A Parley with Pirates
|«Dealings in the Desert|
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Drunkards and ruffians, the lot of them. Rumors be damned, how anyone could even imply that my son might be found among them is beyond me...
I still remember the sparkle in his eye the day he told me he meant to leave the See on a journey around the...
...Ahem. I would thank you to leave me alone with my thoughts for a while.
Are you ready to take to the road again, Forename? Our final destination awaits us─Limsa Lominsa!
Hmph...if we must.
...Though if you truly expect to find a reliable trading partner in that den of pirates and ruffians, you are even more of a fool than I thought.
Believe me, Lord Charlemend, when I say that I bear no love for barbarous outlaws. That said, by all accounts things have changed much in the years since Admiral Bloefhiswyn rose to power.
I have spoken of my son's disappearance to you in the past, have I not? If by chance you have forgotten, it was those accursed pirates who took him from me, and for that I will never forgive them.
It was twenty long years ago. He was a boy of great promise, possessed of a curious mind and a burning desire to see the world. Then a murderous band of sea reavers raided his vessel, and...just like that, he was gone.
To this day, the rumors reach my ears. That he rots in a gaol deep beneath the city. Or that someone resembling him has been seen wandering the streets. As his father, I want to believe he still lives somewhere, but there is only so long a man can...
...Ahem. What I mean to say is, I would not trust a pirate half as far as I could throw him. They are the scourge of our realm and my house, and I will have nothing to do with them.
You have my most heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your son, Lord Charlemend.
By no means do I wish to open old wounds and stir up painful memories. Pray return to Ishgard ahead of us. Forename and I shall handle matters from here.
...No. I will accompany you.
Regardless of what happened─nay, precisely because of it─I will not shirk my duty as lord of House Durendaire.
I will march into that wretched hive of murder and villainy and seize from it a new age of prosperity for my house as due retribution for all they have taken from me.
If it is what you wish, my lord. Let us be on our way.
My preliminary research has led me to conclude that the area known as Bulwark Hall, a stone's throw from the airship landing, would make for a suitable place to commence our efforts.
So this is Limsa Lominsa! Why, it is even livelier than I imagined!
<sniff> The Fury take me...how can all these people abide that gods-awful stench of salt and brine in the air!?
Let us conclude our business swiftly and take our leave of this place. Lord Francel...I trust that your research has enlightened you as to where we might find a suitable trading partner?
Indeed it has, Lord Charlemend! I have read that all goods incoming and outgoing must pass inspection at a place called Mealvaan's Gate. No doubt that would be a productive place to begin our inquiry.
...Hmph, I see. Very well, then, let us be off to this Mealvaan's Gate, or whatever the place was called.
Perhaps it is but wishful thinking on my part, but would you not say Lord Charlemend has softened some since we arrived here in Limsa? Why, he even waited for me to complete a full utterance before dashing off. Could it be that we have earned his trust?
So this is where they conduct inspections on all goods imported to Limsa Lominsa. Most fascinating! I simply must take notes for future reference...
Yes? What business have ye at Mealvaan's Gate?
You are employed here, yes? My companions and I hail from Ishgard, and we have come to Limsa to discuss matters of trade.
Then ye've most definitely come to the right place! Any inquiries ye may have regarding duties, tariffs, prohibited goods, and what-have-ye, I or one of my fellow assessors would be more than happy to enlighten ye!
...I see. To be precise, we seek to introduce wares from your nation to our own homeland, where we believe such items would be in demand. Might you be able to recommend to us a trader dealing in such wares?
Aye, but of course! Why didn't ye say so sooner, my good man!? In that case, ye'll be wantin' to talk to one o' the three great pirate powers here in town.
Aye! 'Course, since the signin' of the Galadion Accord, they're more of an officially sanctioned agency, raidin' the Garleans at the Admiral's behest, takin' part in honest trade, and the like.
'Least, that much can be said o' the Sanguine Sirens and the Krakens. The Bloody Executioners are a whole 'nother matter, so I'd recommend ye limit any dealin' and negotiatin' ye feel like partakin' in to the former two.
I reckon the Sanguine Sirens would be as good a start as any, as they're known to be a bit more welcomin' to outsiders like yerselves. Ye'll find them over in the tavern known as the Missin' Member, if ye're up for a parley.
...Yes, I do believe I've heard enough. Thank you for your time, and good day.
I can scarce believe it has come to this, but I suppose we have no recourse. Well, Lord Francel? I trust you know the way to this “Missing Member”...
Should ye cut yourself a deal, don't forget to report all yer imports and exports to Mealvaan's Gate. Otherwise, we'll claim what's due one way or the other...
This is my first time visiting an actual den of pirates. I must confess, I am rather excited and intimidated by it all!
Everyone is here, yes? Then let us be on our way.
By the Fury! Why, it's a veritable haven of pirate wenches...
...But I will not back down from this challenge. Watch closely, Lord Francel, and let me show you how a deal is made.
Greetings, and welcome to the Missing Member! Do you have a reservation, sir?
I...I do not. I have come from Ishgard to discuss matters of trade with the captain of the esteemed Sanguine Sirens, and I was told I might find her here.
You were, were you? Why, yes...I suppose you might. Make yourself comfortable and I'll go let the captain know that she's got a new vict─er, visitor.
The 'ells ye want, drylanders? State yer business quick, and ye'd best hope it's worth my while, else me Sirens'll see ye gutted and sleepin' with the fishes before ye knew what cuffed ye!
P-Pray stay your hand, ah...my lady. I meant only to consult with you on a p-potential business proposition that might prove...ahem...mutually b-beneficial.
I hail from the nation of Ishgard, and I...ah, do believe that your fine wares would be most highly s-sought after in our nation.
Ishgard!? Ye must be daft to think any pirate in 'er right mind would have even 'alf a mind to set one foot in some bleedin' snow-swept wasteland at the edge o' the world!
Ye must have me confused with that puffy-shirted captain o' the Krakens, or someone else who's got more swagger than sense. Now get out o' my sight before I cut out yer blabbin' tongue an' toss it into tonight's stew!
A thousand p-pardons, my lady. I shall take my leave anon and s-seek out these K-Krakens of whom you speak.
I th-thank you for your kindness, and wish you and your S-Sirens all the─
I said get out of my─wait a bleedin' minute. Why does that self-righteous face o' yers seem so bloody familiar...?
Bah, never mind. I've bigger fish to gut. Now begone from here, or ye'll be joinin' 'em!
If I were you, I'd be taking her advice to heart. You'll find the Krakens at the Seventh Sage, just past here and beyond the Drowning Wench. I do hope your parley there proves more...fruitful.
I could swear I've seen that smug old bastard's self-satisfied mug somewhere before, but bugger me if I could tell ye where...
Have you been to the Seventh Sage yet? I suspect the Krakens will give you a warmer welcome than you found here.
Considering his son's tragic disappearance at sea, one can only imagine the complex emotions the count must be feeling. Let us tread lightly, friend.
Welcome to the Seventh Sage! Would you care to peruse our diverse array of exotic herbs and spices?
...Ahem. Pardon me, my good lady. I am Charlemend of House Durendaire, and I have traveled to your fair nation from Ishgard.
Might you or any of your colleagues perchance be interested in selling your fine spices in my homeland? I can assure you many of my countrymen would be willing to pay a handsome price for them.
D-Durendaire, did you say!? I, ah...
...My sincere apologies, good sir, but in accordance with...ah...company policy, we are not entering into partnerships with parties from the Holy See at this time.
No parties from the Holy See...? What insular, closed-minded nonsense is─
...Ahem. What I mean to say is, we are prepared to make the arrangement most appetizing to you. As appetizing as salted harbor herring, one might say.
To wit: our astrologians have devised a method to accurately gauge one's present location and bearing regardless of the season, a technique which I do believe would be most beneficial to esteemed privateers such as yourselves.
To think the old man would be willing to reveal a treasured house secret to outsiders─dastardly, despicable pirates, no less...
...Perhaps there's hope for Ishgard yet.
...Ahem. Pray excuse me for a moment.
C-Captain!? Why, yes. Worry not. I was just about to bid our guest farewell, as per your explicit orders not to─
Wh-What's that? Are you certain? ...I see. I'll convey the message, then. Forgive me for my hasty decision.
...Ahem. The captain says he will entertain your proposition, but on one condition: he will only speak to the adventurer here.
...I see. In that case, I have little choice. Forename, was it? I have done little to deserve your charity, but I would ask you this one favor. Might I entrust the negotiations to you?
Very well, then. If you would come this way...
Captain Carvallain of the Krakens awaits you atop the stairs.
One more thing: you are by no means to speak his name, nor describe his face to anyone from Ishgard, or he will personally have you keelhauled. No hard feelings, of course.
I place my full trust in you, Forename. May the negotiations be a success!
I know not what you have done to earn a pirate captain's trust, but─in this rarest of cases─I am most thankful for it.
My associate has apprised me of the situation. So this delegation from the See wishes to establish trade relations with us, do they?
The Ishgardians...consumed only with their petty war...living out their days in that gloomy, frigid land devoid of passion or imagination... Just thinking back to my dreary days in that miserable place is enough to make me ill.
But with the war's end, it would appear that a new wind blows in my homeland...
While I am not so naive to assume that they have left their past entirely behind, I will trust that the See's desire to change─as well as that of the man who has come to me on their behalf─is sincere.
...Besides, it would not hurt to be owed a debt of gratitude by one of Eorzea's greatest heroes, no?
Anything to keep that most fearsome Lalafellin acquaintance of yours from making things difficult for me...
Gerald! The document.
This here is an agreement consenting to the formal commencement of trade between the Krakens and House Durendaire of Ishgard. It is in Gerald's name, and marked with our official seal to authorize the transaction.
I would appreciate if you could deliver this to the Count de Durendaire on my behalf.
Are you quite sure about this, Captain?
Let us be thankful for that adventurer showing up when he did. If that man had forced his way to my office, I shudder to think of what might have ensued.
'Tis strange, though... For long years the mere sight of the man's face filled me with loathing. But seeing it again now, I feel only this odd sense of...nostalgia.
And yet, I dare not entertain the thought of doing anything more. It would only serve to undo all I have accomplished.
...No, I have no mind to give up my freedom for whatever I might gain in its place. Yes, this will do...
The Count de Durendaire is waiting. I suggest you deliver the document with all speed─I have it on good account that he is not a patient man.
Dare I ask how you fared in there, Forename?
Well? Do you have anything to show for your efforts?
Why, this is...more than I dared to hope we would achieve! However did you manage this!?
|Your passionate plea won him over.||He chose to believe in Ishgard's future.||I made him an offer he couldn't refuse.|
At any rate, I have finally accomplished that which I sought to here in Eorzea, and can finally return to Ishgard in triumph, as befitting the lord of the highest of houses.
I am in your debt, Lord Charlemend. And you, Forename. With this, the day that the finest goods from the realm over are traded freely in the markets of Featherfall is all but upon us!