It's the next day after the revealing of the Vial incident with the God-Eater and Kilo at her shop. Blanche revealed some very concerning information about evidence of Sage and people it might be after at the end of their discussions last night, so Kilo knows their little group has to get back together again today to hash all this out and get Blanche to share with them further details on what she knows of the Sage. So Kilo contacts Blanche of course, Damian and Vandal and gathers them altogether in the basement at The Gallows so they can further discuss the details of this most ominous deathlord who is currently threatening the wellbeing of all of them. Now she is just waiting for everyone to show up.
Blanche shows up! She knows she dropped a bit of a bomb on Kilo and co, and not even the whole bomb. So she walks in, wearing jeans and a grey tee-shirt, sunglasses on and a flimsy scarf about her neck. And a cigarette between her fingers. "Hi Kilo," she whispers with a quick smile to the woman. "You haven't opened that vial, have you?" she asks, half teasing, half dead serious.
It's the next day after the revealing of the Vial incident with the God-Eater and Kilo at her shop. Blanche revealed some very concerning information about evidence of Sage and people it might be after at the end of their discussions last night, so Kilo knows their little group has to get back together again today to hash all this out and get Blanche to share with them further details on what she knows of the Sage. So Kilo contacts Blanche of course, Damian and Vandal and gathers them altogether in the basement at The Gallows so they can further discuss the details of this most ominous deathlord who is currently threatening the wellbeing of all of them. Now she is just waiting for everyone to show up. (re for damian)
Damian is here, eyes scanning the others as he enters. He looks little better than eh did yesterday, pale, sickly skin, tired, black bags udner his eyes. LIke he's been through the ringer and the only thing holding him aloft is the plasm that runs through him. There are advantages to not being normal, one supposes. No visible wounds of any sort, but he looks like a guy that should be in bed, rather than here, and yet he has made the trek. Suit, as usual, is his dress. He gives nods all around, staving off taking a seat for now. He really is stubborn.
Tra lalalala! Vandal doesn't know anything about anything, as it happens! Deathlord? Rings no bells! Sage? Nuh uh. This is because Vandal has a slightly crazy (Well actually quite a lot crazy) geist who does not like to share especially much with the kid unless it's like, absolutely life and death. She is right there actually, she's 'out' today, which she doesn't do very often, watching her baby boy and dripping on the floor, generally creeping up the place. Vandal is pretending to work so that Hoax will pay him. He is sort of floating around behind the bar occasionally rattling some bottles and glasses about in a way that seems official looking. Rusty is asleep on one of the couches over yonder, occasionally twitching just a bit as he dreams his doggie dreams. He is curled up with his new doggy bestie Buddy. Rattlerattlerattle. Vandal recognises Blanche when he comes down the stairs and gives her a little wave, only frowning a little when he spots the cigarette hanging outta her mouth.
"Blanche!" Kilo gives her a little finger wave then moves in for the kill... the hug-kill. With that accomplished she sees Damian come down and waves to him too. His entrance is much more troubling though. "Damian, did you tell us why you're in such a sorry state? Or is that classified information?" She asks curiously. "Because you really really look like bad things have happened and I'm worried about you." Startled she glances back at Blanche and then just laughs. "No! I haven't opened it!" Kilo rolls her eyes. "It's up there." She points to a box on the top, top, top shelf where there is no way she could reach without a special ladder. "Hoax marionetted it up there so we'd have to have a little trouble getting it down. Not impossible but just so it would take a moment to have us think before we go running off with us. I pick locks too easily." She laughs. "Vandal! Get a Sour Puss, come listen to this, it's going to be interesting, I swear. Lots of scary stuff!" Kilo nods enthusiastically, promising him some entertainment.
Alas, Blanche sees no geists. But she does see Vandal's frown and she cocks her head even as she accepts a hug. "What? Kilo invited me...?" she whispers, confused, before she glances to the woman. "I've got some information that she wanted. And wanted me to share." She moves to take a seat though, drawing one leg up under her and looks instantly comfortable. "So...should I just get to it then?"
"In all wars, sacrifices must be made." Damian answers Kilo easy, giving her a shrug. There really is no way to hide his condition. In a normal eprson they'd be in a hospital. "I made a...trade. I'll be fine." So basically that's a yes and no to the classified information it seems. His eyes follow Kilo's motions to the top shelf and the vial, and lips thin, threaten to frown. Not precisely safe, where no one can get it, as Hoax promised. He gives that spot a very dark look, but then turns to Blanche, brow raising. Apparently, for him, that's a yes.
Vandal glances over at Alba when Kilo calls him over and if she had eyes, yo can almost imagine the watery geist would be rolling hers. Alba is not Kilo's number one fan, mostly because she is incredibly jealous over Vandal. The kid ignores the bit about getting himself a drink and wanders out from behind the bar, giving Damian a nod of vague recognition when he spots him. He only met him once before, but he seems to be in the club. Vandal flops down on the couch, right next to Rusty, and scratches the big guy's belly while he's sleeping. Rusty likes that.
Kilo isn't sure what Vandal's look was at Blanche but she is sure it was nothing. And Kilo makes sure to give Alba a pleasant, sweet smile to try and combat the nastiness that otherwise might build up between the two of them. "Well, no rush Blanche, but I think we're all really excited to hear what is going on. Or, I don't know... terrified." She smirks. But she's not totally kidding.
Blanche continues to frown in confusion at Vandal before she slowly nods and looks back to Kilo. "Right, so. When I met you guys in the Underworld," and she glances between Vandal and Kilo, "I was headed to the Athenaeum. While I was there I did some checking on the Sage. Got some useful information too, but the Librarian wasn't too happy. He believes that the Sage would have sensed me looking and will attack the library." Her brows furrow in concern. "If there's a way to protect the Athenaeum, we should. The Librarian only helped me do what I wanted, and that is...an amazing place. Anyway. While there? I got the Sage's name. His /true/ name. I know where he came from. What he was. And two who are at odds with him. And their true names, as well." And that little bombshell dropped, she just takes a drag off her cigarette and watches reactions.
Vandal is even more confused than usual and the mists don't seem to be clearing, just yet, anyway. The kid grins a little as Rusty makes a happy noise in his sleep, scratching away at the big dog's stomach as he watches the other guys talk. He sort of remembers the Athenaeum, because he's been there once before. It wasn't terribly exciting, as far as places he has been go, but he guesses the Kerberos was pretty cool. Even so, all the talk of the sage loses him again. So he just sort of sits quietly and looks between Kilo and Blanche politely.
Damian already gave his nods, and while Vandal's Geist certainly gets a study, the hostility noted, he doesn't get invovled, at all. He doesn't even really give ntoice to Vandal's Geist. Easy enough sicne Blanche takes all his attention with her words. Now he takes a seat, for ocne, but it's only so he can take out his laptop, unfold it and start typing. But that's not much and eyes rise back up to her curious, brow raiisng once more. Almost as if to say, 'And?'
Kilo nods encouragingly at Blanche. "I bet you did get some good info there. If you were going to get info on it, that would be the place to go. Seems pretty straightforward." Kilo isn't really sure what knowing the Sage's name is going to accomplish or even what knowing it's enemies are going to accomplish. Hell, Hoax and Kilo are its enemies. She already knows that! She does look over at Vandal though and notes the confusion. "Vandal, the Sage is a deathlord we've been at odds with for a long time -- well, ever since we killed one of its patrons. Just keep asking questions and we'll fill you in, ok?"
Blanche cocks her head a little and glances from Vandal to Kilo, then she nods a little. "He wasn't always a deathlord though. He was known as Anomaly in Sumer. Then he was a god in Egypt. He was, his true name is, Ptah-Sokar. Crocodile god," she explains. "He was one of the first deathlords though. Him and Ruler, they were the two I got specifically. And it sounded like this bit you guys already knew, but if you wanted allies against him? I'd go for the Lover and the Magician."
Vandal sort of glances aside at his 'mom' as all of the talking goes on and she just stares back at him and drips everywhere, dripdripdrip. She's got these hollow eyes so it's hard to tell, but she smiles sweetly at the boy, for all the world like this is all brand new on her as well. She is pretty good at that. Vandal is trying really hard to focus in on all of this and not get distracted which is easier said than done for the kid. He reaches up and scratches at his head briefly as Blanches explains all about the sage, nodding away. Wait, he doesn't get it, why is he nodding? This always tripped him up in school too. "Wait, I don't get it...what's a deathlord again?" the kid asks, before offering "Because you know, that's like, a pretty badass name, yeah? Deathlord..."
Damian doesn't even really know what the Athenaeum is, but he's not about to admit that. Much less, what a true name can do. Still it's good info, all of it, and the kind of database Damain builds, it'sall going in there under the tap, tap, tap of his fingers. Which means both brows go up, but more than that, there's apsue when she gets to his enbemies, the LOver and the Magician. He's fascinated. Now that, that seems to stick with him. The cogs are turning.
Kilo nods encouragingly again to Vandal. This is great stuff for him to learn. Ohhhh... little does she know she is encouraging a future principality worshipper. "Vandal, it's hard to say what exactly Principalities, or 'deathlords' are. They go by many names, from the Deathly Powers, to the Deathlords/Deathladies, all the way to Gods of the Dead. Some scholars of the Underworld claim that Principalities, are due to an emotional resonance with death: ancient Geists that, having gone for so long without being Bound, have become god-like beings. Others say that when a Kerberos loses its Dominion, it will merge its consciousness with the Underworld itself, forming into a Principality. And others still claim that the Principalities have always been: they are simply cthonic gods of death that have long-since been forgotten by the living." Kilo actually looked that up on her phone, to be fair.
"Blanche, this is great! You have gotten really good info for sure! And you risked a lot going down there and going up against the librarian when he felt it was such a bad idea. We are going to owe you a lot for being so brave." Kilo smiles at her friend.
Blanche smiles a bit. "Well, not a lot of risk going /down/ there. But yeah, it's useful information, I think. And if you /need/ it, I know the true name of the Lover and the Magician, too."
"Can we know them?" That last part seems particularly useful to Damian. He looks quite curiously at Blanche. "They could be useful..." He'ss till not sure what such a thing is, but he's heard they saying there's power in a name. Those types of things are all fluff, until you die, but don't die.
Kilo cants her head at Blanche. "Are you kidding? What do you mean not a lot of risk going -down- there? Down into the Underworld? DOwn to Athenaeum? That's crazy... just stepping into the Underworld is crazy dangerous; you never know what is going to off you down there. If you haven't been attacked yet down there? You should really consider yourself lucky and truly blessed. I haven't yet been down there when we haven't been involved in some sort of violence. It's a harsh, harsh place. People think its the Dead Disneyland but it's not. Not really." She considers Blanche again. "OH, enemies. You didn't say. Did you mean Hoax and Kilo?"
Blanche hesitates a little at Damian's question. "You can, yes. It was suggested that I keep those names to myself unless needed, though. So we don't get them pissed off at us for spreading that around. Words have power, and the true name of a thing has even /more/ power. So I'll ask that you let me keep those to myself unless they're /needed/, if that makes sense?" She looks at Kilo and her lips twitch a little. "Not a lot of ghosts down there right now. Biggest threat we saw was that the guardians of the Library don't particularly like me. Well, one doesn't. He wants to squish me. Luckily, I've given him no reason to squish me. I know it's dangerous though, believe me. Just there wasn't much risk /this/ time." Her head cocks then. "What do you mean enemies? Did I say something about enemies?" she asks, sounding confused.
Kilo looks confused to. "Last night you said you would tell us the names of the 'ones he isn't too fond of' and today you said you would tell us the names of the 'ones he is at odds with'... I thought that meant his enemies." She shrugs. "DId that mean the other deathlords?" She tries to sort out what Blanche meant.
"Yeah. The Lover and Magician. I have their true names too, that's what Damian is asking for. Those are the ones I'm reluctant to give," Blanche clarifies, nodding. "I can't say for certain that they're /enemies/, but there's certainly no fondness between them. So they might become /our/ allies."
Damian's been twice and his second trip down there has left him in his current state, so he can vouch for the veracity of Kilo's statement, but he doesn't. Blanche's answer though? It doesn't seem to sit to well with him. His lips curl slightly before he stills them. "It is difficult to know when such a thing will be needed, until you need it and do not have it." Damian's simple statement carries a heaviness, but he doesn't say anything more. He just looks displeased. It's not even all necessarily aimed at Blanche. There’s an almost imperceptible shake of his head. He falls silent, looking inward, perhaps.
"Got it! I misunderstood what you meant. I though you meant enemies within our Bound community. OK. I'm with you now. I don't know how much you know about this stuff Blanche but this is a great conversation to have really and get to know each other. I have some -very- strong personal feelings about the Principalities and doing business with the Lover and the Magician, even to hurt a common enemy would be like getting in bed with the Devil. I'm personally not sure I could do that. Nor do I really want to do that... What are your feelings on the Principalities."
"I'll tell you if you insist, I just don't want to piss those guys off so we're dealing with three deathlords instead of one, you know?" Blanche whispers with a little shrug. "I don't want to put anyone else in danger. I know, but it was my choice, and the Librarian already knows I know. That can't be undone." She looks to Kilo and smiles a little. "I know more than most mediums, I think. But I treat ghosts like people. I listen to them, talk to them. And I pay attention when i'm in the Underworld or people talk. As for my feelings on Principalities? I don't have one yet. Most of what I know about the Underworld is more academic than real world. I've been down there...mmm...half a dozen times, maybe? And three of those were recent trips to the Athenaeum."
“I have no desire to raise the ire of more Deathlords, Blanche. I don’t even like the one that is causing problems now. But, you never know what the future brings. I’m not even sure what I could do with them, but someone who likes to be prepared.” A little shrug at that. “I understand the danger, I don’t want you to risk your own safety, but if it’s mine, I can worry about that. If you need some sort of promise from me, some sort of price, then name it.” He doesn’t give any of his opinions on the Underworld though. He just lets them get to the ‘small talk’?
"You don't need to tell us Blanche. If you know, then you know - that's one step better than we were a couple days ago! We don't care if we actually know or not. That really doesn't matter." She shoots Damian an irritated look. The 'just stop!' look. "We also appreciate that you treat ghosts like people.. They -are- people after all..." Kilo smirks at that. "You'll find you fit right in with us -- we -all- talk and listen and pay attention to them... that's what we do! So I love that you've found us -- I feel like you're like, long lost family and you fit in with us like a little puzzle piece." there is a huge grin and Kilo rises to get, yeah, you guessed it, the RED KOOLAIDE! "But now is time to bring you to the 'dark side' as far as the Deathlords go. Or maybe I should say, bring you to the 'light side'. Those things are pure evil Blanche. -Pure- evil. They recruite lost people, they lure them with false home and tempt them with goodies and powers that they couldn't normally get on their own, or get faster than they should -- real skeezy stuff, right? And then they -own- them. It's the classic Devil's tale really. You get some goody and you sign your life away for it to the Devil -- now he owns your soul. NOW he says - Yeah, I don't like your boyfriend Deckard.. you need to kill him for me.' And guess what? You don't have a fucking choice. The Sage OWNS you. Deathlords are fucked up. And if I find out anybody we know in our community has been trucking with any deathords? I will put them down or drive them out of town. I won't put up with that shit. No way. Neither will Hoax."
Blanche nods a little to Damian. "Like I said, if you insist I'll tell you, a whisper in your ear, but I do want your promise not to tell anyone else unless they need to know. The fewer people who are in danger, the better," she whispers, motioning him closer. Kilo gets a smile. "I'm glad I found all of you, too. And trust me, I? I have /no/ intention of serving or working with the Deathlords. /None/." And ooh boy does she sound certain there. "But I'll pit the Lover and Magician against the Sage. After all, the Sage is the one who's been whispering to me. Watching me. Making me...see things I have no desire to see. The enemy of my enemy isn't my friend, but could certainly be a weapon to be used against my enemy, if that makes sense."
Damian almost pointedly ignores Kilo’s look. Two can certainly play that game. He also ignored her words, standing with effort to move towards Blanche with a nod. Blanche could die, he knows this, she does, that information is lost. Possibly anyway. “I don’t insist, but I do want to know. I have my reasons. Part of what I do.” He moves near, but he doesn’t bend any closer, leaving her to decide if she does tell him or not. He’s not demanding. “It does, make sense.” He’s clearly thinking it, too.
Kilo shrugs. "Blanche, I -really- wouldn't let him strong-arm you into anything." Then she looks over to Damian. "I just find your pushiness distasteful Damian. She -said- she didn' feel comfortable with this. You're making her feel bad." And clearly this is not at all sitting well with Kilo. "I'm done here. Thank you very much for sharing what you did Blanche. I think it was brave, for what it's worth. Say hi to 52 for me." She walks over and manages to get in between Damian and Blanche to give the medium a hug before heading for the stairs. "I should figure out where Vandal and our dogs got off to anyway. Have a good one you two."
"Bye Kilo. And yes, I'll tell him," Blanche whispers to Kilo, smiling and returning the hug. "I'll let you know if I find out anything else. And please tell me if you learn anything more. I /do/ want to help. Actively. Or as actively as I can." She looks to Damian then, considering. "Would you share your reasons then, before I share the names?" she asks, brow arching curiously.
“She can still say no, Kilo. I'm not strong-arming her. I'm a not a puppeteer, like some." Ooooh. "But if she’s just worrying about my life, she doesn’t need to. And if she’s worrying about me doing something bad with them, I’m certainly willing to give her every assurance. I’m a realist though…” Damian lets her go, turning back to Blanche. “People die. And she’s more of a target to do so, knowing. Less of a target if someone’s upset with her because she knows, but she’s not the only one with that burden.” That’s just one reason and he nods to Blanche. “I can, you won’t appreciate them all. I understand this. It’s clear to me already, that Deckard shares far more with you then I would like. So…” He gives it a little shrug, maybe he thinks that’s reason enough. “I’m not like everyone else Blanche. I don’t believe in telling everyone everything. Words hold power, so do secrets. At the end of the day though, Blanche, I must do things others won’t. That is my purpose. I strive with every step to be prepared to do that. Whatever the cost to myself. I only wish to be prepared for anything and everything.”
Blanche's head tilts. "You have no idea what Deckard has told me. And honestly, he probably hasn't told me anywhere /near/ as much as you think. What I know? I learn from ghosts or firsthand experience. So don't blame Deckard for whatever you have in mind that he's done. And he wasn't with me when I chose to go to the Athenaeum. He wasn't with me when I found the information on the Sage. And as you can see, he's not here now. So no, it's not clear. You're making assumptions, and false assumptions at that. But you're not the only one who can handle this situation. I may not be Bound, but I'm the one who had the bright idea to get this information," she points out, her whisper cool. "Despite that though, you don't seem to like or respect me. In fact, it feels more like you wish I would tell you everything I know then go the fuck away and let the 'adults' handle things and stay out of your business." This isn't said angrily. She's calm, if a little formal.
“I am quite aware of what our society thinks of sharing. It wasn’t a strike against Deckard. He does him, I do me. My only assumption is he shares more than I wish he would. I’m pretty sure that’s true, of almost everyone.” Damian shrugs, her chastisement of him leaves him unfazed. And unapologetic. “I don’t know you Blanche, and I like very few people. I don’t have that luxury.” It’s all so matter-of-fact. “Respect you though? I don’t know you well enough one way or another. I’m just trying to do all I can. I haven’t hindered you. I could have stopped talking the moment you came in. I tell Kilo, Kilo tells you. I tell Deckard, Deckard tells you. I’m well aware of where my information goes, even if I didn’t put it there. All I’m after is less people dying than they have to. I’m just trying to make that a reality. If that makes me an asshole, well, that’s one more thing I shoulder to keep my bargain.”
"I think you missed the main point I was getting at," Blanche whispers with a soft sigh. "But I didn't call you an asshole. As for not knowing me? That's not really my fault. You could ask questions. Talk to me. Get to know me. You choose not to, so..." She trails off, shrugs. "I'll give you one name. Not because I'm being difficult or you're being difficult, but to...mmm...spread the blame around. It's not quite accurate, since it's not blame, but that way things are spread out a little more. I don't want to be responsible if someone comes after you because I shared something I shouldn't." And she glances around for a moment, moves closer, then her voice drops to barely audible. Whispering is what she does. She's /good/ at being almost unheard. "The Lover's true name is Erishkigal," is what he gets. Sorry spy sorts! That might even be too quiet for you!
Damian shakes his head at her. There’s almost something there, somewhat unreadable, a brief flash of emotion. “I don’t think I did miss your point. It’s commendable that you risked yourself to go down there. I really don’t think you need my praise.” There’s a sigh. He doesn’t cover that other part yet, instead bowing his head after a nod, to listen to what she has to say. Another nod, stored away. “It’s something. I can’t force you, and I wouldn’t even if I could.” There’s a very long pause before he adds, “Thanks.” He walks back over to his laptop and types a couple things into it and shuts it quickly. “If it makes you feel any better, I won’t hold you responsible. My life is my own.” Turning back to her he regards her for a long moment. “And you’re right, it’s not your fault. I don’t want to get to know you too well. I might like you. I probably would. I can’t afford that.” And that’s that. He starts to put a strap over his shoulder.
When Blanche sees him moving to his laptop she says quickly, "/Don't/ write that down. You say you think people talk too much? I think it's foolish to write everything down. It's easier to read something than it is to force someone to talk," she points out. "So if you just put that name down? You're /definitely/ not getting the other name." She smiles weakly. "You're not the only cautious one. And just because you don't hold me responsible doesn't mean I don't." She smiles again, a flash of a true smile. "And you might like me. But that doesn't necessarily mean you couldn't do what you need to do."
“I’m good at what I do, don’t worry.” Damian doesn’t specifically say he didn’t write it down, but he seems quite confident. A brow raises. “You really think so? Easier to read something I’ve encrypted six ways to Sunday?” Is that even a saying? “I’m pretty sure, fi someone wanted to, they could just pluck that out of your brain. My way, you have to be very skilled. And there are not that many people around that are.” He taps his head. “I’m actually more worried about anything up here.” There’s a grim sort of nod. “You think that, but I know better. Better to remove all doubt.”
Blanche shrugs a little. "If you can hide it, someone else can find it. /Nothing/ is perfectly hidden. Besides, now it's in your head /and/ on your computer. That's two ways they can get to it, rather than one," she points out. "But it's your funeral. If you want to leave it there? I'll rethink that taking responsibility thing. Have a good night, Damian."
“I never said I put it there.” Damian nods. “But yes, that is true. Just like someone can take it right out of your head. You, nor I, are foolish enough to believe that’s not possible. Nothing is perfectly safe, I’m glad you realize that.” Another nod follows. “I would be happier if you didn’t take responsibility for me. And for the record…since we’re sharing, if you see any flies. Run.” He starts for the stairs up, a long climb in his condition. “Take care, Blanche. And thanks, I promise it’s safe with me.”
Blanche's brows shoot up at that bit of information, but she just nods and lifts a hand, waving to Damian as he slips out. A few minutes later, she leaves as well.