As we continue to make our way through the beginnings of the MSQ, we’re nearing the end of the Ul’dah arc and getting into the game proper. Let’s see what the end of the beginning has to offer!
After a hard-earned rest from defeating the black-masked Ascian’s golem, we return to Momodi in the Quicksand for a lead on our next job and adventure. She is, after all, the proprietress of the Adventurer’s Guild! She sends us to speak to Dadanen in Horizon, a businessman dealing in mining and ore.
We make our way to Horizon, where we meet Dadanen who tells us he’s been expecting us.
The guy behind him looks like he’s struggling a little bit, though. Dadanen tells us that he’s been expecting a shipment of ore from Copperbell Mines for days now – a shipment that he paid for in advance. When we find the miner, Drunken Stag, he tells us that there’s no product to deliver; the Stone Torches have closed the mines due to an incident in the depths. Foreshadowing, perhaps? (Yes.)
The ore in question is Nashachite, and not all is lost as Drunken Stag informs us that some of the shipment was taken by stone-gobbling coblyns. Seeing as we’re adventurers, and the best adventures involve punching things, we set to work on the coblyns!
It’s not much of a fair fight between a level 80 GNB and a level 10 coblyn, though.
In return for our services, Drunken Stag informs us that there’s a bounty on Sun Midges. And no, that’s not another Ul’dahn name for a faction, it’s a swarm of horrible midge flies that if you’ve never had the displeasure of seeing in person, you should count yourself lucky. They’re awful (thanks, Florida).
Slaying the midges leads us to collect the bounty from the Brass Blades – one of the guard factions of Thanalan. This brings us to meet good old Fufulupa, a member of the Brass Blades of the Rose. Fufulupa is eager to ask us to stay and lend more aid, and we quickly learn that the little chap is small in stature, but large in heart and personality.
Fufulupa sends us along the route to Lost Hope – a slum camp for those abandoned and outcast by Ul’dah. On this route we’re meant to find a courier, and Fufulupa tells us that his former Captain and personal hero, Leofric, is “stationed” in the camp…though we quickly learn that Leofric is one of the outcasts himself.
Leofric tells us that he and the outcast Brass Blades have taken it upon themselves to protect the people of the “town,” if you can call it that. With our insistence to lend aid, he sends us to a hideout of Lalafell bandits nearby to deal with their leader, the Baron. After he’s dealt with, Leofric tells us that “Ul’dah is more prosperous than ever, some say, but none of that wealth has trickled down to the smallfolk.” He, like Wystan, was a squeaky wheel and was dealt with in a most shameful way.
Leofric gives us a dagger only meant for the hands of a Captain of the Brass Blades of the Rose…and tells us to give it to Fufulupa.
Fufulupa then tells us he’ll hold onto the dagger for safe keeping. His new Captain, Baldewyn, has only sent a tiny force of Brass Blades to protect the town of Crescent Cove – a fact Fufulupa thinks is unacceptable, and he sends us to help. The guards there are leery of us, telling us that Baldewyn instructed them to interact with “trusted men only.” If that weren’t fishy enough on its own, the townspeople of Crescent Cove seem ill at ease, begging us for more time to provide fish and supplies.
Just as well, other townsfolk tell us that they overheard bandits from the Quiveron Manse – the very same bandits whom we confronted for Leofric – discussing their plans to steal Nashachite from Copperbell Mines…the very same shipment we collected! They’re set to meet their conspirators in the Footfalls…and we find it’s none other than Captain Baldewyn!
After besting Baldewyn and Baron Quiveron’s brother, our good friend Leofric appears on the scene. Baldewyn tells us that he’s acting under Lord Lolorito’s authority, but Leofric posits that isn’t true…and Baldewyn backs down. Arresting him, Leofric once again says that the Brass Blades have multiple facets…some do it for coin and power, while others do it to genuinely make a difference.
Leofric tells Fufulupa that he’s the most honorable man he knows – and names him temporary Captain of the Brass Blades of the Rose. Fufulupa and Leofric escort Baldewyn to be arrested, and the man is stripped of rank and title, thrown away. Fufulupa tells us that we are a hero to the Sultanate, and he’ll count on us again in the future.
Not very many longstanding implications here, but definitely some things to consider. Let’s dive in.
1) We can surmise in this section that the Brass Blades are little more than Lolorito’s personal army. Given our interactions with Lolorito through the years, this section just shows that he never acts unless its in his best interests. In Stormblood, we get an apology and a lot of aid, financial and otherwise, with Hancock telling us that Lolorito is genuinely sorry for his part in things and wants to make amends. But we have to ask the question – was that a genuine change of heart? With everything that’s happened I’m inclined to believe not, and that we haven’t seen the last of Lolorito’s wicked schemes.
2) There are different branches of the Brass Blades, and it seems if someone is from the Brass Blades of the Rose, they’re largely considered one of the more honorable branches with genuine desire to help people.
3) Lost Hope is one of several locations where people are down on their luck and living in squalor. Interestingly, other than the Brume in Ishgard we don’t see many slums in the game. That begs the question…is Ul’dah ever going to do something about that?
And there you have it, this week’s edition of Icy Takes! Anything you noticed that I missed? Let us know below!