“Camoa. It calls itself the Free City of the South, but for the average layman it is about as free as any human-ruled city-state in Ivalice. I guess if you compare it to Sprohm, but I digress. Ruled by Saitham Ivasala, obviously of the Ivasala family that has ruled the lands around Camoa for over 500 years if you can trust the history books. Main exports, farming and fish-related foodstuffs and, curiously, specialised magical training and implements. On the whole, a good city, though with an odd predilection towards magical execution of major outlaws.” Saska swept his arm across the sight of the hillside-city the group had finally spotted on the horizon.
Monid’s hunched form planted the butt of his lance on a boulder cresting the hill. “Finally. I was beginning to doubt that we would arrive before my armour rusted away.” The bronze-coloured bangaa had spent every available evening of their southbound journey caring for his armour. Luckily his weapons were harder-wearing, or he would not have had time for anything else. As the groups pathfinder and ranger, Saska had spent his time charting their course and route, as well as supporting their provisions with whatever he could catch and forage on their travels. The 2 remaining members of their troop, A’Delia and Noira, had been largely responsible for keeping the camp and, as had quickly become something of an in-joke, keeping the navigation-inept Monid on the right track.
“If you had been on point, Monid, we would have arrived at Goug before we ever saw even a hint of the Koringwood.” A’Delia’s slow, sure voice heralded her arrival in the little forest-clearing Saska had found. Where Monid’s plate had required constant maintenance, the vieras travel robes had endured the journey with little fuss. Only the lower hem of the dark-green robe had any visible travel-stains, though Saska suspected the woman had used at least some of her magic to ensure this. His third and final travel companion had also entered the clearing but had said nothing. Noira Kartel had been polite if silent for the vast majority of their journey. The only time Saska had heard more than a couple of lines from her had been when they had stopped at a Mateus wayshrine for the evening. They had camped close enough to the shrine that Saska could hear her pray and converse with the shrine-guardians for several hours. The same people had supplied the group with a fine evening meal, along with a job-contract to send along with them to Camoa, so he had not complained.
Saska turned back towards Camoa, looking over the Koringwood from the hill. “Looks like you won’t have to endure our company for much longer, Miss Kartel. Camoa should be less than 2 days travel away, now that we’re at the Looking Wood.”
“Good work, mister Hanjer.” The young summoner answered back in her usual concise manner. The low, gravelly sigh afterwards could only be Monid. No matter. Saska had spotted no smoke trials in the woods ahead of them, and light was fading. They should set up camp.
They quickly found some badly hidden remains of a day-old camp. What clues they could find about the previous inhabitants simply indicated they had arms, legs and wore clothes, which in Jylland could still mean anything from humans to bangaa to goblins or brigands. True to form, Monid deposited their stock of firewood, did a short patrol then went to work cleaning his gear. With only 2 days of travel left before their destination, Saska had no need to go hunting, so could focus on getting the camp up with Noira’s help. The woman might not say much, but she could take instructions well. A’Delia sat down by the growing campfire and began writing in a small journal she had brought with her from Morabella. Saska knew not what she was writing, and had not enquired. He had traveled with the vieran mage before, so knew something of her curious ways. Same with Monid. They were both known factors in their journey, but the young Noira Kartel was unknown to him. The clan leader in Morabella had put their little troop together with the primary objective to escort her to their relatively new Camoan compound, so she must have some skill. Saska had seen no evidence for or against that suspicion. The evening passed with little event. Saska and A’Delia talked briefly about the stars above Camoa. While A’Delia knew a great deal about their spiritual and magical symbolisms, the viera knew little about their navigational uses, so Saska could at least contribute to the conversation. Monid grumbled about being so close to a comfortable bed, and yet so far. As always, Noira was quiet throughout the evening. Banditry was rare this close to the city, but Saska and Monid agreed that it would still be prudent to have a watch out. Noira took first watch, Saska second with A’Delia taking last, on the stipulation that Monid would carry her packs the following day.
Saska woke to Noira gently shaking him in his bedroll. “If I may have a short word with you, mister Hanjer, before the watch-change?”
Slightly baffled, Saska mumbled an affirmative, got into his coat and joined her at the edge of their camp. It was early fall, so the night was not exactly warm. The campfire had reduced itself to embers that gave no appreciable glow, but Saska had good night-eyes so he could easily see the summoner. “Did you see anything during your watch, miss Kartel?”.
“Nothing beyond the regular night-time animals. But my night-time observations are not what I wanted to tell you, mister Hanjer. About your comment in the Looking Wood. It is not that I have not enjoyed the company of you and the other clan members. It is just that most of the time, my attention is focused on the world around me, rather than my companions. To a summoner, the world is not a quiet place.” The young woman spoke while leaning on her staff.
“My knowledge about Jylland is mostly about the animals that live here and the land itself. I know little about spirits.” Saska answered truthfully. Learning the lay of the land and how to fight with a bow did not include a lot of spiritual knowledge.
The summoner was being especially talkative tonight. “While there is a limited number of spirits a summoner can call forth, the world is filled with spirits who are alive, but not strong enough to answer the call. But this is not the hour for lengthy talks about spirits. I understand that your group will stay in Camoa for a little while following my departure. If you wish, we can discuss it further inside the city walls.” Having said that, Noira went to her own tent, leaving Saska to his watch.
The following morning the group decided that they would make for the city walls before nightfall. If they could clear the Koringwood without further trouble, Camoa should not prove a difficult destination. With Saska in front, A’Delia was responsible for keeping the rest of the troop on his tail. Monid was at the rear, where his noise would disturb Saska the least, and his larger frame should deter the vast majority of the forests inhabitants from pursuit. The pathfinder knew A’Delia would be keeping a closer eye on their rearguard than usual. After all, he would be carrying her pack. Setting a speedy pace, the group expected to clear the Koringwood a couple hours before sunset. And indeed, while the sun was still setting, Saska spotted the edge of the wood a short distance. But something was off.
Saska had been to Camoa several times in the past. Normally, professional hunters would patrol the edge of the woods, both to deter unwanted beasts from coming to close to the farmlands surrounding the city, as well as bag any game venturing too close to the edge. While business had been falling off these last few years, the patrols were still kept. But this area of the showed clear signs that no hunting patrol had passed in a while, and there was a distinct musky scent in the air. A’Delia must have smelt it too, as she had pulled back the hood she normally wore over her distinctive ears. Another reason Saska always tried to have the vieran woman as second in line, was that, while she didn’t have his stealth in the woods, her senses still trumped his, by simple due of her heritage as a Viera. Saska knelt down to the woodland floor, waiting for A’Delia to come to her own conclusion.
“Some large beast, suffused with Mist too, if I am any judge.” the vieran whispered. “It must either be confident in its strength or foreign to these woods, for it does not seem to be extending a lot of effort towards concealing its presence.”
Peering through the bush towards the open area just ahead of them, Saska spoke back as loudly as he dared. “I wager we’ll find it right in the border patrol path up ahead. I can smell it from here, and we’re not even downwind from it. The question is, do we engage, wait for it to leave or pass by?”
At this point, Noira had joined them. The summoner must’ve sensed their mood, for she was as stealthy as he had ever seen the woman. “Whatever you two have found, it has riled up all the spirits in a fair radius. The Koringwood is most certainly not used to this creature, whatever it is. So I vote that we attempt to avoid it. You will be free to hunt it once we’ve been to the compound.”
Looking over to A’Delia, Saska could see that she was nodding in agreement with the other woman, and he himself would also prefer avoiding a fight until they had more clan-members and knew some more about their quarry.
Saska turned back towards the summoner. “Go back along the path, tell Monid to wait until we either say otherwise or we start shouting.” Nodding, Noira silently began to tread back where she had come from. If Saska was to avoid immediate detection, he would have to avoid that blundering bangaa from mucking it all up. In a fight there were few others he would rather have on his side, but subtlety was not the templars strong side. When Noira had left his field of view, Saska motioned for A’Delia to stay put, and cautiously advanced towards the edge of the wood. After a short but agonizing time, he could now hear and see their quarry.
There were 3 of them, 2 of them squatting next to a pile of rubbish, with the 3rd standing guard. They were clearly not native woodland creatures, for the one on watch looked right at Saska, but if he saw him, he gave no sign. They looked like the wargen native to the northern part of the Aldanna range, but these were easily 3 meters tall, even in their hunched-over state, and had a purple hue to their fur. There was also another significant difference. They all carried vast metal weapons, falcatas fitting to their vast size. The 2 squatters must be eating, since Saska could hear the cracking of bone even from this distance. So maybe the pile was what remained of the patrol from Camoa. They hardly seemed very observant, so maybe they could sneak by if they tried further west. Taking one last look to ensure he had not been spotted, Saska crept back into the woods to find A’Delia and the others waiting quietly where he had left them. Monid had joined them, but the creatures hadn’t been alerted, so he didn’t mention it.
“Looks like you were right, A’Delia. They are remarkably similar to wargens, and are most definitely not native to the Koringwood. If we go west for about a kilometer, we should be able to get by them without confrontation. I’ll alert the guard once we’re there.” Shortly after, the troop was on the move again. This time, Monid had A’Delia place as second in line, so that Saska could at least help with eliminating the noise the armour-plated bangaa would cause. Noira kept her spot as third and A’Delia took up the rear. About an hour later darkness was starting to fall, and they had reached the farmlands surrounding Camoa. As they cautiously left the wood, the workers who did not live outside the city walls were gathering up their tools and heading for the gates. As the group marched, Saska relayed what he had seen before they had turned west.
When Saska had finished, A’Delia spoke up. “Violet of fur and like unto a wargen, you say. I might know a story that could hint towards the identity of our mystery beasts. But in the interest of our youngest friend,” The vieran nodded towards Noira, who was almost oblivious to the world around her, walking in front of the troop. “, I shall reserve the tale for after young miss Kartel has reported to Ser Vishna. She might be less of a nerve-wreck by then.”
Saska felt for Noira. Ser Karsak Vishna was the appointed master of the clan-compound in Camoa. Previously a captain of the guard in the city-state, before Mistress von Nalbina had lured him to the clan life. He had been a constant in their clan leaders personal group before she had sent him back to the city of his birth to manage the clans first additional compound. After only 2 years since the appointment, the Camoan paladin had developed a reputation for being a quite strict leader, especially when compared to the rather matronly Gremi von Nalbina.
When the troop passed through the city gates, Monid leaned close to Saska. “The gate guards seemed overly eager to close up for the night. Figure they know about the patrol?” Nodding, Saska walked over to A’Delia(the vieran?) who was standing on her own, her large ears turning to and fro. “Sorry to disturb you, A’Delia, but could you follow miss Kartel to the compound? Me and Monid are going to report our findings to the guard captain.” The vieran woman briefly nodded back and resumed listening to the sounds of the outer city.
While Saska had informed the other half of their troop, the guards had shut the gate, so their replacements had arrived. So Saska and Monid could follow the stream of guards milling around a 3-storied building merged with the wall. The brown-and-green clothed ranger and the massive bangaa easily stood out among the sandstone-robed guardsmen, so they were quickly challenged as they approached the entrance.
“Halt. Who goes there?” A tall, dark-skinned man bearing the sandstone-robe of the city guard placed himself in their path. Saska and Monid both pointed to their clan symbol, a hearth enclosed within a wall, embroidered on their sashes. Monid spoke up before Saska could think of where to start.
“I am Monid Faas Sphrom, of the ‘Hearth of Home’-clan, and my partner here is Saska Hanjer, also of the clan. On leaving the Koringwood, we saw some foreign creatures. Mister Hanjer knows the details.” Seemingly taking this at face value, the guard turned to Saska, who recounted, for the second time in an hour, what he had seen the first time the group had tried to leave the forest.
“What you told us matches what we’ve heard from our border patrols.” The man did a short bow. “Thank you for the report, I shall personally make sure that it reaches the captains ears.” As the guard turned to walk into the barracks, Monid gently placed a claw on his shoulder, doing the sign of one expecting payment with the other claw, a sly grin on his face. “The City Guard is grateful, but I cannot pay in gil.” He replied sternly. “I can, however, practically ensure that the Mark contract will go to your clan first. Good evening.” The guard pushed Monid’s claw away and walked into the barracks. Their task complete, him and Saska made their way into the outer city to find the clan compound.
While darkness had fallen on the Koringwood, it was as if Camoa would not hear of it. Lamps lit every street corner, even in the outer city. And with the sun down, the air was cooler, fresher. While shops were closing, inns, taverns and other eateries were only just opening. Saska’s belly grumbled, and from how Monid looked about as they walked, he must also be feeling famished. Only too acutely, he remembered that they hadn’t eaten since breaking camp that morning. Outside the city, he had been too preoccupied looking back towards the wood, and inside they had been on the move ever since arriving at the gates. He hoped A’Delia had arrived at the compound. With any luck, she had ordered enough for all of them. Following the instructions given, they arrived at the compound as the moon had appeared over the horizon. The clan symbol in silver hung above a sandstone arch. Clan members were milling about the yard, doing assigned tasks or relaxing in the chill evening air, so the timber gates were wide open. Following the style in the rest of the city, the yard was enclosed in sandstone walls. Normally this was mainly to separate the compound yard from the city proper, but with Ser Vishna in charge, the wall had been built to be easily twice as large as Monid. The 2-story main building at the far end of the yard was built facing south, so the main rooms, while not cool, would at least not be boiling throughout the day. In one side, a kitchen was set up to cater to clan members who were not away from the compound, as well as having the capacity to serve drinks and alcohol. Next to the bar the clans Quest Board was, having all the quests currently offered to ‘Hearth of Home’ especially. The other side was not open to visitors, and would contain the armoury, offices and living spaces for clan members.
While neither Saska or Monid had been to the Camoan compound before, the original team that Ser Vishna brought to Camoa had worked at the clan main-compound in Morabella, so there were a few known faces. But both Saska and Monid were starving and had spotted the vieran member of their troop sitting with heaps of food at a table close to the counter, so any greetings were answered curtly.
A’Delia’s gaze was focused on the closed door leading to the offices. Trying not to disturb her, Saska and Monid each gently dragged up a chair and grabbed a plate. The plates were piled high with meat and vegetables, so the two dug right in. After a few minutes, they had made good headways into clearing their plates and A’Delia lost her staring contest with the closed door and noticed them.
“I see you did not hesitate to grab your share. What if I had ordered it for my own person?” The vieran lent forward over the table and glared at the them.
After a hasty swallow, Monid showed he had not missed a beat. “If you had ordered them for yourself, they would look like your plate.” Indeed, the third plate on the table was almost all vegetables and fruit. Her bluff called, A’Delia smiled and grabbed her own plate. Silence descended on the table as the group cleaned their plates and emptied their glasses.
When the ravenous eating had finished, a few of the clan members that knew the troop from their time in Morabella drifted over, and a valiant attempt was made to remove a gap of 2 years in the space of half an hour. Just as a nu-mou was launching into a story about their first official quest for the Camoan state, the clan office door opened and a subdued-looking human women walked out, took a chair and sat by their table. Understanding the implication, the table waited for miss Kartel to speak.
Noira’s downcast look vanished and she breathed a sigh of relief. She looked slowly across the table before speaking. “So now I am officially employed here in Camoa. Thanks for escorting me all the way here, mr Hanjer, ser Monid, miss A’Delia.” Saska and A’Delia nodded back, and Monid tapped his left shoulder in a less boisterous version of the templar salute. “Now, if you will excuse me, I need a meal.” The nu-mou went back into his story while Noira walked to the counter. The story ended as the summoner arrived back at the table. While Noira was sitting down, A’Delia lent forward, grabbing the tables attention. Saska could sense her intention, so he called for some drinks.
A’Delia waved towards her group. “I have a tale to tell. A tale, not a story, and it would be a stretch to call it my own. To set the stage, mister Hanjer here will tell you all what he saw at the edge of the Koringwood just this morning.”
Saska didn’t miss the pass. “3 powerful canine beastmen, armed to the teeth, lurking at the edge of the Wood. Those of you who’ve ever done any business in the Aldanna range, you’ll know them as wargens. Except, these ones had quite distinctly purple fur, and wargens have never been known to range beyond brown or red.” Saska waved back towards the vieran woman. “Thank you, mr Hanjer. Normally, a discolouration is attributed to either Mist or some experiment. And while, in this case, the first would be correct, there is more to this tale than simple Mist. Long before either Sphrom or Camoa were even a twinkle in the mason’s eye, humans lived in these lands. And like all humans, they were curious. One day, one of them, let us call him Hans, met a witch who sold him a magick that would allow him to talk to the beasts of the woods. Sharing this wondrous secret with his village, they quickly grew an unprecedented relationship with the woods of Jylland. As time went on, the village withdrew itself more and more from their human neighbours. The few visitors they had during this time said that they heard eerie howls in the woods around the village, that the village was less and less populated and that the hairs on the bodies of the villagers took on a vibrant purplish hue. Eventually, a neighbouring village on a mission of reconciliation discovered the village abandoned. The populace had seemingly left their lives behind. Supplies, tools, personal effects, everything had been left behind.” Grabbing one of the pints of ale, A’Delia took a good slug before continuing. “The magick was wild, or Mist magic. The tale does not tell us anything of who the witch was, but if the tale is to be believed, that village was the origin of a breed of Mist-beast called a ‘Wubakan’. If any of you have done business in any Jagds, you might have met them. Some of the very strongest of the canine beastmen, as well as retaining their cunning. I would love to know why they have left the Jagds for the Koringwood.”
“What I want to know is how to get rid of them.” A brusque voice said behind A’Delia. A tall dark-skinned man with a bald head and a well-trimmed beard stood overlooking the table, clad in robes very similar to the uniform of the city guard, but this one had the hearth-in-walls symbol of the clan.
Saska stood away from the table and extended a hand towards the speaker. “Good evening, Ser Vishna. Looks like the last two years have treated you and yours well.”
“Indeed. I believe you have a package for me from Morabella.” The older knight responded. “If you would follow me, we will handle that in my office.” Quickly finishing his pint and grabbing his pack, Saska said good night to the table at large and followed.
With his assigned room facing east, Monid had no trouble getting up at dawn. While bangaa were used to heat, Monid specifically was used to cities like Sphrom and Morabella, both cities in high places with a temperate or outright cold climate. And the bangaa had never known A’Delia to miss a dawn, so they were both up and about when Saska went to find them.
“If you remember what Von Nalbina told us back in Morabella, we did not go to Camoa for the sole purpose of escorting miss Kartel. There were 2 items we were supposed to bring back with us, though we were not told what. Well, one of the topics me and old Karsak discussed yesterday were those exact items.” Saska placed two parcels wrapped in coarse linen on the table. One was a little over a meter long, but not very broad, while the other was shorter and broader. Each had a name written plainly on the linen, in the Morabellan language used for all official clan affairs. The longer one bore Monid’s full name, while the other one simply said “A’Delia”. “He said that once I had given you these, what to do with them and how to accomplish ‘the objectives’ would be up to you, though he would appreciate if you kept any official clan dealings strictly honourable. We’re not a Jagd clan, after all.” Saska took a sip from his waterskin. “Now, I will leave you two to it. If you want me, I’ll be either here in the compound or the shops around it. While we will be here a little while, it can’t hurt to investigate how to get our supplies for the homeward trip.” Finishing the ‘briefing’, the pathfinder left them, walking towards the clan offices.
Suspecting the contents, Monid used his sharp claws to quickly open the parcel. Contained within were 4 items; a gil-pouch with some two-thousand gil, directions to a shop in the outer city, a page describing the item and finally, a scabbard. It was good work, made from quality leather, a single topaz was inlaid in the brass throat. According to the description, the item in question was a style of knightsword known as ‘Ragnarok’. Monid had heard of the Ragnarok swords before, but had not thought the clan had tracked one down. The shop should be easy to find, given the directions and that they mentioned a very prominent shop-sign. Grunting a ‘good luck’ to the viera, he grabbed his own waterskin and set off.
The main street was too broad to allow the buildings to give any reasonable shade at this time of day, but many shops had sheets of canvas stretching out from their roofs, allowing use of the main street throughout the day without being roasted alive. Bangaas generally did not have those problems, but Monid still tried to stick to the shade. As was to be expected of a city in Jylland, many different races wandered the streets , usually in packs of their own kin. Clan-members were outliers, wandering around in mixed groups. Vierans exploring away from their woods, seeqs grunting in the heat, moogles trying to make sure of being spotted despite their small stature. There were even a few grias about, the warrior women belying their fierce nature by chatting, presumably, about some garment in their own tongue. As for the shops, they were largely run by humans, with a few seeq, a nu-mou and a moogle introducing some variety. But the shop Monid need was supposed to be in one of the many alleys branching off from the main street. Following directions from the moogle shop, Monid quickly discovered what had been meant by ‘a prominent sign’. Calling it a two-handed greataxe would not be correct. The rusting monstrosity that was placed in front of the shop was easily 3 meters tall, and the axe-head was easily as broad as Monid. He shuddered to think of the beast that would be able to lift it, let alone fight with it. The building had no windows beyond a small viewing slit in the door, so he could only assume the owner was in. Shaking away the spectacle, he stepped up to the door and knocked. Waiting a few seconds, he opened the door and stepped in.
The inside of the shop was lit by an aging magicite lamp, casting the interior in a vague yellow lighting. Relics from many parts of the Loar continent were on display in small glass cases. Weapons, pieces of armour, old books, statue-pieces, anything you could fit into a small glass case. Behind the counter sat a nu-mou tapping a pipe impatiently on the wooden desk in front of him.
“I rarely sell my wares to street-wanderers, young bangaa. So I would like to ask your business in my establishment.”. Monid responded by holding his sash up in front of him, showing the clan symbol. “Monid Faas Sphrom, of the clan ‘Hearth of Home’. I have been told you completed a request of ours.” Monid put the contents of his parcel on the desk, shoving the page with the item-description towards the nu-mou. “Ah yes, the Ragnarok sword.” he replied after a quick glance at the page. “A good meter of brass-adamantoise alloy, supple salamander leather on the handle and a cut aquamarine in the pommel.” the shop owner stepped down from what elevated position he had behind the desk and produced a ring of keys from a pocket in his robe. “One of my foreign partners were hunting a Mark in a Jagd when they came upon some colleagues. Or rather, former colleagues. They had no further need for their belongings, so my partners brought them back to civilisation, and this particular sword,” he unlocked a long wooden crate on the floor. “ would not see any use in their particular troop, so they sold it on to me. Here you go.” Kneeling, the nu-mou retrieved the sword from the straw bedding. Monid was impressed the shop-owner could lift it. Brass-adamantoise alloy was not among the lightest of materials, and nu-mou were not exactly known for their physical strength. Accepting the proffered handle, Monid held it in his claws, testing the weight and balance. It was about what he expected. It weighed more than his previous sword, an iron broadsword from the clan-compound in Morabella, but the balance was nigh-perfect. There was also a hint of menace when he held the blade, possibly originating from the enchantments in the blade, but he paid it no heed. Satisfied that it fit all the qualities expected of it, Monid produced the gil-pouch from his belt. “You have delivered the requested item, so here is the second part of the payment, two-thousand gil, as agreed with my clan.”
The nu-mou bowed while accepting the payment. “My thanks. I would appreciate it you would send my regards to your clan leaders as well. Doing business with the ‘Hearth of Home’ is a pleasure I would like to repeat. Clans have changed in recent years, but yours is still honourable.”
Monid sheathed the sword. It fit perfectly. “I will.” Closing the door behind him, Monid began the walk back to the compound.
A’Delia watched Monid leaving, musing that she was not as excited about her task as the bangaa almost certainly was. Owing to her status as the eldest of her kind in the clan, she enjoyed a greater ease of access to certain pieces of information regarding ongoing missions for the clan, so had some idea of what Monid would be getting out of this. If her own quest description was anything to go by, the item she would be retrieving would not be for her personal use. Nevertheless, it was a quest from Gremi Von Nalbina herself, so A’Delia gathered her waterskin and her walking-cane and set off. She had no physical need for a walking aide, but felt it lent her an air of sagacity that was always so useful in any city.
Inside her package she found 2 sets of documents, as well as a leather case for holding a large book and a fine leather holder for a scepter. According to the document describing her task, she was to seek out the Camoan branch of one of the very biggest traders of magicks outside Morabella, The Platinum Scales. Morabella was traditionally a city of mages and academies that a swarm of merchants had built their houses to support with goods, so was usually the prime city for anyone wishing to enrich their arsenal of magicks. Camoa, however, had a few tricks that the academies of Morabella could not equal. One in particular was so powerful that it was against the law of the city to sell it without a permit from Lord Ivasala’s court. And just such a permit had been granted to the clan just one month ago. The Morabellan compound had been quite busy and a magician had been needed for the journey south, so Gremi had sent her.
‘The Platinum Scales’ in Camoa was a sizable two-story building on the outer edge of the inner city. While it did not explicitly deny entry to denizens from the lower city, the prices would certainly discourage them. Large tinted windows allowed the inside to be lit up by the sun during the day, while bathing the inside in a curious blue-green light. The shops generally dealt in magicks and accessories for the practice of such, and it clearly pandered somewhat to vanity, for it had more silvered mirrors than any clothes seller she had seen in Morabella. Though, she had heard one story about the owner of the stores, that he had been taught in the use of magic by the Silver Dragon itself, Bahamut. A’Delia did not believe the story at all, but it might explain the fondness for silver as opposed to glass.
The atmosphere inside the building was a welcome change from the breeze-less heat of the streets. A few customers were browsing the wares, possibly a family. A’Delia wanted to get her task over with, so went straight for the counter. The young woman crewing the counter smiled at her as she approached. “Can I be of assistance, miss?”.
A’Delia placed the papers from her parcel on the counter. “I am here to pick up an item requested by my clan. The details should be in the papers.” The woman glanced through the parcel, before ringing a small desk bell on the counter. ”I am not allowed to handle items of this grade. I’ve called for Trustee Philli, he should be here soon.” the woman put the documents back on the counter and held a hand out to her left in lieu of pointing. “If you would wait at the counter to my left, Philli will handle your request when he arrives.” Sure enough, within a minute a moustached moogle arrived through a door and hoppep up on a stool in front of the counter A’Delia was waiting at. Extending a diminutive hand, he belted out a clearly practised introduction. “Good day, I am Philli, the Trustee of this particular branch of The Platinum Scales. What is the matter that I can assist you with?” Barely listening, A’Delia handed him the document. While twirling his moustache with one hand, the moogle carefully read the document, his pom-pom hopping about as he scanned the page. “Well, everything looks to be in order. If you would verify your clan membership…” A’Delia retrieved her clan badge from her shoulder-bag and put it on the counter. She knew well enough that her sash did not legally count as member verification. The moogle held a small magicite device over the badge for a moment, before putting the device away again. “Excellent, that also checks out. Now, if you would follow me back to the Requests-Office, we can finalise this deal. You can use the staff door to your right.” The moogle grabbed the documents and her badge and hopped down from the stool, small wings flapping slightly. Seeing no reason to objecting, A’Delia followed through the staff door, until they arrived in a dusty room filled with shelves stuffed with magical items of every description. A small desk sat in a corner, covered in a fine layer of dust. “I hope you forgive the mess, due to the nature of security at the Scales, cleaning the Requests-Office is a troublesome and resource-intensive task.” Philli held out a fairly generic chair towards her before sitting in a taller chair obviously meant for moogles. While A’Delia sat down, the trustee opened a drawer with a small key, referencing between her document and another piece of paper he took from the drawer, muttering to himself all the while. After a short while, he jumped off his chair and disappeared into the shelves. While waiting, A’Delia put the document describing the item she was to receive. When Philli reappeared, he was carrying a large tome as well as a scepter. Hopping back into his chair, the items were placed on the table.
“If you would verify that these items are the ones in question.” he said in a monotonous tone. The tome was leather-bound and decorated with embroidered images of a dragon, presumably Bahamut. The scepter followed the same motif, made of an iron core with a silvered dragon cresting the top. Both items matched their descriptions. “They are indeed the requested items.” A’Delia retrieved the pouch of gil from her pack. “This should cover the final payment as per the deal struck with my clan.” Philli accepted the pouch and emptied it onto the table, counting the contents meticulously. “Excellent, it adds up. The permit ownership is inside the book. I trust your clan knows the procedure concerning it.” the moogle got out of his chair and opened the door. “And that concludes the deal. It has been a pleasure doing business with your clan, madam.” Putting the tome and scepter into their respective containers, A’Delia left the shop, meaning to take a small walk about the streets before returning to the compound.
When she arrived back at the compound, she found Monid and Saska talking excitedly while pointing out different sections on a map of the lands around Camoa. “Has anything occurred?”
Saska answered without looking. “The city guard arrived with a mark for the clan specifically. They want the creatures we saw yesterday, your ‘wubaka’, hunted down, and we were given first right.” Monid shifted his seating on the bench so she could sit as well. “Old Karsak chose miss Kartel’s group for the job, but asked us to go along for support. We’re leaving at first light tomorrow.”