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Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:28 am
Sand... Its always sand. Damn stuff gets everywhere. Allistair thought as he laid on the desert dune. He looked through his gun's scope. I really wish they would get here, then at-least I wouldn't be bored. he thought as he stifled a yawn. He was a Machinist, a gunner for hire. And that's what he was doing in this god forsaken land, Covered halfway with....sand.

He had already been there three hours and seen twice as many snakes and scorpions. At least he wouldn't go hungry tonight as he looked at the rattlesnake pinned with a large knife. Now all he had to do is wait for the target, a person of interest, that smuggled children and sold them into the sex trade. Saving children, now that was a mission. It may be boring but he was saving children, hopefully returning them to the families that missed them, Ul'dah was unkind enough to them without being sold into slavery. Tonight he would sleep well...

His ears picked up the low hum of an engine and saw the dust being kicked up by the wheels. Showtime he thought as he cocked his gun and got a view of his enemy, he frowned. Five targets... better disable the engine. 1....2...3 he breathed out a silent whisper as he fired the round. It zoomed yards and seconds seemed to drag until it penetrated the engine block.

A loud thunking noise could be heard as the engine died. He set his sights on the person in the drivers seat. "1" he whispered. And he moved to the next one, as the enemy escaped the vehicle, crouching low. I see you he thought as he reloaded his rifle in a swift practiced motion and fired again. "2" and reloaded, again firing repeating the process. "3"...."4"... "5"



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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:54 am
Theodore had heard the rumors, children being smuggled, and that had been enough for him. He had set off to the desert. After spending a few days in Ul'dah, gathering information, and tracking a potential group of thugs, the magicite knight followed the kidnappers into the desert. Trailing them from a good distance behind, the young knight had intended on ambushing them once they set up camp for the night. That's when he heard the gunfire. Calling up on the materia located in his right arm, "Sands of time, quicken thy flow! Haste!" The magic flew over him, granting him speed beyond that of normal people. The words were unnecessary, but he had always had the flair for the dramatic, and it was just dogmatic for him now.

Upon arriving at the scene, sword and shield at the ready, he'd see that it was only the would-be slavers that had bullet holes in them. One of them was still moving, trying to crawl under the vehicle for safety. Theo walked, quickly due to haste, and grabbed the man by the ankles. Pulling the culprit up, there was panic in the criminal's eye, the young knight scowled, "Where are the others? Not the ones here today." He was determined to tear this ring a part, from the sellers to the buyers.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:12 am
"6?" Wait.... who is that. Allistair thought as he set his sights on the youth that zoomed onto the scene. He sighed loudly, As his weapon vanished and he stood from the sand, Shaking his pants a bit sand dumped out. A desert cloak flowing in the wind. He put on a grizzled face and began sliding down the dune, carefully very carefully. "I really dont want to get stabbed by some upshot startup today." he said to himself as he walked towards the vehicle. "Hello!" He called as he walked, hand up in the air with a wave.

"Do you mind keeping that one alive. I was so careful in my aim. Though looking at him I'd say he will bleed out in a few minutes." He said loudly as he continued walking towards the young man, looked at him carefully , then walked to the back of the vehicle. Allistair opened the back and sighed in relief as he saw children of varying ages huddled in the back, they shied away from the light and the strange man standing before them. "Fear not. You are safe now." He gave a comforting smile. "We are taking you home, home to your families."



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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:30 am
Theo would simply nod at the approaching man. Turning back to the slaver that was trying to scramble away, "You heard the man. You are alive because he decided your information was worth more than your life. Now, you can either continue to try and scramble away, and end up with a concussion or worse, or you can sit still and I can pull that bullet out and put a bandage over it, so you don't bleed to death." The knight had no intention of letting this man go, but killing a clearly beaten enemy, well, there was no honor in that. Much to his benefit, the thug stopped squirming. Reaching into his bag, he pulled out a strap of leather, and put it in his captive's mouth, "You are going to want to bite down on this..." After that, he shoved his fingers into the bullet wound, and the slaver screamed, luckily it was muted by having his mouth full of leather. It took a couple of seconds, but he pulled the bullet out, and then wrapped the wound. Scowling at the bandit, "You aren't worth my potion, so that will have to do until we get back." Pulling the leather out, he'd get really close, "Now, I'm only going to ask nice one more time, where are the other children? Where were you taking them?"
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:51 am
Allistair removed some food and water from his pack and left it on the truck. "Eat slowly and relax. I will be right back. Oh if you hear screaming dont worry its just the bad guys." He quipped a smile and walked back to the youth and a hand gun appeared in his hand. He pointed it at the slaver. "I do believe the man asked you a question." He pointed the gun right at the mans temple.

"I...I dont know nothing, you killed the guy that knew where we were going." The man said as he pointed at the dead body off to the side. A panicked look on his face. Allistair sighed, "See thats a lie, I know who you are, you are Gregori Kimbler, rouge agent of the state, notorious slaver, and just an all around asshat." Allistair made the gun click against the mans temple. "Bang" he yelled and Gregori jumped. "Now I am going to ask again. And then if you dont answer me... well I am going to get creative."

The mans demeanor changed to calm, and a dangerous tone entered his voice. " Oh, you don't know what shite youve stepped in. See my boys will be here in a few minutes, And we are going to kill you then take the little cretens and be on our way." He said with a smile. Allistair returned that smile with an even bigger smile. " Ah there he is. Hello Gregori. So nice to meet you... I am Allistair Belmonte." Gregori's face paled at the name.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:09 am
Theodore listened to the conversation between the two men, and just scowled. Neither of their names meant a damn thing to him. He wasn't from around here, so anything localized he wouldn't get anyway. Since this was a quasi introduction, Theo would stand, and toss Gregori flat onto the sand. Looking down at him, with the ever present scowl, "And I am Sir Theodore Albrecht Maximilian Weisshaupt the fourth. Knight-Commander of the Magicite Knights, and, Gregori, if your men do show up, Alistair and I will make short work of them. He took out you and yours here, imagine what the two of us can do, if we work together. So now.." He thrust his sword into the sand, just inches from the criminal's ear, "I suggest you start talking." In the palm of the knight's now empty hand, a slight glow would emit, and then electricity would begin coursing over his hand, "Or I'm going to turn you into a smoking corpse."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:26 am
"I like you kid. Straight to the point. Bit of a long name, Im gunna call you Theo."  Allistair looked to the surrounding area and threw out two disks that transformed into small turrets pointing outwards. "There that should buy us some extra security. Now Greg ol buddy ol pal of mine. I think I may just let my friend carry out his promise."

Gregori sighed and laughed. "Whats it matter I am a dead man either way... If they found out i lead the notorious Allistair to the cave well... death by electricity sounds rather nice."

Allistair did not find this amusing. He hated this part, dragging information out of the enemy, It always got messy, then he heard it. "Cave" he pondered to himself " Ah you slipped." he snapped his fingers at Gregori. "I only know of one cave system in the area, and thats the one the Amal'jaa are cooped up in. These arent slaves. They are sacrifices," Allistair got a cold dark look on his face. "Theo he's all your's. I am going to go check on the kids again. Once done come to me. Ill get us out of here."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:42 am
"Sacrifices!" Theo scowled and then nodded. Turning to face Gregori, "You don't get another chance to hurt anyone else. I was going to turn you into the authorities, but not now." He concentrated on the materia imbedded in his hand, "Blades of the sky, come and slice mine foes! Thunder!" With the words spoken, and the power released, lighting arced from Theodore's hand into Gregori's face. There was a scream, but only for a brief moment, and then silence, and the smell of burnt flesh. Panting, Theo shoved the smouldering corpse underneath the vehicle and he sheathed his sword, "Well thats taken care of." He wanted to go check on the children, but dealing with one stranger was enough for them, at least at the moment, so, instead, Theo stood vigil, keeping an eye out for the incoming reinforcements threatened by the now dead gangster.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:57 am
"Alright kids. Heres what we are going to do, Some men are going to come in a few minutes. We are going to stop them. I want you all to lie down flat on the bed of the vehicle and dont move until I come get you. We are almost through this. Can you guys do that for me." Allistair said kindly trying not to cause a panic. A few of the children nodded lightly and other began laying flat. He smiled and put his fingers to his lips. "Just think of it as a game." He left the children.

"I see you took care of Gregori. Worry not about his death. The man deserved worse." Allistair summoned a rifle and began loading it with various bullets. "Thanks for being my back up. While I love my turrets. Its nice to have someone to talk to. Sorry you got caught up in this mess." Allistair tested the sights and made a few adjustments. "Can you be look out. Im not as swift as I used to be. Just hurry back if you see trouble coming. We will give it an hour and then move the kids"
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:38 am
Theo would smile, "I agree. Its rare to find a like minded individual, especially amidst the dunes, and aye, I can do the scouting." He'd reach into his pocket and pull out a little glass vial. Uncorking the ether, he'd down it in one gulp and then focus on the Time Materia in his legs, "Sands of time, Increase thine flow! Haste!" With his spell said and cast, the now hasted knight would take off and up the dunes, sword and shield once again at the ready. He would crouch low, attempting to blend in as well as he could. If it weren't for his sandy colored cloak, it would be all for naught, but, luck was with him. He spied movement on the horizon, but in the haze of the sun, he couldn't make it out. Instead of waiting, he bolted back down the dune, sand flying up behind him. He'd come to a stop next to Alistair, "So whats the plan? You seem much more familiar and comfortable here. I can't say I've ever heard of the Amal'ja, or whatever it was you said earlier...."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:03 pm
Allistair watched as the youth zoomed along the dunes, scouting the area. Soon Theo returned, "So whats the plan? You seem much more familiar and comfortable here. I can't say I've ever heard of the Amal'ja, or whatever it was you said earlier..." The youth trailed off as in thought. Allistair laughed a bit, "Familiar yes, comfortable, Far from it. I hate the sand." Allistair shook more sand from his trousers. "Damn stuff gets everywhere." He smiled, "As for the Amal'jaa they are a tribe of beast-men that live in the desert. Part lizard part person. They mostly stick to smuggling and highway robbery. They have been quiet lately but if they are behind this I gather that they are trying to summon their Eikon again. Something must have them in a tight situation to go to those lengths.

"So did you see anything?" He asked. " I want to move these children at least to a village nearby. They will be safe there, once we do that then we can hunt giant overgrown lizards with bad breath. I will also want to confer with my contact and get some pay to restock. Im not alturistic but I guess im a nice guy. Only so many snakes a guy can eat before just growing tired of them."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:18 pm
Yugelu had been crossing the sands for what felt like an eternity by now, only having seen a couple small villages which at first glance even seemed to be completely deserted. He knew though that they were quite inhabited, it was more like the occupants were hiding from him, as though none of them had ever seen a Garif? He didn't pay them any mind, refilling his water and leaving more than enough gil behind as recompense. Though to some it would seem that he was wandering aimlessly, he knew exactly where he was going. Ul'dah was well known for bringing a great many people together and there was no doubt that he wouldn't need to want for interesting conversation, assuming the guards to the city would allow him entry... As he crested a dune, he was sure he could feel something in the air. His people were sensitive to the presence of certain magicks, specifically magicite and it's more refined sibling, materia. He turned his head a bit to the side, trying to get a better feel for where it might be emanating from before making out the shape of a vehicle. He had seen them before, but knew that they typically came with their own line of trouble. Yugelu gave a heavy sigh, adjusting his mask before starting slowly in the direction of it, his hidden expression remaining calm as always as he kept the heavy handbell gripped tightly. "If naught else, will make for a story at this.. Quicksand.. I'd have preferred entry without a needless fight though.", he mumbled to himself.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:26 pm
Theodore nodded towards Alistair, "There was something coming from the north, due to the sun's haze, however, it was difficult to tell how many or how big it was. I agree, though, that we should get the children to a village. However, moving them during the day could be problematic. Even if they are desertfolk, children are much less equipped to deal with the sun and heat than we are. I might be able to keep them cool for a little bit.." As if on queue a materia in his blade glowed and it began to emanate cold, "But I don't think it would last until we got to town. If you would like, you can go and get help, and I'll stay here, and guard the children."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:43 pm
"Hmmm, It may be best to move my truck up here. It would provide more cover. As for cooling, These are desert kids, and Ive got enough water to last them atleast a day. I am sure they are fine, if not a bit scared. My concern is whether whomever you saw is friend or foe. I seriously doubt Gregori's men will be along until dusk or beyond. How would they possibly know the location?" Allistair looked around the vehicle, and inspected the body of Gregori. "Something is amiss here. Why no communications device, or maps, not even a compass. Hell im good in the desert but even I need a compass."

"I think waiting until we see who is coming, and holding out til dark will be the best bet. Now that I think about it.. perhaps disabling the vehicle not precisely the best idea. Though I do have my tools, Im sure I didnt damage it too badly. Would take a few hours atleast. Mind zooming up beyond that dune." He pointed "and driving the vehicle down here? The quicker the better." He said as he popped the vehicles hood.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:05 pm
Yugelu was now certain he could feel the presence of more than one materia.. He halted himself for a moment, keeping a close eye on the vehicle which now appeared to have at least two people near it. Why anyone would stop their vehicle in a location like this was beyond him.. "Perhaps there's no need for a fight after all? More like they're having issues, though I'd not be one to help..", he mumbled. He shrugged, his mask shifting slightly, the crystals and beads jingling lightly, before he started a more confident approach. It seemed to be a soldier and a mechanic? The soldier was not like those who he'd seen before and gave him no cause for concern at the moment, and the mechanic was.. well, just a mechanic. Yugelu thought to himself, deciding it likely best to announce himself before causing them to panic, issuing in a loud but calm tone. "Hello! I am geomancer Yugelu of the former southern Garif! I've not come to alarm you, simply rather to ask if you are in need of aid?" He was content with the greeting, giving a hidden smile from beneath his mask as he secured the handbell to his waist, raising his arms to the side in a welcoming manner.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:47 pm
Theodore shrugged his shoulders, "Uhhh.. I don't... I mean, I can't drive. Ride a Chocobo, sure, but drive, definitely not in my skill set. Only one person owned a vehicle in the city that I'm from. There just wasn't any need." He was about to offer an alternative, or at least try to come up with one, when he heard the voice over the sand. He'd turn and squint, with his hand going instinctually to his sword hilt. After hearing the man talk, he'd turn his head to the side, "Greetings Geomancer Yugelu. If you are a kind soul we are in a bit of a situation. Please, approach and we will explain." His hand would leave his sword hilt, no longer afraid of this new stranger. The Garif would sense three materia with Theo, one in the blade and, oddly, two inside him. One in the legs and the other in his right hand.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:00 pm
"Its not that hard just put in the key and put your foot on the accelerator....fine I'll do it. This trucks not in too bad shape. Bullet cut the fuel line, Im lucky it didn't explode." he said with a wry laugh and a wink. He was too good of shot to not pull off a simple disable. " Welcome Traveler, my name is Allistair. Just rescuing some children from being sacrificed... noble causes such as this. That's Theo-something-something-something, How he's not baking in that tin can we will never know. We are expecting some fearsome company. If you dont mind patrolling with Theo, I am going to go get my tools and see what I can do to get us back on the road."

He walked around to the back of the truck. "How you doing kiddo's anyone need more water?" he said trying to comfort them. "Looks like we may be here til dark. Then we are taking you to the nearest village for some rest." He looked at their faces a bit closer this time. They were from 8-13 years old. Some of their eyes sunken into their heads worry upon their faces but they were made of harder stuff.

Slum kids.... he thought sadly They had seen almost as much as he had in his long 35 years of life. He felt for them, Perhaps he could help get them off to a better start, a better future its not like he was hurting for Gil, he may joke about eating snakes but really it was because he forgot the bulk of his food at the house.

"Ive disabled my turrets, Feel free to approach good Garif. We welcome your assistance." He said as he began trudging up the southern dune towards his vehicle. "What I wouldnt give for a cool breeze." he mumbled to himself.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:24 pm
Yugelu gave an exaggerated nod and an awkward hand motion that he thought might be a thumbs-up? As he neared, he noticed the turrets, at first thinking they might be the soldier Theo's, but deciding them more likely to be mechanic Allistair's. They seemed to be sentient at first, but he was certain they couldn't possibly be, keeping a wide berth from them as he approached. The materia was certainly coming from the soldier now that he was closer, and he could essentially "see" the one in the sword. The temperature dropped a bit as he neared, and he knew it must be an ice aspected stone, but he knew there were others. He turned his head to the side as he stepped quickly up to Theo, taking his hand into his own and inspecting it curiously, but gently. "You... and it's.. perhaps unorthodox, but I admit it would be hard to steal? This does not cause you harm?", he asked mid-thought, hearing Allistair's wish for a breeze, giving a small chuckle. He flicked the tip of the bell with a clawed finger giving a chiming sound, "Ahnit b'lo bekkin", he chanted quietly as a wind would pick up across the sands, blowing sand softly towards at man. "An odd wish for wind among sand, but among the things I can do..", he grinned, stopping a bit abruptly and looking between the two. "You have children? Are you.. together then?", he asked, not wanting to appear rude but simply curious. "The desert is not a place for children, it will soon be getting cold out.."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:37 pm
Theo raised an eyebrow at the stranger. Very few people could detect the materia inside of him. He would frown, though, in truth, that would just be his normal face, "I come from a special sect of knights, that I am now the Knight-Commander of, that can absorb materia into their bodies and tap into the latent powers of said stones. You... are an odd one Geomancer. Very few are able to detect the magicite hidden inside our bodies. Where I not sure, I would almost assume you were of my order..." After hearing his continued questions, "Together? No? We just met. Both of us happened to be tracking the same group of slavers, however Alistair struck while I was still pursuing. These children, that are currently in the back of the truck, were set to be sacrificed to something called an Eikon, of the Amal'ja tribe. We were just debating how to safely get the children to a nearby town, so we could track these Amal'ja ourselves. Hoping to put an end to their sacrificial plans. Permanently."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:51 pm
A light breeze brushed Allistairs face and he sighed with slight relief, It was fresh and relaxing. "That was a bit oddly timed" he thought as he looked back at the Garif now holding Theo's hand, inspecting the man. "With friends like these, eh?" He said as he chuckled to himself and arrived at his truck. He reared it to life and pushed hard on the accelerator to get it out of the sand. He slowed and then went over the large dune. He pulled up next to the other truck and got out his tools.


"Will be just a moment while I work my magic." He said as he opened his case and delicately removed he tools with a practiced hand and he went to work. "So Yugelu, What brings you to this lovely corner of the desert." He asked casually while working on the engine.


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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:13 pm
Yugelu smiled as Theo spoke, returning the man's hand. "Many Garif would sense the materia you possess, though I suspect only those of Jahara could accurately understand how it is you've assimilated with them.. I personally have no interest in the stones myself. Though I suppose they could make for decoration should you ever find yourself retiring them?", he chuckled lightly, motioning to a small clear crystal on his mask. "Though nearly all Garif can sense magicite, there are only few who decide to use them. Our's long ago were warriors, much like yourself, using the stones for the power they could provide in great battles, but we are now a peaceful people. It does interest me however, you speak of Amal'ja.. You would mean the salamanders who have learned to stand upright? I've heard no tales of them conspiring with any Eikons.. Though, now knowing of their presence nearby, would explain the coldness the people of the desert have shown me. It's a pity really.." He turned to look to Allistair, shrugging and adjusting his mask. "I am a traveler, the desert being no exception. I had planned on traveling to Ul'dah to meet the people and share stories with them, but it would seem I've found plenty of conversation here, so I would not be hasty as to finish my travel without providing aid to you and the children. It would also sound as though the lot of angry lizards you face mean to sacrifice simple folk to bring forth something that could be quite dangerous... I would be irresponsible to allow it to happen, if you would welcome another among you?" Yugelu honestly had no idea what to expect, offering his aid to strangers, but it would certainly give more reason for a guard to allow him into the city if he first proved himself worthy.
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Theo would nod and his companions, "Well, I don't even know what to expect from these Amal'ja things, or what an Eikon is, but Yugelu, I won't say no to a helping hand. Especially a geomancer. I'd much rather go into a fight with the earth on my side than against me, and, who knows, they might have one of their own." The knight would lean against the truck, and pull out a canteen from his pack, and take a deep swig of water, "So, friends, what do we know about Amal'ja and Eikon's as I said before, I am completely clueless as to what they are other than lizards that now walk like men."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:07 pm
"Well Eikons are supposed to be handled by some sort of Warrior of Light but I dont really see his ass around here." Allistair mumbled around a bolt in his mouth. "As for the Beastmen, its pretty much their shtick. They gather a bunch of crystals, They use the aether, make a sacrifice and whammy, Custom made God being." Allistair wiped his forehead. "I really dont see it coming to that our objective is to get to the children, BEFORE they summon some monstrousity."

"Amal'jaa, are a nomadic people that tend to stick to the desert, they tend to be on the barbaric side of the civilized races. They take what they want by force and are very warlike. I've only seen a few myself and i tend to go the other direction when they are around. Thats not to say a bullet to the brain wont bring one down."

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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:30 pm
"Their own geomancer.. I hadn't considered that I suppose..", Yugelu mumbled to himself, scratching his head. "Mechanic Allistair has the right of it though I'm afraid. I may not have heard tales of the salamanders having the power to call an eikon to their side, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.. Eikons, Espers, Eidolons, even Aeons... The guardian forces that watch those who gain a semblance of what they believe to be control over them. They bleed the land of it's aether just to keep themselves alive, they're not something to be treated lightly. There are many different ones though. Those of the beasts are poor in construction, requiring a constant supply of aether, making them more and less dangerous respectfully." He turned to Allistair, "You speak of a Warrior of Light? Our people have no tales of a person such as this.." He mumbled to himself some more, picking up a handful of sand and watching it fall, making note of the way the wind caught it as it floated down. "Would the beasts truly be so brazen as to come so close to Ul'dah?" He didn't see why the city would allow such a thing, the locals obviously knowing something of the power these salamanders possessed. It seemed dangerous, but perhaps they didn't have warriors and hunters quite like the Garif had themselves. "I would think any beast something that can be reasoned with, but an Eikon is something separate.. We should not allow it to happen. There is a village to the East, though whether or not they would take in children, I'm not certain. They avoided me and shut themselves in their homes when I passed through. I wonder if they mistook me for one of these Amal'ja?"
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

on Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:01 am
Theo listened, and only created more questions for himself. However, he would stow these questions for a time when they didn't have a truck full of children to take care of. He'd turn to his companions, "Well, that's... interesting. Not much like that back home, however, that doesn't change the problem now. If you say there is a village to the east, lets go see if they will take care of the children, at least while we go deal with the Amal'ja. Then we can work on getting the kids back to where they belong, or in a better situation than that. I've got some gil to spare if thats an issue, but I digress. Lets get this party started."
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Re: Menace of the Shadows {Open}

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