Jin Huang had found himself drawn more and more to the Pantheon these days, ever since the Rebirth of the Sky and the forming of the Council. He was not a member of said Council, but it was good to see renewed activity about the Pantheon. And besides, the entire concept amused him, for various reasons. But that was, at the moment, unimportant and not foremost on the dragon's mind.
Not that there was much on his mind at the moment, truthfully. He was wandering outside idly, the greenery outside a continued source of pleasure and distraction. Who would have thought that plains of rock and lava pools wold be so easily converted to rolling expanses of grass and trees? Another miracle of Creation, though one grown commonplace and nigh ignored through the passage of time. Personally, Jin Huang thought that there was much of the landscaping others had taken over, though he had no proof of such.
Nor was he particularly concerned. It was there, it looked nice, and was pleasant to walk around in, neatly fulfilling his criteria of what the outdoors should be.
So he continued to wander, letting his thoughts wander where they would as well, not noticing when the Pantheon disappeared from his line of sight as he followed some half-formed trail or another. It was clear that someone else had been this same way recently, a portion of his mind noticed. Perhaps he would meet them; perhaps not. It was all the same to him.
Glyph had stuck close to the Pantheon as of late, his inclusion in the Council had been a great honour for him but the longer he stopped and thought about it, the more and more he realized just how much of a weight the duty would be. He already knew he'd not shirk those duties, would step up and defend, lead, or shelter as was needed - it was why he'd offered himself in the first place - but it was an awful lot of responsibility.
He'd fashioned the Council Star into an amulet he wore about his neck, it hung just above his own God-Gem, and he toyed with it a little as he walked barefoot in the loam and detritus of the grounds. The Pantheon was out of sight, but not out of mind as he paused to look up and enjoy the warmth of the day on his skin, thrilled and energized by it's presence. It had made quite the difference for Forest since the Sky had returned - it had empowered him some, left him feeling more vital, something that was also echoed in the woods of the land as sunlight once again washed over their upturned leaves.
While Forest might welcome the return of natural sunlight and the Sky, Jin Huang was largely indifferent. He was, of course, glad it had happened and more than a little proprietorially pleased over his part, but overall it had made very little difference to a being that had once held the title of Underworld Dragon. Privately he conceded that it had settled down some of the more fractious group that still clustered around the Pantheon and the reborn Gods within. A demonstration of power on that scale was enough to calm even the most strident.
The trail Jin Huang was following had quite tapered off by the time he realized he was following after someone else. The dragon struggled for a moment about whether or not he actually wanted to speak with anyone, but the sight of Glyph ahead of him caused a slightly lopsided grin to crease his face. It was not, of course, there for very long before his face settled back to strict formality. "Glyph," he called out, lengthening his stride in an attempt to catch up with the other deity. They weren't friends, exactly, though they had known each other for some time. Being polite never hurt anything, especially when Glyph was a member of the Council.
When his name was called in greeting, Glyph's eyes blinked open and he tiled his head to look back over his shoulder, mildly surprised to run into someone so far out. And Jin no less! He couldn't remember the last time the Dragon King had been wandering about. Lifting a hand in a wave, Forest smiled broadly, evidently glad to see a familiar face, "Jin! This is unexpected!"
Forest was used to wandering - his feet were stained from the dirt and grasses he walked on so frequently. His fingers, too, were mildly dirty from rooting around in the grass. The sun glinted off his pale horn, giving him an interesting silhouette. Turning fully, the god closed the distance and opened his arms in an offering of friendly embrace or a handshake, "What brings you so far out?"
Well, that was unusual. Not unpleasant, but unusual enough that it gave him pause for a moment. Jin Huang was not really used to being greeted with such warmth, except perhaps from his siblings. The demons who served him tended towards the formal side, as was proper, and the dragon really didn't spend much time among the rest of the Pantheon.
Something to remedy, and this was as good a place to start as any. Jin Huang took Glyph's hand, not quite comfortable enough to give the other deity a hug. "My feet," he replied dryly once the handshake had been released. A quick gesture waved away the flippant reply. "I simply felt the need to walk while I thought about some things." He paused for a moment and arched an eyebrow curiously. "Yourself?"
Glyph shook his head, "Similar reason to you, I suppose. Though I am enjoying the sunlight. I've just been thinking about all that this means." He tapped the star and set it to swaying on his chest, smile fading a little, "There's so much to do. We were cut to the quick in the last encounter and I'm worried we'll suffer more when the Grigori do reveal themselves. I've been trying to come up with ways to muster our strength effectively."
He gave a shrug, "Heavy thoughts, I know, but necessary I'm afraid. Tools and information first and foremost. I wish I knew where Gianfar had gone..." Glyph pursed his lips at that thought - the last he'd heard, Knowledge had gone missing and Silence had gone in search of his comrade. Having seen silence at the gathering, he wondered if his friend had been successful in his search.
"As you say, heavy thoughts," Jin Huang replied. "Though they run parallel to my own." He shrugged somewhat uneasily. "I fear that our sense of urgency has faded in the time since the original attack." His certainly had, lulled into complacency by the relative normality that had followed the Crown's restoration. It was easy to get distracted, to find a singleness of purpose diluted. Procrastination was a seductive habit, that willingness to always say that things would be done tomorrow. Which often proved elusive.
When Glyph mentioned the still missing god of Knowledge, Jin Huang could not help but roll his eyes out and let out a slightly annoyed sigh. "It seems he does not wish to be found. And we would, perhaps, be better served by searching for information ourselves, instead of pinning our hopes on Gianfar." The dragon had not intended to vent that much spleen, but the continued wishing after Gianfar annoyed him.
"What sort of tools would you be hoping to find? And where?" It seemed likely that the minds of the Councillors - and one in particular - would turn towards the Treasury.
Glyph nodded at that, "Indeed. There is much calling for action but little in the way of actually prusuing those actions. Underworld has gone absent as of late and it bothers me... these stars are not simply collector's items, or gifts from the crown." Forest's tone was annoyed, "But I agree, we cannot pin our hopes on any one single, absent individual and thus why I've been pondering where and who to talk to in order to gather supplies, knowledge, and leads."
He smiled, "Tian Yue and Ashoka will be going to the Old Pantheon to investigate those grounds, I've taken it upon myself to search the library and Phae... not surprisingly, agreed to investigate possible leads with you. Has she spoken to you yet?"
Giving a shrug, the god seemed uncertain, "That's just it, it's like grasping at straws for leads. I was hoping the treasury might contain some information pertaining to the grigori or items such as weapons and armor that would be of use against them. I'm also hoping that something in the library will contain useful information, especially in regards to the story Tian Yue spoke of - it seems a woman stole a Pearl before the fading and Worldshield believes her to be Samyaza. If we can find more relating to that, perhaps there will be a lead. Do you have any ideas?"
He sympathized with the annoyance directed towards Underworld. Jin Huang had not thought someone reputed to be as honorable as Nergal would abandon his responsibilities that easily. At least there were those who had not shirked their duty. However... "Phaedra? No, I have not seen her since the Ceremony." At least he had some warning that she would be seeking him out. It always paid to be prepared with her. "I confess that I have not spent much of my time nearby, however." Which could be taken as an oblique admission that he might not be the best, most immediate, resource for information about the Treasury.
"I would, of course, be honored to be of assistance in locating information." And keeping an eye on Phaedra while they searched, of course. Loosing that particular Goddess unsupervised into the Treasury featured prominently in the majority of Jin Huang's nightmares, Council business or no. "There should be, I imagine, weapons and artifacts located within." He shrugged. "Though where, exactly, such items would be is the more pertinent question." Undoubtedly there was a catalogue of some sort, but there was no guarantee as to it's accuracy without having been maintained.
"As for the rest? I have no specific memory of Samyaza's past, if indeed this woman is her." It seemed true enough, though. "The Library, even without it's primary keeper, is as likely a place as any to find what lore exists regarding the Grigori." There was a similar problem regarding locating things there, however. "Perhaps some information about how we fought before would be of use." Which could also provide direction in searching the Treasury.
He puffed out his cheeks when he found out Phaedra had not yet approached Jin... he had thought Greed would be eager for the task assigned. "Bah. I had hoped the mantle of leadership would drive her to action in addition to collection... seems my hopes are set too high a the moment." Really... it felt like he was the only Councillor actually trying to make things happen sometimes.
"That is what I was hoping - if nothing of power, then bases we can work from. Tian Yue also hopes to find the means with which to work power into items once more and it is something I do agree with." He nodded again, "Indeed. Locating the useful information and items is the problem... If you happen to find anything of use, be it records, catalogues, or items please inform me." He laughed, "I fear I've taken the job most ill suited to one such as myself. I have not read a book in some time... perhaps it is long past due."
He wandered a little, pacing some, "Do you know of any other places or people to speak to for information? I wanted to stay close to the Pantheon while the others are out investigating so things aren't left wholly unguarded."
Jin Huang waved a hand dismissively. "No doubt she will speak to me when she is ready, and more importantly, I am not." Her best chance at doing that had passed once Glyph mentioned that she was likely to seek him out, however. Which may or may not be something to tell her. The delicate dance between them was ancient and yet new, both of them learning and relearning the measures of it.
He nodded thoughtfully. "There may be something about that sort of work in the Library, as well," the dragon offered. "It seems unlikely we would have left that knowledge as solely an oral tradition." Especially with deities such as Knowledge running about. Some people seemed determined to pin every word, every thought and action, to a page. In these circumstances, it was all to the better if someone had.
"Oh, of course," he replied with a small laugh. "Though I hope you'd forgive me if there was a delay in notifying you while I verified the accuracy of any records?"
He rocked back on his heels slightly at the last question. "Perhaps...There are always the groups of mortals about the Pantheon these days. There may be something in their ancient lore, their origin myths that would help shed some light on our own, largely forgotten, history."
"No doubt." Glyph responded with a slight grin. It almost seemed as if Jin enjoyed the power struggle and politicking with Phaedra. He'd personally get very very tired of it if he had to deal with her constant machinations though... Jin had Glyph's respect in that.
Another nod, "That's what I thinking... I know some are restoring the library, hopefully in the course of their work they've come across something interesting." Forest made an agreeable sound, "That's alright, I can forgive delay. I'd rather reliable information then chase a story."
The last suggestion gave him pause and he tilted his head, "That's true... I shall have to speak to them. I fear I have not been as social as I should be with the mortals." He sighed. There was so much to do among the Divine, he sometimes forgot about the mortals which huddled in their shadows for protection and prosperity. He chuckled, "To think the mortals, in their countless generations, would recall more then the Gods themselves. Balance to all things, I suppose, and good thing too."
Of course he enjoyed it; it was exhilarating, something that kept his mind sharp and active. That sort of struggle wasn't for everyone, though. Patient Forest, used to the extended time frame of a tree, having to deal with the quicksilver mind of Greed? Oh yes, it was easy enough to see why Glyph would tire of the goddess quickly.
"I'm sure they have," Jin Huang replied. "It's simply a matter of retracing their steps. Things of import to this task may not have seemed interesting at the time, and so they would have been organized and set aside." What would be fascinating for one would not be so for others, if they even knew what to look for in the first place.
Jin Huang arched an eyebrow. "I do not think any of us have been overly social with those gathered here." He certainly hadn't been, but the dragon remained uncomfortable with the idea of people worshiping him. It just seemed silly, somehow. "We remain wrapped in our own concerns and affairs, removed from the lives of those who would give us strength, if we but asked," he continued softly, eyes growing distant. He focused on Glyph again after a moment, a soft, almost sad, smile playing about his lips. "A member of the Pantheon asking after their histories and myths for assistance in such a weighty matter may well have an impact beyond anything we can predict."