An Association of Eorzean Professionals
Crystal Datacenter, Mateus Server
Headquarters: Lavender Beds, 16th Ward, Plot 36
Places of Note
Current Plot: Government Mandated Misery Affairs
"𝐵𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑦 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡. 𝑁𝑜𝑤, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡'𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑘𝑦. 𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑑𝑜 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑠𝑢𝑑𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑦𝑜𝑢'𝑣𝑒 ℎ𝑢𝑛𝑔 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 ℎ𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑛 𝑎 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑒 𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑡𝑦 𝑝𝑒𝑔 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑎 𝑓𝑜𝑜𝑙?"
The first Garlean engineers must surely have dreamed in cerulean ceruleum, for pale blue ice was all they had ever known, and the azure fire would prove to be their deliverance from it. That, it seemed, was where the tragedies began.For all the horror that the Autumn War and the reign of the Mad King unleashed upon Gyr Abania and the Kingdom of Ala Mhigo that was cradled in its mountainous bosom, they would both pale in comparison to the pain unleashed by Garlean expansion. Whether it be at hands of the White Raven or the Black Wolf, for they had known both well, the Ala Mhigans would suffer doubly for their historical sins. The frighteningly rapid fall of the city-state holding the greatest martial might on all the continent was not the warning sign for the rest of Eorzea that it should have been. Surely they deserved it, countless had thought at the time. But just as easily as hearts had been swayed against vicious mountain men they had never met or even seen that were supposedly hellbent on conquering Gridania through force, so too would they eventually be turned towards helping those same poor refugees fighting for their home. And so it was that the resistance, temporarily united alongside a force encompassing all of the once-hostile city-states, took back their home and drove out the invaders.But what had lain broken for so long would prove not to be so easily mended. The peace of The Empire's inner territories never touched the rebellious lands of the Gyr Abanian mountains, so well-suited for hiding away self-sustaining bands of resistance fighters, refugees, and whoever else saw fit to make lawlessness and that eternal battlefield their home. In truth, even the resistance that had marched side by side into Ala Mhigo to defeat the XIIth legion was composed of countless disparate groups. Perhaps this was a reflection of the insular nature of the Highland Tribes, or perhaps fighting for so long, cut off not only from sharing supplies but from even communicating. And perhaps, for more than a few, the autonomy they had enjoyed as insurgent warbands proved to be much sweeter than the burdens of picking up the pieces of their land and government. In truth, the provisional government of Ala Mhigo was far from perfect, and depending on who was asked, barely even functional.What a perfect place, then, for monsters and beasts to flourish in the spaces between Garlean and Ala Mhigan forces. What a perfect place, too, for those seeking the perfect veil for heinous crimes—those brigands, bandits, and slavers—to blossom. In those days 'freedom-fighter' had proved a convenient label and, frightfully enough, one which was so oft self-adopted with wholesale conviction. With the Garleans banished, however, those things were not destined to magically disappear. Ala Mhigo would not recover in a day. The sins of the past remained to be grappled with, intermingled with the birthing pains of a reborn government. No wonder, then, that the Ala Mhigans retained that chip on their shoulder. It had barely even begun to heal.The Apotheke would soon find themselves entangled in this dizzying web, drawn in by the auspices of one of their number whose roots had been buried the deepest into that chaotic mess of them all. The war had ended, and yet the land remained a battlefield. Hopefully they would not be swallowed. But just as the Ala Mhigans had proven a tenacious people, so too were the invaders and all who had been tempered in that decades-long thunderdome. The Garleans' flying machines had spread their machinations across the entire known world, and as much of their crimson cruor stained the already-red clay as had been shed by the Ala Mhigans at this point. And like those mountain folk so too would it be known, upon the shattering of their whole world, that those born of the frigid ice fields each held their own aspirations once the leash had been thoroughly slipped. Would this land that had just begun its mending once again be the focal point for greed, terror, and the letting of bad blood? Surely it would, promised the pessimists. Such was the fate of all mankind.
Past Plot: The Abandoned Clinic
Tucked away in Old Gridania on the fringes of the Black Shroud's centre lies a vast mansion. Deserted, but not empty, its innards are host to many a mystery. Framboise has purchased the mansion as it fell into foreclosure under the Adders' jurisdiction, but they are tight-lipped about any information pertaining to the previous owner or any of its occupants.
The recently exhumed basement, its entrance hidden behind a hastily erected plaster wall, yielded a scarce handful of clues as to who had passed through that clinic and what business they had. Patients and practitioners there were, though they seemed to be practitioners of miracles for what maladies were said to be handled there in stray documents. Amongst the other findings were strange arcane symbols and enciphered ledgers.Eventually plucked from the partially broken cipher were a handful of names and dates, but that, along with the sudden appearance of someone related to a patient that had come and gone, was enough to track further leads Eastward. And to the very limits of 'Eastward' they would go, alighting upon the distant shores of Hingashi and the port town of Kugane in search of a certain Dotharl. Picking up the trail of an associate of the clinic attempting to go into hiding—where they had previously sought a former patient—a deal was struck with a local cartel branch in order to change tacks to this potentially more profitable lead: information on the location of this runaway's safe-house in exchange for performing a 'small' favor in the northern reaches of Thanalan. The ledgers had told a grim story when they were successfully read—of what could be interpreted as expiration dates for expired patients. A found letter had detailed promised revenge by the Dotharl kin of a pair of patients to the clinic—one living and one dead—and it was from them that the man they then sought apparently hid.Ironically, it was back west, and tucked away in the warm sands of Byregot's Strike that they would need to go to pursue their quarry in a game of cat and mouse that had spanned most of the known world. In those far reaches of the Sagolii lay that furtive runaway that may hold more answers than the sum total they had grasped so far. But first that business in the hazy ceruleum fields of the Sea of Spires had to be dealt with...The task had seemed simple enough, but that should only have served to make them all the more suspicious, shouldn't it have? Concocting tales of crotch-rot and contact tracing, the party was in the midst of trying to sneak into the Amajina & Sons Mineral Concern Ceruleum Processing Plant when they felt a strange pair of eyes upon them and say movement in the parapets. Imagine their surprise when they found the very runaway they sought (distant indeed from his supposed safehouse) trying to partake in the very same mission as they, employer and all! Was it some twisted joke by Pomelo and Co.? A favor? Who could say? Though the truth was that one of those was infinitely more likely. Regardless, some ropework and the services of a shadowy interrogator got them some of the answers they needed from the former contractee of the former manor residents.With the organization's sinister nomen in hand and some information on exactly what type of treatments were being performed in the bowels of the clinic, the party returned to examine the results of their parallel investigation into the arcane symbols etched onto the walls. Similar runes were found amongst the patient notes, repeated across each case. The clever idea to sample the material used in the various symbols yielded a composition of limestone, granite, and electrum upon the wall; the runes upon the pages however, lacked the electrum but held the traces of masonry in the ink. A connection was made, but for what purpose had the etched runes on the walls and the ones (determined to have been 'used' by the absence of the conductive electrum) on the patient notes been linked? Some less-than-safe testing determined that they served as a siphon for aetheric energy, the wall capable of holding and then redirecting a substantial amount of this drained aether. Suddenly the treatments described by their prisoner—the excision of corrupted aether to restore health and purity—began to make more sense. Doubtless the true purposes and effects were far more sinister than such a pleasant window-dressing as a group of skilled doctors healing the ill and disabled.A concurrent incident at the Spirithold in Southern Greentear proved to hold the key to answering where all the aether absorbed in the manor's basement had ended up. With its source cut off, the appearance of what could only be land drained of its aether around the vicinity had begun to catch some minor attention. A few pulled strings had the party pass the cursory watch of the bored Wood Wailers stationed outside and descend into the former prison abandoned, reopened, and abandoned once more. It was there that they came face-to-face with a fearsome beast hidden away deep within the walls of one of the cells. Ill-prepared to tangle with the powerful voidsent beast that had supped for countless months on the aether of many, even with a skilled contingent of fighters and spellcasters, the party retreated before the losses grew too severe. It is there in the depths of its terrible den that the voidbeast still waits, the area quarantined by Gridanian authorities—more tightly than it previously was against the relatively weak imps that already were drawn to the place. Still, questions remained: for what purpose was this being from the void being harbored and fed, where had the former residents of the clinic ended up, and were they still keeping an eye on affairs?To be cont...
Hence, Homeward Hearts
"𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑒 𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑠, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑙𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑏𝑖𝑎 𝑣𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑢𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑙 𝑣𝑖𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛."
The campaign was preempted by hustle and bustle—the clatter of azure arms and bolts by the bucket that had resounded throughout the mansion had ceased with the departure of the dozens of rowdy mercenaries that had taken up temporary residence in one corner of its halls. Some amongst the Apotheke and their ilk would go with them, floating across the placid Mirror on large rafts fit to transport troops, wagons and carts bearing supplies, and rowdy chocobos (though it was said that Sybil was most well-behaved of all). It was from there that the gathered company of mercenaries and camp followers would be joined by Gridanian forces and eventually strike out, tracing a path through the secured passageway of the Sylphlands to bring ruin to Xelphatol's latest ambitions. Much ground lay between fair Gridania and the foothills which cradled the refueling station that would need to be covered, made through the furthest reaches of The Shroud—dark, dangerous, and teeming with Ixal warbands.The quick and covert nature of their journey towards the foothills of Xelphatol meant that the Company would, at last, be utilizing the arranged corridor of movement through the Sylphlands that had been so hard-won by a few of their number. The announcement, coming somewhat late to the majority of the soldiers, caused quite a stir. It seemed Noyel had planned to keep it somewhat on-the-low, even until then. That stretch of the forest was strange enough even without the cabbage-headed Spoken that inhabited the place, known to be quite fond of their Primal Ramuh and quite a deal less fond of outsiders. The path they tread, however, lay in the domain of an exception to that rule: the lands of the Kingdom of Sarleon that they had returned their Princess to from the clutches of their ‘Demon King.’Their personal passageway through the Sylphlands had carried them quite far into the northern depths of The Shroud, but the territories of the Sylphs and those of the Ixal were not directly connected. The loosely controlled borderlands, occupied only by roaming longhunters and the most reclusive of hermits were so scarcely patrolled by the Wailers or Gods’ Quiver. Who did roam those woods, especially as of late, were the bands of Ixal. Whether it was to chop fresh wood for their expanding refueling station, gather food and water, or just screen for foes, there were plenty of warbands to be found skulking about.Reports from Basilisk, ever intent on skulking ahead when camp was being pitched, revealed the presence of one such warband upon her return. From their behavior, it seemed that their Ixali foes knew of their presence as well as they arranged themselves for a fight and oriented themselves in the Company’s direction. Whether they could avoid a fight on their way to their objective had always been a gamble, and though they’d hedged their bets with a shortcut and a small force, there was no changing the fact that perfect information this far into the primeval forests was impossible to come by. And so battle was joined.With the Ixal's right flank quickly falling after a botched ambush, the momentum of the Center carried on past the slaying of war-gobbues to carve into the very heart of the Ixal host. The Company's Right suffered greatly, mutually disabling the Ixal's flank there. Dezul the Bloody and his whole troop were slain, but at great cost. Burdened by the dead and wounded, it was left to Sergeant Ryker and Sergeant Neshu to push forward, shatter the Ixal, and take Yotoli Pahoutl's masked head. Still, Sergeant Vasilei ensured that the Ixali Galeborn Warlord would receive no reinforcements from where it had concentrated its best, most fearsome troops against him. The Company had emerged from their maiden battle victorious, successfully riding down the remainder of the retreating forces.Discovering that the bridge meant to help them cross a river marked out on ill-kept maps of The Shrouds furthest reaches had collapsed into scrap barely clinging to stones breaching rushing waters had been quite the conundrum. Going over would be almost impossible, the prospect of salvaging what little there was to reconstruct the bridge a monumental task for a small force without a proper engineering corps. Going around would have taken an indeterminable amount of time, and made the crossing of paths with roaming Ixal all but inevitable. It seemed that Noyel’s plan to split their forces and search for another ford where the wagons would be floated along the banks of the river in both directions was not needed, however, for Galen’s urging to crest a nearby cliff for a better vantage point led them to a strange sight.Stumbling upon a talking sapling beset by squirrels, which Astrix quickly and valiantly introduced to her boot, the young wooden fellow eventually led its new saviors to an isolated glen. It was there that the party came into contact with a number of treants. In exchange for dispatching a nearby Ixal wood-cutting camp, the treants would supply a new bridge to help The Company move on. This vanguard force scattered and ransacked the camp, with Evianne and Neshu at the fore and rear with arrows aplenty, Hyperia and Galen teaming up to down an Ixali balloon, and Framboise providing support and succor for the blades of Astrix and Noyel. The success of their mission further ensured that no Ixal would be able to report their movements to a larger warband or this ‘Suzal’ they had heard about.The treants proved to be trustworthy enough, a natural bridge sprouting at their behest to help The Company cross the gap that troubled them. Just like any other bit of vegetation, however, it seemed it would take some time to grow—especially to reach a level of sturdiness acceptable for their chocobo carts. Those were far too valuable to leave behind. And so The Company waited, furtive and on-guard while they waited to scurry to the ‘safety’ of Gelmorran ruins.What occurred within is best left unsaid.The emergence from dark, dank tunnels brought with it the blessing of nourishing Vitamin D, but perhaps they would find even the sun filtering through treetops something to squint against after such a delve into darkness. Though... it was equally likely that their eyes had adjusted to those rapid changes of tunnels—from stark contrasts between shadowy ruins and the stark brilliance of lanterns and alchemical lights that had been used to brave the underground.Other than the short respite from the daily tasks of soldierly marching, exploratory scouting, and other fine tasks like lugging water from the nearest streams that came in the form of assisting First Officer Framboise in gathering medicinal supplies and other helpful herbs, it must have seemed their campaign had consisted mostly of marching. This was certainly partly true, given the distance they had to cover on foot, and with their own supplies in hand. That was merely the lot of the soldier. But being quicker on the march and taking less casualties from attrition between the battles they did fight meant that the inevitable final confrontation would prove the superiority of their force. It was also why kings and queens that made the finest generals were not only masterful warriors and statesmen, but also exquisite logisticians.They were close, promised the Captain. It would all be over (bar the journey home) in just a few more days, promised Noyel. Indeed, slipping the noose of patrolling Ixal was becoming more difficult than ever, forward scouts barely avoiding screening forces of the Ixal’s own. The location of the refueling station must surely have been visible from the peak of a tall mountain by now, if one were both handy and treeless. However, the activity of the Ixal was more frenetic than ever. Had their earlier exploits been noticed, or were they just particularly antsy? Or, Twelve forefend, did they anticipate them entirely?The worst had come to pass. Well, perhaps it wasn’t the worst, for Basilisk had brought back news of their impending doom along with a few vestigial feathers at least. Reading the tea-leaves of the Ixal’s movements was a skill of its own—one that any good scout should have, alongside being able to gauge numbers by sight alone. What those tea-leaves said now was that the milling about of the Ixal forces had at some point transformed from scouting them out into coalescing, and with a force that whoever was in charge thought large enough to challenge The Company, they had located and begun to beeline straight for them. With mere malms to the refueling station, it would be a final battle for both factions.Again, it wasn’t the worst place to get caught either, and in fact the chosen ground did have some distinct advantages for The Company. For one, the valleys and cliffside formed by the terrain that grew ever more rocky as they neared Xelphatol served as a natural defense and funnel for their enemies. Of course, the more pessimistic amongst them could also say it had them trapped, but there would be little chance of organized retreat from Ixali wolfriders backed up by airborne warballoons. The second advantage they had was innocuous enough—the serendipitous remains of what seemed to be a sizeable Couerlclaw poacher’s camp. Hunting blinds, tree stands, and fences no doubt meant to ward away bears and wolves would serve as a fine base for more rigorous defenses. Adding their wagons and all felled lumber left behind to the mix made for a great boon to their force that lacked a corps of engineers.Noyel seemed rather calm as he assembled a team of engineers to begin defensive constructions. They would be making a stand there, he insisted, where they would break the Ixal force and have a straight shot at the refueling station. Specialist ‘Hyena’ Sadia would bring her knowledge of salvaged Amalj’aa-style battlements to bear alongside Trooper ‘Bridges’ Halliver’s engineering expertise, with Lance-Leader Theodemar Cordwyk divvying out the labor (it was hard to turn down such a dazzling smile, after all). Was The Captain’s confidence that they would win a siege well-founded, or was there just no other option? The Ixal seemed to believe they had a force assembled that was large enough to shatter theirs, and as Basilisk had said, what was coming their way certainly wasn’t every Ixal in the region.The odds seemed truly stacked against them this time. Their maiden battle had been won handedly, but this, it seemed, would be a much more challenging test. What would be coming for them, in addition to a hoard of ferocious bird-beasts intent on driving them from their promised lands? Would their warballoons rain bullets and their dirigibles firebombs? Would they have to contend with more ferocious war-goobbues, or even a flight of deathgazes? And what of the Ixal and their Golden Hope? Everything was on the line, for both parties. But maybe—just maybe—The Captain’s confidence was well-placed. The time had come to test their true mettle.But for the moment all they could do was build.
And wait.The blare of Ixali warhorns and the thump-thud of rhythmic drums marked the inevitable first wave of the Ixali assault. The cyan lights of airstones had filled the night's sky, tipping The Company off to the inevitable attack. Though the first wave was launched under the cover of night, it was no surprise attack. Perhaps the cover of darkness would make the prepared killing fields less effective, or if was merely a test of their defenses as Noyel surmised, it would serve to rob The Company soldiers of a restful night's sleep. Either way, there had been ample time to prepare, and to split themselves into their respective sections of the ramshackle battlements—a mix of stacked carts, piled lumber, earth, and stone, and the remains of a poaching camp's infrastructure—perched atop the small ditch they'd dug out to make it harder to climb. It would have to do--With the Ixali plan to blow the left-most walls wide open with bombs thwarted by keen eyes and keener marksmanship, the advantages of ranged weapons and battlements saw the enemy advance blunted. Assistance from Hyperia's amber-carrying bit caused the supporting warballoons to run amok, lessening the pressure there as well. However, even with the routing of the chaff-quality infantry that had been a screen for warballoons and The Enginseer's large dirigible at the backlines, victory had not been total. The unveiling of a strange new invention—cobbled together 'magitek bits' of the Ixal's own had covered their retreat in that sector and allowing for the safe retreat of the Ixali airborne forces.The Center had been faced with the greatest challenge of all, The Wind-Blessed Boar themselves leaping clear over the battlements. Methuli's deadly blade had carved a bloody swathe in The Company's forces, taking attention off of the defensive ramparts. With Noyel and Ryker both faced with the sudden possibility of striking down the enemy general—or losing their own lives to their deadly skill—Theodemar Cordwyk had led the defense. Ryker fought Methuli to a standstill, ending the slaughter in the backlines, but a discharged firebomb from the distant dirigible had almost spelled ruin for their defenses. Thankfully, Framboise was ready with conjurer's grace to call upon natural waters to douse the spreading conflagration that thwarted even Noyel's foresight in dousing the battlements in soaked hides. Despite their combined efforts, the Ixal had reached the top of their makeshift walls, though at great cost. Ultimately it proved an overextension, for all who mantled it were slain when the forces of the left arrived to reinforce the center.Thus, the day was won. At a cost. There always was one.Though they'd driven off the first night-attack, it wasn't nearly enough to break the enemy host. Constant skirmishing in the form of a warballoon here or there dipping in to pepper their defenses with arrows or a shield-bearing team of sappers trying to set the walls alight with flamepots and firesand continued over the course of the next two days. It was on the dawn of the third since they'd first made contact that the Ixal host decided to go all-in. Barely enough time for a proper breakfast, the bastards. At least they weren't cutting short a peaceful slumber; the camp had been on guard against night-time saboteurs by necessity anyway. Tired, hungry, and outnumbered—what better way to begin a day? It would only make their victory all the more impressive.At the head of the mightiest host they had faced so far were a pair of figures. One was familiar—the hulking stygian brute that was The Wind-Blessed Boar, blackened feathers rising alongside the blade of the bloody glaive that had taken a great toll on their forces. Beside the bellicose general was the supreme commander of these forces. There would be no mistaking that fact. Astride a great, sleek white direwolf, itself trailing a coat of scaled armor, was an Ixal clad in gold and red, inlaid with the glowing sea-foam of Garuda-blessed airstones. Even astride his mount, Suzal was no taller than his Blessed Boar. That wasn’t what was notable about him. At first it might have seemed like some embellishment on his armor, the trailing of something from his arms.But there was no mistake.Spanning the whole of his arms was a beautiful display of pinion feathers, the flightworthy biological constructs long-lost to all of the Ixal ever since their banishment to barren Xelphatol. And they were all the most lustrous gold.Here he was at last—their Golden Hope—the promise of a brighter future for all of the Ixal. A promise that deep within their weakened blood was the potential to reclaim the skies in full, and to return to the Heavens they once held in their grasp. And he had come to lead his hordes against The Company.
This manor-cum-medical-clinic recently obtained from The Adders' foreclosed holdings has seen copious renovation under the direction and at the expense of one Framboise Zakuro. The idyllic location overlooking falls that eventually feed into The Mirror is prime real estate, both for the natural beauty of waterfront property and the calming rush of flowing water to delight the ear. Curiously, the previous owner left the manor nearly fully furnished, and thus the location has seen more additions, repurposing, and refurbishing than ground-up redesigns.
The communal kitchen and banquet room have been combined, creating a more intimate dining space. Westbound light of the morning sun filters through flourishing rose trellises, making for a truly halcyon breakfast. The pantry is kept well-stocked with non-perishables, as well as wooden flatware carved by local artisans. Curiously, a gargantuan specimen of a fish adorns one of the walls. It is said to be the largest carp ever pulled out of Fallgourd lake, but asking the taxidermist responsible for the mount will reveal that only the skin, teeth, head, and fins are genuine.
The eponymous baths of the bathhouse feature two separate tubs utilizing as a source that river valley the manor overlooks. The babbling of those distant falls can be heard—even seen by way of the sliding doors lining the walls, transforming the space into an open air bath if one desires. Viewing the stars in their multitudes overhead by night while lounging is a heavenly experience indeed. The fragrant waters of the baths are often infused with the brisk fragrance of juniper berries, and can be either chilled by pumping in directly the naturally cool waters of the river, or warmed by first running the source through the heated plumbing.
The sorry state of the yard as it had been 'acceptably' maintained by Adder bureaucrats has been improved considerably. The rehabilitation included not only the pruning of unsightly weeds and overgrown ivy, but also the addition of gardening plots both visually pleasing and functional. Supplements to the manor's pantry are grown seasonally upon the grounds in allotments blessed with fertile Gridanian soil. The addition of a firepit, as well as outdoor kitchen and other accoutrements has transformed the yard into a space for relaxation and recreation alike.
A contract negotiated with the Ul'dahn based Ashcrown Consortium sees the manor supplied with a small, regular shipment of fire crystals. These are put to use in the sauna room, an element of the bathhouse added to the manor as part of recent renovations. After a shower, one might enjoy time in the sauna room where piped-in water may be tossed upon the fire-crystal based stove element, which would otherwise emit a pleasant dry heat, to produce a more intense humid heat from steam. It must certainly be a balm to the soul to relax amongst the scent of pine, cypress, and hanging herbs and to sweat out all of one's impurities.
"All warfare is based on deception."
An abandoned clinic perched cliff-side, roused from comatose state to a new clatter of azure arms and bolts by the bucket—like an ant colony crawling amidst flourishing gardens and resplendent halls only to retreat inward come night.By whose authority had such a force assembled?
Surcoats evoke the summer sky in their blues,
splashed with tumbling alabaster cumulus.
Their gilded celatas glittering, resplendent,
mark them out as well-funded and disciplined enough to maintain a shine.Yet for all that elegance in captivating colors lain across freshly polished arm harness and fine cotton coats, why is it that the faces that peer out from beneath those armored brims seem anything but?
Scar-marred faces decorated with habitually reset noses and ill-healed jaws promised violence with their paradoxically empty-and-at-once-focused stares that they might level upon any curious bystanders. These men and women are undeniably steeled, brutalist architecture covered in the thinnest veneer of tinsel and gilt.
Survivors of a Malefick Venome, the deadly push through the isthmus of Ghimlyt, and the generational strife of the Dragonsong brought to an end by a slaying, these hardened hearts gathered are experts in snuffing out the lives of their fellow men, Ixal, and monsters alike.
But a select few among them could recall older conflict yet--More turbid by far.
Come on in and take a gander; pay no attention to mischievous slander.What is there to see but the flare of cannons in the moonlight, belching fire and brimstone in swirling ember hues, the glitter of runners by torchlight and the great flaming balls of fire they'd launch to set ablaze the storehouses and homes? The thundercrack of muskets, an antecedent to the flash that was itself just a precedent to one more missed shot that pinged off of the balustrades.Much to lose. Even more to gain.
A venerated Vizier tumbling into the valley,
Devils pushing the flanks,
And beneath it all like fervid undercurrents flowing to the distant sea no longer: a dry and dusty river.
— Notice: Skilled soldiers sought ; vaunted valorous veterans valued verily —
- Those skilled in the production, preservation, and procurement of arms and armor—smiths, weapons dealers, and engineers §
- Scouts, spies, and skirmishers §
- Caravaneers and chocobo handlers §
- Camp followers providing cooking, laundering, liquor, nursing, and sutlery services §
Regular meals, generous pay, and guaranteed pension given for grievous loss of limb incurred in service to The Company are guaranteed to all recruits.
Inquire at the offices of Captain Noyel Oszkar on the grounds of Apotheke Decouverte
[Lavender Beds District, 16th Ward, Plot 36]
Bitter hearts. Hellwind.
"She's building an empire," he said.
"He saw it himself," she said.
"He said, 'she said'," they said.
Her coin is golden—and she casts it quick (or so it must seem). Whence it came? Why, there are only whispers. They abound too of the sudden procurement of the old ☤clinic☤, whereby residents of the ward suddenly found themselves in possession of curious new neighbors.
The resettlement of outsiders to the Twelveswood was smooth and swift, though not all amongst them were new to the Hedge. By what method had that property seized by Adders been given up to house fresh vagrants in xenophobic Gridania?Why, but it certainly must be gil.
What's on the docket,
ㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ To secure from her pocket?A-tisket?
ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ A-tasket?
ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤAn airship fit to haul more than a single basket?That too, it seems, is on the list of investments. But it's only one of many. One of many investments in people and property.
(But if they can both be bought, are they so very different at all?)Investigators and informants—businesses spread to the Five Seas and beyond. Come all ye seekers and sought.
Seekest thou to use or be used?
But back to the topic of fortunes: whence it sprang?
Ill-gotten ill-gains; or so some say.Smuggling and extortion—or is it poisons for the poor? All those things we call home remedies for psychosis and more?Milkroot, Dreamweed, Pluto, and Somnus—by the pinch they should fetch thrice the selling price of eight ponze of gneiss or a bag of allspice. Surely paradise and every vice awaits those who pass on such merchandise? Nonetheless, whether 'tis charity or chicanery such resources shall support—both have been observed.
There are ties not to be spoken of, buried in blood, that hound as they bay. Campbell's Supplies and Solutions, The Seijo Mercantile, and other such names are often discussed with a curious smile and a skeptical air—with sneers for those who don't really know what's going on. Yet they still do business, and of a fine quality at that.That success? Well, you know—they are behind it. They have their fingers in every pie, it seems.But who are they? Well, who can say--
Those skeptical smiles and sneers never yield a concrete answer when pressed, coincidentally. Still, those who steal and steal away must live in furtive fear—and as is their very way—sometimes it's a blessing to be beneath notice.
There are entire worlds where the light of justice cannot reach. And when heroes fail to act, it is often not for want of valor, but for knowledge that such wickedness exists in the first place.
ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤWho may tread there, in their stead?
Dalliance with dastards
To earnest ends
Amongst maudlin marauders
Lay healing hands
Darker secrets, ensconced in White.
- Information Brokers and Covert Specialists
(Agents, Informers, Spies, and Detectives ) §
- Aetherological Historians and Theorists §
- Conjury Novices §
- Business Owners and Entrepreneurs of dubious or immaculately legal means alike §
The lily breathes fresh life,
Sticky with scarlet,
Sickly and sweet.
ʇǝǝʍs puɐ ʎlʞɔᴉS
Rebirth from strife: is it truly so neat?
Perhaps we're doomed to repeat the same cycles forever—
The First Lord looked upon his land and saw that it was scant
So a flower grew out from his throat, the Dark Lord of the PlantThe Second Lord's lands fell below, he lost his sons and daughters
So he sunk himself beneath the sea, the Dark Lord of Black WatersThe Third Lord cared not for the waves that darkened up his fountain
So he dug in deep, and forged his keep, the Dark Lord of The MountainThe Fourth Lord saw these corrupt world and thought it very pretty
So he called his guild and began to build, the Dark Lord of The CityThe Fifth Lord was quite pleased to see new prey on hunting ground
So he went on all fours and cried great roars, the Dark Lord of The HoundThe Six Lord worked day in and night, and knew he shant retire
Eager to turn through ash and burn, the Dark Lord of the FireThe Seventh Lord with his greedy horde, refused to quit his squirmin
So rats ripped through his filthy skin, the Dark Lord of The VerminThe Final Lord looked to the skies, saw Jupiter and Mars
As they fell to doom and darkened gloom, the Dark Lord of The StarsSeeking:Students of the Arcane, all schools of magic welcome
Buyers and Sellers of Information, seekers and record-keepers of knowledge
Aetheric Researchers, appealing to those in search of grants to fund their work… those afflicted with the Void and its ilk
… those bravely seeking beyond the blurred boundaries of public knowledge
… those who want to understand the world in new and potentially unnerving waysHave you reached your practical threshold, yet know you are capable of more? Have fate and circumstance delivered questions that the Ossuary and Scholars of Limsa refuse to answer? Come join a like-minded cabal that isn’t here to save the world, nor are they poised to destroy it: they simply wish to understand it.
The Manorhouse is still—the gardens quiet save for the rustling of nightly dormice...Standard Schedule:
Saturday Evenings—Primary Plot Sessions
Thursday Evenings—Social Session
(Held in US EST/CST Time)
Notice: The Apotheke Decouverte seeks skilled specialists and prudent professionals. We are beset by countless perils, challenges, and twists of fate. What better way to face them than alongside those most suited for each task required?
Practitioners and students of trades, warfare, and magic alike are sought alongside promise of reward commensurate to value and effort.
To assuage the needs of the current Apotheke Decouverte we seek:
- The Politically Inclined
(Grand Company Officers, Politicians, etc.)
- Paladin-Types (to keep the bloody murderers in check)
- Tradesfolk / Artisans
- Business Owners and Merchants
※Not one of these? Fret not! As a Free Company we focus on--
Heavy RP, Lore-Honoring, Character-Driven Dilemmas of Morality, Bespoke plots centered around: Intrigue, Occult, and Martial Struggles※Check our OOC page for desired player types, or continue below for more information...
Aspiring applicants are encouraged to submit their information
『 herein 』
Thematically, I find myself drawn towards...
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Who We Are: Progressive, Collaborative, Adults, Mature, LGBTQA+ & Allies
What We Do: Lore-Honoring, Consensual + Collaborative, Inclusive Storytelling, "Play To Lift" Technique, Character Struggle and GrowthHeavy RP, Character-Driven Dilemmas of Morality, Bespoke plots centered around: Intrigue, Occult, and Martial Struggles
We Welcome: Adult (20+) roleplayers with an interest in exploring the growth of flawed characters via collaborative storylines. Active players who value transparency and open communication in order to facilitate trust, putting players before characters in order to facilitate deep and rewarding character arcs. Players who will take initiative, subscribe to "buying in" and actively participate when plots are presented to them.
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