CoWR - The Meeting of Archadia and Dalmasca
Chapter 1: Boring Talky Stuff
DISCLAIMER: Do not own the FF characters, but I want to.
Elsewhere, a Bangaa holds a drink in his hand and mutters violently, stewing in the dingiest, unfriendliness place for a drink that he could find.
"Quite the sore loser are we?"
In a bolt of swiftness, that same Bangaa has tossed over the table, brandished his chainsaw blade, and now clashes it against the two blades the voice now wields.
Rose steps out of the shadows, still blade locked with Ba'Gamnan's weapon.
Ba'Gamnan, who's in a ferociously bad mood, just skips the wordplay, going straight into combat. He presses his chainsaw ring, trying to overpower his and Rose's blade lock. However, she just spins to the side and slides her blade to his neck.
Ba'Gamnan stands there at the mercy of a woman who surprisingly had some.
With a smirk she taunts him. "This is the mighty bounty hunter Ba'Gamnan?"
Ba'Gamnan growls. "Why do you torment me? If you'll be taking my head, just make off with it already!"
Her smirk turns into a frown. "That detestable thing? I wouldn't even take it just to shut you up. I need another thing out of you."
"And why should I care?"
She presses the blade closer to Ba'Gamnan's neck. "Because... there's a certain bounty hunter I know about. One who's stench has piqued your interest for too long."
"Yes. Him. Get me my man, and I can help you get yours."
"Nrrmgh... Perhaps...depends. Who is the one you need buried?"
"A stray dog. One who follows closely on the heels of a queen. He chose to oppose my interests, and I want him to feel the painful gravity of the consequences. On top of that, let's not forget the gil involved here." She lays 6000 on the table.
Ba'Gamnan promptly rallies his gang of fellow bounty hunters, and sets out to track down Lycan.
Rose also sets out with a grin, getting underway with her next task.
Meanwhile, a pair of Sky Pirates wakes up from an interesting dream.
"Fran, remind me to have a word with Tomaj about the contents of his fare."
"You presume that to be mere moonshine Balthier?"
"Of course not, but the leading man makes light of any danger facing him." It is then that he remembers he has a passenger. "I say, are you alright? Comfortable as the Strahl is, sleeping quarters are extra fare."
The young adventurer stands tall, hands on her hips. "Well then I'll just have to earn my keep, won't I?" She says with a confident smirk.
Balthier grins, and looks to the field of battle below, both forces separating.
"Looks like the crisis is over. And how could it be otherwise with our... 'Majestic' queen? Speaking of which, I believe I spied her in that dream..."
"You believe we should visit the Palace?"
"Indeed I do."
On the Strahl, Sadira folds her arms behind her head. "The queen huh? What're we visiting her for?"
"If we're in a war miss, then there are two things I'd appreciate. Good comrades, and a sizable military force at my back. Fortunately, the Queen fulfills both of those requirements."
The girl's arms drop. "Sadira." She mentions as she turns to look once again out of the window of the Strahl.
Balthier wonders what a Sadira is, before realizing that Sadira is her name. "So, what brings you to the Royal City today, assuming you weren't here to be attacked by a group of tenacious Bangaa?"
Sadira looks over at Balthier. "Well... I'm sort of... what you'd call a wanderer. A nomad. And well, whatever else I need to be to get fed. With... a level of self respect of course. I was just breezing through, really. How about you two? I'm sure you've got an intriguing story."
"A story for another time perhaps. It is getting late." Balthier remarks. And the three go to sleep.
On the outskirts of Rabanastre, the young merc sets to a fire while he waits for his client to wake up. After all, night was setting in, and as hot as it was during the day, the sands might as well have been arctic tundra when the sun had set. "...Wolf meat tonight..." He finishes skinning a wolf, and sets to cooking it in a stew.
The aforementioned Queen awakens from the aforementioned vision, and looks around. "Nice to see that you keep to your contracts." The wolf meat before her might not be her first choice for a meal, but she has eaten far, far worse during her years in the resistance.
"Well yeah. I run, I don't get my money." He glances at the pot and at Ashe. "How's your stomach?"
Meanwhile, Ashe looks at the meal in front of her. "I wouldn't mind a meal. Reminds me of working with the Resistance."
'So I see. You're used to rough necking it yourself.' Lycan finishes his meal and lies down onto his back to gaze up at the stars. "...So that dream we had... it happened, right? Seemed vivid enough."
"If it is real, then Dalmasca, and the world as a whole are in danger." She looks at the pot with a look of longing, which is covered over by her usual look.
"Help yourself." Lycan says nonchalantly as he continues to gaze up at the heavens above. "...Welp. Wouldn't be the first time, and probably won't be the last." He shrugs slightly. "I dunno. I'm just being paid to help save it I suppose."
After a hearty meal and a good night's sleep, the two journey back to the capital.
Far across the world, Judge Magister Basch fon Ronsenberg makes preparations to leave, alongside Larsa to visit the Dalmascan kingdom and discuss state of affairs with it's queen.
He had hoped that the city hadn't fallen under attack by the time he had arrived.
Lycan heads out to greet the Arcadian ship that lands in the airship docking area, thinking of what the person who's in charge of the empire would look like. He versioned a bold wise old man. He would be sorely mistaken to find the emperor to be a mere kid.
"...THIS is the emperor?"
Basch steps forward to confront Lycan on his cynicism. "As much of an emperor as any before, and any after. And you will respect him as such."
Lycan declines a standoff with a shrug. "Ashe's waiting."
"That's Queen Ashe."
Lycan turns and walks on with or without Larsa and Basch. "And you think she prefers to be addressed as such?
Basch closes his eyes, holding in his frustration. "..."
Larsa looks up at Basch and nods for them to follow.
Lycan stops and glances back a moment. "Oh. 'Fore I forget. There's supposed to be a Sky Pirate visiting here as well."
The aforementioned Sky Pirate is busily explaining to the indignant guards exactly WHY his airship is currently parked outside the Royal Palace.
Yes, he does have clearance to be there. No, there was nowhere else to park. And YES, it is very likely, however not completely certain, that the Queen will approve.
With the reassurances taken care of, he introduces himself and is instantly waved through the guards and checks. Sometimes, friendship with royalty was worth more than money. But not often.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Queen is sitting in her throne room, waiting to recieve Larsa and Basch, when news comes to her of Balthier and Fran's arrival, along with an unknown third party member. "May as well see them all at once. Bring them in."
Lycan leads them into the meeting chamber and leans on a wall, folding his arms, remaining silent.
Sadira had never been in a place like this. She was too absorbed in the decor to pay attention to what's going on. However, presence of royalty catches her attention. "Oh?" She starts brushing her hair down with her hand quickly in an attempt to make herself more presentable.
Basch simply gives a courteous bow with "Your grace."
Larsa also greets the queen of Dalmasca. "It is good that we meet again despite such... circumstances."
"I imagine it's those very circumstances that you've come to discuss." She considers what she is about to reveal to them, especially to Basch.
"... Dalmasca came under assault by a Judge Magister, leading an army of demons in the guise of Arcadian Soldiers. The Magister in charge of the assault was Judge Magister Gabranth."
"Our... intelligence... has revealed him to be under the command of a demon known as Chaos. This being is responsible for the intrusion of other worlds onto our own."
Balthier listens in silence, since he already knows this.
"So the rumors are true? Noah is really...?" Basch takes a moment to recollect himself. "This does nothing to waver my resolve. If Noah has truly reclaimed the mantle of Judge Gabranth, then it is certain our blades would cross once more."
'All I would hope to know is why Noah would be given a second chance in this life only to repeat his past treachery...'
"This Chaos. Is he the Esper we claimed in the past?"
"Unlikely." Lycan gets off of the wall he was leaning against and informs Basch of the threat that the deity of Chaos poses. "This is a god of discord we're talking about. He opposes Cosmos. The goddess in that dream vision that I assume you had. I remember you there after all."
"So this is a machination of the gods."
"More like a dispute we all got dragged into."
"Regardless, we are firmlyembroiled in this dispute. And there is no way to get out of it. Chaos has already declared war on Dalmasca. It is only a matter of time before Archadia becomes embroiled as well." She rises up from the Throne, not that she was sitting on it for any formal reason.
"The Goddess spoke of allies. Ones that we should attempt to get in contact with. And there was mention of a Bastion to the north."
Balthier interjects at this point. "I don't think it's the best idea to be blazing a trail northwards at this time Princess." He stands up, now that he has the floor. "Dalmasca has repelled one attack. Who's to say that others might not come? More importantly, let's assume that others have found this legendary location. Their first goal would be to contact the remainder of the allies so we can begin to co-ordinate our efforts. It's not as if we are a small group on the run from an Empire now. This is a larger war than the one between the Resistance and the Empire."
Fran is almost disbelieving. "Acting as the voice of restraint?"
"Well, we can't all be the same character every time. Circumstances change things."
Lycan looks at the others. "I've been in the lair of Chaos. Some of their soldiers are formidable. But... this attack was a declaration. I don't think they'd attack again unless Dalmasca had something to offer in their conquest. Same goes for your Archadia. We'll still need someone to hold the fort in the homelands though. Maybe dispatch two or three people to seek out that bastion."
"... Perhaps Dalmasca holds more than one might think. Archadia as well." Balthier is the first to speak of the issue at hand. "The Sun-Cryst, the source of all Nethicite was destroyed by Reddas at the Lighthouse. The Dawn, Midlight, and Dusk Shards were all destroyed before their power could be further misused."
He turns to Ashe. "Pray tell Princess, what happened to the Manufactured Nethicite?"
Ashe hesitates for a moment, and then speaks clearly. "A portion is stored here. The sheer quantity of Manufactured Nethicite produced by Dr Cid... your father... makes it impossible to destroy with the only weapon we possess."
She motions to the Treaty Blade, which is enshrined in the Royal Throne of Dalmasca. "A second portion is stored where it always has been. The Draklor Laboratories in Archades."
Balthier considers for a moment. "The power to absorb magicks at command. Would that not make an interesting prize for our demonic foe?"
"Milady." Basch offers his input on the plan. "What if we ourselves were to take possession of the Nethicite? The targets would surely be us and not our kingdoms then?"
"Yeah, how's the enemy going to know that until after the kingdoms get ransacked though?"
Larsa steps forward. "It's too dangerous."
Basch turns to the young emperor. "And if we were to just hand it over, milord?"
Larsa shakes his head. "We can't do that either. This war maybe of a larger scale than the one that my..." He looks to the floor, as he speaks the rest of his piece. "...brother persisted in, but our duties are to our provinces and their people."
He looks up again, this time at his Judge Magister. "Basch. You'll head off to the Bastion in the north in my place. I shall remain here, and cooperate with Dalmasca's Queen to protect our empires."
Basch looks over at Ashe, hoping that Larsa would remain in good hands while under her watchful eye.
WhiteLycan: Basch, Rose, Ba'Gamnan, Sadira, Larsa,
Sun Tzu: Balthier, Fran, Ashe,