Legacy of Honor Chapter 2
Way of Suffering
A large stone edifice that sat on a hill overlooking the capital, forever vigilant in its watch against unwelcome visitors, as it has been for the past one hundred and fifty years.
The Oaks family had been serving the royal family since then. Though not as prominent as the Beoulve in Gallione, they were known for their fierce loyalty to the royal family and their strong sense of justice. Their devotion to the royal family is unmatched by any other noble family. They are the only family to ever witness the last moments of the sovereigns of Ivalice with King Omdolia being the most recent.
The Oaks had not only been leaders of Lesalias St. Konoe Knights; they had also been members of the local Knights of the Atkascha Family, ranking among the highest in the knighthood. It was their tradition.
But it seems that tradition will come to an end when the last lord of the keep passes from this life to the next.
Lord Agnes Oaks was the last for he had no heir. His only heir had broke their family tradition when she had defected with the heretic Ramza. He would have made his granddaughter his heir but she too was lost for she could never know the evil her mother had done.
Yes, the Oaks name has been spoiled and there was nothing Agnes could do about it.
The days after the trial, while he walked Lesalias streets, he had received stares and heard whispers from the commoners. When he walked among the halls of Lesalia Castle, he had received the same stares and heard the same whispers from the nobles. Some were even bold enough to laugh in his presence while others taunted him.
So, the mighty Oaks have been chopped down, a knight had jeered. Who would have thought that the axe would be one of their own?
Agnes sighed, remembering the harsh truth behind that taunt, as he stood on the parapet of his keep staring at the splendid capital before him. Countless were the times he had gazed at the city, always admiring the beauty of it from the top of his keep...
The fear of losing his keepthe keep that had been in his family for a century and a halfto another when he dies had crossed his mind at one point, but that fear dispelled when he had received word that Ramia had been adopted by his good friend, Andrew Birch.
He smiled softly to himself, his hair wavering in the cool morning breeze. Though a tree is chopped down, as long as the roots are intact, it could grow tall and strong again. He would apply the same concept to his current situation. Although his granddaughter was officially a Birch, she still had the blood of an Oaks, and she would be that sprout that would make the tree grow again. He would make sure that a Birch would inherit his keep.
The sun slowly rose to the sky, bathing the city in its golden glow.
Agnes watched merchantsfewer now since Prince Clemences edictshauling their wares into the city from both the north and south gates. Not many traveled the roads of Ivalice nowadays. The sight of Shrine Knightsa blessing at firstwas now considered to be a curse for they had higher authority than the common knights such as Galliones Hokuten or Zeltennias Nanten. Even the personal knights of the royal family, such as he, had no bearing in Ivalices government since there was officially no royal family.
Agnes snorted, thinking Prince Clemence to be a fool for following the Church blindly. Though Ivalice was under the Churchs control, Lord Oaks would still continue to carry out his duty. And so, he stood watch on the parapet, alone yet vigilant.
This has been his routine for the past month. He watched Shrine Knights monitor the traffic in both gates, checking merchants entering and travelers exiting. Though Agnes detested Father Jaren, he commended the priests persistence in his hunt for the heretics. But his persistence bordered on tyranny.
Only a month had passed since the edicts were issued and already some were grumbling, not from Ivalice but from the neighboring country of Ordallia. Ordallian merchants come to Ivalice to trade their wares across the marketplaces of Ivalice. They were much welcomed in Ivalice for their rare commodities such as silk and spices.
But to lose such commodities because of the new laws would risk instability within Ivalice, whose people were already regretting the Churchs influence within the government.
Agnes wondered what Father Jaren would do about regaining the peoples trust in the Church as he turned away from the parapet and entered his home. He had watched enough for the day. If he had watched a little longer, however, he would have seen a contingent of Shrine Knights exit Lesalias northern gate and head towards his keep on the hill.
Tomas Varyn, Divine Knight of the Glabados Church and aide to Cardinal Jaren Kazut, rode at the head of his party of five Shrine Knights and one heretic. It was his duty to deliver Lord Oaks reward for being cooperative to the Church before bringing the prisoner to Fort Zeakden.
The two knights that rode behind Tomas carried a chest between them, the contents containing the reward of Lord Oaks. Beyond the two knights was another knight pulling the heretic along the path.
Agrias hands were bound with a thick rope that was tethered to the pommel of the saddlebow of the knight before her. She was forced to walk the rough path, bare-footed, the pace set by the knights chocobo compelling her to run at times lest she risks being dragged along the rocky road. They were only a couple of miles out of Lesalia and already her feet were covered with minor abrasions from the gravel road. If she was dragged, not only her feet would suffer but also her whole body since the thin gray robe she now wore was not sufficient enough to protect her, no less it being ripped to shreds in the process.
But she wont let that happen. If she had to run two miles to keep up, she would to avoid being dragged and humiliated. She would show these knights she was no pushover despite Jarens beliefs.
Behind her rode the last two knights acting as rear guard. Both carried banners of the Church, their emblem of a gold cross against a red background wavering slightly in the mid-morning breeze.
The group rode in silence down the road leading to the stone edifice that sat on the hill overlooking the capital. The only sounds that broke the stillness were the rhythmic clinking of metal armor and the beating of clawed feet against stony ground complemented by the sounds of nature such as the whistling of birds and the buzzing of bees.
The short green grass swayed gently in the breeze like waves of an ocean. Wild flowers added color to the bland green grass, radiating their brilliance on such a sunny day. Bees and butterflies flitted around the blossoms seeking their sweet nectar as birds circled above seeking any bug or worm to devour. Such was the splendor of nature.
But Tomas and his party didnt have the time to admire the beauty of their surroundings. The Divine Knight then decided to pick up their pace seeing that it was past mid-morning and heading towards noon. They need to reach Grog Hill before sunset if they were to deliver the prisoner as scheduled.
He urged his chocobo from a stroll to a trot, quickening their pace a bit. The rest of the knights followed his example, trotting at a moderate pace. Tomas tried to set an easy pace so the prisoner could follow without being dragged along the road. He had frowned upon Father Jarens decision for the heretic to walk all the way to her plight arguing that it would take twice as long to make the journey. But the priest ignored the argument only stating that the prisoner will be delivered on time. Thinking about the prisoner, Tomas looked back to see if she was handling the pace well.
Agrias jogged behind the knight and his chocobo, almost matching their pace. Her face show no weariness, only a fierce determination, her lips pursed close and her blue eyes glaring. To her, this was like a casual stroll through Mandalia Plains since she was used to running in her heavy armor.
Nodding his approval, Tomas turned back as he continued to lead his group to their first destination of the day.
Lord Oaks roamed the halls of his small keep, trying to pass the time away. But it was hard for him being the only resident, besides his servants, of the stone bastion. The two knight maidens, Lavian and Alicia, who had been personal knights of his daughter, had seemed to flee the keep after seeing their lady tried. Agnes could not blame them, being the loyal servants that they were, they too were hunted heretics by the Church. He sighed as he stopped at a certain window in the foyer of his home and looked out.
He couldnt see Lesalia from the window because the hills curve hid it from view but he could see the beautiful green field spread before him and a portion of the path leading towards his home. It was another beautiful day with clear skies and cool breezes.
Agnes sighed again, remembering why he had chosen to look through this particular window instead of the many others that lined the entrance hall. Because it was through this window that he shared many memories with his granddaughter.
Every afternoon, when the sun begins to set, shading the horizon a fiery orange, he would carry Ramia in his arms to the window, not only to watch the sunset but to also watch for the return of Agrias from her duties in Lesalia. His eyes roamed towards the road where they had always caught a glimpse of the returning knight; the yellow plumed head of her chocobo appearing at the bend followed by the flashing of her armor indicating them that she was home. Agnes would then place Ramia on the floor and the child would dart for the doors eagerly to greet her mother while he would follow slowly from behind.
Lord Oaks shut his eyes as the memory of those past afternoons flooded his mind. He could almost hear Ramias cry of joy echoing throughout the foyer as she ran to the doors, the clanking of armor as Agrias enters the keep, and the warm exchanges they gave each other. He heaved a sigh, opening his eyes to again gaze out the window.
Maybe his mind was playing tricks on him, making that memory into reality, as he looked through the window. A yellow-feathered head had appeared at the bend, its riders armor glinting in the suns rays. Agnes heart soared hoping that the past month was nothing but a nightmare and that he had finally awakened from it.
But his heart sank when he saw the identity of the rider.
A Divine Knight.
Two Shrine Knights carrying some sort of chest between them followed the knight. Agnes had enough dealings with the Church and wondered what business they brought now.
Tomas brought his chocobo to a halt and jumped down when he reached the front doors of the great keep. He gazed at the stone building, admiring its ancient beauty.
The bastion was two stories high and twice as long. Two green banners emblazoned with the insignia of the Oaks familya silver wreath of oak leaveshung on the fortified walls of the fortress. No one stood watch at the door or at the parapets. The only people that greeted them were the gardeners who watched curiously at the group. Tomas wondered how Lord Oaks could sleep at night knowing that he may be found dead the next morning.
The Divine Knight then turned back to see his two knights standing attentively, waiting for his orders. Come, he said, lets get this over with.
Tomas marched towards the doors and pounded three times. His knocks seemed to echo throughout the forlorn citadel as the trio waited patiently.
After a few moments, a door squeaked open and out came a middle-aged man, well dressed with a slightly graying mustache and intense brown eyes. He studied the knights a moment before asking, May I help you, sirs?
Yes, Tomas answered. Were here to see the lord of this keep, Lord Agnes Oaks.
The servant opened the door wider. Please enter, he said, motioning the trio to come in. You could wait inside while Ill fetch the master.
Tomas shook his head. Thank you for the offer but were in a bit of a hurry. We just came to drop off this chest, he stepped to the side and the two knights brought the chest and placed it down in front of the servant. A gift from Father Jaren, the Divine Knight explained, as a reward for Lord Oaks cooperation and as a sign of goodwill from the Church. Would you make sure he receives it?
Indeed I will, sir knight, the servant nodded. Good day to you.
Tomas nodded and turned on his heel to return to his chocobo. He swung astride the giant bird, the two following shortly after, and soon they were riding down the hill where the rest of the party awaited.
Tomas was relieved to get that one task done; more relieved that he hadnt face Lord Oaks himself. He was already burdened by the fact that he had to cart his daughter to Fort Zeakden, but more so by the fact of what the contents of the chest were. If he had stayed and had opened the chest in front of Lord Oaks...
He shook his head at the thought. It was best not to think of such matters.
Agnes watched the three knights ride down the hill. He had heard every word of the exchange between the Divine Knight and his servant. When the last of the knights had gone, he turned towards the door to see his servant dragging the chest in, its scraping echoing throughout the hall.
Lord Oaks went to help the man, bringing the chest to the middle of the entrance hall. The servant then went to shut the door as Agnes knelt down besides the chest, looking at it apprehensively.
It was like any ordinary chest, brown in color with a latch in the middle. His hand moved slowly to that very latch, anxious yet curious to find out what the chest contained. His servant returned and stood behind him, curious to discover the contents of the chest.
Agnes took a deep breath before he slowly undid the latch and lifted the lid. The items within the crate were slowly revealed to the two men. The noble reared back in shock while the servant gasped.
Inside was the equipment of the disloyal Holy Knight! From the helmet to the boots, everything was present.
Agnes shock quickly became anger as he glared at the chest. What sort of reward was this to give back the heretics equipment? Shouldnt they have burned it or at least discarded it? Wasnt it deemed unholy or evil to wear such items?
As Agnes pondered the reason on why they had given him the items, the servant went closer to take a good look at them. He was as shocked as his master was. What kind of trick was this to offend him? It was as if the Church was challenging his loyalty. He then took note of a rolled parchment amongst the equipment.
My lord, he said as he took out the parchment and handed it to the fuming Agnes.
Burn it, Agnes growled assuming it to be a derisive letter.
But it may explain why Father Jaren sent you this... he paused as he tried to search for the right word, ...this, he decided with finality, waving at the crate. He then offered the letter to his lord, who grudgingly accepted.
Agnes saw that the letter was sealed in wax with the emblem of the Glabados Church stamped on it. He broke the seal and unrolled the parchment, scanning its contents before thoroughly reading it. The letter read:
May the light of St. Ajora be with you, Lord Oaks.
Please accept this chest as gratitude for your complete cooperation during the trial and for your unwavering loyalty. You must be wondering why I am rewarding you with such items. I assure you it is not to insult you but to reward you. I deemed it a waste to discard such equipment of excellent quality. Dont worry. I have personally blessed them and so should serve you well if they are needed. May St. Ajora continue to shine his light upon you.
St. Ajoras loyal servant,
Father Jaren Kazut
The servant observed his masters expression and when Agnes lowered the letter, he boldly asked, What does the letter say, Lord Oaks?
Agnes snorted as he rolled up the parchment and threw it back into the chest. A reward! he growled angrily as he slammed the chest shut. More like a reminder than a reward! A reminder of the betrayal in our family! He then turned and stomped away, disgusted at the sight of the chest.
What should I do with the chest, my lord? the servant questioned loudly.
Place it in a dark corner of the vault, far from anyones prying eyes, Agnes replied gruffly, and a curse to those who finds it...
Yardow Fort City.
Though a small city, it is as well protected as nearby Riovanes Castle. Thick castle walls surround the city with wooden watchtowers erected in intervals along the ramparts. No one was sure why those walls were built to protect such a small community but according to historical records dating back ten centuries prior, they were built to protect against invasion from the other kingdoms when Ivalice was still separated into seven.
Walls that were meant to keep the people from harm now seemed to keep the people imprisoned within the town. The only two gates, west and east, were wide enough to only fit one person at a time. And if youre traveling in a group, you enter in a single line making traffic into and out of the city very busy. However, it was easy on the Shrine Knights to monitor the gates, inspecting every person that came through. Which also made leaving the city difficult for two fugitives of the Church.
One of these fugitives strolled along Yardows streets, plotting the towns layout and observing the routine of the Shrine Knights. Alicia knew that if she and Lavian were to escape the city undetected, they had to know when was their best time to move and how to maneuver through the streets. It was her job to plot it all out.
The knight maiden walked through the marketplace, located along the main street of Yardow that ran straight through the middle of town, browsing through the wares, at times pushing herself through the masses to get from one booth to another. Now, however, was the worst time to be in the marketplace.
The day neared its end as the sun set closer to the horizon, painting the sky a fiery orange and the clouds a pinkish-purplish hue. This was the busiest time of the day as merchants get ready to close their shops and the people return home from work. In Alicias case, however, she needed to return home to get ready for her shift at the pub.
Both knight maidens had decided that one would work during the day while the other worked during the night. This way they wouldnt miss out on any important news, rumor or otherwise. And this worked very well for them because they had heard many reports concerning about the hunt for the heretics. None of the reports worried them much, however, and continued to work unafraid of being caught.
But that may soon change.
A rider approaches! a Shrine Knight on the watchtower shouted below to two knights at the gates.
Alicia stopped immediately when she heard that announcement. She turned back towards where she had come from and forced her way through the crowd that seemed to have multiplied. It looks like she wasnt the only one curious about the shout.
The knight maiden tried to force her way through the front of the crowd but seeing that she made no progress, she looked for an alternate route. She turned into a dark alley, pausing briefly to see if anyone was around, before jumping onto the roof of a house in a single bound. She was glad that she took the time to perfect the jumping skills of a dragon knight while in Ramzas company all those years ago. It certainly has its uses.
Seeing that she had a good view of the events happening at the eastern gate, she perched on the edge of the houses chimney intent on studying this unexpected event.
One of Tomas Shrine Knights approached the eastern gate of Yardow, carrying the banner of the Church at his side. Once he passed through the gate, he halted his chocobo and dismounted. I must speak with your commander, he informed the knights with urgency. Where is he?
Sensing that this was no ordinary message, one of the knights quickly escorted the rider to the garrison, located against the city wall near the gate, while another took the reins of his chocobo.
The barracks was a crude building, built with haste when Jarens laws were put into effect, managing to only house ten knights. It was made of stone, dried mortar sticking out in between the bricks, a testament of the builders haste. A wooden roof riddled with small cracks was the only protection the knights had from the elements.
The stables, next to the garrison, were as equally crude as the garrison for it too was hastily built. Instead of stone, it was made of wood held together by rusty nails. Some sections of the stable walls were made from more than one piece of wood like some jigsaw puzzle. The structure itself looked as if it would topple down when a mighty wind blew but it was as sturdy as a rock.
News of the riders arrival traveled quickly for the commander of the garrison stood outside the building, ready to receive whatever message the rider has to give. Welcome to Yardow Fort City, the commander greeted the messenger as they both grasped the others forearm in the traditional handshake. What news from the capital?
Other than Father Jarens ill humor, I bear no message from the capital, the rider replied. However, I do bear a message from Divine Knight Tomas Varyn.
Divine Knight Tomas Varyn? the commander repeated curiously.
The messenger nodded. Yes, the aide to He then stopped, sensing the many eyes that stared at him, and looked back at the crowd that had gathered. He didnt want the townspeople to hear what he had to say. May we continue our talk inside? he asked as he turned back to the commander.
Yes, of course, the commander acquiesced as he motioned towards the door. The rider took off his helmet and entered the establishment. After giving his men quick instructions, the commander followed the rider.
Tomas pulled his hood over his eyes, shielding them from the glaring westering sun that blared at them. He was glad to see another day coming to an end. By the time the sun sets, they would be within Yardows walls resting. The knight he had sent ahead to notify the commander in charge of Yardows supervision of their imminent arrival must be already enjoying the luxuries of the garrison.
The Divine Knight sighed. It would be nice to sleep on a comfortable bed instead of the hard ground and to eat real food instead of dry rations. Tomas licked his lips. Some wine would be nice too.
After an hour of trotting down the road, the party could see the white walls of Yardow looming ahead, the sun setting behind it casting long shadows on the road. As they neared, Tomas could see that two Shrine Knights stood in attention on either side of the gate.
The party rode up to the gate and entered the walled city. Commander Troy Mynns stood at the entrance along with the rider, Chase Osner, ready to greet and welcome the groups arrival. It seems they werent the only ones to greet their guests as folk gathered, curious to see a Divine Knight appearing at their small community.
Commander Troy stepped forward as Tomas dismounted his chocobo. Welcome to Yardow Fort City, Divine Knight Tomas, he greeted. Sir Chase has notified us of your coming. He then motioned towards the garrison. Theres food and wine ready and your quarters have been furnished as well. It would be an honor if you and your men would join us for dinner.
Tomas nodded in approval. The honor is all ours, he said. But, he beckoned the knight holding Agrias, Id like to see the heretic taken care of first. You have a place ready for her?
Yes, of course, Troy nodded. This way.
Alicia watched as the group of knights headed towards the garrison. She silently jumped from one rooftop to the next to get a better glimpse of the group while folk below her met the group with curious stares.
The knight maiden then stopped at a house with a flat rooftop, a block down from the garrison, observing with disgust as they pushed the prisoner into a holding cell affixed to the side of the garrison building.
It was built to temporarily house any captured heretics until they were judged. It seems only fitting to place a captured heretic in it.
Their task done, the knights entered the garrison with hearty smiles, eager to end the day with a good meal and a comfortable bed. Up on a rooftop, a figure could be seen jumping down and vanishing beneath a twilight sky...
A half moon hung in the sky amidst the stars, bathing the sleeping city in silver light. Only a few wandered the streets; mostly drunkards who couldnt find their way home. Some were even passed out, sleeping to the side of buildings snoring loudly and hugging their beer bottles to their chests. Somewhere, a dog barked answered by a hooting owl; chocobos warked softly as they slept in their stables, warm from the cold winds that blew outside.
But those cold winds managed to seep through the barred door of the heretics cell.
Agrias shivered against those cold drafts as she curled into a fetal position on the floor, trying to keep warm. Her poor excuse of a blanket was only a tattered piece of cloth, unable to cover her quivering frame. Her teeth chattered against the chill as she tried to rub some feeling back into her arms. In these conditions, sleep eluded her.
Just as well for there came a knock on her door followed by a whispered voice, Lady Agrias!
Agrias immediately forgot her chill upon recognizing the voice. She wearily stood up, wincing as her bruised and blistered feet met floor, and slowly made her way to the door that suddenly burst open.
Lavian quickly entered the prison while Alicia kept guard at the door. Though the Shrine Knights on guard by the gates were fast asleepthanks to Lavians skills in the magical artsone cannot be too sure how long the spell will last.
As Lavian entered, she saw that Agrias was already standing. Lady Agrias, she greeted respectfully as she began to fall on one knee, a gesture made when addressing someone of higher ranking. It was a habit she and Alicia had formed while serving the Oaks family.
Before Lavian could complete the motion, however, Agrias had quickly walked over to her and pulled her up. She then began making brisk gestures with her hands while wearing an angry expression on her face.
Lavian was, at first, surprised being forced to stand but soon became confused as she watched the hand gestures. Agrias first pointed to herself, then to her, then, in a downward sweep, to the ground before finishing her silent message with a shake of her head.
What is she trying to say?, Lavian wondered.
But wondered no more as Agrias looked at her with questioning eyes. Lavian understood what that simple expression conveyed and smiled. Come with us, La
Agrias immediately covered Lavians mouth, her questioning eyes flaring anger once more. She then repeated those same hand gestures, emphasizing each motion, but suddenly stopped, her body tensing, going into a defensive stance as if threatened.
Knowing the telltale signs of trouble, Lavian immediately became alert. She placed a hand on the hilt of her sword and quickly turned, drawing her sword in one single motion.
There, standing at the doorway was the commander grinning wickedly at them. Behind him were two knights keeping Alicia subdued.
Well, well, well, the commander sneered as he entered the small holding. Who would have thought that heretics Lavian Wayte and Alicia Lavitz were hiding in Yardow Fort City? He paused briefly, looking at Lavian then at Alicia, before continuing. I place you both under arrest in the name of Murond for the crime of heresy. He then extended his hand towards Lavian and said, Now kindly give me your sword.
Lavian grinned viciously, brandishing her sword menacingly at the commander. Why dont you come and get it yourself? she challenged. With that said, she swung at the commander who nimbly jumped back despite of all his armor.
That could be arranged, the commander returned, drawing his own blade, returning Lavians swing with a thrust.
Lavian parried the thrust and countered with a slash, which the commander quickly blocked. Lavians opponent suddenly ducked low and stuck out his foot, sweeping Lavian off her feet.
The knight maiden cried out as she fell on her back, the wind knocked out of her. She then looked up to see the commander standing over her, the point of his sword against her neck.
You are under arrest for the crime of heresy, he repeated. He then stepped on Lavians sword wrist, her grip on her sword loosening, and bent down to retrieve her weapon. However, he was tackled to the side by Agrias.
The commander grunted as he fell to the floor. Agrias then helped Lavian up and pushed her towards the door. As they exited the building, they saw that Alicia had managed to escape her captors and now was fighting them.
The sound of their swords clashing throughout the streets of Yardow must have been too loud for their came shouts of alarm from within the garrison. Lavian turned to see more knights emerge from the building, armed and carrying torches.
There! she heard one of them shout. She immediately went to Alicias aid. They needed to defeat the two knights before the rest were upon them.
Fortunately, they managed to beat them before the rest of the knights came. Now all three were running towards the gates where their chocobos awaited them.
The knights gave chase seeing that the escapees were none other than the heretics. Dont let them get away! the commander ordered his men when he managed to get out of the cell. Catch them at all costs!
Whats going on here, Commander?
Commander Troy turned to see Tomas walking towards him, holding his sheathed sword in one hand. Troy bowed his head slightly in recognition of Tomas rank before replying, The heretics Lavian Wayte and Alicia Lavitz were sighted trying to help the prisoner escape. My men are chasing them as we speak.
Which way did they go? Tomas questioned.
Theyre heading east, towards Lesalia Troy began.
or Bervenia, the Divine Knight finished thoughtfully then nodded as if to assure himself. Spare as many of your men as you can, Troy, he instructed. Send a messenger each to Lesalia and Bervenia to inform them of the heretics arrival though I doubt that theyre that dim-witted to enter. If possible, we can trap them at Doguola Pass or Grog Hill.
Troy nodded. A perfect plan, sir. Ill carry out your instructions at once!
Tomas nodded and the commander left. The Divine Knight then watched as two knights came back dragging a body between them. Tomas was at first pleased to find that the Shrine Knights managed to capture one of the heretics, but frowned when he saw that it was none other than an unconscious Agrias.
Where are the other two? he demanded as they dragged the prisoner into the cell and locked the door.
Last time I checked, they were still running, one of the knights replied.
Then...? Tomas let the question speak for itself as he gazed at the barred door.
She tripped and fell while escaping, the other knight answered this time. The other two would have gone back for her if she hadnt motioned them to continue without her. She then attacked us, seemingly to slow our pursuit of the other two while they escape. A noble act, but a foolish one.
Noble indeed, Tomas murmured to himself as he turned away. That will be all, he said behind his back before returning to the garrison.
The sky was a steely gray with pale dawn light; the stars beginning to dim and the moon vanishing for the day. Birds wheeled overhead, intent on catching their early meal. The people of Yardow were still fast asleep, tucked beneath their warm blankets for it was too early to awaken.
Tomas prepared for the days journey as he pulled on his gloves, strapped on his sword, and pulled the hood of his blue cloak over his crown full of short brown hair. Seeing that everything was set, he exited the garrison.
A cool wind blew as he stepped out of the garrison, his cloak rustling in its wake. A knight straightened in attention as he appeared, holding the Divine Knights chocobos reins in one gloved hand. Commander Troy stood next to the knight. Good morning, Sir Tomas, he greeted.
Tomas returned the greeting. I trust you have everything under control? he asked afterwards and Troy nodded. Good, the Divine Knight said. Then its time to depart before the citizens of Yardow awaken.
Yes, of course, Troy nodded, knowing that Sir Tomas wanted to avoid a crowd as he escorted the prisoner out of Yardow. Fetch the prisoner! he ordered the knight holding the reins.
Tomas took the reins from the knight and mounted his chocobo. He then watched as Agrias was escorted from her cell, her wrists bound and her head downhung. Seeing this, he wondered if she had suffered any injuries during the skirmish last night.
Are you sure you can manage this alone? Commander Troy asked tentatively as the Divine Knight bound the prisoners tether to the pommel of his saddle. With his whole garrison chasing after the knight maidens, Tomas felt it wise that he leave his band of knights in care of Yardow.
Shes only one prisoner, Tomas replied. You have nothing to worry, Commander Troy. I am capable of handling this alone.
As you wish, Troy said bowing his head. I pray for your safe journey.
Tomas nodded then with a click of the tongue urged his chocobo slowly onward.
Agrias body responded automatically, her body moving of its own accord while her mind wandered. She hoped that Lavian and Alicia had managed to escape their pursuers unlike her. It seems she was destined to this fate. She sighed as she continued to walk on her way to Fort Zeakden...
...on her way of suffering.
Final Fantasy Tactics Fanfic