2018-09-13: A Reminder

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<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

In the wake of the Drifters' return to Filgaia, many people were displaced from Azado due to the presence of the great and unknowable creature from the sea, Sin -- or Obsession, as the Guardians called it. It wasn't a terribly clean getaway, with the way so many refugees were teleported straight into the midst of a battle between Adlehydean forces and the Metal Demons.

And in the wake of /that/, Old Petra has been revived as the site of another refugee shelter; now dubbed 'New Petra', several Manning cottages and prefab buildings dot around the ramshackle, dragon-headed airship known as the Fereshte, alongside the many tents and other settlements that the Outreach has managed to set up within the critical 24-hour period.

Riesenlied is in the midst of this, gathering a list of identities of Azadian refugees, taking stock of who's still missing and who still needs to be united, and making sure that everyone's got the necessities that they need.

It's... difficult, to say the least, when she's still herself dealing with the trauma and stress of -- having Azado cave, hearing the voices of all those that were lost to Sin as an empath... and then... Siegfried himself...

There's a hitch and a gasp as she struggles to hold onto her clipboard, then excuses herself as she smiles to the old lady she's speaking to. "I--I'm sorry... I just-- had a--"

She swallows. "Mrs. Skye, was it? I'll make sure to let you know if we find your children..." She lowers her head, bowing her head gently. "Please let us know if we can bring you anything else to make you more comfortable in the meantime."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

New Petra. Not quite the same as the Old Petra.

For one, there are a lot more people here this time around. Human people, too. Not just a bunch of greenhorn Metal Demons who'd never actually seen the true and horrific face of war. Not that the atmosphere is anything less than one of shock and trepidation regardless. These new residents are facing a whole different kind of uncertainty.

This is, after all, literally a whole new world for so many of them.

The unfortunate thing is that Cyre is not here for pleasantries, though chances are good that the Caravan Kinship is not too far away. They seem to open up shop in places like these pretty frequently, after all.

Also, using the Carakin to carry the specific item of interest all the way over here was /significantly/ more practical of a plan than just... hoofing it.

That would have been hard.

Regardless! Cyre is here, an unusually vigorous face amidst a herd of the shell-shocked and still-recovering, albeit one concealed beneath a voluminous cowl. "This way," he calls to the rest, "I think I see her up ahead." There are others following him. Several people, and...

...Is that a dog?

Pulling a sled? There's something wrapped up in cloth secured on top of it. No, wait-- that's no dog. That's... That's a wolf.

A distinctly puppyish, big-dog-sized wolf.

It seems to be following a piece of steak dangling by rope from Cyre's staff.


Riese is pretty easy to find, even in a place like this.

Her wings and horns are... kind of distinctive, you know?

"Riesenlied," Cyre calls, jostling through the crowd. "I'd heard you'd set up out here. Long time no see. Looks like you've been..." He looks meaningfully across the landscape of refugees, "...Busy."

...To say the least.

"I know you're probably a bit caught up in things but we've uh. We've got a thing that we'd like you to take a look at, if you've got some time." Cyre gestures at the wolf-sled, right as said wolf finally manages to catch up and snag his treat. The shaman turns and ruffles its head. Ruffle ruffle.


"Oh. Uh. I mean the thing on the sled, not my dog."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Despite the fact that she's back on Filgaia now, Catenna is still dressing like Jean-the-dancer. Apparently she really liked the style. Her sole concession to Shamanry is that she's not carrying feather fans; she has a sword tucked away at her side instead.

There's one other concession: There is a little bird on her shoulder. The Owlet appears to be fast asleep, maintaining its perch only through an automatic reflex. Catenna gives the tiny owl a brief, worried look before moving on after Cyre.

There's a lot to worry her here. Aside from the Owlet, Catenna's leading a cart full of tin cylinders - a collection of tiffin boxes, all slightly warm, all full of curry and rice. There are a lot of starving people here and Catenna spent the trip over cooking a huge pot of some of her most nutritious dishes to try and at least give these poor, suffering people something healthy and delicious to eat.

"Hello, Riesenlied," Catenna says as she steps into range. Letting go of the handle of her cart, she folds her hands neatly and inclines her head to her hornèd metal friend. "I am glad you are well. Thank you for caring for all of these people.

"I have food here," she says.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Hark! There, over the horizon, comes a lumbering figure - a figure that is slow and ponderous, but a figure that is eternal. A figure that is full of strength and pride, but also of hope and friendship.

It's Big Shal!... whose gaze sweeps across New Petra with a typical lack of speed, as if the golem has to take its time marshalling whatever counts as 'thoughts'. It regards the Fereshte, battered and beaten and yet still capable of flight, and it regards the many shelters that have already been erected, and the rest that are still going up even now. It takes in the milling groups of refugees, and those that are still holding out hope.

... and then it offers Riesenlied a creaking thumbs up, mimics a slow pat on the head with its other arm, and turns in the direction of the construction crews to offer a twelve-foot helping hand.

Closer to the ground, things are a lot more mundane, if just as troublesome. There's a long "Miss Riiiiese...!" that dopplers a little as a certain pink-haired blob rushes in, sneaking past Riesenlied's guard to impact against her in a comfortable hug. Thankfully, Shalune can at least guess how fragile the Hyadean must be at the moment, so rather than literally bowl Riese over she's managed to hold herself back enough to keep them both standing.

"Aah, you made it back! You're okay! Even the Fereshte's doing well!" she blurts excitably. "I was really worried when I saw it crash, but I shoulda known you'd figure out a way through!"

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

It had been on a whim that Layna had headed to the Leck Mines, and she and her party had ended up coming out with something very interesting. A pauldron of Metal Demon make, split in two, in a mysterious chamber brimming with strange energy.

They had brought it out of the mines in hopes of finding out more about it...and who better to seek the assistance of than Metal Demons - or Hyadeans, as this particular group called themselves.

She's the one grouped with the folks of the Caravan Kinship this time. As soon as they went into town a certain apothecary split off to manage a delivery of supplies they'd brought along with them to this growing settlement, and thus is not here for this particular meeting.

"Ahoy there, lass." Layna greets with a grin, tipping her hat in Riesenlied's direction. "Aye, if you can tell us anything, we'd appreciate it."

She leans back a little, folding her arms in front of herself and taking a quick look around.

"Fine place you've got here, I'd say." She comments. It reminds her a little of her settlement in Krosse, before it got razed to the ground.

She's still a little sore about that.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

Lanval happens to be along thanks to Layna, mostly, and so he is on the Caravan Kinship's ride. He was going to come out of his vessel and maybe try to sneak some more Brewte Force, but there was this guy with a really intense look on his face and maybe it was better to lie low for a while.

'A while' passes. Lanval's out now, sitting on the ground as people shuffle to and fro. He can recognize a lot of the displaced as being those from Azado - it's good to see that they're getting a lot of care and attention, best they all can put together. He's already seen just how... not so lush Filgaia is. He's not used to a world of opposite of plenty. Lunar was lush, beautiful, and did not lack for food. Here, though... sure, maybe it's not so bad around Adlehyde, but the further out one goes...

The Seraph mostly remains quiet and just takes in all the warm feelings and reassurances everyone has to share with one another in greeting.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei hasn't been to New Petra as much. Something about going back there leaves him uneasy but the fact of the matter is, a lot of his friends ARE there. While he is curious about The Boy From Urth and has a strange inclination to ask about his home village (of Urth), the fact is that it's pretty far away. He can ask about it later. It's not like it's going anywhere. Probably. I mean he doesn't really know for sure. But. You know. Maybe.

Fei arrived a little earlier than the Caravan but has largely kept to himself, staring at buildings here and there.

You... I thought you were dead, Then let me finish what SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE

Fei's fingers curl inward around an object hidden by his fingers.

And then Carakin and Lanval appear. Fei gives Lanval a smile and a wave of a hand. He has grown fond of this guy, as strange as he often acts, but more than that he has great sympathy for the Seraph after seeing just a taste of what he's subjected to.

But then he hears Cyre talking to Riesenlied and his attention turns to the catboi. He looks in his direction for a long moment. What could it be? And what could it have to do with Riesenlied?

Feeling protective, he moves a little closer to catch what he can of the conversation.

Then he's distracted. "Food?"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied's expression is one of surprise as Cyre pulls up, and not by himself but also with a... large sled and a particularly large wolf-sized dog-- or big dog-sized wolf? She blinks a few times, drawing herself up by her clipboard for a moment with a bite of her lip. Ah, it's cute...

The Hyadean is a bit diminuitive and quiet than she normally is. Less animated, softly nodding towards him, then to Catenna with a faint smile in turn.

"T--Thank you, Catenna... I'll have the kitchen staff bring it to deliver over the next schedule," as she waves and flags one of the Wayside staffers, who salutes and bows to both of them, before moving the cart away towards a shaded kitchen area where several meals are being cooked at present.

She yelps just a little as Shalune plows on in afterwards, briefly after she sees Big Shal's warm thumbs-up. It's fortunate that Shalune's keeping her standing, because Riese herself doesn't look as stable as the pink-haired blob.

"Yes... it was all thanks to Lydie and Leon and the others," she whispers to her as she-- works through some of the tremors in her fingers, then pats her on the head.

She sounds pressured and stilted, taking the time to steady herself as she looks towards the pirate. She hasn't seen Layna in a while... but she'd heard briefly of how her ship was in better state now. "Hello again, Layna..."

Lanval would pretty much recognise most of the people around here -- they're the same people who were at Taben's Peak back at Lunar, minus the kids and Nall and plus the Azadian refugees. "Is that... Lanval...?"

She waves at Fei gently when he passes by; she hasn't seen him much, and-- for some reason, she can't help but feel... it's probably okay if he wants to stay away. Something about the place...

Riesenlied blinks a few times, though, at what Cyre and Layna are mentioning -- what's this object that they want her to analyse? ... she doesn't think of herself as a scientist -- she's literally tone-deaf to technology, but... "What is it...?"

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Waffles is a good boy, he's just also utterly unaware of how ginormous he actually is. Admittedly, the only evidence you'd need for how good of a boy Waffles is is that he was obediently following Cyre's delicious steak-y treat instead of just snacking on the deliciousness Catenna's got cooking in her cart.

That said, it's probably for the best. Curries can have onion and garlic in them! Those are no good for pups.

"Oh, it's, uh," Cyre takes a step toward the wolf-sled and starts stripping off the layers of cloth surrounding their prize. "We found it deep under Leck, someplace that felt... Important. Real important. We recognized the material, and figured that you might be interested, or might know what it is we're looking at here," It's... a pauldron. An enormous pauldron forged of dark metal and unmistakably Hyadean in make, hewn cleanly in two by some unknown force.

Cyre finishes unwrapping the thing right as the big dog-wolf finishes his treat. Dog-wolves being as they are, Waffles decides to immediately hop up onto Cyre's back and begin gnawing affectionately at his head.

As dog-wolves do.

"Waffles!" Cyre squawks amidst a flurry of terrifying puppy kisses. "Stop! Down! You have breath like death!"

He might need help. Or maybe it's best just to leave Cyre to his puppy-wrassling fate.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Way over there somewhere, a man with a noticeable limp and a pair of glasses is probably working on the Fereshte. But he won't be in this scene because a chef is making unagi between him and you.

Catenna is what you get instead! Or /who/ you get, really. She clasps her hands neatly and smiles at Riesenlied, a little blush at her cheeks. "You are welcome... it was the least we could do to help. What happened to these people should never have happened...."

Something Celesdue said back there briefly occurs to her. She files the thought away for later.

As Cyre moves to unveil the technology, Catenna steps over to give him a hand. She blushes a little at the puppy-kissing before giving Waffles a little pat on the head. "Now now, there," she murmurs with a fond smile before leaving the pooch to give Cyre the puppy kisses that Kittum so richly deserves.

She unveils the pauldron for Cyre, then looks up at Riesenlied. "We found it in a chamber which glowed with an aura of power... as though some enormous energy had been expended there."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna wouldn't leave Lanval out, of course. He was with them when they found it, after all, and besides - he was fun to have around!

She chuckles a little bit as Cyre struggles with his large friend, but makes no move to help him. The way she sees it, he brought this upon himself.

"Nice seein' you, lass." Layna says with a nod toward Riese. "And aye, it is! You've met?"

She's a little curious, but not extraordinarily so. Lanval was his own Seraph, it only made since that he'd make his own friends.

She listens as Cyre and Catenna explain the situation, and nods in confirmation.

"Aye, that's about the half of it. Which reminds me - if you an' yours find yourself headin' out Leckways, be careful. The whole place is practically flooded, you're going to want to be ready for more than a lil' swim, aye?" Layna confirms with a nod.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Immediately, Shalune can sense that something's wrong. It's not like she's the Hug Whisperer or anything, but she doesn't need to be to pick out the difference in the Hyadean's demeanour. A guilty look crosses her face, but she works quickly to replace it with a bright smile, and the hug becomes less a hug and more offering the metal demon a shoulder to lean against. "I'm really glad you're okay," she insists in a slightly gentler tone of voice. "Lemme know if I can help out anywhere at all."

Such is her worry that Cyre's package is temporarily forgotten - she's never exactly been the sort to focus on goals when she's got someone in front of her looking like they need reassurance. "Did you guys need anything in specific? I saw Jay bringing a bunch of medicine, so that's all good, and Catenna brought some food to add to the pile. I guess we kinda owe you some relief work in kind, huh?" she adds as she grins sheepishly and rubs at her hair. "If you need some time, we can always come back later--"

But it's too late, so instead she does at least turn to watch the metal be unveiled, falling silent as the cloth is pulled back. She can't deny she's been at least a little curious about it, but the moment she realized what race it must belong to she left it well alone out of sheer respect.

Feeling anxious about the topic, she slides around it instead, fixing her gaze on the martial artist. "Oh, Mr. Fei! Ah, you should probably know that Lunie's doing a lot better. She's-- um-- fixed herself up, sorta-kinda," she tries, not really sure how else to describe it before she breaks into another smile. "We've been working at the Saloon again, like old times."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

Lanval's name is spoken aloud by the exhausted Hyadean, and the tubby water spirit turns his head to catch Fei's little friendly wave (which he returns, in far lazier a fashion but just as genuine in spirit... which he's a spirit... so it's kind of whole-hearted? How can you be THIS LAZY whole-heartedly and... um, moving on).

One of his eyes opens on the quiet little Owlet. Almost every other animal companion present he's seen is just lively and joyful, but not them. He's hoping they're okay, as the conversation transitions along over to the actual physical thing of interest she can talk about.

"Mmmm," he grunts lightly as he gets back up and ambles over to the gathering with that odd gait that seems like a terrible parody of physical locomotion as a /concept/. How does one ever stay upright like that? Everyone's offering some sort of aid, some sort of assistance. Lazy ol' Lanval strokes at his beard with a free hand.

"Ya don't shupposhe ya need shome water, then...? Ahh... pro'ly shoulda ashked the moment I shet foot here... ha ha ha! Shorry~"

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei smiles at Catenna and Cyre. Seeing them and their relationship feels very familiar and reminds him of his own blessings and it's just always nice, of course, to see a happy couple. It's these little things that prove that life is still living.

But then--Feistraightens suddenly. Cyre said a key word. "I'm sorry," Fei says. "Did you say Leck? You found something down there too?"

He approaches cautiously, strangely cautiously as he comes near. He is about to inquire further but Shalune catches sight of him and Fei is relieved. She didn't get eaten by the giant whale.

"Is that so?" Fei says. "you know I hadn't been there while you were working. I'll have to give it a go now that we're back." He smiles. "And I'm glad that Lunata's doing better. I am trying not to worry about her so much, I know she doesn't care for it."

He gives Riesenlied a long look, quirking his head out of curiousity, but then turns his gaze towards the pauldron. If he recognizes it, he doesn't comment, but he does say, "What I found..."

He opens up his hand, revealing a silver locket (NOT a Nisan cross). "Was this. It held something once, but I don't know what it is." The locket is badly tarnished by age. It was clearly meant to contain something but the locket's clasp was broken open and there's only red dust that remains.

And then he lowers his hand. "...I suppose it doesn't mean much but..."

He trails off unhelpfully for a while and then admits, "I think I may have been there before...? Or...someone..."


<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied places her hand to her cheek for a moment, peering towards Waffles with a mixture of adoration and yet some trepidation at the same time. She's not really certain if she has it in her to get bowled by a big dog right now...

"It... should not..." Riesenlied whispers to Catenna in turn, nodding in agreement as she continues struggling. She nods towards Layna and expresses, "Yes, that we have... he healed me when I was gravely poisoned by-- by one of my brethren." Even now, still speaking of Yaro as such, instead of using lesser words, no matter how badly she's been injured...

Shalune's there to help her, though, and the Hyadean quietly nods as she whispers, "I'm okay... I'm, I'm working through it. I have a lot of support, and seeing you all here is... I think Val'd appreciate some work on the purifier."

Lanval, unfortunately, doesn't get much attention from /most/ of the villagers... given that they're not Resonant. However, perhaps due to some stroke of fate, some... measure of destiny...

A certain woman with a refrigerator rigged to a kegerator stops before him. Val's blinkers scan down on Lanval for a moment, before she announces:

"I sense a kindred spirit who thinks every hour is beer o' clock... ..."


Fei shows the silver locket, which... reminds her of that village they visited in Biroclef, but... certainly that couldn't be related, could it? She stares for a moment...

But Riesenlied's attention is drawn away as she-- peers towards the pauldron for a longer moment.

She's not... really a scientist, again, she can't analyse the make or material of the pauldron, save that it's clearly of Hyadean make. She can't even make a clear run at analysing what kind of force could've rent it in half, but...

"... I..."

She kind of moves like she's possessed, moving to sit on the sled gently as she lays her fingers along the rent of the pauldron. There's a soft gasp as her head jerks back a little--

--and tears start to roll from her eyes.

A moment later, she emotionally catches up, sniffling as she stammers, "W-why... why?"

She sounds just as confused as anyone else.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"That is right."

Avril's voice rings out all of a sudden, speaking when Fei asks whether the piece of armor was found in the depths of the water-logged Leck Mines. "We found it down there, alone. Nothing else was there save still shallow water and the lights that shone upon it. They shone in a pattern and... it's quite strange," the young silver-haired woman continues, as she paces towards the periphery of the group to join them, "but I did feel as if something momentous had occured there once upon a time."

Her eyes hood, her gaze flickering sidelong to the locket Fei holds in one hand. "Might I see it, Fei?"

Before her attention returns to the pauldron. "I believe this may be related to your people, Riesenlied. Do you know anything of it?"

Her hands clasp before her for the moment, in those seconds before Riesenlied touches where the pauldron was damaged. And in the seconds that follow--

"Riesenlied? Are you alright?" She starts forward but does not touch the afflicted Hyadean, her hand hovering a few scant degrees in the air.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Traitors! Betrayers one and all! Bereft of the aid of his WOULD BE FRIENDS, Cyre succumbs under the terrible assault of puppy kisses and collapses under the dog-wolf's tremendous weight! This suits Waffles just fine, since it means he can now continue licking without standing on his hind legs. Hooray!

It takes a while and the sacrifice of at least one more Chunk O' Meat for Cyre to struggle free, looking significantly more disheveled and unhooded. His ears twitch aggrievedly. "Gee, thanks guys."

Waffles makes a sound halfway between a bark and a howl. He sings the song of his people. It's adorable.

Fortunately, Catenna and Layna are able to undo the bindings well enough on their own. Cyre huffs, hands on his hips, as he observes their prize. It really is quite a piece of armor, but--

"Huh?" He starts, blinking at Fei's... Pendant? That's a new one. "What's that you've got there? Some kind of weird sand inside and--"

Sobs. Cyre turns on his heel as emotion gets the better of their host. "Riese?" The shaman asks, suddenly worried. "Hey, you alright?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna can think of a couple of Metal Demons who might try to poison Riesenlied. It actually takes her a few seconds to realize it was probably the hideous blob one. Then she reminds herself not to think of Seraph Lanval that way

Especially once Riesenlied tears up. Catenna blinks and slips forward to rest one hand on the horned woman's upper back. "Riesenlied," she murmurs with quiet sympathy. "I am sorry if it upsets you... or if what it evokes in you is saddening...." She flashes a sad little smile of her own and offers, "We can take it away, if you like."

It is all Catenna can do not to try and hug Riesenlied, to be honest. She doesn't go /that/ far, though. Yet.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Really now! Well, good work there, Lanval!" Layna says, sending the Seraph a grin before turning her attention to Riesenlied. "I won't ask about the circumstances - probably a lot you don't want to be thinkin' about right now, aye?"

She folds her arms in front of herself and listens as the others talk. Eventually, Riesenlied makes her way over to the pauldron. Layna watches with an eyebrow raised as the Hyadean woman moves, almost as if she wasn't entirely in control of herself. She lays a hand on the pauldron...

...and starts to cry? Layna frowns and shifts slightly.

"...You alright there, lass? If you need to take a moment let us know, aye? This ain't /that/ urgent." Layna offers with a gesture.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

What the heck could have gone down in Leck Mine, Fei wonders as Riesenlied starts crying, that involved both him and Riesenlied? She too seems as confused as anything else. Perhaps they were two different events, but that's some coincidence. Fei isn't sure he trusts it, but he does seem to trust Avril enough to let her take a closer look at the locket!

Yep, it sure is a silver locket that looks really old. Honestly, judging from the damage, it must've been down there for a while.

He looks over to Cyre afterwards and shrugs. "I don't know what it is or anything. It just felt familiar." That is really not a lot to go on.

He looks over to Riesenlied, focusing on her for a moment. He has the same question, but it's obvious he can't exactly quiz Riesenlied about it. He does look at her, with sympathy. He knows what's that like.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"Hehe," Shalune automatically responds to Fei, scratching at her cheek a second time. "Right now, it's a little full of people using it as a makeshift hospital, but don't let that put you off! The Starfall Saloon's got enough bandages and food for everyone!" she proclaims, and then immediately grins in a mixture of sheepishness and pride. "Don't worry, she gets grumpy when Jay and I worry about her too, but it's not like we're going to stop any time soon."

Looking back to Riesenlied, Shalune squeezes her hug a little tighter for a moment, wanting to show a little solidarity; she tugs her smile wider, nodding her head a little. "Aww... that sounds good," she says in quiet encouragement. "I'll make sure to help her out, I promise. Big Shal's already gone to help stand stuff up."

Acril gets a smile and a wave; from off in the distance, Big Shal stops for a moment to track the white-haired girl's movement, then the golem goes back to her work. "Oh, oh, Miss Avril, I should show you some stuff later," Shalune perks up. "I think I found somethin' you'd like, or at least somethin' you'd be interested in."

Her bubbling comes to a halt when she lets go to allow the metal demon space to move forwards, and when Riesenlied starts to tear up; Shalune blurts out a 'wah!' at the first sign of the tears, then scurries up to the Hyadean's side once more. "Cyre! What'd you do?!" she blurts defensively. "I don't think this was 'xactly the best time, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Wh--" Cyre gawps. Accusations! Baseless accusations!! "I didn't know this would happen!! I just thought she might know what this pauldron was doing down there is all!"


<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

"Leasht I coulda done then..." Lanval comments, remembering that day when he was at his lowest. When he ran off from his friends in shame and despair... those were rough times. These are still rough times, but they're rough times being shared in the company of friends.

Lanval's head turns as Val bears down upon the water spirit with those blinkers. He staggers more steps than is necessary to do something like 'turn around and face someone standing at your 7:30 o'clock or so,' and sizes them up with one half-lidded eye open. There are more than a few individuals here of truly strange make to mortal eyes. Think of how these odd people might look in the eyes of the Seraph whose senses probably work far differently in terms of capturing acknowledgements of color, form, personhood...


His smile broadens. "I don't think yer shenshin' wrong! Ha ha ha!" He staggers up to try and wrap one of his fat arms around her, holding up his gourd in the other hand as if one were to make a toast. The laughter intensifies! The air gets a little more mirthful, as he finds himself pulled away from the reason the lot of them are actually even there to begin with - the weird pauldron!

The laughter stops abruptly as Riesenlied's sorrow fills the air. Looks like he and Val will have to wait to develop their newfound friendship any further, as he staggers off back towards the lot of them to check and see what's even going on.

"H-Heyyy... what'sh got you shad...? All of a shudden," like the sudden upswell of emotion were suddenly so jarring...

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Val is an extremely bizarre existence to a Seraph -- a woman who was born Hyadean, but cobbled of such spare parts that she might not even be able to call claim to being Hyadean anymore; indeed, to such Seraph senses, she might not even have much of what they'd consider 'life'...

... save for what's fermenting inside of her, perhaps. There's a jovial cackle from Val-- that's paused as she also turns and goes, "'e-ey, Riese..."

Avril moves close once she appears, and she's not even aware of the white-haired woman for a moment before...

Riesenlied's shaking her head as she tries to pat at her cheeks, at her eyes... Cyre's asking if she's all right, and Catenna offers sympathy and offers to take it away...

"N-no, it's... it's all right--"

She swallows just a little harder.

In a better time, perhaps, when she isn't so immured with the sensations of the lost Azadians, but just as importantly, the conflicting feelings of the situation at Adlehyde fresh in her mind...

She nods very quietly at Layna as she does indeed take that moment, breathing inwards and trying to calm and settle herself.

"Sorry..." A pause, as she closes her eyes again, taking big calming breaths as she looks and nods at Fei's sympathetic look, and Shalune's encouraging support. "Just--"

She bites her lip. "... I know this pauldron. I know who owned it, long ago."

Her lips dither again as she dwells a little in the memories that have resurfaced. "It was a long time ago, not long after I was first born... not long after the disaster you call the 'Day of Collapse'."

There's a hesitant pause, as she explains, "I still recall that day, huddling in the cold of the Gutter... next to the Fossil that'd taken me back home with the last of its strength..."

There is a moment as she looks up towards the air for a moment. She feels scared to be admitting all of this. There are so many who wish him dead, and given what he's done, are they so wrong to feel that way? She feels all the more wrong to feel... worried... concerned...

"He came to me that very day... paid attention to a scruffy outcast..." A pause. "He offered me a hand to hold, a mantle to warm me... that mantle, fixed underneath this pauldron, I'm... I can recall..."

She opens her eyes, dabbing gently at her cheeks again.

"... the man I really wished to call father." A pause. "I'm sure of it. This once belonged to Siegfried."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna has a hard time feeling any particular sympathy for Siegfried. She doesn't hate him - in Castle Rabenstein, she must've been the only person whose gameboard did not have a red Siegfried mannikin across from her own - but in her mind, he's more of a roadblock, something she needs to push through in order to achieve her goals.

/But then, it is different for Riesenlied, is it not?/ she realizes as she looks down at the pauldron. Half-extending a hand, she stops and resists the urge to touch the chunk of metal that apparently came off the Metal Demons' very biggest big guy. She pulls the hand back instead and presses her lips together, digesting the feelings evoked by what Riesenlied explains to them.

"I am sorry," she says quietly, and here she does hold an arm out to Riesenlied to give her a hug should she accept it.

"I am sorry that it could not always be that way." Her tone's a little more subdued, edged with sadness as she looks down at the pauldron again. "He must have been very kind to you."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

If she's aware of Big Shal's attention, Avril gives no sign of it, only pausing as she ventures towards the outer limits of the loose circle here to turn her attention Shalune's way. "Oh? Have you? I would like to see it. ...If it is related to Golems," she adds, a faint smile on her lips, "I feel that Dean might like to see it as well."

She takes the locket gingerly in hand, tilting it this way and that in the light. "..." Gently, she touches the broken chain, then carefully attempts to see if the locket itself will open.

"Hmm. I feel as if I may have seen this or something like it before, but..." She pauses, then shakes her head. "I do not feel as if... it is something I knew well? Is that a strange way to phrase it? It is familiar... and unfamiliar."

Maybe she's seen something like it? Perhaps it had been the same for Fei when he found it.

She hands it back over to Fei soon after.

It takes a moment or two longer for Riesenlied to right herself, to wipe away those tears. Slowly, inch by inch, Avril retracts her hand, until it lingers in mid-air before her chest as if in worry. "Riesenlied..."

Only to then blink in surprise. "You do? Then, this would be..." Five hundred years old or more?

Her gaze lowers, down at the sundered pauldron. "...Then this belonged to Siegfried..." The leader of the Metal Demons -- until Mother's return. The one behind the current crisis. The one that Riesenlied wished to call her father. "..."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna steps back, letting Riesenlied have her moment to just recover and recenter herself after such a shock.

"Not to worry, lass." Layna says, offering her an encouraging smile. She waits, then, and listens attentively as Riesenlied begins to speak.

This pauldron...it once belonged to Siegfried. Layna frowns slightly...and then massages the back of her neck. She didn't realize Riesenlied felt that way toward Siegfriend. ...She feels a touch of sympathy for the Hyadean.

A part of her had an idea of some of the things she must be going through.

"...I see. Sorry, lass." Layna says apologetically. "Didn't mean ta drop somethin' so heavy on you like that all of a sudden. I know how it is..."

She folds her arms in front of herself and finds her gaze drawn to the pauldron once more.

"...I wonder what happened? To cut it in two, and leave that entire chamber glowin' like that..." She murmurs.

<Pose Tracker> Sorey has posed.

Sorey has drifted up quietly behind the group as they have been speaking, but he hasnt wanted to really interject. When it comes to the Metal Demons... well, he has his sympathies for their plight. He understands what it feels like to be alienated from the world, and he doesn't blame them for being angry. He does blame them for trying to hurt innocent people in the process of trying to find their place, and that's he's willing to fight against them to prevent.

But he can sympathize the sort of pain that having to fight against friends and family can bring, and he nods once as he listens to Riese talking about how this piece of gear that they once discovered had long ago belonged to Siegfried. And so, speaking suddenly from behind someone else, he chimes in. "I don't think that is a bad thing, Riesenlied. And having that sympathy for someone who has as much pain and anger as Siegfried has might be the one thing that helps him to find a path away from all of this violence and destruction."

Sorey isn't the sort who is going to give up on anyone. He believes that you at least owe it to people to extend a hand and offer them salvation. It's up to them if they want to take it... but it should be offered at least once.

Who knows what the results might be?

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"Honestly," Fei tells Shalune. "It's frankly a relief knowing that I'm not the only one who got on her nerves like that." Maybe he should, like, actually seek her out again. Check up on her. He hadn't made much of an effort on Lunar due to not wanting to trouble her but if that's what everybody does, well, maybe it's okay if he bothers her some more.

Siegfried, he thinks. It always goes back to Siegfried. His eyes widen faintly as Riesenlied vocalizes what she has felt for a long time.

The locket itself is easy to open, the clasp is broken, but all that's inside is that red dust. Who knows what was in THAT. Fei takes it back.

"You wished to." Fei says. "So why didn't you?"

Sorey arrives and Fei allows himself a small smile. It's hard to really argue with Cecilia and Rudy on this matter, but it's nice to know that the Shepherd thinks he isn't beyond being saved.

It's nice to think that nobody is beyond being saved.

"I think," Fei says. "He'd probably like to hear you call him that. At least on some level."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune winces hard at Riesenlied's summary, instantly bringing her hand to her bobble hat and very nearly tugging it down over her eyebrows to hide under it. "Aah... I'm so sorry. I thought it might be connected to someone you knew, but-- this really wasn't the time to bring it up, huh?" she burbles softly to herself, more talking to herself than daring to cut into Riesenlied's thoughts.

She tracks her gaze to the chunk of armour for a long moment, taking in Riese's words; she chews at her lip automatically, realizing she doesn't know a whole lot about Hyadeans still, even after everything. As an Adlehydian, she wonders if she should maybe even be feeling some anger right now, but-- but she'd seen more than enough already, in the reactions during and after the second attack. It's a feeling she'd rather skitter away from, than anything.

"You still can... right?" she finds herself saying instead, and scratching at her hair afterwards. "I mean, um. Sometimes they can be strict, sometimes they can be in a fight, sometimes they can be real /stupid/, but family's still family."

Sometimes tells her it's not the time to press the point; she glances at Avril instead, and scratches at her cheek. "... hehe, yeah. Um, but I'm still kinda figuring out what to do with it, just yet." It's a bit cagey for her, but she lets it go regardless to fix Fei with a smile. "Aw, well, she's like family to me, after all. Includin' everything I just said," she adds impishly. "But I'm sure she'd be happy to say hello."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

Lanval takes a seat somewhere nearby, in so much that water likes to be at rest and it just so happens this patch of land he sits on looks ready to have to deal with him laying there for a while. He reflects on how odd it is that someone so kind-looking and beloved by many around here would have attracted such a sizeable bounty by the Guard, back over on Lunar... but Lunar's behind him now, right? He can't ever go back.

His eyes flick open wide as she mentions she knows who owned it. She's been around that long?! Said eyes settle down to one being open half-lidded soon after as she fights back her tears to recount it. Lanval doesn't ask aloud as to whether Siegfried was the big guy in the armor and the spear he saw while he was lounging about Adlehyde during its latest attack. Even being given the general primer about Metal Demons some time back, the whole thing is a lot to take in. He's... not as used to being concerned about huge, centuries-spanning grudges turned into genocidal campaigns like this, instead so fixated on just doing his part to keep up his part of Lunar's spirtual ecosystem.

"O-One thing'sh fer shure," Lanval speaks up as Layna murmurs, "ta leave all that lingering power in that place..." It even gives Lanval the shudders to think about the magnitude of what must have happened down there.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied can't really blame anyone for feeling no sympathy for Siegfried. How could she expect it of anyone? After everything he's done at Adlehyde, at Arctica... and everything else he's done between then and now... and all of the vehement things he's expressed. He shows no signs of repentance, and nothing but death in battle will solve the problem...


"I know," Riesenlied whispers again to Catenna. She shakes her head. "I let so many people hurt trying to avert my eyes from the truth... love can be a destructive influence as well."

Sorey speaks up, blinking as she smiles a little wanly towards the Shepherd. She hadn't seen him in Lunar, but she heard that he was involved with some of what had happened in Glenwood. "... it scares me, sometimes," she admits to Sorey, "That I might be walking back what I'd decided... but you're right."

She agrees with Fei. It's nice to think that nobody is beyond being saved... even if it scares her. But when he says that, as Shalune chimes in and says she still can--

"... I'm scared to," she whispers. "Every time, I'm not sure he wants to hear it... and my voice dies down...."

She pauses, and then tries to steer the topic back towards what's more relevant--

"I'm sorry, though... I don't really understand why it would be down there, or what its relevance to the energy-filled room you all saw was."

A pause, as she tilts her head and admits, nodding to Lanval, "But Lord Siegfried's own armour is supernaturally tough. To have dealt it such a clean blow like this... it must be a great force indeed... was it even broken by the energy in the room, or was it residue from the great blow?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna's experience with Siegfried has mostly involved a large knife being levelled her way. She is trying very hard not to think about that.

"Sometimes our hearts speak to us louder than our heads," she concedes as she gives Riesenlied's shoulder a little touch, before lifting her hand away. "But on balance, no one could ever blame you for loving. Better to have that feeling in your heart than to have no such feeling at all."

Sorey chimes in, and Catenna nods slowly and soberly. "...There can be no opening our arms to people without that kindness. And there can be no changing of minds without open arms waiting. Perhaps it will come, in time."

But Riese doesn't understand the truth of why the pauldron is there - and Catenna eases back, settling to one knee on the edge of the cart. The Moon Shaman presses her lips together in thought. "...All we could figure out is that it was some enormous expenditure of energy. Perhaps some powerful spell, or a powerful ARM, discharged in a confined space...."

<Pose Tracker> Sorey has posed.

When you say this sort of thing, Sorey is going to offer a bright smile and a reassuring word. Because it's the sort of thing he does. "I think if I ended up being lost and turning down a dark path, I would want someone to extend a hand to me and help me try and find the way back, even if I had done some unforgivable things. As long as you are alive, there's a chance to change - and there's a chance to try and make things right."

The Shepherd's declaration is as firm and decisive as one might expect. He looks around at the others for a moment, and adds, "I do agree that the place that we found was quite unusual. If we can get some idea of what happened there, I think it would at least give us a better idea of what we might see in the future. Or..."

He pauses, thinking it over for a moment.

"...perhaps some insight into why Siegfried has become so set on destroying humanity? I can't say that I've heard too much of what he's said, but I've been in the same battle as the man a few times and he has sounded incredibly passionate, especially of late." It's hard to tell exactly what he's passionate ABOUT during all the noise and racket of battle, but...

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"Then, I suppose we shall have to see it when we visit with you, Shalune," Avril speaks, apparently weighing in her judgement on the matter. "Shall I let Dean know?"

Nothing is inside except red dust. She stares at it as if she might thereby gain an answer, but the dust remains silent as ever. Carefully she closes it again, taking care not to spill the dust, before handing it back over.

Avril wordlessly turns her head, glancing back over her shoulder at Sorey as he approaches; her gaze rests upon him for several moments before she nods, as subtle as the gesture might be.

Sympathy. Forgiveness. It almost sounds like something Dean might say. He, too, must hope for a different ending to all of this. While Avril herself has begun to gird for the action she fears may be necessary. Still, if someone were to opt to change their path at this point... Were they capable of doing so at this point.


"...It can be difficult, to speak what is in one's heart." Her head is bowed, her hands clasped to her chest. "But what the heart speaks can be the most important of all. ...Riesenlied, do not press yourself. But..." But don't remain forever silent. ...Why is it that her own heart is now the one pounding?

"...That, I do not know," Avril says when she speaks again. "Whether that force was there before, or whether it came of what happened in that chamber. It may be necessary to explore the mines again and see what else might rest down in its depths."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna folds her arms in front of her quietly. She doesn't say anything, but there's a bit less of her usual energy there. She takes a second to nod toward Lanval before looking back to the others.

"...Some folks don't want to change their mind. Some folks don't want to turn back, no matter how much you try to reach out to 'em." Layna comments, after some hesitation. "I'm not sayin' it's for sure, but...at some point, you're gonna have to think about who's at risk."

As for the chamber they found the pauldron...there's still a few more things that can be said about that.

"A spell, an ARM...maybe. Whatever the case, if that energy's still lingering even from the Day o' Collapse, it must've taken /a lot/. It didn't show any signs of fadin', either...least until some of it was taken outta there." Layna says, rummaging through her coat. She removes a small chunk of what appears to be ordinary rubble. "Though I'd take some back with me to toss at someone ta study, but as you can see..."

Nothing - whatever it was, there was no trace left.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

...Siegfried. It belongs to Siegfried. The blue devil who seeks the destruction of their world, the obliteration of the human race, and the death of the Guardians themselves. Cyre fights back the urge to grimace; he reminds himself that this armor belongs to a man who lived hundreds of years ago-- not the one he knows today.

Are they so different?

How badly can the years change a man? How much can time twist a soul? Immortality can be a curse- the body may not rot, but what of the mind and the spirit?

Cyre takes in a breath and tugs his hood up over his face. His cheeks burn red with fury and embarrassment in equal measure. At the very least, he can... Sympathize with those who feel the loss he does not.

At the very least, he can say... Something.

"Don't regret having loved," Cyre says, quietly. "Whether it turns out well or not, whether they reciprocate or not, whether that love is worth the same to you as it is to them, never regret having loved. At the very least, the sting of loss is better than the ache of remorse." He breathes a long sigh and rubs the back of his neck. "...Man. That's some heavy stuff, though. I apologize, I didn't think it'd be something so... Personal to you. But maybe you can take these old memories and make something good out of them."


Can Siegfried be brought back the way Riesenlied so hopes he can? Cyre purses his lips and frowns.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"I have a guess as to what happened," Fei says, looking over to Lanval. The presence of Siegfried at this location clues him in a lot more than it might otherwise. "My guess is that what happened was that Lacan and Siegfried...had their falling out here. Maybe Siegfried killed him there. Or something else hurt them." He shakes his head. "But that's just a guess. I can't say for sure whether that's what happened or not, but it troubles me that both he and...this were there. I intend to visit Leck Mines again. There may be more pieces of this puzzle that remain."

He closes his eyes for a long moment. He considers Riesenlied's fear. Then he exhales, shortly, not a long sigh at all--rather almost akin to a 'huff'.

"Siegfried," Fei says. "Won't be saved with fear." It comes off like an admonishment but he does smile a moment afterwards as he adds, "I'm sure you will find your voice when you need to, though. So I'm not too worried." Erzebet Lefanu (erzebet) pages: bwahhh what's goin on out there

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

Can Siegfried be convinced to let go of a grudge that spans so, so many centuries? A span that exceeds the lifespans of so many here, and more than a few generations between them and the time in which this grudge originates? The Shepherd, over there, already seems to ruminate on the hows and whys as he declares his own faith in the idea. That's kind of reassuring, for the Seraph, though it is a lot more to think about and take in.

He has himself a sip from his gourd. All he really knows is that Filgaia sure looks like it's having it rough, what with all of this on top of just how the whole place feels... and Fei puts down a theory.

"Mmm... wouldn't mind havin' another look." Maybe he also just wants to visit the headless Golem that saved them, too, it took /way too long/ to get him to just not dwell on the poor inanimate thing that had no head by the time someone or something compelled it to move again.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"... aah... yeah, I definitely know that kinda feeling," Shalune mumbles of Riesenlied's answer; there's been times she's felt herself hold still out of worry and regret it later, both with her birth family and those who are now close enough - but she pumps her fists a little, biting at her lip. "But, y'know, if he's really family he's never gonna not want to hear it. He might say that, sometimes, but deep down, even with everything he's doing now, I'm sure there's a speck of it there."

She follows Riesenlied back to the main topic, though, biting at her lip slightly. "I don't know that ambient energy would make a break like that. If it was due to heat or energy buildup the edge would probably look more, uh, melty? Or it'd be cleanly along a stressed fracture or something. That's more of a-- a rent," she decides softly to herself. "At least, I think so..."

Scratching at her pink hair, she nods towards Avril. "Um, yeah! Sorry, I just-- I don't really know yet how to even explain it, or what I'm gonna do with it," she explains. Riesenlied was, after all, the first one to point out to her that using and repairing Diablo might turn out to be a worse idea in the long run, given the history of escalation, so she keeps the matter of the Elw golem she found parts for a little under her bobble hat for the time being, and just quietly listens to everyone else chip in their own thoughts.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Hearts speak louder than heads... Riesenlied has so much familiarity with that. Much of what she's done tends to be motivated by emotion, if not herself than others', after all -- as direct as those in front of her, like the Azadians... and as ambiguous as the cries of the world deep beneath them, ever-beckoning to her to dangerous places.

Avril chimes in that it's difficult to speak of what is in one's heart... but... that is what's most important of all. Shalune says that if he's really family... that deep down, there's gonna be a speck of it down there. "... I owe it to him to be truthful about my feelings... even if--"

But as Layna says -- sometimes someone doesn't want to change their path. And she has to think of who's at risk. She doesn't want another Adlehyde. Or another Arctica.

But Fei says that Siegfried won't be saved with fear, prompting a nod from her as she draws a breath. She'll find that courage. She'll find that courage to tell him everything of how she feels...

She draws a faint breath and shakes her head at Cyre, expressing, "I--It's all right. It's just been very fresh on my mind, given Adlehyde just... days ago."

Sorey's comment gives Riesenlied some thought, however, and Fei brings the name up which makes the story rather timely.

"... when we were in the Old Moon-- in Lunar," Riese corrects herself, "We met an old friend of Siegfried's, Lombardia. ... there, she told the story of how he met and befriended humans... someone named Lacan in particular. Then she told us of how he was..."

A pause. "How he was betrayed. How he had hope for the future, a desire for peace and coexistence... and how it was dashed in but an instant by what had transpired on that Day of Collapse."

It's what Layna points out that gets her mind moving, distracted and exhausted as she is.

"... Lombardia also told us about--" A pause. It must sound a little scant and painful coming from a Hyadean, but... "The scar the humans and Elw inflicted upon the planet in a desperate move to stop Diabolos, during the Day of Collapse. That was... before the Elw disappeared, and the Guardians became as scarce as they are today..."

"I'm... only theorising, of course, but-- it /could/ be trapped residue from whatever devastating assault they created that... drained the Guardians of their energy and sapped Filgaia of so much of its life."

She hears a little of people's plans to revisit it, though, but says, "I'm sorry... I'm not much of a swimmer at all, and the Azadians need all the help they can get right now. But I'd be-- I'd be happy to look at whatever else you need me to."