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No title.
(2013-08-04 - 2013-08-05)
No description.
Golbez BAGUBA PORT - 19:35, 8/4/1

BAGUBA USED TO STAND as New Ivalice's most seasoned defense - every night, like clockwork, Heartless would swarm out of the shadowy portside seas to attempt invasion. Every night, hardened militiamen and soldiers would push those Heartless back, gaining invaluable EXP and AP! Recent events have seen even Baguba's redoubtable defenders pushed to their limits, however - double-duty ever since the Giza Plains became host to the unusual frenzied Heartless invaders. Nightly defenses now incorporated both the sea *and* the city gates, and frankly, soldiers are being pushed to their limits. Still, the city holds. Ivalice is a strong land, and its children stronger yet.

Today marks yet another unfortunate disadvantage levied the port city. While the invasion at seaside fares the same as usual, monsters repelled with absurd ease, the gates have taken on an appearance sinister, efficacious. The barricades 'round the city gates had held 'till now, but the legion Heartless assaulting Baguba's fore bring with them *new* lieutenants and commanders. Their focus is singular upon weaknesses in organized defenses, and slowly, surely, Baguba is beginning to show faults in its armor. Tonight may be the last for this great city.

Tonight, Baron's Heartless Dark Knights and Dragoons walk amongst the enemy, and their vengeance is a thing horrid to behold. One man seems to blame for all this - a man whose form is that of those stygian Dragoons made coporeal, whose smirking visage is half-hidden by the fearsome dragon crowning his helm.

At the back of this invading force, he lifts his spear and calls out to the weary defenders! His voice is a thing booming, a clarion sound amongst the din and clatter of war!

"Ivalicians, have you no warrior with merit enough to face even one of my soldiers?" The dragoon lifts a hand, and for now, the invasion -- pauses.

"Show me one such warrior to resist my forces. Show me a man willing to shoulder the burden of your pathetic city's fate. I tire of this conquest."
Evja Moving silently, a figure had come in behind the heartless, moving swiftly into the portals before they fully closed and following to see where they had gone. The interested party, a fully armored figure that was moving strangely soundlessly, didn't in fact make themselves known. They waited until they were out of the portal before realizing that they were in a sea of darkness.

Or, rather... on the ends of a dock to it, rather, one foot practically dangling over the edge.

"You have to be joking me!" Evja grumbled to himself before vanishing and leaping high into the air, not once, or even twice, but three times. It was from here that he could see down, see a large portion of the town below him. It was something entirely different. It was... familiar, somehow, but nothing he had seen. And there were those attempting to defend it from the heartless. And the heartless themselves.

And someone, possibly someone, standing behind them.

Someone calling the defenders out, even as they tried to keep it safe. Once the apex of his jump was met, the Judge quickly began to descend from the jump before slamming down rather gracefully near the port-side cannons. To those of the area it may seem like one of the various palace Judges, but something was different. The armor was different, slightly, from the normal judges. "Stop this madness, whoever you are!" Evja calls out towards the mass of heartless and what he thought was a figure towards the back. "These creatures need not be brought to any world, cease this madness before it is too late!"
Golbez From the back of that seething morass of black, flailing limbs and the Heartless that control them, Kain Highwind's thin lips pull into a frigid smirk. His focus is, of course, on the apparent Dragoon landing atop the rooftop within Baguba; the very same hand that has halted the Heartless advance now shifts towards Evja. The voice that leaves Kain's throat is a thing of command, and while his eyes cannot be seen, the amusement that drips from his tone suggests mirth beyond measure.

"You think your presence here an apricity to these wearied defenders. Such outrage suggests a mind grown lazy without strife equipollent to its certainty - do you think me, Dragoon, inimical to your sense of self-preservation??" Highwind laughs, a low and bitter thing. He gestures to the killing fields before him, spear held long and low towards an area where Heartless are rapidly falling back. A circle forms in the midst of the interval between colliding forces, and there, a single Heartless stands at the ready.

It is the spitting image of a Dark Knight, a collection of armored planes and horned spires protruding from shoulder and knee. At the ready is a wicked, black-bladed broadsword held in both hands - this is thrust towards the distant Evja! The very ground quakes with the power gathering atop it!

"Come, warrior," crows Highwind! "Show me your mettle! I hope, indeed, that your strength is enough to offset the pathetic state of your cogency! It would seem this city requires a hero this night! Defeat my champion!"
Evja "Any who ally themselves with the heartless shall receive no hesitance from me. These beasts destroy worlds, destroy lives... tear apart those who care for each other, cause terror. I know first hand just what these creatures bring about... I have felt it."

In fact, Evja had felt the terror and fear that a giant heartless-esque creature had brought about in the Black Beast ordeal, having grabbed the 'keyblade' that had formed right after. That suffering, that pain - it made him realize all the more how badly the heartless needed to be eradicated, and those who seek to use or abuse them need to be stripped of that ability or, if necessary, crippled from causing harm.

As the ranks of the heartless separate and circle around the Dark Knight that is formed, the vieran Judge reaches one hand out and withdraws one of his seven-remaining spears and waits until the creature, or thing, attacks, before bringing it up to block the attack and push back before trying to offset the Knights balance. The spear spins around Evja twice as he sends two waves of air towards the creature followed by the Vieran Judge leaping straight into the air and coming down with a crystalline Judge Sword in an attempt to shatter off a piece of armor and possibly reveal what is beneath.
Golbez "I care not for your prattle," intones Highwind. "Words are naught but wind--" He quiets as Evja blurs into motion, content, for now, to watch this first true Ivalician defender deal with Baron's own elites!

What follows is, of course, interesting. The Dark Knight does nothing at all in response to Evja's opening flurry - the spinning spear skitters across armor of ebon black, while the mindless automaton simply *stares* at its foe, eyes of burning red the only color beneath that tenebrous helm's grating. The attack does no real damage, of course -- but *then* --

Then Evja's leaping into the air and bringing his real force to play. The Crystalline Judge's sword *slams* into the stationary Dark Knight's armor, and one of those spiked pauldrons is indeed shattered into nothing more than dust, exposing more inky black beneath the swordsman's armor. Still, the creature sits still, waiting, perhaps, for a word from its current master. This Heartless shows -- discipline. Military focus. It is concerning.

"And finally our whelp shows its fangs. Is this the most of your power, the absolute apex of strength? Is this all your naive Ivalice has to offer me and mine? *FIGHT*, Dragoon, lest you dishonor the very dragons you aspire to emulate! Allow me to assist you!"

The Heartless warrior shifts. In a flourish, its blade is withdrawn from its sheath, the blade *slammed* into the ground before it! Darkness clouds the very air around the creature, abyssian and intangible... before coalescing, seeming to suffuse that selfsame armor Evja had just sundered!
Evja What?!

It wasn't... fighting back? Was this man attempting to lure him into some sort of fight or commitment here while something else was going on? Evja took a step back and looked left and right before looking towards the golem once again as if trying to understand it. Seeing the lack of substance beneath the armor lead Evja to believe it was simply an enchanted suit in some fashion. With how the darkness interacted with it he was almost certain it was simply the darkness itself.

"Why do you seek to draw my attention with this petty construct? Surely you could discover this yourself, unless you too weak to do your own fighting!" At that the Dragoon Judge leapt high into the air and began to glow with a faint golden white light, almost a 'holy' light if not for the actual lack of element to it. The area around him darkened faintly before he brightened it back up by sucking the light itself around him. Faintly 'wings' and 'claws' similar to a dragons briefly appeared about him, all the while that one lance in his hand and Judge Sword in his other, waiting momentarily while standing on the air itself to see what was going on.
Golbez "I bear witness," states Highwind. "You are the recipient of a very real honor - I find your frustration laughable. Attend!" At his barked words, the Heartless Evja faces seethes into procedural motion - quickly, it proves itself a solid thing, bearing the sorts of movements that one does not *stop* - one *avoids*.

A step forward! The knight brings its heavy blade up from the bloodstained earth, to heft it parallel to the ground! Those malevolent eyes bore *daggers* into Evja, while malevolent force manifests around his opposing champion! The darkness grows, a globule of ink in its nascency, but rapidly expanding to a sheet, a waterfall, a *wave* of tangible despair, of soul-scathing hatred. This is the offense that Baron brings to the war for Ivalice! This is hatred made manifest!

The Heartless emits a sound inhuman, a vocalization of dreadful rage -- and the first of multiple waves screams forward, to batter into the meditating Evja! Upwards they drive, great sheets of black, of depression and angst great enough to pull even this blessed aerial warrior to the very ground!
Evja Indeed, Darkness was something one should avoid, one should side step, not defend against. At least in this case. Evja, however, was not one to do such. Not when they were feeling not so much cocky as sure of themselves that they could easily enough handle this threat. When the wave of darkness came the Judge brought up Spear and Sword and crossed them before diving Knight Greave first towards the wave of darkness, fully planning to shear through it to get to the golem.

A bad idea.

The darkness crushed up against the Viera just as he connected with the golem and he was knocked flying backwards, spinning, barely managing to catch himself against the air itself with a creak of armor and a flourish of a spell circle beneath foot.

"So, that's how you are going to be, hm? Very well then, time for your plaything to vanish!" With a strong kick Evja leapt off the aerial foundation he had formed to use to jump in mid air straight towards the Dark Knight. But instead of Sword and Spear, the sword vanished and instead it was replaced by not one, or two, but three spears. Evja twirled and launched two spears straight towards the golem of darkness before landing with a resounding thud before it and attempting to stab a third spear into it, immediately leaping up once again and coming down with the fourth spear held tightly in both hands, trying to flea hop it straight through the construct.
Golbez The Dark Knight beneath Evja is just bringing its weapon downward, eyes practically burning in the aftermath of its dark deluge 'pon its foe. Of course, it has no time to rest - no, Evja is quick to recover, and quicker still to administer his own brand of revenge! The spears the Dragoon throws travel fast as arrows, their points glistening in the afternoon sun!

Surely then, it bodes unwell when Evja's chosen target brings his blade up so quickly! Such a large object should not *move* with such speed... but the Heartless are inhuman, are they not? The initial barrage is swept aside with a colossal sweep of the Heartless' weapon, which is brought down *just* in time for its crossguard to batter Evja's spearthrust down into a skittering thrust along the construct's breastplate.

Kain speaks up, even as the last attack is met with a backstep. "Noble warrior, your attempts are in vain! Is this the best your paltry arms might bring to bear? Is this Ivalice's hope made manifest?? If this levity is *all* you redolent fools might muster in the face of certain defeat..." Highwind leans forward, to place his weight upon the haft of his spear.

"I told you to *attend*. This is not a game, warrior! Defend yourself if you wish this city to stand 'pon the sun's rise!"

Automatically, that Dark Knight facing Evja lifts its sword once more, and yet again, Darkness coalesces before it! A trio of hateful, black projectiles pulse from the warrior, into the very Dragoon battling it! 'Ware, Evja!
Evja Batted aside so easily?! What was this thing! Madness! Evja had too many years of training to simply be treated like he was some beginning Dragoon who had just picked up a spear. "This city will stand, bastard, and I will not allow you or any of those damnable beasts to set foot inside it while I am here!" Leaping backwards again, Evja drops his spear that he had left and all of them vanish, the Crystalline Judge Sword reappearing in his hands as he waited. And just as the darkness attack came, he threw it as hard as he could straight towards the Dark Knight, trying to break some amount of armor, break something, expose something.

Expose it for what came next.

Once again Evja began to glow, but this time the darkness seemed to grow from a lack of light, the light being sucked into the Viera, almost as if he was charging. Waiting, watching, preparing to strike, taking the darkness fully and skidding backwards as it came. It hurt, hurt like hell, and was beginning to grate at him more than the other Dragoon knew, but Evja was standing steady and it would take a hell of a lot stronger blow to topple the Judge now, at tis moment.
Golbez The Heartless stands alone in the midst of its circle, sword returning to that same neutral, battle-ready position. Armor falls off of the construct once again, but the blow was tailor-made to sunder such and nothing else - the Heartless reacts not at all to its withering defenses. There is a certain dark majesty to the moment - hundreds, thousands of eyes peering up at the persevering Dragoon, all curious, the slightest bit of fear in every pair! What might Evja do to the Heartless beneath the monster he faces now? What havoc could this lone soldier unleash on the masses? Evja is a thing to fear, yes, and fear is what he earns from the Heartless.

He does not earn it from Kain. A twist of the neck, a tilt of the head, and Kain's lips are twisting into that same, self-satisfied grin he'd sported earlier. In a show of ultimate dismissal, Highwind -- turns around, and shakes his head. His focus finds the ground between his feet.

"A pity," he muses, "that the soil must be so sanguinolent. I suppose the duty falls 'pon these shoulders, then - I will offer the Earth its due, in lieu of your inability to perform to expectation." Highwind lifts a hand, closes it into a fist, and *closes* it.

Around that duelist's circle, Heartless begin *swarming* forward, and within seconds, the sound of newly joined battle echoes up to Evja, dozens of feet beneath him! Truly, things have reached a new low, a new form of desperate need -- but there is one chance.

There is that Heartless, that immovable golem, that tenebrous titan in the midst of the clearing. Kain Highwind's challenge to Ivalice.

One of his Dark Knights. Its eyes remain on Evja, challenging. It raises its sword.

Darkness mounts once more.
Evja "In my entire life... I have never once killed anything."

It was a strange statement to make, a strange response, perhaps, even as Kain begins to bubble and summon the heartless to try and take the Judge down, or perhaps planning on simply taking the town itself.

"So even now I shall not kill you. But... do not be upset if you cannot move well for the near future!" Evja's voice raises slightly before the brightly-glowing Dragoon leaps high into the air three times and pulls a spear out of the air itself. The light around him channels through him, through his hand into the weapon before it instead begins to glow brightly as well as him. Slowly the light begins to grow blinding and Evja shouts out, "Path of the Lance!" as if a warning, or a challenge, perhaps. With a sharp snap and spin the Viera's hand passes straight through the spear and pulls with it a ghostly residue in the shape of a spear that is launched down towards the swirling mass of heartless, exploding if it hits so much of anything at all like a veritable Bomb. And as another pass is made, the glowing spear once again is robbed of a ghostly image of a spear which is hurled again and again and again, literally peppering the entire area with dozens of lances of light before he grabbed the main spear by the haft and threw it in a carefully aimed manner straight towards Kain, quite fully planning on piercing him with it if he could.

Much as the Judge had stated, it wouldn't be lethal if it hit, but most would be lucky if they were able to get up from an attack of this strength with everything he had poured into it.
Golbez Kain watches, blandly, as the Heartless begin swarming towards the city, milling 'round the lone Dark Sentinel in their midst, the very same goliath who waits for Evja's answer to the heckling, the promises of destruction and death in the wake of the Judge's apparent failure to perform. Highwind, being no stranger tothe accumulation of power, turns at that first coalescence of light--

Kain extends his hands. Darkness sifts upwards, from the ground at his very feet. His expression darkens at the other dragoon's apparent intent-- was the goal not to dismantle Highwind's champion?? This aim - for Kain himself...

What follows is poetry in motion, from both parties. The spears peppering the ground around Kain have Baron's representative ducking into a defensive crouch, even as a shadowy form takes place before him. As Evja's hallowed, conjured shaft of purest light *streaks* towards the place Kain stands, the weapon will find the Dragoon airborne, barely evading what must be a crippling blow - instead, a hastily summoned Heartless takes the blow, the very same champion as Evja had been battling earlier.

It is traumatic. Light penetrates the bleakest darkness, causes that implacable plating to flake away like plates of the most brittle talc. Darkness fades to dun, then to little more than a brief blight upon the sunlight flooding the Giza Plains, and with a wracking, wretched scream, the Heartless Evja has been facing against fizzles into nothing more than air--

and Kain settles atop the fracas, newly aloft. His expression is one of fury, his teeth bared in the most irritated grimace.

"I find your levity reprehensible. You target me, when I levy 'pon you the clearest terms for this doomed city's salvation? You had the chance to be a hero, and indeed, you have won that prestige -- but only for my benevolent interaction on your behalf. Dragoon, your imperfect victory gives you imperfect reprieve."

Kain closes his hand into a fist. Beneath him, the Heartless army fizzles into little more than motes of darkness. Behind him, a portal opens, through which sinister organ music emanates. Kain vanishes, and the portal closes behind him, but his words linger. They are portentful.

"Soon, I will return to this wretched city. Gather your allies, 'ware them of the imminent threat. Darkness will spread 'cross your homeland as the sea swallows land. There will be no escape, no hope -- but my lord invites you to struggle as you might. Soon. We *will* be back."
Evja Kain leaves, and Evja slowly descends to the ground. The armored Viera stands still, silent a moment as various figures begin to poke their heads out here and there to see if the fighting was done. Among them some moogles from the White Kupos who have been part of the bunch who are defending Baguba Port.

"My homeland hm? Wonder... what made him think that." Evja laughed softly to himself before wobbling a bit and falling backwards, barely catching himself in a sitting position. "Damn that took it out of me. Lucky he backed off..."
"Hey kupo! Um, Your Honor, are you okay?" The moogle questioned curiously, "Should we contact a member of Bervenia Palace for you kupo?"

The question from the moogle caused the seated judge to turn slowly and look at him before sighing and saying, "No, no... or, perhaps, yes actually, I suppose that would be a good thing. I shall sit here and keep watch in the meanwhile to make sure nothing from that bunch comes back."

The Mog Knight gives the Judge a strange look before nodding and trotting off to find the closest person to send a message to. Wasn't /too/ hard to find Judges, after all, what, with the palace being the main portion of the defense against the Heartless these days.

This scene contained 14 poses. The players who were present were: Evja, Golbez