An Engineering Enterprise
Assuming Cid is correct─and I have no reason to think that he is not─the Vanu's key is required to pass through the barrier protecting Azys Lla. But even without it, we must find a way to reach the isle. I shall have everyone convene at the Seat of the Lord Commander, that we might discuss how best to proceed. As before, make yourself known to the guardsman when you arrive, and he will show you in.
For every day I spend in the sky, it feels as though I spend a week on the ground...
Ah, you are returned! Ser Aymeric and the others await you within!
Though we know little and less of Azys Lla, one thing is plain: the archbishop and the Garleans cannot be allowed to avail themselves of its secrets.
I swear, wherever there's an Allagan ruin, there's trouble just waiting to happen. I suppose that's why they erected such damnably convoluted defenses around everything...
If the Empire has an interest in Azys Lla, we have all the more reason to hurry. I would not see its secrets fall into the hands of either the archbishop or the Emperor.
Welcome back, my friend, and pray forgive me my earlier display. I grieve for my son still, and shall continue to do so, but I have resolved to be strong. It is what he would have wished.
...In summary, the isle owes its lofty position to the industry of the Allagans. And we can be all but certain that the archbishop and his cronies are enjoying the view from its top.
If we are to join them, we will first need to pass through the isle's aetheric barrier─which is, alas, more powerful than most. Powerful enough to make a mess of a perfectly good airship, at any rate... As far as I can gather, the barrier mechanism draws aether from the surrounding environment, and polarizes its elemental aspect to produce what is, in effect, a wall of lightning.
It seems plain that without the Vanu's key, any attempt to reach the isle will end in failure.
Alas, the key was careless enough to leave without us, and I don't think the Vanu keep a spare.
Master Garlond─based on your experience, is there no other way that we might breach the barrier?
Well, in the past, we've beaten similar barriers by nullifying them with elemental converters. But the one we're up against this time dwarves aught we've encountered before. The Enterprise simply isn't large enough to bear the requisite amount of crystals.
I am reminded of the quantity needed to nullify Leviathan's command of the sea... A veritable mountain of crystals that could only be borne by lashing two galleons together to form a “twin vessel” scarcely able to propel itself, much less fly.
That said, we're not without options. If it isn't feasible to nullify the barrier, we might try piercing it.
We create a ram of condensed aether and mount it on my ship. There's just one problem─I don't have the faintest idea how to build one. It's going to take a true authority in the field, I reckon.
Would that the Archons were still with us...
But yesterday evening, I chanced to find Mistress Tataru in unusually high spirits. Assuming I understood her excited ramblings correctly, she has acquired a clue pointing to the whereabouts of one such individual.
An Archon!? Truly!?
Hah, fortune favors the righteous, eh? Well then, let's not waste any time. While you go and look for our missing friend, I'll work on modifying the Enterprise. Her hull will need reinforcing to bear the punishment, not to mention a mount for the ram. Just you wait, my pretty─by the time I'm finished, you'll be an airship reborn!
Think not of the cost. Whatever you require to modify the Enterprise, you shall have it.
She may not spend her days slaying primals, but Tataru is no less a Scion than you or me. Full oft has her knack for acquiring information proven vital to our endeavors.
Welcome back, Forename! How goes the mission? Did you manage to catch up with the archbishop and his cronies? So, you finally arrived at Azys Lla...only to find your way barred by some sort of barrier... Typical. But it's not all bad news! I've made progress in the search for our friends! Don't worry, Forename─we'll get to Azys Lla yet!