The gleaming city of Yushan stood before the Circle. While Solar and Lunars once strode the golden streets, since the Usurpation it has been the exclusive domain of Sidereals. The indestructible Celestial Lions that guarded the gate were not happy to see their millenia long routine had just been interrupted.
Caiden gathered his bearings after stepping through the gate. It was the Lunargent Ecological Protectorate alright. Hanging gardens lined the horizon to the Celestial Bureaucracy at the center. He turned to Raksi, “This is the domain of Luna, so if you have any favors, you might want to call them in if we hit trouble. We still have another thousand miles to go before we reach the Meru gate, and we’ll be lucky if I can get you past these Lions.”
Something he said must’ve not made sense as he noticed the look of shock on some of the travelers.
“Oh! You don’t need to worry about the distance remember? The transit system here covers that in a matter of minutes. Advantages of traveling with a Chosen of Journeys, right?” Ok, not the time for humor, he forced a cough then turned to the Celestial Lion, who was already glaring intensely towards the newcomers.
“HARBINGER, DO YOU BRING A CIRCLE OF SOLARS TO YU-SHAN WITHOUT THE PROTECTION OF AN ECLIPSE CASTE?” the lion spoke with an intensity that felt heavy just hearing.
“Protection of a..” oh shite… It was just a small contingent of Solars opting to travel through to Meru, and of course the easy answer would be to have an Eclipse present for diplomatic immunity…
Caiden sighed as he addressed the Lion, “No, Four Sixty-eight. I am here to escort this contingent of Celestial Exalts to Meru.”
“My my, you’re getting sloppy aren’t you?” The voice came from a figure that landed perfectly behind the Celestial Lion from a now visible starmetal airship. He was tall, even without the black tophat faking his stature. Purple accents along his tailcoat suit made him an instantly recognizable figure: Sevrin – a Bronze Faction division lead. “The only place you’ll be escorting these exalts to is the Hall of Celestial Stability for processing.” He raised an eyebrow at Raksi “Especially that one.” He patted the neck of another Celestial Lion that flanked him as if summoned.
“You have no juris…”
“Actually I have every bit of jurisdiction here. Celestial Law is very explicit about the presence of Solars, and especially rogue Lunars.”He had clearly used a charm. “Four Sixty-eight, and Four Sixty-nine if you’d be so kind as to escort our guests to the airship.” His voice was irritatingly snide, filling Caiden’s mind with violent thoughts of silencing the Sidereal…
Sevrin was apparently ready for this because he already had a set of Essence Suppressing Slave Collars on hand. Had he seen this in the Loom of Fate? Raksi was strangely silent and compliant when they arrested her and placed the slave collar on the once feared Lunar. She just looked sad. The Solars were rounded up while the Celestial Lions loomed over them. Each was restrained with a slave collar.
“Caiden, Union of Wandered Stars, you are also under arrest for aiding in this crime.” Caiden was also put in handcuffs, though not a Slave Collar. If the Bronze Faction started putting Slave Collars on Gold Faction members, there’d be a civil war. Even the manufacture of these things was illegal on the Blessed Isle. But they were technically allowed in Yu-Shan given the power of being the security had to deal with on a regular basis. This was not going to be pleasant.