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Cat, Freedom, and Mage
The party, lost in the mountains of Amalthea, meets Dante, a man who lives deep in the mountains, surrounded by cats. He deeply respects the cats, treating them like royalty, even giving them noble titles. The cats start to gather around Lyria, and Dante sees that they admire the freedom of the Grandcypher crew, and wish to join them on the adventure. The crew accept, and Dante and the cats come aboard!
The crew had just finished a quest deep in the mountains of Amalthea…
But, they became lost on the mountain path. The night grew cold, and the crew were reaching the limits of their endurance…
Vyrn: Brr… So… cold… Hey, haven't we passed this sign before?
Lyria: Urgh… I thought that as well…
Vyrn: Dangit! This is looking bad, you guys!
Lyria: Brr… I can't walk another step… Is this… the end?
???: Ahh…Much time has passed ere I saw anyone here.
Vyrn: H-hey! Are you a mirage? You're not? Thank the gods, we're saved!
Lyria: Hello? We seem to have lost our way, and…
???: So it seems.
Vyrn: That was close… We nearly froze!
???: Indeed you did. Anyway, I must be going…
Vyrn: Wait, what? C'mon!
Lyria: Please! Could you please take us somewhere to warm up?
???: If following is what you wish, then by all means, follow me.
Vyrn: So is he saying we can go with him?
Lyria: Erm… Thanks?
Vyrn: Of all the… It certainly looked like he was gonna just leave us there!
Lyria: Well he doesn't seem to have any ill will towards us…
Lyria: Hey! He's gone already! Quick, we've got to follow him!
Along the way, the man introduced himself as Dante, and showed them to his home, a small mountain hut.
In the hut was an extraordinary number of cats! Some were walking around, some were lying on the floor…
Lyria: Aaa! They're so cute! So fluffy! Come here, little kitty!
Dante: Fie, get thee away from there! Lady Rivera is taking her rest.
Lyria: Wha-? Lady… Rivera?
Dante: The poor lady who thy hand sought to disturb! It is most improper to interrupt a lady's rest!
Vyrn: Hey… This guy's kinda weird…
Lyria: A bit… But he seems nice enough…
Vyrn: Hey mister, have you always lived up here? Not that I'm complaining, you saved our lives, but it's kinda remote!
Dante: In the village, there are rules, set down by one man to control another.
Dante: However, I wish not to be bound by one man's law. I live according to my own rules. No one else shall dictate my life to me.
Dante: Freedom. Truly, I wish to be free. Just like the fine ladies and gentlemen who surround us.
Vyrn: Freedom, huh? Is that why you live by yourself?
Dante: By mineself? What are thou saying… Fie!
A cat had woken up, wandered over to Lyria, and now sat at her feet, staring up at her.
Lyria: Aww, you're so cute! But if I pet you, Mr. Dante is going to get angry again…
Dante: What are you doing! Lord Mukhtar is giving you an order to pet him!
Lyria: Huh? O-okay… I'm sorry.
Vyrn: Oh, so now we're allowed to pet the cats?
Lyria: Aww! He's so warm!
Lyria: Aww, what is it? You want a belly rub? Here you go, rub rub rub rub!
Vyrn: Woah! All the cats are coming towards you, Lyria.
Dante: This is most irregular… It seems the lords and ladies have deigned to grace you with their appreciation.
Dante: Who are ye? It would appear that ye are no ordinary wayfarers…
Vyrn: We're skyfarers, actually! We're trying to get to the Island of the Astrals!
Dante: Hmm… The legendary Island of the Astrals… I know not whether it even exists.
Dante: But thy way of life… Truly, that is freedom.
Dante: Maybe the lords and ladies have sensed that freedom, and that is why they are enamored by thee.
Vyrn: Erm… That's probably overstating it a little…
Dante: What? Lady Rivera? Are you indeed serious?
Lyria: Huh? What's going on?
Dante: Indeed, Lady Rivera… I cannot truly say I have embraced a life of freedom in this state…
Dante: In a way, I suppose my life is already being dictated to me. I am tied to this place, after all.
Vyrn: Hey, dude! What are you muttering about, there?
Dante: I have a favor to ask of ye. Would ye be willing to accept a humble man such as myself into thy crew?
Lyria: Woah! That came out of nowhere…
Dante: Lady Rivera told me… She said that she wishes for me to see the world, and fly off into the sky.
Choose: Sure, come with us!
- Sure, come with us!
- The cats are coming too?
Dante: Very well. I thank you.Choose: The cats are coming too?
Dante: But of course. This was a collective decision betwixt myself and the lords and ladies.Continue 1
Vyrn: Can you really talk to cats? I feel like you're just making stuff up…
Dante: I cannot speak directly to the lords and ladies. I am merely a vessel to sense their emotions.
Lyria: Oh… Well I'd be happy to have all the kitties on the ship with us!
Dante: My magical abilities are unparalleled. Ye shall not regret taking me, (Captain).
Vyrn: Hey, hey… The cats get titles, but Captain (Captain) gets snubbed?
And so, Dante, lover of freedom (and cats), joined the crew on their journey.
From then on, cats became a common sight aboard the ship. They were loved by the crew, and Dante continued looking after them.
Meandering Cat Collector
While the crew are having dinner on an island they are visiting, Dante shows up looking glum. He tells them that Rivera, one of the cats he brought with him, has disappeared. Dante appears confused about whether Rivera has decided to make this island her home, or has simply got lost. The crew set out to search for Rivera and discover her true intentions.
In order to get some rest, the crew have made landfall on an island.
While they were dining, the topic of conversation turned to their many travels.
Vyrn: Haha! I was so shocked when that happened!
Lyria: Yeah, me too! I mean, it was so sudden…
Dante: …If I may interrupt thy beguiling discourse?
Vyrn: Huh? What's up? Why the glum face?
Lyria: Are you all right? You look like you've had a terrible shock…
Dante: I myself am fine… Have you perchance laid eyes upon Lady Rivera?
Vyrn: Erm… by Rivera, you mean one of your cats, right? I haven't seen her…
Dante: Oh how troublesome!
Lyria: Do you think something has happened to Rivera? If there's anything we can do to help…
Dante: I have not caught sight of her fair feline form ever since we made landfall on this isle.
Vyrn: Oh no! You think she's run off somewhere?
Lyria: That's terrible! Let's all search for her!
Dante: A search?
Dante: However… One wonders whether that would be indeed what Lady Rivera truly desires?
Vyrn: Huh? What does that mean?
Dante: If Lady Rivera has decided, of her own volition, to make this fair isle her home… Then she does so of her own free will…
Dante: A gratuitous intervention on our part would be a grievous infringement on that freedom!
Dante: I shall not allow it! Shall not, say I!
Lyria: O… kay…
Perhaps we could use a little perspective here?
Vyrn: Yeah… Are you not over-thinking this a little? She's probably just wandered off?
Dante: Enough! This is the destiny of all of us who seek freedom! I shall pour my tears into a cup, then drink a toast to my old friend!
Dante: To Lady Rivera's new life, I raise my glass!
Vyrn: And that's why you should be listening to what we're telling you! She probably just got lost!
Lyria: Vyrn's right! She could just be stuck somewhere.
Dante: Wha?? Yes, that could indeed be the case…
Vyrn: You see… It's finally clicked.
Dante: Forgive me. For one such as myself, to have created such commotion, such regrettable disquiet…
Dante: Let us scour this island for her post-haste, and only then may we divine Lady Rivera's true motives!
Lyria: OK! Now, where do cats like to run off and hide…
Dante: The plateau beyond yonder village: I believe it to be quite suited to Lady Rivera's disposition.
Vyrn: OK then! Let's go have a look, (Captain)!
Meandering Cat Collector: Scene 2
The crew are searching a plateau for Dante's cat, Rivera. Eventually they encounter a man who is holding Rivera in his arms. Dante and the man apparently have some bad blood between them, and they start quarrelling. Eventually the man says to freedom-loving Dante, "keeping this cat is my freedom", and battle commences.
The crew were searching for the cat, Rivera, on the plateau, when they entered a clearing.
Vyrn: Here kitty-kitty-kitty! Riveraaaaa!
Lyria: Awww, she's just nowhere to be seen.
Dante: And yet, there are traces of her presence. She must be somewhere on this plateau…
Following Dante's gaze, the crew saw a thick-set man loitering at the edge of the clearing. And, cradled in his arms, was a cat.
Thick-set Man: Awwwww, hello little soft thing! Aren't you a cutie-pie! And where did you come from?
Dante: Lady Rivera!
Thick-set Man: Oh, are you her owner? Isn't she a cute kitty?
Thick-set Man: Wha-? You're Dante, aren't you?
Dante: Mm? Why yes, I…
Thick-set Man: Well, well, well… I see you haven't changed a bit, still crazy about cats.
Dante: You're one to talk! How come you left the Crew of Enforcers?
Thick-set Man: Oh, I left the crew after I got injured. They awarded me the Medal of Valor. A bit different from quitting to look after cats!
Dante: Do you mock my pursuit of freedom? You good-for-nothing Whelp of the Enforcers!
Lyria: Um, could you two stop quarrelling please?
Vyrn: I'll say! Just what happened between you two?
Dante: It is an old enmity. Long ago, I too was in the Crew of Enforcers…
Dante: Of course, back then I lived in accordance with their edicts, but then…
Dante: One day I encountered Lady Rivera, and, by living among felines, mine eyes were opened to the inestimable value of living freely!
Thick-set Man: Eh? What's so free about always dragging a clowder of cats around with you on your business?
Dante: Always? I suppose they were there that one time… when you used the regulations of our ship as a pretext to PERSECUTE us!
Thick-set Man: Huh? "NO PETS ALLOWED ON THE AIRSHIP" is just common sense!
Dante: Well I… calling Lady Rivera "a pet"… Even your venomous scorn must have a limit!
Thick-set Man: You nincompoop! Cats are pets!
Thick-set Man: Enough already with all this "cats are free" clap-trap!
Thick-set Man: OK, let's settle this! From this day forth, I shall raise this cat, as an expression of my "freedom"!
Thick-set Man: Hehehe! If you want this cat back, you'll have to take her by force!
Dante: I accept your challenge!
Lyria: What? (Captain), hurry!
Meandering Cat Collector: Scene 3
The crew overcome the thick-set man and take back Rivera. The man explains that he and Dante used to be comrades standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the Crew of Enforcers, however, he could not comprehend why Dante left the crew so abruptly. In response, Dante apologizes, and the two repair their relationship. Just then, Dante notices that Rivera has disappeared again, but it turns out she has simply returned to the Grandcypher. Just as he has always done, Dante answers to every whim of his pampered pussycats.
The crew had beaten Dante's former comrade. As he returned the cat Rivera, he explained, resignedly, how he truly felt.
Thick-set Man: Darn it… I respected you, Dante.
Vyrn: What are you saying? In that case, why?
Thick-set Man: (Sigh)… He had great skills, he was popular, and then all of a sudden, he took off with his cats.
Thick-set Man: That really hurt. Him leaving like that.
Dante: …I see.
Dante: I have no regrets about the path I have chosen. However, I do admit, the change was a little abrupt.
Dante: My deepest apologies, I neglected to make efforts to gain the understanding of my fellow shipmates.
Thick-set Man: No, no, for our part we should've been more senisitve to your feelings.
Vyrn: Well… that's nice isn't it, everyone's friends again!
Lyria: Yay! It's also quite the coincidence, meeting again in a place like this.
Dante: Yes. Though I suspect Lady Rivera had a hand in this…
Dante: Huh? Where is Lady Rivera? Has she wandered afar once more?
Vyrn: What? Yeah, she just went back. She was heading toward the Grandcypher.
Lyria: Hahaha… She's just stretching her legs I expect.
Dante: I am indebted to you all. I hope to repay the favor during our travels…
Without looking back, Dante turned and headed for the Grandcypher.
And with that, the crew returned to the airship, the Lady Rivera in tow, and resumed their journey.
To Be A Cat
Sen is on the deck with one of Dante's cats. She tries befriending the feline, which to her astonishment replies with encouraging words. After a short conversation, Sen then falls asleep. Dante explains to Vyrn that he had been speaking the cat's thoughts for Sen.
Sen: Ah, nice and toasty!
Sen stretches out on the deck of the Grandcypher, squinting up into the limpid blue sky.
Sen: A perfect day for... Huh?
Sen: Oh, you must be one of Dante's.
Sen finds a cat curled up where she'd hoped to lay. After a moment's thought, she steps back and sits, knees pulled to her chest.
Dante's Cat: ...
The cat glances up at Sen, who fixes her posture ever so slightly.
Sen: Um, er... Hello! Mind if I sit here?
Dante's Cat: ...
The feline responds with a yawn and buries its head.
Sen: (Lyria always pets you and talks to you, doesn't she? Her and everyone else...)
Sen: (Maybe you and me can be friends, too. Guess I've just gotta talk.)
Sen: So, uh... Sure is warm here.
Dante's Cat: ...
Sen: I'm Sen!
Dante's Cat: ...
Sen: People always tell me I'm like a cat. Honestly, I don't get it.
Sen: I thought, y'know, maybe if I hung out with a cat...
Dante's Cat: ...
Sen: Back in the woods where I'm from, there aren't any cats. Just the big, wild ones.
Sen: It's good to be here on the ship with a cat like you.
Sen smiles at the reactionless cat and blushes slightly.
Sen: Heh... I'm being a chatterbox. Sorry to bother you while you're sunbathing.
Dante's Cat: No, not at all. You're bothering no one.
Sen: Whoa! Was that really you, Kitty?
Dante's Cat: Yes, and what of it?
Sen: Wow! Uh... Mukuta?
Dante's Cat: As a matter of fact, I am Rivera.
Sen: Oops! Sorry, Rivera.
Rivera: Think nothing of it.
Sen: This is just—I mean, a tiny little cat like you, talking!
Sen: That's it! That's got to be why they say I'm like a cat.
Rivera: It's weighing heavily on you, isn't it?
Sen: I'm just like, how am I like a cat? They're always saying I am.
Rivera: It's truly nothing to concern yourself with.
Sen: Really? You think so?
Rivera: I do indeed. Your friends adore your most catlike feature—your free spirit.
Sen: Hmm... My free spirit.
Rivera: More than whiskers or love of the hunt, it's what makes a cat, a cat.
Sen: This free spirit stuff sounds cool. Guess I've got a lot to learn.
Rivera: As I said, you needn't worry. Simply be yourself.
Sen: Y'know, maybe you're right. Thanks a bunch, Rivera!
Rivera: But of course.
Sen: Aaaah, I feel sleepy. It's so nice and warm...
Sen: Rivera, I... I uh...
Lying on her side, Sen curls into a ball. Off to her side, Rivera blinks and yawns.
Vyrn: What're you doing, old man?
Dante: Oh, it's you, Vyrn.
Vyrn: What's with the cat act? You had Sen thinking the furball could talk!
Vyrn: You oughta just chat with her—no pretending you're a cat!
Dante: I didn't pretend to be anything.
Vyrn: Oh yeah? Then what was that?
Dante: The speech was mine, but the words were Lord Rivera's.
Vyrn: Sounds like the same thing to me!
Vyrn: And either way, Sen still fell asleep talking to a cat!
Sen: Hmm... Urmph...
Vyrn: Sure, she looks like she's got it together. But she's pretty quirky!
Dante: Yes, her heart is gentle and free.
Dante: She and Rivera have much in common.
Vyrn: Hehehe! No one would know better than you, old man. I guess she really is like a cat!
As the two converse, a patch of sun advances past the sleeping Sen.
Rivera stands and stretches deeply, then returns to Sen's side.
The cat sidles up beside Sen, and curls back into a ball.
Dante: Yes, Lord Rivera seems to feel a sense of kinship with her.
Sen: Ha... So toasty... So furry... So...
Vyrn: Well, isn't everyone nice and happy!
From that day forward, Sen began sunbathing alongside Dante's cats.