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The Book of Thursby: Scions of Numenor

Chapter Text

On The Book of Thursby.

The Book of Thursby (BoT) is a long running work of fan fiction rooted in several major Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.  It chronicles the history and adventures of Benjimir Thursby and the lore of the gaming guild I founded in 2008 as part of The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO).  Now that story has reached FFXIV. The work has grown to envelope many characters, most my own, others included with the blessing of their creators.

In every game I play there is a Benjimir.  I take my inspiration from Gen. George Patton’s poem “Through a looking Glass, darkly.” Many face, many names, but always me.  In this way the Lore behind each game has ties to that of the next game and coming of Benjimir.  Thus in my gaming and role playing I enjoy the personal fun of always being rooted in a grand never ending adventure.

For each game I play there is a new Volume of the BoT.  

Read long enough and you will notice the links connecting the worlds and story together.  The connecting lore is personal headcanon of course.  I don’t hold anybody to it in RP or for guild membership.  I have carefully written the BoT to keep the nods to headcanon out of sight and not a part of in-game RP.  And within a single volume the story is essentially self contained.

So when interacting in-game you would never know or hear of anything but compliant FFXIV lore for example.  I dislike doing things that ever require people to bend their IC foundations.  

It is a topic I handle carefully as there are some that recoil at even the concept of headcanon that isn’t entirely orthodox.  I am always happy to answer questions.

On characters.

Since 2008 I have occasionally written characters I RP with, with their permission, into my stories.  With FFXIV that practice has expanded and there are several characters are or were actual player characters not my own.  I wouldn’t mind ghost writing for more characters but my plate is full at the moment.

 

Timelines.

The BoT timeline bounces all over the place.  To give some context to it all I created these tags, starting with FFXIV.

Eras-

1.0 - FFXIV 1.0

RR - A Realm Reborn.

HS - Heavensword.

SB - Stormblood.

SBr - Shadowbringers

P [Post] - (prefix denoting after released MSQ. Meaning all MSQ content in-game at release of an expansion.  All MSQ afterward is deemed Post MSQ and a build-up to the next expansion)

Example:

PSB: chapter takes place in the time after Stormblood's release MSQ and before the start of Shadowbringers.

Mainline story - The Book of Thursby: Scions of Numenor

Epigraphs, anecdotes, and items not tied to a chapter.  Intended for adding insights and context to mainline chapters - The Appendices of the Book of Thursby

Special chapters of the BoT intended to be read together for effect.  Also chapters written by or from the perspectives if antagonists.  - The Codicies of The Book of Thursby

www.BookOfThursby.com - BenjimirThursby.tumblr.com 

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The Analects and Collected Journals of Benjimir

and 

A History of the 

Deeds and Contributions

Of 

Thursby Family.

Volume Two.

"The Scions of Numenor." 

[1.0]

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Preface.

The journey of the Thursby family through the ages and beyond has been committed to written word longer than any record we now possess.

Through calamity, war and neglect not all of that long record has survived to our great loss.  Where journals and recorded tales fail we have legends.  Where the legends have been forgotten we have myths.  Usually where myths reach their limits, we have supposition drawn from what wise minds can conjure from the patterns that are replete through all of time.  

Unfailingly one is tasked with the duty of compiling what is known, can be determined, and what informed speculation can reason to be true.  When I was called to the service of my family in the role of high lore keeper of the Thursby family, the honor was mine.  Like many of my kindred the history of our family was largely scattered through tales told in the Imperial halls, books of well known stories, art portraying now mythical moments from ages, years, and worlds whose names are little known and even less understood.

The duty fell to me after my father’s passing.  He for years would take me by the hand through far flung lands, battlefields, halls of ancient lords.  He would pass by spoken word tales I hardly understood.  Whole spring days were spent being shown relics which I could not understand.  Often he would turn to me and tell me that it was not important that I understood then the names or meaning of the stories.  One day he told me I would realize what it all meant.  As I took up the mantle he left behind the words he spoke to me so many times would slowly come to hold profound and unnerving truth.  

“All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.”

And so it is.

~Victoria Thursby, Matron of Lore for the Thursby Family, Scions of Numenor.

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Introduction to the Appendices of Second Book of Thursby [RR]

From my brother to my every instructor, I was warned in preparing to write this history that I would be disappointed.  I fancied myself a person seeking the answers to questions often asked among our family, it’s friends and allies.  For however much I did know or could learn there were constantly deeper questions.  Ones less often asked.  Sometimes discouraged from being asked.  Who were the Scions of Numenor.  Where did we come from.  Why are we here?  Or most directly to my efforts, why, again and again over so many years are swaths of our history lost, retold and lost once more.

The truth to many of these questions is not mine to share.  But in writings to follow you may find some illumination to guide you in your own quest for truth.

This Book of Thursby, so we have come to call our histories, will be the third of those we have.  It is compiled from the journals, writings, spoken anecdotes and such which remain after the Seventh Umbral Age of Eorzea.  Selections for other books and records are included to give context and elaboration where I think it of value.  Supposition and liberty to decide the records view of the truth bonds this work together.  In the appendices you will find a collection of notes, dispatches and anecdotes as well as tales which have no grander tales to contain them.  They are all the same what give richness to the history you are about to learn.

May these words guide you to your own truth.

Tinfalas Thursby, 

Historian, Scions of Numenor

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Chapter Text

As the White Fleet reaches its mid-point of its journey and involvement in the goings-on of Arda 922 it has been deemed wise to generate a succinct overview of the history that precedes it.

This cursory review serves to introduce the reader to the ancient events and souls which bridge the Fourth and what we now call the Latter Ages of Middle-earth, ending finally in our own times for which we have no title.

The Fourth Age saw the Line of Kings take root and thrive.  The unified kingdom powered the purge of ancient remnants of fell people and beasts.  The old strongholds of men of High Blood were revitalized, yet around them were walls.  It was with and among their own that the peoples of the old Kingdoms held fast.  

The Fare Folk with but a few exceptions left the shores of the world. 

The Halflings held fast to their lands and were little disturbed under the protection of the King.  The Dwarves revisited the highests of past ages within their halls and were rarely found beyond them.  

The Middle-men of the free world for their part resumed their ways from the past ages.  Memory of the past wars and enemies were quickly lost to days beyond their lives span.  The keeping of Ages themselves fell out of practice and indeed it was an era of remarkable peace so far as we now know.  

Yet as the keeping of ages passed, so did the traditions which kept alive knowledge and wisdom which made it possible.  Relations between Middle-men and those of High Blood became, if still amiable, rarer.  The walls about great cities of the Kingdom were boundaries as much as defenses. 

Within them, men of High Blood kept the writings, relics and wisdom of the past ages.  Outside of the walls, to Middle-men, their skills and wisdom fostered suspicion of things they could not understand.  This sundered the race of men on Middle-earth.  

It is only now known that after the equal of several ages of the old era the paths of the race of men had diverged both in the skill of crafts and wisdom beyond mending.  Near this time several events are written as having come to pass.  The Beacon of Andunie awoke.  The Dagger of Warding took on a sheen unknown from the past.  The remaining seeing stones took on new life but displayed only stars in the night sky.  Finally, the King called a great council in the White City, to which only the patriarchs of several families, the Steward of the Realm and several of the free races of Middle-earth. 

Following this council a great work began that spanned several life ages of Middle-men.  When it had ended the strongholds of the free peoples across Middle-earth were emptied.  

On the command of the last King on Middle-earth, those of High Blood took flight aboard great vessels, wrought true to their historical role by the shipwrights of House Thursby.  Save for caretakers the men of High Blood were not seen on their native shores again.  Those who remained behind whose hearts could not endure being severed from the lands of their blood, what is known of their days is not written here nor known to those of us who sallied forth.

The destiny the King had called forth the men of High Blood to make manifest was a journey to the stars.  Seen in seeing stones and dreams like, were calls to answer threat of shadows on distant shores not yet risen.  The "Curious Gift" or "Doom of Men"  after ages of mystery finally took-on meaning and purpose.  This purpose gave focus and mandate to the sons of the Kingdom.  Scions of lost Numenor yet unborn would be called to stand against evils yet unknown.

How many precise ages by the old reckoning have past is not known and in truth not relevant now.  In the time since the Latter Ages began the Line of Kings and then that of the Stewards waned and ended.  The peoples of High Blood, their kindred peoples from their home shores, took to their purpose and heritage with ever stronger focus.  

The people turned to the eldest kindred, shipwrights whose craft spanned through time to the days of the lost isle, whose ships now carried all of them through the stars.  From among their blood was appointed a leader, Taladine Thursby, eldest of the Sons of Numenor.

So the Latter Ages began and have come to their conclusion now without name.  A new chapter in a new volume of the Book of Thursby begins as a new era starts.

Benjimir Thursby - 

 

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"The coming of the adventure could have been foreseen by looking out of a portal anytime in the previous lifetime.  But Arda 922 only took on significance when the Beacon of Andunie began to shimmer in the dark of Benjimir's quarters."

- Loxonica Omber, "Through the Crystal, Darkly."

Benjimir’s quarters afforded him a wide porthole that stood deck to ceiling. He spent untold hours there, pondering the endless stars and journey now ages old and bound to last for many more beyond his own life.  For a year now he had looked to the red and blue points of light.  A planet and moon it seemed.  The ships of the fleet were to pass by it en-route to their intended destination.  He no longer needed the visually enhanced projection on the porthole to pick them out.  His own ship, the Entulesse would be the third of seven ships to pass through.  The first, Andustar was less than a  year from its encounter.  The Meneltarmir a year after and his own remained some five years away.

Benjimir’s quarters on Entulesse were also more office space than a stateroom, a perk of his role as patriarch of the Thursby family.  A modest bed and personal care space were attached.  He came to his rank by promotion through provost marshal, regent and finally election as the steward of the monarchy.  It was the now defunct bloodlines of the Kings and Stewards which had set its people into the stars, leaving behind their world to other races.  A wall of relics near sacred to the people aboard the seven ships gave material testament to the reality of the mythic tales of their history.

Chief among these relics were the Silithar, a gem which once was used in forging a sword wielded by kings.  The sword had remained on its homeworld in the keep of a being known only as the Blue Lady.  Should it or one able to wield it be needed again the Lady would provide it to another.  

Near to the sword were other items of metal, daggers, including one passed for many generations to the matriarch of the Thursby family.  One dagger was said to shimmer in different hues when danger approached it's owner.  

On a small tripod on the shelf was a dark, marbled crystal.  It was the Beacon of Andunie.  It was kindred to the seeing stones of the past ages.  However rather than give the holder means to see through the span of time and space it provided personal Revelations.  

The Beacon of Andunie would shimmer and glow it was thought to signify to it's guardian of the impending approach of momentous moments.  In this way the crystals guardian customarily meditated while holding or gazing into the Crystal.  Indeed, it was precisely in this way that a seeing stone akin to the beacon itself had prompted the High King to set his people assail in the stars, seemingly directing them to the point in the sky the seven white ships were even now approaching.  This quest had become the mandate of the Thursby family with the end of the line of Kings and old line of Stewards.

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Chapter Text

"Written details and instructions become as vague and uncertain as myths given enough time."
- Ossimira Meigs, "Technospectives."

The legendary weapons and crystals of the old forge masters continued to glow and sparkle for many years after the white ships left their home world.  To the dismay of all however the imbued qualities faded over time and for ages they remained stunning but static examples of craftwork seemingly beyond the people’s skill.  

Or at least it seemed.  

Many attempts were made to forge new weapons, often using gems and metals from lesser ancient examples.  The techniques were well documented and often practiced.  But to no avail.  New and ancient blade and gem sat dark. 

The dark was how best Benjimir preferred to keep his quarters at night with his gaze and mind cast toward the stars ahead.  Of late the blue world and it's moons along the fleets course were foremost on his mind.  One pale and white, the other red and luminous.  As was customary the fleet was deep into study of the bodies orbiting the star ahead.  The fleets intended destination was directly past this system in the center of a constellation, at least from the perspective of their forefathers.  

There were many whose task it already was to determine plans to navigate the system, take advantage of the opportunity to obtain resources before the fleets journey continued.  This did not prevent Benjimir from pondering the same things for himself.  

It was a faint shimmer from his case of relics which drew his attention away from the starscape outside his porthole.  The Beacon of Andunie had awakened.

 

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"The Forge Masters were true in every way to their lore and traditions.  Still, what their efforts produced remained dark and inert.  What old and new alike was lacking ancient lore did not prescribe. Purpose."
- Benjimir Thursby, "The Analects."

Six years removed before Benjimir’s footfall on the Sagolii, the Andustar reported a variety of observations of the red moon which lay ahead of the fleet.  Observations had demonstrated that this moon had begun to shift in its orbit.  Caution dictated closer monitoring that thus led to unnerving revelations.  

The corps of craft and making studied images, prepared briefings to advise the Command Advocate General (CAG)-the term given to replace that of Steward-and fleet commanders as to what the findings could mean.  The most accomplished, the Master Keepers, had not completed those reports before Benjimir briefed them all to awaking the night before of the long vanished glow of ancient weapons and the Silithar seeming to sing with a resonance to an unseen connection.

Word of the ancient relics taking on new life was not widely disseminated within the fleet.  However study of the blue world and its moon intensified.  Soon signs of the Dossimir or "Dossi" Effect were observed from the Andustar and correlated with findings from the Meneltarmir and Entullesse.  

The “Dossi’ effect was named for the alchemist Obrick Dossimir who first learned how to tie crystals into resonance across vast distances.  The discovery became the foundation of many technocrafts.  It was the basis on which the means to communicate through Commstones without the loss of time between each became possible.  

The Craft and Lore "Master Keepers" were only able to touch on the depths of the 'Dossi' Effect' but the possibilities seemed without limits.  After an age, the craft seemed nearly as magic even to those who were well practiced in its works.  It was deeply unnerving, generations after sailing from their home, for the near mythical relics to spring to life seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  Whatever the red moon was as well as its presumed parent world, it had a resonance with craft and lore from ages and a hundred thousand light years away.

 

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"Obrick held that if you quantified all the eventualities which might manifest ill, than by the precepts of Dossimir's Statute it would be so.  

Obrick was an optimist."

-Benjimir Thursby, The Analects.

The Silithar was attached to a mount suspended within a spherical cage made of a metal mesh.  Benjimir watched as the Craft Master Keeper, Osimira Miegs, activated a computator cycle.  A pulse of energy surged into the bottom of the Silithar and at once a ribbon of light burst through the top of the crystal with a snap and hiss.  The ribbon remained rooted at the tip of the crystal and undulated.  

"The cage is unnecessary so far as we've observed.  The energy never extends beyond this length at this setting."  

Benjimir nodded, glancing down at the gauges measuring how much power had been input through the crystal.  

"It's an amplified arc...or ribbon.  Hows it contained?" he asked.  

Miegs nodded and replied, "Not contained, there is no field effect being used.  The energy flows out, then back to the crystal.  No thermal energy loss.  No radiant electron field emitted."  

Benjimir flared his brow, 

"Dossimir?" he asked.  

"No sir, this is something different we have not yet given name too.  Whatever the force is, the initial energy surge triggers the ribbon, but virtually all of it remains in a sort of cycle we think.  It requires a slight negative energy draw to deactivate the ribbon.  But there is no correlating link to another crystal, so far as we can tell."  

Benjimir looked impressed and asked.  

"And the other ancient weapons, the shimmer and glow?"  

Miegs hedged with a tip of her head but nodded.  "We think it is the same effect if by means and origins we haven't determined yet.  We can observe and possibly measure the force guiding the energy, adding to it, but there is something beyond it which we cannot quantify."  Benjimir nodded slowly in response.  

The ribbon had seemed to slow it's movement, projecting largely straight and away from the leading tip of the crystal.  Fixated on the image he asked, 

"Can we replicate this, with new forged weapons, devices?"  

Miegs drew a breath and answered slowly having gone over records of past crafting efforts dating to the century after the original effects such as this had diminished then ceased.  

"Yes.  In a fashion.  Already some lesser artifacts from weapon crafting during the decline and end of the past recorded .....manifestations of the effect are showing similar qualities to this. If less efficient.  We don't dare use the eldar crystals, so our past and new efforts use rited derivatives."  Benjimir continued to focus on the ribbon which was nearly steady.  

"Rited?"  

Miegs silently forgave Benjimir his study of history over the crafting lore and explained.  

"-ite, a suffix to the core substance, meaning created or derived from synthetic or natural materials.  Dossimirite, Dolimite, Kyberite, Etherite, etc."  

Benjimir pinched his lips and nodded, 

"Aye, forgot, I studied...."

"...history...." Miegs echoed, finishing his reply.  Miegs answered his next question as she continued.  

"Yes sir, a noble and underappreciated field of the liberal arts.  As you can see, the ribbon seems to stabilize under observation.  We've noticed the stability varies depending on whom or what is observing, but it appears to be a proof of "Obrick's Blind."  Where the figurative trump card in a persons hand can be high or low at the same time, but you don't know which until you turn the card."  

"I never realized Dossimir played at cards."  Benjimir glanced away and as he did the ribbon swayed again.  

"Obrick's Blind holds that it requires an act of observation for the Dossimir Effect to take hold." Miegs added.  

"So you are saying a person can control the ribbon?"  Benjimir asked.  

"Or possibly the crystal, maybe both, we aren't sure." Miegs said. 

Benjimir broke his attention away from the ribbon which began to sway freely as it had before.  He pressed the viewer symbol for shut-down and the ribbon withdrew into the Silithar which flared bright blue before resuming a soft glow.  

"Very well.  Secure the Silithar in my quarters.  And immediately have your team begin to check our comms systems, look for any off-nominal performance, especially anything correlated to the observations tied to Arda and its moon."  

He turned and with a courtesy nod as Miegs bowed slightly he walked to his quarters.  The Andustar's telemetry report had arrived with high resolution images of the surfaces of the moon and Arda 922.

 

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Chapter Text

"For some it was akin to something out a scary story from our youth.  As if old toys had come to life and would only find rest if some super natural feat appeased a spirit of some sort." 

- Bondermir Exidines, "Stuff I Saw Too."

Ancient icons of their past coming to life after millennia.  A world and moon clearly inhabited and rich with resources not seen beyond their home.  Or at least for the moment.  Andustar's latest track of it pointed to the red moon being drawn deeper into Arda's gravity well and for no reason that could be attributed to natural explanations.  There were the great mysteries of existence and there were these.  Nothing about these mysteries could be happenstance.  Nothing about the fall of the red moon could be natural.  The precision with which all things were occurring as the White Fleet came to this place itself could only be purposeful.

Benjimir sat back in his reclining chair in front of his quarters generous viewing panel.  His eyes immediately caught the red moon.  He knew crews throughout the White Fleet had given names to it, all of ill omen and foreboding from beyond living memory.  He had his own preferred term for the moon he did not give voice too but he shared the consensus feeling about the angry dot in space.  He looked at a viewer and accessed the latest metrics status from Andustar.  "Moon holding CBDR relative to Arda 922 track point of intercept, 05:14:3291 GR.  Dossimir disturbances consistent and growing."

Shifting the viewers screen Benjimir began to tap out outlines of orders.  He knew the rumors running through the Keepers divisions.  He knew the anecdotal comments passed onto him from off-watch officers and station minders.  By mid-watch the next day Keeper Miegs would have a well formed report she had been writing in parts few days compiled into a full report.  It would detail disturbances in their communication systems, which were based on Dossimir Effect crafting, that kindred signals were detectable but undecipherable at that time.  The structure would make it leave no question of the crafting skills of whomever the peoples were giving life to the lights, roads and settlements on Arda 922.

All of these details would make the orders he drafted and immediately ordered seem prophetic and impactful.

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Chapter Text

The ships of the White Fleet departed their home as a group. 

However in making a generations long voyage close formations were deemed unwise.  There were practical considerations as well. Over time, slight differences in velocity and trajectory created great distances spanning from the lead vessel to the last.   This was purposeful.  As rogue worlds or whole systems of planets and stars came and were passed, the lead vessel would often use slight assertions of propulsion to enter and orbit.  Expeditionary ships and landers would explore worlds and survey them for whatever purpose.  

As the fleet passed through, if required other vessels would similarly orbit and harvest resources before using gravity wells to sling themselves free of the system.  Each vessel would follow a carefully laid out plan and timing.  The first vessel to enter was usually the last to leave.  And as this cycle repeated periodically over time, each vessel would in its time be the first and last to visit a world, star or stellar object.  It was in this manner that the White Fleet arrived

In the system they labelled Arda 922 the Scions of Numenor reached their middle way point on their long journey.  Years hence some but not all would venture forth as they had before after visiting a new system.

 

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Chapter Text

"Note the pattern of the striations of the surface.  They seem on close observation to be random, yet they are uniformly angular, 90 degrees and perpendicular at each junction point.  

Additionally, analyzed at a higher level they are not random but a repeating pattern which spans the visible surface.  Notably there are also these crystalline structures at precise points along longitudinal and latitudinal points.  Which a crystalline lattice might create such precise appearances, the statistical odds of this occurring on such a scale are unfathomable.  

It can only be surmised that what we have deemed a moon is in fact a structure of intelligent engineering and construction.  The purpose of its movement and means of locomotion is yet indeterminal.” ~ Corps of Craft, Alchemy and Engineering notes to CAG.  99.5.44.201

 

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Chapter Text

The red moon entered the blue worlds upper atmosphere and lingered for some weeks.  Reports were drafted and circulated at a furious pace seeking to log the most minute changes.  The Andustar, already too close to easily shift her course continued to close of Arda 922 despite the unease and risk in doing so.  It was by now inescapable to the White Fleet that there was ill purpose to the moon’s purpose and fall.  More unnerving was the resemblance to ancient symbols of dread and evil from wars and enemies.  Such symbolic images and portents were at the heart of the great awakening and leaving the shores of the homeworld ages past.  Now the Relics were alive again and each day brought more indecipherable comms from the planet.  Now, only half way to the end of the expected journey some, including Benjimir questioned if perhaps they had arrived ahead of their time.

~Unattributed Personal Log, 97.4.87.989

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Chapter Text

“The moon demonstrated pronounced illumination along the striations extending out from the symmetrical crystalline structures.  This continued until open rifts appeared along with shedding of shards from the moon.  These shards rained down within the atmosphere too low to burn away before impacting the surface.  See attached report on projected surface damage and radiological signatures.  

Four hours after the appearance of the rifts the northern hemisphere of the moon exploded.  Communications with SNS Andustar were lost at 09:22:00 Fleet Standard Bell due to off-scale high Dossimir interference.  

~After Incident Report on case "Zodiarks Hammer." Section 0241

 

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Visual tracking from SNS Entulesse confirms the remaining bulk of the moon exploded at 09:24:00 Fleet Standard Bell.  Communication with SNS Meneltarmir was lost two hours later.  Considerable Dossimir echo was observed and out of phase comm traffic recorded at this time.

The exploded moon cast significant quantities of crystalline debris and shards into both sub-orbital and local space accompanied by a shock wave.  SNS Andustar was lost to visual contact 02:10:34 after the moons explosion.  

Final observations indicated no signs of operational systems [see subsection 3.132.00 for visual survey of Andustar prior to and during shock wave encounter.]  

Additional visual observations of the planet indicate the substantial portion of the red mood was reduced to minor shards and impacted the planet over the next 19:20:00, during which a large scale nexus of energy release was seen in the air and moving across the surface.  The pattern indicated guided movement and directed thermal energy releases.  

Spectrographic analysis matched thermal and energy signatures in Password Gated historical archive [Files Topics Arch Nemesis Drake and Balrogath]  

~ After Incident  Report, "Zodiark's Hammer" High Password Gated Sub Report "Nemesis Scyth." 

08.7.90.000

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“Dossimir interference peaked at 01:20:00 Fleet Standard Bell.  Visual contact with SNS Andustar and Meneltarmir was restored at 01:22:00.  Dossimir comms were restored with Meneltarmir at 01:28:00.  No contact with Andustar has been achieved since the break in communications.  

On orders from CAG, SNS Meneltarmir and Entulesse have commenced breaking burns for synchronized solar orbit above the planet, [designated Arda 922 per Fleet Ops Communique 7683.2.]  Arrival will occur over several years.  SNS Forostar, per orders has engaged at full burn along an intercept track and determine Andustar’s condition, render aid as required and pull her into a solar orbit until the remainder of the fleet can assemble.  

Landers and expeditionary teams are dispatching from Meneltarmir with orders to make landfall and report on Arda 922 during the 48 months leading to Entulesse’s arrival.” 

~Fleet Operations Communique for Open and Free Dispatch.  

01.0.10.000

 

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“SNS Andustar has suffered major Dossimir system damage and drive failure.  There were considerable casualties suffered.  On its masters orders civilian crew and passengers evacuated for landfall on Arda 922, their disposition is unknown and no communications occurred since the landers departure.  SNS Forostar has restored power and is proceeding with Andustar in tow for a Gravity Holding point in synchronized solar orbit until the fleet is fully assembled.  SNS Entulesse has completed breaking burns and is near rendezvous with SNS Meneltarmir in solar orbit.  Expeditionary reports are being processed to aid preparations for a sustained garrison planetside.”  

~Fleet Operations Communique for Open and Free Dispatch.  

01.2.11.002

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Chapter Text

“Portents drove our White Ships and kin to the stars, they have drawn us to this system and these worlds.  We cannot ignore and glide through local space past what we have seen and dismiss the inexplicable truths we are only starting to realize.  Nor can we forget our mandate to reach our journey's end.  

Accordingly on my orders Forostar, Andustar, Meneltarmir and Entulesse will take station over Arda 922, which we now know by it's given name of Hydalen.  The remainder of the fleet will assume high orbits about the local primary as they arrive in the system.  All vessels will begin a deep cycle of refurbishment and replenishment of stores which are in ample supply.  Operations will extend an additional 36 fort nights.  During this time it will be determined if the fleet or our kin will continue it's journey in total or in part.  

In the interim we will continue our works on the world which is at the root of our being here.  During the past 48 months we have learned much which has served to illuminate ancient truths yet deepen as many more mysteries.  We have learned names we now call this blue world and it's many peoples by.  We have discovered names and writings true to our bloodlines and native tongue which ought not exist among people if Hydalen. We have taken up trade and relations with these people.  We have joined in their struggles as our forefathers did for the free peoples of our own home.  Some of Hydalen I have commissioned with taking up our name in struggles these many fort nights. 

It is possible we are seeing shadows we are sworn to oppose manifest here in Hydalen.  It maybe Hydalen is simply a waypoint on our longer collective journey.  It may prove our collective destinies have reached a fork which carries us forward along two paths.  I will make planetfall personally and determine if our mandate will hold us honor bound to remain here to continue to stand with these people as one or as two Kinships.

Numenor Prevails.”  

~ CAG Fleet Communique for Open Distribution.

01.209.312.

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Chapter Text

“In seeking answers, we seek the truth in the study of history. Yet history changes. It is mutable however we record it. Be it in written words, in the spoken word, or in art, what history says inevitably changes. Because over time languages evolve, perspectives change, interpretations, translation, and context alter what we know. In our quest we fail to to realize it is not the answers in which truth lays, rather it is the question. A question means now what it meant in the past and will mean in the future. The truth of our history laid in asking the right questions.”

Benjimir Thursby - “The Analects”

 

“Spill sails, engines to station keeping.” Katryn Vaunter, captain of the airship Andustar ordered quietly.

 

"Hands, spill sail!" the bosman echoed to the crew on the main deck as he actuated a signal telegraph on the conning bridge. It was only a symbolic order, the vessel no longer featured the enormous "bags" of corelium infused gas, nor sails. But the order set in motion actions desired.

 

“Con, engines answering station keeping.” The bosman responded sharply, reading the bright brass telegraph dial shifting in response to his order.

 

“Con Aye.” Vaunter turned to a dark clad ensign, short and bare of foot.

 

“Ensign, rig man ropes over the forecastle and pull in the launch." Katryn ordered the runner.

 

“Righty O sir!” the Lalafell chirped and scurried off to comply.

 

Vaunter stood watching for a moment but disregarded the utter lack of protocol, the little people were beyond making it hold. She turned to the stairs leading to the officers quarters calling out as she went, “Mister Briceln has navigational control, and the Con.”

 

The Andustar came to rest a league high in the night sky above the Sea of Ash within sight of Cape Deadwind. No moon gave silhouette or shadow to betray vessels mass looming over the lands below. A craft, akin to a festival luminary rose below the airship passing below it’s bow. There its passengers extended a long pole with which the lines Andustar’s crew extended could be sized and made fast to the gondola. Shrouded in a cunning design, the launch powered its firebox lifting it up until the gondola could be pulled close enough for a boarding plank to bridge the gap between the vessels. Silently in the dark of the night air a group of people, boarded the launch. They were clad alike, each with a hefty pack carrying field gear on its back. A man, Bondermir Exidines, debarked the launch and passed onto the airship and moving with haste over the main deck to the officers quarters where the captain Vaunter was waiting. They exchanged nods and the captain knocked sharply on the door. From within a voice replied, “Where away?”

 

“Launch secured sir, the Commander is here.” replied Vaunter.

 

“Very well,” the room’s occupant said. Presently the door opened and the officers snapped to attention, then Bondermir spoke.

 

“Sir, gear and team are aboard and secure on the launch. Our point of arrival has been reconnoitered and is secure but I do not think it wise to chance holding it long.”

 

“Noted.” Benjimir Thursby said and then turned to the captain and handed her a pair of envelopes along with a paper and self inking quill.

 

“Captain, on our departure you are to take the Andustar and rendezvous with the Entulesse at The Crown. Deliver these letters to her and take down these orders for her commander” Benjimir spoke to Vaunter.

 

Vaunter took the quill and paper as the Admiral dictated

 

“To Commodore T'subaki, Entulesse, from Command Advocate General, Andustar. On station Cape Deadwind. Proceeding with landing. On receipt of this communique and dispatches, return to fleet station Kugane and await orders.” Finished Benjimir, patriarch of the Thursby family and commander of it's business and services in arms nodded in dismissal of the captain, turned to the hatch leading to the main deck. Bondermir fell into step close behind.

 

The deck crew was assembled informally on the main deck anticipating his departure. This was a moment five years in coming. They stood to attention lining the path to the launch as he passed. Each making their obedience n their own fashion as he passed. Some with a respectful greeting, others with a reserved smile and touch of their hand to their foreheads. A few Benjimir clapped shoulders of, a few others a thumb of fist on chest. In the moment they had before boarding the Bondermir spoke.

 

“The letters sir?”

 

“The usual and customary. Rights of heirs, succession orders, so forth. I wanted to send them notes before making landfall.” said Benjimir.

 

“A bit soon to worry about that though?” Bondermir said.

 

“Fate doesn’t always afford us the luxury of waiting.” replied Benjimir matter of factly.

 

Bondermir shook his head as they walked, amazed at the years that had passed so seemingly fast.

 

“My apologies sir.” he said.

 

“None required." Benjimir said as they reached the boarding plank to the launch and turned. “Are we ready?” he asked.

 

“Aye sir.” Bondimir said confidently.

 

“Six years now and we still do not know how?” He entreated on the younger man's judgement, not as much to an officer than to the half brother he was. He was also in truth asking several unspoken questions at once. Bondimir nodded slowly.

 

“You are seeking an answer, you really need to find and ask the right question.” he said.

 

“Ask her a question you mean.” Benjimir said as he crossed the plank onto the launch.

 

“Yes sir.” Bondermir stated as he stepped into the launch.

 

“She accepted the commission. Raised the banner. The reports have been consistent and very plain.” Benjimir nodded slowly.

 

Benjimir looked out as the lines were dropped and the launch began to drift and sink toward the shore below. He cast his eyes back and looked at the undefinable mass of Andustar retreated behind them. Looking below again he could see the twinkle of lights among a scattering of settlements near to the shore. Lifting his eyes up he looked into the dark in the desert beyond, leading to the city leagues further. Bondermir looked at the men and women assembled on the launch, each also looking out on the land below. All were pondering what it was that was about to happen once they reached the land below. However Bondermir felt for a moment he understood and leaning over the railing next to Benjimir and began.

 

“As Commodore T'subaki would say. ‘All of this has happened before….”

 

“And all of this is happening again.” Benjimir said, finishing his sentence.

 

The launch continued in silence to the beach below.

 

*******

Chapter Text

"Terms differed, my name carried no currency or reputation.  But you find that true historians recognize one another by the questions they ask.  You can gain access to almost anything, it is just knowing how to ask."
- Tinifalas Thursby, "Stranger  in a Strange Land." 

The caravan from the north had arrived the day after Benjimir as his party made landfall.  The air sloop which carried them to the ground from the Andustar had continued with some of its passengers to the city state of Ul'Dah directly.  Each day of the seven since, a wagon broke-away to differing routes to the city or elsewhere.  Each in turn bore a few newcomers to these shores.  In this way all melted into the bustle and traffic of the roads without drawing notice.

 

The wagon held Benjimir's attention this morning.  Held aloft by bags of gas, the ride was agreeably smooth.  Graceful.  Slightly less graceful but even more interesting was the enormous fowl drawing the wagon.  Accompanying him were his brothers Bondermir and Tinifalas asleep next to him, as well as an older man who seemed blissfully serene simply watching the road pass.

 

"Chocobo." The grey bearded fella sitting across from Benjimir said.  He snapped Benjimir out if his stare over the great bird at the looming citadel of Ul’Dah, still hours away.  He was a keeper of the beasts and on the Gil roll of the Thursby Company.  Benjimir nodded.  A pair of riders flanked the wagon, mounted on these Chocobos.  These giant fowl were adorned in dark feathers and leather cladding over their chests.  Company men Benjimir knew.

 

"Not many at sea eh, but I suppose if there where you'd not need all them bags and twirlies." The man said.  He had a curious accent that differed from the few he had heard so far.

 

Benjimir smiled and nodded again.  “I suppose not.  Docile creatures.  Hardly seem to need direction.”  Bondermir, roused from a light sleep beside the men looked to the distance as the wagon neared a small village straddling the road.  Wooden palisades surrounded the village save for some small farm and paddocks.  

 

“We’ll be stopping soon sir, breakfast, a trade of Chocos, then onto Ul’Dah.” Bondermir said as he rose and leaning over the side of the carriage gestured at the flanking riders.  The riders tipped their heads in acknowledgement, spurred their mounts and galloped ahead into the village.  

 

“Good, how long to the city from here?” Benjimir asked as the wagon neared the outer palisade gate.  Bondermir resumed his seat and looked to the old man.

 

“Mmm, five hours at our pace, what say Brendt?” Bondermir speculated, differing to the keepers wisdom.  

 

“Mhap, sun’s out, might tucker the old girls if they can’t water along the way.” Brendt offered.

 

“The girls will have their water, no need for haste I think.”  Benjimir assured him.

 

The wagon halted outside a small cafe alongside a livery stable.  Tinifalas finally woke from his snooze and looked about.  The escorting riders had already tied off their mounts and were returning from the inside with egg and bacon filled biscuits along with cups of a hot drink which they consumed happily as they leaned back along the cafe porch.

 

The men exited the carriage and stable Lalafells saw to taking the wagon to the stables.  “I’ll take my leave of yas sirs.  Another wagon is due southbound here and a bit.”  Brendt said.

 

“Always on the move my friend.”  Bondermir said, clasping Brendt’s hand to shake.  Bondermir did the same.”

 

“Well you knows, always some traveler showing up, half asleep, not knowing the lay of things.  Bit less exciting here than up north.  Be well sirs.”  And with that Brendt smiled and turned toward the stable.  Benjimir and his brothers walked up the steps to the cafe.  The escort riders snapped to their feet, awkwardly lowering their biscuits and cups to their sides.

Benjimir tipped his head to the men and sought a seat at one of the tables outside.  A woman, one of the small folk, the Lalafells, in a perky white and red checked dress and apron took their orders.  Another accent, chirpy, happy.

 

“Happy peoples.” Benjimir mused as the Lalafell returned with drinks.  “Great variety in dialects but uniform in language.” He continued.  Tinifalas, the historian at large for the House of Thursby and it’s companies nodded.

 

“Extraordinary really.  But that is the reason why we are here in the end.” Tinifalas said, pulling a book from his rucksack out of habit.

 

“I’ve never understood how, so far from our shores, so many years traveling from them, we arrive here….” Bondermir said, gesturing with his hands as the surrounding area “...and find peoples and races speaking our own language.  You’d think it absurdly impossible.” he finished.

 

“Improbable, not impossible.” Benjimir said, thanking the Lalafell as she place a plate of biscuits and topped off the drinks.  Tinifalas nodded.

 

“Yes.  There are a number of theories about how such things could occur.” Tinifalas said, taking a biscuit.

 

“Et Ominis Lingua Resurgemus, the concept that with enough time, all tongues shall rise.” Benjimir said, taking his own biscuit an especially large one, slapping Bondermirs hand as it reached over the nearest to him for it.

 

“Pan Lingua Spermia, the idea some fragment of thought can eventually spread and give rise to identical languages.  Tinifalas offered, mouth half full but eyes bright as topics dear to him were in play.

 

Benjimir, mouth also full, pointed a finger at his brother and nodded sharply.  “That.  But how.  And again, the real crux of this is your finding her name and those books.  A language we no longer speak commonly, here, among people who do not know it or speak it in the memory of anybody.”  He finished, most of his biscuit managing not to land on the table.

 

“Marde.” Bondermir said unconvinced.  “‘C’demics in the wild.” he mocked,  “Her name could be the product of slurred speech after a night of celebrating her birth at a pub.  Or meshing family member names together.  And your theorizing?  It could work as well in reverse.  Whose to know.”  He finished.

 

“No one maybe.  Tini’s friends on the island,” Benjimir said, nodding to his brother, “...they looked to you to answer the same questions, they didn’t know.  But I think finding out is one of the questions we need to resolve.”

 

“Where to start then?” Bondermir asked.

 

“Refills, another biscuit.” Bondermir remarked then mid-bite cast his eyes toward each brother.

 

“Then to Ul’Dah.  Of course.  Breakfast first.  But I want to see our interests there, these book of yours Tini.” Benjimir said.


“Not to the Company Hall to….” Tinifalas started but Benjimir shook his head. 

“Not yet.  But soon.  First though, biscuits.” Benjimir said, slapping Bondermir’s hand again as he reached for the fresh plate of biscuits.

Chapter Text

“Crystals have always had a captivating power over the living.  They transmute light into rainbows, vibrations into sound and seemingly exist as totems of some non-corporeal presence or energy.  They are endlessly repeating mirrors of the mineral lattacies they take root in, influenced by the energies that impact them as they build themselves.  Light, heat, lightning, these energies we know and can measure.  Something beyond sight and measure, non-corporeal, lent a hand in the creation of the Aetheryte crystals of Eorzea and gave them their purpose and light.”  

~Exedorous Thursby, “Alchemy and Quintessence.”  

“We have finished stamping the shipment into Gil.  It would be better done aboard ship but our location is secure enough here we are able to move without much scrutiny now.”  Bondermir said, as his older brother sat inspecting the coin over the tops of his glasses.  

“Not terribly much gold actually in these.  Universally accepted.  We should settle here and retire.”  Benjimir mused.  

Five years prior, the initial expeditions of the Scions sorties from their camps in hills above the outskirts of the city state of Ul’dah, they had initially spread out to take common jobs, learn terms and the manner of trade in the area as instructed in orders from Benjimir.  

Quickly they learned of Gil, the coin of the realm.  Made from gold and stamped into wafers, the initial teams were able to soon stamp their own from the gold brought with them.  Then as now when a new cargo if metals, arrived the resulting Gil produced would find its way into banks, payroll and capitalizing the Thursby family interests

From those roots old family savvy and skill quickly established a native legitimacy which became all the growing cadre in their employ cared about.  It was a process long perfected for entering new lands unfamiliar to their kindred.   

Combined with income pooled from work as sell swords and crafting, means enough were secured to support several more teams making landfall on the shores near the Sagolii desert.  These teams were scholars and those skilled in the sciences.  Their given orders were to investigate, observe and report.  Curriers would make their way about the land with dispatches and reports to the ports.  

From there, otherwise unremarkable vessels would further sortie to relay all lines of communication to Benjimir.  In was in this manner Benjimir absorbed much from afar.  He sent his brothers and most trusted aid to take charge of families interests.  Bondermir’s charge was to ensure security over all Thursby company affairs.  Tinifalas, the Thursby family historian traveled north to the island of Sharlayan to seek information per Benjimir’s wishes.  The others scattered across Eorzea on duties as assigned by their elder brothers.  

It was a book found by Tinifalas in Sharlayan which now occupied Benjimir’s attention.  As he knuckle-rolled a Gil in his left hand, he thumbed through the book as Bondermir poured tea and propped his feet on the edge of the table between them.  

“They allowed Tinif’ to send the book south to us. It was bought by their chief librarian from a traveler in Ul’dah some twenty or more years ago.  The language is unknown to the any in Sharlayan.”  Bondermir explained, as he had years before in a report.  Benjimir nodded passively.  The words were native to him as they had been Tinifalas years earlier.  They and specifically a name were what drew Benjimir to these shores at long last.

Benjimir nodded slowly as he effortlessly read each line in detail.  “And the traveler?”  Benjimir asked, still reading.  

“Tinif never met him.  However the librarian noted he was with a newborn baby girl.  It was in his review of birth records in city's house of healing he found a name given to a newborn girl.  Tessariel.”  The gil in Benjimir’s hand stopped in mid-roll.  He closed the book and restored his glasses to their proper position on his nose.

The name.  Unknown to the native peoples.  Steeped in an ancient lore equal to a beacon as impossible to ignore as the fall of Dalamud.  Bondermir sought out the woman on Benjimir’s orders and offered commission to lead a Free Company under the banner of Scions of Numenor.  The banner was an icon of the Thursby family history.  Tessariel, the Captain, had lead the growing band with distinction. 

“I think it is time that I finally meet this woman.” Benjimir resolved as he reached for a sheet of paper to draft a communique.  Tinifalas entered the room and spoke.

“The Admirals have arrived.  They are coming down from the airship dock and we will meet with them in the “Dapper Mariner.”  The Dapper Mariner was a private dinning room and lounge open to traveling officers in Grand Companies and well placed members of the

Benjimir continued drafting his communique as he spoke.  “We’ll break bread with Admiral T’subaki’s colleague with Maelstrom, then make plans to visit the Scions’ Company Hall up in Gridania.”  He folded the communique into thirds and affixed a self adhesive seal over the folds.  He rose and handed the communique to Tinifals, who had already drawn a leather couriers pouch from a shelf.  “Send this to captain Aerlinn, post haste.  Meet us up in the dinning room.  I want your read on things after the meeting.” Benjimir instructed his brother who nodded and left the room for the courier stable as the others walked for the mechanical lift up to the Dapper Mariner.

 

*******

Chapter Text

To - Tessariel Aerlinn, Gridania

From - Benjimir Thursby, Ul'dah, Quicksand Inn

Disposition - Pending transit to the Lavender Beds.

Communique Begins -

My Lady Tessariel, I have followed with satisfaction the leadership you have exercised since accepting leadership of the Scions these five years past.  The guidance of my trusted business agent in Gridania was well founded as shown by your strength of character and conduct in all matters undertaken in our kindred's name.  For that time I have had to content myself in knowing you by communique and through the support the Thursby family has provided from afar.  It is my pleasure to advise you that my journey has brought me to these shores and I will soon be arriving in Gridania.  It is my hope and wish should your travels allow, that we have opportunity to take counsel together.

In the interim however I would value knowing and being known to any whom in your trusted judgment I can be of assistance too.

For the time being I will be staging myself out of the city of Ul'dah, you may direct any communications to me by name there.

Witness my hand and seal. ~Benjimir Thursby 

Benjimir’s first dispatch to Tessariel after arriving in Eorzea.

From the Thursby Archival Library, Sharlayan

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