Journey so far: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Final%20Fantasy%20QuestParty status: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tNyjrrh8F-8ah-7pn0Xx4LqYoOKgUSfEWPV6sLqp1msTwitter account: FFQSageThe morning air is thick with a dread, cloying mist, vapors rising from the marsh to choke your breaths and leave the stink of rotten water and dead vegetation on your clothes. The marsh seems to have even seeped into your breakfast, making for a miserable breakfast before your miserable travels begin.As Ferra takes first shift marching the chocobo, Conara stands at the back of the caravan, gripping the wooden frame as she looks out. Chewing on a loaf crust and wrinkling her nose from the taste, she points outward."What's with all the bubbling in the water? Feels like there's something watching us."
>>25836460"There very well might be. Swamps tend to harbor some nasty monsters, after all."
>>25836517"Should we... y'know... do something about it?" She licks at her lips, finishing her bread to place her hand on the pommel of her blade. "If there's somethin' following us, they might've been watching us all night."She gives a shudder. "I'd rather deal with 'em now than give them the chance of catching us sleeping again..."(Posts might be a little slow for a bit. My sister is like Cosmos, but embodies Ineptitude rather than Harmony, and let our pup out the back gate, so I'll be posting between searches.)
>>25836670I'm not sure; if it's a Malboro, it would be bad news for us. Let's check with Ferra and Shang, see if they're ready for a fight.
>>25836711"I say we let it be," Shang shakes his head, but keeps a mindful eye out at the marsh. "If it were a Malboro, it would've tried devouring us by now. We have some in the forests of Hobusu, and a single Malboro will take on a whole village if it's hungry enough. And I've never heard of water-dwelling Malboro, either.Whatever it is, if it is anything, it had a chance to sneak on us and still doesn't fancy its odds.""We should fight it!" Ferra calls back. "We're Warriors of Light, and beasts like Bombs and Malboros are the breath of Chaos manifest. And it's not like we'll be setting a swamp on fire if we do a bit of monster hunting here..."
>>25836790I say we wait. We're in the middle of the swamp right now, and we could be surrounded if our battle attracts other monsters. But if we fight at the cave, we can fight with the cave at our backs.
>>25836806"Well, Ferra, unless you're willing to front line with me, I think we're playing peace for now." Conara casts a doubtful eye around the swamp once more before sitting back down inside the caravan.As you travel on, the warm, stale air invades every crevice it can find. Under your chainmail and over your face, a thin, moist film of what feels like marsh covers your face. More than once you find yourself in a daze, the hazy air dulling your senses and lulling you almost to sleep."I... hate this place..." Ferra groans, slumped back on one of the crates as Shang takes his turn up front. Even the chocobo complain, kweeing to each other, no doubt saying much the same as the White Mage."Everyone. We're here," Shang calls, as the chocobo come to a stop, immediately resting on their haunches as the caravan sinks down as if resting itself.When you step outside, you do see that, indeed, you have arrived at the rising of rock. A hard, steep mound, like the tip of an otherwise submerged mountain, opens up, its dark maw leading in and down, far beneath the earth. Around it stands a cropping of trees and weeds, clawing and climbing over one another, most leafless and faded. However, one catches your eye in particular. A giant, many limbed, entirely bare tree stands some feet to the entrance of the cave. Grey and hard, it looks to made of rock, a pitch perfect sculpture of a great oak, complete with roots digging and resurfacing from the ground, flaking bark and even a millipede on one side. It looks entirely untouched, but for a door shaped hole chiselled in the side, complete with steps, leading up and into the great, thick, stone tree."Well... this is unexpected." The Onion Knight glances from entrance to entrance. "... so where are we going, again?"
>>25836960Let's go to the door and knock.And we should probably tie up the chocobos and put up a Wardstone.
>>25837047There's no actual door, only a door shaped hole, but I imagine you are also voting in the direction of the tree, then?
>>25837001>>25837047"This is all very queer..." Shang quips as he ties the chocobo to one of the trees. Meanwhile, Ferra lays down the golden runed ring next to the birds. The great, diamond shaped obsidian begins to float when placed over, symbols glowing blue as they dance along the gleaming stone."We should be careful... we don't know what's going to be up here." Conara draws her sword, urging you and Shang to go in first. Slowly, ever so carefully, you make your way up the grey, stone steps, which reach higher up the tree than you have imagined. You come to a corner, a small white gem studded in the wall. As you turn it and come into an open chamber, the thick, smuggy air of the swamp suddenly clears and it feels as though you are in any old farmhouse facing any breezy meadow.An unexpected scene is before you. Pots and pans line a wall, a black iron cauldron held over a dead fire. An old map of the Western Continent is pinned to one wall, a wide window beside it opening to look over the swamp around. There is a raised stone table in the middle of the room, with wooden seats arranged beside it. On one end sits a woman. With luxurious, straight black hair framing a slightly long, but beautiful, set of smooth, noble features, she sips a cup of tea. You would think her eyes would be drawn to you, but you soon realise why they are not. Her eyes are closed or rather, barred off by a single, unlashed and smooth layer of skin. She has marked over them with thick fingermarks of ash, the same black mess wiped over her lips. She wears a long, purple robe of roughspun and a cloak over it, seemingly woven entirely from the long, black feathers of crows. Over her slender shoulders she wears a heavy looking chain of gold, ending in two clawed hands of the same metal, wrapped about a green gem, cloudy with a single spire of black in the inside, looking like the eye of a serpent.<continued>
>>25837233The figure on the other side of the table is just as strange. A tall, narrow young man, he looks up at you, black rimmed glasses resting on calm, servile features, his smile professional, eyes focused but not intrusive. His hair hangs in a short, straight crop of silver-blue, as neat and impeccable as the rest of his appearance. Inexplicably, his straight, white suit, shirt, waistcoat, breeches and jacket with all the flourish and swirling trim of aristocracy, seem entirely untouched by dirt or grime."Well, Matoya," he begins, his voice gentle, good mannered. "You have some guests.""So it seems," the witch replies in a sigh, her black tipped fingers reaching up to take hold of the eye gem about her throat and turning it to face at your party. "Well?"
>>25837322introduce our selves
Rolled 84>>25837535>>25837589this. sorry, have a bunch of threads up.
>>25837589>>25837605"I know who you are," she interrupts as soon as you begin to get words out. "Just as you know who I am. I can see you as clear as day, all the way from Corneria. Your Orbs of Guidance are all the eyes I need. I will give you the guidance you need. I just wish to know what you are willing to do in return. Do you come only with empty hands and expectations?""Well, I think this conversation's a tad too heavy for me. Matoya, it's been a pleasure to finally meet you. Thank you for the tea." The silver-blue haired gentleman stands and gives a short bow, which the witch does not react to, and makes his past your party as you file inside. Before long, he has disappeared down the stairs, leaving without explanation or introduction."So, Warriors of Light. Sit down. It has been a long and bumbling journey, I have seen."
>>25837824Take a seat."Yes, well. We are willing to do what is reasonable for your assistance, Matoya. So, what do you want us to do in return for your guidance?"
>>25837951"Reasonable," she repeats, a smirk crawling across her ash-painted lips as if she had just seen an enemy poisoned by their supper. Taking a slow sip of her drink, she stands and begins to move about the small chamber. The woman is clearly blind, her hands outstretched as she reaches the wooden drawers at the end of the room."I want the Crystal," she declares, fishing about inside the drawer. You hear metal things, wooden things, things that sound like bone and things that sound like blood, all knocking about beneath her seemingly clumsy fingers. "Or at least a part of it."She turns back, one hand fishing for the edge of the table. When she finds it, she eases herself back down, setting a box on the top. It's a simple, wooden thing with a hinge opening it at the top. The inside it lined with soft, velvety fabric. "Those who are chosen by the Goddess have a unique ability. When you touch any Grand Crystal, it shall shatter. The core, the power from which the rest grows, will remain intact, as influential and gravely important as ever. I simply want one of the useless, valueless shards that fall from it like the shorn wool of a sheep. That is simple, no?"Then she reaches inside her sleeve, pull out vials. Slowly, they clink as they are placed on the table to roll ever so lightly. One. Two. Three."And your blood. Not now. I want the blood shed in the direst of times. If one of you is dying, soon to be dead, I want the blood that spills from your cut throat," her smirk grows, her head inclining, ever so slightly, towards you. "What floods forth from the gaping hole in the back of your head. What drips from the teeth of a behemoth. If three of you die, I demand that the fourth return three vials to me." Again, her head inclines towards you. If she has eyes behind those blackened layers of skin, you can imagine they're glaring at you by this stage."Will you bring me these things?"
>>25838358(Sorry for the wait on that one. I lost the post entirely thanks mis-clicking Lazarus and wiping it, replacing it entirely with a previous post...)
>>25838358what will you do with them?
>>25838358"The crystal shards are obviously not worthless, for you to want them. What value do they have to you?"As for the blood; you are speaking metaphorically, yes? Or do you really expect three of us to die? What if none of us do?"
>>25838358>I want the blood that spills from your cut throat," her smirk grows, her head inclining, ever so slightly, towards youOh, that's a dig at how Elly died, isn't it?
>>25838466"Do you think my magic and my sight comes without cost? Indeed, my eyes are forever occluded, but that alone is by no means enough to afford the power I have bought. My blood must be that of the Goddess for me to see what she sees.">>25838507"Value enough. But trust me," her voice touched with sarcasm. "You will find the shards to be as useful to you as broken glass, otherwise. They have no properties for which any mortal alchemist can find use, nor do they surge with the heat of the core inside. And the blood?" She cants her head and shrugs. "Well, if none of you die, none of you die. If four of you die, there will be none to bring me the blood. Either way would simply be a roll of fate's die. I would harbour no grudge. There will be more chances for me to come across blood touched by Cosmos. But if one, two, three of you were to die, and the surviving would seek to cheat me and not bring back the blood of the fallen..." Her hand rests upon the cup she has recently been drinking. Grey crawls across the finely chiselled wood, extending from her fingertips until it is stuck to the table, petrified entirely. "You would discover that witches have an unsavoury reputation for a reason."
>>25838657"Right, right. So if one of us is gravely injured, the others need only fill a vial before applying a Phoenix Down, then bring the vial back to you; is that right?"
>>25838657>But trust me," her voice touched with sarcasmSo she saw our entire debacle in the Bandits Woods and she's making fun of us for it, isn't she.
>>25838705"Life's blood," she stresses, irritated. "Not blood of the gravely wounded. It they're not dead, it will have so very little use to me. Cosmos's power still living is not power I can put to my use. So? Will you agree to these terms or do you intend to seek the Grand Crystal yourself?"
>>25838892"how many shards? will I need a cart?"
>>25838892"Just so you know, we will do all in our power to come back alive. And if one of us dies in a manner where blood can't be recovered, we'll not be held responsible. "You have laid out exactly what you want from us; could you please detail what you will give us in return? You've said you'll aid us, but what aid will our deaths buy us?"
Another question we should ask is; once the Grand Crystal shatters, how do we transport the Core back? I mean, she says that the Core will retain all of its power, but what unforeseen side-effects will shattering the Grand Crystal cause?Will it even regrow back to its original size over time?I'd rather avoid doing something that will get us executed, or may inadvertently help the bad guys, by shattering the Grand Crystal.
>>25838992"Just the one will suffice. A sizeable one, if you please, simply so I do not lose it. A tiny crystal might be easy for the eye to see, but..." She waves a finger before her own, forever closed.>>25839000"Do you often strain the patience so with such questions, Cecil?" She sighs, reaching forward to pick up her cup again. Only to tug pointlessly a couple times. Sullenly, she rests her forearms on the table. "Indeed, if you are unable to retrieve any blood, whether by incineration or evaporation or by the great misfortune that none of you die, I will not seek you out with my great and powerful wrath. And what you are buying is my sight. I can tell you where the Grand Crystal is. Is that not what you want? You promise me the things I seek, I tell you the location of the crystal, you fulfil your promise and I do not turn you all into my personal ornaments.">>25839033"Oh, how many times I have been asked this... yes, the crystal will grow back from the core. The core -is- the crystal. What I want from you is a shard of the empty, otherwise useless shell."
>>25839179"I do apologise, Matoya, for testing your patience. But as you said, our journey, and my path, has been a bumbling one, and now I try to be more careful where I can."These terms, then, are acceptable, Matoya."
>>25839217"Good." She claps her open hands on the table before standing and making her way to the desk in the corner of the room. Opening it and closing it again, she turns with a piece of dried meat in her hand. Shang and Conara glance at one another, Ferra as still as the stone furniture."The Crystal's in the ruins of Kuzar, to the north-east," she speaks, matter-of-factly, gesturing with the dried meat as she chews on a piece. "It is surrounded by the fleet of airships stolen from Corneria Palace and guarded by some hundred loyal soldiers of the traitor knight. Through the Crystal, I have heard them speak. Of a ritual to be carried out in the Old Fire Crystal Temple, far to the north. Blood, they need, and much of it. Whilst the traitor knight gathers the sacrifices necessary, the Princess of Erelund is kept in yet another location. It seems the exiled elf who hides himself away in the Lodestone Cavern has allied with the knight. So there she sits, as far as I have heard.""Why are they keeping her there?" Conara asks. Even this one is nervous, you can tell."I would imagine they are keeping the keys of the ritual separate, am I right?" Shang asks."As far as I have heard. When the traitor knight has prepared the sacrifices he needs, he will take the final sacrifice and the Fire Crystal. 'To once again bring righteous fire upon the King', or so I have heard."She takes another bite of the dried meat."Well? Is there aught else I can do for you?"
>>25839492"what are the places to see on the way, we lack much in the power to take 100 knights, any hidden lore, or mighty weapons lying around, or a on our way?
>>25839543"I can only see see what I can see. I can tell you where to find dragons, where you can beseech the power of an Eidolon, should you be willing to make the sacrifice. I might be able to even stir myself and help you... if, say, you are willing to pay the price of your soul. But this is your journey, not mine, so I do not see why I should provide what more help I have already. Have you no allies of your own?""Should we not entreat the aid of the King?" Ferra finally pipes up, trying her hardest to keep her eyes away from the witch. "Surely even he could see that a hundred soldiers, as well as the knight's men, would be far too much for us...""Or we choose our battles," Shang strokes his goatee. "If the Princess is at Lodestone, then a single elf should be a much easier foe than a hundred soldiers. Or perhaps we should head directly to the Old Fire Temple and deal with the leader first and foremost."
>>25839713(Anyone still playing or is that it for the night?)
>>25839713"Lets go save the princess."
>>25840163(Sorry, bro, but I think I'm gonna call it for tonight. Things are getting real slow, so I'll leave that choice until the start of the next thread, which will be on Sunday. Hopefully things will move a bit quicker then. For anyone who's about or happens upon this thread later, perhaps you could tell me what time/days are best for you to participate in the thread? I know interest in quests can peter out, and I'm not looking so much for a large player-base or anything, just a couple or a small band of folk willing to follow along and keep playing in the long-term. Because I have a very long, hopefully interesting, adventure planned out. Any suggestions will be very welcome, whether they're left after this post or, if you read this in the archive, on my twitter. But for now, I'm going to head for bed/write some scraps to make future threads go quicker on my end, too. G'night, all.)