Archive for September, 2019

Prompt #16 – Jitter

The Adder tightened his grip on his lance, nervously shuffling his weight from one foot to another. The banners of the five nations flew from the fortifications behind them, as members from all the grand companies lined up, forming ranks, deeper than the soldier had ever seen. But even the additions of the Doman forces, all the way from across the sea, wasn’t enough to quell the sickness in his stomach.

Across the trenches, were Garleans. And Garleans were numberless.

All of this might, the entire Alliance, what was it compared to the Empire? Compared to magitek, compared to the monster that was the crown prince? They’d all heard the rumours of what had happened at the parley, the Emperor declaring his intentions of blood. They were all going to fight, they were all going to die, it would all be for noth-

It was the movement that caught his eye, a tall head, ponytail and dreads bobbing, an easy gait carrying her forward as she headed up a small Doman unit. She wasn’t greeting people, there were far too many of them for that, but she was looking around, meeting the eyes of everyone she could, a confident, easy-going expression on her face.

His grip on his spear slackened a little, he could breathe a little easier, the knot in his stomach was bearable. 

Garlean’s might have all that. But they had the Warrior of Light on theirs.


Since I’ve managed all prompts up to today, it’s extra credit time (I will admit, I did not post them all on the blog in time, I went to Empire and posting from a phone is hard). I’ve again gone back to the 2018 prompt list for inspiration, and randomly picked #8 – Crag. Enjoy!


The stone was rough against her fingers, the wind biting as she scaled the side of the craggy mountain, familiar with the route and terrain, having done the climb many times before.

“This isn’t exactly what I had imagined when you suggested having a few days to ourselves,” Aymeric’s voice shouted up to her from several feet below.

“It’ll be worth it. And you were the one saying not all that long ago that you felt like you weren’t getting out from behind the desk enough these days,” she teased, looking down at him, seeing his familiar armour blowing in the wind as she followed the path she was tracing up the side of the mountain.

He gave her a tolerant smile, his curly black hair getting in his eyes a little as they continue up the mountain. A half bell later she hoisted herself up onto the top of the plateau, and reached down for Aymeric’s hand, helping him up the last few ilms.

“Need a moment?” She reached up and ran her hand through his hair as he took a few deep breaths. Briefly leaning into the touch, he opened his eyes and looked at her.

“I’m fine, I want to see what you would share with me.”

Iscara held up a hand over his eyes, covering them as she moved from the back where they had climbed up, around a rocky outcrop, to the front where the vista she wanted to show him was. She chuckled as he leant forward and kissed her palm, leaning up a little to kiss him, before taking her hand away and stepping back so he could see the view properly.

The little intake of breath was worth all the organising and bribing that had been necessary to get him the time away from Ishgard, as he looked upon her favourite view in all of Eorzea, the land stretching out away from them. Ishgard and Coerthas to the right, capturing Aymeric’s attention for several moments, the mountains of Xelphatal to the left, the Black Shroud and Mor Dhona to the south, the regions beyond them not quite visible on the horizon, but she knew they were there.

She let him take in the view for a few minutes before she spoke, “I was twelve the first time I climbed up here. I’d always known that I wouldn’t stay up here with my family forever, but seeing the view, seeing what was out there, that was the moment I knew I wanted to see it all, to be an adventurer.”

“It is a spectacular view,” for once, the politician seemed to not have the words to wax lyrical, instead drinking in the breath-taking views that were so precious to her.

She laced their fingers together, her head resting on his shoulder, the pair of them sitting on the rocky outcrop as they looked over the land together.

The spray of the waterfall caught Iscara’s leg as she sat on a rock in the middle of the waterfall, looking out over the expanse of Mor Dhona. 

She still remembered the lake from before. Before Cartenaeu. Before the battle of Silvertear skies. But she remembered the dragons coming most clearly, her first word had been when she pointed at the sky and named the winges beasts coming down to meet the Garlean threat.

It had been two full ten year since then. Not quite as long she since had last sat in this spot. Iscara plunged her hand into the icy water beside her, picking up the rocks and glass pieces she had thrown in there many years before. Her aunt had been right, what was once ragged pieces were now smooth, scoured by the constantly running water. Not exactly magic, but her younger self had found it hard to envision water being able to influence hard rocks in such a way.

c676ef777b501209f9aa3403f3d68babTime. All it took was time. She jangled the rocks in her hand as she looked back out at the keeper of the lake, Midgardsommr. The Ishgardians did not have her trust, for a number of reasons, but if their astrologists weren’t mistaken, then he might be stirring. That caught her interest, as had the faint strains of dragon-song that had echoed around Coerthas.

It had been a while since she had visited her friends in Anyx Trine. Perhaps they would have the insights that the humans did not. And even if not, Iscara wanted to know what Vidofnir’s thoughts on her grandfather’s potential awakening were.


tumblr_pii54fBfnJ1qas1mto9_500The letter was sitting on the bed she was using whilst in Kugane, doubtless left by an adventurous postmoogle. Fuzzy little poms of mischief they may be, but if they were determined to do a job, being halfway across the world was but a small obstacle.

Sitting on the bed, she picked the letter up, elegant handwriting immediately recognised, and only confirmed as she flipped it over and saw the blue wax seal, embellished with a flowering B.

Iscara couldn’t help but smile as she opened the letter, Aymeric’s hand dancing across the page as he spoke of Ishgard, of the current state of the alliance, and of missing her, wishing her safe return. It was those passages that she brushed her fingers over, savouring the words. She was never going to be one to settle down, and he knew that, but having someone to return to…it was something precious that she didn’t want to let go of.

She fetched her own sheet of paper, writing a few short words in the middle of it.


Dearest Aymeric

A crane for happiness and luck. A dragon for wisdom and success. I haven’t found one that means love, but know that if I had, I would have made you a thousand.



She took the origami that she had folded earlier, in the pretty paper they reserved for the delicate art, and folded the letter around them. Using a match, she melted a couple of wax beads over the join, and took out a worn disc from a pouch. Pressing it into the wax, she waited for it to harded slightly before picking it out, a spear crowned in ice impressed in the wax. Her little known seal.

Still smiling, she left her letter where she had found the one from Aymeric, trusting the moogle to find it in a bit, and went back out into Kugane to find the next challenge that awaited her.

Breakfast in the Fortemps manor was pleasantly sedate, until Emmanellain came into the dining hall.

“Greetings on this beauteous morning, one and all.”

Artoirel looked up at his brother, a small frown on his face, “You’re unusually sprightly for the early hour of the morning.”

“Why wouldn’t I be? The weather is clear and fine, and there is good company to enjoy!” He swept an arm out to indicate the three scions sitting at the table.

Alphinaud paused, his cutlery hovering over the eggs he was tucking into, Tataru gave the youngest member of the house a broad smile, and the warrior didn’t respond, instead taking a long sip of tea.

“I’m glad to hear that my son,” Lord Edmont said, “Perhaps you can thus ease my mind concerning rumours that have reached my ears about the activities you engaged in last night.”

Emmanellain immediate began waxing lyrical about what he had been up to last night, of course none of which was anything like the scandalous rumours that had reached his father’s ears.

When he finally paused for a breath, the warrior spoke, “Your performance would be far more convincing if you fingers were not crossed behind your back.”

The younger elezen flushed and spluttered, the hand that had been hidden behind him was quickly brought forward. Lord Edmont fixed his son with a steely look, which quickly had him mumbling excuses and ducking back out of the dining room, Honoralt giving a short bow to them before he followed.

“How did you know he was doing that?” Artoirel asked.

“Honoralt. He was suppressing a smile. And it’s the action I would expect from a four year old trying to hide their actions,” she replied, completely straight faced.

Artoitel tried valiantly to smother a smile, failed, and then raised a pot, “More tea?”

Prompt #11 – Snuff

It was the smell that brought her out of the swirling thoughts that she couldn’t seem to shake. The earthy tones swirled around her, invoking the thoughts of hot summer days turning into autumn, drying herbs on the line.

She straightened up from the rock she had been slouching on, the familiar sight of her grandmother walking over at a slow pace, pipe in hand, smoke gently curling up from the end.

“Finally got bored of the mountain?”

“Cheek. This is my homeland, I wasn’t going to miss it’s liberation, even if we did leave before it got invaded. Well, by the Garleans. But you know my thoughts on the Mad King. I want to know what you’re thinking.”

Iscara wasn’t one for doubts under normal circumstances, but these were far from normal circumstances, her arms gripping her elbows as she crossed them, “They’re all…I don’t even know what they are Oma. They say their souls have just…gone, even Krile couldn’t follow what’s happened to them. All because of some damn disembodied voice.”

She figures squeezed as she spat out the last few words, pale fingers making red marks.

Raforta came and sat on the boulder next to her, and Iscara leaned into her shoulder, the way she had been doing since she was tiny. The elder Hyur held out the pipe, offering it to her, but she shook her head. Another puff, and the smoke swirled around the two of them for several minutes.

“I promised. I promised Alisaie that I wouldn’t leave her alone, but…I can’t help but feel like I broke it.”

“It doesn’t sound like you were given a choice.”

Iscara let out a snort, “That doesn’t make it any better.”

“Dragonling, nothing I say will make this any better, it’s a fucking mess of the situation. But, I know you, and I know how much your Scions mean to you. You might not know what to do, or how to fix it, but that doesn’t mean your going to stop trying.”

“As long as I try, I never really fail…” she whispered the words, a motto that had been her father’s favourite.

“Aye. And if you find yourself faltering, you can always swing by for dinner. And I daresay, all the other friends you’ve made will say something similar in the days to come.”

Iscara let out a low chuckle, her heart still low in her breast, but the resolve she was famed for starting to seep back in at the edges.

“Can you stay? Just for a while longer.”

Raforta adjusted so that she could rest her chin on top of her granddaughter’s head, something she hadn’t done in years, letting the physical contact do the talking for her, as she took another pull of her pipe, and the smoke swirled around the pair of them.

Prompt #10 – Foster

The singing from the party on top of the walls had stopped, but it was still going on below, coming from various quarters of Ala Mhigo.

She turned as there was a screech from a Mol, and Lord Hein jumped the short distance down to the rooftop garden.

“Show off,” she called out to him.

“Next to you my friend, I find one must to keep up!” The prince had his usual grin on his face as she walked over to the warrior and they grasped forearms in greeting.

“Come, you should have a formal introduction to the Eorzean alliance, rather than screaming from Mol back.”

“You cannot tell me it wasn’t effective.”

She shook her head at him, quickly seeking out Rauhban and Pipin first and making the introductions.

“I spotted you in the castle,” Raubahn enveloped the smaller man’s hand in his own, “Twas a fine thing to see a samurai of your calibre aiding our cause.”

“After all your compatriots have done to help me and my people, t’would be a poor showing indeed if I did not come when aid was needed most. Especially against a common foe.”

Iscara didn’t interject anymore as the three of them talked a little, and then Raubhan offered to introduce him to the rest of the Alliance leaders. Hein turned back to give her a bow before he went with them.

Lyse walked up, leaning her head against Iscara’s shoulder, as was her custom, “You seem pleased.”

“For all the victories I claim on the battlefield, I am just as proud of the progress that is made off it as well. Seeing the relationships between the different provinces grow, watching them foster that development and become more than their parts…it’s part of what I fight for. That better future. Together.”

It was more than she usually said, and on this emotional day, it caused Lyse to wrap her arms around her friend and hug her tightly.

“You inspire it in us, you know. That better future,” the words were muffled, her face buried in armour.

Iscara returned the hug, squeezing her back, “We’ll get there. Together.”

Prompt #9 – Hesitate

She drew a steady breath, eye carefully sighting down the shaft, her wood creaking beneath her fingers as she patiently waited for the hare to finish sniffing the air, and then went back down, nibbling on some tuft of grass that had evaded the snow.


Raforta smiled and clapped her granddaughter on the shoulder, “Good. Go collect it.”

The young Hyur threaded her arm through her bow, carefully treading across the snow until she found the hare she had shot, a small amount of blood splashing crimson across the white. After picking the animal up, she folded the snow over, hiding the blood, so that the scent wouldn’t draw scavengers.

That’s when the hairs on the back of her neck stood up.

With a very measured pace, she continued to pat at the snow, slowly sliding her eyes round as far as she could to see what the cause was, and caught the spindly limbs of a snow wolf lurking on top of the rocks nearby. A perfect position for an ambush. Where she was the prey.

She slowly stood up, turning so that she deliberately put her back to the wolf, and felt the hairs shiver again before she threw herself forward, going into a roll as she slipped the bow off her shoulder and scooped up an arrow that had scattered out on top of the snow.

Knocking and drawing it, she turned back to the wolf, to see it bearing down on her, jaw hanging open with needle point teeth and curved claws springing forward. The arrow flew, skewering it through a shoulder as she thrust out her hand, searching for another, hand closing on nothing but snow as she moved too late, and the wolf’s claws caught her arm instead, cutting the flesh into ribbons.

Then the wolf was gone, replaced by the towering figure of her Oma, broadsword cleanly piercing into the side of the wolf, whose body slumped on the snow much like the hare had done mere moments before.

The young Hyur sat up, suppressing a noise of pain as she moved her arm, her other hand not big enough to cover the wounds, but clasping it anyway. Raforta swept her eyes around the rocky outcropping, satisfying herself that nothing else was lurking before she turned back to her granddaughter.

“Here,” she removed a length of cloth out of a pouch and firmly started to bind her arm, forcing the cuts closed as she did so. She noticed her granddaughter’s clenched teeth, tensing up from more than just the pain.

“Do you know what you did right, my little dragonet?”

The girl looked at her, dark blue eyes searching Raforta’s face, before looking down at her arm, clearly focusing on the failure, before she shook her head.

“You didn’t hesitate. The difference between walking away with your life, or finding it’s your last fight, can come down to a moment’s hesitation. You’re young, you’ll get hurt, and you’ll learn from the failures as much as you learn from me. But your instincts are there little one, and they did you right today.”

Her granddaughter always had been a quiet one, but Raforta had gotten adept at reading the subtle changes in her face that showed her mood and thoughts, and was pleased to see the words sink in, the wound now a lesson that had been learnt.

“Right,” she finished the bandage off with a knot and stood up again, “back home now, so someone can have a proper look at that. Can you still carry your kills?”

Her granddaughter gave her a look, before pushing herself up off the snow, kicking some of the drift over her own blood, and picking up the hare with a firm grip, tramping off in the direction of home. The whole scene caused Raforta to smile as she slung the wolf carcass over a shoulder, and followed after the determined youngling.

Apologies for the delay, I forgot to cross post this yesterday. Sunday’s are ‘Free Days’ that can be used to catch up on missed days, or used for extra credit. Since I’ve successfully completed 1-7 on time, I’ve gone back to the 2018 challenge for prompts, and have picked ‘Submerged’ for this first extra credit day.


The light flickered and waved as the lilies and pads drifted overhead, casting shadows down through the water. Iscara looked up, and from her position, it looked as if the blue sky was painted with the outlines of flowers, tranquil and beautiful, so unlike the first time she had been thrown into the water. Smiling at the beautiful visage, she kicked out, swimming down into Longmirror Lake so she could swim amongst the ruins of the Voerbuty city.

Just as she had done on the first time she had been done here, she couldn’t help but compare it to Ishgard, the city that, despite all her initial misgivings, she had come to love. The stonework was so reminiscent, especially when she swam through a circular hole into a building that could only have been a church of some kind. The shards truly were reflections of the source, of her home world.

She spent hours drifting around the submerged city, only surfacing when night fell, to sit on one of the few roofs that still stood taller than the surface of the lake, the flowers she had admired from before now drifting around her as she looked up at the stars, taking in the beauty of the night.

A lily ideally floated up next to her, a small lap of water landing it on her leg. Iscara reached down to pick it up, the water dripping through her fingers as she cupped it in her hands. She didn’t know if it would last long outside of its natural habitat, but it had been a while since she had given Aymeric a present, and she had a rapidly growing need to see him, to see the man that tied her most tightly to the city, and it’s reflection here.

Il Mheg

Prompt #7 – Forgiven

As a note, this entry contains very heavy spoilers for the Shadowbringers main plot quests, so if you are likely to play the game/are playing it and haven’t reached the end, you may not want to read to avoid the spoilers contained within!

Bookman's Shelves

Alisaie looked over the top of her book to the Hyur sitting in one of the other armchairs in the main room of the Bookman’s shelves where a few of the Scions had currently gathered.

“What’s got you thinking so hard?”

The warrior of light blinked, and then looked over at Alisaie, one eyebrow raised fractionally.

“I’m reasonably sure that’s your thinking face, and you’ve been staring at a rather disinteresting point on the wall for a while. Something wrong?”

She shook her head, “Not wrong. Just a…hypothetical question.”

“Care to share?”

The warrior looked over at her for a moment, weighing up something, “Sin eater’s are classed by the sin they were forgiven for. If I had turned, what would the sin I would be forgiven for?”

Whatever question Alisaie had been expecting, it wasn’t that, “But you didn’t turn.”

She chuckled, “No, I didn’t. But you and I both know I was basically there. I’m forever glad that didn’t happen, so don’t worry. I guess this is just, hmm, morbid curiosity? With a dash of self-reflection.”

The young mage tapped her fingers against the edge of her book, thinking on the same question, “Not wrath, that doesn’t fit you. Violence maybe?”

“Mhm. Overconfidence is another thought. Confrontational perhaps.”


Iscara looked over and gave Alisaie a mock scowl, “I’ve been working on that one, thank you very much.”

“And we’re very proud of you for it,” She drew up her book just in time to block the small cushion lobbed at her head.

“I woudst appreciate if thoust did not use mine furnishing as weapons, I already disinherit much to fae machnications,” Urianger chimed in as he came down the stairs into the main living area, 


“What did you think about our conversation?” Alisaie sat up, interested in the input of the older elezen.

“Of the sin that our dearest friend embodies? Nay, I think the answer woudst lie in a different direction.”

“Care to share your educated thoughts then?”

“Of the lightwarden which our friend encountered, barring both Innocence and the Lord Titania, their names were themed around the topic of love, specifically the types of love outlined in philosophical debate. Philia is the love shared between friends. Eros is perhaps the most well known, being associated with romantic love. And Storge refers to the empathic love that most encapsulates fondness and familiarity.”

“So that’s three, but you said there were four?”

“Indeed, and it is with the fourth that I believe would lie the answer to our friends question – the fourth love is known as ‘Agape’, which refers to selfless and unconditional love, such as we imagine that the gods would have for us, their children upon this earth. Knowing our champion as we do, I cannot think of a more fitting title. Though I must say, I believe that thou embodies this kind of love already, without the need for thou to becomest a Lightwarden.”

“Agape…” the warrior tried the word out loud, mulling it over, “Is it wrong that I like it?”

Alisaie’s lips twitched, “A little, perhaps.”

“If my knowledge serves to satisfy you that you might cease pondering on, as thoust said, morbid topics, then I am satisfied. Now, what doust thou desire for the evening meal?”

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