Rook Before You Reap
Ah, Forename, splendid. You arrived at the very moment I completed my newest machinist marvel─well, within the very hour, at least.
'Tis unfortunate that many Ishgardians cannot appreciate the practicality of my work. People such as my father, for instance...
<sniff> Ugh, is there naught that can be done for this dreadful odor...? Stephanivien, my son, the days of shunning your knightly training have come to an end.
Never should I have allowed you to set foot inside this workshop! Had I but known that the curiosity you displayed as a boy would develop into this all-consuming distraction...
Is that all you came to say, Father? I am well aware of your distaste for─
Nay, Stephanivien, there is more. House Dzemael has sounded a call to arms, and House Haillenarte is bound to answer.
As you well know, however, our companies are light on lances. If we are to avoid dishonoring our name, every able soldier─mine own son included─must take up spear and sword and march to battle.
I have not the disposition for charging into enemy ranks, Father.
I did not raise a coward! Consider your next words carefully, boy─as manufactory chief, I hold the authority to expel anyone from this workshop.
On parchment, mayhap... There's only one chief we answer to.
Aye, I understand that our ranks have grown thin. Thus is our house in dire need of the support my machinists will bring.
Challenging the might of dragons with spear and sword is the work of seasoned heroes─warriors possessed of unflagging stamina and robust physique.
Equipped with a firearm, however, even the scrawniest commoner could engage those same scaled demons from afar. Think of it, Father! If the masses were trained in the machinist profession, the casualties of fang and claw would be considerably diminished.
Machinist companies would soon form the backbone of our defense, and, as the master of the manufactory, the accolades would belong to House Haillenarte.
Train the masses!? Foolish boy! No lowborn army could ever replace a contingent of disciplined knights!
It is time, my lord. Svara is expected to descend upon our defenses within the hour.
Svara!? You mean to engage that great brute with naught but our knights!?
What would you have me do? The dragon flies straight as an arrow for our very own Skyfire Locks. Should we let them be destroyed, the price will be steep in both coin and honor.
Father, you must allow me to deploy my machinists! Once you have witnessed them in battle, even you will be unable to deny their effectiveness.
...Do as you will, Stephanivien. As matters stand, I would not turn away a lame chocobo if it offered to defend our holdings. Be certain to assemble your forces at the Locks ere Svara arrives.
Oh dear. I fear I have allowed my passions to impair my better judgment─of all my budding machinists, only you have seen true combat.
'Tis to you, then, that I would entrust the use of my prototype device. The “rook,” as I have taken to calling it, is an autoturret─a type of machinist weapon that fights on its own!
Do you recall Rostnsthal's explanation of the aetherotransformer? That contraption at your waist will convert your body's aether into the lightning-aspected energy required to power the turret. You need simply place the weapon in position, and it will fire upon whichever foe you yourself attack.
Svara has plagued House Haillenarte for long years. Should you employ the rook to good effect, then we may rid ourselves of both a deadly enemy and my father's antiquated notions in one fell swoop.