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No title.
(2013-02-05 - 2013-06-17)
No description.
Leida Fate, it seems, has conspired against the little princess for every time she tries to leave the City of late something terrible happens to draw her back. It was not that she did not enjoy this settlement or its people; they had been kind and generous to her for the most part. However the desert was not a climate that she was well suited to, something that continued to vex her greatly. Why couldn't her rescuers have lived somewhere cold?

Leida sighs as she steps in from the garden, her pale skin and white shirt spotted with traces of dust and soil from tending to the garden. Lily was responsible for most of the flowers and plants to be found out on the terrace but she often took care of the small daily needs of the flora such as watering and searching for bugs.

The most recent trouble with the enraged crushatrice had left her in a dispirited mood. Though they had managed to drive the beast away the injury she sustained from its wicked claws had exposed her demonic nature to the people of the city. None had assaulted her or called her foul names or any such thing but she could see the twinges of concern and fear in their eyes when they looked at her.

Not that she could blame them. It was merely a few months ago that she was in the thrall of the shadow demon, though she had never come here during that time and very few were aware of her sordid past; a fact that has now changed.

Leida plops down in a chair as she enters the main lobby, letting her fatigued legs rest after several hours of busy work. Cleaning and tending the HQ was never something anyone had asked her to do but with so little to offer the Shard Seekers in return for their hospitality, it is the least she can do. Besides the sand gets into everything if left untended. At least she could wait until the sun had set to get this done when the dark of the night bathed everything in blessed cold.
Evja Otherwise, the main area of the lobby was unoccupied. At least, it seemed that way. There was, however, another there. A pair of Viera's ears stuck up over the back of a tall chair in the far corner, facing towards the doorway and entrance into the HQ. One could simply assume it was the same Viera who had been staying here the past several days, and since the incident with the Crushatrice... well, Evja hadn't actually left the HQ. Not that he had ever explained why, though thankfully he'd been left alone so far.

When he heard another approach he flinched and stood, turning to see if it was an assassin or a member of his old clan, or perhaps that one boy come to try and take him as a mark... it wasn't, however. Simply one of the members here, one he had seen in passing once or twice here and there. Yet he'd never got the chance to get her name.

Taking another bite out of the bowl of thick carrot soup he was holding, Evja coughed softly and walked over to where Leida was sitting. "I do not believe we have spoken yet. I am Evja, Judge Magister Errant." Despite being male, he spoke with a practiced soft tone, sounding quite female. Not to mention he was wearing a thick white robe that masked anything to show gender as well as a veil over his face, opaque. So by any normal logic, unless one has SEEN a male Viera/knows things most wouldn't, he would seem quite female.
As intended. Another bite was taken, slipping the spoonfull of food beneath the veil as he waited and watched, curious how the young maiden would respond.
Leida The small girl seems to be mostly distracted by her internal musing for several seconds, hardly taking notice of the other presence in the room beyond the slight sensation of being watched that seemed to permeate large structures when one was all alone. Her eyes slide closed when she sits down but upon hearing the soft cough, Leida bolts upright in her chair as if hit by a taser.

Seeing the unfamiliar face, or rather, not seeing immediately keys up her overwhelmingly timid nature but at the same time the breach of manners upon not introducing herself makes her reel. These two conflincting thoughts clash as the princess hops back to her tired feet, bowing to the viera before her with a profuse apology.

"I-I am so sorry! I did not notice your presence! P-Please forgive my rudeness!" She bows to him repeatedly between each sentence, pausing only when she seems to run out of breath from the mixture of extertion and surprise. "Ah... I... please, I am truly sorry. My name is Leida."

She hesistates upon considering the title. She heard of these Judges before her only encounter with one was at the crash site of the strange lizard woman. Evja did not seem to be wearing the same sort of big scary armor, though. Perhaps he was on break?

"It is my pleasure to make your acquaintence, Evja-san."
Evja It could hardly be seen beneath the opaque veil on his face, covering the bridge of his nose and down, but he smiled a bit at that. At least this one was polite. Reaching out with one hand, he went to pat her on the shoulder. "It is well and fine, you did nothing wrong. I must admit I was a bit startled too." Though his reasons are entirely different, perhaps, than simply being timid and jumpy. "As well as that, there is no need to be so formal. I appreciate the thought however, and if I am given the opportunity to return it in the future, I shall. My back... is still not the best, so bending or stooping is not an option."

He was, indeed, standing quite upright. No curve at all, even when he went to reach to pat her.

"I think I have seen you in passing here and there within this Shardseekers clanhall. Are you a member?"
Leida "A-ah..." The girl instinctively shrank a bit at the forwardness of having a hand placed on her body but time among these foreigners had somewhat inured her to their strange ways. Swallowing her desire to scramble out of the friendly pat, Leida put on her best diplomatic smile and stood up to face this stranger.

"That is... perfectly understandable." Her own injuries had healed within a few hours but that was not something she wanted to go advertizing. Fortunately, it was fairly believable that a scratch on the back would not hinder her greatly. "However, I-I think it is very important to greet people properly, especially guests."

She peers down at Evja's waist, refusing to be further rude by making eye contact. If the veil was any indication, this person did not want people seeing their face anyways. "Yes... I... I am a member of the Shard Seekers. Though... we are not an official clan yet."
Evja "..."
After she finished speaking, there was a few long moments of silence where the Viera simply said nothing before he sighed and moved back a bit to take a seat. A few quick pokes of the fork and another bite then he sat the bowl aside, idly pulling a hunk of bread out of it to pop into his mouth as he thought.

"That is actually something I would be willing to correct, pending the group wishes it... as would the leaders need to as well. You see, I have received official writ from the Akademy to do just that, if I am asked to. To act as your official Judge within the lands of Jylland. Naturally I can do little until I receive my armor back from the reforging that is going on, but that would allow you a measure of strength while in these lands and following the laws, as well as protection for any members in a sanctioned engagement from receiving a lethal blow."
Leida Despite her best efforts to make sense of what was just said to her, the girl simply stares at him incredulously for a few moments with a blank look. This was the first she'd heard of such a thing. "Um... Reize-san and Ivo-san are probably both busy with jobs... ah... Marks? I am sure they would be happy to discuss this matter with you."

There is another pause filled with silence as Leida mulls something over that didn't quite click. Finally, she tilts her head to the side quizzically and asks, "What do you mean... a sanctioned engagement? Like... a tournament?"
Evja "Well, those too."

It was true, after all, that Judges were universally acceptable for those kinds of things. "What I mean, though... let me explain from the top. A Judge is one who adjudicates battles, one who oversees them and sees to it that adjudicated clans are heeding the laws set in place upon the land. This land, Jylland, has a magic upon it which allows the Judges to act as protectors of those who would combat, but only those who are directly within an Adjudicated clan. Further, in /their/ clan. One Judge, one Clan."

Holding out one hand palm up, he adds to that, "So to elaborate, if you were within this group, and it becomes a Clan with myself as the Judge, upon swearing an oath to the clan and joining it - you could call out Engagement if there comes a situation in which you would be forced to fight - a mark hunt, for instance, or simply some scoundrel wishes to steal your gil pouch. I would then appear and witness the event and you would be protected from receiving lethal harm by the magic that is upon this land, so long as you do not break the laws of the land."

"If you did... I would be required by magic I cannot disobey to turn and leave, leaving you to your own accord and any peril that would come of it. Any form of combat can be adjudicated, be it clan warfare, hunt or scuffle within Fluorgis."
Leida "Eeeh?!" That sounded both amazing and utterly ridiculous at the same time. She doesn't say that out loud though. "You mean... if a thief tried to take something from me... you would magically appear... but not help...?" She puts a finger to her chin thoughtfully, her mind immediately consumed with possible scenarios.

"But... how do you make the monsters obey the law? And if someone steals... are they not already breaking the law? Should not they be punished?" The thought of some magic keeping people from dying also seemed rather unbelievable and somehow... wrong. If no one could be held accountable for their actions with the threat of death or injury to dissuade them from committing crimes, what then kept the greedy and the evil in check?

"It sounds like... that means the only thing that matters... is how well you can fight. Do Judges not protect the innocent... or the commoners?"
Evja Truly one who did not come from this land.

"It is not my duty to serve as your sword, Leida. I do not intend to sound callous, but we are not the ones who act as the local lawkeepers, we are not the ones who punish and mete out such things to those within the land. Centuries ago, Judges were... capable of adjudicating for anyone. And, similarly, they could and owuld punish those who disobeyed the laws, despite the benefits thereof of obeying them. There came a dispute, and soon the people attempted to overturn the rule of the Judges. So now..."

" is all we can do, to adjudicate our specific clans and maintain some semblance of order in this chaos. While on duty, a Judge is bound, by magic stronger than any they could hope to use, to their oaths. I cannot interfere in an engagement of my clan while I adjudicate. I cannot mete out special favors. However..."

The Viera closes his eyes and sighs before reaching up to scratch at the center of his forehead a moment, "Please do not think us heartless. While some Judges simply do not care and do their job alone, some, such as myself, use our spare time to help where we can. But yes, the ability to combat is important. But without the fear of death... there is nothing to stop one from becoming strong enough to protect themselves, and the others they care about. Would you not agree that if you had not to worry about such, you would fight with all your strength to protect what is most important to you?"
Leida The princess lowers her head again, clasping her hands together lest her fingers begin to worry at her shirt. Such news was very strange to hear for one such as herself. In her world the nobility existed for the sole purpose of ruling and protecting the commoners. Taxes and tolls went to the upkeep of roads and the building of dams and the training of soldiers, all so that the people would be free of such petty concerns as thievery or assault. That these things had been foisted onto the general populace was disheartening. Had law and order truly been abandoned to the whims of the strong?

"I see... that is..." She didn't really have an easy way to explain her feelings. "I do not think that putting such emphasis on strength and battle prowess is... the path to enlightenment or a properly cultured society. Without death and consequence, what meaning does our lives or choices hold?"

She shakes her head softly. "You say that the abscense of fear promotes courage and perhaps that is true. But if that be the case it must surely inspire evil men to action as well, knowing that their villainy will result in naught but failure should they be thwarted."
Evja "The Judges are not here to rule, or lord. They are here to ensure the rule of Law in combat. We do not stop, nor encourage governments to do anything. Evil will be stopped by good, those who seek to harm will be removed eventually by those who do not wish to be harmed. It is the way of life. We are neutral to all. The only time we act to jail any is when they break contracts with us. There was a clan some time back who tried just this. They corrupted a Judge, enticed the Judge to give them perks during battles secretly, making them nigh unbeatable. That was the last time the Judges had to act against any, to stop those who would seek to abuse our power for their own."
Leida This causes Leida to frown a little in confusion. "If you are not the rightful rulers, whence then comes your right to impose these laws? Would not life carry on as it always has without such magical influence to alter the perceptions of choice and consequence?"
Evja "There once was a king who imposed the rule of Law upon the lands of Jylland. That was a millenium ago nearly. We are neutral, in all ways, though on our own we may act as we please when not carrying out our duties as Judges. It is by agreement with those of this land that so long as the Judges adjudicate only those clans who accept them, that it is good enough that we are there."
Eventually the Viera's eyes closed as he said after a moments pause, "I cannot pretend to understand why you seem so... upset by this, but I can only surmise you have no interest. This shall not be foisted upon you, it is your choice. It is simply there, should the Shardseekers choose to go that route, and I am willing and happy to inform you as necessary."
Leida "O-oh, no that is..." She lowers her head again, bowing to him once more. "I did not mean to offend. I come from a... a world where the struggle of life over death is of great importance to my people. The way of a warrior is to seek out a place where his death can be of the most use to his lord and to the people he has sworn to protect."

Leida looks up at him briefly then down again, respectfully keeping her corrupted gaze low. "Normal citizens should not be forced to take up arms just to defend their homes. That is the purpose of warriors and nobles. If they cannot protect their people then... then they do not deserve to rule."

"I must admit this concept is very strange to me but... I will not condemn you for acting upon the traditions of your land. If Reize-san and Ivo-san feel that your influence will be a boon to our clan then I shall not dispute their will."
Evja "...traditions? I suppose that is a strange way of describing such. But, no matter. I have said my piece, as have you. Since I have taken up a bit of your time, is there perhaps something I could assist you with to make up for it?"

Apparently the topic was a bad one, though this was the first time he had ever heard of someone /displeased/ at the idea of being able to fight for what they wish to protect and not have to worry about death. Was it simply a need for a glorious end? Would it not be better to instead of die trying, live and succeed and do more in the future?

The Viera simply rubbed at his forehead before looking up at the window that led out to the garden, frowning. "...was there anyone else out in the garden when you were just there?"
Leida His question is answered with a soft shake of her head and she moves to take her seat once again, though when she sits it is in a far more dignified manner than before. "No, Lily-chan is still resting from her injuries and the others are out on business."

The girl lets out a soft sigh as she sinks into the wooden frame again, happy to be off her feet after several hours of work. Granted, sweeping and tending the garden wasn't really difficult but for her meager constitution it was taxing enough. Giving their guest a faint smile, she half-bows to him from her chair. "Ah... n-no, I do not think there is anything that I require at this time. Um...but thank you for the offer."

This scene contained 17 poses. The players who were present were: Leida, Evja