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Wizards and Wanderers
(2013-12-30 - 2013-12-31)
Chita heads to Merlin's house to ask him a few questions about relevant subjects.
Zero-One In Traverse Town, there is a lake. On that lake is a small island, reachable by jumping across floating stepping stones (be careful, sometimes they like to play tricks!). Upon that island is a small home, with a small chimney. Oftentimes it billows woodsmoke into the air. This is one of those times. Someone is home, at least.

Those who check can quickly determine that the location is the home of Merlin, reputedly a powerful sorceror, wise and knowledgable in the ways of the worlds.

Or perhaps a bloated old fool if you listen to his owl, Archimedes.
5rThe truth, as it usually is, might be somewhere in between.
Chita When he could see, this journey across the moving stones would have been something of reputed ease. Something he could do with one foot, and realistically, one single good Dragoon Leap across the entirety of the stones. However, blind... it was much harder to do. At least, to do himself normally. For the longest, the Viera stood on the other side of the back, where one would normally hop the stones to get there. He stood, listening, trying to figure out the patterns to the stones movements. He could hear them moving in the water, remembered them.

Sure, he could call his Chocobo, but he was still uncertain if Seith's magic had entirely left him, or if it was even in him to begin with. He simply didn't know. Which is why he couldn't take that chance in summoning his companion bird. He couldn't change thinking it was a monster.

When the first stone began to move to the right he took a quick measured leap towards the sounded and landed a bit unstably, before timing the next, and the next. Timing it properly until the very last one where he heard no movement. He actually had no idea whatsoever where the little platform was to leap onto.

So, he took a chance and pulled out a single munny coin, flicking it forward and hearing a splash. Then he waited a moment and flicked another. Another splash. The third found something solid, and he leapt towards it, smacking his left shoulder on a bit of wood that was there but still finding purchase. "Meh... what is the purpose of the stones and lake." Chita mumbled to himself as he walked up to the house and began to feel carefully around it for the entrance that, if he remembered right, was off to the left side.
Zero-One By the time that Chita gets across, they hear movement, and find themselves poked with a stick of some kind. A kindly old man voice that Chita remembers well comments. "Well now. I didn't expect something like this."

A querulous voice replies, "That's because you don't expect anything, you doddering oaf! When were you going to notice the poor man trying to cross the lake?"

Merlin harumphs. "Now now, Archimedes! That's going too far! Now, take ahold of the rod, my child, and let's come inside."
Chita The noise caught him by surprise enough that he started to turn towards it almost aggressively, but upon hearing it being familiar, then the Angry Bird(tm) making known his distaste for the situation as always, Chita simply smiled and said, "Hello Merlin. I have something of my own, I simply did not wish to startle you by coming with what may be considered a weapon drawn."

And with that he held out his hand and a staff appeared in it, one more commonly used by Vieran mages. He had no magic, though, nor did it. It was simply a walking aid he had picked up at some point. "I shall follow you. My ears do help a fair bit and it is not too hard to follow you with so little sound otherwise beyond those troublesome stones." And with that he followed behind him, smiling towards Archimedes and nodding once towards his voice. Chita's attire today happened to be a simple pair of black slack pants with a white dress shirt and a vest atop it, a black silk blindfold wrapped around his eyes due to the injury he sustained against Maleficent some time back. There was the tiniest of limps in his step, right leg possibly just about healed from some encounter.

"I hope I am not impeding?"
Zero-One "Far be it for a man to take another's walking-stick." Merlin says with a smile. Archimedes can be hears audibly puffing up and harumphing himself. "You are no burden at all." Merlin says as he leads the way inside. There is a low noise of things being pushed around and slid to make room for Chita and prevent him from tripping over furniture, books, or other more esoteric things. A smell of steeping tea leaves and old, musty books with a faint tinge of gunpowder hits Chita's nose, while all about him is the noise of various things bubbling and making small noises. Mysterious.

"I'm more wondering what dragged you in here in such a state." Archimedes comments, taking short flight to his usual perch at the clock. "Shouldn't you be in bed healing?"

Merlin rustles, and then produces some clanking noises as the tea scent grows stronger. "Now now, Archimedes, I'm sure he will explain himself soon enough. Would you like some rea?" He offers. "I can prepare it, it is no bother."
Chita Chita chuckles slightly as he hears the remarks and light conversation and says to Archimedes, "What is wrong with me will not heal with time I am afraid. At least... my eyes will not. Or perhaps they will. It has been a good while already and no change from what I can tell. I am quite weak to magic you see... and I took it upon myself to try and protect someone who charged a dark sorceress named Maleficent. My sight is a small exchange for what could have been worse."

And that was that, even as he moves towards the center of the room and feels around before finding the table and leaning his staff against it. "As for why I was here... I was hoping you may be able to lay to rest a worry I have about a magic that may or may not be upon me. Would it be within your knowledge to tell if I am still under the effects of illusory magic?"
Zero-One "What?! The Dark Fae? You sad, noble fool. Now I'm sure he's one of yours, Merlin!"

"Nonsense, Archimedes! I'm just an advisor." There is a low sip as Chita makes his request, and a clink of china on plate. "Hmm, yes. I can help you with that, of course." There is a tapping sound, and then something whizzing around Chita's head. "Magicum mysticum mysteria mum! Prestidigiterium!" He says, prounouncing quietly. There's a low tinkling sound, as if there was tiny bells ringing. "Hmmm... No, you seem to be quite safe, my boy. Hurt deeply, but quite untainted by evil magics. Though the rest... is a more complicated issue."

"Now that's a first." Archimedes snorts in a heavily sarcastic tone.
Chita A sigh of relief comes and with that, he feels around for a chair and carefully sits upon it, making sure there were no books in it. That much he did remember about this place. "Oh... right, now that I am thinking of books." Chita reaches out and looks as if he was thinking about something before taking a book out of his 'inventory' to offer to Merlin. "I borrowed this some time back."

Maybe now it may be obvious who Chita was, if Merlin hadn't already realized such of course. If Merlin even recalled specifically who borrowed that book after all."Thank you for giving me a bit of peace of mind regarding the illusory magic. I have been worried for a good while now it may have been lingering, trying to avoid situations where I may be forced to fight. Worried I may hurt someone mistakenly." then towards Archimedes he adds, "All things considered, she is actually quite... I do not think polite is the proper phrase I am looking for. Amiable, perhaps, when not being interfered with. She seems little for holding a grudge over a confrontation of business. My crossings with her were simply trying to keep something safe, or stop her from taking something important, like a crystal. I think that is a very good thing considering if she held a grudge, I would probably be far worse than I am now."
Zero-One Merlin rustles as Chita hands over the book. "Oh, you were the one who borrowed it? Ah, thank you for bringing it back. It's good to know there are still dependable people out and about." He seems more absent-minded than surprised. Perhaps he did forget... or was he not fooled in the first place?

"As far as hurting people... That seems to come up far too often these days without anyone helping." Merlin sighs.

"That's because you're not a threat to her. You'd need a lot more than a martyr's complex and a stick to put a dent in that problem." Archimedes snarks. It's like he has no other real settting.

"I am glad you have not gained her true ire. If you are truly vulnerable to magic, she could do terrible things to you, and that would be quite saddening." Merlin rustles again, sighing. "There are all too few powers out there that could match her, unfortunately."
Chita "Well, I do bear her no ill will, and there are only a few I truly do bear ill will towards. I believe that will be the undoing of those who seek to destroy this world. To be stopped by those who are not driven by hate or anger, but the desire to protect others. A bit idealistic perhaps, but..." Chita smiled just a bit at that and nodded towards Merlin belatedly about the book, though the nod could be taken as anything.

"Perhaps, too, there is a scenario in which we all work together. I cannot imagine anyone truly wishes the destruction of all - because that would include themselves, or leave them with nothing. A world full of only heartless seems a bit... untoward even for those who abuse them. No matter, that is all speculation anyways, and idealism. Both of which I am quite good at."

Laughing at himself the Viera asks again, "May I have some of that tea, or is that just for you and your feathered companion?" Merlin was asked simply. "And... would you happen to know anything of rallying hearts together, or guiding hearts from the darkness to the light?" Such a strange question, but with how he worded it, one may assume he was being quite literal.
Zero-One Merlin pours some tea in response as Archimedes pipes up. "Boy are you the idealist. There are people out there who-"

"That's quite enough, Archimedes. Let the boy hope. There's no point in ruining a dream before it can take root, eh?" He puts the warm cup of tea into Chita's hands. "Is there anything you'd like in it? Just ask." He says, before pausing. "That... Is a difficult proposition, and not one undertaken lightly." Merlin pauses.

"This ought to be hilarious." Archimedes pronounces.

Merlin seems to be ignoring the commentary for the moment. "People often choose their paths for reasons others might not understand. Turning someone from that path towards another can be the work of a lifetime... Or a heartbeat. To lead others, one must be someone others are willing to follow. To change the course of a heart, one must understand them and be capable of reaching them. Even then, there is no guarantee of success."
Chita Chita's ears twitched faintly as he listened, ignoring the foul fowl for the moment. Sipping quietly at the tea as Merlin spoke he nodded once here or there and in response finally said, "Thank you for that advice, but that is not quite what I meant. Many months back there was a giant beast that attacked the city of Goug, which was called the Black Beast afterwards. I was there... I saw what happened. I helped to fell it. The beast was almost as if a manufactured heartless. It... attacked, and the people that fell it took the hearts of into itself. I have seen Heartless destroy before. The hearts rose from those that fell. This... took the hearts within it."

He shook his head a little and held out his hand as if thinking about something, "And when it fell, the body collapsed upon itself and formed, briefly, a weapon which reminded me so much of that boy, Sora's, keyblade. It... was a keyblade. A keyblade, briefly, and now a half-forged lump of metal after it could not maintain it's shape. Trapped inside, trapped in that darkness, are the hearts of all the people that fell."

Finishing his tea, he tried to say something else, stopped, then stated, "I mean to find a way to free the hearts from the sadness and pain they are in and bring them back to the light. The weapon, this keyblade, could not be formed because it did not have enough hearts. They were not strong enough. I was thinking, perhaps... if I could guide the hearts, weak and alone from the darkness, together to get stronger - the keyblade could be finished. That their demise would not be in vain and they could help someone, possibly help me, fight the Heartless back and try to protect the worlds. But I need to know how to save them from their pain and sadness."
Zero-One "Hoo! Now that's a troubling thing indeed! You've got a knack for running into problems!" Archimedes opines.

"As much as I believe Archimedes needs work on his /tact/..." Merlin says, pointedly, before continuing, "I have to say that you do seem to have a gift for trouble. Reminds me of some others I have seen over the years, indeed." He pauses, thinking. The clinking of a spoon stirring a teacup keeps time, slowing down a bit before Merlin says, "The nature of the Heartless is to hunger. To consume. I have never seen anyone capable of changing that. I can't say it is impossible..."

"Even if it is..." Archimedes interjects.

"Humph! Anyway, I cannot say it is impossible, but... Even if you succeeded, is this a weapon you would truly want to wield?"
Chita "No. I do not want to wield such a terrible weapon, forged from the lives of so many people. But I will not let their lives be wasted, their hearts rot in darkness forever because I am too scared, or too weak, to do it. If the weapon is completed and chooses another, so be it. If it chooses me... so be it. I have heard the scared cries of the children that died, the regrets and fear and such. I cannot walk away from that. So please... do you have any ideas, Merlin? I already have several, among them some I am working on now. But I am asking those who are smarter and wiser than me because I know... I am simply a well-intentioned fool."

Chita placed his hands together and lowered his head a bit as if trying to make it clear he was being quite honest with Merlin.
Zero-One Archimedes, for once, is quiet as Merlin rustles. Perhaps he's stroking his beard in thought. "I don't know of any method to do what you seek to do, my child. I'm sorry. You might call me wise, but I am hardly all-knowing. I find that the more I learn, the less I actually know." He chuckles. "There's some relief in that idea. Always something new out there." He shifts, and stands up once more. "I don't envy you this path. But I see you're determined to walk it. All I can do is wish you luck... And the wisdom to choose the right path when the situation arises."
Chita Chita seemed just a bit disappointed, though he did nod. "Then in that case... I suppose I asked all I meant to ask by coming here. Is there anything I could do for you, Merlin, or... your friend here, to pay for your time? I may be blind but I can still try to be of use in some fashion." a small laugh came as he said that before asking towards Archimedes, "Do you like Gyshal by chance? My chocobo adores it and I always have a bit extra for him if he wants a treat. I am not talking down to you by asking, simply curious if feathered tastes are the same across types."
Really, he was just trying to be friendly.
Zero-One "The last time he ate Gysahl Greens, he smelled like a chocobo for a week." Merlin chuckles.

Chita can /hear/ Archimedes' indignance and muttering as he stalks inside the clock and slams the door.

Merlin turns back towards Chita. "Don't worry about me, my boy. I may be an old man, but I can still keep myself. You'd best be served worrying more about yourself!" He says. "I wish I could help you more, really."
Chita "I shall be fine. Pride and stubbornness are both faults of mine. I will figure out a way in the end, somehow. Thank you for entertaining me this long though. I know my visit was unannounced and quite rude thus." Finishing off the remaining tea in his cup, Chita stood up and grabbed his staff again before trying to get a sense of where the door was again. Holding one hand out, he touched the table, turned around and said, "There... or just about." He was a little off of pointing at the center of the door, but it wasn't hard for him to find the door itself. At least now that he knew he wasn't under the effects of illusion magic anymore, though, he could call upon his Chocobo for a bit of help. That was actually more relief than perhaps Merlin may realize.
Zero-One "It is nothing to worry about." Merlin says, and then gently uses his rod to nudge Chita towards pointing at the right direction. "Not bad. I wish you luck in the future. It is something, at least."

This scene contained 19 poses. The players who were present were: Chita, Zero-One