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[Story]Final Hours [Comments Welcome]

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The Compendium


I. Loki Aethertide [up]

II. Ellion Goto [up]

III. Stanzie Ryhees [Coming Soon]

IV. Aliya Otori

V. Daej Alderis

VI: Aurek Tau

VII. Siben Farnsworth

VIII. Armi Alliando

IX. Lloire Peace

X. Fillion Fenias



I. Stanzie and Daej


I. Loki Aethertide



It was amazing, the silence that filled the air the moments before swords began to clash. Both sides hesitant, waiting to see what the other would do. Everyone was looking around, waiting for the words to either end the war or start it officially. Fear could be seen in the eyes of most, glee could be seen in some. The air whipped around them, thousands – no hundreds of thousands – of people and all that could be heard was the wind through the trees.


The roar that could be heard when the battle started was completely deafening.


It was chaos, though that was to be expected. Some people didn’t even get to fight; they were, instead, trampled underneath the armored feet of the combatants. A shame, but she had no time to mourn them. Her focus was only on survival and she was as quick as she could be with her bow. The first few arrows went into a few heads, but she missed with the next one. She had no time for such mistakes, not if she wanted to get out of this alive. Not if she wanted to protect the others who were on the battlefield with her.


When the fighting started the Crimson Blades were quick to scatter, she had no idea where any of them were or how any of them were doing. Ellion, she was sure, would be able to take care of himself and, knowing him, he would probably be one of the only ones to survive. Siben and Stanzie were both wild cards, could go either way. She frowned as she thought of Lloire. A seventeen year old had no place on the battle field, but regardless of how much any one told him, he simply didn’t listen. She could only hope he was as tough as he thought he was. Her mind then went to Armi, the priestess she was training to use a bow. The girl had really only been a medic, sometimes entertaining people with her guitar. Could she survive something like this? Her mind flash over each member of the Crimson Blades she could remember as she rocketed arrows into Garlean skulls.


She tried to ignore the carnage around her and focus on the task of staying alive, though that wasn’t easy with the screams of pain from places unknown and puddles of blood beginning to form underneath her feet. She could block most of it out, she was good at such things, but reality hit her in the face whenever someone was slaughtered within close range. She sighed in annoyance; she was quickly running out of arrows, she would have to pull back soon and find a way to get more if she kept up this pace. Her arms started to ache more and more with each pull of the bow string, exhaustion setting in after a while. She wasn’t sure how long she had been out there – an hour, maybe two? Time was meaningless to her brain, but her body was letting her know she couldn’t keep it up much longer.


“Flank their East side!” She heard a familiar voice yelling next to her. She turned to see Ellion, commanding a team of about 10 or so people. As soon as they heard Ellion’s order, they took off running in the direction he had ordered. The Miqote Male looked battle worn and tired, but he was standing as upright as possible, as if trying to seem more leader-like. She ran over to him, pushing people out of the way in the process and gave him a small, but meaningful, salute.


“Ellion.” She said in her usual monotone voice as she struck a Garlean soldier in the shoulder with a well-placed arrow.


“You’re still here.” He ran over to the soldier and stuck his sword into his neck, blood spraying over his face and chest as the soldier fell. Ellion’s cat-like ears curled back into the top of his head and his tale twitched ever so slightly, “I’m glad.”


“Is that surprise I hear in your voice, Goto?” They stood back to back as they fought off the onslaught coming toward them.


“Only a little, I assure you.” There was laughter in his voice, though she couldn’t see his face to confirm. Ellion would be handling the situation well, she thought to herself, he had been training for this kind of thing for years, “You should find higher ground, it would be easier for you.”


“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to you giving me orders.” She told him as one of her arrows went into the head of another Garlean soldier. She pushed the grim reality of that out of her mind and turned toward Ellion. His skin was dark; blood was nearly invisible on him. He was like a shadow on the battlefield and his lithe figure, a staple of all male Miqote, made him quick and agile; a deadly force even among the weapons of war. She was glad he was on her side.


“It’s safer for you up there.” He grunted out, “You’ll be a harder target to hit.”




“A bit.” He sighed, “It doesn’t matter what Fillion did, you are my commanding officer.”


Despite the fact she wanted to argue, he did have a point. An archer in the thick of the battle field was hardly useful, so she nodded and patted him on the shoulder, “You won’t die down here, alright?”


“Is that an order?”


“You bet your ass it is.”


“Then I must obey.” He bowed. A Garlean soldier took that as an opportunity to attack from behind him, but Ellion merely plunged his sword into the soldier’s belly and thrust it upward, nearly cutting the man in half. He fell to the ground and pieces of his insides spilled onto the battlefield. Loki flinched; Ellion merely blinked.


“I’ll see you on the other side.” She smiled at him and turned around, looking toward the hills along the battlefield. She didn’t have the nerve to turn around again; if she did she might burst into tears or something equally pathetic. Ellion had been her right hand man in the Crimson Blades almost as long as she had been an officer. He was just as close to her as any of the crew on her ship, the thought of him not surviving was one she couldn’t bear. Instead, she immediately pressed forward, looking at a small hillside where she could get a better view of the action. It looked practically untouched, people were just going around it, but the problem was getting there.


Fighting through hundreds of people, she kept her eye on the prize and used her arrows as little as possible. That required creative use of the terrain, bobbing and weaving her way around the many battles being fought. This proved extremely difficult with her prosthetic leg, she wasn’t exactly known for speed with it, but she managed to make it to the base of the hill with very little fighting. She sighed and looked up at the sky, the large red moon Dalamud hung there as if mocking everyone involved in the fight. She cursed, and then began the climb to the top of the small hill.


Or at least she would have if an arrow hadn’t hit her shoulder, sending her to the ground in an instant. She roared in pain, letting out a few more curse words for good measure and immediately pulled the thing out. Unfortunately for her, another pierced her right hand, pinning her to the ground below. Great, someone had it out for her. A dark shadow loomed over head and she saw the armor of a Garlean archer, now close enough to get the killing blow. He pulled back his bow, aiming for her head. With her hand pinned to the ground there was nothing much she could do… except for kick him as hard as she could with her prosthetic leg. That thing was heavy, and it was certainly heavy enough to knock the archer off balance, which gave her time to pull the arrow out of her hand and stab him in the leg. He let out a groan and pulled out a dagger, thrusting it down toward her quickly. She tried to dodge, but he stabbed her in her side.


“Twelve!” She cursed and tried to kick him away again. He fell backwards. Giving her time to try and get upright to get to her bow.


“Hey, get away from her!” She heard a familiar, female voice yell from an unknown location. She turned toward the voice and saw Stanzie, running toward them at top speed.


“Stanzie! No!” She tried to yell as loud as possible, but the dagger in her side made her voice come out almost like a whisper. Stanzie had no front line experience and she barely had combat experience – just what Loki and Ellion managed to teach her when she wasn’t on duty. This was a recipe for disaster.


The man turned toward Stanzie and began to pick himself up quicker than before. This gave Loki some time to find her bow and stand. With him paying attention to Stanzie she was able to aim her bow and fire, an arrow hitting the man in the back of the neck. He fell, gurgling at first, then going completely silent. Loki collapsed again, looking at the large dagger sticking out of her side. She was pretty sure Stanzie didn’t have the healing power to heal that.


Stanzie ran over to her, nearly tripping on the newly dead body, “Loki, are you okay!?”


“What are you doing yelling at him!? This is war, not a game of tag!” Loki yelled and tried to smack Stanzie with her good hand, though it really only looked like a small pat. She was getting weaker, losing too much blood.


“I had to do something!” Stanzie frowned.


“Then use a spell on him, yelling literally does nothing.”


“Sorry! I just… I can’t think out here! It’s so… fast… I can’t…” Stanzie looked on the verge of tears, making Loki let out a defeated sigh.


“You shouldn’t be out here at all.” Loki let out a groan as she looked down at the dagger in her side, “Can you heal this?”


Stanzie shook her head; the Miqote’s ears lay drooped atop her red hair, “Not strong enough. We should get you to the medical tent.”


“Stanzie! What are you doing running off like that! You could get hu—Loki, by the gods.” Siben appeared above her, his blue hair covering his pointed face. He kneeled down immediately and grabbed Loki’s good arm, putting it over his shoulders to hoist her up, “Let’s get you healed, huh?”


“I’ll help, too!” Stanzie flanked her other side and together they both walked her over to the medical tent, far from the middle of the battle. Siben was quick to make sure no one was following them with his bombs and they made it there without any more scratches or dings. They sat Loki on one of the beds and when they were sure she wasn’t going to fall, Siben turned pointedly at Stanzie.


“We need to talk.” He grabbed her arm and pulled her away from Loki’s view. He was probably going to tell her what Loki had, that she shouldn’t be out there. It was too dangerous for her, and she was basically useless.


“Miss, are you okay?” A healer came to her bed, an Elezen woman with long blond hair. Her eyes grew wide as she saw the large Garlean dagger in Loki’s side and she quickly took a potion from her apron, handing it to Loki, “This should heal your smaller wounds, I’m afraid that dagger is going to have to come out before we can heal it properly.”


Loki mocked a salute with her pointer finger, “Understood.”


“I’ll return with a White Mage.” The Elezen nodded and quickly took off. Loki was quick to down the potion and she could feel the wound in her shoulder start to heal. However, it did very little for the hole in her hand… or the dagger in her side. She sighed and leaned back, looking up at the ceiling of the tent. She was dizzy, the pain was almost unbearable.


“Loki!” Another familiar voice. This one sounded far away, locked behind the rushing water in her ears. A face appeared above her, looking wide eyed. A young Hyur boy with long, dark, hair and an innocent face. Lloire.


“Kid.” She suddenly felt concern, “What are you doing here?”


“Huh? Oh! Aliya is hurt.” He answered, “I’m fine.”


Aliya Otori. Lloire’s friend. She hadn't many dealings with the girl, but as far as she knew they were close, “Is she okay?”


“She’s fine, better than you.” Lloire motioned toward the dagger in Loki’s side with his head.


“Nothing a good cure won’t fix.” She put on a smile, “This… is where I’m supposed to tell… you to get off the battlefield.”


“But you’re not going to?” He asked.


“No, kid, I’m not going to.” She leaned her head back, “I am thinking it really hard, though.”


“I’m doing good. You can ask Aliya.” He smiled, “You’d be proud.”


She patted his shoulder, “I’m sure I would be. You need to promise you’ll be careful out there.”


“I’m always careful, ma’am.”


“Don’t call me ma’am.” Loki let out a few coughs. Not as many as she wanted to however, she wanted to make sure the kid wouldn’t worry, “You should get back to your friend.”


“I won’t let any of you down. Not Ellion, not Aliya, not you.” He shook his head.


“I believe you.” She chuckled, “You’ve grown up. Might be time to stop calling you Kid.”




“We’ll talk about it after the battle, go back to your friend.”


Lloire merely nodded and walked away from her. Loki frowned as soon as he couldn’t see her anymore. The last place he needed to be was in the middle of this battle, but he was trying so hard to prove himself she couldn’t tell him that. She didn’t want to let on that she was worried. They had grown fairly close during their time with the Blades and he had a lot of spirit. He reminded her a lot of herself when she was his age. She only hoped that he would get out of this in one piece, so he could live to see all that potential of his realized. That would be the biggest tragedy she could think of.


“Miss…” A Hyur male with short, brown hair came over to her, pulling her out of her thoughts, “We’re going to heal you now okay? We just have to get that dagger out.”


Loki didn’t say anything as he reached for the dagger and pulled it out. She did, however, let out a scream so loud she swore it shook the entire tent. The man was quick to heal her though and pretty soon the only things left on her skin were two small scares where the wounds used to be.


“Are you okay?” Siben walked over to her as the healer walked away. Stanzie was right behind him, looking particularly annoyed.


“All patched up and ready to go back.” Loki planted her feet on the ground and rolled her right shoulder.


“Yeah, let’s get back out there!” Stanzie said with a bit of defiance in her tone.


Siben looked at her and sighed, “I thought we talked about this.”


“We did.” Stanzie nodded, “And I disagreed.”


“Lover’s spat?” Loki asked.


“I don’t think she should go back out there.” He said, ignoring Loki’s comment, “She’ll only get herself killed.”


“I agree.” Loki looked at Stanzie, who looked at her with a frown.


“What am I supposed to do, run away!? I’m fighting with you guys!” Stanzie yelled so loud half the tent looked over to the three.


“You’re a walking target out there.” Loki replied calmly, “Siben is just looking out for you.”


“But who’s going to look after you!?” Stanzie wailed, again, loudly, “I want to help!”


“Why don’t you stay here?” Loki asked her, “You have experience in Conjury and you’re pretty good at making potions. They could probably use the extra hand.”


“That’s a good idea, actually.” Siben nodded toward Stanzie, who looked utterly frustrated at the idea.


“What!? I need to be out there, with you guys!” Stanzie crossed her arms.


Loki stood up and grabbed the large dagger that was once in her side from the table next to her. She looked at it and stuck it in her boot, “We don’t have time to argue this, Stanzie.”


Siben sighed, “You’ll make a bigger difference here than you ever would on the field.”


Stanzie paused then let out a heavy sigh, her cat-like ears drooping yet again, “Fine. I guess you guys are right.”


“Of course we are.” Loki told her as Siben put a hand on Stanzie’s shoulder.


“You’re making the right decision here, Stanz.” Siben tried to reassure her, but Loki could tell it wasn’t working.


“I’ll go and find someone to volunteer my services.” Stanzie said in a quiet voice with a bit of a bite to it. Once she was gone, Siben looked over to Loki, fixing the glasses on his face.


“Thanks for helping me out.” He looked at the ground, as if afraid to look her in the eye.


“I wasn’t helping, it was the most logical thing for her to do. “ Loki blinked.


Siben chuckled, “Yeah, yeah… I should head back out there.”


“Good idea, our side needs your explosive expertise.”


“Hey, I do other stuff. I can heal some and I know quite a bit of Thaumaturgy.”


“Which is still blowing things up.”


“Yes, but with magic.”


Both of them laughed softly, but soon silence came between them. Loki didn’t know what to say, it felt like every time she talked to someone she was giving them a goodbye. Now she was about to do it here, with him. She cleared her throat and tried to sound nonchalant, “Just… don’t draw too much attention to yourself out there, okay?”


“Same goes for you.” He smiled, a forced kind of smile that only came from this situation, then turned on his heels and walked out of the Medical tent.


Loki stretched and braced herself for another round of battle before heading out of the tent herself. She had to be honest, the break was nice and there was a small part of her that just wanted to lie on one of those uncomfortable cots until the end – whenever that was.


“Lloire? Lloire!?” She heard Aliya yelling for the kid and turned around quickly. The Hyur girl was rushing around, her black hair no longer tied in the ponytail that usually held it, her eyes looked paniced and the medical staff looked at her as if she was going absolutely bonkers. Loki cleared her throat and walked over to the girl.


“Something wrong?” She said, making Aliya whirl around.


“I can’t fin’ Lloire!” Aliya answered a bit panicked, “I think he took off by ‘imself.”


Loki raised an eyebrow, “He wouldn’t just leave you here.”


“I dunno…”


“I’ll help look for him, come on.” Loki patted the girl’s shoulder reassuringly and told her to take one half of the large tent, while she took the other. It took about 10 minutes to go through the place, but Loki still came up empty handed. She cursed under her breath, Lloire was never a reckless kid, but he had a lot to prove. With his illness, and being the youngest member of the Crimson Blades actually on an active team, he had always felt the need to prove he was not, in fact, a kid. Would he really leave his friend behind though? It was unlike him, but the fact she couldn’t find him answered her question.


“Anythin’?” Aliya asked with a hopeful tone.


Loki shook her head, “Seems you were right.”


“I was afraid of tha’” She sighed as worry filled her eyes, “He’s only seventeen. If anythin’ ‘appens to ‘im…”


“He’s a tough kid, I’m sure he’ll be fine.”


“Yeah… dun know why he took off without me.”


“I’m sure he thought you could handle yourself.” Loki told her, “You’re a decent fighter when you want to be.”


“Much better at tha' blacksmithin', than I am fightin’” Aliya chuckled.


“Just hit a bunch of people over the head with that hammer of yours, pretend they’re all metal.”


Aliya nodded, “Imma go out there and fin’ him. Good luck, Loki.”


“You too.” Yet another goodbye. She watched the girl walk away and leave the tent completely. She didn’t know Aliya that well and now she felt regret that she hadn't gotten to. She was close to Lloire, someone she thought of as a student or a younger brother; why hadn’t she gotten to know his friends? Aliya was a talented blacksmith, she had even worked on the inner parts of Loki’s prosthetic leg. She had a style about her, when she was working it was almost like she was dancing; graceful and full of life. She was worth getting to know… why hadn’t Loki made the attempt? She sighed, it was too late now. It was too late for a lot of things. She wanted to be positive but she knew the truth – hardly anyone she knew would make it out of this alive. Loki gathered her thoughts and took a deep breath before grabbing her bow and quiver and heading outside. What she saw outside made her stop in her tracks.


Bright red streaks of light flew across the sky in every which direction, barreling toward the ground at breakneck speed. Meteors. They hit the ground with a loud thwak, exploding the ground around them, hurling people unlucky enough to be close high into the air. Other meteors flew past the battle field all together, hitting areas that Loki couldn’t even see. She followed the path they were coming from and felt her jaw drop, mouth agape. The moon, Dalamud, was cracking. Blue, glowing lines began to pattern themselves onto the moon, as giant pillars began dropping from different points. There was no way that was a good sign.


She ran back into the tent and found Stanzie healing a random Elezen male near the back.


“Stanzie, whatever you do, do not leave this tent.” Loki told her with panic in her voice.


Stanzie stood up and looked toward her, “What’s going on?”


“Just don’t leave, okay?” Loki ordered, but Stanzie stood there dumbfounded, “Stanzie!”


“Yeah, okay okay.” Stanzie nodded and Loki immediately bolted from the tent, diving right into the battlefield to look for anyone else she knew. They had to get out of there, this was about to get so much worse.


She tried to avoid fighting as much as possible, calling for people she knew in order to get them evacuated. In her haste she didn’t see the man in the metal armor charge toward her and hit her smack in the face with his gauntlet. She fell, hard, into the ground below and he brought his shield over her head to smash it down on her. She pulled out the large dagger from her boot and stabbed an opening in the leg of his armor and pulled it out, trying to stab it in the other leg. The man screamed and kicked the knife out of Loki’s hand, sending it flying in an unknown direction, before he collapsed to his knees. Loki scrambled up quickly, grabbed for an arrow in her quiver, stabbing the man in his neck. She didn’t have time to see him fall, instead she took off running hoping to find someone, anyone she knew.


She fought through the crowd, firing arrows as fast and as often as possible, trying to get through as many Garlean soldiers as possible. After a while she stopped to catch her breath, exhaustion settling into her bones. She hadn’t found anyone, in this crowd it would be almost impossible. She couldn’t give up though, not if she wanted to try to save some lives.


“Look out!” A voice said from far away and through all clamoring and yelling and screaming, it seemed to stand out. She turned toward the voice, only to see a large pillar that had descended from the moon suddenly shoot downward, landing hard on the ground below. The impact was explosive, throwing people from the area and throwing a cloud of dirt in the general vicinity. Loki closed her eyes and ducked down to avoid the debris, luckily she was far enough away to only be impacted by dust and dirt from the ground it kicked up. When she opened her eyes she didn’t even have time to catch her breath, the moon exploded in red fire and as it crackled and broke it flung more pillars to the ground. Rising from the broken moon came a large, dragon-like beast. Illuminated by the fires of the moon, it looked like death and as it extended its wings she knew that was exactly what it was. She didn't even wait for it to do anything, she ran as fast as her legs could carry her. She heard an explosion behind her, the moon had broken into thousands of pieces which were now hurling themselves toward Eorzea, destroying everything in their wake. She dodged what she could and prayed to the twelve nothing would hit her. She could see people all around her injured from the destruction, but she didn't have time to stop. The only thing she could do is run.


“Loki!” She heard someone call her name. She recognized the voice and it made her stop in her tracks. Siben.


“Siben!?” She yelled and looked around, “Where are you!?”


“I’m so glad I found someone!” Siben ran over to her, trying to catch his breath.


“I don’t know what’s going on!” She yelled through the noise.


“I think it’s the end of the world!” Siben joked then extended his hand, “Come on, let’s get out of here!”


She was about to take it when an arrow was flung between them. Looking over she saw three Garlean soldiers, weapons at the ready, with smiles on their faces.


“Where’re you goin?” One of them said.


Loki rolled her eyes, “The war is pretty much over, don’t know if you got the dragon shaped memo.”


“Ain’t over, just means we’re winning.” Another one spat. Loki looked over at Siben. He looked exhausted and his face told her he was not ready for another battle.


“You got bombs?” Loki asked him, he shook his head sadly.


“Out. Out of bombs, out of mana, out of time.” He answered with a sigh. Loki checked her quiver; only 5 or 6 arrows left. Not enough to put up very

much of a defense. The world around them exploded in red and Loki was starting to lose hope in the current situation.


Then, out of nowhere, a bright white light hit one of the men. The others went to go examine him but found themselves hit as well. It was quick, but it was effective, the assault of magic made them fall to the ground, unmoving.


“Was that…?” Loki started.


“Not me.” Siben put his hands up. They both looked around, from the smoke and dust a small figure appeared with a smile on his face.


“Need some help?” Lloire looked at his handy work and dusted off his hands.


“Where were you kid?” Loki asked, relieved to see him alive and well.


“Doing my duty, what were you—“ Lloire looked up to the sky with wide eyes, “I guess now isn’t the time for a reunion.”


“What do you mean?” Siben asked him as him and Loki both turned to look at what Lloire was staring at. The giant dragon beast was emiting white,

missile-like objects from his wings, and began throwing them down to the ground below.


“We gotta go. Now.” Loki ordered and both the men nodded. They ran as the missile’s impacted the ground, hitting objects, people; anything in their way. They were heading in the direction of the medical tent, which made Loki wonder if Stanzie was okay. Was it hit? She shook her head, she should be worried about her own survival right now. They needed to find cover, like a cave or something. She stopped and looked around.


“Where are we going!?” Siben yelled.


“I think if we go this way there’s a—“




What happened next happened so slowly she would have sworn time had slowed down. She turned and saw Lloire push both Siben and Loki out of the way using his magic. He knocked them a good 7 yalms away and she landed hard on her back. Milliseconds later a white missile hit the ground where they had stood… where Lloire was currently standing.


“LLOIRE!!” Loki screamed, but there was no answer. The dragon beast was behind them, assaulting the area with his missiles, everytime she tried to run to where he was, a missile would hit near her, forcing her and Siben farther and farther away, “Lloire!!”


“We have to go Loki!” Siben yelled to her.


“No!” She screamed, “Lloire!”


The assault was getting worse, they had to go, she knew that. Still, she couldn’t leave the kid behind.


“Loki.” Siben put a hand on her shoulder and she sighed. They both knew the truth, there was no way he survived that. She looked up at him and nodded, and they began running once again, hoping to find somewhere safe.


“Look! We’re saved!” A strangers voice said, making Loki turn to look over at where it was coming from. A young man was pointing upward and she turned to look. The beast was being imprisoned in a giant ball of white light. Had the Twelve decided to save them? Everyone around them began to cheer as the beast was enveloped in another circular prison and Loki herself even began to feel hopeful that this was truly the end.


That hope only lasted until the beast was able to break free and start his carnage all over again.


If the Twelve couldn’t help, who could? She wondered. Exhaustion overtook her, she dropped her bow and fell to her knees, totally unsure of what to do next.


That’s when everything went white.

II. Ellion Goto


“I’ll see you on the other side.” Loki said to Ellion right before she took off to find higher ground. As she walked out of sight, he began thinking back on their life together in the Crimson Blades. He had always thought of her as his commanding officer, even when she was demoted by Fillion when he came into power. He was always her second-in-command in the Blades, he trusted her implicitly and behind her uncaring demeanor he knew she felt the same way. That’s why she was heading for higher ground in that moment, just like Ellion had told her to. She was an archer with a fake leg and, though she was a competent fighter, she would be of much more use where she was heading. Plus, she had a better chance of survival.


When she was completely out of sight, Ellion charged into the first Garlean soldier he could find, fighting as many as he could in the shortest period. The battle had started not a short time before, but the bloodier the other side would become, the faster the whole thing would end. So he was content with shoving his sword into as many as there were dumb enough to meet his blade. As a Keeper of the Moon male, he was sure that people would think him even unable to fight. Let them think that, he scoffed. He would make it rain blood on everyone around him and proving his worth to any naysayer.


“Goto, sir!” A small team of three adventures came up to him and saluted. Ellion had taken it upon himself to lead anyone who didn’t know where to go. Many people on the battlefield had ever been in a fight so large and they were looking for a little guidance on what to do. If no one was going to tell them, then he would. He would give the lost the direction they craved.


“Status report.” Ellion ordered as he cleared the area of any Garleans in the vicinity.


“The smaller team flanked their east like you ordered them too,” The Hyur woman, who looked no older than 20, answered with a bit of a shaky voice, “They are gaining ground, only one casualty.”


He sighed a bit, better than he was expecting, but losing anyone was a problem for their side, “Good to hear.”


“Do you have any other orders, sir?” The Elezen male spoke up through the oversized helmet covering his face. Ellion looked around. He had three teams that were following his orders, a small team of ten or so, a larger team of 20, and these three who relayed messages back and forth. The three seemed like they had never been in a fight in their lives and putting them on messenger duty seemed like the only way for them to have a chance at survival. He was about to answer when he saw a group of Garlean soldiers, about eight or so, coming at them from the corner of his eye. Standing around too long, he shook his head, that was dangerous.


“Get your weapons out, we’re about to fight!” Ellion yelled at his charged into the first person rushing at them. He crouched low as he ran, causing the man to fall over him and down to the ground. He didn’t even wait, he plunged his sword into the man’s chest as fast as he could. The three looked at him with wide eyes, none of them had drawn their weapons, “That was an order!”


He was too busy with a three men to see if they had listened to him, but the screams of the young girl told him all he needed to know. They were in over their heads and there was nothing he couldn’t do about it.


“Alad!” The girl screamed one of the male’s names. He turned to look when he got a free moment; Alad was lying motionless on the ground, an axe in his head. Ellion swore under his breath and ran to block the other two.


“Go! Get out of here!” He told them as he defended against the relentless assault. He managed to take three others down, leaving the other group with only four men left. The messengers were frozen in place, it seemed, no one moved as he continued his defenses.


“What about you, sir!?” The girl screamed.


“Don’t worry about me, just go!” He shoved them away. Both of them took the hint and ran as fast as their legs could carry them. Good, he thought to himself, then went back to fighting the soldiers on his back. Ellion was a good fighter. No, that was wrong. Ellion was a great fighter and he knew that. It would be hard to find someone on the battlefield who would be considered his equal. Even so, even with his skill, he wasn’t sure he was going to make it out of this one. Four men coming at him, barreling as if they had no exhaustion point; he was getting tired of defending himself. His muscles were aching and his hits weren’t landing as hard. How long had he been fighting these guys now? Ten minutes? Fifteen? It felt much longer, so he wasn’t sure.


One managed to slip up and found himself under Ellion’s sword, he slit his throat quickly and tossed him to the side. Three more to go.


Then, an arrow in one of their heads. Then another. He turned to look at saw Armi standing there with a smile on her face, pointing her bow at the last Garlean. The man saw her and went to attack, but Ellion cut off his head with a swipe of his sharp blade. He breathed a sigh of relief and looked at the Hyur girl, her long, dark hair billowing in the wind.


“Hello, boss.” She smiled and walked over to him, casually plucking arrows into the crowd. Armi was a strange sort of girl, but he had gotten used to her over the time he spent training her in the bow. She was quick to adapt to it, but she was quick to adapt to most things. As a medic for the Crimson Blades, she had taken up being a Bard to sooth the injured, learning the guitar in only a few weeks. Still, she was a little off from her growing up in a monastery, didn’t deal with people outside of her religion much in her young age.


“I hate it when you call me boss.”


“Better than Captain Serious.”


“So you keep telling me.” He bite back he looked around the battlefield for another target.


Armi hopped over next to him and extended her bow, “Nice weather for this, really.”


“You’re going to talk about the weather?”


“Well, I mean, it could be raining. That would be a problem.” She looked off toward her right, “Incoming.”


About four Garlean soldiers came barreling at them but they were quick to mow them down. These soldiers didn’t seem experienced in the slightest, they held their weapons wrong, or weren’t strong enough in their attacks. He felt bad for having to fight back at all, but tried to push it out of his mind with a reminder that this was war. He started thinking of his own team that he had trained. Were they getting killed as easily? He hoped they were all getting as lucky as Armi seemed to be. Hell, she even looked rather calm, like she had been doing this for years. As she flung an arrow into the last aggressors head, she didn’t even flinch. She only blinked and looked over to Ellion as blood stained her clothes.


“Are you okay?” She asked. He scoffed, asking him such a question.


“Are you?” He responded with a frown.


She seemed to catch on that he wasn’t asking if she was psychically okay, “You know, war. It’s like this.”


“But are you okay?”


“I’m not thinking about it.” She smiled and let in a deep breath, letting it go quickly.


“If you want you could help out in the medical tent.”


“I think I’m doing just fine out here,” She walked over and patted his head, “But thanks for worrying.”


His ears retracted and began to lie flat on his head as he glared at the dark haired Hyur, “Stop that, I’m not a pet.”


“So you keep telling me.” She chuckled then let out a deep sigh, “I have to believe all of this is the will of Nymeia, somehow.”


Ellion nodded and looked away from her. Nymeia was one of the Twelve deities that watched over Eorzea; Nymiea being in control of fate. Armi had spent most of her life as a priestess of her, growing up believing everything people did was all part of Nymeia’s plan. Armi didn’t believe in freewill, she didn’t believe in choice, and she certainly didn’t believe that someone could decide what their path would be. Ellion and her fought about that a lot over their time together, he just didn’t understand how she could actually believe she was like a machine, only doing what she was told and nothing more. A lot of people in the Blades felt uncomfortable around her for that reason and she didn’t have many friends.


The two didn’t speak to each other for a long while after that. They merely fought side by side silently, bringing down as many Garleans as they could. Armi was quick on casting heals to make sure Ellion remained unhurt, and she was good at watching his back while he sliced into as many people as he could find. They were gaining ground quickly, and soldiers were starting to avoid them completely. Still, the Garlean armor, with its distinct patterns in the metal, started bringing back memories for Ellion. Ones that he hoped would stay far away from this battlefield.

With each fight, he was flashing back to when he was a prisoner of war himself; a small, frightened child taken from his home and beaten within an inch of his life. His chest tightened and he found it hard to swallow, but kept relentlessly assaulting the enemy as much as he could. Then, flashbacks of his sister and her warm, large smile. The feeling in his chest grew until he couldn’t shove it down anymore. He collapsed to one knee, finding it difficult to breath. The air choked him, the people around him began looking like nothing more than smoke.


“Ellion!” A far away voice screamed at him. He looked over and saw Armi, she was right next to him but she looked miles away. His ears felt clogged, everything was muffled, and his tail began waving around wildly as he lost control of himself.


Armi shot a few arrows to keep people away, then looked at him again, “You need to get out of here. You’re having a panic attack.” She would know; he had gone to the medical area many times over the years with panic attacks. She was one of the only people who knew and it caused her to worry more than she should.


“I’m… fine…” He managed to breath out while he stood back up. The tightness in his chest and his rapidly beating heart wanted nothing more than for him to sit back down, but he wouldn’t let them win this battle.


“You’re not fine. Go to the medical tent… GO!” She shoved him away from her and wasn’t strong enough to stop her. In no time he had lost all sight of her as he continued walking in the direction she pushed, eventually having to stop behind a rock to catch his breath. He stood, away from the fighting, trying to regain his composure. Gradually, his heart returned to a normal beat and his ears could hear again. He breathed slowly. In and out. Only concentrating on his breathing as his brain reoriented itself.


“Ellion?” He heard a high pitched male voice coming from the rocks not far from him and looked over quickly, pulling out his weapon. Out of hiding came Lloire, his hands up to show he was not threatening, with a confused look on his face.


Ellion sighed and sheathed his sword, “What are you doing here?”


“Hiding, like you…” Lloire cleared his throat and stood up straighter, “Waiting for the proper time to strike.”


“Where’s Aliya? Aren’t you supposed to be with her.” That was the plan after all, to make sure he stayed close to the Blacksmith girl. They would have a better chance of survival that way.


“Aliya got hurt.” The kid looked down at the ground, shuffling his feet.


“Is she okay?”


“She’s fine… but it was my fault. She was protecting me.” He frowned, his black hair covering his face, “She shouldn’t have to protect me.”


“So you left her?” Ellion raised an eyebrow.


Lloire sighed, “No, I took her to the medical tent first. I made sure she was okay…”


“But you ran to make sure she wouldn’t have to protect you?” Ellion finished, making Lloire nod.


“I need to prove I can do this!” Lloire said indignantly. Ellion understood more than the kid knew. At seventeen, Ellion had already left his family and set off on his own journey to prove himself to the world. Lloire didn’t know that story as Ellion didn’t talk about his past much, but he hoped the kid wouldn’t think Ellion was just being patronizing.


“I understand.” Ellion responded simply.


Lloire looked at him with narrowed eyes, “You do?”


“More than you know, kid.” He walked over and patted him on the shoulder, “You have people who are worried about you, though. They only want to make sure you walk out of this alive.”


“I’m not going to die here.” Lloire said those words with such resolve, Ellion almost believed him. He was about to say something when he noticed a light in the sky. Turned his head upward, the light turned into two then four, then too many to count. Meteors. Ellion’s eyes grew wide as he watched some of them land on the battlefield, destroying anything in their wake.


“Maybe you should –“ He started and looked back over to Lloire. Or he would have, if Lloire was there anymore. He let out a heavy sigh and looked around on the off chance the kid didn’t get very far. When there was no sign of him, he decided to try to push it out of his mind and run back onto the battlefield. If he couldn’t protect the kid by getting him off the battlefield, the least he could do was kill as many soldiers as he could so he would only have to worry about the meteors.


And that’s what he did. He ran into the first group of Garlean soldiers he could find and destroyed them with his sword. When they were dead, he went to the next, and the next. Not stopping, not even looking at where the meteors were landing. If this was the end of him, he was going to take as many Garleans as he could with him.


He was doing a fair job at mowing them down, when an arrow in his shoulder stopped him in his tracks. He fell to the dirty ground, the speed of the arrow catching him by surprise. He groaned in pain and pulled it out immediately, the glint of the metal catching his eyes. Looking it over, it wasn’t a Garlean arrow. This threw him into a rage and he stood up quickly, twisting his body to turn behind him. Standing a few yalms away, with another arrow pointed at him, was Fillion Fenias.


Fillion didn’t wait for Ellion to react to this new information, instead he let loose another arrow, making Ellion dive to the ground to avoid it. Ellion was quick to spring back up, but not quick enough. As he found his bearings Fillion was at his throat, squeezing it with one hand and lifting Ellion above the ground.


“Me and you got unfinished business, cat.” Fillion smiled behind his long, white hair and threw Ellion to the ground again, taking out a dagger from his belt.


“Now really isn’t the best time.” Ellion stood, rubbing his throat. Meteors light up the sky around them, people began screaming that the moon was cracking open, causing him to look over. He saw the moon begins to crack open, sending pieces of itself flying in every direction. He didn’t have time to process the information, though, as Fillion took the opportunity to tackle him to the ground. He landed hard, his head slamming into the ground.


“You took everything away from me, Goto.” Fillion clawed at him and Ellion kicked him away.


“You did that yourself.” Ellion hissed, “Fineas.”


The two didn’t notice the large, dragon-like beast that emerged from the red moon, or the fact most people on the battlefield had begun to run away. No, the only thing they were focused on was each other, fighting tooth and nail. Ellion was quick to dodge Fillion’s attacks, though Fillion was much, much faster than him. Ellion was started to get tired, the weight of the battle getting to him. He had to end this soon or Fillion would win. In a risky move, he tried to tackle Fillion to the ground, hopefully knocking him out so Ellion could get away. Fillion was quick though, and managed to stay on his feet, pulling his dagger upward, getting ready to stab Ellion in the back. Ellion turned to the right and raised his sword, stabbing Fillion in the stomach. Fillion looked down at the stab wound and laughed, then let out a small cough.


“I… I’m sorry, I didn’t want—“ Ellion started, but was cut off by a loud explosion a few yalms from them. The force of the blow knocked Ellion off his feet, sending him flying backwards. His ears rang and his vision was blurred, but as he stood he couldn’t see Fillion anywhere. He looked up and saw the sky began to glow bright white and he saw, for the first time, the source of all the destruction. A large dragon was being surrounded by a white, glowing cage. People around him began to cheer, but Ellion merely looked on confused as the beast was completely enveloped in its new prison. Was it really that easy to stop what was happening? Pretty soon his question was answered when the circular cage began to crack, the dragon-like beast breaking free and continuing his rampage. The last thing he remembered was looking behind him, seeing disappointment in people’s faces, before the world went white.


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