Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Own Chocobo Egg

There is no way anyone in Ragnorak could have missed the announcement. It was the talk of adventures everywhere for months. The ability to breed and own chocobos was being entrusted to us. Rumors where flying around about the ability to race these birds and call them from anywhere to give us a ride when needed. No longer would there be a need to rent whatever ugly beast was available the stables. Now we could own our own brilliantly colored bird. Blue, green, black, unknown possibilities to be uncovered.

I was no exception to the majority. I was beside myself with anticipation. I bought a chocobo egg in Jeuno months before the official start day. There were three to choose from and I couldn’t decide so I bought them all just in case. Thank goodness they seem to be self preserving or my mog house would have smelled awful.

When the day finally arrived I raced to the chocobo stables in San d’Oria. I could hardly wait to see what would come out of that egg. I pushed through the crowds and shoved my carefully selected egg into the care takers hands.

Then I watched, and checked, and even tapped the shell…. Nothing happened. That’s when I found out the bad news. It could take days to hatch a chocobo.

Daily I came to check the bird but in my heart I was ready to make an omelet out of it. There is only so many times you can hear, “It looks like something wants out,” before you stop believing. It was a huge hassle to come back every day to see the uninteresting thing. But of course everyone said I had to go show the little guy love daily so he would hatch.

… Yeah. Sure…

Just when I was about to give up on the talentless bird who refused to hatch I got a surprise.

“Congratulations, it’s a girl!” the caretaker told me. Then I saw her, an adorable little yellow fluff with huge eyes and a large rounded beak. I was smitten. It squawked and flapped its fluffy down covered wings at me as if it knew I was the one tapping on it’s shell all this time and it was glad to see me.

Now my head was full of excitement and questions. This little chick needed a name. How do I name her when I don’t know her color? What if she’s a dud yellow? Will I still love her? Would she be a racing champion? I’m I the racing chocobo type? What if my lack of knowledge ruined this hopeful chick’s chances?

The tiny chick squawked at me again and I realized it didn’t matter. I already adored the little fuzz ball if she was the greatest champion in ages or a common gangly backyard pet.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Legend of Beldin Conclusion

That really is the end of my part in Beldin’s story for now. I watched with great interest from a safe distance but I didn’t need to get involved again so I didn’t. After shooting an arrow in his direction I wasn’t sure he would be too excited to meet me.

He has since become a trusted friend and really not a bad guy pirate ways and all. Come to find out he didn’t even know I was a woman when he first spotted me so he must not have seen me very well.

We didn’t meet again until I heard him shouting while preparing for a besieged. I don’t even want to tell you what he was shouting but suffice to say I had to meet him. That’s a story for another day.

I think it’s best if I let him tell the rest of this tale. This is how he finished the job in his own words. I hope you’re comfortable. It’s a long story but a very fun one in my opinion.

Chapter 5:

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Perfect Shot

“I saw it with my own eyes. He’s dead. He took on the pirate and the quicker man won. Guess you’re without a hit man now.” I told Boss.

He didn’t even hesitate before barking his next order at me over the pearl. “Fine! You take care of him and Bruto’s share of the reward is yours.”

“I think I’ll pass. Did I mention I find kidnap offensive? I think you forgot I hate you. How about I kill you and take the entire reward just so I can feel better about this whole experience? Who exactly ordered this murder anyways?” I was really beginning to feel like I was in control now and I liked it.

“We’ve already gone over this. He’s the murdering pirate, remember?” He said with a defensive whine.

“Yeah, so I’ve heard. Take it up with a judge. I’m a thief remember and I wasn’t exactly asked nicely to join you so now I’ve changed my mind. I’m not only not going to help you, I’m going to personally ensure you don’t lay a finger on his man. If he’s the criminal you say he is then let the law of the land handle it.”

He didn’t reply back. All I got was silence. He really was a weasely kind of man and without his very large friend he seemed to have lost his bite.

I continued to follow Beldin at a safe distance as he walked slowly down the street staring at the slip of paper he found on the Dark Knight. He seemed oblivious to everything around him, completely enveloped in his thoughts. I wondered if he knew who this employer was.

Beldin neared the gate out to East Ronfaure when I spotted Boss sneaking up behind him with a dagger in his hand. The rat should have been easy prey for the pirate but he simply wasn’t paying attention. From my high vantage point on the walkway above the courtyard I did the only thing I could from that distance. My arrow split the air with a audible whoosh. Before it even hit the ground between the two men, the pirate dove to the side.

“Now he’s paying attention.” I thought to myself. I intended the shot to warn Boss that I was still watching him and was fully ready to stand in the way of his goal. The coward Hume ran for the gate and zoned into East Ronfaure before Beldin even knew what happened. The Elvaan looked up at me with a bewildered expression. I had to chuckle to myself. As far as he could tell I had intended to kill him and missed. I waved a friendly goodbye and used Utsusemi: Ichi to disappear before he came after me like he had Bruto.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Rusty Anchor Tavern

We spent the next week snooping around Jeuno, San D’Oria, and ports large and small tracking down the whereabouts of this pirate. I now had all my possessions and pearls back but I felt I had better stick around and keep and eye on these two. I didn’t buy the story these men gave me about serving the greater good by being judge, jury, and executioner.

Bruto had gone to The Rusty Anchor Tavern to see if he could gather any information on the pirate Beldin. Apparently he was rather fond of that particular watering hole when he was in town. I found out this man was in fact a pirate but one recently without a ship by way of mutiny. It definitely made me question his skill if he couldn’t even handle his crew.

I decided I should check up on Bruto when I felt the ground tremble from a block away and a man screaming for mercy. Bruto had a tendency to get carried away when he was interrogating. His lack of intelligence left him with only his brute strength to work with. I pulled a dark cloak over my head and slipped in the back door finding a seat in the corner.

No sooner had I sat down than a man shouted to Bruto from a high window above the door.

“I doth find, mine friend, that one doth not like thine tone nor how thou threatens those weaken than thou art." The pirate called.

I don’t know what that dialect was but I assumed it must be something unique to pirates.

He jumped down onto the nearest table and drew his sword. "So, you son of a dhalmel, if you've been looking for Beldin, you've found him and he ain't pleased."

"Well Beldin," Bruto said with a wide smile, "I've never meet a man so willing to die."

With that he swung his scythe over his head and lashed down at Beldin.

“This should be interesting.” I thought to myself.

I was not about to interrupt. I had grown to hate Bruto and this pirate I didn’t know well enough to judge but he looked like he could handle himself. I sat with statue like stillness in my dark corner of the room.

Beldin danced nimbly aside and ducked just as Bruto swung his scythe where his head had just been half a moment before. "I doth find thine accuracy lacking my friend. Why don't you quit and leave with your life now before I have to do something drastic?" Beldin taunted.

Bruto roared with rage and swung his scythe at Beldin’s head. The pirate rolled toward Bruto ducking the swing and thrust his sword into the Galka’s throat.

I had to look away as he fell to his knees clutching his gushing throat. There was no saving Bruto without a mage to cure him before the blood ran out and I didn’t strain myself to find one. I didn’t care much for him and I certainly didn’t care to have my throat damaged by associating myself with the brute.

Beldin cleaned his blade off on Bruto’s tunic and snatched up a paper that had fallen out of the Galka’s pocket. "Bartender! How 'bout a drink? A Hume Pale Ale if you have any!" he said as he sat himself down at a table and using the Galka's corpse as a foot rest.

The bartender hurriedly brought over a tankard of Ale and said it was on the house. He nodded his appreciation and opened the slip of paper that had fallen.

I had to know what it said. I cast Utsusemi: Tonko on myself and slipped behind the Elvaan. It read: “Kill Beldin,” and was singed only by an “X.” I still didn’t know who this so called generous servant of the people was who ordered this job.

Curious. I had to say in this situation Beldin came off more the hero than the heartless murder of the masses that I had been told about. He did have the good sense to get rid of Bruto. I had to say in my book that was a mark in his favor. I was beginning to like this pirate.

Finding a seat a table away from the pirate I watched and listened careful not to draw attention to myself. Bruto was out of the picture and I had no intention of finishing this job as prescribed. Murder was not one of my services no matter what the payment. The short Hume who insisted on being called “Boss” was the next to deal with.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Life and Death

I gasped as the ice water brought me back to the world of the living.

“So I see you met Bruto.” The man from earlier said. “He’ll be your associates so learn to play nice.”

“Tell your beast to keep his hands to himself.” I grumbled as I rubbed the back of my head. “Why am I here exactly?”

“You can call me Boss. Word on the street is that you’re on of the most promising rising young talents for getting things done quickly and discreetly. I think we can be of use to each other. The deal is you take orders without debate and I make you a wealthy woman. If you don’t I send you back to your mother in pieces.”

They had taken all my possessions, equipment, and communication pearls. This didn’t seem like a good time to argue. “Really I think the threats are overkill. All you had to say was wealthy beyond my wildest dreams and I was sold. I am a Thief after all. What can I do for you gentlemen? And define wealthy if you wouldn’t mind.”

I didn’t mean a word of it but I felt I should go along with this until I could determine what I was up against. I mean the wealthy part I could handle but I didn’t want to work with a group who resorted to threatening my life and my mother as a recruiting technique. I am a Thief but I like to think I am one of the more moral respectable types. These men seemed sleazy brutes.

“Well I am happy to hear that. The job happens to pay better than mugging a master goldsmith on the way to the auction house. It comes by request of a very well respected upstanding citizen who only desires to use his wealth to help eliminate an elusive criminal. A murdering plundering pirate who has slipped threw the cracks of the legal system. Not only will you be rewarded with the satisfaction of serving the upstanding honest people of Vana’diel but you’ll get ten percent of the financial reward.”

“And what will that amount to?”

“One million gil.”

I’m sure I could have bartered but I have never been paid anywhere near that amount before and wow did it ever sound good to me.

“Lay off the life threats and give me half up front and I’m in.” I smiled.

“I third up front.” He sneered.

“Good enough. When do we start?”

“Now.” He said as he tossed a purse of gil to me. “This is the man we need to bring to justice. He’s known as the Dread Pirate Beldin, Dagger of the Sea.”

He slid a photograph across the table to me. He was a tall black haired Elvaan with a well groomed beard. He certainly looked the part of a pirate in full Corsair artifact armor. He was sitting on the cargo boxes in upper Jeuno with a Mithra on his lap and a bottle of Hume pale ale in his hand.

“We need you to help us track him down. A little spying, lock picking, and investigating is all. Bruto here will use his skills as a Dark Knight to take care of the bloody business of cleansing this world of his nuisance. You only need to back him up if necessary.”

And so started the hunt.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Called to Service

“You there. The Thief. Justice calls you into service.” A short man barked at me.

I turned and raised an eyebrow suspiciously. I was unimpressed by his behavior. “I’m sorry. Have we met?”

“Of course not. Do I look like a common adventurer? Don’t worry Thief. I’ll make it worth your while. He patted at a heavy looking purse tied to his belt.

He had my attention. I regularly would go on small quests for town folk for rewards so this was not unusual. I just preferred people with more manors but I was willing to overlook it for the right price and this man’s purse told me he might just be able to live up to his word.

Following him down the street we entered a small poorly kept home in the middle of the city. He offered me a chair in the back room that appeared to be set up as an office

“Wait in here and someone will come and tell you the mission you will fulfill.” He closed the door behind him as he left.

“Awfully confident that I would even take on this quest.” I thought to myself as I sat against the table in the middle of the room. I waited for some more information on this quest I hoped would provide the last bit of gil I needed for a new ring.

For hours I waited, and waited, and waited some more. The sun began to set and my patience ran out. My stomach told me it was dinner time.

Attempting to turn the door knob I came to the unpleasant realization that I was more a prisoner than a guest. I was not the least bit happy as I pulled back the curtains and found bars preventing any exit by that route. Panic started to well up deep from within. I’m not a fan of being held against my will. Call it a pet peeve.

I fumbled with the door until I heard the click of my thief’s tools releasing the lock. It was a wonder I managed it in my current state of mind. Note to self: work on my confinement issues.
A set of sterling silver flatware seemed like the perfect payment for my wasted time and after gathering them up into my sack I snuck out of the Closter phobia inducing room.

Before getting very far a large fist picked me up by the back of my shirt and lifted me off my feet.

“It’s rude to leave without being excused.” A deep voice growled as he tossed me across the room. Before I blacked out I saw the mountainous Galka that tossed me like a child’s toy. This can not be good I thought to myself as I lost consciousness

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


So it was true. As I held the broken pearl sack in my hands I was overwhelmed for a moment with sadness. The failure of linkshell groups was becoming an all too common occurrence as of late and it weighted heavily on my heart. This last group, Envy, was founded by one of my oldest friends and mentor Orabu. He said he had enough and was retiring from adventuring forever. I couldn’t believe it was over so soon.

Envy was one of the splinter groups that formed after the strange disappearance of Sethsmith. Rumor flew of a love affair gone wrong but with him and his fiancé missing no one could be sure. Search parties were sent out but after finding a note from Sethsmith announcing his departure the searchers where called back.

Now I was faced with the task of finding a new group. Everyone knows thieves do not find solitude agreeable. Things are much easier when a self sacrificing Paladin takes all the heavy blows while thieves can stay under the radar stealing and back stabbing to their heart’s content. We need alliances and to be honest I just plain get lonely.

My trance of thought was broken as I felt the tug of a Taru pulling on my checkerboard -patterned armor.

“Alison do you hear me? What happened to the linkshell? Have you heard?” he asked with worry apparent on his face.

I smiled down at the confused face of my dear friend Jumpingtaru. I swept him up in my arms and gave him a hug that was more for me than him.

Unexpectedly I felt the abrasive tongue of a Mithra’s tongue against my cheek. Kammy’s tail swished anxiously as she showed me her broken pearl. We all gathered together discussing rumors of what had caused this unexpected break. One thing became clear. Envy was over and if we were to stay together a new group had to be formed and soon.

Why not me? I don’t chase leadership but I am capable in a pinch. Someone had to step up or all my friends would scatter to a dozen different linkshells and my inventory simply couldn’t keep up with all the pearls I would want in order to keep in touch with my favorite people.

And so ThumbMonkeys was born. On New Years Eve we busily got out the word that a new year would bring new adventures and we would not be facing them alone. The ThumbMonkeys would be our new home and Altana willing, nothing would break us up.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Valuable Training

Fox Just laughed. “Hopeless new adventures. It’s no wonder how rare it is for any of you to reach your full potential before giving up entirely. So he just gave you the boot right off did he? Some people have no patience. I don’t blame them. I mean look at you. Who could stand such an unattractive, looming, loud, …”

“Can you help me or not? I interrupted.

He was getting entirely too much pleasure from my pain.

“Well go round up a healer and I’ll see if there is any hope for you as a thief. No promises though. Elvaan are a hard headed race.”

I knew exactly who I wanted for the job. I called on him every excuse I could without shame and he always made me feel like I was the one doing him a favor. His company was becoming a craving I didn’t care to attempt to tame.

“Brodie are you free?” I called over the linkshell.

“I can be.” He replied. “Where do you want to meet me?”

“Don’t you want to know what I’m asking first?”

“It doesn’t really make a difference but sure, what do you need?”

“I’m having a bad day. My Taru friend Foxx is going to give me a lesson in pulling. I would just feel better having you there to cure me. I’m at Garlaige Citadel.

“Oh that place. Yeah it can be a nightmare especially the first time through. Really if you enjoyed it something would be wrong with you. I’ll be right there.”

Brodie was the first to arrive. I threw my arms around his neck when I saw him and sighed deeply with relief.

“Thank you. Just seeing a friendly face makes me feel better.”

I told him the story of my party earlier. He listened without intently without interruption.

“Everyone has bad days. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure it just means you’re taking the same steps all of us have to become the person we want to be. I feel privileged that you allow me to journey with you. Someday I will be envied for the role you allow me to play.”

“Wow, you really know how to boost a girl’s self-esteem after a full day of party killing.” I laughed. I meant it. I already felt much better.

“Well hello murderer.” Foxx said with a twisted grin. “So we want to make you an acceptable puller do we?

“Good to see you Brodie.” He said as the two men nodded a greeting to each other. “I see you are already skilled in manipulating the men of Vana’diel. Makes my stomach turn. Well let’s not waste time.”

“Good to see he’s in a good mood.” Brodie grinned as he cast a protection spell over me.

This is not an instruction manual. I charge three easy installments of twenty gil for that if you’re interested. Valuable information I don’t give away free of charge. I am a thief after all and I have expensive desires. Rest assured my instruction that day saved many people’s lives. There was much dodging, waiting, and near death but by the time he finished with me I felt like nothing could catch me and there was no pull I couldn’t handle.

These two men were near opposites. One seemed to hate me yet was always ready to back me up while the other openly adored and protected me even at the cost of his own life if need be yet I wouldn’t give up either for all the treasure in Jeuno. A true friend no amount of gil can buy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Going Out of State

I just wanted to let all four readers know I'll be gone for a few days. Family reunion time. First one in...14 years so it's a good thing. I'll write a few on *gasp* paper while I'm in the middle of nowhere Nevada so I'll have a new post ready for September 20th. Just wanted to save you the trouble of checking a site with no updates. Thanks again for reading and leaving such great comments.

Midnight afterthought: If you read this you'll love some of the stories my linkshell-mates write. They are much more creative. Check the ThumbMonkeys linkshell link. My favorite is Beldin's stuff but the others are great too. Hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Garlaige Citadel

“Where in the world am I?” I shouted up to my party. “I think I fell in a hole…”

“Umm Yeah. You need to avoid those.” Someone said.

Thank you Captain Obvious I grumbled under my breath as I rubbed my sore rear-end. I was already in a cranky mood when I woke up this morning and my bruised hiney was not making me feel better about this day.

My heart sank. It had not occurred to me that an experience party would go to an area that didn’t even have stable floors. Really, this seemed a bit reckless to me. But hey, why should they care? It was me the poor thief with the job of the puller who had to worry about avoiding the things that would kill us all, find the right beast to bring back to the group, avoid the attention of his friends so we didn’t get gang raped, not die before the tank could pull it off me, and now I have to dodge massive holes in the floor and pray to Altana that the floor did not decide to completely give way as I attempted to tip toe across it as quickly as possible.

I ducked into a corner and tried not to call attention to myself. Since I did not yet have a map of this dreadful place our White Mage came down to sneak me back up the stairs to our group. At least Kazham was pretty. It kinda felt like being on vacation. I even got to take lots of naps. I love naps. This place was as a crypt.

“Ok. Let’s try this again without the falling. Anything else I should know?”

“Don’t kill us.” The white mage said.

“I’ll see what I can do.” I said dryly.

“Oh so helpful they are today.” I thought as I walked around the gapping chasm and took aim at the nearest bat. As he came he brought a tide of his friends who where hiding in a room.

I shouted back to the group. “He has friends! Run!”

You would think this would be an easy command. Run for you life. No problem. Very clear. Sadly the Ninja provoked one, the mage tried to heal me, and someone starting beating on it. Next thing I know we’re all dead with a flock of bats fluttering above our heads.

“Oh yeah. You want don’t want the bats in the rooms or any right outside a door. They all link together and it gets ugly fast.” Said the Ninja.

“I’m sorry. I’m new at this. Anything else I should know?” I sighed.

“Don’t worry. You’ll get it.” The White Mage said.

“Yes, you should know that you’re a miserable thief and it’s time for you to find a new job.” The leader said as he kicked me out of the group.

Really I felt like he was putting me out of my misery. It was a bit of a service. I was beginning to think that being a Thief might be more hassle than I wanted. Maybe I’d be a Monk. All they have to do is wait for a beast to be brought to them and then proceed to pound the life out of it. Not a whole lot of brain work involved. Though they do have a tendency to get bulky arms and I’m not sure I like the look of female body builders. I think beauty gets lost in the freakish.

With that lovely image in my head I picked up my friends list pearl and called the only person I could think of that might be able to help.

“Foxx, I need you.”

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Carbuncle Ruby

“So what advanced job will you go after first?” Sethsmith asked.

Sitting around the linkshell lounge sharing cookies and killing time was beginning to become one of my favorite past times. So often seeking an experience party could take awhile and this made it down right enjoyable.

“Well I’m not doing anything at the moment. I’d be happy to help you Alison.” Brodie eagerly offered.

Glancing over at Brodie I remembered our first meeting. Not one of my finest moments but somehow he managed to make it a fond memory. Brodie was a quiet Hume with a gentle nature who was always willing to lend a hand. Already he had come to the rescue on more than one occasion.

“I don’t know. I haven’t really given it much thought. There doesn’t seem to be job that suits me like thief does.”

“Well you gotta have Ninja as a support job for Thief.” Willowkarr said as she rolled herself upside-down on the sofa intentionally batting Siekarr’s face with her tail. “It takes a lot of fame in Norg though.”

“Well that I don’t have. I’ve never even been there. That doesn’t sound like a quest for today then.” I replied.

“You did go nuts over Carby last week.” Brodie grinned. “Maybe we should unlock that job for you. You won’t use it right away but you’ll have it when you want it. It beats sitting around doing nothing. I know just where to find the ruby you need.”

A wiser girl may have suspected he was up to something but I was happy to get a chance to spend more time with him and it was true what they said about me and Carbuncle. It’s the cutest thing I have ever seen. I go all crazy when I see him. I feel compelled to talk in baby googoo talk and huggle it to death. How can I help it?

Brodie wasted no time. We were out the door and on chocobos before I could change my mind. We raced across the barren sandy land until we reached a beach covered in pugils and leeches. It wasn’t the most attractive place but it wasn’t the ugliest either.

“Well here we are. Hopefully it won’t take too long. Leeches here drop the ruby we need.” Brodie said as he stepped off his chocobo.

And so the slaughter ensued. It was ugly for the leeches. We wiped out an entire beach of them and then ran through a tunnel to a neighboring beach and killed everything we could find there too. Then it was back to the first beach. We kept up a frenzied pace through the entire day.

When I realized I didn’t really need his help to get the job done it became a game to see who could get to the next leech first. I discovered that I finally had an advantage in one area: I can run faster than any Paladin anywhere.

“Wow Brodie look! Is that a notorious monster over there?” I said with wide eyes as I pointed behind him.

As he turned I used my flee skill to race past him and heard up all the leeches on the beach and come back to him with a train of flopping beasts biting at my heals.

“Wow you’re so slow. I gathered a gift for you.” I smiled “Now please kill them before they eat me.”

All six leeches were chopped into little pugil food sized bits in no time but still no ruby.

“Let me rest a minute and recharge my magic points.” Brodie said as he dropped down into the sand near the water.

The sun was going down now and when he pulled a blanket and picnic dinner out of his bag I was delighted. With a fire crystal he heated up a small feast. We dinned on coeurl subs, roasted corn, and rolanberry juice. After a long day of leech killing it tasted perfect.

“Now I hear you have a favorite treat.” He grinned as he pulled chocolate cookies out of his bag.

I couldn’t help but laugh in delight. “Yes I do! Wow you’re good. How did you get all this together so quickly? These cookies can’t be bought. They have to be hand made.”

As I nibbled at the first cookie I couldn’t help but moan in delight as the gooey white chocolate chips melted on my tongue. Oh yes, these were good cookies.

“Thank you Brodie. I don’t know how I’ll be able to repay you for all your help today. You are one the kindest people I’ve ever met.”

“Well we don’t have a ruby yet. You can thank me then.”

We sat back to back leaning on each other for awhile enjoying the sunset and savoring our chocolaty treat.

“I brought something else for you too. You’ll have to sit up a minute.” He said as he reached into his bag again. “It dulls in comparison with your beauty but anything would. I hope you like it.”

He draped a beautiful pink flower necklace around my neck.

I laughed. “It’s beautiful. Thank you. I wasn’t expecting a gift. I love it.”

He blushed. “Then why are you laughing so hard?”

“You leid me.” I chuckled.

“Oh I guess I did. Is that ok?” he asked sheepishly.

I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him tightly. “Yes, and you are one of the most darling wonderful men I have ever met. I can honestly say I have never been leid on the beach. It’s terrably romantic even it is a bit cheesy. This is a good day ruby or not.”

A good day of many. I wonder if he realized when he planned this little trip how much time he would have to invest to finish the job. I was not about to go home empty handed. Eight days we combed the beach killing every leech in sight to get the ruby we came for. We had plenty of time to talk, laugh, and even start to fall in love. When the dark days came this was a bright spot in my memory that I could retreat to.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Chocobo License

So yeah, I got my chocobo riding license. All the respectable types have them so I had to be one of the cool kids and get one too. That and lets face it, I’m a girly girl and what girly girl doesn’t love giant pets that you can ride around on at high speeds hair blowing in the wind?

As soon as I traded my gil for the reins of a chocobo I felt a surge of excitement like never before. I wanted to explore all the places I could never go before because it simply wasn’t safe. This would be freedom for me.

I shoved my boot in the stirrup and swung myself up. Oh yeah did it feel good. The saddle was deep and thickly padded with a large hand hold across the cantle.

“Don’t take your hand off the grip.” The Elvaan woman said as she slapped the bird on the hindquarters.

The chocobo jumped forward with such force that I couldn’t help but laugh because honestly it scared the crap out of me. I was not at all ready. Thank goodness I was holding on or I would have been left in the dirt at the stables where I’m sure they would have taken my license back.

We were moving at incredible speeds. The chocobo flew between strides with springy bounding steps that ensured that my hand would not for any reason leave that grip.

After getting the rhythm of its long gait I got down to the business of going somewhere. Now I don’t know where that somewhere was but I was having a really good time. Every beastman I passed got a not so lady like shout and every adventure I saw I gave a friendly wave. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Somewhere in the middle Jugnar Forest while I was admiring the gorgeous black tigers the chocobo started to shake its head.

“What’s wrong boy?” I asked.

The bird started to pull at the reins and back up. I was totally baffled. I had no idea what was wrong with the crazy animal.

It had lost patience with me and started to crow hop around until it bucked me off into the bushes.

I think I was completely justified in using words unfitting of a dignified Elvaan woman. I tried to toss a rock at the stupid beast but it was long gone.

I turned on my linkpearl. “What the heck?! That worthless bird just left me in the middle of nowhere.”

“…You know you have a time limit on your rentals don’t you?” Willowkarr said.

The linkshell let out a unified laugh.

“Well now I do.” I grumbled. “Thanks for the NO warning.”

Well at least I was prepared this time. Scrambling through my bag and pulled out some silent oils and prism powders and made my way back to Jeuno.

At least I didn’t die this time. That is a definite improvement. All in all though I have to give the chocobo riding an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Qufim Island

“Party? Do you need it?” a Galka called to me.

“Yes!” I shouted as I jumped to my feet.

I had started to nod off a bit after seeking for so long at the beginning of the dark tunnel. The swooshing sound of the bat wings gets almost hypnotic after awhile.

“Good. Meet us at the mouth of the tunnel near the flag. We’re going to start on worms.”

“Great,” I thought, “back to worms.”

I had to chuckle to myself at the thought. Just when I was starting to feel like I was really getting to be a tough seasoned adventure I was back to killing the type of beast that I had broken in my first sword on as a warrior in West Ronfaure.

I started my race down the tunnel. I didn’t know what would try to attack me here so I just gave everything as much room as I could. Better safe than down in the sand again.

All the sudden the tunnel abruptly narrowed and a very plump looking beast was floating near me with a sword dancing above his head. He did not look friendly. I came to a skidding stop and backed away slowly but it was too late. Apparently I had done something very offensive to him. It made a sickening shriek and raised his wiry arm to strike me.

This is the point in the story where I would like to say some gallant hansom Red Mage raced up and saved me at just the right moment. Our eyes would lock and he would tell me I was the most stunning vision of beauty he had ever seen. We would ride off into the sunset on a white chocobo and live happily ever after spending our lives together battling side by side for peace in Vana’diel but sadly this was not my fate.

I knew a lost cause when I saw one so I spun on my heal to run for my life. I’m sure I got a good five steps before I was dead. Quite and accomplishment really considering what I was up against. At least that’s what I told myself.

A Taru White Mage who introduced himself as Petru arrived not long after and raised me. I must have had that squeaky new adventure look about me.

He smiled warmly and said, “Hello! You really should be more careful. You need silent oil or sneak cast on you if you’re going to charge a Dancing Weapon like that. They can hear you coming and they delight in a new adventure blood bath.”

Petru cast sneak on me and bowed to leave. I’m sure he was chuckling to himself as he bounded back to Jeuno. Really how could he help himself?

In my defense I have to state that I didn’t exactly charge it. Not on purpose at least.

I thanked him for the raise, the sneak, and advice and continued on my way as well. I tried to shake off the embarrassment of dieing before I even reached my party and sped along to try to make up lost time.

I saw my group at the flag as planned. Not what I would call an impressive bunch compared to the travelers at the auction house but all about my league.

“Ok now that everyone is here lets get started!” our leader said.

“About time.” Someone said as I heard a swoosh sound pass behind my head.

All of the sudden a Gigas came stomping our direction. Hands down the largest thing I had ever seen. None too attractive too though I’m sure he must have thought the same about me.

At this point panic broke out among the party. We all gave it a gallant effort but it was kinda a lost cause. Especially when the healer turned tail and ran for his life. Long story short: We all died.

“I wonder what the Gigas woman look like.” I thought as I lay on the ground unable to move. “Can you even tell the men from the woman? Maybe this was a woman? Maybe that’s why she’s so angry. She just wants to feel pretty.”

It wasn’t long before someone came to raise us. This area seemed to be a busy spot.

“Ok,” the Galka grumbled, “One more try except the warrior does not under any condition get to take the first shot at anything or he’s out of the group. We hunt worms first. Let’s try not to do anything too stupid this time.”

“No problem Brock.” The warrior humbly said. “Sorry man. I got a little excited. I didn’t mean to actually release the arrow. Thanks for the second chance.”

It wasn’t so bad after that. Really. We even managed to get my level back plus one. Just another ordinary day in Qufim Island.