After the kawaii yet horrifying events of the Gaian New Year, everyone has a lot of things on their mind, still… What will they check in on?
Here is where you state which things your character is looking into in the downtime immediately following New Years, and where I post the follow-ups to them!
First of all is making preparations to deal with this whole Qu assassin thing. Can't really do that though without knowing what it is we're going to be facing. So Ammy begins with sending a letter to Walt with a description of the Qus and asks if he knows anything about this squad in the Glutton's forces or his forces in general that might help with more specific preparations. Then she starts setting up some sort of expedition for the new continent with her own investments and asking for some help from Cid - specifically if it'd be possible to disguise some of his soldiers as merchants and other interested parties to bring along as a check against being attacked by the Glutton.
Second, she's gotta get working more on recovering 12GIL stuff. For locating Lone Wolf's hideout, she'll try asking around for rumors and whisperings, in the parts of town around Lindblum where they might know more about a thief like him. For Damcyan, it's a bit easier. She's already going around to all the nearby noble families who attended the party and personally delivering thank you cards and the like. While she's at the Damcyan place for this, she'll chatter with them about the relationship between their respective Houses in the past, explain what she's trying to do with rebuilding the Aitchison estate, and ask if they'd be willing to help her a bit with letting her see Damcyan's personal library and such if he had one. She also asks if there's anything she can do for them as a neighbor and as the last remnant of House Aitchison which also lost a figurehead. It's probably the closest she can manage to penitence here without outright admitting her role in Albert Damcyan's death, which wouldn't really help anyone here.
You get a reply back from Walt that he's never heard of the Glutton employing assassins, but he supposes they wouldn't be very good assassins if he had. As for the rest of the Glutton's goons, Walt knows that the Glutton has several capos, high ranking lieutenants that manage soldatos, the basic suited grunts you're familiar with, as well as an elite guard of about eight Qu skilled in battle magic and employing heavily reinforced adamantine armor. If you can wait a bit, he can probably get you some intel on the Capos, he writes to you.
Cid is honestly really hesitant about sending off troops on some expedition to the central continent, but he tells you he'll see what he can do.
Roll Negotiation and Awareness for helping to find Lone Wolf's hideout.
The Damcyans are a bit surprised at your claims but they do chat with you at length about things, and after a pleasant visit they do allow you to browse the family library. You don't find anything extremely pertinent to whatever Albert's role in 12GIL was. The family does ask if you'd mind taking some things to an old sweetheart of Albert's named Noel (who seems to have been named in his will), who lives in Durandal. You're given an address to check, and a package to carry. When presumably asked why they don't send it by moogle, you're told that they feel that's too impersonal - though they sadly can't make the trip themselves, a friend of the family should do just as well.
It takes a while, but rumors and keen eyesight lead you to scour a particular section of the slums, and you find a hidey hole in an abandoned cellar. Maps of the city and underground tunnels litter the area, and small treasures are stashed here and there, trophies of the Wolf's previous victories. A dank cot is pushed into one corner, infested with fleas, and a desk littered with maps, thieving tools, and research notes catches your eye - there's a writ of assassination with a picture of Damcyan next to it. There's no signs indicating who sent it, but the handwriting is large and elegant, promising Wolf a bounty of 200,000 gil for a clean murder.
Lenore decides to borrow Daddy's library to do some RESEARCH into what Theta's letter described, since that SOUNDS like an Eidolon. She also starts looking over various kinds of holy magic, as before she had thought it was just a big Holy spell for showing off. Obviously this is something else!
Some cursory research in Renegade's library brings up something that matches the description given - It's definitely the eidolon, Alexander, protector of Alexandria. He made an appearance in the last ten years to fight Bahamut off during the war, and in fact was a major factor in the war as Brahne had been seeking the four gem shards that comprised Alexander's crystal. A sketch in the book shows off four gemstones, two of which you recognize to be the rocks Enkidu had tried to steal. But you guys stopped that- did they manage an imperfect summoning of Alexander somehow? And to what purpose? Ammy recalls that she's read Eidolons can grant 'boons' to who they wish, somewhat like how Leviathan helped you all breathe underwater. Alexander's had something to do with protection? Still, this doesn't entirely make sense in this context.
"Hmmmm, well, let's just check over general holy magic then!" Satisfied that that's all she's going to find out about Alexander for now, she delves into books on White Magic and general Blessings to see if she can find anything similar. It's unlikely, but worth a shot!
White magic has quite a few spells of protection and enhancement, but you're fairly certain what was being described in Theta's letter doesn't match up with this. White Magic does have a lot to do with emotions and feelings, however, and Abigail's letter seemed to suggest something changed about the personality girls who underwent this process. You're unfamiliar with any sort of 'blessings' that could do this, exactly, this might be something on a deeper, more intuitive level, and you'd probably need more details before you could be certain. This DOES sound like some sort of semi-permanent dealie, whatever it is.
Lenore, again sure that she's not going to get much more here, decides to check one more thing out: precise back-and-forth teleportation like the Qus did for killing people. Any records of assassins using precision teleports for this kind of thing?
Seems like it might be some brand of Time Magic. There are a few obscure records of people who would inscribe spells on their body in the form of marks or brands, or enchant equipment with various powers. This seems somewhere between a Sprint and a Teleport, enhancing their movement speed and positioning without having to physically move to that location. You're not familiar with the particular spell they're making use of to blink between locations like that, however. Doing a little history research, you find there is a story of something similar - an assassin that lived a couple hundred years ago known as the Knife of Treno, who apparently made use of a power like that to elude, overpower, and kill. Apparently he was never caught, some people doubt he existed, even.
First off, regarding The Rooks: Theta doesn't really know what they envision far as a public school for a general education goes, but he does know what his own plans were and tries his best to outline them in something that someone can actually execute. He breaks down the school into 5 Schools: Business, Architecture, Engineering, Science and Geomancy. Each of these should have a curriculum focused on both training potential business leaders and giving people the tools they need to innovate. Construction is a tricky subject because they still need land to construct the school at - sure it could be fitted to the King Estate, but is that really the only plot available in the city? He looks into this matter, as well as where to look for talent for potential instructors. While on the topic of construction, he gets a head start on thiinking about how to rennovate the King Estate into a neighborhood. Something that he'll be mapping out relatively soon. If his home is starting to get full it might be time to construct a second.
It's bugging him that despite everything going on they still don't know what role The Returners are taking in all of this. He figures Adenine will be handling school administration stuff, so he asks the other girls, as well as Ambrosia, if they could look into any rumors concerning what this group is up to around Treno. He asks Tina specifically if she could check out the slummier areas since she seems tough enough to handle it. For the others, he asks them if they could check if the Rooks would let them borrow their airship to search Lindblum, New Cleyra and Alexandria for rumors as well. Failing that See if they could arrange for Adenine to ferry them around while she's going about her daily business.
He shoots another letter to Abigail saying T0 and some others will be coming to investigate, and if she could secure them some better disguises or numbers to go by.
The Rooks keep in correspondence with you - It may be a bit morbid, but Bishop's estate is going to be sold off soon following his tragic death that the guards don't seem to care enough about looking into. Most of his fortune seems to be going towards the esteemed and elderly Dr. Tot, who was a friend and co-worker of Bishop's for several years. The Rooks have expressed interest in the property as a possible conversion site for a school. Of course, this is probably going to be opposed by other nobles since Bishop's place had a fairly popular cornerclub and was well inside the noble quarter - Anything to keep the commoners out of their sight, probably. They do like what you have in mind for the vocational part of the school, and they'll get someone on that. They imagine the general public education portion will be aimed towards younger students, but there will also be a program for adults to learn the basics as well. Natalie Rook also mentions that skilled architects were drawn to Burmecia during the whole upper city construction project post-war and that if you're looking for experience in the field to draw instructors from, that may be a good place to start.
The girls are (mostly) happy to help! Between the lot of you, you manage to cobble together that the Returners have been quiet lately after the incident at the Treno-Alexandrian mountain path, with rumors of there being unrest within the organization. There are rumors that they've sent members of their organization to explore caverns underneath Alexandria however, for unknown purposes, and Tina specifically hears that they've been quietly trading with smugglers in Treno for weapons and armor. You hear much more solid talk of the Returners in New Cleyra after borrowing the airship - It seems the Burmecian council is still trying to deliberate if they should recognize the organization's standing as legitimate or brand them a vigilante or terrorist group. They seem to be under heavy pressure from Alexandria - pressure that has lifted slightly in recent days as Brigadier General Rymes has stopped making personal trips to Burmecia for some reason. Rumors -there- indicate that she's in some sort of trouble back home. More to the point however is that you overhear that the Returner's base of operations is supposedly in or near Lesetira, a fact that was rumored before but apparently substantiated now.
Abigail returns a letter that says she'll do her best, she needs to do some research for this.
As for turning the King estate into a small neighborhood, you have a short chat about it, and Adenine and Mikoto tell you that they will help take care of all the paperwork. Mikoto is especially interested in hearing about how you'd like to set everything up - your geomancy is sure to make this a lot easier. The estate itself is rather large, having consisted of several former noble estates in the past, so there's definitely enough room for a black mage neighborhood without getting too crowded. The Rooks get involved too, saying that they'd be happy to help fund expenses like furniture for the new houses if need be. It helps that you probably have a good place in mind in the middle of town to place orders at. The two nobles are happy to help on a personal level, but on a professional one they argue that bringing in new, talented workers like the current mage girls could be really beneficial for the state of Treno, and that's enough to justify the cost to their affiliates. Mikoto briefly wonders if this means she's going to be doing even more traveling in the near future, or less. She expresses some concern about Black Mage Village possibly being abandoned completely, though Adenine argues that the genomes don't need it anymore. The two get into a discussion about their differences on the subject, with Mikoto stressing the sentimental importance of preserving the village of the original black mages, and Adenine does end up relenting that they'll probably need all the housing space possible to help house any more BMGs that Theta convinces.
Theta proposes the possibility that maybe the village could see some growth too. There's going to be a lot of people in Treno who might just want a way out - and there's a large amount of woods and land that could be cultivated around the village, right? What if a lumber-mill was built in the area and some of that barren land was turned into farm land? Would the Dwarves be interested in a joint effort on this? Their city is having the same issues as well, why not just bring fresh blood in instead of trying to stop the hemorrhaging? It'd also make sense to have a few classes in a less urban area like that. After all, not everyone is going to enjoy the city life. This might even help Madian Sari not accidentally end up a second Treno due to a large influx of people in a mad land grab but not much industry. If this idea has any merit he's tossing Agriculture onto the registrar list for this school as well.
Mikoto, Adenine, Mario and Natalie look at you with some measure of dumb surprise. And then immediately Adenine begins drawing up the plans with Natalie Rook. Mario takes you aside with Mikoto and excitedly discusses this plan - it's actually an excellent opportunity. The only real markets in Madain Sari appeal to the rich, to adventurers, or to scholars - there's a mining industry in the area but it's been going through some trouble as the veins of silver found had dried up fairly quickly. Your idea is actually really elegant, and in conjunction with establishing a public airport might allow for some -prime- advancement of the working class in Treno. Mikoto mentions that the original reason for Black Mage Village's isolation in the woods was to avoid trouble with the outside world, but that's no longer a problem anyone has to worry about. Keeping a portion of forest around the village itself for animals to live in for hunting and preservation is all she asks - there's a significant strip of woods that could be deforested. Mario turns to you and says he'll send a missive off to the dwarves to gauge their interest, though he mentions the lands of the Outer Continent may be a bit dry for farmland. Mikoto points out there's a marsh in the area, so it may vary more than he thinks. Mario wonders if it's a geographical freak occurrence or if the Qu in the area have some way of keeping their marsh wet and fertile. Mikoto doesn't know, as she's apparently never actually seen any Qu there, despite it being a Qu's Marsh. Someone like Quina might know better. In the meantime, you add Agriculture to your list of planned curriculums in the meantime.