(I posted this here earlier, and I have no idea why it never showed up!)
The younger brother is Lord Emmanellain. Since he will get no inheritance and is going to have to live off whatever money his older brother lets him have, he wants to do whatever thing in the Sea of Clouds will make him look super cool to everybody. He’s still treating this like a joke, so I don’t feel particularly bad for him. The kid follows him to the airship landing.
The Sea of Clouds is full of floating bits of ground, like in a platformer. And it’s cold. The Count’s diary wants us to know that the airships they use were designed by Cid. Will everywhere I go have narration? “To that gambling house, waster of countless gil and hours, she came.” “To that hellish cave, full of golden poison, she came.” The guards talk about how boring the place is and how the most they see is dragon-shaped clouds. If it’s that quiet here, there’s a good chance some dragons WILL come through and destroy something before the game’s end. JoJo attempts to explore, but can only go so far this time. Music’s fun, at least, although I still turn on Cloud Cuckooland for part of the time; I am wandering for quite a while. And it’s pretty in a dangerous, fantastical way. (A knight walking by says that even the flowers want us dead.) Interestingly enough, I find an abandoned village and a spear thrust through the body of what looks like a small dragon. Hmmm.
Emmanellain needs to find Ser Laniaitte, and he drags Honoroit, JoJo, and her glass of frozen spirits with him. Everyone else calls her Lady, but she introduces herself as Ser, so that’s what I call her. She’s happy to meet me because her younger brother is Lord Francel the non-heretic. When Emmanellain tries to brown-nose, I start feeling kind of jealous... and then she tells him to let her finish speaking to me. HA! I think Laniaitte and JoJo are going to get along just fine. Even better, she doesn’t want the young master getting in the way, so she finds an unimportant task for him and gets JoJo to tell his servant boy to keep him there. When they’re over in their own little corner (no really, I can see them at the edge of the map), Laniaitte explains the main problem here is with the Vanu Vanu. This beast tribe used to be cool but suddenly became hostile six months ago. Now I need to go stab a few.
After murdering enough of the neighbors, JoJo delivers meals to hungry knights and tries to psych them up. Emmanellain, who thinks he’s too good for sentry duty, goes to demand a better job from Ser Laniaitte. The lady humors him and tells his babysitter (and her glass of frozen spirits) to tell him we need to find a certain kind of crystal that will provide fresh water. Emmanellain wants to turn it into a competition. I already know his little manservant is going to be biased and say his specimen is better. JoJo knocks back a third drink and gets to searching. She inspects four useless crystals, and does her happy “dungeon is cleared” dance upon finding a good one.
The next quest description has a picture with an angry Haurchefant, Emmanellain with his face in his hands, and the title “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Is it time for me to get my schadenfreude on? The young master hasn’t come back yet, so Honoroit and JoJo start searching for him. I don’t see jack; the kid sees his boss attacked by the Vanu. Well, he had a good life. ...FINE, I’ll go save him. JoJo has her fourth drink, puts Cloud Cuckooland back on the orchestrion roll (you know what I mean) and goes to stop Darwin from happening. I only took a few steps into the village last time, but this time I need to go quite a ways in. Yo, Emmanellain, give a pained scream if you can hear me! And then he DOES start screaming, thinking that the Vanu are going to eat him. Honu Vanu, their chief, spots JoJo and sics a couple of guys on her. I take advantage of the lull after their deaths to untie the useless manchild. More Vanu chase us on our way out, and all Emmanellain can do is stand there with his hands over his head whenever one attacks him. Haurchefant appears with backup. I don’t think I’ve ever been this glad to see him before.
At the exit to the village, Chief Honu Vanu confronts us, shouting something about offerings and The White. That doesn’t sound good. And then a huge monster appears, leaping out of the clouds like a whale leaps out of the ocean. It’s not a dragon, which is good... but the chief calls it Bismarck, which means there is a primal problem up here too, and no Y’shtola to help me with it. Maybe this is why the Vanu got violent six months ago? Emmanellain dashes off, soiling his armor if the faces he’s making are any indication, and we have to chase him. He nearly falls over the edge of a cliff. I can’t believe this jackass came from the same DNA that produced Artoirel and Haurchefant.
When JoJo and her friends got stuck at the edge of a cliff, Cid had them jump off and land on his airship. Today, when JoJo, her would-be FWB, his backup, and his idiot half-brother are about to die, Cid (who has a sweet new outfit) comes and saves everyone once again. Haurchefant is the last one to get on, and Biggs and Wedge cheer for him when he lands. Cid is here because they begged him to work on the airship that had been sitting around in need of repairs. He says I’ve been up here for *days*??? I’ve been babysitting this manchild for DAYS?!? How much of JoJo’s life has already been spent freezing and regretting everything? At least I have Cid and Biggs and Wedge. Maybe they’ll help me deal with Bismarck and that’ll somehow get me on a fast track home.
Speaking of Bismarck, Emmanellain thinks he’s amazing for discovering a primal... even though we all saw it at the same time. While we were saving him from being bird food. He wants to brag to Laniaitte, but she’s more likely to congratulate JoJo than she is him. On the other hand, getting to watch him learn this the hard way... JoJo is the one who shares the bad news. Haurchefant and Honoroit are all “yeah, several other conflicts with beast tribes have involved primal shenanigans” while Emmanellain expects them to give him props. Laniaitte gives ME props. HA! At least I don’t regret meeting her up here. JoJo gets a fond farewell and regards to pass on to the Count, because someone needs to let the Holy See know about the primal problem.
(On my way out, Laniaitte expresses disappointment that the manchild didn’t get banged up even more and learn something. LANIAITTE BEST NPC.)
When I get back to the house, Emmanellain’s sullen face gets a close-up. Apparently the Count smacked him for being such a tool. Hard. “It’s not easy playing the hero, is it...” he whimpers. YOU THINK? He falls upon his knees before JoJo, who raises her hands as if to inquire about this display, and after a couple seconds of this he leaves. Honoroit bows and leaves too. The game called this bit “A Reward Long In Coming.” Thanks, Square.