2019-04-22: An Issue Of Black And White

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  • Log: 2019-04-22: An Issue Of Black And White
  • Cast: Seraph Lanval, Quin Rosenberg, Seraph Solanine, Clarissa Arwin
  • Where: Mi'ihen Highroad
  • Date: April 22, 2019
  • Summary: In order to make ends meet, a number of Drifters come together to help protect the Mi'ihen Highroad from attacking Fiends - a never-ending challenge unto itself. After coming to the rescue of one such Drifter who bit off more than they can chew, a misunderstanding soon follows concerning the fundamental nature of what power the Seraphim hold... but this, in turn, reinforces a shared truth between the innate sorcerous potentials between those born on Lunar. Still, how important is it to be willing to give help, when some are suspicious about the nature of said help?

=================================================<* Mi'ihen Highroad *>=================================================

Many years ago, a man named Lord Mi'ihen, commander of a mercenary group known as the Crimson Blades, was summoned by the Grand Measter to Bevelle to answer the challenge that his group was a threat to Yevon. Though his followers suspected he would be executed and begged to follow, Mi'ihen ordered them to stay behind and walked along an old path to Bevelle, without stopping to rest. 

Moved by the display of piety, the Grand Maester formally adopted Mi'ihen and his soldiers into Yevon as a defensive force, known now as the Crusaders. In recognition of the momentous moment, the path Mi'ihen walked now bears his name.

...except not really, because the original one was wrecked by Sin a few hundred years ago. You can still see bits of it as you pass along the Highroad, on which the Djose Temple can also be found.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8tfe_H7bzw
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    One of the best ways for making coin is being willing to be an extra pair of hands... attached to at least one weapon. Fiend sightings have been up as of late, and after Luca's tragedy there are still many warriors recovering from the rigors of battling. Good thing there's so many Drifters here, strange people who claim to be from well beyond these lands (some so far as to say they're from the Gaia above).
     Seraph Lanval, Oracle to Schturdark charged with a lasting duty to a world from beyond here in order to deal with Obsession (a.k.a. Sin), finds himself with a more... shall one say... mundane trial he must overcome.
     The need to respect the mortals' capitalism-based society in order to partake in fine drink, or even any drink at all. He has lodging under lock and key, in so much as that sort of thing ever really matters to a Seraph. His drinking habits as they are...
     For Fox Company, being stuck in a place where virtually everyone can see him and keep him honest might be the best thing that could have ever happened, because now he's working! It is a miracle.
     Lanval's gaze is transfixed upon the colorful lights that spiral out of disintegrating Fiend bodies as he washes aside one with a potent watery Seraphic Arte as they flit off into the aether. From there, he sits down on the grass of the Highroad while a few other local warriors celebrate and take their own rest.
     "Mmm... shure are a lot of 'em," Lanval murmurs as a few pyreflies float by him. He sways a ways to let them pass as though cautionary, though they display no apparent will nor intent to the observer. They just happen to be floating by.

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Such a beautiful day, innit? The sun is shining, the fiends are dying and their souls are going back to the Farplane where they belong...

"....AAAAAAAAAAH!"

People are screaming in terror...

...

...Wait, that's not right.

There's a loud bang from further down the road, one that a Filgaian might recognize as being from a smokepowder weapon, and then an even louder roar from something that doesn't sound friendly. And then a few moments later there's a girl of brown running towards Lanval's little get-together. 'Of brown', of course, meaning that not only is she dressed completely in brown, but her skin, eyes, and hair are also various shades of brown. Yeah, it's Quin, for those that know her. Though she's missing her coat, so one can see her shape a little better. So she doesn't look QUITE so gender-confused this time.

And she's got company, too. There's a small group of fiends chasing her. There's a wolf quite literally nipping at her heels, a lizard-like enemy not far behind, and bringing up the rear are a goopy slime-like blue monster and a floating collection of silvery-white metallic pieces that seem to be keeping some sort of weird arrangement despite not actually being connected.

The girl's company doesn't look like they just want to give her a hug either. Particularly not the wolf, which is actually making a concerted effort to bite at her legs.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Solanine has posed.

Seraph Solanine finds herself again on the Mi'ihen Highway for some personal time away from the city only to find it more crowded than even last time she was here on her own, what with the giant masked bird and kidnap monsters. It hadn't been long since the incident at Luca, and surely the people of Spira liked their odds better in the open ground of the paths than scrambling out of a crowded structure crumbling around them. She couldn't blame them, but still feels uncomfortable with all the people around. At least enough of them are concentrating on getting through the area, running past the native monsters of this place that the Chocobo Knights referred to as Fiends.

To vent her frustrations, she's been drawing their attention from humans lagging behind, conjuring patches of shadow nightshades in the Fiends path to blind and weaken them, giving the runner enough time to escape before detonating a Shadow Seraphic Arte on them, or running them through with her two handed thrusting sword, growing accustomed to the sight and sound of Fiends disintegrating into Pyreflies.

She hears the sound again nearby but not of her making, and then soon after, a familiar slurred voice commenting on how many there are, and the voice is not wrong. There are more fiends around than anyone is happy about, even the Fiends. She recalls someone saying that they're the souls of the vengeful dead... so it's likely they aren't happy about anything, not a drop of mirth to spare. Fortunately the Mirthful Wellspring is here to remedy that, at least for those able to receive his blessing, she thinks while noticing the celebrating warriors.

 "Hello there. Far from the old home, and far from the new home? Glad to see you in good company and spirits."

 The mood, the Pyreflies, Seraphim, the libations of the warriors. Four with one straight-delivered pun.

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

"Clarissa, it looks like there's a battle up ahead," Felius Arwin observes in his usual level tone.

With a blink, the blonde girl in the ponytail shields her eyes with one hand, peering down the Highroad a ways. "I think you're right, Felius. I think I even see that Seraph in the middle of it - Lanval." A smile draws across her face, unforced and fully warranted. She has no reason to dislike the Seraph. In fact, he's a bit of a big fluffy bunny, in her book.

Then something goes *BANG* and Clarissa jumps slightly.

When Quin comes rushing in, tailed by Hellions, Clarissa gasps, her hand immediately going to her side. "Oh no, that person's in trouble!" she exclaims.

Clarissa doesn't have time to really say hi. She doesn't even check if there are Yevonites around. Her hand just flashes to her side --

And a ray of blue light suddenly rips towards one of the hellions, attempting to blow away the lizard Fiend.

The beam tracks a surprisingly long distance. Following it to its source reveals Clarissa standing a distance away, Strahl Gewehr held in her right hand. Gold light is beginning to build at the weapon's bore as she powers up for another shot.

"I'll try and keep them off you!!" she shouts across the distance. "Please don't die!"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    BANG. That turns heads among the natives who are there. That is a sound most readily attributed to something frightening and forbidden by their very faith.
     "Machina?" One of them asks, as they catch sight of a terrified and overwhelmed Quin running for her life towarsd the lot of them . There are calls to action among the able warriors, wielding swords and their ilk as they try to charge in to deal with them - but the militia is no match for the more hardened travelers of multiple worlds.
     "Mmmm... I'll shay," Lanval concurs to Solanine as he moves to assist with the follow-up to her shadowy flowers, rising up unsteadily (this is normal for him, water prefers to be at rest) as he goes about casting more watery Seraphic Artes to follow it up, to help try and wash away the Fiends - he more specifically targets the nipping wolf and the floating collection of silvery... things, as the Dandelion Shot laces a blue light past all of that.
     "...Don't ya worry," Lanval tries to assure the confused and even the furious among the warriors who are seeing things they know Yevon frowns on, "they're friendsh, yep!" With Felius, Clarissa, and Solanine with him, he's sure Quin will be saved before the worst could happen!

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Solanine has posed.

Seraph Solanine smirks softly to Lanval's reply before the moment of respite is over as suddenly as it began and her eyes are drawn to Quin, fleeing from multiple Fiends.

Of all the Drifters Sola keeps encountering, Quin always seems to bring trouble with her somehow. First the barfight, then Ratatoskr (twice!), then the Many Many Misfortunes of the Luca Marketplace, and now this?! After so many times... surely it can't just be coincidence. Perhaps Quin has been cursed somehow? Solanine have to look into that later, because as a crack of blue energy and a splash of Divine Blessing of Water drives home, Quin needs help...more immediately.

Immediately enough that it won't dawn on her what just happened with the ARM and the Yevonite Faith (and Lanval's Damage Control!) until a moment after this one.

But in this one, Solanine focuses her power over the Dark to weigh down the shadows of the pursuing Fiends, rooting them with nightshade flowers, then conjures a blade of darkness energy out of the shadow of the blue jelly creature, that thrusts upward into it, in hopes of either pinning it in place, or disrupting its cohesion enough to break it apart.

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Fortunately, by the time Quin makes it to the gathering, she's put away her gun, so it's not readily seen. That's one less problem she has to deal with. "That's the plan!" Quin calls back to Clarissa, regarding not dying. Fortunately Clarissa's shot should startle the fiends she DIDN'T hit, and do some damage to the one she DID. This will hopefully give Quin enough time to round on the wolf and take a swing at it with her daggers. She's a speedy-ish fighter, so she might so decently against it. The slimy thing and the bits of floating metal stuff are another question though... Yeah, no. She's got nothing for them.

Cursed? Maybe. Trouble does seem to find Quin in really weird, unlikely ways. But as 'luck' would have it, there's almost always someone nearby that can keep her from dying... even if she does get knocked around a little. A curse might be to blame for her overall bad luck... but yes, Solanine has the right idea. Fiends first, talk of curses later.

Though between Clarissa, Lanval, Solanine, and the militia here, the collection of fiends probably won't last long, even without Quin helping out. She's not a super-great fighter, but she can generally hold her own. Only reason this bunch caught her off-guard was because there was so many. Also those DAMN physically-resistant fiends!

Once they're dealt with, Quin sighs. "Thanks, y'all. Sorry 'bout that. Kinna dog-piled me when I wasn't lookin'," she offers.

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

There's help on the way. Clarissa smiles with relief as Lanval rushes to aid the stranger too. "Yes, we're just trying to help!" she calls out to Quin. Hopefully it'll be enough to put her at ease!

The nice thing about Strahl Gewehr is that its range appears to be absolutely insane. Clarissa's striking from quite a range and her shots are still carrying a ways past the Fiend crowd.

The other nice thing is that the shots don't look like gunfire. They're rays, not bullets.

Felius nevertheless moves himself in with care, placing himself in the line of sight between Clarissa and the Yevonite militia. "We should be more discreet," he murmurs. "Remember what Auron told us about ARMS."

Clarissa squeezes another ray off. "I don't exactly have any other weapons! And I can't lie about it," she whispers.

Nodding, Felius keeps himself in position to shield what Clarissa's doing, and soon enough the Fiends go down. With care, Clarissa slides Strahl Gewehr back into the closed pouch at her hip. None are the wiser. She hopes.

"They can do that," Clarissa says with a quiet, anxious smile as she strolls over to Quin and the group. "Are you sure you're not hurt? That wolf was getting very close to you."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Help may not always be appreciated. Help may not always be accepted. Help may not always, per se, help - but help is what Quin needs, and help is what Quin gets even with some of the confusion and even a few unkind things shouted from some of the militia.
     Lanval, for his part, has a bit of joyous laughter at the favorable outcome of Quin's safety, as the collected gather in wake of this latest wave of terrible Fiend attacks.
     "'m glad ya all showed up when ya did, that'sh for shuuuure," Lanval says as he takes another seat while Clarissa and Felius catch up to where all the rest yet gather, exhaling loudly in a way that seems a touch exaggerated, but he enjoys emulating breathing. It's relaxing. Colors flit away into the air from where the Fiends fall, and a moment of rest is earned.
     "Mmm... even if they did, I'd help take care of it," Lanval notes as he takes his gourd up in both hands and prepares an incantation in which to call forth restorative water energies to help address any wounds that Quin might have suffered, first.
     This immediately gets stares from the militia. Confused stares, even, which he doesnot seem to notice.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Solanine has posed.

"Thanks, y'all. Sorry 'bout that. Kinna dog-piled me when I wasn't lookin." Quin offers an explation of her situation, and Solanine looks at the crumpled forms of the monsters that were following her:

A dog.

A pile of goo

A pile of metal pieces.

 Yes, dog-piled is the right term here.

Solanine replies to both Quin and Lanval's thanks with a small "you're welcome, just good luck I guess..." and falls back into her normal quiet as Clarissa and Felius approach and talk to Quin.

 Solanine, nervous around new people from entire human lifetimes of solitude, begins to look around more and in that process unfortunately takes stock of the stares, confused protests and grumblings to the militia. She's not a fan of the dogmatism in this Yevonite faith, amplified by being a religious figure in a land without her religion.

These were all feelings she'd hoped to escape by coming out here in the first place, away from the cities... but saving humans was more important than that. She thinks. She hopes. She keeps telling herself that, and hopes that sparing the zealous with instruments that draw the ire of their Sin doesn't come back to bite them, Her anxiety builds, until Lanval laughs and she feels a bit better from his levity, even as the militia stares on.

She'd prefer to only fight Fiends today, but her sleeping poisons are just as effective on humans, if not moreso...

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Quin looks at the back of her leg at Clarissa's question -- and sure enough, there's a few chompy marks there. She winces. "Yeah, I'm fine. 'S not too bad." She can't help but joke, "He just wanted me t' stay for a bite, 's all." And she smirks. Bad joke, yeah. But, well. She's alive to make bad jokes. That's a good thing, right?

Quin nods to Lanval's statement. "Yeah, so am I," she agrees, to the words of everyone showing up when they did. "That was a stroke 'a luck. The road could'a been abandoned. Then I'd 'a been up 'n unsanitary tributary, without sufficient means 'a locomotion." She's being nice, she could have said that oh so much more crudely. But the meaning gets across anyway, no doubt.

Quin tilts her head when Lanval starts doing something with the gourd. She's not a mage, and doesn't really understand a lot of this magical stuff. But as far as the militia goes? Fortunately she has that gun put up out of sight, so there's nothing immediately convicting her of being a 'heathen'. No goggles, her eyes aren't green and swirly, and though her clothes are odd for a Spiran to see, they're not the kind of formfitting, leather and zippered stuff that the Al Bhed wear.

Quin nods to Solanine's mention of good luck. "Yeah, seems like it. Good t' see ya again, even under these circumstances. Would'a loved it if they'd 'a been better, but still! Good t' see ya again!" She's talking to Solanine and Lanval both. "Glad ya both made it." She is pointedly ignoring any of the militia people that are looking at her like she walked into their house and tracked poo across the carpet.

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Dropping her hands to her hips, Clarissa smiles widely Lanval's way. "Yes! And I'm glad all of you were here, too. There are a lot of Fiends out there, so it's good to stick together!"

Clarissa's getting fewer looks from the Yevonites than she should. Maybe it's because Felius was discreet. Or maybe it's because--

"It's alright," Clarissa offers the Yevonites present with a sunny smile. "I think everyone here was just doing their best to protect people. Please don't worry about it!"

She seems fairly sure they'll take her word for it, and hey, it's an honest answer!

With Quin clearly well enough to quip, Clarissa smiles quietly back to the other Drifter, once more lowering her hands to the arches of her hips. "I'm glad you're still with us, then. And I'm glad some people were here to help you out. The road's pretty well-traveled but sometimes you end up having to run a long way before you meet someone!"

Solanine seems to be tensing up, and Clarissa spots it readily enough. With a blink and a quiet moue of her lips, she looks over to the less familiar Seraph.

Then she smiles, easy and warm. "Hello. I'm Clarissa and this is my brother Felius."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    If not interrupted or otherwise denied, Lanval channels energy from the drinking gourd in which to deliver a refreshing mist of healing water in Quin's direction.
     The muttering intensifies, but the discomfort is easy enough to pick up context from. Things along the lines of 'not just black magic, but prayers too?' 'That's not possible!'
     Lanval senses his kin's anxieties. He recognizes in the moment that she's generally shy about this sort of thing - his people usually do keep their distance from mortals. The rotund Oracle ambles on up to Solanine up to some predetermined understood distance of comfort and gives her a gentle smile and a nod as if to say 'they're okay,' before sitting back down.
     "She'sh a gentle one," Lanval reassures to Solanine as regards Clarissa. An eye opens half-lidded to Felius. The moment that half-open eye meets, he thinks better of letting it linger on that gaze. Some mortals just have that sort of look to them. The sort of look where you decide their eyes shouldn't be challenged lest they see through you so hard you just no longer exist where they look.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Solanine has posed.

Seraph Solanine returns Lanval's smile with a small one of her own and nods to him before turning back to Clarissa and Felius, trying not to show any reservation or her growing feelings about other situational pressures. She takes her kin's affirmation of Clarissa's kindness into consideration and exhales, (it is relieving on occasion even if not needed)

"I am the Seraph Solanine. I'll remember your faces and names, your actions were ultimately noble and just even if some here...don't agree...

"It's also a noble to be grateful and show humility for assistance rendered in times of dire need..." Sola says to Quin in positive acknowledgement of her sentiment.

Her anxiety and something else is simmering in her words until she hears whispering of "black magic, and prayers too..." and her expression darkens. What blasphemy speak these lost children of Althena, living on the Silver Star, on the home she provided for them, and to refer to a Seraphic Miracle, the purest expression of her Blessing save from her own will, as black magic, and scoff at his prayer.

She struggles for a moment to contain herself, and her hands clench to fists, magical darkness gathering upon them in the form of armored plates... and then she dismisses them and pulls herself together to regain her composure.

 "We should go soon. For all we've done and still offer to do, for all your words of peace and clemency... our help is becoming less and less desired as time wears on. If they think themselves capable masters of their own fates without our assistance, and their discontent rises to challenge us over their faith... I'd rather not be here for them to make that choice, and have to react accordingly.

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

The introduction could have been meant for Solanine, Quin isn't sure. She knows Clarissa and her brother by looks, but catching her name had been a little harder. BUT, there they are then, names. "Pleased t' finally meetcha both properly," Quin offers. "Name's Quin Rosenberg." She's nobody important and can't really offer anybody who DOES know her anything for being sneaky, so she had no fear in offering her full name.

Lanval's healing surprises Quin, too, but hey -- she can use it. So as the pain starts to ease, she'll offer a smile in his direction. "Thanks, I was a little worried about it," she admits. "Dunno what kinda yuck those things got on their teeth, y'know?" She looks up at the muttering Yevonites and just shrugs. It's an open gesture, as if to say 'why bother questioning?'. She even offers verbally, "Don't think too much about it, yeah?"

Solanine's words about humility get a smirk. "That's a good way for me t' get myself killed," she notes. "Not acknowledgin' others' help, I mean. I need others' help so often that if I didn't, I'd find myself without it." Though she... kiiiiind of starts understanding where Solanine's coming from with the latter statement. "Oh uh. I think... they just don't understand it? Come t' think of it, I've never seen anybody native t' here able t' heal AND harm. An' he was usin' magic against the fiends, an' then he healed my leg."

Quin tilts her head a little. "I dunno. I just don't think about stuff I don't understand that much. 'Specially if it don't hurt me. But I ain't really the thinkin' kind, y'know? I just kinna... do what seems like the right thing t' do at the time."

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

Clarissa blushes softly when Lanval assures Solanine of her gentleness. She inclines her head slightly, managing a tiny, almost shy smile.

"Hello, Seraph Solanine. And, aheh...." She blushes more deeply, scratching her cheek with one finger. "...I'm just glad we were able to help someone. Spira's a dangerous place sometimes...."

When she looks back to Quin, it's with a polite nod. The woman's face isn't unfamiliar by any means, but a formal introduction had never taken place. "Truthfully, Spira has never been visited by anyone from outside before, by my understanding. I think they have every right to be protective of the place they come from. All we can do is try to be understanding... and also honest about what we can do to help."

But it's Solanine who makes a key point. Clarissa purses her lips, then gives a quiet nod. "...Yeah. We should probably be on our way soon. We don't want to cause anyone any trouble."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval's eyes open half-lidded again as Solanine airs her grievances about the way the militia here seems aghast or even willing to withdraw thanks for the collective help, and Lanval strokes a hand on his chin, fingers running through beard hairs like they were water. (Kinda-technically they are? Seraphim physicality remains weird and one step removed from complete nonsense.)
     "Ohhh... yeah, that'sh... right," Lanval murmurs, then has a laugh at his expense, "the people of Lunar all got the gift of magic in shome form or another," he speaks to Quin, Clarissa, and... well, partially to Felius, kind of in his direction but he's not going to look him in the eye again for now because wow, "but they only got White - healing, 'n the like... or Black - deshtructive."
     So that's true for this part of Lunar, too - as Solanine evocatively puts it in her complaints for their behaviors, echoing Quin's thoughts on why this all might seem so odd.
     "We can do both," he refers to Solanine and himself, "'caushe we embody our element - both the White and the Black ashpectsh of it." He clarifies.
     The militia nearby are still murmuring.
     "Mmmm," Lanval can't help but think about something he doesn't understand, as Quin dismisses the oddity and chooses to accept things as they are. "They shure do have the Blesshing of Althena, yep," he says in a much lower voice. That raises all sorts of interesting questions about the surrounding culture and the--
     One of the pyreflies flits idly into him!! Lanval holds up a free hand as if to try and make it go 'shoo.'
     ...
     It passes right through him, harmlessly, and continues along its way like he wasn't there.
     "...Huh." Lanval's eyes open all the way, but devoid of the bright color that would follow, as if his world were rocked by a misconception being taken from him.
     ...
     "Mmm... yeahhh, let'sh jusht head on back," Lanval says as he rises up, stumbling towards Clarissa (barring Felius standing in the way). "Back ta Luca! 'n get shome drinksh...! Ha ha ha!"
     The militia won't stop him. They're too nonplussed by what they saw, what they might hear in between their murmurs.
     "...buuuuut yer gonna hafta pay, 'caushe I guessh 'm not gettin' paid fer today," Lanval tries to say with a dumb cat-like smile, blatantly begging like an old habit. Begging, in his station!! Honestly!
     "Ha ha ha!"

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Quin nods to Clarissa's words about being glad to help. "I'm glad you all was here, too," Quin admits. And then the mention of being honest? "Yeah, I agree. If we're dishonest, they're more likely t' not trust us, even when we're helpin'. 'Cause then, if we're bein' dishonest about HOW we're helpin', what's sayin' we're not bein' dishonest about WHY we're helpin', right? But I can understand them, too... they don't know us, prob'ly didn't even know anywhere else but Spira existed, an' suddenly here we come with all this weird stuff." That's kind of her 'thing', really... she tries to see things from 'the other guy's' perspective, even as she holds firm in her own point of view.

Lanval's explaining a little about magic, and Quin nods. "Yeah, I guess that explains part of it," she notes. She doesn't know much about magic, honestly, so it makes about as much sense as anything. Particularly when he explains about his own and Solanine's abilities. "Oh, now I get it," she notes. It goes beyond magic, so needing to know about magic isn't really necessary. That works.

Though she also nods to Lanval's words of moseying on. "Sounds like a good idea... lots 'a stuff for people here t' think about." Looking to the group at large, she inquires, "You guys mind 'f I tag along, just t' Luca? Don't wanna take th' chance 'a gettin' dogpiled 'r anythin'."

<Pose Tracker> Clarissa Arwin has posed.

"It's alright," Clarissa assures Quin with a little nod. "It's better for people to stick together where possible, and we're always happy to have traveling companions."

In a way it'll be like old times. Clarissa's companions have been more regular than usual since she signed on with Marivel and the rest of ARMS, but picking up random allies feels like what she used to do before that. Like she's a real Drifter again.

To Lanval, she blinks, blushing softly and laying a hand at her cheek. "...I'm not much of a drinker, honestly....

"...Though they make very nice fruit cocktails...."