Choose Amon's Adventure
Posted on: February 4, 2023
It’s a beautiful sunny morning in Gridania, if only a little nippy as it was at this time of year. After a cup of his favorite tea, Amon is up and ready for the day.
The only problem was… his gil pouch was a bit lighter than he’d like it to be. But that was no worries – there were plenty of things he could do to rectify that situation and at least make enough gil for supper that night.
Posted on: February 5, 2023
Ah, busking. The tried-and-true bardic way.
The weather looked like it would hold, so why not spend an afternoon in the sunshine with is trusty fiddle at his side?
Amon headed to one of his usual spots, making sure no other bards had taken up close residency already. Luckily, he had the area to himself.
Ensuring his fiddle was tuned, he began to play for those who passed by. Over time, and with experience, he’d come to learn the tunes that folks enjoyed most, and sprinkled a few new and old things in between.
Performing with energy and gusto, he danced a bit as he bowed the strings, interacting with those who paused to take in the music and seemed willing to respond. As the day drew long, his hat began to fill with the clinking of gil for the appreciation of music.
All was going well until one of the on-lookers started to get an attitude for light-knows-what reason. Amon didn’t recognize the chap, but could see that his likely-drunken behavior was offending the actual profitable listeners, causing folks to head off.
The bard pressed his lips together as the fellow then started to sling insults about the music on top of it. While Amon focused on the song he was playing, he formulated how he’d respond once he was done.
Posted on: February 6, 2023
Amon slowly lowered his fiddle at the end of the song, resolute to do something about the offensive drunken clod on his own. The fellow looked blurry-eyed and a little wobbly at best, but that didn’t mean that the bard wasn’t asking for trouble.
“Excuse me, friend, but if you haven’t taken notice, this is a public performance. If you’d like to continue to annoy others and make a fool of yourself, I’m going to have to ask you to do it elsewhere,” the Elezen told him pointedly.
It took a few blinks for the clod to focus on Amon’s frowning face and come to the realization that the words were addressing him. With a bit of a snarl and a slur, he shot back, leaving spittle on his grizzled week-old part-beard.
“You talking to me, long-ears?”
“Aye, that I am,” Amon didn’t back down.
“And what if I want to stay?” came the slurred reply.
“Not on the account of the music, I take it.”
“If that’s what you want to call that noise,” the man weaved forward, his fists balled and ready, looking for a fight. “Let’s see what else you can do, ya wussy fiddler.”
Amon almost felt a spot of pity for the man. The crowd had backed away, giving them distance, but rapt with interest on how this was unfolding. This could be an opportunity to use his bardic put on a show for them… or – in the worst case – to embarrass himself publicly. He had to weigh his options wisely.
“Very well,” Amon placed his instrument in its case for safe keeping. Then he rolled up his sleeves.
Posted on: February 7, 2023
“Whatcha going to do there, my wobbly friend?” Amon flashed a wide and taunting grin.
That’s really all it took to invite Clod – that had become Amon’s internal-thought name for the fellow – to storm forward, fists swinging. A good deal less inebriated, the Elezen was able to dodge back, continuing to taunt and tease as his adversary advanced.
“Who taught you to fight? A chocobo chick?”
The more Amon darted and dodged, the more red-in-the-face Clod became. And the more the crowd ate it up.
Focusing all of his hard-learned dramatic mummery, the bard capered about, leading the man in circles. After a time, Clod stumbled against the fence, and eventually face-planted with drunken exhaustion next to the gates of the amphitheater.
This earned a large round of applause from onlookers, along with a mighty share of donated gil in Amon’s hat. As the audience began to depart, satisfied with a fight-that-was not, Amon returned to gather up his earnings for the day. Thanks to Clod’s unwanted interruption, this was quite a bit more busking income than the bard was used to.
As the Elezen turned to head off to find a bite to eat, he couldn’t help but pause and side-eye Clod, who still lay face-down in the dirt.
Posted on: February 8, 2023
Amon gave a long sigh, then turned to walk back to Clod. The fellow had it coming, but seeing that the bard had profited from the “fight,” it felt wrong to just leave him lying in the dirt like this.
As the Elezen hefted Clod up, he noted that the fellow was actually more of a lad – hardly 20 summers, he surmised. Ah, the recklessness of youth.
With this, Amon made up his mind, toting Clod half over one shoulder all the way back to the Carline Canopy where he met with a rather frowny looking Mother Miounne. It took the bard but a moment to realize she’d seen this fellow before.
“Not again,” she sighed, vocalizing Amon’s suspicion.
“You know this lad?” Amon asked, struggling not to call him “Clod” out loud.
“Indeed. He ends up here, and in just this very state, more often than he should.”
“So, a local trouble maker?”
Posted on: February 9, 2023
Amon tilted his head at this revelation, then glanced at the Elezen lad. So, he was a Clod with some cash, was he? That could come in handy, mayhaps, if he played his cards right.
The bard wondered briefly what could have brought the lad all the way to Gridania. But he put off future pondering as he wanted to unburden his shoulder, and fairly soon.
“Well, how about a room for the night?” Amon suggested.
“I can do that. What do you need?” Miounne asked.
Posted on: February 10, 2023
“Give me two of your best rooms,” Amon declared. “And put it on his tab.”
Miounne arched an eyebrow at the bard. “Now, Amon. You know I can’t do that.”
“Aw, come on. For old time’s sake?” He leaned on the counter trying to work some of his charm into the conversation. “‘Tisn’t like he’s hurting for money. You told me that yourself!”
“Amon,” she said in a mother-voice any misbehaved child would recognize.
He’d certainly had heard the tone many times when he was a lad.
“Very well,” Amon sighed, dreams of hot tubs and room service fading from his mind. Then he muttered, “I just wanted to know what the best rooms were like for once.”
“How about this,” it was her turn to lean forward. “I can see that you’re trying to help the lad out, so I’ll make a deal. I’ll give you one of our best rooms at half cost. But you have to pay. Up front.”
“Hmm…” the Elezen pursed his lips in consideration.
Half-off the best room would probably eat up most the excess gil he’d just made from busking that day, but was affordable. It would be nice to have a night in luxury, but would mean tomorrow he’d have to busk twice as hard – or… maybe the Clod could make up for his earlier uproar… if he were an honest lesser-noble.
Posted on: February 11, 2023
“You got yourself a deal!” Amon replied jovially. “Give me your best room for the night!”
“Aye then,” she said, pulling a key from under the desk. Then she scribbled something on a slip of paper and slid it to him. It was the bill.
The Elezen winced a little. “This includes room service, aye?”
“For you, it will.”
“Very well,” he pulled out his gil pouch and paid for his night of luxury.
Amon then peered over at where he’d left Clod, face-down on a nearby table.
Luxury with a Clod.
It could be better, it could be worse. There was nothing else to do now that she put the room’s key in his hand.
The bard nodded his appreciation, hefted Clod over his shoulder, and dragged him down the familiar wooden hallway towards a less familiar area – where the nicest rooms resided.
Opening the door, he felt a rush of excitement to see the nice, big downy beds – two of them, thankfully – set in a spacious room that was fancy in a cozy Gridanian-forset way. The crowning feature was a lovely balcony that, upon exploring, opened up into the treetops of the city. Already, he could see the blush of sunset in the skies.
Depositing Clod (still in his boots) on one of the beds - the lad wouldn't be sober for hours as it was - Amon found himself torn between ordering a room service meal and indulging in the hot tub. Either would be divine, but he couldn’t help notice that there were Allagan snails on the menu…
Posted on: February 13, 2023
Amon decided it would probably be best to clean up after a day in the sun busking, and that supper would be all the better for it. So he did a quick rinse off to remove any grime, then indulged in the warm bath that passed as the hot tub near the balcony.
While he’d had access to such luxuries at his own whim back in Allag, it had been a while since he’d had the chance in Eorzea. So, he put all thoughts of Clod and money worries out of his mind for a time, and just relaxed while letting his thoughts drift off…
Eventually, he had to come back down from his daydreams and order some supper. Freshly bathed, but back in the previous day’s clothes – he had nothing to change into here – he set up to order for room service and those tantalizing snails.
Amon noticed that the menu included a tea that could assist with staving off the effects of a hangover the next day. This reminded him that the whole point of coming to the inn was to help Clod sober up.
Glancing over at the lad, he had a choice to make. If he ordered the tea, he’d have to wake Clod to get him to drink it – if the fellow even would. He was sleeping pretty soundly, and looked to need the rest. Should Amon interrupt that?
Posted on: February 14, 2023
Amon decided that if he was going to make the effort to sober up the Clod, he might as well go all the way. So, when the snails and salad arrived from room service, so did the extra tea.
The Elezen made sure to enjoy his supper first – snails could not be interrupted, after all. Not to mention, he’d already saw that Clod was an angry drunk. So, he may as well get some peace and quiet with his meal while he was able.
Afterwards, he readied the tea – though he didn’t know how Clod liked to take his – and walked over to the sleeping lad. Amon shook Clod’s shoulder once. Then again. Then again harder.
Waking the lad was going to be a task.
Finally, after what seemed like forever in trying to rouse the Clod, the bard did the unthinkable. He pulled the lad’s ear. Just slightly. But if Clod’s ears were anything like his own, that would be enough.
Clod spluttered awake with a groan, clutching his head as he rolled over. His eyes were blurry as they fought to focus on Amon.
“Hey,” the bard told him, trying to explain as shortly as he could. “You’re in the Gridanian inn. I’ve got you some tea for that headache – if you don’t have it already, you will in a few hours.”
Clod’s face scrunched up, struggling to make sense of his surroundings. Then, he asked pointedly, “Who are you?”
Posted on: February 15, 2023
“I’m the bard from this afternoon,” Amon said drolly. His tone was more joking than harsh. “Remember? You wrecked my show.”
Clod squinted some more, as if trying hard to focus on the events of the past day. “Not entirely, I’m afraid.”
“Convenient,” the bard answered, holding out the tea to the lad.
“’Twill help with your hangover.”
“I’m not hungover,” Clod grouched.
“’Tis to be determined. It certainly can’t hurt your disposition any.”
The lad huffed but sulkily accepted the cup. He wrinkled his nose as he sipped, obviously not a fan of the non-alcoholic offering.
“So, what’s an Ishgardian lad like yourself doing causing a ruckus here in Gridania?” Amon prodded.
“Who told you that?” Clod’s face darkened more.
“None of your business,” the bard said lightly. “Just answer my question. What brought you here?”
“None of your business,” Clod imitated his tone of voice. And he did it quite well.
But this conversation was getting them nowhere.
“At least tell me your name,” Amon finally said.
The lad’s sour expression didn’t give much confidence that he was going to give a truthful answer.
Posted on: February 17, 2023
(Note - I didn’t realize I’d made one of the options so close to Amon’s name until it won. I was just rolling a random Elezen name generator. Too funny!)
“My name is Almont,” the lad finally told him.
Amon gave a slight laugh at the similarity to his own name. Just cut a few letters and…
“What’s so funny?”
“My name is Amon,” the bard told him.
It took the lad a moment to work out why this was amusing. When he finally did, he said, “You’re kidding.”
Clod Almont finally laughed a little too. This seemed to break the ice, and as the lad drank more of the tea, he warmed up to company and conversation.
In fact, once he answered with more than “none of your business,” the lad wasn’t half bad to chat with. Amon explained how he’d dragged the lad out of the mud and into the inn – leaving out the bit about trying to pin it on the lad’s tab – which left Clod Almont shaking his head.
“Why would you do that? You don’t even know me.”
The bard shrugged. He didn’t exactly know why he did what he did most of the time, either.
“You paid for this room?”
“’Twas on discount,” Amon reminded him.
“Still,” the lad was slowly coming to the conclusions the bard hoped for. “I shall have to repay you somehow.”
“Well,” Amon cracked a smile. “You can start by telling me why you’re wandering around drunk in Gridania.”
Clod Almont grunted at that. “It’s a stupid story.”
“I’m a bard. I live for stories of all kinds.”
“Fine,” the lad gave his signature sour look. “It’s my dream to race and breed chocobos. So, I left home with my savings to find a bird to start my racing lineage.”
Well, that wasn’t what Amon expected. It was interesting none the less.
“But..?” the bard prodded.
Clod Almont looked ashamed. “On my way to Bentbranch, I got swindled out of my savings.”
“I see. So, you can’t buy your bird,” Amon summarized.
“Yeah. And I can’t go home empty handed, either. My parents did not approve of me chasing my dreams.”
The bard didn’t inquire as to why chocobo racing was an Ishgardian noble’s dream – dreams were often funny like that. He certainly could see the logic of his parent’s disapproval at the lad’s flight of fancy.
Despite all this, it could be an interesting opportunity should Amon choose to get involved.
Posted on: February 18, 2023
After mulling it over in his mind a bit, Amon came to the conclusion – it would be far more entertaining to help the lad out than to let the opportunity pass. However, he figured this was not the place or time to introduce the idea to Almont.
Instead, the bard made a show of yawning and stretching. It had been a long day, and it was probably better for them both to get some rest. Besides, the bed did look inviting.
“I could do for some good shut-eye. How about you?” Amon asked.
The lad finished off the last of his tea, looking to be in better spirits. “I suppose that’s a good idea for now. May as well make the most of a good room.”
“My thoughts exactly,” the bard said, slipping under the covers of his bed and rolling over onto one shoulder. “Pleasant dreams.”
The lad didn’t respond, but given the mix of the tea he drank, that wasn’t surprising. He’d fall asleep quickly, and hopefully rest off the last of his drinking expedition.
Though Amon rarely fell asleep easily, tonight he took comfort in the lavish bed, and tired from the day, soon fell into a slumber.
Posted on: February 21, 2023
That dream again.
He was clothed in black robes, striding across flower-dappled fields that lay atop floating islands. Somehow he knew it was his job to take care and watch over the creatures who lived there.
Every time, when he caught a glimpse of his reflection in this or that, the somber face he saw there was not his own.
Every time, the serene cloud top pastoral shifted as the sky grew angry and red, fire raining down from the sky. Then the scene changed and he found himself in strange, twisty city with the screams of people echoing all around him as they fled.
Was wasn’t he also fleeing?
Why did he only crumple back, staring up at the sky with tears on his face?
That didn’t make sense. That wasn’t how he would have responded.
Why could he never break free of the dream’s narrative?
Worst of all, why did it all feel so real?
Amon sat up in bed, shaking off the lingering remains of the dream. He’d experienced it so much in his lifetime, he’d long since stopped responding outwardly to it. While his face was damp with sweat, and he felt his heart racing, his face betrayed nothing.
Glancing over, he saw that Almont was still fast asleep. There was no need to rouse the lad. He probably needed the rest for recuperation.
Later that day, he’d discuss his intentions to assist the lad in his chocobo racing project.
Posted on: February 23, 2023
Some tea would be fine to settle his nerves. Not that he was nervous. No. Not him.
Still, he ordered the tea, settled down on the calm morning balcony and started to think through his proposition. He didn’t know if Almont would agree to begin with. But if he brought a plan to the table, which was more than the lad had at the moment, he had a better chance of getting in.
The problem was, he also did not have the gil on hand to purchase a racing chocobo. Though his free company owned chocobos and he knew what went into taking care of one, a racing bird was of a different stock.
Even his best month of busking would not likely bring in that kind of money.
Though he did have some money earned due to donations he received from his tea shop, that was not enough. Plus, those donations were made in good-will to keep the lights on in his shop. Without that reserve, he’d be hard-pressed to continue to enhance and run the small business.
Perhaps, though, he could do something completely different and off the beaten path… Something that involved other people – mayhaps a community event? Everyone loves a good community event, right?