Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 4 > Chaos0 Reviews
A years time has passed since Time was saved from the Keeper, and the Tower of Cimntu is gone. Along with this though, comes a larger responsibility for the Angels of Creation and Reason, as they r...
Argan sat in the tavern of the Old Moose Inn drinking his ale and flirting with the human waitresses and telling jokes with some of his regular customers. By this time, most of them were too drunk to know whether to laugh or to cry, but Argan's dwarven tolerance made it so that he was barely feeling the effects of the strong ale.
"So Argan," one of the humans slurred, "Why is it that you moved up here, away from all the other small-folks?"
"We're dwarves pea-brain." The dwarf thundered.
"Well whatever, just tell us how you got here."
"Couple years back I was sittin' in a tavern down below the ground, and usually dwarves are quiet reserved folks that unless are at war are fairly quiet. Well, I'd been drinking for awhile, and decided I didn't like quiet so much.
It so happens that I was thrown out of that town, and the next, and finally out of the old smith's home when he finally got off his lazy bum and worked again. So I decided I go to live in a place where a dwarf could have a good rowdy time around a tankard of ale and a bushel of wenches."
"Here here!" one of the men clambered raising his ale sloppily in a toast, in the process spilling much of it over the men who sat around the table. Wiping his eyes and wringing out his beard, Argan downed his ale and stood up.
"Well if you'll excuse me gentlemen I'd best be back to me shop." He said, pounding a silver coin on the table and turning to walk out the door. On the way out, the dwarf bumped into a cloaked figure. Muttering his apologies, Argan noticed the fellow had a very strange cloak for a mage, light blue, not your standard mage wardrobe but whatever pleases a mage was to Argan's liking because that way they left him alone.
Curving in and out of people and chocobos, Argan made his way down the crowded streets of the city. Soon he was back at his shop, the Black Kettle. Flipping the sign from Closed to Open, he propped the door open and put on his apron. "Here's to another day of boredom."
Eziekial bumped into the shorter being who grunted as it walked away. Growling in disgust, Eziekial turned back to the bar and looked for the keeper. "Why couldn't Peal have done this? She's much more...directed to dealing with humans." He stood at the bar looking around for a few minutes before someone finally noticed his presence.
"I'm sorry, Master Mage, as you can see things are very busy today." Eziekial nodded. "You need a drink? Or maybe a room?"
"No thank you, actually what I need is some information."
"What kind of information?"
"The location of a person." Eziekial pulled a small piece of parchment from beneath his blue cloak. "Argan. I was told by some friends he is a mercenary."
"Oh Argan. Yes, he does hire himself out sometimes, though I'm not sure if he's taking jobs or not at this point. He'll be either at his shop, the Black Kettle or at his house; though I think he wouldn't be there...he's out of ale you see."
"Ahh. Thank you kind sir." Eziekial slid the man two pieces of gold for his troubles and then proceeded to leave the building. Walking down the street, Eziekial noticed that he was being followed. Some cutthroat must have seen him give the keeper the gold, which was worth significantly more than the gil and silver normally found in these parts.
Eziekial turned into an ally at the first chance he got, and when he was most the way to the end he turned and waited for his followers. Coming into the ally after him were three men from the tavern and two who he hadn't seen. All were large fellows carrying large swords, though only two would find it much use, being as three of the five were too drunk to walk straight let alone handle a sword.
"Hello boys." Eziekial said with a smirk as they drew, or attempted to draw, their swords.
"Enough of the nice talk mage hand over the money." One of the sober thugs replied.
"Why don't you come get it?" Eziekial said innocently.
"You can't get all of us with your magic, so give us the money or we'll cut you down."
"Oh, you'd be surprised what I can do."
"We warned ya'." The thug replied as he rallied his men to charge. The drunken ones were first, and Eziekial easily dispatched them with a wave of his hand as a surge of water formed from the quick condensation of the water in the area, sending the drunks sprawling and out into the street. The two sober ones were next, swinging their swords around in rough strokes.
Easily dodging in and out of the blades, Eziekial finally got tired of playing with the men and reached inside his cloak to retrieve his magically hidden scythe. The mens' eyes suddenly grew in shock, seeing a mage carry a deadly weapon was not a sight seen often, so Eziekial used to his advantage. Quickly turning the scythe, he clubbed the two in the side of the head with the blunt edge of the blade, knocking both out quickly and quietly.
"Here's a coin for your trouble boys." Eziekial muttered, dropping a gold coin at the head of one of the men. Then he laughed silently at the thought of the man screaming about this.
"So you've found him?" Pearl asked her brother as she sat on the large rock she was using for a chair.
"No. I got...sidetracked." He said with a grin, "But I know where he'll be." Pearl rolled her eyes at this.
"What did you do now?" she moaned.
"Oh just paid a bunch of thugs what they deserved."
"Eziekial really." She scolded.
"What? They were going to mug me..." he said shrugging his shoulders, face plastered with a huge grin. Pearl rolled here eyes again and hopped down from the rock.
"Well then I supposed I will have to come into town with you and make sure they don't." she replied with a playful shove. "Besides, I want to see what this Argan is like before you get to him."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means, my dear Eziekial, you need to work on your people skills."
About an hour later and after walking all throughout the town in search of the Black Kettle, the two mages finally found their destination. "Here it is." Eziekial muttered darkly. "Leave it to a flaming dwarf to build their forge across the flaming city."
"A stupid move for a mage maybe." A deep voice said in reply. "But it gets all the lazies like you who don't want to walk across the city to the other forges to come here." Just then a dwarf walked by and entered the building. "Sorry, we're closed." The dwarf moved past the two and closed the door. Pearl glanced hotly at her brother and mouthed the words 'people skills' as she stepped up to the door.
"Excuse my brother Master Argan. We would just like to talk to you for a moment...about a proposition."
"Ain't no 'master' here, but I'm Argan. Come on in." Pearl walked into the door that the dwarf now held open, but when Eziekial approached the dwarf let go of the door and turned inside of the house.
Muttering curses under his breath, Eziekial opened the door and walked in, letting it slam behind him. "Slide the bolt will ya'?" the dwarf called from the next room. "Business isn't really closed unless you're locked up ya' know?"
"No I'm afraid I didn't." Eziekial murmured in reply as he slid the door's bolt to the locked position. Eziekial walked into the next room where Pearl was sitting in a small sofa adjacent to the chair that the dwarf sat in. The two were deep in conversation, and so he found that it would be best not to interrupt the conversation. So he walked around the room, examining various objects, most of which appeared to have been forged by the dwarf himself.
One item in the far corner of the room intrigued the mage. There rested a large axe that had the most intricate carvings and markings that Eziekial had ever seen in an axe. The edge of the blade was lined with a shiny metal and the weapon appeared to have seen no use as its blade was sharp as a razor, which was defiantly unlike many axes wielded in battle that had deep scars and chips in the blade.
"It's a beauty isn't it?" Argan said standing up. "An adamant and chrome alloy fused with a bit of magic makes the blade stay as sharp as it does while keeping it shiny as ever."
"Yes it is a wonderful piece...did you make it yourself?" Pearl asked from her chair. At this the dwarf began to laugh and his booming laugh seemed to shake the house.
"No, the Master's Master's Master forged her all but two hundred years ago. She was given to me by the Master when I decided that it would be best for the others that I leave...it was too boring down there ya' know? But now you said you had some sort of proposition?"
"Yes, my brother and I were expecting some...goods to be brought to us you see and it seems that a competitor decided that they wanted our things instead..." Eziekial looked quizzically towards his sister but she sent him a withering glare that kept him from speaking.
"I don't see where you'll be needin' me..."
"We want to retrieve those goods, but we've heard that their have been increasingly more and more monsters and highway robbers."
"Aye that's the truth. Sad thing too, just get done fightin' off a gigantic army then the humans have to make things worse off than they were before." Pearl nodded and continued,
"So we would like to hire your services to help us if help is needed. And we have heard that you are the best in the business."
"Well I wouldn't go so far as to say that, but I'm getting there." The dwarf said with a chuckle.
"Good, then gather your things. We'll leave at first light; meet outside the gates on the top of the hill." Eziekial said.
"Not so fast sir Mage...there's still the matter of compensation."
"Oh yes, it must have slipped my mind." The mage muttered. Pearl smiled and reached into her cloak, producing a bright green emerald about the size of an acorn.
"A Mysidian emerald! Those are worth a fortune!" Pearl nodded.
"For your payment you shall receive one of these for coming and one more for each month you spend with us. That should about equal the amount of gil that would be paid for a month's amount of work."
"More than enough!" the dwarf replied taking the emerald that Pearl held out to him. He then slipped the gem into his pocket.
"Than it's settled. Meet us at the hill at dawn."
"The one with the large oak and boulder?" Eziekial nodded and headed for the door. Argan accompanied the two mages to the door and then opened it for them. The mages exited the building and the door closed which was followed by a click as the door's bolt slid into place.
"What did you think?" Pearl asked her brother as they began their walk across town to the city gates.
"I think, between him and the other, this is going to be a long trip."
There was a yellow glow upon the hillside as Argan approached, and he noticed that the two mages that hired him were already here. "That's a mage for ya'." He thought. Smiling to himself he reached the top of the hill, greeted the female mage and grunted towards her companion. "So where are we off to?" the dwarf asked. Eziekial turned to him and grinned.
"I hope you brought your sea legs. Our goods are defiantly not on this island. Argan moaned inwardly, not wanting to give the mage the pleasure of his dislike for sea voyages.
"Of course, how silly of me to think that anything could be around the town of Agart." Pearl smiled and set her hand on Argan's shoulder.
"Come our boat is waiting, and knowing the captain he'll leave us if we aren't back on time." Argan felt strangely comforted by the female mage, and so the three headed down the hill and towards the shoreline where a small cruise ship sat just off the coast.
"The old goat had better not leave us for the price I paid him." Eziekial muttered. Pearl rolled her eyes and Argan laughed as they reached the beach where a small rowboat sat. Argan placed his things in the boat as Eziekial helped Pearl in and then the two men pushed the boat into the water and hopped in. "Grab an oar." Eziekial said as he pulled back the sleeves to his blue robe and grabbed the left oar. Argan nodded and grabbed the right and was surprised at the strength the rather ordinary looking mage commanded.
When their boat was within twenty feet of the cruise ship, Eziekial motioned to stop rowing. He then looked at Pearl and nodded. Pearl smiled and then called out to the cruise ship, "Joel we're back. " There was a bang as something in the ship's hold smashed to the floor and then a creak as an older man appeared from beneath the deck.
"Go ahead and approach." The man then disappeared beneath the deck again, and Eziekial grabbed the oar while Argan shook his head and did the same.
"What's so funny?" Pearl asked the dwarf as he and Eziekial began rowing.
"What woulda' kept us from gettin' on that boat if we wanted ta'?" he asked.
"Appearances can be deceiving." Eziekial replied. "I thought you would have figured that out by now."
The three sat in silence for the remaining few minutes of the trip. When they reached the side of the cruise ship, Eziekial reached out and grabbed a nearby rope and tied it to the front bench of the rowboat. He then carefully shifted to the back of the boat and tied another rope to the back bench. Argan looked at Pearl and started to ask a question when she shushed him and motioned for him to watch.
Looking up, Argan saw that the ropes that were now tied to the boat were attached to some sort of automatic pulley system that began to pull the small boat out of the water. Argan shifted for a better look at the pulley which nearly caused the boat to tip over and got him a stern look from Eziekial. He then decided that it would be best for him to inspect the pulley when he was on the boat and so he sat still until the boat was safely above deck.
Eziekial lashed the side of the boat to the cruiser and then motioned for Pearl to get off. She nodded and slowly rose carefully stepping down onto the deck. Eziekial then exited and was followed by Argan and the dwarf's two bags of luggage.
Eziekial talked to Pearl for a moment and then disappeared below the deck. "Sorry about the boat." Argan said as he approached the female mage. Pearl only smiled and replied,
"Don't worry about it. Eziekial was the only one mad, because as much as he doesn't like to admit it he hates the water unless he's on a boat...a large boat." At that she laughed. "But here, I can show you to where you can set your things...It's not a large boat so we don't have beds, but what Joel has made us works." The two proceeded down the stairs to below deck as Eziekial and their ship's captain were coming up. And it seemed the two were in the middle of a heated debate.
"You want more!?" Eziekial said following Joel on deck. "I've already paid you three thousand gil upfront!"
"Yes, and we agreed to three thousand when you reach your destination, but you've apparently changed your mind as to where you want to go, so I want another fifteen hundred or you can go straight back to Cimmaron with me."
"Deal." The two shook hands and Joel turned towards the helm.
"Well, I'd better change our course then. It shouldn't take us more than two to three days to reach Mysidia with the currents this time 'a year." And with that he disappeared around the corner, and so Eziekial decided that he'd best be below deck again...staring at the water made him sick.
*Cimmaron is a small town that popped up outside of Baron sometime after the war with the Keeper's army.