| Greyfriars Kirk Graveyard -- Grassmarket -- Old Town
It is late afternoon and the clouds above hanging heavily above. An occasional glint of sunlight escapes the cloud cover, but it's the usual (very) early spring... mostly clouds and rain these days. Shadows in the cemetery are deep, but there a fairly neutral atmosphere here. It seems a bit solemn, but not grim. The heavy gates look very solid and footsteps seem to echo a bit on the grounds.
Keating is standing near an old tombstone, reading a book while holding a relaxed pose. Occasionlly he glances up towards the gate.
Surely the graveyard was picked just to get on the good side of the Moros, clearly. Hildr is clad in a dark blue hoodie and sweatpants, her blonde hair tied back in a ponytail and in general looks to have been out jogging as she comes through the gates into the graveyard.
A less than formal attire to be sure, be it deliberate or not as she looks around before settling icy blue eyes on Keating, raising a hand in a greeting as she comes in closer. "Afternoon."
Keating closes the book and gives her a brilliant smile. "Afternoon, thanks for meeting me." He glances at the grave he is standing in front of and looks back to her, "Got time for a verse?" He is wearing a black and blue jacket, buttoned up against the chill.
"Sure, shoot." Hildr smiles a bit, but it's a somewhat restrained expression. Her hands stuffed down into her pockets, supposedly against the chill. A glance given up into the air to her left, shaking her head before looking back at Keating "So what'd you want?"
Keating sings softly, in a baritone:
Tis now the archers royal,
An hearty band and loyal,
An hearty band and loyal,
That in just thought agree,
Appear in ancient bravery,
Despising all base knavery,
Which tends to bring in slavery,
Souls worthy to live free.
He stop and nods toward the gravestone. "Ramsey's Archer's March. He didn't only do poetry."
Keating nods at her question. "Direct as always." He shrugs and turns fully toward her. "A few things. To touch base and ask how you've settled in, both of us being new in town and all." He hestitates a bit, then continues "And to ask a few pointed questions regarding Skuld, to settle that matter. This place should be a new beginning, for both of us, so if you indulge me now I see no reason to ever raise the subject again."
There's a raised brow from Hildr and she glances down at the gravestone "Sounds like that was sometime ago, or a man who likes his symbolism." at the mention of Skuld she squints at at him for a moment with a frown. "Well, ask then."
Keating is looking carefully at her face, not openly staring, but scrutinizing her a bit as he takes her invitation. "Back in Bergen I was assigned to do a bit of snooping on you and your mentor. I found nothing to substantiate the rumours surrounding her, but still..." He tilts his head to the left, "Is there anything to the rumours? Has she practice soul-stealing?"
"She has been doing research on prolonging her life, she's getting older. It's one of the options, I think we all know that." Hildr frowns, taking a deep breath casting a glance skywards before back to him. "But no, she's not done that." of course that's what she'd say even if she had isn't it.
Keating keeps scrutinizing her for a moment after she has answered, then shrugs, apparantly satisfied with the answer. "Good, I hate malecious rumours as much as the next guy, but as a Guardian... Responsibilities y'know." He keeps eye contact as he asks another question. "There was another of my order assigned to take a look at things, Sigurd... he disappeared, probably near Godvik. Any idea what went down there? I know you Skuld went there a few times."
"I'm not sure really, I think it might've been a botched summoning of some sort." Hildr gives a slight shrug "Something mean came out where it wasn't supposed to. - Why did they send you here anyway?" her eyes wandering down to the tombstone again.
Keating looks down at Ramsey's tombstone as well. "It's a horrible cliche really, especially for an Acanthus, but destiny. The Ladder's Caucus affected me as well. Has lead me here." He shrugs, his face taking on a resigned expression. "So, where do I go from here. I've just indirectly accused you mentor of being left-handed and more or less accused you of being party to murder." He concentrates for a moment. "Ah, I know!" He turns to face her, his face growing very serious, his eyes almost glowing with purpose. "Do. You. Eat... Babies?"
That does earn him a slight grin from Hildr, and she runs a hand back through her hair briefly. "Afraid not, too tender for my taste. - So what did this Archer guy do other than poetry?"
Keating cracks a smile as well. "Editing, mostly. He compiled the works of others, and published a number of Scottish poems from before his time. Probably improved them a bit as well, but he had a gentle touch." He shrugs. "The Archer's March was among his best works." He finally puts the book inside his pocket and adds "That matches our findings as well. Best guess is that some poor sleeper wandered in on the summoning, twisted the whole thing, went Abyssal." He sighs. "Unless there was foul play involved." He focuses on her. "This was all the grilling you will receive from me on that bullshit. I have no reason to doubt your word, other than paranoia and I will not submit to that trap."
"Unless they really are out to get you." Hildr keeps on that slight grin of amusement. "I've not looked into this country much truth be told, mostly the Arthurian stuff. - I need to compile a record of fallen heroes here. And I suspect their history is as extensive as our own back in Bergen." shaking her head slightly "So why'd you pick a graveyard, you trying to please the Moros?" it's a slight teasing tone there.
Keating has a warm glint in his eyes. "Of course, I need some practice at that. I better keep Cairn pleased or she'll dislocate my should again." He shakes his head smiling, "She gave me some primers on "how to not get hit by a bat" back in Bergen." He diffuses it with: "Only my own incompetence that got me injured." "As for the Heroes, Cairn might be useful with that."
Keating adds "She might have spoken to a few of them."
"Yeah, I know, or well knew Cairn. I guess." Hildr casts a glance into the empty air again, a slight frown present. "We do similar things, sort of. - What'd you do to get bats swinging after you then?"
Keating barks a laugh. "I bloody well asked her to hit me. I was training with her, in preperation for my trip here."
Keating continues, "it was love at first swing. As evidenced by us forming a Cabal here."
That does seem to surprise Hildr, and she eyes Keating for a moment. Perhaps putting too much weight behind that joke "Yeah? And what happened to the big guy who was watching your ass on the trip here?" sticking her hands back into her pockets.
Keating raises an eyebrow. "Wulfdun?" He shrugs, "I don't know actually. I'm not much for beefcake myself, but I imagine he's in good company." He quirks one edge of his mouth while glancing sideways at her. "Cairn and I aren't a couple by the by, just Cabalmates. Together with a fellow named Epikoros, who's good people as well. I've been lucky, finding like-minded people here."
"You work quick then, I've barely seen a soul. Or well any of the society atleast." Hildr casts a glance skywards again, a slight frown still on her features. "And what is it you like-minded people aim for then?"
Keating nods. "Yeah, time waits for no man. We've worked out a synthesis of our different goals. To help other Wise in staying sane, to guard the souls and minds of the fallen and the living. To force out the Seers from Edinburgh University." He purses his lips "Lofty goals, to be sure, for now we are mostly working at establishing ourselves here. To declare and guard territory, such as this." At the last, he gestures towards the Kirk as a whole.
Hildr looks around the graveyard briefly, a sweeping look "Fair enough. As I recall me and Cairn have some different views on the subject of the fallen. I'll keep away from this one." there's a joking tone there, but who knows how much. "So the Seers are centered around the University here?"
Keating says, "Not sure, it's a bit of an assumption, but a fairly safe one. The Lumen Society is also very active on that scene and... so am I."
Keating makes a helpless gesture. "Lots of ground left to cover. I've discovered some that I know are agents, but of whom... Working on that."
"What exactly will you do with them though, I mean to get them out of there." Hildr sounds fairly intrested now, tilting her head slightly. "And I take it you work there or something like that."
Keating nods "oh yeah, my cover is one Erik Soldag, professor in litterature and student counselor." His expression becomes a bit grim. "I imagine I'll kill some of them, scare the rest, remove their assets and so on."
"They'd be pretty high profile though wouldn't they?" Hildr scratches her cheek idly as she looks at him in an appraising manner. "Just killing them like that'd seem - Well I guess you're a guardian you do that stuff."
Keating grimaces. "Not happily, no, and not unless there is little other choice. A cold war instead of a hot one benifits us all. However, once either side starts denying the other's assets, actions well be taken..." He trails of a little and looks at her, "I'm not talking about murdering sleepers or even sleeper agents, they are innocents in this. I only plan to have Seer blood on my hands, and even then as little as possible." He glances down at his hands "Though... yes there will probably be sleeper assets that can't just be isolated, turned or neutralized in other ways. Then... we'll see. I'll do what has to be done, is my duty." He stops talking, gazing through the tombstone in front of them towards something... far behind it.
"You have any idea if they are looking for a cold one or a more heated conflict? I guess in the latter the Legion would have to take part as well." Hildr follows his gaze for a moment. "No I have no idea what he's looking at." said out into the air, probably not to Keating.
Keating rouses himself before slipping into a reverie. "A memory, that's all." He turns a brilliant smile at her, only a brittle at the edges. "I am certainly counting on my fellows in the Steel Legion if it should come to a hot conflict. I'm not much of a front-line fighter." He rolls his shoulders as he tries to change the subject. "By the way, I owe you a bit of explanation on the "destiny" thing, since you've so openly answered my questions, however rude they may be."
"Suppose you do, I never really dabbled much into things of Fate, I tend to deal with people after they have done theirs." said with a bit of a smile as Hildr gestures for him to continue.
Keating says, "There's isn't really that much to tell though. I am looking for something called the "Hand of the Norns", whatever that may be. A person, an object or maybe even a place I suppose. I am to be the Merlin to someone's Arthur, a Lady to a Sword or something similar. Ring any bell perchance?"
"Bit young to be a Merlin, unless you count that new one where he's a teen. Then you're a bit old I guess." Hildr shakes her head "I am familiar with the norns. - You spoken with Helda? Blind girl I was with on the boat."
Keating cocks his head, thinking it over. "You are referring to Abbigail I assume, I did not know her Shadow Name. No, haven't spoken with her since we left Bergen. Will have to do so though, consulting the Blind Seer is rather obvious."
"I'm not that familiar with her, was just meant to keep her skin whole on the trip here." Hildr shrugs a bit "But yes, she's big into that. - From what I hear there is quite a bit of Arthurian legend going around here."
Keating nods "Yeah, there is. On the subject of destiny, do you mind if I take at look ours? To see if there are any ties between us, one never knows."
Hildr peers at Keating for a moment before shrugging "Sure I suppose, it'll do any other funny stuff?" eyeing him briefly in an appraising manner again.
Keating shakes his head. "No other funny stuff, on my word. I will be looking for entanglements in our fate, if any connections have formed. Do you have anything on you that is strongly connected to your true name? If you have, I shouldn't do it, as spotting any such might give me a clue to you true name and... well, paranoia is one thing, healthy caution another."
Hildr looks down at herself, clad in her jogging attire with a raised brow before shaking her head. "No, is fine. Go for it." there isn't really a smile there but there is a slight sense of amusement.
eating looks around once, making sure no one has snuck up on them, a bit superflous as both Hildr and Keating clearly have their wits about them. Then he begins chating softly in atlantean, to the same melody as he sung to earlier. He wets two fingers with spit and touches them to his eyelids, then gazes intently at Hildr.
Keating rolls Gnosis + Fate + 2
(3) for success.
Hildr watches quite attentivly, maybe trying to put the chant to memory futile as that might be, and as he peers at her she looks right back into his eyes without blinking. "What you seeing then?" some slight curiousity present.
Keating stops gazing intently and lets the spell go, relaxing his posture somewhat. He raises one hand to a breast pocket beneath the jacket and pads it, "I carry my casting tool here, I see yours is on you as well." Then his brows knot together, "There is something nearby, something that's closely connected to you... Nearby, but not visible... Perhaps in Twillight? In the Shadow? Is this news to you?"
"Twilight, yes. No it isn't news." Hildr looks out to where this entity supposedly is. "Have been with me for awhile now. He doesn't talk much." looking back to Keating.
Keating raises his eyebrows, a bit of surprise on his face. "Ahh... A ghost." Something seems to click. "That's who you were talking to earlier." He shakes his head, a smile on his lips "You Moros and your ghosts... Though I suppose I will have to get used to it." He returns to the subject of what the spell revealed. "Other than that there was little to see. A weak connection is being reinforced between us, but no surprise there." He shakes his head a bit, as if to clear it and puts his hands in his pockets. "Well, that's my agenda for today fulfilled. Have you eaten yet?"
"I havn't, could eat sure." Hildr offers a slight smile nodding "And we do have our ghosts I suppose, I'd imagine Cairn is stalked around by one as well. - What have you found out about the city while being here then?"
Keating says, "nothing much, really. And I don't think she has any followers, not that I know of, but she knows a few. I've found that Dextra is a good person to know, she is the Herald, and that she makes a fine latté."
Keating goes on about a few commonly known details about Edinburgh. Seems he hasn't found out much, yet.
"Yeah? I know there's a stone in some garden I keep being bugged to see." Hildr says with some dry wit. "I've also heard about some hauntings already I'm probably going to have a look at. - What's a good place to eat around here then?"
Keating says, "The Dragonfly here in Grassmarket occasionally serves sandwhiches, that are supposedly quite good if you don't mind paying an arm and a leg. I've found a nice little place not too far from here though... Want me to give Cairn a call, see if she's up for dinner as well?"
"Sure why not, I was meaning to go see her eventually anyway." Hildr rubs her hands together, her attire not really meant for standing still in this weather. "So you all three live within the territory as well?"
Keating says, "Not as of yet, no. I'm still looking for an apartment here I can actually afford, without tempting fate too much. Epikoros has his clinic here though. We are looking for a good site for a sanctum, before we start marking territory."
"Expensive area is it? I've just got a furnished flat this far. Til I settle into work." Hildr shrugs a bit "Well I guess ideally you'd look for a Hallow, although that isn't required I suppose." giving a slight gesture for him to lead the way.
Keating starts leading them out of Greyfriars'. "Indeed, a Hallow would be a boon. However, there aren't any unclaimed actually in Edinburgh. So... unless the Royal Society sees fit to grant us one, we will have to make do without. I really have no idea where I'm going to get mana here." He shrugs "Part of moving I guess, still, it's an annoyance."