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Mightier than a Sword

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When the news that the Scions of the Seventh Dawn are wanted by the Crystal Braves and the Brass Blades for murder reaches them their first reaction is one of disbelief.
Their second is fully exemplified by Cece after dragging one of the sketchier looking Blades into a dark alley to be interrogated at gunpoint.

“What in the seven hells?!” Cece yells as she shoves her handgonne in the Brass Blade’s face. “SHE’S ACCUSED OF WHAT?!”

“Cee please,” Malena places a placating hand on the Lalafell’s shoulder though her eyes are hard and angry as she looks at the terrified man. It's not the man's fault that he's given them some of the worst news they've had since the whole 'Bahamut was imprisoned within Dalamud and the second moon just exploded' at Carteneau.

“Mal’s got a point,” Loetstymm says, eyes just as fierce as the conjurer’s. “We’re no help to them if we all get arrested. String him up and split. We’re leaving.” he snaps as he storms out of the alley not checking to see if the others are following his instructions.

It’s not the first time his crew has had to beat a hasty exit from a town. Though not for something as huge as regicide.

It’s not exactly a secret that the one they call the eikon slayer is a part of their small adventurer company, and from there it’s not hard to say that the Quills are associated with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to some extent.

Loetstymm curses colourfully under his breath as he makes his way through the streets of Ul’dah. Most make way for the armoured Roegadyn as he heads towards the Quicksand, and those that don’t are promptly shoved aside. Angry protests are promptly beaten off with a pointed glare from a rust-haired Lalafell with a very large gun, and a glance at the large axe on the very large green Sea Wolf's back.
Disgruntled adventurer parties were not ones to cross in Ul'dah.

The lass had said she was invited to a tea party with the Sultana before the summit. What in the seven hells happened?

Irrelevant. Not the issue at this time.

Where would the Scions go? They can’t stay in Ul’dah for sure. Horizon was probably being raided and the Rising Stones were likely not the wisest place to head but what else could they do? T’Chev would have a much better idea, but the bastard had disappeared a bell or two ago. The jackass had said he was looking into something about the Crystal Braves.

“Randal,” Loetstymm breathes out harshly as he activates the free company linkpearl. “Randal you bastard, I need you to get Sela and...”

“Cap’n please. Do you have any idea how long it took me to-”

“Shut up and listen to me Randal!” he snaps at the likely drunk paladin angrily. “The Scions have been accused of murder and all of Ul’dah is after their heads.”
That seems to sober the man up instantly. “Get Sela, get the girl and get out?”

“We don’t know where she is,” he sighs. “She’s ditched the linkpearl. Head to the Rising Stones, we’ll regroup and-”

“Mor Dhona’s out, the Braves are in on this,” a familiar drawl interjects over the aether connection.

“T’chev you furry bastard where the hell have you been?!” Loetstymm snarls angrily.

“The General’s been taken into custody by the Crystal Braves and Teledji’s dead. I don’t know the exact details but the other city states are pretty much out of the question.” the Mi’qote states, not answering the question at all, which was frankly just typical of him. “Moxi has taken off with what’s left of the Scions.”

“What do you mean what’s left?!” Cece all but screeches.

“Shit’s gone sideways, alright?” T’Chev snaps angrily and he sounds like his nerves are just as frayed as Loetstymm’s own. “What’s the name of that cute Ishgardian knight that’s mooning after Mox?”

“Lord Haurchefant?” supplies Randal.

“Send word to him - Ishgard owes Moxi and us for that Steps of Faith job. Just don’t let him hide her in his chambers even if he suggests it,” T’chev adds in jokingly, but he sounds almost as nervous as he did at Carteneau.
Loetstymm figures it’s a sound enough plan. Not the worst one they’ve ever had, in fact it sounds like one of the better ones.

“Anyone who’s got the stamina, port to Dragonhead and I don’t care how but get their attention.” he sends out company wide as he pushes into the Quicksand rooms they had booked for the night. Randal and Sela are thankfully present and all packed up.

“Not all of us can just up and disappear to Ishgard Cap’n. Looks downright suspicious. If the Scions ‘ave cleared out, they’ll probably go after us.” Cece points out her voice angry and Loetstymm can almost feel the heat of her glare.

“Ishgard has just started opening up to adventurers. They’re the ones putting out the profitable jobs,” Randal muses. “Could work as an excuse.”

“Well my appetite for Ul’dahn jobs has officially become non-existent,” Sela declares firmly, glaring pointedly in Loetstymm’s direction. He wants to rebuke her for insubordination and to emphasize that it is not his fault that Ul’dah’s population is made up of Dunesfolk - they founded the bleeding place.

“You’ve never liked Ul’dah, Aliapoh,” Malena’s voice huffs out in a laugh over linkpearl.

“Cece head back to the company house. Make it incredibly awkward for anyone who wants to look for our friend there.” Loetstwynn says as he puzzles out the logistics of the Quills relocation to Ishgard. They can’t completely abandon their presence in the rest of Eorzea. They’re well known enough that their disappearance would be noted and deemed suspicious.

He wonders if he’s got enough standing in the Maelstrom to get Merlwyb to write them some bullshite license or some bogus diplomacy mission to keep their youngest member safe. T’chev probably had enough standing with the Rogues’ Guild that he’d be able to get something official-like or close enough to excuse their entry into Coerthas. Malena could probably bullshit her way through. With the Dragonsong war and all, Ishgard had to be hurting for healers of any sort.

“Ishgard? Why would we want to go there?! The Blades don’t have jurisdiction in La Noscea,” Sela remarks. “And surely the Admiral knows that Moxi is-”

“Blades don’t but the Braves will,” T’chev’s voice crackles in over the linkpearl, weak and tired. “Our little lizard’s out of the city, as is Leveilleur.”
This is not good. The Mi’qote sounds exhausted and that is never a good sign amongst Loetstymm’s crew. One thing the Quills have over the rest of the competition - besides the whole untemperable eikon slayer amongst them - was that the rest of the crew was not only incredibly good looking, skilled and hardy, but that they were also untemperable.

“T’chev where in the seven hells are you?” he demands angrily as he pulls his pack onto his shoulders as Randal and Sela prepare to teleport.

“I’m fine Greenie,” the rogue tries brushing him off, but Loetstymm is not to be deterred. His friend has most definitely been over using the Echo. Out of all of the Quills T’chev had the strongest Echo amongst those of them that weren’t the Warrior of Light. His manifestation allowed him the almost preternatural combat ability that Moxi had and the ability to see through the eyes of other beings with the Echo. Well that second part was a theory - T’chev mostly ended up seeing things through Moxi’s eyes in real time.
“No you lying bastard, you are not fine. Where. Are. You.” he growls as he switches channels to one just between him and his First Mate.

His oldest friend is silent on the linkpearl for a long moment before exhaling heavily.

“They’re gone. All of them,” T’chev says quietly. “They stayed back to let her escape the city.”

Seven hells...

“Most of the others are safe, but Paplymo, Yda, Thancred, Y’shtola and the Antecedent. They’re…”

“Where are you, Chev?” Loetstymm repeats himself, trying to keep his voice calm and steady. There are some days he regrets the day he was nominated Captain of the Quills - but it’s days like this that he remembers why it was him that was chosen. He’s not the oldest or most experienced, but he is the most level-headed out of them all, the one who stood steady when the world quite literally was crashing down around their ears.

It’s days like this that he remembers why he was nominated and why he really, really really regrets accepting the nomination.

“Llymlaen’s tits,” he curses as he throws a sack of coin at the aetheryte attendant as he storms through Mor Dhona. What few crowds there are disperse at the sight of a big angry Roegadyn man stomping his way through the plaza. He spots a few of the Crystal Braves eying him warily, though he notes that they seem supremely uncomfortable, what with the harsh glares they’re receiving from the Doman refugees and the other adventurer inhabitants of Mor Dhona. The Rising Stones is likely abandoned, and based off of the angry mutterings, the Scions who had resided there had made their escapes.
Loetstymm exchanges a quick glance with one of the Domans who simply nods and jerks his head towards the crystal craters outside of town.

“He couldn’t have picked a better spot?” he grumbles to himself, as he brings the Maelstrom company chocobo whistle to his lips. A great big green-feathered chocobo comes rushing from somewhere by the Rising Stone’s chocobo stables and nearly bowls him over.
“Twelve damn it,” he laughs. “Of course it’d be you,” as he pulls a bunch of gysahl greens and shoves it in his chocobo’s face.

Twenty minutes and an axe buried in a very unfortunate Crystal Brave’s skull later, Loetstymm has T’chev Tia thrown over his chocobo and the two of them are making the long trek up to Camp Dragonhead.

“You the one who got the folks in Mor Dhona all riled up at the Braves?” he asks the blonde Mi’qote.
T’chev snorts dismissively at that. “Didn’t need to. The moment they started rushing about calling for our little lizard’s head the Domans damn near ran them all out of town. Bought those still in the Stones time to make a break for it.”

“And you played bait so that the civvies wouldn’t get hurt.”

“Cactpot, Captain!” the Seeker laughs briefly, grinning widely before it turns into a groan and grimace of pain.

“Idiot.” Loetstymm snorts.

“You hear from Mox?” T’chev asks after a long moment as he pulls a thick blanket around himself from the pack as the weather takes a turn for the positively frosty as they approach Coerthas.

“She made it to Camp Dragonhead,” Loetstymm says. “Randal says she’s surprisingly okay. Which really, doesn’t say much of anything.”

“Alphinaud’s there. She’s got to be all dependable and shit,” T’chev sighs. “Who else went north?”

“Sela, Randal and Mally. Cece’s watching the house,” he adds with a chuckle.

That bit of news sends T’chev into hysterics that quite nearly send him toppling off of the chocobo. The Lalafell was not exactly happy with that order, but she’d follow it and follow it damn well.
Any Braves trying to get near the house would be met with a very angry woman with a gun and a mouth that could make even the most hardened sailor blush.

The next few minutes are spent with Loetstymm desperately casting physick and forcing healing potions into Eorzea’s second worst patient alive. Loetstymm ends up having to tie the idiot to the chocobo as he turns what would normally be a day's journey into four hours.

Loetstymm and T’chev are met at the gates of Camp Dragonhead by a frantic Malena who’s been fidgeting with her staff so much that she looks like she’s near ready to snap it in half.

“YOU!” The moment she lays eyes on T’chev’s sorry state she’s a blur in action, bodily hauling the Mi’qote off of Loetstymm’s chocobo and is carrying him like a sack of potatoes over her shoulder towards the camp’s infirmary. “By the spirits what were you thinking?” Loetstymm can hear her chiding the company rogue, who’s making exaggerated exclamations of pain and suffering, trying to downplay the extent of his injuries. Malena is having none of it and it’s not long before the two of them are out of sight.

“So how bad was it?” Randal has sidled up next to him looking worn and haggard. His vibrant red hair a stark contrast to how pale he looks.
Loetstymm gives him the rundown of the situation. Two of their number are pretty much banned from Mor Dhona, what with Loetstymm having buried an axe in one of the Crystal Braves’ skulls and T’chev having done something to have warranted the way they had been trying to kill him. Their activities would have to be limited to Coerthas for the foreseeable future.

“Wait what the hell did he do?”

“Who knows. Anyway, where’s our little lizard?”

He wasn’t sure what to expect of the young Xaela woman when he found her. He knows her mostly as the tiny quiet, scaled girl who barely spoke that T’chev introduced to him one day.
Moxi is what he called the dark-scaled horned girl. Was a ship navigator on some foreign vessel, looking for a new start in Limsa. Quiet is what he remembers of her back then. Delicate and soft spoken. Her small, thin Auri frame added a sense of fragility to her and the arcanist tome at her hip suggested a bookish nature. As he grew to knew her and her freakishly large aether reserves and combat aptitude for near any and every weapon she laid hands on, Loetstymm found her to be a gentle soul as she focused primarily on healing.
Finding her cursing profusely while smashing a training dummy into splinters with a sword was - unsettling to say the least.

“Captain!” she stops what she’s doing and turns to face him, the sword being held behind her back as if she was trying to hide it. She pauses for a moment as if realizing that what she was doing was stupid and simply held the sword at her side.

“I’d ask if you were alright,” Loetstymm starts off as he steps forward to look at her handiwork. “But I think we both know the answer to that question.” The training dummy has definitely seen better days, he glances over to the side and notes the other destroyed mannequins and sighs.
“I’ve got a rough idea of what happened from T’chev,” he says as he picks up one of the splinters and inspects it. Could work as kindling he supposes. “And Cece has gotten some more information from the Admiral. But I want to hear it from you.”

The story comes out in halting stammers at first, and then it’s a flood of words and angry snarls. For a moment Loetstymm can almost agree with Sela Aliapoh’s vehement hatred of Ul’dahn Lalafells - well Lalafells in general - but had the Bull of Ala Mhigo not dealt with the man himself, Loetstymm would love to introduce the belated Teledji Adeledji to the sharp side of his axe. Maybe if he gets the chance Lord Lolorito could be introduced to the business end of Bravura.
He listens in silence, letting Moxi get the words out. It’s more he’s ever heard her talk in the time he’s known her, but he lets her talk and he just listens.
When she’s done he claps her on the shoulder, and points at the mess she’s made out of the training mannequins.

“Well first things first, if you’re going to use a sword like an axe, I suggest you get a bigger one,” he says calmly. “Second, clean this mess up.”

“What?” the Warrior of Light blurts out incredulously.

“You make a mess you clean it up,” he continues. “It’s only common sense. You’ve made a right mess of Lord Greystone’s courtyard.”

“I don’t think Haurchefant will-” she starts.

“Which brings me to the third thing on the list,” he plows on, blithely ignoring the Xaela girl’s protests. “Both of our Mi’qote crew members have explicitly stated that you are not to be alone with the lord of Camp Dragonhead. Sela would like you to know that you are to inform her the second he gets handsy, and T’chev wants me to tell you that he has called ‘dibs’.”

“It’s not like that at all!” the Xaela girl screeches, her face flushing scarlet in embarrassment. Which frankly, is a much better look for her than the one of dark murder she had worn while narrating the events of the summit.
Loetstymm fixes her with a stern look, which she meets with her own indignant one. The two of them stare at eachother for a moment before Loetstymm puts one of his hands on the much smaller Auri woman’s head. He doesn’t say that everything will be alright. There’s no guarantee that it will all work out and Loetstymm has never believed in empty platitudes and false reassurances.
He ruffles her hair before pointing at the stack of slowly dampening wood.

“I gave you a job to do, adventurer,” he says sternly. The look she gives him is one that needs to be preserved in a painting for all eternity and he successfully manages to keep himself from collapsing into unrestrained laughter.

“Aye aye, Captain.” she grits out from behind her teeth before stomping over towards the pile of wood and sets to work.