Larsa is pitted into a battle of wits that spans more than just the game board.
Author notes: My first FFXII fic. Having only played the game through once and writing this to answer a random prompt throw out into the fanfic ether by a friend, I'm a bit worried I've fluffed the characterisation and possible some canon.
Disclaimer:FFXII and all associated belongs to SquareEnix.
Larsa sat opposite, moving his piece on the board into a more defensive position. Watching his move, Vayne smiled at his younger brother and was pleased to discover Larsa didn't shirk from his gaze as he'd half expected. In response he moved a piece in a direct line for an attack.
Larsa looked at the board, the attacking piece was well defended. Surveying the board, he consolidated his position as best he could for now. Vayne was skilled at this game, and though Larsa was improving, the elder Solidor was still always one step ahead.
To prove this, Vayne used his attacking piece to remove a pawn. One less obstacle in his way. "You have been away, Little Brother."
"I have." Larsa watched as another stategically placed pawn was swept from the board. "There is much to see throughout The Empire." He moved a knight, removing Vayne's offending Bishop. It was a small victory, but it was a start.
"There is much in the Empire's lands that should not be seen by one so young." Vayne looked at the board as he spoke, contemplating Larsa's last move. On and off the board. He moved his queen.
Larsa realised his mistake, but recovered by castling with his rook. "Yet there is much I need to see. Without knowledge of the Empire, I cannot serve it effectively." He sat back slightly and held Vayne's piercing look.
"Your sword arm is strong?"
"It needs be stronger." Larsa replied as Vayne took his knight.
"I have removed yet another of your defenses, Little Brother." He gestured to the fallen knight. "Judge Drace will be sorely missed by some. Gabranth particularly. Therefore we need you, for the Empire."
"The Judge Magister is a credit to the Empire. He performs his duty admirably." Larsa moved a knight in defence of his king. The knight was defended by only a pawn, but would Vayne forefit a valuable piece just to possibly open a pathway to the king yet?
"Indeed. Such allies are useful." Vayne turned his attention to another part of the board. He moved another piece. "The Empire is undergoing much change. I need you by my side."
"You know I stand with the Empire."
More moves where made in silence. After a while, Vayne spoke again. "Rozzaria are standing against us. There is rebellion brewing."
Larsa contemplated his brother's latest move. "I believe it will not come to war." He took one of Vayne's pieces from the board.
"You sound very sure." Larsa lost another pawn.
"Let us hope it will end in a favourable conclusion." Larsa chose his words as carefully as he chose his next move.
Vayne remained silent as he examined his possible moves. Larsa's rook was now in a position to attack his queen. If he moved first and removed the threat, Larsa's queen would take his. A rook for the loss of his queen? No, the price was too high. He moved a knight in defence, better to lose those of less importance. Larsa's queen could be lured out later at less risk to his own.
The board was looknig more sparse now. Vayne looked at the board and could see victory in a few short moves. "Hummm..a favourable conclusion you say," he muttered. "Well, Little Brother, I see one here." He moved his queen. "Check."
Larsa moved his king, keeping a very watchful eye on Vayne. "The strategic placement of pawns is of vital importance, especially on the battlefield."
Vayne smiled at him. There was no warmth in it. "Ah, but this is a game and you are not the winner." He moved in. "Check again."
Larsa was suprised at his fortune. Vayne's distraction with their verbal battle had cost him. "Even the mightiest king may be toppled by a lowly pawn. Checkmate."