There are no windows in this room, a long room, with no chairs, no adornements, not a single thing in it except the walls. And yet, the room is a thing of beauty, the only room inside wherein the light from outside reflects and refreacts in the crystals of the walls and comes out, all right here in this room, shining and shifting in the wall opposite from the entry, forming beautiful images. The images are familiar, those you've seen before in the Temple of Ultima you've been to, beautiful depictions of the creation of the world, Ultima and Phoenix fighting, the destruction of the land, Phoenix bringing life to the land on her back… It's even more incredible here as the shining beams of light form the dancing images in the air, visible in various directions, moving slightly as if they had life of their own. This is the prayer room, in which you are alone.
Jnezdie sits cross legged on the floor, Ragnarok laid horizontally across his lap. He slipped out of his shirt once he was seated, and neatly folded it next to him.
Jnezdie: "I figure since this is about your first trip topside, I'd lay some culture into you, Ragnarok. A'int much of a better way than in a temple, I guess, even if'n they're kinda rare around TT. That's 'Transcient Town,' in the longhand."
Jnezdie exhales. "But, givin' a lot of things I know now that I didn't know while romp-assin' around the mountains of ol', maybe that oughta' change a little."
Jnezdie: "So right now, we're in a Temple of Phoenix. Long time ago, Phoenix and her gal-pal Ultima were fighting. I don't actually know if they were friends. But when I tell ya' what they did I can't imagine it bein' any other way."
Jnezdie: "They were fighting over who was the greatest. Maybe not the baddest, or the goodest, just- 'greatest.' Ultima says, 'watch this,' and destroys a whole continent." He waves his hand over the ground in front of him, and smacks his fist down.
Jnezdie: "Boom. Pretty easy for her."
Jnezdie: "Phoenix, on the other hand-" He picks up his other hand, pauses, "-pretend that was really cleaver on the part of me-" and spreads out his thumb and pinky, mimicking a bird. "-she glides down all gently from the sky, bringin' all the ancestors of ancestors of ancestors and so on down with her."
Jnezdie glides his hand down on cue.
Jnezdie: "This shuddered Ultima somethin' fierce, 'cause she was only destroying stuff. She retreats on up into the black clouds, never seen again. Phoenix, pretty exhausted from her descent, took her rest on the ground, and blessed all her children that day."
Jnezdie goes quiet, sitting back up, resting his palms on his knees. The quiet hangs among the prayer room, and time passes- the light dancing ever so slowly.
Jnezdie: "And that's how all the world'll tell ya'."
Jnezdie: "But… that's now how it is."
Jnezdie: "Not, that is."
Jnezdie: "It's a nice story, a creation 'myth' to some, 'truth' to others."
A sensation, as if for a moment the center of weight on Ragnarok shifted slightly
Jnezdie: "As I'm bein' told by our sweet employer, Ultima's a person… a thing? Something that exists."
Jnezdie: "You know? Well maybe you don't, but-"
Jnezdie shakes his head. "This may go over your head or whatever, but- when a lotta people think of a 'god', it's somethin' omnipotent, omnipowerful, omniscient…"
Jnezdie: "Anywhere, everywhere, and able to do anythin'."
Jnezdie: "That's kinda what most o' us thought for Ultima and Phoenix, at least, in conception."
Jnezdie: "And now I'm hearin' it's an actual thing that can be touched. And lived. And can be manipulated."
Jnezdie curls over a bit so he can look down at Ragnarok. "Really blew my mind, yeah? You're gettin' the quick version now, so maybe the impact is lessened."
Jnezdie: "That's just where the craziness started, really."
Jnezdie: "I mean, I get along with a lot o' things pretty easy."
Jnezdie: "Ultima's skirt, at least I can tune out Argent now-ish when she gets all extra-extra antisocial."
Jnezdie: "(Not all the way, maybe, but I'm tryin', okay?)"
Jnezdie: "(Y'know, but I feel like settin' an example. For you? Maybe.)"
Jnezdie: "(I mean, heck, I was gonna have drinks with Ultima's Heir before he went and vaporized those guys-)"
Jnezdie sits straight once more. "Oh, yeah, I didn't mention him."
Jnezdie: "It's kinda off topic from what I'm gettin' at, but he's a guy that can control Ultima and wants to remake the world in his image. Said it'd be 'their' image- him and two people he was with, but I figure he'll ditch them like a broken axle once his wagon is 'cross the finish line."
Jnezdie pauses, as though he would wait for a reaction from a person, and then continues. "I know. I know! A guy who's trying to destroy and remake the world is 'beside' my point. That's how far out everything else I've been thinkin' about is."
Jnezdie blinks. "Uh. Where was I. Oh, right, all this has a point, don't worry-"
Jnezdie: "So, the gods exist and one of them can be controlled. That's weird."
Jnezdie: "Shortly before we learned that, everyone was killed in a world-ending thunderstorm and then revived by Phoenix."
Jnezdie pauses again for a reaction, which doesn't come. "I know! I KNOW!"
Jnezdie: "There's a bit more particulars to it, but- I know!"
Jnezdie: "Then there's people that're part people part machine- and I'm not talking about a pegleg. Dragons that regenerate near-endlessly. Dragons that are far, far more machine than flesh that used to be regeneratin' dragons."
Jnezdie: "I'm hittin' you with the less wild stuff now, sort of like a cooldown."
Jnezdie: "'cause, y'know, none of that is anythin' I've eeeeeeeeeeeeeever seen, much less even thought about. Then again, that last bit there was really easily received by the guys at the Black Iron Fortress."
Jnezdie: "Y'know, as well they should- the dragon was livin' with them. And it was also a warship?"
Jnezdie curls over to stare at Ragnarok again. "Dragon that was also a warship. I know!"
Jnezdie: "Goin' back to the thunder bit- -we're- special. See, we got revived. And not everyone does. But who doesn't?"
Jnezdie: "I have no idea. I don't know why they wouldn't. Maybe they weren't locals."
Jnezdie: "…but what does that even -mean-?"
Jnezdie: "Sarah talks about how she's from beyond the Sea of Hvezdami. I didn't know the 'gods' were so particular, but I guess if they're vaguely-people-ish, they can make those kinds of distinctions."
Jnezdie: "Ultima goes-" He puts bass in his voice "-'okay I'm wipin' 'em out' and Phoenix is all-" His voice becomes shrill "-'okay I have my revive list right here!' And does it."
Jnezdie: "Just… really weird."
Jnezdie: "She a'int from here, but she's alive all the same, but I swear on my gut feelin' that some o' the people in old ruins died like that, and didn't come back."
Jnezdie 's voice gets quieter. "That's always sat suspicious with me. And I don't believe she's at all malicious about it."
Jnezdie: "Just a botherin' thought that I brush off like a drunk at a party."
Jnezdie: "-I said this had a point, right-"
Jnezdie: "So there's Elvaan without silvery tattoos and us shootin' from one side of the Ethereal Kingdoms to the other- that was mostly Gav's deal but I totally backed him up with some chantin'- and, ahah-"
Jnezdie leans onto an arm, slapping his other knee while laughing slightly. "I don't know if you get this or not, you were sort of 'awakened' indoors, but-"
Jnezdie: "It's always rainin', you know that."
Jnezdie: "And these two bugs- Kivaran they're called, they tried to eat us but it was otherwise fun- had a thing where there was a story about a 'desert.'"
Jnezdie: "Where there was -no rain-, not a cloud in the sky."
Jnezdie pauses. "I knooooooooooooooooooooow."
Jnezdie: "Or do I? I have no clue."
Jnezdie: "Like, does a place like that exist?"
Jnezdie: "They say it does."
Jnezdie: "Maybe it -does-. What would happen if I went there? It'd probably feel right weird."
Jnezdie: "And as much of a shock that was, it still doesn't really compare to the lastest one."
Jnezdie: "Everything else is just- big thing after big thing, secret after secret, and really I'm not all that confident that by the end we'll ever know all the answers to all our questions-"
Jnezdie: "(Again, bless poor Sarah, probably not intentional, but I'm not a prayin' man.)"
Jnezdie: "AND SO CAME THE TIME-" He finally booms, "-that I realized, that I… was beyond a mode of thought."
Jnezdie is quiet, letting silence settle, watching the images flicker.
Jnezdie: "Everything else… if you take it kind of fast and loose, it makes sense. Or maybe it doesn't, but it doesn't really matter."
Jnezdie: "But Aqua, I… I don't even -remember- what it is she said."
Jnezdie: "I was not even remotely ready for it, either."
Jnezdie: "The sentence came, and-" He exhales, leaning back so that his back rests against the ground while his cross-legs still plant themselves.
Jnezdie: "And it was beyond even the gods bein' touched and water being fatal and a thousand Cycle death knell."
Jnezdie: "Had always just flirted with magic. You've felt it course through ya'."
Jnezdie: "But… she may as well have lit a torch over my head, and showed just how little I've been shinin'."
Jnezdie: "Don't get me wrong."
Jnezdie: "I'm still the baddest man with one or two hands and a blade."
Jnezdie: "It's a lot like findin' out that someone, something was in your blind spot the whole time."
Jnezdie: "Twinge of adrenalin. Fight or flight."
Jnezdie: "Except what snuck up on you is a whole world that hadn't ever, ever entered comprehension."
Jnezdie: "Or consideration."
Jnezdie exhales slowly, performing a sit-up back to an upright position.
Jnezdie stays quiet for longer this time, closing his eyes, arms crossed.
Jnezdie: "…I have a new crazy idea that may just work with it."
Jnezdie: "Has to do with an Angelic, and I'm sure some people aren't gonna like it."
Jnezdie: "But… -magic-. Real -magic-."
Jnezdie: "Might mess around with it more, might not."
Jnezdie slowly smiles. "But I'm glad I know."
Jnezdie: "Thought I kept an open mind before. But it's gonna be people who continue to wake me up to paths I'd never think of."
Jnezdie curls down to look at Ragnarok again. "A'int no better example of why bein' excellent to others pays off, right?"
Jnezdie: "Honestly I'm not sure how to best put this in weapon terms. You're a sword, but sometimes you gotta think like a polearm, yeah?"
Jnezdie: "That's probably a silly way of puttin' it, since I doubt you'll be a sword forever, and you'll be a person."
Jnezdie: "Well, a person-person. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what that moogle was gettin' at."
Jnezdie: "But like most things, it either makes sense- and I know you can hear me, and I know you know what I'm doin'."
Jnezdie: "That stunt with that guy chained to the skeleton?"
Jnezdie: "That was pure class, right there."
Jnezdie: "I'm so proud."
Jnezdie: "Seriously, you're gettin' the best shine once we're back to the room. Then I gotta scabbard you, because Ethereals don't take kindly to any blade bigger than my pinky. S' how it goes."
Ragnarok feels slightly warmer for a moment
Jnezdie: "Anyway. It either makes sense, or it doesn't but the details don't matter and ya' keep goin'."
Jnezdie: "We're gonna do both, okay?"
Jnezdie: "While we haul-ass through the world of magic."
Jnezdie: "Wonder if Aqua wouldn't mind trainin' me on how to sword -and- spell, because I don't think I got the time to track down her aunt and cousin."
Jnezdie: "…but I don't think that'll work either, since uh."
Jnezdie: "Well, her brother's not too keen on us."
Jnezdie: "Yeah, yeah, he's gotta look out for his people, and we're wanted for whatever reason- 'saved Ethereal villages too many times' I guess."
Jnezdie: "How much of a con is that?! I tell ya, I find the sucker who ordered that…" He smacks a fist into a palm.
Jnezdie: "(Ignore the part where we fought a massive fire beast- Crimson Destroyer- to a dang standstill -on foot-.)"
Jnezdie: "(Yeah, okay, maybe the Ethereals are pissed about that one.)"
Jnezdie: "(Can't help it, we're too good.)"
Jnezdie: "Anyway, Aqua's probably a no go. I should really -wait- on this until we're outta the capital, at least."
Jnezdie: "It's a beautiful, absolutely beautiful place, way better than the books ever wrote- but we probably want to lay low a bit longer. Or at least not go swordin' up stuff as indiscriminantly as we like."
Jnezdie gently picks up Ragnarok and works himself to a stand.
Jnezdie: "Let's go. Priestess here is pretty nice, so I don't want to be takin' up all the time in the prayer room meant for prayin'."
Jnezdie: "Bein' excellent to people is also 'not abusing their hospitality.'"
Jnezdie nods confidently and carefully points Ragnarok downwards- we don't run with scissors here, and he works his way back to his room.
Ragnarok certainly doesn't feel heavy, and in your room, there is a light meal served with apple juice

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License