2019-06-01: A Noble Intervention

From Dream Chasers
Jump to: navigation, search
  • Log: A Noble Intervention
  • Cast: Xantia, Marivel Armitage
  • Where: Luca - Port District
  • Date: June 01, 2019
  • Summary: As tensions rise in Luca, so does anti-Crusader sentiment, putting Xantia in a tight spot due to her perceived allegiance. Who should come to her aid but a genuine Crimson Noble...

==========================<* Luca - Port District *>==========================

Luca is the largest port and second-largest city in Spira, located the southern tip of the archipelago's largest island. Its location as the central port for Spira's surrounding islands has turned Luca into a thriving economic hub; Besaid, Kilika, and a dozen smaller islands all send their goods to Luca for sale, and even the Al Bhed are known to trade here from time to time.

The port district is an immense, bustling area. The largest port in Luca brings in ships from across Spira -- from small fishing ships from Besaid to Al Bhed salvage ships to large sailing vessels from Bevelle -- and a massive market to match. A large seawall keeps the waters at bay, with piers extending out past the seawall into the water.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CIlRCYnZcg
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Luca's portside is rarely without activity. Today is no different... and yet, things are very different. A keen observer would notice immediately that while the activities may be the same, there is a certain tension that hangs in the air. People are conversing less than usual, on edge and particularly alert for any suspicious activity.

The reasons are easily inferred. First the proclamations of a Maester of Yevon, then Althena's Guard's response. By now they've filtered down to just about everybody, shaking the carefully maintained balance in Spira to its very core. No one is quite sure what is about to happen, and these concerns are putting a real damper on everyone's spirits.

In this kind of environment, any bit of commotion stands out all the more. A small group of people, seemingly from all walks of life, can be seen running around, quite obviously looking for something... or someone. A pretty angry lot, judging from the look on their faces. As for the object of their search... that might have something to do with the flash of red ducking into a nearby alley.

Back pressed to the wall, and gripping her head with her right hand, Xantia takes a moment to catch her breath, expression filled with panic. She has no idea how to handle a situation like this, being unable to punch her way out of it. Well, she could, and rather easily, if she chose to. But she's not about to beat up ordinary townspeople who haven't done anything wrong. Then again... it's not like she's done anything wrong. So why are they chasing her? Why's everybody so angry at her? She'd noticed people were less friendly to her than before, but this... what is she supposed to do about this?

All she has are questions, and she's not too keen on asking the people who might have the answers. Not when they look this scary. She can only hope nobody saw her turn this corner... at least, no one who would give away her location to her pursuers.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

The small group of people from all walks of life end up near thet alleyway when they bump into a shrouded woman with red eyes.

"Hey! Have you seen a Crusader hiding out around here?" The larger and more boisterous leader of the mob shouts to her.

The shrouded woman lifts an arm up and points down the street in the completely wrong direction and watches them run off in that direction. One of them gives the shrouded a bit of a squint of their own before following after the others.

The shrouded woman steps into the nearby alley.

"Humans are such tumultous creatures." The woman says, almost as if she's not actually speaking to Xantia but to the universe at large. "They can be so easily moved towards kindness or cruelty. It takes dedicated effort when you are suffering to set such thoughts aside and think of your fellows even more so when you have a nice uniform or a book to shield yourself with. Tis fashion that makes the fascist."

The shrouded woman raises her head, her form partially obscured from the mists, but this is someone Xantia already knows. Well, sort of. Knows as Marie Valeria, right?

"I would not linger ere long. They are liable to return. Soon I imagine there will be no safe domain for either of us."

She allows herself a fanged smile, peeking out from behind her scarf.

"How may I be of service, Xantia?"

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

There is a moment of tension, Xantia holding her breath as someone not far from her temporary hiding spot is quizzed regarding her location. She didn't exactly have the time to be careful about not being seen, it's possible that this person, whoever they are, saw her seek shelter in this alley just now. She can only hope their response will be a negative one.

Or... that they point them in the completely wrong direction? She wasn't expecting that. Does that mean there's an actual Crusader hiding somewhere in the other direction? What are the odds of that?

What little measure of relaxation she allowed herself quickly vanishes when the shrouded figure enters the alleyway. She's not usually quick to mistrust people, but after what she just went through, 'better safe than sorry' seems like the proper approach right now.

The mistrust quickly vanishes when there's a voice she feels she recognizes... even if she can't make much sense of what the words actually mean. It doesn't take very long for her to positively identify who this person is. "Marie...?"

Filled with relief at seeing a friendly face - well, part of a face, and at least friendly enough to never have done anything bad as far as she knows - Xantia pushes off the wall... and immediately starts to voice all the thoughts that she had no one to share with until a moment ago.

"What a relief... I don't know what happened, a while back people started being mean to me, just for no reason. They wouldn't let me get a room at the inn anymore, even though they said I was always welcome. People wouldn't look at me anymore, just ignoring me a lot... they wouldn't even let me help them anymore. But it's never been like this before... all I did was just say hello like usual, and they got real mad, and I have no idea why, I don't even know what a heretic is!"

Phew. She really needed to get that off her chest. While gesticulating wildly, Xantia removed the hand she held on her head... it may have been immediately obvious that she was holding it because she was injured. Possibly even before seeing the blood on her hand, or seeing the small trickle of it on her forehead after she speaks those words.

Freely showing sadness and dismay, Xantia hangs her head slightly, answering Marivel's offer of service simply, "I just... want to leave here, right now. They don't want me around, so I'll just... go. Somewhere... else." She clearly has no idea where exactly she's going to go.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Some lies are worth telling, I suppose. Mm, Clarissa?" Marivel asks a rhetorical question to someone who isn't even here.

Xantia explains her situation. Marivel listens to it patiently. It's clear to her, then, what is going on. "Xantia..." Marivel exhales faintly. "You are not one for reading, then?"

She reaches into her pouch and draws out two pieces of parchment which she offers to Xantia. One is the proclamation from Grand Maester Mika, the other is the one from White Knight Leo.

"Since Operation Mi'ihen failed, Grand Maester Mika elected to put the blame on the Crusaders, on 'foreigners', on the Guard. Leo elected to exarcerbate the situation by seizing Kilika."

Marivel crosses her arms. "They may not blame ARMS as of yet, but blame will eventually fall on us. Even I hadn't anticipated such heartlessness from the Church."

She clucks her tongue in annoyance before adding, "But I suppose that is my own fault for putting such faith in mortals."

She cocks her head to the left. "Somewhere else? So you know not where you wish to go. I can take you to the Fereshte, yes--you may be safer in the Guard's territory right now. I can take you as far as Macalania. That is my limit at the moment, Xantia."

Xantia admits to not knowing what heretics even are.

"A convenient word for ruining lives." Marivel explains.

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia's a bit too upset to worry about which people who aren't present Marivel may be talking to. Besides, she soon has something else to turn her attention to, as she is handed some reading material. "Hm? No, I like reading," she comments beforehand, clearly clueless about what she should have been reading about. Who would have thought that someone like Xantia doesn't pay much if any attention to matters of religion or politics, let alone the politics of religion.

Even so, when directly confronted with it, with the helpful summary that Marivel provides, even she realizes that things have become a lot more... problematic. She doesn't look any less confused by it, but that's for a different reason, which she shares upon lowering the parchments after giving them a quick read. "But... but that's all wrong! We were just trying to help! If we could just get rid of Sin, people wouldn't have to be afraid anymore... we all tried the best we could! Why are they blaming us for trying?"

From the way she talks, she clearly wasn't merely mistaken for a Crusader. She was right there fighting with them. She just can't believe that anybody would actually fault them for doing what heroes would do. That doesn't make any sense.

Deflating further, Xantia just nods at the first convenient suggestion. "The Fereshte... I have friends there. I can probably stay there." It's no surprise to her that she didn't understand the word 'heretic'. The way Marivel tells it, it doesn't sound like something she could possibly understand the reasoning behind.

One might think she's too preoccupied with processing all this to pay too much attention to the finer points of the words Marivel uses, for as much as she can follow them. But even sounding as down in the dumps as she does, she still comments on something she couldn't help but pick up on. "...You keep talking about 'humans' and 'mortals' as if you aren't one. Are you a Seraph?" She can't help but be reminded of the way Ragnell talked sometimes.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"How lovely. I was just there, but I can never get enough of those two." Marivel says, smiling faintly.

She approaches Xantia. She was already close enough to hand over those pieces of paper after all. This time however as she gets nearer she wraps an arm around Xantia and gives her a quick but tight hug.

"You're right. It is all wrong. And they know it to be wrong. They are lying, Xantia, to protect themselves, to empower themselves. When people suffer, mortals like to think about who is to blame for it...whether or not there is someone to blame for it, you see. The conflict will get even uglier ere long."

She pulls back, keeping a hand on Xantia.

"A Seraph?" Marivel asks with a faint raise of her eyebrow. "Not precisely, though I may be closer to Seraphs than most. I am a Crismon Noble." She smiles with fang again this time. "The real deal. Are you ready to depart, or do you wish to collect yourself first?"

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia, for the first time in a while, finds herself smiling faintly when Marivel says 'those two'. That seems to have been a good enough description for her to have a pretty good idea who are being spoken of.

She wasn't expecting a hug to happen. She lets out a surprised squeak, but is quick to return the hug afterwards. She doesn't think about the blood on her hand. That'll leave a mark.

"I don't think about that..." she begins to protest, about to wonder if that means she isn't a mortal. But she quickly realizes, "...No, that's not true. When bad things are happening, I want to know who the bad guys are who made it happen, so that I can stop them. It's frustrating when there isn't anyone to blame... but, just making something up... that sounds more like something a bad guy would do."

Xantia tends to have simple ways of looking at things. And yet, even matters that should be simple can feel like they're really complicated sometimes.

When Marivel denies being a Seraph, Xantia nods readily, like she was expecting that. "You didn't feel like a Seraph." Without explaining what she meant, her eyes grow wide with wonder. "A Crimson Noble? Like in the stories?" She indeed does like to read... though she has trouble telling fact from fiction, so as far as she's concerned, now that she's met a Crimson Noble, that means that everything she's read about them must be true. Suddenly very conscious of the fact that she's bleeding, she returns her hand to covering her head wound. "W-well, no, I'm fine, just, you know... lead the way!"

Looks like Crimson Nobles might be one of the rare things that unnerve Xantia.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel is sympathetic to the betrayed.

"Well, as livid as I am with the Grand Maester for this proclamation, anyone should be allowed to defend themselves before I label them 'bad', no? But still, believe me, I am very livid." There is a faint slant in her eyes that betrays what she is feeling but it is so brief that it is like the window was opened intentionally to the soul rather than it being a slip of the mask. More like lifting the mask up and saying 'psst' before pulling it back down. "Still, blaming the foolish for being fools is a bit like shaking one's fist at the sky."

She raises an eyebrow. "Feel like a Seraph? Oh ho."

But then her gaze gets a bit more concerned once Xantia starts getting a bit 'FAN' about it. "Ah--" She laughs a bit. "Don't worry, I won't have a taste without permission."

She does not deny that she feeds off blood though as she says, "Okay. Leading the way!"

And then both she and Xantia vanish from the alley!!

--and just flat out reappear on the deck of the Fereshte, no doubt surprising any crewmen that happen to be there.

"Tada." She says.

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Right now, Xantia is a lot more confused than she is livid. That could change depending on the consequences of the proclamation that she learns of. If it's just her... well, that's not exactly great, but she's not about to answer undue blame with blame of her own just for that. Now, if she learns of others suffering because of it, that's when she may get mad.

She doesn't really need any obvious giveaways to believe how Marivel feels about things, however. She in turn shares her confusion on the matter: "I don't really get the point of blame, anyway. I don't like to waste time blaming people for doing bad things, I'd rather just go straight to punching them for it."

It's strange to see Marivel get concerned just as she's starting to get concerned, but Xantia evidently is easy to reassure, breathing a sigh of relief when she hears she won't be losing any more blood than she already is. "Oh, okay! That's good then."

...That's it? That seems to be all it takes to take away all her worries about Crimson Nobles. The blood thing isn't a concern as long as she doesn't have to worry about her own blood. Xantia would much prefer to worry only about feeding upon things, rather than being fed upon.

Prepared for a long walk, she is more than a little surprised to find herself just sort of... there already? Before she could even think about heading out the alley, here they are standing right on the deck of the Fereshte. Needless to say, she's more than a little surprised. She didn't even read about this in the books! Or maybe she did, she just never interpreted the Crimson Nobles' talent for appearing out of nowhere as them being capable of teleportation. Let alone teleporting others along with them.

It's not often Xantia is rendered speechless. But in the face of this, even she takes a while before she manages even a single word. "H-how?"

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Is that so?" Marivel asks. "You must have punched a great number of people."

On the matter of blood... "I mean," Marivel adds shortly after Xantia says 'that's good then'. "Unless I'm starving like anyone else, I suppose, but I'd only take a little bit, you'd hardly miss it, especially since it's already running."

TOO LATE TO RUN. YOU ARE ON THE FERESHTE NOW. YOU'RE ON A BOAT. AN AIRBOAT.

"Just a little bit of magic." Marivel says, figuring that'll be enough to pacify Xantia on the matter. "Though it does take a fair bit out of me when I take others along so I try not to rely on it."

She steps back, leaning against the ship's railing. "I am sorry that your well meaning work was punished, Xantia, rather than appreciated, and I apologize for not anticipating this turn of events more accurately. The territory under Guard control is likely to be dangerous, but at the very least I imagine the people will be more willing to take your aid...as outsiders have been providing their assistance for some time here. I'd still be wary, but at the very least I doubt you shall be hunted."

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

"Lots of people!" Xantia is very proud of the amount of people she's punched. Nobody who didn't deserve it or agree upon mutual punching, of course! ...well, almost nobody.

Just as quickly as she got reassured though, Xantia is back to being unnerved when Marivel nuances her statement. Which prompts an immediate word cascade.

"N-now hold on, that isn't an invitation! If you're starving, then... then I'll get you an animal from somewhere! We could share! You get the blood and I get the meat! How does that sound?"

Seems like a good deal to her... but it's all soon forgotten about since the pair of them are transported to an entirely different place while Xantia is in the middle of bargaining.

And indeed, just like before, 'a little bit of magic' is all the explanation she needs to satisfy her on that front. "I see... wish I could do that with my magic. Although, if I had a choice... I'd probably choose flying over teleporting." Now she's just gotten distracted from absolutely everything.

Marivel brings things back to the matter at hand. Xantia only understands part of the apology, shaking her head slightly when she responds, "I don't think anybody saw this coming, you don't have to be sorry for that. You really helped me out today, so... thank you, Marie."

She then nods to the advice on what to do next. "Okay, that's good to know. I'd rather not have... that happening again." She rubs the wound on her head. The bleeding's already stopped, but it still hurts. In more ways than one.

"...There's this little girl in Luca. She said she was Mystery Crusader X's biggest fan. She'd always come running when she saw me to say hi, always so happy to see me." Xantia smiles faintly, which fades into a sad expression. "...She's the one who threw the rock at me." Balling her fists, she concludes, "That's the sort of thing I want to keep from happening. To me, or anyone else. So, if you're fighting for reasons like that, and you ever need help with that, just let me know and I'll be there."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Do you like flying?" Marivel asks. "Why do you like flying, Xantia?" Marivel pauses, then smiles. "And please, call me Marivel. No need for aliases betwixt friends." Wait friends? Doesn't Marivel kind of find Xantia annoying?? Well sure, that was her initial impression but when someone you find mildly annoying gets stabbed in the back you tend to rethink matters in a charitable way. At least, you know, if you're not a dick.

"Well children are monsters," Marivel says. "I should know." Her smile is sadder here. "Such a turnaround, it can mean many things. Perhaps she lost family in the Crusaders, perhaps she feels betrayed. Regardless, she is still young and may yet change her mind again."

She laughs a bit, "Who says I am fighting?" She then exhales out a faint sigh. "Ah, but I have been, at least. Now there is damage control, of course, but I am not one who is content to simply patch up mortal problems. To speak the truth, I am ill content to even involve myself in a mortal war at all. But this is ill timed, reckless, and foolish. Sin still lives, and calamity often seeks out senseless bloodshed. Should we be lucky and Sin not be drawn towards the conflict, we'll still be less equipped to fight for the people here. They've both lost sight of whom they are here to battle. Leo should've known better."

Her fists tighten. "But what use is lecturing?"

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia seems confused by the question. "Just... because." She scratches her head, only now really starting to think about the reason why the notion of flying seems so appealing to her. "I guess I don't actually know how it feels, not really. I mean, really flying, by yourself, without the help of machines. But I think that if you could do that, if you weren't tied to the ground, you'd just feel so... free." She shrugs a bit. She's not sure if that was a very good explanation, but it's the best she's got.

Naturally Xantia already thought of Marivel as a friend to begin with. Even though she didn't actually know a whole lot about this friend. "Aliases...? So Marivel is your real name?" She brings a hand to her chin, taking a moment to consider. Then she shakes her head. "I think I'll keep calling you Marie. It's not an alias if it's a nickname!" Besides, reducing the amount of syllables in a friend's name makes a lot more sense than increasing them does.

Xantia remains silent on the topic of children. That's one topic she doesn't feel qualified to talk about. Of all the things she doesn't understand, children are certainly one of them.

"You were fighting Vinsfeld," she instead points out. She saw 'Marie' there, in the big fight that ended with all of them transported to Spira. It's all the evidence she needs to be convinced that Marivel must be somebody who fights for the right reasons. And that's all she needs to know.

And on the topic of lecturing... "There probably isn't much use. I mean, I only understood about half of what you said just now." Well, there you go.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Mm. And I must yet continue to fight Vinsfeld." Marivel says. "For he is--"

Xantia points out that she's still going to use Marie. Marivel laughs a little and says, "If that is what you wish." Xantia can be charming in her straightforward manner. After all the politics, it's kind of refreshing honestly. "But Vinsfeld is hardly to blame for this war. Still... he certainly will take advantage of it."

She seems more annoyed than enraged but ultimately she nods once to Xantia.

"Ah, true. If you understood about half of what I said, I imagine they would understand a quarter or less. Shall we check on our friends?"