“Somewhere inside that man is a maniac that wants to become a god. His closest friends couldn’t save him from it before. What chance do we have?”
-Naoko, regarding Caelis
The party brought Caelis Balthazar to Kogel’s as-yet-unnamed island in an attempt to figure out what to do with their archenemy before the Faction reclaimed him. The Caelis that came back from the false reality was not the Caelis they spent a year and a half battling, but a younger, calmer Caelis, if no less intense. When he spoke, he spoke with one voice alone, not the three mixing together that they had come to accept.
Caelis described his recent past to Kogel as follows: “At first, I was on a boat en route to this island, traveling with my associates Gaspar and Melchior, ready to meet with your father for the third time. And then I was in a world without form, a void without shape or purpose, where I felt that the world was nothing but potential, and it was just waiting to become what it would be. Then that world became the top of that tower, and I saw the last moments of that pitched battle play out over the sea, and then turned to see the six of you and your airships converging on us.”
He then asked the question the party was dreading — who was he to them, and who was he to Damocles?
The Other You
“Your other self. The one we know. He was our enemy. And the enemy of the entire world.
I don’t know who you are."
-Kalil, to Caelis
Kogel told Caelis the truth — the full truth, or at least as much of the truth as he could fit into the conversation. He told Caelis about EDEN and Caelis’s goal to use it to create a perfect world. He told Caelis about the experiment regarding Ultima. Caelis responded by producing his Ultima materia, marking the second instance of that unique materia in Damocles. Kogel said that he, just like the rest of them, were put into “a nexus of infinite possibility and potential,” able to see what may have changed or what could happen, inside their individual pocket worlds.
Naoko pulled Kogel away to argue about telling Caelis too much, making the life he was denied sound entirely too appealing. She argued that Kogel was setting Caelis on the same path by telling him the facts in this manner. Kogel argued that this Caelis wasn’t their enemy, and neither he nor Naoko could think of much else to do with him, unable to put him back and unable to set him free. Kalil and Caelis carried on a careful conversation during this time, ranging from Kalil’s former status as an immortal tied to an Aeon, the whereabouts of the other Sages, and confirming that he had nothing to do with the untimely passing of Doctor Thierry Sever, Kogel’s father. Caelis then graciously allowed the party to discuss their next action by talking to Darien about the advances in airship technology over the last 15 years.
Champ proposed giving Caelis to SeeD custody, but putting him in the research division with Taur and Grey by his side, so he could continue his work and the other Sages could carefully monitor his behavior to see if there were any hints of the previous Caelis. The person most responsible for Caelis, though, would be the party member with the closest link to him: Kogel.
“You know, three times I’ve had the chance to kill him. To end this all. And now here he is, completely vulnerable. And I’m saying we shouldn’t do it.”
The Devils You Know
“I assume you understand – if we’re able to restore you to the point in time where you left, knowing too much about the future could cause unpredictable complications.”
“Which is precisely why you told me as much as you did, ensuring that I would not be able to return. Am I correct?”
-Kogel and Caelis
Despite uncovering Kogel’s plan, Caelis agreed to its terms, stating that he was not ready to see if any of Kogel’s words were bluffs. Champ oversaw Caelis being transferred to SeeD custody, giving him to a number of his most trusted agents.
The party retired to Madain Sari, where a party awaited them. Before anyone could really relax, they needed to catch up on what happened in their absence, so the party convened in the War Room for the briefing.
The revelation that Kalil allied with the Boryokudan during the party’s absence was met with disbelief from some and a violent outburst from Kogel, who was incensed that Kalil partnered with “folks that have been kidnapping, murdering.” Kalil argued that the Boryokudan were indebted to someone else, the mysterious Boss of the Boryokudan, and that Mist was still working on uncovering his identity. The clarification that the favor owed by the party to the One-Armed Dragon was an unspecified favor, to be called in later, did little to improve moods. Jericho stepped in to defend Kalil near the end, listing out all of the things that broke in their absence, and how ragged Kalil ran himself keeping up. The others reluctantly conceded the need for the Boryokudan, with Naoko’s comment of “any port in a storm, huh?” summing it up.
“…the fuck are you doing here? How’d you get here?”
“I walked, if you must know.”
-Naoko and Balthier
Balthier introduced himself to the group at the meeting’s end, announcing that he would be Naoko’s second Link free of EDEN if she’d have him, and that he was escorting Eden to see them, so she could apologize again. The party quickly accepted and then discarded her apologies, just happy to see her safe. Eden revealed that she was part of Chaos now, demonstrated by the white wing on her shoulder, and Kalil’s past link to Chaos was how she was able to find and free him before. The party officially welcomed Eden to Madain Sari and Paradise, and everyone went home happy.
Link Board Points
Everyone gained two LP for the session.