6270/Divinity of Camelot

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Divinity of Camelot
Date of Scene: 26 December 2018
Location: Llanfallin, England (Metastasis)
Synopsis: Gilgamesh meets Rhongomyniad face to face.
Cast of Characters: Rhongomyniad, Gilgamesh

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    In the green hills of Wales, north of Llanfyllin, the lands were previously open farmland and meadows. Previously. For now, standing above the hills are the shining whitewashed walls of a castle-city, with a great recessed gate. The road has been diverted to lead directly to it, with farms being arranged around it now rather than being crushed beneath its footprint. Though the great gate is closed, various buildings peek over the walls, including the castle at its center with its many great towers.

    Before those gates stands a knight in shining silver and blue armor, a great white fur-lined cape billowing behind her, her head and face concealed by a helmet in the shape of a roaring lion. Light gleams from the armor's curves and angles, caught from the display immediately in front of her.

    That would be a spire of divine light, surrounded by steel ribbons that form an intricate design when viewed from any angle. The Goddess Rhongomyniad's right hand remains extended towards this pillar of light, though she seems to expend no effort in so doing.

    Occasionally the ground rumbles and shakes, as something within the walls shifts. The Holy City Camelot is fully unfolded-- she seems to be optimizing the layout of spires and structures and roads within.

Gilgamesh has posed:
     Gilgamesh has not been to these lands in a very long time. In his day, they were Hyperborea, distant northlands, mythical to all who were not him. In his day the land was filled with fae and dragons and Divine Beasts, saturated in power and treasure, and he came to kill them and take those things for his own. It was green and rolling hills then and it is green and rolling hills now, but in that day there were no grand cities. There were only forests, with trees that kissed the sky through which beasts that no longer exist soared. There were only flowers, fields which now only exists in the dreams of distant lands. The music was the pipes of phantom tricksters dancing on the wind, the sound of the waves' steady drumbeat against the cliffs.

     This is something altogether different. And yet it feels /right/. It feels *familiar*. It feels like wearing an old suit that he hasn't had occasion to put on in ages. The sprawling spire of divine light is reminiscent of a long-vanished past. It brings memories to mind of childhood, memories Gilgamesh immediately pushes away as he walks forward. He is dressed in his own glory, his own brilliant light. He is dressed in the golden armor bottoms, the red sash whirling behind him. He wears no shirt to obscure his royal divinity, to hide the red tattoos that dance with power across his flawless chest. His red eyes glow with the power invested in him at the moment of his creation. He has not been this cautious since Enkidu's arrival.

     His fingers twitch slightly. It is not unbidden. Nothing about his body is unbidden. He is aware of every cell. He is aware of *everything* he does. It's simply...

     ...a human reflex.

     The King says nothing. He does not interrupt. He watches, with quiet interest. He is not watching the wall shifting, the spire changing, the roads shifting.

     He is watching the goddess. The world around him is meaningless. He, too, has tools to construct domains if he pleases; that's not a wonder worth admiring. Right now, his sole interest is watching the architect.

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    A rooftop slides sidelong, others moving obligingly out of its way, then back into position once it has passed. The rumbling stops, and things go silent save the low hum from the pillar of light before the goddess. She shifts slightly, as if looking beyond the walls that surround her, then the other side.

    The ribbons of steel shift, then tighten, braiding themselves around that pillar of light from the tip to the base in an intricate knot that conceals all of the light within. Her extended hand collects what has become a lance. Hefting the artifact, she turns to face Gilgamesh straight on, lance pointed to the sky.

    "King of Heroes," Rhongomyniad's voice is unmistakable. Her free hand lifts, armor clicking faintly with each motion, "The Divine Lance has completed unfolding. Holy City Camelot stands, waiting to be populated by pure souls. Though I do not suspect you have come to make a vacation home within these walls."

    That hand lowers to her side, and she simply states, "Welcome to Londinium."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     The lance solidifies itself. Gilgamesh looks at it, and for an instant there is the glitter of his overwhelming greed in his eyes. He cannot help himself. It is something that he Is, an instinct as fundamental to his being as breathing is for humans. Collecting treasure is an essential. He can no more choose not to do it than he can choose to stop his heart.

     But that isn't a treasure. It's something like him. It's like him more than like Ea, something wedged into a spot where nothing should be but something *must* be. That's enough to break his desire.

     After another breath, his smile flips on. It's radiant. Perfect. Beautiful. Unquestionably the stuff of divinity. He presses his hand against his chest in a show of...acknowledgement, though not subordination. He is the King. He did not come to submit to a god.

     He's never been good at that.

     "No, though if you were to invite me to spend a night with you inside its walls, I would be loath to pass up the opportunity," he says cheerfully.

     "As I said, I brought you a gift. It is my duty as King of Holidays for this month. Moreover, it is something all kings should do when meeting others they acknowledge. Surely even in your era that was so."

     He snaps his fingers. The Gate of Babylon ripples, and a very confused lion, dressed in an adorable approximation of knight's armor, stumbles out and looks around. Gilgamesh gestures at it, then at her. His eyes are locked on hers. "It isn't tamed, but I don't imagine that will be a problem for you, King of Knights."

     "I hope you enjoy it."

     He chose his words carefully. He places emphasis on enjoy - on the *idea* of enjoyment. He's looking for the place where the god meets the woman. Where the program meets the body.

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    For as familiar as the lance itself feels-- the exact same sensation eminates from Rhogomyniad herself, as if she and the weapon are one and the same entity.

    The King of Heroes' smile is met with the unmoving faceplate of Rhongomyniad's helmet and her even voice: "If that is your wish. I shall arrange quarters to your liking. Quarters fit for the King of Kings is all I may offer at this time." Clearly she missed the actual meaning of the comment. But she is familiar with the tradition, at least.

    Her gaze shifts when the beknighted lion drops out of the Gate, and she remains still for a long time as the beast recovers from its own adventure. After a long hesitation, she lifts the weapon she holds, and with a noise it collapses in on itself. The physical body stowed away within the Lance's true form, wherever that may be, in a wink of white light. Her hands free, she reaches up and deftly removes the helmet-- Blonde hair, gleaming green eyes.

    And then, against the archetype of the stoic Goddess Rhongomyniad, The Tower That Shines At The End Of The World, the woman crouches down until she is eye-level with the lion and simply stares at it. As if automatic, a wholly human gesture occurs when she extends her free hand, beckoning the animal towards herself. After the first motion or two, she accentuates it with a click of her tongue.

Gilgamesh has posed:
     The King laughs at her statement. It's too funny not to. It's a cheerful, musical, booming laugh that catches off the walls and rings through the streets. "I think you misunderstood. But I might take you up on that nonetheless, if only for the novelty of staying in your quarters, even if you happen to be absent them." He's clearly having fun at this point, although whether she can even identify *fun* is impossible to say.

     He steps back, though, to watch with fascinated red eyes as Rhongomyniad kneels and clicks her tongue. The lion, still disoriented from being tossed into the situation it's found itself, moves over to her like a lost kitten. It lays its head down in front of her, as if unwilling to challenge her - perhaps because whatever Gilgamesh had to do to get it *in* that costume taught it better than to challenge people like him. Although it *is* uninjured. That's easy to ascertain. Perhaps it's simply...bewildered.

     Still, it lays its head at her feet, like a knight bowing to its king. Gilgamesh does not break the moment until he asks a crucial question, choosing the words precisely.

     "Is it to your liking?"

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    Rhongomyniad remains crouched as the lion reacts to her noises and gesturing. When it lays down, she pauses like someone deciding between dialogue options on the worst tree menu. She then reaches down, resting her hand on the lion's head. There is no sensation through her gauntlet, but the action still pulls the smallest smile to her normally impassive face.

    After a few moments of this silent tenderness, Rhongomyniad slowly rises to her feet. The helmet at some point has disappeared through this motion with a similar sound to the Lance's departure, so that she can draw the sword at her hip. While ornamental in appearance, it is mundane. With the lion 'kneeling' before her, the goddess taps the blade upon its shoulders, one and then the other, before her weapon is returned to its scabbard.

    Only then does the goddess turn to the King of Heroes, "Yes. This knightly lion pleases me." Her stance shifts, eyes returning to the animal, "You say it is un-tamed. I will need to be firm. Beast taming is not within my purview, so we shall learn from one another."

    After a moment, her eyes return to Gilgamesh, "However-- Just what is so amusing? I do not understand your sense of humor."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     Gilgamesh's smile widens as she says that it pleases her.

     That is something he is fairly certain a goddess would not do. It is a glimpse of humanity. It is something outside her purview. It is...something. He'll ruminate on it later, on how best to capitalize on it, on how best to explore it. When she says that she's got to learn how to tame it, he simply nods. When she asks him why he's laughing, his smile becomes his usual wry smirk. "No. Most people don't." Most *people*.

     He gestures, and produces for himself a golden throne. Another motion produces one for her. The comfortable throne rumbles as he snaps his fingers, kicking on its massage functions; ancient power from the age of the Gods. He leans back in it, watching her. "By what metric is a soul pure, King of Knights?"

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    The goddess tilts her head slightly in thought. She eventually voices that thought, "What a curious response."

    When a throne is produced, she shifts to examine it. When its arrival doesn't particularly startle the lion-- Sir Leon, yes, that will suffice-- she turns in a flare of her cape and seats herself upon it. The motion is so practiced that she sinks back with her hands on the armrests without the slightest adjustment for comfort.

    "Purity... is a state that few humans in this era possess. But rarity does not mean extinction," Rhongomyniad's posture shifts, which places her in a more thoughtful position that is not at all an excuse to dangle one hand just enough to stroke Sir Leon's mane with her fingertips, "I am the Tower that Shines at the End of the World, Rhongomyniad. This is, however, not much of a role for a divinity such as me, who was once a human king." Her other hand shifts, resting the knuckles of her gauntlet gently against her cheek, "Since regaining what I have lost, these memories, I have decided to align my divinity to Justice. In turn, the ideals of chivalry become my laws."

    "Purity in the heart of humans, to me, is a heart that aligns to those chivalrous ideals. Or a heart that is capable of embracing them." Her dangling fingers brush through that mane, her eyes wandering down, "I understand that I am a god of chivalry. No human will be my equal in this pursuit. However, matching me is not the point."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     Gilgamesh says nothing. Not at all. He simply watches her - from the interaction with the newly-dubbed Sir Leon to the way she sits to the words she says. His eyes are fixated on her. The whole world could cease to be around him and he might not even notice. The King's fingers don't move, simply propping up his head to watch her.

     "And what will you do with them, once they live here? And what will you do with the ones who are not pure?"

     Gilgamesh purses his lips as he asks, his red eyes still fixated on her own.

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    Rhongomyniad responds this time without hesitation, "The Holy City Camelot exists in the same fashion that I exist. Its purpose, too, is the same. As I am a paragon to inspire humans to better themselves-- so too shall Camelot be a paragon to inspire those who do not live here."

    Her hand shifts from stroking Sir Leon to splay her fingers in a gesture, "'The Holy City is such a nice place.' 'I want to live in the Holy City.' 'I must be a better person to earn the right.' 'I should look to King Arthur's example for guidance.'"

    Her fingers curl gradually through her examples, though she doesn't quite form a fist from it, "Even those who fall short will better themselves in the attempt, and those who obtain their goal further inspire others who know them, their spouses, their children, their neighbors. It is by no means a swift process, but..."

    Rhongomyniad lowers her hand once more, returning to the absent-minded stroking of Sir Leon's mane, "...I can afford to play the long game, this time."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     "And so, eventually, the Holy City will be the only thing that still exists, as every soul that achieves that state will be welcome, and every soul that doesn't will die outside its gates."

     Gilgamesh shrugs. There's no judgment in his voice, no...call of /this is wrong/ or /you should not do this/. It's not that surprising; he's said publically how little the lives of humans mean to him. Denmark's recent political history is all Rhongomyniad would need to glance at to learn of how Gilgamesh treated his subjects - a benevolent totalitarian, and before Enkidu arrived, simply a totalitarian. A whip to drive them onwards. A scourging punishment to push them to excel. The King is not kind.

     The King knows that a King cannot really afford much kindness.

     "And is that your dream? Or yours?"

     The question seems ambiguous.

     His eyes flick from the woman to the tower as he asks. "Did you have such dreams when you were a human? Do you remember those ambitions?"

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    "You misunderstand," Rhongomyniad states in an even tone. Her posture shifts once more, her elbows resting on the throne's arms, fingertips touching together, "The Holy City's size is finite. It will only hold so many comfortably. However, I have no intention of limiting the numbers of pure humans in such a way."

    Her head inclines slightly, "As the population grows. As this goodness spreads. Other cities will emulate Camelot's brilliance. Until all of Londinium serves the world in the way that Camelot served Londinium; In the way that I serve the citizenry. As an example as close to perfection as humanly possible. Something to aspire to. Something to inspire. For betterment."

    Her head inclines, "As King Arthur, I wished to create a nation that would know only peace, in an era of turmoil. I feel this goal is unchanged, though the scope certainly has. The World is a much larger place than Londinium of old."

    After a quiet moment, she nods once, leaning back and placing her hands on the armrests once more, "As King Arthur, I wish to guide humanity to a better place. As Rhongomyniad, I wish to heal an ailing world, for even before I took the mantle as a goddess of justice, my purpose was to stabilize the Age of Man. This, too, is my intention."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     Gilgamesh's eyes flicker. "Do I?"

     "At the point at which all other cities follow your example, are you not governing all of them? Are you not the sole axis upon which the world turns? Do not all cities, then, become part of yours, even if you do not acknowledge them as such? If all cities are alike, drawn to the beacon of your light, then what is left but Londinium?"

     Again, there's no judgement. Gilgamesh simply waves his hand in the air. "The problem is that you are not human. You are beyond humanly possible. I can taste it in the air, goddess Rhongomyniad, Tower at the End of the World. I am the Wedge of Heaven, the King of Heroes. I was made for this purpose. Never was I part of mankind. You have taken up this purpose. In doing so you passed beyond humanity."

     "That isn't a problem." Gilgamesh leans forward, his eyes bright. "In fact, it may serve you better. An example that cannot be reached, that cannot be attained, is a far better example than one that can. If people can reach the plateau you have established, they will not climb any higher."

     "On the other hand," Gilgamesh says, leaning back, his cheek slumping against his hand, "I told them long ago what I will tell you now: gods cannot govern humans. It simply doesn't work. Gods do not see humans. Gods merely see components in their designs, lines carved on the ground meant to interlock in the way intended by their artists. That you can still acknowledge them as existing is proof that you have not yet passed *entirely* from being King Arthur. That you can answer the questions I am putting to you - what pleases you, what *you* want with distinction from what *you* want - is proof of that, too."

     "And," Gilgamesh produces a glass of his golden, shimmering liquid, swirling it, "There is the matter of the nature of your existence. You are neither god nor human. But you were not designed that way. You are a human body containing a Divine Spirit, aren't you?"

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    Rhongomyniad listens with what is assuredly rapt attention, though the look on her face is far more neutral. Around halfway through, at 'on the other hand', she tilts her head down, touching thumb and forefinger to her chin in thought, "What you describe is true. Prior to recovering my memory as a human, this is precisely aligned to what I had done up until then." After a pause, she looks up again, "...It was not particularly chivalrous."

    Her posture shifts once more, that hand shifting more to rest alongside one cheek. The other dips low once more, teasing fingertips through Sir Leon's mane.

    "You are correct," is her response to that final question, "I was once a human king. The form you see before you is the result of the Divine Lance." Her eyes close briefly, "Though in the memories I recovered of that former life, my ideals were much the same." Eyes opening, she adds, "Though my perspective has clearly shifted since then."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     Gilgamesh laughs again. It's not the same laugh. It's not the /sense of humor/ laugh or the /finding something funny/ laugh, it's the /I knew it/ sort of laugh. His fingers brush across his chin as he takes a sip of his drink and stands up, gesturing with his free hand. His own chair disappears into a ripple of golden light. "Of course not. A god cannot dominate humans. A god has no context. No ability to understand. No capacity to grasp reason. A god does what a god must. They cannot be anything but what they are."

     "And humans, when they rule themselves, are fallible. They seek exemptions to their own rules. They seek escape. They fall prey to temptations that gods cannot fall to."

     Gilgamesh turns away from her, holding out his hands. "Naturally, then, we are the answer, aren't we? Synthesis. Neither divine nor human. Standing apart from both groups, able to see humans in the individual but touch the divine perfection necessary. Naturally we are the answer that has been created by the gods. What else could it be?"


     Gilgamesh lowers his hands. He's still not looking at her. "There's something wrong with that, Goddess Rhongomyniad. Something wrong with that line of thought."

     He looks over his shoulder, meeting her eyes. His eyes are a bright, shining red, illuminated by some inner fire. "When you've discovered the flaw in that divine logic, you'll be a treasure worth having for my own, and on that day I'll claim you myself, and if Archer or anyone else tries to get in my way, I'll destroy them without pause."

     "Until then..."

     He laughs again, his fingers running through perfect hair. "Until then, Goddess Rhongomyniad, I suppose we're simply coworkers and fellow rulers. Let's endeavor to maintain good relationships between our kingdoms as we watch the woefully wretched people of modernity scramble to understand what's happening to their world, shall we?"

Rhongomyniad has posed:
    The laughter pulls a short 'hm' from Rhongomyniad, her head tilting forward slightly. Green eyes glimmer like jewels under the shadow cast by her bangs as she considers the implication of this new, more arrogant sound as compared to the earlier. Perhaps in response to his own action, the goddess likewise leans forward and rises to her feet. Her cloak immediately swishes in around her shoulders, obscuring her armored body completely behind white fluff.

    "I was not crafted by the gods," she corrects, her tone even, "Though I imagine that is not the flaw you refer to, King Gilgamesh." Eyes closing briefly, she nods once in acknowledgement, "Therefore, I will ruminate on the puzzle you have presented me with. No doubt discovering the answer will be helpful to me." One eye closes, "It is, I believe, advice from the First of All Kings. I would be a fool to ignore it."

    Her gaze shifts to the lion at her side, perhaps simply cowed by the divine presence of these two legendary figures, before she returns her gaze to Gilgamesh directly, "I look forward to our continued cooperation. I can feel that we share different perspectives. Our goals appear to be the same."

    Her cape flurries suddenly as the Divine Lance reappears in her hand, settling off-centered due to the weapon's presence, "I must prepare for the Holy Selection. You are free to review the Holy Capital to your heart's content." As the bands begin to unravel, bathing the two in its light, she nods once, "I understand many cities owe their layouts to ancient Uruk, after all."