From The Ashes: The Rebirth Of Jeuno

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From The Ashes: The Rebirth of Jeuno
 Bismarck.Nevill
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By Bismarck.Nevill 2012-03-13 10:13:07
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This is turning out quite nicely.
 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-03-14 10:24:37
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The Windurstian Renaissance
The Rise of Nationalism


From her arrival on the fourth month of 2UE until two months shy of 5UE Alyria waged a back-alley war on every establishment she could in Windurst. With the assistance of Nanaa Mihgo--a famous burglar that was particularly skilled in the evasion of and combat against law enforcement--and a rapidly growing amount of citizens, Alyria took over each guild establishment and school in Windurst.

Some of these takeovers, like the cooking guild, had used quick and destructive forces to literally demolish the guild. For two weeks after the guild had been leveled, Alyria had people camping out in the area at all times in order to prevent anyone from touching anything. In her journal she states that while she had already secured the materials needed to proceed in her plans that she wanted the city to fester and get angry over it.

Two weeks after the destruction of the cooking guild, Alyria and her supporters had kidnapped two native Windurst born Carpenters from San d'Oria's guild--ironically, a deed that which saved their lives--and forced them to design and oversee the creation of a cooking guild and school that could house a hundred chefs and twice as many students at any given time. The building was more like an entire complex devoted to the glorification that was cooking.

It took nearly six months to construct the new cooking guild. By the end of it's construction the law enforcement of Windurst had stopped trying to shut down this illegal operation. As the people of Windurst saw what a wonder Alyria had forced into creation they began to remember what it was that made Windurst great: knowledge, not comfort; magic for research, not parlor tricks for convenience; hard work for greatness, and not to simply live off the successes of the previous generations.

It was of no surprise that four weeks after the cooking guild had opened--with no tuition cost for students, complete with dormitories--that eight members from the bonecrafting guild came to humbly beg Alyria to help them remember greatness.

This pattern repeated, and by 4UE Windurst had housed a guild for every craft built with free materials freely acquired by other workers, achieved by an unpaid labor force, eating free food from the cooking guild, which paid nothing for its ingredients.

The money, it was rationed, was a distraction from the greater good. Alyria's force of citizens behind her included every single Mithra and almost half the Tarutaru. It took less than three years for Alyria to remind the people of Windurst just how powerful and infectious it was to build your own home with your own hands, with help from a great people.

When the final guild and school had been built, Alyria ordered a massive bonfire celebration to be had, and all of Windurst was invited. It is said that in that celebration, not a single person in Windurst did not attend, although stories tend to exaggerate.
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-03-24 15:01:48
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The Windurstian Renaissance
The Great Awakening


They danced. They danced as they had not danced for years. The elders say that had not seen such dancing since the end of the Great War.

They danced and danced until they tired out, where they would feast on great roasted mutton and dhalmel until they fell asleep--equally alone and together, or as many. The youth fell in love, the middle aged remembered their pride, and the elders began to believe in the future again.

This great bonfire Alyria called for lasted for seven days. People told stories that hadn't been told in ages. Even the children, not fully aware of the significance of Windurst gathering together once again in such a way, were taken by this great celebration.

And still, beyond all else, they danced.

It was on the seventh night that the crowd was stifled by a single, particularly fragile, young Tarutaru woman who felt so strongly for what she had to say that she sang it clear and loud.


How many nights?
How many nights
Have the stars shined dim?
How many nights
Since you left?

As children we looked to you,
And then came the day you left,
You left us to the darkened stars,
For we had known too much.

We stepped into the realms of gods
Just for a moment, just for a night,
But who knew the price we would pay?
And even then, such a price, so steep
That you took the stars from us,
The price we never knew we paid
Could not cripple us forever.

You tried to stop us,
Tried to cut us off,
Tried to end our divination,
Tried to blot the stars to the cold,
But we do not need to feed forever
From the breasts of our Goddesse.

Who knew the strength we had?
Who knew? Did you know
When you swept the light from us
That it mattered so little?

That all the strength we need,
We did not need the stars to have?
For since the first time,
The first time we brought you forth,
There have been no stars to divine,
The stars will speak to no one.

The stars speak to no Sibyl,
I have lied to all of you,
Until you could be strong again.

So hear you stand, stronger than ever,
With no need for stars to guide you.
Oh, my fellow brethren,
Windurst is yours, forever.
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 Bismarck.Helel
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By Bismarck.Helel 2012-03-24 15:22:02
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Semi-colons separate two clauses, not one clause and an incomplete one. It's a very common error, but one that can really hurt you as a writer.

Using a semi-colon in a list is appropriate if you are separating a list within a list, but that's not what you're doing either. Change the semi-colons to commas and get rid of the commas entirely. You can replace the commas with "and."
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By Shiva.Galbir 2012-03-24 19:07:16
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Critique is fine in fact it's great. The thing is you could have done it in a less condescending way by sending him a pm instead of berating him in public. That was a bit much and quite rude.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-03-24 20:51:48
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Bismarck.Helel said: »
Semi-colons separate two clauses, not one clause and an incomplete one. It's a very common error, but one that can really hurt you as a writer.

Using a semi-colon in a list is appropriate if you are separating a list within a list, but that's not what you're doing either. Change the semi-colons to commas and get rid of the commas entirely. You can replace the commas with "and."

Thank you. I will definitely keep this in mind. To be blunt, a shitty public school education from a poor area meant I barely learned my own language and instead learned *** in an English class for 13 or whatnot years.

Shiva.Galbir said: »
Critique is fine in fact it's great. The thing is you could have done it in a less condescending way by sending him a pm instead of berating him in public. That was a bit much and quite rude.

Thank you, too.
 Quetzalcoatl.Mitosis
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By Quetzalcoatl.Mitosis 2012-03-24 20:52:33
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Once again, looked at this thread just to see your avi
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-03-24 20:53:12
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For ***'s sake Mito, change your avatar. I can't afford sushi at the moment :P
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 Quetzalcoatl.Mitosis
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By Quetzalcoatl.Mitosis 2012-03-24 20:54:24
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Quetzalcoatl.Xueye said: »
For ***'s sake Mito, change your avatar. I can't afford sushi at the moment :P
If you ever find yourself in Baltimore, hit me up, I'll tell you the place I got that plate at.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-03-24 20:58:25
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Quetzalcoatl.Mitosis said: »
Quetzalcoatl.Xueye said: »
For ***'s sake Mito, change your avatar. I can't afford sushi at the moment :P
If you ever find yourself in Baltimore, hit me up, I'll tell you the place I got that plate at.

Eh, 200miles for sushi aint that bad.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Mitosis 2012-03-24 21:01:18
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Quetzalcoatl.Xueye said: »
Quetzalcoatl.Mitosis said: »
Quetzalcoatl.Xueye said: »
For ***'s sake Mito, change your avatar. I can't afford sushi at the moment :P
If you ever find yourself in Baltimore, hit me up, I'll tell you the place I got that plate at.

Eh, 200miles for sushi aint that bad.
TOTALLY worth it!~
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-04-01 11:39:27
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Bridge

By working through the Shadows with the hero Alyria, Star Sibyl Miratete had pit her own people against each other and rekindled her nation. As she stepped down from her position as Star Sibyl, ending it for what may very well be forever, Miratete had called for the academic centers of Windurst to be born again as the guilds had been reborn, and for no knowledge to be forbidden.

Windurst entered a rebirth period that remains in motion to this very day, as my pen hits this paper. Just some weeks ago, emissaries from Windurst had successfully discovered a new branch of alchemic rules that stem from the position of the planet's plates.

But the pitting of citizen against citizen does not always work out, particularly when the intentions are not so noble.

The nation of San d'Oria, once noble and grand, was grinding itself to a fiery end as Bastok and Windurst reached for their stars. It is true, San d'Oria had regained itself much faster than Bastok or Windurst. Within two years it was barely noticeable that San d'Oria had ever been attacked.

To best set this scene, I have heard that the sage Caiyuo had once proclaimed: "The currency of Windurst had become your spirit, the currency of Bastok had become your work ethic, and the currency of San d'Oria had been your life's blood."
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-04-01 11:57:10
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
Prince Pieuje addresses the people of San d'Oria, 2/15/01


Has there ever been such a time, befallen of such tragedy as this? Look how we have tried to get back on our standing, but still, our enemies strike as we are our weakest. My wounds have started to heal, but the weakened Prince Trion may not survive; Princess Claidie breathes no longer. Now we stand, San d'Oria divided between two rival brothers.

What would King Triton say if he still had breathe and vigor? What would my father do?

I ask myself that more and more each day: how can I deal with this insurmountable weight?

I have prayed each day and each night until, on the fifth day of mourning as I prayed in front of my sister's tomb, I saw a great shining light decide from the stars. Altana herself had sent a message to me, a message I stand here to relay to you!

Strike the enemies down who defile your holy nation!

Though my brother and I have always been at odds, it is time for the blessed to turn their swords from each other and to take it to our enemy! San d'Oria will not stand idly by while the godless Orcs continue to destroy us!

San d'Oria will not stand by and let the impure defile us! No, we are warriors of Altana, and we shall spread her glory until none remain impure!
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 Bismarck.Nevill
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By Bismarck.Nevill 2012-04-15 16:31:46
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Bump. As always Sect, really enjoying the rebuilding of the nations.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-04-16 21:49:06
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I apologize for lack of updates. Pre-final final exams, then finals going on. Once I finish this calc final I should be in the clear to write this full through over the course of the next few weeks.

As always, I very much appreciate the support, praise, and understanding that you guys give me (in posts, or in PMs).

I'll try and post more soon before finals and such.
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-04-17 13:07:17
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
The Diary of Caiyuo, 5/18/07


Slowly but surely I feel the caustic grasp of age on my bones. I am not so young as I used to be, nor am I so spry or quick to thought. But still, this is no excuse.

I have watched San d'Oria for these seven years now, and I have noticed the strangest of things. For a time there was utter peace between us and those around us. The words of our nobles inspired us to work together, to rebuild our broken line.

First they repaired the churches and built twice as many. Then it was the stables, the blacksmiths, the barracks.

Then they came for the youth. Prince Trion, blind from Sectumsempra's own hands now also showing signs of age at this point, was still a commanding force. I was there, unnoticed in the crowds, as he gave his speech stating that all men age ten to forty were to be conscripted and trained.

That was three years ago. This great country is being militarized at an alarming rate, but the nationalism of Prince Trion and the holy writ of Prince Pieuje has made the change seem natural.

I have never forgotten a single death I have seen. From my time fighting the Turned, I remember each and every time my blade, the murasame, felled a foe once more. I have never forgotten the shrieks of those I could not save.

Two years ago I was once again hidden in the crowds. Now with salt and pepper hair and worse for the wear, I can pass by unnoticed in the crowds of midday. Two years ago in such crowds I passed by a brutal execution of an Elvaan who was found guilty for the high crime of treason.

His treason was having had the audacity to suggest that San d'Oria was preparing for a war and he wanted no part in it.

It is curious to watch a hanging. I stood there, transfixed until his body stopped twitching.

I will never forget his face. He could not have been more than twenty years of age. It haunted me forever.

In times that I am haunted I go to the diary of Sectumsempra, for if ever there was a haunted fellow it was him. He had faced many things that haunted him, and he was just a boy. How I miss him...

Not a day goes by I do not find myself stopping for a moment, wishing his life ended up differently.

I meet with his widow regularly. Despite many wise, rich, and powerful suitors she has refused to marry again, I commend her on her faithfulness to her first lover that she only knew for a short time.

Over tea one day last spring I told her these things I was witnessing. Truth be told, they did scare me, and though she was barely half my age she was a wise leader who had seen much. She had told me that it was very likely that the hanged boy had been telling the truth. She had warned me to keep my eyes open and to flee to her lands if I ever suspected myself in danger.

Each day I fear more and more that I will have to take her up on that offer. This very diary is grounds enough to have me hanged.

Today the Princes announced that they had uncovered an orcish plot to assault San d'Oria. Their great army was mobilized instantly and will march at dawn.

It is with this that I take off once more. I do admit, my armor fits looser now that my muscles have diminished and I am frailer, and it is heavier than I recall, and that I may die tonight, but I am ready.

I can no longer carry the large murasame I used to. Now I must carry these two wakizashi and hope that they will offer me enough protection. I head to Davoi to see with my own eyes if they are waiting there to assault.

It would not be the first time I meet with Orcs. I have been playing this game for far too long now. Twice already I had to warn them that war mongering was beginning. I am now a friend of Overlord Bakgodek, one that I will not hesitate to kill or save.

So I leave now, leave behind a wife that doesn't know my real name, a son who may find out that I am in fact the hero that his military trainers talk about, and a daughter that is not yet born.

And still, if I die these days, I know that it will not have been for naught. Is there any death easier than that?
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-04-19 08:18:37
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
The Pride of Elvaan


From later entries in Caiyuo's diary and a number of interviews with the remaining family members of the Davoi Massacre, I have been able to piece together the events that occurred in the days after Caiyuo fled San d'Oria.

So far as linguists can tell, the phrase "Death rides on the heels of a white horse" was first uttered as Caiyuo approached Davoi on a peculiar albino Chocobo. He had been known for some time now as a harbinger of death, and so as he crossed the gates to Davoi the guards began to lockdown all entrances of their fortress and began to boil oil and prepare other various defenses.

Caiyuo was ushered into the Monastic Cavern by a group of guards. Overlord Bagkodek was roused, and upon seeing Caiyuo they say his weary face turned to panic for the first time in history. Caiyuo says in his diary that Bagkodek must have already been suspecting something, as his only question was "How long have we to flee?"

They say that before their very eyes Caiyuo aged another ten years as he uttered, "They approach now with the fire of war."

Not more than a minute after he uttered those words the alarm was sounded, and Davoi began its evacuation. Apparently the Orcs had known that San d'Oria was brewing war and had prepared this.

The Orcs took to tunnels they had finished construction some five years prior after the forced abandonment of Ghelsba. The tunnels would take them underneath Jugner and into Ordelle's Cave, where they would disburse and flee to the various entrances. Some Orcs would head to the Quadavs, some to the Yagudo, and some to Delkfutt. Where the races of Altana had done little to work towards unity, the Beastmen were but steps away from having a unified set of nations for the first time since The Crystal War.

His message thus received, Caiyuo fled from Davoi to return home.

It was on his return that he was allowed to see how his own meddling caused the death of a good many of the Orcs. The San d'Orian army was not a matter of hours behind him, as he thought, but nearly a day behind. As the first group of Orcs climbed out of Ordelle's Caves, they had the misfortune of a San d'Orian scout seeing them. Had Caiyuo been two hours earlier or two hours later, this would never have occurred.

Instead, the scout fled back to the army to alert them of the Orcish presence in the area.

I will spare the gruesome details of how unarmed civilians in caves are quite easily slaughtered by armed militants. The Orcs stood no chance, and a great many of them were lost that day. The current estimates are that barely an eighth of the Orcs that fled from Davoi survived and made it to Beadeaux.

Caiyuo had no idea that any of this had occurred, as he had made straight for San d'Oria on the completion of his business with the Orcs. He slept soundly for some nights before San d'oria's army marched back into the city with the head of Bagkodek being carried on a pike and put on display for all to see.

The warlike San d'Oria was indeed great once more: great at slaughtering in the name of paranoia and Altana.
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-04-27 11:00:46
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
An intercepted letter from Caiyuo to Anoki


My friend in the underground,

The movement has been discovered, but they still know not the people in it.

Flee, flee while you still can. Take each and every Hume, Taru, Mithra, Galka you find in Bastok. Do not leave all at once.

My sources tell me they will purge you all in the coming week. I pray my correspondents may get you this message in time.

I have secured us safe passage to sanctuary. Meet me in our sandy stowaway. I ride to you with the wind on my side, but I fear it will not be enough.

Your friend in the underground.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-06-08 10:38:01
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
The Purge


There are many unfortunate moments in history. There have been a great many moments where one awful mistake turns the tides of a nation, where it redefines how the world views that nation.

The Purge of San d'Oria was precisely one of those moments. Days before Caiyuo had sent his letter the Prince Pieuje had decreed that there was a plot to raze the city being planned by a group of anarchists. Decrees of this kind had become rather common during this time, with new threats being announced often twice a week or more. It created a monopoly on fear and a great sense of nationalism as dissenters were hung, as reports of San d'Orian legions that were never heard of before --or, often, ever again-- defeating a horde of foes that could have ended the city were told at all hours of the day.

While outsiders--merchants, mostly--knew these stories to be false, they stopped speaking out after two Tarutaru had been burned at the stake for revealing that there had been no such battle against Windurst, a nation as peaceful as ever.

But beyond politics, it was the growing grips of the San d'Orian Church that allowed for the citizens to become totally ensnared and willing cogs in the military machine that their nation had become.

Each day, every citizen attended at least one Church service. In them, fire and brimstone sermons were given. After the sermons, a priest would read a passage that they claim they had just translated in the archives below the monastery. These passages most often detailed heroics in battle, stories of Elvaans being chosen by Altana to populate Vana'diel as her chosen people, and obedience to Altana above all things.

Day by day it began to be embedded into San d'Orians that they carried a heavy burden being the chosen people and that they would be forever under attack. Their enemies? They were to be cut down, swiftly and mercilessly, to further spread their light across Vana'diel.

Those who questioned the Church were often found to be witches and burned at the stake or tried for treason. The lines between the Church and the Monarchy were blurring very rapidly. By the time Caiyuo had sent his warning letter, they were almost fully integrated. Prince Pieuje had become the head of the Church and shared the throne. His brother, Prince Trion, had also taken a high position in the Church.

Rumors had been spread -- quite expertly by the San d'Orian propaganda machine that had been created -- that Prince Trion could turn the tide of the battle with a prayer. They say that he and his brother were the chosen ones to begin the greatest kingdom there ever would be. One that would be so grand that Altana herself would reveal herself to usher in a new era.

With all this in mind, it was the half Elvaan, half human son of the merchant Anoki that had set the Purge in motion. While trying to rekindle the house's fireplace some two weeks prior to Caiyuo's dire warning letter he had discovered a half burned letter detailing something of a "journey for freedom", a "mission to rouse the nation", and "the game that must be played in shadows". He had immediately taken it in secret to the Royal Guards, and Prince Pieuje himself had taken it and analyzed it with glee.

The Prince assured the son of Anoki that he had done a great service and that there was nothing to worry about.

Anoki was secretly placed under observation. Trying to force a hand and constantly suspicious that they were betrayed from within, Prince Pieuje held a meeting where he had proclaimed he had honed in on the threat and would purge it within the week.

When Caiyuo had been told there would be some sort of purge -- this one just a rumor, of course, to see if the Prince had a traitor in his midst -- he began to initiate their retreat plan. He quickly drafted the cryptic letter explaining to Anoki, his second in command, that he had reason to believe they had been found out and that he would be securing their safe passage. As he fled the city with his family that night -- claiming that he had received word his brother was ill and dying -- he had sent this letter through his web of correspondents.

Before it had reached Anoki, it had been intercepted by the Royal Guard and used as proof that he was the head of an insurrection. He was taken into custody and tortured for eight days before he finally succumbed to death, having never spoken a single word of The Underground.

Prince Pieuje took great advantage to this and fabricated a story, as he often did now. He claimed that the Underground was a network of non-Elvaan residents of San d'Oria and their sympathizers that intended to light the city on fire during next festival devoted to the worship of Altana.

A brilliant plan: strengthen the fear on both fronts and claim that both Altana and San d'Oria were under siege from the outsiders.

Once again, Caiyuo had unknowingly taken part in a massacre.

Two days after Anoki had died, a massive sweep done by the Royal Guard had detained nearly a thousand non-Elvaan residents and their sympathizers and executed them all. Prince Pieuje had come up with lists of their supposed crimes and plots.

At the end of all this, he claimed that these people were all working as agents from the other countries and that it was time to go to War, for Altana and San d'Oria.
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-06-15 20:19:00
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
The War They Prayed For


It did not take long for word of The Purge to spread. When Caiyuo had seen that none of his people had met him at their escape location he quickly fled back to San d'Oria and saw that they were starting a war. He learned of the Purge.

He stated in his diary that for a brief moment he had contemplated suicide, as he had so many times at that point in his life, but that for the first time in his life he felt an urge for vengeance:

For the first time, I understand what it was that the boy felt when he craved 'to feed'. As I stood there, the guard that had spotted me now dead at my feet -- truly, I should say he was destroyed, not killed: nay I say again, he had been massacred. In my rage, I had not slit his throat as I usually do or punctured his heart: no, I ripped his chest open and ripped his heart out. How liberating it was to destroy him in my rage! In some way, in that moment, for Anoki and my friends in the underground I had reclaimed one iota of their dignity! It was in that moment I knew what I wanted to do more than any, and I would refuse to die until I saw to it: I would see the Princes of San d'Oria dead, by my very hands.

It was in that moment that I felt the strength of youth return, though now it was the strength of rage. I was again able to walk in my armor. Once again my great katana felt at home in my hands. It was time to bring the war to San d'Oria.

On that evening, Caiyuo burned down a guard tower as he fled on his pale chocobo, much like his dear old friend. For the next several months he read the old diary of Sectumsempra over and over and mimiced his strategies, his plans, his attacks. They say that for a time, so consumed with rage had he been that he had lost part of his mind to delirium.

Some would say that it is a blessing that Caiyuo had become so bloodthirsty, for his rage fueled him to lead an army with risky and terrifying tactics that would break the spirit of war before it led to a genocide.

Though enraged and thirsty for blood, Caiyuo fled to Bastok first to warn Cid Highwind in hopes that technological superiority could help any soldiers he could muster.

It was of great fortune that Cid had spent the better part of the prior two years tinkering with the exoskeleton he had worn during The Plague to see if it could be put to better use for industrial manufacturing.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-08-25 12:11:20
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
The Drums of War

They marched and marched, then marched ever more. The sound of an army echoed through the endless canyons of Tahrongi.

The Rarab Troupe of the Royal Templars -- as the combined armies were now called -- were rapidly approaching Windurst to aid their brothers in their mission to besiege Windurst and take over their capital. Word had it that they would be the final wave that would crash against the Walls of Windurst and finally break through. Morale was high.

As dusk approached they set up a brief camp. Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow they would meet their goals. How glorious it would be: they would finally crash against Windurst and drown the heretics that dare attack San d'Oria.

Dreams of fame and glory, however, often lead to an awful case of tunnel vision. In their hubris the army had slacked on scouting. If they had not, perhaps they would have realized that they were being watched and followed.

It had been four months since San d'Oria had declared war and Caiyuo had made it his personal mission to kill the Princes. He had his own group of loyal men and women now of all races fighting with him. Until he could kill the Princes, he had decided, it would be his life's duty to stop as much of their army as humanly possible.

Usually, these things ended in blood. This night, he had decided, would be no different.

There was a tent pitched where the higher ranking officers discussed their battle tactics. Hubris has its price. San d'Orian officers had become so proud and so narrowminded that they ignored the thought that placing their leadership in ostentatious tents would allow for them all to be attacked at once. It is pride that comes before the fall, as they say.

Caiyuo and ten of his closest warriors came to the tent late in the evening, dressed in uniforms they had received from soldiers that had defected. Such is how they came: filthy, ragged, bloodied, and looking as though they had fled.

As he approached the tent, he called out: "Hail Rarab Troupe, we come from the Adamantoise Troupe in need and with news from the front!"

Such a hussel it had caused! In hearing their brethren were in need at least two dozen soldiers had roused and two officers came out of their tent to usher them inside. They say that there were more than twenty officers in this one tent, huddled over maps and plans.

After Caiyuo and his men had been given water and rations, Caiyuo began to explain. He went over to a map and pointed out several structures in East Sarutabaruta.

"They have found a way to exit the city through these structures and flanked us on four ends. They ordered my unit of fifty men to break through the lines to warn you they will do the same to you. What you see here, us eleven... we are all that made it."

He paused and forced his eyes to look distant for a moment.

"So it is. We were given this cypher to deliver the new plans to you," he continued, unraveling a scroll of jumbled letters and holding it up. "Do any of you know how to decipher it?"

In truth, Caiyuo had a San d'Orian army cryptographer as one of his defectors. A little bit of faking it went a long way to making it, he would later say.

One of the officers took out a scroll of his own and began to decode it.

"They say that we should detour to Mhaura and besiege a ship so that we may come on the Southern seaboard of Windurst and break through their port and assault from within."

It was a dangerous sounding plan, and it was met with cheers all around. What valor! What daring and boldness they would show!

Caiyuo would later recall he had trouble laughing, for he knew these men cheered their own death.
 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-08-25 12:50:42
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
The Roar of War

The officers decided to waste no time. They would march until morning and rest on the ships, as Caiyuo had suspected. The camp was quite quickly packed up and they began to march at double speed towards the Buburimu Peninsula, Caiyuo and his men with them.

Caiyuo had to resist giving into the ticks he had developed -- his urge to laugh was almost uncontrollable, as he knew what they marched to.

In the years following the end of the Great Plague many of those in Sectumsempra's unit had taken to hiding, though they spoke amongst themselves from time to time. One of them in particular had disappeared for nearly four years: Stikle, the beast master.

Caiyuo had kept close in contact with Selim, whom had become known as a shadowy underground figure known simply as The Grim. They say he was somewhat of a treasure hunter in those days and had created a golden, poisoned dagger that left him unrivaled in skill and armament. Caiyuo wrote in his diary once that Selim was the man he went to when he needed something found.

When the war had first started, Caiyuo had Selim find Stikle. He may need a mounted division at some point, he had decided, and who better than the man who mounted the most ferocious beast in Vana'diel?

Selim had found Stikle and had tried to convince him to join the cause of stopping San d'Oria. Stikle, living in the jungle of Yhoator those days, refused. He had seen enough bloodshed, he would be a part of no more. His world was in helping life move on where he traveled.

They say that Selim left him in respect, but had told him in parting: "I shall find a way then to stop our nations from dying as your crawlers and ravens had died. May you find your own peace, as the wisest of us then."

Selim stayed in the town of Kazham for two days time, wondering what he ought do from then. He was not surprised when Stikle had entered the town to find him.

"There is a kind of beast that would kill any man. A beast I could not tame alone. I will not harm the behemoths again: now that they know peace with our kind and would not kill us, I cannot let them see harm. But this beast... this beast, he would kill any of us, and has killed many of us. But if we can tame it, if he can fight with us as the Kaiser and his kind had fought along us, perhaps he can come to know peace with us. But I cannot do it alone."

Caiyuo thought back to all of these things as the Rarab Troupe marched to Mhaura. As they saw Mhaura, the morning light breaking through, there came a roar that had not been hard by any man who lived to tell of it in hundreds of years.

The army froze, nearly all at once, as a second great rumbling roar came from near Mhaura. This one was so loud that the troops had to fall to the ground and cover their ears and scream in terror.

Caiyuo, alone, stood tall and smiled. He raised his hands into the air, the signal that his two old friends had been awaiting.

As he did so, two more howling roars came and the ground began to shake, the wind began to blow so fiercely, and a fire could be seen.

The greatest of all beasts, the Fafnir and his father the Nidhogg, revealed themselves from their hiding spot in the mountains surrounding Mhaura.

As they took to the air, one could just barely see Selim standing on the back of the Fafnir, clutching his neck with no fear.

Stikle, truly now to be known as the greatest beastmaster there ever was and would be, rode on the head of the great Nidhogg, seated on his crown of horns.

A bloodier massacre could hardly be imagined.
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By Shiva.Hasiano 2012-08-26 22:39:59
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awesome stuff so far, but we want

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By Cerberus.Dizzmal 2012-08-31 00:18:47
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Bump! Man I love these stories!
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-09-06 20:41:08
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
Cloaks, Daggers, and Death


Two weeks had passed since a tamed pair of dragons began to turn the tides of war. In that time, Caiyuo had become the prime public enemy of San d'Oria. As the leader of the only organized forces against the San d'Orian Royal Templars it was imperative that he be captured and tortured, and his army slaughtered for the glory of Altana.

As Caiyuo wrote in his own journal on the very subject: It is fortunate that mad men wear their hearts upon their sleeves: with such, it becomes easy to play on their fears and desires.

His entire plan rested on the hatred brewed for him, and the fact that the Princes wanted him alive so they could hear the life leave him in the throws of screaming torment.

He had formed the risky plan with Cid Highwind and the (now retired) Star Sibyl Miratete and several mages.

There was a way, Cid had proclaimed, to modify Linkpearls to see and project images if they had powerful mages focused on the particular magical channels constantly. Such was why Miratete had been summoned for their help.

The plan was simple: Caiyuo would let himself be taken and in the process would draw the Prince's out of hiding. A hundred man army of Bastok's finest (equipped with modified copies of the very exoskeleton Cid had engineered) would be waiting in the now abandoned Ghelsba Outpost with those most familiar: the last Orcish Warriors left alive.

Within moments of Caiyuo attaining visual of the Princes a brigade of mages led by Professor Shantotto would break the walls of San d'Oria and the allied forces of Humes and Orcs would siege the city. A select group led by Wolfgang himself -- who would not kill, but was happy to rescue Caiyuo and help restrain the Princes -- would go to Caiyuo's last known location to try and disassemble the San d'Orian leadership.

If the plan fell apart, the orders were to raze the city to the ground and fight until one side was demolished. The Dragon Lords (such were what Stikle and Selim were now known as) were holding the lines back to protect Windurst but would abandon the post to destroy San d'Oria as an utter last resort.

Caiyuo had allowed himself to be caught in Mhaura and found himself whisked to San d'Oria with his head in a sack. He was serene.

Everything was going according to plan. A plan where he intended on leaving as the victor, or not at all.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-09-06 20:41:20
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Almost just lost that in a network outage. That was close.
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-09-06 21:15:11
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
Undeath


Caiyuo knew his land well. He knew he had been dragged through North San d'Oria, and with his head in the sack still he whispered it. The Linkpearl embedded in his harshly pointed ears had such great magic being channeled through it that it would pick up the faintest whispers and could see in even faint light.

And he knew he was being dragged into the Chateau, and then he knew he was in the dungeons. It was all according to plan.

He had expected a cell, but instead had been pleasantly surprised when they took him through the sewers below San d'Oria. Of all things, the sewers! He would later recount that his heart leapt for joy: it would be trivial to blow through the sewer gratings on the westward sides of the city and storm through the sewers.

The sack was not removed from his head until he had been shackled to a chair in the center of the sewers. It was then that he looked around and saw, to his delight, several distinguished members of the Royal Templars.

But where were the Princes?

The interrogation and torture started without the Princes, and so he waited. He waited and endured his jaw breaking. He waited and endured for three days as he his hands were drilled into, as he tied and stretched with pulleys and chains. He waited and endured as they tried drowning him until he would speak. He held strong as his fingernails were removed and hot irons had branded him. He waited.

And he endured.

On the third day he had been moved to a part of the sewers, a part that was unfamiliar to him, where there were several cells surrounding him. He could hear moans and could smell fetid, decaying flesh. It was there that he finally saw the Princes.

He was pulled by chains. Though he endured, he was quite weak from the ordeal.

Something was very wrong, he knew. Those moans... that smell...

"They tell us that you will not entertain their plan, oh bravest warrior," the Prince Trion had said, his voice dripping with haughty sarcasm.

There was a feral roar as a body hit the face of one of the cages and for the first time in several years, Caiyuo had seen one of the Turned.

"We keep them here, you know. They are, after all, the greatest weapon we have ever had," the Prince Pieuje said. He spoke idly, as though it were a trifling matter.

"They say torture ill effect, but someone so noble as you would surely not let himself become a Turned that would spread his disease to tens, hundreds, perhaps a thousand of those he thinks so innocent," the Prince Pieuje had continued.

"Perhaps it is time to bring our plans to haste and use them early. How wonderful it would be to show the world how a dissenter of San d'Oria was using these creatures to infect his motherland! And how the cities of Bastok and Windurst will fall when the Turned start again," the Prince Trion said. "Look how history will remember you, Caiyuo. But we will know, oh we will know the part you played as a pawn to your Princes."

"Indeed," his brother agreed. "The greatest enemy of San d'Oria will have failed to use his greatest weapon, and instead destroyed the two lands helping him. And now, the Elvaans, not a foolish Hume Boy, will be the ones to restore the land. As it should be. What will you do now, great Caiyuo?" The prince Pieuje spat in Caiyuo's face at that as he laughed.

Caiyuo could not speak much with his face bruised and broken, but he managed to give one haunting chuckle.

And then another, and another, until he was cackling like a boy he used to know.

"I am going to kill you," he said, the words slurring out. "I am going to do what a far nobler boy would not do."

The princes simply laughed as they walked off down the sewers. The guards that had dragged Caiyuo there had tossed him to the ground.

"We will see if the Turned eat you for sustenance or make you their brother. Goodbye, Caiyuo; the most horrific pest we have ever smashed," Prince Trion had called back.

Caiyuo held no fear. He knew he was not strong enough to be Turned. He hoped with all his heart that the communication channel had shown his allies enough to give them an upper hand and hoped that Selim and Stikle had been summoned. There were Turned here, and so the city must burn.

As the cell gates slowly rose to release the Turned, Caiyuo closed his eyes and waited for his death.
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-09-06 21:59:25
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
Twelve Minutes


Sometimes, all you need is a hint of luck, a ghost of a chance, and twelve minutes.

Cid Highwind had not been a normally fortunate man. He had made his success on effort and hard work, yet for the first time in a great many years he would recount that he had fortune on his side.

As the forces of Bastok waited to be mobilized, he saw some soldiers with a curious Aht Urhgan trinket that was known as a Soultrapper. It recorded images for one to see them again later as they pleased.

He had learned that a great many of his soldiers had these trinkets and they were taking pictures for their families to remember them by if they would fall, to remember their friends if they fell, and to try and pass the time lightly before their march to death.

For reasons he could not fully imagine, Cid Highwind found himself fascinated by these trinkets. When he had found one that could take short burts of video, he held onto it. He knew, somehow, this would help.

When the Princes were finally located he immediately flicked his Soultrapper on and began to record. At this point soldiers had taken their positions, ready to swarm the sewers.

Upon learning of the Turned, Cid had very nearly panicked. He sent Wolfgang and his squadron to move: they blew the sewer gratings and began to march towards Caiyuo's assumed location.

And still, Cid recorded. This could be the one hope of a very nearly bloodless end to this war.

When the Princes departed Cid immediately took several of the mages and took to the city to issue a formal surrender. He had a new plan.

The Princes were about to address their people to tell them of the Caiyuo's plot and how they had narrowly escaped death, and how the Turned were coming again. How proud they were, that their plans had finally converged. How proud they were again when they had received word almost immediately before they addressed the crowd that the Bastokans were here to address surrender.

Prince Pieuje had uttered the words that would undo them: "Have them surrender in front of our entire city, to show how strong we are and weak our enemies are."

And so Cid hobbled with his 'Windurstian Trained Negotiators' to the center of San d'Oria, where the Princes had already called their people to gather.

"Here comes Cid Highwind to issue the surrender of Bastok, for all to see!" Prince Trion roared to the crowd. The guards surrounding Cid pushed him to the ground, their halberds pointed at him. "Come, oh great Cid, and beg."

Cid said nothing for a moment and shook his head.

"I come to bring light to the people of San d'Oria. Light in hope that this fighting will be stopped."

With that, a curious apparition appeared before the crowd: a giant visage of the Princes, as tall as a dozen men with voices as booming as a hundred, appeared in the center stage.

"See what your Princes have wrought, people of San d'Oria!" Cid called out.

The visage began to move, and the people of San d'Oria indeed had seen quite some light.

The Princes had attempted to flee, but it is extraordinarily hard to flee when a hundred Humes and a Hundred Orcs had quietly slipped through your front gate as you had proudly summoned every civilian and soldier to see a broken man grovel.

As the footage played out a hush had fallen over the crowds for a few moments, then came whispers.

An explosion of sound was heard not seconds after the whisper as a sewer grating exploded and a group of Orcs ran towards it to pull the rescue team out of it. The Princes were restrained and calling for the death of the heretics and liars, but the people of San d'Oria were not quite listening.

They were calling for death, all the same.

The Orcs pulled Caiyuo out first, looking as a dead man, followed by Wolfgang and his men.

"Quickly, get oil and torch!" Wolfgang called out. "A train of them approaches, and we have but one chance to know for sure we have killed them all before they make more!"

The smell of burning flesh wafted in the background some minutes later as Caiyuo dragged himself towards his people.

"We must live in fear no longer," he said, and collapsed.

It was a confusing end to a war.
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-09-06 22:25:32
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The San d'Orian Theocracy
Anticlimax


Caiyuo had healed slowly and never fully. He could not walk or lift without the help of an exoskeleton Cid had fitted him with. He and his family spent most of their days from then on as residents of Al Zabi, a peaceful land where the warm ocean breeze made the pain in Caiyuo's bones lessen.

He had stayed in San d'Oria long enough for the Princes to be stand for trial and be found guilty of crimes too numerous to list. He had not watched their execution: his war was over, he knew. He had said he would see to it that they died, and so they had. Even better, it had been at the hands of the people they played as puppets.

San d'Oria had a troubling time of confusion after that. The Royal Line had been dismantled almost entirely, and San d'Oria was without a monarch for the first time in known history. For a time they tried to find nobles before realizing that they were equal citizens for the first time in their lives and that they could choose their own paths.

It took the better part of a decade spent almost entirely in atonement for San d'Orians as a whole to be trusted again, and if they had not spent so much effort rebuilding Jeuno they may never have been trusted again.

One by one, the five races were working to defeat their biggest flaws. The Humes, once apathetic, had become the ones who resowed broken families, land, and spirits. The Elvaans had their arrogance shattered. The Tarutaru once again had the will to move forward bravely, without stars telling them how to make their every move.

The Mithra and the Galkas have quite interesting stories to be touched upon soon.

For the first time, the five races had even lost their fear of dragons as they bonded with them once again. Several brave souls had even raised their own dragons from eggs to beast-- however, it was strictly forbidden to raise the kaiser dragon eggs, as they would be called, and those were left with their own kind-- for the first time in some hundreds of years.

The world had finally begun to turn for the better.
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 Quetzalcoatl.Xueye
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xueye 2012-09-06 22:28:20
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Holy crap that dragged on and on... sorry this part took so long to get through, it's a busy time in my life lately.
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