FFMQ Redux: Yes, I'm still going...

I bet y’all thought it was dead, didn’t ya? Well, you’re WRONG! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!


Anywho…the reason I’m making a new thread is, in addition to having Chapter 3 finnished, I’ve tidied up the earlier chapters a bit. (Most notably the prologue.)

You can read them here, if you so desire.


Now, without further ado…

Beyond the Cold Winds

After a good deal of effort, Benjamin manage to get some sleep. However, he didn’t get as much as he could have liked, and was quite groggy come sunrise. Kaeli’s mother fixed him a cup of tea which she said would “perk him right up”. Not wanting to argue, he drank it. It actually didn’t taste bad.

Kaeli was feeling much better, as were many of the sick people, but she was still fairly weak, and her mother insisted she stay in bed. Kaeli had been in too many similar situations to argue, so she quickly gave in and let her mother play nurse.

“So, where did you say you were going next?” she had asked Benjamin.
“To Aquaria…I’m going to be looking for a man named Spencer.”
Kaeli’s eyes brightened as she heard the name. “In Aquaria? That has to be my Uncle Spencer!”
Benjamin did a double-take. “He’s…your uncle?”
“Well…” she began. “Not really, no. He’s an old friend of my father, Captain Mac, and he spent some time here when I was little. I started calling him Uncle Spencer and it kind of stuck. He was a treasure hunter when he was younger…he and my father used to travel together long before I was born. He’s since retired. My has been begging my dad to do the same for years, but he can’t…he loves the seas too much.”

“Wow…well, that’s my next destination.”
“Oh, I wish I could come with you…but if I know my mom, she won’t let me out of bed for a few days at least.”

Benjamin gulped down the rest of the tea, and said “Well…I’d love to stick around, but I’d really like to get moving…”
“So soon? Why are you headed to Aquaria, anyway?”

Benjamin looked behind him, then lowered his voice and asked Kaeli “Do you remember that guy Lucas I was telling you about?”
“Well, he came here last night and told me to go to Aquaria and find Spencer.”
Kaeli was silent for a moment, pondering Benjamin’s statement.
“Are you sure you can trust this man?” Kaeli asked, slightly worried. “I mean…what do you really know about him?”
“Nothing. But…if what he says is true, then something bad is happening to the world…and I may be able to help. And my gut tells me to trust him…”
“Well…be careful, all the same.”
“Thank you.”

Benjamin leaned in and hugged Kaeli, then headed out. He thanked her mother for the tea and set out for Focus Tower.

After a short journey through the desert, Benjamin learned that Focus Tower wasn’t as big as he initially though.

It was bigger.

Build into the side of a huge, steep mountain, the tower was easily the tallest building on the entire continent…perhaps even the world.

The Focus Tower connected the four major regions of the continent, which was why it was a trade route for so long. Why it was closed down, he didn’t know. He approached the entrance, expecting at the very least a few guards, but there was no-one. The tower seemed to be completely empty.

Benjamin felt shivers down his spine.

At the bottom floor of the tower, there were several large signs.

One of them had a large arrow that said “AQUARIA: Take stairs up, leave through eastern exit.”

Benjamin opened he door it was pointing to and began to walk up the innumerable stairs.

After what seemed like years, Benjamin reached the top and promptly collapsed on the floor.
‘Holy crap…’ he thought. ‘Too…many…stairs…’

After approximately ten minutes of lying on the cold stone floor catching his breath, Benjamin got up. A sign next to nearby door said. “This way to Aquaria.”

Benjamin opened the door and was rewarded by a blast of cold air.
Puzzled, Benjamin set out. As far as he could see, the ground was covered in a layer of powdery white snow, and most of the lakes that Aquaria was famous for were frozen. Something about the situation seemed odd, to Benjamin. But soon enough, his though process caught up with him and hit him like a two-ton weight.

It was the middle of spring.

“What in the nine hells HAPPENED here?!” he exclaimed out load. Unsurprisingly, no-one answered.

It was still fairly early in the day, so the cold wasn’t unbearable yet. Benjamin decided to push himself and reach Aquaria as fast as he could.

Luckily, the snow wasn’t very thick, so he could still run through it. And run he did. But between running through snow and the nigh-endless stairs of Focus Tower, he wasn’t sure if he could go on. Add that to the fact that he wasn’t sure where Aquaria was, and things were looking pretty bleak for the young hero.

Benjamin stopped. He squinted his eyes and looked into the distance. He saw what looked like a small shrine.

‘Perhaps someone there can tell me where Aquaria is…and even not, I need to rest…’

As fast as his weary legs could carry him, Benjamin sprinted toward the shrine.

The shrine was smaller than it had appeared at first, but in any case, it was a place to stop and rest.
He went through the wide gates and into the shrine. It seemed to be fairly empty. “Is anyone here?” he called. His voice echoed.

A female voice responded. “Who’s there? Go away!”

Benjamin ran to the source of the voice. At the rear-end of a shrine was a girl about his age, with short, blonde hair and fair skin, draped in a sky-blue cloak. The first thing Benjamin noticed was that she was quite beautiful.

The second thing he noticed was that she was pointing a small crossbow at him.

“I said…go away.” She said. Benjamin looked into her eyes. Judging by the moisture on her face and the redness in her eyes, she had been crying.

“I don’t mean you any harm. I was on my way to Aquaria and I was seeking shelter from the cold.”

The girl glared at him warily for a moment, then lowered her weapon.

“What business have you in Aquaria?” she asked suspiciously.
“I’m…looking for a man named Spencer.” Benjamin replied.
“Spencer? What do you need with Spencer?”
“I was told that he had information I can use…”

She locked eyes with Benjamin for a moment as she wiped her face.

“If all you seek is warmth in the cold, then I can offer you that.”

Benjamin sighed in relief. “Thank you, miss. I’m Benjamin.”

Without another word, she plopped down on the ground.

Benjamin sat down next to her. She didn’t protest.

The next few minutes passed in stony silence. Benjamin decided to break it.

“Do you know Spencer?” he asked.
She hesitated for a moment. “He’s my grandfather.”

Benjamin turned his head to look at her. ‘Wow…Spencer’s granddaughter? She may be able to help me…but now doesn’t seem to be a good time…she seems to be upset about something…’

“What were you doing in this shrine?”

A tear rolled down her pale cheek.

“This is Libra Temple.” she began. “You’ve doubtlessly noted the unnatural cold in this season. The truth is, it’s hardly ever this cold here, even in winter, except in the northern parts of the region. It happened seemingly overnight, not long ago…a cold snap. The snow poured in like mad, and the waters all froze solid.”

She paused for a moment to dry her eyes again.

“When it happened, Grandfather was digging a tunnel under our house. When the freeze happened, he was trapped. Has been ever since…he had some supplies down there, but I don’t know how long they will last…for all I know, he’s already dead.”

Benjamin could tell that she was trying her best to hold back a fresh wave of tears.

“This temple is home to a spring. It produces a special liquid called Wakewater. A friend of mine in Aquaria told me about it…long ago, the winters used to be much worse, and the people used Wakewater to melt the ice. I only just found out about it, and came out here to fetch some.”

She heaved a long sigh.

“I arrived just in time to see a monster stealing the crest that locks the shrine.” She finished bitterly.

She could no longer restrain herself. She buried her face in her hands, sobbing quietly.

Unsure of what to do, Benjamin gently put his arm around her. She didn’t resist.

“Do you have any idea what caused the cold snap?” Benjamin asked.

“I have a theory…” Phoebe said, drying her eyes once more.
“I’m interested.”

“There’s only one way someone could have mustered enough magical energy to do something like this in the middle of spring.”

“Someone is tampering with the Water Crystal.”

Benjamin immediately snapped to attention.

“You…know about the Crystals?!”

Phoebe couldn’t help but chuckle, despite herself. “Surprised, are you?” she said. “That’s no big shocker…few people know that the Crystals ever existed, let alone if they still do. But Grandfather fancies himself somewhat of a scholar. He knows things that most of the world has forgotten, and he’s taught those things to me.”

Benjamin pondered this for a moment. “Can you…tell me about the Crystals?” he asked.

“I don’t see why not…” Phoebe said with a shrug.

“The Four Crystals have existed as long as recorded history…probably longer. No-one knows who made them or why. The most common belief was that this world was in a state of chaos, being torn apart by natural disasters. The Crystals were made to fix it.”

“The Earth Crystal, which kept the lands healthy and fertile, the Water Crystal, which kept the waters of the world cool and pure, the Fire Crystal, to calm the raging volcanoes and terrible quakes, and the Air Crystal, to regulate the winds and the sky. Together, they kept the world in balance.”

Benjamin blinked. Several things were starting to make sense.

“So say…if someone was tampering with the Earth Crystal…they could, for example, cause plants and trees to die?” he asked.
“Yes, I suppose so…” Phoebe replied, scratching her head. “Why do you ask?”
“Because that’s exactly what happened. And I’m betting that you’re right about the Crystal.”

And thus, Benjamin told Phoebe his story, up to the events in the Bone Dungeon and his second visit from Lucas.

Phoebe was staring at him wide-eyed when he finished.

“If what you’re saying is true – and I have no reason to believe that it isn’t – then the whole world may be in danger!”

Benjamin wasn’t sure HOW to respond to that. He settled on “…what?”

Phoebe sighed. “Alright, someone was tampering with the Earth Crystal, right?”
“And judging by the fact that winter came early, the Water Crystal is too, right?”
“That means it’s likely that the Air and Fire ones are being threatened as well.”

Benjamin had a great deal of thoughts at this point. The first of which was, ‘What exactly did I get myself into?’

“This…is quite a bit to take in.” Benjamin said, after an uncomfortably long pause.

“Well…you should probably take this one step at a time.”

There was another silence. “You’re right.” Benjamin finally said. “But freeing Spencer is my first priority. If he knows as much as you say he does, I’m sure he can help me.”

“I thought you’d think that. So we need to retrieve the crest.”

It took Benjamin a moment a minute to realize what she had said. “‘We?’”

Phoebe smiled. “You didn’t think I was going to wait around, did you? He’s MY grandfather.”

It was Benjamin’s turn to smile. “Heh…yeah. You’re right. So ‘we’ need to retrieve the crest. Any clue where it might have been taken?”

“First thing’s first. Let’s head back to Aquaria…it’s not far. You look exhausted.”

Benjamin felt a sudden cramp and realized she was right.

“Alright, then…lead the way.”

Indeed, the walk to Aquaria had not been long. Which as good, as Benjamin was nearly ready to collapse upon arrival.

“C’mon.” Phoebe had said. “I’ll take you to my house. You can rest there for awhile.”

As Phoebe led Benjamin to her house, he took a look at the surroundings. A large waterway was built through Aquaria – doubtlessly how the town got it’s name – but it was completely frozen.

Phoebe’s house was rather nondescript. Taking his hand, she led him to a nearby couch and pushed him down.

“Just relax.” She said. “I’ll get you something hot to drink.”

She disappeared into what Benjamin assumed was a kitchen and returned with a steaming mug of what turned out to be cocoa. After a long trek through ice and snow, it was very welcome.

“So tell me again what happened at the Temple?” Benjamin asked as he slowly drank the hot cocoa.

She sat down next to Benjamin and began to recall what had happened.

“Well…I arrived a few hours before you did. When I came, several monsters were inside the shrine. But they weren’t ordinary monsters…they seemed to be smarter. Leading them was, if you can believe it, something resembling a huge squid. The squid-thing stole the magical crest that allowed people to access the Wakewater fountain. Judging by the number of monsters there, it was expecting to meet resistance. But there was only me…I was outnumbered, so I had to hide until they left.”

She paused and took a deep breath.

“Between that happening and everything else, I just…broke down. I didn’t know what to do.”

“That’s understandable…” Benjamin said.
“I know, I know…it’s just…I’m not usually like that.”
“So do you have any idea where the monsters may have taken the crest?”

Phoebe paused for a moment and scratched her chin, as if thinking.

“Now that I think of it…” she said, “Several of the monsters that were with the squid-monster were types commonly found in a large cavern northeast of here. People call it the Wintry Cave, as it contains large amounts of a type of quartz that looks like exactly like ice.”
“So we’re headed to this Wintry Cave next?”
Phoebe laughed. “Not yet, Mr. Hero. You need your strength. Just relax for awhile.”
It was Benjamin’s turn to laugh. “Yeah…I have been pushing myself pretty hard.”

For the first time, Benjamin took a good look at Phoebe, analyzing her features. She really was very pretty. He locked eyes with her for a moment and noticed that they were a rather vivid shade of green. Benjamin was mesmerized.

“Um…are you okay?”

Phoebe’s voice snapped him back to reality.
“Er…yeah, I’m fine.” he said, then hastily added “So what we need to do is retrieve the crest from the cave and bring some Wakewater back here?”
“That’s the gist of it.” she said.
“Sounds like a plan to me.”

Benjamin wanted to focus on regaining his strength so that they could head out as quickly as possible, but he had another question on his mind.

“If you don’t mind my asking…can you fight?”

She giggled. This surprised Benjamin a bit…Phoebe didn’t seem like the type to giggle often.

“That bow I aimed at you when we met isn’t just for show.” she said with a hint of pride. “I could shoot an apple off your head from ten yards away. On top of that, I’m a skilled mage.”

To demonstrate this point, she clicked her fingers and a ball of fire formed in her hands.

Benjamin was impressed.

“And in case those things fail,” she said, reaching into a pocket, “I’ve got this little beauty.”

She thrust her arm forward and before Benjamin realized what had happened, a trio of pointed blades were aimed at his jugular. Attached to Phoebe’s hand was a small, sharp claw.

Benjamin was very impressed.

“In short, I’m not your average damsel in distress.” she said smugly. “Now rest up. It’s almost nightfall. We’ll head out for the Wintry Cave at first light.”

Morning had come, Benjamin was revitalized and he and Phoebe were on their way to the Wintry Cave. It was a fairly short walk from Aquaria to the cave, which as good, because Benjamin could have sworn it was getting colder.

He was unprepared for such cold weather, and thusly didn’t pack warm clothes. Phoebe gave him one of Spencer’s old coats to wear. It was warm, and fit him well enough.

“Hey,” Benjamin said, “You’re wearing less than I was when I had arrived. Why aren’t you freezing?”

Sure enough, under her blue cloak Phoebe was wearing nothing except a light shirt and some pants.

“The cloak is enchanted to ward off extreme temperatures. Grandfather found it on one of his adventures and gave it to me.”


The Wintry Cave was aptly named. Before they even stepped inside, Benjamin could see the vast hunks of quartz that seemed to make up the entire interior. For a moment, he was mesmerized by the otherworldly ambiance they seemed to fill the cave with.

Inside the cave, it was twice as cold as it was outside. Benjamin shivered.

“Let’s try and find the crest as swiftly as we can. I can barely stand this cold…” he said.

“It’s not bothering me.” Phoebe said with a sly grin.

Benjamin stuck his tongue out at her, and they moved on.

They were greeted by a huge scorpion.

The gigantic arachnid leapt forward, it’s dripped stinger poised to strike, but before Benjamin could even draw his sword, it burst into flame. In a moment, there was nothing but ash left.

Benjamin’s eyes widened and his mouth opened, but no sound came out. He had heard about what advanced mages could do with their powers, but actually seeing it happen before his eyes was something else, to say the least.

“C’mon, get moving!” Phoebe said, giving him a tap on the shoulder.

‘That…was amazing.” Benjamin said, still awestruck.

“Eh, that was nothing. Now come, we need to move!”

And move they did. What Benjamin had seen from the outside was only the tip of the iceberg. Everywhere he looked, he say the ice-like quartz crystals. They coated the walls and the ceilings. Even the ground looked like solid ice. It was smooth, but not slippery. It had barely even looked scratched. Benjamin inquired about this to Phoebe.

“This type of crystal is very tough.” she explained. “It’s almost as strong as diamond, but it’s a lot more abundant, and unfortunately, a lot harder to mine.”

The two journeyed deeper into the cave. There seemed to be few monsters about, which unnerved both of them.

They soon came to another chamber. A large ledge was before them.
Benjamin walked over to the edge and looked downward. It seemed to be quite a drop. There was another passageway on the opposite end of the chamber.

“I think that’s the way we want to go.” said Phoebe, gesturing toward it.
“If I wanted to hide something in a cave, I’d do it in the deepest part. This cave goes underground pretty far, but there is an end to it.”

Benjamin started walking over to the other side of the chamber with Phoebe following behind, when he heard a noise. He motioned for her to stop.

He tried to focus on the noise. It sounded like something crumbling. He looked down. The ground beneath him was not crystal, but ordinary stone. Several hairline cracks in stone were beginning to widen.

It took Benjamin a moment to realize what was happening.

He started running back, yelling to Phoebe to do the same, but it was too late; The ground crumbled away, causing the two to fall downward.

For a moment, Benjamin could have sworn he saw his life flash before his eyes. He shut his eyes tightly, awaiting the end…but it never came. He slowly opened one eye and looked down. He saw nothing but a vertical drop, but the ground look a lot closer than it did before. He looked up. Phoebe was holding onto his hand. Her other hand was grasping her claw, which was digging into the rock face.

“…are you okay?” he asked.
“I’m fine…” she responded, sounding somewhat nervous. “The wall is kind of rocky here…see if you can find something to grab onto.”

Sure enough, the wall had several protruding stones big enough for him to climb on. He grabbed onto one with his free hand and let go of Phoebe.

“Can you climb down?” he asked her as he looked up.
“I think so…” she said, grabbing onto another one of the stones.
“It doesn’t seem to be a long way down…I think we can make it…”

Moving slowly along the rough wall, the two were able to work their way down.

At the bottom was an area composed of normal stone instead of the shiny crystal. Benjamin inquired about this.

“I believe it means we’re underground now.” Phoebe explained. “The crystal is found mostly on the upper levels, for some reason. Now c’mon, lets move.”

The cave was getting progressively darker as they went deeper. Visibility wasn’t a problem, due to some magic fire conjured by Phoebe.

They reached a rather steep downward slope. Carved into the side of it was what looked a lot like…

“Steps?” Benjamin asked, raising an eyebrow.

“These weren’t there last time I was here.” Phoebe said. “Something made them.”

“Which means we’re going the right way. Be on your guard.”

Benjamin drew his sword and walked up the steps. Phoebe followed close behind.

The cave was getting brighter. A quick examination of the room showed that it was because of strategically-placed torches. Which meant that something was near by, and Benjamin doubted that it was friendly.

At the bottom of the steps, Benjamin could make up the outline of several tall men. They seemed to be conversing with each other, when one of them noticed Benjamin and shouted something to the others. They all grabbed halberds that were leaning against a nearby wall and stepped forward, revealing them in full. From the waist down, they had the bodies of horses. Centaurs. Benjamin could see about four of them.

“What do you want? Leave this place now, and never return!” shouted one of them – apparently the leader – rather gruffly.

Benjamin held out his sword. Phoebe readied her bow and shouted back.

“We’ve come for the Libra Crest! I demand that it be returned!”

The lead centaur growled and raised his weapon.

“Brothers! Kill the trespassers!”

The four of them galloped forward, halberds poised to strike. Phoebe let loose with her bow and struck one of them square in the head. It keeled over, dead before he hit the ground, but the others continued forward.

The leader slashed at Benjamin. Benjamin raised his sword to block, but he was too slow and took a nasty blow across the chest, drawing blood and knocking him down. The centaur paused and looked at him, then chuckled darkly.

“Any last words before I run you through, boy?” he gloated.

Benjamin spit at him. The massive horse-man roared and rammed his spear toward Benjamin’s chest. Benjamin quickly rolled out of the way and swung at one of the centaur’s front legs.

Wincing in pain, he dropped his weapon and clutched the wounded leg. Benjamin saw his chance and took it. Before he had a chance to look back, the centaur felt a stabbing pain in his chest. The last thing he saw was a steel blade piercing his heart.

Benjamin looked back at where Phoebe was. She was trying her best to fend off the remaining two centaurs, and not doing too well. One of them grabbed her by her cloak and lifted her up.

“Heheheh…this one is cute.” said the centaur holding her. “How about we have some fun with it before it dies?”

“Thanks, but I’ll pass!” Phoebe shouted as she swung her fist around and socked him in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. He dropped her, but the other one approached her, weapon raised.

Phoebe acted fast. Closing her eyes and chanting a few choice words, a bolt of lightning from seemingly nowhere came down from above and struck her assailant. The beast convulsed violently for several moment, then fell to the ground. The body was charred and smoking.

The other one was stunned, its mouth agape at the spectacle. Noticing this, Benjamin jumped up on his back and put his sword against his throat.

“I should slit your throat right now.” Benjamin hissed. “But I won’t…IF you tell me where the crest is.”

The centaur gulped. “Through that gate on the southern wall. Our boss is guarding it personally…”

“Thank you.” said Benjamin. He removed the blade from the centaurs throat, and as it breathed a sigh of relief, he bashed it in the head with the flat of his blade, knocking it out. Unfortunately, as he fell he took Benjamin with him.

“You could have planned that one a little better…” Phoebe said, trying to suppress a giggle.

“It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing…” he replied, rubbing his head.

Benjamin walked over to the southern wall. Sure enough, there was a passageway blocked by a steel gate. Benjamin tried pulling on it, but it didn’t open. Shrugging, he reached into his bag and pulled out an explosive.

“Stand back.” he called to Phoebe.

Taking a match out of his pocket, he struck it on the rough stone floor. It flared to life. Benjamin used it to light the bomb, then placed the orb at the based of the gate. Running back a few feet, he covered his ears as an explosion shook the chamber. When he looked back, the bars were in pieces, hanging off the hinges that held them in place.

Readying his sword and gesturing at Phoebe to follow, he went through the passageway.

On the other side was a large chamber. Inside this chamber was a chest. Gripping onto the chest was a slimy tentacle. On the other end of the tentacle was an eight-foot-tall, brown squid. It fixed its eerie yellow eyes onto Benjamin, then made a weird sucking sound.

Phoebe fired off an arrow. The squid lashed out with one of its tentacles and grabbed it out of the air, then snapped it in half.

Opening its mouth to reveal several sharp, dagger-like teeth, it set down the chest and started crawling forward.

Benjamin stood ready with his sword. The squid whipped one of its tendrils at Benjamin. It seemed to be a lot longer than it had first appeared.

As it came close, Benjamin swung his sword and sliced the tip off. It started spurting green blood.

The squid made another weird sound. It waved the ruined appendage around wildly, and seconds later it regenerated itself. It then did something very un-squid like.

It jumped.

Before he had known it, there was at least a hundred pounds of angry squid flying at Benjamin. It lashed out with several tentacles and detained him.
Benjamin struggled against the cold, slimy arms wrapped around him, but the more he resisted, the tighter the beast squeezed. Benjamin could feel his breathing becoming strained, as his conscious started leaving him. Instinctively, he shut his eyes.

He suddenly felt warm. Benjamin wondered for a moment if it was because he was dead. He opened his eyes and found out that it was because Phoebe had lobbed a fireball at the squid, and it was currently on fire. It also had dropped him.

He reached for his sword, but it wasn’t in its sheathe. He scanned the room and found it on the floor nearby.

He rushed to pick it up. The squid tried to stop him and met with another fiery onslaught. The room was rife with the acrid smell of burning squidflesh. Squeezing his sword tight, he ran at the squid and impale its pointed head. The thing let out a shriek, its eyes widening. The writhing mass of tentacles that was its countless arms stopped moving, and the thing was dead. And still on fire, Benjamin noted. He pulled out the sword and found it coated with green goo. Benjamin shuddered.

“That…was disgusting. I am never eating squid again.” he said.

Phoebe did not respond. She was examining the chest the squid was keeping. Breaking the lock with her claw, she opened it and pulled out a small stone tile. Upon the tile was a strange symbol.


“Is that…”
“The Libra Crest, yes. It is.” Phoebe said, smiling. “C’mon, lets get out of this frozen hell and get the Wakewater!”

The trip out of the Wintry Cave seemed to be a lot shorter than the trip isn’t it. Perhaps it was because once the squid-beast was dead, the other monsters seemed less interested in bothering them.

They didn’t even bother stopping by town. Phoebe and Benjamin went straight for the temple.

Once there, Phoebe went to the room where Benjamin had found her before. There, on the floor, was an indentation where a tile was missing. Phoebe placed the Libra Crest into it. The crest started glowing strangely. She pressed it down, and the wall behind her slid away, revealing a tunnel.

“The Wakewater Fountain is beyond this gate. C’mon, we have to hurry!”

Phoebe and Benjamin ran through the tunnel. At the other end was a smallish chamber. In the middle of the chamber was a pool.

The pool was completely empty.

As soon as she saw it, Phoebe froze in her tracks, shocked.

“It’s…it can’t be…it’s all gone…” she said. The disbelief in her voice was quite prominent. She fell to her knees. Benjamin put his hand on her shoulder reassuringly.

“Don’t worry, Phoebe…” Benjamin said. “There has to be another way.”

“He’s right.”

Benjamin and Phoebe turned in unison to see an old man in a brown coat standing by the doorway.

“Lucas!” Benjamin exclaimed.

“No time for idle banter.” Lucas said. “The same curse that froze Aquaria’s water has dried up the Fountain of Life. The only way to reverse it is to free the Water Crystal.”

“The Water Crystal?” Benjamin asked excitedly. “Where is it?”

“On the cliff overlooking Aquaria,” Lucas began, “there is a waterfall. Behind that waterfall is a cavern. Inside that cavern is a way to the top of the cliff. There, you will find the Ice Pyramid.”

“The…Ice Pyramid?” Phoebe said, unsure of what was happening.

“The Ice Pyramid was build ages ago to keep the Water Crystal safe. However, someone found their way in and started draining its power away. You must go there immediately! Here, take this!” Lucas paused and took a smallish pouch out of one of his pockets, tossing it to Benjamin.
“I managed to salvage a small bit of Wakewater in this pouch. It is not enough to save Aquaria, but it can refresh you. Drink.”
Benjamin opened it and took a long drink. Sure enough, within moments he felt completely refreshed. He passed it to Phoebe, who swiftly drained the rest of it. He turned back to thank Lucas, and he was gone.

“Who IS he?” Phoebe asked, confused.

“I’m not sure…” Benjamin replied, “but we can trust him. Now come on, there’s no time to waste! We have to get to the Ice Pyramid!”

I STILL say you passed on a perfectly good chance to write a centaur rape scenario! I’m so disappointed.

You’re a mean one Val. I’d hate to be a prisoner of yours.

Oh, trust me, demigod, this is only the tip of the fucking ICEBERG. GG knows how twisted and evil ic an be.

After being a member of these forums for about a year now, I am well aware that you are a sadistic, twisted, perverted bitch. I mean that in the highest esteem possible.

If you’re that adamant about it Val, why not write a FFMQ Redux Gaiden?

Oh, right, I should comment on the fic.

Nice job and all, GG. Battle scenes could stand a little more length, but I’ve never been good at that sort of thing so I can’t give you any help with it.

Gosh, it’s been a while since I played FFMQ (first game I owned), and this brought it all rushing back. I’m actually thinking of going back to play the game again now, as I haven’t done so in years!

Things seem to be going fairly quickly, so it might be an idea to try and slow them down a bit. It might be quick to travel between places on the world map, but when translating that into ‘real time’ it usually should take a day or so, depending on the distance. Take a look and try to judge. Then think: are there smaller villages along the way for travellers to rest in, or will they have to camp? If they do have to stop, how do the characters feel about it? It would give you the opportunity to show your reader what’s going on in the minds of the characters, which we don’t really get to see in the game. Just a suggestion.

"No-one knows who made them or why. The most common belief was that this world was in a state of chaos, being torn apart by natural disasters. The Crystals were made to fix it.”

I can’t remember whether or not this was in the game, but if it was your own theory, I really liked it!

Like I said, I’m just starting to remember stuff as I read this, but it seems like a pretty good novelization so far! Keep up the good work!

The game had very little as far as real history goes, exept for what little was in the manual. And I only know one person who owns it, has read it, and actually CARES. winks at Val

But all the same, I’m taking a good number of creative liberties with the game’s history.
And I’ll take what you said into consideration. Thanks for reading.

http://palominomule.lmfao.org.uk/ffmq_pg04_05.jpg Behold, the story, as was told in the manual!

And in case anyone’s interested in seeing the rest of the artwork in the book…