Final Fantasy – Crystal Beacon #5

Nora shook the proffered hand. “I am Nora, of Karradale.” Erroix too returned the gesture. “Why shouldn’t the boy talk about the lighthouse?” Erroix asked.

Ailred lowered her voice enough so only the 3 around the bartop would her. Behind them, Nora could hear the faint sound of Bodvar sharpening his axe. The sight of a Highlander sharpening a battleaxe would probably deter the villagers from their own hall for long enough so they could speak to this Ailred in relative privacy.

“His father’s not the happiest sort, and what with our previous visitor and the trouble in the Zedlei, the village as a whole is a little jumpy.”

Nora was not overly surprised at mention of trouble in the forest they had just travelled through. “So I take it the unseasonable cold is not a common occurence.”

Ailred shook her head slightly. “A little under a fortnight ago a hume male arrived, much like you, from the Zedlei forest. His manner and garb were strange, and he was armed,” She retrieved a small bottle of golden liquid and poured a measure into a small glass, “Scared the animals and children too. He was entirely alone, and just like you, asked around the village about the lighthouse.”

Erroix made a show of putting a few gil on the bartop and loudly asking, “A drink, please!” Ailred gave a small sigh and poured another glass out. Raising the glass to his lips, he lowered his voice again. “Armoured, dark hair worn long?”

Ailred nodded as Erroix downed the drink. “We know him,” Nora ran a hand through her hair, trying to sound calm despite the unsettling news, “Volkmarr beat us through the Zedlei on his own.” An uncomfortable tension settled on the group at the mention of their quarry’s name.

The uneasy silence was quickly broken when Erroix abruptly coughed, quickly putting the now-empty glass back on the counter. “By Thaliak, this spirit is strong.”

Ailred put the bottle of spirit back beneath the counter. “Luthadale Whiskey is not to be scoffed at, stranger with the ears of a Gria.”

“Erroix Kalurard, an elezen of Ul’Dah trained in thaumaturgy. I am no Gria.” The elezen replied, his coughing subsided.

Ailred did a slight curtsy that the matronly woman somehow made slightly disdainful. “Apologies, ser Kalurard, no disrespect was meant. We have not seen one of your kind around these parts before.”

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