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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dissension - Chapter 8

I doesn't think it is possible, but even bigger secrets revealed, this time thanks to the trial.

Dissension - Chapter 8

Don't say I've got the voice of an angel,
Don't tell me that you think I'm true.
Don't say I've got the voice of an angel,
'Cause an angel would never lie to you.
                                   -Face of an Angel, by Shonya Bayle,
                                                    the Balladrix of Tin Street

31 CIZARM 10012 Z.C.

Air Marshall Wenslauv is hoping to find an angel, or even a ghost, but all she finds are bodies. A few at first, but more and more the deeper she goes, all killed within about the same time frame.

While she doesn't find anything hopefully, she does come across something curious. As she backtracks to one of the previous rooms she catches a glimpse of a snake slithering beneath a body. There isn't any good reason for a snake to be in the castle. Some mage may be using it to spy on her, or at the very least it's a pretty poisonous species so should probably kill it just in case. She readies her weapon, and flips the body... and nothing.

Maybe it slipped into a crack?

(Yeah right.)

There is no time to really waste with the thing, there may be an hour or two before the Parhelion crashes, so she moves towards the control deck-

Wait. What's this?

The armory. Maybe she better load up in case she meets the thing that killed the angels.

(Watch out for snakes that aren't snakes!)

...The trial...

Nodov is confused. What's this Agryem that's Feather's talking about. Kel seems to understand better but he adds that it's very well close to blasphemy.

Feather says it's not another place, but it is a kind of... pocket existence. She speaks about knowledge that the angels have always known. Ravnica is sealed off from... elsewhere. A long time ago when the even the angels were young, there was a constant flow of visitors from other worlds. Worlds that contained their own demons, their own angels, and their own gods. Sometimes visitors would arrive and not realize they had ever been from any place other than Ravnica. This was still a time before the Guildpact when the new arrivals started slowing, and eventually stopped completely.

Nodov remains skeptical, but Augustin steps for time's sake and with resignation admits that the first Azor knew of this and that knowledge has been passed down since from one Azor to another. With an angel in a verity circle and the Grand Arbiter himself confirming the details, this trial changes completely. The proceeding questions are have shifted away from what Feather has done to what Feather knows. About the nature of Agyrem, of heaven.

The Parhelion was made with ancient technology from the old visitors, and is designed to be able to travel anywhere that exists. However it was discovered that at some point, some distance out there, existence ends. Existence closes in on itself. There is no way in and no way out. However, as existence folded in on itself, a bubble was formed, the pocket of space that all spirits go to when someone dies. This is the place called Agryem, City of Ghosts .

What is it like?

It's every place that ever existed. All at once.

Razia had found it. When the Schism was formed it changed to fabric of space, and as a result the Parhelion was transported there and grounded. Razia understood what she had found and determined it was more important to discover all she could of the place rather than to keep her watch over Ravnica.

Feather had been able to travel there by the assistance from the angels from the other side. However she didn't have much time to take a look around. The ghosts had gone to war with the angels.


Wenslav is armed to the teeth. Two bam stick across her back, one in hand, two short swords at her waist, and two belts of goblin bangpops crosses her chest. She's ready for anything.

But what does she find when she makes it to the command floor? Nothing. Some blood stains maybe, but no bodies. Where had everyone gone?

Then she hears a cough. She did it! A living angel! But by the looks of her, she won't be living for long.

...In the skies above Ravnica...

Lieutenant Flang is always an unlucky goblin. So much so that his nickname is Flang the Unlucky, a nickname that was unfortunately picked out by himself. How can you fight fate? Flang can't. On his way to deliver the very critical warnings about the Parhelion, he crashes into an overpass and falls to his death.

* * *

Story Time

So the angels have known about the nature of the multiverse and their floating fortress is actually a method to find a way out of the bubble they've been sealed in. To top it off the angels have discovered the actual location of heaven, and it appears that it's not as happy a place as you'd hope.

Those details are huge. This summary of mine doesn't adequately the intensity of the trial and the shock and reactions of the people within the court. This was great stuff, and mind-blowing in scope.

How will any of this connect to all the other plot threads we have running around in this novel? Are the ghosts just acting against intruders? Did Zomaj Hauc somehow pull himself together already despite it not being the decades he said he needed to pull himself together and somehow gain control of the other spirits? (Not too big a fan of that one.) Are they being controlled somehow by the League of Evil? Or is this another unknown to them like the nephilim are?

It seems like there's just too much for all of this to resolve in the little space we have left. It's the exact opposite of the very straightforward Guildpact. But if Herdon can pull it off, the book will be all the better for it.

I could have done without the comical nature of the Flang's death, but it doesn't take away from the impact of Feather's confession on the stand.

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