Tracking the Cabal
|«A Rewarding Struggle|
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I've asked some friends of mine in the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to keep an eye out for that ship. We should know if the assassins seek to enter any of the major ports...
I've asked some friends of mine to keep an eye out for that ship. We should know if the assassins seek to enter any of the major ports...
Ah, my La Noscean contact!Aye, this is X'rhun. ...And they are still there? Excellent, thank you!
It seems the assassins' merchantman has been spotted sailing into Aleport. Come, we've no time to lose!
My apologies for dragging you halfway across the realm, but I did promise you a journey! Now, as for the merchantman, I'm told it's anchored a short distance offshore.
We need to know more about the connection between this ship and our foe. They may have simply paid for passage, but there is something about that vessel... I say we wander the port and see what gossip there is to be had!
Hm? Nay, me lad, I've not much to tell ye about that ship.
They say she's a tradin' vessel what brings goods from Radz–at–Han, but her crew's a sullen lot. Askin' a friendly question about what they was haulin' got me naught but blank stares an' silence...
The merchantman what just sailed in? I don't know buggery about it, not even the bleedin' name! All I know is her crew's about as lively as a cabin full o' corpses. It ain't natural...
There's a rumor goin' round that the Yellowjackets've taken an interest in their dealin's, so I'd rather keep me distance, anyroad. Aye, I'm finished answerin' yer questions, now off with ye!
That ship's naught but trouble, ye mark me words! I've mates what swear they've seen her pullin' alongside imperial vessels!
Only the gods know what's hidin' in that hold o' hers. Could be weapons. Could be prisoners. Just the bleedin' sight o' her makes me whiskers twitch...
Were you able to learn aught of interest? ...Strange crew? Mystery cargo? Ship's name unknown? Aye, I heard much the same.
I'm beginning to think that our assassins use the vessel as a floating base. With no permanent camp on land, it would certainly be easier to avoid the attention of local forces, not to mention curious adventurers.
I also spoke with an acquaintance in the Yellowjackets, and he confirmed the ship's official status as a trader to and from Radz–at–Han...even if rumors of her dealings with Garlean agents in open water are rife.
As long as the merchantman appears to trade within the law, however, officials are reluctant to force their way on board and cause an incident. They've yet to uncover enough evidence, it seems...
Well, if a solid reason to investigate is lacking, then mayhap we should help them find one, eh?
Let's have ourselves a look in some of their crates on the docks. Just a little innocent curiosity is all!
I've been peeking in the cargo here, but there's one box secured with a lock. Smashing crates open may be taking things a bit too far, I'm afraid...
How did your investigations fare? I've found a veritable bounty of military supplies: ceruleum tanks, imperial rations, imperial insignias on everything!
The authorities will be most interested to hear of this, I'll wager. ...What's that you have there?
Well, well. Dropped by one of the ship's crewmembers, you say? And I just so happened to have found a most inconveniently locked box.
I shall go and relay our findings to the Yellowjackets. I'm sure you'll think of some use for that key of yours!
What─ Where am I...?
Was I sleeping? ...In a box? What an odd thing for me to do...
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! Don't you remember anything? ! Does a girl have a name?
Of course, I─ ...Oh. Perhaps not.
No, wait, I remember something! Arya! My name is Arya...I think. Is it?
Yes, that's it. That's my name. ...Or is it?
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! ...It could be. ! It's a lovely name.
Well, I guess it will have to do for now. And what do I call you...?
...Do you think so? Then I suppose it will do for now. And what does a girl call you?
Forename. I'll try to remember that. Thank you for letting me out!
What happened here? Is aught amiss?
...This lass was inside the box? I might suspect a stowaway, but it was more likely she was kidnapped.
The people who took you may be lurking nearby. We should probably put some distance─
Come now, you needn't fear me so. Forename, please, say something reassuring, would you?
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! He's as gentle as a kitten. ! He's a powerful mage!
...He is? If you say so, Forename, then I suppose it must be true...
Well, you seem to have made a new friend. Let's see about arranging some lodgings for now, and we can discuss where to go from here.
You've gone and frightened her even more now! Never mind. Let's see about arranging some lodgings for now, and we can discuss where to go from here.
The poor girl was asleep within moments. This entire ordeal must have left her exhausted...
As for the results of our efforts with the cargo, I suggest we continue this conversation outside.
I presented our findings to the Yellowjackets, and the evidence was indeed sufficiently damning to spark a full-scale investigation.
...Regretfully, it appears the assassins caught wind of the coming storm─a squad of soldiers was dispatched to the docks only to witness the merchantman sailing away with all hands on board. Not quite the outcome we'd hoped for, but at the very least they'll no longer find a warm welcome in Eorzea's ports!
The other issue we face now is what to do with young Arya. Her breath carries a faint aroma that may account for her memory loss...
I suspect she was subjected to a certain incense which, when inhaled, can cloud a person's mind. The next step was likely to brand her with one of those vile sigils, and effect the permanent destruction of her free will.
It was fortunate that you released her when you did! Arya remains muddled, but her condition should improve with time...
And once her memories have returned, we can learn exactly who she is and─just as importantly, perhaps─the circumstances which led to her capture.