"Maybe it's the sum of a million coincidences we don't quite control that brings us to a particular place
at a particular time, or maybe it's the choices we make, the actions we take. If there's one thing I've learned in 85 years, it's
that what we want doesn't always matter. But then again, sometimes it's all that does." - Mick St. John
IC: “Ylsa!” Oppa screamed before he began chanting. The Vierra quickly shoved an arrow back into her quiver and ran towards him. The massive werewolf that had been fighting a Hume armed with a large heavy lance quickly shoved him aside and headed for them. As Oppa finished his chant as felt the Magik flow from his staff into Ylsa’s body, giving her a quickened pace and speeded actions. Ylsa turned, her sword drawn to face the massive beast that had. She quickly struck him, first concentrating on the beasts abdominal region, but then turning her attention to the monsters arm where a massive hammer was held. The beast cried in anger and fury and raised the hammer, ready to take out both Vierra and Moogle in one fell sweep of his weapon. Oppa began chanting, closing his eyes, not daring to look up at what great doom was before him. As the beast’s hammer swung around to destroy them Oppa shouted, “Protect!” A bright blue barrier flashed as the hammer hit some unseen magical wall. The force of the hammer had been too great, the spell failed and both of them fell to the sand moaning from the wound. His mouth full of sand, Oppa once again began to chant a spell he had learned during his travels but had not mastered. He looked up from the sand and saw the Hume as well as a Clansman Bangaa that had just arrived holding back the werewolf. Oppa finished his spell and said under a quiet breathe, “Teleport.” The Vierra, Hume, and Bangaa all vanished in a moment. Oppa remained beaten and bloody on the sand, the werewolf still looming over him. Oppa turned over onto his back to watch the doom that was his alone now. He and the other members of Clan Centurio had failed to recognize the treat of this werewolf. They had arrogantly ignored their fellow clan members’ warnings and advice, as well as Montblanc, the founder of Clan Centurio, and his wise words of the beasts of the Giza Plains lower regions. As the monster’s hammer fell to destroy him and send him to his final rest, a young Hume lad sprung out of nowhere and blocked the monstrosity’s gargantuan, final blow. Oppa felt a little Magik return to him and added the power of Haste to the young man’s already devilish speed. It was marvelous to watch the power of the Hume’s blade battling against the monster’s hammer. It reminded Oppa of his younger days when he wasn’t afraid to fight with his staff as well as his Magiks. The Hume thrust the tip of his sword deep inside the monster and turned to face Oppa. Two words rang clearer to him that day than they ever had before, “Run dammit!” At first Oppa shook his head in defiance of the Hume’s command and stood slowly. He fell back to the sandy ground and coughed in his hand. Blood. The Hume threw the werewolf back again and shot Oppa a look as if he were saying, “Are you an idiot?” Oppa shot back an annoyed look and scuttled off through the sands to and plains to Rabanastre.
Oppa sat in his home and wrapped his fresh wounds in bandages. He would need to visit a healer later that day. He coughed again, more blood, more of a mess for him to clean up. He thought back to that battle, analyzing where he had gone wrong. He assumed that he did not support the party with enough Time Magiks while disabling the beast with Green Magiks. His offensive performance had been satisfactory and his healing support with potions and other items was no less than superb when he wasn’t half-dead himself. Oppa stood to go back to the Clan headquarters and clutched his stomach. Standing wasn’t what he needed right now. Thank the Gods he had wings. He slowly fluttered to his door and made his way into the street. He hoped to see that lad who had saved him so he could properly reward him, but running into someone twice was rare in Lowtown, even rarer in the upper city. Oppa made his way to the Clan’s front door and hesitated in opening it. The Bangaa on guard shot him a look as if he were more of an idiot than he appeared, but that was normal for the Bangaa. Oppa opened the door and saw Ylsa, Turo, the Hume lance fighter, and Jing, the Bangaan warrior who had come to assist them, all standing in front of a Moogle dressed in a fine green sweater and brown corduroys. Montblanc had already heard, and stood ready to distribute demerits on them. Oppa sat in the corner and talked with some of the other younger members of the Clan which were hired out as thieves mainly. Montblanc then came to him, stared blankly into his eyes and beckoned him to follow him to his office on the second floor. Oppa stood, ignoring the pain that shot through his waist. He followed his fellow Moogle up the stairs and into the flourishing jungle that was Montblanc’s office. Montblanc collected the flora of the Archadian Empire, everything from the grass to the trees. A small desk with several stacks of papers and a few chairs of varying sizes, some for the larger Seeqs and some other chairs for the Moogles like himself. Oppa dared not sit before Montblanc, but Montblanc felt justified in forcing Oppa to stand, possibly as punishment, possibly as pure ignorance, but the pain was the same either way.
“Oppa, I have something I want you to do for me, kupo.” Montblanc said as he shuffled a few papers around his desk. He opened a large book bound by leather straps and a lock. Montblanc shoved the book under Oppa’s nose and said blankly. “Read.”
Oppa read the title aloud, “Training Grounds.” He looked up at Montblanc and stared blankly. He stuttered in his words to his superior, “Si-si-sir! I don’t need training!” He stood proudly, displaying his humble physique. “I don’t need this! Give it to some of the younger members, maybe one of Garu’s boys, kupo!”
Montblanc shot back, “Quiet!” he sighed and continued, “Turo, Jing and Ylsa already told me the story. You used a forbidden spell by this clan, though it was to save their lives, you must be punished. Maybe training will give you the discipline to control yourself in the heat of battle, kupo.” Montblanc was obviously trying to be kind; Oppa knew using that spell was grounds for expulsion from the Clan. “It’s a great facility. They trained some of our best fighters and mages. I’m doing this for you Oppa, don’t make me do what I don’t want to. Go, learn, and come back forgiven of all. Very well?”
Oppa lowered his eyes to the tiled marble floor and muttered, “Yes sir.” He then quickly corrected himself by looking Montblanc in the eyes and bowing low before him, giving a more heartfelt gratitude than he felt like giving at the moment. Montblanc dismissed him and gave him some gold for the healer; the Clan often funded the healers, as they were regular attendees of their services, though it was not required. Oppa returned to his home and packed the book as well as some food and equipment for his journey and training. He would leave tomorrow. “To the Dome then…” He said as he went to sleep.
Oppa journeyed through the Estersand and found the Dome in what appeared to be the middle of the desert. He approached the large oak door and hovered so he could reach the doorknocker. He quietly knocked and awaited someone to respond on the other side.