High above the Guardia Fairgounds, this naturally made cliff overlooks not only the fairgrounds but most of the Kingdom as well. Local legends tell of a spirit or a pair of spirits that are rumored to have been seen standing up here silently watching over life in the area for as long as anyone can remember. Typically regarded as a local ghost story, the tale does have one thing right... the best view of the Kingdom is right here...
A cloaked figure walks along a trail, frowning somewhat. It kicks a pebble along, detouring on it's path to then kick it again. Reaching the top of the cliff, it gives a heavy sigh, and crouches, looking down upon the Kingdom.
In a shift of shadows, Johnny seems to pull himself into existance leaning against the rock wall behind the figure. With his legs already crossed, then crosses his arms and watches with a raised eyebrow. After several seconds of silence he shrugs and mumbles, "...why is this place so popular lately?" Normaly he'd stay silent and watch from afar, but clearly the years of solitude have forced a change in habbit upon him.
The cloaked figure quickly rises and turns around, taking a step backwards. It then begins to plummet downwards, barely grabbing onto the cliff edge in time. It hangs there for a moment, then tilts it's hood to one side. "Hm. I think I miscalclulated that."
Johnny blinks. Quickly darting accross to the edge of the cliff he reaches a hand down to help, "Yeah, I'd think so..."
Meln grabs onto Johnny's hand and frowns up at him. "Ah. Johnny. Didn't see you there. How are things?" She begins to crawl up the cliff between Johnny's help and her tenuous grasp on the cliff.
Johnny does his best to help her along and pull her up. Once she's safe he simply shakes his head in disbelief. "Going alright... still haven't found my friend yet, but otherwise ok." With a smirk he leans forward. "Two questions. You ok? ...and what the hell are you doing?"
Meln takes a few steps away from the cliff and blinks. "Ah, I'm fine. I was going up this cliff. Good place to see things, and I thought I might meet you here." She frowns and stares at Johnny a long moment.
Johnny leans back and hmmm's. Taking a step away he shrugs, "Well, you found me. What can I do for you?" Glancing around at random he tries to figure what on Earth anyone would come to see him for. Looking back at the returning frown he raises an eyebrow, "Um.. what? Did I do something wrong?"
"I was just wondering... You know, that zombie Magus that appeared yesterday. How did that happen?" Meln takes the quill pen from behind her ear and scratches it across her hand absent-mindedly.
Johnny grins manicly and laughs, "Oh, that thing? Hah! Yeah, been a long time since I made one of those." Shaking his head he snickers, "It's nothing really, just an odd trick I picked up back when I first got my daggers." Ducking down close to the ground he whips out one of his daggers and stabs it into the dagger's own shadow on the ground. Comicly sticking out his tounge, Johnny tilts his head and the shadow on the ground begins to move and bend into varrying shapes. "See, it's just a trick. I made it out of shadows. I once made this guy think that I'd conjured a bunch of demons to wreck this place he was at... really funny. He was all set to get the cops... um... the local guard involved, then I took the illusion away... the look on his face was priceless..."
Meln tilts her head to one side, then the other. "Interesting. I don't suppose that this trick would be something one could pick up easily, rather than something that takes hundreds of years of practice?" She frowns, and crouches down by the shadow, examining it more closely.
Johnny shrugs, "It's an easy trick, more a case of how much power you have... plus I had to learn everything in another dimension at the hands of a sadistic demon. But, whatever... I'm not sure if you can learn it. It's alot like magic, and on this world you have to have the abilty to cast magic awakened in you or something... I didn't pay as much attention as I should have. I think the Mystics use a similar trick, but you'd have to get them to show you."
Meln smiles. "Magic? What an enchanting belief..." She nods a little. "I understand if it is a taboo custom, do not worry about it." She stares down off the cliff again, and crosses her arms. "Still, this does put me in a storage bin. I do not suppose you know any other ways of easily killing someone?"
Johnny raises an eyebrow and straigtens back up. "...why you looking to kill someone? Did I miss something? Someone hurt you or piss you off, or something?"
Meln blinks, then smiles. "As a side benefit, if I kill him I get paid."
Johnny's face drops and he frowns, "Um... trust me, you probably don't want to go down that road. People might be a tad off in the head, but killing them because you think they're crazy? No, no.... that's a bit much. You honestly believe this to be the right thing?"
Meln nods vigorously and smiles. "Oh, I agree. When he was just harmless insane, that wasn't a problem. However, he's killed innocent doctors because of their reaction when they met his dead sister. That isn't something that I can ignore. And that's hardly the tip of the iceberg, from what I've been hearing."
Johnny can't help but laugh at the thought of that. "Yeah, gotcha... well, I'm really not supposed to get that involved with things around here. I mean, I do anyways, but still... hmmm..." Begining to pace he rubs the back of his head with one hand while twirling his dagger in the other, "I dunno... I couldn't really show you anything I do now, but I don't think you wanna stoop to the homacidal maniac level. Ever contimplate making new weapons?"
Meln tilts her head to one side. "Well, other than my addition to the sword you gave me, and changes in my armour, not really. It didn't help anyways, he went for the neck." She watches his dagger thoughtfully. "...Why, are homicidal maniacs good at killing people?"
Johnny blinks. "What kinda question is that? Yeah... killing people is about all they do. It's a term usualy used to describe someone who manicly kills for just about whatever reason crosses their minds." Shaking his head he sighs, "...trust me, I know. But, the point is that was before all the waste lock stuff. I thought I could take down just about anything back then." Glancing up at the sky he hmmm's. "...of course that coulda been..." Shaking it off he shrugs and looks back at Meln. "Anyways, I used to make all my own weapons. My favorites where these hooks I had set up to a launching system. Kinda like a harpoon. I could flick my wrists out and they'd launch. I used them to help me climb a few times amoung other things. You should go find a good weapon smith."
Meln nods a little. "Thank you for your advice." She scratches the side of her head with her quill pen. "How is the princess doing? Do you still have a steady supply of guilty people to kill?"
Johnny blinks and rubs the back of his head again, "You know... she hasn't been asking for anything... I hope she's not going about it on her own." Crossing his arms again he glances over the edge of the cliff, "I really should check up on her tonight."
"...That could be most disastrous." Meln places the quill pen back behind her ear, then pats it once to make sure it's secure. "I have not seen her since you conjured that illusion. Perhaps it has made her more wary?"
Johnny blinks and stares at Meln a moment. With a shake of his head he sighs, "I hope not... as far as I know she took off because the sun came up... it was pretty hard to tell with that many shadows running rampant."
"It seems it might be considered disrespectful, given how Magus is treated by many Mystic groups." Meln stares back at Johnny. "Assuming she knew you were behind it. Otherwise it might simply be utterly terrifying."
Johnny cringes slightly at the thought of that. "Well, I assumed since she was a Mystic she could detect that it was an illusion, I mean... I made no attempt to hide that I was behind it all. That's also why I thought the zombie would be funny. If it looked like the real thing it'd be worse, right...." Putting away his dagger he begins to nervously rub his palm, "...although, yeah. You do have a point. I really should go talk to her about it."
"That would be an excellent idea." Meln pauses, then smiles. " Do you find writing things on paper more mysterious then talking through a voice changer?"
Johnny jawdrops, "Where the hell did that come from?"
Meln blinks. "It is a question that has plagued all the great philosophers. I was wondering if my view on it coincided with the general worldview in this area." She kicks a bit at the ground with one foot.
Johnny scratches the side of his head and stares, "...your opinion on voice changers?" Taking a second to fix his derailed train of thought he shakes his head, "Ok, um... personaly the only thing I do with paper is draw or paint. I'm never much on the idea behind voice changers. If I wanted to remain annoynomous I'd just simply use an illusion to make someone see my point of view. Your probably questioning the wrong guy about that."
"I was not asking for any practical purpose. Merely for the sake of knowledge." Meln smiles. "Are you an artist, then? I'd guess you would've had a lot of time for practice?"
Johnny snickers, "More like alot of time to relearn what I'd forgotten. Yeah, I spent alot of time being artistic to save my sanity. Care to see?"
Meln nods after a moment. "Certainly. I have not seen much artwork by people who have lived as long as you have, Johnny. Likewise, I have not seen much artwork from by people who come from other worlds. Or homicidal maniacs, for that matter."
Cave of Forgotten Relics(#1219R)
Upon pulling the switch the rooms suddenly changes. The seemingly living darkness abruptly pulls away revealing the room to be a gallery of sorts. The walls are painted with elaborate designs depicting strange cityscapes and alien worlds. Spaced out evenly about the room are several highly detailed statues carved after people in strange clothing. Most peculuar is the one at the back of the room. As a part of the rear wall itself are the carvings of two comical figures, like twin cartoon bakers with little chefs hats. Their faces have been marked and disfigured with strange skulls and arrows. The Duo looks quite mad. Between them is what appears to be the shape of a bunny. A stone nail protrudes it's chest making it seem to be pinned to the wall. The wall itself has been painted with vines and viens, each ending in an eye, claw, or set of teeth. What kind of maniac would build such a thing?
Johnny leans against the entrance of the room and snickers, "Can you tell I've been bored?" Pushing himself off the wall he casualy walks up to Meln and holds his arms out, guesturing to the room. "Found this place a few years after I first got here. Since then I've been coming down here and using the place as an art studio. Most of the statues are people I used hang out with. I didn't want to forget them..."
Meln walks around, measuring the various statues, comparing the colors to a color wheel, and generally analyzing the art. She smiles and nods at Johnny. "A point four variance. Enchanting." She traces one of the vines with her fingers. "I wonder."
Johnny raises an eyebrow and follows slowly behind as she inspects some of his work. When Meln touches the wall he snickers, "Disturbing isn't it? That's what used to be inside me..."
Meln traces the vine to it's end in a claw, then turns and raises an eyebrow at Johnny. "Used to? Is all of that gone now?"
Johnny returns the glance with a shrug. "Dunno. I'd like to think it was. It's been ages since I heard the voices in my head... The voices where a part of it, but they could still act on their own." With a nod of his head towards the creation says, "I had a dream once that it'd gotten out. Destroyed everything. Then I woke up... nothing's real when you first wake up, so I don't know. If it was real it's been sealed away. Hopefully forever."
"'Sealed away'? Not 'destroyed' or 'exorcised'? I wonder..." Meln smiles, then turns back to the wall, tracing another vine along it's path. "I like it. It is a different style then one would normally see."
Johnny glances up at the wall as he contimplates this, "Yeah, I guess it is... probably since it's not something one is supposed to see. First time I came accross it was when I got shot in the head. Tore some poor idiot in half. ...probably did him a favor. I never did clean up the mess it made, finaly I just closed the house off and left it as a tomb. The second time... I swear it took out half a park and nearly killed about three people, but it was all gone. Nothing was left of it." With a deep sigh he shrugs again, "I should probably stop thinking about it so much."
Meln stares at Johnny a moment. "Murder is just extroverted suicide, really. But it seems you have removed it a step further. Not an uncommon phonemenon." Her smile widens. "In any case, I should be getting back. It was nice talking to you."
Johnny doesn't know how to take that statement, instead he simply nods, "Yeah... I should probably be looking for Vashtearnia. It's been nice talking to you too. If you ever feel the need feel free to come down here. So far your the first person I've shown this place to."
Meln tilts her head a bit to one side. "Really? I am honored. Farewell for now." She bows slightly, then turns away.
Johnny casts a brief wave before she walks away and then turns to stare at the wall a moment more. With a nervous sigh he quickly vanishes in a cloud of darkness that absorbs into the floor and vanishes...