Saturday, January 25, 2014

Skyla's Story: Yarzon'a Give Me a Reward For This?

I arrived in the Central Shroud ready to complete my duties and deliveries!

I cut down some ladybugs for their scarlet oil as well as some of the targets my hunting log mentioned. If the Lancer's Guild wanted these things exterminated, it was my goal to do whatever I could to make it happen. If I ever have any hope of becoming a Dragoon, I better be prepared to show my skill and loyalty.

It soon started to rain as I made my way towards an outpost with a delivery, and I almost slipped in the mud right in front of the recipient... No wonder she commented on my lack of experience.
I was soon tasked with finding a bunch of lazy initiates of the Twin Adders, which was simple enough. I made sure to give them a piece of my mind. How anybody could neglect such an honor to serve was beyond me.
My next task was somewhat... terrifying.
I had to gather some yarzon shells for the trainees to practice with, but I had forgotten what a yarzon actually was.
As soon as I arrived, I remembered that awful drawing of a spider-crustacean in my father's book and how much I had hoped to never encounter that thing.
Well, I said I would do it... Ugh.

I thought about my best course of action on dispatching that... thing, and decided that an ambush from above would probably work best.
With a yell half threatening and half "what in the Twelve am I getting myself into," I leaped down into the stream and stabbed my adversary...

I think the horrifying discovery that it had a terrible hinged jaw of death made me focus more on stabbing the Hells out of it, because it fell a lot quicker than I thought it would.
I got my four shells and almost felt like culling more than needed just because of how downright disgusting these things were, but the skies broke open with lightning and I decided it was time to seek shelter.
I ran back to The Bannock, as I found the outpost to be called, and presented the shells to the archery course for their practice. My efforts were rewarded generously with servings of braised pipira, a delectable fish soaked in butter and mushrooms, which I ate under the overhanging roof of a nearby storage shed.

I guess the warmth of the dish and all of that fighting made me sleepy, because I started to nod off...
Guess a catnap couldn't hurt.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Little Pro-Rescue/Animal Activism Blurb

I'm a pro-rescue dog-lady and am against puppy mills... And I'll tell you why. 
We made "dog." We domesticated them, took them into our homes, made them dependent on us. We have made them man's best friend and their lives are enriched by human interaction and companionship just as much as we are by theirs. For us to neglect them, exploit them, or abuse them is the worst act of betrayal we could possibly commit. They love us with every fiber of their being.
I often joke that I'm not for the basic right of pet ownership, but of "a human for every dog"... Because every dog should have a human to call their best friend. We created them as we know them today, and we sure as hell should accommodate them.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Skyla's Story: What's this?

(The majority of this was written on Dec 21st and then scheduled for posting.)

Falling asleep in the Marketplace wasn't the best idea.
I was abruptly woken up at the crack of dawn by the hammering and sawing of a Carpenter and his mobile workstation.
I need to find a better place for some shut-eye...

Since I already had a pocket full of gil anyway, I decided to buy some new clothes at the Market.
I was overjoyed to find out that someone was offering the exact same lance that I saw being carried by the Woodwailers earlier. Needless to say, I snatched that up quicker than you could say "GIMME."
I even bought an eye-patch, since I overheard that covering one eye the whole day can help you see better when it starts getting dark. Sure will take some getting used to, though. I also put in my cactuar earring for good measure.
As I walked out the doorway, I stopped abruptly in my tracks to the sight of...

...snow? Decorations? Did I really lose track of time this much?
This must be what the Starlight Celebration looks like in the city! 

I removed my eye-patch to take a better look... Wow!
My town had a tree and some little things, but never anything to this magnitude.
Best of all, I guess I'm now seeing the warmer, friendlier side of Gridania. What a relief that is, for sure!
I perked up my ears and heard a hustle and bustle coming from the direction of the Amphitheater...
There's GOT to be something going on over there!
I couldn't help but stop along my way to marvel at some of the decorations, though.

They seem to have enchanted some star-shaped decorations, because these at the bottom of the stream GLOW!!!

The Amphitheater was unlike anything I had ever imagined... a true Starlight wonderland!
While I was there I chatted with someone in a snowman suit and they told me that some snowmen have gone... missing. (A very realistic costume I might add, I almost mistook them for an actual snowman!)
Apparently the ice cores they implanted into the snowmen to keep them freezing cold even in these warm temperatures might have given them sentience since they were originally from golems.
You'd think the genius who thought that idea up in the first place would have foreseen this result...

Guess I'll have to keep a lookout for any snowmen once I leave town.
Speaking of which, I still have all those duties to fulfill! 
Time to put my eye-patch back on (though it itches, I might add) and hop to it!

Friday, January 17, 2014


If you live in the New England or Tri-state area, you may have experienced the INSANE fog that occurred yesterday!
On our way back from dinner, Jon and I stopped outside my house for a quick photoshoot...


In other news, class starts in about a week and I'm still not feeling much better. My allergies are still bugging me, but hopefully my reduced curriculum this semester won't be too taxing.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Skyla's Story: Gaining Trust

-yaaaawwwn- it morning already!?

Morning had arrived, and I stretched my aching arms and back.
Guess I went a little crazy with the monster extermination yesterday...
No matter. I was ready to finally fulfill what Mother Miounne recommended I do... Help the citizens of Gridania to try and crack through their cold, adventurer-wary shells.
I began by asking around the Adventurer's Guild itself, and found a couple of adventurers who needed some help themselves with some deliveries. One Lalafell fellow mistook a piece of metal for a nut and almost cracked his teeth on it right in front of me.
I think I can see why some people look down on adventurers... Either way, I offered to return the piece of metal to its rightful owner.
First thing's first though, completing tasks in the city itself!

I can't help but say that Gridanians seem cold, yet oddly somewhat eager to throw tasks towards us "adventurers." My first course of action was to make a quiet young Elezen girl laugh.

An odd request, and definitely not an easy one... It finally took me dancing like an imbecile to get a giggle out of her. When I returned to the young man who tasked me with this challenge, he explained that her father died 5 years ago during all the fighting. I didn't want to accept the gil after hearing that, but the guy insisted I take it.
Afterwards I scouted around Old Gridania for some other jobs.
I found out the piece of iron that Lalafell practically chomped down on belongs to a Chocobo stable outside the city, so I decided to save that for later. The Conjurer's Guild also asked me for some scarlet oil extracted from the corpses of ladybugs... Guess they took the lance on my back as a cue for a slaughtering job.

I soon found myself at the Botanist's Guild, where a frantic Elezen tasked me with tracing her footsteps and picking up all of the rose hips that spilled out her torn pack before rampaging adventurers crushed them to bits.

Guess our need to run around all over the place annoys the locals too...
She was thankful for the help, and in turn I got some more gil.
It was after this somewhat pleasant job that I encountered the kind of Gridanian that Miounne warned me about... Ethelred.

I was wandering around and admiring the fields of flowers at the Botanist's Guild, when this guy popped out of one of the flowering bushes, cursing the Gods and complaining about how us adventurers are "like flies on muck."
I honestly was too taken aback by his hostility to even think about making a retort. Before I could even compose myself, he bit his tongue for a moment and muttered about how times were changing, and maybe... He stopped right there, and thrust a rose in my face, telling me to go deliver it to someone. I stood there blankly, not knowing how to react. He then screamed at me to "deliver the bloody rose" so I leaped over the little fence and went along my way.
Well, money is money. Guess I'll add that to my list.

I did a lot of little jobs here and there along the way... gathering vegetables left at the Amphitheater by the slyphs. If I remember correctly, they kind of look like vegetables themselves.

My legs aching from running about and my pockets jingling with gil, I finally went to deliver the rose.
Back alllll the way to the Conjurer's Guild...
The man I delivered it to was beyond pleased. He told me that Ethelred had a long-standing grudge against foreigners after some ill-willed fortune seekers almost picked his rare flowers to extinction, and that he had asked me for help is a sign that perhaps his mistrust is waning.
Despite the verbal abuse I endured at his hand, it all worked out pretty well. Miounne said that Gridanians are tough nuts to crack, and here I was, possibly having changed someone's mind about foreigners.

Before I retired for the day, I decided to explore the Conjurer's Guild a little more... and I saw something that made my jaw drop to the floor...
A hyur gifted with horns and youth by forest elementals seemed absolutely ridiculous when I read it so long ago in my father's book of creatures, and even talk about Gridania's leader being one was questionable... but there he was, standing there plain as day.

Even crazier, he was TEACHING some Conjurers, and they were just sitting there LISTENING!
Am I the only one freaking out about this?!?
It seemed to be so, because nobody's gaze seemed to falter as I glanced around in surprise. Guess this is normal for them, seeing a somewhat mythical being.

I left feeling amazed and shocked, and wondering if my dad ever saw the leader of Gridania in the flesh. He must have if he was a part of the Order of the Twin Adders, right...? He had never mentioned anything of it. Maybe he too became accustomed to their presence in the city and it didn't even seem worth noting anymore.

Ah well. Tomorrow is a big day. I'm going to take up the lance and show some more monsters who's boss, and finish up the myriad deliveries Gridanians have thrown onto me.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Skyla's Story: Evening and Earrings

It was late in the evening when I returned back to the Lancer's Guild to tell the Guildmaster that I had completed his task. I dare say, he was proud of me, and so was I.
I didn't come all this way for nothing.

Ywain told me that skill and strategy come with practice and courage, but for now I have to just master thrusting my lance into the enemy while maintaining a hold on the weapon itself.
In celebration of my victory against Gridania's pests, I was served a nice helping of marmot steak. It felt great to be able to eat a nice warm meal after my task. I also receiving a hunting log, which was basically a book filled with monsters and the like that need culling.
I said my goodbyes, and decided to spend the rest of my evening exploring the city.

Even though it began to rain, I wasn't fazed. I was much too happy to even care.
Gridania is a beautiful city. Even though the residents are a little less-than-friendly, this place could really become home...
Home is a concept I haven't thought of for a while.
Guess I'll probably need more gil to even consider paying for room and board long-term.

While I was wandering, I came across a Moogle who was very insistent on selling me something. I kept trying to tell him I was new to Gridania and had barely any gil to my name, but he wouldn't stop. After a bit more coaxing I decided to humor him and look at his wares.

He (or she? Do moogles even have genders?) presented me with earrings in the shape of cactuar, and told me he only wanted 1 gil! You couldn't imagine how overjoyed I was.
After walking away with the earrings in my pocket and one less gil coin in my bag, I decided it was time to go and call it a night.

I returned to the Adventurer's Guild and found an empty table to the side of the lobby. Some drunkard must have been sitting their earlier, because there was a large wine bottle standing there, completely empty.
Good for nothing drunks...
As I sat down, my mind wandered back to when I was wandering from town to town, not knowing where I was going and still unsure of where life would lead me. How many times had drunks tried to get me to do their job for them as they took time off at a bar, only to be shooed away by their boss or supervisor and left without pay?
Too many times.

I slowly began to nod off, so I let sleep overtake me.
Tomorrow I shall start helping people around Gridania... Maybe that way I'll be able to earn the favor of its residents and eventually be able to call it home.
Could use the gil, too.