Author Topic: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World

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Hathen

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Here we are at the ending to the Windurst story. Hope you enjoy it.

Windurst Part 14: Stars of Hope

Rapifafa and her party have no choice but to make a temporary escape. Semih Lafihna explains to Rapifafa that when Ajido-Marujido had reactivated the towers, he had broken one of the most important clauses in the peace treaty between Windurst and the Yagudo, and they did not sit idly by these past few weeks. Semih Lafihna takes Rapifafa to the Animastery, where everyone has regrouped.



Ajido-Marujido reexplains the plot to everyone, that Karaha-Baruha dragged Fenrir to death alongside him after taking control of him, and it was likely that the strange bearer of darkness which has been wandering around is the resurrected spirits of both Karaha-Baruha and Fenrir, brought back when Joker was reactivated. Now Joker has requested that they bring the bearer of darkness to the Full Moon Fountain. While Joker’s purpose in this is unclear, they have little choice in the matter, with the Star Sibyl captive.

Ajido-Marujido forms a plan. He orders Rapifafa to travel to Ro’Maeve, the Chamber of Oracles, and the Temple of Uggalepih to gather three verses of a Kuluu song. Ajido-Marujido learned from the Book of the Gods that the Kuluu had made some kind of pact with the avatars long ago, and this song would be able to lure the bearer of darkness to the fountain. He asks Semih Lafihna to go to the chieftainess Perih Vashai to explain the situation- should the Star Sibyl lose her life in the coming conflict, the Tarutaru would enter a state of panic, and the Yagudo would choose that moment to attack. The Mithra must be ready to defend Windurst in that situation. Finally, he asks Apururu to find some way to disable the Cardians.

With the plan laid out, everyone leaves the Animastery to perform their tasks, while Ajido-Marujido continues his studies of Karaha-Baruha’s notes.



Rapifafa travels past the plains of Sarutabaruta, the cliffs of Tahrongi Canyon and the Meriphataud Mountains, and into the forests of the Sanctuary of Zitah. Past there, she returned to the ruins of Ro’Maeve, returning to the same fountain where she had first met the bearer of darkness.



As she approaches, a haunting song plays.



Music: Moongate (Memoro de la S^tono)

With that, she finds the first verse she is looking for.

Rapifafa continues her task, traveling back to the Meriphataud Mountains so she could reach Jeuno past the Sauromague Champaign, then taking an airship to Bastok and traveling past the Korroloka Tunnels to the Altepa Desert. The Quicksand Caves below contained ruins known as the Chamber of Oracles, possibly unearthed by the incessant digging by the local Antica.



Here, she once again hears the same song as she did in Ro’Maeve, and she finds another verse of the song.



Returning to Jeuno, she boarded a flight to Kazham, and traveled to the Temple of Uggalepih past the Elshimo Jungles.



Here, she hears the strange song one last time, learning the final verse Ajido-Marujido asked her to obtain.



Rapifafa rushes back to the Star Sibyl’s Vestal Chambers in Windurst as fast as she can, where she finds Ajido-Marujido and Semih Lafihna waiting for her. Apparently, the King of the Yagudo has announced the imminent abolishment of the peace treaty with Windurst. Ajido-Marujido adds that it’s likely the lifeforce Karaha-Baruha dumped into Joker is soon to run out as well, so there is a ticking clock on both ends.



From these two facts, Ajido-Marujido comes to the conclusion that the Yagudo and the Cardians have likely hammered out some kind of deal- after all, the door to the talisman used to seal the Shadow Lord could only have been opened by a Minister, a Heaven’s Tower representative, or a Cardian. It is likely that the time limit given by the Yagudo King and the time left on Joker’s life is identical.



Soon, Apururu enters the room and declares that her work is done as well, meaning the time has finally come to confront the Cardians at the Full Moon Fountain.

The group descends below Windurst to the Toraimarai Canal, and travels through the sewer until they reach the Full Moon Fountain.



Ajido-Marujido tells Joker that the group has brought the song to draw the bearer of darkness to the Fountain, and demands the release of the Star Sibyl. Joker, however, says he only be satisfied if he hears the song first.

Ajido-Marujido tells Rapifafa to protect the Star Sibyl at all costs before letting her go. She approaches Joker, playing the song for all to hear.











Whatever ritual has begun, it has caused the Cardians to go berserk, and they attack the party!



Music: Tough Battle #2

Rapifafa has the (mis)fortune of finding herself going toe-to-toe with the Ace Cardians themselves!





Rapifafa has a rough time, but she is able to emerge victorious. She turns to help the others face the remaining Cardians- and finds them all taken care of thanks to Apururu.



It seems the fight isn’t over however, as the bearer of darkness himself decides to send a few fiends to confront the group.



Considering the power Karaha-Baruha held on top of Fenrir’s power, it’s no surprise the fiends are incredibly powerful. But Rapifafa has much less difficulty with them with Ajido-Marujido, Semih Lafihna and Apururu fighting at her side.





With the battle over, Joker is able to complete the ritual.



As the spirits of the Cardians merge, Joker asks for the Star Sibyl to make a new wish when the Stars and Moon return.



Joker collapses, and the Star Sibyl makes her wish- for the return of Fenrir, and for his blessing to protect this land as he had in the past.









-----



Back in Windurst, Ajido-Marujido speaks with Rapifafa as the Star Sibyl rests. It seems that any leftover power of the Stars and Moon from the Mana Orb, the Fountain, and the Star Sibyl’s Diza Star were all consumed to revive the Great Beast. That strength came together to allow the Star Sibyl to perform the second Moon Reading in Windurst’s history.



Semih Lafihna returns from her short trip to inform Ajido-Marujido that with the Great Beast back and the loss of their Ace Cardian allies, the Yagudo called off their attack. It’s likely the Yagudo won’t be trying anything anytime soon.



Ajido-Marujido muses that perhaps Karaha-Baruha was brilliant enough that he had predicted a mage like him would come into being to follow in his footsteps and set off this chain of events, and at this Apururu shows up to crap on Ajido-Marujido a little bit before handing him his Orastery ring- it seems things have finally returned to the way they were. They all turn to return to their work, but Semih Lafihna notes to Rapifafa that the Star Sibyl wishes to meet her once more before she departs for any more adventures.



The Star Sibyl once again thanks Rapifafa for her service, and shares with her something that she had not considered.



Whatever the future of Windurst will be, it will no longer be set by the stars in the sky, but rather by the stars of hope the citizens themselves represent.

Music: Vana’Diel March #2







« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 01:00:23 AM by Hathen »

Hathen

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Windurst Epilogue: The Promise



Soon after the second Moon Reading, Carbuncle asks Rapifafa to collect the six whispers of the six Avatars once again. Through this, one of the Rhinostery researchers is able to change a Carbuncle’s Ruby into a Moon Bauble, which calls Rapifafa towards the Full Moon Fountain.



The whole coming-back-from-the-dead thing makes Fenrir a bit hard to reach, but the power of the six Avatars allows Rapifafa to meet the great beast once again.



Carbuncle asks Fenrir to lend Rapifafa to fraction of his power the same way the other Avatars have, but like the others, Fenrir is interested in testing Rapifafa before he is willing to grant such a power.



Rapifafa passes Fenrir’s test, and Fenrir grants her a fraction of its power. He also senses something from Rapifafa, and passes a dark orb to her, asking her to give it to “the children”.



Rapifafa had put it off long enough, so she returns to the Star Onion Brigade and hands them the darkened orb.



Rapifafa tries to explain to the children what has happened, but they’re unwilling to believe that Joker is gone.

Music: Prelude





« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 12:59:35 AM by Hathen »

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Hathen

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If it's any consolation, only the Tarutaru and Mithra in the game have funny sounding names all over the place, and Windurst is filled with mostly those two. The other races have high fantasy sounding names but at least you have a good chance of pronouncing them correctly on the first try. Maybe I'll get to those other nations later but whether or not I do I'm going to take a break from doing XI for a short bit. It ended up taking a lot longer to type up these summaries than I thought it would, heh.

Oh yeah, I guess I should write some thoughts about the game itself since this Journal seemed to have ended up being more just a summary of the game's story (Here's your warning to skip the rest of this post!). Was a bit tired when I posted those entries earlier so I guess I'll take some time now to rant a bit.

Windurst is actually my favorite nation storyline in the game. The San d'Oria storyline would start the tease about something that players would never get to actually see, and the Bastok storyline had about one part I liked and the rest of it just kinda bores me- but I guess I'm getting ahead of myself again. Hopefully it came across in the entries but a lot of the story in FFXI isn't just about going through the plot, but rather a lot of it is told by the areas themselves. Most players I knew actually ran out to Tahrongi Canyon and beyond way before they ever reached the part of the story that told you to go there, so to have dozens of hours of wandering/adventuring around the wastelands of Mindartia under your belt, only to learn there was actually a pretty big plot reason all that was the case (instead of just "the developers wanted to make cool-looking areas"), was an interesting experience. Basically, I would say it offered a similar experience to a well-constructed open world game like Morrowind, where the history of the world you were playing in slowly came together as you explored around, except with the Final Fantasy aesthetic we all love.

So for any of you that bothered listening to the music while reading through this picture book, you might have noticed the latter part of the Windurst story started using lots of music from the first expansion to the game, Rise of the Zilart. Pretty much everything after Rank 6 (the mission where you beat the Shadow Lord) is considered expansion content. The expansion's own story also got some foreshadowing in Vanilla content, so I'm under the impression that either they had already planned all the story including the first expansion before the game released, or even that at some point in development, they were a single game.

The fact that this game wasn't released in the US until it had a year's worth of content updates and the Rise of the Zilart was probably a huge help for it, because aside from that meaning that all the nation storylines were actually available for completion, it also meant they weren't getting a game that was actually mechanically broken in many ways. The early life of the game naturally had people running around in the six basic jobs, but that by itself wasn't an issue except for the fact that Thieves had a really terrible backstab ability, Red Mages were a crappy in-between of White and Black Mages with no unique spells (something that's Final Fantasy tradition but quickly makes it clear its a bad idea for an online game), and Warriors had a competent enough Hand-to-Hand skill so that they could just punch things in the face in place of a Monk if you actually found yourself up against something weak to blunt attacks (which was not common to begin with). So basically, having 3 out of 6 of the starting jobs be crappy is not a very good starting point. By the time of US release, Thieves had a really beefy Sneak Attack, Red Mages had some of the most important unique spells in the game, and Monks were a popular job to take to some high level dungeons. Of course, XI still had its share of balancing issues and it would continue to be infamous among MMOs for how horribly balanced its jobs are, but probably nothing quite like those dark early days of the game.

Also, Rise of the Zilart let people play as Samurais and Ninjas. Why else would you buy a Final Fantasy game if not to be a weeaboo?

Anyway, San d'Oria's story is up next whenever I feel like getting off my ass and writing it up (in case it wasn't already obvious, I write some of these entires ahead of time and post them on some insane schedule that only makes sense to me).

Hathen

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Look at all these responses, I'm sure people have been waiting for me to continue with bated breath.

So the FFXI story reached its conclusion about 2 weeks ago, but that's still a ways off for Rapifafa. If anybody reading hasn't played XI before, I'd say not to let your curiosity to get the better of you and going off to read wiki summaries, because I do think everything that happens in the final story means a lot more if you experience it in the order of release, which is basically how I'm going through it here.

Time for Rapifafa to enter the San d'Oria story, and the perfect way to bridge that from the Windurst story is with

A Thief’s Story: Atarefaunet’s Band



The obvious place for any budding thief to go is to Nanaa Mihgo, the famous Cat Burglar of Windurst.



Rapifafa has spent some time practicing thieving skills, so Nanaa Mihgo decides to tell her about a call for able thieves. They are to travel to Jeuno to meet the Tenshodo.



Rapifafa travels to Jeuno to find herself surrounded by a lot more Thieves than she expected, many of whom she had met on her adventures to other nations.



Soon after her arrival, their host Vauderame calls for their attention.



Long story short, the Tenshodo wants help assessing the motives of the leftover members from a group of thieves known as Atarefaunet’s band. They had terrorized merchants for decades until 20 years ago, when Atarefaunet was killed by a traitor. Rapifafa is recognized as an adventurer, so she’s given one of the most troublesome members of the group to deal with. She is handed an envelope and sent off to find the man known as Sneaking Tiger.



Rapifafa finds her target in the fishing village of Selbina.



Sneaking Tiger is amused by the Tenshodo’s offer, but he wishes to see how good Rapifafa is at the whole thieving thing, so he sends her on a task to steal a bowl of stew from one of the Quadav in Beadeaux.



Sneaking Tiger is satisfied with this display of skill, so he signs the paper and shoos Rapifafa back off to Jeuno.



With the job finished, Rapifafa collects a handsome payment from the Tenshodo and goes home satisfied.



Nanaa Mihgo doesn’t seem satisfied herself despite the disproportionately high reward. She had momentarily held Rapifafa’s letter before she handed it to Vauderame, and she was able to tell through that alone that the signature Sneaking Tiger gave was a simple letter “V”. She tells Rapifafa that something similar happened with the signature she collected, so she thinks she's onto the scent of a greater treasure. Nanaa Mihgo gives her followers and Rapifafa forged Tenshodo letters and the whereabouts of the members to Atarefaunet’s band to collect the signatures once again.



Rapifafa is first pointed towards the towers in Sauromague Champaign. Nanaa Mihgo’s underlings advised her to take all her armor off before climbing the tower, so she leaves her belongings on the bottom and makes her way up.



She finds a Tarutaru woman named Linzaza on top of one of the towers, and after some exchange of subterfuge, Rapifafa is able to get Linzaza to sign the forged letter.

Rapifafa’s only clue for the other member is a Goblin merchant in Jeuno, who leads her around on a task of playing dice with a bunch of Goblins to get the information she wants.



Turns out it was nice practice though, since the next member of Atarefaunet’s band also has a strange personal obsession with dice.



Rapifafa takes the two signatures back to Nanaa Mihgo, who adds them to the other ones gathered, giving her the letters V, Z, A, N, A, T, A, and I. Nanaa Mihgo gives Rapifafa a reward for her efforts and asks for some time to solve the riddle.





When Rapifafa returns, Nanaa Mihgo reveals she was able to crack to code: The letters were an anagram for “Tavnazia”, the nation that was obliterated by the beastmen during the Great War.



Nanaa Mihgo did some more digging, and found that before the nation was swarmed by the beastmen, some of the Tavnazian Knights carried away some kind of royal treasure, and the word is that Atarefaunet’s band attacked and stole this treasure. Nanaa Mihgo suspects that Vauderame is looking to gain this treasure. She still needs more information before she can act, however, and she thinks the key lies in the signature of the sender on each letter, so she sends Rapifafa to find two of the thieves the Tenshodo invited. The letter Rapifafa delivered had a blank spot where that signature should’ve been.



Rapifafa finds the thieves, but as expected neither of them are willing to give out information for free, so Rapifafa performs their silly thieving tasks and obtains the two letters “O” and “D” for her troubles.



Nanaa Mihgo combines the letters together to get D, L, E, L, O, R, and E, and quickly deduces that this is an anagram for “Ordelle”-Vauderame used the thieves he hired to tell Atarefaunet’s band to gather at Ordelle’s Caves, so Nanaa Mihgo and Rapifafa race there to see if they can reach the treasure first.

Past the Ordelle’s Caves was an unmapped region in the La Theine Plateau, where Nanaa Mihgo and Rapifafa unearth a suspicious-looking treasure chest. They were the first here, and now the treasure was all theirs!



Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much inside, some dusty old armor and a golden scepter is all they find. Of course, with the sound behind them, it probably wouldn't matter what treasure they found.



The situation isn’t looking very good for Nanaa Mihgo and Rapifafa, as Atarefaunet’s band isn’t too keen on letting them go after they’ve unmasked more than half their members.



Rapifafa isn’t given the chance to escape, as it seems Vauderame has planned for this sort of situation, and Rapifafa soon feels all the strength draining from her body.



Rapifafa soon wakes up to the sound of Vauderame’s voice. The arrows they used to shoot Rapifafa and Nanaa Mihgo apparently had some kind of memory-erasing poison, but clearly it didn’t have much effect on Rapifafa. The band discusses killing Rapifafa and Nanaa Mihgo instead of leaving loose ends, but Vauderame says that it’s unlikely that a Mithra would lack allies willing to come after them should she perish.

Vauderame apparently isn’t done with Rapifafa, and she closes her eyes as he approaches.



Rapifafa loses consciousness again.

She wakes up to Nanaa Mihgo standing over her. Apparently she thinks that they were knocked out by some trap within the chest, and she proceeds to divvy up the treasure in the chest, consisting of several gems and a pair of boots. Mihgo thrusts the boots into Rapifafa’s hands and runs off with the gems, assuring her that the boots are quite valuable.



Rapifafa doesn’t mind walking away with the Rogue’s Poulaines Vauderame left behind, but there’s one thing left over she can’t figure out- she could’ve sworn she had met Vauderame before in the past, but she just can’t figure out when or where.


Hathen

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It's probably worth noting here that in the context of the game, your character's memories are wiped whenever you switch nations. Obviously it's just a way for the story to explain gameplay, so I'm going to move forward assuming that doesn't happen- it also makes it so that I don't have to act like Rapifafa fought the Shadow Lord another 2 times somehow. It does it make it so that some parts of the story are a bit hokey when you aren't actually a citizen of that nation, but I don't think it's too big of a deal.

San d’Oria Part 1: The Tomb of the Dragon King



When Rapifafa had traveled to San d’Oria as an ambassador, she had learned from one of the guards in San d’Oria that recently, there has been a mysterious man asking about the late Queen Leaute. The odd thing about the man was that even though he seemed to know the queen personally, he was somehow not aware that the queen had lost her life to an illness fifteen years ago.



Rapifafa’s adventures around San d’Oria took her to the tomb of the great King Ranperre, hailed for his role in extinguishing a civil war 200 years ago.



Music: Elvaan Male

King Ranperre was known to his subjects as the Dragon King and was hailed as the greatest monarch to ever come from the d’Oraguille family.



Ranperre was able to end the civil war taking place between West and East San d’Oria, expel Orcish hordes from Ronfaure, and freed the kingdom of marauding black dragons.



Rapifafa paid a visit to the tomb of the great Dragon King, and there she ran into a man going by the name of Rochefogne. Rapifafa’s eavesdropping gained her some information- Rochefogne is apparently looking for a sword of some kind.

When Rapifafa returned to town, she learned that the queen’s chambers had been ransacked, rather odd choice for a burglar considering all the other treasures the royal family owns. Rapifafa traveled to the Chateau d’Oraguille to find Halver and Curilla discussing the matter, and they revealed that a copy of the castle’s floor plans had been circulating on the black market, so it would've been hard to narrow down suspects in an investigation.



The papsque Shamonde soon arrived, demanding to know what had been stolen from the queen’s chambers. He seemed unusually upset over the matter, apparently concerned that perhaps that the queen had something hidden in her chambers the thieves were looking for. Halver decided to placate him by telling him that he will send him a report following an investigation.

Rapifafa had decided to help with the investigation, and she was pointed towards the gardener of the Chateau, Chalvatot. He told Rapifafa that he had saw two suspicious-looking Elvaan men in the Chateau, who ran off when he yelled out at them. He further noted that one of them looked familiar to him.



The Princess Claidie had joined that meeting, also curious about all the unrest in the Chateau, and when she was informed of the situation, she told the Chalvatot that she had found her mother’s diary in a strange place, and asked him to meet her at her chambers later.

Rapifafa was thanked for her help in the investigation, and she returned to Windurst soon after that.



With the threat of the Shadow Lord removed and the issues in Windurst solved, she now returned to San d’Oria. Halver still recognizes her, and decides that an adventurer of her skill should be suited for a dangerous task, one that apparently comes from the late Queen herself.

Rapifafa asks for some details, and Halver is only too happy to sing the praises of the late Queen Leaute. Originally a Princess of the faraway nation of Tavnazia, she had married into the royal family before the Great War began. Unfortunately, Tavnazia was obliterated during the War, and the Queen’s brother- Marquis Altedour’s son- had disappeared. Halver finishes his story by telling Rapifafa her task is to fulfill a task in the Queen’s will-she wanted a dreamrose to bloom by her side, even in death. It’s a very rare and delicate flower, however, only blooming in remote areas of Vana’Diel.

Rapifafa knew she would have a better chance of finding the flower in the outlands of Vana’Diel, and her search eventually takes her to the Altepa Desert, where she finds one such flower still in bloom.



Upon her return to San d’Oria, she is told to plant the flower in the garden near Leaute’s grave.



Rochefogne appears he’s ready to ask some questions of his own, but soon both Rochefogne and Rapifafa see a strange vision.



Flustered, Rochefogne excuses himself from the garden, while Chalvatot arrives to help Rapifafa plant the dreamrose. Chalvatot laughs at Rapifafa’s story, telling her that it’s likely a combination of fatigue and the strange pollen the dreamrose is rumored to contain. Rapifafa finds this explanation reasonable enough, so she leaves for her rented room to get some rest, but not before finding a strange note by her feet.



Soon Rapifafa is asked to meet Prince Trion to be given an important task.



The Kingdom wishes to find the lost treasure of King Ranperre, and they believe an adventurer of Rapifafa’s stature can be useful. Rapifafa is told to travel deeper into the tomb of King Ranperre to find his true resting place- the monument that Rapifafa had once visited was built long after the king had passed.



Rapifafa travels through the tomb of Ranperre and eventually finds the lost tomb. She finds an indecipherable book near the tomb and prepares to return to San d’Oria, but it seems she was followed.



Fortunately it doesn’t seem Rochefogne bears any malicious intent, instead kneeling before the true tomb of Ranperre and asks for protection. Rapifafa sees little reason to remain, so she returns to San d’Oria to deliver the book.

The ancient San d’Orian language in the book is soon translated, and Rapifafa is granted an audience with the King Destin.



The king reveals that the royal family of San d’Oria has been seeking the treasured sword of the long dead Dragon King known as the Lightbringer. However, the book contained no clues to the whereabouts of the sword. Despite that, finding the true tomb of King Ranperre is something worth celebrating in its own right, so the King decides to visit the tomb himself.



As soon as they arrive, they are greeted by a knight in strange blue armor. He seems to bear no ill will, but the papasque Shamonde immediately casts a spell to fend off the knight, and the King’s knights are ordered stand guard while the King completes his visit.



Curilla is confused by what she had just seen, and Rahal notes that he had no trouble recognizing the armor the man wore. The knights who had served King Ranperre were led by a Dragoon- the last known one, in fact. Rapifafa’s unable to inquire further however, as Shamonde soon comes to assure everyone that it was likely an outlaw and shoos Rapifafa off. She's going to have to get her information at another time.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 02:26:18 AM by Hathen »

Hathen

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I guess I'll bring up the fact that in the Japanese version of the game, this job is simply called Knight, which makes a lot more sense as far as how it fits into the game's lore, but I guess if you're going to have to have a job system in a Final Fantasy game, you'll need to pop those FF4 fan boners.

A Paladin’s Story: A Knight’s Armor



The most important thing to any San d’Orian is honor, and there is no path more honorable than that of the Paladin, a path followed by the Crown Prince Trion himself. The instructor Balasiel offers Rapifafa the opportunity to follow this path as well and hands a Book of Tasks to get her started.





She has little trouble figuring out the book is pointing her towards the knights in the guard towers of San d’Oria, and she collects the two clues to what her task is.





The Book of the East clearly refers to the stream running south out of Lake Mechicume in Jugner Forest. Thus, Rapifafa journeys to where the stream leads- Davoi.



The clue in the Book of the West was harder to decipher, but Rapifafa soon realizes that the Book is making reference to the constellations of Vana’Diel.



By consulting the stellar map, Rapifafa is able to figure out that she is to travel to the southwest of Davoi to find the Knight’s Soul.



With the Knight’s Soul, Rapifafa returns to Balasiel to be knighted.



In the course of her Paladin training, Rapifafa comes across a young boy separated from his father.



It seems a menial task, but Rapifafa helps the boy find his father, a Royal Knight. Rapifafa finds the boy’s father spending an inordinate amount of time in weapon and armor shops on the other side of town, and informs him of his lost son.



The boy’s father, Exoroche, is none too pleased with the boy’s reliance on a total stranger for such a minor problem, however, and gives him a good scolding.

Rapifafa returns to her training, but is soon approached by the boy again. Ailbeche wishes for help finding a whetstone to sharpen a sword, and the best place to find such stones is in Ordelle’s Caves.



Once again it’s a menial task, but a Knight will help any in need. Upon obtaining the stone, Rapifafa returns to Ailbeche, who is pleased enough that he gives Rapifafa one of the numerous swords his father keeps at home. Apparently, he wishes to use the whetstone for a special sword of some kind.



A few days later Rapifafa runs into the boy once again, but this time he is speaking with another man- also a knight, apparently.



Vilbert is apparently temporary acting as a Captain in the Royal Knights in place of Exoroche. At the moment though, he is simply listening to Ailbeche spreading the rumor of a massive fish. Vilbert mentions that there are legends of Knights obtaining treasure from the belly of such fish, and suggests that a giant shell bug should be able to lure them. With that, Ailbeche runs off to ask his father for assistance.



As usual, Exoroche is found in the arms shop in Southern San d’Oria. Exoroche quickly dismisses Ailbeche’s request, saying he’s busy with his work. Ailbeche leaves the shop disheartened, and explains to Rapifafa that his father was not always this way- after his mother was killed by Orcs, Exoroche started obsessing over the quality of his armor and weapons, believing they are what led to his failure. Without his father's help. Ailbeche enlists Rapifafa’s help instead, telling her that she may be able to find a giant shell bug in the Crawler's Nest.



Rapifafa finds the bug in the belly of one of the crawlers in the nest, and quickly bring it back to Ailbeche, who is unwilling to take the bug for himself. He believes that Rapifafa go and fish up the big one herself, and points her towards Castle Oztroja.



After finding and slaying the fish, Rapifafa drags it with her back to Ailbeche, who tells Rapifafa there’s an expert fisherman in Selbina who be able to gut it for her.



To Rapifafa’s surprise, the fisherman Zaldon is actually able to find something in the fish’s belly- an old pair of boots.

They look strangely familiar, so Rapifafa takes the books to Exoroche, who informs Rapifafa that the boots are the ones worn by some of the Royal Knights, and asks her to take them to Prince Trion.



Trion quickly discerns that the boots belonged to a knight named Chusarlaud. Trion recalls that Vilbert was familiar with the man before his disappearance, but Vilbert doesn’t seem to know much more about his disappearance than Trion does.



Upon dismissing Vilbert, Trion turns to Rapifafa and informs her that he had some suspicions that Chusarlaud was a spy before his disappearance, but he needs the objectivity of an outsider to complete the investigation, and sends Rapifafa to search Chusarlaud’s house in Southern San d’Oria. As a further incentive, Trion rewards Rapifafa with a pair of the same boots she had found for her service up to this point.



Rapifafa travels to Chusarlaud’s house, but his father is not very coorperative.



Rapifafa’s instead investigates around town and learns that Chusarlaud had a personal interest in painting. In particular, he appreciated the works of Mique, the court artist of King Ranperre.



Chusarlaud had always wanted to try painting with the artist’s paintbrush, but it was rumored to have been hidden in Castle Zvahl. Rapifafa figures it’s the only way to get Chusarlaud’s father to coorperate, so she goes treasure hunting. On the way, she finds more pieces of the Knight’s armor.







Vemalpeau is shocked when Rapifafa presents the paintbrush, and tells Rapifafa to search his room upstairs if it means she can help him find his son.



Rapifafa is unable to find much of interest in the boy’s room. Aside from several paintings, Rapifafa finds an envelope. Oddly enough, it contains blank sheet of paper. Upon questioning, Vemalpeau says his son would often read letters from his commanding officers, but they were blank every time he tried to look at them. Rapifafa feels the best person to answer this question would be Exoroche.



Rapifafa finds him in a quarrel with his son. Ailbeche had heard Vilbert had just left the city, so he came to his father to wish his unit luck in their expedition. He had been sharpening his father’s old sword for such an occasion, but Exoroche only reacts with confusion at the offer, and Ailbeche runs off in anger.

Rapifafa had no time to concern herself with this, and asks Exoroche about the letter. He tells Rapifafa that the special ink on the paper would be revealed using water from a certain well in Davoi. Unfortunately, whatever water they had stored from that well from back when it was an Elvaan outpost have long since run dry, so Rapifafa has no choice but to go to the source.



Rapifafa fights her way past numerous Orcs before arriving at the well, where she is able to reveal the contents of Chusarlaud’s final letter.



Rapifafa returns to San d’Oria to find Ailbeche gone, apparently having left for a fishing trip with Vilbert. Rapifafa quickly informs Exoroche of the betrayal, but he is unwilling to listen. With little time to waste, Rapifafa decides she needed to pursue Vilbert to Jugner Forest.



Rapifafa arrives a bit too late, and Vilbert holds the boy hostage. She has little choice but to give into Vilbert’s demand- she hands the incriminating letter over.



Vilbert is not a man of his word, however, and prepares to finish off both Rapifafa and the boy.



It seems some of Rapifafa’s words did reach Exoroche however, and he arrives in time to save his son.

Ailbeche takes this opportunity to once again present to his father his old sword. With some words from his son, and his old sword in his hand, Exoroche once again realizes the true source of a knight's strength.





With the day saved, the knights return to San d’Oria to report to Prince Trion.



Trion is delighted to have one of his Captains back, and presents him with a surcoat to mark the occasion. Exoroche declines the reward, however, explaining he does not need any more swords or armor, but simply wishes to regain his honor. He instead asks that the surcoat be given to Rapifafa, as without her the matter would not have been settled. Rapifafa thinks honor is great and all, but she is more than happy to accept such fine armor on top of that.



Rapifafa only has one last responsibility to fulfill before she completes her journey as a Paladin.




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San d’Oria Part 2: A New Heir

To Rapifafa's dismay, she recieves a task from the papasque of the San d'Orian Church.



Music: Sometime, Somewhere

Of course, Rapifafa can't really afford to deny a request from the man at this point. The Church of San d'Oria and its worship of Altana alongside its promise of Paradise to its followers has lasted hundreds of years. It was now easily the largest religion in the Central Lands, with their priests traveling all over the land. Worship of the Star Sibyl mainly stays in Windurst, whereas Bastokans largely spent their time tinkering with machines rather than nurturing any faith.

The papasque wishes for Rapifafa to help in the search for the Lightbringer. Rapifafa is to investigate a possible lead hidden beneath the dungeons of San d’Oria, in the Bostaunieux Oubliette and bring it back to Shamonde. It would be disastrous if the Orcs were to get their hands on the sword, so finding it is in the interest of everyone. Still, it’s clear from the orders that Shamonde also wants to help Prince Pieuje gain favor in the eyes of his father by being the one to find the sword.



A trap door in the prisons below San d’Oria leads Rapifafa to the Bostaunieux Oubliette.



Past a secret exit far into the dungeon, Rapifafa finds a strange tablet with writing similar to the book she had found before, but as she was warned, she runs into an Orc doing his own investigation into the sword. Rapifafa has little trouble putting a quick end to him.



Without much else to see in the area, Rapifafa returns to San d'Oria.



The papasque is pleased to see Rapifafa return. He immediately sets his scholars to deciphering the tablet and once again sends Rapifafa away. Just as well, since one of the guards told Rapifafa she was asked to visit the Queen’s garden.



Princess Claidie is there waiting for Rapifafa, wishing to thank her for bringing her the dreamrose before. She’s clearly troubled by the recent actions of the Orcs- 20 years ago their mysterious weapon had destroyed the Tavnazian peninsula and tore it from the mainland. Rapifafa doesn’t have much time to stay around and chat, however, as she's soon dragged off to assist in an investigation into some mysterious Orc activity in the Yughott Grotto.



Rapifafa finds a group of Orcs using a strange device, searching for something which “worked in the Great War”, but she’s unable to hear all of it before they spot her and attack. With her Sleepga spell handy, Rapifafa has no trouble picking them off one by one.



As is traditional with any fellow adventurer, Rochefogne and a youth in golden armor named Eideialc appear before Rapifafa once there was no actual fighting left to be done.



They’re both searching for the Lightbringer in the hopes of finding it before the Orcs do, though seemingly for different reasons. Rapifafa’s not too interested in hearing them sum up the blindingly obvious, so she pockets the Crystal Dowser device the Orcs left behind before running off back to San d’Oria.



Nobody in town is currently interested in continuing the search however, as Princess Claidie’s coming-of-age ceremony is drawing near. Everyone is preparing for the festivities and both princes are busy trying to select a gift. Rapifafa herself is given a task to find some special water for the ceremony in the Quicksand Caves.



Rapifafa returns to the Quicksand Caves found beneath the Altepa Desert, though this time she takes a different route and finds the Fountain of Kings. With the Drops of Amnio, Claidie can complete the ceremony for her first steps into adulthood.



With the preparations complete, the ceremony is held just a few days later, and crowds of citizens attend. Unfortunately for Rapifafa most of those citizens are Elvaan. It’s a hassle, but Rapifafa is able to shove her way to the front of the crowd.



With the parade in vision, Rapifafa soon sees that she wasn't the only one to go through that trouble.



The Knights draw their swords, whether to arrest or kill Rochefogne, Rapifafa wasn't sure, as he begins his speech before anyone has a chance to silence him.



Before the citizens of San d’Oria, Rochefogne reveals his full name, Rochefogne I Tavnazia, the sole surviving heir of the Tavnazian throne, and brother to the late Queen Leaute. He simply declares that finding the Lightbringer is his destiny before running off, along with several Temple Knights in pursuit. Rapifafa can only assume that he wishes to publicly shame the d’Oraguille family with this act, otherwise it’d be monumentally stupid. Trion orders in a not-so-friendly voice that the entirety of San d'Oria is to be searched for the man.



With the coming-of-age ceremony complete, Rapifafa is to continue helping in searching for the Lightbringer. King Destin makes a declaration- the tablet Rapifafa found stated that only the true heir of San d’Oria would be able to unsheathe the Lightbringer, and thus whichever prince is able to unsheathe the sword will be crowned king after Destin. Teams are dispatched to all over the Central Lands, and Rapifafa is told to investigate the Temple of Uggalepih.



The search ends with Rapifafa finding nothing. Rapifafa returns to San d'Oria empty-handed, but it seems Curilla was able to find the sword on her search. Soon, the future of San d’Oria would be decided.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 10:11:43 AM by Hathen »

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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.


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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.


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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.




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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.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 11:02:03 AM by Hathen »

Hathen

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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.

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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.




Hathen

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Re: FFXI Journal: Bah Humbug Edition (Warning, lots of pictures)
« Reply #44 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.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 06:42:08 AM by Hathen »