Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friends in High Places

I remember when I first visited the coliseum overhearing a conversation between Greinfarr and Niellefresne in which they talked about meetings and how Greinfarr was probably gonna be reprimanded for letting the goobbue run free. I remember finding it strange when I noticed Thancred hiding in a dark corner listening to their conversation. Unfortunately the beast hadn't been killed soon enough and Warburton had to give his life protecting his daughter Ascilia. How this could have been Greinfarr fault I couldn't understand, he had been one of the few people that had faced the monster in the street.

At a later time I went to the Frondaile's Phrontistery looking to see if there was anything I could do to help with the injuries caused by the goobbue and maybe earn myself a little Gil. The wards were full of old and new, Miquo'te and Roegadyn all with either a blank stare in their eye or full of tears rolling from their cheeks. It was during my rounds that I found Ascilia mourning her father's death and was told that both had just arrived from Ala Mhigo, my home city. Suddenly Ascilia mentioned that her father had talked about a grave danger upon the city of Ul'Dah, what was worst was that she had no further knowledge of what that danger might be.

During one of, what were starting to be quite regular, conversations with Momodi when she was talking about some rumour or another Thancred walked into the Inn and once more got himself involved in a conversation which had nothing to do with him. After this interruption the conversation turned into the possibility of Garlean spies in the city and the expected incoming war. It seemed that the high born of the city had been meeting in the Platinum Mirage making arrangements for a war which was as good as present in their minds.

With a little encouragement from Momodi and some curiosity from myself I ended up going into the Platinum Mirage myself pretending to be looking for work. While walking though the inner corridors of the establishment I noticed a commotion in a room and found Niellefresne accusing Thancred of cheating in some kind of game. It appeared that Thancred's curiosity had also lead him to this same spot and after some clever use of words it suddenly became apparent that the goobbue hadn't got free by accident while on the parade. It had been a scheme orchestrated by Niellefresne to once more induce the idea of a Garlean spy within the city of Ul'Dah. This appeared to have a two-fold target, to show the people that war was upon them and they should get ready and also to elevate the group of high-borns as their saviours when the beast went down, specially Greinfarr and Niellefresne themselves.

The problem was that even having distributed the flower that was supposed to keep beasts away through the crowd to protect them, one person had died in the attack, Ascilia's father. This news caused some surprise and sadness but Niellefresne looked unmoved, the statement casualty of war came to mind. The same couldn't be said about F'lhaminn, looking visibly shocked she had left the room and I eventually met back with her in North Thanalan. Maybe because of her involvement in Warburton's death or some feeling of responsibility the songstress of Ul'Dah appeared to be taking care of Ascilia teaching her some mining which might not make up for the loss but at least got the child to think of something else.

After a few minutes Corguevais arrived and said that he too was from Al Migho and that he too had the same purpose as Warburton. Still feeling responsible for the goobbue and the loss caused by it Corguevais offers to pay for the funeral since the child has no Gil of her own but not aware of anyone else's possible involvement, Ascilia faces Corguevais in tears but firm and accuses him of murdering her father. Not being able to calm the child Corguevais eventually leaves back to the city. With both Corguevais and Ascilia away F'lhaminn mentions the rumours about the Order of Nald'thal having a way to communicate with the dead.

At F'lhaminn's request I found myself in the Arrzaneth Ossuary speaking to Mumuepo, the Thaumaturge in charge of the Ossuary. Somehow Mumuepo knew why I was there and even who had led me there, apparently it wasn't the first time that an unfounded rumour about talking and raising the dead had found it's way to the Thaumaturge's Guild but once more Mumuepo explained both to me and to F'lhaminn who had arrived in the mean time that this was not possible. Just as I was about to leave I noticed Warburton's funeral starting and decided to stay a while longer.

A few days later, while updating Momodi on the latest events she told me about a group of both gladiators and pugilists, all members of the city guard, that had left the city in a hurry on chocobos. Talking to Rururaji of the chocobo stable he confirmed that the guard had left after receiving some report of trouble outside the walls. It appeared that Corguevais had taken Ascilia and left the city and a group nobles had set after them. Rururaji had a good idea where they were heading and offered to take me there which I accepted.
North of Central Thanalan we find Niellefresne and his group facing Corguevais and Ascilia, soon it becomes clear that Ascilia was told about the group's involvement in her father's death and the hatred she had been displaying towards Corguevais is now aimed at the others, even F'lhaminn. To make matters more complicated Ascilia has another revelation, the news that her father had been carrying and that everyone assumed to be a Garlean threat was instead something even worse and not related to the empire. Immediately Niellefresne tried to obtain more information from the couple but to no avail.

Instead Corguevais unveils the mysterious horn that had been used to free the goobbue and threatening the group's lives, summons minemites to kill the group while he boards the chocobo carriage and leaves everyone else to their fate. Left alone across from everyone else, Ascilia finds herself between the minemite's rampage and their intended victims. Trying to protect the kid from harm, F'lhaminn was knocked unconscious along with Ascilia which left Greinfarr, Niellefresne and me to face the horde. To be honest this wasn't at all comfortable to me as my idea of fighting was to run away as fast as possible in the opposing direction but at least I was able to throw some stones at the little pricks and even stun then a few times. I owe my life to Greinfarr as he pretty much defeated all those minemites single handed, even though I was able to stun them I did almost no damage and Niellefresne just stood there staring at the air probably still stunned from Ascilia's revelation.

Once the fight was over the group of friends carried F'lhaminn and Ascilia to Frondale's Phrontistery in Ul'Dah leaving me to follow then on foot as Corguevais had escaped pursuit by the twin Lalafell in my carriage. By the time I finally arrived in F'lhaminn's room in the Phrontistery she was awake and along with everyone else discussing the news of a possible new greater threat than the Garlean Empire. With no knowledge of the situation outside Ul'dah and it's surrounding regions F'lhaminn decided our best chance would to speak to the well traveled Thancred and see if he might know anything relevant. The idea was a good one but not so easy since it became known that Thancred had been exiled from the city (by Niellefresne I assumed because of the events in Platinum Mirage). I went back to Momodi and as expected she was able to guide me in the right direction, it seemed that an exile had been seen around Camp Black Brush and that city guards had been sent after him. Finding it to be too much of a coincidence I headed to Black Brush myself to try my luck.

When I arrived at Black Brush I recognised Qoqoba and headed towards her to check if she might have seen Thancred. While we were talking Greinfarr arrives with Thancred and from their conversation I understand that Niellefresne is still looking into using the Thaumaturges to bring Warburton back to life and question him about the news he was supposed to be carrying from Ala Migho. With this knowledge and to Thancred's distress the three of us head onto the Arrzaneth Ossuary to face Niellefresne. When we arrive F'lhaminn has joined us and we find Niellefresne lying in a crypt barely alive with Ascilia behind a tomb. Fearing she might have done something drastic I approached the girl cautiously and to my amazement the air in the crypt started to thicken and swirl around me.

I was experiencing for the first time what I would be told to be the Echo, a special "power" that some adventurers had which enabled them to go back into the past and experience someone else's life events. I found myself in the same crypt but alone, neither Ascilia, Niellefresne or F'lhaminn were where they had been just a second before. In this new time I listen to Niellefresne and Mumuepo discussing their plans to revive Warburton (so much for trusting Mumuepo again) and they approach his tomb. Suddenly, as Niellefresne appears to almost start an incantation or spell he his stabbed from behind and the Echo takes me back to my own time.

When reality reasserts itself upon me I notice Thancred looking at me with knowing eyes, he is the one that recognizes the Echo for what it is and will explain it to me. Just as I accept my presence in this time a dark storm breaks over Ul'Dah with meteors shooting through the sky streaking it in fire. Thancred's gaze fixes in the storm's centre and he makes a statement that the danger we feared in Ul'Dah is not restricted to the city, this danger might very well envelope the whole continent of Eorzea. This was when the strain of the Echo experience caught up with me and I felt my legs against my chest, my face lying on the cold cobbles.

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