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Aoiroo

The Jade Nightmare

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The sudden appearance of Etain in the small alleyway in downtown Hong Kong wasn't loud enough for there to be much noticed. Though Etain noticed immediately that it was MUCH smaller than she anticipated. She had landed sideways and had to squeeze along a bit uncomfortably around the chest but managed to get out dusting off her shawl as she did and arranging her skirt which she was graceful in this case at least didn't have a thick petticoat. Letting out a sigh she adjusted a pair of perfectly round brass framed glasses that sat on her nose and set the matching hat back straight as she found her way to the front of the thing. This was roughly the area she was said to look for before. Pulling her phone out from her purse she absently began to push through the screen with her thumb as she moved along the alley. She had to sniff for a few seconds. It smelled, more stuffy than most cities she was used too. Plus, she couldn't exactly speak the language. Not that it mattered, she just had to get some local currency if she wanted to ask that way, or she could just try to track magic activity in the area she supposed. Either way, she didn't think it would be easy to find the point where this plain touched what the one she was looking for, but she would certainly try regardless. So she started her search immediately.

 

A few hours later.

The small bar must of been ripe with what the Chinese considered gang members, not that Etain could tell with what they were chatting about. She might of asked Morgan for a translating rune, but he had locked himself away again on an experiment she was half certain would either turn him a strange color or temporarily render his arm insubstancial before it fell off.

It was times like these she wished he'd let her help more.

Anyway, it was much smokier than the outside and she sat at the bar talking with the bartender who knew maybe a little bit of English, but not actually enough to be more useful than ordering her drink. What was the drinking law in China again? She was pretty certain it was more lenient than America, but he didn't seem to care since she had currency. Either way, she knew there was magic here, even if she didn't know the chinese equivilant, well, okay, she found it, but it was still hard to explain through the dictionary ap on her phone. Really all this meant was that she needed to either be more direct, or she needed someone to help her smooth things over. It was with that thought as she took a swig of the scotch on the bar that there was a loud commotion outside that even if she couldn't see she knew was not a normal sound found in the city.

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Once again he'd heard the call of the ancient stones through the sword, Once more he'd set forth to answer and walked into heart of the circle to be taken where he needed to be and just like the other times he'd not stuck the landing quite as well as he would've liked, but at least this time he'd managed to stay standing and keep a grip on his sword as he passed from the swirling darkness of the gate and out into the streets of what he hoped was China town America for no reason other than he was fairly certain he didn't speak mandarin.

 

<Another fine mess ive gotten myself into....What do you think they want this time eh, Aldonite?>  he ponders as he regards the sheathed blade for a moment before turning to scan the street and giving a slight wave of none aggressive greeting; something about portals of the wailing Utterdark did tend to put people on edge.

 

<lets not have another hank hick on our hands...smile and wave.>

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Etain left her glass on the counter as she walked towards the door. Dark boots clicked into the alley as she peered out under the chinese figure cast in neon into the darkness before her to see an outline against the dark walls.

"Oh,"
She took another step out and approached the shape which in the glow resembled a figure in full plate armor. A piece from a museum, no it moved, that meant someone was in it, in the middle of China. That was unusual, taking a step forward she glanced at the figure and saw, a sword as well, though she couldn't really get a good read on it from the distance as to what type, an armed armored man, in the middle of China. That hadn't been there before, armor made noise after all. She took another step and pushed down her glasses and let out a startled half noise as the sight of entropy and decay exuded from the armor, the startled noise was high and she took a half step back looking at the person outlined herself int he light she pushed her hands towards her bracelets that set on each wrist.

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Seeing a woman whom is by comparison much smaller and lither than himself going to grasp her jewelery he makes a obvious if pretentious leap of logic, raising his free hand in none aggression he says very calmly and concisely "Please, I mean you no harm milady; despite my dour looks I am no blackguard." he says, playing the part as much as he can, it had helped so much in Greenland after all "it is not my intend to rob thee of thy possessions." he reaffirms as he gestures to her bracelets.

 

"I have simply been summoned by the spirits of the standing stones to do a task, though i confess i am unsure what they require of me." it was almost the truth to, his sword had started screaming demands at him again and he'd gone to Stonehenge to try and pacify it, then with a rush of blackness been hauled to what he now throughly suspected was actual-china.

 

<Really hope she speaks English or this will be another fine mess I've gotten myself into.>

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She paused and looked at him, he wasn't in a stance it seemed for attacking, but that could mean nothing. Taking a step forward she paused at the more archiac dialect he chose when he spoke too him. Was he really that old? Honestly his voice didn't sound it, but she couldn't tell with that armor. She moved her hands away from her wrists. Reaching into her pocket she instead pulled out a pair of long black opera gloves. Pushing them up as she took a step forward she spoke very calmly as she approached,

"If you would be so kind, could you please set your weapon on the ground."
 

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He pauses for a moment and gives it thought as he looks over attire a thought occurs to him that didn't before maybe she's a super hero too so there was no need to keep up the act if such was the case; Though he wasn't truly comfortable letting go of the sword he'd found he was never really all that comfortable holding it so despite its protesting through projected images and portents he decides to take the chance.

 

"Uuhm....okay." he says as he relinquishes his grip on the hit and lets it clatter to the ground before him, handle lying away from him, trying to make it so he couldn't just snatch it up suddenly and stab anyone "I can have it back after right? I'm supposed to do that thing I mentioned." he adds meekly

 

"Being all spooky and antiquated is sorta my thing I guess..being the black knight and what not...sometimes helps calm people down when they think they're getting what they expect." he mumbles as he tries to explain his current change in dialogue and demeanor "Doesn't work all the time." he says rubbing at the back of his helmet as thoughts of hank hick cross his mind.

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Etain paused and looked at him as he switched tone. This one seemed more natural on him. She walked over and leaned down,

"No, it does not certainly."
Kneeling by the sword she looked over it very carefully, it was ancient for certain. This cut and style was something she had seen before, in the other world, though in brass instead of the darkened steel. It was also magic, destruction, both the armor and the sword. She understood that, it scared her, but this person in of himself did not. 

"People have a strange notion of knights, while there was a code of conduct, they were soldiers. As soldiers they often killed and plundered as they pleased in the time of war for their own benefit and often fell short of the conduct since those under their station could claim no word against them because of their status."

She didn't pick it up, but she examined this closer,

"Where did you get this?"

Edited by Aoiroo

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"Yeah...sorta a thing in history with martial nobility, generally they're held in a fond regard despite being bullies who...pick on farmers..." he feels a pang of slight guilt for his actions against hank as harmless as they were and quickly moves to change the subject "pretty nasty piece of work, huh?" he says partially interested in just how much she managed to glean from her brief examination "I mean, all swords kinda are; thats the point of swords i guess...but this one is just that little bit worse...makes me wish I could spew hellfire instead."

 

He freezes up a little bit when she enquires after the swords origin, a thing he didn't quite know rightly himself  and one that brought up uncomfortable feelings and memories for himself of dark days spent gazing listlessly at the ceiling in a small flat.

 

"That is a long and potentially Identity compromising story, could we maybe go somewhere a little more private before I answer that one?" he asks as he turns the events over in his head and tries to censor them enough to make for a informative but not revealing tale of events. "I will say however that it sought me out and things got really complicated since." hoping that this is enough for now.

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"You should not joke about hellfire, many would kill you on sight."

She took a step back from the sword but still, did not touch it. She didn't want too, no she hated things like these. They left a mark, she didn't need any more on her. Looking at the boy she had to wonder what sort of thing had forced him into this. It wasn't too uncommon, but he seemed exceptionally uncomfortable in the armor or with the sword.

"Should we go back inside,"
She paused,

"Are you of drinking age?"

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"I should not prefer it to entropy?" he asks a little dryly "I hear its a sweeter deal than the death of everything might offer." he adds somewhat bluntly as he takes up his sword again and feels it raging in his mind at surrendering it for even a moment; he puts his freehand to the temple of his helm "Certainly hope so, I could use one." he says as he follows her into the bar.

 

<So far so good, if its gonna be anything like the last few quests Stonehenge has hooked me up with I just need to stick around and wait for whatever needs fixing to present itself.>

 

"Oh I'm black knight by the way, pleasure to meet you." he adds as an almost afterthought.

Edited by Exaccus

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Walking into the bar she held the door for him, as he walked in the bartender didn't even blink at his attire. Which made sense since to the bartender he looked to be a more elderly gentleman so no need to ask questions about whether he could drink. Once he was in she reached into her purse and set a couple of bills on the table
"Bottle of the Highland Park you got there, and two glasses please."

She pointed at the bottle and as the man took and counted the money she picked it up with the glasses and sat down in a booth waiting for her. She set them down on the table and poured a bit in each glass, a bit more for her, since she was partial to good scotch. She finished the illusion she had cast on everybody but the Knight in question that they were speaking of something not at all like what she really said. He heard however,

"Entropy is not the death of everything. It is natural decay, a cycle in which something returns to a baser form and begins a new cycle of life. Hellfire is the flames of eternal damnment, so yes, it is preferable."

She started to drink her scotch though she paused to enjoy the taste.

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"huh, guess i at least got that going for me then." he says, not as sarcastically has he probably should have given the situation "I'll keep it in mind." he says as he regards the glass of liquid before him through his visor before lifting it just enough to reveal his lower face and pressing the glass to his lips.

 

He'd never been much of a drinker, sure he'd had some wine and what not back when he was a misbehaving school boy at Dunlakes but that was nothing compared to the burning brew that now boiled in his throat and burned in his stomach he coughs a little despite himself and decides to take this one rather slowly.

 

"But anyway, Origin story right?" he asks rhetorically "It wasn't long after id just settled down in my new accommodations, i was out on a midnight walk trying to deal with some stuff life had thrown my way when i noticed there was a hulking figure following me around with a big old sword in its hands, so like any sane person I belt for it as fast as my legs will carry me; managed to get all the way back to my flat faster than i thought i could ever run only to find theres a big suit of Armour carrying a sword waiting for me...guess it must've opened a portal into my living room, after i pick myself off the floor i do possibly the silliest thing possible and touch the thing." he says taking a small break for another more measured sip of the scotch.

 

"lo and behold, turns out I'm inheriting "the black mantle of the kingsbane." he says wiggling his fingers for emphasis "and i gotta go put down some unlucky guy before another magic sword, apparently even nastier than this one." he says tapping Aldonite against the floor "Before it can drive him sword-crazy and drive the world to ruin somehow." he finishes doing his best to ignore the smouldering discontent of the sword but failing.

 

"and whenever I don't do what it wants it gives me migraines." he adds for little other reason than to spite the cantankerous intelligence.

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She swirled her scotch before setting it down,

"So if I understand correctly. You were stalked by an enchanted suit of armor, when you touched it you unwittingly made a contract with said suit and the sword it carried and this contract makes it so that if you do not abound by this items will you will have pounding headaches."
Putting a finger on her forehead,

"That is quite troublesome, it seems to me you are being honest, at least by tone. It would be easier if I could see your face to determine your intentions but this is not the first of such an incident I have heard. How does this armor manipulate you past the headaches?'

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"kinda, though from what i understand its a genealogy thing, I am a black knight like my fathers before me." he says somewhat a little disenchanted "I don't think its a magic sword for anyone whoms not of the bloodline." he says as he takes another sip and ponders some "It doesn't like it at all, keeps telling me how I'm a bad host for because I'm not trained in knightly etiquette, I'm left handed, too young to have secured an heir; you name it its upset about it."

 

"Its not really done anything but rage at me when it disagrees really, I suppose I'm the one having headaches rather than it being the one giving them." he says. "its a bit draconian in some regards like that." he mumbles "doesn't force me to do anything i guess, when i mess up its on my own head..just whines till i do something; sometimes even after I've done something." he looks at the remains of the glass for a moment before downing it in one "Its like a really grumpy great great grandpa."

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Etain paused,

"It is a sentient sword, a sentient sword which expects you to be trained in a forgotten art to complete a task you have not a clue how to do so for something that may happen in the future but you have no way of knowing when and no means to secure someone to prepare you."
She paused as she looked at the glass and took another deep sip,

"I will be quite honest, that is really quite shitty."

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"heh...yeah; though as you were telling me, could be worse, could be hellfire." he snrrks softly "how about you, saddled with any dark destinies of dirty deeds?" he asks  as he puts his empty glass down and rests his head in his palm.

 

"like why are you in...china, i think?" he says looking to the bartender as if for conformation "China." he says more to himself than her "miss?"

 

<god I bet I sound like a drunk>

 

"travel by stonehenge is pretty disorientating." he adds quickly, trying to explain his need to ask what country he was currently in.

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"Nothing so dramatic,"
She looked at the sword,

"You seem to act as if you do not have a choice. You do, walk away,"
Putting a hand on the table she took her glasses off and took a good look at it,

"It is connected to you, but it cannot act without a host. It also cannot force you to do anything, it is not strong enough. Simply put it in a magical void and it will not be able to leave the way it warps normally. This thing has no power over you, it cannot control your fate or make your destiny for you."

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"I agree, there is always a choice; At the moment I'm choosing to go along with it and gripe about what essentially amounts to little things." he says rather solemnly "I don't think i could live with myself if I cast off the mantle...Its like a responsibility to safeguard the world from this thing that might not even happen; I wouldn't be able to bear reading the paper and learning something terrible that happens to someone or anything like that If I could've maybe done something about it." he muses as he takes up the sword and turns it over in his hands

 

"As you say, it has no power over me, It can't wield itself; Riddle of steel and all that." he muses as he puts it back down. "I've just got to take control; of my life, my sword and my destiny."

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