Final Fantasy Infinite

Echoes 1: An Improptu Beginning
What a crazy random happenstance.

With tensions between Narshe and Lindblum reaching a breaking point, Narshe sends an embassy to Cocoon to secure their assistance (or at least guarantee their non-involvement) in the upcoming war. Accompanying them are a certain Captain of the Watch and a half-dozen handpicked men, to run security for the diplomats. After a few days of uneventful and inconclusive negotiations, Robert notices a pair of his men acting off. When he questions the two, they draw their weapon, attack and slay the negotiators on both sides of the table, and flee the scene, with Robert and his men in hot pursuit. Robert manages to grasp and tear one of their shirts, revealing the duo to be Shards; however, they ultimately escape. Robert and company are then surrounded by the Mounted Brigade and arrested for conspiring against Cocoon. Much to their surprise, the Mounties find Robert quite cooperative, and as a result he receives a fairly comfortable cell.

Comfortable as it may be, the next two days involve much questioning and few answers for Robert, with no word reaching him from Narshe. However, a note from a certain Knight-Commander eventually reaches him, via a certain thief in disguise, bearing unfortunate news. Narshe is desperately attempting to repair its relationship with Cocoon before it’s at war with two cities, and the Captain of the Watch is held accountable for the actions of the men under his direct command; ergo, Narshe has thrown Robert under the cart. Lisbeth begs her friend to escape the city – “There is no justice in Cocoon.” Though loathe to become “criminal scum” himself, Robert allows Tantalus to break he and his men out of prison. Tantalus guides them to a clinic in the Low Residential, as per his instructions, and hands a certain world-weary medic and old acquaintance of Robert and Lisbeth a note-within-a-note before disappearing.

In it, Lisbeth calls in “a final favor” from Crash, asking him to get Robert out of the city by whatever means necessary. Pulling a few strings, Crash manages to get in contact with a certain fishing magnate and gentleman explorer, and arranges a meeting at a bar in the High Residential. Soon after the meeting begins, the party is ambushed by a certain terrifying young girl, hired to subdue Robert and return him to custody. With some hasty bargaining, Sir Edgar manages to buy out Leto’s contract, just in time for them to be ambushed by a handful of Blackbriar mercenaries also looking to capture Robert. The party defeats them handily, and wisely decides to flee before reinforcements can show.

After arranging for his men to be smuggled out overland, Robert elects to linger a little bit to take any heat off them, and to take a sea route. The party heads to Edgar’s office in the Spire in the wee hours of the morning to gather supplies for their escape, including Crystallis fragments to avoid death via Miasma. The four touch the Crystallis but find that they’re unable to move away, as chaotic sensory input fills their heads.

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Memento 8: Into the Cleyran Desert
Or :Why Wasn't Mathew Half Camel? Or : WTF is Blitzball?

After laying low in the Dead Hand’s hideout after a daring gala theft in the city of Cocoon, having retrieved the Mysterious desert gem the “Heroes” meet up with Aldarune, the Desert Merchant, and make preparations to travel into the vast Cleyran Desert.

After only a few days, the party arrived at a small inn and trading post just outside of the vast desert. There they stocked up on supplies such as water, climate-friendly armor, and sand tubes for sleeping. Leaving the comfortable grasslands behind and being well prepared, the party was still amazed at the oppressively hot desert sands.

After three days of being guided through the wastes, Aldarune thought he saw the sand shifting on the horizon. Erring on the side of caution he led the group in a wide berth around the suspicious area. As they turned to leave the spot shifting sands gave way to a pair of vicious-looking Flan and a huge Antlion. Locke was daydreaming about cool rivers and fresh fallen snow when the large beast grabbed a hold of him. Fighting off the beasts, Arr’ik Triss took the largest ones head as a trophy, Monty Karonet discovering an Earth materia amid the remains of a Flan.

Some time later, Aldarune spotted a massive sand storm quickly approaching the party. With out hesitation, leaping off a dune crest, he guided his group to what looked to be a pre-war city carved into the jagged mountain-side itself. Before taking shelter from the oncoming storm, the party was able to refill up on water rations and hide away in an abandoned shop. Corrin Dysley took the opportunity to try to get sand out of every inch of his gear while Monty began hastily speculating about the history and origin of the city. They determined that water must have at one time, been made to flow through the entire city.

After the storm died down the party ventured on. Passing a great glass sphere arena complex, the party was surprised to find a Coeurl come crashing down from the cliff above, revealing the small pack of others waiting to pounce. Realizing that the jig was up, the Coeurl lept down and attacked the group. With gun, blade and song the three beasts were quickly routed.

Just before leaving the massive hidden city someone spotted an out of place glow eminating from an open room some floors up. Easily scaled by Arr’ik Triss the room was revealed to be a natural ‘lay-line’, a direct source of Gia energy. The swell of concentrated power manifested itself into a super-natural spring topped with a pink lotus which bloomed into a Water materia.

Upon exiting the city, the guide pointed out the mountains in the distance, signifying the far end of the Miasmic Continent. They were notified that the desert nomads village was not far but also they a known Oasis was close as well. The group chose to see the Oasis before finishing their journey.

Much to Monty’s surprise, a giant snake struck the unsuspecting bard and in one fell strike, reduced the bard to a bloody heap among the sands. The beast was quickly dispatched by the remainder of the group, dropping a Yellow materia before they grabbed the dying Elf and made a run for the nearby village.

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Memento 2: Waiting on the Edge
Guess who's the reason we can't have nice things?

The session opened with the group on approach to Dali from Tida. The ride went smoothly until approximately a mile out, when the group noticed the complete lack of a crystal shield covering the city. Bad juju.

A brief visit closer to the city revealed most of the population to be dead or dying as the crystal was shattered, fleeing in vain hope to Lindblum or Narshe. Those who could fit were compacted into what free space remained in crystal shields provided by travelling caravans.

Electing to avoid the town, the group traveled straight on to Lindblum, moving fast. A passing shipping caravan gave them the story: a group of Chocobo riders stormed in and assaulted another group that was here, protecting the crystal. They shattered it before being driven off and/or mostly killed.

Upon their arrival in Lindblum, the group headed straight to Lindblum Castle. Some minor confusion involving an alleged letter from the Narshe City Council preceded a meeting with Strago and a young blue mage that the group learned was Matthew Smith. Upon hearing their tale, and sensing the strong magical presence in Arr’ik’s bag, Strago took them to see the Regent.

The Regent took them in and debriefed them. After some initial hiding of the whole truth, the group finally explained the entire story to the Regent, who listened carefully. He decided to keep them in the castle for the time being and asked them to bring the book down to the magical studies center.

While this was happening, Jess was exploring the castle and attempting to find the princess. Her efforts were stymied by a particularly steadfast castle guard.

Arr’ik decided to stay with the book and escort it to the magic researchers. There, she got into conversation with young, eager Matthew, who took the journal up to the library for a woman named Annalise to translate. The two became fast friends.

Meanwhile, Jess and Corrin wandered into the theater district where they decided to pass the time by going to see the musical How To Succeed At Being Royalty Without Really Caring. After the musical, Corrin was called to by a rather rough looking man – only he called him Jack. Dead Hand Jack, specifically. The man was wondering where “Jack” had gone months ago. Jack said a job went south. The man asked if he planned on coming but and said that Eric was looking for him, take care of some loose ends.

Somewhat regrettably, Jess and Corrin went with and discovered the hideout of the Dead Hand crime syndicate. The current showrunner Eric greeted Corrin warmly and said that he could have it all back, if he wanted.

Corrin, not wanting to face most of his past with the criminal syndicate, said that he didn’t want it, but agreed to take care of some closing business and was lead to the back office. He was given a small sum of money, a nice severance cut, and then escorted to the back warehouse to approve a “shipment”. The shipment proved to be a collection of people.

Eric had a bullet in his brain a second later.

Meanwhile, Jess was catching guilty looks from some of the other ruffians inside the base. A small physical kerfuffle and some threatening looks later, she divined that they had seen someone who looked and dressed like her. He’d been sold for 30,000 gil and sent to Cocoon, as she later figured out by checking shipping manifests.

The thugs rushed into the warehouse to find Eric’s dead body – and Corrin appearing soon after. They all drew weapons, and it looked back for a second before they asked Corrin what they were doing next.

Corrin, snapping into control fairly quickly, cleaned up the place and told them all to take a day off.

The three thugs who’d kidnapped and helped sell Torr seemed to be working with Eric, hiding the activity from the other thugs. A series of inequalities in the ledgers meant that Eric was not only trading beings, he was embezzling most of those funds. Where to, Corrin didn’t know.

After the shenanigans, Corrin and Jess returned to the palace, where Edgar gathered the group together and asked them a favor: take themselves and proceed to Midgar and Treno, warning them of the crystal shattering Chocobo Knights. Another group had already been dispatched some time ago to Cocoon to see what the hell was up with that.

The group packed up and left, with Matthew adventuring along with them this time. They journeyed for a day and a little bit before running into a group sporting the Narshe banner coming from the other way. A small tense stand-off exploded into a full-on battle, and the group made short work of the Narshe soldiers. Leaving them for dead, save one, the group continued on, cresting a hill.

Below them sat the gathered might of the Narshe Military. The implications were clear.

Panicked, the group high-tailed it back to Lindblum, arriving in the early hours of the morning. They rushed into the castle, leaving the captured soldier outside the gate in the hands of castle guards, and headed up to the royal suites. Edgar, thought to have come to bed, wasn’t there.

Unable to quell the sense of dread, the group ascended to the throne room, where they were greeted with Edgar on this throne, dead. A Dragon Knight’s spear pierced his heart. Specifically, Arr’ik’s old one.

Flying into panic, the group quickly split up. Jess headed down and grabbed the book as the others roused the Regent’s most trusted advisor, Strago, telling him what they saw. Strago, thinking fast, told them to get the hell out of Dodge Lindblum and head to Cocoon to find a friend of his named Alderune, using the secret tunnels underneath the palace. Giving a parting hug and some brief words of encouragement to Matthew, he sent them away and attended to the Regent.

The group descended to the very bottom floor of the Palace, enterring the secret tunnel that would lead them onto the Gizamaluke Plains and from there, to the Timeless Caverns.

Log:

  • Mailman: Deliver a letter to Miss Alexis Tannenbaum in Lindblum.
  • Mailman: Deliver a letter to Mr Thomas Paine in Narshe.
  • Monty Haul: Appraise and sell off the gathered loot and trinkets from Tida.
  • Echoes of the Past: Deliver the book to the Royal Academy in Lindblum
  • Echoes of the Past: Escape the city of Lindblum and go to Cocoon using the Timeless Caverns
    • Old Friends: Rendezvous with Alderune, the Desert Merchant, in Cocoon.
    • Friends in Low Places: Rendezvous with some of the Dead Hand contacts.
  • The Home Front: A reply from Arr’ik’s mother in Narshe is expected.
  • The Home Front: Arr’ik sent a letter to her mother, telling her to get out of the city.
  • Culture Shock: Decipher the first page of the Tida Journal.
  • Culture Shock: The page is being deciphered, but was seemingly forgotten in the rush to leave Lindblum.
  • MIA: Torr was sold and shipped to Cocoon, according to the shipping manifests.
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Memento 1: The Plot Thickens
Wait, already? We just started!

The wheel of fate is turning. Narshe is suffering from overpopulation and lack of resources. Lindblum is almost bankrupt, and the city’s financial elite are threatening to take matters into their own hands. Cocoon’s businesses empires are losing support from the working class, and the city is on the brink of rebellion.

To top things off, people are disappearing into the night, and factories are churning out weapons like no tomorrow. No one knows what for.

The militaries are being prepared for war by the ruling parties of all the cities. In wake of this, the Narshe City Council has created a volunteer exploratory mission to venture to the abandoned city of Tida, with the recommendation of the College of Magical Studies. Magical pulses have been detected, and they want someone to check it out.

This group of someones happens to be a semi-motley crüe crew of individuals: Jess, Tantalus Locke, Arr’ik Triss, Corrin Dysley, and two mages.

Tantalus was in it for the fame and fortune. Mostly the latter. Arr’ik signed up since anything about Tida tended to attract her interest. Corrin was offered a position as a guard. Jess, meanwhile, was tracking down information on an old friend of hers, Torr, that left town some time ago.

After being lead on a bit of a wild chocobo chase around the city, she was finally lead to the office of a recent caravan, who informed her that her friend was last seen acting as a caravan guard for them. The caravan was ambushed on a trip to Dali and was last seen heading towards Tida.

With that in mind, the group ventured forth with the commission from the Narshe City Council. A journey of about two days was all it took before they stood at the gates of Tida.

The town was long gone and longer dead. An eerie silence unlike any other pervaded the atmosphere. Not even the wind blowing made any sound, and no creatures or otherwise provided a break from the unending quiet.

The party explored the city as the day wore on. The market area and crystal center were first, and though the city had been pillaged of much of the wealth it once had, a few baubles and trinkets were recovered. Of curious note was that the crystal itself had mysteriously and perfectly reassembled itself. The group quickly made their way to the library, where after a brief encounter with some goblins and flan, they discovered the source of the magical pulse – a mysterious book, locked inside a small alcove by a gate and three bells – one of gold, one of silver, one of bronze.

Arr’ik rang a similar silver bell that she had found on a skeleton near the crystal. When it rang close to the one on the lock, both bells shattered, and the lock came off. Thinking quick, Jess rang the others to track them down, and the group split up. Arr’ik headed towards city hall, Tantalus went to the fields.

Arr’ik returned with a journal half written in an ancient language and another golden bell. The journal contained nothing but three lines on every page, and one introductory page. Pattern analysis revealed it to always be three names.

Tantalus returned with another bell. Upon ringing both of them, the locks fell away and the book was retrieved by Arr’ik, who stored it safely in her pack.

Tantalus and Jess went off to search the residential district while Corrin and Arr’ik went to the crystal center. Arr’ik touched it, and the crystal reacted, shattering once more into thousands of crystals. One of them smashed the mage in the chest, and he was transformed into a terrible, shambling monster.

After a short fight, Tantalus and Jess returned with the other mage. He too was struck by a suddenly animate part of the crystal, and turned into another one of the monsters.

Putting them to rest was in short order. Leaving the town, the four encountered a letter left for them by the Narshe City Council, telling them to proceed to Lindblum instead due to some severe rioting.

The session closed with a brief rest, and the group heading towards Dali, mounted on rented chocobos.

Log:
– Echoes of the Past: Deliver the book to the Royal Academy in Lindblum
– Mailman: Deliver a letter to Miss Alexis Tannenbaum in Lindblum.
– Mailman: Deliver a letter to Mr Thomas Paine in Narshe.
– The Home Front: A reply from Arr’ik’s mother in Narshe is expected.
– Culture Shock: Decipher the first page of the Tida Journal.
– Monty Haul: Appraise and sell off the gathered loot and trinkets from Tida.

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Chronicles 2: Vagina-Faced Mushrooms
Why are these even things?

Our session begins with our heroes returning to Lindblum. They are met on the road by a moogle with a message for Ruby from Regent Edgar. Realizing that now is as good a time as any, Princess Ruby decides to fake her death in Dali by not answering the letter. She convinces Shyla Vantras to go along by offering to pay what Shyla would have earned by bringing the princess back safely.

The party reenters the city, with Shyla and Ruby leaving to get Ruby’s secret cache of money, while Elder Garret and Nearien Lin Tostel go to meet with the Regent to fill him in on the events in Dali.

Informed of Cocoon’s potential involvement in the attack, the Regent commissions Elder Garret and the others for another mission: he wants to send them to Cocoon to see if they can find any information on why they would want Dali destroyed. Garret and Nearien gather up Ruby and Shyla and head for North Gate.

One night while setting up camp, the party is attacked by a pair of floating wolf-headed abominations with three rotating bat wings (Buel), and a trio of vagina-dentata-faced mushrooms (Funguar). The party is nearly wiped, primarily due to the ability of the vagina mushrooms to shoot a powerful laser targeting female party members. Elder Garret manages to survive the fight, though, and revives his female companions. They carry on.

Within a day’s ride of North Gate, the party finds an obstacle in their path: a contingent of chocobo cavalry, setting up camp. The party attempts to sneak around the camp, but is caught by scouts, who they are forced to dispatch. One knight escapes, though, and the party is faced with a choice: run for North Gate, where there may or may not be more troops, or return to Lindblum, to warn the Regent and possibly help mount a counter-offense.

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Chronicles 1: Dali's So Nice This Time of Year
*That* wasn't expensive.

This session primarily focused on Elder Garret, Ruby, and Shyla.

We start with Ruby flouting in the Theater District of Lindblum. After her song ends, a pair of guards inform her that Regent Edgar requests her presence for an informal meeting in the castle. Ruby makes her way there, and Edgar fills her in on what little is known of the incident in Tida some fifty years previously. He then explains that the farming community Dali has requested Lindblum send a group to look at their Crystal, as something strange has been happening with it. Edgar asks the princess if she would acquiesce to going with the mages, to put a more public face on the event. Ruby accepts. While moving about the castle, preparing to leave, she spies a wolf wandering the castle’s corridors. She follows it for a while; when it notices her, it sits down to wait for her to leave, but when she approaches, it runs away.

Elder Garret is returning to the inn where he is currently staying in Lindblum when the innkeeper tells him of a stranger that came asking for him and who said to meet him at the front steps of the castle later that day. Garret waits for Nearien to arrive, as they have been working together on combining magical and engineering theory, and sets out. At the front steps of the castle he is greeted by Regent Edgar, whom he knows in passing. Edgar, knowing that Garret was on of the only survivors of the disaster at Tida, asks if Garret wouldn’t mind being a part of the expedition to Dali. Garret accepts, and Edgar sends him to an inn to meet one of the mercenaries he’s hired to help guard the princess.

Shyla is drinking, alone, in a rowdy common room when Garret finds her. Garret spends several hours regaling the bar with his stories, much to Shyla’s chagrin, before leaving the inn to return to sleep. Shyla spends a few more hours starting fights in the bar before heading to bed as well.

The next morning, the three meet at the front of the castle, along with Nearien, who has decided to accompany Elder Garret, two quarters of Royal Mages, and Sir Edgar Barrow, who has been chosen to lead the expedition, due to his familiarity with the road from Lindblum to Dali. Also in the square is a wolf, who accepts a few head-scratches from Ruby. Sir Barrow and Garret, who have some common history, greet each other, and the group heads out.

That night, Shyla and Ruby have some conversation, in which Shyla tells the stubborn Ruby that she knows nothing about the world, and needs to learn to take care of herself, while Garret entertains the bar patrons and answers some of the innkeepers’ questions about their expedition and the happenings in Dali.

The rest of the week-long trip passes without incident and the group finds themselves in Dali, near the start of a festival. Garret and Sir Barrow head off to make an appointment with the town’s elder, while Shyla takes Ruby to find a weapon shop. They come across a smoky blacksmith shop called Wyld Stallyns, however they are unable to get any useful service. Outside the shop, Ruby tries to convince Shyla that the doesn’t need help defending herself, by setting a tree on fire with her power staff. The crowd panics and a nearby black mage puts out the fire, while Shyla argues with Ruby that she doesn’t understand the world, as evidenced by the fact that SHE JUST SET A TREE ON FIRE. Two wardens run up moments later, drawn by the calls of, “fire,” and inform Ruby that it’s time for the meeting.

Ruby and Shyla meet up with the others at the Elder’s house, and he escorts them to the Crystal Pavilion near the center of town while explaining the situation. A massive oak tree grows around their Crystallis, and few weeks ago the tree began to blacken and lose its leaves. The Elder, knowing rumors about Tida’s passing, panicked and asked Lindblum for help. He leaves them in the pavilion to attend to other matters, and the mages begin investigating the crystal. While thusly distracted, the group is attacked by a small group of chocobo knights as well as five mounted mages. Shyla is gravely wounded by the knights’ commander in the opening moments, but manages to keep the commander away from the crystal and eventually knocks him from his chocobo, killing him. Garret heals Shyla, then kills one mage before being attacked by both of the other knights. Ruby focuses on attacking the two knights while the mages perform some kind of ritual on the Crystal. The mages just manage to complete their ritual before Shyla has dealt with the commander and is charging them; they shoot black energy into the Crystal, similar to a Dark spell, and the Crystal shatters.

Shyla cuts down one more mage as the attackers flee, and the group realizes that the Miasma will be rushing into the city in moments. They run, attempting to inform other people of the danger, and meet up with the Elder, who takes them to his house to use his personal-sized crystal. They wait out the panic in the Elder’s house, protected by a twenty-foot bubble of breathable air. When the activity has quieted down outside, they emerge into a ghastly scene, where people trampled to death in the panic share the street with those too unfortunate to find a crystal before the Miasma descended.

The group goes to check on their wagon with its much larger crystal, but it has been taken in the chaos, along with all their supplies. The group then returns to the Crystal Pavilion to gather clues, and learn that the chocobo knights were indeed from Cocoon, though whether they were officially sanctioned remains a mystery. The bodies of the three defeated mages yield three scrolls which incompletely describe a ritual. The group searches the town for supplies in air-tight containers, to use on their long trip back to Lindblum, and in the process runs off a group of ruffians ransacking a farmhouse. They find a barrel of radishes in the basement, and set off to return to Lindblum.

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