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No title.
(2014-01-27 - Now)
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Deidra So it had come at a bit of a surprise to Deidra that there had been a surprisingly not so much out of the way location to where the Temple she was seeking was. It would have been easy to get to a few weeks before had she found it sooner. This was not to be the case the mountain had come down with a rather nasty infestation of heartless which had stopped any and all travel up and down the mountains.

Deidra had put out some calls for help in this matter but had received few replies on it.

If any turn up that would be the question. There were more jobs than people willing to do them it seemed these days so it was a sell swords market more or less. The young Gargoyle was still on the groggy side given the hour but she'd grown used to it, an thankfully enough coffee had been something that still worked well for these late days.

She stands near the base of one of the trails up her tail flicking idly as she waits.

"Shouldn't be much longer if anyone else is going to show up."

She kept her wings close to her back as she glanced up the mountain side, it didn't look too dangerous but then again heartless could crawl out of the wood work pretty easily she'd found.
Alexis Belerang One might wonder just what the Ronso have been up to on Mt. Gagazet to let Heartless roam their mountain like this! What a mess, what a mess.

But when a call for help comes, it's an adventurer's duty to respond! Especially because it pays the bills, and gets one experience points! XP is important, and the bonus is especially good from sidequests such as these. Now of course, there was one thing they two had not considered as well as they'd thought.

"Brrr... so... so..." Alexis complains.

"Cooooold." Syg completes her sentence, followed by a sneeze. The two are packed in with big fur coats that are keeping them warm. But it's still not as comfortable as they'd liked. They're both following the Gargoyle, their arms wrapped around their chests.

"How many do you think there are?" Alexis clatter-teethingly asks Deidra.
Warden Thache There is a cheerful whistle from back down the path. Its suprisingly chipper and bright and...its...aproaching quickly? Very quickly to be honest. Faster than any running figure should be able to be running.

The reason for that is apparent as whoever it is rounds the last bend. Balanced on what can only be described as a 'hoverboard' comes what can only be described as a pirate.

A cat-man pirate to be precise.

His long coat fluttering in the breeze behind him, Warden Thache speeds up the trail behind the shivering adventurers. Clinging to his shoulder is the bandit-faced winged racoon by the name of Spooks that seems to be his companion, no parrots for this pirate.

As he notes other figures however he slows to a stop, flourish and a stomp bringing the hoverboard to a perfct stop and into one hand before he tilts his head to one side. The bright mischivious grin appears on his face, one that reveals one sharp fang.

...he also has an impressive black eye.

Lets not talk about that however.

"Well well well, I wasn't the only one to be intrested by all this was I?"
Deidra Deidra is quite the oddity for someone whose never seen a Gargoyle before then again? Given some of the people here were hopping from world to world before the darkness came who is to say? She blows a unruly strand of blue hair out of her eyes an that?s about when people start to approach. She turns about keeping her wings up against her back. Before she takes stock of those who have arrived. She doesn?t seem bothered by the col given what's she's wearing.

"That I do not know, but I do know it's been enough to keep people from safely getting up the mountain, save for supplies, one way or another it needs to be cleared up."

She looks to Warden as he arrived and she looks him over for a moment she's never seen one of his kind before but whose she to talk, seriously who is she to talk about such things?

"It does not sir, the deal's the same even split of the reward money, we best get moving. The sooner this is cleared up the better."

She's already moving up the path her Talons having no problems finding purchase where one might have some problems with footing, but once the group is under way? They'd have the feeling they were being watched.
Alexis Belerang Alexis and Syg are... well... not at /all/ in-tune with Shadow Lords and their members or what is really going on at any point in time. They're simple adventurers that travel from town to town, trying to remain within their level range.

This doesn't always end well. But hey.

What Syg does notice is that the new member of the 'party' seems to be talking to himself. But thanks to the icy winds, he can't hear just what the feline member is speaking of. "What was that?" He calls out at Warden.

Alexis concerns herself more with Deidra. "Even split huh?" Hah! They are a pair that is traveling, that means more money thanks to math! Ugh, she knew that taking those mathematics courses that her boring tutors taught her would come in handy /some day/. Her daddy the king would surely not make them teach her otherwise, right?

The two continue on their way, following Deidra. "Well, I don't know about you, but it seems pretty easy so far." Alexis remarks. And before Sygg can stop her, she adds; "This will be a piece of cake!"
Warden Thache Warden is a pirate. Talking to ones self is part and parcel of that contract. Espicially since eighty percent of all pirate contracts were written by Captain Sparrow. However the man spins to face the shouting figure with that same grin still on his face. He raises a hand to wave as he settles the board on his shoulder.

Its cold, but perhaps his coat has cheating warming units in it. It would be typical of a pirate. Who cheats.

"No need to shout!" Apparently the cat has very good ears as he starts to stroll towards the Gargoyle and her minion adventurers. However as he hears Alexis' declaration? He winces slightly.

Thats just bad form.

And bad luck.
Akari Seran Snow coats the winding trails that leads up through the mountains towards the summit of the Ronso holy land. An eternal dusting of white clings to everything, from the rocky outcroppings to the ancient pillars that line the main path, as if the clouds themselves have settled upon the earth. Other than the wind, little stirs among the peaks, the frigid temperatures driving out most forms of life.

The tranquility is broken only occasionally by the scampering of padding feet in the snow; some local wild life no doubt, scared off by the noisy approach of the adventuring troupe. Ahead, the trail banks upwards sharply as the group reaches one of the steeper sections of the path and those who cast their gaze ahead will find the first out of place sight in this land of ice and rock.

A sharp wind whistles down through the peaks, sending a biting lance of cold through the area and stirring up what appears to be a piece of tarp or cloth resting on a snow-covered rock at the side of the road. Something about the shape of the object seems unsual, perhaps a bit familiar, but it is too difficult to make out any details from a distance.
Deidra Deidra is on another job and she's not aware of Warden or who he might be working for. If she was aware things would get very messy, very quickly. So in this case ignorance is bliss for everyone involved. So she's moving on ahead she looks out for a moment wondering just what got Alexis's attention?

"I'm sorry, didn't realize your hearing was that good. I have never run into one of your people before."

She spots something ahead, the Gargoyle picks up speed dropping into run on all fours which is surprisingly fast when your think about how she's of a humanoid build for the most part as she's nearing the strange objects that's when everything goes to hell for the adventuring troupe? Why? Because that's when the heartless start exploding out of the snow like land mines all their beady yellow eyes start pop out of the snow. Deidra gets walloped by one of the first ones to show up while the rest of the seemingly Powerwilds start swarming towards the people coming p the path and they are moving pretty darn quick to start striking out or just attempting to slam into Warden, Alexis and Syg.
Alexis Belerang "Wuh, hey, where are you going?" Alexis remarks when Deidra decides to suddenly run off on all fours. It takes a moment for her to realize just what she is running towards. Pop! pop pop pop pop! Heartless! Powerwilds!? What are powerwilds doing in a cold area like this!?

"This isn't natural." Sygg is quick to remark, drawing a small handaxe from his rucksack and moving back-to-back with Alexis. The fur-coat wearing princess draws her bow and draws its string while aiming the bow down towards the ground - making it a little easier on her arms to prepare. "At least we'll warm up like this." Alexis answers him.

The heartless that dare get close to Sygg suddenly meet the flat of the Axe; it's all he can muster in an attempt to push them out of the way and keep their grubby little claws away from his body. They may be newbies, but this pair does have one thing going for them; teamwork!

"Alexis, you keep track of the others." Sygg calls out towards the white haired princess.

"I'm trusting my back to you, Sygg." The girl returns. "You!" Still shouting - at Warden in fact. "Watch out!"

Followed by a sudden assault of arrows aimed at the Heartless that try to go after the feline pirate.
Warden Thache "No offence taken! My kind isn't from around here." A flash of a grin. "At all." He seems more amused by that than anything else, though he does quirk an eyebrow up lightly as the Gargoyle speeds off ahead. "Wouldn't it be better if we stayed together? Things are bound to happein if w-"

...and suddenly Heartless.

"...yes. Just like that." The pirate sighs a moment as he flips the hoverboard back to the ground even as the Heartless swarm towards them all.

"The name is Warden my dear!" The pirate calls towards Alexis as he stomps down on the hoverboard and jets into the sky over the heads of the tumbling Heartless. "Thank you kindly for the covering fire! We can do proper introductions after we deal with this bit of an annoyance!"

Then the man smirks and angles his board down. /Into/ the mass of Heartless. He crouches across the board, diving down and intending to knock the bigger into the air. The smaller ones simply scatter them to the winds. It seems his way of dealing with this kind of annoyance is rather streightforward and to the point.

Also a bit crazy, but that seems par for the course.
Akari Seran The calm of the frozen holy land is dispelled in an instant as the Heartless launch their ambush, emerging from beneath the snow like shadowy prairie dogs. The sound of battle rings crystal clear through the peaks, clashes of metal and claw echoing off the tall snowy cliffs. And in the wake of the noise something else begins to stir.

The unusual rock on the side of the road shifts slightly, sending tiny drifts of snow spilling from the ragged cloth wrapped about it. Drawn by the noise, one of the Heartless turns away from the crowd and slinks over towards the strange object, its beady yellow eyes flitting back and forth with something akin to sinister curiosity.

However, upon reaching the snow-covered mound, it finds little of interest. The creature scampers up onto the rock, tilting it's bulbous head to and fro, as if staring will cause the phenomenon to repeat; again, disappointment. The Heartless turns to leave and rejoin the fray when something else catches its attention - a faint glint in the sunlight. Its claws hurriedly dig into the soft snow, almost like a dog searching for a bone, and within a few moments it unearths its prize.

Hefting the treasure out into the open, it turns out to be little more than a tall clear glass bottle filled with what looks to be some brown liquid. The creature turns the bottle upside down, shaking it for a moment but is rewarded with nothing. Well, it used to be liquid. Annoyed, it smacks the bottom of the container a few times, peering inside the open neck of the bottle as if trying to puzzle out how to get at the contents. With its back turned to the rock, it doesn't see the looming shadow until the last second.

A resounding boom echoes through the wintery peaks as a section of the rock extends outwards and comes down on top of the Heartless. The snow does little to cushion the earth-shattering impact and for a few worrisome moments the landscape shudders as the heavy drifts on the peaks shift and threaten to come down.

Akari leans forward, still covered from head to toe in the snow that has settled on her in her slumber, and retrieves the bottle from the new crater underneath her foot where the Heartless used to be.

Deidra Deidra's back on her feet and has her tablet out, she's already starting to chant in Latin as the heartless come for her and the snow starts getting ripped up as she lets lose several lightning bolts into their ranks but there's more than one person could handle alone reasonable here, it's a very good thing she's not alone here or she would get overwhelmed in short order.

Alexis is getting into the fight pretty quick with Sygg. Arrows get right to the point as several Heartless are taken out and several more are pinned to the ground which would make them easy prey for a follow up attack.

There are no heartless Ninja here, and these don't seem to be any Heartless summoned wilfully by any of Warden's allies or perhaps someone left them here to cause trouble? Who knows what the Pirate would know is they are coming for Warden just like everyone else and the captain would be making thing a bit hard due to his hoverboard. They are having to leap to get him. Then he comes to them and soon it's air juggling time with several unhappy heartless, they don't like this at all from the looks of it.

The thing that Deidra had been going to check out, was not a thing, no but a person from the looks of thing a very unhappy person. For the heartless has stolen something they can not be forgiven for. Others have noticed the shiny now and they desire it as much as Heartless may want something, and they start to swarm towards Akari as well.

More come some soldiers join the Powerwilds and they strike out trying to use force of numbers to overwhelm the adventurers who have it on them in skill.
Alexis Belerang "Tcheh, you're welcome, 'Warden'." Alexis answers Warden, raising her head in that way only nobles do. In that 'I am better than you somehow' kind of way. There's not much time for her to really continue down the whole 'act like a noble' or 'be a prissy princess' road in a battle like this.

That's when Akari pops out of the woodworks. Sygg catches sight of her - and the momentary distraction is enough for the newbie to be driven back. A Heartless Powerwild catches him in the tummy with one of its fists, causing him to double over. He quickly swipes at it with his axe to get it to back off.

"They're not so tough on their own, but there's quite a few of them." Sygg remarks. Alexis helps the young man up with one hand, before she fletches an arrow at a Heartless that dares to get too close. "I remember when we could barely handle a Soldier..." Alexis answershim.

Sygg grins. "Let's show them that we've grown!" The handaxe comes up, and Alexis covers the weapon through magic of her own with a burning aura. "Let's go!" The girl then turns her weapon to the skies and fires an arrow of light into the air.

"Magical Arrow Striking!" Alexis cries out, like the pretty little almost magical girl princess she is. And from the skies rain many arrows of light all of the sudden. Sygg strikes forwards, bringing his burning handaxe to bear, attempting to cut to pieces anything that dares get close. And summoned by their need, Alexis' personal falcon comes swooping down from the skies, lit by holy light, trying to carve through heartless before landing on its partner's shoulder.
Akari Seran Despite her clear declaration of ownership regarding the mostly empty bottle of frozen booze, the Heartless swarm towards the rousing titan, intent on proving her wrong. They never were very good at taking hints.

Akari slowly rises from the ground, her movements accompanied by a series of sharp cracks that can either be attributed to her bones popping from lack of use or the ice that has formed over her slender body breaking away. Either way, it sounds unpleasant, but she hardly seems to notice.

Several of the Heartless monkies leap at the young woman as she casually stretches, their grabby little paws reaching out to snatch the shiny bottle from her grasp but Akari's grip seems nigh unbreakable, which results in a small chain of Powerwilds dangling from her arms in a comical fashion. Some of them start to punch or kick at her sides in an effort to bring her down but this tactic doesn't fare much better. It does serve to annoy her though.

A frown slowly creases Akari's snow-dusted face from beneath the ragged ponch wrapped around her shoulders, her dead white eyes furrowing deeply.

"So much for taking a nap."

She turns her empty glare on the Powerwilds and smirks slightly. "So you want to monkey around with me, eh? Fine!"

Crouching slightly as she gathers energy into her body, Akari throws her arms wide, sending a burst of pure spiritual energy erupting outwards and scattering the Heartless in every direction with a thunderous roar. The bottle goes flying too but she doesn't even seem to mind any more. She's got something even better than booze - a fight!
Warden Thache "Would you prefer Captain?" The man calls to the sneering noble, seemingly happy with taunting any noble within a country mile. "Though I warn you Miss. If you don't introduce yourself I'm lible to make up a nickname for you!"

Thats the only taunt he can manage before heartless swarms towards him. They arn't /his/ Heartless, and to be honest he couldn't care less whose they were. He was getting paid for this, and that was what really mattered. That and all the targets coming in at him.

A perticularly large one looms up in his way and the man seems quite intent to barrel right into the thing face first. At the /last/ possible second he seems to simply fall over backwards, lying down compleatly on the hoverboard as he laughs. Zipping between the things legs and angling back into the sky.

He leaves them something to remember him by however.

As he appears on the other side of the Heartless each hand holds a pistol, the weapons spitting energy blasts into the horde as fast as they can recharge.

He spins then, arcing higher as golden ropes of energy lash out from his wrists to snake around members of the horde and fling them skyward seemingly at random.

Its this airborn view that gives him an excellent view of Akari's appearance and he simply blinks in suprise. That...rock...was a person? Is a person? Well he's seen things more strange than that.

"At least someone here has priorities right!" He adds as he takes note of her words. Booze /is/ the important thing.
Deidra Deidra is taking to the air at this point spreading her large bat like wings and catching an up draft trying to get out of reach.

"The problem is when there's a whole swarm of them!"

She calls back as she launches another chain of lighting bolts into the hordes ranks, but come they do and she's going to be left on the evasive as somehow the heartless have got it into their tiny minds to throw rapid fire snowballs at Deidra. One catches her right in the face before she can chant another spell.

There's a good deal of mummy mixed into the snow right now from the heartless that have fallen already, and this is where the pain for the heartless truly begins, Alexis almost seems to blot out the sun with her shower of light arrows which rain down and pins or out right fells a number of heartless. Sygg is quick to follow up cutting them down left and right in close combat few those that evaded Alexis' attack.

Warden meanwhile is dealing with the swarms of heartless coming for him. Soldiers and Powerwilds rush Warden they want something from him, they totally want something. One of the heartless makes a leap trying to grab the Captain's hat. They just totally attempted to get his hat, should the Heartless get it? It's going to run like hell trying to go up the mountain with it's prize.

Akari would find she's got more coming after her perhaps they want the bottle again or perhaps they just want her heart? They hunger, eternally after all as they rush at her as she's trying to prepare for something and then the Heartless really seem to get into a frenzy as they start coming in trying to pin our heroes down and in Akari and Alexis case pin them to the ground while other heartless would try to attack them!
Alexis Belerang Karma indeed! After Alexis and Sygg going all out, the two have foolishly exhausted themselves. After a good long burst of constant attacks, the heartless focus on them and overrun their position. One after another, they scratch and punch and push them back.

Wound after wound, the two suffer, until they are finally standing back-to-back again, heaving and panting. They actually are leaning against one-another so that they don't fall over.

"I... I don't like this anymore, Sygg." Alexis complains, huffing and shivering. "We gotta get through this, Princess." It appears that while Alexis has no care for Warden thinking up a nickname for her, she is too out of breath to really /do/ any introductions.

"Come on, just a little more..." Maybe? The two push away from eachother. Alexis quickly aims her bow over Sygg's shoulder and takes down a nearby powerwild, as the boy grabs into his baggy and pulls out a baggy of gunpowder. "Ready."

Light the fuse and run!


Followed by the Falcon coming into the midst of the explosion in an attempt to take down any heartless that dare to get too close! There's not a lot of 'action' coming from the two though, as they are trying to preserve some of their energy.
Warden Thache "That just means we have to use more bullets!!" Warden calls back cheerfully towards Deidra as he does just that. There /are/ a lot of them, however the man seems more than willing to live up to his quip.

He does seem to have quite a few bullets.

Its the swarm of monsters however that silence him. He has other things to worry about than quips. The man spins to face the shower of monsters rushing towards him. Oh. They want a piece of him do they?

One of them in perticular makes a leap for him.


Not for him.


His pistol comes up as he potshots the monster out of the air. Leaning forwards he screams towards the main group of the heartless. The ropes lash again, sowing chaos all though their ranks as he delivers what amounts to a full broadside of firepower into their ranks. Specificlly into the ranks of the ones advancing on Alexis.
Akari Seran Now that she's fired up and (mostly) awake, Akari does what any good berserker would: applies excessive force. Despite her slender build, the woman's bony fists strike with enough force to shatter rock, gouging huge chunks of ice and stone from the walls of the cliff as the agile Powerwilds easily evade her wild swings. Her expression flips between amusement and frustration with every punch or kick that fails to land a hit, as if she can't tell if she's having fun or getting angry. Maybe getting angry /is/ fun for her.

"Hold still you little <GOOSEHONK>!"

The enraged geomancer lifts her foot and slams it into the ground, sending a violent tremor through the area that once again threatens to bring the entire mountain's cache of snow down on their heads. More importantly to her short-term goals, it might just unbalance the little blighters long enough for her to flatten them. If she causes an avalanche or two in the process, well, nothing she can't handle.

Glancing around, Akari locks in on the nearest cluster of Heartless and throws herself bodily at them, arms out stretched like some crazed linebacker going for the tackle. She hits the ground in a roll, grinning broadly and chucks whatever happens to be in her arms - be it snow or shadow monkey - at the next group.
Aeschere Childs Of course the captain invited her, she hasn't been rid of the guy for a week. The money has something to do with that, of course, but Aeschere doesn't expect that to hold out much longer unless he has something for her to /do/.

And what is a pirate doing climbing a mountain, anyways? It's not even a tropical mountain, it's all glacier and bleak granite and chimneys and switchbacks. It's slow, and tiring, and whatever it is Warden's hopped up on, he didn't save her any. She hasn't caught sight of him yet, even.

Up over the lip of the landing, vertically-- she won't get any more tired jumping-- she hauls herself, and pauses to take in the carnage. Must've been a pretty nice battle here she missed. Probably for the better. A pile of Heartless, a girl she doesn't know, and

Oh. Oh, /joy/.

She doesn't have enough breath back to properly call Akari out, she just leans on her lance and stares.
Deidra Deidra has manage to recover from the snowballing she's taken but it had forced her back to the ground, if she'd been alone she'd have caused an avalanche but that could have caused problems with the path, and with allies? That was totally a no go there, she's back on her feet and lets out a growl her eyes turn ready and a pair of soldiers soon find she's not just a caster as she slams their heads together and they go poof in an burst of darkness.

Alexis and her partner are kicking a good deal of Heartless behind all things considered as Alexis seems to be very unhappy as thing do get a bit rough, she takes down another Heartless. The bomb is set it goes off and reduces them like the two that Deidra did to darkness then nothing.

Warden's hat been violated something that not even Warden would do. Slay a foe yes, mess with his hat? Never, clearly that what his actions are saying as he opens fire without mercy as he adds additional support fire to Alexis there are a heck of a lot less Heartless now as Akari comes up on the little thieving heartless that remain. They don't last long as she goes on her rampage as she smacks them about. The Monkey in her arms kinda goes poof but there's something left behind. Mummy, she can get more booze with that later and soon there is not a heartless left on the mountain side as Akari has routed the last of the horrors from beyond.

Deidra seems to have calmed down as her eyes are no longer glowing red she looks about and shakes the snow off her and brings hr wings about her body like some sort of cloak. She looks to the new arrival for a moment.

"That could have been a lot worse hopefully that was the last of them we'll need to make the trek up to the temple to confirm the way is clear before any supplies or pilgrims get moving again. Also, I think those heartless forfeited their rights to not be smashed, when they took your booze miss. It's like swiping Will's or Mercade's hat."

She's going to start moving, but not at a pace anyone would have trouble keeping up. Seriously you don't mess with someone's personal supply of booze, or someone's hat it's just not done, right?
Alexis Belerang Alexis and Sygg both let out a long and tired gasp of relief, and settle down on the ground for a moment, still back to back. "So tired..." Alexis complains. The two aren't out of shape, but after so much mountaineering and kicking heartless butt, these two youngsters are clearly too tired to do much else. They remain seated for a while, enjoying a small swig from thermos-cans they snagged in Manhattan at some point, and after a while they finally get up again.

Alexis spends a moment to thank Warden. But in the end, the two excuse themselves and comment that they'll take up the rear. They're showing quite some bruises and scratches, so they can hardly be blamed for this. "Sorry." Sygg comments. "We won't hold you up."
Akari Seran Even as her projectile attack pulverizes the last of the Heartless, Akari leaps to her feet and looks around like a hungry predator, ready to sink her teeth into more action. Sadly, it seems that there isn't any left to go around.

"What? That's /it/? You little <GOOSEHONK> woke me up to throw a couple of punches?! <GOOSEHONK>!"

Scowling hard enough to melt snow, the berserker slowly starts to wind down, a process that is impeded by her annoyance at not having anything left to fight after such a meager brawl. Muttering a string of profanity under her breath, Akari stomps over to a small pile of snow where her discarded bottle of booze has come to rest. Her hand glows red for a few moments after retrieving the container and the frozen liquor is returned to its liquid state in a rather alarming fashion. She must do this a lot, however, as the contents fail to detonate at the heat - this time.

The remains of whatever was inside are drained in a single long draw before the bottle is discarded over the edge of the cliff, only to be replaced by a crumpled pack of cigarettes. Where she was keeping those is anyone's guess, as she doesn't seem to have anything resembling a pocket on the worn-out pants she wears. The woman's thumb ignites spontaneously and she holds it up to the butt, inhaling deeply from the smouldering embers before letting out a long sigh.

Her free hand rests on her hip lazily and she takes another couple of draws and sighs before finally tilting her head back just far enough to speak in Aschere's direction without actually turning to look at her.

"You gonna say 'hi' or just stare at my butt all day, Chera? I know it's been a while but even I have more manners than that."
Warden Thache Warden slows to a stop, landing on the ground in a skid of snow that is aimed towards the fading Heartless corpses. His guns smoke lightly in the whipping wind of the mountain and the man seems to glare at hte black things till there is nothing yet.

You should respect a man's hat dammit.

That'll learn em.

Adjusting the tricorn on his head properly he spins the pistols before stashing them once again in his bandolier. A glance towards Deidra and the man-cat smirks slightly. "Well even if it isn't, I'm sure we've put a fair dent in their numbers."

As Chere shows up the man turns to smile at her before raising one hand in salute. "Ah, there you are. Sorry about that, I would have waited for you but it seems that they Heartless had other plans. Of course you still get your cut!" He adds.

The captain himself isn't hardly touched by the fight, in fact he seems in quite excellent spirits. At least compared to the angry woman who nearly lost her booze. He glances towards Akari a moment, a slightly bemused look on his feline features before letting those glittering emerald eyes of his slide back towards Chere.

"So," His voice a drawl. "I take it you two know each other."
Aeschere Childs Chera, somewhat recovered, levels a finger at the stone girl. "I dispute that." She pretends a bit of composure. "Good to see you keeping busy, Akari. You're here too with the captain?" Her glare spreads to include Warden as well. Wholly undeserved, I'm sure.

"I don't need apparently to vouch for her, but we'll need to discuss my rates a bit." Yes, yes, snipe at her while she's complaing that she's out of things to hit. Perfect.

No that's a terrible enough idea even for her to realize. She moderates her tone. A bit. "It, actually, is good to see you," she allows. "I'd /wondered/, a bit."
Deidra Deidra will make sure everyone gets a cut, she sighs a bit as Akari did help so she should get a cut, it may have to come out of her personal cut but she wasn't in this job for the money, it was to enable her to do another job for someone else.

She moves along and looks at Akari for a moment and tilts her head a little bit.

"You, your getting a cut, and yes its coming out of mine."

Before it might spark arguments with any of the others as they head for the up the trail, in the distance the Bur-Omisace Temple becomes visible and so far so good, no more heartless will be seen it looks like the path is clear.
Akari Seran To her credit, Akari takes the biting retort in stride. One of the few perks of being her friend is that she allows a little sass every now and then and, as it's been a few months since they last spoke, Aeschere has built up a little credit in that regards.

Instead of getting angry, Akari just gives a big grin at the small girl's admission, inhaling the last of her cigarette until it burns to red embers in her fingers and breathing out a massive jet of gray smoke from her nostrils.

"Worried?", she asks without turning around, her tone both playful and taunting.

The geomancer ignores Deidra and Warden completely, barely even recognizing their presence and leaving the lingering question of whether or not she's working for him up in the air.

She's not, of course. Until a few moments ago, she hadn't run out of booze or smokes, which meant she had no reason to put forth the effort of doing work. And, conveniently, the money necessary to buy more just happened to fall into her lap. Whatever business brought them all here is none of her concern.
Warden Thache Warden laughs and shakes his head. "Ah Lady Lancer, I'm afraid I don't know you're friend. She just happened to be sleeping under a snow bank when the fight ponded down her door." A glance towards the crater and the carnage the geomancer left.

"She took it well, all things considered."

They /did/ try to take her booze.

However the captain sits back to watch the friends reaquaint themselves. It seems almost more fun to watch this meeting of the minds than anything else.
Aeschere Childs Business was never Akari's concern, that's a fundamental issue. "Worried, sure. I know you get cranky, and I like some of those towns." Nope, that's getting her nowhere already. Chera turns to the captain, but there isn't really anything to say, is there? "See, this exactly is what I'm talking about." She too indicates the carnage.

"So what was it? You got bored? Too many walls and not enough ground?"
Akari Seran Akari's cheerful demeanor starts to crack a little, her broad smile shifting slowly into a faint frown. She glances into the crumpled pack of cigarettes, tossing it aside with a curse when she finds it empty. Eventually, she turns around and levels her disapproving expression at the dark knight, even though Chera knows she doesn't need to look at her to 'see' her. It's more of a curtesy; or as close to that as she can manage.

"Among other things. Still playing fetch for the high and mighty? Have they given you a proper collar yet? I bet it has pretty little sequins and everything. Come on, let's see it."
Aeschere Childs It's funny, see, because Chera does wear a choker a lot. Not, of course, on mountain-climbing expeditions, but it'd have been nice to have a sequined collar to pitch in Akari's face. "It's like you have a crippling allergy to gainful employment! I can't go just find a hill and punch myself a house out of it." She kicks a stone fitfully in Akari's direction.

The stone girl does have a way of making it chafe, though. She already spent her good retort, though, so she's reduced to cliches. "Yes. Sure. I push numbers for Mina when she manages actually to delegate a thing. You should see where that leaves me a bit of time to myself." But, no, dammit, Akari's not right. "And since when were bounties too boring for you? Plenty of heads to crack. I thought you enjoyed that."
Akari Seran The rock hits Akari square in her exposed midriff and bounces off harmlessly. The tantrum does earn the girl another scowl, however. The bruiser just snorts at the accusations.

"I do just fine. See? Just made a nice paycheck and everything."

She motions in the direction of the small adventuring group which has been reduced to just Deidra and the Captain for the moment. Nevermind the fact that her contribution and subsequent earnings were completely coincidental. Things try to take her vices, she punches those things. Clean and simple.

"You know damn well what the problem is," she continues. "It isn't the work you're doing, it's who you're doing it for. Just being in that place made me feel dirty."
Aeschere Childs "You don't care where your /breakfast/ came from, why even would you care where your coin did?" Aeschere expresses sincere confusion. "They didn't ask anything of you except to not hole the bulkheads so often. They don't ask anything of /me/ except to sit in a desk maybe or go watch someone else do it somewhere."

She almost isn't even angry for a second. "/This/ is what you couldn't stand? This is what /you/ couldn't stand?"
Deidra Deidra leaves Akari and Aeschere to catch up in private, she needs to reach the temple, deal with the pay, and also confirm the last bit of information for the other job. Hopefully this will help Skoll out as Zia had hoped. It would be nice to actually at least deliver on something, given what a chase it's been so far. She would finally have good news to give on this job.
Akari Seran Her patience starting to wear thin, Akari snaps back at the smaller girl.

"Yes! What is so hard to understand about this?! You work for the people who did everything in their power to make my life miserable back home!"

The berserker's fists ball up instinctively as she vents, the sound of cracking knuckles and grinding stone equally powerful. She marches down the path as she barks out her annoyance, closing the gap between herself and Aeschere with thundering steps.

"From the very first moment I arrived at that damned Academy, those prissy preening peacocks did nothing but ridicule and belittle me! Do you understand what it's like for every single sentence uttered in your direction to be a barely concealed insult? To be the butt of every joke? To be held up as an example of failure by the very people who are supposed to 'guide your development'?"

Akari stops directly infront of her friend, reaching out to bury her fingers in the fabric of the smaller girl's shirt as she lifts her up onto the tips of her toes, bringing them face to face. Perhaps as a result of a bit of lingering smoke in her lungs or the beginnings of a geomantic meltdown, thin wisps of smoke start to drift out from the berserker's nostrils. A blast of intense heat washes out from her mouth as she practically screams the question into Chera's face.

"DO YOU?!"
Aeschere Childs "Imagine how much fun that must be when you /can't/ break someone in half for looking at you." Of course, Chera would presume to have any idea of the depths of Akari's personal hell. Every teenager's life is the worst life. "Kill them all, then. Who could stop you? Who /would/ stop you?" She thinks she's weathered this storm before.

"Blood and ash, Akari, if you wanted me out, why not drag me? If you didn't, then what do you /care/?" Pointlessly, she pries at the girl's iron grip. "Put me down. Or off the cliff. Or whatever you usually do."
Akari Seran For a moment, it looks like she just might take Chera up on that suggestion. Her already angry scowl contorts into a true vision of uncontrollable rage. But the dangerous build-up fails to reach critical mass and even as Akari's fists tighter further on the delicate fabric, she slowly sets the fragile lancer down on her feet.

The girl leans forward, but instead of braining Aeschere with her forehead, which is what she usually does to people in this position (and frankly was quite tempted to do), the geomancer rests her head on her friends and takes a deep breath.

"I'm... I'm not like that. I know how I act and all but... I don't kill people just because I don't like them. Otherwise that school would have been a crater long before the Heartless came along," she hisses with obvious venom in her tone.

Akari removes her hands from Chera's shirt and places them on her shoulders instead, keeping their faces close together. She opens her mouth as if to say something but just ends up biting off the words before they come out, going through the motions of starting a sentence but not quite sure which words to use.

Eventually, she just forces them out. "I'm... I'm sorry, Chera. I didn't... want you to hate me. I was forced to do things I hated all my life so... I know how that feels. <GOOSEHONK>, I just... suck at this crap, you know?"
Aeschere Childs "It's not your specialty," that's a suitably ambiguous response. Chera doesn't sound like she meant harm with it. "If you worry about that, then leave a note or something. Seriously."

It's too cold up here to stand around arguing; at least, it's too cold if you aren't a geothermal plant. "How about we let Murasame spin, and we go catch up to Warden? He's paying me anyways now."
Akari Seran Akari grins after a moment and takes a step back, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Me, leave a note? Seriously, have you ever seen a blind person's hand writing? I haven't but I'm told it would be more effective to try and chisel pictograms on the wall. As for Murasame... I've been waiting for you to say that for months."

Akari drapes an arm over the little knight's shoulders and practically drags her along. "Comon. Last thing I need is for you to get sick," she pauses and looks at her for a moment. "-er. Then I'd have to cook for you and I'm not sure you're quite ready to face that beast yet."

This scene contained 39 poses. The players who were present were: Deidra, Alexis Belerang, Akari Seran, Aeschere Childs, Warden Thache