Coming Together 12 – Capture

Ajir brought back a solid meal that night, something that surprised Amon. They’d been pinching gil ever since leaving Mor Dhona, so to see it spent so freely, especially with the cost of services rendered to Mocho, left him curious.

The Samurai didn’t speak much. Not when the healers came to tend his wounds. Not even when Zuri went on to recount Ajir’s battle with the Ixali in her juvenile-Bard ways.

I admit, the guy is a war machine. Even I’m a little impressed.

Amon remained silent, too, but his thoughts were picking apart the happenings of the day. Trying to make sense of it. There was still a lot they didn’t know. Like who set them up. And who had enough influence with the beastmen to stage an attack like that.

Someone is after me… I’m sure of that much.

The fire began to crackle low. Both Mocho and Zuri had fallen asleep. It was then that Ajir approached Amon.

“I may have some information about the person who hired us for that job.”

This perked up the Elezen’s ears. “Oh? Do tell.”

The Samurai leaned back in his chair, silent for a long while. Amon began to wonder if he’d say anything at all. Finally, Ajir stood up instead.

“It’s something I’ll have to show you. I saw it on the way back in to Dragonhead.”

Amon glanced down at himself – he was wearing a loaner shirt the healers gave him when they took his coat in for the wash. He was certainly not in any state to go out into the cold, not with night getting on.

Ajir saw this and added, “It’ll only take a moment.”

The Bard nodded and shoved his feet into his boots. “All right. But if I get snow-bit, I’m blaming you.”

“Fair enough.”

The two walked out of Dragonhead, to the north, back in the direction that the attack happened. Amon felt the cold biting into him, and regretted the choice immediately.

“Thought this would only take a moment,” he chided impatiently.

Ajir didn’t say anything. He just kept walking.

“Going to freeze to death,” Amon added with a slight flair of dramatics.

That’s when the Samurai stopped and promptly turned, drawing his blade. “Perhaps that would be the better option… Amon.”

The Elezen took a step back in surprise. Ajir had never spoken his name like that – full of so much distaste and loathing. A chill rushed through his body. It wasn’t from the cold.

The blade in the Samurai’s hands began to pulse with a flow of blue light. The Au Ra’s green eyes seemed to glow, fixed on his target.

“Ajir… what are you doing?” Amon backed further away, the snow crunching under his boots.

The Samurai growled, “She said you were a good actor. Has that been all this was to you?”

What? How…

Amon’s face paled. He heard himself breathe the words, “Who told you?”

Ajir didn’t answer. He simply gripped his blade more tightly and lunged forward, bringing his beastly strength and snarling ferocity down on his unarmed, once-companion.

At an extreme physical disadvantage, Amon felt a jolt of pain as he took the immense blow along the side of his skull. The blunt grip of the katana sent him reeling, and just like the stories always said, he saw stars. A stream of warm blood gushed down his cheek – no doubt Ajir had done some damage, even if he didn’t strike a killing blow.

Then, the Au Ra’s strong fist closed down on Amon’s collar, dragging him up as the Elezen’s knees threatened to buckle under him.

That’s when Amon felt it.

A tickling in the back of his mind.

The rushing sensation of aether energy.

Tiny – just a fraction. Just a sliver of the power he once held.

But in his moment of desperation, it was all he had.

Amon’s mind clamped down on that power.

He drew it in. He hungered for it. A sensation he knew all too well.

All thoughts focused on survival. His survival.

As Amon’s free hand lifted, the power rushed out of him, a fountain of flame that blasted the Samurai point-blank in the face.

It wasn’t a massive flame. It probably did nothing more than singe the Au Ra’s stubborn hide. But it was enough to make Ajir leap back with a shout of surprise and release the Elezen.

“You!” Ajir stammered, his eyes round, staring with a hint of fear. “You… really are…”

Amon was still too disoriented to make any attempt of escape.

Instead, the Bard gathered himself up and did what he always did in a bind. He acted.

“Yes, I am,” Amon’s voice grew powerful as he tried to make himself look larger than he actually was. Given that blood was still dripping down his chin and he couldn’t see straight, that was quite an effort. “And you’ve just made a very grave mistake.”

That’s when a snide voice joined the scene. “Give it a rest, Amon.”

A slip of a cat-girl appeared, no sign of fear, just all dark hair and sharp eyes. Though she looked common enough, Amon could sense that there was something not quite right about her.

“Who… are you…?” The Elezen tried not to slur. Staying awake was getting hard.

“I represent the Sons of Saint Coinach,” she told him in a steady voice. “And with the power vested in me, I take you, Amon of Allag, into custody.”

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Spot of Mummery Story Archive

June 12 – FFXIV RP Directory Update

The FFXIV RP Directory wants to add you!

Do you have a LFRP post? A character page? A RP event or location? A carrd? Do you want to share that with other folks? The FFXIV RP Directory wants to help!

Just fill out this really short Submission Form and I’ll get you listed as soon as possible!

New Directory Submissions

We’ve added a new server to the Directory – representing Famfrit for the first time today!

Please let me welcome the newest friends of the Directory:

  • Ancalagon Malqir – Famfrit
  • Pascalle Dubois – Malboro
  • Susaan Kago – Balmung

Thank you so much for sharing your character profiles with us!

Coming Together 11- Employer

By the time Ajir made his way back to Dragonhead, Mocho was already safely in the hands of the best healers the outpost could offer. That’s one thing the Samurai learned about the Eorzeans, even the strange, somewhat stuck-up Long-ears. Years of battle and hardship had shaped a people who were mostly open to helping others.

That foolish… foolish Lalafell!

The Au Ra only suffered a few minor wounds himself. It was nothing compared to the damage that Mocho took, having so recklessly charged into the way of harm.

Mocho was tucked under a pile of heavy blankets when Ajir walked into the healing quarters. The others – Amon and Zuri – were also cared for with blankets and warming drinks.

Zuri was the first to act, springing up, “Aji! We were so worried! Are you okay?”

Amon didn’t speak. The Samurai heavily doubted the Long-ears held the same sentiments of concern.

“Tired. Cold,” he admitted. “But victorious.”

The girl was already putting a blanket around his shoulders. “You need to have those cuts checked.”

“What of Mocho?” Ajir asked, moving her attention off his well being.

“He took a serious blow,” Amon finally spoke. “But the healers seem to believe he’ll recover with some rest.”

As concerned as the Samurai was for his friend’s health, he knew what they all knew. There was not enough gil to pay for these services… or even basic room and food for any short amount of rest time.

This is why we needed a healer and not another blasted Bard.

Ajir couldn’t help narrow his eyes at Amon with the thought.

“Sir,” One of the healers approached him.

“If this is about payment…”

“No, sir,” She tilted her head upward, but it was mostly concealed by a hood. “I wish to talk with you privately about the state of the patient.”

Ajir pursed his lips. Surely the healer had noted his leadership position in the group, and came to inform him of any complications that Mocho might experience.

He tried not to show his worry as he nodded. “Yes, of course.”

The Samurai followed the healer out of the healing quarters. Then out of the main room. Then… outside? And to a small recess, which was darkening as the evening fell over the snow-lands.

For the first time, Ajir began to feel unease. “What’s the meaning of all this? Certainly, news of health couldn’t need for this sort of confidentiality.”

“You’re a bright one, aren’t you?” The healer gave a soft chuckle, then drew back her hood.

She was of one of the cat-clans, with long dark hair and bright orange eyes. Something about the intensity of her gaze made him feel as if she could see all the secrets of his spirit. Though her garb was rather plain, she held the air of someone incredibly important.

He felt his teeth clench. “Who are you?”

“Your employer.” She didn’t explain further. Instead, she just extended a pouch, heavy with coin.

Many conflicting emotions ran through him all at once. This gil could be what they needed to see Mocho recovered. But at the same time, if this truly was the one who hired them to escort the cart into what they now knew was a trap…

What’s her game? Why is she doing this?

Ajir didn’t make a move to take it. “Do you think I’ll be bought off?”

“Certainly not, Mr. Samurai,” she gave a light laugh. “This is payment for a completed job.”

“For leading my company into danger?” He felt the heat in his scales rise. It was all that he could do not to lose his temper right there. “You would have seen them killed!”

“That’s not what I hired the beastmen to do.” She told him flippantly. “They were simply to capture one of your party. But I suppose when one of you killed one of them, all bets were off. Do you blame them?”

“Capture? Capture who?” He pressed for more information.

“Now, that’s not something I can confide… unless I know that you’re on board.”

Ajir was tired of this game of cat and mouse. “Speak plainly.”

She tilted her head thoughtfully. “You are a man who would do anything to protect your friends, are you not?”

“That is my creed.”

Her eyes flicked up to him knowingly. “What if one of your friends… is something more than they appear. Something that poses this world great danger… should they find a way to regain… things… they lost long ago.”

There was only one “friend” she could be talking about. The name touched his lips, “Amon?”

She smiled in confirmation. It was the expression one would use when praising a pet that had performed well.

“I knew he was trouble,” Ajir grumbled under his breath.

Yet… should I take the word of this stranger at face value? She who would put us all in danger to capture a single other? Amon did protect Zuri and carry Mocho to safety.

Still, when she placed the gil pouch in his hand, this time, the Samurai took it.

“My name is Koh Rabntah,” she told him. “I am a Scholar of the Sons of Saint Coinach. We are the foremost historians and researchers overseeing the unearthing of the Allagan knowledge and artifacts in Mor Dhona. Perhaps you’ve heard of us?”

Ajir wrinkled his brow.

I wish I’d paid more mind to the on goings in that place. There was just so much to take in.

“Or not. It’s of no consequence,” Koh shrugged.

“Your… organization… seeks to capture Amon,” the Samurai pieced it all together smoothly.

“We do.”

“Why?”

“Again, information I’m not free to share.”

Ajir leaned back, not liking the parts of this he didn’t know. “I might be more obliging should you be a little more free.”

Koh laughed at that. “Is that how it is?”

He just grunted, standing his ground with crossed arms.

“Well, should I enlighten you to your companion’s past identity, you may come to agree with our assessment of him.” She tapped the end of a long, slender pipe against the heel of her boot. “I’ll just say that the Sons of Saint Coinach will pay extremely well for assistance in fully capturing Amon and returning him to Mor Dhona.”

Still conflicted, but also concerned, Ajir bowed his head. Then, he took the plunge. “I’m listening.”

That’s when Koh’s smile turned a little predatory.

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Coming Together 10- Ixali Attack

The first inkling that things might not be going as expected didn’t come until the group passed north through the settlement of Dragonhead and left it behind. Ajir frowned at the map, which indicated nothing but wilderness lay ahead.

“This isn’t adding up,” Mocho noted.

“Maybe we’re not delivering to a town,” Ajir suggested.

“Guys,” Zuri’s voice held a hint of warning. “Why did the cart stop?”

Amon jerked up to see that, yes indeed, the cart they were escorting was no longer moving. Leaving Ajir to frown at the map some more, he and Zuri walked forward to investigate. What they found was… unexpected… at best.

The Roegadyn driver had lost no time in unhitching the chocobo from the cart and mounting up. He gave them a rather frightened, wild-eyed glace as he rounded the bird. “Look, I don’t know who wants your head, but this was as far as I was paid to go. Sorry!”

Before either of them could find words, the driver-turned-rider was already clucking to his mount, heading back towards civilization as quickly as he could.

Amon’s eyes narrowed, and he knew.

This was all a trap.

He thought back to all the times he felt he’d been watched while in Mor Dhona. He’d tried to shrug it off back then, despite what his instincts told him. Now it was coming back to bite him.

“Zuri, stay alert,” he told her.

The danger hadn’t fully registered on the girl yet. She stared at him, mouth slightly open, “What’s going on?”

A shout from the other side of the cart was her answer.

Amon rushed back, moving as fast as the snow would afford him. He saw Ajir drawing his blade while Mocho, also armed, stood ready for battle. A pack of bird-like beastmen – they now called themselves the Ixali – leapt down the snow-mounds towards them.

Someone’s going to a lot of trouble to get this job done.

The Bard grit his teeth, loosening his bow and gathering his quiver. This was the first serious combat that his new body would experience. He could only hope it would respond the way he needed it to.

He knew Beastmen of any kind were nothing to trifle with in this world. Though having animalistic features, they were intelligent enough to form communities, language, and battle tactics. These rushed at them wielding spears and one even seemed to have command of wind magics.

It’s amazing how they’ve evolved so much left on their own like this…

Though Amon wanted to muse more on the things he saw before him – creatures that he knew originated back in Allagan laboratories – that would do nothing to help the very real threat that bore down on them now.

Zuri gave a shout of dismay as Mocho took the forefront. It was a move of pure desperation, the Lalafell throwing himself in front of the enemy to defend the others. Zuri saw what the rest of them did – Mocho was far outclassed in this battle. His actions, thought admirable, did nothing to even slow the avalanche down.

The leader of the Ixali pack swung down into the Gladiator’s defenses, the spear piercing right through the small shield, ripping it out of Mocho’s hand. Ajir rushed forward to intercept, but wasn’t near enough to prevent the second blow, which sent the Lalafell spinning backwards into a snowbank.

Where he landed, white began to bleed red.

Zuri ran for Mocho.

Ajir roared – literally roared – his blade sparking off the lead Ixali’s spear-haft, the sound of ringing metal a warning to their attackers. The Samurai’s pure bulk and fury knocked the beast backwards, almost beast-like himself, causing the other Ixali a moment of concerned hesitation.

You didn’t expect a fight, did you?

Zuri finally reached Mocho, choking sobs as she pulled his body out of the snow.

From the corner of Amon’s eye, he saw the Ixali mage turn full focus on where the girl cradled the Lalafell. The beast began to summon the winds, aether-magic rising to his call, casting the snow around him in wicked winter gales.

Zuri’s attention was fully on Mocho. She didn’t see the danger.

Amon felt his arms move of their own accord. Arrow knocked. Bow drawn. Aim fully on the casting Ixali in the distance.

He let the arrow fly.

It sang through the air, a thing of beauty and death.

Striking true, the point plunged into the Ixali’s throat. The call of magic stopped as the beast staggered, screeching out a bubbling, inhuman cry. Then it fell, also leaving a red stain growing over the white ground.

Amon looked at his own hands in surprise. But there was no time to celebrate… striking down one of the pack had only served to enrage the rest of them. If there was any hesitation to their charge before, there wasn’t now.

With the caster out of the way, Ajir began to cleave through the others, his blade shattering their rude weapons and slamming them back time and again. The Samurai needed no defense – he was a war machine all by himself.

“GET THEM OUT OF HERE!” The Au Ra flicked his fierce gaze on Amon.

For a moment, the Bard thought to argue. But seeing what a poor state Mocho was in – he was losing a lot of blood fast – and the shock this caused Zuri, Amon knew getting them back to safety was the only course he could take.

Besides, Ajir didn’t appear to need much in the way of help. If anything, his silent rage reveled in this battle and the fall of his enemy.

“We have to go,” Amon told Zuri in a low voice, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“We can’t… we…” She was inconsolable, the shimmer of near-frozen tears on her cheeks.

The Elezen just gathered up Mocho in his arms, ignoring the crimson that began to stain his own coat. His tone was urgent. “Mocho needs you to help me help him.”

She couldn’t really argue against that.

As the sound of battle and beast-death rang over the snowy hill behind them, Amon and Zuri fled, carrying their unmoving companion back to the halls of Dragonhead.

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Spot of Mummery Story Archive

Tome Appraisal for Saeta Lemiscus

From the Client…

Entering for the first time, Saeta looked around while approaching the counter. She politely removed her sun hat, and offered a smile, placing down the tome.

“Hello,” she greeted. “I found this while gardening, and heard that perhaps this place could identify it? I’m sorry there’s still dirt stuck in some of the cracks, I wasn’t sure if I should wash it. It looked delicate.” To her untrained eye, at least. Upon realizing she could also order tea, she did so with some excitement. The blend sounded right up her alley.

Tome Attributes: None

Gil Donation:

Tea Order: Lavender Law

“Greetings, my friend.” Amon beamed a grin at his newest client. “If ’tis a Tome identification you’re looking for, you’re in the right place. I’ll do my best to pull data from the device, as long as it is in working condition.”

The Elezen began by pouring the ordered tea for his client, then offering her a seat at one of the tables.

“Please help yourself to any of the snacks. This shouldn’t take too long.”

He pursed his lips as he studied the state of the Tome, then took up a small cleaning device to help remove additional dirt, especially around the connectors. Plugging in a Tome with debris would not only skew the chances of pulling good data from the Tome, but also could cause dirty connections with other Tomes. So he took his time to clean it up the best he could.

Though I tried to clean this the best I could, I’m still having difficulty keeping this Tome connected to my device. It may have been immersed in the soil for a while – since you noted that you found it while gardening – and that’s not the best environment for a Tome to endure. While the outside seems fine, data containment within may have been corroded due to moisture, dirt and… dare I say… earth critters that may have found their way inside.

However, the data I was able to snapshot seems of a very common kind. From the best of my abilities, I’ve translated the topic to be: Allag’s Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias.

This might be of interest to some Allagan scholars, but the condition of the Tome may make studying it difficult. I highly suggest making a copy of the data.

Amon returned the Tome to his client with a short summary. “The Tome’s data is pretty common information, but could be of interest to those studying Allagan culture. However, the state of the Tome prevents it from being of higher value as it has trouble staying connected and pulling data.

“Still, making a copy of the data is an option, so you may find some interest in passing off the data itself with that in mind.”

Get your own tome appraisal by clicking here!

Coming Together 9- Escort Quest

Despite Zuri’s previous-night confidence in the group’s ability to take on the job, she was just quick to respond to the bleak, ice-stripped lands of Coerthas with concern that morning. They all knew it would be cold there. They had no idea just how bone-breaking the chill would be, however.

None of them, Amon included, were fully dressed for this kind of expedition. Not only had none of them foreseen going into the frigid land, but they didn’t have enough spare gil to properly equip themselves. This job may be well-paying as Ajir stated, but they wouldn’t see any of it until after it was done.

If we survive this.

It was still early morning when their group met up with the object of their escort. Amon was a little disappointed. It was a lone Roegadyn driving a solo-chocobo cart. A small cart, on top of it. Whatever was being transported, it couldn’t have been very large at all.

The driver and the cart were all bundled up for the drive, and the chocobo was ready to go. So after a quick exchange of words with Ajir, the cart and the four shivering adventurers began the trek into the white wilderness.

Everything about the area felt suppressed and desolate. This wasn’t the lovely kind of snow that graced winter paintings and dappled the window with soft patterns of ice. This was the kind of snow that was not just unwanted, but never went away, no matter the time of year.

Amon had read up on the phenomenon during some down-time the previous evening. Most signs point to the dawn of the Seventh Umbral Era as the cause of the dramatic shift in weather. All this because some brilliant person decided it was a good idea to break the Primal Bahamut out of Dalamud.

What did they expect would happen? Play with fire, going to get…

Amon glanced around.

…Snow?

His breath billowed out as he half laughed to himself.

No point in debating the intelligence of the current-day populace. I’m the smart one trudging out in this frigid weather.

At least, with all that was going on, Amon hadn’t had much time to dwell on his own troubles. In fact, his sleep had been unmarred by memories of the past since he’d come to stay in Mor Dhona. Maybe it was because his performances tired him out to sleep too deeply for dreams. Maybe it was because he had to watch himself more closely with so many others around.

Or maybe… there’s actually a chance that my aether-flow will adjust to this new body. Maybe… I don’t have to end up like Xande.

It was still too early to tell. He had no tools to take measurements and no subjects to observe. The only example he knew of was the one that failed. So far, he’d fared better than the mad Emperor had…

But, granted, he didn’t start showing true signs of madness until much, much later than this.

“Amon?” Zuri’s voice brought him out of his dark thoughts.

“Wh-what?” He turned to her.

“Are you that cold? You’re shivering all over.”

“I…” He shrugged it off quickly. “I’ll be fine. Just getting accustomed to this climate.”

Zuri accepted that without questioning. She was a good kid. “Yeah, I had no idea it’d be so cold here.”

“Me neither.”

They didn’t talk much after that. It took far too much energy. They needed to save their breath, just in case anything went wrong.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.

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Spot of Mummery Story Archive

June 10 – FFXIV RP Directory Update

The FFXIV RP Directory wants to add you!

Do you have a LFRP post? A character page? A RP event or location? A carrd? Do you want to share that with other folks? The FFXIV RP Directory wants to help!

Just fill out this really short Submission Form and I’ll get you listed as soon as possible!

New Directory Submissions

Please let me welcome the newest friends of the Directory:

  • Bohai Li – Balmung
  • Ljotur Yalre – Mateus
  • Nasrinne Filois – Malboro
  • O-rein Yensa – Diabolos
  • Raeventiel Beaudonet – Balmung

Thank you all so much for sharing your wonderful Carrds with us! Happy RPing!

Spot of Simmery- 7: RIP Bee Box 🐝

‘Twas a dark and stormy night,

While lovers ate cookies with delight,

For its life did the bee box fight…

But alas!

Did the lightning strike!

And this is the end of the bee box’s tale. 🐝

I was so intent on watching the happenings inside the house as Enio and Eva started kicking off their relationship, that I didn’t take much notice about the storm happening outside. When I heard the lightning strike, I started hunting around to see what it was that got hit outside.

Sure enough, there sat the bee box. Black and inactive. Dead.

Struck by lightning – RIP bee box.

The only option I had was to replace it.

I decided that after all the trouble the little critters gave me – so much that I even had to move the box to a far-away place in yard to prevent them from pestering the mail person – that I could wait to replace them until later.

Not like Enio was all that worried about a bee box at that point. No, he had bigger fish to fry.

“Reel Her In”? That better be a fishing book and not a romance self-help book!

Not to mention, all of his app development was starting to get him noticed. But as his fame went up and he earned additional perks from it, the game slapped him with the most debilitating quirk there was to have.

Enio became… a phone fanatic.

At first I thought… oh, well, that could have be worse.

No. No, my friends.

A sim being addicted to checking the phone is the absolute most annoying thing ever. It didn’t matter what Enio was doing, if he had a spare second to sneak in a peek at the screen, he was stopping to do that.

The house could have been on fire and he would have been content to stand there and check his phone. Maybe Tweet about it. Sounds like some people I know.

Anyhow, it was bad.

Bad!

Hopefully Eva can smack it out of him, if bribed by cookies.

{Spot of Simmery- 6: Kiss the Chef || }

(Spot of Simmery Archive)

Tome Appraisal for Torvan Hillway

From the Client…

So, found this thing out in the field a while back, and made a trip out to the House of Splendors after a meeting in Mor Dhona (that honestly could have been an email). Rowena and her girls took a look at it, and said they didn’t recognize it, and none of her equipment could pull anything from it.

Looks plain enough, black/blue tomestone, but I’m not versed enough in tomes to know what’s what with them. So I started working down the line through my contacts and they recommended me to you. If you guys can’t figure it out, it’s either going in my forge or my junk drawer as a paperweight.

Tea’s not really my thing, too rich and fancy for my blood, but, I’ll pick up an Earl Grey Esoterics for the road. Uh…I’ll kick in 5k, seems about right for something so specialized.

My name? Oh right, Torvan Hillway, I work for Tenth Round Security Consulting, and am contracted with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.

Tome Attributes: No, just not readable by Rowena

Gil Donation: 5,000

Tea Order: Earl Grey Esoterics

“Greetings and well me, Mr. Hillway! ‘Tisn’t every day I have a client of your importance call upon my skills. You can rest assured I can figure your Tome out, even if Rowena couldn’t,” Amon gave a polite half-bow as he took the Tome and carefully inspected it with a glance.

Though the fellow was right – this did look like a plane Tome – he got the sense that he might be in for a bit of a challenge. That thought sparked a bit of excitement. Especially should he be able to show up Rowena to someone that works in close with the Scions!

“No worries about the tea. You can help yourself to whatever snacks we have out on the table. Some sweets, some small sandwiches. Hopefully you’ll find something to your liking.”

Amon headed behind the machine and opened a special slot on the side. He had a hunch that it would take more than a normal reading for this… but he had just the thing!

You did bring me a challenging one, my friend. I can see why Rowena had a time with it – ’tis encrypted with an Allagan cypher, which requires a specialized program to crack. Thankfully, this cypher was nothing on a professional level, just enough to deter the average individual if the Tome had fallen into outside hands.

So what data was so important that the Tome was encrypted, you might ask?

Well, this seems to be a set of documents and journals written by a group who called themselves the Philosophical Forum. In fact, the folder names itself as: Studies of the Philosophical Forum.

That may not appear to be top secret information to you, but looking through this content, many names are listed of individuals involved in this Forum. In the final days of Allag, those who had different thoughts from the leadership could find themselves… disappearing… If you know what I mean.

So encrypting this data was one way to keep the names and their beliefs hidden from the wrong parties. That being said, the encryption also worked to keep the data very well preserved as it could not be accessed. I’ve cracked the cypher for you and made the copy of the data you requested. But should you try to read the Tome again without the proper machine, you’ll run across the same issue.

I’d wager, however, those interested in learning about encryption placed on historical data formats would be very interested in trying to reverse engineer how it works…

“This Tome could be worth quite a bit to those who are looking to learn about encryption and security of data.” Amon handed his client the Tome and the backup of the data. “Though if you do decided to sell this technology, choose your buyer wisely. If someone figures out how to crack an encryption, they can eventually decipher how to create an encryption… or even spin-offs of it.”

Amon gave a grim nod to Torvan, all the while thinking maybe it would be good to invest in strengthening his own cypher programs. He’d not expected to run across an encrypted Tome so soon. Thankfully, this was only a minor encryption that took him little time to crack.

“‘Tis up to you, but seeing you noted that security is in your realm of interest… Mayhaps yours is the safest hand to keep it.”

Get your own tome appraisal by clicking here!

Coming Together 8- Odd Job

That night, as they sat around a table in the Seventh Heaven, Ajir detailed the job they were starting the next morning. The more they learned about it, the more Amon thought that it didn’t sound like fun. However, because Ajir went through so much to make sure to include him, for Zuri’s sake, Amon didn’t have it in him to back out.

“So let me get this straight,” Mocho clarified after Ajir was through. “We’re hired to protect a small, unknown shipment – a lone chocobo and driver – through Coerthas?”

“Yes,” the Au Ra nodded.

“To where in Coerthas?” The Lalafell was asking the important questions.

“Well, I’m not completely certain. I don’t know much about that area.” Ajir frowned a bit. Then he lifted a weathered piece of parchment and waved it for them to see, “However, the employer has furnished us with a map.”

“Does any of us know much about Coerthas?” Mocho countered, frowning, too.

Zuri looked down at the table, indicating her lack of knowledge.

Ajir glanced at Amon and demanded, “He should know, right?”

It was the Elezen’s turn to frown, “Excuse me?”

“You’re a Long-ears. Isn’t that where your kind come from?”

“I’ve only set foot in Coerthas once that I’m aware of. That was coming here to Mor Dhona,” Amon retorted, which for all purposes, was as true as he could tell it. There’d never been a wasteland of snow so near to his homeland during his time. And it certainly wasn’t called “Coerthas” back under Allagan rule.

Ajir grimaced, “And here I thought you’d be good for something.”

Amon opened his mouth to respond with something he would have probably regretted, but thankfully, Mocho intervened.

“I’m not getting a good feeling about this one, Ajir,” the Lalafell told him, not beating around the bush.

“I know, but there’s not much to choose from without a full, functional party,” the Au Ra’s tone heaped more scorn upon their lack of a healer yet again. “Not to mention, the pay is good. Very good.”

“Yes, well, this may be a dangerous job,” Mocho noted. Then he put it in their hands. “Do we think we’re up to this?”

There was silence at the table.

Finally, Zuri spoke up, “I think we should try it. We could be just fine.”

Mocho gave her a soft look, “Your optimism is always welcome, Zuri. But ‘could be’ and ‘will be’ are very different things.”

This made the girl press her lips together, and reword her approach, “We can do it.”

Amon leaned back in his chair and murmured, “I will go.”

Mocho looked at Ajir. The Samurai spread his hands, “I got us the job. I feel we’re fit for it.”

“Alright. If everyone agrees,” the Lalafell sighed a bit, dismissing himself from the table. “I’m going to catch some shut-eye. I assume we leave early in the morning.”

Amon watched him walk away, only speaking after he was long out of sight, “Is Mocho all right?”

“He’ll be fine,” Zuri answered. “He does this every time.”

“Oh?”

“He appears to have paternal instincts over our group,” Ajir stated.

Amon laughed at this, picturing such a little fellow being fatherly over everyone else. But, his laughter faded as Ajir’s expression indicated he was being very serious.

“Mocho worries he won’t be strong enough,” Zuri added. “We’re trying to help him get acclimated, but it’s a big shift for him to make.”

“’Tis a big shift for anyone,” Amon agreed.

There wasn’t much conversation after that. They all said their good-nights and left to get rest for the next day.

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