Avatar of Xiro Zean


Recent Statuses

2 yrs ago
Current Have you heard of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV? With an expanded free trial, you can play through A Realm Reborn and Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free with no restrictions on playtime.
1 like
5 yrs ago
You know that feeling when you feel like you should be doing something, recognize that you're not doing anything, but then proceed to continue to do nothing? That's me. Everyday.
8 yrs ago






...I got nothing. *shrugs*

Most Recent Posts

Interacting with @Hero as Asher | @Raijinslayer as Justinian | @McMolly as Ionna

The ride through Riva del Garda was a fairly quiet one for the Scion of Fire, his attention turned inward even while his new Templar took in the sights as he began to mull over various strategies and potential problems in his mind.

Though hunting monsters was a paltry affair compared to what he’d grown used to over the years, a mission was a mission. For his first in a long while, he wanted to be certain that he was in peak condition, sound in both body and mind. While he had a mind to speak with the redhead hogging the window to get a better feel for his newest subordinate, by the time he was sure of his own acumen and prepared to address her they had reached their destination.

Theobald breathed in the open air, a bit of the constant tension that his body held seeping away as he exited the vehicle and entered the forward outpost. The sounds of preparation, the bustle of moving supplies, and the budding anticipation that bloomed in the hearts of those seeking to complete a mission might’ve brought a tear to the former soldier’s eye were he a weaker man. It felt like decades since he was able to stand at the forefront of a crisis, and though the company was with the knights of the church rather than his familiar battalion, he could hardly complain that he’d finally been set loose after so long.

There was no time to idle, however, as the group was led to the commander’s tent and brought up to speed, the problems slated by the leading Templar, Everett, shedding some light on the current situation.

“Theobald Gaumand. It is a pleasure.” Snapping a quick salute as the bare minimum courtesy required, the giant didn’t even hesitate as he began to request key information. “Sir Asher, I would like a sit-rep on the situation regarding these monsters. Their numbers, frequent spotting locations, and the nature of this aberrant behavior you have observed.”

There would be time to socialize later, though it seemed all involved but himself had previous ties before this meeting. He would need to speak with his Templar at some point for her to share her knowledge of the leading Templar at length. “We will need to know our current resources as well. Equipment, level of authorized force, presence of heavy weapons or anti-air artillery on site, whatever you have clearance to divulge. If we are to provide aid, it would be best to understand what we have at our disposal before coming to any pre-emptive conclusions.”

In the span of what seemed like a single breath, the Scion of Fire had spoken more in that tent than what most would’ve heard during the entirety of his stay and the church. But to him, it was simply what was expected. With no nobles to fetter his speech, the former soldier felt it imperative to get everything out of the way immediately.

The faster the strategizing could be done, the faster he could be sent to the battlefield. "Gardner. Any prior information about the behavioral habits of harpies you possess could be key to dealing with their new method of harassment. Speak."

Interacting with @Hero as Lucas | @Raijinslayer as Justinian

There were many ways you could describe Theobald as he stewed in silence, observing the meeting from his chair without a word after the Templar of Gravity had rebuked him. Despite being the largest person in the room, it was as if he took up the smallest space, ignored entirely by the others aside from his former templar who had served him a plate before joining the conversation proper.

Of course, the former soldier had many things he wished to assert to the people of power within his reach, but just as apparent was how little anyone other than those few lofty members of society could do. Just as others had spoken, not a single person in the room would be responsible for what Veradis, and Estora as a whole, chose to do moving forward. All of them, whether they be a prince or a layman, mere figureheads to be displayed in a glass case while the rest of the world made all the real decisions.

Though that didn't change the fact that there were people who shouldn't have been in the room, his gaze narrowing at the arrival of the new Scion of Lightning. He'd read the newspapers, heard of the commotion that occurred, saw the sensational headlines speaking of an upstart who thought he could make a dent in the impregnable church. Were the council among soldiers and not civilians, perhaps he would've been asked to behead the man rather than simply watch as the criminal sat and spoke among them as if he was supposed to be there.

Theobald didn't understand what the goddess' thought process could be, how she could allow what was happening upon her soil. A transgressor as one of her chosen, a child as the world's savior... and then there was himself, who should've been in places more suitable for him than this. It was times such as these that he regretted not staying in Veradis rather than move to Rodion. If he were more pious, deeper in the goddess' word and had followed his mother's wishes than the dreams his father had instilled in him, would he have been better equipped to understand what the divine wanted of him?

But regrets did nothing. He was who he was, and thinking of what could've been was a waste of his time.

So when the prince finally got to the point of the meeting and began delegating tasks, the silent giant made himself known once more, standing to attention when those present were called to speak. "I shall lead the charge against the monsters that have settled upon the border if that does not trouble you, Your Highness."

There were scant few he would trust on this endeavor, yet Theobald began to survey the Scions who hadn't spoken yet. Though they didn't see eye to eye that day, he would've wanted Edmund by his side as someone he knew could watch his back during a hunt, but there was no doubt the Templar would be following his Scion to Doumeric. Were it not for the fortuitous moment of Ionna being delegated to his side, he would've similarly asked for the Scion of Metal to join them, but with things as they were he couldn't expect a Scion not even a year into their time as one to keep up with conflict.

Yet even with that thought, he had a mind to request the prince himself to join them on the expedition. That small conversation he had with Prince Lucas, more than anything, led him to believe that experience was what the Scion of Time needed more than anything else. While the newly minted Scion had spoken otherwise, he was certain that the power of Time could be molded into a powerful tool against this unknown enemy. But of course, he wouldn't dare ask a royal to place their life on the line, so he didn't think about it for longer than necessary.

Which led his gaze to settle upon one man in particular, all the other Scions too green to teach how to hunt in such a short time frame. Someone who had spoken more than he expected them to that day, whom he only knew of through cultural osmosis and called out to in a military-like command that bore no uncertain terms. "Gardner. You are coming with me."

Interacting with @webboysurf as Edmund | Mentions @Obscene Symphony@Scribe of Thoth@Hero

The weeks succeeding the Millennial Ceremony were one of turbulence. The dead were buried, the people mourned, and the country became astir with uncertainty. For some, the atmosphere would’ve been tense, frightening even. What was thought to be a peaceful greeting of the new millenia had turned into the beginnings of a storm, and not many were prepared to greet it.

But for Theobald, the timing could not be better.

After the Templars’ second-in-command chastised him for his actions, the former soldier had kept himself scarce. Only showing his face when it was expected to do so, or out of respect for another. Perhaps it would’ve been surprising to see him at the Scion of Shadow’s funeral, his lumbering figure outfitted in his finest uniform, a strange sight when the two had never even traded a word.

Were it not for the Ceremony, he would have never shown up at all, yet he heard of the fallen noble’s attempts to protect the people and his fellow Scions despite the condition that would ultimately take the young man’s life. It was one thing to be a spoiled child who toyed with the Goddess’ power to save one’s self, it was another to fight for others while ignoring their own crippling circumstances. Theobald could respect that.

What he could not respect, however, was Irina’s complete rejection of his claims in the short time they had spoken, and it was her abject dismissal of his very being that gnawed at him in his times of solitude. There were many things she spoke plainly and true, spearing his desires so viciously it was as if he was still a young boy in Rodion’s training camps, but outright ignoring the true enemy to attack his character just because of an act of discipline drew a shadow of doubt over his war hero’s favored assistant.

A war was inevitable after the smoking gun of that ballroom incident, and no matter how much she wished to coddle the Scions, they would be dragged into it whether they liked it or not. A soldier among the targets the enemy thought to be docile sheep was a powerful weapon, and yet she’d rather dull his blade rather than sharpen it.

At the very least, the church had finally realized the error of their ways and taken away the reminder of his previous foe and replaced it with someone useful. Dame Ionna was someone he knew little of, but her brief display of dedication and strength was enough to draw his favor. Perhaps she could become the grindstone he needed to become a sword sharp enough to pierce this invisible enemy’s heart, rather than a shackle to drag him down into obscurity.

Unfortunately, during the weeks leading up to the meeting at the Scion of Time’s castle he hadn’t had a chance to test her mettle, but with his own free time he had polished his weapons. Returned to his former training regimen, not for retention and habit as he previously had, but to prepare for the battles that were on the horizon.

So when, at the table of conference, the talk of a war with Kaudus began to circulate, the former soldier sat at attention with a half-eaten cookie crushed within his fist. He did not attempt to speak, with the conversation being mainly between the royalty of kingdoms he did not dare, but it wouldn’t take a psychic to notice the tension in his corner of the room. Silently, his presence declared that he sided with the princess of Rosaria and the Scion of Gravity, and his gaze swept toward one of the few he thought of as friend.

He was unsurprised to hear Edmund’s take on the situation. The Templar was someone he thought to be of sound mind, cautious yet firm, unwilling to add fuel to a fire that could aid a third party. But in this scenario, he would rather have his friend’s support rather than allow Edmund to sit on the fence.

”Think of it as a hunting exercise,” Theobald attempted, not directly addressing the royals as that would be above his station, but speaking loud enough that they could hear as he spoke to the Templar of Gravity. ”To catch a cunning fox, you catch a rabbit. Dangle it in an open space and make it look tantalizing enough for the fox to bite, only to fall into the hunter’s trap.”

What exactly was the rabbit in this scenario was up to debate, but he wouldn’t be the one to speak on it. ”These ‘heretics’ have been silent, still and coiled waiting to strike. We have to draw them out of their den, and cut out their throat when they overextend themselves.”

Collabing with @Obscene Symphony as Irina

The cells below the castle were a relic of ages past, back when the castle was the only significant structure in Juniperus capable of housing prisoners. It was a hint at the true age of the castle, which was much older than the outward decor would suggest.

But, like the rest of the castle, the dungeons had been periodically updated with the times, even as their use became less and less practical. In fact, the castle cells would probably be considered luxury accommodations compared to most prisons. Their paneled walls and wooden beds, chairs and desks contrasted strangely with the steel bars securing their entrances - a nod to the dungeons’ oft-overlooked history of housing troublesome nobles rather than common criminals. But they saw little use; many cells nowadays had been relegated to storage, housing spare furniture and seasonal decor securely behind bars instead of prisoners.

It was to one of the still-operational cells that Scion Theobald was taken, placed politely inside and bolted in, with the same knights who had escorted him down standing watch either side of the barred door. Some time passed while he was down there - with no windows or clocks, it was hard to guess how long - before steps echoed down the hallway in his direction.

In the orange gaslight of the hallway, Irina stepped into view on the other side of the bars, hands clasped behind her back, her saber still glinting on her hip. She wore an utterly unreadable expression, although an astute observer would notice the subtle signs of fatigue starting to show. The slight squint of dry, tired eyes, the way her head lolled ever so slightly to the side atop her rigid spine; it was miniscule, but it was also about as much outward weakness as Irina had ever shown. It had been a long night indeed.

But her gaze was no less sharp as she eyed Theobald through the bars, looking him up and down like a new recruit before she nodded to the guards, one of whom unlocked the doors before they both departed.

Pulling the door open herself, Irina stepped inside the cell, sealing it behind her. She approached Theobald, somehow still looking tall despite the excess of a foot’s height difference between them.

“Scion Theobald, Your Holiness,” she greeted stiffly, the proper reverence hardly impacting her severe demeanor. “Forgive me, but I must speak freely.”

Then, without warning and almost faster than was perceptible, she slapped him across the face.

The force behind the blow was surprising, but aside from one quick shake of her wrist, Irina betrayed no pain. “What was that shameful display on Stern Hill?” she demanded loudly in Rodion, suddenly seeming like she’d fit right in among Rodion’s finest drill sergeants. Her voice reverberated down the hallway.

Though the soldier had been complacent during his arrest, the smack across his face not long after he had stood to greet the Templars’ second-in-command garnered a brief flash of anger across his usually stoic expression. So quickly had he returned to a dormant temperament that it seemed like almost a trick of the light, his rumbling timbre as calm as ever.

”A rebuke that, in retrospect, I should have kept away from the public eye. The same mistake shall not happen twice.” It was clear in his words that he did not regret the action itself even a little bit, but his head lowered slightly deeper than required to display his shame to keep his emotions in check. His mouth parted, as if to say more, but held his tongue as the strength in the woman’s voice brought back memories that felt like a lifetime ago.

A time when things were simpler.

This time, a quick glint in the light heralded another blow, an unexpectedly harder one to the side of Theobald’s head. Afterward, Irina held her scabbard aloft like a pageant rifle, speckled now with a taste of the Scion of Fire’s blood.

“Wrong answer,” she growled, her regimented tone coloured with a touch of foreboding anger, like something large and dangerous huddled beneath the surface of a pool. She returned her scabbard ceremoniously to its place on her belt. “What makes you think you have any right to strike a Templar?”

A muffled grunt released from the former soldier’s closed lips as his head turned to the side from the strike, Theobald facing the woman with a bead of blood dripping down his forehead, the skin above his brow opened by the scabbard. Even then, he showed no remorse, his gaze only a bit sharper than before while he stood at attention without attempting to wipe at his wound.

”It was an act of discipline.” Not even attempting to cover for himself, the man stood tall and proud, the idea that his actions were in any way dissatisfactory aside from the circumstances around them barely a passing thought. ”On the warfront, such things were necessary at times to keep unruly soldiers in line.”

“You are not on the warfront anymore,” Irina spat, meeting Theobald’s glare fearlessly. “You are not Dame Sara’s commanding officer, and she is not your subordinate. She is a Blessed Templar, an experienced knight and a member of our highest knightly order. She took a holy vow to protect you, yes - but she swore that oath to the Goddess, not to you.”

“Is what happened tonight not the first signs of war?” The former soldier furrowed his brow. “It is clear that the events that happened tonight were premeditated and by a force stronger than a mere rogue element. The infiltration of the biggest event at the end of the millenia is not a small ripple. It is the beginning of a wave I am most familiar with.”

It was the respect for the Commander that stayed his hand, kept him standing at attention rather than treat the second-in-command with direct scorn. There was a reason she was at his childhood hero’s side, and it was only that implied trust in the woman that allowed Theobald to subdue his emotions. “I do not need a babysitter. I need a soldier I can trust to do what is needed.”

“You are no longer a soldier.” Irina reiterated darkly. “What tonight's events will lead to is none of your concern. You are not entitled to play army and treat the Church’s chosen guardians as buck privates at your beck and call. If your actions tonight are any indication, you do need a babysitter. Maybe she can teach you to keep your hands to yourself.”

Irina tsked. “The guards who brought you down here are under instructions from the Veradis Police Department to bring you in on charges of assault. Whatever you may think you were doing out there, I will remind you that it is not acceptable to attack people, and especially not to do so as a representative of the Church.”

“Scions are being targeted.” Theobald sighed, having expected that a few hits weren’t the full extent of his punishment and willing to accept it, but clearly unwilling to accept the woman’s previous statement as his gaze hardened. “Whether you like it or not, Dame Irina, this situation very much concerns me. As well as the civilian members placed in a similar position as I.”

The former soldier closed his eyes, eyelids flickering as if seeing something behind them. “I noticed missing figures during our regrouping in the castle. Have there already been victims? Though you ask me to leave my past behind, it is those years on the warfront that allowed me to protect myself and those fellows the church call my peers.”

His eyes opened once more, his determination set. “A representative I may be, but it is not a position I desired. It was you and your people who had seated me on a pedestal crafted to shackle me. If the enemy appears at my doorstep once again, I will not hesitate to do what is needed.”

“It was the Goddess who chose you,” Irina snapped, looking upon Theobald with cold contempt. “You would do well to remember that.”

“And spare me your platitudes,” she scoffed, “you know as well as I it was not duty that moved your hand tonight. It was the thrill of battle, the chance to test your mettle yet again and stretch your sword arm. I know it well.” She spoke as one with experience, but not with approval.

“You want to relive your glory days - or add to them. But you are not Maxwell Alderman, and the days of Scion warriors are behind us, Mother be praised.” Her reverence was sincere, but her eyes were sharp with warning. “Continue down this path, Scion Theobald, and you are more likely to tread the footsteps of Scion Yusef instead.”

”A ‘Scion warrior’.” It was Theobald who scoffed this time, his hand ghosting over where his gunblade would’ve been strapped to his side. ”I have done as the church requested and never wielded the Goddess’ gift for my own desires. Not even to protect myself, though my ‘peers’ think differently than I.”

It was an unwanted blessing, but though he had learned just enough to use it should the church ever require it, the former soldier was born to a pious family. Even ignoring his own misgivings, the current him would never use those powers haphazardly. “Perhaps you are right, but only just. If I am to do battle with any enemy, it is under my own power.”

“You have done nothing but scorn the Mother’s gift and assault her faithful. Your excuses do not cloud the Goddess’ eyes,” Irina corrected coldly, ignoring Theobald’s continued attempts to justify himself.

Stepping back, she leaned to peer down the hallway before placing her fingers in her lips to release a long, shrill whistle. At her signal, the two guards from before reappeared from a doorway, opening the gate and receiving the keys back from Irina.

“Perhaps a night down here will help you contemplate how the Goddess has called you to service off the battlefield,” she commented cooly as she stepped out, allowing the guards to close the barred door behind her. As she turned to leave, she levied a final warning look at Theobald. “Lay a hand on one of my order again, and I will see that you live to regret it.”

She departed without elaborating, leaving Theobald alone with his guards and his wounds.

With his jailer gone, the former soldier returned to his cot, his gaze unchanged despite Irina’s words as he stared coldly at the ceiling. The events that transpired during the celebration would not disappear quietly into the night, and he was certain that the Scions were going to be in the eye of the oncoming storm.

And in that moment of strife, he was certain that Theobald the soldier would be wanted, no, needed more than the decorative symbol that is the Scion of Fire.

With that thought, he slept, dreamless and prepared to fight an invisible enemy even in the confinement of his jail cell.

Mentioning @Hero as Various | @Raijinslayer as Justinian | @Abstract Proxy as Dom

With his conversation with the prince finished, the former soldier took a backseat to the proceedings as the two royals began to converse about books and the goddess. Though he had embarrassed himself, believing that the names the princess gave were referring to types of tea rather than children’s stories, it seemed that no one else had noticed or didn’t feel the need to call him out.

Theobald did not have much experience with children, with his memories of the village life filled with war stories and farmwork rather than childhood friendships, and the warfront not a particularly pleasant place to find any within a sightline. But if all children were as chatty as the princess, perhaps he might have been better without it.

He did not think it was possible to speak so much about so little for such a tiny person.

Though what surprised him more than that was Prince Lucas actually humoring the small chatterbox. Treating her as if she was like anyone else, just as brisk with her as he was with the former soldier, albeit with less cursing. Were it not for their previous conversation, he might’ve thought that their interactions were some sort of political maneuvering on the prince’s part, but with a new perspective on the young man Theobald could see that it was the royal being himself.

The subject turned to the ages each of the Scions had exalted while he was ruminating, and as each person at the table spoke the age and timeframe from the present, it was the Scion of Metal who had turned the question onto him. It was interesting to see how each of them had responded to the inquiry, with the Earth Scion the closest to how he felt himself.

His mouth deepened into a frown, however, as the memories of the moment and what came after flashed through his mind. ”Two years ago, at twenty one fifty seven, on the final day of the nine hundred and ninety-seventh year.”

It was the end of his career as a frontline soldier, and the greatest barricade between himself and his dream. No matter how honorable it may seem to others, to him it was a shackle that tied him to the church, and his negative emotions were almost palpable as his mouth refused to move any further.

The arrival of the duchess seemed to herald the end of the meeting, the host of their meeting leaving hand in hand with the older woman while the Scion of Earth and the prince took the cue to abscond soon after. Alone with the last remaining member of the group, he drew himself from his too-tiny seat with a bit of difficulty, his mood soured enough that he didn’t even bid the woman a “goodbye” as he followed the others’ suit and left.

Two church knights flanked the exit to the Snuggery and had allowed the rest of the Scions to pass, but as soon as Theobald’s large figure attempted to exit, their spears crossed in his path.

“Your Holiness,” one began as they craned their helmeted head up toward the former soldier. “We would like to ask for you to follow us.”

Theobald clenched his hands into fists, his eyebrows furrowed. He had expected something to occur after his outburst, but for them to have stood around for who knows how long specifically to keep him from escaping… Surely they did not care that much for a Kaudian, did they? Were they truly taking the enemy’s side, when she could not even complete a simple task? Had she been on the warfront, under his command with the lives of her comrades at stake rather than merely people placed on a pedestal, he would’ve had her-

…No, it couldn’t be. The former soldier released a sigh, the tension in his muscles draining away. It was simply another power play by the church. An adherence to rules, a need for his behavior to be punished no matter the victim of the exchange. Even a Scion was not exempt from that.

With that thought in mind, he could accept it, and as his hand rose in salute towards someone who was a soldier not unlike himself he simply replied. ”So be it. Lead the way.”

And without another word, Theobald left with the two knights, one leading the way and the other taking up his flank, escorting him down beneath the castle and into a jail cell.

Collabing with | @Hero as Lucas & Rosemary
Mentioning @Raijinslayer as Justinian | @Abstract Proxy as Dom

When Theobald had entered The Snuggery, the former soldier wasn’t quite sure what he was expecting. A secret gathering with royalty? An obfuscation of the Scions’ location? Maybe even a meeting with the Commander himself?

The giant had not understood that the Princess’ invitation to relax was exactly that. So when all that greeted him in the lounging room was a small girl nearly half his height and her personal tea set, he was at a loss for words.

Surely, there were more pressing matters than tea time? Was the young Princess so secluded that she did not understand the magnitude of what had occurred merely hours before? Yet, he could not, would not, speak his mind in front of the small child. It was above his station, after all, as though they may be equal as Scions she was still a member of a royal family.

”I accept your offer graciously, Your Highness.” Though he was uncertain of the meaning behind this small gathering, Theobald simply rolled with the punches as he took a seat for himself directly adjacent to the Veradis royalty.

His usual stern expression grew taut as he lowered himself into the chair, his knees bumping into the bottom of the table as the legs of the chair were too short for his towering height. Attempting to draw himself inward so as to not take up too much space, the former soldier mulled over the choices Princess Rosemary gave her guests and realized he had no idea what any of those terms meant.

”William’s Prayer.” Was that supposed to be the name of a type of tea? Theobald gently grasped his designated tea cup and glanced around.

He was not well educated in the art of tea time, but was there not supposed to be a servant holding the pot? Furrowing his brow, the giant looked almost comical in a seat slightly too small, hunched over and holding a piece of fine china between his thumb and index finger seemingly lost as to what he should be doing next.

Rosemary watched Theobald hold his cup and wandered over. She stretched over the table and grasped the pot, slowly pouring tea into his cup with an impressive balance–especially as the pot was something clearly meant for an adult to hold. But she poured his cup with ease and then poured out a second cup before turning her attention to Dominika, who addressed her.

Were it not for how stunned the former soldier was by the sight of the nation’s princess personally pouring him his cup, Theobald might’ve accidentally burned himself with the steaming hot liquid. Was that alright? Was he supposed to allow that to happen? Did he commit some sort of crime by allowing royalty to serve him as if she were a maid? Unable to look to the other Scions in the room for help with his personal dismay, as they were little more than commoners themselves, the giant simply sat in silence for a few moments to comprehend what he’d just witnessed.

Only for The Snuggery to be blessed with the presence of yet another royal. Someone with real political power, and perhaps the true reason that this gathering had occurred.

Theobald held no love for Prince Lucas, but neither did he find fault with him. So it was with but a twitch of his eyebrow that he took the slight against him with stride, recognizing that there was nothing he could do in retaliation to someone with a higher social position than himself.

In fact, with his mind upended by the presence of the royal duo, the former soldier finally started to feel what he had done a few minutes ago slowly sink in. He wasn’t supposed to explode on the Kaudian Templar, no matter his personal feelings or the circumstances behind it. Objectively, what he had done was in the wrong, and there would no doubt be consequences for his public showing of misplaced fury in the near future.

Not that he’ll ever apologize to the victim in question. The only thing he regretted was that he did not recognize the correct time and place for his outburst.

”Greetings, Your Highness,” Theobald started, attempting to rise from his seat to give the prince his due respect. With how cramped it was in his chair however, it took him a few clumsy moments of maneuvering his large body before he could bow his head toward the young man. He glanced in the Scion of Metal’s direction as she attempted to mediate between them, but spared not another thought as he drew his attention back to the prince.

”I am pleased to finally meet you personally. Are you here for the Princess?” His gaze drifted toward the small girl, curious of the relationship between them.

Lucas acknowledged Dominka with a slight nod, then took both his seat and cup with relative quietness. He was mid-sip when he was addressed, keeping his cup in hand as he looked at Theobald with the same curiosity one would give an unfamiliar plant.

“Yes,” The prince replied. “It’s been a long night for us, can’t imagine what it’s been like for her.”

“Perhaps more exciting than her usual life.” The former soldier returned to his seat and finally took a sip of his tea, his nose scrunched up from the feeling on his tongue. He did not understand high class taste. The best he could say about the tea was that it was at least less muddy than what he was used to on the warfront. “I have felt more alive tonight than I have in the past two years.”

He placed his tea cup down, pushing it off to the side with no intention to pick it up again. “How was your first taste of conflict, Your Highness?”

“Terrible. Which is what any normal person would think,” His response was quick as he scowled, clearly displeased at Theobald’s commentary on Rosemary. “If people associate this disaster with my debut as a Scion, it’s going to get very annoying very quickly.”

“I understand that feeling perfectly well.” Theobald was the poster child for unexpected events ruining one’s plans. At least from his own point of view. The giant slowly leaned forward, empathizing on some level with the prince while the cogs in his head began to turn. “But if you were to somehow overwrite this incident with an accomplishment, perhaps you can avoid the worst of it.”

The Scion of Fire clapped his hands together. “May I speak plainly, Your Highness?”

Lucas gave Theobald a weary look. “What about?” He asked.

“I and the Templar of Metal had noticed an irregularity in your magic during the afterparty, Your Highness. I hope it was not anything serious, as I would like to know if you could…” The former soldier was careful with his wording, not entirely certain of how the magic of Scions aside from himself worked and if bringing up the strange happenstance was a slight against the royal. “Perhaps, peek into the future to find where they had taken the missing Scion of Lightning.”

Lucas’ eyes turned frosty, though he remained somewhat composed. “Invoking prophecies requires permission from the church. I don’t really get along well with Marge, so I doubt she’d let me,” He replied, placing the cup down. “I lost my magic at one point, but I feel fine now.”

“I see.” Theobald released a sigh, his disappointment clear in his eyes. “I had hoped to hear otherwise. If we were to retrieve the missing Scion, and apprehend the cause of all this trouble, then this night might’ve been remembered as a demonstration of your power rather than a lack of it. I fear that the public will not see this as the fault of an outside party, but rather a negative omen of disaster compared to the peace under the previous Scion of Time.”

The prince’s eyebrows rose until Theobald finished talking. “It’s a good thing I couldn’t give less of a fuck to give in regards to public opinion,” He stated. “You people also seem to keep forgetting I’ve been Scion all of two weeks. But tell me, would it have been better if I had decided to play hero and put myself at risk instead of following proper protocol and evacuating?”

“You have been a Scion for two weeks,” the former soldier replied in turn, using the prince’s words against him as Theobald reached into his pocket on instinct. But, as his gaze drifted toward the young princess still in the room, his hand returned to the table and tapped at the surface impatiently. “And yet you have revealed that you are indeed capable of seeing into the future. If you were trained to use your power in combat, I would not envy the enemy that fights someone who can see their plans of attack before they even think of them.”

“The prophecies don’t work that way,” Lucas replied, rolling his eyes. “If I could just see what I wanted right before it happened, I would have known to avoid this conversation.”

Theobald blinked, the closest thing he could show to surprise, just before he released a deep chuckle. Rumbling like an oncoming storm, the hint of a smile gracing his serious features seemed to herald the former soldier shedding his attempt to steer the conversation. “I suppose you would have, Your Highness.”

“I apologize for taking up your time, you must have a lot on your plate already.” He pulled away from the table and leaned back into his chair, satisfied with what he was able to learn of the new Scion. Not the easy pathway to success he had been looking for, but at the very least the young prince did not seem to be someone he had to be wary of. “It is a bit late to do so, but I shall congratulate you for rising to your new station. The start of your tenure has been a mess, so let us hope all this business will be dealt with before it becomes too irritating for you.”

“Alright, you can go fuck yourself, too,” was all the prince offered as a response, picking his cup up again.

Despite the prince’s harsh words, Theobald couldn’t help but think of the prince as someone he should do business with. He might have drawn Prince Lucas’ ire by approaching the royal in the manner he had, but it was better to be plain with your desires. A noble who did not wield their status like a weapon was not a person he could use, which was indeed unfortunate, rather it was the bluntness and lack of adherence to decorum that drew the former soldier’s interest.

Perhaps he should treat the lordling differently. Not at the present moment of course, a change in demeanor would most likely be seen as disingenuous after his blatant attempt to steer the Scion of Time for his own benefit. But as he turned his attention away from the prince and toward the rest of the Snuggery, he thought it would be nice to speak with the prince again in better circumstances.

Interacting with | @Hero as Belle | @Stern Algorithm as Sara

Theobald entered the hall along with the other Scions, his expression dire as he wiped his hands with a handkerchief, the only attempt to fix his unkempt appearance after the whole debacle at the manor. His templar, following behind as was her stationed place, sported a mark on her face that was clearly made recently, the former soldier pointedly ignoring her presence.

Back during the disruption of the Millenial Ceremony, he had waited until the Templar of Water melted the ice wall that had trapped the Rosarian princess before following them to the designated location of Stern Hill, realizing that his presence would not be allowed any longer than necessary should he attempt to stay and fight. As he left with the duo, the large man had surveyed the ballroom to check which Scions and Templars had already made their escape, noting the distinct lack of his own and coming to the conclusion that she had followed his orders and protected one of the missing ones.

Had she truly done such a thing, perhaps his mood would have been lighter than the cold anger that had found purchase in his heart.

But when Theobald had met with the others of Incepta's chosen, his wounds treated and a headcount made, the realization that she had went off on her own and directly circumvented his orders caused him to rip off his newly applied bandages with disgust. Sara's late arrival, along with the Templar of Metal and the news of their failure to retrieve the missing Scion, only made his rage burn hotter, yet it was with a stone-faced stare and complete silence that he thundered over to her. And what occurred was something he did without thought to whom might be watching, so potent was his fury.

The following full-handed slap across the face could be heard from miles.

Which was why he was still nursing his hand, not because the force he placed behind the blow had hurt him, but to wipe away the disgrace of laying a hand on his enemy and leaving her alive. She hadn't returned unscathed, after all, so he had no ample reasoning to kill her, flimsy it may have been.

"I apologize." Not to his Templar, never, but to the Scion of Water whom he happened to have entered alongside. It was not a conscious choice, but perhaps it was simply due to a personal need to do good by the princess that they happened to walk side by side despite the lack of a lingering threat. "I did not wish for you to see that."

Was it strange to be fixated on a moment that not even the other party knew of? The princess had only be born after the Rosaria-Lanvaldear as a sign of peace, and yet his failure to make a name on that battlefield made Theobald feel indebted to her. On some level, there might have been a part of him angling for a smoothening of affairs to keep her support, but predominantly his words were driven by personal emotion rather than ambition. "I had acted on a moment of weakness. The loss of a Scion when I had tasked my Templar to protect them had driven me to act."

While he might have been preoccupied with how the Scion of Water saw him in her eyes, the former soldier had been around commanding officers long enough to know that 'invitations' were nothing more but 'polite orders'. They had been called, and so they must answer. Theobald wasted no time following the Duchess Bachmeier's instructions after hearing Belle's response, proceeding to the Snuggery without complaint.

He was unsure as to what Her Highness wanted, but she had called for all the Scions. Perhaps his large stature would make up for the few who would break away, such as the Scion of Wind who seemed eager to retire as she and her Templar were led away.

Interacting with | @Hero as Some Poor Saps & Belle | @OwO as Hollyhock

Focused upon piercing the darkness with his Incepta-given sight alone, it was a wonder that Theobald could make out anything at all. Though he attempted to find the other Scions within the biggest spheres of activity, he could barely make out the individual humanoid figures moving in the shadows, let alone any specific faces.

But as he stared out into the dim lighting, he began to notice the strange, red dots that seemed to come from nowhere that shone from multiple corners of the room. Aiming his weapon at one of the lights, he could just barely make out a hooded figure making their escape just as a loud wail pierced his ears. Barely twitching from the noise, it was the strange emptiness that overtook his body that caught his attention.

Though at first it seemed nothing important was affected, not feeling anymore tired than usual nor weaker in any respect, it was when he started to hear more screams than usual from the familiar voices of Scions around the room that he realized the problem. Drawing his stance tighter as to make himself at least slightly a smaller target in the near perfect dark, his eyes had barely started to adjust to the essentially blind surroundings before another loud noise shook his senses.

The cavalry had arrived, bringing the light from outside the manor along with them.

With the new sources of illumination, he could finally catch what he'd been missing. The Scions of Metal and Shadow, watching each other's backs while their Templars sped to their aid. Maya and Edmund, scrambling to save themselves as their powers failed them for a brief moment. A formation of rock in the shape of a person and the Templar of Earth by its side, with five masked soldiers on the ground in front of it lacking everything below their knees. The distinct lack of the Scions of Light and Lightning, a fact that made the soldier's hands ball into fists.

But it was the wall of ice, assaulted by many of the masked men while the Templar of Water was under duress, that made Theobald move.

Expecting that Hollyhock, as the most experienced Scion with her Templar in arm's length, knew what she was doing, the former soldier left her behind as he sprinted toward the frozen barricade with thundering steps. With the ballroom well-lit and the people finally being directed by someone with sense, he didn't slow even a hair to avoid any civilians as he rose his gunblade to bear.

One. Two. Three heavy slugs were fired at the assailants. The first was a warning, crashing into the ice and cracking it harder than any of the masked men had with the butts of their rifles, drawing their attention. The second pierced one of their arms, causing the gunman to drop his weapon and fall to the ground stunned. And the last, hitting center of mass, the giant too close to miss and shattering another assailant's chest in a shower of shrapnel and blood.

The remaining guns raised in retaliation, the former soldier grasped a table as he ran past it, heaving it with his superior strength and throwing it down in front of him. The rifle rounds dug into the furniture just in time, obscuring his position and forcing them to hesitate as he leapt over his own man-made obstacle to stab one of the still-standing two on his way down, crushing their sternum under his weight at the blade cracked their mask and dug into their skull.

In a moment of panic, the last attempted to swing their gun around and fire their rifle point blank, but Theobald caught the barrel of the weapon in his hand just before it could center upon his forehead. The first bullet still grazed his cheek, his ears ringing from the gun discharged rapidly so close to his head and the skin of his palm boiling from the heated gun barrel. It didn't change the outcome for the final assailant, however, pulling them close with their hands still gripping onto the gun as he rose his bicep to meet their rapidly incoming body, clotheslining them hard enough to make their feet leave the ground and slam the back of their head into the tiles beneath.

The former soldier stood there for a moment, his gaze rapidly moving around to make certain all threats were neutralized while the ear closest to the rifle spilled blood, only stopping when he found no one else to fight. His balance was shot, at least until he recovered enough for his temporary lack of a working eardrum to settle, but he had enough sense to pull out a knife and finish off the two still-living intruders before they could get up for round two.

Splattered with blood from the up-close executions of those final two assailants, Theobald let out a sigh as he leaned against the ice wall, knocking on it in a specific morse code only known to certain soldiers. Those who had fought within the Rosaria-Lanvaldear campaign would know it as the 'friendlies with no hanger-ons' signal, a battle he knew the person inside hadn't been apart of personally but mayhaps heard of due to her relation to it.

"I have rectified my mistake," the Scion of Fire spoke aloud, not even certain his fellow Scion could hear it as he could barely hear himself.

It was something that had gnawed on him for many years, a blunder he made as a young man that even after his tours upon the Rodiaon-Kaudian warfront he never had a chance to redeem. Though he didn't expect any thanks, as they had never interacted personally, he hoped at the very least that his quick dispatch of the assailants looked good for his reputation as he ejected the mana battery from his gunblade. Slowly, he slotted in five new slugs to replace the ones he fired, watching the surroundings just in case a new threat attempted to get the jump on him and his temporary charge.

"Will they reprimand me if I ignore that command to escape until someone notices?" Theobald grumbled to himself, watching the reinforcements do their job from the sidelines as he prepared to throw himself back into the fray.

Interacting with | @Hero as Some Poor Saps | @OwO as Hollyhock

It was chaos.

The darkness hung over the ballroom like a curtain of death, with only the Scion of Light's ball of illumination, suppressed muzzle flashes and occasional glow of magic piercing through the gloom. People ran about with only the thought of their own safety on their minds, the lords and ladies that had once populated the halls absent in the veil of shadow.

Familiar voices could occasionally be heard through the mayhem, Scions and Templars alike shouting over the cacophony to find their partners, all the while under the assault of a still unknown enemy. To many, it would be a day they would remember for most of their lives, a trauma that would undoubtedly haunt them each night they turned off the lights, reminded of a fantastical party at the end of the millennium that fell to disarray.

For Theobald, however, it was a Saturday.

One that was losing his interest by the second, the two intruders left to deal with circling around him warily after seeing how swiftly he'd dispatched their comrades. To have been so bold as to break into a function with many of the highest ranked in society must have required a lot of guts, but it seemed that whomever was in-charge of this endeavor didn't share this enthusiasm with their servants.

"Will you not approach me?" From the weapons in their hands, these merry-men were well and capable of killing if required. And, from the unfamiliar sounds of gunfire unlike any of those in the king's guard's employ, it was clear that they were stocked with ammunition, but it was quite strange how they weren't attempting to kill him.

In fact, if he thought about those taken down beforehand, the only ones who came close enough to engage in melee had only attempted to eliminate the Templar in his presence, with the other having aimed to disarm him before the redhead had gotten in their way. Did they perhaps have some other motive for the Scions?

Well, he wasn't going to give it too much thought. That was the job of the investigators after the fact. As he drew himself into a lowered stance, the two assailants visibly tensed as he spoke. "Then, I shall come to you."

A man of his size should not have closed the distance that quickly, yet the strides he took were deceptively long, only requiring a few steps before entering one of the masked thugs' range. Sparks flew as their weapons clashed, his partner in the dance of death forced to follow the path of his swings as they reeled from the intense blows. Unlike his previous foes, who had been caught off-guard by his sudden burst of motion, the intruder was able to divert his strikes from killing blows even under constant duress, belying the skill those within the group possessed.

Even in their close quarters, however, the former soldier had not forgotten the other assassin, sending the man he first crossed swords with to stumble before catching the blade that had aimed for his hamstring with his own. With a grunt, he discharged a round into the floor, destroying the poor bastard's foot while his weapon rapidly disappeared from the blade lock as the recoil translated into a vertical slash the other direction, his rotary cuff immensely disliking the motion yet completing the devastating vertical slash down onto the first man. Their sword, battered and shaking from the assault they endured moments before, snapping in twain as their guard broke, the gunblade continuing its motion through the defender's collarbone down to the opposite hip.

Another immobilizing strike? This was not a coincidence. The thought crossed his mind even as he used his free hand to stop the final intruder's gun from firing into his shoulder, crushing the masked fighter's fingers in his grip and the bullets popping uselessly into the ceiling above. The man's scream rung in his ears, causing his eyebrows to draw closer while disarming the desperate swing made to make him let go of the assailant's hand.

As the assassin's sword dropped to the ground, removed by a measured strike to the wrist, the giant moved his crushing grip from the hand to the masked figure's neck. The yells became a choked wheeze, the interloper clawing at his fingers for a chance to breathe while he walked over to a certain spot, ending the struggle with a powerful slam that cracked the tiles beneath their feet.

After taking a step back, Theobald took a moment to compare the places of the new body crunched into the floor and the one from the Metal Templar, his frown deepening when he noted their near identical craters. Clearly, he was getting rusty.

A shout drew the lone man from his musing as his Templar loudly directed the Templar of Gravity to his position, and for a second the former soldier had to struggle with the rough mental gymnastics of either praising Sara for making him the center of the attention, or to berate her for gathering the Scions in one place for the enemy to prey upon them. He eventually settled with a classic grumbling, annoyed that the Kaudian had made him even think of her in the first place.

"Watch your six!" Theobald warned his, technically, senior Scion, noticing the approaching figure of the Wind Scion and the flickers of wayward shadows closing in to intrude her path rather than attempt to catch up to her speed. Closing one eye, he steadied his aim and fired heavy slugs into the floor as the brunette passed them by, cutting of the enemy's approach and allowing her to close those last few dozen feet of distance between them.

Acknowledging the woman with a brief nod during what was essentially their first introduction to each other, his gaze scanned the cacophony around him, eyes focused on the biggest patches of activity for any signs of the other Scions. There were a couple he hadn't heard a peep from, whether that be in the form of a fear-filled scream or a response to their searching Templars, and it was they whom the former soldier sought to look for specifically.

If these intruders weren't trying to kill the Scions, despite clearly targeting them and ignoring the other high-priority members of society, then they must need them alive.

That was the only factor that kept him from merely attempting to cut losses and gather the ones already accounted for.
© 2007-2024
BBCode Cheatsheet