Cold Blows The Wind (Gaius Van Baelsar)

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Cold Blows The Wind (Gaius Van Baelsar)
Date of Cutscene: 05 April 2015
Location: Coerthas Castrum, Coerthas, Hydaelyn
Synopsis: Aries Van Polus and Gaius Van Baelsar have a conversation, as Aries tries to give Gaius a little wisdom from an older man.
Cast of Characters: Gaius Van Baelsar (Dropped)
Tinyplot: Dragon's Bane

The Castrum within Coerthas sits high upon the mountain region, wind howls past her dark black metal structure that has been iced over by the constant freezing temperatures, with only the heat ribs built into her armored plating keeping the Castrum facility from buckling under her own weight.

The main landing zones and walking platforms though are constantly kept clear of ice and snow. Steam is always rising off those surfaces and crew are always working to keep it clear when the heat pipes are not. The troops stationed here are the Third Legion, a Legion wearing protective gear to deal with this unending cold and their magitek armor suits always dealing to keep them warm inside of its cermet, kevlar embrace.

Beyond the closed doors though, within the office of the Legatus of this Legion sits a man who is in his seventies, but the years have been very kind to him. His face shows little wrinkling of age, his hair still full and pure silver, with wise, piercing steel blue eyes. There is a pipe in his mouth he seems to be trying to light up with a few quick inhales with his boots kicked up on the table.

Another man stands in the room with him, one of solid black armor, with gold trimmings and crimson red 'cloth'; Gaius Van Baelsar. "If The Dravanian Horde is on the move again, where do you think they will head to?" The Legatus of the Fourteenth Legion asks the older man.

The older man at last gets the pipe lit and takes a deep inhale before gently exhaling through his nostrils before he speaks, "Hard to say, lad. The Ishgardians use to track their movements by the stars, but given the stars of the Multiverse have impacted our own… the astronomers can no longer read the Dravanians."

There was a slight tilt to Gaius head, as he turns to look at the older man directly, instead of out the window. "How did that work anyways, Aries?"

"Beats me, Gaius." Aries admits with an idle shrug before he huffs some smoke toward the ceiling, "The Ishgardians have all types of crazy behaviors. Acting all pure, proper, and without sin. Bah, they are far worse than most culture I've seen to be frank." He then takes the pipe out of his mouth and points it at Gaius as he speaks, "Now, if I was the Dravians and the former Seventh Legion, I know what I would do..."

Gaius lowers his arms from his backside, "And what is that, old friend?"

"I would deal with the matters of home first, make sure they cannot follow up, before dealing with the world outside." Aries motions a bit with his pipe, before planting it back in his mouth, taking a few puffs from it. "They are buying time anyways, its obvious in the behavior patterns. Strike a little here, strike a little there, and shake up the ol' tree. They have made no true push or a true display of power. They been playing us all, lad. See how we dance, how we react to their moves."

"Like a game of chess."

"Exactly!" Aries says with a snap of his fingers. "The Chess master however is not to be seen though, only his Knight. We don't even know where the Queen is… and that, my dear lad, is the concerning part."

Gaius crosses his arms over his chest about this point, "I would have thought the queen to be the one who has been leading these attacks."

"Is he?" Aries asks back, "Is he the one leading or simply another puppet on the strings." Aries then motions with his hands, before he takes a long drag from the pipe and lets out a huff of smoke. "I think your desire to ignore the inevitable has you blind lad to the tactical game of your old rival of a comrade."

Gaius hand tightens a bit, before he lowers his arms to his side. "Nael Van Darnus is dead, Aries. The man, even as much as I despised his actions, is no longer the one in command of that shell. Simply a monster, a beast to be rid of like every other foul, stenching Eikon upon this world."

Aries stares at Gaius with his eyes becoming stern, his face becoming emotionless to match Gaius' own unreadable helm. There is another drag off his pipe before he closes his eyes gently. "If that is how you believe, Van Baelsar, you will be made a fool faster than I have given you credit for."

"What?"

Aries open his eyes once more. "Just because a man becomes a beast, doesn't make him any less a man. Just because a man becomes a monster, doesn't mean he has forgotten how to act like a man. You'd be wise lad to heed that advice and remember those words. You told me how Nael stared you down when he let himself be seen. He pegged you and he made you then a fool. He'll come again and he'll only continue to pull at your strings until he has you so tied up, you no longer can make a move."

Aries then picks up a knife off his desk which he seems to use for whittling, before he slams it down on the map. Impacting a spot within Coerthas. "Now, you asked for my advice where I think the Dravanians would attack, I do not know. The better question to ask would be what would Nael Van Darnus attack in order to weaken any possible intrusion to his private little campaign that we are still in the dark to. If I was him…" Gaius slowly walks over to the desk as Aries continues to speak. "I would make sure Ishgard was so blind, that they could not enter the fight, as Ishgard represents the largest threat to his precious dragons."

Gaius looks down at the map where the knife is slammed into Ishgard itself. "Ishgard is too well fortified for a direct attack." He says to Aries as he looks at the two Vigils, "Too blind, if to not cripple, he would need to remove their arms."

"Correct," Aries says with a gentle nod of his head, "But which if these they will strike, we do not know. One vigil is already suffering problems even as we speak, the other holds steady… and holds something of great interest to the Ishgardian people."

Gaius tilts his head, "...and what is that, Aries?"

The older man then looks at Gaius directly in those void lens, looking past them directly to his eyes as he takes a long drag off his pipe, before he speaks with a low rumble to his voice. "The Enterprise…"

Gaius freezes in his dead stare, a hand on the desk slowly curls into a fist, but his silence remains. "I see, so they desire Airship technology." He then removes his hand from the desk. "I suppose that should not be surprising."

"No, it should not be…" Aries says softly, studying Gaius motions. "...but it is in their custody and we can do little about it. If Stone Vigil comes under attack, well, perhaps then we can swoop in and scavenge up the remains hm?"

Gaius then starts to turn away, "Perhaps. Keep me informed, Aries if the Dravanians leave their lands and start to push back out this way. I will make sure the Fourteenth Legion is ready to move to aid."

Aries puffs on his pipe once more. "Of course, Van Baelsar, but I must ask before you go…" He then moves his feet off the desk before he leans forward, holding the pipe easily in his mouth with his teeth. "Is your interest in aiding because of the desire to keep Ishgard in our good graces and to show Nael you are willing to make a stand no matter where his forces may go? Or are you simply interested because of whom once flew the Enterprise, because I will tell you now, Van Baelsar… no matter how much you may hope of hopes. Cid Garlond is gone to us, even if you were to bring him back, what chances will the Emperor forgive his crimes, hm?"

Gaius Van Baelsar says nothing but continues to make his way for the door, before it slides open and he then turns to look at Aries. "I do what I must for the good of the Empire and his Radiance. Nael Darnus, no matter what he is now, must be stopped, along with any and all who stand with him. Thank you for your time, Van Polus and again, keep me informed." Then Gaius makes his way out.

Aries can only lean back about then before removing the pipe from his lips. "No matter how hardened the heart, there is always holes in the armor… and those holes, my dear lad, will only lead you into sorrow and misery."