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Main Journal - Part 1Edit

Tara Sad: Alaric, my love - what’sss wrong? Why are you so sssilent? You were almossst killed tonight, and you say nothing?! There’sss something bothering you, I know, so please tell usss, I beg you!

Gaius Worried: She has a point, sire. I do believe it is time you told all of us what is going on.

The Serperior’s gaze goes from his advisor to his wife, eyes softening. Finally, he sighs, pausing to knead the corners of his eyes with his tail tip before looking at the rest of the room.

Alaric Disappointed: You’re right. It’s time all of you knew …

Alaric Serious: Dracul told me… war is coming.


SOME WEEKS AGO…


Dracul Talking: My sincerest apologies, let us start anew. I am Dracul, and I am humbled to welcome the king of Aether to my home, and offer him my services, if he’d so pleased to accept them.

Dracul Serious: Now, if your presence here is anything to go by, you are at least somewhat interested, are you not? Going as far as sending so many of your people to make sure both the forest and castle are safe? Oh do not tell me you were not aware of this, did you not give the order?

Dracul Smug: Oh my? I believe we have much to discuss indeed.

Alaric Annoyed: Then perhaps it’d be best that we start discussing, lest you drive me out of your manor with your abhorrent disposition.

Dracul Smug: My my, you’ve quite the sharp tongue on you, your highness. Well, no matter, it is as you said, it would be best for both of us if I started explaining, for you have been wandering in the darkness with not but vague directions on where you should end up. Quite fortunate that I have a light for you, yes?

Alaric Angry: Spare me your metaphors and tell me what I came here to learn.

Dracul Annoyed: Everyone is so to-the-point these days, what ever happened to the good ol’ days where you’d banter with someone until one of you killed the other?

Dracul Talking: Ah well, I suppose it can’t be helped. Listen well, your highness, for my words carry the weight of the fate of Avalon.

Dracul Icon: I am of the understanding that you are often diving into situations head-first without any information or facts or history given to you, yes? Well, although I’ve no doubt in my mind that that path of action is not one you yourself chose to follow, I’m afraid you cannot be treading so recklessly from now on, not if you’re going to survive this war. As such is the case, I’ve taken upon the duty of granting you the information you need to understand what caused this war and the various choices of action you may follow to resolve it.

Alaric Shocked: War?

Dracul Talking: Indeed. Unfortunate as it is, foul deeds of the past have been building upon one another like a pyramid of wine glasses atop a three legged table, incredibly fragile and just waiting for the slightest of disturbance to topple it over and bring everything crashing down.

Dracul Serious: The base of this pyramid of glass starts with a new acquaintance of yours, the emperor of Gāng Tiě, Wei-Guang, and his daughter. The young princess fell in love with a ‘mon of low birth and the two eloped together to avoid her father’s wrath.

Dracul Icon: However, it was not to be. The two were murdered by a group of Sazanamese ninjas who collaborated with a Chanyuian general, a match made anywhere but in heaven.

Dracul Talking: The emperor was heartbroken over the loss of his daughter, though his grief quickly turned to rage. He believed the ‘mon she eloped with to be a Chanyuian warrior who had seduced her and led her to her death and thus swore revenge on the Chanyu Tribes for the death of his daughter.

Dracul Icon: He was later informed by a member of Tellurian Astasia about Sazanami’s involvement in her murder and swore revenge on them as well.

Alaric Confused: Tellurian Astasia?

Dracul Smug: Oh, I suppose you’ve never heard them referred to by name, have you?

Dracul Talking: They are a... guild, of sorts. They have been tugging on the strings of politics in Avalon for centuries, though they’ve become rather active in the last few decades.

Dracul Smug: You’ve met a few of their higher ranking members yourself, I believe. If what I heard is true, then they interrupted your little trial with Wei-Guang and escorted him home.

Alaric Annoyed: Ah, yes. Them.

Dracul Icon: Them indeed.

Dracul Talking: Well, perhaps you’ll find it interesting that the Zoroark that led Wei-Guang out of your palace was the very same who told him of Sazanami’s involvement in his daughter’s murder.

Dracul Annoyed: He’s...a strange one. I can hardly call him my friend as easily as I could call him my foe, though we each know not to trust one another blindly. I suppose that makes us uneasy allies.

Dracul Talking: I’m not a fool, I can tell the sort of ‘mon who can play others and he is that very sort. Arguably, he’s been playing all of Avalon ever since he told the truth about the emperor’s daughter.

Dracul Annoyed: Not ALL of the truth, of course. He withheld some very crucial information, an act well suited to his personality.

Dracul Talking: You see, the princess was pregnant, her lover was still alive - an unusual circumstance, given how female Leavanny will often bite off the heads of their mates - and the emperor was furious at the both of them.

Dracul Icon: Wei-Guang would not have such an act of dishonour be allowed to stain his family, so he ordered his daughter to get rid of the children the two had had together and for her to separate herself from her lover.

Dracul Talking: As you can guess, the princess didn’t want to follow these orders, so she made a few plans of her own.

Dracul Icon: She first planned to meet up with her lover and have him flee to a Shaolin monastery with their children where her father would not look for him so their children could be raised by at least one of their parents.

Dracul Talking: This plan may have worked, however, before she could set it into motion, her eggs hatched. As most mothers do, the princess fell in love with her children the moment they hatched and she could not bear the thought of being separated from them.

Dracul Serious: Regardless, she knew she was running out of time. She could not continue to tell her father that the eggs had yet to hatch for much longer, so she did what all those foolish enough to fall in love do.

Dracul Icon: Though it was hard arranging times where they could meet, and harder still to convince her lover she had made the right choice, the princess was able to convince him that they should run off together, boldly declaring her love of her children and lover to mean far more to her that the throne or any honour that her father could give her.

Dracul Talking: That settled all debate between the two. One night, they garbed themselves in the clothing of commoners, snuck their way out of the palace, and fled towards the monastery. They were seen only by a young Growlithe, who the princess convinced to not tell anyone of their escape, so their plan was already looking to be successful.

Dracul Serious: Of course, you can imagine how Wei-Guang reacted when he figured out what had happened. He was irate, his fury knew no bounds once he had found out that his daughter had not only lied to him but dishonoured him by eloping with a peasant.

Dracul Icon: What you might not imagine, however, is how his rage turned to grief and regret over the loss of his daughter. Indeed, I believe his rage of his daughter’s flight from him stemmed from his love of her, there is a strong bond between parent and child, as I’m sure you yourself know as father. With his wife dead, his daughter had been the most important thing in his life, and he had been the one to drive her away. Such knowledge weighs heavy on the shoulders of any ‘mon, emperor and peasant alike.

Dracul Serious: His grief was of no matter then and is of no matter now. I’ve already told you how this story ends. The two of them were ambushed and the princess was killed.

Dracul Talking: Worry not, though, the story don’t end all bad. Her lover managed to escape with his life and children, with a little help from some surprisingly willing new allies, and did continue towards the monastery with his new friends.

Dracul Smug: Well, I can’t say for sure what happened next, as my sources may have missed a trick when it came to following the party, I’d say the odds that they made it out alive are fairly high, though I’m sure there are other members of Tellurian Astasia who can tell you more.

Dracul Talking: However, I believe I’ve told you enough for you to understand the causation of the war that may break out soon.

Dracul Icon: The causation of the Gāng Tiě wanting to wage war, there is more I could talk about in regards the to Chanyu and Sazanami, but it’s Gāng Tiě you really need to be worried about if war does come to pass.

Alaric Serious: Sazanami?

Dracul Icon: Surprising, no? That little island has been tearing itself up at the seams for at least two decades now, and your little visit not too long ago did nothing to help.

Dracul Talking: As it so happens, war is already brewing within Sazanami itself. The nation is divided, ruled by warlords who do not trust one another. Treachery is rampant in the nation, even among the warlords, and the Shōgun cannot hold power for much longer.

Dracul Smug: I’m sorry to have to inform you this, but Aether cannot afford to wage war with either Sazanami or Gāng Tiě. Well, perhaps you could triumph over the former with much struggle and loss, but you’ve no chance again Gāng Tiě, it’s the largest nation in Avalon and it’s military is nothing to scoff at.

Dracul Icon: That being said, if Sazanami were to fight alongside you, you may just survive whatever horrible onslaught Wei-Guang would put you through.

Dracul Serious: Regardless, Sazanami as it stands now has no hope at besting Gāng Tiě’s organized army. More likely, Sazanami would fall from civil war before Gāng Tiěse ships even docked on its coasts.

Dracul Icon: I’m sure you’re curious as to how this affects Aether, yes? With Sazanami wiped off the map, which it will be in its current state, Wei-Guang will not stop there and will continue to invade and wipe out Chanyu as well. As formidable warriors as they are, they’re unruly and hesitant to ally themselves between the different clans and eve Guga would have trouble commanding them all against Gāng Tiě. Eventually, they would fall.

Dracul Serious: With the Chanyuians on their knees at their feet, the Gāng Tiěse can easily learn of Aether’s involvement in both the war and your little kidnapping exploits and they would surely turn to Aether next. Perhaps you’d be able to withstand siege for months, maybe years, but eventually, Aether would fall.

Dracul Serious: In a best case scenario, Wei-Guang would decide that Aether is not worth his time and leave you to your own devices whilst he continued cleaning up Avalon of his enemies. Yes, that IS the best case scenario, because, in every other case, you end up dead.

Dracul Talking: I imagine that’d be a rather sad ending to the “King of Prophecy,” wouldn’t you?

Alaric Serious:...

Dracul Icon: Do you have something to say? You’ve been surprisingly quiet.

Alaric Serious: Oh, I’m just making a list of questions in my head. Chief among them is “may I be so bold as to ask what’s your goal”? What do you gain by spurring me and my people into this war?

Dracul Angry: Ahahahahahahaaaaaaaa……

Dracul Annoyed: I’ll have you remember the position you’re in and recall that I’m helping you far more than you’re helping me. If you’re entire kingdom was wiped out tomorrow, I would still remind here, untouched by the ravages of war and conflict, so I’ll thank you not to get smart with me.

Alaric Angry: Somehow I doubt that’s true. No one ‘mon can avoid the scourge of war, especially not one with a massive castle.

Dracul Angry: There are truth in your words, however, it should be noted that I am not “no one ‘mon,” I have allies, something you and your kingdom are in desperate need of.

Alaric Angry: Aether has plenty of allies, thank you very much.

Dracul Angry: HA! A bold claim, that! Shall we investigate it?

Alaric Angry:...

Dracul Angry: You ask what my goal is in telling you this? What I gain in this matter? Perhaps the fear of the fall of Aether, and therefore my own home? I hate to remind you, but I have so many allies that, even if Wei-Guang were to turn against me - which I sincerely doubt he would be stupid enough to do - there are many more places where I could go, many more ‘mons who’d have me as their advisors, or an informer.

Dracul Angry: Now, tell me, to whom would YOU go for aid? Artiphron perhaps? Only Pausanius would be willing to hear you out, and, even then, I’m afraid he’s currently not available. Though, say he was, how would he react to you failing to live up that special prophecy of his? I can’t say he’d be very impressed with you.

Dracul Angry: Who to turn to then? The Vandals of Gailamir, a broken nation struggling to re-building its kingdom, or some friendly Nizhoni tribes, wandering farmers with loose ties to a stone situated in an alter somewhere out in the woods of your nations? No, no, that will not do, neither of them could stand up to Gāng Tiě’s might.

Dracul Angry: And what about Voluntas? Last I recall, Aetius was no friend of yours, so that’s not an option. You’ve also visited Khemaat, though I can assure you that they see Aether as little than a trade partner - which, might I add, is a very generous gesture on their part, as you offer nothing that they need or couldn’t find elsewhere. Not to mention that both of those nations are struggling with internal conflicts of their own currently, so I hardly believe that they could be convinced to aid you in a matter as grave as war.

Dracul Angry: Oooh, but I forget! You DO have ONE ally that may vouch for you yet! The inhabitants and Lord of the Dragon Palace in Sazanami and Avalon’s adventurer’s guild. Oh, but wait, you’re abandoning the former in this situation by not fighting, aren’t you? Oh, that is a shame, I doubt even Wei-Guang would order his armies to stand up to Lugia. Though, with Sazanami in it’s current state, faith in their patron has diminished greatly…

Dracul Dark: It’s quite possible that they do not possess their full strength at the moment. Perhaps the lord will find himself killed, though, I fear that it shall not be through a wound received from either army, but from the war itself bringing forth his demise.

Dracul Angry: But that is no matter of yours, you have disregarded them in this situation, so let’s talk about the guild. No doubt the guild would plead your case, but what outcome could they bring you that could be considered good? At best you’d live in shame with the knowledge that you did nothing to prevent the war that could tear Avalon apart. Or, perhaps you’d be executed and your people would be allowed to live and flee from your borders in hopes that some friendly nation would take them in.

Dracul Angry: But, perhaps there is a third path. Perhaps you could appoint the old king to the throne again, Jackson I believe you call him, and leave the nation with whoever would follow you. You could leave all of this troubling responsibility behind you…

Dracul Dark: I don’t see why you couldn’t, you have done this before, have you not? Or was the information I was given about Adonai incorrect?

Alaric Dark: That’s enough!

Dracul Serious: Yes...yes, it’s more than enough.

Dracul Serious: Do you understand the situation now? I’ve told you all I have for your benefit. Joining in this war, or even stopping it before it begins, is the only way you can save not only Aether but Sazanami, Chanyu, and the rest of Avalon from destruction as well.

Dracul Serious: Think on my words on your way back home.

Alaric Shocked: WHAT?! You can’t be ser-

Dracul Annoyed: I’m perfectly serious, you’re running out of time as is and I’ve said all I can that you’d understand as you are now. But, pray, come back when you are older and wiser, perhaps then we’ll have more to talk about. Until then--

Dracul Dark: --Happy Wartimes, your highness! And a toast to the end of days!


PRESENT DAY…


Alaric Serious: Though I had my doubts, I no longer consider them valid after that assassination attempt. War in coming and it is undoubtable that we will be dragged into it.

Alaric Sad: This...this is why I agreed to have the wedding as soon as I did. I wanted someone to be able to rule the kingdom if my...passing should occur during this war.

Tara Angry: You… You BASKET-COCKLED, BEAR-BITING VARLOT! How DARE you?! Ssstringing me along, usssing me as a PAWN in your little plan - and you never had the nerve to tell me before I became your wife! Well, I’m not going to ssstand here and wait for you to sssacrifice yourssself!

Tara storms off, slithering irately out of the great hall and deeper into the castle. Maeve scurries behind her, frantically shouting for her to wait up, and an awkward rumbling echoes amongst the partygoers, prompting Alaric to avert his gaze anxiously.

Ness Disappointed: What unnecessssary drama… Worry not, Alaric. My daughter’ss anger burnss bright but fadess quickly.

Bran Icon: Uncle is right. She only needs some time.

Alaric Disappointed: I wish I hadn’t caused her anger to spark in the first place.

Alaric Sad: Haaaa...there’s so much to do and so little time… No matter, it shall be done.

Alaric Icon: This ball is over, I ask that everyone leaves and returns to their homes for now. You’ll hear word from us shortly.

Bran Confused: Does that mean we can’t stay in the castle or-

Alaric Annoyed: Get out.

With that, the party guests are escorted from the castle, returning to their homes in Aether or getting on carriages to go to Ulster. As they begin to leave the castle, Alaric gives a subtle nod to Gaius, Jackson and Gawain: a covert signal that both advisor, previous king and captain understand. The serpent king moves away, heading into the castle following the angry path his wife had made earlier, and Gawain assists the guards in bringing both Drog and Bon down to the dungeons where they would spend the night.


THE NEXT DAY…

As the early morning sun begins to rise, Alaric and Gaius move stealthily into the king’s study, hoping that most of the castle’s inhabitants were still in bed and wouldn’t attempt to bother them during this special meeting. The two ‘mons look around, expecting Jackson to be in the room, only for the ghost to float up through the floor a few second later, cheeks full and crumbs all over his face. With the ghost now present, Alaric closes the door with a soft click then turns to the rest of the ‘mons while Gaius does his best to stop himself from asking if ghosts need to eat.

Alaric Icon: I apologize for waking you at this hour, but it was necessary that we meet in this way. Once Gawain joins us, we shall begi- oh, that must be Gawain now.

The door opens - but it’s not Gawain. Instead, Prince Nicholas is there, and he shoves his way into the room with a confident expression gleaming in his eyes.

Alaric Shocked: Nicholas? What are you doing?

Nicholas Happy: Helping you, of course! Charles and I have been talking all night about ways we could get everyone into Sazanami so I wanted to share them with you so you’d know where I’d be when leading in everyo-

Alaric Talking: I-I appreciate your...enthusiasm, Nicholas, but I’d much prefer you stayed in Aether and look after Tara. Perhaps you could find a way to calm her after what happened last night.

Nicholas Annoyed: But I-! I...yeah, I can do that...

Alaric Icon: Thank you, Nicholas, you’re dismissed.

The Umbreon bows stiffly to his father, ears tilted at an odd angle, then carefully backs up to the door. However, even as he opens it to leave, Gawain suddenly appears, almost knocking the prince over in his haste. Shuffling in front of him with his webbed hands in chains is Bon… but Drog is nowhere in sight.

Gawain Annoyed: Right, so, y’know that Politoed from last night?

Alaric Talking: The one that tried to murder me?

Gawain Serious: Yeah, him. Well, he’s gone. Cell was empty and everything.

Alaric Shocked: He escaped?! Have you set out a patrol to find him? He’s dangerous, he could hurt the peop-

Bon Serious: No need to bother, he’s looooooooong gone by now.

Gawain Annoyed: An’ ya’d be the one to know that, wouldn’t ya?

Alaric Angry: Enough, Gawain. We have more pressing matters to deal with before we can tend to him and hi-

Alaric Talking: Oh, Nicholas, weren’t you just leaving?

Nicholas stiffens, not realizing that he’d been standing in the doorway for quite some time. With an awkward nod, he leaves, cape fluttering in his wake - and the others wait a beat before continuing.

Gaius Worried: Though not a welcomed member of this meeting, the prince broached an important topic, my lord. We need a safe way to get everyone into Sazanami.

Jackson Disappointed: Well...we could always try what we did before when we first went to Sazanami and smuggle ourselves in, but it would difficult with the increased numbers of patrols and defences on the coasts.

Bon Talking: Oh, but that is no issue, all you need do is sail past the areas where the patrols would be.

Gawain Annoyed: Shut yer’ mouth, frog. No one trusts you enough to want to hear yer’ crazy ideas.

Bon Icon: Lord Dracul can vouch for me.

Gaius Serious: I’m sure he could, but we don’t trust him either…

Before they can continue their conversation, a soft knock sounds from the door. No one makes a move - until a voice resounds from outside:

No Icon: Aah, I’m a friend, I promise! So, don’t shoot me, uh, please?

Gaius Talking: Ah! I know that voice. [The bug goes to the door, opening it to reveal a Keldeo.] Sire, gentlemen, I introduce you to Reilly, a member of the guild Yagami is a part of.

Alaric Icon: Well met, Reilly, I welcome you to Aether. What business do you have with us?

Reilly Talking: I’m glad you asked, your highness! I wanna tell you about a way you can get into Sazanami without being detected! Y’know, so you can help us stop the war before it begins so no one gets hurt!

Bon Angry: Hey! My way into Sazanami is just as good as anything you could have, if not better!

Reilly Worried: Haaaaaaaay! Don’t interrupt, that’s not nice!

Bon Annoyed: Mmrmgmmrfreakingponywithhisfancyhair

Reilly Determined: Thank you~! Aah, where was I, uhhhhhhhhh OH! Yeah, the route! Um, I’ll happily outline the details of the route with your citizens, and even accompany them on the journey to Sazanami, if you want, your grace.

Alaric Icon: It would be most appreciated, Reilly.

Reilly Happy: Alright! Aah, I mean, of course, your highness! I’ll, uh, I’ll be waiting in Artiphron for you and your people, the trip is shorter from there to Sazanami.

Jackson Icon: Please allow me to accompany you, Reilly.

Reilly Happy: R-REALLY? You wanna come and hang out with ME?!?

Jackson Happy: Sure, why not. It’s not like I’m doing anything here anyway.

The Keldeo bows and exits the room without a sound, though there is an undeniable sparkle of joy in his eyes, and disappeared from sight with Jackson at his side.

Gawain Icon: I should head out too.

Gawain Annoyed: Let’s go, you.

Bon Annoyed: Yeah, alright, sure, fine, whatever, cool, amazing, it’s not like I could have helped you all out or anything.

Gawain Annoyed: C’mon.

As both captain and prisoner leave, Gaius looks at his king with somber eyes.

Gaius Disappointed: I do wish you’d allow me to accompany you, milord. Perhaps my diplomacy skills could be useful when negotiating with the Sazanamese lords?

Alaric Sad: I have no doubt they would be - but I suspect that battle strength would be more welcomed rather than mental dexterity. Gawain will keep me safe, of that I am certain.

Gaius Sad: … And if he can’t?

Alaric Serious: … Then I have already done what is necessary to ensure Aether continues to have a leader.


ONE WEEK LATER, IN ARTIPHRON…


Gulls shriek overhead as the Artiphron harbour comes alive with activity. Alaric, King of Aether, has just arrived, accompanied by an entourage of his subjects, and Offucia, portmaster of Artiphron, is on the move, barking out orders to any and all sailors nearby to prepare the dock. The Aetherian ship pulls in without a hitch, however, and the Frillish meets up with them at the entrance to her office.

Offucia Icon: King Alaric, it is a pleasure to meet you and your people. I welcome you to my harbour.

Alaric Icon: Thank you, Lady Offucia, your generosity to help us is truly appreciated.

Alaric Talking: What can you tell us about this upcoming journey? I’m afraid young Reilly left in such a rush, we were spared the details.

In response, Offucia gestures to a nearby table where a large map is spread out. She floats over to the table and flattens the corners of the map before explaining:

Offucia Talking: This route here is the only merchant route we currently have between our harbour and Sazanami. We tried arranging for more to be created but, with the nation’s current state, that’s likely not going to happen anytime soon.

Alaric Icon: Is this the route that the guild and Reilly want us to use?

Offucia Talking: Part of it, yes. Reilly plans for you to use the merchant’s path from Artiphron down into Sazanami’s territorial waters until this comes into your sights. She taps the map a few times on a landmark in the sea. This is the tower where Lugia resides; upon seeing it, Reilly plans to sail the ship west of the tower before sailing southwards towards the island. Doing so will increase your chances of sailing into friendly territory without the needless risk of danger.

Gawain Icon: I don’t suppose ya’ know anything about that frog’s route, huh?

Offucia Annoyed: But of course, what sort of Portmaster do you take me for?

Offucia Serious: Given his...roguish character and appearance, I have no doubts that he’d try to sail directly from Aether’s harbour so he can avoid coming into contact with any guards. From leaving Aether, he’d sail southwest towards Lugia’s Tower but, rather than sailing west past the tower and arriving at the southern coasts as Reilly plans to, he’ll sail east before the ship reaches the tower and shall attempt to dock further north, I assume somewhere around here. She taps the map on a hook-shaped bit of the island.

Alaric Talking: That doesn’t appear to be a particularly bad route to take.

Offucia Serious: No, but if one knows of the vortexes and maelstroms that cover that area of Sazanami’s Northern waters then…

Alaric Confused: Aah, I see… Why would he even consider that route?

Offucia Talking: Perhaps he believes he could guide a ship safely through the vortexes.

Gawain Annoyed: More like he’s bloody insane.

Offucia Icon: You may be onto something, Sir Gawain. Those waters are extremely dangerous to navigate and countless have lost their lives trying to cross the vortexes. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a trap of his.

Alaric Serious: He seemed sincere, but perhaps I read his intentions wrong… Oh well, it is of little matter now, he’s in jail as we speak so we’d need not worry about him roping anyone into his plan.

Alaric Happy: Thank you for explaining this route to us, Lady Offucia, and thank you again for letting us use your port.

Offucia Serious: I'm not letting you use it, you are using it, beyond my knowledge and control as far as I'm concerned.

Alaric Confused: … Right. Thank you all the same.


LATER…


The Artiphron harbour is quiet, nighttime falling like a blackened curtain over the country. Water laps softly against the soft pine of the pier, and sailboats bob up and down on the natural current, tied firmly to the dock with thick ropes. Alaric observes the serene scene from his room within the portmaster’s quarters before leaving to meet with the portmaster herself.

He finds her moments later, staring stonily at a portrait so faded that he could no longer make out the subject, yet the spectral jellyfish seemed to know every inch of the painted figure, tracing the lines with her gaze. Alaric clears his throat, and the portmaster turns reluctantly from the portrait to face him.

Offucia Talking: Your subjects have already left, gone this afternoon on two of my finest ships. Need to know anything else, King Alaric?

Alaric Embarrassed: Ah, no, not really… except… hmm, I don’t know how to put this.

Offucia Talking: Give it your best shot.

Alaric Serious: Very well. Where’s Pausanius?

Offucia Annoyed: … Where he should be.

Alaric Annoyed: And that is where? Pausanius is arguably my biggest ally, I at least deserve to know where he is, if not what he’s doing?

Offucia Serious: Shouldn’t you be worrying about other matters right now? Your focus lies in the current struggle your subjects sail towards - and if you are not ready to commit to that, then they are in more danger than I anticipated.

Alaric Shocked: Wh-what are you saying?

Offucia Serious: I am saying that this route Reilly has suggested has the most probable chance of them not getting caught, but that does not mean they will not get caught. In all actuality, I’d be surprised if they made it to Sazanami unnoticed…

Offucia Talking: Well, this is not my matter any longer, if they are caught, I shan't do a thing to help them, it’s not like I could have anyway.

Alaric Worried: I-!

Alaric Angry: GAWAIN! PREPARE OUR SHIP IMMEDIATELY!





Gaius Annoyed: Annnnnnd once again, I’m stuck back here whilst everyone else goes traipsing about getting themselves into trouble and having fun without me.

Gaius Disappointed: *sigh* I suppose it cannot be helped.

Gaius Icon: Citizens of Aether, in a shocking turn of events, I have been tasked to address you our current state while the King, Gawain, and Jackson are all off attending other matters.

Gaius Talking: As you all likely know by now, we have received a warning from Dracul that a war may break out in Avalon and thus we are setting out to stop it before it can begin.

Gaius Serious: The best way we can do this is to try to reunite Sazanami, but that is no easy task. The nation is hellbent on keeping all who are not currently inside the nation out and no doubt will arrest anyone trying to enter the nation.

Gaius Talking: Because of this, we must sneak onto the island if we are to help in any way. We have already made plans with the guild to meet up with the other members of the guild and the warlord of the area where the guild’s headquarters in Sazanami is, so you can expect to be safe once you arrive….

Gaius Confused: ...If you arrive…

Gaius Sad: Despite there being a safe haven waiting for you once you arrive, the trip over to Sazanami will be a difficult one. Not only is the trip itself four days and mentally taxing for those unused to seafaring, but there are many dangers along the way, especially once you get close to Sazanami and start running into patrols.

Gaius Disappointed: If you were to get caught, well, there wouldn’t be much we could do for you at that point. You’d need to get yourself out of prison or wait until we smoothed things over with the warlords.

Gaius Talking: As this is the case, you MUST take extra caution to ensure you are not seen and captured!

Gaius Serious: That being said, do not take that as “anything goes.” The ‘mons of Sazanami may be aggressive and may try to attack or hurt you, but you are not to kill anyone. We all feel horrible enough as it is that we have to sneak into the nation, so none of us will tolerate any of you killing a Sazanamese ‘mon in their own homeland during our time there!

Gaius Disappointed: *sigh* Well, with that out of the way, I suppose we should discuss how you all can get to Sazanami.

Gaius Icon: We deemed it best that everyone enter Sazanami by boat, since the distance is too far to fly or swim, and even if you could make such an impossible journey, you’d be alone without allies to help you if you needed it, so you’ll need to get onto a ship that is leaving from Sazanami in order to get there.

Gaius Talking: There are two boats heading to Sazanami that you can take; one would be with Reilly, the kind, young Keldeo boy from the guild that will be helping us, and the other being with Yori, the Lombre who helped us enter Sazanami the last time we, uh, smuggled ourselves into the island.

Gaius Confused: It’s a little unnerving just how often we’re sneaking into other nations...

Gaius Talking: Aah, but back on topic: your choice of route will differ depending on whose ship you choose to take to Sazanami. I believe Reilly wanted to land somewhere on the far south of the island in a sakura tree forest and that Yori wanted to land in the harbour we used the last time we snuck into Sazanami. You’d have to ask them for more details, but if either of those interest you, you should meet with them in the Artiphron harbour and I’m sure they will tell you more about their specific routes.

Gaius Sad: ...

Gaius Confused: Oh, why am I even mentioning this?

Gaius Worried: Aah, when I said earlier that there were two boats headed to Sazanami… I wasn’t lying, per say, but I did, uh, leave out another option that has yet to present itself.

Gaius Disappointed: Some of you may have heard of the Toxicroak, Bon, that has been under arrest since the Wedding’s ball. Well, he voiced his intention to enter Sazanami as well through his own route.

Gaius Sad: We didn’t think much of it at the time, both because we did not trust him and because he was our prisoner, but… well, let’s just say that there’s another empty cell in the castle’s prison.

Gaius Annoyed: Though, at least this time we know how he was...spirited away.

Gaius Serious: Ah, but that is besides the point, what I’m trying to say is that he might try to convince you to take his route to Sazanami with him. Although he claimed it was reliable and he could direct everyone through it, we still do not know if we can trust Bon; moreover, the route he chose is practically dangerous, so I’d be wary if you do choose to go with him over the other two.

Gaius Talking: Well, that’s all I can I say, it’s up to you to choose your path to Sazanami.

Bon's Path

Yori's Path

Reilly's Path


Gaius Angry: Once again, there should be no killing during this mission. The king himself said he’d punish anyone who did once you meet up with him and Gawain.

Gaius Talking: Other than that, I wish you all smooth sailing, I hear it can be rough out there on the open seas.

Gaius Icon: Good luck, everyone.


MISSION OBJECTIVE:Edit

Make your way to Sazanami by boat. You have three paths you can choose from to get to Sazanami: either with Bon, with Yori, or with Reilly. You can only choose one route and the choice you make will affect how the next part of the mission will got for you, so think carefully on who you trust to get you to Sazanami unnoticed. Also, you will be unable to switch your path once you’ve made it, so again, choose wisely.

A map detailing each route and information about various landmarks (or water-marks as the case might be) will be provided in each of the different route journals, so be sure to check those out.


PART 1 DUE: June 28th, 5:59pm EST.


This part of the mission is set to end in two weeks, but this is only the first part of the mission and, as with all multi-part missions, your entries for all parts of the mission can be turned in at the due date of the last part so don’t get too worried about that short time limit.

That being said, part 1 of this mission is special in that after the time for part 1 is over, two of the routes will no longer be available for use for those members who started part 1 after its due date passed, all the more reason for you all to think carefully about the path you choose to take.


Mission 9 Rewards:Edit

Members who helped defend Ness from the assassins may receive this badge from Ness as a show of what we are calling gratitude for assisting him (really though, you’re only getting it because Tara told him to reward you). This can be worn by characters but do make sure to add it to your Special Item Chest even if you do choose have your character wear it!
Ness Badge Display


Members who helped Bran attack Ness may receive this badge from Bran as a show of what we are calling gratitude for assisting him - even if it wasn’t ultimately successful - same as above, this can be worn but make sure you add it to your Special Items Chest as well!
Bran Badge Display


Stay tuned for what comes next!

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