Flame General Affairs
Gods, I hope we're not too late to save General Raubahn... I should have told you sooner─about the execution, I mean─but what with the trial and everything... <sigh>
Though the situation calls for urgency, it would avail us little to charge headlong into Ul'dah without a plan. Before we can formulate a plan, however, we must first learn how things stand in the sultanate─which is why I propose that we visit Limsa Lominsa. Aye, you heard me right. While you were about your altruistic endeavors, I acted as an intermediary in trade negotiations between House Fortemps and a Lominsan consortium. During said negotiations, an opportunity to send word to the Admiral presented itself, and I duly seized it. I am happy to report that we yet have a stout ally in Limsa. The Admiral has pledged her full cooperation in any effort to rescue Raubahn. Accordingly, I have agreed to meet with her, that we might discuss how best to proceed. Naturally, I told her to expect us both. Your presence never fails to embolden our allies, after all. When you arrive in Limsa Lominsa, make yourself known to Sergeant Zanthael at Bulwark Hall on the lower decks. He will admit you to the Bridge.
I'll stay here in Ishgard and carry on searching for clues to the others' whereabouts. Let's hope we all find what we're looking for, eh?
Speak with Sergeant Zanthael when you are ready to meet the Admiral. He will admit us to the Bridge.
The Admiral has been expecting you. Say the word and I will take you to her.
Friends. 'Tis good to see you safe and well. I will admit, I had not counted on you seeking─let alone finding─refuge within the Holy See, but full glad was I to learn that you had.
Thankfully, we had allies there who took us under their wing. And theirs was not the only aid we received, I suspect. When we fled Ul'dah, we fully expected to become wanted men, known to all and hounded at every turn. Yet that did not come to pass. On the contrary, 'twould seem the charges against us have not been made public. Might we have you to thank for that, Admiral?
Sharp as ever, Master Alphinaud. On Marshal Tarupin's urging, the Elder Seedseer and I demanded that the Syndicate suppress news of the Scions' alleged crimes until such time as irrefutable evidence could be found. Our argument was simple: lacking proof, to accuse the saviors of the realm of so unlikely a crime would have the people up in arms. In their wisdom, the Syndicate agreed, as you yourself have seen. There is something you should know. Some few days prior to the banquet, the Elder Seedseer and I were summoned for a private audience with the sultana. There, she revealed her intent to announce her abdication, that she might pave the way for the establishment of an Ul'dahn republic.
What? But such an announcement would have plunged the entire nation into chaos!
She was well aware of that. 'Twas for fear of what might ensue that she summoned us. Her Grace wanted the Elder Seedseer and I to lend Raubahn a helping hand, you see─to aid him in preserving the peace during the transition.
So...having somehow caught wind of her plan, Lolorito and Teledji plotted the sultana's assassination in the hope of maintaining the constitutional status quo...? But they must have known that her death would sow as much chaos as her abdication─chaos from which Teledji alone might feasibly stand to profit. Surely Lolorito would never knowingly— Ah. Could it be...? I dare not hope...
The Ul'dahn authorities have yet to announce the sultana's passing. To allay any suspicion that may arise from Her Grace's absence, they have issued a statement to the effect that she is presently convalescing from illness.
Mayhap they're waiting for a fitting moment to break the news. Or mayhap they know of some other reason to delay.
Something else has been bothering me, Admiral. I was dismayed to learn that General Raubahn is to be executed─yet upon hearing the news, I could not help but wonder why he had been kept alive for so long. Pray mistake not my meaning─I am, of course, overjoyed that our friend still draws breath, and that he might yet be saved. But if his enemies truly wished to eliminate him, they could have done so immediately. I see no reason for this delay.
Aye... You've struck upon an important point, Master Alphinaud. Following his capture, Raubahn had been held in the Marasaja Pit within Ul'dah. In recent days, however, he has reportedly been moved to an unknown location. Queerly, 'twas not the Brass Blades who spirited him away, either, but a band of soldiers decked in blue...
The Crystal Braves.
Aye. If I read the winds aright, the arrangement between Lord Lolorito and the Braves has come under strain. At any rate, if we're to rescue Raubahn, we'll have to find him first. And you'll be glad to hear that I have already entrusted the task to those best able to see it done─our friends of Doma.
Raubahn's survival is vital to the Eorzean Alliance. We can ill afford to lose him. But I cannot send troops into Ul'dah. 'Twould spell the end of the Alliance, and war, like as not. If there is to be a rescue, it falls to you and yours to attempt it.
I would not have it any other way, Admiral. It was I who founded the Crystal Braves, and I who must take responsibility for their actions.
Spoken like a true leader, Master Alphinaud. By way of a first step, you should seek out our Doman contact. You will find her among the frontier hands at Revenant's Toll, working in a kitchen.
Would that we could join you in rescuing the Flame General, but the sultanate would not take kindly to a foreign power on their soil, allies or no.
The Crystal Braves may no longer answer to me, but that does not absolve me of responsibility. As commander, I am accountable for all the wrongs they have committed─all the havoc they have wreaked.
Though it's useless to dwell on the past, I often wonder if I could have─and should have─done more for you and Raubahn that day. Leaving the banquet was tantamount to leaving you and yours for dead. Should you think me craven, I wouldn't hold it against you. But I will make it up to you, this I swear. Come what may, know that the Scions of the Seventh Dawn can count on our cooperation.
Could she be the Doman contact of whom the Admiral spoke?
Master Forename! I knew in my heart that you were safe, but to see you again in the flesh... Words cannot well express my relief. Even as the victory feast was taking place, the Crystal Braves turned upon us and took the Rising Stones by force. Amid the chaos, some few of my compatriots and I were able to slip away unnoticed. Since then, we have remained in Revenant's Toll, keeping watch over the mutineers while awaiting your return. You have done well by us, and we Domans do not soon forget our debts. We swear to do all within our power to aid you.