Dim New World
Ayer is a brawler that hones his abilities in illegal arena battles. He celebrates a recent victory with his friend Bowman, but the festivities are cut short when guards begin a mass arrest in the arena. In the ensuing struggle, Ayer encounters (Captain), whose strength intrigues him. Afterwards, he stows away on an airship to escape, which turns out to be the Grandcypher. In the end he joins the crew on their adventures.
???: Dogs, pigs, monkeys...
???: Sigh... Call 'em whatever you want.
???: Growing up, I was just that. A domesticated animal.
???: Follow the rules, mind your manners, and never forget to smile. Then you'll be happy. Humph. Useless.
???: That's when I discovered something new: a new world that all but obliterated the values I used to believe in.
???: A new world for me, filled with the sublime brutality of combat.
In the underground fighting arena of a distant island, crazed cheers erupt around a pit soaked in blood and sweat.
Spectator 1: Wipe the floor with'em, champ! Paint the arena red!
Gladiator: I'm gonna clobber this punk. Time to teach you who the real king of the ring is around these parts!
Spectator 2: Listen kid, you'd better win! I bet everything I had on you!
Ayer: A chorus of fools.
Bowman: Ha ha ha! Sounds about right. It's about time for the big fight to decide the number one spot, yeah?
Bowman: This is the new world we both wanted. We sacrificed everything to get here.
Ayer: Right. It's the only place I feel alive.
Bowman: Heh. Hope your eyes are as sharp as usual, buddy.
Gladiator: Bring it on, punk! Hope they sell coffins in kid's sizes, because you're goin' in one after this!
Ayer: Sadly I could only find ones that fit hulking brutes like you.
Gladiator: Heh heh. You're messed up in the head, kid. I'm taking you down!
Ayer: Not any more messed up than you're gonna be!
That night Ayer celebrates his victory at home.
Bowman: Hahaha! That counter jab had me shaking! And after I told you not to freak me out too!
Ayer: Really? I could've sworn you were laughing the whole time.
Bowman: You got me there, but I realized something during the match. You purposely chose to fight within his reach, didn't you?
Ayer: It's pointless otherwise. If I don't risk anything, I don't feel anything.
Bowman: You don't feel alive, you mean. Sheesh, you're just a big bundle of instincts, aren't you?
Bowman: Still you're the champ now. Who could imagine a privileged squirt like you being king of an illegal fighting arena?
Ayer: It still comes to me in my dreams.
Ayer: Dreams of a milquetoast daily existence. Dreams where I never met you.
Bowman: But it didn't turn out like that. Instead, your wimpy, honor-student self picked a fight with some thugs and realized what you were born to do!
Bowman: And then we started our quest to find a new world! One that would satisfy our thirst for combat!
Ayer: You're delirious. I'm the king. You don't get to celebrate more than me.
Bowman: C'mon, it was my idea to have you leave home and go underground! And I was the guy who taught you how to fight!
Ayer: Right, got it... Granted, you deserve some amount of thanks, I'll admit.
Bowman: I need a do-over on that one. Didn't really feel the respect in your tone of voice.
Ayer: Oh, get off it! When are we going to see you fight anyway? Aren't you stronger than me?
Bowman: What a pain. We wouldn't make any money that way, I told you. The only reason this works is because people refuse to bet on a pipsqueak like you.
Ayer: I'm gonna make you regret that!
Gladiator: Look alive! The authorities are doing a mass arrest of the whole arena!
Bowman: They never learn, do they?
Ayer: Yeah, who cares. We'll just crack their heads like we did last time.
Gladiator: Are you nuts? Just so you know, they brought guards from other islands this time. Crews too! They're trying to shut the whole operation down!
Bowman: Crews, huh? I was wondering why the town seemed a little extra bustling. So we're outnumbered. What do you want to do?
Ayer: As if you had to ask.
Gladiator: W-wait, you're not seriously thinking of fighting back, are you, kid?
The streets are wrapped in a strange aura of anticipation in the dead of night. Ayer joins the fierce battle between guards and arena fighters, toppling guards left and right.
Guard 1: Argh!
Ayer: Humph. Fighting these fools doesn't do anything for me.
Ayer: Still, how are they doing so well? There might be a lot of them, but they should be no match for a trained brawler...
Gladiator: Ha ha ha, I knew it was you! Now that you're here, we've got a chance at winning this thing! C'mon, let's—
Vyrn: Nice, (Captain)! Keep it up and we'll have these guys locked up in no time!
Ayer: They took out that big lug in one shot?
Vyrn: Hm? What's a kid doing here? This is a danger zone, buddy!
Vyrn: Whoa, he's glaring at you, (Captain). Wait a sec—is he a fighter too?
Ayer: Heh... Hahahahaha!
Ayer: Now I get it. You might look like a kid, but you're the one leading this charge.
Ayer: All right, this is what I'm talking about!
Vyrn: Um, (Captain)? I'm not sure what he wants, but he seems a little off his rocker. Watch it!
Guard Captain: Now, men! Force your way through!
Distracted, Ayer is forced to the ground by the combined weight of countless guards.
Ayer: Out of my way, pigs!
Guard Captain: Thanks, Captain! Your help is just what we needed to pin this guy down! We're counting on your help with sector four too!
Vyrn: You can count on us!
Guard Captain: Whew... Well, we managed to apprehend the biggest threat. Our victory is at hand!
Bowman: Hoo boy. Heck of a situation you got yourself into.
Guard Captain: What the... This guy's a freak...
Bowman: Humans possess an innate ability to crush each other with one punch. Harness your full potential, and even giants will fall before you.
Bowman: That's the theory anyway. Tough to execute. And why is that, Ayer?
Ayer: Will you quit screwing around?
Bowman: It's because we can't draw out our full potential. Our minds are clouded by ethics, morals, and common sense. Noise that gets in the way of the killer instinct that lies inside.
Bowman: But loosen those restraints, and...
Guard 2: Aauuugh!
Bowman: That happens. Now stand up, Ayer. We're punching these chumps to the curb.
Guard Captain: You're a... m-monster!
To escape the island, Ayer hides away in a docked airship's storage bay.
Ayer: So, any idea where this airship is heading?
Bowman: Hahaha, none whatsoever! The arena's done though. Whatever happens, we can never go back.
Bowman: Hey, don't be glum! There are still greater heights to be found out there!
Ayer: Who was that skyfarer back there?
Ayer: I could tell they've survived battles we can't even imagine.
Bowman: Yawn... Well, guess I'll hit the hay. Boy, today really took it out of me.
Ayer: One day we'll meet again, my supreme quarry.
The crew has finished a request and are en route to the next island when (Captain) and Vyrn pay a visit to the airship's storage bay.
Vyrn: Where are those salves at... Anyway, yesterday sure was crazy! Talk about folks you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley!
Vyrn: I mean the guards sure seemed happy, but— Hey, what's someone doing sleeping in here?
Vyrn: W-Wait, this is that fighter from yesterday!
Ayer: Hm? My prey from yesterday?
Ayer: This is your airship? Well, that was faster than I expected. There goes the suspense...
Vyrn: Awfully nitpicky for a brawler. What are you doing here anyway?
Ayer: Stowing away. Thanks for the ride.
Vyrn: We're not giving you a ride! And try to at least act embarrassed about us finding you, darn it!
Lyria: Oh, good morning, Ayer!
Vyrn: Um, Lyria? Do you know this guy?
Lyria: I heard about it in the mess hall. Ayer was tricked into fighting by some evil men!
Lyria: And after leaving home with dreams of becoming a skyfarer too... You've been through so much!
Ayer: Ah, so this is your doing, Bowman. I was wondering where you went off to.
Vyrn: Now I get it! But he still did all sorts of bad stuff, didn't he? He clobbered all those guards! And he's just a kid!
Ayer: Let's see you call me a kid one more time, dragon whelp.
Vyrn: I ain't no dragon! Wait... Maybe I am?
Ayer: I read about dragons in an encyclopedia, and you seem like a match. That was a long time ago though.
Vyrn: Heh heh heh... Yeah, that's the ticket!
Vyrn: Okay, I've got it! We'll rehabilitate you as part of our crew! Right, (Captain)?
- I'm not sure we can trust him.
Ayer: What are you guys thinking?Choose: I'm not sure we can trust him.
Vyrn: Oh yeah? But he called me a dragon! We can totally trust this guy!
Ayer: What kind of reasoning is that?Continue 1
Lyria: Becoming a skyfarer was your dream, wasn't it? If you join us, that kills two stones with one bird!
Ayer: I think you've got that reversed.
Ayer: Gah.... Bowman, if you weren't trying to make things miserable for me—
Vyrn: You must be starving! Let's show him around the dining hall, Lyria!
Ayer: Sigh... Whatever. I'm going back to sleep.
Vyrn: Heh heh heh! Let's take you to an empty room then!
Ayer: The storeroom's fine.
Ayer rolls over and falls back to sleep. A strange twist of fate has reunited him with the crew, yet he refuses to open his heart.
What could possibly lie ahead for him?
Ayer is just about fed up with the peaceful life aboard the Grandcypher. Bowman suggests they steal the airship, but Ayer hesitates. He then encounters a woman arguing with a ruffian in town, and it turns out to be his sister, Jessica. Ayer hasn't seen her since he ran away from home a few years ago. Though they want to talk more, they have to dispatch the ruffians first.
The crew stops at an island to get supplies.
Ayer has only just joined the crew, but Vyrn and Lyria see this as a prime opportunity to make him feel extra welcome.
Vyrn: Hey, Ayer! I know you're the silent type, but have you properly introduced yourself to the crew yet?
Ayer: I will.
Lyria: Ayer, I know you spend all your time sleeping in the storeroom, but we've got a really nice rec room if you're interested!
Ayer: Sleeping's my hobby.
Vyrn: Oh, right! Rackam's got a dartboard in his room! Wanna play sometime?
Ayer: I'm good.
Lyria: Do you like books? Katalina's got tons of them!
Ayer: I said I'm good.
Vyrn: He's not very friendly, is he? Maybe he's just not used to the skyfaring life yet.
Lyria: If we talk to him more, maybe he'll get used to it faster!
Bowman: Bahaha... Why the long face, Ayer?
Ayer: Bowman, this is no joke!
Bowman: They're taking care of you, aren't they? Nothing wrong with that.
Ayer: Quiet. I'm leaving the airship.
Bowman: Hey, hang on a second! You've got good food and a job here! Why throw that away?
Ayer: What an empty way to live. And this is all your fault, you know.
Ayer: Because of that garbage lie you told, they're all bending over backwards trying to squeeze me into a life I never asked for.
Bowman: Hahaha! And thanks to me, we completely eluded those soldiers! Just have a little patience, okay?
Ayer: Patience? You have something planned?
Bowman: Heh heh heh... I've taken a liking to the sky these past few days. Thinking about becoming a real skyfarer.
Ayer: Then this is goodbye, old friend.
Bowman: I was kidding, c'mon! Well, sort of...
Bowman: We're gonna steal the Grandcypher!
Bowman: Ain't she a beauty? Cuts through the sky like a knife.
Bowman: Well? Ready to teach these good-natured goofs just how harsh the world really is?
Ayer: Are you serious? I mean, stealing from scum is one thing, but these guys, well...
Bowman: I told you, Ayer. You have to abandon morals, ethics, and common sense. That's the shortcut to fulfilling your killer instinct!
Bowman: Besides, you want to fight the captain of this thing, right?
Bowman: Steal the airship, and you'll have your chance. You'll feel so alive, you could scream!
Bowman: So, we on?
Female Voice: Hold it right there, you two!
Ayer: Hm? Wait, Bowman, she's—!
Thug: Oh, shaddup! The manager said I could have it for free! Mind your own beeswax!
Jessica: I'm Jessica, a traveler, and while you're right that it doesn't concern me, I can't stand idly by while you threaten someone!
Thug: Oh yeah? What're you gonna do about it?
Jessica: I'm just going to ask you to pay. Please. If you don't, I'll make you regret it.
Thug: Watch out, guys, we got a sassy one over here! Well, Jessica? How you gonna make me regret it?
Jessica: Ayer? Is that really you, Ayer?
Jessica: It is, isn't it? I can tell! Oh, I've finally found you!
Ayer: Sis, what are you doing in a place like—
Thug: Oh, well isn't this just touching? Spare me the mushy reunions, sweetheart!
Thug: Listen, kid. Take your snot-nosed sister and scram. Do it now, and this whole thing'll be... Whatchamacallit... Water under the toilet?
Ayer: Offer accepted. Except you're the one getting flushed.
Thug: Huh? Oh, I get it. You're cruisin' for a bruisin'!
Ayer: Sorry, I was joking. Considering your size, we'd have to call sanitation to get you unclogged.
Thug: That's it, time to rumble!
Ashen Boundary: Scene 2
Ayer's sister Jessica explains that she was searching for the primal beast Nephthys, who supposedly captured Ayer. This conflicts with Ayer's explanation that he left home to become a fighter after some prodding from Bowman. When he realizes Bowman was responsible for deceiving him and his sister, he gives chase seeking an explanation.
Jessica: Oh Ayer, it's really you...
Jessica embraces Ayer, a stern expression lingering on his face.
Any version of Jessica
is a crew member
Wow, so the little brother Jessica said she was searching for was Ayer?
Vyrn: But... wait a minute. Wasn't Ayer supposed to have been captured by Nephthys?
Well how about that, Jessica! I was just thinking that we hadn't met in a while, and then it turns out your brother's been stowing away on our airship!
Vyrn: But wait a second... Wasn't your little brother captured by that primal beast?
Jessica, a traveling gunner, once fought alongside the crew against the primal beast Nephthys some time ago.
For years Jessica had searched for Nephthys, the one responsible for stealing away her brother.
After finally finding the primal beast's lair, however, her brother was nowhere to be found, and she's continued the search for him ever since.Continue 1
Lyria: Oh, I'm so happy for you two!
Jessica: It must have been just awful for you... But don't worry. We beat Nephthys. There's nothing to be scared of now.
Ayer: Uh, Nephthys?
Jessica: So what have you been up to? Where did you go after escaping from Nephthys?
Ayer: Wait. What are you talking about?
Ayer: Didn't you read the letter I left for you? I left on a journey with Bowman.
Jessica: You left me a letter? Bowman? It sounds like you basically ran away from home...
Ayer: Yeah, figured it would save you some time. I've been searching for a world that I can call—
Jessica: Ayer, what is wrong with you?
Ayer: Listen, I know you probably don't agree with my decision, but I did my best to explain myself in the letter!
Jessica: There was no letter! And how could you even think of running away from home?
Vyrn: Hold on a sec. Is it me, or does nothing about this make sense?
Lyria: Um, you must have been thinking of your family when you wrote that letter, right, Ayer?
Jessica: But I never saw the letter. And I heard rumors in town that he'd been captured by Nephthys.
Vyrn: Assuming you're both telling the truth, where was the letter?
Lyria: And why would you hear this rumor about Nephthys in town?
Ayer: It can't be...
Ayer: You did this? Wait, where do you think you're going?
Vyrn: Hey, hold it! After him, (Captain)!
Ashen Boundary: Scene 3
Bowman reveals that he secretly tricked Ayer into leaving home and becoming a fighter. Ayer is furious, since Bowman's deception put his sister in danger. Bowman then reveals that he is actually Ayer's split personality before taking over his body and attacking the crew.
Ayer runs ahead of the party, seizing Bowman forcefully by the collar.
Ayer: Huff... Huff... What are you trying to pull, Bowman?
Bowman: Hahaha, calm down, buddy! I never meant any harm!
Ayer: Don't screw with me. Where did my letter go? How did you spread that rumor about Nephthys?
Bowman: I tore up the letter while you slept, and the punks in town spread information per my instructions. It was all for your sake, Ayer.
Bowman: And it's not like that letter would have convinced anyone. That happy family of yours would have been feverishly searching for you day and night.
Bowman: That's why I sent them running in the opposite direction of where we were headed.
Ayer: Why didn't you tell me any of this? My sister's been journeying in search of me because of you. She even ended up fighting a primal!
Bowman: Well, y'know... You were just a little squirt at the time. You never would've agreed to deceive your family!
Bowman: Listen, I'm sorry. That was my bad. Look, I'm real apologetic about the whole thing!
Ayer: You think apologizing's gonna do anything?
Bowman: You're real upset about this whole thing, aren't you? Were you that close to her? Heh. You're still just a baby after all.
Bowman: You've really gotta quit blaming others for this stuff. Sure, I told you to run away from home and become a fighter, but you were the one who decided to do it!
Jessica: Ayer, what in the world is going on?
Ayer: Don't come over here. I'm not done talking with this jerk.
Vyrn: Talking with... who exactly?
Ayer: With Bowman, obviously! The guy right in front of me!
Lyria: Bowman? Is he one of the islanders here? I don't see anyone...
Jessica: Are you okay? Did something happen after you ran away from home?
Bowman: Hahaha... Looks like the jig is up.
Ayer: Sis, behind you!
Jessica: Huh? There's nothing there.
Ayer: No way...
Ayer: Am I... going crazy?
Bowman: You were crazy from the beginning.
Bowman: You're the only one who can see me or hear me. The only person who knows I exist... is you.
Bowman: A shame, Ayer. I was your number one fan.
Ayer: Urgh... Graaah!
Jessica: Ayer, what's wrong?
Ayer: I'm fine... Jessica.
Vyrn: What are you doing, Ayer? You just hit your sister!
Ayer: Heh, my bad! What can I say, holding back's not really my thing.
Lyria: No, Vyrn... That's not Ayer!
Vyrn: What do you mean?
Ayer: Hahaha! Accusing people of identity theft? That's just mean.
Ayer: Now then, my dear Captain. Care to help me get used to my new body?
Jessica: Here he comes! Our only choice is to fight him off, (Captain)!
Ashen Boundary: Scene 4
Born with a preternatural desire for combat, Ayer grew dissatisfied with idyllic family life. He unconsciously gave birth to a second personality, Bowman, who pushed him to become a fighter. Fearful of what might happen if this other self were to take over, Ayer decides to leave the crew, but (Captain) holds him back. In the end, an exhausted Ayer falls back to sleep once more.
Bowman: Hahaha... I knew you wouldn't let me down, Captain.
Ayer: Bowman, what in the world are you doing?
Bowman: I'm you, yourself, and I. The other Ayer. The one you wanted to be.
Ayer: Another... me?
Bowman: You were born with a brutal fighting spirit.
Bowman: Too brutal even. You would have ascended to greatness in a world of wanton chaos.
Bowman: But in a quirk of fate, you were born into a happy home. Hardly the right environment for a fighter like you.
Bowman: Talk about a waste! You were going to live a boring life, die a boring death, all while harboring the strength of the almighty within you.
Bowman: You always felt it. You knew that wasn't where you belonged. You had to go elsewhere.
Bowman: That despair gave birth to me. You wished for it without thinking. Someone to push you.
Ayer: Because I couldn't take the first step alone.
Bowman: It's nothing to be scared of. Anyone who ever left their mark on history had a little devil like me holed up in their heart.
Bowman: So how about it? You ready to work together again, buddy?
Ayer: You're plotting something.
Bowman: Honestly it's been a gas seeing you slowly unleash your inner potential and become the fighter you were destined to be.
Bowman: I'm gonna create a new world. Ooh, I can barely contain my excitement!
Ayer: Go away.
Ayer: This is who I am. The idea that there's another person inside me makes me sick!
Bowman: Hahaha! You know just what to say to get me fired up! I'm disappointed in your decision, but you still make me proud, Ayer.
Bowman: And next time, I'll be in charge.
Ayer passes out, and the crew returns him to the Grandcypher, where tension hangs in the air.
Jessica: I'm sorry, everyone. My brother caused so much trouble for you, and he lied on top of it.
Vyrn: Aw, no worries! You heard the doc back there. Matters of the heart are complicated!
Lyria: That's right. Ayer must be suffering right now too.
Jessica: But if I'd only realized what was going on...
Ayer: It's not your fault, sis.
Jessica: Ayer? You're already awake?
Ayer: It's nobody's fault. It's my fault for being such an easily manipulated idiot...
Vyrn: Hey, you shouldn't be walking around yet! You're still recovering!
Ayer: We haven't left the island yet, have we? I'm leaving the airship.
Lyria: Huh? B-but why?
Ayer: Bowman said he was going to take over. If he does, I'll lose control of my bodｙ...
Jessica: Got it. But I'm tagging along. We should be able to find a way to fix this problem together.
Ayer: No! I may not fully understand what's going on, but I know one thing's for certain.
Ayer: You won't be safe if you stay by my side.
Choose: Don't worry.
- Don't worry.
- We watch after our own.
Ayer: Quiet. I wasn't worried in the first place.Choose: We watch after our own.
Ayer: Seriously. What's your deal?Continue 1
Vyrn: Hee hee! And I'm a dragon, so everything's gonna be cool!
Ayer: You better keep watch over me. I should be fine for now, but... eventually I'm...
Ayer: ...definitely going to... to...
Lyria: He fell back to sleep. I guess because he's holding two people in there?
Ayer suddenly falls asleep, collapsing against (Captain)'s knees.
There's something calming about his sleeping face, and the crew breathes a momentary sigh of relief. Ayer's trial, however, is only just beginning.