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No title.
(2013-01-04 - 2013-01-04)
No description.
Leida The desert of the Eastern continent is like most of it's kind - massive expanses of sandy dunes as far as the eye can see, each rising mound standing out very little from the next and providing almost nothing in the way of landmarks to guide travellers through its scorching domain.

The sun hangs high in the sky, drifting lazily towards the horizon as if resisting the inevitable pull that will give the moon its brief reign instead. There is no wind at present, leaving only the shimmering waves of oppressive heat to beat down upon the bleached bones and scattered cacti, distorting the distance with wavering mirages.

The city of Flourgis is the lone exception to this bleak stretch of scorched sand, its expansive stone walls covered with the green of fresh vegetation and the sparkling reflection of fresh waters in clear defiance of the desert's will. The odd caravan rolls from its dusty gates, bearing goods to trade with the rest of the land, its powerful commerce bustling even more since the conjunction of worlds.

A little ways outside the city proper, beyond its walls and flowers, a small girl dressed in simple clothes stands barefoot in the sand. Sweat pours profusely down Leida's face as she takes aim yet again, the massive bow in her hands bending easily as she aligns the nocked arrow with her cheek. There is a long pause, her eyes narrowed in intense concentration upon the tall cactus in the distance.

Several arrows already lie embedded in its rough green surface, amazingly clustered practically on top of each other. If this plant were compared to the likeness of a man, those arrows would be dead center in his heart.

With a sudden twang, the bowstring is released, the projectile unleashed with a sharp whoosh. It zips straight and true, embedding itself next to the others. The princess lets out a soft sigh, looking disappointed. Why? Why can't she get it to work?
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr was walking towards town...

He was cloaked, but it wasn't the massive form of the was finally human sized (though Angantyr was always very LARGE for a human.) He was on his way to the city for supplies, and of course check for marks, but he paused. A familar darkness, weaker, but familar...even here, he thought, as he started moving to intercept it, expecting to perhaps find her either sleeping, or weakened. Maybe he can give her what she needs... release.

However, the sight he sees is...not what he expects. She is there, firing a bow into a cactus, repeatedly. He turns his head, watching her perfectly hit the target, and...really isn't expecting this. He flips the cloak back, revealing his form and walks slowly towards Leida, hand resting on his mace. "You're different. I can sense it there, still, but you're in control. Tell me child, are you awake? Do you remember my face?"
Leida Leida breathes heavily from exertion and fatigue, pausing a moment to wipe the torrent of sweat from her face. This heat is still way too much for someone of her weak constitution to handle, constrasting sharply with the temperate plains and cold mountains where she had lived.

The simple shirt that hangs from her shoulders reaches all the way down to her thighs, acting as a makeshift dress, her armor apparently lost or elsewhere. Both the front and back of the garment are soaked from the exercise and even her thick hair is slick and matted down, her flat-cropped bangs sticking to her forehead wetly.

The girl turns to pluck another arrow from the dozen or so still at her feet, sticking upright in the sand where she has planted them for easy reach. It is not until the dark knight is practically on top of her, his voice a gunshot in the calm, that she takes notice of his presence.

Shrieking from surprise, the princess whirls around, holding the bow up at him, string taut and prepared to fire. But she pauses upon taking note that it isn't wandering desert monster come to get a free meal. The figure is certainly scary looking, but not a monster.

Leida blinks at his question, waiting for her heart to stop pounding like a hammer against her rib cage before she starts to answer. However, she pauses even as her mouth opens, just now noticing that her weapon is drawn - with no arrow in it.

Cheeks coloring with embarrassment, she swiftly tucks the bow behind her back, staring down at the sand. "U-um... what do you mean... am I awake? Should... I know you?"
Angantyr Vespar Then bow turns on him, and the mace comes out as a reflexive response. He pauses...and then grins as he watches her. It seems like he noticed almost immediately, and he keeps the mace out, but holding it defensively still as she realizes he's not here to eat her, and of course, has no idea who he even is. He watches this...calmly, sensing no darkness lurking thing below. It causes him some pause, but he considers her features for a moment longer.

"Our fight, which ended badly for you. Several times. The meeting with the man known as Garland...the time you tried to eat me when I was transforming into a beast and helpless? Not too far from where we stand now infact," he says as she realizes the arrow as not notched. He grins a bit more now, but it is not unpleasent. There is genuine warmth there, from a fighter to another who just made a rookie mistake. He puts the mace away, with a fluid motion, and instead throws something at her.

A waterskin.

"Drink up or you'll die." he says, walking towards her and looks at her handiwork a bit better. "It seems the demon has receeded. That is good. But it still seems you have darkness yet in you." he says, turning to look back at her. "Your marksmanship is fairly impressive."
Leida As the object comes flying at her, Leida panicks, dropping her bow in the sand as her clumsy hands whip around to catch the waterskin. She fumbles with it for a few seconds but manages to nab it, letting out a soft exhale of relief.

After glancing down to see exactly what it is the she's caught, the girl peers up at him shyly with a soft, "T-Thank you." She gives him a deep bow, bending in the middle to tilt her entire upper body towards him.

Leida fiddles with the stopper, getting it open after a moment and gently takes a few sips from the refreshing liquid. Even though it is not cold, compared to the heat it's practically ambrosia on her lips. Ofcourse, she had failed to remember to bring a canteen of her own, despite having lived here now for some two weeks. She was always forgetting things like that.

Quietly, she watches him from the corner of her eye as he draws closer, not making any eye contact. The things that he spoke of - she couldn't remember any of those things or the name. If they were true and he was not mistaken to her identity, he must be referring to things that happened while she was still in the control of... that monster. And he could still sense the darkness, just like that strange Shadow Lord mage who had visited. Was this man also one of them?

"O-oh, it's... it's not really that special..." Suddenly feeling very alone and vulnerable, Leida turns to face him again. "Um... I-I'm sorry... for what happened before..."
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr considers her for a long moment. Watching her she stands, what she can't fake that, or at least, he put it beyond the ability of the demon to fake. Still...

"I won't except that appology. It is not said with any convinction." he scolds, "I can still sense it...for I am not much different than you are. I am too, born of darkness...well, you may not be 'born' of it, I do not know your story, but given that you are different than the you I first met, I can guess it wasn't something natural to you." he comments. "I was born with a power I never asked for...but ignoring it was not an option," he says, kneeling down and picking up the bow. He tests the bow out a few times, and hands it back to her.

"Tell me, what are you going to do when it comes back? You know which it I mean. Are you going to stand and fight, or welcome it once more?"
Leida The girl's head comes up slowly, a timid look of worry in her face as he rebukes her apology. She truly looks like a frightened little girl and not some lurking beast trying to draw pity from a stone. Her eyes waver a little bit, unsure of his intentions now.

When he hands her the bow, she accepts it slowly, exchanging the water skin in return. Both of her tiny hands clench down on the laquered wood, using it as something to occupy her worry against.

Again she stares at the sand at his feet when asked a question. "I'm sorry... really... I... I don't want to hurt anyone again..."
Angantyr Vespar "Then tell me," Angantyr asks, "How you expect to not do that being a timid thing?" he turns to her. "Appologizing about it won't solve the issue. The darkness is will probably always be there. Being weak will only give it a foot hold...power over you." he comments, looking down at her from his towering position. He takes the skin back, and takes a drink of the water himself. "Friendship and magic only go so far, Leida. Willpower, however, will protect what you hold dear. Willpower, training, and determination. So, tell me...when, not if, it comes back...what are you going to do?"
Leida His words echo in her head, interlaced with those of the elven mage who had seen fit to impart his advice to her despite being one of their mortal enemies. Perhaps it was because she had once been one of them.

Be strong. Fight back. Resist. They made it sound like it was as simple as that.

"I... I want to get stronger." She glances down at the bow in her hands and then over at the cactus with its cluster of arrows, the hapless plant's lifeblood running in rivulets down the slick exterior. Her expression goes bleak once more. "But I'm afraid... of where that strength might come from."

Again, the warning of the mage comes to the surface. "I can't feel... it... anymore. But... what if..." The question dies out unfinished. She didn't want to think about it.
Angantyr Vespar "People who rely on force are ultimately destroyed by it. But the person who controls force can avoid it altogether." Angantyr continues, watching her. He sees her desire to not be controled by this, but desire alone isn't going to be enough. He wants many things, but is it going to be enough to do the job? Of course not.

"What control's force?"
Leida Leida looks up again, her hands wringing together on the bow's surface. Was this some sort of test? No one had ever talked to her about these things. But she did want to find out the answer.

"Um... t-the person who... wields it?" It seemed like an obvious answer but often times riddles were simple like that. Assuming this is a riddle and not some combat philosophy.
Angantyr Vespar "Skill." Angantyr says. "Skill controls force. Mastery from controling force, Leida." The dark Knight says.

"You do not learn how to control it over night, it is hard might even kill you to mastery it fully. It won't be an easy path...but if you really WANT what you told me..." he says, "Then you might be willing to undergo these challenge to master it, and not let it master you." he comments.

"So tell me, do you want to be the master here, or do you want to forever be the only occasionally know repreive...and to wake up surrounded by bodies and the wails of those the demon murdered while you were out? That you could have saved?" he is harsh...but it is for a reason.
Leida The dark knight's vivid description of her past triggers a rush of images, hints of the things she had buried deep within herself along with the demon. They are horrific and terrifying, immediately threatening to overwhelm the sanity that had been returned to her when they were banished. Fortunately, it lasts only an instant, but that is enough to make her fall to her knees as tears start to well up.

"No... I-I don't want that! Never again..." The towering length of her weapon is planted on end in the sand as she slides down, using it as a crutch to lean again. It creaks slightly from the weight but it is firm and strong, unbending in the face of its owner's weakness.

"Please... tell me how...!" So many people had spoken of this but it was always empty advice with no direction. Get stronger, don't be weak, master your power - none of them ever told her how.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr offers a hand up.

"First of all, learning to stand on your own two feet, not depending on others is a start. There is a difference between working with...being allied with...and what you are now. Don't expect others to do everything for you, the first step is leaning to do for yourself." He lifts her back to her feet. "I can teach you. I, like I said, master my own darkness. I can attempt to teach you to do the same for yourself. However, I am not going to baby feed you, Leida. The path I will make you walk will be harsh...terrible even. Physically demanding, mentally burdening. It takes a lot to master darkness...and for you it is not a matter of greed or power lust, but a matter of protecting people for a power you can't quite control."

"...I know the feeling."
Leida Sniffling softly, the girl rubs at her face with the back of her sleeves, looking up just in time to see the hand extend towards her. Instinctively, she flinches but quickly recovers when she sees that he means to help her up.

Her hand lifts to take his, allowing Angantyr to pull her to her feet. Her body is so light it probably gives him no trouble at all, considering the size of the weapon that he wields with ease.

"You... would teach me?" Leida considers this for a moment. Though they clearly cared for her safety and well-being, there was no one at the Shard Seekers who could really say they understood the nature of her powers. There wasn't even anyone who could help with her archery. She was completely on her own for anything beyond moral support.

While she did not have any knowledge of dark knights it was clear that this man could sense her power. If he truly could help her tame it then that would be worth any trials he might put before her.

"I... I would like that."
Angantyr Vespar "You say that now." Angantyr says, "For for now. Go home. You have made your home here yes? Rest up, because the desert is harsh on anyone, even me. We will start the first part of your training tomorrow..." he says, calmly. "And you better bring water with you, or you might die from dehydration."
Leida "O-oh... ofcourse..." She still felt silly for letting that rather important detail slip past her preparations. It's not like the city wasn't within sight, but it was still a bad idea not to be prepared. The sudden mention of water did, however, remind the princess of how dehydrated she was and the heat seemed to intensify. Going home was something she was completely for at this moment.

She started to gather up her things, pulling the arrows from the sand and slotting them slowly back into the small leather quiver at her side. Leida turns to retrieve those embedded in the cactus but suddenly pauses and looks back at her new mentor. "Um... where should...?"
Angantyr Vespar "You're with the Shard seekers." He says, as matter of fact, "I'll find you there tomorrow morning." he says.

HOW DID HE KNOW?! Duh, they are always responsible for <GOOSHONK> like this.
Leida Leida just nods, somehow not surprised that he knows where she lives. That seemed to be pretty common knowledge for some reason. Without further comment she collected her remaining arrows and set off back towards the city, already prepared to collapse onto her bed when she got back. Today had been trying; tomorrow would probably be worse.

This scene contained 19 poses. The players who were present were: Angantyr Vespar, Leida