Exalted: In A Mirror Darkly
The Abbot sat, lotus position, in his bedchamber. It was night, and the temple was quiet. The students were all asleep, tired from the days training and lessons. The only thing that traveled the halls was the rapidly cooling night air… or so he thought.
The Abbot heard footsteps. Not running, but certainly in a hurry. His bedchamber was the only room at the end of the hallway, so this visitor must mean to see him. He rose from his meditations, and went to greet them.
He opened the door before the first knock came, and was greeted with the visage of one of the younger students. The young man’s brow was furrowed, as if his relatively new mind was grappling with some new fact he couldn’t make sense of.
“Abbot, you should come quickly. The Head Astrologer wishes to speak with you.”
Ah, that was why this young one was up so late. He was studying with the astrologers. Through her study of the stars, the Head Astrologer and her disciples occasionally gleaned knowledge of things yet to come. Only rarely did such knowledge prove of practical use, though. So what could be so important? He asked the student.
“It’s the stars, sir. We’ve… found some new ones.”
Ah, new stars. An portentous discovery. A new star meant a new influence on the heavens. A newly born leader, a newly founded nation, a new invention. If the star could be properly identified and accurately tracked, the events that revolved around the influence could be predicted. But even so…
“Is is late, student. And I am no astronomer. Why the hurry?”
“Well, sir…it’s just… we’ve found so many,” the student replied, ”...so the Head Astronomer thought you should be informed immediately.”
That was a disturbing fact. One new influence was portentous. More than one could be… problematic. “Just how many new stars have you found?”, the Abbot asked.
“Nearly three-hundred so far, Abbot.”