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What a way to ruin a peaceful walk. [Closed]


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{{Heavily based on the introduction to Gridania, but it's the first writing I have with FFXIV's universe. It's quite difficult to come up with much as information is still being gathered. Hopefully I'll have something a bit more personalized soon.}}


{{Comments are more than welcome, though PMs might be best. I can't see this particular story deserving of a discussion thread in the Assembly.}}



It was rather cool considering the heated trip that he had marched through before. The simple addition of moisture in the air with free-running water nearby dropped the temperatures by a good twenty degrees on it's own. Freyar Silmentau Shockaru, a Dunesfolk Lalafell born to Ul'dah was enjoying the sounds of wildlife and the smell of various grasses and flowers. The unpracticed Thaumaturge wandered at a slow leisurely pace, eyes wandering over various plants. Normally the short scholar was quite uptight, but this place seemed to bring him some degree of peace.


The shadow of a fallen log passed over his face, causing him to glance up at the other large tree that supported it. Even if he were of a different bloodline, the Dunesfolk would still be in awe at just how tall it could grow. As he wandered on, the Thaumaturge smiled at the patter of a few rodent-like creatures, some that he's never seen before. They were merely a blur of white and red, but he decided to let them be after spending a few moments looking after them.


Freyar continued his slow plodding pace before being caught off guard. An ominous, but soft voice called out to him, âHear, Feel, Think...â was all he could catch. Now confused the Dunesfolk glanced around for the source of the message, a shower of light drawing his attention to the sky. With a quick turn he glanced upward at what looked to be a number of what he might have considered to be shooting stars if he weren't naive enough to see them coming down far too close to him. The source seemed to be a bright, unidentifiable light. After a few seconds of trying to make it out, the light flared causing the lone scholar to cover his eyes with his arms with a quick step back.


Recovering, Freyar looked back up, frowning as the sky had returned to normal. He looked around for any evidence of the phenomenon once again only to be distracted by a streak of black vapor in the sky. Something streaked across the clearing, leaving a clearly burning trail of smoke behind it. The Thaumaturge turned, following it back a small ways, watching the object as it got closer to the ground. He finally understood what he was looking at, the crashing airship letting out a rather startling bang with a small explosion in what the Lalafell assumed was an engine.


Breaking into a measured jog, he made his way in the direction the airship was headed, taking in breaths to keep his body in check. He was by no means the athlete of his family. He kept glancing up on occasion, looking for evidence of the airship while he counted in his head, 'One... two.. three..' He was trying to keep track of just how far away it may have crashed expecting to hear it find a resting place.


As the Lalafell rounded a small ridge, he saw an unnatural flash of light, a field of yellow, red, and purple flowers spreading from it. Pausing in his footsteps for a moment, Freyar placed a hand at his hip, nervously slipping two fingers around the base of his scepter. He slowly approached the field of flowers, looking for anything that might be of interest. The nervous Lalafell paused as he noticed two forms within the flowers, one Hyur female, and a fellow Lalafell lay unconscious on the ground in the middle. His posture relaxed as he eyed them in turn. He considered what may have happened, but shook his head and turned away.


The skeptical and defensive Freyar managed to take only five steps before he turned back toward the two possibly wounded people, his full red eyes switching from each of them. He let out a soft sigh and approached them. He didn't touch nor did he say a word, opting to instead observe them. The Hyur seemed to be in a bit of odd clothing, a genuine curiosity. He'd seen others in Ul'dah wear the same, however he wasn't able to place a profession on her based on her clothing. The other fallen Lalafell however was easily recognized as a Plainsfolk scholar and a potential Conjurer. The monocle and impressive robes gave it away.


After being satisfied with what he learned he approached the Hyur, giving her a gentle nudge, âHey...â All he got was silence. He frowned, glancing over at the other and giving him a nudge in turn, a confused moan escaping the Conjurer's lips. He nudged the Hyur once again, a bit more forcefully only to have her quickly push herself up, and lose her balance, falling flat on her rear. The Hyur let out a groan, âMy head...â Meanwhile, the Lalafell Conjurer instantly sat up himself, startling Freyar. A high pitched voice asked, âWhere are we? Near Gridania, you think?â Freyar grimaced at the voice himself, this was not going to be someone he'd get along with.


The Hyur seemed pleased, glancing over at her companion, âWell take a look around. It's obvious isn't it? The quiet, the calm, the beautiful flowers. There's only one place it could be!â She clasped her hands together, seemingly filled with some idealistic notion, âThe great beyond! I do believe we're dead, Papalymo.â The high-pitched Lalafell jumped up instantly, turning around with a glare. âOh, Rhalgr take you,â Papalymo chastised his companion, âand your great beyond!â He was about to continue when he stopped, finally spotting Freyar, the Dunesfolk glaring at Papalymo himself. The Hyur, still clasping her hands together turned to follow the Conjurer's gaze to spot the rather annoyed Thaumaturge in surprise, leaning back as if to get a better angle, her mouth gaped open. She glanced to Papalymo, then to Freyar, as if she didn't believe what she was seeing.


âSee? Look, here's a psychopomp come to guide us along!â the decidedly crazy Hyur asserted to Papalymo. âGrandad, is that you?â Freyar merely shifted his glare at her, crossing his arms. He has almost had enough with these two already.


âAnd what would that make them?â The Plainsfolk bent at his waist, hands at his sides in defiance. It looked as if he were starting to get annoyed as well, though his gaze seemed to go past the woman. âYour dearly departed childhood pets come to play fetch?â The Hyur seemed amused, âAlways a cynic! Is it so..â she was cut off as a rustling caught her attention off to the side, quickly turning to see it's source and letting out a surprised gasp.


While the other two were still trying to get a grasp of the situation, Freyar had pulled his scepter free, holding it protectively in front of him. He counted each black shadow as it appeared from the brush, a pack of five wolves appearing from nowhere. âSave your japes,â Papalymo said, his odd accent ringing in the Thaumaturge's ears, âOr it'll be our limbs they're fetching!â With an oddly redeemed strength and balance, the Hyur rolled back to throw weight on her hands, âOver my dead body!â She pushed herself up and over onto her feet, grabbing two unwieldy looking hand-weapons, âFetch some of this!â


Freyar turned to face the closest wolf, taking a moment to quietly murmur a small enchantment, feeling power course through his wielding arm. The wolf had noticed him and made a charge, sprinting with a growl. With the last words of the memorized spell, he threw his scepter out to meet the wolf just as it jumped in his direction. A ball of dark sickly energy curled around the wolf's already dark fur, pulling tight. Fearing the spell potentially failing, the Thaumaturge brought his left fist across his body trying to meet the wolf's head to avert being bitten. Luckily, the unpracticed miracle-worker managed to get his spell to take effect, life leaving the wolf's eyes as quickly as the spell was thrown.


Papalymo and the Pugilist worked in a tight group, gathering up the attention of three wolves, the Conjurer looking up at the Hyur while she charged forward, swinging her right weapon-heavy hand towards the wolf's flank, feeling it connect with a crack of weak bone. She brought her left down only to catch the wolf's chin, the aggressive wolf growl going silent almost immediately. The other two wolves watched the pugilist and blinked, their morale shaken with how easily their pack-mate was knocked out, or worse. However the need for food drove them forward.


Meanwhile, Freyar made quiet short incantations, flicking his scepter in the direction of his second wolf, each final word the strongest of them, causing a dark bold of energy to weep forward and slam into the wolf, twisting and painfully draining it of life. The wolf charged forward, despite the pain and tried to bite at the Dunesfolk only to miss. However, the wolf brought up his paws, raking them across Freyar's free arm, causing him to take a quick step back with a surprised yelp of pain. The next short murmur escaped his lips with a final throw of his wielding arm, forcing the wolf to curl up instantly while it died. Finding no more targets for himself, he turned to the de-facto allies.


They were doing fine, the Conjurer making quick swipes at one, while the Pugilist simply threw her fists into the other. Without too much of a struggle, the last three wolves lay broken and beaten, whimpering until they fell silent. While Freyar was pleased to see the targets defeated, he was put off as another pack of four slowly slinked towards them. The Conjurer seemed to be out of breath, staring at the new incoming wolves. âHit them harder!â he yelled in his annoyingly high-pitched voice. Freyar glanced over at the Pugilist as he noticed that something was amiss.


âSomething's wrong. The air here feels so... heavy,â she complained, shaking her head. A wolf had slowly made it's way around behind her, taking that moment of complaint to pounce toward her, fangs bared only to disappear in an instant. The entire group of fighters turned to look at the other four wolves only to feel their understanding of the situation skewed further. Four 'hands' made of wood came from the ground, grabbing each wolf in turn and pulled it down into an unseen pit. Before they could make heads or tails, the ground trembled violently underfoot, causing the Thaumaturge, Conjurer and Pugilist to lose their balance.


Dirt filled the air as a root violently ripped out of the ground, slamming it back down as others freed themselves in the same way, a large unknown creature pulled itself up from underground. The mass of root and dirt turned toward the impromptu party with a rather weak roar, but that wasn't the most stunning part. The creature was made entirely out of wood! Freyar stared, just as the Conjurer did with a gulp of air. The Pugilist looked just as stunned as she was before uttering in shock, âTwelve be good!â


The creature seemed distracted as it dangled the captured wolves in it's branches, holding them above it's mouth and simply dropping them in. The sound of it swallowing followed making Freyar as uneasy as one could get without turning to panic. The woman turned to Papalymo, âPerhaps we should...â but the suggestion didn't need to be finished. Within a moment the three of them were running and stumbling from the creature, dirt thrown up as the creature's roots dug into the rock and ground to pull it along. One particularly strong slam of a root caused Papalymo to trip, the Conjurer stuck on his back dazed.


With a quick grab, the Pugilist threw Papalymo under her arm and kept sprinting, glancing back at the creature all the while the Plainsfolk complaining and practically screaming, âPut me down!âhis effects jostled by the awkward position. Freyar picked up the pace, his arms working with momentum in a full on sprint, red eyes screwed shut only to be thrown up in the air by buckling earth.


Time rapidly halted, the Thaumaturge blinking and taking a quick look around. He couldn't make out what he saw, but the sound of a haphazard band played through his ears as whatever it was passed from in front of him back toward the creature, gathering it's attention and leading it away. As the band's music faded away by distance, Freyar fell flat on his back, letting out a gasp of frustration. Shortly after, the Pugilist and Papalymo fell as well, taking a moment to adjust themselves. A quiet chant fell over the clearing, a soft younger voice. Freyar followed it to it's source spotting a Hyur with what seemed to be horns protruding from his head speaking the words.


Once his chant had finished he looked over the area, âThe wood's fury is quelled. All is safe.â As if on queue, some seven or so different people landed around the horned Hyur, folding their arms in what Freyar interpreted as disappointment, or even distaste. The masks they wore gave him a bad feeling, the smooth material reflecting the forest's light just right so as to make it difficult to focus on them. One of the masked ones that had materialized form nowhere leaned forward to whisper into what the obvious lead of the group. Meanwhile a small mixture of a cat, rodent, and bat appeared from behind the masked militia, circling around Papalymo.


The Moogle may have smirked, but Freyar couldn't tell, âOne so puny could not possibly have broken the Hedge, kupo.â Papalymo glared at the Moogle, still resting on his knees. He reached out, pushing at the Moogle in annoyance, âWho are you calling puny, you pot-bellied runt?â Freyar let out a groan, the voice was worse than the insult. The Moogle flew back to the Militia, embarrassed, âOh goodness gracious me, kupo!â The leader of the militia kept a rather stoic expression, âForgive us. 'Tis not oft those versed in mooglespeak fall from the sky. The elementals foretold your coming, and that the fate of this forest will rest with you.â He seemed to lose interest in standing around, âCome, we shall see you safely to Gridania,â and with that the Militia left.


The unbridled enthusiasm of the Pugilist shone through, throwing herself back up to her feet with a cheer, âHah! I knew today wouldn't be all bad!â The Plainsfolk Conjurer merely sulked, getting up to his feet, âAye, we only almost died thrice...â Freyar just sighed and put himself together, trying to shake his head free of some confusion and dizziness he attributed to having just been thrown around. What a way to ruin a peaceful walk.

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