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A Noblerat Drops In
(2013-07-28 - 2013-08-01)
Faruja Senra is enjoying some beer at the Wildkat Cafe when a most unexpected visitor literally drops into a nearby alleyway. Burmecian nobleman Eric Bartholomew (Mimsy the Third) has only just reentered normal existance, with little recollection of Burmecia's fall at the hands of Alexandria save the initial explosion. After explaining the situation over beer (and being nearly incited to maul the man for a brief moment) Faruja offers to help Eric get back to his home in Lindblum.
Eric Bartholomew Traverse Town, with its sky constantly set to nighttime, made it rather hard to tell whether it really was night or not. Nevertheless, a black-and-white spotted cat was seeking a meal from a trashcan in one of the alleyways. Quite suddenly, with naught but a brief 'pop' sound of warning, something dropped from the night sky and landed in a pile of potato sacks right next to the trash can, causing it to fall over and the cat to flee with a startled yowl. Whatever it was didn't move or make a sound immeadiatly, so perhaps a concerned bystander should go check on whatever it is. The something was the size of a tall human, although once one got a good look at him they could tell he was anything but. He was a rather tall nezumi, six foot even, and was quite clearly unconscious. His clothes were rather odd for a Burmecian or a Cleyran - a fine black suit that seemed to have recently been sent through a wildfire filled with vicious animals. The jacket had several gashing rips in it, although one could tell none had made it through the white shirt he wore underneath from the lack of blood, and the entire ensemble was covered in ash with a few scorch-marks pock-marked into it. His black hair was entirely in disarray, a black top-hat in the same condition as his suit laying a half foot from the top of his head, and the tips of his ears had minor burns on them. A simple shepherd's-crook cane lay in a limp and open palm, which oddly radiated magic despite being nearly snapped in two, and the white spats upon his feet were scuffed as well as cloaked in ash. He remained unconscious, mouth gaped open with his head tilted back off the edge of the pile of rucksacks, completely alone. Or... not entirely alone - one who was sensitive to spirits could probably hear a faint, panicked cry for help.
Who would respond?
Faruja Senra Faruja Senra may not be able to hear spirits, but his ears work just fine. The sound of a yowling cat and someone crashing down in an alleyway is a relatively common occurance for those simply unlucky. Plastinger on a smile as he walks, slightly wobbly, from the Serendipity, the Templar manages to look not-smashed enough as he approaches the prone form.

His single eye widens a touch, as the rat notices what appears to be a fellow nezumi! "Be thee quite alright, Ser?" Calls out the Burmecian, already laying on with a solid Curaga and Regen spell upon the other male. A clawed hand is offered to the fallen nezumi...even as he inwardly cringes. The man's clothing practically /smelled/ of nobility.

'Even noble scum deserve help at their lowest.' Thinks the rat to himself.
Eric Bartholomew At the query to his health, as well as the sudden surge of white magic, the prone noblenezu groaned into wakefulness. He sat up, blinking blearily with near-black blue eyes at the proferred hand.

"Ah, thank you good sir," he muttered, a little slurred at first, but as the white magic took effect his voice became clearer as his eyes came more into focus. He took the Templar's hand, likewise cringing inwardly at the sheer volume of /religion/ screaming off his armor... although... was he /drunk/? Well well, that was interesting.

"Heh, I suppose even Churchnezu indulge in these trying times. Eric Bartholomew at your-" he began to give a flourishing bow, but as he did so he noticed two things. One, the hat he was reaching for was no longer on his head. Two... his suit was ruined.

"/Sweet Mother of Mercy!/" he loudly squeaked at this latter observation, eyes radiating honest surprise and indignation at the state of his attire as he jumped about a half foot into the air. He froze momentarily, emotion suddenly vacating his eyes as his expression went rigid and calculated. He smiled warmly, although it never quite met those eyes that appeared to be naught but a pair of marbles at the moment, and said, "Well, I suppose you chased off whatever foul beast did this to me, so I suppose I owe you my gratitude. Might I inquire as to what that explosion from earlier today was abou-"

He blinked, noticing the architecture for the first time, and his eyes took up a look of honest confusion as he looked around and muttered to himself, "...This isn't Burmecia..."
Faruja Senra "Well met Ser Bartholomew. Lord guide thee and protect thee! Temple Knight Faruja Senra, likewise. Yes, if I have but one vice, 'tis..." Returns the rat, not bothering with the bows for the moment as he looks the man over. Frowning, he finally notes the soot and general /burnt/ look. Then, his fellow countryman shrieks, causing the Templar to wince and cover his ears. Alcohol and sensitive ears don't mix well with sounds.

"Dear Lord! Come now, be calm! 'Tis hardly a...beast, Ser?" Understanding, at least in part, dawns. For a moment, the rat looks chilled. "No, 'tis not Burmecia at all I am afraid. Come with me." In but a few motions, there's a set of green robes draped over Eric to cover the damaged suit, as well as the rest of the bottle of booze he'd been drinking. Eric will need it more than him.

Faruja starts leading Eric to the Wildkat Cafe,pulling up a chair for the man, then depositing himself in one.

"What was the last think you can remember? This is the town of Traverse. If...'twas of home..." He can't hate the man right now, if his theory's correct. A deep sigh. "'Tis no more. The Alexandrians destroyed it."
Eric Bartholomew Thoroughly confused now, Eric allows Ser Senra to drape him in robes and guide him, the soot-covered male taking a sniff of the bottle handed to him and making a bit of a face. Eric wasn't entirely a fan of beer... or drinking after others. He held onto the bottle, though, for no particular reason other than the feeling of cold dread radiating off of Ser Senra. Not Burmecia? That was perposterous - he was walking from the merchant's district not several hours ago... according to his assumption based on the sky. And where /was/ the rain that perpetually cast down on their fair city of birth? The cold dread was contagious, and Eric's only defense was to blithely ignore it. He accomplished this by inspecting the architecture with a little more awareness - it wasn't terribly dissimilar to that of Lindblum, but dissimilar enough that he could dismiss that theory. He'd lived in Lindblum for two years, after all.

Upon entering the bar and being pulled a seat, Eric took it, setting the bottle of alcohol down on the table. He didn't think he'd have need of it. That feeling lasted for not even a second after Ser Senra's report.

"Destroyed???" he asked, incredulous, then chuckled and said, "Don't be ridiculous, Burmecia can't be gone, and the Alexandrians have no reason..."

Even so... Eric took a swig of the beer, and even as he tried to arrange his face into blithe amusement (after making a face at the taste of the beer), the glass mask over his eyes cracked, showing the creeping fear of the truth.

"The last I remember... I was walking from the merchant's district - I'd spent two years in Lindblum, you see, and only just got back, so I needed some furnishings for a house and wares for the store - and there was an explosion off in the poor quarter..." he remained in ruminative silence, eyes taking on a distant look. Then he blinked, looked at Faru, and said with a shrug as he took another swig, "'Tis all..."

That... wasn't entirely true. After the memory of the explosion, Eric could feel a wall of fear, panic, screaming, chaos, and... He was afraid to look any farther.
Faruja Senra Faruja sighs, shivering lightly as he sits. Remembering the horrible truth all too vividly, he lets his fellow nezumi slowly wake up. Part of him wants to leave Eric ignorant of it all. But he knows deep down it will only hurt his countryman in the long run. Better to give him the blunt, honest truth now than to let him be shocked into it later at the worst possible time.

Though his face is a stern mask, his tail trembles as fear, loss, and rage fill him upon recalling those days. "No doubt. The Alexandrians assaulted the walls, took them upon our weakest point; the poor distract. Once breached, they called upon their fell heartless and Black Mage Daemons, whom consumed and lit aflame civilian and soldier alike. By the time myself, Lady Fray, and the rest of my squad arrived, the entire area was swarmed. We were ambushed while trying to lead several of the Sisters of Silence and other civilians to safety."

A grin, humorless and bitter marks his muzzle. "...His Highness and the Royal Dragon Knights fled the city. 'Twas the last before my sight, aside from my squad being devoured as the Alexandrian soldiers looked on. Then, those Mages, well..." Faruja motions to his bandaged head.
Eric Bartholomew Eric nodded numbly to himself as he listened to Ser Senra's explanation of events - it made perfect logical sense, if one ignored the lack of motive. He'd heard rumors in Lindblum that the Alexandrian Queen was... odd... so perhaps she /had/, in fact, snapped. Or mayhaps not entirely, to have successfully sacked the entirety of Burmecia.

"I suppose it does make sense - they must have swept through rather quickly to catch me up in it where I was..." Eric said, taking the edge of a sleeve of his ruined suit between two figners. He rather doubted he'd ran /towards/ the battle... except perhaps for one thing, but even then he'd never fancied himself a brave enough nezumi.

At Faru's accusation towards the King, however, Eric narrowed his eyes in a confused and mildly irked manner as he said, "I doubt our King would have abandoned Burmecia lightly... or with anything less than a heart weighted down in sorrow for those left behind. Was he right there with you in the poor district? Did you see some look of cowardice cross his brow as he turned with his Dragon Knights in retreat?"

He folded his arms then, and quirked an eyebrow at Ser Senra as he observed, "It sounds to me like you wish to place blame at his feet."

Eric wondered to himself when he became the King's staunch defender - he'd become a bit infamous in Lindblum for making jokes about His Royal Highness, and had begun to attain the same reputation in Burmecia. He had never, however, been terribly afraid to poke someone in a sensitive spot, and this Templar struck him as masking some sort of rage on that front. Of course Eric always wished to avoid the unpleasant reactions that generally ensued, but that somehow never seemed to deterr him no matter how many times he crossed that invisible line that would land a fist in his face.
Faruja Senra ERic's definitely caught Faruja at the wrong time. Standing up, slamming both hands on the table, he cracks the wood as sharp claws dig into the material. "He left our people to rot when we needed him most! Leaders do not flee while their people die, they fight, or at the very least they lead them to safety! Not run while the city lays besieged!" Booze and the reminder of days gone by have him yelling. Several people stare. Breathing heavily, the rat slumps down into his seat.

"...It does not matter now. Only the survival of our people does."
Eric Bartholomew Eric just about jumped out of his seat and shielded his face with his arms - yes, /definitely/ not quite the time to bring that up - fully expecting to be soundly clocked by a gauntlet-clad fist. As Ser Senra yelled instead, however, Eric lowered his arms slightly and listened, trembling slightly. As the Templar sat back down looking quite exhausted from his rage, Eric lowered his arms, and he nodded, "Yes... that is certainly what matters..."

Eric thought for a moment - he'd only /barely/ avoided gaguing Ser Senra's strength the painful way, so he really shouldn't be irking the knight any furth-

"So, how go your conquests on that front?" Eric said, placing both elbows upon the table, his chin in both hands, and smirked with eyebrows raised sugguestively.

..... Even he knew he was a great clodding idiot. No, he was not recovered entirely from the shock of Burmecia being gone. On the contrary, this was his default coping mechanism for almost everything - poke people until he finds the magic 'I will punch your face in' button. Funny thing was, he'd always had the pain-tolerance of a paper napkin. Another funny thing was that he had a similarly low tolerance for most things /that variety/ of indecent, but he could certainly dance around the subject well enough that none would suspect such.
Faruja Senra Faruja's arm goes back, claws out-stretched, the Burmecian looking just about to remove the noble's face. Just as he's about to swing, with a supreme force of will, he stops himself. No. He wouldn't hurt a fellow countryman when they've just fallen out of the ruins of his home. Even a noble. Even one as monumentally stupid as to prod the rat on the issue.

Faruja sits back down, eye narrowed, smiling. "We have enlisted several allies, and even now make overtures to others. So too do we train with weapons far more destructive than those upon our world. When the hammer blow of Burmecia and its allies falls, Alexandria shall be crushed utterly." His words are absolute. It seems the rat has great belief in his people.
Eric Bartholomew /'Steady does it,'/ Eric told himself as Faruja's arm went back, fixing a look of nonchalance on his face as his heart pounded in terror of impending disfigurement, casually placing his arms upon the table so he could duck more easily if the need arose. The nezu hadn't even lifted a fist during his tirade about the King - let's see just how far he'll go. His eyebrows raised in surprised as Faru's arm lowered. Well well, Churchnezu had some /supreme/ force of will there - most males whose primary instinct on that matter was violent protest didn't have the discipline to check themselves, and even fewer had the discipline to do so while quite plainly /drunk/. Faruja Senra was a profoundly noble-hearted male of any sentient race, if not merely among nezumi. Color Eric's respect gained... which was most unfortunate for dear Faruja - Eric teased those he respected to a near-merciless degree. He would quite enjoy learning what all the buttons on this particular Burmecian were.

"Quite," Eric said, boomeranging straight back to serious, "After an assault such as that we can't well let them off unscathed or with the run of Gaia."

At least that was a front upon which they agreed... even if most Burmecians still living or with any common sense would.

Oh, and Faru, you have quite forgotten to mention one quirky thing about this whole situation...

"I suppose my next course of action should be to pay a visit to Lindblum," Eric said, nodding to himself as he sipped the beer, which actually was growing on him, much to his own surprise. "I still have a store and home there, unless of course Alexandria has destroyed Lindblum as well. Of course they can't have had time to assault them, unless they assaulted both Lindblum and Burmecia simultaneously."

Alright, perhaps two things...

"Where on Gaia are we, anyway?"
Faruja Senra "Indeed. However, 'tis become more troublesome. They now have allies." Pausing, Faruja sighs, and continues. His tail stills, traces of his earlier anger gone. After a long look at the nobleman, the Burmecian again speaks.

"Though mayhaps you shan't believe it...Lord knows I spent the first three weeks believing all about me insanity...Gaea no longer exists. Currently, only the lands of Alexandria, Cleyra, and Lindblum remain since our world's fall into Darkness. It resides within the 'World of Ruin', a mixture of multiple lands that hath survived their own world's fall. This is the land of Traverse, a seperate place, whereupon many worlds meet...and those lost oft turn up. Such as thyself, for instance. Though Burmecia's fall may seem as yesterday, 'twas more than a year's passing for myself."

Letting it all sink in for a moment, he nods. "Go to Lindblum, the Alexandrians and their allies Baron and the Empire hath naught conquered it yet...though methinks 'tis only a matter of time before they strike. Should it be necessary, I shall provide transportation." Offers the rat.
Eric Bartholomew Eric sighed. "Is it not always thus?" It seemed that, every time one enemy appeared, ten more sprang up behind it. Not that Eric had ever fought before, at least to his recollection.
Eric Bartholomew Eric Bartholomew says, "Do... do you honestly expect me to believe that we are presently sitting in one of several interconnected multiverses, and that I have been asleep God knows where for the past /year/???""
Eric Bartholomew Eric sighed. "Is it not always thus?" It seemed that, every time one enemy appeared, ten more sprang up behind it. Not that Eric had ever fought before, at least to his recollection.

As Ser Senra recounted the absurd impossibility of the world they now found themselves in, Eric's eyes grew larger and larger, his brows knitting together first in perplexity, second in concern, and finally ended in complete and utter incredulity. His head tilted to one side, and had his brain melted as he felt it had it would have come dribbling out of his ear.

"Do... do you honestly expect me to believe that we are presently sitting in one of several interconnected multiverses, and that I have been asleep God knows where for the past /year/???"

And then Eric did something that would probably startle several bar patrons. He laughed, in great, rolling, squeaky, utterly hysteric giggle-fits. Several probably wondered if Chip and Dale were somewhere close by pulling pranks on the unsuspecting, but likely not - this was nezu-laughter... or at least Eric's laughter. If nezu laughed such they probably typically grew out of this squeaky laughter. After about a minute of completely and utterly losing his head, Eric's laughter suddenly cut off, and he sat up, adjusted the greed robes back upon his shoulders, and cleared his throat, "My apologies... I have no reason to disbelieve you aside from that... well... it /sounds/ like rather a large piece of insanity to be the least bit true."

At the offer of transportation, Eric momentarily appeared to be about to politely decline but, after a moment more of thought, he sighed, "I suppose that would be best - if what little remains of Gaea is truly hodge-podged in with the remains of other worlds, I would likely get lost navigating it on my own."

He reached into his pocket, saying, "The least I can do is cover your bar tab, it-" but he cut off as he withdrew a hand and looked at the distinct not-gil-ness of the bits of paper in his hand. He momentarily appeared as if one about to go on a tirade, but he stopped, chuckled good-naturedly, and said, "Let me guess, the fairies of this universe replace all coinage with this... I do hope this is legal tender..." If not there were some fairies he needed to have a /firm/ and potentially /fiery/ discussion with. While it was true he wouldn't miss it overly much, he didn't much care for pickpockets, and at the moment he had no access to the rest of his funds in Lindblum. He could assume what he'd left at his temporary accomodations in Burmecia were a complete and absolute loss... which was a shame, but not something he couldn't recover from with time. Besides, he was fortunate to have anything at all to return to.
Faruja Senra Faruja patiently waits through the disbelief, and the laughter. The ratling expected it. The Templar waves a hand dismissively. "Nay, nay. 'Tis insanity, truly. Yet so too 'tis the truth. My advice? Think naught overmuch upon it. Find what remains of thy life, and cling to it with all thy strength, Ser Bartholomew."

A swift nod, and finally Faruja smiles. "Excellent. 'Twould be my honor to see thee to somewhere familiar." He glances about. "Traverse has never been to my liking. Too dry, too unchanging."

A small chuckle exits the rat's muzzle, and he stands. "As thee wish, Ser, and thank thee for the kindness. Entirely legal, though hardly satisfying. Give me a solid gold gil rather than.../paper/." Luckily, he hadn't really drank /too/ much. Tonight was cheap beer night.

Standing, the rat motions to follow. "Come, let us find thee a hotel for the night. 'Tis only one, and free. Though, do not remain out past ten. Heartless roam the halls. The rooms are safe, however."
Eric Bartholomew Eric nodded to Faruja's advice to cling to what he had left, that was what he planned to do, after all. He momentarily wondered how much Faruja had left of his previous life. Eric nodded again, entirely oblivious to the oddity of Traverse Town's sky, "Yes, Lindblum's a bit parse for rain as well, but..." he paused, eyes looking distant a moment, but then he shrugged with a grin, "'Tis not as dry as other places." He was suddenly glad he'd decided against moving to Alexandria those two years ago - that would have writ him a grave disaster now that Alexandria and... the remnants of Burmecia were enemies.

He sighed relief upon hearing the paper actually /was/ accepted as money, "Good, t'would not do to be a penniless noble," and paid Ser Senra's tab at the first opportunity.

When Faruja stands and motions for him to follow, Eric does so rather dutifully, taking up the tattered hat and broken cane he had brought with him from the alley. All things that would have to be replaced, but that would come in good time.

"T'would never think of it..." Eric said, getting a mild tingle up his spine as he wondered what exactly a Heartless was. He had an ominous feeling he'd once known the answer and hadn't liked it at all... but perhaps that was only because Ser Senra's tone made them sound plenty dangerous, especially coming from an experienced warrior such as himself. Eric would ask in the safety of daylight... and keep his room locked.

This scene contained 17 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Eric Bartholomew