FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby urthdigger on Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:04 am

The gang is finally back together after going their separate ways, and new friends have joined... including two former enemies! Will they stay united for a common goal, or let their differences split them apart? Join us for the latest chapter in the FFXI PbP!

----

With the battle over, the moogles got to repairing the damage that had been done. Thanks to a variant of the same magic that protected adventurers, there were no actual casualties on their side, but there were plenty of injuries that needed to be taken care of, as well as some structural damage to the shooting range.

Mogwai settled down over by Claire, looking away apologetically "I... I'm sorry. I just saw that I could help better if-"
"You asked." interrupted Claire "And I gave my permission. Reflect on that ok?"
Claire had her own things to reflect on. She was glad to see that Rosalyn was back, though she did wonder what the girl was doing out walking to the south of the camp. If she was going back to the mainland, why didn't she take a teleport?

Maxwell nursed his bulletwound, having healed it a bit with geomancy. The other moogles were looking at him with suspicion, his purple fur a clear mark of his allegiance, but so long as he was sticking by Aeric, they didn't seem to be bothering him... of course, nobody was helping him either. He was concerned about the newcomer however. A corsair... wasn't one of them responsible for the betrayal at Al Zhabi? His orders were to deal with Joseph's possible threat to the beastmen... but any who profited at the loss of the beastmen were an enemy in his eyes.

Urthdigger occupied himself with asking around for who could help them with their mission. Indeed, there was a weapons development expert, part of the consortium over in Goug. His name was Mid, and he specialized in the more... experimental devices the consortium had made... guns that fired things other than just bullets. If anyone could help, it'd be him.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby OMEGA_HACK on Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:19 am

After the battle Altrage found himself watching a mess of moogles working together to fix the area back to its normal state. Magic was being used to heal up the adventurers whiles they conversed amoungst themselves. It was odd seeing the Moogle that he held captive here. He assumed that the Mogwai had already spilled the beans if not soon about who he was, but he did not care about that for the moment. The clock was ticking, Bahamut's patience would run thin and would have all the Great Dragons at his heels before long and he needed to find out where Darka was.

The Galka's answer was unexpected and cold. He didn't seem like some one who would hold many conversations. So he approached the Red Mage and an unusually colored Moogle. He would've approached Mogwai but he remembered her temper and ill attitude towards him and decided against that.

"Good sirrahs, would either of you know who is in charge here? I have some questions and I desperately need some answers," the pirate chimed as he walked over to the two. A pair of Moogles made a pasting glance at Altrage and realized who he was, they turned their heads immediately from him and continued their work. Looks like the welcome isn't going to be friendly... He thought to himself.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby Aeric on Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:05 pm

Aeric waved at the out of place Corsair.

"You're a long way from the ocean, Elvaan. My name is Aeric..." The Red Mage introduced "And this dark Moogle next to me is Maxwell. He's a slave offering from the Grand Duke himself."

Aeric glances over his shoulder at the MHMU before turning his attention back to the Corsair.

"Excuse me for being blunt but considering the circumstances, I have to ask... What's your business here, pirate?"
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby RosalynSable on Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:05 pm

Since the events on the snowfield and the battle to protect the MHMU, Rosalyn had been silent. Her eyes were hollow and seemed to be looking off into the distance, her ears twitched as though she were listening to something in the corner of her mind. She was sitting next to Claire, staring down at the ground, her hands clutching the edges of her chair. She paid no mind to the goings on in the room, until the pirate had approached Aeric and began asking questions. It was then that she came to a realization. The dark whispers that echoed in her head pieced everything together.

Rosalyn stirred and finally spoke. "Utsusemi....San..." her words were quiet, but they seemed to silence the room. She stood up and purposely strode across the room, placing herself between the pirate and Aeric. She reached back her hand and slapped the Elvaan hard. She looked up at him, her eyes finally looking at the things before her once more filled with anger. "It was you, you son of a !@#$%&," she spat. She reached up and grabbed the pirate by his ruffled collar and pulled him down face to face. "What reason do you have to do something like that? Do you have any idea that your actions have killed countless numbers and endangered the entire world?"
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby OMEGA_HACK on Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:24 pm

♫Deuter - The Four Elements - Water♫

The pirate broke free of the Mithra's grasp and turned his back on them. She was right for the most part but her words revealed how naive she was to the situation as a whole. He could feel her eyes like daggers on his back as the whole room watched him waiting for a response. This could turn into a mess real quickly and the only way he could manage any attempt to win a fight versus this many would be to use his power, but that would alarm Bahamut and soon the MHMU would become a bloody mess. He touched his cheek, it was hot from Rosalyn's slap.

"For not but a passing wind madam," the pirate chimed. He knew that his actions would be paid in full, after all death seemed to be the only option for his future, bleak as it was he was going to find Darka and stop this madness. His secret was out of the bag faster than he originally wanted, but now he had some damage control to deal with. He turned back to face the Mithra and the rest of the adventurers.

"Tell me, dear Mithra, have you ever lost something dear to you? Something so dear you would so soon stretch out your arm blindly just to find it; even if in the process you blindly caused dismay? Has it never occurred to you that even in the most sinister of people there is an ounce of truth, an ounce of hope, however misguided the approach be? Good madam, you place judgement when you know not of what to gauge that judgement on. So you blindly aggress the aggressor...Does that make you any better?" the pirate quipped, "Now before anyone gets their subligar in a twist, can some good sir or madam please tell me where the person in charge is? I need some answers I and don't necessarily have all the time in the world or would you all like to have the Great Dragons come and torch the place?"
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby Microcuts on Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:46 pm

In the dark hours, the streets of San d'Oria was stirring with unease. Among the Temple Knights marching about, searching every corner meticulously, a shadowy figure swept past, into the depth of the Residential District. An elderly Elvaan Thief stood by, waiting for the paths to clear up, and quickly turned to a particular door and picked his way through, only to be greeted by the tip of a sword by his throat.

"Relax, it's me." Gauldeval explained, maybe a bit too calmly at the Hume girl on the opposite end of the weapon, still bleary eyed and in pajamas trying to make sense of things.

"Ugh...you know you could've just knoc-" Microcuts began to reply, putting the sword away only to be interrupted by a rather rude banging on the door.

"Open up citizen. Order of the Temple Knights."

Micro's eyes widened open and shot a glare towards Gauldeval who merely shrugged in response and headed towards a dark corner somewhere to hide. After Gauldeval had disappeared into the corner without a hint, she opened the door. Behind the massive knight standing before her she spotted others checking all the doors within the Residential District.

"Ah, Lady Microcuts," the Knight greeted her rather nervously and bowed his head. "Please ma'am, we could really use some capable hands. We had a break in at the Chateau, and we have a reason to believe the perpetrator may have holed up somewhere in this part of the district."

"Um..." Micro stared straight into his eyes, "You're with the Temple Knights, you said? I may be labeled 'just an adventurer' but you're no where near in position to give me orders." she replied sharply, hoping the Knight would quietly walk away. "Give me a moment and I'll go speak with your superior personally."

The Temple Knight stood there speechless for a moment, and saluted before walking away. With the Knights moving down the streets, she turned to the late night visitor. To her surprise Gauldeval was donning some unfamiliar, and somewhat unsightly equipment - tight fitting harness and garment, topped off with a dagger at his waist, akin to that of a Thief.

"What did you do this time, and what are you wearing? I thought you said you trashed your Thief equipment long ago." Micro exclaimed, examining Gauldeval head to toe.

"I lied. I'm a Thief at heart, what do you expect?" He headed towards the table and tossed several scrolls before her. "I know what you've been reading up on lately. This might be of interest."

Since the battle in Al Zhabi, Micro had been greatly interested in something she had overheard. She remembered back in Windurst conversing with Aeric about searching for Altrage d'Oraguille, the Bastard Son of Destin. While being locked up in Monbereaux's clinic to recover, she searched a great deal into the history of Altrage and his unit of Dragoon Knights, or more specifically the difference between San d'Oria, who labeled him a failure of a diplomat who defected the country for good, and the Empire of Aht Urhgan, who labeled him and his units as hooligans and incriminated them at some point with very sketchy details ultimately ending in their execution. At this point, neither seemed accurate or honest, from the surface to the core, potentially making it worthwhile to look into.

"I obviously don't have time to read this with you but be careful with it. I fear you may have poked your little nose into something far greater than what its worth." said Gauldeval while keeping a close eyes on those out in the streets. "I need to get out of here before you get wrapped up in my little antic. Any ideas?"

"Woah, hold on a second. I never asked you to do this; this was to be my little 'hobby'. And couldn't you just telepor-"

"The Moogle magic restricts me of my magic while I turn Thief, and I can't risk lurking back towards my house I'm afraid. Besides, I did this for San d'Oria. I feel there's more to the rumor about the Bastard Son of Destin than just that, a rumor." Gauldeval peeped out the window and let out a sigh of frustration, then spotted Micro's Moogle silently watching all of this rather calmly.

"You there, Moogle," he motioned at him, "Couldn't you lift the restriction? No, wait, that wouldn't work... Though I suppose you might have more ideas than her over there." He pointed at Micro who was completely absorbed into her recent acquisition.

"I... could Teleport too, kupo." the Moogle replied sheepishly. Micro's Moogle was, as she was told, still a novice and still wasn't very good with the Moogle magic.

"Excellent." Gauldeval clapped his hands, "We'll get right on that. I suppose you won't mind if I borrow him for a second, would you?" he asked Micro who was still spaced out reading the material before her. "Ahem. I suppose you won't mind if I borrowed everything in your locker for good, would you?"

"Huh? Wha- Hold on a second. You still owe me a new crossbow after that last one! And yeah, I suppose you could take him out for a walk." She stood up, putting the papers away and turned to the situation at hand. "I think I realize what you mean now... Anyhow, I have to go. I'm sure the Chateau will be a bit hectic so I'll have to stick around for a while. Thanks for leaving me with all the dirty work, old man; I'll catch up with you in a day or so."

"Right. Be sure to stay in touch." Gauldeval replied, waving the signal pearl at her. And with a slight flash from the spell, Gauldeval and Micro's Moogle vanished.

---

At the other end of the travel, Gauldeval was more than surprised to find himself in some snowfield. Before him was a pile of unconscious Gigas, with hints of battle that only ended recently in the snow. "I should've explained...I can only Teleport to different nations, my house, and to the MHMU, kupo..." the Moogle explained, feeling rather defeated at the mix up.

"Hold on Moogle. It might be better this way." Gauldeval motioned to be left alone as he approached the structure in front of him. Behind him the Moogle teleported away fearing the repercussions of bringing an adventurer to the very doorsteps of the MHMU without a good reason. Gauldeval paused at the door and thought for a moment just how to explain himself before knocking on it.

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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby RosalynSable on Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:19 am

The pirates words cut Rosalyn worse than any blade could. "I have lost something important to me," she said. She winced as a sharp noise echoed through her head. "I just can't remember what..." Rosalyn looked away, her gaze falling on Claire. "I'm sorry, I need to get some rest..."

Rosalyn left the group and made her way back to the room she had been staying in with Claire and Mogwai. She stumbled and caught herself on the wall as another pang echoed in her head. "I need to pull myself together..." Rosalyn slumped into the apartment room and dropped her equipment at the door before finding her way to the bedroom where she collapsed onto the bed.

"He's not going to give us any answers anyway...." she said to no one. She rolled over and realized she had went straight to Claire's room. The flower she had left on the end table was now sitting in a small glass vase. "What would I do.... if I remembered what I lost....?"

"You'd rage," a voice said from the corner of the room. Rosalyn sat up and saw Schultz standing in the room with Stiltzkin sitting on his shoulder. "You would let it all out and Altana help those who are near you when it happens."

"The crater would be massive," Stiltzkin chimed.

"What do you two want?" Rosalyn growled.

"Just checking in on my Knight," Schultz smiled, "I wouldn't want my Knight to unleash her powers before the rest of the pieces are in place."

"What did you do to me?"

"If you really want to know I'd suggest you ask your Zilartian friend," Schultz held out his hand and a portal of darkness opened up. "I'll see you again," he chuckled and entered the darkness. It closed shut behind him, leaving Rosalyn alone once more.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby Darkvalkyr on Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:07 am

Amidst the dark depths of the Deathclaw, there were only two, shrouded in a bleak blackness which stretched to nothingness. The soul of the Tarutaru, weakened and confused, and the malicious soul of what had enveloped everything in nothing. The Tarutaru breathed heavily. There was next to no hope left. He lay floating in the abyss, closing his eyes. He had fought a losing battle since this all started. Now all shred of what was left of him was slowly being devoured. All that remained was this feeble form, weak and frail.

Is this what it's like to turn into a monster? To see yourself lost to something...slowly, as you fight something far too powerful...as it consumes everything within me that I hold dear? It has killed my connection to the world...my beliefs...everything...I watched it. Everything has died...I'm...I'm the only one left. And I can't win...

He shut his eyes. Awaiting for the end. It was hopeless now.

Ahahah...you're but a fool. Came the voice of the creature. I will not finish you. You do not deserve that end. Foolish of you thinking that you will succumb to being a monster. I will make full use of what you are. You were always of the firm belief that an Immortal would rely both on himself and his souls. I will make sure you continue that belief. It is true, after all. You will have my strength. And I will have yours.

The Tarutaru moved himself up, to look pleadingly at the monster. "Why won't you kill me!?" he said. "I've lost everything."

Except for myself. a brief answer appeared, searing the Tarutaru as if a knife had stabbed him.

"I...I..." Valkyr was unable to make a reasonable answer.

...you will obey me. There is no other way. After all, you have nothing else to lose.

"Y...yes..." it was pointless. The Tarutaru didn't have anything else anymore. What's the point?

Not long after his reply, the blackness seemed to be swept away as a song made its way to the Deathclaw's ears. It was quite familiar.

Raa Laka's song... he recalled.
---

The Deathclaw awoke, his ears full of the serene song which played and the calming rain coming from outside the cave. He slowly made his way up and his eyes adjusted to see the fireplace, and him being next to Cochran and Kaiser, his own moogle and chocobo, both asleep. Across him was none other than Raa Laka, playing a song. By now the Yagudo noticed he had awakened and stopped. While Jugner itself felt freezing cold, the Deathclaw couldn't help but feel very warm, but at the same time, a chill rose up his spine.

"You've awakened." The Yagudo began. The Chocobo and Moogle soon awoke. Cochran's first reaction was to slightly edge away. Valkyr stood then, walking out the cave. Raa Laka narrowed his eyes and called. "Where are you going?"

The Deathclaw briefly halted for a moment. "I have nowhere to go. But I'm going. I don't..." he sighed and continued walking. Cochran shook his head and gave chase, but Raa Laka raised his hand to stop him.

"No. He still is lost. No one can handle this problem except himself. At worst though...someone will end up killing him." he said, with a glimmer in his eyes, hoping that Li'Rha would have a better idea on what to do.

---
"Hey, Whiskers in the Rain!" came a booming voice, stopping the Deathclaw briefly as he blankly walked through the forest. The cheerful and loud Orc was none other than Garekdek. "Rainwhisker, what you doing here in rain?" his voice became louder as he came closer from behind. "Raa Laka told you 'get lost' or something?"

"Names..." he said, a bit confused. "I'll just lose it anyway..." he walked off, leaving the Orc confused and concerned.
---
"What am I doing?" the Deathclaw asked himself. "Face it. I lost everything. There's nothing left for me. At all. And only because you took it all away from me." he said accusingly at the monstrous soul. "And now I don't have anything else to fight for..." he began weeping as he skidded down below a tall tree, its leaves stopping much of the rain to reach the grass beneath it.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby OMEGA_HACK on Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:24 am

Of course, who hasn't lost something dear to them they would like back. The pirate thought. His words seemed to offend the Mithra and she quickly excused herself from the group. He was back to square one with Aeric and Maxwell, but now the whole room was listening.

"Your answer Aeric?" Altrage began, "It's quite simple, I am looking for a White Mage who was employed under my command two years ago, by the name of Darka. She was last seen in the Palace of the Empress. Yes, I was removed from the Palace in a very...unorthodox way, separating the two of us and while the rest of my unit was accounted for, she still remains M.I.A. Does anyone else have any other questions or accusations? Because like I've already mentioned, I'm on a tight leash and I need to find her before all your lives are in danger."

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Last edited by OMEGA_HACK on Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby urthdigger on Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:49 am

Maxwell fumed "Slave, SLAVE!? I am no slave, I am the diplomat of Grand Duke Batym, I am an emissary of the kindred here on a mission of peace!"

---

Mogwai spoke up to Altrage "Dom Kupelaire. He'd be in charge of the MHMU." she said, bringing her gun up to point at him "I'm still pissed off at you though, you know that? Try not to give me a reason to shoot you, and I'll be happy to escort you there."

She knew Claire's blood had fully mixed with her own by now, so she was relying solely on her own abilities. But Altrage had no reason to know that... and she could still hit every now and then anyway.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby Linear on Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:11 am

Linear's eyes followed the mithra that had saved him as she left the room. He'd have to thank her later. His eyes flicked back to the corsair.

Great Dragons, eh? I'll be keeping a close eye on you, corsair. He pushed off the wall he was leaning against adn approached him, Aeric... and a Moogle with a gun. What's with all these armed Moogles I'm meeting?

The Moogle offered to take the corsair to the Head Moogle. He stopped in front of them. "Wait. You, Corsair. You mentioned the Great Dragons. I'm rather interested in what they'd need you for. Also, given your... profession... I'm not inclined to trust you much further than I could throw Urthdigger over there. So I feel a need to protect this lovely Moogle here." He glanced at his companions. "We also need to discuss something with the Head Moogle ourselves."
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby OMEGA_HACK on Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:13 am

Altrage appeared to be the main center of attraction, a pirate in the snow away from the water he supposed was quite odd. Either way now the Dragoon wanted to know more about his gilded past. He'd be a fool to be under the service of that trecherous king. Altrage thought to himself as the Dragoon approached.

"Stick with me long enough good sirrah and you might be fortunate enough to watch them fulfill an unfortunate deed," the pirate informed the Dragoon, "Might I ask, which platoon and rank are you from? Or are you one of those pure breed adventurers that don the appearance of a Dragoon? If you belong to the service of the King I would have to say you waste your time good sir. But Alas, we waste time sitting here, let us approach this Master of the Moogles, gracious Mogwai if by your kind hand would you lead us?"

So I guess everyone cannot trust the pirate...I don't blame them, I wouldn't trust myself with the given circumstances... He thought as Mogwai led them out of the room.


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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby urthdigger on Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:31 am

"Right this way then. I should warn you, Kupelaire is a pleasant enough sort, but he can be a tad... eccentric. I hope it didn't get any worse after his son tried to send him away..."

Mogwai flew ahead of the group, for the other adventurers had joined her as well, and holstered her gun for now. It wasn't very becoming of a lady to walk through the halls of her workplace brandishing a weapon after all. The entrance to the apartments and the bar were on the first level, and they went right past these, taking an elevator up to the fifth floor. The second, third, and fourth floor all contained various rooms where the moogles who resided her worked towards improving the modern adventurer system: Researching moghancements, finding new ways to integrate their magic with sigil, sanction, and signet, testing individual rituals for minute improvements, and other such details. The fifth floor, however, was just one little room. A large blue woven rug covered most of the room, and on the far side from the door, sitting in a plush reclining chair behind a mahogany desk, was Dom Kupelaire himself. He was a big moogle, dressed in a fine green silk shirt and puffy pants, and smiled warmly at his guests.

"Welcome, welcome, kupo! How pleasant it is to have visitors. Cheese for everyone!" he exclaimed, peeking into his desk "...ah, it appears the cheese has gone bad. Cheese for nobody then, kupo! Now then..." he said, his voice taking on a very serious tone "Why have you brought a gang of adventurers, as well as a renegade? Answer quickly, before I get angry!"
Mogwai paused, then turned to Urthdigger "That's a good question: Why ARE you guys here?"
Maxwell cleared his throat "I believe I should probably explain myself first. I am accompanying these fine adventurers because the kindred have discovered a threat to both the allied races, as well as the beastmen. Working with them, and you, is the best way to get what I want: Ensuring I still get to flirt another day."
Urthdigger nodded "Indeed. We're battling a demon named Germaine, who has trapped the souls of many, both allied and beastman, to power a weapon called the blue soul. Aeric, the red mage here, came up with a plan to use the Afflictor and Mute machines from the quadav city of Beadeaux to weaken the power the souls are providing him, making him easier to defeat. We've already acquired the magicite cores used to power those machines, but we need a way to weaponize it so it only affects our target and not us. We were going to head to Goug to see if the machinists there could help us."

Mogwai turned to Altrage "And what about you, pirate." She spat out the last word, still bitter over her torture.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby OMEGA_HACK on Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:15 pm

"And I your most gracious of gracious Moogle Magistrate," Altrage said stepping forward and performing a grand bow, "I am here on behalf of Bahamut himself in search of the where abouts of a particular woman named Darka, one of the San d'Orian King's Royal White Mages gone missing. Also to ask you if you know of a way to stop or remove a certain magical imbument, it's old magic good sir, but still I would have to ask. Here I'll show you."

Altrage removed his jacket and shirt once more to reveal the marking of Fenrir on his back to the adventurers and to Dom Kupelaire. The marking was "beating" on his back he could feel the power pulsating, trying to break free from the Promyvion and enter this realm. He didn't know how well this would mull over in fact he wasn't planning on revealing this to anyone just yet but if the moogles knew of anyway to remove the power then maybe his fate could be altered. It was worth a try at least, however bleak it was.
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Re: FFXI Pbp: Chapter 5

Postby RosalynSable on Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:34 pm

Locke and Eris had just met up with Volt'aire and Resha in Bastok Markets when the battle for the MHMU had begun. Volt'aire had been working busily with the remains of the biotechnological weapons for most of the trip to Bastok, and had completed the majority of his task. Resha managed to tear him away from it long enough to meet the other two for a short break.

"So what's the battle plan?" Locke asked, sitting on the ledge overlooking the water below the path to Bastok Mines.

"The gang managed to get their hands on The Afflictor and The Mute, they're going to turn them into weapons and try and weaken Germaine," Volt'aire explained. "Then we hit him with everything we've got."

"And everything we don't got," Locke grimaced.

"He's been awake too long and grown too powerful," Eris said solemnly. "How do we know these beastmen-made devices will work?"

"We don't," Resha remarked as she fussed with her long braid. "For all we know it'll do nothing and then we're back at square one."

"And what about the plan with Rosalyn?" Locke asked after a moment of silence. "I still don't like it."

"Schultz is sure that given the proper stress her memories will flood back, but according to him they're beginning to hemmorage as it is. If we're going to go with that, we're running out of time." It was Volt'aire's turn to grimace.

"So what happens when she gets her memories back? Is she going to go berserk? Just go all 'Rosalyn smash!' and destroy everything in sight?"

"If everything works like Schultz said, Rosalyn will use Shinryuu's powers and destroy Germaine and the Blue Soul." Resha said quietly. "To think she has the soul of that beast inside her..."

"Is it true that his body wraps around the entire world?" Eris asked.

"Don't know," Volt'aire answered, "Don't really care. Resha and I aren't exactly wanting to go cavedwelling that long in hopes to stumble upon him in his entirety. From what we've seen he's big enough to make Bahamut look like a Dragoon's wyvern. It is fully possible that Shinryuu was the very first dragon."

"And dragons eat demons for breakfast," Locke nodded. He turned around and stepped back down onto the cobblestone street and stretched his arms to the sky accompanied with a yawn. "And if for some reason that doesn't work we've got your weapons to rely on." Locke said to the Zilart, half paying attention. A snaggle-toothed old lady had been meandering up the street, slowly approaching them the whole time, only stopping long enough to chitter to herself every now and then. She was now within a few yalms of them. She was dressed in tattered robes and carried with her a crystal orb of some sort.

"What do you want old lady?" Locke asked harshly.

"Be nice," Resha whispered as she smacked his arm.

"Ah, but wouldns't thou like to have thy future read?" the old woman cackled, "For I am Matoya, the blind seer and the future holds no secrets for my crystal eye!" The old woman held up the crystal ball for the group to see, only to have it slip from her hand and shatter as it hit the street.

Locke hid is face in the palm of his hand and sighed.

"Not to worry, that's why I always carry a spare," the blind seer cackled again and fished within her tattered robes until she pulled out another crystal ball. "Now, who would like to have their future read first?"

"Is there some kind of package deal?" Volt'aire asked. He too was quickly smacked by Resha.

"I guess I could work something real quick for you," Matoya said with a toothy smile. She held up the crystal ball and waved her hand over it. "In one of your futures I see...... a sword and shield bound by chains..."

The group shrugged.

"Oh! That's not all, don't worry... I also see.... one of you will win the next Mog Bonanza!"

Volt'aire waved his hand, trying to get the woman to hurry along only to remember that she was blind.

"And..." her voice lowered and took on a more mystical tone, "...one of you will die before your journey's end."

Resha had to stiffle a chuckle. "Ok, old lady. I think we're done having our future's told for today." She motioned to the rest of the group and they quickly made their goodbyes and hurried along.

Matoya, the old blind seer watched as they left. When they were out of sight and the coast was clear, she tossed the crystal ball over the ledge where it splashed into the water. She straightened up after being hunched over for so long and threw away her tattered robes. The air around her shimmered and shifted until she was no longer a snaggletoothed prophet. She was now her true self, a savage looking mithra in a long black cloak. She held up a card with a nauseating pattern on the front and deftly slipped it back into her sleeve.

She chuckled to herself and lifted the hood of her cloak over her head and began walking towards Bastok Mines. "Mother always told me not to play with my food," she grinned wickedly and stuck out her tongue, "but it's just so damned fun!"
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