“Point of Contact.” - The Appendices of the Book of Thursby [SB]

"To - Tessariel Aerlinn, Gridania

From - Benjimir Thursby, Ul'dah, Quicksand Inn

Disposition - Pending transit to the Lavender Beds.

Communique Begins -

My Lady Tessariel, I have followed with satisfaction the leadership you have exercised since accepting leadership of the Scions these five years past.  The guidance of my trusted business agent in Gridania was well founded as shown by your strength of character and conduct in all matters undertaken in our kindred's name.  For that time I have had to content myself in knowing you by communique and through the support the Thursby family has provided from afar.  It is my pleasure to advise you that my journey has brought me to these shores and I will soon be arriving in Gridania.  It is my hope and wish should your travels allow, that we have opportunity to take counsel together.

In the interim however I would value knowing and being known to any whom in your trusted judgment I can be of assistance too.

For the time being I will be staging myself out of the city of Ul'dah, you may direct any communications to me by name there.

Witness my hand and seal. ~Benjimir Thursby" 

Benjimir’s first dispatch to Tessariel after arriving in Eorzea.

From the Thursby Archival Library, Sharlayan

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"Plans within Plans." [SB]

“Crystals have always had a captivating power over the living.  They transmute light into rainbows, vibrations into sound and seemingly exist as totems of some non-corporeal presence or energy.  They are endlessly repeating mirrors of the mineral lattacies they take root in, influenced by the energies that impact them as they build themselves.  Light, heat, lightning, these energies we know and can measure.  Something beyond sight and measure, non-corporeal, lent a hand in the creation of the Aetheryte crystals of Eorzea and gave them their purpose and light.”  

~Exedorous Thursby, “Alchemy and Quintessence.”  

“We have finished stamping the shipment into Gil.  It would be better done aboard ship but our location is secure enough here we are able to move without much scrutiny now.”  Bondermir said, as his older brother sat inspecting the coin over the tops of his glasses.  

“Not terribly much gold actually in these.  Universally accepted.  We should settle here and retire.”  Benjimir mused.  

Five years prior, the initial expeditions of the Scions sorties from their camps in hills above the outskirts of the city state of Ul’dah, they had initially spread out to take common jobs, learn terms and the manner of trade in the area as instructed in orders from Benjimir.  

Quickly they learned of Gil, the coin of the realm.  Made from gold and stamped into wafers, the initial teams were able to soon stamp their own from the gold brought with them.  Then as now when a new cargo if metals, arrived the resulting Gil produced would find its way into banks, payroll and capitalizing the Thursby family interests

From those roots old family savvy and skill quickly established a native legitimacy which became all the growing cadre in their employ cared about.  It was a process long perfected for entering new lands unfamiliar to their kindred.   

Combined with income pooled from work as sell swords and crafting, means enough were secured to support several more teams making landfall on the shores near the Sagolii desert.  These teams were scholars and those skilled in the sciences.  Their given orders were to investigate, observe and report.  Curriers would make their way about the land with dispatches and reports to the ports.  

From there, otherwise unremarkable vessels would further sortie to relay all lines of communication to Benjimir.  In was in this manner Benjimir absorbed much from afar.  He sent his brothers and most trusted aid to take charge of families interests.  Bondermir’s charge was to ensure security over all Thursby company affairs.  Tinifalas, the Thursby family historian traveled north to the island of Sharlayan to seek information per Benjimir’s wishes.  The others scattered across Eorzea on duties as assigned by their elder brothers.  

It was a book found by Tinifalas in Sharlayan which now occupied Benjimir’s attention.  As he knuckle-rolled a Gil in his left hand, he thumbed through the book as Bondermir poured tea and propped his feet on the edge of the table between them.  

“They allowed Tinif’ to send the book south to us. It was bought by their chief librarian from a traveler in Ul’dah some twenty or more years ago.  The language is unknown to the any in Sharlayan.”  Bondermir explained, as he had years before in a report.  Benjimir nodded passively.  The words were native to him as they had been Tinifalas years earlier.  They and specifically a name were what drew Benjimir to these shores at long last.

Benjimir nodded slowly as he effortlessly read each line in detail.  “And the traveler?”  Benjimir asked, still reading.  

“Tinif never met him.  However the librarian noted he was with a newborn baby girl.  It was in his review of birth records in city's house of healing he found a name given to a newborn girl.  Tessariel.”  The gil in Benjimir’s hand stopped in mid-roll.  He closed the book and restored his glasses to their proper position on his nose.

The name.  Unknown to the native peoples.  Steeped in an ancient lore equal to a beacon as impossible to ignore as the fall of Dalamud.  Bondermir sought out the woman on Benjimir’s orders and offered commission to lead a Free Company under the banner of Scions of Numenor.  The banner was an icon of the Thursby family history.  Tessariel, the Captain, had lead the growing band with distinction. 

“I think it is time that I finally meet this woman.” Benjimir resolved as he reached for a sheet of paper to draft a communique.  Tinifalas entered the room and spoke.

“The Admirals have arrived.  They are coming down from the airship dock and we will meet with them in the “Dapper Mariner.”  The Dapper Mariner was a private dinning room and lounge open to traveling officers in Grand Companies and well placed members of the

Benjimir continued drafting his communique as he spoke.  “We’ll break bread with Admiral T’subaki’s colleague with Maelstrom, then make plans to visit the Scions’ Company Hall up in Gridania.”  He folded the communique into thirds and affixed a self adhesive seal over the folds.  He rose and handed the communique to Tinifals, who had already drawn a leather couriers pouch from a shelf.  “Send this to captain Aerlinn, post haste.  Meet us up in the dinning room.  I want your read on things after the meeting.” Benjimir instructed his brother who nodded and left the room for the courier stable as the others walked for the mechanical lift up to the Dapper Mariner.

*******

“Footfalls on the Sagolii” - [SB]

“In seeking answers, we seek the truth in the study of history. Yet history changes. It is mutable however we record it. Be it in written words, in the spoken word, or in art, what history says inevitably changes. Because over time languages evolve, perspectives change, interpretations, translation, and context alter what we know. In our quest we fail to to realize it is not the answers in which truth lays, rather it is the question. A question means now what it meant in the past and will mean in the future. The truth of our history laid in asking the right questions.”

Benjimir Thursby - “The Analects”

“Spill sails, engines to station keeping.” Katryn Vaunter, captain of the airship Andustar ordered quietly.

"Hands, spill sail!" the bosman echoed to the crew on the main deck as he actuated a signal telegraph on the conning bridge. It was only a symbolic order, the vessel no longer featured the enormous "bags" of corelium infused gas, nor sails. But the order set in motion actions desired.

“Con, engines answering station keeping.” The bosman responded sharply, reading the bright brass telegraph dial shifting in response to his order.

“Con Aye.” Vaunter turned to a dark clad ensign, short and bare of foot.

“Ensign, rig man ropes over the forecastle and pull in the launch." Katryn ordered the runner.

“Righty O sir!” the Lalafell chirped and scurried off to comply.

Vaunter stood watching for a moment but disregarded the utter lack of protocol, the little people were beyond making it hold. She turned to the stairs leading to the officers quarters calling out as she went, “Mister Briceln has navigational control, and the Con.”

The Andustar came to rest a league high in the night sky above the Sea of Ash within sight of Cape Deadwind. No moon gave silhouette or shadow to betray vessels mass looming over the lands below. A craft, akin to a festival luminary rose below the airship passing below it’s bow. There its passengers extended a long pole with which the lines Andustar’s crew extended could be sized and made fast to the gondola. Shrouded in a cunning design, the launch powered its firebox lifting it up until the gondola could be pulled close enough for a boarding plank to bridge the gap between the vessels. Silently in the dark of the night air a group of people, boarded the launch. They were clad alike, each with a hefty pack carrying field gear on its back. A man, Bondermir Exidines, debarked the launch and passed onto the airship and moving with haste over the main deck to the officers quarters where the captain Vaunter was waiting. They exchanged nods and the captain knocked sharply on the door. From within a voice replied, “Where away?”

“Launch secured sir, the Commander is here.” replied Vaunter.

“Very well,” the room’s occupant said. Presently the door opened and the officers snapped to attention, then Bondermir spoke.

“Sir, gear and team are aboard and secure on the launch. Our point of arrival has been reconnoitered and is secure but I do not think it wise to chance holding it long.”

“Noted.” Benjimir Thursby said and then turned to the captain and handed her a pair of envelopes along with a paper and self inking quill.

“Captain, on our departure you are to take the Andustar and rendezvous with the Entulesse at The Crown. Deliver these letters to her and take down these orders for her commander” Benjimir spoke to Vaunter.

Vaunter took the quill and paper as the Admiral dictated.

“To Commodore T'subaki, Entulesse, from Command Advocate General, Andustar. On station Cape Deadwind. Proceeding with landing. On receipt of this communique and dispatches, return to fleet station Kugane and await orders.” Finished Benjimir, patriarch of the Thursby family and commander of it's business and services in arms nodded in dismissal of the captain, turned to the hatch leading to the main deck. Bondermir fell into step close behind.

The deck crew was assembled informally on the main deck anticipating his departure. This was a moment five years in coming. They stood to attention lining the path to the launch as he passed. Each making their obedience n their own fashion as he passed. Some with a respectful greeting, others with a reserved smile and touch of their hand to their foreheads. A few Benjimir clapped shoulders of, a few others a thumb of fist on chest. In the moment they had before boarding the Bondermir spoke.

“The letters sir?”

“The usual and customary. Rights of heirs, succession orders, so forth. I wanted to send them notes before making landfall.” said Benjimir.

“A bit soon to worry about that though?” Bondermir said.

“Fate doesn’t always afford us the luxury of waiting.” replied Benjimir matter of factly.

Bondermir shook his head as they walked, amazed at the years that had passed so seemingly fast.

“My apologies sir.” he said.

“None required." Benjimir said as they reached the boarding plank to the launch and turned. “Are we ready?” he asked.

“Aye sir.” Bondimir said confidently.

“Six years now and we still do not know how?” He entreated on the younger man's judgement, not as much to an officer than to the half brother he was. He was also in truth asking several unspoken questions at once. Bondimir nodded slowly.

“You are seeking an answer, you really need to find and ask the right question.” he said.

“Ask her a question you mean.” Benjimir said as he crossed the plank onto the launch.

“Yes sir.” Bondermir stated as he stepped into the launch. 

“She accepted the commission. Raised the banner. The reports have been consistent and very plain.” Benjimir nodded slowly.

Benjimir looked out as the lines were dropped and the launch began to drift and sink toward the shore below. He cast his eyes back and looked at the undefinable mass of Andustar retreated behind them. Looking below again he could see the twinkle of lights among a scattering of settlements near to the shore. Lifting his eyes up he looked into the dark in the desert beyond, leading to the city leagues further. Bondermir looked at the men and women assembled on the launch, each also looking out on the land below. All were pondering what it was that was about to happen once they reached the land below. However Bondermir felt for a moment he understood and leaning over the railing next to Benjimir and began.
“As Commodore T'subaki would say. ‘All of this has happened before….”
 

“And all of this is happening again.” Benjimir said, finishing his sentence.

 

The launch continued in silence to the beach below.

*******

"Many Ripples Bore of One Echo." [SB]

"Terms differed, my name carried no currency or reputation.  But you find that true historians recognize one another by the questions they ask.  You can gain access to almost anything, it is just knowing how to ask."

- Tinifalas Thursby, "Stranger  in a Strange Land." 

The caravan from the north had arrived the day after Benjimir as his party made landfall.  The air sloop which carried them to the ground from the Andustar had continued with some of its passengers to the city state of Ul'Dah directly.  Each day of the seven since, a wagon broke-away to differing routes to the city or elsewhere.  Each in turn bore a few newcomers to these shores.  In this way all melted into the bustle and traffic of the roads without drawing notice.

The wagon held Benjimir's attention this morning.  Held aloft by bags of gas, the ride was agreeably smooth.  Graceful.  Slightly less graceful but even more interesting was the enormous fowl drawing the wagon.  Accompanying him were his brothers Bondermir and Tinifalas asleep next to him, as well as an older man who seemed blissfully serene simply watching the road pass.

"Chocobo." The grey bearded fella sitting across from Benjimir said.  He snapped Benjimir out if his stare over the great bird at the looming citadel of Ul’Dah, still hours away.  He was a keeper of the beasts and on the Gil roll of the Thursby Company.  Benjimir nodded.  A pair of riders flanked the wagon, mounted on these Chocobos.  These giant fowl were adorned in dark feathers and leather cladding over their chests.  Company men Benjimir knew.

"Not many at sea eh, but I suppose if there where you'd not need all them bags and twirlies." The man said.  He had a curious accent that differed from the few he had heard so far.

Benjimir smiled and nodded again.  “I suppose not.  Docile creatures.  Hardly seem to need direction.”  Bondermir, roused from a light sleep beside the men looked to the distance as the wagon neared a small village straddling the road.  Wooden palisades surrounded the village save for some small farm and paddocks.  

“We’ll be stopping soon sir, breakfast, a trade of Chocos, then onto Ul’Dah.” Bondermir said as he rose and leaning over the side of the carriage gestured at the flanking riders.  The riders tipped their heads in acknowledgement, spurred their mounts and galloped ahead into the village.  

“Good, how long to the city from here?” Benjimir asked as the wagon neared the outer palisade gate.  Bondermir resumed his seat and looked to the old man.

“Mmm, five hours at our pace, what say Brendt?” Bondermir speculated, differing to the keepers wisdom.  

“Mhap, sun’s out, might tucker the old girls if they can’t water along the way.” Brendt offered.

“The girls will have their water, no need for haste I think.”  Benjimir assured him.

The wagon halted outside a small cafe alongside a livery stable.  Tinifalas finally woke from his snooze and looked about.  The escorting riders had already tied off their mounts and were returning from the inside with egg and bacon filled biscuits along with cups of a hot drink which they consumed happily as they leaned back along the cafe porch.

The men exited the carriage and stable Lalafells saw to taking the wagon to the stables.  “I’ll take my leave of yas sirs.  Another wagon is due southbound here and a bit.”  Brendt said.

“Always on the move my friend.”  Bondermir said, clasping Brendt’s hand to shake.  Bondermir did the same.”

“Well you knows, always some traveler showing up, half asleep, not knowing the lay of things.  Bit less exciting here than up north.  Be well sirs.”  And with that Brendt smiled and turned toward the stable.  Benjimir and his brothers walked up the steps to the cafe.  The escort riders snapped to their feet, awkwardly lowering their biscuits and cups to their sides.

Benjimir tipped his head to the men and sought a seat at one of the tables outside.  A woman, one of the small folk, the Lalafells, in a perky white and red checked dress and apron took their orders.  Another accent, chirpy, happy.

“Happy peoples.” Benjimir mused as the Lalafell returned with drinks.  “Great variety in dialects but uniform in language.” He continued.  Tinifalas, the historian at large for the House of Thursby and it’s companies nodded.

“Extraordinary really.  But that is the reason why we are here in the end.” Tinifalas said, pulling a book from his rucksack out of habit.

“I’ve never understood how, so far from our shores, so many years traveling from them, we arrive here….” Bondermir said, gesturing with his hands as the surrounding area “...and find peoples and races speaking our own language.  You’d think it absurdly impossible.” he finished.

“Improbable, not impossible.” Benjimir said, thanking the Lalafell as she place a plate of biscuits and topped off the drinks.  Tinifalas nodded.

“Yes.  There are a number of theories about how such things could occur.” Tinifalas said, taking a biscuit.

“Et Ominis Lingua Resurgemus, the concept that with enough time, all tongues shall rise.” Benjimir said, taking his own biscuit an especially large one, slapping Bondermirs hand as it reached over the nearest to him for it.

“Pan Lingua Spermia, the idea some fragment of thought can eventually spread and give rise to identical languages.  Tinifalas offered, mouth half full but eyes bright as topics dear to him were in play.

Benjimir, mouth also full, pointed a finger at his brother and nodded sharply.  “That.  But how.  And again, the real crux of this is your finding her name and those books.  A language we no longer speak commonly, here, among people who do not know it or speak it in the memory of anybody.”  He finished, most of his biscuit managing not to land on the table.

“Marde.” Bondermir said unconvinced.  “‘C’demics in the wild.” he mocked,  “Her name could be the product of slurred speech after a night of celebrating her birth at a pub.  Or meshing family member names together.  And your theorizing?  It could work as well in reverse.  Whose to know.”  He finished.

“No one maybe.  Tini’s friends on the island,” Benjimir said, nodding to his brother, “...they looked to you to answer the same questions, they didn’t know.  But I think finding out is one of the questions we need to resolve.”

“Where to start then?” Bondermir asked.

“Refills, another biscuit.” Bondermir remarked then mid-bite cast his eyes toward each brother.

“Then to Ul’Dah.  Of course.  Breakfast first.  But I want to see our interests there, these book of yours Tini.” Benjimir said.

“Not to the Company Hall to….” Tinifalas started but Benjimir shook his head. 

“Not yet.  But soon.  First though, biscuits.” Benjimir said, slapping Bondermir’s hand again as he reached for the fresh plate of biscuits.

*******

“Manifest Destiny.” - The Appendices of the Book of Thursby [RR]

“Portents drove our White Ships and kin to the stars, they have drawn us to this system and these worlds.  We cannot ignore and glide through local space past what we have seen and dismiss the inexplicable truths we are only starting to realize.  Nor can we forget our mandate to reach our journey's end.  

Accordingly on my orders Forostar, Andustar, Meneltarmir and Entulesse will take station over Arda 922, which we now know by it's given name of Hydalen.  The remainder of the fleet will assume high orbits about the local primary as they arrive in the system.  All vessels will begin a deep cycle of refurbishment and replenishment of stores which are in ample supply.  Operations will extend an additional 36 fort nights.  During this time it will be determined if the fleet or our kin will continue it's journey in total or in part.  

In the interim we will continue our works on the world which is at the root of our being here.  During the past 48 months we have learned much which has served to illuminate ancient truths yet deepen as many more mysteries.  We have learned names we now call this blue world and it's many peoples by.  We have discovered names and writings true to our bloodlines and native tongue which ought not exist among people if Hydalen. We have taken up trade and relations with these people.  We have joined in their struggles as our forefathers did for the free peoples of our own home.  Some of Hydalen I have commissioned with taking up our name in struggles these many fort nights. 

It is possible we are seeing shadows we are sworn to oppose manifest here in Hydalen.  It maybe Hydalen is simply a waypoint on our longer collective journey.  It may prove our collective destinies have reached a fork which carries us forward along two paths.  I will make planetfall personally and determine if our mandate will hold us honor bound to remain here to continue to stand with these people as one or as two Kinships.

Numenor Prevails.”  

~ CAG Fleet Communique for Open Distribution.

01.209.312.

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