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No title.
(2013-03-29 - 2013-04-04)
No description.
Emperor Mateus Palamecia has slowly begun to awaken from its slumber. Official messages have been sent to Baron and Guadosalam requesting audiences with their respective leader(s). As a result, whispers of alliances and treaties are thick in the air within the castle walls. The Dark Knight has been busy as well, continuing his work evaluating the world and those who fight for it with the passive permission of his master. The world knows none of this, however--only that a mysterious Dark Knight roams the lands and that the Northern Continent is not as abandoned as it has seemed.

But right now, none of that matters to the Emperor of Palamecia.

Currently, Emperor Mateus is in the middle of his vast library, adorned in his royal robes befitting of his station. He seems to be scanning the aisles for something in particular, fast but methodical as he scans each row. He could call it to himself by magic, as all tomes here have been enchanted to thwart thieves. But to do so is to deny the chance to stretch one's own mental capacities, memory in particular.

It probably does not hurt that he is somewhat bored. Bored of the politics that come with his station and with the monotony he has found himself in ever since he repaired his loyal lieutenant's armor the other day.
Robed Figure "A healthy respect for knowledge in a ruler does credit to their kingdom.."

There is not only the emperor of palamecia in the grand library. They are perhaps not a man, not even truely a spirit. Simply a presence, a shadow wrapped in a formless brown cloak that is inspecting the magical tomes with the air of a scholar. With the ponderant air that shrugs aside intrusion and consequences as immaterial and wraith-like as they are.

A cultured, well heeled voice comes from underneath the drawn cowl. A gloved hand reaches out to pluck one of the magical tomes from the shelf and with delicate and precise movements, tap the binding covers gently twice before opening to a seemingly random page. They make as if to study the glyphs within for several seconds.

The figure makes a slightly indulgant noise. The sound one would make having found an old coloring book in a dusty and forgotten antic. A moment of nostalgic wonder and faint adult scorn for the focuses of times long past. "High Emperor of Palamecia. From one master to another, I send polite regards although not formality. You will soon have your plate full of that, awakened kingdom." the figure puts the book carefully back on the shelf. "Regardless of your reading choices."
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus pauses, one hand outstretched with fingertips lightly brushing the spine of the book he has been seeking.

For someone not himself to even touch a book in this place would emit a resonance that would alert him immediately, much less taking the tome off the shelf and opening it. But there was nothing. There was no warning. No indications of a second presence, a second /person/. Absolutely nothing.

The Emperor of Palamecia turns around 180-degrees, rising on his toes in the fluid motion of the about-face, his eyes narrowed faintly as he evaluates the One Who Intrudes. But just as before, there is nothing there. Nothing to indicate identity nor ability, only a presence from whence the words are spoken. And such negation is reserved only to a select few within the Shadow Lords, if he speaks truly, and Mateus can only extrapolate from what he is given.

It is a rather strange feeling, and not one he especially likes.

"Wisdom is the retention of what is important, no matter how childish it seems on the surface, and a library is a window to the owner's progression. So I have been taught, and so I have discovered as I have grown." He chuckles softly, a faint 'fufufu' barely audible in the atrium. "I shall admit, I find myself closer to the realm of childish wimsy than most of our colleagues, but it has served me quite well both in my world and recently."

He bows at the waist to the robed figure, one arm sweeping over his torso to accentuate the respectful gesture. "You honor me, indeed. However, I fear I know you not nor your reason for visiting."
Robed Figure "Wisdom is knowing how to differentiate what it truly prudent and what is simply foolish." There is a faint noise, the semblance of the faintest pause although no breath and no life bleeds forth from the cowl. "Taking oneself too serious can often fall into the second category."

The robed figure paces along the library, gloved hands loosely clasped behind them as they stalk, one foot at a time, on silent treads that leave no mark and no sound. "And you are certainly no fool, though.. these books are a showcase and a sham. Perhaps your own indulgence." the robed figure turns around slowly to face Emperor Mateus. There is a slender slice of a face there, and a single eye. Just a slice with the rest of the face lost in darkness.

"I come because I am indulging myself in a moment's curiosity in yourself and.. the securing of your newest acquisition. I would like to speak on it. The conversation will perhaps.." there is a pause, and the very smallest glimmer of an amused smile. "..serve us both."
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus will not deny the robed visitor's insight, and in fact smiles knowingly even with the piercing comment about the library simply being his own indulgence. Why deny and hide the truth when it is laid out so plainly? So long as such trivialities do not affect his duties and plans, what does it matter?

He straightens, watching the figure pace with his chin tilted slightly downwards. A defensive gesture, slight though it is, but understandable given the circumstances. So he is here out of curiousity, of something he has done. "What have I accomplished that would pique such interest?" He doesn't nessisarily sound humble, but certainly sincere in his interest in such a topic.

Already, though, he is putting his mind to work. He has been silent for a long time, then there are eyes upon him the moment he... "Do you refer to my Dark Knight, by chance?"
Robed Figure "Indeed. The powers you harness for their.. upkeep, do not come from books. They do not linger temptingly in scrolls for any yeoman to lay bare. But.. they may still be held. In places. In runes. In objects." The robed figure opens a gloved hand, a shimmering rune floating in the air above their palm.

It was serpentine and ethereal, impossible to read as parts of the tightly packed configuration seemed to be fading in and out of reality at the whim of some dark wind. Even the rune itself was scrawled tightly with the jagged edges and rolling curves of other runes, and they with their own, spiraling down into an infinite mirror looking down straight into the darkness between all things.

"Perhaps I can tempt you with an exchange?" the figure closes their hand, extuinguising the glyph. "I would very much like to take a closer examination of your dark knight as a part of my own studies at hand."
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus' eyes latch onto the rune as it is conjured above the robed one's hand, gaze keen like a hungry hawk. He tries to read it, using his own knowledge about darkness and magic, but the very nature of the rune is infinite in its darkness and constantly shifting. He'd get better answers from peering into the Void itself.

Well, he won't deny that his own curiosity has been piqued, at the very least. "A strong temptation indeed."

His nostrils flare with a deep, slow inhale, his chin lifting in consideration. "I might be agreeable to this. I could even show you the chamber upon which his armor is bound." Considering this individual's power, he may have been there already. "But, what would you offer in exchange for borrowing my most important soldier?"
Robed Figure "You know why I am here, and what I am offering." The robed figure turns their head slightly to one side, the slice of visage falling away back under the cowl as they turn to walk towards the window to look out on the vision of the city beyond. "Knowledge is the greater essence of power. Violence merely it's lesser and more.. inelegant aspect." the figure turns and walks back to the emperor.

"Although that too, has it's place and it's uses." they withdraw a card from a fold of their robges. It is a simple black card with no embellishment at all. So simple as to be completely inconsequential. "Wealth you have in fine supply, but there may always be.. opportunity for more." The card is blank on the inside, the creamy white of the paper stark against the perfect black of the opposite surface.

"Pick only one. Inscribe it here, as you wish. Or do not choose at all, and proceed on your own. I am not here to hinder you, but neither do I need you. I am.. merely extending an invitation to a potential colleague. Nothing more."
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus smirks faintly despite himself. The statements, which he takes as a well-earned rebuke, clears his mind drastically. He is acting like an impudent child trying to take more than his fair share from someone he perceives (and is) stronger than himself. Such a mindset is completely beneath one of his standing. If this robed one was truly here to take, why waste time and effort with amicable exchange?

"Of course. Forgive my impudence." He reaches out and accepts the card from the figure, a quill conjuring into his fingertips. He shifts his grip on the card, holding it between his fingers as one would hold an open book one-handed, and the quill leaves his hand to hover above the cream-colored innards and poised to write.

But it does not move immediately. In fact, a few short moments pass as the Emperor's gaze turns introspective, evaluating his wishes and boring down to what, exactly, he truly /wants/. What is his ultimate goal? Certainly the Dark Knight is a triumphant achievement, but he knows the status of his best soldier is fragile at best. Held at that knife's edge between being free and being consumed. Surely there is a better way?

The quill moves even before Mateus' gaze refocuses to the surroundings, thoughts being written in black lettering onto the cream paper by an invisible hand. There are no flourishes, no elegance, no cursive. Just clear, block letters straight from what remains of his own heart:

'Pure Darkness bound in human form, with intelligence and logic to match. Higher than Heartless, utter subservience and loyalty to their creator. No Light able to intervene, undo, or destroy.'
Robed Figure The card crackles and hisses as the block lettering sears into the surface of the card. "An interesting choice."

The Robed Figure says quietly without needing to look at the card. A hand extends silently towards the emperor, asking for the return of the card. No theatrics and none needed. "One that perhaps you will not come to regret, for in all great works.. more than a little patience is required. We will see." There is a pause, and then the figure asks.

"Do we have an accord? An examination of your champion and their..capabilities in exchange for what you seek?"
Emperor Mateus The quill disintegrates to dust, which in turn disappears, and Emperor Mateus simply hands the closed card back to the robed figure. No theatrics given, none required. This is simply buisness.

"All good things come to those who wait." The Emperor of Palamecia smiles thinly, though there is no warmth in expression nor gaze. "As well as to those who work towards a clear goal."

He folds his hands loosely behind his back. "We have an accord indeed. I would ask for care when examining him..." He chuckles softly, a faint 'fufufu' sound, "...but I am certain such is a given and thus concern is unwarranted."
Robed Figure "They will not be given anything they cannot abide."

The card is tucked away within the folds of the robe. There is a flash of an eye, then an inclination of the head somewhat like a polite bow. "Of that, you can be certain. Good evening, Emperor. We will speak again soon."

The robe withers and evaporates, leaving only a few wisps of dark essence behind that shimmer into nothingness.
Emperor Mateus Emperor Mateus folds one arm over his abdomen, the other arm still tucked behind his back, and bows his head as the robed figure dissipates into the darkness. A few moments pass before he straightens, and a few more while his eyes sweep piercingly over the library. He has to admit, that meeting was quite a new experience.

"How interesting..."

He flicks his hand out to the side from behind his back, the book he had come here to retrieve flying through the air to his grasp.

"How intriguing..."

He smiles, wide but cold with the barest of teeth showing past his thin lips, his chin tilting downwards and eyes narrowing with a glint within. To call it a predatory expression would not do it enough justice.

"How enchantingly perfect."

And with that, he sweeps out of the library into the halls beyond. There is much work to do.

This scene contained 13 poses. The players who were present were: Robed Figure, Emperor Mateus