Session 25a: The Not-So-Simple Art of Murder
Snapdragon was furious. Red Lion letting Oberen get away alive had been bad enough, but now the Sidereal had the temerity to come back to drown them in paperwork where he couldn’t defeat them in combat. She had finally had enough. Gathering a few basic supplies—knives, tarps, and rope the most important ones—she set out from Prism’s manse to find the celestial god of murder and ask him for a boon.
The Solar made her way to the Bureau of Humanity to track down the specific deity she needed information on. She had met minor gods of murder before—several, in fact, and was on a first-name basis with at least one of them—but she had never thought much about the true god of murder. She could only imagine the level of power and fear inspired by such an august and terrible being. Still, she needed an ally if she was to run her prey to the ground. She was unfamiliar with the workings of Heaven, and she could only believe that the god of murder would look on her favorably.
After hours of speaking to lesser gods—including a somewhat humiliating run-in with the goddess of snapdragon flowers and the goddess of hyacinths—she managed to find out that the previous god of murder had been removed from his position relatively recently. Until the bureaucracy managed to get around to appointing a new deity in his place, the position was being filled by the head of the department of human death—Hran-Tsu, God of Decay and King of Ravens.
Snapdragon made her way to the palace of the Raven King, a mighty but crumbling edifice surrounded by gardens of mushrooms and fungus. There, she was escorted into his presence quickly; while he was very busy, he could always deign to make time for one of the Solar Exalted. Hran-Tzu was quietly impressive, a being made of empty funeral cerements surrounded by flapping and cawing ravens, whose croaks and screeches formed his voice.
Drawing on what little knowledge of formal ceremony she possessed, Snapdragon made her politest overtures before revealing the purpose behind her journey. Hran-Tzu ventured that he could indeed help her kill Oberen—but had she considered the consequences fully? The Raven King pointed out that Oberen was just a functionary, and that the true source of her circle’s woes was the Bureau of Destiny itself. Would she kill all hundred Sidereals and every god in their service? Listening to his wisdom, Snapdragon began to calm down.
She and Hran-Tzu spoke for some time yet, with the Raven King noting that death was a very final solution—which was its own worst quality. Killing a human was an irrevocable action, something that you couldn’t take back. Every man must die, he agreed, but ending a life before its time was a terrible burden. Killing a man meant accepting responsibility for all the choices he might have made someday, and now never would. Snapdragon held instead that not killing a man when you could made you responsible for all the evil he did thereafter.
While they disagreed on some philosophical points, Snapdragon and Hran-Tzu parted ways amicably, with the Solar choosing to spare Oberen’s life. She vowed that if he ever interfered with them on Creation again, though, her mercy would reach its already tenuous limits.