Jump to content

Marishi Ten

Members
  • Content Count

    95
  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About Marishi Ten

  • Rank
    Journeyman
  • Birthday February 21

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Hydaelyn
  • Interests
    Clothcrafting, smoking, exploring new areas, reading new books or uncovering something unknown
  • Occupation
    Adventurer/Sell Sword

Contact Methods

  • Discord
    Marishi Ten#8111

Recent Profile Visitors

252 profile views
  1. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    “You dareth challenge me, mewling God with the attire of mortal skin?” Odin said to Marishi. Alexander answered “Doth thou not belong in thine time? I have seen thee Dark Rider. I hath seen the wake of death thou leave in thy wake. Thou cannot be suffered unchecked. Thou shall be judged.” Odin let out a guttural laugh, ugly and metallic. “Very well! Mewling God, the bout begins with thee.” Odin had bared Zansetsuken and Marishi had released the Gordian Blade. They circled slowly, watching eachother for any intention or sudden movement. Internally, Marishi was struggling with Alexander. “This is a fool’s errand my lord. You can feel his energy and it dwarfs yours and mine combined. He will drain you dry to feed his own aether and he will crush my body underneath his steeds’ hooves. This is folly.” Marishi said to Alexander. “It is what the pact was made for Harbinger. Thou knowest better than all. This is our fate.” Was all Alexander’s reply was. Marishi was beginning to panic. Alexander was going to fail. As Odin was, he was near unstoppable. But he wasn’t without his weak points and the fighting with the RedBellies though small, had weakened him. If they could only weaken him more so they could stand on equal footing. “My lord, we must away. As he stands, Odin will devour us. But with outside interference, he could be weakened enough for us to sneak attack a fatal blow. But as he stands now, no attack we score will bring him down. We also have Rae and Serreth in the field. Fighting, dying. Think of them, my lord.” Marishi begged. She knew Alexander felt the love for Rae that Marishi felt. She knew he in his own way cared for Serreth. “Will thou not attack? Come child, show me thine quality!” Odin could be heard goading Marishi into attacking. “We have to save them. Life means more than Death. You know this my lord. If we value Death more than Life, we are no better than that shade that stands before us.” There was a long silence as if Alexander were searching his soul looking for an answer to a long-lost riddle. “I tire of waiting. Thy life is forfeit.” Odin lunged at Marishi. She brought up her katana to cross guard Zansetsuken. The blades didn’t actually touch, though the energy between the two was pulsing like a wave outward with enough force to feel it like a heartbeat. Marishi was beginning to weaken unable to force the Dark Rider back even with the assistance with Alexander. “Thou has a point, Harbinger. Perhaps it is better to preserve than to take in this instance. Know this, we are not done, and with the Dark Rider sufficiently weakened, we will render his judgement. We are simply postponing it for other pressing factors. Now Stop.” Alexander said. The last two words we audible and froze the area in a time lock for a precious few seconds for Marishi to get away. She jumped back and staggered towards the direction Rae went, when time unlocked. An Aetherial imprint of Alexander could be seen where Marishi was standing and was sliced into two by Odin’s cleave. Marishi prayed that without Alexander’s influence exuding from her, he wouldn’t recognize her. The gang was baffled. One moment Odin was locked in combat with a frail cat and the next, slicing apart a ghost to wisps. “BACK TO ARMS MEN – SHOWS OVER!” Yelled on of the Captains that launched the RedBellies back on the offensive against Odin. Slowly whittling him down. Marishi passed by the log trap and saw the feral child on the ground. Breathing, but wounded. Marishi passed right by her. She knew not her story, nor did she care to. The area had been singed and scorched with magic. Rae had been here and most likely put the little girl down without killing her. As Marishi passed by, she said to her, “You’re lucky you engaged my wife and not I child. I would have killed you where you stood without compunction. You’d do well to remember that. There is real evil in the world who won’t hesitate to take the lives of men, women, or children.” She left her with that as she came upon the semi smoldering battlements Rae had brought down. Logs and fortifications half destroyed allowed Marishi to deftly jump from one downed log to another before she got to the top of the first circle. In total, there were 3 circles, 3 gates, 3 fortifications. Rae was headed toward her mother, who would be in the third fortification. All Marishi had to do was follow the wake of chaos and devastation that her wife was leaving. As she jumped into the first inside courtyard, two RedBellies hopped from the shadows. “Shinobi.” Marishi stated flatly. They drew their Wakizashi’s and stared at her. One in front, the other in back. Marishi bent slightly and grasped her Katana ready to strike. These wouldn’t be deterred or intimidated by her. This would be fight. The front combatant took two Shurani and threw them at Marishi, causing her to brandish her blade and parry off the throwing knives. The second teleported from his place to just behind Marishi to stab her in the back and bring her down. Being trained in the Far East, Marishi knew of the battle tactics of not only the Samurai, but of the Shinobi as well and she knew their capabilities. She swung her head back and landed a head butt that burst open the Shinobi’s face with blood and bone. He himself shrieking. The front man, temporarily stunned by his comrade being devastated stood there. Marishi grabbed the screaming Shinobi and began punch him with the pommel and guard of her blade. She hit him multiple times in the face in the same place she heads butted him, over and over and over. His face wrapping wet with blood and white with bits of bone sticking out of the cloth. She grabbed him by his collar and ripped off his scarf to reveal the extent of the damage she had wrought upon him. She had nearly ripped off his nose where the nasal cavity could easily be seen. His entire mouth had been bashed him to the point he was choking on his own blood and teeth. His chin and jaw we pushed unnaturally back into his face and his brows were crushed to level with the depth of his eyes. There was blood and bone everywhere. Marishi spun him around to show his comrade what she had done to his friend. She said nothing, but stared at him promising he was next. She shoved the Shinobi forward and gouged into his back to expose ribs, spine and internal organs. He felt none of it. His body already in shock and shutting down. Marishi turned to the other combatant who was clearly intimidated. His breathing was heavy and erratic. No words we spoken as Marishi came down upon him like a storm. Marishi had found the second gate to be blasted open, wood burning and chains melting. Men on the left and right punctured with sword thrusts, on fire or withered husks from the sheer heat. Marishi was getting close. Then she saw Rae. She had just finished two gang members as they crumpled to the ground, but she did not see the woman with the lance in the blind portion of her vision. “RAE MOVE!” Marishi screamed, but it would be too late. She couldn’t react in time before that spear. That same spear that killed her father would take her life too. Marishi felt like she was running in slow motion to stop it. Knowing she would never make it and Rae would be dead. Fear and panic overwhelmed her. She would kill bitch then kill herself then. The dishonor of failing to protect her master too much for her to bear. Out of the corner of the hut came a blur that Marishi knew as Serreth. She moved far faster than Marishi ever could and before Avila could puncture Rae, Serreth haymakered her in the side of the head causing her to stagger and her blow to fail. Avila was equally as quick and kicked Serreth in the chest knocking her away as Marishi joined the fray. Serreth and Marishi putting themselves in front of Rae to shield her from Avila. Marishi flicked wet red blood off her blade as it spattered at Avila’s feet. “So, that’s how it’s gonna be, huh? We took you in Serreth, gave ya a home, fed ya, gave ya a job, paid ya wealth untold. This is how you repay ya brothers an sisters? I could have sworn I killed the redhead in the back there. Same time I gutted that spineless mange who thought he could save her. May have taken a bit longer, but he he’s about to fail at that too. A failure as a man and a father.” Avila smirked as she knew her words drew blood from Serreth and Rae. “Yer a new face I’ve not seen though. Pretty, but I know you for what you really are. Murderer. Killer. I sees it behind yer eyes. You share the same looks as me. It’s too bad it had to be like this. We could have been friends.” Marishi, Serreth, and Rae said nothing as they faced Avila and readied their attack formations.
  2. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    Marishi’s eyes point heavensward. Staring at nothing. Hardly breathing. Internally struggling for control of her own body with Alexander. She pleaded with him. If he was to strike now, he would lay low his enemy as the cost of the ones Marishi and Alexander as a byproduct were to protect. She reasoned that even if they stopped Odin in his tracks, he would be back. He would always be back. For he is an Elder Primal. The strongest of the avatars. He needs neither prayer nor worshipers to sustain himself in the world. When killed, his Aether disperses, but eventually recombines for his hunt to begin again, and again, and again, and again. Marishi and Alexander couldn’t be there to thwart his steps every time and to put it simply, Odin was an Elder Primal. Far stronger than Alexander would ever admit, but posed a very real threat to him. Marishi’s pleas fell upon silence even as she was vaguely aware of what was transpiring around her. “Thy nemesis seeks to claimeth your beloved. Thy Rider sees Weiyu within her soul. He will seek to taketh her. Who shall defend her mortal? You? Verily, not. Thou is pitiful against thine foe.” Alexanders reply tore through her mind. He was right. If Odin wanted Rae, Marishi would just be added to the body count. “Then I’d die with her, or I’d be shortly behind. You know I would.” Marishi retorted to Alexander. He knew she would take her own life. Without a second thought. She would open the veins in her arms and spill out her blood on the earth waiting for sleep to call her and the carrions to pick away her corpse. Marishi wasn’t using it as a threat. She would follow through. “Thy council rings true mortal. I may not have the strength needed to defeat thine enemy. But, there may be another way. Dangerous. For both. We share thine life force together and forge into us a blade to strike down which seeketh to rob us of what we hold dear.” Alexander said. Marishi was quiet. Waiting for the next part she knew was coming. She had already accepted. But had to agree. Silly formality of Gods and Espers. “The chance of losing thyself in mine Aether is high. Thou may be unable to return to thy body and it would rot as a lifeless husk to fade on the winds of time. Thou would be unable to join all thy hold dear across thy river as you will remaneth with me. Until the end days. Dost, thou accept thy risk? For it is the only way to challenge strength that even we may not overcome and protect what we have come to love and cherish.” Marishi was quiet. Never to return to the lifestream. Marishi would never see Rae across the River. She would never see the family she desperately yearned for. It was almost a sure thing that she would be absorbed. For a moment, she regretted ever delving into the iron contraption in the Hinterlands. Taking up his weapon. Agreeing to his vague and cryptic terms. She hated her youth. She should have been dead by now. It would have been so much easier to just grow old and die. Why? Was she so scared of dying and so selfish that she had to have what was lost at any cost? “Thy mind goes to dark places when it need not. Foolish girl. Ever were you to take up the blade. Ever were you to regain your youth. Your life did not start until you met her. Understand this, thou does not. She is the important one. She has ever been the important one. “ A tear slid from Marishi’s Onyx eye. “Thou leaveth the hope of the world with the girl.” The metal voice called. “And I leave none for myself.” Marishi replied. The RedBellies had ceased direct confrontation with The Dark Rider. Though some were able to score blows, they did such little effect that it wouldn’t matter. They pulled back awaiting instructions from their leader. A slender and lithe figure emerged from the command tent shadowed in the firelight to her back. In her hand she held a double-bladed forked lance of design never before seen. One of the men stepped forward and kneeled “M-My lady Avila. The boys – they reportin” She stepped into view. She was pretty, in her middle years and in the prime of her youth and career. She wore a smirk on her face. “So, the old relic finally decides to show back up and at out humble abode no less. Has he breached any of the gates Captain?” She asked almost bored. “N-None that I know. He seems to be focused on somethin out front and not our boys, though he flays em alive when they try to sneak attack.” Avila was curious as to what this other threat could be that would trump the might of her RedBellies. “Hmph. How quaint. And what of our wayward daughter? The old sod whose man and girl I killed? To run away … Like we wouldn’t find ya.” She was almost speaking to herself. “They’re pinned down at the gates where Odin is. They can’t get in” The captain stammered. “Well now, aint’ this shapin up to be somethin interestin. Ya got the Redbellies in the middle, my prize on the left, a wild card on the right, with a bloody Elder Primal set to wipe them all off the map. Call every man to arms and man the sentries. He goes near the cat, unleash hell on him. I’d like to watch this wild card a moment myself.” She issued her orders and slowly walked to the battlements overlooking the front gates. Hips swaying side to side, smile never leaving her lips. Her blonde ponytail swishing in the light. “Hath I found thee at last Weiyu? I sense thee Summoner. Eons hath I been bound to the bones of thy world. Searching. No release. I hath found you, my beautiful Weiyu. Thou shaketh and tremble. Need not so. I hath come to take thee into mine arms. For then we can be as one. As thou have always said.” Odin’s metallic voice ringing from the helmet. He had slid off his steed and began walking slowly, one boot at a time, toward Rae and the catatonic Marishi. She has shown no signs of recovery or change in her appearance. Her body was warm, but to look into her eyes was to see nothing. Though the fog was thick, behind Odin could be seen a small group of soldiers outside of the gate with a prisoner in tow. A Miquo’te. Bound and gagged. Hung over the arm of a burly man yelling about being let in with a high priority package for someone named Avila. Avila stood on the battlements focused on the exchange between the Elder Primal, the little Red Mage Miquo’te, and the not moving Samurai Miquo’te. “YA BETTER RUN GIRLIE! IT SOUNDS LIKE OLD ODIN HAS TAKIN A LIKIN TO YA! YA’D BEST DITCH THAT CORPSE FER THE BIRDS! DON’T WORRY, WE WILL STRING HER UP ON A POLE FIRST TO MAKE THE CARRION EASIER TA GET TO!” Avila yelled at Rae. Then began a shift. A slight wind caught. Odin stopped immediately. “What trickery is this?!” There was a humming. A deep baratone humming that grew louder and louder and louder until it drowned out all noise. The source seemed to Marishi. A singularity was beginning to form of pure golden light that lit the area around them shredding Odins shadows to tatters. Marishi had closed her eyes and her hands had clenched into fists. And everything stopped. No humming. No noise. Everyone and everything was quiet. The singularity then burst into a flashing gold light with a shockwave so large it knocked down every man save for Odin. He crouched down with his Zansetsuken dug into the earth to keep footing. When the dust cleared, all was as it was before the phenomenon. Men from the RedBellies started laughing about the girls master plan. The only one who seemed to notice the full scope and portent was Rae, kneeling over a no longer comatose Marishi, no longer Marishi at all, the Gordian blade pulsing with light so bright it was leaking through the sheath. Rae knew that Alexander had come to the body of her Wife. His ‘Harbinger’. The eyes shifter to Rae’s and stared at her with the spark of the divine behind them. She spoke softly. Trouble not thyself with this Dark Rider, my Malina. My Sun. We shall deal with the dark one. Save thy Mother, for to a child, Mother is God. Go. Now. And do no not look back. This is mine will and thy will of thy Wife. We agree. Now go!”
  3. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    The Thaliak River was one of the great rivers of Eorzea. It fed an infinite number of tributaries from its fresh snowmelt from the Sea of Spires, ever encased in snow. As the river traveled down from the mountains it cut what is known today as the Dravanian Hinterlands in twain. 20 years ago, it would have been known in its entirety as the Sharlayn City State. The strongest and most powerful of all the city states combined including Gridania, Ul’ Dah, Ishgard, Limsa Lominsa, and Ala Mhigo. Upon the Empire expanding into Eorzea and their subsequent defeat at what was known as Silvertear Falls, there was a mass exodus of the city state. Almost overnight it went from a bustling capitol to a ghost town, for the elements to reclaim. They Sharlayn’s had left so many projects half-finished or conceived in the Hinterlands. Most with the ability to annihilate the world if placed into the hands of one who knew how to use them. They left the Great Gubal Library to their automatic defense systems that would deteriorate overtime and be unable to discern friend from foe. The greatest Library the world had ever seen. No one to walk its halls save for now wild familiars and automatons ready to rend anything with flesh apart. The knowledge contained within the Great Gubal Library alone could not be measured in units of currency. Hundreds of thousands of tomes line it’s ever winding staircases and floors. From the mundane, to the philosophical, to botany, to necromancy and the forbidden arts of teleportation. In the dark. Alone. Forgotten. To crumble into dust and fade away. A piece of the world with it. The Antitower was another project left to stagnate with the absence of its creators. Said to be a direct pathway to the soul of the very star itself. The Aetherical balance unlike any in the world. The concentration so strong, it would warp and bend time, space, reason, and sanity. None could ever make it very far in due to the concentration of Aether destroying all reason and sense of self. The body would crumble as the soul moved onto the river. Only their long-lost caretakers knew the secrets to unlock their doors and they were missing, dead, or inaccessible. In the middle of the Thaliak River sat a large basin at the bottom of a water fall. None knew its depth. None could accurately measure it. The greatest achievements of Sharlaya lay at the bottom of that basin, purposefully sunk hoping no one would dredge its bottoms for the project they created. The project they themselves feared. They had gone too far with their vision. They dreamt of a mobile city of learning and understanding. Traveling the land, taking upon those who wished to join their ranks and know more of the world. No longer would they have to risk sending their people out to those remote areas with little chance of surviving and coming back with any relevant data or information. No, they would go to the remote areas, catalogue everything, and become a bastion of hope and understanding to the world. But those who possess all the knowledge are the ones who ultimately are the strongest and most powerful. And the powerful do not share their power willingly. This project would devolve from ushering in a golden age of reason and peace, to a dark age of tyranny and deceit. The Garleans could not have this prize they built. And so they sunk the citadel far below the waves of the great basin of the Thaliak River. Never to be seen, utilized, or even existed. But knowledge is ever a self-serving mistress and it must be made known lest credit goes unnoticed. Tomes in the Great Library mention the citadel and where it lay sleeping for its eternity. A library unguarded save for a few machines and frogs. Eventually the tomes were unearthed and through a series of events, the citadel was reactivated, not as a mobile fortress, but as a living, thinking, breathing, Primal. The largest any had ever seen. It emerged from the basin and began to bleed the land dry of Aether to sustain its massive hulk and free itself from the fetters of its prison. They called the Primal “Alexander”. Ultimately, the threat of the Primal devastating the land and those responsible for waking and misusing its power were made to heel and the machine entered back into a slumbering phase. The Scions thought they had purged the city of the Primal. But Alexander, being ever resourceful, could never actually be vanquished. He waited and bided his time for one that was weak and wounded of heart and mind to stumble upon him. He didn’t have to wait long. But time to the entity that lords over it is immaterial. Marishi entered into his steel and copper halls in the beginning of her twilight years, steam and pistons light up to life at her passing. Alexander had found the one he was looking for and instilled her with a weapon. The weapon would not only serve her better than any other in existence, it would reverse the damaging effects time had upon her body, though it could do nothing to soothe her old and weary mind. But everything comes at a price. He named her his ‘Harbinger’. When the time came for her to fulfill her contract with Alexander, she would fulfill it. She wouldn’t have a choice. She would be able to maintain free will up till then. But in the end, she was a thrall to the Primal. Alexander was bonded to Marishi on every level of her existence. The pain she felt, he felt. The anguish in her mind, was his anguish. Her self-doubt, loathing, hatred, fear, despair, violence were all his as they were her’s. But Marishi was more than just war personified. Marishi loved and was loved in return. Alexander felt this love and it held up his own spirit even if he was just experiencing it third hand. That was how great Marishi and Rae’s love was for one another. It was unrequited and selfless. Marishi laughed and felt peace in the glow of Rae’s love. She could be at ease and lay her burdens down. She could lean on another when the weight of the world became more than she could bear. All of this and more. Alexander felt through Marishi. In a way, Alexander loved Rae. As much as Marishi loved Rae. But the time for the Harbinger to awaken was drawing close at hand. The louder and closer the thundering became, the closer Marishi came to becoming a weapon of holy judgement bent upon one task: To bring the Dark Rider to heel and judge his deeds and render judgement. The Dark Rider’s strength was palpable. Even to Alexander from his distance. The great machines copper and brass floors and walls that had sat dark for so long began to hum. The Gordias cores inside that powered Alexander sparked and started to glow a muted pastel blue. Lights flickered and came on as the startup sequence was processing. Alexander was powering on to see his will be done by his Harbinger. He would be there. Within Marishi. Granting her weak and frail body strength beyond anything she could imagine. Her mind … Alexander hesitated as a kaleidoscope of memories flashed. All of Rae. This wasn’t part of the plan for Marishi to fall in love and fuse those feelings into Alexander. He would try to save her mind. If he could. But more like than not, when all was over, she would be a lifeless husk. A body with nothing to inhabit it. He would try for love of Rae. The pistons began to fire and cogs began turning, life returning to the machine. Gathering enough power to transfer to his ‘Harbinger’ to put down this dark nemesis.
  4. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    Marishi listened silently. She knew the gist of the story. Even the parts Rae wouldn’t let on. 90 years had Marishi been alive. She knew a half truth when she heard it. She knew pain and guilt when she heard it as well. She knew all too well the feeling of being wounded so deeply it cut into your soul. Changed the very person you were to become. Snuffed the light of who you were to be only to become the twisted image of what you are. Marishi knew her pain. Even if she didn’t truly know her pain. Marishi’s thoughts turned to her own now defunct family. A mother she had never met. A father who should have hated her, but chose to love her. Like, but unlike Serreth. Marishi’s father loved her despite Marishi snatching the life of his wife to fuel her own selfish existence. Rae didn’t kill her father. Other men did. A woman did. That woman wasn’t Rae. She couldn’t be faulted for her father’s demise. He was his own man. He made his own choices. At any time, he could have walked away. He chose to love his daughter and to protect her. There’s no shame in dying for something or someone you believe in. Marishi would have gladly shed her blood for Rae without question and without thought. The duality of Marishi also understood Serreth. She understood her sadness and anger. She understood her disdain she held for Rae, though the thought also filled her with guilt. She could understand. Serreth loved Rae. But she couldn’t allow herself to love her. To love her would be to accept the death of her husband and accept that he wasn’t going to walk back into the door and take her in her arms. Perhaps Serreth was jealous of Rae. For having the love and the life she should have had but was taken away by Rae before she could ever really enjoy safety and happiness. All of this Marishi thought as Rae told her story. She said nothing as she spoke and didn’t once look at her, but looked at the speeding ground. Once she was done, Marishi quietly said “I’m sorry. I know better than you may realize the pain you feel. The pain she feels. She will realize, before the end, that she loves you. Let’s make sure that that her end isn’t soon.” They came upon the stream and watered the Chocobo. They entered into the cave and looked around. The cave didn’t appear to be disturbed, though Rae’s advice was sound. It was too brazen to sleep in a warm and predictable cave. Though they Chocobo had to stay in the cave to remain hidden. Rae and Marishi made their bed under the boughs of the Black Shroud and her branches. Amid the eerie lights and Aether reaching to the sky. “This weather is unlike anything I have ever seen or heard before. The fog is heavy and it’s cold. Far too cold.” Marishi said as Rae nestled close to Marishi’s chest as her own back leaned against the trunk of the tree they had climbed. “Sleep. As well as you can. I’ll stay awake a bit longer.” Marishi wrapped her arms around Rae as she leaned back and rested her head against Marishi’s chest. Soon, her breathing leveled out and slow and even. She had fallen asleep. Marishi laid there uneasy. There was a heartbeat in the fog. It was living and malicious. Probing the Black Shroud. Searching. Searching for something. She must have drifted off at some point. Hooved pounded the ground. They were so loud they sounded like thunder. Each step booming. But light streaking the sky. The sky couldn’t even be seen with the oppressive fog. The fog distorted everything. Voices sounded malms away, shadows jumped at the corner of the eye. The reverse aether snow and the sickly green muted light. Paranoia would begin to instill in the residents of the Black Shroud and soon after, panic. Marishi hoped the Wood Wailers and God’s Quiver could hold it together and their assigned areas log enough for the worst to pass. There was malice the movements. Anger and hatred. But the negative emotions seemed to be directed at nothing. Or something long since gone from the world. The thunder pounded harder and harder. It wasn’t hooves. It was the very bones of the earth bending under the might of something that strode upon it. Something that promised in it’s unnatural weather bloodshed and release from the bonds of mortality. Something that wanted conflict. It the fog could be bested, those that brought it down may yet live. Though a fool’s errand that was. This foe was obviously far greater than any of them could ever hope to bring down. Any of them except... Marishi opened her eyes with a start. Rae was already awake, wide eyed and shaken. She could hear the thunder too. She could feel the shake of the land. Whatever it was that was the lord of this unholy change was moving. And it was moving their way. Slowly. Marishi shivered. “My dreams were plagued by nightmares. Fog promising a quick and easy death. A seething anger for looking for something for mellenia and never finding it. Everything stuck on repeat for years upon years. I’m scared Rae. I’m scared that thing down there will destroy us. I haven’t been this scared since … since … it doesn’t matter. It’s been a very long time. The smells bring back memories I’ve tried to forget. There is a foe in the mist orchestrating its existence. It’s something material. And it’s headed this way. That sound isn’t thunder. There is no lighting. That sound is hooves of a horse beating down and causing the planet agony with each step.” Marishi said quietly. Genuine terror written on her face. It was more unnerving to see how scared she was than the fog itself. “We cannot leave. We cannot go back. Even if we wanted to. Your Mother is still down there and her risk has exponentially risen. We are no match for this foe. None are. Save … Save for maybe the Scions of The Seventh Dawn. I could write a missive to Rowena explaining the situation where she could petition their aid, but we have no way to get it to Quarrymill to be flown to Mor Dhona and it would still take them time to organize, strategize, arm, and outfit and ride to the South Shroud. They would have to pass through Coerthas to the North Shroud, to the East, to the South. We’d be long dead before they even got to the Observatory in Coerthas.” Marishi was babbling and she couldn’t understand why. She was speaking every thought that came to her mind without compunction. “We have to find your Mother and defend her at all costs.” Marishi thought of Serreth. She didn’t much care for her. She didn’t like her mannerisms, or her darting sharp eyes. She didn’t like her probing questions or ability to say things without saying them. She didn’t like how adept she was at lying and deceit. She didn’t like how she treated Rae. She didn’t like how in some ways, looking at Serreth was like looking into a mirror for Marishi. This bothered her the most. But if she could save Serreth, maybe, just maybe, the Sins of her killing her own mother would ease. “In the eyes of a child, Mother is God.” Marishi said suddenly. Shocked by her own thought and her saying it aloud. “No one has passed and it’s been about 4 hours I think. It’s hard to tell time here. We need to go.” Rae and Marishi slid off the tree, stiff from staying still for so long, drinking from the stream, they grabbed the Chocobo from the cave. Marishi helped Rae into the saddle and she herself mounted side saddle behind Rae in the event she had to be on the ground quickly to stave off an assault or launch one. All the while, the thunder rolled and the sounds of a volcano erupting in a distance could be heard. Something was nipping at their heels. They darted out of the cave with Rae acting as tracker. Marishi began to notice her own thoughts and consciousness begin to fade away. She wasn’t dying, but she was being changed. She could hear chanting in her ears. The blending of a male and a female voice in unison. They were chanting. She couldn’t hear or understand it all, but the more she listened, the more her world melted away and the darkness overtook her mind, to remember nothing but the chanting: … Memory writing, reading Error! Repeat Deleting Radicals Flowing Free And Energy Slowly Seeping Suspending All Disbelief In Synergy With Our Being Synapses Fire In Three, Then… Your World’s A Fantasy You’ve Failed The Test Ever Forging All New Fallacies Creating More Mess Directly Through This Bleak Machine With All Of the Rest DC! Dying, Dying, Electricity!
  5. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    How many years had it been? 1,000? 3,000? 5,000? How many years did he spend locked in that crystalline cell, soul seething, feeding off the very thing that gave him power? How long had it been since he escaped his eternal confinement, for his body, his soul, his vengeance to manifest again? Ah, yes. He was searching for someone. Someone important. Who? Were they alive? Dead? Did it even matter? What was their name? Why were they hunting them down with such fervent desire? What was his own name again? It had been so long, so long locked away forced to sleep for eons. So long he had forgotten his own name. If he had forgotten his own name, than everything else was gone as well. He had no identity in which to call upon. No name in which to refer to himself. He suddenly felt very small and very alone in a world he couldn’t remember which he had spent thousands of years under its very sky. He felt a gentle nudge of a wet nose on his arm as he was succumbing to his own darkness. The nose nudged him twice and snorted slightly. A horse. Black as the very night with a mane that shone slick in the light. His mane was always slick it seemed. Its teeth curled and barring over the bit with eyes as red as blood it stared at him. It was a huge beast with a hulking barreling chest adorned with black and burnt wrought iron armor and fittings. Jagged and uneven as if they had been pulled from a funeral pyre or a scene of battle with everything charred. He stroked the mane of the horse with his armored hand, reassuring the beast that its master was well and not giving in to despair. He himself wore form fitting battle armor from head to toe. Nothing could be seen of his under armor, or his skin, if he had any. Her could be just a immaterial wisp incorporating itself in the shell of the armor granting it twisted and unholy life. He wore a helmet that bore no nose or breathing piece of any kind. Just pale golden light for its eyes that lit up the area around him. The helmet had two long horns on either side that stretched to the heavens. His armor black and gold trimmed, but looked of the same material, design, and condition as his steeds. On his back he wore a long and slender spear that appeared to be able to split the heavens wide itself. Wrought black with a thin and waving double blade the spear could be thrown as easily as wielded. At his hip he knew where the source of his dormant strength and unholy life lay. A black sword, one handed and curved in the way of traditional Samurai of the far east. It was a one handed sword, though the blade was three times longer than it should be for a mortal to wield it with any effectiveness. The blade was pitch black and pulsed with small shockwaves that caused gravity and the rules of relativity to break down. Dust, particles, small rocks all rose into the air the passing of this Dark Rider. He hesitantly gripped the blade. Fear rocking him for he knew once he gripped it, he would be lost forever. But since he was no one without a name anyway, why not succumb to the swords murmurings. He was hit with a tidal wave of memories and emotions as he touched the weapon. His memories and emotions. No, that’s not quite right. It was the weapons memories and emotions. He was beginning to remember. A warrior of unequaled skill and might. Traveling to the world to find an equal to himself in the prowess of battle. Land to land, continent to continent did he travel besting opponent after opponent. He would never raise his blade to a man that didn’t first swing his own. He wasn’t a murderer. He detested those that would take innocent life. But if a man were to wield a blade against him. That was a challenge that would be accepted without exception. How many men did he kill on his travels? Where was he from? The memories flooding him too quickly to understand them all. He spent time in the Far East. Challenging warriors from over the land. None could best him or even come near him. He was bored. Bored of his ability and skill that cut down swaths of enemies before him. He wouldn’t even ask for their names. He didn’t care. To be killed by him was met the with reward of dying in anogminity. Nothing. Worse than nothing. That was, until one warrior showed up with a particular weapon. The weapon was beautiful beyond words. Forged black and in the oriental style. He remembered the man who brought it against him. He could remember his face. It was an Au’Ra. A cut above the rest in skill and dedication. He and the Au’Ra fought for what seemed like days. Unable to score a blow against the other. Back and forth, back and forth. Neither giving an inch. Neither having to. The Au’Ra was unparralled with his wielding of his sword. His movements graceful and flowing. He had never seen anything like it before. The Au’Ra was even able to score a hit that sliced into armor and gouged the steel. He would go on to claim the life of the Au’Ra, but not before bowing in respect to the skill of the man before taking his weapon to claim as his own. It was the greatest honor he could bestow upon anyone. He remembered the man he killed and honored him by wielding his weapon. A sword he named Zansetsuken. He remembered returning to the shores of Eorzea. Rife with civil war and annexation of lands. The all mighty Allagan Empire. Their kingdom spanning tip to tip, globe to globe. It feared nothing in the world. It feared everything. What it didn’t understand, it would be made to heel before its might and subjugated and incorporated into the machine that became an Empire. War breaking out in the south. The last continent to retain autonomy. Meracydia. The home of Dragons. But even they fell to the Allagan Empire. At terrible cost. The Empire was weak and unstable after decades of fighting. Fearing a civil uprising, the Empire dispatched its very best soldiers to the four corners of its kingdom. These soldiers were named “Summoners”. Able to wield the dormant Aether from within and without themselves, condensing it and giving physical form, the “Egi” was developed. A miniature version of a Primal. The very beings that could stop the great empire from expanding. Science fused with prayer. Theirs was a force to be reckoned with. It was during this time did he make his return to Eorzea. More thoughts, memories, and emotions slammed into his head. He was being hunted by the Empire. He knew not why. There was a bounty placed upon him and one of the most heavily decorated and renowned Summoners was dispatched to snatch away his life. He needent’ hide. He would confront them on the field of battle. This Weiyu. She would fail in her task to destroy him as all the others. He was confused. There were no more memories or thoughts after this. Just blackness. Like nothing existed. It was the last thing he could actually remember. A cold thought gripped him. How many times has he recalled the memories like this before? How many times did he awake with no sense of thought or purpose. The sword reassured him. It didn’t matter. They had meaning. They had someone to find and someone to kill. Purpose filled him to the brim. He was no longer scared or alone. He was searching and defiant. He was searching for someone long dead as he rode upon his steed Slepinir, the Dark Rider, Odin began his quest anew.
  6. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    T Sun was so bright. Marishi squinted her eyes against it refusing to open them at all. She hurt all over. There wasn’t one inch of her that didn’t feel sore or broken. She moved her hand encased in her Kote on the dry gravel making noise that alarmed the few bypasses that stood around at the spectacle. A seasoned Miquo’te of the Far East laying on her back, prostrated, near beat senseless. Behind her a small cottage that belonged to one of their residents, its door hanging wildly off of one jam. Inside could be see where the small home was obliterated. Furniture smashed, entire walls pushed in. Serreth had drop kicked Marishi out of the house and onto the trail leading to it, he feet snatching the breath from her body. Before she could fully sit up the last thig she could remember is a green leather booth crashing it’s heel down onto her head. She touched her head lightly right below where it would be. It caused her to wince in pain. And the skin was bright read and hot. Rae limped up to her and cradled her head in her arms. What they needed was rest, which wasn’t a possibility. Time was against them. Time was always against them. They needed to reach the Red Bellies before they made it to their home turf to take Serreth back from them. If they made it inside their “hive” getting Serreth out with Marishi, Rae, or Serreth alive would become a remote if not impossible task. “I’m fine, you don’t have to dote on me so, Sun Ray.” Marishi Croaked, her eyes shadowed in pain and blood crusted around her lips and head. The boot heel to the head caused the most damage and left a wheeling gouge still slowly oozing blood causing her brain to feel like it was splitting into two. She could hardly sit up, let alone mount a rescue and a suitable defense. Not the way Marishi was, not the way Rae was now. With Rae’s help Marishi sat up and almost vomited from the pain. She would be going nowhere. The thought dawned upon her as she began to panic. They had here and there was nothing they could do about it. It’s not like they had a miracle in their pocket. Then, through the pain, the thought dawned on her and went a lance of sunshine through her clouded thoughts. She turned toward one of the onlookers. A young Elezen. “You.” Marishi said staring straight at him with her onyx eye beginning to swell shut and her sanguine clouded with pain. “How near is the excavation site for the Gelmorran Ruins? How far away is it outside of town?” She asked him in a croaked and forced voice. “Uhh – Are you alright miss? The old lady seems to have worked one or two over on the both of you.” He started to laugh that two hale and hearts Miquo’te could be bested by some mummy in an old shack. Marishi darted him a look that could kill. “How. Far. Away.” She repeated slowly. “A-a-about a half bells ride.” He stammered. Marishi reached into her breast pocket and pulled out a pouch that jingled of coin. “All of it if you head out there and fetch a hearer and Seedseer. Right now, boy time is wasting. They can find us in the Druthers.” Marishi threw half the Gil at him for promise to pay and with Rae’s help, rose shakily to her feet. Together the two leaned on each other heavily as they walked to the bar to await Marishi’s plan. The boy stared with wide eyes at the ground. All that Gil to just fetch some fools who are too simple to understand old ruins. The deal was perfect for him. He’d be at the Druthers within 20 minutes with their hearer in tow. Marishi and Rae arrived at the bar to the considerable shock of the patrons. One look at them they could tell they had been in a fight for their lives. A fight which they did not fare well in. They limped, gasped in pain, and bled freely through their clothing and dripped on the floor. “Water. As much as you can spare it. And cloths. If you have any liquor, we’ll take that too. Food as well. Something light and not greasy. Hurry up.” Marishi and Rae moved to a table in the back away from the light of the fireplace and setting Sun. Pitchers soon arrived fill of cool and clean water with the cloth they asked for. First Marishi and Rae drank as much of the water as they could. They had been dehydrated since the altercation and laying in the hot Sun did not help matters. Once their thirst had been slaked, they began to wash themselves of the blood and grime. While they were in the middle of cleaning a young hearer not much older that 20 summers showed up, her eyes wide with fright upon seeing the two seasoned warriors in such broken shape. “Take a seat.” Said Marishi to the hearer. She did as she was told, sat down, and waited for Marishi to begin to explain what she wanted. “You are a hearer, no? So, you have been trained in the basic ways of a Conjurer. This is why I have asked for you. I need you to heal my companion and I. Just enough to be put back into fighting condition.” Marishi asked. “I’m afraid I haven’t used any of those skills in years. Yes, we are trained in the basics of healing, but we don’t use them as hearers. I’m afraid I can’t help you. I don’t remember how. Besides, Conjury can mend scrapes and cuts. Mending broken bones and internal bleeding requires the assistance of a White Mage, which there are few in the world. Perhaps I can send word to Quarrymill – “The young hearer was cut short. “Don’t worry about your ability. I’ll walk and talk you through it. All you have to do is listen to my words and do as I tell you. Can you do that?” Marishi asked impatiently. “Who are you?” The young hearer asked. “No one of consequence. My name doesn’t matter. Just know that the arts of the White Mage I once wielded. I can no longer wield them, though I can tell others how to. Please. You’d not only be saving our lives, but the lives of this hamlet and someone they took.” Marishi honestly pleaded with her. The hearer thought a moment. “Okay. I’ll try. No promises.” She said. “What do I do?” Marishi sat back in her chair and fought back the queasiness in her stomach. “Close your eyes and star into the infinite black. Close out all other thought, sound, feeling except my voice. Focus.” The hearer focused on Marishi’s voice until it became an echo and all the other sounds of the bar disappeared. “Feel for the Aether. Feel its wisps. They’re all around you. Twisting and turning up from the land. From every living thing. Feel it as it gently caresses your cheek and holds your hand.” The hearer drew in a sharp breath from the ability to actually feel what she was describing. “Don’t lose focus. The Aether is there to protect you. Not hard you. Its presence isn’t alien. It’s with you all the time. Feel it bend around you. Now, begin to draw the Aether toward you. Like a mother calling her child. Bend it to your will. Slowly.” The hearer was having trouble with this part, Marishi could feel. She couldn’t bend the aether as well as should have been. “Imagine the Aether. Its soft green tendrils lifting like smoke and heat off the land. Off each other. You can see it, all around you. A smoky haze. Formless and lazy.” The hearer could see it in her minds eye. The wisps of green Aether dancing to and fro. “Bend the Aether to your will gently. Use yourself as a conduit for it’s storage and manipulation.” The hearer began to call the Aether to herself and let it intermingle with her own lifeforce. Building it up as a battery. She began building and building until she was on the verge of bursting. “Channel the Aether. Release it in small waves of succor directed at myself and the woman sitting next to me. Do not release it all at once, but in small pulses bent to heal wounds and provide peace to the broken.” The hearer stretched out her hand toward Marishi and Rae. She was enveloped by a soft green light that focused on her hand and leapt out to Marishi and Rae. Covering them. Caressing them. Loving them. Speaking of rest and comfort. Love and understanding. As the light enveloped them, their wounds began to seal closed. Even Marishi’s gouge on her head. The pain of the attacks subsided and vigor filled their bodies and tranquility their minds once again. “You can stop now. Open your eyes hearer, the world of the living calls you once again.” Marishi said. The woman had the face of peace and happiness. While she was one with the Aether. When she awoke from her dream, her face changed to one of sadness and yearning. Wanting nothing to but to drift upon the Aetherial Waves once more. “I’m sorry to call you back. But it is the price that’s paid to serve and heal others. One day, you will join with the river, and you will not have to be called back. Keep that in your heart, hearer. You’ve done a great thing today. My partner and I thank you.” Marishi said graciously. She and Rae were healed from their wounds with their cuts, bruises, damage all gone and replaced with healed vigor. They quickly at down the light dinner and drank the rest of the water. Marishi and Rae thanked the bartender, the boy, and last but not least, the Hearer. She was tired from the tax that channeling succor did to her body. She would lay down in the taverns bed and not awake for two days. Marishi and Rae left the building walking quickly with sure footing and fast stride. “We need speed. And a guide.” Marishi stopped suddenly. “No, we don’t need a guide, do we? You know where they’re going. I’m sorry, Solar, I need you to recall unpleasant memories. I need you to lead us to their ‘hive’. We need to stop them from taking your Mother. We can explain to her that we are not her enemy and that we will defend her from them.” Marishi said to Rae. She knew how hard it was to pull up old dredged memories steeped in fear and sorrow. She knew the pain Rae would feel every step forward. But they had to save her Mother. This was the only way. They walked to the stable keeper and fetched their White two-person Chocobo and mounted. Rae guiding the bird, and Marishi the passenger. “Ride with all haste. With any luck, we can cut them off before they get there. Go! Go now!” Rae spurred the bird into a full sprint down the small hunter’s trail that led to the ‘hive’. As they rode, the hairs on their arms picked up and the light emitted began to change from a silvery glow to a sickly green. Marishi and Rae didn’t even notice as they were sprinting toward their destination. They didn’t notice as Aether began to seep up from the ground in white particles. Like falling snow, but headed towards the sky and not the earth. They were far too focused on retrieving family than worry about what the weather may be warning them of.
  7. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    Marishi was already awake when she felt Rae stir and leave the bed. She wanted to lay awhile longer to collect her thoughts. Something wasn’t right. There was something fundamentally wrong. With Serreth, with Buscaroon’s, with the Red Bellies, with herself. It was like the more and more she dug, the further entangled she became in the web and the harder it was to understand and rationalize motives. She heard the difference in Serreth’s tone. She couldn’t hear what was said, but there was an edge to the words. Irritation, impatience. Like Rae was interrupting her. Marishi didn’t like the tone Serreth held with Rae. She could only imagine how much it stung to be lashed with them by her own mother. As Rae and her mother exchanged words, Marishi quickly dressed, then fully armed. Even if it was to intimidate some old woman, she would. The moment Rae knocked on the door and left the home, Marishi opened the door and walked out. She moved slowly, her eyes falling over everything. Taking all information in, betraying none of it outwardly. She stopped in the middle of the room and addressed Serreth cordially. “Good morning, Mother in law. Slept well, I presume?” Marishi was feigning being polite. Serreth said nothing as she stared back at her. “I was actually hoping I could have a moment to speak with you alone.” Marishi said take a few strides towards her, her left hand resting on the grip on her Gordian Katana. She didn’t want to come off as intimidating or forceful, but there were worse things to be in this situation and she would make sure that she was fully understood. “As I’m sure Rae has told you, I was raised and formally educated by the Holy See of Ishgard and it’s Church. The Heavensward often being the headmasters of the varying fields of focus. I’m not ignorant to corruption, lies, or politics. Neither is Rae having been forced to Sharlaya.” Marishi made it a point to hang on that last sentence. “While Rae is out, you and I are going to talk. Just us. No one else need hear and no one else need know. There’s more going on here than you let on. It’s not chance that two Red Bellies show up in the Hamlet yesterday and are subsequently found dead.” Marishi smiled. “My doing by the way. I killed them both. It’s not not a coincidence that around that same time, you began to act strange as well. You think I buy your martyr’d heart and sob stories? Please.” Finally Marishi was getting to it. She was going to push the balance and create chaos. “Plus the monsters you keep under your rug. Literally! Five men have entered into the hamlet this morning. All part of a larger organization. Two sure took a liking to your shack out yonder. You’d think they’d give me a reward for turning you in?” Before Marishi could finish musing over her last thought, Serreth dropped all pretense and attacked Marishi. This caught her off guard and she was only able to deflect one or two blows before a flurry of slaps and holds threw her to the ground, stunned. “What in the hell was that?!” Marishi said almost comically. “I won’t let you take me back.” Was all she said. “Look, old lady, I don’t have time for your dementia or other such nonsense. We’re getting out of here.” Marishi went to grab her by her collar when Serreth grabbed her wrist spun her behind her back and kicked her down causing Marishi to slide across the floor. Marishi wasn’t amused anymore. This old woman had strength to her and worse, she had skill. Marishi scrambled to her feet and shoved her shoulder into Serreth causing her to skid away from the door. “Fine, be that way. But you’re coming with us. One way or the other. I knew we shouldn’t have trusted any word out of your mouth.” Marishi said through clenched teeth. She put her hand on the hilt of her sword and began to draw her Gordian Katana. Serreth was on her like a storm before she could even clear a third of the blade from the sheathe. She grabbed Marishi’s hand and with another, her face. She snapped the Katana back into it’s resting spot and shoved Marishi’s face back causing her to stagger. Serreth pulled the sword from her sash and threw it across the room, disarming Marishi. Rae had arrived back from grabbing the fire wood as instructed to be greeted by her mother clearly embattled by her wounded wife. Spells were useless, weapons were divested. hand to hand is what it came down to in that tiny house. Two women against one. Fledglings against a master. All was quite a moment, Rae moving into Serreth’s blind spot. She herself not moving an inch. Marishi striked. She used her left hand to open handed hit her in the side of the head while her right went for her rib cage. Serreth countered like it was nothing, slapping her hands away, jabbing Marishi in the throat and elbowing her across the cheek causing her to stagger and fall. Rae attempted to attack from behind at the same time. Serreth kicked her right leg backward ramming into Rae’s shin causing her to howl in pain. Serreth spun and Rae raised her hands in a defense position, deflecting her blows poorly until Serreth, hit her hands away from her face stunned her by hitting her head, and kicking her across the room shattering a small chair she slammed into. Marishi came down on her as she was engaged with Rae only to be met with immediate resistance and several quick and sharp blows to the face and sternum. Serreth grabbed her arm right below her elbow and spun her over her shoulder throwing Marishi down to the floor slamming her head into the wood. Rae was getting up from the splintered wood and used one of the larger pieces as a club swinging it at Serreth. She jumped back swayed and dodged the blows until she caught Rae’s arm and slammed the club out of her hand, backhanding her across her face and putting her into a body hold. She hit her once more before letting her fall to the ground. “God … Damn … Lady.” Marishi said amused at her own misjudgment of Serreth. She thought her just a manipulative codger, not a martial arts expert who could tear through two seasoned soldiers. There was no outmaneuvering her. She was too lithe and too fast. She would just feint to the side and catch you undefended. There was no chance at actual combat due to how small the home was and how the furniture seemed strategically placed to hamper anyone that might attempt to wield a weapon. Rae was groaning trying to get up while Marishi was obviously fatigued from the exertion. Serreth remained impassive staring at them both with sharp and narrowed eyes. She didn’t hate them, but she saw them as a threat and she would neutralize them by subduing them or killing them. Marishi pulled herself up to full height and said “I wonder if they taught you how to fight like that. Or if you picked it up. Don’t bother lying. The front you put up is impressive, but I knew the moment we got here that something was wrong. That you were lying. About something. How long have they had you in their pockets? How much do they actually pay you? Or do you know too much and that’s why they sent those assassins to come kill you?” Serreth’s hand clenched into a fist. “You should know since you take orders from them. How long has Rae been in their pocket? Feeding me money until I worked up the stupidity to invite her and you to my home where you could stab me in the back? How much did they pay you? Was it dead or alive? Are you just a hired sword or did they initiate you into their ranks? It doesn’t matter, you’re going to get out of my way or I’m going to kill you. I don’t want to kill you or Rae, but I’ll do what it takes to survive. As I’ve ALWAYS done. I wonder if Rae ‘running off alone’ for her father to chase her and be taken from me was always the plan.” Marishi heard enough and closed the gap on Serreth. No amount of parrying or speed was going to be enough to be able to break through her defense, but perhaps brute force could. She made no attempt to block Serreths blows as she hit, slapped, kicked, palmed, and punched her all over her body. Marishi got close enough to elbow Serreth across the side of her face stunning her. Marishi took the opening to hit her on the other side of her head to knock her down. Serreth went down and kicked Marishi in her shin causing Marishi to stagger back. Rae hit Serreth in the back of the head with a vase, but only seemed to irritate her as she slapped Rae’s hands away, jabbed her in the throat, kneed her in the stomach, jump to grab the wooden rafters in the ceiling, and swing using both feet to send Rae flying to the other side of the room slamming into the wall. Not getting up. Marishi was recovered enough to continue to resist. Serreth was finally beginning to tire and her hits were becoming weaker, as was Marishi. They began to trade blow for blow both breathing heavily, sweat mixing with blood and bruises begging to swell. Marishi was in front of the door blocking her Serreth’s path. She deflected Marishi’s hands, jumped, and drop kicked Marishi with both her feet, throwing her through the front door to the patio outside rolling into the railing. The home was completely destroyed. Broken furniture and stoneware all over the floor. Paintings ripped off the walls or canvas torn. Scuffs and scratches all over the floor and dents in the plaster in the walls. Serreth had beaten back both Rae and Marishi as both were down and barely able to move. Serreth began moving to the front door to leave when just outside she was hit with a large and heavy object over the head the sent her falling crashing to the ground, eyes closed. Marishi looked up with blurred vision to see a man dressed in leather armor stare down at her and use his boot to render her unconscious.
  8. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    Marishi sat and listened to Serreth grill her daughter over her financial prospects and earnings. She listened to her question her moral compass in accepting tasks that earned pay. Marishi had about as much as she was going to take of Serreths snide tone and questioning of things that clearly didn’t concern her. “Adventuring encompasses much more than strolling about a riverbank or two, Serreth. Every job that we accept we put our lives on the line and sometimes more than that. Both of us have scars to show that we didn’t always make it out as the top hand.” Marishi absently touched right below her right Onyx colored eye. “With all due respect, Serreth, I don’t see how you knowing about our finances is any business of yours. You receive a generous stipend from Rae every single month. It’s her money, she can spend it as she chooses. Though if it were me, I’d rethink the monthly fund she sends.” The irritation was clear in Marishi’s voice. She didn’t like anyone, especially Serreth butting her nose in business it clearly didn’t belong. She was trying to make them uncomfortable. Two could play that game. “Odd though that you came back with nothing from the markets. They had nothing of value at all? Not even some rumor going around? When I was out earlier, I heard tale of certain individuals who were attempting to coerce a small girl into joining them for what I can only imagine would be a life of sexual slavery. Rumor has it that a bystander didn’t take kindly to that and proceeded to dispatch both of them. Apparently, she was unarmed.” Marishi recounted her own fight with the two men. There was also mention of two men who were adept at keeping to the shadows snooping around at what’s left of Rae’s childhood home. Searching for something. Or someone.” Serreth was staring directly at Marishi with no hint of emotion on her face. Marishi mirroring the emotion right back. “Rumors only though. The stories some people can come up with, no?” Tension hung in the air heavily. Marishi staring at Serreth, Serreth staring at Marishi. Rae caught square in the middle. There was a pang of shame in Marishi as she realized as she was provoking Serreth, she was also hurting Rae. This was her mother. Not some worthless lowlife with information they needed. “My apologies if I came off ass aggressive. It’s been an unnaturally long day and the light causes me discomfort if exposed to long to it. A byproduct of being reminded that some men will take whatever they want with or without consent. It looks like dinner is about ready. May I sit next to you, Serreth?” Marishi said softly, pulling her Katana from her sash and laying it next to the wall. Marishi didn’t trust her. She was too shrewd. She saw too much. She gave away too little. She could talk and talk all day long, but she wouldn’t actually be saying anything of value. She knew how to manipulate and she knew how to lie. To what ends, Marishi couldn’t tell. Because of that, she wouldn’t confront her until she had more information and so she played the subordinate. For now. “Our employment takes us far and wide. Sometimes being gone for months at a time. We’ve been called to the Far East on more than one occasion, as well as the southern tip of Islabard. We had an offer to sail to the New World at one point, though that fell through.” Marishi explained over dinner as they ate. “We’ve been parcel runners, bodyguards, scavengers, dungeon delvers, advanced scouting parties. It’s dirty work there’s no doubt, but the pay matches the effort and our main benefactor treats her people well, though she doesn’t ply in wares or trinkets. She deals in much more lucrative transactions. She deals in information. So, to an extent, you could say that Rae and I have also had our hand in espionage. Though we observer and report and that’s all we ever hear of it.” Marishi spoke more of their profession and how they employed their methodology to adventuring to a clearly disinterested Serreth. She didn’t care about their trips to the Hinterlands or Yanxia. She was measuring their worth. For something. This is what perplexed Marishi the most. It was clear she was much more than the front she put up and she was much smarter than she let on. But why push and prod Marishi and her daughter? Why start the manipulation tactics only to drop them in exchange for near hostile provocation? Serreth said little over the course of the meal, feigning to listen to the grandiose exploits of the adventures of Marishi and Rae. Dinner eaten and the table cleared and plates cleaned, Marishi did not want to linger for an after-dinner smoke, dessert, coffee, or any of the sort. “My apologies Serreth, I know it’s still somewhat early in the evening, but the day has taxed my spirits and I’m afraid that I’ll have to excuse myself and retire somewhat early tonight.” Marishi stood up from the couch in the parlor and bowed to Serreth. “Coming Rae? You know how poorly I sleep when you are not by my side. Goodnight Serreth. May the night find you well.” Marishi said walking slowly to the spare bedroom. Rae closely behind. They arrived in the room, closed the door and began to undress. Marishi was in a hurry to retire but not because she was weary, but the pain in her side where she had been stabbed was beginning to hurt. Marishi had Rae clean the wound and make sure the stitching was tight and the heal was on the mend. With that they both laid down for the evening. The day was spent and the moon was cresting over the ruins of Amdapor. Marishi was lightly dozing when her ears pricked up at the sound of creaking wooden floors. She heard the creaking stop at the front of their door where Marishi opened her eyes and began preparing herself. For what, she wasn’t sure. Then the creaking moved in the direction of Serreth’s bedroom where the slight jingle of keys and the unlocking of the deadbolt could be heard. She heard the door close and the bolt slide into the home position. Serreth locking herself in her room. “Something isn’t right about your mother Sunshine.” Marishi said. “I’m not speaking ill of her, nor am I angry. She plays the bleeding heart, but it’s false. Her eyes are too sharp and her wit too keen. She’s attempted on more than one occasion today to extract information from us. I’m not trying to cause problems or drive a wedge between the two of you. But something isn’t right. Ever since we found that floor safe, she’s been aggressive. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring and it might sound insane, but I don’t trust her. And I’m pretty sure she trusts us even less.” She whispered to Rae. They’d find out more and get to the bottom of the charade that was being put on tomorrow. She’d find out why men were searching Rae’s childhood home, she’d find out what Serreth wanted with Rae, she’d find out how it was that with all the gang purging’s that Serreth was still alive and well. Even thriving. Marishi dozed into a light sleep listening to every sound of the house and the world just outside of it. She’d have her answers tomorrow. If she liked them or not.
  9. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    “Hurry, hurry, hurry. We need to move fast and I’ll need to be fully armed. They may not be looking for your Mother.” Marishi said as Rae gave her a quizzical look. “… They may be looking for me. They started it! I gave them every chance out I could and then some. I’m not going to stand by why they abduct children and sell them into bondage and slavery.” She protested convinced that it was the right thing to do. “Though I don’t know why they would be in your old house or even how they would have found me so quickly. Those bodies are in the river and shouldn’t be discovered by at least morning.” Marishi said She had been stitched up to the point the bleeding stopped. Rae wrapped gauze over her wound to secure it and Marishi redressed in her attire. “We don’t tell your mother. That’d be the last thing she needs. The wife of her daughter running around her town killing the local organized crime that killed her husband.” Marishi paused a moment. “Though that’s pretty bold to do that right in the open. I wonder how many they have on their payroll here? How many are spies and collaborators? Odd for an old frail woman to have a veritable hospital in her closet, is it not? This isn’t just for the occasional cut or scrape. Surgery, battlefield wounds can be mended with all of this equipment.” She finished as she put her hand on the door. “We’ve cleaned the bathroom as best we can. burn the bloodied bandages in the fire and grab my Katana. Something isn’t right. I can feel it and I’m going to find out what that is.” She said opening the door and coming out. Serreth was still gone and Marishi quickly had Rae disposed of the soiled medical supplies. Marishi snatched her Gordian Katana from its resting spot against the wall. She looked around the house slowly. Nothing seemed out of place or the ordinary. It was perfectly maintained. Perfectly. Maintained. To the point of it feeling like a staging house. A fake. “Where’s the master bedroom?” Marishi asked Rae. She pointed down the hallway but let Marishi know the door was locked. Marishi never broke her stride. She’d break it down if she had to. She sharply turned the door handle and the door gave way. She hadn’t locked it when she left from seeing the men in the trees. It was dark in the room. Extremely dark. The floors creaked loudly and placing a booted foot forward made the whole room echo. There was one window facing the old home with an unobstructed view, one door that led to the hallway which had three different deadbolts installed reinforcing the door ten fold, a door that led to a bathroom, and a door that led to a walk in closet. “I can’t see anything. Can you give us some light?” Marishi asked Rae. As Rae attempted to cast the spell that would illuminate the room, something took the spell from her lips and threw it upon the wind. Rae tried again, and again a third time. Marishi was concerned at this point. “Come with me. We’ll grab a lantern from the main room.” They walked back to the living room and procured a lantern from the center of the coffee table. “Light it.” Marishi commanded. Rae reached out her finger towards the wick and tried to light the Lantern. Nothing. She could cast spells. “This way.” Marishi said grabbing Rae’s stunned hand and dragging her out front onto the manicured lush grass that was Serreth’s lawn. “Now, light it.” Marishi said. Rae conjured the spell and the wick caught fire brightly and easily. No effort involved. “Wards to iinterrupt any kind of magic casting. Inside the home. Why? Why would some old codger need to suppress magic casting in any way and how did she come across the sigils to do so? Let’s find out what’s in that room.” Marishi and Rae made straight for Serreth’s room with the lit lantern. They looked around. It appeared to be a normal bedroom. Queen bed clean and folded sheets, two night stands made of stained oak. a trunk with blankets to the foot of the bed. Not a single thing out of place. Rae was lifing her hand to inspect something on a bookshelf when Marishi hissed at her. “Don’t touch anything. Don’t disturb anything. I’m willing to bet my life that if something was touched, she’d know about it upon walked into this room. Upon examination of the room, nothing turned out. Marishi walked to the closet and slowly opening the door. It was also dark in this area, with dresses and gowns and clothing of all kinds hung on their hangers. Some clothing fine, extremely fine, and some old run down and patchy. “This wardrobe she has much cost a fortune by itself. Some of these are completely handmade for her solely.” Marishi said impressed. A great deal of money had to change hands for an artisan weaver to even consider to making pieces like some of these. That’s when she noticed it. The slight bulge on the far end of the floor. in the closed. She walked over to it, touched the bulge lightly, then pulled up on the carpeting. It gave way to reveal a floor safe dug into the ground of the closet. The safe wasn’t small. “Well, well. My, my.” Marishi said. “What kind of secrets are in here that you don’t want anyone to know of Serreth?I’ve gotta hand it to her, she almost had me with her bleeding heart act.” Marishi said. “She knew what to say to get me to lower my guard and she knew how to act to get me to buckle. She’s good. Marishi said impressed. “Really good. But the real question is; who is she working for and why? Someone is bank rolling her finances beyond you. At least they were.” Shuffling could be heard as Marishi and Rae saw Serreth walking to her home through the window. “Quick! Put the carpet over the safe and douse the light before she sees!” They moved quickly if not somewhat awkwardly and beat a hasty retreat out of the bedroom. They sat on the couch slightly sweating and catching their breath when Serreth entered. “Did they not have what you were searching for at the market Serreth?” Marishi asked almost uninterested while Rae was attending to the meal. Serreth shook her head and walked back to her bedroom. Everything was just as she left it. Everything but the slightly ajar closet door. Serreth looked at the door of her room, piercing the wood of the walls to glare with suspicion at Marishi and Rae. She could feel them staring back. The game of cat and mouse had begun. It was only a matter of time before one barred their teeth and went for the others throat.
  10. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    “Hm.” Was all Marishi said. She was telling the truth, there was no doubt about that, but the display she put on was a bit overly dramatic. The creeping feeling of something being off whispering in the back of her mind. After a long silence, Marishi slowly said “I know that Rae has missed her mother and I want nothing but her happiness. As for me, Serreth, I have no family. Outside of Rae. I have buried all those close to me over the years.” She chose her next words carefully as she knew she was treading thin ice. “It’s enough for me that Rae has found in you her mother again. My hope is that it stands the test of time.” She said staring at her with narrowed eyes. She’d read between the lines. Marishi knew she would. Marishi noticed Rae creeping up to the door to eavesdrop. It was Marishi’s turn to take the stage. “From what my Father had mentioned about my Mother, she seemed like you, for what it’s worth, though even if she hadn’t passed, she’d be long since gone. I wonder sometimes what she would think of me. A sell sword. Available to the highest bidder specializing in wetwork. Not the life she’d want for me I suppose.” She looked down with a sarcastic smile on her lips. “Come, I fear we may have your daughter in a tizzy from being out so long.” Marishi said offering her arm to the old woman to assist in standing. She felt as a frail bird, a light touch but steady and unusually strong for one so delicate. They walked in the home as Rae bombarded her mother with questions about the paintings on the wall. Rae had shown Marishi one, drawn in pastel and oil. It was truly beautiful. “You have an actual gift Serreth. It’s rare to see talent like this. If I may use your restroom?” Marishi was shown the bathroom in the guest room, but not before a side glance to the closed door of the master bedroom. She stared at herself in the mirror. Unhappy. She should be sharing this joy with Rae. Why was something wrong? Marishi was prone to feelings. They weren’t thoughts or anything that could be put into words. Just an overwhelming feeling of something being off or wrong. Suspicion building quickly. She had learned over the years to not ignore the feeling. The times she had, she had nearly paid with her life. She had this feeling about this whole situation. There should be nothing wrong, the day was perfect and her wife finally was able make amends with her past. She suddenly left the bathroom and walking into the front room said, “My apologies, my thoughts seemed to be scattered. I think I’ll take a walk. The day is perfect for it. You two stay, please, catch up! It’s a true blessing that you’ve been reunited.” Marishi walked out the front door, feeling Serreth’s eyes boring into the back of her as she left. She could never truly get used to the Black Shroud. Marishi grew up in forests, but not the low land seasonal woods. It felt stifling compared to the evergreens she remembered, trees jutting from the mountainous outcroppings. She suddenly missed Coerthas. Not the shade of it that lay in its perpetual winter. She missed the fields and the bowls in the mountains that had lakes so clear she could see to the bottom of them at their deepest points. She missed the lonely howl of wolves that lamented at night. She missed the smell of a river running off fresh snowmelt. She missed the feeling of the first snow of the season with snowflakes the size of her palm. She missed the Coerthas that was and would never be again. Her heart heavy and lost in her own thoughts, she almost walked right past an altercation that erupted between two men and a woman. They hadn’t noticed her. She stopped and listened. “Aww come on, don’t you wanna be taken care of? Not have to worry about not havin any food or bein hurt?” Said the first man. A Hyur with a hunting hat on his head, white feather sticking out. The second man chimed in. “It’d be a shame if something happened to ya in the night and we weren’t around to protect ya. Or yer ma and paw.” Marishi was paying full attention now. She was near a tree and blended in with the shadows of the forest. “I don’t think …” The girl said. A Miquo’te. She couldn’t be more than 17 years old. The men well into their mid-30’s. They weren’t poachers. They wore the insignia of the Red Bellies. “Look, girlie. We asked nice. Now we ain’t askin. Yer comin’ with us.” The first said. “I don’t think that’s any kind of way to a girl’s heart. You’re doing it all wrong.” Marishi said breaking the treeline, her ruby and onyx eyes staring at the two. “That a fact? You come to show us proper manners?” The second sneered. The pushed the girl away and slightly split apart. They were looking for blood. Marishi sighed. “No, not really, but you don’t really have any business with a child either. A child you’re trying to convince you to go back to your camp. For protection, of course.” Her sarcasm was thick. “Mouthy one ain’t ya? Don’t worry, we got way’s of re educatin’” The second said. “Look boy’s, I don’t think this is what you want. I don’t think you’re thinking this through all the way.” Marishi’s hand went to her side where her Gordian Katana should be. She stopped short. She left it at Serreth’s house against her inside wall. The men began to laugh. “Missin’ somethin’? Shoulda checked before stickin’ your mangy hide where it don’t belong.” The men split apart. One in front of her, the other in back. Marishi still had her Wakizashi and her Tanto. The men were armed with a spear and the other with a hand and a half double bladed sword. Marishi could dispatch the one with the sword with ease, it was the one carrying the lance that she was worried about. The weapons they carried were sharpened and made of high-quality spring steel. Their leather armor looked durable and tough. Marishi placed her hand on her Wakizashi, but didn’t draw it. “Last chance. I don’t want to kill you and I’m sure you don’t want to die. Don’t be fools.” The men said nothing. The one holding a spear was trying to move into her blind spot while the one carrying the sword was smiling waiting to face off against her. He lunged at her causing her to sidestep his thrust and put him in front of the second. “That one was free. Don’t force my hand, not today.” He slashed at her again but was stopped short dropping his sword and yelling in frustration rubbing his eyes. Marishi had kicked sand up to his face and blinded him. The second took his chance to impale her on his spear. She drew her Wakizashi and parried the blow while moving back out of its range. Her sword was a short sword. Not nearly as long as her Gordian Katana which was an Odachi, noted for its length. The spear jabbed and thrusted swept and cleaved. Marishi couldn’t get close enough to neutralize the weapon. By this time the first had recovered and picked up his sword looking to drive it into her chest and end it. Marishi off handedly pulled her tanto, locked the dagger with his sword and swiped in a circle motion dislodging the sword from his hand. Disarmed, she dug the dagger into the front of his chest, half paying attention to him. The spear looked to overpower her while she was distracted. He lunged forward while Marishi grabbed the man she had stabbed and pushed him forward onto the pike, using him as a human shield. With the spear momentarily immobilized, she brought her boot down on the shaft, breaking the blade away from the pole. The first man slumped to the ground, twitching in death throes with an almost comical look on his face. Marishi started advancing on the second. “I warned you. I begged you to not make me kill you. I told you. And look where we are. In the position neither of us wanted. Is it worth it? Do you think you can best me?” She seethed at him. He had pulled his own short sword and took up a defensive position. Marishi’s blows were like watching a ballet. Strike after strike, arc after arc. She was wielding a piece of art and not an instrument of death. The poacher could barely keep pace and it was clear Marishi was holding back. He hacked and slashed with not strategy or thought, a wild animal attempting to strike anything to get out of the corner. Marishi slashed down and left to parry his blade away from his body and thrusted her Wakizashi forward burying it in the man’s upper abdomen. His face was a mask of shock and surprise. He sucked in breath and widened his eyes as Marishi tore the blade deeper into his body. Once her pommel reached his chest she stopped. As she was dislodging her weapon, the Red Belly, produced a small dirk and slashed at her. He caught a glancing blow on her right side above her hip. The knife bit deep. Surprised and angered she pulled her weapon from his body and cleaved downwards opening his chest and killing him. Marishi was breathing heavy, slightly bent over. She reached her hand to her side and looked at it. Her palm was wet dark blood. Her black osode would mask crimson color. She left the bodies where they lay, pulled her Tanto from the first cleaned both her weapons, sheathed them and made her way back to Serreth and Rae. It was evening with the Sun beginning to set as she stopped at the porch to compose herself. She forcefully arched herself into a fully standing position and wiped her hand on her black tights. She hoped that she wouldn’t splatter blood on the floors of the house. She walked up the wooden stairs her boots clicking and opened the door. She saw Rae and her mother in the kitchen preparing the evening meal. Marishi looked pale. More so than usual and there was no blood in her lips. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” she smiled one of her rare smiles. “I lost my way and had to backtrack more than once.” Rae frowned. She knew Marishi was lying, but Marishi just stared back at her. “I’m going to go wash up for dinner if permitted. I got a little scuffed.” She made her way to the bathroom quickly and shut and locked the door. She doubled over in agony. The knife had cut into her deep. She opened a small closet in the bathroom and gave the contents a quizzical stare. There was a full closet of medical supplies. Gauze, scissors, forceps, small razor-sharp knives, sterilizing solutions. Why would an old woman have a triage in her guest bathroom closet? She stripped her osode and her chainmail, some links having bent and dug into her skin. She pulled them out where her side began to bleed freely. She snatched cotton and packed the wound, while wrapping gauze around her waist to keep pressure on the laceration. She unlocked the door and called for Rae to join her. Marishi pulled her into the bathroom and locked the door. “I didn’t want to spoil your time with your mother, but I might need your help.” The bathroom was already spattered with blood. “There’s an entire hospital in that closet. The cut is deep, but it’s not life threatening. Can you Sucher it? I should be alright.” Marishi met Rae’s alarmed looked and smiled. “You should see the other guy.”
  11. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    As Marishi entered the house, she couldn’t help but be impressed by the updates and upgrades to it. The paintings were custom done. Not something you see everyday and not something that comes cheap. The home was larger than it appeared, though it was well decorated and bright. She set her Katana against the fireplace, but kept her Wakizashi and her Tanto. Serreth didn’t let it slip past. “My apologies. Custom dictates that indoors, I am to relinquish my Odachi, but my keep my Wakizashi and Tanto.” She bowed the eastern greeting. Like Marishi cared about the code of the Samurai. She didn’t care when she entered their dojo, she didn’t care when they beat her over and over, she didn’t care when she because the best student to walk out their doors. Their code meant nothing to her. She was from Eorzea after all. She didn’t have to follow some old and outdated Eastern doctrine that no longer belonged in the world. She kept her weapons because she felt uneasy. The other shoe hadn’t dropped yet and Marishi was beginning to grow impatient. “What? I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.” Marishi said after there was a moment of silence. Serreth repeated the question. “Oh. You wish to know about the Far East.” Marishi said. She had gotten that question so many times. Like she was a scholar versed in their ways. She rarely kept track of events and only had to enter Yanxia twice. The Shinobi would know more than she would. It was amusing though to regale Westerners of the wild and outlandish things the people of the East partake in. She amused Rae’s mother with an answer. “Hingashi is still the major trade center of the continent. Kugane flies its own flag. For now. Though they only do so, due to commerce being so heavy there and the Empire levying such heavy import and export tariffs. The Ruby Sea is as it always has been. Unclaimable. The tax still applies to cross it, though the pirates themselves aren’t a bad lot. The tax buys you protection from Garlean encounter and Kojin interference.” Marishi wondered if she was listening at all to her dry recounting. “The Azim Steppe hasn’t changed. It will likely never change. The Au’Ra moving from camp to camp. Pasture to Pasture. Nomads. The Empire didn’t bother with them much. It’d cost far too much manpower to subjugate an area that large with over 30 different tribes.” Marishi had been to Reunion, once. An altercation arose where she was barred from the area. “My apologies, you asked about Doma though.” Marishi said coming to the question. “I’m happy to report Doma is now a free people. As free as they will ever be. They expelled the Empire from their lands and killed the Viceroy in tow.” Marishi had met Yostuyu once. She was taken with her. She knew her hate and anger. In another life she may have sworn herself to her. “This was at great expense as Castle Doma was flooded and destroyed. The city proper is also obliterated. Leveled to the ground. It’s said that there are reconstruction efforts underway, but I’m not aware of any actual rebuilding of Doma or her Castle. Her people fare rather well, I’m told. It seems they are Receiving funds from the Eorzean Alliance of Gridania, Ul’Dah, Limsa Lominsa, Ishgard, and the newly liberated Ala Mhigo. Adding Doma to the Alliances ranks makes them a force to be reckoned with indeed.” Marishi hadn’t thought about that before. 6 city states united to stand against one foe. Thavnavair wouldn’t be far behind making them the 7th. The Old World was the wild card. Marishi had her doubts Sharlaya would aid or hinder. As usual. “Apologies for the history lesson. My mind tends to wander. Getting older.” Marishi slightly chuckled. “The areas around Doma have not been so lucky. If you have friends in Rabanastre or surrounding areas, I would attempt to reach out to them to ensure they are safe. The Empire has not been kind to them with the loss of not one front, but two.” Marishi finished. They sat and at the meal in relative quiet, Marishi content to watch the interactions with her mother. It was almost alien to her. She could half understand. Marishi had no mother. No confidant, no friend, no teacher, no emotional support. But, come to think of it, neither did Rae. After the meal was complete and the dishes were washed and cleaned by mother and daughter, Marishi stepped outside on the deck and pulled out her pipe. She packed the bowl with tobacco and lit the leaf. Inhaling the smoke and exhaling it from her lungs. Rae hated her smoking, but it was a vice she would not be parted with. The front door quietly opened and silent feet went to stand beside Marishi. After a moment Marishi said “You’re quiet for being the proverbial housewife. Your step is light. I could barely hear it.” She drew again from her pipe. She knew what she was going to ask. “Please, forgive my … curtness, but why are we here Serreth? This isn’t a social call since you’ve never extended one. What is it you want from Rae?” She held her hand up signaling she wasn’t finished. “Understand that I hold concern for my wife and her feelings. I would not enjoy her being led around by a puppets string happily dancing to a tune not her own. So, what is it you need?” Marishi cut the subtle tactics and went straight to it. She spoke in a low tone so Rae couldn’t hear their discussion. She wasn’t threatening and there was no malice in her voice. It was as if Marishi were simply asking a question. Marishi was the outside party, the most unbiased. What clouded Rae’s mind, did not cloud her own. Marishi also didn’t call her “Mother” but by her name. Dropping the pretense that she had any good will towards her. “Well?” Marishi pressed.
  12. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    Marishi allowed herself to be assisted by Rae to be mounted side saddle on the Chocobo. She felt the flick of the reins and they were off. Marishi wore her standard adventuring attire. Black Osode with chainmail underneath, Black leather tekko with motifs of blossoms and birds. Black tights aetherically augmented to enhance physical dexterity and mobility, and brown red calf high leather boots with a slight heel. On her Osode also flowed a black and tattered scarf that caught in the wind as they were riding. Marishi wasn’t keen on being in the Black Shroud. Though her exile was well over 10 years ago, some would still be able to recognize her if they saw her. Her punishment for breaking the exile would be death. She smiled to herself over the thought. Even if they did recognize her, they would be old men. She hadn’t aged a day past 30. They would likely think her to be her daughter. She didn’t feel threatened, but she knew she wasn’t completely safe. The last thing she wanted was a couple woodwailers hearers dead in a stream because they got too curious. “Touching, huh?” Marishi said dryly. “She has much to atone for. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life Rae,” Marishi said. She didn’t use a pet name but addressed her directly. Not a good sign. “But if I were you, I wouldn’t listen so much to the words she says as the intent behind them. She wants something from you. From us. Why would she reach out to you now? We’ve been doing well for ourselves lately. We were even to buy our own home we’ve been waiting 10 years for! And now, all of a sudden, she has to see you. I’m not going to judge before I speak with her, it’s just something isn’t right. I can smell it on the wind. Tread carefully.” She said with no more follow up. She had made her point and was content to let it sink in. What Rae chose to do, Marishi would stand by. Right or wrong. But she would make her opinion clearly known. Marishi had been to the South Shroud many times. Quarrymill, Camp Tranquil, The Lost City of Amdapor, even the Amdapor Keep. She had seen the pearl crystals at Urths Fount that was said to contain an Elder Primal. She had even seen the entrances to the dreaded ‘Palace of The Dead’, though she never entered. More than one man had gone down there and not come back up. She knew when to bluff and when to fold. She knew of the Rebelly gang, though she never gave them much mind. They never quarreled with her. She knew they were outlaws and that their ranks had been growing and their territory expanding. Gridania would eventually have to intervene before they turned their eyes to Quarrymill. They arrived in Buscaroon Druthers slightly after midday. It was a small hamlet with it’s largest building being it’s tavern with a few wooden homes around that had clearly seen better days. As they came within eyeshot of the small hamlet, Marishi took up the black scarf and wrapped it around her face, just below her eyes. She would rather not have to deal with anyone who knew her and the scarf provided some anonymity. She turned as Rae’s name was called, her hand lazily grasping the hilt of the Gordian Katana. Not out of aggression, but habit. She watched with a smile on her face as Rae’s eyes lit up and hugged her mother. She was truly happy for Rae, if not a little sad that she would never be able to experience that kind of feeling with anyone. Her Mother and her Father long since dead. “It’s a pleasure Serreth. I’ve heard much about you. It’s a shame we couldn’t meet at Rae and I’s bonding.” A silent rebuke. She didn’t mean it to come out harsh. She would have to watch her tone and words more carefully. For Rae. “The resemblance is uncanny. You’re as beautiful as Rae. Stirs my heart. If only I were a few years older.” She smiled from beneath her scarf. She was flattering her. Marishi was nearly twice as old as Rae’s mother. Though the resemblance was striking, there were very real differences between the two. Rae was unfaltering and kind. Ever cheerful even in the worst of times. No frown lines marred her face, even though she had seen her share of sorrow and violence. Her mother seemed more withdrawn. Her eyes shifting in a way that made Marishi uneasy. She was nervous, needlessly so. Instead of taking her hand, Marishi bowed per Far Eastern tradition. “Forgive my rudeness, my lady. It is custom that those of my profession bow before elders to show their respect and honor. Please forgive that I’ve not taken your hand.” She said. Marishi began polite conversation. “How fares your health, Mother? I know these lands tend to get humid with the marshes so nearby. Causes hardship on the lungs. How has the weather been, and the local news? I don’t get out to the Shroud as often as I would like, myself being from Coerthas and educated by the Holy See. Not quite unlike Rae and Sharlaya.” With a small chuckle. That was meant to sting. She wanted a reaction from her to tell if her remorse was real. She was making small talk. Which she hated. But she did it for Rae. If she had to earn her way into her Mothers graces to find out what she wanted, Marishi would. She would pry out of her the angle she was pitching. Though Marishi could understand in the faintest what she would want after all this time. “Perhaps we could find better accommodations than the middle of the street to gossip! Perhaps the tavern, or lodgings if nearby? I’d hate to impose on you and recommend that we return to your home. Perhaps I can buy dinner for us? Sunlight, what do you think?” Marishi asked, turning towards Rae hoping she hadn’t caught her ire from the small quips she let slide out.
  13. Marishi Ten

    Under Boughs Of Blood [FINAL FANTASY XIV]

    “No.” Was all Marishi said. There was not malice or anger in her voice. It was flat and even. After a moment, she said “The same woman that gave you up and sent you to the other side of the world? The same woman who couldn’t be bothered to be apart of your life, ever? The real question you should be asking is what does she want? There’s an angle, don’t think that there’s not. What’s the letter say? What did she say?” Marishi questioned. “I can tell you that woman isn’t making a social call. She wants something, otherwise she would have reached out years ago.” “I’m sorry Rae, I really am, I just don’t want you to get your hopes up only to see them smashed. I don’t trust her. But if it is what you really want, we can go.” Marishi sighed. “The South Shroud. No we get to deal with the crazies and Hearers.” Marishi had given up attempting to make anything. “I’m off to shower. I don’t have much of an appetite.” She left the kitchen and went up the stairs to the master bath. There, she showered, letting the hot water run over her skin, thinking about what Rae’s mother could want with Rae after all these years. There was an angle somewhere and Marishi even suspected her mother to be involved in her father’s death to the Red Belly gang. Shower over and clean, she dried and changed into her small clothes for bed. She walked over to her nightstand where sat a wooden brown non-descript box. She opened it up to reveal a long pipe and tobacco. She loaded the pipe and burned the leaf, inhaling it lazily. It helped her clear her mind and allow her to sleep. The news about Rae’s mother did not sit well with her. She fell asleep alone in bed. Before Rae could even make it up there. Marishi awoke at dawn and got ready for the day. She assumed this would be the day Rae would make her trek to see her mother. She fed and the watered the larger than normal Chocobo in their stables. It was a gift given to them on their wedding day. The chocobo was pure ishgardian raised and could seat and carry two. She tied the harness off and put the custom-made saddle on. Marishi didn’t ride animals as per standard custom, being educated in Ishgard and being a female, she was taught and engrained to ride side saddle. Even on falcons, the rare times she had flown with them, she rode side saddle, which being so high in the sky is incredibly dangerous and foolish. Of course, Marishi was going. Who was going to protect her from her venomous mother poisoning her? Who was going to be the one clear headed enough to see through the lies and question the motives? It had to be Marishi. She wasn’t about to leave her wife in the lurch. Like her mother did to her father. Marishi smirked at the thought. What irony. It’d be at least a 3-hour ride if they made good time. No checkpoints or roadblocks. They were becoming ever increasing in the shroud lately as Gridania feared Garlean reprisals for their assault upon Ala Mhigo. The Empire had been dealt a crushing blow losing Doma, The Ruby Sea, and Ala Mhigo, but they were far from finished. They still held some of the most resource rich lands on the continent. And to ensure that none would hear the stories of liberation, they raided them and made an example of any was even suspected of Sedition and killed in the streets in front of their friends, family, rivals. Marishi was a Gridanian citizen and was free to roam the woods of the Shrouds. The Elementals permitted it. She was not allowed in the area’s capital under penalty of death. She had been exiled years ago for reasons that no longer mattered. Their destination was the South Shroud. Before the forest fell away to marshlands. Before the Lodeline road. Before the destroyed airship dock, now occupied by a group of Miquo’te brigands. The woman had made home in the area near Urth’s Gift. The pure Pearlescent aspected crystals jutting out of the land and water banks to surround one of the largest of all. A crystal rumored to contain the Elder Primal Odin. Urth was a great Summoner from the Allagan Empire. She was nearly unmatched in her ability to call forth Eikons from the land and bend them to her will. Odin was a shrouded figure known only to come from the Far East in search of battle and warriors equal in might. Much of the story is lost to the annals of time, but two things are certain. Odin was searching for Urth. He was searching for her to kill her. He believed her to be an active threat. To what? It’s unclear. The second fact is that with Urths dying breath, she had sealed the Elder Primal in that pearlescent crystal to remain forever locked. For her was an Elder Primal and needed no worship or prayers or crystals to sustain himself in the corporeal world. There have been only two Elder Primals in all of history. The great dreadwyrm Bahamut and the dark rider Odin. Rae herself could attest to the existence of Bahamut. Her using a weapon out of a scale torn out of his very hide. Marishi could attest to the Dark Rider roaming the shroud. Saying nothing, riding upon his horse with blood red eyes, searching for a woman dead for thousands of years. He would pass right by a stranger without so much as looking at them, but if the ring of steel was heard, he would answer that call with his own. Zansetsuken. Unknown how he was freed from his crystalline fetters, he roams the Shroud on his lonely search for something only he knows. A force of nature, more powerful than the Elementals themselves. Just one more thing, Marishi thought. If they ran into him, there would be no way in which to defend themselves from his ire if it trained their way. He would butcher them without so much a wave of a hand. His was an entity that moved freely and unchecked in the forest. None able to contain him, though many had tried and all had failed. There was also the local poachers and gangs they had to be wary of. The poachers defended their territory fiercely and as long as one stayed out of their way, they left everyone alone. It was the gangs that were dangerous. The most prominent being the Red Belly organization in the northern part of the South Shroud. This gang was rumored to have taken the life of Rae’s father while she was still young. Marishi had not qualms in catching one or two and ‘helping’ them along their path back to the lifestream. Not too quickly though. They would need to be educated in the finer points of suffering and torture so when their friends stumbled upon their bloated and twisted bodies, they would think twice about those they trifled with. Finally, there was rumor that something had been discovered in the old Gelmorran ruins in the South Shroud. Something almost unexplainable. A vast maze underneath the ground the locals dubbed the “Palace of The Dead”. The further one delved into the caves, the more inexplicable it became. Massive changes undergoing it’s building and size. The further in the more preserved it became. The more dangerous it became. It was easy to mix what was real and what was illusion in that hellish place. Some ventured in and never came out. Some who ventured in spoke of spirits forever doomed to walk its halls. Never to be free to return to the planet. Some who ventured in feverishly spoke of another plane of existence. A place of ash and white. As if they were no longer in the realm of the living, but in between. Those that had spoken of this limbo were declared insane by the Padjal and were moved to secure sanitoriums near the Sylphlands never to leave the grounds again. Why in the holy hells would anyone want to take up residence with all those dangers around them? Marishi couldn’t understand. It was if they had a death wish. She had passed through the South Shroud many times. Past Buscaroon Druthers and Quarrymill. Past Camp Tranquil on her way to Thanalan, but she never stayed long. Some called it home. Marishi called it cursed. Marishi had long since prepared the animal for travel and was sitting wrapped in her own thoughts. It was the sight of Rae walking out the front door that snapped her back to the present. As Rae approached, Marishi said “I couldn’t well let you go to the South Shroud alone. More than one viper makes its home there amongst the trees, caves, and ruins. I’ve saddled our wedding gift if you would allow me to accompany you. I am sorry, my Solar. I was … terse yesterday and it was uncalled for. The least we can do is hear her out and see if her words are true. I hope you’re armed. From what I’ve been told, the South Shroud has been unstable lately. Odin, poachers, Red Bellies, Outlaws, Brigands, Gelmorra. All seem to be active in one way or another. I don’t know the way. I’ll ride as passenger. Here, let me help you into the saddle. I hope you remember how to ride side saddle.” Marishi teased with a laugh to help lighten the mood she had darkened. She helped Rae into the saddle and made sure she was secure in place. She gave her the reins and took her place behind Rae in her own side saddle on the same bird. Their journey had begun. None could say what lay before them on the open road, but the open road was their true home. Traveling their lifeblood. The road ever calls the bold and the great. Big or small. Their adventure had begun.
  14. Tucked away in a corner of the Lavender Beds residential areas sat a quiet and non-descript mansion, it’s lawn immaculately maintained and its hedge maze in perfect order. Inside, the floors were buffed to a high mirror shine of marble. The kitchen, dining, sitting rooms, and small library sat quiet, awaiting use. On the second floor lay the bedrooms. The master and it’s bathroom and the spare and it’s bathroom. The master’s bed sheets ruffled from recent use. It was a bright and sunny day in the Shroud. Residents taking strolls outside, home watching or people watching. Enjoying the weather as long as it held. Marishi Ten walked slowly to her home, recently returned from the Markets for various errands and purchases. She didn’t cook, so the least she could do is pick up the groceries. She entered into the mansion and placed the fresh produce and cut meats on the Kitchen island and sat in the sitting area, waiting for her companion to come back from errands of her own. The brightly blazing Sun was too bright for her this day. She preferred overcast weather where rain was threatened, but never followed through. That’s not to say she didn’t love the Sun. She just didn’t care for the one in the heavens this day. The one walking the land was far more important a thing to her. The manor was empty save for Marishi entering. She didn’t expect anyone to be there. Marishi lived in the manor with only one other tenant whom she shared a bed with. A life with. A bond unbroken by countless hardships with. Some bonds are given freely and are deserving of the love that blossoms from it, while some are bonds of blood that are not so easily severed. Rae Ten would never state specifically what she would do this time every single month. She would tell Marishi it had to do with ‘family’. Thinking about what could possibly be so secretive about ‘family’ she let out an audible “Hmph.” She never pressed Rae the why. Not in 10 years and the monthly outing became standard routine for their lives. When they would be called away for extended periods of time due to various employment ventures, Rae would take considerable pains to ensure this issue with ‘family’ was always handled every single month. Marishi could guess as to the what, but she could not fathom the why. But, Marishi had no family. She could not understand the bonds that blood creates. She couldn’t picture the loyalty that ‘family’ is often given of its own accord. All she could do is remain quiet and not press the issue. Marishi lounged on the plush couch waiting for Rae to return home. She did all the cooking. Marishi never learned the trade of Culinarian. She didn’t have the patience. Ironic, coming from someone who had nearly unlimited time. She was 90 this year, though she didn’t look a day over 30. Fate entwining her with the Arbiter of Time, the Primal Alexander. She wore all black this day, dressed in simple tights with calf high brown red leather boots with a small heel and black silken Kimono of far eastern origin and design. Her hair was bobbed at the sides and in the middle, pulled back and held in place by a simple silver brooch. She was pretty, even though her mind would wonder to ugly and dark places. She gazed lazily at the fire in the hearth. Her sanguine left eye-catching fire while her right eye absorbed everything into its Onyx abyss. Her voice was low and raspy with a slight hint of gravel to it as if she didn’t use it very much. Her nails were manicured and filed into points on each long and slender finger. Care was also taken to her complexion as she wore eye shadow smudged black and blending into her cheeks, considered the old and archaic way to adorn make up. On the rack adorning the mantle of the fireplace sat a Katana of near impossible complex and design. White Sayo and grip, its sheath was black high polished lacquer. When drawn, the blade would glow a divine, faint white, edge never becoming dull no matter how many were cut down by it. Marishi was a Samurai of the far east. Her wife, Rae Ten, a Red Mage of the Old World. Abandoned by ‘family’ to her Sharlayn caretakers and raised by what was essentially an orphanage until her master found her and took her into his home where he taught her the ways of blending white and black magic together to devastating and miraculous results. They had been ‘Adventurers’ for most of the 10 years they had been married. Sell swords or mercenaries. Delivery and assassination. No job was too messy or unpleasant. For the right price of course. Nothing in this world was free. A cost was associated with every transaction. Physical, emotional, mental. Her mind wandered around these thoughts as she drifted into a light midday nap. By early evening Marishi heard the doors lock slide the bolt into the home position, opening the door from the outside by use of a house key. Rae entered into the home looking more tired from her errand than normal. “Busy day? Everyone and their pet seemed to be in Gridania today. Taking advantage of the weather. The tanning and wood working guilds were packed.” Marishi said with an annoyed tone in her voice. “How was your errand? You look more taxed than usual from it. Did the Parcel Moogles give you a hard time again?” She inquired. Marishi knew that every month Rae would send a parcel out to an unknown party. Sometimes it was an envelope, sometimes a small container that gave off a muffled metallic jingle when shaken. She knew it was money. She just didn’t know to who. Someone of distant kin in the Old World? Rae had no direct family she interacted with on a regular basis. Choosing instead to bond to Marishi creating their own two person ‘family’. Rae clutched several sheets of white parchment in her hand with thin and delicate words written in black ink scrawled on it. “Oh! Is that for me? My fan mail usually doesn’t arrive until later in the month normally. What a pleasant surprise!” She teased Rae. “We can talk about it later, let me help you prepare the evening meal. I promise this time to listen as not to nearly burn the house down.” She said as she rose from the couch and languidly stretched, standing on her tip toes, arms above her head and tail pointing up. She was small and slender, her petite frame accenting her feminine curves and enhancing her overall allure only adding to the beauty she held as a Sunseeker Miquot’e. She walked up to Rae and kissed her welcoming her home, then took her hand and led her to the kitchen where they would talk about their day as Rae would prepare dinner and Marishi would pretend to help.
  15. Marishi Ten

    Mistakes Unlearned Bear Repeating [Final Fantasy XIV]

    “She is critically injured doctor. It’s a miracle she’s been able to hold out as long as she has.” The nurse said with concern. “She has lacerations all over her body and her fingers are damaged. The girl was tortured!” The doctor inspected her hands and muttered in shock “My God. What sick perverted soul would do this to some one else?” The nurse continued “She has been tended to previously, though through crude battlefield means. It looks like she had an infection due to a wound she suffered. The medicated we’ve been giving her should help with that. He body has taken about as much abuse as anyone I’ve ever seen. Alive or dead. Her right eye doesn’t appear to function. At all. Just dilated and open, even with stimulation. I don’t know about this one doctor.” The nurse finished. “We will just have to wait and see.” The doctor replied. Time passed. A day, a week, then a month. Marishi had not woken. Her breathing was steady and her wounded mended to the best they would ever be, but it was as if her soul had left her body while it was still alive. She received 24 hours around the clock treatment from the best healers on the continent. The body of doctors were at a loss as to why she would not wake. “There is no logical reason why she won’t awaken. Her body has mended and we have tried several ways to rouse her. She doesn’t appear to be in pain, she just seems … no longer there. I’m sorry my Queen, that I could have more answers for you.” The head doctor said to Arcelia. “Thank you doctor. Continue your care of her at this time.” Arcelia said. She walked slowly back to the meeting halls that her friends were at. She had been stalling telling them that Marishi hasn’t woken up. And with this amount of time that’s passed, she probably wouldn’t. She drew a quivering breath. She had to tell them. She had to tell Rae and Gilgamesh. Poor Gilgamesh. His own daughter died in almost the same manner. Saving the world by fusing with the protocrystal to prevent the Gates of Paradise from opening. Her body unbroken, but her spirit no longer bound to it. He kept her asleep for months before he made the decision to take her off support. She died in his arms, never to awake. Altana would have him repeat his fate, this time with Marishi. Why? He was a good man. He had done nothing wrong to anyone. That didn’t deserve it. But no, he is forced to live while those he loves are allowed to go on. Arcelia worried most for Gilgamesh. He couldn’t take another blow like that. He’d follow Marishi and Lion both. It was the middle of winter and even Ulbuka was layered in snow. A rarity for the area. The city sat below the Khamir Drifts, but the weather was cold enough to leave several ilm’s of powdery white snow on the ground. It was peaceful. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits. Arcelia didn’t want to shatter the happiness they had been given. Confident that Marishi would recover. She walked quietly into the hall to find them sitting at a table laughing at one of Tenzen’s stories. They hadn’t noticed her yet. Good. The look on her face would have given her away. She silently approached the table and quietly said, “My friend! Some I have known all my life, while some I have known but a handful of moons. But everyone here is my friend. I love you all. I am so happy that you have fully recovered Mistress Ten.” Arcelia said. She chose her words carefully. All laughter stopped. This was highly irregular. She addressed Rae as ‘Mistress’ denoting that she had no partner. Rae’s smile slid from her face and cheeks went pale. “Why are ya sayin’ this lass? Why the formal speech? What’s wrong?” Gilgamesh asked, his heart in his throat. “I didn’t mean to deceive you. Please, believe me when I say that. I only wanted to keep the happiness and love we’ve all had a little while longer.” Kagero was on her feet, anger rising. “What are you saying Arcelia? Where is Marishi? You been telling us for a week now it would be any day for her to awaken and join us. A week.” Arcelia looked at the floor ashamed, her ashen hair covering her eyes and face. “I truly thought she would wake. Her body lives, but it’s like her spirit, it isn’t tied to it anymore. It’s just a husk of the girl.” She started crying out of shame and sadness for Marishi. To come so far and to be so close to only have it fail. She looked at Gilgamesh. He wasn’t looking at anything. He rose suddenly and said “Excuse me. There is something I need to attend to. Take care, all of you. Live in peace, be joyous and have no fear.” He laid down his Odachi and Wakizashi, but kept his tanto. “Gilgamesh, I won’t stop you, for I know the code in which you, myself, and Marishi live by. But ask yourself, is this really the right thing? What of Rae? She needs a father as much as Marishi. Don’t let yourself be eaten by sadness. Neither of them would want that.” Tenzen said to Gilgamesh. Perhaps the only other person in that room to understand his mind. There was the sound of a door opening and closing nearby, but none paid attention. Rae was crushed. To have come so far and be so close only to lose it. For a third time. She was the most wounded at the table. Kagero was crying angry tears and yelling at Arcelia who flinched every time her voice rose. Tenzen was with Gilgamesh his hand on his back, offering soothing words to back down his thoughts of suicide. The only one not engaged, was Rae. Seated in a chair. Alone and forgotten. “Not forgotten and certainly not alone, Sunlight. Some hurts take longer to mend than others. Some can only be healed by coming to terms with the reality of the past. I’ll say the same thing to you as I said when I saw you on that airship landing and when we stood before the twelve to consummate our Marriage. I will never leave you. My body may fail, but I will always be with you. So, dry your tears. Sadness isn’t meant for this day. Happiness and celebration seem more in place.” A familiar voice called to her from behind one of the nearby pillars. Marishi smiled, they would be surprised indeed at her appearance. She began to clear the pillars with the heels of her boots falling heavily so everyone could hear them ring in the hall. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked over in annoyance. “This area is off limits, get out – “Arcelia’s throat caught at the sight of the figure walking slowing up to them. A Miquo’te. Seeker of the Sun. She was small and lithe with curves becoming of a woman. Her left eye was sanguine red while her right was onyx black. Her makeup was heavy in the eyeshadow accenting her eyes. Her hair was shorn into a bob on the left and right side, the middle pulling back and creating a tail. The hair secured by a small silver brooch. The color was no longer auburn, but fire red. The pigment being changed by divine intervention. She was pretty. She wore the black garb of the Shinobi of the Far East with a slender long Katana tucked into a white silken sash. A sash made by Rae Ten just for her, many years ago. She walked up to the table with no limp, or crutch. No malady. She sounded strong and full of life. As she sounded when her and Rae had been blacklisted from the transport ship that brought them to the Isle of Eureka so many lifetimes ago. She was healed. In body and mind. “Thank you for waiting for me. I was a bit slower to mend than anticipated.” She said as she bowed in the Far Eastern fashion. Everyone at the table mouth agape and shocked. She turned to the person that mattered to her the most and gently said “Your moonlight has waxed and is hale enough to take her place next light of the Sun, if you would have her.” She smiled and held her hand out to Rae. She snatched it greedily, jumped up, and kissed her wife. Deeply. The four looking on laughter on their lips and tears in their eyes. All was as it should be. In the infinite blackness of the void, nothing could live. For no Aether existed. There were no building blocks of life. But the void wasn’t always so and actually housed life at one point. Dark purple crystals would at times drift in and out of the area bereft of anything and everything. As they would pass by, a small sucking sound could be heard and the crystal would go completely dark, it’s aether consumed. A pair of yellow eyes and horns began to materialize, shimmer. And disappear. Not all that die stay dead, as all that live don’t thrive. Ultimacia would bide her time, syphoning off wayward crystals until she was strong enough to enter the world again and break those who had thwarted her plans. It wasn’t over. It would never be over. For time is like a river, and history repeats. FIN~
×