Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
Crossroads and Graveyards
(2013-11-07 - 2014-03-26)
No description.
Aura There are many reasons that people end up at the crossroads. Those who have great choices before them often end up here. One decision can make all the difference in the world. Once, a long time ago, Skoll had met his sister on this road, and his decision to help her changed her life. Even now, it seems like so much hinges on the choices made by individuals. It seems an odd place to meet, but perhaps it is also fitting considering the circumstances.

The only problem is... Aura is late.

The winds blow across the glasses, lulling the mind until it isn't the landscape of the crossroads before Skoll, but an all too familiar set of plains. This was the place of those odd, connected dreams. One part his homeland, but also one part pieces from the Golden Wolf's mind as well.

Something is wrong, though. The world flickers at the edges, as if caught somewhere between dream and awake. The Golden Wolf stands as a werewolf, with a keyblade in one hand, the power of her light pushing back the darkness. Yet, the way her eyes sweep the area, it's clear she sees more enemies than he does. Small, grasping hands lash out towards her from the shadows. Heartless? Perhaps this is what is holding her up, and he's getting some subconscious glimpse of the danger.
Skoll Ulfang When the change comes amidst the Crossroads, the first thought on Skoll's mind is not that he might have sunken into the realm of Dreams. No, far more than that, he wonders if he had wandered into the Castle Oblivion without even realizing it. He re-tracks his own movements. His journey through the World of Ruin, going through Luca's now world-renown portal, and coming out on the other end. He remembers walking beyond the small hill to the path that holds the crossroads, and settling down upon one of its edges.

No, he hadn't gotten up and moved to that castle.

So why then, does the world change before his very eyes, bringing him that vision that proves each and every time that the worlds, even before their Barriers of Light were broken, were not as disconnected as they seemed. The flickering edges go mostly unnoticed by the werewolf as he gets up from his seated position and dusts off his pants.

There is the light of the Golden Wolf, and the keyblade she holds in-hand. She's fighting, it would appear.

Ever the natural knight and honorful savior, the werewolf breaks into a sprint upon seeing her like this, while trying to see just what it is that is trying to grasp for her.
Aura No, Skoll hasn't ended up somehow wandering into Castle Oblivion, but it doesn't make the transission between sleep and awake any less odd. Sometimes, you just don't notice the moment your eyes drift and your mind is lulled into slumber. Then again, this 'dream' seems unstable. The Golden Wolf doesn't even seem to realize that he's there.

Instead, she seems focused on the battle at hand. As he approaches, it becomes more clear that the grasping arms are, indeed, Heartless. There aren't many of them, but it's enough to give a single fighter a challenge. They must have followed her to the portal that leads to the crossroads.

She seems to be fighting her way forward until at the last moment, the dream shatters. In the shards, there are small glimpses of things from the past. Two young wolves run in the grass. Her image always on the horizon, out of reach. That moment when she'd first returned after the darkness had broken it's hold on him. The dream ends, and he's placed firmly back into reality.

The woman in her wolf-armor tumbles out of the portal just up the road with a resounding thump, followed by shuffling as she tries to re-arrange herself within the pile of wolfish-attire. She mutters something that's impossible to make out with the distance between them, but it sounds colorful. It takes only a moment for her to collect herself and get to her feet, putting as much distance between herself and the portal as possible.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll catches onto the glimpses when the dream finally beaks. It reminds him of his past - as things having to do with Aura so very often do. He makes quick motion at some of them, trying to reach. But then he's back where he was before. In the crossroads, laying with his face first in the grass. It seems that if you get up in a dream, sometimes you faceplant.

Who would have thought?

The youth gathers himself and is quick to move towards the portal, thinking the girl still needs saving. But the moment he passes over that hill, he can see her coming from the direction of Phantasia Mountain.

"Aura!" The werewolf calls to her, as he comes down the hill, intent on touching her with at least one hand and make her feel safe, while keeping his eyes on the portal himself. He recalls her saying she isn't as much the fighter as he believes her to be.
Aura It isn't hard to spot Skoll against the empty backdrop of the hills. He stands out in most places, with the exception of some parts of Manhattan. It's enough to quirk a smile on her features, at least before her mind catches up with the strange emotional mash-up of being two people. He's running because he cares about 'Aura', right...

Even so, she manages to put on a small smile, nodding as he joins her. "I'm alright. Just a few scratches." There's some scuffs here and there on the fur of her outfit, and one longer gash on part of her upper arm, but otherwise she seems in one piece. "They're starting to test my strength more when I'm traveling alone, but I'm starting to get the hang of some of this. I think."

There is some measure of uncertainty in her voice, but the Keyblade is quickly tucked away again. The heartless don't seem to have any intention of following her here. "Are you okay?" She asks, seeming that he looks just a bit dissheveled from his impromptu nap and faceplant to follow. "I wouldn't have thought there would be much trouble out here."
Skoll Ulfang Skoll holds Aura tightly to himself with one arm as he meets up with her, while still glancing behind her at the portal. It should be obvious that somehow - he knows what she just went through. Especially with the way he's looking - with the knowledge taht the small wounds on her body are recent.

"Maybe you shouldn't keep the Keyblade out when you're traveling, to make it easier." Skoll remarks. He stares for a while more, but soon realizes that the heartless are no longer coming. So he moves his both hands to Aura's upper arms and draws back a little, checking her over. She said she was okay. But he still checks her over good, before releasing her and trying to find a position in his Inventory.

Not long after, he returns a smile. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just had a difficult encounter with the ground back at the crossroads."
Aura A momentary thought flitters through her mind: It would be nice if he was this concerned when I'm actually 'me'. But Zia soon pushes it aside, "Okay, enough, I'm fine, really. Look, I've got all my fingers and toes." She waggles her glove-covered hands. Clever things, that, as she's set up an extra set of fake-digits for the pinky finger to make her disguise look more 'human' and less gargoyle.

"And it's not like I go waving the thing around all over the place. The Heartless just seem more prone to following certain people, and Keyblade wielders are one of them." Ever since the fall of the worlds, she'd been a 'trouble magnet', and maybe this sleeping ability within her is part of why the Heartless have always been more drawn to her than others.

"So..." She kind of looks at his hands on her arms, then up at him. It's one of those awkward moments. "How are things?" The question is somewhat vague but... they'd left things at a strange point at their last meeting. She'd had to deal with the revelation of 'another woman' from both sides of this not-quite love triangle now, and it felt odd as Zia and as Aura. Not to mention that there were other things left unattended as well.

There were so many threats and so many pathways to go from here.
Skoll Ulfang "Hrrm - indeed you do." Skoll answers Aura and releases her. When it came to him and Zia - he knew the Gargoyle to be quite capable. And the danger was always in the middle of combat. This is in a ways, a bit of a unique moments. But the werewolf isn't really thinking about such things.

"I know what it is like to be followed like that." In fact, he knows what it is like to be hunted down. In that regards, perhaps Aura is still to be considered lucky. Things have changed since then though; something he will forever be grateful for, in regards to Avira and Zia.

Skoll awkwardly stuffs his hands into his pockets and takes another step back - worried he's doing that whole invading the personal bubble thing. "Things are okay. They were a bit hectic before, but now that I've visited Shiva's Cloister and regained my contract with her, things are calming down again for a little bit." He admits.
Aura While the Heartless don't seem to be following her through the portal, the Golden Wolf doesn't seem interested in lingering too close by. So, the moment he releases her shoulders, the girl begins to walk up the pathway towards the crossroads, her long cloak flowing behind her in the slight breeze. "They were probably a bit irritated at the fact I've been hunting them near Port Royal the past few nights. I was hoping the pirates and soldiers might have some news about the increases in Heartless activity there, but... no new leads."

Skoll would know, from his conversation with Zia, that she had also been looking into such things, although more specifically the danger to Atlantis. The gargoyle had been away lately, spending much of her days in the tunnels of the Serpent's Trench, trying to find any passage through to the lost land. Or at least, that's her cover story, anyways. Leading two lives is hard.

"It's good to know that you're reclaiming your strength. I have a feeling we're going to need it in the coming days." Her glove-covered hands sway at her sides as she walks, looking towards the crossroads, most of her expression lost behind the mask. Then, a thought seems to strike her, and the woman reaches beneath her cloak, pulling out a small pouch. "That reminds me. I found a boatman who was selling this. He said it came up with one of the nets of fish he brought in, and I thought you might find it interesting."

Inside the pouch is what appears to be part of a broken carving. It looks much like the ones at the other Cloisters, except this one seems to show, at least in part, the form of a coiled snake. It's just a small piece, though, as if it had been knocked off of a far larger statue.
Skoll Ulfang "I don't know Heartless have such emotions." Skoll answers Aura, giving her a bit of a silly look. Clearly, he doesn't think Heartless are more than mindless beasts. No breeding, no interests other than gnawing on hearts, no real 'working together'. None of that unless someone is controlling them.

The werewolf follows Aura as she wanders further from the portal, and soon is wandering right at her side. "Zia is also trying to figure stuff out in that general direction." He notes, wondering if the two had seen one another perhaps. Skoll may be good at catching lies. But he's also quite trusting of his friends. And right now, he's also being fooled by sorcery. "Just be careful out there. And don't hesitate to call on me if you need help." He's told Zia the same thing.

When Aura reaches for her pouch and takes something out, Skoll glances over her shoulder and holds out a hand so he might look at it. When she gives it up, he twists it around a few times. "Looks a bit like Midgardsormr. Or Jurgamund - however you might want to call him." It'll take a moment to sink in that it might in fact be related to 'him'.
Aura "Probably not, but I ran into one of those dog-looking thieves from Duckburg the other day. He was trying to control the Heartless, but seemed to be failing miserably. If he reported back to his superiors, that might explain why there's a few more of them than normal running around Port Royal at the moment." Most of the time, the Beagle Boys aren't really much of a threat. Their bumbling tends to get them into more trouble, themselves, than any hero could make for them. Then again, if they'd allied with some of the more powerful Shadow Lords, it could mean trouble.

"I've been careful. I even talked to that program friend of yours. She seems more concerned with finding her user than with her own quest for a Keyblade though." Aura shrugs her shoulders then, shifting the furred armor around them. "Still, I let her know that there were other paths than the one Sheriden set her on. If I can find another way, I'm sure she can, too."

That said, the wolf-woman regards him as he inspects the bit of stone. "You were still looking for his Cloister, weren't you?" She asks, head tilted in that quizzical, lupine way. "Maybe it's just a false lead. It's possible it might be from some statue that fell off a ship or something, but... it might be worth checking out. There are a bunch of underwater passages down there. So long as you watch out for the giant mechanical lobster and the monsters that lurk in the caves."
Skoll Ulfang "Maybe they called for their mommy." Skoll jokes, smirking and nudging his elbow playfully against Aura's arm. Indeed, they usually aren't much of a threat. Heck, Pete is more competent than the Beagle Boys. "It'd certainly explain there being more heartless. But it could also be that some of the more ruthless pirates just shipped in. That place sees some really seedy people - and I wouldn't be suprised if they draw Heartless into the area."

Keeping one hand in his pockets, the werewolf trots along further along with Aura, taking his tiem to walk with her. "Sheriden huh? I never really ended up getting too involved with the whole Keyblade thing when stuff was going on. It seemed all so secretive - and Castle Oblivion is hardly a place I'd like to visit." He assumes that Aura must have also visited 'that place'.

The little piece of carved rock is flipped a few times in his fingers as he looks at it. "Hrrm, you think this could be related to another Cloister? I mean, I don't think I've ever heard of the Yevonites even mentioning something like Midgardsorm." Not that this means he doesn't exist amongst the Aeons. "Haha. Yes, I will be careful about giant mechanical lobsters... man. I can't believe that's a thing." But it's a thing.

"I should call Zia about this later. She's searching for things down there. And I'd like nothing more than to have her with me if we were to find another Cloister." He's not inviting Aura? One might feel insulted. Or maybe that's still coming? Or perhaps... it is 'their journey'.
Aura "Maybe. The pirates seem more likely. There's been this boat that's seen from time to time out on the water, but it never comes into port. People seem to think it's a bad omen." The Black Pearl hasn't actually been seen since Captain Barbossa's attack on Hawaii, and that was some time ago. With the ghost-ship lurking near Port Royal, it's likely that the old undead pirate is still 'alive' and kicking, just waiting for his next opportunity.

"Probably for the best you didn't get too involved. I'm still not sure what to make of Sheriden. After everything, it feels like he was using us for his own purposes, but I haven't a clue what those might be." She reaches for the pendant at her thoat, showing that wolf's head catching the sun. "I used to think Keyblades were a weapon against the Heartless. Now it seems like they're something more than that. Something potentially dangerous." Aura sighs at that, her voice uncertain. "Either way, I plan on making use of it to defend the worlds. It's all I can do."

It's hard to explain her mixed-up thoughts on a lot of things when it comes to this path. The certainty tht she will fight to protect the worlds, though... that is the one thing that had kept her going through the trials until the blade found it's way into her hand.

Taking the change of subject back to the cloister, Aura nods her head. "It's a possibility. Not every Esper is recognized by the Yevonites, but if they exist in one world, they probably exist in others. We just need to keep looking." His amusement at the mechanical lobster that guards the way into the Trench almost cracks a smile, but then it falters again.

"Have you... talked to her about all this?" It seems like the sort of question that was lingering in the background, just waiting for the chance to come up. "I mean, have you figured out what you're going to do?"
Skoll Ulfang A ghost ship? Ugh, ghosts. Nobody likes ghosts. They're all... incorporeal and stuff. Fighting them is too annoying to deal with. Luckily, these ghosts are looking for a very specific thing, and don't really generally bother other people. Much. Except for the British Fleet perhaps.

"Probably. But I don't like my friends getting into trouble either." Skoll points out, while naturally following her motions to the pendant that pointed out just how 'obvious' it was that she is his Golden Wolf. "There's a lot we don't know. It seems the 'baddies' have all the answers. And as long as we don't get some of those answers, we're in a major bad place."

"Still - it's as you say. We gotta use what we have - as long as it doesn't make us worse than them."

The wolf stops when she mentions whether he'd talked to Zia yet. "Yeah." He rumbles. "I did. I'm not one for secrets." It's true. Skoll couldn't keep a secret like that worth beans. "But no... I haven't really... figured out what I'm going to do. Even now, I don't really... 'know' you. And I have told Zia, I will never abandon her. And that's true. I will never stop being her friend. And... I can't help but feel more than that for her." The werewolf runs a hand through that mess that is his hair and looks away.

The situation is frustrating.
Aura "Getting into trouble is what friends do best." Aura replies, knowing just how true the statement is. Afterall, between the Shard Seekers and VALKYRIE, there were plenty of friends of theirs out there who knew how to get into trouble. "All you can do is try to be there to drag their butts out of the fire." She does offer him a smile at that. Even if he doesn't know it, they'd saved each other more than a number of times, and she'd been there for the others counless times more.

As he starts to stumble over the bigger issue, the wolf stops in her tracks and just looks at him. Damn that unreadable expression and that stupid mask. It makes it impossible to tell just what she's thinking. "I know it's hard. Matters of the heart always are. We search all our lives to try to find someone who is the right one for us." She reaches out a hand towards him, letting her fingers touch the back of his hand. "I don't know if that's what this prophesy meant for us, but I know we're meant to be in each other's lives somehow."

She lets out a sigh, uncertain of what to say. Maybe she should have just told him the truth in the first place, rather than dragging out this whole thing. But... some part of her wanted to know if he would choose her, even with the Golden Wolf looking him in the face. "It has to be your choice, and I'll abide by whatever you choose."
Skoll Ulfang "Aye. That they do. But hey, there is something rewarding about the act of dragging their butts out of the fire. 'is a bondin' experience, wouldn't you say?" He smirks at Aura a little, before running his hand all the way back through his hair.

What a mess indeed.

"I sought for you all my life... and now that I've found you... I'm hesitating." Because he's found someone whom he'd tied his heart into. "I know we're meant to be connected. It's obvious enough... but..." God, worst timing ever.

The werewolf looks up at the sky.

"I need more time. I want to say I want to get to know you better. To give you a chance. But at the same time, I'd be betraying Zia. And... I just don't have that in me. Not just because of what pain I might cause /her/..." The werewolf has a pained look on his face and can't really look at Aura.
Aura "I guess it is." Aura laughs softly, then. Her mind plays out so many moments of going after her friends on hair-brained adventures. It's enough that when she introduces herself, it's usually as the Shard Seeker girl that is always trying to keep the boys out of trouble and fails miserably. It's pretty much her title and her lot in life. It doesn't help that she's a trouble magnet, herself.

But then, all that's left is the painful topic. "I wonder, sometimes, if fate is a cruel thing. If this Keyblade would have found me earlier, maybe this wouldn't have ever been an issue in the first place. If it had come later, you wouldn't have had to second guess your own heart, because you would know it." Her hand stays on his still, though it seems to be more for support than anything else.

"When I was taken through the trial, one of them was a glimpse into a possible future. It's not a future that's for certain, and it's one I plan to change in other ways, but I can tell you that you were happy. You'd made the choice you were meant to make at the crossroads, and came out better for it." She shakes her head then. "I want to tell you the truth. I want to make this easy for you, but I can't. I have to let you make the decision on your own."

Her hand releases from his then, and the wolf takes a few step off the path, drawing her hands beneath her cloak, looking down at the ground in thought. "I didn't get to choose to be the Golden Wolf. There were threads that bound our worlds long before they were connected by the darkness. There's a reason for it, and why it played out like this. At least... I believe that now." She's seen enough footsteps of fate to believe, when she once had scoffed at the idea when Skoll had told her of it. "But you still get to choose your own heart."
Skoll Ulfang "You did come at a rather inopportune time." Skoll admits, "And you're right. But now that I've entangled my heart with someone else, things are no longer as easy as they used to seem." But then, as she said, issues of the heart are never easy.

The werewolf glances from beneath the mess that is his hair at Aura, and flashes a weak smile. "The choice I was menat to make at the crossroads huh?" He asks, and looks around himself. They'd come to stop right in the middle of the crossroads.

"I wonder what that choice was..." He whispers.

He moves his hand around and touches the bottom of her hand as she draws away from him, letting their finger tips touch before he follows Aura to come stand besides her.

"Fate is a mess, but it's not all-powerful, it'd seem. It just... lets people come together. It connects the hearts. What comes from that is up to the people connected to those hearts." Something like that.

The werewolf puts a hand on her shoulder.

"I won't leave you either, Aura." He still doesn't remember her true name.

"I've finally found you, after all."
Aura "Guess you'll have to find fate's help line and file a complaint. Not much I can do to help you there." It's a hint of humor from a person who rarely showed much of it. Maybe it's a bit of her true personality sneaking out from beneath the mask she wears. She's not a practiced actor, and it's mostly costume cleverness and an American accent that have kept hr from being discovered by now.

"Not these crossroads, literally." She shakes her head, the mess of brown fur that dangles from the helmet moving along with the motion. Some amusement seems to break through the tense nature of the moment. "I just meant... oh nevermind." Now she's the one left being flustered.

She does fall silent whn he begins to wonder at what his choice was. Closing her eyes, Zia can't help but replay the way it had felt in those future days. There were things that weren't right - Deidra, and Percival, and Faruja were all strange in that future-tense version of reality, but something about her connection to Skoll had just felt right. Being his Golden Wolf was a blessing and a curse, though maybe it would turn out right in the end.

"I won't leave either, you know that." Her voice is quieter now, less self-assured.

Then, there is that awkward pause that lasts for a few seconds too long. "Maybe we should go do something." She suggests, unhelpfully.
Skoll Ulfang "Heh, I knew you could be humored." Skoll nudges Aura a little. Always so serious. Always tension between the two. But in truth, it was probably Zia trying to make sure she didn't get broken out of character.

After all, when Skoll gets going, it's hard to step out of his 'pace' and 'mood'.

"Oh - why not these crossroads?" The werewolf puts an arm around Aura's shoulder and walks with her. "Good. I've chased you for a long time. And it wouldn't be fair for you to just disappear."

He draws her along with him towards Halloween town. "Ever been to Halloween town?"
Aura "Yeah, there's a sense of humor under all this metal and fur." Aura admits, her tail swishing underneath her cloak. She seems a bit uncertain, though, as if she isn't used to letting her guard down. It's the struggle between the part of herself that wants to get close, and the part that is afraid getting close will only mean trouble for her down the line. "It's just a little rusty."

When he puts his arm around her shoulders, the wolf looks up, and there is a brief glimpse of the eyes behind the mask. IT's quick enough that there isn't really a chance to tell their color. "It's a figurative thing. I guess I wasn't really thinking about /these/ crossroads." She looks a bit sheepish at that. "Just.. you know."

She seems to give up on the talking thing for the moment, and instead, the girl crosses her arms over her chest. "I'm not going to disappear." Mutter.

Of course, then he has to start dragging her along. "H... Halloween town?" Blink. Her brain goes into panic mode. It's been a long time since she's gone to the strange town near the darkness, but would Skoll recognize her if she changed into the same monster she had in previous visits? Oh well, nothing to do about it now.
Skoll Ulfang "Is that so?" Skoll playfully continues to remark. "Well, good. Because things would get boring real quick if you didn't." He sticks out his tongue at her and continues to drag her towards the portal to the 'south' of the Crossroads that leads into Halloween town. Her little sputter of the name just results in him repeating the town's name.

"Yup. Halloween town. And you better not~!"

The werewolf continues to drag her along, trying to get the mood more happy and chipper. It's not long before they step through the gate, and Aura is welcomed to the sight of a massive towering Werewolf with bandages around much of his body. It's less tribal looking than his normal werewolf form and more...

F'in badass werewolf.
Aura There is a split second before she steps through the portal where Zia thinks better of this escapade. If he recognizes her, then there could be a lot of questions. She closes her eyes, takes a breath, and follows Skoll through.

Once, she had appeared as a mummy when entering this place. Pale skin, Sunken eyes, and mummy bandages. Yet, when she appears this time, it is something entirely different. Maybe it's the effect of the Keyblade itself, or the changes she's gone through since those early days. Whatever the case... Aura appears as as a glowing entity, like some sort of elemental. Her features are lupine, but indistinct. Her body appears like white-fire, while her clothing seems darker tones of red and black. It's a sort of bad-ass set of mages robes.

"This is new..." She murmurs, looking at her own fingers. Her eyes trail past her fingers towards him, slowly looking upwards. Right now, there's probably about two feet of height difference between the two of them. "And you're looking quite impressive." She reaches out an flicks at a few pieces of bandages.
Skoll Ulfang "Not looking bad yourself." Skoll answers her with a heavy and loud voice that comes snarling from the massive werewolf's mouth. He leans in, eyeing her. It probably looks a lot more scary than he means to get across.

But it's a good trust excercise.

The werewolf moves one hand out towards the elemental and tries to see if she's still corporeal. And more than that, to see if the flames will lick his fur... or if it's all just a 'flair'.

"Quite interesting in fact..." He grins and growls.
Aura With the sheer difference in size, he could probably take her head off in one bite. The wolf-elemental doesn't seem too worried about how close he gets, although she does give him a small shove to the chest. "Ugh, wolf breath. It smells like something died and got stuck in there." She groans, waving a hand in front of her lupine nose.

The touch to his chest proves that she's still quite corporial. Her hand lingers for a moment longer than necessary, but then drops back to her side as she looks around. "So, what's fun to do in this place?" She asks. "Other than maybe trick-or-treating."
Skoll Ulfang "What? Nuh-uh..." Skoll growls, moving his head back and pluks at his teeth with his claw. Flick. He takes out a dead mouse. "How'd that get in there?" He asks innocently, grabbing it by its tail and flicks it off to the side.

"Got a mint on you?" He adds, before he looks off towards the city, and pats the girl's hand as it lingers over him.

"Well, other than trick-or-treating - enjoying the sights. Enjoying the comedical banter of the crotchedy old ghosts. Let's just see the sights for now."
Aura At first, the wolf-elemental seems about to protest, when he goes and plucks a dead mouse out of his mouth. "Ugh. Eww." And she kisses that mouth... well, Zia does anyways, but still, gross! Her wolfish expression looks disgusted.

At the question about a 'mint', Aura reaches for one of her bags, only to flounder a bit as they aren't /exactly/ where she expects. What she does pull out is some strange leafy thing that certainly doesn't smell like mint. "Here, chew on this for a bit. It's not mint, but it should get rid of rat-breath." The red 'hairs' of her elemental form stand on end as she hands them over. OMG-ew-gross.

"Well..." She shifts her feet. "You seem to know the place better than I do, how about showing me your favorite place?" Her tail sways behind her, white eyes looking towards the city, itself.
Skoll Ulfang "I didn't put it there. Honest." Skoll comments and accepts the minty leafy thing, and proceeds to chew and nom on the thing. No more rat breath.

The little rat he dropped on the side suddenly gets up, mummy-hand-shakes at Skoll, and then runs off.

What the...!?

Skoll shakes his head. "This place is strange." He mumbles, and then holds a hand out to Aura. "Let's go to the bendy hill thing. You get a really nice view on the moon there."
Aura Stare. Seeing a little undead rodent go running off after fist-shaking at Skoll is a surprise. This is a strange world. "No kidding." Aura agrees. After everything she's seen over the years since the worlds' fall, there are still some things that surprise her.

For now, she just nods and accepts his hnd, heading over towards the hill. It requires going through some parts of the city, and a quick stop for her to gawk at a couple of shops like a child looking in at a toy store. It leaves her racing to catch up at the edge of town, and giving him a skeptical look as they start walking through the graveyard that leads towards the hill.

"Well, this is a bit creepy. Do you take all the girls in your life to graveyards? I can't imagine it'd make a very good date locale." She's careful to step between the graves and not over them, showing some regard for the dead and undead who call this place home.
Skoll Ulfang It's truly as if this girl has never been here before. The werewolf wanders on into the distance, walking at slow pace so that Aura can keep up while also getting to enjoy the sights. But when the two get to the graveyard - the skeptical look is welcomed by nothing less than a smile.

"They're not dead-dead." Skoll points out. "Sometimes they even dance and what-not. The zombies, that is." He points at the graves. "And the ghosts." There's a dog made of white cloth that suddenly zooms by, sporting a big red nose. "Like that one."

The werewolf halts at the edge of the graveyard and offers a hand to help her over to wall - so they can head over to the hill yonder.
Aura Once, a long time ago, Zia had found herself in Halloween Town. It had been a frightening enough experience for someone who was still not used to traveling between worlds. It's one of those places she ended up during her first, fledgling explorations in order to find a way back to Manhattan. Time has turned a frightening world of nightmares into a place that seems strange, but isn't nearly as scary as it had once been. So, in some ways, it is like she has never been there before.

"Where I come from, the dead don't usually come out of their graves and dance." Aura explains. "Not unless you're listening to a scary story or something." As the ghost dog goes zooming by, she watches it go with some interest, tail swishing. "Though, I'm guessing every world has it's own sort of ghost stories." She accepts his hand and climbs over the wall. "Does yours?"
Skoll Ulfang Skoll continues to lead Aura to the curled up hill, and comes to a halt at the bottom. He turns around to look at her. "The dead don't usually come out of their graves and dance in my world either." He explains. "Usually. There's of course stories of ghosts and ghouls. But most of the ghost stories in our world revolve around the ancestors."

He looks up at the hill, and takes a few step onto it. The curled hill begins to move, stretching out its stalk like body in order to raise Skoll up into the air.

"Many of the tales are old and somewhat boring. But there are some cool ones, about Vampires - enemy to the werewolf race. But I don't think Vampires actually existed on our world."
Aura Her strange, glowing nose twitches a bit at the sight of the hill, ears tucked back. It doesn't look like the sort of thing that could support Skoll's massive bulk. Then again, she's seen plenty of things that defy the laws of nature. It's with a hesitant step that she follows him up onto the hill.

"I remember. You used to tell me stories sometimes, when we were young." There's a strange duality when it comes to those moments in her mind. Zia hadn't remembered those dreams until recently, although she had been herself within them. She'd lived most of her life not realizing that her subconscious was going on such distant travels within the realm of dreams. "It's funny how those dreams come back to me these days."

Once up on the hill, Aura's gaze shifts around the spooky landscape. She seems to be taking in the moon, the brokendown houses, the ambling townsfolk... What she doesn't see is a large, dark shadow that seems to be lurking in the direction they'd come from. It's a distinctly... werewolfy looking shadow.
Skoll Ulfang "Aye... that I did." Skoll notes, remembering only vaguely that he'd ever done such a thing. Those dreams are still lost in the vagueness of his mind; something that is still healing from the damage done by the Gaudium Lords.

Memories are such fleeting things. And it gets worse when Dreams are involved.

"It's the same for me, you know?" He tells Aura, looking sideways at the girl as she dares step onto the rising hill. Skoll is of course far too concentrated on Aura to really notice much in the surroundings. Though his ear twitches a little - subconsciously.

"My father used to tell me stories about the former pair of werewolves called Skoll and Hati. And how they were great leaders of the steppes. But how they'd died a tragic death - and how their spirits still roam those steppes, sharing their story to unfortunate passerbys."
Aura "It's alright if you don't remember. This is a strange sort of magic. Like the barriers between worlds - it's like there were barriers in my mind up until recently." Aura's voice trails off slightly, the blazing white eyes of this elemental form staring at the night sky. "I sometimes wonder if it's a matter of us needing each other back then, and reaching out, looking for some sort of kindred spirit." She shrugs, the embers of her clothing flickering to red as it moves.

Her own ear twitches, but it's in response to Skoll's story. "So you pass down names from generation to generation?" With her own people not even using names, the idea seems a little strange. "I guess that's part of honoring your ancestors, huh?" Her people honored the dead in a different way, but it's best not to mention that just now.

She seems about to say something else, but then something catches her eye. "Look out!" The girl launches herself at him in an attempt to push him down as an arc of dark magic goes shooting in their direction. It's probably not smart, as it might send them both tumbling down off of the hill if he doesn't manage to find a hand-hold.

That shadow seems more ominous now, with glowing yellow eyes and dark black and purple shadows radiating off of it. When it steps into the light, it becomes clearer just what they are seeing - it is a werewolf, turned into a Heartless. It twitches and moves in erratic ways.
Skoll Ulfang The werewolf gazes up at the stars with her. "It was probably something like that. It's amusing - if you think about it - offering you light where I was already losing some of it." Thinking that he could rescue a girl at such a young age, while his father was corrupting his heart.

He turns his head down at towards her to acknowledge what she's saying. "Right. Some names come with great expectations and honor. They say the names are written in the stars. That's how my sister and I got to have our names. At least - partially."

Turning his head a little to ensure he can hear her when she's about to speak, the werewolf is surprised when the girl suddenly flings herself at him. He can't even think of anything witty before the dark magic releases right behind the girl, the werewolf sliding the two off of the hill carefully - clawed feet digging into the back of the magical hill, and holding onto the girl.

Skoll is sturdy.

The werewolf quickly looks at where that black magical blast had come from. And there is... a Heartless Werewolf!? The beast growls and moves his big clawed hands on either of Aura's side.

"What was that for!?" He calls out at the Heartless. Not that he's expecting any response. Who is creating Emblem Heartless in the form of Werewolves? Or is there a darker secret behind this?

"Stay behind me." Skoll growls at Aura, moving to defend the Keyblade Wielder.
Aura "Wouldn't surprise me. You were always trying to save me, even back then." There is a hint of a smile behind the mask, "I just hope I've managed to return the favor in some small way." Knowing all that has happened between them, Zia and Skoll certainly have traded back and forth when it comes to playing the hero. Aura is another mattter, entirely.

Any other warm sentiments are left in the dust in favor of getting the heck out of the way of someone, or something flinging dark magic their way. The elemental-form she seems to have in this world is warm to the touch, almost uncomfortably so. It radiates off of her now that there is danger present. She leans against him for balance only so long as it takes to end up on solid ground again.

"This doesn't look like the ones that were after me before. Think you have a fan-club, too?" Aura asks, head tilted. The moment that it becomes clear that the threat is a Heartless, her keyblade is summoned to her hand.

The Heartless just wobbles from side to side, unable to talk or express itself. It takes a step forward and lobs another spell in their direction, moving with eerie, un-coordinated movements.

"Stay behind you?" Aura smirks, "Who's the one with the weapon against the Heartless, here?" Even so, she just nudges him once with an elbow before shifting to stand at his side, extending her blade out to deflect the magic up and away from them.
Skoll Ulfang "Ah... right." Skoll sheepishly replies to Aura, who sees fit to remind the big werewolf about the fact that she has a Keyblade. He even runs his big fuzzy paw through his wolfish mane to show his embarassment.

Still! There's an enemy!

The werewolf throws his head to the air and lets out a mighty howl, releasing a gulf of white mist into the air above him. The mist comes out in the vague form of a winged creature. But the moment it's made enough distance from the werewolf and Aura, it ignites into the body of an enormous flaming Phoenix.

"Go easy - we don't want to burn the place down!" Skoll shouts at the beast, which only acknowledges the werewolf's words with a single squack...

And then a jet-stream of fire descending on the poor heartless. It's holding back, but the heat is still incredibly intense. It should be obvious enough why the werewolf can hold onto Aura - even with that uncomfortable heat coming from her. He knows the flames of the Phoenix.
Aura The Heartless has moved away from the buildings for the most part, wobbling between graves. It doesn't seem to move quite right. It has that jittery motion they tend to have when someone is controlling it rather than letting it go to spread havoc where it pleases. When the fire rains down, it just stands there, leaving a layer of darkened ash over it and smouldering ground beneath it's feet. The yellow eyes blink.

"Where's your master..." Aura murmurs, putting her back towrards Skoll as she searches the haunted turrain. The flames around her seem to light up the night, reaching towards the shadowy forest beyond. Something is moving out there - something big.

"You take the Heartless, I'm going to go see who's pulling the strings." With that, she launches off of the hill and starts into a run towards the trees, vanishing into them.

At the same moment, the Heartless seems to spring to life. It's head pops up, drool dipping from white fangs before it launches itself right at Skoll. Clearly, whomever is controlling it is a bit more concerned with Aura coming their way than with keeping tabs on their minion.

Of course, as soon as Skoll starts to actually tussle with the Heartless, the sound of a scream comes from the forest.
Skoll Ulfang "Master?" Skoll growls. She's right, they /are/ acting like they are being controlled. Normally they wouldn't be acting like this. The werewolf takes a firm step forwards and makes a motion, requesting Phoenix to blast another Heartless that pops in with fierce fire.

"Huh? Wait, Aura!" Skoll stretches his paw towards her, but she's already running off. "Damnit." He growls to himself, and glares at the Heartless that has 'revived' from its former ashes.

"I don't have time for you! PHOENIX!" The blazing bird lets out a screetch and comes down towards Skoll's arm, literally flying into it and forming a burning tattoo on its arm just as the werewolf slams his fist into the Heartless' stomach, sending an enormous wave of flames through the creature.


The werewolf's sensitive ears pick up on the scream, and he immediately goes into a four legged sprint into the dead forest!
Aura As fate would have it, Aura doesn't hear him call out after her. It's that sort of moment that happens all the time in stories. There has to be that element of danger there. The scream, the shadowy figure moving in the woods, it all plays out as if this tale were about to take a turn for the worst.

The Heartless falls quickly under the power of Phoenix and Skoll's super-wolf-punch, leaving nothing but a faint dark mist behind. There didn't seem to be many of them. A distraction, maybe? Or perhaps these were meant as a warning? Whatever the case, there are more pressing matters at hand.

Racing through the woods, there are probably hundreds of possiblities flitting through the werewolf's mind, but it's not likely to be the one that he comes to find. Skoll arrives just in time to see a dark portal closing. There is Aura, her keyblade extended, standing in front of a woman who seems to be crying.

"It's okay, he's gone." Aura says in a soothing tone.

Then, the woman spots Skoll and screams again. Yes, it was definitely her scream that he had heard. Frantic, the woman hides behind the fire-elemental. Apparently, Skoll is more frightening than a creature made of flame. "It's another one of them... keep him away from me! Monster!" The woman has claw-mark scars on her face and arms, her expression one of absolute terror.

"Skoll..." Aura is the one caught in between in that moment. "I need to get her out of here. There was this werewolf, I've never seen him before, he was attacking her. He disappeared through the portal just before you got here."

The woman behind her continues to shake and mutter and plead with Aura to get rid of the monster. So much for a nice evening...
Skoll Ulfang Indeed, there are many a thing going through Skoll's mind. The first thing on his mind obviously is the appearance of his father: Odin. Skoll may be a bit ditzy at times, but he's no fool. He can put two and two together. And Heartless Werewolves are themed a bit too obviously. Aura can probably hold her own, but on her own against his father?

The werewolf finally arrives to the scene, and slows down. "What happened?" He asks, only to be welcomed by the frantic yelling from the woman. The claw-mark speaks books about what must have happened here.

"I'm not a monster." Skoll rumbles, raising his hands. It's odd for a woman in this realm to be just a woman. But he doesn't think much of it. After all, a dark portal just closed. And he knows how the magic of the dark portals can be a bit wishy washy.

"I understand." The werewolf answers Aura with a pang of guilt in his heart. After all, his presence probably put her at danger. He looks towards where the dark portal closed, and then back to the woman. "It was probably my father. The Darth Vader of werewolves." He's been watching a bit too much TV it would seem.

Nodding at the two, the werewolf shows that he understands the situation and moves away from them. What a rough way to end an evening like this indeed. "I'll move. No need to make the woman fear for her life even more. Make sure she gets help."
Aura Though the woman looks mostly human, there are subtle things that show that she has been effected by her trip into this realm. Her eyes are so ghostly pale that they are almost white, and there her fingers are almost black. It's likely the transformation left her as some sort of ghoul. Close enough to pass as human, until you look closer.

"He came out of nowhere! Like some kind of fiend..." The woman wraps her arms around herself and shivers more violently.

"It's alright. I'll make sure you get to the village safely." With a somewhat saddened expression, Aura turns towards Skoll and mouths the word 'sorry' in his direction. There's not much more she can say, as to not upset the poor victim further or to cause distrust.

Zia already knew about his father. Though the sight of him had been brief, she hadn't needed Skoll to affirm her own belief. He was tailing Skoll, and that meant troube for both of them. For now, all she can do is play out the end to this scene. She shifts to usher the panic-stricken woman towards the path, offering only a quick glance back before her fire-lit form vanishes into the trees.

This scene contained 43 poses. The players who were present were: Skoll Ulfang, Aura