A Dream Fulfilled
Save yer breath lad. He's been sittin' there broodin' ever since ye left. “Surely,” I said. “Surely, if we just leave him be, swingin' the weapon about as he please, the anima'll grow on its own.”
'Course there's no satisfyin' him. I dunno what's stirrin' in that loaf o' his, but I wish he'd pay a mind to stirrin's elsewhere. The boy could use a distraction. Hells, I could make use of a nice buxom distraction meself.
For the last time, please do not speak of such things! Not everyone shares your deplorable appetites.
<sigh> But what you say of the anima weapon is true. In its hyperconductive state, 'tis only a matter of time before the anima shows new signs of growth. Yet what sort of researcher would I be if I did not search for a way to hasten the process?
Always so serious. So the little lord's found a way to bugger us some more, eh?
Indeed I have, though it will require a trip to Idyllshire. My quest to find Sharlayan researchers there bore no fruit, but I did meet with a young lady whose field of expertise is quite similar to mine own.
Her name is Ulan. She has a vast knowledge of arcane entities, and specializes in the study of Carbuncles. In fact, her research concerns the enhancement of these entities with crystals. While not quite as freethinking as Forename's anima, they are of a similar nature. Perhaps enough for her work to be of use.
When last we spoke, she sought an apprenticeship from the selfsame Sharlayan researchers who refused me an audience. No doubt they have left her waiting in Idyllshire even now.
Come, Forename. Let us be off before she finds reason to conduct her research elsewhere.
Ready to enhance another fledgling anima, are we? I am sure Ulan would be only too happy to put her research to further use. In fact, I spoke with her not long ago regarding the prospects of another venture.
No doubt she will insist on more supplementary literature as compensation for her efforts. Pray go on ahead to Idyllshire without me. I shall join you anon.
What business do you have with Lady Ulan?
Ah, good day to you sir. Lady Ulan is expecting you.
What have we here? An admirer of the arcane? A connoisseur of Carbuncles? I have none for sale, mind you, but I would be more than willing to tell you about─
Ardashir? Pray forgive me, sir. Had I known you were an acquaintance of his... Ahem. Allow me to start anew.
Forename, was it? I am Ulan, researcher of all matters arcane. Pleasure to make your acquaintance. My luminous companion here is Diamond. Now exactly how did you come to know my dear Ardashir?
Ah, it would appear I have come late. My apologies.
I see you and Forename have already met. He has been of invaluable assistance in my research on anima.
I see. Before you left Idyllshire you spoke of your preliminary proposal for the Sharlayans. I would very much like to hear how your work has progressed thus far.
You wish to borrow my techniques for crystal absorption and apply them to your anima? An intriguing idea.
Though there still remains one rather large obstacle.
Arcane entities like Diamond here are comprised almost entirely of aether, which is why I believe that the aetherial energy of crystals can be harnessed to further their growth. This is the basis of my research.
This can only be accomplished, however, using crystals with a combination of differing elemental aspects. All arcane beings are unique, and thus require a balance of crystals tailored to their composition. Even the slightest error can disrupt their aetherial equilibrium, possibly destroying them in the process.
It is rather delicate work. To undertake such a project on your own could take weeks, even months without intimate knowledge of my research.
Unless... Perhaps we can help one another.
Being a researcher yourself, I have no doubt you understand my work requires a great deal of documentation, supplies, and more importantly, test subjects.
I might be persuaded to select your anima as a test subject should you and your companion choose to assist me. Or if you would rather spend weeks pouring over my notes...
N-No, no. I think that is more than fair.
Then we are agreed. You will supply me with literature to supplement my research, and your assistant here will bring me supplies. Here is a list of what I require.
It seems we have our work cut out for us, friend. I shall return as quickly as I am able.
<sigh> Was time together with me truly such an unpleasant proposition?
Now where were we? Ah yes, supplies for my work. I will not burden you with all that I have listed there. Even one of those items would be a boon.
In exchange I will offer you crystal sand, a reagent of my own creation that should help facilitate the absorption of crystal energies. The process will no doubt require a great deal of sand, but I will happily give all that you require.
Be warned, however, you cannot haphazardly apply the sand as you please. Hmmm... I believe a demonstration would sooner explain my point. Would you be so kind as to call forth this anima of yours?
My, what a splendid thing you are.
You seem surprised that I can see it. Come now, Forename. I have devoted my life to the study of arcane creatures of all sorts. As Ardashir explained it, the two of you have gone to great lengths to come this far. That I should be unable to see it would be far more surprising.
Now, come closer, little one. I have a gift for you.
Forename, this woman...means us harm. I can feel myself...fading... We must flee!
Forename, this woman...means us harm. My body, it...it fades... We must flee!
My apologies. I did not mean to frighten it. Though I must say, your anima is more perceptive than I supposed. As I said before, every arcane creature is unique, and requires a certain balance of elements to absorb crystal sand. This sand, however, is at odds with its composition.
Rather than waste time probing your anima to ascertain a proper balance of elements, I propose we treat the crystal sand with umbrite, stripping it of its elemental properties. This is by far the safest and quickest way to prepare the sand for consumption.
As luck would have it, I found a merchant right here in Idyllshire who sells it. Hismena, I believe is her name. A single stone and pouch of crystal sand is all we need to begin.
Ah, before I forget. You will need to have the anima's vessel close at hand when offering up the crystal sand. You musn't forget it.
I suppose this will also be of use. For your purposes, let us call it an anima glass. It allows me to more closely observe the aetherial balance of my dear Diamond. It should allow you to do the same for your anima.
That should do for explanations. If you should have any questions, you are more than welcome to ask. When you have all we require, return to me and we shall make the anima grow as never before!
There you are. I was beginning to think Ardashir's proposal was but a cruel jest.
As before you will require an ample supply of both crystal sand and umbrite. When you have collected what we require we can begin.
Ah, and you must not forget the anima's vessel. I cannot do my work without it.
You can examine the anima using this anima glass. I trust you remember how to use it, yes? In any case, should anything happen to it, Arnott will supply you with another. I look forward to seeing what becomes of this new anima.
There is little I can do for you without the anima weapon. I should hope you did not forget it somewhere.
There is little I can do for you without the anima weapon and that shield of yours present. I should hope you did not forget them somewhere.
Before the anima can consume my crystal sand, it must first be stripped of its elemental aspects. This requires umbrite.
When you acquire both the crystal sand and umbrite, return here with the anima's vessel in hand and we can begin.
As I explained earlier, in addition to my crystal sand, we require umbrite that we may strip the sand of its elemental aspects.
The sand I will offer to you in exchange for the supplies listed in the catalog I gave you.
I should hope you have not lost track of it since last we spoke. If for any reason you did misplace it, however, I have prepared another copy just over there.
The umbrite, I am afraid, will require bartering with Hismena of the House of Splendors. As a renowned collector of rarities, I can only imagine what she will ask for in exchange.
After we begin the process of augmenting the anima, you will need a way to track its growth. That is when you use the anima glass. Speak with my assistant Arnott if you should require another.
It would seem the anima has grown quite strong, would you not agree Arnott?
That crystal sand no longer aligned to any one element could be so effective is unprecedented. The data we have collected should prove quite useful to your research.
I cannot say for certain if this anima is stronger than the last. Still, its growth rate is incredible. The data we have collected should prove quite useful to your research.
I... I wish to continue.
For your sake and mine, that you should never want for strength in times of strife. I must become stronger.
An ambitious one, your anima. That it should strive so fiercely to exceed its own limitations is quite remarkable. Not even Diamond Carbuncle demonstrated such tenacity. The bond between you two is one to be envied, for certain.
Again the anima aims to surpass its limits of its own volition. This is worthy of further investigation. Hmmm, perhaps another time.
<pant> <pant> The documents you requested. <pant> As promised.
Ah, Ardashir. Your timing is impeccable. The crystal sand was as effective as we expected. However, it would seem your aetherial companion wishes to pursue greater strength despite reaching what I have calculated to be the apex of its power.
Doubtless you are aware of the potential repercussions should we grant this request. So, what say you? Shall we cast caution to the wind, and see to what new heights the anima can attain?
But of course. If it is the anima's wish, who are we to deny it? Though should we succeed, there is still the matter of its vessel─the weapon. I fear it will not bear the strain of any new powers the anima will possess.
I will consult with our smith to forge a new vessel. One better suited to the anima's burgeoning strength.
It would seem my stay here in Idyllshire will be much more interesting than I anticipated. When you are ready to begin anew, you need but say the word.
My body... It aches...
It is as Ardashir predicted. Its vessel can no longer bear the power that now courses through it.
You must hurry back to him with the anima. I will see to it he is apprised of the situation by the time you arrive.
Should he have need to examine the anima more closely, give him the anima glass.
Safe travels, Forename. I pray the anima will be all right.
Forename, thank goodness! We must act quickly, there's no telling how much longer the soulstone will last.
I would have the anima glass, along with the blade and shield serving as its vessel.
I would have the anima glass and the weapon serving as its vessel.
As I feared, the anima's vessel has reached its limit. We must remove the soulstone at once.
The soulstone appears to be still intact.
Ready the new weapon, Gerolt. The soulstone must be set before it begins to degrade.
The anima's got a lot o' spine for bein' one so small, I'll grant you that. This new weapon ought to make for a fine reward.
<pant> <pant> It's...it's done, lad. Hold her up an' see how she feels.
The pinnacle o' craftsmanship, courtesy o' yours truly, and the nodes what taught me the ins an' outs of Allagan technology─<Relic Name>!
The pinnacle o' craftsmanship, courtesy o' yours truly, and the nodes what taught me a few tricks about Allagan technology─<Paladin Sword Name> and <Shield Relic Name>!
My body. It feels...so light! Is this the work of some arcane magick?
A new vessel, designed by Ardashir and forged by Gerolt.
Thank you, both of you.
Can it be...? After years of research, of trials and failures...I can see the anima. I can see the anima, and I can hear it speak! Oh, if only my master could be here to witness this.
Forename, Ardashir does not seem well. Perhaps he too requires a new vessel.
Yes, a mighty new vessel like your weapon. Let us ask the blacksmith Gerolt.
Yes, a stalwart new vessel like your sword and shield. Let us ask the blacksmith Gerolt.
Forename, Ardashir does not seem well. Perhaps he too requires a new vessel.
Yes, something powerful like your new weapon. Might we ask Gerolt to build one?
Yes, something resilient like your sword and shield. Might we ask Gerolt to build one?
Hahaha, it would appear you have developed a sense of humor to match your new body. Unfortunately, my aetherial friend, we can not exchange ours quite so easily. Though the weapon that houses your soulstone is indeed exquisite, I very much doubt Gerolt would grant me anything quite so elegant.
Oh, but look at me standing here, talking to you. Never have I felt such joy.
Oh, but it is I who should be thanking you, my aetherial friend. That we can finally converse after all this time...it fills my heart with joy.
You must be tired after such a long day. Rest─you have earned it.
This marks a monumental breakthrough in our work. Though it still appears to want for knowledge, our goal is all but realized!
And I can think of none better suited to teaching our young charge of the world and its wonders.
Aye. You see to it yer anima doesn't turn into a snivelin' little shite like his lordship here. One is plenty.
I imagine an arrogant, pigheaded clod would be equally undesirable.
Ahem. As I said before, it has been a terribly long day not only for the anima, but for you as well. Rest easy, Forename. I will do all in my power to determine our next course of action by the time you return.
We've gone an' done it now, lad. I know he's tryin' to keep his composure, but as soon as ye leave the boy'll be prancin' around singin' about the anima. I wouldn't count on him bein' ready to work again any time soon.
At least we've got nothin' to worry about so long as the anima is with ye. Take good care o' that weapon, ye hear?
Another smashing success! How fortunate are we to be blessed with yet another anima so fine? There is much I wish to do that I might further my work, but for now I pray you rest. When the time comes, we shall begin anew in earnest.