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Fuzzy Wuzzy needs a bath
(2013-06-18 - 2013-06-21)
No description.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll has been quiet since the arrival at Atlantis, and let Percival and Zia travel in order to seek out the Garlois - or Gargoyles as he has always known them. He's also remained as the big hulking werewolf he is, and generally avoided people a little to get some thinking done of his own. And this pondering has landed him amidst a whole group of young Atlantians, in a somewhat shallow pond in the middle of one of the town-regions.

One of the kids has climbed on his shoulder, while Skoll is just kind of staring out ahead, fist under his chin, king of looking like the ponderer. Only, he's properly seated in the water. He barely notices that they're actually busy washing him - he's that far sunken in thought.
Zia The sight of a giant wolf had probably been more than a little alarming, at least until the children had realized that he wasn't a threat. Stories of his arrival along with the strange humans and gargoyles had spread quickly. First it was one child, then another, until finally an entire group of them had come out to see the wonder that is the werewolf.

Of course, someone probably noticed that the giant canine needed a bath and badly, so they'd fetched all sorts of sweet soaps. Unbeknownst to the ponderer, he's been lathered, and rinsed, and the pond now has a nice pile of bubbles. Two kids are in the process of brushing out his tail, while a little girl is seated right on his shoulders, trying to put ribbons into his hair.

All in all, it's quite a sight to behold. "Puppy!" The girl giggles.

"Ye know, Ah cannae tell if yer jus tha tolerant, or yer so far spaced out tha ye havenae noticed yer new fan-club." Zia quips, seemingly arriving out of nowhere. Really, she's probably been standing there for a few minutes. She's got a huge towel and a set of clothes draped over one arm, and an amused look on her features.

Her amusement does fade a little, though. He'd been distracted in the tunnels, and even now she's not quite sure what had been the cause of it. She'd missed the conversation with Avira about his 'darkness', so all she knows is that something is wrong.
Skoll Ulfang The scream of 'puppy!' is neither something uncommon, or something that draws him from her thought. In fact, it's Zia's far more quiet and reserved voice that has the werewolf's wolven ears perk up and his head shifting to look at her. His gaze looks like someone who just woke from a deep slumber. "I noticed them." He quietly mumbles. "This isn't the first time I've been welcomed like this. But... it's been a long long time." He moves his tail slowly, and draws up from the water after the little girl finished putting the last ribbon into his hair. "If you'll excuse me?" He mutters and lays his hand on her head for a moment, getting her wet in the process.

Then slowly, the werewolf comes to his full height, towering over everybody nearby, including Zia - even while standing in a lower bit of water. Then slowly, the werewolf makes his way over to Zia. "I didn't notice you standing there though." He then admits, almost as if he were ashamed of this. The werewolf reaches a hand out towards her cheek, but doesn't directly look her in the eyes. Not because he wants to avoid eyecontact, but simply because he's still being in that 'thoughtful state'. Distracted. "How did the visit go?" He inquires.
Zia "Aww." Some of the children back up as he gets out of the water, perhaps expecting the whole canine 'drying off' thing. At the very least, they did do a serviceable job at giving him a bath, even if the hair ribbons don't quite suit the manly, ferocious werewolf. Still, the little girl slides down along his back, landing in a splash, resulting in whoops and hollars from the children. Apparently werewolves make the best waterslides.

"Well, at least the wee ones are nae scared of ye. Would probably make a bad impression on the locals, Ah think." The smile she offers him is a soft one, watching as he approaches out of the water. Skoll was quite a bit taller than her by normal means, but as a wolf, he towers over her. As his hand reaches for her, Zia leans in towards his palm, nosing it just once in an affectionate fashion. "Ah wasnae here long, though long enough te watch some of the fun." She points a talon upwards at his hair. "Ah brought ye a towel 'n a change of clothes. They're more the style of folks here, but they should fit."

She can tell he's still distracted, so rather than press the point just yet, the white gargoyle decides to answer his question first. "Well, we met a warrior who knew a bit aboot the sword tha the young squire has. Showed 'im a few things. Pre'ty amazin if ye ask me. But..." With a shrug of her shoulders, Zia glances towards the rooftops of the city. "He said tha Ah havete wait 'n speak te his rookery sister. Havenae a clue when tha'll be."

After a quick pause, she touches his hand with hers, "Wha aboot ye? Somethin's troublin ye. Wha can Ah do te sooth the savage beast?"
Skoll Ulfang Indeed, werewolves make quite the waterslide, especially when quite this wet. The werewolf closes his eyes as she leans in against him, sighing for a moment, then drawing his hand back down to his side. "I'm glad I didn't make them scared. I'm not so worried about my impression on the locals, but the young should never be taught to fear what they need not fear. I am glad they accepted something 'different'." Zia might very well realize what he is saying. She must know that feeling.

"Thank you." He then suddenly starts shaking off like a dog, quickly getting all that water off of him... and then...


Suddenly, instant fluffball.

He then takes the towel and slowly begins to dry himself off. He leaves the ribbons where they are. "I'd maybe like to meet him." Skoll suggests in regards to the warrior, and takes the clothing she offers him as well. After drying his back a little, he throws it over one shoulder. He doesn't look like he wants to put it on quite yet. "I'm okay... I just..." He brings a hand to hers, and then draws it to his chest. "... I can't call on the ancients anymore. After all that darkness left..."
Zia It is a bit strange that the people here seemed accepting of such things. Then again, they'd lived in a time period when mythical creatures were probably much more rampant. This was all before the Fae had become more clever in their guises among human-kind. "Well, they've known gargoyles since b'fore the city sank down here, but Ah cannae imagine tha they've ever seen a werewolf like ye before." Afterall, the only werewolves she has ever known of from her world are the sort on television or movies.

With him facing towards her, Zia is spared from the worst of the drying, but some of the kids giggle and shield themselves from it. They're too busy playing amongst themselves to really care about what the wolf is up to. Instead, they babble in their native tongue and dive into the pond happily enough.

His sudden 'puff' causes Zia stiffle a laugh, not wanting to make too much fun since he is most clearly not feeling like himself. "Ah'm sure ye'll have a chance. They're bound te be curious about ye." Truthfully, the gargoyles had seemed a bit elusive, although perhaps that is there way. Gargoyles did tend to be a quieter kind of protector, and thus far, no one in the adventuring party seemed like a threat.

As her fingers are drawn forward, Zia lets them sink into the fur of his chest. It's strange to touch him when he's in this form, but she lets herself get used to it none-the-less. "'All tha darkness left'?" This is a surprise, and she looks up at him then, her head cocked quizzically. "Ye mean... when ye broke free from the Gaudium Lords tha it took the darkness wi' it?" She's never heard of such a thing before, but then again, she hadn't heard of his former masters until recently. Then, more tentitively, "Well... do ye remember if ye ever were able to call them b'fore ye were rescued by them?"
Skoll Ulfang Skoll shakes his head. "I always had darkness in me." He comes to explain, having nodded his head in acknowledgement a bit earlier in regards to these people never having seen a werewolf before. He keeps his hand over hers, letting her feel into his wet fur. "At least, since the Gaudium Lords saved me. When I broke free, I found it waning. Going away on its own. Like... they were doing something to me I wasn't aware of. That is - until they placed that collar on me. It force-fed me darkness." He could have sworn he'd told this much to Zia. "I tried to keep it at bay. But now that the collar is gone, and the artificial darkness is gone with it... I..."

Skoll looks away, incredibly worried now. Embarrased even. "I think I was able to call on them before that. They were the honored spirits of my people. The great wolf Fenrir... the might world serpent Jorgamundr. I drenched them in darkness upon my summons after I joined the Gaudium Lords. I... 'forced' them to come out." He glances at her. "I think they are angry with me, Zia. I think their spirits are angry with me, and no longer wish to come to me - someone who has been... tainted like that. Someone who 'forced' them to come out like that."
Zia In the time since the fall of her world, Zia has encountered a great many things that she doesn't quite understand. Darkness, in it's various forms, is one of those. Though she had some ability to call on weaker sorts of dark magic, things like utilizing portals or commanding Heartless would never be within her reach. The 'light' within her is enough to keep whatever darkness Valen brought to her at bay.

Yet, with Skoll, she had always known him with that darkness. While some others have the ability to sense such darkness within, that power is lost to her. She knew that the collar had been making the darkness within him worse, but she had only a guess that they might have been responsible for it in the first place. So, she just looks first at her paw-covered hand against his chest, and then up at the wolf's face. "Ah wish Ah could tell ye wha was wrong, but the power ye have is somethin out of my reach." Her tails sags down along her ankles.

"Wha'ever they did te ye, yer free now of it. Ye cannae let the past hold ye back from movin forward." Her words are soft, as if these were things that she once said to herself in similar circumstances. Though she listens to the stories of the old spirits, these were things that didn't exist in her world - at least not in the same forms. They were little more than stories. "Wha ye can do wi' the spirits isnae somethin tha exists in m'world, so Ah dinnae claim te have any great wisdom on the matter but..."

She takes her hand from his chest and puts it on to his muzzle, stroking the fur back gently with the backs of her fingers. "If ye believe that ye've wronged them, then perhaps ye need te try te find a way te make amends. There has te be a way te honor them as ye once did, 'n earn their forgiveness."
Skoll Ulfang Skoll dares to wonder for a moment - if perhaps he should seek back the darkness. If perhaps he could go back to that shadowy existance. There are things about the darkness that are... tempting. It makes one feel more powerful. More alive. The ability to use those portals, and commanding heartless; they are things he could put to good use for the people around him. But... now that it is gone, and there is only that noble light of his...

The wolf lets out a smallest of sight and looks into Zia's eyes when she looks up at him. "I know. I wish there was someone I could ask. But my elders are... no more. I cannot go to them for help. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps I should not cling to the past and just move on forwards..." But where would he move 'to'? "How could I make ammends to them though? My world is gone. There, we used to dance for them, we used to worship them with sacrifice or the hunt. This is not that world..."

Yet, they'd 'come with him'. And he'd heard rumor of 'others' being able to summon them. Should he look up a Summoner? The werewolf closes his eyes and leans in against the girl's taloned fingers, calming down a little thanks to her. He then brings a hand up to hers. "Should I turn human, so we can meet the Gargoyles?"
Zia As it always seems with his darker thoughts, Zia is oblivious. She has no way of knowing the temptation that the deeper level of darkness has over someone. The small bits of it that still linger in her own soul have dwindled somewhat, and she's never experienced just how dangerous stepping that close to such forces can be.

"Aye. Sometimes the road isnae easy, but ye've helped me find things Ah've thought was lost, so maybe Ah can do the same fer ye." She reaches her talon back and scratches behind his ear, trying to lighten his mood a little bit. "Why can ye nae do the same rituals 'n sacrifices now in this world? It's worth a shot. Otherwise, there's always the temples. Ah've heard of a few where ye may be able te commune wi' the Espers, but Ah'm afraid tha's all hearsay from people from other worlds. We dinnae have summoners in Manhattan." Not by default, anyways. "Ah'll help ye any way Ah can." She reassures him.

Then, when he offers to change back to human, she gives a reluctant sort of nod. It's hard to tell what the gargoyles of this world might think of a werewolf, but they've probably seen him already. "There's a spot back there tha's out of view." She thumbs over her shoulder. "Though, Ah was told tha they would come te find me."

Speaking of which... "Am I interrupting?" The voice comes from a gargoyle who looks startlingly similar to Zia, herself, although her features are a bit more angular with webbed ears and her hair drawn back. Jewelry and blue markings set her apart, but the two could easily be sisters if they were stood side by side. Zia blinks, still kind of intimately close to the wolf, which causes her to flush slightly.

"Uh... nae interruptin." Zia replies, offering Skoll a shy smile as she steps back. "Are ye Telan's rookery sister? He told me ye'd be seekin us out."

"I am." She inclines her head, "I'll give your companion a moment to change before we go."

"Go?" Zia's head tilts.

But the other gargoyle is already being plagued by the same children who had been amusing themselves with Skoll. The priestess laughs, picking up the smallest of them, while another grabs her tail and shakes it around. Apparently, she's quite used to such attentions.
Skoll Ulfang No, she's right. The road isn't easy. Skoll has found that there are very few 'easy roads'. And many of them hurt, if not physically - then emotionally. The wolf lowers his body a little so that the Gargoyle might reach his ear more easily. His tail wags and his left leg twitches slightly in response to the physical contact. It seems it does lighten his mood a bit further. "It's worth a shot." He'd heard of the 'temples' she speaks of. It could be worth a try indeed.

He draws the clothing down towards his chest and the wolf then look behind her just as Zia speaks about the other gargoyles. The wolf shakes his head. "No, you're not interupting." Skoll answers at the very same time as Zia. This is followed by Skoll quickly looking at Zia and saying; "Jinx!" His hand then draws to his muzzle, and he wanders off to hide behind the point Zia had pointed to. His tail is still wagging though. "I will be back in a moment." He wonders what this gargoyle would take Zia to though...

But far more - he's curious why the two look quite so much alike. It's... eery how similar they look.

It takes a few moments, but soon enough there's a bright white flash, followed by Skoll wearing those robes. They're a tad wide on him, but they don't look terrible. He slowly pads over to Zia's side, but does remain mostly quiet. His ears are perked - the both of them can tell by the fact that they are pushing up the hood he's wearing. He must be entertained by the younglings.
Zia The instinctive response to Skoll's call of 'Jinx!' is to stick her tongue out at the retreating wolf. It doesn't exactly make her seem like the most mature of people, but these two had always had an easy-going relationship, even if it took a nudge to get it going in the right direction. Her tongue snaps back, hiding again as she turns her attention to the other gargoyle. It's an odd thing, because while she looks more like Zia to Skoll... for Zia, she looks a lot like her father.

"Tala, look!" One of the boys leaps off of a rock, landing in the pond with a splash, causing the female to laugh slightly. "Just a little bit more and you'll be flying with us in the skies." The boy giggles from the surface of the water, swimming over, "Nuh uh. I'm gonna be a warrior like Telan." The gargoyle smirks then, "Are you? Well, you best get practicing at that then, instead of spending all your time swimming." The boy seems to ponder this, and then shrugs his shoulders, taking another leap into the pool.

The female, who apparently goes by 'Tala', chuckles to herself, looking over as she sets down the girl who had been toying with her hair. She waits until Skoll has returned, regarding the wolf with a curious expression. Clearly, she's never seen anything quite like him before.

"The tribal look suits ye." Zia chuckles, but does reach up to pluck a ribbon out of his hair that is ruining the impression. "Reminds me a bit of the feathers 'n such when yer a wolf." Then, she's looking towards Tala.

"If you would come with me?" She invites them, motioning towards a path that twists through the ruins. Once, this might have been a grand entryway, but columns have toppled, leaving a zig-zagging path that is overgrown with wildlife. There are small nests from some sort of draconic-birds, including strange pink looking young who creel as they go by.

"So, I've heard you came looking to fix your crystal." She muses, not looking at the two of them, walking calmly with her hands at her sides. "As you can tell, they aren't rare among the people of Atlantis, although I am suprised to see one on the neck of an up-worlder. Tell me, where did you find such a treasure?"

"M'da... it'was his, b'fore he died. He told me tha it's been passed down over the genreations." Zia explains, slipping her hand into Skoll's as they walk.

"Hrm. I wonder..." Tala murmurs.
Skoll Ulfang It's heartwarming to see this interaction between Gargoyle and Human. Skoll remembers how Zia had been when he'd first met her on the streets of Traverse Town. He remembers it very well. She'd been scared. Humans had reacted far differently than this. Skoll moves his hands to the hood and draws it a little further over him. He's still a bit wet, so he wants to remain warm. "Your people seem quite friendly with the humans here. I'm glad to see it." Skoll points out.

As is usualy, he has this relaxed smile on his face when he sees something he finds heartwarming. He leans in towards Zia to let her pluck the ribbon out of his hair. "Aye, but I am afraid that the feathers suit me better." He does point out, before glancing back towards Tala. His reply is a silent nod.

In a ways, he's just accompanying Zia for now. But, he has a vested interest in seeing her with a new crystal. "What was his name again?" Skoll asks Zia when she mentions her dad, taking her hand when he notices her sneaking it towards him. He's afraid his knowledge on Zia's family is still somewhat limited. He knows 'about' her family. But he doesn't 'know her family'.
Zia "We've lived with the humans for millenia, and we were at peace with them even before the Atlanteans came to settle here." Tala explains in a calm voice. It's a voice that gives hints at her true age - which doesn't seem much older than Zia. Then again, she seems to have that 'wise' way about her, as if she's lived more than a few lifetimes. "I'm guessing it didn't remain that way on the surface world?"

"Nae. The humans came te think of us as monsters in most places, so only a few clans still live." Zia's ears droop, causing the little wolf earring of hers to clink the hoop behind it. "Tha was before the Heartless came. Now, who knows. Ah've only seen a handful of us."

This seems to draw the first frown from Tala, who shakes her head. "We've seen the creatures you call Heartless. They've tried to find their way into Atlantis time and again, but the warriors keep them at bay. As do some of our allies in the tunnels." Such as, perhaps, the weird tribal chipmunks. "Perhaps you and your friends could give us better information on how to fight them... but that's selfish of me. That isn't why you've come, is it?"

"It's information tha we'd give willingly enough. There's so much at steak if they manage te get a hold on our world again." Zia had experienced her crystal going dark when their world was lost - when these people were lost with it. Maybe she could arm them with knowledge so it would never happen again. With a glance towards Skoll, the pale gargoyle shakes her head, "Ah'm the first of m'family te have a name, 'n it was the sorcerer who gave me tha."

Tala leads them through the end of the winding paths and into a small archway, with stairs leading upwards. "I've heard that gargoyles once went without names, but our kind have had them so long as I can remember. I suppose... I was wondering if you might have been decendant from my father."

"Yer... father?" Blink. Zia seems puzzled, "How could... oh." At that point, she remembers just how old some of these gargoyles actually are. So, she whispers to explain to Skoll. "Her rookery sibling was over eight-thousand years old... apparently Ah was right aboot the crystals 'n longevity." She offers him a squeeze of the hand then, still a bit oblivious that he might have alterior motives other than just helping her in mind.

"Usually, gargoyles don't acknowledge familial relationships, but my rookery brother and I were the only eggs laid then. The crystals throw off the natural cycles somewhat, which has meant throwing out some of the older ways." As they head upwards, it becomes clear that this is a place not often passed by humans. Instead, it has the subtle appearance of stone that has been touched by many gargoyle hands. "My father was one of the finest warriors, and it fell to him to notify the outlying colonies of the danger. He never made it back before the cataclysm claimed us all. He had a sword like the one your young friend carries. In fact, I'm almost certain that it is his sword, and that is his crystal."
Skoll Ulfang "Things are a bit of a toss-up in Manhattan since the Heartless ate away at the... ehmmm." What was it called again? "Heart of the World?" Close enough. "I'm so glad that was fixed. But since then, things have been tense. On one hand, many unusual people like me helped to save the place. But on the other hand, people like me appeared not long after the Heartless..." Skoll lets out a sigh. "I can't believe they still think of you as monsters. I just don't get it. They've seen you fight for them." But then... so many who don't trust what they don't understand.

Skoll looks up towards Tala, remaining besides Zia on the side of the wolf earring - something he gives a mere quick glance. It's a tad distracting. In the good way. "Nothing selfish about wanting to protect your people, and those of Atlantis - Tala." Skoll points out. "I'm glad you've done well in keeping them at bay so far. You must indeed have strong warriors." Some praise from the human werewolf. "And I agree with Zia - there's a lot at stake - not just the world, but also just your families. I too, will be glad to lend a help."

The comment about Zia being the first in her family to carry a name gets a single nod from him. He'd forgotten about that. She used to just call him Skoll Ulfang, but she's gotten better about it rather quickly over the months. Skoll squeezes Zia's hand when Tala explains about how Zia might be born from this woman's father. "Wait... does that make you two sisters?" He's not sure just how far removed Tala may or may not be from Zia in regards to the family lines.

This whole longevity thing is awesome though. "Man... eight-thousand years old." Assuming that her sibling is that old... then Tala obviously... "You look good for an eight-thousant-year-old." Skoll muses, and then glances at Zia. He's wondering how old Zia is.
Zia "Hmm." Tala seems to consider this idea of the 'Heart of the World'. For them, there is the 'Heart of Atlantis', but that has not been seen in generatons. So, the gargoyle decides to keep this to herself, her tail swishing as she leads them further up through the carved stone. "It is unfortunate, but perhaps this place can remain a save haven for our kind."

"There isnae any place truely safe from the Heartless. Ah've seen them destroy our world once, Ah dinnae want te see it happen again." Zia replies, and this causes Tala to look back and give her a skeptical look. While she understood the strange dreams of her people, could that have meant their world was somehow lost to the darkness? A strange idea, but could it be true?

Yet, it's Skoll's comment about 'sisters' that gives him a similar look from both girls. Eventually, it's Tala who laughs. "Aunt, I would say... with an unknown number of 'greats' behind it." She glances at the younger gargoyle, "Though perhaps... only a couple." This seems to amuse her somewhat, but it leaves Zia looking awestruck as they follow Tala up onto a plateau.

This seems to be where the gargoyles live, as there are a number of small residences that have been carved into the stone here. A central area connects them, each one a spoke on a greater wheel of carvings that connects together. "Great are the powers of the ancestors." She speaks solemnly, glancing back at the werewolf as if this explained his wonderment at her age.

"Your crystal is but one of many, as you can see." Tala steps back, and motions as gargoyles seem to come out of the woodwork. There aren't many, but it's probably more than either of them have seen in one place at the same time. Each of them have the same white hair and the same crystal at their neck. "But yours has been gone a very long time. It needs to be reunited with ours. Come forward, great grandaughter of Atlantis." Her voice has changed, making it sound almost as if this were the beginning of a ritual.

Zia's hand squeezes Skoll's, but then releases it. This is something she has to do on her own. She steps towards Tala in the center of the gathering of gargoyles, taking the crystal from her own neck as she does.
Skoll Ulfang "You two just... look so alike." Skoll points out, staying back in that moment where the two of them stare at him. Tala luckily explains that she is more likely to be a far aunt, and glances at Zia. Aunt? Could be her darn daughter or sister as far as he can tell. Those Crystals are really something..

They are...

Really something...

Skoll raises a hand up towards his hair and strokes his fingers through the floof of power. It's amusing to see that 'awestruck' look on Zia honestly. Still, they move on, and he follows patiently. The question as to Tala's age gets the expected response. But really, if one can live up to eight-thousand years, do you even keep counting? When they get closer to the actual stone residences, Skoll's gait slows again however.

In wonderment, he looks around, his lips parted. Seeing so many gargoyles come out, in all kinds of shapes and sizes. And then... yes. He can tell a ritual from miles away. He felt that 'thrum' that always came with them. Skoll squeezes Zia's hand again, and finally remains at the edge of the center. This was for Zia to do...
Zia There are a lot of similarities between the gargoyles of Atlantis. Though some have different faces, or body shapes, they all share the same likenesses with the humans below - namely that white hair. Perhaps it is just something that comes along with the power of the crystals? Who knows. Skoll had probably seen few enough gargoyle clans to note the subtle genetic differences, though. Though, for Zia, it certainly explained why she and her father looked a bit different from normal Scottish stock.

As much as she would like to bring the wolf into this, it's clear from the circle of gargoyles that this is not something meant for outsiders. The fact that he's here to witness is probably some sign of respect for her strange relationship with the wolf.

As Zia steps towards the circle, they move in until the gargoyles seem to be standing one next to the other. It's clear what Tala's place among her people is - she's not only the leader of the clan, but some sort of spiritual leader as well. The others respond as if this were something they had done before, and perhaps they had. A few younger members of the clan stand, like Skoll, along the outside, watching. Perhaps this was something of a comming of age here, or at least something not meant for children.

"In ages ago, we gave up our cliffside homes to come here among the humans. We left the home of our ancestors, but we carried them with us in the winds that blow, the seas that churned, the fires that burn, and the earth that remains steady beneath our feet." Some worship of the elements was common in early times, and it seems to have lingered here. "We remember who they were, and so they always will be." Her eyes focus on Zia, offering her a small smile. "That is what the crystals are. They are our life, and the lives of everyone here in Atlantis. Our hearts, our memories, our ancestors..."

At first, Zia doesn't seem to know what to do, as if she didn't quite understand her role in this. Yet, she takes a guess none-the-less, taking a deep breath. "Ah bring wi' me the memory of m'mother 'n father, m'brother 'n aunt. They ne'er came te these shores, but they're a part of who Ah am, 'n alawys will be."

This seems to please Tala in some small way, and she reaches to take the crystal from Zia's hand. "Let your memories and ours be one. We are stronger together. So that when you return to the outside world, you will know the protection of our clan, and of all of your ancestors before." One by one, Tala walks around the circle, and one by one, she touches Zia's cracked crystal to each of the others. A faint glow seems to pass from each one into the cracked crystal.

Once it has passed each member of the clan, Tala holds it out, laying it on Zia's palm. It's at this moment that she looks up, seeming to consider Skoll before raising a hand and motioning him forward.
Skoll Ulfang The white hair does stand out quite a bit indeed. The werewolf ends up leaning his back up against the side of a large upright stone and crosses his arms, quietly observing. This isn't his ritual, and he doesn't know what the common form is here. But the younger members around the circle aren't kneeling or anything. They're just... watching, like him. The werewolf follows what is said and what is done with curiousity, noting the crystals. They're so common. And...

They're something one might wish to take. He can only imagine people like the Gaudium Lords wanting power like this for their mortal minions. An army that lives longer is an army that is fitter. Worlds could use it to lengthen the lives of their warriors. To keep themselves safe against Heartless. Yet, that isn't why he is interested in the crystal. He's interested because it makes Zia... live longer. Just like him. Far longer. Although he is certain there'd be an end one day... perhaps... by then... he will have come to know the secret to his own immortality. Maybe, when it is time.

The humanoid werewolf shakes his head and tries to shake the thoughts. Damnit, why must he be in such a mood? No, this day is important. Zia is here, regaining what she's lost. Coming into contact with lost family. Learning about her origins. The werewolf puts on a smile. Not a dishonest one. It just takes a moment to drag his mind out of bad places.

That's when he notices that Tala looks at him and raises a hand to motion at him. He looks down, then lays a hand to his chest. As if asking her 'me?'. He looks around to make sure she's not pointing at one of the younger Gargoyles, and then slowly draws near. He's not sure what to say. But it's obvious that their 'pack' has something in common with his. The worship of the ancestors.
Zia When Skoll steps forward, Tala inclines her head. "You may be an outsider, but you are part of this as well." Without asking, she reaches for one of Skoll's hands and lays it over Zia's, over the crystal. "Everyone who touches your heart becomes part of you in some way. That is it's own sort of magic." Tala explains in a low voice.

Zia glances over at Skoll, offering him a hesitant smile. There's something about that moment that makes that usual feeling in her chest when she's around him ignite, her heart thumping in her chest.

Surely, the people of Atlantis must realize the sort of want that other people have for this sort of power. It is likely the reason that they keep it such a closely guarded secret, or perhaps why they sunk their land beneath the sea. Regardless of the reason, it's clear that these gargoyles have a great respect family, clan, and tradition. Though Zia wasn't born here, she is part of that, none the less.

"The power of the crystal comes from the hearts of everyone here in Atlantis. And now that you understand what it means, you can carry it knowing our hearts go with you." It's hard to tell if it is the power of all those other crystals that does it, or if it is some power within Tala. Regardless, when she motions at their joined hands, Zia slips hers free to reveal a crystal that has been knit back together. There is the faintest etching of the original crack that remains on the outer surface, but the glow within matches theirs.

Her breath catches then. "Thank ye... ye have nae idea..." Tala raises a talon as if to halt her thanks, inclining her head instead. The others smile, or look amongst each other with various levels of amusement. These people have known each other for millenia, and Zia is still young in their eyes.

There are so many questions that linger, but for now, Tala turns to the others. "The dark ones are in the tunnels. We have been brought news that these... Heartless are a danger to all of us. We must go out to fight." The smiles fade, but they are replaced with resolve from the gargoyles. "Prepare yourselves."

With that, Tala dismisses the others, who take to the air or back to their homes, but it leaves her there for now, so maybe some questions might be answered.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll inclines his head the moment Tala does, glancing 'upwards' at her as she approaches further and indeed comes to Zia's side. His ears are slightly aimed downwards, more out of confusion than anything else. But they perk up again the moment Tala reaches to his hand and draws him towards Zia's. His tail wags carefully when his palm touch hers, and he smoothes his fingers onto the spaces above and between her talons - looking at the way they compare.

Her glance has him looking back to her naturally, catching her gaze. A similar smile marks his expression, but grows a little more honest. He makes a slight motion with his fingers, almost as if squeezing her hand, before he looks up to Tala. Skoll respectfully inclines his head in a nod as Tala speaks of the crystal's power, and the connections of the heart. In a ways, those words resonate with him. But what resonates far more, is when Zia's hand opens and the crystal reveals its glow once more.

In that moment, Skoll gently places his hand over the bottom of Zia's, closing his hand around her hand and the crystal. "It will connect us - for as long as we live." He whispers, squeezing her hand for a moment. In that moment where his hand closes around hers, there's a 'shine' that comes from the crystal, as if it were responding to the connection between these two people. The light for a moment, becomes like water, before it returns to its regular glow once more.

Skoll, internally... too feels something. Something that makes his heart beat fast and his eyes dilate. The world feels like it is spinning for a moment, and won't remain still. Dizzying, but not in the bad way. The wolf releases his grip on Zia's hand and the crystal, and instead lays it to her upper arm and remains where he is. Leaning a little on Zia. But the Gargoyles must leave. Who knows if they even caught that moment. That strange... strange moment.

Normally, Skoll would have offered to help. But today, he remains with Zia, looking at her with a kind smile and a slight blush. "Told you... I would see your crystal restored."
Zia There are subtle differences in their hands - talons vs claw-tipped fingers, and four digits vs five. Yet, the fit seems natural enough when you don't think too hard about it. The chaos among all the worlds has brought people from so many places together, and it has brought them here to Atlantis.

As the gargoyles move off to their tasks, the three are left there. Tala inclines her head, "You should join me for supper, we can discuss these Heartless more, then. For now, I should see to the preperations of my people." With that, she excuses herself with a sweep of her wings. And then, there were two.

It's what Skoll whispers that throws Zia for a loop, causing the poor gargoyle to just look at him with her head tilted. The crystal had always been a memory of her father, of her family. Now, it seems to be so much more. There are so many others out there that she wants to protect, and perhaps it's in her gargoyle nature to want to spread her wings over as many as she can. Yet, she'd hoped that perhaps that power within the crystal would have made the wolf not quite so melancholy about his fate.

"Ah was hopin tha ye wouldnae have te be alone." She'd said these words once before, but this time there is a faint smile on her lips. "Ah would have stayed by yer side either way. Ye know tha." The shine from the crystal must simply be part of the ritual - the restoration of it's power from these others. Oh, she isn't the sort to read into such gestures - look at how long it took her to realize the wolf had feelings for her in the first place.

She blinks a bit when he seems off-balance, turning to offer some support. "Ye alright?" She asks, looking entirely as if she hadn't experienced anything at all. Then again, maybe now isn't quite the time for that. But his comment makes her laugh softly, "Aye, ye did. Ye have m'thanks, too, oh noble wolf." She gives him a quick kiss on the cheek in thanks, and then slings the chain over her neck again. The crystal would always look a bit strange - with the spiderweb of lines and the faint outline of the crack there, but it is whole none the less.

"Now we havete figure out a way te see your powers restored, too." She looks around, stepping a bit out of the circle now that the others have cone, "It's too bad there's no Espers hidin around here. Then again, Ah wouldnae have the first idea of where te look for one, either way."
Skoll Ulfang "Yeah, I'm alright." Skoll replies to Zia, nodding his head quietly, and blushes when she kisses his cheek. The newly made chain works well with the now recovered crystal. The youth touches against the faint spiderweb-lined spot. "A memory forever - that you saved my life." He tells her, before gazing up at her. "Mind if he sit and lay here for a while? Just... nice and quiet and all that?" He then suggests, moving his tail to get more comfortable.

This scene contained 23 poses. The players who were present were: Skoll Ulfang, Zia