By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
The last thing Vane remembered was falling asleep on a chair while talking to Lancey. The next thing he heard was a splash. The next thing he felt was water entering his body through his mouth, ears and nose. Vane instinctively rose up and began coughing.
Once his coughing fit was over, he looked at his surroundings. He was… in a public fountain, completely drenched and with one of the spouts raining down water on his head. He felt his gauntlet bump into something in the water, which turned out to be his halberd.
“Aw c’mon, what kind of jerk does this to someone!?” he said to no one in particular, standing up and running a hand through his soaked hair as he stepped out of the fountain.
He had just come back from an exhausting mission and now this? Whoever was responsible for this picked a really bad time to try a prank like this. How did they manage to carry him all the way outside anyway?
Looking at his surroundings, he didn’t see anyone that really stood out. “Alright, who was the funny guy who threw me in here!?” he demanded an answer with a fierce, booming voice. He held his halberd with only his right hand over his shoulder, making him look all the more intimidating.
As that initial anger passed, however, he soon realized that his surroundings weren’t at all familiar to him. He wasn’t at the Feendrache capital anymore. This was… somewhere he’d never been to before, he could tell that much. Some kind of park?
“Wait…” His anger soon turned into confusion and he began quickly glancing at his surroundings like a lost child. “Where in the skies am I…?” he mumbled to himself, his brow furrowed as he tried to find anything recognizable about the area.
There were few things in life sweeter than a good book on a cloudless day. And it just so happened to be one of those days, which meant that Claude had decided to spend his afternoon at the park he’d arbitrarily decided was his favorite in all of Heavenfell. The fact that he had a favorite tree within that park probably proved that he was finally maybe somewhat settled into this new world, oddities and all. The tree was perfect though: sturdy trunk, smooth bark, branches divided in a way that filtered the light just right for reading.
Claude settled under the shade with a book that was long overdue at the library. It was a novel, a tale of knights and kings that reminded him of some of the tales he’d gleaned of Faerghus, told from the perspective of the king’s half-sister. It had held his attention through the long nights he’d watched over his injured houseguest – now that Giyuu was officially awake and decidedly mending, there was time to enjoy the fresh air concurrently.
Only a few pages in, Claude noticed motion in his periphery and looked up just in time to watch what appeared to be a knight plummet into the nearby fountain. Like the rest of the park’s patrons, Claude watched with bated breath until the man resurfaced with some signs of life. And he looked like he was just fine, at least. No harm done probably.
There was something almost amusing about watching a man climb out of a fountain in full armor, particularly when he’d just been reading about knights before his untimely plunge. And so Claude laughed aloud, even though he knew he probably shouldn’t have. At least he had enough courtesy to stifle the sound with a hand, which he then tried to disguise as a cough and a quick diversion of his gaze when the knight seemed to be seeking a target. That anger faded quickly, however, and Claude was left feeling almost bad for the guy – he was sopping wet in the middle of a park and clearly lost. No one seemed terribly inclined to help him. Which just left Claude.
Deciding that staring wasn’t helping, Claude snapped his book closed and strolled toward the newcomer. As he walked out from under the tree, he gazed out at the sky, seeking any sign that the knight may have fallen from the back of a wyvern or anything else. There was nothing. New arrival then? “Well that was quite an entrance,” he commented. As he approached, he loosened the clasp that held his gold cloak in place and offered it with an apologetic smile. The fabric was hardly absorbent, but it was still better than nothing. “You’re currently in the city of Heavenfell, but my guess is that name doesn’t ring a bell, does it? You seem lost, and not just because you probably hit your head in that fall.”
During his confusion, someone did approach him. A man, a bit shorter than him and with darker skin, wearing some rather fancy looking clothes. He offered Vane his cape and answered the question of where he was.
"N-No, I never heard of a Heavenfell before. Which island is it on?" he asked, trying to recall if he'd ever heard the name Heavenfell before. He couldn't think of anything, but sometimes the cities had different names from the islands they were on, so maybe that would help.
That aside, Vane was still soaking wet. The feeling of having of wet fabric on his skin was pretty unpleasant, not to mention that getting his armor all soaked was no good either. The stranger was offering him a cape to help dry himself with but...
"H-Hey! That looks like a really fancy cape! I can't dry myself with that!" he protested. It didn't look like there were any particular designs on it, but the fabric sure looked expensive. Not that he had much of an idea of how much those things costs. Clothes were definitely not his area of expertise.
At the word ‘island’, Claude cocked a brow. He decided quickly that this guy was definitely a new arrival, and at the very least this one wasn’t actively dying. Though that was a very real improvement from the last time, Claude was decidedly unpracticed in easing people into the odd amalgam that was Pandora. He offered an apologetic smile nonetheless. “I hate to have to be the one to break it to you, but we’re not on an island at all,” he said, thoughtful. What was the best method for delivering world-shattering news? There wasn’t exactly a universal strategy for it, but Claude figured it would be worse to drag it out. “In fact, you’re no longer in the same world you’ve probably known for most of your life. So, uh, welcome to Pandora. Sorry you got dumped in a fountain.” It really was an unfortunate introduction.
There would inevitably be some follow-up to the revelation, and Claude watched the knight’s reaction carefully. “... I’ll let that sink in. But really, don’t worry about the cape. You need it more than I do right now.” Claude renewed his offer with a gesture. It was fine fabric, true, but it was hardly on par with his Barbarossa silks.
While he appreciated the knight’s apparent courtesy, he couldn’t ignore the fact that the stranger was toting around what appeared to be a halberd. Claude’s charity extended as far as his coat, but not nearly as far as his trust. Still, there was also something strangely reminiscent about him… Raphael. Even soaking wet, the guy looked strangely similar to one of his Deer. Not that that fact made Claude any more inclined to trust him, but it did make him feel oddly sentimental, a notion he was careful to keep from his expression.
They... weren't on an island? Not even in the same world? Vane's expression only grew more and more confused with each second he thought about what he was told. Somehow, he'd been taken away from home while he was sleeping and brought to this world called Pandora? That sounded waaaay too crazy to be real.
Was this some kind of dream? No... he'd just fallen into a fountain and he was pretty sure he was wide awake right now. Maybe it was just a very realistic dream but... he doubted it. Whatever was going on right now was definitely real.
He was so taken aback by everything, he almost missed the guy insisting that he used the cape to dry himself. "Ah! Uh... if you really don't mind it then..." he awkwardly grabbed the cape with his free hand and began drying his head with it. "Thanks a bunch, man! You're a real nice guy!" he said, briefly returning to his usual energy levels.
The rest of his body was completely covered in cloth and armor so... not much he could do about that right now, but at least he wouldn't be dripping anymore. His hair was a complete mess now but that was the least of his concerns.
Once he was finished, he held out the cape so the man could take it back. "So, uh... you said this is another world? Is that some kinda joke? Is that how the people here joke?" he asked, though his tone made it clear that he already knew the answer and was just in denial about it. "I mean... another world! That kind of thing doesn't just happen!" he added, now starting to sound more panicked.
Claude felt his smile falter a bit at the stranger’s judgment. He’d been called many things, but ‘nice’ was not a frequent descriptor. Which perhaps was to be expected, as altruism wasn’t frequently his motivation. But Pandora was not Fodlan, or even Almyra for that matter. Without a continent-wide war for survival or a looming struggle for a throne not easily won, perhaps he did have room to just be nice here, for a change. And perhaps it was possible for strangers to look upon him without the usual brand of suspicion, if this man was any proof.
It still felt strange. Claude watched the stranger dry at least a little water from his hair – they’d probably have to find a better solution for that armor though. He took the cloak back, folding it neatly over his arm. “It does sound like a bad joke, doesn’t it? I thought the same when I first arrived,” he offered. “This world – Pandora – takes some time to get used to. But most of the people around you aren’t from here either, myself included.” Claude remembered his own reaction on his arrival: panic as the adrenaline of battle gave way to an entirely different anxiety.
Though Claude had by now accepted the role of altruistic first-arrival guide, he was still unsure how to go about being even remotely comforting. This guy seemed to be oscillating between confusion and panic, which was more than expected given the circumstances. “Look, I know this is a lot to take in, so let’s slow down and focus on something easy,” he suggested, still playing this by ear. “Introductions maybe? You can call me Claude. And you are...?”
It wasn't a joke. This really was happening. Somehow, Vane had gotten transported all the way from Lancelot's office to this place while asleep. It sounded like it wasn't just him either, this guy was taken away from home and so were many others. It didn't make any sense but... at the same time, what other explanation was there for Vane to have been thrown into a fountain somewhere he'd never been to before?
"S-Seriously...?" he said, not even being able to muster the strength to freak out just from how stunned he was from everything that was going on around him.
Then the topic changed to something a lot easier to accept: introductions. With everything going on in his head right now, Vane completely forgot that he hadn't introduced himself yet. It didn't really change anything, but at least it let him distract himself from this messy situation.
"I'm..." he began, then bringing a closed fist in front of his mouth as he cleared his throat. "I'm Vane! Nice to meet ya, Claude!" he smiled sincerely, although some of his vigor was clearly forced. He then held out his hand for a friendly handshake that would be just a little too strong.
Claude almost felt bad dropping a life-altering revelation on this guy’s shoulders, especially so soon after he’d fallen from a not-so-insignificant height (and into a fountain no less). At the very least, he didn’t seem much the worse for wear aside from the inconvenience of soggy armor. His smile was warm, even though Claude suspected that some of the positivity was forced.
Nevertheless, the handshake was welcome, if not hardier than expected. Claude smiled – even if his hand smarted a bit, again he was reminded of Raphael. “Well met, Vane,” he said, trying to mirror at least some of the other man’s enthusiasm. Vane seemed somewhat more at ease, so perhaps dialing back on the world-shattering revelations was for the best, at least for now. “You know, I once knew someone called Weathervane. There’s not much resemblance, fortunately.” The words flowed easily, his tone light, but as he spoke he tried to plan out his next move. They couldn’t very well stand in the middle of a park all day with Vane soaking wet, and Claude didn’t feel right about the prospect of just turning him loose to the wider world of Pandora, not when he was so new.
“Why don’t we walk?” he suggested, taking a step in the direction of the park’s exit. “We can find you some new clothes in the city – somehow I doubt anything I have will fit you.” Vane was clearly both taller and broader than him, and Claude was disinclined to allow him to repeat Raphael’s crimes against ill-fitting clothing. He preferred his shirts and their associated buttons intact, thank you very much. “You can me ask questions along the way, if you have them. Or you can just tell me about what you were doing before you fell into that fountain. Your choice.”
Claude seemed to be a nice guy. Vane was definitely lucky to run into someone like him first. Judging from the way he dressed and spoke, he kinda had the vibe of a noble, though maybe a little more casual in his tone than most. Not that Vane minded it.
"Oh yeah, I don't have any of my usual clothes here..." He looked down at his armor, realizing that it was the only thing he had on him now. Then, he snapped back to Claude, alarmed. "Wait! I don't have any money on me either!" he raised his voice in his surprise. "I can't buy any clothes!"
This was really bad. He was in a whole new world and he didn't even have any money. Actually, would this place even accept rupies? Maybe it wouldn't have made a difference either way, but regardless, he was absolutely and completely broke.
From what Claude understood, it wasn’t terribly unusual for people to fall into Pandora without any money at all. And even if they happened to be lucky, coinage from other worlds varied drastically in how it could be exchanged to practical Pandoran value. Regardless, the fact that Vane didn’t have any money didn’t seem to faze Claude. He wasn't in the same position he'd once been in within the Almyra or even the Alliance, but he'd recently started a job and so he wasn't concerned. “How about I just take care of the cost for now? You can consider it a ‘welcome to Pandora’ gift of sorts,” he offered. Perhaps that was generous, but the guy just seemed so distraught about it and arriving in this world was already stressful enough. Still, if only they were in Pandopolis… Claude would have gotten him some kind of commemorative t-shirt with a corny saying on it.
Claude barely skipped a beat. “I even have some connections that can help you out with clothes and the like once you get more settled.” Knowing the Queen of Heavenfell and a handful of the city’s ministers had its perks, but Claude also had a few connections in Pandopolis as well, if that was more Vane's inclination. If he had even a few skills to offer, he could probably find some temporary work. “Frequent arrivals means there’s plenty of help available – I think we all remember what those first few days were like, so don’t worry so much.” Claude punctuated that with a wink, then began walking.
Claude was going to buy him new clothes?! He sounded like he'd already decided on that, even saying it was a "welcome" gift. Even offered some of his connections to help if needed. It all sounded way too good to be true, like this was some sort of scam, but Claude seemed genuine in all of it, which was really incredible.
"R-Really?" he said, dumbfounded, but then he started to grin. "Man, am I lucky that I met you here!" he laughed heartily. "Are all the people around here this generous?"
He began following after Claude, seemingly completely over the shock and panic of being in a completely foreign land with no way back, at least for the time being.
"Actually, you said this city is called Heavenfell, right? How is it like here?" he asked, taking Claude up on his offer to answer any questions he might have.
So perhaps generosity was a bit of a double-edged sword on a first introduction. Claude didn’t exactly consider himself to be magnanimous – this sort of assistance was just basic decency in his mind, even if it didn’t directly serve him in a tangible way. It felt strangely revealing to give people the impression that he was somehow selfless rather than finding a way to use their usual suspicion. Still, there was something very rewarding in being able to reach out a hand in friendship to people from other worlds, all outsiders in their own right in this place. Helping Vane here was just the Pandoran extension of his dream, in a way.
But the fact that Vane now seemed thoroughly convinced that that kindness was indicative of the rest of Pandora was not ideal. There were plenty here who would gladly take advantage of that if they could. And for whatever reason, Claude just didn’t want to see that happen to Vane. “Not at all,” he answered Vane’s first question after taking a moment to collect himself. The smile he wore contradicted the words. “You’ll find your usual collection of ill-intentions here, just as you would anywhere else.” It was important to clear that up now – trust was as dangerous in Pandora as it was anywhere else.
Even so, Claude did not sound overly worried in his answer. He checked to make sure Vane was following close behind, choosing a path that would lead them out of the park and toward one of the cable cars, which Claude thought he remembered leading to places that might have clothing shops. He slowed to allow Vane to walk beside him. The view of the city would likely spark more questions, and Claude could only hope that Vane wasn’t terribly afraid of heights. But they could start simple.
“This is indeed Heavenfell,” Claude affirmed, gesturing to the grand sloping city that was sprawled over the floors and walls of the Abyss. “Aptly named, considering it sits in a crater. It’s a bit of a strange place, admittedly. I’ve personally never lived in what’s essentially a fancy hole before. But the city is welcoming and fairly safe, the magitech makes life convenient, and the Queen aims to rule for the sake of the people. There are other places to live, of course, but it’s not difficult to make this city a home.”
Despite his question, Vane wasn't naive. He knew that just like there were always good people, there were also bad ones everywhere. Still, the level of assistance Claude was giving him felt unusual, but maybe that kind of thing was more common in Pandora. According to Claude, nobody in Pandora was actually born and raised here, so that could make people more inclined to help each other... though there was no doubt in Vane's mind that there were others all too happy to take advantage of newcomers if given the chance.
Vane chuckled at Claude's answer. "Yeah, I figured."
From there, he followed after Claude. The vehicle that he was led to was... interesting, not something he'd seen around in a city before, but he followed inside without hesitation. Looking out the window, Vane was able to get a view of the city and it was... definitely different from what he was used to, but not in a bad way.
He shifted his focus back to Claude once he began giving more details about the city. "In a crater? That's a weird place to build a city on," he commented, furrowing his brow. "Actually, wait, what could make a crater so big that you can build a whole city in it?" he asked, his tone sounding more worried now.
Putting this out to announce we'll be having a Moon Destruction Album release coming out the day of the big boom, come pick up a physical album at your local record store or download it off starknet...or just steal I ain't a cop.
basically for those who don't wanna click on the spoiler in my previous status, the short version is that I'll be taking a weeklong (possibly longer or shorter) break from posting and I'm really sorry if you're waiting on me