My Oldman Kain't Be This Allergic to Felines

Mar 8th, 2013
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  1. [14:53:25] <Ramuh> As time marches on, the crowd around Ramuh has begun to disperse, and the god of thunder pushes another log into his fire, wrapping a thick scarf tighter around his neck. He stokes the logs a bit more with his staff, a jolt of electricity keeping the fire nice and roaring.
  2. [14:54:13] <Ramuh> The campsite nearby the main chapel of Esto Gaza seems to almost be the centerpiece of the numerous tents set up around the place.
  3. [14:56:29] * Amaryllis approaches the campfire slowly, drawing her cloak closer around herself and flaring up the wisp of flame in her own lantern to help keep warm. She settles down in front of the fire, and looks around, one last time until she's satisfied. "Better. It is less crowded now."
  4. [14:57:54] <Amaryllis> "I had more questions, but I did not want to call upon you to answer in public." Ammy speaks in her usual quiet monotone, and even as she does, she directs tendrils of black magic outward, working up the snow and winds surrounding the campsite into a healthy roar for anyone further away.
  5. [14:59:24] <Ramuh> The old man looks up, a curious expression on his face. "Do you, child? Very well, I'll answer what I can."
  6. [15:00:10] * Amaryllis nods. "The wounds for some still feel fresh from the war ten years ago, and the matter of Eidolons, Summoners, the pact between them, they can be touchy subjects, I imagine. And you are, if you make such appearances, a public figure. I was afraid you may not wish to discuss your personal views so candidly."
  7. [15:01:35] <Amaryllis> "What do you think of the Summoner's Pact as it exists now?" Ammy keeps her first question short and without any interjection of her personal views.
  8. [15:01:40] <Ramuh> "Certainly more public than I have been!" he chuckles, and pulls his robe tighter. Odd, seeing such a powerful being shiver so. "I can tell you a great many things about that if you wish. It is up to you what you do with that knowledge."
  9. [15:03:33] <Ramuh> "It is difficult to trust another with your power. I, myself grew tired of the whole affair, but a chance encounter led me to pledge my services once more. I did not come to regret it, but the sad truth is that not all would-be summoners would be as benevolent as the Queen of Alexandria."
  10. [15:04:53] <Ramuh> "But child, what could you mean... 'as it exists now'?"
  11. [15:05:04] <Ramuh> The wisened face leans closer, curious.
  12. [15:08:54] * Amaryllis thinks for a moment, then reaches up slowly to her necklace and pulls it out of her shirt so the coins dangle in the wind. "First, I suppose I should ask if this means anything to you at all?"
  13. [15:10:36] <Amaryllis> "Or perhaps my name. I seem to have forgotten to introduce myself - I call myself Amaryllis Middleton, but recently I have found that I should rather be known as Amaryllis Aitchison. I am the daughter of the late Lord Alwyn of Lindblum."
  14. [15:11:34] <Ramuh> Ramuh looks at the necklace, and nods. "The Twelve Gates, is it? It has been some time..."
  15. [15:14:11] <Amaryllis> "We are a shattered and broken group now, I'm afraid." Ammy stuffs the necklace back into her shirt and wraps herself tightly in her cloak. "Picking up the pieces and ah, I am losing sight of my goal here." She clears her throat.
  16. [15:14:43] <Ramuh> "Picking up the pieces... aren't we all, Ms. Aitchison?"
  17. [15:15:05] * Ramuh shakes his head and smiles, though. "Go on, I'm sure you had more to ask."
  18. [15:18:40] <Amaryllis> "I suppose so, yes." Amaryllis shivers. "Madain Sari fell twenty years ago, obliterated by Garland out of a fear of the Summoners' power. Ten years after, the misuse of Eidolons and, I believe, the coercive power of the Pact caused still more tragedy in the world. It has been ten years since, and the muses have set the stage for another act, another potential tragedy involving the power of Eidolons, in fact, the first Eidolon."
  19. [15:19:51] <Amaryllis> "You say what I do with the knowledge you give me is up to me. I shall tell you what it is now. I believe Summoners and Eidolons still have a place in the tapestry of story the world weaves, but I am not sure it is to be the same as it has always been. I wish to understand how it should be, and..."
  20. [15:20:08] <Amaryllis> "...that may mean the nature of the Summoners' Pact must change."
  21. [15:21:49] <Ramuh> Ramuh stands up, taking his staff with him, and beckons for you. "Come, let us go for a walk." He taps his staff against the ground and the flames in the campfire condense into something not unlike the fire stone Theta carries.
  22. [15:22:13] <Ramuh> "My old bones need to walk a bit."
  23. [15:22:56] * Amaryllis nods and slowly rises to her feet, picking up her lantern again and shaking the snow off the bottom. It glows brighter and warmer as her hand touches it.
  24. [15:23:42] <Ramuh> The stone radiates just as much heat as the campfire, and floats in midair near him. "What can change the nature of the world itself? I'm curious to hear what your plans are, and how you intend to carry them out." he says as he begins to move away from the campsite.
  25. [15:25:19] <Ramuh> The snow crunches loudly under your feet as the two of you begin to leave the area of Esto Gaza. He's leading you toward the coast, monsters shying some distance from the old man.
  26. [15:26:08] <Ramuh> "You say you wish to understand how it should be..."
  27. [15:26:12] <Amaryllis> "Many things can change the nature of the world. Mere belief gives life to legends once known only to stories. The will of a man can rend the very nature of the magical forces that comprise so much of the world - it was your explanation that such an act was possible that has given me renewed confidence in my musings. If the nature of magic can be changed, why not the nature of an Pact?"
  28. [15:26:31] <Ramuh> "But I'm not sure if any one can say for sure." He listens to you after finishing his sentence.
  29. [15:29:12] <Amaryllis> "No, you are right. There are no real truths in normative questions. But the worth of a story is in its magnificence, not its truth. So I do not believe it is wrong for me to say I seek after what should be."
  30. [15:29:21] <Ramuh> He considers a moment, his sandals... sandals? now making footprints in the mostly frozen sand of the beaches.
  31. [15:31:26] <Ramuh> "It's the truth - magic is as much a part of this world as anything. If it can be improved, then cannot other underlying laws be changed as well? Yes... the summoner's pact is not a perfect construct. It is simply one that has made do over the years..."
  32. [15:33:36] <Ramuh> "Magic is bent to one's will by design - gravity by clever application of other things that are. I do wonder then..."
  33. [15:33:37] <Amaryllis> "Let me return to my original question. What do you think? You, Ramuh. Eidolon, Godbeast, master of lightning? Do you accept and affirm the pact as it is, or do you believe that it should change?"
  34. [15:35:55] <Ramuh> He chuckles again as water begins to lap at your feet. "Such theatrics! But for a concise answer, no, I do not accept the pact as it is. The crystal is not a sentient being. The body does everything it can to preserve itself, but still medicine is needed. I believe the same thing applies here. If there is a way to change the nature of the summoner's pact, I would gladly see it be done."
  35. [15:37:04] <Ramuh> "Which brings us to a point - how would you do it?"
  36. [15:38:38] * Amaryllis was waiting with baited breath, her hands tightly clutching the clasp of her cloak. She relaxes her hands at Ramuh's answer and he can see a great deal of tension leaving her face as she smiles. "I do not yet know. I tried to speak of this matter to two other Eidolons. My dear friend Carbuncle, and a doppelganger of her that was formed from a peculiar Epitaph. Both disagreed with me vehemently and asserted that the Pact as i
  37. [15:39:01] <Amaryllis> *-so
  38. [15:40:30] <Amaryllis> "It was a conclusion that greatly saddened me. Eidolons and men alike are more dignified creatures than to be subject to the coercive whims of each other, no matter whom out of them holds the leash."
  39. [15:41:23] <Ramuh> The old man furrows his brow, and looks out over the water. He remains silent for a few moments, and you hear the draw of his breath and see the steam leave his mouth. "There will always be opinions. Different viewpoints. Pact, or no pact, hero or human.."
  40. [15:42:04] <Amaryllis> "Of course, there is no story to be told if there is no conflict."
  41. [15:42:53] <Amaryllis> "But it was my fear that perhaps all old Eidolons might feel the same way. A new story cannot begin if there is no one to play its roles and characters."
  42. [15:43:20] <Amaryllis> "I am glad that is not the case. And I hope one day she may yet understand why I feel so strongly about this matter as well."
  43. [15:46:18] <Ramuh> "The last time the world itself felt another attempting to change it... Was quite some time ago." he points with his staff towards a spot in the ocean. "When one world attempted to bring Gaia into its being to preserve its own life. The people of Terra were desperate, but not cruel. They only wished that their people not vanish into obscurity. This planet, young and full of energy - with only
  44. [15:46:18] <Ramuh> the slighest bit of life on it compared to now, would have seemed perfect. But still Gaia fought back at the invader. So too the world may bite back at you. This is a much different matter than creating spells."
  45. [15:48:31] <Amaryllis> "I understand. One often pays for great accomplishments with great suffering. But it is the depths and hardships that give such meaning to the transcedent highs and peaks, is it not?"
  46. [15:51:26] <Ramuh> "He shakes his head. "Accomplishment and suffering are not equal in distribution. There are the rich, fat and slovenly who exploit others who may never once in their life know anything but the depths. The very same ones who would misuse the power of the summoning pact."
  47. [15:52:07] <Ramuh> "The story told by humans is rarely as fulfilling as the novels they write." he says with a sad sigh.
  48. [15:53:30] <Ramuh> He begins shuffling off again, walking down the length of the beach.
  49. [15:54:48] <Amaryllis> Now it's Ammy's turn to pause and think. Slowly, after a minute, she starts to speak again, following Ramuh. "We often praise fiction for its relatability to reality, to the ties of its themes to the real world, to how the characters recall real men and women and how the twists and turns of the plot reflect, whether metaphorically or more directly, the events of the world as well."
  50. [15:55:12] <Amaryllis> "And so, I think, it must also be so that the story of this real world, the story unfolding around us all the time, must be a great one as well."
  51. [15:55:20] <Amaryllis> "But I digress."
  52. [15:55:43] <Ramuh> "At least you're optimistic." he smiles.
  53. [15:57:34] <Amaryllis> "Is it optimism? Perhaps it is." Ammy smiles back. "I simply appreciate both the tales of great tragedy and the tales of great triumph. Both have their place. In any case, I do not suppose you would have an idea of where to start with changing the nature of the Pact?"
  54. [15:57:45] <Ramuh> He pauses to stroke his beard in consideration.
  55. [15:58:16] <Amaryllis> "Belief is strong, but if the belief of one woman could change the world such, well, my life and task here would be a lot easier than it is, would it not?" She smiles sadly.
  56. [15:58:59] <Ramuh> "Once, out there, laid the Shimmering Island." he says, pointing out to the same spot at sea. "Belief once held that after death, the souls of the faithful would cascade into the island through a path to paradise."
  57. [15:59:58] * Amaryllis looks out over the sea.
  58. [16:00:12] <Ramuh> "They were mostly right. No paradise - but Terra itself. They attempted to change Gaia, and failed. If there were a glimmer of knowledge, then perhaps it would be there... but as I understand it is no more."
  59. [16:01:07] <Ramuh> "There is as much to learn from another's mistakes as there is from their successes." he adds.
  60. [16:02:27] <Amaryllis> "The creatures who once dwelled within the hallowed halls of this mountain, the Tonberries. They came from Terra as well, and they practiced the Summoning arts. Now, they are a ruined people, scattered from their home and beset with the reputation of monsters. I wonder if they had once tried as well to change the world and felt its bite lash back at them." Ammy ponders as she turns her face up toward the peaks of Mt. Gulug.
  61. [16:03:14] <Ramuh> "Ah, yes. So you know the truth behind the mole people? Few do, despite there being as many scholars as there are today."
  62. [16:03:34] <Ramuh> "It is possible, but they were not a people I had dealings with."
  63. [16:04:28] <Ramuh> He begins to lead you back towards Esto Gaza. You can hear a forlorn "hrrooooooo" behind you as you start to go.
  64. [16:04:59] * Amaryllis nods and follows Ramuh, though not without turning back toward the source of the sound.
  65. [16:05:44] <Ramuh> The shape of a whale's tail hangs in the air, slipping under the waves with an enormous splash.
  66. [16:05:51] <Amaryllis> "If I am to learn from Terra's mistakes...well, I know not at all of what it takes to fuse two worlds, or how that may be applied to the Pact. So yes, I thought, perhaps, those among the Terrans who practiced the Summoning Arts would be the closest lead."
  67. [16:07:47] <Ramuh> "Deep within the mountain lies an ancient dais, carved with runes. A tool of punishment, it was intended to sever the link between a fallen summoner and their eidolons, returning the power to the form of a jewel."
  68. [16:08:00] <Amaryllis> "I had also thought, new Eidolons bring forth or are brought forth by new ideas. Perhaps there is something to be found in their emergence."
  69. [16:08:25] * Amaryllis shuts up to let Ramuh continue, though she winces slightly at what he says. "An extraction circle."
  70. [16:08:42] <Ramuh> "Something like it was used to pull the power of eidolons from Queen Garnet ten years ago, within Alexandria - a remnant of the summoners there before they left for Madain Sari."
  71. [16:08:44] <Ramuh> He nods.
  72. [16:09:18] <Ramuh> "Are you interested in the egg of tales? I noticed your friend received a gift from Raijin."
  73. [16:10:55] <Amaryllis> "I know of the term." Ammy smiles. "How could I not, being who I am?" And again she tugs a little at her necklace. "And yes, yes, I am. It interests me greatly, and I have spoken at length with the Kisaragi family about his legend."
  74. [16:12:48] <Amaryllis> "I had many questions when I learned of what he sought to do. How you were mentoring him toward his apotheosis, how you two planned to keep your legends separate despite keeping mutual domain over lightning, how he might ascend without the aid of a Fuujin ascending alongside him, whether or not you had enlisted the aid of Leviathan..." Ammy's speaking becomes more animated as she goes on. She's clearly excited about this.
  75. [16:14:47] <Ramuh> "Well, well! Seems like you've done your homework." the old man is amused, walking along.
  76. [16:16:16] <Amaryllis> "Mmhm." Ammy shuffles along with more of a skip in her step now.
  77. [16:18:51] <Ramuh> "Currently I have him meditating within my old home at Pinnacle Rocks. Becoming an eidolon requires a great deal of mental fortitude for a mortal. Though I come from the Crystal itself, I have had the honor of affiliating with the Magus Sisters at times, and they have had much to say. The actual apotheosis is in somewhat of a delay, as it has been many, many centuries since Raijin was
  78. [16:18:51] <Ramuh> acknowledged by a people. That and without his counterpart in Fuujin..." he seems comtemplative.
  79. [16:19:35] <Ramuh> "Well, despite all barriers he has certainly been eager, and I believe his sheer force of will may have been responsible for the partial transformation he's endured already."
  80. [16:20:52] <Amaryllis> "It may be an unrefined method, but there is value to be found in simply telling the old stories. I have made a point of it myself to not let the tales of civilizations gone by fade into obscurity. So much would be lost that way."
  81. [16:21:01] <Ramuh> "Leviathan seems to have been hesitant to revisit the culture of Wu. I do believe he feels some measure of shame for not being able to protect everyone."
  82. [16:21:53] <Amaryllis> "I do not blame him. However, do the stories not say they continued to live their lives as merfolk? It is not such a terrible ending for them after all."
  83. [16:22:24] <Ramuh> "No, indeed not, but if not for the sinking of the land, they would be a great nation even now."
  84. [16:23:00] <Ramuh> "Perhaps if you had some way of venturing underneath the ocean, you could visit the cities of the merfolk that stand today."
  85. [16:23:09] <Amaryllis> "Who is to say they are not great even now, wherever they may dwell under the sea? A cloistered pearl still does shine after all."
  86. [16:23:11] * Amaryllis nods.
  87. [16:23:59] <Amaryllis> "Have you thought of finding a candidate Fuujin?"
  88. [16:25:31] <Ramuh> "It has crossed my mind, but nowhere have I found one suitable. It is in a form, also a test for Raijin himself."
  89. [16:25:37] <Amaryllis> "I am trying to understand how this process of changing the world might work, and what comes to mind first is that the drawing forth of Eidolons from the Crystal is the closest I know of changing something fundamental about the world with regards to the Pact. Perhaps if enough new Eidolons, or maybe simply Eidolons in general, were to believe in the power of a less coercive pact, one that put Summoner and Eidolon on the same level
  90. [16:25:38] <Amaryllis> ..."
  91. [16:26:10] <Amaryllis> "Of course, though he may find it difficult to find anyone if he is meditating all day." Ammy muses jokingly.
  92. [16:26:39] <Ramuh> You eventually make your way back into the campsite, where Ramuh has a sit once again on the carved wooden log. With a thump of his staff, the fire crystal smashes into the pile of firewood and roars happily again.
  93. [16:27:52] <Ramuh> "If he does nothing but listen solely to my advice, then I would consider him an ill pupil. While the meditation is good for him, experimentation on his part would show promise." he remarks, stroking his beard.
  94. [16:28:43] <Ramuh> "As for your theory, I can't say."
  95. [16:29:26] <Amaryllis> "That is fair enough. For what it is worth, I shall do what I can as well. The Twelve Gates may be splintered, but I am still in contact with our Librarian, and I am sure he would relish the opportunity to help bring another Eidolon into our world."
  96. [16:29:53] <Ramuh> "Hm, would that be the one Stray is traveling with?"
  97. [16:30:14] <Amaryllis> "I take pride in my skills as a storyteller, and I am sure I can bring renewed interest in the tales of Wu if that is what- yes, in fact."
  98. [16:30:25] <Amaryllis> "He prefers Cait, by the way. Cait Sith."
  99. [16:31:28] <Ramuh> "And I prefer for him not to use my staff as a scratching post, perhaps we will meet in the median one day." he says, placing the walking stick down and clapping his hands together near the fire. A roll of thunder echoes somewhere in the distances.
  100. [16:32:08] <Amaryllis> "I would prefer he not do a great number of things, but, ah, what can you do, right?" Ammy shrugs with a smile.
  101. [16:32:30] <Ramuh> "If I may offer a bit more of my wisdom - don't ever get a cat."
  102. [16:32:45] <Amaryllis> "Too late." Ammy laughs.
  103. [16:33:02] <Amaryllis> "I have traveled with Carbuncle for over 10 years now, though...the form she has taken is one of a human."
  104. [16:33:14] <Ramuh> "Carbuncle... was she really a cat?"
  105. [16:33:21] <Ramuh> "I admit I... honestly couldn't tell."
  106. [16:33:22] <Amaryllis> "Hers is a story I have been trying to spread and tell as well."
  107. [16:33:30] * Amaryllis thinks for a moment.
  108. [16:33:41] <Ramuh> "But do go on."
  109. [16:34:12] <Amaryllis> "She reacts to catnip, loves to eat fish, and jumps at little red dots. She is cat enough for me."
  110. [16:35:33] <Amaryllis> "But yes, it seems she has lost her memory. Her aether realm is fractured, and she often reverts to a blank slate upon awakening. It has been a constant worry of mine these past ten years."
  111. [16:35:58] <Amaryllis> "I hope that by reconstituting the stories of Carbuncle I can help in some way..."
  112. [16:36:39] <Amaryllis> "It is not just her. Two others among the Eidolons who named Eiko her partners have lost their memories as well. Titan and Phoenix. I have not heard anything of them yet, but I worry for them as well."
  113. [16:45:54] <Ramuh> (Sorry, Cast)
  114. [16:45:56] * Amaryllis scoots closer to the fire and rubs her hands together, warming them. She breathes out slowly and watches the fine mist roll out of her mouth with a contemplative expression.
  115. [16:45:58] <Ramuh> (My grandma was having trouble)
  116. [16:46:04] <Amaryllis> (s'alright)
  117. [16:48:24] <Ramuh> "The world of dreams is a window into our soul..." he says quietly. "Titan... I cannot say for sure but I have heard of a giant terrorizing Conde Petie. It might simply be a Hill Gigas, but..."
  118. [16:48:50] <Ramuh> "Well, perhaps it is foolish to put stock into rumors."
  119. [16:49:52] * Amaryllis takes out her journal, brushes the magicite stone out of the way and works with the lock mechanism, opening it and scribbling down a quick note to herself.
  120. [16:50:31] <Amaryllis> "Rumors they may be, but every story has a kernel of truth in it. And honestly, I have no other leads." She shows off the nearly blank page.
  121. [16:50:34] <Ramuh> Ramuh wraps his robe tighter around himself, the weight of many, many years pushing down on his shoulders quite suddenly.
  122. [16:51:00] <Amaryllis> "Is something the matter, Ramuh?" She closes her journal and scoots in.
  123. [16:53:21] <Ramuh> "Many things are, child. But perhaps you spirited youths will make it all right."
  124. [16:55:06] <Amaryllis> "You may have lived through a great many more tales than I have, but I am just as bound by the chains of story as you are. Only time will tell." Ammy smiles. "But you are right, it is often the will of the muses that the young bring about great change in the world left to them by the old. There is hope in that."
  125. [16:57:11] <Ramuh> He goes quiet.
  126. [16:59:30] * Amaryllis begins to stand, brushing snow off of herself and her lantern. "It may be so that I will help bring about a great change to this world, to the Pact, and to the lives of all Eidolons. It may be so that I will rebuild what has been lost to the Twelve Gates and bring about a renaissance of the Summoning Tradition."
  127. [17:00:24] <Amaryllis> "However, if I were to fail, there would be a story to tell of that as well. And perhaps I could take comfort in leaving that kind of story behind as well. You seem weary, so I shall leave you to rest and think now."
  128. [17:00:41] <Amaryllis> "Thank you, Ramuh." Ammy bows to the old man, then straightens up.
  129. [17:01:24] <Ramuh> He straightens himself up, picking up his staff. "It was pleasant speaking with you. I'll be watching to see how the nature of the world may change..."
  130. [17:03:04] <Amaryllis> "And with you as well." Ammy smiles and then turns back toward the mountain, shuffling her slow way out of the campsite. After taking some number of steps, she stops and looks up toward the mountain peak contemplatively.
  131. [17:03:53] <Amaryllis> "If each world has its own manafont, then might each world have its own version of the Pact between Eidolon and Summoner? I wonder if the Tonberries were surprised to find a different Pact on this world than the one they had known." Ammy breathes out into her hands and rubs them, watching the mist, then sighs. "I had best find Lenore and not keep her waiting." She starts shuffling off again.
  132. [17:05:00] <Ramuh> He nods, watching you go.
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