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No title.
(2013-01-13 - 2013-01-18)
No description.
Percival After a long walk with Imi and a frantically comical dash to more solid ground when dawn came, the last rays of the sun fade over the horizon, and Percival awakened in the usual dramatic manner common to his kind. A short glide later and he had arrived at the city of Fluorgis, which he decided to take a walk through. It was hardly what he expected, he wasn't sure what to make of this world's version of aircraft, sometimes it seemed so backwards compared to modern society, and at other times it seemed far more advanced than his world could ever hope to achieve. At least he was becoming accustomized to the strangeness, it didn't bother him much anymore.

After asking for directions to the Shard Seeker's HQ and actually getting them without startling the residents, he decides he had seen enough of the city's ground level. It took longer than it should have to climb to the city's second level due to the protest of aching limbs, and setting himself to glide in that direction.
Zia While things certainly may have been chaotic elsewhere, it has been quieter in Fluorgis since the Heartless attack a few days prior. Sure, there had been that nonsense with the maid uniforms, but luckily she'd managed to get out of that by just hiding on the rooftop and snickering now and again when one of the boys came out looking all dolled up. Getting her to dress up like that? Not going to happen.

Tonight, she's avoiding the usual comings and goings of the other Shard Seekers, but it wouldn't be hard to spot a flash of white that appears on the rooftop, then drops down into the garden beyond. If he watched for a moment, Percival might just get a view on what might be a training montage, including the pale gargress moving across various statues and tables and chairs. She uses her wings over short distances, rolls from landings, turns towards an imaginary opponent, and then extends her arms forward towards a training dummy made out of pillows and other various household items.

"Fulmenos venite!" She shouts, without the need of a spellbook to channel energy. From out of nowhere, a arcing bit of lightning shoots down, striking the dummy right in his metal-covered head. It doesn't blow it appart as one might have imagined, but instead, the lightning seems to get channeled to the nearby table, which starts to smoke.

"Damnit!" Zia curses to herself, then reaches for an already filled bucket of water. Apparently this has happened before. She tosses it onto the table, and then scowls at the scorchmarks. Maybe practicing out here isn't such a good idea - or maybe she should stick to weapons, they did tend to cause less damage. Except when she lost grip of them anyways. There is a broken window that probably leads in towards the kitchen, taped up with a bit of board.
Percival As he glides along, his sight focused upon his goal, he almost misses the flash of light, almost. Was that Magic? Percival had genuinely witnessed no actual magic during his stay here, and for some reason his acquaintances believed that he would be the sort of zealot that would burn anyone who used magic for witchcraft. His inquisitive nature got the better of him in the end, as he banked down past the rooftop, towards the garden. It tempted him for a time, to land upon the nearby rooftop and watch her, but such behavior would be unseemly. Was he to be some common voyeur or a spy?

No, in the end he landed within the garden, about ten meters away to give her some space. In part because he didn't want to startle her and become the recipient of her display, and in part because he felt it was polite. "Fair evening to you Madame. My name is Percival, esquire. Might I have the honor of your acquaintance? I have not seen many of our kind since the disaster, and I have travelled a long way to search for them." She matched the description of the one that he sought, but he was learning quickly that it was best to make no assumptions in strange world. And then he blurts out in an almost boyish and unseemly way that suprises him. "Was that magic?" He instantly regrets that he asked.
Zia While the other gargoyle might certainly be trying to be straightforward, it doesn't mean that Zia is expecting someone to drop out of the sky. In truth, other than Deidra, she hasn't had much contact with her own kind. The gargress turns, her instincts catching the motion a moment after he lands. It's some small measure of luck that she'd just doused that fire, otherwise he might have ended up sodden, himself. Luckily, the bucket is empty, but she still holds it as if it's a shield for a moment.

Her ears twitch at the sound of is voice, head tilting. She had been raised fairly traditionally, so having a gargoyle introduce himself /by name/ comes across a little strangely to her. Slowly, the bucket gets lowered. "It wasnae a disaster, Ah can assure ye of tha." Being as he is from the United Kingdom, himself, it wouldn't be hard to recognise the Scottish brogue of the girl's voice. "It was quite intentional." She lets the bucket dangle down at her side at last, but her tail twitches down by her legs, not quite fully at ease just yet.

She misses the request for her name, perhaps because she isn't used to it, or because his greeting just caught her off-guard. "Aye." She looks from the dummy, who has a nice plume of smoke drifting off of it's head, back to the table, with it's line of char-marks. "This place isnae exactly made fer tha sorta practice, but it's be'ta then drawin attention to m'self by castin spells out in the desert or somethin." Walking over towards one of the fountains, she starts to fill it again. If nothing else, she could use it to freeze the poor squire solid if he does turn out to be an enemy. Garg-sicle.
Percival Far from being hostile, his wings fold to form a cloak about his form, as he lowers himself to one knee from a distance, a hand across his chest. "M'lady, while I apologize for the presumption, would you happen to be Zia? If so, then I am here to offer you my service. While I would offer you my sword, I currently find myself bereft."

Silence. After a time he seems to realize how ridiculous a display this might seem coming from a stranger. "While I had every intention of finding you of my own accord, I was sent to locate you by my allies, as it is their theory that you might very well be our world's Princess of the Heart."

Awkwardness. Silence. Sometimes he wished he actually was a true knight, then he'd know what to say. Well best say something, the night isn't getting any younger. "And if your royal highness pleases I would very much like to continue watching the practice of your magic, for I have little experience with it." Oh that was smooth Percival, you definitely have your priorities straight. Your clan would be proud.
Zia As much as her father may have told her many stories about knights and chivalry, the gargress certainly has never met someone who expresses it to that sort of extent. Perhaps Faruja comes close, but his was a different sort of knighthood, for certain. "Err..." That bucket is held for a moment before she walks back over, setting it down onto the table. "Aye, ye've found the right gargress." Since when did she become so famous that young male gargoyles came seeking her out to offer them their 'swords'? Inwardly, she's praying to whatever spirits there might be that she and Deidra are not the only females left of the species...

"Ah do nae really have need of yer sword, literal or figurative." She tilts her head, seeming puzzled. "It's far be'ta put te helpin the refugees in Traverse Town, or in fightin off the Heartless tha threaten the other worlds out there." When he goes on to explain further though, you can almost see her brain slogging to keep up. It's not that she isn't intelligent, it's just that this is the first that she's ever heard of a 'Princess of Heart'. "Yer... allies?" She seems confused, folding her arms across her chest. "'N wha in the world is a 'Princess of the Heart'?"

And then he has to go on and call her 'your royal highness'. "Your royal wha..." Blink. "Listen lad, Ah'm nae a princess of anythin. Except maybe the dumpsters back home. Maybe if ye called me princess of scavengers, Ah might think ye had some clue what yer talkina bout, but ah think ye've got the wrong lass." She doesn't even bother trying to start up her practice again, Percival just kind of threw her for a loop.
Percival How could he explain? To be honest, he had very little clue himself. All he knew is that his allies claimed that Merlin was important that they find her, and she fit several criteria. He cleared his throat, his tail rapping the ground of the garden as a sort of nervous habit. "I don't believe that the title has anything to do with parentage, M'lady, merely the purity of one's heart. From what I understand it means that the world has, chosen, an individual on that basis to be a sort of anchor, or light which prevents it from falling fully into darkness. Those individuals attract a large amount of trouble, and heartless. near as we can tell, of the survivors of our world, you are one of the few that fit that criteria."

And you're Scottish, and breathtakingly beauti...Don't think that about that. Such thoughts are not for a simple squire. He clears his throat again. "My allies are the Twilight detective agency. They state one Merlin, and I'm not certain if its the Merlin from our world, says that we must find this individual. And it is our theory that it could be one of our kind. After narrowing it down, you do seem to fit the description."
Zia This isn't the first time that she's heard the name of Merlin mentioned. Apparently, she had missed the 'party' when it comes to all the information that the wizard from Traverse Town had given out to the would-be heroes of the world. Only now, she's catching bits and pieces from people who come to her. Avira had told her that he might have some idea about the magic that holds Skoll to his 'Dark Lords', and then he was mentioned again somehow in a discussion later regarding some hope of reviving Manhattan.

But her? Really? The gargress takes a step back until her butt bumps against the table. Instinctively, she sits down on it, not really thinking about it. "If tha's the case, then Ah really cannae be what yer lookin fer, lad." She shakes her head with the most somber of expressions. She can see the hope in his eyes, and perhaps in that she can feel the hopes of the others who sent him here. "Ah was there when the world fell. Ah fought te save it, but there wasnae anythin Ah could do." She tilts her head, seeming puzzled and confused. If this was the hope that Deidra and the others had spoken about... maybe their faith was misplaced. "If Ah were this 'anchor' of yers, then why did Manhattan fall in the first place?"

She does manage a laugh at the idea that she attracts a lot of 'trouble'. It isn't the first time that she's heard that particular description. For someone who had kept out of the public eye for centuries, she certainly did manage to be around when bad things happened. Then again, she wasn't even in Manhattan when the Heartless first began their attacks. She'd been lost, living here in Fluorgis, trying to find her way home. In some ways, what he says makes sense, but in others, not so much. Most of all, she didn't /feel/ any different. "I mean, is it somethin tha ye can be wi'out even knowin it?" Oh, she has other reservations too. 'Purity of heart' for one, but right now, she's just trying to make sense of everything.
Percival So many questions, and he had few answers to give her. Still he remained on one knee, in as non-threatening a way as possible. "I don't know if you are, or are not M'lady. And from what little I know, it is only that the world cannot vanish fully into darkness. The princess is what prevents the world from ever falling completely, so long as they remain free of the hold of the darkness. The other details, my allies are vague upon. I imagine it is something you can be without knowing it, but that is only conjecture."

Awkward silence once again falls over the garden for a time. "May I have your leave to rise?" She certainly looked like a princess, to him at least. The scavenger statement from earlier didn't seem to phase him at all.
Zia The situation is a little frustrating. You could technically take any of a number of women from Manhattan and try to apply the same vague criteria, and by technicality, they would all fit under it. If he has no way of proving that she is or isn't, how is she to argue with such a claim? With a sigh, Zia lowers her head into her hands, white hair hanging on either side. It's a lot of weight to have placed on someone's shoulders, even if it's only conjecture. She failed once already - Negaduck had nearly killed her in the Labyrinth.

For a long time, the gargress doesn't say anything, not until he asks for permission to rise. Blinking, Zia lifts her head, "Of course." She sits up a bit straighter, "Ye dinnae have te bow te me, 'n please... none of tha yer'highness stuff either. If ye dun know, then dinnae be so certain." She lets out a breath, slow and steady, trying to anchor herself against what feels like a rushing wind. "Fer all ye know, the lass yer lookin fer might be out there, in danger right now, 'n yer here wastin yer time on me." She shakes her head.
Percival He rises, slowly from his knee, trying to make it look smooth, but it actually looks rather stilted. That knee in particular still pained him. "Very well, Madame Zia. If that is your wish."

He debated the matter for a time inwardly, but in the end the truthful approach won out as always. "I came because you are one of the few Gargoyles that could meet the description. Perhaps only one of two. We have others already searching the refugees of Manhatten's fall. And you may call it a selfish act on my part, but I volunteered because I very much wanted to meet another of my kind here. While the humans are not frightened of me, as I'm used to, it still feels awkward around them. I miss my kind, and so I do not consider it a waste of my time." He approaches slowly, and takes her hand in his, bowing at the waist. Not in a manner of how one might treat royalty, but in archaic courtly grace all the same. There does not appear to be any sort of lecherous ulterior motive to the act, it is simply his way. "May I?"
Zia The gargress barely notices him rising. It isn't the sort of thing she'd normally focus on. Ugh. From 'Your Royal Highness' to 'Madame Zia' - she's not sure which one is worse. "Jus' Zia, lad. Please." She continues, letting out a sigh. "Ah'm nae terribly usedte using names, 'n titles just make it even more confusing." Although he has introduced himself, she hasn't really used his name. Even among her friends, she still tends to speak of them by species or by traits in a far more traditional gargoyle fashion.

She doesn't seem to mind his approach, although she does follow him with her eyes, ears tucked back slightly. They're a bit longer than with some others of their kind, with a more expressive tilt to them. "Ah've hidden from humans most of m'life, Ah'm still gettin usedte them nae huntin me wi' guns 'n pitchforks." Okay, maybe the latter is an exaggeration from watching too many old movies, but people were not likely to respond well to creatures that they considred monsters. "Cannae say Ah'm a great deal be'ta around gargoyles, though. Ah havenae spent any great deal of time wi' any since Ah was a child."

A faint flush shows on her cheeks as he takes her hand, offering a small nod. "If ye must." She isn't about to complain over such treatment, even if it does give her a repeat performance of that uncomfortable feeling in her stomach. First Faruja, then Skoll, and now this strange Gargoyle.
Percival There is nothing lecherous about his behavior as he leans in to brush the back of his lips against the back of her hand. For some reason the behavior itself feels entirely innocent, as if this were the same treatment he gave everyone. Once he is finished, he takes a step back, to give her her space. "Zia it is then, and I understand. Perhaps once our world is restored we can rectify that. Its why I came to Manhatten in the first place."

A smile, and a chortle. "You know, I thought I was the only one that considered that strange. Everyone treats out kind so differently here, and yet I feel as if its strange. An odd indictment upon our world isn't it? My only exposure to humans was a few allies who served as our liasions and the cinema."
Zia There may be nothing truly meant by that brush of his lips against her hand, but it doesn't stop the girl from feeling flustered about it none the less. Chivalry is something from stories, not something she usually has first-hand exposure to. If anyone had even played at such things, it would have been her father in days gone past, addressing her mother as if she were the most beautiful creature in the world. It's a bit of a bittersweet memory, since both of them are gone now.

Without thinking about it, her hand goes to one of the bits chain hanging from her neck, touching on a tiny bottle that dangles from it. If one were to look closely, they might see the two small shards of what appear to be bone, both with slight dark charring around the edges. "There's so much more te worry aboot than jus' our world, though. The people here have been kind te me, but even they're commin under attack lately. Ah dinnae know why this is happenin, or wha the ones controllin the Heartless think they'll get outta this, but someone has te do somethin." She hesitates, letting her hand come away from her chest.

It's a thought that strikes her. Without really saying much, Zia gets up and walks over towards the building. Leaned up against the wall are a series of practice weapons. One among them is not, though. One is an actual sword, the scabbard engraved with strange, swirling writing. "Ah was held prisoner by two humans fer years. First a priest, then a mage. Ah still dinnae trust them as easily as others, but there's some tha've earned m'trust." The gargress plucks up the sword, then walks it back over towards him.

"Ye said ye have need of a sword. This one belonged to m'father, 'n my grandfather before tha. Ah dinnae know if it has ever been used te take a life... but it should serve a knight well enough." She offers it out. "Ah've got a long way te go before Ah'm ready for such a weapon. So maybe ye can take care of it for me fer a while."
Percival Percival seems flabbergasted, at first by the offer, standing there dumbfounded, and then he appears humbled by it. He places his hand over his chest and bows. "Mada.." He corrects himself immediately. "Z-Zia, if it is your will that I have this blade, I will gladly accept it, and wield it with honor in your name and in the name of our kin, but I'm not certain if I'm worthy of it. I will spend every day attempting to make myself worthy of it though." He then gingerly takes the scabbard in both hands to allow it to lay flat, but he does not draw the blade. He smiles, and then falls to a knee. "And now I can offer you my sword, which you just gave me..." There is a hint of jest in his voice, but then it becomes quite serious. "And yes Zia, there is great darkness in this land, and I do not intend to return to ours, even if it is restored, until I can do so with the knowledge that 'all' worlds are safe from the threat of the heartless. It is my goal to bring the Lords of Shadow to justice for their crimes, but finding the Princess takes priority. Promise me at the very least, that even if you do not believe that you are the Princess, that you make the possibility known to your allies in the Shard Seekers. Fluorgis is rife with monstrosities, and even if you are not their target, I would be remiss in my duties if I wasn't certain that you were surrounded by good and loyal friends."
Zia For all that Zia tends to scavange and salvage what she can, the gargress truly does have few items of real worth. The sword is but one of a handful of things. The rest of what she holds dear are simply keepsakes of another life, when she'd still had a family and a clan. Still, it seems silly to hold on to something that she can't truly use. She has months if not years of training ahead of her before she'd be proficent enough with a sword to make use of it the way this young knight might be able to. At least that way, perhaps it might be used to strike a blow against the darkness where it could never do so in her hands.

The strange symbols on the scabbard are not anything the gargoyle would likely be familiar with. Perhaps if he happened to know an expert in gibberish, but it seems quite old, even if the blade is still sharp and it seems well cared for by the generations of gargoyles which have carried it. "It was always meant te go te the surviving male of the clan, but Ah havenae seen m'brother since he left years ago. Ah'd rather see it put te good use than sittin away as some heirloom." She had her own keepsake of her family legacy, and it lays against her chest in the form of a blue crystal. Once, it had carried power, but that power had fallen along with her world.

The idea of bringing up to the Shard Seekers the theory that she might be a Princess of Heart just makes the girl look uncomfortable, though. Zia rubs at the back of her neck, sighing to herself. "Ah understand wha yer doin, lad, Ah do. It's just... Ah dinnae want te be cooped up and protected. Ah have te fight. Te learn te fight. Te do something." That hint of guilt shows on her features. Maybe - maybe if she'd come back to Manhattan earlier, or fought harder, or just been /better/ she might have been able to keep her world from vanishing. It's stupid, and logically the girl does understand that such thinking is foolish, but... there are times when you can't help but feel responsible.

"Ah'd rather they be out lookin fer the real princess, then sittin here tryin te keep me outta trouble." She smirks slightly. "B'sides, it has ways of findin me anyways."
Percival The young Gargoyle chortles, and its a little self-depreciating perhaps, as he seemed to fail to communicate his point. "No Zia, I don't want you coddled, cooped up, and protected. It is the prerogative of royalty, true royalty, to fight for what they believe in. Nobility isn't a birthright after all, its defined by one's actions. And whether you're this Princess in the end hardly matters to me, for your actions still imply true nobility."

He still holds the sword gingerly within his palms, every now and then glancing towards the wondrous gift. "But whether you be Princess, or just truly noble, you'll still need allies that will aid in making your will reality, and making certain trouble is challenged adequately when it finds you." A thin smile appears. "After all, from what I've heard of your allies they'd be most disappointed if you had all the fun."
Zia In some ways, it's hard for Zia to hear herself be referred to as any sort of nobility. Her clan had been rat-tag at best, refugees from other clans who banded together over the years. They never served royalty, they had always been outcasts, but if nothing else, her father had always been the kind hand to teach her that being a good person had nothing to do with how or where you were born. "Ye sound like m'da." She muses, a small smile lighting her features. Strange that the first male gargoyle she's encountered would remind her of him.

Some other shadow passes over her mind's eye, though. Chains, dark words, control. Quickly, she shakes her head to dislodge the image. "Honestly, if Ah live long enough te help in any way, it makes it worthwhile." She draws a few strands of white hair back behind her ear, tail shifting behind her. "Do ye ever think aboot it? Our world is gone. There's so few of us left. Humans hate 'n fear us." She rubs her arm then, biting at her lower lip with a pensive expression. There is no way for her to know about the clan he came from, or their numbers, but she's lived a good many years and only encountered a rare few of her own kind.

"Ah dinnae expect te change the world, but changin one life would be enough." She smiles in that shy sort of way, ears tucking down into the strands of her white hair. "So, are ye lookin te be an ally then? Ah suspect the detectives'll keep ye right busy, but yer always welcome here, so long as ye dinnae piss off any of the others." They tolerated that half-dragon girl, though, so it seems quite difficult to really get them mad for long. "Jus so long as ye dinnae try te play babysitter. Ah'm sure Ah could show even a knight like yerself a thing or two if Ah tried." She's teasing mostly, but she /has/ been trying to learn more about how to fight. The problem is... magic just came more naturally to her than swords or spears.
Percival Percival places the scabbard with the blade still sheathed at his side, promising himself inwardly later, when propriety didn't take precedence that he'd unsheath it and gawk and squeal at it like an excited hatchling. Fighting the urge to do so right now took all of his willpower. He looks up once again when Zia asks her question, a look of contemplation upon his expression. He always had a tendency to look up when such questions plagued him. The fact that the night sky seemed darker and gloomier in this world, and the stars dimmer always troubled him though.

"I think about it all the time. My clan has been allied to the humans for nearly a millenium, but still, I know if we were ever to go public, that we'd be denied, and likely wiped out in short order. Its almost happened four times already. And yet here we stand in a world where we can be open. Where we aren't hated and feared, for far more monstrous creatures lurk in the dark, and other noble races with distinct similarities to ours dwell. And yet, I find myself dwelling here without my clan."

He paces, his tail twitching, as his statement obviously troubles him. "If the darkness receded, and my clan were here, I think this world would be a special sort of paradise. And yet as it is? It is a strange sort of hell. To be in a world such as this, with so few of my kind to enjoy it with, and with the world constantly in danger of being consumed utterly." He sighs, with a strange sort of gloom and bitterness entering into his voice. "Sometimes I wonder why it was I that was chosen to be the one who was spared from my clan. There are full fledged Knights and elders of my clan who would have the wisdom and insight to know what to do. And the skill and valor to set things right. If it is in the plan of the divine, then I wonder if the divine has a strange sense of humor."

A smile manages to creep onto his expression, despite his previous moodiness. "I suppose I am looking to be an ally, Zia. The few I've met of your friends do seem to be the right sort. As flawed as I am, and yet they possess nobility and virtue in a way that I find humbling." Chortling at her final statement. "Perish the thought! You're not some overeager hatchling. You're fully grown, and I have a feeling that if I tried to treat you otherwise I'd end up a mite bit singed."

He puts his the talons of a single hand together in a small circle and lifts it up as a way to illustrate his point. "I'd rather remain in your good graces, and see the wondrous magic that this world has to offer, from a safe distance that is."
Zia His clan. From the way that he talks about it, it's clear that this young gargoyle came from one far larger than Zia had ever seen in her lifetime. She'd never traveled as far as England, not until the day she'd been mistaken for lawn sculpture and taken on an impromptu trip overseas. Knowing her luck, if gargoyles ever did 'come out', she'd be deported as an illegal immigrant or something. "Allied te humans..." She mulls over this idea for a while, then shakes her head. It isn't as if the girl couldn't understand the positives of such a bargain, but their kind had already been betrayed enough times. Her ancestors had watched from the cliffs as Wyvern burned.

It's a hard thing to have hope for her species when their world is gone, and so few still remain. Even if every surviving gargoyle banded together, they probably only had a single generation left. The only real hope was to find a way to bring their world back from the darkness. "Dinnae lose hope, lad. As long as we can still fight, there's always hope." This, above all else, has probably been the thing that kept her going - even when lesser souls might have given up.

While he might smile, Zia laughs softly, "Ah dinnae know if Ah believe in any great divine, but there's so much tha we dinnae know about wha's happening." She looks up at the night sky, devoid of so many stars that used to be there. "Maybe ye've got somethin special about ye. Some great path yer meant te follow. Or maybe it's jus a load of bollux and we're all just here as a matter'a dumb luck." She chuckles, then companionably leans against his shoulder. It's been a long time since she's been around one of her own kind, but old habits come back easily enough.

"So then, what do ye plan on doin? Stay around here, fight the Heartless that plague Fluorgis... ?"
Percival Percival smiles at Zia's statement. "Ah Zia, you don't have to believe in some great divine. Whatever the divine might be in the end, it certainly believes in you. But I can't believe that individuals being chosen to save their worlds is happening by complete random chance. But, I'm not some human evangelist or crusader who is going to attempt to convert you and condemn you if you don't. Let my actions speak for my belief. You can make up your own mind in the end." He changes the subject quickly enough afterwards though. "That is the plan. And there's a young girl named Leida who seems to be in desperate need of a...." He looks at the sky once again. "...I don't know. A friend? An ally? An different point of view. I'm not sure. All I know is that she is lost, and needs help."
Zia With a chuckle, Zia just listens to the way the young knight speaks, showing a hint of amusement on her features. "Well, it wouldnae matter either way if ye did. Ah dinnae judge." Some part of her wonders if his clan still does the wind ceremony for their lost ones, but the thought of a flight of gargoyles taking wing over London suggests otherwise. It's an older tradition. "There's so many worlds out there, so many different ways'a lookin at things. Jus seems be'ta te keep yer mind open te wha'ever might lay out there." She smiles then, shifting to walk towards the combat dummy, talons clicking.

"Ah cannae say if Ah believe in fate havin much of a role in it, though. It seems so random sometimes, who's here, who isn't." She had been there after the fall of Manhattan. There was no rhyme or reason to it, but good or evil, the people who once called New York their home are now scattered to the four winds. "Leida?" Blink. The gargress looks back, "Ye mean the demon girl?" It may not be the nicest way of preferring to her, but... "Aye... Reize seemedte have made some progress wi her, but let me tell ye, she was a fearsome thing. Chill ye te the bone, tha one. "Havenae really spoken te her since she changed. 'Course she probably remembers me peltin her with magic 'n tha cannae really endear her te me."
Percival Percival inclines his head. "Yes, the demon princess." He sighs, rubbing his eyes with the back of his taloned hand.

"It challenges everything I believe in. She's so young and kind-hearted. Yet in her loneliness and desperation she gave in to the darkness." He then clasps his hands behind his back and wings, pacing again. His nervous habit, as his tail swishes to match the pace of his walk. "Everything I know demands that what lurks within is too dangerous to allow her to walk freely. And yet, I don't have the heart to judge her. She truly wants to repent."

It was always a theory in the back of his mind that Leida's world had fully fallen to darkness and disappeared, because she was destined to be the Princess of the Heart, and yet the darkness she gave into has kept her from playing her role. And yet he never voices it aloud, for it breaks his heart that this might be the case. "....I'm not even certain I could do what was necessary if she became consumed again."

For some reason, that shamed him, and he didn't know why. Why should mercy make him feel ashamed? And yet he was. "When I first found her, a vile man named Angantyr was trying to force her to learn to harness the darkness within. I did not know the circumstances behind it, and yet I still rejected his view. Instead I am trying to teach her discipline, and to learn to find an inner calm that might allow her to beat back the darkness instead."
Zia "Princess?" This part, the gargress did not know. She blinks, but seems to take it in stride. "Te be honest wi ye, Ah felt bad havin te fight the lass, but when it came te a choice between m'world 'n facin one darkness possessed girl, Ah really didnae have a choice." Zia rubs at the back of her neck in a sheepish gesture, feeling a bit bad for having thrashed the girl so soundly with her magic. Then again, there were a rare few who knew just how close to that line of darkness Zia had walked in her life, and Percy's comment draws her lips into a frown. "Nae all who dwell in darkness are lost te it." Her mind lingers to Skoll, to Avira, to others she'd met along the way.

"Ah've found tha it takes a strong person te control dark magic 'n nae let it come te control them. Ah wouldnae have suggested she try te tap inte it, lest it overwhelm her again. But honestly... Ah'm no expert on dark magic." The topic at hands seems a little uncomfortable though, the end of her tail twitching at her side. "Ah wish ye the best of luck wi' helpin her, but in the end it'll be up te her which path she wishes te follow." Zia looks again at the practice dummy, then nods as if she were deciding something for herself.
Percival Percival sighs. He'd apparently misspoke, he thought that more knew. "Apparently she hides it better than I thought. But yes, she was a princess in her own world. A world in which her royal father apparently treated her as if she were something to be ground under his bootheel. Please, don't spread it around further. I did not know she intended to keep it secret." He nods once again at her statement. "Not all who wander are lost. Not all who dwell in the darkness are lost to it. I do have to believe that."

After a moment of further thought on the somber issue, he decided to change the subject. "So uh...I know so little about you. Would you mind terribly if I inquired about your clan? Your family? I wouldn't mind reciprocating."
Zia Making a motion across her lips, the gargress mimes zipping it and throwing away the key. "My lips are sealed, lad. Dinnae worry yerself." Perhaps there is a reason that it is some secret that the girl is a princess, but Zia doesn't seem to worried over it. "Oh, Ah can tell ye tha some who wander are quite lost." She points into the building, "If anyone offers ye a map written by a boy named Reize, tell them te ferget it. Ye'll end up on the other side'a the world sooner than ye get where ye want te go." She knows this from personal experience, as one of his maps had her wandering between worlds for quite a while before ending up right back where she started.

Warning aside, Zia straightens the helmet (read as: bucket) on the dummy, "M'clan?" She hesitates, takes a breath, and then starts. "There isnae much te tell, really. So far as the stories go, we lived in the highlands since b'fore the humans came. M'ancestors refused te make a pact wi' the humans te protect their silly castle, so the clan split. It's all kinda fuzzy after tha' really. Folks came 'n went, the clan moved around a lot, got smaller all the time." She steps back a bit, looking as if her mind is on anything else but dealing with combat practice.

"They tried te keep the old traditions, but when ye've only got one or two adults who could be yer mum 'n da, it isnae hard to figure it out. Last few years, it was just m'family. M'mum, da, brother, 'n aunt. Later two went off in search of greener pastures, da was killed, mum died." She shrugs, as if it weren't a terribly interesting story, even if it probably is.
Percival Percival listens, his expression somber. Despite Zia's casual attitude, he doubts that such are her true feelings. "I wish I were more eloquent. As it stands, my words may fall flat. But you have my sincerest condolences Zia. I wish that I could have known them." He pauses, seeking guidance once again the sky, which has none to offer. "I imagine our clans knew each other long ago. Mine has its origins in Scotland as well. We were born out of the ashes of the Wyvern clan. Our founder came from them, and gathered the other disparate clans of the highlands. For a time we were at odds with the humans, but then we allied with a Scottish king. A rather infamous one, actually." He chortles. "Perhaps his reputation was entirely warranted, as we found ourselves betrayed. Most of us were wiped out, but a few survivors fled south, and were captured by one monarch at odds with another." He stops his pacing, caught up in the story. "He wanted our strength for his own. Henry the second was a petty man, but not without some vision. Facing annihilation, what would most clans do in their pride? They would accept death over swearing loyalty to such a man, but our clan had faced far too much suffering, wanting an end to it, my ancestors bent the knee."
Percival Percival manages a self-depreciating smile. "We're not proud of our origins. But we are proud of what we've become. We call ourselves the Order of Saint Castorius. The patron saint of sculptors." A chuckle, as if it were a sort of inside joke. "We live out our own ways, our own traditions in peace. The humans that are aware of us think that we're relics of the past, but they are still our friends. Our numbers were never great, and they only remain steady over the years due to our martial inclinations. Still, we are a little more than sixty strong, and in these times? I consider that quite remarkable."

A wistful smile now. "We live as a family. We are all brothers and sisters. All of our joy, and all of our sorrow is shared. We train together, we fight together. We get into our share of mischief. And I miss them all, with all of my heart."
Zia Looking at Zia, it wouldn't be hard to see her own Scottish bloodline in the way she looks. She has the feminine grace of their facial features and the bat-like quality of their wings. Something is different, though. Instead of the usual bold eyeridges, she has a more human appearance, longer ears, a longer tail. It's hard to pick out just where the traits might come from, since they don't seem to fit in with any of the known clans. "Very possible then tha our clans crossed paths in the past. Though we tended te stay away from humans as much as we could manage. Hard life, but a fair bit safer then wha others faced."

She listens to the story of how his clan came together, came under a king, became tied in with the humans that they serve today. However, it is the number that surprises her, "Sixty?" Blink. "Ah've... never heard of such numbers. M'da said tha the clans up North were lucky if they managed te get half the eggs te survive any given season worth. But... sixty." She steps back, seeming floored by the idea that so many of her kind still live. Sure, it isn't enough to save the species alone, but if one clan had lived, could others have? For a moment, she dares herself to hope for that, but then it tumbles down around her ears. None of Percival's clan are here. They were lost with their world when it first fell. They're gone.

She can't bring herself to say this, though, even if her eyes speak of some sadness as she nods her head towards him. "Ah miss m'family a lot, sometimes, but all Ah can do is remember them." From beneath her clothes, she plucks a small, wax-sealed jar that is attached to a silver strand as a pendant. With it lay two slivers of white, burnt at the edges. It might take a moment to recognise them for what they are... bones. It's a morbid reminder, but it's all Zia has left of her parents.
Percival @emit Percival nearly grins when she mentions their numbers. "We're not the only clan that dwells near London either. The other clan gives us a wide berth as we have something of a history, but we know they have well over a hundred members. Perhaps two hundred, even. Its difficult to count them though, given our only contact is a chance encounter every now and then."

Seeing her reaction though, the smile falls off his expression. "Zia, I'll make you this promise. We will restore our world, and then one day, I'll take you back to meet my clan. To allow you to visit the Highlands again. Even if its only a short visit, I would very much like for you to know more of our kind." He steps forward to place a single hand upon her shoulder. There is nothing to bely affection, only a genuine desire to comfort her in some way. "I will have them back, no matter how many heartless or lords of shadow stand in my way."
Zia "A... hundred." If Zia didn't have a look of absolute shock before, she does now. The girl just stares at Percival as if he had grown an extrodinarily strange second head. "Yer nae tryin te pull one over one me, are ye lad?" Those blue eyes search for any chance that this might be a joke. "Yer serious?" She lets out a breath, and then laughs, leaning her head on one hand in wonder. Hundreds of gargoyles. Entire /clans/ with huge numbers managing to live and survive without humans knowing about them. "By Merlin." She whispers.

"M'da used te tell me about times when there were huge clans, but Ah thought they were a thing of the past." She admits, looking over at him with an expression somewhere between shock and joy. "Ah mean, Ah've been out in the highlands fer years 'n Ah never so much as saw /one/ other gargoyle, much less..." She trails off again, before she can manage to sound more surprised and silly at the prospect.

But then his expression mirrors the one she'd had a moment before. Her ears drop slightly, looking up at him. The promise of saving their world is one she can rally behind, but that other one... the thought of going back to the Highlands. "Ah cannae go back there." She doesn't even seem to have noticed his hand on her shoulder, some shadow of a memory showing in the worried expression written on her face. "There's too much dark fer me there." Instinctively, she wraps first her arms around herself, and then her wings.

"But yer right. It's just one more reason why we have te train, te fight, te find a way te bring back our world. I'd thought... tha we were the last ones, but..." Hope. It's an infectious thing, and it tries to worm it's way into her heart. "Yer a wonder, do ye know tha?" She says with a laugh.
Percival Percival only smiles. "Only on occasion, I assure you..." He sweeps his arm away and in the air. "...And that is my wish. To find all of our kind that are the loners, and to let them know that if we fight hard, and bravely enough..."

He looks her straight in the eyes. "...That they don't have to be alone anymore. That we can survive. That we can thrive. And maybe, just maybe. We can create a world like the one we're in now, without the darkness that lurks every turn. So that survival need not be the only thing upon our minds."

He looks away. "....A world where we're not feared, and hunted. A world where we have clans numbering in the hundreds. It is a wonderful dream, isn't it? At times, I thought it the fancy of a hatchling too enamored with fairy tales. And then I came here, and realized that it could actually become a reality."

Seeming to realize how impassioned he'd become, he takes on an embarassed look. "Ah, uh, I do apologize. I should try to rein in my fancies from time to time. They tend to get the better of me."
Zia For all that Percival might be just a squire, not yet really an experienced knight, he speaks like someone who has far more experience and courage than his years. "Ye know, yer young yet, but ye'll make a fine clan leader some day." She notes with a smirk, and perhaps that his a high compliment from her. "Nae tha Ah really know wha Ah'm talkin aboot, since m'clan never had one." She smiles to herself, tugging at one earring with a nervous, shy sort of look. "But ye talk like the sort tha could inspire armies te go te war. It's a fair trait in a leader."

Zia looks up at the sky, feeling the way the wind blows around them, off into the world beyond. "Ye know, it isnae so strange a dream, lad." Her tail sways slightly, hand still touching that pendant at her throat. "Te be honest, Ah've been out here on m'own so long, Ah've kinda fergotten about grand dreams. Too worried about survivin, gettin enough te eat, findin a safe place te sleep, nae bein seen by the humans." She smiles slightly, then shrugs her shoulders. "Ah dinnae know what the world would be like if ye got yer dream, but it might be a be'ta one."

Her eyes look back to the training dummy, "But right now, it seems a long ways off..."
Percival Percival seems suddenly embarassed, self-conscious. Now he was the one slightly uncomfortable. "I'm...dubious as to whether I'd ever be considered worthy of knighthood Zia, much less leadership. I'm a fair warrior and a passable swordsman, but to make decisions which must weigh the value of lives other than my own? I don't think I could ever make that sort of call, especially in times of war. It would weigh too heavily upon me." He smiles in a self-depreciating way once again. "I'm too naive, too idealistic. I'm neither eloquent nor wise. I'm too quick to lose my temper in the face of cruelty."

It seems as if he could list off his flaws all night long, but eventually he trails off with a sigh. Apparently he'd done too much self-reflection as of late, and after taking his own measure, found him wanting. He makes a quick, and rather obvious attempt to change the subject. "Yes, well. The best dreams are often the most difficult to achieve."
Zia While the young knight goes on and on about his various falts, the gargress just leans herself slightly against one of the lights, looking at him with a smirk written on her features. "Alright, alright. Ye've covinced me tha yer a terrible leader. Should never trust ye te make a decision, all tha." She's teasing him, responding to his words with a smile on her features. "It's nae as if one compliment will have ye at the top of yer order or somethin, lad."

Clunking her hand down on the dummy's head, the white gargoyle chuckles. "Ah've still got te figure out m'own dreams. Right now, it's all aboot figurin how te be useful when the Heartless come knockin, 'n trackin down the shards tha might give us a chance at havin our home back." She had gone along one one mission already, when they'd managed to aquire the 'shard of Earth' from the Dwarves, but there are still others out there. "Ah'll certainly keep m'ears open fer yer princess too."

Nope, she's still not believing that she is one, not quite yet.
Zia "Ah have meant te go te speak te this Merlin m'self. The name reminded me'a those old stories. Like Arthur 'n his knights." Her reasons for wanting to see the old wizard are different, though. It isn't her place to speak about the darkness that holds onto her werewolf companion, but this serves as a reminder that she should make sure to investigate ways of freeing him from their control. "Seems strange te me how stories sometimes cross worlds, ye know? One of m'friends 'n his sister are named after these Norse stories. Guess some things stay the same wherever ye go." She shrugs then.

Looking at the building, Zia chews slightly on her lower lip, trying to think of a way to explain what she knows about the Shard Seekers. "Honestly, Ah dinnae know a great deal m'self. Shards seem te be fragments of worlds. Most'a the people here jus wante help people find a way back home." She seems amused at the idea of their renown heroics. "Well, they're a strange lot. Usually more silly than brave, but they've got tha in them too. Good folk. Though, truth be told..." The gargress laughs then, "Ah didnae exactly join them of m'own free will. M'friend Skoll decided it was time Ah joined up since Ah'd been takin advantage of their kindness fer a while. Nae tha Ah mind all tha much."
Zia Raising one brow, Zia cocks her head slightly, "Wha sorta myth did ye run into lad?" She asks, curiousity in her voice. Then she has her own set of questions turned towards her, and the gargress shrugs slightly, "From wha Ah know, they can pre'ty much look like anythin. There was one tha looked like a recipie, 'n the one we found the other day looked like a crystal wi' all sortsa strange colors." It's hard to understand just how all of this works, and the look of confusion on her features speaks wonders for how little she's come to know over the past months.

"Pssh." The gargress narrows her eyes at him, then sticks her tongue out in a playful response to his joke. "Hey now, lad. Ah pull m'own weight thank ye very much. Even b'fore Ah was part'a the Seekers, Skoll had me off on fool adventures te earn m'keep." At least she isn't taking him too seriously, and the smile lingers warmly on her lips. "B'fore tha, Ah usedte spend most of m'time scroungin around back alleys in Manhattan. Nae exactly a five star dinner for a princess if ye ask me."
Zia "Loki?" Zia blinks, looking a little puzzled. For all that she might know of the third race, she actually doesn't know about the connection between them and the legends of those many other-worldly gods. "Well, Ah suppose as long as he doesnae go startin the Ragnarok, we're probably alright." It probably wouldn't surprise her to find out just who happens to be the host for that particular troublemaker, especially as she had to deal with a backlash of Fae magic during the fight in the Labyrinth. She still doesn't trust Will because of it, regardless of how high a standing he has amongst the Twilight Detectives.

In many ways, she hadn't really thought about what might happen /afterwards/. Her mind had been on restoring Manhattan, but what if their entire world got restored? The prospect of being cut off from all of those she has earned as friends thus-far isn't one that she wants to entertain for long, although it starts to worry at the back of her mind. "We'll see, lad. Ah didnae always mind it so much. Humans throw out so many things that still have use. Seems a waste te me." Princess of scavengers, this one.

Just as he's about to ask her to perform another demonstration of her magic, there is a buzz at her side. The gargress reaches down and pulls out a phone with a customized gargoyle faceplate, flipping it open. She looks at the name, then puts it to her ear. After a moment confusion shows. Without explaining, she hits a few buttons, and listens again. The mechanical voice that comes when a number can't be reached is audible even at a distance. "Damnit." Zia, with a worried expression, looks over at him. "Ah'm sorry, lad. Ah need te... Ah need te check with the others. If ye'll excuse me."

Then, she's off into the building in a rush. Damnit Skoll, where are you?

This scene contained 38 poses. The players who were present were: Zia, Percival