“Hatching-Tide – Hard-boiled High Jinks”
Hatching-tide is in full swing and the city-state is alive with holiday cheer. Brightly clad egg mongers mingle amongst the masses as the eager voices of those seeking excitement ring through the streets.
But there are no smiles in the Dreamer’s camp, for the mountain of hope she had piled so meticulously high, has come crashing down in the span of an evening.
As always, the Raven is there on the scene to bring you the latest developments.
High above the Twelveswood, the Raven circles, evermore seeking out truth hidden amongst the shadows of the trees.
In this edition, field correspondent Oliver Goodfellow revisits Jihli Aliapoh, also known as the Dreamer, and her faithful followers to investigate what is unfolding into one of the most peculiar events in recent memory.
Eggs in One Basket
Whether you are follower of the Dreamer’s gospel, or simply someone caught up in the season’s festive mood, there is no denying that with each passing day, anticipation for the Hatching Hour—the ceremony in which the eggs are used by the Dreamer to summon forth the fabled Twelve Archons—continues to grow. Which is why the heinous crime committed in Jihli’s storage tent last night is that much more shocking.
Upon finishing the day’s sermon, Jihli made her way to the double-walled tent in which she and her followers had been storing the eggs collected from the festival-goers. After seeing that the eggs collected that day were secure, she fastened the entrance with a sturdy lock and returned to her nearby chambers, where she meditated until the sands of slumber granted her blissful respite. What awaited her the next morning, however, was a harsh reality—not only was the storage tent lock broken, but the eggs within gone…
And to add to the mystery, it was soon found that something else had gone missing as well—one of Jihli’s spriggan famuli, Twiggy, was nowhere to be seen.
Robbery or Ruse?
Spriggans are feared across the realm as furacious furballs prone to pilfering any piece of property they can carry, and so in light of this new evidence pointing to the involvement of a spriggan in the theft of thousands of eggs, the whole affair raises the question, why were the creatures allowed a place beside Jihli in the first place? Last week I reported that Jihli enlisted the spirggans to help collect eggs, utilizing to her advantage the creatures’ natural instinct to hoard small objects, but what exactly was it that prompted her to do so?
After speaking once again with Jihli’s assistant, Bricot, the answer becomes clear. It appears that three days before the commencement of Hatching-tide, two spriggans appeared on the doorstep of the Dreamer’s home, both carrying eggs. Whereas most of us would view wild beasts loitering about our homes as a nuisance and place an immediate call to the Wood Wailers to have them removed, Jihli took the whole scene as a sign from the Archons—the two spriggans obviously sent to assist her in preparing for Hatching-tide. And with that, she enlisted their services, not once stopping to think that the appearance may simply have been coincidence.
The bite marks on the broken lock, the tiny footprints leading to and from the tent, the clumps of dark fur in and about the empty egg boxes, and Twiggy’s apparent absence from the festivities this morning all point to the spriggan’s involvement in the tragic disappearance. Yet the case may not be as cut and dry as it seems. Another of the Dreamer’s spriggan servants—a veritable dust bunny answering to the name of Diggy—is still working alongside Jihli this morning, sweeping up eggshells and fetching egg caps as if nothing transpired the night before. Considering the gregarious nature of spriggans, combined with the sheer number of eggs that were stolen, it seems unlikely that Twiggy could or would have have worked on his own, leading one to believe that there may be more to this story than is apparent.
Are we to believe Jihli and her tale of betrayal? Could it be that a rogue spriggan is working on his own to foil what could be the most important moment in Eorzean history? Or could it be that Hatching-tide is naught more than a grand performance, and to prevent the hoax from being exposed, festival ringmaster Jihli Aliapoh engineered the theft herself?
Whatever the answer, you can rest assured the Raven will find it.