Now that the anima can maintain a form seen even by those without your abilities, it is fair to say my research is all but complete. Our last task being to refine any abilities it has gained thus far.
Once that is finished, I shall return to Radz–at–Han and make ready to present my findings. I daresay our work here shall forever change the study of arcane summoning as we know it.
The hells are you on about, boy? Now I understand bein' excited, what with us finally seein' the anima an' all, but I think yer losin' sight o' what our work is all about.
Preposterous! The goal of my work was to create a sentient being capable of independent thought, which could then serve to help others.
That right? An' ye really think ye've accomplished that? Bollocks! Ain't no way somethin' what's grown that much, that fast, can be in any kind o' stable condition.
We've poked an' prodded the damn thing more times than I'd care to count, an' by the grace o' Rhalgr we've somehow managed not to mess things up. But tell me this: what happens when we're not around when a new weapon needs smithin', hm?
I'll tell ye what─it'll grow too big for its aetherial britches and keel over. What the anima needs now is a body what'll handle it no matter how strong it gets. Until we can figure that, yer work amounts to naught but piss in a kettle if ye ask me.
Oh, but what do I know. I'm just a know-nothin' sot with a hammer. No doubt a refined, scholarly lad such as yerself has already considered such complications.
Hmph! The only thing more insufferable than a drunkard...is when he is right. I was so blinded by its radiance, I did not stop to consider the future, putting my own desires before the needs of the anima.
Right, well, there'll be plenty o' time fer mopin' after we've finished, and I'm free from that witch Rowena. Fer now, we need to think up a way to give the anima a new, permanent home.
The weapon holdin' it now should be fine fer the time bein'. You just keep an eye on the anima while we figure out the rest.
Actually, I may already have a solution─albeit an interim one─thanks in part to Ulan and her studies.
We were working on a potion of sorts to fortify the anima weapon, that it might abide further growth. The difficulty proved in our need for ceruleum. It would need to be distilled to serve our purposes, and we simply had not the means to do so.
As fortune would have it, though, we caught word of a renown distiller recently come to Idyllshire and immediately sought him out. After making our case he was all too happy to assist. Blamprest is his name. Would you pay him a visit and see how things are coming along?
There are other preparations to be made, of course, but Gerolt and I will see to them. Everything should be in order upon your return.
Blamprest, eh? That gives me an idea...
Prepared to enhance yet another anima, are we? There is still much to be done before we can craft a new soulstone and weapon, mind you, but for now another potion should ensure its safety until we are ready.
For that, we will need to commission more distilled ceruleum from Blamprest.
I have already placed an order for another bottle, so while we see to things here, I would have you go and speak with him. There is naught we can do for the anima without it.
Aye, and you tell Blamprest we'll settle fer nothin' less than his very best, ye hear?
Welcome, friend. What can I do for you?
An order for whom? Oh, yes. That scholarly fellow. Ardashir, was it? Work on his order is well underway.
Working with ceruleum is no easy task, though. Distilling a substance so volatile demands a substantial concentration of aether, the only source potent enough being singing clusters. Quite the rarity, you know. And for an order like this, why, it would require fifty at the very least.
Procuring such oddities is beyond my abilities, but I have enlisted the aid of two fine young mages to see the job done. If only the price of their services was not so steep...
There you are. We've brought what you asked for. I trust you're prepared to hold up your end of the deal?
My, what fortuitous timing! This gentleman here was just telling me how he would love nothing more than to offer you his services in my stead.
Ahem. These are the two lovely ladies I was telling you about, remember? The ones collecting the singing clusters you require?
Pleasure to make your acquaintance. My name is Amphelice, and this is my sister, Angelet.
I will keep matters brief. Blamprest agreed to undertake certain...tasks, in exchange for our help. If you would serve in his place, we will compensate you with the clusters you seek. Agreed?
Splendid. Now that that's settled, I'll leave you to it. When you have what we need, come back and I shall see about distilling that elixir.
Ah, that reminds me. A merchant in Rowena's employ deals in singing clusters. I believe it was Hismena? Their names all sound alike. At any rate, if you find their tasks to be too much trouble, you can always try striking a deal with her.
Ah, well if it isn't my favorite customer. Come for another bottle of distilled ceruleum?
Then I shall be expecting more stories in exchange for our clusters.
As before, you'll need fifty in total. Any less and I cannot guarantee the quality of my work. When you have done all they require of you, return to me with the clusters. Everything should be ready by then.
Of course, if you feel their tasks are too demanding, you can always try haggling with Hismena. No doubt she would welcome the opportunity for more business.
Sorry, friend, but there's naught I can do without singing clusters.
Whether you acquire them through Amphelice and her sister, or by bargaining with Hismena, I shall leave that decision to you.
Judging by that smile I take it you have the clusters I require?
Yes, yes, this will do nicely. Wait here just a moment.
There we are. One order of distilled ceruleum. Before you go, though, I must ask: if you work with Ardashir, you must also know Gerolt, correct? He placed an order for a bottle of my finest ale. Now that we're finished with Ardashir's commission, I'd like to take care of his, if that's all right with you.
Haha, you needn't worry about compensation, friend. He paid in advance. I only ask that you take his package with you.
It's been so long since he's come to see me. I was beginning to worry the moneylenders had finally done for him, or worse─he'd taken to a life of sobriety! In any event, I'm glad he seems back to his old self. Take care, and give them my regards.
There we are. Ardashir will be quite pleased, as I'm sure Gerolt will be as well.
Give them my best, and tell Gerolt I'm glad to see he's back to his old ways.
I imagine I will be staying here in Idyllshire for quite some time. If Ardashir should need more ceruleum, or Gerolt his spirits, you know where to find me.
Welcome back, Forename. We have accomplished much while you were away. In fact, I am quite close to a more permanent solution to our troubles.
But first, let us do what we can to fortify the anima's current vessel. Might I have a look at the sword and shield in question? Oh, and the distilled ceruleum, of course.
But first, let us do what we can to fortify the anima's current vessel. Might I have a look at the weapon in question? Oh, and the distilled ceruleum, of course.
Right, then. Now to prepare the potion.
...Forename, why exactly did Blamprest prepare two bottles? Are they to be mixed together?
Gerolt ordered a bottle of ale? If he had money to spend, he would be carousing in some filthy tavern, not here working off his debts. The only way he could afford that would be...
Our funding! You selfish, beef-witted maltworm! You squandered our funds from Rowena on spirits!?
Aye, that I did. Consider it payment owed fer remindin' you about bein' selfish yerself, all that blitherin' about bein' done with the anima.
Another bottle of ale!? By the gods, how am I to explain this to Rowena?
...Don't give me that look. Ye know I can't do me best work without me muse. Now hurry up with that potion. Forename's weapon ain't gonna hammer itself.
You truly are insufferable! When this is over you shall learn there are consequences for misspending others' money. Rowena's money.
Honestly, Gerolt, why could you not learn to forge weapons like an ordinary man. A sober man...
<sigh> Calm yourself, Ardashir. There is work to be done.
There, the potion is done. All that remains is applying it to the anima weapon.
I leave the rest to you.
A right fine piece o' work, if I do say so meself.
A weapon made sharp with a brew o' pure ceruleum. Hm, I like the sound o' that─Relic Name!
A sword an' shield made sharp with a brew o' pure ceruleum. Hm, I like the sound o' that─Sharpened Sword of the Twin Thegns and Sharpened Shield of the Twin Thegns!
I feel a new strength welling within me. Does this mean, perhaps, I am reaching my full potential?
I feel a new strength shines brightly within me. Could this mean, perhaps, I am reaching my full potential?
You think so? Truly? I shall do my best not to disappoint you.
You really think so? Then I must do all I can not to disappoint you.
Yes, of course. I shall redouble my efforts to someday meet your expectations.
Yes, of course. I was too hasty to hope for so much, so soon. I will do my best to meet your expectations.
I cannot read your thoughts, but I think your silence makes the answer quite clear.
I will become stronger, Forename. Together we shall see what I am capable of.
Would that I could read your thoughts... Still, your silence tells me much.
I will become stronger, Forename. Together we shall discover my true potential.
'Tis good to see our work was a success. The anima seems stronger than before, yet its vessel remains sound.
Ah, yes. Speaking of the vessel, I must tell you of our soon-to-be permanent solution to handling the anima's growth!
We will forge not just a new weapon, but a new soulstone to house its essence.
In my quest to find a means to do so, I happened upon something quite interesting. Wait here a moment.
<beep> <beep> Initializing synthesis protocols... Please insert materials.
What do you think? This Allagan droid was no doubt used for work requiring precision beyond what any man is capable of. Used being the operative word. Try as I might, whenever I initiate its production sequence...
<beep> <beep> Internal error. Unable to process.
<sigh> The system crashes...
It will take time, but mark my words: I shall repair this Allagan device.
Once repaired, I am confident I can fashion a new soulstone for the anima to last a thousand lifetimes.
And to my surprise, Gerolt has already taken the initiative to start work on a new weapon, one befitting the new heights to which our aetherial companion might climb. Rest assured we will contact you when preparations are complete.
Until next time, friend.
Another anima made safe. For now, at least. I look forward to the day it resides safely in its new vessel. I trust you will take good care of it until then.