A Gazebo to Call Our Own
For a mercy, Cyr has finally been charged with a duty which does not directly concern Inspector Hildibrand and his heretical mammet Gigi. In recent days there have been rumors that the missing (and presumed dead by some) knights of the Heavens' Ward have been sighted in Ishgard, and while the inquisitor knows little of the circumstances, he nevertheless suspects heresy most foul. A thorough investigation is therefore in order─and Cyr would enlist not only your help, but that of the itinerant individuals currently taking shelter in a certain gazebo...
That you stand here before me is proof that Halone smiles upon me this day. I have need of your assistance, Forename─and before you think to run away screaming in terror, I pray you hear me out.
It concerns the esteemed─and now missing and presumed dead─knights of the Heavens' Ward. None have returned to the capital since all the...unpleasantness began, yet recently we have heard rumors of these honored sers walking the streets!
'Tis heresy most foul, I say, and I mean to get to the bottom of it! But we will need all the help that we can get, which means...Fury take me...we could benefit from a certain individual's...serendipity.
Besides, if we don't seek him out, he's like to show up at the worst possible time anyway. At least this way it'll be on our terms─and we can keep an eye on that boy─mammet! Mammet!
Yes, right... Oh, you must be wondering why I asked you to come. Well, you and the inspector seem to enjoy a natural rapport, so...
Praise Halone, for a moment I was afraid you'd make me beg. This may well be my last chance to prove my worth to my superiors, and if I can't... Ahem. To Fortemps Manor!
BuT wHy, PaPa HiLdY?
Little Gigi's been a very naughty girl.
...Because, Gigi, such behavior is unbecoming a gentleman!
BuT wHy, PaPa HiLdY? wHy Is It UnBeCoMiNg A gEnTlEmAn?
Ah! Inquisitor Cyr, Forename! Good evening to you both. Are you come as adoring fans or on business?
...Business. Always business, you may rest assured.
Then I, Hildibrand, agent of enquiry, inspector extraordinaire, am at your service! Is it robbery? Murder? Tax avoision!?
Avoision? I─ Wait, before we get into that, what's going on here?
Much as it pains me to admit it, my beloved Gigi─the apple of my eye, the fruit of my loins─attempted to deface this lovely gazebo! Naturally, as his father, it falls to me to see him returned to the strait and narrow.
ThAt's NoT tRuE! i WaS dRaWiNg A fAmIlY cReSt FoR oUr HoMe!
Now Gigi, I know you are fond of this gazebo, as are we all, but it belongs to Lord Edmont. You wouldn't want to steal from Uncle Edmont, would you?
I...i GuEsS nOt. ThEn WhErE iS oUr GaZeBo, PaPa HiLdY? aNd DoEs It HaVe A wArM sToVe WiTh A sTeAmInG kEtTlE tOo?
Oh Gigi, don't you see? We have no need of kettles or gazebos! As gentleman inspectors, the world is our oyster! We can go whither we please─where the red fern grows or the wild rose blooms!
And yet you've been sleeping in Lord Edmont's gazebo for how long...?
I dOn'T cArE aBoUt WiLd RoSeS! i WaNt To LiVe In A gAzEbO wItH pApA hIlDy AnD mAmA nAsHu!
Gazebos are quite expensive─and dangerous if not domesticated!
Dangerous indeed, my boy! And besides, we are gentleman inspectors free to travel the length and breadth of Eorzea in search of a case! Does that not sound more thrilling than whittling away the hours beneath a gazebo?
If it's a case you want, you need not go so far. We are currently investigating reports of individuals masquerading as knights of the Heavens' Ward.
These contemptable charlatans are rumored to have tricked several hapless maidens into attending private parties for a small fee, with the promise of enjoying the company of these great sers.
Those who were foolish enough to attend found their experiences to be so traumatizing that they have refused to discuss them in detail. Needless to say, your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated─and for it you shall receive due compensation.
Say no more, Inquisitor, say no more! I, Hildibrand, agent of enquiry, inspector extraordinaire, am well-versed in the ways of the fairer sex.
Mummy! Ahem─Mother dearest! I was under the impression you had departed for Ul'dah.
And leave my beloved boy to keep on playin' at bein' an inspector, as well as a father to a bloody mammet!? Bugger that. Yer comin' home right this instant!
How can you say such things!? It is my life's calling to be an inspector. And Gigi is my son! He is a Manderville man!
Grand as it is to see you, you have come at a most inopportune time. The young women of Ishgard are in need of a champion to defend them from fiends most foul!
Come, Nashu! Come, Gigi! We shall demonstrate to my mother our peerless investigative skills and bring these criminals to justice!
Thal's balls, he's stubborn. Probably gets it from his sorry arse of a father.
I trust you lot'll help me to keep him out of trouble? Right, then. Come along.
Well...that could've gone better. And worse. Let's not keep them waiting...
I can say one thing with absolute confidence: they're all quite mad.
If the knights aren't supposed to, you know...then why are they so popular with the highborn ladies?
What in the seven hells's so damn appealin' 'bout gettin' paid a pittance to do the watch's job for 'em? Hmph.
Hmm... There must be at least one fair maiden who can tell us something of value...
WhO nEeDs A gAzEbO?
Please, do you think me so foolish to fall for their charade? From what I heard from the others, said “knights” bore not even the slightest resemblance to the Heavens' Ward.
As if I had not already memorized every detail of my dear Ser Adelphel's face. Oh, where ever could he be?
I shall have some choice words for him when he returns, especially if he cannot properly account for his prolonged absence.
I am truly outside Her grace! My allowance, all gone to waste on those...those... Ugh, I dare not say it!
Mayhap those awful rumors are true. Mayhap...I must needs accept that he now walks in Halone's halls...
He was too beautiful for this world! A good and true knight, a defender of the faith! Oh, Ser Zephirin, I swear I shall never love another...
I demand satisfaction! Swift and terrible vengeance! How dare they prey upon a lady's emotions to line their pockets with gil!
If Ser Charibert was here, he'd purge the lot of them like the festering sickness they are!
Ah, yes...a pity he too remains missing. So very much a pity...
What I'd like to know is who's going to deal with all these criminals and heretics! We can't bloody well be expected to purge them ourselves, now, can we!?
PaPa HiLdY, pApA hIlDy! ThAt GrAnDmAmA oVeR tHeRe Is StArInG aT uS!
Now Gigi, a gentleman must be more careful with his words! First of all, you have only one grandmother! Second─and this is tremendously important─Never, ever call her that. At least...not yet. Promise?
YeS, fAtHeR! i PrOmIsE nOt To CaLl GrAnDmAmA jUlYaN gRaNdMaMa JuLyAn!
Ho, ain't you a charmer! And there I was thinkin' I might have to rip yer bloody head off if ye said the G word one more time!
LiKe ThAt, PaPa HiLdY?
Ahhh, my faithful assistants! Have you gleaned any new information?
Other than the fact that these women scorned seem to detest the fake knights with every fiber of their being?
These two women were telling me all about what they'd do if they cornered Ser─
Is this the best ye can do, then? Bloody oaths and girlish fantasies? And ye call yerself a Manderville man!
I assure you, Mother, we are only just getting started! The tapestry of lies and deception behind which the truth hides is oft unraveled with the tug of a single loose thread!
I say, young lady! I would beg but a moment of your time...
...Somehow I doubt that “young lady” was targeted by the charlatans we seek.
Aye, 'tis true! I too was taken in by the false promises of those awful, awful men!
Long have I yearned for a chance to meet Ser Vellguine, so when they said I finally could, I didn't hesitate for even a moment! But when they escorted me to the manor and undid the blindfold, and I looked on the hideous faces of those so-called “Grand Sers,” I screamed and fled.
They were gone when I returned with the watch, but their neighbors said they had overheard them speaking about seeking shelter in a place called Idyllshire. I know it's not much, but I pray this information helps you in your search.
My lady, I swear to you, here and now: I, Hildibrand, agent of enquiry, inspector extraordinaire, shall not rest until these dastardly fiends are punished for their foul crimes!
HuZzAh! ThReE cHeErS fOr PaPa HiLdY! hIp HiP hOoRaY! hIp HiP hOoRaY!
Hip hip hooray...
And there you have it! Our quarry can be found in Idyllshire. Come, my loyal assistants─justice waits for no gentleman!
That's all well and good, but I've never heard of this Idyllshire. Have you?
You mean, we're to travel to the Dravanian hinterlands? Right now, just like that?
So. That was a harrowing journey during which I felt certain I would die horribly, or at least be forced to part ways with my precious bits.
Ooh, can I keep one? I promise I'll walk him and feed him and put fresh herbs in his mask every day!
<sigh> Bloody waste of time...
ThIs PlAcE fEeLs SoMeHoW fAmIlIaR...bUt I cAn'T pOsSiBlY hAvE cOmE hErE bEfOrE, rIgHt...?
Truly, this magnificent settlement is a testament to the hard work and camaraderie of her uplander and gobbie citizens!
Yes, well, I'm just glad we're no longer being pursued by fire-breathing dragons, musket-wielding crabs, and bomb-throwing goblins. You know, the other ones.
But they were no match for Lady Julyan and that pan of hers, am I right?
I wAnT tO sEe HeR mAkE tHe BaD gObBiEs FlY aGaIn!
Godssakes, Hildy! Exceptin' Forename, this lot'd be dead in a ditch somewhere if it weren't for me.
Nonsense! I would never let any harm come to my loyal assistant or my beloved son!
Um, if I may interject...
Now then, let us split up and question the good people of Idyllshire. My keen inspector's sense tells me that one of them has knowledge of the false knights we seek!
<sniff> <sniff> ...Could it be?
A sorrier lookin' city of vagabonds, cutthroats, and charlatans I've never seen. Don't you fall in with them, hear?
How blessed these goblins and treasure hunters and adventurers must feel to have the freedom to pursue their dreams and live as they see fit!
HoOrAy FoR eVeRyThInG!
Ooh, even more nameday gifts for me!
Yes, yes, Loudjox knows of Grand Sers. Sneaky uplanders keep to selves, mingle not with gobbieflock. But each to own, Loudjox says─no questions, only jinglyshine!
Oh, you must be talkin' about them “Grand Sers.” They drifted into Idyllshire some time ago, as I recall. Pay visits to the Great Library, though I couldn't tell you why.
Oh, I know all about the Grand Sers. They keep to themselves in that building of theirs, south of the Roundspot. You'd best watch out, though─they're a dangerous bunch, liable to kill you for looking at them cockeyed.
...It's entirely possible that I've gone completely and utterly mad, but...are you perchance the long-lost twin sister of an Ishgardian noblewoman?
What!? I... Er... Look behind you! A three-headed goobbue!
Why do I feel like I've not seen the last of that old woman...
Hmm... If only we had the testimony of a concerned citizen which could conveniently direct us to the villains' precise location.
The Grand Sers are holed up in a building to the south of the markets!? Good show, Forename!
There, that's the one! Come, let's inform the others!
'Twould seem that no one is home. There is naught we can do but wait, then.
PaPa HiLdY, pApA hIlDy! I jUsT wAnT tO sAy ThAt...ThAt I...rEaLlY lIkE tHiS pLaCe!
I tHiNk ThAt YoU aNd Me AnD mAmA nAsHu CoUlD hAvE lOtS oF eXcItInG aDvEnTuReS iF wE sTaY hErE...
Hmm...you may be right, Gigi. This community seems to have fostered an enlightened, free society, welcoming of honest souls willing to work and contribute to the greater whole. Did anyone happen to see a gazebo on the way in?
As I live and shkohhh! Hildibrand Helidor Maximilian Manderville!
Could that be─I say, could that be Slowfix Cointoss!?
Do you know this gobbie, Inspector?
I most certainly do! Why, Master Slowfix was my very first employer!
Pshkohhh... When traveling through Thanalan long ago, gobbieflock was waylaid by uplander bandits! With no jinglyshine to pay Brass Blades, we had no way to backtake goods...
Until we make busydeal with gentleman uplander, that is! With fastness he finds uplander bandits and brings much bangyboom, and returns to goodly gobbies missing goods and great justice!
Hah hah hah! Oh, the memories... It was a near thing, for the bandits were clever enough to see through my ingenious disguise as an innocent milkmaid, but in my haste to escape I tripped over a barrel of firesand, and, as they say...boom gobbie doom!
Henceforth Slowfix gains new appreciation for uplanders! But for chance encounter with gentleman uplander, he never conceives of egalitarian utopia. Pshkohhh... One may even claim Hildy a founding father of Idyllshire...with metaphorical tongueflaps, that is.
Cor! No busydeals for the wicked!
No “busydeals” indeed...
But leaving that delightful anecdote aside, ye gods, Master Slowfix! Just looking at what you and your flock have made of these ruins is making me bigeyes!
Pshkohhh... Gobbieflock has come long way since wandering days, but we have not forgotten gentleman uplander's kindness. Slowfix is here to offer hand-lending!
Well, far be it from me to refuse...
My son Gigi has grown quite fond of your magnificent city, and so I should like to stay here with him and my assistant for a time. We would not require much in the way of accommodations─a humble gazebo, for example, would more than suffice...
Why settle for gazebo when perfectly good estate right behind you? Residents of building in arrears and Slowfix happy to evict them.
B-But we were pursuing the fiends who lived here on suspicion of defrauding young women!
Fraud? In Slowfix's egalitarian utopia? This he will not abide! All the more reason to let gentleman uplander and his flock stay instead of Grand Sers─no need for jinglyshine either!
HuZzAh! A gIaNt GaZeBo To CaLl OuR oWn!
I...I do not know what to say. Thank you, Master Slowfix, thank you!
No need for teary-eyed tongueflaps! Gobbieflock is possessed of moral obligation to repay gentleman uplander for past generosity. Enjoy new gazebo, and good luck with hunt for Grand Sers!
Um, PaPa HiLdY...sInCe ThIs Is OuR gAzEbO, iS iT oKaY iF i DrAw OuR fAmIlY cReSt On It?
I can think of no better way to celebrate this joyous occasion─and perhaps draw the ire of our new home's former tenants! Come, let us go and purchase some paints together. This gazebo shall be your canvas!
Now he's gone and gotten himself a soddin' gazebo? Bloody hells, if he really thinks I'm goin' to let him keep on playin' at being a father...
Still no sign of the notorious Grand Sers... I daresay we're going to need more paint.