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No title.
(2013-05-02 - 2013-05-02)
No description.
Sydney Losstarot Its a calm, ordinary day out on the Giza plains, the high, wild grasses dotting the landscape for some distance. The sun shines brightly in the sky, setting a bright, almost picturesque image of the quiet plains. Not too many wild animals seem to be in the immediate area, not after all the loud noises caused by Claytons little scene.


Sydney follows along, observing Eurus curiously as he stays a few paces behind. As much as he tried to make it seem like otherwise, in truth, he knew very little of the group, other than basic, everyday things courtesy-of-oaks, and what he could learn from wanted posters. Still, it was enough to catch a sense of intrigue on Sydneys part. Of course, thats not enough to get him to say anything. He's not giving away anything just yet. Not until she reveals why she sought his company.

"Ahem." He announces, intent on getting Eurus's attention. "Where is it we are headed?"
Artemis Eurus Artemis just needed to walk. She was hoping to make the sanctuary of a forest, but it was nothing but plains for miles around. Eventually, Artemis decides that this was as good a spot as any, and thus turns toward Sydney. "I was hoping to find some place I could set up a secure camp, but that is seeming unlikely at this point and so we may as well stop--I don't want to lead you too far out of your way," she explains, then simply takes a seat in the tall grass.

"You said you had heard of me, but I know nothing of you. I figured this might be remedied. I'd like to know what your interest in me is, and if it is to hunt me you may as well say so and we shall be done with it. I grow tired of Church assassins."
Sydney Losstarot Sydney laughs, shaking his head. "Please. If I was an assassin, I would not have engaged in the pleasantries of sitting here and talking. Nor would I have assisted you in defeating that "hunter" Besides, do I look like a being the church would /ever/ willingly associate themselves with?" He says with a devilish grin. They might employ questionable mercenaries/vampires, but none of them are so IN YOUR FACE UNSETTLING as Sydney is.

"Hmph. I simply...admire the works of fellow heretics. Too many are content with being flayed and burned for naught more than thinking, doing nothing in the face of evil." He says, scowling to himself. The shadow Shadows are still clearly visible, gazing hungrily at Eurus. They seem to be bound from actually moving towards her, though.
Artemis Eurus If Sydney is in your face unsettling, Artemis does not seem to have noticed. "Ah, you identify as a heretic then," she responds, nodding.

Her eyes move toward the shadows, heartless she assumes. "And you control Heartless? I'd ask you dismiss them if you could. Draws too much attention," she remarks. "If you control Heartless, I think you wouldn't find too warm of a welcome in our camp. Ramza is a good man, truly good, and he wouldn't abide it."
Sydney Losstarot Sydney smirks, turning his attention to the Heartless. Eurus hasn't been inducted as a part of his "games" just yet, but they aren't really even that important to it. I guess a /little/ honesty can't hurt. "Hmph. In truth, I have little idea how I came to acquire these...things, nor why they persist with such loyalty." Two of the three Shadows disappear back into the Dark, leaving the remaining one staring still. He raises a palm, moving his clawed fingers in a strange pattern. The Shadow begins to twirl about, the only movement Sydney could think of to illustrate his point, before disappearing. "But they have there uses." He says with distant uncaringness.

"Hmph. The good and evil dichotomy of light and darkness is childish at best. They have no more alignment than fire and ice. It is neutral, save for the subtle malevolence of /all/ magic." He says with an almost eerie nonchalance. "I have no business with the Beoulve." He says bluntly, as he continues to clack his claws together, a habit of boredom common to Sydney.
Artemis Eurus Artemis watches the Heartless disappear, shrugging her shoulders. She's killed enough of the things not to feel threatened.

"Tch...light, dark, fire and ice, law and Chaos," she shrugs again. "All parts of life, all necessary. It is the balance that we fight for. And for honor," she replies. "You should call me Artemis by the way...and perhaps tell me /your/ name," she asks then.

As for Ramza, when he says he has no business with him, Artemis nods. "Good."
Sydney Losstarot "'Tis hard to maintain a balance, when those who hold the power to maintain see better to destroy. There is naught left in this World of Ruins but absolutes. And one must ask themselves, is there an easier way to fight absolutes than with absolutes? No. But there are /better/ ways. People seek not the destruction of evil, but the self righteousness of having fought it at the end of the day." ...Sydney really likes these cryptic monologues, hm?

"My identity is under a lock and key by nothing, save the privelege of having known it previously. If you desire to know what little is left to know..." Sydney snaps his claws outwards, evidencing he's talking about a friendly duel. "One must earn it."
Artemis Eurus Artemis raises a brow beneath her mask, not that he'd see it. A small smile appears though, followed by a laugh. "Very well, if your blood still sings for battle so does mine," she says, standing then and moving her hand to the hilt of her blade.

She bows then, and moves into a fighting stance, ready to go.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney raises a brow curiously at the woman, confused by her seeming excitement at the prospect of fighting. "I take no such joy in combat...or I like to tell myself such." He says with a devilish grin, perhaps a hint of sarcasm. Sydney extends his palm, his clawed fingers scraping against it to create a small shower of sparks. "I have no intent of /killing/ you, but be warned. I shall hold no qualms against causing one pain." He says, bluntly. So...Bring your B+ game?

In the first move of the battle, Sydney raises his palm above his head. A burst of dark magic implodes around him, coating him in a malaise aura.
Artemis Eurus "I'm a warrior, I would not be one if I took no joy in combat," she replies with a smile. "I do not try to tell myself I am other than what I am."

"No no, I will not be trying to kill you either, of course. Bring your pain then. Pain is nothing," she says, drawing a wineskin from her belt and bringing it to her lips, taking a deep sip before she tosses it aside. It's tea.

Then, she draw her blade and pulls herself up into a crane stance, sword pointed downward, pommel above her head as she waits for him to attack.
Sydney Losstarot Well, if its a duel, and not a soon-to-be murder scene, there's no reason for Sydney to be overly serious. So, before attacking, he takes his sweet time with a response. "Self-actualization. A noble goal. Yet one so rare in a world of such loss." He says, continuing his crypticness. "Pain is pain. There is not a being on the planet who can ignore that fact. 'Tis naught but courage capable of overcoming such challenges."

But enough talk, have at you!"

Sydney raises his palm above his head, and a ball of darkness forms midair. Ancient Kiltian text begins to scroll around it, leeching darkness from the ball until the letters are of the darkest shades of black. Flying through the air with an indescribable hum, they snake their way towards Artemis. Hoping to take advantage of the confusion his attack will create, Sydney thrusts his other palm forth, attempting to blast Artemis with a debuff.
Artemis Eurus Artemis nods some, watching as he gathers his magic. Well, this ought to be interesting. Louis was be cursing about now. He hated the use of magic. Viewed it as cowardice.

Artemis is a bit more open minded. Still, the dark words slam into her, sapping some of her strength from her. She does not seem overly concerned as she moves down and kicks out with her front leg, a high and quick kick to the head he inevitably avoids.

Artemis moves in with her sword then, aiming a feint high, then coming down in a painful vertical slice, followed by a quick flurry to test his speed and resolve.

"So if you do not like combat, why challenge me? I'm all too happy to fight for the sheer pleasure of it. Not many are," she asks.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney smirks, disappearing out of reality for a splitsecond, almost unnoticable amount of time as he falls for Artemis's feint. "You're going to need to do better tha-" Sydneys cut off by Artemis following through with the actual attack. He attempts to blink out once more, but the blade makes contact before he can, opening up a laceration over his chest.

"Clever girl..."

He remarks with a tinge of surprise. Catching Sydney off his guard is a hard trick to do. ...One she pulled off rather easily, from the looks of it. Sydney raises his palm once more, calling upon the darkness he commands once more. As if called forth from the very realms of evil, Darkness condenses once more. Just when it looks like the ball of darkness is about to shoot at Artemis once more, a spear of holy light falls forth from the heavens, popping the darkness like a balloon, sending a shockwave of light and darkness towards Artemis.
Artemis Eurus Artemis doesn't reply to his quip, merely nodding. She is quick, experienced, and powerfully strong. Far stronger than she looks, even for the rather intimidating figure she cuts as it is.

The magic though, is troublesome. Her guard against magic has never been as strong as her combat prowess with a blade or hand to hand. The dark and holy light smash into her, for a moment disappearing in the chaos--until the light and dark swirl part, cut through with a blade as Artemis charges forward, sword raised high to strike Sydney--only to disappear, a sound like thunder reverberating through the air. Artemis appears behind him, aiming a nasty side kick to the spine, followed by an upward diagonal slice with her katana.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney prepares himself for a strike, narrowing his eyes as he centers himself. This is it, Sydney. This is your moment to shine-No wait, scratch that. She teleported and pot shotted you. Sydney looks confused for a split-second, before flying forward with the kick. Blood squirts out as the blade lacerates his flesh, though, Artemis might notice something strange. The flesh that makes up the strange symbol tattoo'd upon Sydneys back heals almost immediately, while the flesh directly outside it stays open and bleeding. Strange indeed.

"Hmph. You fight unfair, Artemis." Sydney remarks, studying her carefully as he collects himself. "A warrior is meant to be skilled. A thief is born to be clever. 'Tis an unfair tactic to be both." ...Did Sydney just make a joke? That was /also/ a complement?! The natural order has been disrupted. Sydney pauses, taking a moment to breath as he charges up another attack. He repeats his previous action, creating another shockwave of entropic energy as Sydney catches his breath. That last hit took a lot out of him
Artemis Eurus Though it was meant to be both joke and compliment, Artemis frowns. To her, this is an insult. "You wield magic. I wield only myself and the steel of my blade, but I will not say you fight unfairly. Likely you are jesting, but I'm a tad prickly about my honor," she replies.

As another wave of energy hits her, Artemis hisses, clenching her teeth against the pain, feeling it build...riding it. She slashes out of the cloud again, simply charging forward to slice high, chop down, thrust, then reverse her grip on the katana and slam the pommel upward into his chin.

This is her /not/ trying to kill him. "Your magic is powerful. That mark upon your back--what is it?" she asks, though she doesn't entirely expect an answer.

Artemis twirls her sword then, frost forming on the blade before she lashes out with it once more, in a downward diagonal slice, the silver of her blade glinting in the sunlight like a bright crescent in rapid descent.
Sydney Losstarot Sydneys head flies upwards as the hilt strikes him, a spat of blood flying upwards in a misty haze. He lowers his head quickly, the adrenaline of combat holding off the pain for a few moments while he watches her twirl the blade about. As the frost trails downwards, Sydney disappears with a blink, reappearing to the side of Artemis.

Two can play at that game.

Sydney thrusts his palm towards Artemis, and the weight of Darkness becomes incredible in the air. So incredible that it actually has weight, like a gravity spell. It condenses quickly upon Artemis, making standing itself feel incredibly hard if the attack makes contact. Normally, Syd would also be attempting to strangle her heart, but...Duels.

"The mark is just that, A mark. 'Tis not but a Tattoo. A symbol for who I am, and the path I must walk." He says bluntly. Its vague, but its true. In regards to her earlier question, now that he's not distracted by the thralls of combat, he takes a moment to answer. "You asked a question. 'Twould have been cruel to arbitrarily refuse you with no opportunity to prove yourself for such information. So naught choice is left, but to play a little game..." He says, with a devilish grin.
Artemis Eurus Artemis dances back into a defensive position, even though he has not yet raised a weapon against her. This is generally not the kind of fight she would prefer, but the last had been so /unsatisfying/. This was far more interesting. Fun, even.

As the darkness of the gravity spell bears down upon her, Artemis widens her stance and holds her ground, focusing her mind and her chi to strengthen her muscles and her aura to resist the pressure that tries to crush her beneath its weight.

Then Artemis breaks through the gravity spell with a roar that echoes through the plains, a sound that has sent a spear of fright into many hearts on the battlefield. She 'blinks' charging, appearing once more in front of Sydney, her blade raised high and quickly brought down upon him.

This really is her going easy...ask Ramza.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney watches Artemis struggle against gravity itself with great interest. "Hmph. I would have expected as much from a sorcerer, or a warlock. One acquainted with breaking through the harsh magics. But to see a spell undone through sheer willpower? ...Impressive." Sydney says. Looks like he's getting into the fight too, apparently. He doesn't have much time for monologues, though, because Art actually /does/ break through, blinking out and appearing in front of Sydney. He raises his arm to block, but it does no good. The blade hits his arm hard, knocking it clean off to the ground at his feet, before continuing through and making a deep laceration to Sydneys chest, He falls to the floor. From the apparent looks of it, it might be hard for Art to tell that wasn't his real arm she just cleaved off, but a prosthetic. For a second, it looks like Sydneys down for the count. But his tattoo flares with dark magic once more, almost creating an audible THUMP in the air around him. "Impressive." He says, his voice tired. "But I'm not down /yet/." He says, grinning. Three spears of holy magic fall forth from the sky, each spearing directly through Sydney. They don't appear to cause him harm, though. They set off a blastwave of holy energy, this time without a dark-bomb involved.
Artemis Eurus Whoa....whoa now. Did she just cut off his arm? Why would he block a blade with his arm!? Is he insane!? She expected him to teleport away! Blood and ashes, she feels bad!

She's about to stop the fight, but he rises, and he throws his magic at her again--it is powerful, she knows she has to move or she'll be on the ground as well.

The sound of muted thunder, and Artemis blinks out of the way, appears to his side, and delivers a high inside crescent kick to the side of his head.

Then, Artemis sheaths her blade. "Stop. Your ARM," she says, looking down at him with wide eyes beneath her mask.
Sydney Losstarot And I bequeath to Sydney...A boot to the head.

Sydney flops over onto the ground, his final excess of energy wiped out with...relative ease. Sydney stays still for a few he dead? Finally, his chest rises in a steady breath, and he struggles to get to his feet. "You have bested me, Warrior. You have earned that which I will tell you" ... "In a second...I need to breathe." He remarks, leaning over to pick up his arm. He lets out an audible sigh, shaking his head. "My limbs are with the gods now." He says matter-of-factly. Taking the prosthetic, he jams it into the stump that is his left arm, wiggling it about for a few seconds. Taking a few seconds to move his fingers about and make sure they are still working. "The name..." Heavy-exhale. The kind that comes from having open lacerations everywhere. "is Sydney."

Achievement Unlocked: Heard his name.
Artemis Eurus Artemis is already reaching into her pouch for a hipotion, watching with confusion and intrigue as he snaps his arm back on. "That...that is remarkable," she replies, then hands him the potion. "I apologize, I did not think you would attempt to block. Your magic is powerful, I had to take you down," she replies, respectfully.

"Sydney was an honor to fight you."
Sydney Losstarot Sydney knocks his head back, downing the entire thing as he quickly as possible. "T'was naught but another marvel of Goug." He remarks calmly. If there's giant robots, prosthetic arms aren't that big a deal? Sydneys not gonna reveal he's never actually /been/ to Goug, though. He's still confused about this whole "Time Shenanigans" nonsense, and isn't going to reveal anything till he knows what he's talking about. "Magical power is naught but a measure of ones ability to read a book. 'Tis the mastery of the blade, the measure of a humans willpower, that is truly impressive. You have earned your victory, blademaster." He says, slumping against the ground. "'Twas an honour to fight you as well, Lady Artemis." He says calmly. "From where do you hail, Lady?" He asks curiously, making conversation. At the end of the day, Sydneys a noble. And if you earn a nobles respect, you get to be a knight. ...And I think female knights are called "Lady"
Artemis Eurus Him calling her lady is not off the mark. She was born to the nobility though she makes no claim to the title now. "As someone who has no grasp of the kind of magic the mages of the world wield, I cannot agree. It is respectable," she responds.

"I hail from Ivalice, Zeltennia to be precise," she answers, pulling another potion to drink herself. She's not bleeding visible, but her insides feel like they've been pummeled.

"And from where do you hail? Or will I have to fight you again for the answer?" she asks with a grin.
Sydney Losstarot "Valendia." He remarks bluntly, his chest still heaving slowly for air. Its clear he's gonna live by this point, but his everything is gonna hurt for a while. He sighs, shaking his head as he thinks back to his homeland. "'Twas not as luxurious a life, but at least we could count on the monarchy keeping the church off our backs. Until the witch-hunts began." He says, with a slight sigh.

Sydney laughs, shaking his head. "Perhaps another time, Lady." He does not ask about the mask, of course. Nor does he prod through her mind. Battle breeds respect, even among men like Sydney.
Artemis Eurus Artemis nods. "Valendia, yes. I see. You'll not recognize my name," she replies. That is because Artemis isn't her real name. Duh.

"I take it the Church hunted you too. How long have you been on the run?" one heretic asks another.
Sydney Losstarot Sydney shakes his head. "No. We were far away from the 'core' of the church. So far, that it was...essentially a church of its own. T'would be hypocritical of them to use magic, if they saw it as such an abomination. Just because I was not a witch..." Sydney leans his head back, closing his eyes for a few moments as he rests for a second. "does not mean I could not make a stand. Luckily enough, I do not believe the church here is aware of my presence."
Artemis Eurus Artemis nods then. "Good of you then, to make a stand. All others who have tried have been hunted--I have been on the run for two years. They will say I killed my father--it isn't true," she informs him.

If he cares to do the research, he may learn her real name.

"Well, I must away. As much as I have enjoyed our encounter, I must urge you do not try to follow--for security reasons. Farewell, Sydney. Continue to be brave in your defiance," she says, then begins to walk away.

This scene contained 28 poses. The players who were present were: Artemis Eurus, Sydney Losstarot