The Dark Lord, Illuminated?
In a most unexpected reveal during a charity auction this past Friday, the otherwise mysterious and reclusive Dark Lord of Ul'dah made a very public appearance in the Twelveswood. Rumors suggest that he bid lavishly against those many gathered throngs in order to garner the attention of a particular woman in attendance, perhaps at the mercy of cupid's arrow? Others suggest that it was but a publicity stunt urged on in order to increase revenue for the upcoming performance of Maria and Draco as the Dark Lord himself cites later in the evening.
After gifting the as yet unidentified Hyuran woman the spoils of his victory, and just after all bidding had closed out, however is where the story begins to blossom. As many within the more artistic community are aware the Dark Lord has been anything but transparent in his personal life, save the occasional silent donation towards efforts targeted at assisting those displaced refugees that flock in droves to the Jewel of the Desert. Transcribed below, is an account of his rousing speech, and the first instance he has publicly given his name.
"Lords and Ladies; I bid you great thanks for attending a gathering dedicated to no more innocent or noble a cause than that of simple coexistence... Than a promotion of well being and shared livelihood among our neighbors. Among the many of us this evening, are strangers and friends alike... Such illusions of difference were, I should imagine, dispelled fair swift as many socialized, laughed, and of course, bid lavishly.
Some among you know of my work - As the 'Dark Lord of Ul'dah' - a mere actor portraying the various faces of fiction from Maria's own Draco to the Beggar Prince... Each facade has shown to me the many faces of man. There are feats of heroism to be seen in each as equally as acts of maliciousness and evil - not least among them, the evil that is indifference.
Tonight I come before you, not as the Dark Lord, not as a fanciful work of fiction, pianist, courtier, nor anything more than Stroud Forscythe, a humbled man. His origins no different than that of any other - born into this world with a shrill cry from the first piercing of light upon departing his mother's womb.
I would boldly declare for any man here, the like of a saint, whom has as not once in their lies looked in the opposite direction as come the moment when the weak and feeble - less affluent and even 'inconvenient' were immediately present. When even the thought of their being, if only for a mere moment, was seen as troubling.
I myself confess to guilt of such a crime. We have all done so... Perhaps many of us here have even been victim to it; Tonight, whilst we may never truly rise beyond what is inherit to our nature, as to avoid that which is displeasing to us in one form or another, I do not ask for saintly pursuits nor contribution of coin from any one party, be they affluent or not.
No, tonight I bid you but offer a single thought. From that thought of the destitute and lesser off, is a foundation. A single word upon which every man and woman present can attest by virtue of merely being here - Opportunity. From Ishgard to Ul'dah, refugees are a common enough sight. Misfortune or birth having placed them into desolation... I bid you think upon one single individual or greater gathering, and ask yourself were you as they were, to what ends of the world would you travel to arrive to where you stand today? How bloody would your feet become for pain of distance? How exhausted? How... humble?
Tonight I only want that one moment's thought to the misplaced - for we are, all of us, joined as living creatures before we are anything beyond; Ul'dahn, Ishgardian, Limsan or otherwise. Tonight, we are a free people. A unified people... Though this is a union of banners, I know with that single, nourished, thought opportunities follow that we shall in time become a truly unified people!
This exchange of word is not for Eorzea, not for Sharlay, or Othard... Tonight I herald Hydaelyn and all her children... for we are all joined in the grace of her breath, which fuels our lungs and grants us that gift most precious - Life."
The Dark Lord went on to thank those gathered in attendance for paying their attentions to his words and purpose for being that evening, before making a point to contribute a sizable donation of exactly one million gil to those charity event organizers, the Twelve Oaks, as thanks for having given him a platform upon which to deliver his hopes and expectations to the people of Eorzea.
Was this just another performance for 'Stroud Forscythe' the Dark Lord of Ul'dah, or is this a desperately needed spark and voice dedicated to give those destitute parties due representation among high society? Time and intent shall tell. In either circumstance, sales for the upcoming recital have seen a dramatic upturn, leaving very few seats or boxes available for purchase.
If nothing else, he has continued to remain a controversial figure among the entertainers of Ul'dah - and perhaps - the wider circles of Eorzea's eccentric elite.
Story: Tetiru Tiru