Phe's Tale

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Kopopo
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Post by Kopopo » Sat May 13, 2006 7:48 pm

You, my finely furred friend, are the MASTER of cliffhangers. My condom hat is off to you.

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ScarlettPheonix
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Sat May 20, 2006 6:46 pm

/bow :lol: I honestly don't try to end on cliff hangers, I just try to stop at a good point where its easy for me to pick up when I sit down to write the next part. And speaking of, here you go: :D

Loyiont was in the dining hall when Pheonic all but danced into the room. He looked up from his chair at her cheerful “Good Morning!”

He couldn’t help but smile in return, “Good Morning as well my Lady.” He watched her speculatively as she poured herself some chair and smiled blindingly at the server who placed a dish of her preferred morning meal~ not fish, Loyiont noted with some disappointment as another of his pet Mithran preconceptions was shot down~ of sliced fruit served with honey. “You’re incredibly cheerful this morning,” he noted as the server stumbled through the serving doors that lead into the kitchens. “That poor fellow is going to be blinded for most of the morning.” He chuckled. “I doubt Blindna would help his condition.”

At that, she looked up from her contemplation of the murky chai, “What are~” She looked in the direction he gestured in; she could hear ribald jokes being made at the love struck server’s expense. “Oh,” She shrugged indifferently. “All I did was smile at him.”

“Apparently that was enough,” the healer said dryly. Sipping at his chai, he looked at her quizzically. “No offenses, but you seldom sit down to your first meal before noon. I’m surprised Madrid aren’t flying outside the windows.”

Phe laughed delightedly, “No, no sudden flying land beasts, but there is a colibiri that won’t be squawking outside my window tomorrow morning.”

“Ah, I see.” Loyiont nodded his understanding. “So, that’s what makes you so cheerful this morning, muting Colibiri?”

“Oh, no.” She all but sang. “I received a message from my adventurer companions last night. They’re on their way to join me.” Loyiont nodded again and opened his mouth to say something else when Ralen and the Guard Captain, Calen walked into the dining hall. “Ah, Loyiont you’re still here,” Ralen noted with satisfaction. “Good, I need to talk to you.”
Her hosts greeting pulled her thoughts out of her (very fun) daydreams and into reality. It was unusual for Loyiont to come to the Keep unless he was called. Although he was good friends with Imalda’s Lord, he didn’t haunt the keep as a rule. “I’m still half asleep apparently,” Phe noted, scraping up some stray honey with a piece of bread. “I hope no one is seriously ill?”

“No, nothing like that,” Loyiont assured her. “Mhina Prulinwa will just be staying here a little longer then she had planned. She apparently tripped going down the stairs this morning before dawn and broke her ankle. Mithra heal amazingly fast, as you know my Lady, and she should be well enough to return to the Imperial City by the end of the week.”

“Oh I see,” She made a face. “Poor thing, broken bones are no fun. How’d she fall? It’s not like the stairs are slick or difficult to climb.”

“She was apparently trying to sneak off with some of the Keeps more easily moveable antiques and missed a stair or three on her way down.” Loyiont shrugged as Phe burst out in giggles. “I guess she won’t be doing that again,” she said between chuckles, smiling up at Ralen with laughter gleaming in her eyes. “Good morning my Lord, I hope the rest of your day is less eventful then your morning has been so far.”

Ralen, Loyiont was amused to see, was no less immune to the glowing Mithra’s charms then the server had been. Loyiont had suspected for some time that the Lord of Imalda was more then a little interested in his beautiful guest. However, it’d been equally obvious to him as an observer that Pheonic Rae Bassee didn’t share the same feelings. Since waking up after her shipwreck she’d been laughing and friendly with everyone, but had been careful not to give anyone man any special encouragement. She’d danced the fine line between suggestive flirting and open invitation with a fine skill and had left her admirers dazzled and confused by turns.

Today, the distance she normally kept between herself and others had been removed. For the first time she was letting others see the full force of her emotions and Loyiont somehow doubted that “just a message” from her adventurer companions would leave her dreamy eyed and smiling as if she had been given her dearest wish when she didn’t think anyone was looking. After seeing the look on Ralen’s face, he sighed. His friend and Lord was even more besotted with the Mithra now and he only hoped that Ralen didn’t lose his temper when the target of her true feelings arrived.

“By the Mark of Zahak I hope so,” Calen agreed, sitting down at Loyiont’s gestured invitation. He’d developed a friendly relationship with the visitor from the Middle Lands since his promotion to Captain and smiled across the table at her. “There are signs that the Undead Swarm is preparing to march on the Imperial City and I’ve been up all night with my seconds to ensure that our defenses are strong enough to withstand an attack if it should come to that. Lord Ralen and I have been going over Imalda’s security measures since dawn.”

“Yes,” Ralen nodded, finally breaking himself out of the trance Phe’s smile had put him in. “The Swarm’s main goal would be the Imperial City but they’ve been willing to attack any towns in their path before and we need to be prepared if that happens again.”

“How often do the Undead attack the Empire?” She asked curiously. “I’ve never heard of any large attacks from the beastmen or undead since the Great War on Mindartia.” She waved her hand, ”Oh, there are the occasional raids and its unsafe for the untrained to walk about outside the town walls without silent oils at night but nothing like what y’all are describing.”

“The great Imperial Treasure, the Astral Candescence is kept in Al Zahbi and the beastmen hordes will do anything to claim it for themselves.” Calen explained, he’d trained as an Imperial Guard in his youth before marrying and transferring to Imalda, her hometown when their first was born. “The Empire is currently at war with our Far Eastern neighbor and it has weakened the Imperial Cities defenses to such a point that the beastmen have been able to mount several attacks against the Imperial City. Sometimes they’ll attack in concert and surround the city from all sides. At other times they’ll attack without the support of their fellow beastmen allies in an attempt to claim the Astral Candescence for themselves.”

“Hmmm,” Phe considered Calen’s explanation. It certainly explained a lot of the little puzzles that had been nagging at her since she’d started researching the Empire’s history in her quest to find Bahamut’s Gem, but something still struck her as very wrong. For the Empire to be so weakened that they couldn’t prevent beastmen from attacking, the war must have been going on for such a long time that the Empire’s resources were severely drained or their leaders wanted the beastmen hordes to attack for some machiavellian reason of their own.

“Must make for interesting living in the Capital City,” She responded after a moment. “Are any combatants welcome to join in the fighting or is it exclusively for the Imperial Troops?”

Ralen shook his head, “When I was a boy the Imperial Guard ensured the capital’s safety, but now the Divine Empress had ruled that the hiring of mercenaries and common adventurers may have a stake in the Empire’s defense.”

Stung, Phe cocked an eyebrow, “I realize that you’re exposure to adventurers is limited my lord, but be assured that most of us are anything but common.”
Realizing that he’d made a mistake of disastrous proportions he back pedaled quickly, “Forgive me, dearest Lady. I meant no offense.” He apologized gravely, “There are those who feel that her Imperial Majesty has been unwise to rely so much of our nation’s defense on foreigners.”

“And,” he went on. “Since your arrival here, you’ve been so visible and made yourself such a part of the town that it’s nearly impossible to remember that you weren’t always from Imalda.”
Still steaming, she smiled at her host sweetly and said in a dangerously dulcet tone. “You’re too kind, my lord. I hope you find my friends as deserving of such praise.” She pushed back her now empty dishes and rose from the table. “I know you have duties to attend to,” She nodded to Loyiont and Calen who had been attempting to make themselves part of the furniture after their Lord’s hasty remark. “So I’ll leave you to it. Good day, gentlemen.”

Loyiont looked over at his friend who was staring after his guest stunned. “Well,” he smiled, “She certainly put you in your place.”

“I-I-I-“ Ralen stammered, “I guess she’s still upset.” He glared at the healer’s derisive snort. “And what did she mean about her friends arrival?”

“Perhaps,” Calen ventured cautiously, “She’s received word from her fellow adventuring companions and they are currently on their way to join her here?” He looked over at Loyiont for confirmation. The diminutive healer nodded, smiling slightly. “Yes, Captain. That’s exactly correct. Lady Pheonic received a message from them last night after she retired for the night. She told me just before you and Lord Ralen entered the dining hall.”

“Let me get this straight,” Ralen ordered. “She told you, that her friends, who she hasn’t mentioned to me once, are on their way to Imalda as we speak?”

Loyiont considered for a moment, before nodding slowly. “Yes, I believe so my Lord.” Stricken, Ralen sat back. “Why didn’t she tell me?”

Privately Loyiont sighed. Ralen was a good man and an excellent Lord but gods was he stupid about women. “She didn’t have a chance too. Calen brought up the subject of the Undead Swarms movements as soon as you sat down and then you made that comment about adventurers. It’s no wonder she didn’t just jump right in and say “Oh, by the way a group of dirty unlettered adventurers will be arriving in Imalda in the next few days.’”

“Well, yea but~” He protested only to stop at Calen’s head shake. “Healer Loyiont is right, my lord.” He grimaced apologetically, “And I’m afraid that she’s not in the mood to listen to any apologies at the moment. It might be best to let her calm down for a bit.”

Ralen heard the wisdom of several years of successful marriage in his Captain’s voice and nodded reluctantly. “I guess so,” he sighed. “Alright, let’s get on with why I wanted to talk to you and Calen before I have to go grovel. With the swarm moving it seems to me that-“

As the three men bent their heads to the town’s defense plans Loyiont thought he heard the booming "CRA-AAACK" of thunder in the distance, but since the skies were clear he just shrugged it off as his imagination.
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Post by Kiri~onna » Sun May 21, 2006 9:48 pm

:o Do i sence a great jelousy building up and tension from the young lord :)
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Sat May 27, 2006 5:19 pm

lol Jealousy? I don't know, maybe. This story just seems to keep growing and expanding. I have a rough -very rough- idea of where I want the story to go and what the main goal will be, but every time I go to sit down to move the tale along it keeps getting away from me! Its like herding cats; its damned near impossilbe.

CRA-AAACK
CRA-AAACK

The air was still reverberating with the sound of the last lightening strike when it’s struck for a third time.

CRA-AAACK

And again.

CRA-AAACK

CRA-AAACK

The scent of ozone and electricity was heavy in the air when there was a sharp sound followed by the sound all adventurers recognized even in their sleep. Two curatives later and Phe was back to creating fried (literally) crab on Dawn Beach.

CRA-AAACK

CRA-AAACK

Peeking out from the trees, Arelia watched in wonder at the destructive power the red clad Mithra commanded. She’d never seen anyone not a black mage command such power without channeling it through some other source. She’d watch the occasional summoner unleash the forces under their control but she’d never really thought of it as that power actually coming from the summoner themselves since it was really coming from one of the avatars they could call upon.

CRA-AAACK

Lady Pheonic was the first Red Mage she’d ever seen come to Imalda.

CRA-AAACK

Arelia had found herself being incredibly curious about a mage that could attack from a distance or unsheathe her sword and go in close enough to see her opponent’s sweat depending on her mood.

One final CRA-AAACK later and Pheonic lowered her arms and turned around and smiled at the small face peeking out from behind a tree. “You can come out, sweetling; there’s no reason to hide.”

Suddenly shy, Arelia stepped out of the trees. “I didn’t mean to interrupt, Lady Pheonic.”

With a smile Phe waved the girl closer, “You’re not interrupting.” She gestured at a washed up log sitting by where she had been casting. Arelia sat down slowly, watching curiously as the mage knelt down by the large crab and started prying off its shell. “Um…Lady Pheonic?” She asked timidly. Phe looked over at her and smiled wryly, “Just Phe please, only the townies that follow gossip and adventurer accomplishments call me Lady. It’s a bit ridiculous I know, but when I hear my full name I think I’m in trouble.”

Arelia giggled, “Mama Kie only ever calls my Arelia when she scolds me too! Everyone, even the healer calls my Arie.”

“See?” Phe asked pointing at her, eyes twinkling. “It’s a Mother thing I swear to all the gods.”

The pair fell silent as Phe continued to shell the crab. Arelia curiously asked, “What are you doing?”

“Well,” Phe grunted in effort as she managed to get off the hard back shell. “I’m trying to get a shell decent enough to sell when I finally get back to someplace with an Auction House and maybe some crab meat.” She looked up at the sun shrugging. “Its nearly mid day, and lunch on the beach seems like a good idea on a day like this.”

“Yuck,” Arelia wrinkled her nose in disgust. “You’re going to eat raw fish?”

“Not quite,” Phe grinned. “After getting zapped with upwards of six hundred volts of electricity a dozen or so times it’s more like steamed crab.”

Arelia shook her head at the piece Phe offered. “No, thank you.” She watched as Phe ate the crab with relish. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Anything.” Phe answered cheerfully as she finished off the crab; wiping her fingers off on some stubby grass growing on the far side of the log. Arelia wanted to ask why the Red Mage had been blasting the crab into pieces but after a moments thought instead said; “I haven’t seen any mage cast like that. It was-“ She shook her head and waved her hands excitedly, “It was amazing! ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! Not even Layia can cast like that!” Arelia had met Loyiont’s sister Layia, a black mage, over the winter and had been suitably impressed.

Amused, Phe stretched out and laughed. “You haven’t seen any Red Mages pass through Imalda have you, sweetling?” Arelia shook her head in answer and Phe shrugged slightly. “Every job class an adventurer might train in has a special ability that no other job can use.”

“Like what?” Arelia asked, sliding off the log and beginning to pile sand into a heap. Phe rolled over to watch her still smiling. “Well, like what you just saw. Red Mages have the ability to cast continuously for a short time as long as our mana reserves hold out.”

“But don’t you have to wait for a few seconds between castings?” Arelia asked still piling sand. Taking off her scarlet warlock’s chapeau, she began to fan it in front of her face. Imalda had the benefit of sea breezes but it was still humid- very humid, she thought with a sigh as she put a hand to her hair. She could feel it puffing up into frizziness despite it being restrained in its intricate knot. Phe let her hand drop and smiled as Arelia began to even off the edges of the sand pile with a sea smoothed stone.

“Normally, yes I would have too,” She agreed absently looking up at the sky. “But when I use my ability to Chainspell- to cast like you just saw, I can ignore the rules of magic for a brief time and cast as quickly as I can remember the spells.”

“Sweets,” Arelia opinioned, now carving out details in the blocked off sand. “What do you like best? Carving stuff up with your sword or making them fall down with magic?”

Her tail flicked in time with Phe’s chuckles, “You are blood thirsty aren’t you?” Arelia shrugged and went on detailing her sand creation. “Well, I like both,” Phe answered. “When I’m alone or with a small group of friends I’ll use Joyeuse here,” She patted her beloved sword that was propped up against the log, its pommel gleaming in the sun. “For training parties I’ll fall back with the other mages and cast.”

“So,” Arelia wondered, “Why were you casting like that?”

“Oh, that.” Pheonic sat up and drew her knees up to rest her chin on it. She shrugged, staring out to sea. “It’s nothing.”

Arelia looked pointedly at the remains of the crab that sea birds were now pecking at. “Must have been a big ‘nothing.’”

“Just a bit, yes,” Phe laughed shortly, before sighing and looking over at the young girl. “If you decide to be an adventurer when you’re a few years older you’ll soon learn that town folk have little respect for those like me and my friends. Ralen being a townie- and an idiot-“, she muttered under her breath, “made some brainless comment about adventurers just as I was about to let him know several of my friends will be arriving in a few days, so I snapped back at him and came out here to work off my temper.”

“Which,” she glowered at the waves breaking along the shore, “is why I was making fried crab. Sword and dagger play is all well and good but there’s nothing quite like hearing thunder sound at your command. Does wonders for relieving stress.”

“I bet,” Arelia sounded amazed, she cocked her head at the still simmering mage. “Did you really yell at Lord Ralen?”

“Yes,” Phe said unrepentantly. “If its one thing I’ve learned, it’s that leaders deserve to be taken down a peg or three when they’re being idiots if you can manage it.”

“Idiots?”
“Idiots,” Phe confirmed firmly, “Tin-pot dictators, murderous would-be demi gods, arrogant ministers, take your pick. I’ve seen them all.”

“Wow, you must be ancient if you’ve seen all those types of people?” Arelia slapped her hands over her mouth and turned red as the comment slipped out before she could stop it. Phe stared at her for a second before leaning back and laughing, which only made Arelia turn redder. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” She apologized frantically, “I didn’t mean to say that! Please don’t be mad!”

“I’m not mad sweetling,” Phe laughed, wiping away tears. “I’m not that old, only twenty-six years this Harvest festival. Adventurers tend to see much as we often get the missions and quests that others manage to avoid.”

“Really,” She said reassuringly, “Its ok.”

Relieved, Arelia nodded and went back to her sculpture and so they passed the mid day hours idly talking as questions occurred to Arelia as she worked.
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:24 pm

I'm a little late posting this, sorry. I've been very lazy this weekend and only just finished the next part. Enjoy!


They’d been on the beach for several hours idly talking as Arelia worked on her sand sculpture and Phe enjoyed a rare day spent resting in the sun. It was rare for her to simply bask in the sunlight and simply be and she was planning on reveling in every heat soaked minute of it.

The heat was oppressive and Phe found herself wanting to doze under the full glare of the mid-afternoon sun but resisted the seductive pull. Although the beach was secluded and none of the local fauna seemed to want to chew on them, Phe wasn’t going to take that chance with Arelia playing in the sand next to her.

With some regret - she dearly loved napping in the sun- she stood up and stretched. She admired the view out to sea for a minute before looking over at Arelia. The child had been busily working on her sculpture all afternoon and it looked almost complete. In fact, it looked very, very familiar. Cocking her head, she looked at Arelia who, apparently satisfied with her finishing touches, was sitting back on her heels looking at the recreation of Southern San d’Oria’s West gate.

“It’s very nice,” Phe said cautiously, stepping carefully around the sculpture and sitting down next to the Elvaan girl. Arelia shrugged, still staring at the gate of a city two oceans and half a world away. “San d’Oria’s West gate isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Arelia agreed, sighing. “I used to live there, before I came here.” Phe nodded, she’d heard the story of how Arelia had been found one morning four years ago wandering around the town square, with no memory of how she’d gotten there or where her parents were.

She opened her mouth to reply but was distracted by a shout in the distance. Arelia heard it too, and leaned over to the sand version of West Gate. She was about to knock it off, when Phe put her hand on her shoulder to stop her. “What are you doing?”

“Mama Kie won’t like it if she hears that I’ve been doing this,” Arelia explained sadly, gesturing at the sand gate. “She says I should stop living in the past and start living in today.”

“Arelia,” Touched, Phe kneeled down so she was closer to the Elvaan girl. “You’re foster mother can’t force you to forget where you came from or your family.”

“I know,” she said holding her hand up to stop Arelia’s reply. “She’s concerned about your welfare, and in a way she’s right. You’re life changed when you lost your parents and Imalda, for all its comforts, isn’t the majesty of San d’Oria. She doesn’t want you making yourself sick by dwelling too much on the past. ”

“But,” she went on, drawing the girl in for a close hug. “That doesn’t mean you can’t remember or build an entire sand San d’Oria if you want. Memories are how we honor and keep those who aren’t here anymore close to us. No one can make you forget or force you to not honor them in whatever way you choose. ”

“I miss them so much,” Arelia sobbed. “Papa had brought us to Al Zahbi so we’d be with him while he did some business there and Mama and I were having so much fun exploring the city. Then there were shouts and screams and Mama pleading with a mage right before kissing me and telling me to be brave. I-I- found myself here in Imalda.” She raised her head and swiped at the tears dripping down her cheeks. “Mama Kie took me in, and I know she loves me, but it makes her sad when I try to talk about my parents and now that Koren is apprenticed to the Guards-“

“There’s no one you can really talk too,” Phe finished for her. Arelia looked up and nodded sadly. “Well, I’m here now. You can talk to me whenever you want, about anything.”

“But you won’t be here very much longer,” Arelia protested. “You’re leaving when your friends get here aren’t you?” With a sad smile, Phe tucked a strand of hair back behind Arelia’s ear. “Yes, I am. There’s something I must do. But-“She stood up and held out a hand to the Elvaan girl. “That doesn’t mean you can’t write to me and I’ll be back to visit. I promise.”

“Ok,”

Phe sighed at the acceptance she heard in Arelia’s voice. The poor child had been through too many tragedies and disappointments to complain about what she couldn’t change. It nearly broke her heart. Children, in Phe’s experience, complained, fussed and generally got into all sorts of mischief if they were faced with something they couldn’t change. They’d climb over, go around or dig under any obstacle in their way to get what they wanted. Arelia was entirely too adult at her age. “We should head back,” Phe said, standing up and holding out her hand to Arelia. “You’re Mama Kie will be worried if you’re not back before sunset.”

Nodding, Arelia took her hand and they started to head up the beach towards the path that marked the way back to town. “Phe?” The Elvaan girl asking in a shy voice. Phe looked down with a smile. “Yes?”

“Thanks,” Arelia looked up at her with a smile. “I’m glad you came.”

‘Thank you, Sweetling,” She replied grinning. “I’m glad I came here too. Well, I am now that I’ve recovered from that nasty bump on my head.” She grimaced, making her face twist into a strange expression to make the girl laugh. Giggling, Arelia began to skip along, more cheerful now.

Phe saw a figure standing at the head of the path as they drew closer. Hidden under the deep shade of the trees, Phe could barely make out the figure’s shape, until he stepped forward a few steps. Arelia, recognized the figure first. With a shout, she let go of Phe’s hand and run up to her waiting foster brother. “Arelia,” Koren laughed at the chattering girl. “Mama said you were down here.”

“Phe was down here practicing her magic.” Arelia shrugged, as if that explained it all. Koren, shook his head at his sister and straightened up as Phe stepped closer. “Lady Pheonic, I hope she wasn’t bothering you.” He apologized formally, embarrassed by the easy familiarity his foster sister used. “Arelia’s young and forgets how to address her elders sometimes.”

He glared down at Arelia, but she just shrugged unrepentantly. Phe shook her head and laughed. “Arelia didn’t forget. I told her it was alright, and it is. Very few people call me by my full name or titles.”

“As you wish, milady.” Koren bowed. “Still, its time to get back and Mama wants some fresh vegetables from the market.”

“I’ll walk along with you,” Phe smiled gesturing towards town. The three of them set out, Arelia running on ahead as they walked back to town. Koren snorted suddenly, then shook his head at Phe’s curious look. “It’s nothing milady.”

“Just that the last time we were all here I was half-drowned and you nearly killed yourself carrying me back to town.” Phe answered, smiled in memory. “I think I prefer it this way.”

“Yes, milady.” Koren agreed, still locked into his formality. Phe had run into him a few times at the keep or guardhouse and he’d always been stiffly formal and polite. She hadn’t been able to draw him out from behind his shield of manners and had just about given up it. The lad was too young in her opinion to be squired to the guards, but it wasn’t her decision and so she’d (for once) kept her opinions to herself. And the guys say I never keep my mouth shut, ha!

“I need to apologize again,” Koren spoke suddenly. “She really doesn’t mean to cause any offense, she’s just a little girl.”

“Koren,” Phe put her hand on the boy’s upper arm to stop him. He looked at her in surprise. “I’m not upset. The entire town will know it when – or if- I’m upset. I’m not exactly quiet about those things.”

“Arelia was fine,” She continued, ignoring the red creeping up his face. “There’s no reason to scold her.”

“Also,” She went on as they restarted their interrupted journey. “I know there aren’t too many Elvaans in town. Just a few guards and Ralen, but you should keep in mind that most Elvaan you meet are probably older then they look. They don’t age like Humes do.”

“What do you mean, my Lady?” Koren asked, puzzled. He looked over at her, frowning as he tried to make out what she meant. Phe shook her head, smiling gently. “Elvaans are long lived. I know an Elvaan bard who was twelve when Davoi was still held by San d’Oria. That was over thirty years ago and she looks my age.”

She gestured at the skipping girl, “Arelia is at least twelve, maybe older. She just looks younger.”

“But that’s impossible!” Koren burst out. “She was hardly more then a toddler when she came to Imalda.”

“Was she?” Phe asked. “Or did she just look like she was?”

“I—“ Koren opened his mouth, but shut it in sudden thought. “Healer Loyiont. He told Mama that he couldn’t really tell how old she was. Something about Elvaan ages being different somehow—I don’t remember it all. She was in shock, couldn’t even remember her name for nearly a month. I-I don’t think we ever asked her how old she was. Mama just assumed she was five when we found her.”

“Well, there’s one way to find out.” She raised her voice to reach the girl who was now some distance ahead of them. “Arelia!”

Long years of needing to be heard over the sounds of large battles had Phe’s sudden shout reaching the girl easily. She stopped and looked over her shoulder. She waited patiently as they came closer. When they reached normal speaking distances, Phe spoke before either of the siblings could say anything. “How old are you sweetling?”

“Twelve years this past winter,” She responded readily, frowning at the look on Koren’s face. “Why? What’s wrong?”

“Why didn’t you tell Mama or me?” Koren demanded, sudden hurt in his voice. Arelia’s frown deepened as he went on. “Mama thought you were only five when we fond you four years ago. All this time you’ve been older.”

“No one asked.” Arelia shrugged. “And age doesn’t really mean much to Elvaans.”

Thunderstruck, Koren looked at his sister as if he hadn’t seen her before. Phe shook her head, laughing again. “Well, it seems to mean a lot to your brother here. And I have a feeling Mistress Kie will want to know as well.”

“You can say that again,” Koren muttered under his breath before blushing beet red. Phe patted him on his arm again before gesturing at the town walls. “I think there are some vegetables that need to be gotten from market?”

With that, the three walked into town, each thinking their own thoughts as the sun slowly set behind them, turning the water a deep red.
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:34 pm

Just a short one today. Its the first sunny day in a week where I am and I'm going outside to enjoy it :D


With a wave to Arelia and Koren, Phe made her way from the town gates to Imalda Keep. Despite the irritating start it’d been a pleasant day, Arelia was a sweet girl and her curiosity had gone a long way to soothing her temper. In turn, Arelia’s story had sparked Phe’s curiosity.

It sounded like her family had been caught up in one of the attacks Calen had described to her just that morning, and if Arelia’s faded memory of hearing her mother pleading with a mage right before they were separated was accurate- Phe was beginning to suspect that her mother may have had a nearby Black Mage warp her daughter to safety when it became clear that they couldn’t reach safety, and in the confusion the mage might have no idea of where he’d sent the child~ especially if he was still mastering the spell. If her theory was correct, Arelia might still have family somewhere.

Phe was trying to decide whether to get the girl’s hopes up when it was entirely possible that her parents had died in the siege or not when she realized that she’d arrived at the Keep’s entrance and was standing at the door with her hand on the handle. Shaking her head to clear it, Phe opened the door and started to walk through it- only to jerk back to avoid plowing into Ralen.

“I’m sorry,” She apologized automatically. “I didn’t see you standing there.”

“Its no problem,” He waved that away and ran a hand through his hair. “Listen,” he began sheepishly. “I-I need to apologize for my comment this morning, it was uncalled for and I’m now realizing how much disdain for adventurers and mercenaries I’ve absorbed without realizing it. I want to assure you that you and your friends are more then welcome in Imalda and are free to stay here as long as you want.”

Phe eyed him skeptically, she wasn’t quite ready to forgive him quite yet, but she nodded after a moment. “Thank you for your invitation. I’ll be sure to let my friends know when they arrive. With luck they’ll be here the day after tomorrow.”

She stepped past him and walked up the stairs. Ralen called up after her, “My housekeeper is asking how many to expect.”

Turning, Phe looked down at Ralen and shrugged slightly. “Five.” She said before turning back and continuing up the stairs. Ralen watched her disappear into the Keep’s second story before sighing. That had not gone as well as he had hoped. Clearly she was still mad.
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:02 am

This week's is a bit longer then last weeks. Hope y'all enjoy it.

It’d been two full days since Ralen had put his foot in his mouth and Loyiont was amused to see that he was still treading carefully around Phe, afraid to stir up a Pheredo’s nest by sparking her temper again.

Ever since his hasty remark Ralen had been extremely attentive to his guest and had insisted on Loyiont, Calen and his wife joining them for the evening meal every night and Loyiont and Calen’s presence again at breakfast as well. He seemed determined to keep his guest amused and content~ going out of his way to ask after her every comfort.

Personally, Loyiont thought he was trying too hard. He suspected that Phe was aware of Ralen’s motives and was just as amused, but it was hard to tell. She’d been dreamy eyed and distracted for two days now, even her irritation over Ralen’s snide remarks had been forgotten by dinner that night as far as he could tell.

Loyiont wasn’t sure what was worse; Ralen acting like a lovesick puppy over his guest or Phe’s distracted air. Loyiont knew she had no romantic interest in Ralen, but with every beaming smile and tender look she’d been giving him for the past forty-eight hours was just giving more fuel to Ralen’s burning hopes. To be fair, she was acting the same around everyone but Ralen was too distracted himself to pay any attention to how she was treating others.

He wasn’t the only one who’d noticed either.

Calen had remarked just last night that his men had started taking bets on exactly who it was she was in love with. Ralen was the favorite but other notables including the town mayor and – he’d been amused to find out- himself were also on the books. Personally, Loyiont had placed his gil on one of her old friends who would soon be joining her.

At any rate, Loyiont was planning on making sure Ralen was unarmed when he met Phe’s friends. He had a feeling his Lord wouldn’t take the news too well.

There was a muffled thump out in the followed by some muttered cursing. Loyiont shook his head and smiled as Phe entered the dining hall. She’d been tripping over invisible obstacles and walking into walls and doors for days, so distracted was she getting.

He simply could not wait for her friends to arrive. Maybe then things would return to some semblance of normality around here.

“Good Morning, my lady,” Loyiont’s wry greeting reached her across the room as she entered. Rubbing at her bruised elbow, she smiled ruefully in reply. “I guess it is.” Phe agreed as she joined him at the table.

The past two days had passed in a haze. She could hardly recall what she’d done or who she’d talked too, she’d been so wrapped up in her private hopes and impatience at having to wait that she suspected that she’d seemed a bit distracted to everyone else.

She’d dreamed of Lodvico again. Each night he’d come to her as she slept. At first he’d just watched her as she lay in bed sleeping but then after awhile he’d started to talk. He’d told her about how his day, the narrow escape Liha and Faclan had with the Imperial Guard, how far they’d journeyed each day and the great fish Danlor had managed to fish up on the boat trip to Nashmau. He’d left that night before dawn, right as the sky was first starting to change from night to day~ in that time when everything was muted and still.

Last night, she remembered with a secret smile, he’d told her of his day but then –obviously thinking she was either asleep or part of his dream- he’d revealed how shattered he’d been when the Tenshodo representative had told them that the ship she was on had sunk. How he’d realized then exactly how much he’d come to care for her, to love her and how he regretted not speaking up earlier. He’d never lost hope, he told her there by her bedside, the others had been sure she’d been lost with the ship but he’d remained convinced that she was alive.

He’d told her how all he could think of was getting to the Near East and making sure nothing else happened to her. He’d left her sometime before dawn. Right before fading he’d leaned down to place a gentle kiss on her lips and whispered that he’d see her today.

Now that she knew that he was coming- it’d never occurred to her to doubt her dreams- she was impatient for their arrival and was mentally hurrying the sun along its path.

“Looks like you slept well,” Loyiont’s voice brought her back to reality and she smiled across the table at him. “Good dreams?” The teasing tone in his voice was gentle and he grinned back at her.

“Yes, very.” She replied, calmly reaching for a piece of fruit on her plate. The efficient staff had placed a dish loaded with her favorite fruits in front of her while she’d been lost in thought.

“I can tell,” the healer’s eyes twinkled in amusement. “If I had to guess I’d say you’ve had good dreams for the past several nights.”

“Oh?” She asked with one of her eyebrows cocked in curiosity. “It’s been that obvious?”

“Just a bit. The bumping into furniture and running into doors gave it away.”

“Oh,” She blushed, ruefully laughing. “That.” She shrugged, “I guess I have been distracted the past couple of days.”

“Hmmm,” Loyiont replied noncommittally as he finished his breakfast. “Well, I should get going. Ralen and Captain Calen have already eaten.”

“Oh?” She asked curiously, “Why so early? I hope there isn’t a problem.”

“No,” He said absently, rubbing at a spot he’d just discovered on his sleeve. “Just some convoy train heading this way, the guards caught sight of them at dawn and the Captain sent word to Ralen. With the activity the Swarm have been showing recently, the Captain has been concerned that the roads might be cut off or that the convoys might be attacked.”

A sudden thought had Phe sitting up straight in her chair, a piece of fruit dangling from her hand. “A convoy? Where from? Nashmau?”

“The merchants usually come by way of Nashmau, yes.” Loyiont said slowly, trying to figure out why she was so interested. “From the watch guard’s reports it’s a large one, the convoy master has apparently hired some guards for protection.”

“Could it be?” She half whispered to herself, rising from the table so quickly she banged a knee on the underside of the table making her plate jump. “I didn’t think they’d be here so soon. I wasn’t expecting them until midday. Ooooh, I’ll kill him for not warning me that they’d be here before noon!”

“Um,” Loyiont turned around just in time to catch sight of her dashing through the doors that lead to the side gardens. “Who are you thinking of murdering and should I be concerned?”

She stopped with bone jarring suddenness and looked over her shoulder in irritation at the puzzled healer. “The reason why I’ve been discracted for the past two days, and maybe.” With that, she dashed through the door and was gone. Loyiont stood there for blinking for a moment before realization dawned.

“Oh blessed Zahak,” He cursed, running for the door himself. “Ralen took his sword with him.”
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Post by Kiri~onna » Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:24 am

:o I know theres going to be alot of tension with phe's friends arival and the lord of the land, but will phe put graphic detail of consuming battle for her or a shime exhange of blades... this story is getting very interesting... and phe, please stop with the cliffhangers and write a whole chapter for all of us to enjoy. :) :P :)
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:19 pm

Actually, these are (mostly) complete chapters. This isn't a complete story that I'm chopping up to prolong the torture for everyone who likes this. I sit down and write the next chapter once a week then post it.

I tend to try and find a good place to stop and it tends to be on a cliffhanger. I promise to try to not make the next one end on a cliffhanger but...well, we'll see. I haven't written it yet lol
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Post by Kiri~onna » Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:08 pm

:( meany
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Fri Jun 23, 2006 5:22 pm

Here's the next part~ with an ending that doesn't leave too much hanging I don't think. Either way I hope you like it :D



Calen was watching the approaching merchant train with professional approval. The train master had obviously hired experienced guards that could work as a team. In these times of war it was unheard of for a merchant train to be unescorted through dangerous areas; but the quality of the mercenaries hired tended to vary from being either very good or being abysmal.

Two of the guards were out front~ spread out ahead of the convoy so that they could have a better chance of spotting any would be ambushers. Both were lightly armed and armored. Calen couldn’t tell from his vantage point but he rather thought they might be Ninja trained from the way they moved through the undergrowth.

At the head of the convoy he could see an Elvaan keeping pace with the Train Master. The Karakul sheep the Qiqirn used as beasts of burden weren’t the swiftest creatures on Vana’diel. The heavy armor and embossed shield he wore spoke to his craft and he seemed to be focused on the town gates that were just now coming into view.

About midway down the train on the far side from the paladin was a…Hume,
Calen decided. A warrior judging by the two wicked axes he could just make out hanging from his sides. As the train neared the city gates Calen signaled to a squad.

“They’re good,” Ralen said gesturing at the approaching scouts. Calen nodded, eyes narrowed as he watched his men shake down into their well practiced formation and march out to greet the newcomers.

At the sight waiting guards, the two scouts had halted and taken up waiting positions. Each was facing away from the other, splitting the area in front of them into zones of responsibility. They stood calmly in plain sight of the gates as they waited for the train master to reach them.

The Qiqirn came up to them and after a brief conversation during which the scout’s eyes never left the gates, the train moved forward with the Train Master in the lead. The scout’s fell back to take up positions on the “sides” of the train. As they did so, what had to be a ranger straightened up in his saddle and began scanning the surrounding area, obviously still on alert for any danger even though the gates were only a hundred or so yards ahead.

“Yes,” Calen agreed as the squad leader stepped out to meet the Qiqirn Train Master and his paladin bodyguard. “Very good.”

Ralen and Calen had just entered the bailey when the Train Master hailed them. “Goood Day Lordy Ralen!” The diminutive Train Master chirped happily. “Have very goood items to sell for much clink-clink, yes?”

“Greetings and welcome Tihinquron,” Ralen bowed politely. “I see you made the journey safely.”

“Yes,” Tihinquron agreed. “Hired adventooorurers in Nashmau. Only ones heading this way. Cost much clink-clink.” He shook his head mournfully sighing for a moment before straightening up and gesturing at his wagon handlers. “Must go, Lordy Ralen. Must get more clink-clink.”

Nodding, he waddled off to speak with each of his guards briefly before following after his wagons. Relaxed, but still watchful, the group of adventurers gathered together before heading towards his position collectively. The tall Elvaan one seemed to be the acknowledged leader of the group but he seemed in no hurry to say anything~ he was instead looking around with a fierce expression on his face.

“Lord Ralen,” The bald ranger looking one spoke first. Ralen nodded, looking over the group appraisingly. He knew Calen was doing the same and the group seemed a bit amused by the study. “Yes, I’m Ralen, Lord of Imalda.” He nodded in a slight bow. “What brings you so far from the Middle Lands?”

“Well,” The ranger sighed then rubbed his head while trying to gather his thoughts. “It’s complicated. We’re looking for someone. A friend, we’ve lost contact with but we know she was heading here. We’re hoping she might have arrived sometime in the past month. Her name is-“



Hardly remembering to breathe, Phe hurdled over the Taru-sized side gate and hit the main road running full out. She was dimly aware of Loyiont running somewhere behind her shouting and that the townspeople were stopping to stare, but none of that mattered.

Impatience and longing had been building up in her for the past three endless days and she wasn’t going to sit around like a proper lady waiting for him to come to her. She was done with that nonsense. If he’d arrived with the merchants she wanted to know now damn it!

Dodging a heavily laden wagon that was ponderously moving down the road, she sprinted up the hill towards the gate house. Phe passed more wagons moving down the road from the gatehouse and nearly ended up crashing into a Qiqirn who was following behind the last wagon muttering something about “clink-clink.”

Ignoring him she rushed into the bailey – and there he was! He was standing in the middle of a large group that consisted of Ralen, the Captain and the others, they’d all come as well. Oh gods, but he looked wonderful- tired, road weary, stressed but absolutely wonderful. Unable to wait for Danlor to finish whatever he was trying to say she moved forward with a shout.

“You’re here!”



Phe’s shouted greeting had everyone stopping to look in her direction. Danlor and the rest simply stood with their mouths hanging open, stunned beyond words at the sight of her. The Imaldans seemed as stunned as she started running towards the group.

For Lodvico, it was as though the sun had finally come out. Since getting the word in Jueno all those long weeks ago, his world had been colorless. He’d moved from one task to the next without thought, the only thing keeping him from falling apart the dim hope that his beloved companion had survived the disaster and was safe. His dreams had given him more hope, but as each day passed with no word, no news, it had turned bitter and he’d been terrified that they’d arrive in Imalda to just find more of nothing- or worse to discover that she had not survived the storm that sank her ship after all. He’d entered Imalda with his heart guarded against the terrible blows he was sure would come.

But now, the sight of her had his resistance crumbling and he stepped out of the group eyes blurring as he whispered “Phe-“

He was just in time to catch her as she took a running leap into his arms. “You’re here.” Phe repeated again, slightly breathless. His arms tightened around her as he looked into eyes that promised the world and everything he’d ever dreamed of. “I’m here,” he agreed softly just before leaning in to kiss her fiercely in front of their gaping audience.


Breathing hard, Loyiont arrived at the gatehouse ¬–damn, that cat can run! - just in time to see Phe’s enthusiastic greeting to a tall Elvaan wearing heavy armor. Cursing under his breathe, he looked over at where Ralen and the other Imaldans were watching the reunion. As he’d feared, Ralen was looking murderous and his fist was white-knuckled around the hilt of his curved sword. As the kiss showed no signs of abating Ralen’s jaw began to work, a tic pulsing along it- a sure sign of mayhem about to begin. Not even Rezor’s actions had started his famous tic, but this apparently was enough.

Needing to act fast, Loyiont didn’t try to distract his friend or remove his sword. A thought that was half curse and a half prayer had him whispering the spell of binding around Ralen. A glance over at the blissful couple who had finally come up for air had him hurrying over to Imalda’s Lord. He was confident of his spell casting- but, well- it was best to be safe.


No! It couldn’t be. How can she love someone else? No, it can’t be- it won’t be! Ralen’s thoughts were whirling around so fast he could barely grasp what he was seeing- what he really didn’t want to be seeing but it was impossible to look away. In that moment it seemed that what he was seeing had to be a mistake- even though he had explicit proof at her true feelings right there in front of him. He could feel his temper building as he continued to watch the pair and his jaw clenched as the two broke apart to look into the other’s eyes.

“We need to talk,” They both began at once. Laughing, Phe rested her forehead briefly on his, indulgently breathing in his scent. “We have to talk,” she repeated looking back up into his eyes. “But first, come meet everyone. They’ve taken amazing care of me since I washed up on the beach here.” As she spoke, she tugged at his arms until they reluctantly opened enough for her to slide down. Apparently unwilling to let her go, he wrapped an arm around her waist as she led him over to the group of watching Imaldans and her grinning friends. Liha and Faclan had apparently been doing making some quick bets with the town guards and were smugly smiling as they quickly slipped back into the group.

“Ralen, Cap’n Calen, Loyiont I’d like y’all to meet Lodvico, Danlor, Liha, Drefan and Faclan,” Phe gestured to everyone in turn as she made the introductions. “Everyone, this is Ralen, Lord of Imalda, Calen- he’s the Captain of the Guard here now and Loyiont- the town healer who patched me up after the storm.”

There was a moment of silence as Ralen and Lodvico’s eyes met- one in defiant challenge, the other with answering determination. The tension between the two was immediate and instantly recognized by both. Even though she’d already made her choice Ralen was unwilling to give up without a fight and Lod had just picked up the gauntlet in answer to his challenge.

“Pleased to meet you,” Breaking the tension for the moment, Liha spoke, giving Ralen a polite bow as she did so. “You’ve got a wonderful town, my Lord.”

“Thank you,” Ralen managed to get out after a moment. “I’d be happy to give you a tour later. Please” – he swallowed hard and gestured towards the Keep. “Feel free to enjoy the comforts of the Keep while you stay here.”

“Thank you, Lord Ralen.” Aware of the undercurrents he heard in the Elvaan’s voice, Danlor bowed deeply and spoke before Lodvico could open his mouth. “I think I speak for all of us when I say we’ll be happy to accept your offer of hospitality.”

Not trusting his voice, Ralen nodded. Phe, apparently oblivious to the tension between the two, led the way down the road cheerfully pointing out noteworthy sights as she introduced her friends to Imalda.

Intending to follow them, Ralen took went to take a step forward- only to find himself unable to move. “What in the blazing-“He looked down to see Loyiont staring up at him, toe tapping in irritation as he stood watching his Lord with arms folded. “You bound me?!!” He asked the healer incredulously. At Loyiont’s nod, “Well, unbind me now damn it!”

“Not until you have a better grip on your temper!” Loyiont snapped. “You idiot, what do you think you were doing?”

“I- I-“Ralen sputtered in fury. Loyiont shook his head in anger. “This is why you’re bound! You’re not thinking at the moment and until you start you’re going to stay like this!”

“How dare you?” Ralen all but roared making a few of the braver guards turn around to look as they hastily retreated to find duties elsewhere. At their captain’s head shake at their silent question, they gratefully vanished.

Undaunted, Loyiont glared back at Ralen. Both amused and concerned- he’d never seen Ralen like this- Calen spoke up for the first time. “My lord- “His voice drew Ralen’s volcanic gaze his way. Managing not to flinch, he tried again. “Ralen, Loyiont’s right. You were about two small steps from challenging that adventurer to a fight- “He broke off at his lord’s violent head shake of denial. “Yes, you were my Lord.” Calen spoke so firmly he had Ralen blinking at the tone in his voice. “If anything Loyiont just saved your life before you could do something so stupid as to challenge him.”

“Hardly,” Ralen snorted in contempt at the thought of that paladin being able to defeat him in battle. “Ralen,” Loyiont’s irritated voice drew his attention back to the diminutive healer. “Pheonic is a gifted sword-mistress and she’s a mage! Do you really think she’d have fallen in love with anyone weaker then her?”

The healer’s pointed comment had him pausing long enough to for reality to sink in. Pheonic, his beautiful mage was in love with another man- had always been in love with someone else and he’d been too blinded by his own infatuation to see it. “Oh blessed Zahak!” He cursed, throwing his head back to look up at the blinding sun. “I’ve made a fool of myself haven’t I?”

“No more then any man in love,” Calen said cheerfully. “I made a cake of myself over Sharon when we first met. She still likes to tell everyone about it when she gets a few too many beers in her.”

“Which sounds like a good idea,” the Captain went on, as he put an arm around his Lord consolingly. “Let’s go crack open a keg. Sharon will be busy at the Keep helping your housekeeper greet your guests for awhile~ let’s go now while it’s safe.”

Not knowing what else to do, Ralen let himself be led towards the guard house, leaving the tattered remains of his recent dreams and plans lying on the ground behind him.
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Post by Kiri~onna » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:34 pm

Very intreging :)
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Post by Kiri~onna » Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:35 pm

:) ...ive started to notice something about us mithra's... we always like to go after tall handosm men in nice shiny armor. :wink: :)
im still currently debating if i should write myown little fanfiction. :P :)
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:54 pm

Oh definetly! You should really do it! I'd love to read your work! You're right, we do tend to go for the big ones. I can't help it~ they're just so tall. /blissful sigh.

Ahem >< anyway, happy 4th of July and here's the next part^^


“They look good together.” Faclan’s quiet comment in the silence of the Keep’s upper floor made Ralen jump. “Oh, sorry,” Faclan apologized, amused by the noble’s reaction. “Thought you’d seen me walk up.”

“No apologies needed,” Ralen waved away the apology. “I fear I’m a bit under the weather today. You’ll forgive me if I don’t want company at the moment.”

“Oh, no worries,” Faclan assured him cheerfully. “Most people have trouble being on the outside of a keg’s contents. Well, unless their mages. Those freaks of nature all most never get drunk.”

“Or feel the consequences the next morning,” Ralen agreed wincing as he pressed fingers to his aching temples. “Loyiont refused to even make me up a remedy potion this morning, the smug bastard said something about needing to learn to use magic if I didn’t want to feel this way.”

“For someone who’s hung-over you’re certainly very verbose,” Faclan observed smiling to take away any perceived insult. “Mages as a rule don’t get drunk, and your healer’s right~ it’s due to their use of magic.”

Ralen wasn’t sure if he should be insulted or amused by the diminutive Tarutaru’s comment. Choosing the easier path, he ignored the observation. “Oh? I’ve worked with mages before but have never heard this before.”

“They don’t advertise it,” Faclan replied still smiling. “I only know about it because I started my training as a White Mage. Mages by and large have an amazing appetite for anything sweet- cookies, pies, cakes, and gelato, pretty much anything with sugar in it.”

“Loyiont’s always munching on ginger cookies,” Ralen remarked in sudden realization. “I never really noticed, but he does.”

“Exactly,” Faclan nodded. “Well, sweets tend to either increase how much mana a mage can use as well as help them recover from using it quicker. Juices, beer and wine work much the same way by giving creating a type of constant refresh effect on their mana reserves for a time after they drink a bottle.”

At Ralen’s confused look Faclan shook his head, frustrated by trying to explain the concept. Sweet Goddess but townie’s could be dumb he thought on a sigh before saying. “It helps them cast more and the fermented wines and beer have the best effects. Mages especially and to a lesser extant magic using melee job classes don’t get drunk. Red Mages are the worst though, they can drink anyone under the table.”

Well,” He amended darkly, looking out the window where he could see Phe and Lod
contentedly walking in the keep’s extensive gardens. “I’ve only seen one ever get drunk anyway, and that was only because she worked at it.”

Ralen followed the Taru’s gaze out the window frowning. Faclan could only mean Phe, but Ralen had never seen her get so much as tipsy in the weeks that she’d been staying. Like he had spent the majority of the night doing, most people drank to forget bad things- “drowning your sorrows” was the phrase he thought and from what he knew of the beautiful Red Mage she preferred to get mad then be weighed down by depression.
Having developed a healthy respect for her temper in the past few days, Ralen knew that she wouldn’t have gotten drunk unless it was something bad- maybe something related to her lover. Still not completely reconciled to Lodvico’s previous claim on Phe, Ralen glared grimly at the tall Paladin from the window. “Oh?”

“Hmmm,” Faclan replied, still lost in thought. “Oh, it wasn’t Lod,” He reassured his host. “It was someone else.”

“Oh,” Ralen frowned, privately disappointed at not being given a chance to pound the handsome Elvaan in to mush. Whatever Loyiont or Calen had to say on the matter, he knew he could take that knight. “What happened?” He asked, curious at the circumstances that had led Phe into getting world-class drunk despite himself.

“Drefan and I had just met Phe, Lod and her fiancé Garebernd.” Faclan explained, frowning at the memory. “They’d just gotten a wedding date after months of trying. She and Garebernd had been childhood sweethearts and she was so happy at finally getting to marry him. Everyone thought Garebernd was just as happy but then about a week before the ceremony she found a note on his Mog house door that said he needed “some time” and that “he was going away for awhile.” Faclan’s tone went fierce and Ralen had a sudden inkling as to why the Grand Vizier treated the tiny race with care. The damned Tarutaru’s were scary when angered. He didn’t want to be the one to stir up that hornet’s nest. “I’ve never seen her that way,” Faclan went on, unaware of Ralen’s thoughts. “She was devastated. Angry- oh blessed lady Altana was she furious!- but also devastated.” Faclan glared, a tic starting on the side of his mouth as he replayed those days in his head. “She really loved that motherless coward and there was no consoling her. She locked herself up in her room for nearly a week until finally her moogle got worried enough to let Liha in to try and talk to her.”

“Liha,” Ralen nodded, mentally bringing up a face at the name. “The other ninja.”

“Thief, actually.” Faclan corrected absently, “She and I are both thieves. Oh, we can dance the steps and sing the tune of Ninja but we’re thieves by training. Anyway, Liha took Phe to the tavern in Windurst and then moved to the Jueno taverns when they drank their way through the stock there. Liha passed out somewhere between Upper and Lower Jueno so Phe went on to Bastok and finally San d’Oria before getting to the point where she was officially too drunk to care.”

“That’s…a lot of drinking,” Ralen said after a moment. Faclan looked up at the taller man and nodded silently. “Lod was actually the one who found her and brought her back to her moogle. Danlor, Drefan and I were had taken the other main cities.”

“I see,” Ralen said thoughtfully. “So, she and the knight have always been close?”

“They’ve known each other for years,” Faclan replied absently, busy watching the couple fondly. “Garebernd, Lodvico and Phe were close friends and I think Lod always cared for Phe more then just friendship but she was engaged and he was too honorable to act on his feelings. Then, when that bastard “poofed” right before her wedding and when she was suddenly available Lod wasn’t. He was betrothed to an old friend that knew Phe as well.”

“I take it his relationship didn’t make it to the altar either,” Ralen said dryly as the couple, blissfully unaware of the scrutiny that they were under, embraced passionately under a handy tree. “No, no it didn’t.” Faclan replied, turning to face Imalda’s Lord. “I don’t know the full story there, but Lod broke the betrothal agreement about a month after Phe went on her inspection of all the taverns and pubs on Quon and Mindartia.”

Ralen nodded, studiously ignoring the scene going on in his mother’s gardens and the stab of envy it was causing in his chest. “Lady Pheonic never mentioned any prior commitments or attachments before your arrival here.” He pointed out to the Taru. “If they were both free of their betrothals and felt something for each other then why didn’t they act on it?”

“You really do talk like that,” Faclan was struck by the Elvaan Lord’s formal phrases. “All formal and correct, I didn’t think anyone outside of Chateau d’Oraguille actually spoke like that.”

The non sequitor had Ralen staring at his houseguest who looked back guilelessly- a neat trick considering that the Taru was a thief and had almost as much guile as he did ways to pick a lock- before laughing helplessly at him. Faclan grinned back and answered the question as Ralen chuckled. “For much the same reason a certain prince and his captain of the guard haven’t,” Faclan rolled his eyes at the well known drama (in Adventurer circles) of Prince Trion and Captain Curilla’s relationship. “Pride and honor. Lod and Phe have been dancing around their attraction to each other for the past year. Like I said, it’s good to see them together finally.”

Ralen nodded in understanding before saying a touch bitterly, “I see.” He went on a bit sadly,” From the minute she woke up, she’s brought so much life and color to my world. I’d hoped that- “He shrugged sighing regretfully before looking back out the window at the now smiling pair. “Well, I’d hoped.”

“I understand,” Faclan smiled in under sympathy. “Phe is a very easy person to love and attracts the opposite sex like bees are attracted to flowers.”

“Yes,” Ralen agreed a bit sadly. “I’m beginning to realize that.” Faclan nodded with a sad smile himself. “It’s hard to realize that someone you care for can’t, or won’t, return the same emotion.” Ralen opened his mouth to reply but instead nodded. He looked out the window at the happy couple and then looked back to the small thief. “If he ever hurts her….”

“You’ll have to get in line, my lord.” Faclan grinned dangerously. “And that cursed samurai had better hope that I never find him. No one, but no one hurts our Phe and gets away with it.”
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Post by Kiri~onna » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:36 am

your late Phe... ^^
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:29 pm

I'm sorry this is so late, I got hit by a writer's block stick and had a lot of trouble writing this. I'm (reasonably) happy with the final result~ I've rewritten this so many times already, I better stay happy with it anyway. Hope y'all enjoy it as well^^

Happily unaware of their audience, Phe and Lod were busy enjoying their time together. They both knew it would end all too soon and were determined to get any misunderstandings either might have cleared up before life intruded again and they were forced to go deal with the latest calamity that “only they could handle.”

Both had been adventurers for long enough (and were cynical enough) to know that statements like ‘Only you can save us!’ or ‘There’s no one else!’ translated into ‘You’re the only expendable squishy meat shield close enough to at least amuse the beastmen long enough for us to escape’ when coming from a townie. If a request like that came from the leaders of said towns you could substitute ‘let the beastmen kill, burn and feast on your corpse’ for ‘amuse’.

Lod, in particular, was determined to enjoy every second of this blessed worry free day. He’d spent too much time over the past weeks fluctuating between despondency and tormented hope to yet feel comfortable with Pheonic out of his sight. He figured it’d take at least a year to get over the fright she’d given him. Maybe two.

Phe lifted her head off his shoulder with a sigh. “We do need to talk.” Lod nodded, tucking back a strand of hair that was blocking his view of her profile. “The past three weeks have been hell,” he said quietly, sitting down on a nearby bench hidden from view of the Keep’s windows and pulling her down beside him. “When the Tenshodo gave us the news that your ship had gone down, I-I-“ His voice broke as memories of the past month rose up again. His arms came up to close around her convulsively.

Touched, Phe curled up on his lap, trying to soothe him. “Shhh, its ok. I can imagine how it must have been for you and my parents.” She put a fingure under his chin and tilted his head up to meet his eyes. “I’m ok, Lod. I didn’t die in the storm and I’ve survived worse,” Her eyes twinkled mischievously at that. “Remember when the time Faclan dragged us down to the Sacrarium in Tavanazia and got us hopelessly lost because he forgot his map?”

Lod snorted at the memory. “And Ian ran right into a Taurus when he tried to lead us out,” He shook his head. “I’m surprised any of us made it out of there alive. How many fomors did we have to go through to get to the exit?”

“Too many.” Phe shook herself to banish the memory. The undead shades or fomors were dangerous shadows of Altana’s Children and many adventurers avoided the ruins and dungeons fomors liked to haunt. It’d taken them hours to find both the relic they’d gone down to find and their way out again.

“Anyway, back to us.” She met his eyes steadily, “I’m ok.” She repeated. “I’m not going to leave you.” Phe looked down at her hands for a second before looking up again. “I’ve done a lot of thinking these past three weeks and I think its time we stopped dancing around the truth.”

She took a deep breath before plunging straight into the murky depths of their relationship. “I love you, and think you love me. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life working with you if we’re not going to ever be in a relationship. I-I lost Gar and that hurt but I don’t think I can get over losing you, especially if we never try to see what we can have together.” She fell silent, afraid to meet his eyes suddenly.

Lodvico wasn’t by nature an emotional man, but as Phe’s declaration hung in the air between them as he struggled to contain his response. He spoke just as Phe was beginning to fear she’d misjudged his greeting the day before.

They hadn’t had a chance to talk last night. Faclan and the others had all but insisted on hearing every detail of the storm, the wreck and her adventurers here in Imalda. She’d tried (unsuccessfully) to escape with Lod to a quiet corner a few times but had given it up the third time they’d been intercepted by one of their friends. Even Drefan had stirred himself to play chaperone.

Lod gently placed his hand on her face, just as he had in her dreams and spoke, voice deep with emotion. “Sunshine,” he spoke quietly, as if afraid she’d disappear on him. “I’ve loved you for so long, from the first time I saw you I think. But you were engaged to Garebernd and, I thought, happy with him. I couldn’t-wouldn’t- get in the way of your happiness. So, I got engaged to Fyua, a woman who I thought I could make a good life with and then Gar-“ He bit her former fiancé’s name off viciously, “left and you were so broken, I realized I couldn’t marry a woman who I didn’t feel the same thing for. If she left I don’t think it’d have bothered me, and I wasn’t willing to marry someone I didn’t- couldn’t- love. Not that way.”

“You came for me,” Phe remembered, smiling slightly~ eyes swirling with remembered pain and joy. “In San d’Oria.”

“You were at the Phoenix Perch Inn,” He nodded smiled wryly. “Do me a favor, please Sunshine. Promise me you will stop emulating your namesake quite so much.”

“It’s not like I go out trying to find trouble,” She retorted, smiling to take the sting out of her words. She reached up a hand to his face, eyes twinkling again with mischief. “If you’ve felt that way about me for so long, why didn’t you say anything?”

“I wanted to give you time to recover from Garbernd,” He shrugged ruefully. “I thought you needed time and then, the longer I put it off, the harder it was to speak up. You might have said something.”

“I didn’t want to lose you as a friend if I was wrong about how I thought you felt,” She admitted with a shrug. “Its not like Elvaans wear their heart’s on their sleeves. Look at how long Curilla and Trion have been suffering in silence.”

“True,” he agreed, laughing gently. “Let’s try to do better. I don’t want to be without you anymore.”

“Well,” Phe said archly, smiling wickedly up at him. “What’s stopping you?”

The sun had set and moon was starting to rise before the two lovers made it inside to announce their engagement to their expectant friends.
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Post by Kiri~onna » Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:19 am

very well written Phe. ^^
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:04 am

Short one right now, will try to add more later in the week

The light from the crescent moon was dim and weak as the beastmen army known only as the Undead Swarm began their march on the capital city of the Near Eastern empire. Failed experiments of renegade alchemists, the Lamia and their lesser sisters the Merrow led their undead army of reanimated skeletons, shadows of fallen soldiers from the Imperial Guard, hideous rotting qutrubs and of course, ghosts~ always ghosts~ emerged from their lair in the haunted Arrapago Reef. It was a rare quiet night with no wind coming in from the nearby ocean and sound traveled far in the night air.

Imperial Guards standing watch at the outposts nearest the reef were the first to spot the beastmen troop movement. Despite their training and experience~ even the veterans had a hard time quelling their nervous reaction as the sound of slithering scales, dry rattling bones and the wet sound of tentacles crossed the distance to their lonely station. The mixed smell of decay and saltwater was, if anything, worse a newly assigned soldier discovered as his body fought to eject his latest meal.

Endless minutes of tense watching later, the Sergeant of the Guard signaled to one of his men to sound the alarm. By using the Runic Portals the Imperial Empire of Aht Urghan and its outlying districts were warned of the Undead Swarm’s approach faster then any Chocobo Express Rider.

Imalda received the warning as the sky was turning the colorless hue known throughout Vana’diel as Sailor’s Time.
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:33 pm

Here's the next part. Happy Friday :D


The sound of a very loud bell ringing had Phe jolting up, ears back, hissing at the noise.

“Hmmm? What is it, Sunshine?” Lodvico yawned, reaching up to pull her back down beside him as the bell sounded again. “What in the world?”

“Don’t know,” She replied reaching for her clothes. “But it sounds serious. I’m going to see what’s going on.”

“I’ll join you,” Lodvico said, sliding out of bed as the bell sounded again. “There might be trouble.”


They stepped into the hall a moment later to see Danlor and Faclan already there, standing with Ralen down by the head of the stairs. As they joined their friends Liha and Drefan stepped out of their rooms, fully armed.

Not missing the fact that Phe had not been alone in her room, Ralen glared briefly at the unrepentant Paladin before addressing the group as a whole. “The Undead Swarm has started marching on the Imperial City. The Guard is stepping up its patrols and number of troops on the walls until the threat has passed.”

“The children? Koren? Arelia?” Phe asked, anxious. Ralen shook his head, smiling briefly. “Safe. All non-combatants started moving into the Keep’s Bailey. They’ll stay there until it’s safe to return. No need to worry about their safety.” He reassured her.

“How likely are they to attack the town?” Lodvico asked professionally as he checked the straps of his shield, making sure that they were snug. Ralen paused, trying to and failing to find any offense in the practical question. “Honestly? Not much. We seldom see more then a few forward scouting parties for the Swarm, but the threat still exists. They typically use the main route through the Caedarva Mire to the Sea when they march on the Imperial City, but Imalda lies on one of the secondary paths.”

“No need to take any chances,” Danlor nodded in understanding. “How can we help?”

“Captain Calen sends his compliments and requests that two of you each take up positions on the South, East and West facing walls. If there is an attack it will likely come from one of those directions.” Ralen requested gratefully. The group exchanged glances, pairing up silently before Danlor turned back to Imalda’s Lord. “Done.” He nodded to Drefan. “We’ll take the East Gate.”

“I call south,” Liha said, grabbing Faclan as she walked by. “Com’on shrimp. Let’s go see what’s going on there.”

“Sure,” Faclan agreed, trotting along next to her. “I’m sure they have a dice game going, and if they don’t-“

“We can start one.” Liha agreed, chuckling. She tossed an airy wave at the suddenly concerned looking Ralen. Smiling, Phe looked at Lod then over to Ralen. “Guess that leaves the West Gate.”

“After you, Sunshine.” Lod waved towards the stairs. She smiled her thanks at the courtesy as she passed. Lod made to follow her, only to be stopped by Ralen’s firm hand on his arm.

“A minute of your time, if you would Sir Knight,” The town’s Lord asked pleasantly, but the remaining group heard the steel beneath the surface tone. Lod and Drefan’s eyes met and Lod tilted his head towards the disappearing mage.

“Got it,” Drefan nodded agreeably. “Dani, I’ll meet you after Lod’s done with the Lord here.”

“No problem,” Danlor said. “See you in a few.” Drefan nodded once more, shifting his axes to a more comfortable position before heading down the hall. Danlor waited until Drefan had started down the stairs before meeting Ralen’s look.

“I want to say this isn’t the time to get into this,” He started, ignoring both Elvaan glares. “But I know neither of you will listen, so I’ll just say this. If the two of you can’t work out your problems now-“He met each pair of eyes before nodding choppily. “Then table it until the Undead Swarm threat is over. And remind you that Phe won’t be happy when she hears of this. She may just decide to kick your asses herself.” With his final warning, he nodded to Lod then Ralen and disappeared down the hall to take up his position on the Eastern Wall.

Lod looked at the town leader, eyebrow quirked. “Until later then, milord.” Ralen reluctantly lowered his hand from the Paladin’s arm. “Later.” He agreed. “You keep yourself alive, I wouldn’t want to have to kill you all over again for breaking her heart.”

“I’ll be waiting.” Lod smiled sardonically, before tossing him an ironic salute and turning his back on the noble in a calculated insult as he went to relieve Drefan.
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:31 pm

The sun was high in the mid-morning sky and the tense watch was nearing its end. Forward scouts had reported seeing a few of the swarm moving through the nearby marsh but they’d made no move towards Imalda, seemingly intent on their goal of reaching the Imperial City.

Phe shifted her shoulders, tilting her head to once side as she did so to stretch her neck. It was hot under the mid-morning sun and she had to fight to keep from falling asleep. Falling head first over the parapet would not be a good thing.

She yawned, mourning the hours she’d been too occupied to sleep during the night before as the reason for her sleeplessness came up to stand next to her. “Tired? Or bored?” Lod asked, mopping at his brow. The sun was brutal for anyone in heavy armor; Lod was practically swimming in his- so much so he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to get out of it before drowning.

“A bit of both,” She admitted, smiling up at him. “We didn’t get much sleep last night and all this waiting is boring. I can at least fish when waiting for a party invitation.”

“True,” Lodvico smiled- ok, smirked- slightly as he put away the now damp rag. Phe caught the look on his face and raised an eyebrow at the almost boastful look on his face. She shook her head, amused as he looked up and saw that she was watching him.

“What is it?”

“Oh, nothing.” She replied airily, looking out across the keep’s wall to make sure the Undead Swarm wasn’t suddenly marching on the town. Eyes narrowed, Lod frowned. He opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it and after a moment, simply said, “I see.”

They stood there in the secured comfort of knowing that the other was there as the sun slowly moved across the sky. They looked over curiously at a messenger that had just run up to the Sergeant of the Guard for a minute before returning to their assigned sector.

As the Sergeant of the Guard moved along the wall, speaking quietly to each of the guards, Phe broke the comfortable silence. “So, are you going to tell me?”

Lod had been watching the Sergeant move along the wall and was caught off guard by her question. “Tell you what?” She slanted a knowing look his way, “You know what I mean.” She turned to greet the Sergeant, smiling widely. “Any news Sergeant?”

“Milady, Sir Knight,” the burly Sergeant nodded brusquely at each in turn. “We just received word from the Imperial City. The Undead Swarm began attacking shortly after dawn and has been forced into retreat. The Captain is ordering the Guard to stand down to normal force levels with the forward scouts to stay out to keep a watch on the Swarm as they return to their lairs.” He paused for a minute, before saying in a completely different tone of voice. “I appreciate you both standing watch with the troops. Its not everyday the men are able to work with merc- I mean Adventurers and you and your friends agreeing to man the walls has settled a lot of questions in their minds.”

“Why, thank you Sergeant,” Phe said, surprised at the compliment from the veteran soldier. “That means a lot to us and I’ll be sure to pass it along to the others.” Lod nodded firmly in agreement. The Sergeant nodded once more before bracing to attention and saluting them. “I’ll leave you to your day then, milady. Sir Knight.” He nodded once more to each in turn as they both returned the salute and walked off to the next guard on the wall.

“Shall we?” Lod gestured towards the stairs. Phe wrinkled her nose, nodding in agreement. “Yes, please. No offense, Sir Knight, but you’re beginning to get a bit fragrant.”

“Can’t be helped,” He shrugged. “Every Paladin I know starts to sweat thirty seconds after putting it on even in Xarcaband.”

“Oh, I know.” She teased smilingly. “After nearly a decade of adventuring with you, I’m well aware of how much, uh, sweat you’re capable of producing.”

“You’ve never mentioned it before,” He pointed out, unsure if she was poking fun at him or if it seriously repelled her. As if she could read his mind, she stood up on her toes to brush her lips against his reassuringly. “It’s never been a problem. Now,” She said with a smile. “Let’s go get out of this sun before we both come down with heat stroke.”

He smiled back at her and as he followed her down the stairs she looked back over her shoulder at him, smiling impishly. “So, you gonna tell me?”

“Tell you what?” He asked guardedly, recognizing that smile from past experiences with her. Phe had turned back to watch her step as she climbed down the steep stairs so she didn’t see his expression. “You know.” She teased again.

“No, seriously, Phe~ what are you talking about?” Lod was getting a bit exasperated and reached out to pull her to a stop. She turned, laughing, obviously amused by his frustration. “What it was Ralen wanted to talk to you about.” She reached up to tug on one of his ears. “Why did he ask you to stay behind? Ringing any bells with you?”

Torn between personal outrage at the ear tug and laughter he caught her hand to still further attacks. “It’s nothing really,” he shrugged. “He’s just had the misfortune to fall in love with you and he’s not all that happy with you choosing a scruffy adventurer over him.” He smiled tenderly down at her. “Not that I can fault his choice in women, but I made it clear that I don’t share and we came to an agreement.”

“Oh?” Phe’s eyes had narrowed at the revelation that her host had fallen in love with her. It had never occurred to her that he might have any feelings towards her, and she felt a little twinge of conscience at the way she’d greeted Lod when he’d arrived in town. It must have been painful for the Elvaan noble to watch them together like that. “What sort of an agreement.”

Lod shrugged again, continuing down the stairs. “The usual kind when women are involved.”

“What?” She snorted. “Beer and lies?”

“No,” He laughed, shaking his head. “More along the lines of crossed swords at dawn.”

Phe came to such an abrupt halt Lodvico barely managed to avoid plowing into her and knocking both of them down the stairs. She just stood there for a second, ears upright and tail very still before visibly shaking herself and continuing down the stairs with a muttered. “Men.”
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:09 pm

It was actually late afternoon when they agreed to meet as a “test of skills” with the unspoken agreement that the loser would refrain from pursuing one supremely irritated Red Mage.

The sun had passed over the training field and was below the town walls as Ralen stepped out from the Guard building accompanied by Calen and the healer Loyiont who had been muttering to himself for the past hour.

At the sight of him, the gathered crowd stirred and gave a small cheer. Ralen smiled briefly and waved at his townspeople before heading to the marked off dueling area. “You sure you want to do this?” Calen murmured as he followed his Lord. By rights he should’ve been there already since he was acting as the referee in the match, but his loyalty lay with his Lord. Even if he did think his lord was acting like a schoolboy denied a favorite treat.

“Of course,” Ralen replied neutrally, brows lowering for an instant as he saw that jumped up Adventurer standing on the far side, calmly waiting for him to take his place. “This is just a friendly test of arms among allies, nothing more.”

“And we can believe as much of that as we want.” Loyiont all but bit out. “You know as well as I do that you’re doing this to try and “win” Lady Pheonic in battle! You’re under some sort of delusion that if you actually manage to defeat Lord Lodvico- a knight who’s seen more fights then you have and walked away from worse I might add- her ladyship will fall all over you in thanks and declare her undying love for you!”

“It’d be nice,” Ralen agreed, humor lighting his eyes. “But no, I agree that there’ll be some hard feelings if I defeat this…knight but I’m confident that Phe will come to realize that the best man won and is the best suited for her affections.”

“Oh good Zahak,” Loyiont groaned. “I thought you’d gotten past that the night we got you drunk.”

“’Fraid not, old friend.” He smiled grimly. “I just kept it to myself since you both were trying so hard to change my mind.”

“Lord-“Calen began, looking over at the patiently waiting adventurer. “I agree with Loyiont, this is not a good idea and don’t you think its telling that her ladyship isn’t here to lend her support?”

“She’s not?” Loyiont asked with some surprise. “I’d have thought she’d have wanted to watch the fight. She’s always enjoyed watching matches like this.”

“He probably ordered her to stay away,” Ralen said with unwonted anger. He’s built it up in his mind that Lodvico was a cruel unfeeling lout unworthy of his beloved’s unwavering affections and as such deserved to be dealt with as severely as possible. This may be a friendly test of strength but hey, accidents happened all the time in training.

“Actually,” An amused voice drawled from behind them, making Loyiont jump in surprise. “Phe chose to stay away.”

“Oh?” Calen asked curiously, turning to Drefan who’d come up unnoticed behind them and wondered how much he’d over heard.

The sleepy eyed warrior nodded, amused by Ralen’s confident boasting. “She said and I quote: “Why should I watch? Lod’s going to win, he always does. All I’d be doing is sitting there looking pretty while he and Ralen try their best to kill each other over me. Thank you, no. I have better things to do.’” Drefan’s voice had taken on the same intonation and slightly musical lilt that Phe spoke with, it was almost uncanny.

Calen gave a bark of laughter, “That sounds just like her.”

“Wish I’d shown as much sense.” Loyiont’s mutter was just quiet enough that Ralen could pretend that he hadn’t heard it. Drefan, however, showing absolutely no tact, nodded in agreement.

“Well,” Drefan said after a moment. “I’d best be finding a good spot for the fight.” He nodded towards the healer and Calen before sketching out a brief bow to Ralen. “Good luck to you, my Lord. You haven’t seen Lod fight; you’re in for a treat.” With that he walked off to find a good position to watch the fight from.

Loyiont gave his friend a dark look before heading back to the Guard’s office with a sharp order to Calen to make sure the fool was brought to him only if there was a chance to revive him~ he wasn’t a miracle worker. Ignoring the healer, Calen nodded to Ralen before taking his position in the center of the designated fight area and motioning both opponents to come closer.

When both were there, he looked from one to the other, biting back a sigh. The Paladin was calm, eyes slightly unfocused in a way Calen recognized. Whatever Ralen thought, this Adventurer was dangerous. He wasn’t trying to “psyche” his opponent out by playing mind games or presenting a confident air~ he just was.

Imalda’s Lord on the other hand was both grimly determined and angrily confident, a bad combination in Calen’s opinion but this was after all supposed to be a friendly bout. He’d step in to halt it if it looked like the paladin was going to forcibly vacate the position of local lord. He hoped.

With a sigh, he raised a hand and addressed them both. “This is to be a test of skill. So neither has an unfair advantage over the other I’ve asked that you both leave items such as potions, icarus wings, echo drops and other similar medicines out of the ring. On your word of honor, have both of you done so?”

Ralen nodded choppily in confirmation and Lodvico simply said, “Yes.” Still in that damnably calm mental state of his. Calen sighed again and nodded. “Very well then. On my mark the test will begin.”

He stepped back out of the ring and raised a hand, the crowd going suddenly silent. “You may begin.”
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Post by Kiri~onna » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:41 am

will there be more phe?
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:12 pm

Eventually, I'm pretty busy doing other projects at the moment, but I'll try and get at least the next section up sometime this week.

Updates are going to be pretty sporadic from now on, hopefully I can get a few done each month, but I don't know. Just have to see how things go I guess. :)
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:26 am

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!^^

Liha and Mhina were on their way to the much gossiped about match between Imalda’s fiery lord and the foreign adventurer. The two had become instant friends and were cheerfully debating the Adventurer Knight’s chances against the Imalda Lord.

“His Lordship was invited to become an Immortal before his father’s death,” Mhina stated flatly, shaking her head as they pass the Keep’s small library. “Your friend has no chance against a warrior of Lord Ralen’s stature.”

“Maybe once,” Liha disagreed, ears flicking as she replied heatedly. “But not now. Lod’s- she broke off as something caught her eye. “Uh…Phe?” Liha’s voice doorway had Pheonic looking up from the aged book she was currently studying. “Yes, what is it?” She asked with a smile.

“Um…” Liha stepped into the room. “Aren’t you going to the fight? It’s about to start.”

Phe shook her head, looking back down at the page she was reading. “I’m not going.”

“Why not?!” Liha was shocked. Phe had always, always been right next to Lodvico if there was any threat. “Lod’s fighting Lord Ralen for-“

“Me, or rather for my honor- I know.” Phe said calmly, turning a page. “Never mind that Ralen never stated his intentions and ignoring the fact that I’m fully capable of choosing my own partners and settling any “issues” of that nature without needing anyone to step in for me.” She finished a bit tartly.

“I’m sure Lod doesn’t see it like that,” Liha said after a moment. “He didn’t choose this fight.”

Turning another page, Phe shrugged slightly. “He didn’t tell Ralen to get over himself either. He could’ve just walked away.” She pointed out a touch bitterly. “But his Elvaan honor got in the way. Again.” Liha nodded in sudden understanding. Lod’s sense of honor and duty was fierce there wasn’t a ponze of give in his soul. He’d walked into more than one situation blindly because his duty had led him there. He lived and breathed Paladin so much it was scary sometimes.

“So, you’re not going because your boyfriend didn’t let you fight?” Mhina asked carefully, her tone making it clear she was probably thinking Pheonic was still feeling the effects of her concussion.

“Yep,” Phe confirmed. “I told him to go do what he had to and I’d be right here waiting for him when he was done.”

Liha looked at Mhina and rolled her eyes. Mhina nodded in agreement and jerked her head in the direction of the sale. Liha nodded at Mhina before turning back to Phe. “Well, if you’re sure,” she said. “I’ll see you after the fight then.”

“Ok, no problem.” Phe nodded in response as a finger traced over something on the page. “Enjoy the fight.”

“Riiiight,” Mhina said quietly as they continued their interrupted journey down the hall. “Tell me, is there something in the air in the Middle Lands that makes everyone so bloodthirsty that even your mages want to face a proven warrior in a duel?”
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:18 pm

Short holiday themed story this month^^

The day had just started, the sun was barely up over the horizon and the citizens of Aht Urghan were still in bed. The Empire’s merchants and guilds seldom started the day before the sun was well up, preferring a slow and relaxing start to their day. It was a custom Drefan had taken to with pleasure.

Any custom that let him sleep longer was heartily endorsed by the lazy warrior, but somehow he found himself up at the crack of dawn accompanying Pheonic and Lodvico to the journeyman black mage who would warp them to Jueno. So Pheonic could go shopping.

“Phe, there is an auction house right here in Aht Urghan,” Lodvico reminded his fiancée as they left the Residential Area. “It’s even linked to the Jueno Auction House. There’s no reason to return to Jueno.” Drefan had to admire his friend’s bravery in even broaching the suggestion as the petite Mithra whirled around and planted both dainty fists on her hips as she stared up at her lover.

“Today’s the start of the Starlight Celebration,” She reminded Lodvico, mimicking his tone perfectly. “We’re going to Jueno to start our holiday shopping. We’ve discussed this already, remember?”

“Yes.” He nodded placatingly, “but with the Jueno Auction House right here, we could go have breakfast at the tea house and then browse through the goods at the Auction House afterwards and be done by noon. There’s no reason for us to leave town.”

“It’s not the same.” Pheonic was firm. “There’s nothing like shopping in Jueno during this time of year and you agreed we’d go see our folks and tell them about our engagement during the festivities anyway so we can kill a few birds with just one pebble.”

“Yes, sunshine.” Lod sighed in agreement, giving up the fight rather then crack his head on her Stoneskin like determination. They’d arrived at the Tarutaru’s location and Phe was talking to the mage when he tried one last time to save Drefan from the crowds of insane holiday shoppers at least. “Why is Drefan coming again? He doesn’t like shopping anymore than I do- wouldn’t Liha be a better choice to come along?”

Phe however was having none of it. “Liha and Faclan are helping Danlor scout out Aht Urghan and see what information they can pick up about our quest, if anything, and besides-Drefan’s mother wants to see him. You’re going to need help carrying the shopping bags anyway.” With an airy wave, she disappeared as the mage finished his casting and warped her away to Jueno.

Lod looked ruefully down at Drefan as the Taru turned to him. “I tried. There’s no talking to her when she gets like this.”

“I know,” Drefan sighed. “She’s worse then a leech when it comes to sticking to an idea. Holiday shopping. In Jueno.” The disgust in his voice was thicker then the snow in Xarcabard. “Did she hit her head again? What on earth possesses anyone to go shopping in Jueno at this time of year?”

“No idea,” Lodvico sighed. “But we’re about to find out.” He disappeared and then it was Drefan’s turn to be warped away to Jueno.

The inky blackness that always occurred whenever someone warped surrounded him and when it cleared he found himself standing on top of one of the ruined walls that still stood in Rolanberry fields. He thought he heard the tiny mage saying “Ooops” faintly, as if from a far distance.

Here it was still dark, he noted, the sun not even a false promise on the horizon yet. “It’s going to be a long day.” He sighed as he took as step cautiously to the right, trying to feel for a hand hold in an attempt to climb down. Somehow, he misjudged how far he had and suddenly found himself on the ground, the impact jarring his entire body as half his weight in armor suddenly made itself felt and making him keel over onto his face. Stunned, he lay there trying to figure out how in the hell- any hell- he’d managed to get roped into this when a Chocobo came darting around the corner and ran right over his prone body.

“Sorry, Mister- didn’t see you there!” The maddeningly cheerful voice of the rider called from the darkness. Drefan didn’t have the energy to go after the cheery midget, but instead picked himself up painfully and hobbled on into Lower Jueno. There was no point in mangling the halfling when the entire reason he was here was the blissful Mithra who had dragged him out of his nice warm bed to go shopping.

Lower Jueno was always busy, no matter what hour of the day or night it was, but somehow there seemed to be even more people packed into the narrow lanes of Jueno then ever before, shouting and calling to each other as they pushed and shoved their way to the auction house counters or browsed bazaars looking for deals and over it all was the sprightly sound of bells and flutes playing the famed Juenonian Starlight Celebration anthem.

A group of men he’d taken for an experience party was standing next to the nearby home point crystal, but as he walked (limped) by he heard one of them say to the one ranger among them- “She wants to go to the jeweler’s after this to look at rings. Be a pal- shoot me now and put me out of my misery.”

It was the most sensible idea he’d heard yet that day and he was tempted to go find that ranger himself as he heard his name being called from the crowds ahead. The crowds parted just long enough for Drefan to see Phe standing there, waving gaily at him as she and Lod made their way towards him- and she’d already managed to buy he noticed the heavily burdened Lodvico. Drefan looked up at the heavens, mentally asking why he had to do this as Phe reached him.

“Oh, there you are!” She all but sang out, “I’m almost done here, why don’t you and Lod go to the Happy Minstrel and get something to drink while I finish up?” Before he or Lod could agree or disagree she’d skipped back into the crowds with the enthusiasm of a starving tiger pouncing on a sheep and disappeared as the crowd swirled around her in its endless dance.

“What is it about this time of year that makes women go insane?” He wanted to know as he helpfully held the door open for the paladin. “I don’t know” Lod sighed, dumping the packages on the floor next to a table. “But I hope next year she finds someone else to drag along if she decides to go shopping again.”

“You wish?” Drefan snorted, signaling for a beer. “You’re the one marrying her. You, my friend, are stuck for life. I, on the other hand, plan on being in a merit party or off killing some god when the Starlight Celebration rolls around next year.”

“Want company?” The future groom asked seriously as they were served. Drefan grinned evilly and shook his head. “Sorry, but I like my heart where it is. You know she’ll tear it out and stomp on it if I take you off like that.”

“Probably,” Lodvico sighed sorrowfully. “There’s no hope for it, is there?”
“Nope.”
“No use complaining about it then.” Lod decided, taking a sip from his ale.
“Nope” Drefan agreed, doing the same thing. “You, my friend, are doomed.”
“Thanks for informing me of that fact,” Lod glowered over the table at his companion. Drefan lifted his tankard in salute. “No charge.”

Just then the door swung open with a bang and another man stumbled in carrying a mountain of packages. He barely made it to a table by the stage before collapsing. A server rushed over to help as the pile of boxes threatened to tumble down from their precarious height.

“I think I’m going to get drunk.” Lod decided suddenly.
“Best idea you’ve had all day.”

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Post by Kintrra » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:50 am

GAAAAAH!!!! I DEMAND MORE!! :lol:

Seriously tho, just sat down and read this all through at one time. I wanna see what happens between Lod and Ralen. :oops:

Great work. ^^b
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:50 pm

Finally got around to typing up the next part- I'm sorry these are so sporadic, will try to do better next month. Here's the fight between Lod and Ralen- any mistakes with job ability/weapon skill descriptions are unintentional :lol:


Ralen sprang forward as the Guard Captain’s hand dropped and he stepped back from the two combatants. The crowd roared with approval as their lord unleashed his attack. It seemed unthinkable that anyone could match his powerful strikes.

With reflexes honed from countless skirmishes and battles, Lodvico drew and parried the attack almost faster than the human eye could follow. The discordant sound of the sword blades clashing still rang in the air as he followed up the parry with the blinding spell, Flash.

Ralen’s great sword was heavy and cumbersome and his reactions were slow, Lodvico noted clinically, almost completely detached from the fight. But there were no reasons to taking any risks, he reminded himself as he blocked another attack with his shield.

Ralen was considered to be on of the Empire’s best warriors. He’d made a name for himself fighting against the Mamool and Troll nations as a youth and had been considered a candidate for the Immortals, but had had to decline when his father had died and the responsibilities and title of Imalda had come to him. Since then he’d kept in training and no one, not even Rezor had been able to best him in the salle.

He’d begun his attack with all the skill he’d drilled into his muscles. His opening move, when preformed correctly (and he seldom did it otherwise), had been known to stun his opponent and leave them fatally open to his next attack, which more often then not was the end of it. He was not used to having his attacks parried so easily or to have them stop mid-fight to cast spells either.

Ralen quickly discovered what his rival had found important enough to stop and cast as a flash of light dazzled his eyes just as he had committed himself to the next attack. Blinded, he missed his mark and stumbled, off balanced as his sword skated across his rival’s shield.
The crowd gasped as Lodvico unleashed his own attack. By, rights the hit should have bit deeply into the lord’s armor, but Lod struck with the flat of his blade and the blow was not fatal.

Armor could only blunt and diffuse his attack however, not stop it and the force of it cracked a couple of ribs, sending Ralen back on his heels momentarily before he brought his great sword down in a powerful overhand strike.

“Told you, “ Liha muttered to the Sentinel officer. “Never bet against an unknown.”

Mhehi shook her head in disbelief. “Your Paladin is better than I’d thought,” She admitted low-voiced. “But Lord Ralen’s not defeated yet. Your friend only has so much mana, he’ll go down quick once he uses Mighty Strikes.”
O
verhearing her, Drefan snorted. At her querying look, he explained. “His lordship is using a two-handed weapon, and a slow and heavy one as that. Sure, it hits for a hefty amount but you’re forgetting that Lod is a Paladin. He absorbs massive damage without blinking and he has more mana than you’re giving him credit for.”

“You may not have noticed,” He continued, pausing as the crowd momentarily drowned out his voice. Lod had landed another blow, this time on the upper part of Ralen’s sword arm. “But Lod’s hardly had to heal; he’s only had to use the lesser of the cure spells in his spell list. On the other hand, Ralen’s badly hurting. He can barely keep his sword up right now.”

The foreign warrior spoke truly; Mhehi had to admit grudgingly as they turned back to the fight. The crowd roared again, this time in excitement, as their lord finally used the unique warrior talent of Might Strikes, surely this foreigner, Paladin or no had to fall under the brutal attacks!

“Ready to die?!” Ralen spat at his rival, only his pallor and inability to hold his sword in an over hand position giving away the pain he was feeling. Sighing, Lod shook his head. “I’m more then ready to give my life, but it won’t be today.”

”We’ll see about that,” Ralen returned viciously, striking out with rather more strength then Lodvico was expecting. The lordling actually has some fight in him after all. Lod reflected privately but only replied with a laconic “Passable” as he lowered his sword and shield for an instant as Ralen used the weapon skill Ground Strike.

It was a small opening, sensed more then seen, but Ralen had seen it and had understandably mistaken it for Lod tiring finally. He pressed his attack furiously, confident that his rival would soon fall under his blade. Adrenaline surging through him, he barely felt his ribs protest as he lifted his sword overhead for the powerful overhand attack that Ground Strike called for.

He sneered as the Paladin simply stood there, no doubt too tired to attack, he thought contemptuously as his muscles tensed and brought the sword down to finish the attack. It struck true, he was sure of that, he’d seen it land!

Eyes widening shock, Ralen backed away as he stared into his rival’s face. What he’d mistaken for a sign of weakness had been nothing of the sort he realized numbly as he stared at the implacable Paladin’s face. As he had been launching what should have been his finishing attack- as it always had been before- Lodvico had used the unique Paladin ability Invincible with the result that his attack about as much damage as a rain drop would to a fish.

Lod bared his teeth as the moment he’d been waiting for came. Ralen had over extended himself in his over confidence and fervor to “claim” Pheonic as his and Lod was more then ready to finish the “practice match” and continue on with their quest.

He followed Ralen, eyes agate hard as his sword smashed again and again into the Lordling. Although he continued to use the flat of his blade (not to be confused with the weapon skill of the same name), his attacks were devastating. Ralen was too shocked and confused by the sudden turn of events to make a sound as the Paladin’s sword broke his sword arm, but the sudden pain of the breaking of his off hand had him falling to his knees in agony.

The crowd surged forward, crying in horror and shock, only to be stymied by the grim faced town guards. Falen stepped forward, hand on his own sword hilt, ready to stop the fight as Lodvico stepped over the beaten warrior and brought his sword down one last time. As the crowd, caught up in blood lust, shouted at and heckled the foreigner, Lod reversed the angle of his stroke at the last moment.

Falen let out the air he’d been holding as the Paladin checked his sword stroke and instead used the pommel of his hilt to knock Lord Ralen out. The captain had been more then ready to step in and end the fight himself with force, but was relieved that it would be unnecessary.

The Paladin had backed away to let the diminutive healer have room to work. Loyiont had appeared suddenly in the fighting circle, somehow navigating the line of guards blocking the way and the crowd that was still shouting insults at the San d’Orian knight. Falen came up to Lodvico, who had taken a knee to rest, he noted.

“Well fought,” He remarked calmly, watching the crowd carefully. The townsfolk were much calmer as they realized that they still had their Lord, but Falen was taking no chances. He liked these foreigners, but still and all, he’d be happier when they left.

“Thank you,” Lodvico replied, standing up and flexing his shoulders as he removed the dark staff he’d had on while resting. “Good fight.”
“For you perhaps,” The blue mage snorted. “But somehow I think Lord Ralen might think otherwise.”

“True,” The knight laughed, flashing a white smile at the Captain as his companions (minus one Red Mage) came up to him. “Which is why we’re planning on leaving before dawn.”

“That might be a good idea,” Falen agreed, as the healer waved to a few of his men and led the way back to Imalda Keep, keeping an eye on the prone lord as the sun dipped beneath the horizon.
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:51 pm

And thank you Kintrra!

Glad you like them :)
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Post by Kintrra » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:00 am

Hehe...PLD > WAR in one on one. I've actually proven this a few times.

Well-written tho Phe ^^
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Post by ScarlettPheonix » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:02 am

Awww.. thank you^^

Trying to work in Job Abilities/Weapon skills and have it actually make some sort of sense took some doing.

To be fair to Ralen, I did gimp him by giving him a Great Sword~ I wanted it to follow the tradition of storyline NPCs often having poor armor/weapon choices for their jobs/supposed levels.

And it isn't an al-gol either :rofl:
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