2019-04-17: Oil and Moonlit Water

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  • Log: Oil and Moonlit Water
  • Cast: Marivel Armitage, Catenna
  • Where: The Moonflow
  • Date: April 17, 2019
  • Summary: Days after Marivel's run-in with the CaraKin, Catenna seeks out the Crimson Noble....

================================<* 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> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel has been spending her time in the Moonflow--enough that any Drifter looking for her is about as likely to find her there than at any warehouse and if one asks about they will be able to point towards this mysterious lady just doing weird stuff at the Moonflow. That mysterious lady is Marivel! And in fact, Marivel is right there now! Doing more weird stuff. What is she doing that's weird? Well for starters, she is gathering Moonlilies in a glass jar. Periodically a pyrefly with flit nearby and just pass through the jaw and out the other end so it's clearly not meant to gather pyreflies.

She hums a soft melody to herself as she works and seems quite focused on the task at hand...but considering she is a bloodsucking vampire, it might be tough to get a complete jump on her anyway when she can just smell your delicious blood approaching.

The humming doesn't really match the attitude shown by her so far.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna went home a couple of days ago and kept a quiet vigil outside Jay Barber's door, leaving her tea and cookies.

She's not there today.

"I thought I might find you here," a quiet voice comes from a few feet away.

Catenna's approach was casual, but soundless, largely because she's barefoot, as she's often been on Spira. She's standing a little ways behind Marivel and to the left; when the Crimson Noble does turn, she'll find the Moon Shaman standing with a neutral, unreadable sort of expression, like the serene face of a full moon at night. The Owlet perches on her shoulder, head cocked slightly, watching Catenna more than Marivel. Between her hands she's holding a small, round tin patterned with curious geometric shapes in colours of silver and blue and black.

"We should talk," she says with a simple nod. "If you're not indisposed, in any case."

The Moon Lilies are pretty. Catenna's not focused on them too much right now.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"It's beautiful isn't?" Marivel asks. "The idea of souls living on after death. Flying around naked to the eye with nary a care. Such beautiful things. Watching them makes me peckish, yet I do not partake."

She turns to look back to Catenna. Her gaze slants towards that small round tin, head tilting towards the side. Her gaze shifts towards Shaarda as she always does as if showing more deference to Catenna's pact partner to Catenna herself before turning her gaze back to the shaman.

"The moon holds special meaning for our people for tis the moon's light that grants us refuge from the sun. The stars do their part, but tis not the same."

She gestures forward with one hand. "What would you like to talk about, Shaman of Celesdue?" She knows Catenna's name but she likes being dramatic. It's just in her nature.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna doesn't answer the first part, nor change her expression. The Owlet, on the other hand, cocks her head slightly.

When Marivel turns to look at her, the Moon Shaman lets the other woman get her peace out, before nodding simply and slowly. It's not much. "All things do what part they can. And there are those who prefer the night. In that way we are somewhat alike."

Moving forward, Catenna settles to a seat beside the Crimson Noble. The little container is lowered to her lap before she opens it and sets it down between the two. A few biscuits sit within it. They're the diamond-shaped pistachio ones she made for the get-together with Lulu not so long ago.

"We need to talk about what you told Jacqueline," she says, eyes settling on Marivel steadily. "And we should start from this point.

"I agree that too many people are unprepared for what it means to answer the call of the Guardians," she says as she offers up a biscuit.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel politely declines the biscuit by raising up a hand. Does she not eat delicious yummy things? Is it really just the blood?? She does not give an answer, but so far it's the only thing anybody has seen her consume. She didn't even eat anything at the meetup.

"The Guardians are Filgaia. Filgaia is the 'World'. I would find it surprising for anyone to ever truly be prepared to answer Filgaia's call." Marivel says, looking back to the river.

"You need not believe in me. I believe in me."

She approaches the edge of the river. "Humans." Is she about to go into another rant about how much they suck? "I've always admired them. Ever since I met my first human." WHAT? Marivel glances back and adds, "For all their many imperfections, their flaws, their preoccupations with so many concerns that do not matter, their many...many failures..."

She turns back to the water. "...They live. And not only do they live, but they shine ever so brilliantly before my eye, bright as tiny little suns of their own. Inspiring in an instant those that live forever."

She shakes her head. "When they allow themselves to be what they can be, when they look at the truth head-on and grasp it in their hands, when they dream such beautiful simple little dreams...rather than be ruled by envy for what others have, praying for that which is not in their nature to have."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Lowering the lid back onto the dish, Catenna leaves it where it is but doesn't address it any further.

"Nobody really is. It demands more of us than we think we are capable of. This is something many of them are beginning to understand at a surface level... and something some of us have known intellectually." The Moon Shaman looks to the Owlet on her shoulder for a moment. "But have seen unfold before us."

Marivel lays out her position. Catenna keeps her expression studiously neutral at first - but what she actually says evokes a slightly curve of her eyebrows.

When the Crimson Noble lays out her admiration, Catenna, too, looks out over the water, watching the way the light dances across its surface - or are those Pyreflies? Some of them are Pyreflies. For a moment, she's quiet, before brushing a lock of hair back from her cheek with delicate fingertips.

"You've had the fortune - or misfortune - of being able to see humans in a way where we appear ephemeral," she notes quietly. "That's not always so for the rest of us. Like the rest of humanity, I will get old and die in the course of a lifetime, and that is simply how things are. We have a fairly short time to uncover truths about ourselves and the world."

She wets her lips briefly. "But as ephemeral as we might be, it's important to remember that Jacqueline Barber is not just a shiny thing, but a person. She has a lot to learn. But not all at once."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel's hand curls into a fist briefly before she says, "You misunderstand me," this time turning around fully towards Catenna. "Jacqueline does not shine because she is some object. Jacqueline shines because she is a person. A genuinely good person. Not a perfect person or some symbol. A good person. Good enough to make Matilda, a woman quite willing to follow a man like Vinsfeld, regret just a little bit a decision she has ever been determined to make of her own will." She looks back to the water. "What she lacks is not heart, nor mind, but sight. She is a woman unable to see obvious things whether it be creeping up behind her or staring her in the face."

She shakes her head. "You have less time than you know. As does she. I am not saying that as an immortal talking about the ephemerality of life. Time is running out."

She sets the bottle down along the river and lets the currents guide it on its course. "If I thought my words would do more than give her cause for reflection and cause at most a minor amount of pain, I would not have spoken thusly. I would not have expected it to break Ana, so I would not have expected it to break Jay." Whomever this Ana person is anyway.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna sets her jaw just slightly before letting a slow breath out through her nose.

"If you're aware of some imminent calamity, then I suppose I would suggest that you raise it and let us know what we need to prepare for," she suggests, leveling her tone. "But I suppose you will tell me that the riddle is part of the challenge. That is fine. If I have learned anything recently, it is that straight answers are hardly expectable."

<I'm wounded,> Saarda-Shanta puts in mildly.

Catenna brushes a finger lazily behind the Owlet's neck. The little bird slits her eyes a bit, content.

The Moon Shaman exhales through her nose. "Jacqueline was having a difficult enough time with Matilda's decision. Lunata, though, she knew for quite a bit longer. It is more difficult for her. She was on her way and I think she still will be, but the journey will be longer than it had to be, and as you say... time is short. What you said was not wrong. But how you said it was... in poor taste. Life and Lunata handed her trial enough for that moment."

Catenna clears her throat slightly. "...Who is Ana?" she ventures.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Catenna makes a very good suggestion.

"No," Marivel says. "The riddle is not part of the challenge. There is no riddle. I am not some serial villain who twirls her mustache and strokes her chin while planting clues for their heroic rival." That's her player. "I do not tell you everything I know because it is not time for you to know everything I know. There will be a time I can speak freely on all sorts of matters but it is not now. Especially not now, since we are in a land I have never been in before and little I can say will be of assistance beyond that which I learn of this land in real time."

She looks to Saarda, cracking a small smile, but she doesn't comment.

"Honestly," She says. "I was rather forthcoming about who I am. Surely that is enough for now. And I am no trial knight either. We may disagree on our handling of the matter, but know our goals are the same."

Catenna asks about Ana and the aloof facade drops a bit as Marivel smiles again, genuinely.

"Well, she is this cute girl who I met in a library though I didn't realize she was cute until a bit later. She was very intelligent and brave and many looked up to her. She left this world too soon..."

"And," Marivel says. "Now she is a memory, one I try to honor, for she was the first friend I'd ever made. I miss her every day."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna lowers her eyelids ever so slightly, internally coming to the conclusion that Marivel is just one of those infuriatingly condescending people you meet sometimes.

She cants her head slightly to one side after a moment's listening. "We disagree on a lot of things. So long as your intention is to continue to protect Filgaia at any cost, that disagreement is immaterial. I knew when I picked up the Medium for the first time that Filgaia is more important than anything else, be it family, kinship or personal wellbeing, and and that belief has not changed."

Saarda-Shanta doesn't say anything, just watching the Moon Shaman as she speaks.

When Marivel's facade drops like that, Catenna's does not. She keeps her expression stonily neutral, pale grey eyes watching the older, tinier woman explain things.

"I'm sorry," she says finally. "I don't claim to know the circumstances of what happened. But I can hope that the memories she left you with are strong ones, and that the mark she left on Filgaia was enduring."

For a moment, Catenna turns her eyes out over the water. "...You said that she's still seen as a Hero," Catenna muses. "Do you see her as a Hero, too?"

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Yeah that's probably it.

Marivel is quiet when Catenna says Filgaia is more important than anything else. She wonders if that's true. Is it even true for Marivel? "Certainly more than manners." But that isn't actually a confirmed agreement there now is it? She's not about to advertise her personal hangups, though, if any exist. She believes in her work and she believes in herself. Sometimes believing in yourself turns you into a bit of an ass.

"Sometimes, ere I catch myself." Marivel admits. "Ere I remind myself of her true self. If you make someone you love into a hero--or even admire--into a hero...you will always be dissapointed. Doubly so if they live up to the standad. Jay must find a new way to connect with Lunata, one that places her on more equal footing. She must make the world move for her, else the Death Waitress may be lost to us."

She watches after the bottle for a bit before turning. "I intend to visit the Farplane soon."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"I have never put much stock in the term Hero," admits the Moon Shaman with a slow shrug, some of the tension leaving her shoulders as talk moves into places that are a little less accusatory. "Nobody can uphold the expectations that come with being given that name...."

    old memories tease at her
        i grant you this blessing, not because you are my favourite
            nor because of the circumstances of your birth
                but because you of all of them
                        what it is that you must do

"Jacqueline and Lunata have a long history," she says with a little frown as she looks out over the water again. "Lunata... sees a hero in Jacqueline, I think. But I wouldn't describe her that way. People are simply people. In time, they will both come to understand that about each other." She breathes a soft sigh and shakes her head. "...At least, I hope it is so. And much of that depends on Lunata as well."

She crinkles her nose slightly. "...I think there are a few who see Jacqueline that way."

When she returns her gaze to Marivel, the Moon Shaman curves her eyebrows. "I would be interested in visiting it as well, if you would not mind sharing the experience with someone else with something of an affinity for the nighttime hours."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

There is some concurrent belief at least. Marivel doesn't comment further on it because the topic is an old ache and she sees no need to press her finger into it any longer than she already has. But she does nod briefly--and leaves it at that.

Her own eyebrow raises at Catenna's words. "Tis a strange offer to one you dislike. But very well, tis still some distance from here and if you do not mind traveling at night then I will accept your company."

She gets a movin'.

"I wonder if they'll let me rest in there."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"Whether I like you or don't like you doesn't matter."

Catenna tilts her head to fix her eyes on the Crimson Noble. "You say that you are of Filgaia and have pacted to it. You have a bond to our world in a way that I can understand the underpinnings of. So long as that is true, we are fated to be allies, Marivel Armitage, and that would be true whether I loved you as a sister or loathed you as a rival."

Easing to her feet, Catenna straightens her sleeves a little before tucking the tray of snacks away.

The question of travel is met with a small, wry smirk and a dip of lashes. "I am of the Moon," she points out. "I prefer to travel at night."

<Now hug it out, you two,> Saarda-Shanta says blandly.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Finally," Marivel says. "Something in common!"

In defiance of the Guardians' will, she does not hug Catenna!!!