IC: Hogo Kamari, Hogo Noshima's Chambers (Imperial Palace)
The crystal bowl resting to the right of her knees, Kamari waited for Noshima to begin. The first move was crucial, and silence reigned within Noshima's chambers until broken by the sound of the black piece clacking against the wood. Kamari lowered her head in thought, refusing to play an inadequate response. The crystals landed on the wooden board in slow intervals, their tactics dancing about the board. Armies began to form and with them the pace developed. Both dasaka's plans finally became apparent and the opening passed into the mid-game without protest.
"How has my Toroshu been sleeping since her dreams?" Kamari inquired while scooping an army of two from the board. For Noshima to allow her the small victory hinted at a larger plot, and while she waited for the woman's answer Kamari calculated Noshima's scheme.
IC: Eiyu Kwaiya, Imperial Library (Towers of Knowledge)
The book returned to its shelf, brushing against the covers of its fellows in greeting. Kwaiya ran a finger down its spine and gave a pleasant sigh. Grabbing the handle of her shelving cart she continued on past Menti Biographies and Tactics. The crystal tower glittered with outside sunlight. The city was little more than a soft sketch through the semi-translucent walls, and Kwaiya enjoyed the feeling of solitude from the rest of civilization. She was but a small dashi in a grand empire of books.
Kwaiya trundled her cart along the crystal bridge, looking down at the splendor of the library. Hundreds of levels stretched below her, each dedicated to a different subject. In the thousands of years since the forming of the modern dasaka civilization there had never been a lack of authors. Nobles had little to worry them in the centuries of prosperity, and many turned to writing volumes on genealogies and military histories, others to boat building, and even more to the pleasures of the stomach. The recorded history and society of one race had never been so perfectly filed away between the covers of books.
The dashi paused. In her hands was a rare copy of Cornerisu's Inventions. How ironic such a small book had such a powerful influence. Inventions was the earliest known publication featuring sketches and designs for an aquatic vessel later to be dubbed the submarine. In an attempt to control the production of these powerful vessels the current Rora had banned the book and kept the inventor in the naval shipyards improving the designs until Cornerisu's death. Countless copies of the slim crystal resonator had been shattered, forcibly removing any public knowledge of the invention's secrets. Kwaiya, entranced by the history of the copy's survival, ran a hand across the stiff cover. Curiosity and shame simultaneously burning in her chest, Kwaiya slipped the small book into her satchel. She glanced around to assure she was alone in her act before continuing in her duties.