A Were-y Warning
Halani is... sweeping. She's outside in the front of the Vardaman temple, sweeping up the dust that collects from the wind blown down the mountain. It doesn't particularly need it, but she is managing to gather up small amounts which she proceeds to push off to the side. Every once in a while she stops, spinning the broom about like it's some sort of slightly off balance staff... likely to relieve the boredom, or perhaps to stretch her back and arms out between periods of repeated action. Or both. Right now she's actually barefoot, doing a handstand, holding the broom vertically her unoccupied hand as she slowly lifts it, preparing to settle it on to one of her big toes.
It had taken Dolan some time to find Halani again. The truth was that he didn't know a lot about her, and locating her had been a multi-day affair of following a bradcrumb trail of clues to ascertain her haunts and whereabouts. Fortunately, this activity is nothing new to Dolan, and he pursued it patiently. Ironically, the steps that lead him in this direction are a near-retrace of the steps that he'd used to locate Verna. He's here now, though, and he approaches to find her balanced upside-down on the side of a mountain.
He is dressed in full gear, arms and armor alike, although the pack is notable for its absence, and the harness holds the cloak close over his back on an utterly grey, windless, chill day. Halani's precarious position suggests that silence and watching - and not interrupting or spooking her - is the order of the day.
Halani manages to rest the butt end of the broom stick in the crook between her toe and the ball of her foot, giving her a little bit of grip. Then she slowly lifts it higher into the air. She can't watch it at this point, relying on how it feel on her foot.. but slowly, with minute adjustments with her foot, she lifts it. She does allow herself a second hand back upon the ground.
Eventually she straightens out, one leg splayed out at a forty five degree angle, the leg straight with her foot stretched even further, balancing the broom on its end. Only possible /because/ the lack of wind currently. That's when she spots Dolan. She offers the man a grin. "Heya, Mister Dolan! What brings you to the Grey Lady's halls?" She probably suspects he's looking for her, often playing dumb to things.. but then on the other hand, she is sometimes as clueless as she plays at.
"You." Dolan's grin is cheeky, both the chocolate-brown flesh eye and the artifice topaz-centered one focused entirely on her. "That's damned impressive, but took me a while to find you." The grin vanishes. "You remember Mourner Verna?"
Halani's grin isn't so quick to disappear. "That stew was good, yeah?" Then she realizes Dolan isn't grinning anymore. Her own grin fades. With a flex of her foot, she pops the broom up and then folds down onto the ground. In what seems like a single, smooth option she unfolds again.. only this time she's right side up, barefeet upon the stone landing. Her hand snatches out for the broom handle... but misses. It bounces once upon the ground, then clatters off to the side. "Yeah, I remember. She's okay, yeah?"
"She was infected, and with a version you don't usually see here in Alexandria. So was her girlfriend." Dolan folds his arms across his chest, gaze following the brrom handle as it makes that arc and then skitters to the side. It's odd to watch him track it - one eye moves, and the other does not, his full face turning towards it. "Neither of them remember a damn thing, Halani." He ignores the comment about the stew, having in his awkwardness and attempt to not be rude enjoyed it in silence.
Gaze back to her face. "I'm serious. You'd better go get checked out. If you've got it, and they catch it now, it can be cured. If you change, you've got it for good, and they can't do anything. I don't care what you remember or don't. Play it safe." He's not beating around the bush.
Halani's gaze might have settled on Dolan's non-tracking eye. If it did, she was quick to move it along. She looks instead to the broom, then hooks her toes under the handle to flick it up.. this time she catches it. She turns it bristle side down, then leans on it. "I'm fine, yeah? Told you before. Not craving meat or anything like that. Just got the dreams. And you all said all sorts of people were getting those dreams, yeah?" A pause, and then, "Are the mourner and her girlfriend alright now?"
“Yes, the Temple was able to cure them both. They said the exact same thing." Dolan's not moving. "I get the dreams, too." A moment's hesitation. "I don't think the dreams have anything to do with whether you are or aren't. Humor me?" This time, his smile is a small, lopsided thing, entreating.”
Usually Halani manages to keep at least some small portion of light heartedness even in the direst circumstances. A part of what makes it seems like she's not always altogether there. But she is quiet now, for a short time. She pushes the broom a few times to no effect; the stone here is pretty much spotless. Finally, "I don't like 'em poking around in me, Mister Dolan. You don't really know what you're asking, yeah? Got this big concern about the wolfmen.. and yeah, that's something that's scary. But.. " She shrugs, mimicking a gesture of helplessness.
All of the smile fades, now, but there's no trace of anger there in Dolan's sober expression. "Then tell me. Is it worth maybe putting the whole city at risk?" He still hasn't moved, but his arms are now crossed his his chest, his demeanor expectant. "Tell me what I don't know, and seem to need to."
"Bah. Wouldn't be putting the city at risk. Easy enough to leave before Eluna comes back, yeah? I mean.. that's how it works, yeah?" Halani shrugs, giving the broom a half twirl, then wedging the butt end into a space between the stones behind her, leaning back on the bristles as an imprompty leaning pose. "No secret I been to the Grey Lady's halls, twice. The real ones, yeah?" She pauses, then backtracks a little bit. "Well, maybe I didn't make it all the was the second time. Point is.. I think each time I came back, I came back missing a piece. Or something like it. Didn't feel right, yeah? Like.. wearing some boots. They looked like mine. Smelled like mine. But when I put my feet in them... it's like they just didn't quite fit right anymore." She shrugs again at the weak description. "Can't figure out another way to say it. And it took a while to get them to fit right again." So what's this has to do with the priests? Halani shifts her gaze back to Dolan, meeting his gaze now. "Don't need them poking around in me and messing everything up again."
"Maybe you should ask Verna what getting cured was actually like," Dolan points out. "Didn't look that intrusive to me. It was a spell, and it didn't take that long to do." He - takes a step backwards. "It's up to you. I'm not going to make you."
"Think about magic, yeah?" Halani responds, her old grin returning.. at least partially. "Can't always see what it's doing. Maybe they find what they're looking for. Maybe they take something else, yeah?" She shrugs, lets out her breath. "Will talk to the mourner, alright. Can't promise more than that, Mister Dolan."
"So that's a big difference between arcane and divine magic," Dolan explains, turning his head just a little to see her better, with a little bit of side-eye. "Yeah, people who cast arcane magic do it themselves. They shape it, however they do that, whether it's with a bunch of mumbo-jumbo or whatever it is. They might be doing something you don't expect. When it's divine magic, you're not doing the work. All you do is ask, and communicate clearly what you want maybe with a sigil or two for the bigger spells. You're asking, and then you open yourself. The gods do the work, through you. So when you ask a priest for magic, it's the gods casting the magic, not the priest. The priest is just the conduit."
He sighs. "I can ask for a few things, but my knowledge of the symbology is really limited to practical stuff. I can tell you this much for sure, though. If it's not in accordance with the Knight's will, it won't happen."
Halani shrugs again. She holds her peace for a moment.. watching Dolan. Perhaps weighing the possibility of his responses to her next statement. "Trust people more than I trust the gods, yeah? Don't get me wrong. There's the good ones and the bad ones and the ones who maybe don't care." Her eyes go upwards. "But they're too big to understand, yeah? Got plans that big too. What's one little person when it comes to those big plans? Now people.. you can trust them. Trust them to do what they say.. or trust them to stab you in the back. But you can read them. You can understand them. So... " She tosses her hands up, a much bigger shrug. "Trust in people. Trust in myself."
Again, Dolan doesn't seem to be angry, but neither is he precisely giving ground, nor in full agreement. "Yeah. You can understand people. But I came to find out the hard way that there's a hell of a continuum on Ea between people, and the gods. When those kinds of beings get involved, sometimes you alone are not enough." The topaz eye is unblinking, but there's something in his tone that is the voice of experience. "That's when I ask for help. Now, I can't make you, and you said you'd check with the Mourner. That's all I can ask."
Halani leans forward, pulling the broom back and giving it a spin, then planting it down on the ground beside her.. imitating a soldier planting his spear and standing at attention. "And I appreciate you checking on me, Mister Dolan! I'll talk to her. And.. hey.. if I decide not to go to a priest, I'll make sure I'm well and gone, up on the top of a mountain somewhere, when Eluna comes, just to be safe, yeah?" She puts two fingers to her head, then points them briefly at the inquisitor, grinning broadly again.
Dolan's cheeky grin does not return, but he nods. "Got it. I still hope you will. Good luck." With that, he turns back down the road whence he came.
Halani watches Dolan leaves, then, when he's out of sight, her grin drops and she sighs. She studies the broom in her hand for a moment, then looks at the paving stones leading to the temple, squinting. "Ah, good enough," she tells herself, then hoists the broom over her shoulder to head into the temple to put it away.