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Because I've seen the dark side too. (Semi-closed - See 1st post)

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((This is a little semi-closed RP I'll be using in conjunction with old character notes to flush out Erik's past more. As this RP takes place 17 years in the past, chances are, since most of Ul'dah's "current heroes" are in their twenties, most would be children in this thing, so obviously unless you wanna do a quick cameo, which I wouldn't mind as long as I get a heads up in PM, your standard characters may not have a place here. That said I would like to get some help with some pretty important characters from his past, so I'm not just talking to myself. Let me know if you would be interested in helping. Also let me say that as this RP does start where Erik first becomes a Flame, as the fun whines down I will time skip it, opening up for new parts. Really I have a frame in mind but love the effect a team can do to such a frame. So don't be shy, I need the help. PM me.))



~1560 - Ul'dah~

The desert winds and their sand.... he hated sand. It got everywhere.... in everywhere. As Erik approached the city, he felt that the week long walk had been worth it. He turned to his companion, "Cian.... We are here I think." The Lancer slapped the larger boy on the back, "Hellava walk though. We might as well make something of it E." Erik smiled as they reached the gates, he hated this heat, and sand, and the antlions.... but there was something to this place. There was a sense of fate to it.

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The place was so loud, Erik felt nothing but the urge to run from such a place, but Cien had insisted that this be the first place they go. The Quicksand rang loud with voices and activity, Erik pretended to hold his temples, plugging his ears instead. Cien clapped his hands as the barmaid brought to tall beers, "We made it E, I told you we would. Did you see that girl that brought us the beer? And look.... beer. This place is amazing, nothing like the Shroud." Erik nodded with a faked smiled, covered by his unkept hair, only half listening to his friend. This was nothing like the Shroud, he was correct in that. Erik had gotten use to the silence of the forest. Cien smiled as he drank, spilling some on his shirt, "Hey... what's wrong? E? You listening to me?" Cien looked behind him, following Erik's gaze, spotting a pair of shady men talking over something well beyond what he could hear, but not what Erik cou...."Stop it E!" he whispered, catching his friend's eyes. Erik looked at him, "They are talking about robbing some old man. We should tell someone. What are the guards in the city called here? Bronze Blades or something?" Cien looked both sympathetic and irritated, "Stop doing that E. All you got in the Shroud for those ears and eyes of your's were dirty looks from pissy elezens. This is Ul'dah, crime is a way of life. If people knew about what you could do, and your insane conscious of your's.... Well they wouldn't fear you. They will kill you. So mind your business before you get yourself killed.... and me along with you." Erik looked scolded, trying his best to follow his friend's advice, but rebutting one point, "It is not insane to follow a path of right and wrong. Faith is important." Cien took Erik's untouched beer, "Look E, when we were apprenticing with Ironpick, learning the miner's trade, we both hated it, that's why I took a spear, but I never knew why you tossed it for religion. You know that no one here gives a shit about Halone right? If you're going to make gil you're going to have to do more then light candles and pray. You're mom told me your dad taught you the sword and shield for years. Let's go buy me a new spear and you a sword and shield and we'll see where fate takes us?" Erik shook his head, "I am tired of fighting Cien." The lancer calmed his momentary flare of anger and sighed, "Erik.... We have to do something practical. We will starve in a refugee camp if we don't work, and the work here is sellsword." Erik looked down for a moment, "Alright. I will do better."

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~One Month Later~


The bandits stood in their camp, alert to the countryside around them. The cliffs and stretches of open sand made it hard to catch them off guard. Small campfires lit the area and showed in good light the camp itself, including the chief's tent. Open on three sides, the camp was pushed to the face of a tall cliff. Drybone had been getting a lot of trouble from these bandits, that was why the Flames detachment had called for more recruits. The pair sent had apparently come highly recommended. Both Flame Privates First Class Highwind and Mynhier had scored the highest scores on record in their two weeks at the training camp. The two had even been blooded a week earlier. Clearing a few bandits from a caravan. Though they were to late to save the people traveling in the caravan, killing the bandits had earned them promotions, not a usual thing.


Erik and Cien stood over the camp, the Drybone's commander's words being, "Good enough to send alone, but new enough to be expendable." Cien had thought it hilarious, Erik didn't see the humor in it. The drop was easily twenty fulms. Cien gripped his spear and gave a wicked smile, his training as a lancer had taught him to leap and fall from heights, and Erik was as much a hyur mountain-alagoat as a hyur could be. Cien loved to leap down on the unsuspecting. Erik stepped to the edge, looking over to take note of the ledges, mapping out his fall. Turning to his partner, he nodded his readiness. With a wink the two leaped into the camp, ten minutes later, they were the only ones standing. As Cien danced about the camp, Erik had found a seat in the chief's tent. He thought to himself, "Is this what I really want?"

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The Drybone commander was irate. "You were sent to preform recon! Were you trying to get yourselves killed!" Their reply was in unison, "No Sir." The commander threw papers, "So the twelve took pity on you idiots and somehow you wiped them out! Am I suppose to be impressed by you showboating bastards!' Again they replied, standing at attention, though Cian was finding it hard to not laugh, "No Sir!" The officer stood and walked over to them, "I will make it my personal mission in life to see you removed from the Flames before you get someone killed." There then came a voice from the door, "You've made your point Commander, stand down no." The Commander turned, ready to lay into whoever dared to..... "You?" His anger melted into fear as he saw the woman before him. She was quite striking to see, her hair was long, though you may not notice by the bun it was made up, it was the color of a golden sunset on the sands. A midlander, her skin was fair, her form fit, athletic, but no mistaking, a woman's without a doubt. She gave a half-hearted salute, "Commander. If you are done nutting my two new men, I would like to get them back home." Her uniform and insignia noted her rank as Flame Captain, much lower then the man she addressed, yet he feared her, "These... these are my men." he sheepishly argued. She winked at Erik and Cian and walked to the desk dropping a missive on it, the seal of the Sultanate's Office on it, "No, I don't think so. You see these two just took out twelve bandits without a scratch and all you can do is bitch about policy. You don't know how to handle such talent."


Once outside, Cian let loose a laugh, "Did you see that E? I think I'm in love." To which the Captain backhanded him, "Shut your mouth. You haven't earned that cocky mouth of your's yet." She was stern looking now, not the easy moving woman she had seemed. Erik regarded the change with interest, but said nothing. The Captain noticed him though, "Its a mask. When you do what I do you have to learn to make your own mask." Erik thought on that, "So you acted that way because that is how he saw you?" She nodded as they reached the stables, climbing into a wagon, "Sort of. In my time in Ul'dah I have formed the mask people needed to see, Every mask is different, and is influenced by who you wish you were and what others need and expect from you. Playing into the needs and prejudices of others lets you blend in and not be noticed." Cian looked confused, "Who are you? And where are we going?" The woman turned in the driver seat, looking like she was without her mask for a moment, I am Ser Juliette Monroe, Sultansworn of Ul'dah, and Captain of the Crimson Watch. And you are going with me to Ul'dah, I have a job for you two idiots."

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((A little note, alot of this backstory comes from the old LP from 11. The names have been kept where applicable, changed where needed. And to Juliet, if you read this boss, its me, Ghost. Miss you guys, long live the Crimson Watch of San d'oria. Also as I have stated, I know Ryder is an NPC from 1.0, but he is so forgettable that I hope no one will hate me for using a modified version of him. He really was my favorite npc from 1.0.))


They had been separated when they reached the Hall of Records. Erik sat alone for a time, wondering where this was leading. He even caught himself planning an escape. He was intrigued by this Captain, but she scared him too. The door opened and she and a midlander male entered the room, a large folder in the man's hands. The two sat across from him, the woman gave a sweet smile, her mask plain to see, "Sorry to keep you waiting, your friend took longer then we thought. So lets..." Erik's eyes lit, "Where is Cian?" The man looked at him, "He is at the Quicksand I believe, he needed a drink I think." Erik looked at the man next to the Captain, trying to decide if he was speaking the truth. The woman ignored them both and opened the file, "I'm sorry to hear about your mother." Erik narrowed his eyes on her now. She smiled, "Oh? Does that surprise you that I know that? Let me hit you with a few more, Dark Blade, Hostem, killed a Garlean soldier with a rock? Wow, that's a good one. What else....." Erik stood, unsure what was happening, but sure that it was to deep to escape. The man looked at him and simply ordered him to sit, "Sit down Master Mynhier. The Captain has not dismissed you yet.


He sat and listened further, the woman continued, "Your mother was a half-breed from Ishgard, look at that Ryder." The man leaned in and read, looking back at Erik, "Is it true? You can hear and see like an elezen?" Juliette nodded, "And agile too. Must be the mix of those bow lovers with the agility you get from living in those mountains. I've seen some crazy balance and agility from Highlanders from Ala Mhigo. You are quite a mix there boy. It was a joy to watch your friend and you kill those bandits, but the start from the ledge, wonderful." The Private was surprised to hear her, "You were there?" The Captain laughed, "I have been following you for a month now, you and your friend. You see, you two have peaked my interest. I have this little group you see, and we are in the midst of building up, and I find myself missing some pieces. You have skills outside of your assumed race, you can move without a sound, and come down like the wrath of heaven. Mostly though, you are hard to spot, despite being the tallest in the room. You are a ghost, when you want t be. And your friend, he is a storm, all mouth, and all power. With some training and confidence I think you two have what it takes." She pushes a second folder to him. As he reads the operational file he understands what the Watch truly is. She smiled again, "What do you say? Want to be my Ghost?



Agent File: Mynhier, Eirikir FPFC

Call Sign: GHOST

Age: 17

Nationality: Ala Mhigan (formerly), Ul'dah

Operational Mission: Covert intelligence gathering, tracking, threat elimination.

Biography: See Personnel File

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~ 1 Year Later ~


North Thanalan could be cold at times, this was one of those times. Two boys entered the Flames' encampment, long black cloaks shielding from the downpour, hoods hiding their faces. They moved like spirits, little sound from the one carrying a lance on his back, its blade panted black as to not reflect light. The other made no sound, the sword and shield beneath his cloak noticed by none but the oldest soldiers, their ears trained to hear the sounds of weapons. Gliding through the camp, they came to a stop outside of one tent. Pausing at the entrance of the tent like specters of death, they looked about at the soldiers of the camp, all eyes upon them. They dismissed the attention and entered.


Inside the tent it was warm and dry. The coat hooks by the entrance found use as they removed their cloaks and hung them. Erik and Cian stood regarding the Garlean that had been captured, bound to a chair. Cian unrolled their "tools" on the table and walked to the man, "Listen friend, I'm going to ask you a few questions and if I don't like what I hear my friend here is going to peal you like an onion. He has this rep too as a nice guy, but man he is an artist at torture." The Garlean looked nervously at Erik now, his shagged hair dipping over his eyes, but not enough to hide the stone face below, those cold eyes, as he took a tool from the table, pliers.


Three hours passed before the two hooded boys left the tent, soldiers on orders rushing past them to see to the prisoner, though there was little left to deal with. As promised, it was a butchery on the level of an art. The two approached the camp commander, notably not saluting, "Lieutenant, we are as you know agents of the Watch. I am Ghost, and this is my partner Storm. We would depart to you relevant intelligence to you then return to give our full report to our commander." The officer nodded and listened to the details, "Thank you gentlemen. This information will save lives."


As they walked back they were silent, they were often silent after such missions. Cian could no longer stand it, "By the twelve. Will you please say something!" Erik looked at him as he walked, "What would you have me say?" Cian shook his head, "Anything. Talk about your woman, or what you want to eat when we get home, or hells let's try and hatch a plan to catch Juliette in the baths. Just say anything." Erik lifted his eyebrow to the last part, then chased the thought from his mind. "Anything? Well.... what about... "And the ice covered the land, and Her Fury was cruel but righteous. Her spears three Her might, Her shield to defend the weak...." Scripture the whole way home?" Cian covered his face, often he couldn't tell if his friend kidding or not.

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~ For a bit of background music ~


Erik had returned home by the next morning, his uniform bloody from his mission. He removed it and placed it in the wash pile, the one he did himself for his uniforms. He was not home before he and Holly began to argue, as they did most days now.


The shouting could be heard in the streets. A modest home on Onyx street, and no peace to be found. "I do not understand what has gotten into you lately. I come home and we fight, I go you your house and we fight! It is out of no where!" shouted the boy. Younger, shaggy hair, so few scars. "By the twelve Holly! Where is it coming from?" The woman had a fire in her eye, her arms crossed her body, from one angle defiant, from another broken, "I... I don't need a reason for feeling this way Erik! I don't like what you do, I never did!" she shouted. She bit hard into her lip, keeping her mask of anger. "I don't like that cloak in the room, I don't like that damn pearl going off at all hours of the day and night! I hate when Cien comes by because I don't know if he's visiting or picking you up for days at a time!" Erik sat at the table now, "Holly, I understand, but you need to also. What I do is important. How am I suppose to marry you broke? You still want to do you not?" he said glancing at the ring on her finger. "Married! How do you plan to marry me! Raise children......" She paused momentarily, collecting herself, "You vanish for days, return with blood on your boots!" Erik stood and turned his back, "I am a soldier!" She snapped back, "My father was a soldier! Soldiers have orders! If they leave in the middle of the night, you hear about why the next day! I never hear anything when you vanished, not a fucking thing!" Erik turned to face her, pleading in his eyes, "If you think I am seeing someone else I sw....." She cut him off, "I know you're not! Twelve that would be so much better. Everyone knows what the Hall of Records does Erik! You go in and out of there all the time! And you have the balls to tell me you and Montblanc just deliver papers! Fully armed with Cian and his spear in tow?!? I'm not stupid! I sleep next to you! You shout in your sleep!" She almost lost it, tears fell but she stopped them, her voice going soft, "I... I don't want to do this. I love you, you know that right? I'm just worried." Erik softened and moved to hold her, only to be stopped by her outstretched hand, "No.... can you.. can you just give me a little time. I don't know what exactly you do, but I have a pretty good idea. Its so dangerous... you so love your danger.... and I don't want to get one of those letters one day." She was quiet for a long time, then, "What if we had children? I lost my dad while he fought, and mom didn't hold out after him. And your parents too. Do you really want our children going through that? You could walk away, I know you're not in to deep that you can't leave... not yet. Leave the Flames, come and work with me in the mines. You were apprenticed before you came here. You could make as much if not more then you do now. We could even move out of this damned city. They're starting a huge project near Black Brush, it would be perfect." Erik shook his head, "Holly, I cannot do that, I am needed here, and all this talk of......." He was interrupted by the pearl in his year. "Yes Sir?... I can be there right away..... Yes Sir." Lowering his finger he turned fearfully toward Holly. Her blue eyes closed as though she had found enlightenment. "Holly.... I hav..." She silenced him simply by opening her eyes, "It's fine baby. Go, they need you. We can talk when you get back.


As she watched him turn the corner she crumpled to the ground. She only allowed herself a moment. She walked to the master washroom to wash her face. As she finished, she turned to leave and caught herself in the body length mirror. Pulling the front of her shirt to just below her breast, sh touched her stomach with her free hand. Tears welled as she gently rubbed her stomach, sobbing as she lowered herself to the floor. It was that moment that the frustration took hold. Taking a bag from the cabinet she went back into the room and grabbed whatever she thought she would need. As she reached the front door she removed the ring from her finger and went to sit it on the table... but could not. Slipping into her pocket she left the house. Erik never saw her again.




It had been two days when since he had left. Walking in he called to her. She had been so distant lately, he was to young to understand. Not the man most knew, he was a boy, no stranger to immaturity. He wandered the house calling to her, but there was no answer. The extra room was open, a note on the desk. He walked in, looking about he thought the room perfect for the study he was wanting, just another thing she seemed against, so scared and angry he couldn't understand why. The note was simple and heartbreaking. As he leaned against the wall he found himself sliding down the wall. As he reached the end he thought about how much he loved her. He knew it was his fault, but he wasn't sure how. All he wanted was to chase after her, but it was forbidden to him. She was clear with the last line of the letter, "Part of me will always love you, but just let me become somebody that you use to know." As the sun set outside, all he could do is cry, the house seemed so lonely.

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  • 2 weeks later...

~ Ul'dah - 1565 ~


It was an uncommon thing to be sure. More times then Erik could count he had been on missions with Cian, but very few with the Captain. There they were though, on a high roof, hours upon hours. This was not one of the missions Erik normally handled, interrogation, recon, or simple seek and destroy, no this was one of the Captain's missions. She was unique in Ul'dah, a Sultansworn and an Immortal Flame, as such she was called on for tasked that required the clearance and freedom that both of those positions granted. He had not been made privy to the details, only that they were to wait for and detain a lone midlander male.


Juliette had started bringing Erik more on her missions lately, he wasn't sure why. She leaned back against the roof door, her simple tunic seeming insignificant against the cold night air, though she seemed comfortable, her shield and sword laying on the ground beside her. "Tell me Sergeant, where do you see yourself down the road a bit?" Erik had gotten use to these questions, every mission with her was full of them, "I have not Ma'am. I am where I want to be I suppose." She threw a rock at him, "You always say that. Why don't you take the trials? You know you're a perfect fit." Erik looked over at his Captain, "And you always say that Ma'am. I am not interested in spending my days walking five steps behind some self important lala."

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They had sat in near silence for a few more hours, still no sign of their mark. The paladin finally broke the silence, "I'm not trying to badger you, it just bothers me to see talent go to waste. The Sworn are shrinking, the Order has no end of problems, poor Captain Solkzagyl is going gray over it. I see something in you is all. People rally around you." Erik shook his head, "No ma'am, they only seem to, but I have few friends and no family. People rally to a lonely man, but they never stay. The darkness in me chases them away." Juliette began to laugh, so heard she had to cover her mouth as not to give away their position, "You... you are the most melodramatic person I have ever met. I mean you sound like an actor in a play sometimes, and that never using contractions thing.... You are so damn funny sometim..." She stopped when his hand rose. He heard the mark far off. Sliding to the edge of the roof Erik could see the man, a midlander. He had been targeted not for his sex trafficking, but for the fact that some of his sold girls had been sold to Garlean officers, he was a contact for the Empire, and he needed to be cut.


Juliette stood, kissing her sigil ring, she let the light catch her blade. A flash of light covered her for a moment and when it faded she stood in shining armor. Erik never admitted it, but he loved watching her summon her armor. He asked her how she did it once and she went over his head talking aether and magic. It had to do with the Sultansworn Sigil Ring she wore, a silver and gold ring with a blue gem placed in it. The ring was old she said, her trainer had given her the ring after he had passed her through her Trial of Faith, as he retired from the Sworn when she entered fully. She ran the Faith Trials now, she had claimed that the ring had always belonged to the Sultansworn of Faith, because the ring's magic required strong faith to activate.


Refocusing on the midlander now, Erik reported, "Half a click now, exiting the Quicksand, two women in arm." Juliette stood next to him, straining to see what this quarter-elezen could see, "Option recommendations?" Erik stood, examining the rooftops between him and the target, "I can get very close, maybe even be able to take him, but the women will scream and run." The paladin nodded, "I'll see to them, keep them quiet. Go on then Ghost." Without an acknowledgement he was gone, leaping without a sound from roof to roof. Coming to a halt above the three he waited for the Captain to reach the end of the street, where she would catch and calm the women as they ran, assuring them she would investigate the attack that was about to happen. Seeing light hit her polished armor was the only he needed as he leaped from the roof, his cloak and hood adding to the fright of his appearance. As the women ran he turned to the frightened pimp. The man drew two daggers, Erik had not bothered to bring a sword, this man was not worthy of his steel. As he lunged at the Ghost he was met with a Bootshine, a True Strike, and a Snap Punch. As the man went down, Erik caught him. Dragging him into a wagon parked near by Erik followed the plan and headed for the Hall of Flames.

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  • 1 month later...

The man was no man at all Erik felt, as the interrogation lasted less then a half an hour. The man did not even require convincing beyond his own cowardice. Erik was glad to be moving on the information if only to put distance between him and the sniveling hyur. Juliette had ordered Erik to quietly search the man's home. "Far to gaudy a place for a man." he spoke to himself as he approached hyur's residence. The midlander in question was well known in the streets of Ul'dah as a pimp, specializing in young girls, one more thing for Erik to dislike about the man. As he approached he heard voices in the ally between the house and another building.


Following the voices he came to a scene of a small girl, a highlander, and a count of four men around her. The girl's back was to Erik, but the men faced him, their uniforms were unmistakable and unwise. They were Imperial, and the girl in rags, the back of her shirt marked with the same mark found on the pimp's own door. Four Garlean soldiers seeking the service of a girl from his own Gyr Abania, no more then sixteen.... it was to much for his senses to take, or his mind. Unheard he approached, a stone flung down the ally, all the soldiers and the girl looked, returning their eyes to one another, they noticed one of their own had vanished. The soldiers drew their blades as the girls stepped back cautiously. There came a swift moving man, from one shadow to another, taking a second soldier with him into the deep shadows, the only sound that of the soldier screaming from the darkness. The two remaining looked to eachother as though they had seen a ghost. Erik was fortunate to have come in his hooded cloak, it had the effect of fear he needed in such numbers. Making his way up a wall on pipes as the two remaining soldiers looked confused. He smiled a devil's smile as he jumped from the roof on to the head of one of the two soldiers, landing on him and drawing his blade as he did. Coming up from his landing he took the head of the remaining soldier. Wiping the blood on his cloak, he sheathed his sword and reached out his hand to the frightened girl, "Its alright, you are safe now. I am Erik, what is your name?"

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[[Background music]]

Cliodhna's jade eyes drifted over each solider in front of her. This was bad, Garrett had just gotten picked up and was going to spill everything. They needed to quickly alter the current plan and take him out in the process. Keeping her tone both low and threatening; Cliodhna was in the middle of reworking their plan when there was a sudden clatter down the empty alley they were standing in. Brows knitted in mild annoyance she spared a quick glance in the direction of the noise before turning her attention back to the three....three?


Quickly realizing the noise had been a distraction, Clidohna stepped away from the other soldiers and crouched down feigning fear; hand already discreetly moving to her thigh, intent on grabbing the dagger she carried on her. If her men couldn't handle this shadow delivering death, Cliodhna wasn't planning to let him get to her as well. Seeing the speed and ease in which the other men were silenced, she carefully watched the bigger man out the corner of her eye, calculating where to best strike. Just as Cliodhna was about to attack he did something completely unexpected. His large hand appeared near her line of sight to help her up. Asking if she was alright, his words surprisingly gentle and carrying concern for what appeared to be a frightened little girl. It was all Cliodhna could do to keep from giggling in a slight hysterical manner. This man is clearly an Immortal Flame and most likely part of the Crimson Watch, and here he was rescuing her. If it wasn't such a potentially dangerous position, it would be almost adorable.


Summoning a few tears to cling to the corners of her eyes, Cliodhna slowly looked up at the Flame from under her lashes. "E-eydis..." She replied softly, her voice trembling slightly, as her hands moved to hug her shoulders and clutch at her ragged top. "Thank you for saving me sir, but please...we need to leave....I'm sure the guards patrolling will find out what you did for me and we will both be in trouble for it..." Cliodhna added tilting her head up ever so slightly so Erik could see the urgency in her features. Hopefully this could guide him subconsciously into bring her to where they were holding Garrett....or at least keep the Flame around long enough to find out where they were holding him before she slipped away to take care of it.

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Erik looked up toward the sounds of steps. She was right, the Crimson Watch was by no means public knowledge. There would to much to explain, both to the Blades.... and the Captain. He shuttered at that thought as he looked back at her, "Come on." he said as he took her hand and they ran. Up and down the alleys they ran. Shouts could be heard, men yelling, steel whistles, heavy foot falls. They would think them both connected to the Garleans, Juliette would not be able to help. As the foot falls grew louder he yanked the small girl on his back, not stopping as he did. "Hang on tight." he whispered as he leapt four fulms into the air, landing on a crate. Up and up, he went, from stack of crates to ledges, up ropes, to the roof tops. He placed his hand on her shoulder as he drew his hood up, "Stay down." he whispered as he looked over the ledge.


Once the Blades had passed, Erik turned and rested against the half wall at the ledge of the roof, "Halone.... Alright, why were those Garleans attacking you, in full uniform no less?"

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Letting Erik take her hand; she curled her smaller fingers around his, her other hand gripping the tattered skirt to keep from tripping as they ran from the echos of boots. Though noticeably shorter; Cliodhna managed to match his longer strides before being swept onto his back without notice, her thin arms hooking around his shoulders to keep from falling off as Erik nearly flew up the skyline and out of their pursuer's reach. Biting the corner of her mouth, she kept the start of a smile from quirking. This Flame was bound and determined to be her hero tonight.


Feeling his hand settle on her shoulder, Cliodhna nodded once and slouched behind the ledge to keep out of sight until it was clear. Sitting up a little to better face the Flame, Cliodhna let her hands wring a bit of her skirt tightly and let her teeth worry her bottom lip a bit before taking a small, worried sigh. This had to be played just right or she would be in no better shape than her men or Garrett. Hurriedly she reached up and tucked a few locks of her blond hair behind her ear, her gaze in the general direction but not quite meeting his eyes as her words slowly unfold. "W-well....I'm...uh...I'm...." She let herself gasp again as if trying to control a sob from forming. "My father has always had debts but he finally got in over his head, he was given a choice......he could either pay what he owed or give something equally valuable away....." Cliodhna placed a hand over her eyes and turned her face away; discreetly digging a nail into the corner of her eye until a tear slipped down her cheek. "I was the only thing considered valuable and I'm sure you can understand what had happened...." She let out another soft gasp of air; shoulders shaking a little this time to help illustrate the fight to keep her tears at bay. "I was meant to be a present for the men you rescued me from tonight since my "training" had been completed the night before and I needed to be- "properly broken in" is what he called it." Her words had lowered to a breath of a whisper, her voice full of shame and regret for the life her father had thrust her into.


Turning further away from the Flame, Cliodhna covered her face with both hands and feigned a few dry sobs before letting them slow and regain what appeared to be control. "I honestly do thank you, kind sir but I fear you've only prolonged the invertible for me. I know my master will hear of this and tomorrow will just be the same plan as tonight, unless he finds any part of this my fault, then I might have to be taught another lesson."

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Erik's heart sank as she spoke. He noticed her clothes and unhooked his cloak, draping it over her. "You have nothing to fear with me here Eydis." Leaning back he thought on what she had said and what he saw. A young Highlander girl, no more then sixteen, sold to a pimp, a traitorous stooge of the Empire at that. His blood boiled with the images painted in his mind of her suffering. "Tell me Eydis, where are you from originally? I hear a Gyr Abania accent in your voice."


He stopped for a moment after she answered and looked over the ledge, making sure the Blades had gone, "You do not have to fear the man who bought you. He is no longer a threat to you. As for your father..... I would not see you go to such a man with no sense of family, he is unworthy of you. Do you have anyone you could stay with? Anywhere safe you can go?"

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Feeling something heavy settle around her shoulders, Cliodhna rubbed her eyes just hard enough to make them slightly red and puffy but appear as if she was merely trying to wipe tears away before looking back to Erik. "Thank you...." She replied softly, wrapping the cloak tighter around herself and offering him a slightly broken smile. "I'm from Ala Mhigo but when I was about eight my family suddenly packed everything we could carry and we started walking out of the city; there was just so much chaos, my father had only said we were needing to find a new home and refused to say any more on the matter. Of course, I'm now aware of why we had to leave and make such a long journey here but at the time it was so confusing and frighting. The journey in itself was very harsh as well, my mother did what she could to make things more bearable, but being a frail woman to begin with..." Cliodhna trailed off again, her expression changing as the familiar pain momentarily surfaced.


Giving her head a little shake, she looked over again at the Highlander. This was almost too easy, though his was very skilled at keeping himself blank, the clenched sword hand told Cliodhna that he was swallowing her story completely. Snuggling down in the cloak, she bunched the excess fabric over her fists before bringing them up to rest against her lips. "I have no friends or family here. Growing up I wasn't well liked due to my father's bad habits and I'm sure he's face-down in a ditch somewhere." Though muffled through the cloak, a hint of venom could be detected in her last comment. Closing her eyes, Cliodhna calmed herself before speaking again. "If it had not been my master, someone else has gotten to him, of this I'm certain. The only place I have been is my former home and my master's home but I can't go to either." Lowering her hands from her face, she glanced up again at the Highlander. "Please, you've already done so much for me, don't let me be more of a burden than I already have been....don't misunderstand," She added hastily, letting go of the cloak and grabbing his free hand with both of hers. "I am grateful, but this is the life I have to live now and I have nowhere to run. My master will find me and I don't want you to have un-needed trouble over someone like me." She pleaded, though Cliohdna's words assured this was desired; her body language said otherwise. Her hands gripped his tighter as she spoke,  her bottom lip trembled despite her best efforts to keep it steady and her jade colored eyes blinked rapidly as if trying to keep more tears from forming.

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Hearing her, and being sure the Blades were gone he lead her down from the roof. Up Pearl Street to Ruby, Erik lead her to his home on Onyx Street. Inside he latched the door behind them. He set his large blade and laid it across the dining table like a schoolboy would do with his books. "Montblanc." he called, moments later a blue mammet walked into the foyer, its beeping voice greeting both his master as well as the girl with a clockwork bow. "Montblanc, this is Eydis, she will be our guest. Please see to her." He then turned to Eydis herself, "If you would go with him he will set you up in the guest room." Without further talk he went into his study and shut the door.


Lifting a finger to his ear he tapped his pearl, "Captain.... are you up?" A shaky voice cracked over the pearl, "It is three in the morning Erik.... the Sultan had better be on fire because there is no other reason for you to be calling me this late." Erik apologized and explained what had happened and that he had the girl, "He may not be on fire, but this is close enough. Imperial soldiers in uniform in the middle of Ul'dah.... brazen or stupid. And that girl knows our man, intimately, let her sleep tonight but bring her in tomorrow. She may have overheard things she didn't even know was important."

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Trailing slightly behind, Cliodhna let the Flame lead her to what she assumed was somewhere he deemed safe. This proved to be correct and another minor surprise in his character. Not only was it safe; he had taken her to his personal home. Mentally she chided the bigger man. "He's so careless, this is the last place you want to invite a total stranger...." Her thoughts broken as the heavy sword thudded on the table. "Than again, there's most likely little that can prove threat to him." She lamented, remembering how swift and ruthless he had been in the alley, biting her lip again to keep her features placid. Despite it being an attack on her group, Cliodhna was not one to discredit skill when recognition was due. "Thank you." Her soft-spoken words lingering in the air as Erik shut the door, leaving Cliodhna with the mammet.


Keeping the cloak on, she followed Montblanc though the house keeping the scared waif facade in place in the process. There was little chance of her seeing him again until morning but little was still room enough for a mistake. Once inside the guest room and shutting the mammet out after thanking him; Cliodhna started to peek around the room. There wasn't much, a bed, side-table, small desk with a chair and a dressing wardrobe in the corner. After rifling through the desk and finding nothing useful, she turned to the wardrobe, opening it curiously. It was mostly empty save for a few dresses tucked away in a corner. Raising her eyebrows slightly, Cliodhna let her fingers pick through the material, vaguely wondering who they belonged to before easing the wooden door closed again.


Stretching out on the raised bed, Cliodhan stared at the ceiling and let her legs swing slightly as she thought. He had to be part of the Crimson Watch to know about Garrett and where he was being held, otherwise there was no obvious explanation of how Erik could have stumbled across them in the alley when he did. It was a stroke of fortune that the Flame took pity on her and assumed her nothing more than a helpless girl in trouble and jumped in instead of pausing to listen to what was being spoken but, this still left a dangerous loose end. Her lips curled into a sneer, though Garrettt was afraid of her, it wouldn't take long for that pathetic bastard to  give up any and all information he had; including what he knew of Cliodhnna's part in the mission. She had to find some way of leading the him into reviling where her "master" was being held. Slipping her shoes off and rolling to her side; Cliodhna curled the cloak tighter around her, drowsily nuzzling into it. Though imperative this be handled quickly, nothing could be done till morning. Besides, the bed was rather comfortable and the cloak smelled nice. "Such a pity he's a Flame...." Were her last thoughts before drifting into a light sleep.

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Erik awoke to the sounds and smells of the morning in his home. His mammet was laying out his uniform as he sat up, stretching as he whiffed the smell of bread baking and sausages, bacon, and eggs cooking. He stood, nonchalant about his lack of clothes before the clockwork man. Dressing quickly he turned to Montblanc, "Does Tellah know we have a guest for breakfast?" The mammet nodded as he dragged his owner's sword to him. Erik placed it in his sheath, "Good, now then..." he stepped out of his room and knocked on the guest room door, "Miss, are you awake?"

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Cliodhna's eyes had snapped open at the first sound of movement outside the door, hand already on her dagger it took only a moment to realize that someone was in the kitchen. Slowly she relaxed and moved off the bed to the door, easing it open. Peeking around she saw a man cooking. She merely raised an eyebrow at the scene before closing the door and returning to the bed. It didn't take long before there was a knock on her door, followed by Erik's voice. Returning to the door, Cliodhna opened it slowly to answer. Nodding, she looked up at the Flame quietly; hair a tangled mess, worn expression beneath smeared makeup that was much to garish and thick in the morning light, his cloak still enfolding her small frame but hanging loose enough to show the dress underneath was in even worse shape than previously thought.

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Erik looked her over, the cloak and her clothes the same as the night before. He straightened, clearing his throat as he look up and away from her and the open cloak, "There is in the wardrobe some clothes that would fit you I think. Please feel free to wash up in the room's washroom and wear any of the clothes you like. Then join us for breakfast. I have been asked to take you to The Hall of Flames this morning."

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Cliodhna bit back a small laugh at his visual aversion to her current state, he really had strong convictions of right and wrong. "Is there? Thank you again so much Erik....you've shown so much kindness to me, I'm not sure how I'll ever be able to repay you." Before he could say anything in reply, she gently closed the door and hurried to clean herself up a bit. The makeup proved more stubborn than usual for some reason, or maybe it was because Cliodhna was in a hurry to get to The Hall of Flames.  Calming her eagerness, she feigned a nervous look as she took an empty seat at the table; clean and dressed in proper clothes. "Um...Why do I have to go there?"

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As she sat Erik nodded to her, "Good morning." he said, taking note of his former fiance's clothes on her. Silenced for a moment he collected himself and smiled, "You met Montblanc last night." he said pointing to the mammet. He then pointed to the elderly Wildwood, "This is Tellah Delacroix." Tellah smiled and bowed slightly while sitting, "My Lady, a pleasure. Should you have any needs, please come to me." As the plates of food were passed Erik spoke, "I am afraid we did not have time to explain. I am a member of the Immortal Flames. My commanding officer wants to talk to you about last night. The fact that there were uniformed soldiers... That is no small thing."

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Noticing his gaze lingering, Clidohna willed a light blush to grace her cheeks before looking down shyly. Though this was a learned skill, she was a bit frustrated and unwilling to admit that the blush was easier to perform than most times. Adapting to the minor change in subject, Cliodhna nodded to the older man with a tentative smile. "Nice to meet you as well, Mr. Delacroix." She replied, gratefully taking the offered plate of food in the process. "You are? I knew you had to have been to be able to save me so easily from those scary men!" She exclaimed, letting a bit of positive emotion show through before quickly replacing it with confused apprehension. "I'm afraid I might not be much help....Those men didn't say much to me, but I have seen others in that uniform sometimes." Talking around a mouthful of food, Cliodhna hoped she dropped just enough of a tidbit of intel to look valuable but ignorant to it's importance.

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They walked slowly from his front door. The heat was high today, he wished he didn't have to wear the thick coat. He looked back and saw her following behind, "You do not have to walk so far behind." As they walked on, he took the long route, walking the open sky halls and tunnels. The shading of the tunnels cooled the air, the shapes drew it out. Like a lite wind tunnel, it was better the the open streets. He sought to shorten the walk with conversation, "Did you sleep well?"

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Keeping her head down as they walked, Cliodhna hadn't realized the Flame had gotten so far ahead already. Her damned pearl had gone off twice already; though there was no audible sound, it still sent a small tremor in her ear. No doubt because of Garrett's arrest and the attack last night. "Shut up, shut up, shut up, I'm taking care of it!" She thought anger while suppressing a cringe as it buzzed gently a third time. Quickly she gathered up the long skirt and caught up to Erik. "S-sorry, I didn't realize I was walking slowly, I'm still a little scared about going there and talking to everyone." Her jade eyes glancing around as they walked; memorizing the way to the Hall for later reference. "It was the first night I've felt safe enough to sleep peacefully in a long time." Cliodhna added, glancing up a moment and offering him a soft smile with another forced blush. Hopefully this wouldn't take long, she was getting tired of playing the weak and scared little girl.

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