Sep 22, 2021 5:03 PM
The night is always darkest...
« Previous Post
+ Show First Post
Total: 154
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

(They have many, though it might not feel like it right now.)

Permalink

But the one Otohiko turns to first does not wait inside his comfortable keep to greet them. Haurchefant Greystone, beloved bastard son of the Count Fortemps, is not in the habit of disappointing. He does not know the circumstances of whatever struggles harry their steps, and nor does he need to. When his guards inform him of Otohiko's presence and the state he's in, he arrives in the near blink of an eye, armed with warm blankets and a lot of sympathy.

"My friend," he says, throwing the first blanket around Otohiko's shoulders and summarily tossing Ishgardian stereotypes of inhospitality into a ditch somewhere to bleed out, "you know, as flattered as I am that I'm the first person you thought of to go to in times of strife, what in sweet Halone's name happened, and might I assist you in vanquishing those responsible?"

Alphinaud he is less familiar with, but Alphinaud gets a blanket, too. Handed to him.

Permalink

Otohiko smiles thankfully at the elezen and accepts the blanket, but his expression looks rather strained. "Someone had a bone to pick with a great many people including yours truly and," he grimaces, "the rest of the Scions. It's a bit of a long story."

Permalink

"Might we trouble you for a more private chamber where we may discuss it?" asks Otohiko's friend, also wrapping the blanket around himself. He's clearly having more trouble with the cold than the similarly-dressed au ra.

Permalink

"Of course, of course, right this way," he agrees, and he begins steering Scions towards shelter. "I've a warm fire and a private room, and if I'm not mistaken some hot soup wouldn't be remiss?"

Permalink

Alphinaud's stomach grumbles at this reminder that they got kicked out of the banquet before they could get to eat. "You are most kind."

Permalink

"Not any more than either of you rightly deserve," demurs their host, and soon enough they are in a private room with a warm fire, and two hot bowls of soup from the mess hall. It's not particularly fancy fare, especially not after the banquet they just came from, but it's filling and it's warm. Most importantly, no one is kicking them out before they can eat. Haurchefant even gets Alphinaud a second blanket.

"Now," he says after they have the room and comfortable chairs therein to themselves, "I don't need to know all of the details, but one thing I do need to know sooner rather than later is if you would like to petition Ishgard for asylum."

Haurchefant has a faintly smug, knowing smile. Usually, petitioning Ishgard for asylum is a fool's errand.

Permalink

"...we were thinking of probably staying, ah, here, for a bit, before deciding on where to go next, but..."

Permalink

"But a military camp is hardly fitting hospitality for a hero of your caliber! And you," this is at Otohiko, "went through all of that terrible trouble of finding clothes that fit the prudish Ishgardian sensibilities. Such a noble sacrifice should not go ignored!"

Okay, now the smug smile is a grin.

"Regardless, I will have you here as long as you'd like, but I think you should petition for asylum."

Permalink

"Out with it, then, what do you know?"

That's almost a smile!

Permalink

"A great many things! Father insisted that I learn the harpsichord, though I warn you I'm dreadful at it..."

Then his cheer fades, and he gives a sigh and turns serious. Clearly, he was just trying to cheer his friend up.

"... Forgive me the levity, I thought you already knew." He leans forward in his chair, setting his chin on his interlaced hands. "The city itself fell under siege. It's not clear how it happened, but. I do not think Ishgard is fool enough to keep out one of their heroes of the Steps of Faith. Not right now."

Permalink

Otohiko sits up straighter in alarm, and even Alphinaud looks up from his soup and his self-loathing. "The attack Teledji Adeledji told the Lord Commander about was real?"

Permalink

"Is everything alright? How can I help?"

Permalink

"Ah ah! No, no, none of that! Not 'til you're done eating. You have been through enough today. There will be no heroing on an empty stomach." He points, very seriously, at the soup. "I will explain, but it is conditional, understand."

Permalink

"I have spent much longer without food, thank you very much, sir, if there's someone I can help -"

Permalink

"You are a someone you can help, thank you!" interrupts Haurchefant, though he softens his words with a smile. "Besides, all of the important heroic bits are over. All dragons have been slain or driven off, and the wards are so secured I'm not sure any of the knights guarding it can breathe from the crowding. I will not tell you there is nowhere you can help, because you are yourself and I know you, but we are in the dull cleanup stage, not the exciting defense stage. And cleanup requires its cleaners be taken care of."

Permalink

 

 

 

He slumps back onto his seat and sighs. "Fine. Fine. Here I am, eating." Slurp slurp.

Permalink

That elicits a small giggle from the younger elezen despite his gloom.

Permalink

"Thank you kindly," Otohiko's friend says primly. "Now. The problem was not a failure in martial defense. No, our defenders stood tall, without faltering and while showing great courage and dignity and whatnot. The problem was one of sabotage. The wards themselves cut off. Not for very long, mind, but you can guard the walls and anchoring wardstones of Ishgard all you like, and it won't matter one whit if a dragon flies over it all while it's off. And several did. Precisely when the Lord Commander was away."

Permalink

"That's... very suspicious."

Permalink

"The Lady Iceheart again?" guesses Otohiko. "She has followers inside, doesn't she?"

Permalink

"Yes, we think so. Apparently stealing from the Scions, summoning a primal to kill us, and then merely weakening the wards weren't enough for the mad witch. Though it's quite disturbing if she has followers so deep inside the city. I've no idea how she could manage to win anyone's heart at all, with the way hers is frozen solid."

Permalink

"...she can turn into a primal. She may... perhaps... have some abilities other primals do, when in that state."

Permalink

“Pardon? I’m afraid I don’t understand. How does super powerful ice magic win anyone over with anything resembling subtlety?”

Permalink

"Primals can... enthrall people." He raises a hand. "I'm immune, but most people aren't, and just being in the presence of one risks turning you into one of their mindless servants. There's... no known cure. Most primal summonings are performed by individuals who had previously been enthralled."

Total: 154
Posts Per Page: