515/The Lance of Kresnik - Gaius

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The Lance of Kresnik - Gaius
Date of Scene: 29 August 2014
Location: Rieze Maxia <RM>
Synopsis: Ideals clash within the throne room of the Dawn King's palace.
Cast of Characters: Crys Gattz, 13, Arthur Lowell, 340, 346, 385, 522, Sir Gawain, 542, 557, 558, 561
Tinyplot: The Lance of Kresnik

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:

    Various Union and unaffiliated parties have been invited to meet the King of Auj Oule; it is unclear exactly if he agreed to an audience because Jude asked, if he agreed to an audience because he said Maxwell was with him, or if he wished an audience with Maxwell. The end result is mostly the same, you are coming to the capital of Auj Oule, to meet its king.

    Kanbalar is a snowy place, with a sort of Renaissance architecture vibe going on. It is a hub for traders and travellers in the snowy North, and it is cold, but not unbearably so. Wandering the streets are chariots and carts pulled by monstrous and yet completely tamed beasts, carrying goods and people alike. Life here seems simple, but peaceful.

    In the sky, an occasional drake or wyvern carries passengers to and from other parts of Auj Oule. No airships here either. Monster travel! It beats boats, unless you have to be moving tons of cargo or troops.

    The palace lies in an elevated part of the city; there's a large elevator leading up into a second level, which overlooks the rest of Kanbalar. It is a great citadel, hard to miss from below, and even harder from up close. There are almost no guards, even. Two at the entrance, and that basically seems to be the extend of it. Citizens of Kanbalar seem to be allowed in and out of the palace as they please.

    It is a very humble palace overall. Though there are large statues of previous kings, there does not seem to be many luxuries here, in favor of leaving the areas wide open for people to wander. It is hotter in the palace than outside, at least! A few people can be seen practicing spirit artes with fire spirits to warm buildings, while wind and earth spirits help keep the snow from piling up too dangerously.

    The main arrival point is a Warp Gate directly outside Kanbalar, guarded by Auj Oule troops. They don't even care to check the identity of people who show up, because you'd have to be insanely suicidal to start a mess in Gaius' front yard.

    Confederates need not bother themselves with such an arrival and may already be present in the palace with Gaius or his men if they prefer.

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:
    MILLA MAXWELL, naturally, has come.

    She is, immediatly, complaining to Jude.

    "Jude! You did not warn me you humans have to endure the climate so much! Why would you build a city here? This seems like a bad location to enjoy life and nature."

    The source of her complaint is no doubt her standard outfit, which does not work at all in this area. That short skirt and rather minimal top just aren't doing her many favors right now. At least she's got her gloves and boots that reach all the way up to her upper arms and legs, but still.

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Given the occasion and what she knows of the plan, Yuna is not going to show up in her Light Suit - although she DOES bring Elner with her. Instead of her (admittedly rather showy) armor, the idol singer is wearing the sort of formal gown that you might expect to see at a ballroom gala, or (maybe a bit more likely) a high school prom. She smiles, waving to Milla and heading over to join her and Jude. "Hey Milla ... and hello, person I haven't actually met yet." She starts to bow, catches herself, and lifts the sides of her skirt as she dips her knees in a curtsey. Not terribly well practiced, but she *does* know the basics.

As for Elner, the little robo-faerie is hovering next to and behind Yuna's left shoulder as a rule. Elner's not saying much, but may be safely assumed (by those who know Yuna and/or Elner) to be scanning the surroundings for data of interest.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
There was indeed a formal art to all things when meeting a man within his own palace, yet for Gaius Van Baelsar, though this be a palace of another land, he has decided to not come in clothing uniform, but that of his own armor. As in his own culture, the armor is perhaps ever as formal as the clothing uniform.

Though he wonders if the other may be a better trade, but he will take note of such things after the fashion. Not only that, but being this an open 'house' of sorts, or so he has gathered, he was not comfortable with the ideal of possible 'enemies' seeing his own face.

So there standing in the halls of this majestic castle was the Black Wolf himself, in his black armor that seem to steal the very light, the gold trim that had a soft glow, and the crimson red leather-cloth that displayed on particular areas that were not protected by his armor. Not forget the partly leather gloves and leather armored pants.

His Gunblade also rested on his backside, but fear not! It was unloaded, as he would show if any wanted to see within the chamber of the weapon. Such a place like this though reminded him of a reversed Ishgard, given how they here used Dragons-- while Ishgard had a love for killing them.

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    When approached about an audience by someone named Jude Mathis, Gaius was leery. This person was from the nation of Rashugal. However, when he mentioned Maxwell, that leeriness turned to interest, and Gaius agreed to grant the request. With the Key to the Lance of Kresnik in the possession of his allies, the Dawn King was interested to find out more about what Maxwell was up to. And so, he waits. Runners bring him information about activity at the warp gate, and he sits upon his throne, back straight, eyes staring forward. Wingul stands to his right, looking somewhat relaxed, though the hand at the hilt of his blade suggests a lack of true comfort. Presa stands to Gaius' other side, flicking through her tome idly. Jiao stands like a statue behind Gaius' massive throne, smiling serenely enough. Agria stands next to Presa, grinding her heel into the floor in agitation.

    Flanked though he is by his Chimeriad, and armed with his long katana as well, Gaius is nonetheless also waiting on his own Confederate allies. While he doubts that anyone in the Union or in Maxwell's entourage would dare to cause a scene, he is nonetheless prepared for any event. Such is how the Dawn King operates.

    "So," he says, resting his head on his fist, "Maxwell is coming to me. I had expected this to be more difficult." Wingul smirks. "She must be a fool. But perhaps she can give us some information." Gaius shakes his head. "Maxwell is no fool. She is coming for a reason. I intend to learn all I can from the encounter."

    As Van Baelsar arrives, Gaius notes him with a nod. "The Confederacy has many powerful people within its ranks. A good thing we have allied ourselves with them."

Mir (340) has posed:
    Standing near Gaius is... Mir. That's right, Mir is here, and boredly standing around with her arms crossed. Unlike last time she was in Rieze Maxia, she is dressed much more appropriately for warmth, and is not wearing a swimsuit while Gaius is having this audience.

    She is instead wearing a white sailor top and pleated skirt suitable for a school uniform.

    Nearby is an elegant-looking man in armor, bearing two curved swords. He lingers near Mir and looks much more formal. Those who have run into Mir's son before will recognize him as AYATANE, General of Mir's own armies, and probably the one actually paying attention right now.

Saber (346) has posed:
     As wintry as is was, Kanbalar was nevertheless more pleasant than the new residence of the King of Knights. Currently, the land named Dun Realtai -- so named by the lord she had appointed to it in his mother tongue -- may have been in the season of autumn, but the unnatural winter had made the landscape far colder than it otherwise would have been. With its winter guardian resting within her chosen lake, the vestiges of winter had begun to fade...only to be replaced by the beginnings of the natural season.

     Overall, the city seemed a pleasant enough place, not too ostentatious and appealing to the hidden humble nature of the petite knight who had now found herself there.

     In official capacity as she was, Saber had arrived not in the three-piece suit more appropriate to the current era of Earth, but in the armour and dress she had donned as the King of Britain. Unlike when she appeared as a Servant in the Holy Grail War, she likewise donned an ermine-lined mantle of deepest blue; while not her original one, this had been a gift from a certain holy knight of Ivalice and a dear friend who had gone her own way following her liege lady. As much as she preferred simpler, more modest attire, she was a representative in this land and was not entirely certain a plain suit would not have been regarded as an insult.

     Keeping her expression carefully composed in the impassive mask she maintained in such circumstances, Saber firmly suppressed a sigh. She seemed to be acting more and more in this sort of capacity as of late.

     Excalibur, however, remained immaterial; there was no need to call forth the holy blade unless she anticipated battle. For the moment, such a predicament seemed highly unlikely. Instead, the petite king remained regally poised as she had when attending court, almost as still as a statue.

Jude Mathis (542) has posed:
    Jude steps through the warpgate himself, and thankfully, he doesn't stumble this time! He seems to be a bit less astonished by their existence and use at this point, and has more or less accepted them as some kind of horrific spirit arte. With any luck, it will one day only be a moderately unnerving spirit arte, but in the intervening period Jude has plenty of other things to gawk at. Almost as he sets foot in the city, his eyes are wide and glittering, his head tilted upward to get a good view of the sky. "So this is the winter clime..." He comments under his breath. "I've read about it before, but I can't remember if I've ever seen snow before in person. This is pretty amazing!"

    Calmly, he lowers his head to Milla as she calls out to him. "Sorry. I forgot. I guess you didn't have to worry about temperature and homeostasis with Efreet and Undine around, huh?" He allows himself a quick laugh, and his countenance is soon sporting a smile. "But you've got me there. I don't have any idea why they would build a city where it's always winter; especially since this city used to be home to a single tribe and they couldn't import food, I have to wonder how they got crops to grow." He makes a shrugging gesture. "Maybe they're really in-tune with Earth spirits here? Still, the harsh climate has its benefits. The mountains, combined with the bitter cold, makes it very easy to defend in wartime." He rests his cheek in his hand. "Fennmont, on the other hand..." But his train of thought gets interrupted by another greeting.

    "Ah, hey!" He turns to face Yuna with a vibrant smile. Probably complete with the pleasant closed eyes and everything! "I'm Jude Mathis. Med student." He glances to Milla. "Annnd... kinda Milla's bodyguard, for the time being." Under his breath, he mumbles something along the lines of 'Because it would sound insane if I said I was 'Maxwell's bodyguard...'.

    Then the man of the hour shoes up, and Jude tenses. He balls his fist and swivels around, just managing to keep himself from assuming a fighting stance. Why? Well... something about Gaius's aura, probably. The guy is intimidating and charismatic in equal measures, to be sure. "O-Oh." Jude straightens his posture, exhaling faintly. "So you're King Gaius?" But before they can have their exchange, Wingul interjects. Immediately, Jude's expression becomes a little more harsh. He gives Gaius's subsequent addition a nod before stating firmly, "No, Milla isn't stupid. She came with all of us to protect her, and she's fully capable of defending herself if she needs to." It... really hasn't registered who he's talking to yet, or that they could probably tear out his spine and skip rope with it. All that matters to him is that it sounds like his friend... er, acquaintance... is being threatened, and he's not having any of that.

    But he's able to compose himself shortly, letting out another breath. He gives a small, stiff, formal bow in Gaius's direction. "It's good to meet you. I have to admit, it will be interesting to meet the man behind all of the myths." He raises his gaze to meet his, and again makes his best attempt at a smile.

Sir Gawain has posed:
Sir Gawain is here too, staying closely behind his king. He's also donnedd his armor, steel with floral print, Excalibur Galatine sheathed at his side. For now he's quietly looking around, perhaps because if he gives first impressions, all of Dun Realtai is doomed. Or, more likely, because something around the area has caught his eye. It could be either!

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    ARTHUR LOWELL has arrived! As per the norm for any, uh, delicate political situations, Arthur arrives with his enthusiasm turned down to a degree. There's still a lot of it, though, because as is, by now, the norm, he's approaching with swaggering, confident steps, a broad grin, and a posture that just says 'I dare you to think I don't know exactly what I'm doing and have every right to be here' in blatant spite of whatever the situation may be.

    He's arrived at the warpgate instead of doing anything too intrusive. His mage robes are thick and furred at the moment, magically, keeping him warm despite the cold. "LADY," He says as he's joining with Milla Maxwell and Jude Mathis. "You need some damn COLD WEATHER GEAR. 'Cause LET ME TELL YOU, being COLD ain't anything NEAR like being COOL. Get a damn COAT, sheesh! We don't want ya DYIN', yoo"

    And there's Yuna Kagurazaka, another person Arthur recognizes! "'EY, Y, whassup? Aaaand I guess THESE PEOPLE too?" Arthur gives a quick grin and fingergun-greeting to Saber and Sir Gawain. "Whoever they are. HEYA!" Any others, should they arrive, get similar greetings based on Arthur's level of familiarity before they get to work on heading inside.

    Arthur's entry into the citadel is made with a posture that psyches up not only his own presence but, seemingly, the presence of others too. Dude's got enough grins to make it look like he thinks the whole damn crew are knowing exactly what they're doing. He lets the king and Jude do the talking first, though. He's still getting his bearings on what exactly is going on, so he needs to see the postures of both parties for this exchange before he dives overconfidently into social shenanigans.

Yagami Hayate (558) has posed:
Not too far away...

A guard collapses as the glittering trail of power subsides, and the hovering book snaps shut once another page fills itself with writing. The blonde standing above the unconscious guard quietly tucks the book away, her flowing green dress making it easy to tuck it somewhere hard to see.

<<Why did you stop?>> the blue wolf beside her asks. <<He still had more.>>

The blonde shakes her head, "An anomaly within the people here, Zafira. Draining them completely will kill them, if I guess correctly. We must be careful... rich in mana, they are, but it would be easy to take too much." She gestures toward the gathering not /too/ far off. "And we have some very rich readings in that direction. Try to look like you belong."

So yes, trailing along as if they BELONG there with the incoming Unionites is a blonde woman and a blue-furred wolf. Lalala don't mind us.

Crys Gattz has posed:
Crys Gattz has been involved here she's come, she's clearn she's looking nice but she's totally not in her hotplants. She's wearing something a good deal more formal even if it has the glowy space deal that most of her clothing has still she's wearing her chocker which has a strange holographiic symbol on it. Her eyepatch remains as well one doesn't want to see a socket of ruined flesh, right? Also her long elf like ears stand out a heck of a lot and she's making no attempt to hide them.

Alvin (561) has posed:
     As guests work their way into the Dawn King's inner sanctum, the watchful eyes of the Auj Oule military are no doubt taking few breaks in their attention. There is another presence however, just before Gaius' grand hall. He steps out from behind a pillar in what would otherwise be an extremely sketchy move, a man with feathered brown hair clad in a longcoat and scarf that are apparently meant for the weather. His eyes scan the guests intently, until it finally spots the underdressed Lord of Spirits herself, and with an almost overbearingly friendly smirk and a wave. "Hey there! I wish I could say I'm the welcoming committee here, because these Auj Oulians have never been known for their warmth." His tone is... light, at the very least. Not quite natural enough to remove suspicion, but not overbearing enough to arouse too much of it either. "Name's Alvin, by the way. Some good worshipping country folks have paid me handsomely to see that you make it through this meeting without much of a fuss." And with that, he steps in line with Milla. The way he suddenly eases into the group without more of an introduction is a little unsettling at best. Beyond that, he's at this point almost entirely ignoring Jude. It seems like he's stepping out from his bounds, to say the least, but something about the man suggests that this sort of thing comes easy to him. Still, how exactly is the shady man going to handle reactions to his surprise appearance?

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
When Gaius nods to Gaius (Yes this will get confusing if I pose like this beyond this point), the Imperial Legatus returns the nod with a gentle head gesture, before he makes his way over with a calm stride and careful how close he approaches, unsure of what the laws and rules are of the Kingdom.

Once he gets closer he then bows to the Dawn King in proper respect to the man, "Your majesty," His voice deep with a mild reverb in it (Think Darth Vadar), "It is honor to be before you. His radiance of the Garlean Empire also wishes to send his greetings as well, as it through me he does so."

Van Baelsar rises to his full height once more. "And I must admit, it has been some time since I have had the privilege to walk in majestic stone walls." He glances over his shoulder at the group that is arriving, many faces he himself does not know-- but a few he does that he knows are indeed enemies of the Confederacy. He studies each of them, while he stands there in a very composed manner. In silence, he is indeed glad he stuck to wearing to his armor and keeping his helm upon his head.

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:
    "Hm. For a medical student, you certainly know a lot about the world, Jude," is Milla's answer to the detailed explanation; she could make a big deal out of it, just kind of question him and pile questions on top of more questions, but that would currently slow them down! And they have such a gathering, too.

    She will obviously greet everyone; some more quietly than others, like a nod to the King of Knights and her knight, respectful appreciation they have come. Others with a louder "Arthur! Hello!" for example, because Arthur is a loud person, and it seems polite to greet people in the manner that suits them best. Others, she assumes, are friends of those present-- Shamal and Zafira aren't questioned, since they seem to belong. It's a beast tamer and a wolf! That's pretty normal here, right? Plus the palace is a free-roaming zone.

    Now Alvin, Alvin gets a bit of a stare.
    And then a sigh.

    "It was Ivar, wasn't it? He truly cannot stand that I am leaving Nia Khera without him... well, it is good to meet you, Alvin. If I have read correctly then I have no authority to withdraw your contract with someone else."

    Now then, inside they go.

    Jude has already addressed Gaius, but Milla wastes no time walking forward as well. "So you are the king of Auj Oule? ... and those two are Confederates. Does that mean you have aligned yourself?"

    Record scratch. Hold on.

    Milla points at Agria.

    "You're the woman who activated the Lance!"

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
"Yuna Kagurazaka, idol singer, happy to meet you!" Yuna introduces herself to Jude, bowing slightly - not too deep, more like a very formalized nod - before Arthur's robust and jovial greeting catches her slightly by surprise.

She bounces back from her surprise without losing her smile, though, and waves back to him. "Hey Arthur! Good to see you here too!" she calls out ... although she does sort of wonder if he's acting too informally for what's supposedly going on here this evening. On that note, though, she joins the general migration inside, keeping her shawl tugged snugly about her shoulders for added warmth; she knew it was going to be wintry, but she underestimated just how much of a bite 'winter' *has* in these parts. If it weren't for the gloves sheathing her arms, she might have left fingers out there ... or at least that's a thought which crosses her mind.

As for the others in the group(s), Yuna at least offers a smile and a slight bow, or a curtsey, by way of greetings. Actual introductions may have to wait until later - certainly everyone will need to divulge their identities to our royal host, so maybe she can rack up the additional names she needs to know by paying close enough attention.

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    Gaius straightens up as the Union visitors begin to filter into his chamber. He recognizes Jude from his request for an audience, and Milla is familiar thanks to Agria's accounts. He lets his eyes fall on the rest of the group with interest. "Quite the group you brought with you, Maxwell," Gaius says, addressing Milla directly. Presa at his left stirs slightly, her eyes falling on Alvin immediately and never leaving him. Jiao notes this, but doesn't seem to say anything. "I didn't say she was stupid, boy," Wingul retorts, "I said she was foolish. But enough about that." Gaius stands up, drawing to his full height. He gives a nod toward toward Van Baelsar, then speaks. "Send your Emperor my regards as well. I thank him for sending an emissary to this meeting." He turns his attention back to the Union group, speaking more loudly. "You are welcome in my capitol and my castle so long as this meeting does not devolve into anything less than civil conversation, or until you are dismissed. My name is Gaius, and I am indeed the ruler of Auj Oule."

    Agria points back at Milla after her exclamation. "You!" she says, "Send a message to that bastard that left these wounds on me. I'm going to rip him apart!" Gaius lowers his left hand. "Agria, enough." It's a simple command that is heeded immediately.

    That done, he turns his gaze back to the group. "Now then. Let us get down to business. Why have you come all the way to Kanbalar, Maxwell and others?"

Saber (346) has posed:
     Though the outward reasons for her visit fell under the auspices of simple diplomacy, there had been a more pressing concern beneath it. What she had been informed of might have far-reaching consequences for the Servants and magi of her particular universe. Perhaps the the way magical energy worked was different in this particular world, but Saber was not about to leave that possibility to chance. While attempting to reason with the king of these lands, there was investigation in the offing.

     Silently and discreetly, Arturia assessed the other visitors arriving through the warpgate. She and her accompanying knight were not the only ones who had arrived in armour, though from what she could gather it served the same purpose as that of the two Servants; more of a formal dress than expectations of conflict. Her Instinct remained silent on the matter, an ability which would warn her of impending violence.

In spite of Arthur's strange greeting -- at least, for Saber -- the flaxen-haired knight politely inclined her head. She could not recall having come across the Mage of Space previously -- even in Heaven or Hell's offices -- but it was unbecoming of a proper knight to be rude and ignore the hail. Yuna's proper curtsey likewise earned a proper nod-bow with the same elegant calm.

     Her entrance itself was strangely soft in spite of being clad in magical armour, only a muffled sound of metal and rustling of fabric trailed in her wake. Jade eyes fell upon King Gaius, and Saber came to a stop at a proper distance from the dias before rendering a respectful bow -- however, it was not one a subordinate would render, but that of a visiting king. For the moment, she remained silent, waiting as he addressed the gathered Unionites.


Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur Lowell is unable to detect the wolf and the girl. Boy, too bad he's not a Seer, right? Yeah, whoever that is over there with their book isn't gonna see any failures in their efforts to follow the group.

    Crys Gattz! Arthur's worked with that guy a few times. Bit of a friendly nod. And then, hey! Some local is here to help. "S'up Alvin! Rad to hear, give 'em our THANKS and all, yeah? GREAT to have you along." Arthur really just acts like this was all as planned.

    Gaius Van Baelsar should be able to pick out at least one face in the group that isn't a known enemy of the Confederacy, and it's this kid! He owes the Feds enough favors that any Legatus worth his salt will probably know. As for the other feds, Mir gets a look of recognition and a grinning wave. An old semi-friend-acquaintance! Arthur remembers her well. The most immediate recognition goes to Agria though. "Oh man, you want me to pass that on to him? I totally can! I think he'll get MAD HYPE for it. Hey again! Didn't get the chance to tell you last time, your FIRE SWORDS are HELLA RAD, we should PLAY again!"

    He gives Agria a quick double-finger-pistols and a wink. There's a grin wide enough that one of his teeth gleams brightly right at her.

    He's also given a quick, flourishing, somehow-still-overconfident bow-ish gesture to the Dawn King Gaius at his greeting, but saying what they're here for is more Jude Mathis and Milla Maxwell's business to handle.

Jude Mathis (542) has posed:
    As could probably be expected, Jude is somewhat surprised by Arthur's sudden appearance. And how every other word makes him feel like he's about to pull out a weapon and summon up some bombastic combat maneuvers. Still, he manages to conjure up a bow and a stuttering "Hello." of his own in reply before he breaks off to terrorize... er, consort with some of the other guests. That kid is weird even by so-called 'Multiversal standards', and he... wha... wait. Isn't he the guy who literally -tore down one of the bridges back in the research center-? With a single spirit arte... magic... thing? His eyes go wide. So maybe the 'pull out a weapon' bit was off, but 'start whipping out some cataclysmic spirit artes' might not be.

    Alvin gets a long, long look from Jude, too, though. Wait, somebody hired him to protect Milla? But he...! The Union...! For no reason at all, his cheeks might take on the faintest pink tint, and his hand may steathily clamp around his wrist, but luckily the lighting in the palace would likely keep most from noticing his weird embarrassment. He attempts a small bow in Alvin's direction as well. "Jude Mathis..." He mumbles, only for Alvin to ignore him outright.

    ... okay, yeah, why don't we fast-forward a bit to a point when Jude isn't in a emotional turmoil(tm). Milla calls attention to his unprecdented worldliness, eliciting a small rub of the back of his neck. "There are plenty of people back home who know more than me. I just know enough to be comfortable at times like this." He cocks his head slightly. "Well, mostly comfortable anyway." Then more whiplash! He swivels around to face Yuna just in time to return the bow with another of his own. "Nice to meet you, too!"

    Gaius has one of those voices that commands attention, and its mildly hypnotic effect works perfectly on Jude. His eyes finally come to rest on the imposing monarch as he speaks. Wingul pulls his attention away for just a moment, but his response is nothing more substantial than a simple, lingering glance in his direction. He... doesn't seem too keen on continuing that discussion at the moment either. When Gaius asks their reason for being there, he turns to face Milla.

    ... before she calls attention to Agria, and he does a double-take. "Y-You're alright!" A massive smile explodes on his face. "What a relief...!"

Mir (340) has posed:
    Ayatane bows, "A pleasure to see you all." It looks like he's going to launch into some formal speech of his own, but Mir jabs him in the side.

    "Oh, it's just Arthur and some of his friends. Look, there's even that girl who fancies herself a singer!" She wiggles fingers to Yuna and Arthur both, then flashes a surprisingly pleasant smile to Milla. "It was a bit of a surprise, yes."

    Honestly, that comment about Yuna's singing is probably as close to a compliment as she's getting. Mir actually seems to be in a good mood today, and paying more attention than usual.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
Gaius Van Baelsar steps aside when the King of Dawn goes to call out to those present. He listens for now why those of the non-confederacy are here. His own hands keeping rested at his side and his attention on the many. After all, there is a great deal that can be learned from watching and listening. Be they ally or foe.

Sir Gawain has posed:
Gawain is still there. And is being cheerful like and smiling. And is behind King Arturia. Nothing else is new!

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
"Yuna Kagurazaka," the idol singer introduces herself, giving King Gaius a much deeper curtsey than she was offering to the others. But then, he *is* the king in these parts, so it's proper to show him a higher level of respect, right?

Elner dips slightly in the air as if following Yuna's lead, but does not speak. If Gaius and the other apparent Confederates don't even notice the robo-faerie's presence, all the better ... because the woman and the wolf who trailed the Union group (and Arthur and Alvin) inside haven't gone entirely unnoticed. Rather than making a scene by focusing on them, though, Elner seems not to be reacting to their presence ...

Yagami Hayate (558) has posed:
Shamal(the blonde with the wolf) doesn't introduce herself. She's just looking thoughtful, with one hand tapping her chin while the other strokes through Zafira's headfur. Her eyes are darting between all of the various people assembled, assessing and considering, but she certainly isn't making any hostile moves.

And the wolf next to her? He looks a bit tired with how he sighs, but eventually he sits, his ears turning this way and that. Clearly, he's the one keeping watch here. Right?

Alvin (561) has posed:
Milla's admittedly cool reception to Alvin's presence is taken quite easily in stride, and with a smile, "I'm afraid your right, Princess. I'll stay out of your business if necessary. It'll be like I'm not even here. Unless, of course, our friends start sicking their wonderful bipedal creatures on you. Then it'll definitely be like I'm here."

Alvin then turns to Jude Mathis, studying his expression intently for a moment. Then he smiles as if he's heard a good joke. "Heheh. It looks like my services might not even be needed anyway with Mr. Mathis here, huh? How old are you, kid? You seem a bit young for politics. ... never mind, I guess this means we're friends now, huh?" he says, and then throws an arm around the young medical student in a friendly gesture that is entirely inappropriate for militaristic and royal settings. In the same move, his eyes move towards Presa. He says nothing for the moment, but the glimpse of recognition crosses his face. His smile (does this guy EVER stop smiling?) increases ominously for a moment, before he steps backward. "Hey everyone," he addresses the fellow guests, "I'm just here to make sure the Spirit Lord doesn't get any undue attention. Keep about your business."

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:

    Is she a princess now?
    She supposes she is the Lord of Spirits... technically that may entitle her to some amount of formality, either king or queen. Well, she may look too young for the part. Princess must be an acceptable term.

    Oh Milla, taking everything literally.

    At the sight of Jude and Alvin getting along, Milla smiles. "It's good to see you getting along so quickly, at least!" Right, let's not pay that any more mind at all, they are now officially best friends forever.

    Milla finally looks at Gaius, after prying her eyes off Agria. She starts simply: "That woman must have told you about the Lance of Kresnik. We came here to warn you about it. If Rashugal intends to use it, you will be fighting a losing war against them. The tensions between your kingdoms is at an all-time high, is it not? It would be in your advantage to see that Spyrix destroyed."

    She hms, and tangents slightly: "You already know about Spyrix, I presume? Their use and their effect?"

Crys Gattz has posed:
Crys Gattz looks to the King taking him in for a moment she's not sure what to think however he's being polite and making no issues about her so she's seeming going to return in time. She looks to the King for a moment and smiles as shw bows slightly to him she does not ioffer her name as it's not imporant she's just here to guard Milla really she's a hunter after all.

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    Gaius eyes his guests with narrowed eyes. "This is a lot less formal than I had expected it to be. I am not bothered, but I have little tolerance for horseplay in my chamber," he says, addressing Alvin. Presa steps forward. "It looks like they've acquired a mercenary, Lord Gaius," she says, her voice sultry, "Hello Alvin. As carefree as ever I see." She gives him a knowing look, while Gaius crosses his arms. "Don't mock me, you!" Agria retorts. "Ugh, disgusting boy."

    "You keep strange company, Maxwell," Gaius intones, "And you dress as strangely as I had heard as well. Much like this one," he nods toward Mir. "A pleasure to meet the rest of you, however. Who is that man behind you, woman who acts as royalty? And you, with the wolf. Are you a beast tamer?" He turns his attention to Arthur. "And you. You have a strange air about you. I can't place it, however."

    As Milla speaks up, Gaius' eyes focus on her. "Yes, Agria and Mir have both reported on the Lance of Kresnik. As I understand it, the weapon is currently an idle threat without its Key." He glances at Mir, then back to Milla. "I'll admit that you are correct. Tensions are high between Auj Oule and Rashugal, but you are incorrect in that fighting Rashugal would be a losing battle. I am confident that, if things were to come to war, my forces and I would come out victorious." He uncrosses his arms. "As the Key is closer to me than it is to Nachtigal, the Lance is currently a non-issue in a conflict. However, if given enough time, that would change, as I doubt Rashugal is just sitting around hoping for the Key to come back to them."

    He gives a slight nod. "Yes, I have heard a bit of these Spyrix. I agree that the death of spirits is troubling, but I do not wish to see the Lance destroyed."

Jude Mathis (542) has posed:
    "I..." Any substantial response to Alvin is pre-empted by an overly casual sling of the arm around his shoulders. Jude gazes up at him wordlessly for a spell, his eyes alone conveying how baffling this is to him. He opens his mouth to reply and lets it hang their a while. 'Too young for politics'. 'Mr. Mathis'. The condescension is -oozing- here, but rather than ticking him off, it's just... confusing the living hell out of him. So by the time he posits that they're 'friends now', Jude just slooowly nods, muttering a 'Yeah'. Jude then watches as he walks off to mingle with others, probably with his hands in his pockets, almost literally stomping on the dignity of the home of who is perceivably the single most powerful man in Reize Maxia.

    ... who in the hell -is- that guy? And what resident of Nia Khera in their right mind would have wilfully hired him to protect Milla?

    His head slowly swivels to the aforementioned girl soon after, his eyes blinking rapidly in a few more moments of pregnant silence. He -knows- she doesn't get humanity all that well, but... seriously? Did she miss -all- of that? His mouth half opens yet again, and yet again he's unable to say -anything-.

A few weeks ago he was studying for tests in a quiet room.
Now, he's in the throne of the king of Auj Oule.
With 'God'.

    And this sudden epiphany is enough to make him sink into the background for a while to collect himself. Just when had his life become so completely screwed up? He hadn't even had the chance to see it happen, and yet here he was. He holds his head in his hands until he's mercifully distracted by Agria. "I wasn't mocking you, though..." he begins, though he trails off before he can say any more. Eventually, he gets completely lost in Milla and Gaius's exchange.

    Sweet, merciful distraction.

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:
    "I don't know how the Key works, but I know enough about the men so driven by Spyrix to know they will not take long to make a new one, no matter the cost. The Lance won't remain an idle threat for long. It was powerful enough to imprison the Four; what do your armies have that could contend with such a force?"

    If they are even willing to tell.

    Though it seems she doesn't wait long before looking rather indignated by Gaius' response. He doesn't want it destroyed? What? Milla doesn't look too happy at all, suddenly. "If you are aware of Spyrix then you should be aware the only solution is to destroy it! The Lance of Kresnik cannot be allowed to remain in human hands, not their and not yours. You do not understand the technology you play with. It will destroy you as surely as any other wielder, and every spirit in Rieze Maxia given enough time. If you acknowledge me as Maxwell, then you must acknowledge my decree that the Lance be destroyed."

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
Gaius Van Baelsar continues to listen and watch, he takes note of how the King of Dawn handles the matters within his court, including watching how other react to him. His eyes then trace over the area, even though they can not be seen. He takes note of the stone, the armors, the tapestry.

All of these things he takes in while he stands there. Determining not on the value of such items, but the worth of what they could gain from this Kingdom in equal terms with there own. If anything at all can be gained beyond perhaps military assistance against the Primal threat.. perhaps even Eorzea.

Yet, silent the Black Wolf remains, silent and observant.

Yagami Hayate (558) has posed:
Oh dear, Shamal has been found out! She takes it in stride and shakes her head, "Ah, just a curious offworlder mage, fascinated by your world and curious of the hubbub that has been caused here. Pleasant greetings to you, Kingly one." She smiles pleasantly. "This is my companion, Zafira. I am Shamal, of the Wolkenritter. I apologize for intruding. Perhaps as a means of atonement I could take a look at your subordinate's wounds?"

From what she's seen so far, nobody should really care about that name here. If they had, they'd have already raised a fuss.

But then her thoughts are turned toward what Milla is arguing, and things are getting interesting indeed.

Mir (340) has posed:
    Mir just clucks her tongue. She's already made clear to Gaius earlier that she agrees with Milla's assessment, in general, that the Lance should be destroyed. She's not going to contradict the King on his own throne though. Well, maybe she would have a few years ago, but not now.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    "Trust me, I don't do 'HORSEPLAY', bro." Arthur says. "Not here to WASTE YOUR TIME. Thought your FRIEND there seemed a little GRUMPY, is all." And then the king comments on him. "ME? Nahhh, don't worry about ME. I'm ARTHUR LOWELL, ROCKET-POWERED JERK and KNOW-NOTHING PUNK. Nothing IMPORTANT. I AM here to do some talking about this LANCE business though." He does shuffle forward a bit glancing back to Milla Maxwell.

    There's a gesture over to the king's companions. "Now, I'm not the BLIND HEROIC type. I've got at LEAST one eye half-open here. No GRUDGE with the CONFEDERACY or nothin', yeah? You guys are PRETTY REASONABLE from what I've seen." A few chuckles. "So let see if I can approach this from a different angle. Probably one that's a little friendlier to your interests." His voice has changed a little bit. It's hard to say how. "Why does the Lance of Kresnik deserve to exist, and what purpose would it fulfill that you're alright with it fulfilling? What with Maxwell saying it will destroy all the spirits, what's worth that here?"

    His posture's totally changed, though to what, it's hard to say. His entire approach seems more interested in information-gathering than the heroism from before.

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Yuna responds (OOCly, somewhat belatedly) to Mir's almost-mockery with a friendly smile, "Hey Mir, good to see you! A bit surprised, but good nonetheless."

She COULD respond more acerbically than that to the 'thinks she's a singer' comment, but - seriously, we're in the presence of royalty, she doesn't want to put a dent in the negotiations by getting into a personal catfight, even a strictly verbal one.

Meanwhile, attention is being drawn to Shamal and Zafira, and Yuna - ALMOST turns to look, before remembering that it would be rude to turn her back to the king. Augh. Decisions, decisions ... she settles for taking several steps off to the side, so she can at least look at Shamal without actually turning substantially away from the Dawn King. Zafira too. Hey, where did Elner go ... ?

Answer: The robo-faerie just decided to stop being there. Teleportation is so useful sometimes, as is just being small enough and swift enough to casually escape from notice. Elner is now hovering up against the wall, near the ceiling, somewhere with a relatively clear view of everyone currently in the throne room. And the robo-faerie is taking a moment to actively scan Shamal and Zafira - nothing horribly invasive, just the sensor-sweep version of a once-over.

Her curiosity satisfied for now, Yuna turns to face King GAius again, standing up a bit straighter. Not that she was slouching before. "Your Majesty, I don't know as much about the Spear of Kresnik as Milla does, or others who've been investigating it ... but from what I *have* seen and heard, there's no way to understate the danger it presents. It's horrible enough as a device of war, and we haven't *seen* it used against enemy forces. The fact that it devours the power of spirits in order to work ..."

She trails off briefly, grimacing. "One of the religions of my homeland - one in which I participate as regularly as I can - would probably consider the very existence of a spirit-consuming weapon to be terrible blasphemy. I don't know if the magical spirits of Rieze Maxia count as 'kami' the way the divine beings of Shinto do, but ... if they do, then I can't turn my back and allow such a terrifying weapon to exist. I've promised to help Milla to the best of my ability in her quest, to that end."

Yuna is really not the best at diplomacy - but she has to make the effort, especially for this cause.

Saber (346) has posed:
     Saber had intended to wait and allow Milla to make her case before the king, but it was not as if she could simply turn off her regal bearing like a switch. For the fifteen years of her reign she had projected the image of the ideal king for her people, and all that time she had carefully and constantly maintained that image. To a painful degree, in fact.

     She did not so much as blink in surprise when Gaius obliquely addressed her. Gawain was a Servant just as she was, now, but knight and king had fallen back into the familiar patterns, even if the Knight of the Sun was her nephew by blood. Though her voice remained soft, it did not so much as waver, nor did her steady gaze in spite of her impassive mien. "He is my knight, a member of the Round Table and guardian of Camelot, currently my acting lieutenant while on this mission."

     True, those names would mean nothing to Gaius, but those were nevertheless his appropriate titles. She did, however, leave Gawain's full introduction to the knight himself.

     Beyond that, the King of Knights listened carefully to the dialogue; nearly all of it was, admittedly, foreign to her. However, the Lance of Kresnik was of no small concern, not with the threat it posed. Such a thing was an artefact which, if she understood it correctly, was not something which should exist in this particular world. Or, perhaps, in most worlds. To be sure, the Mages Association would in all likelihood have such a thing destroyed.

     But on the other hand, as a king, she understood well how she would approach the situation. She knew, because she had been in a similar situation once before.

     "Do you wish to preserve this Lance of Kresnik to protect your kingdom and its people?" she inquired with a strangely mild voice.

Yagami Hayate (558) has posed:
If Shamal and Zafira notice the robo-fairy and scan(hint: they do) they don't show it. A quick scan would show that they are actually biological mana-constructs formed of solidified energy that mimics, imperfectly, biological processes. Shamal is also carrying an /intense/ concentration of energy.

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    Gaius crosses his arms again and steps down from his throne. "What good is a weapon if it cannot be used?" he asks, "It would be a simple matter for me to mobilize now and strike at Rashugal while the Lance is inoperable. However, I am staying my hand for the time being." He narrows his eyes again. "You deign to hand me decrees, Maxwell? While you are the Lord of Spirits, you are not the lord of man. Do not think that you can dictate your will to me and I will just oblige. I will seize the Lance of Kresnik and make sure that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. However, possessing it would give me the leverage I need to take over Rashugal and unite Rieze Maxia."

    Presa shakes her head at Shamal. "I am tending to Agria myself," she says, "I don't need the help of some traveller to tend to my allies. I thank you for the offer, though."

    Gaius takes another step forward. "By allowing me to possess the Lance, you would ensure not only the safety of the spirits of Rieze Maxia, but its people as well. Under my control, the Lance would not see use for the wrong reasons. I would never need to use it; the power I possess already along with taking Rashugal's main weapon as my own? It would be sufficient for me to unite the world." He fixes his gaze on Milla. "If your goal is the destruction of the Lance, then we will one day meet in opposition. And, even if you are the Lord of Spirits, I doubt you can stop me."

    As Saber chimes in, he nods. "Not only Auj Oule, but Rashugal as well."

Sir Gawain has posed:
As Saber introduces him, Sir Gawain waits to do it properly. "Sir Gawain of Camelot, Knight of the Round Table under King Arthur. It is an honor to meet you, Dawn King Gaius.". And then Sir Gawain bows to him, as is respectful.

On the diplomacy end..Gawain's not too good at it. He doesn't know much about this lance, and both believe different uses of it..he has nothing to chime in until he has more knowledge of it.

Crys Gattz has posed:
Crys Gattz is listening and remains impassive looking at the kings mention of not wanting to destroy the Lance, what could be driving him such? Was there are more militant power? She however knows of the experiments and she looks to the king before she consider speaking. She listens for a moment and she listens so he wants it as a tool to end the fighting between the two major powers. She sees where it's going but this is dangerous, it's like a nuke so to speak she remains silent she's not a diploment however maybe she should introduce herself really?

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:
    "You would use the Lance as a threat to unite the world?" Milla's glare falls flat on Gaius, as he answers both her, Arthur's, and Saber's questions in one definitive statement. She frowns, looking no happier than before.

    "And where is humanity's freedom in all this? I may only be the Lord of Spirits, but as the guardian of Rieze Maxia, is it not my duty to ensure both spirits and humans can live as they wish? You would shed blood and threaten half of the world with a great weapon so that they follow you?"

    She tenses. She wants to call him a tyrant, but it would not be entirely true. His intentions are surely noble, even if his actions may not be.

    "And then what? What if they resist? What if the threat of the Lance falls on deaf ears? Would you use it, then? Could you keep your subjects and those who succeed you from using it? Your plan is doomed to failure. I do not need to have idly watched you for two thousand years to know this."

Mir (340) has posed:
    The slight twitch in Mir's mouth makes it clear that she does not /entirely/ approve of this plan. Those who know her distrust of humans no doubt will guess that she isn't a big believer in their ability to make the sane choice. But of course her ally is the one demanding it, and she has the Key.

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Yuna's face clearly shows her surprise at how Gaius takes the Union-and-allies' request for aid - he wants to take advantage of things to *conquer the rest of this world*?!

She is very clearly wondering just how much of a good idea (or more likely a bad idea) this was ... glancing back and forth at her allies, particularly at Milla, and not looking inclined to actually try saying anything else. In fact, there may well be a piece of her that's trying to figure out how quickly she can depart from the palace without committing lese majeste and incurring whatever the local penalties for that might happen to be.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Imperial Legatus listens to the Dawn King and the other man speak of a lance. His attention moves from taking in what the castle provides to the possibly, more interesting, point in all this. It sounds as if this kingdom is out for something similar to that of the Garlean Empire. To control their worlds under one power.

To what end though, Gaius Van Baelsar wonders, is the man willing to go in order to obtain all control of this world.. and if he gains full control---

-- would he stop there?

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Shamal gets a quick point from Arthur. "LEMME TELL YA," He says, right back to the emphatic talking. "Those wounds are from some LITERALLY SICK FIRES, shit you don't wanna TOUCH. Sounds like they got a HANDLE on it, though." And then Dawn King Gaius is dropping the bombs.

    "DAMN, BRO." Arthur says, grinning. "Now, I get the whole WORLD UNIFICATION thing. Trust me, unlike THESE DUDES, I ain't gonna JUDGE." He shakes his head. There's a gesture to Yuna and Maxwell, but to the Unionites in general here. "So, let's tone down the heat we're bringing to this cookoff a little bit. Maxwell, Union-guys, let's try to not bite off more than you can chew here, right? The world domination thing, totally separate from the Lance thing, these are two matters and we can deal with them separately." He makes a few cooling gestures. "One thing at a time, guys."

    "Gaius! Bro, guy, your majesty, I totally get your angle here. Gotta press your advantage, gotta do what you can because you know what's right, right? Right." There's a casual sort of point at Dawn King Gaius, among other casual gestures. Arthur starts floating without gravity and he doesn't even seem to care. "But, we both agree, the way it kills spirits, that's bad and wrong. We need to stop that. Get it cooled off on the spiritual genocide." He claps his hands together. "But if you were the hero king who destroyed a weapon that was ruining /everything/, think of how righteous your whole world-empire would be? So let's get something figured out."

    "What's a king like you need, instead of this Lance, to be able to get done what you need doing? I mean, less issue for everyone, all around, if it involves less spirit murder, right? So what would you need to do what you need doing that wouldn't also be literally the worst thing for spirits?"

Saber (346) has posed:
     The whole idea of uniting a world under one rule certainly didn't sit right with Arturia for a whole number of reasons. The Rider she had faced in her own war for the Holy Grail -- a wish-granting artefact rather than a weapon, but as fate would have it no less destructive -- had been remembered in legend as the King of Conquerors. His own conquests were not for such lofty reasons, but the means were the same.

     But in spite of her repulsion to such things, Saber's expression remained calm, even. It was, after all, a mission of diplomacy. They weren't going to get anywhere throwing accusations around. Even her own demands for the Eight Virtues of Chivalry to be followed needed to be curtailed.

     "The duty of a king is first to protect his kingdom and his people," she replied evenly. "It is only logical that a king would seek such a weapon in service to that duty. However, if it is truly as dangerous as it is said to be, would it not pose a danger to these very kingdoms, merely through the knowledge of its existence? Any peace gained through it would be fragile, at best."

     She left off the whole "unification" issue for the moment.

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    Gaius shakes his head. "The threat of such a thing is sufficient. Using it is unnecessary and harmful to the world as a whole. I wish to rule, not destroy." He rests a hand on his blade hilt, then focuses his gaze on the group as a whole. "What would make the people happy? Is happiness found in freedom? No. I will bring happiness to all of the people of Rieze Maxia. What the general population crazes is not freedom, but a path. A path for them to walk that they know is correct. That is what they truly want, to live without fear along a path set for them. It is the duty of the strong to blaze this path for them."

    Gaius moves his gaze to each of the people assembled in turn. "It is my duty to give the people what they want and need. I will forge the path for the weak of this world, and they will live happy, secure in the knowledge that the path they travel is the best one. What, I ask you, could be a better cause than that? With the Lance in my possession, it would show everyone that I am the one blazing their path for them, and that following me is the best and safest course. It is a more powerful show for me to possess the Lance than destroy it."

    Gaius flinches at Arthur's reference to him as 'bro'. "You do not understand. I require it for leverage. I will earn the people's trust by controlling the Lance. Destroy it, and what reason would the people of Rashugal have to do anything other than mistrust me? Not to mention that it would bring Auj Oule and Rashugal back to a standstill. Whoever controls the Lance holds the sway of the world. Destroying it weakens my position rather than strengthening it. There is not a soul alive that could possess such a weapon and not use it, aside from myself. Therefore, I must own it in order to bring about the world as I see it."

Sir Gawain has posed:
Sir Gawain listens to Dawn King Gaius..and seems to frown. Visibly. "So you will decide everything for them, without giving them a say? They will only know it is correct because you /say/ it is correct! How do /you/ know your path is correct, Dawn King?". He steps back from Saber an inch. "You are not a king, Gaius. You are a dictator who only cares about power and control. If anything, the lance should be destroyed because /no one/ deserves it!".

Yup, Sir Gawain: Never allowed at diplomatic events again.

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    Gaius turns his attention to Gawain. "Tell me, do you follow your own path, or do you follow your King, who you are currently standing behind?" He crosses his arms. "People desire a strong leader to show them the way. I am that leader for the people of this world."

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Imperial Legatus of the Garlean Empire, then brings his attention now /fully/ to the topic at hand. When the King of the region explains why the lance is needed, his arms find themselves across crossing over his chest. As he explains his views and moral standings on the matter of rule, he can see some likeness between the Empire and this Kingdom.

Though some differences do separate them, but there was leverage here that can be used-- a possible way for these two different world entities to work together. But it still balled down to one thing that the Black Wolf was unsure on-- beyond military-- what could this place bring the Garlean Empire. As they could share military power.. but technology.. that would not do.

"I agree with his majesty, the Dawn King Gaius" The Imperial Legatus states as he speaks up. "People require guidance and under proper rulership. They respect a strong ruler, whom can lead them into the light and a ruler whom not only can show mercy, but that of swift judgment."

The Imperial Legatus lowers his head gently. "For the Garlean Empire rules under an Emperor who rose from the ranks of a democracy and took control because of his deeds and strength.. and he has ruled us with this strength, guiding us with that very power, and we have become a greater people because of it."

"There is no fault here, for sometimes in freedom-- there is only chaos."

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur tanks the whole freedom-is-evil thing straight on the damn jaw and doesn't flinch a muscle. "ALRIGHT," He says, grinning right at Gaius Van Baelsar and Dawn King Gaius. "I can TOTES understand that. Not my sorta deal, but HEY!" He shrugs. "I ain't JUDGING." He tries to make it clear that he's distant from the more idealistic elements going here. "Well, okay, I might. We MIGHT totally wind up FIGHTING someday. But that doesn't MATTER, 'cause that's just TWO OPINIONS CLASHING. The REAL problem is the SPIRIT DEATH that comes with your LEVERAGE."

    He claps his hands together. "I TOTALLY understand! And that's why I was asking for you to HELP ME HELP YOU here. Something we can do for you that'd get you the LEVERAGE you want, without all of the SPIRIT MURDER. If you DESTROY THE LANCE, but have SOMETHING ELSE that gives LEVERAGE, then HEY! Everything's BETTER."

    There's the sudden shift in posture again, the politically savvy edge to his voice. "Listen, we both have objectives here. Ours is to protect the spirits. Yours is to gain the leverage you need to take over the world. Now, see, the thing is, these two aren't mutually incompatible. Work with me, here, guy."

    "Help me help you. What could someone do that'd get you to destroy the Lance for the moral and social benefit without losing sight of the whole leverage thing? What substitute could we help out with that'd make you wanna work with us?"

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:
    "But what of your successors? When your reign ends, as all things do, will you then destroy the Lance? Will you even remember to, or have the ability to? Even if I were to put my faith in you to be the one human who breaks the mold, you cannot ensure to me there will be another like you to take your place one day. It is that shortsightedness that spawned Spyrix in the first place!"

    Arthur does well to instruct them to cool down, because even Milla can realize she is getting a bit carried away with her duties right now. She takes a step back and then one deep breath.

    Not helped by the Legatus, though.

    "If the weak follow the strong, they will never become strong. That is why freedom is important. Look at Jude here. He thinks himself weak, and possesses no great gift or power. He has no authority, and was until recently but a simple student. Yet, given the choice, he chose his own path. Not because I blazed it for him, but because he thought it was the correct one."

    Well, that is secondary, though.
    The real matter at hand is the Lance.

    "Spyrix is too dangerous to exist. I will not compromise. No matter how good your intentions, they will bring ruin to the future. If not during your rule, then after it."

Mir (340) has posed:
    Finally, Mir sighs. "My normal solution would be to simply exterminate all the humans so you don't have this problem, but as I understand it they actually serve some purpose in this world. So I am offering a compromise that everyone should feel perfectly reasonable with."

    She makes a vague gesture in the direction of Rashugal. "Destroy the Lance and every human in Rashugal as an abject lesson to anyone who steps out of line. It eliminates the threat to the planet, and gives incentive to follow you out of fear. Simple."

    Yes she honestly thinks this is a good idea.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
Milla may find themselves with eyes on them, as the dark armored, six foot two man stares in their direction. The Imperial Legatus keeps his arms crossed over his chest, but silent is finding him at this moment. He could further bring up how idiotic that statement was, but this is not his land nor is it his 'house'.

Besides, his own Empire is that of a Meritocracy society. People don't get anywhere unless they are willing to work for it. He is not really sure if that is what the Dawn King has in mind, but either way-- freedom-- freedom is simply an illusion, an illusion that leads to disorder.

Maybe he'll bring that up if he doesn't get reprimanded for speaking out of his place or if the King himself doesn't beat him to that punch.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur Lowell doesn't skip a single damn beat at Mir's suggestion. He's a god! He can respect the whole pillars of salt tactic. He doesn't like it, but at least he can remain totally friendly in the face of it. He points to her with a big grin.

    "WE'LL CALL THAT 'PLAN B'." He declares, emphatically.

Saber (346) has posed:
     Arturia was nearly as conflicted as she had been when she argued with Iskander during the Feast of Kings he had invited her and the other King of the Fourth Grail War -- the King of Heroes -- to. She herself had debated that very thing: if she had become a tyrant, rather than a saviour, could she have saved Britain? Could she have led them to utopia? But ultimately, she concluded that it was not so. Utopia could only be achieved when the king was a true servant of the people. "You are not wrong about the people wishing for a path," she replied as evenly as before, though the faintest hint of her lingering sorrow and regret infiltrated that calm voice. "But utopia cannot be gained from above. The king must be a saviour to the people, must lead by example. The people must wish to follow them, or utopia will remain forever out of his grasp. The people will never be happy if they did not choose that path for themselves."

     While she absolutely agreed with Gawain, and understood well the knightly passion he was lauded for, Arturia was nevertheless making an effort to barter for a better position. For the moment, she resisted glaring at the /other/ Gaius, remaining focused on her immediate goal.

     And she could understand exactly where Arthur was going with this, even if the /way/ he was saying it clearly rubbed the Dawn King the wrong way. If that was a deliberate tactic, Saber wasn't certain. If so, would it work? That remained to be seen, and she reserved judgement for how things would ultimately end.

     She shook her head. Now was not the time to try to persuade this king that only destruction lay down that road. "If what you desire is merely the leverage, then there are other ways of ensuring that other than an artefact as dangerous as this one."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Yuna's only contribution to the conversation at this point, to speak of, is a quietly withering look at Mir in response to the 'just wipe out Rashugal' suggestion.

In this context, the look should say plenty without words backing it up.

Sir Gawain has posed:
There was a bit of fire in Sir Gawain's eyes at that point. "I did choose my path! And my path was to fight beside my king, to serve under him until death! And I would choose nothing else. Can you say the same for all of the people you claim that you will guide?".

Yagami Hayate (558) has posed:
<<These people are insane,>> Zafira secretly telepaths to Shamal.

"Shh," Shamal hushes.

Jude Mathis (542) has posed:
    Jude emerges from an obscure corner of the room, stepping up near Milla, eyes locked firmly on Gaius. "You both care about people, and want what's best for them. There's no mistaking that." He briefly looks to Milla. If she's paying attention, even she would be able to tell that he's nervous; he might even be shaking, but none of it shows in his voice. "But Gaius, you have to understand. Milla... Maxwell has been watching all of us for years, and she has probably seen us do a lot of things that we shouldn't have. I mean, even now, there's about to be another war. More people are going to die." He balls his fists. "She understands just as well as you what it means to guide people. What it means to be hurt by watching people make the wrong choices... or be consumed by weakness."

    "You can be confident that you won't use the Lance for evil because you're you. You know what you want it for, and you can trust yourself more than you can trust anyone else. But Milla..." There's a pause. "Milla doesn't. She can't. While she's watched us, at every turn people have hurt eachother, and lived life in cycles that repeat over and over and over again." His gaze intensifies.

    "But this time, human lives aren't the only ones at stake. Like you have a duty to protect your people, Milla has a duty to protect the spirits. So that's why..." He casts his gaze downward. "That's why I think that we should work together. Why don't we save thinking about the lance for later, and focus for now on what we can do to help eachother to get what we want?" He... cracks a smile. "After all, I don't think our goals are all that different, in the end. And if we let this one issue slow us all down and take away what we could gain from helping eachother... wouldn't that be -our- weakness?" He lets his words hang in the air a moment, giving Gaius a final, determined stare. "Please, Gaius."

    Once he's finished, he blinks. Where did that even come from? He must've been in some kind of a fugue state there -- he didn't even know to acknowledge Mir's proposition.

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    Gaius shakes his head. "You would have to provide me with something with as much sway, gravity, and power as the Lance in the eyes of the people of Rieze Maxia to even have a chance to sway me. As there is no such thing in existence that I am aware of, I will continue with the path I have started." He allows a trickle of his power to seep forth, a red outline surrounding him. "I will not kill the people of Rashugal. If my understanding of matters is correct, Nachtigal is doing enough of that on his own. I do not rule with fear, but with the promise of a safe and happy life for all." He glares at Arthur. "Attempt it, and I will see you broken." The aura flares around him for a moment, an oppressive sense of will pervading the senses, before it settles back to an outline.

    "The weak do not desire strength, but someone with strength to show them the way. Those with the strength to create a path before them need to do so with the good of all in mind. If you have the strength to forge a path that is counter to my own, then one day those paths will cross, and only one will continue into the future." He shakes his head. "You assume I will force them to follow. I will not. They are free to stagger blindly along a path they lack the strength to clear, but they will not find what they seek along it."

    He turns his focus on Gawain. "You choose to follow the path set by your King. It is not your path, but hers. You have proven my point."

    He turns back to Milla, but is interrupted by Jude. The King's features seem to soften a bit at the young man's words, before they harden once again. "... If we set aside the issue of the Lance, what is it you would request of me, Maxwell? Jude? Have you given consideration to that? What exactly is it that you want that doesn't run counter to what I will achieve?"

    Gaius motions, and Wingul and Presa step forward. "It matters not what Maxwell has seen up to this point. Maxwell has observed, but where has she been during all of this? Is that what you do, Maxwell? Watch until a threat to spirits arises? And then you criticize man. Speak your request. Know that it is a request, and not some decree you will pass down. I am under no obligation to help you, and I will not bend my knee to the Lord of Spirits."

Crys Gattz has posed:
Crys Gattz listens she understands the concept of MAD it's something that's common sadly in the multiverse, on worlds where it fails like mr. Johnny's it's a scary result she knows what can happen. She listens she gets the sort of game here. Having a large enough stick can get a lot of leverage to end stuff without needing to use the stick. However she knows how the weapon was made she knows how caked in blood she saw people dissolve to make the damn thing.

She's just sitting here and looking pretty really. She sees he's trying to save more lives but she shudders.

Then again he brings up the card of /what/ have you /done/ for mankind spirit? What have you done for us? She's very glad Staren isn't here it would turn into a bloody diaster.

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:
    There is silence as Milla listens to Gaius.

    And then she lowers her gaze, averting it even from the Legatus. Is she ashamed, suddenly? Has she lost some of her fire? Or is the pressure of being gazed at too much?

    "You are correct. For all this time I have watched and I have never intervened to stop you from killing one another. For two thousand years I have watched you humans wage war and kill over petty excuses and for political games. Not once must I have thought to intervene. And then when it is spirits who are in danger, I step in. You are right. I do not have any ground to make requests of mankind, when my appearance is prompted by a danger to spirits."

    She glances back up, pink-red eyes gazing into Gaius' own. "However. After seeing how many humans are willing to stand by me and help me, I have chosen to remedy that. I have chosen to get involved in your war games to prevent further bloodshed. I have decided to intervene in the matters of humans as well as spirits, because neither is worth protecting more than the other. That is why all I can request of you is the destruction of all Spyrix. If they continue existing, then Rieze Maxia will die along with its spirits. And in those conditions, humans will not thrive for long."

    Milla sighs. "But that is not something we will reach an agreement on. I do not know what else to request of you. I came here to warn you about a technology that threatens all of you equally, only to find that you covet it as well. You cannot ask me to place blind faith in your reign, because that will end one day too. What happens to the path you built, then?"

Jude Mathis (542) has posed:
    Jude doesn't falter even once, ever maintaining his focus. He audibly winces at the insinuation regarding Nachtigal's actions; true as he has seen that to be, it's never an easy thing when you realize that someone you looked up to, someone that you thought you trusted, ends up being so far out of line. He allows his gaze to fall slightly, his bangs hiding his eyes for a few moments.

    When addressed, he perks back up. His eyes widen just slightly at the mere thought that something he said might have gotten through to Gaius and, with a hopeful glint, he looks to Milla. 'What should we ask for?' is the question he attempts to broach without words. Some might also note how... oddly happy he looks, and how warm the aura radiating off of him has become. That modicum of validation from someone he clearly respects must mean a lot to him.

    But not so much that it would make him deaf to the critcism of Maxwell. At this, Jude emits an exasperated sound and almost literally has to bite his tongue. His already tight fists compress further still, and his gaze goes again to Milla for guidance.

    At this point, he's begun to wonder: is he doing the same thing that Gaius accused Gawain of doing? Is Milla his 'king', and is he just following her lead? Even so... he could never abandon Milla, or his attempts to aid her in her mission. No, and there's a reason for that -- the reasons aren't completely his own yet, but he will -make- them his own. This resolution allows the kindling of a the flame of his soul. A smile grows on his face as Milla discusses her newfound desire to protect humans as well as spirits, and he follows most of what she says with powerful nods... until she gets to her closing statements. His expression dips a little, and he follows her sigh with one of his own. He briefly shuts his eyes in contemplation.

    And then they open again. "I have a request of my own." He takes a breath. "... try to believe in people, Gaius. Try to believe that they will follow you of their own volition, and that they don't need symbols of authority and power like the lance to give them purpose." Exhale. "I may not be a leader like you or Milla. But like she said before, even I have started to find my own purpose by listening to her... and listening to you. I want to help people... and this is my way. If I can do it, others can, too."

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Imperial Legatus falls silent as the conversations continue between the two sides. His arms have gone from being crossed over his chest, to resting behind his back. It is hard to tell where he is looking or what he is evening thinking.

Things will just play out now.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    Arthur grins. "SARCASM, bro, c'mon! 'Sides, it was YOUR pal there who SUGGESTED it, not ME." He shrugs playfully. "I don't KILL PEOPLE, that's part of how I AM, man. Shit makes me SICK, bro! And not the kind of sick that actually means COOL." He crosses his arms. "Me, I pride myself on being REALLY HUMAN, and that means I see stuff that LOOKS EVIL and FEELS EVIL, I go try and FIGHT IT! I don't hold GRUDGES for people just havin' a DIFFERENT OPINION, though. So, like I said, MAYBE we'll wind up throwing down someday, but WHO KNOWS? Either way, I' not gonna hold a GRUDGE about it."

    He puts a hand to his chin, seeming contemplative, thoughtful, trying to figure this out. "You need something with massive martial and cultural force behind you, something that doesn't just practically give you leverage but also culturally associates you with power."

    He seems to think for a long time. "And you know what? I can't work out a deal that would give you that. Alright, sure, looks like we're at a stalemate. BUT..." He puts up a finger, an eyebrow, and both corners of his mouth.

    "Doesn't mean we can't both get something we're wanting here. Let's say you do get your hands on the Lance, and this whole war business works out for you. If you're troubled by the spirit death and do really intend to use the Lance for good unification, how about you use that one particular big bad Spyrix to go ahead and force the destruction of all the other Spyrix, yeah? Call it a COMPROMISE with MAXWELL, huh?" It's clear that he's trying to spin Milla Maxwell's request to maximum effect, while still seeming to acknowledge the Dawn King Gaius' need for the biggest Spyrix. It's a harsh compromise, but if he can stick it...

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Yuna looks at Arthur as he makes his suggestion ... and raises her eyebrows. "Hey, I just thought of something ... what if you took control of the Lance, but - in secret - you went ahead and disabled it so that it *can't* actually be used? Won't hurt spirits *or* people? But nobody outside of this room would know the difference ... it'd still be kind of a symbol, but one that can't actually do anyone harm."

She glances at Milla and Arthur, then looks at the Dawn King again. It's the best she can think of to suggest, at the moment ...

Crys Gattz has posed:
Crys Gattz speaks up for the first time since everything got going.

"So what your saying is turn it into a massive bluff?"

Saber (346) has posed:
     The chances were good that the Dawn King had already considered this possibility -- Saber herself would have -- yet she started to voice the possibility, regardless. However, Yuna raised that same possibility just as she was about to. "Would the reputation alone be sufficient?" And she did very much like that answer of what he would do at the mere suggestion of wiping out the humans of the other kingdom, even if she was not /technically/ human herself. If they could just find some way to come to a compromise...

     Sometimes, being the king for an entire collection of passionate young men was /not/ all that the legends made it out to be. Saber pressed on, but not without a gentle aside to her nephew. "Gawain, please. Another time. I understand your sentiments, but...not now."

     Arturia suppressed a sigh, keeping her expression carefully neutral as ever. "It is as you have said. It was my vision, my dream, to bring utopia to my kingdom where all would be happy and live peaceful lives. My knights, as well, believed in that dream."

     Only her jade eyes reflected a flicker of the lingering grief. "I would dishonour my vows of chivalry were I to claim that I would not use such a weapon for the very same reasons. But in the end, were such a weapon to have been stolen from me and used against the very people I was sworn to protect..."

     Saber shook her head slightly, letting the thought drop. There was already a great deal she had been struggling to forgive herself for. And it was unnecessary; it was clear the Dawn King wished to avoid bloodshed.

     Her head turned slightly to Jude, regarding him for a moment before nodding her agreement. "The young sir is quite right. It is a difficult balance to save the people...yet listen to them, as well. But for their sake, we must."

     The petite knight turned to regard Milla with a thoughtful expression, another possibility forming. "I must admit to ignorance of this world and the manner of symbols and magic which exists...but is there some manner of artefact which is known to inspire the people, rather than invoke fear?"

     And this was going to most likely make /everyone/ think she was insane. "If there is some way to assist you in protecting your people, it is the duty of a knight to offer succour to those in need. If it is truly bloodshed you wish to avert, then I would pledge my assistance in endeavours of peacekeeping, as the King of Knights. While I cannot violate my oaths of chivalry, if it is protection your people need, I can offer aid to protect the innocent."

Dawn King Gaius (557) has posed:
    Gaius crosses his arms. "So you will mettle with matters that ought not concern you. Hasn't so far, so why now? Humans have gotten along so long without you. However, I agree that these spyrix as a whole are dangerous to man and spirit. However, it is impossible to deny that the Lance is a powerful sway. I will take it for my own, and ensure humanity's safety. As for when I pass on... we will have to see, won't we? When I possess the Lance, I can consider things like that. And notice I say when. Get in my way, and things will not end well. However, I have no interest in the other Spyrixes."

    He gives a slight smile at Arthur. "I won't oppose their destruction. Only the Lance interests me." He turns his back on the group, returning to his throne. "Now, unless there is anything else to discuss, this meeting is over."

    He sits upon his throne, crossing his legs. "As for disabling the Lance... I would be lying if I said I have not considered that route."

Milla Maxwell (13) has posed:
    To Arthur, Milla almost immediatly objects. "I cannot agree to the Lance's use, no matter the purpose. Even if it is for a goal like destroying all other Spyrix, you cannot ask me to sacrifice countless of my kind for their future wellbeing." She does not really realize the hypocrisy of the situation, no; she'd gladly butcher the humans making Spyrix, but the idea of spinning that around, and killing spirits to destroy Spyrix... it's different. She hasn't grown to realize that yet.

    And then Yuna makes an odd yet sensible contribution.

    First Milla answers Gaius, though. "Because, as you said, I have been selfish. I have allowed war to endure and history to be written by blood, all because it did not concern me or spirits. What right have I to shape the future if I do not seek to amend those mistakes? I will protect both man and spirit, from here onward."

    Finally, a glance at Yuna, and then back at Gaius. "I suppose... if the Spyrix technology was removed from the Lance, and all that was left was its hollow shape and threat, that would be acceptable. I still cannot approve of its use to threaten Rashugal into bowing, but it is a fair middle ground."

    Then to Saber, she explains: "The world at large does not know of the Lance's existence, but Rashugal's military certainly must. If it was stolen and pointed at them, they would know its strength, and the may end with less bloodshed. But to base an ideal world on a lie..."

    Another sigh. There's no changing Gaius' mind, is there?
    The Dawn King didn't get where he is by being swayed.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
When the Dawn King states the meeting is over the Imperial Legatus looks over to him. He tilts his head ever so faintly at his own thoughts, before his hands go to lower by his side. The Lance seems to be a sticking point between the two sides.

There was many pieces at play here and a world he largely knew nothing of. Much like coming into a book midway where you don't know how it got to where it was or where all stood. Though once some left and things seem to simmer down, the Imperial Legatus looked upon the Dawn King once more. "I do apologize earlier if I spoke out of my place, your majesty. For some of what the said did not settle well with me and I see a great of likeness between you and ours."

"But perhaps I will seek audience with you another time. If you do need of my aid however, I am of service. As we both share an alliance with that of the Confederacy and I shall not turn my back on those whom stand beside them." He then gives the Dawn King another deep bow, before he starts to make his way out. Unless he is stopped that is.

Crys Gattz has posed:
Crys Gattz gives Milla a very sharp look due to her first statement it seems Crys has caught it she's caught it hard but now is not the place to speak such. It would make things worse. Then Milla gets some other imporant points hopefully the chat later can be brief and just giving a mortal's point of view. After all Crys is likely burning faster than any other life in the room here.

Gaius is certain proven to be a interesting men to pay attention to tonight. She's learned a bit about him or so she likes to think.

Arthur Lowell has posed:
    "He said he was planning on THREATS, mostly, right?" Arthur says, shrugging and giving a quick thumbs-up to Milla Maxwell. "If he's gonna PRETEND to MAYBE FIRE IT, least he can do is get rid of the OTHER THREATS, right?" An easygoing shrug. He also shoots Dawn King Gaius a grin and a double-thumbs-up. "Now, don't just NOT OPPOSE IT, yeah? If you WALK THE WALK that you're TALKING THE TALK of, let's see you work that KINGLY DEMANDS thing and MAKE people get that shit BUSTED."

    Arthur Lowell figures that, in the event that Dawn King Gaius possessing the Lance of Kresnik was ever a thing, he could at least spin the loss in his own favor: Deal with a LOT of the other Spyrix all in one fell swoop. Worse than stopping him from ever getting it, sure, but better than nothing, right?

    "Anyway, ASIDE from that? Yeah, looks like we can't make much MORE progress. But I feel like we've both gotten some GAINS outta this. GOOD TALK, guys! Doesn't look like MUCH MORE to do. We OLLIES OUTIE?" He locks his fingers behind his head as if he's reclining, and looks like he's ready to weightlessly drift his way back out of the audience chamber.

Jude Mathis (542) has posed:
    Jude's last words aren't as outstanding as everyone else's. To tell the truth, he's still kind of marvelling at that long speech made by Saber! There are so many -strong wills- in this room that he almost can't wrap his head around it, but he finds himself wishing more and more... that he was one of them. That his spirit could shine as brightly as theirs, and that his words could better convey his intentions and hopes. As they have. As Milla and Gaius do.

    But for now, he's satisfied. He gives Gaius a small, polite bow, and goes so far as to flash him a smile. "Thank you, King Gaius.". He isn't the only one who gets a smile, though; next, he turns to Milla. Again, it's unspoken, but in his eyes she would see... gratitude. After all that has happened, and after being exiled from his home to help her, he still considers /her/ the one who is helping /him/.

    His is a very different, very strange kind of determination.

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Yuna bows - well, STARTS to bow. Then she catches herself and curtseys once more. "Thank you for your time and your consideration, Your Majesty," she says politely, and then departs with the others.

Elner blinks out as well, reappearing near the warpgate, and heads through with Yuna when she gets there.

Crys Gattz has posed:
Crys Gattz bows as well she's going to be polite.

"Thank you for letting us speak King Gaius."

she says before she'll move to follow the rest of the party out. IT hits her on the way out she never gave her name...