Voidrealm: The City

Summary:
January 11 2015 (Backdated Scene): Carol and Cal are taken to the City of the Avatar

City of the Avatar

The City of the Avatar of the Void is a post apocalyptic maze out of the realms of cinema.


Characters

NPCs

  • Guards
  • Councilor Mahaara (emits by Aspect)

Mood Music:
[* None]


The City of the Avatar is a warren of maze like streets and too-close buildings. The outskirts are clearly a shantytown full of the poor, unwashed and ill clad. Well, poorer, more unwashed and more ill clad anyway. It's hard to tell with the grunge-chic everyone's wearing. As the patrol and the travellers move along, their guide explains in hushed tones: The Master, he from the other world, caused great turmoil with his arrival. He abolished the caste system and freed the slaves. Many here are grateful for what he did but… the new Avatar, she is not. There is still wit and will on the council to oppose her, but be warned that the Council is divided and there are many on it who would see the old ways return. Even some former slaves who think life was more ordered back then. As in the Council, so in the city. Be careful where you speak the Master's name."

As he speaks the group passes what seems to be a shrine of some sort. It's just a large, flat piece of metal surrounded by votive candles. On the metal is faded, but still visible a red star and cyrillic writing. Up ahead, in the older sections of the city the original stonework still stands, crumbling but usuable. The largest building of all, a palace or fortress of some kind, is directly ahead. "The Council's chambers." Their guide notes as they draw near.

"How long ago were the wars?" Carol asks, watching the scenery as they ride through the strange city. She's been mostly quiet, letting the people and the place speak for themselves. Because this? This is strange, even for her.

« Freed the slaves and got rid of extra-dimensional Apartheid? Doesn't really sound like an old time Soviet." Cal sends to Carol. « Maybe it is Illyana's brother. I'd expect him to be similar to his siblings even having stayed in Russia. Dig for more information on him. What he looks like and maybe a name. I can't since I'm supposed to already know him or know of him. »

"The wars… continue." Their guide says in hushed tones for now they're reaching parts of the city where there seem to be more guards. There isn't a real uniform so it's hard to say but at least there are more armed people watching.

"The Master unified a great many of the scattered tribes and clans and small towns, but he did not conquer all before him. We fight less and futher away, but to say that we do not fight is untrue. It still happens regularly. To answer your question, though, that time was ten years ago."

"Nine years of war and consolidation, and then he was gone?" Carol is quiet for a moment, pensive. "I hope, for your sake, that your Master has only left for other great deeds, then, and hasn't met with a worse fate. Is there any other name by which he's known? Perhaps I've heard of him, or he may be earning more glory elsewhere."

"Fighting never ends in some form or another." Cal points out. "It is to be expected. But greater prosperity is the end result or the Master would not have bothered." As they travel further inward, he keeps a look of idle disinterest on his face as he examines the people and places they pass.

The guide nods to Cal in agreement. "The Master is a great man yes, though not all here would say so." He looks about as the group enters a wide courtyard. "The Council will see you shortly. The Master did go by other names, yes. The Saviour some called him. And another name that the Avatar does not permit to be spoken aloud…" Still, he hands Carol a small piece of sheet metal, which seems to be some kind of crude medallion or charm. On it, scratched in cyrillic, is the name 'Rasputin'.

"The Avatar, who…appreciates life without the Master here," Carol summarizes, glancing at the charm. « Rasputin, all right. » She passes the charm back to their guide, frowning slightly to herself. Whatever is going on here is clearly complicated. "You said the Master came from the Void. Do your people fear it, then?"

« Which means he's like a mutant as well. Was that ever confirmed? I've never met thie third Rasputin. Ask if he had abilities similar to mine since we come from the same place. » As talk turns to the Avatar, Cal looks away fromt he passing scenery to their guide. "I will hazard a guess that before the Master arrived, the Avatar held more power and had greater influence. And resented its loss so sees an opportunity to regain it with the Master's disappearance. It must have been seen as fortuitous." He doesn't outright imply the Avatar is involved but the implication could be picked up by someone who has had the same thought.

LOG NOTE: HE'S LIKELY A MUTANT

"The Void is our god and our protector but it is a fearsome thing. Its Avatars rule by virtue of their great power and their word carried much weight in the old days. The Master came from the Void. Communed with it like no other and it blessed him power. power he used to cast down the old ways. Not all agreed but none could stand against him." Their guide looksmabout carefully.

"None including the old avatar. The new Avatar is his daughter, and she is not pleased at having a council to comtend with. Srill, her power is great. Do not anger her."

Cute. Politics. The damned things are everywhere.

Carol, though, is more concerned about what the Void means to her world. So in that, at least, the news is reassuring. These people don't seem to be inclined to cause trouble on the other side of the rift. Which is a plus. « If he really made it through that thing in the old tub of bolts? He had to be a mutant. »

"I, for one, have no intention of angering anyone," she assures the guide. "I only want to find my way home."

« I'm wondering if time here moves at a different rate than back home. » Cal muses to Carol. « He implies the Void has been here a very long time yet it's not been around on Earth that long. Unless it was shrunk down to the point no instruments spotted it. Or maybe the other end of it moves around. Perhaps even moves dimensions. » He sends a feeling of general agreement at Carol's observation. « Sounds like the Avatars are as well. Question him about communing with the Void. » "Finding the Master is all I am concerned with." he assures their guide.

"In that case I wish you both good fortune. The Councils emissary approaches now and I must depart. Be wary in your dealings with them. They can tell you much but not all will look upon younwith favor and many will be suspicious." Bowing, the guide departs just as an older, distinguished looking woman with grey, skin, white hair and yellow eyes approaches. "Greetings, travelers. I am bidden to bring you to the chambers of Councilor Mahaara. The full Council is not in session til tomorrow and until then the safety of the City is in her charge."

« I don't much care for the idea of it leading back to a different place, » Carol admits. « But we're here now. Might as well keep finding out what we can. »

"Thank you," she says quietly to their guide, turning her attention to the new arrival when the woman approaches. "Thank you for your hospitality," she says with a dip of her chin.

« That's why I have Illyana's power. » Cal points out. He likes to cover his bases. « And speaking of which, Trent is waiting in Limbo for a portal to open but I'll be damned if I can think of an excuse for him to show up. It's my understanding he's fairly safe though. » "I will be pleased to meet the Councilor." he tells their new guide.

"The walk is not far." The woman says, all business. "The City is not accustomed to accepting visitors, especially in these times, but the Councilor wished to see those who came through the Eye of the Void." Apparently she means the portal.

The walk is indeed not far and it's interesting to note that, as it's getting dark, there are torches and lamps rather than electrical lights of any kind despite the advanced weaponry in evidence. The Councilor's chambers turn out to be a fairly small space that seems to be part office part workstation. A rifle lies disassembled on a workbench at the far end. The woman working on it must be fifty or so, blue of skin and black of hair. Her face, when she turns, is weathered and adorned with small tattoos. She scowls at the visitors and nods curtly to the aide as she admits Cal and Carol and departs.

"So…" She says after a time. "You are the travellers. I am Councilor Mahaara. I speak for the free people. Those who will never again be mastered. Tell me, why should you be allowed to remain in the City?"

Carol arches a brow at the question. "I wasn't under the impression I had a choice about coming into the City in the first place, Councilor," she says slowly, voice even. "My ship broke apart in the Void, and I found myself here. Before I had a chance to catch my bearings, your people were there."

"Why should I not be?" Cal counters. "I search for the Master. Unless there is a reason you would object to his being found, we share a common goal from what I have been told."

Mahaara gives Cal and Carol a very careful look. "You seek the Master? You'll not find him here, though I suspect you've been told that already. I would not oppose any who seek him… but you will find that others on the Council will. Our people already wary of strangers." Actually Xenophobic is more like it, not that that's been in evidence yet.

"As for you, traveller, our guards can be somewhat zealous. The Eye of the Void is closely watched since the Master's arrival ten years ago and all who come through it are still brought here. Not all remain, though. If you seek to return home it may be that the Avatar can aid you. But before you speak to her the Council will wish to see you both for themselves. I myself will be content to let your remain without guard if you'll give me your word you mean the Free People of this city no harm."

"None at all," Carol assures with a shake of her head. "As I said, I'm grateful for what hospitality you offer. I'm far from home, and short on ways to reach the Void, even if I dared to venture into it again so soon."

"I will start no violence." Cal assures Mahaara. Which might not be completely reassuring but is the best he's going to do. "You mentioned others. Are any still here or did they all return through the Void? To my knowledge, none who have passed through to here since the Master have ever returned. The passage is not an easy one."

"The Master came with others. Not all survived. None remained more than a couple of years. Over time one or two others have come through, mostly in bad shape. Before the Master's arrival, though, visitors did sometimes come through the Eye. Mostly they did not last long, though some went on to great or terrible fates." Mahaara turns from the other two to examine a component of her broken down energy rifle, discard it and replace it with one that looks like it was scavenged from elsewhere. "Few ever return though other clans do sometimes approach the Eye and go through in numbers. Sometimes as travellers, sometimes as warriors. Usually they also do not return."

Carol watches the assembly and disassembly of the rifle, noting the differences between it and the firearms she's more familiar with. The news that others have traveled through the portal, though, gets a little more attention. "The Void seems fearsome," she says to the councilor. "It must take great courage to choose to go through even once."

« So it seems our questions have been answered. » Call tells Carol. « Unlike in some realities, I do not see this dimension posing a danger to ours. Not in the forseeable future, at least. And we've verified that Illyana's brother was here but is no longer. Is there a reason to stay and continue this? » Switching to verbal communication, he asks Mahaara "The Master. Did he go through the Void or did he just leave the city? Whether he is still on this side or not is important to my search."

"Or great desperation." That's added quietly, Mahaara almost talking to herself. "The Master left the city. Some say he went to found another. Others that he simply walked into the wilderness. I suspect that some on the Council know, but the city is balanced on a knife's edge and one must tread carefully when asking questions like these."

« Just long enough not to panic anyone with our departure, at least, » Carol replies to Cal, though she's still watching the councilor. "I understand, councilor," she dips her chin in a polite nod. "I'm grateful for the chance to get my feet after going through the Void. If there's anything else you need, please let me know."

"If he is not here in the city but is still on this side of the Void, there is little reason for me to remain here." Cal states, gazing at Mahaara. "More information would be helpful and, I am certain, something the Master would wish since finding him serves all our interests. At least those of us who respect and revere him." Glancing at Carol, he says "I can travel through the Void and would be willing to assist you in your return. If you agree to assist me in my search first. Before I leave, I will ask you for your decision." « When we are taken to our rooms, we can open a portal for Trent and talk to him. I am sure both Illyana and Piotr would be pleased to see their brother again so we might want to stay and find him. »

There's also the question of what exactly the Russians want out of studying this place. Could be they somehow know of the advanced weapons tech on this planet, or it could be they're studying the rift itself, or perhaps, worryingly, the Void. "I will leave word with the chamberlains. When you are ready, tell them and you will be shown to your chambers. The Council will see you in the morning." Mahaara nods to them both and departs, leaving the two of them in her office, for the moment, alone.


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