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No title.
(2013-04-11 - 2013-04-16)
No description.
Ramza Beoulve Ever since their meeting with Angantyr in Narshe, they'd been on the move.

For whatever reason, the Church had set no ambushes, and at times even ignored Ramza's presence in a region, even when it was patently obvious. So for that reason, they'd gone further and further into uninhabited territories, waiting for the other boot to drop.

And so they'd set up camp near the edge of the Forgotten forest. Watch had been set, tents pitched, a mess area created, a latrine and fire pit dug.

A party had been sent out to hunt in the Forgotten Forest, with instructions not to range too far away. Only once they felt secure, did Ramza radio Avira to give her their location. He didn't really expect that she'd come all this way, but mayhaps she'd suprise him.

His last meeting with Avira hadn't been all that cordial due to Katyna's presence and her desire not to be publically associated with heretics, so the young man truly had no idea what she wished to speak with him about. After a time, he had forgotten that she might be coming at all, as he set to writing in a leatherbound journal near the unlit firepit, using a ballpoint pen to write in it. Every so often, he'd send a stray glance Artemis' way, trying to appear nonchalant, though it was obvious that he wanted to speak to her in private about some issue later.
Artemis Eurus Meanwhile, Artemis is chopping wood. She stands in leather leggings and a tunic, her mask white today. Yes, she has several of them.


She's amassing a good pile and getting a fair work out while she's at it.

Artemis looks up to find Ramza looking at her and raises a brow, not that he'd see it. Safe to say somehow her smile is questioning.
Avira What indeed. Word of the Church's persecution of Ramza and his band is well known by the leader of VALKYRI. Since that sour moment, she hadn't tried to acknowledge the heretic's presence, preferring to not embroil herself in struggles she honestly only knew one side of.

However, the situation had taken an unpleasant turn. She had to seek the heretic out.

Avira comes alone, perhaps as promised in her letter. Nobody follows her. It's hard to say if she's even given her own group much word of her whereabouts at the moment-they're all recovering to various degrees from last night's intrusion. Right up to the treeline, she takes a chocobo, but within the forest itself, she moves on foot. In here, she felt comfortable and aware. It doesn't take her too long to locate the camp that Ramza has set up, attracted by the smells and sounds that do not normally belong in a forest.

Naturally, she is armed, but it would be foolish to travel alone unarmed. Her own intrusion into the camp isn't a silent one and that is done deliberately, unwilling to receive an arrow in the chest for her efforts. This was no assassination attempt. "RAMZA BEOULVE!" she calls out, "I have arrived!"
Ramza Beoulve A man in a dragoon helm actually popped out of the brush, flipping up the visor to give Avira a bemused look as if to say /Yes, that's obvious, you're expected/. He'd then conceal himself once more.

As for the young man, when Avira yelled, he'd actually look up in a startled manner. And then he'd laugh light-heartedly, shutting his journal and setting it aside as he rose, and walked over to greet her with an affable smile. He didn't appear to be perturbed in the least about the fact that she was armed, as he walked over to her and offered a hand. "Good afternoon M'lady. No need for us to stand on formalities. You're my guest while you're in our camp." He'd smile at her. "And I hardly think that a gallant hero like yourself would be here to assassinate me, so there's no need to be so stiff. Come. Come. My apologies for dragging you out so far afield."

Avira might note that he seemed so lax about his /own/ security. He'd even turn his back to her as he led her back to the camp. "You must be famished. We could start cooking the evening repast early, once the hunting party is back, but would you like anything while we wait?"
Artemis Eurus Luckily, Artemis isn't lax about Ramza's security. She places the axe down when Avira arrives, striding over to stand beside Ramza, watching his back. "There is plenty of boar meat left Ramza. Smoked," she explains briefly, nodding her head to Avira respectfully, despite her obvious caution. Nothing personal, simply her job. For the moment, anyway.

"I could make tea perhaps," she offers then, an offer any one with a bit of brains in their head wouldn't want to refuse.

Unless they don't like tea. Don't even talk to Artemis if you don't like tea.
Avira "Eep!" Avira squeaks unexpectedly when that man pops out of the bushes nearby. She recoils and clearly struggles to not reach for her weapon, months of fighting monsters and Heartless having beaten certain survival instincts into her being.

Her embarassment over her yelping causes her to calm quickly and by the time Ramza approaches her, she has some sort of respectable semblance about her. "Hello." she offers, taking his hand and shaking it firmly in greeting. "Gallant hero? You flatter me." That church invaded by the undead aside, the last time they had meaningful words between them, Avira wasn't exactly being very gallant.

"It's understandable, Ser Beoulve. I've heard of the recent forces brought to bear against you. So I'm not exactly surprised to see you taking these precautions." Though he turns his back to her, it doesn't occur to Avira to take advantage of such situation-or that it reflected poorly on Ramza's situational awareness. He clearly had people watching him and as he walks, Avira is quick to move to walk alongside him rather than merely follow.

"Well now that you mention it, I am pretty hungry. What's ready so far?"

Artemis speaks up and Avira pauses to look the woman over, eyes narrowing slightly as she notes the mask. Something about those in masks just automatically put her on edge. "Tea then." she nods, "...maybe today it won't go cold..."

She clasps her hands behind her back and looks to Ramza. "Anyway I'm glad you would entertain meeting with me. I have a...question that I think you'll be the most equipped to answer. I would like to know...what reason does the Church have to persecute a child?"
Ramza Beoulve As Avira tried to be humble, he'd only grin. "Oh don't be so modest, there are few souls who haven't heard of your heroics."

A smile and a nod at her. "Actually, what concerns me all the more is that the Church has been, quiescent as of late. Its troubling. And it certainly means that they might be planning something after they failed in their ambush in the Sabil Mountains."

Ramza Beoulve would nod at Artemis. "I would love a cup. I'm sure your tea will be amazing, as always."

As Artemis calls attention to their stores of smoked boar, he'd nod, motioning to a man standing nearby, who would walk over to their various stores and break open a cask, retrieving a haunch of smoked boar meat. He'd locate a bowl for her, and several rustic utensils, before bringing it to Avira.

"Entertain? Nonsense, you're welcome here any time." And then the question of the child, and Ramza would pause in his step, giving Avira an almost /ominous/ look. "Is the child's name Sanel?"
Artemis Eurus The mask puts many people on edge, which suits Artemis just fine. Really, the sword at her hip ought to make people far more cautious. She's never killed someone with her mask.


She's young yet.

Artemis gives Avira a look over as well, her expression unreadable. Warrior, small but fierce. Well trained, but young.

Artemis nods to Ramza, then blinks at his comment about Avira's heroics. "I haven't," she offers. "I am sure Ramza will regale me with it later," she adds.

Once they have settled down, Artemis begins to gather her tea implements, placing the kettle of water over the fire to boil while Avira and Ramza talk. Artemis is listening of course.
Avira The modesty suddenly disappears. "/Really/ you say?" with no small amount of pride in Avira's voice. This was something she had been aiming for since that day she swore fealty to Clan Dagda. Then Artemis admits that she hasn't and her pride deflates a little.

Ramza does go on to bring up an excellent point about the Church's recent aggression and subsequent silence-one that brings a frown of concern to her scarred face. "Clearly. I took care to make sure I was not followed, nonetheless, nor does anyone know I came out to visit you." she says, by way of assurance. Following him, she finds her mouth start to water as she catches the gamey scent of boar meat. Before accepting anything she locates a place to sit.

But she pauses. That ominous look. "...yes. That was his name." Avira admits, "Then you've already heard Angantyr's side of the story in that incident?"
Ramza Beoulve Ramza would slowly shake his head from side to side. "No, Angantyr mentioned /nothing/ other than he encountered vampires in the Church. It didn't particularly suprise me, given that the Church is run by Archdemons known as the Lucavi."

He'd sit down after a short time, taking his place by the rock. "No, I just surmised that he would be a child that the Church would be interested in. Could you give me more details on how they persecuted him, and what the result was?"

He'd look up, staring Avira right in the eyes. "Shortly after Manhatten's restoration, I was out on a walk, just to clear my head, when I walked into a nearby tavern. Inside was Ser Senra, a lady named Margaux, and a whole host of priests. They were raging drunk, celebrating something in particular. Given that I was in Manhatten, they decided not to chance attacking me, as the authorities there might take issue with it. Not long after they left, /Sanel/ arrived. I don't know how much you know of the child, M'lady, but everyone else he gives some sort of pet nickname. He tries to appear.. simple. But he called me by my name instantly. When I asked him to introduce himself, to shake my hand, he lifted me off the ground by my hand. The child's strength is so absurd, that I'm not even certain Artemis could match it."

He'd take a moment to pause, catching his breath before continuing. "Margaux offered to dance with him. I'm not sure if you're acquainted with Margaux, but she was a ranking member of the Corpse Brigade, an organization I had a hand in destroying. We talked. It became heated, and then.. I said something which caused the child to collapse. At the time I didn't think anything of it, but the words were /past regrets/." He'd give her a searching look, as if trying to figure out whether she'd believe this next part. "..I helped him up. At that point, it seemed like it was a good time for me to depart, when I felt something...on the back of my spine. When I looked back at the child, there was nothing of a child in his expression. I'm certain that he meant to kill me, and that my life would have been in the most danger it had ever been had there not been witnesses about."

He'd swallow, looking up, the story certainly did seem far-fetched. "M'lady, I'm not sure the Church is persecuting him. If my theory is correct, I think they might have been there to /retrieve/ their own. How many did they send? If it was many, then I suspect they knew the danger all too well."
Artemis Eurus Artemis moves the kettle from the fire once it is ready, pouring it into a another teapot she had previously added some loose tea leaves to. She pours the water then allows it to steep for a couple of minutes before distributing cups of what Ramza was perhaps now used to, but what may be the best cup of tea ever had by Avira.

Artemis settles down with her own cup last, giving Ramza a look as he talks about a child named Sanel with absurd strength. At any other time in her life, Artemis would have laughed--now? She's not so sure. The Church is capable of great evil and she would not put it past them to corrupt a small boy somehow. "If it is as you say Ramza, if he is running from the Church, should we not offer him our protection?" she asks.
Avira "I can try. Granted, this story I heard secondhand via Angantyr. I was not there when it happened but I'm very aware of the aftermath." There's a pained look upon Avira's face. "Though his attitude may be harsh, he's a man I trust and I know he would not have lied to me in his account of what happened."

She looks back at him, holding his gaze. At the mention of Margaux's name, her eyes widen just a little. Her fellow VALKYRI? No, it couldn't be. "I've met Sanel alone before. I've also experienced his...immense strength. I'm also aware that he might not be all he seems."

Oh yes, it was definitely the Margaux she knew. That note about Ramza actually -destroying- the Corpse Brigade is saved for later, though she's not sure who she would be confronting over this fact. Margaux had made it sound like that organization was alive and well. "Hmmm."

Ponderously, she eats some of her boar as her mind reviews the details that Angantyr conveyed. Before she begins, she accepts the cup of tea from Artemis and takes a slow sip.

Her eyes widen. That was some damn good tea. "Mmm." she murmurs. "There were several knights templar...half a dozen I think? Maybe more? And one Inquisitor. The Inquisitor was the vampire, according to Angantyr, and the only survivor of the squad. Angantyr said they were cornering Sanel with their weapons readied."
Ramza Beoulve Ramza would nod thoughtfully. "I'm aware. I trust the man well enough, as it stands. He fought at our side against the Dark Knight. We have other dealings that I'd prefer not to discuss at this time."

Noting her look, Ramza would give her an almost sheepish smile. "Routing the Corpse Brigade, is one of my /past regrets/, M'lady. It is what we were discussing when Sanel collapsed. Margaux and I have reconciled, since then though we went through a rough..patch..."

And then a pause as he considered the numbers. "They obviously know he's dangerous, and they were trying to capture him alive. Perhaps he's escaped them, and is acting erratically, or perhaps they loose him for a specific purpose each time, requiring retrieval in between, I can't say. It is all speculation at this point."

He'd give Artemis a wan smile. "I would love to help the child. In fact, I would prefer to do just that, though we need more information. As it stands right now, he can't stay with us. It would be difficult to prevent him from slaughtering us all as we slept. There are few bonds that could hold him.. Mayhaps if we gathered a large group of able heroes, we could try to reason with the child, and aid him without setting him off... And if we did, then we might need to subdue him. I wouldn't want him harmed, but precautions would be necessary."
Artemis Eurus "Out numbering the boy sounds like a bad plan Ramza. Like backing an animal into a corner. You do not wish to set of that wild ferocity," she replies.

"Someone who is....unthreatening perhaps should approach him--keep security out of sight but within range to provide assistance if necessary," she suggests.

They really need a spy in the church. Ugh.

Artemis sips her tea, smiling slightly at Avira's response to the cup, taking pride in her pleasure.

At comments about a rough patch with Marguax however, Artemis gives Ramza a curious look that should likely strike fear into his heart.
Avira Evenly she nods. She figured Angantyr had something going on with Ramza that was arranged not long after she left Fluourgis. His business, not hers.

"'s good to hear." Avira says, hesitating as she ponders letting him know that Margaux is one of VALKYRI. Though the dancer did caution against spreading their association, so she does not add this bit of information. "There is still quite a bit I don't know of your version of Ivalice, Ser Beoulve."

A pensive look crosses her face as she considers Ramza's suggestions with what she knows of Sanel. " could be that Sanel is one of these demons you say infest the church, except he is unaware of this. The boy has told me that he remembers nothing of his past. Perhaps there was an accident of some kind...maybe even one you had a hand in to cause that."

After another stretch of silence where Ramza contemplates restraining the boy and Artemis counters with approaching him peacefully, Avira helpfully offers: "I recommend that you get someone of furry countenance to reason with him."
Ramza Beoulve "Stay with us for a time, and I can tell you aught that you wish to hear, M'lady."

When she mentions the possibility of Sanel being a demon, he'd give her a speculative look. "I don't think so, the Auracite stones are rather large, I'm not sure if he could conceal it on his person without it being quite visible. They're powerful as well, and easily sensed when they are close. Will told me he believes he could see them quite easily if they were nearby, using..." He'd then give Avira a pensive look, uncertain if she knew. "...well its unimportant."

Another pause as she mentions Ser Senra. "...Ser Senra still wishes to kill me on sight. Though I'm not certain its because he /hates/ me. I believe now that its because he thinks he is protecting his friends from my influence. He thinks that by killing me, he will save his friends from being declared heretics by association. I want to try to reason with him, perhaps to show him what i have experienced through Castle Oblivion, but I'm at a loss for how to accomplish it. I truly don't wish to see him harmed, as he's a good man, despite his zealotry."
Avira Avira considers this offer-well, there wasn't anything particular she had to accomplish in the near future, besides the usual score of marks. The burden of restoring Manhattan no longer weighed upon her and others from her world. "Perhaps I will."

A knowing smile spreads across her face, "Will Sherman and I are friends. I know quite a bit about his abilities."

Avira waves her hands. "Oh, I don't mean Faruja specifically." Though she seems a little crestfallen when Ramza explains how much he hates Ramza. Given her own bonding she's done with the Burmecian, it's clear that she'd be one of the people allegedly 'saved' from Ramza's hersey. "That Castle is too wild and unpredictable." Avira says suddenly, "I wouldn't go near it, even for this reason. But...I know what you mean, Faruja is a good man."

She sighs a little, "Which brings me to a related issue. Angantyr...I worry about him. Will they pursue him as seriously as they do you? Can I expect armies to descend upon him? He is already hunted by Archadia-I fear at this rate, there won't be anyone he hasn't pissed off to the point of bounty."
Ramza Beoulve He would manage an affable smile as she agreed to stay, nodding in turn once she mentioned she knew of Will's abilities, relief visible on his expression.

When she speaks of Faruja, he'd nod. "I understand, but I see few other options on how I might convince him that there is a rot within the Church. When matters of faith are involved, he refuses to see reason. It is frustrating."

And then on Angantyr, he'd think upon it for a time before shaking his head. "They'll pursue him, but not as fervently as myself. Angantyr isn't sure whether to believe me on the truth of the Church, and that will be his shield. Those who are armed with knowledge are more dangerous in the eyes of the Church. Their conspiracy targets my company, as there are few others that know of it, and few that do, are trying to stop them. Angantyr likely has more to fear from the Archadian Empire, but he should still watch his back."

And then he'd turn to Artemis, nodding thoughtfully. "You're right of course, but I don't know how to approach the matter safely. The boy can be set off by so little, and I'm afraid that even those who watch over him from a distance could be in grave danger."
Artemis Eurus "Perhaps do as Lady Avira suggests," she comments, however strange that suggestion was. Someone of the furry persuasion? "She seems to know a bit more about the lad than we," she continues.

There is some tea left in the pot, so she distributes the remainder to Avira, since she is the guest. Artemis continues to listen, watching Avira as she speak of the mercenary, Angantyr. Yes, she can see him being the type to get into trouble. They apparently have a connection of a kind. Artemis may make assumptions and give Avira a 'you go girl' kind of look.

"He seems to know what he is getting himself into...though I can understand your concern," she says to Avira, resisting the urge to roll her eyes in the direction of Ramza, fully intent on taking on the world it seemed without even an army at his back.
Avira "Anything but that castle. You surrender your control in that place." There's a haunted look on her face, betraying some kind of horrible experience with Castle Oblivion that she doesn't seem to interested in talking about.

"If it remains small squads like the one he fought, he should be fine. If worse comes to worse...well, he has control over portals." Avira reasons, though worry for this particular mercenary is still clear on her face. "But he should, especially if he continues working with you."

One hand lifts to wave in a disarming manner, "I've only encountered him a handful of times. His behavior has been very...notable to me at those times, is all." Though that conversation she had with him as a mutate could very well have been much more than she thought.

Avira watches Artemis, carefully noting her reaction to Ramza. After a few moments, she exchanges a secret, knowing smile with the masked woman. Men and their picking of all the fights!
Artemis Eurus Artemis catches that look and the two females exchange their frustrations with men in but a glance. Because they can do that. It's a super power.
Ramza Beoulve He'd nod in acquiescence to Artemis on the issue of her suggestions on Sanel. After all, he'd had limited contact with the boy, and most of his theories were educated guesses. In the end, that amounted to naught but speculation.

And then the two would discuss Angantyr, and Ramza would miss the conspiratorial exchange between the two women. He certainly was oblivious to the implications they were making that he was /similar/ to Angantyr in picking fights. If he'd noticed it, then he might have considered it passing ironic, if not outright amusing. "He'll be fine. The Church won't send an army against him, like they did against us. Small squads at most would be my suspicion."
Avira Apparently the pair of them are just too subtle for good ol' Ramza over there. Fair enough, but at least Artemis knows Avira's pain of finding the little leftover fires that the men in their lives start.

"Good." She sighs, taking another sip of her tea. "Well, that deals with my fears over this Angantyr heretic business. If they try to do something as foolish as exploit /me/ to get to him...well, let's hope for them it won't happen. Hell was no barrier." Last thing she wants to do was cause Angantyr more trouble.
Ramza Beoulve Good ol' Ramza certainly was oblivious. Poor guy, having to suffer the whims and wiles of women.

He'd give Avira an affable smile, as he took a sip of the tea. It was amazing as always.

"So M'lady. A question. How would you approach Ser Senra, if not the castle? I'm at a loss.. but as it stands, I can't think of a way that I might convince him to stand down. I certainly don't want to hurt him, but he'll kill me if given half an oppurtunity."

And then he thought perhaps, he'd best change the subject to something less grim. "But, where are my manners? Did you have any questions about Ivalice, that I might answer for you?"
Artemis Eurus Artemis gives Avira another look. Oh, someone would use her to get at Angantyr? Oh it was like that then? Artemis definately gives her a 'you go girl' look now. She bets he's a beast in--

"Ramza, I don't think Faruja will respond to much besides beatings. I think...if you'd like someone to speak with him you should allow me," she suggests.
Avira Yes...around all these women. The poor soul.

"Honestly?" Warning, incoming Avira bluntness, "Probably tie him down with the hopes of explaining. Disable somehow. Not that a captive audience is always the most receptive to...encouragement." Avira wouldn't be, in that situation, but the alternative of Castle Oblivion was a little terrifying to her. "Or maybe deliver the message remotely somehow."

Silent for a moment, Avira considers, "I'm curious who the world powers are in your Ivalice. In Angantyr and I, of course, we have the Archadian Empire, Rozarria-" which was currently under darkness, "-and a few others."
Ramza Beoulve "I've tried. I told him my tale, though he was raging drunk at the time. He laughed in my face. I mean wouldn't you? In Ivalice, the Lucavi are mere legends, their names spoken by mothers to frighten small children. The Church is an institution the people proffer to. /I/ did the same. I took Princess Ophelia to them, seeking sanctuary when my brother was trying to have her assassinated, and they immediately turned her over to the people who would exploit her. I would have never known otherwise." He'd breathe out a sigh. "It sounds like the ravings of a madman, looking at it objectively."

He'd nod to her. "I thought the same. There must be some sort of connection, whether the world is but an alternate reality of our own, or whether it is our world's future, or past. I can't say. In our world, the kingdoms are Ivalice, Ordallia, and Romanda. Airships are naught but legends, and technology of the sort you see in the Archadian Empire is only found the wastes of the machine city of Goug. Mayhaps the timeline is cyclical? Mayhaps not. It is my theory that we will find some of the Auracite in the Archadian Empire, due to its connection to my world. If the Archadian Empire were to catch wind of it... that possible is too terrible to contemplate. They already use magical stones as weapons of immense power. They /will/ seek to do the same with Auracite. Imagine if it took possession of one of its leaders in House Solidor.. An archdemon at the head of the Archadian Empire, in alliance with the Church."
Artemis Eurus Artemis listens, though she does not speak. However, her expression grows darker as Ramza speaks of the Church and the Lucavi. She's a well known heretic too--before she even met Ramza. Blood and ashes...she was a heretic first.

Of course, her thoughts turn to Louis. How could they not?

Artemis stands then and moves a short ways off to resume chopping wood to get her mind away from those dark thoughts.
Avira Angantyr's skepticism...was to be expected. He's seen quite a lot, hasn't he? So something so outrageous against something he had no problem with provided little incentive for his backing. Especially if it was something he couldn't profit from.

"No airships?" Why, does Avira suddenly sound less interested? No, of course not, that couldn't possibly be the case. "I'd almost be tempted to say that it was my Ivalice that was the future. But you bring up something that will clearly be my next question. What is auracite?"

And why did that word sound vaguely familiar? Maybe it's the -cite suffix which was common in minerals. "Is it related to magicite at all?"
Ramza Beoulve He'd shake his head. "Unfortunately no, no airships. They're naught but a myth in our world. Technology of a past civilization. Its said that there's even a /graveyard/ of airships, but its never been discovered."

He'd nod at her. "Its a type of Magicite. As far as I know, in Ivalice, Magicite is any sort of magical stone. From what I understand, Nethicite appears to absorb magic, and can release it in explosive bursts of power. Auracite on the other hand.. in my world, Auracite is known as the /Zodiac Stones/ and are emblazoned with the houses of the Night Sky. Capricorn for example. In our legends, they're holy artifacts, held by the Zodiac Braves and used to combat the Lucavi. The reality is that they're /conduits/ to the Lucavi. Anyone who lusts for power and holds one, might be tempted by the corresponding Lucavi. If they give in, then they are granted immense power, but at the cost of their soul. The Lucavi will then possess their mortal frame, with their memories, as they walk upon the Earth, but they are subject to the whims of their demonic masters."

He'd frown as he remembered the one he'd fought. "The one I fought was a bloated horror. Its massive stomach could split in twain, revealing eyes, and teeth. It cast magic of such power that we were nearly routed instantly. How we prevailed, I'll never know. The man the Church accuses me of killing, Cardinal Delacroix, had that within him. And for destroying it, I was declared a heretic."

This scene contained 30 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Ramza Beoulve, Artemis Eurus