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The Swineherd Stall [Festival: Open]

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#51Constantine Librorum 

on Sat May 12, 2018 6:53 am

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It seemed he had finally found a hearty drinking partner and some interesting conversation. The manís interest in his past or at least the interesting portions of it were not ignored, but he would not lie and say that it he didnít find it at least remotely interesting in turn that a bartender would know so much about the world. The manís questions about the most interesting thing he had seen would be leafed as the man confirmed his assessment of the brew. This would cause him to pause and take another look at the brew and then yet another hard look at the bartender. Misty eyes cleared up if only a bit as he gave the man his full attention. Lagers, information or even whispers were hard to come by from Caelum. He should know, he remembered having to sneak in on a barge in his younger years just to visit a damn open sea port. So to get one of their coveted honey lagers. This man definitely had deep connections.

Taking a slow drink of his beverage, heíd grunt at the manís name. No doubt it likely was not actually his own. No person would name their child after a fallen old god. Especially one from a religion as obscure as christianity. Most people forgot that christianity even existed this days outside of Pergrande, and that was only because they were stout and overly devout religious fanatics. Then again if he remembered correctly Fiore also had a Holy Knight division of their church, but those were for the new gods, whatever their silly names and pantheon were anyway. Another swig, another thought. The more the man spoke, the more interesting he became. He was definitely one that got around even if he played at being a simple bartender. The look that he was given under the mask only proved his point as his eyes cleared all the way up. No doubt that was on purpose but that didnít mean Teiho was immune to reacting to certain things of that nature.

ďA Lich huh...Ē, he said in a low tone just to the bartender. He knew the stigma that came with being from another race so he wouldnít draw attention to the bartenders particular disposition. A melancholic smile crossed his face as he gave a hearty laugh and slammed his mug on the counter causing the contents to jostle about. It was more to draw attention to himself and away from the bartender just in case someone was paying attention, but he knew this conversation was definitely going to be fruitful. ďYouíre the first Iíve met but iíve heard of your particular race. From the badlands huh? Thatís pretty interesting!Ē He lied openly at this point, once again more for the benefit of drawing attention away from the bartender and towards himself. The badlands were actually a made if bland location on most treasure hunters maps and thus would kill any sort of suspicious about himself as well. Killing two birds with one stone, he would effectively kill any sort of interest not only in himself but in the bartender as well leaving the both of them to their conversation without prying ears.

After all of this, heíd lean in and take another short gulp of his honey brew, gesturing to the fact that it was almost empty before replying to the manís inquiries in full, ďTeiho, though Iím certain youíll piece together that that isnít my actual name. Iíve been... missing for awhile now so most records of me in Fiore are pretty much gone. I guess that gives me a free second pass wouldnít you say?Ē The question was followed up with him tipping the mug back and emptying the contents in a simple fashion before dropping the mug back to the countertop and continuing his statement regardless of manís response to his question, ďIíve seen a few interesting things in my time, but I guess the greatest was the one thing I lost in my disappearance. My crown jewel if you want to put it lightly. A beast so magnificent that the loss of it tears me to this day. My partner in heart and soul, Izanagi. He was a Raijin serpent, a Rayquaza to be exact. And the day I went away he disappeared. I havenít seen or heard about him ever sinceĒ.

Teihoís mood had dropped as he recounted his greatest regret. He was certain that he would reconnect with his lost friend one day, the tug of his partners soul felt oh so close, as if he were in Orchidia, but with how weak his body was, he couldnít pinpoint his location. But he was close, he knew that.

#52Odin 

on Sat May 12, 2018 3:23 pm

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The next thing Odin would hear from the man would be a simple statement that proved the traveller may not be as without his senses as it may have appeared. He spoke of the race to which Odin now belonged, meaning he had indeed seen under the mask, and had put together what that meant. And it seemed, from his reaction and what followed, that this man was one who could be trusted, at least with some basic things. He was also rather intuitive, covering Odin's tracks in case anyone had been listening in, even going far as to claim, loud enough for anyone listening to hear, that the Lich's race were known to have come from the 'badlands'. That caused Odin to chuckle, as he replied to the man in a quieter voice than the one he usually spoke with, "If you want to be technical, my race are from the worst lands. You may have been all over the country, but I'm willing to bet you've never died before." The chuckle masked what Odin had been saying, as he spoke in between laughs, but the origin of the laugh was indeed because of the man.

Whoever this man, who introduced himself as Teiho, was, he was an interesting character. He had proved, in this brief interaction, that he could at least be trusted, and was also rather worldly, knowing that people didn't like Liches, as well as masterfully hiding that face the moment he had noticed himself. Teiho, of course, wasn't his real name, but neither was Lucifer Odin's. The world they lived in was full of names, there was no shame in using another. He finished his drink then, in between mentions of his records no longer existing in Fiore and the loss he felt. Odin knew enough about second chances, hell he was the embodiment of one at this point. Sure, he had killed himself to gain his new form, but he could've just as easily died instead. It had been a gamble, and he'd been given a new life because of it. Grimoire Heart's disbanding, the guild Odin had called home for most of his life, had given him a second chance at being the kind of person he wished to be.

"A Rayquaza you say, powerful creature from what I've read. Never seen one in person myself, but their reputation precedes them." The man had lost his partner, just like Lilja had lost Victoire. Odin didn't know the pain personally, but he could respect that it was something that pained the man, as such he kept his voice low as he spoke: their conversation only being between the two of them. Odin didn't know much about the beasts, but the little he did know was enough to tell him not to make it obvious that one could be found. While taming them was rarely, if ever, heard of, hunting them, specifically failing to hunt them due to their awesome power, was much more accepted. Pouring the man another pint of the same honeyed drink he had been enjoying, Odin placed it down in front of him, his voice slightly warmer than usual as he said something that he rarely said, and usually hated the thought of.

"It's on the house."

#53Constantine Librorum 

on Sat May 12, 2018 4:37 pm

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The manís joke about death took Teiho back a bit, back to a year ago when he had been on the verge of taking the world by storm. He didnít know what happened exactly, the details floating in and out of focus like a bad dream, but he knew that it had happened, it felt like it had happened. He was supposed to have died, it felt like he had died. A tightening grip on his mug and a shuffle in his seat spoke about his ordeals with death but it was the manís compassion towards his lost companion that was the most appreciated. Rayquazaís were definitely unique creatures. Powerful all on their own, but when paired with a competent mage, they could tear down entire cities without being stopped. But that wasnít something that Teiho had considered. No at the time he was content with just hanging out with his pal and going on long flights through the sky. He enjoyed the simple peaceful times that those days had brung. And then. It was all gone, like a snap of a finger, or a quick breeze through a hallway.

Heíd chuckle and nod towards the mug as a bit of thanks. Pushing his empty glass away before looking up at the man that had quickly become a newfound companion. While both men definitely didnít trust each other immediately, Teiho wouldnít lie and say he didnít appreciate the manís ability to listen and understand others problems and issues. Of course he was the same way, but it helped to have a fellow in the world that they could consider trustworthy. He would tip the frosty glass back, downing the honey mead in excess to what he had been drinking already. The sweet and if he could pinpoint the taste, moderately spicy drink, helped quell all of these stray thoughts and brought Teiho back into focus. Which was weird because the drink drove his eyes further into the cloudy territory. Heíd sit in silence if only for a moment, the bar having rose in volume giving the two of them a bit of privacy to discuss matters that only they would care about. Teiho would purse his lips in consideration, thoughts going through his head that he had ignored so far the entire time he had been in Orchidia. One conversation. All it took was one conversation and he was back in a mindstate that he had been in when he had left Baska.

Placing the mug back down on the counter, heíd glance about the pub for a bit before locking eyes or rather eyes to eye holes with the bartender, ďSay, what forced you out the game? And be real with me here. It had to have been something pretty serious. Itís not like youíre some old man or whatever. Sure bars tend to be good locations to dredge up information, but you donít feel like the informant type, no offense. I donít know. It just seems youíve been around these parts...Ē, he said with a gesture to mean the world and not Orchidia itself, ďA lot longer than you needed to be, the death thing withstanding obviouslyĒ. Heíd finish up his questioning statement by continuing to consume his drink. He truly didnít mean to offend the bartender with his questioning, but he was curious. He had his own issues to work through and maybe this man here had been through things of a similar nature. Hell if death couldnít keep him down, then what was keeping the man going? Only the man knew, and Teiho intended to find out.

#54Odin 

on Sun May 13, 2018 7:05 am

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Going by his movements after the mention, Teiho clearly was more accustomed to death than the average man. Perhaps not as close as Odin, who regarded death as an old friend at this point, as well as the source of this powers, but he had seen things for definite. Odin knew not to press him on how acquainted he was with death, mostly because Odin himself would not want relative strangers asking him of his opinions on death, and how much he had caused. After all, if everything was ignored, Odin had given up his own life for power. He had literally committed suicide: plunging the dagger into his own heart and ending his own life, all on the gamble that he would return.

There was a brief silence between the two men, as Teiho merely nodded in thanks for the free drink, with Odin hoping he'd given it to a man he could count on. It wasn't like the drink was a binding contract, but this traveler was indeed someone unique. To have traveled as far as he had, as well as once been companion to a Rayquaza, that was a rare combination, but what came next was an interesting question.

The place had gotten busier, luckily Odin had other workers able to keep the rabble at bay while he spoke to Teiho, and it stopped prying ears from eavesdropping, as the Lich's new acquaintance asked what had caused Odin to focus on his bar, and not stay 'in the game' as he put it. He came up with a few potential reasons that it couldn't have been, suggesting that something serious had caused Odin to lose sight of what he had been focusing on. While Odin was as worldly as Teiho, it did seem like one did do more than the other between them both. Odin took another drink of his rum, finishing it this time to avoid having to risk revealing his face to any others. After downing his drink, the fiery taste disappearing as suddenly as it appeared as the liquid passed through him, Odin answered the man's questions, his emotions matching the crazed grin that was every present on the skull that formed his face, "What makes you think I'm out the game? I may not have much to do right now, but that's a temporary setback. Soon enough, there'll be need of my talents again, and I'm a patient man. Hell, I have all the time in the world." The last part was an ironic truth, and one that amused Odin to no end. He was immortal, the bar which he owned would never come under any new management, and it would serve as a pastime for the Lich during the low periods that wouldn't require him to complete his objectives.

"We all have ambitions, Teiho, it just so happens that I have more time to accomplish mine than the average man. Tell me, what are yours?"

#55Constantine Librorum 

on Sun May 13, 2018 10:15 am

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The manís response to the questions he had asked caused Teiho to really think about how the conversation had gone so far. What had started as a simple bar hop escapade had turned into a full blown informational pow wow of sorts. He had come looking for good brew and a nice time and now here he was talking with a bar owning Lich about the manís nonexistent retirement. The man had decided that since he no longer had to worry about death as a point of finality, that he could in fact do whatever he pleased. He didnít have to worry about being taken out of the game due to inability. Money was no longer an issue since Teiho was certain the man most likely didnít need to eat. If anything the solitude of eternal existence would most likely do the man in mentally since all of his friends, family and points of contact would eventually wither and die.

A life like that would take any manís reason to go on away; and yet here was Lucifer, or whatever his name was. Waiting for his next shot, his next chance at continuing to play the game. He had only benched himself temporarily; taken himself off the starting roster as a way to rest and relax from the the grind. It forced Teiho to take a look at the glass in his hand. This conversation was like a metaphor for his trip to Orchidia so far. He had only come this way as a means of leaving Fiore and traveling the world. But for what? He didnít know right now, but he knew back then that it was better than where he was and what he was doing, and if he was lucky it would lead to further answers.

But now? In this bar? Talking to Odin over a few pints of the best lager that Caelum had to offer. Pssh he didnít know what was up or down. He had no clue. And it wasnít as if his dream was gone. No, he would keep looking for Izanagi. He would reconnect with his library. But what was he going to do after. Did he even know? The manís follow up questions asked the same thing. His ambitions. His goals. Did he even have any anymore? Or was he content with drinking fine ale and handling fine women? Was he always going to be a wandering traveler? Collecting dangerous objects because of some directive given to him by people who didnít care for him? The idea of that made his head spin and his chest tighten.

Fuck that.

Downing the last of the ale in his cup, heíd motion for another one before giving the man a hardened look. Not like the ones he gave before where it was full of distrust or consideration, but one of a man who had pieced together who he was and what he was going to accomplish. ďYou know...Ē He started with a serious tone, ďYou asked before where I began. Who I am or rather wasĒ, Heíd gesture at himself in his entirety somehow not falling off the stool even if he was clearly swaying from inebriation. Heíd laugh and look back down before continuing, ďItís a hard question to answer. Itís not easy to say ĎIím a creationí or that ĎIím from an underground lab that was located somewhere in Sevení. No one gets those statements! Itís so much easier to just say ĎIím from Sevení or ĎIím a travelerí because it shakes the suspicion. Makes me another face in the crowd. But what if Iím tired of being yet another face. Iím tired of being used for my abilities. To keep a world safe that at its first chance stole from me everything I owned and held dearĒ. He spat his words out with as much malice and disgust that it couldíve turned his beer into acid. It seemed the conversation and the brew were working overtime, setting his mind on a crash course discovery that only Odin could uncover.

ďI didnít have much you know...Ē, he continued as he knocked on the counter, ďYears. Countless years traveling, searching, surviving, discovering, and living... And nothing to show of it other than long hair, a thousand year gaze, an alcohol addiction and several foreign languages that would probably leave your head spinning if I spoke them right nowĒ. Heíd give Odin a dead stare, the glassy cloudy hazel eyes had a look of loss and regret in them, and yet they seemed almost hopeful.

ďI lived for others before my accident. A product of my indoctrination and my survivors guilt. It helped ease the pain of the day to day you know. No worries other than the next discovery. It was once I found Izanagi and bonded with him that I truly learned to live for myself. And now that itís gone. I donít know Lucifer. Itís like that drive that I had learned to live with all of sudden had also been taken from me just as quicklyĒ.

By then the drink would have likely been given to him, giving him a reason to pause and consume some of its contents before continuing, ďNow I live without a purpose other than revenge. Itís funny you know. I met a girl from Savannah recently. She reminds me a lot of another girl I knew before my accident. Really sweet if a bit simple, but she lacks motivation or purpose. She lives for the sake of living because she was recently freed from slavery and has nothing else going for her. But a few missions and a conversation with me, and she realized that power was the root of all evils. Power lets people do such unspeakable things to others as if they werenít even human...Ē His eyes would shift downwards, thinking of all the atrocities he had seen during his travels. The genocides, the wars, the mass rapings and executions. All of it perpetrated by men and women who had let their power go to their head. It made them think that nothing could stop them or tell them different.

ĎAnd they were right...í he thought to himself.

Glass touching the table finally, he sighed and looked up at the man once more, a melancholic smile on his face, ďI think Iím going to do a bit of soul searching soon. Travel the world a bit more and find my way. Hopefully when I get back I can give you a more definite answer. But for now, I guess Iíll just say... Progress. Progress is my ambition. To become something greater than I am today. Will that stay the same when I reach whatever I consider as Ďgreaterí? Probably not. But who knows, maybe the new me will surprise youĒ. He gestured with his mug in the motion of a toast. Content with getting his hang ups off his chest. It felt good to vent, if albeit in a way that probably didnít make sense. Maybe it was the booze that made him ramble on. It was definitely some good stuff, heíll say that much.[/color][/color]

#56Odin 

on Mon May 14, 2018 2:42 pm

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Well, that had surely taken a turn that Odin hadn't expected. The relatively silent man Teiho had introduced himself had disappeared, having been replaced with a man full on contempt, confusion, and frustration. Odin had spoken of his own ambitions, without going into much detail: choosing simply to emphasise that he was not settling down by any stretch of the imagination. He was a part time bartender, and he was not about to let it become full time. He was a mage first, this was just a side gig. Within the last few months, his guild had completed their original mission, the purpose of the guild's creation, and it had afterwards been disbanded, causing Odin to lose the only group he had ever been a part of. Before, he would simply have to wait for the next mission, to heed the call to arms that was so often posted. But now? Now he was waiting for his own call, one that didn't take the form of the guild. However long it would take, Odin would be waiting for it, and ready to act the moment it was received. Time was no longer a concern to the Lich, he could learn any language, any skill that he would ever wish, without issue. The concept of mortality, or specifically Odin's own, was not something he had yet considered, or needed to. For now, he was simply immortal, the closest thing to a God that existed.

But Teiho, he was human, despite how much he may have tried to hide it. Asking him about his ambitions had caused the answers to come flooding out. Not just to Odin's current question, but to all previous questions that Odin had asked, including the origins of the man. The tale was one full of confusion and sorrow: Teiho called himself a 'creation', formed in an underground lab in Seven (confirming that he had not, in fact, lied about that). He had become the traveller to avoid suspicion, to hide in plain sight. But it seemed that time was passing. One could only hide their face for so long, especially one with power. Odin knew the feeling well, he hid his face from the world only because of the problems it would cause his business. But soon his face would be known. He was a force to be feared, and the world would soon know this.

As Teiho spoke about his travels, about what he had gained from them and what they had turned him into, Odin would pour him another drink in silence, allowing him to speak. This was not the time to interrupt the man, not at such an important moment in his life. It was unlikely he had ever vented like this before, and Odin's job was simply to be the listener, and occasional provider of drinks. Teiho's eyes did hold a look of despair, but also one of loss and sadness. He was a man that had seen many atrocities, and yet had pushed on. Now he wasn't sure if he could. What was the point in moving forward if everything forced you to take a step back? That was the question racking the man's brain as he continued. Izanagi, his Rayquaza, had been the sole source of joy in his life, the one constant he could always count on. Much like Nastasya and Victoire, the lost companion had taken much more from the owner than simply itself. For Teiho, he had lost his only reason to push.

The conversation then turned from personal to meaningful, as Teiho spoke truths that Odin had come to expect from people twice his age, about the corruption that power had caused to many, and the things those unsuited for power had done when given it. Very few people were truly kind, and power had the power to change them still. Everyone, except from the truly lost, hoped that they were doing the right thing, but sometimes they would justify the means with the ends: choosing to do unspeakable acts in the name of peace, religion, whatever you wanted. By invoking the name of another, the one in power could distance themselves from the crimes they were committing. After all, this was Illumin's wish, wasn't it? It was rare that they would ever stop to see the harm they were causing, and it would always break them to understand their folly.

The one sided conversation ended with some resolution, as Teiho seemed to come to terms with what he was going to do. He wished to progress, to get better and see more. To become a better person than the one he was now, whatever that would mean he didn't know. Whether it was power he sought, or knowledge, or a way to resolve his past, Odin would not know, nor would he ask. Teiho had his answer, that was what mattered, and now Odin had leave to speak, having stayed silent until now, allowing his new acquaintance to speak, "I knew there was a reason I saw some of me in you. Like you, I wasn't raised in the 'normal' way. I was, of course, born human, but to parents who worshipped demons, and even in my earliest memories I was not alone. My entire life was spent with the voice of Lucifer in my head, forcing my hand. Now I am rid of him, and my power is my own, my actions mine to cause, mistakes mine to make. My purpose is currently of a similar vein to your own. I too wish to improve myself, to get strong enough to complete my goals. And you're right about power", Odin chuckled to himself, a man full of cynical thoughts. He couldn't help it, dying gave him a much more morbid outlook on life,

"it finds it way into anything. People in service to the people take advantage of those very people. They murder those they are sworn to protect, and for what? Money? Fame? Hell, because of divine retribution? I will never understand some people. I've seen some heroes in my time, but also some villains. A dark mage and a bishop, but it was the dark mage who was a hero, and the bishop who I saw as a villain." Tensing the hand around his own empty glass, Odin's anger would begin to show through as he continued, "This world is fucked up, my only advice is to be true to yourself. If you've been wronged and want to burn the world to ashes, then do that. If you swear to defend the people with your life, then die in service to them. Just, for the love of any of the fucking gods that might be listening right now, don't pretend to be one if you're the other."

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