Meet the Landers: Sword Maiden

Uta seeks, through Baroness Wake, to meet with the ranking members of the Church of Alba in order to speak on the matter of song - particularly interested in the Prelude to Song.

Mac Anu - Temple of Law

The day has finally come.

The gold and white ceremonial healer's robe Gwen made for the visit to the Barrista is being worn again, today; this is an important meeting, and first impressions count. Interestingly, it happens to be an excellent match for the similarly gold and white architecture of the Temple of Law, as if the Musical Kung-Fu Nurse was an element of the facade that came to life, and decided to go have adventures in the world of imans.

A rather surreal concept, some may argue, but weirder personification anime have happened.

So Uta stands, looking up at the Temple, something far larger, far more imposing than her puny self; her hands crossed in her lap, where she imperceptibly fidgets with her fingers, her wings, pressed tight against her back, betray nervousness while she waits to be called in.

Yet, that is minor tells. Overall, she has an aura of resolve and determination to her; this element of the architecture who came alive stands unmovable, only grazed by the elements.

The day has finally come, and she should be received any minute now.
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

Uta had been allowed into the temple past the front doors already by a group of nuns who looked like they could crush someone with a mere gaze. Into the front halls, where she was left to wait until the Sword Maiden would be ready for her.

The halls within are enormous, like they were made for a people who stood far taller.

But eventually, when enough time has passed, a set of doors open. A squeek and creak from them seems almost more musical than a sign of natural wear from the ages, as a woman begins to step through. Her gaze covered with a blindfold, she moves with a certain sense of powerful grace regardless of that. Graceful but long steps carry her in just a bit, before she holds out a hand towards Uta, motioning for her to follow past those large gates...

Leading out, into a beautiful flower garden outside. The chirp of various birds nearby. Various colorful flowers everywhere within the grass-covered garden itself. It is here, that the Sword Maiden finally halts her pace and awaits for Uta to speak to her. Her expression seemingly a soft smile.
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

Uta had been all a quiet and subdued ooooh, and aaah; even if not gaping openly (that would be unseemly, given the circumstances), more like pursing her lips in a hint of mouthing the vowels, without actually uttering any sound, her wide, curious eyes let through all the marvel and surprise.

When the time comes, Uta offers a silent bow, and begins to speak. "First of all, I am grateful for your receiving me. I know how busy you are, and I will try to keep this short and to the point."

Uta hesitates for the shortest moment. It is unclear if she's leaving enough time for the interlocutor to process her words, looking for new words herself, or appreciating a particularly melodious trill of one of the songbirds in the garden.

"My name is Uta Furore. I used to be an absolute nobody with no purpose in this world except survival until, one day, I inspected a friend in a Fey Mood, and saw that she was resonating with the Primordial Song." Given that the Spriggan is speaking in Japanese, the word 'Song' is, of course, 'Uta', leading to a layered meaning of the sentence that is hard to render in a translation.

"That fact spurred me to action. Since then, I have resonated with the Primordial, Earth, and Eternity song. I have accepted the mission to become a Novaspere Pioneer of Monster Handling, a Moonlight Doctor, and a Sage of Song." She reaches into her robe, and extracts a leather bound notebook. "I found out their melody from the Chim-Chims, and when I wrote down their scores, I was notified that I have learned the Three Songs that have been sung since the birth of the world and that the Beautiful One has noticed my actions, as she has when I completed a Music Conservatory to celebrate and preserve the Songs of this world."

Uta inhales, "The point I am trying to make is -- I have no idea of what it is that I am actually doing, but I feel like I am doing something I was destined to do. Omen Nomen, as they say. And that the Beautiful One is leading me somewhere."

Uta bows her head. "I have come here to ask for guidance on how to proceed on this path. To follow the next step, 'DISCOVER THE LEGACY LEFT BEHIND THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE YOU.'" Raising her head slightly and glancing respectfully at the priestess, she adds, "The theme of the Three Songs, and the Primordial Song specifically, seem to reoccur a lot in my Journey. I know high ranking officials of the Church know about them." And after a short pause, "I am also interested in the Prelude to Song. For personal reasons, and because, well, THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE ME... came before Uta. So... what better than a Prelude to Song?"
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

The Sword Maiden's smile remains soft and quiet, as Uta begins to speak. The woman lays her hands close to her own tummy, hand in hand, watching Uta's hesitation, then growing excitement.

There's the occassional slight nod of her head, perfectly timing it to let Uta know that she's still listening. But the woman doesn't interupt or interject. She's letting all this information flow out into the world, and embraces it.

And when she is done, she reaches out, and softly takes one of Uta's hands between her own, and holds it for a moment. Letting her calming presence flow through Uta. "You have come a long way, Uta Furore." She remarks in a soft voice.

"To resonate with all of these songs is quite unique. And you are right, the Three Songs have been sung since the birth of the world. Before the Goddesses came to be." She remarks, before releasing Uta's hand.

"The Prelude to Song, as you call it, is when the other fourty-two songs were born, in remembrance of Bith, Lilith, and Magi, and their ancient struggle." The woman explains. "A tale so long, spanning the tests of time, that much of it has been forgotten. One would need to find their journey once more." She explains calmly. Revealing that she is only able to reveal what limited knowledge she herself has.

"Perhaps it is your destiny to one day walk in their footsteps, and take their journey." She adds with a soft smile.
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

When her hand is held, Uta's excitement slows down, fades, fading into peaceful rest. Upon realizing this, Uta cannot help but have a thought briefly crossing her mind -- the Sword Maiden is the best stress ball ever. A thought Uta immediately pushes away as disrespectful.

Thankfully it was just a fleeting thought, like people often have. Nothing to worry about too much.

"What do other people call the Prelude to Song?", Uta asks, before adding, "I had heard of Bith. Lilith... Aperion was her lover, right?" She says the latter with a hesitant tone, revealing that even the Spriggan doesn't know much about all this. "I have learned of their names through Relics. But I have never heard of Magi. Which is a pity. I understand that their struggle, whatever it was, needs more recognition. Those fourty-two-"

Uta's expression turns into an abrupt frown. Her hands shoot up, in front of her face, and crossing her eyes, she raises and lowers her fingers, doing some quick mathematics.

"Uhm... something doesn't quite add up. I know that the Songs of the Landers are canonically numbered from one to fourty-two. The Primordial, Earth, and Eternity songs usually take the places from thirty-nine to forty-two." A short pause. "I do know of other songs -- some of which not-so-nice-sounding songs, but songs nonetheless: the Chim-Chim song, number 43, Artosh's Anger, 44, and the Sublimation Song. Fourty-seven."

At what point she looks at the Sword Maiden in confusion. "Fourty-two plus three is... Fourty-five. There are at least two unaccounted for songs here."

When the last part finally sinks in, Uta's wings stiffen downard, and, hunching her shoulders, she tenses. "Their... footsteps? That sounds... -big- footesteps to follow into." She says this with her gaze firmly staring at her shoes. Small shoes. "But- rediscovering their history. Their deeds... letting people know about them..." as she speaks, she begins to relax again. "Uncovering what they did. That... that I find more beliveable. I love sharing a good story."

After some thinking, Uta continues, "What do we know about the First Three Songs That Were Sung? I know the Church occasionally sings them. Like the Earth Song was sung at that New Year's ceremony in Alne to celebrate the arrival of Year 401."
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

"You are right in naming those three as part of the fourty-two. But the version that was originally sung isn't one that we can sing." The woman answers Uta, when she inquires. "It was so, that those three were also adopted into the fourty-two, and turned into something we could sing." The Sword Maiden explains when Uta gives her a moment.

"There are other songs that were sung after those fourty-two. But those that came after the fourty-two are not the ones sung in remembrance of Bith, Magi, and Lilith." She doesn't touch on the matter of Apeiron, perhaps because she isn't as familiar with takes of Lilith.

"But the Prelude to Song is what my people call it. Though at the time, it was called the end of the Great War - I believe many would rather forget that terrible time." The woman makes very small hand-gestures as she speaks now. Her head shifting a bit from time to time, trying to recollect old knowledge.

"Not much is known about the first Three Songs that were sung. But it is believed by some of the older members of this Church that they were sung by those who created this world. We know one of their names, but..." The woman pauses for a moment, and then explains; "The First Song is said to be sung by '    '."
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

"So there was another war," Uta mutters to herself. "If our calendar is accurate, 400 years ago marks the end of the Scrapped Princess War. If the placement of the Prelude to Song is accurate, it would have happened 100 years before, making it the end of a -different- war."

"Is at least one of the two related to the Crystal Tower Rebellion? Or does that event take place at yet another point in time?" Uta catches herself. Her wings, that had perked up in excitement since, flatten again. She'd make a terrible poker player.

"...Uh, sorry. It's just... that if I am to uncover the story of Bith, Lilith, and Magi... I... I need to peg some events down, or at least figure out in which order they happened."

Silence. "' '". More silence. Yes, it's silence-blank-silence. Exactly like that.

"Do we... do we know how old the world is? Or how many people created it?"

And then, more concerned, "...and why we cannot sing the Three Songs as they originally were?"
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

The Sword Maiden bows her head when Uta asks about there being a different war. A Great War. Though she shakes her head as she asks of the Crystal Tower Rebellion. "I do not know." Is the best she can offer there. This woman may be the head of the Church of Law, but even she only has as much information as was handed down throughout the ages. Or at least, as far as Uta can tell. This woman has a great pokerface. But it's once that seems to be filled with sincerity.

"But I believe the Crystal Tower Rebellion you speak of, happened before the Great War. Perhaps you should ask Gilgamesh. He is the only one who would truly know." She offers to Uta. "Or perhaps those who have been found in the tower. From my understanding, they have some kind of shared history?" She isn't sure. The Tower is for much of the Landers, an unknown.

"We do not know how old the world is. Scholars in the past have stated it must be at least a few thousand years old." Which isn't saying much. But then, even in the world Uta came from, some people used to believe the world was only a few thousand years old.

As to Uta's last request, she simply answers; "We don't have the vocal ability to do so."
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

Uta thinks for a moment, letting everything sink in.

What she says at the end is, ''.

There we go, those vocalizations so controlled at the beginning finally find their way out.

Stunned, she takes some time to look at the birds. At the plants. To gather her thoughts, breathe, slow down and relax.

"Do we know what those Three Songs are... or what they are for?", Uta asks. "I know the Church has occasionally sung them. And they are rare. Why? Why aren't they sung more often? How is it decided when it is appropriate to do so?"

"Oh, and..." A short pause. "Well, there's another question I had, not... directly related to the Songs. But more to my Journey." Uta scratches the back of her head at this point. "See, as said, it seems like the Goddesses, the Beautiful one in particular, is perhaps guiding, or at the very least following, my steps here. Is there some form of... prayer, or... meditation, to better listen to them? Learn if they have some specific things to tell us?", Uta asks, her hand moving in a circle as she speaks. "In the world Adventurers come from, many religions have a concept of trying to get in touch with a divinity to be enlightened, or at least learn some wisdom, or helped in one's decisions. Is there something like that in this world?"

And after a moment, she adds, "...I'd also ask if we know when the Goddessess came to be, but then I started wondering whether or not it's polite to ask about a Goddess' age."
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

The Sword Maiden smiles when Uta asks the most important question perhaps. What are those songs for. She doesn't speak to appropiateness and instead says; "Songs keep the world turning." In a manner that seems more poetic than factual. "Don't you think?" Touching her hands to eachother and laying them to her chest like a prayer.

"As for the Beautiful One, I believe it is best to listen to her by experiencing the world." She then adds. Poetic, but once again, perhaps lacking such a direct meaning. But at least, suggesting that there is no such way of listening to her that she is aware of. "But I believe you already have a way to learn Wisdom." She then adds, touching a hand onto Uta's shoulder.

Releasing her, she repeats; "I think you already know the answer to when the Goddesses came to be, miss Furore." As if she'd already revealed this to her. "Now, I believe that I am getting a bit tired." The blind one remarks.
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

"I understand," Uta nods, and bows deeply. "I am grateful for your time. And patience. Sometimes I forget things and- Oh. Which reminds me."

Uta flicks her menu open, and navigates it. Something that might look like swishing her hand in the air to someone else.

A device shimmers into existence in her hand. "I hope you will accept this parting gift. It's a Phonograph, a device that can play Songs." She points at the shellac cylinder mounted onto it. "I thought I'd include some Lander Songs, and a few Adventurers' songs. It might not be like the real thing..." Uta is aware that, for instance, recorded songs do not light up the runes for the Chaos Gates, unlike when they're actually sung by a person. "...but people seem to like it nonetheless."

If the priestess is not too tired, Uta will even demonstrate its functioning, before politely taking her leave.

If a demonstration happens, Uta will remark, pointing at the spinning recording medium, "See? It's all based on the physics of Alba. The world keeps the songs turning."
Mac Anu - Temple of Law

Uta will find herself stopped; "I am familiar with your invention. And I appreciate the gift. But it is one I must refuse." The Sword Maiden answers Uta. "There is a beauty in a song, in the moment it is sung. Its imperfections new and different each and every time. A new energy given to the world each time they are sung." The woman remarks, touching her hands together at her chest once more, lowering her head. "Beautiful." She croons.

"So... I must reject this gift, of a song that is unchanging. As it is the songs which keep the world turning." The opposite of what Uta just said.

"Please." She motions out to Uta, guiding her out. "Thank you so much for your wonderful visit. And may the Beautiful One protect you."