I woke up late today, grateful for a night of dreamless sleep even if it came at the expense of a throbbing head.
Once I gathered my wits about me I remembered that I didn�t check in with the gate guard after I returned from rescuing the children in Ghelsba. I normally wouldn�t concern myself with the formalities that an enlisted man might, but I was still perturbed over the way the city�s militia had handled this situation. Maybe I was just looking for a fight.
After speaking with the gate guard I was told to make my report to someone at the cathedral. I wasn�t too happy about this because the church here in San D�oria was little more then a pagan cult that was filled with corruption to the highest levels.
I had arrived at the cathedral and was looking for who I needed to give my report to when I overheard the Papsque and Prine Piejue talking. I wasn�t sure if I heard them right, did they place one of the children in harms way on purpose? Were they really worried that this child was a threat to their power?
My blood began to boil. This is exactly the sort of thing that I despised about having a court. Everyone had their own agenda and frequently put their best interests above one another or the kingdom. They may talk about being patriotic and swearing loyalty to the king, but deep down they only do the things they do to further their own ambitions.
While I hated the thought of further involving myself in these politics, I vowed to get to the bottom of this corruption and eliminate it at all cost. Perhaps I was just trying to redeem myself for the failures of my own court, or perhaps I was a fool to believe I could make a difference. At any rate, I set myself on a path would require the favor of the court for now. I would need to make a name for myself to make the royales eyes turn towards me.
I set out to find the gate guard again to find if he had any other jobs for me. I was bound to have these people take notice of me.
As luck would have it, they wanted me to participate in a mock rescue drill in La Theine. This was just the sort of thing I was looking for so I quickly accepted the mission. All the while my hate continued to seethe in the depths of my soul, driving me and giving me strength to see this through.
I asked Kensu to accompany me in case I ran into anything too dangerous to handle. I glad that I did because upon reaching La Theine, we found the soldiers that were participating in the exercise, deep in one of the chasms there. Apparently something had gone wrong and the mock rescue drill had turned into a real one.
We made haste down into the ravine and fought our way through the fungars to the entrance of Ordelle�s caves. Well, Kensu fought and I followed closely behind. These fungars were much stronger then those found in Ronfaure.
With trepidation we made our way into the caves. Not far from the entrance we found Ruillont huddled behind a rock. Even though Kensu could have easily gotten all of us out of the caves safely, Ruillont refused to go anywhere without his sword. He said that one of the other soldiers was holding it for him and had given it up to make this simulated rescue drill more realistic. I guess he got his wish.
We retrieved the sword, of course we had to walk all the way out of the ravine to do so, and took it back to Ruillont. He was very happy and followed us quickly back out of the cave. With soldiers like this it makes me wonder how San D�oria ever became the force that they did. These men were weak and ill trained. That was apparent from how far this squad was spread out in the ravine.
Kensu departed for Windurst but I decided to stay in La Theine for a while. The beasts here were stronger then those found in Ronfaure and I thought it was a good idea to test my mettle on them.
For several days I decimated the wandering saplings and hares that inhabited these parts in addition to the occasional Orc that wandered by. I found the akbabas to be quite the challenge though. The day was beginning to wane and while I felt stronger after the past few days I decided it was time for a rest. If I left La Theine now I might just make it back to San D�oria before it was too dark to travel.
As I was nearing the edge of the plateau I felt a sharp stabbing cold pierce the center of my being. I looked around trying to determine the source of this feeling. As I looked over the edge of the ravine nearby I found the cause. On the first ledge down stood a skeleton holding a weapon. By all that was holy this abomination should not have the ability to leave its grave.
I had heard travelers refer to these things as magicked bones and were born of pure chaos. I was determined not to be intimidated by this thing and set off to destroy it and rid myself of the chill I was feeling.
At the moment I attacked I knew it would be a difficult battle but one I felt I could still win. I had full reserves of mana and the day had not tired out my sword arm too much. I was surprised at how quick these undead were and found myself missing a swing. That�s when it laughed, or should I say cackled. It was a horrendous sound and I know it was intended as a taunt to intimidate and cause me to be afraid. Instead I felt repulsion and determination to end this quickly and send this thing back to the hell from whence it spawned.
I began pounding the bones with my arcana and I could tell it was having a great effect on the bones. Unfortunately I did not see the lightening elemental out of the corner of my eye until it was too late. While I knew this creature was a neutral bystander it was attracted to the arcana I was casting. I soon found myself being attacked by both the bones and the elemental. There was no time for escape and I knew I would be using the homepoint crystal again tonight.
At least I was back in San D�oria and I knew I could soon recover the strength lost from the battle. It did seem that the hate I felt had been strengthened by the chill touch of the magicked bones. I hoped I would be able to control it long enough to find out the machinations of the San D�orian court.
Part 6: http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=37&mid=1107717500582774438&num=0
Edited, Sun Feb 6 14:20:14 2005 by Norsalik
Edited, Sun May 8 23:46:20 2005 by Norsalik