Denz De'bayle

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Details


Vital Information


FULL NAME... Denzel Damien De'bayle

NICKNAMES... Butterbane, Complicated

RACE & CLAN... Elezen, Wildwood

GENDER... Male

AGE... 24

NAMEDAY... 27thSun of the 2nd Umbral Moon, 1553 S.A.E.

ORIENTATION... Heterosexual

MARITAL STATUS... Courting Jancis Milburga

Other Statistics


NATIONALITY... Ishgardian

CITIZENSHIP... Ishgard

FAMILY... De'bayle

RESIDENCE... Lower Spangledance (Lavender Beds)

OCCUPATION... Knight-Errant

PATRON DEITY... Halone, the Fury Halone Icon.png

HEIGHT & WEIGHT... 6 fulms, 7 ilms. 213 ponze.

ALIGNMENT... Chaotic Good.

General Information
Quote.
Appearance
Hair & Eyes
Denz's hair follows the family tradition of being a dominantly dark shade of black, his mother's dark brown hair only deepening the shade for most of her children. Denz has worn his hair in many different fashions throughout his life, keeping it well trimmed and short for most of his early childhood, practically indistinguishable from his other two brothers. As he reached adulthood, he has enjoyed his hair at greater lengths, especially when the locks would hide his tattoo from view to avoid the uncomfortable stares it would garner. His hair is long enough to be braided properly, but he will typically have it laying naturally to one side. When he equips his helmet, he simply folds his hair backwards on top of itself and free from his face. Unlike both of his brothers, he refuses to let his facial hair grow, believing it does not compliment him. More recently, Denz has begun to keep the hair from his eyes. Living in warming temperatures, and adventuring to even hotter ones, he prefers his hair out of his face and reducing the heat it holds with it drawn back with a simple band.
His eyes are also a common trait seen in most of the De'bayles, a blue, deep and reflecting of the man's long standing heritage.
Physique & Markings
Despite his late entry into the militant life, Denz was always a thin and average size for an elezen, happily taking his place as Guillemont's superior in height. He fell in quickly with physical training and took on muscle decently. Contrary to his two brothers however, his muscle is more condensed, outwardly looking like the weakest of the three, while maintaining strength equal to his siblings. His body is well toned and equally muscled, utilizing every part of his body in common measure to ensure not a single aspect of himself falls short in performance.
The most notable marking gracing Denz's visage is his family's tattoo, the sigil of his heritage aetherically inked on at a young age, brazenly showing upon his and many others of his family members foreheads.
Denz holds fewer scars than the common knight does, yet his constant live weapon sparring (i.e. The Grindstone) and his occasional brush with danger often leave lasting marks. The most notable one is a remaining scar on the left side of his cheek, which he's often seen rubbing in thought. Moving down to his upper body, his front holds many small scars on his shoulders and sides, barely worth remembering. Contrasting that is a deep cut the left side of his chest, near his heart, and a three clawed scar down his right side. On his back are two shallower strikes, near his shoulder blades, of the same origins as the one near his heart.
Hygiene & Attire
As an ishgardian, growing up in a seemingly middle class setting, Denz has never had to want for the commodities enabling him to be a clean cut man. A bath every day or two had been his routine, and to this day, he still does his best to uphold that standard. The scent wafting from him generally falls to the attire he wears and what it carries. For the most part, he gives off the scent of bread, constantly around it or housing it within his clothing. On occasion, Denz can be found smelling more of flowers and the Black Shroud than of an ishgardian, compliments of his current housing arrangements.
Denz's attire cries out his nationality in most cases. He often wears the following in layers, beginning with his cloth equipment. A simple blue shirt and brown pants at the base, he will then equip a leather gear; Pants, gauntlets that span from his hands to his elbows, and a chestpiece to sit between his front and his metallic breastplate. Over the leather pants he will equip chainmail that covers his groin and thighs, as well as platemail gloves that also cover up to his elbows. Over the plate and leather he will bear a gilded felt coat, covering his gear up and provided a small amount of defense. His shoulderplates complete his armored look. Despite the layers of gear, the equipment is significantly lighter to other sets of armor, and allows for Denz to maneuver with a fairly large range of motion. His most iconic look, Denz wears this on most occasions, be it casual or combative. Only when he feels a certain degree of comfort will he wear only leather or cloth to events or gatherings.
Personality
Psychological Profile
Denz's mentality has evolved from his earlier years to the current time. Originally a soft spoken boy who found comfort in the presence and actions of others, Denz felt complacent to live his life without seeking excitement or adventure. As he grew older, the tall tales of his brothers and their militant duties to their city began to set in an itch for action. Denz wanted to provide his city and people with more than just a simple living and job. This purpose (alongside poor circumstance) brought him to train with Armont in the Temple Knight order. The sense of pride and duty he felt carried him forward as the pair went into Eorzea. Like many ishgardians, his original perceptions of the eorzean people was rather negative. Uncultured hut dwellers who didn't know order and promoted savagery. He was unintentionally racist for a time, sheltered from the many races exotic to Ishgard, and ignorantly wrapped himself in a superior mindset until his eorzean knight-captain practically beat sense into him.
Once exposed to the true power of eorzeans and how they came to live with one another, plus the shortcomings of his own city, were brought to light, Denz absorbed more of the eorzean mentality. He grew kinder to strangers who were not ishgardian, and did his best to not let bias and stereotypes lead his judgement. He still upholds his knightly values, always willing to help out a soul in need. He is polite upon first meetings, granting titles and respect to those he does not know intimately, before his attitude shifts greatly to it's normal habits. Denz is a carefree spirit, wishing to embrace positive emotions and disregard the negative ones. He is always looking for an opportunity to slide in a joke and his characterizing grin, if but to ease the atmosphere into a more agreeable one.
Despite his wishes for a positive outlook, not only for himself but those around him, Denz is known to lose himself to morbid thoughts and emotions. He is a worry-wart, concerning himself with more than he might be entitled to, and overthinking situations until he is stressing himself out. He is easily exasperated by uncomfortable topics or certian words, finding himself bumbling for a response. Due to the nature of his aether, he was also known to fall into fits of anger and unhinged violence, but through intervention and mental fortitude, he has overcome that challenge. Wishing to embrace Eorzea's culture while upholding his fractured city's values also proves to be a great difficultly, constantly conflicted between the Halonic teachings and his knightly code, and the values he has created for himself that may schism the former. Regardless, Denz has never been one to shy from the high road, be it difficult and long, even if it means forgiving a foe, sparing an enemy, or relinquishing power from himself.
Voice
Denz's voice holds an elezen grace to itself, plus the subtle "accent" ishgardians have, borne of their speech patterns and accents on certain syllables. His voice is slightly higher than his brothers, still retaining a boyish charm to it while not sounding prepubescent. His voice also varies greatly in range, as he speaks with much emotion. When he is serious, his voice is lower, more terse, but around friends and family, his tone lightens. When exasperated, his voice raises and he is the cusp of screeching. He may also grunt in long strings from the throat during awkward or uncomfortable moments. Denz is not afraid to shout, sometimes to others detriment, as he is a poor whisperer, and will not muzzle himself when greatly angered.
Philosophy & Mannerisms
Denz's outlook on life is one of positive growth. To learn and seek a better future for not only himself, but his family and friends he has grown close to. He believes there is value in his mistakes, as he has made many, but all have led him to who he is today, someone he can be proud. Always willing to aid in someone's hardships, be they physical or mental, he is border-line self-sacrificing for those he cares about. He is willing and often finding himself between danger and his companions, able to take attacks for another and not feel any regret. After being the youngest brother and a side-piece to many conflicts, Denz strives to prove his worth to those around him. He thinks out loud during certain moods, practivally rambling his thoughts to anyone listening. Denz is naturally curious to the things he has not learned about, which being from Ishgard, means a lot. He asks a lot of questions, almost too many to certain people, seeking to every angle to a situation. His head is rarely upright, as he is always tilting it in endearment, curiosity, or to look at the shorter races better.
Preferences
Likes
● Bread. Denz LOVES bread.
● Causal company, one that does not require him to be formal.
● Actions over words, usually by way of sparring
Dislikes
● Being ignored or brushed aside.
● Being judged for his past or heritage.
● Having his faith questioned.
● Entitlement, particularly by undeserving figures.
● Drinking. Denz does not have a taste for alcohol.
Skills
● Protecting his friends and family.
● Well-spoken vocabulary and understanding of multiple archetypes of people.
● Denz is quite the baker.


Combat, Abilities & Weaponry


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Basic Statistics
High: Strength, Constitution
Above Average: Piety
Average: Speed, Aetheric Capabilities
Low: Dexterity, Stealth
Aetheric Abilities
Mastery: N/A
Expert: Dark Arts
Average: N/A
Novice: N/A
Weapon Training
Mastery: Greatsword
Expert: Sword and Shield
Average: Lance, Axe
Novice: Bows, Magical Peripherals
Combat Relevant Skills
High: Overpowering Tactics
Above Average: Pain Tolerance
Average: In-Combat Thinking
Low: Reaction Time
Non-Combat Abilities
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(Passive)De'bayle Sense: The De'bayle is inherently connected with his fellow family members. Can passively sense a general direction of a De'bayle's location if within a certain distance, depending on their own mastery of the sense. The De'bayle will also appear brighter than any surrounding people to fellow family members.
Dreamwalking: Denz can meditate, losing immediate consciousness of his body's senses, to view the memories his ancestors. He can also connect with another humanoid to observe their consciousness, via touching their forehead with his fingers, or directly placing his own tattoo upon their head. He can manipulate aether to a degree in this state. Mental awareness of his own body will return him to his senses, or he can be shaken awake.
Combat Abilities
(Passive)Fighting Style: The knight has trained in numerous sword handling techniques. One of Denz's most preferred methods is to half sword, in which the wielder grabs the middle of the blade to get a better grip for thrusting and stabbing swiftly. Half swording also allows for quick murder strokes, striking with the crossguard and hilt of the greatsword like a bludgeon.
Dark Barrier: Denz holds up a hand and summons a scale-like barrier of hardened dark aether to block physical and magical attacks. Any strikes against the barrier will weaken it, potentially shattering it.
Aetherial Blast: Denz can focus his dark aether into a projectile to launch at his enemies at an average speed.
Unleash: Denz's aether erupts from the ground around him in a circle, spiked and hardened to a point to strike at the enemy. Denz can focus this into a line to attack a specific target.
Echo Strike: After Denz uses his sword, in the window between his next strike he summons a shade of himself to mimic his previous attack and cover his wind up to the next swing. Denz cannot do this often without a significant drain on his aether.
(Limit Break)???: When the battle turns grim and defeat is imminent, when a hero becomes so inspired they push beyond their boundaries, when a long slumbering power is awoken, a person's Limit Break is revealed. Denz has yet to attain this state, and remains unaware of any power that remains locked behind such conditions.
OOC Note
Any relevant notes about combat should be added here, such as player preference, system preference, or links off-site to sheets using existing XIV player-made combat systems.


History
Each story read here is full of information that can be used against this character in what is known as meta-gaming. If any of this information is found used without consent, or learned without IC reasonings, it will resort in me cutting all IC and OOC contact from you. Please understand this is a mere history of this character and for the enjoyment, or dislike of those who wish to peruse.
WARNING: Long entries ahead!
The De'bayle's Prologue

Since time immemorial, there have always been De’bayles. They’ve gone by different names, been apart of different nations, but what has made them “De’bayle” has never changed. Incredible cohesiveness, communication unlike any other between family members, skill and luck melding together to make formidable elezen. Sadly, many of these De’bayles would lead normal lives, none ever becoming legend. However, the De’bayle tradition, symbolized by the tattoo aetherically etched onto each child’s forehead, is to learn and pass down the teachings of each generation. Even if legends were not made, each De’bayles story would be chronicled.

The tattoo upon the De’bayles’ foreheads connects them all more than simple blood ever could. They are beacons to each other, shining brighter in each others’ presence than any outsider not bearing the tattoo. Emotions can be sensed between family members, as well as their presence in a given proximity. With the receiver's permissions, De'bayles can even allow memories to be sifted through, as if watching a scene play out once more in the originator's mind. When a De’bayle dies, their soul within the Lifestream is still connected to the living. They are an encyclopedia of knowledge and memories, of which any De’bayle could access with practiced meditating. Many De’bayles have been assigned to search through their families’ memories, to learn and teach to the new generation. This was the duty of their spiritual leader. However, as time went on, the tattoo began to show it’s drawbacks. In death, there is no difference between good and evil, and De’bayles whose lives were filled with malice and hatred began to bleed their emotions into the living. When such issues became out of hand, the spiritual leaders of the past opted to coalesce the dark aether into a single De’bayle, sealing them within the host body. These elezen, termed “Dark Ones” would be the De’bayles salvation, containing, and further down the line, wielding the dark aether to protect the family.

Fast forward to a time before the Calamity. The De’bayles are an ishgardian house, one of the few who have not pledged allegiance to a High house for means of funding, support, or protection. An imaginary middle class of the incredibly split society. Keeping to themselves and staying out of political affairs, they gave sons every generation to serve the Temple Knights, fight in the Dragonsong war, and continue on with or without them. The family was large, closed off, and often sheltering of each other, minimal communication with the other family’s going only as far to find suitable husbands and wives for the De’bayles. Though the De’bayles were not supported by the High Houses, they still dealt with them. Most notably, House Fortemps. However, earning Fortemps’ favor granted them the scorn of a minor noble house, House Menideal, who was also vying for approval of house Fortemps. Details are scarce on what happened, and stories on both sides differ greatly. Fortunately for the enigmatic De’bayles, interactions with Menideals were few and far between. Before the Calamity struck, the house was at its strongest. But all would not remain stable for the De'bayles in the coming years...

Unbound Darkness

Twilight bathed the Coerthas Highlands, touching the rocky peaks that flanked the Riversmeet stream north of the village of Falcon’s Nest. The open plains teemed with wildlife finding shelter for the night, the nocturnal creatures just beginning to stir. Beyond the hills and verdant trees, through a winding pass and upon a secluded stretch of land, sat a lone manor. Stone and brick showed the ishgardian architecture outside and inside the building. On a hill nearby, tombstones dotted the hilly incline, before a sharp cliffside facing the house halted the family cemetery. Warm air breezed into the open windows of the manor, winding down the numerous halls before gracing themselves upon the pacing figure of an elezen. His clean shaven face and hardened features were broken only by the worry his dark blue eyes held. Both he and the figure beside him, who was leaning against the wall, held the same tattoo upon their forehead, an intricate design of branches and leaves capping a signet of crossed swords over a crown, the top of the design’s branches flanking outwards to encompass a rose. The mark of the De’bayle family, one that graced every member’s forehead. Both were in simple light clothing for the warm weather that graced their family manor this evening.

The figure against the wall crossed his bare arms, more mottley and roguish, his longer black hair falling just beyond his ears, but parted down the middle that his face remain clear and his tattoo visible. His right eye bore a large cut across it, his pupil discolored white with blindness. His left cheek bore a small dagger cut, but for all of his scars, the man’s mouth was in a small grin as he looked upon his older brother.
“Aegisan, calm yourself, before your ceaseless pacing echoes to the ancestors themselves.” The temple knight halted, turning to his brother with a disapproving look.
“How are you not worried, Farstan? How can you not see the danger all of this poses?” The rogue shrugged his arms, before a hand came to rub upon the beard that ran along his chin.
“And what, dear Head of House, would you propose we do? Deny her her right to be with the ancestors? Keep her locked away to serve as a puppet?” Aegisan came up to the calm face of his brother, eyes widening as his hands came up to the sides his face in exasperation.
“And if this fails? What if she is not strong enough?” Farstan shut his eyes in contemplation.
“I know you don’t trust Chri-”
“That is not what this is about, brother. This is about the strength of their child, and you know you felt something off when she came to bear our mark.” Aegisan turned away from his roguish sibling, crossing his arms. “Narshae’s waning strength already puts us in danger…” Farstan came up to place a hand on his older brother’s shoulder.
“... I know what this is about, Aegi. You have to have faith, either in Leliara… or your own son.”

The pair stood behind a metallic door, within it a guest room. Inside was the eldest brother of the trio, Nuarmac, robed and preparing for a ritual of no small regard. Before him lay two more De’bayles, one incredibly old woman, and an incredibly young baby girl, resting upon simple cots. The baby girl was asleep, yet the elderly woman was engaged in a conversation with brother.
“Nana, truly, you shouldn’t… you shouldn’t be wearing that.” Narshae’s body, though old and withering, still cut a formidable figure as her form was graced with the metal and cloth of a knight’s outfit. Laying against the bed’s frame was a long sword, the woman’s helmet lying beside the tip. Her face screwed up in a frown.
“Sixty years, I fought for this family, and longer still did I bear this curse, Nuarmac. I will not be unclothed and dying like the mongrel this family made of me. I haven’t come this far just to have you tell me what you think is best for me.” Nuarmac stuttered and looked away with shame. Indeed, this procedure would kill the elder De’bayle, but she had already outlived her years by normal standards. Three generations of elezen had watched her fight against the dravanian horde, yet in her old age, her true purpose began to falter. Her old eyes flit to the baby beside her.
“Little Leliara. Your journey through a hard life is about to begin…” The woman leaned over towards the other bed, a gauntleted hand moving to caress the sleeping child’s face gently. Narshae let out a pained sigh, leaning back against the bed. “But I know you can face it with the strength and pride I once carried.”
Nuarmac watched. She had been a bitter woman, but bitterness was the result of bitterness. Cursed to carry the family’s dark aether with her for her entire life, the De’bayles had sectioned off and feared her. She was deigned the chaste life of a clergywoman, afraid of the repercussions should she, a vessel to keep the dark aether from corrupting her family members, bear children. However, the thrums of war would eventually reach her ears. A better fighter than she ever was a nun, the woman made her mark on the family as a proud knight, utilizing her dark aether to grant her strength and speed beyond normal means. In her old age, Narshae was becoming less and less of a fighter, and her original purpose, to keep the dark aether of their family contained, began to falter. Now, they looked towards a new vessel, Nuarmac’s daughter Leliara. And so she would carry their dark aether.

Narshae fell back onto her own bed with a pained sigh.
“I am ready, my child…” She looked upon Nuarmac with a softer gaze. Though many of the De’bayles were wary about the woman, the eldest brother of the trio had always looked up to her and treated her with kindness. He was awash with guilt and regret, but her hand came up to grab his own. “It’ll be alright, Nuar… Just promise me… You won’t let her live the life I did. She needs her family… She deserves her family.” The robed elezen nodded, sniffing slightly.
“I-I promise, Nana.” Narshae nodded, releasing his hand and laying back against the bed. Nuarmac failed to hold back tears, the wide sleeve of his ceremonial robe coming up to wipe at his face. Sucking in a breath, he pulled the robe’s cowl over his hair, feeling more akin to putting on an executioner’s mask.

Nuarmac’s position in the family was one as burdensome as Narshae’s. He was their spiritual leader, their guide to communicating with the ancestors. He was also the family member tasked with providing the new family members with their tattoos as they are born. He had given them to his own children, all four of Aegisan’s kids, and Farstan’s own son. He was in charge of the aetherial preservation of the family, and the corrupting dark aether that ran through their family’s connection that needed to be contained. Already, the negative emotions and memories of the sinful De’bayles leaked from Narshae, caressing the minds of the living. Now, Nuarmac had to openly wield that aether for but a short period of time, to transfer it to his daughter. Placing his hands together and speaking a muttered prayer to Halone, he cracks his neck before placing a palm on the elderly woman’s forehead. He opened his mind to hers’, his tattoo glowing white, and she to his, her own sigil glowing with a duller sheen, as he delved into the depths of the dark woman’s mind. He kept his wits about himself, aimlessly passing memories belonging Narshae and those she housed, before putting himself deep enough into the recesses of his mind to find what he looked for. In times’ past, his predecessor spiritual leaders had created the barrier that kept the dark aether within the woman. Only one of his caliber could undo the seal, and focusing upon that spot, undid the magicks. All at once, Narshae’s tattoo began to glow with dark aether, wisps of magic floating about her forehead as the energy threatened to be unleashed. Nuarmac instantly began to draw that aether within himself. He felt the chilling presence of evil, of malicious desire, beginning to creep upon his mind. He did not stop siphoning the aether until Narshae’s forehead was free of the dark energy, her face turning from pain to a peaceful visage. Nuarmac’s tattoo pulsated with white and dark aether, pain written about his face, emotional and physical.

Nuarmac had little time to observe the elder as he turned to his resting daughter. His hands shook with worry, but steeling his resolve, he placed his fingers on Leliara’s tiny forehead and closed his eyes. Exuding the dark energy slowly, Nuarmac began to fill the child’s head with dark images and nightmares that would shake the baby awake. She mewled, then began crying, and though her body shook, her head did not turn. A tension began to fill Nuarmac. She was… filling up, the aether threatening to overwhelm her. No, he had to keep going. The crying rose in intensity and pitch, the shaking of the small child’s frame becoming more and more erratic, before all of sudden, the body lay still, and Nuarmac’s transferring was halted. The aether would no longer move outward, instead beginning to flood back into himself. His eyes shot open, looking in horror upon the baby’s still face, young eyes frozen open in a look of terror. His shaking hand released from the baby’s head, her tiny tattoo still releasing dark aether as the robed man collapsed against the frame of the bed, shoulders shaking in a sob.
“N-no…. Leliara…. NO! NOO-” His scream was cut off as a rough hand grabbed him. Being pulled around, Narshae was sitting up, her tattoo once more glowing dark, her face a foreign look of malice and hate, as the dark aether left the elezen man’s mind. Nuarmac couldn’t speak, as the woman he saw as a hero grabbed her long sword from the ground, raising it up slowly to bring down upon the robed elezen.

The metal door swung open swiftly.
“Nuarmac!” The two brothers launched themselves at the elder woman. Aegisan, though unarmed, was able to grapple the sword-wielding hand, breaking the arm as the sword clattered to the ground. Farstan pulled out a hidden knife from his person, sinking it into Narshae’s throat without hesitation. Blood spattered upon all three of the brothers, the armored woman shaking, before the gauntleted hand released the cloth of Nuarmac’s robe. The three were left panting as the body sunk back to the bed, once more seeming lifeless, her tattoo still glowing. Farstan’s quick eyes saw Leliara’s corpse, turning and grabbing Aegisan’s shoulder to pull him back up to a standing position.
“Get Denz, while that aether is still in her dying body!” Aegisan’s eyes widened, before Farstan pushed him towards the door. “Now!”

The middle brother stumbled into the hallway, eyes turning down each hall, as if he was in an unknown dungeon. The sun had finished setting, as the dark night cast shadows along the walls. Aegisan moved towards the room where his children were sleeping. He could feel the small vestiges of loose dark aether preying upon his mind, shadows swarming the edge of his vision, images flashing by that his will alone had to write as false. Placing a hand upon the wall, he stumbled towards the end of the hall, where several doors to different bedrooms lay. The end of the hall is where his family was. Placing a hand upon the knob, he blinked, another hand appearing over his. Flinching to the side, his pale face showing fear at Nuarmac’s wife, Christienna. Her own face showed worry, and seeing Aegisan’s bloodied front, she gasped, a hand coming to her mouth as she took off the way he came from. The father opened the door slowly, and fortunately, none of his family stirred, despite the aetherial chaos that ensued. Only one large bed was in the room, which his wife Elliana rested in. Two cribs flanked the bed, and at the foot of the bed on small mattress was Aegisan’s oldest son, Armont. He stumbled to the left side of the bed, moving towards the crib. Inside slept two babies, twin siblings, Guillemont and Astrelle. Shaking his head at the wrong crib, he moved around to the other side of the bed, seeing his youngest child Denzel sleep. Only a few months old, this family trip from Ishgard had been for him to acquire the tattoo and see the De’bayle family reunited. Now, he was sending his baby into certain danger. But they were all in danger, now. Gingerly picking up the small form, he moved to leave the room, before a small voice called out. “Father?”

Armont stirred from his mattress, a small hand grasping the dark before it wrapped around a thin object. Pulling it out from underneath his blanket, the young boy hugged a toy spear to his chest. Aegisan moved over to his son, adjusting Denz to a single hand to place his other on Armont’s head. “It’s alright, son. It’s just a bad dream. Go back to bed, and we’ll have chocolate for breakfast tomorrow.” Armont gave a small, tired gasp of excitement, before snuggling back up underneath the covers. The father let out a breath of relief, turning back to the door. Though the darkness touched his mind, his children, sleeping and in his arms, reinforced his resolve as he marched back down the halls. “Have faith in Leliara… or you own son.” Aegisan was afraid for Denz, but he held onto every hope he could that he would make it through this. Arriving back at the ritual room, Nuarmac was embracing Christienna, both sobbing. Farstan saw Aegisan and Denz, placing a hand on Christienna’s shoulder. She flailed her arms out, a face of hate and anger turning towards the other two brothers.
“You! You did this! You and this damned family of yours!” She unravelled herself from Nuarmac. “My baby is dead! Because you cowards couldn’t keep an old woman from just staying alive!” Farstan took it a step further, deftly grabbing her arm, wrapping his other hand around her waist and pulling towards the door. Christienna struggled against him, shouting out to the room.
“My baby! Leli! Nooo! Halone spit on you De’bayles!” The door shut as her muffled cries of anguish continued, Farstan’s voice working to calm her down. After a few short moments, her shouts turned back into weeps. Denz whimpered in Aegisan’s arms from the shouting, but merely squirmed before leaning into his father’s chest, calmed by his presence.

Nuarmac remained still during this exchange, before looking at the second child in hesitation, eyes looking to his brother, voice shaking.
“Aegisan… I can’t… I-I’ll kill him too.” Aegisan went to the bed, gently placing Denz next to Leliara. His eyes pained to see the deceased child, a hand coming over her face to shut her eyes for a more peaceful look. Turning back to his brother, the knight placed his hands on the mourning man’s shoulders.
“You must, Nuarmac, or everything our family has ever been, all we ever could be, will be lost to this maddening dark. I trust you… I trust Denzel.” He looks to Narshae’s bloody body, dark aether continuing to pour from her tattoo. “Brother… please, before it’s too late.”
Nuarmac shook his head at first, closing his eyes in frustration, before opening his eyes to the scene before him. A bloody corpse, a well of dark aether pooling from her. His bloodied brother, eyes pleading. His nephew and his daughter, lying side by side, both looking peaceful, despite his daughter’s death. Clenching his fists, he once more pulls up the hood of his robe, kneeling between the beds as Aegisan backed up. Nuarmac returned his hand to Narshae’s forehead, pulling from the aether she had taken back from him. Bringing it back into his body, he then placed his shaking fingers on Leliara’s body, grabbing what aether had not left her body. He then held up his hand, focusing greatly to capture the loose darkness that had been preying on his family mind. With every onze captured, his darkened eyes looked at Aegisan. The knight nodded one final time, before looking upon his son. “Halone keep you, Denzel…” Nuarmac took that as his queue to begin, placing his fingers upon Denz’s forehead. Once more pushing the dark aether into the baby, Denz’s reaction was much the same as Leliara’s. Awakening and crying out in fear and discomfort. He couldn’t shake his head away from Nuarmac, but as the transfer continued, Denz only cried normally. Nuarmac felt no rising tension that he would drink his fill soon, pouring as much aether as he could into baby, all of it, in fact, before removing his fingers. Denz’s tattoo was glowing with dark energy, and Nuarmac swiftly placed his palm upon the baby’s forehead. Delving into his shallow, undeveloped mind, it took Nuarmac no time at all to find the center, where he would reconstruct the seal to keep his aether hidden away. Runes flew across his vision as his lips formed the command words to finish the spell. Retreating from the child’s mind and returning to his own body, he released his palm from Denz’s hand.
“It’s… it’s done.” Aegisan looked eagerly between the two, before letting out a sigh of relief. Denz had mewled quietly for a few moments longer, before falling asleep once more, his forehead no longer glowing with any aether.

The next morning was one of painful dullness. The parents put up brave fronts for their children. Ceonix, Nuarmac’s older son, was told what happened to his sister, but was not old enough for it to truly impact him yet, beyond shallow sadness and confusion. Verisar, Farstan’s son, and Armont were able to take Ceonix’s attention off the situation as they happily ate chocolate for breakfast and went out to play. Elliana was speaking with Christienna in the other room, consoling her. Farstan’s wife was a woman who would’ve kicked Christienna in the head for her actions, but she could not handle the sickness after birthing Verisar, passing away. The three brothers had a terrible mess to clean up. Washing away the blood, the younger brothers disapproved of burying Narshae in her armor, but Nuarmac pleaded with them for otherwise. Once the bloodied sheets were burned and the furniture washed away of blood, the fathers recalled their boys inside. Walking outside, Aegisan and Farstan carried Narshae rather unceremoniously, while Nuarmac carried his baby girl. The men remained on the hill throughout the day, digging until their two holes were prepared. Once they were, Nuarmac gathered that two mothers outside. Saying their final words, prayers, and farewells, the five elezen moved back towards the manor.

Their backs turned to the cemetery, they laid to rest the worries of the past and the last generation of De’bayles, instead looking to the future, to the new generation, of the children in the house that laughed and played.

The Last Sun

The Calamity swept across Eorzea. The land had bled for months after the primal Bahamut cut across the sky in a fiery blaze. Even as far away as Ishgard, the falling moon and the ensuing inferno was watched with baited breaths, the collective prayers of the people calling upon Halone to save them from this unholy evil. As soon as it came did it disappear, and such joyous celebration was broken only by what the destruction had wrought. Weather patterns changed drastically, throwing Coerthas and the rest of Ishgard’s immediate lands into cold winters. Snow buffeted the people endlessly, no pause to the blizzards and hailstorms that threatened to overtake villages. No one had prepared for such harsh conditions, as rivers froze and wildlife died, while food and supplies(most notably clothing), were in high demand, but low quantity. And so many villages were forced to retreat to the city, where they would find refuge with either their families, or within the Brume where more and more beleaguered ishgardians were gathering in. Few had the will to journey further into Ishgard, and whispers of the gates closing to prevent deserters or enemies from infiltrating floated throughout the city. A dark time for Ishgard…

Such thoughts escaped Denz, the young man coming upon his seventeenth summer, staring out of his opened window in wonder. The portal had barely been opened since the snow set in, but on this day, the sun shined brighter than ever, melting the snow and blanketing the town in a welcome humidity. The air carried a fresh scent to it, as many people left their homes to walk openly along the streets, despite the slush and wet their boots combated. Bathing in the sun’s warmth did Ishgard’s people find a small sliver of hope in these morbid days, though Denz could do little more than watch from beyond his room window. Sighing, he moved away from the window to observe his room. Well lit from the sun, the rays touched two beds of fair size for a single elezen to sleep comfortably in each. Half of the room mirrored the other, dressers, side tables, a vanity, and chests looked upon their brothers across the room. One side of the room was completely untouched, the bed made and the area clean of any mess, while the side Denz stayed on was in chaos. Clothes littered the floor, books and dirtied plates covering much of any surface above the ground. His bedsheets were tossed in multiple directions, and his vanity was littered with numerous papers. The only reasonably clean part of his room was the windowsill that basked in the sun. Upon sat a small pot, lavender sprouting from the end of green stalks. Denz had managed to keep it fairly watered and kept for, but what little sunlight had pierced the deep clouds of the snowy months had seen the plant slowly degrade.

Alongside the recuperating pot sat two worn ragdolls, simple short stuffed skins, wrapped in five places to give stubby appendages and a round head, one in a simple rendition of a knight’s armor, and one wearing a maiden’s gown. They had been his twin siblings’, both gone from the house. Astrelle had left to explore Eorzea, much to the detriment of her family, in addition to forsaking her arranged marriage to their rival house, Menideal. The prospect of peace between the two families was shattered as she told her family of such, repeating such news to the hotheaded eldest son, Jerace Menideal, garnering no small amount of hate for both herself and the De’bayle house. Denz felt upset at her absence, but he also knew what such an arrangement entailed. Being foisted around as a simple object of social status, mocked by the nobles for her birth, and locked away in an ivory tower to watch the world move on without her intervention. Much like the maiden doll in Denz’s hands. Placing it back on the window sill, he observed the knight doll next. It had seen more rigorous use, the object of flailing and the weapon of choice for the young Guillemont during his days of imaginary dragon slaying. Such days became a reality when the middle son would step forth to relieve Armont of his expected knighting. The eldest brother had much to consider and worry about, as the next Head of House to follow their father. The crucibles expected of him to face as a knight, in light of the duty he is bound to uphold as a De’bayle, was too much all at once. Guillemont was a quiet boy, but his words always held weight. With his family’s blessing, he too took flight from the house to endlessly train with the Temple Knights. Three years passed, and but a few short weeks ago, amongst the blistering snows, did Guillemont obtain full knighthood. The De’bayle had a party in his honor, a happy reminder of the family’s cohesion and support of one another. The only flaw in this was his missing twin.

Placing the knight doll back on the sill, Denz stared out to the streets once more in determination. Even now, Armont still tirelessly hoped to obtain a knighthood himself, despite the protestations of his family to prioritize the family’s political positions.
“Father needs a knight at the head, like him, not some damned nobleman fearing for his fortune.” Armont had confided to him one night. Despite the age difference being greater between the brothers, Denz and Armont were closest to each other, and in the wake of his duties, Armont often rambled to Denz. The youngest could only attempt to spout quotes and idealism born of his ceaseless reading, facing Armont’s realism with romanticism. Good for debates, but little else. Even now, Armont’s knightly duties cut through Denz’s idealism, the eldest brother out training at the Congregation. Most days, Armont digressed that he simply guarded a crossroads of streets or a building's entrance, but even then, the look of pride he carried was unmistakable.

That left Denz to wonder: What about him? What was he to do? Without Armont, he was simply a young man, idling in his room, reading books, interacting only with his parents, the occasional servant that came to clean his room, and his tutor, though the curt clergyman was not one for talking, merely lessons. Here he was, a young man approaching his prime, and no amount of skill to show for it, save his exemplary skills at baking alongside his mother, and his piano playing abilities. He shook his head as he leaned against the window sill. He wasn’t going to be just a baker or a performer, a tradesmen seeking coin and profit amongst a city flooded with hardships. The knights could do something, make real change, not just watch outside a window as their city burned and froze all at once. Pushing off of the small balcony, Denz left the room swiftly. Unbeknownst to him, his actions pushed the dolls had off the window sill, lying on the bedroom floor, no longer in the warmth of the sun.

Walking out of his room into the living area of the De’bayle house, his hand habitually went to a piano near tall windows, fingers skirting the smooth wood that graced the cover of the instrument’s string. Passing it without much thought, he moved towards the couches that flanked the large hearth central to the room. Upon one sat both of his parents, his mother holding a book in one hand, her other placed on her husband’s leg. His father was leaning forward, amidst a game of chess. The man sucked in a breath, tentatively moved his knight to take the last bishop, eyes skirting the board for any possible counter measures, before saying outloud.
“Check.” Without looking away from her book, Elliana moved her own rook down from the other side of the board to take the queen.
“Checkmate.” Aegisan’s king was surrounded by several pieces, left with only his knight, while his wife still had many pieces left to move. Shaking his head with a sigh, he turned to Denz.
“Son. Is everything alright?” He noted Denz’s off-put visage, as the son crossed his arms. Denz wanted to outright speak about joining the temple knights, but seeing both of his parent’s worried faces halted him for a second. What would they do when their last son went off to become a knight? But he also couldn’t let their worry stop him. He hesitated, before stumbling in a sentence.
“A-ah, er… I’m fine. I was just thinking… maybe we should go outside? It’s such a day and all, and we’ve been sitting in here with nothing but the open windows to show for it.” The parents looked at one another, before Elliana smiled.
“You’re right! We could take a walk! Perhaps go to Ailleard’s! I know Jethant has been asking after you, Denzel.” Denz blinked. Ailleard’s was a prestigious restaurant in the Pillars, not too terribly far from their house. The family went there often, before the snow set in.
“Um… Who is Jethant?” His mother deadpanned for a moment.
“The waiter, honey? The who always serves us?” She places a hand on her cheek, sighing. “You have your father’s memory.” Both De’bayle men just shrug helplessly. She claps her hands, beaming once more. “Ooooh, the patio might be open! Let’s get ready, dear! We can even bring some food to Armont while he’s guarding!” She slaps her husband’s leg, before bounding out of the room. His mother’s bubbly personality was always a happy sight, a perfect compliment to his father’s rather serious demeanor. He followed her out of the room, leaving Denz to wait for them to prepare.

Once they were ready and out the door, the trio walked down the street, Denz’s mother endearingly holding both men’s hands as they walked up the street. They quietly basked in the sunlight that graced the city, listening to the sounds of the city life and even the tweets of birds who had found their way to the warm stone city. Denz felt his mother squeeze his hand, looking over at her. She was smiling warmly back at him.
“You’ve grown in such a fine young man, Denzel. Ailleard’s is hoping they could have you apprentice with them to learn how to be a culinarian.” Denz blinked in surprise.
“Th-they want me?” His mother nodded excitedly.
“I know! Isn’t it incredible? I know it wouldn’t be as glamorous as being a knight, baby, but we’ve already Armont and Guillemont risking themselves out there, Astrelle wandering the world…” She squeezes his hand once more. “I just want you to have a safe life.” Denz’s face fell, looking down at the ground they walked past. How could he ruin his mother’s dreams for him? Have her worry sick over him? He couldn’t threaten that, to have not only a comfortable life but also his parent’s love throughout all of it.
“I’ll… I’ll speak with them about it soon, mo-”

Denz’s words were cut off as above their heads came a deafening cry, shaking the air and causing the trio to crouch downwards, their hands on their ears. Swooping over them came a lone dragon, fire gathering in it’s mouth to unleash against a stone building, an explosion erupting and sending flame spreading. Aegisan was the first to rise, eyes wide.
“The wards! What’s happ-?” More and more dragons zoomed into view, shouts rising from the city as people ran into their homes. Rubble and tile flew about as Denz’s father placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Get your mother to safety! I need to find Armont!” The young man’s face gaped in fear, but he managed a shaking nod, grabbing his mother’s arm and running in opposite directions from his father. Chaos fully engulfed the city as fire began to line the streets. Knights rushed about, attempting to direct people towards safety, but as Denz approached one of them to be led away, a dragon landed on the streets beside them. His mother let out a cry of terror, and the knight rushed forward to meet the drake in combat. Denz watched, frozen for a moment, before Elliana tugged on his arm.
“Denz! You need to move!” The young man was caught in terror as he watched the knight fail to defeat the dragon, the beast grabbing the armored man by it’s mouth and crushing him, blood spattering about. The ground shuddered beneath the two De'bayles, and the bloody dragon before them took off. Denz didn’t know why until it was too late. He felt a great surge of force throw him to the side, roughly landing on the wet stone. He turned him up in time to see his mother, who had pushed him away, looking towards a falling stone pillar. The rumble came down on top of her, bits and pieces flying out towards Denz, who was only a few feet back himself. His horrified shout to his mother was cut off as brick collided with his face, instantly causing him to blackout.

Near one of the gates, Armont had stood guard beside one of his fellow comrades, Onault Las'fre. The two were debating the rumours surrounding Ishgard closing its gates more permanently.
“I don’t know why you’re so against it, Onault. The outsiders haven’t done much for us, in the first place. It’s just one less entry way to guard.” The man shook his head vigorously.
“Damn it, Monty, didn’t your father explain this to you already? Ishgard couldn’t handle the financial or even the militaristic backlash of losing Eorzea’s support. We should be helping them with the Calamity, not shutting ourselves out!” Armont shook his head, gesturing to the dilapidated buildings around him. The snow had not been kind to Ishgard’s architecture, sturdy as it was.
“Can we even help ourselves, currently? No, it’s better t-” The explosion from the upper levels of the city resounded, several civilians and the two guards looking upwards in confusion, before the dragon’s cry echoed down to them. Armont’s eyes widened as he fastened his helmet's faceplate in place hastily. “We’re under attack!” Pulling the spear from his back, Onault and he began directing the civilians towards one of the safe areas. The closest place to direct them was the Congregation, as the civilians ran past the guards that were pouring out of the building.

From the crowd came a more garnished knight, pointing at the pair.
“You two! Remain here and ensure no one leaves the Brume!” Armont’s face showed confusion, but he saluted the knight sergeant as the regiment was lead through the city to fight the dragon menace. The pair watched the lights of fire and dragon fighting ensue, before Onault turned to the Brume. From below the city came several dragon cries and the shouting of the people beneath. Onault took a few steps down the stairs, before Armont placed his hand on his shoulder. “Where are you going?! Our orders are to stay here!” Onault’s brown eyes turned back to Armont, sad determination looking at him.
“We can’t just let those people die, Armont!” He pushed Armont’s hand off his shoulder. “Either come with me or stay here like a coward!” Armont took a step back. The shouting came to climax, the clashing of sword and scale resounding from the lower banks of the city. Onault shook his head in disappointment, drawing his sword and shield, swiftly descending the stairs out of Armont’s sight.
“Onault, don’t!”

Armont waited for several nerve-wracking minutes. The shouting was everywhere as the battle continued, the De’bayle unable to figure out what transpired below in the Brume with Onault. From over the battle did he hear the sound of the creaking wooden steps that led down.
“Onault?” At first, a hooded head poked out from over the stone railing, swaying inhumanly, before all at once, an aevis beneath the figure clambered over the wall, growling as it placed one of it’s bipedal claws swiftly over Armont’s chest, pinning him to the ground. The plated face of the dragon breathed hot air onto the young knight, its other clawed foot coming up to break the faceplate from Armont’s head. The figure leaned over and down towards Armont.
“Your knight comrade was quite the hothead…” A feminine voice cooed. “Perhaps you’ll be more willing to serve.” Pulling out a red vial from the folds of her robe, the aevis hissed.
“Ssssserve us…” Armont’s face was stricken with fear, before a mighty roar to the side caught everyone’s attention, particularly the aevis as a white and gold spear embedded into dragon’s side. The beast let out a shout of pain as the woman fell off of him, Aegisan pulling out his spear and picking his son up by the scruff of his neck.
“Come on, my boy! We can take them, together!” Both spearmen brandished their weapons towards the dragon, before Aegisan leapt forward, tip piercing downward for aevis’s chest. The dragon sidestepped, but Armont come forward to brace his knight spear upward into the dragon’s other side. Aegisan followed up with the spear skewering through the dragon’s neck, before pulling it out swiftly. The aevis’s flailing resulted in Armont losing his weapon, but the beast had been dealt its deathblow. Falling to the ground, Armont let out a victorious cheer, only to see his father’s spear clatter to the stone floor next to him. Through Aegisan’s chest was a sword. The son gasped, crying out to him.
“FATHER!” The woman behind him flashed a wild grin, breathing exasperatedly as she looked upon the aevis corpse.
“Kieon… My love…” Tearing the blade from Aegisan, who fell to the ground, she pointed the weapon at Armont. “I’ll kill you!” Armont’s eyes went his father’s spear, dropping low and grabbing the end of it in his left hand, swinging the point out to the heretic. She leapt over it, blade coming down for the lowered elezen, but Armont drew his left arm back swiftly, the length of the shaft in front of him to block the attack. Grabbing and thrusting the spear with his right arm forward, he pushed the blade away with the length of his spear, getting to his feet. Blinking, he was no longer fighting the heretic, but sparring against his father. One of his lessons rung through his head.
“One of your greatest strengths is surprising your opponent with the speed of your weapon. Fashion openings for your enemy to take, then close them with your spear to capitalize on their mistake.” Armont grit his teeth, swinging his spear out a few times to test the woman’s reflexes. She dodged and parried most of his blows, before Armont swiftly stabbed the tip of his father’s spear into her chest shallowly, taking it out and throwing his right hand down to the and to the left. His left hand caught the upper part of the shaft, shifting his main thrusting hand from right to left in the blink of eye, the movement feigning an attack that never came, and swinging the pole in a rightward diagonal slash, cutting a gash up her chest. Following the momentum of the swing, he turned his back to the woman. She growled in excitement, seeing Armont’s open back to her.
“DIE!” She screamed. Before her sword touched the chainmail back however, she was halted, Aegisan’s spear reversed and pointed backwards beneath his turned upperbody, skewering the woman to a halt. She let out a defeated groan as she leaned forward, head nearing Armont’s ear as she whispered loudly.
“Ishgard... will... burn...” Her last breath exhaled from her body, Armont tore his father’s spear from her chest.

Turning about, he moved towards his father’s side, falling to his knees.
“F-father! Hang on, I’ll get you to the healers!” Armont tried to pick up his father, but the man weakly put a hand on his chest.
“A-Armont… Find your… brother… Keep Denz… Keep him safe…” He groaned in pain, coughing several times, as Armont propped him onto his legs.
“Father! Father, no! Please!” His eyes welled with tears, before a drawn out breath denoted Aegisan’s passing. His head fell limp against the Armont’s cradling hands, the young man silently sobbing, his head bowed and shoulders trembling. The sun disappeared behind dark clouds, cold wind blowing against the flickering flames of the city as the dragonkin began to flee the city. Though the knights had won, but the message was sent, and it was sent with blood and flame as the city was left injured. A bright dome was erected around the city, trapping any dragons inside as dragoons took off from the roofs of Ishgard to slay them. Armont watched with teary eyes the dragoons clear the air of dragons one by one, before temple knights brought his attention back to ground. Rushing over to him, Armont wiped his eyes on his dirty sleeve, though there was no hiding, between the tattoo the pair shared and his broken visage what had happened. Armont points to the stairs where the heretic came from.
“Dragons… they came from the Brume! There could be more in there!” Temple knights rushed down the stairs, leaving Armont alone. Picking up his father’s corpse in his arms, Armont struggled to make his way back up the city to the Pillars, looking for Denz.

Denz’s vision was blurred, but he saw his mother through his vision. She was leaning over him, smiling warmly.
“Denzel… You’re okay.” He tried to move, but his body wouldn’t let him. He felt panic rising in his chest, but his mother’s warm touch went to his chest. “It’ll be okay, Denz. You’re going to hurt… But it’ll pass, baby.” His father next came into his vision, who was giving one of his rare smiles to Denz.
“Fight through the pain, my son. Keep one another safe.” The young man tried to speak, but his mouth felt locked, something in jaw holding his mouth open? The visions of his parents began to fade, their voices echoing through his head.
“Denz… Denz… Denz…”
“DENZ! Wake up! Please!” Armont’s face cut through the blurriness, his eyes looking at him, than looking in shock to Denz’s left cheek. Was there something there? His eyes moved to look, but all he saw was a grey mesh.
“Hold him down, knight. This is going to hurt.” Something shifted on his left, before a sharp pain snapped his senses into overdrive. He couldn’t breath. His mouth was a terrible menagerie of wet pain and chilling air, but he wasn’t taking in a breath! Armont held down his brother’s upper body as the healers flanking the young man had removed a piece of masonry that had pierced Denz’s face. They worked swiftly to dull the pain and close the hole in his mouth, but the results were far from exemplary, a huge gash still remaining once they were all finished. As they stood up, Armont stared at them in confusion.
“W-where are you going?! He’s not d-” The healer gave Armont a serious look.
“There are others that need us. We have not the time to fix his noble face.” Denz groaned, grasping his brother’s arm. Armont hugged his younger brother, tears streaming down his face. Denz’s vision blurred once more, as the youngest De’bayle fell unconscious from the excruciating pain he had just endured. Armont looked between his father and his brother, unsure of how to proceed. He dare not leave either alone, and instead struggled to carry both back to their house. Choosing the lesser of two evils, Armont dragged Denz lightly against the stone as his other arm kept his father over his shoulder. He carried them back to the manor, a servant of their house assisting the knight-trainee with the two. Shock and mourning struck her face at the loss of her Lord, but she composed herself to help get Denz to a bed. The servant cleaned up his face, revealing behind the bloody mess that his gash was not as severe as Armont initially observed. A scar would remain, but the healers had done their work. Wrapping up his cheek in a bandage, the eldest brother would leave Denz’s care with the servant while he went to take on the heaviest of duties he had ever faced.

The cleanup of Ishgard was a horrid process. Corpses and injured discovered beneath the ash and rubble of a fight that seemed to have lasted hours, but in truth only went for only a few minutes before the upper hand was regained. News spread swiftly of the cause. What few ward guardians had been watching the status of Ishgard’s protection were assassinated by infiltrators, dragon worshippers, like the one Armont had slain. With their own people turning against them, the motion to fully lock away Ishgard to protect them seemed all the more logical. The inquisition would need to begin extensive work to root out this evil, these heretics, or their fair city would not survive such another attack. In the meantime, numerous ishgardian burials were planned. One was planned for Onault, Armont’s comrade. Temple Knights in the brume reported that the knight in training had pushed a heretic to slay their captive civilians, the news striking Armont to the core. He told Onault to listen, to follow orders. Maybe if he had, he would still be alive. Those civilians would still be alive. Maybe even his father would still be alive. That burning fact would last in the knight’s mind, to never question his directives, that others might live, by them.

Their parents still needed to be buried. A day and a half went by, Armont spending it beside Denz, who had yet to wake from his unconsciousness. The missives were sent out with all haste to Guillemont and Astrelle, to Nuarmac’s family living in the Coerthas Highlands and to Farstan, wherever he was with his son. The eldest would receive a knock at the manor door, begrudgingly leaving Denz’s side to see who it was. Beyond the door stood two temple knights, a gurney with a white sheet over a mass behind them. Though they began to explain, Armont’s eyes widened, already knowing what lay beneath. He dared not imagine what horrible state his mother’s body was in, swallowing his terror as he had them bring the covered form inside. It was difficult and expensive to arrange, but Armont had managed to acquire two caskets for his family’s burial. When the body had been moved into the casket, the young man returned to his brother’s side, unable to help the tears flowing down his face silently.

Nearly three days had passed, and still Denz did not stir. Armont hired a healer, who began looking extensively over the De’bayle. Nuarmac and Farstan had finally breached Ishgard’s tight embargo on any visitors, the two men arriving like a shining beacon of hope to the lost son. Commending Armont for his stability during this trial, despite being alone, the three discussed at length what needed to happen next. Nuarmac explained that the bodies would need to be carried across the mountains to their estate, where the cemetery lay for the more recent De’bayles to be sent to the ancestors. A fear rose in Armont’s throat as Ishgard was on lockdown, before Farstan reassured the young man he would see it handled. He wanted to ask how, but knew it was better to let the swashbuckling elezen operate as he saw fit. Rumors had floated from his father’s lips that Farstan was more than just a sky pilot, but to question them currently would solve nothing. The pair would leave to establish arrangements for the coffins, Armont returning to his brother to see what the healer’s diagnosis was. The healer said Denz was in a comatose state, though he appeared to be recovering, aetherically and physically, from the ordeals of the previous days. He administered what sustenance he could to the sleeping boy, though he did not know when he was to awaken, predicting it would be sooner rather than later.

The next hours flew by in a blur. Elezen and hyur that Armont did not recognize shifted into the manor, their demeanor throwing off the knightly De’bayle. Their eyes skimmed the ornaments of the house and the decorations a little too closely, all of them bearing tattoos on their arms and chest. They also wore rather light clothing, all things considered, Armont's gaze going over a rather skimpily dressed hyur, unsure if she was wearing undergarments purposely or some sort of outfit. The only person Armont knew from the crowd was his cousin, Verisar, and the young man held a very different persona than the last time he had seen him, a part of this motley crew. Farstan directed the crewmembers in and out of the house, moving the caskets swiftly from their manor to the airship he manned. Much of this, the crew, the airship, and Farstan’s occupation had remained a mystery to him, the entire scenario raising several questionable flags, but once more, he would not get anywhere questioning this convenient boon from his Uncle. Once the caskets were loaded, Farstan and his crew left swiftly. From the large airship came several smaller flying boats, taking off in different directions away from Ishgard.

Guillemont had reunited with the brothers later that day, having been on the Coerthas Western Highlands front, rescuing struggling villages from the fierce snow and fighting dragons out on the plains. His face held small scars and a new level of reservation unseen in the shy young man. However those were all broken down as he mourned the loss of his parents, embracing Armont and standing alongside him as they waited for Denz to wake up. Some hours later into the knight, Farstan walked in, flanked by their sister Astrelle, having personally sent out crewmembers of his ship to find her. Expediting her return to the brothers, the three were amidst reminiscing when a bell chimed throughout the empty manor. It was a server bell that laid beside each bed in the children’s room, and it was coming from Denz’s. The server had already begun bustling over, but she was quickly flanked by the three other siblings as everyone arrived at Denz’s side.
“C-can I get some water…?” He asked uneasily, eyeing all four elezen oddly. It had been three days, he was quite thirsty.

When Denz was able to move, assisted by his siblings, the family left the house to make way to the manor in the western highlands. Arriving via airship, of which everyone but Denz seemed alright with, their landing before the cemetery was met with several crewmembers digging two holes in the ground. Once they finished, the family gathered around the two coffins to give their goodbyes. No De’bayle eyes were without tears as prayers to Halone, to the ancestors of the De’bayles, and whatever other gods were listening lifted up into the night. With the crewmembers assistance, the two bodies were lowered into the graves, and the spirits of the parents Elliana and Aegisan were sent off from this world.

Fear Taking Wing

Several years had passed since the Calamity. Ishgard’s state was no more better than it was nearly six years ago when the cataclysm first shook the world. If anything, it was worse, while the people beyond the walls in Eorzea brought news of nothing but triumph and victory over primal, ascian, garlean, and even heretical threats. Word spread the city quickly of supply caravans being ambushed and attacked by heretics, following under the zealous command of Lady Iceheart. The news and fear that followed spurred the Inquisition to new lengths, though everyone already was wary of the borderline heretical methods the Inquisitors themselves employed. Rumors flew across the city of the Warrior of Light revealing a prominent inquisitor of being a heretic in disguise.The Inquisition would not tolerate anymore failures, and tonight, it looked like their patience and waiting would pay off.

The hooded figure danced from shadow to shadow between the buildings of Ishgard’s Pillars, walking hurriedly through the alleys towards a rather specific location, hidden from what little light came from the moon behind the clouds. Snow touched the stone, before melting, keeping the figure from leaving tracks. Constantly looking over their shoulder, the robed elezen double backed, took alternative routes, and would, to the untrained follower, simply appear to be another lost soul trying to navigate the winding corridors of stone. When it seemed nobody was following the figure, they moved into a small corner, huddling down and began to wait. And wait. For nearly twenty minutes, the robed elezen waited, before finally, second figure approached, much in the same manner the first had.

‘I-is it you, my l-” A swift slap from the first elezen revealed a ratty looking hyur, greyish hair matted to his balding forehead as he hunched over, cupping his face in a silent shriek. “Ngggh!”
“Don’t address me. Just give me the vial.” The man patted down his robe, before blinking, holding up a finger in remembrance, grasping into the cheek of his mouth, before taking out a small glass container lodged between his wisdom tooth and jaw.
“H-here you go, Lady C-” Another slap echoed through the night, the woman eyeing the vial beneath her cowl.
“Be grateful you did not shatter it. Dragonsblood turns any Ishgardian into an aevis, highborn…” Her eyes give the man a disgusted look. “Or a filthy lowborn like yourself.” The man bowed several times.
“I’m n-not worthy of such a privilege, my lady. To take wing alon-” A third slap silenced him once more.
“Cease your talking, and let the others know I wish for the-” A howl of wind cut through the alley way, the echoing sounds of footsteps approaching the two. The man swiftly pulled up his hood and the woman placed the vial beneath her robes, the pair pressing against the stone wall as the steps grew louder, soon accompanied by the furl of cloth dragging along the stone. The figure stopped near them.
“I can smell you… heretics.” A robed elezen swiftly turned the corner, blade in one hand, wand in the other. Fire danced along the edge of the wand, illuminating the heretics’ faces, “Yield, you filth!” He growled, and the hyur yelped, stepping forward.
“Mercy, m-my lord, I am onl- HURGH!” His words were cut off a final time as the woman’s hidden dagger plunged into the man’s throat. Gurgling, he fell to the ground, before the inquisitor acted. Chains of blazing heat, a staple among many inquisitors, materialized and wrapped around the woman’s arms, searing through her cloth easily as she shouted in pain, dropping her dagger and falling to the ground. The man swiftly stood over her, placing a blade to his throat as he replaced his wand for real chains, though he wanted nothing more than to burn the rest of her miserable flesh from her. After putting the clamps over her scarred arms, which brought more stifled whimpers from her, the inquisitor put a hand to his long ear, speaking into a linkpearl.
“This is Fyrus. I’ve found one...” He leans down, pulling off the cowl of the woman. Her long red-brown hair had been tied back, revealing the telltale sigil on her forehead. The man gave a crooked grin in surprise. “Ah… so the family’s true colors are revealed.” He grabbed her hair, pulling the woman's face to his face. “I will enjoy tearing the secrets from your flesh.” Christienna glared back at the man, baring her teeth in rage. She recognized him too, the darker skin and green eyes a well known sign of the man’s heritage to the De’bayles rival family.
“Do your worst, Menideal.” The man simple struck her across the face harshly with his sword hilt, releasing her hair with the attack, her head colliding with the stone unconscious. Grabbing her by the back of her robe, the inquisitor began dragging the woman through the empty streets to the Tribunal.

Several knocks echoed through the empty halls of the De’bayle manor, rousing it’s remaining occupants from their slumber. The banging only intensified as Armont and Denz drew close to the door in their nightclothes, looking warily at one another.
“This is the Inquisition! Open up, at once!” The muffled shout came behind the door. Denz’s eyes widened in fear, as Armont patted down his pajamas and smoothed out his hair, opening the door slowly.
“Good e-” He was cut off as the door was pushed the rest of the way open, swords pointed at both brothers as three robed men walked into the room.
“Cuff them.” Armont blustered for a moment, narrowing his eyebrows at the apparent leader.
“What is the meaning of this?!” The man’s sword tip pushed into Armont’s chest, threatening to spill blood.
“You will not speak, heretic.” Armont’s face turned into one of shock, color leaving his face as he failed to speak.
“We didn’t do anythi-!” A swift slap from one of the inquisitors cut Denz’s outcry short, the young man letting out a pained yelp. Both De’bayles were bound, pushed out into the cold night of Ishgard without any regard to their own attire, their bare feet skirting across the cold stone as the five walked briskly towards the office of the Inquisition, the Tribunal. The high reaching spires and lances from the building cut an imposing presence against the dark cloudy sky. Led up the stairs and within the building, the marble of the entry hall did little to alleviate the chill of the two brothers, pushed into a side hallway where several doors lined each side. Small benchs dotted the hall every few dozen feet, all empty before the numerous doors. The inquisitors pushed the pair towards one such bench.
“Sit down, you two!” The lead elezen, known as Fyrus Menideal, barked out, Denz and Armont taking a seat together on one such bench silently. “There is still one more of your kind to bring in…” With that, the room fell silent, the inquisitors pacing about the bench, occasionally saying a remark to one another. After a short period of time, a loud raucous of noise emanated from entry way, shifting plate and chainmail as two inquisitors came in with a knightly figure, a large axe carried by one of the inquisitors beside him. The man’s black hair flew about as he looked from one man to the next.
“- haven’t a clue what you’re doing! When my father hears of this, you’ll all b-Mmmmm!” A piece of cloth was held over his mouth as Ceonix was pushed forward, both De’bayles turning to look at their cousin struggling down the hallway. When he finally arrived before his relatives, the knight silenced himself, raising his eyebrows once in a greeting before flicking his shoulder away from the inquisitors hands. Fyrus clicked his tongue. “What an unruly soldier. It is a wonder you weren’t all taken in for heresy years ago.” Armont furrowed his eyebrows.
“We did nothing heretical, sir!” The eldest brother was met with a slap in the face, the lead inquisitor flicking his hand as if wiping something disgusting from his hands.
“Enough! You will all be separated and questioned individually. Get them out of my sight, before their foul stench mingles.”

With that, each brother was brought into different rooms for extensive questioning. For Ceonix, his headstrong, unwavering stance on being innocent stood, and it held up as the inquisitor could get nothing from him, as well as his alibi checking out. Denz and Armont had less luck though. While Armont lay bare his loyalty and fealty to Ishgard, especially since he was almost a knight himself, he could also not reliably back up his alibis, his words taken as excuses and misdirection. It was worse for Denz, a shut-in who had no reliable sources, save his servant who occupied their household. He would only be seen in the city occasionally for food, always alone, always suspicious, and the inquisitors began trying to prod Denz further for information he couldn’t give. Throughout this process, no De’bayle was told why they had been taken in. Fortunately for the family, no violent interrogation methods were used, only coming up with nothing, but they were far from free. Fyrus and several officers discussed, and though the zealous inquisitor wanted to jump straight into torturing them for answers, or simply taking them to the Witchdrop, the others recommended putting them in a room and listening to their words. Meanwhile, they would collect Christienna from her cell and begin questioning her.

Denz stumbled into the small square room, readjusting his pajamas as he looked at the other De’bayles, both standing with serious demeanors, yet it looked like neither had spoken to one another yet. Denz’s eyes flitted between his brother and cousin, silence permeating the air for several moments before the youngest spoke out.
“Say something! We ca-” Armont held up his finger to his own mouth to silence Denz, before crossing his arms. Denz shook his head vigorously, approaching his eldest brother.
“But we didn’t do anything, Armont! We have nothing to hide!” Armont sucked in a breath, placing a hand on Denz’s shoulder.
“We still must be wary of our words, lest we convict ourselves.” Denz looked in pain resignation. The room was empty, so he simply picked his way down to the floor, lying down in defeat. Ceonix stepped forward.
“Fear not, cousins. When my father arrives, he’ll sort this out.” Armont raised an eyebrow at the knight.
“You sound so sure about it.” Ceonix nodded, his light blue eyes shining as he looked to the door.
“Of that, I have no doubt. We simply need to wait an-” His eyes flicked to the side, moving towards the wall.
“Wh-... No. Mother?” The De’bayles raised an eyebrow, Armont taking a step towards Ceonix. The sigil granted them all awareness of one another’s presence, and just as Ceonix said it, they felt the presence of another De’bayle, of which the son could identify easily.
“Aunt Chrissy is in the city?” Denz asked, sitting up. Ceonix’s face became a myriad of frustration and confusion, moving back to the middle of the floor and calmly taking a seat.
“It will… it will be alright.” He closes his eyes, and the room fell silent once more. Time seemed to pass slowly for the family, every few minutes Denz piping up to ask how long it’s been, and garnering no response, would sink back down to the floor. He would cease asking after the first half an hour, and after his body finally warmed the cold floor beneath him, fell asleep. He wasn’t sure how long he remained sleeping, before a hand attempted to rouse him. Denz moaned dejectedly, before the hand slapped him across the face. Denz yelped, looking up to see Armont’s face peering around the room.
“He’s here.”

Tapping his cane down the hallway, a dormant look of rage on his face, Nuarmac moved through the Tribunal with a purpose, needing no guide, the lower ranked inquisitors struggling to keep pace with the man. Their words and halts fell on deaf ears, the presence the elder De’bayle commanded having them stop trying after a few moments. Though the inquisition had jurisdiction, they were not paid enough to have this man’s fury turned upon them. Stopping before the room where the three were imprisoned, attempting to open the locked door, before placing his hands over his cane, waiting for the grunts to approach.
“Wh- My lord, you can’t go in there! W-” Nuarmac turned his gaze onto the weak spined inquisitor.
“Collect that damnable Fyrus, and tell him to bring the key with him.” The two looked between one another in confusion.
“He can’t just do that, can he?” The other shook his head.
“I-I don’t want to find out! Go get him!”
“You go get Fyru-” Nuarmac tapped his cane upon the ground once more loudly, making both of them flinch and rush around the man to get the officer inquisitor swiftly. Emerging from a side room, robe discarded and sleeves rolled up came the elezen, pale and rugged, his arms showing several burn scars that threaded down to his gloved hands. He stomped down the corridor to Nuarmac, breaking the personal boundaries and getting close to his face.
“You have a lot of nerve walking in here without any chains over your wrists.” The elder De’bayle looked unimpressed, narrowing his eyes.
“No more full of nerve than the one who seeks answers were none lie.” He nods to the door. “Release them. My family has nothing to do with any of this.” The inquisitor poked the man in the chest.
“They had everything to do with this. You De’bayles have always been just outside our reach, but now this one falters, and your secrets will be reve-” Nuarmac’s hand came up to backhand the inquisitor, causing the two grunts to look in shock at the De’bayle.
“Two of those three men in there are knights, and our family has never hesitated to serve Ishgard. If aught else… my work for you speaks for itself.” He calmly replaces his hand on his cane. “If you honor your debts, Menideal, you’ll release my family.” The man’s gloved hand came up to his face, fingers clenching down his cheek in anger before looking back at the man. However, his words rang true, and he could not act against the De’bayle, bringing all the more stares from his subordinates.
“Your wife is a convicted heretic. I will not release her.” Nuarmac closes his eyes, shaking his head.
“No… no you won’t.” Fyrus blinked, rage seeping away from his face in surprise, as Nuarmac continued. “She must answer for her actions. All I ask is that I speak with her, one last time, and your debt will be paid in full.” The inquisitor’s face screwed up in disgust, before handing him a ring of keys.
“I’m sure you remember where everything is.” He spat on the ground beside Nuarmac’s feet, colliding his shoulder with the elder as he moved past him, shouting to the grunts. “Clean that up!” The low-ranking inquisitors fell to their knees to work upon Fyrus’ spittle, as the De’bayle moved past them towards the room where his wife was kept.

Opening the door slowly, the darkened room was lit by only a handful of torches, heated and smelling of metal. He left his cane at the door, hearing the haggard breathing of a woman as he shut the door behind him. The tinge of pain and fear was on her breath as he stepped into the torchlight, encompassing her vision. Christienna was tied upon a wooden table, tilted forward slightly with her hands and feet bound with metal chains, body stretched out. The metallic smell was borne of the bloody mess her body had become. Cuts, whip slashes, burns and brands littered her body. Her long red hair had been sheared down painfully, her shoulders and the ground beneath littered with her locks, hair nothing but a mess of shortened strands and matted blood. She had been stripped down to her small clothes, though it seemed even beneath them was not safe from the torturous hands. Her eyes wracked with terror, only the small glimmers of hope returning as she saw her husband approach.
“N-Nuarmac? Pr-Praise Halone, you’re here!” The man looked over the sad husk of his wife. They had done much to her, to pull every inkling of information from her regarding the heretics. Even after they found everything, did they stop the pain? Regardless, if she wasn’t sentenced to death, she would’ve been scarred for life. On the wall, a nearby table, and upon the floor were several of the tools used against her. This was the true face of the inquisition. Men and women who sought answers zealously, reveled in the pain they brought, then brought an end to a person’s life with satisfaction on their lips. Despite all this, Nuarmac had to swallow his pain for her, his love for her, and look away from his wife.
“I am… But not for you.” The chains jangled as the woman struggled, her face renewing with her fear.
“What?! Nuar, you need to help me!” He shook his head, looking over the table that held her effects. A dagger, a coinpouch, a dark robe, and the dress she wore beneath it. Separated from all that was a small vial of red liquid, which he picked up. Even through the glass, he could feel aetherial power thrumming within.
“You put the children in danger… They would’ve fell with you to their deaths.” Christienna let out a noise of disgust.
“Eugh! It’s always about those damned children. When did you last think of your wife? Of the present? You preach about the future, then slink into the past, leaving me alone!” She leaned forward, the pain masked by her anger. “Did you even care to think what happened when Leliara was taken from me? To fix what h-”
“I CAUSED IT!” He boomed back at her, approaching her face closely. “I killed her, and I could not reverse that! If you do not think I looked, that I did not try, that I still do not try to “fix” what happened, then you deserve the judgement has been passed on you!” His words and visage shook his wife to her core, her rage dispelling as she curled in, as much as her bonds allowed, her eyes wet as she began to wept. Nuarmac held onto his anger for a few moments more, before reaching up to plunge the keys into the lock on her hands. With her partially free, she slumped weakly into his arms, her blood staining his front as he wrapped his arms around her.
“I-I ju… just wanted her back… Th-they told me I could get her back, my love… If I just helped them…” The man closed his eyes sadly, squeezing her gently against him.
“I’m sorry, Christienna. I can’t save you, now…” He went to release her, but she held onto his front.
“W-wait, Nuar, please…. Just…” Her eyes looked down at the space between them, where the vial of dragonsblood rested in his hands. “Don’t let me die for nothing…” Her hollow eyes looked back at Nuarmac, the two mutually aware of what she proposed. “Please… One last act, against this damned city…” Nuarmac struggled for several silent moments, his eyes scanning over his broken wife’s body. “They did this to me… to us… Help me… send a message…” Her hand caressed his neck gently, further dragging him away from reasonable thinking. She was already dying for nothing. His daughter would still be dead, and he without a wife. This world practically spat in his face for his sacrifices and efforts to keep everything afloat. How much more could he struggle, before it came crashing down completely?

Looking back up at his wife, her gentle touch a fleeting sensation on his mind, he nodded. Her eyes showed one last glimmer of life within them, gently wrapping her fingers around his own, moving the vial as one up towards her face. Nuarmac unplugged the vial himself, the stench of the blood far from humanoid. Bringing it to her lips, the pair tipped back the liquid into her mouth, the contents draining away swiftly. Once the vial held no more, and Christienna exhaled, the man pressed his face upon hers, sharing a savage, lasting kiss. Her arms clenched against his harshly, more than just a desire for love or rescue, but in pain, a moan escaping her throat as her body trembled. Nuarmac broke away from her, his mouth tasting the metal of her own blood, but not the scent he smelled. He was safe, though she would not be, having seen what the blood of a dragon did to an ishgardian through the eyes of his ancestors. His wife’s body arced against the table, her face screwed up in pain. The transformation could happen instantaneously, or it could take some time, depending on the strength of the wielder. The fact that her body did not already turn was a… surprising fact. Perhaps she might even make it out of the city before becoming a dragon. Leaning down next to her ear, he whispered out.
“Hold it in, my love. Just for a little longer.” He stood up, turning around to walk to the door and grab his cane. As he opened the door, Christienna began letting out howls of pain and remorse, her voice echoing dully across his ears as the two grunt inquisitors ran in to re-tie her down. They closed the door as her voice grew in intensity, and he had to shudder the mounting dread he felt for what he had just done.
“Halone, forgive me…”

The door to the three young De’bayles’ prison swung open, the elder looking upon them with sadden relief.
“See?! I told you Father would not fors-” Ceonix blinked as he looked upon his father’s bloodied coat. “What happened, father?” Nuarmac looked down at himself, waving a dismissive hand.
“Hm, oh this? Just an… accident. It is not my own, worry not.” The men looked leerily at him, before the Lord stepped out of the way of the door.
“Lest you wish to remain here, I suggest you two go home.” He said, nodding to his two nephews. Denz’s own anxious desire to leave had him pulling his brother back out to the main lobby before he could question anything, their uncle and cousin not far behind. Once there, attendants gave Armont and his youngest brother shoes and coats to suppliment for their harsh arrival. The pair left, returning to their home. Meanwhile, Nuarmac and Ceonix remained to discuss between one another what happened. His son was shocked, not believing his father’s words nor the actions of his mother to be as they were. However, he could not deny the horrid state she was brought out in. Redressed haphazardly, bound, gagged, and shuffling forward, the inquisitors escorted the woman out into the streets, where a chocobo-drawn carriage waited. Ceonix looked in bewilderment between her and his father. Fyrus moved past the two, the Menideal inquisitor, joining the woman in the carriage.
“Wh- What did they do to her? Where are they taking her?!” Nuarmac stared harshly forward, tapping his cane forward as he began to follow the inquisitors. “To where all heretics are judged…”

Guillemont was a man use to travelling. Six years of it, Knight-Errant duties keeping him in contact with House Fortemps, who granted him his knighthood prior to his travels. Between those jobs though, the middle brother had gone out as far as Ul’dah to search for his thaumaturgy instructor. Having come up with no results, he returned to the Fortemps outpost to visit his comrades, rest, and replenish his supplies before he went out once more on his faithful chocobo, Muffin. It was well beyond midnight, expecting only a few men to be active at this, but as he approached the stone walls of Camp Dragonhead atop his armored steed, he watched in confusion as numerous men rushed about, seeming to prepare for something? An attack? Directing Muffin to a corner of the the barracks, a squire was quick to take the reins from the dark armored knight, knowing to handle the bird with the utmost care. Guillemont rolled his shoulders, his greatsword and shield on his back shuffling as he came up to a Fortemps soldier, a knight-sergeant. Taking off his plated helmet, he attached it next to the long sword hilt at his hip, saluting to the knight in greeting.
“You there. What’s uh… What’s going on?” The De’bayle’s stuttering voice was indicative enough of who he was, the armored man turned to return the salute.
“Ah, Ser Guillemont! Glad to see you are returned!” He gestures to the western gate. “We received word from the Inquisition that a convicted heretic is on their way to face the Witchdrop. They demanded all available troops be rallied.” He looks back at the knight. “You need not worry though, Ser. My men have this under control.”
Guillemont weighed his options, yet he was never one for missing out on some action.
“I will remain, for now. Better uh... Better safe than sorry. The return trip was uh… Was not enough to leave me exhausted.” Nodding to the sergeant, Guillemont took a vigilant stance, watching the preparations finish with a blank stare on his face. A few times, some men asked if he was alright. Though he would wave them off, as the night continued, Guillemont felt something off. A De’bayle, at this time of night? Moving towards them? He felt his stomach begin to sink.

The carriage arrived in Camp Dragonhead after weaving through the streets and out into the snowy tundra. With their preparations finished, the Fortemp Knights swarmed the door to the carriage, spears pointed at Christienna as she was led out of the carriage by Fyrus into the snowy stronghold. The knights the formed a corridor of weapons leading underneath the aetheryte arch. Guillemont stood behind the line, his eyes widening as he looked upon his aunt, her horrible state an indication of what was to come. Fyrus caught sight of the knightly De’bayle, his face screwed up in disgust.
“Sniveling maggots, finding their way here as well…” He pushed Christienna forwards, guiding her through the stone passageway and out towards the northern gate. She stumbled, trying to keep her balance, her face screwed up in underlying pain. Each flinch and shudder she made caused some knights to brandish their weapons in nervousness, but nothing happened as the woman walked beneath the portcullis and walked out into the snow.

Guillemont fell in line with the other knights, their spears sheathed and bows being taken out as the small platoon of eight soldiers flanked the inquisitor and his prisoner. Walking up the road for a few minutes, they came upon the large trench known as the Witchdrop. Moving to a jutting rock that overlooked the trench, the inquisitor pushed the woman to her knees. Guillemont watched carefully, before another round of De’bayle sensing struck him. Walking up the ridge to watch from a distance were Ceonix and Nuarmac, the son looking far more perturbed than the father. Were they simply watching? It appeared so, as the Menideal inquisitor took a few steps back from her, drawing his sword.
“Christienna De’bayle, you stand accused and found guilty of committing heresy against the Holy See of Ishgard. For this heinous act against Archbishop Thordan VII and his city, you have been brought here to be judge by the Fury herself. Are there any last words you wish to speak?”
Christienna’s eyes turned up to the inquisitor, then to the knights, then to her family. Nuarmac looked from behind his son’s shoulder, giving a final nod, before the woman looked back up at the man before her. She let out aggravated breathes, standing to her feet. The man’s blade pushed her back towards the cliff side, her heels pushing snow into the chasm. Her chest heaved with effort, as she growled out lowly. “Ishgard… will... BURN!” She fell backwards into the chasm, closing her eyes as she felt her body fall through the air, no longer restraining the fire within her, letting the dragonsblood overtake her entire being. She opened her eyes to the fast approaching ground, before he vision blackened, submerging her into darkness.

Fyrus rushed forward to watch the heretic fall, yet before he reached the outcropping’s edge, a large mass swooped back up from the pits to fly right past him, halting several feet above him. A scaled dragon, far greater than an average aevis, unfurled its wings from its bback, letting out a ear-piercing shriek into the air. The knights stood in shock and horror of the massive creature, Ceonix falling to his knees beside his father in disbelief. His mother… she was gone. A howling sound, like the movement of wind through a valley, filled the air, the night suddenly illuminated with the sight of flames gathering the beast’s maw. More light appeared as fiery chains wrapped themselves around one of the dragon’s claws, Fyrus attempting to anchor himself to the ground.
“Don’t just stand there! Bring it down!” The knights leapt into action, drawing their bows to launch steel arrows for the dragon’s scales. Some pierced, some did not, but only a few rounds were shot as the fresh dragon continued to form a great fireball within it’s mouth, before finally unleashing it upon the platoon of soldiers. The men were scattered in an explosion, flames licking over the closest ones to consume them. Nuarmac raised his cane, a shimmering white barrier coming up to stop the flames from reaching him or his son. Guillemont disengaged from his platoon, kneeling to hide behind his kite shield as the overbearing heat wrapped around him. Once the burst disappeared, he came up from his cover. Fyrus threw another link of flaming chains to bind a wing, causing the drake’s flight to be interrupted and begin tumbling to the snow. Guillemont looked over to his family members, his face hardening.
“CEONIX!” He shouted, attempting to rally his knightly cousin, who still looked unresponsive within the white bubble. Shaking his head, Guillemont slowly approached the dragon. Calling upon his thaumaturgy, he focused aether into his left hand as he threw sharp shards of ice through it’s wings, tearing holes through the webbing to hinder it’s ability to fly. The chains blazed on, yet could not do much to affect the beast, as a pair of knights not yet incinerated rushed to the beast. Guillemont rushed forward beside them, drawing his longsword to stab shallowly into the creature’s chin. One of the knights plunged her lance into the dragon’s face, but the scaled and spiked nose would swing about, cutting into the woman, and sending her sprawling into snow in a bleeding mess. Another man brought his greatsword down on the drake’s shoulder, but it did not do sufficient enough damage, as the lizard struggled to it’s four legs, swiping out and striking for both the knight and Guillemont. The De’bayle raised his shield, feeling the bloody claw colliding against him as he was pushed back, the greatsword wielder cut in two before him. The beast’s head turned to Fyrus, opening its maw to blast the man with more fire, but as the flames shout out, Guillemont rushed to his aid, shield raised and a grey aetheric barrier protecting the pair, Guillemont’s conjury slowly spider-webbing cracks from the massive heat. He roared as he felt the barrier shattering, yet it was drowned out by the dragons own shriek, the heat ceasing swiftly as the scaly legs stumbled backwards. An axe lay in the underneck of the dragon, Ceonix holding it in place. Guillemont let out a victorious shout, yet too soon as his cousin was backhanded away roughly by a scaly claw. Watching his descent into the snow, Guillemont’s eyes caught a glimpse of his uncle, walking away from the battle casually. The beast flailed, the axe falling out with a torrent of blood, moving between the knights and the Witchdrop. Guillemont turned back to the enemy, rushing forward to sheath his sword and shield. He weaved his hands about, before sending a bolt of electricity into the neck wound. The electricity flew swiftly through the blood, causing the drake to shudder as it’s fell back more. Drawing his greatsword, Guillemont watched as hind claws skirted off the edge of the cliff, Fyrus’ chains breaking in fiery wisps of aether, lest he be dragged along with it. It began to slip into the chasm feebly, the dragon’s torn and burned wings attempting to flap with enough strength to keep it aloft, and it managed. The maw once more began to gather fire within to unleash another fireball explosion upon the group. Guillemont sucked in a breath, running his left hand over the flat of his blade, the length of his sword erupting with electricity as he dashed forward to the rocky edge. Seeing the bloody hole Ceonix opened, Guillemont let out a battlecry as he leapt into the Witchdrop, sword reeled back to plunge into the hovering dragon’s neck. Lightning and fire, from both the weapon and within the dragon’s throat, burst out as the man’s weapon breached through the wound, the smell of burnt flesh and blood assaulting his senses. Unable to fly anymore, the two began a plunge into the pit, the light of the twos’ magics dimming as they descended to the bottom. The dragon’s back crashed to the floored, Guillemont colliding harshly against the scales, armor taking most of the blow, getting thrown off the body into the deep snow. He lay still for a few moments, groaning in pain, yet still very much alive. The dragon let out several guttural noises, greatsword in it’s throat, before a weak breath through it’s nose signaled its death.

After flailing his magic around to get their attention, Guillemont was able to have a rope sent down to him to be pulled up back into the snowy trenches. More knights of House Fortemps had reached the Witchdrop, gathering up all of the men wounded, Ceonix included, and the few who were wholly slain. Fyrus explained to a silver-haired knight the details of the event, with Guillemont right beside him as well. Listening to his superior’s praise of his performance, Guillemont was more than modest of his actions. Fyrus demanded the family be brought in, but Guillemont had earned his innocence, and his family's as well. He asked that Ceonix be spared any interrogation as well, having shown his true loyalty through his actions. However, he said nothing for his Uncle, who has disappeared in the chaos. Earning his rest, the middle brother followed the men back to Camp Dragonhead to see to his wounds.

In the Pillars, within the De’bayle manor, Denz’s body wracked with shudders, his mind reeling from the dreams of fire and rage, of pins in his body and his mouth tasting blood. A sharp pain in his throat had him gasping to consciousness, a hand slapping against his neck in panicked breaths. There was nothing there, the phantom pain of his dream throbbing dully against his skin...


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In Recent Times
The following is history pertaining to the beginning of the character's in-game roleplay onwards.
Coming soon


Relationships
Relationship Status Legend
These are ordered from better to worse standing, not alphabetically! (Family First)

💕 Partner
In-Love
💘 Romantic Desire
Physical Attraction
Platonic
💔 Former Partner

Family
🔗 In-Law
Business
Positive
Neutral
Negative
Unsure
Deceased
🚶 Wandering
Non-Player Characters
Elliana De'bayle, Mother - Lady of House De'bayle
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Elliana: "We've already got Armont and Guillemont risking their lives out there, Astrelle wandering the world... I just want you to have a safe life."

Formerly known as Elliana Corielli, the mother of four was once a simple handmaiden to her minor noble family, serving under House Durendaire. Often times does she speak upon the day she met her husband. Many people thought the De'bayles as estranged individuals, but in a passing glimpse, Elliana observed the De'bayle brothers happily conversing and poking fun at one another. Intruding on their conversation brazenly, the bubbly young girl practically forced herself into the family, before Aegisan himself took her as his wife. She was kind and caring to all, self-sacrificing and level-headed, while still being incredibly emotional.

Denz's mother was the epitome of the De'bayle sheltering mentality the family held. Always wanting safe and quiet lives for her children, she would watch each of them grow into their own and be forced to watch them walk their own path. This made her especially attached to Denz, her last and youngest child. Denz shared closer bonds with his mother than any of his other siblings. He adored her caring nature and never once thought she was overbearing. She gifted him countless books to idealize his mind, taught him how to bake and provide for himself and others. She encouraged his budding potential as a piano player, and helped him discover a voice to speak his thoughts, most of the time to herself or his eldest brother.

Her final days were spent doting over the growing Denz, as all her children had flown from the coop to strike out on their own. Wishing a safer life for Denz, she arranged with a restaurant to potentially pave a pathway to a comfortable life for the son. However, a surprise dragon attack sent Ishgard ablaze. Among the fire and brimstone, a pillar began to fall for both her and Denz. Pushing her son out of the way, the pillar took her life before Denz's eyes. Denz believed himself responsible for ever convincing his parents to leave the safety of their house that day, but has since learned to cherish the memories of his mother, exalting her sacrifice as her last act of love for him.

Aegisan De'bayle, Father - Head of the De'bayle House
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Armont to Denz: “Father needs a knight at the Head, not some damned nobleman…”

Middle brother to Nuarmac and Farstan, Aegisan was always a driven individual in the De’bayle family. Though many saw fit to remain to their small circle of relatives for social interaction, the middle brother was always willing to speak with whomever he needed to be heard. Proud of his heritage, but unwilling to remain in the shadows of animosity as his family had, Aegisan would go above and beyond the call of duty when his knighthood would come. Much to his wife’s displeasure, he spent nearly five years on the frontlines of the Dragonsong War. Though the fighting was fierce, he would attain the rank of knight-lieutenant for his division, leading campaigns as far out as Dravania itself. He returned to Ishgard as much as able to visit his lonely wife, though when she brought news of bearing her first child, Aegisan would relinquish command of his squadron to be with his family. With his eldest brother, Nuarmac, showing no sign of interest towards the head of house, the knight would come to take the mantle upon himself.

Pride swelled within the man when he looked upon his first son, Armont. He dreamed of the day he would fight alongside him in battle, hunt together, emulate himself and continue his knightly legacy. Just as his three next children would come into his life, twins Astrelle and Guillemont before Denz, would he still hold this dream of his eldest son. The two connected greatly, Aegisan training Armont personally in the way of the spear as soon as he was able to stand. He still communicated and worked with the Temple Knights, always eager to take along Armont on those excursion. When all of his children grew older, he still showed love to them, but the other three knew there was a special place in his heart for Armont.

To Denz, his father was a paragon of what was right in Ishgard. A code of honor, morals, a life of service and fulfillment, before devoting himself to his family in all regards. Perhaps he wasn’t the most showing father of his love in the early stages of his life, but when Guillemont stepped forward and was the first one to work for his knighthood, he showed his pride. Though disapproving of his daughter’s choices, he came to accept her decision in her absence. Staring upon his last son, Denz, he knew not what to expect. He believed there was potential in the young boy, but he also knew what Denz was, what he held within in. He didn’t want to see him threatened by it, taking his wife’s side in earnest agreement for a safe life.

He never got to tell Denz he was meant for more than baking. He never told Guillemont to see more in life than just searching for his approval. He never told his daughter he was sorry, and that he still loved her. He never lived to see Armont become the knight he is today, showing so much of himself in everything he does. But his children knew all of this. The tattoo held his essence, and his legacy, that he could watch over them, even after his life ended.

Nuarmac De'bayle, Uncle - The Spiritual Leader of De'bayle
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Nuarmac to Jancis: "Ah, is this to be the mother of your chi-" Denz:" UNCLE!"

Oldest of the previous generation of De'bayles, Nuarmac was much like Aegisan, prideful in his family heritage. But as opposed to Aegisan, who wanted to exalt the De’bayle name in the public's’ eyes, Nuarmac was fascinated with the history of their family, and sought not knowledge endlessly from the hall of memories their tattoo could allow them to access. Reclusive and introverted with all but his most immediate family members, the man grew up with a nose in his books and an ear to the ancestors, disconnecting him greatly from reality around him. Not fit for knighthood, the brother was first and foremost primed to become the Head of House. The only thing that brought him back was meeting his wife, Christienna. Though an odd pairing between the two, originally meant for a political foothold, his wife, like so many before her, would choose to leave her family to fully assimilate with the De’bayles.

Despite his introverted nature, the man had a flawed charm, exuberant in his actions and never losing his youthful energy, Nuarmac’s exodus from his books and memory searching was brought upon his first child being born. Before he truly stepped away, though, his predecessor to the spiritual ways of the De’bayle tradition imparted him the wisdom of etching the tattoo upon his family’s foreheads. His first child to impart the tattoo was his own son, Ceonix, and from that point onwards would he be the one to draw the tattoos for every member to enter their family, child or otherwise. With this duty upon his shoulders, he relinquished his Head of House duty to Aegisan. Removed from his shell, he showed a family-oriented side to him that outshined both of his brothers. The “fun uncle” of the family, he always made sure the children enjoyed their visits to his estate in the Western Coerthas Highlands.

Despite the man’s jovial nature, much weighs upon his heart. His wife’s overbearing nature, the loss of his passion for searching for the answers to many questions regarding the De’bayle lineage, and more than anything, the loss of his second child, his daughter Leliara, during a ritual he performed. Never speaking of his failure to anyone save the four that knew of her existence, Nuarmac began a slow descent into a different man. His son made him proud, but the two were of different interests, feeling only numb loss as his child went on to become a knight of Ishgard. He buried Aegisan and his wife, and the last nail in the coffin was the discovery of his wife’s heretical actions. He could only watch as she became an aevis in the Witchdrop, though for everyone else, somehow convinced the Halonic Inquisition the entirety of the De’bayle family were not heretics. Though, just as soon as he got the seekers off his trail, did he disappear, using the snow of Coerthas for his secluded estate to rarely be found. Since that day, Nuarmac has been as much a ghost of the family as he is still their spiritual leader.

In recent times, Denz had come to discover the location of his uncle, during a time when Denz believed he was the last De’bayle alive. Senile and lost within his memory seeking, his only companion was a mute green dragon, made simple by the beast’s cracked egg. Taking her in, the dragon is as much a friend as she is a guard for those who come upon the lonely manor. This was especially true when Denz’s forearm was burned by her. At first, Nuarmac only briefly touched upon the darkness within Denz, finding disapproval in his friend Kura’s actions that disrupted that tradition. He would impart the knowledge to Denz about how the tattoo worked, it’s ability to unlock a person’s mind and seek it, more than just their own ancestors. He guided Denz towards the precipice of his dark essence for him to embrace it, and learn how to control it. Denz would not see him again until his family began to reform.

Armont and Denz would return to the uncle to introduce their respective hyur companions with Guillemont in tow, seeing the true nature of his both endearing and painfully loving nature. With as much enthusiasm in his words as he was in his cane swinging, the man gladly welcomed Carina into the family, imparting the gift of their aetherial tattoo upon her forehead, rushed to not ink the design upon her forehead.. Eager to welcome Carina’s child into the world, he assisted in the process by teaching her how to control and utilize the aether within the tattoo. Fulfilling his promise, he would place the tattoo, ink and all, upon the newest De’bayle, Hestia. Retaining his original duties, he would come to watch over the new generation as a guardian angel of sorts.

A man with much damage upon his soul, Nuarmac seems to sink deeper and deeper into the recesses of his ancestor’s memories, interrupted only by the visits of his kin. What sights has he seen, what lives has he lived, what answers has he found, a man left with nothing but the echoes of his family’s memories?

✝?🚶 Farstan De'bayle, Uncle - Enigmatic Sky Pirate
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Farstan: “It’s not about what one man can do with a ship. It’s about what a crew can do with the world.”

A true black sheep compared to his brothers, in fact, his entire family, Farstan was always a free spirit. Whereas Nuarmac was an exuberant introvert, and his middle brother was the serious extrovert, the youngest brother grabbed life by the horns and surprised his family with his equal levels of charm and collectiveness, taking the fate of his family with a grain of salt. Though considerate of his family, he loathed following in the footsteps of his brothers. When he was old enough for knighthood, his lax attitude towards authority and the chivalric ways landed him a spot in Camp Cloudtop, much to the displeasure of his family. Among the clouds watching Ishgard’s back door, he was sentenced to a life of monotonous guarding alongside the other disappointments of Ishgard.

Yet amongst the clouds and floating rocks did he find salvation from the world he despised, chancing upon the true inhabitants of the Sea of Clouds, the sky pirates. Though finding little in their petty gang wars, Farstan would gladly shed his haubergeon and take up their ranks beside fantastic individuals, some humanoid, others not, races rarely seen in Ishgard and some unheard of to the man before. To a De’bayle, the world seems dimmer when they look upon their family, but for Farstan, his eyes were opened completely, sharing that same light with his crewmembers as if they were De’bayles themselves. His actual family was leery of his decisions, but the sky pirates were not true criminals of the nation, thus he was not terribly shunned for his actions. In time, his lifestyle would prove to be a boon to his family, as the riches he accumulated would find their way to the family’s coffers back in Ishgard. No matter what, he was still a De’bayle.

He still had more surprises up his sleeve as he took a Menideal daughter to be his wife, though between her denouncing her family, and eloping in the middle of a sky battle, the marriage was far from legitimate. She was also one of the first spouses in recent memory to not agree to receiving the De’bayle tattoo. This could questionably attribute to her death as she gave birth to Farstan’s only son Verisar, but no one could say for certain. Ostracized as he was, the family still heavily relied on Farstan for finances and the odd job from his crew, but so too would he need support from them for his son’s well being. Farstan’s stability would be a great boon to family as his Aegisan and his wife perished in Ishgard, giving his services to ensuring they were properly buried.

Years later, word would reach him of the heresy of Christienna, Nuarmac’s wife who Farstan had suspected multiple times of being in shifty business. Though he did not expect heresy, he could only watch from the outside as his eldest brother combatted the fire such an accusation brought. No one heard from either himself or Nuarmac after that day, and though the De’bayles believe him to be dead, no body was ever found of Farstan. His son still lives, though he refuses to speak on his father, to any who can even find the enigmatic son. Some say they’ve caught glimpses of a unfamiliar ishgardian skyship, flying the banner of an intricate sigil as they journey around the world.

🚶 Jerace Menideal, Rival - The Spiteful Dragoon
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Denz: “I thought you couldn’t fight?” Jerace: “With my arms? No. But like you, I’ve learned a thing or two...”

Ishgard is a city perpetuated by it’s people and faith. But to say the city was one of harmony and cooperation was far from true. The highborn and the lowborn, the military and the clergy, the Inquisition and the civilians, everyone suspected the other, and the rivalry between houses was the pinnacle of this. The De’bayle were constantly rumored to be cultists, in the guise of a closed off family, and though many brushed them aside, the Menideals wholly believed them. Mayhaps they were the ones to begin them. The two families always had strained relationships, and the epitome of this was Jerace, the eldest son of the Head of the Menideal house. Almost Armont’s equal and mirror in all regards, the man often had a rivalry with all of the De’bayles, aiming to be the better to all of them. Challenging them to races, intellectual debates, whatever he could do to show his superiority, he would attempt. They even began fist fighting, though the Menideals were exalted as accomplished monks in the Halonic clergy, that he had a great advantage against the De’bayles. As they grew older, the rifts closed in friendly rivalry, and the constant fighting between the two families’ sons actually brought an opportunity for peace between the families.

The two family heads met to find a resolution to their conflict, and the best solution they came up with was marrying off two of their children. Astrelle and Jerace, to solidify the families’ rivarly was over. At first, it seemed the marriage would fall through, but Astrelle would announce her utter unwillingness to marry the hotheaded noble’s son, nor lock herself in Ishgard as a noblewoman. She left him heartbroken, and the rift reopened, quite dramatically between the two. The rivalry was no longer friendly, and as Armont had to back down from his knight training to take up the mantle of Head of house, the brooding dishonor from her actions bringing him to act harshly to all others around him. After some time, Jerace would level out, and actually attain a Knight-Sergeant rank within the Temple Knights, an accomplished fighter, both with and without lances. It was not until the brother’s Armont and Denz would find themselves at their last resort in the Knight academy that Jerace’s old habits returned, and he took every opportunity he could to challenge the brothers. This caused problems for the De’bayles, but his rank and status gave him immunity to harsh punishment to many of the misconducts. His actions would eventually lead to Armont and Denz’s exile, finding little victory in their fate.

It seem like years to the De’bayles, and only a few months until the family clashed with the Menideal once more. Hearing a distress call from one of the other Temple Knight platoons out in the field, Jerace, alongside his trusted friend and bodyguard Basile, came upon a grisly sight of fallen knights, including one Ceonix De’bayle, a slain dragon, and the only culprit being Denz and his accomplices at the time. Attempting to arrest him in a rage, Jerace took it too far when he kicked Ceonix’s corpse. This triggered a dark aetherical vengeful state in Denz, who lashed out at Jerace with such fury that the man’s eye was blasted away. To make matters worse, once he men were all disabled, one of Denz’s comrades healed them, the other force feed the Menideal meat from the dead dragon. Though the healer tried to assist Jerace, the dragonsblood already coursed through his veins, and the changes stirred within him. For any full-blooded ishgardian, transformation would happen on the spot, unless the user had a strong will. Jerace’s condition was a little more special, but outwardly, nothing appeared to have changed him.

Taken back to Ishgard, his soldiers reported what transpired. Denz would be wanted for heresy, his men were healed, and Jerace would be dishonorably discharged from the Temple Knights. He would be taken before his family for final judgement, and they showed great disappointment in his actions. They berated him, speaking low of his actions not fit for his station, amidst that scene his family slipping up and revealing he was a bastard. Unfit for their family, they judged him exiled, not before ceremoniously breaking his arms, the exalted portion of a Mendieal. The act left him unable to heal them, and he was cast out of the house. Wandering the streets, he felt his body beginning to change, his skin itching and the cold of Ishgard beginning to fade. Seeing scales erupting around his hands and up his arms, the man retreated to the Brume, to hide and watch as his arms turned from limp hands into hanging claws, scales dotting his neck, chest, and legs. The half-blooded ishgardian watched as he was turned into an abomination. No longer elezen, nearly mistaken for Au Ra, and trapped within the city of Ishgard to await his execution.

Struggling for months to survive, the man managed a small inkling of silver lining in his deformation. He was stronger, faster, aetherically tuned like a dragoon, and the cold no longer affected him. Staying away from all he could, he managed to learn how to handle a weapon within his mouth, using his jumping abilities to turn himself back into a weapon. Yet stuck still was he within the lower city, until one day, his salvation came from the most unimaginable of places; Denz. The De’bayle was furious with him, unwilling to help, but thanks to his same healer comrade, Kura, the dark knight would not bring the death Jerace was expecting. Obtaining aid from the pair to escape the city, the party encountered a group of ogres, which the party dispatched with relative ease, most notably thanks to Kura. A seemingly powerful, caring, and rich person, Jerace would leer upon the woman momentarily before knowing Denz’s presence would spell his end. Jerace left the party with a sizable fund from Kura, stopping only momentarily to consider the figure travelling alongside the pair. His realization brought a wave of fear and prayers for Denz, before leaving, finding his way to Gridania.

He was seen once more in Ishgard during Nidhogg’s attack, among the dragoons who leapt across the sky to slay the Horde, before landing in the pillars to assist Menideal monks and knights guarding the Vault, as it was used as a safe house for civilians. Stopping heretics from entering the sacred house, he fought alongside his old comrades, most notably Basile. Once the the heretics were routed, the Menideals would watch from the Pillars as Nidhogg was slain. Escaping in the celebration, Jerace slipped a message to Basile before once more returning to Eorzea, to continue the new life he had made for himself.

Player Characters
Armont De'bayle, Oldest Brother - Wanderer of Coerthas
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Armont: "Right behind you brother, as always." Denz: "Wait, I thought I was following you!"

The eldest De’bayle child to Aegisan and Elliana, Armont was a child with a purpose in mind from the moment he was born, acknowledging and revering that purpose as he grew up. Their father fashioned him to be a knight, but the demands of the House would need to take precedent, skewing the oldest brother’s attention between knighthood, privately training with their father, and his duty to the De’bayle household. Holding a serious demeanor around those not close to him, he can be off-putting to strangers and non-ishgardians, but once Armont is familiar with someone, they find in him a man with a unwavering faith, direction, and even a surprising amount of good natured humour.

To Denz, his eldest brother has always been his closest friend and companion. The two confided in one another constantly, Armont countering Denz’s idealism with facts and realism, the two often debating the semantics of Ishgard’s system and the life they were in. Denz did not find much purpose in his life, rather living off Armont’s tumultuous life to attempt to give it order. However, both brothers would be thrown into chaos as their house crumbled before them, and all they had left was one another to rely on. Training together officially in the knight academy, the two’s loyalty was only diminished by their habit of protecting the lowborn from highborn aggressors, fighting several fellow knights until they were expelled, told to seek out a once temple-knight in Eorzea to train them.

Armont was always Denz’s better, and once their knight-trainer was found, the eldest blew past Denz by malms, attaining a mastery of his weapon of choice, the lance, and also a modest understanding for thaumaturgy. However, in his haste for growth of power, he became open to more unsettling methods of attaining strength. Black Magic was shown to him, and worse was the strength behind wielding a dragon’s eye. Thinking him unstable, Denz feverantly tried to disconnect his brother from the powers he was trying to control. Armont in turn left in a self-imposed exodus, seeking to control the strength of the eye he wielded and prove himself stronger than the dragon within. With both brothers facing their greatest trials alone, both could argue it was this reason they emerged stronger.

One passing encounter with the brother revealed Denz’s greatest fears, as Armont’s left eye would be ruined in a conflict with a dragon. Wishing not to be hindered by his lost sight and assert full control over the eye, Armont siphoned the aether of the object into his own body, melding them together and repairing his eye into a draconic visage, keeping it hidden beneath his ever present eye patch. With the eye fully submersed into Armont, he was one with the dragon and able to grow stronger as a dragoon, though the whispers of the beast still called out to him. He needed more time.

Months passed before the brothers met once more, Denz following the rumours of a path of carnage left by a fearsome dragoon. Calling on his only available friends, Carina and Jancis, the three found Armont. Collapsing to his knees, Denz convinced his brother to return to rebuild the family. The only impediment being their cousin Ceonix, who believed Armont a heretic. The two clashed, but Denz convinced them to put their ideals aside once they concluded their battle, wishing for their family to rebuild and regrow. Since then, Denz has never felt closer to Armont, watching him truly work to mend the rifts between the two of themselves for their time apart. Alongside that, Denz watched Armont grow to love Carina, so much so that they would announce their own child arriving. Denz stands proudly beside Armont, moving forward to build a future for their family.

Guillemont De'bayle, Older Brother - The Grey Wolf
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Denz: "Ser Guillemont the Grey Wolf. The only true knight out of all of us."

Middle child to Aegisan and Elliana, and twin brother to Astrelle, Guillemont is the least well-spoken De’bayle of the family. A quiet thinker and a stuttering mess of words, he rarely spoke to any at an early age save his wayward sister. He wasn’t a promising nobleman, instead hoping to take his place as the family’s knight. Armont was already struggling to attain knighthood and prepare for becoming Head of house, and Guillemont surprised everyone by stepping forth and training with the Temple Knights. During his training, he made friends with a travelling lalafell thaumaturge that found their way into Ishgard, she teaching him how to use basic pyromancy. Finding his identity as an official soldier of Ishgard, the family’s ties with House Fortemps gave him an ideal position as a guard within Camp Dragonhead. So the years passed, away from his family, in the midst of the Dragonsong War.

During his time with House Fortemps, he was given full knighthood, the title of Knight-Errant of House Fortemps and the moniker "The Grey Wolf". He then set out, alongside his faithful chocobo Muffin, to find a lalafell thaumaturge who had been his teacher for many years. Unbeknownst to his brothers, he had returned to Camp Dragonhead the night their aunt was accused of heresy and sentenced to death at the Witchdrop. He was one of the few knights that did not fall to the ensuing aevis' flames, slaying the heretic.

Returning to Ishgard years after the Calamity and just a few weeks after Armont and Denz’s reunion, the brother would gladly return into his family’s arms and follow them as they went through their misadventures. Though he is their brother, Denz still has much to learn from Guillemont, about his past, about his goals, and just what sort of trouble he is getting himself into nowadays, full of stories about void cults, and stuttering his way alongside his family.

🚶 Astrelle De'bayle, Older Sister - Wanderer
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Middle child to Aegisan and Elliana, and twin sister to Guillemont. Much like her twin, Astrelle was an introverted thinker who talked very little to anyone save her brother. The two were close, until Astrelle took the first steps towards the freedom in solitude, reading books and escaping into her own world where she could carve her own path. This further conflicted with reality when she was not allowed many freedoms, and pampered to be some sort of dolly noblewoman. The last straw came when her family decided to marry her off to their rival family’s eldest son, Jerace Menideal. Denying his own heartfelt feelings towards her, the young daughter came to announce to her family that she would be travelling out of Ishgard. Her parents disapproval was the last thing she knew of her parents, before hearing of their demise, months after the calamity tore Eorzea apart. Collected by a crewman of her Uncle Farstan's ship to attend the funeral, she redoubled her efforts both inside and outside of Eorzea to study and grow as a woman to bring aid to others.


Ceonix De'bayle, Cousin - Holy Warrior of Ishgard
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"Now, see one of Ishgard's finest knights bring honor to his family name. Ser Ceonix De'bayle!" Denz heralding in his cousin for the Grand Tournament of the Fury.
🔗 Carina Roussos, Sister in-law - Beastmaster, Alchemist
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Denz: "In all technicality, I met her first... You're welcome, Armont."
Jancis Milburga, Romantic Partner - Healer, Orator of the Twelve
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Denz: "Each person has a reason to shine, to be bright. None though, have I met as bright as you, Jancis."
🚶 Kura Tenshi, Close Friend - Allagan, Caretaker, The Second Chance
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Rumors
NPC Rumors

Some of these rumors are untrue, speculation, or are greatly exaggerated.

◢ Common Rumors - Easily overheard. Use these freely!
"De'bayle? I'd stay away from that family if I were you. All of 'em running around with the same mark on their head. It's like some cult..." — Brumesman.
"Denz? I don't know a Denz De'bayle, but the family itself is quite large. A few temple knights here, a few tradesmen there. I'd be wary when talking to one though. Where one is, more swiftly appear." — Trader in the Jeweled Crozier.
"Denz De'bayle! Aye, pompous knight throws up one week in the semi-finals, then comes back another week and wins! He's got quite the determination!" — Grindstone enthusiast .
◢ Uncommon Rumors - A little more difficult to hear. Use sparingly or ask first!
"You're asking about De'bayles? Which ones? The ones that had the inquisitors knocking on their door for heresy, or the ones that were exiled from the Knight Academy?" — Temple Knight in Foundation.
"Denz! I saw him! He was helping the knights when Nidhogg attacked! Took a flame burst for me then carried me to the most gentle healer I'd ever seen." — Young Knight guarding the gates.
◢ Rare Rumors - Very rarely overheard. Please ask before using!
"Denz? H-he's not here, is he? No? Oh, thank Halone... I've never seen such rage overtake a man before. He nearly killed all of us, had his companions not... 'intervened'. The entire situation was wrong, but all I can say is don't push that man too far." — Scarred Knight.
"Hmph. He's a coward in knight's clothing. A child pretending to be a man. He doesn't act on his own, but at the behest of others. Sad, truly, since he shows so much potential. One can only hope his eyes open to the truth one day. He still clings to the city that threw him away so preciously." — Jerace Menideal.
PC Rumors

Feel free to add your own rumors to this section.

◢ Player Character Rumors - Some of these are more rare than others!
"In all truth, in comparison to most beasts, Denz quite reminds of a chocobo. Loyal to a fault and sweet as can be, he is also a rather frightening foe. Something one might not anticipate from his general demeanor alone... the brothers are all filled with surprises, aren't they?" — Carina Roussos.
"Yes, I met Sir Denz while reconnecting with Lady Jancis. A handsome man, reserved, but passionate. I do enjoy his stories of adventure whenever I catch him in a sharing mood." — Vaughn Antain.
"The youngest of my siblings but I pray you not forget that he is the most tempered of us all. When Denz becomes passionate about something or someone, well... Halone watch over you if you get in his way." — Armont De'bayle.
"Sir De'bayle is quite the knight! I think he will help herald in an important change for his family and city. He brings people together like few others I have ever met. Also, if you are hungry let him know. Thaliak only knows where he manages to keep it, but he always has a bit of bread on him. Just in case." — Jancis Milburga.
Rare: "Denz is very patient with me. Maybe also with others, but to me it is palpable. Menphina made a richness so loving within him." — Jancis Milburga.
"He is an idiot at times, but he has a big heart. I anticipate the sun he makes me proud to consider him my... cousin." — Adelise De'bayle.
"Denz...uhm...he always seems to know the right thing to say. He's only a little bit older than I am, but he's so wise and responsible, sometimes I forget. I think a lot about the story he's told me. The one about the Little Knight..." — Hikari Inamoto.
"We have a matching scar. And rings. He is so very strong; strongest man I know. He will deny it. He always does." — Jancis Milburga.
"He needs a sword in his hand. He gave it up for awhile on my behalf. I know he felt that pain, too." — Jancis Milburga.
"Rumor" — Rumormonger.



RP Info


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Location & Probability
Places where the character is very likely to be seen
Ishgard/Coerthas: High Probablility
Gridania/Black Shroud: Average Probability
Ul'dah/Thanalan: Low Probability (Grindstone Attendee)
Limsa Lominsa/La Noscea: Extremely Low Probablility
Affiliations
Most of these aren’t public, and would have to be asked after!
Ishgardian Temple Knights: Though not a full fledged soldier nor a true knight of Ishgard, Denz has always put his city first and foremost above all others. He is often doing hunts/jobs from the temple knights.
IC Inventory
The following items are things that this individual carries on their person at all times. These are noted for pickpockets, and those watching her closely. This information is meant to be a prompt for insight and is not to be meta-gamed, though feel free to use this information if it comes up logically in RP (pickpocketing, a search, etc) with use of a simple /tell.

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Trick Coinpurse: Denz carries around two coinpurses. One is small, cheaply made, and jingles with about fifty gil pieces in it, remaining openly on his belt. Beneath his tunic, a more padded, well-crafted coinpurse soundlessly hangs, despite holding more gil than the trick purse. Denz learned this trick from a lalafell during his training in Eorzea, meant to throw off pickpockets, or a jest to use against others.

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Knight-Errant Armor: Ishgardian in origin, Denz had this armor costume made in the visage of his ancestors who also wielded dark aether as he does now. Strong Coerthan adamantite metal plates covered in a felt coat covering his hard plate and keeping him warm. An outfit for all occasions, this is Denz's most iconic look.

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Claymore: Despite the knight's complexity, Denz's weapon is incredibly simple. Unnamed and standard issue, the weapon hangs from a leather sheath, straps on the end to lock his crossguard down when he is in the city. Denz is comfortable with the blade, able to swing it easily and handle it with both a single and two hands.


RP Limits
I like to consider myself a flexible player who is willing to commit to a number of different types of scenes and role-play scenarios, but even I have my limits. If something is on the play list, assume it means yes, as long as it's within the context of the current play or ongoing plot. No's are typically a hard no, and it means don't ask.
I will play .
Ask about .
I won't play .
RP Hooks
While the below is by no means comprehensive, it's a kind of spring board for walk-up RP. Longer plots that are meant to run for more than a few quick RP's, please feel free to send me a tell so we can work out a good reason for our characters to get to know one another. I'm always looking for RP, unless I'm actively spamming PvE content.
■ List item.
OOC Notes
Player Information
Player Note
There is a lot of information on this character wiki, but it is by no means completely comprehensive. There are chunks of backstory that are left intentionally vague so that details can be later added as developed through creative writing or in role-play revelation. Feel free to use Common or Uncommon rumors freely, if you want to use a Rare Rumor as a plot hook or to spark RP, I would ask that you send me a tell first, to make certain it's alright.
Character Lore Adherence
Everything concerning this character that has not been confirmed by in-game lore should be taken with a grain of salt. Anything that has had to be changed because of lore shifting will be noted below.
■ No changes.
Character Concept
Information.
Character Tidbits
Links Out
Links that lead off the wiki, but are technically relevant to the character.
■ Link Description: Link Title
Tropes & Explanations
A trope is a convention or device that is often found in creative works. In this case, the tropes below describe my character either in part, or as a whole. Their background, personality, appearance, etc, most of them can be described in the tropes below.
Trope Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés.
Credits

Wiki Information
This wiki is constantly changing as the character’s story changes. It was last modified on Month ##th, 2016.

A blank version of the wiki template can be found here
Layout Information
The following is not entirely comprehensive, but contains general credits. Please leave the link-backs if you use this template!
■ Original template by Bancroft Gairn.
■ Adapted by Xheja Rajhera.
■ Tabs by Unnamed Mercenary.
■ Expanded bits by Lucaell Tareth'eian.
■ Header image inspired by D'lyhhia Lhuil.
■ Music bits from J'karu Rhome.
■ Relationships & OOC notes by Glioca Sargonnai.
■ Various formatting inspired by Odette Saoirse & others.
■ Most, if not all pictures edited by KHMarie. Big thanks to her to make this all possible!
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