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Dive into the Heart: Angantyr Vespar
(2013-01-12 - 2013-01-12)
Angantyr is really getting sick of these weird dreams.
Maira It is like going under anesthesia. You never remember falling asleep. No gradually relaxing with visions from the day playing back in your mind. Just consciousness, then none. It is an incredibly disorienting feeling.

There is nothing but darkness and the cold embrace of water around Angantyr, the sound of his own heartbeat the only thing that can be heard, and even that sounds muffled, like listening through layers of wool.

Just when it seems the darkness of this ocean may go on forever, a light begins to flicker from below. It is like a small campfire in a dark wood, colorful, sparkling, hypnotizing.

Despite feeling surrounded by water, Angantyr would find that breathing came naturally, as effortless as in the waking world.

Soon he will sink to a platform in the middle of the endless void, glass in many colors arranged in mosaics beneath his feet. It depicts several figures, first among them King Mickey in the center, holding his keyblade aloft as he had done in Baron to help them escape. Others may not be recognized, a duck, a dog-like creature...

Then breaking through the deafening quiet comes a very familiar voice.

"So much to do...such a long road ahead..."
Will Sherman Angantyr does not quite get these weird dreams. He just assumes it was the things he ate before bed...or the stress he goes through with his line of work. Or if Garland was screwing with him, even in his dreams. The Darkness does not hold fear for Ang, as he drifts along in the ocean of dark, but the light at the bottom...this was new. Of course, it could be that light that Jasmine keeps trying to remind him that he has, that Avira and Maira keep feeding. The light is becoming stronger, even he admits that.

Slowly, he touches down on the platform, looking down on it. Mickey was familar to him...the others not so much...

The voice, however, catches his attention, as he looks up trying to find the source. "Maira?" he asks, and shakes his head...strange that he should think of her now of all times, that her voice, or is...

He walks into the center of the platform. "Weird.."
Maira The platform holds an aura of peace and tranquility. It is a reflection of a perfect moment when the mind is still and the body is whole. It is the sort of place where one might be tempted to rest for a good, long time, perhaps to meditate, perhaps to sleep.

"Angantyr..." comes that voice again, peaceful and innately musical.

Three stone platforms rise from the stained glass floor. They do not make an audible sound as much as their presence just seems to resonate on such a deep level in the psyche that it cannot be described by any of the mundane senses.

Upon one rest a sword, the next a shield, and the third a staff. All bear monikers that should put Angantyr in mind of Mickey--or more importantly, the power he wields.

"Power sleeps within you, Angantyr...."

The pedestals, though not tall, seem to tower with importance.

"If you give it will give you strength..."
Will Sherman Sword...Shield...and staff.

The three platforms stand before Angantyr, each one with a representation of power. Or rather, how to give it form.

That voice, it was Maira...but why? The Dark Knight shakes his, no need to dwell on that now, right now there is a choice to be made, and he has a suspicion that he can't either ignore or choose all of them. This is one of those few rare times he has to chose one. Slowly, he walks towards the Sword, moving to take it from the pedistal, trying to check it's weight and size.

Are you really surprised?
Maira The sword feels good in his hand, the hilt warms to his touch immediately. It is perfectly balanced, as if it were made for him. It is surely a weapon enemies would fear, especially being wielded by one who knows how to use it.

"The power of the Warrior.

Invincible courage.

A sword of terrible destruction."

Angantyr would be well aware of the damage a weapon can cause. A weapon breaks more then bones, splits more than flesh. A weapon can be used for great ill. But it can also protect.

"Is this the path you wish to take, Angantyr?" Maira's voice asks, coming from no discernible location, seemingly omnipresent.
Will Sherman Angantyr does not need to be told that twice...

The sword in hand is powerful...perhaps it is more than just a blade, who knows? The words speak to him, from where he can not tell. However, he turns from the pedistal with sword in hand.

"Yes." he says, confident with the blade in hand.
Maira "You have made your choice...
You will walk the path with a warrior's courage." The voice continues, warm and somehow approving.

"But..." the voice begins, "...everything has a price. What will you give up in return?"

The pedestals with the sword and the staff glow with untold power and possibility, humming with potential and waiting to be chosen.
Will Sherman And the sword was gone, or perhaps he always had it.

Angantyr turns towards the other two get something, one must had to sacrifice something. An interesting lesson...but not often untrue.

He walks towards the Shield, not second guessing himself one bit. His power was not a shield to was a terrible power, and it would always be. He takes the shield, holding it up for a moment to feel it's weight.
Maira The sword will indeed disappear, but somehow Angantyr should have a sense of it on he edge of his awareness, as if all he need do is reach for it with his will and it will once more be in his hand.

When Angantyr takes the shield, Maira speaks again:

The power of the Guardian.
Kindness to aid friends.
A shield to repel all.

This is the power you forfeit.

Just like that the shield disappears, but Angantyr will retain no sense of it. It is gone.

The shattering of glass breaks the silence. The platform upon which he stands is cracking from the outside in. There is no where to run. No choice but to fall once more into the abyss of darkness.

But if he is to look down once more, another light, another platform, approaches. He will drift slowly upon reaching it, gravity of no matter in this place.

Beneath him once more is the stained glass, though the pictures are different than they once were. In one image is the rendition of Avira, cleansed of the mutation and smiling, her well-known features peaceful and happy. In another section, Maira is pictured, rendered in bright reds, golds and oranges, flames that stretch outward to become her hair and clothing. She smiles warmly, her eyes soft and accepting, one hand outstretched toward the viewer, welcoming.

There are other pictures here too: Jasmine, kind and adventurous; Rellius, Angantyr's visible opposite; Leida, practicing what Angan had taught her. Additionally, LEXUS is pictured, his face grim. Riku is there as well, as he was when Manhattan fell. And of course, Garland, shrouded in a darkness that cannot be penetrated, imparting a sense of dread.

"You have chosen your power. Don't loose sight of the path. Darkness may surround you on all sides, but you must keep your eyes on the light," she says, as the all too familiar Heartless begin to form from shadows in the floor, rising with their glowing eyes to scramble toward Angantyr, mindless devourers of hearts.

"Many times you will be expected to fight, Angantyr. You must not forget..."

The chosen sword appears once more in Angantyr's grasp, ready to be wielded.
Will Sherman Crack...

"Wha.." he speaks, realizing that something was happening. He didn't even have time to realize the finality of the shield being removed. Everything cracks, shattering, and once more he decends into the darkness. Even so, as Angantyr falls, he see's the light of the next platform far below him. Gravity seems to be optional in this place...he even wondered where 'here' was? Even so, the next platform he was on. The pictures below were bittersweet for him. Avira, in both forms, looks at him...Maira happy and chaotic as always...Jasmine, who always supported him, even at his worse or when she was at her most dire straights.

Rellius though...and Lexus...important, but negitive...

And then there was Garland. But to counter that, Leida, who filled him with some measure of hope. Hope that Darkness wasn't absolute. That light can shine through...that it had not abandoned him.

The words spoke again, causing him to turn and face the heartless surrounding him. The sword was already in his hand. He had a weapon...the small bug like heartless gave Angantyr no fear as he moved, slashing at one, but before he even finished that motion was already aiming for the next. A virtual whirlwind of death...

t"No peace from these things even here." he mutters, even listening to the words that continue as he fights the heartless away.
Maira These Heartless prove little challenge to Angantyr. Though he holds an unfamiliar weapon, it seems an extension of himself. As the Heartless are destroyed, rather than dissolving as they do in the world, the symbol of a heart appears, floating upward until it can no longer be seen.

"I knew you could do it," comes Maira's voice, encouraging and affectionate.

With the Heartless gone, the sense of tranquility returns. Whispers of the past begin to creep into Angantyr's consciousness, some of his most precious memories replaying before his eyes in this moment of respite...
Will Sherman ...Odd. When did Heartless react like that? Angantyr has never seen the Keyblade in action, he KNOWS about them, but never has he witnessed one. The rising hearts cause him to watch them leave in wonder, but he looks..nothing.

A moment of respite as he is treated to his most precious memories. Memories with his brother as they grew up...they were once very close, it was one of the few bright spots in his life at the time. He could never do anything right...he was a child of darkness...he was unfit to be the head of the house...the sacrifical lamb. Rellius never saw him that way. They always pushed each other hard....until...

Memories of a younger Angantyr on the beach. Looking up at the stars, working with a older man who was teaching him how to read a star chart.

Avira landing ungracefully into the deserts of Damasca. Angantyr holding a hand to her to help her back on her feat after a nasty spill. A grin spreading wider when she knocked his hand away, and immediately struck with the spine.

Maira's attempts to cheer Ang up after the incident with the serpent. The kind smile, and her unfailing inability to grasp that he wanted to be alone...and her unwillingness to let him wallow in self pitty alone.

Jasmine's and Angantyr's first meeting, despite the situation, they talked under the stars. Her acceptance of him, despite his darkness and her overwhelming light.
Maira The memories begin to fade as Maira's voice speaks up again. "Never lose sight of the path..." she reminds.

The air begins to shift. A sinking feeling should once more settle like a stone in Angantyr's stomach as a set of double doors appear at the far side of the platform. From within, familiar voices are screaming....Maira and Avira. The roar of a blood-rage, familiar as well.

The doors stand as a challenge to him. Dare he open them to face what lies beyond?
Will Sherman Angantyr's rest from strangeness was ruined by the sinking feeling, the feeling that something was off.

The doors stand as a challenge to him, and the familar cries of his friends, and the blood rage roar. His eyes narrow, sword in hand as he charges the doors. There is very few things he'd dive head first into for...but those two screams count as one of the few precious things he wants to protect, throwing open the doors without even thinking twice.
Maira As the doors swing upon, Angantyr is faced with another memory, this one jarringly unpleasant. It was as if the good memories were a gift, something to give him strength for what he now faces.

Angantyr is transported back in time to that day out on the sea, riding the undulating motions of the giant sea serpent who set Angantyr's darkness writhing to over-come him. He would be reliving it now, the loss of himself as he lashes out at Maira, her smile upon seeing him so warm and trusting--then she is hit, and falling, her blood staining his mace.

The scene blurs some, Avira before him with her blade held defensively, eyeing Angantyr with caution as she tries to bring him back from the brink. But the is so strong.

Trapped in memory though he is, something about the vision changes. The mace that he had held is suddenly the sword chosen on the first platform. It is a reminder. Another challenge. Can he overcome? Will he lose sight of the light as he remembers his failures?

Maira's voice comes from everywhere once more, urging; "I know your light is strong! You just have to know it too..."
Will Sherman That day...already he was where he was at...

The nightmare clad armor wrapped around him...the darkness surging through his body, threatening to consume his very being. The overwhelming urge to simply /kill/ everything that was moving. It was so strong...darkness overwhelmed him again, the tendrils wrapping around everything. Maira was already hurt...Avira couldn't hope to defeat him...all was already lost...

However, that voice...those encouragements...

Angantyr's hand grips the weapon tightly, the sword, and he swings it...

At his own armor, trying to break the darkness away from his heart, away from himself. He wasn't someone to be weilded by it...HE was the weilder...
Maira As the sword strikes at the nightmare armor of darkness that clads Angantyr's form, the armor shatters as if made of glass. In great tendrils of mist it drifts from him, clouding his vision until he is torn away--or set free--of the memory.

The darkness fades, and he is back on the last platform, standing before the open doors. This time, there is merely a bright light shining from them, warm as the sun or a fire on a cold night.

The sword has vanished once more, but again, it is with him. He will carry it with him always.

Maira's voice has direction now, coming from behind. She's standing there, or at least an apparition of her is, smiling and urging him forward through the doors. "Sometimes it is okay to look back, as long as you keep your feet moving won't get lost."
Will Sherman Angantyr turns to face the Apparation of Maira...

Even as the nightmare fades, Angantyr shudders as the memory was brought to his mind once more. However...

The warm sunlight behind him beconds, and Maira urges him forward. Once more, he turns, putting one foot before the other as he turns to enter the doorway...

But what could follow this?
Maira Awake. That is what waits. Angantyr wakes wherever he can last remember being, just as suddenly conscious as he had fallen asleep. The world returns around him, the same as he remembers it...

But perhaps, something about the way he sees it has changed.
Will Sherman Angantyr awakens...

He actually wakes up slowly, instead of jolting awake, for the first time in ages. He blinks, shaking himself and looks to his hand. "...That was a strange dream, even by my standards."

This scene contained 20 poses. The players who were present were: Will Sherman, Maira