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Curious Mage
(2013-02-09 - 2013-03-05)
No description.
Royce The deep tolling of a massive bell rings through the brisk morning air of the city on the edge of night signalling the passing of another hour on its wide white face as the great spindly arm clicks over to the upright position. The warbling tone sends waves of sound all throughout the open streets in a series of measured gongs that let the various inhabitants keep track of time in this world that never sees the sun.

Already many of the people have left their homes for the day to perform errands and shopping or simply gathering in groups at the assorted cafes and bistros that have popped up in the wake of the plethora of cultures that have ended up here in the wake of Manhattan's dark demise. A din of conversation fills the air at every turn of the small city's streets and districts, though the powerful ringing of the bell overshadows it for the few moments that it sounds out dutifully.

The sea of faces and the press of bodies provides a convenient cover for the young girl that makes her way through the crowds. The hood of her cut-off leather jacket is drawn up and its wide expanse is pulled down far enough to obscure the single piercing red glow that emenates from her eye like an LED in the darkness. With her head tilted down, no one seems to notice her quiet passage amid the flow of traffic as she slowly makes her way towards the tall archway of the town's only church.

The heavy doors swing ponderously inwards at her touch as she leans on their polished surface, her clawed gauntlets marring the wood with thin scratches as her fingers dig into the paint. It being only Saturday the holy structure is completely devoid of people save perhaps one or two of the clergy. However, after scanning through the cracked entrance for signs of any life, Royce finally pushes into the auditorium. No one here now, in any case.

The hood is drawn back to reveal a countenance devoid of expression or warmth and again the witch casts her gaze about the long empty room, scanning slowly and methodically for signs of trouble. She had survived this long by being careful. Atleast, she thought so. It was impossible to tell what her life and demeanor had been like before but for what memories she had made after waking up those many hundreds of years ago caution and preparedness had served her well.
Seith Most who would wander through Traverse Town are those who are lost, or in transit. So rarely is this a city where people remain - it is called Traverse Town after all. Yet some have started to call this place their home. The Valkyri for one, and now this young lady would use this church as a secret place. But this church has seen other services in the past - services not by those who would seek to do good, but those who would use this place for other - more dire - purposes.

But perhaps more importantly to note, is that things simply aren't always the way they seem. There is indeed one clergyman within this church. He betrays his presence upon the girl's entry by standing up, and setting his yellow gaze upon her. This man follows her with his eyes, watching her move further into the church. She may have always been careful, but this man is watching her. The girl may note though, this man... she doesn't recognize him. She'd been here for easily a month or two now, and never had this particular clergyman ever shown his face here.

"Welcome to His House, my child." The man speaks with a reverant voice, moving out into the open from the pue he'd sat upon, his left hand tracing along the warm wooden bench as he comes to the center of the church before the altar. "May I help you?" This man asks her, his hood covering most of the rest of his face, and his robes being almost 'non-descript'. Barely a fleck of dirt about them. In fact, it looks brand new... yet featureless. Bland.

"Do you come here to pray?" More important to note perhaps, is that this clergyman doesn't seem to care about the clawed gauntlet, not the demonic red eye.
Royce The casual way in which this man greets the witch despite her clearly secular attire is not lost on her though, as always, she retains the greatest poker face on the planet. Her eye swivels in its socket towards the priest followed soon after by the rest of her head in a creepy, almost marionette fashion. Royce gives him a cold stare.

The questions asked of her echo softly in the cavernous auditorium without a large crowd to stifle the rebounding noise. Neither of them receive an immediate response from the young woman. She locks her gaze upon the darkened features within the hood, her eye smouldering like the dying embers of a bonfire as it seeks to make out definition within the obscuring shadows.

That she did not know this man after spending such time here was troubling but not alarming. It was entirely possible he was one of the wayward souls who passed through here as often as the wind. That she had not spotted him until he wanted her to; that worried her. A familiar presence stirs in the back of her mind.

0Nrgh... priests. Their ilk are troublesome pests. I should like we be done with this one immediately but we do not wish to draw trouble down in this place. Think of some way to get rid of him.

Royce finally acknowledges the man before her with an almost imperceptible nod. She does not speak or add any further details to this lie. Often the simple answers will suffice to assuage the curious.
Seith The details of this man's face are obscured to her, even when she tries to concentrate her eye further upon this man. It's almost as if the shadows that she sees are actually part of his face, rather than something merely cast down by the hood. But surely, such a thing cannot be. The man retreats his hands from his opposite sleeves, and slowly sways one hand towards one of the benches. "Then let us pray together." He tells her, not the least troubled by the 'burning' of her eye.

The man does not move however. It is obvious he wants her to be seated first, before he will join her. And the man keeps staring at her - those yellow almost heartless eyes just... staring. To a regular person, it might look rather unnerving - but then, she is not a regular human. "Who did you come to pray for?" The man continues to ask, further curiousity branding him not a regular priest. "And what would you have come from this prayer?"
Royce Royce's gaze follows his hands, the shifting of her eye the only movement her statuesque form makes as she stands quietly before the priest. It lingers on the seat that is indicated for a few moments before returning to stare into that impenetrable blackness in silent dismissal of the notion that she would ever turn her back on a stranger. There were far far too many people, spirits, and related parties that wished her harm for such naive mistakes to be made.

0Persistant. Annoying. Uggh... we have no choice but to humor him. Keep your guard up. Something about this man is... wrong.

There is no response mental or otherwise to the voice for it always knew what she was going to say or think even before she did so. At times she wondered if it was merely some strange facet of her own psyche or an outside influence guiding her from afar. It was irrelevant either way. The voice had never steered her astray and she had no reason to believe it would be wrong now.

"I came... to pray for myself."
Seith "A powerful force to pray for." The priest lowers his hand, seeing that this woman will not move. And as such, he remains to stand before her, almost as unmoving as the girl herself. Althuogh, can one truly call someone who has lived as long as Royce... a 'girl'? Not like this man has any way of knowing this, of course. "But to what end do you pray? What gains would you have from praying to yourself?" He asks her, and then takes a single paired step forwards.

The man then raises a hand to his chest. "Still, I am glad that it is yourself you pray for, and not some outside force. That you rely on yourself to solve your problems." Certainly, no priest of any church would say such words. No true /priest/ would. "I must ask one more question. What is it that lies within that you trust so much, when you pray to yourself?"
Royce No matter the number of years that have passed since her birth, a point she cannot recall anything about, some force has laid a staying hand upon the passage of time, shielding her youthful beauty from the human failing of age. It has been the knowledge that she would continue to live on long past the time when everyone present has crumbled and returned to windswept dust that has kept her apart from society as a whole. Jealousy and greed were powerful motivators and she could not risk being betrayed by some short-sighted power monger who sought to extract the secret from her flesh.

Whatever the source of her unnatural timelessness, her apparent youth often gave others the impression that she was immature and naive. More than a few foes had suffered for underestimating her for such petty things as her appearance.

The discrepancy of the words coming from the priest's mouth and the words that she expected to hear causes the first new reaction from Royce as her eyes narrow slightly. Subtlety and hints, all of them pointing towards this man being more than he seemed.

0He knows.

The sound of grating metal fills the empty cathedral as the chains binding the gargantuan rifle to Royce's chest unfurl like the release of a portcullis, spinning rapidly about her torso to lower the heavy weapon down into her waiting grasp. Despite its sheer size, the witch manages to heft its bulk with a single arm, barely seeming to feel the encumberance as the barrel is lifted up level with the cloaked figure's head.

The lifeless mask of detached calm remains the centerpiece of Royce's expression as she prepares to defend herself but the fire dancing in her eye flickers intently, betraying her heightened sense of excitement. However, she does not fire; not yet. Perhaps the mere threat of force would be enough to drive this stranger away, atleast for the moment. The faint trickle of sticky fluid from her shoulder reminded her of that she was not in tip-top shape for any life or death confrontations.
Seith In truth, it is rarely spoken what this man truly knows. His words can be considered pretty by some, but never does he truly seek to 'use' people. To extract a secret to power from one's flesh most certainly is not a thought that has ever come to this man's mind. What is certain however, is that this man doesn't know what power this girl holds, nor anything about her longevity. Merely that she is 'special'. He came to this church more often, and would watch the people - trying to understand why they clung to their faith so much. Angry with them, for relying on some unseen force to give them guidance.

Perhaps that's why this man is so happy to finally speak to this girl, whom he'd seen disappear into this church on occassion, and hear that she does not abide to such foolish thoughts. The priest gently trails one hand forwards, while the other remains at his side - as the girl breaks out the massive gun and points it into his direction. And as that hand comes up, the illusion slowly falters. A set of beautifully ornate horns come to be visible, along with silver jewelry across his hair. The hood disappears, and instead she comes to see elven features and greenish gray eyes that stare out to her.

His armored index-finger touchs her massive weapon, and the robes are soon replaced by the massive armor this elf wears. It seems almost out of place, for an elf as beautiful as him, to wear such a heavy armor. "There is no need for violence." Seith speaks, his voice no longer carrying that reverence of the priest. Instead, it feels heavy and dark, with only the smallest quality to it that might remind one of song.

His eyes shift, and his gaze moves to find that place along her shoulder. "You are wounded." He then speaks, and he flicks his hand casually, drawing dark magic around her body. Were she to accept it, she might find that this man is attempting to heal her - though certainly not by normal means.
Royce The gaping maw of the strange firearm is easily big enough to encapulate the 'priest's' entire head and that cold metal cylinder remains fixed with his melon squarely in its sights as the illusionary facade falls away to reveal the real man behind the shadows.

Upon seeing the armor and the horns, the first thought that crosses the girl's mind is 'fae' and a brilliant red light begins to build within the depths of her weapon, casting a hellish glow onto his face in warning of the danger to come. However, his impassive reaction to her aggressiveness causes her to falter in her certainy that he is an enemy. The voice's angry cries press in on her consciousness from all sides and the world distorts in her vision for a moment as she reels from its anger and failing to obliterate the trickster while the chance presented itself.

0By all the gods, girl, do you never /learn/? Don't you remember what happened only the night before whe you spurned the opportunity to destroy your foe before he could do the same to you?

Royce looks uncertain for the first time, her head tilting towards the floor for a moment as the mental debate rages. However, as his hand moves her arm snaps back up, the demonic fires swirling within her weapon once more as the strange magic washes over her slight frame. Dark magic seeps into her body, churning the fell energies already present with fresh vitality.

Ah now this was something that she recognized. Many 'demons' and would-be sorcerers had been among those left to rot in the gutters at her feet. But this would be the first who had used such powers to heal. Either it was a clever ruse or... something else.

The burning coal of her eye levels with his own greenish pupils, seeking out her answers as if relying on that old maxim that eyes were windows to the soul. However, it is unlikely she will find such easy solutions from a man who can control his own appearance.
Seith It would not be foolish to presume that a being such as Seith might be fooling her ever still. What if the very healing energies were but an illussion, and that doubt that has her halting is that as well? Yet the man does not move, certain that his own power will keep him safe in this moment, even from such a massive gun that is filled with an incredible power. To think him a Fae would not be a far leap either. In her world, the 'elves' had after all been just that. But had she not come to learn better in this new world since her exodus?

The man's eyes gaze deeply into that single visible of hers, trying to read the internal struggle that she seems to be going through. Or perhaps merely that uncertainty. Still, even with that uncertainty, this man feels that she will not attack after having used his powers to heal, rather than destroy or harm. She remains silent before him however, which is rather unnerving. He rarely met people who spoke so little.

In a ways, that is interesting.

As she stares back into those green eyes, she might find very easily what she is searching for. They are dulled by loss, yet alive with power and inquisity. And most of all... darkness. A deep, far pressing darkness. His hand comes down from her weapon, and soon he has both hands at his sides, hands flat towards her. "I seek you no harm." He tells her, before taking one step back and making a half-bow. Not one to show that he's somehow beneath her, but rather just one to... greet. He even puts his hand to his chest as he does so.

When he comes to stand up again, he tilts his head up just mildly. He's taller than her, and certainly more imposing - were it not for that massive gun of hers. "My name is Seith."
Royce The girl's blank stare continues to follow his every motion, her lone eye darting about like an energetic firefly to take in every twitch, every hint of movement, and seek out potential threats before they can manifest. That she finds no traces of hostility in his mannerisms only sets her more on edge for some reason.

The grating rumbles of the dark voice only seek to suLies. You have no friends nor those who seek anything from you but the power which is rightfully yours. This... creature seeks to lower your guard so that it can strike a death blow!

Despite her trust in the wisdom of the voice, she could never bring herself to believe everything that it said. Some apprehension, some faint echo of an unknown doubt stayed her hands particularly when it was screaming for blood, fact that irritated it to no end.

Though weapon does not stray from its aim, Royce does lift her free hand up to peel back the fabric of her jacket at the shoulder, glancing over Seith's handiwork with quick darts of her eye that never leaves him unwatched for more than a heartbeat. Finally, satisfied that he hasn't secretly worked some terrible curse into her flesh, she seems to relax slightly.

Seith Seith tilts his head a little, in order to nod at her when she finally does speak her name. "I've seen you enter and leave this place on occassion, Royce." He takes a step back and then turns his back on her - showing her in a ways that he trusts her not to attack him - and then moves up to the pue at the front, and slowly sits down upon it. It takes the elven man a moment to relax. "And thus you piqued my curiousity. For you didn't seem to be like the fools that normally come here."

The man moves a hand outwards, making the illussions of men and women appear, praying to some priest, before waving his hand again and making them disappear. "Instead, you say you only pray to yourself. So then tell me, why come to a place like this?" He asks her. "That is, if you dare to tell me." The man remains with his 'back' to her, lest she would move to stand before him or sit besides him. Clearly, he is showing to be the braver of the two. Or perhaps the more foolish one?
Royce In her mind, foolish is definately the word used to describe anyone who so willingly puts themselves at risk for the mere sake of trying to win trust. She could obliterate him now in the time it took to squeeze her finger and would need no further reason than a fleeting whim. Life did not have to make sense or follow plans. And that... irritated her.

Slowly the gun is lowered, the barrel making a dull metallic thud as it comes to rest heavily on the marble floor and shatters the tile into a spiderweb of fragments beneath. Her hand remains firmly gripped about the odd handle, however, ready to bring devastating firepower to bear at any moment. She does not move up to join him. This is as far as her 'trust' is going to go at this point.

Naturally, he asks a question that is both casual and difficult to answer. With her own world consumed by the darkness and paranoia rising to new heights in the face of being thrust into a completely unknown land, she needed a place of solitude. Somewhere she could feel safe. No such places existed, so she created one. That its entrance lie here within this 'holy' sanctuary was a secret she intended to keep.

So silence is the answer Seith receives to this question. His brief puppet show is regarded with a moment of scrutiny as well as his disdain for people who choose to believe in higher powers that will swoop in and aid them in their times of need. This was an understandable notion, though she rarely held feelings so strong as contempt or hate.
Seith His ears jerk a little when the girl drops that massive gun's tip to the ground and shatters some of the stone at her feet.

Sure, many might think him a fool. But he's actually not defenseless. While she may believe herself able to obliterate him in one blast, Seith knows better than that. It takes a lot to destroy this man and his strong armor. He is not a Shadow Lord for nothing - not that he'll go out of his way to point this out to her. He moves one hand out and lays it over the back of the pue - seeming rather relaxed in this moment - with her having lowered her weapon.

"Your silence tells me little." He points out. "But that's alright. I guess that simply means I will remain curious." Curious enough to meet with her more often in the future, perhaps. "What /would/ you be willing to tell this man, who is so curious?" He then asks. "Or would you tell me to simply go away? Or are you perhaps looking for a price?"
Royce The final suggestion causes Royce's eye to narrow ever so slightly, her own curiosity finally getting piqued. What purpose did this man have interacting with her in this manner? Was he merely curious like he said? If so she owed him nothing and would happily send him on his way, on the receiving end of her magic if need be. She had no time for idle conversation nor the patience to deal with having to wonder about such things with so much already on her mind.

Was he seeking information? If not about her, perhaps he believed she knew something helpful. An ally? She saw little reason to risk herself for him or any cause he might serve.

Ah but at the mention of price he brings up the possibility for bargains. Bargains she can do, especially ones that lead to furthering her own needs and wants. Renewing her interest momentarily, Royce tilts her head to the side in a gesture of her own curiosity.

"What can /you/ offer /me/?"
Seith Seith smiles, still looking away from her, when she finally answers him. "I think you know what I can offer you. You've both seen and felt my power. Though I can do more than just heal and create illussions. There might be knowledge I could give, or sway people through means that would normally be unavailable to people." Seith answers her. "I think the better question is... what is it you would bargain /for/?"

As the man asks him this, he finally turns his head and looks back to her, smiling with this wise look in his eyes. "Do you even know what you look for?" He asks her. "What you need... or want?"
Royce "What I want...?"

She repeats the question outloud as if it were a strange thing to ask. Personal desires were something that someone with no memories did not have. She had no family, no hopes, no ambitions, no dreams. The only thing that drove her to action was the fear that like her past, she too might fade away into obscurity. That and the voice.

0Hmm. This one might be a little much for you to handle. But if we can play the cards right he could be the source of some valuable information. Risk and reward, girl. Weigh them yourself.

Royce's hawkish unblinking stare detaches from the elf's back for a few moments, drifting to the ground as she thinks. Allies were hard to come by and even harder to keep. Best to make use of him while he was playing nice.

"What I need... is power."
Seith "Why?" Seith asks her immediately, when that sentence is spoken. "Not that I will deny you power, but /why/ do you seek it? What purpose do you have of more power? Clearly, that weapon you wield is of immense power already - I could sense that as you were tempting to press the trigger. Is it to defeat the foes that you harmed, and tried to harm you back?" He lifts a hand and points his finger at the shoulder which had once been wounded - yet now was healed.

The man then looks away towards the altar. "Or is it because you are afraid there might be someone stronger than you? Or perhaps to rid the world of the Heartless? Or perhaps to save a world that may have been lost?" They are all valid answers. "And what of my power would you have such need?"
Royce More questions. Royce's head tilts towards the bizarre and deadly piece of machinery in her hand. It was an artifact of incredible power, that much was true, though she had never questioned the reason for having it. It was as much a part of her as the arm that wielded it.

Her eye drags up its glossy metallic surface until it reaches her shoulder, settling there as the mage points out another of the possible reasons he suspects for her need of power. His fell magicks had done an admirable job of closing over the wound, though she herself would have healed completely given the passage of a little more time or a pressing need to expend her precious magical energy. The supernatural way in which her body seemed to mend itself from the most grevious injuries was another thing she has always taken for granted as it has been a part of her existence since waking up alone and devoid of memory those many hundreds of years ago.

Since then Royce has lived an existence of danger and pain, throwing herself at the mercy of countless ancient traps and powerful creatures to wrest from their moldy halls or wicked talon whatever scraps of magic and lore might be there for the taking. She knew there was some purpose behind this, even without the voice's encouragement, but what it was the girl could not recall. It woudl reveal itself in due time.

However, this man or fae or whatever he may be underneath his magic and armor still needed an answer. But Royce was shrewd; she can not reveal such a weakness to him so instead she settles for being distant. The eye swivels sideways to stare at him again.

"I cannot tell you that."
Seith "You can tell me none of these?" Seith asks her, giving her a sly and mock surprised look. "I don't know if I can help you, if you don't even know which power of mine you need." The mage slowly rises up from his seated position and turns towards her, and begins to move. "Such a shame." He then adds, and begins to slowly walk towards her. His cape flutters a little in the draft that the doors of this church lets in - and his metalic boots sound powerful upon the stone ground.

"Nothing to help it." Seith adds, and keeps walking, until he finally /passes/ the girl. "Such a shame." He whispers as he happens to walk exactly besides her, and then moves further towards the exit. Is this a bluff in which he will leave were he not to receive an answer, or is this something else? Is he trying to get behind her!?
Royce Royce never allows the chance for the looming presence of the elf to pass from her sight, rotating in place with her burning gaze fixed pointedly on his face. Though she appears devoid of emotion as ever, her muscles tense slightly as he draws near and the scrape of clattering metal can be heard as her finger twitches on the trigger of the ancient artifact, betraying her apprehension.

A voice deep within herself screams at the girl, not the rumbling pressure of her ever present mysterious companion, but a metal warning echoing up from the depths of her subconscious to warn her of the danger of dealing with this individual. He was toying with her, that much was obvious, but whether his mockery of her was based on foolishness or confidence was impossible to say without actually trying to destroy him.

The other voice liked that idea, she could feel it. But she also knew that was a last resort lest she deprive herself of the only real safe haven that existed to her at the moment. It had taken many resources and great effort to create the ripple in space that concealed her from sight, a dark wrinkle in the fabric of the universe that no one would notice. It is doubtful she could perform such a feat again for some time.

Royce's milky cloak of hair billows to the side in the presence of the sudden breeze. As Seith begins to draw closer to the distant exit, her uncertaintly swells again and she stares down at the floor, drawn in two opposing directions in her internal struggle for an answer to this puzzle. Finally, she looks up with a start, calling out a little louder than normal to carry her voice across the empty hall.

Seith Seith's armored fingers touch against the heavy wood of the door that gives both entry and exit to this place. Though she may not see it, there's a slight smirk when she finally calls out. In some way, he felt like he knew that she would call out like that. The man halts for a moment, this fingers still against the door, and remains fully still like some kind of statue - as if time itself had stopped.

Then, after a few seconds of this, his head finally turns towards her and those gray-green eyes gaze upon her body - noting the way that she is staring at the floor. "Hesitation suits you ill, Royce. What do you require me to wait for? Have you changed your mind?" He asks her curiously, with a mildest shift in tone to it that might be taken as either flattery... or sarcasm. It's hard to tell.
Royce If the girl is insulted further by the mocking way in which he responds as if fully expecting her to do so, it fails to show. Her eye locks on him once more, zeroing in on his face with quick jerky movements more akin to a machine than a human, still searching for some clue or sign that might provide further insight into her enigmatic visitor.

Instead of answering the rhetorical questions however, she gives him one of her own. "Why do you wish to help me?" Her eye narrows ever so slightly, taking on a dangerous glint. "What is it you expect to gain?"
Seith The man shakes his head. "Ah, but that's simple. You obviously hold power, and don't need others to hold your hand. And as such, you could be a powerful ally to me." Seith answer her. "It is that simple." He looks her up and down, taking in the 'jerky' movements of her eye. "That, and I am a curious man." He adds to that, smirking. "I like to uncover secrets and 'learn' from others. You could call me a bit of a scholar."
Royce So it was her own power that he was interested in. The strange unease of being unable to determine the man's purpose or intent leaves her slowly, replaced by an equally unusual sensation at the notion of being sought out for something other than her life. Countless bodies paved a road of blood throughout the ages, each one driven firmly into the dust until their skulls were mere cobblestones under her merciless heel when they rose to challenge her strength. Not a single one had ever /asked/ for her help.

It was an odd thing to realize that she had never experienced such a mundane proposal before. Perhaps it could be blamed upon the curse that seemed to linger over her head, drawing misfortune and pain in the form of human greed down upon her in a near constant tide. Sorcerers and beasts of all ilks came to her for one reason only - the Eye.

Could she trust that this one was different? Her preservation insticts said no. He was all smiles and charm, a trickster who bent the shadows to his whims. But he also had power of his own and the siren song of the unknown was a heady aroma that clouded her judgement making it difficult to bring forth a path that made clear logical sense over the other.

Accept his bargain or drive him away? Uncharted waters lay before her, completely devoid of stars to guide her through their currents. Stone scrapes her her gun raises up from the shattered floor, lifting slowly into the air. The tip of the barrel levels on his distant face for just a moment but quickly draws away as the weapon is set upon by the noisy mass of chains. They flail about in the air as if possessed of their own mind before snatching the artifact violently from her grasp, cinching it to her back with resounding thump that echoes through the building.

Royce's hand drops back down to her side and she resumes staring quietly at the mage, her stance still wary but not threatening.

0You will regret this, mark my words, girl.

Ignoring the stabbing spikes of pain lancing through her mind in sharp defiance of her decision, the girl speaks again, her voice flat and without color. "What do you want to know?"
Seith The man continues to stare at her. If he has a clue about her internal little struggle with that unknown voice, he certainly is not letting her notice. He just /watches/ her, trying his best to read whatever little signals mark her facial expression - or even the rest of her body. Yet again, the gun comes up towards him, and Seith once again stares at her with absolute uncaring. "If you wonder if I could take one of those shots and live... I suggest against it." The elf comments, turning to fully face towards her and crossing his arms to his chest.

Luckily, she packs the weapon away, showing to Seith that at least she is considering his words. In fact, putting away that weapon tells him far more than that. She's been far more reserved just moments ago. But now she seems to honestly have been 'drawn' by some of his words. Surely, she doesn't trust him, but at least it's enough for her no longer to feel like she may come under assault by him.

He wonders, what had it been amongst his many words, that made this girl react this way? Was it his own voiced reason of interest? "There are already questions that remain unanswered, though I've asked them." Seith reminds her. "I am curious what you are doing in this church - and how you manage to 'disappear' from this place after entering it." He comments. "But more-so, I am curious about... just... 'you'. Who, not what, you are. Your view on life. Your views on power, and darkness."
Royce And such questions they are. Royce looks away again, this time in mild irritation. The voice's laughter rattles her skull in a mocking fashion.

0Ha! Next he shall ask for your favorite color and the manner in which you whittle away the empty hours of the day.

The fact that she can manipulate the world in ways that most people cannot even fathom is one of the greatest secrets stored within the ghastly pages of the book strapped to her weapon. That tome of knowledge was perhaps even a greater threat than all of the power she could muster or even the Eye itself and, by equal measure, it was the greatest prize of all. Its power was hers and hers alone and no bargain would be worth the price she had paid to obtain it.

Ignoring the first question, she again deflects the rest with her own, still staring off to the side with the faint hint of dismissive boredom in her voice. "Why should I tell you that?"
Seith "Because what interest is there in one's abilities, when one doesn't know the reasons behind them?
Seith "Because what interest is there in one's abilities, when one doesn't know the reasons behind them?" Seith answers her, keeping his arms crossed. Unlike her, he has no other voice to interact with in this situation, so his answers are rather terse. It's not like he cares that she seems bored by his question.
Royce Royce ponders this for a few moments in silence. She understands the desire to pick apart every detail down to their basest components, to know every facet of an idea or concept so that they might best be interpreted and understood, then filed away into a precise system of order and logic where everything's value could be judged appropriately for merit or flaws. On the surface the world very rarely exhibits such neat and orderly behavior but if one knows where and how to look there are underlying patterns to every event.

However, the truth was she honestly didn't have an answer to give him. When she tried to classify the source of her desire for power and strength only the cold emptiness of her mind was there to pick apart. If she were to analyze some pattern in the events of the last five hundred years she might say that she too was merely a collector of arcane lore and lost antiquities. But there was always that sense of purpose that could not be dismissed nor classified in her system.

"Must I have a reason for wanting to be strong?"

It was an honest question. Without a purpose to guide her, Royce had considered that she might very well be an anomoly, a being that existed for no reason other than to do what it has been created for in an repeative cycle that has no end condition save her death. Was she foolish then to keep at this task without knowing the purpose behind it or did the simple act of interacting with the world justify her place within it?
Seith "Everyone has a reason for wanting to be strong, even if they don't internalize what that reason is." Seith answers her rather immediately. It doesn't sound like this is the first time he's heard that question. The man raises a hand, and the figure of a cat and a bird appears. "The cat wants power, so it may eat." And the cat pounces the bird. "And the bird wishes power, so it can live." The bird trashes around, turns into a big monster and eats the cat. It's a bit of a gruesome sight really. The mirage quickly disappears again.

"In the end, it may come to survival... but we are not animals. For 'people', things are often more complex than base survival."

He waves his hand once more, and a library of books appears amidst the church. "Some do it for the attaining of knowledge, others for renown... and some don't know why they do it. Led by fate, perhaps?" He smirks as he says this last part. "But fate is such a fickle mistress, wouldn't you say?" And once again, with a simple wave of his hand, the realistic illussion disappears.
Royce The flashy display of illusionary magic draws Royce's attention back to the mage and she watches the grisly display with clinical detachment through the corner of her eye. It it somewhat patronizing that he thought her incapable of grasping such a simple concept of strength versus weakness. Such was the way of life for those with the power and the will to take what they wished to overcome those who were unable to protect themselves.

But what of her? Was she merely an animal that stalked the weak for no reason other than survival through strength? Her powers had been necessary to stay alive and even as they continued to grow, stronger threats turned their gaze upon the girl. Perhaps her empty quest for power was the source of all this misfortune. Perhaps it was just the machinations of an invisible 'fate' that she struggle against a universe that had no answers to give her.

"I don't know," she says finally.
Seith As patronizing as it may have seemed, he'd managed to guide her thoughts exactly where he'd wanted them to go. 'Are you just an animal who needs power for survival, or are you more than that?'. Not that he would judge her one way or the other, but if she'd said that it was for the sake of mere survival - then his association with her might very well have been less... likely to continue.

"You do not know." Seith comments after her, raising his head as he says this and looking down towards her. "Would you like to find out?" He then adds, holding a hand out to her to suggest that he might be the one to help her find the answer to this question.
Royce The shifting of her cyclopean gaze from his face to the outstretched hand is painfully exaggerated as if the very concept of actually reaching out to accept the aid of another in any but the most dire circumstances was utterly repulsive. The furrowing of the girl's slender brows only emphasized this sentiment through her usual non-vocal communication.

Knowing more about her past could be a blessing or merely heap further troubles upon her back. She has survived half a century without the need for a past though it would ring a lie if she told herself that she was not, at the very least, curious. It all came down to the amount of effort required and the price he was asking.

Seith The man catches that gaze and bone-furrow, and looks down at the hand he has extended to her. He takes a moment of gazing at her, and then tilts his head just a little to look down at his hand. Only a few moments later, does he lower his hand to his side and then cross both of his arms. "Hrrm, there's a serious of way. Some thought excercises is one, some tasks is another. I think though, just the awareness of the question will do for now." He points out.

"Do whatever you do, live your life as you do, but ask yourself the reason to your actions. For all I know, you don't need my help in this at all."
Royce This only makes the girl frown harder or what passes for a frown on her nearly emotionless features. All of this drama and bluster for him to just tell her to think really hard about what she's doing? As if five hundred years of continous war and deception waged without memory or obvious reason hasn't been enough to raise such existential questions on a nearly constant basis.

Even the voice was so stunned by the utter anticlimatic result of this tedious conversation that it had nothing to offer save for the faint rumbling of a being so wracked with amusement and disbelief that it could not properly form words.

"You are correct. I do not." Turning away abruptly, Royce stalks towards the rear of the church. She would not return to her haven just yet, not while this man might be watching. His magical assistance had done much to alleviate her need for rest in any case and the time spent bandying words between them has not been completely pointless for it was sufficient to allow the complete healing of the last lingering injuries.

However, enough time had been wasted here. Even if she seemed to have a limitless amount to spare, her patience was not infinite and the more she lingered the harder it became to resist her instincts, all of which were telling her to unleash everything she had and level the entire building into a smouldering pile of ash and rubble. Perhaps the entire block, just for good measure.
Seith The man smriks when she turns away and stalks off. "Such impatience." He muses, "But very well, if that is your answer." He adds, and turns away from her as well. "They I will leave you for now. Still - try it as you live the next few days. I will visit again in a few more days - or weeks perhaps. Maybe then, I will give you a different way of approaching it." As anticlimactic as his first suggestion may have been, it's not his only way. But Seith is a person who likes taking his time...
Royce Royce gives no more regards to the voice behind her beyond keeping track of where he is should he decide to reveal his true intentions were to throw her off guard for an attack all along. The voice has already catalouged him as a fool and an annoyance, albeit a likely very powerful one, and she is content to agree with that assessment and put as much distance between him and herself as possible.

Her clawed fingers splay out across the surface of the wooden door behind the raised stage, leading to series of corridors and rooms meant for clergy usage but ultimately leading out to another exit from the building away from prying eyes. She presses it open with a gentle touch and the soft click of metal giving way is the only indication of the short spell she weaves into the portal to release its lock without the need for a key.

Once out of sight of the dark mage, Royce pulls her hood up once more and quickly takes her leave of the building, vanishing into the crowds of Traverse Town, preparing to weave and bob through the dark alleys and gaps between districts so that any attempt to follow her is that much harder. Ever paranoid, ever watchful.

This scene contained 38 poses. The players who were present were: Seith, Royce