Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
Enter the Dragon
(2013-03-24 - 2013-03-26)
No description.
Ramza Beoulve It is twilight, the blazing desert sun of Fluorgis sinks over the horizon. The bustling throngs upon the streets have begun to thin as people make their way home for their evening repose, or to any of the local watering holes to celebrate nothing in particular, or to drown away their sorrows.

With one of the towns many auberges sits the peculiar young heretic, who has already drawn several stares. Why so? Is it because he has many similarities to the face upon a widespread Wanted Poster? No, given that Church Law cannot be enforced in Fluorgis, the posters have never made it to the City of Flowers.

No, its because the young man, who looks the picture of a hardened mercenary, is drinking milk like he's some sort of innocent and feckless youth. For now, he was seated at a table in the corner.

He had remained in Fluorgis for the past few days, considering his course of action given the /tip/ he'd received that the Church had set up ambuscades outside of the town to attempt to arrest/murder him the moment he left.

While he appears to be alone, several members of his company have peppered themselves throughout the establishment, speaking of idle nothings and drinking their own troubles away.
Margaux Fleury The Whims of Fate can be cruel. Dreams can be destroyed and lives snuffed out in one moment of idleness. Just as easy as such things can be destroyed, new ones can be created. The woman who goes by the name Margaux de Fleury has arrived at a turning point in her life. The organization in which she spilled blood and shed some of her own for has all but been disbanded. Regardless of what may happen to them, Margaux was determined to survive its fall.

And so the Survivor of Death Corps has been plagued with wanderlust as of late. And it is the desert city of Fluorgis that she has been drawn to. Maybe it was the fact that her surname meant 'Flower' or maybe it was the stated independence of this city that has drawn the rebel here. Regardless of the why, Margaux enters the same inn that a certain heretic had decided to frequent. Margaux lowers the bright blue of her hood to reveal her features after entering through the doorway of the tavern. Her eyes scan the crowd idly and she follows the stares of several of inn-goers to a mercenary drinking milk in the corner. A very -familiar- mercenary seated in that corner to be more precise. How cruel fate can be to have her cross paths with that man once more!

But if Margaux is to be an actress in fate's latest tragedy, she should perform her rightful part in it. The once dancer navigates through the tavern deftly and attempts to deceive no one in what her eventual destination will be.

The redheaded rebel walks straight up to the milk-drinking Ramza and offer a flamboyant stage bow towards him, caring not if anyone else notices. "Greetings to you, Destroyer of the Death Corps. I hope the evening finds you well." She speaks with a smile and a casual tone, but there is a certain acid undertone to her words. While this woman is armed and armored in her jack of plates, Margaux's body language poses no outward threat towards Ramza and company.
Katyna After visiting the TDA in Manhattan to help with the investigation surrounding Sister Felcia, Katyna had loyally remained by Ramza's side, even as he returned to a city that might be potentially dangerous forthe Heretics..That is, assuming the information they had gleaned from Count Valos was to be trusted.

Katyna was still uncertain what his true intentions were, however. Much like Ramza, she is enjoying a glass of milk, feeling quite hungry after all the traveling that is typical of the Heretics, and relieved for a little break.

"Mmm, that's really good milk!" she quips, feeling a bit of her former cheerfulness return. When the deathcorps knight walks up and makes such a statement, she blinks slowly, glancing back at the Lady curiously.

"Destroyer of theDeath corps? who are you?"
Ramza Beoulve Only with strange aeons may Death die. Margaux's presence proved that in the short term, it lingered. Ramza always felt pangs of guilt in her presence. While he knew that much of what he had done was strictly necessary, hindsight gave him the distinct impression that much could have been averted had he initially been more receptive to the plight of the commonfolk.

Margaux would always have the impression that she had several sets of eyeballs upon her, but at least the armored young man was looking her in the eyes. Ramza for his part would smile graciously, and gesture for her to take a seat. "Well met, Lady Fleury, 'tis a macabre title you've bestowed upon me but it is veracious enough that I can't refute it. Has fate treated you more graciously than it had, when last I saw you?"

Ramza would glance sidelong at Katyna, offering a reassuring smile. "Katyna, this is Margaux Fleury. I met her not long ago in Manhatten, just following its restoration. As I recall, I offered that if she desired to seek me out for answers and a new purpose, that she was welcome to do so. And that if she were unsatisfied then I could scarce blame her for desiring to plunge her blade into my heart."
Margaux Fleury Many tragedies and misfortunes could have been averted if one had the power of foresight. Alas, not many do and fewer still listen to those who make such claims. The injustices of the past can and will be repeated again unless the next generation can learn from the mistakes of their forebearers. Margaux was one of those who was keen to not let anyone forget what had only recently transpired during those dark days.

The woman in the hooded blue cloak did not shrink down when she felt the eyes of others upon her. Her past profession granted her a reasonable tolerance of this even if these eyes may be harbringers of later violence should she misspeak too greatly.

The raven-haired girl that has chosen the same drink of choice as the Destroyer gets a small appraising look. One of Ramza's soldiers? No, she would have known about Ramza's past sins if that was the truth unless she was a new recruit. Or perhaps this girl was just a curious tavern-goer. "A person earns many titles in their lives, and this man here is no different." She explains to Kat and then looks back at the Heretic.

"Fate has been as it ever was, cruel an' uncaring." Margaux's efforts to restore the Death Corps to their formal glory have been largely unsuccessful despite a few promises of clandestine support for the rebels. The organization was still on their deathbed and peraps their was no remedy to the sickness that plagues the corps.

Ramza's introduction of her to Kat causes her smile to waver. "I yield that task still to my..." A pause."..leader for it is his blade to wield and his sister to avenge." But who knows what the dancer might do should the opportunity present itself. "Currently, I find my thoughts as aimless and just as concentrated as a once caged bird who found their prison curiously open." Margaux declares simply with a faint open gesture being mimed with her arms. "Without further orders to follow and with enemies still out for my life, one finds themself considering things that were unthinkable only weeks before."
Ramza Beoulve He had the distinct impression that this wasn't going to go well, but at least she hadn't yet drawn her blade.

He managed something that might have been a chuckle, if not for the sign of resignation afterwards. "Yes, many titles and an even more notorious reputation. She does not speak false, this is a title that I've actually earned Katyna. You were still at the Academy with Ser Kasrillen while I was on my first campaign if I remember correctly Lady Katyna."

Taking the mug containing the milk, he'd raise it to his lips and take a sip. He tried to venture a smile when he looked at Margaux, but it seemed more like Ramza was sheepish. "It may be capricious and with a sense of irony, but I was hoping that it would have mercy upon you for once."

Folding his hands together, he'd place them in front of him upon the table. "I hope it will not come to that, M'lady. I have naught but respect for Ser Folles, despite the actions of many men under his command."

With a nod, he'd continue. "These are strange times that we live in, with Ivalice consumed by darkness. Many of us are now considering things which would have been unthinkable before we were displaced, with our lives shattered."

He'd then pause for a time, waiting to see if any inquiries were forthcoming, or whether he'd simply have to offer unasked for answers.
Artemis Eurus It was rumor that brought forth the Blue Dragon. Two years she had been gone, disappeared from the world. She'd put on a mask, turned, and never looked back. All this time she hadn't been running, no. She had been waiting for the time to be right. Now, a rumon on the wind has caught her attention, drawing her out to seek the heretic, Ramza Beoulve.

It feels uncommonly strange to be walking into a city with the intention of not going back immediately to the wilderness. It wasn't that she'd forgotten how to live in a city, for she had appeared here and there to trade the the things she had to sell for things she couldn't make herself, but the knowledge that if she found the man she sought the next Act might just begin.

A tall woman walks into the Inn. She wears several wolf pelts over blue and gold armor that has been meticulously taken care of despite rough living. At her waist is a katana, resting as easily there as another appendage. Her hair is long, light gold, straight and sleek, a few leaves stuck here and there. By far the strangest thing about her appearance however, would certainly be the mask. Over the top portion of her face she wears a mask that matches her armor. The eyes visible beneath are leaf-green.

Artemis scans the room, holding one of Ramza's Wanted posters in hand...
Evja The sound of armor lightly shifting against itself can be heard /very faintly/ over the den of noise that the establishment was. The source of this noise? A Judge! Oh crap, they are here to take Ramza in! They're working with the Church! Lawbreakers are in the pu-- oh, wait, no, the Judge simply walks right past where Ramza was and didn't even look his direction.
In fact, the Judge walked right past everyone despite garnering the attention of a good many NPC's in the area, because most people tend to look when a Judge walks by, at least to make sure they aren't in the way. Speaking quietly with the host of the room, Evja makes their way to a table in the back that had previously been empty and takes a seat, eventually reaching up after a moment to lift and remove their helm and stretch a bit, placing it on the table in front of them near the middle. This pretty openly reveals the Viera beneath, veil across her face from the nose down, now looking towards the barkeep who was bringing her drink.

Evja, the Judge, didn't seem in the least worried about things going on within the place. In fact it seemed downright normal in here at the moment, so that was good.
Margaux Fleury "There may be new powers that threaten the nobility of Ivalice these days, but they have not forgotten their old enemies and still seek to annihilate us all. In truth, it was the appearance of these 'Heartless' that has sealed the fate of my comrades. For what tongues whisper of revolution when the common soul fears for their very life against these new horrors?" Margaux smiles grimly at her own words and shifts her weight to the opposite side, her rapier swaying slightly as she does so. Her blue eyes wash over Ramza and his companions once more. "And my own tongue speaks so freely and foolishly of such grim tidings. But how else should I act when I am one of the few hunted survivors with nary an ally to turn to?" A strained smile strains itself at Ramza and Kat. "Try as I have, I am no replacement for 'Ser Folles' as you name him. I lack the strength that you seem to share with him. You both acted as inviting beacons to your causes while I only receive empty pledges and hesitant smiles when I speak of my cause." This may be viewed as lofty praise for a Death Corps member to compare the individuas with nary a curse spoken against Ramza.

It is now Margaux who sighs as she looks down at the leather boots that adorn her feet."And so Messire Destroyer, I find myself before you once more because of a strange twist of fate. And I, the dutiful actress, knows what do when I step up upon the stage. I must ask you now, do you still wish to accept an enemy of yours as an ally?"

The appearance of armored individuals entering the tavern would have gained the dancer's attention should she not have had her back to the entrance. Her worries were currently on the soldiers that were with Ramza and not on any potential dagger to her back. But thankfully, it seems that neither of the newcomers had came for her which was surely a blessing given to the unaware fencer.
Artemis Eurus Artemis has spotted Ramza, recognizing him from the poster with ease. He wasn't exactly hiding. Did he even have a bodyguard? Artemis looks to those he sits with, her expression unreadable (mask helps).

When the Judge enters, Artemis nods respectfully in greeting to the armored form, then turns her attention back to Ramza. Artemis makes a sound that might be the very beginning of a small laugh. Well, that was easy. Fate can be that way. Indeed, he's likely used to people looking for him by now. Artemis crosses the room with easy grace to his table, her hand resting casually on the hilt of her blade and bows. "Ramza Beoulve?" she asks, even though she's really quite sure. Her voice is on the deeper side, what most would call sultry. Her accent may be easily placable as being from Old Ivalice.
Ramza Beoulve As Margaux spoke, he would remain an excellent listener, not interrupting her until she was finished, his expression thoughtful. Once she had, he'd finally talk to her in a calm, even tone of voice. "I believe M'lady that we've only arrived at the second act, and are nowhere near the denoument of this particular tragedy. If we are but actors in this performance, then it would be lax of me not to point out that the antagonist is the Church of Glabados. And while it may take a heroic effort on both of our parts, then we might put aside our differences and work towards the climax not resulting in our inevitable defeat. Else you'll be trading the nobility as your oppressors for clergy and their inquisition. So when you ask whether I would accept an enemy as an ally, then you need only ask the woman that sits beside me."

He would gesture to Katyna. "She has done many things that would mark her as my enemy, and yet I have accepted her as a friend and ally without hesitation."

The first sign that something was amiss came from the pair sitting at the bar. A woman in traditional white mages robes, and a man wearing a conical straw hat changed the topic of conversation to the finer points of Chocobo breeding. Then another man sitting alone in a booth, cleared his throat audibly.

The young man seated beside Katyna and Margaux would look up. Were they referring to the Judge?

No, it couldn't be. He wasn't wanted by the Archadian Empire, and the Judges in Fluorgis had no power outside of being glorified referees in clan battles. The laws of the Chuch of Glabados simply did not apply here.

It only took him a moment longer to see the woman holding the wanted poster with his face on it. Ramza would appraise her for a time, searching for any signs of hostility, and then for routes of egress for himself. He didn't see any that wouldn't alert her to his presence, even distracted, and she certainly seemed like she could handle herself well if violence did break out.

Placing a single hand upon his chin, with his fingers resting easily underneath it, he continued to watch her for a time, before deciding just to call her over with a gesture from his opposite hand. Artemis might have heard several simultaneous groans around the her as he did so "Begging your pardon M'lady, but were you looking for me?"
Margaux Fleury Ramza is either the greatest fool that Margaux has ever known or perhaps he is simply the bravest for his willingness to keep potential enemies so close to him. Margaux could be an assassin sent to finally right an old wrong and Ramza was seemingly untroubled by this possibility. Was his heart that big to welcome her so easily or was he simply a firm believer in keeping your friends closer and your enemies closer?

Regardless on why he did what he did, the redhead is pleased at her acceptance. The idea that the Church could be just as bad as the nobility was somewhat frightening. Destroying one enemey when another was ready to take their place seemed like a foolish endeavor so perhaps some good will come up with pact between Heretic and agent of the Death Corps.

Margaux turns cautiously to look at whom Ramza was addressing. The masked woman was considered carefully as the rapier equipped fencer tries to decide whether this new person was a threat or not. Wearing a mask was telling of a thief or bounty hunter when one was not on the stage and Margaux eventually does spy the wanted posted in the other woman's hands. It seems that the fate has not yet quite finished being unkind.
Ramza Beoulve A polite and cordial stranger, that's certainly a change! In fact, Artemis would probably catch that he looked rather bewildered as the hand under his chin listed back down to the table. Most strangers that stated his actual name aloud in public had a tendency to follow it up with drawn weapons and an attempt at the bounty. After a moment, his expression became genial, as he spoke to her calmly. "That is my name, M'lady. I'm afraid you have me at something of a disadvantage. Might I have the pleasure of your acquaintance?"

A moment later, he was gesturing for her to sit, if it pleased her.

He'd give Margaux a sidelong glance, as if he were attempting to read her thoughts, before he'd gesture to one of the waitresses serving the guests. "M'lady, might I trouble you for a drink for each of my guests? Whatever pleases them. On my tab of course. And some more milk for myself."
Artemis Eurus A small smile appears on the warrior's face. Yes, she supposed most looking for him were bounty hunters. The confusion of his response tells her more than he could know.

Artemis takes the offered seat, wondering which name she should give him. Perhaps it would be wise to give him the name he might know her as? Or perhaps she should wait...Yes, for now she would wait. "Artemis Eurus. It is an honor to meet you," the woman replies.

When drinks are offered, Artemis looks to the waitress and calmly asks for tea. Before looking to Ramza and his companions. She clears her throat then. Her voice seems almost dusty, for its been a long time since she'd spoken so many words at once. "You are no doubt wondering why I am seeking you. I am not looking to collect you bounty, though I would not be offended if you and your companions remain on your guard. Forgive me for being frank, but I have heard rumors about you and find that it is imperative to my goals to know the story from your lips, for I suspect we may have a common enemy."

Artemis crosses her legs then, sitting back, watching Ramza and Margaux as she waits for her tea.
Ramza Beoulve Blunt too. The young man actually admired that, it was refreshing given how he was typically used to hours of idle pleasantries before he could touch upon the business that had been brought before him. Taking some time to collect his thoughts, he'd take a sip of milk before speaking again. "Likewise M'lady. And thank the divine for small favors, as that was indeed my suspicion. I hope you do not consider my assumption rude."

He'd gesture to Margaux and Katyna. "This is Lady Fleury, formerly of the Death Corps, or Corpse Brigade whichever pleases you. And this is Lady Katyna, a friend of mine from the Academy at Gariland."

Now that the introductions were out of the way, he'd pause for a moment before continuing. "A common enemy? I suspect you mean the Church. I'll try be brief. After I deserted from the Order of the Northern Sky, I took upon mercenary work with a man named Goffard Gaffgarion to protect Princess Ovelia Atkascha. I was unaware that he was actually in my eldest brother Dycedarg's employ, as he attempted to kill her once an oppurtunity presented itself. We thought that we might grant her sanctuary within the Church, under the protection of a man named Cardinal Delacroix, unbeknownst to us that the man was truly of vile disposition. We discovered that he was using a trading company in Goug to oppress the people while searching for relics of Ivalice's legends known as the Zodiac Stones. We returned to the Cathedral to try and free the Princess, only to discover she'd been sent to Duke Goltanna to legitimize his claim for regency."

He took another moment to gather his thoughts, before continuing, memories of the Lucavi were not pleasant ones. "The Cardinal tried to persuade us to join the Church's conspiracy to incite war in Ivalice to ensure the dominance of the Church in the aftermath. We refused, and he used the power of one of the stones to become a Lucavi of legend. It was a hard fought battle, but ultimately he was slain. I was declared a heretic shortly thereafter, and our world fell to Heartless fiends. Not long ago, I encountered a member of the Templar Knights in Orbonne Monastery. He also used one of the Stones, but not to become a Lucavi. Instead he was able to rout us with an endless horde of Heartless. We fled, and my sister fell into darkness."

He takes a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment, before regarding the woman once more with an appraising look. "So yes, if the Church of Glabados is your enemy, then I'd say your suspicions are correct."
Evja Twitch. Twitch. A certain Judges tall ears flicked a bit at something, attention turning towards Ramza to stare at him idly as if considering something. Well, some might imagine those with big ears can hear relatively well. No response is made, though, other than that. Then she brings her glass of wine up to her lips to drink from it, managing to do so even with her veil on with a practiced motion before going back to watching the gathering of strange types.
They didn't /seem/ to be from around here, but... who knows.
Margaux Fleury Margaux was ready to quip on the absurdity of asking a masked person their identity when this 'Artemis' goes ahead and answers Ramza. Hmm. Well, I guess there is always is a first for everything. The blue cloaked woman observes the exchange between the newcomer and Ramza quietly. The cordial attitude between the two was very unexpected in Margaux's opinion as well. She never had such luck when masked people came looking for her. In fact, she rarely exchanged words with them all as it was with her blade in which she answered with

The still standing member of the Death Corps is not sure of what to make of this situation as it stands and she becomes less sure when Artemis says something -Ramza- had just told -her- a few moments before. Margaux eyes rise gently to the roof of the tavern in which they now dwell. "I hope to never be privvy to you secrets, Fate, or I would grow mad because of their design." She says quietly to herself before levelling her gaze back down. It seems that Ramza is quite polite even when speaking with the waitress. The redheaded dancer now looks to the Heretic. "At first, I thought it was a purposeful slight when you had addressed me and -continue- to address me as one would do towards a member of the nobility." Margaux now shrugs her shoulders and turns her palms over. "I see now that you were merely attempting to be polite. It seems that I may have misjudged you. And for that, I apologize." Margaux now places one hand behind her back and another out to the side as she offers a stage bow before turning to the waitress afterwards. "A glass of wine, please and thank you."

The story of Ramza's exploits since the near destruction of the Death Corps garners Margaux's attention once more, but it is the introduction stated beforehand that draws Margaux's attention more. "Please call me Margaux. I hold no lands and stake claim to no titles to be addressed as such."
Artemis Eurus Artemis sits very still as she listens, her intense gaze focused on Ramza as he tells her story, perhaps watching for any telltale signs of a lie. She had to be careful, she knew, for she wanted to believe that someone had discovered a truth she had only dared hope for. She had to be sure.

Artemis' eyes narrow as he talks about the zodiac stones, the conspiracy, and the Lucavi. Was that what had happened? It was outlandish, but it made sense...ah, but did it make sense only because she wanted it to so very badly?

Artemis nods to Margaux. "Ah, the Death Corps. A pleasure to meet you," she replies. She doesn't bother with m'lady, especially as the woman made it clear she did not want to be addressed as such. Artemis will not correct Ramza either. He's actually right in her respect, not that she gives a <GOOSEHONK>.

Artemis takes a deep breath, and when her tea arrives she sips it slowly, thoughtfully. The mysterious woman is quiet for an uncomfortably long time.

Finally, she uncrosses her legs and leans forward. "I wish to travel with you a while if you will permit it, Sir Ramza. I believe I can be an asset to your struggle, and I would like to talk with you further."
Ramza Beoulve Ramza would give Margaux the same bewildered look she might have seen while he was witnessing Artemis' introduction. "Ah, that. M'l.." Stopping himself. "/Margaux/. As I told you before, I don't judge a person based upon blood, title, or position. I judge a person based upon their actions, and try to keep my civility consistent. Unless you do something which obligates me to withdraw my civility, like try to plunge a blade into my heart.." He'd actually venture a grin. "...but since I'm hoping that I'll remain in your good graces for a while longer, I'll do as you ask, Margaux."

He'd continue to look Artemis in the eyes, trying to ascertain what her true thoughts might have been, perhaps he needn't have bothered, as the woman expresses her desire to join them. He'd like to think he was a good judge of people, but his company tended to question his judgement all too often. Even moreso lately with the presence of Katyna. It was no shock to the other members of the Braves seated at the other tables when he stated. "Then you'd be welcome M'lady. We tend to travel pretty light. Will you need a mount of your own for when we depart the City of Flowers? If you wish to talk, then come to my room upstairs tonight."

And that was that. That was all it took to join him, just expressing a desire to fight for his ideals. The young man even seemed quite oblivious of the implications of asking the older woman to come up to his room, which drew the snickers of a single man at another table. Marlowe had a dirty mind after all.
Artemis Eurus He is too trusting. Despite what he has seen he is naive. Yes, she is sure not. He needs her or the secret he has discovered will become lost.

"I need no mount. All that I own can be carried upon my back," she replies, amazed at how seamlessly was going. So far, anyway. Artemis was quite sure the road ahead would be rocky. It wouldn't be right if it wasn't. "Finally..." she whispers, then bows her head to Ramza.

Then he invites her to talk up in his room. Beneath her mask an eyebrow rises? Is he /that/ type of man? Artemis looks him over, observing the snickers of those around them. No, he is not. He is genuinely oblivious. Blood and ashes, this was going to be interesting.

"Very well. I expect you have guards?" Please, please say you have guards!
Ramza Beoulve The young man nodded at that. "You and Lady Katyna can take turns riding Boco, he's a loyal companion, and will take to the two of you well."

He did seem entirely oblivious to her thoughts. He tended to astound others with how trustingly naive he could be of his friends. Katyna for example, all it took was his memories of her from Gariland, and he had been willing to forgive all else she had wrought. Delita had turned his back on all of his ideals, and was working for the Church in some capacity, and yet he still spoke to him affably whenever the man made himself known.

Perhaps he was only this way as no assassin from the Church had yet tried to join his company, and that would change if he survived.

He would actually give her a sheepish look when she asks about guards. "Uh, we typically have one person take watch downstairs in shifts, but nothing more elaborate than that. I typically take the final watch alone. I'll procure another room for you tonight, for once we're finished speaking."

Normally he wouldn't have said that aloud, but he was perhaps a trifle too comfortable around the three women at the table.
Margaux Fleury Margaux's tone was more neutral than outright angry when Ramza insisted on using the title before her name. It was quite important for a her, a member of the Death Corps, to seperate herself from the social class in which she has vowed to remove from power. Her smile does widen when Ramza consents to dropping the title when addressing her. "A fine way to live one's life and it is a shame that most cannot look past a person's title or wealth." The rebel comments while maintaining her smile. The joke about stabbing the Destroyer through the heart elicits a small laugh from Margaux. Perhaps she thought it was funny and perhaps she had envisioned actually performing the act right there. Whatever the case may be, the redheaded dancer seems to be a much more agreeable mood.

Ramza's inadvertant proposition of Artemis causes her own eyebrows to lift slightly. To make this matter slightly worse, Artemis accepts the offer without drawing attention to the unsaid stigma of what he is asking. The worldly dancer sighs and leans in towards the heretic slightly. "Messire Destroyer, you just openly invited a woman into your personal -bedroom- at night. And you have just informed her that you will not even have a guard with you in your room which would make this rendevous a -very- private affair. For the sake of appearances of both you -and- her, you should use more care before inviting mysterious blonde women into your room if you do not want rumors to be spread about the two of you." Artemis gets a look too, but she appears even older than Margaux herself so the lecture is spared.

Margaux's wine soon arrives and none too soon. She call already tell that hanging around Ramza will soon subject her to some hijinks and perhaps even some shenanigans. The saints help her.
Artemis Eurus Artemis sighs softly. No real guards. Yes, they must have a chat if she is going to be dedicating herself to this cause. "Worry not, I can keep up with a chocobo, you may let the lady ride to her contentment. You however should walk, as being mounted will make you a more tempting target," she informs Ramza.

Artemis merely shakes her head at his guard situation. "That will no do. We will discuss other arrangements."

Artemis looks to Margaux and smiles with a touch amusement. "If you care for your reputation in such matters, why then you should listen to Dame Margaux. I have long since stopped caring about such things and will warn you that I intend to see that you are protected, as it is clear to me even from our brief meeting that you life is in danger and several attempts have already been made upon it. This will likely involve being in close quarters a great deal of the time--thus, I expect you will either get use to it or you will not accept my services. We can discuss this at greater length in private, however," she adds, standing.

"I must tie up a few loose ends and pick up my things. A few hours," she says, then bows again to them. "It has been my pleasure."

Then the samurai turns and walks out the door without further word.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza's would actually give Margaux an appreciative smile at her compliment of how he tended to express his civility to other people.

When she called attention to his /gaffe/, he would actually sit there, considering it for a time, before his cheeks would start to redden. As the same man at another table burst out laughing, he would politely clear his throat. It seemed like the youngest Beoulve didn't have much experience with this in polite conversation. He would definitely sound embarassed now, and was stumbling over his words as he replied in a whisper to her. "Margaux, I certainly did not intend for it to be taken that way. The lady expressed a desire to speak with me, and I thought perhaps she wanted to do so privately. I had hoped my implication was c.."

Another /ahem/ as more snickers are heard. "..clear. I certainly did not intend for it to be considered that sort of rendezvous. Who would think thus? We've barely met, and there's been no sort of courtship between us."

Ramza was also quite oblivious to the gossip that had developed in his company when he carried Katyna unconscious into his tent to tuck her in, before defending her and his camp from the Heartless all night long. Apparently the man had /no/ experience with romance, courtship, and didn't even have a /concept/ of the idea of casual love. Perhaps he assumed that men like /Marlowe/ and lecherous behavior in general are the exception, not the rule.

As Artemis speaks on the arrangements, he merely arches an eyebrow. Perhaps he was too polite to argue about it publically, or perhaps he just didn't have the same ego that most military commanders have. After all, they weren't in the military, he led because his friends wanted him to lead, not by any real sort of authority. "I uh, I will take any advice you can offer to heart, M'lady..."

He doesn't even bother trying to make excuses for it. Agrias and Mustadio had already told him the same thing countless times. Perhaps they just let him off too easily. He might even be thinking that this woman would let him off in the same way. "I'll procure another room while you're gone, I'm honored to have made your acquaintance M'lady..." But she was already gone. Huh.
Margaux Fleury Oh Ramza. Even though they are same age, the Heretic and her could not be more different when it came to their knowledge about certain matters. The dancer was no military tactician and her acumen in that area was sorely lacking. But it seems that there were other matters in which Ramza was equally as hopeless. Margaux flourishes a bright smile and does her best to not laugh a little herself when Ramza realizes her little social faux pax. "I would offer to enlighten you on such matters, but that would give way to an entirely new set of rumors." Again, they were of the same age by Margaux's guess afterall. "Perhaps you have someone older who could teach you the finer points of courting?"

Artemis' talk of not caring about such reputations and matters draws a polite nod from the redhead. "So be it, I envy your cavalier attitude towards such things." Margaux is no courtly flower herself, but she is concerned with her own reputation. It was hard enough to get people to take her seriously after they find out she used to be a dancer. So, she must tread lightly when it came to other matters. Artemis' leaving causes Margaux to offer a wave towards the masked woman before she looks back to Ramza. "You seem to attract all sorts of people to you. I, too, will suggest you be careful with whom you place your trust." Margaux smiles demurely now." If you can trust the advice of a member of the Death Corps who had at first planned to stick their blade through your heart."
Ramza Beoulve The young heretic was still blushing, his cheeks a bright red. It takes him a long time to work up the courage to respond to that. "I uh, believe I would prefer to figure matters out on my own, Margaux. Though I appreciate your offer, it is as you say, I would prefer not to wound your reputation. If any woman wishes to court me, or the other way around, then I would prefer to work through it on my own, without the advice of more experienced individuals."

Once Margaux makes a more casual suggestion about whom he should place his trust in, he would consider it for a time, before nodding. "I will take your advice on /that/ to heart Margaux. I.. I just feel that suspicion and paranoia will destroy me as certainly as that fear tends to destroy individuals in power. I prefer to see the best in people."

Another sip of milk, and now he was staring off into space. He seemed a bit distant, the idea of being suspicious of any in his company was an anathema to him.
Margaux Fleury Margaux giggles aloud now at Ramza's continued bashfulness over this topic. Her humor is good-natured despite the fact that she may be toying with him a little bit. Her expression changes little as Ramza rejects her first suggestion in lieu of her advice on the other matter. "A wise decision. Already you are better prepared in safe-guarding your reputation and that of your company." No laugh now, but the redheaded dancer does smile demurely at the leader of the Braves. "I wish you luck in your future encounters. Be sure to ask the counsel of the right individual, however; as certain men are hopeless when it comes to such matters and will only provide you with the worst advice possible."

Ramza's talk of not wanting to give in to suspicion and paranoia causes Margaux's smile to slip slightly. Those two things can also keep one alive and well when used in moderation. "Then may I suggest you keep someone close will keep that suspicious eye open for you." A young girl then runs up to Margaux's side and hands her a folded garment. Margaux smiles at the young delivery girl and offers a coin for her troubles before turning back towards Ramza. "It seems that the time for my performance draws near. The coppers of the Death Corps are not what they used to be. Farewell for now, Messire Destroyer." The dancer offers one last bow before taking her folded outfit with her as she heads off to go to the next stage (hehe) of her life.
Artemis Eurus As promised, Artemis returned and gave zero <GOOSEHONK> that she was visiting a man in his room late at night. Oh the rumors! Oh the--no, really, no one actually cares.

Artemis has a pack now, pretty much all she owns, slung over her shoulder, the contents of which are mostly a tea pot.

She knocks.
Ramza Beoulve The man downstairs had given her a lascivious wink as she'd come up the stairs. Apparently he was on first watch tonight. Artemis would note that he's probably the worst possible individual to have on watch given that his attention is more on the female patrons downstairs.

When she knocks, Artemis would hear footsteps towards the door, before he'd open it immediately. Even more evidence of how trusting the young man might be. An amicable smile was on his lips as he opened the door further to allow her inside.

Well at least he appeared to rarely, if ever take his armor off, as he was still wearing it. A basin of water shows that he'd probably taken some time to clean off some of the trail dust, but that was the only concession he'd made.

Once the door was closed behind her and bolted, he'd begin to speak. "I'm glad to see you again M'lady. All is well I trust?" His gaze would sweep over her belongings. "You certainly do travel light. Now what is it that you wished to speak to me about?"

He'd gesture to the sole chair in the room for her to sit in, which was relatively close to the door. The younger man would seat himself upon the bed, close to the window. She'd note him looking out it briefly, before turning his attention back ot her.
Artemis Eurus The man on watch is lucky she didn't try to kill him just to prove a point. She would give him a look at his wink however, Artemis gives him a withering look that has likely made men wet themselves in the past.

Artemis enters and bows her head some to Ramza, placing her bag down by the door. "You should not answer your own door," she informs him, watching as he then goes to sit by the window. Oh goodness, she is going to make his life miserable and she knows it. It isn't that she enjoys it, either, but she feels that it needs to be done. "You must not sit at the window in plain view, either. Fluorgis is not immediately hostile, but they are not friend to you either," she says, taking the offered seat.

"I wished to speak to you at greater length, as you have been forthcoming with you it is only fair I tell you a bit about what I know, and why I seek to aid you," she begins, sitting back and crossing her arms.

"I will begin by telling you my name. I was known as Claudia LeBlue."
Ramza Beoulve As she begins to speak on her suggestions, he would open his mouth each time as if to refute it, but instead he'd allow her to continue with each one of them. Still he would give her a bewildered look, not because he didn't think the suggestions were particularly unwise, just that they were the woman's focus. She'd been a member of his company for what? A few hours. But once again, he was not a commander because he had any real authority. He led because the Braves /chose/ for him to continue leading them. Many of them were in such awe of him that they wouldn't think of pressing him on these issues, despite the frequent ambushes he got himself into. It wasn't a feeling he was used to.

Once she made the suggestion of sitting so close to the window, he at the very least put his back up against the wall so that anyone looking through the window didn't have full view of him. Maybe he thought that if he made these small concessions that she'd leave him alone in the future. How little he knew!

The young man would mull over her name for a while, why did it sound so familiar? Claudia would perhaps see the exact moment recognition dawned on him. He seemed likely to even get up, to make a sort of formal gesture to someone of her standing, but then he thought better of it. "I certainly didn't expect that, M'lady. I've heard of the Blue Dragon, for who in Ivalice hasn't? Your father was just as famous as my Lord Father, if not moreso. My Lord Father had high regard for the man. And of yourself....?"

Some brief hesitation as he sifts through all the rumors in his mind. "...that you are an honorable Lady and fearsome warrior. I am humbled, that you chose to join us."
Artemis Eurus Artemis watches Ramza, seeing the moment that he does indeed recognize the name. "I no longer go by that name, and will not answer to it," she informs him, not harshly, but she wants to make that very clear. "You do much honor I am sure I do not deserve, though I thank you for honoring my father," she replies, bowing her head some. Strange, too, that he didn't assume she had something to do with her father's death, and if he did he hid it well. Of course, she did not know him well, but she assumed the naive and trusting air was not just an act, for what purpose would it serve? She would give him the same information. She has verified that he is who he claims to be, as much as she can anyway.

Artemis takes a deep breath then. "You have heard of my brother then, and that he has joined the Church as a Templar. I believe...I believe that he was corrupted, for I...watched him slay our father," she says, her voice shaking somewhat. It is the first time she has ever said this out loud. How strange that is. Any sadness she feels is stuffed deep beneath her anger and determination. "It is only when I heard your story that I knew the time was right to come back and try to figure out what is happening--and as you are leading this, I will pledge myself to your service if it will lead me to answers."

And vengeance.
Ramza Beoulve No, he didn't believe even for a second that she had anything to do with her Father's death. He assumed the best of people, always. That she was joining a company of wanted heretics despite the great personal danger to herself? He saw that as a positive, not a negative unlike most individuals.

Even so, he still was shrewd enough to watch her, try to pick through any holes in her story, trying to make certain she wasn't holding anything back. It wouldn't affect how he treated her openly, but he did like to know the secrets of the people in his company. The fewer secrets they held back and deceptions they weaved, the more equipped he was to deal with what was coming in the future. He saw nothing though. In his opinion, the woman was telling the full truth.

Closing his eyes for a moment as if to picture what might have happened, he'd finally speak up, in a calm tone that was nevertheless steeped with sorrow. "You have my sincerest condolences M'lady. My blood curdles when I think upon your brother's patricide."

Another pause. "If it is not too trying for you, can you tell me exactly what happened? How did he kill your Father?"

Apparently he was very used to women in their grief. While he didn't think she was a wilting lily that was going to shy away from the gory details, he still acted like it, because he knew such memories were hard enough for /him/ to deal with. "I can promise you that I will investigate the misdeeds of all within the Church of Glabados. That I will lead you wherever you wish to go in order for you to receive justice and satisfaction for your Father's death. Whether that makes me worthy of your pledge or not, is entirely up to you. Even if you decide not to pledge yourself to me, then I will accept you among us for as long as you desire. Noone is bound to remain here if they do not wish to be."
Artemis Eurus Artemis' shoulders rise with a deep breath taken. "They argued. Father questioned Louis coming to the Church, said he has been acting strangely...he was worried..." the eyes behind the mask become distant as she remembers, her hand going instinctively to the hilt of her blade. "I heard a sword drawn and rushed into the room to find Louis had...impaled my father on his blade--I can barely recall what happened then. We fought. He knocked me out. I came to and he was gone..." Artemis shakes her head, standing then to move over to the window herself. Apparently, that's alright for her to do. She's not a wanted heretic. Well, okay, she's a wanted suspected murderer, but she's also presumed dead after all this time.

She listens to what Ramza has to say with her back toward him. A young man shouldered with the burden of knowledge....tch! How could she meet him and not protect him? Especially when he was likely to get his fool self killed.

Artemis turns abruptly and draws her sword. In one impossibly swift motions she runs the blade across the palm of her hand, blood welling immediately. "Ramza Beoulve I do not make an oath lightly. I swear upon my blood that I will protect you until our mutual goal has be fulfilled. If you accept my oath, know that I expect you to listen to me in matters of your security and that you will likely take issue with some of them. Raise your concerns, I am not unreasonable, but if you choose not to listen to my advice I may do things you do not approve of to protect you. If you dismiss me from your service, I will pursue my goal alone."

Artemis extends her bleeding hand, the blood dripping over the cliff of her palm to fall to the floor like the first droplets of rain before a fierce storm.

"Do you accept my oath?"
Ramza Beoulve Again he would close his eyes, as if trying to pick through the images. It didn't seem to make sense to him, given her Father's reputation that the Templar was able to kill him so easily, whether his Father trusted him or not. That he would also be able to knock out a formidable warrior like her afterwards. It seemed unreal. Perhaps he had supernatural help? Ramza couldn't be sure. He had no clue. So he decided to stop the speculation.

He spoke to her eventually. "Again, my condolences M'lady. It is small comfort, I know, but noone should have to suffer such. My eldest brother Dycedarg is a wicked man, who believes that his blood gives him the right to do aught that he wishes to any, no matter who is hurt, and even he... I cannot believe that even a man like himself could commit as vile an act in the sight of god or man as /patricide/. To even think about what brother has done..."

Poor Ramza, if only he knew.

He would watch her draw her sword across her palm, his expression stoic as he watched her offer the blood oath. After a time, he would rise, and then withdraw his Cinqueda, which he'd dubbed /Grass/ from its sheath. Using the point, rather than the edge, he'd draw a line across his hand, before pressing his hand against hers. "I do. And I understand the implications of such, I only hope that you find me worthy of your continued allegiance. If ever you believe that I am unworthy, then need only say so, and I will release you from it without hesitation."

Besides, she seriously couldn't have too many suggestions on how he handled his security, right? Right? He'd probably only have to put up with a few. Couldn't be too bad, in fact he was already beginning to be optimistic about the whole idea of having her around.
Artemis Eurus The fact that he mirrored her gesture and took her hand without much hesitation made Artemis feel a great deal better about this pledge. Yes, he was a man with honor and dedication, a man of purpose. This was /right/. Finally she was setting her feet on the path she had been preparing to walk for two years. How long that path would be she did not know, though she was almost certain of its ending.

Artemis takes his hand in a firm grip, their blood mingling. She gives him a respectful nod. "Very well Sir Beoulve, I will walk this road with you," she replies, releasing his hand from what was possibly a bone-crushing grip.

She moves to her pack then, pulling out bandages. She wraps her hand quickly, then takes his and wraps his as well, quick and efficient, but not overly rough. Her mother had taught her better than that at least.

"I will be sleeping in your room, by your door. I will give you what privacy you need within reason, but I will never be more than a few steps away. You will no longer answer your door. I will do that. I will test any food not made by my our hands for poison before you consume it. These are a few of my rules," she informs him while she binds his hand.
Ramza Beoulve Ramza would shake her hand firmly, allowing their blood to mix, mingle, and clot. Artemis would note that while there was strength in his grip, he did not appear to be bonecrushingly strong. His build seemed more wiry, perhaps, and his armor despite being platemail was lightened to accomodate him.

As she spoke her words, he'd reply, giving her a nod just as respectful. "I am pleased that you've decided to walk it with me."

She accepted the banding with little fuss, he had skill with white magic, but the gesture was important and he didn't want to her to think that by healing the wound so quickly that he was disrespectful, or taking the oath lightly. Looking at the bandages, he'd flex his hand briefly, before sliding his leather glove back over it.

And then came the other suggestions, Ramza was still nodding as they came, perhaps his thoughts were on other matters, as they didn't register at first. And then his eyes would widen, and he was staring right at her. His cheeks turned beet red almost immediately. "M-M'lady,, there's no need for that. If you insist on staying in my room, then you may have the bed. I'll take the floor, or sleep in the chair."

The other suggestions he would address later. Right now it was just the sleeping in the same room as a Lady that concerned him. Even with Katyna, he'd tucked her in then gave her /complete/ privacy even if it had been his tent and his bed.
Artemis Eurus And so, Ramza would get his first withering look from Artemis. It is sure to be the first on many. "I have slept on the earth for two years Ramza Beoulve, I have a bedroll and plenty of furs to keep me comfortable. I will sleep in front of your door so that anyone entering will be facing me first. While I am quick, I would not take chances on this--so save me your chivalry. You will sleep on the bed or you can sleep on the floor as well, I care not, though I imagine you will wake much better rested if you sleep in the bed," she replies, beginning to unpack and roll out her bedroll. that a behemoth skin? Sure is.

"Additionally, I know you can fight. I will not coddle you, this I promise. I will give you what space I believe to be reasonable....and please, it is imperative that you are always armed, especially when you go to the privy. NEVER go to the privy without your sword, do you understand?" she is awfully vehement about this!
Ramza Beoulve Oh he'd wither alright. While the women he encountered were certainly not demure, they had a healthy amount of respect for him and would never try to command him to do anything. /Suggest/ sure. They might even try to press him repeatedly, but never to command.

Were it in the midst of a battle and she were questioning him on strategy or tactics, then he might have tried to fight her on it. Were it on a matter of their travel route, or destination, likewise. Those were the most common arguments his company gave him. He was good at arguing his point there and seeing them come around. On matters like this? He found himself entirely unequipped to deal with them. Maybe in time he'd try to argue the point, or see if she'd make /some/ concessions depending on the context, just not now.

Especially as she was now about to lay down on an entirely intimidating Behemoth skin. Ho boy. Luso had best never catch wind of that.

Also, she stated that she wasn't going to try to coddle him, which was good, but perhaps she underestimated just how self-sacrificing he tended to be in a fight.

Eventually he does speak up, but his voice is not in protest, simply to insist. "Then its a good thing I have two. And I never allow myself to be unarmed. Even allowing myself the luxury of being unarmored is rare, even in a soft bed."

She'd notice that beside the Cinqueda, he had a Katana of his own resting inside its saya. What might seem really /strange/ to the Samurai is that it had a peaceknot upon it, tied with a peculiar amount of tightness. Apparently he did not want it to be drawn easily.

Watching her for a time, he'd eventually seat himself on the bed. She'd note that he really didn't go without them, ever, for when he undid the baldric of each the Katana was propped up against the bed, the Cinqueda remained under his pillow, with just enough of the hilt sticking out that there'd be no delay in extracting it. And yes, he sure was laying down armored after a while, staring at the wall, eyes wide open. He was definitely trying not to think about the strange woman sleeping in his room.

Bed or not, he didn't get much sleep that night.
Artemis Eurus Seeing that she has won this round, Artemis nods. Another battle will be fought on this issue later. It would take him time to trust her and get use to this arrangement. It would not always be this way, likely. She would see to it that he another protector or a dozen. She would need rest too. Luckily, she is a light sleeper.

Artemis settles down on her bedroll and crosses her legs, back against the door, and closes her eyes. "I will meditate for a while, then I will sleep. At sunrise I will practice my forms. You are welcome to join me. Rest well Sir Ramza," she says, then begins to meditate.

A while later, she lays down and falls asleep quickly, with no trouble whatsoever.

This scene contained 40 poses. The players who were present were: Katyna, Evja, Margaux Fleury, Ramza Beoulve, Artemis Eurus