Fantastic Mr. Faux

«Keeping Up with the Aliapohs
«Shadowbringers
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Pardon the suddenness of my address, milord, but would you perchance be familiar with one Khloe Aliapoh?
What will you say?
Indubitably, good sir. I may have forgotten to turn in my copy of Wondrous Tails...again.
It seems the word I bear I will indeed be of interest to you, then. You see─Miss Aliapoh has a new pet fox, and she has made it known that her most feal of acquaintances─which include me, naturally─are invited to regale him with tales for “fantastical” rewards!

Surely Miss Aliapoh believes her furry friend to share in her appreciation for tales of gallantry─and I daresay my heritage makes me something of an expert. Alas...the resemblance is simply too uncanny. I cannot go near the creature without feeling as if I'm being judged.


My honor will not allow me to simply ignore the invitation, however─so I thought you might wait upon the fox in my stead. The children have taken to calling him “Commander,” for reasons most obvious. You will certainly know him when you see him.
If you all continue to stare at me so, I'm going to institute a fee.
What will you say?
Augh, it talks! This is definitely the oddest thing I have encountered, somehow. Aymeric! What have they done to you? You're an auspice, then.
Yes, yes, “Eek, a talking fox!” this, “Seven hells, that ain't natural!” that. You are all so very melodramatic. I daresay if you were ever to meet my fellows at Reisen Temple you'd drop dead out of sheer commitment to theater.
Hilarious. An entirely original joke that I have not heard eight times already this evening, certainly.
I am. And I must say that such a response is a welcome respite from all of the shrieking and cooing I have encountered.
But let us speak of yourself. You appear to match the─exhaustingly enthusiastic─descriptions Khloe has given me of the adventurer who tells her “just the most wonderful” stories. Are you indeed that adventurer?
Then you are precisely the sort of person I set out to find─the sort with riveting tales to tell. And I am sorely in need of tales. Tales that inspire the mind, tales that tear at the heart, tales that grip the soul! For my tea parties, you understand.
Oh, oh! It's Khloe's bestest friend, Forename! Are you making friends with the Commander too?

The commander says he spends days and days and days talking to his other animal friends...but after so many days, all of them have run out of new stories to tell, and he's searching far and wide for new ones. Stories, that is! He still likes his friends.


So really, he's just like Khloe! Isn't that right, Commander?
As I've said, my name is Sotan. I swear, between you children and Rowena with her little joke, I'll never be rid of this blasted nickname...

Ahem. In any case, if I understand correctly, you have faced and bested all manner of fiends, including many gods of this land. Surely you have some tales worth my time─or ideas from which to spin them, at least.


If you can weave me a tale most fantastical, I will grant you access to Faux Hollows─a whimsical adventure unto itself!


...Or, strictly speaking, a game of chance that I designed. Regardless, make good use of your cunning─and luck─and I will conjure you faux leaves as tokens of my esteem. As you have doubtless guessed, a sufficiency of leaves can be traded for other, less ephemeral incentives.


I believe that's the long and short of it, as the youths say─but don't get ahead of yourself. As I said, no ordinary story will do. I require tales to excite even those who are sung of in tales...so I expect you'll need to exercise your imagination to a certain degree.


My guests care not about the authenticity of their entertainment, so dispense with the truth as you will. Just make sure to tell me your stories whilst they're still fresh in your mind. Embellishment is one thing, but continuity errors are quite another.