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An Inevitable Search [Story] [Closed] [OOC Welcome]

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((If you, or one of your characters would like to be a part of this story, or become a part of this story, please let me know!))


~1575 - Three years from the fall of Dalamud~


The weather had been mild, and the day long. As she finished her last preparations for the day to come, a women dressed in the simple, yet formal attire of a manager of inns and restaurants around Garlemald sighed. How long had it been since he was gone know? Would he even be coming back? Why was there no news at all about the project he had volunteered for those couple years ago? She knew the questions would go unanswered today, like many others had never been answered.


Still, she would not accept that her husband was dead. No, he must surely still be alive, somewhere. She would not believe it until she saw with her own eyes. What she could believe was that he was surely not in Garlemald. That, or the many detectives she had hired were incompetent buffoons. There may have been a truth in that last one. The government's posters that had advertised the project had been ripped from the streets and buildings they had littered just up to a few weeks ago. People had been silent, as if pretending the posters were never there in the first place. They were stubborn, like herself, and would not believe the government had sent people to their deaths. Unlike her, they would deny it had ever happened. 



Eorzea. Some country to the West that was littered with resources the Empire wanted. It was said the people there were not as technically proficient. Using some form of magic in their every day lives instead of the mechanical tools she found strewn about her home. Magitek, in all its own wonders, did not always compare nicely to the aetherical abilities of people around Garlemald. It was what drew him in as well. Her husband. He, who was injured in combat when the Agrias invaded Eorzea, had sought to reenter the military, and had volunteered for some experimental project. It was foolish. They already had a life together, a daughter, business to run. But the war was still draining their resources. "Project Renatus" promised to pay nicely to all participants. A nice check was even allocated for those with families, to better support the lack of a person.



It was expected that he'd volunteer. Stupid man. 



Even to this day, she couldn't understand how he could be so oblivious at times. They didn't need the money. He didn't need the war. Perhaps he couldn't see that. She had even watched him go. Enter the building. Their daughter watched as well, asking where he father was going. She didn't have a good answer.


~1576 - One Year Prior to the Events of A Realm Reborn~


She had hired another investigator. One that would search Eorzea. She knew not the person's name, or their affiliation, but it didn't matter any more. Her patience was tried. They daughter, old enoguh to run the family business herself. She was smart and reliable, like her mother, after all. If this investigator was useless as well, she'd travel there herself. 




There was a lead. Rumors. 


It was at least something.


One of the investigators may not have been as useless as she'd initially assumed. There was someone in a city named "Ul'dah" that a man fitting the same description had been around. But- 


"If he was fine, why wouldn't he have returned?" The first words to escape her thoughts from the news. There were enough spy networks to get around. She was trained in the military after all. It would be easy


An Inevitable Search for the man Lydia med Tabern called her husband.

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  • 3 weeks later...

~ A few Moons Before Present Day ~



Exotic. That was the first thing she thought as she caught a glimpse of the Eorzean terrain the first time. As the airship docked into Ala Mhigo, even the air around her felt different, as if it was pushing on her. Could he really be here? She had never been deployed to Eorzea in the past, despite her ranking. Something about keeping "Garlemald's finest in Garlemald." Given what she had been told were "Adventurer's Clothes" to avoid suspicion, she practiced her fake accent to pass off as a former Ala Mhigan who had "just managed to escape the city". Everything she knew about Eorzeans told her they would probably welcome her with open arms. Well, assuming she didn't need to subdue them first. The only thing left now was to find something to cover her third eye. The irony. What should have been a symbol of her pride as a Garlean could be her undoing in her search. A mask would be uncomfortable, and she couldn't cast a glamour spell, let alone any other. She'd need /something/ to use as a temporary backup should the glamour she requested one of the lesser people to cast be dispelled. A hood? Maybe a circlet or some other headgear? She'd later invest in a pair of tinted goggles. If anyone asks, I'll just tell them my eyes are not yet accustomed to the desert's harsh environment.



She could do this. Taking out a map of the country, she noted the cities and how much land there was to have to travel. she knew he wouldn't be able to live outside a city for long, so the wilderness was not a concern. She would begin by heading to Gridania. There were forces in the land known as The Black Shroud se could use  to her advantage. The nearby Castrum would be sufficient if she couldn't stand to be around Eorzeans. She'd then make her way further west into Coerthas, and then south into Mor Dhona, where she could again make use of any aid at at Castrum. From there, she would head all the way south to Ul'dah, leaving the island city of Limsa Lominsa as a last-ditch effort.

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  • 9 months later...

“Perhaps he truly is not to be found, whether dead or alive.” She has scoured the land to the best of her efforts. Asked around the cities to no avail. Either he was much better at hiding than she had ever given him credit for, or he was actually dead and her search had been in vain.


Rumors of a man who fit his description had lingered while she stayed near Gridania. For more than two cycles of the moon, she had spent her days within the city and its settlements, always seeming to miss the person. There weren’t many who fit the description of a tall hyuran man with red hair. Even fewer who were going to be foreigners to the city. But whoever the person was, it seems he had never the decency to make small-talk with the shopkeepers. He would enter, state what he wanted, pay, and leave. Never bought more supplies than what would last for a few days.


So she waited. She waited in the forsaken city far too long, pretending to be an adventurer who was traveling and had come to stay in Gridania. She had stayed so long that the locals recognized her. Had invited her to their festivals. She has a carved wooden halfmask as proof, having been told she must attend to cleanse her of woodsin, that the Elementals would inflict Greenwrath upon her otherwise. It was idiotic. How had the Garlean Empire, suitably capable of just burning and cutting down all of the trees, been stopped there of all places? How the high-ranking woman had fallen. Wearing a fake smile as she walked through the city, greeting the people and acting the same as any other local. It was a disgrace to her pride as a Garlean.


But, the city was not completely devoid of positive experiences. Even in their ignorance, the people were kind. After the festival, she had come to be accepted by even the elder people. People would occasionally bring gifts of fresh vegetables and herbs for stories she would make up, having found that by muddling the truth of old Garlean battles and myths, she could entertain the children as well as some of the adults. she could take pride in her skills as a spy. She had worked too hard to give up now. She had promised their daughter, Gratia, that she would find him, her husband, Gratia’s father. She might have no longer been Lydia Rem Evinxi, but Lydia Cen Tabern was not bad either. Rank meant little to family. She had decided that long ago.




Wandering around some of the smaller shops in Gridania, she was stopped by one of the local children. “Miss Lydia! Are you going to be telling more stories today? I wanna hear more! Especially about the man you’re trying to find. Those ones are the best.” she looked down to see Ester smiling up at her. The child was odd. Lydia had been told she was a “Hearer” or someone who could listen to the spirits and Elementals in the forest. Something that those with innate conjurer abilities could do. Garlemald had nothing like it. That one would believe the stories of a child speaking on behalf the trees seemed ridiculous. But being friendly had benefits. Ester’s family was well-regarded and the trust of the girl had earned her trust in the city. Lydia put on a warm smile. “I’d be happy to, Ester. But only if you find some other children first. If there’s enough, I think I’ll even share a story about how I met the man.” Children were easy to manipulate. She could see wonder and curiosity as Ester’s eyes grew wide with excitement. A look she had come to regard pleasantly. Ester was overly trusting. And the more the little girl trusted her, the more beneficial it would be. “Of course, if you have a good story to tell, Ester, that would also work.” Lydia awaited a reply as the girl seemed to contemplate her options.


“I saw a monster the other night. Does that count?” Ester seemed to pick the latter. “I couldn’t sleep one night because I kept hearing screams in the forest. Something weird was in it. I kept running to find the Elemental to see if I can calm it down, but suddenly the screams stopped and there was a little clearing among the trees. That’s when I saw it! The monster was all red and bloody and had three eyes. I- I think it killed the Elemental, but nobody will believe my story! I just remember seeing it turn around and look and me and screaming really hard myself. Then I woke up back near the city.” Lydia seemed amused at the “trade”. “When I tried to tell my mom and dad about it, they yelled at me for leaving the house at night. How come nobody will believe me Miss Lydia?” Gullible. It was the easiest way to describe Ester. Lydia had come to find that the Hearer girl would share just about anything with anyone who asked. Perhaps dangerous for one who could hears things many could not. “That certainly does sound frightening, Ester. But you said you woke up by the city, yes? Are you sure you were not perhaps sleepwalking through a nightmare instead? Come now. If you find a few others, I’ll share a story of the man. I know just the one.” Lydia knew how to deal with children. Give them a little bit of genuine-looking trust, and they would spill out their trust and desires. “I’ll wait for you in the usual area. The small clearing by the river.” Lydia watched as the girl ran off, excited.


((to be continued))

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“Now then, this was quite a few years ago, likely before any of you were even thoughts in your parents heads!” Lydia looked around at the small gathering of teens and children, mostly girls. It was understandable that the crowd Ester would have gathered would be the lovesick and try-hards. But Lydia kept her word. Even to the people blinded by a false faith. “Back then, everything was much simpler. I helped my father train new people in a small military branch. He was was one of them.” She could fondly remember the day they first met. “I think he was the oldest recruit there. Almost eighteen years of age. Most of the others were around my own, from about thirteen to fifteen. Much like some of you here. My father had allowed me to instruct for my fifteenth nameday’s celebration, and I fully intended to do it correctly! ‘Twas my family’s tradition.”


She closed her eyes, envisioning the scene once again, laughing a little to herself. “He was chubby. Definitely out of shape. And he certainly did not look like he belonged there. Everything about him made it apparent he was of a tavern-holder’s family. And I certainly made my fair share of jokes and ridicules for it. He was larger, slower, and far more uncoordinated from the rest.” She took a small pause to gauge the interest. Most seemed to want to hear more.


“I was completely set on making sure he would be trained as well as any of the others. A task I think I had completed properly. There were many nights I would single him out for extra work. More malms to run. More pushups than the rest. Stricter evaluations. He was motivated, I’ll give him that.” She laughed a little. “And there was the one time I caught him sleeping when he was not supposed to. A soldier’s life was not suited for him, but he made it work. I like to think it was for me.”


“But it worked. And a fine soldier he became. When we met again years later, I could still see traces of what I had instilled. He likely was perhaps a little too dim to realize such.” She concluded the story with a few finishing remarks about how after they had met again, he’d finally proposed. But only after he could best her in a duel. “I would not settle for anything but the best. And he worked to become that for me.” She blushed slightly. “It was rather flattering.”


“For a short time, we fought together, before other events prompted us to settle down. If he is even half the man I remember, I still believe he is wandering about, having not given up to find his way home.” She gave a final remark to the small group. “Otherwise, I shall find him myself and he shall rue the day he left!”

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