Journal of the Meager

The document seems to be a section of a journal written by a young man named Rand, who served alongside Ramza Beoulve in the Hokuten Knights during the days just after the Fifty Year War. He begins his journal with details on his life. He was a farmer’s son who enlisted at the Academy at Garliand Magic City to get money to help his siblings. Soldiers were needed thanks to the depleted military from the Fifty Year War and Rand was one of many. He speaks of his final days at the academy before being deployed into House Larg’s Hokuten Knights.

Many soldiers who returned from the Fifty Year War had no jobs, little money and even less loyalty to the crown. Many became thieves and mercenaries, plotting rebellion against the royal family. At that time, robbery and murder were commonplace in Ivalice. Many heroes and wizards came out of that time. And Gariland Magic City was no exception. I was a soldier in a class of men and women alike, from families both poor and noble. The Commander was Ramza Beoulve, a noble from the region.

Cadets were selected to assist the Hokuten knights in protecting the area against the attacks of the Death Corps, a rag tag group of soldiers that fought for independence from the crown. I was chosen to serve in the same branch with Ramza and my Lieutenant was who I saw most often. He would often talk with Ramza alone, as the two of them had been friends throughout their time at the Academy.

Unknown to us at the time as we headed toward Igros Castle, Prince Bestrada Larg and Marquis Elmdor of Limberry were headed in the same direction just ahead of us. We came upon bandits that were interrogating a lone soldier no older than I. Ramza demanded them to stand down and when they refused and drew steel, we fell upon them, blades and magic in hand. I fought alongside the Lieutenant on Mandalia Plains, laying the brigands low. The man we rescued was named Algus, a squire under the Limberry Aegis Knights. He enlisted our assistance to help rescue the Marquis. We took him with us but followed our orders and continued to Igros Castle.

Upon reaching Igros, I was amazed. I had never seen such a large castle. Ramza and the Lieutenant went to see Lord Dycedarg Beoulve and receive orders. Not long afterward, we saw Lord Zalbag Beoulve head out with soldiers and scouts in toe, to search for the Marquis no doubt. Our orders were to wait in Igros and guard against any assaults by the Death Corps, or Corpse Brigade as they were also called.

One day later we received orders from the Lieutenant to mobilize and prepare to head to Dorter Trade City. Apparently a ransom had been demanded from the Marquis’ kidnappers and Commander Beoulve’s battalion were to find the whereabouts of the spy that had been sent ahead of us.

While marching to Dorter, I talked with other soldiers. Ramza was our commander, though few of us had talked with him. He was by no means anti-social, but he was studious. Much more so than any of us though, as he could read before he came to the academy while we common folk were learning from scratch. He didn’t give off that ‘noble entitlement’ feeling to me though and always gave a helping hand or ear when needed.

When we arrived at Dorter, we found the leader of the local Death Corps battalion, a man named Weigraf. He had blond, slightly curly hair and was good with a blade. We attacked his troops, taking few injuries thanks to our superior arms and training. We found out soon that there was dissention in the Death Corps! Weigraf claimed he wanted no part in the kidnapping but that Gustav Margueriff, the former Commander of the Aegis Knights who had been disbarred, was in it for the money. We followed the rag-tag remainder of the troops to a hidden base in the Zeklaus Desert, a place we soldiers called afterward “Sand Rat Cellar” due to all the rats we saw there.

We fought off the guard, me taking a slice on my arm, but victory was ours. We found Gustav dead and apparently at the hands of Weigraf. However, Ramza and the Lieutenant found the Marquis was bound, gagged and a tad malnourished but safe. We then marched back to Dorter where we waited for him to recover.

Upon our triumphant return to Igros Castle, we were informed rather quickly that Ramza had been given no such orders to rescue the Marquis! I was surprised, our commander had acted without order! Unthinkable in the military, especially as he was noble-born. Ramza was asked, along with Algus and the Lieutenant to speak to Lord Dycedarg in regards to their disobeying standing orders.

We were mobilized the next morning and sent south to find the Death Corps battalion responsible for the kidnapping. We were first sent after a potential base a few days march from our base at Igros.

The “Battle of the Thieves Fort” as we came to call it, was a bloody day. We lost many men in that raid, including Sergeant Moore and two of my squad mates. I watched them die, killed by a mace blow to the chest and another to a stray arrow. Sergeant Moore died fighting Miluda, the enemy’s female commander. Though when she closed the field against Commander Beoulve she fell before him, though he spared her. Upon hearing the reasons the Corpse Brigade had for fighting, it made Commander Beoulve pause. He let her go, making her swear to put the fight behind her. She spat on him and limped off. The Lieutenant and Algus spoke up against this, saying that he was niave and she would never give up the fight. However, the Commander just nodded his head and signaled our return to Igros. He said he had hope that people could change. The march was quiet as we had lost kids we had come to know over the last few years…

We had a few days off in Igros but were woken in the middle of the night. A raid on Igros Castle, and targeted at the Beoulves! We scrambled to the manor and caught only the last of the invaders as they escaped on horseback with a young brunette I had seen about town in noble garb with the lovely Lady Alma Beoulve!

We were rounded up and told to make ready for a prolonged march to the North, to take out the base at Fort Zeakden. The Lieutenant, Algus and Ramza must have had a fight because Algus left to another unit with a bruised cheek, and both Ramza and the Lieutenant had black eyes. We started north, not knowing who would see Igros again. Such is the life of a soldier.

The road north made us think of our fathers, men who had fought in the Fifty Year War. They had fought for something, freedom, and what were we fighting for? We were fighting our own people, our countrymen because they didn’t think we cared about them. What was a soldier to do in this?

Not long afterward, we ran into a scouting party lead by non-other than Miluda! After a fight on rocky ground, where many fell to the enemies’ arrows, we confronted Miluda and Commander Beoulve struck her down. She swore at him as she fell, holding her chest wound. I remember her words as if it were only yesterday.

“You nobles only care about yourselves. Know that I hold nothing but hate for you, even as I die.”

He looked sad as she died on the rocks, not proud at a victory. One of the men near me said “heavy lies the mantle of leadership”. I nodded.

We moved forward to Fort Zeakden, the base of the Death Corps Battalion. As we started our attack, to our surprise, a force showing the Beoulve flag showed up behind the fort! We had reinforcements, and lead by Zalbag Beoulve himself! We rushed into the melee. I was with Commander Beoulve and the Lieutenant as we confronted the main force, only to find them almost completely eliminated by the rear attack by Lord Zalbag’s forces. The force was lead by Algus, and he was staring down the commander of the last forces at the windmill. I watched as the commander of the Death Corps pulled the young brunette I had seen in Igros out of the windmill as a hostage, using her as a body shield.

“You wouldn’t kill her, she’s an innocent in this conflict! Let me out of her and she’ll live!”

With no more emotion than if he were crushing a bug under his boot, Algus shot that beautiful brunette, the arrow going through her and hitting the Commander. At this, the Lieutenant lost his mind.

“You bastard! That was my sister!”

It finally made sense. Why would a battalion of soldiers be sent after rebels unless there was some connection to a noble? The Lieutenant charged forth into battle and in the resulting melee, I got cut across the eye, which made me lose half my sight for the battle from the blood. I saw Ramza and the Lieutenant strike Algus down. As he was the last to fall, we all heard his words.

“The common folk can never understand us. We can never co-exist! Your brother gave me orders…to kill all the rebels…regardless…ugh…of the loses. That common girl Teta was just a casualty of war…until you understand the difference…between us and them…”

Algus died before he could finish. Inside the mill, we heard an explosion and saw smoke rising from inside. We all watched, some of us with our dying breaths, as the Lieutenant walked up to the dead brunette at the door to the mill and held her to his chest. Ramza yelled for him to come with us, but before he could run to grab the Lieutenant from the steps, the entire building exploded.

We fled from the ensuring explosions, as the windmill was not only a storage of flour but also a storage of gunpowder. As the whole of Fort Zeakden was soon ablaze, the night was bright, colored orange by the burning of the enemy base. I remember, as we sat, tired of fleeing and unable to move. I looked at Ramza with my one good eye. His glare was distant, a man lost in a world he knew too much about. I asked him what we were to do. His response will stick with me for all time.

“I’ve taken my whole life for granted Rand. What are we to do now? We run. We get away from this place. When it comes down to it, I would rather drop it all and run than see innocent people be killed in such a way.”

And we ran. May the gods forgive us, we ran. Regardless of the consequences, we would rather desert than be a part of such things. And so we ran, wounded, tired and without direction, we ran.

Journal of the Meager

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