GM:
~~~IC~~~

An:
::flips through the air and rebounds off of a chandelier::

GM:
::Pyre from orbit is what could only diplomatically be called a "shithole" of a planet... When the brown dust clouds part there's just more brown ground... in the middle, it's broken up by a lighter brown water... beautiful, it isn't... as you're aiming towards the ground...::

Tollosk:
::via intercom:: So some yokel was trying to tell me a story about the dust storm being too rough to fly in... but it's a month via ground craft from the starport to the temple... so everyone strap in!

An:
::straps in::

Martel:
Oh lord. ::straps in::

Lan:
::does likewise. Wonders, but doesn't, what a vision of Gjarti would be like here.::

GM:
::And then you're diving into the swirly brown mess, and you can't really make much out via the port windows... but fortunately you're in a space ship, designed to survive in the void of fucking space... so, a dust storm isn't really that big of a worry...

An:
Did I read somewhere something about bats?

GM:
after a turbulent entry, the pilot seems to find an eddy that is stable, and begins a less bumpy descent...

Martel:
Yeah, the church isn't always that...agile, with technological innovations.

GM:
after about fifteen minutes of careful navigation through the atmosphere, you're touching down on an open expanse of flat, glassy brown sand... not the best landing ever, but certainly worth saving a month of travel::

Lan:
Well, that wasn't so bad! ::cheerfully::

Tollosk:
Hey, Martel, first thing you should tell your friends to stop burning all their competent pilots. Because that's some bullshit

Martel:
And the first thing THEY should do is friggin LISTEN. I hear they are still doing that damn bat thing.

Tollosk:
Also, you should get on the radio and call off the Avesti war party headed this way because we didn't land at the starport. I think they have a radio ... did you bring your bat?

Lan:
What is it with you people and bats?

Martel:
Yeah, yeah...::Gets on the radio set:: Deacon Azo to Interception Party, do you read?

GM:
::One is currently latched on to the porthole near Lan. It's ugly::

Lan:
Aaaah! Bat! ::points::

GM:
::the radio emits only static, but you can see some serious looking robed individuals in a serious looking jeep headed down from the cliff face where you know the cathedral to be located::

An:
Where?!? ::spins around and sees the bat, let out a little yelp::

Martel:
::looks up:: Huh. See if it has anything tied to it's leg wouldja? I'd hate for this week's batch of prayer notations to go missing.

GM:
::a serious looking cliff face, in fact::

Lan:
Uh, okay. ::heads for the door::

Martel:
::Sighs:: Of course. They HAVE a radio. I know they do. I paid for one just two years ago, and had it shipped here.

An:
Probably use it to make coffee... Or candles.

Martel:
True enough. Here, help me get the door open so I can get these gentlemen to not shoot us.

Lan:
::once outside, gingerly plucks said bat from portal::

Martel:
::arranges his special anti-dust mask::

GM:
::the jeep wheels in next to the ship, and the avesti start to climb out, flameguns smoking::

Lan:
::holds the bat between hisself and the people in the jeep::

GM:
::the outside of the ship is hot... hot and dusty... hot, brown, and dusty... Lan's sinuses begin to flare up at precisely the moment his eyes begin to water::

An:
::steeps out of the ship behind Martel:: I wonder if those bats carry any parasites.

Martel:
::Steps out and raises his flamer above his head in the traditional "don't shoot me, I have a flamer too" gesture::

GM:
::fortunately, it doesn't appear to be hot, brown, noon, and dusty, so the light is merely scattering near-blindingly through the haze rather than searing your skin::

Martel:
You kidding? Everything on Pyre has parasites.

Avestite:
State your business!

Martel:
Deacon Azo and company, commanded to present self to The Cathedral with all urgency!

Avestite:
::some obscure catchism call in Latin::

Martel:
::equally obscure response::

Avestite:
::grudgingly lowers his weapon:: You vouch for all guests present?

Martel:
I do.

Avestite:
Then return to your ship. We'll bring travel gear for all. How many travelers?

Martel:
Four. And I've brought my own gear, thank you brother.

Lan:
::sneezes enormously and slinks back in when it looks safe to move::

GM:
::the avestites shoo you out of the dust and drive back towards the cathedral::

GM:
::Lan's bat is just happy to be here::

An:
::goes back inside.

Martel:
::goes inside, and inspects the bat for messages::

An:
::sits and waits for them to return:: What are you going to name it?

Lan:
::coughs drily, hands bat over::

GM:
::the bat has no messages, but does appear to be a trained messenger bat::

Martel:
Not mine to name. This is someone elses bat.

GM:
::it has the special kind of stupidity that can only be achieved by centuries of breeding something to fly point to point through a storm and not think about going anywhere else... it sort of falls over when set on a table, and lays there contentedly::

An:
I always liked Arnesto... what do you think dear? ::looks to Maria::

GM:
::and, close up, it's even uglier::

Maria:
Is it... what the hell is that?

Lan:
Ah. This is a domesticated animal, then. ::peers, blinking away the dust:: Yes, um. Interesting features. Domesticated by whom?

Maria:
Is it a boot? Some kind of hat?

An:
Very close. Even rhymes with that.

Martel:
Don't put it on your head. It would probably nest.

Maria:
I refuse to believe that's an animal that has a place in nature. The Pancreator isn't that cruel

Lan:
::disapproving look::

Arnesto:
::makes some kind of salty, flatulent noise, as of an air bladder deflating::

Martel:
Just because he isn't pretty, doesnt mean he doesnt have a purpose. ::scoops up arnesto:: which isn't to say we should leave him in our ship.

An:
::puts an arm around Maria:: Probably what our kids will look like. ::winks::

GM:
::there is a small brown, gritty puddle beneath where Arnesto was lying until a moment ago::

Martel:
::tosses the bat back out the portal, in the appropriate "fly to your destination" arc::

Tollosk:
Now he's on the canopy. I think he likes you, Martel.

GM:
::Arnesto is, in fact, spread-eagled on the windshield, peering inside, if anyone cares to check::

Martel:
Oh good lord, don't you have windshield wipers or something?

Tollosk:
Yeah, but they use a laser.

An:
Awww... we should go retrieve him. You could strap a little flamer to him.

Martel:
::sigh:: leave the bat be.

An:
He could smite very small heretics. I'm sure there is evil afoot with the woodland creatures. Get him a little hood.

Martel:
If they ever ask my why one should reform the church, THIS may well be my response.

GM:
::at about this point, you see the avesti jeep driving back up with only the driver this time::

Martel:
::wraps himself up in his heavy robes, and goes out to retreive the travel-wear::

GM:
::there are, in fact, three heavy cloaks with facemasks in the hoods::

GM:
::they're made of an uncomfortable, burlap-like material, but still better than the storm::

Tollosk:
::makes sure you all have your squawkers before you leave::

Martel:
::brings them inside:: Here you go, folks. Now, I know the breathers are uncomfortable, but it's better than the local black lung variant, so keep them on till we are inside the Cathedral walls.

Maria:
So am I better off sticking with functional, travel wear that includes pants, or should I go with something more ladylike but colorful?

Martel:
Go with the Ladylike.

Maria:
Okay, I'll be a minute. ::retreats to her cabin to change::

Martel:
You aren't actually of the church, so you won't be expected to adhere to the local color scheme.

Lan:
I knew I should have packed more lotion.

Tollosk:
Brown?

Martel:
Brown, with brownish-red accents.

Tollosk:
Haute couture to be sure.

Martel:
Though sometimes, we get fancy and wear brownish-red, with brown accents! That's usually only on holidays though. Which we don't actually have any of.

Tollosk:
And I don't think you can do that after Labor Day, without it being gauche.

Martel:
Don't actually SAY Labor day! The locals think it means a day where you are supposed to work extra hard. They invoke it whenever the initiates start to slack.

Lan:
::wraps things up with the protective gear. So to speak::

An:
::changes into the clothing.

Maria:
::emerges a few minutes later in a fairly prim dress in burgundy and sable... at least prim in that it doesn't show any cleavage or leg, but you don't think she actually owns any clothes that aren't tight fitting::

Martel:
::nods:: alrighty. Lets go.

Maria:
Alright, this is probably going to be irreparable in about five minutes of the dust, but it's last season's anyway, so whatever

Martel:
::trudges out to the jeep::

An:
::dons the hood:: Thats my girl, always keeping with current affairs.

GM:
::the trip outside is considerably less abrasive, though stuffier, in the protective gear. You all huddle in the jeep as it wheels over the heat-blasted dunes towards the small mountain which becomes clearer as you pass the storm... a natural crag in the brown stone seems to shelter your destination on most of three sides, and you can make out some functional-looking architecture built onto and carved into the cliff::

GM:
::you turn towards a shadow in the base, plow through a small mass of dust that has piled up in the garage doorway, and enter a tunnel that turns through flame-lit corridors and eventually reaches a motor-pool, of sorts::

GM:
::the dust is mostly clear of the air down here, but it's replaced with the acrid smell of burned Ka oil that you've all come to associate with Martel in an argumentative mood... the entire facility seems to be run on gaslight provided by some permutation of the naturally occuring napalm::

Lan:
((I associate it with zombies, I think.))

GM:
::novitiates in sackcloth robes (brown) hurry out to help you out of the jeep, and to park it with the other weatherbeaten vehicles in the line of cars::

GM:
::they help you to remove your cloaks and hoods, and the air is no less stuffy with them gone, though it is a bit more humid::

Lan:
::mutters thanks::

Martel:
::Stands as hulking and tall as he can naturally manage, to fit in comfortably with the citizens of the Cathedral::

Avestite:
I believe you know the way to the vestibule, Deacon. Your guests will need to register.

Martel:
Indeed. Thank you, initiate.

An:
::thanks them as well::

Martel:
::leads the others to the vestibule, for registering::

GM:
::Martel leads you up a winding staircase carved out of the rock by hands with far more fervor than skill, but at least worn smooth, if not evenly spaced, by the passage of centuries of feet... it empties into a room large enough that the smoke pools in the shadows of the ceiling, where you have your first contact with normalcy for your visits to strange places: A bored looking avestite sits at a desk, with a book::

Martel:
Good day to you brother. I have some few guests to register. ::motions to his three friends::

Canon:
::the weatherbeaten old man wears very thick spectacles:: Hmmm... ::squints:: Deacon Martel Azo?

Lan:
::shuffles forward::

Martel:
::Nods:: That would be me.

Lan:
::but not in any way as to be mistaken for Martel::

Canon:
It has been some time, hmmmm, since your last visit?

Martel:
Longer than I would have liked, but not longer than neccesity required. Three years, and some few months, I believe.

Canon:
We recieved your package some few months ago. The Bishop found it a useful source of parts for the flameguns.

Martel:
::sighs:: I'm pleased that the Bishop was able to find a use for it.

Canon:
I actually see from the log that you appear to be incorrect, Deacon. You arrived here last year with another guest, one Tien Mactiernan. I hope that these will not share his fate.

Martel:
::coughs:: Ahh, yes. I remember that little detour. No, I trust that they will not.

Lan:
::has been wondering what was really meant by what happened to Tien::

Martel:
::is SO not about to volunteer that information::

Canon:
Very well, I speak to you, guests of Deacon Martel Azo, the words of law:

Canon:
Should you bear ill will, speak now!

An:
::listens not wanting to break... WORDS OF LAW. DUN DUN DUNNN::

Canon:
Should you bear blackest sin, speak now!

Canon:
Should your soul writhe with the wrack of Antimony, speak now!

Canon:
Should your mind be possessed of Sathra, speak now!

Lan:
(( Will think of something theologically astute to say,though that probably amounts to: nothing.))

Canon:
Should your heart burn with psychic energy, speak now!

Canon:
That you have not spoken is a binding agreement!

Lan:
((Look well, o wolves.))

Canon:
Any evil you bring with you is censured, powerless, while you remain in this house, by the Pancreator's will!

An:
::feels that it would be more appropriate if he rocked on his heels and whistled, but doesn't::

GM:
::everyone, probably An in particular, kinda expects to feel the flare of Theurgy with the ritual, but it ultimately appears to just be old words, poorly understood and implemented::

Canon:
Please, your names for the book.

Maria:
Dona Maria Fe Eduardo de Aragon of the Hazat

Lan:
::raises hand a little:: Lan Maningzhoue.

An:
Anhetepf Griffen.

An:
::looks for a moment like he doesn't know if he should say Reeve, or Knight... or what, just chooses to stick with the name::

Martel:
Deacon Martel Azo, vouchsafing the presented.

Canon:
Very well. So entered and so signed. The guest dormitories are behind me. Please remain there when unescorted by Deacon Azo. Your rooms are 1, 2, 3, and 4

Martel:
Thank you, brother. When might we expect to be summoned?

Canon:
Word of your arrival was sent with the return of the first greeters. I do not know how important the Bishop and Archbishop find your arrival, so cannot speculate.

Martel:
Very well. The Pancreator bless you, and good day. ::leads everyone to their rooms::

Martel:
So...that went well.

GM:
::the dormitories are 6 x 10 foot cells carved into the rock, each with a heavy brown curtain in place of a door. They contain a straw bed, a wash stand, a chamber pot, and an oil lamp... you had nicer rooms in the Nuevo Milan sewers::

Lan:
Oh, good. ::tries to be cheery, despite oppressive atmosphere::

Martel:
Just like my Initiate Cell. Joy.

Maria:
So... this is... likely to take long? Like... hours? Days?

Lan:
::wonders what the local flora could POSSIBLY be like:: You planning to just stand still in the middle of your cell too, I guess?

An:
I think... we should take all of our beds, put them in one room together and have a sleep over.

GM:
::incidentally, the date is now somewhere near the end of October::

An:
It just feels so homely here. ::smiles, completely out of place within the church::

Martel:
I certainly hope it isn't days, but it wouldnt be entirely unlike the Bishop to have guests wait for as much as a week, to impress upon them the weight of any sins that might be present.

Maria:
Not to knock Martel's big homecoming... but what are we doing here besides backing up his testimony?

Lan:
I'd be sort of interested to learn about the local flora.

Martel:
I don't know, Maria. Hopefully they don't decide to make our...investigative technique...a subject of intense scrutiny.

Maria:
I mean, as a group... is there something we could be doing here that forwards our goals?

Martel:
As for the flora, mostly cactii varients, and a sort of scrub that excretes Ka oil into it's roots. Well, a full inquisitorial seal, without restriction, would be occasionally useful. Lets hope they are bringing us here to offer that.

Lan:
Oh, great. Are we going to be inquiring into yet more in the near future?

An:
::raises an eyebrow:: Lets hope...

Martel:
There is always more to inquire into, unfortunately, my dear doctor.

Novitiate:
::a young man in sackcloth scurries up:: Pardon my intrusion, Deacon

Martel:
Yes, novitiate?

Novitiate:
The Bishop bids me to inform you that he will be with you within the afternoon, but asks that we be lent your guildsmen for an hour in the meantime

Martel:
Of course. We are at his immediate, and complete, disposal.

Lan:
Right! ::neutral-cheery::

Novitiate:
Sir Reeve and Sir Apothecary, please follow me this way

Lan:
::looks sidelong at the deacon, and then follows::

An:
::looks around for a moment and nods:: Alright, lead the way.

Martel:
Pancreator be with you, gentlemen.

Lan:
.... and you. ::looks back over his shoulder::

GM:
::the novitiate leads you to a room that is actually fairly well lit, with the accompanying ka-haze from all the lamps. A large stone table covered in omega gospel sigils of warding graces the center of the room... on the table is all manner of technical gadgets. The old Canon from earlier sits with possibly another book, possibly the same book, presiding over the mess::

Canon:
Ah, welcome! The Bishop made the wise choice of making use of our first guild-educated guests in some time to get a professional opinion on our backlog of confiscated gear. We hope you can provide some enlightenment as to the uses of these items that were deemed part of heretical practices.

An:
::nods:: I will do my best but these things are probably best left to an engineer.

Lan:
::nods:: Of course. It is then understood that they are indeed part of heretical practices?

Canon:
Their owners are no longer capable of using them.

An:
::takes a look at the items along the table::

Lan:
::does the same::

GM:
::there is a wealth of stuff. Half of it seems to be various standard tech in unusual forms: radios approaching cell phones in sophistication, custom laser pistols, and so on... Amongst all of this, there is what appears to be some kind of neural disruptor pistol (broken), various cybernetic prostheses (still with charred bits of the people they were part of), some ornate jump keys (possibly to worlds lost during the 2nd Republic), a non-Ur crystal that reminds An vaguely of his Favyana training, three small think machines, and what is quite likely the central gyroscope from a golem::

An:
::informs them of what he can, though most of it is probably far beyond his ability to understand technically, really just throwing out his best guess and making sure they know thats all it is::

Lan:
::supplements the technical explanations as best he can, esp. if there's anything that's medical tech. And gives a pretty decent explanation of WHY they're heretical.:: These, of course, are jump keys. I don't believe the church holds them to be heretical, and they are of course very valuable.

Canon:
::busily takes notes, putting them into tin boxes.. the boxes have numbers etched into their lids: P-108, P-109, P-110, and so on::

Canon:
I will make a note of those specially to mention to the Bishop. It is likely, however, that they may be keys to places no one should go. I expect all of it will go into the Vault, however.

Lan:
::takes note of the jump-key box::

GM:
::the jumpkeys go in P-120::

Lan:
If they go to places that are corrupt, as by, perhaps, symbiotes or demonists, naturally no-one faithless or timid should use them, I agree. But is there any place in the Universe that was not made by the Pancreator? ::shrugs::

Canon:
That question is above my training. The Bishop may be willing to discuss points of that nature.

Lan:
Of course.

Canon:
I think that accounts for everything. I'll have the Bishop go back over all of this before it goes downstairs. Let me summon the boy to take you back to your rooms. Your assistance is appreciated.

GM:
::the novitiate arrives, and leads you back to your dorms::

Lan:
Our pleasure, I'm sure. ::smiles pleasantly:: Good, then. We can wash up.

Maria:
Nothing appears to be burned or even singed. You both continue to impress me with your restraint.

Martel:
That's what those usually are, of course. Tests, to see if you show...tendancies.

Lan:
Say, padre, what do they do with heretical things once they put them in boxes, exactly?

Martel:
Bury them, as often as not. Depends on the thing, really. Why? See something interesting?

Lan:
They had archaic looking jump-keys down there. I mean, you tell me, but jumpgate keys? How's that heretical. Hate to see that sort of thing lost.

Martel:
Hmm. Sometimes the brothers just bring stuff in and dump in the Heresy pile, and no-one ever looks it over. Chances are, though, jump keys will probably be tested, THEN buried.

Lan:
::wanly:: Great.

Martel:
Yeah, it's not exactly one of my favorite policies, but since I've never seen the after-action reports on those trips, I've not had an opportunity to argue against them.

GM:
::at least they're properly cataloging everything now. They made a big push to number everything down in the Vault while Martel was in seminary, and actually got it through.::

Lan:
((Sounds like a job for a Mentat!))

Martel:
::now it's buried in red tape, instead of just dirt::

GM:
((or an old dude with bottlecap glasses and free time))

Maria:
So the Avesti are just sitting on a treasure trove of tech? I bet Leagueheim would be sick if it knew.

Lan:
::nods ever so faintly:: Wouldn't they just.

Martel:
I'd half be willing to bet the Avesti have hinted at it before. Some of our upper echelons are not above gloating.

Maria:
Why don't they just burn it?

Lan:
Aha. Mystery uncovered. Pyre is a hotbed of Third Republicanism!

Martel:
Contrary to popular appearances, the Avesti aren't a gestalt society. There are factions that would prefer some progress.

Lan:
::does his best to look suitably outraged::

Martel:
Of course, mostly the vault was started for the stuff that wasn't uhhh...flammable.

Maria:
I thought everything was flammable, given sufficient quantities of thermite.

Martel:
Then there was this big backlog, and of course, you can't go burning things out of order. Then where would we be? Thermite requires a certain knowledge of chemestry which the more...vigorous brothers around here lack.

Lan:
Well, I coul...er. Yeah. Course then there's that business about how Holy Relics can't be burnt. You know. Not to mention Ur Artifacts.

Maria:
Really? I was making thermite in basic sapping class at the military school. I know it's not something fire happy inquisitors would avoid learning.

Lan:
::rubs his chin:: So, they really started this vault for just the stuff that wouldn't burn?

An:
::sits somewhere in an uncomfortable chair trying to be as comfortable as possible::

Martel:
Well, those of us bright enough to learn how to make it are usually bright enough to find better applications for it. And those both fanatical and bright enough to do serious damage down there are generally kept out by those of us bright enough and sensible enough to stop them. And yes, it really was started for piles of stuff that won't burn.

Maria:
::is simply awestruck that there are people that are too dumb to mix aluminum and rust... gains a whole new appreciation for what it means to be an Avestite::

Lan:
Eminently reasonable. ::smiling:: Makes you wonder just how much IS down... wherever it is, after all.

Martel:
What it makes me is worried. A lot of that stuff is improperly catalogued, and at least some of it is probably as heretical as the Brothers tend to think it is.

Lan:
Portable gargoyles, shards, holy relics unrecognized, philosopher's stones. ::frowns:: I'm sure I won't be able to sleep now.

Martel:
Yeah, well don't go sleepwalking trying to find a way in there. They'll torch you on sight.

Lan:
Well, of course not.

An:
Hmm... I'm a tad bit hungry. Though truth be told I fear the meals here will be... quaint?

Martel:
I like to think of it as basic. Enduring, perhaps.

Lan:
I hope that doesn't mean constipating. ::glances at the chamber pot:: I think.

Maria:
I asked while you were cataloging. It's beans. Beans and potatos. The brother said that there was something honest about the bean, and the potato is hardworking.

An:
Well at least its good to know my meal will have proper morals.

Lan:
There speaks an honest gardener, at least.

Martel:
Well, just remember to eat your fill. There's no lunch here. Lunch is just an excuse to be lazy around midday, after all.

Maria:
Interestingly, apparently the main drink is a thin wine. Apparently, it's hard to keep water drinkable here for long. I think it has to do with the bats.

Martel:
Wouldn't surprise me. They tend to carry all sorts of skin-burrowing, egg laying parasites.

Maria:
Also, it probably zonks the brothers out after dinner so they don't stay up too late.

Lan:
Oh man. And I touched that thing.

Martel:
You'd be AMAZED at how low the alcahol tolerances are around here. The first time I was invited out drinking with the Muster, I didn't even make it through the first Bar. Sadly, there isn't a whole heck of a lot to do here. I could take Lan to the garden, I guess. It isn't prime Ka growing country, but they probably have a few good roots.

Maria:
You think they might have anything good to eat stashed in the vaults? Maybe some old second republic twinkies?

Martel:
I'm willing to bet that second-republic twinkies are flammable, but we could always check. They wouldn't likely torch us if you guys were with me.

Lan:
You people are seriously heretical. If we get a chance to see the garden, though. That'd be nice.

Maria:
I can't help it. I figure I'm in the heart of "anything sinful you say could be used against you" country, so all I can think are sinful thoughts. It's like not thinking about the pink elephant.

Martel:
Well, it's probably the only thing around here of any interest. Actually, pink elephants ARE sinful around here. They are evidence of genetic tampering, after all.

Maria:
So the two of you are going to the garden? Give An and I some alone time in our lavish hotel?

An:
We could order room service.

Maria:
I checked. It's also beans. But the menu was quite attractive.

Martel:
Just, you know, for your information...you two aren't married yet.

Maria:
I am shocked. Simply shocked at your intimation.

Martel:
In the realm of things that will get you in trouble here, extra-marital hanky panky is kinda high up there.

An:
I think I'll have a bean souffle' with a potato... medium rare. A bottle of your finest watered down wine. And you dear?

Martel:
I intimate nothing. My specilation was idle, and has absolutely no bearing on your current, previous, or future actions.

Maria:
I think I'm going to have the potato, with a side of beans. Do you think we can have the wine chilled?

An:
::Puts a hand over his chest:: I solemnly swear, that I will do my best to not break the rules.

An:
Probably not. But just think our bell hop might be a bat.

Maria:
I wonder if poor Tollosk is still having a staring contest with Arnesto

Lan:
I wonder if he's cleaning up bat excreta.

Martel:
I heard Arnesto has the ability to read your mind, if you look into his eyes.

Maria:
So. Garden. You two. Exploring. Right?

Martel:
Indeed! C'mon big guy, lets see if we can find one of them rare non-poisonous local anythings. ::leaves the room::

GM:
::the garden is situated at the end of a winding series of corridors, and actually seems to be one of the only locations in the cathedral with glass. Large plate windows, scoured into translucency by centuries of storms,

Lan:
::follows along::

GM:
cast a hot, bright light into the room beneath, where rows of soil are tended by novitiates. Most of them have potatos and bean plants, but one seems dedicated to Ka oil vines::

GM:
::It takes Lan precisely three minutes to notice something that has apparently eluded Temple Avesti for hundreds of years. There is no such thing as a Ka plant.::

Lan:
::tries to spot one who seems to know what he's doing, to kibitz about the Ka.... oh wait... there's no such thing as a Ka plant!::

Martel:
::admires the nearby Ka Plant::

GM:
::it is apparent to the trained eye that the "Ka plant" aisle is home to no less than three species of native flora. Each of them is fairly similar, likely because it is adapted to the same environment, but each has a distinct origin, and probably all coexist because none have been able to spread thoroughly enough in the desert to triumph in the ecological niche and outcompete the others::

GM:
::Lan is quite certain that if the Avestites would use *one* species of the plant at a time, possibly with some alchemical refining techniques, the characteristic stench and smoke could be all but eliminated, leaving a cleaner, brighter, hotter flame to the oil::

GM:
::instead, the "ka oil" is likely an imperfect mixture of the three... or more::

Lan:
Deacon.... are there gardens specially dedicated to more refined cultivation of ... ah, Ka oil crop?

Martel:
Actually yes. My own humble estates on this world happen to be one of the larger producers. Why do you ask?

Lan:
Because as you can see... these are different plants. Several species, really. You see? Here? The leaf-stems seperate at staggered.... ::clears throat, stands up:: Is the smokiness and decreased flammability desirable? I'd really like to study this further.

Martel:
Well, I'm sure they are really just....different varia...hmmm. ::peers closer:: I knew I shouldn't have hired one of the Brothers as my head farmer.

Lan:
Hotter, cleaner burning Ka oil ought to have uses, yes?

Martel:
It ought to have many. I'd love it if you could spare some time to come visit my estates after we are done here.

Lan:
::nods:: Quite.

Martel:
I should probably drop by as well, considering it's been a while since I'm done my prefunctory once-over.

Lan:
They've probably smoked all your best. ::grins::

Martel:
::rubs chin:: You know, more than anything else, a clear, smokeless light in the training halls would do a lot to lighten the disposition of our initiates...

Lan:
If we're here long, get me a dispensation or whatever, to work with whomever is in charge of the cultivation.

Martel:
not to mention, if output could be increased properly, and Ka became hot enough, perhaps potential of a conventional energy resource? I will do so, but lets restrict this to my home estate, to start with.

Lan:
::nods::

Martel:
The folks around here sometimes frown on change, if it's not something with obvious, immediately provable benifits.

GM:
::and some day in the not too distant future, his fellows in the Guilds will come to curse the Maningzhoue Patented Ka Refinement Process::

GM:
::"Makes Ka Burn Hotter and Longer!"::

Lan:
::additional jellied applications!::

Martel:
"Can purify even the stubbornest heretical guildmembers!"

GM:
~~~OOC~~~