Wednesday, August 30, 2006

First Day in Jeuno

I must say I never cease to be impressed with how fast moogles can get things done. Why they insist on living a life of servitude I will never understand. I heard a story once about a goblin who invaded an adventure’s mog house with plans to attack whoever entered first. Story goes that when the goblin wouldn’t leave the moogle cast firega five on him. Does such a thing even exist? I’m sure it’s just an urban legend but it still makes a great story. I’m not sure if I should feel safer in my mog house or worried about making him angry.

Moggle buzzed in before my bath water even chilled.

“Just like new Kupo.” He chirped.

Still thinking of the firega five story I thanked him graciously. “Looks even better than new to me. I don’t believe it was oiled so nicely when I bought it. Thank you!”

As reluctant as I always am to leave a still hot bubble bath I got up and ready to go out. I wanted to hit the auction house and get new gear before seeking a party in Qufim Island. I heard all the best of the best was sold here and I was crazy excited to browse it all.

I bounded down the steps to the auction house in Lower Jeuno. It was packed! Everyone was talking and shouting for this party or that item. It was a mad house. I loved it. I pushed my way up the auction house counter. This in itself was no easy task. I’m Elvaan but a bit on the short slender side for my race and there was no shortage of bulky Galka, tall Elvaan, and aggressive Humes to contend with.

My eyes grew wide with excitement as I browsed the selection of armor. It was unbelievable. I only wished I could wear even half of it! I was still level twenty so my selection was rather limited on what I had to choose from but wow did it ever give me something to look forward to.

I bid on the best armor I could afford and handed my old armor to the attendant.

“Excellent condition.” The attendant commented. “We shouldn’t have any trouble finding a buyer for this.”

I grinned as I thought again of my busy moogle friend.

“Thank you. I hope it sells quickly.” I said politely.

I suited up right at the counter. I had a bounce in my step as I headed toward Qufim to seek a party.

“Disgustingly chipper aren’t you.” Someone said.

I looked around and spotted the silver haired Taru sitting near a fountain with his head down.

“Foxx!” I shrieked as I picked him up and hugged him.

“@%*#$!#! PUT ME DOWN BEFORE I KILL YOU!!!” he shouted as he pushed me away. “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!”

I laughed. “I’m so glad to see you Foxx. What do you think of my new armor?” I said as I turned around for him to see.

“It’s suitable.” he said in a much more subdued tone. “It’s good to see you made it here in one piece. That says a lot. Maybe there is hope for you yet.”

I wasn’t about to tell him how I got to Jeuno.

“Care to come sit with me while I wait for a party?” I offered.

“No. I’d rather die a hindered deaths than sit in that Altana forsaken place with a dirty Elvaan but…” His voice changed to a hushed whisper, “My offer does still stand. If you need help you know how to contact me. I see a lot of good in you. If you tell anyone I said that I’ll stab you when you least expect.”

“Fair enough.” I grinned. “I’ll see you around then.”

He nodded and I skipped off. This really was a good day I thought to myself. I am going to take over this town someday.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

White Knight part 2

His easy light-hearted nature took away all the embarrassment of my failed attempt to make the trip alone. A few cures later and we were ready to get back on the road to Jeuno. It was easy with the paladin’s help. His spells kept me hidden from all the beasts and beastmen in the area that would have tried to make a late night snack out of me. This allowed me to take in all the new sights without worry and talk to my new friend.

“So what is your name?” I asked.

He blushed faintly. I’m sorry. I completely forgot to introduce myself. My name is Brodie. I heard your call over the linkshell and told them I would come escort you to Jeuno. You’ll love it there. It is a favorite gathering spot for adventures who need help with quests, missions, gaining experience, or trading goods. Its design is quite amazing in itself. It’s built in layers with the port at the base, lower and upper Jeuno in the middle, and the government areas at the top.

He was right. I was impressed. It wasn’t so much the city itself but the high level adventurers in beautiful expensive looking armor. I felt star struck as I starred at them all as they sat around looking bored chatting with each other about the events of the day.

I started to notice people were stepping away from me and giving me dirty looks.

Brodie just laughed and said, “I think we need to rent a mog house for you. I’m sure you’ll clean up beautifully.”

Here’s the best part. The woman didn’t charge for the room. I guess the city was so happy to have us all there to keep the beastmen under control that they were perfectly happy to supply us with mostly clean rooms. This was perfect for my compulsion to horde gil greedily until I was wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.

“Well I think we should part ways here.” He said. “Room sharing is not exactly encouraged in Jeuno. Once you are ready just take the stairs down as far as they go then follow the hallway until you reach the gate to Qufim Island. It’s not exactly a vacation spot but it is the best place for you to find an experience party at your level. Just avoid traveling at night. It can get ugly fast. Please call me when you need me for anything. I’m more than happy to help.”

With that said he grinned at me, gave me his best paladin bow, and left.

My moogle squinted his nose at me as I walked in.

“Have a nice trip Kupo?” he said trying to look cheery.

I dropped my mud encrusted armor at his feet and said, “Yes, and I brought you an opportunity to excel. Not to rush you but I think I can get an experience party in this new area today if you can manage to clean these up in time.”

“I’ll get right on that Kupo.” Moogle sang as he flew out the door to wherever those silly things go to do such work.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I slid into the hot tub of soapy water. “Thank goodness I’m here and alive.” I thought to myself. I decided I would write Mom a letter before I left but I would leave out the near death experience part. No need to worry her over nothing.

This room had more furniture than my own house in Sandy. There I was still sleeping on the floor. I grinned to myself and decided I would be staying here a long long time. I was really starting to feel like I was moving up in the world.

White Knight

I knew the world was much larger than what I had seen. So far I had traveled the wooded Ronfaure areas around San D’Oria, the deeply carved grass lands of La Theine Platue and the sea side desert of Valkrum Dunes. I was a level 20 thief now complete with a sub job and it was time for me to move on to bigger and better things. All I had to do was get to the city of Jeuno in one piece.

The first part was no problem. I was getting pretty good at avoiding the monsters in these areas. I even took a break to gaze down into the canyons and wonder about the caves I could see deep down at the bottom. Another adventure for another day I thought. There is so much I want to do, its hard not to get side tracked.

It was a very pleasant trip until I reached the Pashhow Marshlands. For one it smelled awful! I tried to stay on the higher ground to avoid the mud but it didn’t take long before my boots were covered in the sticky slimy mush. The monsters here were much larger and much tougher looking. I knew if I caught the attention of one I was dead.

Every time someone on a chocobo would run past they sent mud flying everywhere. It was awful. It seemed like the life was being sapped out of me with every heavy sticky step. I was becoming dangerously exhausted. I spent so much energy pulling my boots out of the mud I didn’t notice a large beast with tentacle like legs stalking me.

With a fluid swing of its enormous arm it swiped me off my feet and sent me flying. I briefly thought about running but I knew it was too far to the nearest zone. I would never make it. Pulling out my dagger I charged. I’m sure the beast was grinning at my efforts. Again he knocked me back off my feet. The ground trembled as he threw himself at me.

At this point I remembered my linkpearl. “Guys, I think I’m in trouble.”

The beast wrapped an arm around my waist and lifted me up in the air. I plunged my dagger as hard as I could into it’s thick skin. It dropped me so quickly I barely managed to land on my feet. My head was feeling woozy from one too many hits now and I knew I didn’t have long to do something.

I pulled out my bow and drew back the string. Before I could release my arrow, a great tentacle swiped me over again. I fell like a rag doll into the mud. I had nothing left.

As the world went dark yet again I could hear Sethsmith call over the linkshell, “What in the world are you doing out there alone?” All I could think was at least I can rest now.

I have no idea how much time pasted before I felt a surge of energy lift me out of the mud. Every inch of my body tingled with life and I gasped in a deep breath of refreshing night air.

“I heard about this new mud facial fad among the Mithra, but I think you might be taking it a bit too far. I think you have marinated plenty long enough. Let’s get you to Jeuno and clean you up.”

I looked up into the warm smiling face of a Hume man in white paladin armor. He pulled water and a cotton cloth out of his bag and wiped the mud off my face. He was tall for a Hume with a soft brown neatly groomed beard and dark kind eyes. I knew I was in good hands.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Finding decent companions was not as easy as I thought it would be. A low level Elvaan woman does not automatically get much respect in this world. I had plenty of invites into linkshell groups only to be treated like a joke or a tramp. It was frustrating to say the least.

Being Elvaan I had always been taught to have pride in everything I do and to behave like a decent upstanding woman of noble birth. I started to feel like I was surrounded by wallowing swine. The filth and stupidity was appalling. I was starting to understand why the beast master had chosen a solitary life. At least he didn’t have to deal with idiots as directly as a thief must in order to get ahead.

You can understand how I was not in the frame of mind to be too friendly when an Elvaan man walked up to the auction house in Bastok and offered me a linkpearl.

“I don’t believe I know you and I don’t need another worthless linkshell group” I grumbled avoiding eye contact in hopes that he would just go away and leave me to sell my crystals.

“Are you already in a linkshell?” he asked.

“Well no. I don’t need one. I’m fine. Thank you for the kind offer.”

He chuckled and replied, “Well then. Try this linkshell out and if you don’t like us you can always throw it away. We are a group that just likes to help each other out.”

At this point I turned and really looked at him. He was tall with straw colored wispy hair and bright friendly eyes. He grinned widely at me and held out his hand. The blue-green pearl almost seemed to have life as the sun danced off its glossy surface.

I took the pearl from him and turned it on. The linkshell was the largest I had ever been in. People were everywhere and of every level and country. The lobby was full of furniture and clutter and smelled faintly of a salt water swimming pool I could see in a back room.

“Hello.” I said to test the waters.

Sethsmith announced, “Everyone say hello to Alison. She’s new to the linkshell. Welcome to the Mercenaries Alison. Let us know if you need help with anything.”

I sat down and tried to take the place in. Without warning a Mithra jumped in my lap and licked my cheek. Sethsmith watched and laughed as she reached in my pack and pulled out my stash of chocolate cookies.

“Share!” the Mithra shrieked as she gobbled down the cookies sending crumbs flying everywhere. “I like her,” the Mithra grinned, “She tastes like cookies. Can we keep her?”

A dark knight Hume in the corner chuckled and said, “Her name is Kammy. I think she likes you. My name is DkrChris. Let me know when I can help you out.”

Despite having cookies in my hair and Mithra slobber on my face I was feeling very good about his group. At least I was not the only woman in this group. That was a good start.

Here I would stay for most of my tender first levels under the watchful eyes of real friends. Without Sethsmith’s bold insistence I don’t know that I would have made it past level 40 before going home to submit myself to the life of an NPC. Not to say that I am weak but no one can find true happiness in life by walking the road alone.

Taru Thief

He was fantastic. As I watched his dagger gleaming in the desert sun I knew I had found my calling in life. It was a Taru taking down the notorious Vulkurm Empress. A hairpin dropped into his hand that everyone said was worth millions if anyone actually sold them. We couldn’t help but be impressed as my experience party gawked at it. That was the kind of treasure I wanted; the kind that stopped people in their tracks for another look.

He must have been annoyed by my open mouth staring.

“Mind your own business Elvaan.” he snapped.

I was totally the wide-eyed noob as I gave him a big, “Gee willigers Mr. That was great! Can you teach me to do that?” Ok maybe not my exact words but it might as well have been.

I’m sure I caught a grin before he scowled again shooting a sharp look in our direction. “Elvaan don’t make good thieves. Actually, Evlaan don’t make much of anything but annoyance.”

Just then I heard an awful shriek. Ice cold claws tore across my back that made me gasp from the sting. Before I could even react the taru shoved me out of the way and killed the bogy that had attacked me and would have done me in with one or two more strikes.

“Idiot!” he hollered. “You have to be more careful around here. An inexperienced adventure here can be dead five times over in a day.”

I get that he was being a bit of a jerk but I was hooked. I wasn’t about to give up. My experience party disbanded then so I trotted off after him to glean the secrets of his trade. I must say Taru move much faster than it seems like they should. He practically flew between strides when he got going at a good run. Keeping up with him was a bit tricky. Although the mobs in this area didn’t pay a bit of attention to him he carefully stayed out of their way as I closely followed behind him.

It was night so we headed into Selbina for something to eat. He didn’t say a word to me but he didn’t try too hard to loose me either.

Dinner at the Shepherd’s Muster was eaten in silence. He just eyed me from across the table as if he was trying to determine my worth and integrity from simply watching me. I’m sure Taru don’t weight more than 80 lbs for a large one but it didn’t seem to slow this man down. Mug after mug of the house brew came and went away empty in silence.

“The name is Foxx.” He muttered between drinks. “And I don’t like Elvaan, especially worthless Elvaan woman.”

“Noted.” I said with a grin.

I was more alarmed to hear him speak than over what he said. It had been 3 hours of silence. He had just tolerated my presence. I can’t say what it was but I could tell there was something about this Taru I liked. Something magnetic. While he acted crankier than any Taru I had ever met but he had a heroic kindness to him that all the glaring he could muster could not hide. I could only imagine what had caused this wall of hatred. It would be a long time before he would ever tell me.

I think you can say we bonded that night. He told me to become what I desired I needed to set aside my warrior ways and take up the job of a thief. He told me about sneak attacks, stealing, and the best daggers to use. He described how to best avoid attention from the monsters while hand picking just the right one for my experience party to take down. His eyes gleamed with delight as he told me tales of notorious monsters killed and treasures collected. At one point he even jumped up on the table and played out the kill by wildly stabbing at the air with his daggers. I couldn’t get enough of it.

As the night went on he slowed down. “You can’t do everything alone and become the best.” He whispered. “We all need help sometimes. Not me of course but only because I earned my independence. You seem a decent young one and I think you’ll turn out ok despite your bad breeding. Take this and use it when you’re in a bind. I’ll see what I can do for you.”

He grabbed my hand and forced a friends list pearl onto my palm and wrapped my fingers around it. To my surprise tears began to run down his face and he stared out the window. I have no idea what came over him. He started to hum a song I had never heard before and put his head down on the table and took a deep gasping sigh.

I think at this point he was officially intoxicated and done for the evening. I had to laugh despite how inappropriate as a deep rumbling snore erupted from the Taru that sounded like it should have come from a man twice his size. That was all I was going to get out of him this evening. I knew he might possibly stab me to death in the morning for doing so but I picked the Taru up in my arms and carried him like a child to the room he had already paid for and tucked him into bed like I had done for my little brothers many times before. Somehow it made me a bit homesick for a moment. This was the first person since leaving home that I felt I could call a friend.

By this time the sun was starting to rise. I’m sure I should have been tired but I was so inspired with all the information I had newly packed into my head that I set off right away for San ‘d Oria to change my job to my true calling as a thief.


There is only so long a person can go alone before you start to talk to the bunnies as you slaughter their families and imagine that the sheep are conspiring against you. All my fellow adventures told me I had to prove myself before I could go to the dunes and learn to get down to some serious training with an experience party. I didn’t mind going solo. I even started taking down goblins and quadav on my own. The first kills that felt like I was actually doing some respectable hero work.

Now I realize a lot of people are perfectly happy going it alone but I don’t think too much solitude is good for anyone. I happened to see an unusual beastmaster run by me in West Ronfaure one sunny afternoon as I was leveling and it wasn’t pretty. I smelled an awful dank smell of wet animal and thought I was about to be trampled by a herd of muddy sheep but to my surprise it was a Hume man wrapped in a wooly animal mantle. He was muttering to a rabbit he had taken on as a pet. I excused myself, a force of habit, as he nearly knocked me over in his hurry.

“Oh forgive me my dear,” he said as he stopped to look me over. “You really should be more careful. You never know what may be lurking behind the trees.” His eyes darted around as if to make sure nothing would catch him unaware.

His attention came back to me as he stroked my head and cooed to me as if to sooth some unseen hurt. I couldn’t think of a thing to say I just stared at him with my mouth gaping open.

Here child. This will help you.

He pulled a few rabbit hides out of this bag and synthed a rabbit mantle. He fastened it around my neck and patted my check warmly. His hands were rough and a bit scratchy and his face leathered and tan. He had the look of a very experienced and hard working adventurer but an adventure who had spent way too much time cuddling stinky wild beasts.

“A companion is a vital thing out here. I never go anywhere without a partner to travel the long roads with me,” he said as he cooed to his rabbit pet and fed him from the palm of his hand. “Oh dear,” he muttered, “I really must hurry. I’ll never level here.”

His eyes became wide and wild again as they darted around checking for possible dangers. He skittered away rabbit pet in tow. In an instant I was completely forgotten left with my mouth gaping and nose burning from the smell. I didn’t even get his name. This was not the image of the hero I hoped to become.

Now I realize this is a perfectly happy life for many a man and woman but I was so chilled by this vision of possibilities that I set off immediately for Valkurm Dunes where I would learn to fight in a group and hopefully keep my sanity and sweet smell.

His wise advice would help set me on the path to the woman I would become. I was not meant to travel alone. I needed companionship and guidance if I was going to become the most famous thief ever to come out of San d’ Oria.

The Beginning

“Don’t forget to visit once in awhile.” She said.

I chuckled to myself as I waved goodbye to Mom. I had no idea why she was so reluctant to let me move into my own place in the adventure’s quarters. I could hardly wait to meet my moogle. The day I received my acceptance letter into the adventure program I nearly fainted with delight. Thank goodness I wouldn’t end up trapped in San D’Oria in the leather crafters guild like Mom had hoped. Mind numbing boredom makes my eyes glaze over after about ten minutes of working in that awful smelling place.

I needed adventure. I wanted to go to Jeuno and band together with other adventures and make a difference. Well, that’s what I put on my application. What I really needed was gil. Lots and lots of gil. I was so sick of being without it and now was my chance to get my piece of the treasure. I wanted to be the one robed in beautiful armor and jeweled rings. When I walked through the streets I wanted to hear my name whispered excitedly by the elvaan children. Someday I wanted to be the respected for greatness. What kind of greatness I wasn’t sure yet.

Too busy turning my onion sword in my hands and admiring my standard issue level one armor I had no idea what they said during orientation. Let out through the gates I ran through the grass like a woman gone mad yelling at the top of my lungs to let them all know I was coming. The rush! The freedom! I was out of the gate and the wild world was mine to conquer! The rabbits barely looked up as I charged past them toward a very wealthy looking goblin. This, I thought to myself, was going to be fun.

That’s when I felt pain shoot through my body like electricity. Space seemed to swirl around in my head as the sky went black and I felt the ground thud under my head.

“Welcome home Kupo!”

“What happened?” I asked a bit bewildered.

“Well Kupo. Let me explain your mog house to you. When you are incapacitated…”

Blaa blaa blaa. I swung my arms in the air above my head angerly. Dang it! First fight and I was down. I was so glad no one saw me. Not exactly the start I had dreamed of.

“My I suggest you start with worms Kupo?”

“Are you kidding?! Worms?” That’s not the story I want to have told at the pub as they cheer the tales of their favorite hero. How the amazing Alison took on a mushy worm. Sounds perfectly awful.

I swallowed my pride and went out to slaughter the masses of squirmy and fuzzy beasts within safe distance of the gate. After putting the various treasures I collected up for bid at the auction house I returned to my new quarters feeling very satisfied with my first day of independence. Not song worthy yet but independent and gil was made. Fame was only a matter of time. This, I thought to myself, is going to be great.