- CAELIA SILVERARCH -
Congrats to @amdapori for winning a participation prize in FFXIVwrite2020! You have a lovely character, and keep up the great work!!
Many thanks to @sea-wolf-coast-to-coast‘s great organizational skills for putting this all together. FFXIVwrite is something I look forward to every year!
The artists have gathered, winners have been randomly selected, and the official announcement & recap post is scheduled for 10:00am PST tomorrow (Sunday, 10/18)!
We have 61 artists this year. Yes, you read that correctly. 61. Which means that we will have 61 prizes!
Check back after 10:00am on 10/18!
(( Fair warning that this one’s heavy. Also, murder! ))
She hadn’t meant to…not really.
It was a cool fall evening in the East, the paved paths lit by the warm yellow glow of one of their standing torches every so many fulms - shadows encroaching at the edges. She’d gone out for a bite to eat, and a stroll around the city - her house was quiet. Full of different sorts of ghosts than her apartment played host to - bittersweet memories that lingered in the afterglow of discussion - more of a hangover, really, if the comparison were to be apt.
She didn’t talk about her family. Her past. The pain. The guilt.
Little shoulders roll, and the warm cup of coffee rises to meet her lips - she loved the sun, cherished every spare moment she got to bask in it…but the night was quiet. Her ears were sensitive - fantastic for overhearing things you shouldn’t, or picking up on a stalker’s steps…and a burden when the bustle of day swirled around you, oppressive in its clamor.
It clung to her, sticky - the guilt of it all. Embedded memories, like the sharp sting of shrapnel; that was why, of course, the blood fairly crystallized in her veins at the sight of the figure before her.
Here’s all the prompts I did this year!
- Crux - Kiera
- Sway - Jorgan
- Matter of Fact - Silya
- Listen - Shokta
- Clamor - Silya
- Lush - Kiera
- Ache - Silya
- Wiggly - Silya
- Part - Silya [CW Warnings: Drowning, Implied Misogny]
This year I did far more writing than I had in previous FFXIV Writes. I think part of it was that I was involved in the mega-campaign, Heartless, which ended up being an inspiration for a fair bit of the prompts. Did I manage to do everyone? No, but that’s fine. I’m really happy with the writing that I did!
I started to explore different writing styles as well, most notably the Second Person You, which is something I hadn’t ever considered before. I have to shout out @shadowburgers and @s-udarshana, for their prose were some large inspirations for the chances I wanted to take!
I think out of all of these pieces, Part might be my favorite one. I had to actually get up and walk around and stop reading it after a moment.
And also a big shout out to @sea-wolf-coast-to-coast as always for hosting it and keeping it strong! Thank you!
Prompt #30: Splinter
The sound of a gunshot rang out through the Twelveswood, startling the nearby birds, the leaves in the treetops rustling as they fluttered away in their panic.
Bang, bang, bang!
More shots boomed in rapid succession until suddenly the Black Shroud was back to its usual relative silence, and Faye lowered her pistol, moving closer to the target to inspect her handiwork. Each shot had found its mark, bullet holes engulfing what was once the center dot in the middle of the bullseye, splintering the wood. The shooting lessons had definitely been paying off. While she had not been surprised when Ramius had insisted on teaching her to handle her firearm if he were to craft her one, she had not expected the training to be so in depth, but she had no qualms about that. If she could become a decent markswoman, then all the better. It would be just another of the many tricks up her sleeve.
day 1: crux
day 2: sway
day 3: muster
day 4: clinch
day 5: matter of fact
day 6: free day
day 7: nonagenarian
day 8: clamor
day 9: lush
day 10: avail
day 11: ultracrepidarian
day 12: tooth and nail
day 13: free day
day 14: part
day 15: ache
day 16: lucubration
day 17: fade
day 18: panglossian
day 19: where the heart is
day 20: free day
day 21: foibles
day 22: argy-bargy
day 23: shuffle
day 24: beam
day 25: wish
day 26: when pigs fly
day 27: free day
day 28: irenic
day 29: parental
day 30: splinter
thank you @sea-wolf-coast-to-coast for organising this event! i had a lot of fun with the prompts
Now that I’m all caught up, here is the master list of all my FXIVWrite for 2020. This year has been a real struggle, and I’ve been having a hard time finding the desire to write and rp, so when this rolled around I wanted to do my best to complete it. Last year I only got half way, this year I only missed one because I simply couldn’t think of what to write and I’m to tired to catch up on it, but regardless I’m really proud of myself for improving and next year I hope to complete every single one without having to catch up any! Thank you so much @sea-wolf-coast-to-coast It was allot of fun!
#1: Crux | Jellal
#2: Sway | Makael
#3: Muster | Tsirae
#4: Clinch | Dalain
#5: Matter of Fact | Zhira
#6: Free Prompt | Burden | Isanii
#7: Nonagenarian |Tsirae
#8: Clamor | N’akani
#9: Lush | Ame
#10: Avail | Makael
#11: Ultracrepidarian | N’akani
#12: Tooth and Nail | N’akani
#13: Free Prompt | Compromise | Makael
#14: Part | Jellal
#15: Ache | Isanii
#16: Lucubration | Ame
#17: Fade | Zhira
#18: Panglossian | Jellal
#19: Where the Heart Is | Dalain
#20: Free Prompt | Memories | Jellal
#21: Foibles | N’akani
#23: Shuffle | Zhira
#24: Beam | Ame
#25: Wish | Makael
#26: When Pigs Fly | Dalain
#27: Free Prompt | Sunlight | Isanii
#28: Irenic | Tsirae
#29: Paternal | N’akani
#30: Splinter | Dalain
I wanted to try and do more before the cut off, but I just don’t have the brain power for it. So, here’s my last offering for FFXIVWrite2020. I didn’t get nearly as many of these done as I wanted to (pretty pathetic, given that last year I managed all of them). This year has just not been … the best for me creatively speaking.
Takes place pre-ARR, only shortly before. Where Thancred meets Phaedra for the first time - though she doesn’t know her name or anything about her, that is.
Thancred caught a glimpse of himself in the hallway mirror as he closed the door to the inn room with a soft click. He was a sorry sight. Mussed hair, bags under his eyes, ill-fitting clothes, and bruises on his neck from an overly amorous lover. He couldn’t keep doing this… Then again, he told himself that each time it happened, and yet he always fell back into bed with someone. It was easier to ignore things with someone else. And he liked how easy it was. They never expected commitment or fidelity from him, and he never wanted it from them. For one night they were each other’s and then the next day they would be strangers again.
Still, if the four yawns since he woke were anything to go by, he was getting too old for this.
He meandered through the hallway of the Quicksand, taking the opportunity to tidy his hair and straighten out the clothes he hurriedly dressed himself in. The main area was quiet, not so surprising for the early hour, but Momodi was already behind the desk starting the day’s paperwork.
“Your finest coffee if you’ve a mind, please Momodi.” Thancred offered a winning smile as he slid into the stool directly opposite the diminutive proprietress. “And might I say you are looking radiant this morning. Dew upon a flower petal would dry up in your–”
“Save the flattery, Thancred.” Momodi placed a steaming mug in front of him curtly. “Your flattery might work on everyone else, but I can see through you.” She gave him a shrewd stare over the top of her papers. “Sneaking out again?”
Rhen has gone about a malm up the road. Where was this damned Lalafell? She figured he at least owed her the gil they agreed, if not more since he owed her his life on top.
Her pace had slowed a little. Arms and legs still aching from the fight. Four against one was no fair odds at all. Even accounting for the difference in size. She was just one woman.
Her hand touched along her waist. The fuckers had ripped it. She’d need another shirt. Add that to the bill too. The fucker just ran off and left her even though she said not to. He didn’t even come back with help.
She wiped her sleeve across her nose. The bastards got off lightly considering what they were trying to do. How many others had gone before?
She slowed more, half a mind to turn back.
Then she stopped. Just stood there on the road, going neither forwards nor back. She dropped down on her knees and then it came. Deep sobs that she just couldn’t hold in. Tears streaming down her face.
It didn’t matter. There was nobody to see. Just like nobody tried to save her. She was on her own. As it always was.
Auzelle closed her eyes and settled down on the ground. Her heart felt heavy. How many souls had she failed? If only she had been more powerful, she could have severed the voidsent from the other hosts.
Or if not her, she could have found someone stronger. Why was she so foolish to have come alone? Or at least, alone in all manners that mattered.
Why had Megcica forced this task upon her, knowing that it would have followed his own failure? He was always the better mage. Maybe this was his final lesson.
To know when you’re beat. To know when to accept your end and fade back into the aether of the world.
At least she had granted him this. So where was he now? She liked to think he carried on in some way. A ripple that could be felt by those looking for it. She listened for a little while but felt nothing. Only the gentle breeze and the distant sound of the sea.
He was gone, never to return. But maybe this was okay in the end. This was the way things should be.
Sawyer patted Olina’s back softly. Not really knowing what to do with his hands.
“Whatever it is, we can get through it. I’m sure.”
It was the blind sort of optimism that got him through most situations. It was then that two boys tumbled into the hallway thumping their fists into each other.
“You took it, I know you did!”
Sawyer turned Olina to the side and walked past her to the boys.
“What’s going on here?”
The boys didn’t stop swinging blows at each other, so Sawyer stuck his hands between them. They were mostly hitting him by now, but he managed to push them both an arm’s length from each other.
“So… what’s going on here?”
“He took my wagon!”
Sawyer looked at the other boy.
The other boy shook his head defiantly.
Sawyer slowly let them both go.
“So where is the wagon now?”
He pointed off to one of the rooms. The first boy ran into the room and shortly returned with the stolen wagon.
Sawyer nodded at them both.
“So… now you both shake hands and say sorry.”
“Nuh, uh. I didn’t do anything wrong. He took my wagon.”
“You’ve got your wagon back now. But what you’re really sorry for is because you hit him. Otherwise, I take the wagon away and I bet you won’t hit me.”
Clearly, he was wrong. He was already sporting a few bruises from each of the boys. But, after a brief stand-off, they both relented and shook hands with a muttered apology.
“Great, now I can get you each a cookie.”
Sawyer dove into his bag and plucked out a cookie for each of them then handed them over. It seemed most squabbles were instantly forgotten with a little bribery. He just hoped he had enough cookies to last the day.
Auzelle sat herself down on the bed as the footsteps made their way down the hall. Commander Pearson hurried into the room flanked by a full squad of soldiers.
“Shit. She’s taken him already.”
He gestured towards Auzelle and then waved his hand forwards.
“Take her in. She’ll be at least one bargaining chip. And take a look around, I don’t want to find out she’s just hiding underneath one of the beds.”
Three men encircled Auzelle while the others turned the beds over and opened cupboards. Auzelle stood up and held her wrists out.
“So Commander, what is it you intend to do now?”
Commander Pearson strode up to Auzelle and looked her in the eye.
“You should be more worried about your immediate future. Not mine.”
“I suppose then I’d ask the question as to how stupid you think I am?”
Commander Pearson grinned.
“I reckon if they were giving out awards for it, you’d be in for some sort of medal.”
Auzelle held her finger up to her ear and nodded.
“Then I’d ask the Marshal the same question. And were you satisfied with my mission so far?”
Commander Pearson tilted his head to the side.
“A linkpearl? A fucking linkpearl? Everyone, shut up!”
Auzelle smiled and looked down at the Commander.
“So then, I wonder if the Marshal has a medal for you. He’s heard everything. Even since I sat down in Commander Stone’s office.”
It was then that the Marshal made his way onto the ward. First platoon entered behind and washed around him, surrounding the other men.
“I think that’s enough gloating for now Captain. We’ve taken Commander Stone in already. I trust you’ll come quietly, Commander?”
Commander Pearson roared and drew his sword.
“I have to stop the Captain! She’s the one who did it all. It was all her.”
As he lunged at Auzelle, she dove backwards onto the bed and then rolled onto the floor. First platoon rushed Commander Pearson who was swinging his sword around like an enraged beast.
“You’ll never take me in, get them!”
His own men didn’t make a move. They simply looked towards the Marshal, now uncertain who to follow.
Commander Pearson wasn’t so indecisive. He drove his sword into one solider and swung at second. Before he could regain his stance, he was struck from behind. It was a deep cut at the base of the neck which dropped him straight to the floor.
He gulped down a few breaths of blood and air, reaching helplessly to his gaping wound. Within a few short seconds, he was dead.
Auzelle watched it all from the cover of the metal bed. She could have stopped it all with a simple spell, but that wouldn’t have drawn the outcome she wanted.
Once Commander Pearson ceased moving, she made her way over to the solider that had been stabbed. She placed her hand over his wound and with a spell, stemmed the flow of blood. She looked over the Commander’s body and then to the Marshal.
“I wasn’t exactly looking forward to another trial.”
The Marshal made his way over to the body and sighed.
“Well, we’ll be having one anyway. I want to get to the bottom of Commander Stone’s involvement in these matters and whoever else was involved.”
He dotted his finger around to each of Commander Pearson’s men.
“Take these in for questioning. And get this mess cleaned up.”
Auzelle turned her attentions back to her patient. It was true, she had blood on her hands again, but at least she could say she served a just cause.
This was her justice.
Meela took her father’s hand and looked back to Auzelle.
“I can’t believe you’d be so stupid. You just went in and told them?”
Auzelle shook her head.
“I… I needed to do something. I couldn’t just let him get away with it. I can’t believe you’d let him get away with it for so long. How many have died at his hands?”
Meela tapped her father’s hand.
“Dad, you need to get up. We need to get out of here.”
Auzelle moved around to the other side of the bed and placed her hands over his chest. Xheh'a took in a deep breath and groaned. He opened his eyes slowly and blinked.
Meela pressed her lips to his forehand and patted his hand.
“It’s okay, dad. We just need to get you up, it’s not safe here. We have to go far away and hide.”
Xheh'a smiled and shook his head.
“That doesn’t sound like my daughter at all, are you sure that’s you?”
“Dad, I can’t lose you. It’s not safe, for you or mother.”
Auzelle lifted her hands away and Xheh'a winced a little.
“Is it the old business again? Maybe this is your moment, to turn things around. To make things right. You’ve always been saying how people need to stand up for what is right.”
Meela squeezed his hand.
“Can you sit up?”
Xheh'a pushed himself up slowly and nodded his head.
“It hurts in my…”
He gestured his head towards his dressing.
“… but I’ll be okay. Where do I need to go?”
Meela shook her head and pulled her arms around him.
“Don’t worry about that, I’ll get you there. You and mother, I know a safe place. Somewhere they can look after you.”
“Okay. I can go with you, so long as you promise me one thing. That you’ll stay true to yourself. Be stubborn… like your mother.”
Meela held him close and pulled him up off the bed.
“I’ll try, for you.”
She looked over to Auzelle standing on the other side of the bed.
“Be careful. They’ll be coming.”
Then she was gone, along with her father. Auzelle looked around at the empty room. Through the window, she heard the approaching march of boots.
“I have evidence that Commander Pearson is the one responsible for Captain Walker’s death.”
Commander Pearson rolled his eyes and laughed.
“Captain Walker? Is that all you’ve got? Nobody cares, the guy was an idiot. He didn’t know when to keep his mouth shut.”
Auzelle amazed herself by feeling shocked. She didn’t want to believe that it could possibly be true.
“No denials? No argument? You surprise me, Commander… Commander Stone?”
Commander Stone cleared his throat.
“Well you see Captain Lowin, not everything is always so black and white.”
Auzelle turned slowly, backing herself against the wall.
“You knew? You knew he killed him and did nothing?”
Commander Pearson pointed over to Commander Stone.
“He’s not so upstanding as you think he is. We’ve all gotten ourselves dirty at some point. Even you Captain, how much blood is on your hands? You’re responsible for your share of deaths too.”
“They were accidents! It’s not the same.”
“And well, it was an accident that Captain Walker got himself involved. If I had it my way he’d have just taken the bribe.”
Auzelle shook her head.
“No, it can’t be true. Both of you? You’re both in on it. And you ordered them to kill Meela too?”
Commander Pearson held up his hands.
“And I’ve never regretted that decision. Only that they didn’t manage to get the job done. But the question is now, what do you intend to do?”
Auzelle placed her hands up to her ears to shut it all out.
“I’m going to tell them. I’ll tell everyone. I have to. I don’t care if they believe me or not.”
Commander Pearson nodded slowly.
“You know, that’s what I thought you’d say. I’d say it’s what I wanted you to say, but you’ve always been a good officer.”
Commander Pearson opened the door and called out into the hall.
He smiled and looked back to Auzelle.
“But it seems you’ve served your purpose. You can tell your story to the inside of a cell.”
Auzelle shook her head.
“You’ve got nothing to charge me with. You’ll never get it to stick.”
Commander Pearson shook his head.
“You’re mistaken. We’ve finally discovered who it was that killed Captain Walker. Commander Stone and I just heard your confession.”
Commander Pearson turned to look into the hall, wondering what was keeping the guards. As he turned, his heart fell. There in front of him was a short, black-haired Miqo'te woman that looked really pissed off.
Meela closed the gap between her and Commander Pearson.
“The Captain and I are walking out of here or…”
Meela looked over to Auzelle and nodded towards the door. Auzelle didn’t wait, she just darted for the exit while Meela backed Commander Pearson towards the desk.
Auzelle hurried out of the room where half a dozen guards were standing to attention. She was about to ask them for help when Meela caught up with her.
“Don’t waste your time, they’re all in his pocket.”
It was then Auzelle realised that they weren’t just standing to attention, they were fixed that way like living statues.
Meela dragged Auzelle away.
“I’m won’t leave my father, not now.”