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Ultionem Crystallis: Final Fantasy

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    [Plot Progression]

    Ju-Long had nearly had nearly tossed both Blackrose and Gregory into the cellar himself before the Hellfish took care of the problem for him, he let lose a small sigh of relief as quietness took over the room once more as the brute of a man pushed a crate over the cellar door, preventing them from escaping until they worked out their differences. When he finished the deed, the Hellfish had turned his attention back to the topic at hand with a question to Xu-Shen. "Any godly idea where to start looking for yer crystals?" But before the question could be answered, the black mage screamed defiantly back up. "To hell with you pirate!" The Hellfish could only smile at the angry yell, but the mage was quick to compose himself. "But back on topic, if i could somehow dig deeper into the roots of magic I currently study for sure there would be a great chance our future efforts will pull off. Black Magic can manipulate many varibles, more so than any other type of magic!" Xu-Shen remembered something he had found on his earlier travels to Accerae Vatriae that would be of some use and replied to Gregory. "If you wish to accompany us, Gregory, see me after this meeting. I have a handful of scrolls that you might be interested in." He smilled softly and looked to both the red and white mages. "I believe I have something for the both of you as well, if you chose to join us."

    "That's all well and good lads, but the crystals." The Hellfish reminded them of the topic, however, Xu-Shen only shrugged, handing it off to Ju-Long to answer. The warrior stepped forward to the table again, unrolling his map and speaking loud enough that Blackrose and Gregory could hear him down below. "As you all know, the world of Ivalice has five countries. Ignotas is the only country that doesn't have a crystal under it's protection. Which is probably why the area became so destabilized. Without a central department tasked with protecting the crystal, no government took root. The other four countries hosted the crystals of water, earth, wind, and fire." He pointed to one each of the four countries as he said the elements, indicating which country had which crystal. "It's unfortunate... But Astaroth raided Datsuo Umi for the fire crystal before taking the wind crystal from King Farrell. That leaves the water crystal in Adamus Mundi and the earth crystal in Tierra Prometida." He rolled his map back up and placed it in his bag, giving the table back to his partner, who was more suited to speaking.

    "It would be wise for us to split into two groups to try and get to both crystals at the same time. If we travel to only one, Astaroth may get the other."

    The white mage spoke up immediately, offering her services to the cause but expressing a concern over the crystals corrupting those who come in contact with them if their heart isn't pure. "I have to question the notion of a "wholly pure heart" being able to wield the crystals." Jack, the marksman, answered, continuing to explain that King Ebrahim was a good man, but hardly "pure of heart". Yet he was still able to use the crystal. Ju-Long nodded in agreement. "Only a legend." he commented. Xu-Shen nodded as well adding to it. "At least as far as we know. The power of the crystals have never actually be fully wielded. They're only used once every one hundred years during the Requiem, which acts to cleanse them of any dark energies they have gathered over the years. The crystals are inherently pure themselves as the energy of the four warriors of light are sealed within, that is what keeps the world in balance. Though there is something to be said about absolute power corrupting absolutely. Which is why we can't allow Astaroth to gather all four of them." Jack, feeling vindicated by their agreement decided it was best to address the problem from last night. He sat an old looking helmet down on the table, one the ranger immediately recognized as belonging to the skeleton from before. Xu-Shen looked at it curiously before Jack explained that he believed it was soaked in dark magics. Ju-Long agreed, speaking up from behind the warrior monk. "The magic ether feels sinister..." he commented, prompting Xu-Shen to turn back to Captain Hellfish. "Dear captain, would you mind releasing our black mage from the cellar now? It seems we have need of his knowledge."

    Comment


      -Gregory was kissed on the cheek-

      The kiss stunned him for a moment, for that was the first time a female other than his mother has done so. He read many MANY books on this matter in his free time when he had nothing better to do. "Err...sorry" he said grabbing the bottle from her hands. He leaned in, closed his eyes, and giving her a nice soft one on the lips. Shocked at what he was doing he turned away quickly afterwards and put his hood over his head.

      [Gregory Marsh]

      Comment


        >Blackrose: Change dialogue color.

        Blackrose smiled and leaned back after the kiss was returned, resting her head against the shelf behind her. "So, black mage, you mentioned that our answer may be in the roots of magic?" she asked, hoping to spark some conversation, so there wouldn't be anything awkward between them. She might even make him more comfortable if she discussed something of his interest, such as magic and tactics.

        Comment


          "I got it, Captain, don't worry," Cirrus said before the Hellfish made a move. He made his way over to the covered trapdoor and slowly pushed the crate off of it only after putting all his force on it from his shoulder. With that clear, he opened it up and shouted down into the depths. "You can come out now, lovebirds," He said sarcastically. Cirrus had no idea what had just transpired under his feet. He went back to his seat, stretched his back, and sat down.
          Originally posted by Wade
          Everything is hidden in plain sight, like in Men in Black. We've all just been neuralized to think it is "normal".

          Comment


            "If it doesn't come up later i'll explain what I mean in private okay?" Greg said whispering to her and attempting to help her on her feet. He walked back to the table pulled out his chair, and sat down. "I have no problem splitting up briefly. Also, you said you have a scroll for me? Great." he stated pouring himself a cup of tea.

            "There's only one problem though...Crystals give the user power on contact, only those with substantial expertise in mana control would be able to control the power, you'd have to use some sort of device. I would be able to handle one, but only for a limited time."

            [Gregory Marsh]

            Comment


              Blackrose nodded to Gregory and grabbed a new bottle from the shelf. You know what, she nabbed up all the booze into her inventory abstratus before heading up and sat in her spot. She cracked it open and listened to the conversation as she took a swig.

              Comment


                Alistair only scratched his head and listened while everyone discussed the future or bickered amongst their selves. It would be quite the lively journey if everyone came along, that was for sure. But it wasn't until Jack brought the helmet out of his bag that the Ranger really began to pay attention to the conversation. He hadn't noticed Jack picking it up and he himself hadn't noticed anything off about it last night. But as Ju-Long commented, the mana emanating from it now had an awfully sinister vibe. He could tell and he didn't have any knowledge of magic at all. They called for their resident black mage to inspect it, so Alistair waited somewhat anxiously as Cirrus pushed aside the crate that Hellfish had used to lock he and Blackrose in the cellar.

                As Gregory emerged, he spoke of scrolls and the crystals, but made no mention of the aura coming from the helmet. Maybe he hadn't noticed it yet, so Alistair spoke up, his curiosity over the subject simply getting the better of him, unintentionally making his tone come out as rude and harsh. "Yes, yes. That's all well and good, Gregory. But what of the helmet? Does the mana emanating from it bare any resemblance to that of Astaroth?"

                Comment


                  "Based off my skills as of now, I can feel roughly the same mana signature Astaroth's" he said closing eyes and rubbing the helmet. "But why?"

                  [Gregory Marsh]

                  Comment


                    "But why?" Gregory asked while touching the helmet.

                    "Corrupted magic is essentially a 'man-made' thing. Someone has to take normal magic and attempt to alter it dramatically to suit their own purposes in order for it to occur." Jack said.
                    "There have been pockets of people who do it in order to start groups or cults, like some shamans and witch doctors, and it almost always leaves behind a discernible trace which can be picked up on by magic users.
                    I've been a part of units who's have been contracted to stop people like that a few times. Rogue mages, Necromancer cults and such. If that helmet contains traces of the same warped magic this Astaroth guy is using, it can help us track him down more accurately and, at the very least, help us be sure we are on the right track."

                    Comment


                      [Inn]


                      [Rest and Reflection II]


                      When morning finally came, Grigor was nowhere to be found. The young woman that knocked at his door tapped her knuckles off it's surface one last time while impatiently tapping her foot. Finally, when no answer came this last time she pulled a set of master keys from her apron. Flipping thorough them, she finally found the one that was to this particular room. Reaching for the door she strangely finds that it isn't locked. With a brave gulp of air, she twists the knob and steps in not knowing what she may find on the other side. A blank expression quickly fell across her features, the room was left untouched, did the Beastmaster not stay here the night before?

                      "Mr. Starag?"

                      -Outside-

                      Grigor was man of the wilds, he turned in early and rose well before dawn, squatting before a small man made pond he opens a small vile of liquid, "Þakka þér fyrir hressandi mig aftur í dag" Grigor lowly says turning the small vile up. It's content quickly dump into the water. It was a purifying agent that was meant to rid the water of any traces of him cleaning himself earlier. Now clean, he sits cross legged and begins to repair the hole that was left in the shoulder of his shirt. "Looks like I'll need to barter for more leather once we get to a town Fenrir." Grigor says almost absentmindedly while he sewed the makeshift patchs into place. As the sun rose and the morning wound on the distinct smell of breakfast catches the wolfs attention.

                      "What do you mean you don't want to insult my cooking but that smells heavenly? Hey, where are you going Fenrir?!" he shouts as the wolf bounds off for the inn. Snorting lightly the Beastmaster pulls himself up and dusts his pants off before sliding his shirt back on.

                      "Fine"

                      -Breakfast Meeting-

                      "I'm afraid to tell you, but the..."

                      "Is that fried eggs?" Grigor asks walking into the main dining room. The woman looked at him as if he were a ghost for a split second, but quickly regains her composure before simply bowing and returning to her duties, that Starag person was actually here after all.

                      -After the Explanation-

                      Grigor barely believed what he heard, it was almost impossible to believe that such a worm as Astaroth could have used such a spell much less attain such power. As others spoke on the subject he pulled his hand carved pipe back out, this time he puts a more social herb in it and lit it up, after all the stress back at the port city, learning of Astaroth's leap in power was grating on his nerves. Then after most had said their parts he pulled the pipe from his clenched teeth and blew a ring or two.

                      "I'd not claim to be smart man, but when we hunt new game, we Beastmaster learn all we can about it. I say it'd be a smart practice to do the same here. Since it was suggested that we split up, I say that we inquire on the way about these things, such as warping magic and how Astaroth may have gained such knowledge to attain this power."

                      Comment


                        [Plot Progression]

                        Xu-Shen nodded in response to Jack's explanation of the dark magic. "Our previous reports showed similar dark magicks being detected both to the north and further to the west, now we know why that might be. The sheer presence of the forbidden magic on this continent is warping the darker cults of wizardry, growing them more powerful." Xu turned to Ju-Long and both nodded towards one another before Xu clapped his hands and spoke up again. "So, Ju and I are parting ways here, for now. I'm heading towards the western region where this helmet came from and Ju is heading north through the forest. We're going to rendezvous at Puerto de Plata afterwards." He picked up the helmet and placed it in Ju's hands before looking towards Jack. "If you don't mind, we're going to hang onto this for now." He smiled briefly as he pulled out his map and placed it onto the table.

                        He rolled it out, pinning the corners down so that everyone could see it before pointing to the western area. "The Burning Steppes are an unforgivably arid region, nothing but sand as far as the eye can see." He moved his finger to the grand forest that spread across most of the continent. "Susurro Forest, on the other hand, is humid and packed to the brim with all manner of beasts." He stepped back from the table, placing his hands at his waist and looking across the group. "Those of you coming with us, choose where you wish to travel and who you'd like to travel with. Ju and I have already made preparations for travel to Pirn via chocobo carriage... But we're going to have to go procure a second carriage for both groups now. So meet us at the Chocobo stables when you're all finished discussing everything." The twogave quick bows before leaving the group to their decision.

                        "Oh, before I forget..." Xu-Shen's voice echoed from the hall as he reentered the room while pulling out a small and handmade leatherbound book. "Mister Marsh and Miss Ravaayth, this book contains all the knowledge of basic spells that Xu and I have gathered over our travels. It's not much, but there are a number of basic spells in it. Their chants and the basic workings of how to bend your mana to use the spell. Xu and I have both mastered slightly more potent variations of some of these spells as well, but those aren't written down." He gave his typical wry smile as he handed Gregory the book. "Please return it to me when you've finished with it. The ride to Pirn is long, perhaps you two can share the ride and study it together?" He turned and left the room again, calling for his partner to wait up.

                        [At The Stables]

                        Ju-Long had already arrived at the stables by the time Xu-Shen had caught up with him, he was handing over a small pouch of gil to the farm hand as payment for the rent of four chocobos and two carriages. A fairly hefty sum to most men. The farm hand bowed and left the two warriors to talk while he prepared both carriages for departure. "It's worse than we feared if he's affecting the darker circles of magic." Xu-Shen sighed loudly towards the swordsman. "There's no use in worrying over it now, Ju. I'll find out what's going on in the west, you worry about getting through the woods. Alright?" Ju-Long nodded, but Xu-Shen could see he was still very deep in thought. Not knowing what else to say, he shrugged and walked towards the fences where the chocobos were kept. "Things could be a lot worse, friend." He whispered to himself as he pulled out some greens.

                        Comment


                          "Our previous reports showed similar dark magicks being detected both to the north and further to the west, now we know why that might be. The sheer presence of the forbidden magic on this continent is warping the darker cults of wizardry, growing them more powerful" Shen explained to the group. Afterall, forbbiden magic does indeed have the power to change ones emotions. He closed by claiming everyone would have to momentairly split-up which Gregory nodded and agreed with.

                          "...this book contains all the knowledge of basic spells that Xu and I have gathered over our travels.."
                          -Gregory recieves the book-

                          Gregories eyes seemingly brightened as he now had something to actually study from. Right away he knew he would go with Xu-Shen, maybe he has more to offer. Gregory quickly flipped through the pages analyzing the quality of what was inside the spell book "This book is rather interesting..ill catch you guys at the stables" he announced to the group before heading back to his room. Gregory made sure to fully prepare for departure, a the while levitating the book a good distance away from his face to read.

                          [Gregory Marsh]

                          Comment


                            "Land. Land. More Land." Hellfish looks over the planned travel routes. He's been landlocked too long for comfort, and had thought perhaps that the hunt for the crystals would see him seafaring once more. He thought wrong. And what land it is! He's taken his ship up river into The Susurro before--sometimes even made landfall to forage and break camp--but he's never ventured too deeply beyond the steamy basins and misty shores into the dense, thick, tangle of the jungle proper. It had always seemed so vast; so inhospitable. He raided for his livelihood; he didn't hunt or track or practice herblore. And yet there was something in that vast wilderness that excited him; something unconquerable that begged to be conquered. He would try it if he dared. "Harr!!! Lost in the woods with a ranger and a wolf-man; that's the way of it!" His companions would laugh at him so if they knew the unmitigated mess of his first attempt to tackle the forest with only his crew and his anchor. It was bad. These were the companions he needed for that ill-advised expedition. At least he got a good river barge out of it. Maybe they'd come across one again...a man can dream...

                            Comment


                              Cirrus studied the map casually, although he had already made up his mind on which route he was going to take. He had no interest in the desert, where his heavy metal armor would be a catastrophic disadvantage, but Susurro Forest caught his attention instantly. In Puerto De Oro, those woods were an ill omen, everyone seemed to know someone who lost their lives in an ambitious hunting expedition. His father was the only one who Cirrus personally knew who scoffed at its reputation. Now would be the time for Cirrus to find out for himself the merits of the forest.

                              "Harr!!! Lost in the woods with a ranger and a wolf-man; that's the way of it!" Hellfish was the first to voice his opinion on the subject, practically enlisting Alistair and Grigor in the process. If that was the group that Cirrus was in, he would be glad to be in it. The Captain and the woodsman were the two that kept Cirrus alive through the beginning stages of the tragedy of Puerto De Oro, and Ju-Long was the one that saved them in the later parts.

                              "I'll take the forest route as well," he confirmed before all the spots were filled up. He finished his breakfast with a growing sense of anticipation.
                              Originally posted by Wade
                              Everything is hidden in plain sight, like in Men in Black. We've all just been neuralized to think it is "normal".

                              Comment


                                Having lived most of his life in the desert, Jack was more than comfortable going through the Burning Steppes. He looked over the map and memorized the projected route. It was a simple path, but the desert is dangerous under any circumstances. He was grateful for the Chocobo carriage.
                                "I'll be fine taking the desert route."

                                Comment


                                  "I'll go to the desert," Blackrose said, and took a drink of her drink. She would have to dress into something more suitable for the sun and heat, but it wouldn't be too much trouble. The black outfit would just absorb sunlight like a sponge. She didn't really need to give a reason, because who really cares.

                                  Comment


                                    "Harr!!! Lost in the woods with a ranger and a wolf-man; that's the way of it!"

                                    The captain was as boisterous as always with his proclamation and the choosing of Alistair's path for him. The ranger merely smiled and shook his head while giving a shrug. "I guess I'd be well out of my element otherwise, Captain. I'd be glad to serve in your crew for the journey." Though to be completely fair, he knew that Hellfish was well out his own no matter which route he chose, he was a seaman of course and the journey to Puerto de Plata was long and arduous. The Silver Port, they called it because it was at the opposite end of the continent as Puerto de Oro, the Port of Gold. He had never been, but he heard that the two worked in tandem together, with Puerto de Oro shipping out to the lower hemisphere and Puerto de Plata generally delivering to the northern. The similarities between the two supposedly stopped there. The Silver Port was said to be a lot more rough and unrefined, a hangout for ruffians, murderers, and thieves of all kinds. He had little doubt that Luciano, Blackrose, and the good captain would all be quite at home there, which was good. They'd probably need people of their persuasion to remain safe in the city.

                                    "I'll be fine taking the desert route."

                                    Jack's decision jarred Alistair out of thought. Though they had only just met, their adventure the night before had made Alistair think of Jack as his first real friend from the group. Someone who could easily be depended on in a time of need, to be sure. The ranger would be sorely remiss if he didn't take a moment to wish him well on his leg of the journey. "Take care, Marksman." Alistair commented, solemnly. His face as straight as the arrows he shot. "I wont be there to create a potion for you, so try not become one of the shambling undead again, friend." His face broke into a mischievous smile as he shook Jack's hand. The two exchanged short formalities before the Ranger made his leave, only stopping at the door for a moment to bid the other desert travelers good luck on their journeys. He only took a quick detour back to the potion job from the night before, looking to replenish a few of the more uncommon ingredients he had used up between Puerto and Posada de Oro. "Greetings!" he sounded as he opened the door, spotting the familiar elderly woman at the counter. She looked up at Alistair, recognizing him immediately. "I told you before, young man. We do not sell any of that religious dribble here. The sanctuary in up the road if you're still so inclined to insist of the existence of ghouls and ghosts." Her voice was cold, sharp, and highly unwelcoming. It was a miracle she ever kept customers if it were how she treated everyone, but he wouldn't be put off. "I'd never dream of asking such a foolish request again, milady. I'm a bit of an alchemist myself. Do you perchance sell ingredients as well as?"

                                    [Moments Later]

                                    Alistair, defeated, exited the shop with his head low. She had given him quite the lashing for the question. How was he to even know she mixed her own potions instead of purchasing them? It wasn't his intention to 'steal her customers' from her. Not at all. But she was pretty insistent that he was trash and she would not serve him. He'd have to do his best to gather more things in the forest, even if some of it couldn't be found there. He slowly slumped his way through the streets and to the stables where he saw a number of people already waiting.

                                    Comment


                                      Gregory had almost nearly forgotten the book he had in his possesion from his grandfather which possesed many pages on how to levitate, dissapear, and reappear. All of which was only limited to small items. He read it a bit before the major Oro incident hence why he was able to levitate Shens spell book, but now it was time to submerge deeper in hus studies. As a scholar, he began to levitate his Grandfathers book as well dual reading. A purplish aura coated them both as pages flipped back and fourth to grasp a full comprehension.

                                      Suddenly Gregory sparked a great idea. The books closed, moved side to side, and in into his pouch. Before he left it would be best to see a blacksmith.

                                      -Moments later Gregory is seen within the nearest blacksmithing shop, close to the stables-


                                      "Hello good sir, would it be possible for you to-" Gregory removed his magical daggers from his sides and placed them on the counter."-sharpen these, and also the base of my staff?" he questioned as his staff turned from bracelet into true form. "Sure kid, that'll be 250 coins" he replied. "Meh , not bad I guess" he replied back handing over the money. He sat at a bench infront the shop and waited to be called.

                                      [Gregory Marsh]

                                      Comment


                                        "Oi! where's our mounts!?" Hellfish is at the selected stable, ready to move out. And he is very confused. The stable is full of chicken-legged flightless birds; clucking and strutting about and looking about as fit for weight-bearing tasks as...well...chicken legs. Hellfish believes they are being raised for eggs, meat, and feathers. He sees some members of his party approaching and so tells them. "To the inn lads; back to the inn! Nothin' here but chicken dinner. Fekkin monk sent us to the wrong stable!"

                                        Comment


                                          Rummaging through the group's belongings, Decker began to panick. He needed something, anything, to sell for the adventure he'd have ahead of him.
                                          Getting desperate, he began to literally dig through Blackrose's gear, hoping to find something, only to panick when he heard the roar of the Captain steadily approaching. Shoving his mask over his face, he began to look for any possible escapes in the room. Short of diving through a window; there weren't any.
                                          "Goddamn you people," he muttered, "can't feasibly take on everyone here. Wait, I'm not thinking straight. Why bother fighting or running? I'll just close the door and walk out. That's it. Brilliant Decker, brilliant."
                                          Hastily cramming literally everything roughly into it's assumed position, Decker shoved his mask back into his jacket before climbing to his feat and making a quick exit through the main door.

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