Hello all. I must say at least once more that I'm sorry for ending up triple-posting that last one. Hoo! But I shall let that dead horse lie, though I should probably move it some time because it'll start to stink soon...but garbage day isn't until Tuesday...and would they even take a dead horse?
Moving on! This is the second installment in the misadventures of the Opaline Brigade. If you remember from their frist story, these three women seem to be a celestial sinkhole for misfortune, misjudgment, and other things not necessarily having to begin with "mis-".
While the stories aren't necessesarily congruent (like Cauldron or Showdown), you will notice recurring themes as the characters become even more fleshed out. And who wouldn't like to see a little flesh, eh?
Requested by: Lyliandra
Subject(s): The Opaline Brigade (Yekan, Awias, Eleusynia)
Setting: Jeuno & Ghelsba Outpost
* * * * *
The orc ran up the trail. His large mouth was agape in an effort to catch his breath. Hot on its heels were three figures in white, ghostly looking in the evening sunset light. Warchief Vatgit turned and ran more to his hut at the top of Ghelsba Outpost. As he passed by two guards, the warchief shouted for them to cover him. Dutifully they stood in the trail. Vatgit ran on, listening for the sounds of battle but eerily not receiving any.
His hut was just ahead and the warchief thought he was home safely. Soon, the cargo would be delivered to the main fort. Just as he reached the door, he felt a pebble hit the back of his head. He turned around to see a blonde-haired white mage standing behind him. She looked into his cloudy eyes and said, "Here we are."
Another pebble flecked off his noggin and a black-haired black mage appeared in front of him. "Here we be."
A third pebble completely missed his head, carving a graceful arc over top of the hut. A frowning blonde summoner came into view, managing a dejected "Here for you are the Mage-nificent Three..."
"We'll fix your problems" said Eleusynia.
"Or break your heart." The summoner pretended to cry.
"All for a small sum of gil, from which you must part." Yekan grinned.
"We'll do a mundane task," yawned out Awias.
"Or plan a cunning raid," the white mage mocked panic on her face.
"Let's all hear it for the..." trailed the black mage.
All three of the women then cheered out loud, "OPALINE BRIGADE!"
The warchief looked at the three women clad in white armor and roared loudly, "GUUUAAARDSSS!" Immediately a half dozen orcs surrounded the Opaline Brigade. Eleusynia looked at the chief with fire in her eyes that she'd conjure outwardly to share with her new playfriends. Yekan drew her club and thumped one end of it in her hand. The orcs all looked at the summoner to see what threat she posed. Not a moment after, Awias's body began to spark with teal lightning. After a small delay, a small glowing varmint appeared in front of her and started rubbing against her leg affectionately. The orcs all laughed.
"Go get 'em, Carby," Awias slyly said.
With a cry, the battle began. If anyone else laid witness to what happened at the top of the cliff, they could summarize it as "an awful lot of hurt". Orcs were pummeled by both club and raw elemental energy, as their ankles were also gnawed by the squirrely Carbuncle. It wasn't long before the warchief lay slain in his hut with three pairs of white boots circled around him. Yekan bent over and began searching the body.
"Ah here it is," she revealed holding aloft furled scrolls containing the floor plans to Chateau d'Oraguille, "We have completed our mission, let's go back and get that hefty reward that robed guy promised us.
"Wait," said Eleusynia, "there's something else." She fished out an orb of sorts from a pocket on the deceased Vatgit. The orb itself was as cloudy as the warchiefs eyes. "What do you think it is?"
Awias took it from her hand and turned it over and over, commenting with occasional "ah-has" or "hmmms".
"Well? Know what it is?" Yekan questioned her fellow blonde.
Awias handed it back to Eleusynia, closed her eyes, struck a thoughtful pose. "I have come to the conclusion...", both her teammates leaned in close, "that I have no idea what it is!"
She was greeted with one sigh and one gloved hand upside her head. Who did what was irrelevant as both Yekan and Eleusynia were capable (and most willing) of that and more.
"Ele, mind giving us a warp home," asked Yekan.
"Not at all, milady." The sorceress bowed and began to cast a warp spell. Yekan vanished in a swirl of violet light. "Ok Awias, you are next." The crackle of black magic began and sent off the summoner. Lastly, Eleusynia warped herself back to Jeuno to go back to Headquarters (and Temp Services).
Eleusynia and Yekan met up just outside their office. "Where's Awias," Yekan asked. Almost on cue, the summoner came over the linkpearl. "Hey guys..."
"Let me guess," sighed Eleusynia, "you changed your home point when we got to San d'Oria?"
"The crystal was so shiny! I had to touch it!"
Yekan quipped, "Ok Awi, just make your way here as soon as you can."
"You guys are me-" Awias was cut off when her teammates turned their pearls off simultaneously.
"At least we'll get a day of silence before she gets here," smiled and chuckled Yekan, "Awi sure can be dumb someti...what? What are you staring at?" Yekan followed the invisible lines projecting from Eleusynia's eyes to her belt. Therein lay the floor plans they needed to turn in to complete their mission in San d'Oria. Yekan slapped her own face.
"Since we are already here in Jeuno, let's discover what this orb is. Then we can travel back to San d'Oria to finish our mission."
"You have a good point, Ele! Well, you are paid to think and you do just that. Good job."
"If I was paid to think then I'd be brain dead," flatly stated the black mage to the white as she jingled her coin purse containing about 20 gil.
Yekan smiled nervously and rubbed the back of her head. "Dinner on me tonight?" A black pony tail bobbed in agreement.
That night as the two mages dined in the Merry Minstrel, Awias was navigating the Jugner Forest on her own. "At least I have you, Carby," she said looking down. Carbuncle, however, was firmly latched onto her leg with head buried in a fold of cloth out of sheer terror. Awias thought this couldn't get much worse or scary.
A peal of thunder shook the area and it began to downpour.
Back in Jeuno Yekan and Eleusynia discusssed the orb. It was resolved that the black mage would take it to someone she knew who dealt in these things. The next day, the black mage went to Port Jeuno to find a gentleman named Shami. Yekan stayed at HQ in order to answer any visitors, take missions, or catch an equally-important midday nap. As she sat at her desk, she opened that morning's edition of the Tarutaru Times. On the cover was a story about the tri-nation coalition to rebuild the collapsed segments of Drogaroga's Spine. Yekan never spoke about that incident, but she was happy to see the reconstruction was almost complete.
The bell in the office rang and Yekan looked over to see Eleusynia entering. "How'd it go," she asked, "What did you find out?"
"I talked to this guy named Shami in Port Jeuno. He looked over the orb and said that it is a key of sorts to treasure." Yekan's eyes alit with the revelations of Eleusynia's lips. "He said that we need to take it to a hut in Ghelsba Outpost. It'll unlock the door to the treasure room." The door jingled again at Awias's entrance.
"Hey guys, I did it. I'm finally here. I just came in to town."
Almost ignoring the scrappy summoner, Yekan replied to Eleusynia, "Sounds good to me. Let's go. We can also finish our last mission on the way."
"What's going on, Yekan?"
"Well Awias, we're going to San d'Oria!" Awias stood silent and motionless, save for her right eye twitching uncontrollably. "Let's go! Mage-nificent Three away!"
Lacking money for either airship or chocobo, the three poor women teleported to the Crag of Holla and hoofed their way to the elvaan capital in their opaline armor. Half a day later, they rolled into San d'Oria and checked into an inn for the night. "Tomorrow morning, we go for the treasure," plotted Yekan.
Morning broke over the majestic castle. Yekan handed off the castle plans to their hooded contact in Northern San d'Oria and collected the 900 gil. Blissfully unaware of any ramifications outside her payment, she hummed her way to the Auction House where she was going to meet her associates. The hooded man scampered off laughing.
"Here it is, your all's share." The white mage handed her partners 300 gil each. "Let's gear up and move out!"
"Should I ask around here and find out if anyone knows anything about this treasure?" Eleusynia's tone was somewhat concerned and reserved. "What if there are traps? Or what if there is some horrible, powerful monster guarding it?"
"Treasure treasure, glittering things! Let us get what fortune brings!" Awias was exceptionally bubbly after hearing of the plan.
"Naw, we'll be ok, Ele. We're the Opaline Brigade!" Awias loudly cheered. Eleusynia gulped down her anxiousness at Yekan's blatant dismissal of caution. She also wondered why a white mage would be so capricious to run headlong into the unknown and face down things including but not limited to a very nasty death.
The bold women strode into Ghelsba and found the small hut that was described by Shami as containing the treasure. They walked up to the door and examined it. "Looks like it goes here," Awias stated, pointing to a hemispherical indentation in the wall.
"Good job, Awi," said Yekan satiricly, "Ok Ele, let's get us some loot!" The black mage inserted the cloudy orb into the socket and the door opened. Two blonde-topped heads and a black one poked inside the door. "It's just a hut," the sullen Yekan said.
Awias simply pushed past her two comrades and began looking through stuff. "Nope, nothing here." She looked back to find Yekan and Eleusynia staring blankly at her. "What?" Yekan shook her head.
"Sometimes I just don't know about you," she said.
"Hey, there's a back door here. Maybe it's in the back," suggested Eleusynia, "Let's go look, guys." Concurrence all around.
They opened the door to the "back yard" of sorts. It was fenced in and all. Lo and behold there were three treasure coffers sitting against the fence. The women cheered and patted themselves on the back. As they strode out, the door behind them slammed shut. Quizzical looks were shared amongst the trio.
"What was that?" Yekan asked, "and what are these marks on the door?"
"Looks like three bats to me, yup!" Awias was energetic in response. "Yech, I hate bats."
The black and white mages agreed, remembering last time in the seaside cave. As they looked, the symbols flashed and three real live bats flew from the door. One was bright red, and it was flanked by two black ones. The bats began swirling around the women. The Opaline Brigade screamed at the tops of their collective six lungs (eight if you want to count Carbuncle). Oddly, they harmonized well together.
- - - - -
If one was able to float above Vana'diel in a geo-syncronous orbit, for about one full minute the area known as the Ghelsba Outpost lit up like a city during Summerfest.
- - - - -
Three dead bats lay on the ground. Three live women on wobbling knees barely stood up on the same substance. Panting, sweaty, cut, bruised, tapped, and otherwise not so fresh feeling, they surveyed the scene around them. It wasn't pretty. But there lay three charred and broken coffers. Each woman cast lots to determine who got which chest. Eleusynia got to go first.
The battered black mage strode up to a coffer and opened it. Inside she found two swords: a great katana and a regular one. "Ummm...well ok? I guess I can always sell these."
The whipped white mage strode up to a coffer and opened it. Inside she found three scrolls: invisible, sneak, and deodorize. "Ummm...well ok? I guess I can always sell these."
The sauteed summoner strode up to a coffer and opened it. Inside she found a ring. "AHHHHHHHHHH!" The scream echoed throughout the burnt remains of Ghelsba. The other girls rushed over to her.
Awias opened her hands and showed to them a ring twisted in silver and gold. Both mages' eyes flew open in surprise, "AN ASTRAL RING!" Awias put it on proudly and danced around humming.
"Well, let's go home then. We have things to sell." Yekan sounded a little disappointed. Eleusynia agreed.
"Two questions for you."
"Yeah?" The summoner looked concerned.
"Are you happy?"
"By Leviathan's Whiskers I am! Oh wow!" She started dancing more.
"Did you ever reset your home point in Jeuno?"
"No, I came straight to you when I got into town and..." the blonde paused for a minute, thinking. It was almost painful for Yekan to watch, but she simply nodded her head to Eleusynia who wore an evil grin on her face. "Hey...wait. Are you gonna?"
She saw the black mage begin casting and made a mousey eep. She started running with Carbuncle behind her. Just as she reached a corner to turn, her body disappeared in a whirl of purple energy.
"We shall." With that, the black mage warped herself and Yekan back home to Jeuno.
A day later Awias burst into the Opaline Brigade Headquarters and Temp Service huffing and puffing. "Guys that was really mean of you! I hate hate HATE Jugner Forest. It is dark and scary and...what's that?" Yekan looked over top of her paper to the surly summoner.
"Today's Tarutaru Times. Care to read?"
"Oooh does it follow our great treasure adventure?!"
"Something like that." With that, Yekan tossed the paper to Awias. On the front cover was a picture of Drogaroga's Spine, or what was left of it. The article underneath talked about how, much like before, and isolated explosion reverberated throughout the planet and collapsed the ancient conduit under repair.
"At least they don't suspect it was us!" bubbled Awias.
With that, Eleusynia came out of nowhere and tackled her slow teammate out of sheer frustration.