The following is the logged record of the startup TP on Sunday, March 13, 2016, on Final Fantasy MUX. Characters present are: Amelia, Eiko, Faris, Farly, Ivy, Pandemona, and Vaan.
A World Gone Crazy
All has been quiet within the Converged World for some time now. Progress has been made, cities and towns rebuilt, alliances forged, cooperation undertaken. In Baron, an embassy to Vector has gone up and been occupied in symbol of the cooperation between the two nations. Peaceful towns like Rabanastre and Bodhum remain as steady as they always were, the citizenry hovering between thankfulness at the order returning to their lives and trepidation at the chilling thought of going back to the way things were.
MIMIR has long since gone quiet, but in the face of newfound prosperity and peace, is it so critical to study the Convergence? Nations across Gaea continue to watch for signs of instability ... and find nothing. Could the Converged World at last be reaching stability? Could it be that MIMIR itself was at least partly to blame? So run the whispers in inns and taverns across the globe.
And then, one afternoon ...
In the course of an ordinary day, in an ordinary week, in what the peoples of the Converged World were devoutly hoping would be another ordinary year, a crisp, chill wind blew through the summer air. The markets of Midgar rumbled quietly underground, a rumble which quickly grew louder...and far overhead the Upper City plates begin to shift. The highways and skyscrapers of mighty Zanarkand began to crumble as the skies above shifted to a sickly green, then a blazing, overpowering orange. Light objects in Lindblum began to hover, then slowly fall upwards. All in a matter of minutes, the peace of a stable Converged World was shattering into fragments around its denizens, like a mirror struck by a bullet.
Suddenly, without warning, the world goes sideways, the very earth rending in a massive split in the middle of the ocean -- first one place, then another. Then the Western Continent rips in half along the Moonflow, utterly destroying the massive paling wall to the southern edge of Baron like a hot knife through butter, exposing the bright, blinding blue-green swirl that some have called the Lifestream. Towns and cities and farms collapse and crumble into it, even as unspeakable fiends, set free from the branches of the Iifa Tree, take wing across the skies. Airships skid crazily into mountains, beaches, or other airships as the principles of magic or technology on which they depend ... stop working.
The disasters build moment by moment. Smaller villages and towns are abandoned or flattened in an instant. One beacon of safety for the hopeful denizens of the world: Midgar, perhaps the longest-standing city through all the Convergence. But even as the first waves of people arrive at the gates, the mako reactors begin to stall, and the Lifestream they depend on runs backwards. The city is plunged into complete darkness -- below the plate and above. Soon, the fractures in the earth betray the weakness of the machinations of man, as the great pillars holding the plates of the Upper City are sheared effortlessly by tectonic activity. Millions of tons of steel fall a piece at a time, taking the multitudes of horrified people with it. The reactors are left floating in pools of pure mako that burn like neon scars on the face of the earth.
News of Midgar's fate reaches Vector just fast enough for the first bottles of champagne to be uncorked. But a moment later the trees and bushes the city has come to take for granted start to wither and dissolve into ash. Miles of vines pull backwards and recede deep underground. From the hidden Earth Crystal in the catacombs, a sickly green-brown light flows. Earthquakes follow; trees come alive and batter down buildings; carnivorous flowers and hornets twice the size of a knight roam freely through the streets. With the underground completely choked off with brambles and poisonous weeds, the only path for the evacuation to take is across the Thunder Plains. But the skies above the Plains are stained red: Fire, not lightning, falls from overhead.
In the skies of Bhujerba, the citizens can only watch in horror from their front row seats to the apocalypse. Many are complacent, thinking that no matter what horrors befall the world below, Bhujerba will remain safe in the skies. And for a few brief moments of hope, it looks like they might be right. But their hopes are soon dashed by their beloved air crystal. There's a bright, blinding explosion of blue light from the crystal. Shortly afterwards, one by one, the skystones that keep Bhujerba afloat begin to simply...flicker out. Screams of terror erupt from the populace as the great island continent begins to fall, slowly at first, but growing faster with every dying Skystone. The blue expanse of the ocean grows ever closer, for some faster than others as they fall from the edge of the continent by the hundreds. There's a hellish cacophony of noise as the continent finally meets the ocean, stirring massive tsunamis in every direction.
And then ... nothing. Quiet.
You open your eyes to find yourself in the ruins of a city so ancient that only a shell of what was clearly once a grand and lively place remains. The skies are once again blue, the clouds white, objects falling downwards like they should ... but is that just the faintest of blue shimmers overhead? No airships are visible in the skies ... and the sweetness and thinness of the air, coupled with the high peaks around you, suggest a mountain valley remote indeed. Of the tens of thousands of people in the Converged World ... you see only a few handfuls that remain.
Where are you? And what happened?
Here stands the central square in this long forgotten town. Who knows how long it's been since this peaceful place has seen a single person walk the white paving stones, or seen the central fountain as anything but a shattered husk of the wonder it once was? What people walked these streets centuries ago? Maybe even millennia?
The history of this place is anything but clear, but the crumbling stone and broken masonry everywhere shows signs of skilled, perhaps even loving craftsmanship.
White paving flags, dirt besmirched and interspersed with weeds between the cracks, cover the walkways here. The walkways wander in myriad directions, never too far from a direct route but never without brushing up against an erstwhile flower garden or topiary setting here and there. A few weeds are here and there, but most of them are sadly lifeless, the crumbling stone scattered across the walk and the flower beds long since washed out by rain. Decorative stone benches, or what's left of them, dot the outer edges of the square, facing in towards the great central fountain.
The ruins of the fountain are still over ten feet high, even after all the crumbling marble. The central large fountain is all but rubble now, the pieces small enough to make it unclear what the precise shape was, although copper tubing makes it clear there was a fairly robust water movement system inside. It seems to have drained into a circle of pools of water, each ornately and differently carved, with edges suitable for sitting on. There's a bit of water still in a few of the pools, no doubt from rain, and a profuse riot of plant life has overgrown the more damp parts of the fountain, nesting in cracks and the like.
A multitude of paths lead out to other areas of the town, none marked as to their destinations. The square is at once tranquil and slightly disturbing, a marker for a time long gone.
A civilization long gone. And a standing monument to questions yet to be answered.
In the stillness and quiet of this ancient ruin, the silence is pierced by a low, pained groan coming from the fountain near the center of the square. Perched up on the edge of one of the fountain's circles are a pair of booted feet, sanded and scuffed and a little damp. The feet manage to get pulled off the crumbling masonry with a ringing scrape and a little splish of water, and a moment later, there's a somewhat bedraggled, slightly muddy, purple-haired figure peeking up from where (he? she?) had been lying.
A moment later, she drags herself forward and, elbows on the stone, she pulls herself up to a sitting position. It's Faris, looking more than a little nonplussed, one arm on the fountain edge and the other hand holding her head as she lets out another pained groan.
One small moogle, dressed in what appears to be the outfit of a master craftsmoogle and carrying a toolbag over his shoulder, shakes himself off and brushes a substantial amount of dust and dirt from his fur and clothing. "Good thing I can fly," he mutters. "That would have been a hard landing, kupo!"
Having taken stock of himself, he begins to look around to see where he is -- and doesn't recognize the place at all. Still muttering to himself, he might be heard to say, "I've never seen or heard of this place, kupo! Most strange!"
Hearing another voice, he immediately looks up and over in that direction. Seeing another person, he hurries over. "Are you all right, kupo? Are you injured? Can I help, kupo?"
Vector had just enough lead time to dispatch guards to collect Amelia le Blanc --
It should have been as easy as fetching her and bringing her down into the catacombs -- "Where it's safe," one had time to say -- but the words were barely spoken before the nearest entrance to the underground exploded in a waving maelstrom of massive, spiky vines.
The blonde's incredulous look said it all; she left the soldiers behind her, dashing headlong into the Theater District. Those who saw her had only an instant to contemplate it a terrible storm of ice arose from the frail girl, striking the clouds of giant wasps and throwing some of them off-course just in time for others to have a chance at escape. (Ice 3)
But escape to where?
Buckling to a knee under the tremors, she's in the midst of preparing another spell when one of the guards catches up to her; they share a look, and she knows without speaking the other has tumbled into the angry earth. "Go!" she tells him, pointing down the street, where historic buildings have slid together in a streaming, screaming rubble. "Help them, not me!"
/I-I can do it myself,/ she thinks, flexing her hand where it's already gone numb.
A single, pure, clear note rises from her throat as she starts to sing --
She's ten seconds into the national anthem when the sky splits with fire.
Amelia le Blanc falls, rolls -- doesn't open her eyes.
She doesn't move.
Around you, others groan and begin to push themselves conscious, one by one. From the robes of Zanarkand to the overalls of Vector and the bikinis of Bodhum, from Midgarian suits to the tunics and skirts of Baron, the people here with you are of all ages and walks of life and races and nationalities.
They begin to look around them, worriedly and wonderingly, and one by one, most begin to get to their feet.
From the Kaff Terrace, Vaan watches the world end with a thousand yard stare. For a few brief moments, he tries to watch the destruction unfold through a Spyglass, having a front row seat to the destruction of the East and Southern continents. He hopes to gain some insight into this disaster, but he finds nothing. No rhyme, no reason. Finally, he puts the spyglass away, lacking the stomach for what he's seeing.
As the refugees begin fleeing, hoping to find some safety from this onslaught, Vaan simply remains standing there, watching the blue horizon grow closer at an alarming rate. With what he believes are his last moments, Vaan can only fold his arms with displeasure and look to the skies. That smirk of arrogance he often carries turns upwards, into a smile that seems half sad, half relieved.
"...I did alright, Didn't I, Reks?"
Vaan opens his eyes, his adventurers instinct quickly shocking him awake and to his feet. He looks around in confusion, eyes darting rapidly from person to person as he tries to take a complete inventory of his surroundings. ...Where is he? What was he just doing? The shock of the world ending still hasn't quite been purged from Vaan's mind.
"...Did...that really just happen?"
Just as voices begin to drift through the air, a particular white mage currently sprawled across an empty flowerbed suddenly gasps and sits bolt upright, as though waking from a nightmare. Her wide eyes dart around in fear until, just as a nightmare, the memory of whatever was so terrifying...fades. She knows something frightening happened, but for the life of her, Ivy just can't hold onto what it was.
As a matter of fact, she can't seem to rememeber much of anything. A few blurry faces, shapes, a few fragments float around in her mind, but nothing takes root.
At least, until her gaze falls on a very familiar figure. Ivy stares at Amelia with a frown, trying to place her. Pulling herself out of the ruined flowerbed, Ivy goes over to her and kneels beside her. She's quiet for several moments until, "...Amy?" she finally wrenches the name from her scattered memory. "Are you okay?"
"Artania! Erin!" cries an angel holding aloft a mythril capped stick with a cup on the end, a Mythril Racket for those familar with the obscured weapon, the white angelic like being with large feathered wings an a near one foot horn in a shining dress shimmers and then seemingly shatters. Eiko stands in it's place, the teenager wearing a silvery flowing ballgown with purple wiring visible on the surface. A look of abject terror falters into one startlement then confusion as her arm drops to her side still holding the racket as she looks around rapidly followed by a cursory inspection and surprise as she examines herself.
The regal looking teen seems to somewhat get control of herself as she wheels around looking at the various people present searching for someone, or ones, eyes narrowing as she picks out those she's had catogerized as people to watch stand out first, even given the mass of seemingly regular people about the square.
"Why are we here, what did this." Eiko demands, not of any one person but in general the sound of a foot stomping audible from under her flowing dress even as she continues to look around, beginning to swing her racket freely sending orbs of wind at various slightly injured people healing them of minor wounds.
"Yuh," Amelia mutters. She raises her head slightly, then lowers it again. Her face is lightly coated with frost. More significantly, her nose is bleeding heavily, though it doesn't look broken. She has the wherewithal to reach up and hold it with two fingers, but the movements look stiff and painful. Her outfit -- she's wearing her old leather coat with a simple top and mid-length skirt underneath -- is a bit blackened and ragged from the huge gout of flame. Her eyes narrow; she tries to take a knee, yelps, and ends up sitting there with the bad leg twisted awkwardly.
"Ivy?" she murmurs sleepily. She tries to rise again, but her other knee is stiff.
"I guess I couldn't do it myself," she murmurs, staring off into the distance.
She hasn't actually looked at Ivy, or even noticed the crowds yet.
Vaan's head shoots up as he hears two familiar voices (followed by an intense grimace as he realizes every muscle in his body is screaming at him with a fury he's not seen since Penelo). He half-limps towards Amelia and Ivy, an amused smirk on his face.
"Well, here's a pleasant surprise."
He remarks, forcing a casual, smile and a friendly tone through his intense pain, something he's not very good at hiding.
"I didn't expect to find White Roses growing in hell." He says calmly, casting a curious eye over the pair. After he lets it hang awkwardly for a moment, the facade falters and a sad sigh comes through.
"You two alright?"
The figure in the fountain groans once more as she hauls herself to her feet. There's definitely a lot of dirt and a little mud, but Faris seems far more concerned about other things as she stands up and gets a real look around. Her scalp is a little bloody, but really, she's not as bad off as some of the other people around here. She's walking a little stiff, as well, but so is nearly everyone else...the few that managed to make it here.
Wherever here is.
Faris looks around and manages to spare a nod for the moogle--she met him once, after all--but what really grabs her attention is one of the voices off to one side. She stumbles, and then full-out -runs-, in that direction.
As she runs around the side of the shell of one ruined building, she grabs the cracked stone to spin around the corner at top speed. And there, in a bed of flowers, are several people, but only one has her attention.
"Amy...? AMY!" Her shout pierces the low murmurs in the area up to this point.
The first order of business has to be making sure everyone is all right (even if confused), and that any injuries are healed up. Wherever this is and whatever we face, we all need to be fully operational. However, magickal energy might well be at a premium around here, so it's necessay to conserve resources.
To that end, the moogle first attends those with only cuts and bruises, using salve and bandages where appropriate. He then looks over the group and syas, "My name is Farly, kupo, and I can help those with broken bones and serious cuts, but I will need for all the injured to be gathered together. Then I can deal with the injuries all at once, kupo."
So saying, he gets some of the survivors to help the wounded to gather into a group. Once they have done so, the moogle takes to the air and pulls an enormous wrench from his toolbag, to the sound of a series of clicks and clanks. A look of concentration appears on his face, and he glows with a bright white light. Suddenly he swings the wrench around in a circle over the heads of the wounded and calls out, "Cura, kupo!" as the light leaves his body and spreads over the group of wounded. It may not completely heal everyone, but it does help quite a bit.
Ivy is clearly fretting as she takes stock of Amelia's injuries. Though subconsciously, she's already triaging the worst ones, she hasn't seemed to remember that she can actually -do- something about them.
With Vaan's approach, that frown of concentration reappears as she honestly can't recall whether she knows the man or not. What she does know, and what keeps that frown on her face, is that he is injured as well.
It's more than mere concern, she can tell. Seeing their injuries is stirring a familiar feeling, an alarmed sensation of needing to do something immediately. Fortunately for all of them, Ivy's muscle memory is still intact. Without even realizing it, she has begun to cast Cura on Amelia. As the spell leaves her, Ivy looks surprised about it. Then, it slowly dawn on her: this is her job. A second Cura begins to form in Vaan's direction. This is what she is supposed to do.
"Nuh," Amelia says blandly to Vaan, looking right through him as she does -- she heard the words, but barely understood. A glance at Ivy and, without knowing exactly why, she allows herself to be treated as the other woman sees fit. There's just enough time, from Ivy's vantage (and perhaps from Vaan's, too) to see her close her eyes tight to stop tears from coming.
The wounds are soon healed. Whatever just happened could have (should have!) been a lot worse. Still, the little blonde's nose continues to stream for several seconds more, and she keeps holding on until she's sure it's over -- then rubs her face rather crudely with her coat-sleeve.
Deep breath. One, two. Singing to herself, quietly: "Everything you have, everything you are ..."
She rotates slowly in a circle, letting the words fade under her breath: "You've got to give ..."
She's peering at the crowds now, a little unsteady on her feet, but clearly better. Stares for a moment or two, trying desperately to think of what's next ... and then hears Faris. Well, it takes a good three seconds -after- Faris speaks for Amelia to actually hear her; and the White Rose turns slowly, peering up ... blinking back tears again, her eyes shining.
"Are you okay?" she asks Faris, but plants her back foot and raises her hand a little to signal she still needs space. Then, to Ivy: "Are you?" With that, she closes her eyes again as if fending off a headache. Words are hard. What the hell.
Eiko continues to look around, a small group of Lindblum's gathering around her that she sets to work with quiet efficiency to tending to their wounds and talking to others to find out more. A shout then gets the purple haired teen's attention with a familiar name of an ambassador of her nearest neighboring nation. Eiko moves to where Ivy, Amelia, and Vaan while loosely holding her racket at her side. The thin atmosphere and height don't seem to bother the teenager very much at all through her breathing is at a fast, steady pace.
There really isn't much to learn, just at the moment. Everyone else is just as mystified as Eiko, although as people begin to pick themselves and each other up off the rubble-strewn ground, people have begun to look for friends and loved ones. Most aren't finding, and there are more than a few tears and calls of names that garner no answer.
It seems that nowhere near everyone made it out. Not even close, although there does appear to be the area to explore, and although much smaller than the Converged World, it's not a broom closet, and there are places you can't see clearly.
Faris looks just about ready to run once more, but...yeah, that doesn't work too well the second time. She takes one step and lets out a hissing breath as her leg almost gives way. She hop-stumbles a bit, muttering something no doubt exceedingly unladylike under her breath, then makes her way to the small cluster of people, only one of whom she even knows.
As Amy holds out a hand to her, Faris looks distinctly unhappy for a moment, but her expressions move quickly from hurt to resigned to, at least partly, comprehending. She even gets a bit of a sad smile, for just a moment, as Amy asks her question. "I'm fine, lass, ye needn't worry." As if she'd ever say anything else. That's probably what she told someone as the world disintegrated around them.
Faris continued, concern lining her voice. "Ye're lookin' a bit shaky, but after what I'd been through...aye." She stands on tiptoes and looks around at the stone ruins, the overgrown plants, the mountains all around...and the number of people in view. Her voice changes to a mixture of dismay and awe. "Where the hell did everyone go?"
From overhead comes a voice calling out, "Is anyone else injured, kupo?" Farly is hovering in the air, now, although he isn't very high off the ground. The worst of the injuries now seem to have been healed, but then he catches sight of Amelia. Flying quickly over to her, he drops to the ground and says, "Are you all right, Your Excellency? Although I'm afraid our construction plans will have to be postponed indefinitely, kupo!"
Vaan breathes a sigh of relief as the Cura overtakes him. He pauses for a moment, stretching his limbs out to see if they're all still working properly. He takes a moment to gather himself, try and put things in perspective. Which is rather difficult, considering the world just decided to up and end with nno warning. Then, his brow shoots upwards as he realizes something important. Completely ignoring his companions, he begins to frantically look about. A treasure hunter by trade, Vaan makes it a note to understand what places in the converged world were ripe for plundering, and Vaan has no knowledge of this place. But all that does is arise suspicion, Vaan decides to confer with his surroundings, as he closely watches the fountain for some sign of familiarity.
"Anyone know where we are?" He announces suddenly, without even turning back to his makeshift companions. "Or why we're still breathing?" He asks bluntly, considering whatever they just witnessed was a borderline extinction event. He continues to do everything he can to avoid turning away from that fountain, to avoid gazing upon the horror of what just happened.
It's the invasion of Rabanastre, all over again.
Turning to purple-haired Pirate, Vaan remarks with a shrug. "With what just happened, we should /all/ be dead. But we're not." He remarks calmly. "...So who's to say they aren't more groups of people out there, huddled away in some strange ruin somewhere?"
It isn't until Amy asking her if she's okay that Ivy takes stock of herself. "Yeah," she mumbles, "Just a bad headache. I'm fine."
Vaan's words distract her from that, however. Does he mean she isn't the only one who has no idea where they are? That's...concerning. Though she has a lot of questions, she deems it best to wait for things to settle before asking them. Who knows? She may have them answered just by listening. Talking isn't really a great feeling right now, anyway. She didn't mention it to Amelia, but she's feeling rather light-headed and dizzy, as well. It's probably nothing.
After a few seconds more, there's a sense Amelia isn't fighting a headache -- but rather, trying to make all this go away. She listens to Faris, hears Ivy's answer, but doesn't actually open her eyes until Farly appears before her ... stepping back toward Faris, but keeping her eyes on the moogle. "Master craftsmoogle," she acknowledges, "I 'spect there's no need to stand on formality /here/ ... but maybe we'll find other ways t'put your skills to work."
She allows her hand to drop and perhaps catch hold of Faris's for a moment or two as she looks out at the crowd. "Water ..." And then she clarifies: "These people are gonna need water within a couple of hours. I'd trade any of our /titles/ to know we had that situation under control ..." She acknowledges Lady Eiko with only a slight, weary grin, that underscores her comments about formalities. With that, she turns and ambles toward the wreckage of the fountain, loping toward it slowly.
Circling a bit, as if she's not satisfied there's no danger --
When she gets close enough for a good look, she alternates between standing and a crouch, examining everything as best she can. Where there's a fountain, there must have been water somewhere. ... at some time.
The fountain is just as ancient as the rest of the ruins here, which is to say, very, very ancient indeed. Anyone here would be hard pressed to say what millennium it was crafted in, but it surely wasn't this one.
That said, the crumbling masonry gives way almost at a touch, revealing the vast and complex system of pipes, tubes, and fittings buried beneath. Astonishingly, the damage to this system doesn't seem to be too awfully bad. Perhaps because it was designed specifically to handle water, perhaps the stone protected it all these centuries, or perhaps it's an ancient form of magic. The actual source of water must be underground, of course, but from the vegetation and the water damage to other parts of these structures, this place must see rain. And this fountain looks more than large enough to efficiently collect it.
Returning Amelia's nod, Eiko says "Given the amount of water in the pools and the lack of working plumbing, rain is a more likely concern than water, the air here is wet instead of dry for the thinness of air much like Alexandria or Lindblum." as she looks around again, a slightly whimsical if sad expression showing for a few moments as she murmurs "It reminds me of Madain Sari, but far too wet.".
Looking at Vaan, Farly says, "I've never seen this place either, kupo. Whetever it is and wherever it is, though, it's /old/, kupo." Turning to look over the ruin that was once a fountain and paving stones, the moogle continues. "Old as it is, its makers were masters at their craft. This place was built with great skill and much care, and the fact that it is now in this state means that nobody has been here or tended this place in hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, kupo." If there was any doubt before that Farly is a craftsmoogle first, last, and always, that doubt should be erased now.
Farly raises his voice. "Is anyone still injured here? If so, call out and we'll get it taken care of, kupo!" Then, in a lower tone, he adds, "If not, we should start exploring this place. There may be a way out, kupo." A moment later, he adds, "Of course, there might also be dangers we don't yet know about, kupo!"
A few more straggle forward, but for the most part, one person or another has managed to take care of the worst of the injuries. People are by now starting to pull themselves together and look around him, wonderingly. "We ought to find shelter, too," a gruff, bearded gentleman in oil-covered overalls states firmly to the rest of the group, to sevreal nods of agreement.
Paying attention to Farly, Ivy acknowledges the wisdom in his words. Particularly the warning of potential danger. Not wanting to take any unnecessary risks, Ivy casts a simple Cure on herself to erase some of the dizziness. It would be wasteful to use anything stronger and she'd rather conserve her power should Farly prove correct about dangers ahead.
"He's right," she says to no one in particular. "We shouldn't stay here."
Faris is following Amelia to the fountain, certainly, and while she gives it a curious once-over, she's clearly not half as interested as Amelia is. Instead, she looks around at the people...townies, craftsmen, just a few adventurers. She taps her chin in thought, glancing outside, towards the mountains.
"Aye, ye're right at that, ye are," she says. She doesn't really indicate who she's talking to, but it's probably Farly. "Ain't no people here before we came in, sure, but where I come from? Where there's life, there's monsters. 'Least I hope so, I ain't eating -grass- fer supper tonight."
Faris stands tall, staring off into the distance. "As fer people...eh. There ain't a lot here, true, but we -can't- be all there is, can we? Gotta be something outside all these mountains."
For the first time, Amelia's attention flicks to the crowds. She starts to wander, looking for telltale signs of her own locals - then situates herself in front of whatever group seems to be most composed of them. She doesn't introduce herself, needing (perhaps for the last time in her life) no introduction, and skips straight to the practicalities, though not before a respectful bow.
"Ladies and gentlemen," she says, acknowledging each in turn with her eyes. "It won't do for all of us to go splintering in every direction. Whether you choose to stay here or not, please go in groups and be careful to watch out for each other. Myself and these adventurers ..." She waves a hand to indicate Faris, Farly, and Vaan generally, "will do some scouting and see if we can find a more secure place to regroup."
She's only talking to her Vectorites, but her voice is just loud enough, carries just far enough, that others should hear it and might just draw their own conclusions. Hopefully, in her favor: The longer they're away from the city, the less goodwill she'll have to trade on.
As she moves eastward, she looks at each of the others in turn, silently inviting them. But it's Faris she actually stops next to, not one to risk leaving her behind.
Farly gathers the remaining injured and casts one more Cura spell on them. He then looks at the bearded gentleman and answers, "You're right, of course, kupo. However," and here he raises his voice, "if you find any sort of ruined structure or cave, do /not/ just go in to look around, kupo! As old as this place is, you don't know when something more might collapse on top of you!"
Looking around, Farly adds, "I'd also strongly suggest that nobody go exploring alone, kupo! We don't know what monsters might be around, and I'd rather they be our dinner, and not the other way around, kupo!"
Vaan nods to Farly and the bearded gentleman. "Definitely. This could be a Dragon's nest for all we know, and it's poor practice to be caught off-guard twice in one day." He remarks distantly, taking Faris's cue to look over the mountains. "...Come to think of it, I'm not sure I recognize these mountains either. Where the hell are we?" He asks, finally losing some patience, sighing in annoyance.
As Amelia gives her speech, Vaan can't help but give an amused chuckle. "Well, I suppose there's advantages to having a celebrity around. I figured that'd be a lot harder." He remarks, as he begins to follow along behind Amelia and the group.
(The party moves eastward.)
Like many other places in this majestic, crumbling ruin, this place is an awe-inspiring mix of stately old-growth trees, green moss, and the ruins of what must have been a lovely city a long, long time ago.
This area of the city looks to have been a residential area, or perhaps a place of business. Or maybe even both. The ruins of many buildings dot the landscape here, nestled between copses of trees and wide, graceful-looking lanes. Everything is done in white stone, gleaming in noon sunlight or relaxing shade depending on the time of day--the tall surrounding mountains guarantee there's not all that much of the former. The lanes look as though they used to be paths paved in more of the white stone, but there's not a whole lot of paving left anymore. Greenery appears to have reclaimed most of it, mostly grass and moss but there's an occasional tree as well. Even these wayward trees are majestic and old, though. How long ago was this city's heyday?
The buildings themselves were obviously built pretty sturdily. Most only have half a roof, if indeed any at all, but many of the walls are still intact. The carving is worn away by rain and time but still, signs of the loving craftsmanship put into it can still be seen.
Inside the buildings is a variety of debris. From small animal dens under rubble to the stonework of fireplaces and kitchen countertops, from the worn metal frames of tools to the dust that was once wooden furniture, there's clutter everywhere. It's a very good thing that the people of this city believed in wide open spaces and sprawling residences, or getting around inside any of these buildings would have been considerably more difficult.
It's difficult to guess at the purpose of some buildings, but the ones nearer the center of the city seem to be bigger; perhaps shops with living space overhead. Near the edge of the city limits, closer to the mountains lay vast, mostly empty structures that may have been barns or warehouses.
Many places in this ruin feel peaceful and tranquil, but this area of the city may be the one where this feeling is strongest. No building is small or cramped, and no house is less than a five-minute walk from any other, and usually longer. The hustle of more modern cities is nowhere in sight, and just standing among these structures encourages a sense of relaxation, and perhaps a bit of awe.
Eiko converses quietly with the small handful of Lindblumer's with here, giving them directions before they move on. Eiko moves along with Amelia watching the surroundings curiously as her subjects break into groups of five or more to explore parallel paths never getting far away. The purple haired teen, muttering "To many people, scared all the smaller animals off. Probably going to attract monsters." a rock getting kicked off to the side from under gown. Eiko reaches up touching her necklace with the Hilda Garde emblem on it and sighs, "Why couldn't the prototype one person airship we were making come along with me. We just finished it." puffing out on cheek in annoyance.
Faris makes no demur, staying by Amelia's side the whole time. She gives the blonde a cheeky grin, but says no more, as the pair of them, and presumably quite a few others, make their way towards the town proper, out of the main square.
As everyone arrives, and begins to split off into smaller groups to explore the widely scattered ruins, Faris glances at Eiko, nodding quietly. "Ye're right, lass, they surely will. Truth is, I'm surprised the place ain't already crawling with them, right out in the open." She glances around. "Ain't nothin' stopping them. Nothing we can -see-, anyway. Mayhap there's a lot about this place we -can't- see..."
Sensing that he has expended all of his magickal energy, Farly pauses to regain some. Concentrating, he executes the Technik Charge. This won't fill him to capacity, by any means, but he should be able to cast one more Cura spell in an emergency, provided it works as normal.
Then, hearing Eiko's comment, he answers her. "Interesting, kupo. I had just about finished one for my own use. But it probably doesn't exist any more. A pity, kupo!"
With that, Farly takes to the air, looking to study the roof of the nearest building from the outside, so nothing can fall on him. As he ascends, he seems to be working a bit harder than he normally would. Perhaps it's the thinner air around here. In any case, he carefully avoids passing any windows on his way to the roof.
Despite the warnings not to wander off alone, Ivy cautiously steps into a nearby house. The others aren't far, and she has a gun! Granted, she only hits her mark a little better than half the time, but that's not important.
Her first priority is finding other survivors. Failing that, she's looking for anything useful. There's no point looking for anything familiar at this point. Anything wooden is crumbling, anything metal is rusted. She's not sure she'll find anything, but she has to make herself useful somehow.
This place is well and truly abandoned, and has been for centuries. Loving stonecraft crumbles away to reveal more evidence of copper pipes in places. The main room is a bit dicey to talk in, but the main area shows signs of some form of cooking apparatus unlike anything anyone here has seen. Anything soft and plush has long since withered away, but walls and floors still exist, and the lower floors at least appear not not have seen water anytime lately.
Vaan follows along, keeping his head down and his eyes peeled, doing nothing more than eavesdropping on his companions and thinking about the situation he finds himself in. He cocks a brow as he watches Farly take to the skies. "Well, there's something you don't see every day." He says in surprise, having seen but a few flying Moogles in his day. As everyone begins to split into groups, Vaan elects to follow Ivy into her building.
Amelia ambles along at what could be described as a leisurely pace, keeping tabs on both Faris and Eiko as she goes -- at least, for a while. It's not long before she starts to notice the faintest, faded shadow of ancient decorations on some of the buildings. She stops, even dares to run her hand over the exterior wall of some dilapidated old home, and frowns. Then, she starts to circle the building that's caught her attention. She peers through whatever's left of the windows.
"You can almost /imagine/ what it used to be," she comments, returning to Eiko and pointing at the wall. Although only a few hints of what used to be a mural are left, the surviving lines make some vague animal shapes. Amelia is chewing gently on her lower lip as she thinks about it. Shoving her hands in her pockets, she rocks, looking from Eiko to the building and back.
Eiko shrugs slightly, saying "It's not an Eidolon or I'd sense it." the slight movement of her head causing her horn to catch the sunlight. "If something is keeping them out, it's concealed also or we just don't recogonize it's presence for what it is." as she looks around.
Amelia catches Eiko's attention easily enough when she returns to indicate the faded murals, but the teenager has nothing to say about them as she looks on them with mild curiousity.
This sort of stroll, admittedly, is not something that can really keep Faris' interest for too awfully long. She glances here and there, far more concerned with keeping an eye out behind and beyond the immediate surroundings than examining the murals.
Still, when Amelia is looking at the exquisite (if faded) mural work, Faris gives Amelia a fond smile, then eyes the others walking with them, Eiko and Vaan. People she doesn't know, but...an adventurer, a thief or warrior perhaps, and someone who can only be a summoner. The horn looks astonishingly natural, but what it signifies is set in stone. At least there's a -few- adventurers around in case things get dicey.
"So, what d'ye see, Amy-me-lass? Looks just like a couple critters to me..."
Ivy looks up from carefully pushing aside debris to see Vaan enter. She offers him a welcoming smile.
"I was trying to find some kind of pots, maybe we could use them to boil water. Once we've found some, anyway." She points to the strange cooking device and hesitates for a moment. Knowing this may be a stupid question, she asks it just in case it isn't.
"Have you ever seen anything like this?"
"Nope." Vaan remarks flatly, taking a minute to survey the device. "But we should take it anyways. Anything that might give an insight on where we are, right?" Whether he's being genuine or just justifying his kleptomania is hard to tell, though. "...Jokes aside though, I've never seen anything like this. ...I could probably figure it out with some work, though." He says confidently, grabbing the device and taking a moment to survey the room before he leaves, looking for any clues or the like.
Seeing that the roof is completely gone, Farly examines the way in which the window openings were built into the walls, and then the way in which the roof would have been supported when it was there. He follows this with a careful examination of the support mechanism for the upper floor. Clearly the workmanship was superb, and the main body of stone isn't likely to go anywhere. Upon finding that the remaining stonework is still solid and without serious cracks or missing sections, the moogle addresses all who have come into the building. "The stonework of this building seems quite solid, kupo, and I expect we can shelter here for some time. However, they did not use stone for the roof, which is completely gone, leaving the upper floor open to wind and weather, kupo. We should keep this building in mind in case we can't find a better shelter."
"No ... this isn't the same," Amelia comments quietly to Faris. "Look .." She traces the image with her finger hovering just an inch over it. "The style of the masonry is different. It barely looks like the stone has been worked at all. And these marks ... I can almost see it ..." She frowns as if she's peering into an abattoir. She can't quite put her finger on what it is, but it's got her stomach in knots. Breaking away from it, she moves toward the building Vaan and Ivy were investigating just in time to hear Farly's announcement.
A sudden intake of breath comes from the purpled hair teenager as she steps up to the wall placing a hand on it, then begins to trace the murals working her way a fair ways down the wall. At times it seems like she wants to step away, the wall should be a circlar structure perhaps, but she never gets past the length of her hand as she traces out a bipedal creature with wings, a wolf with a spikey mane and long tall, a bearded figure in robes perhaps, a large horned bipedal creature, and something like a large bird with a few others almost to worn to proper make out. "No, no. This shouldn't be here, not like this. No..." her eyes widening as she instinctively traces all the figures working her way back over the wall. "This is wrong, why is the Eidolon Wall like this, it isn't right. This isn't Madain Sari... is?" as she whirls away from the wall scanning the city looking for signs of moogles living in the area.
"Hmm?" Ivy perks as she catches a glimpse of something interesting on the floor. She kneels down to move aside more debris in order to reveal an intricately carved mosaic in the floor. Once she's cleared enough to get a better look at it, Ivy leans back to admire it. "It's beautiful," she comments, and reaches out to trace the worn lines with a finger.
She can't tell if it's merely ornamental or if something specific is meant to be pictured, so she goes back to work clearing the floor until the entirety has been revealed.
Faris looks just about to walk off with Amelia, as she has been this whole time, but something about Eiko's plaintive speech has her turn, curiously looking at the -other- purple-haired one. She scratches the back of her neck, eyeing the unicorn-headed girl curiously, and then the seemingly-normal mural. "Oi, lass, ye sure ye're alright? I don't know the Eidolon Wall from Wally, the day shift bartender in Zanarkand. But you, I'm guessin', know a thing or two about Eidolons."
Vaan let Ivy do most of the work with the debris, himself focusing on trying to understand the device. He shakes it for a brief moment, listening for something inside it, and sighs. Vaan can fly an ancient race's airships on instinct, but he can't figure out how another one's pots and pans work?
He perks up as Ivy speaks of the murals beauty. "Hm?" He says curiously, crouching to take a look. He gives an annoyed sigh. "/Great/" He remarks to himself for some unknown reason. "What'd you say your name was?" He asks curiously, before giving a shrug. "Whatever, anyways, you know what this is?" He asks curiously, before immediately answering his own question. "It's a Espers Glyph. Think of it as a...calling card of sorts for some particularly nasty Espers." He pauses, taking a moment to roll down his sleeve and review the Glyph on his choker. He lets out a "Hrm." in thought. "This one seems to belong to Hashmal, Lord of Order. Nasty guy, not somebody you want to have toss a Boulder your way. ...This place doesn't look Ivalician though, so why's it here?" Vaan asks curiously, still kneeling to review the Mural.
Amelia hears Eiko's shouting, but doesn't pause, continuing to walk over to house Ivy and Vaan are investigating. "What have we here?" she says, standing at the doorway just close enough to get a look at the symbol that dominates the floor. It's not making her stomach feel any better, and as she catches the tail of Vaan's explanation, she knows why.
"There's something -- a wall outside that has esper marks on it, too," she comments, hooking a thumb back over her shoulder to indicate the wall she discovered and Eiko identified. "If I didn't know better, I'd suspect that whoever used to live here /worshiped/ espers." After a weighty pause, she adds: "That might explain why they ain't here no more."
"It's Ivy," she answers promptly; the only thing she hasn't had to think hard about first. At least there's that. Though Vaan's question is rhetorical, she shakes her head anyway, more to let him know she's listening than anything else.
"'Espers Glyph'...?" she repeats, confusion evident in her tone. "What is its purpose? Is it dangerous?" Should she perhaps not have touched it...?
Ivy turns to look at Amy as she approaches the door. Her mouth quirks in displeasure. "Maybe we shouldn't stay here, either."
Farly takes quick notice of Vaan's words. "An /Esper's/ Glyph, kupo?" he says. "You're certainly right that this place doesn't resemble anything in the Ivalice /I/ know, kupo. But I can't help wondering... I am familiar with the history of all mechanisms designed and built since the formnation of the Galtean Alliance, kupo. That's part of the training required to become a master craftsmoogle. But nothing was ever said about the state of Ivalice before the time of the Dynast King, beyond the fact that it was a time of much strife, with neighbor warring upon neighbor, kupo. Could this place be from an age before that? Or something totally different, kupo?"
Eiko nods slightly, deflating a little as she see's nothing of note in the ruins. Or at least nothing of note she was looking for. To Faris, she says gloomily "Assuming sis ever shows up here, we're the last of the Madain Sari tribe, summoners. It's our tribe's responsiblity to take care and properly use the Eidolons. Not that they were ever much needed till that clown Kuja showed up and idiot Garland too." her tone getting angry at the end, then she hears Amelia's comment floating over and calls out "I heard that Amelia le Blanc." behind Amy the grouchy tone or Eiko. "Not every world chooses to inflict harm on thier Eidolons and reap the misfortune of it." finishing as she appears in the doorway. Her tone becoming much calmer and even as she says "This place is it's own convergence of sorts. It's not one whole place like Lindblum, Vector, or Baron were." her tone becoming much calmer and even.
"I'm not sure. Usually when you see these, it's on a big glowing...thing, and that's only after you've already beaten the Esper. This looks more like art. Why someone would dedicate a mural to Hashmal of all things is beyond me, but I don't think we're in any danger. ...Long as we're careful." He says sternly, just incase that isn't just a nice little art exhibit.
Vaan gives a nod to Amelia at her suggestion. "Maybe. It'd certainly explain where everybody went, these aren't exactly guys who care if you're on their side or not."
Vaan gives a shrug to Farly. "I don't know. I've seen just about every inch of Ivalice, and if it's that old, then it would've been a ruin for me too." Vaan smirks again as he takes the Lufenian Cooker-thing under his arm. "Did you guys find anything?"
As people are starting to congregate around this particular structure, Faris' interest starts to increase once more--perhaps it's more than just silly carvings, after all. But Eiko's comment is the most interesting of all. She frowns deeply, then eyes the carving once more.
"So...ye're saying that this is from yer Madain Sari, but the whole city -isn't-. Ohhh, that is so weird. But was it always like that?"
She starts to frown as snippets of conversation become audible from outside, as well. She gives Amelia a glance, worry on her face, as the blonde looks in, then peers over her shoulder to see inside the building herself.
"I ain't seen carvings like that, but I'll take yer word for it. Sounds like ye two know what it is. Lemme guess, neither of you have seen a city like this before?"
Amelia steps aside so Eiko can enter if she wishes, but doesn't take the barb without response. "Sounds like the only ones reaping misfortune are those who thought they could play nice with the likes of that guy," she comments coolly, pointing to the symbol on the floor to indicate Hashmal. She doesn't know it, but she heard enough of what Vaan said to realize it's a dire portent. "It's true we don't know what may've happened here, but I don't see signs that things burned down, froze, or blew away." She shrugs one shoulder. "I suppose they could've migrated out of here for any reason. For all we know, we've traded places with them in their world." With that, she trails off, peering down the street and letting the others make of it whatever they will.
Ivy abandons the inspection of the glyph and, having found nothing else of particular interest, heads toward the door and exits the ruined home. She scans the horizon first, then looks up at the sky. She's in no particular hurry and doesn't want to rush anyone from their brainstorming, but for some reason, the lifelessness of these ruins makes her uncomforta"I don't know. What happened today seems a little...big to just be a coincidence. But...maybe we should get our feet on the ground before we go chasing Espers. Think we'll be able use these buildings for the time being?" Vaan asks curiously, to no one in particular as he finally moves nearer to the open door to communicate with his companions. "...I found this thing, if anyone knows what it is." The sentence is accompanied by the sound of Vaan giving the strange thing a loud tap. Sometimes sticky fingers can be a pain.
Farly looks at the group studying the Glyph, and says, "If we've learned all we can from this building and that Glyph, I'd suggest we move to the next building. I'm wondering if we'll find a Glyph there, too, kupo, and whether it is the same Glyph. If it's the same, then maybe they worshipped Hashmal. If it's different, then maybe each family had a patron Esper. Or maybe I'm totally wrong, kupo, and it's none of those. But I don't think we'll learn any more in this building, kupo."
Glancing skyward may reveal, to Ivy, that there is yet another present in this situtation that is at once terrifying, fascinating, and straight-up WTF-worthy! This 'other' is a willowy woman in Dragoon mail; silver, white and gold in coloration... though a bit worse-for-wear. The folds of her wing-like cape have been scorched by the trip through the /fiery/ Thunder Plains before all went... well...
... Cadence is still trying to comprehend that she has survived, but what what of others? She just spent the past while vaulting from ruin to ruin, perching upon a tattered rooftop here; a broken wall there. But like Ivy...
Cadence Rhiannis feels discomfort amidst these ruins, especially within. One leap carries her to a wall that is kitty-corner to the home that is being explored. Balancing expertly, the Dragoon stands slowly and raises a hand to make her presence known. "Hail! Are you alright?" She calls to the red-haired mage, her brow furrowed. Cadence wears no helm: it is being held beneath one elbow.
Ivy blinks. She isn't sure what she was expecting to see out here, but a charred dragoon wasn't among the short list of possibilities. Shading her eyes with a hand in order to get a better look, Ivy raises her other hand to wave back before shouting up a reply.
"We are alright, so far. Are you hurt?" She turns back toward the ruined home, though the others most likely heard both women speak.
Eiko shakes her head, "It's just as likely we simply arrived somewhere that converged on it's own, or melded with what we destroyed or coming. We know little enough if anything about the world we were in dispite the relative peace." her tone thoughtful. Then a slight shake. "Right, since this area is relatively safe and sheltered should probably put people to cleaning these bottom levels up for now if we need them and exloring outwards." her tone sharpening slightly, taking on a regalish quality of command. "It'll give the people that are here something to do, and help explore and clear most of these building. I'm aware Amelia can hold her own in a fight, I assume the rest of you can also?" as she looks at Faris whom simple looks like she can hold several fights in one hand, to Vaan, then Ivy, then Farly all of whom seem equally capable. "Specially since we don't know how far we could make it if we keep wandering aimless before the sun sets.". The teenager seems about to say more when Cadence speaks up, and she turns to look through doesn't speak up as she thinks a moment.
Amelia's expression darkens, and she's just about to speak up when she stops short -- in fact, freezes fully in place with her finger half-raised -- and gives her full attention to what's going on in the street outside. Eyes wide. A heartbeat later, she pivots out the door and closes the distance between herself and Ivy at a sprint, arriving in front of the perched dragoon.
She blinks twice, wiping at her eyes, and then squeaks: "Miss Cadence?"
Amelia looks unharmed for now, but there are plenty of signs she was in worse shape not too long ago. Bright blood is gradually caking on her coat sleeve, though the wound it came from is nowhere in sight. All the way up and down said coat are scorch marks, any one of which could have been fatal. Taking a long, deep breath (it starts shaky, and ends in a sigh) she explains herself:
"I tried to help with the evacuation, but I didn't make it very far."
On hearing the unfamiliar voice from outside, Farly flies out the doorway and looks around. Spotting the newcomer (as if we weren't all newcomers to this place!), the little moogle says, "More to the point, are /you/ injured, kupo? From the looks of your armor, you could probably use a bit of medical attention. In any case, be welcome to... wherever this is, kupo. My name is Farly."
At Eiko's comment, Faris dryly chuckles. "Well, maybe not several -at once-, but ye'll find I can fight pretty well several different ways. Except healing." She rolls her eyes. "I'm a big fat arse at healing. But swordsmanship or black magic, I got yer back."
Faris looks skyward, as, indeed, the sky is slowly going towards afternoon, and the sun is fading behind the tall mountains. The valley gets fairly dark fairly early, with the sun not immediately overhead, but doesn't descend completely into night right away.
Faris pauses and gives Amelia a curious look at the tone of voice she has...and then the name registers, her confusion clearing. "Oh," she says, looking at the dragoon. "So this is yer Cadence. Huh, wonders never cease. 'Specially with the Convergence around, we don't need coincidence." She chuckles quietly and follows Amelia to where Cadence stands.
The Dragoon waits for a few anxious seconds as she gauges the other woman's response, worrying briefly that her abrupt dropping down upon the ruin would startle her. However, her worries are groundless.
Having announced that she is no threat, Cadence moves to close the remaining distance with another powerful leap, her navy-blue braid snapping behind her body. Landing gracefully, she regards Ivy. "I am alright. Startled, which is an understatement, but..." The Dragoon trails off, extending a hand. "I am Cadence Rhiannis of.. what /was/ Vector. I am here to help in any way that she can." She offers, though she now looks terribly pale.
And then.... it's.. Amelia! Cadence's eyes widen, her next words lost in a sharp intake of breath. A super-swift examination of her dear friend's condition and then, wordlessly, she moves to collect Amelia into a tight, frantic hug. "Thank. The. GODS." She whispers hastily, peering past the starlet's blonde head as she holds her to see others as they arrive. Her gaze pauses meaningfully upon Eiko, and Farly, and Faris.. and finally Vaan, if should he follow soon after (unless he remains inside). "Waste not your healing means upon me, I will be ok. I... is.. there anything I can do?" She asks dumbly. The shock is setting in. "I know Cure, at least... I..."
Vaan shrugs. "Guess this 'convergence' thing really isn't my area of expertise. Still, we should be prepared for anything, especially for this first night." He warns, continuing, "...Say, Lady Carol." Vaan may or may not know that name from a heist that may or may not have been in consideration when the apocalypse happened. "...You wouldn't happen to have had any subjects, servants, that kind of thing come with you to this place, did you?" He asks curiously. "It might help keep things organized around here." There's something Vaan never thought he'd say, but he's got no time for Pirate Anarchy, especially in a situation like this.
Amelia lingers in Cadence's embrace for a few moments before straightening up, a little of the color returning to her own cheeks. Hearing Faris, she takes one of Cadence's hands and gently tugs her a little closer. "Cadence, this is Faris. You can trust her." And then, with a quick glance toward the others, she tells the dragoon: "We better stick together."
Looking up at the sky, she notes, "It's starting to get darker already ... I wonder what the stars will look like here?" Unspoken in it, perhaps shared only between her and the dragoon, is the fact that the stars haven't been visible from Vector in ages. Then, turning to Faris, she adds: "If only there was a way to navigate out of here."
Wordlessly, she directs her attention to what Vaan just said, expression betraying nothing.
As the people left in these ruins wander through, take stock, and search out basic necessities, they do find a few things. There's a meadow nearby with a source of water, and the area's big enough to hunt, at least close to the city. Nobody's ventured further out yet. Some of the stone buildings are usable, although many more are not. And ... more evidence of bits and pieces of other places. There's a wire and mesh fabric concoction laying in the meadow that the denizens of Midgar's lower area may recognize as being a set of wings from the bee-girls in the Honeybee Inn.
Night is starting to fall, and up this high, the stars are crystal clear -- and different in pattern. Gone are the familiar patterns from Convergences past ... and to make matters stranger, there's also a blue flash, here and there against the darkening sky, if you turn just right. The same color as a daytime sky ... but it's still there even after dark.
Nods at Faris, remarking "I'm a capable enough healer, and not the only one here it seems.". Watching Amelia and Cadence, Eiko replys to Vaan "No, the only ones from Lindblum I've seen are those that worked and lived in the city. Mechanics most of them, through a few artist and actors in the mix. But people are more than capable staying together and keeping somewhat organized without someone being over their shoulders. Specially like this where noone but the handful of us might wander overly fair from everyone else."
Faris draws next to Amelia and Cadence and offers the latter a hand, preceding a firm handshake, if Cadence takes it. Not strictly appropriate to the occasion, perhaps, but Faris certainly doesn't look like a diplomatic expert. She glances skyward, thinking aloud as she speaks.
"Well, if they're anything like home, Amy-me-lass, I'll know where we are, anywhere in the world. But the Convergence is..." She sighs. "Stuff changes. That's how it is. I've learned and relearned things like navigation over and over. Ain't no ocean here anyway. More concerned about dinner, maybe--I can do a lot but I can only run so fast. Havin' a dragoon around will be a help chasing things down."
It is now that Cadence allows herself to /really/ consider what she has been through, though her plight is but a drop in a huge bucket. When the foliage began to literally pound Vector apart; to constrict and rend and tear... she had been one of the spearheads in leading an evacuation. When the Thunder Plains erupted in /fire/ and not thunder... she remembers very little, after that. She remembers screams and pain; the lives being lost; and most of all, the red skies. Even beyond the silence, and 'coming to' in this bewildering landscape... Cadence remember /red/. Under circumstances other than the world ending, Cadence would find this place to be heartwrenchingly beautiful.... but....
Their hug ends, and Amelia leads Cadence to introduce Faris. She bows her dark head to the other woman whome Amelia seems to know well. "Faris," She echoes. In the brief moment when Amelia gripped the Dragoon's hand to guide her, only the starlet could know Cadence's distress: her hand trembled just then. Faris may very well feel it next, as Cadence reaches forth to return the handshake. "I can hunt... I've my trident, and speed. I can cover ground. Be it to fetch food, or scout." She confirms. Yes, she must keep busy... anything to avoid thinking too much.
Farly brings in some assorted brush wood and downwood from nearby trees and places them in the fireplace of the building the group has picked to spend the night. He notes that the area is surrounded by stone, so he has no serious concerns about starting a fire now. He does sweep the area around the fireplace clear of any debris, nesting materials, etc. He also takes a quick look up the chimney to verify that it is clear and will perform properly. Having made sure of that, he reaches into his toolbag and pulls out flint and steel, which he proceeds to apply to the kindling he has brought in.
Vaan gives a nod. "Got it." He concedes with a nod. So much for getting an 'in' with the Royalty, before wandering off on his own towars something. Along the way, however, he happens to pass by Faris and Amelia's group. He pauses, casting a curious eye over Faris. He doesn't know what is about her, but his pirate instincts tell him she'll make a great ally. ...Or a worthy rival.
He extends a hand in her direction. "I don't think we've met. I'm Vaan, Sky Pirate Extraordinare." Word of mouth is one way to get the name out there!
"I'm not lettin' the two of you out of my sight," Amelia says to Faris, and it's upbeat enough (under the circumstances), but her gaze does linger on Cadence a little longer than necessary. "Between the three of us, we might just be able to hunt up more than we kin eat AN' manage to bring some of it back." Clearly, she hasn't stopped worrying about the regular folks. "The sooner we get started, the better off we're likely to be, right?"
And this time, she looks to the dragoon for confirmation.
"Absolutely," Cadence says to Amelia, the mere sight of her 'sister' solidifying her resolve. Rather than dwelling on the awful happenings of the world prior, it's time to get down to business. That is what Cadence is most efficient at, and gently she affixes the ornate helm upon her head (though her face remains visible.)
"I am willing to get out there. We three, and anybody else who wishes to join us, shall easily catch fare." She says in her smooth tone, though the fact remains: /what/ ... exactly.. is OUT there for hunting? She can only imagine what creatures may lurk!
Finally, she brings forth her trident from a sheath that is strung between her shoulderblades. Time to fetch some /noms/!
There's a quiet sort of smile creeping onto Faris' face as she takes Vaan's hand. Her grip is pretty firm, and her voice more so.
So, Sky Pirate Extraordinaire, how long you've been in the business? 'Cause I've gained and lost pirate crews before I Converged the -first- time. And on the sea, where the real pirates are."
Faris looks ready to boast some more, but she glances behind her at Amelia as soon as the blonde speaks. A bit of worry crosses her features, which gets a good deal more pronounced with the look Amelia gives Cadence. She gives Vaan one more glance, shrugging, before saying, "We'll talk later. Looks like it's time ta hunt dinner. Best ye not come along fer this one, I can see I've a few things ta say that aren't fer yer ears. Might make the wet behind 'em curdle."
And with that, Faris turns around, catching up to the other two. Her leg's still a little stiff, but time has passed, and night approaches. It is, indeed, time to hunt. And talk, apparently, at least Faris thinks so...
Eiko says "I believe everyone would apperciate that, some of them have found some foraged goods. Berries and roots that seem safe and edible, but meat would be much better." as she walks up to the group of Amelia, Cadence, and Faris. "Wood for fire isn't an issue either after the moogle Farly showed them." pausing a moment before "If you encounter monsters do not hestiate to come back for help if you need." she adds on the end. And then she's moving past towards the closest group of people dividing food to speak with them before moving on to another group and another helping where she can.