Darth Revan
10-08-2009, 05:46 AM
A few years ago I started work on a FF inspired fanfic and started to post it here. It received some good reviews by fellow shriners, but after a time writer's block hit me hard as well as other concerns, I stopped posting chapters and even writing it.

The story is a original piece of fiction, with elements from the Final Fantasy series (Chocobo's, Name of Magic spells, summon monsters, job classes etc), but the characters, location names and such are all my own creation.

Now, after a five year hiatus, I've decided to go back to that story and to continue to work on it. After the time away from writing and such, I feel a return is in order.

I will post the story from the very beginning and post subsequent chapters with minor editing, most likely a week or so apart. If you like what you read, please leave a short review.

Thank you.

-Xiahou Dun

Darth Revan
10-08-2009, 05:49 AM
Please note, all italised text between '>>..<<' is a persons thoughts.

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It has been three hundred years since the event, everyone refers to as, the End of Days. No one knows how the End of Days was brought about, although an obscure religious sect of Monks claim that the eight crystals, which maintained the balance and harmony of the world, four of them, the crystal of Light Wind, crystal of Light Water, the crystal of Dark Earth and the crystal of Dark Fire, were stolen from their sacred altars and hidden somewhere in this new world. Since that time, the world has been cast into darkness. Everything the world once was, is gone. Technology and science, abandoned to barbaric medieval anarchy, respect being brought by whoever has the strongest sword arm or magical spell.

Guilds have opened across the many continents, specializing in a certain trade. Warrior, Thief, Black Mage, White Mage amongst the many others. Those studying the ancient arts of combat, the Monks, were called on as those to uphold justice. However, there is also another Guild, frowned upon by many, because of the nature of the trade taught there. Whereas the other guilds focused just on one trade, this one combined three trades into one, the Guild of the Red Mages.

Red Mages, taught in the art of White Magic and Black Magic, but whereas Mages of these two arts are prohibited in wielding edged weaponry, the Red Mages were also taught in the art of the Warrior, wielding swords and wearing armour.

Within the Mythril mining city of Ataan and in it�s chapter of the Red Mage guild, two exceptionally gifted and skilled members, a brother and sister, were currently in a disagreement with the head of their Guild.

�This is preposterous! I can�t believe you�re gonna cave in to the other three Guilds and roll over?!? What about all of our colleagues here, what�s gonna happen to them!?!�

Behind a big wooden desk, the elderly Guildmaster sighed as he regarded the two Red Mages before him. He had this discussion with them numerous times over the past few days, and it always ended the same, the female Red Mage being restrained by her red robed brother, who also wore a similar look of outrage on his face.

�I�m afraid that there�s nothing which I can do. We all knew this day was going to arrive, and now it has. As of this morning, the Ataan Guild of Red Mages, is closed. All former members have until daybreak tomorrow to be out of town, or risk the repercussions.�

The male Red Mage, Aberdeen Edwardes, spoke in a quiet tone.

�And what are the members supposed to do? Flee to the Karet or Mineous chapters of the Guild? Karet is a one week journey from here and Mineous is even longer. Do you really think any of us would survive the journey?�

His sister, Ariel Edwardes added.

�As soon as we step foot out of this Guild, we�ll be lynched and hung.�

The Guildmaster sighed. Aberdeen and Ariel weren�t making things easy for him, and never did. But he had to admit, they were the best Red Mages he had ever had the pleasure of serving under him.

�Aberdeen, Ariel, I know this is hard for the two of you to understand, but please listen to me. Ever since the Mayor�s youngest son was inadvertently killed by a member of our order, we�ve been forced not just by the other Guild�s, but also the Mayor himself to leave this town and never return.� The old man sighed �I wish there was another way to all of this, but there isn�t. I�m sorry.�

Aberdeen�s eyes narrowed, the Guildmaster and even his sister backing off slightly. Aberdeen�s left eye was hazel, just like the long hair on the left side of his head. On the right side, his hair was the colour of dragonsilver, as was his right eye. A jagged scar ran down the right side of his face, intersecting his right eye. The scar was always a bad subject with Aberdeen, seeing as how he had been given it. He had received it during a fight against a former ally and best friend.

His sister swallowed and spoke.

�Look, all that Aberdeen and myself want to say is��

The Guildmaster raised his hand to stop her from speaking.

�I know Ariel, I�ve heard you raise this point many times. As it stands, the three of us are the only Red Mages still here in Ataan. The only bit of advice I can tell you, is to leave Ataan immediately. Hoigreh, Suzann and Shanos have already left the town. If you don�t leave, I fear what happened to Reogor and Jaonos, could befall you.� He looked at the two before him fondly �And that�s something, I could not bear to stand.�

Ariel sighed and lowered her head, her auburn bangs falling among her shoulders. Aberdeen put his hand on his sibling�s shoulder and looked at the Guildmaster, a look of seriousness on his face.

�Master� who know Ariel and myself consider you to be the closest thing to a parent we�ve ever had. We�re not going to abandon our home and you, to this mob.�

Ariel nodded

�Besides, we can�t leave you here��

The Guildmaster stood on shaky feet, his hands holding onto the table. He gazed at the two before him, fondness in his eyes.

�I�m afraid I won�t be accompanying the two of you. I�m too old to survive the trek, and I do not think I will survive it.� He walked out from behind his desk, to the two siblings. As he approached them, he put one hand on their right shoulders �The two of you, I have cared and raised since I find you as babes, all those years ago. I still have friends here, though not many, who will endeavour to deliver me from this tyranny we�re facing. Please, my son and daughter, flee while you still can.�

Ariel, eyes watering, nodded, her head bowed. Aberdeen meanwhile, kept the cold look on his face. He didn�t like this idea one minute, but he had no choice in the matter. He shifted into �professional� mode.

�Very well sir, as per your last order, Ariel and myself shall leave Ataan immediately, and head for either Karet or Mineous. Are there any last minute instructions you have for us, sir?�

Ariel looked at her brother, then at their �father�. The guildmaster removed two heavy pouches from within his robes and handed them to his children. Inside were was the amount of eight hundred Gil. Aberdeen and Ariel both were about to speak, when their father stopped them again.

�You�ll need the Gil. In that trunk, you�ll find some potions, a tent as well as provisions. I�m afraid that I have no Chocobo�s left, Hoigreh and his two companions took the last ones yesterday. Go to the stablemaster Glhive, and he�ll give you two horses. Don�t flee to Karet or Mineous, that�s what the Mayor and his supporters will suspect. Head for the port of Labthynea. The Guildmaster of the Black Mage guild is my younger brother. Tell him, Fabrius, has sent you. He will aid you.�

Aberdeen, had already opened the trunk alongside the wall and removed the supplies. He turned and looked at his sister and father.

�What if...�

At a look from his father, he clamped his mouth shut. He recognized the look on the old man�s face instantly. It was then he knew his father�s fate. He grasped his sister�s shoulder.

�It�s time we left Ariel. We�ve got a lot of ground to cover.�

The Guildmaster nodded in agreement.

�Ariel, Aberdeen, the two of you are family. You can only truly trust and depend upon each other. During your journey ahead, you will need each other and the strength you share to overcome whatever adversity you face. Even if you have companions join you, remember you can only trust each other, no one else.� He paused �Blood is blood, everyone else, are just a stranger.�

Ariel and Aberdeen faced their father, the former hugging him while the latter watched quietly from the side. Both siblings turned and headed for the door, leading into what once was the common area of the guild, and looked back at their father, who had made his way back to his seat and sat down.

Aberdeen walked towards one of the secret guild doors, leading to a tunnel heading towards the stables, his red hat already on his head. His long sword sheathed at his side, as he handed his sister her blade. No sooner had she buckled the blade to her belt, her hat on her head, the main door of the guild started to shake, as strong poundings could be heard.

The two siblings had just fled into the tunnel, sealing the door behind them, as the main door shattered under the blows, and the Mayor�s other son entered, his own group of fighters with him. One of them, was a White Mage, by the name of Kye Havard, who frowned on the course of action he was being forced to take.

Kye looked around him and sighed. Inside the former Guild of the Red Mages with him, were two Black Mages, a warrior and the Mayor�s son, Sascha, leading them.

�Find them! All Red Mages are to be brought before the gallows in the central plaza immediately!�

Kye looked at Sascha, shock on his face.

�Excuse me, but don�t the Red Mages have until tomorrow to leave town or risk execution?�

One of the Black Mages, Motrud, snickered.

�Ohh, what�s the matter? The White Robe afraid to get his precious white robes dirty? Poor baby!�

The other Black Mage, Othoirs, laughed in a sinister tone.

�That�s just what the Mayor told them. In reality, they had to be out of town BEFORE he had finished giving that speech. Remember those three we caught before coming here?� He looked at the Warrior �What were those three called?�

The warrior, Nisu smirked.

�I believe they were once called Hoigreh, Suzann and Shanos. Hoigreh really squealed as the rope jerked his neck.� He paused �A shame about Suzann, she really had potential��

Sascha looked at Nisu from the corner of his eye.

�Potential, eh Nisu? What as, dare I ask?�

Nisu laughed.

�She had the potential to be a good distraction, and a way for,� he smiled evilly �Relief for men to use her for.�

As the others laughed, Kye felt his stomach turn. He couldn�t believe what the town had degenerated into, a pack of wolves baying for the blood of anyone wearing red robes. He had a feeling that the murder of Sascha�s brother, Edmund by a Red Mage, was a conspiracy just to get rid of Red Mages from this town. However, he found his pleas were falling on deaf ears, as his own place within the Ataan chapter of White Mages was currently under review. He turned and leaned against the wall, his mind made up, to leave this town as soon as Sascha had finished in the Red Mage guild.

Sascha opened the door to the Guildmaster�s office and found the former head slumped in his chair, breathing shallowly. With no remorse whatsoever, he drew his sword and sliced the old man�s head off completely, grasping the fallen head by the hair and exiting the guild, ignoring the looks of joy and happiness on the face of his companions, the look of terror and shock on Kye�s face. No sooner had Kye�s group left the guild, Motrud and Othoirs, turned and cast Fire onto the wooden beams and the red drapes within the Guild hall, the firelight reflecting in their eyes as the Guild caught ablaze and started to burn fiercely. Sascha laughed as did Nisu and the Black Mages, whilst Kye turned away and vomited onto the ground, his face pale and sweaty. He had just inadvertently participated in the taking of a life, breaking his vows and the White Mage oath.

Nisu looked at the hunched over White Mage.

�You knew this was going to happen Havard, no use acting upset now. Besides, the head of your guild has decreed that the life taking of the Red Mages, is of no concern to you lot. Their lives are meaningless and worthless. Why do you act so� upset?�

Kye looked over his shoulder at Nisu.

�ALL life is precious Nisu. It is a thing granted to us all by a higher power, and one which should not be taken until the time is right! What we have just been party to, we shall never be forgiven for.�

Motrud snorted and hit Kye with his staff.

�I know you White Mages are a sniveling bunch of cowards and pant wetters, but YOU, Kye Havard, are even worse! You are the most pitiful wretch of a White Mage, nay, a human being I have ever encountered in my whole life!�

Kye turned and glared at the Black Mage, anger on his face.

�At least I am HUMAN! Not like you, or the rest of you! You make me sick, with your acts of so called �vengeance�. One day, after this blind hatred is over, the vengeance of the Red Mages were come calling, and I pray you live long enough to experience your own deaths, just like Hoigreh, Suzann and Shanos!�

With that said, Kye stormed off, anger in every step he took. Nisu looked at Sascha, who had already impaled the head of the Red Mage guildmaster on a stake, and thrust the stake into the ground, in front of the flaming guild hall.

�Sascha, what are we going to do about Kye? He�s going to cause trouble��

Sascha looked at Nisu, a sinister smile on his face.

�Don�t worry, we�ll take care of him when we�ve killed those two Red Mages who�ve managed to escape us.�

Nisu sighed.

�You mean the Edwardes?�

Sascha nodded.

�As much as I like Ariel, she and her brother must die, and will die before my eyes. They�re Red Mages, and Red Mages are to be executed.�

As Sascha and the Black Mages headed off, Nisu frowned and glanced at the burning hall.

>>I fear, the slaying of the Edwardes will be near impossible for us to carry out. After all, if Knight Morthoseth could not slay Aberdeen Edwardes, and was in turn slain by his target, what chance do we have?<<

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puddles123
10-08-2009, 08:41 AM
I'm going to be honest step-by-step with you, as I know how rare and valuable that is for someone trying to write a good story.

+ Overall, the story was pretty good. The scene with the guildmaster and the two red mages was touching, and struck all the right emotional chords. If this is your first writing foray, then I congratulate you. It kept my attention.

+ Your story's world has promise. My only complaint is that I, as the reader, was given no explanation or indication as to where any of these towns or nations are that you mention. I have no sense of what the continent looks like, making the names arbitrary because I have no idea what makes the towns unique or where they are relative to the current town.

- Your grammar needs improvement, but when it comes down to it, that is a relatively minor issue that can be fixed pretty easily by having a few friends look over and correct it.

- The rationale behind the extermination of the Red Mages seems a bit odd to me. My perception of them based on what you wrote portrayed them as the most powerful of guilds given their multi-faceted skill set. Thus, I found it hard to believe that they would be so easily overcome simply because one of their members killed someone. In a land where there are thieves' guilds, fighters' guilds, and assassins' guilds, it seems preposterous that the killing of one or more townsfolk by the Red Mages would justify a mob uprising and a small group of other mages overthrowing their power. I would expect a far more powerful combined force of other mages, and a hell of a lot of spellpower and fighting before the Red Mages went down.

- Your characterization needs a little bit of work. The only ones who I got into were the guildmaster and the brother. Everyone else seems a stereotype. The black mage is sadistic and a dick. The white mage is insufferably honorable. The sister is your stereotypical damsel. If you continue this story, I hope to see some further delving into the stories behind the characters, and what made them who they are today.

Sorry if any of what I said offended you. I'm simply trying to be honest based on what I read, as that is the truest help you can get. Oftentimes, you just run into people who say, "It was good," or, "It sucked," without any explanation of why. So I hope this helped. Kudos for writing it. Writing is not an easy task, as I've learned myself recently.

Enkidoh
10-08-2009, 01:31 PM
Okay Puddles, XD asked me to clarify a few things pointed out in your reply (I'm co-author of this story and created some of the characters).


+ Your story's world has promise. My only complaint is that I, as the reader, was given no explanation or indication as to where any of these towns or nations are that you mention. I have no sense of what the continent looks like, making the names arbitrary because I have no idea what makes the towns unique or where they are relative to the current town.

Um, this is just the start of the narrative. The 'starting town' if you will. The focus of that chapter is less on the setting and more the characters in it. So, naturally,as far as setting goes, only what is relevant to the narrative at that time is described. Don't worry, Ataan will be covered in more detail at a much later time in the story.

And of course you have no idea what the rest of the continent looks like. It's the first chapter after all. They haven't even left Ataan yet. To use an example you would be more familiar with: did FFVII give you any hint what the rest of the world looked like when Cloud and Barret first stormed the Number 1 Reactor in FFVII? No. All you were shown was the current location. This is what is referred to as 'closure' - showing part of a setting but hinting enough to make it seem part of something more.


- The rationale behind the extermination of the Red Mages seems a bit odd to me. My perception of them based on what you wrote portrayed them as the most powerful of guilds given their multi-faceted skill set. Thus, I found it hard to believe that they would be so easily overcome simply because one of their members killed someone. In a land where there are thieves' guilds, fighters' guilds, and assassins' guilds, it seems preposterous that the killing of one or more townsfolk by the Red Mages would justify a mob uprising and a small group of other mages overthrowing their power. I would expect a far more powerful combined force of other mages, and a hell of a lot of spellpower and fighting before the Red Mages went down.

I don't know how well you understand the Red Mage Job Puddles, but traditionally, although Red Mages do indeed utilize both Black and White Magic, and can wield a sword and shield, they do not excel in any one of these areas (their physical strength lags well behind Warriors/Knights/Paladins/Dark Knights, and magic wise Black and White Mages leave them for dead).

It is their very versatility and adaptability that sets them apart. In fact, towards the end of most FF games which feature Red Mages as a playable character Job, they're pretty much overshadowed by other, more flashier Jobs which essentially leave them redundant. A number of FF titles compensate for this for giving them special traits that make them unique in the party though (for instance, in FFXI they get the Refresh spell to replenish MP, and also can also embue their weapon with an elemental property).

Additionally, the Red Mage Guild was never a very large or powerful Guild anyway, a fact that became readily apparent when the anti-Red Mage paranoia set in and the townspeople started lynching them. Hence, even united, it was only a matter of time before the town guards banded together and drove them out, or exterminated them.

Incidentally, it's pretty obvious there is a deeper motive behind the anti-Red Mage hysteria but that's a major plotline so I won't spoil anything more. ;)


- Your characterization needs a little bit of work. The only ones who I got into were the guildmaster and the brother. Everyone else seems a stereotype. The black mage is sadistic and a dick. The white mage is insufferably honorable. The sister is your stereotypical damsel. If you continue this story, I hope to see some further delving into the stories behind the characters, and what made them who they are today.

Once again, this is only the first chapter. Traditionally, the games' narratives never went into detail about the characters' past histories until well into the game, so revealing major details about their past histories etc seems a little redundant. Besides, the first chapter is usually about building mystery and suspense - who would want to read on if everything was revealed about the main protagonists right at the start?

As for your interpretations of the main cast, the Black Mages (Othiors and Motrud) are sadistic for a reason. Not only because it goes with the territory so to speak, being practitioners of sorcery, of course they'd take a certain sadistic pleasure in the pain they inflict, but also it was meant to be an in-joke to the FFI webcomic 8-bit Theater (in case you've never read that comic, the Black Mage in that comic is portrayed as a violent, sadistic maniac with ego problems ;))

Kye is honourable too for a reason - why wouldn't he be? He's a White Mage! He's devoted to healing the sick and injured, and putting the needs of others before himself. So naturally it wouldn't sit right with him seeing his superiors slaying the Red Mages in cold blood. Unfortunately, his youthful naivety and own insecurities (he's the sole male White Mage on the continent) prevented him from speaking out at the destruction of the Red Mage Guild. But then, even if he had, Nisu and his thugs would have then slain him as well.

Finally, Ariel. I completely disagree with your statement that Ariel is the typical 'damsel in distress'. She's Aberdeen's twin sister, and as such shares most of his powers and abilities (although she tended to focus more on learning White Magic than Black, which was more her brother's forte). Accordingly, she is still dangerous with a sword in her hand, and will defend her brother, and those she loves, with her life. Speaking of which, it should be pretty obvious that she and Kye have a much deeper connection to each other, but again, I will not spoil that for you. ;)

Anyway, I hope this didn't come across as too critical of your comments, as your opinions and comments are very welcomed, same as everyone, and has clarified these points you have raised. And yes, more chapters will be coming as soon as possible. :)

puddles123
10-08-2009, 06:02 PM
Sorry, I wasn't trying to hurt anyone's feelings or be vicious in my criticism.

Regarding the geography of the world: I don't expect an entire continent to be outlined in the first chapter, that would obviously be extreme. However, my criticism was regarding those cities/towns that are relevant to the plot that are mentioned - Karet, Mineous, Labthynea. As the reader, I wondered what makes these towns valid (or invalid) retreat points? Is it because they are close to Ataan? Is it because there is a cell of Red Mages there? Is it because these towns are densely populated and thus easier to hide in? The characters mentioned merely the names, making me as the reader confused as to why they would mention these towns in the first place when talking about a place to fall back to from the lynching hordes. And therefore they come off as questionable in importance.

Regarding Red Mages: I wrote what I wrote precisely because I know nothing about this Red Mage job thing and the details behind it. I don't know if you are targeting a broader audience, but I hoped it was at least a little constructive to hear a viewpoint from one who has never played a game where Red Mages are a job/class option. Unless you are confining this story to those who know about Red Mages, then you might want to consider putting in some extra info as to how big they are as a group, or why their varied skills don't necessarily make them more powerful than the other more limited guilds. From first impressions, I thought that their varied skills would mean that they were more skilled and able to adapt in combat, and thus harder to get rid of. But, given your explanation, that clearly isn't the case. But I would never have known that without your explanation, Enkidoh.

Regarding characterization: I don't expect the entire story of each character in the first chapter, I was just trying to suggest that perhaps a little more time needs to be spent giving these characters distinct mannerisms or some way to make them unique. You do shoot off a lot of names throughout the chapter (Hoigreh, Suzann, Shanos, Reogor, Jaonos, Glhive, Fabrius, Kye, Sascha, Ariel, Aberdeen, Motrud, Othoirs, Kye, Nisu, Edmund, Havard). And this makes it a little bit overwhelming for the reader. My problem with the black mages being stereotypical is that all three of them were acting the exact same way, which to me seemed unlikely. But, if you want to keep it that way as an inside joke, that's fine. Don't let me tell you what to do. I'm just trying to be honest and helpful based on what I'm reading and based on my knowledge of what is going on. As for me calling the girl a stereotypical damsel, I said that because her brother was doing all the talking, she was doing all the weeping and mourning, and because, at this point in the story, I wasn't given any indication as to her being a superb swordsman or having powers equal to her brother. I'm glad that that changes.

Again, sorry if my criticism came off as unfair or something. I'm just trying to give you my impressions of the story directly after reading it, and without any former knowledge of Red Mages, etc. Therefore, while my impressions may be wrong, I would beg you to consider that it may be because you need to add a little bit to this story to dissuade others from falling into the same mistaken impressions. I hope this helped.

Darth Revan
10-09-2009, 04:01 AM
Regarding the geography of the world: I don't expect an entire continent to be outlined in the first chapter, that would obviously be extreme. However, my criticism was regarding those cities/towns that are relevant to the plot that are mentioned - Karet, Mineous, Labthynea. As the reader, I wondered what makes these towns valid (or invalid) retreat points? Is it because they are close to Ataan? Is it because there is a cell of Red Mages there? Is it because these towns are densely populated and thus easier to hide in? The characters mentioned merely the names, making me as the reader confused as to why they would mention these towns in the first place when talking about a place to fall back to from the lynching hordes. And therefore they come off as questionable in importance.

This will be revealed in a latter chapter, namely Chapter Two.


Regarding Red Mages: I wrote what I wrote precisely because I know nothing about this Red Mage job thing and the details behind it. I don't know if you are targeting a broader audience, but I hoped it was at least a little constructive to hear a viewpoint from one who has never played a game where Red Mages are a job/class option. Unless you are confining this story to those who know about Red Mages, then you might want to consider putting in some extra info as to how big they are as a group, or why their varied skills don't necessarily make them more powerful than the other more limited guilds. From first impressions, I thought that their varied skills would mean that they were more skilled and able to adapt in combat, and thus harder to get rid of. But, given your explanation, that clearly isn't the case. But I would never have known that without your explanation, Enkidoh.

I'm using the job classes not only from Final Fantasy XI Online, but also from the NES-SNES generation off Final Fantasy games. However, I will post here details of the jobs I will be using in this story.

(All the following info is taken from FFcompendium regarding Job classes)

Red Mages
Red Mages are the only class that can cast two vastly different kinds of magic - white and black, making them a "jack-of-all-trades". The disadvantage is it cannot cast very powerful magic from either color, so being proficient in many arts, it is a master of none.
Their outfits typically consist of a feathered hunter's hat and red cape.

White Mages
White Mages are the direct opposite of Black Mages. Instead of using their magic to hurt, they use it to heal or protect. As such, most white mages are portrayed as females. They wear white robes trimmed with red trim and wield staffs. Like other mages, they tend to be weak in strength, and in their case, have very little offensive power. They offset this by supporting the party in defense.

Black Mages
Black Mages are one of the most frequently appearing job classes, right up there with its opposite - White Mage. Black Mages have the ability to cast Black Magic, which is defined as magic intended to harm or enfeeble the target. They wear long robes with pointy wizard hats, which cloud their faces in darkness save for a pair of yellow eyes (ooh, scary). They tend to be the most powerful in magic power, but less in magic defense, when compared to the White Mage. And like all mages, they have very little attack power.

Thief
The defining characteristics of the thief are its green rag-tag clothing and the ability to steal items from the enemy, which usually has a useless success rate. However, there is typically an item in the game, usually called the "Thief Glove" to change some ability related to the Thief. Steal also usually gives way to "Mug" later in the game, where the job can both attack and steal at the same time. They typically equip knives or short swords and thrive on living in the shadows. Their agility/speed allows them to escape from battles easier.

Dragoon
Dragoons have an affinity for dragon killing through their spears and polearms, and often wear dragon-related gear. Their main characteristic is the Jump ability. When activated, they jump out of the battlefield for about the length of a turn. They can't receive damage and can't be controlled during this time. When time expires, the Dragoon delivers an attack from above for much more damage than a normal attack. Very typically, they are the only other class besides Knight that can equip shields and/or heavy armor.

Paladin
Paladins are much like Knights, except for one key difference - they have white magic. Though their power in this tends to be low, it works well for certain tight situations. Some jobs also have the "Cover" ability, which makes the paladin jump in front of a character (sometimes with low HP, sometimes not) and take physical damage for them. They wear white clothing and can cast low-level white magic.

Dark Knight
The Dark Knight's look originated from the FF3 M. Knight, which ironically had white magic (see below). It is characterized by a predilection towards dark combat. Like a knight, this class focuses on strength-based attacks, but also uses black magic to harm the enemy, though this leaves its defense low. One of its most distinguishing characteristics is DarkWave (a.k.a. Darkness), an ability which sacrifices the character's HP in order to do more damage.

Samurai
Samurais are more defined by their outfits than their abilities, although the most common one is "Spare Change" where the user throws and loses money to cause damage. They often equip a long samurai sword or katana, and wear traditional samurai armor. Their abilities also tend to include a way to instantly kill an enemy, and the ability to paralyze enemies. Their attributes lend themselves well to physical combat, but their magic is only satisfactory.

Summoner
Summoners add the most flavor to Final Fantasy. Instead of fighting for themselves, they summon giant monsters to either fight for them or support the party at the cost of time, MP, or something else. This makes them effective for boss battles, but overkill on regular monsters, so they tend not to get used enough to level up. They typically wear robes, equip staffs and rods, and are often portrayed with horns.

Geomancer
Geomancers use attack magic primarily, but instead of having a set list of spells, their magic is determined by the setting they are fighting in, and don't use MP. For example, if fighting in a desert or mountains, Geomancers might cast Earth magic. They wear funny little stocking hats that look like they're ready for bed and equip bells.

Dancer
Dancers cast a random effect on their enemies, much like a bard. They must learn dances either through AP or experience.

Archer
Archers equip bows and arrows and often resemble Robin Hood. Their high accuracy and ranged attacks make them effective from a distance or the back row. Archers usually come with the ability to Aim, which delivers a highly accurate attack at the cost of time or power. Their defense or magic is lacking, so they keep out of trouble by keeping away from the fight. Usually their effectiveness is coupled with some other form of offense, like status attacks or weak magic.

Chemist
Chemists increase the potency of the party's items, usually being restricted to healing items such as potions and ethers. They can also mix two items to create strange and wondrous effects like healing, attacking, or support.

Monk
Monks are known for their weaponless approach to fighting, relying on the way of the fist (later, it switches to claws). What they lack in strength, the make up for in HP and endurance. Their costumes often indicate some sort of Far East training, and their ability to equip armor or weapons is lacking or even non-existent. They also come with the Counter ability, which causes the user to reflexively attack after being physically attacked.

Gunner
Gunners equip guns (what else?) and do a great job of combining heavy physical attacks with status effects. Like archers, they typically have great accuracy and marksmanship, and offset their weak defense with their distance attacks.


Regarding characterization: I don't expect the entire story of each character in the first chapter, I was just trying to suggest that perhaps a little more time needs to be spent giving these characters distinct mannerisms or some way to make them unique. You do shoot off a lot of names throughout the chapter (Hoigreh, Suzann, Shanos, Reogor, Jaonos, Glhive, Fabrius, Kye, Sascha, Ariel, Aberdeen, Motrud, Othoirs, Kye, Nisu, Edmund, Havard). And this makes it a little bit overwhelming for the reader. My problem with the black mages being stereotypical is that all three of them were acting the exact same way, which to me seemed unlikely. But, if you want to keep it that way as an inside joke, that's fine. Don't let me tell you what to do. I'm just trying to be honest and helpful based on what I'm reading and based on my knowledge of what is going on. As for me calling the girl a stereotypical damsel, I said that because her brother was doing all the talking, she was doing all the weeping and mourning, and because, at this point in the story, I wasn't given any indication as to her being a superb swordsman or having powers equal to her brother. I'm glad that that changes.

Most of those characters you just mentioned in this part, are what are commonly termed as 'Throw-away-characters'. As in they aren't essential to how the story will flow or have minor parts. Some are main characters which should be readily apparent (Aberdeen, Ariel and Kye). The reason the Black Mages are the way they are is intentional. As Enkidoh stated, I had those two Black Mages act the way they are in homage towards the psychotic, meglomaniacal Black Mage from the web comic, 8-Bit Theater. Regarding Ariel, this is just the first chapter, and due to what has been happening around her recently, she is still in shock and isn't fully aware of how grave the situation is at the moment. Later though, she is proven to be 'more than meets the eye.'


Again, sorry if my criticism came off as unfair or something. I'm just trying to give you my impressions of the story directly after reading it, and without any former knowledge of Red Mages, etc. Therefore, while my impressions may be wrong, I would beg you to consider that it may be because you need to add a little bit to this story to dissuade others from falling into the same mistaken impressions. I hope this helped.

I don't mind criticism, as long as it's of the constructive kind. I'm not saying yours isn't, just bare in mind the title of this story Rise of the Red Mages; A Final Fantasy Fanfic. By having Final Fantasy in the sub title, it is announcing to the reader that this story does have links to the Final Fantasy series of games. If the reader hasn't read any Final Fantasy Fanfics or even played any Final Fantasy games, they can still enjoy this story on it's own merits. Case in point, the Dragonlance sage of novels (Written by Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman) is a series of fantasy, sword and sorcery novels. If a reader is inclined towards fantasy novels, they would enjoy those stories, and I would think the same would apply to this story as well.

Darth Revan
10-18-2009, 02:37 AM
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Seven days later :

The road leading away from the mithril mining town of Ataan, led along some barren trail towards the Port city of Labthynea. The sun was shining relentlessly down on the two red robed individuals who walked along the dusty path. From the foothills of where the mining town was nestled, the land was dry and lifeless. Aberdeen frowned as he thought once again of his father's advice, to head to Labthynea and not Karet or Mineous.

Karet was a smaller town than Ataan, a collection of homesteaders with some minor nessecities. In some ways perhaps a perfect place to hide. However with such a small community, outsiders would stand out clearly. Mineous on the otherhand was a bustling major city, only about a fourth the size of Labthynea, but the mayor of Mineous was the brother of the Mayor of Ataan so heading there for safety was out of the question

Labthynea, while being further away than the other two towns, was far bigger and had a wider tolerance for the people living behind it's walls. Being a port city, new people were arriving there daily on one of the many white winged ships hailing from far away places like Gilchrest Isle, Home of the Knights of Gilchrest; Jaoius, on the continent of Lougarl; Lugarnia, on the continent of Beglam and many others.

The port city was also the home of the Black Mage guild, the guildmaster the brother of the former head of the Red Mage guild of Ataan. History between the Red Mages and Black Mages was cordial and respectful, though there were members of both guilds who have declared a hatred for the other.

The Red Mage shook his head, to clear his thoughts from his woolgathering and returned his attention to his current situation. Equipment and gil wise they were fine for the time being, but it wouldn't last. Aberdeen sighed as he looked back at his sister, dragging her feet along the path they trode. They did have horses at the beginning of their journey, but the stablemaster had been rather… reluctant… to part any of his horses, with the exception of the two he gave the siblings. Aberdeen had reservations in regards to the horses they were given, they were old and on their last legs. Indeed, only a day into their journey, Ariel’s horse collapsed on the side of the road, and no matter how many cure spell’s she cast, the horse never rose again. It was at that time, Aberdeen wished they had studied White Magic more, instead of Black Magic and their sword technique, combining both forms into one deadly and unique combat style.

Aberdeen’s horse had died four days after they started out, being attacked and devoured by two Centrusks, big heavy creatures, on squat legs with a overtly large, pointed and serrated horn jutting out from their foreheards, as well as two sharp tusks from either side of their mouths. Fortunately, they were easy to kill, and Aberdeen and Ariel had been walking towards the port of Labthynea, which at their current speed, would take them two weeks to get to.

He wished he had a Chocobo. A two week journey by foot, would only by a 2 day journey by Chocobo. He sighed as he readjusted their supplies in the bag he wore on his back, his sister carrying only her sword. Aberdeen decided to call a break for a short time, and while they rested, they discussed their plan for when they reached Labthynea.

“What should we do brother? I mean, this whole continent isn’t friendly to Red Mages. Where should we go?”

Aberdeen took a mouthful of water from his gourd and passed it to his sister.

“We follow our father’s advice. Contact the Black Mages in Labthynea, and see if they can help us.”

Ariel looked at him, as she handed the drinking gourd back to him.

“Is that wise? I mean considering what the Ataan guild of Black Mages was like?”

Aberdeen corked the gourd and replaced it back in their bags.

“Personally, I think the Mayor had gotten the members of the other Guilds in Ataan turned against us, for his own purpose. Remember, Ataan is the only mining town where Mythril can be found, so he has that as a huge bargaining tool over the Guilds.”

Ariel snorted.

“I thought the Guilds were supposed to be neutral in all matters? I guess Ataan was the exception.”

Aberdeen nodded.

“Yeah… still, at least Hoigreh, Suzann and Shanos escaped. Hopefully they headed for Labthynea as well, and we can meet up with them there.”

Ariel smiled softly, at the mention of Suzann’s name. She knew her brother and Suzann had a relationship of sorts, and had often teased him about it.

“I’ll bet she’s waiting for us in Labthynea, waiting for you to spend some ‘quality’ time together with her.”

Aberdeen looked at his sister, his face red.

“You’ve been peeking through keyholes again, haven’t you and…”

Just then the ground rumbled, causing both siblings to the feet. Ariel turned and pointed at a cloud of dust, which was rapidly getting bigger.

“Company.”

Aberdeen drew his sword.

“Yeah, on Chocobos. Ready yourself sis, I don’t think Ataan has finished with us yet.”

A few minutes had passed and five Chocobos stopped a few metres short of the two Red Mages, their riders glaring at them, well, four of them. The fifth, the White Mage, wore a look of disgust on his face, knowing what was to come. The leader rode his Chocobo forward, his sword drawn.

“Red Mages, for crimes against the township of Ataan, you have been found guilty by a just and true panel of your peers…” At that comment, the two Black Mages sniggered as the Warrior kept his gaze on Aberdeen “And as being found guilty, your punishment is to be death. Sentence to be carried.. WAAAAAHHHH!!!”

The leader fell off of his Chocobo, as Ariel had cast a Fire spell on a branch in front of the bird. No sooner had that happened, Aberdeen cast Thunder on one of the Black Mages, who was caught unprepared for the attack, and whose charred and blackened body fell from his Chocobo to the ground, dead. The warrior leaped from his Chocobo, sword held true before him, as he aimed for Aberdeen. But the Red Mage was ready, and swatted the warrior’s sword out of the outstretched hand with his own sword. He then kicked the warrior hard in the neck, the bone snapping and the head going limp. The warrior fell to the ground, lifeless.

These events had happened so quickly, the other Black Mage, Motrud, was caught completely unawares. He snarled and prepared to cast Fira, when the White Mage smashed his staff against the back of Motrud’s head, causing the Mage to fall to the ground, unconscious. The leader, Sascha, tried to stand, but found himself staring at two long blades, being pressed against his chest. He wore a fearful look as he stared at the two Red Mages.

“G… Go ahead… Kill me! Just like you killed my brother! O…One day, I shall be avenged!”

Aberdeen snorted as he sheathed his blade.

“I have no time for this crap from you Sascha.” He lifted the young man by his collar “Go back to your father, and tell him you failed in your task, and that your friends here paid the price for his stupidity!”

Ariel, in the meantime, had taken the armour off of the warrior and taken his sword. She moved to the two Black Mages and took their spell components and staffs. She bound the unconscious Black Mage, and looked at the White Mage, still sitting on his Chocobo, surprise on her face as she recognised him.

“I don’t believe it, Kye Havard, what are you doing travelling with this scum?”

Kye smiled grimly.

“Following orders of a Guildmaster, who has caved in to the Mayor’s demands and licks the boots of said mayor.”

Ariel and Kye looked over at Aberdeen, who had removed the armour and sword belt from Sascha, and then tied his arms behind his back, throwing the young man next to the Black Mage, who was starting to wake up.

“The two of you can leave here Sascha, and know this. If I ever, see you again, I will kill you.”

Sascha nodded, face white as he managed to stand and back away. Motrud followed suite, and backed away, fear and anger glowing in his eyes. Aberdeen cast Thunder at the ground in front of them, causing the two to turn tail and run, heading back to Ataan, minus their Chocobos. Aberdeen turned and faced Kye, arms folded across his chest.

“Well Kye, where do you stand in all of this?”

Kye sighed and leaned back in his saddle.

“I’m against all of this Aberdeen, you should know that. Especially after what they did to…”

Ariel looked at him, eyes narrow.

“Did to who?”

Kye sighed again and dismounted, leading his Chocobo over to the others, tied to the only tree standing along the barren road, in the shadows. He sat down and bade the siblings to do likewise.

“Sascha, being the bloodthirsty wretch he is, slew your Guildmaster, before having Motrud and Othoirs, burning the guild hall to the ground.”

Ariel, wearing a look of shock and grief, started to cry, her tears running down her face, as Aberdeen’s face hardened into a emotionless look. When he spoke, his tone was quiet and cold.

“What about the three Red Mages who left the day before? Hoigreh, Suzann and Shanos?”

Kye sighed and ran a hand through his short light brown hair.

“They were captured by Sascha, before they even left town. He had them tortured for a full day and night, before killing them individually, and by his own hand. Hoigreh was hung in the central square and Shanos was burnt alive.”

Aberdeen lowered his head, his hat obscuring his face. Ariel, weeping softly, then asked the question, Aberdeen wanted an answer to.

“What about Suzann?”

Kye having known the siblings for some time, also knew of how close Aberdeen and Suzann's relationship had been, one of fierce competitive rivals yet also the closest of allies. He paused and looked at Aberdeen, his face sorrowful.

“I’m sorry Aberdeen, I knew how much Suzann meant to you.”

His response was cold.

“How did she die?”

Kye lowered his own head, then looked at Ariel and Aberdeen.

“Suzann was tortured by Sascha himself. I found out from Nisu,” he motioned to the body of the dead warrior “That Sascha ‘entertained’ himself with her, the night before she died. Early the next morning, he and Nisu, lead Suzann into the forest, where they stripped her of her clothes and Sascha killed her with his own hands.”

Aberdeen’s head was bowed, but when his shoulders started to shake, he stood and let a roar of anger escape his lips, as he turned and hit the tree with his fist, cracking the bark. He fell to his knees, emotions running through him. Ariel stood and approached her brother.

“Aberdeen…”

Aberdeen regained his composure immediately, the cold emotionless mask back in place upon his face as he stood, turned and looked at Ariel and Kye.

“We leave for Labthynea immediately. When Sascha and Motrud return to Ataan, they’ll most probably follow us with more troops. I guess we’ll have at the most three weeks until they return. We have to make sure that either we’re in a secure place within Labthynea, or far from it.”

Ariel, tears on her face, sighed.

“Aberdeen… ”

Aberdeen had tied his pack to a Chocobo, along with the armour and weaponry taken from Nisu and Sascha. He then mounted the Chocobo and gazed at the two before him.

“Hurry and mount, we’re leaving now.”

As Aberdeen jerked the reins, turning his Chocobo away, Kye helped Ariel onto her Chocobo and mounted his own, grasping the reins of the remaining two Chocobos. Kye looked back at the fallen bodies of Nisu and Othoirs, a sorrowful look on his face.

“I told you the vengeance of the Red Mages would fall upon you, and I was right.”

Kye and Ariel rode after Aberdeen, and the three headed towards Labthynea at a fast trot, distance flying by as the Chocobos ran.

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Darth Revan
10-26-2009, 04:26 AM
Small Chapter.

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Port of Labthynea :

Aberdeen handed the reins of the Chocobo he had borrowed from his failed assassin, to the stablemaster, in exchange for seven hundred gil pieces. His sister and Kye also selling the Chocobo�s they had, as well as the two spare Chocobos, earning them enough gil to resupply, buy some more equipment and a room at the nearby Inn.

Aberdeen and Ariel had already sold their leather armour, longswords and leather gloves to a shopkeeper, deciding to use the armour and weapons they took from Sascha and Nisu, two days ago. Kye watched them as they attached the Mythril shinguards in place, as well as the Mythril braces, having already donned the Mythril chainmail beforehand.

Aberdeen noticed the look on Kye�s face.

�It was either them or us Kye.�

Kye nodded.

�I know that Aberdeen, but I still find the idea of robbing from the dead and defeated to be particularly morbid. But that�s just from a White Mage point of view.�

Ariel smirked as she attached the sword belt of the Mythril sword around her waist.

�Lighten up Kye. Aberdeen and myself are Red Mages, and around these parts, Red Mages aren�t exactly welcomed with open arms.�

Kye shrugged.

�Whatever. Anyway, where do we go now Aberdeen?�

Aberdeen hefted the bag of supplies he had taken from his former Guild Hall in Ataan, and looked over his shoulder at his sister and the White Mage.

�We find the Black Mage Guild of Labthynea, and speak with the Guildmaster there.�

With that said, Aberdeen headed off into the crowd of people, milling about the busy street. Ariel and Kye sighed, and followed the Red Mage into the street. However, watching them for a nearby alley, the only female member of the Black Mage Guild of Labthynea smiled under her hat.

�So they�ve finally arrived eh? Good� Now, I can use them, to help myself.�

With a whirl of her dark blue cloak, the Black Mage turned and headed off down the alley, heading towards her Guild. She knew her Guildmaster was going to help these travellers, and in doing so would assign a Black Mage to join them. She was going to make sure, she was chosen to help them. After all, the male Red Mage was quite handsome, especially with the clashing of dark brown and silver hair.

�Oh yes, him I like. The other two� well, we�ll just see how I can get rid of them, and then��

She cackled softly, and lifted her face to the sky, the light raining on her face, her green eyes sparkling as she let her full lips smile.

�It would seem my premonitions were correct� but then again, they have never been wrong before. I know that the Red Mage, Aberdeen, is going to need help, and I have to be the one to assist him. Not only for his sake,� she lowered her gaze, her pointed wide rimmed hat covering her face in shadows, her eyes glowing yellow �But for my own��

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Please leave a post with thoughts, opinion etc. Constructive criticism only please.

Darth Revan
11-28-2009, 12:05 PM
I apologise for the lack of an update recently. Due to some recent happenings with my family, I haven't been able to focus on writing/editing chapters for this story, and did decide to leave this story by the roadside again...

However, I've decided not to do that, and I'm now actively editing/rewriting parts of earlier chapters of this story with the intention to continue it. I'll post updates when I can/have the next chapter ready.

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Inside the Slippery Eel Tavern :

Sitting at a table, in the shadows, a female thief watched the other patrons who were inside the tavern with a trained eye. She had been plying her trade since she was young, and now at seventeen years of age, she was a master of her craft. She took a sip of her drink before her, when the tavern door opened, and in walked two Red Mages and a White Mage.

Other patrons glanced at the newcomers, before returning to their drinks. A couple hissed in disgust and spat on the ground in front of the Red Mages. The male Red Mage turned his stone gaze onto those people, causing them to return to their drinks immediately. His two companions looked around them, wariness in their stance. The thief noticed how their weapon sheathes were worn from well use, but it was the swords she saw with her greed’s eye. Mythril Longswords. Just one of them was worth over fifteen thousand gil, and her mouth started to hunger for those swords. It was then the male Red Mage turned his gaze around the room, resting on her. She herself shuddered involuntarily, as she saw his face, the male’s right eye seeming to stare at her.

The other Red Mage spoke quietly to her male companion, as well as to the White Mage, and the three of them approached the thief. As they approached her table, the thief looked at them, curiosity on her face.

“Well then, what do I owe the pleasure…?”

The male Red Mage spoke in a cold tone.

“We are looking for the Black Mage Guild of Labthynea. Do you know it’s location?”

The thief leaned back in her chair, her feet on the table and a cocky smile upon her face.

“I may know it’s location. Depends on what you are offering in return.”

The female Red Mage muttered under her breath and spoke to her red robed companion.

“Come on Aberdeen, it’s obvious all this person worries about is gil. We can find the guild by other means.”

The White Robe nodded.

“I agree with Ariel, let’s go and find someone in authority and get directions from them.”

Aberdeen kept a steely gaze on the thief.

“That may be so, but I’m willing to bet that this person knows a more direct route to the guild, instead of petitioning the town’s lord, for a audience with the Head of the Black Mage Guild.” He turned his head slightly “Besides, we don’t have the time to wait for the town puppet, to ask for permission!”

The thief smiled thinly. This was a man, with whom she could associate herself with. Too bad he had the conscience in the White Robes and the Red Robed impatience. Still, she was ready to help out… when the tavern door opened, and in walked five high ranking members of the Black Mage Guild.

Kye and Ariel regarded the Black Mages with caution, whilst Aberdeen kept his gaze locked on the thief.

“What is your name thief?”

The thief leaned back in her chair, smirking.

“That’s privileged information. What do I get in exchange?”

Aberdeen drew from his belt the mithril dagger he had taken from Sascha and held it before her.

“This.”

The thief sat straight in the chair, eyes wide as she stared at the blade.

“Why do you want my name so much?”

“Simple. My friends and I will need passage from Labthynea to Port Jaoius. This dagger, as well as five hundred gil will be yours, if you give me your name and arrange passage for us.”

The thief stood on her feet and looked Aberdeen in the eyes.

“You have just hired Wyreema Snikch, best thief in the Labthynea Thief guild.”

Aberdeen smiled as he handed her the dagger.

“Now I know your name Wyreema, you already know mine. However know this, if you betray us…”

Wyreema nodded slowly.

“I never betray a contract. That is what we have here.”

Aberdeen nodded, then faced the five Black Mages.

“Well, it would seem our ‘escort’ to the Black Mage guild is here.”

One of the Black Mages, stepped forward, impatience in his stride.

“Well brothers, it seems we’ve found the three ‘people’ that the gate wardens told us about.” He stared at Aberdeen, Ariel and Kye and then snorted “I say we use them as guinea pigs for our spell testing.”

Ariel narrowed her eyes.

“Typical Black Mage humour. Find something you don’t like, you decide to either blow it up, take it apart or use if for experiments.” She paused and stared at the Black Mage who had spoken “But I guess in your case, you have your own ‘personal’ experiments you like to conduct, especially if the guinea pig, has a animal or such with them, and then you focus on the animal.”

The Black Mage fumed and, before his startled comrades, cast Firaga on Ariel. However, Aberdeen stepped in front of the attack and bore the brunt of it. Unfortunately, for the Black Mage, Aberdeen was wearing a Reflect ring he had found within the Mythril mines of Ataan sometime ago. With the ring worn it’s own spell came into effect, reflecting the spell back onto it’s caster, causing the Black Mage to scream in pain and agony falling back into his comrades.

One of the other Black Mages cast Blizzara on his wounded companion, while the tallest Black Mage stepped forward and stopped in front of Aberdeen.

“My name is Ramalad Terok, second of the Black Mage guild of Labthynea. I have been charged with the task of escorting you and your two companions back to our guild. I must apologize for my younger ‘brother’. He has only just risen to the rank of third class, and is quick to utilize his spells, before having the appropriate knowledge of what his task is to be.”

The younger Black Mage, having the effects of the Blizzara dissipating from him, he glared at Aberdeen.

“You dirty little…”

Ramalad stepped in front of him.

“Quiet Hjira, know your place.”

The Black mage, Hjira, fumed silently as he was helped to his feet. Ramalad faced Aberdeen and his companions.

“If you would like to follow us, we’ll take you to our Guildmaster.”

Aberdeen nodded slowly, his red hat covering his face.

“Alright. We’ll accompany you…” he glanced over his shoulder at Wyreema “I’ll meet you back here tomorrow evening. Have the information then.”

Wyreema nodded.

“Done. A deal is a deal.”

Aberdeen faced Ramalad.

“Lead the way Ramalad.”

Ramalad bowed before Aberdeen, then exited the tavern, Aberdeen, Ariel and Kye following. The remaining four Black Mages stepped in behind them and left the tavern. Wyreema watched them leave then stood and left the tavern from the back door. She ran down the dark streets, turning corners and making her way to the port. As soon as she got there, she looked over all the ships berthed there and a smile appeared on her face as she recognised the ship she sought.

The Eldorado.

Wyreema walked onto the dock, ignoring the comments from the ruffians and so called sailors as she walked to the Eldorado’s berth. Standing at the bottom of the gangplank was a burly looking sailor known only as Weyan. Weyan was the second mate of the Eldorado, and third in command of the ship. He was also Wyreema’s older brother.

Weyan smiled as he saw her approach.

“Well lil sis, how’s things?”

Wyreema shrugged.

“Pretty slow actually. Captain onboard?”

Weyan nodded as he jerked his thumb towards the main cabin of the Eldorado.

“He’s in the main cabin with Sera.”

Wyreema sighed. Sera is the Eldorado’s second in command, and was a particularly vicious character, IF you got her angry that is. Wyreema knocked on the door and waited. On the other side, sounds could be heard of scuffling and cursing. Wyreema smiled and opened the door.

“Hey Sera, Uncle. Having fun in here, eh?”

Sera Hahn fumed silently.

“Wyreema… How long have you been there listening?” She buckled her belt around her waist and ran a hand through her raven black hair “Besides, you should knock and wait to be summoned within, instead of just barging in!”

The captain of the ship just smiled as he sat behind the big oak desk, his own shirt left undone exposing the snake tattoo on the left side of his chest. He stroked his moustache, his eyes smiling.

“Now, now Sera, be nice. She is my niece.”

Sera pulled her jacket tight around her and glared at her ‘partner’.

“That may be so, but still…”

The captain raised his hand to silence her.

“Sera… go and see to the stocking of provisions and supplies. Judging from the look on Wyreema’s face, I think we’re going to have a hire.”

Sera nodded and left the cabin. The captain motioned for Wyreema to sit in one of the vacant chairs, and poured her a drink.

“So Wyreema, tell me something. How goes the robbing and pillaging trade?”

Wyreema sipped her drink.

“I prefer the term Treasure hunter.”

“Semantic Nonsense.”

“There’s a WORLD of DIFFERENCE!!”

The captain laughed and took a big mouthful of his drink. Wyreema smiled and added.

“Besides, what about you and Sera? I mean, does she know of all the other WOMEN you have in other ports, uncle Cid?”

The captain, Cid Azeem, smiled broadly.

“Well Wyreema, my dear niece, women are beautiful creatures, and they’re just like sunrises. There’s a new one every day.”

Wyreema laughed.

“I wonder how Sera feels about that?”

Cid chuckled.

“Sera is like the moon. Cold, unwelcoming light washing down upon you, and yet, you cannot help but be attracted to it and give it your all.”

Wyreema smiled and shook her head. Cid Azeem was a brilliant ship captain, but an even better engineer. She wondered, like she always does when she deals with him, what was the cause of him leaving his profession to become a ‘ship captain’.

“Anyway, I’ve come with information about a possible hire.”

Cid smiled behind his mug.

“Any information, is always useful Wyreema, my dear.”

Wyreema smiled and began to tell Cid what she had been instructed to do by Aberdeen, and also added some other information as well. When she had finished, Cid wore a thoughtful look on his face.

“I see… That explains why the Red Mages of this continent are being wiped out. The King of Jaoius, would very much like to know the reason as to why this persecution began. As you know, Red Mages have either turned up murdered or disappeared completely. It would be ideal to keep these two Red Mages safe, and escort them to Jaoius as soon as possible.”

Wyreema nodded.

“I was thinking the same thing. Red Mages here, are getting murdered all the time. Look at the information we’ve received from Ataan. The Red mage Guildhall there…”

Cid frowned.

“The mayor of that town, Broigh, is a complete and utter idiot and buffoon. He cares only for himself.” He stood and looked out the window of his cabin “Go back and keep an eye on them niece. I’m sure the Black Mage Guildmaster will be assigning a Black Mage to assist them. When they’ve received what they need, lead them here. I have a feeling we’re going to need to escape soon…. Very soon.”

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Any reviews/opinions/thoughts/etc are welcome.

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