The open seas were unlike anything told in storybooks or by pirates at local taverns and pubs. The feeling of the salty air and the waves crashing against cliff sides and the steel that made up the Valefor Battleship was unlike no other. For a captain and his crew of twenty shipmates, this was the life. No politics of the world around. No worries of whether or not they would die when they turned a corner and got robbed of all their valuable possessions and gil. On the open seas where they only had each other, there was nothing like it. We, the Sea Pirates of the Valefor know no life but the life we live traveling from port to port, taking in the sights before we set sail once again.
Anything from stocking up on supplies and taking up hunts for extra gil, that would be the only thing these pirates and their captain would leave the sea for. Though, all seemed to change one day when an old friend came to visit Lannit Nidel-Wind when they were docked a few clicks away from the Phon Coast.
"Captain!" One of the crew members suddenly came bursting into Lannit's barracks. This man was a lanky fellow with hair like the auburn wood that made up the top deck.
Lannit, who was sitting at his desk, filling out his travel journal of the score they managed to snag when they ambushed a rival pirate ship just hours ago. He turned to face Byrt (pronounced like Bert), giving the young man his full attention. "What is it, Byrt?"
"We've received a letter from Archadia."
"Toss it. We need not concern ourselves with the politics of the world."
"But captain, it's about your wife, Wendy!"
With the mention of his dearest, Wendy, Lannit was upright, unintentionally spilling his mead over his journey, though he didn't focus on that. Instead, his green eyes fixated on a startled Byrt. Lannit grabbed the man's shoulder, pulling him closer to him. Byrt would see a scared and angry Lannit as their gaze went from sudden shock of the news about his Wendy to an emotional curiosity.
"The letter, Byrt! Give me the letter!"
With shaky hands, Byrt gave his captain the letter. Lannit nearly snapped the paper in two when he took it from Byrt. "Leave me!"
Lannit ordered, turning around.
Lannit blocked out everything as he took a seat on his bed, reading the letter word for word. As each line passed and he grew more emotional by the minute, Lannit's heart was breaking. although he felt he couldn't continue, he knew he must find out what happened to his dearest, Wendy. She was mentioned a few times, but the main focus of the letter was detailing that Wendy had been kidnapped by Rozarrian spies who thought she was the daughter of the Darkune Royal Family, Darissa Darkune (they bear a similar hair color of gold and similar silhouettes). The Empire kept it hush hush, but due to Lannit's connections within the hierarchy of The Empire, the letter made his way to his hands. And, as he finished the letter signed by one of the top generals for Emperor Hamut Darkune, Malcolm Hirata, Lannit knew what he had to do.
Rushing out of his quarters, Lannit made his way to the top deck within record time. The amount of time it took him to get from point a to point b wasnâ€™t what had his crew surprised - it was his frantic demeanor and how he seemed when he looked at all of them. â€œChange of plans. Weâ€™re going to Stigma. Wendy has been kidnapped!â€
At that moment that seemed to last for an eternity, it was as if Belias himself had opened up the gates to hell and a raging inferno consumed all of the noise the crew had been making. The heartbreak. The anger. The disbelief. Every single one of them - including Lannit, who was doing his best to keep it together - had simultaneously found a fire that had been locked away for years and rallied behind their captain unlike any time previous. In normal circumstances, there would be a bit of a battle royale to get their spirits up, or a shouting contest to get their point across, to which Lannit would assert himself to get his crew to fall in line. This time, however, all it took was a glance from all twenty of them. They all stood in a line, looking to their captain, uttering the words. â€œAye-aye, Captain!â€
Ivalice - Rozarrian Isles (Near Stigmaâ€™s Beaches)
It wasnâ€™t before long that Lannit and his crew had made their way about twenty miles away from the prided, white sandy beaches of Stigma, Rozarriaâ€™s pride and joy. The Valefor was not like most pirate ships. When the need suited the collective, it could be transformed into an airship. And given the urgency that Lannit just knew this situation needed, he ordered his men to prepare for battle as the ship itself transformed from a seafaring ship into what could only be described as a literal bird, shaped like the valiant Valefor.
It soared high into the skies above Stigma, the city that rests on a canal of water that converts the salty water of the ocean into fresh, clean water. With the cloaking function activated, it not only passed the mist field that Rozarria prided itself with, it had also penetrated the borders of Stigmaâ€™s grand city limits.
â€œScan for Wendy!â€
â€œYes, Captain!â€ One of his crew said.
Their scanner would send drones throughout Stigma, which moved at such speeds that the results would come pouring to the Valefor within minutes.
â€œOur scanners detect an anomaly, Captain!â€
â€œWhat does it say, Ethan?â€
â€œThereâ€™s a strange signal coming from the magicite mountain over yonder.â€
â€œThat must be where theyâ€™re holding my Wendy.â€
Lannit had only deduced it. â€œFull speed ahead, men!â€
With the speed that his ship had, Lannit had no doubt that they would reach their destination in record time. He was ready regardless of how long it took. With his trusty, Archadian-made Magicite Needle Gun in his arms, Lannit was ready for anything to come his way. And as luck would have it, he would finally get that chance because it seemed they didnâ€™t fly under the radar as Lannit was led to believe. On the coast of the island where Magicite Mountain was, a group of at least 50 Rozarrian soldiers and various others from known rogue hunter groups was waiting for them with their assorted weapons in hand.
Lannit scowled, though he grinned rather worryingly (his men were worried, not Lannit). â€œHalf of you, come with me. The rest of you man your battle stations and cover our six!â€
The crew who were with Lannit all had their own weapons, which were basically swords and firearms. Lannit led the charge, firing an array of magick, needle-shaped blasts at the first wave of enemies, the frontlines of the Rozzarianâ€™s assorted forces succumbing to Lannitâ€™s assault alone. This alone provoked them to charge, which in itself caused a chain reaction of hunters, pirates, professionally-trained soldiers, and one pirate captain desperate to save his beloved.
As the fight raged on, both sides pushed each other back and forth. When the Rozarrians got the upper hand, they took their precision strikes at Lannit and his crew. And likewise, when the Rozarrians and their rogue hunter forces slipped up, Lannit gave the signal for his crew in the Valefor to fire on them and for his men to push forward. All the while, Lannit showed exactly why he was the captain of one of the most violent pirate crews in the seven seas of Ivalice. His strength and valor knew no limits as he singlehandedly dismantled the rogue hunters with his needle gun and his fighting prowess.
And that meant it only left the Rozarrian forces to deal with. â€œPush forward, men!â€
Lannit roared, invigorating his men with his contagious - and undoubtedle - chemistry.
Roaring loudly, the ground troops and those operating the weapons in the Valefor all fired and swung and smashed at the Rozzarian troops, effortlessly dominating them within minutes. There was some defense from them, but it was no match for the might of a crew following a leader who had nothing to lose. It was also because they had the superior weapons. And by the end of it, they had cleared the way for Lannit to enter the mines while the rest of the crew handled the cleanup.
â€œMake sure no other Rozarrians or any of their external forces get into the mines,â€
Lannit said, standing in the entrance of the Magicite Mountain. â€œEthan, youâ€™re in charge until I return.â€
â€œOh Captain, my Captain!â€
Lannit nodded, smiling at his crew. Then, into the mystically-lit caverns of the Stigma Mines, Lannit ran, his steps echoing and splashing in the puddles of water that had dripped from the cracks in the ceilings. Every step he took drew him closer and closer to the end. He knew this by the light at the end of the tunnel getting brighter and brighter.
Admittedly, this was the first time he had been to the mines. He heard stories about their beauty but seeing them up close was quite the experience. If only he was here under different circumstances. He blocked out the thought of the beauty of the mines and focused on running towards where he knew his beloved Wendy was being held. He would stop at nothing to save her.
Lannit soon found himself in the heart of the mines and what a brilliant display of natural wonder it was. On the ground were dirt and mud and muddy colors of brown. It was sticky and stuck to Lannitâ€™s boots like a bad toe fungus; however, as Lannitâ€™s green eyes couldnâ€™t help but follow the trail of magicite from the walls up, the subtle blue and green and purple and yellow magicite were more dominant in their own, separate portions of the ceiling. And thatâ€™s when he saw it. The crown and jewel of the Rozarrian economy. The famed Crown Cavern. The ceiling of the heart of the mines was crafted in such a way that it had the appearance of a multi-colored crown.
â€œI see youâ€™ve finally made it, Lannit.â€
As he heard someone speak to him just now, Lannitâ€™s eyes left the ceiling and soon scanned the darkness. He couldnâ€™t see anything further than three feet in front of him. It wasnâ€™t until he heard the sound of footsteps on the muddy floors - chainmail boots, it sounded like - slowly reveal an armored figure. With the aid of the artificial lighting that the magicite gave the cavern, Lannit recognized the armor. He didnâ€™t know who was under the armor, but he knew it was of Dalmascan origin. The way it was designed and Lannit knew his armor. Having studied the various cultures of Ivalice extensively, Lannit knew which armor was from which culture. Thatâ€™s how he knew this was Dalmascan armor. Did it mean that the person underneath was Dalmascan? No, not necessarily, but it raised an interesting question.
â€œWho are you? Whereâ€™s Wendy?!â€
The man in the Dalmascan Armor laughed. â€œI assure you, she is safe. We did not want to harm her. She was a means to an end.â€
â€œWhat means? What end? What is it that you want with me?â€
He raised up his hands, â€œcalm down, Lannit. Just take in a deep breath. We are not your enemy. Truth be told, we simply wish to speak to you about something quite dire.â€
Lannit raised his eyebrows. And by extension, his gun. â€œTell me now or I will end you right here and now. I have the means to do it.â€
The Armored Man didnâ€™t seem to be phased by Lannitâ€™s threat. He would simply look up at the ceiling. â€œDid you ever wonder how magicite came to be? I personally donâ€™t know the tale myself, but I hear the Occuria granted man with the means to artificially create magick using these stones. It was said that these stones are a direct descendent of nethicite. I personally donâ€™t believe that myself. Truth be told, I am more interested in magicite and what they do to the human body.â€
â€œThis is all nice and all, but I wonâ€™t say it again: Where is Wend--â€
Before Lannit could finish that demand, The Man in the Dalmascan Armor held up his arm, jerking it upwards. As a result, Lannit himself was forced to follow the direction the man's arm directed him towards. He wouldn't stop until he hit the ceiling, his head whiplashing as it made a hard impact against the magicite.
"Lannit Nidel, do you have any idea how special you really are?"
"Shut up! Let me go and let me see my wife!"
The man laughed, looking up. "Wendy isn't here, Lannit. She never was."
"Your wife is at home. She is safe and happy, though I suspect that she will be less happy when she hears of the terrible news that her dearest husband died during his ill-advised invasion of the Rozarrian Empire."
"No! I did no such thing!"
"Oh, but you did. Your ship Valefor is outside as we speak - well, rather the remains of it are. The record books will show that your men fought bravely. They will be honored in Rozarrian history books. Unfortunately, you won't be able to read any of them. By the time that happens, you will have been long gone from this world."
What was he talking about? Lannit didnâ€™t understand any of this. This whole time, he was under the impression that Wendy was taken from their home in Archadia because she was mistaken for the daughter of the Emperor. But if that wasnâ€™t the case, then what was the whole point of this? Was the entire point to lure Lannit here? And if so, then for what purpose?
â€œYou wonâ€™t get away with this! People will come for me.â€
The man didnâ€™t respond to Lannit - he only laughed. He looked up at Lannit and the blond pirate noticed a strange array of colors starting to shine around him. At the same time, he also saw that the same lights around the Man in the Dalmascan Armor were the same lights that were shining on the Magicite Ceiling and the walls around it. These lights would only get more intense as Lannit struggled and as time went on, too. These lights didnâ€™t stop at just shining, however. When Lannit struggled, the magicite crumbled away into what first appeared as nothingness. It wasnâ€™t until Lannit felt something different that all of the magicite that had faded away had forced itself over his skin.
And eventually, Lannit saw only darkness, but he felt a surge of magick, unlike anything he had ever experienced before overwhelm him. Time escaped him but, as Lannit broke free of this magicite cocoon (of sorts), there were just a few things he noticed was completely different. The first was the most obvious: he was no longer in the Magicite Mines. He honestly didnâ€™t know where he was. He didnâ€™t recognize the buildings around him nor did any of the faces he saw walk past him seem familiar. To be honest, nothing about this place was like what he recalled Ivalice being. He knew Ivalice. He knew every inch of Ivalice. This town/city he was in wasnâ€™t that.
Lannit started to walk and the more he did, the more his confusion rose; and with that anxiety of the unknown swept in. this was the part where Lannitâ€™s heart would be racing, so why didnâ€™t feel his heartbeat elevate? How come he wasnâ€™t sweating or feeling any anxiety?
He found himself worrying and fearing for WEndy. Where was he?
Lannit suddenly stumbled into an inn of sorts. â€œWelcome to Machinecken Town, sir. I hope you enjoy the stay.â€ Said the Innkeeper.
Machinecken Town? Safe to safe Lannit wasnâ€™t in Ivalice anymore.