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No title.
(2013-02-11 - 2013-02-12)
No description.
Zia The fight in the pridelands had been a strange and difficult one. For someone used to being airborn, fighting on the ground had been an odd sort of contrast for Zia. Not to mention the whole being cute and fluffy problem. At the very least, they had come out of it mostly unscathed. The lioness had a few scars across her chest, but those were there to begin with. The only actual injury seemed to be a scratch on her forepaw, which bled through the bandages onto her white fur. Luckily, it hadn't been deep, and so the trek back through to the Land of Dragons had mostly been uneventful. The force they'd managed to bring seemed enough to keep the remaining hyenas and heartless at bay.

The shift back from lioness to gargoyle feels like coming home - not feeling quite right in that 'other skin' even if it was as much 'her' as anything else. Fur changes into clothing of that same oriental style as before, her hair shifting from a spiked feminine 'mane' to braids and a beautiful knot held by chopsticks. Some of the effect is lost, however, due to the fact she's likely to be getting knocked into by a pygmy mouse turning back into a full-sized templar.

The girl goes sprawling, making a soft landing place, the breath knocked out of her slightly. Luckily, the grass is soft and it's more her sore pride than her sore arse from the landing. "Oof." She winces, pulling her arm towards her, and then uses the other to rub her forehead. "Tha was surreal." At least she hadn't turned into something silly, like a pidgeon, or a dove, or something equally useless and flighty. As a lioness, at least she could fight.
Faruja Senra Faruja, for once, hasn't been utterly smashed to bits or lit on fire. It actually feels a bit odd for the Templar, and he has the gargoyle-turned-lioness to thank for it. The shift back is a welcome one, no longer forced to endure taunts by the Mercenary or generally be even tinier than he usually was. He'll miss riding atop Zia's head though, she was so warm and fluffy! He even at one point curled up to sleep against her ears during the return trek!

Full sized Templar, complete with armor beneath his priestly robes. Thankfully, the rat turns aside as they exit, bumping into and narrowly avoiding landing on Zia. Thump! Clank! "...'Tis never a soft landing."

Unburying his muzzle from the dirt, he spits it out, sneezing. After a moment of gathering his wits, he tries to stand. A hand will be offered for the Gargess' benefit to help her up as well. "Quite. I do believe I shall be avoiding the place. Cursed, and rather insulting!" Huff! He's still tweaked over the mouse thing. Point of Burmecian pride. Squeak.

So beautiful. His tail swats away a floating heart that makes its way above him. Several more are brushed into his robes. No signs of crushes or disney floating love hearts here!

"Fare thee well, Lady Zia? Injury touches you naught?" His gaze becomes a little more professional as he applies a Cure to that wound on the paw-turned-hand. A shiver runs through him, his free hand checking his pockets. Something jingles, and paper rustles.
Zia It probably would have hurt if the mouse had landed on her, but the girl just sits up, seeming faintly bemused by the whole experience. "Ah wouldnae be so worried, dear mouse. Ye showed tha even in the smallest of forms, the heart can still burn brightly." Most people wouldn't have expected such a tiny creature to be able to stand up against the Heartless, but he'd managed to do so with bravery and courage.

"Are ye alright?" She ends up asking her own question just at the same time that he inquires about her, and it makes a small flush show on her cheeks. Her concern had mostly been his hard landing, rather than any true injury. "Ah'm fine. Jus a scratch." A scratch enough that the cure that he casts stops the worst of the bleeding. The bandages she always wears on her arms are shredded, though.

Still sitting on the ground, she draws her legs up underneath her, then starts to unwind the strips from around her forearm, trying to get a look at the damage that remains. It doesn't hurt, so the spell had likely done it's job. What Faruja wouldn't have seen before, though, is the criss-cross of pale pink scars that mark the gargoyle's arms. There is a reason why she wears those armbands, as well as those on her legs and chest. In her lion form, the scars on her chest had been visible, but now they are covered again by clothes and those cloth bandages.

Flexing her fingers, Zia seems to have no real shame for the marks, testing that her arm is still in good working order. "Ah havete admit, it felt kind of nice te be able te make a difference fer once. Usually, Ah feel kinda weak compared te all of ye who fight wi' yer blades 'n armor." Her ears tilt down slightly, the silver earrings jingling slightly. "It's why Ah've been tryin so hard te learn te fight. Ah dinnae think Ah could ever fight like ye, though."
Faruja Senra Faruja turns away, the compliment lighting up /his/ face. He rubs the back of his head, still not quite knowing what to do with things like that. His tail's swishing takes on an even more pleasant sway.

"Size means nothing. A battle is oft won by courage and tenacity rather than one's strength of arms. Many a great warrior has been felled by the most meager of recruits."

The rat's own words mostly amounted to a good head clonking, neatly covered by his own bandages. "While a bath and warm towel about the head would be nice, I believe that I shall perservere. Thy efforts in defending me were truly valiant, Lady Zia." A note of respect enters the rat's voice. She's certainly earned it!

A single red eye travels those scarrs, in the heat of battle he'd given them little heed. Recalling them now, he realizes just how far the poor woman had been wounded. A hand clenches, the sight of such beauty marred, no doubt by that damn Priest, has claws scraping dirt and gauntlet. Slowly, he manages to calm. No need to frighten the Gargess.

His head tilts slightly, and should she allow it, the rat will gently take one of her arms into his own. Simply holding it, and examining for damage, or perhaps treating her to the proper gentleman's escorting. It may be a touch odd while they're sitting. His gaze peers into her own.

"Weak? One whom conjures up storms that crush even the mightiest of Daemon-infested airships is not weak." Indeed, it'd likely been her efforts above all that saved the town of Fluorgis from the flying heartless.

"A Templar specializes in physical defense and to strike with holy wrath. Yet, there are some foes which a blade cannot touch. We employ Temple Wizards for just such occasions. Martial might strengthened by holy magic of our priests and wizarrds. True strength is in joining with others, to lessened each other's weaknesses. With unity and faith amongst comrades, joined in purpose, is to attain invincibility upon the battlefield."

He does smile though. "A lesson, however, I am long overdue to impart." Pausing, the rat shivers. His pulse quickens, and his confidence evaporates. The TEmplar looks /nervous/.

"...Before such things..." Starts the rat, standing. Looking up to the sky, he takes a deep breath and mutters a prayer for strength and courage. The slight tremble to his tail is fearful. Love is one battlefield that terrifies him.

A letter is pulled from his robes. Something jangles within. "I find the pen a most truthful device, even moreso than one's tongue at times. It...would be an honor if you would accept this, Zia." It's offered over to her, shaking in his hand.
Zia "It wasnae a very hard task. Ah think ye could have just hidden in m'hair 'n tha would have served as a worthy shield." The female gargoyle laughs to herself, running a hand through her loose bangs. It feels strange to have her hair done up like this, and clearly it is the result of magic and not intention. Usually, the girl dresses quite similarly to other gargoyles, prefering ease of movement and a bare minimum of dress to cover the essentials. Right now, she certainly feels a little overdressed.

Unlike what some might expect, she doesn't draw her hand away when he takes it, letting him look at the array of scars there. It's hard to imagine what she might have gone through, especially with a gargoyle's regenerative abilities. Normally, it takes quite a lot for one of her kind to even show a scar, much less multiple. The new marks she'd gotten from the Heartless would fade as soon as she had a day's rest, but these old ones seem to never go away. "Ah'd forgotten tha ye havenae seen those before." She shakes her head, "They're from a long time ago. They dinnae hurt anymore." As if she needed to reassure him of that.

It comes as some comfort that his own kind utilize mages in such a fashion. While she isn't quite as physically weak as many of those with magic powers can be, she still lacks the sort of training that it would require of someone fighting up close. "Ah'd still like te learn. Ah dinnae want te always be the one in the back havin te be protected. It's in a gargoyle's nature te protect." What she doesn't say, is that after being self-sufficient for so long, it still feels a bit strange to depend so much on others, even if working together as a team clearly has advantages.

When he rises, the girl stays seated, looking up, her tail curled around her ankles. It's a beautiful sight, the pale girl with her flowered blue dress, set against a field of green. She takes the letter and the pendant enclosed in it, opening it and looking down to read. A clear sort of blush crosses her cheeks after the first moment, a distinctly shy expression showing there. Her fingers touch the figure of the gargoyle, biting at her lower lip thoughtfully. In her chest, her heart beats a bit faster.

"Ah dinnae know what te say." She admits after a time, looking up towards him. "Ah'm quite fond of ye, ye know tha." With a sigh, she pushes herself to her feet, "Ah care about ye, 'n would stand by ye against any foe, but... if this is meant te be a courting rite... Ah'm nae sure Ah can return yer favor." Now it's her turn to feel nervous, and more than a little scared by the prospect. "Ye see me as this." She holds the letter in her hand, looking at it. "But tha's nae who Ah am. Ah'm nae flowery words, or a lady of fair nobility. Ah'm just a girl, who's pretty lost 'n tryin jus te figure out where she fits in wi' all this."

She traces a talon over the figure, looking away with that same shy expression, "Ah've got a long journey ahead of me 'n Ah dinnae know just yet where it's goin te lead." The words echo in her head in that growling voice, making the gargoyle close her eyes, taking a deep breath. "Ah'm nae sure Ah'm wha yer lookin for, or what ye need." It isn't a rejection in and of itself, but the gargoyle is clearly uncertain, shy, and more than a little overwhelmed by the words.
Faruja Senra "...And yet they remain. Were it within my power, Zia, I would see them truly mended." The scars on the surface don't strike the rat as much as the ones beneath that they've no doubt caused. It truly irks the rat that all he can do is mend the physical, and even that often fails.

A tap upon his chin. "Then it shall be so. Even mages may be toughened. And any being with claws such as ours would do well to learn to make use of them. Weapons break and magic runs dry."

But first, there's the matter of the letter. His eye closes as he listens, the rat taking in the gargess' words. One might notice his tail drooping, then stilling. Knives of ice seem to claw at his heart, even as he tries to fend them off. He's been in her place not so long ago, after all. A hand clasps about his necklace, claws clenched in the dirt to leave little ruts. Discretely, he lets out a breath he'd been holding.

"...I see." A slow nod, accepting. His words tremble a bit, both with the effort of sharing his feelings, and the pain seeking to rip at his all-too-vulnerable heart.

"They say that we each see the world through unique eyes. No two events, no two people perceived equally. Mayhap you are correct. Thy beauty and lustre, perhaps, may blind my better senses. Thy bravery, and the strength that you refuse to admit." Some confidence returns. The Templar /knows/ she's strong. His faith, in his God and her, remains untarnished.

A hand rubs down his face, and he faces her with a small smirk. "Nobility is not in one's blood, nor what words one uses. I admit, the dramatic and 'flowery' touches my tongue...'tis the feelings that matter, Zia. In my estimation, you are as a burning star against these so-called 'nobles' I have encountered in my line of work."

Sitting down again, the rat lays out in the grass, tail-tip flicking.

"...We are all lost to some degree, I suppose. Wandering, doubting...mortal eyes are oft so blind, that we cannot see the path the Heavenly would have us walk. Zia."

Reaching out, he offers his tail to her. "If...'tis not our fate to bind our hearts as lovers...that is something I shall accept. indulge this templar, however, in learning more of you, and sharing my heart and soul? As friend, as comrade..." He nods.

"More so than anything, my greatest hope for you is to find that love. In myself, or..." Skoll's words, and his own words to the wolf echo in his mind. He chuckles, shaking his head. "Or in others. You've a light in your soul, and I would see that most pure of embers sustain it. To whatever end, I would put my faith into Saint, Faram, and thy heart, that you may find thy destined, long road, and walk it though it may be covered in thorns and broken glass."
Zia Shaking her head, Zia lets the silk of her robe slide down over her arm, hiding the marks from view again. "Ah'm nae sure tha Ah would want them mended, even if it were possible. They remind me of the things Ah've lived through 'n tha Ah'm strong enough te face wha'ever comes in the future." It's something she has to keep reminding herself of, and perhaps in some ways it makes sense why she would see them as a badge of honor. From what she'd said, the same priest that gave her those, took the life of her father. She'd lived, where he hadn't.

It isn't hard to see that her words hurt him, and there is sympathy and sorrow in her eyes. There is no joy in seeing another's pain, and it hurts her own heart in the process. What if she's doing the wrong thing? What if she's turning away love that she could be hers, out of little more than uncertainty and fear? "It's nae tha Ah dinnae see those things in m'self. More tha Ah'm still tryin te find it, te make it m'own." She flushes again, not feeling much like any bright star now that she's locked into living only within the night.

As he comes to settle down again, she looks up at the sky of another world, "Ye know, Ah've always been afraid of love." The gargoyle admits, toying with the small pendant with those two bone shards that dangles from her neck. "Ah saw the way tha m'mum faded after m'da died. Like he took a part'a her wi' him. Ah've never known two people who loved each other more, but they couldnae live wi'out one another. Wha' kinda trust it must take te put tha sorta faith inte another person." She knew that Faruja had a great amount of faith, but could his faith in someone else ever outstretch that faith in his god?

Zia had no god to worship, only some vague sense of spiritality left behind from her father. "Ah dinnae know anythin about fate. Guess Ah'm jus nae ready te be anyone's lover jus yet. Ah' been runnin fer too long. Tryin not te run afoul of the male of the species, fearin' Ah'd just end up like m'mum. Hopelessly in love." She reaches out though, offering him a smile as she moves her tail to touch against his. "Please dinnae discount yerself, dear mouse. Fer ye are very important te me. Ye have a heart of gold beneath all tha' armor, 'n any lass would be lucky te have ye. Ah dinnae know wha the future holds, but Ah'm glad to be here te see it wi' ye."

That said, she looks down at the letter again. With her hand, she takes the necklace with those bones from her neck, removing the bit of string that holds it. In exchange, she loops the little jar onto the same strand of metal that holds the image of that gargoyle. Without saying much, she loops both back over her neck, accepting the gift. "If Ah could offer ye some advice, though..." She looks at him, ears lifting slightly, "Letters are all well 'n good for the nobles 'n their ilk in old times when knights saught a lady's favor. But more than tha... it takes a different kind of bravery te speak yer own heart rather than puttin words te paper." She smiles faintly, "B'sides, a lass is less likely te get all flustered 'n shy aboot the whole thing, too."
Faruja Senra A badge of honor. Faruja finds himself running his hand down his injured face. "Mayhap 'tis for the best then. Many tribulations shall be placed before us all in these dark times. Lord give us all the strength to face them."

A low chuckles escapes the rat, tinged with sadness. "'Tis frightening. What Heartless compares, when next to the danger entrusting our very hearts to such fallable beings as we mortals, hmm?" A nod towards the mention of her parents. "Pray forgive if I skip the usual platitudes. However, at times, one must risk all that they have to obtain what they desire. To weight that risk is the true task, methinks."

Not ready. Exhaling, the Burmecian nods, and smiles a little more. "Oh, frak me, this must be so sudden. Just after a battle, giving you.../that/. Forgive me. And thank you." His tail prods her, and the rat nods, somehow the action soothing. "For accepting them, and thy honesty. Friends and comrades, then. I believe the humans have a saying. Something about bridges and crossing them that would be appropriate for our case." A nod. What happens, happens.

A laugh. The rat flops to the grass, shaking his head. "Ahh, but mayhap I spend too much time amongst the 'upper classes' as they were." She might notice a snort here. As much as he seems like one, the Burmecian certainly doesn't count himself as any noble.

"Then, I shall lay my feelings plain, as they occur. I only ask the same of you in return, my friend." Slowly, he grins.

"Speaking of friendship? What say you to toasting it, hmm? We both need a touch of relaxation, I would believe."
Faruja Senra Discretely, the rat wipes away a tear as he watches Zia put the necklace on her neck. Even if not a symbol of lovers, the symbol of love amongst friends. For now, it's enough for the burmecian. His mind drifts, thinking of the other woman in his life. "...Truly treacherous, this thing called love."
Zia Again, words from her dream echo in the gargoyle's ears: 'Many a time you'll be expected to fight to protect the things that are important to you.' It draws goosebumps along her arms, although the voice that speaks about it now is not the rough sound that had penetrated her dreams. "Ah willnae forget." She whispers, which doesn't seem to make that much sense at the moment. Then, blinking, she nods to what the mouse had actually said. "All Ah can hope te do is keep fightin. Afterall, a certain mouse was the one who encouraged me te make tha choice, if ye recall."

She leans forward, considering the way the sky is spread out with lights. It's so different here than in the city. "Right now, Ah'm nae so concerned wi' m'own desires. There's all the trouble in Fluorgis, 'n the mess with Skoll wi' tha blasted collar." She sighs to herself, feeling the weight of it on her shoulders. "Right now, Ah'd jus like te see everythin get sorted wi' out losin anyone Ah've come te care aboot." There is that looming danger, and the worst part about it is that if the Twilight Detectives are right, it might just be /her/ fault. "The detectives, the ones from m'world who live in Traverse Town now... they think Ah'm some sorta Princess of Heart, 'n tha Ah've been the one causing all the mess."

Clearly, this has been troubling her for quite some time. She doesn't /really/ believe herself to be one of these mythical Princesses, but it's hard not to feel like someone is pointing at you and making you responsible. "It's utter nonsense, but... wha' if something Ah'm doin is puttin ye all in danger. Wha' if bein there te protect the city is wha's puttin it in danger in the first place?" It's a lose-lose situation, and by the look on her face, it's been nagging at the back of her mind.

For all she may have side-stepped his confession of love, the gargress still is depending on his friendship, that much is clear from how much she trusts to give him her own worries. Her tail slips around his, the motion familiar from her own kind. "Dinnae worry yerself over the letter." The white gargoyle shakes her head. "Ye'll always be important te me, nae matter wha." She misses his comment about love, but the prospect of going somewhere to relax... that sounds like a plan. "Oh? Do ye have any place in mind? Please let it be somewhere nae of this world... Ah feel overdressed." She plucks at the silk gown.
Faruja Senra Zia's comment draws a curious look...then a smile as she promises to keep fighting. "Dissappointment touches naught upon me. Excellent. Your strength, my friend...we all need you. /I/ need you. Let us grow stronger, mmm?"

Fluorgis. The words of the Bishopess come to him. His face is confident..and he can't quite mask the hint of ambition in his eye. "Fluorgis shall not fall. Every last drop of blood in my body before 'tis taken from all those whom make it their home. Not thrice. I shan't see more homes burn!" For a brief moment, light flares about him, one of his own bandages lighting aflame. He's quick to rip it away, as he restores his own self discipline.

Skoll. "To be frank, I would much like to see him before an Inquisitor." Pause. He holds his hands up defensively. "Ahh...not for questioning purposes, mind you. Lady Diamonde is quite versed in dealing with unholy artefacts and their destruction. Moreover, she is...understanding, and thoughtful, where others may..." Cough. He waves a tail.

"...I speak overmuch. Suffice it to say, should he be willing, there would be no...misunderstandings. On my honor."

A hand reaches over, to try to gently squeeze her shoulder. "Zia, the world is at war. I...shan't say that there will not be casualties. However, if we work together, with all of those we have come to know and trust, mayhap we shall make it through, Lord willing."

A Princess of Heart? Though Zia wouldn't know it, the idea is well known to him thanks to another gargoyle. HIs jaw sets, making a show of being thoughtful. The rat's opinions are already set on the matter. "Nay. I do not believe you are a Princess of Heart...with all due respect." His head tilts.

"Confidentially..." Zia will receive a somewhat stern look here, the rat looking particularly Templarly. It softens quickly.

"While I cannot share my source, I know something of such persons. Heartless are drawn inexorably towards them. While you certainly find thyself within trouble, no more so than myself or any other whom actively fight the Heartless. Nor have you demonstrated the proficiency and aura of holy magic I felt when...I fought beside /her/." Pause. "This is all conjecture, of course. The mere possibility /does/ exist. So little is known of them, that...mayhap...'tis a trait that is unlocked. Not currently, but...whom is to say that such power lies hidden within you?"

Once more, he rubs his chin. "'Tis not a headlong rush, within Fluorgis. I know what this is. 'Tis a siege. Lower the citizen's morale, break their supply lines, run their economy into the ground. War is being waged against a weak city. Undermanned, with naught but a pack of so-called 'Lawkeepers' that refuse to draw blades." Faruja snarls at that.

"With so many defenders gone, even that risk is nothing next to not having thy magical skills. However, have Faith. Not all within the world would abandon the fair trade city to destruction." A small smirk at that. Oh yes. If he has his way, Fluorgis will have defenders, and holy ones.

Blush! Faruja can't tame his flaming white face as it reddens, his own tail wrapping around hers. It's a first, really, though he's smart enough to not take it too far, no matter his own kind's customs!

"...You do me far too much honor, Zia." He lingers there, not quite moving as he answers.

"Let us go to Fluorgis. A few happy faces will do much, I think, for those whom are there. Not to mention in case our luck runs fouler."

As for the dress? He grins. "Ahh, a shame! You are quite fetching in it, even moreso than you usually are. 'Tis a true miracle that every male does not fall upon their knees to /beg/ for a kiss upon thy cheek."
Zia "Maybe ye could start wi' some of those lessons. Ah've been pants at it tryin te figure out anythin m'self." She must be using some sort of slang, since it doesn't really make sense any other way. "Ah wanted te be able te mabye use m'father's sword, but Ah'm rubbish. Loaned it te tha young knight, Percival. Seems he needed one." Of course, then, the young male gargoyle had offered it right back to her, offering to serve her as a Princess of Heart. "Ah could really use a teacher." There is that hopeful quality in her eyes.

She makes no comment about Skoll, but somehow dragging him beneath the Church's nose seems like a bad idea to her. For that, she just manages a shrug. She'd have to speak to Avira and see what the VALKYRI leader thinks on the issue. Afterall, she seems to have more experience in such matters (little does Zia know...).

With a laugh, his proclaimation that she isn't a Princess of Heart is actually a comforting one. Offering a smile, "See, Ah'm glad someone at least seems te think aboot such things. Ah dinnae even have any sorta holy or healing abilities te m'name." For now, she isn't too apt to go into certain dark abilities that she can call upon, since she prefers to not use that realm of magic for the most part. "Ah jus' wish tha Ah didnae feel responsible. This Princess nonsense makes it worse. Ah failed to keep the world from fallin. Ah dinnae need te be protected when there are others far more needin of the privilage."

As usual with this girl, she seems oblivious to what the motion of her tail might mean in his culture. To her, it seems like a friendly gesture. "Aye, to Fluorgis, then. To drinks 'n good food 'n kickin some arse when it comes down te it." She suggests. Then, rather than a kiss upon her cheek, she leans over and gives him one on his. "Thank ye for understandin." She offers, knowing how hard her words must have been. For right now, she's just glad to have him as trusted, beloved friend. The rest of the path before her remains unclear.
Faruja Senra "If that is thy desire, then..." An incantation, a flash of swirling white light, and the rat's produced a sword. Unlike the spear he wields so often, it's no fancy engraved piece. A simple leather sheath holds a well-honed longsword, cared for but showing signs of hard use. Were she ever to see such, it'd be identifiable of a Burmecian infantry sword common amongst the lower ranks.

It's offered over gingerly. "This was once the blade of Private James Kirkson. During my home's fall, twas this very weapon that staved off the jaws of a heartless as he gave his life for his worthless squad leader. Wield it well." As he lets go, it's reluctantly. Sentimental, however, he'd give such a blade to no other.

"We shall train nightly. Be warned, I shan't go easy upon ye. You shall be trained to the standards of a Templar. Advice? Acquire a few healing herbs. You shan't go through thy training without at least a sound thrashing, just as I did." The training may not be as pleasant as poor Zia's imagining.

A small shake of the head. "We are all desperate, and...chasing shadows or nay, I do not blame them. Mayhap we are /all/ to blame for being blind. But self punishment shan't see us to a solution. We must move forward, and see to it that all is made right."

With an arm in arm, tail in tail, Faruja stands. He starts to make way towards Fluorgis' general direction, as much as can be done given the portal hopping that'll have to happen. His steps have a bounce to them. "Quite! We shall laugh and eat, and make merry, such that the good Lord spares us all a chuckle!" Grin.

Smoooch. A kiss upon his cheek, and he freezes. There's not an inch of him that isn't flushed, before he relaxes, looking as though he's had his day made! Walking further, he laughs. "What good is love, of any kind, when it is naught but selfishness?" A few things drop from his robes. Peering down, he frowns. Little love-crush hearts! They pop as one. Blush.

", my, my. How embarrassing."

This scene contained 13 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Zia