Description: Jedah has been keeping tabs on darkstalkers around the world. He meets Father Walter Bardsley this evening, outside the humble Church of Saint Mary.
The Church of Saint Mary in England has become Walter's home base after the little disaster in Norway. The Church itself is small, and out in the rural countryside. Right now though Walter is not in the brick-faced, somewhat ugly place of worship.
Right now, the dragon-kin is down by the lake not far away. He's been here for some time, praying and napping alternatively, the Priest casting his gaze often to the heavens as if seeking guidance on this moonlit night. The priest is adorned in his clerical vestments, alongside his usual white cloak that hide his dragon wings upon his back and the scaled tail he possesses. Otherwise, his is the features of a pale, handsome englishman, if an athletic seeming one: black hair, slightly aristocratic looks, and lean muscle on his limbs.
Finally, he breaks the silence once more.
"Oh God...am I truly so tainted? Or...is it gift or curse, oh Lord?" Asks the man aloud in frustration before punching a nearby tree.
The night air is still. The heavens a perfect shade of blue, outshone by the brilliance of the moon. The water of the lake, nearly motionless save for the ripples of water caused by the swimming fauna within.
And then dark, inky spheres rise, not far from the water's edge. They pool at the surface, bubbles popping to release trapped air, the oily ichor spreading into growing circles. It's likely to go unnoticed, even as the Priest shatters the silence with his lament, obliterates it with the crack of his knuckles into the tree.
And then, from the midst of the inky void, begins to emerge a figure. The water is only inches deep, and yet, a figure emerges as if from the depths, striding forward as if stepping up a slope several feet below. His scythelike wings trail behind him, moonlight scintillating the droplets of water sticking to the blades.
The Priest may call him a darkstalker, though he is no nameless one.
"Father... if your faith is challenged so, then perhaps you are prostrating before the wrong Lord." The highborn, self-styled Black Messiah strides calmly yet deliberately towards the Priest, a towering seven feet (and one inch) tall. His skin is pale blue, his golden locks cast a dim shade in the moonlight.
"Do not fear, I mean you no harm. Just providing a friendly ear, to a friend in need." His voice is soft, smooth... maybe a bit condescending, but not offensive. And aside from his stature and the deadly weapons at his back, he's not adopting a particularly aggressive posture, either.
And here Walter didn't even bring his weapons with him. It's getting to be a bad habit. Only once his draconic senses pick up something /off/ does he turn from his misery towards the bubbling lake and the rising figure of darkness. Rising, notably, from a meager section of water.
Scythe-like blades, that regal bearing, and the feeling of a creature that is /old/ very nearly overwhelms the vulnerable wyrmkin. The huge man would be intimidating in the best of lights, but with the moonlight behind him? It's frightening. There's an animalistic growl of wariness before Walter can even stop it.
The priest slowly stands. There's still evidence of injury on the man, average height as he is, definitely favoring his side.
A hand goes to his cross, and with a prayer, his fear seems to still. The condescention gets an annoyed twitching in his brow, and then he forces a smile.
"My Faith is challenged daily, oh traveler amidst the moonlight. But yes, it is no heavy burden that weighs upon my soul this day. Yet the Lord God shall grant me wisdom in time, through His Word or through HIs Children. At the risk of insult, I say to ye that no other Lord shall have me this day, or any other, for I have sworn oaths upon soul and faith alike. I shall not throw aside my honor." Jedah's words, already, seem to have caused the priest some manner of, not quite offense, but a need to defend himself in spirit. YOu don't back down before predators or weird scythe-backed men talking about alternate Lords.
His smile slowly returns. "Forgive me, my manners suffer under the weight of recent events. Father Walter Bardsley. No matter what you are, I will not turn aside such generosity, so long as you harm not myself or those within the Church." A wave towards the tiny Abbey, with its orphans and elderly priests.
"Who do I have the honor of standing before?"
"My, my... so defensive." The dark bloodweaver had listened to the priest's words carefully, taking note of each subtle shift of intonation, appraising the wounds visited recently upon the wyrmkin's body.
The veneration for the Almighty Lord is duly noted. But the fallen Jedah takes no particular umbrage to Father Walter Bardsley's higher calling -- just a pleasant smile.
He stops a fair distance away, and folds one hand before himself, one arm behind, as he bows in a most formal fashion. "Jedah, Lord of Dohma Castle. I have heard much of you, Father Bardsley... only in whispers, only in passing. You cloak yourself well among these... lesser beings." With a simple nod, he indicates those under the Father's implied shroud of protection, in the Abbey, curling both hands behind his back with that faint, self-assured grin.
"I must say, the honor is all mine. Though... I am curious, do you stand among the flock... or in front of them, their shining champion in gleaming white armor?"
His smile tightens, creases forming at its extents. "Someone of your determination should have greater aspirations, Father."
Even for a human, taking in this particular wyrm's emotions this day would be fairly easy. Walter is a rather honest person as far as his kind go. Combined with the utter lack of subtlety that dragons of old possessed, it's only enhanced his own open nature.
He's also a brit and something of a git today. A deep scowl as it's pointed out.
"My dear Sir, in the last week I have been humiliated on a resort island, being nearly defiled by some strumpet of an ex-tv star, and then nearly killed by a damn /fox/ of all things. Do forgive if I am a touch wary of yet another disaster falling upon me. I am a bit salty about it all, really."
There's a distinctly animalistic huff, almost a snort.
But then the dark being is smiling, and bowing. Walter blinks and is on his feet instantly. It's returned deeply, a touch lower even in respect.
"It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lord Jedah. Forgive me if I lack in your land's customs. Dohma?" It's an honest question. There's even a little vaguely masked dismay, as if not knowing how to be properly /proper/ is bugging the man.
He stands up straight now. Eyes flick, and his tail lashes a bit beneath his cloak. Mentally, he's pondering every escape route and advantage he could scrape up in this open area without weapons. When people come to him saying things like this, they're either looking for something or wanting to kill him.
The greater worry in his eyes fade as the man nods. Jedah feels /old/. And it's enough that he'll trust in his word for now. Old things rarely breach their word. He admires that.
"Lesser? True, they are not born with peculiar strengths as we may be...but that very weakness may well be forged into strength. All are equal before the Lord." Offers the wyrmkin in turn.
There's a bitter smile at urgings to ambition and a very pertinent question.
"You know, I used to think I was that very knight in armor you speak of. Humanity's champion. Feh. And for my arrogance, I was beaten down by one of my kin, and lives lost through my own folly. No, Lord Jedah, I cannot rightly claim such grandeur when I am yet so weak. I have ambition in spades. My faith, spear-arm, and...knowing just what the bloody hell I am is what is lacking."
Jedah acknowledges the wyrmkin's words with an abundance of patience. The highborn had assumed the man to be of higher stature, from the way he carried himself... but he learns much from the hasty defense, and the words.
But, even moreso, Dohma notices the flick of his eyes, the impatience, the trapped feeling. He relaxes, subtly easing himself back a few steps so as not to crowd the Father so much. But he does not shrink into a human guise, nor does he retract the deadly blades at his back.
He is patient. He listens, as the man explains that he was arrogant, took a chance at being a champion.
And finally, he speaks. "That may be a realistic portrayal, though I firmly believe that you sell yourself short, Father Bardsley." The bloodweaver begins to frown, as he raises an open hand, spreads his fingers so that his blood-red talons can be seen in the moonlight. "You see... you have a set of advantages others do not. Muscles, unthinkable by human standards. Wings, the power of flight... unless those are mere decorations. You speak of spears... what need have you of weapons when your body -is- a weapon?"
He continues frowning, staring into the face of the priest. "You asked if your blessing was a curse, instead of a gift." He pauses, deliberately, his frown turning into a slight sneer. "There is no difference."
He turns away from the once-arrogant knight, shifting his shoulders to stare up into the moonlight. His voice is clear, despite his turned face. "I trust you will learn to harness your /gifts/ before we meet next, Father Bardsley. I would see your skills. And I will judge for myself what you are lacking."
If the man were to run, he would not stop him.
The wyrm is silent at first, peering first at those blades, the strange claws the older darkstalker possesses. Then Walter takes off a glove, and peers at his own. Claws amidst scale-peppered flesh. Not those of a snake, but much closer to the plates of the armor worn by old knights. Likely just as hard.
Long, long silence. Even if he politely looks at Jedah, those slitted eyes are most certainly staring /through/ the other being. Contemplation is etched on his face. Powerful muscles, lean and whipchord with strength beyond what they should provide clench. Those golden wings erupt, tossing up quite a bit of grass in a flap that sends him a good three feet in the air with minimal efforts. He glides, head tilted. This is no show to impress Jedah, but flexing all of those inhuman traits as his mind works.
When he lands, the priest is smiling once more. He belts out a laugh.
"Oh, Walter, you bloody little git! In that, my good Sir, you are right. It is not as though just because I sit about and moan about what I have shall make them go away." Oddly, Jedah seems to have actually helped the man with those words. A small, tiny ease off his shoulders.
"A curse, a gift, or just part of myself, is it? Mmm." There's another searching look. It's turned heaven's ward.
Only to whip right back with a draconic snarl. He's grinning, violently, madly, and in pure joy. His stance grows more confident. For a moment, he once more bears that confidence look of a knight. There's the hints of arrogant wyrm set within as well.
"That sounds like a challenge." He states.
Walter Bardsley cannot turn down challenges /or/ a duel.
"And I will not dishonor myself by shrinking away like a coward. Fine! Consider your invitation to duel accepted! When next we meet, I shall no longer be this simpering /fool/! Time to stop overthinking, and start being a real bloody knight!"
Then, the priest shoots a sharp salute.
"Lord Jedah? You have my thanks." Sometimes one needs a challenge and a boot in the ass.
No running, here, but there's a renewed determination and resolve.
Jedah turns his head back -- but just his head. He offers a detached smile as the wyrmkin furls his wings. But perhaps, Jedah thinks, he shouldn't be giving any false hope about his skills tonight.
"Do what you must. But I've no use for you as you were a moment ago, a pitiful, self-loathing heap of human-tainted flesh. You face me as a dragon, at your full power, or I shall end your humble existence."
You're damned right it's a challenge.
"Well met," he answers belatedly, the blades at his back groaning, creaking as the metal deforms into a more winglike spread. "I'll be watching you, Father Bardsley."
And with casual grace, Jedah steps into the air, his improbable wings carrying him into the moonlight, his rapidly-diminishing form soon blending into the night sky.
Log created on 21:32:27 02/12/2015 by Jedah, and last modified on 00:20:42 02/13/2015.