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A Weight On His Shoulders
(2013-03-05 - 2013-03-10)
No description.
Seith The winds of the caribbean blow hard. After the departure from the treasure trove that Zia had inadvertantly led a group of heroes to, people had left in a variety of ways. So it would be that Percival were forced to take his departure through means of a longboat. But things went awry upon said departure. For him, and just him, a strange mist came to settle around the boat, and soon he found himself strangely cut off from his friends. The wind died down...

And now, he finds himself stranded amidst the water. Darkness and stars overhead, a thick fog around him... and nothing else. What would a lone gargoyle such as him do? To glide from here would certainly be impossible, as there's nothing nearby to climb.

There is just Percival, the boat, his oars, the water and mist, those stars overhead... and the blade he carries with him. A blade that seems to have gained a strange dark heartbeat of sorts. A thrumming sound eminates from him collectively with an aura of darkness that 'beats' with it. Entrancing. Calling out with a promise of darkness and power. Thrumming deeper and faster, like a heart of anger. Of hate. Of Rage.

Is it calling out to Percival?
Percival The Bronze-Skinned Gargoyle didn't have much to go on at first. While an armored elf would be considered passing strange in this land of all too human privateers, the local blacksmith of Port Royal couldn't be any more specific than that. As the world was now, he expected it would take several seasons of inquiries, or long nights of staking out antiquities shops to find him.

Percival had tarried too long making inquiries, and found himself stranded without means of transportation that were not of his own making. The longboat was not an ideal means of transportation for the Gargoyle, but it was certainly serviceable. Until he found himself becalmed, that is. At first, prayer was his answer, for prayer was often the first thing a lonely sailor turned to at sea. Desperation would usually come afterwards, and bargaining for the wind.

And so the Gargoyle was found in an awkward position upon his knees when the beating of that hideous heart began. He paid it no mind at first, thinking it but a delusion, or a hallucination, but soon even he could not ignore it. He takes the rapier, scabbard and all, to hand, and unsheathes it just enough so that a fraction of the naked blade slid out of it.

Whether it was anger and rage, darkness and power that it offered, he does no more than that at the moment, attempting to gauge its reaction.
Seith The sword, the moment is is retrieved from its scabbard, suddenly moves. It takes some strength to hold onto it whilst darkness fulmates from its body, spreading around across the boat outwards and darkens the skies until Percival sits in his boat amidst nothing but darkness. He can feel the moisture of the mist still, so he would know that he's not moved. The moon and all sources of light have merely been blocked out.

It is eerie. It is rare for humans, especially those from places like Manhattan, to know what it is like to be amidst the purest of darkness. The boat makes creaking sounds as the water gently plays with it. This is followed by another sound. The sound of someone 'stepping' onto wood. The boat moves, and from the darkness moves a figure lit only by a mild purple aura. It's almost impossible to see more than mere outlines of this person.

"So you are the new owner." The voice speaks with a deep and dark voice that seems to match the darkness perfectly.
Percival Gargoyles were creatures of the night. Oft-times it was mistaken by outsiders that due to their demonic appearance, that they were creatures of darkness. The difference might have been subtle to those originally from the world from whence Manhatten came from, but those who dwelled in the amalgamation of worlds knew it was a glaring difference. In the night he was comforted by the light of the stars and the moon. In the darkness, there was no comfort. He shivered despite himself, his wings lifting from their resting spot off of his shoulders, and started to trend towards the fullness of their span.

He still held onto the blade despite himself, as if realizing that disaster might come to him if he lost. Booted footsteps cause him to turn around so suddenly in a movement that would have had sailors and boatswains alike cursing him as a fool, his tail actually lashed the edge of the longboat as he did so, taking a small chunk of wood with it and giving him a splinter. The damage was thankfully only cosmetic.

He regarded the outline, the purple aura with a fascination, but the light still made him feel ill, sick to his stomach almost. He decided it was not seasickness after a moment, and began to speak. "I have a feeling that ownership is relative and transient with this blade, Ser." Politeness, for now. "If I had known that I'd be receiving guests, I would have made our accomodations more inviting. But please, have a seat, allow this weary sailor a chance to redeem a poor first impression. My name is Percival, esquire. Might I have the pleasure of your acquaintance?"
Seith The footsteps come forward once more. Just a twin of steps, the boat rocking firmly under the weight. Whomever is before Percival, he would surely have the knowhow to realize that this man is easily armored. At least, the voice sounded male. "You are afraid of the darkness." The voice states to Percival, as his tail thrashes against the longboat. The man then grows silent again as percival speaks up, waiting patiently.

The man, beneath the darkness, gazes at the blade in Percival's hand. "It has only become transient upon your taking it from its place and unsheathing it, ser Percival. But do not worry your head about accomodations. My stay here will remain short for now - I am merely here as a messenger today." The man pauses, and then adds; "Do you know what you hold in your hands right now? And the task you have taken upon you by unsheathing it?"
Percival "It is said that humans oft fear that which they don't understand. I have found that it is true of all creatures. You wield the darkness expertly, Ser, but you do this with full knowledge of the consequences of such, unlike most creatures. Do you look upon your eventual fate with trepidation, Ser?" Redirection, he found it much easier than facing his own darkness at least. All of his personal values were those of a person who tried to be the 'ideal' of what one who walked in the light ought to be. And yet he always looked upon himself, and found him wanting. The darkness that lurked within was not one which tempted him. It simply existed, a part of him that he could not excise through prayer, sacrifice, reflection, or penance. But he certainly wasn't going to speak of that to a stranger.

His fin-like ears fold backwards as he listens. "I admit to full ignorance of what it is, and its purpose." He did not even voice his assumptions, as he had a feeling that he would embarass himself if he tried to speculate on it.
Seith "It is not I who wield it at this time. That darkness is the sword's and your own. It takes your darkness, and lets it be projected on the world around you like a weapon." Seith points out. "Yet, you are right. I am also one who wields the darkness. Though I doubt I am an expert on the matter." THe man takes a single step forwards, getting closer to Percival.

"There must be great darkness within you, but little control, if it just all spreads out like this." Seith points out, before adding; "That blade was a gift of mine to the original owner. I told him then, he who wields this sword will be granted a task. I will be granting you this same task..."

"Your task is to lead the darkness into this world, and draw the Heartless here. Help this world fall, Percival, help it return to darkness. THAT is now your task. " Seith points out. "But know this. You, who have unsheathed this blade. If you fail in this task, you will be consumed by the anger of this blade." The man pauses, and then grins. The purple outlines make that clear enough. "And don't even try to throw it away, Gargoyle..." How could this man see within this darkness so clearly?! Is this a trick?

"It will always return to your side, until your task is fulfilled, and the blade can rest."
Percival The Gargoyle levels his gaze at Seith. At first his expression is stoic, but then defiance begins to spread upon his features. Then anger. It is not the sort of anger that manifests irrationally though, but one which is well justified, and directed towards those who deserve it. Still, his voice is calm as he states a single word. "No."

He waits for a time, as if to gauge the man's reaction. He had a feeling that it would be derision at one who does not have a choice but to accept those terms. "I'm afraid you have erred. You have set this burden upon one that strives to walk in the light despite one abhorrent act for which I can never be forgiven. Those in authority have absolved me of this crime, but that does not change it. I am a penitent but loathsome creatures whose only wish, only dream, is to better this world in some small way before I leave it, and pray that I will be forgotten afterwards so that none may see me as an example unto others. Do you know how much a creature such as I values their own life? I would give it freely, before I would prostitute myself unto the darkness. And if that act damns me then so be it. It is a suitable fate for one such as myself."
Seith Seith doesn't speak upon Pervical's uttering of that single defiance against Seith's will. But the man does smile. He waits for Percival to speak further, and the man is right in doing so. "Then prove it to me, that I have erred." Seith answers Percival. "I do not know of your burdens, your abhorrent acts, or even the absolvesion there-of. But... there is one thing."

The man slowly steps further forwards, and then suddenly grabs for Percival's throat in an attempt to lift him up into the air by it with his strong magically empowered grip. "You should never dare to believe your life that invaluable. To give up on it is far greater an abhorrent act than to live it in search of living it as you wish."

Wether he managed to grab Perci or not, his hand comes down - possibly dropping him back down to the boat. "Prove me wrong, Gargoyle. Prove the blade wrong. Resist its corruption, resist its anger. Calm the blade with your own deeds - if that is something you can /do/. And maybe, just maybe, if you manage to calm the spirit within, you will get yourself an ally in it that walks the same penitent path as you."
Percival The Gargoyle likely could have attempted to dodge his grip, but he does not. Either to show the courage of his convictions, that he is willing to perish, or because he believes that a battle here would only manifest the sword's darkness. At first there are no sounds, but then the gasping begins, and eventually even he cannot help but flail and involuntarily grip the man's arm in an attempt to break the asphyxiating hold. It is the nature of the body to betray one's convictions to preserve the breathing.

As he's dropped, he lays on the longboat bottom, gasping, his wings closing in around him as if to make him a smaller target. After he catches his breath though, he speaks. "M...My" He takes a few deep gulps of air. "...has no value, compared to the lives of others. That is what I dare to believe. That is why I serve."

After a time, he tries to preserve his dignity by getting up from his prostrate position. "A challenge is it? What sort of game is it that you play with me, sirrah? Fair enough, I shall rise to the challenge." He finally lifts his head to gaze at the purple outline. "But whatever penitent path you walk, it is not the same as mine. I lived my life the only way that I had ever known, and when the pillars of that life came crashing down; I chose a different course. You on the other hand? What tragedy befell you that you push others to the limit? I wonder. Is it expected that I should fail? And if so, would you be disappointed? Is it to see if I can prevent the fall of a world, or to revel in it being the responsibility of one who failed to live up to expectations?"
Seith "It is not I who will be your ally, ser Percival. It will be that blade." The man points at the item that still remains partially uncovered outside of its scabbard. "But know this. Your life has value. Everyone, everything - living or inanimate - has a value. Some will express this value in coin, others in lives, and yet others in trust. I suggest you re-evaluate your own worth, Gargoyle, or you will fail this challenge." Seith answers Percival.

The man then takes a few steps back. "Sheathe the blade, Gargoyle. As for what path I walk; you are correct. I do not walk the same. But neither does it interest me in telling you the reasons for the path I walk. I do not know you, after all. But I will tell you this. Wether you fail or succeed - what I care about is but one thing. Wether /you/ grow stronger, or will put others around you on the path to power." The man remains to stand there. And were Percival to sheathe the blade, he'd be certain to withdraw the darkness and reveal Seith as he is.
Percival Percival does as he is bidden. The rapier is placed fully back in its scabbard, revealing Seith as he is. He takes his time evaluating him, his appearance, his expression, everything. "The only power I desire is the strength to protect others from the woes and perils of this world. If I can serve others as such, then my life has value. Not enough that honor and necessity would not demand that I forfeit it, but value all the same. If routing the darkness will grant me strength, then I will give it my all, but should I find myself wanting..." He lets his words linger, with the implied threat of self-harm.
Seith Seith looks upon Percival with annoyance and partial disinterest, due to his threat of taking his own life. "Pitiful gargoyle." Seith answers him and shakes his head. "Do as you wish, but know that forfeiting a life might do far more damage than this blade ever could." And with that, the man turns around and opens a Portal into Darkness, steps through... and with him, the Mist disappears - and Percival comes to know that he's stranded on the mainland. When did he reach the land? What part of this all had been an illusion? Had the blade truly created such darkness? Or...
Percival Percival finds himself on the mainland, kneeling in the soil. His talons rake through a handful of it to confirm his suspicions. And then, he begins to laugh. At first it is but a chuckle, of the quality that one might hear when someone tells a terrible joke at a dinner party. And then he begins to laugh, long and hard, until he finds himself out of breath, hiccuping, and wiping away tears from his eyes. Whether the tears be from laughter, or from another emotion entirely is up to debate.

That it was all an illusion never even crosses his mind. It was all too fitting, all too real. After a while, he finally rises from his kneeling position, and finds a landmark with enough altitude that he might climb it, and glide along the countryside until he got his bearings.

This scene contained 14 poses. The players who were present were: Seith, Percival