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31  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: "I'm on the Bastok Story now, D" Edition on: January 02, 2016, 10:06:55 AM
A Dark Knight’s Story: The Dark Legacy

On Rapifafa’s trip to Bastok, she had been given a strange sword by the wandering Mythril Musketeer, Zeid. Zeid promised to teach her something of the Galkan Dark Knight arts if she bloodied the blade, so she attempted completing the task on the occasion she felt she could actually lift the thing.

As promised, Zeid met Rapifafa in Beadeaux, and there, he passed onto her some of the knowledge required to be a Dark Knight.

At one point Rapifafa runs into the engineer Raibaht, who wishes to know more about the ancient Galkan methods of darksteel-working, and asks her to find one of the books detailing the process.

Rapifafa decides to ask around the Metalworks of Bastok to see if anyone has information on the book.

One of the other workers in the Metalworks informs Rapifafa that the book in question had been donated to a library somewhere, and no records exist of the donation. No wonder, considering how back then, Bastok built most important things with mythril and any research being done was for the strange material found in several ruins called cermet. Upon hearing the word “library”, however, Rapifafa instantly knew where to check first.

Rapifafa returned home to Windurst and found one of the librarians at the Optistery knew of the book Rapifafa spoke of. But as luck would have it, when he actually got around to reading it, he knew Bastok was the best place to learn more and prepared to travel there with the book. He was attacked by Yagudo as he set off, and he could only assume that the book was in Giddeus now, in the hands of one Vaa Huja.

By asking one of the few harmless Yagudo in Giddeus, Rapifafa is able to find Vaa Huja’s hiding spot, as well as a hint on how she could irritate him into showing himself.

With a Yagudo Cherry, Rapifafa has no trouble smoking Vaa Huja out of his hiding hole.

Rapifafa finds the books amongst the Yagudo's belongings, and returns to Bastok.

Raibaht’s happy to get his book, but his boss and chief engineer of Bastok, Cid, decides to take a peek himself, finding the author’s name, “Gerwitz”, sounding strangely familiar.

The next day, Cid manages to remember where had had once heard the name- Gerwitz was the man who had forged Zeid’s armor. Cid spends a moment reminiscing about the days he fought alongside the now-leader of the Mythril Musketeers Volker and his comrade Zeid, until they are interrupted by Raibaht, who brings up the fact that he has a letter from Zeid.

Zeid’s found some kind of strange phenomenon involving Gerwitz and some of the weapons he had created, but there’s not much that can be done considering how Zeid is not one much for return addresses- Bastokan officials have been unable to bring him back home for decades now. The only thing he can do is ask Rapifafa to help Zeid if she ever runs into him.

Rapifafa returns to her adventures, eventually meeting Zeid in the Ordelle’s Caves.

Aside from making Rapifafa think he really needs to work on his social skills, Zeid also tells her about Evil Weapons- Rapifafa had seen them before, weapons being animated by some cursed magic and enslaving kobolds to take advantage of their telekinetic powers. A popular belief is that they originated from the strange cermet spines they are usually found near. The cursed weapons that have appeared in Ordelle’s Caves in particular seem to be ones made by Gerwitz, bearing his insignia. Zeid attempted to lure them out, but it seems to be avoiding him- Zeid had hoped the letter he sent to Cid would eventually bring Rapifafa here, and now he wishes for her to try finding them.

Gerwitz had left for his journey of reincarnation over 30 years ago, so normally he would’ve already been reborn and be walking around as new Galkan child already, creating new memories. Instead, his spirit stays in Ordelle’s Caves for some reason.

The adventurer that had stumbled across the weapons before had accidentally dropped a darksteel ingot onto the floor, so Rapifafa figured the only way to get anywhere was to try to bait the creature using an ingot, as odd as it felt.

The plan works, and Rapifafa defeats the weapons of Gerwitz, and following the trail she is able to come into contact with the spirit of Gerwitz as well.

Rapifafa hears a voice calling for her as the spirit falls, and upon exiting out to La Thiene Plateau, she is greeted by Gerwitz.

Gerwitz thanks Rapifafa for releasing his soul- he had wanted to move on, but he feared losing his memories, and with it, one of the last craftsman who knew how to work darksteel- his life’s work. His fear turned into rage, even directing it towards his leader, the Talekeeper. His hatred gained a will of its own, and one of his reanimated weapons was travelling the Crystal Line, seeking the source of its power.

Zeid asks Rapifafa to meet him where she had first become a Dark Knight to prepare for the battle ahead, then informs Gerwitz that his spirit had lost track of time- 30 years had already passed, and even the Talekeeper who he so hated was gone from the world. With his rage dissolved, Gerwitz only asks Zeid one final question.

As a final act, he leaves behind one of his last works to help Rapifafa.

As part of her preparation, Rapifafa finds other pieces of Dark Knight’s armor hidden around the world.

With her preparations complete, Rapifafa travels to Beadeaux as instructed by Zeid.

Upon arriving, Zeid informs Rapifafa that coming here was not merely symbolic- the newly formed evil weapon would almost certainly begin seeking blood, and using the blood of one of the Quadav should be able lure the creature out.

With a vial of Quadav Mage Blood, Rapifafa travels to the center of the Crystal Line’s power- Delkfutt’s Tower.

There, she lures out Gerwitz’s cursed weapon.

Rapifafa manages to defeat the blade of evil, but unfortunately it had already taken the lives of two innocents. Perhaps if Zeid told Rapifafa to use blood that didn’t have a god awful drop rate that wouldn’t have happened.

Upon exiting the room, Rapifafa finds a box with a helmet and another one of Zeid’s cryptic messages within.

Rapifafa keeps the helm, but throws away the letter. Rapifafa can’t help but think that if Bastok ever manages to bring the guy back home they’ll be wishing he was wandering the land again 10 minutes later.

32  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Filler Episodes Before Bastok Story Edition on: December 31, 2015, 06:35:11 AM
A Bard’s Story: The Circle of Time

It’s no surprise that as a rapidly growing city, Jeuno attracts young artists of all kinds, and the Merry Minstrel Meadhouse in Lower Jeuno in particular is a popular spot for fledgling bards to gather.

Though on this particular day, Rapifafa doesn’t sense very much merriment pervading the air.

Rapifafa figures since she’s here, she’ll have a drink so her visit won’t be completely wasted. Thankfully, the bartender at least seems to be friendly enough, telling Rapifafa a story of song runes somewhere on the Buburimu Peninsula which tell the story of two lovers. She probably figures Rapifafa is an adventurer, since she drops a not-so-subtle clue that maybe the lyrics would be able to bring up the mood in the place.

Rapifafa finds the runes on the beach near Mhaura, but she wasn’t alone on this visit. The cloaked man introduces himself as Lewenhart, a wandering bard in the most traditional sense, caring little where his daily meals come from- if they come at all- as long as he is able to let his song be heard at each tavern. Such a life of romance does have a certain allure for Rapifafa, but for now she had a task to do, so she copies down the runes onto a piece of parchment and heads back to Jeuno.

Rapifafa isn’t surprised that a broken heart wouldn't mend so easily, but she would’ve preferred to not be yelled at, either. Thankfully, Lewenhart soon shows up to help Rapifafa get out of this predicament.

Lewenhart gives the younger bard some words of encouragement, but Mertaire would rather wallow in his misery for the time being.

Rapifafa decides to chat up the bartender once again, and she tells Rapifafa about another set of song runes on the opposite beach of the Valkurm Dunes with the opposing set of lyrics.

Apparently on some level, Lewenhart’s speech worked on Mertaire, since he bothered to get off his ass and come visit the Song Rune.

Perhaps Lewenhart knew this would happen as well, but it’s also possible he was also simply here to visit the Song Rune, as he explains that these two song runes encompass everything a Bard is about, and he often comes to visit them when he needs new inspiration. No matter how much time passes, people will never change- the two separated lovers who wrote these lyrics did so wishing for their feelings to cross the sea, and in so doing had their feelings immortalized. He encourages both Mertaire and Rapifafa to simply allow their feelings to guide them in writing songs, and the rest will fall into place. Mertaire is all too happy to accept advice from the legendary bard he had admired since childhood.

Rapifafa and Mertaire both work at improving their skills, and eventually Mertaire asks Rapifafa for a favor- for her to help throw away the bracelet of his lost love. Mertaire wishes for it to be conclusive, so he asks Rapifafa to throw it into the Water of Oblivion in the Ranguemont Pass.

Mertaire arrives just before Rapifafa finishes the job, deciding that it would be best if he was to throw the bracelet away himself. As the bracelet sinks, Mertaire muses about what people a hundred years from now may think if they found the bracelet- was it possible the memories of its past owners would come through just like the song runes? Rapifafa had to restrain herself from telling Mertaire that he was a hack and whoever found it would probably be momentarily disgusted before casting it back into the water.

After some time, the bartender asks for Rapifafa- the bards at the tavern have always taken turns performing a certain task, and now it was her turn. One of the men interred within the Eldieme Necropolis had been a bard in life, but he was executed in San d’Oria for his crimes. The bards had respect for the man, however, and now Rapifafa had to go pay her respects. Visiting the Necropolis was always a frightening experience for Rapifafa, but this time Rapifafa tried to block her fear out by focusing on singing the requiem.

Of course, the song isn’t so effective when a ghost materializes right in front of Rapifafa. Thankfully, the spirit doesn’t seem to be malevolent, and simply gives Rapifafa an old ring before disappearing.

The bartender thanks Rapifafa for performing the praying by giving her a new pair of boots, but isn’t too willing to believe her story about the ghost, thinking Rapifafa might have simply met a graverobber.

Eventually Mertaire tells Rapifafa to simply take the ring to an appraiser instead of lugging the thing around constantly. Rapifafa does so, but the appraiser tells her that the ring is too old, and its best if she washes it off using a special patch of snow in the Northlands.

It’s a long trek, but Rapifafa manages to clean the ring and finds a strange inscription. Upon returning to the appraiser, he tells Rapifafa that the script is in elder San d’Orian, so it may be best if she took it to aElvaan of suitable age in the Chateau d’Oraguille.

Old man Chalvatot is willing to share the tale behind the ring, but asks that Rapifafa keep the story a secret.

The ring belonged to a travelling minstrel whose skills eventually allowed him a private concert for the San d’Orian king of that time. The king was so moved by his music that he did everything in his power to keep the bard in his palace.

Of course, this only allowed the bard to capture the heart of the young queen, who was many years the king's junior and had not married for love. Soon, the king discovered her infidelity, and the bard was put to death by poison.

The queen did not forget her lover, secretly ordering the creation of many San d'Orian ornaments to be buried with him in the Eldieme Necropolis- the tomb was soon picked clean by graverobbers. When the king passed away, the queen left the palace for a convent to spend the rest of her days. Before she left, she had left her own ring to Chalvatot’s forefather, perhaps in the hope that someday an adventurer like Rapifafa would come and reunite the two rings. Chalvatot asks that Rapifafa perform the queen’s final wish and place the two rings upon an altar in the Monastic Cavern under Davoi.

With that, the two lovers may pass into the world beyond together. Chalvatot has little to offer Rapifafa for her service, but decides to give her one of the burial ornaments meant for the bard as it is no longer necessary.

Though perhaps as a bard, another timeless story of star-crossed lovers is more valuable than all the jewels and treasures in the world.

33  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Filler Episodes Before Bastok Story Edition on: December 27, 2015, 05:06:10 AM
The Archduke

Old man Maat is constantly paid visits from Adventurers everywhere when they want to break the limits of their training (as in raise their level cap). Rapifafa eventually completes enough tasks for Maat and she is given the hardest task he can think of- to fight a one-on-one battle with an 80 year old man who probably has osteoporosis.

Maat adapts the fighting style of whoever he fights with, so he's a special kind of asshole when fighting as a Red Mage. Aside from being way better at fusticuffs than any Red Mage has a right to, he has access to most of a Red Mage's spells and ability, including their SP Ability Chainspell, which does exactly what you think it does. Basically the only thing that can be done is for Rapifafa to pop Chainspell herself and then see who's better at taking a bunch of Aero IIIs to the face.

When Maat is defeated, he tells Rapifafa a little story. Many decades ago, the town of Jeuno had not been the center of trade it was today, but rather just a simple fishing village. On one fateful day, one of the fishermen (as Maat calls him) had saved two young men from drowning. The two youths gave their names as Kam’lanaut and Eald’narche.

Kam’lanaut was unlike any man the fisherman had met. His past was shrouded in mystery, but he claimed they were pupils of a sage deep in the mountains, where they had studied until his death. With their teacher gone, they had decided to travel to Windurst, but their ship capsized and left them adrift.

Kam’lanaut decided to teach the people of Jeuno the ancient art of crystal synthesis, and soon he became a household name in the city. Kam’lanaut gained many followers and crystal synthesis quickly made Jeuno one of the richest cities on the continent. There were close to not objections when Kam’lanaut was selected to lead Jeuno.

His first action as Archduke was strange- he decided to share the art with the three great cities of San d’Oria, Bastok, and Windurst. While the citizens of Jeuno were displeased with this decision, he took that opportunity to reveal his plan to construct a tower in Jeuno, making the city larger than ever.

When the Shadow Lord rose to power during the Crystal War, the Archduke personally led the charge in several battles. Without him, it’s unlikely the Allied Forces would've been triumphant.

It’s expected that much like how the Archduke's appearance has mysteriously remained almost identical for 50 years, that the city of Jeuno will also continue to prosper.
34  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: December 26, 2015, 02:56:06 PM
The Peanuts Movie didn't come out here until Christmas, so I just saw it.

I think I should mention I'm not super into Peanuts or anything, I've read like 20 strips my whole life. Despite that, this is probably my favorite movie of the whole year (Yep, including Mad Max in that). Surprising because aside from not being very familiar with Peanuts, I also think pretty much every other movie by Blue Sky has been mediocre to crap.
35  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Bah Humbug Edition (Warning, lots of pictures) on: December 24, 2015, 06:35:55 AM
The Starlight Celebration

Rapifafa knew something was different as soon as she returned to Jeuno. There was nothing physically different about Jeuno, but the atmosphere was undeniably festive.

Music: Jeuno –Starlight Celebration-

As Rapifafa saw other adventurers run past her in that a blur of red and white, she remembered what time of year it was- how could she have forgotten?

The Starlight Celebration had always been associated with time spent with friends and family, and stories of the Smilebringers delivering bringing presents to the children of the world. Rapifafa felt it was appropriate to drop what she was doing so she could go home for the celebration.

During the trip back Rapifafa’s excitement mounted as she thought of the Starlight Celebrations of years past.

She still remembers being dazzled when she first walked the streets of the Windurst Woods during the Starlight Celebration- it was completely different from celebrating it at home. The colors, the lights, the treats and the presents! It was partially the knowledge that adventurers could see amazing sights like this all the time that made her decide to live a life of adventure rather than live out a safe and secure life in a Mog House.

Just a few years ago the Moogles had mistakenly brought Treants into Windurst for decoration. If Rapifafa hadn’t been an adventurer, there was no way she would’ve been allowed to help stop the rampaging plantoids and save that year’s Starlight Celebration. Rapifafa had once heard that in the Far East, they use bamboo ornaments instead of trees- maybe if Windurst did that they could’ve avoided that whole situation.

As she finishes reminiscing, Rapifafa spots the Great Star Tree off in the distance, but something was wrong-there were no lights!

Upon alighting, Rapifafa runs into a familiar face- the leader of the Star Onion Brigade, Kohlo-Lakolo. The other Brigade members were busy hanging lights and lighting fireworks. He quickly brings Rapifafa up to speed.

“The most wickedest of grown-ups! It’s all their fault!”

Apparently somebody decided that presents were the only things needed this year, and nobody had been putting up decorations, lighting lights, or baking treats. Rapifafa couldn’t let this stand either, and went off to find the moogles in charge of this travesty.

The Moogles were already recruiting adventurers to help them save the celebration. It wasn’t that somebody didn’t want to decorate the town- the inhabitants of the city had become so used to adventurers doing all the work that they thought everything could just be handled for them this year.

The Moogles assure Rapifafa that there were already people hard at work putting up decorations around town as they hand Rapifafa a festive hat and ask her to assist in handing out presents.

Alongside other adventurers, Rapifafa delivers presents to the inhabitants of Windurst, whether they be cheerful, apathetic or complete grumps.

She also helps things become livelier by participating in numerous games and events.

Rapifafa and other adventurers gather some materials, and manage to cobble together several ochestrions. Soon, music filled the air.

Before she knew it, the town had transformed around her. There were lights hanging off The Great Star Tree, Cardians rolled and spun through town decorated from head to wheel, music radiated from every house and people walked the streets eating several make-shift treats the Star Onions invented in a hurry.

The moogles worked to create presents for the children, and adventurers helped to hand them out.

With this year’s Starlight Celebration saved, the Star Onions help themselves to a much-deserved reward.

Rapifafa herself received plenty of presents for helping out, and with her airship pass, this year she could travel fast enough to enjoy the celebrations in all three nations.

After all is said and done, Rapifafa returns home for a rest. The life of an adventurer means Rapifafa doesn't have much of a family waiting for her at home, but somehow she gets the feeling she isn't alone in spirit as she celebrates this year.

Merry Starlight to all, and thanks for continuing to read! I assume you folk exist since the thread's view count still goes up.
36  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures) on: December 23, 2015, 07:28:24 AM
A Beastmaster’s Story: Man’s Best Friend

Upon returning to Jeuno, Rapifafa decides to visit the chocobo she once nursed back to health in exchange for her Chocobo’s License. Back then, everyone at the stables had chased away his former master, Dietmund, for his cruel treatment of the creature, but this time Rapifafa hears a rumor that the man had only pushed his chocobo as far as he did because he was desperate to save his son.

Rapifafa pays a visit to the man, and he confirms the story. The man spends little time speaking with Rapifafa before running back inside to tend to his son, but he pleads with Rapifafa to help him save his son by finding a certain glowing flower in Qufim Island. The flower only blooms at night, but the roots may cure his son’s fever.

Rapifafa finds the flowers hidden near the beach, and Dietmund soon arrives as well, saying he rushed after Rapifafa when his son finally fell asleep.

While the flowers are in plain view, digging up the roots will be a challenge as they are difficult to locate.

Luckily for them, Dietmund’s old chocobo followed him here, but to Dietmund’s surprise it was here to help, and soon finds the roots and even carries Dietmund back to Jeuno (Rapifafa, though, is stuck walking back like a chump).

Rapifafa returns to Dietmund’s house to see his son awake and looking much better, but his father is nowhere to be seen. Domingart tells Rapifafa that he went out on an errand of some kind.

Rapifafa returns to the Chocobo Stables to find Dietmund visiting his old chocobo. He thanks his old partner for coming through for him despite how he had treated it. Brutus tells Rapifafa that Dietmund is a Beastmaster, which may explain the bond that exists between himself and his pets. He suggests that by watching Dietmund, Rapifafa herself can attempt to hone this skill to speak with animals.

Brutus continues to help Rapifafa understand the way of the Beastmaster, sending her on many tasks to soothe the souls of dead animals. On one of these quests, Brutus asks Rapifafa to travel to the ruins of Fei’Yin and pray for the souls of beasts sacrificed in battles 20 years ago.

Of course, this was Fei’Yin, so even something like a prayer wouldn’t be a simple task.

While praying at one of these fountains, a ghost appears to Rapifafa.

The spirit tells her that the only way to appease the dead is to avenge them. He asks for Rapifafa’s help in achieving this goal, and expects her answer the next time they meet.

Rapifafa returns to Brutus, and while he doesn’t know much about the ghost Rapifafa met, he does know there were rumors of the ghost of an Opo-opo wandering Castle Oztroja.

Rapifafa searches the Castle Oztroja, and eventually finds a beast collar in one of the Yagudo’s Treasure Chests. It was unlikely it belonged to any Yagudo, so she takes it with her. On her way out, she runs into the Opo-opo Brutus told her about.

Rapifafa instinctively hands the collar over, and the Opo-opo disappears after taking it, seemingly satisfied.

With her task done, she returns to Brutus, who spent some time making something for her.

With no clues on where to find the strange ghost she had met before, Rapifafa returns to her adventures.

Eventually she hears a rumor from Dietmund, that the beasts inhabiting the Eldieme Necropolis have begun acting strangely, as if they were under someone’s contro.

The beasts have already attacks and killed several people, and people were beginning to blame the Beastmasters, so it would be good for both of them if Rapifafa went investigating.

Rapifafa is attacked by numerous beasts as she descends the Necropolis, and as Rapifafa suspected, she finds the spirit of the Beastmaster Balpah waiting for her.

He once again asks for Rapifafa’s help, saying that like all beastmasters, Rapifafa has sacrificed beasts under her control before to save her own life- this was her chance to make amends for those acts. Before Rapifafa can give her answer, the spirit of the Opo-opo she had helped before appears.

Balpah is surprised to see his old friend, and realized that with all the time he had spent in his death wishing to avenge his old pet, he had not sought him out the way his friend Tebhi had searched for him.

Memories come flooding back to Balpah, and he begins to remember the days he had spent performing alongside Tebhi. Balpah realizes that he had lost sight of what was important a long time ago, and is finally able to move beyond this life. He thanks Rapifafa for helping him reunite with his friend, and together they leave the Necropolis, never to be seen again.

Rapifafa returns to Dietmund to deliver the good news, and Dietmund is glad to hear it.

37  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: The NEW New Star Wars [s]Trilogy[/s] Thread on: December 22, 2015, 09:41:25 AM
Despite liking the movie, I pretty much agree with just about everything ZH said about Rey. What I will say though is that I was actually okay with accepting most of it as just her getting lucky a few times, except for the one I mentioned before.

The ending in A New Hope had a nice bit of visual storytelling by having Luke turn off his Targeting Computer, which gave a nice contrast between the fantasy element of the universe and the sci-fi element. In The Force Awakens Rey just uses the Force to swing her sword harder.
38  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures) on: December 20, 2015, 10:53:18 AM
San d’Oria Epilogue: Peace for the Spirit

There is still one more man Rapifafa wishes to meet in San d’Oria before she moves on, and it seems Prince Pieuje has some business with him as well.

Music: A Road Once Travelled

The papasque makes no excuses for himself. The tragedy that befell Tavnazia convinced him that the only way to bring salvation to the people of Vana’Diel was by opening the Gates of Paradise, using every resource he had to find what information he could. Just as he was about to give up, he was contacted by Lord Eald’narche of Jeuno, and he focused his efforts into finding the Lightbringer. Rapifafa could not help but think of Rainemard and the late Queen Leaute.

Shamonde declares that he plans on spending the rest of his days repenting for the sins he had committed against the kingdom. Rapifafa isn’t sure that’s going to be enough, but this wasn’t something for her to decide. Prince Pieuje takes this opportunity to excuse himself from the papasque’s instruction, saying that he will find his own path to Paradise.

Elsewhere in San d’Oria, Claidie was searching for Rochefogne. It seems he disappeared soon after the King had made his announcement earlier.

Claidie doesn't have the opportunity to find Rochefogne before he leaves San d'Oria, but Rapifafa runs into him as she prepares to leave herself.

Rochefogne feels that he no longer has any right to stay in San d’Oria, and Vauderame, ever the loyal Tavnazian, will follow his lord wherever he decides to go. Like Rapifafa, it’s unlikely his travels will end anytime soon.

For now, they go their separate ways, but Rochefogne feels that perhaps their paths will soon cross again.
39  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures) on: December 20, 2015, 10:46:25 AM
San d’Oria Part 4: The Heir to the Light

The time for the Rites of Succession had finally come, and Rapifafa was allowed to observe the ceremony in the San d’Orian cathedral.

The two Princes approach the Altar- whichever Prince unsheathed the sword Lightbringer on this day would become the next King of San d’Oria.

As the elder brother, Prince Trion is allowed to step forward to attempt the task first.

Before he can begin, however, the ceremony is interrupted.

Rochefogne had little trouble turning the tables on the assassins sent to kill him. With their existence a secret, there were no family nor friends to notice their absence. With the princess in his hand, he offers an exchange of her for the sword. With little choice, Trion gives him the sword.

Rochefogne has a plan, and he readies for his escape.

The Princes were not as foolish as Rochefogne expected. The d’Oraguilles were fully expecting that Rochefogne still had more up his sleeve when they could not find his body.

Music: Battle Theme #2

The late Queen Leaute had left some dreamrose pollen behind precisely for this occasion, and Claidie had stumbled upon in as she went through her mother's possessions. While the immediate crisis was averted, however, Rochefogne was not the only uninvited guest to the ceremony.

With everyone still stunned by the light released by the sword, the guards react too slowly to stop the Orc's escape.

Seeing the sword stolen, the papasque gives out a cry of despair.

Everyone still seems stunned about what had just happened, and Trion breaks the silence.

Had Trion fully drawn the sword, it surely would have consumed Trion, resulting in a catastrophe of a similar scale to that which happened 20 years ago. The explosion that had destroyed Tavnazia was not some secret Orc weapon, but the legacy of the Dragon King.

There was now no time to waste. The Knights had to make haste to retrieve the sword from the Orcs if they wished to avert another disaster.

A few hours later, the leaders of San d’Oria gathered in the Chateau d’Oraguille.

After some questioning, the papasque admitted to having lied about what was inscribed onto the tablet Rapifafa retrieved. The true inscription instead said that the Lightbringer was never to be drawn. Somehow, the papasque got it in his head that the Lightbringer was the key to opening the so-called Gates of Paradise mentioned in the San d'Orian religion. He claimed this information came from the brother of the Archduke of Jeuno- Eald’narche.

There was no time to sort that out now, as it is time to retake the Lightbringer. Scouts had seen the Orcs taking the Lightbringer to Qu’Bia Arena in Beaucedine Glacier, and the King orders the army to pursue.

Rapifafa follows the army past the Ranguemont Pass to enter the Northlands once again, and there, Trion gives a rousing speech to his men.

He's no William Wallace, but he does pretty well. With their spirits high, the Elvaan begin their attack on the Qu’Bia arena.

Rapifafa takes her own route into the Arena, and is soon confronted by a pack of Orcs led by a Warlord named Rojgnoj.

Music: Battle in the Dungeon #2

The Orcs make the mistake of underestimating her, and Rapifafa has little trouble dispatching the small fry sent at her.

Rojgnoj doesn’t take this lightly, however, and prepares to join the battle himself. Luckily for Rapifafa, help soon arrives.

With the Prince at her side, even an Orcish Warlord is no match for them.

Strangely enough, the Warlord dies with no words of hatred to throw at his enemies.

With the Lightbringer retrieved, the army returns to San d’Oria, triumphant.

Rochefogne soon recovers from his wounds, and the King requests that he tells his story of what happened in Tavnazia.

The Dragon King Ranperre had entrusted the Tavnazian Marquisate with the Lightbringer long ago. All of the Tavnazian royalty would learn of this duty when they came of age, which is why the Queen Leaute knew of the blade and prepared the Dreamrose pollen to neutralize its power should the need arise.

On the day the Orcs attacked Tavnazia, Rochefogne’s family made an attempt to escape to San d’Oria. Rochefogne, being young and brash, could not stand by and watch his homeland burn, so he seized Lightbringer from his father and headed back to the castle. Along the way, he saw some dreamroses, and thinking of his beloved sister, placed one of the flowers in his pocket.

He was not able to reach the city before he was surrounded, and as Orcs surrounded him, he removed the Lightbringer from its sheathe.

With the sword in his hands, he had felt what Trion had described earlier- a feeling of absolute power over Vana'Diel, and no regard for any of the life within it. When he came to, the Lightbringer had disappeared, and the entire Tavnazian peninsula was gone.

It is clear that the Lightbringer holds a power not meant for mortals, so the decision is made to return it to the tomb of the Dragon King.

Returning to the tomb, the group is greeted by an apparition which could only be King Ranperre himself.

Ranperre explains that using the blade, he was able to tame the beasts that wrecked havoc in the kingdom, but he was aware that it could also be devastating in the wrong hands.

With Ranperre and the royal family to help guard the sword, hopefully this power will be forgotten for good.

Upon returning to San d’Oria, the King announces his decision to prolong the Rite of Succession indefinitely.

He announces that the arrogance of the Elvaan has been holding back the Kingdom for decades now, and there is much the people of San d'Oria, including the Princes, need to learn before the future can be decided. Should both his sons not be up to the task when the time comes, he will be willing to abdicate the throne to whoever is worthy...of course, that includes the possibility of an adventurer.

For now, San d'Oria had a lot of work ahead of her.
40  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: The NEW New Star Wars [s]Trilogy[/s] Thread on: December 19, 2015, 07:08:28 AM
I saw it and I liked it, I'd say the thing I disliked the most is how they handled the main villain at some points.

Pretty big spoilers below, careful folks.

I like the idea he's like a confused child romanticizing about something he's never actually seen for himself. Without some backstory it's harder to understand him, but I'm guessing that'll come with the next movies.

What I didn't like was how ineffective he felt. I think I would've preferred if he completely overpowered Finn at the end and didn't get his ass beaten by Rey. I don't really care how powerful with the Force Rey is, you'd think a guy that's actually trained to use it would have an easy time at least matching her. I think I would've been fine with the latter if they had shown Rey changing up the way she was fighting when the Force Awakened (hur hur), but all I really saw was her doing the same kind of slashing movements she was 10 seconds before, except she got to win this time.

Didn't care much for a character death but like Lard, I understand why it happened. It sort of had to given some of the behind-the-scenes stuff.

Hyper nerd-tier nitpicking:
-Why would Luke shirk all responsibility and go into hiding instead of dealing with his pupil?
-Why would there be a map to Luke Skywalker?
-What's with the laughable names for Dark Side characters? First Sheev, and now Snoke.
-Meh soundtrack

Ending on something more positive, I'm sure some of the fanboys got the cinematic equivalent of blue balls, but I really liked the way they used Luke Skywalker.
41  Media / Game Journals / Re: Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun *COMPLETED* on: December 16, 2015, 11:29:05 AM
I can only assume they decided to make Golden Sun 2 parts because Shining Force III was in three parts, and that did pretty well (as far as I know). Shining Force III had like a hundred characters and a much larger storyline though. At least in the West Golden Sun actually got both parts released, and it was on a console people actually owned.

I'd say if you ever feel up to it, it's worth trying out The Lost Age. It's doesn't really solve the "easy as piss" issue the first game had, but it's a lot better than the first part in almost every way. It feels a little more "open" and the puzzles are generally speaking more interesting. The Djinn are also a bit more fun to play around with, but you only really get to get the most out of it if you transfer a complete data from the first game, which is kinda lame. Transferring data over is a huge pain in the ass too, it takes forever to enter the password Golden Sun Uno gives out.

Still, if I was ever going to refer someone a RPG with puzzles, I'd probably recommend playing through Lufia II about 3 times before trying Golden Sun. Like I said before, Golden Sun mostly looked impressive for its time- I don't really think it's something you go back and play now and find particularly special. Kinda like playing Phantasy Star II or something, I guess.
42  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures) on: December 16, 2015, 11:00:22 AM
A White Mage’s Story: Pieuje's Decision

Narcheral has recently heard disturbing rumors of the citizens of the lost city Tavnazia returning from the dead. Rapifafa is sent to the Valkurm Dunes, where many Tavnazians met their end 20 years ago, to investigate this rumor. Rapifafa finds little in her search until night falls, and she is attacked by a shadow.

Banishing the spirit leaves behind a now-rare pass which was issued by the Marquisate, confirming the rumors. Rapifafa returns the pass to Narcheral, and a few days later, Narcheral goes to visit Prince Pieuje. He asks that the Prince seize this opportunity to improve his standing with the people and the King, but Pieuje would rather understand what is going on first.

The shadow Rapifafa had defeated was a messenger- the Tavnazian dead are planning on rallying to restore the Marquisate. A great shadow which was seen travelling through the Ranguemont Pass a few days ago was identified as their leader, the former Tavnazian Marquis Altedour. Pieuje is skeptical of the claim, so he asks for a larger investigation before taking any action. Narcheral believes that the threat is dire, so he sends Rapifafa to obtain a canteen of holy water from the Yagudo to prepare for what lies ahead.

Narcheral uses the holy water to bless a pair of moccasins for Rapifafa.

As the priests wait for Prince Pieuje’s orders, Rapifafa spends the time gathering other pieces of armor to fight the undead.

Rapifafa returns from a trip to the Prince Pieuje’s room to find Prince Trion storming off.

Pieuje explains he was simply discouraging Trion from deploying his troops, but Trion was acting his usual hardheaded self. He then surmises that Rapifafa is here on Narcheral’s behalf, but he himself believes Narcheral is overreacting.

Pieuje is clearly hesitating, perhaps even remoreseful- he recalls what San d'Oria had done 20 years ago to doom Tavnazia, and speculates Marquis Altedour would've never imagined such betrayal. The Marquis fought valiantly even as he fled his city towards his supposed allies, and met his end near the Eldieme Necropolis.

Narcheral doesn't have time to think about Pieuje's hand-wringing, and decides it’s best if Rapifafa went to investigate the dead in the Necropolis and retrieve one of the bells they are rumored to carry, then make her way to Fei’Yin where the Marquis’s shadow was spotted heading.

The Eldieme Necropolis has no shortage of undead, so it takes some time for Rapifafa to find a spirit still carrying what she was looking for. With a Tavnazian Bell in her hand, she hurries to Fei’Yin.

Instead of Narcheral, Rapifafa runs into Prince Pieuje there, who tells Rapifafa he has brought many priests from the cathedral to assist in cleansing the area. Rapifafa is asked to help quell the rage of Marquis Altedour himself.

Jeronne pulls Rapifafa aside to explain how this operation came to be- Pieuje had organized this operation in secret, as Prince Trion’s wounds from previous skirmishes had not been healing as well as he let on. If it were up to the church, they would probably never try stopping Trion from doing his duty day after day, and hope for some unhappy incident to occur. Though whether Pieuje did this because he had spent much time thinking about the betrayal of Tavnazia, or genuine care for his brother, Rapifafa was not sure. Jeronne asks that Rapifafa not judge Narcheral too harshly- like Jeronne, he had lost the cathedral he was raised in to the forces of the Shadow Lord. It wouldn't be far-fetched to assume many other members of the church have similar stories.

Regardless, Rapifafa had a job to do now. She travels deeps into Fei’Yin, ringing the bell to attract the shadow of Altedour Tavnazia to her.

With the spirit defeated, the Marquis of Tavnazia finally returns to his rest.

Upon returning to Narcheral, he is glad that the dead have been vanquished, but is disappointed that Pieuje was unwilling to take credit for the deed. Nevertheless, he recognizes Rapifafa’s service, and rewards her with something fitting of a White Mage.

43  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures) on: December 13, 2015, 07:44:40 AM
San d’Oria Part 3: Breaking Barriers

Music: Chateau d’Oraguille

A strange barrier was placed around San d’Oria after the Coming-of-Age Ceremony. The papasque believes that the barrier resembles the one used by Tavnazia during the Great War, so it’s likely Rochefogne is behind it. His motives are still unclear, because the barrier has not posed any actual threat. Nevertheless, Rapifafa is asked to dispel the barrier, as there's no telling what could happen if the Lightbringer is unsheathed while it is up. To do so, she has to find the three mediums used to maintain the wall, and Shamonde seems to have a decent idea of where they might be buried.

The papasque points Rapifafa towards the regions of Vollbow, Valdeaunia, and Norvallen before leaving to conduct his own business. Rapifafa prepares to take her leave when the Princess arrives with some things to say herself.

Claidie has done some reading since the incident at her coming-of-age ceremony, and is all too willing to reveal the ugly secrets of the Royal family- the San d’Orian army led the beastmen armies to Tavnazia during the Great War as a distraction. Tavnazia was lost, but the battle was a large blow to the beastmen forces, representing a turning point in the war. With this in mind, she firmly believes that Rochefogne should be reasoned with rather than killed. The princes assure their sister they will do what they can within reason to capture the outlaw alive, and sends Rapifafa off to her task.

Rapifafa must deactivate the barrier’s mediums in order, so she sets off for the Vollbow region. The quickest way to the region is actually by travelling through an underground passageway on the north end of Zepwell Island, so Rapifafa once again flies to Bastok to reach the Altepa Desert.

To reach the Vollbow region, Rapifafa travels through the Kuftal Tunnels underneath Zepwell.

Past the tunnel was Cape Terrigan, found on the western coast of Quon.

On the east end of Cape Terrigan was the Valley of Sorrows, rumored to be home to the legendary Adamantoise creatures- thankfully, Rapifafa doesn’t run into one of them on this visit, and quickly finds the medium before leaving.

Next Rapifafa had to travel to Valdeaunia. Travelling back north past San d’Oria, Rapifafa returns to Xarcabard and finds the medium hidden amongst a group of trees.

The final medium was found in the Batallia Downs of the Norvallen region, so Rapifafa travels southeast of San d’Oria. As the papsque suggested, the medium was hidden well, and Rapifafa finds it on a secluded island which could only be reached by traveling underground through the Eldieme Necropolis.

No sooner than when Rapifafa collects the last medium is she confronted by Rochefogne, along with another familiar face- the thief, Vauderame.

Seeing them together, Rapifafa now remembers where she had seen them both before- these were the two men she saw escaping when she had defeated the Ahriman and Dragon on Horlais Peak, where she first learned of the Shadow Lord's return. They don’t seem interested in running this time- Rochefogne claims they had set up the barrier to stop the Orcs from stealing the sword. Rochefogne orders Vauderame to check on the other mediums before drawing his sword. It seems a conflict was unavoidable, so Rapifafa prepares to draw her own.

Eideialc jumps between them, attempting to stop the fight. Rochefogne doesn’t seem too interested in chatting, but Eideialc insists on finding a peaceful solution to the problem. Eideialc likely didn't expect that she, too, was followed.

The men introduce themselves as the “Cadavres des Corneilles”, a group of select prisoners from the Bostaunieux Oubliette who have traded their lives for service as assassins. Clearly, the princes’ assurances to Claidie weren't worth very much.

Eideialc doesn’t plan on letting the men kill Rochefogne, but it’s apparent she doesn’t really understand who she’s dealing with.

All the assassin finds in the aftermath is Rochefogne’s armor, so it’s unlikely he survived the attack. With his task done, he spares the Princess but it doesn't seem she will be finding any of the answers she seeks.

There’s nothing left they can do, so Rapifafa and Claidie return to San d’Oria.

The Princes do not regret their decision, believing it was for the good of their Kingdom, and make thinly veiled threats against Rapifafa should she decide to share the tale of what occurred in Batallia Downs- the Cadavres des Corneilles is a highly secret group, so their list of suspects would be rather short if word got out about them.

Having failed in her task, Claidie shuts herself within the Queen’s gardens, unwilling to see any visitors. However, she is soon paid an unexpected visit.

44  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures) on: December 09, 2015, 09:45:34 AM
A Dragoon’s Story: The Shifting Crest

Rapifafa hears many rumors about the Dragon King Ranperre while travelling through San d’Oria. This particular day she overhears two men holding a conversation about him while passing through the warehouses of The Brugaire Consortium, one of the largest businesses in the Middle Lands.

Their topic turns to the former King’s top vassal- rumors say he was a Dragoon, a rare sight in these days. However, supposedly a new Dragoon has recently appeared, and people say it’s a man named Cyranuce locked in the San d’Oria dungeons, the Bostaunieux Oubliette.

Rapifafa decides to check the rumor out, and the guards in the dungeon inform Rapifafa that Cyranuce is long dead, crushed by a beast called forth by his beastmaster cellmate. One of the inmates, however, claims that Rahal, the leader of the Royal Knights, had been jealous of his close friend Cyranuce, which is why he had him imprisoned. There are rumors that Rahal himself is a Dragonslayer, in many ways diametrically opposed to the Dragoons. Rapifafa is told that if she wishes to learn more, she should seek out the archeologist Oiheaurese.

Oddly enough, Rahal shows up halfway through Rapifafa’s conversation with the archeologist, claiming he is looking for “suspicious characters”. Oiheaurese denies seeing anything of the sort, so Rahal returns to his duties. The archaeologist explains to Rapifafa that both holy and evil dragons in the world exist, so he wishes that Rapifafa would follow the rumors that a wyvern egg is hidden within the Maze of Shakhram, in the hopes that she will protect it from any Dragonslayers from killing it while it is still young. Dragons are now an incredibly rare sight around Ronfaure since Ranperre destroyed most if not all of them during his reign, and it would be a shame for such a creature to be extinguished before it has a chance to prove its loyalties.

Rapifafa spends some time excavating areas within the maze, and soon finds the egg the archaeologist pointed her to. She brings it back to the cathedral, but the archeologist is nowhere to be found.

Instead, his student Yachemidot tells Rapifafa that she should be able to hatch the egg if she takes it to the Drogaroga’s Spine in the Meriphataud Mountains.

Rapifafa finds an area on the spine where the air is warmer than the surrounding area, and as she sets the egg down, it begins to hatch.

Unfortunately, it seems she was followed by the archaeologist's "student", Yachemidot.

This was what Yachemidot had been waiting for, announcing that with the blood of the young Wyvern, he can complete his transformation into a dragon- Yachemidot is in actuality Cyranuce, and the cellmate was who was crushed underneath his own beast.

Rahal attempts to stop Cyranuce, but he quickly makes his escape using his Dragoon abilities, jumping far beyond either Rahal or Rapifafa could reach.

As the newborn wyvern lays dying, Rahal explains to Rapifafa that this particular newborn has no Holy or Unholy crest on its bodies like most do. Yet this is not the first time he has seen this phenomenon- long ago he had seen another uncrested wyvern, which soon bound its will to a man- his old friend, Cyranuce. As the days passed, the unholy symbol appeared and Cyranuce was consumed by the power of the dragon, and he was forced to imprison him for his protection.

Despite knowing the wyvern had committed no sin, Rahal prepare to act against how most knights would, declaring that he must stop another tragedy from occurring.

He stays his hand however, believing that the wyvern can assist in finding Cyranuce once again. He insists that that will be the only thing the creature will be used for, and it will be put to death as soon as the task was complete.

It takes some time to nurse the Wyvern back to health, but Rahal quickly learns from it that Cyranuce is within the Ghelsba Outpost. Perhaps if they travel quickly, they can still prevent Cyranuce from being consumed by the dragon’s blood.

But they are too late- Cyranuce has already lost the rest of his humanity, and Rapifafa is forced to kill him.

With his dying breath, Cyranuce thanks his old friend for his undying faith, and asks him one last favor- to take any of his remaining faith and to put them into the dragons, so that the legacy of the Dragoons can be kept alive.

Despite his friend's words, Rahal is still unable to put the loss of his friend behind him, and moves to slay the remaining Wyvern.

As the Wyvern approaches Rapifafa, it begins to glow- it is the Holy Crest, symbolizing the birth of a true Dragoon.

Rahal recognizes that this is the legacy his friend had left behind, and sheathes his sword, asking Rapifafa to name her new companion.

Rapifafa has many travels with Khocha as a Dragoon, and at one point comes across a woman named Miaux. She is seeking to have her late father’s breastplate repaired, and asks that Rapifafa help her obtain a polishing stone from the Altepa Desert.

Rapifafa has little trouble locating the stone for the woman, and returns it to her. Rapifafa continues her travels once again, and soon comes in contact with Brugaire, one of the wealthiest (and greediest) men in Vana’Diel.

He had recently attended father’s funeral, and while he seems to have cared much for the man, he was all too happy to accept his inheritance. Unfortunately for him, he was attacked soon after the funeral ended, and the armor was stolen. He offers Rapifafa the opportunity to retrieve it for him with 20% of the selling price as a reward. His only lead was that an Elvaan woman was nursing him back to health when he awoke from the attack.

Miaux has little to tell Rapifafa herself, saying that all she knew was that she spotted a suspicious woman at the funeral and found an earring lying nearby Brugaire.

Rapifafa travels by airship to the Goldsmith’s Guild in Bastok to have the earring identified, and one of the craftsman points Rapifafa towards a woman named Esca, who wished to have a similar earring made just a few days ago.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the woman is one of Brugaire’s very own workers. She agrees to tell Rapifafa where to find the armor as long as she keeps hush-hush about the whole whacking-her-boss-across-the-head thing.

Rapifafa returns the armor to Brugaire, just as he is paid an unpleasant visit by Rahal.

Oddly enough, whatever Rahal said seems like it actually struck a chord with Brugaire, who decides then and there to give up selling the armor, rewarding it to Rapifafa for her work in retrieving it.

Rapifafa returns to her travels, finding more armor pieces left behind by previous Dragoons.

Eventually Rapifafa pays a visit to Rahal, who informs her that recently the Royal Knights have been being attacked by an unknown assailant. Rumor has it that this assailant is the forgotten Dragoon General himself, Erpalacion.

When King Ranperre had finished quelling the strife within the Kingdom, he immediately sent Erpalacion on a meaningless expedition. Many believe Ranperre feared Erpalacion’s power, and simply wished to be rid of him. When Rapifafa brings up the incident where someone attempted to steal the brais of the last Dragoon, Rahal asks that she investigate further.

Brugaire has little information for Rapifafa, but does point her in the direction of the helm of the last Dragoon, rumored to be hidden in the Kuftal Tunnel, far away from San d'Oria on Zepwell Island.

Rapifafa travels far to reach the tunnel, but it seems someone else had already arrived before her.

Rapifafa brings the challenge back to Rahal, who seems to recognize the handwriting, but is oddly tight-lipped about the matter.

Rahal points Rapifafa towards Balasiel, the instructor.

Balasiel quickly recognizes the handwriting as that of one Ancolain B Feulart, the former second in command of the Royal Knights. Ancolain was relieved of command many years ago due to his inability to comprehend the tragedy involved in taking up the sword- he would sacrifice men to gain victory at any cost. Balasiel tells Rapifafa that Khocha may be able to track the man using the letter, and Rahal points Rapifafa towards the southern lands as a possible starting point.

Khocha leads Rapifafa to the Temple of Uggalepih, where they are attacked by shadows.

Rapifafa is able to defeat them, but Ancolain soon appears.

Ancolain spent the days he had after his dismissal mastering the arts of necromancy, and using the helm of the last Dragoon, he plans on resurrecting the spirit of Erpalacion- together they would take their vengeance on the homeland that betrayed them.

Erpalacion’s reaction isn’t quite what Ancolain expects, however.

Ancolain is devastated by his failure, and with the arrival of Rahal, he has nowhere to run.

All that is left is the mystery of the last Dragoon, Erpalacion.

Erpalacion explains that in his final years of service to King Ranperre, he had slain many who had no sins to answer for. As he continued this senseless slaughter, the crest on his Wyvern slowly turned to an unholy one.

For this reason, he asked to be dismissed from service so he could spend the rest of his life in quiet solitude. He further requested that he be declared dead, as any need to defend himself from assassins would only further stain his lance with blood. Erpalacion spent his late years fighting any evil within him, unlike Ancolain who had embraced it. Rapifafa too had to take care not to lose this conflict within herself, or she would lose more than she realizes.

Erpalacion asks Rapifafa to allow him some time alone with Khocha in his final moments of existence, and as he fades into oblivion, he leaves behind his helmet to continue the legend of the Dragoon.

45  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy VII Remake on: December 08, 2015, 04:06:17 AM
Considering the scale of what they're implying this project is the episodic thing is certainly not a dealbreaker of any kind for me. As with most I'm just going to wait for the details. The internet has a bad habit of thinking things are worse than they actually are because the people who complain are far more likely to voice their opinion than people who are just fine with things the way they are. They're usually the ones who go out of their way to thumbs down every youtube video they can find, spend hours of their day writing rambling diatribes on multiple message boards and author numerous 0-score reviews on metacritic.
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