2019-04-08: Chance Meeting by the Moonflow

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==============================<* The Moonflow *>==============================

The Moonflow is a large river that bisects Spira's largest island into southern and northern halves. Strange flowers called Moonlilies grow on the Moonflow's banks, attracting pyreflies that gather on its surface at night, making the water sparkle. Although a beautiful area, the weather tends to be overcast more often than not, the souls of the dead providing the most reliable source of illumination.

The primary method of crossing the Moonflow is aboard a shoopuf - an elephantine creature that can swim across the expansive river. The crossing service is funded by the Temple of Yevon and is free of charge.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wcVnJQ-FN4
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Clarine has posed.

The Moonflow - the large river that separated Spira's northern and southern halves. It held a strange, mystical air to it, one that Clarine found herself observing today.

There was not as much pure sunlight as she would've liked - the Moonflow and its surrounding areas(lightly-forested grasslands) were often overcast - but even so she found it hard to ignore.

And so, those passing through the grasslands today will encounter an unusual sight. Perched atop a large rock by the side of the Moonflow is the Seraph Clarine, sitting down with her eyes shut and appearing for all the world to be in the middle of a nap.

In reality' she's just taking a moment to soak everything in. She is content with things as they currently stand...but passersby are to be expected in a public place like this.

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

"Clarine?"

The voice is light and familar. Picking her way along the edge of the moonflow, a smiling girl approaches, much less encumbered than she's been in days recent.

After the incident in the streets of Luca, a Crusader impressed upon her the need to dress appropriately. Clarissa took it to heart: She's wearing a sleeveless cream-coloured top, turtlenecked but sleeveless and with some tan lacing, and a pair of blue shorts that travel part of the way down her thighs. Her boots are rather higher - they come up past her knees, with big cuffs - and her gloves match them. Her belt's still there, Strahl Gewehr tucked into a pouch behind her. The hair's different, though: She's pulled it back into a loose, poofy blonde ponytail.

It still feels weird to her. Clarissa doesn't like to change her style up.

She does, however, like familiar faces. Leaning forward with her hands behind her back, the girl smiles cheerily down at the napping Clarine. "I haven't seen you in a little while! I'm not waking you up from a nap, am I?"

Clarissa blushes. "...though this is a beautiful place to nap...."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval stops by here every so often when the Fox Company crew is out making a living through this part of the land, because it's the closest thing to 'quiet' he can find in Spira. There is no such thing as 'quiet' in Spira. There is simply 'less bodies.' Mortal traffic tends to go through very specific routes in these parts, so when he's left to his own devices he just finds some place along the length of the river to sit down.
        The Oracle of Schturdark still has no word from his patron Guardian. He is not before any water of Filgaia, and it is no secret that this separation happening so soon after such a union was achieved is a great source of worry indeed - among other things and facets already well-established prior.
        A mortal comes to the company of one of the Seraphim who is also passing the time here. The bearded, bulky drunkard of a greater charge than his appearance lets on doesn't go out of his way to call attention to them or otherwise disturb them, as he takes his drinking gourd in both hands and has himself a contemplative sip while watching the pyreflies flit about ahead.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Boudicca has posed.

        Hearken, there is magic in this place; magic over magic, repeated in fractal exponents, and this world knows the unknown, and these people know the unknown.

        And this is why Boudicca is just as visible as the Beast of Lohgrin.

        She adapted easier, perhaps, than some of her fellows. It was uncomfortable, at first, instinctually offputting to be known without a vessel to show for it. But it is not so much of a leap to be heard, when one is used to being seen; she has since adapted, somewhat, to not having to insist in exasperation as no one listens to her.

        This is a kinder place, than the rest of Lunar. There is so little Malevolence to scare her; perhaps it is also true she is less scared, forged by flame into something stronger. Yes, there is magic here, but it is the glimmering light of Pyreflies, not the cloying sickness of Malevolence. It is softer, gentler.

        Better.

        She has not made so many concessions to appearance, because she is elementally herself; but she has draped her cape over one of the pauldrons of her steel armour, in the manner they do. It marks her as an outsider - an 'Otherworlder', as they call her. It is true she has never blended in easily.

        Unlike the other Seraphim, she is not lounging by the river; she approaches, from another side to the mortal who comes to Clarine. She was not walking with intent, until she realises there are friends in this place. When she does, she alters her angle of approach, to come closer to the both of them.

        "Lanval," she calls as she comes closer, as if in echo to Clarissa's own greeting. "I am glad to see you well."

        (Boudicca, who has never told a joke in her life, does not understand she has just made one.)

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

Naelle Sylkirk has turned up off-duty. She's got on shorts and a tunic, but she's stuck a Guard crest onto the tunic so folks'll still know not to mess with her. She's also sewn pockets into the shorts--lots of pockets.

Naelle invented cargo shorts.

She's got a fishing rod over her shoulder and a tacklebox in her other hand.

"Fishy fishy fishy fishy!" She is not singing. She is chanting, in a singsong voice. That's allowed.

The sight of so many folks gathered makes her tail and ears droop. "I'm not supposed to go wandering off the path and the fishies are gonna be scared away," she says, pouting. "Oh, but! If I stake out the spot, then when they all leave I can just make sure everyone else who might come by knows to be quiet! Nya ha ha ha, Naelle you're a genius!"

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel is immediately charmed by Naelle. She thought the first time was a fluke, but no. She really just is that charming.

But 'charming' will have to wait because when Marivel arrives at the Moonflow to do her usual spiel of communing with the pyreflies, she sees several individuals that she has some business with: Predominately the two recently designated Oracles. She lets Lanval be for the moment (though only for a moment) as she just makes her way towards Seraph Boudicca. She even passes by Clarine without a word, though hse does grant the Light Seraph a genuine smile of affection as she approaches Moor Galt's chosen.

"Seraph Boudicca." Marivel says to Boudicca. "And Lanval. This is good fortune, for I have business with you two that shouldn't take too long and is hardly private."

She dips her head towards the former. "I have already spoken with Lanval but my name is--" She glances towards Naelle for a moment before turning back to Boudicca. "Well, call me Marie Valeria. I've forgotten if I did a proper introduction. I am presently acting bossy type for ARMS. I wished to give you my personal gratitude for your service to Filgaia. While it should be expected of our natives to fight for our world, you could have ignored our peril and perhaps saved a friend in doing so. Yet you did not. You fought for my world. So I thank you, now that I have proper occassion."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Clarine has posed.

Clarine opens her eyes, looking toward Clarissa. Indeed, it had been a while, but she recognized her all the same.

"Clarissa Arwin..." Clarine greets, her tone that usual combination of timidness and formality. "It is...good to see you again. How, um...how have you fared...?"

She considers the question, then, and shakes her head.

"No, I was, um...merely...taking in my surroundings..." She explains...but then nods. "Though...I agree it would be..."

...Though, in her personal, secret opinion, she wished there was a little more sun. Then it would be perfect.

Her eyes are, briefly, drawn toward other faces nearby. She is not the only Seraph visiting the Moonflow this day. There are others - one of Water, and one of Wind. She recognizes Lanval, though she did not know his name and had yet to be introduced. She recognizes Boudicca, as well, though her names she knows - she recalls the introduction.

She observes the two Seraphim for a moment. Should she speak? Should she address them? But she didn't know them, and they barely knew her.

...It was difficult...

She is saved from tossing it back and forth in her head again and again by the sight of Naelle with a fishing rod and a tacklebox. She saw her before, on the island of Besaid. And so, she gets a brief nod of greeting.

Marivel, who passes through, gets a genuine smile back, but Clarine doesn't call out to her - she sees that she has a mission in mind here today.

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Far be it from Clarissa to judge someone based on appearance! She smiles cheerily as she spots Lanval there too, recognizing the man from an earlier encounter.

Someone else is spotted, too. Clarissa gasps at the sight of Naelle strolling along the river in full sing-song. Brightening visibly, Clarissa waves to the catgirl, then beckons her over with one hand.

"Hello!" she calls out. "Please, come over! I'm sure you'll catch some really great fish here!"

When Marie strolls up, Clarissa takes a step to the side to accommodate her. She inclines her head gently to the woman, clearing her throat, then looking to the Seraphim once more. "...Yes, thank you so much for helping Filgaia, both of you," she puts in. "I know we must seem like a strange place to people from the Silver Star, but I think Filgaia has a lot of hope! You're both very kind."

To Clarine, Clarissa flashes a gentle smile, resting a gloved hand against her own cheek. "I've fared pretty well! I hope you've been comfortable in Spira. It's taken a lot of getting used to...."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Even at his occasional desire to be semi-solitary, there is little that gives Lanval greater a feeling than just being surrounded by joy for life as things are. A gentle smile forms as he lowers his gourd from his face (which is, as per his trademark with smiles, also stupid. Stupid gentle). He exhales peaceably, his eyes closed. He is in the company of friends, no matter some of his greater, broader concerns that lack an immediate path or method for addressing.
        "Ahh... Boudicca." He greets the other Oracle, as a peer. "The feeling'sh mutual..." If she is of good health, then it means that he should have reason to feel at better health - even if there is always that tingling, ambient feel in the air he strongly associates with Sin's attack on Azado.
        An eye opens slightly to account for the catgirl's loud enthusiasm for fishing. He sees the Guard sigil. He knows better than to initiate trouble. Lanval is, to Althena, the Fallen Seraph - a creature deemed to have fallen sway to fell forces--
        Ah, her again, he recognizes as Marivel arrives again with that regal dignity of hers.
        "'Tish good ta shee ya again," he says, closing his eyes in comfort anew. "Mmm... ya got me lishtenin'!" He assumes this is good, pleasant news owing to the general peace among the gathered.
        ...
        He senses Clarine looking to him. He doesn't know her name either, but he knows based on her resolve in following him and others through that ancient ziggurat, she is a friend of conviction and strength. He nods slowly once with that still gentle (and also still stupid, kind of cat-like) smile.
        "Mmm," he brings a hand to his chin as Clarissa invites the Guardswoman over. He won't raise a stink of it, as the re-styled Clarissa gives her shared thanks. "'Tish my wish ta shee it flourish," as one of the very reasons he pledged himself to Schturdark. Still, the smile fades a bit at mention about being comfortable in Spira. "...Never woulda thought a place like thish could ever be... that'sh fer shuuuuure," his voice trails off as he lifts up his gourd again in both hands for another meditative sip, to keep the sensation and grasp of the water of Filgaia as familiar as possible.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Boudicca has posed.

        Another mortal girl is very occupied with fish, and Boudicca is gladdened to see her enjoying herself. She does not have the wariness Lanval does, to see a member of the Guard called over by Clarissa; she does not think she has any quarrel with them, despite her recent pact.

        (Sadly, she does not have the textile intelligence to appreciate Naelle's comfy and easy to wear genius.)

        But there is another who approaches them - the Oracles, specifically, leaving the Light Seraph aside. Boudicca turns to Leviram, bowing her head. "Greetings," she says, formal but not unfriendly. She can smile, now.

        It is well that she did not say her name, though - because Marivel gives another, than the one Clarissa introduced her with on the Highroad. Surprise flits over Boudicca's face, unguarded, for a moment, before she nods.

        As for saving a friend...

        ... well. It's hardly the first time she has put humanity first.

        She shakes that momentary melancholy from her expression, braids tumbling over the metal of her shoulders, and smiles again. "I am glad to be of service in the defence of mankind," she says, gesturing with open palm. "The world of Men is worth defending, no matter where it lies."

        Here, she looks to Clarine, because she saw the other Seraph's own convictions to defend humanity.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

Naelle waves at Clarissa, Clarine, and Levi-Marie. Leviram had kind of sounded like a pseudonym so this doesn't bother Naelle.

But Lanval? Naelle knows that name, Lanval.

"Huh? Lanval? Wait, you don't mean--THAT Lanval?!" Her eyes widen and she tenses for a moment, then, suddenly, relaxes.

"I mean, I guess you're doing what you're supposed to be doing and not hanging around in the lands under Althena's full protection so, hi! I'm Naelle."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel certainly saw Clarine fighting there but, well, she knew Clarine before that fight and maybe feels more obligated to thank Seraphim she doesn't know as well than one she's already kind of close to. Or she thanked her earlier. They've talked a few times.

Marivel is gracious enough to not comment on the melancholy expression. "Well said," Marivel says. "An attitude not unlike my own."

She then turns to Lanval. "I learned of something that I expect we can't do much about right now but might be of interest to you. I was speaking with another friend who happened to have visited a complex piece of technology called the 'Sorcery Globe' in the past back on Filgaia back while they were working for the Metal Demon army." She glances back to Naelle but doesn't seem to mind if the Guard learns of this. Maybe the Guard will deal with it themselves. That's fine. Oh, but what's it? "Well when she visited, she and those with her were attacked by what they called a 'Fell Dragon'. And I can say when I saw Vinsfeld retrieving the Globe for himself, I saw no Fell Dragon."

She gestures forward with one hand. "As you seem to have set it upon yourselves to be protectors of Filgaia, I felt you should know about this. I know not if the Dragon is still on Filgaia, if it was sent back to Lunar, or if it was killed, or if something else had happened. But it is something you may wish to keep an eye out for, yes?"

She then turns towards Clarissa, smiling at her. "It's good to see you Clarissa. Ahh--I'm not honestly certain how dangerous 'Fell Dragons' are. Or ... what they are beyond the basics I have been informed of."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Clarine has posed.

This place...it's gotten a little crowded... Clarine feels the vague instinct to bolt, but she manages to repress it for now. Clarissa is here chatting with her, after all, and it would be rude to just leave.

"Spira is...difficult..." Clarine decides after a moment, electing to answer truthfully. "There are...a lot of people. Everyone...can see me. It is, um...it is a little suffocating."

But she pauses, and thinks for a moment.

"...But there are nice people here, too..." She considers. Naelle introduces herself, but she probably caught her name already when they ran into each other before, so she doesn't say anything.

The two other Seraphim look at her. Oh no. She quails a bit, but in the end elects to send a nervous smile in their direction.

But...they're talking about the events of the Fallen Sanctuary. Clarine's smile falters a bit and she looks away.

Marivel's news doesn't help, either. Clarine listens as she talks to the other two Seraph, and catches the words 'Fell Dragon'. Clarine gasps.

"A F-Fell Dragon..." She whispers, mainly to herself. Fear briefly flashes on her face. I-It wasn't here, was it? Or was it back on Filgaia?

This was terrible news.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

"Scoop!" Naelle exclaims. "I don't think the Boss knows about this yet, so I can totally impress him by having found it out while off-duty! Nya ha ha ha!"

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

"I remember you!" Clarissa says with a warm smile for Naelle, her hands coming to rest at her hips. "We went exploring with Amaterasu together. I'm glad to see you made it here safe and sound!"

Clarissa gave Naelle her name back on Filgaia! Still, the Beastwoman's zeal surprises her, and she widens her eyes slightly, then purses her lips, settling and putting her smile back on. "...I'm sorry if any of us are offending Althena. I don't know too much about her!"

The blonde girl tilts her head back towards Lanval, ponytail jouncing behind her. She's tied it loosely with a big orange ribbon. "...Spira really is beautiful, isn't it," she sighs, lifting her eyes towards the sky.

"...I think Filgaia can be full of life again, too. That's my dream."

Marivel (Marie? Leviram? LIEviram?!) raises a topic that Clarissa doesn't fully understand. She blinks as Clarine responds so anxiously, but moves over to stand by Marivel anyway. "It's good to see you again, too," she says with a small dip of her head. "I don't know anything about those kinds of dragons either, to tell the truth...."

Back to Clarine she looks, eyes moving between her and Boudicca. "...I don't think anyone's seen anything like that. All I've heard about is people talking about Sin, or Anima...."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval quietly braces for the worst as Naelle exclaims 'THAT Lanval.' He makes no show of force, no threatening gestures. To look at him, he's just this fat bearded guy who carries an aura of celebration, the essence of a fresh mist from a waterfall, and also alcohol. (The last is, by Her decree, EEEEEEEEEVIL.)
        "...Hello!" He says after an awkward moment, an even more awkward smile, as if at a loss as to what to say. If it only extends so far as to not be in the lands of Her protection, well... he's not sure he's out of the woods, but there is more pressing matters at hand if the woman untouched by the physical passage of time is to be believed (and he is inclined to believe).
        He listens patiently and with full attention, but there is a marked change in his very air as there is the implication of it being something they 'can't do much about right now,' but of interest. The 'Sorcery Globe,' hmm, he heard hushed whispers every so often, but what of--
        '--by what they called a 'Fell Dragon.
        Lanval's eyes start to open, and there's a halting stillness as Marivel continues to fill in whether or not she saw one for herself where - according to someone she would trust - there should be one.
        Water's natural state is to be at rest, at mercy of whatever forces press their will against it. Sometimes, as pressures align...
        Water stands right the hell up.
        "By the...!" Lanval's eyes flutter wide, his voice booming with powerful emotion. He processes some of the complications a lot faster than he normally would, clutching his gourd tightly in both hands.
        "All those I thus know with the power to Purify be within these very lands!" Lanval exclaims. "The Shaman Cecilia... the chosens of Celesdue, Fengalon, Rigdobrite... us Oracles...!"
        Fear. Lanval's beard waves like a thundering waterfall as though a great building power were welling up, and he takes several steps back... before sitting back down. His eyes start to close.
        "...'m... shorry... it'sh... gimme a few..." He exhales, setting the gourd on his lap as he gets out that kiseru style pipe and starts to blow some bubbles. Having a bubble break. He'll get around to the nitty-gritty on why this is bad before long - bad enough that he has to take a moment to gather himself.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Boudicca has posed.

        Thankfully, there is no quarrel, between the Guard and Lanval. Boudicca is increasingly unsure of what to think, of the Goddess who made them; but she knows the Guard are good people, and she is glad to see Naelle has no wish to fight. "Well met, Naelle," she says, and perhaps it serves as a general introduction as she says: "I am the Seraph, Boudicca."

        She hears Clarine speak of her troubles being seen, and perhaps she would have reassured her. But there is little time for niceities, as Marivel - that is to say, Marie Valeria - shares the troubling news she has heard. She says two words and at once the tan woman pales, takes a bodily step back as a hand raises in front of her. The breeze stills around her, as if the air itself is holding its breath.

        Perhaps her reaction - and Clarine's, and Lanval's - are instructive.

        It is Lanval who paints a grim picture, and Boudicca's face is drawn in fear as she looks to him. "They are alone," she says, and her voice is thin.

        Terror is a feeling she knows well; it is hardly a welcome reunion.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel doesn't need to be particularly clever to recognize fear in no less than three seraphs. These are seraphs who went up bravely against K.K and Ragnell, the very Anomolous Orb itself. To see them shaking in their boots at the mere mention of a fell dragon tells Marivel all she needs to know about fell dragons.

Well, all but one thing.

But Marivel doesn't immediately ask this question so as to give Lanval the time that he needs to compose himself, and the others besides. She has no desire to traumatize them with a concept she barely has information on. ... though she would like that information.

But she knows they must surely be a threat to the world if they garner this reaction. And threats to the world--well--they must be dealt with. Especially foreign elements.

"Well," She says. "Before we assume the worst, Filgaia was in perfectly fine condition when we left it Well... I am not being accurate there, but you understand my meaning. Could you tell me more of the Fell Dragons, once you're ready?"

She steps back a bit to make her way towards Clarine for some reason--maybe suspecting she might be a little less prepared for this news than the others. She rests a hand on her shoulder and gives it a small squoz.

It's through the gloved hand so it doesn't burst into flames comically or anything--though with this overcast sky, it may have not happened anyway.

"I'm sorry for disturbing you." She says in a low voice.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Clarine has posed.

It is understandable why each of the Seraphim would react the way they did. Clarine fidgets a little bit, clasping her hands worriedly in front of her. A Fell Dragon...to think there was potentially one loose on Filgaia.

She looks toward Lanval, then.

"Shamans...? They, too, possess the power...?" She whispers. She did not yet know much of the Guardians, beyond what she had been told. She had seen the Oracles' capabilities, but to know there was yet another source beyond the Silver Flame...

...And yet, all of those sources were here on Spira. A land that did not appear to be tainted by any Malevolence whatsoever.

"A...A...F...F-Fell Dragon, is... Th-they are..." She starts...but she can't say the words. It was a difficult concept to describe. Finding the words was easy enough...but actually saying them was a different matter entirely.

She curls in on herself a little bit, her attempts at explaining stalling before they could even truly start.

But Marivel draws near, resting a hand on her shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze. Clarine relaxes, just a little.

"I-It is...it is alright. But...it is...a difficult subject..." She murmurs.

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Clarissa, for her part, listens on with a small frown, watching the Seraphim universally freak the hell out.

The blonde girl cants her head to watch the way Marivel seems to read the reactions of the three Seraphim - but then, they are the sort of reactions that force themselves into the faces of onlookers. She brings a hand up, tapping a finger against her cheek. "...Maybe let's talk about something a little less difficult," she recommends delicately as she leans in towards Marivel juuuust a little.

Then she gives her belt a little hitch and straightens her shoulders before smiling towards Naelle. "So! You said Althena, right? What's she like? Is she a very nice goddess?"

It's a reach, but BOY OH BOY is Clarissa trying to move off the topic of scared ghost people.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval cannot hear Schturdark. He is not sure if Schturdark can hear or feel him. It is not his desire to leave the water of Filgaia without its closest ally, and now there is a Fell Dragon running amok unchecked.
        "...Ya did well ta tell ush," Lanval says, holding up a hand as he finishes having a sm-- bubble break. The smoking pipe looks so dignified, a piece of luxury and beauty that someone of his appearance scarce matches. To say nothing of the fact that it blows bubbles like a toy. It is silly in its seriousness, and serious in its silliness. "I give ya my thanksh... mmm. I'd... I'd better make shure we're all on the shame page... yep. 'm gonna do juuuusht that."
 #-1 ARGUMENT OUT OF RANGE falls upon him to explain in greater detail. It would not do to leave those concerned with Filgaia's well-being in suspense, when the situation is as chaotic as it has become. "It'sh... all right. Boudicca, 'n you," he says to Clarine, "'n to the children of Filgaia," to Marivel and Clarissa both, "...'n the faithful of Althena," to Naelle.
        He drinks deep of his gourd, and once more his eyes open to that shine of color, that air of mirth, as if to try and take an edge off of the ambient dread in all its wake.
        "As thou may know, the Malevolence can twist the soul and form of a mortal into a Hellion." Lanval begins, as he lowers the gourd onto his lap. "Us Seraphim, too, be vulnerable to its venom. Should we suffer its presence... we, too, shalt transform into them. Unlike the more powerful among mortals turned, we lose ourselves. We become as furies unto ourselves... our forms then be that of dragons. Further and further, doth the Seraph-turned-Dragon descend in its corruption 'till it reach the point there be no return, not even by the Purification of the most powerful and devout of Shepherds... the Fell Dragon."
        So this is super mega-ultra-plus-double-ungood-whole-milk-bad.
        "The Fell Dragon hath no trace left of the Seraph that suffers such a fate." This was inches away from being his, when he threw himself wholesale into the Anomalous Orb's belching maelstrom of corruption under the well-intentioned guise of trying to keep it from growing ever thicker for the sake of everyone there. Were it not for Schturdark... no, he did not take their metaphorical hand just to save his own soul. "Wherever they be, there shalt be Malevolence in their wake. The land shalt grow foul and corrupt where they tread, oft leaving even more Hellions among those caught within their presence. Their presence be so great, so powerful, that no mortal be blind to it. The Fell Dragon shalt know nor give any succor so long as they live, life in body but dead of soul. Only in death, may peace be granted to both land and Fell Dragon in kind."
        ...The pontification draws to a close, and Clarissa moves to change the topic. A move that Lanval welcomes... but he once more stands up, walking towards the young woman with a zest and love for a Filgaia that will once again be beautiful without need for lies.
        "...Know thish," Lanval says with a gentle smile to help reassure her, "thish ain't a good thing that'sh goin' on, but... we do shtill got a misshive ta deal with the Clayshmin of Obshesshion. By bein' here, yer shtill doin' a part - a good one - ta helpin' keep Filgaia goin'."
        He looks to Clarine, who murmurs in fear, as Lanval goes to kneel down before his own kin while Marivel reassures her.
        "It'sh my duty - and Boudicca'sh own, too - ta help deal with it once we can. It'sh shcary. I ain't ever gonna forget how I felt when I shaw Mount Manfred had a Domain that shouldn't ever have been there... but I know yer shtrong of conviction." She went down into that morass of Malevolence with the rest of them and kept herself.
        He looks to Naelle. "Now I know it shoundsh good ta know 'bout it, but it ain't no game... it'sh a threat ta everyone. Promishe me that the Guard'sh gonna treat it with all the reshpect it deshervesh..." He's condemned by Althena Herself, and Naelle is in no way or form obligated to respect what he has to say.
        This doesn't stop him from wishing to reach out to the catgirl gearhead on this bit of common ground, at least.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval cannot hear Schturdark. He is not sure if Schturdark can hear or feel him. It is not his desire to leave the water of Filgaia without its closest ally, and now there is a Fell Dragon running amok unchecked.
        "...Ya did well ta tell ush," Lanval says, holding up a hand as he finishes having a sm-- bubble break. The smoking pipe looks so dignified, a piece of luxury and beauty that someone of his appearance scarce matches. To say nothing of the fact that it blows bubbles like a toy. It is silly in its seriousness, and serious in its silliness. "I give ya my thanksh... mmm. I'd... I'd better make shure we're all on the shame page... yep. 'm gonna do juuuusht that."
        It falls upon him to explain in greater detail. It would not do to leave those concerned with Filgaia's well-being in suspense, when the situation is as chaotic as it has become. "It'sh... all right. Boudicca, 'n you," he says to Clarine, "'n to the children of Filgaia," to Marivel and Clarissa both, "...'n the faithful of Althena," to Naelle.
        He drinks deep of his gourd, and once more his eyes open to that shine of color, that air of mirth, as if to try and take an edge off of the ambient dread in all its wake.
        "As thou may know, the Malevolence can twist the soul and form of a mortal into a Hellion." Lanval begins, as he lowers the gourd onto his lap. "Us Seraphim, too, be vulnerable to its venom. Should we suffer its presence... we, too, shalt transform into them. Unlike the more powerful among mortals turned, we lose ourselves. We become as furies unto ourselves... our forms then be that of dragons. Further and further, doth the Seraph-turned-Dragon descend in its corruption 'till it reach the point there be no return, not even by the Purification of the most powerful and devout of Shepherds... the Fell Dragon."
        So this is super mega-ultra-plus-double-ungood-whole-milk-bad.
        "The Fell Dragon hath no trace left of the Seraph that suffers such a fate." This was inches away from being his, when he threw himself wholesale into the Anomalous Orb's belching maelstrom of corruption under the well-intentioned guise of trying to keep it from growing ever thicker for the sake of everyone there. Were it not for Schturdark... no, he did not take their metaphorical hand just to save his own soul. "Wherever they be, there shalt be Malevolence in their wake. The land shalt grow foul and corrupt where they tread, oft leaving even more Hellions among those caught within their presence. Their presence be so great, so powerful, that no mortal be blind to it. The Fell Dragon shalt know nor give any succor so long as they live, life in body but dead of soul. Only in death, may peace be granted to both land and Fell Dragon in kind."
        ...The pontification draws to a close, and Clarissa moves to change the topic. A move that Lanval welcomes... but he once more stands up, walking towards the young woman with a zest and love for a Filgaia that will once again be beautiful without need for lies.
        "...Know thish," Lanval says with a gentle smile to help reassure her, "thish ain't a good thing that'sh goin' on, but... we do shtill got a misshive ta deal with the Clayshmin of Obshesshion. By bein' here, yer shtill doin' a part - a good one - ta helpin' keep Filgaia goin'."
        He looks to Clarine, who murmurs in fear, as Lanval goes to kneel down before his own kin while Marivel reassures her.
        "It'sh my duty - and Boudicca'sh own, too - ta help deal with it once we can. It'sh shcary. I ain't ever gonna forget how I felt when I shaw Mount Manfred had a Domain that shouldn't ever have been there... but I know yer shtrong of conviction." She went down into that morass of Malevolence with the rest of them and kept herself.
        He looks to Naelle. "Now I know it shoundsh good ta know 'bout it, but it ain't no game... it'sh a threat ta everyone. Promishe me that the Guard'sh gonna treat it with all the reshpect it deshervesh..." He's condemned by Althena Herself, and Naelle is in no way or form obligated to respect what he has to say.
        This doesn't stop him from wishing to reach out to the catgirl gearhead on this bit of common ground, at least.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

"I AM GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT ALTHENA SO MUCH CLARISSA" Naelle exclaims! "She's amazing! She gives us her protection and love, and even more than that, she gives us all the gift of *magic!*" Naelle holds up a finger, with an expression of smugness, and proclaims, "Behold!"

A flame about the size and intensity of a lit match appears at the tip of her finger.

She thinks this is more impressive than it is.

"Also when I was born in the wrong body, it was one of Althena's priestesses who made me who I was always supposed to be! And the holy Seraphs are her servants too! Except for Lanval, he got kicked out. But that's okay! Because I didn't really follow what was going on with the Fell Dragon stuff but I definitely got the sense that it's bad, so I can report that to the Boss and we'll look into it! And so, there's nothing to fear cause we're on it!"

Then Lanval explains.

"Oh." Naelle's tail droops and she kind of fidgets with it.

"U-um, well, we--Althena's Guard--it's still, I think, our duty to...um...do our best!"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Boudicca has posed.

        To be consumed by fire or corruption...

        Lanval may be the only one here who fully appreciates the complexities of their actions, in the face of the Anomalous Orb. It is not simple. Very little, Boudicca has found, is simple in this world. They are saviours; they are saved.

        There is no saving a Fell Dragon.

        Boudicca is grateful that Lanval takes the lead in explaining, stress evident in the lines of her face. She can hear another struggling, one of her own, and she moves closer to Clarine as Lanval speaks. She does not tell her it is all right. She has never known how to salve turmoil. "We are here," she says, instead.

        When she first came down from the mountain, she would have been eager to speak of Althena's many qualities. She still does, though with a pause which keeps her words from interrupting Naelle's. "We Seraph are the immortal children of Althena," she explains. "We see to the mortals under her care. Althena takes care of Lunar, and after a time of loss, she has now returned to us." As if it just happened yesterday.

        Well, from an immortal perspective, it wasn't so long ago.

        "Is the Guard well?" She asks Naelle, in an effort to fulfill Clarissa's suggestion. "My travels have taken me far from them, and so I have not spoken to their number for some time." Perhaps it is better she has not. There are people the Church has condemned whom she has not, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel listens to Lanval's words. He ends up answering what she wanted to know: If Fell Dragons can be saved. More to the point she learns of the risk Lanval and Boudicca had taken while facing down Ragnell and K.K. It wasn't just their lives at risk but their very being, their souls were at risk. She closes her eyes and she sees the smiling faces of her people as they were slain. It is a memory burned deep into her very core, a memory that she will never ever forget no matter how much it hurts for it is through that pain that she never forgets the love that she had for them.

She doesn't say anything for a while. Perhaps she is considering whether Lanval's understanding may be flawed, whether or not it is not truly as terrible as they make it out to be. But indeed, it is even worse than it was with her people. They got to die with dignity. Seraphs, it seems, do not have that luxury.

"Tis this, then, how Althena makes her nobles?" She says with a strange kind of coldness in her tone. She hasn't forgotten Lanval's words. Have they ever truly known their Goddess? Was the Goddess ever someone who was as good and kind and beautiful as the stories make her out to be?

"Perhaps, Clarissa, you make a good point. This kind of conversation is truly dire and if there is nothing for it but to destroy it so that it defiles its--their--own memory no longer." She corrects herself with a look strangely reminiscent of determination. It almost looks alien on her face.

"Thank you for telling me this, Lanval. Though I cannot say I understand what it is like to you, I can say I understand it more than most. I pray that suffices. And I thank you for risking such a fate for us. Even if humanity forgets, I will not. Tis my promise to you three here and now."

And then of course she turns towards Naelle.

"Yes," She says, her hand briefly tensing along Clarine's shoulder. "Pray tell us about Althena so much, young adherent. Her priestess gave you aid? I am glad for it." She pauses. "T'was not Amelia was it?"

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

There is no enthusiasm like a kitty's. Clarissa gasps and cups her hands to her cheeks as Naelle springs into her proselytizing with all the zeal of a true believer. "G-gosh, Naelle--"

The flame appears. Clarissa oohs a little and blinks - and then the Beastwoman explains something else.

The blonde girl opens her mouth slightly, then closes it and nods, her smile settling to one of geater gravity. "...I'm glad that Althena has helped you so much. You should be the person you are in your heart, I think. It's always best to be true to yourself...."

Lanval starts rambling about something. Clarissa cants her head and blinks at him a couple of times.

"I don't know a lot about Malevolence," she admits with a crooked smile. "But I think it's great that you're helping to protect not just Lunar, but Filgaia too. I feel like they're more closely connected than any of us could've imagined...."

Closing her eyes, Clarissa lowers head head and lets out a sigh. "...I'm sorry this all happened, though. I wish I could've done more to try and stop Commander Vinsfeld. Now we're all stranded here, and even though it's so beautiful...."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Clarine has posed.

"...Ah, I am...the Seraph Clarine..." She introduces herself, as Lanval addresses her. He explains, then, and she listens quietly as he explains what a Fell Dragon is.

This is information she knows. All Seraphim learn this, sooner or later. But that did not make the concept any less terrifying, no matter how old she got - and she had already seen many years. It was an everpresent threat looming over them. A distant possibility, but a possibility all the same.

"Conviction..." She murmurs quietly, as Lanval kneels down. Was she truly? Her will had carried her through the Fallen Sanctuary...but in the end, she had failed at what she set out to do. She can't look him in the eye. To Boudicca, she nods quietly.

Clarissa suggests changing the subject, and asks about Althena. She doesn't interrupt either Naelle or Boudicca's explanation, she simply offers a nod.

She's not really the type to offer big speeches when others are doing their own, so she sort of lets them speak. She flinches a little when Marivel's hand briefly tenses, and looks up at her.

"...Ah, you have...met Amelia, as well? She is very, um..." Clarine hesitates, trying to find the right word. "V-very, um...driven."

She...wasn't quite sure how she felt about Amelia. She had good intentions, at least.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval withdraws from Naelle with the seeming understanding about the weight of their duty - at least in word. He supposes there's not much more that can be done on that front - he's quietly thankful she's not moving to strike him down. He gives a patient, knowing lack-of-look (due to closed eyes) to Boudicca as he too takes a few unsteady steps back to sit back down on the riverside hill.
        There is a promise given that the woman untouched by time's more physical rigors will remember. A part of him hopes they will, this go around, after all that happened the last five hundred years. Still, there's plenty to be done right now to ensure that there will be years to come for the rest to remember as the subjects drift along towards Althena Herself, while he takes note of Clarine's quiet discomfort and reticence. He gives the Light Seraph her space, there, as he commits her name for future reference. Clarine... it's a pretty name.
        "Mmmm... it'sh okay ta not know, sho long ash yer willin' ta learn," Lanval remarks to Clarissa as she admits her ignorance on some fronts. "I mean... it'sh true, the two worldsh do sheem a whole lot more connected than I firsht thought..." After all, the Blue Star was, for a while, largely just a place Althena took her faithful from in order to live in paradise.
        "...It'sh a lot ta take in, yep," he concurs with the one who values honesty to one's self above all, a small smile returning to him again. "Whatever ya do... don't ever feel like all ya could do wash nothin'," Lanval says in what encouragement he can give on that front. Things are bad if there's a Fell Dragon running aroudn unchecked on Filgaia, but there's a purpose for everyone to be here they need to see to.

<Pose Tracker> Naelle Sylkirk has posed.

"Amelia? No, I didn't meet her until I joined the guard. She's so nice, though, she brings me tuna! Yummy tuna! And she almost never scolds me about discipline or tells me to go just, do something else." Naelle's tail droops. "It's hard to get respect sometimes, you know? Anyway, Amelia's pretty nice. But no it was someone else. But, Althena loves all of her children." She coughs, but doesn't look at Lanval for the moment. "And, like...it's our duty to help others, too! Because of the gifts Althena gives us we can do that! That's why I joined the Guard!"

Naelle's tail swishes back and forth happily. "Almost everyone in the Guard is really nice. Well I guess...I'm not supposed to say bad things about Althena's Chosen but..." She lowers her voice and puts a hand to her mouth as if telling a deep secret. "Borgan's really kind of rude to me a lot."

</poem>

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Boudicca has posed.

        Boudicca nods, to Clarine, and smiles. "I am glad to meet another," she says, and though the shadow of ill portent hangs over them, her sentiment is entirely honest. She has not been in the greater world for long. She values each Seraph she meets.

        Still - even if humanity forgets...

        Boudicca looks to Marivel, then, head tilting as she realises she is more than she has estimated her. "I am glad," she says, of the promise, and at least has the sensibility not to marvel outwardly at how much she still has not seen in these worlds.

        She's getting better..!

        "Mankind is mankind, no matter where they may live," Boudicca supposes, to Clarissa. "I have only conjecture on their connection, but I know humanity dwells in both houses, and this ought be enough." She does not speak on the conjecture. She would not wish to upset Naelle, who is so cheerful and bright.

        Still, there is something about her cheer which brings a hint of concern to Boudicca. "I think your conviction is worthy of respect," she says, seeing the way she wilts momentarily.

        She looks back, here, to the Light Seraph, because she has not intuited the same thing Lanval has. "As is yours, Clarine."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel nods slowly to Naelle. That brief moment of tension fades as quickly as it arrived. It's a lot easier to be angrier for others than it is for yourself and even she has trouble reining in the former sometimes. Besides, instinct aside--she has no idea of what Althena's limits are. It's wholly possible this was the best she could do. She should be wary of jumping to conclusions simply because she has heard a few troubling rumors.

She elects to not ask about 'The Chosen' today. Perhaps it means the Dragonmaster, or whatever this 'Borgan' fellow is. But she does say, "I can't imagine why anybody would be rude to you. And if respect were easy to earn, well, it wouldn't be worth very much now would it?"

She does smile faintly though and adds, "That does sound like her, though. Thank you."

She is surprised to hear that Clarine knows of her. "Oh ho." She says. "Well that's something I shan't forget, that you know her. But you're right. She is very driven, isn't she? But I believe there is sincere kindness behind what drives her. I hope she doesn't forget that."

As for the promised of the one untouched by time? Marivel pulls her shoulders back, closing her eyes again for a moment before adding, "I should get going. Typically at this time is about when I rest."

During...the day?

She bobs her head once more. "I will let you know if I learn anything else."