Tales of the Grove
An OC Etrian Odyssey Fanfiction
Author's Note: Now we're getting into some of the characters. We're seeing more development. Also, I know the correct spelling is "Vulture" but I wanted my group to be unique in that it is "Volture" but still has a connection to the animal. It's not a spelling mistake, but intentional. I really like the characters a lot. I love giving them life outside of the video game. I also like the idea that Etria has a big-city medival feel to it. Etria sounds like a great place to live... save for the gapping hole in town. As always, enjoy!
Luck's Sweet Kiss
Renne grunted his slight displeasure as he and Lenné sat on a roughly hewn bench, clutching small pieces of parchment in their hands labeled 404 and 405 respectively. Renne was partially angry, partially in awe at the amount of people gathered in the larger building. People of all creeds and ages sat and stood on whatever available ground, waiting to be chosen to petition to be a member of a group. "En, when do you think it'll be our turn?" Renne petitioned, casting a glance at the dark-skinned girl.
Lenné turned, her face slightly soured by a combination of a dead leg and her natural impatience. "N'to much longer, I hope. I canna wait much longer. My leg," she ground her knuckles harmlessly into her thigh, "canna stand much more." She sighed, leaning forward. Renne blushed, the scant, grass green top she called a "shirt" threatening to bust from her bust. Renne coughed nervously, and luckily, Lenné notice, sitting back up, the cream diamond on her belly flexing as she took in a deep breath. She glance outside, the sun starting to dip in the sky as it came down from high noon. Lenné groaned, stretching her lanky legs, the breeze catching the blue cloth about her waist and ruffling it. "Renne, I'm so bored!"
Renne scoffed. "En, there's not much I can do about it. It's all up to the Guildmaster. The Explorer's Guild is under his control. Don't worry, we shan't be too long." Renne's words proved true, as the guild seemed to be steadily emptying. Many faced held bright smiles while others held downcast expressions coupled with eyes glimmering with unshed tears. Renne and Lenné soon heard their numbers called, and stood simultaneously.
Lenné half- ran to the desk, slapping her hands down onto the glazed wood. "'Ello there! Got t'us a group?"
The Guildmaster leaned forward, a toothpick on the tip of his lip. He was a formidable figure, his honey brown hair ragged as the cloak wrapped about his shoulders. He wore a bracer and metal shoulder pads and had a broadsword that peeked over his shoulder in the slightest. Even worse was the eye patch that he wore over his left eye. Renne shuddered internally, hoping that the Guildmaster was friendlier than he looked. "Nope, all gone." He sighed and reached under his desk, pulling out a small sign that read "closed" and setting it on the mahogany top. He turned on his heel and pushed a curtain open, walking through.
Lenné nearly tipped over the desk as she snatched up a powerful handful of the Guildmaster's blue cape. Her eyes seemed to glow with anger as she hissed. "Fryd tu oui sayh t'a ain't kud d'knuib? D'ruf eh ymm uv Etria yeh'd d'oui kud y knuib!" Renne grabbed Lenné about her waist, pulling her back. (1)
"Sorry sir, forgive her," he calmly asked, clapping his hand over the hissing mouth of the dark-skinned girl. Lenné fought hard, knocking her head against Renne's shoulder, eventually, and rather ungracefully, bringing them both to the ground. The Guildmaster peeked from over the counter, glad that the room was empty, save for three other unlucky souls.
"Tis fine, lad. I've had worse than her to deal with today. I've had the worst lot of inexperienced citizens come in. I swear by my sword that none of them will make it past The Roar," the Guildmaster leaned forward, resting his beefy forearms on the desk, the toothpick in his mouth wiggling between a gap in his front teeth. "However…"
Lenné perked up, having gone slack on the floor. She stood up instantly, a gleam in her eyes. "However what? Got a deal?" She raised her pencil thin eyebrows, leaning forward and cupping her chin with her hand, her right hand fiddling in her hair.
The Guildmaster smiled. "Interesting girl. Pretty and clever, just like her sister." Lenné smiled, tossing her head back and laughing. "Anyway, I do have a deal actually. I'm looking for promising fresh meat. There are more and more teams that are wanting simply to go into the Labyrinth because it's popular, not because of adventure. I'd like a true team, a true group worth of being called explorers."
Lenné nodded eagerly. "I'm your girl! I can fight, and I can hold m'own ground!"
Renne nodded. "I'd like to make something of myself. I want this, sir. It's my dream and I'm willing to face it by myself, regardless of you or the Radha's permission."
The Guildmaster nodded, looking Renne right in his eyes. His honey toned orbs stared back defiantly, his body solid and strong. Lenné looked between them both, her moss orbs glimmering nervously. Suddenly, the Guildmaster tossed his head back and laughed, clapping a hand over his quaking belly. "Ah, m'lad and milady, I think you might have something going! You're very gutsy!"
Lenné tilted her head. "…I do?"
Renne titled his head. "…I am?"
The Guildmaster nodded, clapping a hand on Renne's back and nearly knocking him over. "Ya are, m'boy! Look here, I'll sign ya up for a group." He turned to Lenne, who gasped nervously. "Plus, you're pretty friend helped." The Guildmaster winked, causing Lenné to giggle and bat a hand at his arm. "So… Do you have all the members?"
Renne nearly fainted. "Members? What members? How many do we need?"
The Guildmaster nodded. "Five," he held up five stocky fingers. "Five members with the will to go into dangerous depths."
Renne sighed, hanging his head. "Where am I going to find three other people?" He groaned and threw his head back, anger bubbling into his veins. He growled as he registered a tap on his shoulder. "Lenné, I'm not in the mood right now. I-"
A soft voice cleared there throat. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I heard you need a member for your team." Renne turned around and found himself face to face with a pair of glasses and a set of smoky slate eyes. "Name's Okami. You can call me Kai." Okami lifted an arm cloaked in a vicious sheath of armor. She snapped her fingers, producing a bright blue flame. "Alchemist for hire."
Renne nodded. "Kai… Odd name for a boy. Nice to meet you." Renne shook h
Okami's eye seemed to twitch in a rather controlled manner. She nodded. "I'm a girl." She huffed softly, adjusting the scarf about her neck with careful precision before smoothing her black hair down to her cheeks. She adjusted her glasses and smirked.
Lenné chuckled in the background, turning as she felt a voice laughing with her. "Ah, he's such a fool! Any man could see that she's a she!" The tanned girl looked down at Lenné, laughing still. She patted her on the shoulder, her purple eyes shining with happiness. "Ah, name's Touma. I can't fight well, but I'm a troubador, and an essential part of any group. I'm pretty handy with a spear, I can cook, and I'm a good dancer." Touma spun around, castanets in hand as they clacked, causing her tunic to spin.
Lenné smiled happily. "Name's Lenné. My sis is Shilleka, the owner of the goods store. Nice t'meet ya!"
A soft voice broke the foursome's revery. "E-excuse me. I'd like to join too." Renne looked over, spotting a rather small and dainty girl. "M-my name is Kira. I'm a medic. I'm pretty handy, and I-I can heal very well. I can identify materials we can use and things that harm us. I can't fight well and I'm weaker on the front lines, but I can heal you and save you quite a bit of en." Kira cast her stormy grey eyes down, nibbling on her lip. Lenné smiled gently, patting her on the back as Kira laughed, her stress relieved.
"Well, looks like we got t'selves a group!" Lenné stood up, sauntering over to the desk. "And here's our leada." She smacked Renne on the back, much to his shock and gave him a stout shove towards the Guildmaster.
"Say what," he quickly rebuffed the girl, glancing at her.
"Go on. Don't be scared," she whispered. "Don't ruin your dream. I know that you want this." Renne gulped as he nodded and looked at the Guildmaster, trying to muster up the nerve he had had to even come to the guild in the first place.
The Guildmaster merely smiled at their exchange and pulled out a piece of parchment. "Now, what will ye name be?"
Renne turned, seeing Touma and Kira for the first time. They waved, Kira somewhat apprehensive and Touma rather excitedly, and Renne couldn't help by smile. He was starting his dream. "Volture," he whispered. "Volture, because we don't pick up scraps: We take it all. All or nothing."
Lenne laughed loudly, like bells chiming in the wind. "Yr! Jumdina ed ec! Fa tuh'd rihd clnybc! Fa dyga ed, ymm un hudrehk!" She smiled and nodded as Renne signed the parchment. (2)
"Volture, eh," Okami whispered. She smiled to herself. "I think that this will become a fine name in Etria."
Touma smiled at Kira gently, nodding her approval. "I think we'll be perfect for this place, girly!"
Kira smiled, giggling softly. "We'll take 'em all!" She pumped a fist into the air, jumping up and down, her simple tan dress ruffling in her wake. Touma nodded, giggling with her in unison.
The Guildmaster smiled. "One last thing: what class do you want to pursue?"
Kira raised her hand first. "Medic."
Touma smiled, dancing around as she clacked her castanets. "Troubador, of course!"
Okami smiled, holding a flame in front of her face. "Alchemist." She snapped and the flame went cold, turning to bright blue ice.
Lenné smiled. "Protector."
Renne chuckled. "Doesn't that lack clothes?" Lenné elbowed him in the gut playfully.
"No," she chirped. "It is a very respectful position. Tisso." (3)
The Guildmaster threw his glance to Renne. "What about you, lad?"
Renne mulled it over for a moment. Survivalists were good with hunting and bows, but he could hardly string one. Landsknechts were masters of axes and swords. Renne could handle a throwing axe well, but the only sword he could handle was the kitchen knives. "I know what I want." Everyone else leaned forward intently. "Dark Hunter." He could handle a whip. Lashes that could turn the tide of battle would be key for their group, and as a leader, he wanted to turn the tide.
"Nice," Okami said, nodding her approval.
Lenné squealed behind her. "Wow, we'll be real explorers." She looked up at the Guildmaster. "When do we start?"
The Guildmaster simply threw his hands down on the table, causing all of them to look at him. "Why, you start tomorrow!" He gave a hefty laugh as the sun settled onto the horizon like a fat fruit, the rays rolling down the hills and making all of Etria shine, almost as though it too, was celebrating with their accomplishment.
Lenné's Language Guide
The language spoken by Lenne is a rougher version of Al Behd, a language common in FFX and FFX-2. I adapted parts of it for her, because she's exotic, like her sister, and not directly native to Etria. I wanted to give her something quirky, so she sometimes speaks in Al Behd. She only uses it when emotional or as an endearment. I think it adds something to her character.
Pronounced: "FE-raae-de teoo ohooee seeahae-ha [t'a ain't] kukoo-de de'kuknooee-bae? DE'raoo-fe eay-ha aemm oo-fu [Etria] aeeay-ha'de de'ohooee kukoo-de ae kuknooee-bae!"
English: What do you mean [t'a ain't] got t'group? T'how in all of [Etria] ain't t'you got a group!"
Pronounced: "AE-ra! JAEoom-deeenah eay-de eay-ku! FEah teoo-ha'de raee-ha-de ku-lunae-bae-ku! FEah deae-geah eay-de, aemm oon haoo-de-raeay-ha-kuk!"
English: Ah! Volture it is! We don't hunt scraps! We take it, all or nothing!