The tray of drinks sloshed around as they were deposited in the middle of the large table, the barmaid giving the group of Scions a wink as she slid away.

Iscara reached out for a bottle, flicking the cork out with a thumb, before taking a long chug, and then raising it up, “Cheers.”

Y’shtola chuckled, “I’m sure you’re meant to do that before you start drinking.”

“That was some hours ago,” Alphinaud pointed out, handing the miqo’te the glass of wine he had just poured.

“Yes, and some of us should probably stop,” Thancred interjected, pointedly looking at Ryne, who blushed, and pushed her glass away.

“It’s a celebration Thancred, let the girl enjoy it.”

“She won’t enjoy the hangover tomorrow.”

“Never had one in my life,” the warrior of light grinned at him. Thancred narrowed his eyes at her, and muttered ‘lucky sot’ under his breath.

“Never ever?” Alisaie looked over at the warrior, who shook her head, and earned a sigh in response.

“What’s with the heavy sighing?”

“Oh, nothing serious. Just…” the young elezen looked over at her friend, “Sometimes, I think that I barely know you. I know that’s not true, but…”

Iscara put her bottle down, looking over at Alisaie for several moments, the table quiet. Then she let out a sigh, took a long swing, draining the bottle dry, and said, “Fine, let’s do this.”


“You want to know things? About me? Ask away.”

“What, just like that?”

“You are my friends. My best friends. I trust you, all of you. And, lets face it, I am a close-mouthed bitch most of the time. I don’t want you to feel like you don’t know me. Aaaand Lolorito happened to find out I have a sister, and that fact that he knows that when you don’t makes me feel weird. Also I’m pleasantly inebriated, so ask away.”

“You have a sister?”

“Yup. And she’s got eight kids, I’m very used to being called ‘Aunt Is’.”

“How old?”

“Eldest is fourteen now, youngest is only a few months. Nine possibly? I lose count. It’s where all my earrings disappear to, they get used as chew toys.”

“Where do they live?”

“They moved into Ala Mhigo after we took it back from the Garlean’s. Oma brought the merc banner down to fight in the liberation efforts, and once it was free, she wanted to stay. Jaydra brought the family because she’s been wanting to move for a while, and thinks she can get a good foothold with her business in the city.”


“What business is she in?” The twins simultaneously asked.

“Oma is grandmother. Jaydra’s a goldsmith, she makes a good two thirds of the stuff I wear.”

“Thou has mentioned before in passing that thou does not consider thyself Ala Mhighan. May I enquire as to why, as it seems thy family is closely tied to the city?”

“Oma is Ala Mhigan, and there’s a fair few in my family tree. But there’s also other bits and pieces of different nationalities in there as well. I wasn’t born in Gyr Abania, didn’t grow up there either. I’m highlander, for sure, but personally I don’t feel I have any ties to Ala Mhigo, their culture is second hand to me. I had what you could probably call a ‘blended’ upbringing. More than anything else, I guess I think of myself as ‘Eorzean’.”

“What are those other bits and pieces then?”

“Okay, family tree time. So, Oma is Ala Mhigan, and she got together with a Limonsan, which made my dad. My mum’s father was Ala Mhigan as well, but her mother was the product of an Ala Mhigan and a Gridanian. And I think the Gridanian was a product of a Gridanian and an Ishagardian, but I’d have to ask about that.”

Alisaie was leaning her head on one hand, listening with rapture, “Multicultural indeed.”

Iscara hummed her agreement, knocking back another drink.

“Where were you born then, if not in Gyr Abania?”

“Mor Dhona. Southern shores of Silvertear Lake. Of course, it’s the Carteneau Flats these days.”

“Was there a reason for that?”

“The family and the merc banner, actually back a little bit. So, Oma inherited the mercenary banner, ‘Winter’s Edge’, and made a name for it and herself. So when King Theodoric came to power, and started doing things she didn’t like, she just packed up the banner and went out on an ‘extended work trip’. Basically unofficially quitting the city until it got sorted out, which, well you all know what happened there. And since everyone knew what she was doing, some of the family members of the mercs under her banner came with her, and it kind of grew, until it was this large nomadic band, going where the work was. Mor Dhona was empty, and central, and a pretty good place to make a more central camp, so there were there for a few years, and that’s when I was born.”

“What’s your favourite colour?” Ryne’s soft voice came from the corner.

Iscara smiled at the young girl, “Blue. More specifically, pale blues, like ice crystals, or hydrangea flowers”

“I’ve got one,” Thancred leaned forward, “Best and worst fights. Your opinion.”

Iscara winced, “Give me something easy, why don’t you,” she took a swig of the bottle as she thought. “Worst, Zenos. Rhalgr’s Reach was probably the worst of them all. Best? Thordan. Not for the fighting, that was easy, he wasn’t as good as he thought he was. None of them were, and that’s why showing them what a real Fury could do was so satisfying. Not healthy, but really, really satisfying.”

“Are you a follower of Halone?”

“Yup. And before someone asks, no, I was before Ishgard. I’ve been her follower since childhood, she was who I invoked when I was named.”

Y’shtola frowned a little, “Were you not named when you were born?”

“No. Not properly. There’s a, I guess who’d call it a belief in my family that a person’s name says a lot about them. So when children mature enough, they can pick their own name. Until then, they tend to have nicknames or a ‘kit name’. Although there’s a couple of people I know who liked those names so much they kept them.”

“So you chose the name Iscara?”

“And Wintermere. We all tend to have winter in our surname, keeps the family connection. Mere is an old name for a lake, referencing where I was born.”

“And Iscara?”

She smiled, “My first ever friend gave the name to me. Well, she gave me a title in her language, and Iscara is kind of what is translates to when you put in Eorzean.”

“Which language doth it stem from?”

Iscara chuckled, “You’re clever people. Learned people. I’m not going to tell you, but I would be interested to see if you can work it out. And what it means.”

Urianger raised an eyebrow, Y’shtola chuckled. Alphinaud dived into a tome in his bag, Alisaie rolled her eyes. Ryne looked slightly confused, and Thancred shrugged, “Well I hope there isn’t a prize because I have no chance of winning it.”

The warrior of light chuckled, “I don’t know. You’re pretty good at turning up unusual information when you want to.”

“So there is a prize?”

“You want something more than the satisfaction of knowledge?”


She tapped the table, “Alright. That pool Tataru has going. About my love life.”

“Ooooh, you know about that?”

“Course. Anyway. I’ll tell the winner the answer.”

There was a moment of silence, then Alphinaud stood up suddenly, redness across his cheeks, “SorrybutIthinkIneedtogotobenowgodnightall,” he said without breathing before turning and abruptly walking away from the table.

“Oi! Don’t you dare think you can go and break into the crystal tower at this point at night!” His twin yelled at him, also leaving the table to chase after him.

“Prithee excuse me, and I shall see that they do not cause too much ruckus,” Urianger said, exiting at a more sedate pace.

Y’shtola sighed, “You want to look in the crystal tower as much as they do.”

“The coin that hast flowed into aforementioned pot is vast.”

The thaumaturge waved a hand at him.

“Not joining them Y’shtola?”

“I doubt the information is contained within the Tomes of the Exarch. And yourself Thancred?”

“Oh, I was simply planning on taking a more immediate approach. More wine my friends?”

Iscara chuckled, leaning forward and meeting his eyes, “I could drink everyone else in the entire Crystarium under the table and still be lucid enough to not tell you a damn thing.”

“Now that sounds like a challenge.”