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Meetings outside Oblivion
(2013-08-17 - 2013-08-19)
No description.
Oathkeeper "There's trouble brewing." A dark figure speaks up, looking at a dark bird before him. "And we haven't heard back from Her. Something has gone wrong. We'll have to deal with subjects four through seven in a different manner." They stand amidst a dark place with ruined buildings littered around them.

"Tell them that I will see to the rest. If they fail... then we will simply need to search for more."


It would be outside of Fluorgis that the man would come to wait on her - a man that Zia has only come to know under the title of 'The Seeker'. Dressed in a strange black uniform, he rather stands out - at the very center of the road that leaves the city. It looks like he's only just arrived, seeing as nobody has noticed him. Or perhaps it is rather that nobody wants to notice him.

It would probably appear like these two meet per chance, but a single handmotion from the man quickly dispels any such beliefs. He is calling her over. There's little she can see underneath the hood right now, but what appears seems to be signs of 'worry'.
Zia Trouble seems commonplace when it comes to the world Zia has found herself in. The strange dreams that had lead her towards Castle Oblivion were only part of it. With the storms still raging in the lands between Traverse Town and the ominous castle, the gargoyle had been left to wait and wonder on what this all meant. Little did she know that others had already tread the same path, but perhaps it's better not to know what waits in store.

It's night in Fluorgis. The city streets still hold a few wandering guards, women of the night, or men wobbling home from the taverns. This is her city, as Manhattan had once been, and it falls on her shoulders to help protect it.

Pale wings shift in the moonlight, sweeping over city walls in a regular patrol pattern. Without Percival there to fly with her, it's a bit of a lonely task tonight. Yet, maybe things had called him away just for this reason. He didn't know about her dreams, no one really did. No one, except the dark figure below.

The appearance of the Seeker surprises her, having expected that she wouldn't see him again until she found her way to the Castle beyond the storms. Seeing him here makes her wonder what other task he must have than to becon people from their dreams. That is, until he seems to spot her in mid-air, and motion her down from the skies. It doesn't take long for her to glide down, shifting through the desert drafts until she comes to land a pace or two away, her wings cloaking on her shoulders.

"Ah wouldnae have expected te see ye here. Ah'd been wonderin if ye werenae jus some figment of m'imagination." The gargoyle's tail flicks as she looks at him, as if wondering if he might vanish before her eyes. "Ah havenae been able te get te the castle as ye asked. M'guide couldnae traverse the storms." She explains, but then falls silent, head tilted, eyes curious, letting him have a chance to speak.
Oathkeeper The man tilts his head up only the mildest of bits as the Gargess approaches from the skies, nor does he even move to clear a landing space for her. It almost appears like he trusts her to be able to manage a landing after all this time. Or perhaps it's just that cartoony 'people don't move unless the animators get paid more' thing.

"I assure you, I am no figment." The man answers the gargoyle, quickly glancing her over. The Gargoyle looked most like a demon, but with this white skin she hardly looked the part for someone who might fit what they want out of her. But there is no point to not trying. "In fact, it is a good thing you were unable to go to the castle as of yet. It appears that the storm has made it a dangerous place."

The man very slowly crosses his arms and lifts one hand to his chin, whilst he continues to observe Zia. "You still wish to know what this is all about, do you not?"
Zia It feels strange, standing in the middle of a city street with a man that, until now, only existed in her dreams. Momentarily, the thought strikes her and she gives a long look at his features. No, definitely /not/ the man of her dreams. Her hand idlely adjusts an earring dangling from one long ear, the small wolf totem on it shifting down to hang against her neck. "Then, if yer real, then is everythin else Ah saw in those dreams real, too?"

The question is left to hang in the air as her hands drop to her sides, then fold across her chest, as if she weren't quite able to figure out just how she wants to stand. "Ah've heard it was a dangerous place even wi'out the storms." Zia murmurs, glancing once over her shoulder at the sound of footsteps. It's just one of the guards, who pays them little heed. It's almost as if they don't see them at all.

Her blue eyes turn back to the Seeker. "Of course Ah do. Ye show me a bunch of disconnected images, 'n the fate of some poor girl, 'n ye expect tha it would make sense?" Her head cocks to the side, tail flicking absently. She had seen him carry a keyblade, like the boy who could unlock the shards of worlds, Sora. She had heard him talk about choices. "Ye spoke of wizards 'n plans. Choices 'n paths te save worlds. It's all pieces of somethin greater, right? Somethin Ah dinnae understand yet."
Oathkeeper "It is the Truth - and as such, it is Real." The man answers her with a patient voice. The man pauses dramatically, and then nods his head in that slightest of ways. "You made the choices to see those things, I could merely be there to guide you and allow you to see those moments. But the power to come to know more lies there." His hand slowly comes up, arm stretched out far, and with a single finger he points at her heart.

"You will come to understand more. It is only natural." The robed man declares and stops pointing at her, instead opening his hand. "But if you would wish... I can guide you to your next destination. The Castle of Oblivion was but one place where you might find your answers. But there is another place that you would perhaps be more familiar with." The man makes a little motion with his hand, and he reveals what looks like a blue and yellow star of some sorts. It's a bit big, filling the full of his hand. Like a stage-magician, he'd made it appear.

"But first, take this."
Zia "The two things dinnae always come one wi' the other." There were many truths that did not exist in the real world, but that did not make them any less true, and many things that were real were not true, even to themselves. It's one of those gray areas, and the gargoyle knows it all too well. "But at least it's enough te feel like Ah'm no' goin completely crazy." She reaches up, rubbing at the side of her head, "How do ye explain dreams that arenae dreams te someone who has never experienced it?"

Her blue eyes follow where his hand points, and her hand comes up over her heart, where the small reliquary lies, and beneath it, under her clothes, the pendant from Atlantis. Once, people had thought her to be a Princess of Heart, a person that was a light pure enough to bring back a world from darkness. This feels like something else, but what?

"Ah've got far more questions than answers, te be honest. Ah'm nae even sure where te start." As he offers out the strange looking star, she remembers the wayfinder that she had woken to find in her hand. She reaches for it, pulling it out from her pocket to look at it. It's different then the star that the Seeker offers. An unbreakable bond, the thought has her putting the wayfinder back, her hand reaching for the object offered out to her, instead.

"Alright." The gargoyle hesitates then, "This haste do wi' the blade ye were wielding before...?" The question seems to be the first on her lips. "Tha young woman in the dark had one too, 'n the boy wi' the spikey hair, 'n the mouse." She doesn't know much about Keyblades, other than whispers and stories she's heard. Her memory of King Mickey is fuzzy - a voice calling out in the Manhattan night, and a light that helped them escape as the world fell.
Oathkeeper "That is an answer I do not have. It is certainly a unique enough experience, is it not?" The man in black replies to Zia on the matter of explaining dreams that are not dreams. "But know this. Dreams and reality are connected far closer than many would think. The Dream World is but a step to the right. Yet so far away." The man allows her to take the star and then makes a motion.

"Please, walk with me." The man then declares, waiting for her to follow him along the road away from Fluorgis. "I do so bore with sitting still sometimes. But yes, this has to do with the item known as the 'Keyblade'." You see, it's a key, but also a blade! How droll. "The young boy you know as Sora holds one. Thee are others, but they are rare and few in between. But if I understand correctly, you already know just how important they are."

A few steps are taken, before he halts and looks back at her. "After all, it returned Manhattan back to the Realm Between. And a keyblade is what could have saved your world from falling. They are a great weapon against the flood of Heartless." It seems that this man is giving her some of the information she might never have realized - though there is a secret hope that this information is something Zia might have figured out for herself already. With a small flourish of a hand, the man opens a gate before them.

"Let me take you to the place... where it all began." Before them, a corridor of darkness appears, much like Skoll had so often used to travel around. "And as you might believe - yes, my heart has been tainted by the darkness. But I do also believe that you have come to know the darkness not to be the great evil people believe it to be."
Zia "Unique is... one way te put it." Zia murmurs, then shakes her head. The only other person she knew with those sort of 'interesting' dreams was Skoll. The werewolf dreamed of his wolf now and again, and she knew those were similar, far too realistic dreams, even if he had never elaborated more than a little. It's the dazed look he has some mornings that gives him away. "Usually, Ah dinnae remember m'dreams. It's a first te really carry one back wi' me, 'n more so te find out tha it's got some thread in reality."

There isn't anything out in the desert nearby, but the gargoyle follows him none the less. The great dunes of the Dalmascan sands stretch out beyond, though her ears are trained on the strange man before her. "Ah have some ideas." Zia replies, her tail swaying, leaving a swishing pattern in the sand as she walks. "Ah've seen the boy do some things Ah wouldnae have thought possible." She'd been there when he opened that world with the African beasts, and the day he had brought back Manhattan.

When he elaborates that the keyblade could have saved her world to begin with, the gargoyle's ears tuck backwards, "But... the mouse king was there when..." She trails off, uncertain. Maybe King Mickey had just gotten there too late? Afterall, he had only just managed to get them out in time to keep them from being dragged into the darkness with it. "Is tha' wha' it's meant te do, fight the Heartless?" She asks, although the answer might seem plain, she has obviously seen it do more than that.

As the Seeker opens that portal, Zia only looks at it for a brief moment before nodding her head. "It isnae the darkness tha makes someone evil, but their own intentions." At least, this is what she believes of it. Skoll hadn't been evil, even when the darkness had control of him. Yet, the two often did go hand in hand. Having used these portals before, she doesn't have as much fear as some others. Besides, she doesn't know that they can be dangerous, Skoll had never really warned her against using them.
Oathkeeper "There are more people in this world with the propensity to become the wielder of a Keyblade. The young boy and the mouse king are not the only ones. I am sure you've considered this already."

When they finally halt before the portal of darkness, the man slowly nods. "It fights the darkness and protects the world from those creatures. They are a natural existance, but that doesn't mean they are good for the world. The worlds are no longer in balance, like they once were." The man motions towards the portal, while his eyes read her expression. Unlike many might, she doesn't seem to be too wary of it. And for a simply once through, it probably would do little to no harm to her.

"Hrrm, you've learned that well." The man decides; before adding, "My name is Lucas." He holds out a hand. "Lucas Sheridan. A pleasure to finally meet you in the real world." Shortly after she might shake his hand, he motions her towards the Portal and then tries to get her to follow her into a tunnel of faint darkness.
Zia Of course, she'd known that there must be people out there who could wield keyblades. She had met Sora, and had seen the mouse king during her travels. Clearlly, they exist, but... the idea that there were others out there that could /become/ keyblade wielders, that one stops her. "Is tha wha this is aboot?" She asks, putting two and two together. Something flickers in her memory. Standing on a platform, holding a staff and facing off against the Heartless.

Shaking her head, it takes a moment to dismiss that vivid recollection of some lost dream months ago. At the time, she hadn't thought anything about it, her choices, or the darkness within that she'd faced. Skoll's voice was there, and that had probably been part of why she'd stayed so close to the wolf after that, trying to figure out just what it had meant. Did it even mean anything at all?

With the hand offered out via introduction, Zia pauses a moment. Though she's had a good deal of practice with names, it still doesn't come quite naturally. "Zia, but ye know tha already, Ah'm sure." She takes his hand, but the gesture doesn't seem as if it's her own, leaving her to draw back her hand again soon enough.

While she doesn't seem afraid of the darkness, or the strange path he seems to be leading her on, it does make her feel a bit more wary. She can walk the line, see what he has to offer her, but that doesn't mean she has to trust him. "Why is it tha they've been thrown so out of balance?" She asks then, because conversation makes her not think about how close to darkness she might be just now.
Oathkeeper "Yes." The man answers her with a very matter-of-fact tone. The two continue down into the tunnel of darkness, and she might notice that the gates on both sides remain open. She'd probably not noticed this with Skoll's traveling, but there was always an entrance on both sides. This was probably why Skoll always tried to open it to a place outside of living areas. Who knows who might decide to just wander in.

When the finally exit the corridor, they suddenly stand amidst a land of sand and rocks. A wasteland if there ever was one. Red and brown sand litters the ground, straight jagged rocks climbing into the air, and then... she'll notice it. The massive quantity of items that form an inaccessible foursome of areas, that brings their very position into the shape of a crossroad.

"Kingdom Hearts."

So the man answers her. "Kingdom Hearts is the reason that things have been thrown out of balance. And it is the only way to put things back /into/ balance."

"Years ago, before your world even knew what a Heartless was, there was a great battle fought here. A war of Keyblades between the Forces of Darkness, and the Forces of Light. The Sorcerers you have come to know on your journey, and the ones who initiated the contact with you to see if you were 'worthy' of wielding one, know of this era. They are withholding the ability for anyone to gain a Keyblade, because of this."

The man opens his arms wide, and uses his limited ability to change the dimension to show her afterimages of the war that once was led here. Armored people running through the field clashing with one-another, each using a keyblade. The battle is harsh and disgusting. And in the air hangs a shimmer... a massive heart against a dark backdrop.
Zia By now, traveling between worlds should seem commonplace, but as she steps out into this desolate expanse, there is a shiver that runs up her spine. The air around them seems to carry the weight of past events, even before he goes on to explain the battle that once waged here. The wind catches a few stray strands of hair as she steps forward, watching the brief glances of lives that now lay as little more than dust between the rusted remains of their weapons. There are so many Keyblades, and so much death.

"Kingdom Hearts." Zia repeats the word, her head bowed as if in deference to those who's lives ended here. Darkness or light, war is always terrible and always seems to lead to the same end. Then again, it is a war they are fighting against the Heartless. The worlds needed people who could fight, or else more would fall.

"A power of wonder 'n ruin." She repeats the words of her own dream into the empty land beyond. "Is this wha they're afraid of, then? Tha whomever gets te wield these blades will start another war for this... Kingdom Hearts?" She glances towards the Seeker, "Or is it Kingdom Hearts itself tha they're afraid of?"

It's all quite confusing. "The only war Ah'm worried aboot is the one tha's threatening m'world 'n the others. The Heartless 'n their masters. It's impossible te even talk aboot balance when were fightin somethin tha seems unable te be killed."
Oathkeeper "The answer is two-fold. They fear the power of the Keyblade, and rightfully so. And they also fear the Kingdom Hearts, the source of the worlds' imbalance. Many years ago, a great war was fought here. Many wishes clashed here. Wishes of ruin, or restoration - of light and darkness. Wishes for change, or stagnation. All those that clashed here had dreams. And the sorcerers indeed wish to avoid any of this happening again."

The man slowly turns towards her, "I will not lie. There is a deep danger in 'the wrong person' being given a Keyblade. But as you say, the Heartless are far the greater threat. And it is these /very/ things that will allow for them to be eliminated from your worlds."

The man makes a hand-waving motion towards the keyblades. "Though these may now be mere dead relics. Their power lies within you too, Zia." The man touches his hands together and then shakes his head. "But the sorcerers would deny you that power. They would deny that power to many. They can reach and touch a world before the heartless have a chance to make a world fall, or make their World Hearts suffer. Yet they sit still and watch as the 'stars fall from the sky', one... by one..."
Zia Where there is power, there are people who will fight for that power, and powers still greater that may or may not exist. There were plenty of people who had joined the Shadow Lords for a taste of that strength, and they had found it in the Heartless. The silence of this place reminds her of things the Seeker had already shown her. There were people who sacrificed much for the sake of the worlds. What would she someday have to sacrifice?

Zia doesn't linger on those darker thoughts for very long. There were places even in her own mind where such things could fester, and it had taken months to work through some of those dark places to stand here today. There is enough in the Seeker's words to bring about a number of less pleasant thoughts, her talons clenching into fists at her side.

"How do ye know if ye've found the right person?" The gargoyle asks, although her eyes are not on Lucas any longer, but on the hundreds of rusted blades that each mark a life lost to a this place long ago.

Hearing him finally come out and say what she had already suspected offers little peace of mind. The power of a Keyblade... wonder or ruin. "Why? Wha is it they so fear tha they'd let everythin be torn down rather than let some people have the strength te fight?"
Oathkeeper "I don't." Lucas answers Zia immediately. "But I believe in the possibility and the opportunity. I believe that those who have the ability, should be given the opportunity to wield that blade against the heartless plague." The man looks out towards a rather specific mountain top for a moment. Whatever struggle had been here once, some of those signs have disappeared. "As for what they fear - this. This battlefield, and someone being subverted and bringing more imbalance into the world. They do not /trust/ you. They do not /trust/ anyone. It's why they go through so many hoops. Time and time again."

Lucas turns around and moves out one hand, opening a new Portal before her. "I will give you the opportunity they seemed to deny you after your first dream." He makes a motion, and steps back and away from the portal. "This gate will take you to a place where it all began. This place is dangerous - far more dangerous than what you ever have faced in your life. The journey that lies behind this gate will change you. I will not lie. The realm of darkness lies beyond. But within it... /strength/ and /power/ in the form of what you are destined for."
Zia "It would be hard te trust anyone wi' the fate of the world." After the fall of Manhattan, Zia had felt personally at fault. She had felt that maybe there was more she could have done in those final moments. It had been her own guilt toying with her, but... Carrying this level of power certainly would come with some level of responsibility. At the very least, it isn't something she would carry alone.

The second portal is the one she watches for a time, warring with her own thoughts. Up until now, she could have simply walked away and taken everything the Seeker had told her back with her. Now, it seems she really has to make a choice. Step forward and find out what lies within the portal, and find out if that truly is the fate she is destined to find, or step back and stay as she is.

"Ah've been movin forward since the first time Ah stepped out of m'own world." It would be a lie to say that she wasn't afraid. Yet, part of courage is facing your fears. Closing her eyes, Zia whispers something close to a prayer, asking her ancestors to watch over those she leaves behind. Like the girl in her vision, the gargoyle makes the choice: the world over her personal needs, and who is to say that she won't end up the same?

Steeling herself for whatever might come, the white gargoyle steps forward through the portal.

This scene contained 16 poses. The players who were present were: Oathkeeper, Zia