Saturday, December 28, 2013

Skyla's Story: Catharsis

When I woke up, it was already sometime in the afternoon.
I laid there for some time, assessing my situation. I had no gil, no home, no purpose... and now I had nothing tangible to remind me of my own father, who was already enough of an enigma as is. I had nothing but a bag, a blanket, and the clothes on my back.
I found myself blankly staring at my ink-stained hands for a while, when I realized something profound.
I had something left from my father. 
I had... me.

It was in that moment that I found my purpose. My father may have been taken from this world, but I was here. I was alive and well, despite being quite hungry and still a bit soaked from the rain.
I thought back to my mother's words about how I was to be a good housewife and nothing more... Like I was going to let that happen. No, my father fought for Eorzea. Somewhere deep in me I had to have some soldier's blood.
If he could be a Dragoon, so could I.

And here I was, beat-up lance in hand.
I had gone through the Seven Hells and back to get here, worked and toiled to scrape up the gil for a trip to Gridania. 
The pain, the hate, the loss, it all led up to this moment.
I let it consume me all at once.

I stabbed, I slashed, I swung my lance around like a madwoman.
With every thrust I heard my mother's voice, berating and putting me down... screaming about how worthless my father was.
No. You were WRONG.

Creature after creature fell before my polearm, like cornstalks yielding to the sickle.
All this time I hated him, when it was really YOU who deserved my ire!
As I slaughtered the pests before me, I felt a sense of power, of confidence, and strangely, relief. It was as if all that pain, all of the ills I had felt up until now and harbored inside me were set free.
I will live up to your legacy, father.

Eventually I fell to my knees, gasping for air. A smile played across my lips as I glanced around me, the corpses of ladybugs, funguars, and squirrels laying about the area.
My fears of not being ready to take on the path of the Lancer were ill-founded after all.
I can do this, I thought as I got to my feet.

And hey, the Guildmaster did say to "attack things with reckless abandon."
I think I did that pretty damn well.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Skyla's Story: Being Lost and Enduring Loss

Being lost is a feeling of the worst kind, and it was something I had felt for a while after leaving home. I knew I couldn't turn back, but I had no idea where I was or where I was going. I had nothing to my name but a few dozen gil and a bag full of memories.
I did some odd-jobs around the towns I came across as I wandered. In one town I helped gather fairy apples for an old Roegadyn man who no longer could do so himself, and was able to stay at an inn for a week with the pay. In another town I hollered at passersby to come and check out the wares of shifty-looking Hyur woman, but in return I got a cluster of crystals that I later sold to a carpenter.

When I wasn't doing mundane work just to scrape by, I was reading the contents of the box and parcel. It turned out that my father was a Dragoon by the name of Reilig Leitero. I cried myself to sleep the night when I read the first letter, because it was basically an apology to my mother for having to leave her behind to care for me, their unborn child. He wrote that he wanted to give me a better future by protecting our homeland from the Empire. It hurt so badly to reflect on all the times that I had cursed his name, all because my mother had fed me lies about his departure.
Over the years he wrote small letters along with the coin he earned as a soldier, which became ever increasingly desperate as he received nothing in return. It seems that my mother stopped sending letters back shortly after I was born. In her delusions, she really hated him for leaving, and cutting off correspondence was perhaps the biggest punishment she could dole out against him. He told of his training and begged for a response, but always ended each letter saying he loved us both and hoped he could return to see us. His last letter mentioned that he had joined up with The Order of the Twin Adders in Gridania, a city unlike anything he had ever seen.
The parcel surprisingly didn't contain anything but a severely water-stained leather pouch and a tattered book. It was a musty old tome, but I knew its importance the moment I opened it. The book was a bestiary of many animals and monsters found in Eorzea, and had notes penned in the margins by my father. Some were funny, like on the page for the eft: "nasty slimy bugger, tastes like rubber." Others were frightening, like the tonberry: "met a hyur whose entire party was slashed down by a single one of these. AVOID" I tried to learn as much as I could from them.

I had read the letters over and over, often daydreaming of my father training with the lance. What did he look like? Did he know what color hair I had? Had my mother told him?
Somehow my thoughts always returned to my mother, and I'd feel the anger boiling in my chest again. I did my best to shake it off, but it was difficult sometimes.

Eventually living the life of a wanderer caught up to me in the worst way. I didn't have any idea how much time had passed since I had left home; honestly, I had stopped counting. My whole world was just doing silly errands in random towns, brooding over the past, and trying to just scrape by. At some point I was walking and trying to find another town to stay at, when I was forced to stop and make camp in an abandoned hut. I had lost the road and tried to find it again, but just got myself even more lost. After walking for hours, it had begun to get dark. The roof and some of the walls of the small building had collapsed long ago, and I shuffled into one of the remaining corners, exhausted. I pulled blanket out of my bag and over my head and tried to camouflage myself the best I could by covering my entire self. I fell asleep swiftly.
The next thing I knew, I was awake and soaked to the bone. In my exhaustion, I had failed to wake up from the rain. My bag wasn't spared.

That was my lowest point since leaving home, without a doubt.
My tears mixed with the rain as I knelt in the rubble, holding wet letters with blurred ink in both fists. I don't know how long I sat there, mourning the loss of the last remnants of my father. I tried to remember what they said, yet kept drawing a blank. The whole situation was too upsetting.
When the cold finally crept into my bones, I set off in the middle of the night leaving the letters behind. There was no point in bringing them with me. The box, at least, was salvageable.
It was when I at last reached some semblance of civilization that I checked to see what had happened to the book. Under the light of a lantern in a Chocobo stable, (I had no gil for a stay at the inn) I tried to peel the pages apart. Ruined. The dye and glue from the book binding and my father's notes had blended into an awful sticky, runny mess.

I threw it across the room, causing a nearby Chocobo to seemingly grunt in his slumber, and passed out in a pile of hay, hopeless.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Skyla's Story: Father Pt. 2

I didn't know for sure, but I knew in my heart that he couldn't have been the scum she said he was. No piece of "scum" dies in battle for Eorzea.

I defiantly crackled the door open and peered into the foyer, watching as my mother accepted a parcel from the man and shut the door.
She didn't spare a moment to even think of what had transpired, and instead rushed into her own room. I crept from my bedroom, anger and curiosity welling up inside me. She was in her room for just a moment, and soon emerged holding three things: a parcel under one arm, a wooden box that I had never seen under the other, and a lit candle in her hand.
It didn't take a scholar to put two and two together; she was going to dispose of every last trace of my father. My blood began to boil with a mix of betrayal and panic.
I scrambled back into my room and watched as she barreled through the back door like a woman possessed. She didn't even notice me in the doorway.
As I followed her to the door and peered outside, I saw her lay the items in the middle of the yard and hold the candle aloft...

The rage in me had boiled over and I tackled my mother to the ground. The candle fizzled out in the wet dewy grass, and I leaped over her fallen body to scoop the discarded box and package into my arms.
"SKYLA! What do you think you're DOING?" she spat as she tried to pick herself off the ground and stop me. I quickly ran away from her grasp as she tried to grab my skirt, and she fell back down into the dirt. With one swift motion I opened the box, and my heart nearly stopped.
There were letters inside, dated within the last year... addressed to US.

I turned to face her, tears streaming down my face.
"You LIED! You said he was SCUM! That you had no idea where he went! SO WHAT ARE THESE?!?" I screamed as I grabbed a handful of letters in my fist. My fingers clenched around something hard, and I let go in surprise. Reaching into one of the envelopes, I pulled out a 1,000 gil coin. Aghast, I looked up at my mother.
My mother was silent. I threw the coin to the ground, put the letters back inside, and slammed the lid of the box shut.
"You KNEW where he was all this time! You got PAID FOR HIS SERVICE! Why didn't you TELL ME?" I screamed.
"...he LEFT US, Skyla. You don't understand!" I had never seen my mother look so defeated. I almost felt bad for her, until she continued. "He wanted to 'save the world'... but I needed him," she spat. "WE needed him! He left us when we needed him most! What man leaves his family?!?"
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "You LIED to me. All these years, I had no idea where he was, I hated him... all this just because he left to become a soldier for Eorzea? He wasn't scum, he was honorable."
My mother had burst into tears at this point. "No, no, no," she wailed, "he left me alone! He left me! He left us! Why don't you understand, Skyla? I needed him!"

I looked her straight in the eyes. It was like staring into the eyes of a scared animal. Deep inside, I knew there was no turning back. Her selfishness couldn't be forgiven.
I turned to walk back towards the house when I heard her speak.
"Skyla... where are you going?"
"I'm leaving," I said softly, unable to yell any longer. There was no point. She was insane.
"Wh-what," she squeaked, "NO! You can't leave me! You can't leave me alone!"
I didn't respond. I just kept walking, set on retrieving my bag from my room and leaving this place forever.
"SKYLA! Skyla, you get back here!" she screeched, her voice shrill with anger as I walked through the door. I grabbed my leather bag, stuffed the box and parcel inside along with a paring knife and an extra pair of shoes, and walked out the front door. I could still hear my mother screaming my name, anger turning to desperation.

I could have bet that even as I walked outside the village limits, getting stares from neighbors outside their homes, she was still sitting behind her house screaming in the same spot I had left her.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Skyla's Story: Father Pt. 1

As I walked through the gate and into the Shroud, I found myself filled with a sorrow that I hadn't felt for a long while.
I thought I had been over this, but I guess the pain was just lingering under the surface, a festering wound under a clean bandage.

I had never known my father.
That in itself was endurable. There were many others without fathers, and their lives were normal, or at least close to it...
No, I had spent a large portion of my life not only having an absent father, but also hating him with every ounce of my being.

I had been born in a small village, though a melting pot of other races. As long as I had remembered, I had only a mother... If you could even call her that.
I was nothing more than live-in maid, that just happened to also be her daughter. Cooking, cleaning, weeding the garden... that was my entire life, besides occasionally having a spare moment to myself to sit outside, wondering if this was truly what life was meant to be.
My mother barely did anything except for keeping up appearances around town, eating, reading trashy romance novels penned by some love-crazed Lalafell, and making sure I was doing what I was supposed to do. Whenever I would inquire why she couldn't take care of things, she would tell me that I needed the training, for a woman needs to be a good housekeeper. A part of me always thought she was just lazy, though I didn't dare speak my mind for fear of lashings.

Besides the fact that "a woman should keep house," one thing she drilled into me was that my father was scum of the lowest kind... That he had left us before I was even born, too lazy to be a man and support his family.
I believed her. Why else would she be so bitter and hateful? Why else would she treat me so poorly? Obviously I was the spawn of someone she despised, a constant reminder of someone who betrayed her trust.
And then everything changed.

The Calamity came, and though we were spared the destruction, everything I knew was turned upside down.
It all began with a man showing up on our doorstep, which was definitely odd. My mother had shooed me into my bedroom, and though eavesdropping would surely result in lashings, my curiosity was peaked. My mother had always expressed contempt or indifference towards the men in the village, so it was clear that she wasn't looking to attract any suitors. So who was this man?
With my ear pressed against the door, I had listened closely... Though I couldn't hear all of it, I could make out a few things.
"...regret to inform you... husband has passed... killed in action in Carteneau... belongings..."
My blood ran cold as ice as my mind raced. I knew the man was speaking of my father, but something wasn't right.
Why was my father killed in battle?
My whole life I had been told my father was a deadbeat who left us all those years ago, and hadn't been heard from since. No "worthless scum" would risk their life in battle to save Eorzea from the Empire's clutches.
It was in that moment that I had realized that my mother must have been wrong.

Friday, December 6, 2013

lols in LoL, screencaps and funny names from League of Legends

Over the past couple of months I've been spending a lot of time playing League of Legends since I couldn't really do anything that involved actual brainpower.
(Thinking hurts when pretty much everything else in your head hurts as well.)

Since I've probably depressed you all with my post yesterday, I thought I'd post some screenshots from awesome games I've had, and share some of the funniest usernames I've encountered on the game.

This was probably my happiest moment in the game thus-far. A near-perfect game of Summoner's Rift after a string of downright horrible games.

With a name like that, can you honestly blame me for being curious?

This was my first experience with having someone absolutely roll a game of Summoner's Rift. It was absolutely terrifying, though it would have been even more so if they weren't on my team.

I did freakishly well my first time playing Ziggs. Sadly the games that followed weren't as jaw-droppingly amazing.

And the trend somehow continued the next week when Fiora was free-to-play. Did unusually good as a first time Fiora.

These are some of the funniest, strange, or gross names I've encountered in the game.
(Yes, I do write them all down in a little notebook beside my laptop!)
  • dilldoughs
  • CommanderFlexTit
  • TheRolingScones 
  • Shes18Officer
  • CuddlyPoop
  • IWearCROCSDood
  • InTheRear
  • boob grab
  • Foot doc of DOOM
  • Ball Sac Hair 
  • Rabid Hemroid
  • Bodacious Tatas
  • ALotOfNastySTDs
  • SoiledUnderwear
  • HoboJoeLikesSnow
  • AnHorsesDick 
  • NotAtAllAsian
  • ButtSmaxer
  • Anashole 
  • Unkempt Alpaca
  • Fiery Poop
  • satanoctopussy
  • NurpsOfThaPurps
  • Prince Corn
  • Badonkadonkdink
  • DaddyFattySack
  • Coleslaw26
  • Dippndot
  • CommaMamma
  • TacosMightEatUs
  • ImTheCoupon
  • time2poo
  • tastethefeet
  • ThePoorMinions
  • Want2FackQueue
  • HugeThirdLeg
  • man eating soup
  • DroppedBaby
  • Playwithmychod
  • IceyMooseKnuckel
  • 99midgetfarts
  • kiss dis d1ck
  • MoonFanny
  • TheEvilTurnip
  • 5hitkicker
Hope you got a kick out of these.

Life's Little Hardships

It's sometimes difficult to admit that you're not happy with how your life is going, and that you're certainly not meeting even a fraction of your potential. I find myself mulling this over almost every night that I forget to take my medicine on time. 
Whether it's just chemical withdrawal, the depression the medicine controls, or actual discontent, it gnaws its way to the forefront of my thoughts.

I'm sure I'm not alone.
Being 20-something and living with your parents seems to be more common than usual in my generation. So is being 20-something and still working on your college degree. Being unemployed is probably even more common.
Being all three is just depressing.

I do have excuses. I know they're credible and hold water. I've had a myriad of problems that have kept me from following the footsteps of my former classmates and graduating on time.
I've had major depressive disorder for 6 years. Add 1 year to high school.
I developed iron-deficient anemia in my sophomore year of college and had to drop out. I lost my $16,000 scholarship as a result. A whole year spent out of school as a result. 4 months of feeling sorry for myself, 1 month of having a terrible first job experience, and 7 months of working a fairly pleasant but grueling job washing dogs.
I became anemic again this summer. Had to withdraw from a 4 credit class.
A month later I started experiencing somatic symptoms of anxiety that mimicked cardiac issues. It was an extremely stressful time for my family and I was starting an English class, which has bad memories for me. Had to withdraw from a 3 credit class.
This semester I had one class, Sculpture. I developed freakish allergies and once again... Had to withdraw from a 3 credit class.

So here I sit, at home every day.
I can't hold a job with these allergies. I don't respond to over-the-counter pills or even the prescription nasal spray I was given. I'm currently taking sublingual immunization drops to raise my immunity.
It could take up to 9 months before I see results.
I can't go to school with these allergies either.
I can't do just about anything.
I am so unhappy.

I want to move forward more than anything in the world. I cannot express it enough. ...Yet I can't.
I have had a taste of an independent life though, and I am ravenous for more.
This week it has been just me and Jon here in the house. While he works, I sleep and try to rest enough to be energized for when he comes home.
I wake, I wash, I tend to home matters... Washing the dog, scrubbing the dishes, moving the laundry, watering the plants, things that are so mundane that we often ignore. 
I enjoy every moment of it.
When he is on the way home, I lay out the ingredients for our meal. I microwave and fry and boil. I make something to the best of my ability, which is far from impressive.
Then he arrives, I finish the cooking, and we feast.
It is beautiful.

I want this. I want this life.
I want a beautiful, simple, mundane life that I can call my own, in a place that is my own.
I want to own a dog.
I want to decorate for the holidays.
I want to have a corner of a room that I can call my studio.
I want to cook dinner for a smiling and tired man.

It can't happen and won't happen as long as I don't have a job. I cannot get a job without a degree. I cannot get a degree without my health.
...and so it stays the same.
None of this matters to the glaring eyes of society.
We're expected to move out at 18, get a job, hang the degree you earned above your desk. It's just not always that simple.
It's disheartening though. It's even tougher having to explain yourself to others, or even trying to.

Until I get better, I just have to keep doing what makes me happy. It's getting harder and harder though as my definition of "happy" changes.
Does watching TV or playing video games truly make me happy? Or do I just enjoy the fact that time has passed, and I'm one little bit closer to the next day coming around? I no longer know sometimes. 
I feel like most things I do are just to fill in the void of having nothing to do. 
An idle mind leads to idle thinking.
Idle thinking leads to pondering about life.

...and then I write long blog posts, just like this.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thanks for the nightmares,

Every time I visit, Mistabishi is leering at me and creeping me the hell out.
I will have nightmares about this one day.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Agony is Almost Over

The end is finally in sight!
Wednesday will be judgement day, aka my allergy test. I'll finally know what on earth I'm allergic to and what's causing all of this agony.
Yes... Agony. 
I've been in so much pain these last few days because I've been ordered to be off all antihistamines until the test. No nasal spray, no Benadryl (which has also been helping me get to sleep), no Advil Cold & Sinus...
Things have been bad enough WITH medicine, but without has been filled with nothing but awful facial pain.
Not only do I have sinus pressure below and above my eyes now, but also my upper jaw hurts like it's been punched, or like I walked headlong into a wall.

Now not to get all girly on you all, but there has been another side effect of this sinus saga...
Damn. Dark. Circles.
I haven't been able to leave the house often anyway, but the few days that I actually haven't been feeling like death, I've been LOOKING like death. Covering up the deep, sunken black semi-circles under my eyes has been a pain.

Pre-makeup and post-makeup... Not a 100% fix, but better than nothing. It's either fix the eyes a little, or risk looking like a clown.

To make a long blog-post short, I just can't wait for this hell to be over. Life with facial pain is a very miserable life indeed. I've already missed so many classes, a birthday party for an old high school friend of mine, and a Bully Breed Rescue event due to this crap. 

It's time for it to stop.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hiatus until further notice

I've been struggling really badly with my newfangled allergies, and it's clear that I can't keep up with my regular duties of updating the blog and YouTube page while they go untreated. I'm currently also working on two major projects, one for my sculpture class (due the 22nd) and the other preparing for a charity event where we'll be selling clay jewelry to benefit Bully Breed Rescue.

I'll be only making small updates like posting to Instagram until further notice. You can follow me on Facebook for all the latest updates and to be the first to know when my videos will be back. (Just search "Hello Interloper"!)

We'll be back soon!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Skyla's Story: To Remember

I stumbled through the doors of the Lancer's Guild, shaking the rain off of myself.
Godsdamned rain...
I gave a sigh, and proceeded to the counter. Unfortunately for me, someone was already here, chatting away. I turned and looked around.

The Lancer's Guild's lobby was a lot smaller than I had expected. Maybe I'm just too used to thinking of Lancers and Dragoons as deserving of honors. Seems like almost everyone holds a spear here.
After staring at the walls for a bit, it was finally my turn.

The clerk, Jillian, seemed eager to let me join the ranks of new Lancers. As she spoke of the training and tasks I would endure as a fledgling Lancer, I shivered with delight. Finally, I would learn to use this spear properly!
I enrolled in the Lancer's Guild joyfully, prepared to start my journey.
Jillian smiled as I wrote my name down on the dossier, and told me there was one thing left that I had to do... speak to the Guild Master. She motioned to the door next to her, and I took a step back.
I felt a lump in my throat. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing more in this world that I want than to learn the ways of the Lancer, to do what I feel is destiny... but there is still a part of me that doubts that I will be capable. That fear came creeping out at that moment. What if he says I'm not "Lancer material?"
No, I scolded, Don't think like that. If he could do it, you can... You have his blood, after all!
I shut my eyes and opened them anew, determined to do whatever was asked of me.

As I walked into the next room, I saw people training vigorously. Two were doing push-ups while one stabbed a training dummy, and another spun a lance over his head as if he wished to take flight. All the while, a man stood against a pillar, staring at me...
"And you are?" he suddenly inquired.
Guess this is the Guild Master... come on, you can do this.
"Skyla Leitero, sir, I'm new here."
He nodded, and he began to give me what I imagined to be the usual new adventurer speech. My nerves were quelled when he made mention that I'd have to train hard to become a true Lancer... Training hard is fine. Having it be impossible to attain isn't.
It was then that the conversation got a bit more serious. He told me about the history of the spear, the basic techniques employed, among other useful information. I listened with wide eyes, taking it all in.
It was then that he said something that made my heart skip a beat...
"A true lancer, however, flinches not before his enemies, for he knows not the meaning of fear. Ever does he press forward, disdainful of the odds, that he might pierce the enemy line and open a path to victory."

It was as if the world stood still for that one moment, and memories flooded back to me... memories of cold nights alone, playing possible scenarios in my head of how my father my could have died.
And suddenly, all I could think of was a faceless Dragoon, charging headlong into a horde of enemies that nothing short of a miracle would bring to its knees...
I closed my eyes, shaking off the thoughts that had decided to plague me at a most inopportune moment.
Thankfully the Guild Master was busy talking of how perseverance was the key to success, and failed to notice me drifting into deep thought for a moment there.

"Are you ready to attack things with reckless abandon for your first task?"
I nodded silently, and he sent me off to go kill some funguar, ladybugs, and squirrels just outside the city.

I feigned a smile, clenched my fists, and went on my way, fighting my own mind.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Allergies. WHY.

Over the past two... okay, maybe three... weeks, I've been absolutely miserable.
It seems that my sinuses have decided to rebel against me, and cause me great discomfort. By that, I mean stabbing pain above my eyes, below my eyes... Basically, my face has been killing me, somewhat like if I inhaled acidic Jell-O.
I've been trying to medicate myself with Advil Cold & Sinus (that's the serious stuff, the one you need to show an ID for) but for the most part it's been only a temporary relief that also knocks me out for a few hours. Not exactly the perfect fix.

It was last week that I finally threw my hands up and decided that this needed professional attention.
I showed up at our local medical center, which is basically a giant building next to a hospital that houses just about every damn specialist you could ever be needing.
My specialist? "Ear, Throat, and Nose."
Or maybe it was Sinus instead of Nose.

It was then that I became acquainted with THIS thing...

Yes, that is a giant metal rod.
A giant metal rod that goes up your nose.
Let me tell you, that was the oddest sensation. Imagine being on the brink of sneezing for about a minute.
It was kind of like that, except I did actually sneeze... Not with that thing up my nose though, I had to raise my hand to alert the doctor, at which point she removed it and I sneezed.

Anyway, the moment she stuck that metal nose probe up my nostril and into my sinus, her first reaction was, "Oh... You look REALLY allergic."
All the pain, the headaches, the throbbing, the clogged airways... ALLERGIES.
I don't HAVE allergies.
I'm allergic to mold and cats, and that's about it. No trees, no pollen, nothing.
Despite what an allergy test said a decade ago, I'm apparently severely allergic to something, and it's causing really bad inflammation of my sinus tissue.

In two weeks I'm going back to get a full battery of allergy tests done, because apparently you can suddenly become allergic to something you've never had a reaction to before, and I think this is what has happened to me.
I've lived relatively allergy-free for the past 13 or so years since we gave back our cat. (We got a hairless cat thinking it wouldn't trigger allergies... only to find out that it's cat SPIT I'm allergic to, and hairless cats lick themselves more. Go figure, huh?)
It's annoying to think there might be something else I have to avoid, but I guess that I just will have to suck it up.

Until next time... for now, I'll be taking some weird-smelling prescription nasal spray that doesn't seem to do anything, and waiting for my test date.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Skyla's Story: The Markets

Skyla, stop getting so distracted, I scolded myself.
It's hard to ignore how beautiful Gridania is at night, however.

I knew this wasn't the time to admire the lights, with this eel pie growing colder by the minute in my backpack... I just couldn't help myself though.
One minute can't really make that much of a difference anyway, can it?

I continued along my way, following the path that led to the mark Miounne placed upon my map. Careful to not bump into any other adventurers, I made my way into the Markets...

I was immediately met with the sounds of clanging, banging, and chiseling as dozens of craftsmen (and women!) lined the halls, perhaps working for clients. 

 I finally found Parsemontret, the so-called "Master of the Markets"... He was quite reluctant to speak to me at first, regarding me as yet another blundering new adventurer...
...that was, until I held out the eel pie Miounne baked!
I must admit, I had a bit of an urge to go off and eat it myself after being treated so rudely, but I have to get "friendly" with the folks of Gridania if I'm ever to pursue my dream. I guess enduring ornery old men is a part of the job.
No sooner than I handed the pie over, he was already shoving slice after slice into his gob.
Don't you need a glass of water?!? I wondered, but when the last slice disappeared into the deep void of his mouth, it was already answered.
Saying that he was a man of his word, he hastily explained where I could find just about anything I needed as an adventurer... potions, armor, weapons, and whatever else I might desire. The whole while I couldn't help but notice the crumbs in his mustache, but that's besides the point.
He then requested that I buy a few things and deliver it to a certain someone at the Lancer's Guild. My ears twitched in excitement. Finally, things are moving along!
I ran off as he blabbed about how all I had to do was mention his name to receive payment, and starting browsing the stalls with fervor.

Once that was over with and my pack was brimming with the needed items, I quickly ran off after my next objective... to visit the Lancer's Guild!
This was what I truly wanted to do. Large mysterious crystals and shopkeeps are interesting and all, but this would be truly useful.
To follow in his footsteps... I shook my head furiously. No, this isn't the time to get all sentimental. There's enough time for that later.

Through all of the excitement, I failed to notice the pitter-patter of rain on the roof, which became all too apparent when I stepped outside.
Sprinting as fast as I could, I tore down the path, past the sign of the large lance, and into the safe overhang of the Lancer's Guild's roof.

I fell onto the ground trying to catch my breath, and noticed a Wood Wailer giving me an odd look...
Oh well, at least I don't need to talk to her or...
"Are you the one who was supposed to deliver some goods?" she inquired, interrupting my thoughts. embarrassing.
"Yes, that's me!" I blurted out, and quickly handed them over to her. She nodded, handed me my payment, and I dashed off into the building. No need to embarrass myself further.

So much for a good first impression.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Skyla's Story: Aetheryte Beckons

How on earth did I not notice this?
It seems that I was so focused on listening to Miounne that I didn't notice the Canopy filling up with occupants...
I stop in my tracks, almost bumping into someone. Imagine if I had, that pie wouldn't survive...
Deep breath.
I hold the box close to my person, and wait for the exit to clear. Last thing I need is an adventurer with a ravenous appetite to get any ideas.

I bite my lip, wondering if perhaps I'm judging everyone too harshly yet again. Maybe the Wood Wailers are just overreacting at perceiving most adventurers as a menace.
A brightly colored creature bounds past me, following its master. A Summoner and his familiar, I assume... I've heard of them, but have never seen them before.

I catch my breath and decide that people-watching can be saved for later...
I have tasks to complete!
Releasing my grip on the box a bit, I exit the Canopy and glance to my left. I'm pretty sure that's where the Wood Wailer stopped me earlier. Must be the way I'm supposed to go.
I walk along the path, catching glances at people who pass by. They all seem to be in such a rush, thrilled to go about whatever business they're attending to. I'm glad they aren't paying me much mind. Wouldn't want to be known as the "newcomer" to everyone in all of Gridania...

As I walk up the small incline, I see something incredible before me... A giant crystal, rotating and suspended in the air by some strange magics. Is this what Miounne spoke of? Before it stands a Wood Wailer, and though I can't see her eyes, the smirk on her face reveals her bemusement.
"Let me guess, you're new to Gridania?" she asks while motioning over to the crystal.
I sigh. I guess worrying that I'll be labeled a newcomer is pointless... It's obvious enough already.
"Yes, I am.." I reply.
"Good," she says with a smile. "As you probably already know, the creatures of the Twelveswood have been acting unnaturally as of late. It falls to the God's Quiver to pacify them. You should speak to them near the Archer's Guild, as alas, they are sorely undermanned."
I'm not exactly sure if my rudimentary skills qualify me to even dare to help, but I accept her request anyway.
I just want to get over to that crystal.

Rushing up the ramp, I barely even notice that a light, yet steady rain has begun to fall.
I'm too busy being amazed by what stands... err, floats, before me.

The crystal... What did Miounne call it? The Aetheryte?
It is HUGE!
I bask in the blue glow, staring in awe as other adventurers and citizens place their hands upon it, and in snap, disappear. What Miounne said was true, it really is used for transportation... and I don't feel ill around it, thank the gods!
Glancing around me, nobody else seems to be having any ill effects either. Guess there's only one thing to do,  and that's to touch the crazy thing.
Placing the box of eel pie under one arm, I reach towards the Aetheryte. As soon as my hand comes in contact with the surface, I feel a strange sensation course through my limbs...

"Ah, I see you're following Miounne's instructions?"
The voice startles me, and I quickly pull back my hand from the Aetheryte, feeling almost as if I've done something wrong.
I turn to the source of the voice, only to find that it's yet another Wood Wailer. Seems as if they really are watching my every move...
"Excuse my manners, I'm Nicia of the Wood Wailers," she says, extending an apology for scaring the living daylights out of me. I must confess though, I was rather transfixed by that odd feeling that washed over me when I placed my hand on the crystal...
"I know a thing or two about the Aetheryte - that big crystal over there," she continues. "They are devices that tap into aetherial energies, and are primarily used as a means to travel from one place to another. There are many of these devices found in almost every corner of Eorzea, so try to attune yourself to any you come across."

"Attune? I'm not sure..." Before I can finish, she answers.
"Like you just did. Pressing your hand to the Aetheryte. But you need not locate them all at once. I suggest that you start with the ones here in Gridania to make your stay here easier."
I nod, finding myself once again staring in awe of the Aetheryte.
How little we all are...

Well, that's one task down. Two more to go!
And this eel pie is only growing cold...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Skyla's Story: Back to the Basics

Mother Miounne crosses her arms.
"Alright, let us begin at the beginning, shall we?" she says with a smirk, though free of any malice. "Now that you are a formal member of the Adventurer's Guild, we must be sure you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of adventuring. To that end, I have three tasks I wish you to perform."

"Your first task is to visit the aetheryte. This massive crystal stands in the middle of the Aetheryte Plaza not far from the Carline Canopy."
Aetheryte? Sounds related to aether... I better not get ill standing near it. If there's one way to show that you're incapable of something, it's passing out before you even start.
She must have sensed my apprehension, though it seems she mistook it for confusion.
"Aetheryte... It's a device that enables instantaneous transportation. It plays a key role in the life of the ever-wandering adventurer," she explains. Instant transportation... I can't help but wonder if aether can transport you somewhere in your dreams. I chuckle inwardly at the thought.
"You think I'm kidding?" Miounne raises an eyebrow, but continues before I can protest. "Just try touching its surface. A member of the Wood Wailers will provide you with further instruction."
I promptly shut my mouth and nod. Great, more Wood Wailers.

"Is that your weapon of choice?" She motions to the old spear strapped to my back.
"Yes... or, at least I hope it to be. I know how to... stab rabbits." I reply sheepishly. I sure hope we aren't expected to have prior training.
"Alright. For your second task, you are to visit the Lancers' Guild. There's no better way to learn the arts of the polearm. Speak with Jillian, and she will explain the benefits of joining the guild."
I rub my hands together in anticipation. Could Jillian be a dragoon? To learn from the best... that would put me on the fast track to fulfilling what I had promised to do all those years ago... The goal that brought me here in the first place.
Miounne cuts my thoughts short.
"For your third task and final task, I would have you visit the markets at the heart of Old Gridania's commercial district. There you shall find armor and weapons, and all the various items that an adventurer might need on her travels." She reaches into her pocket, and places a few dozen gil on the counter. "This is a little something to help you out. I expect you to return the favor someday to one who has less experience than yourself," she says with a smile.
I can barely believe it, but I happily grasp the gil in my hands and grin widely.

"Thank you so much, I can definitely buy something with this. I spent nearly all of my gil getting here..." I say excitedly, tucking the coins into my pocket.
"Before you go, there's one more thing... There's more to the markets than buying and selling goods. Speak with Parsemontret, and listen well to his counsel," she advises me. "The master merchant can be... uncooperative at times, so be sure to offer him one of my famous eel pies." Miounne raises her eyebrow with amusement. "Like so many men, he is MUCH more charitable when his stomach is full. Here, I made a batch not too long ago."
She bends down to grab something behind the counter, and hands me a box wrapped in brown paper and tied twine. I can smell the delicious scent of seafood through the wrapping and my mouth begins to salivate... No, this isn't for you, Skyla! Don't even think about it!

"You have your tasks, Skyla," she says, somewhat skeptical. Oh yikes, she caught me drooling over the pie... Time to snap out of it.
I nod and smile, acknowledging her statement. I turn to leave, and she leaves me with one last word...

"May Nophica guide your path... and should you happen to come across any citizens in need, don't be afraid to proffer a helping hand!"
Don't worry, Miounne... I will. If I'm to achieve what I've set out to accomplish, I need all the experience I can get.

Friday, September 20, 2013

An Update to Skyla's Story - New Format

Over the past few weeks, I've been absolutely DREADING to write more of Skyla's Story. I've been playing on my Roegadyn Marauder instead, completely ignoring Skyla Leitero.

Oh, my...

To be honest, I've bitten off way more than I can chew.
Firstly, writing in present tense is TOUGH AS HELL.
I've never written more than a page or two in present tense, and I keep finding myself reverting to past tense and then having to fix everything.

This game has way too many cutscenes. WAY. TOO. MANY.
If I'm to transcribe every cutscene, I'll never progress in the game or the story.


From now on, all of Skyla's Story will be written in past tense, and I won't be focusing so much on writing out every cutscene in excruciating detail.
Of course, there are still two more entries scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday, so those will not have the new format.

Hope you all enjoy the new format better!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Skyla's Story: Scorned

"Look what just arrived... Another godsdamned adventurer."

It becomes clear to me that the Wood Wailers don't like adventurers very much. Maybe that Wood Wailer I spoke to earlier spooked me just for kicks?
I stand frozen, taken aback by such random hate.
"Don't you start with that. Adventurers are the very salve that Gridania needs." Looks like Miounne to the rescue...
Her eyes narrow, and her tone isn't much unlike a scolding mother.
"The Elder Seedseer HERSELF bade us welcome them with open arms. Do you mean to disregard her will?"

She seems to have struck a nerve.
"Of course not!" an Elezen Wood Wailer exclaims, his pointed ears giving his race away, even behind a mask. "Lest YOU forget, it is my sworn duty to uphold the peace! Am I to blame if outsiders bring mistrust upon themselves?"
I guess some of the adventurers that sign up here are less than savory in terms of character.
The Wood Wailer points a long finger towards me in warning.
"YOU! Adventurer. Mind that you do not cause any trouble here, or I shall personally cast you out of this realm and into the seventh hell," he snarls. If I didn't know any better, I'd have mistaken him for a coerl. I can't help but fold my ears back in reaction to this... abuse.

He turns in a huff, and stalks out of the building with his two buddies in tow.
I relax a bit, but barely.
How hard am I going to work to gain the trust of these people? Is Mother Miounne just a rare exception to a suspicious and harsh populace?
As if reading my mind yet again, she pipes up.
"Pay that outburst no mind. He meant only to... counsel you." She says that last bit with a bit of bitter scorn. I can tell she's not happy about them coming and interrupting her. I can't say I blame her. If I had known everyone would be so hostile, I would have chosen somewhere to sign up as an "adventurer..."
I think I'm starting to dislike that label again.
"Some counseling..." I mumble, staring down at my feet.
Miounne sighs.

"Don't take it to heart. Suspicious characters have been prowling the Twelveswood as of late, you see, and the Wood Wailers feel they cannot afford any chances." she explains, and I raise an eyebrow in skepticism.
"I saw them battle with the Ixal. Do I look like an Ixal?" I reply, perhaps a little too harshly. She doesn't seem to want to further the conversation along those lines, because she ignores my statement. Ah well, it was rhetorical anyway.
"Gridanians are wont to mistrust things they do not well know, your good self included. Fear not, however... given a catalog of exemplary deeds, and no more than a handful of years, the locals will surely warm to you."
She doesn't seem to notice my jaw drop. Years? YEARS? This is going to be much harder than I thought.
I quickly close my mouth before she notices my horror.
"Sounds... sounds good," I stutter in reply.
Miounne smiles weakly, seeing that all genuine excitement has left my face.
"Well..." She raises her arms in an attempt to dissipate my nerves. "On behalf of my fellow citizens, I welcome you to Gridania. May you come to consider our nation as you own."
I nod in thanks.
"Now... let me guide you in the ways of the adventurer," she says with a flick of her wrist.
I just hope this won't be as hard as trust-building.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Skyla's Story: Adventurer

What can I say? I wasn't expecting an adventuring headquarters to be this... beautiful!
Light floods through the ceiling, and I can't help but wonder if it's glass, or some other more durable substance.
I take a look around at everyone, trying to scout out where this Mother is... what's her name? I've forgotten already. I guess I was still in a bit of shock when talking to that Wood Wailer, he did kind of spook me with his suspicions, after all.
My eyes settle on a woman behind the counter. She's reading a book, and looks "motherly," I guess.
Her eyes lift from the tome she's reading and meet mine.
"Miounne," she replies with a smile. "What have we here? I wide-eyed and wondering young adventurer, come to put your name down at the guild, I assume?"

I guess that's what I am, though I detest being lumped together with the average profit-monger... I can't deny my wide-eyed childishness though. This place is unlike anything I've ever seen, and it does evoke a sense of wonder...
I nod in agreement, and she proceeds to tell me that the Carline Canopy is hers, and she has the great honor of providing guidance to fledgling young... heroes? I blink in surprise. "Heroes" wasn't the word I was expecting. Maybe there really are adventurers with better intentions than making easy gil.
She raises a finger and her voice becomes a little more serious.
"In return, you expect you to fulfill your duties as an adventurer by assisting the people of Gridania. A fine deal, wouldn't you agree?"
"Yes, ma'am. I'll do my best," I reply sincerely.
A fine deal indeed... better than having to pay gil, that's for sure. I'm no money-grubber, but to be honest I don't even have the gil to spare. Almost all of my savings went into that wagon ride, and I don't really have any talents besides basic housekeeping, and maybe stabbing rabbits. I have my mother to blame for that...
"Good," she says, relief overtaking her serious tone. I get the feeling that other adventurers possibly gave her a hard time, asking for payment in return for services.

Mother Miounne gives a sigh.
"You know, to an outsider's eyes, all may seem well with out nation, but naught could be further from the truth. The people live in a constant state of apprehension. The Ixal and gangs of common bandits cause use trouble, and that's only compounded by the ever-present threat of the Garlean Empire in the north. And that's nothing to say of the Calamity..."
Her honesty and trust in me surprises me.
She seems to stare off into space, as if watching unsavory events flash before her eyes. Her eyes suddenly close, as if to put it out of her thoughts.
"Ah, but I speak of it as if you were there. Forgive me," she says sullenly.
"It's no matter. I don't take offense," I reassured her. "I know it must have been a painful time. Though... I don't know much about it."
As much as it embarrasses me to not know about such a pivotal event in Eorzea's history, I know I can't possibly be the first adventurer to be somewhat clueless about what happened. After all, I was still in my place of birth when it happened... The village I had grown to hate so much.
She seems unphased by my question, my assumption confirmed.

"A dread wyrm emerged from the lesser moon, Dalamud, and rained fire upon the realm... It is this which is called the Calamity." she explains.
My ears twitch in response. I had known of the destruction, the strange glow of the lesser moon, but did not know it was a... a dread wyrm? The word is unfamiliar to me. I struggle to remember anything from the book...
"Not a square malm of the Twelveswood was spared the devastation. Yet despite the forest's extensive wounds, not a soul among us can remember precisely how it happened."
My eyes widen in surprise.
"You mean... I don't..." I must sound like an idiot stammering like this, but I fail to comprehend what she just said.
Once again, Mother Miounne stares off into the distance.
"I am well aware of how improbable that must sound to an outsider... It IS improbable."
Her gaze shifts to me.
"But it's also true. For reasons we can ill explain, the facts surrounding the Calamity are shrouded in mystery. There are as many version of events as the are people to recount them. Yet amidst the hazy recollections and conflicting accounts, all agree on one thing..."
She pauses and takes a breath before continuing.
"...that Eorzea was saved from certain doom by a band of valiant adventurers."

I feel a twinge of pain deep inside my chest as my thoughts wander. Did they perish like he did...? A life for the sake of others'?
Miounne continues, unaware of my expression of hurt.
"Whatever else we've misremembered, none of us have forgotten the heroes who risked life and limb for the sake of the realm. And yet... whenever we try to say their names, the words die upon our lips. And whenever we try to call their faces to mind, we see naught but silhouettes amidst a blinding glare."
Mother Miounne has started to "talk with her hands," as one might say, obviously getting excited about the retelling of these heroes.
"Thus have these adventurers come to be known as 'The Warriors of the Light'!"

She waves her hand, suddenly somewhat embarrassed.
"Ahem..." she coughs, "Pray do not feel daunted by the deeds of legends. We do not ask for you to become another Warrior of Light, only that you do what you can to assist the people of Gridania."
I smile uneasily.
"Of course, I'll do my best to fulfill that promise," I state, meaning well on what I say. It may not be my goal, but everyone starts somewhere, right?
At this, she smiles back.
"Remember... Your name...?"
"Skyla... Skyla Lietero," I quip.
"Ah, Skyla," she responds, rubbing her chin as if analyzing my name. "Remember, Skyla... Great or small, every contribution counts. I trust you will play your part." She looks at me with a wide, approving smile.

It's as if she can read my soul. Maybe she's seen enough adventurers to probably know which ones are trustworthy and which ones just want a slice of a great big treasure pie.
I know I'm keeping my promise. Even if it's something trivial, I'll help these people...
I need the training.
Plus... it's what he would have done.
I write my name on a scroll she presents me, and it's finalized...
Skyla Leitero, adventurer.

Right as I feel comfortable with the title, THEY come.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Skyla's Story: A Welcome

"You there!"
Me? I look around, trying to find where the voice is coming from.

"Yes, YOU!"
My eyes make contact with an Elezen not unlike the one that had stopped the wagon back while we were on the road. Same mask, and outfit, that's for sure.
I have barely even gotten a chance to look around the entrance to Gridania and already, someone is bugging me... Wait, wait, no. Be open about this!
I nod politely in the direction of the Elezen, acknowledging his exclamation.

"Your face is not known to me. Newly come to the city, no doubt." he says in a fairly official-sounding voice, and I feel a small inkling of worry. Am I not supposed to have a weapon in the city? This spear is rather noticeable...
Suddenly, my eyes are drawn to his own weapon. On his back is strapped a massive lance with a blade unlike any I have seen before. It looks almost as if three blade were layered on top of each other, and then melded together. To be skilled enough to wield a weapon like that...

I shake my head as if to clear my thoughts. Focus! And goddess forbid he thinks you're admiring his body, not his lance!
He seems like he hasn't noticed me staring... Good.
"I am Bertennant, a Wood Wailer of Gridania," he states with authority. "It is my duty to protect our nation from her enemies while welcoming those who may yet prove her friends." His voice suddenly switches to a more suspicious tone. "Let us see which you are," he says grimly, and I can't help but feel a pang of fear.
Is it the weapon on my back that made me suspicious as a newcomer? I guess I don't look like an innocent peddler or random visitor...
I glance around briefly, looking at the people walking by me. They don't seem to be bearing weapons... Great, what have you gotten yourself into?

I clear my throat.
"I'm just a... a new adventurer," I manage to spurt out.
His expression softens.
"I thought as much," he replies, but he takes on a voice of authority once more. "We cannot allow strangers to wander Gridania unchecked and untested. I suggest you make yourself known at the Carline Canopy, where the headquarters of the local Adventurer's Guild is located. Talk to Mother Miounne within, and she will take you in hand."
I give a quick thanks, and dash off in the direction he pointed to.

Adventurer's Guild? I chuckle to myself at the thought. This must be where reckless imbeciles are sent, most likely to have reality slapped into their faces by true warriors. I remember hearing stories in my childhood about someone running off to be an "adventurer" and biting off more than they can chew...
I immediately halt in my tracks, a hand placed in front of my face.

"HALT! Unregistered outsiders are not permitted beyond this point!" screams a female voice behind a wooden mask.
"I'm sorry, I must have missed what I was looking for," I say hurriedly while backing away.
She sternly points to a building behind me to my left, and I high-tail it... no pun intended. How embarrassing... I let my mind wander. I should know better than to reminisce about the past.

I make an effort to pay attention, and walk through the large doorway. How could I have missed this?!?
Before I make it inside, a large hulking Roegadyn standing next to the door speaks.
"The wood... it's watching, you know!"
I hope I made the right choice by coming here, because that... that was rather ominous.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Crafting Update! What I've Made This Summer...

Since I officially closed down my Etsy shop, I've been a roll making tons of new stuff for our grand reopening.

Here's some photos of what's in... hehe... STORE! (Okay, that was awful.)

After a lot of research into polymer clay techniques, I decided I definitely needed a clay machine. I found a reasonably priced off-brand one on eBay, and it works like a charm! 

After my first venture into the world of clay canes and clay machines, I made myself a cane that looked a lot like bacon. Thanks to the clay machine, I was able to make some great pendants and button-like post earrings!

Anyone who played World of Warcraft knows that home is where the hearthstone is... These hearthstones were shaped, textured, carved, and then accented with blue glow-paint from Glow-On. After they were glazed, they were made into pins and earrings!
Jon went for a bike ride one morning while we were in Delaware, and brought back a gorgeous dead dragonfly he found! I decided to buy a shadowbox and paint a background to mount it on.

More adventures with the clay machine! I made a tiger-stripe cane and used my new cutters to make shaped pendants. The pendants on the right were from my first clay machine experiment... They're supposed to look like they're made out of real stone.

Continued fun with both the clay machine, and my new blade! By making a small millefiori cane and cutting it up into tiny thin pieces, I was able to make the wings for butterfly post earrings. I then took scrap pieces, flattened them with the machine, and used the cutters to make some some more pendants and post earrings. 

School has started up again, and since I'm looking for a veterinary internship, I'm taking it easy this semester. The only class I'm taking is Sculpture I, and we're already getting started on something big! We're going to be making a giant "Yellow Submarine" installation in our college's east atrium... but the catch is that the WHOLE THING must be made out of only newspaper, and duct tape! Today I made a Portuguese Man o' War, and it may have attacked me... :P

I'll be keeping you all updated on the continuing progress that I make in building up my shop inventory before the big reopening day!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Skyla's Story: A Change of Heart

Silence had filled the wagon for what seemed to be minutes. I guess that my fellow occupants needed a moment to mull their sudden brush with fate over in their heads.
Unsurprisingly, it's Bremondt that finally breaks the silence.

"That... that was too bleedin' close," he says, staring down at the arrow that almost became embedded in the back of his head earlier. "Nice of the Ixal to send us a welcomin' party, though, eh?"
He reaches down and pulls the arrow from the wooden floor of the wagon.
"Jokin' aside, this won't be the last time you meet those feathered fiends, so just you take care, all right?"
I smile weakly. I can't be mad at this guy anymore, not with what he just went through. Somehow I think he's just pretending to be unphased by the Ixal incident. At his age, I'd hate to have my life cut short by something as stupid as a stray arrow. To die in the fury of battle, however...
"By the by, is this your first trip to Gridania?" he asks, interrupting the beginning of a daydream.

"Yes, it is." I reply, to which his face becomes cheerfully animated. I can't help but think that he's relieved to be able to talk about something other than beastmen attacks.
"It is!? Well then, let this journeyed itinerant tell you the ins an' outs of your destination."
I sit back and listen closely.

He tells me that Gridania lies in the middle of the Black-Shroud, the thick forest that we are traversing through right now. That much, I already knew, I did not choose to come here blindly. I don't mention this, however.
His face becomes a bit sullen as he mentions how it used to be a lot more lush before the Calamity. I stare off into the treetops, amazed at the thought that these woods could have been even thicker than they are now. Continuing with his story, he says that the destruction wrought by the Calamity caused monsters and the Ixal themselves to settle in, and that the Ixal seem to think they have a rightful claim to the Shroud.
So that's why they seem so hell-bent to attack us...
"Ah, at long last!" Bremondt exclaims, a sense of relief betraying his nerves. I guess he was expecting the Ixal to appear with their mention.
"Behold Gridania, the forest nation blessed by the elementals!"

I can't help but gasp as the trees give way to a beautiful landscape and architecture that I've never known.
Gridania... At last, I'm here!

A huge smile bursts across my face, and I stand on the wagon bench to get a better look.
Waterwheels and foliage, buildings made entirely of wood...
Once again, the wagon comes to a stop, though not as suddenly as before. I jump out the wagon, almost forgetting the long wooden spear I brought along with me. Despite its age, it's a lot better than arriving in an unfamiliar place unarmed... though it definitely is no proper lance.

"An' here's where we part ways, lass."
I turn to Bremondt, who has also exited the back of the cart. Would I be labeled insane for feeling a bit sad that we have to part ways? Maybe I was too harsh on the guy.

I thank him for giving me some background information on Gridania, but stop myself when I'm about to apologize for my rash behavior. I may be... what did he call me? A "new adventurer," but I still have some pride.
He nods and tells me he needs to deliver his wares, and then it's back to the road... Must be a boring, yet somewhat dangerous life. I feel a pang of regret for getting so angry at him earlier, I would probably dream of fame and fortune as well if I was stuck in the life of a peddler.
I find myself watching the two quiet Elezen exit the cart, walking away without a word. I almost don't notice Bremondt holding out his hand.
"Here, I want you to have this - by ways of keepin' me company," he says with a smile, and my eyes instantly snap back to his face. Way to make me feel guilty! I take the object without a word, too embarrassed to notice what it is.

"Hey," he exclaims, "You never did tell me your name, did you? Well, here's an idea..."
The skepticism about his intentions creep back into my mind, but I shake them away. Oh come on, he's just a lonely old guy. Who knows, maybe he drinks to quell some kind of past sorrow? I mean... He almost got shot with an arrow, he probably had other frightening or unfortunate incidents, right?
"Become the sort of storied personage I can brag about havin' met, an' I'll consider us square!"
See? Nothing to worry about.

With a wave of his hand, he walks off... and I'm left to ponder my thoughts and actions.
I reach into my pocket, curious as to what he had given me, and my fingers are able to make out a cold, circular object. I grab it and look into my hand... Hmm, a ring. Not an overly gaudy one, just a copper band with a nice carved design. I slip it only my finger and a faint smile crosses my lips. Looks pretty good!
Then I remember all of the doubt and malice I had towards the one who had given it to me...

Maybe I need to be more trusting.
I sigh, and look upon the entrance to Gridania.
Today I will try to have a more open mind.