Tag Archive: writing


Prompt #20 – Bisect

“I don’t care if you were on another world. Realm. Shard. Whatever you want to call them, you could have sent me a bloody letter.”

“The only way I had to pass messages was through the services of a fae. You would be far madder at me had I used them and then they had gotten your horde into mischief. Because they would have done.”

“They wouldn’t be that bad.”

“Moogles. With a cruel streak. And proper magic.”

Jaydra pursed her lips and hummed, in that way she did when she knew her sister had a point, but she didn’t want to admit it. Iscara didn’t smile, instead bouncing the youngest of her nephews on her knee as they lounged on a free space on the worktop. 

Her sister was hammering out the delicate metal, constantly measuring the thickness with a tiny gauge, before hammering in some more. It took her awhile to be satisfied, but once she was, she took a wickedly sharp pair of cutters and bisected the long metal bar neatly down the middle. Both halves were then returned to the tiny forge, heated until they were malleable again, before Jaydra quickly transferred them to hardened wooden sticks of different sizes and curled them around, pressing them flat until they cooled a little, and the bases of the rings had taken shape.

Iscara continued to play with the baby as her sister worked on the commision she had asked of her, sealing the gap in the rings, checking the size, sanding and polishing them.

The door to the workshop opened and Iscara’s eldest niece wandered in, carrying two bowls, “Mama? I think I have the colours right now.”

“Let’s have a look then, hmm, much better. And you’ll know what to do next time?”

“Account for the colour changes that heat will bring into the materials.”

“Good, go melt them down then, I’ll be ready for them by the time they’ve finished.”

“Aunt Is, Aunt Is, LOOK!”

The relative calm of the workshop was shattering as another one of the horde dashed in, a squirming lizard held between her hands and she shoved it at her aunt.

“JITTERBUG! How many times have I told you, you don’t run in the workshop.”

“But mama!”

“No buts! No go put that poor thing back outside where you found it, and for the love of the twelve, wash your hands afterwards.”

Iscara smiled at the pouting child and ruffled her hair, “I’m staying for dinner my little bug, we can play later. But you should go put the lizard back outside, it’s not happy here.”

With a dramatic sigh, the young Hyur turned and walked back out of the shop, lizard still wriggling in her hands.

“How are you finding Gyr Abania to live in then?”

“Oh it’s certainly different. The heat for one, but I find that quite pleasant. The mountains were terribly cold.”

“Bugs,” the tone in which her niece delivered the one word had Iscara smiling.

“How are those crystals darling?”

“Almost there, few shards left,” she stirred the pots with a long metal rod, checking them over.

Jaydra had the pair of rings in front of her, a channel carved out of the middle of each of them. Iscara had tried her hand at leatherworking, and could turn out something that wasn’t a disaster, but she wasn’t the craftswomen that her sister was, and she certainly didn’t understand how goldsmithing worked. Thus the next few processes were a complete mystery to her, as her sister somehow took the crystal mixture and used one bowl on each ring, filling in the grove she had made.

Content to continue playing with her nephew, as he chewed on a wooden beads charm that had been made for him, she let her sister get on with her work, only looking up when her eldest nephew cracked open the door and caught her eye, waving a hunt sheet under his nose.

Later, she mouthed to him, and he grinned and shut the door on them again.

It took another bell for Jaydra to finish polishing and fussing and doing all the tiny little bits until she was happy with them.

“There,” she said, holding out the pair of rings on a small tray.

Iscara gave the baby to his older sister before she reached out and took the rings, looking them over. The metal was pale silver, made into rather wide bands, because the middle of each ring was filled in with crystal – one a pale blue that was almost exactly the colour of Aymeric’s eyes, and the other was a dark midnight blue, matching hers. She looked at the inside of the rings, the engraved words making her smile.

Forged in Fury, Tempered in Ice

It wasn’t classically romantic, but it was true, and reflected the both of them well.

Slipping the light blue one onto her finger, she grinned at her sister, “They’re perfect.”

Jaydra looked smug as Iscara wrapped her arms around her sister, giving her a squeeze, “I hope Aymeric enjoys his. You should bring him around again.”

Iscara laughed, “If we can find a free moment. And he did get mobbed rather heavily last time, I might have to bribe him.”

“Oh no, however could you bribe the man you share a bed with I wonder?”

Iscara smacked her sister’s shoulder, as Jaydra cackled, and linked their arms together, “Come on, let’s see what Eric’s made for dinner.”

Prompt #19 – Radiant

As a note, this entry contains spoilers for the Il Mheg 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!

“To strive for a dream you will never see – to sow seeds that others might one day taste the fruits of your garden – that is the beauty of your kind. Burn bright and shine as only you can. These blessings, your lovely branch will accept in your stead.”

Feo Ul floated up, the four blessings orbiting around her before coalescing around her, the tiny pixie disappearing into a brilliant ball of light that filled the dreary castle, quickly becoming too much to look at.

When Iscara could look again, she saw her branch’s wings first, much bigger than before, but the same brilliant orange, matching her fiery hair that was still held back in bunches, a tiara nestled on top.She was tall, much taller than the Hyur now, an elegant dress fluttering around her graceful form, over the shoes. The sceptre completed the blessings, looking much the same as it had for the previous King, with sparkle gently falling from it’s tip.

“Rejoice and revel, for the Kingdom of Rainbows is forever young.”

Iscara smiled up at her friend, her lovely branch, “Feo Ul, My Radiance.”

It was then that a smile came across the fae’s face, one much more familiar to those that had spent any time with the Fae. One that was mischievous, and playful, and just a little cruel. The King extended a hand out to her adorable sapling.

“Now, shall we attend to those unwise enough to trespass in our realm?”

Taking the hand with her own, Iscara gave it a squeeze, her own bronze skin lit up by the glow the Fae exuded, “Lets.”

Capture

Prompt #18 – Wilt

Even the Waking Sands, built mostly underground, couldn’t escape the sweltering heat that permeated across Eorzea. If the Antecedent hadn’t said that she would soon need her help, the Warrior of Light would have been in the Shroud, finding a cool river to sit in for the day.

Alas, there was more work to do, and so, here she was, lounging in one of the alcoves of the stone building, having given up on fanning herself. It was too warm to move.

Urianger walked into the room, a book open in one hand, and yet more scrolls tucked under his arm. She had no idea how he could stand to still be in that hooded robe, even if he was wearing sandals. This heat was just…oppressive. Almost unnaturally so.

“Was Ifrit summoned without us noticing?”

There was the barest hint of a smile in his words, “Alas, if only it were that simple. The weather yet remains a beast unable to be fought or tamed, I fear we will forever be at her mercy.”

Iscara grunted, slipping down the alcove slightly. Give her a blizzard any day, she could handle the deepest chills of winter without batting an eyelid.

“Did someone ask for mercy?” A cheerful voice called through the room, causing the warrior to turn her head towards their high-spirited receptionist, and then sit up as she heard the chinking of ice and spotted the tray held in her hands.

“Tataru, you legend.

The lalafell smiled up at her as she took one of the tall glass of orange juice, complete with many, many ice cubes, and had to stop herself from draining it all in one go, instead slurping up a couple of the ice cubes, letting them melt across her tongue. Urianger chuckled as he also helped himself to a glass.

“Good?”

She nodded, hand flicking out in a short sign, heavenly.

Tataru beamed, “I’ve got orange slices and more juice for later, and I’ve managed to get some ice crystals from the Thaumaturges guild, so we’re in good supply. I’m not going to let a little heat wave get in our way, you just leave it to me!”

Prompt #17 – Obeisant

“May I ask for this dance?”

Aymeric straightened up out of the bow, extending one hand to her, his light blue eyes looking at her. The finery that adored the Lord Commander was a far cry from the armour he was often in, but then again, the warrior of light was not often found in a dress.

She smiled, put her glass down, and reached out to take his hand with hers, silver jewellery and adornments tinkling gently as she moved with the elezen out onto the dance floor. They passed by Artoirel and Emmanellain both, the elder brother having not left the floor in quite some time due to the queue of ladies seeking his attention. But then it was his inauguration party as the new Count Fortemp, he was supposed to be the center of attention tonight.

Iscara herself had already had several dances, with all three Fortemps, a few Knights, men and women both, and Alphinaud, although the young scion had scarce known what to do with his feet most of the time. But this dance, this was the one that was she had hoped for, skin tingling ever so slightly as they reached a space and turned to each other. His hand on her lower back, hers to his shoulder, their other ones clasping together, and they started to move.

She had come to this land full of mistrust and wariness, on the back of the biggest betrayal she had ever experienced, and just as she had slowly won the city over, so too had it won her affection back. And no one more so than Aymeric. Practical and compassionate, she had watched his actions, heard his words, and steadily, he had become a friend. Perhaps, even more so than that.

They twirled, her skirts flaring out, his sash trailing after them as they matched each other’s steps, both of them experienced at moving together. She’d felt it when fighting alongside him, and was secretly pleased that dancing was no different.

Perhaps she was lying to herself when she said perhaps. She could pinpoint the moment she realised that Aymeric had her absolute trust, something even some of the scions had yet to win from her, as close as they were as a group – It was when he had bowed to Midgardsormr, and spoke of the future, of the effort he would put forth into it. As Midgardsormr remembered his words, so too did she. She never ceased to believe either, even when it was hard.

He brought her in close again, the warmth of his hand easy to feel through the dress, causing yet another tingle down her spine. They looked at each other, light blue meeting dark, and Iscara hoped they would continue dancing for a long while yet.

Aymeric

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.

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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.

Iscara

 

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.

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