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.

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