks are a little… worrying! Tell you what… if you’ll talk to Malinda about what you have in mind, I’m quite willing to accept her judgment on the matter.”
Malinda… was a little concerned about this one; whatever Nimue’s narrative was, she’d very much like a romantic involvement with Charles! She’d like a token of his affection, and sympathetic links weren’t good things to give out to fey! That was just WEIRD! Even if Nimue knew for sure what Charles was that would be worrisome – and if she was that willing to gamble on a mystery things might get very odd indeed! Still, there was no point in evading her; any stone or flower from Aden was as much a part of Charles as any link he could create (or you could just get some human to pray) – and she apparently wasn’t intending to use any horribly addictive charms or anything.
Secondarily… she wanted Charles to make her an artifact – although she didn’t much care what! It just had to be an artifact, made specifically for her. Charles would doubtless give her some extra defenses of course, but that was just Charles being Charles – and he made personalized artifacts for anyone who asked for them anyway.
Malinda approved, if rather reluctantly – and Nimue gave Charles a deep kiss. That left him pretty fuzzled! The girls who’d moved in on him weren’t so… weaponized!