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Unlikely Crossing
(2013-04-04 - 2013-04-04)
No description.
The Beautiful city of Fynn is recovering after war tore it apart. Here it is over watched by one of the commander's of Palamecia who acts as the political arm. Yet even though under Palamecia's eye, the city continues to grow and prosper.

It is very rare, but sometimes people from here do go missing. There are several papers that hang on civilian billboards asking if you had seen this person or that, but some seem rather old, while others far newer.

Traders still come here and deals are still made on the street. Life is very peaceful here, beyond the one glooming fact that keeps people at distance. A man in very dark armor walks these streets. Dark mist gently rolls down his armor and around his feet. Each step precise, measured, and methodical. For where his armored boot landed, a dark layer of mist roamed over the stone road. His movements calm and at ease. Not seeming concerned about what was around him, as if no one here could pose him a threat.

The helm showed no life behind him through the eye slits, only the glowing red eyes that seem to skim over the people who moved out of the way. The very leather cape that flowed off his shoulder pauldrons barely moved with each step he took.

Beyond him were several other knights. Each with solid black armor that was highly polished to a near mirror finish. There own red eyes also gleamed from behind there helms, yet, unlike the very man they followed, their skin could be seen behind the helms they wore. There was at least four who was following the Dark Knight this day.
Avira Rule number one of VALKYRI: members MUST be willing to travel!

Today that rule is definitely in effect, born not just out of Avira's interest in exploring the worlds, but because when it came to getting jobs, they had to search far and wide. As far as jobs were concerned, the World of Ruin had definitely proved to be more fruitful to their types recently, which begot further exploration of its various continents. Even throughout these past few months in which this strange new world had existed, there was still quite a bit that the likes of Avira had not yet seen.

Today is the first day spent visiting Fynn. This was a city that Avira knew very little about, as it was not previously a part of Ivalicce. From what little she's learned of the place, all she really knows was that it was previously party to a nasty war. Looking at it today, such a thing is not easy to tell.

Avira and Maira had arrived early morning and spent most of the day exploring the city. Being commoners, Avira didn't really try to approach the castle here, and mostly stuck to the market areas. The billboard with several cases of missing people were of interest to the scarred woman and she had walked away from it with a few of the flyers left there to investigate later.

"This is a nice city." Avira remarks to Maira, unaware of the Dark Knight's presence this entire time. Only her mutate self seemed to have any sort of ability to sense darkness. Throughout the day she has noticed that, at times, people did seem a bit more on edge than usual. "Pretty peaceful. Doesn't look like they really have monster problems here."

She frowns. Monster hunting was pretty lucrative after all.
Maira Ever since she met the Dark Knight in Traverse Town, she has carried the horn that fell from his armor in battle. Maira isn't sure why, but it has become something of a talisman for her--a lucky charm or simple a reminder of a puzzle she isn't likely to solve any time soon, if ever. She has it now in the pack she carries over her shoulder as she stands beside Avira, looking over the board of missing people with a gentle frown. "Maybe not monster problems...but I wonder what happened to these people. Some of these bulletins look pretty old," she comments, reaching out to touch the picture of a small boy reported missing. "Well, we should try the Inn, ask if there are some odd jobs or rumors we could foll--" Maira cuts off suddenly, her eyes widening as she reaches for Avira's arm, her grip tight with alarm.

"It's him," she says, not even needing to look. No one else feels quite like that.

Maira turns her eyes to confirm, spotting the darkness that begins to coat the ground at his approach. Maira is frozen in place, simply staring, unable to move her feet. She should run, shouldn't she?
The Dark Knight continues to roam toward where Avira and Maira are, yet when he sees Maira he comes to a slow halt. The knights behind him slow their own pace before one peers over to see what has gotten their commander's attention.

The dark armored knight stares at Maira with his red eyes, before he motions with a hand out to his men behind him. The men give a gentle nod before they walk on down another path. Only leaving the Dark Knight to stand there.

The armored figure then slowly starts to approach the two women.
Avira "We're going to have to hit the inn eventually. I don't see us leaving town and getting anywhere meaningful at this hour." Avira mentions, interrupting Maira just a little. She's about to add something about her feet hurting when her blonde companion suddenly falls deathly silent and clutches her arm.

She winces a little at the solid grip. "Maira, what is-"

'It's him.'

"Him?" Right away, she's looking around. Only one person could illicit such a reaction from Maira and already she knows who that is. In all her time knowing Maira, she's never heard her speak of anyone so frightfully as she has the Dark Knight.

Avira turns to look and right away spots him. Naturally, to her just the way the Dark Knight /looks/ makes him stand out. Her eyes narrow as she looks beyond him and spies the additional soldiers apparently following him, judging by how they slow when the Dark Knight does as well.

...meaning they were outnumbered. Not good.

But in a moment, the others depart at the dark knight's urging. Still, his approach draws Avira into a defensive position and she quickly interposes herself between Maira and the approaching knight. Casually, she rests her left hand on her hip, putting it close to the hilt of the Spine.
Maira It's true. Something about Leon has deeply shaken her and she isn't sure why. It isn't all paralyzing fear. There is curiosity there as well. He's a puzzle. She has never felt anything like him and his actions were extremely confusing. Unconsciously she reaches toward her pack where the piece of his armor lay.

Oh, he's approaching. He's dismissing his company....and approaching. " careful, please. If he doesn't want to fight don't...don't do anything okay?" she says, worried her more hot-headed (irony!) friend would get herself in trouble. Leon would surely want to 'test' her perhaps.

Then, Maira manages to get at least a small bit of sense back into her head and does the first thing that comes to mind. She says hello.

The Dark Knight comes ever closer. Those red eyes staring right at Avira for a moment, yet a few feet away he comes to a halt. He just stares at them both, the darkness around him flowing around the ground in wisps of black. Moving like streams of water on the ground.

He cants his head slightly, then he cants it the other direction. He seems to just be looking at Avira for now, until his eyes drift over to Maira as she says 'hello'. "Greetings Maiden of Light. I was not expecting to find you here.. and with such a.. bright.. friend." His red eyes drift back to Avira.

"Due to laws I must obey here," His eyes return to Maira. "..I am not allowed to conduct hostilities within these walls." Then they shift back to Avira. "... You may.. stand down."
Maira Maira's eyes never leave Leon. She is trying her darndest to relax a little, but it is extremely difficult. When he speaks, Maira bites the inside of her cheek lightly. There it is again. Maiden of Light. " is Maira. Why do you call me that? Maiden of Light? What does that mean?" she asks.

Apparently, he cannot attack them here. Well, that's good, but still raises questions. "If you could attack, would you?" she inquires, tilting her head slightly in question. She places her arms in front of her, her hand curling around the opposite wrist in an attempt to keep herself from fidgeting--or shaking like a leaf in the wind.
Avira Though not normally sensitive to the darkness, those that possess it in great amounts, such as this knight here, /do/ get her notice. Angantyr and Garland are also some who are sensed by the scarred woman, though even then the effect isn't as overwhelming as it should be. In a way, it was a bit of an advantage.

Avira stares back at him, her gaze unwavering, eyes narrowed. Her muscles remain tense and still. "Stay behind me." Avira warns her friend without looking back at her, keeping her staredown with the advancing source of darkness.

At the address, Avira's eyes narrow further. "Why's he calling you that?" she murmurs to Maira under her breath. Though he does claim that he wouldn't start hostilities here, the huntress does not un-tense.

"So you're a subject of this kingdom?" she asks the knight.
"No." The Dark Knight replies to Avira. "..But the people, sometimes take care of our needs." His voice echoing in the helm with a deep resonance."One should not harm those that offer."

The Dark Knight starts to move around them, as if trying to circle the two women. Those red eyes staring down Avira for the entire time. They lock onto her own eyes, seeming to peer deep within her. To her very heart. If one could only sense the darkness, they would be reminded of a heartless. A heart almost entire of darkness with no light that could be seen.

Yet somehow, the darkness was in check. The heart had yet to be consumed.

He then drifts his eyes to Maira at last before he comes to a halt. "Your heart is bright. It is full of light. The brightest I have seen." He then tilts his head to the side. "...why do you carry a piece of my armor?"
Maira Maira shakes her head to Avira, mouthing "I don't know," in response to her question.

As Leon circles them like a shark, Maira gulps and turns with him to make it less unnerving to her--which only ends in her looking rather silly.

When he explains why he calls her Maiden of Light, she blushes with embarrassment. "" she replies. Is this a compliment? She doesn't understand. When he asks why she carries a piece of his armor, she flushes deeper. The truth is, she doesn't really know. "I...don't know. It something I should do. I guess maybe I was hoping I'd see you again so I could ask you these questions..." she says, then, growing brave, begins to counter circle /him/.

"You shouldn't feel like you me. It isn't....right. It isn't like anything else. You...feel like a glass that has been emptied and filled with darkness. It's so strange," she remarks. "Why did you attack us, that day? I'd never even seen you before...are you a Shadow Lord?"
Avira As the Dark Knight moves, Avira moves to match him, sidestepping her way around Maira. At all times, she keeps her head forward, focused on him and her body placed between him and her best friend. "Well." she says shortly. "I have no intention of starting an altercation in a kingdom where I am merely a guest. But I warn you-if you try to lay a hand on Maira, I will take steps to prevent it." Her mouth pulls into a grim line.

All the while, Avira watches him back, that same steely expression upon her face. If she is seeing the darkness inside of him, she doesn't outwardly react, maintaining her brave front for the sake of her best friend.

It's oddly empty inside Avira now-as if something was missing. In spite of this, her defiance remains.

Then Maira starts to move and Avira moves with her, starting a strange, complicated orbit between the pair. For now, she lets Maira ask a few of her own questions, listening carefully and remaining at the ready should things turn sour.
The Dark Knight tilts his head as Maira starts to orbit the other direction from his. It was almost like a dance. A very dangerous dance. Yet the Dark Knight continued, until his steps came to a pause. His red eyes focused on Maira before he placed out a hand.

In his hand the darkness started to take a shape, it was slowly constructing a form of some kind, before it slid away. As the dark mist moved away from the object, one could start to see what it was hiding. Slowly revealing a beautiful yellow flower. One that looked much like a Dandelion. "Perhaps you would prefer to have a flower, instead of a horn as something to puzzle over?"

He keeps his hand extended out, his attention only now on Maira, yet he is aware of Avira's odd presence. Though her actions for now are speaking for him. He may indeed be only now judging her on mere actions.

"I attack, so that I may see. I see by the actions that are taken. By how fierce they fight and how lost they become in the battle." The Dark Knight explains. "The greater the light, the stronger the will to end battle. The darker the heart, the more desire for blood. The heart is, perhaps, the reflection of actions."

".. you have such a strong light.." The Dark Knight whispers once more.
Maira When Leon stops, she does as well, standing across from him with Avira interspaced between them. She can't help but smile at how protective her best friend is. Of course, Maira feels the same way. Her hand drifts toward her neck where the half heart charm hangs on a silver chain.

Maira looks back to Leon then, her brow furrowed curiously as he holds out his hand and a flower forms from the darkness. Maira bits her lip. No one has ever tried to give her a flower before. How silly is that?

Maira reaches down to her pack where the horn rests, its shape so perfectly familiar to her hands. "A flower will die....if you really want this back..." she offers, though she clearly doesn't want to give it.

Still, more questions. "I understand...but I don't understand why /you/ do it...why do you need to know? What are you?"
Avira The situation quickly crosses from intimidating to flat out creepy, which rankles Avira even further. She knows Maira has issues with guys (hello Ivo). The huntress is all too happy to serve as a barrier between the two now. It wouldn't be the first or last time Avira was judged on her actions.

"And why..." Avira cuts in suddenly and fiercely, ignoring the flower. " you take it upon yourself to judge the light and darkness in people's hearts?" She stops her walking to face him, both of her hands now resting upon her hips. This might only be significant since it would mean that not only is a hand positioned to pull her weapon, but the other can grasp the small buckler shield latched onto the small of her back.

"Furthermore, it seems you didn't answer my friends question concerning your possible status of a Shadow Lord." It could be a good assumption to make, but on the other hand, Avira knew a few other dark knights that weren't Shadow Lords.
The Dark Knight's eyes trail over to Avira for a moment. "I am not a Shadow Lord." He states simply and calmly. "I do as I wish." He seems to hold little emotion in his voice. His stance is perfectly calm, no sign of aggression or even any motion to seem like he is planning a trap.

The darkness even slides away a bit, as if to 'welcome' Maira to come closer. It would also seem his attention shifts back to the fire mage. His cants his head at his words, before he extends out his other hand. The mist starting to form another shape. "Then perhaps I should allow you to keep it. If you like it so much, Maira, Maiden of Light."

As the shadows start to pull back on his other hand a ring appears. A silver ring with a crimson ruby attached to it, with four diamonds around the ruby. "Yet perhaps instead of a flower, that would wilt. Maybe then a ring, that would last as long as the wearer?"

The Dark Knight's red eyes look into Maira's. "Choose one. They are a gift to show I will not harm you." Though he does not answer the question as to what he is or why he really needs to know.
Maira It hasn't escaped her notice that he hasn't answered those questions, though she's sure he heard her. He's avoiding the answer. Fine...for now. She can be rather stubborn, and the more she speaks to this Dark Knight the more puzzling it all becomes.

The darkness around him recedes some and she finds her feet moving forward, unbidden. Her eyes look to his other hand as the mist forms a beautiful ring with the most gorgeous red stone. She boggles. If she sold that, VALKYRI could eat for....for a long time! They wouldn't be hungry, or loose the roof over their heads or--

Maira's hand still rests on her pack. She doesn't understand. She feels far too simple-minded for this task set before her, just not simple enough not to realize that this was important. Being offered a simple, sweet gift. An extravagant ring, a traditional symbol of a promise...Promise not to harm her. "....But you won't promise not to harm my friends?" she asks, as close as she dared and was able to get with Avira playing the sane person between them.
Avira "Just because?" Avira seems unimpressed with this answer. "I don't believe you. You must have a deeper purpose than that." Only the most whismsical and meddling of gods would elect to do anything for 'just because'-es. Though this dark knight might be powerful, Avira asesses him to be no god.

But at least he'll admit to not being a Shadow Lord. This only causes a fraction of relaxation within the huntress. Her eyes remain still upon the dark knight.

Avira pauses and finally looks away from the dark knight to turn to Maira, quietly murmuring something to her.
The Dark Knight keeps his hands still extended. He doesn't pull them away, nor does he make any movements at all. Actually it doesn't even seem like he is breathing. Just standing like a statue with his eyes fixed on Maira.

Yet when Maira asks her question, he cants his head only a bit. The silence remains for awhile longer before he speaks with still all the calmness and precise wording. "I can not make that promise. As the price would be far greater."

His eyes then drift over to Avira. "It is not yours to believe or to not believe. You act as a shield to your friend. Concerned for her light. Concerned for the light of others around you? You do not trust the darkness, or the concern of me being a Shadow Lord would not have been high." His red eyes glow softly. "So whom be you to ask I questions, beyond the fair maiden's protector and advocate." His voice does not change as he points these things. No height of emotion. No anger. No sense of even being riled as Avira stood in the way and said her peace. All there was, was a soft predatory stare, before his eyes dim in color and look upon Maira once more.
Maira Maira replies to Avira, murmering into her linkshell something about not knowing what to do, but Avira's advice seems pretty sound and she intends to take it, doing the sensible thing for once.

Maira shakes her head at Leon. "I...can't. I can't accept gifts like this because if you can't promise not to harm my friends harming them you would harm me. I can't take a promise that is bound to be broken," she finally replies.

Maira looks to Avira then, edging closer to her friend. "H-hey, I protect her too! We always stick together," she continues, reaching out to take Avira's hand and give it a quick squeeze.

"I'll keep this though," she says, touching the horn in her bag. "Maybe...maybe someday you can make the promise again," are her words, as she is beginning to back away.
Avira Maybe this man was an undead? A corpse or ghost animated by the darkness? No, there would be a smell involved, wouldn't there? Unless strong magic could hide that smell. Everything about the dark knight seems inhuman-and Avira knows a thing or two about being inhuman.

Interesting, though, as he admits that he wouldn't keep the promise of not attacking anyone. Well, it was worth a shot, wasn't it? "That would just be too simple." she mutters, perhaps to Maira, or maybe just herself.

Avira looks up immediately, perhaps feeling his eyes upon her, electing to resume her solem glare. "It's less that I don't trust the darkness and more that I don't trust /you/. I am Avira, of VALKYRI." she says mildly. "And Maira is my best friend, regardless of the light inside her. I do not take kindly to harassment of her." In the general sense at least. Avira is unsure if this counts as harassment but it was certainly worrisome behavior.

Maira takes her hand and for a few moments Avira looks a little embarassed. Like, hey, she's trying to act all badass for Maira here! "Come on." she says to Maira, perhaps sensing her backing away, "Let's go, we need to find a place for the night." Only then does she finally turn her back upon the Dark Knight.

She's still between Maira and him, though!
The Dark Knight lowers his gaze to the two women. The darkness moves back around him back the mist starting to extend outward. Moving through the cracks. The armor almost becoming impossible to see by the very mist that starts to become thicker.

His hands clench around that which he created, crushing the flower and crushing the very ring. It was hard to tell if it was emotion that was causing this or just a silent symbol to Maira's response. As he finished crushing the items placed in his hands, he rotated his closed fist over before opening them up and only droplets of blood; or what looked like blood; dropped to the ground.

"Very well. I will accept your choice, Maira, Maiden of Light."

His hands then slowly move back to his side as the darkness on the ground extends no further but only about perhaps three feet away from the two women. It slithers there, moving about, before it starts to retract closer once more to the Dark Knight.

Then Avira says something he wanted, yet even more. 'I am Avira, of VALKYRI.'


His red eyes glow softly as he then starts to take a step back. "Rest well, Avira, guardian of the Light and Maira, Maiden of Light. Perhaps I will meet your family in the near future..." Then if both, or either one, was to look back, they would find the Dark Knight has vanished into a cloud of darkness that soon evaporates from the very air.
Maira Maira winces as she watches Leon crush the flower and the ring he had created, watching as blood fell to the ground. Blood? Was it /his/ blood? Or...someone elses?

"Goodbye..." she begins, realizing once more he didn't give her his name. So frustrating! Wait, meet their family!? Well, Maira doesn't have a family so...she's too shell shocked to figure out he means VALKYRI at this moment.

Maira walks off with Avira, looking over her shoulder as the Dark Knight disappears.
Avira The 'gift' is crushed away, though Avira seems outright surprised when it seems to make him bleed over it. "Careful now." she warns, taking note of the darkness that seems to be creeping close to the two of them. Her own hands still remain at her waist, ready at a moment's notice to seize her own weapon.

Rest well indeed. Avira's unsure now if she will manage to sleep knowing that this man lurks within the walls of this city. At the very least she could be certain he wouldn't attack them both as they slept-mostly. Spy upon them further, though...

"...tch. Meet families indeed. He'll be quite disppointed. Neither of us have any." She shakes her head, walking behind Maira.

This scene contained 24 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Maira, Leon