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No title.
(2013-06-13 - 2013-06-13)
No description.
Hati Things have been... strange. It's bad enough that every time she seems to be able to spend a few minutes around her boyfriend, one of them tends to end up in mortal peril, but now there seems to be something else entirely at foot. Though the mouse's faith may be strong, Hati is not a person who believes in miracles. The sort of magic that saved him from the edge of death is the sort that /always/ has a price attached to it, and right now, she has no idea when the collector will come to call.

It has her on edge, and feeling far more protective than usual. That meant growling at a few passing 'worshipers' who apparently thought they could gain some small measure of the miracle for themselves. It also meant a general feeling of ill ease. As much as she hated to admit it, seeing him dying had left her feeling helpless for the second time in recent months. Why is it that time and time again she seems to be fail in being able to help /anyone/? The only thing she does seem good at... is spreading darkness and destruction. Maybe she was better suited for that life than this one.

These are the thoughts that occupy her mind as she walks through the streets, heading back towards the Shard Seekers at a pace that suggests that she isn't looking forward to dealing with the 'faithful' again. Faruja may be some kind of great martyr to the cause of Faram, but she's not about to convert. In her pack... there's a bottle of scotch, the makings for some icecream (the home made kind, not that crappy store stuff) and a couple of packages of meat that isn't bacon.

Though her blue highlights have faded a bit, the wolf is easy to recognise as the one who had defended Faruja so fiercely the other night. And look, she's walking all by herself, no guards, no nothing. Opportunity!
Ramza Beoulve Oppurtunity knocks..

But Ramza Beoulve doesn't take it. He's not looking for trouble after all. It just tends to find him as a result of his actions. While he could be very quiet, and try to sneak up on her, he had a feeling that it wouldn't work with the lupine woman, not only that, but it would put her off. Nor does he take the risk of inviting her to another location via a messenger. Such things could be intercepted, and then it would just lead to another ambush.

And so.. he does something incredibly foolish, which nevertheless feels right to him. He just walks up to her at a languid pace. His footfalls are not muffled, and when he ranges close enough, he greets her with an affable tone, with nary a guard in sight. "Good evening M'lady. I presume that you're Hati, given my observations in the Cathedral. Ser Senra always did speak well of you."

He was wearing his typical armor, a darksteel breastplate, over boiled leather. His breeches were covered by silvered greaves which overlaid them and part of his leather boots. He was also wearing a simple white cloak with a cowl, which had it's cowl lowered.

With one hand, he made a small gesture as if to indicate to follow him. And then he took a few steps into an alleyway.

Hati would smell filth, and refuse, as is common in such places, but besides Ramza, there are no other scents. He truly does appear to be alone. Once well within, he'd turn to face her once more, his expression somber. "I'm not going to bandy words about. I'll get straight to the point. The Auracite emblazoned by the Houses of the Night Sky are not holy relics. The Zodiac Stones of legend are conduits to the Netherworld, to Archdemons known as the Lucavi. Father Barnabus is the current host for the heart of the Lucavi summoned into this world by the Sagittarius stone. And Ser Senra? ...I believe he has become an.. alternate."
Hati The truth of the matter is that the Church barely knows that Hati exists, other than a few people who may now be aware of a certain Templar's relationships. She bares no sign of Faram like someone might expect. In fact, the wolf looks more like she belongs on the streets of New York than worshiping at any sort of altar. Strange company, the mouse keeps.

With her mind occupied with her own thoughts, it takes longer than usual for Hati to even notice the young man's approach. Once she does, the wolf stops, cocks her head, and looks him up and down with an expression that seems one part annoyance, one part curiosity. "And you are?" She asks, her tail swishing once behind her. She was not paying enough attention during the fighting to pick out who was a heretic and who was faithful. The wolf had been far too busy trying to protect Faruja and those trying to heal him.

Nevertheless, she does follow this strange armored man, her stride relaxed and confident. It's easy to be, so, when you know that you can't truly be trapped. All it would take is thirty seconds and she could be gone from this place. It's one of the boons of being a servant of darkness.

The fact that he leads her into a foul smelling alleyway doesn't help matters. Her nose wrinkles, and she raises an eyebrow at him. "Couldn't you have chosen someplace to talk that /doesn't/ smell like a latrine?" She growls, nudging a bit of refuse with one booted toe. Sensitive wolf noses do not care much for garbage.

Her attention snaps back to him when he starts rattling off information, though. The fact that he mentions Faruja causes those mismatched eyes to lock on him fiercely. Oh, if looks could kill. "Slow down, human. How about you answer some questions right here and now." The wolf starts to tick them off on her fingers, "Define Auracite, Houses of the Night Sky, Zodiac Stones, and Lucavi. Tell me who the heck you are, and talk fast. I tend to bite first and ask questions later when it comes to people I care about."

Though the girl may be all of five foot nothing, when she snarls, it is a bit off-putting. Fanged teeth show from behind her lips.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza, however, knew all too well... Faruja had left him enough details during their first meeting that all it took was a few conversations with Katyna to fill in the rest. He'd intended to meet with her /besty/ eventually anyhow.

He was nowhere near as anxious as she was, as a result. He cocks his head slightly to the side, offering a smile unto her, "I could have, but I prefer to be as spontaneous as possible. It gives the Church less time to plant knives in the dark. And where are my manners? I'm known as Ramza, and that will do for now. I'm pleased to finally make your acquaintance. Lady Redsdottr spoke very well of you. She's an.. old friend, from back before she took the name Redsvaren as her own."

He turns a foot fractionally, turning to his side, with his hands taking a comfortable place behind his back, knotting together in a sort of sideways parade rest. "In short.. unique Magicite that is used for summoning these fell demons to this world. It also gives them some measure of control over the Heartless. Houses of the Night Sky refer to the Zodiac of Ivalice.. in this case, Sagittarius. The Zodiac Stones of legend are 'holy' relics of the faith of Saint Ajora, except that is all a carefully spun deception by the Church. Saint Ajora was no holy man, and the stones? The truth is far more horrific. The Lucavi are legendary Archdemons which once sought to bring ruin to Ivalice. They have possessed many high ranking officials within Ser Senra's Church. The man I'm accused of murdering, Cardinal Delacreaux, was one of them."

His expression was still somber, as he turned his head just enough to look at her again, "And I understand the feeling of /biting/ first when the people you care about are threatened. All too well.. I apologize that you had to learn all of this, this way. Ser Senra is in denial, and has been hellbent on keeping me from meeting those he cares for in fear that they will be declared heretics by association."
Hati "Last I checked, I don't keep company with many knife-wielding Church sorts, so you're probably safe from them at the moment. I'm a different story. Depending on how much you piss me off, I may or may not rip your throat out." Ahh, it's been a while since the darker side of the werewolf reared it's head, but she has plenty of reason to be defensive lately. Who is this stranger who thinks he can come in and tell her...

Oh. Ramza. Her ears fold down and her eyes narrow. "So you're the one Faruja's always going on about." Her head leans forward a bit, perhaps delving into that uncomfortably close range as her nose twitches. "I'm afraid this might come as a shock, but you don't look nearly as impressive as your reputation." Hati crosses her arms over her chest, but at the very least, she doesn't seem about to attack him just for his introduction. "Do you know he talks about you in his sleep? He dreams more about screaming at you than he does about me. It's enough to make a girl jealous." Huff.

When he mentions Katyna, though, the wolf's expression softens. That got to her. She hasn't seen Katyna since the mess in Traverse Town. "Katyna..." The wolf whispers, her hands dropping again to her sides. "Is she alright? The fool girl has had me worried. Ugh, no wonder she hasn't been around if she's hanging out with /you/." Facepalm. "Mind giving her a message for me? Tell her I'm dating Faruja, not his bloody Church." Grr...

As for the explinations, they only scratch the surface towards understanding what is going on. All of Faruja's beliefs are a lie, blah blah, okay. For someone who didn't buy into them in the first place, it's not that big of a deal. The whole mess about demons is something else entirely. "You need to understand something, Mr. Beoulve. I don't give a crap about religions. My people worship the ancestors, and rituals of day and night. I tolerate his beliefs because he tolerates mine, so I could care less if you're a heretic or not. When you hurt him, though... then you have earned yourself an enemy."

She narrows her eyes, "So you'd best confirm right now that the one who shot him wasn't one of yours. If it was... I'm going to take a unique pleasure in using your entrails as decorations." The evil feels /so/ good to let out now and again. "As for convincing my dear mouse of /anything/, good luck on that. He's all the more convinced this was some great miracle. It's like talking to a brick wall."
Ramza Beoulve The young heretic doesn't appear to be at all put off by any of this, including the verbal snarling. It's not that he isn't intimidated, on some level, he just realizes that Hati is just being protective of someone she cares about. He can empathize all too well.

He arches an eyebrow, managing an infectious smile, "You speak true. I'm really not all that impressive. I'm just a lone man trying to do what he feels is right, nothing more, so it's not a terrible shock if I don't paint a striking figure." He does however, run a palm down his face, when he realizes that Faruja actually /screams/ about him in his sleep, "I do apologize for haunting his dreams, but I really have no control over that. He obsesses over me, because despite his denial, he finds it difficult to refute what I have to say. The /wall/ that is his blind faith is starting to have cracks spiderweb through it."

He'd nod to her on the subject of Katyna at that, "Yes, I'd already intended to take the time help the girl come meet with you. Faruja already knows that she's been with me. It led to a... confrontation of sorts. I'll pass along your message."

And then Ramza Beoulve gives her a bewildered look, before his expression becomes nonplussed. "Despite what the Church avers, I had /nothing/ to do with that. We were only in the Cathedral to confirm the authenticity of the Auracite. The assassination attempt.. we believe it was staged. There's a man I know who can look at the fate within people, and saw that one of the assassins was on friendly terms with the good Father Barnabus. It's all a game to them, a public relations stunt to boost their influence in a region where they have none. The other purpose of the assassination may have been to.. solidify, Ser Senra's faith on steadier ground."

He grows a touch quieter, "I'm very fond of Ser Senra as he's a good man, too good to be their pawn, despite his zealotry. And I would try to save him, if it's in my power to do so. As the man who could see fate? He saw that the stone is now tied to Ser Senra's soul as a result of the /ressurection/."
Hati The reassurance that he had nothing to do with the attack that nearly killed the man she loves is enough for the wolf to sheath her claws somewhat, although her expression is still wary and uncertain. It is a hard thing to be neither one thing nor another. She walks the line between Church and Heretic, Good and Evil, and often times it seems like more of a struggle than it's worth.

"A man who sees the threads of fate... and I thought I had strange powers." The wolf mutters. Then again, if she had been thinking, she might have collected samples from the assassins. It would have let her use herr second sight as a way of determining just who was responsible for what happened in the Cathedral. "I have no reason to trust you, but I know that Faruja is wrong about what happened to him. I felt the darkness that brought him back." She threads a bit of dark flame between her fingers, as if this were an example of just how she could know such things.

"The problem is... if he won't believe me, he's never going to believe you." She extinguishes the darkness with a motion of her hand. "And if I insist on this... I'll lose him." The wolf laughs, her voice sounding sad and more than a bit bitter. "I'm no fool. If I were to ask him to chose between me and his faith... I know the answer." And that is a hard thing for the wolf, who had only just begun trying to understand what it means to love someone else. "And I'm selfish enough to want to hold on to what I've got for as long as I can." Clearly, she doesn't seem certain such a thing can last.

Still, Hati sighs to herself. "I'm not really sure what you think can be done, or what you think telling me will do."
Ramza Beoulve Ramza Beoulve quietly regards her with a sympathetic look, his expression becoming pinched, as he frowns at her, "You are right to be skeptical. I know that /I/ was when evidence of the Church's misdeeds were brought to me. Unfortunately, it was too late for me to stop them from harming someone under my protection as a result of my skepticism."

He shakes his head, "No, he won't believe me. I know better than to go to him now. With the claws of the Lucavi latched onto his soul, he'd believe it if it told him that the sky had become a sickly yellow hue, even if his eyes told him it was azure."

What he does do, is step forward, offering her a piece of paper, with a scrawled Ma Belle frequency on it, "I don't want you have to make that choice, the Church has already stolen away so much, from so many.. and so I'd rather free him from their control. We have the beginning of a plan forming. It won't be.. easy, but it's possible. What we must do is force the Lucavi to manifest itself in Father Barnabus. While it's manifested, we'll try to shatter the hold it has on Ser Senra's soul. And then we will defeat the Archdemon. Admittedly.. I don't know what will happen. We've /never/ done this before. The only Lucavi I'd fought was linked only to a single man. And while I know how to do battle with the Lucavi on planes both physical and spiritual... I have no idea what will happen when we try to free him."
Hati Once, there had been a story about the gods having created the two wolves: Hati and Skoll. Those were not 'Gods' like the ones worshiped by the Faramites, but ancestor spirits - beings of nature who kept the world in balance. The two wolves were meant to keep the world turning from day to night. She had never held much stock in that, though her search for the White Wolf had driven her as much as it had driven her brother to seek it's Golden counterpart. Yet, perhaps the stories of Ajora are just the same as the storise of the old wolves. Stories.

She takes the slip of paper, looking at the number with a somber expression. It's nothing like her agressive posture before. If this heretic leader is right, then she has one of two choices. She could be selfish and steal away what moments she can, knowing that someday there may not be a Faruja left in that shell. Or, she could try to fight back, and likely lose him anyways. Could she really do the right thing and try to save him... knowing that he would hate her for it?

The darker side of her wants to growl, snarl, strike back at this stranger who thinks he can steal what is hers. Yet, for someone who had nearly bled out on the snow, praying for someone to save her... she can't just turn her back on someone she loves. "Curse you and your gods and demons." She mutters under her breath. "I won't act against him unless I see this demon for myself, but if you can get it to show itself, then I'll fight with you." She shoves the paper into her pocket.

"But in the end, I don't really have a choice now, do I?" She asks, ears drawn back. "I lose, either way." The wolf clenches her hand into a fist, slamming it into a nearby wall. From where her hand touches, a dark portal begins to slowly form. The darkness seems to radiate off of her like waves. "I have to go." She states with a snarl, and then launches herself through.

No more talk. She needed to shift. To run. To be a wolf and forget /everything/ else. The darkness feeds on her fear, her anger. There were only a few threads of light that kept her from falling, and if one snaps, would that finally be enough to break her? If so... perhaps it would be the one last noble act before she became the monster she was always meant to be.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza Beoulve just watches her, his expression still pinched, and frowning, and then he states. "That's often how it is when you do the right thing... you lose something."

He watches her leave, then breathes out a sigh. The world really could be a terrible place sometimes. It's a wonder that he's still the way he is, in light of all of that. After a time, he just steps further into the shadows of the alleyway and vanishes into the night.

This scene contained 10 poses. The players who were present were: Hati, Ramza Beoulve